In all days upon the Sea, there was one pirate who did inspire terror in the hearts of all Men- he was called Vruthath, an man of the island of Uwon by birth, who sailed with a crew of a many hundreds- Imperials, Karu, Dlanni, Ffolkki, Cincori, White Islanders and Jewel Islanders and many others.
Men called him Eyikath, that is the Uwonath word for Evil One, and when they saw his red-striped sails, they made the x-shaped sign against evil. Vruthath Eyikath was a hard man, cruel and ruthless, and driven, driven to make his fortune and to force all to bow before him. He was also a cunning man, and he saw that in order to gather the riches he needed, he would also need a thing which he had in no great store- special knowledge, seer's knowledge, the knowledge that surpasses sight.
In this need, Vruthath Eyikath, Vruthath the Evil One, sailed to the uttermost East, and made three sacrafices to the Nameless God of that watery infinity.
The first sacrafice was a beautiful woman, stripped of her skin and hair, and with her eyes replaced by diamonds, who was laid in a raft and burned.
The second sacrafice was a broken dagger, embedded in an orange.
The third sacrafice was made at the second hour after midnight, when the Fourth Star of Plagues shone above the Sea's surface- this sacrafice is too terrible to recall. No pirate, not even Vruthath Eyikath, ever spoke of it again.
In return for these (albeit meager) sacrafices, the Nameless God of the Utter East sent to Vruthath a cloud of plague-laden mosquitoes, which are that God's servants, and these mosquitoes led Vruthath, in a tiny dinghy, into the south.
For four days and four nights, Vruthath paddled after the mosquitoes, and they buzzed toward the House of Imupokith, the Sea-Witch, which is built of coral and the skins of her former lovers, and floats upon the waves. Vruthath trembled at the sight of that feared demesne, but he greatly desired the knowledge which he could recieve.
Imupokith, the Sea-Witch, greeted Vruthath.
She said: 'Yimium-thoke,' which, in the Uwonath tongue, is 'Come.'
Vruthath was repulsed, horrified, and intrigued. Imupokith was not at all the horrible monster he had imagined- she was a beautiful woman, with long, ebony-black hair and the form of a goddess, without any raiment. Yet, her eyes were black and staring, her skin was wet and cold, and eels suckled at her breasts. She crouched over a golden bowl, in which she was stewing the heads of her former lovers in seawater and blood.
'U Imu Imupokith, eoewutho dokiyamte,' that is, 'Oh great Sea-Witch, I seek knowledge.'
Imupokith smiled, a nasty smile of sharp shark's teeth from which hung shreds of seaweed and meat.
'Eoewuthum dokiyamte? Yayath, dokiyamte,' she said, and then: 'Wouthum-sethiyo.' What she said was 'You seek knowledge? Yes, knowledge. You must pay.'
Vruthath said: 'Kumem yath eo woumayako?' or 'What is the price?'
Imupokith spoke the words.
The pirate gasped. Imupokith said: 'Yamum samemuthoth!', 'You are unwilling!'.
Vruthath said: 'Yayath', 'yes'.
Imupokith began to chant, and crow: 'Tumuv athemose! Tumuv athemose!', 'Your eye! Your eye!
There was a pause. Vruthath clutched a bleeding socket, and extended his hand- there in his palm, was a pearly orb, a staring green eye, slick with blood.
Vruthath left the House of Imupokith, and he wore an eyepatch of black, with a coin of jade sewn into it.
Ever after, Vruthath was more the terrible. His fortunes swelled- all sailed in fear of him. No ship that carried value could find itself unembattled upon the waves. Men now called the pirate Vruthath Eyiathemose, Vruthath Evil-Eye. His fleet swelled, all pirates flocked to his banner. The world was the meat in his broth.
Then, one night, his lieutenants fell upon him, and slaying him, separated his empire into sections. They lasted not a year at most. All were destroyed, and all of the pirates that the authorities could find, and the body and personal things also of Vruthath were taken or destroyed, save one- an eyepatch with a coin of jade sewn into it.
The Eye of Riches is an eyepatch of silk and cord, with a jade coin sewn into it. It is comfortable, and can be resized to fit most wearers.
When worn over an empty eyesocket, the Eye of Riches bestows a singular power- when the wearer covers the eyepatch with his palm, he is given a vision. This vision provides him with an image of the nearest and most valuable treasure, or booty, or material, or what-not such as that, and a mental estimation of its value in terms which the wearer understands. Sometimes, the wearer may recieve visions of multiple treasures, blurred together. In this occasion, there are many valuable treasures that are near at hand.
Using this eyepatch, Vruthath could see visions of the cargoes and treasures carried by traveling ships. In this fashion, he and his pirate band were able to take vast amounts of plunder.
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? Responses (27)
Hopefully, this will be better than the Upheld Lantern.
It was right difficult to right the verbal exchanges in Uwonath, seeing as it isn't even a complete language.
4/5 for the item, but the story is really quite good, and the items creation definitely explains it's power. So 5/5 overall.
Definite improvement over the Lantern, nice job!
Need anymore be said?
That is one of the things that drives me crazy. We look at good posts, maybe vote, and then can't comment. Yet when there is a crappy post, we bitch, kvetch, and compain for 12 comments.
Comments should be for adding something useful to the conversation.
Unless the wearer has great self control, it will bring their ruin. They will keep seeing treasures and keep going after them, until the one day they will just proceed forward in their overconfident greed and run into a guardian dragon, a naval floatila, or some other great obsticle which was unforseen in their vision.
5/5 for the story although it made me feel slightly ill.
A thought... it will display the nearest valuable thing ... valuable to WHOM? Unless the user has freat self-control and wisdom ,it might show teddies lost by (now helplessly sobbing) children, displaced wedding rings - or even a heap of dung, if the patch picks up the needs of a dung-beetle or fly. It was meant to serve Mr. Evil Eye after all...
I like the story, it is actually very, very good. That alone warrants a 5.
As for the item itself it is powerful, but a boon and bane both. I'd wager that the wearer would find himself the centre of most unwanted attention; envy, desire(for the eye) and murder most foul.
Hey, stop bashing the lantern, I liked it (come to think of it, I like most of CaptainPenguin's stuff ^^). Sure, it was flawed but it had its high points.
Anywho, great item, I am a closet linguist, so the Uwonath tongue really intrigued me. Too bad I can't rate you 6/5 for linguistics!
I think that this and the Singing Ring of Ku Pum were the only items from the Empire setting that I ever posted...
I'd also like to note that I find my use of the Uwonath language in this piece clumsy, and I don't like the way it came out. I think maybe I should have left some parts untranslated, because the interpretation sentences seem to ruin the flow of it to me...
But I guess the flow of it doesn't matter as long as it's an alright item, yeah?
It is a great item. Speaking of the language, and looking closer at it now, a few things might be changed.
She said: 'Yimium-thoke,' which, in the Uwonath tongue, is 'Come.'
- the translation looks too short to the naive linguist I am. ;) How about expanding it a little, or better yet, noting something about the form of speech ('in the old/ancient way of speaking'; honouring him; luring him; commanding; or speaking as to an equal) - all options help setting the mood, and say more of the witch. The 'Come.' could be even left out completely, just noting he was invited.
Vruthath said: 'Yayath', 'yes'.
- the line doesn't quite fit to me and can't come up with another word(s) to say, how about making him say nothing and hesitate or shake his head; but the witch keeps repeating her demand, he decides etc.
For skipping the translations, some could be simply re-told descriptively. I would leave at least one or both lines about the knowledge, and definitely the one about the eye. It has to be there. *shakes in disgust*
How did I miss this? It is superb.
BUMP This is superb!
Especially the Sea-Witch, living atop coral and her lovers skins.
I must confess-
this item was actually just an exercise in language-building.
I'll be honest.
Some of the most excellent inventions to date came into existence as accidents or side-effects of other projects. This is such a thing then ;)
Actually, Middle-Earth turned up that way, to Tolkien's great benefit.
See, if you can find the right tangential direction to go in, fame and fortune will be your reward. :)
Another truely great post!
I´ve completely missed this one. Well, I´ll pull it out of oblivion, dust it off and hold it to the light. Nice!
Oh Imupokith, you vixen you! This sub is a gem!
*AG pours love and affection on CP's masterpiece*
Folks - THIS is how to do a summary...
I agree the story is the high point of this, not because the story itself is particularly novel, but because of the way in which it is told. It carries atmosphere and plausability, the description of the sea witch was what really got me.
This is amazing beyond words.
To me, this is nobel litterature prize quality material.
CP, you humble us all.
I am, of course, referring to the backstory, which sings to my soul.