Episode 41: A Pirate’s Life for Me
The Mighty Nein settle into their new roles on the Squall Eater and the Mystake. They face a two week journey at sea to reach the pirate island of Darktow. Along the way, the Nein each pick a task on board the ship to help the crew reach Darktow in one piece. Jester learns carpentry and an intricate magical tattoo artform from Orly the tortle navigator. She learns that various tattoo patterns will bestow a permanent blessing on a unique trait, like strength, dexterity, etc. Caduceus learns the job of boatswain, helping with the day to day tasks of keeping the ship in order. Beau take to the cooper’s job of barrel making. Caleb assists in navigation. Nott learns the exciting craft of Powder Monkey and Master Gunner. Fjord takes over the Quartermaster’s job, which includes the responsibility of leading any pirating missions.
Eight days into their journey, the crew come across another sailing vessel. It appears to be a merchant ship, fully loaded and headed towards Marquet. Avantika asks Fjord if he would like to lead the mission to take their ship and pirate anything of value. With some hesitation at first, Fjord says that they might be up for a job as long as there is no bloodshed. Avantika agrees to let Fjord try his hand at it and lets him lead his first pirating venture. Fjord, Beau and Caduceus along with some of Avantika’s crew board the Storm Cap.
On board, Fjord manages to get the Storm Cap’s crew under control and calmed fairly quickly. They allow the pirates to search through the cargo and take what they want. They find mostly food and water among the crates of merchant goods. Beau does manage to find a ledger of the supplies on board and sees an interesting note. Somewhere on board, there is a guarded package headed for Marquet. With some searching, they manage to find the guarded room. Fjord gets jumped by the guard though, but the rest of the crew quickly has his back. They subdue the guard and open the package revealing an enchanted paintbrush and ink pot. Confused, but intrigued, the pirates take the find aboard the Squall Eater.
Fjord sets the Storm Cap and her crew free and they leave the pillaged ship no worse for wear. Avantika goes over his haul and is impressed. The Nein hide the magic paintbrush from her. Once they are below decks, Caleb investigates the little paintbrush and discovers that whatever is painted with this ink and brush will manifest in real life. Jester is over joyed and immediately begins to practice. Of course, being Jester, her first work of art is a beautifully drawn tiny dick. She is amazed to now have a tiny, true life, sculpture of a phallus. She can’t wait to try out her new artistic medium.
The rest of the journey to Darktow is relatively calm. Two weeks after leaving the Yuan-ti island the Squall Eater and Mystake arrive at the foreboding pirate alcove. They dock their ships, make arrangements to repair the damaged Mystake, and Avantika leads them to meet the Plank King of Darktow Island. The Plank King invites the Nein and Avantika for dinner later that evening and they get to know the imposing man a little better. Beau and the Plank King have an interesting little side conversation after dinner, where the Plank King offered her payment to snitch on Avantika. Beau is whisked away before she can get any more details, but is very interested in his offer.
This episode was a crazy one for sure. I couldn’t believe that the Nein actually pirated the Storm Cap merchant ship! I knew that Avantika and her crew might affect their already grey alignment but, wow, they actually went for it. I was waiting for Fjord to step up and ask to leave the other ship alone. Instead, we got to watch them pillage a terrified crew and steal their food and water, and a potentially valuable guarded item. At least they didn’t kill any one. Silver linings.
I have enjoyed this sea voyage story arc a lot more than I thought I would. For such a spontaneous start to the journey, we’ve gotten some really exciting backstory and lore. I love that this campaign’s alignment has been so grey, especially in recent episodes. It’s been interesting to see characters that are ok with not being the righteous heroes like Vox Machina near the end. Fjord and Beau especially seemed to be eager to lead the pirating mission and were totally ok with a more aggressive, unapologetic approach.
For better or worse, The Mighty Nein are deep into pirate territory now and seem to be embracing the lifestyle. Seeing how they get along on Darktow with the Plank King will be an interesting test of their convictions. It will be interesting to see how each of the Nein react to being in the center of pirate life. Fjord and Beau seem to feel right at home, and Beau especially seems to be loving the shift in political climate. Caduceus has had several crisis of conscience, but still seems to be pretty chill with where Fjord has led them. Caleb and Jester are for the most part easy going, and Nott is a loose cannon.
I am excited to see what lore and adventure Matt has planned for the Nein on Darktow this upcoming week. The Plank King and Avantika both have some shady backstory that need looking into. Fjord also has the enticing possibility of finding his old shipwreck somewhere along these islands and maybe finding his old friend Vandrin along the way. Definitely lots of action headed our way!
Don’t miss the season finale of All Work No Play this Friday at 7pm Pacific! Liam and Sam recreate the Mary E.McGlynn Hot Tub episode from the original podcast and apparently have an exciting cast of costumed guests. And if you haven’t seen the Mollymauk vs Caleb rap battle that’s been making the rounds then should definitely take it out. It is absolutely hilarious and amazingly well written.