A worn journal, assorted weapons,
Jenya is a small woman, with short, violently red hair. She dresses in worn sailor’s clothes and always has a leather rucksack slung over her shoulder. She always has a cutlass and two muskets tucked into her sash, and various other weapons tucked in nonobvious pockets.
Jenya grew up in a port town. Her mother had died when she was born, and thus she was raised solely by her father. She didn’t see much of him, though. True, she always had food and clothing, and there was always someone to watch her until she was old enough to take care of herself. Her father was an explorer and the son of a navigator, and was constantly out at sea. He taught her how to read when he was home longer than usual, and always sent her books to keep her amused. She was fourteen when he simply failed to return from a voyage. The ship he was on, the Farflung, vanished with all hands. She was not an emotional girl by nature, and outwardly, the only change evident in her behavior was that she became more withdrawn and kept to her books more.
Though Jenya missed her father, in the end it wasn’t much different from before. She kept herself occupied by learning all the useful things she could: ship’s medicine, navigation, and anything else she could think of to do in a port town.
Three years after her father’s disappearance, someone anonymously sent Jenya her father’s journal. It had been started by her grandfather, and kept up. It contained maps of foriegn places and notes of strange things. Jenya learned a lot about her father from it. The entries ran until nearly when he disappered. He had made notes about the trips he shipped out on, what he found. The last entry spoke of an undiscovered, unnamed island the Farflung had nearly run aground on. It also spoke of three crewmen who had vanished in the night.
Needless to say, Jenya began making inquiries. But apparently, she shouldn’t have. One night, armed men broke into her house and dragged her out. She ended up in the local prison, and her name on the list for the next day’s executions. She never did figure out why. Fortunately, she ended up in a cell across the corridor from a pirate. Second mate on the Swiftbolt, as a matter of fact. After being more or less helpful in a successful rescue attempt, the pirate captain sprung her too. And, lacking any safe place, Jenya decided to tag along with them. The pirates allowed this, after some misgivings, thinking that at the very least it would be entertaining. And to everyone’s surprise, Jenya took to it like she had always been a pirate. It was discovered that she had a vicious streak previously hidden, and soon, only the very foolish picked a fight with her. It was also discovered that the Swiftbolt lacked a competent navigator and ship’s doctor, a niche Jenya slid into very neatly.
It’s been five years since Jenya joined the crew. For the first time in her life, she understands why her father was at sea for so long. She’s a very effective pirate, and the only woman tolerated aboard the Swiftbolt. She’s also the smartest one on board, which can come in handy. They’ve been to some of the places detailed in the journal, but have yet to land on the mysterious island of the last entry. Jenya has also not figured out what it is that she’s supposed to know that nearly got her killed. By now, she’s having fun, and she doesn’t really care.
Jenya is a no-nonsense woman, smart, and will not hesitate to fight dirty. She’s a crack shot (as one crewman found to his distress one drunken night; they call him One-Eye now, and you can be sure he gives Jenya a wide berth.) Nor will she hesitate to carve someone like a pheasant, given enough provocation. Having demonstrated her abilities on many occasions, the crew often respects her opinion. Despite the fact that the crew is a rowdy, violent, often-drunk bunch of… well, pirates, Jenya sees them as her family. They’re like the big drunk brothers she never had. And likewise, they’re rather protective of her, not that she really needs it.
Maybe some rumors of “The Island No One Returns From” have come to the PCs attention. And, what do you know, there happens to be a lady pirate who knows a little more than average about it…
Maybe the PCs have come to the attention of the pirate ship Swiftbolt. Normally, this might be a bad thing, but Jenya is a reasonable person, and has some influence with the captain. Maybe they can make a deal.
The PCs want something. The usual, right? But there are some pirates who want the same thing, and only one of them both knows how to get it and is fairly unobtrusive when she wants to be.
The PCs have to get somewhere in a hurry, and the only ship that’s available (and cheap) is the Swiftbolt. God only knows what might happen while they’re on board. If they’re stupid, they might even try to hit on Jenya.
Perhaps someone approaches the PCs, asking them to find one Jenya, regarding something about her father. Last they heard, she was seen on a most disreputable looking ship…