As I ponder the future when I put this grand life of adventuring, smiting and falling down a precipice behind me, I imagine a life on the high seas and the ocean waves beckon me. There is the small problem of my violent seasickness and aversion to using a bucket as a privy, but once conquered, I shall be master and commander.
The first order of business is to obtain a vessel. That lead me to Penmawr Island where seafaring men of all descriptions sell their vessels and cargo. And if the timing is right, I might be able to swindle a fair trade for nothing more than a cask of rum.
Penmawr struck me as a tropical paradise with it’s oyster beds, swaying palms, shiny blue water and blind eye to public drunkenness. Halmar could learn a thing or two from their tolerance.
“Well, this isn’t quite the den of iniquity and back alley shiving I was led to believe,” I said admiring a vacant hut that could make a festive vacation spot. “I wonder who I need to speak with about buying one of these vessel?” I said out loud.
“You looking to buy a boat?” said a mysterious voice from the darkness.
“Holy monkey!” I yelled as I spun around to see if perhaps an adversary was making ready to cudgel me in the kidneys. What I found was a lanky fellow leaning up against the beams of a small hut.
“That depends, are you in a position to sell one?” I asked gathering myself.
“That depends, you got coin to pay for one?” he retorted.
“That depends,” I said, falling into his trap.
“Um. Nevermind. I merely got ahead of myself. Carry on.”
“You don’t exactly look to be the seafaring type,” he remarked. “Most folks that come through here aren’t clad in armor with some sort of rancid animal skull on their head.”
“Ah, yes, well. First, I came right over from a rather debilitating battle in the Shardfall,” I replied. “Second, the vessel will be for my grand retirement. You can’t spend your whole life going around pummeling thugs and bandits. And third, the skull is not rancid, merely battle worn. But, the helm could use a bit of a polish I admit.”
“Hmm,” he replied looking me over. “You with the constabulary?” he questioned.
“Oh, no. Nothing of the kind. I am a grand adventurer. While it may be frowned up by some, I loot the occasional old ruin, abscond with a rare treasure now and then, and retrieve objects for mysterious townspeople in several parts of the realm. I bring them goods and they give me coins. Sometimes banners. The occasional piece of armor. Mind you, the sporadic thug or bandit might try to relieve me of my quarry and must be dealt with sternly.”
“Ah, a land buccaneer looking to move to the seas. Very well,” he replied with a wry grin. “Got a boat right over here you can look at.”
“Land buccaneer?” I inquired.
“Not too worry, we aren’t looking to judge around here,” he replied.
We sauntered to the other side of the dock and a vessel that appeared to have run aground.
“This is a bit of a fixer-upper. We’re not sure who it originally belonged to as it crashed onto the shore in the middle of the night. No crew aboard. Looks like there might have been a mutiny. There’s a few holes, but we’ll get it fixed up in no time. We still need to clean out the bones and wash off the stains, so don’t worry about those.”
“Nothing to trouble yourself over. Happens all the time. Bit of ocean water, bit of sanding, you’ll barely be able to tell,” he answered.
Trying not to appear startled or naive in the ways of the seafaring life, I went up the ramp and inspected the craft. It was not ideal. Far from it. The wood appeared to be rotten, the ship’s wheel was off kilter, the few sails left were a tattered wreck, and the main mast showed signs of rot.
Despite my disappointment, I continued my tour below deck. This was a costly mistake and the smell was overwhelming and the clutter of bones was alarming.
“Good gravy!” I declared. “What took place down here? Is this the site of a mutiny or the location of a buffet gone awry?” I then noted my companion had not come aboard to inspect the vessel with me.
My confidence and my stomach were shaken, but I forged ahead and continued down to the lower hold. There I found the rusty and disused cannons, plenty of cobwebs and some unidentifiable bits. I cautiously stepped around those.
Spotting a ladder to go down, I felt compelled to take it. This turned out to be a mistake as the structurally unsound ladder broke under my weight and I plunged into the sea.
I returned to the shore in a rather disheveled state, seaweed entangled in my helm and water leaking from my armor in a less than complimentary fashion.
Sloshing back up the sand bar, I passed my verdict. “I was hoping for something a little more seaworthy and a little less grizzly and full of holes. I don’t need it today mind you. It’s an investment in my future.”
My companion pondered for a moment. “I see you will be one of those uppity boat captains. You probably want a real privy and not the standard bucket, am I right?”
“I had a bad experience with a bucket and would like to speak no more of it,” I replied.
He scoffed, but then continued. “All the good boats are spoken for at the moment. We’ll probably have some more available shortly as soon as a few more prizes of dubious origin are dropped of. Unless of course you want old Captain Kennet’s boat. He’s certainly not gonna need it any more.”
“Oh? A captain is parting with his boat? Moving up to something more grand is he?”
“You might say. There was a parting to be sure. To be more precise he parted with his arms, legs and head. Probably not of his own choice I suspect.”
“Egads!” I cried.
“Seems the crew took offense to something, strung him up, got frisky with the blade, then tossed him into that alcove over there. His spirit is most likely looking for revenge. Ship’s probably haunted, so I can make you a good deal on it.”
“Steady on man! The crew got disgruntled with their captain, carved him to bits then tossed him overboard?”
“Hard to say what happened as dead men tell no tales,” he replied. “Boat’s docked just over there, right next to his body. Or what’s left of it. Pieces are probably scattered all over the island. They probably secreted his looted treasure somewhere on the island until it was safe to come back later.”
“Sorry? Looted treasure?” I inquired. “There is treasure to be had?”
“Most likely. Buried treasure all over these parts. You how these things go. Someone buries trinkets in the sand, forgets where they did it, makes some terrible map no one can decipher and people spend all their time wandering the beach looking for the smallest clue. But, I thought you were interested in a boat?” he countered.
“Yes of course. Indeed I am. But say, perhaps we should take a moment for a quick repast and refreshments. Allow me to buy you an ale, or perhaps a bottle of rum to show my appreciation for showing me around. We can discuss the captain and this so called treasure. Besides, I wouldn’t want to go see this headless captain without fortifying myself,” I said.
“Up to you. Most folks lose their fortification when they gaze upon such things. But, the pub is over there. Bit rough for outsiders though. Be careful you don’t get shived wearing that outfit.”
“Fear not my dear fellow,” I replied with a smile. “I have just the garb on hand that will allow me to blend in as though I were a native.”
“I was afraid of that,” he sighed. “We don’t have any natives. This is an outlaw island.”
And with that we strode off in the direction of a drunken brawl which I assumed was the local pub.
Yes, well, I can see why you keep it away from the main harbor. It looks a bit worn. And riddled with disease.
All is not lost! This lantern works!
Good heavens! What manner of treachery took place down here? My superior sense of puzzle solving tells me something went awry in this location.
I say, would you by any chance be Captain Bennet? I don’t mean to be rude or perhaps even state the obvious, but you seem to have something shiny sticking out of your backside. I’m no healer, but I think your disposition would improve if we dislodge it. I have blacksmithing tongs in my bag that could be used for the task.
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- It’s the pirate’s life for me!
- This was no boating accident!
- All that glitters is not seaworthy
- The Buried Treasure of Penmawr Island – Assembling Captain Kennet
- Economic instability forces me to seek secondary employment
- The Lure of Treasure in Penmawr Island – Uncovering Captain Kennet
- Traveling the Path of Courage – until the sidewalk ended
- Drowning the Ferryman may have been to my disadvantage
- Into the Sewers Ardoris and into the lair of the Ebon Cultists for Shroud of the Avatar Release 16
- The good people of Jaanaford put Alley on trial for being a witch