Skull and Shackles

Game 4 - Prize Ship, Shipwrecked

The party was raucous, and at the end of it Captain Harrigan convinced most of the Rahadoumi crew that becoming pirates was a better option than becoming shark food. The officers were led away to be held prisoner until they are ransomed.

Captain Harrigan then announced that the Rahadoumi ship is now his prize ship, and Mister Plugg will sail her to Port Peril for sale as salvage. The Rahadoumi crew will remain aboard the Wormwood and the majority of the lower level Wormwood crew, including your group, will sail on the prize ship. Mister Plugg also chooses Master Scourge, Ambrose Kroop, and Owlbear Hartshorn to sail with him.

On the first day on the Man’s Promise acting captain Plugg and his first mate Master Scourge inform the crew that the rules are the same as before except for one difference. Discipline will be a good deal harsher than on the lackadaisical Wormwood – all crimes are now punishable with the cat instead of the whip.

The work is hard, as the ship is slightly undermanned, and fatigue and exhaustion dog your every action. Plugg and Scourge continue to assign you the worst or least favorite jobs on board.

Rumours spread that Plugg will claim the Man’s Promise for himself, rumours that you have confirmation of from overhearing a secret meeting on the first night. The crew is nervous that Plugg will get rid of them to eliminate awkward witnesses. You notice that the ship’s course has been changed to head east toward Bloodcove, a notorious port on the edge of the Mwangi Expanse. Kroop confirms that there is a seedy, isolated dry dock on the Slithering Coast west of Bloodcove called Rickety’s Squibs. Rickety refits ships and provides new identities, for a price.

On the fourth day a hard storm hits the Man’s Promise. During the storm two sailors disappear, one of them Sandara Quinn! Barnaby swears he saw her snatched by tentacled aberrations, the same kind that he, Maisie, Feleeta, Ragnar and Rosie also had a deadly encounter with during the storm.

The storm begins to abate on the beginning of the fifth day, but the ship hits the coral reefs surrounding Bonewrack Isle. As the tide goes out, the crew sees that the Man’s Promise is holed in the main hold on the starboard side of the ship, and the ship’s water barrel, nearby, has burst.

Plugg orders the group to take the ship’s cutter to get water from the isle (either maliciously or superstitiously refusing to drink conjured water). The repairs will take a day and a half, and the ship will sail at the first high tide thereafter, with or without the group. You have effectively 48 hours to return.

You row the cutter around almost a quarter of the island before you find a nice beach to land on. Since you are all exhausted you decide to sleep for eight hours before you explore. Maisie fills the water barrels with her spells, since Plugg can’t complain about water that he doesn’t see conjured.

Before you can rest you encounter the giant coconut crabs that live on the beach and have a dangerous fight with them. You survive, have a delicious crab repast, and sleep uninterrupted for 8 hours. When you awake it is roughly six in the afternoon. It is a beautiful day and the (normal sized) coconut crabs skitter about the beach in the peaceful afternoon.

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Game 3 - Boarding School & Practicum

Day fourteen of your journey on the Wormwood proves to be a break from your regular routine of duty. Riaris Krine, master gunner, is an officer whom you’ve had little contact with so far. She’s tough and competent, and her peg leg does not hinder her duties. She takes you in hand to show you, and make you practice the ways of boarding another ship.

She launches the jolly boat and for the rest of the day you practice grappling the Wormwood, 40’ away, tying off your rope, then attempting to board the Wormwood by climbing along the rope. Crew members on deck pelt you with random objects and garbage, trying to knock you off as you climb, simulating a real attack. Krine makes everyone attempt it at least three times, though if they fail three times she relents, figuring they know the process even if they suck at it.

Over the next few days you continue to make friends with the ship’s crew. In fact, except for those crew members who are dedicated Plugg and Scourge cronies, you successfully befriend the whole crew! You also notice that the friendship you’ve offered Ambrose Kroop seems to be improving his attitude to the point that he is drinking somewhat less [there was only a 25% chance of his being too drunk to be able to cook each day].

Also during this time Scourge and Plugg pay special attention to your group [no taking 10 on rigging climb checks]. Plugg assigns you the worst duties every day and soundly abuses, bullies, and tries to humiliate you. Barnaby and Ragnar are sentenced to the lash again (bringing Ragnar and Maisie even on the lashes-taken tally). Ragnar, being assigned to the bilge almost constantly, fights off more bilge spiders.

Maisie gets Kroop a bit more friendly (less hostile) towards her. She also finds some very expensive sealed brandy lost in the kitchen and manages to move it to a locked locker without Kroop’s noticing.

On the nineteenth day, Scourge again assigns Ragnar to man the bilges. Scourge has a particularly nasty smirk as he also assigns Jaundiced Jape and Aretta Bansion to the same task. Plugg and Scourge “just happen” to search Ragnar for hidden weapons before he goes down to work. After not a very long time, Aretta accuses Ragnar of slacking and attacks with her previously concealed dagger. Jape joins in and it is obvious that they intend to kill Ragnar. After a harrowing battle, Ragnar and his eidolon win, but Aretta and Jape are dead. And the penalty for killing a member of the crew is keelhauling.

Scourge and Plugg seem angry that their catspaws are dead, but happy enough that Ragnar is to be keelhauled. Ragnar is locked in the sweatbox to await keelhauling at the end of the following day. On the next day, as Ragnar languishes in the sweatbox, the rest of the group frantically tries to figure out how to save him. Barnaby starts a trend of a work strike, earning tongue lashings and rope bashes.

In the afternoon the lookout cries “Ship ahoy!” Captain Harrigan immediately turns the Wormwood to pursue, and Ragnar is released from sweatbox. All hands will be needed for boarding and conquering the Rahadoumi merchant vessel Man’s Promise! Over 12 hours later, the ships close in distance. Harrigan orders Kroop and Maisie to slaughter 6 pigs and toss them overboard to attract sharks.

Krine gives your group orders for the upcoming battle. You’re to grapple over, kill the sterncastle guards, then guard the ship’s wheel and lifeboats and kill anyone who tries to escape. You manage to convince her that you need help, and two of your friendly pirates are assigned to help.

The battle is fierce. Ranged attacks both mundane and magical fly between the ships as they close the last distance. Peppery Longfarthing unleashes clouds of fog on the prey ship to confound ranged defenses (and continues to do so over the course of the battle as the fog blows away). The battle rages, and as you fight you catch glimpses of the farther-away fighting as the fog billows. You hear the clash of arms and the screams of sailors in the water being attacked by sharks.

The battle is also quite brief [16 rounds]. During that time your group slays the 6 sailors who guard the sterncastle and aft deck. You see Captain Harrigan about to be backstabbed by a Rahadoumi sailor and yell out a warning. An explosion rocks the Man’s Promise (you later discover that Kipper set off a barrel of alchemist’s fire belowdecks, and survived). You successfully defeat 3 Rahadoumi sailors who attempt to flee by lifeboat. You glimpse Captain Harrigan through a break in the fog, holding what appears to be a human heart in his hands. In the final moments of the battle, a Rahadoumi officer and two sailors try to fight by you to escape and you defeat them as well. As the battle ends, the fog dissipates and a line of prisoners is paraded before Captain Harrigan and the cheering crew of the Wormwood.

The party that follows is filled with fine food and drink from the Man’s Promise’s hold, and lasts for 36 hours, well into the next night (naturally, no work takes place during the party)[you’ll be able to take 5 ship actions if you wish, during next game]. Captain Harrigan and his top officers divvy up the plunder and your group gets bonuses for good work, for warning Captain Harrigan, for each Rahadoumi sailor you slew, and another bonus for defeating the Rahadoumi officer.

Plugg and Scourge glower as you receive rewards, but they cannot argue against Captain Harrigan’s decisions and your obvious victories.

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Game 2 - Life on the High Seas
Life is never dull on a pirate ship!

Life on a pirate ship is never dull, though it is sometimes repetitive. How much rope can one ship need coiled?

One evening Mr Plugg brings his “pet” above-decks. Owlbear Hartshorn is a large man, but a simpleton. Mr Plugg abuses him abominably, but Owlbear seems to accept it as his due. Owlbear capers briefly for the crew, pitifully grateful for the laughs he gets. Plugg taunts and challenges you until Barnaby accepts the challenge to fight Owlbear, bare hands only. Barnaby throws the fight as sneakily as possible (after a couple of attempts) and Owlbear emerges the slightly confused champion.

A couple days of regular tasks pass. On the eighth day a storm well and truly hits the Wormwood. Regular crew duties are suspended as every sailor (even the cook’s helper) is told to take to the rigging to see the ship through the storm. The day is gruelingly difficult.

In the afternoon one of your friends falls overboard! With quick thinking and well placed aid you manage to save their life, earning their gratitude and showing the rest of the crew that you will fight to save a companion’s life.

You fight the storm through the evening and night, and on the next morning the ship is safe, but normal work remains. Everyone fights through exhaustion to complete their day’s tasks.

On the eleventh day the ship is in shallow water near some reefs. Plugg sends you and Rosie Cusswell to swim out to the reefs and capture enough crabs for the Captain’s supper. While collecting crabs, you’re attacked by reefclaws, who look to make a fine meal out of you!

Despite the difficult fighting conditions, teamwork and a well summoned dolphin save the day. Maisie goes on to cook a delicious crab and reef crab feast, much to the crew’s delight (and surprise). The captain is so pleased he compliments Maisie’s cooking and gives the group a gift. Plugg looks on, glowering.

By the end of the thirteenth day you’ve made fast friends with over a third of the regular crew.

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Game 1 - A Press Gang and a Prayer
Pressed to Piracy

A Pirate’s Life For You!

You started your day with dreams and hopes, you might have had a plan… but the press gang for The Wormwood made your decision for you. When you woke up you were too far out to sea for any recourse but to learn to live as pirates on a ship you didn’t choose.

On your first day you were roughly assigned as either swab, rigger, or cook’s helper. You saw the consequences of sloth or backtalk (lashes or the hotbox) and you saw the horrifying fate of thieves or rebels (keelhauling). A pirate’s only solace is the evening rum ration, which aids the officers in quelling rebellion more than it gives ease to the crew.

Captain Harrigan’s ship is your home now. Roughly half the crew are new recruits like you. They range from helpful to hateful, and your best bet to get along and get out alive, not to mention get a fair share of booty, is to win them over to your side.

Newer Crewmembers
Sandara Quinn-f human
Rosie Cusswell-f halfling
Crimson “Cog” Cogward-m human
Conchobhar Turlach Shortstone-m gnome
Barefoot Samms Toppin-f human
Giffer Tibbs-f gnome
Jack Scrimshaw-m human
“Ratline” Rattsberger-m halfling
Tilly Brackett-f human
“Badger” Medlar-f half-elf
Shivikah-f human
Aretta Bansion-f human
Fipps Chumlett-m human
Jaundiced Jape-m half-orc
Maheem-m human
Slippery Syl Lonegan-F human
Tam “Narwhal” Tate-m dwarf

The officers of the crew are either remote and uncaring or sadistic and hateful (though the quartermaster and the cook are at least approachable).

Officers (and others)
Harrigan-Captain
Mr Plugg-First Mate
Master Scourge-Bosun/Master@Arms
Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroop-Cook
Cutthroat Grok-Quartermaster
Peppery Longfarthing-Ship’s Sorcerer
Riaris Krine-Master Gunner
Habbly Quarne, the “Stichman”-Ship’s Surgeon and carpenter
Kipper-Gunner’s mate
Patch Patchsalt-Bosun’s mate
“Caulky” Tarroon-Captain’s cabin girl
Owlbear Hartshorn-Simpleton; pet of Mr Plugg

You’ve survived your first few days aboard, you’ve won some people over to your side and you’ve confirmed your enmity with others. What shall the rest of your journey bring? Will you ever rise to running your own ship, or will you die an unremarked swabbie and serve only to feed the ever hungry sea?

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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