Sinking Ships

Episode 6 - The Ruby of Katheer
Dangers in the bilges, and the first taste of Piracy

The day began as any other aboard the wormwood, and then Mr. Plugg decided that double shifts were needed to catch the Ruby of Katheer. A grueling day turned into a long night, as the crew continued their work into the dark hours. On the second shift, a strange turn of events had Corvus Dreadbeak, a rigger, signed up for Bilge duty. By the end of the shift, Dreadbeak was found in the bilges with the hanging corpses of Maheem and Jaundiced Jape. An investigation began, and immediately halted when the bird claimed their deaths, and declared they were talking mutiny. Corvus was thrown into the sweatbox for the night, and would be left to the Captain.

The following day, Captain Harrigan began his interrogation of Corvus, who stuck with the story of mutiny. His arrogance was quickly subdued when the Captain began to deal out punishments to well-meaning bystanders, and the fate of Dreadbeak would wait another day in the sweatbox.

The morning watch had Tragen sound the “Ship Ahoy!”, and the Ruby of Katheer was finally in sight. Riaris Krine geared the crew for battle, and Corvus was given a choice – to “fight” with the crew by absorbing the initial crossbow fire, or be keelhauled prior to the raid; an easy choice to be sure. Brandr Gunnarson led the assault for the wormwood rookies, and along with Tragen, Brook, Morgana, and eventually Corvus managed to capture and hold the aft deck of the Ruby. The fight was bloody and quick, and the Wormwood had captured their prey.

The celebration party began immediately, and the booty was distributed to the crew. Corvus was given a reprieve due to a well timed warning to Captain Harrigan during the battle. After the celebration died down a day or so later, the crew was gathered to the deck once again. The remaining crew of the Ruby was paraded across the deck and given the option to join, or be sold as slaves. The Captain then announced that Mr. Plugg would be taking a skeleton crew along with the Ruby of Katheer to Port Peril, where it would be sold.

Farewells were given, and the new crew of the Ruby of Katheer boarded for new adventure. The day was begun with the newly ranked Captain Plugg and First Mate Scourge explaining how life would be on the Ruby. A rousing speech to be sure.

They did not win any new friends.

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Episode 5 - Pirate School
Pirate recreation, and pirate education

The night of the Emperor was a victory for the rookie crew members in more ways than one. During the celebration party, Brook began to tell the story of the adventure. Upon reaching the part where Morgana slew the giant scorpion in one stroke, Master Scourge declared “BULLSHIT!”

Insults were thrown, the challenge was made, and the game was on. Known only as “Heave”, the pirate drinking game is exceptionally lethal when using the Wormwood Rum Rations. Sitting down on one side of the table was Master Scourge, Sam “Narwhal” Tate, Jaundiced Jape, Aretta Bansion, and Maheem. At the other side was Corvus Dreadbeak, Morgana Cromarcky, Tragen, Sandara Quinn, and an unlikely Fipps Chumlett – who was bought in by Corvus.

It was clear during the early rounds that the only way to survive this game was to cheat, and not get caught. Insults were thrown back and forth, and the final round came down to Scourge, Narwhal, Tragen, and Sandara. After a brutal round of drinking, Tragen emerged victorious, claiming the pot of gold. Although defeated, Scourge took one last twist of the knife and promoted Tragen to rigger just before stumbling up to his cabin.

The next days on the ship were difficult for everyone. Most of the crew was terribly hung-over and liberal whippings were applied at the bloody hour.

Morning brought an interesting change of pace for the Wormwood rookies. Riaris Krine, the ships Master Gunner, set out on a brutal training method she called “Boarding School”. Two teams were made of the new “recruits”, with Kipper evening them out. The entire day was spent with repeated drills of throwing grapnels and climbing rope.

Very few rules were laid out, and some more inventive methods of boarding the ship were devised, but in the end strength won out. Brandyr took first place for the day, with Corvus right behind him – as both of proved to be extremely adept at both boarding and repelling invaders. Conchobhar and Morgana took last place, which surprised no-one.

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Episode 4 - Emperor of the Waves
Besmara claims the Emperor

Morning came and went, and sometime during the early afternoon Mr. Plugg brought 4 baskets to the deck. Brandr, Corvus, Morgana, and Tragen were sent out to a nearby coral reef to collect crabs for the captains dinner, under the oversight of Brook Wavestrider – the Cook’s Mate. After a brief encounter with some Reefclaws, the team returned victorious, and both Mr. Plugg and Captain Harrigan ate well that night.

The next day, the there was a sighting from the rigging – a broken merchant ship known as the Emperor of the Waves. Given the success the previous day, Plugg once again sent out the rookies, along with the Gunner’s Mate Kipper on a jollyboat to investigate the wreckage.

It did not take long to realize that the Emperor of the Waves had been severely damaged, and was slowly sinking. Initial investigations of the ship found a crew log reporting of an uncharted island of orcs and their vermin companions. Initial glee from finding treasure was quickly routed by swarms of spiders, giant centipedes and scorpions, and a crazed – bloodthirsty orcish druid that put up quite a fight.

It was not until the lower holds of the ship that the real treasure was found; the treasure that Captain Harrigan would be interested in. The ornate chest with magical protections seemed untouched by the harsh salt environment, and was clearly valuable. It was just then that the ship began to be torn apart – the giant squid that had caused the initial damage had returned to finish the job.

In a race against time, the chest was hauled to the deck. Brook ran ahead to signal for Kipper and any aid that could be given, and Tragen swam back to the Wormwood in an attempt to get help. The chest was loaded onto the jollyboat just as the squid pulled the Emperor of the Waves under. Kipper and Brandyr rowed furiously to the Wormwood, as the squid began to give chase.

Rowing backwards, they passed Peppery Longfarthing and Captain Harrigan standing on the waves towards the squid. The captain took one look, put his sword in his teeth, and began to swim directly towards the beast. After a furious battle, the captain emerged victorious with it’s heart, which he promptly gave to Brook for his dinner that evening.

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Episode 3 - The First Storm
One comes, one goes...

It was a wet, gloomy morning when he was first sighted floating on the wreckage. Hauled aboard unconscious, Brandr Gunnarson was immediately stripped of his valuables by Mr. Plugg. When he awoke, he told a story of a his ancestor the Bloody Axe, free captain of the shackles, as well as a ship named the Ruby of Katheer, its great treasure, and the storm that threw him overboard. Captain Harrigan took immediate interest, and set Plugg about the grisly task of collecting the “truth” during the bloody hour that evening.

With the newly aquired target of the Ruby, Captain Harrigan changed course directly into the storm. Harrigan took the wheel for the first time, and seemed to enjoy every crashing wave. Gozreh was furious that day however, and the storm threatened to tear the wormwood apart. It threw two of the crew overboard into the jaws of a hungry sea predator, and although Rosie Cusswell was saved through the combined efforts of Brandr, Sandara, and Crimson, Sy Lonegan was not so lucky.

Corvus Dreadbeak sounded the “Man Overboard” as she was seen falling from the high rigging into the sea. Master Scourge was immediately furious at this result, and rumors began about the dangers of the crows in the nest.

The storm raged all night, and lashings were given by an exhaused Scourge to most of the crew for one reason or another the next day. The weather finally began to improve, as Besmara smiled upon the new recruits of the Wormwood, and one very satisfied fish.

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Episode 2 - Laying Down the Law
Some lessons are best learned in blood

Mere seconds after the morning bell on the Wormwood sounded, a fight broke out below-decks. Sy Lonegan led a small crew including Aretta Bansion, Fipps Chumlett, and Jaundiced Jape against the new recruits Morgana, Tragen, Brook, and Corvus. Fipps, Morgana, and Corvus ended up late coming to the deck – and were sentenced to lashes for their laziness. Although none of the crew appeared seriously injured, Sy Lonegan spent the next few days nursing her wounds – and her anger.

The bloody hour was particularly harsh, as Morgana fell to the pain of the lash and missed her Rum Ration for the evening; a fact that Master Scourge was all too happy to point out at the bloody hour the following day. Scourge was promptly embarrassed by a comment left by Morgana while tied to the mast, and revealed a bit of his true nature as he attempted to open up her neck with the next crack of the whip.

Her luck continues after a skirmish with some rats in the bilges left her feeling extremely ill. Her condition continues to worsen, despite the aid of Sandara Quinn.

Tragen and Brook appear to be having success making allies, and have evaded the wrath of Mr. Plugg for the time being. Corvus on the other hand is making quite a name for himself, and has begun to solidify a healthy fear (or hate) with most of the crew by beating Owlbear Hartshorn senseless in unarmed combat.

The rain has begun to fall on the Wormwood crew, and it appears that a storm is brewing.

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Episode 1 - Welcome to the Sweet Trade
Welcome to the Sweet Trade

The party woke up hung over and beaten upon a strange ship. Greeted by a sinister looking man known as Master Scourge, they were forced up to the main deck. The Captain introduced himself as Barnabas Harrigan, captain of the Wormwood, and left the rest of the introductions to an angry young man named Mr. Plugg.

Mr. Plugg used some ingenious testing techniques to determine that Corvus would become the new Rigger, and then continued his detailed analysis to give Brook the Cook’s Mate position. Tragen, and a freshly unconscious Morgana were determined to be Swabs, and all sent off on their respective tasks for the day.

At the end of the first day of work, the wormwood clock began ringing it’s bell to signal the “Bloody Hour”, at which point a thief named Jakes Magpie was keelhauled by Mr. Plugg, and his remains thrown to the sharks. Shortly after this event the “Ship’s Biscuit” was served to the crew, along with the daily Rum Ration.

Entertainment ensued belowdecks, as Conchobhar began taking bets on various events, including a surprising arm-wrestling upset between Rosie Cusswell and Fipps Chumlett. The night ended calmly, and everyone drifted into fitful alcohol infused sleep.

Welcome to the Sweet Trade.

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