The campaign kicked off with the characters arriving at the Formidably Maid early in the evening; Fira and Adain had just gotten off the same ship, Nesnan and Thelon had been in town for a while and had run into each other a few times, and Nahne had sailed in just a few days prior. Among the usual packs of scoundrels were a pair of more-malignant-than-usual individuals, one nearly bald save for his ponytail and the other constantly patting the ship at his side.
Fira and Thelon gravitated to the gambling room in the back quite quickly, with Thelon exhibiting a phenomenal streak of luck while Fira quickly had her initial good fortune turn for the worse. Adain and Nahne settled in at different places around the bar with platters of meat dubiously described as chicken, while Nesnan dropped down at the end of a drinking game perhaps a little too gleefully.
After Thelon was kicked out for blatantly trying to palm cards and Fira ran out of money, they returned to the main room, where some of Nesnan’s competitors had already collapsed before they even reached the hard liquors. One drunk challenged anyone who wanted to come at him; Thelon took him up on it, passing off a vial of Stone Fist as a toast to the fight before he pounded the man into a bloody wreck.
Nahne found herself beset by unwanted attention from a drunk pirate and Thelon, while Adain listened to the drunken rambling in the room and picked up some word that the Wormwood had recently docked, and that no one knew how Captain Harrigan had made his escape from a jail in Cheliax.
Nahne pick-pocketed the drunk pirate, and made off with her ill-gotten gains just as the five of them began to slump under the effects of a slow and insidious poison; Fira and Nesnan held on long enough to see the ponytailed man get up and wave at a few scoundrels to begin picking the newly comatose PCs up.
The next morning found them aboard a ship, press-ganged and with the taste of a nasty drug on their tongue, to be greeted by the man with the whip from the night before, along with a gang of six scruffy-looking ruffians armed with saps who ushered them up to the deck. Captain Harrigan introduced himself, told them to never speak to him, and passed them off to the ponytailed man from the night before, Mister Plugg, and the whip-bearer, Master Scourge.
First, Plugg demanded that they race to the top of the mast; Thelon protested that his blood-sweating hands couldn’t keep a grip on the ropes, leading Scourge to lash him into making an attempt, while Fira scaled the rigging effortlessly, Nahne trying her best to follow behind. Near the top, Fira took a moment to distract Nahne, using a mirror to reflect sunlight on the human woman, before clambering to the top and startling a half-drunk gnome in the crow’s nest.
To the surprise and alarm of the others, Thelon stepped forward when Plugg demanded to know if anyone could cook; the blood-dripping tiefling was sent belowdecks to meet with the terminally-drunk Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroop, who roused long enough to send him fishing. The other three were set to swab duty, working with ropes, scrubbing the deck, and working as a runner; Fira, Adain, and Nahne all managed to get a few of the crew to warm up to them just a touch.
At the Bloody Hour, Jakes “Magpie” Cooper was dragged above deck by Jaundiced Jape and Badger, who had missed him stealing their brass knives; he lunged at Plugg, trying to gut the man while shouting about his villainy, only to be clubbed senseless by the Captain before being bound, revived, and dragged underneath to be keelhauled the slow way; Nahne also suffered, getting three lashes for what Plugg had deemed insubordination.
A woman who introduced herself as Sandara healed Nahne belowdecks before asking her to collect the other new recruits; offering an explanation of looking to gather friends and allies, she offered them what she had been able to get back from the quartermaster as a token of good will, then bade them hurry to supper – a passable fish soup that Thelon hadn’t bled into, much.
While the others all retired after their rum ration – an abnormally potent and vile shot of rum that left them all weak-legged and weary – Nesnan sought out another crew member and made progress toward befriending one of the other gnomes aboard the ship, then went belowdecks and softly tied one of Fira’s legs to the support post for her hammock before retiring for the night.
Everyone gained 300 XP, save for Fira, who gained an additional 100 XP.