Skull and Shackles

Love Note to Cut Throat Grok

Her hair is as dark as the deepest of seas,
Her tits are the sweetest of creams.
When she looks at me, I go weak at the knees
The treasure-guarding orc-ess of my dreams.

-Jack

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Cassandra's Log - Part 2
Man Overboard!

Cassie banner

Ugh… my joints are aching after spending all morning trudging through that bilge water sludge… but at least I managed to find a rather nice axe buried in the goop before I stepped on it. Maybe I can trade it for more items from Grok? Worth a try… after a quick cantrip to get rid of the smell, anyway. Then again… Grok is a half orc… maybe she’s into that kind of thing.

“Come on… look at the quality of the stitching! It’s got to be worth my hat and whip back at least,” I hear Zack pleading to Grok as I walk past a frustrated Drogo muttering about a fiddle.

That’s right… Rosie Cuswell did go on about her prized fiddle, didn’t she? I guess Drogo didn’t have any luck… but we’ll see how well I can spin my yarn.

“Hey Zack, have you seen Rosie’s fiddle?” I ask innocently as I walk up to him and Grok staring at us through her counter window. “She was asking everyone around for it and sounding pretty worried… said something about spirits in the thing needing appeased before you play it? I don’t know about ghosts and all… but I guess she’s worried about people getting hurt.”

“Nope, haven’t seen it,” replies Zack with a scratch of his head.

“Here… here… take it already!” shouts Grok as she tosses the fiddle at me and snags the leather armor out of Zack’s hands before passing him his hat and whip.

“Much obliged, Mistresss Grok,” I say with a slight bow as I catch the fiddle and turn away before she can see my grin.

Rosie joins the rest of the entertainment that night with a large grin on her face… even when a string breaks in the first song. I’m glad I was able to help the girl out… we all need something to keep us smiling in this place. Poor Drogo though… from the pout on his face, I think he was hoping to give it to her himself. Maybe I could tell her how I “really” got it for her from him… then again, I’m no matchmaker.

“The music is good tonight, but I’ve got a burning to send a message to those scallywags who thought they could intimidate us on the stairs,” Jack mutters with only a slight slur from the rum ration as he heads above deck.

“If he’s got a burning, it’s probably from Slippery Sill,” I joke as I nudge Giffer with my elbow. I swear my eyes are watering from the smell of his breath after his loud guffaw… but beggars can’t be choosers when looking for allies.

~~~~~~~

The next morning I report to Croup for my usual cooking duties… but it seems he’s taking the morning off to drink with his best buddy Grok… which means that the quarter master’s room should be ripe for investigating. It doesn’t take much to slip past the crew slaving over swabbing the deck, and much to my joy, it doesn’t take much to get into Grok’s quarters, either. It seems when she’s in her cups, security is the last thing on her mind.

After a quick search, it seems that the only thing not nailed or locked down is the large barrell of rum in the corner. They force that swill on us daily… so I’ve no urge to steal more of it. I can’t wait till I can get my hands on some Varisian brandy again… until then, I will have to comfort myself with fond memories of passed flasks around the fire.

“By Besmara’s Bum… such an opportunity, I hate to waste it!” I mutter. Well… if Grok has a fear of haunted things… perhaps a well placed illusion might convince her to give back my cards, too. I whisper the words of the spell and with a few gestures I leave the image of words dripping in blood on the wall. “RETURN WHAT YOU HAVE TAKEN OR FACE OUR WRATH!” I chuckle as I leave the rest of the room as I left it. “I hope she can read…”

By the time I get back to the kitchen I find that Croup has returned from his drinking binge no worse for wear; at least as much as I can tell anyway as drunk is his usual state of mind. “The Captain wants fish tonight!” he declares as he tosses a pole in my direction. “See to it that he’s not disappointed!”

Fishing… a relatively peaceful task, at least… perhaps with Besmara’s blessing I can provide a decent dinner to the crew tonight after the work Plug has been putting them through. I learned early on from my adoptive mother that the quickest way to make friends is by bribing their stomachs first. As I’m walking to the aft end of the ship I can’t help but notice a mute half-orc running in fear from a smirking Jack, and barely manage to spin out of the way as Mr. Scourge gives Zack an earful for his lack of work this morning. It makes me even more grateful that I’m working with Croup. While he’s smelly and usually drunk, he is a relatively good man in this place and hasn’t treated me poorly.

~~~~~

I’m rather pleased that evening as some compliments regarding dinner actually make its way back to me. I have no time to bask in a job well done over an evening’s entertainment, however… as it seems that Mr. Scourge and Mr. Plug have a different plan in mind.

The deck whistle blows that summons the crew to the deck, and we all arrive to find Plug walking out with a heavy iron chain in hand… connected to a rather large hulking brute in filty shorts covered in tar and feathers. I hear the muttered gasps of “Owlbear!” behind me as I observe the poor fellow. It’s when Plug starts scanning the crowd as he swings the chain in his hand that I realize what’s about to happen… and quickly step back through the group of sailors to stand in the shadows and hopefully out of Pug’s gaze. That man is looking for a victim… and I don’t exactly feel like playing today.

Pug’s stare eventually falls on Jack… and like a brave fool he stares right back at him. “Looks like we’ve got us a volunteer!” Pug snickers as he spits at Jack’s feet.

“Time for a new fish to get pasted,” Scourge agrees with an evil grin.

“If you’re going to fight my brother, you have to fight me too!” Zack shouts as he steps forward defiantly.

“Oh don’t worry,” replies Pug with a snort as he heaves a mug at Zack’s head. “You’ll get your turn after he’s done with your brother.”

Everyone’s attention is drawn to the unbalanced brawl taking place on deck, so I take a chance and cast a detection cantrip and scan the ship. There are a few odd weapons here and there that glow brightly amongst the pirates. Conqobar has a wand at his belt, Cog has something in his pouch, the cleric’s hat glows warmly and of course Pug is covered in magicaly items from his bracers to his cutlass. Thankfully for Jack, Owlbear has no magic about him that I can tell… just quite a lot of muscle and not a lot of agility.

There’s shouting from the pirates as it seems Pug has tossed Owlbear a club, and Zack has tossed Jack his rapier. Now this I have to see… so I let the cantrip fade and focus on the fight.

“You said no weapons, you scumbag!” Jack shouts as he dodges around a club swing and stabs Owlbear in the side, causing the poor creature to back away with a whimper.

“And it looks like your 6 lashes for your piss-poor work just went up to 12 for talking back!” growls Scourge. “Rest up, Zack, you’ll be fighting him tomorrow!” he then grabs the chain with an angry grunt and drags the whimpering Owlbear below decks to the disappointed calls of Phipps and his cronies.

The night passes rather uneventfully, even with some forboding clouds in the distance. I manage some chatting with Conqobar and a few fake smiles when he tells me how big his wand is that night during Rosie and Drogo’s performance. The man makes me skin crawl at best… but in a place such as this, you need as many friends as you can get.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning I am awoken to the sound of thunder and the smell of wet animal fur in my face. “By the Goddess, Drogo… dry your Eidelon before letting him below decks!” I cry before zapping the ball of wet fur with a Prestidigitation cantrip that dries him off and gets rid of the overpowering odor clinging to my skin. “Sounds like it’s going to be a fun day ahead,” I warn the others as I climb the stairs and smell the storm on the wind. “Be careful out there… and stay safe.”

The sky grows dark that morning with heavy winds tossing the lanterns about and the rain making visibility nearly impossible. I find some relief to be stuck in the kitchen as Croup is sober for once… and entertain myself by spreading stories about my haunted Harrow cards with the crew who come and go in an escape from the rain. Apparently Jack and Zack have figured out Grok’s little quirks too… as they’re both on a campaign to get their armor back. That Jack, though… he’s a crazy one. Must be… because no sane man should look that enraptured when talking about Grok.

Unfortunately the weather doesn’t want to let up, and worsens into the night. Hopefully Besmara will take pity on us tomorrow after tossing us about so. Everyone is rather subdued that night because of the weather… so I entertain myself by sneaking back to the quartermaster’s chambers to find Fishguts, Croup and Grok nearly passed out in the hold with bottles of rum strewn about the table. I make myself comfortable behind some barrells and listen as they trade ghost stories of peg-legged ghost captains and sea serpents. In fact, I’m about to nod off when I suddenly hear Croup say my name.

“She’s a good egg that elf… she always works hard, and boy can she cook!”

I can’t help but smile to myself. He may smell and drink and spend most of his time passed out from rum… but Croup really is a good man. As good as a man can be stuck on a pirate vessel, mind you… but a good man.

It doesn’t take long before they’re all snoring peacefully slouched over the table. I stretch the kinks out of my legs and whisper gently in their ears. “Give the cards back… save yourselves before it’s too late!” I’m about to leave when suddenly I hear the sound of footsteps out in the hall. Ducking back behind my barrell I watch curiously as Jack creeps in with a parchment in hand. He looks around at the passed out crew, blows a kiss to Grok, and lays the parchment by her hand before leaving again. Oh this I’ve got to see…

By the Goddess, the man must have been hit in the head by Plug one too many times… for he’s actually written her a love poem! I clap a hand over my mouth to stifle the giggling as I read his lovestruck words:

Her hair is as dark as the deepest of seas, her tits are the sweetest of creams. When she looks at me I go weak in the knees, the treasure guarding she-orc of my dreams.

Still… who am I to deny the goddess of love her fun? When I’m sure I can control my laughing I slip the note back under Grok’s hand and slip back through the door and into the crew quarters.

The next morning breakfast is served with our usual rum ration, and it looks like the weather still isn’t letting up. The bad weather bodes ill for the rest of the day as Jack is made an example of yet again with more lashings. While his exterior is rough and violent, from what I can tell he is so for a purpose. I don’t know how long that front can hold up, though, when he’s constantly lashed and struggling so hard to protect his brother Zack. I hope for his sake Zack can heal him.

I am interrupted from my reverie by Croup as he shouts and tosses me a net. “The captain’s got a hankering for turtle tonight, so you’d best get on it!”

“Aye-aye, sir,” I sigh as I throw the net over my shoulder and do my best to ignore the growing chill in my bones. Maybe I can manage to catch a few extra for the crew… with weather like this, a nice hot meal may be just what we need to get through it.

That night most of us are too weary and waterlogged to do much more than listen as Zack and Drogo perform a new song he wrote dedicated to his brother, called “Scourge of the Seas.” Between Jack’s intimidation and my cooking, I’m pretty sure the rest of the crew either loves us or wants to kill us.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The morning work bell rings and awakens us to the ship rocking and the walls shaking from the thunder of the worst day yet of the recent storms. “Everyone in the rigging!” shouts Plug as we stumble up the stairs.

By the end of our double-shift repairing rigging we’re all battered and bruised. Poor Zack is exhausted after his previous day of lashings, and my shoulder aches from falling earlier that day. Jack… well… he was sent upto the crow’s nest for lookout duties, but he didn’t make it before he had his own tumble.

“Crewman overboard!” someone suddenly shouts and I run to the side to see that Tilly Brackett has been blown overboard. I quickly grab a rope and with an incantation of a True Strike spell and a prayer to Besmara for good measure, I throw it down to her to grab before she gets pulled under.

I dive overboard to swim to her as Drogo’s Eidelon Jabber dives past me in a blur of fur. It’s a shame the creature isn’t a good swimmer, though. Thankfully the water has been like a second home to me growing up, and I’m able to reach Tilly in time. A well-placed Hydro Push spell gives us a push back towards the ship, and I can just hear Jack cursing over the sound of the waves at the others to help him lower a life boat down to us.

Before he can organize the rest of the crew, though, I am surprised by a glowing dolphin who appears out of the water with an excited chitter. I’ll have to remember to thank Drogo for his useful summonings once we get back on board. “Hold on, Tilly… we’ll get you out of this,” I assure her as I grab on to the dolphin.

“Break’s over, back into the rigging!” growls Plug as Tily and I we flop exhaustedly over the rail onto the deck. Third shift… gods… I was too tired to do anything other than try and sleep once we were done, and Jack and Zack… I don’t think they even made it through the last shift.

~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning I’m pulled aside by Tilly before we make our way above decks. “I can’t thank you all enough… you really saved my hide back there. Whatever happens, you all have a friend in me.”

“We’ve all got to stick together around here… it was my pleasure.”

Even Croup’s version of coffee can’t keep me from nodding off in the kitchen this morning. After I almost do a header into the soup I decide to cast an Unseen Servant spell to take care of my morning duties and slip under the counter to take a quick nap on a cot.

I’m woken up later in the afternoon my a chuckling Croup. “I can’t believe the old girl finally got laid again after all these years… that Jack is one crazy son of a bitch!”

“By Besmara’s perfect bum… I hope for his sake Sendara knows how to cure disesases!” I chuckle.

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Cassandra's Log - Part 1
WellI she DID want to go to the ocean...

Cassie banner

The Pirates Code: Equal share of treasure to the crew. Report looting and don’t take more than your share. The Captain and officers get more. Tend your weapons. Don’t be a coward. Don’t talk of leaving without 1,000 gold. No fighting between crew on ship, save it for land. Magic must be used to benefit the boat. Obey orders, don’t steal. First sail spotter gets first dib on treasure.

“By Besmara’s right ass cheek… what happened?” Cassandra mutters to herself as she stirs from her place on the floor and pushes herself up to her knees to look around. “I remember reading the cards… and then the barmaid…”

“You’ve been taken like the rest of us to sign up against our will for a little sea cruise,” chuckles a human male with long hair and a moustache sitting on the floor and holding his head.

Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as a door from above is opened to briefly reveal the squalor that she was tossed into. “Look alive, land lubbers!” Bellows a voice from above. “The Captain will flog you for dereliction of duty if you don’t report topside!”

“Come on,” says Cassandra as she offers hands to the others to help them up. “We’re all in this together at the moment.”

As they stumble upstairs, the dark and damp squalor of below decks gives way to the salty air of the ocean and natural light of the sun. “Blessed Besmara… for she has answered my prayers,” mutters Cassandra before closing her eyes with a smile and inhaling.

“What… you prayed to be kidnapped into slavery on board a pirate ship? You got some low expectations there, mate.” offers another human to her right, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the human she saw before.

“But I’m on the ocean…” Cassandra replies. “This is where I’m supposed to be.”

“I’m Zack and this is my bother Jack, by the way. Perhaps you’ve heard of us?” A human male with long hair and a moutache points to another man who would be near impossible to tell apart if it weren’t for the clothing.

“Afraid I’m from much farther north than here,” Cassandra says with chagrin. “I wouldn’t mind hearing your stories one day, though.” Cassandra scans around the deck and scans over the greasy Gnome and the other humans gathered around what looks like the captain reading a scroll before falling on a Halfling gemale in a red cloak and a human female with red hair with tattoos very similar to her own. I may not be human… but I am a female… and in a place such as this we should know that we can look out for each other.

The older man looking at the scroll finally curls it up and hands it to one of the other humans before lumbering his way over to his new “crew” from below decks. “Welcome to The Wormwood! I’ve got two rules on me’ ship: DON’T TALK TO ME! is the first… and the second is DON’T KILL THE CREW! We’ve got a bit of a shortage, we have… and anyone making my life harder by killing off another crewmember I can’t afford to lose will soon find themselves walking a very short plank over shark infested waters. YOU GOT THAT?

The man then stomps away and is soon replaced by a tall imposing bald man with many scars and crags pockmarking his skin, carrying a whip. “The name’s Mr. Plug! Don’t wear it out!” The weary group stands to attention as Mr. Plug scans over them all with a snear. “You and the Halfling,” he grunts as he points to Cassandra. “You two start scrubbing the decks. You other two,” he continues as he turns to the twins, “start climbing the rigging! I’ll assign permanent duty when I feel like looking at your lilly-lovin’ faces again.”

The day passes rather quickly when dealing with the monotony of scrubbing decks and hauling ropes. The Halfling Drogo is soon assigned to rat catching down in the bilges while Cassandra works on scrubbing the decks. She sits up from her scrubbing and pops her back with a sigh as she breathes in the salty air. “Could’ve been worse, I guess.” a female Halfing looks up from her scrubbing with a raised brow. “After getting knocked out at the bar, I wasn’t expecting to wake up at all, honestly,” Cassandra continues with a shrug. “When you’re alive, anything is possible.”

“All right, all right… I guess I’ve got to look at your faces again, so let’s line up and not make me have to do it for too long!” bellows Mr. Plug with a crack of his whip as they all gather at the base of the rigging. “I’ve got a little test for ye all… it’s called ‘Get your ass to the Crow’s Nest before you get hit with rotten tomatoes!’ GO!”

Cassandra grins to herself as she launches herself up through the rigging, much to the detrement of the cursing twins below caught surprised by the contest. It’s almost a relief to be able to stretch her legs in the climb, and she wants to be able to try to get a good view from the Crow’s Nest before they call them back down again. “Damn… no landmarks!” she mutters as she catches her breath at the top, and is soon followed by Drogo the halfling. “Impressive work, my friend,” she smiles as she looks down with a chuckle at the twins being pelted with rotten tomatoes.

“Fun’s over! Get your asses back down here on the double!” bellows Mr. Plug. “All right-y… which of you scurvy dogs knows how to cook worth a damn?” he grumbles as he looks us over.

“Actually…” Cassandra replies as she raises her hand. Her mother had taught her how to make the best of herbs and spices when one was constantly travelling with their clan.

Mr. Plug looks at Cassandra with a raised brow. “Fine then, you’re now the cook’s mate. Halfling, you’re a rigger. You two…” he gazes at the twins stained with tomatoes. “Start swabbing the decks. You’ve each been assigned hammocks in the common room as well as your daily ship duties. Do your jobs, keep your nose out of where it doesn’t belong and don’t talk back, and maybe you’ll live to see tomorrow!”

Cassandra grimaces as she’s escorted past a man bolted to the mainmast for trying to sneak into the Captain’s quarters. “Come on, kitchen’s this way,” mutters one of the crew. Eventually she’s taken to a cramped room stuffed with dishes and boxes from floor to ceiling and covered in cooking grease. In the middle of it all is a rather fat and drunk human currently trying to sleep off a hangover. “So what am I…” Cassandra turns to question her escort only to find that he’s gone back to his own duties. “Well… guess I can aquaint myself with the supplies, at least.” After an hour of crawling over boxes and pans she’s able to find a rather servicible dagger that she tucks into her sleeve… but still no clean pans.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The sun sets over their first day on the Wormwood as the bell rings once again on deck. Cassandra grunts at her futile attempts to organize the kitchen area and runs down to join the others lining up in front of a pacing Mr. Plug and a redheaded human covered in muck.

“It seems this piece of scum was stupid enough to steal from the ship stores! Perfect time to demonstrate to the crew what we call Ship’s Justice, eh?” he cracks the whip towards some men with rope on each side of the deck. “Show them how we clean the barnacles off the hull, boys!”

Cassandra and the others grimace as ropes are tied to the legs and arms of the man with the ends going over each side. With a pull of the ropes he is taken overboard, his screams turning into gurgles as he’s quickly pulled under to scrape along the barnacles underneath.

The dull scraping sounds along the hull are nearly enough to make Cassandra’s stomach turn… but instead she bites her lip and breathes deep through her nose as she does her best to remember happier times. The sickening scraping soon comes to an end… only to be replaced by the sounds of excited sharks gathering off portside to feed.

“Entertainment’s over! Get your ass back to the kitchen and start serving up the stew!” Pug rails at Cassandra before cracking his whip over his head and stomping off.

Cassandra heads back to the kitchen to the sounds of nausea from some of the crew at eating after such a graphic display. Focus on who you can help, Cassie… some people just have to make their own fate. She soon returns with a large pot full of what can only be called soup, considering how watery it is. “I’m so sorry…” she says to each of the crew as she spoons out the rotgut soup. “When he lets me near the food, I swear I’ll make something better…until then, the rum will kill the taste.” The redheaded female and a few of the crew offer slight smiles at her sincere apology, as no one ever cared about the food before.

Hmmn… perhaps we can compare tattoos later… Cassandra chuckles to herself as she finishes up and totes the pot back to the kitchen. Since magic is so prized on this ship, though… perhaps sharing knowledge of my skills with her might help her situation with Mr. Plug. In a place like this, people you can trust are the true measure of wealth.

The evening finds the crew doing their best to stretch out sore muscles and backs as Drago plays a flute alongside a red furry lizard-thing doing a jig… and rather well.

“I’ve heard tales of summoners and their magical companions… but I must admit this is the first one I’ve seen,” Cassandra comments in awe. “How did your friend come about?”

“Just something I was born with,” Drago replies with a shrug before going back to his music.

So much for conversation… Cassandra turns to the female halfling looking rather longingly at Drago’s flute. “Lucky bastard,” the halfling girl named Rosie mutters. “At least he has an instrument… they went and took away my fiddle.” Cassandra opens her mouth to comment, but is interrupted by the clanking of metal as a rucksack is dropped at her feet in front of her by the redheaded female. “It pays to have friends,” she winks. “If you know how to talk to her, sometimes you can get things back from the quartermaster,” she offers before heading into the next room.

“Thank you,” Cassandra calls after her before opening the sack in joy… because right on top is the worn blue leather cover of her spellbook. Thank the Gods! She whispers thanks to Besmara and tucks the book carefully into her jacket before pulling out a set of wooden armor and two monogramed rapiers that are quickly taken up by the halfling and the twin humans.

“You know, our grandfather Jareth Teashanks is the one who passed down these swords to us,” begins one of the twin brothers with a smile as others settle in around him for a story. Cassandra can make out something about cannonballs and mechanical body parts before sleep takes her and she passes out on one of the cots.

Cassandra is woken from a dream of rabbit princes and ant queens by the sounds of the morning bell, signifying a new work day. She mutters a quick cantrip that cleans the remnants of yesterday’s efforts from her clothing before making sure the others are ready in time. No sense starting off the day on a bad foot…

As she jogs up the steps with the others, however, they find their way blocked by four humans looking to start trouble. “In a hurry?” the slightly bigger one in front asks with a swagger as he shoves Jack down a few steps. Zack quickly moves up to defend his brother as Cassandra pulls the dagger from her sleeve with her best intimidating sneer.

“Look… I obviously can’t kill you all… but I can certainly make you wish you were dead if you make us late. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll even get the job of cleaning up your blood afterwards.”

Three of the thugs back away in fear, leaving the leader who grins and pulls out a dagger of his own. “That butter knife don’t scare me,” he snorts.

“Try this then,” offers Jack as he unsheaths his rapier. The thug gulps visibly and tries to run up the stairs, but gets cold-cocked in the back of the head by the rapier’s hilt instead.

“Serves you right trying to make us late,” Zack mutters as he kicks him in the side for good measure before joining the rest of them continuing up the stairs.

“So glad you all decided to make it!” Mr. Pug growls as they manage to line up before the fading of the last bell ring. “Time to show us how well you can fish, Elf girl!” he waves the hilt of his whip towards some nets along the side of the boat before growling at the others. “The rest of you get back to your duties!”

After a fruitful day with a decent catch, Cassandra totes the fish back to the kitchen in the hopes of making something less offensive to the stomach for the crew. A search through the shelves doesn’t turn up any spices, unfortunately… but she does find a brace of daggers in a wooden box shoved under some frying pans. Hmmn… I wonder if I can trade these with the quartermaster to get back my cards? She draws a symbol in the air as she mutters a spell, and the air ripples for a moment as her Unseen Servant pops into existance. “Clean and prepare these fish for dinner for me… I’m going to go see if I can conduct some business,” she orders before slipping out the door.

“GO ’WAY!” growls a sleepy voice as a bottle shatters against the inside of the Quartermaster’s door. Well… so much for that.

~~~~

The fish goes over reasonably well that night, causing the rum to flow a bit more freely as laughs and stories are shared all around. Even Ambrose the cook was more verbose than unconscious, and shared stories of the crew with Cassandra before passing out again. It’s a particular bit of information about the quartermaster that gives Cassandra an idea or two about getting their things back…

“So what do you say… maybe between my illusion and your hillarious impersonation of Mr. Plug, we can fool that old hag guarding our stuff?” Cassandra asks the human girl next to her with only a slight slur.

“Oh no,” replies Tilly Bracket with a wave of her hands. “As much as I’d love to pull one over on old Cuthroat Grok, I don’t even want to think what might happen if it doesn’t work. Cool idea, though.” She leans over to Cassandra and whispers, “Besides… I’ve heard that she’s afraid of cursed things, so that’s probably the way to go.”

“Hey… where’d you get even more daggers?” complains a burly human. On second glance, Cassandra identifies him as the one who pulled a dagger on them on the stairs.

“Amazing what you can find when you actually bother cleaning around here,” Cassandra replies with a roll of her eyes.

“I’d start with yourself, Fips,” adds Tilly as she holds her nose and waves for him to go. Fips scoffs and shuffles into the other room with a mutter… soon to be followed by Jack.

“Hey Sindara, love the tattoos! Want to see mine?” the redheaded female turns at Zack’s voice and laughs heartidly at the sailor bent over with his pants down.

“Believe it or not, that reminds me of a song,” says Drago as he pulls out his whistle and his creature twirls about in joy.

~~

The next day begins with the now-expected bell ringing… but this time when they line up there’s a young man covered in bilge water with a rather nasty wound on his leg standing by Mr. Pug. “It seems something decided to eat early and take a chunk out of ol’ Jackie-boy here!” he grunts as he waves his whip handle at the boy. “I vollunteer you four to go down into the bilges and take out whatever did it!”

“Will we have access to any equipment for the task?” Cassandra asks hopefully.

“Looks to me you’ve been supplying yourself just fine,” sneers Mr. Pug as he lumbers off. “Don’t come back up till it’s done!”

“That’s one really nasty rat bite,” offers Jack to the others. “Best be careful.”

Zack nods to his brother and mutters his own incantation before a globe of soft light floats in front of him. “Come on… let’s do this.”

Cassandra can’t stop the shudder that goes through her at the sight of numerous spiders and webs in the dark dank corners of the bilge.

“It’s as hot and smelly as an ogre’s armpit in here,” grunts Jack.

Zack’s ball of light floats forward until it glints off the red eyes of at least six rats some 5 feet long huddled around a pile of garbage. Between the four of them it doesn’t take long before the rats are just one more corpse floating in the bilge water. All but Drago’s pet remain unscathed… but fortunately its hardy constitution seems to have protected it from any disease the creatures might have been carrying.

“Let’s look around real quick before they call us back up!” exclaims Jack as he discovers a water-tight pouch in one of the crates in the corner. A quick search by the rest of us reveals a suit of leather armor for Zack, as well as a masterwork hand axe and a vial of holy water for Cassandra.

“Sweet… maybe I can trade this armor to get my hat back!” exclaims Zack.

“I was going to talk to her too today,” Drago replies. “Good luck to you!”

Cassandra smiles at the others as she formulates her own plan for the quartermaster in her mind. Curses were the bread and butter of Varisian gypsies… I think I can drum up a few good ones regarding a fiddle…

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DMs Log - Session 1
The Wormwood Mutiny | Days 1-4

Wormwood mutinyAfter waking up on The Wormwood our group of miscreants are assigned the following positions on board:

Over the first four days they manage to Influence the Crew as follows:
Rosie Cusswell made permanently friendly when Cassie gets her fiddle back.
Sandara Quinn makes friendly overtures by regaining some of their equipment.
Drogo makes “Ratline” Rattsberger friendly.
Fipps Chumlett made permanently hostile when Cassie and Zach draw steel on him. Aretta Bansion, Jaundiced Jape, and Slippery Syl Lonegan attacked them and were repelled.
Tilly Brackett made friendly by complimenting her impersonation of Mr. Plugg.

XP:
First Day of Work Completed: 100 xp each.
Made Cut-Throat Grok helpful: 400 xp
Dire Rats x 6: 810 xp (135 each)
Facing Down Mr. Plugg’s lackeys: 200 xp
Total: 1,810 xp each

Session 2 will begin with the evening Ship Actions for Day 4.

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Cassandra's Log - The Beginning
Destiny calls her back to the oceans...

Cassandra sighs as she looks out across the ocan, her toes curling in the sand. It seems like just yesterday her mother was sharing the story around the fire with the rest of the Varisians about how they found her as a baby on the shores of Lake Encarthen. That was many years ago now…and her time with the Zandros Clan has passed into the annuls of time like sand between her fingers.

Such is the way of Elves, however…especially when they live with humans.

She stands and brushes the sand off her breeches before tightening the Kapenia her adoptive father gave her around her waist, the faint siren’s call of the ocean soon drowned out by the joyful sounds of carousing drunkards on their way to the bar nearby.

“They say the best treatment for meloncholy is a full mug of ale. Perhaps I need to test that theory.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Wait… so what’s this one mean with the Juggler?” asks a young barmaid scooting into the booth next to Cassandra to look at the cards spread over the table. “I’m sorry… don’t mean no harm or nothin’, just trying to avoid Jimmy over there until he passes out already.” She nods toward a particularly loud and burly human with ale dripping down his beard.

“You have my sympathies,” Cassandra mutters before turning back to the cards. “The Juggler is a card of Dexterity that signifies destiny, the gods, and those who like to play with the fates of others.”

“Playing with people’s lives… that sounds like the gods, allright,” the barmaid snorts. “What about this one?”

“Ah… The Marriage. It’s a card of Charisma that tells of a union of peoples and ideas that could be damaging, or very productive depending.” she looks up from the cards and notices with curiousity that the burly thug is no longer at the next table. “I think your…”

“And what about this one?” the barmaid interrupts as she points to a picture of a well-dressed tiger, her eyes flicking about the bar room nervously.

“Domination and slavery…” Cassandra answers grimly as she looks down at the image of a Rakshasa. She scoops up the cards with a grunt and deftly pockets them in the hidden pocket of her Kapenia. “Okay… what’s the deal here…”

A hairy and muscular arm wraps around her neck from above and behind and she finds herself struggling with trying not to gag from the smell as much as trying to breathe.

“Just be a moment, missy… you’ll be in your new home soon enough.”

“I’m sorry miss, really I am,” pleads the barmaid as Cassandra’s vision fades to black. “You should listen to your cards more often…”

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Pirates, Hurricanes, and Wildspace
Coming soon.....

The process of pulling things together for a new campaign has now begun. Next up I will running the new Paizo Adventure Path, Skulls and Shackles, pretty much right out of the box. Once we have finished the adventure path itself we will continue by taking the campaign into Wildspace and explore the rest of the start system, and perhaps beyond!

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