The Skull and Shackles

Alicia's Diary V

Sisters and Sinkholes

The sea at night is just beautiful; beautiful and romantic. Maybe it’s the soft noise of waves against the wooden hull, or the gentle swell of movement as the ship rises and falls. Perhaps it’s the sense of unfathomable depth below the fragile ship, or the shimmering reflection of the stars and moon on the moving waters. Or the gathering cold in the air, touching our faces, but not our hearts or our bodies as we snuggle beneath the blanket, leaning back against the coil of thick ropes. The word “snuggle” fits so well; I’m in love with her so quickly and so completely. As we drift towards sleep, she kisses my cheek drowsily. I know that tomorrow will come, but for now I’m so perfectly happy, just “snuggling” with Amaterasu.

We sailed on to the disturbingly named Mancatcher Cove, site of the famed treasure of Cyrus Wolf. On arrival, we were attacked by a ship crewed by savage degenerates, led by a vile sorceress. She was pretty enough, but depraved and wicked; her teeth filed to points, her hair wild, face twisted with hatred. Yet there was something strange; her body was covered with tattoos, not the same as my own, but identical in style.

Her crew fought like maniacs, but our cannons were too much for their decrepit vessel, and our strength in the fight too great. Sadly, though, poor Rosie Cuswell died by the tattooed sorceress’ power.

She and I spell-duelled, and though she was the better caster, I held my own and with Avery closing in on her, she leapt over the side, using her mastery of water magic to escape. Yet before she fled, she snarled at me and cried, “farewell, sister. We will meet again.”

Isabella_Locke.jpg

I was shaken by this. I turned to Amaterasu for solace and she held me in her arms, stroking my hair as my head rested on her shoulder. I have no sister. Who is this fierce woman? What story could drive a young woman to be like this? I had called her a bitch in the fight, and tried to kill her with my magic. Perhaps she needed my help instead? I nestled in the arms of my princess. I should mention the shadowy ronin who had joined us earlier. Hajiko was his name I think. An older warrior, worn down by life, yet sworn to protect
Amaterasu. That was just fine by me. He was clearly capable, and she was the most precious thing in the world. He used a large curved blade and wore really cool blue armour, and had a mask that made him look like a blue metal dog, with a sword . Hajiko was good by me.

Inside the cove was strangely beautiful. A dark lagoon, made almost cavelike by a high shroud of what we initially, and wrongly as it happened, took to be tropical vines and lianas. The three boys set out in a rowboat to explore one of the tiny beaches. I stayed, and went into the cabin with Amaterasu. She whispered the word “always” and we were in each other’s arms. Our kisses before had been romantic. These quickly became passionate, frantic. She whimpered and my hands roved over her body, still over her clothes. Her hands cupped my breasts over my blouse, and she then moved her fingers to the buttons, our tongues still tangling in a deep kiss…….

And then the screaming started! Startled, we pulled apart and raced outside to a scene of horror. In the boat, Hajiko, Avery and Tuatara fought against sahuagin mounted upon tiger sharks, but there was worse. The mass of vegetation above had coalesced into a vast beaked creature, like some giant vegetable squid, and was lashing great blood sucking vines down, seizing crew to either drain their life, or draw up, screaming, to its chomping beak. The fight was savage. My spells could only do so much, and it was eventually the courage and agility of Avery, scaling the mast, grappling the beast with a rope, and heroically climbing to close enough to use his cold magic that finally won the day. He was amazing and I was pleased to be able to save him with a feather fall as he fell. He’d been the closest I’d been to finding a man I respected, but I’d realised that I preferred girls, and he’d been good enough to understand that. I cared for him a lot.

Tuatara ate a shark.

Later that night, as we rested, I kissed my princess again, softly this time. She smiled and we decided to wait until we were in a port, with a room and a bed, and candles and wine……and no lurking vegetable carnivores! I loved her so much, so soon.

Sarenrae dawned, and we spied the stair, following the clues till we found the buried treasure, or at least where it had been buried those centuries ago, till a sinkhole had opened and swallowed it to a pit of water. What now, brave pirates? We only have a day before the shogun is likely to arrive. Does the sinkhole link to the waters of the lagoon? Are there more sahuagin lurking there, perhaps with Wolfe’s treasure in their possession? Where is my tattooed “sister”?

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