Skull and Shackles

32 Owlbear

Session Thirty Two

In this session of the Skulls and Shackles campaign, the Femme Fatal settles into a familiar hidden cove a mile away from the port town of Ollo, the capital of Shark Island. Captain Quade leaves Dalvika behind in charge of the ship while the officers head out in disguises to scout the city for information on the mystery of the Brine Banshee. They head to the disturbing Varisian drinking hole known as the Violated Troll. The place gets its name from its most popular form of entertainment, which consists of a wretched troll on display on a small stage in the center of the room. The troll is stitched by thick coils of rusty wire to an iron framework of spiked bars over a large bloodstained grill in the floor. Visitors to the tavern are welcome to do what they will to the imprisoned troll, either with their own equipment or using the torture instruments thoughtfully provided on a nearby tray. The troll’s regeneration keeps him from dying, but his mind has long since been destroyed by a robe of powerlessness. The troll has been an attraction here for nearly ten years and has long since been driven hopelessly insane by the ordeal. The companions intimidate their way to gain a meeting with the Sczarni crime boss, Madame Ivanja. The Varisian woman is surprised to see that Captain Quade is willing to reveal his true identity when Governor Bonedeuce has placed a bounty on their heads. Quade attempts to flirt with the Varisian woman while attempting acquire information about the Brine Banshee. Ivanja requests the group to stay for the night while she and her people go and collect the information.

While the group lingers within the tavern to determine what to do next, another familiar face appears; the Inn keeper of the Rusty Shunt, Lars. Lars happened to be talking with a friend at the tavern when he noticed Quade revealing his true identity to the Varisians. Lars explains that the group should leave and not trust the Sczarni. The Varisian gangsters are willing to help the pirates and betrayal them for their own mutual benefit. The group asks Lars what he knows about the Brine Banshee, which rewards the group with a clue. He tells the pirates that the Brine Banshee’s former surgeon lives in Blackblood Cay operating a hospice, Jamie Hartshorn. Judging on what they should do next, the group decides to leave Ollo before the Varisians could betray them. Lars thanks the group for saving the lives of the people of Ollo against the threat of Porphyry House.

De’de teleports the companions to Blackblood Cay’s temple of Cayden Cailean. The acolytes of the temple are shocked to find strangers emerging from the broom closet but once they recognize the pirates, they quickly usher the group to see the temple’s high priestess, Duwella Morin. Morin cautions the group that the Dragoons have taken control of the port town and is spreading slanderous lies about the pirates. They also have rounded up many of the Tulita in town, fearing that the natives are allies of Sorrinash. Tidus shares that Agasta Smythee is alive and announces to the group that she is his fiancé. Happy to hear that she is alive, Morin explains that the captains of Smythee’s fleet will side with Agasta if they can uncover evidence of Bonedeuce’s murder of Simeon Smythee. The group muses over the option of simply murdering the Governor, but Morin cautions that won’t win the captains to their side. Wynter brings up that her observations on Bonedeuce’s activities reveals that the Governor plans to challenge Sorrinash’s rule of Shark Island. De’de believes the group can exploit this resource. Morin welcomes the group and offers the temple as a sanctuary while they’re in Blackblood Cay.

Quade inquire about Jamie Hartshorn, and is directed by Morin to investigate the Fallen from Grace tavern. Jamie is known as Owlbear among the locals and is a regular pit fighter at the tavern. Wynter recalls that she hexed Owlbear when the group first won the race set up by Varossa Lanteri. Ever since that incident, Owlbear has been losing many fighting bouts and fallen into deep depression. When the group journeys to the Fallen From Grace tavern, they vandalize a statue of Bonedeuce along the way. But once they arrived at the tavern, they quickly learn that the tavern is undergoing reconstruction and is under new management. Renamed the Duchess’s Cup, after the previous owner of the tavern, the new owner is Merrill Pegsworthy, captain of the Strix.
The group finds Owlbear in a drunken state, mourning the loss of another fight. He is at first reluctant to speak with the pirates but after being sobered up due to magic from Wynter and De’de, he soon comes to his senses. Once convinced by Quade that he should be helping them, Owlbear reveals that he might know how to find the missing Brine Banshee. In exchange, they need to bring him along and give him a share of the plunder they find. Quade agrees and Owlbear takes the group to his abandoned hospice. Along the way, the group notices something new to the town; crucified prisoners. This angers De’de, Wynter, and Quade who plan to do something about Bonedeuce as they recognize a few of the prisoners as former allies that once sheltered them. The group arrives at Owlbear’s hospice where he produces a leg bone that once belonged to Vargus Brack, an officer aboard the Brine Banshee.

“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 town, 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?”

Quade takes up the leg bone and immediately is aware of the location of Vargus Brack’s corpse. Writing down his findings, he passes the information on to De’de, the Femme Fatal’s navigator. Owlbear is relieved that the group doesn’t need to steal the ring of the iron skull from Aeron Chambers, the former harbor master. Wynter believes that the group should check up on Aeron Chambers, as he was rewarded with the Blushing Bride when he left Blackblood Cay. With the information of the corpse’s location, De’de teleports the group along with Owlbear back to their ship.

The Femme Fatal sets sail to open ocean, close to the Eye of Abednego and south of Mediogalti Island. Along the way to their destination, they are attacked by sea devils but manage to overcome the marauding raiders of the deep. They capture the raid’s huntmaster, a four armed sea devil known as Haarka, and place him in the ship’s hold.

Once they reach their destination, they anchor their ship eighty miles away from their intended location and prepare to dive into the stormy sea, to find the remains of the Brine Banshee.



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