When I received word in Baltimus that the Zephyr had pulled into port with a load of silk cloth, I smiled. Fate had changed for us as soon as I made the right decision, the decision to turn the seven cannon over to Admiral Duckworth.
True, that decision had cost me dearly. I’d left my guard down, the evil had struck me. Of course, the evil we now know is Aneiela. I had a wart or something on my hand and she cut it off. The hand, not the wart. She’s unapologetic about it which just confirms that she’s a heartless psychopath.
I’m having a hook fashioned for the stump. I have to have something if I’m to continue to command the Roadhouse. You can’t climb rope ladders with one hand. Thank god, that harpy made a mistake and did not take my sword hand.
Admiral Duckworth of Baltimus did not recognize my greatness right away, but he’ll learn. He did acknowledge that we’d done the right thing by handing over the sin cannon to him. If we prove ourselves again, he’ll grant us a Letter of Marque.
So the task set before us are the Farmers of Lanos. Well, a few of those farmers, the ones who went missing. It certainly felt strange to be acting like a sheriff of some sort. But if that’s what it would take to wear the crown’s chain of office, I’ll give it a try.
The master of Lanos was a former Brit, Sir Richard Thornsby. The community numbered some four thousand: Chinese, Massaquoni, and some other Europeans. Huts and longhouses dotted across islands and the mainland with swampy parts all through. Rice paddies.
Talking to the local Constable, we learned a few things. First, anyone who makes fun of my lost hand can expect to feel the pain. (Well, symbolic pain. Didn’t quite clip him as hard as I would have liked. My balance has been off since losing the hand.) Second, the missing farmers were all lost in a far part of Lanos, all near an abandoned and haunted house once owned by an alchemist named Darius Dropbrewer. Third, screams and lights have been seen recently in the house.
We marched to the area and talked to the locals with the aid of a local boy, Ping Xing . Once we’d confirmed the stories, we headed the house. A storm was coming in and the house was built on the top of a cliff over the sea. When we got near I felt like we were back at the El Diablo. A body was hung over the front door. Inside, the house played tricks on us but we found three more bodies: all the missing farmers. We met the ghost of a boy who tried to lead us to the well outside.
In the basement, we discovered a secret passage that led down inside the cliff to a secret harbor. Men are quick loading a small skiff. This close to Baltimus means they’re smugglers. We have an opportunity, but for what?
“Blood, Sweat, Bile, & Gunpowder – Pirate’s Perfume”