Day 183 6PM As the swarms of bot flies encircled the main deck, Dwag and Damiano fought the skeletons at the bow of the ship. As four more skeletons climbed aboard, Nico summoned a brace of hound archons to hold the line at the front of the ship.
Mittens considered that this was the time to take care of Ben Gunn and Jim Hawkins who were locked up down in the hold. Mittens shadow walked to the hold, surprised to find that Ben and Jim were free from their bonds. As it turned out they were also free from their mortal coils and hovered above the decking, their bodies wasted and translucent. Mittens turned about and saw two other deathly, brother and sister, incorporeal fisher folk right behind him, but they paid Mittens no attention and headed up the stair to the berths.
Temujin summoned swirling balls of lightning to help clear the flying pests from the main deck while Pyrlig descended down the hatch to the berths – rats swarmed everywhere. As Pyrlig arrived among the berths, the crew fighting swarms of rats, up the stairs came Jack and Jill, the pair of spectres from the hold. They closed upon the priest of Gozreh and ran their icy hands upon him, drawing out his life force. Below, Mittens took no time shadow walking to safety to the aft deck, far from the prying hands of Ben and Jim.
The Dwag moved down the stair to assist Father Pyrlig, but there was a lack of mobility in the narrow space for Dwag to get through and bring the fight to the undead pair. With the bot flies cleared by Temujin, Dwag and the hound archons destroyed the remaining skeletons, and by Nico’s command, the archons proceeded to open the bulkhead, to allow easier access to the berth deck below.
Pyrlig found himself in a precarious position, on the stair, but Dwag behind him, closed off his escape. Jack and Jill, the spectre fisherfolk repeatedly attacked Pyrlig and Jim and Ben ascended from the hold to join in the fray upon Pyrlig and any other sailors nearby. Father Pyrlig channelled the power of Gozreh which weakened the undead. Pyrlig’s holy salvo was echoed upon the main deck by Sandara, chanting the words of Besmara against the spectres. The party retreated up the stairs, Pyrlig and Sandara raining channels up the undead. Dwag and Damiano rushed down to finish them off. The fog lifted, and the tolling of the bell ceased.
Touching base with the Shale, they had lost fifteen crew to the Splash’s nine dead. Aboard the Shale, the battle was waged primarily by Captain Seamus, Knuckles, Glaive and the orc sailors, and Clanartus. Glaive took on the sole specter nearly singled handed but was drained for his efforts.
Day 183 7PM The ship’s carpenter, Mathis Trevain, spoke to Dwag, that of the dead, one was found to have a broken neck. Not the work of rats nor spectres!
Day 184 7AM The next morning, Temujin, Father Pyrlig and Sandara healed everyone’s wounds. Then Father Pyrlig had a conversation with Clarence – the sailor dead due to a broken neck. Posing his questions carefully, Clarence revealed that he didn’t see who killed him, as it was so sudden, but his boon companion, Rell, stood just before him when he died. Well was summoned to the Captain’s quarters. While Temujin wielded the lie caller, Rell appeared fearful, but eventually let the party know that he saw Fergal come up behind Clarence and snap his neck. Rell was warned to speak of these facts to no one, and sent up to the crow’s nest.
The entire party braced Fergal on the main deck and invited him to the Captain’s quarters. There, they were direct in their questioning of Fergal, who after a bit of dodging stated that he slew Clarence for betraying him in the past, when he was an acting captain of a prize crew – Clarence betrayed him, alerting the pirate Eldred Seabreaker, of their position, who in turn claimed the ship, killing Fergal and the prize crew, except for Clarence. The party accepted that and released him to his duties – warning him to not engage on any vigilante behavior in the future.
With twenty-four casualties, Nico suggested the party implement the serve-after-death plan to the crew. While his message was buffered by the words of Father Pyrlig, Dwag’s rebuttal muddied the message. Many of the crew were dismayed, especially after having just fought undead that very day, that they too would not necessarily be consigned to the sea, to be accepted to the afterworld and into Gozreh’s embrace – but to wallow in a limbo state, no different than the undead wretches that just yesterday climbed aboard their ship. Whether to support and protect their brothers and sisters to the end of their life and beyond, at this initial introduction, many of the crew were not yet sold on the prospect of signing the new terms of agreement.
Day 184 10AM “Sail ho!” cried Rell from the crow’s nest. A sloop was ahead, the Snake Charmer, her sails luffed in the wind and poorly maintained. Dwag noted some activity, but Temujin spied prone bodies upon the deck and immediately surmised a possible plague ship. The Captain gave word for the Shale and Splash to close in within 100 feet.
The party was hailed by a halfing named Wes Barker, the 2nd mate, as both the captain and 1st mate had died of enteric fever. They were sailing from Barter Town with a load of timber and slaves for sale in Port Peril. The party debated. While they wanted the booty, the risk of plague infecting their own ship, made the venture prohibitive. Wes spoke up – while we have timber and slaves, we also have a lovely, young and lovely daughter of a chieftain from some tribe from the Mwangi interior – she would fetch a fine price!. Wes had grabbed Damiano’s attention and bid Wes to fetch the young woman. Wes came out with a striking mwangi woman, bringing her to the rail of the Snake Charmer so that the captain got a good look at this beauty!
The party decided that the fever aboard the snake charmer had to play out first. Plus with the Snake Charmer and Shale nearby, they would be at risk of attack by Captain Pilk. Captain Damiano had Sandara swap with Knuckles and ordered her to take the Shale and tow the Snake Charmer to the northwest, hopefully out of harm’s way. In the meantime, the Splash would slow it’s speed, intending to weather the next two days, south of Devil’s Arches, against whatever Captain Pilk had to throw at them!
Day 184 11AM As the ships separated, Nico gave word to Sandara to insure that Wes doesn’t flee, and that he feed and water the slaves still remaining in the hold of the Snake Charmer. With that, the Shale towed it’s charge northwest while the Splash waited patiently at sea for evening to come.
[end of session 62]