Skull and Shackles

DM Log - Sessions 5 & 6
The Wormwood Mutiny | Days 23 - 27

Wormwood mutiny

The Storm, Johnathon Teakshanks washed overboard, presumed dead.

Man’s Promise shipwrecked on reefs just off of Bonewrack Island. Grindylows attacked during storm and kidnapped Sandara Quinn and two other crew members. The party go ashore to look for them and to resupply food and water lost in the storm. Meanwhile Crimson Cogward and the Rahadoumi sailors manage the repairs. (At the time of the party’s departure they have 48 hours.

Giant Frog 400 xp
Ghoul Whores x3 400 xp

Total 1600 raw xp / 400 xp each

Special Awards
Journals 100 xp – Cassie and Priest
Art 100 xp – Cassie
Songs etc 100 xp – Zack

Updated XP
Cassandra | Magus 2 – 3630 xp > Level Up
Drogo | Summoner 2 – 3530 xp > Level Up
Priest | Cleric 1 Gunslinger 1 – 3560 xp > Level Up
Zack | Bard 2 – 3630 xp > Level Up

Level Goal: 3,300 for 3rd Level (Fast XP Track) – met by all party members

Game resumes with:
After burning the cornfield and making camp for the night the group return to their boat and bring it around the island to the entrance to Riptide Cove. Now that the tide is low they can see two grindylow “shepherds” on either side of the tunnel.

Cassandra's Log Part 5
Mutiny on the Man's Promise

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Day 21 – After three solid days of partying things finally begin to wind down and get back to business. The ships bell goes off at dawn summoning all of the crew on deck… with the rest of the Rahadoomie survivors joining us.

“Now that we’ve got this other ship,” the captain begins to the pleased chuckles of the crew, “the Wormwood will sail on as Mr. Plug will pick a skeleton crew to man the new ship and sail it to Port Peril where it will be sold as salvage.” He then stomps over to one of the female prisoners and throws her overboard. “Any questions?” The crew is as silent as a consecrated graveyard as the other prisoners fall to their knees and swear fealty to the captain. The officers, however, are led back to their cells.

After that announcement it doesn’t take long till my sinking suspicions are confirmed…. my friends and I have all been picked by Plug as part of his skeleton crew… and you can bet that Phipps and his thugs will be filling out the rest. Too bad he’s forgotten one very important thing… if the Captain isn’t going to be around to see Plug’s mutiny… he isn’t going to be around to see ours either.

We’re given a quick 10 minutes to gather our things before shifting to the other boat… so Priest makes sure to grab his guns from the quarter master’s room while I fill some sacks with cooking supplies.

Ah Jack… looks like his whirlwind romance isn’t meant to be after all, as Grok has been ordered to stay on the Wormwood. Who knows… maybe… we might all meet up again in Port Peril if we can survive the trip.

Zack manages to overhear the roster making up the skeleton crew… and I’m surprised to know that some of the people we considered friends have been included. I’ll have to try and keep an eye on them… just in case they’re looking to punish them for being our friends.

The New Crew:

  • Mr. Plug
  • Mr. Scourge
  • Owlbear on a chain
  • Phipps
  • Patch Patchsalt
  • Kipper (set off explosion below deck)
  • Croup the Cook
  • Conqobar Shortstone the Gnome
  • Rosie Cusswell
  • Sendara Quinn
  • 5 Rahadoum merchant men

Day 22 – After a morning of settling myself with Croup into the new kitchen, we’re off and journying through the Fever Sea, some 100 miles west of the Slithering Coast. That night we all gather in what will have to pass as crew quarters… though it’s not much more than a room to hang some hammocks.

Zack and I share the information we picked up as Priest takes a moment to shave his head with his long knife. I don’t want to stare… but some day I’ll have to ask him what that strange tattoo on the back of his head means.

“From the sounds of the situation… perhaps we should be talking mutiny with the crew,” he mutters.

“NO!” we all shout nearly in unison. “You don’t want to do that yet ,” assures Jack. “Best to play your cards close to your vest until you know exactly what the other guy is holding.”

“All right, you scurvy dogs!” Plug yells as the bells signal us to meet on deck. “No more Mr. Nice-guy like the captain… this here is MY boat, and we’re going to do things MY way! That means we’re tossing out that pansy whip for a cat o’ nine tails, double shifts will be the norm, and I don’t believe in entertainment or rum! Got it? If you’re caught above decks without leave after dusk you’ll get 6 lashes!”

I bite my tongue at the dreadful news, but make sure to voice my displeasure with Croup. Now that the crew is much smaller, my cooking duties have let up. Unfortunately… that just gives me more time to swab decks.

That night after a hard day of double shifts we’re approached by Sendara Quinn. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this… do you think that we’re even going to Port Peril? I think he’s going to take the boat for himself!”

“It’s a sound plan, actually…” Zack replies.

“I don’t know,” mutters Jack. Poor guy… I’ll bet he misses Grok already and just wants to get back to her again.

Priest looks around to make sure Phipps and his gang aren’t around before leaning in to speak to the rest of us. "I noticed that we’ve changed direction off our set course… we’re heading north east towards the Slithering Coast, and not Blood Cove.

“I’m just going to take a quick peak above decks to see what’s going on…” Jack tells us before sneaking quietly up the stairs.

“Wait till you hear this…” he whispers fervently when he returns. “They’re all gathered in the Captain’s quarters and talking about taking the ship salvage and going independent! They’re going to take it to Rickety Squibbs and strip it down so the Captain won’t even recognize the thing.”

“And what about us?” asks Zack.

“If they hire enough crew they’re going to kill us off! I don’t know about you, but I am loyal to the captain and there’s 6 traitors up top wanting to take the ship and kill us. I say we do something about it. "

“If I get killed, you’ll all go back to eating slop again! We can’t have that happen,” I joke.

“So who is going to lead this ship once we take it off of Plug’s hands?” asks Jack as he looks to each of us.

“Let Drogo do it, because I certainly don’t want the responsibility when things go wrong; and you know they will.” I wave dismissively at Jack when he looks to me. “Besides, I’d rather cook and keep people happy that way.”

“I always liked those captain hats,” Drogo replies with a shrug and a grin.

“That’s settled, then,” Jack says.

“I shall call forth an obscuring mist for us to protect us with Besmara’s blessing,” Sendara offers as she brings her hands together and begins to pray.

Jack sneaks upstairs to keep track of their movements in the room while I climb up into the rigging and take aim at the door with my crossbow. I can hear the soft tones of a quiet lullaby from Zack and have to give myself a shake to stop the urge to sleep from overcoming me.

Once we get the signal from Zack that his song has taken effect, I use a cantrip to open the door and let loose a magically enhanced bolt that slices down the cheek of Scourge as he goes to close the door.

“Boarders!” one of them yells from the room, and the battle begins for true. The door slams shut, so I use my cantrip to open a window instead and take a wild shot inside at someone who screams in pain. Suddenly Plug sticks a cutlass out the window and a blast of water shoots up into the rigging, knocking me out of my perch. If it weren’t for the Feather Fall that I always keep in reserve, I might have broken bones to deal with. I get up from my soft landing just in time to see Zack’s whip lash out around Pug’s arm and Priest pointing his gun through the window at him.

“Death comes for us all.”

Drogo runs up to the door and opens it while poor Jabber takes a shot from Plug, and I take the opportunity to answer with my own burst of water as my spell crashes into the tables they were using as cover and knocks the pirates inside about.

“Spare my life and I surrender!” a voice shouts from within.

By the time we’re done clearing the room and tying everyone up, Plug, Scourge, and Phipps have willingly surrendered. Priest searches each one of them as they are bound, and with a quick cantrip I’m able to detect any magically viable equipment on them suitable for keeping.

On Plug:

  • Potion (26) – Cure Moderate (Drogo)
  • Crossbow Bolts Screaming Bolts (3) (Cassie)
  • Cutlass with skull face (casts Hydro Push) Legendary Tidewater Cutlass – +1 Cutlass, casts Hydraulic Push 1/day (cassie?)
  • +1 Cat O-Nine Tales (Zack)
  • Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (Priest)
  • Bracers of Armor +1 (given to Eidelon)
  • Shackles of Compliance (3rd level) – auto-lock, susceptible to intimidation (+4 checks), holder of key can cast Command 3/day on wearer of shackles.

On Scourge:

  • 2 Potions (25/24) Blur and Cure Light Wounds
  • small black vial w/ skull & crossbones
  • Corked green bottle half the size of a 5th of vodka (oil?)
  • Diamond Stud (for Grok ring)
  • Pouch of some powdered drug (dark reaver powder – drug)
  • silver wedding ring (for Grok)

Generic Items:

  • Pouch with gp (30)
  • punching dagger – Crimson Cogward
  • 12 daggers w/brace – given to Conqobar the Gnome
  • Leather Armor (2) – Crimson Cogward (1)
  • Snuffbox
  • Boatman’s Whistle – Zack
  • Shortbow w/ 12 arrows and leather quiver – give to….
  • Masterwork Handaxe (2) – give to Crimson Cogward
  • +1 Shortsword – Drogo gives to Rosie

“Let me give Owlbear a talk… I think we can come to an understanding,” Jack advises before walking off with the confused hulk of a crewman. “The rest of these guys would probably be ok as long as they get paid.”

“We’d best decide what we’re going to do soon… there’s a storm coming,” Priest warns a she takes in the black clouds in the distance.

I blow our newly acquired whistle after a quick wipe and call the crew to the decks to batten down the hatches as large lightning bolts strike the sea. “Somebody tie Scourge and Plug up to the main mast… we’ll let Besmara decide their fate.”

By the time the storm hits I’m tending the mainsail as Priest repairs rigging on the fly with Zach and Drogo keeps watch in the Crow’s Nest.

“Hold on for your life!” he yells moments before a large wave comes cresting over the horizon and crashing into the ship. It rocks us back and forth as we scramble for handholds and almost overturns before finally righting itself.

“Man overboard!” someone yells before a glowing dolphin appears and splashes into the waters below to come back with a waterlogged sailor.

“Phipps! Damn it…” I mutter as I look around to check the damages. “Wait a minute… where’s Jack?”

NOOO! Brother!” Zack yells as he looks frantically over the side for his missing twin. “This is all YOUR fault!” he growls as he stomps up to a waterlogged and bedraggled Plug.

“One never knows when we’re going to be called to serve on Besmara’s crew… as sailors we must always be ready for it.” Sendara says quietly as she puts a comforting hand on Zack’s shoulder.

The ship lurches heavily under our feet and lists to one side as we finally come out of the storm. Drogo climbs down the mast in a hurry with his Eidelon. “I saw some strange Goblin creatures with tentacles crawling onboard during the storm! You guys, go check the fore why we check the aft areas.” He waves to Rosie and the other Rahadoom sailors before turning to us.
“No way a Goblin is going to take my first ship away from me! Come on!”

I follow quickly behind Drogo with my crossbow at the ready as he rides Jabber. “Ready?” he asks before I not and he throws open the door leading to below decks.

I have to swallow my disgust as I take in creatures that I would’ve called Goblins… if it weren’t for the collection of tentacles where their legs should be. “What the heck are these things?” I bark out before firing a bolt that screeches down the hallway in a wail like a banshee before hitting one and causing two others to bend over in pain.

“Grindylows,” grunts Priest before stretching his arm out beside me and firing his gun.

Some of them try to swarm at our feet before a dog appears at Drogo’s behest and tears into them with his jaws. I just finish taking care of the last two with my crossbow when suddenly the deck shifts with a horrible tearing and grating sound. Yells sound from above followed by splashes as a number of people fall overboard and the side of the ship caves in. Priest and I manage to swim against the current of water flowing into the ship and get back to the stairs as Drogo and Zack rush to help the crew.

“What’s the status?” I pant breathlessly as I finally make my way back to Drogo and Zack.

“Those slimy little bastards… they took Sendara Quinn and a few others… and they wrecked my ship!” Drogo grimly hands me Sendara’s holy symbol wrapped up in seaweed and debris.

“Besmara doesn’t give up on her faithful, and I don’t give up on my friends.” I pick the seaweed out of the chain and place the symbol around my neck. “We’ll get her back.”

Priest's Journal - Book 2

Day 1: I find myself rescued by a ship of pirates. Not my luckiest rescue, but better than I expected. This isn’t the first pirate ship I’ve served on, but it is by far the most polarized. The first mate is a rough bastard named Plugg. He has a cowardly toad named Scourge who is a bit too liberal with the cat. As I observed the crew it didn’t take long to realize that this ship is a powder keg waiting to explode.

Day 6: We boarded and secured a merchant vessel that was unlucky enough to come into site of our sails. I said a prayer for those who died and I hope Pharasma cares for them when they reach her halls. The crew is especially blood thirsty, even those who I find myself allied with. I find I have to be very vocal to keep them from killing everyone who crosses blades with them. After this taste of blood, a mutiny seems inevitable. I pray I chose the right side.

Day 9: We’ve been ordered to crew the Man’s Promise with Plugg as captain and Scourge as first mate. No good can come from this. My new associates have a deep hatred of these two and the feeling appears to be mutual. I’ve only known this crew for a little over a week but I can tell that my associates, while still vile people, have some sense of honor that Plugg and Scourge lack.

Day 12: We have learned that Plugg plans to have us meet with an accident soon. I can’t say that this surprises me. I find it a little close minded that he lumps me in with this group. Guilty by association it seems. That alone tells me everything I need to know about Plugg. He doesn’t care about people, just power. His type always make a mistake that ends up getting many people killed. I find that I now agree with my allies, the time for mutiny is now. Pharasma guide my gun.

Day 13 We successfully took the ship from Plugg and Scourge. Plugg took a couple bullets and when I tried to patch him up the others protested. If they are so intent on Plugg suffering, they could simply leave him in the bilges and let his wounds fester. Since they decided that tying them to the mast was best I took it upon myself to bind their wounds, despite the protests. If one is going to suffer, then one should suffer greatly. Otherwise there is no point to suffering at all. This is how lessons are learned.

Day 14: A foul storm has cast us aground on a shallow reef. The ship is in desperate need of repair before it will be able to sail again. Two of the crew were taken by locals and a rescue party is being assembled. I have a bad feeling about this island…almost as if something unnatural dwells within. I fear that more lives will be lost before we set sail again.

Cassandra's Log - Part 4
Turbulant Waters Ahead!

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DAY 15 – Pretty uneventful… other than Drogo taking that slip from the rigging and finding out just what it was that Phipps tried to lace our bunks with. Turns out the bastard had a bag of cut glass! Thank goodness I was able to switch things up. Perhaps a few days in the surgeon’s ward will make them all think twice before messing with us again. Just in case, though… I’m going to slip one of these turtles I caught for lunch into Phipp’s cot to keep him company tonight.

DAY 16 – Poor Jack… Grok has been riding him ragged, so it’s no wonder he drank a bit too much rum today; The guy needs his sleep! Though who am I to criticize… I think I drank a bit too much myself; only explanation for putting up with the dirty suggestions that Conqobar and Narwhal tossed my way today.

It looks like the others are getting along with Priest, even if he is a bit of a downer sometimes. He’d better work on his endurance, though… if he keeps passing out during the day he’s going to find himself overboard again instead of tied up to the main mast.

After managing a passable dinner tonight I can’t help but feel that emotions are shifting aboard the Wormwood. The people we’ve made friends with have still been treating us well… but the others… I think Plug and Scourge have drawn the line between them and us.

And now Jack wants the Captain to marry Grok and him? I don’t know… I want to be happy for him, but I think he just put a big target on his back. I’d better keep a close eye on things and an ear open to the chatter.

DAY 17 – And what do you know… we’ve all been assigned to swabbing the decks all day. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is. Jack, though… he got sent down into the bilges with some of the guys who got a bed full of glass. I notice one of them drawing a line across his throat as he follows Jack down… I hope he comes out ok.

Poor Zack wore himself out working and worrying about his brother… and he paid for it when he woke up stripped and hanging from the main mast by his wrists. I hope Sindara can help me bandage him when it gets dark and they finally let us take him down.


DAY 18 – Sail ho! We’re all assigned to rigging duty in preparation for our first actual boarding raid. I pray to Besmara that our target is a worthy vessel and we fight well in the morrow before we hear the announcement of double shifts yet again.

DAY 19 – Looks like it’s time, as we’ve finally caught up to a vaguely Arabic looking vessel. Besmara watch over your servants, and let us carry out our captain’s orders dutifully and with great purpose.

“You heard the man… board the ship, kill the guards, take the wheel and guard the lifeboats! Kill anyone trying to get away, got it? Now GO!” yells Mr. Plug.

“Not you yet, missy,” Croup says as he grabs my arm. “I need your help dumping pig blood over the side… captain wants to make sure those Rahadoomies don’t get any ideas about jumping ship either.” Rahadoom… from what I’ve heard from talking to people on our ship, they’ve got an issue with worshipping gods. Too bad… they could probably use a few prayers right now.

Shots ring out as Priest takes aim at one of the sailors on the other vessel and the battle begins for true. The captain follows with his own gun as another sailor falls from the rigging, and I follow with my crossbow as I skewer another through the upper shoulder and he falls to the ground in spasms.

“If I wasn’t already in love…” I hear Jack laugh from the rigging above and smile as I blow off the end of my crossbow and activate a shield spell around myself before grabbing a rope to swing across.

As soon as I land I take in the two sailors on the main deck, as well as his four friends by the wheel. I motion with my hands and mutter the words that summon a large wave of water that hits one of the men on the main deck and knocks him overboard before I slash the other across the stomach with my cutlass.

“Shit! They’ve got a spellcaster!” one of the ones by the wheel shouts as bolts whizz past me and one pegs me in the shoulder. I take cover under the lip of the deck and stuff a piece of cloth under my jacket to stop the bleeding as Priest, Zack and Jack swing over to finish off the others and take control of the wheel.

Drogo flies over on his Eidelon Jabber, but instead of helping with our target he moves through the fog and smoke towards the other end of the ship. Shots ring out so I assume it must have something to do with the Captain since Priest is with us. That is… unless somebody else on board has a gun I don’t know about. I’m a little too busy to ask them, however, as from what I can tell from their pleading, I’ve got some sailors who want to surrender that I need to take care of.

“They’re surrendering!” I shout to the others who might not understand the Rahadoomie sailors. “Find some rope so we can tie them up.”

Suddenly there is a booming explosion from below decks that rocks the entire ship. I manage to keep my footing and hold position with my crossbow at the ready as I scan over the railing to the decks below.

“Make sure you don’t slip now… looks like those Tiger Sharks are hungry,” Jack warns as he moves to take the wheel. I guess Croup’s work with the pig blood did it’s trick.

“No shit!” growls Phipps. Damn… couldn’t be lucky enough to be rid of that pest, could we?

“More behind you!” screams Drogo. I turn from the rail to see that 3 Rahadoomie sailors are climbing up over the aft rail of the ship. Zach shoots one with his crossbow and I quickly follow with my own as Drogo moves in with his spear and punctures one that falls overboard. By the time we’re done there’s only a female sailor left alive who is scared shitless by the scene of the Captain holding her fellow sailors prisoner with a bloody heart brandished in hand when the fog parts.

“No…no…” she cries as she swings at me with her sword and tries to get away. She’s panicing, however, and her swing is easy to dodge as I grab her from behind and subdue her. “Be still… stay quiet, and perhaps you can stay alive,” I warn her. I do not enjoy killing people for no reason… and it is a shame that our Captain’s eye happened to fall on this ship. I will do what I must to survive, but if I can help others get through this too, I will… hopefully with Besmara’s blessing.

The fog dissapates completely as sailors cheer and a dozen prisoners are paraded before the Captain on the lower deck.

“You’re all relieved of your current duties,” Riaris Prine announces as she breaks away from her Captain to join us. “Cassie, you and Croup need to raid the larder and see what kind of celebratory feast we can come up with!”

Before I go, I cast a quick cantrip on our female prisoner to see if she’s got anything handy. I quite like the style of their chainmail… very stylish and seems to encourage ease of movement. We’ll see if Drogo likes that magical pike of hers though. I try to ask her to willingly give up her things, but it seems all she wants to do is struggle. Ah well… you can’t help everyone, Cassie. Maybe she can think about it in her dreams now that Priest has knocked her unconscious.

DAY 20 – Party Time!

Croup and I manage to pull off quite the feast for a party that lasts for 3 days. If I’m lucky, perhaps I’ve managed to swing a few more of the crew back into my favor. Zack and Drogo are at their creative best as they entertain us with songs of our battle while the rum flows freely… and mostly down Grok’s shirt. Personally I love “Take it with Blood,” but “Plunder It” is quite catchy too.

Time seems to blend together in a blur of rum and music until all of hte crew are called up to the main deck by the Captain who is standing there with Prine, Plug, and a wizard. The 12 prisoners are marched out from below decks as Scourge and his men hand out belt pouches to everyone with their share of the gold.

“Drogo the Tiny front and center!” bellows the Captain who throws an amulet on a chain and a scabbarded short sword to the halfing. “That’s for taking care of your Captain! The rest of you… for completing your duties and efficiently disposing of no less than 8 sailors and capturing the 1st mate alive, you will also be given a bonus to be divied up amongst yourselves. Now get the hell out of my face!”

There’s a general reaction of joy as the rewards are passed out, and soon the partying begins again in full force. I’ve had enough of the drinking for now though… so I make a sweep through the ship looking for any spare pieces of jewelry and accesories that I might make use of. There was a time that I loved crafting jewelry for the caravan… perhaps I can capture a piece of home if I take it up again.

I eventually make my way down to the crew quarters of the Wormwood where Priest is cleaning his guns and Jack and Grok are continuing their celebrations. I almost drop my collection of Arabic jewelry when Jack suddenly slams down a marriage proposal and a ring on the table while Grok totters about with a turban on. It takes a moment before her eyes focus and she realizes what he’s done before she throws the bottle across the room and yells “Everybody but him get the fuck out! NOW!”

“He’s doing WHAT?” asks Zack in shock.

“I only tell you what I saw… and now I must go pray for their souls,” replies Priest before he retreats to a quiet corner.

“But… but…”

“Your brother just wants to be happy, Zach… why not let him?” I offer before I go above decks and see Scourge and Plug looking rather suspicious as they talk to each other in hushed tones. I hide amongst the barrells and ropes and sneak closer to listen the best I can.

“… little do they know they’ll be attending their first funeral service aboard a ship soon. Their own!”

Cassandra's Log - Part 3
The quickest way to a man's heart...

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That day I am given the heads up by Croup that it’s a special occasion for the Captain, and he wants a pig slaughtered for the meal for him and his staff. “I hope it’s the right size,” I reply slyly to Croup. “Because you know.. we wouldn’t want any extra pork to go to waste.”

“Why don’t you take this extra sack with you just in case? It’ll make it easier to take care of the extras,” he replies with a wink.

The day passes relatively uneventfully, other than the ex-slaver Shivikah almost scaring me out of my wits when he comes up to me with a wide grin on his face. “I’d nearly forgotten what pork tasted like, Cassie. You’re allright.”

The night is spent with our usual musical entertainment, although Drogo seems a bit off. He must have a lot on his mind… can’t blame him, really. Jack, on the other hand… he better hope that Grok doesn’t hear about him chatting up Slippery Sil tonight. That poor lady looked a frightened mess when she came out of the bilges today, and I know that Jack is probably just making sure she’s ok. Grok, on the other hand… I don’t think compassion is one of her strong suits.


“Land ho!”

“Aw damn it… I was hoping to get that bonus today!” moans Zack as we all get up and move above deck for a new day’s work. “Hmmn… from what I can tell, looks like we’re near the Slithering Coast. Whole lot of lizard folk there… nasty business.”

“Front and center, you scurvy dogs!” shouts Plug as his cronies drop 4 large pots in front of us. “See that reef over there?” he points with the hilt of his whip. “Captain wants crabs, so crab he’s going to get!”

“If he wants crabs, he should just sleep with Slippery Sil,” I joke to the others as we each pick up a pot. Someone chuckles and I look up to see a grin quickly wiped from Plug’s face. Is it heat stroke, or did I just make Plug laugh?

The rest of us dive into the water with our pots in hand as Drogo waves to us from his summoned dolphin. “Show off…” After a few hours and a fight with a rathre nasty pair of Reef Claws (that just happen to be a delicacy in certain waters), we come back to the ship with our pots full of seafood for tonight’s meal. “I hope nobody has any issues with shellfish, because this is going to be great!”

After cleaning up after the meal I return to my bunk to find a sack full of all the gear that I had before I started this adventure. “What do you know… I guess they liked it!” I say to myself with a grin as I tie on my family scarf and place my compass and Harrowing cards back into my pouches.

“Yes…” Raheem says with a grin as he walks by to flop into his cot and rub his belly. “The meal was quite good!”

The next morning everyone is put hard to work on the decks while I’m fishing for our next meal. I can’t help but feel bad as the heat today is rather brutal… so when no one is looking I cast an Unseen Servant and assign it to delivering water to everyone during the day. I don’t tell anyone just to be safe… you never know what trouble a spellcaster can get into on a pirate ship… but from what I can tell from some of the nods I get as I walk back to the kitchen, it seems my secret is safe.

“You did good today, sweetie,” calls out Barefoot Same Toppin as I hand her my catch for the day.

“I’ve been fishing since I can remember,” I joke as I sit beside her and repair nets as she skins the fish. “I’m more used to throwing these out into the water than I am a fishhook, though.”

“You would’ve loved to have met my Charlie, then… he was an expert with the knots! In fact, I remember one day when…”

I lose track how long the stories last… but they make an entertaining diversion as I get my work done for the day. It’s certainly bettre than having to catch rats in the bilges like Zack and Jack, anyway.


Morning comes once again, but this time we’re excused from our regular work day and sent aft for training with Riaris Kein, the Master Gunner. I would’ve sworn that no one could cuss more than Rosie until I met her… but it seems I was very wrong.

“Well you sorry squibs, if we’re going to make some money you better learn to board ships!”

Ropes and grappling hooks are thrown into one of the life boats as a look of excitement crosses Zack and Jack’s faces. “Looks like we’re finally getting some pirate training!” one of them mutters.

“Don’t just look at it, get in, you scurvy dogs!” Kein barks. “Time to see how well you can board a ship… because if you can’t, you’re going to get a face full of rotten food, got it?” Jack groans as we all clamber into the boat. “Jack and Cassie, and Zack and Drogo. Have at it!”

The boat drops into the ocean with a thump, as we scramble for the ropes. Jack jumps back as a glowing eagle appears and grabs one of the ropes before flying towards the deck. “A little help, Drogo?” mutters Zack as his grappling hook bounces against the hull and falls back into the water.

A quick muttering of a True Strike spell under my breath is all it takes for me to get my grappling hook attached to the rail… and thankfully Jack isn’t far behind with his throw either. Unfortunately I had no spell to keep my getting pegged by a rotten porkchop, though. Damn… I’m going to need to wash my hair to get that smell out! After hearing the groans of Drogo and Zack behind me, though… I think I might have gotten off lightly.

“Not bad… not bad at all!” Kein declares as we all manage to make our way back to the deck without too many bruises. Well… except for Zack, anyway… he looks like he fell into a garbage heap by the time he makes it up. “Seeing as you all managed to do this on your first try, I think you deserve the afternoon off. I recommend you take the time cleaning up!” She waves at us with a wince as she covers her nose and walks off to report to the captain.

I doubt Plug would appreciate me using viable drinking water to take a bath… so I guess I’ll just have to settle for a Prestidigitation incantation to take care of the mess. Drogo seems to have found a comrade in Cog Cogward… but I find it odd that I haven’t seen his Eidelon Jabber all day.


Ah… it seems somebody found his Eidelon, anyway.

“Your creature was caught snooping around where it shouldn’t, Drogo!” Plug announces. “You are responsible for your animal while you are a part of this crew…. understand? 3 Lashings!”

“That’s not right… he’s just a little guy! Leave him alone! We’ve got to do something, Jack!” yells Zack angrily. Before he can get a reply, however, there is a booming noise and a “ZING!” as Zack’s hat is blown off his head and a thin red line appears on his cheek that starts to bleed.

The Captain blows on the end of his smoking barrell and the rest of the crew soon quiets down. As I look around I can’t help but notice that Phipps and his usual cronies are nowhere to be seen. You think they’d want to see this… so the fact that they aren’t here means they must be getting themselves into trouble. I wait until the lashings begin and all attention is focused on Drogo before slipping back through the crowd and making our way back to our bunks. I just manage to duck under one of the cots just in time to see Phipps sprinkling something into our bunks… so when he leaves, I make sure to switch our mattresses with his and his friends. I’m not going to take my chances with whatever it might be… after that day where they pulled weapons on us, it’s bound to be bad.

The rum and music are flowing that night as we celebrate our victory over boarding lessons and rotten food. I spy the young Cocky the Cabin Girl staring longingly at Jack, and feeling magnanimous after my own culinary successes with the crew, decide to help the girl out.

“If you’re going to tell him you like him, you should look your best!” I whisper to her with a grin as I hand her another mug of rum.

“I don’t… what if he…” she stammers as she blushes.

“Trust me, you’ll do fine… you just need a woman’s touch!” I mutter a cantrip under my breath that whisks away the dirt and grime, patches her clothes, and leaves her smelling fresh and clean. I’ve used it so much on this ship that I could recite it backwards if need be. “See what I mean?” I take out a small mirror from my pouch and polish it before handing it to her.

“I can’t thank you enough!” she gushes before turning towards the door where Jack was last seen, turning quickly back to me to hand me the mirror, and then running down the hall.

“Wait… he’s with Grok tonight, isn’t he?” I realize suddenly with a wince. “Damn it… well… either she really likes him and Jack will take notice of her bravery, or she’ll decide it’s just a passing fancy after all.”

I am saved by my encroaching feelings of guilt by the sudden cry of Mr. Scourge and the ringing of the deck bell. “All hands on deck, we’ve got a castaway you scurvy dogs!” By the time we all make it above decks they’re lowering ropes over the side to a man floating on a chunk of wood.

“Not bad looking for an unlucky bastard,” Rosie Cuswell comments as she climbs up on a barrel to take a look.

I refrain from judgment but nod appreciatively as I take in his appearance. The man is dark skinned with dark hair and faded, yet once colorful clothes. Could he be Varisian, like my adoptive family?

“Hey, did you check out the piece he’s got?” Zack exclaims before climbing over the rail and attempting to slide down the rope to the unconscious man. “I’m adequate!” he yells before losing his grip and falling into the water.

“That’s what we’re trying to do!” Rosie yells down to Zack. “Flip him over for us so we can see for ourselves!”

“Oh brother…” Jack mutters before repelling down the rope to help his brother, who is now flailing as he drops the unconscious man into the water.

“Hey, I got his gun!” Zack exclaims cheerfully.

“That’s great… now how about getting him, too?” Jack sighs.

There’s a blur of light as Drogo’s summoned dolphin streaks past us into the water to rescue the now drowning castaway.

“Oh thank goodness…” I mutter as they finally bring him up and lay him on deck. Pug’s lackeys make short work of anything of value before he’s taken below decks to be checked out for illnesses and such.

“Let me see it!” I hear Jack arguing with Zack as I walk past to head below decks to check how our new member is doing.

“No… I’m going to go give it back to him.”

“What? You know I was proud of you at first for taking the thing… but now you’re just crazy!”

“Let me tell you about making friends, Jack…”

The doc gives me a nod as he wipes his hands down and walks past me down the hall. “How’s our new crewmember?” I ask cheerfully as he sits up when I enter the room.

“Your… doctor… didn’t seem to want to be bothered. I am a surgeon… I could…” he begins in a dark monotone voice.

“Wait up… can I get your name there…or shall we just call you Doc?”
“My name is Priest… it is what I am… all that I am,” he answers before staring out the window morosely.

“Doc…Priest… next thing you know they’ll be calling me Elf,” I joke. “Anyway… if you haven’t noticed already, your things are now the prime property of one Cut-Throat Grok the Quarter Master. You’ll have to earn your things back… either by deeds, good luck or just plain trickery.” I wink before turning to leave. “Oh and by the way… whatever you do, don’t talk to the Captain. Welcome to the Wormwood!”

DM's Log -Session 4
The Wormwood Mutiny | Days 21 - 23

Wormwood mutiny

The taking of the Man’s Promise.
Three day victory party and awarding of treasure.
Jack proposes to Grok.
Sailing with a skeleton crew.

Rahadoumi Sailors x8 1600 xp
Rahadoumi Officer 600 xp
Successful Mutiny 1,400 xp

Successful Mutiny 2

Total 3,600 xp / 720 xp each

Game resumes with:
Mr. Plugg has surrendered and the Man’s Promise has been taken. Plugg’s associates are all confined in the Captain’s cabin while decisions are made.

DM's Log -Session 3
The Wormwood Mutiny | Days 15 - 21

Wormwood mutiny

Influence the Crew:

Jack gets overall +2 to all checks interacting with the crew due to defeating Owlbear Harshorn. This lasts as long as he is on the Wormwood.

Cassie slips sea turtle into Fipp’s bed
Cassie makes Conchobar friendly
Zach and Jack begin programmed harassment of Fipp’s
Priest makes Cog permanently friendly

Wormwood Pirates x2 400xp
Rahadoumi Sailors x4 800xp
Roleplaying Bonus 500

Total 1700 / 340 each

Game resumes with: boarding the Man’s Promise, Drogo just saved Captain.

3rd round of combat, initiative order is:
Rahadoumi Sailor
Rahadoumi Sailor
Drogo / Jabbar


A Study in Orc Beauty # 1

She’s shy with her tusks
when our mouths are locked, entwined.
Orc goddess divine.

A Study in Orc Beauty # 2

I watch her sleeping;
glistening drool drips from her chin.
Snores tremble her lips.

A Study in Orc Beauty # 3

She drinks way too much
and forgets our date tonight.
Plate just missed my head.

A Study in Orc Beauty # 4

S’easy to love her—
Like stabbing a man to death.
And red to the wrists.

A Study in Orc Beauty #5

She’s so bloody strong,
we wrestle to be on top.
Just who’s holding whom?

A Study in Orc Beauty #6

Her passion rises,
and I draw the orgasm
from her golden soul.

A Study in Orc Beauty #7

A map of myself
shows my Grok as the windrose.
Without her, I’m lost.

The Life of a Priest

Day 1; Recollection
Something tells me I made a mistake. It is a nagging in the back of my mind, but I cannot remember. I cannot remember anything. I opened my eyes and found myself prostrating before a dark altar in the temple of Pharasma. I lifted my gaze and the memory of my devotion to the goddess rushed through me. Overwhelmed I returned my head to the stone below.

It was some time before the other priests came for me. They lead me out to an ante chamber and told me that I had given myself entirely to Pharasma. I had begged her aide and she had granted me a boon. I asked them what it was but they shrugged and said that was between me and my God.

Day 6; Retrospection
I feel lost. I do not know who I am. I do not know where I came from. I look into the mirror and I do not recognize the face before me. Yet I find I know strange things. I can tell where people are from and I seem quick to notice what people do, don’t do, say, don’t say. And I remember.

Day 11; Discovery
My fellow priests noticed this about me and have sent a man. He says he is of a special order of monk devoted to Pharasma. He said that training would be difficult but that I would arise a powerful weapon of my goddess. When I agreed to join him he handed me a pistol and smiled.

Day 46; Deliverance
I have been training as a gunslinger. I still have no memory of my life before I awoke in the temple and I no longer believe I will ever recover that memory. The priests said that I gave something to Pharasma in exchange for a blessing. I do not know what I asked for, but I am certain I know what the price was. Regardless, I am touched by my goddess and I am her holy warrior. May her light shine through my deeds.

Songs About Rats
Here’s a little story
I’d like to tell
About two bad brothers
You know so well.

It started way back
In history
With Teakshanks
The great pirate
On the high seas!

The Beasties – Songs About Rats

  • Two Bad Brothers / Teakshanks on the High Seas
  • The Rat Attacked Jack / Jack Attack Rat
  • Ratkiller – I Totally Killed a Rat!
  • I’m On a Boat
  • Plunder It!
  • Tear the Bear
  • Take It With Blood
  • Rape, Kill, Burn, Pillage
  • Scourge of the Seas
  • Rat Smasher Kills Tonight
  • Only a Little Bit of Rat

by Zach Teakshanks, Bucanneer Bard

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