The drudgery of swab-work continued for the party for days, until Riaris Krine, the Master Gunner, excused them all from work one day to learn how to properly board an unwilling vessel. Dane showed great aptitude in the boarding action, earning him a spot of leadership in any upcoming raids.
As they made more friends, the party realized that they were at the center of a rift in the crew. Some of the crew, including the officers, started regarding the new blood as little more than dissenters and rabble-rousers, while others on the crew thought that maybe Plugg and Scourge were being too harsh with the new blood. The tension came to a head when Rip discovered that Scourge had intimidated Kroop into poisoning one of the new blood. Rip knocked out Kroop and revealed Scourge's ploy to everyone during the dinner hour. Some of the crew nearly came to blows, and Sandara quickly tried to calm tempers. It was apparent that Scourge, even after giving Rip nine lashes for slandering an officer, had had enough of the old Sharjh.
The following day, Rip was assigned to pump the bilges with Slippery Sy and Jaundiced Jape. His friends were all stationed far away and carefully watched by Plugg, Scourge, and their cronies. He knew going in that the thugs would try to kill him.
He was not wrong.
After an intense minute of fighting, Slippery Sy was nowhere to be found, Jape was bleeding out of his femoral artery, and Rip was covered in their blood. This was how the captain found him, and thus sentenced him to twelve hours in the sweatbox followed by keelhauling to be performed the following day.
Fortunately for Rip, sails spied on the horizon the next morning necessitated all hands on deck, even those scheduled for keelhauling…