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 information the seek. 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 images of her worse nightmares. she was so afraid, she 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.