In this session of the Skulls and Shackles campaign, the newly aligned Free Captains are preparing for their next voyage into the Fever Sea. They hire the athletic halfling Rosie Cuswell to be their new cook and are reunited with their former quartermaster, Mo. Mo shares a lucrative tip on where the Chelixian treasure ship, the Emperor’s Hand, next stop will be in the Fever Run. In two months’ time, the ship will arrive in the port of Ilizmagorti. Realizing that they are low on funds, the officers agree to take on Mo as an passenger and offer her a share of the plunder. This gives the pirates five months to prepare for the upcoming race and two months to prepare for the raid on the Emperor’s Hand.
De’de and Grok happen to notice the Port Peril militia pulling a female Tulita corpse out of the water. Not recognizing Nefti Unwesha, they decide to move on and return back to the Femme Fatal.
The Femme Fatal leaves behind the pirate capital and De’de navigates the journey to Motaku Island, deciding to take the dangerous route through the Dahak straits. As their ship crosses the waters south of Dahak’s Teeth, they come across the Tian pirates of Shenchu Bay. Knowing that the Tian pirates would demand to inspect their ship and call for a toll to cross their waters, Wynter disguises the Femme Fatal with a hex. Unable to pierce her well-crafted illusion and impressed by Quade’s smooth diplomacy, the pirates only demand a small toll. Afterwards, the Femme Fatal encounter no further dangers as they cross the straits and finally arrive at their destination at Motaku Island, the port city of Quent.
In the city of Quent, the officers of the Femme Fatal accompany their captain as he seeks an audience with the mistress of the House of Stolen Whispers in the city’s red light district. Mistress Dindreann confirms that the House of Stolen Kisses has leads on information regarding the activities of Chelish spies in the Shackles, as many 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. If Quade were to perform a service for the temple, however, they could expect such knowledge as payment.
After some refreshments and more flirting, the changeling high priestess shares that a ship owned by the temple, the Lady’s Sting, recently went missing. Divinations have revealed that the ship was attacked by a group of pirates who deliberately lure ships into danger so that they can salvage the cargoes of the resulting wrecked ships. Piracy is a fact of life in the Shackles, of course, but the Lady’s Sting was carrying a relic sacred to the faith – a gold-plated wasp statue known as the Golden Vespal. The temple seeks revenge on these wreckers who would dare attack one of the faith’s holy vessels, as well as the return of the Golden Vespal, but they have so far been unable to locate the wreckers that attacked the Lady’s Sting. If the Femme Fatal pirates can find the wreckers, enact the goddess’s revenge upon them, and recover the Golden Vespal, Dindreann will give them a lead on the spies they are seeking. Quade agrees to the request after consulting with his officers, confident that the crew can overcome the challenge.
Pleased with their answer, Dindreann invites the entire crew of the Femme Fatal to enjoy the comforts of the temple of Calistria. The high priestess herself entertains Quade, while De’de is tormented by a babbling companion, and Wynter uses her male companion as a study aid in her arcane studies. After a night of revelry, Dindreann is pleased with Quade’s performance and behavior and offers to share a secret regarding any member of his crew as a reward. He decides to learn Mo’s secret. The high priestess whispers against the sylvan captain’s ear and informs him that Mo was seen in the company of the pirate lord Sorrinash at Fort Hazard. Suspecting that Mo may be in the employ of the pirate lord of Shark Island, Wynter and Quade begin to speculate that the Emperor’s Hand raid may be a trap.
The officers decides to review the Lady’s Sting navigation charts to determine where to go next. They know that the Lady’s Sting was last seen in the port town of Arena, and never arrived in the elven port of Alendruan Harbor. With the little knowledge they managed to gather and using these clues, the officers decide to head off to Widowmaker’s Island. Seeing as Bag Island is on the way to Widowmaker’s Island, they decide to hit their second objective and head to the small halfling town of Beachcomber.
When the Femme Fatal arrives in the town of Beachcomber, Dalvika, De’de, and Wynter is sent ahead to gather information on the whereabouts of the Temple of the Hidden Name. Unfortunately, the group isn’t very subtle and struggle in their attempts to gather information on the hidden temple to the god of secrets. They overcome a few orc toughs that attempt to silence them, but eventually manage to find a lead to a cleric of Norborger that is willing to see them. They arrive in the town’s Lurker District where they meet a disguised halfling called Silk. Wynter bluntly explains that the group is searching for information on Chelish spies operating in the Shackles, information that she shared with nearly half the inhabitants of the Dock District.
Silk is happy to share such information 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, a client must pay with another secret of equal value. Fortunately, there is information that the temple wants.
Silk tells the group 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 Femme Fatal pirates 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 trio recall tales of the ill-fated Brine Banshee, which disappeared west of Shark Island after leaving the port of Ollo. What happened after remains a mystery.
Wynter then asks Silk about the wreckers operating in the Shackles that attacked the Lady’s Sting. The cleric of Norborger replied that it is no secret that many such groups operate in the Shackles, but he has knowledge of one crew that claimed to have successfully attacked a Calistrian vessel. The trio pays the halfling cleric in gold and learns that the wreckers operate southeast of the Rampore Isles. They also learn that the orc wreckers are led by a halfling wizard named Peppery Longshanks who specializes in attacking slavers and has ties with the Andoran government. This puzzles the officers as they suspect that the House of Stolen Whispers may have some ties with the slave trade.
Returning back to their ship and informed of this news, Quade is still determined to capture the wreckers, while Wynter would rather speak with the leader of the wreckers. The Femme Fatal, still disguised, heads north to the southern waters of the Rampore Isles where the wreckers operate. Spending a few days searching for the wreckers, the disguised Femme Fatal catches the attention of Vudrani pirates of the Rampore Isles. The Vudrani pirates send a raven messenger to the deck of the Femme Fatal, who invites the crew to Bedu Hanji’s court, the pirate lord of the Rampore Isles. Wynter bluntly explains to the raven that they’re after Peppery Longshanks and De’de angrily refuses the offer. The familiar then returns back to its ship and the Vudrani pirates leave the Femme Fatal to return to their hunt.
In a foolhardy attempt to capture the attention of the wreckers, Wynter uses her magic to flag a message that their ship seeks to speak with Peppery Longshanks. Once the officers realize that this plan didn’t work, Quade orders his crew to search the islets one by one in an attempt to find the wrecker’s hidden base. They succeed in finding the hidden base, but find no signs of the wreckers. They also find the wrecked remains of the Lady’s Sting and a few other ships. Wynter believes the group may be facing a powerful illusionist. Sasha and Aerys is able to determine that there are only four wreckers and that they probably teleported away. De’de and Wynter speculates that Longshanks probably escaped back to Bag Island. Aerys requests to be left behind on Bag Island, as she was once a professional bounty hunter, she may be able to find the wreckers within the halfling community. Quade orders Sasha and Cut-Throat Grok to go along with the half elf tracker, and De’de to teleport the trio onto Bag Island. Once they find Longshanks, they are to communicate their findings back to the officers as they were bestowed with a telepathic bond thanks to Wynter and Dalvika.
Once De’de returns back to the Femme Fatal, Quade orders his navigator to set a course to Shark Island.