Seas of Jade, Seas of Blood

Loss

As Narrated by Crescent Raptor

It seems that as my list of enemies grows larger, my list of allys wanes. Creation cannot stand if those willing to protect it continue to fall. We’ve lost Iago, and with him, my trust for “Captain” Azores. This brings my list of respected comrades down to Glorious Spear, and Orca. We must continue sailing forward and hope that we can fulfill Plentimon’s deal with haste. I grow impatient…

We now sought the treasure that Luminous Sapphire had told us about, but she knew little about the specifics so we had to turn our search elsewhere. We split up to see what we could find near the port. Our search seemed to turn up very little, but I managed to locate a source at a small fight club of some kind. An old spectator surprisingly knew quite a bit about this Guild Treasure. He told us about the Brotherhood of the Shattered Sun and how they were likely the ones safeguarding this treasure. A name alone was not enough to find them, especially if they were as secretive as we expected. The old man told us that their ships bore personal flags often featuring the sun in some way. Armed with this knowledge we checked all the ships in the harbor hoping our search would be brief. It wasn’t…

Unfortunately, the sun was a common theme among flags. With no reliable way of knowing where to look or which flags were worth checking, our search was potentially limited to anywhere ships could be found. And in the West a ship could be anywhere. We needed guidance, and our nearest source made his home in Mantaville. We set sail for Plentimon’s Casino, but checked all ships we could find on the way. None turned out to be our target, but it was worth being thorough.
Eventually, our journey led us to a small island with not much more than a mountain and a lagoon. Smoke trailed up to the sky from somewhere around the mountain. This drew the attention of some of my comrades. I had just assumed the mountain was a volcano, and thought nothing of it, but the others insisted we investigate. Approaching the lagoon we saw the wreckages of numerous ships littering its interior. Something had turned this place into a graveyard. There seemed to be no survivors but for two ships motionless at docking distance. Night had fallen just an hour ago, but the starry sky reflected in the sea gave us the darkness we needed to move forward unseen. As we grew closer we could see that one ship was adorned with the jaws of some enormous shark, and the other… The sun!

Iago immediately sprang forward, assumed the form of a raven, and flew off to get a closer look. We hung back and watched through a spyglass from a hiding place among the wreckage. Some short woman could be seen interrogating the crew of the sunned ship. On her back was an enormous hammer, one that drew special attention from me. Wanting to be as close to the wielder as I could without alerting her, I had Skeksis fly me in so I could blend in to the rigging of the ship she stood upon. Iago and I watched in horror as the woman moved from person to person demanding that they reveal the location of the very treasure we sought. Those that didn’t know met the underside of her hammer. We watched as this fate befell two of the crew, but we could take no more. When she approached the third victim Iago flew at the back of her head and clawed at her before flying off into the sky. After his assault she turned to face him and pulled a rather interesting gun from her belt. There was almost a glimmer in Iago’s eyes when he looked upon that gun.

Before she could fire I threw my blade hoping to knock the gun from her hand. Taken by surprise, her weapon clattered to the floor and rolled toward some barrels. My sword returned to me, and with it, the attention of the woman. She demanded that I identify myself, and I informed her that I was merely a distraction. From across the water, Azores launched a cannon volley across the deck of the ships. Realizing that the situation had turned away from her favor, she ordered her crew, which comprised greatly of the undead, to return to her ship. I leapt down from the sails to land in front of her as her crew shambled past. I drew my blades, and she lifted her hammer. Yet another battle of the chosen had begun.

I advanced upon the woman but she remained in place. Iago dove for the gun she had dropped, but she extended her hand in that direction and the gun flew to her. Without wasting a second she fired at me. Unlike a normal flame piece, this strange weapon fired a beam of concentrated power. I managed to dodge the blast, and rushed forward to attack her. I leapt into the air, pushed down on her hammer with my foot, and delivered a quick slash down toward her. I had overestimated her stature and she deftly avoided my attack. Her retaliation was to bring her hammer around at me. Iago ran to her and attempted to steal her gun which she had replaced on her belt while he slashed at her. His attempt at thievery during his assault caused him to fumble, and the woman delivered a crushing blow to him with her weapon. He dropped. She then grabbed his limp form and pointed the gun at his head.

Her ship had set sail, and was heading toward the opening in the reef, but Azores’ fleet had moved to blockade the lagoon and prevent its escape. They fired upon it, but it continued its single-minded mission of breaking free. The woman ordered me to stop Azores from firing on the ship, and I did not want to trade Iago’s life for a sunken ship. I hopped up onto the rails of the deck and waved my sword at Azores. I had hoped to indicate that I wanted him to stop firing temporarily while I tried to save Iago. He looked right upon me with is spyglass and he refused to stop… Now with no way to barter for Iago’s life, I had to gamble. I flung three arcs of sunlight at Iago’s captor, but she managed to dodge them all. She stood there on the railing, drew he gun and fired.

Horrified, I ran to Iago hoping he could survive the blast, but it was too late. The woman leapt off the ship with a wicked grin on her face, and ran across the water toward her vessel. She reached it just as it smashed through the blockade and disappeared on the horizon. I picked up Iago’s now lifeless body and called Skeksis to me. We brought his corpse back to Azores’ ship and I admonished the “Captain” for causing this mess. He just stood there, unrepentant.

The rescued crew of the sunned ship had taken notice of my glowing aura during the fight. When we returned to check on them they were happy to tell us of the treasure that they guarded. It seems the secrets of Creation are easily illuminated by the sun. Our new friends brought to us some large golden crossbows far too large for a man to wield, and a device of some kind that resembled the one we found in the Roseport Manse. Orca told us that the weapons were known as Implosion Bows and demonstrated their power by vaporizing one of the derelict ships.

We decided to rest in the lagoon for the rest of the night, but I wanted nothing to do with Azores for now. I slept on the shore, hoping that I could regain my composure before I returned. The next morning, as I stared at the sea, a voice rang out behind me. I turned to see the Multicolored Assassin we had encountered in Fountainhead. He told me that the Silver Prince did not wish death upon Iago, and it was Ebon Saika’s decision to kill him. If he had hoped this would make my judgment any less harsh, he will be disappointed. He departed after requesting that I not get involved with the Prince’s agents. I made no promises.

Iago is gone. But with his fall, another child of the moon will rise. We hadn’t spoken much, but he once told me that the Chosen of Luna have been the front line in defending Creation from the Wyld. It is sad to lose one such as them, but inevitable I suppose. I’m no stranger to loss, but with every loss comes a gain. When I lost my home and my freedom, I gained anger. When I lost my friends, I gained ambition. When I lost my mortality, I gained power. And my sanity- I see no gain in this…

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BoltEagle77

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