Skull and Shackles

1 - 10 (10) Storm at Sea
The winds and waves rise

The PCs battle the storm and see off the grindlows, and then give chase to rescue their abducted crew member.

They arrive at an island and make landfall, but rapidly discover that the mosquitoes of the island are infected by deadly ghoul fever.

After dispatching several ghouls, the crew make their way towards the Grindylow cove…

1 - 9 (9) Gindylows Attack
Gindylows Attack!

As waves batter the ship, gindylows attack. The PCs fend them off, but not before they kidnap Sandara Quinn.

1 - 8 (8) Murder and Mutiny
The PCs strike in the night

The group decide to preemptively strike before Scourge and Plugg can engineer their demise.
They assassinate Plugg in his sleep (by unexpected ninja) and Caxton takes his place by impersonating him…

1 - 7 (7) Capturing the Promise
Accidents can happen in battle...

The PCs capture the merchant ship the Man’s Promise and in doing so the put of a great show of pirate exuberance whilst actually letting as many of the sailors go as possible in the lifeboats.
In addition, Minty takes advantage of the distraction of battle to settle an old score, by chucking one of the more bullying pirates over the side and into the water. Unfortunately, he is spotted doing this… which he resolves by also throwing the witness over the side.
Unluckily, this act of witness-removal is in turn seen by the captain.
As the Captain turns red with rage, the party swing into action to save the cook, successfully bluffing that the Minty who did the deed was one of the enemy in illusionary disguise.

Once the battle is done, the crew of the Wormwood party and distribute the spoils.
The captain throws a captured sailor over the side, and Arithor rescues her (involving teleportation and miniturisation).

The PCs are then chosen as the skeleton crew for the Man’s Promise and see that this may bee their chance for freedom…

1 - 6 (6) Piracy!
The crew begin the battle to take a merchant ship

The crew begin the battle to take a merchant ship

1 - 5 (5) Boarding School
The press-ganged crew learn about boarding (and swimming)

As the Wormwood sails into merchant shipping lanes, the team are given lessons in boarding a vessel with grappling hooks and climbing.
Level-2 climb checks being what they are, they also got some practice at swimming.

That night, it begins to look at lot like fish-men, as a raiding party of sahuagin deep ones attack the ship. The PCs are instrumental in seeing them off.

The next day, merchant sails are sighted on the horizon, and the Wormwood closes in on its prey…

1 - 4 (4) Storms and Reefclaws
The PCs deal with a storm and then collect crabs for dinner

The PCs begin their plans for gradually diluting the rum.

A serious storm blows up and the merciless officers drive the party to heavy labour for over 24-hours straight. The PCs nevertheless give a good account of themselves, saving Rosie Cusswell at one point.

They then are ordered to collect crabs from a nearby reef for dinner, and in doing so end up fending off a group for marauding reeflclaws.

1 - 3 (3) Rats in the Bilges
Gear is retrieved and rodents vanquished

The rum-circumvention plot continues to be planned, and the PCs retrieve their essential gear (such as spell-books) back from Grok the quartermaster.
They are then ordered to the bilges where they successfully do battle with a number of rats.

1 - 2 (2) Scuffling and Illusions
Pirates seek fisticuffs and get enchantment

The party awake to the sound of the bell summoning them up on the deck – the majority of the crew surge up onto the deck, but a handful stay to block the way of the PCs. Clearly they intend to duff the newly-press-ganged ‘recruits’ up a bit and cause them to be lashed for lateness (presumably to show the newcomers who’s boss).
However, this doesn’t go as planned due to a number of reasons – it transpires that attempting to punch a tortle into submission with bear fists is futile; punching a shadowy ninja is difficult, Caxon is able to pull off magic tricks such as animating ropes, and Zeto is able to conjure up a convincing illusion of Mr Plugg the ferocious first mate, fooling the pirates into obedience.

In other news, shenanigans ensue as the ‘recruits’ attempt to make friends and influence other members of the crew (with spectacular success in the case of Caxton and Sandara), and plot to change/dilute/otherwise circumvent the rum rations.

1- 1 (1) Pressganged!
The protagonists find themselves aboard a pirate ship...

The protagonists find themselves in the hold of a Pirate Ship (which turns out to be called the ‘Wormwood’).
They introduce themselves:
Minty Hobbs: a hardy tortle chef
Arithor Vektar: a shadowy fetchling ninja
Zeto: a flame-haired ifrit artificer
Caxton: a changeling priest of many gods

Their pirate captors demand that they perform a challenge of scaling the rigging, in order that their skills can be judges for crew roles.
With the exception of the surprisingly agile Minty Hobbs (who climbs unusually fast for a one-legged tortle) the harsh pirate taskmaster Mister Scourge finds their performance unimpressive and takes an instant dislike to them. Some of the pirate crew are more welcoming (particularly to Caxton the cleric who conjured a rain of wine, and the lovely impressed sailor Zeto).

Minty is assigned to be the cook’s mate (working under the drunkard Ambrose Kroop), and the rest are tasked with repairing the desks and rigging from recent action.
After being put of hard work for the day, the new sailors sea the brutal nature of Captain Harrigton’s justice with the keelhauling of an unfortunate pirate.
They are also given the rum ration, which they look at dubiously.

Thus the unlikely group begin their new lives as unwilling pirates…


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