The glint of metal is seen near the horizon, regular and rhythmic: a signal. Following it reveals a tiny makeshift raft occupied by a single, bedraggled sailor. Pulled aboard, between grateful mouthfuls of salt pork and fresh water, he explains the ship he was serving on sunk in a storm, and he landed on a tiny uncharted island some distance from here. After a year of managing survival, he finally got the supplies and courage to try a voyage.
More than that, the survivor describes a treasure-trove on the island, a hidden redoubt of some lost civilization or pirate. Glittering gold, enchanted goods, secret artifacts: an incredible pile of loot for the waiting. As proof, he offers a brilliant jeweled dagger, the only thing he dared to weigh his rickety craft with. Thankful for the rescue, he offers his knowledge to seek out the gilded atoll. When pressed for more information about himself, however, he is quiet, saying the harsh year of survival has caused him to forget much.
Does this man tell the truth? Who is he really - before his lost year or after? Is the island a true treasure, or a waiting trap?Go to Comment
The Sea Serpent Smugglers
Out in the deep waters, the ship encounters a trio of sea serpents. A known deadly danger, the crew arms themselves to fend off the beasts as the approach. The serpents, however, begin to merely circle the boat, occasionally popping out a head with jaws agape and expectant.
A further investigation reveals oiled leather sacks attached to the serpents with harnesses. Within several layers of oiled leather are various valuable goods, some illegal. Evidently, someone has trained the sea serpents to act as smuggler mules. The animals go from place to place on a trained route, rewarded with ample food upon landing. This trio is either wayward or otherwise confused. Where might their original destination be? And who is using them?Go to Comment