Sinking Ships

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.

View
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.

View
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.

View
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.

View
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.

View
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.

View
Episode 7 - Mutiny!
The rise and fall of Captain Plugg

It didn’t take long before the Wormwood was out of earshot for Captain Plugg to begin showing his true colors. He immediately began assigning roles on his new ship, promoting Master Scourge and his lackies to ranking positions.

Six new crewmembers from the Ruby of Katheer had joined the crew as well: Dungrin, Habbly ‘Stitchman’ Quarne, Hannah Coralhide, Molly, Moussa Al-Abbas, and Shivikah.

Corvus Dreadbeak was to be chained up for previous crimes, but the bold tengu did not take to that idea. He challenged Master Scourge’s leadership, and tested his skill one on one. Scourge may be a coward when the chips are down, but he showed that he was not a weakling when the odds were in his favor by quickly dropping Corvus in front of the crew. Just before the finishing blow, Morgana Cromarcky declared that she would “do anything” to save Corvus; a thought that excited Master Scourge to no end.

The bird was saved once more.

Ship roles were dealt out, and the work was difficult due to the lessened crew. At the Bloody Hour, Master Scourge brought forward only women, who clearly did not deserve the whippings they were given. Nobody raised a hand however, and the punishment was dealt.

The tension on the ship finally snapped into bloody chaos. Early into that night, the mutiny happened. Led by Brandr Gunnarson it was swift and brutal – ending in the deaths of both Master Scourge and Captain Plugg at the hands of Corvus Dreadbeak.

After the celebration and some campaigning, Brandr was declared Captain by ships vote – winning out over Corvus Dreadbeak. With Brook Wavestrider taking the first mate position, Tragen declared sailing master, Corvus master at arms, and Morgana bosun. Moussa was kept on as the Master Gunner, Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroop as the cook, and various mate positions were assigned.

The celebration did not last long however.

That night, in the darkest hours, a terrible squall roared across the ocean. All hands were called on deck, and a battle more brutal than any before began against Besmara herself. During the storm, the ship was sabotaged and then assaulted by strange goblinoid creatures called Grendylows. The creatures managed to disable the primary rudder, and despite their best efforts, the crew was not seasoned or organized enough to bring the ship around. The Ruby of Katheer took severe damage, losing the foremast, most of the rigging, and eventually crashing into an uncharted coral reef and breaching the hull in the bilges.

Both Sandara Quinn and Shivikah were lost at sea during the chaos, and no sign of them has been seen since. The crew find themselves shipwrecked near an uncharted island without water or supplies, with a badly damaged ship and missing crew.

Biter is on the trail, but it remains to be seen what terrors await on this island.

View
Episode 8 & 9 - Bonewrack Island
The Island of the Dead

Upon reaching the island, the newly made officers of the Ruby found that most of the coast was jagged shoreline and crashing waves. Rowing around to a beach on the eastern shore, they discovered that the entire coastline was patrolled by inanimate scrimshawed skeletal warriors, posted as some sort of tribal warning.

Landing on shore, they headed north for a fishing village they spied from off the coast. After encountering some less than friendly natives, it was determined that this island was not a habitable place. Some terrible disease seems to have stricken the island. The wildlife was non-existent with exception to vermin, and the only signs of sentience had been turned into undead monsters – including the long shipwrecked crew of some poor sea voyage. The village proved deserted, and a quick view from a nearby hill showed that there was some sort of structure on the large cliff to the west.

The next morning “Fresh Water” was gathered for the crew and sent back to the ship. Sailors tend to be superstitious about magical water.

The officers adventured south-west, discovering and avoiding a large corn field that seemed very ominous. Heading up the ridge took most of the day, but upon reaching the top a small stockade was discovered, containing a freshwater spring. After dispatching the locals that had set up shop, the story of the shipwrecked crew was determined.

A Chellish ship named the Infernus had been blown into a coral reef roughly 3 years ago in a storm very similar to the one that caught the Ruby. Arron Ivy, the final living survivor, set up this stockade to protect himself against the rest of the newly undead crew. Becoming less and less likely to survive, he attempted to take his own life by hanging – failing in the process and being turned by the terrible disease instead.

Morning came with new surprises. A spyglass set to the wall of the stockade was aimed in the direction of a small cove off the shore. Daylight showed some of the goblinoid creatures known as Grendylows were in the water, and one of them was wearing Sandara’s hat!

Rushing back to the rowboat, the officers made their way to the cove. Killing anything in their path they swam to the heart of Riptide Cove and encountered the Grendylow Queen, and her son “The Whale”, along with Sandara and Shivikah tied up.

During the ferocious battle, Shivikah sunk to the bottom of the churning waters and was ripped apart by ghouls. Sandara was saved just before she met the same fate. With the Whale defeated and the Queen fled, the officers shared a moment of relief at the safe return of their beloved sea priestess.

The battle had just begun however, as the Queen regrouped her remaining grendylow and laid a trap just outside the cove. Upon exiting, the officers found themselves ambushed by the remaining tribe. Another brutal battle took place, claiming the life of Tragen’s companion Biter. The Queen was dead.

Bitter moments took place back on the Ruby. Shivikah was given a small ceremony, and Dungrin punished for his lack of work (due to lack of pay) while the officers were on shore. The crew seemed very morose, but the Ruby has been repaired.

After few more days on the island to gather final supplies and finish looting the Riptide cove, the Ruby set sails (what was left of them) north for the coast.

The journey to Rickety’s Squibs was extremely slow, as the crippled ship limped its way across the Fever Sea north to a secluded area of the Slithering Coast. Finally reaching their destination, the crew of the Ruby was greeted by a weathered old man named Rickety Hake, owner and proprietor of Rickety’s Squibs – a secret establishment that refitted ships for pirates. After a short inspection and negotiation, Rickety has been hired to repair and squib the Ruby.

The repairs will take nearly a week, and the crew has some much needed shore-leave in the small village.

View
Episode 10 - Rickety's Squibs
Shore leave at last!

As the crew settled in at Rickety’s, rumors began to spring up about the recent heat wave and low water levels in the settlement’s river tributary. Looking for something to do, the officers made their way up river to discover it had been blocked off by a makeshift mud dam. Previously informed of Naga settlement in this area, it was decided best to leave it be.

During a relaxing afternoon later in the week, Rickety’s came under attack by a crazed young water naga. Although chased off without casualty, the naga was identified as Selissa – who is known to live just upstream. Gathering their forces, the officers of the Ruby of Katheer headed upstream once again.

Selissa was encountered dazed and dehydrated, and mostly incoherant. Further upstream was yet another mud dam, and the investigation continued well into the night. During the darkest watch the group was ambushed by a Sea Hag druid, that quickly revealed herself to be the cause of the problems. After being dispatched, the dams were destroyed and the water flow to Rickety’s was restored.

Rickety’s was under assault by a nest of giant wasps that had clearly been awoken by the onrush of water. Diving into the fray once more, Rickety’s was saved by the crew of the Ruby with limited damage. During the confusion however, a Chellish galleon had landed in the dock – much to the dismay of Moussa.

The leader of the group was a free captain known as Merill Pegsworthy. After a tense few moments, both captains Pegsworthy and “One Boot” realized the confusion, and their common ground against Captain Harrigan. Pegsworthy recognized the Ruby of Katheer from it’s previous name as the Man’s Promise, and made mention of some “lost cargo” during his raid of the ship. It was later discovered that this cargo was Moussa, who turned out to be a Slaver that had crossed paths with Captain Pegsworthy many times in the past.

Although he has seen the squibbed form of the Ruby of Katheer, Captain Pegsworthy quickly grew fond of the crew. Drinks were had, and a new alliance was born – one that is sure to be tested in the future.

View
Episode 11 - The Storm's Herald
Beauties of the sea, what be her name? The Storm's Herald is born.

Coolflag

After a few days in port gathering some final supplies, crew, and telling stories, Rickety finished the squibbing and repairs of the Ruby of Katheer on schedule. The time had come to set sail at last. Rechristened by Captain Pegsworthy to the name of the Storm’s Herald – the invigorated young crew set out onto the open sea to begin their legend.

It was decided that the crew needed to bolster its ranks further, and a course was set for Bloodcove to the south along the coast. Passing a few minor fishing villages along the way, the trip was relatively uneventful.

Docking at Bloodcove was pricy, and the crew needed a source of income quickly or their legend would be cut short. After spending a few days in port recruiting, Sailing Master Tragen spotted a worthy target loading up a heavy shipment of arms and armor – a longboat known as the Kurstav. Bosun Cromarcky easily infiltrated the ship’s ranks and discovered their destination was the massive port of Senghor to the south on the cape.

Plotting a course and ducking into a nearby cove, the Storm’s Herald made anchor and set a trap for the Kurstav. Once spotted, the Storm’s Herald expertly cut across it’s path. Clearly outmatched by Tragen’s sailing and knowing they could not outrun the Herald without oarsmen, Captain Aspar Tharkidor quickly raised the white flag. After a pathetic attempt at deception, his mercenaries were quickly turned against him and he was captured – claiming revenge by his supporters.

The Kurstav was outfitted oddly. Within the mid-ship there were shackles set up for oarsmen, but the crew itself was minimal and only using sails. An investigation into the shipping manifests and interrogation of Tharkidor revealed the ship to be smuggling weapons into Senghor for the Aspis Consortium – expecting to return with a hold full of slaves. Senghor is known for it’s anti-piracy and anti-slavery stances, so this was clearly an underground activity.

After some discussion, both the Storm’s Herald and the Kurstav were sailed to Senghor. Docking in Senghor was imposing at best. The enormous port is heavily guarded by the Senghor navy and the port itself was expertly constructed for easy defense. Shortly after docking, Crimson claimed to have some contacts here, and began his work selling the plunder. After the first day he had sold a third of the weapons for an exceptional rate.

The second night ended a bit more abruptly however, as Crimson returned once again with another hefty sum of gold and some urgency that “We need to leave, immediately.” It was later discovered that he sold the first batch of weapons to a Chellish Captain named Irius Trock of the Dowager Queen. He then planted the rest of the weapons on their ship with the expert distraction provided by Corvus and crew. The origins of the second pile of gold are unknown, but it’s clear that his contacts are not fond of the Chellish fleet.

Leaving Senghor quickly, both ships were piloted to Rickety’s squibs once again – where the Kurstav awaits it’s reconstruction. The success of this first outing spread quickly through Rickety’s, and the legend of the Storm’s Herald and “One Boot’s” crew continues to grow.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.