Once a mighty pirate ship, Deathwail was captained by the dreaded pirate known as simply as Redeye. A man prone to unspeakable acts of Violence, Redeye and his ship Deathwail were finally destroyed in a horrible battle. However, Redeye was not to be counted out. Prior to the battle, he had plundered an ancient tomb, and had found a relic which he had kept. This item was cursed, and when he and his crew died, it brought them back in a horrible mockery of life. Enslaved by this relic, the pirates scour the waters, looking for souls that can be fed to the evil relic
When running a new party, get around the question of plot density by having the first discovery to be a deck of fate, or whatever you call it. If you use a real deck, you should definitely stack it to have the desired outcome, which is to curse the party to attract weird things to happen and involve them. This should not be told to the players at the time, so that they won't just up and try to get themselves 'decursed'. Though quite why they would want to is beyond me.