Skull and Shackles
Captain's Log 18
I learned somethin’ today. Some o’ my favorite bits o’ piracy also involve helpin’ folks out.
Today we came across a Sargavan merchant ship under attack by a Shackles drekar. Once the pirates inevitably won, they turned toward Crisis, rightly wary. I signaled the attack, and battle was joined. Their catapult had range on us, and our sails took a bit more damage than I might’ve liked, but Reiko’s skill at the helm soon closed the gap.
She recognized the ship – called Devil’s Pallor – and said ‘er captain was a hobgoblin called Svard. No clue what a hobgoblin is, and Reiko was no help. Feruzi tried, an’ I seem ta recall declaring her Loremaster for it, but really I should’ve just sought out Kroop. The old man knows just about everything.
At any rate, we got within boarding range, so I boarded the drekar and challenged the captain, the ugly brute. Whereupon he shot me with a crossbow. What a dick! I think it was even poisoned, but it didn’t slow me much. We engaged the bastard in melee, and what did give me pause was his sword arm. He almost took my bloody leg off with his weird curved sword, like an oversized kukri.
Reiko waded in and ended the fight, as is her way, and Svard’s crew lost their will to repel us. A bit of quick looting, redistribution of crew assets, and placing the samurai in charge of Devil’s Pallor, then we took both ships to pursue the Sargavan vessel – Sea Chanty – to make sure they weren’t transporting slaves and to collect a reward for services rendered.
Their captain was agreeable enough once she’d stopped running. I accepted her offered reward and verified that the ship was slave-free and seaworthy, then ordered my crew to depart and leave them in peace. No one seems to know what to make of it when I do things like this. I prefer it that way.
Only one thing is dampening my mood at the moment: looks like another bloody storm tonight.
* * *
I like to sing ta keep the crew’s spirits up an’ sorta bond with ‘em. Give ’em somethin’ harmless ta mock me about in a companionable sorta way. I may have to rethink that policy, given the lightning strike that took Crisis‘s mainmast. I ain’t sayin’ Besmara don’t appreciate my voice, but I also ain’t sayin’ she does.
It was a harrowing few moments as we rushed to cut the broken top-half of the mast free, but there was nothin’ for it. Had to let it drift free or risk punchin’ holes in our hull. Wasn’t confident we could weather the storm with such a breach, even with the Pallor to support us.
We did survive the night, as it happens, which is why I am able to write this sentence. Time to return to Tidewater to share the plunder, the news of our exploits, and to repair my bloody ship. She’s wounded, and that hurts my heart.
* * *
The Rock has come under attack by sahuagin in our absence, a worker slain, the grandson of Lady Smythee’s personal servants grievously wounded. I did not hesitate to offer my services in an effort to save the boy’s life. His torn flesh and broken leg looked grim, but I took a deep breath and gave the effort my full attention, using every bit o’ expertise my mind and hands could provide ta set the bone and ward off infection.
A few hours later, the boy was out o’ the woods, an’ I went to get cleaned up. I came back to overhear a conversation ‘tween Feruzi an’ Sergeant McCleagh ‘bout a gift she’d received from Captain Pegsworthy. Some manner of enchanted bow. He must be sweeter on our dear savage than I thought! For her part, Ruse seemed someways conflicted. I told her to quit bein’ a fool and to marry the man, but she still seemed inclined to return the gift. Pretty sure I’ll never understand women, and that one in particular.
Speakin’ o’ which, time for my wedding!