As I write what could be very well my last will and testament hiding in this damp, dark, and rotting cave, I can’t help it but to ponder on what could have been. When we first set sail there were twenty of us. Now there are only nine left. We were on our way to Rudders Hideout in search of gold. More gold then all of us could spend in five lifetimes. We believed Salty McDuff when he told us the tale. Salty wasn’t a person who would ever lie when his life was on the line. He knew sitting there drinking his ale that if anything that came out of his beer hole wasn’t true we would all cut him down where he stood. The tavern was musty with the smell of puke and sweat as Salty started his story. He stated that 150 years ago there was a group of pirates who were cursed of what seemed like the best curse a pirate could ever want. Everything they touched turned to gold. They were called the Rudders.
Their last known location is called Rudders Hideout. No one ever goes there because it is haunted by the spirits of the dead and the rocks have claimed more lives than the ghosts. Those that don’t heed the warnings are turned into the undead themselves cursed to haunt and kill anything that is alive on the island. The island is also nicknamed The Dead Island. Anyone that has braved to come close enough to see it through a looking glass has stated that there is nothing alive on the island. Tales of skeletons patrolling the island with a sword in one hand and a flintlock in the other. Others had stated they saw a big golden glow in the middle of the island. So I knew Salty was on to something. That large golden glow must be golden treasure! The treasure that would make us all rich. I gathered the crew and only twenty of them were brave enough to make this trek into the unknown.
As we were getting Grave Murder my ship ready for departure we couldn’t help but to talk about how we would spend our riches. I would have commissioned the biggest ship ever built and sailed to the ends of the earth stopping at every outpost along the way to get drunk and womanize. We had a three day trip to get to the island. It was business as usual and Grave Murder was at the top of her game. It was smooth sailing all the way. We could see it in the distance. The crew grew quiet with anticipation of the gold we were about to commandeer. Through the looking glass I could barely see it but it didn’t look like the normal islands I had been to a thousand times before. I couldn’t see the outlines of trees or grass. It looked like jagged rock on top of even more jagged rock. I ordered the crew to double time it. I wanted to get closer to get a better look as quickly as possible. We were always prepared for the worst. That is why we always end up on top.
We had two flintlock pistols and two riffles for every crew member. And of course we all had our rapiers. When it comes to sword play my men were the best of the best. None of them have ever been bested with hundreds of fights under their belts. We were finally within range to get a better look at the island. I ordered the crew to anchor and hold. I climbed up to the top of the crows nest and took another look in the looking glass. What I saw amazed me. I have never seen anything like it before. There were no palm trees or grass. It was what I can only describe as black glass shards sticking up out of the ocean. Upon closer inspection I saw cannons pointing our way! They were still to far away to fire on us. What I saw next will haunt me until I am rotting in the ground which may be sooner than later.
There were human skeletons manning the cannons and some loading them. Getting them ready to fire. Some were as white as white could be and others were dirty as if they have rose from the dirt of the grave. I had to blink multiple times since my mind could not comprehend what my eyes were seeing. How is this possible? I couldn’t fathom the insanity of the situation. It was daylight and the ghouls owned that island. As I was moving around toward the center of Rudders Hideout I was almost blinded. A huge golden glow right in the center. I switched out the end glass for a colored one to block out some of that glare. I could see better now. It was just as we had thought. Where were golden coins, golden vases, golden plates, golden everything! The whole area at the center was nothing but gold. Then I saw more skeletons patrolling the center. I could count fifty of them. All had sword and flintlock to the ready. They knew we were coming. They were prepared but we were not prepared as we would find out later on. I scanned the whole island and found an area on the side that was a sheer cliff. I knew they couldn’t get cannons on that side. That is the side we would attack from. Climb the mountain and perform a sneak attack under the cover of darkness.
How strong could a skeleton be anyway. The first musket to hit one would shatter it to pieces. I thought we could still do this and will do this. They wouldn’t expect us from that end of the island. If these things were undead we would make them dead for good. I explained the plan and what I saw to the crew. These 20 were hardened men but even some of them were spooked. I could see it in their eyes. I explained that if we were to succeed then everyone would have to be ready to attack with everything they have. Once this was done and we have the island we can make additional trips to carry it all back with us. In my mind nothing was going to stop us. We would sneak up on that side during the night with no lights. Only the moon light would direct us. It was a full moon that night and we could see the cliff face. We have lots of rope to climb up with.
It took a couple of hours to get the ship to that area of Rudders Hideout. We anchored and made our way up the cliff to the top of the high part of the island. The first one up was a man named Ranger. He was the best of us at climbing. It seemed inhuman the way he could climbed any mountain. He was a the top before any of us were at the middle part of the climb. I then hear a scream that sounds off in the distance that is getting louder and louder. The scream passes me and I look down only to see Ranger falling to his death. I yelled to the others to get ready for a fight. We slowly and as quietly as we could made our way to the top. There was nothing there. Did they have a lookout that has left to warn the others? I looked around some more and couldn’t see a skeleton anywhere. Once we were all at the top we armed ourselves with our riffles and slowly made our way to where the cannons were on the front side of the island.
I could see six skeletons, three at the cannons and three loading them. The patrols were no where to be found. Now is the time to attack and take control of these cannons. I ordered the attack on my mark. Each man was assigned one skeleton to shoot. We had at least three people shooting each skeleton. I thought they didn’t stand a chance. We started shooting and when it was done every skeleton was nothing but scattered bones next to the cannons. What we saw next made the hair on the back of my neck stand firm. The bones started to shake and move around. The bones aligned themselves to recreate these abominations. They were whole skeletons once again. I yelled retreat! And we started running back up to the cliff as the cannon fire was smashing rock next to us. We got around a large rock and the cannon fire stopped.
I had Roger who was a jolly huge man take a look to see what they were doing. The cannons were still pointing in our direction but the skeletons were not moving. There was another path to the left that may lead us to the center of the island. Maybe we could steal some of the gold and just get around the undead fiends. If it worked out we could continue to do this in order to get as much of the gold as we could. We made our way down the path and came across a shallow cave only about 20 feet deep. We could use this as a center of operations. So that we could carry as much of the gold down to the ship as possible we put some ammo and dynamite in this cave with three of us to guard it while the rest of us would go down and try to steal some of the gold.
We slowly made our way down to the center of the island. It was strange as there were no skeleton patrols anywhere that we could see. We continued down the slope from the side of the cave. We could see in about one hundred yards was a ton of gold objects. Still no skeletons to be found. I had Roger slowly go down and grab some gold coins since those would be the easiest to get. It took him about five minutes and he got back with two pockets full of gold coins. I bit into one and it was real gold. I could hardly hold back my excitement. I ordered the rest of us to go down and get some gold items to take back as Roger took the gold back to the cave. When we go there we all looked around for skeletons. There were none. I grabbed a golden vase and the others grabbed anything they could. The vase I grabbed was stuck on something. I pulled harder and just then a ruckus the likes I have never heard before started. It was deafening loud. Then I noticed the gold was moving! The men and I backed up getting ready for a fight.
To my astonishment most of the golden items were part of other skeletons. It was like the gold and bone were fused together. None of us knew what to do we were so surprised. Then I heard gun shots and some of the golden skeletons started exploding. There were too many of them. Had to have been one hundred or more golden skeletons. It was a loosing battle. They were fast and fought with the ferocity of a grizzly bear protecting their young. I saw one shoot down one of my crew and then stick another with his sword almost in the same breath. I ordered the rest of my crew to retreat back to the cave. I knew we had no chance to make it back to the boat. They were just to fast. Six of us made it in and detonated the dynamite at the mouth of the cave. Everything went dark and I lit one of our torches. We have some ammo but not enough. As we were retreating I looked back and saw that the golden skeletons that had been destroyed were mending themselves just like the ones on the cannons. We are trapped like rats and I can hear them outside digging.
© Post "A Pirates Unlucky Life" for game Sea of Thieves.
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