The Wormwood’s Crew
|Captain Barnabas Harrigan||Captain|
|Master Scourge||Ship Boatswain/ Master-at-arms||Hostile/hostile|
|Mister Plugg||First Mate||Asshole, hates the PCS||Hostile/hostile|
|Cut-Throat Grok||Quartermaster||Rough half-orc with scar across her throat||indifferent/Indifferent (Helpful - Caleb; unfriendly - Mike)|
|Peppery Longfarthing||sailing master||old friend of the captain||Unfriendly/Unfriendly|
|Riaris Krine||master gunner||Rugged old woman||Unfriendly/Unfriendly (Indifferent Caleb)|
|Habbly Quarne, the “Stitchman”||surgeon and carpenter||Kind of simple, lazy, likes anything that makes his job easier||Unfriendly/Unfriendly (Indifferent - John, Friendly - Caleb)|
|Kipper||gunner’s mate||bootlicker for Plugg and Scourge||Hostile/hostile|
|Patch Patchsalt||boatswain’s mate||sycophant of Plugg and Scourge||Hostile/hostile|
|“Caulky” Tarroon||the captain’s cabin girl||indifferent/indifferent|
|Owlbear Hartshorn||Simpleton||simpleton and “pet” of Mr. Plugg||indifferent/indifferent|
|Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroop||Cook||Drunk and dirty old cook||indifferent/indifferent (Helpful - Bert, Friendly - Caleb)|
|Sandara Quinn||Swab||Priestess Besmara||Helpful/Helpful|
|Rosie Cusswell||Swab||Recently captured, 3 days ago, scrappy||Indifferent/Friendly (Helpful - Caleb, John)|
|Crimson “Cog” Cogward||Swab||Unfriendly/Unfriendly|
|Conchobhar Turlach Shortstone||Rigger||Womanizing Gnome||Unfriendly/Unfriendly|
|Giffer Tibbs||swab||a bedraggled female gnome with one eye||indifferent.|
|Jack Scrimshaw||swab||a young human lad talented at scrimshaw||indifferent.|
|Tilly Brackett||swab||a tough human joker who likes her rum||indifferent.|
|“Badger” Medlar||swab||an older half-elf woman who shaves her gray hair into stripes||unfriendly.|
|Shivikah||swab||a very tall female Mwangi exslaver||unfriendly.|
|Aretta Bansion||swab||a bad tempered human exharlot with big ears||hostile.|
|Fipps Chumlett||swab||A fat human man; pushy bully with a shaved head||hostile. HATES Mike and Bert|
|Jaundiced Jape||swab||a humorless, male, greedy half-orc mute||hostile. HATES Mike and Bert|
|Barefoot Samms Toppin||rigger||a former human fisherwoman from the Sodden Lands who never wears shoes||indifferent.|
|“Ratline” Rattsberger||rigger||a rat-faced halfling with long arms and three missing fingers||indifferent.|
|Maheem||rigger||a big Rahadoumi with a permanent scowl||hostile.|
|Slippery Syl Lonegan||rigger||an unhinged murdererous chick who fled to sea to escape the gallows||hostile.|
|Tam “Narwhal” Tate||rigger||an old dwarven friend of Master Scourge with a large, ugly nose||hostile.|
|Jakes Magpie||(dead)||a thief caught stealing from the quartermaster’s store and sentenced to keelhauling on the PCs’ first day||Dead|
The Wormwood is a three-masted sailing ship, 100 feet long from stem to stern, and 30 feet wide amidships. Statistics for a sailing ship (as well as other common ship types) are detailed in the Skull & Shackles Player’s Guide. The ship needs a minimum crew of 20, and presently has just in excess of that number (including the PCs). If the crew falls below 20 people for any reason, the work becomes harder, and the DC of all checks for work-related tasks (see page 23) increases by +2.
Unless otherwise indicated, interior walls on the ship are of wood, 2 inches thick (hardness 5, hp 20, Break DC 20). Doors are of good wooden construction (hardness 5, hp 15, Break DC 18). Interior rooms are unlit during the day
(except for those with windows or portholes), and usually have a single hooded lantern for light at night, providing either normal or dim light (open flames are dangerous on a ship at sea). Many doors and chests are trapped to keep them off-limits to swabs and common sailors (such as the PCs).
The Wormwood is crowded with pirates constantly moving about the ship, so it is not a static location, and any place on the ship can contain a variety of NPCs to interact with. The various cabins and compartments on the ship are therefore described below rather than being presented as individual encounter locations. Certain NPCs frequent certain areas (such as private cabins) on the ship, and these NPCs are mentioned in the descriptions that follow.
Full information on all of the NPCs present aboard the Wormwood can be found beginning on page 16.
A1. Foredeck: This raised deck stands some 10 feet above the main deck (area A3), immediately behind the bowsprit, which is shaped like a rearing dragon. The foremast rises 30 feet above this deck.
A2. Poop Deck: This raised deck stands 15 feet above the main deck (area A3). The mizzenmast rises 30 feet above this deck. The ship’s bridge protrudes forward of the mizzenmast, and holds the ship’s wheel. The wheel is 3 feet across and has 10 spokes decorated with silver inlays, its bolts carved to resemble kraken heads. An iron cage hangs from the side of the mizzenmast, containing the body of Harmak Gruft, a pirate who beat the captain at dice. Gruft is dead, but his ugly parrot Pluck perches atop the cage, still waiting for its master to awaken. The aptly named Pluck, which has lost more than few of its feathers, could make a good pet or familiar if it can be lured down (such as with magic, a successful wild empathy check, or a DC 20 Handle Animal check). Pluck is considered unfriendly and possesses a considerable vocabulary of appalling curse words.
Captain Harrigan and Mr. Plugg spend most of their time on this deck. When the captain is on deck, the poop deck is off-limits to everyone but officers.
A3. Main Deck: The ship’s main deck runs between the foredeck and poop deck. The mainmast rises from the center of the deck, extending 60 feet into the air and topped by a crow’s nest. Rigging connects the mainmast to the ship’s other masts and can be crossed with DC 10 Acrobatics or Climb checks. Several strands of thick rope are secured to the foot of the mainmast for use as a whipping post. An Escape Artist check (DC 20 + the binder’s CMB) is required to escape the bonds. The ship’s clock, a macabre brass-and-copper object depicting worms writhing through whale corpses, hangs from the mast above the whipping post. Not only does the clock keep time, but its bell strikes at dawn and dusk to signal the beginning and the end of the workday. Two 10-foot-square hatches sit in the deck fore and aft of the mainmast. These hatches are thick wooden grilles (hardness 5, hp 30, DC 25 Strength check to lift) and open onto the middle hold (area A6) 15 feet below. At the fore of the ship, two doors lead into the officers’ quarters (area A4), while two doors aft lead to the captain’s quarters (area A5).
A large wooden box bound in iron sits just beneath the bridge. This sweatbox, used to torment sailors, has just enough room to hold one Medium creature (and can be altered to confine a Small creature). It is locked with a good lock (Disable Device DC 30); Captain Harrigan and Mr. Plugg have the keys.
A small jolly boat (same statistics as a rowboat) sits on the deck next to the port rail. It has two sets of oars but no mast. Although designed to carry four Medium passengers, the jolly boat can fit six at a push.
A4. Officers’ Quarters: The ship’s officers occupy the hammocks and sleeping mats in this cramped cabin. A set of steps descends sharply into the middle hold (area A6) below. The two narrow doors leading to the main deck (area A3) are locked with good locks. The officers store their possessions in footlockers, each with a lock. Mr. Plugg, Master Scourge, Riaris Krine, Peppery Longfarthing, and Habbly Quarne sleep here at night, and at least one of them may often be found here at any given time during the day as well.
A4a. Armory: The ship’s master gunner, Riaris Krine, is meticulous in her job and quickly spots any obvious thefts, in which case an immediate search of the crew’s lockers is made. Anyone found in possession of stolen items from the armory is given six lashes with the cat for a first offense, or is keelhauled (see page 67) for a second offense.
A4b. Peppery Longfarthing’s Laboratory: The ship’s sailing master and resident sorcerer, Peppery Longfarthing, uses this chamber as her laboratory. The cramped cabin is overwhelmed with curious and often unsettling objects that Longfarthing is studying. The door is secured with a good lock.
A5. Captain’s Cabin: Captain Harrigan’s cabin is richly decorated, its walls covered with intricate carvings depicting krakens devouring whales. A quartet of portholes allow light to drift in, and a bed that can double as a navigational or dining table when the mattress is rolled up sits against the aft bulkhead with a chest at its feet. Two rich carpets flank the bed. A f light of steps leads down to the middle hold (area A6). The two doors leading to the main deck (area A3) are trapped with shocking grasp traps (see page 11), while the door on the stairs is trapped with a crossbow trap (see page 11). All of these doors have locks. The portholes are very narrow, but a DC 30 Escape Artist check would allow a creature to squeeze through. The chest is locked. Captain Harrigan usually entertains his officers for dinner here, and sleeps here at night.
A5a. Cabin Girl’s Quarters: The captain’s cabin girl, “Caulky” Tarroon, sleeps on a small cot in the starboard compartment.
A5b. Captain’s Storage: The captain stores his personal booty in the portside compartment, locked. Inside is a pair of iron chests, covered in a thin wood veneer.
A6. Middle Hold: This is the ship’s main cargo hold. The hold is mostly empty at the start of the adventure, save for the 14 pigs; normally kept caged, they periodically escape and run loose within the hold. In the forward section, a flight of wooden stairs climbs up to the officers’ quarters (area A4), while a second set of stairs descends into the lower hold (area A10). Owlbear Hartshorn is invariably chained to the foremast here to keep him from causing trouble and to keep people out of the officers’ cabin. Another flight of stairs in the aft section next to the galley leads up to the captain’s quarters (area A5), but it is common knowledge among the crew that the door is trapped. Stored near the mainmast are two light ballistas, a disassembled light catapult, and 12 barrels containing 20 gallons of oil each.
A7. Quartermaster and Cook’s Cabin: This tiny cabin contains two beds and two footlockers. The Wormwood’s quartermaster, Cut-Throat Grok, and ship’s cook, Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroop, share this cabin with several of Kroop’s chickens. Grok sleeps here at night, as does Kroop, who is found here during the day as well if he is insensibly drunk. See the sidebar on this page for the contents of the lockers here.
A8. Galley: The galley is the domain of Ambrose “Fishguts” Kroop, the drunken ship’s cook. The cramped and chaotic kitchen holds two wooden worktables, several wooden cupboards, and two small stoves against the port wall, as well as virtually every cooking utensil imaginable and a frightening array of meat cleavers. A score of chickens and three goats wander freely throughout the chamber; the goats are meant to be caged, but have a distressing tendency to escape their bonds. The kitchen is a madness of dirt, food, and knives, and finding anything in here requires a Perception check. The stoves are perpetually lit, and large cauldrons bubble away atop them all times. A huge array of spices mingle with barrels of rainwater, two tuns of rum, cupboards full of ship’s biscuit and salted beef, barrels of sauerkraut, and a small supply of fresh vegetables picked up in Port Peril. Despite the chaos, the entire galley functions as a set of masterwork tools for Profession (cook) checks. Several items of value are lost among the ruin and squalor in the galley, each requiring a DC 10 Perception check to discover: a masterwork dagger being used as a butcher’s knife, a pair of handaxes used as meat cleavers, 11 knives, a short sword, a vial of holy water, a good lock hanging unused off a pantry cupboard, 2 pounds of soap, four waterskins, a barrel of poor wine, six bottles of good Chelish brandy worth 20 gp each, three bottles of magnificent rum worth 12 gp each, a large cookbook worth 125 gp (using the tome while cooking grants a +1 circumstance bonus on Profession [cook] checks), a prosthetic leg made of wood and edged with a silver band worth 45 gp, and 12 sp fallen behind a cupboard. In addition, a trio of harpoons (see Pirates of the Inner Sea), a spear, and Kroop’s steadfast grapple (see page 59) hang on the walls.
A9. Quartermaster’s Store
The ship’s quartermaster, Cut-Throat Grok, can usually be found in this cramped, crowded storeroom containing numerous barrels, boxes, and chests. The door is locked with a superior lock, and features a 3-foot-square serving hatch.
The quartermaster’s store acts as a kind of unofficial shop aboard the Wormwood. While any plunder stored there technically belongs to the captain, this is a pirate ship after all, and everything has its price. Any equipment stored within is for sale at the normal price listed in the Core Rulebook.
Items found on the ship (or won from other pirates) can also be traded at the store for other merchandise. Bartered objects are generally worth 50% of their normal value when traded for goods.
While the store is, in theory, open at all hours, it’s usually only open from dawn to about 3 p.m., when Grok starts drinking. She only opens the door outside these hours to friends. Grok has a tendency to get drunk in the afternoons and closes the store before heading to the deck for the evening meal. After supper, Grok carries the crew’s rum rations in a bucket to the main deck.
Treasure: The quartermaster’s store contains two tuns of rum (each holding about 105 gallons at the start of the journey) and six other containers. The contents of these lockers, along with information about their locks and any traps, are detailed below. Grok knows the value of the majority of the items in the store, but she is unaware of the value of those items marked with asterisks or thinks they are mundane, and sells or barters those items at their standard list prices. At the start of the adventure, the PCs’ starting equipment is held in one of the lockers, as described below. See Recovering Gear on page 25 for how the PCs may regain possession of their gear.
1. Wooden Locker (Contents Unknown)
2. Wooden Locker (Contents Unknown)
3. Wooden Chest (Contents Unknown)
4. Wooden Chest (Contents Unknown)
5. Wooden Trunk (Contents Unknown)
6. Metal Trunk (Contents Unknown)
A10. Lower Hold and Crew Berths: Sixteen pillars support the deck above this spacious hold. At night, the Wormwood’s common pirates tie their hammocks between the walls and pillars and sleep until dawn. Two of Mr. Plugg’s toadies, Kipper and Patch Patchsalt, have claimed the far forward section of the hold as their own, and their hammocks are strung between the foremast and the stairs leading up to the middle hold (area A6). A trap door just behind the mainmast opens onto the bilges below (area A11), and requires a DC 10 Strength check to lift. The hold is currently empty of cargo, but several footlockers line the walls. Each member of the crew has a locker, equivalent to a small chest. At the start of the adventure, only 18 of these lockers are in use (see the sidebar on page 14 for their contents), while 22 empty lockers are stacked along the walls.
A11. Bilges (CR 1/4)
The lowest deck of the ship, the bilges are a foul, damp place with thick cobwebs above and 1–2 feet of dark, brackish water that stinks abominably below. A ladder leads up to a trap door that opens in the lower hold (area A10), and a single bilge pump rests near the stern. The bilges also double as the ship’s brig, and six sets of masterwork manacles with average locks (Break DC 28, Disable Device DC 30) are fixed to the bulkheads in the forward portion of the deck.