The summer of The Great Coffee Shortage was filled with mayhem, misdirection, and pirates hailing from a banana-republic with a vendetta against Scottie Melnik, the ‘Baron of Port Babbage’. With his rumored involvement in the apparent assassination of the ‘Hag of the Rif’ the year previous, the pirates were now determined to hurt the Master of the Port. So the split factions joined together with the Brotherhood and formed a blockade meant to keep one import out of New Babbage, Coffee.
Scottie Melnik was the first to notice the problem as ships had been disappearing on their way into Babbage waters, but far enough away that it was not seen as a Babbage problem. The ships should protect themselves better outside Babbage waters, after all. But then Scottie discovered that trains were being raided for supplies as well. In fact the only ships and trains being targeted had one thing in common. They had been carrying coffee, regardless of where it was coming from it had not reached the city itself for weeks.
Meanwhile, one of the urchins named Dibble had uncovered the plot involving an attempt on Scottie’s life, and the team sabotaging the train shipments.
He was poisoned and left to die at the Quarry Hill damn where something else was happening. Leon and his own crew were attacked, Cyan himself taken hostage during the encounter.
Mondrago, and soon other countries and municipalities cut off their supply of coffee shipments till the blockade was dealt with.
Unfortunately, this announcement caused a panic and people bought up the last of the coffee and started to hoard it. Tepic refused to leave a friend behind and went after Cyan in a rescue attempt, but he was captured by a very unexpected assailant.
Tepic dealt with the crew in his own unusual way as they seemed to enjoy talking with him onboard their vessel.
The events as reported in the paper
Beryl Strifeclaw, suffering from an injury to her mind and drugged heavily at the time, made arrangements to call on the one man who could potentially resolve this problem. Sir Sir Emerson Lighthouse. At least this seemed like a good idea to her at the time. At the same time, coffee was being hoarded by citizens desperate to keep a supply.
Beryl soon encountered one of the pirates, who offered her an invitation to join the pirates to set up the parlay. In her inebriated state she did not realize her current danger, or who could assist her with her current state. Pan, a Gadgetier, had been a thorn in the side of many Babbagers through out the events. The true captain of the ship arrived shortly afterwards and set up the parlay, and several trials for Sir Sir Emerson to complete.
More reports of the events in town caused by the pirates
Smugglers were now trying their best to make it through the blockade, but since the blockade was being conducted out of spite they only had to prevent coffee from getting in, not necessarily taking it for themselves. Even that did not seem to bother them overly much however.
During this time Scottie and the others uncovered the journal of the hunter, Sir Alan Beowald, who had been living in the sewers hunting the Beast of the Devil’s toenails for years. He revealed what had led to Dibbles demise, and eventually, the capture and suicide of one of the men who caused the tragedy. The pirates who had been blocking the train imports left the city in the night.
Meanwhile, Sir Sir Emerson arrived at the destination with several new squires, including Captain Bookworm Heinrichs, to begin the parlay after being forced to undergo several trials first.
Emerson Lighthouse is forced to think on his feet as Captain Khopesh takes over the parlay and nearly sends the children to their deaths due to Emerson’s request to set them free now. He acts quickly and gets the pirates to agree to a brief stay and to meet him at the Gangplank, where he will have more to offer them. There, he does what he always did best and brought the blockade by air to an end.
Finally, a very disgruntled pirate lady decided to go out into the Rif by sea to stop the last part of the blockade and found more than she bargained for as she did.
Though the blockade by sea had lost only a single ship, the arrival of the Kraken migration brought the rest of the venture to an end as they discovered the other two parts of the blockade had been recalled. Coffee returned to New Babbage and there was much rejoicing, and Emerson Lighthouse was able to claim that he was now the Savior of Coffee.