Airship Pirates - Ten of the Crew had the Murder Mark

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With a crew of drunken pilots,
We're the only airship pirates,
We're full of hot air and we're starting to rise,
We're the terror of the skies but a danger to ourselves.
-- Abney Park's Airship Pirates.

The year is 2150, and since the chronal Apocalypse of 1906 nothing is what it might have been. The world is a wilderness, full of man-eating lions, sabre-toothed monstrosities and far, far, worse. In grim, overcrowded, walled cities the Neovictorians dwell as clockwork police and fear of the Change Cage keep the lower-classes subjugated. Outside, in the wilderness, the Neobedouin struggle to eke out a nomadic existence in their vast caravans, and even the floating cities of the Skyfolk are not without danger. Nowhere, it seems, is safe in this perilous world.

Especially if you're one of those rare few whose lives seem nothing but a series of risky and dangerous enterprises, an airship pirate.

With a crew by your side and the deck of an airship under your feet, your trusty steam-powered pistol in your belt and a swig of rum in your belly, adventure awaits you as you take to the dangerous skies of a Steampunk future!

Season 1 : Ten of the Crew had the Murder Mark

(November 1st 2011 to December 20th 2011)

Being the piratical adventures of the crew of the good ship Monty, an airship of the 'Tigerfish' class. The crew masquerades as a travelling circus when entering ports unfriendly to those of a piratical persuasion.

The Crew of the Monty

Senior Crew (PCs)

  • Captain Katherine Beauchamp (Lisa St. John), a NeoVictorian lady who fled the gilded cage of an upper-class life in the Everglades change-cage city in order to seek new experiences and adventure.
  • 'Gunnery Sergeant' John Boston (Johnathan Ellis), a Neobedouin whose entire tribe was slaughtered by an Imperial Air Navy frigate. John swore vengeance on the captain of that frigate, and recently slew him in hand-to-hand combat.
  • First-mate Serenity Brown (James Hollywood), a member of the skyfolk with a quirkily criminal outlook on life. Serenity Brown fled Isla Aether when his activities brought him to the attention of the authorities.
  • Johnny Deepblue (Scott Pugliese), the eccentric (arguably just plain mad) chief engineer and gadgetry whizz of the Monty.

Expendable Crew

  • Bosun Arras (you can blame that one on Lisa). Played by Kevin McNally.

Other Persons of Interest

  • 'Scabby' Jack Cutter (DECEASED) - A legitimate businessman (or crime boss, it's all a matter of perspective) of great wealth and influence, resident in the wealthy section of High Tortuga. The crew of the Monty retrieved his kidnapped son, and thus have earned the gratitude of 'Scabby' Jack, who may almost be considered a patron. Jack was killed when a booby-trapped head exploded in his library. Jack threw himself upon the head to save the life of his beloved automaton son, William. In so doing he also, coincidentally but fortunately, saved the life of Captain Beauchamp. The fate of Jack's vast business empire is not yet known, but it is assumed that Billy will assume control at some point. Played by Ray Winston.
  • William 'Billy' Cutter - the automaton 'son' of Jack Cutter, who closely resembles a ten-year old boy in a vintage blue-and-white sailor suit outfit. Kidnapped by enemies of his father and held for ransom, Billy Cutter was rescued from his captors by the crew of the Monty and reunited with his delighted father. Sadly, after the recent death of his father, William is now a (presumably incredibly wealthy) orphan. Played by a young Haley Joel Osment.
  • 'Lucky' Larry Lasko - long thought dead by Jack Cutter, Larreta Lasko was an airship pirate that Jack betrayed, leaving her at the mercies of a savage wilderness and feral beasts. Nonetheless, Larry somehow managed to find her way back to safety, at the cost of terrible injuries (and some might say her sanity) and has been plotting terrible vengeance against Jack Cutter for quite some time now. The crew of the Monty recently encountered somebody they believed to be 'Lucky' Larry when asked to retrieve a boat believed stolen by Larry - however, this turned out to be a (booby-trapped) dupe. Played by Bonnie Langford (in a black wig).
  • Blind Lou. A pretty cowardly and pathetic individual that is, nonetheless, a particularly effective operative of Grigor Van Herten. The crew of the Monty were instructed to rendezvous with Blind Lou aboard the Dead Man's Chest in order to obtain a map. They arrived just in time to prevent Blind Lou's execution for treason, spying, and generally being a pretty worthless excuse for a human being. Played by Tony Robinson.
  • Captain 'Jack' (short for Jacqueline) Slaughter - master of the Dead Man's Chest and sister to 'Scabby' Jack. The crew of the Monty fought Captain Slaughter and her crew while rescuing Blind Lou from imminent execution. Played by Lucy Lawless.
  • Minister Grigor Van Herten - a well-known complete and utter bastard. Tall, spindly, and really makes you want to take a shower after encountering him. He's a very nasty piece of work that escaped from a Change Cage City shortly before he was due to be executed for undisclosed acts of indescribable unpleasantness. Somehow, after that, he managed to worm his way to the top of the Justice Ministry of Isla Aether. He recently 'encouraged' the crew of the Monty to undertake a mission for him by promising not to gas them to death after arresting and incarcerating them on (totally unproven) piracy charges. Played by Steven Fry.
  • Captain Dieter Van Herten (DECEASED) - the cousin of Grigor Van Herten (coincidence? Hmm...), Dieter speaks with a bad german accent, has excellent manners, and is very, very polite. He's likely to apologize as he has you executed. Tall, powerfully built, with ice-cold blue eyes and a monocle. He has, as is practically mandatory for all such villains, a dueling scar on his right cheek. Dieter is the commanding officer of the notorious IAN frigate Red Skull, whose crew all live in fear of him due to his tendency to spontaneously shoot crew members who do not perform to his liking. He's not all bad - he has a pet, Inga, that he loves very much. Played by Hugh Laurie. Killed by John Boston.
  • Inga (DECEASED) - a jet black Hyaenadon with a diamond collar. Inga is the beloved pet of Dieter Van Herten, who keeps her well fed with an efficient diet of meat and the occasional member of his crew. Her jet black skin is unique among Hyaenadons, and the fact Dieter refers to her as 'My beloved experiment' suggests she is the result of some kind of breeding program. Killed by John Boston and Serenity Brown, who fed her a poisoned crewmember.

Places and/or Things of Interest

  • Dead Man's Chest - A roving hive of scum and villainy, a colossal den of sin and iniquity. Not so much a sky city, more an immense airship with a maze of buildings attached to/suspended from its vast hull. Dead Man's Chest roams the world providing wine, women, drugs, slaves and all sorts of nefarious services to the free peoples of the world. The word notorious doesn't really do it justice. The 'justice' system aboard the Dead Man's Chest is tough but fair - and really, really, confusing.
  • High Tortuga - Almost the 'capital city' of the Sky Pirates, The sky city known as High Tortuga is a shanty town of slums, dives, shacks, and low-class drinking establishments. Also ... a lot of pirates.
  • Isla Aether - Isla Aether is one of the very largest of the Skyloft cities. It is a huge donut that is perched atop Mount Witney. Isla Aether focuses predominantly on trade, it's merchants have a reputation for honesty due to the very strict laws and regulation that govern their trade. This is the 'home town' of Serenity Brown, although he was forced to leave the city in a hurry due to a ... misunderstanding.
  • The Swift Swallow - a small smuggling vessel formerly owned by 'Scabby' Jack Cutter before being stolen by 'Lucky' Larry Lasko (or a dupe thereof). The crew of the Monty were tasked with retrieving it by 'Scabby' Jack Cutter. The ship had the distinction of being one of the slowest ships in Jack's fleet.
  • The Treasure - the map Grigor Van Herten wants so badly points simply to 'treasure'. What, precisely, that treasure is is unknown, though the map describes it as the most precious thing in the whole world. It is said to be 'Hiding in plain sight, worthless, amongst gold and jewels'. The map points to co-ordinates deep within the change-cage city of Desolation, which is very bad news for a crew of airship pirates! In the final session of the season it was revealed that 'The Treasure' was being sought by the Van Hertens as part of a conspiracy to overthrow the Emperor. They believed 'The Treasure' to be some manner of Ultimate Weapon. In fact, it was a US Army hideout from a previous timeline, housing a Chrononautilus-type time travel device. The crew of the Monty managed, with the aid of a survivor from that timeline who they had found in suspended animation, to use the time-machine to travel back to 2012 in order to escape almost certain death ...
  • Unnamed Neo-Victorian Research Facility - A virtually impregnable fortress of stone and concrete, set out in a radioactive wasteland, and formerly a nuclear reactor. When the frontal attack on this facility by the Monty failed John Boston tried to bluff his way in by pretending to be a 'slave hunter'. Lacking any kind of significant ability at bluffing, this attempt was rebuffed and John barely escaped with his life after being pursued by a small pack of Hyaenadons. It is believed that the Red Skull is in some way associated with this facility, which is rumoured to carry out unspeakable experiments on humans and animals.
  • The Red Skull - the Imperial Air Navy Frigate with a red skull motif on the bow has a fearsome reputation. The frigate is commanded by Captain Dieter Van Herten who has, amongst the Imperial Air Navy, an equally fearsome reputation for enforcing rigid discipline by virtue of the fact he has a tendency to shoot and/or feed to his pet Hyaenadon any member of the crew who offends him.