Skull & Shackles

Skeleton Crew

Abadius 31, 4712

Early in the morning on the 31st, the ship's bell calls the bleary-eyed pirates on deck. Once the crew has assembled, a long line of captured sailors is paraded from the Man's Promise before the crew. Harrigan addresses the captives, offering a place on his crew for any who wish to throw in with the pirates. Several step forward and Scourge cuts their bonds before allowing them to take their places among the crew. 

Harrigan then explains his plans. He has two ships, but only one crew. The Wormwood will sail on to it's planned destination, with some of the original crew and some of the new mates. His first mate, Mister Plugg, will pick a skeleton crew to sail the Man's Promise to Port Peril to sell it for salvage. He points to the rest of the captives, saying some will be worth a hefty ransom from their families back in Azir, "and, for the rest, if the life of a pirate's not for them, they can spend the rest of their lives at sea!"  With that, he roughly shoves one of the injured captives overboard, and her shrill screams of terror motivate many of the other sailors to swear loyalty to Harrigan. 

 

Mister Plugg begins selecting his crew for the Man's Promise. To no one's surprise, he selects Mister Scourge first, then Owlbear,  then begins selecting many of his cronies. Fipps, Maheem, Jaundiced Jape, Narwhal Tate, and Aretta Bansion are all chosen as crewmen. To Plugg's disdain, Harrigan indicates Fishguts with a thumb, saying "I've had my fill of his bilge. Get him off my ship." Slippery Syl is selected, to Faiz's dismay, though Sivikah is not, to Shango's surprise.  With a leer and a wink, Scourge points out Barefoot Sams and Sandara Quinn, and Plugg selects them for his crew. Plugg also picks Ratline and Rosie, the two halflings, and Tilly Brackett. Giffer and Conchobhar are both selected as well. The men are chagrined that so many of their allies are selected for the crew of Plugg's ship, but are a bit surprised when Plugg selects them all as well.   Plugg informs his new crew that they all have ten minutes to get aboard the Man's Promise with their gear!  Faiz groans when he realizes that all of the savories he swiped for the Wormwood will be left behind!

The men scramble to get their footlockers with their gear, and each rushes off to the quartermaster's store to reclaim some of their seized gear from Grok, who, as an officer, is staying aboard the Wormwood. She cries profusely, as she is losing both her new friends, and her long-time drinking companion, Ambrose Kroop. Heart-broken to see the men go, she offers each of them a prized item from the ship's stores, sobbing "I hate Harrigan! Take something to remember me by, boys! I don't care what Harrigan does about it!"

Grok gives Theodric the finely crafted fiddle that belonged to Rosie Cusswell, and she gives a magical short sword to the pugnacious Hamish. She gives Shango four bottles of Holy water to protect him against angry spirits and zombies, and she gives the handsome Bahram a potion of Barkskin to protect his pretty hide in a fight.

Then the men board the Man's Promise. Plugg calls the crew together and explains that though the ship is new, the rules remain the same—though punishment will be harsher than the slack discipline aboard the Wormwood.  Shango is again assigned to the bilges, and Theodric to hauling the lines for the mainmast. The skeleton crew is stretched too thin to spare two men for the galley, so Bahram is assigned to haul rope and work knots, and Hamish is spared from rat-catching duties to act as the ship's runner. The crew is stretched thin, so each of the men is forced to work much harder than ususal. Though none of them incites Plugg's ire, each of them is exhausted by the end of the day. 

As Kroop dispenses the meal for the evening, Plugg informs the crew that rum rations and evening entertainment are, in his opinion, a waste of time and plunder, and shall not be permitted. He and Scourge go below and assign the crew to their bunks, though he assigns Tilly and Sams to thin reed mats on the floor of the officer's quarters on the main deck, staffed by Scourge, Jape, and Maheem. Of course, Mister Plugg claims the captain's quarters.

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