Serpent's Skull

Marillion's view point

Journal entry 1. The quest begins

Master Harmon, as I am not in the habit of journaling and consider the idea of a journal practical, yet a bit childish, so I have decided to keep a log for your records in case the worst happens to me and by some miraculous event my scribblings find there way back to you.

I have taken your advise and met up with a group of seasoned adventures. I don’t know if this is exactly what I was expecting… they seem more like grave diggers than heroes, but I guess the stories are always more than is to be expected. They do have a good cleric with them so I take this as a good sign… and let’s face it, even with your gentle instruction I probably would not put myself too much in harms way for someone I do not know either…. you just never know how your plans backfire when you get involved. I cannot help but think of the child-king that was saved from a troll only to become a deathlord. Maybe the hero should have let the troll have a snack? ahh, but I digress and I know you do not have the stomach for such things. I will right to you shortly with information I find at this “lizard bitch” temple (as one of the well spoken mercenaries called it). At least they look physically capable which does provide me with a small measure of relief.

With much affection and respect, your pupil
Magister Marillion Swift

First Conact

Erastus 20-21, 4708

This place is miserable. I wish I would have died in the wreck but the gods have seen fit to continue punishing me for my misdeeds. The others are angry with me I’m sure. I am angry with myself so how could they not be. I spend my days making and tending to traps I’ve rigged around the camp. It is not much but at least it is something. I guess my contribution is sufficient because no one has complained about it so far and they continue to find enough food to feed us all. If things run scarce though, I’m sure I’ll be the first to be cast out to fend for myself. Perhaps then I can finally find solace in the eternal rest. I fear though that I would not receive the comfort of death in this place. It is rumored that the dead stalk this place eternally and never find peace. This small thing is what keeps me pressing on. I must find a way off here before I meet the end that I deserve, but maybe that is why I’m here – so that I will never have peace.

The exploration group came back with one of those flying reptiles for Sasha today. The way Tabris looks at her leaves little guessing to what he wants. However, he looks that way at Aerys too. He seems at ease with these women. I wish I had the ability he has to approach Aerys in conversation. I would love to talk with her about our mutual experiences and I find her love of the sea fascinating. I do not desire the material aspect as Tabris does, I just wish she would talk to me. However, she has been in an ill mood for a while now and looks to be sick. I hear the others talking about it being due to her not having any drink. Perhaps I could brew up some sake for her, if only I had some rice.

The group came back saying that they found a new spot to move the camp to. I’m not looking forward to a move since that means I’ll have to rig up all new traps and lug all this stuff down the beach. They still have not found any solid information about the Captain or Ieana other that his log book.

Deenia has been friendly to me. She actually wanted me to stand watch with her through the night. She is an interesting woman and seems to look at life differently than others. She has a spark about her and seems to be fearless. We were attacked by a group of savage men. Deenia was quick to respond when I said I heard something and covered the area with her mystical light. The men charged in but Deenia met them head on to defend the camp. I arrived to her side as fast as I could while we yelled for the others to wake. The men slashed Deenia and knocked her unconscious. I think their desire was to eat us based on the things they were yelling. I’m not sure if they thought it was just the two of us since the others were all sleeping in their shelters. I slew two of the men in a desperate attempt to defend my one friend. If it were only me I would have let them have me, but it was for her that I fought. The remaining savage fled into the trees and we were not able to give chase in the unfamiliar surroundings. Tabris and Gajeel stood guard while Jask and Vincent tended to Deenia’s wounds. Fortunately she will be okay but everyone certainly wants to move the camp now since one got away and can report us to any others there may be.


The First Days on the Shiv

Erastus 17-19, 4708

It is so good to be free of the shackles. Nethys has blessed me and even though some may see doom in our situation, it has provided be with great hope. Not only did Tabris give me the keys to my bindings but no one has questioned why I was in them to begin with. At first I got a few dubious looks, but once I started using the magic granted by Nethys to tend to their injuries and illnesses they seemed to accept me more. Of all places, fortune would have it that we wrecked on the Shiv. Rumor has it that the Brine Demon wrecked on these shores. The Captain of that ship was known to extort favors and pay from corrupt officials so perhaps I can find proof of their corruption on the ship. This would clear my name and expose those that are truely guilty. Then perhaps I can return to my family and live as a free man once more. It has been many years since I went into hiding. At every turn I was looking over my shoulder and I had thought that they had given up, but just as I let my guard down that bounty hunter found me in Corentyn and shipped me off to Eleder to be imprisoned.

I have taken to my new duties with joy. It feels good to have the magic Nethys provides manifest itself in beneficial ways. I must use caution though for his teachings tell of its dual nature and how it can turn on you to cause harm as well. I have stayed in camp the past few days while some of the other passengers go out to scout our surroundings. Tales of this island are numerous and they are none too pleasant. So far though, we have not encountered anything harmful other than the disease-carrying insect swarms and curious wildlife. I have been able to provide water and along with Vincent’s help we have tended to everyone’s ailments. More than enough food has been found by our hunters and we have a secure shelter. Things are looking pretty good for now.

The scouting party has explored the area to the west of us. They report that we seem to be on a peninsula and they have seen more of the island across the bay to the south. The shores are lined by high cliffs and access to the interior is limited. Apparently our location is one of the only places to easily access the jungle. One day upon the scouting party’s arrival a dimorphodon got a little too curious and got into our food stores. The creature was slain which was a shame, but I guess we couldn’t have it taking the food which we so desperately need. I have seen these creatures tamed and used by tribes in Sargava and the Mwangi. Sasha took an immediate interest in the creature and asked Tabris to retrieve her a chick to train. I guess she has skill in training animals. Tabris said they had seen a few nests while scouting and would try to get her one. I hope he doesn’t hurt himself trying to impress her. The scouts had little to report other than the description of where we were. They did find a shipwreck but it had little on it. They also ran afoul of some vipers in the jungle but luckily no one was serously hurt. I grew up in jungles like these but I suppose many of these folks are from the city and not used to the dangers they present.

Hopefully the scouts will come up with something more in the next few days. Till then I guess I’ll lay down my quill and tend to my other duties.

Jask Derindi

Exploring the Jenivere

Erastus 16, 4708

I’m not sure how we are going to fare on this remote island. My dreams of becoming a sailor and Captain of my own ship may very well be crushed before I can get started. I was aware that these were the dangers of the sea but the Jenivere had a good record and I never expected this to happen on such a common voyage. Here I am though, stranded with these other rag-tag passengers. A few of them seem to have it together and we are making a simple quick shelter to get out of this baking sun. I’m overhearing discussions about wanting to go exploring. I agree that this may be our eventual goal, but surely in this heat those idiots would not last long trekking through the thick jungle. I’m just goin to sit tight for now and when the heat drops a little they are talking of attempting to reach the Jenivere on her rocky perch and recover any supplies that can be found. I’ll just stay here though and keep an eye on things. I’m feeling a little irratable and it is hard to concentrate.

Well fortune would have it that the foraging party came back with some supplies. My head aches and I’m feeling a bit ill. I’m finding it troublesome to write due to my hands shaking so I’ll write more later.

It is late at night now. I’m writing by the firelight as I take my turn at watch this evening. My shakes are gone and I’m feeling much better after the bottle of ale that Tabris shared with me from his trip to the ship. I’m afraid I may have drank a little too much and my head is still a little foggy from it, but I’m pretty decent at working through it. Kaeliros was ill this afternoon too but he is in worse shape than me. He was complaining of his head being on fire. Vincent seems to think that he has contracted a disease and is tending to him. Deenia seems to have some skill with potions and labelled a few that were found in the wreckage. They gave one to Kaeliros saying it would cure his illness but that his head would take time to recover. Supposedly this potion cures all sorts of diseases. I wonder if it would work on my addiction.

Speaking of which, I’m afraid that I may have shown my vulnerabilities to Tabris after drinkig a bit too much with him earlier. I broke down wimpering like a little girl about how I didn’t want to have to drink all the time. I hope he doesn’t think me weak now, but perhaps he can help. He has been very friendly to most of the other castaways. He gave Jask the keys to his shackles, which were found in the ship’s wreckage. I’m not sure that was such a good idea. The man claims he is innocent but I better keep an eye on him just in case he tries something. Tabris has also been chatty with that wild Sasha girl. I’m not sure how I feel about that. on one hand I shouldn’t really care and at least he is not pestering me, but on the other hand I do like his attention and he has not seemed to push himself onto me like most of those desperate men do. That’s probably because he is actually cute. Surely he will end up with her, why would he ever find me attractive?

So tomorrow we are going to set up a more permanent camp with the supplies that were recovered from the ship. The expedition ended up being pretty successful by recovering all the gear from our cabin lockers, some food, and all the other supplies. A bunch of people were crowded around a book that they said was the Captain’s Log. Then they started swearing about how he had caused the wreck himself along with that slinky Ieana woman. They said she was behind many things. They ended up finding the cook on the ship and think that it was someone else disguised as him that served us the poisoned food. I don’t see how that is possible, it would have had to be a very good disguise. They also found the first mate dead on board. I guess that we are all that is left. Oh, that reminds me, one of the other passengers did survive and came lumbering down the beach, Gajeel is his name.

Well my shift is almost over so I better go wake my relief and get some sleep for the big day tomorrow. Perhaps I will work on my book a little more, although I’ll probably die before I ever finish the damned thing.

Aerys Mavato

On the Jenivere
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip...

Erastus 15, 4708

It has been 104 days since the Jenivere set sail from Magnimar. Along the way we stop at our usual ports to deliver passengers and merchandise, and pick up more destined for another port further down the coast. This trip will be rather profitable as I have taken on a large number of passengers. I’m not sure what the reason is but many of them are heading all the way to Eleder. As we enter Desperation Bay, I know that the end of the trip is nearing its end and I imagine what I can do with these profits. Perhaps I can fix up the ship a bit more and spend some time relaxing before making my return trip back up the coast.

Ieana, Gelik, and Kaeliros all boarded in Magnimar and have been on board the entire trip. Ieana intrigues me with her silent stares. She is a beauty to behold for sure. She has become more withdrawn to her cabin as we approach our destination, but every time we talk I am drawn to her angelic voice. I suppose my only fear of the trip ending is that I shall not see her again, unless perhaps I could win her favor and have her stay aboard with me. As much as I love the sea, I may even give it up just to be with her f that was her desire.

Further down the coast in Corentyn, I picked up Tabris and a prisoner named Jask. I’m not sure what Jask’s crimes were but he was loaded on board and I was given instructions to keep him secure until we reached Eleder. There he would be handed over to a man named Corvis. Jask remains relatively silent, except the times I hear him in prayer to Nethys, and I have instructed the passengers not to approach his room. The crew members that I post as guard never report any problems from him.

Apparently we picked up another passenger in Corentyn that I was not aware of. A Garundi girl named Deenia was found stowed away on the ship after we left port. I was tempted to put her off with the Mantis guilds in Ilizmagorti but she produced good coin and said that she was only hiding so that her father would not make her return. I guess I’m getting soft in my old age. She may well regret not staying home after suffering the heat and dangers of Sargava.

In Ilizmagorti I picked up an attractive lady named Sasha and a Shoanti man named Hurskan. I have no idea what the Shoanti was doing among those islands, but Sasha has the mark of the mantis on her shoulder and she seems very distrustful of the Shoanti. So far they have not caused any problems on the ship and I hope it stays that way for the next couple days.

I picked up a couple more passengers in Port Peril, Aerys and Lynis. The first thing Aerys did coming aboard was pound one of my men into the deck. He was in the infirmary for a couple days after that incedent. First Mate Devers said that the crewman had it coming to him though. Apparently he was making lewd comments to the lady and she did not take kindly to it. Devers said that the crewman had been troublesome but since the incedent he is walking a fine line and avoids Aerys the few times she is out of her room. She seems to be brooding some sorrows in her cabin for I smell rum and occassionally hear sobs when passing her room. I have not been able to find out much about Lynis yet, though he is a rather odd lad carrying that shovel around. I don’t know where he plans to dig while we are at sea.

In Bloodcove I picked up a Tian man named Ishirou. He is definately far from home and I don’t see many of his kind. He has remained very quiet and spends much time top deck looking at the sea.

In Senghor, Rambar spent some time visiting his family. After our short stay there he joined us once more. I was secretly hoping he would stay so I could hire a better cook. However, he doesn’t require alot of coin and his food fills the stomache, so I can’t compalain too much.

Now I must be off to see if I can catch Ieana. She will often meet me in the hallway outside her room as I make my rounds. I hope this is not just coincidence.

Captain Alizandru Kovack


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