The second session of the Skull and Shackles campaign picks up at Castaway Beach. After some arguments over supplies and who should lead, the band decides to follow De’de’s suggestion to reach higher ground and find fresh water. Tidus doesn’t seem that bothered with drinking sea water, and the gnome Gelik easily exhausts the band’s supply of alcohol along the way. Quade continues to flirt with the women, annoying Aerys and amusing Sasha.
The group gets into a heated argument over the fate of the Mwangi prisoner, Jask. Jask claims to be a cleric of Nethys, and promises to help the group. De’de inquires as to his crime, and according to Aerys, they learn that Jask was charged with espionage and treason by the Sargavan government. Jask fled to Corentyn, where Aerys found him and bounded him in chains. Jask claims his innocence, claiming that he was framed by his superior, who is in fact the true criminal. Despite Aerys’ protests, Quade manages to convince her to free her prisoner in exchange for paying Jask’s bounty.
Along the way to the high rise, the band witness a dimorphodon flying over their heads. Sasha seems enchanted by the flying dinosaur, especially once De’de shares the knowledge that the beast is poisonous.
While camping for the night, Sasha and Tidus were able to hunt down some dire rats. They decide to keep the spoils of their hunt a secret. De’de takes the time to read the captain’s log and later share his findings with the castaways in the morning. Captain Alizandru Kovack was obsessed with the Varisian scholar Ieana. It was Ieana’s suggestion that the Jenivere should head to the Cannibal Isles. When the crew grew upset due to the ship’s change in course, the Captain was plotting on a method on dealing with the crew and passengers.
Along the way, Aerys and Gelik become extremely sick.
The band eventually reach higher ground and the beginnings of a river. From their vantage point they can make out more shipwrecks along the eastern coast of the Shiv, a large red mountain to the south, and to the southwest, a very large tree, and at two different locations signs of civilization as they see smoke. Ishirou warns that the smoke may belong to the island’s local kuru, a race of degenerate humanoids who live in the Shackles and are known to be cannibals. De’de recalls a story about Chelish engineers erecting a lighthouse on the Shiv’s southwest shore. The light was intended to warn approaching ships of the dangerous waters and, eventually, was to have been the first building in a small colony. The light and all plans for colonization were abandoned just before completion amid rumors of curses, haunts, and cannibalism.
De’de and Tidus soon learn that they’re in a predator’s territory. The pair decide to hunt the predator with the assistance of Sasha and Ishirou, leaving the others to construct a fortified shelter and tend to their sick companions. The hunting band gets into a confrontation with a pair of jungle darkmantles and barely survive.
The New Companions
After recovering from their encounter with the darkmantles, the castaways are alerted to a newcomer. The new arrival is none other then Dalvika, a female blue goblin telepath and a member of the Jenivere’s crew. She shares her life and death struggle aboard the last hours of the Jenivere and explains how the first mate, Alton, brought the passengers ashore with her assistance. She also shares her suspicions that the Varisian scholar Ieana is a psion and somehow magically controlled Captain Kovack’s mind. Dalvika also believes that there is another camp to the southeastern shore.
A scouting band made up of De’de, Quade, Tidus, and led by Dalvika, head down to the southeastern shores of the Shiv. Along the way they stop to investigate the wreck of the Bloody Doll. Finding that the wreck has already been ransacked, they continue on.
The band reaches a abandoned campsite and soon learn that Captain Kovack and Ieana is still alive. Tidus quickly claims the captain’s abandoned hat for himself while De’de investigates a few discarded Varisian scarves. Clinging to some of the scarves is some dead flesh. Dalvika is troubled by this. She shares her theory that Ieana is an imposter, as a real Varisian would never abandon their ancestral scarves. Quade pushes the group on to follow the Captain and the false Varisian’s trail.
While the group is following the trail, they come across a strange sight on the beach. The ghost of Captain Billy Bones, a Free Captain of the Shackles who went missing five years ago. After failing to catch the ghost’s attention, the group decides to follow the undead spirit back to its wrecked ship, the Brine Demon.
The band investigate the shipwreck, finding some remains of Grindylows and dead crewmen. They eventually decide to loot the ship and the corpse of Captain Billy Bones, prying his locked coffer from his wretched dead fingers. Unlocking the coffer, they find a locket with a picture of the captain’s beloved Aeshamara.
As they are returning back to their camp, the ghost of Captain Billy Bones attacks them! They are able to vanquish the ghost, but soon enough encounter another new comer. A female human cleric of Besmara calling herself Mary, and her monkey pet Gage. Mary claims to have been marooned upon the Shiv by her traitorous crew and has been wandering the eastern shore of the Shiv for some time. When questioned by Dalvika if she had seen Captain Kovack and Ieana, Mary demands payment in return for the information. Shocked by the cleric’s behavior, Quade believes the information isn’t worth it, but he still welcomes her to join the band and return to their camp.
The scouting band travels back to their fortified camp, with news of their discoveries. Aerys and Gelik are fully recovered from their ordeal with mindfire, thanks to Jask. Quade allows Jask to read the Brine Demon’s ship logs and journals, as the cleric believes there may be some evidence within the journals. After reading the journals, Jask becomes excited as Captain Billy Bone’s records proves that Jask is innocent as his superior is named among Captain Billy Bone’s collaborators with the Chelish Government. It would seem that Captain Billy Bones was a traitor to the Pirate Nation. Aerys reluctantly agrees that the journals will prove Jask’s innocence and fetch a price with the authorities of the Pirate Nation or Sargava.
The castaways and their new companions then journey south, traveling along the river. They easily overcome a constrictor snake on the way, and do moderately well against a pair of Shiv Dragons. But their journey eventually ends when they discover an abandoned hut on the beach.
Before they can investigate the hut, the castaways are confronted by the ghost of Captain Billy Bones again! He demands the return of his locket from the thieving scalawags. Mary approaches the ghost and seems to calm the troubled spirit with her presence. The group is able to determine that the only way to put Captain Billy Bones’ spirit to rest is to return Bones’ locket to Aeshamara in Port Peril.
Jask asks for Quade to hand over the locket. Quade does so, only to be shocked when the cleric destroys the locket! Jask curses Captain Billy Bones and blames him for all the hell that was brought down upon Jask in the last ten years.
Traitors don’t deserve a happy ending.
The troubled spirit of Captain Billy Bones screams in rage and flies to attack the cleric. The party is able to vanquish the ghost for a final time and revive the fallen cleric with a cure potion. Jask grins up at the group as he awakens and comments, “justice has been served.”