As our hero kids gathered together after clearing out the lower deck of the mysterious pirate ship on which they awakened, they took a short respite to heal and get ready to take on whatever was up top.
There’s Something Strange on the Upper Deck
Rather than charge in, Pincess decided to sneak a peek up the stairs for some reconnaissance to see what awaited them. Carefully crawling up and looking around, she saw that the ship was seemingly far out to sea and that a thunderstorm had just moved in. Rain was just starting to fall and there was lightning in the distance. Suddenly, to her surprise, a few pirates walked by, unaware of her presence. She realized something was off about one of them. It didn’t look right. On closer investigation, she noticed it was actually a skeleton dressed as a pirate!
She came back down, and reported back. They talked to Davy to understand what she saw (and to see if he was actually a skeleton or something, too). He said that most of the crew was regular pirates and mercenaries, but many of them were actually skeletons. He promised he was just a (human) hired hand and that he tried to avoid the skeletons as much he could. With this knowledge, the kids didn’t want to rush in to take on whatever else was up there. They decided to try to lure as many pirates down below as possible so they had more control over the combat. They convinced Davy to call for help when they were ready to start fighting. Before the action started, Ghoti and Pincess decided to hide in and under a few of the piles of cannonballs near the bottom of the stairs. Mom helped them get hidden, and even decided to braid Pincess’ hair to look exactly like a rope to help with the disguise. With two of the kids well-hidden and Bubba sitting back with Davy, Mom was ready to distract whatever pirates (or “pirates”) they could bring down to take them out as quickly as possible. Bubba and Davy pretended to fight, and Davy called out, “Help! They’re escaping the brig! We need help down here!”
Mom took up a position around from the stairs on one side to draw out the incoming enemies. Two skeletons came running down the stairs and split up around the corner, ready for a fight. One skeleton turned the corner to see Mom poised and ready for battle. She produced another made-up potion, one that would turn whatever it hit into Lego bricks. The potion hit a shield that skeleton was carrying and broke, rendering it unusable (but probably very colorful). Then, she backed up to get the attention of both skeletons and draw them further in, past where the other kids were hiding.
Mom backed up toward Davy and Bubba who turned and got ready to battle the skeletons if necessary, but the ambush worked. The skeletons ran right past the piles of cannonballs without noticing the kids hiding therein. As they passed, Pincess and Ghoti pounced out of their piles of cannonballs to make quick work of these new foes. Ghoti finished his off by stuffing it into one of the cannons and firing the skeleton out to sea. Pincess wanted to do the same, but her opponent put up a better fight, so she ended up just scattering its bones and kicking them out of the boat. Once those two skeletons were defeated, they noticed no reinforcements were on the way. A few of them heard scuffling and shouting from the upper deck, “They’re using the cannons! Don’t go down there!” The kids found themselves in need of formulating a new plan. They considered pointing a cannon straight up and firing through the ceiling to cause some preemptive damage, but realized that would be really difficult to pull off and may not be worth the effort. So, it was time to go topside. They weren’t sure what they were up against, but they knew there would be two fewer skeletons when they got there. Bubba and Davy decided they were going to stay below and start letting the rest of the prisoners out while Mom, Ghoti, and Pincess went up with their weapons drawn, ready to claim the ship as their own.
To the Upper Deck
As most of the team ascended the stairs, they were greeted by the incoming rainstorm and several skeletons ready for them. In front of them were several skeletons armed with swords. Above and behind them, on the fore deck, there were a few skeleton archers poised to fire arrows into their backs. As you may be aware, kindergarteners and preschoolers aren’t exactly students of Sun Tzu, so Ghoti and Pincess charged up to the skeletons in front of them. Mom decided she needed to do what she could to distract the archers, so she started to head around to get up to them to let the other kids focus on their enemies. This is when the dice started to really make things interesting.
Ghoti suddenly became unable to easily hit the two skeletons he ended up against. He started getting hit really hard and was having a lot of trouble dishing out equivalent destruction. He had to run around a bit and consume a few potions to stay in the fight. At one point, though, as he was using his various attacks (and I was turning up my descriptions of the action to help ensure he was having fun—since there was a real possibility that he’d get really upset if he got knocked out), he set fire to a section of the deck instead of hitting his target. Since it was raining, the fire didn’t spread, but it did create an additional obstacle on the deck making it harder for the attacking skeletons to get better attack positions. Ultimately, though, he did successfully take out his foes.
Mom came up the stairs toward the back of the ship and started firing her magic at the first archer she came to and shouted to get its attention. “Say ‘hello’ to my little friend,” she yelled, firing, but her shot missed wildly. Far out in the ocean, a fish that was swimming along and minding its own business was hit by a magic projectile and suddenly became a submerged fishstick. It took Mom a while to take out the two archers, but she got them as well. She took some moderate damage, but came out on top.
While all this was happening, Pincess rushed up near her first opponent. As she fought, the archer that was further away from everyone kept firing arrows at her but consistently missed every shot. In fact, it missed her so thoroughly that it actually hit one of the skeletons Pincess was fighting twice, actually killing it for her. At that point, the other archer ignored Mom’s approach for a turn and went to spend its turn coaching the poorly aiming archer. It finally managed hit Pincess in the back of her shoulder on the next turn. She just turned to it and yelled, “well, it’s about time!!” as she pulled the arrow out and went back to fighting the others.
When it was over, the three kids had been hit pretty hard and were looking pretty ragged after that fight. But they had won so far. They drank some more potions and went aft to find the captain.
To the Poop Deck!
The kids approached the back of the ship. They found the pirate captain standing at the wheel surrounded by his finest skeleton guards. The captain told them to surrender, and they’d be put back into their cells without being harmed. The kids were disinclined to acquiesce to his request and demanded instead that he turn the ship around and take them and their families home. Unable to reach a peaceful agreement, the pirates attacked.
The captain stayed back, letting his lackeys do most of the work, but Mom and Pincess were able to get a few hits in while the three of them took down most of the skeletons. It was rough going for the kids, but the skeletons and their captain just weren’t enough to stop them. Mom noticed that I wasn’t clearing skeletons from the map when they were defeated and decided to spend a few turns sending many of the fallen skeletons’ bones overboard. The captain moved to one side to look down over Pincess, waiting for a good time to strike, when she decided to throw a handful of coins at him. One of the coins hit him right between the eyes, knocking him out. Pincess climbed up to where he had fallen, stood on his chest triumphantly, and started in on the other skeletons that were on the deck.
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning struck the mast right by where they were fighting, knocking it down. It fell away from everyone and caught fire. The flash from the blast cleared, and Pincess realized she wasn’t standing on the captain anymore. He was gone. She called out to everyone that the captain had disappeared. Then, they heard ghostly laughter from where the lightning struck. They looked and saw a skeleton floating about a foot above the flaming remains of the mast wearing the the same clothes the captain was wearing. Davy was right: there was something strange about the captain; he was a ghost!
The ghost captain called his remaining skeleton guards to him, and started attacking the kids. He pulled Pincess across the deck and hit her pretty hard before the other kids could get there. Ghoti and Mom rushed up to start attacking the captain, and Mom soon learned that her decision to knock most of the skeletons off the ship was wise. When the kids hit the captain, a burst of ghostly energy would raise one of the other fallen skeletons. Since most of them had been scattered across the waters, they weren’t able to be raised and return to the fight.
It didn’t take too long for the kids to realize they should focus their attacks on the captain to defeat him. When the captain fell (again), all of his skeletons immediately turned into inert piles of bones, and the rainstorm cleared.
Claiming the Ship
While Mom, Ghoti, and Pincess were swabbing the deck as it were, Bubba and Davy were breaking the other locks in the brig and releasing their families. With the captain defeated, Davy was the last remaining pirate on the ship. In exchange for getting them home, our heroes helped fix the ship, and sent Davy out to get a new crew and sail his new ship out into the world. He had no intention to return to piracy; he wanted to become a legitimate maritime businessman.
The kids successfully broke out of prison, made a new friend, defeated a ghost pirate captain and his crew, and got home with their families. They once again saved the day.