Skulls & Shackles

The Free Captains’ Regatta
Tempest Rising Part 4

The Free Captains’ Regatta had finally arrived and the party decided to enter the race. for the past 5 years, The druid-captain
known as the Master of the Gales has won the regatta. However, this year he is officiating the race instead of competing, leaving its outcome in doubt.

As the race date draws close and the last competitors arrive at Port Peril, the city’s populace buzzes with speculation about the course for this year’s race. A week before race day, the announcement f lies through the city that the Master of the Gales has declared Cauldron Rock, the northernmost island large enough to be marked on most maps of the Shackles, as the race’s starting point. A huge flotilla of racers and spectators sets sail northward out of Jeopardy Bay.

Arriving at Cauldron Rock, the race fleet anchors northeast of the island. Their main competition consisted of about a dozen ships including the infamous Barnabas Harrigan and the Wormwood. Many of the parties friends also showed up as spectators. Tessa Fairwind, Pierce Jerrell, Merrill Pegsworthy and even Sandara Quinn and Rosie Cusswell.

The afternoon before the race, the Master of the Gales called a meeting of all competing ships’ captains and their senior officers aboard his ship, the Kraken. An imposing man with tanned and weather-beaten skin and long, windblown hair and beard, the Master of the Gales outlines the course of the race to the competitors and supplies a simple route map to each participant. Designed to test even the most rugged crew, the regatta will take ships along the fringes of the Eye of Abendego and even into the storm itself, ending at a small islet called Coaming Point. Fixing each contestant with a icy blue stare, the Master of the Gales reminded everyone that the Free Captains’ Regatta is a nautical race, not a battle or an opportunity to avenge past slights. He announces that he will be monitoring the race, and any ship caught attacking or unduly interfering with another competing vessel will be disqualified, or if necessary, sunk. Nature itself will be the most dangerous enemy the contenders will face, a fact the gathered captains would be wise to remember if they hope to complete, much less win, the regatta.

The race began first thing in the morning, under leaden skies and sudden squalls of driving rain. Tessa Fairwind comes aboard the PCs’ ship to wish them smooth sailing and good luck, as do other friends and allies of the PCs.

After over an hour of shouting, cursing, and jostling for position, the contenders arranged themselves in rough formation behind the starting line drawn between the Kraken and another ship, the Ocean’s Revenge. All eyes looked to the Master of the Gales, who stood atop a rocky promontory on Cauldron Rock. He raised both arms to the sky and unleashes a flashing bolt of lightning down into the surf, signaling the start of the race. He then transformed into an albatross and flew over the participants.

Suddenly, the wind shifted sharply and unnaturally from northerly to easterly, throwing the competitors into chaos. However William was able to weave the Integrity around the jumbled ships without crashing. The PCs where off to a great start.

The first obstacle on was the Silted Shorouds, an extensive series of shallow sandbars formed by the continuous action of the Eye of Abendego. The Party was able to successfully navigate sandbars and they sailed on though without running aground.

The second obstacle was a set of low-lying coral reefs known as Raker Shoals. The party was able to see the reef and help William navigate until one came from nowhere. He quickly spun the enchanted wheel they had recovered from the brine banshee. William VonDar (Timbus) caught a glimpse of ghostly hands helping him maneuver the Integrity narrowly missing the reef.

Gozreh’s Flow, Sometimes called Gozreh’s Piss by the less reverent, Is the swirling wash of powerful ocean currents that sweep out of the Sodden Lands along the southern fringes of the Eye. Senfyr was able to user her knowledge of the sea winds to avoid the strong easterly currents dragging them back. getting past the flow meant they were heading closer to the storm, suddenly a cross wave struck the ship almost sending captain Finrich overboard.

Two jagged shafts of rock, called the Iris’s Splinters, rise out of the ocean here, forming a narrow 100 foot gap between them. Competitors must “thread the Iris” and sail between these splinters. as the Integrity approached, the Sullied Strumpet was able to catch the breeze and pull ahead. As the PCs approach the rocks, a gigantic turtlelike behemoth surfaced ahead of them. As they watched, the beast smashed into the Sullied Strumpet with a bellow, capsizing the light sloop. The malicious giant dragon turtle then submerged leaving the crew shaking in their boots. Galrum and Tiberious rallied the crew while the rest of the party prepared for combat. William swung the integrity wide but it was not far enough, the dragon turtle surfaced and breathed scolding steam at the boat. The integrity barraged the dragon with flaming ballista bolts. Tiberious cast a spell to direct the smoke into the dragons face allowing the party escape and thread the Iris.

As the Party sails into the hurricane, A sheet of lightning strikes the foremast of the Integrity. The deck becomes very slippery as it is hit by rouge wave after rouge wave. however, the ship survived the onslaught and sailed towards Pinnacle Atoll, a towering spire of rock surrounded by two concentric rings of reef called Sharkskin Reef.

The party took the shortest path to go around rock spire, cutting strait though the reef. They managed to get though the reef without incident. However as they were heading out of the hurricane, an unnatural electrical squall struck and a corona of baleful green lightning limned their ship’s mainmast. Senfyr knew that this was about to become a lightning elemental. Galrum quickly climbed up to the crow’s nest to intercept it while the party attacked from below. After a few rounds the elemental was defeated and the party had cleared the storm.

The Integrity was not the only boat to make it out. coming up from behind was none other than Captain Harrigan’s Wormwood. To the west, the Kraken cruised in the distance, the Master of the Gales on deck observing the race’s finish.

This was the home stretch. The integrity was ahead, but William was not going to take any chances. he narrowed his eyes and shot for the Finish line. Suddenly, he felt something slam into him on each side. Using Svingli’s Eye he looked around as saw 2 invisible stalkers attacking him. He called out for help as he took a swig of rum and sprayed it at his attackers reveling them. The party was able to defeat the stalkers and keep William alive so he could cross the finish line.

The PCs had won the Free Captains’ Regatta. Now more than ever they have earned the undying enmity of Captain Barnabas Harrigan. As winners, the PCs receive the regatta’s rich prize purse but more importantly, the PCs gain a seat on the Pirate Council of the Shackles. The Master of the Gales ceremonially attached a broken, silver-plated manacle on Finrich wrist as a symbol of this honor, representing the PCs’ freedom from the constraints of other nations’ laws and authority, but also the responsibility that now binds them to the welfare of the Shackles and its people, whom they now represent. Finally, the Master of the Gales presented the PCs with a deed granting them lordship over a small island in the north of the Shackles. But a deed is only a piece of paper. In order to truly claim dominion over this island, the PCs must explore it and deal with any monsters or other inhabitants…


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Following the Trail
Tempest Rising Part 3

The party decided to sail back to bag island to the temple of the hidden name. They traded the secret of the brine banshee’s speed for some details on spies in the Shackles. Slip informs the PCs that he knows of a water naga named Sarlis who claims to know the location of a smuggler and spy for a foreign power. Sarlis resides in a shallow cove on the Slithering Coast near a hillock with a lone tree at the top on the western side of the river flowing into the cove.

The party sailed to the slithering coast and waited at the meeting pool until Sarlis showed herself. She was agitated and unfriendly, but the party managed to calm her down enough to converse. They told her they were looking for a spy, and she narrowed her eyes and demanded they complete a task for her before she helps. Sarlis tells the PCs that one of her ex-partners, a naga named Munarei, has taken over one of her nearby lairs. If the PCs want her help, they must drive off Munarei. She doesn’t care if they hurt him, so long as they don’t kill him.

Shortly after the party reaches the lair, Munarei appears and demands that they leave his territory. They refuse to leave and Finrich first the first shot. After a short battle, Tiberious flashes his dragon teeth and claws and orders Munarei to leave. The wounded naga slithers off downstream.

Sarlis repays them by guiding them through the muddy wilderness to a small clearing over a mile away. In the clearing is a corpse wearing the rusting remnants of a chain shirt and a backpack. “This one came to ask questions,” Sarlis said with a sneer, “unwise questions, which only ones like those you seek would ask, and which made plain the intentions of those who sent him. He also tried to barter for naga venom, but one of my neighbors gave him far more than he wanted. Do what you like with the body.” The corpse had been rotting for over a year, but Senfyr found 60 feet of moldy rope tied in an elaborate series of knots in his pack. She determined that is was some sort of message, but was not able to decode it.

The party decided to follow one of their early leads and meet with Jaymiss Keft in Drenchport. Jaymiss is well known in Drenchport both as an expert scrimshaw carver and a shameless rumormonger. The gray-haired old half-elf spends most of his time by the fire in the Carvers’ Hall, a communal building where Drenchport’s scrimshanders work together on larger projects and sell their finished works. Jaymiss reveals that he has suspicions about a man named Haddon Pike, a beachcomber, fisherman, and occasional smuggler. The thing is, many of Haddon’s supposed smuggling trips down south in a hired boat don’t actually involve moving goods. Jaymiss knows the black market in Drenchport pretty well, and he’s noticed that Haddon seldom buys or sells any contraband goods before or after these trips.

The party decided to investigate Haddon’s boat, but there was no one around so they headed for his cottage. Haddon’s residence is a small driftwood cottage perched on the rugged coast just outside of Drenchport. Haddon’s neighbors haven’t seen him recently, though he tends to keep his own company. The front door was locked. while Finrich picked the lock, Galrum went around the back and saw an open window. Haddon’s dead body lied inside the cottage. Two crossbow bolts protruded from his back, and his head was submerged in a fish tank. most of the exposed flesh had been eaten but his pet piranha. The angle of the bolts suggests that Haddon was shot through the window and there was traces of poison on the bolts.

Tiberious found a concealed compartment in the fish tank’s heavily carved wooden base. inside where several rolled up scrolls of sheet music and lyrics, part of an old Chelish opera written in Infernal. Senfyr was not able to read the music but found it odd that Infernal would not have been used at the time the opera was written, a hint that the opera may hold a clue. The decoded instructions order Haddon to report on the movement of ships visiting Drenchport, especially those belonging to the Master of the Gales. The instructions also identify Haddon’s main contact, a woman named Roweena Kellet in Hell Harbor on Devil’s Arches.

While in town the party was able to get help decoding the rope from the corpse in the swamp. The code outlines orders to: “Go to nagas, collect poison and information. Deliver both to the captain of the Diamond Star. the Diamond Star was captured by the Rahadoumi navy 6 months ago. Several months before that, however, the Diamond Star’s captain, Elliece Farhaven, retired—an unusual occurrence, considering her relatively young age. She now resides in a small fishing boat moored in the harbor of Quent.

The PCs decide to pay Captain Farhaven a visit. Her boat was an unnamed craft with a single tiny cabin. Inside the cabin was an imp well and truly beaten to death with the ichor-stained anchor lying nearby. A sealed glass bottle containing a rolled-up scrap of parchment had been thrown on the cabin’s single bunk. the page was blank, but the party concluded that there was a message written in invisible ink. once revealed the message was an order to report to an address in Hell Harbor—the warehouse of Roweena Kellet.

With all signs pointing to Roweena, the party sails to Hell Harbor. Asking around, they discover that Roweena is a harbor quartermaster in the employ of Arronax Endymion, lord of Hell Harbor and a former admiral in the Chelish navy. Roweena manages two of Endymion’s smaller trade warehouses, but she’s recently gone missing. The front door of Roweena’s house has been broken open, and the place had been ransacked. the party finds. A ledger listing the names of numerous major pirate lords of the Shackles, each with a large number beside it. They determined the numbers to be estimated bribes. Of these names, one stood out: Arronax Endymion, whose entry had only a dash, rather than a number, after his name. Scribbled at the bottom of one page was a single line: “Send with Corlan.” Corlan is a tengu smuggler who frequently works for Roweena.

The PCs decide to question Corlan. The party knocks on the door, and too their surprise, Corlan answers. The interaction is cut short as a barbed crossbow bolt embeds itself in his chest. The bolts came from Giles Halmis who had positioned himself across the street on the roof of a two-story factory. Giles shot Corlan with another bolt before disappearing from the roof top. the party gave chase. All that was left was a rope in the ally way swinging in the breeze. William found a crumpled note with three names: Haddon Pike, Roweena Kellet, and Corlan. The first two names have been crossed out. The note also contains brief instructions: “Use the supplied dosage on each. When done, return to the apothecary in Port Peril. I can provide more toxin along with your payment if needed. Destroy this after reading.” The note is signed simply “Z.

With a little investigation, the trail of espionage lead back to Port Peril. Zarskia Galembar, the proprietor of the Jasperleaf Apothecary, was the most likely identity of the “Z” in Giles Halmis’s letter.“ Zarskia bought the old mansion and set up shop about three years ago, but recently it has been closed. However, the party discover that the apothecary is still selling poisons and with the pass phrase “three jugs of terrap sap”, you will be let in.

The PCs decide to stake out the apothecary for a couple days. They didn’t notice anything except the change of the guard. They decide to try out the pass phrase. They are led to a waiting room by a couple guards. The party tried to sneak out of the room, but got caught by the guards. The guards were easily defeated and the party was free to explore the manor.

On the upper floor several of the walls had been destroyed creating a large room. It was the lair of Shimera, a dusk kamadan. Just as the party was defeating the kamadan, bombs came flying from the next room. It was Zarskia trying to escape up to the top floor. the party chased her but then lost the trail. they searched around a found the secret entrance down the chimney to Zarskia hideout.

In the hide out there was an escape tunnel that lead to the sewers. There was also a table full destroyed papers still smoking. Among the ash, Tiberious found a waterproof satchel survive with only slight charring around the edges. Inside was a message dated 3 weeks ago and written in Infernal. They read, “Silence is now key. Our plans will go into full force once our agent finishes his preparations. Destroy any remaining evidence and discreetly sell your business. Report to Nisroch for your next assignment.

The party reports their findings to Tessa. She is deeply worried because the use of imp assassins, messages in the Infernal tongue, and hints of Nidal’s involvement all provide clues to Chelish backing of the plot. She will present the clues to the Pirate Council to alert them that someone somewhere has new designs upon the Shackles. As a reward, she promises the party her support and her vote in the Pirate Council, should they ever need to call on her.




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At a Lady’s Request
Tempest Rising Part 2

After recovering the Golden Vespal, the party decided to sail back to Quent to resurrect Tiberious and deliver it to the House of Stolen Kisses. high priestess Dindreann lives up to her end of the bargain, and tells the PCs that one of the temple’s patrons, a half-elf scrimshander in Drenchport named Jaymiss Keft, claimed to have knowledge of a spy operating in the Shackles. The party also asked about the Brine Banshee. Dindreann tells them that a retired ship’s doctor in the port of Ollo named Haneilius Fitch claims to have a means to locate the Brine Banshee, but is looking for someone to bankroll his expedition.

With the new information, the party travels to Ollo to find Haneilius Fitch. The locals where not the most friendly, but the party was able to locate Fitch. He holds up a glass tube containing a human leg bone suspended in preservative solution.

“This tibia previously belonged to Vargus Brack, one of my old shipmates. Vargus was grateful to be rid of it—he’d have died of gangrene if I hadn’t amputated his leg. It’s a good
thing I kept it as a specimen, since he was an officer aboard the Brine Banshee when she last sailed. Vargus and I were good friends—he came to visit me the last time the Brine Banshee was in Ollo, as he always did when he was in port. He mentioned in passing the course the Brine Banshee would be taking, and said he wouldn’t be back for some time. The Brine Banshee had an abundance of riches aboard her, and together I believe we can salvage them. Are you interested?”

He goes on to explain his convoluted plan to track down the Brine Banshee. Fitch explains that there’s a magical ring that can be used to find a corpse, provided the wearer already has a piece of the body. He goes on to tell them that he knows of a pirate captain who wears just such a ring, called the ring of the iron skull. Fitch just wants an equal share share of the Brine Banshee’s treasure so he can live the rest of his life in modest comfort. The party agrees, so Fitch tells them that the ring of the iron skull is in the possession of a pirate named “Milksop” Morton, who regularly sails his sloop, Dryad’s Grave, between the Smoker and Shark Island. Fitch joins the party as they set sail looking for the Dryad’s Grave.

After a couple days travel, the Dryad’s Grave appears on the horizon off the PCs’ port bow around midday. It closes in on the Integrity signaling for parley. Captain Morton hails the PCs and introduces himself. He tried to engage in small talk, but the party did not respond. Then he gets strait to the point that these are his waters and demands a toll.

Just after the party refuses, the Dryad’s Grave figurehead, carved in the likeness of a bare-chested, goat-horned satyr with muscular arms, animates. The Screaming Satyr picks up a ballista from the ship’s deck and fires a bolt attached to a long chain into the hull of the PCs’ ship. It then reels in the Integrity. At the same time, Morton’s crew fires its catapults loaded with living grapnels, animated constructs that scuttle around like spiders.

The ships are now side-by-side and the satyr boards the integrity. While the Party defends its ship from the animated grapnels, “Milksop” summons fire elementals and a stinking cloud on the ship. the stench is so bad William starts vomiting uncontrollably.

Thinking he has the upper hand, “Milksop” teleports to the integrity, putting the stinking cloud between him and the party. He shoots a scorching ray at Aries. Being beaten and battered from defending his allys, Aries fell from the sky dead.

Then, Tiberious created a wind wall that cut strait though the stench revealing a direct line to Milksop. Realizing that the tide was turning, Milksop teleported back to his ship. Tiberious drew his claws and flew strait at Milksop grabbing him around the neck. William upset that he lost his companion, was able to stop the vomit long enough to create a frozen ball from the vomit puddle and flung it at Milksop. Milksop plead for mercy, he even offered up his ring. Tiberious then proceeded to bit off his head.

After retrieving the ring, The integrity sets sail following the last know course of the brine banshee. the party reaches the wreck. Only half of the ship was visible. The Brine Banshee’s bow rested next to a rift in the ocean floor. The ring indicated the corpse of Vargus was down in the rift.

Shortly after the party dives in to investigate the wreck, they are attacked by a pack of sharks lead by a merman named Ormandar. The sharks rip into Galrum, but the party it able to defeat Ormandar and his minions.

William explores the Brine Banshees bow. He found a chest that contained the undistributed ships payroll. It was a decent amount of gold, but nothing compared to the treasure that Fitch eluded to. There was also no sign of how the ship was capable of its legendary speed. The party decided to decend into the rift to find the body of Vargus.

The stern of the Brine Banshee rested at the bottom of the rift 180 feet down. Before anyone could react, a giant Charda came rushing at the party from the cold dark depths. It breathed a cone of vile black bile hitting most of the party. It gnashed and clawed at the party with a blind rage. Senfyr hasted the party giving them the upper hand and they defeated the Charda.

On the deck of the Brine Banshee, The ship’s helm still stood with a moldering corpse lashed to the wheel. Upon investigation, Tiberious discovered the magic of the wheel and that it must be the source of much of the Brine Banshee’s reputation. The party also managed to find the corpse of vargus in the officers’ cabin. Senfyr Noticed that he had sustained extensive scalding burns around the time of death.

The party headed to the main cargo hold. Broken timbers and boxes were scattered about. a huge shark swam out of the depths and into the gaping open end of the hold. Lewis felt compelled to defend the party from the shark and attacked. The rest of the party joined in except for Tiberious. He investigated the illusion aura coming from the back wall. He was able to see though the illusion. On the other side, there was an aboleth. Before Tiberious could inform the party, the aboleth dominated his mind. Senfyr also noticed the aboleth and was able to resit domination. One by one, the party realized that there was no shark and that the aboleth was toying with them.

The party was able to defeat the abolith but not without consequence. Many breathed in the mucus cloud it was excreted and lost their ability to breath air. However, the effect wore off after a couple hours. Senfyr and Galrum where affected by the abolith slime. Their skin and flesh transformed into a clear, slimy membrane that dries quickly and cracks if not kept moist. The party made it back to their ship with several crates of ivory the Brine Banshee had in her hold.



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Perilous Waters
Tempest Rising Part 1

The party arrived at port peril. They petitioned for an audience with Hurricane King, Kerdak Bonefist, to receive a letter of marque and become true free captains of the shackles.

The next morning, Kerdak Bonefist’s first mate Tsadok Goldtooth, publicly met the PCs at the docks. He arrived with an entourage of cronies and many spectator gathered for the entertainment. He announces to the crown that It’s unusual for a new, successful, but relatively unknown ship to request a letter of marque without the sponsorship of a recognized Free Captain. Therefore, the pirate code requires that the captain and the officers undergo “testing” to prove they are worthy of becoming Free Captains.

The first test was to see whether the PCs were passable sailors, not just “fancy jackets” who found themselves in command of a pirate crew. The tests was a race to see who could climb the mast and unfurl the sails without assistance. Captain Finrich was up against one of Tsadok’s cronies. Once the test began, Senfyr noticed a bald sailor moving suspiciously toward the line securing the boom Finrich was on. He started to untie the rope, but was stopped by the party before he could release the rope. Finrich untied both sails on one end making it more difficult to undo the other. However, he was still able to unfurl the sails faster than the competition, thus winning the race and passing the test.

The second test was a “friendly” game of cards to test the party’s talent and luck. The game was Bastard’s Fool. Senfyr Played against Tsadok. Senfyr began by winning the first few hands. The dealer was one of Tsadok’s crew and started to stack the deck to be in Tsadok favor. Senfyr noticed the shenanigans and was able to use it against Tsadok. A few more hands went by and Senfyr was winning it all. Then, Tsadok went all in and Senfyr called. the cards were revieled and Tsadok won it all. The party had failed the test.

The third and final test was repelling boarders. Tsadok’s cronies wheeled a large covered cage up to the PC’s boat. They ran off as Tsadok uncovers and opens the cage, revealing a hideously ugly and obese marsh giant called Fishpork. Tsadok orders the brute to attack the PCs, and retreats back to the mainland to watch. Fishpork put up a fight, but in the end the Party was victorous. Thus passing the third and final test. Tsadok announced to the crowd that the party was indeed worthy of a shackles letter of marque. He further announced that Hurricane King, Kerdak Bonefist, himself will grant the PCs their letter of marque this very evening.

The party went to the feast at fort hazard to get there letting. When they arrived the revelry was already in full swing. Bonefist greeted them as they came in and shouted for silence to no effect. He then pulled out his pistol and shot it into the air. The crowd fell silent. He glared fierily about the hall until, with an apparent change of mood, he smiled and spoke in a calm voice. “This fresh catch of scallywags want to add their fine ship to our brethren o’ the sea,” he says, erratically waving his still smoking pistol toward the PCs. “But before I award their letter of marque and make them Free Captains right and true, I say we hear from them.” Bonefist turned his dark gaze upon the PCs. “What say you tell us all a tale or two of how you came by the plunder in your hold?” The inebriated pirates draw closer to hear the PCs speak.

With some help from the party, Senfyr started to spin a fantastical tale when a few hecklers started to chime in. William VonDar engaged a heckler in diverting banter while Lewis Clark and Galrum stared the others down. After the entertaining story, Bonefist called for a show of approval, with the crowd shouting “aye” or “nay” to decide. The crowd responded with a resounding “aye”, and Bonefist handed the party their letter of marque.

While the party was enjoying some shore leave at port peril, they found themselves in a tavern called the Riptide Alehouse. They were having a round of drinks when Finrich spotted a familer face, Caulky Tarroon. Caulky was the cabin girl on the Wormwood. Tiberious notices her tampering with some sailors drinks. an activity suspiciously similar to the way oil of taggit was added to the PCs’ drinks when they were initially pressganged. Before the party could react to Caulky, a charming rogue of a Free Captain with an eye patch and a winning smile approched the party. Pierce Jerrell was his name and he asked to join the party’s table and offered them around of drinks.

During this commotion, Caulky noticed the party and took off running up the steps and toward a window. She bumped into a bar patron at the same time another one noticed that her drink was tampered with. This resulted in a fill blown bar brawl. Pierce eagerly joined the brawl casting haste on the party and color spraying the crowd. Finrich Shot Caulky in the back with an arrow and gave chase. Tiberious flew up to the balcony to cut her off. Senfyr joined Pierce and dove into the crowd swinging. Lewis and Galrum waded through the crowd up the steps. Before Caulky could escape, Tiberious stunned her and Finrich tied her up.

The party questioned Caulky. she told them that she lost her cushy cabin girl job when they left the wormwood and she has no loyalty to Barnabas Harrigan. She even pleaded for her life and offered to join the party’s crew if they would spare her life. The Party decided that she could not be trusted, to they put her out of her misery and tossed her corpse over the balcony into the brawling tavern.

After the fighting subsided, Pierce Jerrell found the party and thanked them for such a good time. He said “We should do this again sometime”. As he departed, he shot them a wink by flipping up his eye patch revealing a spherical blue stone.

A couple days later, Tessa Fairwind, Mistress of Quent, invited the party over for dinner to her townhouse in Port Peril. Tessa congradulates the PCs on being named Free Captains, and asks them what they know about the politics of the shackles. She hints that Kerdak Bonefist’s hold over the fractious pirate lords is perhaps not as strong as it might appear. There are recent whispers she’s been hearing about another Chelish invasion on the Shackles. If successful, they could annex the shackles into the empire. A horrific outcome to any Free Captain.

Tessa asks the party to investigate these rumors. She would do it herself, but she is to well known and would draw too much attention. She needs more than rumers to convince the pirate counsel to take action. The party agrees to help. She gives them a couple leads:

I am convinced that Cheliax has spies and informants working in the Shackles, and I can think of only two places that might have some knowledge of these traitorous informers in our midst. The first is the House of Stolen Kisses in Quent, a temple of Calistria and one of the best information brokerages in the Shackles. Use this note to obtain an audience with the temple’s high priestess, Dindreann. “The second is the Temple of the Hidden Name, a secret temple of Norgorber said to operate in the town of Beachcomber on Bag Island. If anyone knows of these spies, it would be the followers of the Reaper of Reputation. I have no contacts with the priests of that temple, so I hope you can convince them to reveal what they know.

The PC’s decide to follow the first lead and sail to Quent. They meet with the temple’s high priestess, Dindreann. The party asks her about the spies and she informs them that people share their secrets with the temple’s sacred prostitutes in the heat of passion. But these secrets are shared in confidence, and the temple cannot simply give them away for free. She will tell them what they want to know in exchange for the where abouts of one of the temples ships, the Lady’s Sting, and the sacred relic it carried. A gold-plated wasp statue known as the Golden Vespal. The temple seeks there relic and revenge on the wreckers who would dare attack one the faith’s holy vessels.

Not knowing where exactly to look for the Lady’s Sting, the party followed the second lead and sailed to Beachcomber. realizing that openly asking about a hidden temple to Norgorber would likely meet with failure, if not outright hostility, Lewis was able to find its location by getting meaning across with innuendo. The party was directed to a nondescript warehouse in the town’s Lurker District. Inside, the Party is met by a halfling dressed in the black clothing of an indentured servant of an aristocratic household and wearing a cherubic mask. He guides them to a discreet soundproof room and introduces himself as “Slip”. He then asks how the Temple of the Hidden Name may be of service.

The party explain that they’re searching for spies in the Shackles, Slip nods and states that the Reaper of Reputation knows much that is hidden, but that secrets always have a price. He goes on to explain that the Temple of the Hidden Name deals in information, using secrets as currency. To learn one of the temple’s secrets, the PCs must pay with another secret of equal value. Fortunately, there is information that the temple wants. Slip tells the PCs that a famous ship called the Brine Banshee mysteriously disappeared several months ago. The Brine Banshee was said to have been one of the fastest ships in the Shackles, with unparalleled handling for a vessel its size, which many believed were the result of several potent spells woven into the ship. If the PCs can find what happened to the Brine Banshee, and discover the secret of its unprecedented speed and maneuverability, they can trade this knowledge for the information they seek.

The party also ask about Lady’s Sting. They traded the secret location of Cyrus Wolfe lost treasure for the information. Slip tells them that the wreckers they seek are led by a half-orc wizard named Vakarla, and operate from a hidden island base southeast of the Rampore Isles. The PC’s thank Slip and set sail to find the wreckers who attacked the Lady’s Sting.

After a couple days of sailing around the Rampore Isles, the PC’s spot a ship on the horizon. It was the Shining Star, a small merchant sailing ship with its sails lowered and flying a Rahadoumi flag. The Shining Star’s crew noticed the Integrity and frantically tried to its raise sails and get underway. The party decided to chase it down. Right as they where about to catch to boat, William noticed inconsistency in the water. He then saw though the illusion and realized the Integrity was about to crash into the reef. He tried to turn the boat, but it was too late. The Boat crashed into the reef sending everyone on board flying forward.

Moments later, several half orcs appeared from thin air. The Integrity had been boarded. A fog cloud was summoned in the middle of the boat. Tiberious was surrounded and took heavy damage. He was able to get away with help from the party. Then from nowhere, a scorching ray hit him dropping him dead. Vakarla appeared hovering over the water. suddenly Galrum was filled with images of his worst nightmares. he was so afraid, he nearly died. The PC’s where able to defeat the orc raiders, but the casualties where high.

Searching the coast, Galrum spotted the wreckers base. Hidden from the shoreline, the base is a ramshackle series of thatched huts surrounded by a flimsy wooden palisade. The base held the wreckers ill gotten gain from previous raids. Primarily consisting of leather, spices, timber, and various ships’ equipment. Amongst Vakarla belongings, the party found a golden statue of a wasp wrapped in oilcloth and stuffed in an empty barrel— the Golden Vespal, stolen from the Lady’s Sting.







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The Treasure of Mancatcher Cove
Raiders of the Fever Sea Part 6

The party drinks some potions of water breathing and descend into the dark watery pit. They entered into the sahuagin tunnels. The party was soon ambushed by a small patrol of sahuagin. The party defeated them, but it took a little more effort then they were used to up on the surface.

They continued to navigate the tunnels and fought more sahuagin and there pet sharks, interrupted a feeding frenzy, and slaughtered a few elderly sahuagin. They even ran into an old sahuagin matron protecting the tribes young.

After a couple hours had gone by, Finrich noticed a narrow opening in the wall of one if the caves. The party decided to dig it out to explore the hidden chamber. The chamber turned out to be a crypt for an ancient captain who was chained to an anchor. The captain had turned into a mummy of the deep and attacked the party, he paralyzed the party with fear and regurgitated vile sea water into the lungs of Galrum and Lewis. The party defeated the mummy but was starting to run out of steam.

The party continued on and found the main entrance to the tunnels guarded by sahuagin, a Tojanida, and a swarm of jellyfish. They decided the treasure must be in the cave, so they backtracked and ran into Bruce, a giant hammerhead shark. He was in what appeared to be a sahuagin bedroom. After defeating Bruce, the party swam into the throne room of the sahuagin chieftain, Krelloort.

Krelloort was a monstrous four-armed sahuagin mutant gurded by two massively muscled female sahuagin concubines. They attacked the party. William summoned a dolphin that kept the concubines busy while the party focused on Krelloort. Krelloort lashed out in a blood frenzy knocking out Senfyr. But Krelloort efforts where in vain as he was defeated by the party.

In Krelloort bedchamber, there was a Varisian music box with the Inscription under the lid that read “For my darling Isabella.” The massive throne seemed out of place in the tunnels. it had an eroded appearance, darkly stained stones, strange runes, and images of one-eyed beasts. it was evident that it had sat in the slime at the bottom of the sea for long ages before being dragged up and placed here. Finrich noticed a hollow space beneath the throne. Galrum Tired and tried t move the throne when William said “What if we had some sort of lever…”. He then remembered the iron rod that was in Krelloort room. The party used the iron rod and were able to move the throne, relieving the treasure chamber. The party had found the lost treasure of Cyrus Wolfe.

The party sail the Integrity to the nearest port to tell there story of mancatcher cove. With the party’s new found reputation, they are infamous enough to sail into the well-traveled waters and ports of the Shackles as respected, perhaps even feared, pirates. However, Fishguts reminds them that to be truly recognized as Free Captains, the PCs must present themselves to the Hurricane King of the Shackles in Port Peril.

The party sets sail to where this crazy adventure started, Port Peril.

Encounters:



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Cyrus Wolfe’s Lost Treasure
Raiders of the Fever Sea Part 5

The party decides to seek out Cyrus Wolfe’s lost treasure hoard. They follow Isabella’s tattoo map that leads them to Mancatcher Cove. as they sail toward the cove, Finrich notices a ship behind one of the small islands to the east. William used his expert sailing skills and quietly sailed up to the hiding ship. The PC’s recognized the ship. It was Isabella’s ship, the Thresher, now captained by her first mate Knuckles Grype. He PCs board the ship and defeat Knuckles. He calls for Parley and will surrender the ship and join their crew to as a loyal follower. The party decide not to kill him and take him up on the offer.

The Integrity sailed into the Indigo hued cove that was almost cave like because of the thick vines that grew across. As night fell, Galrum was ambushed by slithering vines that ripped crew mates off the deck and up onto the canopy. The Integrity was attacked by the Canopy Creeper that defended the cove. after the creeper had been dealt with, Lewis heard a thumping sound. During the commotion of the creeper attack, a patrol of sahuagin and their sharks disabled the rudder and where trying to sink the Integrity. The sahuagin where killed and driven off before they could sink it.

After a crazy night, the party was inspecting the damage of the boat and tried to fix the rudder. both attempts failed. As the first light of dawn peeked into the darkened cove from the east, the jungle cliffs come alive with patterns of shadow and light in a thousand fanciful, ever-shifting shapes. In the shadowy half light, a group of caves and crevices on the cliff face took on the appearance of a grinning skull. As the morning sun illuminates the shadow that resembles the skull’s mouth, a previously unseen glint of gold sparkles brightly in the sunlight, as if the skull has a gold tooth. They had found the entrance to the lost treasure.

The party sailed over and decided to check out both of the caves that were the “eyes” of the skull. Finrich entered the left “eye” and found a trap and disabled it. the cave was a dead end. The party entered the right “eye” where the tunnel climbed to a point just below the island’s surface. Sunlight filtered faintly through a rent in the earth above, where a gargantuan tree grew down into the rocky soil, its prodigious root system blocking any further progress ahead. The fissures and crevices in the bark of the tree’s trunk, just visible at the roof of the tunnel, vaguely resembled a wrinkled human visage with a craggy crown upon its brow, while the spread of roots below seemed like the hoary growth of an ancient beard.

Galrum started to dig. after digging 10 feet down, he hit the bedrock of the island and a layer of wood planks. Breaking away the wooden planks revealed a sinkhole descending into the rock. It dropped thirty feet to the still, dark surface of water below. The broken remnants of a wooden platform and stair clung to the wall, but the structures themselves had long since rotted away and dropped into the inscrutable depths.

The party decided to descend into the dark pit.

Map:

Encounters:

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Cracking the Rock.
Raiders of the Fever Sea Part 4

After getting a new ship squibbed and an upgrade to the Integrity, the PCs decided to try and crack the rock. They decided to follow the advice of Fishguts and meet the inhabitants of Tidewater Rock before trying to attack the tower. Lady Agasta Smythee and Royster McCleagh called out from the top of the tower asking about the party’s intentions. The Party was able to convince her they had no ill intentions. Lady Smythee invited them in for dinner under the condition that one person would be held hostage in case there was any funny business. The party gave Tiberious up as the hostage. he was locked in the water shortage room and given some bread and water.

During dinner, the rest of the party enjoyed a feast of boiled crab, butter-simmered sturgeon, goat cheese, and hard bread, washed down with copious amounts of ale and rum. There was some small talk and Lady Smythee revealed that Barnabas Harrigan had a hand in killing her husband. The party proposed and alliance and Lady Smythee was not willing to give up control of the tower. Since the PCs where friendly and had already made a name for themselves, She made a counter proposal. A marriage under Shackles law to Senfyr. Senfyr accepted the proposal and the party anti-climatically cracked the rock.

Back on the open sea, the Integrity was stalked by a ghost ship. It was a whaler vessel riding low in the water. the ship was the Deathknell captained by Whalebone Pilk. It came in close and then vanished with no trace the first and second night. on the third night, it attacked. William was able to out maneuver it until it sailed underwater diving like a submarine. It appeared right in front of the Integrity for a head on collision. William quickly maneuvered the ship away, but did not quite get far enough as Whalebone Pilk rammed into the back of the integrity. as soon as the ships made contact brine zombies began to board. The party fought through waves of zombies eventually making it onto the Deathknell. Tiberious destroyed Whalebone Pilk’s bell thus destroying him forever.

The PC’s returned to Tidewater Rock only to find that it had been attacked by sahuagin the night before. That night, after the funeral for a fallen guard, the tower door was opened for the last few residents. suddenly eight sahuagin jumped out from the water and rushed the tower. The party was on the tower roof and had to run down the tower to defend it. Finrich rode the eagle down while Galrum used rope and repelled down the tower. The sahuagin tried to hold the door shut to keep out Galrum, but their strength was no match for the barbarian. The sahuagin where quickly slain once the rest of the party made it down to the first floor.

The party decided to stick around for a few days to see if there were any more issues. sure enough, a couple night later, the PC’s wake up to an alarm. The tower was under attack. Finrich spotted a ship with black sails in the mouth of the harbor. There where also 30 pirate who had evaded the guards notice rowing up to the front door. Galrum opened the door and hid around the corner. Isabella “Inkskin” Locke, who was leading the assault, blasted the lower tower floor with a fireball. A few pirates made it into the tower, but most where held off by the guards arrows and William’s entanglement spell. Inkskin flew up to the top of the tower and blasted William and Finrich with spells while Galrum, Tiberious, and Lewis fought the guards on the lower level. It was a difficult fight but the Party triumphed in the end with only 1 casualty. William was trapped in a ball of water and rolled off the top of the tower.

Once Inkskin fell, the boat in the harbor sailed away. The party finds a shark brooch on inkskin. It is made out of deep platinum, the same material that was on a necklace the party took from a sahuagin. They also discovered that the map tattooed on her back is a copy of the map to Cyrus Wolfe’s lost treasure hoard at Mancatcher Cove….

Encounters:





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More Piracy On The Fever Sea
Raiders of the Fever Sea Part 3

The party sailed to bloodcove to sell there prisoners as slaves. Then they sailed to Senghor to sell their plunder and The Sanbalot.

The party again set sail in the search for more infamy and riches. after a couple days, Galrum Noticed a fishing trawler in the distance. the party moved in to investigate and noticed the boat was taking on water from a breach in the hull. The life boats where missing indicating that the crew had abandoned ship. There was no obvious signs of battle other than the breach.

As the Integrity made a close pass to the ship, Finrich noticed the shape of a dinghy deep underwater, slowly sinking. and Senfyr noticed the telltale signs of a battle has been hastily cleaned up. Sahuagin climbed on broad the Integrity and ambushed the party. The party was beat up after the long fight but they where the victors. one of the Sahuagin had a necklace made from a very rare metal known as deep platinum.

During the ambush, the Integrity’s fresh water supply was spilled and what little remained was not going to last until they could reach a port. The party decided to head toward the Mwangi Coast. They found a wide river mouth and sailed up river to take on fresh water.

On there way out, Galrum spotted the rigging of a large ship rising above the trees in the cove. Finrich investigated and the cove was completely dominated by a huge warship named, appropriately enough, Dominator. Atop the rigging of the massive four-masted ship flew the colors of the Empire of Cheliax. It was clear that the heavily armed vessel, with a full company of armored marines mustered on deck, was a pirate hunter.

With the advice of Fishguts, the party decided to try and disable the Dominator so they could escape. Under the cover of darkness the party rowed over to the Dominator’s stern and Finrich climbed up to the windows. once inside, he motioned the party to follow. Lewis, Galrum, and Senfyr climbed up while Tiberious and William stayed in the boat. Finrich and Lewis worked there way to the tiller cabin. Lewis started cutting the rope to disable the pulley system. As he was about to make his second chop when Commander Kyan Kain walked into the room with 2 Chelish marines as part of his inspection rounds. Finrich said “Hey” indicating to the party that there is trouble and they need to come help. The party engages the commander in tight quarters with the help of a summoned teeth swarm. They manage to defeat the guard before the alarm is sounded.

They party escapes the Dominator after disabling the tiller. as they are about to row away, William lobs a flaming sphere into the open window lighting the Dominator on fire. The party makes it back to the Integrity and sets sail for the open sea. As they pass the Dominator the alarm is sounding and the fire is spreading. Adding insult to injury, Tiberious causes the fire to erupt in a display of fireworks blinding most of the Dominator’s crew. The party sails past the crippled Dominator with no issues.

Several days later the party spots a merchant ship, Sea Chanty, under attack by a free captain named Gortus Svard. Gortus starts to move in on the PCs to protect his prize, but they pretend to sail past. Gortus falls for it and proceeds to board the merchant ship. The party turns around and boards Gortus’ ship, Devil’s Pallor. The party easily defeats Gortus and takes his ship and the merchant ship proving there is no honor among thieves.

They sail to port to sell off the Devil’s Pallor, but decide to keep the Sea Chanty and get it squibbed at Rickety’s.

Encounters:

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Piracy On The Fever Sea
Raiders of the Fever Sea Part 2

After taking the Truewind, the party decided to skuttle it and take its crew as prisoners.

They set out on the hunt for another ship. a few days later Senfyr and captain Finrich spotted smoke on the horizon. with no land in sight, the party assumed it was a boat on fire and sailed in to investigate. It was a Chelish ship grappled with another. Following Fishguts’ advice, they approached with the setting sun behind them to catch the Chelaxians off guard. as they approached, William spots some Chelaxian marines dragging prisioners below belowdecks of the burning ship.

The party defeats the Chelaxians and saves the remaining pirates from a fiery death and take the Chelish ship.

With a hold fill of plunder and slaves, the party decide to sail to the small city of Bloodcove to sell off there slaves. They then proceed to the metropolis of Senghor to sell the rest of there plunder and extra ship. After about a week of trading and boasting of there accomplishments as new pirates on the fever sea, they depart in search of more glory and riches.

The Integrity roamed the shore of the Mwangi Expanse in search of a small village to plunder. after finding a village and quickly eliminating the guards. The party took what little the village had for goods and took the inhabitants as slaves.

Disappointed with the lack of plunder from the village the party set sail looking for a merchant ship. They tracked down the Rahadoumi schooner named Sanbalot. To the parties surprise, the Sanbalot had a trained manticore slave. It shot spikes and distracted Finrich and Galrum while the Rahadoumi boarded the Integrity. In the end, the party emerged victorious taking more slaves and claiming another boat.

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Hiding The Evidence
Raiders of the Fever Sea Part 1

Two days later the party reaches Rickety’s Squibs. They meet Rickety Hake and make a deal to squib the ship. in addition to the squib the party asked him to add a couple secret compartments and rapid-deploy sails. The party was welcome to stay in the commons free of charge, but had to pay for there own food and supplies.

During their stay, they PCs heard all about the the drought that has stricken the Slithering Coast for the last month. On another cloudless day the party was getting ready to play a game of 9 pins when the village was attacked by a young water naga named Selissa. the naga was defeated. A couple days later, the village was attacked by a swarm of giant, horse sized, bees. The party helps the villagers get to cover and even rescue a woman who was being carried off. The swarm left back to the jungle from where it came. several people where dead on the ground and others were carried off. However, casualties were lighter than they could have been.

During the commotion of the bee attack, a ship, sailed into the cove unnoticed. a landing party was at the docks with weapons drawn. Finrich discerned that they were merely wary of attack, not preparing an offensive of their own.

Galrum approched and the Free Captain Merrill Pegsworthy introduced himself. He recognized the party’s ship as the Man’s Promise that was recently captured by Barnabas Harrigan. Being no friend of Harrigan’s, Pegsworthy fully supported the PCs’ actions and assures them their secret is safe with him. He even offered to rechristen the parties ship when repairs were complete. The PCs accepted his kind offer since Senfyr knew that it is considered good luck in the Shackles to have a Free Captain christen a ship.

Pegsworthy also states that he did not see the flag from the tower letting him know that the dry dock was in use. Rickety offers the party some gold to investigate. They discover the dead lookout, Lyle Godwin, and his parrot Rotgut. Galrum determines that Lyle had a sever allergic reaction to a bee sting.

With the squib complete, the parties new friend Pegsworthy smashed a bottle of Sargavan wine and offered a toast. “Good fortune and sure sail await what one can crack the Tidewater Rock.”

Captain Finrich set sail on the Integrity, toward the fever sea, with his first mate Tiberious and William at the helm. Below deck, Senfyr took a tally of supplies and Lewis looked over the hull for any leaks. back on deck, Galrum barked orders keeping the crew in line. They set sail looking for infamy and riches to one day become free captains of the Shackles

The first night after leaving the slithering coast, a few sauhagin boarded the ship and attacked the night watch. The party awoke and quickly dealt with the intruders.

The Integrity tracked down their first merchant ship and moved in for the kill. They boarded and engaged the enemy officers. Lewis commanded his raging badger to take out one of the marines while William shifted into a saber tooth tiger and ripped apart the captain. the party successfully took the Truewind.

Encounters:


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