Pirates of the Shackles

Last Will and Testament of Aaron Ivy

Lieutenant, Infernal Chelish Marines

The note displayed below is found sitting on the writing desk beside the hanging body. It has a few small rocks on its corners to hold it in place. The logbook mentioned is indeed inside a drawer of the writing desk, and its contents are summarized below the letter.

15 Calistril 4712

To Whomever May Find This:

The flies, and the disease they carry, have finally gotten me. All my precautions and luck have run out, and now I am faced with being transformed into one of those things, as the rest of the crew already has. Perhaps by choosing my death I can avoid that fate, and thus move on to my eternal reward in the hands of our Diabolical Masters. I can only hope that my work has been adequate to their standards.

Beware of the flies and the ghouls. And be watchful of the sea goblins – creatures I’d thought were only sea stories before finding myself marooned here. The chronicle of our plight is recorded in full in the logbook in the top drawer of the desk. If you are an honorable sailor, you will see that it is returned to an officer of the Chelish Navy. If you are disinclined to see to this final request, then may you rot on a spit in the torture realms of the seventh depth of the Abyss! May our Infernal and Diabolical Masters feast upon your pathetic soul as they roast your flesh and flay it, over and again, from your shattered bones! I spit at you from my grave!

Diabolically Yours,

Aaron Ivy
Chelish Marines

The logbook indicates that the ship – the Infernus – ran aground during a storm on the north side of ‘Bonewrack Island,’ as the log refers to it. Sailing around the west side looking for a place to beach the vessel, they took on too much water and had to abandon ship SW of the island, not far off shore. Six sailors, including the captain, were lost, and 27 made it to shore. The sinking happened almost two years ago, and the survivors were able to salvage a good amount of supplies and materials from the sunken ship. They were apparently carrying several ghouls on board, in a cage, and at least one got loose, attacking them about a week after the sinking, infecting one man and killing two others. They also encountered and fought the grindylows – what they refer to as ‘sea goblins’ – and lost a man here and again to them. The big problem for them over a period of months was that it seemed that the large, biting flies and mosquitoes on the island became carriers of the ghoul’s disease, having fed on the living who were infected.

Ivy was alone on the island for almost five months before he threw in the towel, as indicated. The rest of the crew was dead either from attacks by the grindylows or after having been felled by ghoul fever. Ivy also indicates that there are stretches of the eastern beach that are home to giant crabs.

The faint magic aura is actually two items, sitting together in a drawer, wrapped in a shirt: a Ring of Swimming and +1 short sword with an inscription across the hilt reading “Infernatus Eternius” and a leering devil face with red ruby eyes on the pommel.

Additionally, there is a suit of leather armor in good repair, six spears, several finely-tailored outfits, two sealed bags of pepper, a silver tankard, and a locket bearing the image of a oddly familiar-looking woman. Beyond that there are only dusty, worn clothes, mostly uniforms, and some other personal items of no monetary value.


Mongangwa looks at the short sword, bites the metal, then throws the trinket aside. “Ahh haa!” he shouts at the small damp piece of metal. “Would anybody deny Mongangwa’s God with this gift to him?!” Holding the ring above his head as a small trophy. Clearly the Mwangi has taken a liking to bling.


“I care not for the sword, nor ring. I prefer something with more left to it,” says Grims as he swipes with his cutlass, " both Red, and Mal seem to prefer the short blade. Or will the spooky face scare you? and I already know how to swim well. Who amongst us doesn’t? As to the rest of this bounty, split it even less those who takes the magic charms."
Is say give the short sword to either Mal or Red, as it is there weapon of choice/necessity. Is it a small short sword, or a regular sized one? That should decide who it goes to. I don’t care much for the ring. I do have.this Fine new Jacket, and the spyglass.


The short sword is sized for a medium creature.


Seems like it’s going to Red. We have a ring of swimming. Who in this group does not know how.to swim?


Yes, really. Since Ivy was about 5’10", you betcha.


I didn’t know they made those types of weapons for specific sizes. It’s cool! Just surprised.


A short sword for a medium creature could act as a longsword for a little guy, I suppose – I’d be okay with that.


Confirmed as far as I see it: a longsword for a small creature does d6 damage, which is the same as a short sword.


“It is Mongangwa’s ring!”. Shouts the mad man. “How dare you insult my God. Are you not only stupid but deaf too!?” Clearly the Mwangi’s tantrum is in response to collective decision making.


He just can’t use weapon finesse with it.


“The Crew earned that fine piece ‘o booty lad, tis the crew what’s decides its belonging. Sides, yer god said nothing t’ th’rest of us, and until your god makes himself known beyond ‘is emissary, ain’t no one makin decisions the rest of the crew be followin. Ye gets me? Other than that, ye’s just another mwongi jest takin what ‘e wants and that’s stealin, plain as day.”


Reminder: character development is great. Intra-party friction can add to character development. And don’t start a pointless, story-derailing fight over it.


“Sandara and Jack are likely being carved into seagoblin steaks while we fight over some castoff trinkets. I ask you, gentlemen, which is of more import at the moment?”
“With our new spyglass, Grimes, will you determine a course to the cove where you spotted the vermin who took our friends?”


The loon steps up! Now who’s cap’n?


Red is a loon. He also made a great deal of sense in his admonition of the others to focus on the task at hand and in so doing also avoid petty bickering.


I had also stated thus at the beginning of this post. We need healing. I’m at 4 HP, and mal is at like 7. Do we rest and heal, or use the cure light, and cure mod to get our wayward crew back?


I’m Doomed!! the bugs bit me too. i dont want to be cursed to the undead! We must find the cleric so i can be healed! Caesar starts breaking into a cold sweat.

Let the Witch Doctor have his ring and lets keep moving before its too late.

i too am down to very little hit points and need healing.


That’s a good question. Did Caesar (or sea-zar) get a potion of cure moderate for the ship taking over as part of his haul? As stated in the email, he is in the background as apart of the crew. We could use all the help we can get.
Plan of attack. Mal drinks his invisibility potion, that’ll enable us to sneak in and scout at least for 3 minutes. If we can find our friends, unlatch their cage, and cut their bonds, and we’ll have 2 mote allies in the fight.


The party received a total of 3 potions of cure moderate, one of invisibility, the amulet of natural armor, and coin. That’s it, plus that which you’ve found on the island so far (6 vials of something flammable, one unknown potion, nasty perfume and old clothes, the +1 short sword, and the ring of swimming).


With my new level, I picked up spell craft. Can I try to figure out the new potion? Crosses fingers its healing…


Yep. Cure Moderate.


The pocket with the oddly familiar female… Is the female a likeness of Besmara? Or possibly someone more corporeal like a ship mate?


It doesn’t resemble any likeness any of you have seen of Besmara.


I’m happy with my correctly sized for a Halfling short swords.
I’m fine with invising in and checking it out first, but after almost reaching the end of the tunnel after last one, maybe we should her some sleep here then hit the cave in the morning.


Grims looks quizzically at each member of the group. “Hang on a sec.” His eyes cast skyward in concentration, as if understanding was righting itself in his mind. “C’mere Mal, I want to try something… This shouldn’t hurt at all.” Grims reaches out for Mals neck.where the vine creature held him. His hands glowed slightly with the first attempt at recognizing Besmaras call. The rips and tears around Mals neck begin to stitch together as if a sail were “Mending”. His neck began glowing with Besmaras energy. (Cure light is on the Bard spell list, and "No! I’m Not a Bard!!!) With the warmth, his neck began to burn, the healing was overwhelming until Mal swooned with the pain. Mal took to a knee in weakness breaking the connection. (8 hp restored) the light and the pain receded but Mals raspy choaked voice was clear once again.
Grims staggered back a couple steps into the chair in the cabin.
“Whew! That sure does take a lot out of ya. I see why priests charge so much for it. Is ya feelin better my little friend? Hang on, let me try that again fer meself this time.” Once more the faint light glowed from his hand and he placed it on his chest. The cuts and nicks mended themselves once more. (10 back for me)
“Aaah, that’s better. I’m doing much better. Although, Mal may be right in his assessment. Yes our crew is down there we don’t know alive or dead, but it may be a bad thing to go in our weakened state. I says we votes on it. Who’s fer goin? Who’s fer restin?”


With the new level, how far down are you now Mal? We have a cure Moderate potion, and. Cure light potion. I have one more cure light spell. I’m down by 10.


Mongangwa, enraged by another “vote”, yells to the sky in his tribal tounge. Then addresses fancy dress, “You expect to be a captain having the kalcas of a koldbold. I spit on your voting. It is for the weak. There is only go. If you care for someone, there is only go.”


Red examines the gates to the stockade wondering if they would withstand an attack in the night. Wondering to himself: ‘Would the cabin be refuge enough if the swarms returned?’

Aloud: “Besmara, patron of pirates, watch over our shipmates and us while we rest. On the morrow we spill blood in your name that we may return to the sea.”


“Scratch that. Besmara, watch over us now, I guess.”

Red eyes the short sword, comparing it to the borrowed one from the ship, then looks to Mal. “The leering devil suits me well, but I’ll not fight you for it, my friend. I will admit that the blade would open more bellies in your capable hands than mine. The choice is yours alone.”


Looks good in your hands.

Meta: After leveling Mal is at 25 Hp and ready to go if need be.


The walls of the lodge look solid enough to protect against the massive mosquitoes. In fact, the cracks are sealed meticulously, it seems likely, to prevent exactly that. The outer walls of the stockade are reasonably tough, but would not stand for long against a determined enemy in force. The grindylows are small, however, and aquatic, and thus unlikely to attack a mile up a hill.

What say you? Are you heading to the cove, probably reaching there by nightfall? Or staying the night in the lodge and heading to the cove in the morning?


Nicely said!: “Besmara, patron of pirates, watch over our shipmates and us while we rest. On the morrow we spill blood in your name that we may return to the sea.” Very piratey.


With a ‘15’ linguistics, does Grims get the jist of what Mongangwa is railing on about. If so, “listen here montagua, munguwonga, Marty, whatever yer blasted name is, I will be a captain of a willing crew. If you want to go down there by yerself, fine, go act with those googlie eyes of yours and we’ll be along in the morning with our full strength renewed. I want ‘t save Sandara, as much and probably more’n the rest of these dogs, smiley too, but it won’t do fer us to just head out to get killed. I’m willin, but the rest have to figure it out themselves. And I AIN’T goin without me crew. That’s why we gets a vote. Ye get one too, but ye better stick with what’s the crew says or ye’ll be pissin in the wind Ye will…”


Red hefts the blade and gives a few quick cuts through the air to get a feel for it then follows the witch doctor out the gate and down the trail to the cove. “Besmara tells me: ‘when your crew’s in trouble, there’s nothing more important than fighting for them…unless they fall behind, then spend their lot for them!’ So, lets move before we grow roots, you landlubbers!”
Swift, but sure, maneuvering from tree to bush to tree to rock, Red puts on his moves. (He is reminded of another pirate that hid his treasure in a similar fashion: stagger, stagger, crawl, crawl…or was it roll?)
META: I’ll let the DM roll: with a +11 bonus to stealth to sneak up on them, will we make it unnoticed?


Well, you’re not going to be waiting on me, but Caesar still looks a little worse for wear.


Arrrgh, that’s me crew. Doin what’s needs be doin."
meta I have one more cure light to cast, Red has a cure mod potion, I have a cure mod we picked up, and another cure light potion. HOW FAR DOWN IS EVERYONE!!!


So we’ve got Red and Jaigo heading out of the stockade and toward the cove. Mal said he’s ready to go, but is he going, too? Caesar is scared and if Chris doesn’t chime in he’ll be up for grabs – both sides can roll for his support. Grims doesn’t want to go, I think, but will he follow if they others leave? I think so, but I want to be sure before writing anything else.

Please respond with explicit, one-sentence answers stating whether you are heading out toward the cove now or in favor of waiting until later (presumably the next morning).


Mal is ready to head out now.


And with Jaigo and Red already moving out, Caesar decides that he’d rather not be alone, so he heads off, too.

This post is now closed! I believe that 42 comments (that will include this one) makes a record for us on any post, in any campaign. I’ll have a transitional post up in the next few days, through which you can plan your move to the cove and your, I assume, attack on it.


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