The party woke up very hung over in the hold of a creaking ship, the smell of the ocean strong this deep in the belly of the ship. Just as they were waking up, Master Scourge and his cronies came down the steps, cracked the whip above their heads, and ‘welcomed’ them to the Wormwood.
The alchemist and wizard were able to determine that they had been the victims of taggit poisoning. Errol, the swashbuckler, was maddened to see that Scourge was wearing his hat. It was at that point that everyone noticed all their gear was gone.
After being led on deck, Captain Barnabas Harrigan gave the crew a motivational speech in which he told them to never, ever talk to him. After that, the senior officers climbed onto the aft deck and Mr. Plugg assigned the crew duties.
Jerrick, the wizard, was made a cooks assistant by pure virtue of having said ‘yes, I’ve cooked before’.
The next test was to climb the mainmast to see who would be a rigger.
Aronyr, the rogue, climbed up the mast incredibly smoothly and without any issues. He became the rigger, and everyone else became a swab.
Errol faked his attempt and fooled Plugg and Scourge into thinking he was trying.
Erlick, the alchemist, made it 5 feet up, and unceremoniously fell off the mast, flat onto his back. This would become standard operating procedure for Erlick. Scourge told him to get up and start climbing, and when Erlick didn’t he got whipped within inches of consciousness. This would also become standard operating procedure.
The next morning, some of Scourges toadies tried to stop the party from making it onto deck on time so that they’d get lashes. The party’s quick thinking saved the day, as Jerrick cast a fog cloud below decks, then Errol fooled everyone into thinking that the bell had run already. They all made it onto deck in time to avoid lashes.
Two days later, after a hard days work, Scourge thought it would be fun if they had a fistfight with his kept simpleton, Owlbear Hartshorn. He let the party pick their champion, and they picked Erlick. Erlick managed to beat the snot out of Owlbear in a very Sherlock Holmes (with RDJ) manner, then Owlbear started crying and backing away, but Scourge and his minions pushed him back into the fight. Erlick didn’t succumb to the taunting and chose to check over owlbear for injuries as opposed to finishing him off and gained a friend for life.
The next day the party ‘randomly’ got picked to go into the bilges to investigate a ‘rat problem’. It turns out it was a DIRE rat problem, though a bomb and some sword swinging later, all the rats were eliminated.
The party mainly played it safe, slowly influencing other people on the boat. Erlick tried to sneak around and find things, but managed to get caught sneaking many times and managed to get caught lying many times. He spent close to a full week getting whipped to unconsciousness every night.
A few days later, on a clear, beautiful day, the captain spotted a reef a few hundred feet away from the ship. Plugg and Scourge again ‘randomly’ chose the PCs to go fill some crab pots. Unfortunately for them, there were 2 reefclaws waiting underneat and they attacked. Erlick was damaged into negatives, but before the reefclaw had a chance to drag him to a watery grave, Jerrick stunned the reefclaw with a color spray. The party was able to bring the reefclaws back to the ship and everyone ate well that night.
A few nights later, a massive storm hit, taking the silver tongued gnome, Conchobar, overboard. Errol bravely dove in to save him, but the stormy seas made it difficult for him to stay afloat. Erlick and Errol grabbed a length of rope to throw to him, and Jerrick cast ‘Gift of the Sea’ on himself, allowing him to help everyone back on board.
A few days later Riaris Krine, the ships weapon master, taught the pirates how to board another ship. Some people did better than others. Aronyr was able to throw the grappling hook and climb up the rope without any issues. Errol and Jerrick were able to make it up shortly thereafter. Erlick could barely get out of the water. Being pelted with rotten food did not help. Eventually he made it, and got to repay the favor by throwing food at the other pirates as they climbed.
Day by day though, Scourge poisoned Pluggs ear and they grew to hate the PCs. The cook, Kroop, confided in Jerrick that Plugg and Scourge were not to be trusted and that the ship was metaphorically poison. Jerrick, who was already friends with Kroop gave him a bottle of expensive booze, which should have made him closer, but then brought up the word mutiny, which caused Kroop to take the booze and run to his cabin . Jerrick eventually made up for this slip, but it was a close call.
A few days later Erlick was chosen for bilges duty with 2 of Scourges toadies and in a surprise to no one, they attacked him in the bilges. He was without weapons, but fortunately, he snuck his mutagen down without anyone noticing. In a turn of good fortune, the rest of the party also saw what was going on and went down to help him. Errol took on the hardest and maybe most satisfying duty of distracting Plugg and Scourge. He used the tried and true, make fun of them until they beat me bloody method. It happened to work wonderfully as they got owlbear unchained (quickly because of forethought the night before) and killed the pirates that attacked Erlick. They were going to try to keep them alive, but Aronyr decapitated one. They all left, leaving Erlick in the bilges and he was put into the sweatbox where he was going to be put to death.
Until they saw the Man’s Promise. I won’t recount the battle right now because this is a lot of typing, but they played it very smart, and took the other ships officer alive. Also Erlick fell into the water.