Orithia- Skull & Shackles

Session Seven

The Journal of Sandara Quinn


There was a refreshingly good mood on the Magnificent Bastard as we sailed away from Black Reef Point with our hold full of Urnst loot and smug smiles on our faces after pulling off such a successful heist.

Our newest addition to the crew, Prigg was settling in well, although he didn’t seem to be as sailing-savvy as I’d presumed when I heard of how saddened Captain Barucco was at his ‘loss’. He was a good cook, I’ll grant him that and provided a great help to Fishguts in the galley although I sense that Kroop was a bit peeved at the Halfling muscling in on his turf. We shall have to see how that plays out.

Meanwhile Kaheed, who was newly named Ship’s Carpenter began a new boxing attraction to keep the pirates entertained each night. Essentially each crewmember could challenge any other to a non-lethal boxing match to let off steam. I was called to standby with first aid and healing magic if necessary and Kaheed would referee. The first night seemed fairly successful with Kaheed and Titus facing off, resulting in sore pride (and a sore face) for the Ex-Cap.

The rest of the night was slightly less merry from what I can remember..

We woke to the sound of gunfire. Leaping out of my bunk I found the hold in confusion, Pirates waking up suddenly and the sound of combat from above. The door burst in from the deck and three monstrous Sahuagin rushed in and down the stairs! The crew fumbled for their daggers and sidearms but with the majority of the weapons locked away in the armoury the crew were severely out-matched. It sounded like the officers were engaged with more of the sea-devils on deck so I called to Besmara for protection then ushered the crew to the stern of the hold, behind me.

Kaheed and Jasper rushed up out of the lower hold and Ben emerged from the crowd behind me, his greatsword drawn. The three beasts were caught between them and were swiftly put down while up on deck, Titus, Mameha, Gian and Moussa finished off the last few.

Once the crew had calmed down from the battle and the ship was searched, it was discovered that six Sahuagin had boarded the ship by climbing up the side nets we had installed. Garrett was found dead in the rigging with his throat slit by the monsters- our first casualty as a pirate crew. We gave the Halfling a sea burial with Besmara‘s blessing the next morning but it was clear that the loss had affected the crew. Our run of good luck since leaving the Wormwood might have come to an end and everyone was suddenly thinking of their own mortality and the risks we take each day. We couldn’t know the kind of danger we would encounter later that day however.

It was decided that our next course of action would be to use the map and information we found in on the Kobe No Maru to raid choice towns and sites along the Draconic Coast. In particular was a town called ‘Gold Town’ by the Urnst warriors of Promise Isle. It was supposedly populated by gold-skinned Lizardfolk and full of tall gold statues for the taking. It sounded perfect.

As we cruised south along the emerald coastline, night was approaching and the Captain called for us to head up a large unnamed river to weigh anchor for the night and take on fresh water and fruit from the jungle. We enjoyed coronation monkey, mango salad and sugared grubs in the Alarisian style thanks to Kroop, Prigg and Kaheed.

The next day however, Titus spotted the masts of a large ship over the jungle canopy as we were preparing to leave. Mameha, Titus, Gian, Kaheed and Jasper decided to go take a look. They snuck off into the Jungle and the rest of the crew waited on deck for news of what or who had found us. Whispers of Captain Harrigan bringing swift vengeance on us for stealing his ship quickly circulated about the ship as did rumours about curses and ill-omens. By Besmara’s Tits sailors are a superstitious lot and none more so than the Bastards! After a tense hour, the shore party returned unharmed but brought dire news. A huge Capitavirate warship named the Dominator was anchored in the mouth of the river, and it was bristling with marines. It looked as if they were sending shore parties of their own out so they would have found us within hours.

The Dominator wasn’t a ship to be taken lightly- a full century of legion marines plus their officers, horses and siege weapons not to mention to hundreds of crew likely to be present on the ship would be more than a match for a small pirate fleet. Not only that but the flags flying from her masts indicated that a Paracount, an influential Capitvairate noble-officer was commanding the ship and they were likely to be a skilled mage or warrior in their own right.

The officers immediately retired to the Captain’s quarters to plan our move. After a frustrated meeting, a plan was set in motion. That is to say, fleeing at full speed was our only real option, the difficulty was seeing how it could happen. Titus, Kaheed, Gian and Jasper would swim out to the Dominator after nightfall and sneak into the rear cabins to disable the rudder cable, preventing the ship from turning and bringing her full broadsides to bear. Timing it just right, Mameha would command the Bastard out of the river at full sail and escape out into the ocean. Kitesh, Mameha, Dungrin and I would provide magical support in the form of obscuring mist and summoned Eidolons to distract the enemy further and delay their ranged attacks as we made good our escape.

Night. The plan seemed to go fairly smoothly. All was silent until suddenly we could hear gunfire and shouting drifting across the treetops and along the river. They were barely noticeable over the cacophony of a jungle at night and Mameha stood patiently, her ears twitching like some sort of animal as she sought the perfect time to unfurl the sails and raise the anchor. She must have heard something I could not, for she suddenly span round and issued the orders. The crew sprang into action and before I knew it, we were hurtling down the river at some speed.

As we rounded the corner into the bay, we saw the Dominator lit up with torches and muzzle flashes. There were dozens of marines shooting into the water at our crew who were frantically swimming back. As the Bastard got closer, some of the boys started climbing down the nets and leaning over to help haul Titus, Kaheed, Jasper and Gian back aboard. Kitesh’s Eidolon, Shafir went to town on the Dominator ’s sails- setting huge fires all over the deck. The mist called down by the spellcasters obscured their view enough for us to scoop up our crew and hot tail it out of the bay with only a few scratches on the paintwork!

Except for Gian of course. During the swim back over, a bullet had caught her in the abdomen and she lost a lot of blood to the sea. She would have drowned if Kaheed hadn’t pulled her along for the last leg of the swim. She was lucky too, another minute of swimming and she would have bled out completely. Besmara was on hand to heal her wounds however and I confined her to the sickbay for a day to recover. She’ll live, just a scar and a newfound respect for gunpowder to tell the tale.

We were truly living the buccaneer’s life now! Raids on Urnst forts, escaping Capitaviate warships. All we needed now was plunder! And we knew exactly where to find it….


‘Wilderness Lore’

I look longingly at the jungle only a tantilisingly short distance from the Bastard, I can almost smell the plants and earth, can almost feel the loam beneath my boots. Then the ship gives another lurch in the gentle swell and it is shattered. I fucking hate boats. I really, fucking hate boats. Even when we’re in the middle of the bloody ocean we still get attacked by things and you can’t see shit coming. I mean, Sahaugin last night, bloody hell. Good thing I was awake or these deaf and blind morons would have all got their throat slits. I thought halflings were supposed to be alert! I snigger as I think about the ludicrous “religious ceremony” the crew had for Garrett earlier. Almost as bad as heathen Kepicians or Alarisians. Still, one less theiving halfling aboard.

As I think about that evening I start to ponder on Captain Eikou again. She’s been giving me a weird feeling since I met her, I’d assumed it was just her being an uppity foreign woman but I am sure I saw something last night. I trust no-ones eyes more than mine and I could have sworn she looked like some kind of walking animal…maybe a lycanthrope, but she hid it pretty quick. I will have to keep a damned close eye on her, maybe suck up to her, if she lets down her guard I may learn more. I don’t want to warn anyone just yet though, no telling how she’d react and I like my body in the shape it is!

I glance down. The rail is swarming with tropical insects and this has attracted some monkeys who are greedily sucking down the fat grubs. I sit still and watch them for a while. They seem to favour only a handful of the dozens of different insects so I guess they must be the non-toxic ones. I’ve already had a lungful of weed so I figure it might be worth trying, I’d not like to have to fend for myself in a new jungle without a little background knowledge. I pick up one that the monkeys seem really keen on and pop it into my mouth.

Session Seven

It is chewier than i’d expected, like over-cooked pork, and not unplesant tasting. I gather up a few and take them over to Kaheed, if anyone knows how to cook bugs it’ll be him! I snort in laughter, that pipe weed was stronger than usual and my head is really swimming. I should probably go have a lie down but I have an idea in mind now.

Hello Titus, what have you got there? – Kaheed

God he is pedantic with his grammer, it’d piss me off if I wasn’t so distracted. I mumble though the bug in my mouth, like I said, chewy.

I ha’ some insects, they are safe t’ eat an’ I though’ we could add ‘em t’ the stores. Could you cook some f’me? – Titus

I hope he doesn’t realise how high I am. I try to clear my head with some deep breaths, it helps. Until I choke on the mouthful of bug I am chewing. Kaheed gives me a few firm pats on the back, I spit out the offending morsal and sit with him whilst he cooks.

A few bugs will not feed the crew for long if they get hungry you know – Kaheed

Hmm…You might have a point there Kaheed. We need something bigger. – Titus

I start loading my crossbow. Kaheed knows he can deflect it so he just keeps stirring his pan, cool as anything. Everyone else in earshot starts looking might nervous and pretty much shit themselves and scatter when I raise it to my shoulder.

Titus! What the hell are you… – Captain Van Helgan

I interrupt him by shooting a fat monkey in the chest mid jump so it falls on the deck. I walk over and pick it up, bringing it back to Kaheed.

No need to shit a brick Captain, just helping Kaheed top up the stores – Titus

Session Seven

“So Titus, as the Master of Arms, would you be so kind as to give a simple demonstration of the rules I have just explained. You may select any crew member as your partner.” I stepped back and turned to the crew waiting for Titus’ selection.
“I think I’ll have you, Kaheed. You seem up for it!” Titus grinned from ear to ear as he turned to me.
“I’m not sure that is such a good idea Titus. I am the referee, not the combatant.” I responded.
“Wha’ are you? Pussy? C’mon, lets do this!” Titus exclaimed eagerly.
I was slightly baffled by the suggestion that I was a cat, but assumed it was an insult in Titus’ homeland.
“Very well Titus. However, I think that since I favour my bare hands and you favour a weapon, I think it would be fairer if you were to use one of the practice swords.”
“Fine be me. Just make sure you fight fair, and don’t use any of your heathen forgeign tricks” Titus sneered.
I have come to expect this kind of bigotry from Titus, so I simply stepped back into my position and awaited the bell.
As the bell rang I quickly dropped into my defensive stance, anticipating a furious assault from Titus. However, it didn’t come, at least not physically. Titus began his attack with a barrage of quite crude and unpleasant insults. I didn’t understand most, they seemed to use many words I was not familiar with, such as ‘Your mother was a crusty slaag!’. The confusion must have been evident on my face as Titus chose that moment to make his charge.
I was able to evade most of his blows. His first stike came as an overhand downward chop aimed at my head. I stepped to the side, dropped to a crouch and sweeped my leg, dropping Titus to the ground. I attempted a group finisher, but landed only a glancing blow as Titus rolled away and got to his feet. He then made a more cautious attack, preceded by a cunning feint. It caught me across the left thigh and was sure to leave a wicked bruise. At that moment I slightly regreted making those swords so sturdy. In return a swept to the side and made an upward strike against Titus’ jaw. This seemed to hurt him and he staggered backwards, spitting blood. However, in the attack I over-reached, pulling a muscle in my shoulder. I knew now that my left arm was going to be weaker, and so I was going to have to hope for a short finish before my weakness was my undoing.
“Your looking a little woozy there Kaheed” Titus barked. “Maybe we should call a timeou’, let you have a nap”
I wasn’t entirely sure what a ‘time-out’ was, but assumed it be a form of concession. I do not readily agree to such things, as at home it was normally considered insulting.
“I am willing to continue if you are Titus” I replied.
“’Course I am you brown monkey!” Titus boomed back.
Titus stalked towards me with his sword raised high in an offensive stance. I attempted to avoid his inevitable attack, but unfortunately it caught me sqaure on my injured shoulder. The pain flared and nearly caused me to lose my focus. I regained my senses just in time to dodge his next attack, reposition and make my attack. I ducked to the left, swung my knee into his midriff and make a elbow chop against the back of his head as he stumbled forward.
With this, Titus dropped to the floor, dazed and semi-conscious. A cheer erupted from the watching croud, declaring me the winner. I helped up Titus and made sure he was steady on his feet. As Sandara rushed over to reluctantly tend to out wounds, Titus patted me on the arm and said “You’re alright Kaheed, you’re alright”.

Session Seven

I love it.

Session Seven

Oh thanks :) I was worried about putting words in your mouth.

Session Seven

No, you got it dead right. Titus is crude, violent and abusive but he certainly doesn’t hold a grudge and respects people who can fight well.

Session Seven

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