I woke up with a splitting headache chained to a huge oar. There were several rows of men ahead of me and a strange creature beside me similarly chained. Was this a real live Kraken? There was a chained man on a drum ahead of me and a man behind me bellowed for them to row. When I looked behind me I saw row after row of the same. The bellowing man was large with slanted eyes and a club he used to enforce compliance. The Kraken next to me demanded to be freed, claiming to be a mage. He was swiftly struck in the head by the club and slumped forward.
I applied himself to the oar despite my aching hands and kept my head down. What had happened? Where was I? How had I gotten here? Where was my gear? This is not how adventures go in the tales!
Eventually the Kraken stirred. He no sooner pulled himself upright than he started shouting again for freedom! Another blow to the head quieted him as he slumped unconscious.
The next time he awakened he asked me to help free him! This man was crazy and dangerous. The Kraken was going to get me hurt or killed! I tried to ignore the Kraken, but he kept at it. I didn’t see another way out of this and, damn it I’m not a coward! I glanced around surreptitiously. The guard was walking to the end of the aisle, his back to us. I did what he could to help my neighbor pry one hand free of its manacle.
The Kraken was able to free his other hand and then released me from my bonds as well. The Kraken said he was going to take down the guard and asked if I was with him. I looked for something to use as a weapon and, before I knew it, a stream of water appeared, froze into an icicle and impaled the guard through the head! This guy really was a mage!
I leapt forward and grabbed the downed guard’s cutlass. Two more guards approached. The mage asked me to cover him. Both Guards attacked, but I parried just like in practice and held them off easily.
Another prisoner raced forward and strangled one of the guards with the chain dangling between his manacled wrists. I swiftly dispatched the remaining guard. The smell of disembowelment was awful, but I managed not to vomit or pass out. We were free!
Well, ok we were trapped in the hold with 100 other chained prisoners, the gods only knew where and with however many other guards on the ship. But this room was free of guards. For now.
The prisoners started to free each other. A crab-like creature went over to the ladder and somehow extended its eye up through the door. Gross. The mage started giving orders like he was in charge. The drummer proved to be a wealth of information. He thought our gear was on the other side of the wall behind him and that there were 20 of our captors on the deck above us. I asked the mage if he could break through the wall to our gear and he complied.
The next room was not a hold, but sleeping quarters. Oops. There was only one occupant in the room. The Kraken somehow handled him and began distributing pistols and cutlasses. The crab warned us and hid behind the ladder as another of our captors approached.
The mage asked if anyone had experience with the pistols to shoot the man. I told the group not to use guns since they were too loud and we still had surprise on our side. At my suggestion, we hid the bodies of the other guards among the rowers and resumed our seats, cutlasses at the ready. The man climbed down the ladder and the crab snapped him in half with his claws!
As the rowers and drummer were freed we kept up the drumming and rowing to buy some time. In a few minutes another man started calling down from the deck asking why someone was taking so long bringing up the rum. I looked around for where the rum was with little success, then the drummer pointed me to a storage closet at the back of the room. The closet was divided between huge barrels of rum on one side and gun powder on the other. Luckily they were clearly labeled. I grabbed two bottles of rum and handed them up the ladder, buying a bit more time.
I searched the sleeping quarters and found my bow and quiver. We needed to take out as many of our captors as we could quickly and quietly before they knew wat was happening. I climbed to the deck from the sleeping quarters with the mage right behind me. The mage shot 3 streams of water at the nearest men killing them and I took 1 with the bow.
The mage loosed 3 more streams of water against the captain, navigator and helmsman. The navigator fell and the other 2 looked dazed. The crab-man and the man who had killed the other guard downstairs erupted from the hold and each took on the nearest crewman. I aimed carefully and shot the captain directly in the head. He was hurt but survived.
The mage demanded surrender, but the crew fought on. I aimed again and shot the captain in the head fatally. The crew laid down their arms. The Kraken again tried to take over.
By pirate law, he who kills the captain is the captain. I accepted my new rank on my new ship and named the mage my first officer. The prisoners were freed and offered employment.
Now this is how an adventure is supposed to go! Onward to fortune and adventure!