Skull and Shackles
Jaz Entry 1
I know we haven’t talked much lately, and I’m sorry. Since I left the monastery behind, I’ve preferred to drown my brain in alcohol and dull my pains. Even though I won a position with the ships cook (Fishguts, he’s a’ight), I cant seem to get enough booze, so here I am.
Several nights ago, after a night of revelry at the bar, I came down to the sea to take in the moon and stars. The next thing I knew, I found myself on this ship and out at sea. I can only assume that I, and several of the others around me have been press ganged into joining this… merry band.
I awoke to discover that all my posessions had been taken from me. My rum, my ale, my cider my flask, and all of my alcohol. It’s all gone. Oh, and my shurikens and polearm seem to be missing as well.
Three others seem to have been pressed here with me as well. There is a quiet human-looking type who puts me on edge – I don’t remember his name, if ever I knew it. He seems the type who’s willing to do anything to get ahead. There is a pale red human with thick skin who values honor above all; he reminds me of some of the brothers who perished at the monastery. His name is Taimu. Of everyone I’ve met here, this is the only one (aside from Fishguts) I might eventually call a friend. Last is a humanoid cat, she seems far too keen to offer herself up as if in heat. Had I a cat fetish, I might attempt to indulge. If I can find enough alcohol, I still might, diseases be damned.
It seems that, as of now, I have gotten off easily. My job with Fishguts is simple and doesn’t require physical exertion. He promises that soon we may break into the rum stores. Speaking of rum stores, the rum here is exquisite and quite strong, and it is given to us as a ration nightly. My only desire is to acquire more.
Yesterday, we were asked to clear out a small pack of vermin from the bilges. It was the most unpleasant experience thus far. To be quiet honest, nothing I have done until yesterday has been awful, but those rats, swimming in the filth of the whole ship… I’m cringing just thinking about it.
Today was worse. After our duties, Mr. Plugg (the first mate) demanded that one of us fight his lackey. When we saw this pitiful creature, I knew what I had to do. Say of me what you will, I certainly have my faults, but I am not cruel, nor am I heartless. This creature, Owlbear Heartshorn, was almost certainly lacking in every mental faculty. I took pity on him and volunteered for the fight. He pulled back, readying what he surely thought would be a mightly blow, just for me to deftly deflect it and unleash a carefully placed flurry of blows into his chest. He began to cry and back away from me, and I let him. I took that instant to look at Plugg and the pirates around me. A few looked disgusted, but the vast majority were cheering and egging on this madness. Plugg looked furious, and from his eyes I knew that he was demanding the fight be finished one way or another. I had no choice but to swallow my morals and dispatch this poor bastard, as kindly as I could. With one soft blow to his temple I dropped him and the crowd went wild. Disgusted, Plugg tossed me the sack of gold I had “earned.” Refusing to be a part of this madness, I tossed it into the air and let it fall among the other pirates.
When I thought this life was about fishing, drinking, and cooking, I was actually somewhat content here. Now, all I want is off this ship. I have lost too much to give up now, and I will survive. I prefer a life of drunkenness and revelry. I fear my life here will soon lay heavily upon my shoulders. In the meantime, Taimu and I are considering ways we might mutiny and claim the ship as our own, although I think that, in my drunken stupor, I may have announced it to more than the one person I intended.
That was much darker than I had intended. I need a drink. When next I am sober, we will speak again. Until then, Diary.