DM Barcas - Skull & Shackles: Freedom of the Sea (Inactive)

Game Master Isaac Duplechain

With pirates, slavers, and Cheliax prowling the seas, there are some who still appreciate - and fight for - the freedom of the sea.


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Welcome to the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path!

PLAYER CHARACTERS
Iokab Steele, Human Male Gunslinger (25)
John Rawkins, Human Male Ranger (23)
Beshra Bleak, Tiefling Female Oracle (21)
Ollivor Myles, Human Male Sorcerer (19)
Doran Tidewrack, Halfling Male Rogue (21)
Vrunyar Magmabeard, Dwarf Male Alchemist (57)
Synthia Candle, Human Female Rogue (22)

24 Abadius 2413

The Empty Lighthouse sits at the dock in Souston, a small fishing town on the Andoran coast on the edge of Star Bay. The town is a beautiful little fishing village a few hundred miles from the capital, though it looks like it has seen more prosperous days. As the small crew of the small two-masted corvette moves cargo off of the boat and onto the wooden dock, the ship's captain steps onto the swaying slats. The boat itself is a beauty - if one can appreciate a rickety piece of flotsam with sails and not enough sense to sink. Fading blue paint peels off the hull as the waves quietly crash against the name emblazoned on the side of the rocking ship, which appears to lack any sort of weaponry entirely. The square and triangular sails flap in the wind, which also threatens to pull off the captain's tricorn hat.

The captain looks around at the assembled citizens at the dock. A few dozen people stand there, some more cautious than others. Souston is a more common target for piracy and raids, leaving the citizenry with the ability to quickly seek shelter. The captain, an older human with a trim goatee flecked with gray and bright green eyes, takes his hat off and presses it against his chest with a slight bow. "Good morning! I am Captain Henray Morgan Jonas , and I appreciate your town's hospitality. I've got goods to sell - from Absalom and further away - should any of your merchants wish to take a look." He calls out to the nearest crew member, a halfling barely taller than most children. "Doran! Would you open up that crate and show off our wares?" The halfling pries open the wooden crate and pulls out a roll of fine Osirian linen. The citizens nod appreciatively at the high-quality items for trade, apparently pleased with the possibility of barter or purchase.

The crew brings the crates out and has them opened up, taking coin and trade under the watchful eye of Jonas. He smiles and jokes with the crew, something they reciprocate. The crew is clearly happy despite being vastly understaffed. Captain Jonas stands atop one of the crates and shouts for the attention of the now-swelling crowd. "We will be continuing on to Sargava, with stops in some of the major ports along the waey - except for Cheliax." A small cheer goes up through the crowd at the dig against their former colonial masters. "I'll be taking on both passengers and crew members. For the former, I don't charge much, and for the latter, I pay well. The ship might not look like much, but I guarantee that I can outrun any pirate who might want the valuable goods on board. We leave at dawn tomorrow. Come talk to me if you wish to sail aboard the Empty Lighthouse."

Vrunyar booked passage in Absalom, whereas Doran has been given work there as a crew member. Ollivor, John, and Iakob are all at the port looking for work and/or passage. (Beshra and Synthia are starting elsewhere.)


Halfling Bard (Sea Singer) 2/Rogue (Knife Master) 3 | HP 34/34 | AC 20 | T 16 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | Fort +4 | Ref +12 | Will +7 (+2 vs fear, +4 vs. air and water effects, or being knocked prone) | Init +4 | Perc +12

Doran grunts quietly as he lifts the roll of light-weight linen and partially unrolls it before the assembled crowd, glad that the captain has not asked him to display one of the very large amphorae of wine or some other heavy item. "As fine as elven silk," he says to an older woman eyeing the cloth, "sure to keep you cool even in the hottest days of summer. And it would suit your color, madam."

Even after many months of freedom, Doran is still unused to interacting with free folk so easily, having no one shout at him, beat him or call him 'slip'. Thinking of how good life is under Captain Jonas, he calls out to a group of young men staring at the ship, a hunger in their eyes, "The captain's a fair man and a good one. You won't regret signing with him, and you'll see the world!"

Ah, perhaps I shouldn't have said a thing. What if they join the ship, and we go down again? We can't sail soon enough for my tastes, and head to a new sea where new gods hold sway.

Liberty's Edge

Male Human (Taldan) Ranger (Freebooter / Corsair) 4 / Bloodrager (Elemental (Aquatic)) 1 / AC 17/11/16 / HP 47/47 / F +9 R +5 W +3 (+2 vs charm and compulsion) / Init. +1 (+2 at Sea) / Perc. +10 (+2 at Sea) / Sense Motive +10

The crashing of waves and the cawing of seagulls filled the air as John Rawkins limped his way down the docks. It had been four months since he had received his discharge papers. He carried them still, tucked between two pages of his journal. The papers, like the man had seen better days. Made of fine materials, written with clear indenent, but sullied and covered in grime, yet recognizable, even now. Next to his papers John carried a second parchment, an offer of employment from the Royal Sargava Shipyards. Work was work, but some work was better than others. Still, John was lucky to have received the job offer at all.

Closing his eyes, John ran a hand along his face, feeling the stubble, the unkempt hair. He felt the sun, and smelt the salt air. There was something about the ocean that called to him. Trying to describe the feeling would have been as pointless as describing what an apple looked like to a blind man. It just was. Collecting himself and shaking off his musings, John walked over to a rain bucket at the edge of the pier. This had been the third ship to arrive since Alima and him had decided he should take the job offer, and time was running out. Things were growing desperate at home and he had a wife and child to provide for. Mabey just one drink. John thought to himself as his hands plunged into the bucket. Just one to smooth the nerves. His hands now dripping from water he brought them upto his hair, trying to smooth out the curly red mess. As he brought down his large callused hands he sighed. No, no drinking till after. You can celebrate after you have a job. Gathering his courage and saying a prayer John hobbled down the pier towards the Empty Lighthouse.

As John reached the ship he ran an apprising eye over her, the same way a farrier might examine a horse, or a blacksmith a blade. It was naval tradition in Andoran to speak of a ship as a lady, but if the Empty Lighthouse was a lady, she would be well past her prime and penniless to boot. Beggers can't be choosers John thought to himself, as he moved forward past the halfling, hawking the ships wares towards the captain. Excuse me sir, he began, trying to put his best "foot" forward. I heard ya just now, captain. I'm looking for passage to Sargava. I'm not afraid of hard work, and I spent three years in the Andoran Navy, sir. I know my way around the deck, and can splice, mend and tend lines better than most. If you would be willing to take me on sir, you wouldn't regret it.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23


Male Halfling Bard

Ollivor enjoys the feel of the sea being this close. Frankly, while no doubt the people of Souston would insist on their uniqueness, it seems so much akin to his home town of Cyremium as to make him bored with it.
Even some of the women look the same, though that's not all together a bad thing, he observes as one set of swaying hips bustles past as the owner of said hips makes her way to see what's being sold.

Tearing his eyes from that pleasing distraction lest he be caught, he looks upon the Empty Lighthouse with a dubious brow. If it were a horse, I'd suggest they put it down.

He notes that the Captain plays to his audience well, taking the dig at Cheliax. Ah, we are a predictable bunch, we Andorans. but it is the mention of the destination that causes him to truly gain attention. But he's going where I need to be if I want to ever look my great great gods only knows how great grand dragon in his serpentine eye.

Quote:
Even after many months of freedom, Doran is still unused to interacting with free folk so easily, having no one shout at him, beat him or call him 'slip'. Thinking of how good life is under Captain Jonas, he calls out to a group of young men staring at the ship, a hunger in their eyes, "The captain's a fair man and a good one. You won't regret signing with him, and you'll see the world!"

The halfling chipping in catches him off guard, and he laughs lightly, "Next you'll be telling us the ship suits our color?" Ollivor says with no malice, merely amusement. "A crewman chiming in speaks well of him, I'll say that."

Taking that as something of a sign, Ollivor waits his turn to speak to the captain, running his fingers through his hair and making sure he doesn't look like he washed up on the shore last week. Then when it looks clear enough, he takes his turn, "Ahoy, Captain. My name's Ollivor, and while I'm no sailor proper, I'm able bodied enough and if you have need of a ship cook, you won't be sorry you took me on. Hell, I even fish so at least some meals might be fresh."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14


M Dwarf Alchemist (Vivisectionist/Chirurgeon) 5 HP 39:39 | AC:17 T:12 FF:15 | CMD 17 | F:+6 R:+6 W:+3 | Init: +2 Per: +7

The heavy footfalls of the men carrying crates thump above his head. By now, he wanted to be off the ship to stretch his legs. Instead Vrunyar finishes preparing his alchemical extracts in the dim interior of The Empty Lighthouse. One vial to heal wounds and one panacea for a variety of conditions. He tucks them within an inner pocket of his vest.

On the deck, he listens to the Captain’s speech, an echo of the speech in Absalom. Perhaps it will net a few more people. He’s impressed by Doran’s sales pitch, not merely for the wares but for those thinking of joining the crew. Jonas is a good captain. I’m lucky to have found him. Yennard would have liked him. Though Jonas wouldn’t have liked Yennard’s family. He pushes thoughts of Yennard away and inhales.

With a nod and a smile, Vrunyar stepped past the men starting to inquire about work. Scanning the signs on the buildings he hooks his thumbs in the top of his sash. With a slight amused scowl, he says to a villager, but loud enough so anyone in the vicinity can hear and answer him if needed, ”Excuse me, I’m looking for a peach or any of the stone fruits as their known. Those in season here? Forgive the ignorance of a dwarf who spent over fifty years living underground. Ha!”


"Those are in season in Sarinth, good dwarf..." a deep voice calmly replies. Making his way past Vrunyar Iakob heard the question. Dressed in weather-washed leathers and carrying a rope-bound chest on his back the blond human flashes Vrunyar a tight smile. "..in high summer. We're deep in winter now. Excuse me." he says nodding politely, avoiding eye contact, and continuing through the crowd, making his way toward the captain.

Iakob couldn't say that the two mast corvette was impressive, not even slightly, but he was willing to believe that the captain believed it when he said that it would outrun pirates. Lacking cannons, there wouldn't be another choice. Anyway, he had made a decision, and the prospect of where he would end up if he changed his mind was more frightening than the prospect of meeting pirates on this ship.

Hearing the halfling praise the captain bodes well for Iakob, if it were true. This wouldn't be the first time a show had been put on to lure young men on board when the deck was short on hands. But then Iakob wasn't young in comparison, he'd sailed enough years.

Emerging from the crowd as a pair of men are speaking to the captain Iakob steps up to him. "Iakob Steele, retired navy. Looking for work." he states simply, meeting the captains bright green eyes with his own pale blue ones.

Glancing at one of the men that was speaking to the captain to indicate no disrespect was intended Iakob freezes, feeling a chill rundown to his bones.

::Screams and the sound of steel clashing echo through his mind. He barely dodges a slash from a boarding axe aimed at his head.::

"Wait!" he mutters, staring at the man, dumbstruck.

::The Righteous Eagle had broken off, the leering faces of their enemies were to numerous to count. Slashing at a foes face Iakob sees a man take a spear to the gut. Tumbling over board, his re hair flying in the wind.::

"Jh.. John? John Rawkins!?" he says, disbelieving. "Gods man, how are you even alive! I saw you go over board with a spear in your gut! What are you doing here man? What happened to your leg?" comes out of him in a rush.


The matronly woman eyes the halfling and his wares as if he is one of the yappy dogs she surely lives with. Her eyes light up when Doran compliments her color, apparently unaware that there is little that any fashion might do to relieve the dreadful reddish tint that distracts from her pale skin. She has a servant purchase the whole crate - after haggling over the price for a few minutes with Captain Jonas - and directs it to her coach for the overland journey to its destination. Jonas bends over to help Doran carry it to the coach, whispering to the halfling with a glint of humor, "She might be able to get a single dress from this roll."

As they finish the labor of carrying the crate, the captain moves to the next piece of business - hiring a crew. One of the potential crewman, an Andoran youth who looks not a day older than 14, approaches Doran. "I'm Malakay Carr. Is the work hard? My mother's sick, my father's dead, and there's not enough work here to go 'round. I can get a loan to help out and repay it when I get back. If he'll take you, he'd take me too, right?"

Back at the docks, Morgan speaks to the group of potential sailors. When Ollivor makes his offer, the captain raises a shout to the crew. "You all tired of the crap stew and hard biscuits?" When the members shout back with surprising enthusiasm, Henray Morgan Jonas nods back to Ollivor. "Chef pays less than being full-time on the more physically demanding jobs. You got any other talents?"

He eyes John's peg leg with a bit of a questioning eye. "What happened to your leg? If it was caught in the sails, I've got just about as much bad luck as the ship can handle and don't need no more. How maneuverable are you on that thing? I don't have the capacity for charity on my boat, but if you are up for the duties and that won't hinder you, I'd be happy to have you until we land at Sargava. I'd even pay the extra wages beyond the passage up front if you'd like to leave something for your family." Despite his caveats, he seems genuinely interested in having John on the crew. Before John can answer, though, Iakob's exclamation has him looking at both with a quizzical look. "You know each other, I take it?"

As Jonas negotiates with members of the new crew, one of the farmhands standing around listens to the dwarf. "Peach season lasts from Desnus to Arodus. They're summer fruit." He holds his hand out to indicate that it is still the middle of winter, apparently not hearing Iakob telling him the same. Being in the most temperate part of the country, it is far from freezing but still not warm enough to grow fruits like peaches. One of the merchants waves off the farmhand with a cantankerous motion and approaches Vrunyar. "I got pears if you want 'em." He hands him a long-stemmed pear with brownish-yellow skin as sample - though neither the frugal dwarf nor the shopkeeper is under any impression that it is free. The pear seems free of pests and lacks the telltale marks of magic or alchemy. "Got as many as you need." The man, presumably also in his fifties, seems grim as he sizes up Vrunyar's still-youthful appearance.


Off the west coast of Cheliax...

Blood drips from Synthia's dagger onto the body of the pirate who kicked down the door of her cabin. While the element of surprise allowed her to plunge the sharp blade into the man's neck, it would be unlikely to work on all the pirates currently on board the Jenivere. When she first heard the commotion, she thought that her past had caught up with her - only to have to question if that would be better or worse than the current situation of rapacious pirates taking whatever they wanted from the ship. Wiping the blood from the blade on the deceased man's shirt, she steps out into the narrow corridor. With little other option - swim or fight being the only alternatives - she tries to maximize her opportunity while minimizing her personal risks. If she survives, she can always keep an eye out for a place to escape.

Thus, she finds herself seeking out someone of authority. As the pirates finish rounding up the passengers, having slaughtered the few guards and shackled the crew, Synthia calmly requests an audience with the captain from a pair of pirates who exchange lascivious looks. She thanks Desna (though Calistria may be more appropriate) at the dangerous predictability of men who have been at sea for many months. The pair talk amongst themselves about what they will do to her when given her as a prize as they bring her before their captain - a hulking Garundi man with a long beard bound by gold rings whose left eye is covered by an eyepatch. A bloody scimitar hangs to his side as he appraises her. He dismisses the pair with a wave, much to their disappointment. "I am Captain Barnabas Harrigan, little girl. What do you want of me?" His voice is deep and grim, with little humanity behind the words.

Harrigan's ship, the Wormwood emblazoned on its side in crimson paint, floats attached to the doomed and defenseless Jenivere by grappling hooks and hooked ladders. Over a hundred feet long with three thick, black masts jutting menacingly into the night sky, the ship dwarfs the Jenivere. A giant, seemingly magical bullseye lantern tops the central mast. Its red light remains fixed on the Jenivere - which Synthia notes is still as any building on the ground. Perhaps, she thinks to herself, the light can seize hold of a ship when its light shines down menacingly upon its prey. Directly below it sits a massive clock, hands pointing (inaccurately) a few minutes from midnight. She looks up at Harrigan, hoping to survive this situation in as strong a position as possible, only to see the same menacing light reflected in his one good eye.


Male Halfling Bard

Ollivor notes that the ship's arrival and offer of trade and work is certainly waking the sleepy little town up. While one boy speaks to the halfling, he sees another lad of about the same age look wistfully at the ship for a moment, and then sigh as he continues on whatever chore his parents had sent him to do. The distant dream in the youngster's eyes is so universal that Ollivor almost wants to chuckle at it save the poor lad might take it wrong.

Quote:
Back at the docks, Morgan speaks to the group of potential sailors. When Ollivor makes his offer, the captain raises a shout to the crew. "You all tired of the crap stew and hard biscuits?" When the members shout back with surprising enthusiasm, Henray Morgan Jonas nods back to Ollivor. "Chef pays less than being full-time on the more physically demanding jobs. You got any other talents?"

At that, Ollivor strokes his patch of a beard as he considers how straight to be in a crowd like this. Hell, I've got to be honest with some folks, and it'd come out eventually anyway. He doesn't look like the Featherless sort "Besides catching and cooking? Aye. I'm no warrior neither, but I've a few talents might come handy in a fight." He draws forth his short spear careful not to point it at anyone as he does so, no need to give the wrong idea, and touches the tip. There's a brief flicker like an ember at the point, and then it bursts forth bright as torchlight. While the sun above means that light is dwarfed and then some, you'd have to be blind not to realize that Ollivor has magic. "I can also pop enough storm into a man innards to make his hair stand up should he be trying to raid a ship and threaten any crewmates o mine. I'd like to think that might be a talent you might like having around if things go sour. Worth at least a cook's pay plus and passage perhaps?"


Female Human (Chelaxian) Rogue (Burglar) / 1

Synthia takes a steadying breath, then looks the pirate straight in the eye. "Employment, good captain," she says, voice steadier than her nerves. "I'm a good hand with a blade, and can probably climb the...rigging? The ropes and the masts and so on. I can probably clamber about up there like I've seen the crewmen on this ship do as well as any man you've got."

She nods, more to herself than to Harrigan. "Yes," she adds. "I've always wanted to be a..." she trails off, thinking quickly. "A seaborne adventurer.

Bluff check. 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11


Sense Motive: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19

Harrigan's eye burns into Synthia, who drastically wishes to squirm under his scrutiny but remains still. Without another word to her, he gestures to her and speaks to the members of his crew. "Lock this one up. She may yet be of use." The pair gleefully shackle her wrists, leaving her to figure a way out - but it won't be now. The metal shackles scrape uncomfortably against her wrists as she moves. She makes an errant swivel of the wrist and gasps in pain as they tighten, apparently designed to dig into flesh with cruel barbs. Blood runs down her hands onto the deck as they lead her away.

That will be a DC 20 Escape Artist check, with 1d4 damage each attempt (success or failure), to escape the manacles.

Four pirates, led by a pale man with a shaved head wearing only leather pants, bring forward two women to Barnabas Harrigan and throw them both to the deck on their knees in front of him. One of them is a beautiful young woman with brown skin and long, black hair. The other is a harsh-looking older woman with stark white hair. Harrigan reaches down and picks up the white-haired woman roughly, dangling her feet above the ground for a moment before leaving her standing. "Kerith Windblown... It's been twenty years coming, but I told you all that I would have my revenge. When you, Catelyn, and Jonas left me to die on that island, did you think that this would be how it all ended?"

The older woman smirks at him. "Not at all, Barnabas. This is how I expected it to end." She flicks her wrist and bring her arm up in a single fluid motion. A rapier appears in her hand, somehow hidden on her person, and she deftly slashes the razor-sharp tip across his neck. His head rocks back, revealing the red innards and bloody muscle of his neck. Fluidly, she spins around to take the rest of the pirates on with her blade held behind her head and her left hand pointing forward.

She doesn't see when Harrigan's head rocks forward and seals the wound immediately, nor when he reaches out and snaps her right wrist like kindling. She howls in pain as he spins her back around by the wrist, with her right hand bent at an impossible angle. The fear reaches her eyes as she realizes that there is little hope of survival now. He laughs, a terrible sound devoid of joy. "One more to go, Kerith. I may not have been able to see Catelyn scream as my man killed her, but I will enjoy hearing it from you." He brings his scimitar forward with his arm straight, arcing towards her stomach. He hits her with such force that his blow carries her off her feet as he drives the sword completely through her back. He holds her at the apex for a long moment with a single hand, watching the life leave her eyes. When she breathes her last, he flings her corpse from the boat into the cold sea.

Harrigan roughly grabs the younger woman and pulls her to her feet. "Is that a tiefling I see? What is your name, girl? Never mind. I don't like to let my cargo have a name. Lucky for you that I still have a use for you. Captain Bleak pays a thousand gold for each living cat-devil spawn brought to him." He gestures to the remaining pirates, who drag her back to the cargo hold of the Wormwood with Synthia, throwing them in and locking the door of the completely dark room after similarly binding Beshra's hands.

Liberty's Edge

Male Human (Taldan) Ranger (Freebooter / Corsair) 4 / Bloodrager (Elemental (Aquatic)) 1 / AC 17/11/16 / HP 47/47 / F +9 R +5 W +3 (+2 vs charm and compulsion) / Init. +1 (+2 at Sea) / Perc. +10 (+2 at Sea) / Sense Motive +10
Iakob Steele wrote:


Glancing at one of the men that was speaking to the captain to indicate no disrespect was intended Iakob freezes, feeling a chill rundown to his bones.

::Screams and the sound of steel clashing echo through his mind. He barely dodges a slash from a boarding axe aimed at his head.::

"Wait!" he mutters, staring at the man, dumbstruck.

::The Righteous Eagle had broken off, the leering faces of their enemies were to numerous to count. Slashing at a foes face Iakob sees a man take a spear to the gut. Tumbling over board, his re hair flying in the wind.::

"Jh.. John? John Rawkins!?" he...

::For Andoran, for freedom, and for the prize! Into them men! Holding his cutlass high John could hear Iakob commanding the boarding team, hear the boom of of the pistol as the lieutenant fired it with a loud Crack! And then... a sharp, jerking sensation in his gut... Blood, his blood, and so much of it running through his fingers. Falling, and then a Splash!. Pain, cold and fear. A aura of red began surrounding him as his lifeblood seeped into water around him. The roar of the cannons above as the Carron's Maw delivered another broadside into the Righteous Eagle.::

Hearing the burr of a familiar voice, John whirls in mid conversation with Captain Jonas. Sir? Is that? But I thought you... Limping over to his lieutenant, John Rawkins forces the slouch of his back, standing straighter then he had in months. With a sharp salute, John breaks into a confused, grin before dropping his hand forward and turning the salute into a hug. I.. I thought you were dead sir! Gods!

::Smoke had settled all about John. Each of the fiery cannon blasts leaving contrails through the haze. Flotsam and jetsam littered the site of the ambush, and over the roar of battle John heard the cries of other men in the water. Clinging to the shattered figurehead of the Righteous Eagle its wing spread about him, engulfing and protecting, John's blood turned the gold-leaf a crimson hue. Sharks! Ders sharks in da water He heard a voice cry. Was it his own voice? He wasn't sure through the pain. Fins... blood... the screams of sailors as the threshing began.

Oh gods! Don't let em take me. Gripping his dagger he watched as a jigsaw patterned fin rose around the golden wing where he laid dying. Circling... closer and closer, testing the water, tasting the blood. This is it... I love you Alima! I'll love you always. Take care of Farah, tell her I love her every day. Taking a deep breath John steeled himself. COME ON YOU BASTARD! NOONE EATS FOR FREE! With a bone jarring SLAM John felt the shark strike from below, capsizing the wing and throwing him over into the water. Splashing, one hand clinging to the wreckage the other gripping his dagger John bellowed in pain as the next strike came. Worse then the spear to his gut, a deep, crushing, severing pain. Crying, screaming and bellowing John felt his leg go numb and a cloud of blood spread out around him. Arrrrrrrrrrhhhhh!!! Through the haze of pain and the thrashing of water John saw the glassy black eye of the shark as it returned for one final attack. As the grey and white beast rushed forward John thrust his arm out towards the eye of the tormentor. He felt the weight of the blow as he struck the shark. Saw the dagger plunge into the beasts eye and gouge a long furrow down the port side of its head. And then, clinging to the wreckage, John felt everything go dark.::

Shark attack sir, during the battle. Mutters John, gesturing to his pegleg. Great, bloody sharks all in the water, we lost half a dozen to them. I guess I was one of the lucky ones. The Righteous Eagle had a jon-boat in the water trying to recover men and repel boarders. I... I don't remember most of it after the attack. The doc said he had to take the leg, it was too far gone. Pausing John looks at his hands, and tries to still the shaking. Taking a deep breath John forces the memories of the screaming, smoke and sharks down into the, deep hidden part of himself. Gods I need a drink right about now. I'm sorry sir, I don't talk about it much. But enough about me, gods its good to see you again. What in the nine hell's happened to you and the rest of the boys after I went over?


Halfling Bard (Sea Singer) 2/Rogue (Knife Master) 3 | HP 34/34 | AC 20 | T 16 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | Fort +4 | Ref +12 | Will +7 (+2 vs fear, +4 vs. air and water effects, or being knocked prone) | Init +4 | Perc +12

As he helps hoist the crate, Doran chuckles under his breath at Captain Jonas' comment about the yardage required to cover his customer, thinking as he does so, What a world of difference from a Chelish ship! The cap'n himself joking with me while he does actual, physical labor at my side! Never thought I'd live to see such a thing.

DM Barcas wrote:
One of the potential crewman, an Andoran youth who looks not a day older than 14, approaches Doran. "I'm Malakay Carr. Is the work hard? My mother's sick, my father's dead, and there's not enough work here to go 'round. I can get a loan to help out and repay it when I get back. If he'll take you, he'd take me too, right?"

On being addressed by a human stranger, Doran unconsciously knuckles his forehead and drops his eyes to the deck, the obedient, respectful habits of a slave long trained into him. The boy pauses briefly in his speech, unused to being treated so, and Doran realizes what he's done.

Annoyed at himself, Doran responds somewhat brusquely, "Is the work hard? You ever been at sea, Malakay? On an easy day, it's the hardest work you've ever done. And there are no easy days."

The boy recoils a bit, a hurt look in his eyes, causing Doran to collect himself. "Forgive me," he continues, in a much gentler tone, 'tis not the full truth I spoke. I myself was at sea when I was half your age, and in a much harder ship than this one. Even then, it was a good life, and it's a better one in the here and now. The cap'n is a good man, and though she's not the prettiest ship, he knows her like a hand knows a glove, and she treats us well enough. I'm sorry to hear about your folks, and you could do much worse than signing aboard the Lighthouse. You look a likely lad. A few months into the journey, and you'll be able to hand, reef and steer like you were born to it."


Iakob gives a small shudder at John tale, squeezing his shoulder in sympathy at the ordeal. "Deepmar." he replies simply, pulling down the collar of his shirt to better reveal the tattoo reaching up his neck, absentmindedly stroking the red dots over his left eye when he lets it go. His face darkens at the gesture, emphasizing the many nicks and scars on his face he got there. Braking his gaze from John Iakob looks apologetically at the captain. "A tale for another time. We have much to discuss." he says to John before turning his attention fully to Captain Jones.

"Sorry, Captain Jones." he says, unconsciously standing a little straighter as he speaks to the trader captain. "We do indeed know each other. We served together on the Righteous Eagle. No better man to have at your side in boarding action, Captain, our man John Rawlins. Peg leg or no. Honest seaman if there ever was." Iakob states, giving his estimate of John simply and straightforward.

Liberty's Edge

Male Human (Taldan) Ranger (Freebooter / Corsair) 4 / Bloodrager (Elemental (Aquatic)) 1 / AC 17/11/16 / HP 47/47 / F +9 R +5 W +3 (+2 vs charm and compulsion) / Init. +1 (+2 at Sea) / Perc. +10 (+2 at Sea) / Sense Motive +10

Lords have mercy, he was in Deepmar? Sucking the wind through his teeth, John breaks away from the hug and politely nods to the captain in support of Iakob. Aye captain, Mr. Steele here is a good man. Even if he is an officer. Right at the forefront of boarding's, and not afraid of little work like some are. Taking on a distant stare for a moment, John gives a small, sad smile. Grimacing as his eyes move to his peg leg, John continues. But as I said sir, lost it at sea to a dammed shark. I can get around good enough, even climb and stand the crows-nest if ya like.

Slinging his seabag to the dock, Johns arms and shoulders flex as he drops the 70 lb. bag like it was a sack of turnips. I have discharge papers... there all in order and the like. Medical discharge. As he says it, John seems deeply troubled by the phrase. In the navy I saw plenty of one legged pirates and privateers. They were able to get around just fine, but rules are rules I suppose. Reaching into the bag, John withdraws a cracked leather journal, opening it up delicately he withdraws some weathered papers. Offering the folded paperwork towards Captain Jonas, John gently closes the journal with a carefulness at odds with his large hands. And yes sir, if its not too much of a problem I would be happy to take any pay at the front. Realizing that Iakob can probably hear the conversation, he pauses for a moment. They already kicked you out of the navy, and your leaving the country. I suppose that not much worse can happen. I have a family, captain. When I leave here, it will be without a coin in my pocket, everything is going to them. So yes sir, if you would take me on with an advance, I'd be mighty grateful.


Female Rakshasa-Spawn Tiefling Oracle 1

Grating throaty laughter echoes through Beshra's mind, as the darkness envelopes her and her feline eyes gleam as the last sliver of light vanishes.

Oh, this is too priceless Beshra sweetling! You a cat in a rat trap, and that obnoxious old lady loving hag Kerith finally availed of a hole I can take pleasure in! Come now, if ever there were a time to make your dear passenger an offer to secure his formidable aid...

Please. Better a thousand years in prison than one moment of you Monster.

She grits her teeth, striving to quiet the pounding of her heart and forcing her roiling emotions down into a tight ball in her stomach. Then exhaling slowly to calm her breathing she surveys her surroundings, taking in the hold and finally the woman imprisoned with her,

"Well I guess we are to be roommates, so I might as well introduce myself. I'm Beshra, I'd ask you how you do, but I don't really want to be reminded of our shared predicament right now. So, what should I call you?" She says, her tone bitterly humorous.


Female Human (Chelaxian) Rogue (Burglar) / 1

Synthia rolls onto her stomach and then worms her way to a standing position. She takes a careful look at her surroundings...

Perception check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5

...then turns to the striking-looking woman imprisoned in the cramped cabin with her. She ignores Beshra's question, saying, "Do you have anything like a pin? In your hair maybe? Or just tucked away? Or if I could find a loose nail..."

Syn turns a slow circle, trying to take in everything in her environment, looking for anything she can use as a tool.

Then frustration takes over, and she shrugs, slowly rotating her wrists, one to the right and one to the left.

Escape Artist attempt: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 3

"Nine hells!" she half-shouts, then hisses in pain, fresh blood rolling down her forearms.


Female Rakshasa-Spawn Tiefling Oracle 1

Beshra shakes her head and then realizes the woman likely cannot see her, she moves over and adjusts herself so that the woman can reach her cuffs,

"Okay, I need you to brace these for me and keep quiet. I promise we'll get both of us out of here, we just need to keep our heads. I'm going to try to escape on three, and I'm going to need your help. You are with me right? One, two, three!" She says, trying to sound cool and collected as she feels the tell tale queasy jolt of another promises shackling her.

Attempting to get Synthia to take 10 to aide another if she is okay with it. Using the legalistic curse to get a +4 morale bonus on the roll. And now it will literally make Beshra nauseous to not help get herself and Synthia out of the hold.

Escape Artist with Leg Aid: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2

Her wrists pop free, the spikes digging into her and sending searing pain crackling across the fragile skin of her burnt arms, blood welling forth to lie hot and slick beneath her elbow length purple gloves,

"Gah damn it, you miserable son of a Sea Cucumber! Ha, but there we go, step one. Now I'll help you, but first let's see if there's anything in here that we can use. Since you can't see how's about you wait by the door ears pricked and try to give us a bit of early warning if anyone decides to come a courting?"

Beshra will take 20 searching the hold for a 21.


Halfling Bard (Sea Singer) 2/Rogue (Knife Master) 3 | HP 34/34 | AC 20 | T 16 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | Fort +4 | Ref +12 | Will +7 (+2 vs fear, +4 vs. air and water effects, or being knocked prone) | Init +4 | Perc +12

Doran watches interestedly as Ollivor ignites the tip of his spear with a flick of his fingers. "Now that's a trick would come in handy in a tussle," he comments. "Though you'd do well to take care with yon flaming spear whilst aboard-ship - I've no wish to see the Empty Lighthouse live up to her name, touch wood," Doran adds, reaching an unconscious hand out to a nearby belaying pin.

"I'm Doran Tidewrack, pleased ta meet ye. I wonder, could you make my blade do that?", he asks, as a dagger appears in his hand as if by magic, making young Malaky's eyes widen in amazement. "In any case, I'd wager our new cook can get the stove lit a lot easier than old Brinker ever did, and produce a better meal than the cursed salt pork and dried peas we seemed to have every day with him in the galley."

Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16

Turning toward the two former Andoran navy men, he makes his blade disappear with a casual flick of his hand. One moment it is in his fist, shining in the sun, and then it is simply not to be seen.

Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23

Looking up somewhat diffidently at the peg-legged prospective crewmate, Doran says, "Rawkins, is it? That's a dire tale of how you came to wear that bit of timber. There's some would say it's a sign of bad luck, but in my eyes, any man who takes a spear in the gut and then goes for a dip with the sharks, and lives to tell the tale himself, well, he must be uncommon lucky." Doran extends a small, weather-beaten hand and says "Doran Tidewrack. 'Tis a pleasure, and I hope you'll be joining us. Captain Jonas has a good eye for an able hand, and I don't doubt he'll be happy to take you on."

He then extends a hand up to Iakob and adds, "And it could well be we could use a strong arm or two on our journey, and it sounds like you and Mr. Rawkins have been in a few scrapes in your day. Doran Tidewrack, at yer service."


Male Halfling Bard
Quote:
Doran watches interestedly as Ollivor ignites the tip of his spear with a flick of his fingers. "Now that's a trick would come in handy in a tussle," he comments. "Though you'd do well to take care with yon flaming spear whilst aboard-ship - I've no wish to see the Empty Lighthouse live up to her name, touch wood," Doran adds, reaching an unconscious hand out to a nearby belaying pin.

"This? Just a light spell, no heat in it. It lasts for ten minutes," He assures, wondering how much he should say of his abilities, "Though I've never actually tried to use magic in my cooking. I think the lads will prefer it the traditional way, but I do appreciate the vote of confidence, good sailor."


M Dwarf Alchemist (Vivisectionist/Chirurgeon) 5 HP 39:39 | AC:17 T:12 FF:15 | CMD 17 | F:+6 R:+6 W:+3 | Init: +2 Per: +7

”Winter! Of course...winter,” he laughs with a touch of his finger-tips to his temple in a salute to the human who answered him and then joined those seeking a spot on the crew.

”Summer fruit,” he says to the farmhand and waves his hands as if nothing more needs to be said about the seasons. He sighs nodding towards the pear then gives a faint smile. ”I’m familiar with pears. A friend introduced me to them. How much for two?” Vrunyar will offer some haggling to be polite but won’t press the man for a “deal.”

”Not to belabor the point, but do you have any peach...pits? Or any thing of a similar hardness? They’re good to gnaw. In fact better than the juicy flesh surrounding them.”


Male Halfling Bard
Ollivor Myles wrote:
Quote:
Doran watches interestedly as Ollivor ignites the tip of his spear with a flick of his fingers. "Now that's a trick would come in handy in a tussle," he comments. "Though you'd do well to take care with yon flaming spear whilst aboard-ship - I've no wish to see the Empty Lighthouse live up to her name, touch wood," Doran adds, reaching an unconscious hand out to a nearby belaying pin.

"This? Just a light spell, no heat in it. It lasts for ten minutes," He assures, wondering how much he should say of his abilities, "Though I've never actually tried to use magic in my cooking. I think the lads will prefer it the traditional way, but I do appreciate the vote of confidence, good sailor."

Sorry, I just realized I didn't respond to the first part of Doran's comment and it was too late to edit so...

"Still, Doran, if you want me to place a light spell on it, I still can. It'll only last a few minutes," He says this low, not wanting to dim , no pun intended, the impression he might otherwise make on the captain.


Halfling Bard (Sea Singer) 2/Rogue (Knife Master) 3 | HP 34/34 | AC 20 | T 16 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | Fort +4 | Ref +12 | Will +7 (+2 vs fear, +4 vs. air and water effects, or being knocked prone) | Init +4 | Perc +12

Doran replies to Ollivor with a smile, "Ah, no, but I thank ya. The sun out here on the deck is more'n enough light for me to keep an eye on the captain's wares and see if I can't talk a fellow or two into joining the crew. But there may be a time when it'll come in handy, and I'll know where to turn."

Turning his attention to young Malaky, who is clearly wrestling with decision to leave behind all he knows on a chance to see the world or be lost at sea, he says "What do you think of that, laddy? Sail with Captain Jonas and you'll see magics and wonders you can scarce imagine! I bet ya a mermaid's toenail that the ship's new cook there could cast a great ball of fire at any ship that thinks to harry us."


Taking the offered arm and introduction Iakob gives it one firm, shake. "A pleasure, master halfling. Iakob Steele, at your service."

Eyeing the mages display a frown of suspicion creeps across Iakobs face. Mages were well and good, right down necessary in some circumstances, and could offer an edge in most situations, but the wrong ones could be just as dangerous aboard as the right ones a blessing.

Glancing a the captain Iakob keeps his tongue, it was the captains job to select his crew, and judging by his ability to keep that rigged flotsam sailing he probably knew what he was doing. Besides, Iakob was here for a job, so far he didn't have one.


Female Human (Chelaxian) Rogue (Burglar) / 1

Synthia lets loose with a string of soft curses. "Did you get yours off? How?"

Still, if she freed herself she might be able to free me... So I might as well give a listen at the doorway if that's what she wants...

Aloud, she whispers, "Your kind can see in the dark? Just guide me to where I should be listening."

Perception Check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18


On the Wormwood...

A voice wafts out from the darkened cargo room. Beshra turns to see that it is coming from behind a crate. The woman's voice is the sort of dry, sultry whisper that keeps men from fitful sleep, even she is not trying to be. "I doubt it will be any use. I was taken with a few others who tried escaping one by one. One by one, Harrigan had them caught and keel-hauled. Either of you seen someone keel-hauled? It's a pretty unpleasant experience. They hang the victim from the front of the ship and drop them in, scraping along the underside of the boat - barnacles and all. Eventually, they pop out the other side looking like they were flayed. Out of the four people I've seen go through it in the month I've been here, two survived it - but not when Harrigan ordered them to go through it again." She is quiet for a brief moment. "So, you want my advice? Sit back and find a better time to escape than when you're surrounded by pirates in the middle of the ocean." During the entire speech, she doesn't sit up from her position between the crate and the wall, with her leather boots propped up on a straw-woven basket.


On the Souston docks...

Captain Jonas offers handshakes to Iakob, Ollivor, and John, welcoming them to the crew. "Happy to have you on board. Doran, will you show them their quarters and show them around the ship to their duties? Once you three have seen what you need to see, if you still want your spot, I'll give you your first month's pay before we set off tomorrow morning. If you change your mind before dawn, that's fine too. If you know anyone else who wants a job, have them come to me. There's always work to go 'round." He walks down the docks, leaving them there as he buys more wares for the ship's stores.

The older man selling Vrunyar charges him two coppers for the pears, then walks off with a confused-looking scowl. He mutters to himself as he returns. "Damn fool wants a peach pit? Who would carry around a peach pit almost the whole year out of season on the off-chance someone wants something to choke on? Bah!"

Liberty's Edge

Male Human (Taldan) Ranger (Freebooter / Corsair) 4 / Bloodrager (Elemental (Aquatic)) 1 / AC 17/11/16 / HP 47/47 / F +9 R +5 W +3 (+2 vs charm and compulsion) / Init. +1 (+2 at Sea) / Perc. +10 (+2 at Sea) / Sense Motive +10

Knuckling his forhead John reaches forward and takes back the proffered discharge papers from Captain Jonas. Aye, aye captain. John replies before placing the his writ back into his leather journal and slipping it into his seabag. Hefting the large kit back onto his shoulder with one meaty arm he gestures for Doran to lead the way, and respectfully waits for Iakob to go ahead of him before trailing behind. Bless you Golden Lord The superstitious sailor thinks to himself. Another week and I don't know what we would have done.

Following behind Iakob as they come onboard the Empty Lighthouse John manages to make it across the brow despite only one good leg. Aye, it be good to meet ya Doran, Just call me John... or Red... that's that the boys on the Righteous used ta call me. Anyhow, yea some might say that it was good luck to have survived a spear to the guts and a shark attack. Shrugging as much as he can with a burlap sack across his shoulders John continues. Yesterday, well I might o' complained about my situation. But today, today's a good day. Right lieutenant?


Male Halfling Bard

Ollivor can't help but like the Captain. At first glance at least, he seems a fair and even tempered sort. [I]I'm no judge of leadership, but his men like him and that speaks well indeed."Aye, Captain," Ollivor says to the captain as Doran leads them on, in his case he expects to be hitting the Galley, "Thank to you as well, Doran. I think you might have sold my services better to the captain than I did." The chatter between John and Iakob has him chuckling a bit, "Those two talking their way has me thinking of my brother, Colwin. He went navy too."


Female Rakshasa-Spawn Tiefling Oracle 1

"Mother's milk!" Beshra hisses, as the woman speaks, "Well whoever you are, I'm not necessarily going to disagree. And no I don't plan on trying to waltz off in broad daylight in the middle of the ocean. But this is a pirate ship, so it needs to do pirating. That means other ships, distraction, and if we only start preparing to take advantage of it when it comes about we don't deserve to escape. Now as to keel hauling, well taking a risk like that is only worth it if you have a big potential reward - right? I'll take not being sold as reward enough to try. What about you two, you under the impression that old Ring Beard is taking you to a ball? I don't know much, but I know that's a man who likes to hurt people, and saying you aren't going to risk getting hurt by escaping is fools talk. You are going to get hurt if you do nothing, so you might as well take a chance at escape."

Examining the prisoner carefully, in the black and white of her darkvision Beshra advances cautiously towards her,

"Right now I've got a few questions I'd appreciate you answering. Like how often do they check on us? Do they guard the door? How long have you been here? What is this Harrigan prick planning to do with you two?"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12 Misfortune reroll
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22


"Aye, aye, captain." Iakob echoes the others and, nodding, picks up his bound sea chest, the rope bound around it's bulk so as if the ship when down, anyone lucky enough to find the chest to keep hi afloat could easily tie himself to the chest, and steps toward the plank.

Stopping at it's base Iakob eyes the ship one more time and, taking a deep breath to shake off a moments feeling of trepidation, steps on board. Feeling the gentle roll of the ship under his feet Iakob feels a moment of vertigo, it had been a year since he'd stepped on board a ship barring the flotsam he'd used to escape Deepmar, but his body quickly picks up on the ships motions. Stepping surely forward a grin creeps across his face as trepidation turns into excitement. "Gods I missed the waters." he mutters and grins at John. "Aye, today is a good day Red." he says, oblivious to the fact that he just got called lieutenant though he no longer held that rank. "A good day indeed. Nothing like the smell of the sea and the roll of waves to shake the lethargy out of your bones, eh?"


On the Wormwood...

The woman sits up behind the crate. While Synthia is still blind to her, Beshra can see that she is a very beautiful woman dressed in tanned leathers. "Oh, I just come in here to get away from the idiots on the ship. I don't really enjoy the fighting or the bloodshed when they seize a ship, so I wait it out here. I tell a few fighting tales later when they've been drinking and they think that I was there the whole time. Based on when I was first captured," she says with her voice taking on some bitterness, "you'll be here a day or two before they find some work for you. Especially after they take a new ship, since they have to split the crew to sail the conquest. Just keep your heads down and your spirits up. Do what you can to keep all the hate and vengeance inside of you, because that's how we're getting out of here and sinking this damned ship and drowning everyone on board."

She stands, brushing herself off as she does. Beshra can see her offering a hand blindly forward into the darkness. I'm Sandara Quinn, priestess of Calistria and reluctant crew member. Who might you ladies be?"


Female Human (Chelaxian) Rogue (Burglar) / 1

Synthia bites back a startled oath on hearing the new voice.

Gods, I hate not being able to see, she thinks. And why do these women think I'm going to give them my name?

Syn carefully moves until she can feel a bulkhead at her back. At least that way they can only come at her from one direction, if things go south.

"I already offered to work for the bastards and they threw me in here," she says. "I'm going to get out of here one way or another. But I won't be a fool about it. If what you say is true, priestess, then I'm willing to bide my time."


Halfling Bard (Sea Singer) 2/Rogue (Knife Master) 3 | HP 34/34 | AC 20 | T 16 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | Fort +4 | Ref +12 | Will +7 (+2 vs fear, +4 vs. air and water effects, or being knocked prone) | Init +4 | Perc +12

Doran motions for the new members of the crew to follow him and says ”Forgive me if this is already old habit for you navy men, but the first reminder I give to any new crewmate is to always keep one hand for you and one for the ship, especially when you’re newly aboard or it’s tossin’ and blowin’.”

He gestures aft and says, ”As you’ll see, the ’Light’ is a corvette – that means she’s flush-decked, Ollivor. She’s got no quarterdeck for his eminence like in most navy ships, so the cap’n makes do with the aft bit of the main deck, just by the helm there, to stand and oversee the ship’s working.”

Doran then heads to an opening in the deck and says ”This companionway – mind the left side of this first step, it’s a bit worn through and I’d hate to have one of you big lads break right through it - leads down to the lower deck, and below that there’s the orlop. We’ll all sling our hammocks and mess on the lower deck, and the ship’s supplies – cables, sails, what spare timbers we have – are all on the orlop. When we’ve got one, Chips – that’s what a ship’s carpenter is always called, Mr. Ollivor – will have ‘is office there too.”

Just before descending the companionway, Doran pauses and speaks briefly and quietly to another sailor, ”It’s not my place to give ye orders, Symon Gund, but if I were you I’d reeve a new lanyard through that dead-eye on the futtock shroud, afore that worn one gives out and we lose the mainmast futtock plates and all the rigging, such as it is. Cap’n wouldn’t like that much. Follow me, gents, and watch yer heads – I’m not like to hit mine, but she’s not a big ship and I’ve seen her clonk the heads of smaller men than you, Rawkins, who didn’t mind what they were about.”

His eyes adjusting to the dim light of the lower deck, Doran says ”Through here is where you’ll sling yer hammock, and just past that is the galley. You’d probably do better to explore that yerself, Ollivor, than have me show you, as I don’t know a thing about cooking ‘cept it’s best done with fire. The only thing the captain’ll be particular about is that you keep your provisions stored in the garlands in the galley, as he’d like to have us eat ‘em rather than the rats. As I said though, we’ll all mess out here where we bunk, together or not depending on what watches we’re on.”

Turning to face Ollivor, John and Iakob, he says ”So that’s the important parts – where we sleep and eat. I’m happy to answer any questions ye might have, now or later as they come up. One question for you all I do have – do any of you by chance play or sing? It does make an evening pass nicely, and the current crew does more harm than good with their singing. Been thinking I might have to pick up the tin-whistle or something, fer my own good.”


Well wow. o.O somebody did his homework *applause*

Giving the ship a critical eye as Doran gives them the quick tour version, along with an impressive display of nautical knowledge, Iakob can't help but feel reassured in taking a job on this ship. The deck hands seemed able, willing at least, and the rigging wasn't in half bad shape as he'd feared. All-in-all, promising.

Coming below decks Iakob finds a place to put down his chest and, hooking his thumbs in his sash, gives an appreciative nod to Doran. "No, sorry. I couldn't sing to save my life, my dancing isn't much better and I've never picked up an instrument. I guess you'll just have to make do with my charming personality." he says and flashes the halfling a tight smile. "You been sailin' long? I must admit, I appreciate the way you seem to know your way around the ship."


Male Halfling Bard

Ollivor makes note of the layout, but when mention of the galley is made, he nods, "I may be going out to buy some more goods for the lads if its understocked. Anything the captain fancies or hates... I can't always control the menu, but it never hurts to start off on the right foot as it were?"

When the question of singing or dancing comes up, Ollivor smiles, "I never had any training in singing or playing an instrument, I'm sorry to say."

After this chat, he'll head to the galley and see on the condition on it as well as the stores, careful to make sure the garlands are secure as Doran advised.

While they are secure, he sees what was meant by rats. One at floor level shoots by his leg, but without missing a beat, Ollivor twists and a surge of electricity crackles and pops Jolt spell killing the creature. "Meat'll be fresh." He jokes to any who came with him.


M Dwarf Alchemist (Vivisectionist/Chirurgeon) 5 HP 39:39 | AC:17 T:12 FF:15 | CMD 17 | F:+6 R:+6 W:+3 | Init: +2 Per: +7

His coin purse two coppers lighter, he strolls along the docks of Souston, eating one of the pears. The skin is tougher than he remembers which is a pleasant surprise. He chuckles to himself, wondering how many the farmhand will tell of his encounter with the odd dwarf who wanted a peach pit.

An occasional glance towards the activity at the ship eases any fears of being left behind. He walks past a shed where fish are being smoked. Another where a woman is repairing a net. Behind a barrel, a stray dog is eating a rat. He has half a mind to bring it onto the ship and let it deal with the rats he has seen scurrying in the hold.

Finding a small temple to Gozreh, he enters. An offering bowl by the small pool contains a few trinkets, coins, and a shark’s tooth. Taking a deep breath, and looking up to the sky, he wishes his friend was here. He takes a gold piece and puts it in the bowl, with the pear on top to hide it somewhat. ”No disrespect, but if it please you, The Wind and Waves, I’ll offer you what I offer Torag, as well.” Pulling out a piece of flint, he strikes his dagger and makes three series of sparks above the offering bowl.

He stares at his reflection in the pool of water for a few minutes. Finally he speaks looking skyward, ”Please give our ship extra care and a gentle passage. She’s had a hard life, but I can tell the captain loves her.”

Once outside of the temple, Vrunyar walks back to the ship with a spring in his step and feeling a measure of peace.

Liberty's Edge

Male Human (Taldan) Ranger (Freebooter / Corsair) 4 / Bloodrager (Elemental (Aquatic)) 1 / AC 17/11/16 / HP 47/47 / F +9 R +5 W +3 (+2 vs charm and compulsion) / Init. +1 (+2 at Sea) / Perc. +10 (+2 at Sea) / Sense Motive +10

Quietly following behind Doran and Iakob, with Ollivor trailing behind "Red" John Rawkins takes note of the Empty Lighthouse. Running his eyes along the bow and stern of the corvette, some of the tension begins to drain away. She may be in poor shape, but at least Doran seems to know his way around a bosun pipe and the difference between a hawser and a heaving line. Making his way down the companionway John follows the first rule of seamanship, keeping one hand tightly griped on the guide rail leading down the ladder well. Upon reaching the berthing area, John drops his seabag with a solid Thump! next to one of the footlockers. Knowing he will have time later to repack his kit, and not wanting to appear disrespectful as the new "swab" John quickly snaps the provided padlock shut and tucks the key into his pocket before turning back to Doran.

I can holler a sea shanty as well as any sailor I suppose. John reply's rubbing his stubble covered chin. Useful when it comes for working the capstan. But, what your asking? No, 'fraid not mate. Pausing the veteran sailor collects his thoughts before asking a few tentative questions. Two watches or three a day? And do you rotate watches, or do the crows stay to the nest, and the like? I know she's a merchant vessel and all, but I would like to have a better understand of what to expect before we are beyond the horizon. Oh, and I almost forgot... begins John as if remembering something unimportant. Does the Captain provide a rum ration?

Sense Motive DC 6:

Bluff: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6
John seems to be far more interested in a rum ration then his words would imply.


Halfling Bard (Sea Singer) 2/Rogue (Knife Master) 3 | HP 34/34 | AC 20 | T 16 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | Fort +4 | Ref +12 | Will +7 (+2 vs fear, +4 vs. air and water effects, or being knocked prone) | Init +4 | Perc +12

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

”Ah, well, still no musicians aboard, pity that. Looks like it falls to me to learn to play if I wish to hear a tune.”

In response to Ollivor’s question, Dorran says ”Don’t get much chance to eat with the captain, so don’t know what he likes, but I’d guess he as partial to sweets as any – often seems the case with folk of a kinder disposition, and he’s got that. Like in most ships, the captain will provide for his provisions out of his own purse, though you’ll be cooking ‘em, and could surely spruce ‘em up a bit. You might do well to pick up a few delicacies, like, and keep ‘em aside to surprise him. Nothing better than an unexpected jar of jam after weeks at sea, even if you have to eat it on ship’s biscuit.”

Doran is on more familiar ground with John’s question about watches, replying ”We do five watches of 4 hours apiece, and then a couple of dog watches, of just a couple of hours, much like I expect you did in the navy. The dog watch mixes things up a bit, keeps the same men from always having the same watch, day in and day out. Cap’n’s not too particular about who takes which duty on watch, but some men are better at some things than others – Symon Gund, who I spoke with earlier? He’s a decent hand, can climb and reef and haul, and can fid and splice a line neater than you’ll have seen, but his eyes aren’t the sharpest, so you’ll never see him on lookout.”

Doran pauses as he hears John’s none-too-subtle inquiry about the rum ration, his eyes narrowing a bit before he responds. ”Of course there’s a rum ration, grog to be precise – rum and water, half and half, that is, Ollivor, with lime when we’ve got it. But if the cap’n thinks a man can’t handle it, he’ll put a man on four-water grog or worse.” Doran says, giving Rawkins a direct look.

Iakob’s question causes Doran to think a moment. ”Have I been sailing long? ‘Tis a bit hard to say, as I don’t recall exactly how old I was when I first took ship. I believe I was about 8 years old when I came aboard the Black Wind as a cabin boy, and after she…well, on my next ship I was before the mast – part of the workin’ crew, that is. Was rated an able hand by the time I was 14, but that only mattered until… Any gate, I think I’m 21 now, so all in, man and boy, I’ve been at sea a good dozen years or more. I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two along the way, kind of you to say so.”

Sense Motive, DC 12:

Bluff: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Doran appears to be carefully keeping parts of his story to himself.


Female Rakshasa-Spawn Tiefling Oracle 1

Beshra watches the woman, another Kerith? I think not, let's see what kind of woman our Sandra Quinn is shall we.

Calling upon my power again Sweetling? Its exquisite is it not? To know that you are special, better than everyone else. But you know nothing about you is special Beshra Bleak, you would be nothing without me. Embrace me an...

I would have thought you would be tired of flinging the same old chum in the water Monster. Shut your metaphorical face, I'm too busy for your dreary little sales pitch.

"Priestess hey? I'm Beshra, no name I care to claim beyond that. It sounds like we will get along fine, believe me I've got some experience with keeping hate inside - and I'm not especially keen on being sold, especially not for a thousand s~@~ting gold pieces! Anyway, I hope you don't mind if I ask you a few questions..."

She concentrates for a moment, mentally snatching up Tharash's power, which she visualizes as roiling dark fire, and opening her mind. As ever a strange feeling, and Tharash's displeasure, wash over her, leaves her feeling defuse, as if somehow removed from herself. Then she focuses her mind upon Sandara, letting the magics focus, before she attempts to lead the woman's thoughts...

"So let's see... Can you tell me; how often they will check on us? Who to watch out for? Who if anyone is half decent? How long you've been here? Anything you know about that ring bearded murderer Harrigan? What skills they value that we could play up? And beyond that, if you are a priestess do you think you could heal us? Those bleeding cuffs, left me with some painful souvenirs."


Male Halfling Bard
Quote:
In response to Ollivor’s question, Dorran says ”Don’t get much chance to eat with the captain, so don’t know what he likes, but I’d guess he as partial to sweets as any – often seems the case with folk of a kinder disposition, and he’s got that. Like in most ships, the captain will provide for his provisions out of his own purse, though you’ll be cooking ‘em, and could surely spruce ‘em up a bit. You might do well to pick up a few delicacies, like, and keep ‘em aside to surprise him. Nothing better than an unexpected jar of jam after weeks at sea, even if you have to eat it on ship’s biscuit.”

"I'll give the captain a list once I figure out what's where and how much of. See if he approves and then I guess I'll fetch like you suggest. After getting this job I'd really like to make the crew happy they took me on." A smile, "ive heard what happens to BAD cooks on ships."

Not sure if I'm around for either of the sense motives, but since the good DM wants to get to know each other...

Sense Motive on John 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Sense Motive on Doran 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17

Wouldn't mind a drink myself, Ollie thinks as he over hears part of the conversation. He's wondering if the halfling is holding back on the story to save for later, or just has something that's none of their business.

The galley is in rocky condition, but to Ollivor's surprise shows some signs of love and care as well. The supplies are well kept from the rats, despite his having found and killed one. While the ship seems ready to fall apart, it is clear either some of the crew have some fondness or pride in it.


Sense Motive- John: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Sense Motive- Doran: 1d20 ⇒ 1

Iakob catches John's twitch a the mention of rum. 'Has he really gone down that path?' Iakob wonders. Gods knew he liked a drink, himself, the warmth in his belly sometimes helped clear his head and made breathing easier, but to fret so? 'He really is changed.' Iakob realizes, not pleased. But then, he had been through his own hell. How long since the navy kicked him out? Him with a wife and probably a kid as well. Realizing that Iakob has no right to judge John he looks away, embarrassed with his own train of thought, as Doran finishes telling his tale.

"Hmm? Right, right you are." Iakob mutters in reply to the halfling. "Well, 'tis said that halflings are luck aboard ship, personally I think that's just said because they take half the space and eat half the food of a human but work just as hard. Sailin's got nothing to do with luck if you ask me. Skill, knowledge and work, that's sailing." he mutters absent mindedly, still thinking about John's drinking.

"So.. John. Taking a job in Sargava, huh?" Iakob nods at John. "Why?" he asks bluntly. "You must be hitting hard times to take a job with them." Turning to his chest Iakob starts working on securing it, he felt uncomfortable probing into a mans business, John would do what John needed to do, but Sargava!? Iakob just couldn't help but ask what would turn a devout andoran navy man to that.


Halfling Bard (Sea Singer) 2/Rogue (Knife Master) 3 | HP 34/34 | AC 20 | T 16 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | Fort +4 | Ref +12 | Will +7 (+2 vs fear, +4 vs. air and water effects, or being knocked prone) | Init +4 | Perc +12

Doran gazes at Iakob with a dark look in his eye for a moment, then looks away and says quietly "Lucky, is it? Gods, I hope you're right."

Then, his face brightening, he laughs a bit and says "Eat half as much? You clearly haven't sailed with many halflings! But at least you understand a thing or two about sailing - I work hard as hard now, but in my younger days when I didn't know a taffrail from a toffee, I had to work twice as hard to make up for mistakes, or for just not knowin' how to do a thing."

His voice drops a bit, and he goes on,"'Course then it was do the work or get thrashed for it... Ah, better days now." His voice picks up again as he says, "And speaking of work, we'd better get back to it. Cap'n'll want me to talk up the ship to prospective crew, and show any other newcomers around, and he'll have duties for you as well, no doubt. Ollivor's already taking care of the galley, I'll let the cap'n know that, but you and Rawkins would do well to present yourselves and ask your duties. Cap'n Jonas is a kindly man, but he's no fool and he values a hard worker enough to let it show."

With that, Doran turns and heads back up the companionway to the main deck, instinctively avoiding the worn-through step near the top. As he climbs the steps, he thinks to himself, Best to give Iakob and John a moment to catch up - doesn't sound like either of them have a very happy tale to tell. Funny, though, that being on this ship is such a step up in life for me, from slave to pirate to respectable sailor, while those two see it as coming down in the world. Ah, well, they and Ollivor seem decent enough sorts, and likely all good addtions to the crew.

Liberty's Edge

Male Human (Taldan) Ranger (Freebooter / Corsair) 4 / Bloodrager (Elemental (Aquatic)) 1 / AC 17/11/16 / HP 47/47 / F +9 R +5 W +3 (+2 vs charm and compulsion) / Init. +1 (+2 at Sea) / Perc. +10 (+2 at Sea) / Sense Motive +10

Sense Motive (Doran): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12

Nodding respectfully to Doran as he steps off, leaving John and Iakob alone in the birthing area, John closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. Things haven't been easy since the Maw, sir. John quietly begins. After the battle there was a formal review. You probably don't know this, but we lost a third of men during that battle. Lord Havershaw was disgraced. He will never see an admirals star, let alone another ship. Timon, Jentry, Pitor... they are all gone too. And lets not forget the boarding party. Timon when the mid-deck cannon misfired, Jentry to sepsis from shrapnel and Pitor when the mizzenmast collapsed on deck. The rest of the boys... well take a stroll down the Almas docks and you will see a few like me... the lucky. John replies, eyes far away, thinking about his friends and shipmates. I'm not complaining sir, compared to most I was lucky. And I'm sure Deepmar must have been a special type of hell, honestly sir, I couldn't begin to understand what that was like. John trails off, realizing that this is the most time he has spent talking about the battle with anyone other than Alima. Anyhow, right sir, Sargava. Well, here's the thing. I wanted to stay in the navy, but they wouldn't have me. They... they called me a liability.

::A dusty room and a tired clerk. The smell of papers and ink. Right, just sign here, here and here. Motioned the yeoman to the parchment, holding forth a quill pen and jar of ink. Frustrated and with a sense of resignation John picked up the quill. I've told you, I'll do anything. He started, the anger slowly rising in his voice. I'll mend sails, scrub bilges or tar hulls. I don't care. I. Can. Work! Why don't you get that. John stated, his large meaty fist gripped around the quill, tightening and tightening, until with a loud CRACK! it snapped in his hand. Suprised at his own anger, John dumbly dropped the quill onto the desk in front of the clerk. I'll do anything... he said once more, in a quiet dejected voice to the bespectacled clerk. anything.

No, no, I'm sorry, but we have been over this. Began the clerk again, picking up the quill with a sniff and dropping it into a wastebasket at the end of his orderly desk. Your case has been reviewed and you have been found to a Liability. Your being discharged. Now sign the paperwork. Or don't, I don't really care. That was a perfectly good pen! And I have a better things to deal with.::

A perfectly good pen... I could have killed him! He cared more about his office then he did in helping someone. The Navy stopped caring about me once I lost the leg sir. I would have done anything, but it wasn't enough. To them I was just a risk waiting to happen. John trails off, closing his eyes and taking a calming breath. At least Sargava offered me a job. The way I figure it, the only nation that hates Cheliax more then us is them. I don't like the way they treat their people, but if they want to build a proper Navy so they can break away from the protection offered by the Hurricane King and give Cheliax a black eye? Well, it seems like something decent. Rubbing his chin again, John looks his former lieutenant in the eye. I wanted to serve sir. I still want to. But what do you do, when what you want just ain't possible anymore?


M Dwarf Alchemist (Vivisectionist/Chirurgeon) 5 HP 39:39 | AC:17 T:12 FF:15 | CMD 17 | F:+6 R:+6 W:+3 | Init: +2 Per: +7

As Vrunyar approaches the The Empty Lighthouse, he marvels at the construction and craftsmanship of the ship. Mere wood mostly held together by luck and dreams. A thought strikes him with such force that he stops walking for a moment and then practically runs up the plank to the ship.

”Stone!” he says to the first sailor he sees, pivoting on his heels to squeeze past him. ”Why not stone?” He laughs, passing Doran near a mast, then nearly trips down the stairs leading below deck. Despite the ship still being tied to the pier, Vrunyar uses his hands on the wall to help keep his balance. Finally at his berth, he rummages into his backpack. Muttering and chuckling, he pulls out his writing kit and a sheet of parchment. Stone Ships, he writes on the top then begins listing ways they would be better than wood ships.


On the Wormwood...

Sandara gives a suspicious look on her face, staring out into the darkness. "I get the impression that you two don't trust me - or each other, for that matter. Good. You can't trust anyone on this ship, not if you want to get off in a way that isn't being made into chum. Hang on. I'll heal your injuries."

Channel Energy: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 4) = 8

A bright flash of light fills the darkness for just a moment. It isn't long enough to truly get one's bearings, but the three can see each other for just a second. Sandara's red hair and pale skin gleam in the magical light before the darkness returns. Both Beshra and Synthia feel their injuries healing as Calistria's blessing washes over them. Unlike the warm glow of Sarenrae's magical healing or the business-like dull numbess of Abadar's, having one's wounds healed by Calistria is a sharp, almost ecstatically painful affair.

With their wounds healed, Sadara answers their questions. "You'll probably stay here until Harrigan splits the crews to sail his prey away. They'll need the labor, so be prepared for some hard work. Stay away from Plugg, the first mate; he is the pale one with the shaved head. He is a cruel son of a b#!&~, willing and able to tear someone's eyes out for looking at him wrong. His brother is just as bad. They call him Scourge because he uses that whip like it's got claws on the end of it, but he likes to be called Master if he's got you under his whip. Fishguts, the cook, is a harmless drunk. Cut-throat Grok, the orc quartermaster, is tough but fair; get her a few coins or some better liquor than the grog they ply people with here, and you might be able to get your hands on some weapons. Owlbear is the massive idiot. He's gentle as a mouse unless Plugg gets him riled up or Scourge goes after him with the whip. Most everybody else is various shades of untrustworthy. Steer clear of Slippery Syl; she killed a dozen men and was sentenced to hang, but escaped to the seas and is now given free reign for her talents. I've just been here maybe three or four weeks, so you'll be learning some of the personalities at the same time I do."

She is silent for a moment or two, then speaks quietly. "Harrigan is a monster. There is no question about it. I don't know much about him and he keeps to himself in his cabin for the most part. The rumor along the ship is that he sold his soul and his eye on an island in the Shackles that only he can find, and can't be killed unless the island sinks. He is terribly, inhumanly strong. I saw him rip a merchant's head clean off his shoulders. Don't anger him."

She shakes herself audibly, hoop earrings (wildly impractical on a pirate ship) jangling in the darkness. "You do what you have to in order to survive. If you know how, you'll be expected to repair the rigging to tie the knots, things like that. If you don't, you'll work as a swab - pest control, cleaning the bilges, carrying things, running messages, cleaning the decks. It's tough and it's tiring, so be prepared. Don't turn down a job. It's a dozen lashes from Scourge if you are slow and a full day in the sweatbox if you outright refuse. That answer all your questions?"

Beshra:
Sandara Will: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6

As Beshra peppers Sandara with questions, Beshra listens to the inner workings of her mind. 'Stupid! Can't see what's right in front of their faces! If they don't want to help, that's their problem. If they turn on me and tell Harrigan or his men, I've got that piece of s*#* Plugg wrapped around my little finger. He'd convince the others that they were lying, not me. If I gave him even the inkling that he could actually get into my pants, he'd sell out his own mother. Hopefully I'm not wasting my time. It would be so much easier to get free with some help." The rest of her scattered thoughts make her seem almost entirely guileless and straightforward. It is almost refreshing for Beshra to see someone with so little difference between their thoughts and their words.


On the Souston docks...

Still giving the new crew members some time. I like what I'm seeing, so keep it up. I'll have Captain Jonas interrupt you when necessary.

While Vrunyar brainstorms the stone ship concept, the ship rocks in port. On a boat is not the most natural place for a dwarf, but there is no other way for him to get to the Shackles with Yennard's body. (Unless he were to hire a prodigiously expensive magical teleportation, but that is far beyond his means.) He feels a slight nausea come over him, but it then passes without forcing him to retch. How much longer, he thinks to himself, must he be at sea?

A crack from outside the ship interrupts his reverie, followed by screams of terror and confusion. The dwarf joins the crew members as they rush to the edge of the boat to find out what is going on. It appears that the old fruit vendor was trying to move his wagon when the wheel broke. The heavy wooden wagon fell atop him, only to be dragged off by the panicking horse. His left leg lays useless and mangled, with blood gushing out. From his vantage point, the dwarf can see that the blood is bright red - arterial blood. If no one helps, the old man will bleed to death in mere moments. With the confusion, people are looking for a healing potion and the young boy runs towards town to fetch a cleric. Neither looks like it will be enough to save the old man.


Halfling Bard (Sea Singer) 2/Rogue (Knife Master) 3 | HP 34/34 | AC 20 | T 16 | FF 14 | CMD 16 | Fort +4 | Ref +12 | Will +7 (+2 vs fear, +4 vs. air and water effects, or being knocked prone) | Init +4 | Perc +12

Doran has just returned to Symon Gund’s side, to assist him in re-reeving the dead-eye, when the commotion breaks out. After years at sea, where disaster can strike in myriad forms and where a gust of wind at the wrong moment can mean a swift, wet death, Doran is used to handling crises. He quickly glances over the rail and, as his crewmates gather and stare agog at the scene, he nimbly maneuvers through them, calling out as he does so, ”Gund, light along and get the dwarf! Tell him to bring his healing gear!”

Doran runs to the gangplank and makes a flying leap from there to the dock, rushing to the old fruitseller’s side. As he reaches the bleeding man, he kneels down, oblivious to the pooling blood, and lays a hand on the man’s shoulder, saying, ”Help is on the way, old fellow.” To himself, he says, I’m not the best man for this job, but I’ve seen enough bloody wounds… and I’m the man who’s here.

Doran tears a long strip of cloth off the bottom of his shirt and binds the man’s leg as best he can, hopeful that it will slow the bleeding until the dwarf healer arrives, thinking, I’m fair sure the captain said the dwarf was some sort of surgeon, I hope he’s the right sort….

Acrobatics for 10' jump: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Heal: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17


Female Rakshasa-Spawn Tiefling Oracle 1

Beshra nods, for herself as she processes Sandara's words, gritting her teeth as the sweet lash of Calistra's healing hits her,

"Well, my thanks and gratitude Sandara. I'm not the trusting type, but if there is anything I do trust in its mutual self interest. My mother told me that when the blades come out, and the decks run red, loyalty, fear, love and loathing ain't worth spit, but if you can be sure you know what's in a bodies best interest you can trust them to work towards it. So I'll trust you that far, and yes, I think we can help each other,"

She steels herself, and ignores her instincts which howl in opposition as she continues,

"But if we are going to work together we need to know what tools we have at our disposal. So, I'll tell you, I've got some small magics, probably courtesy of Beshmara, though why she's so fond of me I can't tell you, because I ain't sure I'm overly fond of her. But more than that I can read minds, not all the time, just once a day. Means I can find things out that people don't want to tell. So I don't think there's any need to let Plugg get within sniffing distance of your pants. It will be so much easier to get free with some help."

This said she turns back to the nameless woman,

"How about it? Three is better than two, and it seems like this experience could be a lot less painful with a few allies. You might not trust us, I'm not sure I trust anyone, but surely its not so hard to believe we want out of this chum bucket to? At least give us something to call you, I don't care if you make it up."

I'm thinking of Beshra as someone who dislikes her common accent and generally takes pains to talk properly, but slips back into it when stressed, etc. Hence the ain'ts creeping in.


Male Halfling Bard

Ollivor is on his way to tell the captain of what supplies he'll need to purchase for the ship's galley, nothing too extreme, thankfully. But no sooner does he walk on the deck when he hears a scream.

"What in the name of any one o the nine hells?" Myles races towards the source...only to see Doran is well ahead of him. His eyes widen as he sees the fruit vendor's situation. Perhaps not as confident of his surefootedness as the halfling is, Ollie just takes the usual path provided he's not in anyone's way.

Gods, to think I was rolling my eyes at these people because they reminded me of the folks back home and now all I can think of is how this poor man looks like Old man Greenburg.

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