The men are assigned work on the Man’s Promise much like they were on the Wormwood, except that the scarcity of crewmen means that the work is harder and more tiring, and there is no time for non-essential tasks, like Ratcatching. Faiz is dismayed to find that Mister Plugg cannot spare a cook and a cook’s mate, so he is forced to do laborious ropework on deck, and passes out from exhaustion. Theodric, working on the mainlines, Hamish, assigned to run messages, and Zalamesh, in the bilges, all work hard and wear themselves out over the course of the day.
Barefoot Sams and Tilly have been forced to sleep on billets in the ’officer’s quarters’ with Scourge, Jape, and Maheem. Samms says that she has gotten little sleep from the attentions of Scourge and his mates, but she has overheard Scourge and Plugg talking about taking real command of the ship. Tilly only knows that Scourge and Plugg are talking a lot, but Sandara and Bahram can tell, from the currents and stars, that the ship is not heading on a course that would take them to Port Peril.
Hamish gets his hackles up and spends much of the day and evening making Jaundiced Jape quite uncomfortable. The other half-orc seems to get the hint and moves his billet out into the general crew quarters, convincing his mate Narwhal to bunk in the officer’s quarters instead.
The four men get together and share their information, trying to figure out what to do. Zalamesh calls over Ratline, who doesn’t have much more information, but the halfling suggests talking to Kroop, who is an old sea-hand, and friendly to boot.
Zalamesh makes a show of gambling with Aretta, Sil, and Fipps, betting largely and loosing badly to Fipps. However, the raucous gaming helps to distract from Faiz and Theodric going into the galley to talk to Kroop. Fishguts has spent too little time on deck to notice the change in sailing direction, but from what Theodric can tell him, based on the scuttlebutt, Fishguts suspects that Mister Plugg might be turning the ship towards a drydock on the Slithering Coast known as Rickety Squibbs. The master of the docks, a retired pirate known as Rickety Hake, makes a practice of ‘squibbing’ ships, or making alterations to their lines and riggings, to change their appearance. It’s not an uncommon practice in the Shackles, as many pirates wish to conceal the provenance of their ship, either from foes, or prey.
If Plugg can get the ship squibbed at Rickety’s, then he could sail a bit further south to Blood Cove and obtain a new complement of sailors from Blood Cove, so named for the slave trade in the port, and set sail without crossing path with Harrigan.