Skull and Shackles

Excerpt from "Hero's Guide: The Complete Writings of Errol Karn- Vol. IV" - continued

Hurling

“…so long story short, that’s how Annetta died. She was Plug’s loyal strumpet though so I wasn’t bothered. The crew didn’t see much sense in mourning her either and we continued on towards Blood Cove in search of diving supplies.

Along the way we spied a Chilaxian ship on the horizon. We decided to hoist the Triple D and give ‘em the watery grave they deserved. The ship looked to be sailing pretty low in the water so it was clearly full of something. Of loot or of sailors, we didn’t yet know. We were able to easily board the vessel but when we did, the only crewman on deck ran below deck like a cowardly bilge rat. In going after him, we were surprised by a charging minotaur and 4 Chilaxians. Myself and Quinn took on the real effort of felling the raging beast. I tried to reason with it, to aid us instead of its cruel (and ugly) captors. Unfortunately, it was too bull-headed to heed common sense so we had to put it down. Meanwhile, the others were busy torturing the rest of the officers. The poor souls soon found themselves stuck full of arrows and uncontrollably vomiting while simultaneously being shocked by lightning from above. Until that day, I didn’t know a man could be made to make the sounds they did. After finally ending their misery, I noticed that one of them had jumped ship and was now attempting escape in a small dingy. I also noticed that their ship had a perfectly functional catapult. I let the crew cut the head of the dead minotaur and launch it towards the fleeing scoundrel. They nailed it, sinking him with a perfectly aimed shot.

Time to scope out what was weighing this ship down so much. The door to the hold was locked tight. Quinn was able to unlock it. Eventually. But set off a trap in the process. Fortunately, it was a trap to keep folks in, not out. We found a bunch of dead Chelaxian sailors who were wise enough to end their own pathetic lives with poison before having to deal with the wrath of Errol. There were also a great number of slaves being held in cages. Not loot. We freed them and left them the ship, hoping they’d spread the word of Captain Karn and the Dread Double Doubloon. We also recruited a few of them to our crew."

“At last, we pulled into port at Blood Cove. I granted most of the crew shore leave while we went about our affairs. Is it any wonder why they love me so much. I decided to strike up some conversations at a local tavern to see if anyone had advice on where to get good diving supplies. I never managed to bring the topic up though because everyone kept insisting I tell more stories about my adventures. Inam and Quinn had come with me but they must’ve snuck out at some point. I guess sneaking’s just what they do. Later that evening, an old “chum” from the thieves’ guild, Solomon the Fixer, stopped in and politely reminded me that I owe 20% tribute of my plunder. T’was true that my memory had been a bit selective as of late but I assured him that I had every intent on keeping in the guilds good books.
I never made it back to the ship that night because I had some entertaining to attend to but I did come back in time for breakfast the next morning. During which, Quinn informed me that the thieves guild knew we were in town and were looking for their cut. Thanks Quinn. Jerrick and Erlik were distracted playing with some useless bits and bobs that they’d spent real, actual coin on. That day, we did find a vendor that could get us some potions for breathing under water but they cost us most of our remaining gold. I hope this map of Inam’s pays off. As we were about to ship out, my thieves’ guild mate Solomon made another appearance. I made an offering to the guild which, I have to say, was unjust, even by thieves’ guild standards, but I had no other choice.”

“We got to the location marked on the map and, after consuming the potions, dove into the depths of the sea. There was an underwater cavern but there was a layer of ice between us and it. We cut a hole and climbed up into the room. There was a man sitting behind a desk and several others perusing bookshelves. What a bizarre place to find a library. The man behind the desk mistook us for deliverymen of some sort. I tried to introduce myself but instead of a warm welcome, the man attacked us. As we fought, they started to lose their form, as if made of wax. There was an orb on a pedestal in the middle of the room which seemed important to them so I took out a flask of alchemist’s fire and threw it at it. That did the trick and the fight was soon over. In searching the room, we found a key shaped like a tentacle and a journal which will hopefully tell us where it’s matching lock is located and what treasures it may contain.”

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