At first I thought it was a psychotropic mushroom induced hallucination. But when I crashed into the hull and it hit back, causing me to once again slip on the jagged rocks and fall headlong into the fetid water, I understood I was on to something real.
I knew at once this is how the treasure hunting witch got her loot and the plans for that log cabin. She must lure swamp dwelling ships to their doom with her siren call. Then, after the ship has run aground, she casts a terrible curse upon them, sneaks aboard and absconds with the loot.
“Well, two can play at that game,” I declared. “Except for the siren call and cursing part. I have yet to train in the dark arts of casting a curse. I can cast an aspersion, but that doesn’t help me here.”
So, I ran up the embankment, and with great speed and agility, leapt from the rock outcropping and landed on the deck like a metal clad birdie on a branch.
After picking myself up from being slightly concussed from crashing into the railing from my somewhat overenthusiastic run, I scanned the area.
The ship was in a terrible state. The deck was rotting away. The wood planks were swollen and buckled. The sails had long since deteriorated. And the masts were a deathtrap to any who might try to have a look around in the crow’s nest.
My inventory of the ship was interrupted as a horde of zombie pirates came out to protect their booty. They seemed to rise up from the very swamp itself and their appearance had both positive and negative connotations.
Clearly, zombies rising up from the swamp is a life threatening hazard and goes into the negative column. However, their presence indicated there was still loot to protect, so if I survived the onslaught, fabulous wealth and riches could be mine. I mentally put that in the positive column.
Before I could start playing a mental game of tic-tac-toe against myself, I was struck a resounding blow. Gathering my senses, I caught up with the battle. Seeking higher ground, I dashed up the rickety ladder to the stern of the ship.
Those boney rapscallions were no match for my ladder climbing skills and I gave them a sound thrashing as they negotiated the crumbling rungs. I was even spiteful enough to step on the hand of the ill-tempered blighter before knocking his skull and the rest of him overboard into the drink.
“Time to walk the plank ya boney bastards!” I said in a fit of pirate fueled enthusiasm that swept over me. I leapt to the lower deck, dealing a crushing blow to the zombie below, shattering a few bones to be sure. His, not mine.
Caught up in the melee, I made a few miscalculated decisions. Wood is the natural enemy of fire, and that nugget of truth escaped me for a moment as the Immolation came out. The deck was an inferno of fire. I then realized my treasure as well as my person were in grave danger. Fire laden zombies scattered about the deck and if something wasn’t done, the ship would go up like a tinderbox and become my final resting place. Further, the treasure would be ruined.
I undid Immolation and beat down the zombie flames with my sword. It worked well and the fire was quelled before any serious damage could occur. I was then able to continue my search for the treasure.
Much to my dismay, the doors to the lower decks were jammed in place and no amount of vicious sword play would make them move. Undaunted, I returned to the land and peeped in through the portholes.
To my sickening heart, the hold was barren. Not a chest, coin, gem or mug of ale could be seen. That scoundrel of a witch had picked it clean.
“She is far more diabolical and sinister than I gave her credit for,” I grumbled. “She must have the encumbrance of a titan to make away with all that loot and leave me nothing. If I hadn’t already looted her secret stash, I would do it again out of spite!”
Amidst cursing my misfortune and plotting revenge against the witch for this injustice, I noted a floating encampment that seemed woefully out of place in the swamp.
“Why have these bandits pitched their tents on the docks?” I had to ask. “This is clearly no place for a fishing holiday. And what is to be made of those people being held in cells? I think something nefarious is afoot. Further investigation is most certainly in order.”
As I plotted a course to the encampment that would keep me out of sight until I was ready to announce my presence with fire and steel, a thought came to me.
“What is a ship doing in a swamp? These waters are not conducive to sailing.”
Huzzah! A pirate ship! Finally, some well earned loot and trinkets will be mine!
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- A Key, A Chest, And That Same Terrible Swamp
- Scoundrel Thugs on the Docks of South Longfall Wetlands
- It ain’t a party without a pig
- Opening the Tomb of the Child King
- The House on the Hill – Part I – The Call for Justice
- My suspicions confirmed
- Thug Shanty Town
- Show me your booty!!
- The Drunken Ritualist of Tenebris Harbor
- To the Infested Cave in South Midmaer Way