|The Shifty Mongoose|
This group is new to Pathfinder, and more roleplay-focused than itching for fights. They have, however, had previous experience with other RPGs of different genres, letting me institute a pair of house rules:
One, convincing arguments and other, similar actions can modify, and potentially even supplant, social skill checks. Using an alternate, Persuasion system for Diplomacy, it can even handle PCs using it on PCs, and NPCs too.
Two, alignment is more fluid. Players write down the alignment they believe is right for their characters, but, based on their actions and intentions, their alignments can change without them realizing it. They would need a See Alignment or similar spell from a trustworthy source to stay sure of their own, or just keep striving away. Or, they could just find themselves hit by a Holy Smite or an Unholy Blight and come away strangely unharmed.
Characters (& Players)
Jack “Captain Calico” Colt, human gunslinger (Pistolero). Born or at least raised on a ship, he turned out to be a curious, helpful young man. Mildly annoyed of the favouritism toward his sister, instead he turned toward mastering his parents’ loud weaponry, practicing his skill and learning to stay calm in risky situations. A utilitarian without knowing the term, he always makes sure his crew is organized and his officers are loyal, though he tends to get depressed when people mistake his pistol for a wand and assume he’s a sorcerer.
(The player prefers the future to the past, having tried more cyberpunk stuff than high fantasy. He turned out to like the setting, especially the prospect of being the only pirate with a gun, but gets extra-annoyed when people bring their player issues into their characters)
Mia Andolini, half-aquatic elven ranger (freebooter). All her life, she wanted to be a pirate. Born in Westcrown from a father who decided to spend a twelve-year trip on land to “sample the surface flavour” and a mother who knew that her unfortunate experiment would disappear in the next clarity pyre, she never had the family she wanted. Brokering a deal with an “exploratory” ship and intentionally getting it captured via sabotage, she ended up getting around the Eye as she’d planned, so she could find or start a family of her own.
(Normally shy, she quickly hit on the character idea of “Mafia Pirate” and brought it home with her. She’s more interested in plotting than fighting, resulting in a bit more of a focus on negotiations than the AP normally has. While a skilled markswoman with her bow, her favourite weapon is still a hatchet that she brings with her just in case)
Peter Haripeth, human fighter (cad). Hailing from Cassomir, Taldor, he was dishonourably discharged from its navy and was press-ganged aboard various ships until he found himself in Port Peril. Though he considers himself a “chivalrous, suave gent”, his lack of self-awareness has made his consistent disrespect toward those of a different race, ethnicity or gender obvious to all but himself.
(He thought up a maneuver-oriented fighter with below-average Charisma and no social skills, but his first and foremost aim is nailing all the lady NPCs. His “Errol Flynn” concept ended up as a “White Man’s Burden” one instead, which is something of an outmoded oddity in this equal-opportunity setting)
“Spooky Miss” (No real name given), elf witch. *Dead* A Mwangi elf whose village was over-run by angry demonic apes, she fled with as much as she could carry. Ending up in Port Peril, she bought a fox from a bazzar with exotic caged animals, and suddenly found that her experiments with the arcane finally started paying off. Rather than head back and see what became of the rest of her village, she instead decided to look for ways to expand her knowledge.
(The player didn’t really want to try a pirate adventure, but was leaving the country in a month and was willing to try out the setting and system, both of which she liked. As a result, she refused to be a sea witch, pick a familiar that could swim, put any ranks in Sailing, or even take a campaign trait, going for Rich Parents instead. Her Str and Con were both 8, which I warned would make for a frustrating intro, but she decided to do it anyway so she could find something for her that she would like better after leaving)
Karynthia Colt, human gunslinger (Mysterious Stranger). Born and raised on a ship, she turned out to be a daring, cocky young woman. Raised and taught under her mother, Free Captain “Ol’ Riptide” Colt, she developed a boisterous attitude to cover her crippling shyness. Envious of her brother’s calm attitude, she made sure to craft her own personal style, unsure whether to take after Ol’ Riptide or make a different name for herself. When her mother left her to fend off pursuers, she sadly took command and received her inheritance, trying to rally an unsure crew under her natural charm.
(The only remaining player from an earlier attempt at running S&S, she was frustrated that her backstory never got the opportunity to pan out and wanted to try again as well. Since another player wanted to be a gunslinger and she didn’t want to start from the beginning again, she agreed to jump in later and made arrangements with him; since they both picked the Buccaneer’s Blood campaign trait, they both decided to merge backstories together with a shared famous family member. She also plans to pick up all the lady NPCs, which may lead to complications later)
(After having to use the characters of players who didn’t show up, including one who gave me one but never did, the players asked me to just make up a GMPC. They asked for a cleric, preferably of Besmara, but I had a different idea in mind. I had to make him a separatist to get the Death domain (undeath), since Groetus doesn’t offer it for an undead-oriented cleric. I plan to avoid center stage with him, but his existence will provide points of contention with the others)
|The Shifty Mongoose|
The Cold Open
“He took a shot at us! I can’t believe that galoot had the gall-”
“Then shut it and do something about it! All hands, battle stations!”
He had come up alongside their fore line, into the wind. Knowing they’d rather ram him than escape, his first broadside had used chain; their foremast was already suffering for it. Aftwards, another, smaller ship, flying the same colours, was drawing closer. It was obvious that this would happen, in retrospect, but they just didn’t expect it to happen now, or they would have brought the rest of their ships along, with each of them in a different one.
“Right, right… I’ll get the young’uns safe, you show ‘em what we’re made of.”
The two shared a kiss, then went to their tasks. More volleys were fired; closer weapons were readied; more oaths were uttered; their spell-slinger leapt off the deck and took to the air, already gathering what he’d need to throw a fireball at the deck of the enemy ship – and went plummeting into the water as his flight spell was removed by an enemy magician. As the attacking ship closed, Ol’ Riptide heard a whisper in her ear, carried by her foe across the wind: “What you took from me, I shall now take from you. There’ll be no discussion.”
Softer, less clear in the whipping wind and shouting of orders – but heard over everything else - came a pair of simple questions:
“Do we get to fight now?” and “Momma, who’d want to fight us?”
Imperceptible to all but her immediate family, Ol’ Riptide hesitated. Her husband touched his hand to hers, and whispered in her ear, “We ain’t gonna win this. He ain’t after us, not yet. Keep the young’uns safe. We’ve scuttled enough, so if he goes after us now, he’ll lose his real prize. Are they really what you value the most?”
“…All hands, to the boats! Bring what you can, light what you can’t! He demands satisfaction, don’t let ‘em have it!” She turned to starboard, grabbing her young daughter’s hand, only stopping to blow her husband a kiss. All they had with them was a battered, rusty family heirloom each to bequeath upon their children and a vow to come together again, one day.
“Bloody hellfire,” she grumbled between clenched teeth, “If it comes to it, we can teach ‘em to get revenge for us.”
|The Shifty Mongoose|
Part One: The Wormwood Hangover
The largest tavern in the largest city in the Shackles was having a party funded by the most-established Free Captain in the whole confederacy, who had left early that night with a few men and women of his and his wife’s combined choices. Another Free Captain had taken advantage of the opportunity to press-gang a few of the leftovers. One foreign woman, looking to find a new family to replace her old one, found some of the food available to be nothing like her sort of home cooking, as well as unpleasantly drugged. A cocky, fair-skinned man with a prominent accent decided that he would spend his first night in Port Peril by getting thoroughly drunk, then inviting several of the port’s most beautiful women to bed with him; unfortunately, Phase One hit a snag when his first tankard’s worth turned out to have been drugged as well. One young man had decided to give up his virginity while considering whether revenge and a tool for it made for the worst inheritance ever; the prostitute drugged him afterward, for good measure. A fourth, a Mwangi elf woman, found the whole prospect distasteful, and sat on a dock, watching the sunset while talking to a fox she’d found somewhere. After a rather distasteful human man gave her a distasteful suggestion, he and two other sailors decided only to hit her and her fox until they couldn’t talk back, and drag them aboard. No drugs were used.
All four awoke the next morning in the hold of a ship with their pockets thoroughly picked, and simultaneously began swearing until the ships’ master-at-arms stomped down the stairs with four sailors in tow, threatening that the captain said to grind them into sausage meat if they talked back. Ms. Andolini rushed directly abovedecks, while the others needed some more threats and a smack or two. There, the group got to meet Free Captain Barnabas Harrigan as he addressed the crew. Boiling it down to basically, “I like to hear myself talk but not any of you; we’ll sail around the Slithering Coast and go south; get your assignments from the boatswain or I’ll tell Fishguts to make pies out of you,” the four new sailors had to take their makeshift aptitude tests in the care of the boatswain, one Mr. Aramiah Plugg. Though Jack demanded to take over for Harrigan, or at least being officially invited to sign on instead of being drugged and press-ganged, his demand was thoroughly ignored. He did, however, get reminded to pass a foreign implement he had found to Master-at-arms Jarett Scourge, to be securely locked up by Cut-throat. Jack further demanded that said implement was a family heirloom of his, but Captain Harrigan replied that he alone knew what the thing was, and an arrogant fool like the lying swab wouldn’t know how to use it properly. Jack was then shoved back down to the main deck to attend Mr. Plugg’s testing process. For the first test, the new crewmates had to climb up the rigging to the crow’s nest, sixty feet up.
“I refuse, since I can’t climb,” the witch sneered.
Mr. Plugg lashed his whip at her. “Do it anyway,” he sneered back. True to her word, as soon as she took to the ropes, she got stuck. Ms. Andolini scampered up the rigging and almost overtook Jack before slipping (rolling a 1) and plummeting to the deck below, only to be caught by Mr. Plugg who then dumped her on the deck with a look of disgusted contempt. Jack made it to the top first and became the new rigger, while the witch received another lash for laziness. Immediately after the stroke, Mr. Plugg announced his second test:
“You. You like cooking?”
“That I do sir,” Mia replied, after brushing herself off. “I brought several recipes with me from Wes-”
“That’s enough, fatty; you’re the new cook’s mate. Ask belowdecks for Fishguts and do what he says.” Ignoring the visible offence she took, Mr. Plugg began shouting out what needed to be done to get the Wormwood under full sail, and the first day of everyone’s indentured servitude could begin in earnest.
That night after they saw a thief get keelhauled, the four of them all hung around on the main deck, wondering what to do, when each of them were approached in turn by a woman who had been press-ganged last week:
“Cap’n Calico, you called yersself? Sandara Quinn, pleasure to make your acquaintance.”
Jack was reluctant to open himself up to anyone, until Ms. Quinn showed him just what she had kept in her blouse: a compact kit of fine brushes, a small chisel, some small bits of flint and several lengths of match-cord. “Well then, I guess you might not care about this, learning how I got it from Cut-throat, or even who she is. I might’ve heard of your existence before, thanks to the odd story of your father.” After snatching it back, his estimation of her changed. “Sometimes a friend can be worth more than a weapon,” she added before turning around. “And a friend you can trust is worth his weight in gold.” His resolve strengthened that night.
Mia had just finished giving out the evening meal, having been saddened both at Fishguts’ tale of self-pity and the fact that the Wormwood had no pasta; soon after, she found her refined palate under attack by the ship’s terrible grog, not to mention her liver. Sandara commented that, as a faithful of Besmara, the spirit of roguishness, she had a prayer that could turn unsuitable alcohol into water. She also gave some information to the cook’s mate: “Ol’ Fishguts isn’t that bad a sort, I’ve found. Why don’tcha find out what his real name is? Oh, and watch fer Master Scourge; he’s the sort to put the boot in after he’s put someone under.”
“Evenin’ Spooky Miss, what’s the trouble?” The witch, who had refused to tell anyone her name, was also reluctant to tell anyone anything, but was grateful for the only thing she could give her: “Yer pet fox is belowdecks, in the hold.” Managing to sneak under the grate, she soon heard an inaudible call of, “Hey, Mistress! I was so worried!” and found her also-un-named familiar locked in a cage that formerly held one of the Wormwood’s pigs. Without her bag of ingredients, she was unable to put anyone to sleep, but she decided to sneak down into the hold every evening, after finding the cook and his new mate to ensure that her familiar wouldn’t get cleaned and dressed for dinner.
Peter Haripath was feeling flush with charm after downing his grog in one gulp. Having snuck into the galley during his working hours to follow the alluring cook’s mate, he’d spotted a bottle of fine Chelish brandy that he assured himself that no-one would miss. After a cover story about how “anything that comes from those Chellies can’t be good,” (inadvertently offending Ms. Andolini), Fishguts was already drunk enough not to care where another bottle would end up. When spotting Ms. Quinn chatting with other crew-mates, he walked straight up to the woman and offered her some better booze than the swill everyone was being forced to drink. She was partway through declining his offer when Master Scourge sauntered up to her and smirked, “So, Missy, ready to reconsider my offer? You should be keepin’ in mind that I’m not a man who takes kindly to refusals.”
Sandara interrupted him with a conspicuous kiss against Mr. Haripath, suddenly agreeing to head belowdecks with the man. Proud of his talents with the ladies, he gave it his all for the next couple of hours, and slept like a log through the night.
The next morning, the four of them awoke at the morning bell, but found four crewmates in their way: the fat and blustery Fipps Chumlett, the mute half-orc “Jaundiced” Jape, the loosely-dressed Arieta Banisen, and the constantly chuckling “Slippery” Syl Lonegan. Lonegan insulted Haripath’s desperation to sleep with anyone (at this point, I realized that I had to remind the players that Golarion is an equal-opportunity setting with almost no sexism), to which he replied by putting a bucket on her head. By the time she had removed it, Chumlett had already exchanged blows with Jack, while the two women had already avoided any outstretched feet in their dash for the stairs. The rest realized what their priority was in short order, and went from hitting to shoving each other out of their way; Chumlett got shoved down the stairs and received a few lashes for laziness.
Over the next few days, the new crew-mates began finding their way around the Wormwood and its crew. Spooky Miss crept belowdecks to feed a rat she’d caught to her fox, and discovered a large man chained to the base of the mainmast.
“Uh, hello?” she cautiously asked him.
“Uh, hello?” he replied, turning all the way around to see who’d called out to him.
“Who are you?”
“Owlbear,” he told her.
“Well, Owlbear, why are you chained down here?”
“Mr. Plugg put me here… Why are you here?”
“I have to keep this fox safe,” which was the end of their communication.
The day after, Captain Harrigan stomped his way down to the galley and kicked the door open, demanding the slaughter of one of the pigs: “Because on this day, five years ago, I first became a Free Captain, now I feel like celebrating. Prepare one of those pigs, with the best bits for me an’ the officers an’ the rest for the others: it’s Ham Night!” (groans from half of the players) While calling over one of the pigs via wild empathy (with her hatchet behind her back), she noticed “Owlbear” Hartshorn, and decided to bring him something herself that night. She would quickly earn his gratitude.
Meanwhile, Jack and Peter were determined to learn more about the Wormwood and its crew, so as not to mutiny by themselves. After a short argument over who would lead their rebellion, they went about getting to know the others: Jack found a fast friend in the idealistic young Jack Scrimshaw, while Peter decided he would attempt to seduce each and every woman in the Wormwood’s crew, which didn’t work according to his expectations.
The night after, Mr. Plugg decided that he’d had enough of Jack’s empty boasts, and told Owlbear to fight him. Mia, who had spent time at night getting into the good books of the crew and connecting between the other new crewmates (rolling a 20 for a cook check had ended her up making paella for the crew), mentioned that the both of the combatants were her friends. Jack, thinking quickly, backed up to the edge of the makeshift ring that had been set up on the main deck, and, when Owlbear rushed at him, stepped aside to sort of push him out of the ring (with some really good grappling). Mr. Plugg demanded that the fight continue, but was shouted down by other crewmate’s cheers, and Hartshorn’s remark of, “I always thought losing was always bad. This was the best losing ever!”
|The Shifty Mongoose|
The Near-Total Screw-Up
After the fight with Hartshorn, he always gave a happy greeting to his new friends. Between him and Sandara Quinn, the four of them began to band together, further earning Mr. Plugg’s ire against the lot of them. Eventually, once Mia managed to bargain some of her personal effects from the quartermistress, “Cut-throat” Grok, Jack was determined to regain his own things. Asking Sandara to cover for him, and enlisting the help of Conchobar T. Shortstone & the witch (who had received the nickname of “Spooky Miss”), he snuck into the Quartermistress’ store while she was off drinking with Kroop to ransack the place. He couldn’t unlock any of the trickier ones, and an arrow that sprung from one of the others downed Spooky Miss. Though he managed to find Rosie’s fiddle, his family heirloom and bags of things for the others, he had to get Sandara to heal Spooky Miss and help him get the arrows back in the boxes before re-locking them. Shortstone got Rosie’s fiddle to return to her, and under cover of tawdry, mocking back-and-forth duet, the other three slipped back to their hammocks. Using his newfound lockpicks, everything he stole that didn’t belong to him got slipped into the box under Fipps Chumlett’s hammock.
The next morning, shortly after duties were doled out, Grok demanded that the crew’s stashes be searched, due to blood in the store-room and lost sets of lockpicks. After a thorough search by Master Scourge, they had found the incriminating sets of stolen lock picks in the locker of Giffer Tibbs, who nearly died during the resulting (hasty) keelhauling. Fortunately, after a quick faith healing (also necessary after a big rat in the bilges nearly killed Spooky Miss), everyone was up and ready when they had to ride out the storm. After rescuing a man overboard (Tibbs again), half the group collapsed of exhaustion as the storm was beginning to wane. They awoke the next day, refreshed, to face more unfair punishment.
|The Shifty Mongoose|
The Man's Promise Mutiny
Once "Cap'n Calico" had gotten back his associates' things (as well as his own "family heirloom"), he decided to plot with the people who now owed him a favour, rather than conspire with the others aboard the Wormwood. That got Plugg even more suspicious, leading to him telling one of his cronies to keep an eye on them at any given moment. Then, Riaris Krine demanded that the new swabbies get out and learn how to do an actual boarding action. "Well, see, having known how to do that since birth," Jack began, but couldn't finish his excuse due to the replied deluge of foul language. Jack, Pete, Mia, and Fipps took the port side; Spooky Miss, Sandara, Shortstone & Cuss'ell took starboard.
Jack, true to his boast, tossed his grapnel, tied off the rope, and shimmied up it, dodging Fipps' and Mia's best-aimed garbage; Pete got a bucket of bilge water poured on him and fell into the water below, but was ready for it for the second time and grimly made it aboard. Between Fipps and Mia, the practice lasted long into the evening, and Krine gave up in disgust as a fortunately-sober Kroop brought out the evening meal.
Later, looking for another way to abuse Spooky Miss, Mr. Plugg sent her into the no-thanks-to-her rat-free bilges with Aretta Banison, who soon accused her of slacking off and tried to hit her with a stick. Spooky Miss promptly put her to sleep with a spell,and she collapsed in ankle-deep bilge water. The eleven witch smirked, left the bilges, and told Mr. Plugg that his attempt on her life had failed. Another swab was sent down and returned with the corpse of Ms. Banison, who (surprise, surprise) had drowned quickly. She was sentenced to a day in the sweat box, followed by a keelhauling, and was planning to set fire to the Wormwood when a ship was spotted, requiring all available hands.
The slower ship with the heavier hold was quickly caught by the Wormwood, and volleys of quarrels were exchanged. While Jack and Mia threw the grapnels, Spooky Miss covered their advance by putting opposing sailors to sleep. Their mission: to secure the stern of the ship, a task which Jack disliked. Noticing someone sneaking up on Harrigan, Jack hesitated for a second before shooting the assailant down; upon hearing the explosion, he decided to see what had happened. Harrigan told him to get back above decks, but instead, he kept sneaking around and ran into a fleeing officer and her mates. He offered to help them get away.
Meanwhile, atop the poop deck, Saucy Pete was engaged in a duel with an enemy sailor. He kept trying to deftly cut her blouse to shreds, while she kept trying to stab him. No sooner had the tip of his rapier caught itself in her belt buckle and pried it loose, she dropped him with a forceful thrust of her spear. Only then did Mia and Spooky Miss come to his aid, with Jack aiding them so far as it distracted from the sounds of creaking pulleys and the splash of a rowboat.
In the end, the Man's Promise was taken, though damaged internally due to stupid use of alchemist's fire, and the poop deck team let some people get away in the cutter. After celebrations, Mr. Plugg got to take acting command of the ship, with his choice of crew (except for Kroop, since he was sure the new cook would be "as ugly as she would be drunk", which was not at all). Of course, he picked the four upstarts he thought would make perfect patsies, ignoring Master Scourge's whispered warnings.
That night, Jack and Peter brought everyone whom they were sure wasn't a potential toady together belowdecks and suggested a mutiny. Sandara warned to wait until the Wormwood was out of sight, while Peter (who couldn't stand the nickname of "Saucy Pete" that the women had given him) announced that he would captain the reclaimed ship, and commissioned Shortstone to write a ballad about his sexual prowess.
The day the Wormwood had slipped over the horizon was a grey, drippy day. Acting-captain Plugg had ordered all hands on deck, which they thought to be the perfect time to announce their change of command. Master Scourge was shocked and scared that they'd pull this in the beginning of another storm, but Sandara inquired as to why they were headed, instead of Port Peril, toward a hidden port known for repairing and refitting ships?
Plugg pointed his cutlass at her and told her, "You would do well to know your place." As soon as the words had left his mouth, freak wave leapt up and knocked Sandara into the sea! Then Jack shot him, and the mutiny began in earnest. Peter boasted that he'd take on Scourge by himself, but after getting disarmed, whipped and poisoned, he stumbled back to ask for some help from Spooky Miss and Mia, who healed him and injured Scourge enough for Peter to down him, then stab him through the heart.
Meanwhile, after some gun- and crossbow-fire, Jack got to holster his pistol before Plugg closed in on him. Hartshorn followed, but didn't want to hurt anyone; when A heavily-injured Plugg was about to kill his friend, he finally swung his timber, catching Plugg under the jaw. The both of them took after Jack's earlier example, and shoved Plugg overboard... where grindylow leapt on him!
A few of them climbed up on to the ship (some of which promptly fell asleep, thanks to Spooky Miss) and tried to bite at various already-injured crew mates. They managed to drag away Rosie, to Shortstone's distress, but the rest were quickly dispatched. Jack quickly took command, ordering full sail to get away from the grindylow pod; after rushing into a storm at full sail, the ship was flung right into a reef.
|The Shifty Mongoose|
The Secret of Bonewrack Island
The crew came around the next morning to find their ship even more damaged, with only two days' worth of fresh water left. After a short debate about the new chain of command, Jack was voted new Acting-captain, with Peter as First Mate and Mia, the new boatswain. So the new officers decided to explore the nearby island and look for supplies, since none of them knew how to do any repairs. With only one rowboat left, Mr. Scrimshaw offered to row it and follow them, to lead the crew in case anything needed recovering.
The closest point to the island from the ship was a small jungly collection of collapsed mud huts with a few skeletons tied to wooden sticks stuck just offshore. Nobody wanted to row ashore there, so they spent a couple of hours rowing around the island until they found a beach. It had bones tied to posts too, but at least none of them were halfling-sized. They brought up the boat, noting the coconut trees, and went up a path to the mountain range, deciding to save the rock outcropping on the other side of the island for later. The sight of the cornfield - as well as the heads on posts - frightened the piss out of them, so they gave it all a wide berth.
When they got to the top of the path cut into the mountainside, they found a stockade built around a fresh spring and a big tree! Noticing a gilded spyglass affixed to a hole in the stockade, Mia immediately rushed over to look through it and felt a tentacle arm wrap around her neck from behind. They beat up the vine chokers into running and hiding, then Mia said the spyglass was aimed at a small cove that had grindylow playing with a broken piece of wood that might have been Rosie's fiddle, and Sandara's hat! Before mounting a rescue mission, however, they decided to secure the safety of the entire crew. They opened the door of the room in the stockade (running away from the swarm of bugs that flew out of it) to get hit by the disgusting stench of the corpse hanging from the ceiling. Jack commanded them to bury the dead man, who suddenly started swinging at people, shouting, "Why can't I join her!? Kill me, or I will kill you!" Peter replied, "Then stand still and let us help you die!" And picked up a silver chalice on a nearby table with which to wallop the ghast they all thought of as a "talking zombie".
In total, they tallied up plenty of timbers for ship repairs, enough fresh water, a few barrels of spices, some assorted furniture to be sold or something, six Chelish courtiers' suits, a fancy locket with an engraving of a beautiful woman on the inside, and a new spyglass, as well as the possibility of rescuing their two shipmates. They also found, on the desk in the room, the diary of Aaron Ivy.
They decided to head back to the ship, make dinner, report the good news, then map out the most direct route to the stockade for the rest of the crew to recover the stuff they couldn't take with them that day. They stopped at the beach to pick up a few coconuts, but got attacked by a giant enemy crab. Peter threw one of the fancy dress suits over it, and the others beat it up and dragged it into the boat to help with dinner.
The next morning, they set out for the abandoned dock, with Maheem at the oars to ferry crew mates back and forth. Surprisingly, the dock and huts really were abandoned. After competing to see who could get through the marshes most fancily (and nearly getting eaten by big frogs), they came to the rocky outcropping, finding a few things and finishing their map of the island. They also got a better idea of the location of the wreck of the [i]Infernus[/]. On their way back to the mountainside, they ran into three desperate women in tattered clothing, but remembered the journal and the insects. Mia checked the locket, and even Peter was ready with the chalice he'd brought with him (assuming the talking zombies to be vulnerable to silver). Nobody worried about the specifics of ghoul fever, but thankfully, despite a few violent, toothy kisses and scratchings, nobody actually contracted it. After a thorough looting of their home base, the crew continued on, and spent the whole day bringing stuff back to the ship while Spooky Miss brewed up some healing draughts. For certain now, they'd rescue their shipmates the next morning.