Skull & Shackles #5: Storm-Lashed!

At the end of last session, we left our heroes triumphant after having slain a pack of giant rats and a ferocious spider. Luckily, Vilimzair had been present to keep morale up. It had been a hard-fought battle but luckily none of the Bards had suffered any ill effects at all…


The next day passed relatively peacefully; the Bards getting into the rhythm of shipboard life. However, that evening Mr Plugg decided the crew needed some entertainment. He demanded a volunteer to fight against Owlbear Hartshorn. Ilasual immediately volunteered and proceeded to kick the tar out of Plugg’s pathetic champion. Plugg was not happy as he lost a considerable sum of gold on the bout; Ilasual suspected he had made an extra enemy of Plugg, but the young elf did not care!

The next day, the ship sailed into heavy rain. The day was miserable, and worryingly Vilimzair detected the ship was heading deeper into bad weather—ahead lay a sinister black band of clouds lingering on the horizon. That night, the mood was muted below decks; it seemed few of the crew were interested in carousing.

The next day—the seventh since the Bards were press-ganged—the rain continued, and perhaps got even worse. All was not lost, though, as Ingrid sheltering from the rain managed to get Quartermaster Grok to return all Vilimzair’s equipment. Although the bard quipped that with his humour and singing he was fully armed it was nice to recover certain items from the quartermaster’s clutches.

That night Vilimzair decided the crew’s spirits needed to be lifted and led the crew in a rousing rendition of 99 Bottles of Ale which went down a storm! A sensational success, the epic singalong was to go down in history as perhaps the greatest singalong Vilimzair had ever led (or that the crew had enjoyed)!

Sadly, though, things got worse overnight as the ship sailed straight into the storm! All hands were ordered ondeck, even Fered who normally lurked in the kitchen not really doing very much. The work was treacherous and difficult; many of the Bards were forced aloft into the rigging to keep the sails from being ripped or carried away by the strong winds. Luckily, though, Vilimzair—from his commanding position on deck—set an excellent, diligent example for the crew (he was—after all—rather keen for the ship not to sink). The storm raged on, but the Bards proved its match; the rigging and sails survived the day and—amazingly—no one fell to their deaths from the rigging…

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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

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