In this session of the Skull and Shackles campaign, the crew grows accustom to their new roles aboard the Magpie Princess. De’de struggles with the role of being a cook’s mate, as he is more of a fisherman then an actual cook. Quade continues to attempt to speak with the captain, but his attempts is blocked by the ship’s steward, Hinshin, who sees the sylvan sailor as an rival. Wynter is able to convince the captain and the first mate that her role would be better suited as a cabin girl.
While aboard the ship, Quade and Wynter made allies with Zhi, Cut Throat Grok, Magic Mike, and Knuckles. De’de is able to determine a psionic presence with the Captain, detecting two psionic objects on her person. He is also able to determine that the ship’s mage, Vancid Creed may have a psionic presence, but he still isn’t sure as to what the presence could be as the ship’s mage rarely appears on deck.
Upon the fourth day out at sea, the Magpie Princess comes across a spur of rock that happens to be the lair of a lonely siren by the name of Jezsindre. The siren’s captivating song lures most of the crew on deck out into the sea, while Hinshin uses his own bardic talents to protect the captain and the ship’s mage. Zhi, along with De’de, Quade, and Wynter are the only sailors on deck that managed to resist the siren’s call. With Zhi on the wheel, De’de begins to climb up along the ship’s mast to reach the crow’s nest in order to maintain line of sight with the siren. Meanwhile Quade crawls into his bag of holding and Wynter flies off to engage the siren at her rocky lair. The pirates eventually are able to defeat the siren, with De’de using his energy bolts to send Jezsindre crashing down into the rocky surf. Wynter and Quade then proceeds to rescue the rest of the struggling sailors in the water to return back to the Magpie.
The Blackwarn Gallows
After another day out at sea and recovering from the battle with the siren, Quade and the rest of his marines are called in to speak with Captain Lanteri.
A decade ago, the piratical trio of Barnabas Lanteri, Zara “Stormeyes” Dahoath, and Rhail Harkalm banded together to ply the waters of the Arcadian Ocean. When they slew the great brine dragon Nicorydine, they discovered in her hoard a magic instrument along with documents that claimed it was the secret to accessing the legendary treasure of Captain Jemma Redclaw. The band split the instrument into three pieces, and agreed that whichever of them lived longest would inherit all of what they came to call the Three Reasons to Live. While the captains worked together occasionally after that, they made sure to spend more time apart than together to limit the temptation to speed each other’s demises.
As often happens with pirates, all three have since come to violent ends anyway. Nicorydine’s son, Kelizar, avenged his mother’s death a few months ago when he killed Stormeyes and sank her ship, the Saber’s Kiss. Captain Rahil Harkalm was recently captured and hanged by Besmaran priests at a site called Blackwarn’s Gallows, and his body still hangs in chains. Barnabas Lanteri was killed by his wife and co-captain Varossa Lanteri in a late-night argument.
Thanks to a diviner in the town of Blackblood Cay, Varossa also has a good idea of where the other two pieces might currently be. Harkalm hid his piece in his peg leg, and as there has been no word of the Besmarans finding this piece, it should still be with his corpse. On the western coast of the isle of Besmara’s Throne stands a series of sheer cliffs and natural rocky formations known as Blackwarn’s Gallows. One of these is a natural stone arch over the water where Besmaran priests execute heretics and religious malefactors.
Rahil was a Rahadoumi who took that nation’s atheism to an extreme, vehemently hating all gods, priests, and religions. During his piratical career, Rahil made sure to murder every priest on the ships he captured and destroy any religious items he came across. This included priests of Besmara, a policy that eventually led to his crew turning on him and delivering him to a Besmaran temple. The temple priests hung him from an arch in Blackwarn’s Gallows, and made it known that no one should try to recover his body.
Captain Lanteri orders Quade and his marines to head to Blackwarn Gallows and retrieve the Three Reasons to Live from Rahil’s corpse. She assigns them two rowers and a rowboat to help them in their journey. Quade takes De’de, Tidus, and Wynter with him.
While rowing forward to their destination, Tidus swims ahead to scout underwater to see what dangers lurk ahead. He spots a pair of karkinoi and their brood of young, scavenging near the execution site. The crab like predators notice the triton as he wasn’t attempting to hide and immediately begin to move in to attack. In a brief struggle between the pirates and the crab warriors, the marines are successful in killing the karkinoi at the cost of one rower.
The marines are able to retrieve one of the pieces of The Three Reasons to Live without disturbing the Black Lady’s Blight curse placed by the Besmarans on the corpses and chains, along with some treasure also hidden within Rahil’s peg leg.
The band returns back to the Magpie, successful in their venture, and the crew rejoice as they are one step closer to the Captain Redclaw’s treasure. Returning back to their roles aboard the ship, Tidus struggles beneath the attention of the ship’s firstmate, the Rajah. The triton eventually snaps and attempts to intimidate the first mate, creating a conflict that draws the attention of everyone on board.
Quade and Wynter attempt to persuade Tidus in accepting his punishment for his insubordination, but the triton refuses. Instead, Tidus humiliates the Rajah by throwing him overboard and then diving into the water where, in his element, he easily defeats the first mate in combat. Captain Lanteri orders the rest of the crew to not get involved as she watches afar. When the battle is over, Tidus drags the defeated first mate aboard the Magpie. Captain Lanteri then manipulates the situation by asking the first mate if he wants a duel with the triton, with everyone knowing full well that he won’t be able to defeat the aquatic warrior and that he won’t back down due to his honor. The Rajah demands for a duel.
The Magpie stops by a small islet in the Fever Sea.
There upon the small sandbar, overseen by the Captain, her steward, and her ship’s mage, along with her chief of marines, they watch as the Rajah and Tidus duel to the death. Tidus comes out of the battle with a easy victory. The Rajah is then given a short pirate funeral, consisting of his body being ransacked and then tossed into the sea.
Cut-Throat Grok is assigned to be the ship’s new first mate, while Tidus is given the position of bosun and a new quarters. The triton makes sure that his bedroom’s door is always locked as he senses he may very well made many enemies when he took out the Rajah among his ship mates.
And that night, he dreams of the silver void and the islands of the dead.