In which Xavros takes one for the team…
After the calamitous battle in the brig, the heroes were left wounded and manacled. Things seemed to improve a bit when the fireballing pirate woman – Jezzine – brought a medic down to heal them all. Introducing himself as Morick, the old man tenderly healed them all. He then brought them into the back room, though, and his demeanor changed. Morick asked the heroes to give one of themselves up for punishment, as Jezzine was very angry with the group for trying to escape and wanted one of them to take the heat. Morick used his skills as a surgeon not to heal the heroes, but to torture them, asking them all the while which of them would take responsibility. The heroes withstood his torture and refused to give anyone up, blaming Jezzine for the disastrous battle. But Xavros sacrificed himself for the rest of the group, and said he would take responsibility. He lost a finger, but spared the heroes further torment.
Meanwhile, above deck, the rogue elf, Shard, peered out from beneath a lifeboat. She had been hiding there for the previous day, having stowed away on board the ship to try to steal some magical gear that the pirates had stolen from some merchants, which she heard was deep below deck. Shard snuck by the pirates and crept down the staircase, snatching some pirate clothes to disguise herself and distracting the pirates by setting off a live firework in their quarters. She made her way down to the brig, and helped trap the pirate guards in the cage with the prisoners, where Xavros crippled them with the unorthodox but effective method of kicking them each in the groin. The manacled heroes worked together to pull their chains out of the wall, and Shard helped pick the locks on their manacles until everyone was free – though not before getting the heroes to promise their allegiance and more importantly, gold to her. In the back room, she found a crate, marked with the insignia of the merchant company the pirates had raided – “Thurgood Specialty Magical Goods”. The crate contained a strange dark metal which seemed to absorb all the light around it, which Mitzy identified as raw Umbrite. Mitzy was also reunited with her attack rabbit, Elephant. Shard then loaded up her bag with as much Umbrite as poor Mitzy could carry.
The heroes heard another pirate coming down the stairs, and planned an ambush for the unsuspecting young guard, which went off without a hitch. Injured and terrorized by Pug, the young guard gave them all the information they needed about how to escape the ship. The heroes disguised both Xavros and Phi as pirates as well, to aid in their escape. Shard almost got them all caught when she introduced herself as “Bob, the new cook” to one of the pirates, but the silver-tongued Xavros was able to smooth things over, avoiding raising the alarm with the pirates again.
At this point, the heroes heard a great commotion taking place above deck, and, peering out a porthole, saw another ship approaching theirs, led by a red-haired young woman with a rapier in hand. The pirate ship was being boarded. While the main body of pirates was distracted, the heroes dispatched of the small number of pirates sleeping in their quarters, and then raided Jezzine’s room, where they were reacquainted with their stolen possessions. Above deck, a battle awaited them, and they prepared themselves accordingly – the next time they faced the pirates, it would be with sword in hand.