Goblin Skulls & Shackles

Raiders of the Fever Seas, parts 7-8
X Marks the Spot

As the Licktoad Pirates assessed the damage done to their new home in the latest sahuagin raid, the goatherd approached them with something he found on one of the sahuagin bodies. He presented his masters with an amulet made from coral and a strange metal and what appeared to be a treasure map. While the goblins thought the amulet was interesting, more interesting was the map which led them through the Shackles’ islands and archipelagos to a location known as Mancatcher Cove.

They sailed Sea Spite into the cove and spent the better part of a day exploring the cliffs and caves trying to match something up to the riddle written on the map. They found an area which seemed to fit, but couldn’t quite match things up the way they were comfortable with. It was not until dawn, and the shadows and sun showing the skull face alluded to in the riddle on the cliffs, that they found the answers they sought. They were in the right place, but now knew enough to dig in the soft earth at the base of a crude statue.

Naturally, they were disappointed that the shaft they dug led not to treasure, but to a wooden floor. Clearly, it had no place buried in a cave, so they broke through, revealing a shaft leading to darkness and water below. They dropped down into dark, flooded tunnels. Fortunately, Spack Jarrow prepared them with a water breathing spell, and they had a potion as well. Since goblins could see in the dark, they had little trouble navigating the sun-starved tunnels and quickly found themselves in conflict with sahuagin (along with their pet sharks!). After defeating the first wave of guards, the Licktoad Pirates were able to explore more and found an odd, dry cave with plants (despite no way for sunlight to reach them), bedding, and someone’s possessions. They swam on, back into the flooded tunnels. They made their way through sahuagin guard barracks and found a bloated sahuagin in a nursery quick to defend her charges. They dispatched her and found hatcheries, destroying every developing egg before discovering a captured locathah queen (whom they also killed), finally deducing that she was the source of all the eggs they just killed. Being goblins, they did not ponder why there was a captive locathah supply eggs to sahuagin, but just shrugged and pressed on.

The Licktoads found the area in which the sahuagin kept their pet sharks, but were able to avoid being chum(s) by using a magical ring of animal friendship they found back in the dry cave area. In the shark pen, the amulet Spack Jarrow took from the goatherd drew him toward the western wall. A sediment-filled crevice led to another cave, and with the help of a summoned earth elemental, they were able to remove enough sediment to enter in. In the cave, they found a ship’s anchor, and a shriveled, dessicated human chain to it. The chains no longer bound him to the anchor, however, and the mummy of the Ancient Mariner swam forward to attack Spack Jarrow, bearer of his amulet’s twin. The ensuing battle was the most challenging (thus far) of the Licktoad’s careers, but they were still able to defeat him.

Further exploration allowed the Licktoads to discover a series of caves that led back to the cove. They noted its location and returned to exploring the flooded caves. The Licktoads swam into deeper tunnels, eventually finding a sort of throne room. The king of sahuagin and his concubines attacked, and nearly killed Spack Jarrow with his cruel, coral trident. Each blow caused Spack Jarrow to slow and harden, as though the goblin was turning into coral. The battle raged, for the second time in as many hours, they fought for their lives were victorious at last. Thorough searching revealed the sahuagin’s treasure, and a mighty haul it was!

With patience and magical assistance, the Licktoads returned to Sea Sprite with a magical chest containing the spoils of their efforts, a kingly haul. They returned to Tidewater Rock to give the stewards their share, then headed for Port Peril so they could properly count their plunder and sell off the items they didn’t need. But what adventure awaited the Licktoad Goblin pirates in the metropolis of Port Peril?

(As usual, there is more content in the write-up at Doctor Strangeroll.

Raiders of the Fever Sea, part 6
Paying Debts

After cleaning up the bodies, the Licktoad Pirates left some of their more trustworthy crewmates (Sandara Quinn, Rosie Cusswell, and Owlbear Hartshorn, in charge of Tidewater Rock and returned to the high seas. The plan: return to Rickity Squibs to sell off plunder and re-supply.

Three days out of Tidewater Rock, while Ent Cleastwood was on lookout duty, sails were spotted on the horizon. The ship appeared to be a Rahadoumi schooner loaded with booty! Captain Spack Jarrow gave the order to pursue and Sea Spite closed in on her quarry. Before they were able to get into catapult range, a creature took off from the deck of the Rahadoumi ship and flew towards Sea Spite. It was a manticore!

As they beast approached, Brodo Faggins directed the catapult crew to try to fire a shot at it. Meanwhile, Captain Spack Jarrow worked magic to summon lighting from the cloudy sky. Miraculously, the catapult’s shot hit the manticore. A lighting bolt scorched the creature, but it was able to summon the strength to launch a volley of spikes from its tail, impaling Gargornne in a last-gasp attack before being brought down and crashing into the sea.

During the battle with the manticore, the enemy ship maneuvered into position to use its ballistae on the Sea Spite. The ship was close enough for the crew to read her name: Sanbalot. The merchant crew managed a few ineffective shots before another lighting bolt killed half the gunnery crew and a boulder from the Sea Spite’s catapult destroyed one of the ballistae.

Sanbalot’s captain and marines fell just as the ship entered boarding range. The inexperienced merchant crew struck their colors. Captain Spack Jarrow offered the crew a choice: join him or die. Only the lone remaining marine was defiant. The rest of Sanbalot’s crew were informed they would sail with the Sea Spite until they reached Rickity Squibs, where they could leave or stay.

Once they reached Rickity Squibs, tales were told of their exploits, including the cracking of Tidewater Rock and nine of the merchant crew chose to stay with the Sea Spite. The Licktoad Pirates offered Rickity a trade: the Sanbalot in exchange for wiping out their debt. The deal was acceptable. The goblins resupplied their ship and headed back to Tidewater Rock. When they arrived, they learned the sahuagin had attacked twice while they were gone. The Licktoad Pirates resolved to deal with their nuisance once and for all….

Raiders of the Fever Sea, part 5
Cracking the Rock

When last we left the Licktoad Pirates, they had arrived at Tidewater Rock. The ballistae on the guard towers tracked them as they sailed past the front of the fortress. The goblins decided a frontal assault was suicide. The continued sailing, around the island and contemplated a different plan: a stealth assault from behind. The Licktoad Goblins would take a dinghy under the cover of darkness and make landfall on the far side of the island. They would cross the fields and orange groves until they reached the back of the cover. In the middle of the night, with the light of the waxing moon partially obscured by clouds, they were undetected as they approached the tower.

Captain Spack Jarrow cast a fly spell upon Brodo Faggins and he flew up to the top of the tower. Meanwhile, the monkey goblins climbed, helping their comrades up the side. As soon as they were at the top, Captain Spack Jarrow dropped a silence spell to cover the roof and Brodo Faggins killed one of the two patrolling guards. The other goblins took out the guard on the opposite side. The roof was theirs.

They made their way down the stairs and into the main dining hall. Being the middle of the night, it was deserted. Brodo Faggins checked the door to the other room and entered, finding a lady asleep in her bed. He moved to slice her throat. She survived the initial attack long enough to scream, undoubtedly waking others in the tower, but was killed before she was able to get out of bed. Captain Spack Jarrow removed her head and tossed it down the stairs, towards the commotion they heard of the other residents rushing to aid their Lady. His ultimatum was simple: Surrender or Die.

While the rest of the goblins awaited the tower’s guards by the bottleneck of the dining hall door, Brodo Faggins utilized his fly spell to fly out of the tower’s window and take pot shots at defenders rushing by the arrow slits. He felled two before the tower’s major domo reached the dining hall, enraged by the mutilation of his lady love. He attacked Captain Spack Jarrow with fury, but fell to the combined attacks of the Licktoad Pirates after only striking one blow. The two guards accompanying him managed to fire two shots from their crossbows, but fell as they turned to flee.

The rest of the defenders, including the tower’s servants, believing they were overrun, surrendered. The Licktoad Pirates were victorious and Tidewater Rock was theirs.

In the aftermath, they discussed what to do with the servants and guards. The two elderly servants and the goatherd would stay at Tidewater Rock and tend the crops and livestock. Their ward would be taken to the Sea Spite and locked in the brig for now, despite his protestations that he would gladly serve as a cabin boy. The remaining guards would be pressed into service as well. As the sun rose, a pirate flag flew over Tidewater Rock.

Raiders of the Fever Sea, parts 3 & 4
Abridged & Combined 'cause the GM is a slacker!

The Licktoad Pirates sailed the Sea Spite on the high seas for days, scouring the horizon for sails. One night, they spotted a sail, but it vanished before they were able to catch it. The next night, they saw another sail, but again, it vanished from sight before they could catch it.

On the third night, a fog arose and surrounded the ship. Looming out of the fog was the ship they failed to catch on the previous two nights. It attacked from port astern (could’ve been starboard…goblins always get them confused). The ship, Deathknell, was a fabled ghost ship, and it’s captain, Whalebone Pilk was out for blood. As his brine zombies attack, he directed their actions from the Deathknell’s command deck.

Although they suffered casualties, the Licktoad Pirates fended off the brine zombies while Garagorrne peppered Whalebone with arrows. Captain Spack Jarrow swung across the gap and delivered a fatal blow to Whalebone, a blow so mighty, it caused the Deathknell to sink! (At least, from the goblins’ perspective.)

With no land in sight, they continued on their way. Several days later, they found a listing fishing trawler. Upon investigation, they found it had been the victim of an attack of some sort, but someone had gone out of their way to cover up the evidence. Brodo Faggins and Captain Spack Jarrow stayed aboard the trawler investigating, while the others returned to the Sea Spite and prepared to cut the trawler loose and immolate her if there was an ambush waiting. Brodo opened up the hatch to the main hold and was greeted with crossbow fire. He slammed the hatch shut, while Captain Spack Jarrow shoved several of his own crossbow bolts through the latch. They returned to the Sea Spite, and cut the trawler loose while Ent Cleastwood threw alchemist’s fire at it. The trawler went up in flames

After it burned to the waterline, they noticed three sahuagin swimming after them, intent on boarding and attacking the crew. Captain Spack Jarrow ordered the ship to sail away, and they left the fishmen behind. A few days later, land was spotted, and open that small island, a small fort and tower. Fishguts tentatively identified it as Tidewater Rock…the elusive destination for which they’d been searching.

Raiders of the Fever Sea, part 3
Piracy on the High Seas!

The Sea Spite sailed forth from Rickety Squibs and set about looking for ships to chase down and plunder. A few days of empty seas brought sails on the horizon. The Sea Spite gave chase and eventually the two ships met to parlay.

Mermaid’s Disgrace was her name, captained by a hulking minotaur, Captain Belkul Bloodsword. He had heard stories of the Licktoad Pirates and said he had no quarrel with them. Captain Bloodsword felt they were like kin, both crews persecuted and hated by the human captains of The Shackles.

Sea Spite and Mermaid’s Disgrace parted ways, and though the encounter netted no plunder for the Licktoad Pirates, they gained something possibly more valuable: an ally.

For several more days they sailed, scanning the horizon for sails until they found another. Giving chase, they ran the other ship down. It was an Absalom barque, Truewind, and looked ripe for the picking. The barque ineffectively fired their ranged weapons at the Sea Spite as the Licktoad Pirates closed the distance between them.

Once the battle was joined, the Licktoad Pirates put the training they had at the hands of the Wormwood crew to good use and assaulted the Truewind. In the end, Captain Spack Jarrow and the Licktoad Pirates were victorious, and had their first plunder!

Raiders of the Fever Sea, part 2
Rickety Squibs, continued

While recuperating from the naga attack, the Licktoad Pirates continued to watch the refit of Man’s Promise from afar. Several days after the attack, as the sweltering heat showed no signs of letting up, the goblins determined there was not much to do apart from baking in the heat and drinking.

As they wandered the beach, the saw a flock of large birds fly from the jungle canopy. As the flock approached, a buzzing sound grew in the air and they realized they were not birds at all, but rather giant wasps! As these wasps were somewhat larger than the Licktoad Pirates, they headed for cover in one of the huts on the beach, but were not able to reach it before three of the wasps reached them. Fortunately, their combat skills were up to the task of squashing some insects.

Later that day, the entire settlement was alarmed by a ship appearing in the cover and launching a boat. Brodo Faggins followed Rickety and his men to the dock to meet the approaching buccaneers. It was a Chelish captain, Merrill Pegsworthy. He apologized for his abrupt arrival; he was not aware there was another ship already being squibbed. He was well aware of the identity of the ship in dry dock and when confronted by Brodo Faggins, he assured the goblins he was no ally of Barnabas Harrigan and offered to rechristen their ship in the spirit of good fortune.

After Captain Pegsworthy departed, Rickety approached the Licktoad Pirates and offered to discount the price on their ship’s refit if they would trek through the jungle and determine why the lookout failed to announce the arrival of Pegsworthy’s ship. Thought the sum he offered was paltry in comparison to how much the squibbing cost, they agreed that some money was better than no money and set out into the jungle.

After being set upon by some angry wild boars, they found what passed for Rickety Squibs’s watchtower: a platform raised on four poles with a rope ladder surrounded by broken bottles. The watchman on duty was tangled in his hammock, swollen and dead from a giant wasp attack. The recovered his weapon and dragged the boars back to the settlement to cook and serve to the workers.

And there was much rejoicing (not so much for the dead watchman).

The hot days dragged on as the work continued, but finally, Man’s Promise was ready to sail again. Captain Pegsworthy smashed a bottle of fine wine on her bow and rechristened her Sea Spite. The Licktoad Pirates were ready to once more set sail….

Raiders of the Fever Sea, part 1
Rickety Squibs

After two days of hard sailing, and a near-bout of Ghoul Fever for Captain Spack Jarrow, Man’s Promise arrived at Rickety Squibs. A longboat rowed out to meet them as they entered the harbor. Once it was established the goblins weren’t there for raiding, negotiations began for the squibbing of the ship. Squibbing involves altering the ship’s lines so that it looks different, yet retains the same capabilities. Rickety Hake doesn’t care who the ship is crewed by, as long as they can pay. And even if they can’t, he’s willing to take a percentage until the work is done. And thus was the agreement the goblins entered into with Rickety Hake: he gets 1/3rd of their plunder, paid monthly, until their debt is paid, plus 500 pieces of gold for a wider rudder to improve maneuverability.

Rickety’s laborers helped secure the ship in drydock and work began. Garagornne befriend a goblin dog that wandered into the settlement and calmed him down before the workers were able to kill him. She called him “Dimly.” The goblins and crew spent a day in the Commons drinking, carousing, and generally telling tales of their exploits, while the hammering, sawing, and cursing continued around their ship non-stop. Despite themselves, Rickety’s workers were impressed by the goblin pirates and invited them down to the beach for some drinking and to play Nine Pin. As they were complaining about the oppressive heat and dryness associated with the drought, despite the air’s humidity, one of the workers was dragged into the water by an aggressive water naga. Once she was done eating him, she turned her attentions to the goblins.

The goblins did not hesitate to wade into the fray and despite the naga’s ferocity, defeated her. Sadly, the worker was not among the living after the battle and Shahn Dook Pizzard and Brodo Faggins both were suffering from the naga’s virulent poison. They tended to their wounded as they contemplated what could have driven the naga from her usual hunting ground….

The Wormwood Mutiny, part 7
Rescuing the Crew

When we last left our intrepid goblin pirates, they had just defeated a trio of nasty, ghoulettes. They searched the mock boudoir and found some booty to add to their meager loot pile, but more importantly, they found tracks indicating someone or something moved past the ghouls and into a nearby cave. Shahn Dook Pizzard volunteered to make sure the crew wasn’t absconding with the ship while the rest of the group entered the cave.

The cave was partially flooded. The water sloshed up around the goblins’ knees. In the dank dark, the stench of death and decay permeated the air. Since the monkey goblins couldn’t see well in the dark, Spack Jarrow cast light upon his shield. In a small nook, there was some sort of construction, a shrine, perhaps. Upon it, a familiar hat: Sandara Quinn’s tricorn. Four grindylows rose from hidden nooks in the water to attack the interlopers in their lair. The goblins made short work of them and pressed on.

Brodo Faggins set off a hidden tripwire under the water and narrowly avoided the spiked iron grate that fell from its concealment on the ceiling. The ruckus gained the attention of three lacedons. They were not as easily defeated as the grindylows, but ultimately, the goblins were victorious. Behind a locked cage door, they found their missing crewmates, chained to stalagmites. They seemed no worse for the wear, except for Fishguts Kroop. The lacedons had been dining on one of his ample legs and he was near death. Garagornne thought she could fashion a peg leg to replace the missing limb once they returned to the ship. They searched the lacedons for treasure and returned to Man’s Promise.

The crew was ready to sail when they returned and the goblin-led pirates made way for Rickety Squibs….

The Wormwood Mutiny, part 6
Ship's Business & Storms on the High Seas!

After a successful mutiny, the Licktoad goblins were now in possession of their own ship! Discussion about crew positions took place, as well as discussions on what to re-name Man’s Promise. Spack Jarrow, who so often insisted on being called Captain Spack Jarrow was named captain by acclimation. Brodo Faggins became his 1st Mate. Ent Cleastwood was assigned as Gunnery Master. Garagornne became the Bo’sun and Ship’s Surgeon/Carpenter. Shahn Dook Pizzard became the Sailing Master. Fishguts Kroop remained ship’s cook.

As they wrapped up their discussion on positions and names, a storm came upon the ship. With a skeleton crew made smaller by the mutiny, it was difficult to keep control of Man’s Promise as she was battered and tossed by the wind and waves. The crew did their best to hold her together throughout the night. Creatures from the depths took advantage of the storm and climbed onto the deck from the sea, grindylows, determined to take down the crew of Man’s Promise. They were no match for the seasoned crew of goblins and sailors.

The next morning, when the storm cleared away, three crew members were discovered missing. Not just swept overboard during the storm, but taken, presumably by unseen grindylows during the choas. Also, there was an island looming dangerously close. So close, in fact, Man’s Promise ran aground on a nearby reef. A quick spell from the friendly shipboard druid, Shahn Dook Pizzard and the damage was repaired, but it still left the problem of the missing crew members. if it had been anyone but Sandara Quinn, upon whom Captain Spack Jarrow had a crush, they would have been abandoned to their fate.

The officers took one of the small boats from Man’s Promise and went to the island. The investigated an abandoned village of mud huts and found a trail leading into a swamp. A few giant frog attacks later, and they entered a clearing with a lone tree. A tent covered the tree, creating a make-shift shelter, but wait awaited them was less than hospitable. Three ghouls attacked, and were quickly put down by the power of Besmara. The Licktoads stopped a moment to consider their next course….

The Wormwood Mutiny, part 5
Sneaksy, Tricksy, Murderers!

As Man’s Promise continued its course away from that ordered by the Wormwood’s captain, whispers circulated among the crew. Fishguts Kroop speculated that Mr. Plugg and Master Scourge could be taking Man’s Promise to Rickety Squibs, a dry dock used by pirates to refit their ships to change the lines and silhouettes. The only reason they’d be going against Captain Harrigan’s orders by going there was to set themselves up as independent pirates; Kroop thought they might be trying to make a name for themselves.

While it seemed reasonable to some of the other humans, the goblins weren’t convinced. They did know, however, whatever Mr. Plugg’s and Master Scourge’s purpose was, they still hated the goblins (the feeling was mutual). With a skeleton crew and no Wormwood in sight, it seemed the time to make some changes had come.

Brodo Faggins, Spack Jarrow, and Sandara Quinn moved around the crew as they slept, locked below decks, while Ent Cleastwood and Garagornne kept a sharp eye out. They spent the evening garnering support among the crew, killing two of the former Wormwood crew who seemed to support Mr. Plugg and Master Scourge, or at least, who failed to show enthusiasm for replacing them.

Brodo Faggins picked the locks keeping them in the hold and sneaked up to the main deck. The rest of the crew were asleep as Man’s Promise drifted. With a skeleton crew, there weren’t enough to spread around to multiple shifts. Brodo, Garagornne, and Ent sneaked into the Captain’s cabin while Spack Jarrow and the rest of the loyal crew waited for the signal.

Mr. Plugg and Master Scourge were both asleep, confident in the locks’ ability to keep the crew where they put them. Mr. Plugg was the first to learn the folly of his ways as Brodo opened his throat. So swift was Brodo’s attack, Master Scourge’s sleep was not disturbed. He too, fell to a blade in the dark.

After seeing how quickly and easily the two feared men were dispatched, the former Wormwood crew had no heart for a fight. The goblins had already shown themselves to be as treacherous and vicious as any black-hearted pirate on Golarion’s seas, anyway. The Man’s Promise now sailed under a new captain, Captain Spack Jarrow. Brodo Faggins was made 1st Mate, Ent Cleastwood was 2nd Mate. Garagornne was appointed to be the new Bo’sun, and Shahn Dook Pizzard would be the Bo’sun’s mate.

Fishguts Kroop approached his new captain with the suggestion that perhaps they take Mr. Plugg’s & Master Scourge’s plan to heart and sail for Rickety Squibs. Captain Harrigan would know the lines of his prize ship, so if the goblins wanted to keep her, they would need a refit…


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