We have arrived in the Shackles. I have never seen a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. I warned my companions that we should be cautious, but they scoffed at the notion. Alestrum has booked us room at a local tavern. We begin our quest to find him a ship to command on the morrow. Tonight he insists that we celebrate our good fortune of making it here in one piece by, and I quote, “Drinkin’ and pissin’ the night away.” Naturally I will not indulge in such activity. Still, I shall do my best to stay mindful and keep an eye on them. Lilly will likely be no problem, and although Edward is normally a… reasonable person, I wouldn’t trust his judgement after a few bellyfuls of ale. And then there is of course Flint. Normally I would have faith in one of the others to keep him in line, but I’ve learned in my travels with this party that when alcohol is involved I am the only level headed one in the group. Case in point, I just heard glass shatter followed by shouting. I must go to keep my… I don’t want to call them friends, but they’re more than acquaintances at this point. Allies. I must keep my allies safe. I will not fail in my oath to Alestrum as I did to Sir Galwaith.
Sarenrae certainly acts in mysterious ways. Our drink and food had been poisoned. We awoke, groggy and uncomfortable, in the hold of an unknown ship with no memory of how we arrived here and none of our weapons or armor. I did however notice that I still had my copy of The Birth of Light and Truth. I guess even pirates fear the wrath of an angry goddess. As we began to collect our wits, we were greeted by a rather unpleasant fellow calling himself Master Scourge. Scourge threatened us and ordered us to report to the main deck. Once there many things were made clear. We had been forcibly conscripted onto this pirate vessel because their crew had been diminished. Such actions are appalling, but I must remain faithful and believe that Sarenrae placed me here for a reason. We were introduced to the captain, Barnabas Harrigan and his first mate, Mr. Plugg. The rules on the ship are simple.
- Don’t talk to the captain.
- Do your work.
- Don’t kill another crew member.
- Don’t steal from another crew member or the quarter master.
I know that these are rules I can follow, and I’m sure Alestrum and Lilly will be fine too. It is Mr. Crow that worries me. I fear he may end up talking to the captain or get caught robbing one of the other pirates. There is little I can do to help him though, and nor do I have much desire to. My oath is to Edward Alestrum, not Flint Crow. Plugg assigned us our jobs after the captain gave his introduction speech. Alestrum was assigned to the rigging after winning a simple climbing contest, Lilly is to be the cook’s assistant, and Flint and I are to be swabs. It might be a good thing Flint and I have the same job, for I may be able to keep him out of trouble after all. My specific job for the day was the worst of the lot. I was to clean out the bilges. The place reeked, and the work was hard. It took a lot out of me. I was supremely grateful when someone came to let me know the day’s work was done.
After work, we all gathered on the main deck again for the hour of punishment; the time of the day where Master Scourge punishes all those who broke the rules that day or the day prior. There was only one poor man there today. Jakes Magpie is what they called him. He had been caught stealing from the quarter master, and was sentenced to be keelhauled. A vile practice, I was forced to watch as they dragged the man under the ship, where the barnacles tore him to pieces. I beg Sarenrae’s forgiveness for there was nothing I could do to stop it. There was only one of me and at least two dozen of them, and I still have an oath to fulfill. After punishment we were given leave to eat dinner and spend the rest of the evening drinking and entertaining ourselves. I went to bed shortly after I ate, however. I was too exhausted from the work in the bilges and I wanted to make sure I was well rested for the next days work.
Today began rather interestingly. Several of our newfound shipmates attempted to block us from arriving to the daily job assignment. This was unacceptable. Not only did we have responsibilities to maintain as crew of this ship, but Sarenrae’s light was just starting to bless the sky. I asked them repeatedly to step aside and they did not. I warned them not to anger Sarenrae by keeping one of her servants from their duty and asked them again to move aside. Still they did not, so I was forced to unleash my holy flame. One of them, “Slippery” Syl Lonegan, managed to actually hit me. I was able to take her and two of her companions out regardless while Flint and Alestrum handled the last. Still, I do admire the combat prowess and courage of someone to actually strike one of Sarenrae’s favored. When we arrived on deck, I noticed that Master Scourge looked a bit surprised at our presence. I suspect he may have sent them to try and break us in and submit to his authority. Well he is a fool. The only true authority I obey is that of Sarenrae.
My job for the day was to make rudimentary repairs around the ship. Flint was assigned to the same task, and followed me around all day much to my dismay. I suspect he did little work and allowed me to cover for him, but I have no way to prove it, nor did I catch him in the act. I may just be paranoid and allowing my dislike of the man to cloud my judgement.
When the work was completed, our attackers were brought out to the hour of punishment and whipped for being late to job assignment. I sought out the one who had managed to hit me and offered to heal her wounds. She wearily accepted my offer and I easily healed the damage the whip had done to her back. Hopefully this act of mercy and kindness will leave us with one less enemy on this ship.
Not drained of energy from a long day in the bilges, I tried my hand at entertaining the crew with a parable from The Birth of Light and Truth. Most didn’t seem to care for the tale, or the lessons it was meant to teach. I should have suspected that this crew would not be so open to Sarenrae’s teachings yet. Still, it was not a waste. I managed to meet Sandara Quinn a priestess of Besmara. We shared a drink and discussed the nature of piety and faith out here on the open sea. She told me that we of the cloth must stick together, a statement that I can’t help but agree with. I hope that I have made at least one ally this day.
No morning brawls today, but there was another day in the bilges for work. I was not alone today however, I was joined by Tilly Brackett. The work went a bit smoother with a second set of hands, and the conversation made the long hours a bit shorter. Tilly was an interesting character. She was very friendly, we discussed how we ended up on the ship and what we thought of the pirate life. I do not think she approved of my devotion to Sarenrae, but she didn’t seem like the type to let that bother her too much.
After dinner, I once again tried my hand at story telling. This time, I avoided another piece from Birth, and instead told the story of the death of my parents and how I was saved by the Spear Wielding Cleric. This one also did not get as much enjoyment as I had hoped. Too dark was the tale, was the criticism I received. Lilly also shared her origin, a story I had not yet heard. She told us how she was the product of rape, a fact that had followed and haunted her throughout her entire life. It turns out she has sworn a vow as well. She means to find and murder her father for all the harm he has caused her. While I agree with her that justice must be dealt, death should only be a last resort. The man should be given the chance to repent, to be redeemed, and do some good in the world before death catches him. I do not think Lilly will agree with me on this, and it is clearly a very important and personal issue with her, so I will not discuss my objection to her plans.
Flint told a bizarre tale that was either a bold faced lie or one of his delusions which pleased the pirates little, and then one of them began a rhyming game. I tried my best, and even completed a set of rhymes or two, but it was clear I was a novice at this game. Still, the pirates enjoyed it and were encouraging of my attempts. I’ll admit that I even had a bit of fun. I hope tomorrow will see a lack of bilges, as two days working in it have been too many.
Four days I have been on this ship. Three of which I have been in the bilges. Today at least, was not for a full days work. My assigned job was to swab the deck, but after young Jack Scrimshaw reported getting bit by something in the bilges, I was relieved of duty to investigate along with Alestrum, Lilly and Flint. I healed Jack’s bite wound, and we headed down to investigate. Several dire rats were the source, but my companions and I easily dispatched them. Mr. Plugg gave us the rest of the day off as reward. Flint ran off, likely getting himself in trouble, while Lilly returned to the kitchen to deliver the rat carcasses to the cook. I volunteered to work my shift anyway, because what else was I to do? Edward elected to take his day off, but to follow me around and socialize with the crew. We talked with Aretta Bansion, one of the pirates who jumped us a few days earlier. Alestrum wanted to know why they attacked us and who ordered it, but Aretta replied that she wasn’t a rat and that we needed to learn our place. I apologized for healing only one of them after they were whipped, but explained I only had the mana for one healing after expending the rest during our fight. Aretta acknowledged my skill, but criticized me for gloating, a sin I was certainly guilty of. She also told Alestrum that he didn’t know his place and while they argued we were all yelled at by Rosie Cusswell, a halfling who is apparently a bit of a workaholic. I was told that Rosie is an amazing singer as well, but she is too shy to admit it or sing on her own. I will have to ask her to sing if I see her at story time one of these nights.
(I don’t think we did night 4? Although I could be wrong and just not remembering it.)