Alicia arranged for her girlfriend to have passage home to her family in Andoren, and the two young women parted tearfully at Bloodcove docks. After three solid days of kissing and lovemaking the pirate sorceress and the teenage prostitute had found strength in each other, and Alicia in particular seemed to have changed. The selfish, manipulative witch had turned into a gentle, caring girl, at least as far as Maksana was concerned. Alicia waited a long time, watching as the Andoren privateer sailed over the horizon, and tears flowed freely from her green eyes as she finally turned away.
Of course, gentle and caring doesn’t happen all the time! Alicia took great delight in using emotive appeals to manipulate Blackmatch into paying over the odds for two slaves from the Aspis. She also didn’t seem to see much contradiction between loving Maksana and resuming her sexual relationship with Avery. The group also discovered the need to sail to a Tien pirate isle in order to translate the strange script tattooed on Alicia’s back so long ago.
On the way a Chelaxian galley was surprised by the Last Laugh as it defeated a smaller pirate vessel. A savage but brief fight ensued and ended with the capture of the Chelaxian vessel. Avery now commanded a fleet! They returned briefly to Tidewater Rock. Blackmatch attempted to bully Alicia over the earlier death of the hostage, but a brief tremble and tear-filled eyes soon pulled Tuatura and Avery to her side and forced an apology.
But Alicia’s triumphant smile was soon to be wiped from her face ad the party was to be the prey……..the prey of Whalebone Pilk and his ship, the Deathknell!
" life was so good. I was still in love with Maksana; I think I always will be, but I had done the right thing in arranging for her to go home. She was so beautiful, but too gentle to long survive the life so brutally forced on her, and I would never be able to protect her in the Shackles. Because I loved her, I let her go. I still wanted her, but I had done the right thing.
I found some consolation in Avery’s arms. I found some consolation in manipulating Blacksand. But I wanted my Maksana!
We did gain a Chelaxian ship and then headed on to a Tien pirate to translate what was on my back, and try to follow the strange messages, and then it happened. We saw the fog, we heard the tolling of the bell, and the old crewman Croop told us the legend of Whalebone Pilk, and how he hunted eternally for victims to feed his obsession, to feed his undead crew.
I’m shaking uncontrollably as his whaler closes in, I can barely breathe, I’m crying, I’m shaking in terror, I feel like I’m going to faint. The undead are coming and I can’t face them. I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t. Help me. Maksana, help me. They’re going to get me. Please no"
The witch of Tidewater Rock shook helplessly in terror as the brine zombies advanced.