It all went down in Port Peril. Three lads stopped for a drink in a seedy bar – the only kind in Port Peril – and left in shackles. On the Wormwood they left, but not of their own will. Pressganged by the infamous Barnabus Harrigan, they were set to work under the “tutelage” of the cruel Misters Scourge and Plug. For weeks they toiled, each day towing the line between life and death, until they finally saw their chance – and took it.
Aboard the Man’s Promise, a hijacked merchant vessel, the three took up arms against Scourge, Plug, and their loyal fiends, and won the day – but the three paid a price, and became two. Now only half a skeleton crew, a sudden storm shattered them on the rock shore of Bonewrack Isle – with a crew member kidnapped in the bargain. A shore expedition was organized, and the newly ‘freed’ pirates set out. The island was frought with peril, and the company was soon divided. A new “friend”(frienemy? – KB) was found, in the form of a weathered and withered Witch. With her “help” the new crew of the Man’s Promise made it off the island, but an important crew member was lost in the process.
Aboard the Man’s Promise, the crew of five(four plus one; the Witch is no sailor – KB) struggled to keep the sheets asail, but a duck could not sit more nicely. Practically stranded, they were soon set upon by a crew of opportunists. Through sheer luck, and a solid boot to the head, the hapless two emerged victorious, and in tenuous control of a new ship – the Black Hydra. They split the crew, and attempted to sail to Rickety Squibbs (the high seas equivalent of a chop shop – KB) to refit their ships.
Squibbs drove a hard bargain, but both crews arrived mostly intact, so now self-styled Captain Evian called it a victory. With new lines on both ships, the crew set out to find a questionable harbor to sell one of the ships in. However, a misunderstanding ashore led to a nasty run-in with the notorious Merill Pegsworthy, a Free Captain of the Shackles(aka badasser – KB). Evian impressed Pegsworthy with his high-wire antics – as well as a declaration of war upon Barnabus Harrigan – and was allowed allowed to leave with the Black Hydra – but lost the tattered Man’s Promise as payment.
The Falling Leaf
Evian was now Captain in fact, accepted at least partly by most of the crew. After a meeting with the ship’s new leadership, consisting of Fishguts Krupp, Caldur the Barbarian, Pharis the Navigator, and The Witch the Witch, it was decided that the crew of the Black Hydra ought avoid the Shackles for a time, as rumor of Evian’s words against Free Captain Harrigan would spread like wildfire. The crew sailed south, toward elven lands, making a quick stop to
buy a few things from the locals annihilate an entire community of Mwangi tribals. Plunder in hand, the crew continued south. They were soon set upon by an Elven scouting ship. The Elves could not abide piracy, and attacked. Evian’s blessed luck again came through, and the Black Hydra emerged victorious. A new ship – the Falling Leaf – came under Evian’s control.
With the Elven navy in close proximity, the pirates turned back north, to return to the Shackles and refit the Falling Leaf. Rumors of a pirate hideout drew them to Desperation Bay, but soon their inexperience brought peril. Lookouts from Eledor spied their Jolly Roger flapping in the breeze, and alerted the bay of pirate presence. They were set upon by the Sargavan navy, and the Black Hydra was run aground near Smuggler’s Shiv, a deadly island known for destroying ships. Many of the crew – Caldur included – were able to escape the claws of the haunted island, but a ghastly congregation of shipwrecked souls dragged a few unfortunate men to the depths. Less one ship, the new crew of the Falling Leaf sailed roughshod out of Desperation Bay.
Yet Another Near Miss
The Falling Leaf headed north for the Shackles, and soon sighted a pirate ship in combat with a Chelaxian pirate hunter. The crew set down to free the Pirate ship, and quickly overcame the weakened hunters. Recruiting any pirates or soldiers who would join, looted what they could and left rest on the burning ships as they sank to the depths. A day later, the crew sighted five massive Chelaxian galleons, and were hailed to stop. A Chelexian commander came aboard their ship, and demanded to know their allegiance. Evian attempted to weave a tale of mercantile intentions, but the lie did not pass. The commander summoned a devil aboard the ship, but when Caldur murdered the commander with a shot from a plague bag (once in a very great while the Witch comes through – KB) – disfiguring Evian in the process – the demon was set free. Evian quickly offered the devil a deal, and signed – in blood – a contract of unknown scope. The devil dispatched the rest of the Chelaxian navy ships in short order, and went on his way, now free in the material realm.