Woke up with headache. Seamen looking worse than any I've seen before waking me and others up. Get up! Up to see the Captain!
Up! I went up the stairs, up the stairs. Big dark man without hair, no hair, said he was Barnabus Harrigan, Captain of the Wormwood. Looking around I saw seamen, no, not seamen, pirates, and water, much water, only water, no land. Barney kept talking, much talking. If you kill you get keelhauled. What is keelhauled? Don't ask. No questions. Captain talk, we listen.
Lots of men and women on the ship, but not enough, not enough. Several new, like me. New to the ship. New to the rules. Who can work in the rigging? Climb up to the crow's nest. Up? I will go up. I like up. Quickly up. Hard work climbing. Not good at climbing. Little Birdie is up. Can't see Little Birdie. Can see others not climbing as fast. Shouldn't win. It would be bad to win. Would have to climb all day. Let big blond barbarian win instead. Back down is safe. Back down again. Who can cook? No one, so fattest got picked. Rest will swab. I know swab. Swab is hard work. But I will not fall.
Red head faked fainting. Other red head woman helped her. Woman was priestess. Woman was Sandara Quinn. Sandara was swab. There were many but in the bilge there was only one. Keep away from Jakes Magpie!
Blond Suel barbarian came down from rig. Followed her. She chose her bunk, below. I did too. Important choice. Better than last ship. Then work before food. Work, work, work. Food was fish soup and a whole pint of rum to be drunk. Drink all your rum, they said. Don't give any away. Don't sell and don't gamble with it. I didn't drink. I made sure no one saw when it was lost. Remember pesh. Avoid drugs, and spirits. Will not get addicted again. Saved some fish for Little Birdie. We met at the figurehead, dragon figurehead. Told her I would meet her there as often as I could. We were given keys to sea chests. My own chest, mine. In it I will put all my fine things. So far a mug. Nice mug. No. Not so nice mug. Put it back in belt.
Slept hard. Was tired, very tired. Biscuit for breakfast. Little Birdie liked crumbs very well. Today red head and I chased rats. When we were below she asked if I could keep a secret. I said yes when I remembered the sea chest. I could keep it there. Then her ears grew big, strange and she got hairier than the worst pirate captain I could imagine. The fur was red like her hair and a tail appeared. Fox. She looked fox-like. Then both chased rats. Found rats. Killed rats. Spraying them with cold. Rays of frost. Fox wanted to look in bilge. Bilge forbidden. Keep away. Fox opened trapdoor peering down to Jakes Magpie. Talked to him. Magpie said he only took back his things and a few more. Now he chained to mast in bilge. Fox fetched her rum. Gave rum to Magpie. He drank rum. Much rum. I killed rats. Cold rats. Gave cold rats to the cook's assistant. Zyx. Zyx said he'd cook rats.
All gathered on deck. Captain said they would punish Magpie. Magpie bad. Magpie stole. Magpie would be keelhauled. Magpie drunk, but Plugg did not notice. Zyx told Magpie to walk on the hull and try stand tall for the keel. Magpie tied to big rope beneath ship. They started pulling and Magpie went into the water. Scourge happy to pull on rope. Magpie pulled up on other side dead. Rum did not help. No more Magpie. Body thrown into sea.
Later Fox danced and a gnome sang. Gnome not very good singer. Fox good dancer. Blond barbarian played dice. Looked up Zyx. Zyx had cooked rats. Good rat. Spilled my rum without anyone noticing again. Fox went topside but not alone.
Morning. Up, up, up. On way up, way up, we were blocked by bullies. Bad bullies wanted a fight. A fight they got. A bad fight. Fox first, followed by Blond. Me last behind others. Zyx in kitchen. Fox moved away. Blond struck someone. Though that if the floor was slippery they wouldn't fight. But wasn't careful. Should always be careful. Careful, careful, careful. Blond ran away and left me. Big fat bald bully came down, came down and attacked me. Me. Attacked me with knife. I didn't attack anyone. Only deck got greased. Bled. Bled a lot. Fox took knife. Protected myself. Protect with armor. Mind's magic armor. Have to be careful.
Two attackers downed. Fatty wanted to stop fighting, no more fighting. Told him I though him coward. Didn't deny it. Blond stole knives. Looked to my wound. Bad but not worst. Fight over, then up for work, up for work. Late. Tried blend in with the other swabs. Careful not to be noticed. Not careful enough. Should be careful. Attackers late. Two not at all. Said attacked by witch. They pointed hesitantly. Looked for me. Careful. They found Fox. Pointed at Fox. Mr Plugg angry at Fox. Fox said did not use magic. Think she did when dancing. Not sure. They not sure. Plugg not sure. Scourge not sure. Got angry. Set punishment for Fox. Three lashes of the whip. The late ones six lashes. Scourge looked as continue. Towards me. Wondered how hide wound, hide blood. Fox distracting. Fox got tied up.
Work given. Worked with rope. Fox worked in rope. Worked not with small rope like the one on Fox. Worked with huge rope to anchor. Very heavy, very heavy. Too heavy. Tried hard. Too hard. Tried too hard. Not careful. Passed out. Woken by water. Woken by Blond. Drank little water. Was late. Was bloody hour. Punishment. Would get lashes, but could not stand, not stand. Hard keep eyes open. Fox took punishment for me. Could not see. Lay outside crowd. Only heard. Fox passed out too. For me, for me. Sandara helped. Sandara asked Besmara for help and strength. Got better, but no strength, no strength. Fox better too.
Got help eat cooked peas. Rested little. Got to quartermaster. Half-orc Cut-Throat Grok. Fox wanted to buy own whip back. And fiddle. Fiddle very good. Grok thought fiddle expensive. Fox said six gold admirals for fiddle and whip. Said shocked at paying five for that bad fiddle, bad fiddle, bad fiddle. Fox got all for six, for six. Blond wanted her pack. Opened and took out bottles of mead, mead. Got pack for mead. Grok liked drinking. Grok not too bad, even though officer. Fox brought fiddle to Cusswell, hafling strongwoman. Cusswell cussed well. Cusswell asked what she had to do. Fox said play, and Cusswell played. Fox danced. Still very tired, so tired. Spilled rum. No one noticed. Went to sleep early.
Woke better. Much better. Fourth day on Wormwood. Up, up, up. Waiting for job. Mr. Plugg said Jack Scrimshaw bitten in bilge. Never been bitten there. Something in bilge. Sent Blond, Zyx, Fox, Sandara and me to fix. We went to bilge. Blond named Saga. Saga and Zyx got weapons. Zyx got lantern too. Zyx went down. Saw rat, saw rat, saw rats. Big rats. Dire rats. Zyx stab in water. Fought rats. Hard to hit in water. Cold ray not work too good under water. Not work at all. Saga and Fox leaped down. They killed six big dire rats, six rats. Zyx and Saga much hurt, but went up to show good work. Saga said tonight we feast on rat flesh, Saga said. Did not come back.
Sandara and me joined Fox in bilge. Looked through bilge. Found leather armor, I found. Cleaned and mended. Fox cleaned, too, she did. Also found mace, heavy mace. Heavy mace was found again. I found three. Fox good friend. Sandara friend. Saga friend. Zyx friend. All had weapons. Give to other friends. Need more friends. Found silver. Dozen silver. Gave some to Fox. Kept five. Cusswell joined. We talked in bilge. Said not pleased with Plugg and Scourge. Did not like officers. Cusswell agreed. Said need to know who to trust, to trust. Cusswell said and who to walk the plank. The plank? Planks everywhere. Cusswell friend too. Got heavy mace. Mace too big for halfling. Cusswell gave back. Saga returned. Said Mr Plugg wondering about us. Put bilge dirt all over. Went up to see Mr Plugg. Mr Plugg said go clean. Went clean. No more work.
Food was rat-stew. Cusswell played fiddle and Fox danced, Fox danced. Sat next to Tilly. Cheered when Tilly cheered. Drank without drinking when Tilly drank. Offered rum to Tilly when no one saw. Tilly got drunk. Tilly got happy. Tilly said I'm her best friend ever. Tilly said loved me. Tilly hug lots. Almost thought Tilly make me sleep with her. But Tilly slept right there. Fox went topside to sleep with Sandara. Saga started bet on who Fox would take next. Woke Tilly and brought her to her hammock. Wondered if Tilly remember anything at all. Thought Tilly would be sick day after.
New day. Up, up. Assigned runner. Running harder on ship. Things everywhere. Ran over and under, up, down, through. Ran, ran, ran. Ran till tired. Was very tired, but kept up. Saw captains room and very small magic laboratory. Interesting lab, interesting. Hung dead crocodile from ceiling. Magically locked. Food was so, so. Rum was bad, but Tilly still liked. No bloody hour. Instead Owlbear Hawthorn brought up by Plugg. Owlbear had tar with feathers stuck in. Wondered if that would help to fly like a bird. Like Little Birdie. But feathers not black like Little Birdie. Owlbear not little like Little Birdie. Owlbear huge even up on deck. Mr Plugg held up purse with 100 gold admirals bet on Owlbear. Any against? Moved to back of croud. Master Scourge look for someone. Know me. Kept away. Fox told Mr Plugg, she fight Owlbear. Saga and I bet 100 gold against Mr Plugg.
Fox started fight. Slapped Owlbear. Owlbear saw bad on left side. Fox also noted. Owlbear hit Fox, hit Fox, hit hard. Fox kept to Owlbear's blind side. Owlbear not easily tripped. Shouted crabs to left of Owlbear. Owlbear loved eating crabs. Owlbear distracted, much distracted. Fox fought well. Mr Plugg gave club to Owlbear. Wished club slip from grip. Club did. Club slipped, slippery greasy club. Other crew hand picked up club, slippery club. Tried hit club in fight but magical hand flung club from hand, sent club flying. Club away From fight. Fight almost over. Owlbear want to end. Fox said fight over. Shouted little lady winner, Fox won, she won. Everyone knew Fox won. Saga got our money. Much money. Won 50 gold admirals.
After fight Fox kept with Owlbear. Saga started betting. Saga's bet about who Fox sleep with next. Conchobar bet on himself. Gave Tilly rum. Tilly good when not too drunk. Talked to old half-elf. Shaved stripes in gray hair. Called Badger, not named Badger, called Badger. After long time she talked. Asked if always punishment like this at sea, at sea. Badger said on merchant ships could be, but pirate ship she sailed before, better, not as harsh, much better. Wasn't punished on merchant. Only didn't get food until worked hard. But worked with mending. Good at mending. Badger went to sea after her man died, he died. All friends died, all dead. She went to sea to die. Tried to get Badger happy, but Badger only not sad, not sad. Not too bad.
Up, up, up! New work. Man the bilge. Hard work, tough work, tiring work. Working with little gnome. Working the bilge almost too tiring but Tilly came with water to drink. Gave more strength to man the bilge. Fox came talked to gnome. Gnome is Giffor Tibbs. Conchobar joined. Conchobar and Fox left together. Looked down in bilge. Bilge had stuff before. Bilge still had stuff. Found stuff, good stuff. Found hand axe, good axe, masterful hand axe. Buckler and bag. Strange bag. Tanglefoot bag. Flask. Flask with water, silvery water. And tinder twigs, tinder twigs, two tinder twigs. Food was bad. Cook taught Zyx how to drink. Zyx punished for food, bad food. Sandara said flask of silvery water was holy water. Sandara said priests might use. Sandara knew no priests. Thought Sandara priest. Not work that way. Conchobar won bet. Got money from Saga.
Watch called out storm ahead! Much orders yelled. Confused orders. Main sail work for me, for me. Hard work, but did good. Saga fell from top mast. Fell but snagged rope and broke fall, broke fall. Still hurt, still hurt lots. Biscuit for dinner. All work. Storm continued, work continued. Still work in rig. Tilly fell overboard. Shouted woman overboard loudly, very loudly. Even louder than storm. Tried magic, tried. Hard in storm. Hard in mast. Very hard in mast in storm. Fox jumped into sea, in the sea, in the sea. Climbed down. Fell half, but landed well. Still hurt much. Saga jumped into sea, in the sea, in the sea. Tried to find hands to help. Rosie, Sandara, Badger help. Tried to find more but only found bully Mahim. Saga got to Tilly. Fox almost drowned. Saga saved her too. Saved both by hauling them on board. Fox lost clothes to sea. Exhausted. Collapsed. Carried below. Woke late afternoon. Bloody hour. Punished for collapsing. Many punished. Stripped of shirt and tied to mast. Would get six. First hurt very much. Second worse, even worse. Third passed out. Woke in hammock below. Sandara healed but not when Scourge could see. Tilly and Conchobar woken by Besmara's energy at same time as me. Felt much better but still not good. Talked some. No rum. Tilly needed rum. Fell asleep again.
Back to normal. Swab deck. Know swab deck. Not tired for first evening in long time, long time. Got food. Got Rum. Spilled half rum and filled with water. Gave to Tilly. Talked Badger. Badger not bad life. Bad life is lost in jungle. Bad life is rescued by slavers. Bad life is making pesh, using pesh. Badger not bad life. Badger better. Still think ship could have better officers. Saga fought Crimson Cog. Crimson Cog Wee Jaz worshiper, but not magic, not magic. Fox danced. Fox got money. Fox got Grok to open store. Joined looking in store. Fox wanted powder. Remembered powerful mage making fireworks in Sasserine, when little, very little. Red. Mage was Red. Grok had strongbox. Strongbox had three pistols, three pistols. Also musket and keg of powder. Fox borrowed gold admiral. Fox got powder and clothes. No more naked Fox. Ran to get heavy mace to sell. Swapped heavy mace for Rosie's hand axe. Sling wrapped handle of hand axe. Rosie glad for small, small axe. Now we both have masterfully made hand axes.
Up, up, up. Up in the morning. Ship avast. Reef to starboard. Would send us swimming. Looked for thing to hold on to that wouldn't sink. Got empty keg from Zyx. Tied keg to rope. Tied rope round belly. Tied rope to crab pot. Then took keg and ran across ship, across ship, to jump far out into sea. Got back up to surface, to surface. Hard to swim, but easier with keg. Got to reef. Saga looked for sharks. She found big lobster-eals. Two big ealobsters. Retreated to reef. Stood on sharp sea shells. Ealobsters attacked. Had to be careful. Was careful. Ealobster grabbed Saga with big claws, big claws. But I made Saga slippery. Very greasy, slippery, hard to hold. Fox danced around. Saga killed one. Sprayed cold ray into other. Hurt it lots. Saga killed that too. They said poisoned by ealobsters. Went looking on reef. Beautiful! Very beautiful. We took time. Fox and Saga collected more crabs to last crab pot. Put ealobsters in other two. Collected sea shells. Will make necklace. Perhaps Jack can fix. Swam back. Lifted up. Showed ealobsters. Officers said Reefclaws. Officers pleased. Who did? We! Who? Saga. She got things back, all things back.
Food good. Not ealobster or crab, but tasted of crab, tasted crab. Took sea shells to Jack Scrimshaw. Jack took shells to make them beautiful. Payed him my silver. Five silver, five silver. Jack very happy. Let Tilly have half rum, half water, half rum, half water. Lost rest. Fox and gnome Gibber Tibbs did thing, strange thing. Fox sneaked it to lantern. Was wooden block with lit candle. Much later it blew up. Listened to story by Saga. Said kraken ate her friends, all friends. Gunner’s mate Kipper came looking. Asked who blew up. Asked Conchobar. Conchobar didn't deny. Talked to Fox and Little Tibbs. Know of powder. Saw big fireworks in Sasserine. Powder made of dinosaurs. Later went to bed but Fox and Sandara went up. Still betting?
New day. Up, up, up! Mending sails. Very easy. Very good. Used magic. No one noticed. Did very well. Food not good, but not bad, not bad. Tilly got half rum. Saga came and asked for good hiding place in bilge. Know. Found things there. Saga hid dagger. Said magical dagger. Just dagger. Fox danced, Rosie played violin, and Conchobar sang.
Got heavy rope work. Had before. Then got very tired. Not work too hard with heavy rope. Ate. Gave grog to Tilly. Saga threw knife with halfling Ratline Ratburger. I talked Badger. Badger still sad and not want change.
No wind next day. Master gunner Krine trained us. Boarding action. Cursed very coarsely. Saw others first. Went aside to cast magical armor. Careful. Set out in ships boat. Got grappling hook. Cast magical hand to lift hook discretely. Sneaked it off boat and distracted so could hook it on to ship, to ship. Saga threw hook to railing. Fox missed. Climbed on rope, climbed rope. Saga too. Some crew threw trash. Harder to climb. Saga better. Climbed all way. I got stuck when rotten fruit stuck in eyes. Master gunner cursed me. Got inspired. Continued but fell in water, in water. There Fox already swam. Then climbed on. Noticed Saga distracted throwers, but always hit anyway. Managed anyway. Last part hardest but easiest. Jumped over crew. Was last after Saga and Fox. Watched others try. Tilly got up. Fox helped others. Scourge angry, very angry. Helped Badger and Jack, helped Jack. Mean fatty bully climbed when rope got very slippery. Careful not be seen casting. Then not greased anymore.
Several days looked same. Scourge gave bad jobs, bad jobs. Swept deck. Fox and Saga worked tiring boring jobs too, boring jobs. Then Fox shouted below. Looked through open hatchway. Saw Fox getting stabbed in stairs. Fell bleeding. Wanted her to stop bleeding, stabilized. Fox stopped bleeding, stopped bleed. Looked up. Shouted Saga! Saga looked down. Showed down, jumped down, jumped all way down. Through hatchway through stair to standing over Fox. Two bullies with bloody daggers stood next to Fox. Maheem and half-orc Jaundiced Jape. Saga followed. Saga hit Maheem in head with short thick rope, in head. Maheem fell. Maheem out. Saga in. Saga stood over Maheem. Jaundiced Jape tried hitting. Careful, cast protection, always careful. Saga moved behind Jape and hit. Half-orc staggered away, screamed and fell, screamed. Checked Fox then left. Crew arrived. Said what happened? Said just arrived. Sandara arrived. Saga said not heal, not heal. Sandara said Fox felled them but fell too. Officers took Jaundiced Jape and Maheem to bilge. Them put in chains. Later Sandara healed Fox. Told what happened.
Next day Fox rested, I worked. Swept deck when ship ohoy, ship ohoy. All belayed work to look. Light blue sails and strange flag. All hands to stations, all hands, both hands. Other ship sailed badly, very badly. Plugg shouted Prepare for battle! Fox not prepared. Fox still hurt. Cook slaughtered pig. Prepared pour intestines overboard attract sharks. Same groups from boarding put together. We two. Got Sandara, Crimson Cog and cook's mate, Zyx. Prepared for battle with crossbow and hand axe. Hand axe in belt small of back. Crossbow in hand. Saga lent knife, practical knife. Lent leather armor to Zyx. Got armor to Crimson from Cut-throat Grok. All armed and armored. Not Sandara and me. Careful. Used magic armor. Ordered take helm and guard ship's boats. Zyx and me over corvus, midships. Saga would swing aft. Sandara and Crimson would climb between, climb rope.
No food, hungry. Wormwood caught other ship. Corvus attached. Magic mist. Saga swung. Others charged before, before. Disappeared into mist. Crimson and Sandara started climbing. Cook's mate ran over. Ran over, ran over. Saw seaman, in mist. Shot crossbow. Shot very well, very well. Felled seaman, felled. Pushed on. Barney next to me. Barney went to door. Seaman above raised cutlass. Shouted. Watch out, Barnabus! Greased cutlass. Cutlass dropped. Barney nodded. Saga killed seaman.
Seamen headed for ship boat. I greased. One fell. Sandara helped hinder. Saga helped. Sent ray of cold hitting other seaman. Looked chilled. Sandara and Saga felled seamen. Last gave up. Saga knocked last out, knocked out. Reloaded crossbow. Mist cleared some. No more time. Even more headed for boat. Led by officer. Female officer with magic spear, magically long and short spear. Two seamen charged Sandara and Saga. Fought over boat. Shot female officer. Very good shot, very good. Saga charged officer. Saga felled severely wounded officer. Boat lowered. Seamen got in. Saga shouted Zyx. Zyx jumped down onto seaman. Felled last but one with mighty magic cold ray, felled. Last surrendered. Seaman feared magic.
Stabilized felled seamen and friends. Sandara healed. Captured seamen locked below. Collected loot. Hid lucky crossbow. Got share. 316 gold admirals. Barney thanked me. Gave amulet. Magical amulet. Magical protection. Found much food, good food. Ate much food, good food. Found wine, expensive wine. Saga found liqueur set. We brought to Cut-throat. Grok happy. Everyone happy. Ate more. Others drank lots. All night. All day. Slept night.
Early rise. Some almost dead. Helped Tilly. Prisoners too. Barney offered prisoners to join. Few joined, few joined. Barney thew one overboard. Still sharks. Other prisoners joined. Split crew. Plugg captain Man's Promise. Scourge with him. Good riddance. Fox, Sandara, Saga, me and others with Plugg. Not good, not good. All new stayed Wormwood. No new with us. We still most hated by Scourge. Cook stayed, cook's mate went. Make cook sober Cut-throat went. Grok tough half-orc. Owlbear went too. Man's Promise be sold Port Peril. Left Wormwood behind. Left Tilly behind. Left Jack behind, left Jack. Told Jack shells ready when meet. Plugg told new rules. No rum. No music. No dancing. No top side after food. Whipping with cat. Half dozen lashes. Hauled cables. Used to. Did well. Talked Grok. Cut-throat not bad. After food Conchobar gambled. Gambling not told forbidden. Maheem snitched. Saw leave. Warned Conchobar. Scourge came looking. Conchobar pretended sleep. Scourge fuzz about.
Scourge ordered no biscuit. Work swab deck, swab deck. Plugg and Scourge returned captain's cabin. Biscuit bucket left out. Ate biscuit, had biscuit. Work, work. Careful not get tired. Fox wanted get into captain's cabin. Told when Plugg and Scourge busy outside, when clear. Fox sneaked in and out. Swabbed deck. Saga asked heading, asked heading. Headed not Port Peril. Headed Rickety Squib. Betrayed Barney. Bloody hour Crimson whipped. Food bad, bad food. Zyx up for whipping.
Went below. Only us there. Fox, Saga, Sandara, Rosie, Conchobar, Crimson, Tibbs and Zyx. Others moved to forecastle. Owlbear chained in captain's cabin. Plugg and Scourge in captain's cabin, captain's cabin. Fox told by Owlbear told Plugg and Scourge planned kill us, kill us. We planned kill them. Attack night. Attack Plugg and Scourge without crew. Attack when asleep. Saga said next night. Said same night. Plugg and scourge work us tired and punish. Chances only lessen. Agreed. Grok passed on way to sleep in locked cargo bay. Valuable cargo there. Saga tried talk. Not good, not good. Gathered needed things. No net, no net. Said blanket, wet blanket. Sara said do as Barney. Bring captain's heart. Said crew recognize head, instead, head.
Fox and Saga sneaked through windows. Followed. Sandara and Zyx followed. Crimson and Tibbs waited outside doors. Conchobar and Rosie blocked doors to other crew. Plugg killed in golden hospitality's hammock. Scourge killed in hammock. Owlbear attacked me, attacked me. Didn't like Owlbear. Took key. Unlocked doors. Rosie and Conchobar still barring door. Crew broke door. Greased deck. Crew hit Rosie hard. Conchobar and Rosie ran. Greased deck more. Crew fell all over. Sara brought Pluggs head. Crew surrendered.
Said crew ours. No payback if behave. Grok arrived. Not happy but not angry, not angry. Said decide officers. Fox, Sandara, Saga, Zyx followed captain's cabin. Grok wanted. Said Grok officer, but not captain. All but Zyx wanted captain. Thought crew only really accept Sandara. No one against Besmara.
Headed for Rickety Squib. Set down articles, many articles. Crew calm, not mutinous. Zyx said storm. Prepared. Hauled sails. Secured ship. Careful. Storm hit. Heavy rains. Big waves, huge waves. Seen before. Took post below poopdeck. Protected from storm, protected. Roof, two walls. Strange creatures attacked, attacked unnoticed. Strange creatures had tentacles. Tentacles felled, grabbed, wrestled. Hard fight. Creature let go, let go. Creature fled. Rest killed. Saga said grindylows. Saga said goblins of the sea, of the sea. Fox said took captain, took Tibbs. Zyx jumped overboard, jumped in. Saw reefs. Saved ship from reef. Ship headed for island. Ship stuck swamp. Zyx disappeared. Set lanterns, guards along ship. Fire on island. Zyx by fire. Storm less. Set boat rough sea. Crew rowed. Found Zyx. Convinced continue first light. Returned ship.
Early morning. Island. Peak left, ridge right, swamp middle. Black Birdie flew. Black Birdie told ruins, building and cornfield. Grok commanded ship. Rosie, Conchobar, Badger Medlar, Fipps Chumlet rowed for beach. Fox, Saga, Zyx, I stayed beach. Boat rowed to sea. Boat kept guard. Looked around. Huge crabs in few palm trees. Coconuts. Many small crabs. Continued. Skulls on stakes around cornfield. Path up. Path swamp. Continued up, up. Palisade around tree. Hoped survivors. Saga shouted. No answer. Strange. Zyx said moved up tree, in tree. Monkeys? Entered palisades. Saw no one, but house. Moved above. Shouted at monkeys. Not monkeys. Strange plantlike creatures. Plant-creatures hid higher. Continued house. Sara, Zyx looked. Only one. Hanged from ceiling. Saga cut down corpse. Flies swarmed. Corpse attacked. Plant-creatures attacked.
Saga destroyed hanged man. Hanged man from Great Kingdoms. Swarm attacked Saga. Zyx killed Plant-creature. Saga threw oil flask. Fox ignited. Burned some flies. Ray of cold not work. Zyx dragged out chests. Plant-creature attacked me. Passed out. Woke from potion, Fox potion. Not careful. Saga threw corpse on fire. Sensed magic inside. Wardrobe. Zyx dragged wardrobe. Magic ring wardrobe. Uniform coats wardrobe. One small for woman, blue. Took blue. Naval uniform Great Kingdoms. Know Great Kingdoms. Don't care. Zyx went round palisade. Brought looking glass. Couldn't retract. Had been in palisade. Frustrated. Found place. Saw where pointed. Shore. Go there look next. Hoped Sandara, Tibbs alive. Returned beach. Waved boat. Fox knew not ring. Knew magic ring of swimming. Boat returned. Conchobar healed.
Rowed where spyglass pointed. Steep coast. Fox noted sunken wreckage. Studied wreckage below, looked below. Clear water. Ship from Great Kingdoms. Sailing ship, three masted sailing ship. Broken cage on deck, strange cage. Looked coast. Rough high coast. Caves water level. Not enter from boat. Better climb down. Returned beach, to beach. Walked along coast. Holes, big holes. Holes to watery pits. Found captains hat, hat down hole. Saga tried fishing hat with grappling hook. Too far mage hand. Saga secured grappling hook. Saga dove. Fox dove. Careful! Put mage armor Zyx. Zyx dove. Cast mage armor. Climbed down rope.
Others fought below. Defeated grindylows cave towards sea. Sneaked tunnel away sea. Fox first. Saga second. Saga pointed attack. Four grindylows grabbed fox. Used crossbow. Shot magical missiles. Fought grindylows off. Hooks below water. Fox helped swim over.
Continued lit cave. Wooden structure hung from ceiling. Wooden structure candles, rocks, tied up gnome. Knew trap. Entered. Grindylows attacked. Structure, gnome fell into water. Used magic free gnome, untied knots. Gnome grabbed instead. Grindylows grabbed. Fox helped gnome. Defeated grindylows. Some escaped. Heard grindylows chatter around. Saga made plank with candles. Gnome called Poison Jade. Jade summoned big ferret-eal. Jade rode ferret-eal. Ferret-eal called Ivory Midnight Killer. Ivory talked. Little Black Birdie talk too.
Pressed on. Zyx first. New cave. Cage in roof, hung above. Saga looked mechanism. Jade made Ivory huge. Jade and Ivory attacked below. Defeated four more grindylows. Fleeing grindylow set off trap. Grindylow caught in trap. Pointed to Sandaras hat, captains hat. Trapped grindylow pointed left. Right. Tunnel no water. Next cave. Something made water black. Prepared ambush, prepared. Fox enticed thing to attack, enticed attack. Fox went back tunnel. Fox close. Thing attacked. Thing struck Fox. Fox fell, unconscious, bloody, bleeding. Stabilized. Thing grabbed Fox. Tried drag Fox water. Saga, Jade, Zyx killed monster. Pulled Fox close. Cast mage armor Fox. Poured healing potion Fox. Fox up. Fox got light cure potion Saga. Could continue.
Saga sneaked first, sneaked. Fox helped passed hooks. Sandara, Tibbs hung tied up ceiling. Silver weights tied Sandara, Tibbs. Grindylow queen. Big, fat grindylow. Small grindylows too. Saga used magical hat. Hat turned boat, into boat. Boat below Sandara, Tibbs. Used magic. Untied Sandaras hands, freed hands. Silver weight fell boat. Fight began. Others fought. Grindylow queen summoned octopi. Untied more. Grindylow dropped Sandara, Tibbs, fell into boat. Tibbs passed out. Stabilized. Fox danced, seduced, retreated. Fox close. Octopus charged Fox. Octopus close, very close. Big, huge grindylow followed. Others struck big grindylow. Zyx killed big grindylow. Couldn't cast magic. Octopus too close. Fox danced away. Octopus followed, away. Untied Sandaras gag. Sandara free. Sandara healed. Felt better. Ivory gnawed queen. Queen fled. Queen close. Ivory knocked out. Ivory not normal. Fired crossbow queen, shot at. Missed! Zyx killed queen. Small gringylows fled, swam away. Saga lit sunrod. Saga dropped sunrod. Cave deep. Ghouls bottom, two ghouls. Sandara killed ghouls. Holy power Besmara. Found treasure.
Continued, carrying treasure. Found new cave. Trapped Ghouls. Jade summoned water elementals. Elementals killed ghouls. Ghoul had silver coat buttons, beautiful buttons. Returned out. Returned beach. Returned ship. Wanted ship away from swamp, out to sea. Put anchor in boats. Rowed out boats. Boats dropped anchors. Owlbear, zyx, other crew worked capstan, worked hard. Fox greased keel. Ship moved! Ship pulled free, pulled afloat. Left island for night. Kept watch, careful watch. Saw big fire. Saw ghouls dancing, through looking glass. Crew said bad sign, bad.
Returned daytime. Put ship's boats sea. Fired crossbows huge palm tree crabs. Killed one, then other. Rowed beach. Some crew picked crabs, some coconuts, some crabs. Continued cornfield. Careful. Draped oil-drenched canvas over skulls. Put pile below. Lit skulls fire. Swarms killed. Cut down corn. Careful. Huge insect attacked Saga. Ankheg wounded Saga, grabbed Saga. Greased Saga. Hurt Ankheg badly. Ankheg retreated below ground. Harvested cornfield. Found corpses, not ghouls. Nice buckle. Potion of water breathing. Returned boats. Much food. way out studied wreck. Could salvage some loot, perfume. Returned ship.
Captain Sandara returned. Celebrated return. All wine, spirits drunk. Late next day set sails, late. Headed towards Rickety Squibs. Started making sails of strange silk bag sails. Sewing hard work, much hard work. Needed more hands. Rosie, Slippery Syl helped. Slippery Syl evil murderer. Slippery Syl could sew. Take at least month. Second day interrupted by Fox. Conchobar flirted Jade. Rosie jealous. Rosie sewed worse. Fox helped Rosie. Wanted dress for Rosie. Took day to make dresses. Sky blue silk from sails. Good dress to Rosie. Great dress to Fox, great dress.
Man's Promise arrived Rickety Squibs. Natural pier had small wooden tower. Tower without flag, no flag. Signal could enter. If occupied flag signal in tower. Rounded small peninsula. Saw small village. Three bigger buildings. Several small houses, several small. Big was shipyard, warehouse, tavern. Went ashore. Hot, very hot. A few trees sheltered. No wind, no breeze. Better at sea. Rickety Hake greeted. Rickety Hake suggested modifications. Had better ideas. Rickety Hake agreed. Decided repair hull, remove poop deck, rebuild quarter deck. Decided improve rudder, build small, hidden compartment, add balcony.
Celebrated tavern, celebrated. Told how first mate betrayed captain. Told first mate stole price. Told crew said enough. Told crew fought first mate, bosun. Freed ship. Everybody cheered. Fox danced. Fox told of grindylows. Grindylows were huge, red octopi but big ears, lots huge teeth. Tavern not so much tavern. Tavern more barn with stone tower. Zyx said could be tavern. Zyx wanted buy tavern. Zyx wanted stay, leave crew. Local told nagas in river. Local told tower built by wizard. Local told wizard not got alonng nagas. Locals got along nagas.
At docks small ships boat, strange crew. Ragged lot, but ship's officers. Angry. Told them we first, we first. Told not come in when occupied. Captain excused. No flag signal, no signal. Looked tower. No flag, no flag. Looked Rickety Hake. Rickety Hake shrugged. Captain repaid by inviting dinner. Agreed. Noted others backed me. Realized them many. Not careful, not careful. Still worked.
Ate tavern. Rickety Hake worried why no signal flag. Hake asked us check. Not far, but up. Hot, dry, uphill. Went. Fox first. Steep slopes both side path. Slope turned steeper. Cliffs when saw huge wasps up at tower. Looked looking glass. Wasps like horses. Wondered plan. No plan. Pressed on. Ready meet with heat, more heat. Hands glowed fire hot. Wasp took to air. Shot fire from hands. Ray scorched wasp. Fox danced to wasp clinging tower. Pulled down wasp with whip. Jade charged fallen wasp, riding Ivory. Scorched flying wasp again. Wasp fell down cliffs, glowed, burned. Crumbled at cliffs. Relieved. Rosie, Conchobar behind. Third wasp from inside tower flew out. Third wasp stung Rosie. Fox, Jade, Ivory killed fallen wasp. Together killed last. Looked tower. Parrot. Bird following man, like Little Black Birdie. Tried befriend parrot. Biscuit. Parrot took biscuit. Not friend. Got up. Dead man. Looked disgusting. Looked looking glass. Looked closer at other ship. Ship three masts. Ship named Strix. Beautiful lines. Strix slim, fast. Strix military ship.
At evening eight got in ships boat. Fox, Sandara, Grok, Rosie, Conchobar, Jade, Saga, me. Met Captain Merril Pegsworthy, first lieutenant Carson Dreil and crew. Captain had coat like mine, like mine. From Great Kingdoms. From Andoria. Mine better condition. Captain had boot, had peg leg, had hat. Fox dressed, Rosie dressed, Conchobar, Jade always dressed. Barefoot, torn shirt, dirty rag trousers, no hat. Went great cabin. Ate dinner. Fox flirted even though Sandara there. Captain busy Fox. Carson Dreil told of Captain. Told how Pegsworthy up mast. Mast fell. Pegsworthy stuck mast under water, under water. Pegsworthy almost drowned. Carson dove. Carson tried cut free. Carson impressive. Carson cut Captains leg. Carson saved Captain. Told tyrant captain held crew. Told how Fox, Sandara, Grok, Rosie, Conchobar, Saga, me freed crew from scourge of captain and evil officers. Told saved crew. Got up. Acted fencing, spelling. Walker round table. Grok started objecting. Told how Grok saved all. Told crew now free. Ship named Setting Sun. Built reputation. Sat down Carson's knee. Looked Carson's cabin. Enjoyed Carson. More than once. Left morning. Carson gave boots.