The last time we saw our bearded, bereaved heroes they had just lost the Hero to a monstrous amphibian. The heroes and crew of the Mystic Wave were forced to proceed to the island, instead of launching a search mission, much to the chagrin of Captain Crimson. Despite the Captain’s protests, he was over-ruled by the recently re-appeared Wizard. Using his wizarding powers to raise the ship to stop the water from rushing into the hull, the Wizard propels the Wave onto the shores of the mysterious islands. After a quick assessment of the ship, the Inventor determined that the Wave is in dire need of repair. With the prospect of being ship-wrecked on the mysterious island and the mysterious island ahead, the fellowship looks to the Wizard for direction…
“We must split up,” concludes the Wizard after pondering the situation, “Inventor, what do you need to make repairs?”
“I’ll need to harvest the bark from some of those tropical. It reminds me of the structure of the original scales from the hull. I can also use the wood to patch the severe gashes in the hull and it could also use some reinforcement. It will take some doing to move all that lumber,” contemplates the Inventor.
“I can stay behind and help,” volunteers the Bartender, “I’m always hauling lumber for the tavern fireplace and you’ll also someone to help you organize the crew.”
“I’ll help as well,” says the Distiller. “I’m used to moving barrels around and the ship fascinates me.”
“Men, I am appreciative of the help,” says the Inventor with gratitude.
“Wouldn’t it be wise for us all to go?” reasons the Scribe. “We’ll be a greater force if we repair the ship and then all go as one crew and all.”
“I agree with the Wizard,” says Captain Crimson, still distraught by the loss of the Hero but composing himself, “A small group of skilled men would be harder to detect and easier to move about with. A large group would make us conspicuous and easy to target. I would say the best-case scenario would be that we get in and get out with the Time-changer as you finish the repairs. Hopefully, we’ll be in and out before anyone knows we landed. If there is any resistance, hopefully, we’ll take them by surprise. Plus, my men signed up for a voyage, not this. We’ve already run into enough danger, I don’t want them making sacrifices they didn’t sign up for,” said the Captain.
A look of sympathy flickers across the Wizard’s face.
“I’ll lead Dr. Wolf, Gunslinger, Captain Crimson, and the Marksman on into the island. Inventor, you take the Distiller, Barkeep, and Scribe and along with the rest of the crew and repair the ship,” orders the Wizard.
“Hey but I want to go,” interjects the Scribe.
“I understand, lad,” replies Captain Crimson, “but this isn’t playing around. This isn’t a learning experience. One wrong move and we’re all dead. This is just too dangerous and we’ve lost too much already. Let us get what we came for and let us be gone from this wretched place.”
The dejected Scribe walked away from the gathering, understanding Crimson’s reasoning but wanting to contribute to the success of this climax of the quest.
“Well if that’s settled,” draws the Gunslinger, “then I suggest we get moving. We have a long way to go if we’re trying to get in and out before we’re discovered.”
The Gunslinger was anxious. Somewhere in the dense jungle, deep within the forest lay the entrance to the tower. The Gunslinger knew that’s where the key lie. The key to regaining his old life. After all the pain, heartache, toil, and trouble, resolution lay but mere miles before him. The tug in his chest was unbearable, he wants to leave at once.
The five heroes pack some provisions in packs and share some parting words with the others before leaving. “If we do not return in three days, consider the mission lost and return to Franklin,” instructs the Gunslinger.
The five heroes then shoulder their packs and head off into the jungle. The Marksman walked several yards ahead of the others, scouting for any traps, predators, or foes that may impede them. Dr. Wolf, transformed into the Wolf, takes point, sniffing the air for anything that may be amiss. The Gunslinger follows quietly several paces behind the group, his bionic eye aiding him in identifying threats that might try to sneak up on the group from behind.
Captain Crimson walks awkwardly next to the Wizard. He is still angry at the Wizard’s apparent lack of concern for the Hero. The Hero’s death shook Crimson. He was just a young man, wanting to make his way in this world HIS way. Sure he was cocky, sure he was arrogant, but it sure did remind the Captain of himself, back when he owned his first sloop. Crimson saw himself in the Hero, and thought maybe, just maybe he could show him the way.
“Kid would have made a heck of a pirate,” mutters Crimson to himself.
“Your thoughts linger on the boy,” says the Wizard gently.
“The Hero, yeah I guess so,” answers Crimson, “He was fresh air for an old salty sailor like me. Could have been my first-mate and Cole could run his own ship. Heck, it wouldn’t have been too long before he could have run his own ship. He would have been infamous. With that radiant, golden beard, he would be known and feared far and wide. He was pretty good with those sabers too, could have struck fear into the hearts of any adversary. I truly would have had to be careful to make sure he worked for me and that it did not end up the other way around. He was the best of us. Funny, that seems to be what life takes from us too soon.”
“I wouldn’t grieve for your friend Crimson, there’s still hope for him yet,” replies the Wizard with a twinkle in his eye.