Aye, I was just First Mate then, ‘tis true. Serving under a good master, Cap’n Jonas Abraham, on the fair Rebecca. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was in command of my own ship. I just didn’t realize how it would happen.
We were sailing fast on the Pirate Seas safe distance from the Savage Lands when the squall became a right thunderer. Lost the foremast and two unlucky souls washed into the sea before that was over. We also lost the medicine chest and all the fair water. Oh, there’s the wound, surrounded by water yet none to drink. Our flighty water mage could do little to solve that problem so we made for land.
The Savage Lands are quite dangerous, it is true, though if you know them like I do, they are nothing to be afraid of. We anchored a mile off-shore and I took a small crew on a longboat to fetch water for the ship while the rest of the crew made repairs. We’d also spotted a wrecked hulk on the shore that deserved a look.
The water was no problem. A waterfall seen from the deck of the Rebecca proved true and clear. Soon our casks were full. That boastful krakan Iranthis proved himself there, hauling twice as many of the heavy casks as the rest.
Leaving seaman Clyde to secure the longboat, we ventured down the beach to the hulk. It had obviously been a merchantman by the curve of her hull, but some mighty storm must have truly dashed her against the shore to have broken her into so many pieces. Crawling with crabs and dangling seaweed, she appeared to be well picked over for fallen treasures.
Looking back to the longboat, she was adrift and starting to flee with the tide. Seaman Clyde was nowhere to be seen. We’d secured the boat well against the heavy surf so something else was afoot.
“A gold doubloon for the man who brings the longboat back!” I called out, eager to see who was hungry for money or bragging rights. The kraken and Harry raced off toward the surf. The retreating tide had left pools in the sand which grabbed the kraken. Harry got caught up in a wave of crabs which appeared to be racing him seeing how they were fleeing the hulk so fast.
Rotted flesh clinging to sand-scraped bones… hands and skulls rising from the earth… I felt a chill to my very bones, leaving me shaken. The dead truly walk the earth and they were meant for us to join them!
The kraken did not hear or heed the cries from shore as it swam smoothly through the waves to gain the boat. One of the dead was feasting on poor Clyde.
The grains of sand in the hourglass ran fast now as the battle took us. Brak let loose a mighty blast with his blunderbuss, bursting the head of one of the dead. Iranthis was attacked by the dead man in the boat his blood joining that of Clyde’s.
I broke from my momentary pause to cut down the monster attacking Aneiela the water mage. Brak was a true terror destroying two more of the dead men up close. Harry dispatched the last and we hustled to the floating longboat.
The horror I saw in the boat made me retch. Amid the blood and guts I could not recognize Clyde anymore and it appeared the kraken was slain as well, curled up holding its stomach. I couldn’t make myself pull up into the boat. Harry saved the day, chopping the head off the last dead man. I fear the smell of rotted flesh will always curdle my blood.
Forcing myself past my fear, I ordered us to scour the wreck for clues or treasure to have made this battle worth it. Roqi found a jeweled necklace and a pouch of coins. He gave them to me to ensure fair distribution once we could sell the necklace.
Water aboard, we hauled back for the ship.
$1,000 / 6 = $167 each
…Vanquisher of the Walking Dead (1)
Brain eaten by zombie in longboat. (1)
Captain Jericho Thunder’s Crew
Jericho Thunder – Born on Earth and swept to Caribdus on foul tides, Jericho is a big man. He has big dreams and always knows he can do whatever needs be done. Though his manner is blunt at times, no fairer man can be found when standing by his crew. Known for his vicious blade, Jericho also belts a double-barreled pistol to let out a surprise attack. Blessed as a natural swimmer, Thunder’s past on Earth is a mystery though the gold he brought with him is real enough. (Jim “Big Dog” Davenport)
Brak Boman – Short and ugly, this nasty one is a vicious fighter and a sure hand at long guns be they cannon or his trusty muskatoon. His pet monkey has learned his tricks and helps him reload. (Mark “kramday” Daymude)
Aneiela – Surely the loveliest of the crew, Aniela tames the water spirits for the ship. (Joanna Gilicinski)
Iranthis – A squid-headed kraken, his mystical talents with the winds make him quite the prize member of the crew. His skill at navigation is equally valued. (Rory MacLeod)
Roqi – Tall and gangly, this youth is brave to a fault and quick with his sword. No more eager boarder can be found in all Caribdus. (Nick “G-Penny” Gilicinski)
Harold “Soon to be Lord” Wittington – Another bit of flotsam from Earth, Harry’s past with Jericho is quite tangled. In Caribdus, Harry is a dashing fighter and taut hand on ship. (Mark “G-Money” Gilicinski)
It is said a new carpenter is coming aboard soon, one with a reputation with ship’s cannon… (Jim Dugger)
GM Jeff: The boat is adrift with no sign of the seaman left to guard it.
Nick: Dugger is dead already!
G-$: That’s record time.
G-$: Harold “Soon to be Lord” Wittington
GM Jeff: That was a brutal start. (Roqi 4W → hideous scar; Jericho 3W → minor phobia; Iranthis 4W → battered guts)
Nick: Ya think?