Skulls and Shackles

Welcome to the Wormwood
17 Gozran 4714 A.R.

Waking up after a night that you thought was all good fun, it quickly became apparent that you didn’t end up anywhere as pleasant as you would hope.

You woke to the sound of booted feet on hardwood, and as you tried to clear your head and get the room to stop spinning the door slammed inward…

“Still abed with the sun over the yardarm? On your feet, ye filthy swabs! Get up on deck and report for duty before Cap’n Harrigan flays your flesh into sausage skins and has Fishguts fry ye up for breakfast!”

Six burly, reeking sailors were led into the room by a sneering fellow with a gleam in his eye that suggested he was hoping for a reason to get to use the whip dangling from his belt.

A couple of snaps of his whip got a fire under you and after a quick walk down the hall, you were escorted on to the deck of the Wormwood where you get a good look at your fellow captives Petronicus, Lyra, Passag, and Ada Leena.

As you approach the mast with the rest of the crew a voice booms out from the Garundi man on the aft deck.

“Glad you could join us at last! Welcome to the Wormwood! My thanks for ‘volunteering’ to join my crew. I’m Barnabas Harrigan. That’s Captain Barnabas Harrigan to you, not that you’ll ever need to address me. I have only one rule—don’t speak to me. I like talk, but I don’t like your talk. Follow that rule and we’ll all get along fine.

Oh, and one more thing. Even with you new recruits, we’re still short-handed, and I aim to keep what crew I have. There’ll be a keelhaulin’ for anyone caught killin’ anyone. Mr. Plugg! If you’d be so kind as to make pirates out of these landlubbers, it’ll save me having to put them in the sweatbox for a year and a day before I make pies out of ’em.”

As the captain walks away a balding man with a long black ponytail, wearing a long coat and carrying a well-used cat-o’-nine-tails strides down the stairs, lashing his cat on the railing.

“A’right you slugs, LINE UP! Cap’n says you’re to be pirates so pirates ye’ll be, or ye’ll be o’er the railin’! Lets find out who be gettin’ the easy job. Climb you maggots! First one to the crow gets ta feel the sweet salt breeze.

Passag rumbles “If you want to see a dead orc on the deck, then I’ll climb.” Earning a lash from the scourge.

After more fumbles and falls from the lot of you than any self-respecting sailor would admit, Ada Leena is first to reach the crow’s nest.

“Congratulations, the little girl saved you all from a beating the likes of which you’d never forget.” Shouting up to the dwarf “Good for you, little girl. Move your arse outa the ropes ‘n’ report to Master Scourge!”

Turning to the remaining new “recruits” howling into their faces.

Mr. Plugg yells “Can you cook?!?”… “Can you cook!?”… “Can you cook, fattie?!”

Passag “I sure can.”

Looking at Passag, “Good. Cook’s Mate. Report to Fishguts!”

To the remaining two… “And I suppose you two will have to be mine. Seein’ as how I wouldn’t want to tire ya’ too badly on yer first day, ye lowly swabs’ll be pumping bilges today… Report Below!”

Welcome to the Wormwood

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Piracy ain't Easy
17 Gozran 4714 A.R.

After arriving at your assigned tasks you begin working. Passag is told to fish up some leatherback turtles, Ada Leena spends the day with “Ratline” Rattsberger working the Mainsail. Petronicus and Lyra get stuck working the bilges.

Once Passag gets some words out of “Fishguts” and understands that Kroop means for him to fish up the turtles from on deck, he seems to have no trouble with the task.

Ada Leena, with some pointers from “Ratline” manages to get the hang of working in the rigging.

Lyra spends her time working vigorously at bilge pumping, trying to pick up the slack left her by peg-leg since he was too busy talking to Jakes Magpie trying to chum it up.

If only Petronicus had known to pick better friends, as during the bloody hour Jakes is given a keel-hauling for stealing from the quartermaster stores.

The bloody hour comes to a close and dinner commences (turtle soup served up by Passag and Kroop). While the newest members of the crew are discussing their situation, minus Ada who is nowhere to be found, they are approached by a woman who introduces herself as Sandara Quinn. She returns Passag’s spellbook as well as Lyra’s tools stating that everyone on a pirate crew needs friends, including herself.

As the evening progresses, Lyra seeks out a space to call her own in the crew berth; Ada Leena finds her powerful arms quite adept at the game of Hog Lob, during which peg-leg Pete makes a friend of Giffer Tibbs; Passag enjoys a round of storytelling while watching the arm-wrestling matches.

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Journal Entry #1

Journal Entry 18 Gozran 4714

I awoke this morning in the brig of a ship known as the Wormwood. I had been relieved of all personal belongings and retained an amazing fogginess of mind. I know the poison used; Oil of Taggit. The Blackened Wretch wasn’t above using it when her complement ran low. Still, having it used on me was a bit of a shock. Thankfully, they did not find the secret compartment in my leg, which is how I am still able to write down my thoughts.

The other victims – my newest crewmates, I suppose – are an interesting group. There is Lyra, a half-orc woman (although she doesn’t show her lineage) with a quick mind and a quicker tongue. Then there is Passag, a monster of a half-orc with an appetite for both food and drink that fits his size. Lastly, there is a dwarf named Ada Leena. She is of powerful build and takes to a ship well, but her personality has caused me to cringe on more than one occasion.

We were taken on deck for crew orientation. The starting test was unfortunate. They asked us to climb the rigging, first one to the top gets the easy job (which turned out to be rigger) I could sail this ship better than almost anyone on board, but my leg makes climbing an arduous task. In the end, Ada won the contest by a large margin. She was sent to be a rigger, and the husky Passag the cook’s assistant. Lyra and I were ordered to the belowdecks for swab duties. It was ok, as Lyra and I seem to be of same mind for what needs to happen on this ship. I slacked off a bit on the bilges, and as a result was unable to meet my work load properly. Lyra attempted to cover for me, but just ended up exhausting herself to no avail. The lashing was bad, but I remained conscious.

Despite the outcome, the reason for my slacking is imperative. If I am to get out of swab duties, I will need allies, and lots of them. I spoke to a fellow named Jakes Magpie today, and although he was hostile to me to begin, I could see that I was starting to sway his disposition toward the end of our shifts. However, it ended up being all for naught, as he was later found to be stealing, and as a result met an unfortunate end to keelhaul.

After the Bloody Hour, however, I met with better success. I was able to speak to a Giffer Tibbs during a game of Hog Lob. She and I saw eye to eye on a lot of things (an ironic phrase, since she is missing one of hers), and I know that I can trust her to help me out if I were to require it.

I would have liked getting aboard a new ship by choice, but I suppose this works as well. Already I have identified the group that I will have the most trouble with, and should avoid. However, the potential of this ship and some of her crew is there, it just needs to be properly harnessed.


Patronicus V. Thrune

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Tardy Policy
18 Gozran 4714 A.R.

Morning bell sounds, and everyone scrambles to report to roll call, but some of the crew intercept the four of you before you can get to the stairs. Fipps Chumlett seems to be leading, backed up by Jaundiced Jape, Maheem, and Slippery Syl.

“Where ya goin’ in such a hurry?” Fipps says, sticking a hand to Ada’s shoulder.

Peg-leg Pete appeals to his better nature. “Friend, I don’t think that’s too smart of a choice. Last I heard it was Captains orders that none should harm another crewman.”

Fipps, “Heh, you’ll see how things go around here soon enough” and slugs Petronicus in the jaw.

In the ensuing brawl Lyra considers drawing a knife to end it fast but decides its not worth the keel-hauling and Ada grabs a bucket and beats Fipps and Syl into unconsciousness.

Maheem and Jape retreat up the stairs for roll call while the others recover.

The party scavenges the unconcious Fipps and Syl for weapons, and after Peg-Leg channels to heal the group he leans down.

Petronicus offers his hand to Fipps “I’m sorry it had to end that way, friend.”

Fipps snarls and slaps the offered hand away. Syl yanks, trying to topple the one-legged man, and they both bolt upstairs.

Mister Plugg notes the late arrivals and looks to Master Scourge.

“Take note, three lashes for those who thought their beauty sleep more important that my work”

Pete and Lyra are sent to catch rats below-deck, Ada is set to rigging repair, and “Fishguts” tells Passag to sit and have a drink with him (they spend the day swapping stories, and Passag succumbs to an addiction to grog). Lyra works diligently and easily succeeds at clearing vermin, while Peg-leg spends his time speaking with Tilly Brackett swaying her to helpful, but still manages to catch enough rats to avoid further beating. Ada Leena tries to get the hang of repairing the ropes, but doesn’t quite manage it (but she does encounter Owlbear Hartshorn in the hold below the officer’s quarters). Passag schmoozes with Cut-throat Grok while drinking, attempting to befriend her, but doesn’t manage to shift her attitude toward him. (3:20)

As the bloody hour begins the party is tied to the mast for their lashings. Ada and Lyra are staggered after the beatings, while Petronicus and Passag are beaten into unconsciousness and taken below to be watched over by Habbly Quarne until they wake up. Passag wakes up a couple hours later, and Petronicus a few hours after that.

“Wake up, at least the women had the balls to keep their wits.”

Passag finds an appealing game of Heave being played and decides to join in, drinking himself into a stupor rather quickly.

The night goes without event beyond the bloody hour. Though both the ladies end up having to drink their grog rations for the first time, lacking Petronicus’ magical ability.

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Day 3 on the Wormwood
19 Gozran 4714 A.R.

Morning bell tolls, and the crew reports on deck. Master Scourge calls duties for the day.

“Short stuff, you’re hauling ropes today… You, get below to Fishguts and start cookin’… and you, ugly, get back to the bilges… You’re useless down there though cripple, today you swab the deck”

When Passag reaches the kitchen, Kroop is already passed out drunk, leaving him with all the cooking duties for the day.

Lyra is working the bilges with Jaundiced Jape and Aretta Bansion (who she tries to influence to no avail).

Peg-leg Pete spends the day swabbing the deck with Tilly Brackett. Pete spends his free time for the day chatting up Conchobhar Turlach Shortstone whom he manages to swing to helpful.

Ada shirks her duties to take some more time looking about the ship.

Everyone manages to accomplish their work duties without incurring punishment.

(0:25:00)

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