We all want gold right? But what if that gold comes with a price?
There are so many Jungles in the Sea of Thieves, so many caves that are yet to be explored. Long lost openings beneath the waves, where civilisations could hide from the arrival of Pirates… It’s not just the Bilge Rats and their “thrones” down there you know…
Picture the scene: You’ve been sailing for hours, with no sign of treasure to be had from fort or foe, you step onto an island you know so well, but you heard drums. Loud, rhythmic, as if the island itself has a heart that is willing you to the vast jungle.
You stumble around a little, but then the leaves part, revealing a rock face with a familiar symbol:
You recognise this from the stories of Legends who can open a stair beneath the Tavern to a secret hideout, but you pull out your Hurdy Gurdy anyway and begin to play… in time with the drums… mysterious voices calling out “we shall sail together,” almost ethereal; a ghostly wail calling you further on. Just then the ground shakes and the rock crumbles before your eyes! A dimly lit tunnel lies ahead and you and your crew decide to step inside…
You didn’t think Athena only worked with Pirates right?
You’re used to Skeletons, they’re old game now and you know their noises, but something isn’t quite… right down here… strange babbling and squeaks that you haven’t heard before mingle in with the growing beat of the drum… sounds that seem more, human somehow than the hisses of skulls or the animal calls out in the open air.
As you descend you start to see a distant light at the end of the tunnel, flickering as though a flame burns ahead. Your crew are still at your back, but so close you can smell the banana that one had for his lunch (or was it breakfast?). Louder still the rhythm continues, those new sounds morphing into language, but you cannot understand it, you could argue that it sounds like chanting now that you can grasp more of the tone and the “words”.
The tunnel comes to and end and opens into a cavern that must be as wide as the island. This isn’t the usual dank, cold recess within the rocks that you have found before; no this is mined out, chiselled to a shape that suits the needs of whoever built it: whoever being the collection of creatures now stood starting at you and the crew:
The drums are silent, a hundred sets of… faces? Stare back at you. Creatures that clearly look to be human in a way, yet their skin seems pale and as if it were glistening with scales. I say faces with hesitation as clearly these are not at all the faces of the creatures themselves, but a collection of driftwood and planks that have been marked out in particular patterns:
It’s still hard now to even grasp the scale of the room, bonfires spotted around the edges, yet the room is brighter than any enclosed space we have ever seen; it doesn’t take much longer to realise the reason for this illumination is the giant device in the middle of the room. That pattern again, as if idolising some God, or should I say Goddess; ”Athena” is the name I have heard Legends mutter before as they huddle around a collection of charts and manuscripts.
We turn tail and run, for fear of what these newly found inhabitants may think of our intrusion…
We fly through that tunnel as fast as we can, but to our utter dismay and then dread we see a mast, low in the water, our Galleon sunk. We sprint to the beach to see what we may salvage from the wreck, too eager to collect our precious chests and cargo than to think of what may be behind us… what may be around us… what sank our mighty vessel…
Trapped in the dark
It has been three days since I turned around from my wreckage. Three days since I stood dumbfounded at the sight. Three days since the island inhabitants awoke from their chanting beneath the island, slowly collecting unfortunate souls that dare to set foot on the island.
One Pirate tells me that this is not a chance encounter – that these inhabitants the Gold Hoarders have named ”Pygmy” have come back to protect their homes across the Sea of Thieves. We dug too much, we took too much, now we pay the price.
It was the 14th January when I placed this bottle in a stream that runs beneath my cage and I pray that someone finds it soon.