Epic Experience: Cliffhanger

New ship, new crew, old rules… The players discover that just because I’ve let them level up faster, doesn’t mean I’ve made things easier. Talk of mutiny takes hold, and a troubling storm brews over The Man’s Promise. Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Skulls & Shackles adventure path!

Just to update everyone, our current cast is now:

  • Rook played by ShySiren (My wife, Shanna)
  • Scorch played by GraveAT9 (Bobby)
  • Renza (Deceased) played by Linda
  • Zak (Deceased) played by Rob
  • Machev (Deceased) played by PointCaliber (Dan)
  • Padre (Deceased) played by Rob
  • Kelara (Deceased) played by Linda
  • Kohen played by PointCaliber (Dan)
  • S’braldt played by Rob
  • Morrighan played by Linda

Death count 5. Ouch. But, that is the current cast. Only Rook and Scorch are left of the original cast. The crew of the Wormwood partied for a good three days, while Kohen, S’braldt, and Morrighan were set to work, serve, and work some more. Scorched re-appeared from below decks on The Man’s Promise not long after the party, trying to do his best to hide his absence during the battle. Rook, now Plugg’s servant and pet, was left to ‘entertain’ the crew of the Wormwood until The Man’s Promise was ready to set sails.

Day one, the players found out that fun time was now over. Work hard during the day, no fun after hours; no rum, no gambling, no one above deck. Plugg’s rule is harsh, with Scourge around to abuse, it’s also painful. Every day is tough, with fortitude saves at the end of each shift just to see if they go into the night fatigued or not.

The separation between friends and foe is clear. The players scrounged and role played any friends they could make. Scourge and Plugg left plenty of spies among the crew, but those spies were old enemies… Well. Not all of them.

On day two, the players learned, partially from the cook, Fishguts; that they weren’t headed where they were supposed to be. He suspected they were headed to Bloodcove, a place called Rickety Squibs. He thought that Plugg may want to make a name as a pirate for himself, after how swiftly he rose to second hand back on The Wormwood. This rumor didn’t just come from Fishguts, other old friends had the same feeling.

With this news, the players knew they only had a matter of time. Once they got to the squibs, there wouldn’t be much use for enemies aboard the ship. They’d be killed before the ship got squibbed (re-modeled to look like a different ship). The players started to investigate, and even turn on each other. Rook had been required to return to Plugg by midnight every night, this caused a distrust between her, and her mostly human allies. Strix and humans… They don’t get along well. S’braldt suggested she be taken care of, just in case.

Day three rolled around and the players discussed the chance of poisoning the ship’s water supply. Rook had overheard S’braldt’s plan to betray her. She was more than happy to report the plans to poison the water supply. So, she did. Then…

A storm well and true hit The Man’s Promise, sent the ship off course in the dark of the morning. All hands were called on deck. The poisoning hadn’t happened yet. And, Rook had already told Plugg of the plans. The storm was more dangerous though, hard to punish a crew if they’re dead and lost to sea.

Speaking of lost to sea, in the first hours of the morning storm, the players realized that two allies were lost. It seems the ship claimed Sandara Quinn, and Rook’s lover Jack Scrimshaw (who I’d changed to Elf so she had someone to get along with very early on in the path). Everyone was to work as riggers for the ship.

To be nice, I made sure the visibility wasn’t as bad as the adventure path suggested. Even then, no one noticed the six Grindylows that slithered aboard the rocking ship. They each tossed someone overboard before jabbing at the crew with their spears. Rook was stuck in the crow’s nest, and the other four were in the rigging on the mainmast.

An exiting four rounds of combat went by, with scorch rescuing Fishguts and Rosie Cusswell (npc ally), the other four npcs (three enemies and one ally) were left to sea. The players came out on top, four dead Grindylows, two escaped. The players stood on the opposite side of the ship as Plugg, Scourge, and their goons… Out of breath, injured, and in the middle of a storm that only seems to be strengthening… The night came to an end.

I’d talk about next session, and my plans for it… But we’ll just have to wait. Besides, I feel like the night was a pure success, everyone was engaged, excited, and emotionally invested into what was happening at hand!



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