Skull and Shackles Final Battle For the Man’s Promise

And it begins.  Masts were removed for ease of removing
levels of decks on the ship

Last night saw the concluding episode for the first module of the Skull and Shackles adventure path module 1 The Wormwood Mutiny.  It was a big night of gaming and battles and was the first real test of combat on the ship that I had built for the game.  The group had been left on a cliffhanger the week before and the night opened immediately into combat between the Grindylow Queen, her son (the Whale) and some Lacedons (aquatic ghouls).

Discovered!  Skye in the crew sleeping area below decks
while the players scramble to get aboard!

The first battle was quite iconic actually as the players had to save a couple of their closest allies from the ship from being drowned.  The battle occurred in a chamber half flooded (at least 25′ deep) with two lacedons chained to the bottom.  The companions they were there to save were held via a weighted chain from the ceiling (badly wounded) and as the players arrived the Queen cut the rope securing them sending them plunging into the water and headed for the bottom to the ghouls.  This is a battle that will stick with me for some time and it took around 10 rounds to get through.  It was tough and had one of the two companions near dead and one of the players near dead as they fought to be free at the bottom of the chamber.  The rest of the party fought the Grindylow’s above or attempted to find the companions under water.

The battle in full swing, the Captain engaged but still no
sign of Master Scourge…

Everyone played their characters really well and the party managed to survive, saving their two companions in the process.  One of these was a cleric who worked her magic in healing them all to full strength.  They were under a time limit but had earlier sent a letter back to ship (via the necromancer’s now ex familiar) telling them they had found treasure to buy them a little time.  They moved back to the area where they could see the ship to see if the letter had payed off.  I had decided that it would as they had provided tangible proof of treasure in the letter and I decided the pirates would wait one extra night.  The players and companions rested and early in the morning (around 4 or 5 a.m.) they decided to sneak aboard ship and see if they could take control of it in a stealthy manner.

The battle nearing it’s conclusion

I will not go into too much detail but the players moved their longboat into position using a deeper darkness spell and moved around the seaward side (where the lookouts were least focussed on) and got on board silently (the thief was invisible). Skye (the thief fighter) got weapons to their companions but in waking them up caused the lookouts to become suspicious as they heard a startled yell from below. Lem the black hearted halfling took the cue and started the attack.  It was full on battle aboard the ship and the model I had made was excellent.  I was pulling it apart modularly to perfection and the battle ran well.  There was battle above and below decks and it was the first time in a long time I had been totally satisfied with the use of miniatures in my game, and that was largely to do with how modular the ship was.

Daranis’ player making sure the Geneva conventions hold

Claude (the Tengu summoner) and his eidolon Major fought the evil would be captain Mister Plugg and outclassed him easily.  Sandara Quinn, knowing that they wanted to torture Plugg and Scourge let off a Channel Energy the round Plugg fell and accidentally woke him again.  Claude knocked him back unconscious and told Sandara if she did that again he would kill her (I heartily agree!  Heal the enemy? Prepostorous!).  Lem the black hearted faced off one on one with Scourge and managed to avoid his poisoned blade as he brought him down.  Skye fought a long battle of cat and mouse with a far superior combatant than her and fell unconscious at the last, being saved just in time by Lem after he had finished Scourge.  Daranis the necromancer kept an eye on things, taking the high ground intending to do some troubleshooting but in the end the battle was won well with many of the crew overwhelmingly on the side of the characters.

The view this morning as I packed it all up.  The battle won
the Man’s Promise is now in the hands of the players!

A triumphant celebration will be held on ship as they place Scourge and Plugg in gibbets on show for torture and ridicule.  It was a huge night of gaming and a massive amount of fun.  I have included in this description a raft of photos of play in action as the ship was systematically pulled apart in the action!  The only thing left (as it finished after midnight) is to hand out treasure which will be done next week before we begin play again on the Rise of the Runelords.  I am taking a bit of a break from the GM chair of our in person game, but will return after the second module of Rise of the Runelords is played to move into the second module of the Skull and Shackles Raiders of the Fever Sea.  Keep on rolling!


  1. Hey, this is phenomenal! I’m in a group running Skull & Shackles right now. Where did you get the ship for the map? Did you make it? I don’t see it in the Pawns collection.


      1. Amazing! Thanks, I just bought the PDF!


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