The party was forced inside in Quent for a night as a hurricane blew across the town. Having little place else to go that didn’t leak in the face of the storm, the Grumpy Parrot was packed that night with rowdy, thirsty patrons. Many of the PC’s got involved in a drinking contest, in which Sidon won by putting away an astounding 13 mugs of cheap rum before finally becoming insensibly drunk. He polished this off by impressively throwing a bull’s-eye in a dart game, before devolving into petty violence as he tried to force Kafei into restoring his senses.
By morning, thankfully, the storm had passed, now merely a light rain. The crew set out that morning for Tidewater Rock, planning to crack the rock and earn themselves infamy for the deed. What they did not expect, though, was what happened that very night.
As a fog settled in, the party noticed a ship pursuing them, with the faint ringing of a bell accompanying it across the vast distance. They were at first wary, but then outright unnerved as they realized it was keeping perfect pace with them, stopping when they did and never gaining nor losing ground on them. They realized that they were being pursued by the infamous ghost vessel Deathknell, sinker of ships and captained by the infamous Whalebone Pilk, a long-dead whaler. The ship was known in Shackles lore for stalking a target for three nights, attacking on the third night and then vanishing after taking out its mark.
In order to pause the timer, so to speak, the party chose to dock in the town of Little Oppara for a week, stocking up on lore and weaponry with which to combat this new threat. They purchased holy water, ghost touch ballista bolts, and alchemical fire bolts. Armed and prepared, they set out on a morning to make it to Tidewater Rock before sunset.
At Tidewater Rock, they were greeted first by a hungry moray eel, then by a far more hospitable Lady of the Rock, Agasta Smythee. They dined with her that afternoon, discussing a potential alliance to be able to use Tidewater Rock as a staging point. She proposed a Shackles marriage, a binding promise to marry Tetra for one year in which they would mutually share resources, after which either party could end the alliance/marriage at any time.
While an appealing process for its usefulness to the young crew, the idea of marrying a women old enough to be her mother was a bit of a throw for Tetra. She said she would return after dealing with the Deathknell, at which point she would have an answer for Smythee. Smythee accepted this, and sent them off with a keg of wine as a parting gift.
That night, the ghost ship pursued them again. They had chosen to find their own battlefield, the waters just south of the settlement of Goatshead. This would allow them to limp into harbor should their ship be damaged in combat.
The third night, the Deathknell struck. Coming out of a supernaturally thick fog, it opened up with a heavy ballista bolt that went wild. R’han saw through the fog that the ship had a new master. No longer was it controlled by Whalebone Pilk, but by the undead form of a bloated, drowned pirate: none other, it turned out, than Mr. Plugg.
Knowing the ship was corporeal, Tetra turned around to expose the Deathknell to a full broadside of fire-tipped ballista bolts. The bolts tore into the Deathknell, setting the ghost ship ablaze, along with all of its occupants. Tetra kept her distance to prevent boarding actions by either party, as ballista bolts from both ships flew through the air, embedding in Tetra, but also killing Mr. Plugg’s apparent necromancer allies. The ship spent the battle on fire, its zombie crew burning to ashes even as Plugg relentlessly pursued his targets for revenge.
The battle was clearly turned against Plugg, though, and whatever remained of his survival instincts seemed to kick in. After R’han scored an impossibly precise shot at his forehead with a hand crossbow, across the expanse of open sea, the Deathknell vanished, carrying Plugg with it. Frustrated, tired, and injured, the Triforce of Wisdom turned to port, choosing to dock at Goatshead for the day.