Spoiler Warning: Many spoilers for the Skull & Shackles adventure path are contained within these story recap posts. If you don’t want your campaign spoiled, don’t read these!
Dolce spent her time in Port Peril working on a project of hers.. As well as paying several others to work on the same project. As the elf understood it, the deep platinum they’d found in Mancatcher Cove could be used to track other pieces of it so long as they were on the surface. It was how Inkskin had caught up with them.
Basically, infusing the deep platinum with magic of any sort caused it to resonate. The closer it was to another piece mined from the same source, the more it resonated. They also gave off the faint glow Mirielle had observed the night Inkskin had boarded The Purr.
They had the ingot Inkskin had used to track them, the original necklace from the son of Krellort (the sahuagin king), Krellort’s own necklace, a necklace obtained from the mummy pirate in the buried chamber, and a crown. Quite a lot of material to work with. Dolce left Mirielle’s holy symbol alone. It was worth a thousand, five hundred gold pieces and fashioned of the deep platinum and gold coral.
Dolce had been the one to get that reworked for her captain. She, of course, had it made in the likeness of Besmara’s holy symbol (the skull and crossbones) with Mirielle’s halo circling it. Now the elf set about doing the same again.. She, Revel, and Nasha would each have a lesser twin of Mirielle’s necklace worth a thousand gold pieces. The officers of The Purr would have lesser versions still, worth four hundred gold pieces. Lastly, little Jack Scrimshaw, Mirielle’s cabin boy, would have one worth a hundred gold pieces. These would all use normal gold where Mirielle’s used golden coral since Dolce wasn’t particularly inclined to gather any of that.
Should any of the crew ever go missing in port, these would make it much easier to track them down. The crown’s material, Dolce saved. It was five thousand gold pieces worth of deep platinum… And when Mirielle became an admiral with other ships sailing under her those ships’ captains would also need a symbol of their admiral.
Getting the jewelers of Port Peril to make all but one of the necklaces had cost a pretty sum, five hundred gold coins. Dolce was debating how to divide up the crown now, because she could do it herself so long as she was willing to take the time. But her time was highly prized. In fact, she’d soon be learning more spells again if she could get past her latest hurdle in magical endeavors.
Of course, to go along with all of these holy symbols of Besmara, Dolce had also acquired something else… A small altar and a ritual. The Lady’s Purr would soon be a floating bastion of the Pirate Queen if Dolce had her way. She suspected Mirielle would be in favor of this and doubted Revel or Nasha would argue considering how much gold they’d sent to the depths at this point. After all, they were still breathing.
To say Dolce was surprised by the seven new “crew” members would be an understatement. Among them was the oldest human the elf had ever laid eyes on. Mirielle explained that these were some of her old attendants as well as the events that had transpired at port. Dolce hadn’t spoken to Mirielle since the celebrations at the fort since she’d been caught up in her own activities.
The fact that seven servants were only some of Mirielle’s servants made the elf wonder just what kind of adversary they were going to find in House Torvaros. Perhaps she needed to start coming up with contingencies… She had heard of things like whole ships submerging below the surface of the ocean to reemerge unharmed later. How this was accomplished, Dolce had no idea. Perhaps with a Wish spell or a favor from Besmara herself? It bore researching.
But if they were going to be facing Taldan warships… Their ballistae also bore enchanting. She’d get to work on that sooner rather than later… Except they’d spent most of their coin aside from the ’emergency fund’ Mirielle wanted them to have. ‘Fucking complications…’ Dolce thought.
She had more immediate requirements though.. For she intended to learn to wield her blade the way Shade would… She’d seen him employ ruthless efficiency when fighting the Canopy Creeper, and she wished to learn to his methods… Which meant asking him for a favor while already in his debt. She could have, she supposed, hired someone in Port Peril… But needlessly spending money was not something she aimed to do, and so she approached the Bosun. “Shade, if I could have a moment.”
The drow met her gaze and inclined his head, “By all means, Sir.”
She’d thought about how to ask this favor a thousand times, but a thousand moments of mental consideration did not make the actual asking any easier and now the words threatened to stick in her throat. She led him a few paces away from the crewmen he’d been overseeing and turned to face him. “I’d like you to teach me to wield a blade the way you do.”
The drow grinned. Dolce was certain he knew just how much it irked her to be asking him for a favor. All he said was, “I’d be happy to, Sir.”
Dolce nodded. “Thank you.” It felt foreign to be saying those words to him, but if she was honest it wasn’t the first time she’d thanked someone she didn’t like. She glanced at the crewmen he’d been overseeing again and started to say, “We’ll begin in the mo-“
“Now is fine. I’m sure they’ll tend their tasks well since they know I’ll be going over there work later,” Shade said.
Dolce drew a long breath. They’d be training in the confines of the ship and it was very likely they’d have an audience. Nasha and Jack had garnered an audience often enough when the lizardfolk was teaching the boy how to throw a punch. She nodded, and just as quickly Shade sprung to motion, his leg sliding out as he attempted to knock her off her feet.
Dolce started falling, but turned the movement into a roll. She regained her footing and saw he’d used the maneuver as a diversion to draw his blade while she was still unarmed. With the point of it aimed at her neck he simply said, “Dead.”
The elf frowned and drew her own blade. Training ended up taking up most of her day as well as most of Shade’s. The drow knew she rose early and originally intended to take over her hour before the crew rose, but Dolce didn’t allow that on any day where the time was required to renew her spells. Otherwise she gave in.
Most days she found herself rather sore from their bouts, and when she fell back on her old favored tricks of misleading the drow with her attacks he usually disarmed her. It was rather aggravating. At least she won their spars when they grew heated more often than not. Of course, even a victorious bout sometimes resulted in him criticizing how she employed her blade. Too much of her movements relied on brute force. They targeted weaknesses, sure, but not in a way that capitalized on fluidity. This was what she wanted to learn, and what he slowly taught her.
They did share the deck with Nasha and Jack, but the lizardfolk worked with her pupil only three times a week and usually only for a few hours. Dolce enjoyed the respite when they were at it, for it gave her time to consider what she had learned from Shade thus far and how she would employ this knowledge in their next spar. There was also something relaxing about watching Jack emulating Nasha. Perhaps it was his adoration of her, or the cute way in which he would meditate beside her. Of course, when that began it usually meant Shade was calling Dolce back for more lessons herself.
The next month proved relatively tame. Their first undertaking had been to return to Tidewater Rock. Mirielle used her Greater Messenger’s Ring to inform Maheem they were coming, they would take the plunder that had been left on The Thresher, and that she expected him to be seaworthy, as well as all those from The Purr‘s crew that wished to leave the rock behind them.
When they arrived Maheem met them at the docks. All eight of the original crew were more than ready to leave Tidewater Rock behind even though they’d only been stationed there a couple of weeks. Mirielle was satisfied with the loyalty of the crewmen she’d brought from The Thresher at this point, and left them to hold the rock with the understanding that they would still receive plunder from time to time, but not as much as they would if they risked their lives at sea.
This seemed to suit the Thresher pirates just fine.
Dolce regaled the reunited crew members with a detailed telling of the events of Mancatcher Cove and Port Peril since they had not been present to witness them. More celebrations occurred after Mirielle showed them her Letter of Marque.
From the Rock they began making leisurely patrols of the shipping lanes to the south and west. Mirielle intended to have The Purr fitted with rapid deploy sails for the upcoming race, but she was in no hurry to do so. They captured relatively inconsequential amounts of plunder from passing ships, giving their crew more experience in pursuit and the hectic nature of the boarding process.
These leisurely laps gave Dolce plenty of time to work with Shade, and the elf was reluctant to admit it, but she was coming to respect him a bit more.. As well as to believe he might actually be trustworthy, as Nasha had suggested… Might…
Among the various things they’d found on The Deathknell had been a journal that Dolce had magically restored and paged through. Within it she’d found the description of a rather marvelous creature. It seemed a master jeweler by the name of Liat Murks had deigned to craft an animate silver toucan, capable of moving and singing just as any other toucan could but through the use of springs and cogs. The journal stated that the bird was sent off with a rescue plea, but flew into the jungles of Mgange Cove, never to return.
Naturally, this was one of the last entries in the journal, and since reading it Dolce had whispered in Mirielle’s ear that they should investigate the cove to see if they could find the bird. Mirielle didn’t see what there was to gain from such a thing, but Dolce believed it would garner Mirielle more attention. Now, with the lull in their activities, the captain finally agreed to visit Mgange Cove.
When they docked and went ashore they found the islanders quite standoffish. They had little interest in dealing with the pirates, but were happy enough to receive their gold for the docking fees. It was suggested that the girls speak with the hunters further inland, which would require a few days on shore. Dolce readily agreed, for this gave her further respite from her training under Shade. He was a very good instructor, but also very keen on teaching by examples and often Dolce went to bed sore and bruised.. Too prideful to seek the succor of magical healing from Mirielle or Quinn.
They traveled to three different groups of the hunters. The third proved the most receptive to them. When they explained what it was they sought a woman among them said, “Yeah, you would not be the first to come seeking the infernal creature.” Like the rest of the island’s inhabitants, this human woman had dark skin and coarse hair. “We saw it a few days back. I could take you there for a price.”
Dolce’s keen ears caught a hint of resentment that was lost on the other girls. It wasn’t directed at them, but rather to the island. Their arrival provided the woman with a happy chance at distraction. Intrigued, the elf said, “Mm, well let’s see. You are their chief mender, are you not?” She nodded. “To deprive them of your services I suppose should be worth the cost.. How about a gold coin for every hour it takes you to lead us there?”
The woman looked pleased, “This sounds reasonable to me.”
Before the matter was completely settled Dolce said, “That’s one coin for every hour spent actively tracking the beast… Not for hours spent sleeping, mind you.”
The woman smirked, “Still a reasonable price. I agree.” She offered her hand, which Dolce shook. She was wearing very little on her torso, in fact her breasts were completely bare. Two straps bearing many pockets criss-crossed over her torso, and into these she occasionally placed herbs they passed while traveling. Her skirt reached to her knees, and her feet were covered only by simple sandals. About an hour into their walking she bent down and retrieved something from the soil. When she straightened she showed them, “This is the bird’s scats.” In her hand was a single small, silver cog.
Dolce raised an eyebrow, “You’re serious?”
“Quite. It leaves these behind rather than droppings. The other animals do not like the creature. It is too noisy for them.” She was smiling.
“I didn’t catch your name,” Dolce said.
“Abimbola.” She had drawn her hand over her heart as she said it. “What are yours?”
“Dolce, Mirielle, Revel, and Nasha,” Dolce said, gesturing to each in turn. “Have you lived on this island long, Abimbola?”
Abimbola laughed, “Oh yes, since the day I was born. I could tell you everything about this island; I’m the smartest woman on it!” There was no hesitation in making her claim.
Again Dolce sensed resentment in her tone, subtle though it was. “I believe that,” the elf said. “I wonder, what can you tell us of others who’ve tried to catch the bird?”
“They were not fast enough nor clever enough. The contraption flies away before they have the chance.” Abimbola smiled and said, “It is why your offer is so good. We may be seeking the creature for quite a long time.”
Dolce chuckled at this. She was certainly shrewd, and the coin seemed to Dolce like perhaps it was a key to freedom. With enough gold she could leave the island… Or… she could just leave. The elf rubbed her chin thoughtfully. “Do you have any insight to the creature, or is your knowledge limited to healing poultices?”
“Tcha! Limited, you say. I know of many poultices to mend wounds and also many elixirs that would harm or otherwise enhance. Beyond that I know how to make a thing, but never have I seen another creation so intricate as this one. You will see when we find it. You will.” Abimbola was prideful of her knowledge, but there was no anger in her tone when she answered Dolce.. So not offended that one might think her scope limited.
Dolce liked her, generally speaking. “So, which of the men back there was yours?” She figured the chief mender of the hunters would likely be married.
“My husband is not really mine any longer,” Abimbola said.
“Why is that?” Mirielle asked.
Abimbola sighed. “To master my art required much experimentation. There is not much on the island besides ourselves. One of my experiments did not go as I intended and I lost the ability to carry children. We do not believe in ending a marriage so he is with another woman who is more truly his wife and I am alone.”
Mirielle frowned, “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Did you choose to marry the man?” Dolce asked. Abimbola shot her a scrutinizing look and Dolce said, “I just wonder because Captain Mirielle here was sworn to marry some man her father had chosen before she became a pirate.”
Abimbola gave Mirielle an appraising look before saying, “He was chosen for me. We had no passion together.”
There was much discussion about Abimbola’s skills as they continued tracking the toucan. Dolce wanted to get some idea of her capabilities. She was already inclined to have the woman aboard simply because she had a sharp mind and fiery personality, but having some gauge of how sharp a mind wouldn’t be a bad thing.
To Dolce’s amusement, Abimbola seemed somewhat immune to Mirielle’s charms… She did not, however, seem immune to Dolce’s charms, and the two were soon becoming friends. They made camp in the jungle that night and continued their hunt in the morning. Abimbola spent much of the time talking and much of it laughing. Dolce managed to strike a cord with the woman when she mentioned having left her own home island of Kepre Dua in search of something greater.
When they sighted the toucan Dolce had the others linger behind. Her Earthbind spell should give her an opportunity to capture the creature if necessary, but the journal entry had described the bird as convinced of its own authenticity. They’d seen it look rather deflated after trying to befriend the other birds in the trees, and now it lingered on a nice thick branch.
The elf drew as close as she needed to be for her spell’s effect to reach and straightened out of the underbrush. Figuring that it had been trained as a messenger bird, she adopted an authoritative stance and tone and spoke to it in elven. The words would not really matter, but the commanding nature of them would. She had her arm held out for the creature to alight on.
The silver toucan turned its head and regarded her, at first it did not obey, but neither did it fly off. Dolce could see a key rotating on the toucan’s underside. Perhaps powering the creature? She adopted a more gentle tone, now entreating rather than demanding. She also fished into her satchel as she called the creature, producing a copper coin she intoned, “Polly want a cracker, hmm? You know you do.” Her voice was pure honey. This method seemed to be what the creature was accustomed to, for it immediately lifted from the branch and alighted on Dolce’s arm, pecking the copper disc from her fingers.
Dolce smiled delightedly and pet the bird, “That’s a good boy. I bet you’ve been lonely out here, haven’t you?” The critter actually nuzzled into her affection. Dolce couldn’t decide if its head was bobbing in answer to her or because of her petting it. “Well don’t worry, we’ll introduce you to our friends soon enough.” Revaress and Cupiir were who she meant, of course.. While at the moment Revaress was on Dolce’s shoulder, it didn’t move to interact with the bird. Dolc ehad asked it to be very still, lest they spook it.
“Fascinating,” Abimbola said. “You approached it as if it were alive. Perhaps this is where the others went wrong!”
Dolce smiled at her. “Thank you for guiding us here. I suppose it’s back to the hunters for you?”
Abimbola’s own smile faltered and she sighed, “Yes, back to the hunters.”
“Unless you want to come with us?” Dolce offered.
“What?” Abimbola seemed surprised at the offer.
“Come with us, be a pirate. Let the seas be your home and travel all over the Shackles and perhaps even beyond. I know your talents would lend you to a ship’s crew quite well, and anything you don’t know…” Dolce trailed off.
“Would be easy to pick up,” Abimbola finished for Dolce. “I thought she was the captain.” Abimbola gestured at Mirielle.
Dolce looked at her captain and back at Abimbola, “She is the captain, but I’m pretty sure she would happy to have you aboard. Especially considering your similar histories, even if her fate was narrowly escaped.”
Mirielle chuckled and added, “I trust my first mate’s judgement, and she’s right. I would not turn you away if you wish to join us.”
Abimbola was smiling again. “Very good then! I accept!”
Dolce still retrieved twelve gold coins from her satchel and handed them over to the woman. “A deal is a deal. We’ll have to get you some proper tools for your experiments the next time we go to a major port. Do you need to collect your things?”
Abimbola nodded. “I should tell them as well.”
The girls followed their guide and new crewman back to the hunters from which they’d taken her. There Abimbola explained that she was leaving. The hunters protested, but Abimbola assured them another among them – her apprentice – was ready to handle their needs. She wished them well, but would not let them sway her, and soon she left Mgange Cove, the newest member of The Lady’s Purr‘s crew.
Aboard the ship Dolce pointed out that many used piracy as an escape from past pains. Abusive families, bad reputations (usually honestly earned by their own bad actions), religious persecution… Faltering marriages. Those who turned to piracy often chose a new name to leave their old life behind them.
Abimbola considered that for a time and said, “I think I will do this as well. My new name will be Kuzayoni. It is a bit of a bastardization of the name, but it means, ‘Born of silver birds.'”
“I like it! Welcome aboard, Kuzayoni!” This was how Dolce introduced her to the rest of the crew and would be the only name most of them ever knew her by.
Traces of Home
Dolce’s time was split between tinkering with the silver toucan and training with Shade. She was restoring the bird from damage it had taken in the years of its life at Mgange Cove. She’d also taken to feeding it coppers, and had plans for its future diet. When it was restored she would see if she could get it to spend more time with Mirielle. For the time being, Jack Scrimshaw was taking care of the toucan when Dolce was called to training with the relentless drow.
Dolce had just won a match by knocking Shade to his feet when the whistling broke out. The elf held her hand out for Shade to help him up, but her attention was immediately drawn to the crow’s nest and then toward the sea.
The drow wasted no time in knocking her off her feet and said, “Focus, at all times.”
He was grinning at her even as he climbed to his feet. Dolce sighed and said, “Aye, I know, I know.”
“Then practice it,” Shade said. He held a hand out for her now. The elf couldn’t help herself but try to return his tactic, sweeping her legs toward his own, but he swiftly jumped over hers. “Really?” He asked, plainly unimpressed.
Dolce sighed and rolled onto her feet without his assistance. She grumbled, “Worth a shot,” and made toward the railing, taking out the Farglass as she did so. She saw the sail Badger was announcing easily enough. It was an elven ship, and stationary in the water. The crew were dumping buckets of water overboard even as she looked. A trap, maybe?
“Elves,” she said to Shade, and then made for the wheel. Mirielle was looking through her own spyglass, though not seeing nearly the detail the Farglass showed Dolce. The captain had insisted the elf keep the magical spyglass since she was so well-informed on matters of piracy in the Shackles. “It’s an elven ship, Captain. Seems to be taking on water, or rather.. trying to put off water.”
Mirielle took the Farglass from Dolce at that point, taking a look herself. “Hmm, easy prey.”
Dolce nodded her agreement. “I doubt they’ll attempt to fight if it isn’t a trap… Let me climb to the crow’s nest and see what I can hear.”
Mirielle nodded and Dolce took the Farglass and did as she’d said. Atop the crow’s nest the elf used the innate magic of the spyglass to cast Clairaudience. If this was a trap it would be revealed by the magical sensor now aboard their ship. The sensor would linger for as long as Dolce kept them in view. All she heard though were orders being given and buckets being thrown overboard until someone took sight of The Purr. Then came a hurried attempt to identify her and dismayed observation that she had a jolly roger.
It wasn’t a trap. She returned to her Captain’s side and informed her as much. They approached the ship, which lowered its own flag.. A sign of surrender. And they boarded without resistance. Before much at all was said the captain aboard this floundering ship said, “Dolce?”
Dolce bristled at being recognized.. Primarily because as an elven ship this ship was likely to hail from Kepre Dua. When she looked upon the captain she knew she was right. Sanev Venfir was the son of the most infamous pirate captain to make port in Kepre Dua, Haryk Venfir. “My, my, what a surprise. And how did you come to be here, Sanev?” Her voice was cool and lacking the usual friendliness she exuded. Most of the faces of the elves she could see were not familiar.
“Captain Haryk sent me to bring these elves home to Kepre Dua,” Sanev said.
Dolce’s eyes narrowed, “You’re telling me that fucker gave you a ship?” Her blood was boiling as she recalled pleading with Captain Haryk to make her even a swab aboard The Mangy Grail, one of his least impressive vessels. Captain Haryk had insisted she was too young, though she’d been sixty years of age.. And here she was face-to-face with Haryk’s son, who she knew to be in his fifties, and the man had been made a captain.
Sanev flinched at Dolce’s harsh tone, but swallowed. “He is… not the same as when you knew him, Dolce. And with the way things are, there are few enough willing to take to the sea.”
Dolce’s mood was not much improved by this, though her curiosity was piqued. What had happened to Haryk to make him send his son out for such tasks. “You will take to wherever your leak is,” Dolce instructed another elf. She would have taken Sanev himself, but she knew Mirielle would want words with the elven captain. The elf Dolce had singled out hesitated until Sanev nodded, and then they headed for the damaged part of the ship.
“Well,” Mirielle said, “Let’s discuss your future.” Mirielle’s demeanor was full of its usual charm and calming nature, though tensions remained high among both crews.
Sanev nodded. “Let’s. I believe there is no reason for you to seize our ship. We have little aboard beyond the passengers and their meager belongings. I also believe my father would reward you for assisting our travel to Kepre Dua.”
Mirielle considered his words, but they seemed truth to her. She detected no hint of deceit in his tone or posture. “Escorting you to Kepre Dua, eh? Well, it certainly seems you could use the assistance. What exactly befell your vessel to leave you in this state in the first place?”
Now the elven captain blushed and dodged her gaze. She would know why soon enough for he sheepishly admitted, “There was a rather shallow reef…”
Mirielle refrained from laughing, though the impulse did well up within her. Some of her crew did chuckle at the man’s admission. “I see. Well, Dolce is gifted in magic and will be able to keep your ship afloat long enough to reach land, provided she remains aboard.”
“Of course,” Sanev said. “And my crew?”
“Well, as things are, I intend to be paid. Your crew will remain on your vessel under your second’s direction.” She let that sink in. Not under his direction. “You will be a guest on The Lady’s Purr until we have our payment.”
“Of course, Captain Mirielle.” Introductions had not been given, and yet he knew her name. This was a matter that brought Mirielle some happiness. Of course, that happiness was relatively short-lived when Mirielle had to explain to Dolce where they were headed. Dolce was in a sour mood. She verified that every elf aboard The Barbarous Hook actually did want to go to Kepre Dua, and much to her chagrin.. All of them did. She agreed to aid them, staying aboard and keeping the ship afloat with her magic, but remained quite aloof to them all throughout the journey.
Shade joined her aboard The Barbarous Hook for he wished to continue their training. The elves were greatly displeased at the presence of a drow in their midst, but had no say in the matter since their own captain had ordered them to treat their guests as though they had the same authority he did.
Dolce and Shade slept in the captain’s cabin since he was aboard The Purr. It gave them at least some distance from all of the resentful elves aboard. Dolce also commanded one of the officers surrender his rather colorful shirt. This was because Badger had Dolce it was what she would have chosen if they’d taken the ship and the elf considered it Badger’s right to claim the prize since they were sparing the elves their lives.
I probably should have kept track of Dolce’s tithes. I have literally taken 5% of everything I’ve been awarded on land and 10% of everything they’ve claimed from the sea (including the treasure of Mancatcher Cove since it was below water in the caves) and had them throw it overboard for Besmara. Not immediately mind you, normally they go to port, sell the plunder for gold coins, buy a chest with a portion of the ‘tithe’ and then fill it with all the gold and toss the chest into the ocean as they’re en route elsewhere. I think I’ll endeavor to describe this in more detail the next time they bring in a big haul.
So we had a month of downtime that Owlbrarian put in for me because I wanted to retrain Dolce from a Scoundrel Rogue to a Thief Rogue. It didn’t make sense to leave her as a Scoundrel because I found I very rarely rely on feint for Sneak Attack. I initially chose Scoundrel thinking I could use feinting to give Sneak Attack to my spells, but that’s not the case. Feinting only makes your target flat-footed to melee attacks. As a Thief Rogue, Dolce will constantly add her dex to damage instead of her strength, so a 3 point jump per successful strike. It may not be much, but at least she’ll actually benefit from her racket (rogue subclass). This also meant a lot of time for Dolce to spend with Shade.
Nasha has actually been training Jack in the background for a while, teaching him how to protect himself if he has no weapons on hand. Jack’s a cabin boy, so relatively young. He’s actually on the verge of being a bit too old for the role. Nasha is hoping to basically turn him into a monk so she doesn’t have to worry about him during boarding parties once he’s a regular crewman. They train for about 3 hours on the days they train, though that includes meditation and conversation about observations made during their spars.
Notedly, Calden, the marine Mirielle recruited a while back, had been training with much of the crew in matters of combat with Revel helping and overseeing. Jack, being a cabin boy, was not included in this instruction. Owlbear, however, has been learning primarily from Revel, who’s teaching him to wield the spiked chain they outfitted him with as terrifyingly as possible. They allocate roughly an hour a day for this.
Mirielle rolled a two on the die the first time she attempted to Make an Impression with Abimbola. I think that was her first failed diplomacy check since The Wormwood. Dolce, on the other hand, rolled a 19. I roll for Mirielle by default because she is, generally speaking, trying to make a good impression. I only roll for Dolce, Nasha, or Revel when they are specifically trying to impress people (meaning Dolce usually rolls when dealing with pirates of great renown, Revel for big tough guys or sullen people, and Nasha for people that catch her attention or stir her protective instincts).
On Kuzayoni herself, I didn’t know until she was already aboard the purr, but apparently I rolled an incredibly narrow range on Owlbrarian’s random tables for NPCs. She was actually level 11. A good three levels higher than my party at the time. Glad we didn’t get off on the wrong foot!
The Farglass was a magical spyglass we claimed from Tidewater Rock. It lets you see far further than you normally could.. Three miles at sea level, ten miles from the crow’s nest (or the top of Tidewater Rock).