Golden Age of Fantasy Piracy

Pirate's Log - we're rich!
We came, we sahaugin, we conquered

Following the map in Isabella “inkskin” Locke’s back the heroes determined that the map shows the way to Mancatcher Cove, the site of Cyrus Wolfe’s fabled hidden treasure. Setting sail, they headed north to the island and began to searching to decipher the clues written alongside the map. The clues alluded that they needed to wait until dawn to find the treasure’s hiding place so the crew celebrated that night expecting to find a wealth of treasure in the morning. While this cavorting took place the ship came under attack from above and below as the beast of Mancatchaer Cove, a giagantic canopy creeper, and several sahuagin began attacking the ship. After a harrowing battle with the beast and the sahuagin the crew remained on watch as the sun rose and revealed a shadowy skull in the cliff face which indicated the location of the buried treasure.

The heroes hurried to discover their booty and upon searching the hiding place they found that they were not the first to discover Capt. Wolfe’s hoard. The treasure had been dug out from below and it’s resting place was now a shaft into an underwater series of tunnels, which they would discover was the sahuagin’s lair.

Determined to claim this treasure and rid themselves of the sahuagin the heroes descended into their lair and fiercely assaulted the warriors and trained hammerheads they used as mounts. Diving deeper into the lair the heroes discovered that the sahuagin had captured a locatha matriarch, which enraged Marlo, and were forcing her to lay a clutch of eggs that would be used as food and slaves. The matriarch was freed but Capt. Anders did not want to waste time seeing her to saftey, something was drawing him deeper. Searching further lead to a hidden room which contain a seemingly ancient ship captain chained to an anchor. Around his neck was another necklace of deep platinum that once approached brought the creature to life and attempted reclaim his matching treasure. With all their effort the heroes managed to slay the creature but had not discovered the master of the sahuagin or Capt. Wolfe’s hoard.

Continuing to fight through the warriors and denizens of the lair they came upon the throne room of the tribe’s leader Kreloort. Accompanied by his concubines, huge hammerhead pet, and companion Tojanda (a crablike outsider) Kreloort roared a challenge and the battle was joined. Kreloort was a vicious warrior, with 4 arms and trident that seemed to transformed those he attacked into coral statues, gave no quarter but was ultimately crushed as his minions fell one by one and the heroes pressed him further and further.

Bloodied and battered the heroes finally claimed Capt. Wolfe’s hoard, an almost staggering cache of treasures, and set sail back to enjoy their spoils and claim the infamy that they were due.

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Pirate's Log - Making honst men out of dishonedst pirates
always a brigand and never the bride

Upon arriving at Tidewater Rock the heroes encountered the current and longstanding residents. Lady Agatha Smythee had taken control of the Rock after her late husband “Iron Bert” died at sea at the hands of Barnabas Harrigan. The heroes agreed to parlay with the Lady of the Rock and while she was unwilling to give up the home she had fought for and kept for 15 long years she was all to aware of her delicate situation. Lady Agatha offered Captain Anders a deal, her hand in marriage for one year promise. While a somewhat outdated proposal this seemed the most amenable solution that would avoid bloodshed and offer the heroes a base of operations. Capt. Anders agreed to the proposal and the two were joined. After a brief celebration the heroes sail to sell their ill gotten gains.

En route to Hell Harbor the Crab Shark spotted a strange vessel that began appearing at sundown and seemed to be sailing against the wind. This ship was none other the Dethknell, a undead vessel captained by Whalebone Pilk and had long terrorized the Caribbean. After rallying his Crew Capt. Anders lead an assault against the foul vessel. The grim Whalebone nearly stole the breath from Fist Mate Ibn but thanks to some quick thinking the heroes noticed the ringing bell as the source of the specters power. Acting quickly they were able to shatter the ship’s bell and escape before they were dragged down with the vessel.

Upon reaching Hell Harbor word spread quickly about the heroes defeat of the Deathknell and about taking Tidewater Rock. Their reputations grew and infamy spread to an all new level but the joy would ultimately be short lived once they returned to their new home.

The Rock had been assaulted by a Sahaugin scouting party shortly before their arrival and certainly heralded a future attack. Upon the next full moon a Galley was spotted approaching the island and all hands readied for battle and longboats were launched to assault the Rock. The Captain leading the assault was the free captain Isabella “Inkskin” Locke, a powerful and deadly Sorceress. After blasting open the entrance to the Rock a fierce battle was joined by Richard and the guards while Isabella attempted to steal into the upper levels to kill Lady Agatha. Isabella nearly succeeded if not for the timely arrival of First Mate Ibn who was nearly slain himself if not for the assistance of Capt. Anders and Skabswerth. The heroes were narrowly able to overcome the assault and slay Inskin and drive off the assaulting ship.

Isabella “Inkskin” Locke got her name not just from her sorcerers tattoos but also because of the map her skin bore as well. The map tattooed on the Isabella Locke’s back depicts
the outlines of several small islands. A stylized half sun sits to the right of the islands, while simple images of a monstrous eye and the face of an aged, bearded king are to the left. Beneath the map are five lines of crude verse:

From blue bight’s embrace
Spy the Grave Lady’s prize tooth
With the Dawnflower’s first kiss
Climb the Captain’s wayward orb
To claim old king’s hoard

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Pirate's Log Set Sail!
Does this boat accept Aetna?

Setting sail to make their names as true free captains the heroes sought fame and fortune on the waves.

Their first encounter was a Spanish Cutter that had caught a pirate vessel and was in the process of burning it to the waterline. With the sun at their backs the heroes stormed the Spanish vessel and freed the pirate crew before they were burned alive. Sparing the Spanish captain Chantris Tisserond and drafting the crew the took their newfound plunder to St Martin.

Heading to into port to trade their plunder the heroes were ambushed by a Sahuagin hunting party who had just raided a fishing trawler. One of the Sahuagin wore a necklace made of deep platinum with strange markings that now adorns Capt. Anders. In port they began hearing about the Pirates Regatta, where numerous captains race through the permanent hurricane known as the Eye of Abendego to gain acceptance in to the Free Captains.

Setting out for port the heroes headed toward Tidewater Rock which the discovered lay east of the Antilles on small spit of land call Winward Isle. En route they came upon the infamous Swedish pirate Gorvus Svard who had just crippled an Aspis Consortium galley. Stepping in to spare the Apsis crew a certain death from the Hobgoblin reaver, or just claim the loot for themselves, the heroes charged headlong at Gorvus’ longship the Devil’s Palor. Boldly leaping aboard the enemy vessel Capt. Anders lead the charge and a vicious battle ensued. Both sides were badly bloodied but in the end the heroes were victorious, Gorvus Svard lay gutted and his crew and the Aspis ship were at their mercy.

Rather than simply strip both ships down to their hulls Capt. Anders accepted the request for parley from the Aspis Capt. Aspar Tharkideer. The heroes were offered a trade, they could release consortium ship and turn in the Devil’s Palor to them and in exchange they would give the hereoes their cargo and a letter of passage to any Aspis port and favorable trade pricing. Choosing to take the heroes filled their hold and continued towards Tidewater Rock and their path to Infamy.

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The Dark Musings of Richard Percy Stonehammer III, part 3
Give us your stuff, wimps.

The Crab Shark

I’ve not had time to write for several days, as I’ve been busy with the ship. However, I now have a moment, and want to get the following observations down on paper:

First, the Crab Shark is a fine ship. Fast, with ample storage, solid construction, and solid sails. We were lucky that it was the one we got our hands on. Unfortunately, the only thing I dislike about her is the name.

Second, Anders has proven to be a better captain than I would have expected. It figures that the smallest person onboard would be the one to surprise to the upside. I secretly suspect he is merely a puppet of the creature known as Skabsworth. He is content to leave the brutality to his underlings while playing the part of captain, diplomatic when it is wise to be, more aggressive than expected on the open sea, and keeping the crew happy with plunder. Of course, there is still the matter of inexperience when sailing, and the question of retaining control over the crew in the long run, but I have been impressed. Of course, I have only written this in secret, encoded.

Third, the rest of the officers are at least rounding into enough of a form that we do not embarrass ourselves on a daily basis. Ibin has proven quite effective at running the day to day affairs of the ship, primarily because everyone is terrified he will fly into a rage and burn them if they don’t do what he says. Marlo, given his incredibly repulsive bearing and his penchant for discipline when things are not done to his liking, is fostering a work ethic and attention to detail in the crew I would not have expected. It’s because they want him to leave them alone, but it works. Ononion, daddy issues aside, has proven useful in each of our boarding actions. Tib’run, the druid, remains incoherent and somewhat deranged on a startlingly regular basis, but he’s been keeping the cannibalism on the down low and has actually proven to be a talented healer. This has the additional benefit of allowing me more time for my research instead of having to tend to a bunch of whining sailors, which I find advantageous.

Fourth, my research has taken me in an unexpected direction. I’ve slowly been unlocking the secrets of modifying the very nature of the cells in the dwarven body, and I am finding that the process has not yielded the results that I expected. Traces of rock and traces of magic have been found, but as of yet, I have no idea how hair could possibly be produced from a dwarf. With that said, I have begun to unlock the secrets of our past, encoded within us, and with each transformation, I learn a bit more. If my test results are correct, based on the results I have achieved privately in my lab, my next transformation may prove quite surprising to the rest of the ship; they are used to seeing the red beast, but I believe I have been able to take my work in a very different direction.

That is enough for now, but shockingly, we are not a complete tragedy as pirates. Yet. There is time enough for all things.

Chariots.

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Pirate's Log
A ship by any other name

Arriving at Rickety Squibbs the heroes brought in the soon to be former Man’s Promise to be remade in their design. After a brief parley with the towns namesake Rickety Hake work went underway.

The town and area had been suffering from a seasonal drought which had been agitating the residents of not just Rickety Hakes but those in the jungle as well. The most notorious of the local creatures were the water Nagas who had struck a peaceable agreement with the townsfolk. Tib’run discovered that one of these Nagas had been driven from its home by the drought but not before it had made it’s way to into town. The Naga attacked the townsfolk while they were relaxing in the dry dock. The heroes sprung to the rescue an in a flurry of blades and gunblasts were able to slay the half mad creature.

The heroes took this opportunity to impress the townsfolk through their formidable physical prowess, and no small amount of bullying, that they were in fact dread pirates to be feared and remembered. Ononion especially became well known as he led the other pirates in this endeavor with a mixture of his love of battle and the sea while Gustaaf van der Waals successfully brandished his gun and very successfully frightened the halfling residents.

The remaining time ashore was not free of incident however and all of the work, gunplay, and carousing drew the attention of hive of Giant Wasps. With most of their natural prey missing from the drought they attacking the town and the heroes battled the creatures until the townsfolk could escape to safety.

There was little respite however, a Spanish Galleon had come into the bay leading to Rickety Squibs while the attack was taking place. Their landing ship had come ashore while and after a tense moment the heroes realized that the captain was not a Spanish naval officer but the Free Captain Merril Pegsworthy. The Captain was looking to squib his own recently captured ship and offered to christen their new vessel as a way of making peace. Captain Merril was also no friend of Cpt. Harrigan and warmed to Anders though was generally chilly in personality. After the ship was finished squibbing the Peggsworthy christend the ship and the heroes set sail.

Now they must strike a name for themselves if they wish to survive the unforgiving seas and find a pirate cove to call home aboard… the Crab Shark.

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Pirates Log: Not anymore you're not.
You'll be following me now please? yes?

Sailing aboard the soon-to-be-renamed Man’s Promise the stole aboard at dawn as roles were being read out by the officers. [[:Anders van der Smoot]] boldly declared that he would be seizing control of the ship from Mr. Plugg and Master Scourge. Not overwhelmed by the gnome or his companion’s, which included Sandra Quinn, Mr. Plugg ordered the mutineers executed. An all out brawl ensued between the members loyal to Plugg and Scourges and those to the heroes and Sandra Quinn. Casualties mounted on both sides, but the heroes were gaining the upper hand and it seemed well in hand when Scourge was blown overboard.

Suddenly, and without warning the Brinebrood Queen seized this confusion and combat to attempt her revenge for the murder of her son at the hands of the heroes. This new threat added to the swirl and confusion of battle but the heroes continued to prevail. Anders was the one who finally felled Plugg with a well place crossbow bolt to the back of the head and Richard drove the Queen into the sea after removing her harpoon hand. Once the tide of battle had turned the pirates formerly loyal to scourge set upon the Grindylows and make quick work of them. Several party members gave chase to the fleeing Queen to guarantee that she would never harass them again.

After wresting control of the ship the heroes convened to divvy treasure and decide upon the officer roles. Anders was chosen as Captain, in part because of his indomitable good will and passion for the sea, in part because he may have been the only choice that no sailor felt directly threatened them personally. While a few grumbled that this fancy jacket wouldn’t be able to hold a ship, let alone become an infamous Free Captain, few would say such while within range of his mighty summoned monster who seemed to be grow with each passing day.

The officer and crew are as follows

Captain: Anders Van Der Klaw
First Mate: Ibn Mar, “Mr. Mar”
Bowson: Marlo (or “fishman” as most have taken to calling him)
Master of Sail: Richard Percy Stonehammer III, whom it is generally agreed upon is a cannibal
Ships Surgeon/Carpenter: Tib’run
Master at Arms: Ononion
Master Gunner: Gustaaf van der Waals
Cook: Ambrose “fishguts” Kroop
Quartermaster: Sandra Quinn
Cabin Boy: Jack Skrimshaw

Crew—
Master Scourge hostile
Chonchobar Shortstone Rigger
Jaundiced Jape hostile Swab
Kipper hostile Gunners Mate
Patch Patchsalt hostile Bowsun mate
Maheem hostile Swab
Aretta Bansion hostile Swab/Harlot
Crimson Cogward Swab
Barefoot Samms Toppin Rigger
Giffer Tibbs Swab
“Ratline” Rattsberger Rigger
Tilly Brackett Swab
Shivikah Swab
Fipps Chumlett Swab
Owlbear Hartshorn Swab
Rosie Cusswell Swab
“Badger” Medlar Swab
Jack Scrimshaw Swab
Slippery Syl Lonegan Rigger
Bram Van Der Hoef Swab
Serhat Elban rigger
Vogel Van Ness swab

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The Dark Musings of Richard Percy Stonehammer III, part 2
In which we steal a boat, kill some sea goblins, I get eaten by a fat goblin and then destroy him, and then mutiny

I’m on a boat

Quite a bit has transpired since my last entry in this tome, so I will endeavor to keep this brief. Once again, my condolences to anyone unfortunate enough to break the code which I use to secure my thoughts. You deserve better, you really do.

First, we stole a boat. Piracy is merely a synonym for seafaring theft, so I am going to call a spade a spade and a stolen ship a stolen ship. On the upside, we stole it from the Dutch, so fuck them.

Second, we split from the old captain. I’m not quite sure what Harrigan’s deal was, but whatever it was, it was a bit crazy. I suspect he has some sort of crippling social disorder, otherwise speaking to the crew is usually a good plan for a captain. I have a feeling we will be seeing him again if he ever realizes we’re on a boat that he expected to get back, and more so, that we mutinied. But I get ahead of myself.

Third, we were attacked by grindylows, which are sea goblins, which are chittering shitbags that tried to kill me. This problem was taken care of; they dragged one of our shipmates overboard at the same time our ship ran aground. We had to travel to a rather run down island, where we managed to kill some ghouls (including, and I am not exaggerating, a whoregoul), then kill some grindylows. A giant, disgustingly fat grindylow tried to eat me, but I put an end to that. More to say about that in a bit as well.

Fourth, we mutinied. When we returned to the ship, it was clear the so-called captain and his first mate had plans in mind other than allowing us to keep the treasure we collected and allowing us to keep living. Unfortunately for him, he underestimated the determination and skill of our group, along with our bloodthirst (or, in one particular case, cold-hearted mechanical sense of purpose). He now sleeps with the fishes, by which I mean we burned him, stabbed him, and the broke his neck. Oh, and in the middle of the mutiny, the grindylow queen returned; I tore her hand off when she tried to attack me, and then several of my more aquatic allies dove into the water and finished her off.

Fifth, something strange is going on with my latest discovery. The mutagen I have created is fantastically powerful; I’m able to grow claws and fangs, as well as becoming far stronger than I was before. However, something bizarre happens when I drink it. More and more, I feel almost detached from myself as it happens; perhaps that is because of the awesome power that it unlocks, or perhaps something stranger is going on. I will write more on this later. It also has the additional benefit of terrifying the rest of the crew (this may be correlated to seeing me tear apart opponents in combat while under the influence of powerful magic), so they give me more space and treat me with appropriate respect despite my hairless nature.

Sixth, I have allowed Anders to become captain. He should be easy to manipulate, as his simplistic and optimistic worldview (typical for a gnome) has filled his head with dreams of romantic piracy; I am sure that right now he is dreaming of swinging from ropes with his mechanical crab, shouting implausibly long-winded speeches while wearing the fanciest hat he can find, while liberating distressed maidens and ever-fancier clothing from evil pirates and raiders. In reality, we will need to be a bit more practical, but I can see that several others on this ship share this view with me. As the powers behind the waist-height throne, we should be able to keep things on track such that we can continue our journey and I will be uninterrupted in my studies.

Now I just have to figure out what is going on with this mutagen. Also, we nominated Tib’run as the ship’s surgeon, and I have been given dominion over the sails, which leaves me ample time to tend my laboratory. I might have a few more discoveries in my hands, and the large cache of healing potions we have currently reside in my laboratory. I am near to a method of watering them down without reducing their efficacy so that we can double our supplies, but this will take a bit more experimentation as well. This begs the question of why I bother, as the rest of the crew regards me with a mix of horror and trepidation.

Chariots.

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A heroic return by boat
off the coast of Bonewrack Island

“My condition is not improving, Anders.”
Skabswerth was hunched in the stern of the boat, optic lenses trained on his friend.

“Hush, schatzie.”
Anders turned away from the carvings on the whale skull to regard the clockwork crab. He whipped out a brightly colored handkerchief and began to dab at the brackish fluid leaking from Skabswerth’s joints.
“We will be making you right as the rain soon enough.”

The shuttle was riding low in the water, loaded to its fill with crew, treasure, fresh water and a scrimshawed whale skull. To the north, the Man’s Promise rested on the waves, repairs completed. Behind them, Bonewrack Island sat covered in the morning haze.

“Will the new captain reward you, Anders? For accomplishing your mission?”
Skabswerth raised his large right claw to allow Anders access to his stained undercarriage.

“Ha. I would not be thinking so.”
The gnome examined the stained handkerchief in the morning light.
“And I suspect Herr Plugg will not be the captain for much longer.”
Anders leaned over the edge of the small boat to rinse the small piece of fabric.

Skabswerth hooked his left claw onto the back of Anders’ belt, to prevent the tiny man from accidentally falling overboard.

Anders straightened, and wrung out the now-ruined handkerchief into the ocean.
“What the ship is needing, is a captain with…”
He paused, searching for the words.
“…a PIRATE captain, with some character, and principles.”

“Principles, Anders?”
Skabswerth shifted his optics to the rest of the shuttle’s passengers, who were beginning to take an interest in this small talk of mutiny.

“A pirate captain should be a daring rogue, not some murderous scoundrel.”
He spit out the last two words like a grindylow curse.

“Anders, you are not a scoundrel.”
The crab’s insight provoked a round of badly concealed chuckles from the crew.

Anders drew himself up to his full height and straightened his hat.
“Thank you, Skabswerth.”
He looked to the Man’s Promise

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Pirates Log
We came for the water, we stayed for the Grindylows

After the Man’s Promise was holed along a coral reef the heroes headed ashore Bonewrack Isle. They were charged with refilling the ships water stores but their main purpose was to rescue Sandra Quinn from the grindlows who had attacked the ship.

After they came ashore the discovered that the island was home cruel monstrous creatures which they had to fight their way through. The island was also home to several ghouls who came ashore when a Spanish Naval scout wrecked along the reefs. One member of the crew survived long enough to construct a stockade on the island before succumbing to ghoul fever himself. From the stockade the heroes discovered the grindylow cave where Sandra Quinn was being held.

The heroes stormed the cove and made efficient work slaughtering the guards driving deep into their tidal caverns. In the deepest sea caverns they discovered the Brinebrood Queen who ruled over grindylows as well as her gigantic son The Whale. Sandra Quinn and young Jack Scrimshaw we help captive here as well and were plunged into the water when the heroes arrived. The battle that ensued was brutal and brief as the heroes tore apart the Queen’s guardians’ including her son whom was torn apart from the inside after swallowing Richard. Terrified, the Queen fled and the heroes were able to rescue both Sandra and Jack Scrimshaw.

Now the crew members must return to the Man’s Promise and wrest control from Mr. Plugg and take their rightful place among the Free Captain’s of the Caribbean.

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Pirates Log
OF COURSE you can bildge that

Life aboard the wormwood has become harsh for the heroes. Master Scourge has singled them out for the worst tasks on the ship and enforcing every minor infraction.

Two swabs loyal to Mr. Plugg attempted to Murder Tiberon in the bilges but were slaughter when Ononion and Richard came to help. While dismembering the bodies, Tiberon and Richard were caught and taken above deck to be keel hauled the following morning. Before justice could be meted out a ship was spotted.

The Dutch sailing vessel Man’s Promise was overtaken and after a brief bloody assault the pirates secured the ship. With two ships under his control, Harrigan gave the Man’s Promise to Mr. Plugg to bring to Port Peril. Plugg took with him the crew of the Wormwood while Harrigan kept his officers, with the exception of Fishguts, and left to meet them at their destination.

After three days aboard the Man’s Promise many of the heroes allies was talking of mutiny with the crew split into three groups. The heroes and those friendly towards them, Mr. Plugg and his loyal cronies, and Sandra Quinn who has a group who will follow her lead but won’t side with either group otherwise. Before any mutiny could take place the ship ran afoul of a storm during which several Grindylow came aboard abducted Sandra and another crewmember. They also attacked the PC’s but after a few of their number were thinned they fled.

The following morning the crew Discovered that they had run afoul of a reef just North of a small island. The hull had been holed through the ships water barrel so despite Plugg’s dismissal of Sandra Quinn the heroes were headed ashore to hopefully rescue their ally.

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