Quite some time after our first adventure—about a year—all of the kids agreed it was time to take on another adventure in Hero Kids. So, I got out the next adventure I had planned, Escape from the Ghost Pirates. Things were a little different this time around. For one, the kids were a year older. Pincess and Bubba were more interested in playing than they were the first time we played. Additionally, Mom and I were deep in the middle of catching up on all the past episodes of Critical Role, a web series in which professional voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons. Critical Role was Mom’s first real exposure to actual D&D, and she was really enjoying it. It helped foster some way-over-the-top creativity in the coming adventure.
To get started, we had to form the party. Ghoti and Pincess wanted to keep the same characters they played with the first time, which made their setup really easy. Bubba decided he wanted something different and rather quickly decided on the warrior for this adventure. Mom was ready to try her hand at being one of the party and was worried about what I’d do to the kids this time, so she decided to be the healer.
While we were getting things set up, one of the kids noticed they were all now running with the characters on the front cover of the Hero Kids book we have. Clearly, this was an omen of our impending success.
After rescuing their friend Roger from the Basement O Rats, the kids went home for a well-earned good night’s sleep, but they were suddenly awakened by one of their parents calling to them. Opening their eyes, they saw they were inside a prison cell in the lower deck of a pirate ship! It turns out that the night they got home, pirates invaded and captured many of the villagers. (Somehow, the kids slept through being relocated from their beds to the hold of a ship they’d never seen before.)
The first task the kids needed to undertake was to escape the cell they found themselves in. One of the adults mentioned that the kids looked like they were small enough to probably slip through the bars (in case the kids needed a hint). (They didn’t.) Ghoti used his fire hands to get the bars super hot in hopes of pulling the bars open. He wasn’t quite able to
roll high enough pull the bars apart. Pincess tried to use her hair to pull on the heated bars to try bending them, also to no avail. Bubba, on the other hand, decided to just forcefully apply his sword to the lock (I guess these pirates didn’t think of check to see if the sleeping children were armed), breaking it open and making a fair amount of noise.
Of course, this alerted some pirates that were stationed nearby. As they came to investigate, Mom said she had a ball in her satchel that she wanted to cast a sleeping spell on and roll toward the oncoming pirates. Despite my better judgement, I allowed this (and it has slowly come back to bite me in the butt). She successfully cast the spell, rolled the ball to the pirates, and knocked a few out while the other kids ran out and quickly dispatched the pirates that weren’t affected. Some of the sleeping pirates were awakened, either by random chance or by being attacked by the kids. One pirate was left asleep. Mom and Pincess decided to tie him up. Ghoti wanted to kill him so he couldn’t alert the others or attack them from behind as they tried to escape the ship. After much deliberation, Mom disarmed the pirate, dragged him to the cell the kids just got out of, and managed to apply a healing spell to the lock they broke to assure he couldn’t escape or get help. Ghoti reluctantly accepted this, but still insisted that since dead men tell no tales there was a more surefire way to arrange his silence.
The Lower Deck
After taking care of the known pirate threat, the still imprisoned parents told the kids they were still too nervous to get out. A few of the grown ups said they had seen the pirate captain and were afraid to come out until he was taken care of. So the kids went toward the front of the ship to find him. In the lower deck toward the bow, they found several more pirates, a few cannons (with cannonballs beside them), and stairs heading up to the top deck.
This time, both the kids and pirates were ready for more straight forward combat; Mom didn’t get a chance to pull out any new spells to turn the tables right away. She and Ghoti charged in after one of the pirates while Pincess used her long hair to grab a distant pirate and knock him to the ground. Then, Bubba got bored of the concept of fighting (yes, that quickly; he is 3). Instead of attacking anyone, he said he wanted to go help the pirate who Pincess just knocked down and give him a hug. So, he did. As he got up, the pirate asked, “Why would you do that? We’re trying to stop you?” Bubba explained that he thought getting knocked down probably hurt, and he wanted to help. The pirate decided to stop attacking, and started to talk to Bubba instead. They walked off to sit out on a few barrels while the fighting continued and got to know each other better.
Ghoti had his pirate under control, so Mom worked her way to the front of the ship to intercept another pirate coming down from the deck, drawn by the sounds of combat below. In another bout of completely unexpected ideas, Mom threw a magic potion at him: one that would turn whatever it hit into a singing mouse. Before I had to fiddle around in my supplies to find a rat from when we ran the Basement O Rats, the thrown potion hit the pirate right in the face but didn’t break. Instead, it rolled around behind some barrels. The pirate ran after it and threw it back at Mom but missed, throwing it hard enough that it broke against a far wall of the ship, almost hitting another pirate and coming dangerously close to Pincess. But no one was harmed.
Not having been turned into a mouse, Pincess grabbed a pirate with her hair and spun her around, slamming her into a pole and knocking her out. Then, she caught up to Mom. She decided to take a page from Bubba’s book and offer some gold to the pirate Mom was fighting to encourage him to rethink his life decisions. Unfortunately, since he had just been hit in the face with a glass potion jar (or whatever fine container the discriminating Healer stores her potions in), he wasn’t as amicable to the suggestion as he might have been. Instead, he got in a big fight with Mom, Pincess, and Ghoti (while Bubba and his pirate friend continued their chat). Ghoti considered asking Mom for a poison potion, heating it with his fire hands, and hitting the pirate with it. After seeing the mischief on my face after he said he wanted to throw a heated poison potion in the vicinity of a pirate and three Hero Kids, he quickly changed his mind.
The last pirate was taken down after Ghoti threw three-day old chicken at the wall beside him. While this final pirate turned to look at the rancid projectile, Mom planted her magic staff right into the back of his head—planting his face right into the chicken on the wall. With that, he, the last (hostile) pirate (on the lower deck of the ship), fell to the ground unconscious with rotten chicken all over to his face.
A New Friend
While all this was happening, Bubba and his new friend (who introduced himself as Davy) had a nice chat about the other pirates. Davy also introduced Bubba to his pet parrot that was ill. Bubba took one of his potions to help heal it, which Davy really appreciated. It turned out that Davy joined the pirates quite some time ago because he wanted to be a sailor and didn’t realize that pirating was so dangerous. He stayed with the pirates because, in his words, “there’s something really creepy about the captain,” but he was too scared to go into details.
With this, the heroes regrouped to work out how they were going to get topside and defeat the captain, and we called the session there.
Find out if the Hero Kids stopped the pirates and rescued their families in our next episode, Terror On The Seas or We’ve Only Begun to Fright. (If you’ll pardon the Rocky and Bullwinkle reference)