Skull and Shackles
Jaz Entry 3
It has been months since we spoke last, and much has happened in that time.
I lost my hand to a foul sea-creature before my compatriots and I eradicated its family, to prevent them from harming any others on the seas. It is my hope that one day I can seek some sort of replacement or magical healing for my hand, as the sight of my nub is a constant reminder of my failure on that day.
Upon returning to our ship from that excursion, we discovered a plot by the split crew of the Wyrmwood to take our lives. But we already had plans in place to prevent just that occurrence. With the help of Owlbear, Sandra, Rosie, Fishguts, Crimson, and many other allies, we mutinied and deftly killed Mr. Plugg and Scourge. We took command of the ship we christened as The Shackled Wayfinder, and, In the time since, we have ruled our crew as a just council. We’ve made quite the name for ourselves in the Shackles, but I worry that we may soon attract the attention of the captain whom we technically betrayed…
I made friends with the promiscuous catwoman, Nyx, who proved herself to be a very capable woman after all. Taimu and I have become very close friends, and he is one of the few aboard whom I trust completely. Even Kratos has begrudgingly earned my respect, as an exceptional sailor and a forward-thinking captain. I have fallen in love with Sandra Quinn, a beautiful, sexy savior who keeps us all alive and well in the name of Besmara. Often, as I lay with her at night, I am thankful that the life of a celibate monk was not the destiny I was intended to have. Speaking of monks, I found brother Mathias! He has joined our crew, after some protest, and serves as an adviser and moral compass for our council. Kratos was married, some sort of arranged marriage that grants us higher standing in the Shackles. We have a sort of home, in a small solitary port named the Rock.
A little over a month ago, things changed for me. It was to be a normal raid of another sea-faring ship. We would conquer, take what we wanted, and extend an offer of kinship to any crew who wished to join us. The rest we would leave to their own devices, and we would move on. This day was different. When we boarded, there was a hulking, raging gorilla on board. As she often did, Nyx moved into engage at close range with her lethal claws. After a few solid hits on her part, the gorilla caved in her skull with a giant war-hammer. It should’ve been me. I should’ve been there to deal with him. I could’ve handled him. But it was her.
I was going to kill him. That animal. Sometimes I still want to. But one among my crew noticed a magical collar that had him under some sort of spell. Kratos, after seeing what he was capable of, insisted that he join our crew.
At first, I tried to use alcohol to dull the pain. It had worked at the monastery. But now it did nothing to help me. These were my friends, my new family, and I had lost one of them. In her place was the filthy creature who had taken her life. The gorilla had a mind of his own, and was no animal, but by the gods I treated him like one. Had he the strength of will to resist that magic, my friend would still be alive. He has not earned my forgiveness, but he has my respect. I have vowed that should he ever slip again, I will put him down myself.
In the last month, I have mourned. I’ve given up drinking, although I still keep up the appearance that I haven’t. As it always has, the image of a drunken stupor makes people think less of me, and it often gives me the element of surprise. Besides, it’s a part of my personality now and I don’t know who I would be without it. Sandra has been my rock, and has, to her credit, dealt with my sour moods and grief the best she can. It is a comfort to know that I can be myself around her. Surprisingly, I have been training with Gaspoad, the gorilla. In part, I can vent my rage at the murder of my friend. But I can also study him, his technique and his fighting style, and put some of it to use in mine. This also affords me the ability to counter his style, should I ever be pit against him. In incorporating his rage and strength into my fighting style, I feel… unchained.
Today we were tested, in a series of unfair trials at Port Peril, by an orc or half-orc named Tsadok. Kratos had to release a series of sails in a race against another pirate. During his test, I noticed that some scum was attempting to untie the supports which held Kratos’ sail aloft. With great speed, I ran over and kicked his sorry ass into the sea before sprinting back to meet him before he could even climb onto shore. In my trial, I was to win a card game. I noticed the method of Tsadok’s cheating, and I used it against him to win a great amount of gold for our crew. All of this was so that we could get a letter of marquee from one Hurricane King, so that we could truly be Free Captains of the Shackles… whatever that means. As far as I’m concerned, its a bunch of huba-baloo. We were doing just fine without the marquee, but it seemed to be important to Kratos.
These tales always get so much darker than I set out intending them to be. I wonder what that says about me?
We are headed to the tavern to “drink” and celebrate our acquisition of the marquee. I wonder if they’ll serve me a water…