Captain Crimson- An Explosive Escape

The Captain sits in silence, listening to the sounds of the jungle at night. An orchestra of bugs play their songs unbidden. Crimson just wishes his skin could have remained unbitten. Mosquitos have tormented him all night. Crimson peers across the village clearing to see a woman exiting the Witch Doctors quarters. Another mystery, this woman had skin as fair as newly purchased linen sheets, and hair as red as a raging flame.
Captain Crimson- An Explosive Escape

The last time we saw our vagile vandyke venturers, the Hero and Captain Crimson partied their way down the western coast of the realms and sought to sail past the cap of Wailau. After taking what they thought would be a short detour to steal gold from an island statue, the Captain and Hero find themselves restrained with the crew in a village. A mysterious figure calling himself the Witch Doctor has claimed them as his sacrifices and now the crew awaits the dawn where their fates will be decided….


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The Captain sits in silence, listening to the sounds of the jungle at night. An orchestra of bugs play their songs unbidden. Crimson just wishes his skin could have remained unbitten. Mosquitos have tormented him all night. Crimson peers across the village clearing to see a woman exiting the Witch Doctors quarters. Another mystery, this woman had skin as fair as newly purchased linen sheets, and hair as red as a raging flame.


The Captain laughs to himself. “She could be my sister,” he thinks to himself.


The figure walks over to a nearby stream and dips her hands in, then raises the water to her face to get a drink and then gets another handful to wash her face. She stands, casting a gaze over to the captives, before strolling back to the Witch Doctor’s quarters and disappearing behind the door.


“Where are they?” whispers the Hero to the Captain. The rest of the landing party is asleep due to exhaustion. Just the Captain and the Hero remain vigilant, weighing their options under the shadow of their impending doom. It’s almost dawn, from what the Captain and Hero could gather, their sacrifice would be conducted when the sun rises over the mountain.


“Thar a disciplined crew, that much’s fer sure,” replies the Captain. “They know that they best be stayin away from the island unless signaled. It’d be nothing to spend a day or two explorin an island like this. They’ll probably make landfall in another two days.”


“By then it will be too late,” laments the Hero. “We should have never stopped. There is no “and” here. I’m starting to wonder if we’ll ever leave this island.”


“Don’t despair boy, the game has only begun,” chuckles the Captain, “I’ve got a plan.”


The Captain quietly whispers the plan to the Hero. The birds are awakening and the night sounds of the jungle slowly morph into the morning sounds. Fate quickly awakens and falls upon our heroes….


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The Sun began peeking over the mountain as the villagers began to stir, exiting their huts with jubilation. Today they please the mighty Witch Doctor. A villager grabs a torch and sets off towards the sacrificial site. The site was at the foot of a 70 foot out cropping right next to the village. The mighty pyre the village built took days to build, collecting as much dried undergrowth as possible. The pyre stood at least 40 feet tall with a well in the middle made out of soft leaves. The sacrifice would be thrown into soft well while the pyre is on fire The ritual symbolized the falling of an individual into a hellish afterlife, the natives believing that the fall symbolized dying and the fire would appease the god of death that held control of this domain. The god of death that had taken up residence in their village. The villager begins to light the pyre, the dried wood going up in a blaze.

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The fire was raging as the crew was led up to the top of the outcropping. The envoy from the other night’s meeting leads the procession as armed warriors shepherd the macabre parade. The Captain and the Hero walk at the head of the line. The Captain notices a rock with a sharp edge on it, but suddenly falters in step and falls toward the rock. Luckily, he catches himself before sustaining any injury. The guards jerk him up roughly and push him towards the edge. 


The Captain looks over the edge and sees the entire village gathered at the foot of the hill. The Witch Doctor is sitting in a place of honor and the mysterious woman from the early morning sits next to him. He could see her more clearly now.  She’s wearing a purple dress and has a tribal tattoo flowing down her arm, an eye symbol hidden away within the lines of the tattoo. 


The envoy stands at the edge with him, chanting in an ancient tongue. The longer he goes, the faster and more animated his words become. The Captain reaches into his pocket and slips something out, dropping it into the fire.


The fire billows forth a thick cloud of crimson smoke billowing into the air. The villagers, frightened that the Witch Doctor is, in some way dissatisfied with the offering, shrinks away from the Witch Doctor, shrieking in fright. The guards swing their weapons around, ready for some unforeseen force to assault them. The smoke fizzles out leaving everyone quiet. The Witch Doctor stands up, sensing that mischief is afoot, he glares at the Captain at the edge of the outcropping. The plume The Captain looks around, expecting his plan to unfold, but to no avail. The Captain sighs in despair, until he sees a quick blue flash of his bird flying across the sky and a faint whistle filling the air.


“TAKE COVERRR,” screams the Captain as cannonballs crash into the side of the hill. The Captain snaps his restraints (weakened by the sharp rock he sneakily ran his bonds across when he ‘stumbled’), and punches a guard who stands terrified in the face of this incredible volley. What a volley it is, it sounds like popping corn bursting in the kettle. The mysterious woman casts an enchantment around the Witch Doctor and herself to protect themselves from the cannon fire. The villagers, fearing this seemingly supernatural intervention, scatter. Some are laying on the ground while others run off to the forest.


The Hero runs over and dropkicks the envoy into the still-burning pyre below. The crew, realizing this was their chance, turns on the frozen guards and tackles them into the ground. In a few moments, the Captain has the Hero and crew unbound and they make a break towards the ocean. 


The Captain pulls back and runs towards the village, the Hero close behind.


“Where are you going?” screams the Hero.


“I’m not going anywhere without me personals,” replies the Captain.


The pair sneak back towards the village while the salvo continues. Several huts had already been hit and were on fire. The Captain and Hero sneak from hut to hut until finally they find their belongings. The Captain straps on his coat and hat, along with his various knives, guns, and finally his wicked sword. The Hero dons his coat, guns, and sabers as well. 


The newly re-outfitted duo rush towards the beach when suddenly the Hero cries out. The Captain turns to see the Hero, his coat engulfed in green flame. The Witch Doctor looms behind him, hands alight with the same flame. 


“Take it off!” yells the Captain as he levels his blunderbuss at the Witch Doctor.


The Hero squirms out of his fiery coat and continues to run as the Captain fires. The Witch Doctor flinches but is unharmed as the Enchantress summons a last-second enchantment to protect him. The Captain turns to run.


The rest of the crew had made it to the lifeboats and began paddling back towards the ship, the only boat left was in command of first mate Cole, who was paddling the shallows waiting for a glimpse of the Captain and the Hero. The Captain sees the lone lifeboat and signals for it to come over. He paddles over and the Captain and the Hero board the boat, then begin paddling back towards the ship. The Witch Doctor and the Enchantress try to follow, but the bombardment of the beach impedes them.


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Hours later the Witch Doctor and Enchantress walk the beach, looking for any stragglers from the landing crew. They had gotten away, and embarrassed them too. When the villagers returned, the pair was unsure whether they would trust them again as gods.


The Witch Doctor picks up the singed coat the Hero had dropped. It was burnt beyond recognition but a piece of paper remained, tucked away in an inside pocket...

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