Skull & Shackles

At sea on the Wormwood, Day 14.

Abadius 22, 4712

The day seems to be a bit cooler than the previous one, with a fresh breeze blowing. Mister Plugg alerts the new crewmen that there will be no duty roster for them today. “Don’t look too happy about it, ye swabs! Krine is your master today! She’ll teach you the finer points of boarding, or flay your ears from your heads with her tongue.”

Riaris Krine, the ship’s Master Gunner, has skin tanned dark by the sun, and a nose that has been broken many times. She proves to be a foul-tongued wench and makes Rosie Cusswell seem like a nun. She orders the four to lower the ship’s boat, and stow grapnels and rope on board. She makes Hamish and Zalamesh row the small craft off from the Wormwood, before dropping anchor perhaps 40 feet from starboard.

Krine explains, with much profanity, that the men are to cast a hook to the ship, make it secure, and climb over the rope from the boat to the Wormwood. To their chagrin, the four see that “Jaundiced” Jape, “Slippery” Syl Lonegan, Aretta Bansion, Fipps Chumlett, Maheem, and Tam “Narhwhal” Tate are all standing on deck, with eager, unfriendly grins.

“Now, I can’t allow them on board to harpoon your useless arses, so they’ll be hurling refuse at your worthless carcasses instead.”.

Theodric’s first cast of the rope fails, but he succeeds on his second cast of the hook. He begins to climb across the rope, but the crew on board are hurling trash at him. Narwhal even throws a coconut! One of the pirates hits him in the face with an old boot, and he tumbled into the drink. Krine curses at him and bids him to swim back and try again. On his second attempt the drenched priest succeeds.

Zalamesh misses on his first cast of the rope, but sinks his hook on his second try. He climbs ably across the rope, not faltering at all while the unfriendly deckhands curse him and hurl garbage. It appears Narwhal has a supply of coconuts for just this purpose!

Faiz tries and fails to secure his grapple onto the ship, until Krine slaps it out of his hand and tosses it across. “Now clamber across, you weakling shit!”, she orders. Faiz attempts to do so, but tumbles into the water. After swimming back to the boat, he is ordered to attempt again. He is no more successful on his second, or third tries. Finally, Krine orders the others to haul him out of the water, scoffing “He’s as welcome as a wet fart!”, while giving him a thorough drubbing with the damp rope.

Hamish hurls the rope with a great swinging loop, but fails to make a good cast until his third attempt, which sinks deep into the wood. However, the burly half-orc cannot manage to clamber across the rope to the ship, regardless of the refuse that is hurled his way. He tumbled into the water again and again, before Krine despairs of him ever succeeding. She batters him with the wet rope again, cursing, “if you clung to that rope the way you clung to that barefoot whore, your fat arse wouldn’t be wet like your pitiful prick!”

That evening, during supper and the rum ration, Theodric attempts to seduce Sandara, but she doesn’t appear to be in the mood tonight, while Zalamesh uses his reputation as a Bekyar to further cow and intimidate Crimson, who promises to be an eager fighter. He is tired of the chores and schedules, and wants to engage in ‘real piracy’. Hamish shares rum with Grok, and mends their friendship, which had frayed when he flirted with her ‘under false flag’, as she puts it. Faiz seeks out the strident, aggressive Shivikah and charms her with his smooth demeanor and good looks.

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