Still reeling from the mysterious assassin’s attack, the crew decided to put out feelers for more work. They were alarmed to hear that “Gentleman” Johnny Marcone was looking for some employees who cost him a lot of money. They decided to head down to Junpaart to see if they could make amends.
En route, they saw a ship on the horizon bearing down on them. Close investigation revealed it to be flying the colors of The Scarlet Corsair, Mad Molly‘s ship. The crew was nervous: Mad Molly’s reputation is a fearsome one, and she’s not known for her kind temperament. In the end, however, they decided to confront her head-on and see what she wanted.
The Scarlet Corsair pulled up alongside the Squid, and the Squid accepted their boarding party. The Sea Witch herself came aboard, looking every bit as hideous as she’d been described. She walked with a limp and a hunch, her hair was made of seaweed and her hideous, pocked face was marred by running mascara. The awful stink of a sailor who’s never washed in their entire life reeked off of her, cloying their nostrils.
Despite her awful appearance, she greeted them pleasantly, and offered them dinner aboard her ship. When the crew accepted, she showed them to her quarters and excused herself. When she returned shortly, she was a different woman: she stood upright and walked perfectly smoothly. She had cleaned all her makeup off her face to reveal that, while not pretty, she’s not bad-looking. She had even masked her stench with perfume.
After a delicious, well-cooked dinner, she introduced a game of Liar’s Dice with a wager of 200 gold pieces. They played dice and discussed personal philosophy, and the game ended with Fenrir winning the pot. Molly bade them farewell, offering to contact them once again if she had work for them.
The crew arrived at Junpaart, where a sarcastic Austelle greeted them and showed them to Marcone. Marcone informed them that the cargo they had lost was easily worth 50,000 gold pieces, and they now owed him the lost money. They are now officially in his employ until they pay off their debt to him.
The first mission he had for them was to stage a killing for him. A local magistrate had been resistant to the Gentleman’s wishes so far, and Johnny wanted his sister, who was a mage aboard an elven wingship, killed as a message.
The crew of the Squid agreed, and set out immediately. They ambushed the wingship, the Black Dove, at sea. After a brief but fierce battle, they took the wingship mostly intact, although their ship suffered damage in the process.
It was then they had their idea. They took the wingship for themselves, sailing it away to a hidden spot along the coastline. There, they repainted it, made repairs, and renamed it the Screeching Raven in honor of their winning tactic.