Now in command of the Man’s Promise, the party decided to take to Rickety’s Squibs to get the ship squibbed. The journey took place without incident.
Upon arrival at Rickety’s, a small crowd began to gather. As the party continued to sail toward the dock, Ambrose came up from below deck with his chicken and demanded to know just what the party thought they were doing.
When they explained they were taking their ship into port, Ambrose explained to the newbies that standard procedure was to wait until Rickety Hale came over in a rowboat to discuss terms.
The party stopped and soon enough Rickety arrived in a rowboat.
He went immediately to work assessing what needed to be done to the ship to properly disguise it. He discussed terms with the group and asked for 2,000gp in payment, taking half up front after Harghast suggested the idea. Along with the squibbing, the party also added a hidden smuggler’s compartment, silk sails, and a battering ram.
Hale let the group know that the job would take eight days.
The Man’s Promise was taken in to dry-dock, where a crew immediately began to work on the ship.
The party was able to choose the design of the high-quality silk sails they had purchased. Valignat was very pleased by the group’s decision.
The party began their shore leave and decided to go to the local inn. Unfortunately, Rickety’s Squibs was a very small town and didn’t have a bar.
Our adventurers, confronted with a such a fundamentally bizarre and wrong situation as a tavernless town went to the closest equivalent it had; an old, beat-up commons building.
Inside, Harghast made some friends, and was invited to play nine-pins at the docks later on. Dovahkiin decided to try his hand at gambling.
The Half-orc mage won 50 gold and taunted the angry pirate he had just beaten. The two began a rather slow and ineffectual brawl, which ended when Dovahkiin escalated to casting sleep and was pummeled by the pirate’s friends.
The party was warned against similar behavior in the future, although ordinary fighting was alright.
The party went out to the nine-pins game. When they arrived, a violent scene was taking place. A man was being pulled into the water and a woman was struggling to save him.
The party sprung into action, and spotted that the creature in the water was a River Naga, driven to rage by a drought going on at the time.
Armor and all, the Warpriest leapt into the water to save the doomed man, and was badly wounded by the naga. Dovahkiin, Phineas, and Zan opened fire at the naga, and the now human-sized Valignat fought from the air on his newly grown functional wings.
The Naga was killed, and the hapless civilian and Harghast were pulled from the water. Luckily, both managed to survive the naga venom they had been injected with.
For saving the naga’s victim from a watery grave, Rickety gave the group a discount on their squibbing (500gp). Dovahkiin got a new pair of naga-leather boots as well.
Later, the Warpriest was feeling conflicted about his new life as a pirate, and went looking for a fight. Dovahkiin suggested a friendly duel, and the two prepared for the contest.
However, they had not established whether or not Harghast could wear armor, and a dispute broke out.
Around a day later, a panic broke out in town. Dozens of giant wasp-like creatures were descending upon the town as a massive cloud. People were screaming as they stun people, paralyzed them, and carried some of them away.
Everyone was fleeing to the commons and the party headed there as well. Valignat breathed a parting shot at the wasps before retreating.
From inside the commons, everyone watched as the wasps finished their attack.
As the wasps were flying away, someone cried out in horror from close by. A pair of waspies had stayed behind and were moments away from killing someone.
The group rushed out, Valignat charging and breathing fire, Zan moved to fire arrows, the half-orcs opening up with their spells, and Harghast fired a beam of light from his palm.
The giant waspies turned to battle the party. As is seemingly usual for their kind, the bugs attempted to attack the dragon, but were unable to reach him and so went for the Warpriest instead.
The wasps were killed and the party was again cheered as heroes.
Moments later, the people began to panic again. A ship had pulled up to the harbor unnoticed in the wasp attack.
The party moved out to meet the newcomers, Valignat alighting on a rooftop as Phineas drew his bow.
Someone spotted that the ship was Chelish, but the disembarking group wasn’t wearing Chelish uniforms.
Upon seeing the threat, the newcomer’s formed a defensive circle around their leader.
After a tense moment, with the dragon ordering the newcomer’s to lower their weapons, the new arrivals leader introduced himself as Merrill Pegsworthy, one of the Free Captains of the Shackles. Certainly not Chelish and a man whose reputation preceded him.
Pegsworthy asked what the party was doing there and the group told him their story.
Pegsworthy laughed heartily at hearing that Harrigan got swindled, and asked to rechristen their ship when it was finished—a great honor.
Pegsworthy agreed to leave, and wait until the work on the parties ship was finished before he returned. Dovahkiin suggested an alliance to help take down Captain Harrigan and Pegsworthy replied that he might be interested—after the group had proven themselves.
Later on, Hale approached the party. He offered them another 100gp off their ship’s squibbing if they went and checked on the lighthouse to see why it hadn’t signaled Pegsworthy not to approach.
The group agreed and set off along the path up the ridge to the lighthouse.
Along the way, Valignat spotted a pair of wild boar lying in wait.
The dragon swept by killing one in a burst of flame. “I love the smell of roasted pork in the morning!”
The other pig, wreathed in smoke, attempted to shove Harghast off the cliffside path, but was killed.
After the party put out the fire Valignat had started the bacon was taken and the team moved on.
Nearing their destination, a parrot came down to the party.
The bird repeatedly cried “Shoo fly, don’t bother me!” and then flew off to the lighthouse.
On arrival at the lighthouse, the party climbed up and discovered the lighthouse keeper had died as a result of being stung to death during the wasp attack.
The parrot became Zan’s and the party took the lighthouse keeper’s body back to Hale. (Minus the +1 morning star they found.)
Hale took the corpse,and kept his end of the bargain, lowering his price.
Finally, the ship was ready. In a quick ceremony, it was rechristened ‘The Nightmare’.
The Nightmare begins.
As he broke the bottle on the ship, Captain Pegsworthy saying, “Good fortune and sure sail await what one can crack the Tidewater Rock,” which Zan recognizes as the legendary Tidewater Rock that grants a blessing and luck to anyone who rules it. The newly minted party considers that capturing it would help a new pirate’s reputation considerably.
The party left the island headed to the rumored tower.
The group settled in on the Nightmare, Dovahkiin mounting the reanimated skulls of the grindylows all over the ship and programming them to watch for violence. He also did some fishing and caught a lovely red snapper.
Zan took up residence in his own little room atop the crow’s nest, Harghast spent much of his time sparring with Owlbear (winning about 75% of the time) and meditating, and Valignat took a spot near the groups treasure and tried not to laugh maniacally.
The little dragon had finally achieved his desire to have a hoard.
One night, when Harghast was at the wheel on watch, some sauhaugin suddenly crept aboard.
The skulls detected the imminent violence alerting Dovahkiin and the rest of the crew. Harghast and a random pirate finished the fishmen, just as Dovahkiin and the others burst onto the deck.
As the Nightmare sailed towards Tidewater Rock they came across ships (aka Loot Pinatas). The first ship they encountered escaped despite Captain Dovahkiin’s skillful piloting.
The next ship to face the Nightmare was overtaken, but when the pirates came aboard, it was only a fishing boat, and had nothing of value, aside from the (meager) value of the ship. Harghast slyly paid the fishermen back for the 50gp worth of fish they took.
Up next was the Dowager Queen, a Chelish slaver ship. Captain Dovahkiin outmaneuvered them and the party stormed aboard, quickly overwhelming the Chelish marines aboard.
The ship was taken, the slaves aboard made free, and Sandara and Cusswell were sent with the Dowager to sell it at a local friendly port, Senghor.
Dovahkiin interrogated one of the prisoners the party had took, and found out they had bought the slaves from the slaver village of Cleve Land.
At the urging of the newly freed slaves, the party changed course to return the slaves to their land and wipe Cleve Land off the face of the planet.