Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

The shipping lanes of Golarion's seas and oceans are filled with fat merchant vessels laden with trade goods both mundane and exotic, as well as the pirates and freebooters who prey on them. Under the banner of their Hurricane King, these buccaneers sally forth from that archipelago of lawless pirate ports and anchorages known as the Shackles, plundering the shipping of countless countries and trade consortiums, then vanishing back into the maze of islands and reefs they call home. The nations of the Inner Sea would like nothing more than to end the pirate menace once and for all, but the eternal hurricane known as the Eye of Abendego has thus far shielded the Free Captains of the Shackles from the threat of retaliation.


In the Skull & Shackles Adventure Path, the PCs take on the role of pirates, but they must make a name for themselves in piracy, plunder, and disrepute to truly become infamous Free Captains of the Shackles.

A Paizo Adventure Path

Run by the Pirate King Vardaen
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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by Vardaen » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:03 pm

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If you yearn for the smell of the clean salt air and the sour stench of boiling tar, and desire the opportunity to fulfill sailors’ every vice, then you need look no further than Port Peril. By the nine layers of Hell, I think they’ve invented some vices of their own, so best take caution—you can’t trust anyone in that port, and any word given by the Free Captains only goes so far. Between the thieves of Pike Street, the perfumed doxies of Scrimshaw, and thirsty sailors looking for the nearest cask of rum, you can find yourself battered, shirtless, and broke before you’ve even left sight of the quay.

—Xavi Narcis, first mate of the Serpent’s Curse (retired)


Captain's Log

Two Days Since Mancatcher Cove - Its been two days since we parted way with Besmara's Banshee. That was a good crew and a good captain. I have high hopes for this crew, we've already been through a lot together, and we have come away from Mancatcher Cove with a ship full of loot. That never hurts! The look out is calling now, the port of Lilywhite is on the horizon. We'll put in there for a day to sell some booty and spread our fame, but we won't stay long.
Lilywhite - Lilywhite is a small pirate town on the western coast of Motaku Isle in the Shackles that is home to a large number of worshipers of Cayden Cailean. It is the smallest of Motaku's settlements and was founded in 4682 AR by two pirates, Delemona Burie and Shaggard Halleck, devotees of Cayden Cailean. Alongside the foundation of the town, the pair funded the construction of a grand stone temple to the Drunken Hero. Halleck was killed in an alcohol-fueled duel in 4692 AR. Halleck's son, Little Shaggard, and Burie are the town's pirate lords.
You have sold off all your treasure at Lilywhite, and can buy new items from there also. Just ask me about any magical item that costs more than 2000gp first.

You have also raised your Infamy and Disrepute both up to 20 from telling the tales of your exploits there. You should read the rules for it here: viewtopic.php?p=287658#p287658

You also have to pay your crew 1 point of plunder, but we haven't sold the plunder itself. You may want to wait for a bigger port and decide if you want gold or infamy for it.
Three Days Since Lilywhite - We arrived in Tidewater Rock late last night. Its good to be home, but it reminds me of those we've lost. Still, we needed to come here to restock and check in with my wife the Lady Agasta. I've filled her in on our adventures since we left, both the victories and the losses. She's got a head for numbers and has helped sort out our sales from Lilywhite. We made a good deal and the crew is happy with their share of the plunder. Our reputation has gone up as well, we've made a real name for ourselves. Still, I want to go to Ricket Squibs and rebuild The Thresher and make it our own. I know that will keep morale high. We'll leave here tomorrow. Some of the crew needs a chance to get to know home base.
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OOC INFO HERE: viewtopic.php?f=716&t=8569

Tidewater Rock has quiet the legend that goes along with it itself.

When a Free Captain named Magna Stormeyes discovered the natural harbor on Windward Isle over 2 centuries ago, she immediately recognized that it would make the perfect haven from which to launch a pirate fleet. Starting with just one ship and a small encampment on Windward’s harbor, she began to ply the trade of piracy. With the plunder from her initial hauls, she set about building a keep, which she called Tidewater Rock. From the vantage point atop the Rock, she found she could pick out particularly ripe targets while receiving ample of warning of hostile ships approaching.

Over time, Stormeyes’ successes enabled her to build a sizeable fleet, as well as more strongholds on several different islands. She became the scourge of the southern sea lanes and eventually claimed the Hurricane Crown as her own. Shortly after becoming the Hurricane King and relocating to Port Peril, she was assassinated by rival Free Captains. Stormeyes’ burgeoning fleet fell apart among its squabbling captains. Gerta Frome, first mate of Stormeyes’ flagship, the Cocksure, seized control of the Rock. Within only a few years, Frome became a powerful Free Captain herself, and the legend of Tidewater Rock as both a powerful good luck talisman and an impregnable bastion was born.

Over the many years since, control of Tidewater Rock has passed from hand to hand, and its strategic location and practical defensibility have enabled its owners to enrich themselves substantially. With the rebellion of Sargava and its ostensible alliance with the Free Captains, Tidewater Rock became of less strategic importance, and its owners came to be of less prominence, but the age-old axiom of “Good fortune and sure sail await what one can crack the Tidewater Rock” has stood the test of time among the pirates of the Shackles and is oft-quoted—if seldom heeded—even today.

The most recent lord of Tidewater Rock was Bertram Smythee, captain of the Vale and three other brigs. Like his predecessors, he held Tidewater Rock as his seat, but controlled a few other small castles on surrounding islands as well.

Over a decade ago, “Iron Bert” Smythee went to sea with his small fleet in a feud with Free Captain Carola Antiochus and was never seen again. Word came back that Antiochus had lured Smythee into the edges of the Eye of Abendego and ambushed him with the help of a previously unknown ally—one Barnabas Harrigan—and that Smythee’s fleet was cut to pieces between the enemy fleets. Though Captain Smythee managed to sink Antiochus’s Pergador, he was last seen on the deck of the crippled and sinking Vale at the mercy of the Eye’s hurricane winds.

Captain Harrigan claimed the remainder of Antiochus’s fleet and took control of several of Smythee’s undefended castles. He made an attempt to take the Tidewater Rock as well, only to discover that Smythee’s able widow had taken charge of its defenses. She managed to fend off his attack with such alacrity that Harrigan decided to leave the widow to rot in her tower.

Although Tidewater Rock remains a secure base and harbor, it does not command the reputation it once did. The current owner of the Rock is Agasta Smythee, widow of the late Iron Bert. The Rock commands some treasures—its favorable location, its security, and the late captain’s fabled iron shirt from which he gained his nickname—but it is otherwise remote and at the mercy of what the sea chooses to throw upon its shores.

It is this place that Captain Roderick, withe the aid of those that have gone before, took by force of diplomacy! It is here that Isabella "Inkskin" Locke tried to take and was betrayed by Knuckles Grype. Of course Knuckles has paid that price, Isabella too, but that's the life of a pirate. Knuckle's ship is your, Tidewater Rock is yours, and you've put together a crew of old and new ready to make the Shackles your own.

Your first order of business after leaving Tidewater Rock is to 'squib' the Thresher turning her into a new ship, for all intents and purposes. Most ships that sail the Inner Sea region, such as the Thresher , were crafted by hand in shipyards throughout Avistan and Garund. Though ships of the same type are similar in attributes and size, they each have their own look and lines, which the practiced eye of an experienced sailor can recognize in the dark by the silhouette alone. Successfully stealing a ship and hiding it from its owners requires more than a name change and a new coat of paint - there must be a complete rebuild of the superstructures and rigging in order to change the way it looks. Such an overhaul is superficial in nature and changes none of a ship's characteristics, but it does give a ship a different appearance and lines so that even someone familiar with the original ship can only determine the falsehood after several minutes of careful study.

Changing the identity of a ship in such a way is not cheap and must be done in secret or word would quickly get out of the ship's new identity. Powerful Free Captains with their own home ports are able to do such modifications in their own private shipyards and dry docks, and captains with access to skilled carpenters and shipwrights among their crews often make such changes far out at sea away from the shipping lanes or while beached on some distant shore. But not everyone has access to those sorts of resources. As a result, a side industry of sorts has grown into existence at remote locations throughout the Shackles and just beyond its borders, where captains can find discreet craftspeople willing to do the work quickly and with the promise of silence for the right price.

So, you've set course for a place known as Rickety's Squibs - a place Captain Rod has been to before. A secluded dry dock where you might just be able to get your ship "Squibbed" so it can truly be yours. Roderick knows the place, he's been there before along with a few members of the crew. So you are sailing along the Slithering Coast east. The last few days you've had a bearing of north by northeast traveling with the coast along your port side.

You are four days out of Tidewater Rock when you spy the watch tower the Captain told you to look for. Rounding the tall headland reveals a hidden cove at the mouth of a wide jungle river, its sluggish brown waters staining the waters of the blue sea like an ugly bruise. A series of docks has been built upon this estuary, with buildings concealed beneath the overhanging limbs of the jungle beyond. A wooden watchtower stands upon the promontory of the headland, carefully concealed among the trees to provide a clandestine view of the seas.
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"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Othniel
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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by Othniel » Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:20 am

Once the Thresher is under way and Seroneth has time to herself, the mage repairs to her bunk to sort through possessions and wring the last bit of water from her clothing and hair, using magic of course. She is elated at their success, and while she can sympathize with the loss of the crew, it does not hit her personally. After arrival in Lilywhite, Seroneth suggests the party make the most of their time there, arguing that while Caydenites know how to have fun, Calistrians know how to have more fun.

Seroneth also makes a list of necessities to purchase while in town, chief among which is a store of writing supplies for the copying of magical texts, and offers to take both Flavinia and Meri shopping the next time they hit a sizeable settlement.
I'd like to spend 2000gp of my share of the loot on writing supplies to copy spells into my spellbook, and I'd like to purchase a Scroll of Water Breathing (to copy in as well). I'll need to know how many hours of downtime we have while sailing to see how many spells I can get written into my spellbook.

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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by GuyWithSword » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:52 am

Meri is happy to spend time knowing the crew and the officers better now that there is more leisure time. Much of the time is spent on the ship, although some of the time she swims in the open seas alongside the Thresher. On a typical day, Meri still lounges about wearing nothing but small clam shells that accentuate her bountiful chest. The crew finds that she lacks any of the human's strange hang-ups about clothing, and if Captain Roderick allows it, Meri doesn't even wear the clam shells. She's just genuinely open to fun and an upbeat individual, and doesn't have enough experience with landlubbers to know all of their social conventions.

A few days away from Rickety Squibs, the scantily-clad (or unclad, depending on the captain) mermaid asks Seroneth, "What would be good to purchase?"
Last edited by GuyWithSword on Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by Othniel » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:04 pm

"Your lower physiology is a bit different than mine, but that shouldn't be too much trouble," Seroneth says, eyeing Meri thoughtfully. "My dear, you are, I deem, unaccustomed to those of us who spend most of our time above the water, and perhaps our customs are different, but often times it is better to cover your assets than to show them to all and sundry (though as a Calistrian, I will allow that there is a time and place for that, and we can have that discussion some other time). If we find something that just entices...distracts...tempts onlookers, that is what I would suggest. But also something a bit more, hm, formal for special occasions. It helps to be prepared and have a decent wardrobe to choose from."

"What would be best is if we had some way to give you legs," the elf woman suggests, smiling. "There is a spell I've heard rumor of for such things, and it would enable you to move about on land or the deck of a ship easier. And I could teach you all manner of exciting things."
I can't remember what class Meri is, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up the Fins to Feet spell at some point, or commission a magic item that lets you cast it once a day or something.

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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by Hungry Xenomorph » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:31 pm

Xie disembarks the Thresher a smile on his face, proud of not only himself but also the crew and how well the trip turned out. The separation of the crew barely truly hitting him as he had not had much chance to get to know them, but still glad for the acquaintances and experiences together. He makes his way to the beach were Meri and Seroneth are talking, doing his best to prevent being uncouth and staring at Meri's assets, he says "I am going to take a walk around, talk to some people and get a lay of the land. Do you need anything?"
I need to go through the equipment book, but i would like to purchase an amulet to help with my swimming, maybe look around to see if i can improve my glaive also.
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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by Othniel » Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:44 am

"Actually yes," Seroneth speaks up. "I could use some high quality tattoo ink. I picked up that kit from the treasure, and I have the ability to inscribe magical tattoos upon my body." The magus lifts her head and pulls her shirt slightly down to expose her décolletage and reveal a magnificent tattoo of a stylized lightning bolt with arcane symbols. Her expression is innocent, but she flicks her gaze quickly to Meri to see if the young mermaid is taking the lesson to heart.
Another 1000gp for supplies for my spell-scar arcana. ^_^

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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by GuyWithSword » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:26 am

The mermaid smiles at the apparently shy cleric. "Xie, is there something on my face? You keep staring off to the side when we speak. But, I think I would like to have a look around, after we meet with whomever we need to meet up with."

She quickly turns back to Serenoth. "I don't know of any such spells myself, but I've exercised a lot, and my tail is as good on land as it is in the ocean. Oh hey, cool tattoo! I wonder how the magic works..." She does examine the elf's cleavage for a bit, but her interest currently seems to be purely on the artistic and magical merits. Lesson not yet learned.

"So yeah, I'll probably look for some clothes at some point for some formal occasion. But for something that entices and distracts...ooh...how about nipple rings? I'll need to find someone to do that, but hey I've got an idea in the meantime! In another tavern earlier, I heard from some landlubbers like, you surface dwellers sometimes do things for women who aren't wearing clothes. That sounds weird, but If that's true, do you and Flavinia want to strip down and join me when we meet the people at Ricketi Squib? Maybe we could negotiate some sort of discount!"

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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by Vardaen » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:10 pm

Okay maybe my opening wasn't the best explained.

We are where the map shows, rounding the corner to Rickey Squibs settlement. I don't want to bog things down with a trip into Lillywhite just for some shopping. So all that stuff in italics was narration/glossing over. Please account for that. You can just spend and buy and be done with it all OOC. What fun is there in RPing buying tools?

Check the last paragraph: You are four days out of Tidewater Rock when you spy the watch tower the Captain told you to look for. Rounding the tall headland reveals a hidden cove at the mouth of a wide jungle river, its sluggish brown waters staining the waters of the blue sea like an ugly bruise. A series of docks has been built upon this estuary, with buildings concealed beneath the overhanging limbs of the jungle beyond. A wooden watchtower stands upon the promontory of the headland, carefully concealed among the trees to provide a clandestine view of the seas.

So let's pick up there.

We can RP any extra odd items, etc, at Ricketys.
The crew has been good keeping you on course and you've made good time. When the cape is turned and you spot the small hidden settlement in the distance there is a call to get to work. You expect to make port in half an hour.

Meri is very much a fish out of water at times when she's on the deck. The male crew members are either lustful jerks, constantly ogling and whistling at her, or are down right assholes. She's had more than one of the swabs grab her by the breast, a few half forcing themselves on her with crass and lude comments about her body or things they think she should do with it. Its become a real problem. These are pirate men, they may be decent as far as pirates go, but already your Bosun has had to discipline the dwarf Durnik two times for taking things too far with Meri because of naked form. The dwarf has been LASHED several times because of it, and most of the rest of the crew is feeling its not Durnik's fault. Its becoming a problem among the crew, and grumblings about the mermaid are being heard around the ship. If something isn't done soon, your new crew is going to fall part.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by Othniel » Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:39 pm

After the last lashing of Durnik, Seroneth pulls Meri aside, figuring that if someone is going to school the poor girl about the ways of life above the water it may as well be her. The Calistrian is carrying one of her own blouses in hand and offers it to the mermaid. "I hate to do it, and in a crew of women things would be different, but you'll have to put something on, Meri. You've got a lot to learn about subtlety if you're going to spend more time among the crew or on land. This will cover you up, but will still leave plenty to the imagination - the best of both worlds. Come by my berth later and we'll chat about some things."
Seroneth would like to teach Meri that she'll need to cover up while they're above the water, at least so the crew doesn't mutiny and she doesn't run into trouble in towns. If she's interested, Seroneth will share more "off screen" about Calistria.

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Book 3 - Act 1: Perilous Waters

Post by Zorbeltuss » Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:14 pm

Flavinia is also very helpful when it comes to educating the fish out of water so to speak about how crazy humans are about sex and teats, is mermaids like fish that just sprout eggs for the mermen to seed or something? Humans have it much more fun, and they're crazy about it. Well, the men are, at any rate. Which can be really, really bad for the women. Like a Locatah chained to the floor, though not for giving birth to children to be eaten, no, humans are nowhere near as evil as frogpeople, but for being constantly molested and abused for the mere pleasure of it, although nothing sadistic, mostly. No the act of copulation gives immense pleasure, or at least when it's consensual and not forced, gives immense pleasure to the one doing the forcing which usually is the man. It's cruel because it hurts, but very few do it to hurt others, they just don't care that it does.

While Flavinia is not adverse to flirt with or make a pass at just about anyone that won't just get annoyed or irritated by it, legs or tails, man or woman, she keeps a strict rule of "no flings with fellow crew" rule while claiming to have a lover in every port, and band them together and you'll find every sort, she just haven't met most of them yet. She also likes to make others believe that she might break her rule if one just tries hard enough to make her want to. Anyone trying to force her...well, she did set some nasty plant on fire while all tangled up in it's vines like a bondage party gone wrong, so it will not be happy times. Flavinia doesn't know what might happen to a man's most precious parts if all the skin has been burnt away by acid. She imagines the male members of the crew doesn't want to know.

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