Cassandra's Log - Part 5
Day 21 – After three solid days of partying things finally begin to wind down and get back to business. The ships bell goes off at dawn summoning all of the crew on deck… with the rest of the Rahadoomie survivors joining us.
“Now that we’ve got this other ship,” the captain begins to the pleased chuckles of the crew, “the Wormwood will sail on as Mr. Plug will pick a skeleton crew to man the new ship and sail it to Port Peril where it will be sold as salvage.” He then stomps over to one of the female prisoners and throws her overboard. “Any questions?” The crew is as silent as a consecrated graveyard as the other prisoners fall to their knees and swear fealty to the captain. The officers, however, are led back to their cells.
After that announcement it doesn’t take long till my sinking suspicions are confirmed…. my friends and I have all been picked by Plug as part of his skeleton crew… and you can bet that Phipps and his thugs will be filling out the rest. Too bad he’s forgotten one very important thing… if the Captain isn’t going to be around to see Plug’s mutiny… he isn’t going to be around to see ours either.
We’re given a quick 10 minutes to gather our things before shifting to the other boat… so Priest makes sure to grab his guns from the quarter master’s room while I fill some sacks with cooking supplies.
Ah Jack… looks like his whirlwind romance isn’t meant to be after all, as Grok has been ordered to stay on the Wormwood. Who knows… maybe… we might all meet up again in Port Peril if we can survive the trip.
Zack manages to overhear the roster making up the skeleton crew… and I’m surprised to know that some of the people we considered friends have been included. I’ll have to try and keep an eye on them… just in case they’re looking to punish them for being our friends.
The New Crew:
- Mr. Plug
- Mr. Scourge
- Owlbear on a chain
- Patch Patchsalt
- Kipper (set off explosion below deck)
- Croup the Cook
- Conqobar Shortstone the Gnome
- Rosie Cusswell
- Sendara Quinn
- 5 Rahadoum merchant men
Day 22 – After a morning of settling myself with Croup into the new kitchen, we’re off and journying through the Fever Sea, some 100 miles west of the Slithering Coast. That night we all gather in what will have to pass as crew quarters… though it’s not much more than a room to hang some hammocks.
Zack and I share the information we picked up as Priest takes a moment to shave his head with his long knife. I don’t want to stare… but some day I’ll have to ask him what that strange tattoo on the back of his head means.
“From the sounds of the situation… perhaps we should be talking mutiny with the crew,” he mutters.
“NO!” we all shout nearly in unison. “You don’t want to do that yet ,” assures Jack. “Best to play your cards close to your vest until you know exactly what the other guy is holding.”
“All right, you scurvy dogs!” Plug yells as the bells signal us to meet on deck. “No more Mr. Nice-guy like the captain… this here is MY boat, and we’re going to do things MY way! That means we’re tossing out that pansy whip for a cat o’ nine tails, double shifts will be the norm, and I don’t believe in entertainment or rum! Got it? If you’re caught above decks without leave after dusk you’ll get 6 lashes!”
I bite my tongue at the dreadful news, but make sure to voice my displeasure with Croup. Now that the crew is much smaller, my cooking duties have let up. Unfortunately… that just gives me more time to swab decks.
That night after a hard day of double shifts we’re approached by Sendara Quinn. “I’ve got a bad feeling about this… do you think that we’re even going to Port Peril? I think he’s going to take the boat for himself!”
“It’s a sound plan, actually…” Zack replies.
“I don’t know,” mutters Jack. Poor guy… I’ll bet he misses Grok already and just wants to get back to her again.
Priest looks around to make sure Phipps and his gang aren’t around before leaning in to speak to the rest of us. "I noticed that we’ve changed direction off our set course… we’re heading north east towards the Slithering Coast, and not Blood Cove.
“I’m just going to take a quick peak above decks to see what’s going on…” Jack tells us before sneaking quietly up the stairs.
“Wait till you hear this…” he whispers fervently when he returns. “They’re all gathered in the Captain’s quarters and talking about taking the ship salvage and going independent! They’re going to take it to Rickety Squibbs and strip it down so the Captain won’t even recognize the thing.”
“And what about us?” asks Zack.
“If they hire enough crew they’re going to kill us off! I don’t know about you, but I am loyal to the captain and there’s 6 traitors up top wanting to take the ship and kill us. I say we do something about it. "
“If I get killed, you’ll all go back to eating slop again! We can’t have that happen,” I joke.
“So who is going to lead this ship once we take it off of Plug’s hands?” asks Jack as he looks to each of us.
“Let Drogo do it, because I certainly don’t want the responsibility when things go wrong; and you know they will.” I wave dismissively at Jack when he looks to me. “Besides, I’d rather cook and keep people happy that way.”
“I always liked those captain hats,” Drogo replies with a shrug and a grin.
“That’s settled, then,” Jack says.
“I shall call forth an obscuring mist for us to protect us with Besmara’s blessing,” Sendara offers as she brings her hands together and begins to pray.
Jack sneaks upstairs to keep track of their movements in the room while I climb up into the rigging and take aim at the door with my crossbow. I can hear the soft tones of a quiet lullaby from Zack and have to give myself a shake to stop the urge to sleep from overcoming me.
Once we get the signal from Zack that his song has taken effect, I use a cantrip to open the door and let loose a magically enhanced bolt that slices down the cheek of Scourge as he goes to close the door.
“Boarders!” one of them yells from the room, and the battle begins for true. The door slams shut, so I use my cantrip to open a window instead and take a wild shot inside at someone who screams in pain. Suddenly Plug sticks a cutlass out the window and a blast of water shoots up into the rigging, knocking me out of my perch. If it weren’t for the Feather Fall that I always keep in reserve, I might have broken bones to deal with. I get up from my soft landing just in time to see Zack’s whip lash out around Pug’s arm and Priest pointing his gun through the window at him.
“Death comes for us all.”
Drogo runs up to the door and opens it while poor Jabber takes a shot from Plug, and I take the opportunity to answer with my own burst of water as my spell crashes into the tables they were using as cover and knocks the pirates inside about.
“Spare my life and I surrender!” a voice shouts from within.
By the time we’re done clearing the room and tying everyone up, Plug, Scourge, and Phipps have willingly surrendered. Priest searches each one of them as they are bound, and with a quick cantrip I’m able to detect any magically viable equipment on them suitable for keeping.
- Potion (26) – Cure Moderate (Drogo)
- Crossbow Bolts Screaming Bolts (3) (Cassie)
- Cutlass with skull face (casts Hydro Push) Legendary Tidewater Cutlass – +1 Cutlass, casts Hydraulic Push 1/day (cassie?)
- +1 Cat O-Nine Tales (Zack)
- Amulet of Natural Armor +1 (Priest)
- Bracers of Armor +1 (given to Eidelon)
- Shackles of Compliance (3rd level) – auto-lock, susceptible to intimidation (+4 checks), holder of key can cast Command 3/day on wearer of shackles.
- 2 Potions (25/24) Blur and Cure Light Wounds
- small black vial w/ skull & crossbones
- Corked green bottle half the size of a 5th of vodka (oil?)
- Diamond Stud (for Grok ring)
- Pouch of some powdered drug (dark reaver powder – drug)
- silver wedding ring (for Grok)
- Pouch with gp (30)
- punching dagger – Crimson Cogward
- 12 daggers w/brace – given to Conqobar the Gnome
- Leather Armor (2) – Crimson Cogward (1)
- Boatman’s Whistle – Zack
- Shortbow w/ 12 arrows and leather quiver – give to….
- Masterwork Handaxe (2) – give to Crimson Cogward
- +1 Shortsword – Drogo gives to Rosie
“Let me give Owlbear a talk… I think we can come to an understanding,” Jack advises before walking off with the confused hulk of a crewman. “The rest of these guys would probably be ok as long as they get paid.”
“We’d best decide what we’re going to do soon… there’s a storm coming,” Priest warns a she takes in the black clouds in the distance.I blow our newly acquired whistle after a quick wipe and call the crew to the decks to batten down the hatches as large lightning bolts strike the sea. “Somebody tie Scourge and Plug up to the main mast… we’ll let Besmara decide their fate.”
By the time the storm hits I’m tending the mainsail as Priest repairs rigging on the fly with Zach and Drogo keeps watch in the Crow’s Nest.
“Hold on for your life!” he yells moments before a large wave comes cresting over the horizon and crashing into the ship. It rocks us back and forth as we scramble for handholds and almost overturns before finally righting itself.
“Man overboard!” someone yells before a glowing dolphin appears and splashes into the waters below to come back with a waterlogged sailor.
“Phipps! Damn it…” I mutter as I look around to check the damages. “Wait a minute… where’s Jack?”
“NOOO! Brother!” Zack yells as he looks frantically over the side for his missing twin. “This is all YOUR fault!” he growls as he stomps up to a waterlogged and bedraggled Plug.
“One never knows when we’re going to be called to serve on Besmara’s crew… as sailors we must always be ready for it.” Sendara says quietly as she puts a comforting hand on Zack’s shoulder.
The ship lurches heavily under our feet and lists to one side as we finally come out of the storm. Drogo climbs down the mast in a hurry with his Eidelon. “I saw some strange Goblin creatures with tentacles crawling onboard during the storm! You guys, go check the fore why we check the aft areas.” He waves to Rosie and the other Rahadoom sailors before turning to us.
“No way a Goblin is going to take my first ship away from me! Come on!”
I follow quickly behind Drogo with my crossbow at the ready as he rides Jabber. “Ready?” he asks before I not and he throws open the door leading to below decks.
I have to swallow my disgust as I take in creatures that I would’ve called Goblins… if it weren’t for the collection of tentacles where their legs should be. “What the heck are these things?” I bark out before firing a bolt that screeches down the hallway in a wail like a banshee before hitting one and causing two others to bend over in pain.
“Grindylows,” grunts Priest before stretching his arm out beside me and firing his gun.
Some of them try to swarm at our feet before a dog appears at Drogo’s behest and tears into them with his jaws. I just finish taking care of the last two with my crossbow when suddenly the deck shifts with a horrible tearing and grating sound. Yells sound from above followed by splashes as a number of people fall overboard and the side of the ship caves in. Priest and I manage to swim against the current of water flowing into the ship and get back to the stairs as Drogo and Zack rush to help the crew.
“What’s the status?” I pant breathlessly as I finally make my way back to Drogo and Zack.
“Those slimy little bastards… they took Sendara Quinn and a few others… and they wrecked my ship!” Drogo grimly hands me Sendara’s holy symbol wrapped up in seaweed and debris.
“Besmara doesn’t give up on her faithful, and I don’t give up on my friends.” I pick the seaweed out of the chain and place the symbol around my neck. “We’ll get her back.”