Skulls and Shackles

Captain's Log

Our first prizes

We took our first two vessels, three after a manner, since we successfully took control of this ship. Morale is high and the crew is celebrating. It is good to get the recent unpleasantness behind us.

Our first day out on the seas following our coastal raid we spotted sails. A pirate warship moving in to take a galley as a prize. The pirate vessel’s superior lines made me wary, but as she closed to chase us off, the observant Master Redgrave noted she was poorly manned, and poorly armed. We made a show of giving them birth, and were able to round on them and come out of the sun. She was unawares, being involved in taking on her plunder, and I was able to lay us right on her starboard gun’el after a volley from Master Flint.

The fighting was brief, but intense. I made a leap to the sterncastle of the warship to engage her captain, a looming half-ogre, strong and stupid. His fighting prowess was not impressive. Master Redgrave led the crew to board amidships and we made good show against them. I must admit I’ve come to enjoy the little gnome’s battle song. It makes my blood rise and strengthens my arm. It seems the rest of the crew feels it too.

After the slaughter I had hoped to plunder two holds but, alas, the drooling idiot had over-damaged his prize, and she sunk before we could get much off of her. Redgrave and our silent Bosun stayed aboard the wreck, trying to wrest what treasure they could from the greedy sea. Master Flint brought two good Ballistae aboard and the warship had a couple tons of goods we loaded on. The Gnome is an enchanting speaker, and we were able to swell our numbers from among the surviving crew. Huzzah, for the most part. We had to hoist the Bosun back aboard as he returned to us in the form of a squid. Unnerving that. I’ve seen the magic of the wild before but it sets a man on edge to think one might willingly become a slimy, tentacle creature. What must it feel like?

We ran the warship aground and told the remainder of her crew to piss off. They’ll spread word of our ferocity. It was a few days of sailing after before we spotted another sail. The weather had turned, but the crew is able. The Bosun runs a tight rig, good man. The watchman spotted a sailing ship from Absalom. We were unable to gauge her arms, but morale was running high from our previous skirmish and we gave chase.

Oh what a battle of ships! We made good use of the winds and closed quickly. We fought, her captain and I, for every favorable position, every clean shot. Master Flint made good use of our bolstered arsenal to strike at her rudder and catapult, and Master Redgrave set her sails alight. It was a great test of our skills, but I was soon able to come alongside her and our boarders landed a good grapple on the second attempt.

I, again, leapt from our sterncastle to hers, but in this engagement the bulk of her Elvish forces moved to our decks. Myself and Bosun Nodies were able to clear her sterncastle quickly, but Redgrave and Shortstone, still aboard our vessel, were beset from all sides. Our Master at Arms made good show, but at one point he was overwhelmed and fell. I feared we might lose him and the Gnome but Master Flint came from behind his Ballista, pistols roaring and Shortstone was able to revive Master Redgrave and continue the fight.

I spied a sorcerer on their decks, weaving magics against us, and dealt him an horrific blow. I felt as though it was a felling stroke, yet somehow he continue on, though bleeding profusely. Perhaps some incomprehensible evil from beyond this world stayed my blade.

Once recovered, our crew fought ferociously and their captain surrendered. The Absolomi vessel yielded us a full-sized catapult and a few tons of trade goods. Her captain should yield a ransom, and so we make ready to sail for Senghor. Master Redgrave suggests we bring our captured vessel along for sale. Damaged, and stripped of siege engines, I don’t believe she’ll bring enough gold to take the risk of arrest. While Senghor will buy our plunder without batting an eye, a clearly stolen ship will attract the authorities’ attentions for sure. Still, the Master at Arms is adamant, and I’m willing to bring the measure before the officers, though I have no intention of tethering myself to the business. I’ve only just recently gained a ship beneath me, the freedom of the sea, and the power to make my fortune; I’ll not trade it all for a prison cell, and there are surer ways to make coin.

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