Additionally, I have a couple of important dates to report. One is for the release of the next Pirates of the Caribbean film, on 10 July 2015. The other is for a new compilation of sea chanties and similar songs, Son of Rogues Gallery, on 19 February 2013. (If you'd like to hear a preview of a song from this anthology, check out
Interlude 32: The Burial
It's an unfortunate fact in the life of an adventurer that some times the best plans go awry. At best, such occasions lead to a great deal of improvising, allowing the heroes to extricate themselves from a bad situation. At worst, of course, it could lead to the death of one or more characters. In a Skull & Bones campaign, of course, PC casualties can roll the bones, and perhaps live to fight another day despite some sort of debilitating injury. For lesser crew members, however, there are no such chances. While this is a necessary risk for the crew of a pirate vessel, it can also make for a good roleplaying opportunity.
A previous article, “A Motley Crew,” introduced guidelines for tracking the development of personalities of crew members. One issue that it did not address is the possibility of such characters being killed. Should that misfortune occur, it behooves the ranking (PC) members of the crew to give the fallen their last respects.
Traditionally, a burial at sea involves stitching the deceased into a canvas shroud made from spare sails, with the last stitch going through the nose in order to make sure there aren't any “dead ringers.” It is also customary to say a few words. This could include a prayer, by whoever is pious enough to lead one, along with comments from those who knew the deceased. The result of this could be an honorable sense of melancholy, or perhaps some disgruntled fellow crew members who question the decisions of the officers and need to be mollified. Whatever emotions are elicited, they are undoubtedly strong ones.
Finally, there is always the chance that a PC who is believed to be dead—and who should be rolling the bones as a result of this setback—is unknowingly stitched into a shroud. This could make for an exciting moment when said character awakens in the middle of the somber proceedings.