Setting out (for a 3-hour tour)…the Jezzel’s Demise saw fair weather for several days. The crew seemed amiable to the strangers in their midst. Long days of sunshine and hard work keeping the vessel serviceable were followed with laughter and singing at night as the crew shared their rum ration as well as a few farcical tales of Osirion with the band. Dinner aboard the Jezzel allowed you to meet and discuss plans with your new team-mates.
Alas, after dinner (a strange affair where items seemed to move of their own volition), things became…interesting when the lookout called ‘Bad Weather ahead!’ The sea turned foul, as massive waves sent the vessel rolling and swaying, reintroducing many of you to your recent repast. The Undine lookout, enjoying the weather above decks near the forecastle, spotted a large object rolling in swells, on a collision course…the wind drowned her attempt to war the Captain at his wheel, and with a mighty crash, wall of your quarters was pierced, wounding the paladin and letting seawater pour in, and nearly hurtling the unfortunate druid over the gunwale and into the ocean.
The ranger grabbed her just as her grip failed. Hasty repairs were made and the winds died down within a few hours (such being the nature of many a squall on the briney blue). The crews spirits were returning to normal when the gnome, poking about the cargo bay, discovered twisted and broken spectacles belonging to Rolo the quartermaster. A search of the ship, bow to stern and fore toa ft, turned up no sign of the kind old fellow. Maps and spilled ale were all that were found in his private quarters, and crew and captain assumed the fellow must have hit his head, stumbled above deck and got swept over the rail unnoticed by any.
Perhaps this would have been sufficient explanation, but the following day, the cook was discovered missing, when he failed to feed the crew at morning chow. Again the ship was searched, with similar results for the quartermaster. A mystery indeed! More men might have gone missing, were the party’s suspicion not draw to Pepperpot, the lame cabin boy, thanks to the Undine’s tiger, Nixxie. The cat hissed and recoiled when the boy approached. Accusations and interrogation of the lad proved fruitless and angered the crew.
Not to be dissuaded so easily, the ranger and oracle managed to get a concession from Captain Red-Shanks, whereby the ranger agreed to keep an eye on the cabin-boy (after the cabin boy’s hidden grins and taunts with several of the party when no one else was looking). That he was more (and undoubtedly evil) than he let on around the crew was obvious…but the little fiend was clever. That night, the cabin boy/fiend taunted the ranger. sending a chill down the warrior’s spine with calculated words.
It was when the party’s resident rogue decided to talk with the unfriendly ship’s carpenter, Skinner, that Pepperpot’s hand (fin?) was forced into the open. The rogue thought he was about to be accosted when the surly mule-skinner brandished a silver-edged cleaver and shouted “YOU!”, only to have the terrified handy-man rush past him at a grotesque shape that loomed out of the darkness….the stilted light from the lantern cast flickering shadows over a horrific fanged moth that could only belong to a massive shark…a shark that loomed on two stubby legs (one withered to the point of being vestigial) ..the shark thing laughed, its voice like wind rushing over exposed coral, as it smashed the carpenter aside with contemptuous ease. The thing laughed at the rogue, it’s mouth opening impossible wide as it rushed forward.
The agile thief, rolled away in terror, slamming the door between himself and the horrid thing. Toying with him, it scratched at the door and taunted him “Come out, little piggy….”
The ranger, finding his courage, came out with his bow drawn, but hitting the thing in the cramped, dark hold proved difficult. The noise of the battle was heard by the druid and her tiger, who roused the remaining party to action. Eventually the beast was cornered and surrounded, blows turned away by its tough shark skin, or ignored completely by its accursed nature. Realizing the silver cleaver was potent against such monsters, Bucket the fighter drove into close range, assisted by those who’s weapons were of no use, and after suffer a horrible gnawing, the group managed to lay the beast in its grave, its large finned body reverting to the hapless cabin-boy, covered in horrific wounds that would surely have killed him instantly, were he a normal child.
You later learned the boy’s leg injury was suffered when he was bitten some months ago by a monstrous shark while swimming in calm seas. Apparently the little monster had been more secretive in those he killed at first, taking sailors and crew while the ship was being refitted/scraped for barnacles in dry-dock…these crew-men were either assumed to have shipped out with another vessel, or relocated to greener pastures…
Now you are quite sure it will be a fine thing to feel solid earth under your feet again…the sooner, the better….