The following is an excerpt of the Log of Lem the Ship’s Doctor of the pirate vessel the Storm Maiden:
We returned to the ship with two of the assassins in tow to interrogate. On them we found, 2 Alchemist fire,2 +1 leather armor, 2 mw sawtooth sabers, 4 mw daggers, 2 mantis masks, and 2 cloak of resistance +1. Terza took one of the cloaks and Sayah took the other.
We interrogated one of the Red Mantis Assassins. He told us of their nation to the north and that they had not forgotten our offenses. It seems like it will take a great deal of work to get them off our backs. We plan to interrogate the second assassin and the newt Captain Thassalar captured in Little Opara while we sail to Goat’s Head where we plan to raise the infamy of our crew.
We interrogated the newt guy and managed to persuade him to our see from our perspective and find himself under our employ, his pay for this time was his life, and if you ask me, all the amazing stories I informed him to tell of our exploits. To ensure he understands what we do to people who betray us, we let him observe as we delivered justice to the Red Mantis Assassin by throwing him to the mercy of the sea.
The Captain decided to stop in at Tidewater Rock on the way to Goat’s Head and check in with our crew there. We camped for the night and Thassalar spoke to the crew who’d been turned to rabbits in an attempt to break the curse. They spoke to her of their dreams and told us to search for Edmunton to break the curse. There’s a place called Edmunton that seems to be the place to start. It’s far though, and it will seem the Captain will take advantage of her new position as Commodore and take our second ship in search of it. The rest of the crew will stay with our present ship and course under the Guidance of acting Captain Urdnot. Thassalar will take her ship along with us as long as our paths coincide.
Upon reaching Little Opara I set out to gather information in the city. I spent four hours and ten gold gathering information in port. I was told a story of a floating merchant whose ship was surrounded by watery creatures and captained by some kind of jinn. He thinks the ship’s name was the Curio. Basil and I had heard legend of it, but who knows whether or not it’s true. He claimed to encounter it west of Besmara’s Crown. Another bar patron claimed the Sea Jackle was near by, worshipers of Lamashtu, Captained by a free pirate of the shackles with some unpronounceable name. They headed east-northeast from port four days ago. It might be worth investigating. Should we encounter them, we opt may create an opening among the free captains. Perhaps we should keep an eye out for a red flagged ship featuring a dog holding a severed hand in it’s mouth.
Commodore Thassalar remains at port following our informant to make sure he’s keeping his word to us. While at sea, we came across an unmarked vessel that seemed to be steering itself close to shore to avoid us. Captain Urdnot flew out under guise of invisibility to investigate. It seemed to be a merchant ship, but it was equipped with four ballista. Possibly a formidable foe. When the captain returned he ordered Basil to prepare the ballista for battle and Sayah to take course to intercept the other ship.
After a long chase we caught up with the unmarked vessel and the Captain and I boarded their ship invisibly after Basil cast fly upon me and Sayah dropped a spell of haste. The crew had unsettling features about them such as patches of fur and sharply pointed teeth, but otherwise appearing human. The Yeth Hound aboard their ship proved troublesome as it caused many from our crew including Sayah and Basil to flee away from it with supernatural fear. Urdnot managed to slay the ship’s captain only to have him resurrect as a void zombie thanks to the enchanted necklaces he wore. Upon his death, the necklaces fidgeted about and then pierced into his body, taking control of it with dark magic and negative energy. Thankfully I had the sense of mind to cast Deathless upon Captain Urdnot otherwise he would surely have have perished in combat against the waves of negative energy surging off the monstrosity. We finally managed to put the monster down after quite a struggle.
After defeating the Captain and the rest of the ship’s crew, who seemed to all be dedicated worshipers of Lamashtu. We only lost one member of the crew in the fray, Big Pudge. He will be missed… kinda. We found fifteen more crew members below deck on the ship, but they weren’t eager to put up a fight. Some might join us, some might take leave of us at port, but all of them will remain on lockdown below until we can get to a port unless we need to fill holes to sail. Amongst the captain’s possessions we found a Potion of Spider Climb, Potion of Disguise Self, a +1 Chainshirt, +2 Dagger, +1 Cutless, Masterwork Heavy Crossbow, Masterwork Whip, Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2, Boots of Elven Kind, Cloak of the Mantaray, and a Spyglass.
We plan to sell the newly acquired vessel when we get to Port Peril, hitting up a couple cities along the way to raise infamy of our name. Perhaps by the time we arrive in Port Peril they’ll have no choice to count our Blue Lady among the Free Captains of the Shackles.
Once we got to port in ChoTzu, I was able to swiftly sell the ship for 6000 gold, and Basil said I’d be lucky to get 5000 in this eastern port. After unloading the ship, we promptly spent it all celebrating and showcasing our trophy collection. Soon every port will tell tales of the infamous Captain Thassalar and her bold and daring crew.
Pulling into port at HaiGuiWan, we noted that the town had more of those turtle looking ships and a much more ordered militaristic atmosphere. Despite not being the busiest port we opted to spread around an additional 2000 gold to raise our reputation throughout The Shackles. After a couple of hours a asking around with Sayah, we’re informed of a man who works for the cities military and just so happens to be good at crafting wands. After a bit of haggling we managed to talk him into a little discount on two wands of Cure Light Wounds, a Resist Energy, and a few wands Sayah planned to keep on herself. I didn’t see what all she bought, but I get the feeling at least one makes things go BOOM.
When we left port Captain Urdnot figured it be a good time to put some of the new crew to work. Urdnot planned on making Genevieve Bunce Master at Arms of the ship train the crew in fencing, but when the former Gladiator Kergen Two-Fang objected Urdnot gave him the option of dueling Genevieve to prove he didn’t need her training. I honestly didn’t expect him to win, but it would seem the new crew is full of surprises. Following his victory, Kergen offered to split the duties with Genevieve, suggesting she train the fast ones and he train the more stout members of the crew.
Three days a into our voyage to Port Peril and one day out from port we encountered another ship on seas. It was immediately apparent the ship was being sailed by pirates. It appeared that at our current heading our courses were likely to intercept. This close to Port Peril we wouldn’t want to be attacking the ships of any Free Captains, but should they choose to attack us we’d have a right to defend ourselves. Knowing all this Captain Urdnot ordered the ship to full halt and summoned Mr. Blasthazard and had Lark awaken Sayah. We were only a little surprised when they opted to sail past without incident. I suppose it’s all for the best. Given the size of the ship, it’s likely they have another, possibly larger, contingent in Port Peril. This port will be dangerous enough without having made enemies already there to greet us.
Captain Urdnots first move pulling into Port Peril he gave orders that the crew is allowed shore leave in shifts of three and only in pairs. I’ve been to this town only three times before; robbed, beaten in a bar brawl I may or may not have instigated, and the last one I hardly remember at all after have been hit on the head with a bottle. This metropolis is a dangerous place full of wonders and items too hot to be sold anywhere else. One might well call this Bonefist’s were he here to monitor its governance more often. If it weren’t for the loyalty of those in his employ and his standing orders to have every ship coming to port check in it’s cargo before being allowed to harbour.
I managed to bribe the bureaucrat to expedite us a head of the five ships already waiting to have their cargo inspected. It was quite an expensive bribe at 400G, but it’s less than the 500G he asked. The bureaucrat gave us a heads up on the process of seeking audience to become recognised as a Free Captain. He said to send no less than 4000G in bribe to with a trusted emissary (Cruchobar) to be afforded an audience pending meeting with Bonefist’s first mate tonight. While we’re here, Captain Urdnot authorized the spending of 1000G to outfit and upkeep the ship while in Port Peril.
I took to shore with Crunchobar and Sayah to subtly attempt to obtain information and find out if Barnabus Harrigan is still looking for us. I’m not sure how possible subtlety will be with Crunchobar in tow with us.
We make our way to The Seahorse Down. I get the feeling Crunchobar may have been here before. I’m not confident that he’ll make it out of here without a beating between Sayah and his stacked poker deck. If rumors are to be believed, it would appear that people are going missing following meetings with The Hurricane King, or at least the pretty ones are.
A few more pints of ale and a little digging later, some of the bar’s patrons told us of aboleths out to the west, but it’s not like any sailor worth his salt didn’t already know that. The only person who’d seen The Green Lady knew it manned and many years ago. It would seem that one will remain a mystery for the time being.
The following morning a small contingent of surprisingly fashionable dressed pirates including a half orc who apparently recognised Captain Urdnot showed up at our dock. The Captain seem surprised to see him. Whatever past he and the Captain share, it must not have been a very good one. It might be unfortunate that whoever the Hurricane King’s first mate is to Urdnot is to test us to see if we are worthy of our Mark.
Captain Urdnot designated Ratline to be our chosen champion for this test of skill as his is the most nimble experienced with working a ship’s rigging. The tasks; a race, climb the 60ft mast to the nest and unfurl the ships sail, then run the yard and unhook the the ship’s sail. One of this contingents crew attempted to sabotage Ratline by untying a knot on their masts rigging to let the boom swing out and slam into Ratline’s mast jarring him and making him fall. A quick command spell to halt had him freezing in place with the rope in his hand. Moves and counter moves my friends. It’s not like we expected pirates to play fair. We’re pirates after all.
The next contest, the art of deception and a game of cards. Again Crunchobar seemed most suited for the task. I’m beginning to believes the man’s more a pirate than the rest of us. He won the first round with ease, requiring him to take a shot of rum with each victory. I’ve seen Crunchobar drink like a fish before, but never with quite so much at stake. The second hand, not so good. Crunchobar bluffed, but was called and lost the hand. The third hand an easy win and another shot of rum for Crunchobar. The fourth hand, was high stakes, and came to a draw leaving the pot on the line for another hand bringing the stakes higher, but luck was not Crunchobar’s side and he lost to another surprisingly good hand. Cheating? Probably, but I can’t imagine Crunchobar would keep playing if he didn’t think he could win, and I don’t think many people ever get to cheat Crunchobar. As a precaution I slipped into the shadows and went invisible should I need to keep our gambler sober from afar. I noticed the that the dealer was stacking the deck, but it would seem that I wasn’t the only one. It would seem that whatever the dealer was doing Crunchobar was able to compensate and made out victorious.
The last test, to defend our ship. They rolled up a covered waggon and told us to get in position with only our officers to man the ship. Sayah immediately cast haste and took to the air. As soon as we were all in place the pulled the cover on the waggon to reveal a big green marsh giant. Seriously they even gave the thing rocks to throw at us. The damn giant immediately dropped a cloud of thick fog onto the ship and dock. Sayah attempted to slow the giant with a spell, but it seem to have little effect. I threw out an illusion in an effort to distract it while the rest of our crew moved into position to attack. It wasn’t as effective as I’d like considering it proceeded to throw one of those boulders at Sayah. It was all over in a hurry once Urdnot matched it in combat, but I opted to drop the cart on it for good measure.
Something about the crowds reaction to our invitation to dine with the Hurricane King leads me to believe the man less than popular. I look forward to donning my finery and meeting this Hurricane King. Knowledge is power and I beleive us too ignorant of this man for my comfort.