A lone wanderer moved down the warped gangplank onto
a bleached and sun battered dock. The gangplank led from The Starlight,
a small warship, which bobbed slowly in the warm water. Once on the dock,
the figure stood motionless for a moment, as if calculating her next move.
A dusty robe hung off of her hunched back. The fragile looking material
fell to tatters about her feet.
Ahhh, Buccaneers Den, how long has it been
since I graced your shores, the figure thought.
She paused a moment, snared by fragments of an ancient
madness. Onyx eyes lost in the chaotic tangle of jungle undergrowth which
defined the bandit city. Thin clouds of insanity continued to surface
even months after clarity and reason had returned. Occasional phantom
memories would pull her into a trance of confusion and anger, a trace
of swirled images of different times, different worlds, different feelings.
Bluish light from a moongate cascading into a dark, stone hewn room
hand closing about an obsidian sceptre
tear soaked tendrils of black
hair dangling over a felled lover
Maam? Thou didst forget this, said
an impish man who had shuffled up beside the pensive wanderer. He held
a staff out to the wanderer, cowering.
The figure seemed to stare right through him for a
moment before focusing back onto reality. A pale hand grasped onto the
twisted staff, which had the color of old bone. A crude image of a crow
in flight could be seen between the figures smooth thumb and forefinger.
I thank thee
Now where is the person leading
this so-called pirate renaissance? the wanderer asked, gently pulling
his face closer by the chin. Her face remained hidden in the shadows of
the robe, but drops of light still found her eyes, suspended in their
blackness. Cowed, the rotund sailor whispered a name, motioned towards
town, and scurried back onto the ship.
Sunlight shone brightly through the tattered canopy
of trees and vines that covered the scattering of buildings. Several columns
of gray smoke could be seen through the treetops. The low rumble of a
distant argument could be heard below the sounds of the surf, wind, and
fauna. Slowly, the figure began the short journey to visit the leader
of this pirate cartel.
The dusty streets were filled with ragged mercenaries,
pirates, thieves, and rouges. Each was decorated with noisy curses, blurry
tattoos, jagged scars, and the dank smell of last nights ale. If
one happened to wander near the figure, then they would fall silent until
the person passed. She ignored them all, eyeing the tavern, where she
was to find the man she sought. Pausing just beyond the entrance, a bundle
of fighting cutthroats spilled out of the tavern and onto the street.
The tangle of anger tumbled past the figure as she continued into the
Standing in the entryway, the hooded figure cast a
shadow across the crowded and smoky room. As her eyes scanned the room,
the music and crude conversation slowly drained to a halt. She spotted
a guarded door towards the rear past the now silent mob, but once again
became lost in thoughts... memories. Fractured earth belching forth fire
a soft finger pushing the final piece into a metal mind
in hot sand, holding bare feet that were covered in droplets of blood
A large, brutish man tried to shove the hooded intruder
out of his way... once again bringing her thoughts back to the present.
Out o' me way! I've no patience fer witches,
the man bellowed, but the figure barely even acknowledged his existence.
Lines of anger flared in the ruffians face as he raised his fist
to dispose of the strange wanderer. She merely looked at him. Without
a word or motion, the mans muscular arm was withered to the bone,
as if it had aged a hundred years. The once tanned skin from fist to shoulder
immediately turned pale and dry. A short, soft whisper was heard from
the figure followed by the man dropping to the floor in speechless agony.
The path to the back room was suddenly clear.
She crossed the room. As the wanderers pale
hand touched the door, visions of wandering and madness rushed once again
to the figures mind. A crumbling palace
forgotten thirst and
a rising fortress built in the heart of a volcano
the unknown in search of the familiar
shaking her head, she opened
What dost thou want? Canst thou not see that
I am a VERY busy man?! Crinn, who is this person? shouted a man
from behind a large oaken desk. Documents and scroll were strewn everywhere.
Tired sunlight struggled through a dirt covered window and across the
grainy, smoke-filled room. Several candles also fought against the darkness
contributing even more smoke to the stale air . The man shouting was relatively
handsome, dressed in dirty, yet aristocratic clothing. His most distinguishing
feature was a long scar which extended from the left corner of his mouth,
through his left eye and stopped after breaking a thick brow. It curled
into a permanent, ghastly grin.
No idea, Mr. Boc, Crinn Sanjole hissed
smoothly from his post at the door. State thy business and do it
quickly, stranger. Crinn was much better dressed, and cleaner than
his leader. A tight vest and a tighter money belt defined his wardrobe
and his person. His hair sat well groomed and well greased upon his head.
For thee, Lazag
I have a proposition
the dark-robed woman stated, pulling back the hood of the robe to reveal
silky ribbons of long black hair. The heavy door closed behind her. Almost
immediately, the rumble of voices began to again fill the barroom. Though
much more subdued. Those who remained were left to whisper and mutter.
Their eyes carefully avoided the voiceless terror of the man who lay curled
on the floor cradling his withered arm.
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Saturday, March