Skull and Shackles
Ambrose "Fishguts" Kroop
Drunken ship's cook of the Wormwood - No more!
Male middle-aged human rogue
Kroop is a large, some would say fat, man, weighing well over 200 pounds and standing only 5 feet tall. He exudes an air of neglect, perhaps even despair, from the bushy tufts of black hair behind his ears, to his rotting teeth, to the stains on his filthy apron. He walks with a wallowing waddle, particularly when drunk, but is capable of surprising acts of strength. Kroop talks with a thick Shackles accent, which some people find hard to follow. He’s had so many lashes that his back is like tanned leather, and he claims to not even feel the bite of the lash anymore. After 44 years in the school of hard knocks, Kroop is a man who clearly cares little for himself or what people think of him. Nevertheless, he is at heart a kind man.
Kroop is a drunkard, but not constantly inebriated. His unpredictability makes him a frustrating but ultimately useful friend. Like his friend Cut-Throat Grok, Kroop is from the school of hard knocks, but where Grok has become tough, Kroop has capitulated in the face of endless discipline and violence.
In one of their first meetings, Kroop told Maisie “It’s poison, this ship, but don’t let anyone hear you say it aloud. The hull listens, see, and the cap’n hears it all. Poison the Wormwood is, though, rotten to the core. You’ll not meet a more nasty, sour piece of work than Cap’n Harrigan in all your days at sea, and his crew’s the same, ’specially the first mate, Mr. Plugg. Vicious little sod, he is. He’d take his own mother’s liver to the butcher to make pies with, he would. But they leave me alone, mostly. They know I can’t ’arm ’em.”
Most people think Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroop gets his nickname from the stains on his apron or the contents of his infamous stew, but few know he earned the sobriquet as a competitive eater in the low bars of Port Peril. As a young man, it was said that Kroop could eat more of anything, and faster, than anyone. Folks still talk about the night that Kroop devoured an entire bucket of boiled eggs in the Salty Swab by the docks.
Kroop was trained as a professional chef at the Lobster’s Armor, one of Port Peril’s most popular (and expensive) restaurants, but when he was thrown out for inappropriate behavior with his assistant, he ended up plying his trade with several sailing vessels in the Shackles before embarking on Captain Barnabas Harrigan’s Wormwood, where he has served as ship’s cook for the past 3 years. Two years ago he was so drunk he bet his life to Captain Harrigan in a card game, and lost. He’s been little better than a slave to Harrigan ever since.
His only joy, aside from drinking and swapping yarns with Grok, are his chickens. Kroop loves his poultry and collects any rare breeds he comes across. Anyone with a background in farming finds Kroop friendly, while those who truly know their birds quickly discover a helpful friend. Kroop’s favorite bird, a large black cockerel named Black-Hearted Bezebel, often perches on the cook’s shoulder and even talks to him, or so Kroop occasionally drunkenly claims.
Kroop has also plied his trade in the Shackles throughout his life and has an excellent knowledge of the region and its perils, personalities, and possibilities.