Once everyone is aboard the new ship Mister Plugg gathers you all on deck.
"Right, ye useless pack o' bludgers. This may be a new ship, but we'll be running by the old rules. We won't be botherin' with the whip fer punishments any more, we'll just be usin' the cat," he grins.
"Ye'll be keeping yer old jobs, but I'll be expectin' ye t' actually work now. We're short o' crew an' I won't have no slackin'. Xantrius, ye'll join Rosie and Tilly in th' bilges, unless ye be scared o' them. Make yerself useful fer once. After dark there'll be no rum and no running about atop decks less yer after a half dozen lashes."
"First mate, Master Scourge, 'll 'ave the quarters at the front o' the ship with Tam an' Fipps. Kroop in th' cabin next t' galley which 'e can share with his boy if'n that's what takes 'is fancy." Plugg's suggestive leer at Xantrius is greeted by scattered laughter from his usual lackeys.
"Rest of ye'll be stayin' in th' crew berths. Now, get yer lazy arses to work and don't let me hear no chatter."
"Keelhaulin' it is! Chuck 'im th' sweat box mates. I ain't wastin' me breath a third time."
A half dozen pirates close in around Mata, weapons at the ready, to escort him to the sweat box.
"Right, ye useless bloated pond urchins. Line up, shut up and listen up. Quinn, Aemilia, Shivikah- Repairs. Sevien and Rosie- Runners. Cog, Jack and Jape- Hauling Ropes. Tilly, Badger, Fipps- Swabs. Giffer, Aretta- Bilges. Mata and Lysandra- Rat catchers. Conchobhar- Upper Rigging. Samms- Rope Work. Ratline- Line Work. Syl- Lookout." (She smirks at Nakon) "Tate- Rigging Repair. Maheem and Nakon- Mainsail Duties. Move."
Xantrius discovers Ambrose unconscious in his cabin, his sheets stained with blood, but otherwise alive and oblivious. A search of the kitchen reveals not enough fish for dinner.
Mata- Rat Catcher (DC 10 Stealth, Survival or Dexterity check)
Plugg turns to the rest of you with a snarl.
(No time for extra actions and no bonus to work diligently today.)
Plugg gestures at Jape and Narwhal, who both seem to be fine. "Get down and drag Fishgut's useless carcass up here, while I explain the penalty fer attempting to poison the officers."
Plugg uncoils his cat-o'-nine-tails as he marches up and down the line of crewmen. "Today we be startin' with a bit of motivation. If'n Cap'n Harrigan don't take kindly to killin' while short o' crew, he certainly don't like losing crew t' the likes o' food poisoning. 'Tis a triple keelhauling fer the ship's cook, and his useless lowlife mate fer attempting to poison the officers.
Plugg comes to a halt in front of Xantrius. "I unnerstand how ye can't even make food, let alone poison, in spite o' two weeks o' learnin', so we're gonna help the lesson stick."
Master Scourge watches Xantrius and smiles.
Plugg emerges from the captain's cabin with four crab pots and looks about the deck.
Plugg points to a reef lying some 200 feet north of the ship.
(Swim check to reef. Perception or Survival to spot a crab. Swim check to catch it.)
There is the cold sound of metal sliding from metal as Mister Plugg draws his cutlass.
There's naught but the scuffle of feet as the rest of the crew line up for the day's duties.
"Ye be keepin' yer Rat-hole shut an' workin' hard like everybody else. They're tired o' pickin' up yer slack."
"Now git workin'."
Crew peel off quickly to their various duties, few looking at Mata except to scowl at him.
The Wormwood A6. Middle Hold: This is the ship’s main cargo hold. The hold is mostly empty, save for the 13 pigs; normally kept caged, they periodically escape and run loose within the hold. Owlbear is chained up behind some of the pig cages next to the cabin that Grok and Kroop use. In the forward section, a flight of wooden stairs climbs up to the officers’ quarters (area A4), while a second set of stairs descends into the lower hold (area A10). Another flight of stairs in the aft section next to the galley leads up to the captain’s quarters (area A5), but it is common knowledge among the crew that the door is trapped. Stored near the mainmast are two light ballistas, a disassembled light catapult, and 12 barrels containing 20 gallons of oil each.
Mata's searching does reveal the occasional nest of rats, and his methods, while lacking in subtlety, gain him enough rats to avoid further whipping.
Rosie Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
"Well, if'n ye don' got the money..." Plugg reaches towards the purse when another purse lands beside it.
"Don't ye worry, Mister Plugg, sir. I got 'em covered." Sandara Quinn smiles amiably.
Plugg scowls and turns to Sevien. "I ain't forcin' 'im t' fight. I ain't forcin' ye t' bet. And ye've only been flogged fer slackin' an' disobedience. Ye've ne'er been punished fer winning. Ain't that right, Fipps?"
"Yessir," grunts Fipps, scratching at the burn on his belly.
Plugg turns to the crew. "Typical. Ye offer 'em a fair fight an' they whines and wants to wriggle out o' it. Well, ne'er let it be said I ain't generous. Ye ken heal 'im first, but no other o' ye magics."
Fishguts is coherent enough to bring up the ship's dinner, then grabs some rum rations and disappears below decks. Sevien purifies the rum again and Xantrius notes its lack of flavour.
It's about this time when Mister Plugg and Master Scourge reappear, leading a large man covered in filth and feathers by a chain.
"And ye! Ye're meant t' be runnin'! Not sleepin' as soon as ye round th' corner! An' watchin' where ye be goin' instead o' starin' off an' knockin' others. Ye be joining fish-face at bloody hour!"
Mata is also fatigued.
(Green text- awesome. I wasn't aware we could do that. I assume you just put the text inside the usual square brackets dice?)
When the minute is reached, Plugg turns to the group and casts his eye over you all disdainfully.
Conchobhar - Lookout. Barefoot - Line Work. Ratline - Mainsail Duties. Maheem - Rigging Repair. Sly - Rope work. Fish Face - Upper Rigging Work." The final order is given to Nakon.
"Thick as thieves, they say."
Mister Plugg lets go the rope and walks up to Mata, looking him directly in the eye.
"Unlike ye, this ain't th' first time Magpie's taken stuff what ain't 'is. But unlike ye, he's proven 'e can be useful aboard a ship. So, ye ken take the rope, or ye ken die in 'is place. But if ye can't follow orders, ye've chosen th' second. Now, take the gods damned rope!"
A murmur goes round the crew as Sevien reveals his tattooed back, and some of them even press forward.
Scourge1d20 + 0 ⇒ (2) + 0 = 2
Plugg1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Plugg pauses. "He's owed three, from th' cat." Plugg gives his cat-o'-nine-tails to Scourge. Someone in the crowd murmurs something, but Scourge eagerly takes the cat and applies it with vigour.
"And for our grand finale... bring up those two from the bilges."
Mata and Jakes Magpie are fetched from below decks and brought before Mister Plugg.
Mister Plugg steps forward and a hush falls over the crew leaving only the sound of waves lapping against the ship's hull.
The wide burly dwarf steps forward and shucks his shirt to reveal a back white with scars. "I'll 'ave a fourth."
Plugg cracks his knuckles as Crimson is carried back to the crew, away from Tate. "And now, our fairy who thinks 'e can fly." He looks at Sevien.
"You! Fatso!" Plugg steps forward and pokes Xantrius in the stomach. "You look like you've eaten well. You’re a cook’s mate now. Get yer fat arse down to the galley and report to Ambrose Kroop, NOW!!!"
"You! Fish-face!" Plugg jabs Nakon in the ribs. "You're my newest rigger. Git over to the mainsail and head to the lowest crossbeam. Touch nothing till I git there."
"The rest o' you lazy bludgers are now swabs. Master Scourge 'll be givin' yer orders and ye'll be takin' 'em or ye'll be joining yer fall guy fairy friend here at bloody hour." He lashes the deck in front of Sevien with his cat-o'-nine-tails then, chuckling, he heads over to the main mast leaving the rest of you with Master Scourge.
"Right, ya jelly spined pack o' blaggards. Stand straight an' keep still."
He marches past you all, stops turns and marches back, watching you all intently as he does. He sneers in your faces, and prods you each with the butt of his cat-o'nine-tails. He then takes a few steps back and eyes each of you in turn.
"Now, ya lilly livered land lubbin' losers... who can cook?"
"That'll do, Master Scourge," mutters Mister Plugg still watching the climbing.
Scourge composes himself, and stands at Mister Plugg's side.
Plugg continues. "We don't take kindly to thieves 'ere. Narwhal. Syl. Chuck 'im in with t'other one. The rest o' you, line up. We got another little test. NOW!!!"
Mister Plugg looks down at you and the other impressed captives and smiles unpleasantly. He glances at the rest of the crew.
He jabs at the top of the mainsail mast, sixty feet up, from which hangs a cascade of rigging.