Day of the Newt, in the Month of the Shark, in the Year of the Dragon
The heroes are hired by the Thieves’ Guild to collect their take, but tracking down the notorious Captain Black Skull proves more difficult than at first glance.
It seemed that the Thieves’ Guild had put a bounty on the notorious head of Captain Black Skull, a frightening and dastardly rogue of a pirate who docks from time to time in Lankhmar for supplies. Black Skull is accused of cheating the Thieves’ Guild out of a substantial amount of loot in a high stakes game of One Eyed Death, escaping in the end unscathed.
The heroes are tasked with finding the notorious captain and turn him in to the Thieves Guild so they may dispense their own brand of justice against Captain Black Skull.
Calvin and Frisk began their search by asking around the Tenderloin district of Lankhmar regarding the whereabouts of the captain.
After nearly two hours, their investigation yielded information about the captain being known to frequent the Pixie Leg Tavern. The Pixie Leg Tavern was located on the north end of the dock region.
Under heavy drizzle, the pair found the tavern. However, the captain was nowhere to be found in the tavern.
Instead they were greeted by a comely woman named Marran who claimed to be Captain Black Skull’s first mate. She then began to tell them about how she and the rest of the crew were not happy with the captain, having hardly had anything to eat while the captain spent his night drinking away the crew’s hard earned profits while sitting about a gambling table like he was the ruler of all the seas.
When asked where the captain was, Marran offered to tell Calvin and Frisk if they would first do her a favor.
She then gave the two a list of items she wanted stolen from Gabhlens Fine Foods, a high priced upscale storehouse located on Cheap Street. At first, the heroes would have nothing to do with breaking into the storehouse, particularly since Calvin and other nobles were known to do business with Gabhlens Fine Foods, but since they had no other way of finding out where Captain Black Skull was, they agreed to do it.
At the storehouse, Frisk picked the locks on the delivery door located in the alley. Inside, they found an old man wearing chainmail and armed with a shortsword. Clearly the store’s guard was sound asleep, his snoring matching the sounds of thunder outside.
Calvin, who wore plate armor, stayed in the back room while Frisk stealthily rummaged through the stores inventory to find the six items Marran asked them to steal.
The list included one basket of honey oat grain bread, a barrel of Mitokin’s finest ale, one cask of Red Rosa wine, a half dozen live royal crested roasting hens, one wheel of Strogenburgh goat cheese, and one bushel of Rupol Periwinkle apples. Frisk even went as far as to steal the remaining half dozen live royal roasting hens as well.
Amazingly, Frisk was able to make away with every item back to where Calvin was waiting with a cart without once alerting the sleeping guard!
Marran was also impressed by the heroes’ ability to steal the items without getting into trouble.
As promised, she told the two that Captain Black Skull could be found at the Crooked Dagger, a loathsome and treacherous gambling house located on Murder Alley and surprisingly close to the Thieves’ Guild.
It was past midnight and raining hard when the two entered the gambling house.
There they found the captain. Along with three other gamblers, the captain asked the two to join him in a high stakes card game of One Eyed Death, where not only does the loser of two rounds of gaming pays the winner but is expected to let him or her remove an eye of his choice from the loser.
Calvin, not wishing to risk an eye, chose not to play the game.
Frisk, meanwhile was willing to take his chances.
In the first two rounds, one of the gamblers lost the game. Frisk was the winner. However, Frisk refused to take the man’s eye.
Captain Black Skull quickly drew his dagger and cut the man’s eyeball out with a single stroke, the bloody eyeball rolling across the table.
Immediately, Calvin attacked the captain.
He, along with the remaining two gamblers, fought with Calvin and Frisk.
After a minute, the fight was over. One gambler had been beheaded by Calvin, while the other ran off after seeing the noble’s vicious attack.
Meanwhile, Captain Black Skull had been knocked unconscious by Frisk. Together they dragged the captain out of the tavern to turn him in to the Thieves Guild.
As it happened, Karm and two members of the guild were waiting outside in the rain.
Suddenly, one of the thieves pointed to the captain’s tattoo on his arm, where a birthmark in the shape of a skull and bones could be seen. It was well known that Captain Black Skull had such a mark on him and could be identified by it.
However, the birthmark was being washed off by the rain, as if it were painted on with ink.
Calvin and Frisk realized they didn’t have the captain.
When pressed for his name, the would-be captain said he was Boulo but would not divulge any more information.
That’s when a messenger appeared and handed a rolled up note to Frisk. The letter, written in familiar handwriting, read:
“To ye renowned Lankhmar bounty hunters who have captured and brought that scallywag, loathsome, and mutinous seadog of a devil to justice, I, the true Captain Black Skull thank ye. The fraud who be rotting in the dungeon of the Thieves’ Guild this eve be a vile demon for sure as I truthfully spoke prior. A watery tear need not be shed over me mutinous first mate’s recent departure as his acts of betrayal and tyranny have finally come to an end. Twas his own hand what stole the money from the Guild, hoping to pin the deed upon me. Until our paths cross once again in the City of Sevenscore Thousand Smokes, I bid ye farewell. Oh, and me crew thanks ye for the delectable treats ye so graciously provided for our late night departure, especially the highly prized and expensive royal fowl. They ought to fetch a handsome sum.”
The message was signed “Captain Marran Black Skull.”
Karm and the others could only laugh at the fine double dealing Captain Marran Black Skull had pulled upon them all.
Boulo admitted that Marran, being a female captain, didn’t bestow the level of respect and prestige most male captains enjoy. Marran compensated for this fact by switching places with her first mate Boulo, who dressed up and plays the part of Captain Black Skull while in port. While out at sea, Marran, the true Captain Black Skull, ruled her ship with an iron fist.
However, Boulo, who was Marran’s first mate did have a bounty on his head. Karm agreed to pay for his capture anyway.
With pursestrings full of coins, the two made their way back to Cheap Street to get out of the rain and enjoy the many pleasures the city of Lankhmar had to offer.