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Devil-spawn and Demon-taint: A Fiendish Take on Skull & Shackles (Inactive)

Game Master Mark Sweetman

Press-ganged to serve aboard the Wormwood, the crew with the outsider's touch must struggle to stay alive long enough to sate their desire for revenge...


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Primordial Ooze

A full moon hangs over Port Peril, it's silver light filtering through the haze of smoke that covers the town to bathe the streets in a grimy tan. Shadows lie long upon the ground and the breeze carries whispered conversations farther than they are intended. From one alley the breathless inhalation as a man's lungs are laid bare by a blade, from another man the heavy lecherous pants that result coitus completed with a two-copper whore. This is not the sort of town where one idly wanders...

By the water the docks creak as ships at port move against the piers with the tide, while inland half-rotted wooden buildings swell to bursting with a seething tide of humanity drowning their sorrows in cheap rum. The factories of Beggarbriar toil still, coiling rope and forging tackle. Many creatures stalk the city... but there are six mostly human souls whose prospects are about to take the path less traveled by...

Taldor

M Tiefling (Pit) Barb 5 HP:67/67, - AC: 18/T:12/FF:16 - Perception: +8(+10)(Dark Vision) F: +6/R: +3/W: +2 - CMB: +7 - CMD: 19, Speed: 40ft, Init: +4

It was a week spent floating around the Arch of Aroden before the Bosuns Mate spotted the silhouette of a ship on the horizon and bellowed forth his report of the sighting. The Taldane Captain, both lean and mean immediately drew forth his trusty spyglass to observe the finer detail of the strange silhouette; his subsequent recognition of her shape brought joy to his heart and the chase was begun in earnest.

Thus began the pursuit of the Pirate vessel 'Scummy Sally' by the stalwart men of the small Taldane Naval fleet, flagshipped by the mighty 'Indisputable'.

The chase was hard run and lasted for days as the two ships roared south along the edge of the Eye; the Taldane Captain was set on bringing his piratical counterpart to justice - the theft of a Taldane merchant ship being seen as an insult and something not to be left unchecked. The smaller Taldane ships struggled to keep up and were soon left behind.

All good things come to an end, and so it was that the 'Sally was finally brought down anddecisively crushed. She was taken as a prize ship, given minimal repairs and a skeleton crew before immediately follwing the 'Indisputable' back North towards the main fleet. Through an unfortunate turn of bad events and worse weather, the hasty repairs gave out overnight and the Sally was separated in the following confusion.

With little choice the junior commander realised that a poorly provisioned and rapidly sinking ship was somewhat of a problem, and headed for the nearest port he could find, Port Peril.

Stowing their uniforms and taking on the left behind garb of pirates, they pulled into Port Peril hoping to quickly get the repairs shored up, grab some fresh provisions, and be underway before anyone clued on to their real identity...

Midshipman Dragonne was selected to go fetch the provisions, his appearance and knack for dealing with rough people being seen as an asset. He had just finished ensuring fresh supplies were delivered to the Sally before quickly visiting a nearby tavern to gather up any handy information and check his maps - Scummy Sally was due to sail in just over an hour, set on sneaking out in the darkness... but he knew he had time - he well recalled his lessons in tactics at the Naval Academy, "Time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted".


Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Obisyth stood up and brushed herself off while looking at the young man lying on the ground in the alley. She hated leaving him here unconscious, but she doubted he had enough money to even be worth robbing. If only she could maintain her form for more than a few minutes, she would not run into this problem. She thought back - years ago, it seemed she could keep the form of another for much longer periods, but no longer. Now it was for but a few minutes. Long enough to attract the eye of a potential suitor and get him into an alley, but once her normal appearance returned, most men became much less enamored by her. Well, one or two good knocks to the head and she could relieve her unnatural desires.

As she looked into the street she knew that she would again have to leave Port Peril before long. There were not many short green women walking around. Sighing, she thought of her options. She knew of one tavern by the wharf with a less than enviable record. She knew that the Formidably Maid was much more amenable to people such as herself, and thus headed to the tavern.

She ordered a mead and sat back carefully watching the crowd trying to figure which of these individuals might know of a ship she could get a ride on heading north. While the first part of her voyage had been uneventful, she knew that the Eye was to the north and circumventing it would not be an easy task. Also, as she sat there, she knew that she must return to the teachings of her mentor. She must learn to control the unnatural urges for sensual pleasures or she would end up in the brig of a ship, or worse.


Male Human (Taldan) Magus (Bladebound, Kensai) 4; AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 10, CMD 20; HP 35/35; AP 4/4; Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +6; Initiative +4; Perception +9, Sense Motive +5 (+2 to both while wielding Morathil)

Dressed almost entirely in black, with even his hands covered with matching gloves made of soft leather, the man walking the moonlit streets of Port Peril has his cloak's hood pulled down, leaving his head the only part of his body not concealed by clothing. His pale skin and shoulder-length white hair in stark contrast to his dark-colored attire, he could be mistaken for a half-elf perhaps and a handsome one at that, his pointed ears and the grace in his movement hinting at first glance at some elven blood in his family tree. His eyes, however, quickly disprove such a theory, for, quite unlike the eyes of a human or an elf or many a race, are pitch black in their entirety, reminiscent of orbs of black onyx or obsidian.

As he walks, his hand moves to his coin pouch, which feels more empty than full in his grasp. He draws a deep breath, the sound quickly followed by that of a soft sigh. His money did not last very long this time either, but, to be fair, it was not that much to begin with. It usually never is. After all, he is not a frivolous man; there is the occasional indulgence in wine or maybe companionship, but such things are more the exception rather than the rule concerning what he chooses to spend his coin on. Regardless of the why and how it was spent, the main question will soon become where will he be getting more.

Passing by the tavern called the Formidably Maid, Joneth pauses for a while, black eyes turning towards the building and ears taking in the sounds of patrons and staff alike coming from inside it. The dilemma lasts for mere seconds and, decision having been made, he shakes his head gently and keeps going, walking past the tavern and down the street. Whether his little stroll, so to speak, is a way to clear his head and decide what to do with his remaining pieces of gold, silver and copper or a means of finding the person or place that will be providing him with more is anybody's guess.


Stats:
AC 16/12/14 HP 13/21 F+1 R+8 W+3 Init +4 Per+4

Bathed in the moon's silvery glow, a slender, dark reed of a woman slips to the foredeck of the Lamashtu's Whore and glances back one last time to see if she's been spotted. She pats the scarf tied around her waist making sure the gold bracelets she stole from the brothel in Ilizmagorti are secure. Satisfied, she dives from the rail, unable to resist doing a flip past the ship's figurehead of a headless woman. Sucks to be you sweetie. She knifes into the fetid water of the harbor with a soft "plooosh."

Swimming for the docks, she considers her situation, Half a f+$&ing world from home, but at least I'm finally free. Your death will have to wait mother, but Queen of Peril has a nice enough ring to it for a start. These stupid humans are sheep. I'll have them licking my toes inside of a week. Raucous laughter echoes across the water as she lifts her head looking for a dark place to climb ashore. The lights of that tavern make for some nice shadows by those crates, she thinks as she redirects her course toward a pile of salt-encrusted crates on a nearby pier.

Nearing the pier, she puts her head up again and hears the creak of ships swaying against their ropes in the night. A loose rope hangs into the dark water inviting her to town. Moments later, what appears to be a beautiful Vudrani woman slithers up the rope, emerging dripping wet onto the pier. Without pause, she slides toward town expecting to lose herself in the deep shadows at the end of the pier.


Female Tiefling Witch 4, HP 26/26, AC 13/T13/FF10, F/R/W +2/+4/+3, Per -1

At the end of the old pier, that no ship has used for years and mothers warn their children not to play on, a thin figure idly kicks her legs in time to a song.
...And the winds would cry, and many men would die
And all the waves would bow down to the Loreley...
And the winds would cry, and many men would die
And all the waves would bow down to the Loreley...

She likes the song, of wind and waves and death beneath them. One of the sailors she retrieved something for had sung it to her. She'd liked him. When she offered to take him belong the waves, he laughed and said Ah! The song is true! So my Loreley, are you a Rusalka from my home, come to torment a poor sailor for leaving the cold waters of his youth?He then told her more stories of the creatures from his home. Perhaps she would go there one day. Go there and find this Loreley from song.

It's hard to say how old she is. First, because she herself does not know for certain. Second, she has the unduly young look of someone who has always been sickly and underfed. Her frame is somewhere between thin and emaciated, and she wears no cloths to conceal the fact. Skin the pale color of a drowned corpse. Hair black as the water on a moonless night. It is her eyes though, that most remember. Large and luminous, like the moon if your feeling charitable, like a dead fish if you're not, they sit in her small face and stare unblinking at the ships in the bay.


HP 31/31, AC 16, CMD 12, Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +6 Channel 6/6, Death Kiss 5/5 , Web 1/1, Coat 1/1

A drowned corpse smacked against the rocks under the pier, caught on the barnacles by what was left of it's clothes. It's head bumped the wooden beams with a rhythmic thump in time with the rising tide.

It had been there for hours. Most people figured it would be washed away by morning. A few had come looking to scavenge coin and jewelry. This corpse had plenty. More than a few people had died tonight fighting over pilfered rings, pendants and the solid gold compass that had been in a velvet pouch in the pocket of a once-fine jacket.

Soon all the wealth was gone, scattered across the port, sold or spent.

After that no one payed the corpse any mind...

...until it started laughing.


Primordial Ooze

Midshipman Dragonne:
After checking your maps you begin to make your way back to the Scummy Sally, but in your haste you don't notice that the shadows in the nearby alleys have grown darker in the short time you were within. Not twenty steps after leaving the tavern you hear a voice call out to you from one of the alleys "Hey matey" calling your attention to a man with a braided beard and gold teeth shining from within a wide smile. Your eyes and ears committed you do not notice the quiet footfalls approaching behind you. An explosion of pain and black numbness floods over you as something heavy strikes you at the base of your skull.

The last thing you hear before consciousness fades is a derisive chuckle "Welcome aboard..."

Obisyth:
As you nurse your mead within the Formidably Maid you notice that the tavern seems to be busier than usual, and with patrons that you have not seen previously. You spy one noticeable figure tall and sneering with a braided beard pushing through the mass, but your attention wavers when a corpulently fat man with a shaved head bumps into your stool. As he moves away you take a draught of mead... but taste something... wrong...

A heavy weight descends upon your mind as you struggle in vain to stay awake. The fat one catches you as you slump and throws you over his shoulder as unconsciousness descends.

Joneth:
Shortly after passing the Formidably Maid you hear a commotion behind you and turning see a morbidly obese man carrying a woman with strangely colored skin moving out the tavern entrance. Knowing this is none of your business you make to hasten your step, but are stopped in your tracks when a call comes from behind you "Stop there man... I'd prefer not to kill ye" and you turn to see a tall scowling man with a braided beard and gold teeth shining dully in the torch light.

Your attention drawn you don't notice the soft footfalls behind you and cannot prevent the slip of rope passing around your head and being pulled tight to crush your throat. Struggling gamely you cannot free yourself from the vice like embrace of the woman holding the rope. Her unhinged giggles echo in your ear as your breath fades and you give in to the black.

Nachni:
Unbeknown to you your arrival coincided with that of another group of souls with business in the shadow. You catch glimpses of them on your swim as their jolly boat docks and they slip into the night - a tall man with braided beard, a corpulent bald man, and a dwarf among the group. Not wanting their eye, you wait a few minutes before pulling yourself ashore and stalking into Port Peril... but luck was not with you this day.

Turning a corner you come face to face with the dwarf you spied from afar - he has straggly hair and a cyst on his nose that accentuates it's size and grotesque appearance. Smiling he leers at you and says "Hello gorgeous" and before you can act you feel the wet thump of a cushioned blow to the base of your skull. Pain and numbness washing over you as you drop to the deck you get a glimpse of a braided beard and glinting gold teeth before you can think no more... and must sleep.

Fish:
Upon the dock you look into the bay and do not notice what is happening behind you in the city. Dark deeds are afoot and the free will of some people is being perverted... but you are content to watch the ships as they roll on the tide.

A clatter of falling wood alerts you to someone approaching and you turn to see a group approaching across the docks - a fat one with a woman over his shoulder, and a woman and dwarf pulling a makeshift litter with three unconscious souls upon it. Standing with a start you make to leap back into the water, but cannot as a leather cord wraps itself around your ankles and pulls your legs from under you. Falling unto the pier you turn to see a tall scowling man with a braided beard bearing down on you.

Although you try to run, the man catches you and pins you to the ground by kneeling on your chest. Clearly repulsed by your appearance he simply mutters "Good thing the Cap'n ain't picky" before his fist flashes forward into your cheek once, then twice, then blackness descends upon you.

John Rhasp:
As you begin laughing you hear a clatter nearby as a man reacts with surprise and knocks over a stack of crates. Swearing profusely the tall one with a braided beard moves over to poke you with a toe speculatively before turning around "Maheem, this one's not dead yet" before he turns away.

A scowling Rahadoumi man comes over and kneels next to you with a confused look, turning to the bearded one "Ye sure?" to which the other shrugs and Maheem pulls a small vial from within his clothing. "Drink up now." putting the vial to your lips and pouring a measure in. As an oily taste of nutmeg fills your mouth, your laugh stops and you feel the cold dark descending upon your mind again.

First IC post for you to react to will be up shortly after I eat some lunch ;)


HP 31/31, AC 16, CMD 12, Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +6 Channel 6/6, Death Kiss 5/5 , Web 1/1, Coat 1/1

"Thanks pal." The corpse said in a voice that sounded like it had polyps bursting inside it. "Yer a peach."

And then the corpse was quiet again.


Primordial Ooze

Seasickness:
As per AP rules - four of you should be rolling for seasickness at the start here. However given that includes the sea witch, aquatic druid and a character that's just come off a long sailing trip I've handwaved it for now. You should all be suitably inured against the rolling deck... at least until a decent storm hits...

Fickle Hand of Fate:
1d6 ⇒ 2

The first thing you notice as your senses begin to slowly return is a thunderous headache, followed soon after by a dry and distasteful gumminess to your mouth. An insidious taste of nutmeg still coats your tongue and eyes opening gradually you find yourself strewn on the floor of some sort of wooden floored and walled room. Pitch dark, though that does not hinder your sight, you find sixteen pillars sit in twin rows down it's length, combined with three larger posts spaced evenly through the room. Putting hands to belt and back you notice that you've been stripped of almost all your possessions bar your clothing. There are five other souls upon the floor with you.

Just as you start to notice that the floor is shifting with pitch and roll beneath you a flickering light is seen coming down the staircase at one end of the hold.

Knowledge (Nature) DC10:
The taste in your mouth is a remnant of being drugged... oil of taggit - a tincture used to incapacitate that can easily be slipped into a drink, or poured into the mouth of one unconscious so they remain that way.

A tall scowling face bearing a braided beard and a mouth of gold teeth peers at you from behind a lantern. His other hand holds a well worn captain's daughter - a cat of nine tails. He smiles sadistically as he pads forward towards you "What a sorry pile of flesh you look, still abed with the sun over the yardarm?" putting his boot solidly into Obisyth's back with a kick by way of encouragement "On your fecking feet, ye filthy swabs! You'll haul yourselves up on deck and report for duty before Cap’n Harrigan flays your skin and tosses ye o'erboard as chum fer the sharks!”

Following him down the stairs come six sailors with weighted bags of leather in their hands - a morbidly fat bald man, a woman with an unhinged smile, a half-orc who'se skin has a sickly pallor, a big Rahadoumi man with a mean look on his face, a dwarf with large nose, and a second woman with big ears. They pace forward behind the man with the cat, smirks and dangerous looks upon their faces.


HP 31/31, AC 16, CMD 12, Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +6 Channel 6/6, Death Kiss 5/5 , Web 1/1, Coat 1/1

What... the hell?

The corpse shook it's head and blinked, remarkably alive for a drowned man.

This... doesn't seem right.

Eyeballing the crew of roughnecks grinning down at him, he resisted the urge to do violence on them.

It all seemed like a dream, familiar but warped. He stood on shaky legs and wiped his hands across his face.

I don't... wait... I think...

The corpse grinned.

"Have I... been... press ganged?" he rasped in a hideous voice.

Something about that made the corpse chuckle.

Taldor

M Tiefling (Pit) Barb 5 HP:67/67, - AC: 18/T:12/FF:16 - Perception: +8(+10)(Dark Vision) F: +6/R: +3/W: +2 - CMB: +7 - CMD: 19, Speed: 40ft, Init: +4

Know:Nature 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17

"Allow me to apologise Sir, I appear to have had an encounter with some Taggit, and it kept me abed far longer than I should have stayed"

Straightening himself up and looking around him, it becomes clear by his manner and posture that the Tiefling dressed as a Pirate has a much more refined air than one would expect.

"If it is a Captain Harrigan I am set to meet, then perhaps you'd afford me a razor and some shaving water so I may mend my appearance, I can't rightly go before a ships captain looking like...this, it would be a disgrace."

Cedrick looks around to any others in the room, as if seeking some moral support.

Diplomacy 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15

Taldor

M Tiefling (Pit) Barb 5 HP:67/67, - AC: 18/T:12/FF:16 - Perception: +8(+10)(Dark Vision) F: +6/R: +3/W: +2 - CMB: +7 - CMD: 19, Speed: 40ft, Init: +4
John Rhasp wrote:


"Have I... been... press ganged?"

"I believe we have; this isn't the Sally so I am certainly not where I should be, and if you don't recognise this good fellow who is clearly the First Mate then I suggest you shouldn't really be here either... ipso facto we have been press-ganged"


Primordial Ooze

The man with the cat's smile vanishes as Cedrick speaks to question and doesn't blindly press on with the orders given. Coming close enough to warm Cedrick's face with warm and fetid exhaled breath "Less talk, more walk... unless you want tae give me the pleasure of motivating ye" and a few snickers come from the assembled toadies holding the saps.

Taldor

M Tiefling (Pit) Barb 5 HP:67/67, - AC: 18/T:12/FF:16 - Perception: +8(+10)(Dark Vision) F: +6/R: +3/W: +2 - CMB: +7 - CMD: 19, Speed: 40ft, Init: +4

"Aye Sir, on my way. Just didn't want to turn out before a man as important as a Captain without paying him the proper respect of being appropriately presented. Just not proper is all."

"Do any of you others require a hand to get above decks?" he enquires as he falls into line, ready to go visit the Captain.


Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8

Obisyth opens here eyes and looks at the assemblage of misfits and castoffs. This is not good, or perhaps it is. What better way to strike terror into this House of Thrune than with a pirate ship. . . . And the first mate looks good, I will have to teach him his manners later.

Obisyth simply watches the others and listens to what is said knowing that most actions a this point are likely to lead to a beating. As soon as one of the other captives stands and is not beaten, she will follow suit.
______

What you see - You see the small greenish woman open her eyes and carefully look around the room taking in everything that is there.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19 <-- I assume that my familiar is not within 1 mile at present, or with me, so no familiar bonuses have been added.
--> Just wondering whether there is anything interesting or useful that I see. A piece of wood I can use as a club, etc.


Primordial Ooze

After a moments hesitation, the tall one with the cat gives Cedrick a bash across the back of the head with the heel of the whip "Quiet you"
1 non-lethal damage

Obisyth:
The only other decorations in the room are footlockers along each long wall and a pile of coiled hammocks. Looking at the columns, you see notches where the hammocks could be hung.


Male Human (Taldan) Magus (Bladebound, Kensai) 4; AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 10, CMD 20; HP 35/35; AP 4/4; Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +6; Initiative +4; Perception +9, Sense Motive +5 (+2 to both while wielding Morathil)

After returning to his senses, Joneth takes a couple of seconds to get his bearings and take in his surroundings, one of the first things he notices being that the floor is not as steady and still as one might expect. Running the tip of his tongue across his lips, he recognizes the taste as oil of taggit, a substance used to either induce or prolong unconsciousness. He says nothing, however, especially after noting that his "hosts" do not take too kindly to being spoken to.

Slowly and carefully rising to his feet, he looks down at himself and finds that, with the exception of his clothes, everything he had on him has been taken. Feeling a familiar item pressing against his right wrist and forearm though, he quickly amends his initial thought; almost everything. There is no reaction to the realization, instead appearing to do his best to follow the tall man's instructions without a word of protest, even if he spares a glance to each of the others such as he as he does so, each and every one of them just as strange-looking as he is and more.

Knowledge (Nature) 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11 [Untrained]


Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Seeing another of the captives stand, Obisyth slowly rises, still wobbly on her feet from whatever caused her to lose consciousness. After seeing the seemingly over confident one get a good whack, Obisyth simply stands waiting for the next command from their captors.


Stats:
AC 16/12/14 HP 13/21 F+1 R+8 W+3 Init +4 Per+4

Oh for the love of the gods, you have got to be kidding me! Caught again!? This has to be some kind of sick joke. When will it end? Nachni's eyes narrow, yellow pupils glimmering in the reflection of light from the steps as she drags herself to her feet, sparing a brief glare for the dwarf and licking her lips with a forked tongue. Never eaten dwarf before. Wonder what you'll taste like goshta? Very well, let's see about this Harrigan.

A slim, exotic woman with short, black hair rises and winds past the gold-toothed man without complaint seeming to unnecessarily let a wisp of her skirt brush his leg. Silently, she moves up the steps as ordered, not waiting for the pirates to part, with a grace that belies the conditions. You see she is barefoot with a low-cut, tight, silk blouse and short skirt that accentuates her figure. For a moment you might wonder if she has just stepped out of a whorehouse, but her almost regal bearing seems at odds with such a background.


Female Tiefling Witch 4, HP 26/26, AC 13/T13/FF10, F/R/W +2/+4/+3, Per -1

The sea is moving, back and forth, back and forth. The sea is hard? The sea is dry? Fish begins panic, then feels Blue's tentacles wrap reassuringly around her neck. As long as blue is here, everything should be alright.

Opening her eyes, Fish notices the five by the pillars, and the man with his friends. As the others begin making their way up and out, Fish quickly moves to follow.

Knowledge(Nature) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Blue's Stealth check 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (4) + 25 = 29

Mmm, Taggit? To help me sleep? Like the man who fell off the docks last week. He slept the whole way down, didn't even let me say hello. And this is ship? I need to get outside and find the sea.

Taldor

M Tiefling (Pit) Barb 5 HP:67/67, - AC: 18/T:12/FF:16 - Perception: +8(+10)(Dark Vision) F: +6/R: +3/W: +2 - CMB: +7 - CMD: 19, Speed: 40ft, Init: +4

Cedrick, somewhat used to a rough life in the Navy, isn't too worried by the strike. Just part and parcel of the rough life aboard a fighting vessel.


Primordial Ooze

As a group you are pushed, prodded and cajoled up the stairs and through the bowels of the ship by the bearded one and his cronies. Immediately up the stairs is another hold, this one with a dozen or so pigs caged up on one side - surrounded by a shallow slick of foul smelling pigsh*t. A number of other bulky items are in storage, but of more interest is the creature tied off in the forward area.

A nominally human sized being is chained to the pillar that you guess is the mast and it defies decency. Skin covered in oozing pustules and sections of chitin it's hair is missing instead replaced by tentacles. Skin created overlarge for it's body it sags in folds giving it an emaciated look. The left side of it's face droops further still as though the muscles within were dead and a thin trickle of drool traces down it's cheek. Despite it's horrific appearance, you can sense it has definite strength to it... the callouses on it's knuckles betraying it's likely abilities.

Knowledge (Planes) DC 15:
The creature is not unlike yourself, but it had less luck in it's heritage. It is one of the Motherless, a Qlippoth-spawn.

Lunging at you as you come into view, the beast is restricted by it's chains. Chuckling as he comes up behind you the man with the cat adds "I see you've met Hungry... careful now, he might take a bite if ye get too close" prodding you further on through the ship.

Another set of stairs brings you to a small cramped cabin with a few more footlockers and hammocks that seem marginally better than the ones you'll be forced to use below. "Officer's Quarters so no malingerin. I catch you peeking around in here and you'll bleed slowly. Now out on deck an keep yer traps shut" as you are shoved out through a pair of doors and into the oppressive glow of the sun ascendant in the sky. Your suspicions proved correct, you are most definitely on a boat, and the wide expanse of blue surrounding you indicates you're no-where near land.

As your eyes adjust you see figures crowded ahead of you on the maindeck around the mainmast and looking up towards the stern where two men stand. There is a broad, muscular Garundi with a shaved head, eyepatch and long beard bound by golden beard rings... at a guess the Captain. The second has a long coat over a bare chest and a clearly beloved cat o' the nine at his side. Balding but with a long ponytail and manicured goatee. They appear to be talking between themselves, but are clearly waiting for you to join the group at the mainmast.

Apart from some that look like pirates, you see four others similarly bereft of gear as yourselves among the mob around the mainmast. The mass of people appear predominately human, with the occasional gnome and halfling. You do not spy anyone else sharing your 'unique' heritage.

Pregnant pause for reactions to exposition so far.


Female Tiefling Witch 4, HP 26/26, AC 13/T13/FF10, F/R/W +2/+4/+3, Per -1

Knowledge:Planes 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11 Wow. Let's hope the dice like me better than that or this will be short, unpleasant, adventure for Fish. And it was one of by best skills too :(

As they pass the creature in the hold, What is that? He doesn't look like me. He doesn't look like anybody I've seen.

As we join the group at the mast, Fish looks around, trying to get a sense of the sea around her. Activate Know Direction.


Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Obisyth gives Hungry a wide berth, unsure what exactly the creature is and why it is tied to the mast as it is.

As Obisyth comes above the deck, she breathes in the warm sea air, almost tasting the saltiness on her tongue. She looks briefly at the other people on deck and knows immediately that her worse fear, and greatest hopes have all been answered at once. She has indeed been taken hostage on a pirate ship, but she is indeed now on a pirate ship and will hopefully soon be able to leave the captives behind and find some way to join the crew. After which her hunt for Cheliaxian ships will begin.

Briefly she sends out her senses to see whether her companion remains near, but the lack of any response confirms her fear that he is either dead or was unable to locate her while unconscious and imprisoned. The sense of loss is immediate, but not unexpected. However, she know that dwelling on this will not save her from her current predicament.


Stats:
AC 16/12/14 HP 13/21 F+1 R+8 W+3 Init +4 Per+4

As the small group is led to the main deck, Nachni's eyes flicker back nd forth, trying to get a sense of the ship. How large and how many men will be here?
Profession (Sailor) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9

She is startled out of her thoughts by the sight of the wretched creature wondering, And what could this be? A lion begging for a thorn to be removed? Or a mad beast, dangerous to all? She risks a glimpse around the officer's cabin, cataloging details that might be useful later.
Perception 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5

Finally out of the stink of the holds, she inhales the salt air, letting a brief twitch play at the corner of her mouth before turning to face the captain. Interesting. I wonder if they know what they have caught. She takes a moment to size up the captain and the man next to him before taking a longer look over the other nine surrounding the mast.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Perception 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8

Distracted by thoughts of the captain's intent, she straightens and with a subtle shake of her head, clears her bangs for a better look.

Guess we'll get all of the terrible rolls out of the way now.

Taldor

M Tiefling (Pit) Barb 5 HP:67/67, - AC: 18/T:12/FF:16 - Perception: +8(+10)(Dark Vision) F: +6/R: +3/W: +2 - CMB: +7 - CMD: 19, Speed: 40ft, Init: +4

Know:Planes 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20

"A Qlippoth, how extraordinary...", Cedrick looks around at the heritage of his new shipmates. "Almost as though someone was starting a collection..." he mutters quietly. His eyes drift momentarily, as if surprised at some further revelation.
"For a moment I thought they might actually know who I am and had uncovered our ruse, now I see I am here by happenstance and serendipity, how banal"

With precision and well timed movements, Cedrick moves to the mainmast, snaps to attention and awaits the Captains address.


HP 31/31, AC 16, CMD 12, Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +6 Channel 6/6, Death Kiss 5/5 , Web 1/1, Coat 1/1

The corpse-man blinked at the creature when it lunged, not moving a muscle. He nodded whispering not-so-covertly to it. "Naw mate, that'll get ya the lash. Just play it quiet." then he winked with an idiot's grin.

His expression held until he reached the deck. When he saw the captain he scrunched his face up and looked at the fellow who had led them there. "You sure this is the guy? He doesn't even have a puffy shirt. Captains are supposed to have puffy shirts. Like this one-" he said tugging at the rags he wore.

"Wait. No. Maybe it used to be puffy? I don't... Nevermind."


Primordial Ooze

Nachni doesn't notice much of interest along the walk through the ship. There looks to be about 30 or 40 on deck all told.

Leery of the man behind them with the lash, John and Cedrick's voices are kept to a low ebb so as not to be heard. The sadistic bearded one follows you out before moving to stand before the tall Garundi "Fresh meat ready fer you Cap'n" and the Garundi nods "Aye, noted Master Scourge"

He then moves forward to the edge of the foredeck, gripping the rail and bellowing "So you finally peeled off the floor and decided to join us... good for you!" more than a touch of sarcasm before throwing his arms wide "Welcome to the Wormwood! I am Captain Barnabas Harrigan, but I have only one rule — don’t speak to me. I like talk, but I don’t like your talk. Follow that rule and you'll last aboard."

“One more thing... even with your fresh meat - we’re still short-handed, and I aim to keep what crew I have. There’ll be a keelhaulin’ for anyone caught murderin'. Mister Plugg!" turning to the ponytailed one beside him "If you’d be so kind as to break in their sea-legs." giving Plugg a short nod before retreating below-decks. The balding man with the long coat you now know as Plugg has a sadistic smile on his face as he moves toward you.

Pontificating as he slowly descends the stairs to the maindeck "My name is Plugg, though you will call me Mister Plugg or Sir." languidly uncoiling a whip as he speaks "Back-talk, gets the lash *crack* Refusal, gets the lash *crack* Not listening, gets the lash *crack*" cracking the sturdy looking bullwhip to punctuate the points as he makes them. Stopping alongside the bearded man you now know as Master Scourge he gives you a challenging look and asks "Understand?"

The other pirates on deck move fore and aft, but remain watching for now - seemingly looking forward to the show to come... or at least not bold enough to make scarce.

Taldor

M Tiefling (Pit) Barb 5 HP:67/67, - AC: 18/T:12/FF:16 - Perception: +8(+10)(Dark Vision) F: +6/R: +3/W: +2 - CMB: +7 - CMD: 19, Speed: 40ft, Init: +4

"Aye Mr Plugg." is the short and disciplined response.

Cedrick remains stiffly at attention, gaze correctly poised off into the middle distance.


Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Obisyth continues to watch the pirates. And when addressed by Mr. Plugg tries to determine whether he expects a simple nod or a spoken affirmation.

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23


Primordial Ooze

Fish - the vessel is travelling to the North and West

Obisyth figures that either a nod or a simple spoken affirmation would be acceptable... but anything more verbose would not.


Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Assuming that anything more than a simple acknowledgment would result in a beating, Obisyth simply nods he head th Mr. Plugg.


Female Tiefling Witch 4, HP 26/26, AC 13/T13/FF10, F/R/W +2/+4/+3, Per -1

Thanks
Aye.


Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Man I hate posting from my Iphone - especially when I reread my posts later and see all the typos.


Male Human (Taldan) Magus (Bladebound, Kensai) 4; AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 10, CMD 20; HP 35/35; AP 4/4; Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +6; Initiative +4; Perception +9, Sense Motive +5 (+2 to both while wielding Morathil)

"Yes," Joneth says simply and it is the only word he utters in answer to Plugg's question, his voice soft, almost a whisper.


Stats:
AC 16/12/14 HP 13/21 F+1 R+8 W+3 Init +4 Per+4

Nachni blinks her eyes and says flatly, "Understood." His violence hides fear. Too unimaginative for real terror. This might be interesting...or fun.


HP 31/31, AC 16, CMD 12, Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +6 Channel 6/6, Death Kiss 5/5 , Web 1/1, Coat 1/1

The corpse-man opened his mouth like he was about to say something, then turned his head, looking and listening to empty air. Something seemed to surprise him. A moment later he nodded.

"If you say so." He said with a terrible smile.


Primordial Ooze

An almost look of disappointment comes across Plugg's face as you weren't obstinate enough to earn the lash. "Right then, lets see how worthless you are." gesturing with the grip of his whip as he explains "I need rats for the rigging, so climb. Up the ratlines to the top, traverse the yard, put your hand on the yardarm and back to deck. Crystal?" barely pausing to allow you to get your head round the instructions before yelling "Now move it maggots!"

If you have 1 rank in Profession Sailor:
Though the language is arcane to some, they are simple sailing terms. Plugg is asking you to climb the netting in the shrouds on the mainmast to the platform between the lower mast and the top-mast. Then traverse the horizontal yard that the square rigging is furled out from to the tip and put a hand on the end.
It's a 20ft vertical climb up to the top.

If you don't have Profession Sailor, you'll need to guess what he means ;)
For this initial point you can take a single round's worth of actions. Ignore the distance you need to move on deck - just consider climbing distance.

Climbing the Rigging 101:
Climb check is a DC 10 for quarter speed or DC 15 for half speed. Fail by 1-4 and you don't make progress, fail by 5 or more and you fall from the rigging.
You cannot take 10 - this is due to the ship being under sail and the threat of Plugg's lash.


HP 31/31, AC 16, CMD 12, Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +6 Channel 6/6, Death Kiss 5/5 , Web 1/1, Coat 1/1

climb: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (11) - 1 = 10

The corpse man starts slowly making his way up the lines. It's obvious that this isn't something he's particularly skilled at.

In spite of his mediocre ability, he does begin happily whistling an old rowing song.

...never shall we die...


Primordial Ooze

It's ok for John as he's a trained sailor.
But to be explicit - for the others you either have to guess where you need to go, or wait to follow the others... which might have consequences either way...


Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Rat lines? Yard? Yard arm? Crystal? What is this nut talking about?

The quiet green woman immediately looks at her fellow prisoners to see if one of them has a clue what is being requested and immediately copies the first who appears to know what needs to be done.

Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27

Seeing someone begin to climb, she follows.

Taldor

M Tiefling (Pit) Barb 5 HP:67/67, - AC: 18/T:12/FF:16 - Perception: +8(+10)(Dark Vision) F: +6/R: +3/W: +2 - CMB: +7 - CMD: 19, Speed: 40ft, Init: +4

"Aye Mr Plugg"

With that, Cedrick takes off immediately and carries out the command with swift, well trained precision.

Climb 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27


Female Tiefling - Oni Spawn Druid(aquatic)/4 - HP 35/35; AC17/19 w/shield, FF15, T12; F+6,R+3,W+8; Per+11; Init+3

Since the guy who keeps responding like a mariner is flying up the rigging, I follow him (Cedrick).

Climb: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17


Female Tiefling Witch 4, HP 26/26, AC 13/T13/FF10, F/R/W +2/+4/+3, Per -1

?
Fish waits to see what the others do, then follows, copying their actions without any particular rush.

Climb/quarter speed1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8


Male Human (Taldan) Magus (Bladebound, Kensai) 4; AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 10, CMD 20; HP 35/35; AP 4/4; Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +6; Initiative +4; Perception +9, Sense Motive +5 (+2 to both while wielding Morathil)

After the first of them starts climbing, Joneth quickly follows suit, making a mental note as he does so about what the word "ratlines" seems to actually refer to. Although he is no stranger to climbing, he is not so used to the ship's rocking and swaying and finds himself moving a little slower than usual compared to some of the others.

Climb 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11


Primordial Ooze

Still need Nachni for the first check.
Also - prior to rolling you should indicate what speed you are attempting to move at - quarter or half speed. That sets the DC of the Climb check that follows.
So if you choose to attempt half speed, then fail a DC 15 - you don't make progress.
I'm assuming Obisyth would have gone for 1/4 speed? - and Cedrick for half speed? - eager to impress and all that :P

After Check Number 1:
Cedrick @ 15ft
John / Obisyth / Joneth @ 7.5ft
Fish @ 0ft

Seeing Fish hesitate and not liking the lack of urgency, Plugg unleashes his whip...
Whip: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20 for 1d3 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3 (non-lethal)
...striking across Fish's back and leaving a painful red welt. "Quick time now, hurry up - I've not all day." chuckling as Fish has trouble getting into the ratlines to start climbing.

This is the course that you've got to follow:
20ft climb up to a small platform called the top
30ft move out along the yard (horizontal bar that the sail hangs from) - which is a DC 10 Acrobatics check to move at quarter speed (by using the footrope with no chance of falling); or half speed at DC 15 Acrobatics by walking atop the yard - which carries a risk of falling if you fail by 5 or more. Failure for either check means no progress that check.
Then touch the tip of the yard, and traverse back to the deck.
Rather than bog down going check by check - lets bundle things together for the next four checks (for a total of five).
Does that all make sense?


HP 31/31, AC 16, CMD 12, Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +6 Channel 6/6, Death Kiss 5/5 , Web 1/1, Coat 1/1

1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6
1d20 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
1d20 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12
...right

Taldor

M Tiefling (Pit) Barb 5 HP:67/67, - AC: 18/T:12/FF:16 - Perception: +8(+10)(Dark Vision) F: +6/R: +3/W: +2 - CMB: +7 - CMD: 19, Speed: 40ft, Init: +4

Climb 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9

Cedrick hears the lash and yell and turns to see whats going on - "Whats that Mr Plu...ugh!" and the distraction costs him his footing.

Acrobatics 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

Cedrick tries to catch back on and limit the fall, but realising theres noting else for it (no point in crashing into others) he hits the deck.
falling damage 1d6 ⇒ 2

Brushing himself off, "Pardon me Mr Plugg, I thought you called, right back on the job" he stiffens his upper lip and with a more determined air, sets back off.

Climb 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Climb 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

Cerdick spends a moment adjusting to the footrope and then begins the journey out.

Acrobatics 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9 Slowly at first...
Acrobatics 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19 Then more confident
Acrobatics 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16 making it to the Yard.

"Be right down in a jiffy Mr Plugg!" Cedrick calls back down.

He looks at the others following him, andnotes they don't sem to confident at climbing... "Hey you, maybe you could try..."

Can he give some sort of advice/aid another to the climbers following?


Male Human (Taldan) Magus (Bladebound, Kensai) 4; AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 10, CMD 20; HP 35/35; AP 4/4; Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +6; Initiative +4; Perception +9, Sense Motive +5 (+2 to both while wielding Morathil)

Neither interested in impressing anyone nor in any particular hurry, Joneth prefers to play it safe and makes steady progress climbing the ropes. Even so he seems to falter at some point, unaccustomed to the ship's movements. Still, he perseveres. Once at the top, he opts to continue in the same manner, using the footrope to carefully make his way across the yard. Finally reaching his destination, the white-haired man casually touches the yard.

Moving at quarter speed both up the ropes and across the yard.

Climb 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Climb 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Climb 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20

Acrobatics 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Acrobatics 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Acrobatics 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Acrobatics 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14

I know you asked for four, but I thought to provide a bit more just in case. If necessary, simply disregard the last three rolls and I can easily roll again as needed. :-)

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