The Marksman- Spirit Sails

The last time we saw our journeying heroes, they narrowly survived navigating the treacherous loch. The heroes are determined to find the mystifying island of the dark dwarves, far beyond their mortal world. The Gunslinger seeks an ancient artifact to travel back in time within his own timeline. The Wizard and Distiller seek knowledge of the mysterious civilization that vanished from the island. The Marksman has been hired to assist on the journey. Dr. Wolf and the Inventor are obliged to several of the crew-members for saving them from various perils. Finally, The Hero and Captain Crimson seek fame and fortune that accompanies such a bold voyage…


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The Marksman sits on the railing of the Mystic Wave gazing out over the water. It’s the early morning hours, most are asleep. The water is otherworldly, smooth as glass save for the wake left by the soft turning of the ship’s wheel. The unobstructed stars in the night sky reflect perfectly off the water, creating another celestial body on the water.

The sails are tied up as not even a breeze blows across these waters. Cole mans the captain’s wheel, lazily leaning against one of the masts. The Gunslinger has made himself at home in the crow’s nest, creating a makeshift hammock that hung just above the railing. He periodically pokes his head out from inside the hammock and scans the horizon, before laying back in it.


The previous attack from the assassin still lingers in the Marksman’s mind. He had often wondered if the predator ever considered hunting him down. The Marksman had lived a paranoid life, always on the move with his widowed mother, constantly looking over his shoulder for the assassin who was surely just but a few steps behind him. They moved from one place to another, never letting the dust settle on their belongings. 


Despite their cautious living, the Marksman did dare to seek out several of the Order’s old outposts, searching for tomes of knowledge to bolster the training his father was unable to complete. He also sharpened his skills by hunting for a living. When he was younger he worked with tanner’s and butchers, hunting wild game every day, rain or shine. As he grew older, he found greater pay by hunting those who found their face plastered across wanted posters published throughout the kingdom. His reputation became legendary, a hunter who could hunt any prey natural, unnatural, or supernatural.


That last word crossed his mind as a pale blue glow flashes in the Marksman’s peripheral vision. He rotates around to see what the light was, but the only light he sees is the clear night sky. The Marksman begins to dismiss the light as a shooting star and, if not that, a figment of his imagination, but then he catches sight of it again.


It’s a ship, shimmering as if it were made of bright blue mist. The ship was approaching at impossible speed.


“Cole!” calls the Marksman, “Put the wheel in the water and go full speed ahead.”


“But the captain said,” begins the first-mate but is cut off by the Marksman barking  “DO IT.” Cole turns to see the issue, and upon seeing the ghostly ship slams the waterwheel control down, dropping the massive wheel into the water, grabbing the steam control lever and mashing it straight-forward. The boat lurches forward as the water wheel begins to turn.


“What in blue blazes?” yells Captain Crimson as he stumbles up the stairs, wiping the sleep from his eyes. The Wizard and Hero emerge too. The Gunslinger sets up in the crow’s nest. Captain Crimson rushes to the captain’s wheel to assess the situation. When he sees the ghostly ship closing in, Crimson quickly quips “Aye, smart move Cole,” and then runs over to the communication tube and screams to the coal shovelers, “WAKE UP MEN, GRAB YOUR SHOVELS AND GET TO DIGGING. WE’VE GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE!”


Despite the Mystic Wave’s incredible abilities, it stands no chance agains the unnatural speed of the pursuing ghost ship. The ship runs right up the stern of the Wave but right as it makes impact, the ship passes through. Even though the ghost ship passes through the Wave, the ship is shaken by what would have been the impact. Crew-members, who had gotten on deck and taken up positions, fall to the ground from the violent impact.


“What is this?” exclaims the alarmed Hero. 


“These are spirits, my dear Hero,” remarks the Wizard, “and judging by their behavior I would say vengeful ones at that.”


“I agree, Wizard,” says the Scribe peeking around the handrail of the stairs, “I would bet that these are the restless souls of those who tried and failed to complete the same expedition as we are. They are probably bound to these waters seeking others to join them in their watery grave.”


“Well that’s a nice conversation you to are having there,” yells the Captain sarcastically, “but would you mind to drop the theory and explain how to beat these things. We’re about to be boarded.”


As the Captain said, the ghost ship has turned around is slowly returning to the prow of the ship. Then, several beings float through the air and onto the deck of the Mystic Wave. The lead pirate is dressed in what used to be an ornate captain’s uniform. Now it is in tatters, the rags floating in an unseen ghostlty wind. The ghost captain is surrounded by somewhere around fifteen phantom cronies. While each one is following the ghost captain’s lead, they all have visibly different uniforms. The Scribe recognizes them as sailor’s uniforms from varying eras. These waters have been the final resting place of many sailors for years.


“Heeyah!” The Hero is the first to move, quickly drawing his saber. He slashes at the ghost captain in an upward swing. The sword passes right through him, leading the Hero to lose his balance and fall flat on his face. The Gunslinger shakes his head in embarrassment. It’s a ghost, their weapons are useless against these spirits...

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