Goblin Skulls & Shackles, Session 7 – 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 (like a Pope!). 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 repairing of the ship was the second derailment of the adventure (the first being the early mutiny). At this point, the PCs could have just abandoned the missing crew, so I was actually thankful that one of them felt like he at least owned Sandara Quinn a rescue attempt. Of course, they have no reason to explore the island in general (as written, they have to explore the island to scrounge for supplies while the ship is being repaired, but that’s a moot issue now), and I’m not very good at improvising. Good sports, my players; they kept searching the island. For the next session, I’ll have some clues they can follow. The encounters on the island have also been a little easier because I bumped everyone up to 3rd level since that is the level they were supposed to be at just prior to the mutiny. I probably messed that bit up, but that’s what happens with sequence-breaking occurs. Maybe I should have dragons fly backwards or show Winston Churchill leading the Battle of Britain atop a t-rex or something like that to show ripples in the space-time continuum. It was really obvious the writer of the adventure did not take a particular 2nd-level druid spell into account when the ship was holed on the reef, but then again, without me bumping them up to 3rd level, they wouldn’t have had that spell in the first place…so maybe that was a mistake, but since the mutiny was pulled off so well, I felt like I needed to reward them. Oops.

One reason I’m reluctant to start willy-nilly start throwing out huge swathes of the adventure (like the whole island thing, which seems really superfluous now), is that I have not read far enough ahead in the AP to see if anything on the island becomes relevant later. Heck, for all I know, Sandara Quinn is only relevant in the first adventure and an Understudy NPC could easily take her place later.

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