Welcome to a new feature on our blog where we recount the adventures of one of our regular Pathfinder groups as we navigate through the Skulls and Shackles Pathfinder Adventure Path.
Please be advised that this post will contain spoilers for the “Skulls and Shackles” Pathfinder Adventure Path. If you are currently playing or plan to play this adventure path, caution is advised to prevent spoilers.
Sunday, July 9th began our second session into the world of Skulls and Shackles, but before we tell you about that, we’ll have to tell you how we got to where we are. In our previous adventure, our characters found themselves mysteriously swaying on the floor after a night of debauchery. However, this was not (entirely) due to the alcohol imbibed the previous night, but rather because they were in the bilge of a pirate ship! Never having met before and with no time left for introductions, the Captain bid us welcome. Captain Harrington informed us that we had been shanghaied from a local tavern and were “willingly” conscripted into service aboard the Wormwood. Based on our talents (or lack thereof) we were given duties aboard the ship and set off to do a day’s work. Some of us choose to work diligently, while others snuck about the ship, trying to discover its secrets and sometimes getting kicked out of the Captain’s Quarters. Day turned into night and there was a little free time, where we got to know each other a bit better and socialize with some of our fellow conscriptees. Our party consisted of Sadie Di Morte, the roguish pirate; Worm, the grapple-happy monk; Avar Clan Killer, aasimar cleric of Sekhmet; Broma, a half-elven ranger; and Maximillian, the catfolk swashbuckler. During the cavorting, Sadie snuck off to search people’s belongings and found a bit of gold, while others gambled, discovered other parts of the ship, or further fraternized with the crewmates who had been aboard slightly longer. The sun rose yet again and our band of misfits were awoken to an attack by three other members of the crew, who roughed us up a bit before we were able to make our way up to the deck for morning duties. Here we faced lashings from the captain’s right-hand man and discipline officer, Mr. Plugg, due to our tardiness. Some of our gang didn’t take kindly to this and began plotting for the demise of Plugg, but for now we were stuck with our daily duties. Worm, who had demonstrated considerable climbing skill, was tasked with clambering up and down the masts and securing ropes. Broma was established as the cook’s mate. The other three were given general swabbing duties and other such menial work needed to keep the ship afloat.
This routine continued for several days: wake up, work from dusk until dawn, and spend the evenings socializing with or entertaining the fellow crew. During one of these evenings, Avar, who had been harboring the strongest and most vocal anti-Plugg sentiment, found himself in a tangle with Owlbear, a hulk of a man and Plugg’s “pet”. Avar took a bit of a beating, but eventually triumphed over Owlbear, and seemingly won some respect from the strong but simple man. Meanwhile the highly charismatic Maximillian had made a favorable impression upon and gotten to know most of the other crewmen, especially taking a liking to Rosie Cusswell, the short but fierce Halfling fighter. Rosie was particularly perturbed that her prized fiddle had been taken from her and locked in the quartermaster’s storage, so Max began to hatch a scheme to get it back, both by enlisting the help of more of his newfound compatriots and by currying favor with Grok, the tough-as-nails half-orc quartermaster. Sadie meanwhile engaged in more general sneakiness, trying to discover every hidden nook and cranny on the ship, which ended up landing her in the brig for a time. Broma and Worm used their time to rest up and not cause too much of a ruckus. Then one day, after a small fishing expedition off-ship proves more challenging than intended as we were beset by a couple of reefclaws (but managed to fight them off and bring them back amongst the crabs we’d collected), the captain rewarded our loyalty by returning the gear that had been taken from us upon our capture. It was good timing too, because it wasn’t long after that we came upon another ship, a merchant’s vessel that the captain decided to take as a prize. After a brief but successful skirmish, we managed to board the ship, the Man’s Promise, and take it as our own. Since Captain Harrington obviously didn’t need two ships, he tasked our group, under the captainship of Plugg, to sail to Port Peril to salvage for gold.
The days on the Man’s Promise were similar to those on the Wormwood, but with about half the crew, making our daily jobs that much more strenuous. We managed to survive, though, until one day when we were assaulted by a massive storm that blew us off course. As the crew frantically scurried about on deck securing ropes and battening hatches, Avar saw his opportunity to strike back against the distracted Plugg. However, his efforts were in vain, as Plugg effortlessly knocked him down in a couple of blows. Avar attempted to confuse the situation by using his clerical magic to change himself into Plugg’s image, claiming he was the real captain and Plugg was an imposter that attacked him. Unfortunately for him, nobody bought it, but to his favor the crew was so slim, Plugg couldn’t afford to keelhaul him, so Avar just earned himself some time in the bilge. Then, as the storm cleared, we found ourselves shipwrecked on an island and missing a few crewmates. Plugg, ever the taskmaster, sent our small party out to the island to find materials to repair the ship as well as our missing compatriots. Fortunately, Avar was released to be able to join our landing party. Upon ascending the shore, we happened upon an abandoned village, where we made camp and ended the session.
Tune back in next time as our pathfinders explore this mysterious island. What will they find? Only time will tell!