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It is a generally accepted fact that the benefits of being an adventurer include a rather novel form of health care. When an adventurer gets sick, it’s because he was bitten by a rabid weretrout, or he decided to cuddle with the ancient and horrible mummy of Grand Emperor Pfoot the Untidy, not because he didn’t wash his hands. It is, after all, outside the character of epic heroes and evil overlords alike to come down with the sniffles.

What is generally less well known is that this benefit does not extend into retirement.

Adventurers are, when all is said and done, not really expected to make it there. As the Handbook explains quite clearly: If, by the end of your career, you haven’t died some kind of horrible, noble, or at least educational death, then by all rights, you should have ascended to godhood, or be rich enough not to give a damn. In either case, the question of arthritis should be rather a moot point.

Above all however, the Handbook elaborates, adventurers are most pointedly not expected to – after a few years and a few levels on the path of legends – settle down in a quiet village, invest their loot wisely in diversified mercantile interests from around the world, and live a peaceful but unremarkable life secure in their long term prospects. That’s simply not how the thing is done.

Unfortunately for him however, Captain Black never was much of a reader. If he was, perhaps this whole damned mess could have been avoided all together. Indeed, if had been more inclined to learn anything of any kind at all, it would not have come as such a shock when – at the age of thirty five – his life of leisure and compound interest was rudely interrupted by a severe case of the common cold.

Fearing for his life, the stricken retiree returned to his roots, seeking out the most readily available sort of adventure to be found. That this adventure revolved around sailing and he’d never even seen the sea did not concern him. That this adventure was coastal piracy, and he had been a rather kindly sort up to now was similarly unimportant. What mattered was that, sure enough, within a few days he felt right as rain.

And as for his crew? Well, that’s where our tale begins…

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