B13 Scenario: The Lost Ship of the Desert

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Offline Kedamono

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B13 Scenario: The Lost Ship of the Desert
« on: November 08, 2018, 01:49:47 PM »
In 1615, three ships sailed up the Gulf of California, lead by Juan de Iturbe, they sailed in search of pearls. Due to bad weather and one oyster shoal, two of the boats had to turn back and return to Acapulco. Captain Iturbe, had a decision to make. Return to Acapulco early, or continue to explore farther north? He chose the latter. For a week the men continued sailing until their ship entered a large shallow estuary. The men saw ducks, cat tails, and other features which they associated with freshwater. Gradually the route became narrower and narrower and then opened into what Uturbe described as a calm "inland sea". This may have been the last remnant of Ancient Lake Cahuilla, which was at one time was six times larger than today's Salton Sea. The men sailed or rowed along the eastern edge of that sea and then continued up the (now Colorado) river until they reached the 34th degree of latitude. The Spanish sailors had reached the area where the City of Blythe exists today.

It was here that Captain Iturbe turned his ship around. They sailed back down the river and into the calm inland sea. But in the weeks since their arrival the water level had fallen. This might have occurred if the river had been flooding when they arrived, and then had receded by the time they returned. Now the men's exit to the Sea of Cortez was blocked by a miles-long sand bar. They were trapped. In desperation the men sailed around the inland sea for three more days until they finally grounded their vessel on a sandy shore. The crew gathered as much of their precious cargo as they could then set off on foot.

They were never heard from again. And the ship? It too vanished, either salvaged by the locals, or buried in the blowing sands of the nearby desert. Well, mostly gone. The ship has been seen from time to time, sailing across the desert, and her crew can be heard crying out for help as they sail on her. Last time anyone saw the ship and ghostly remains of Juan de Iturbe was in 2014.

The Bureau investigated this way back in 1883, and determined that it was "mostly harmless" as the ship sailed and the crew moaned, but that was all it did. As far as the Bureau knew. Subsequent investigations in the 1930's, 60's, 80's, and in 2011 confirmed the ruling of "Mostly Harmless".

However, what no one knew was that the ship never sailed with the same crew every time. Only Captain Iturbe stays aboard. Every time it appears, it picks up the unwary travelers in the region and releases the souls of those who had been taken earlier to whatever awaits them in the afterlife. It usually picks those who were about to die anyway, from misfortune, accident, or stupidity.

This time, it picked up someone important, someone who also recorded the event and live streamed it on YouTube. Eric Smalls, a noted vlogger and YouTube celebrity, was live streaming an event (stunt) near the Salton Sea. He was in fact daring the Pearl Ship and it's Captain to appear as he wanted to interview them. (A guy in a pirate outfit was all set to do a very bad Spanish accent, but events made that performance unneeded.)

The Bureau was able to hijack the stream and make changes to the recording so it looked like a bad photoshop video. But, enough folks saw the video and were convinced it was real to head to Plaster City, CA, to go searching for Smalls and evidence that the ghost ship is for real.

So in this setting there will be plenty of folks out in the desert, ill prepared for the hot and dry conditions, getting into trouble, as well as looking for Smalls and the ship. The local authorities will be swamped with rescue missions out in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to worry too much about another bunch of loonies out looking for the ghost ship.

The reason Iturbe and his ship haunting the desert is that he's still trying to find a way back to the Gulf of California. If the ship's remains are found, the ship's wheel and it's figurehead are taken to the Gulf, Iturbe can be laid to rest, and Smalls rescued. (He's not dead, he got what he wanted, in the worse way possible.)

Iturbe and his ship are ferrying those folks who died lost in the desert to their final resting place, Smalls, however, was a pain in the butt, and ticked off the captain.

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Offline ORtrail

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Re: B13 Scenario: The Lost Ship of the Desert
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 07:53:54 PM »
A fair number of B13 teams are going to want to leave Eric on the ship, if he is as annoying as many YouTube personalities appear to be. 

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Offline Kedamono

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Re: B13 Scenario: The Lost Ship of the Desert
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 08:07:31 PM »
Well, he's no Pewtie Pie, but yeah, he's probably really annoying and full of himself.

Also, this scenario would require the team to enter Mexico to lay Iturbe and his ship to rest. There is a side benefit to this, the ship is an archeologist's dream, along with 20 chests full of pearls.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 08:12:02 PM by Kedamono »