Day 276: Interrogation of the evil sorceress.
Doc and Juan had examined and restrained the sorceress. They removed her wooden teeth. They found a magical tongue stud that detected evil and evocation. Then Doc woke her for the interrogation. She demanded her teeth back in order to speak. She bit Doc hard as soon as she had them. Eventually she agreed to help locate the treasure for her life.
The map copied from her back had these lines:
From blue bight’s embrace
Spy the Grave Lady’s prize tooth
With the Dawnflower’s first kiss
Climb the Captain’s wayward orb
To claim old king’s hoard
Day 277: Last night my Lady Smythee whispered tales in my ear of the Captain Wolfe’s fabled hoards. We set sail for an unnamed archipelago in the Shackles north of the Ushinawa Isles and west of Besmara’s Throne. These islands lie 110 miles northwest of Tidewater Rock as the albatross flies. This last fabled treasure would soon be ours.
Day 284: We have come to the archipelago and asking the evil sorceress which of the many Islands we should sail for she makes her escape. To be sure she dripped blood all the way to whatever Isle she took refuge on.
Day 288: Mancatcher Cove forms an almost perfectly round bowl in the side of this jungle-cloaked island. The water in this circular bowl is an almost indigo hue compared to the turquoise of the waters surrounding the island, hinting at the extreme depth of the cove. Cliffs surround the bowl on all sides except the entrance, and a few small beaches have formed where the water meets the rock face. The jungle grows thickly atop these cliffs, the massive trees spreading their branches out and over the cove. From these trees a series of interlaced vines have grown like a loose net canopy 100 feet above the water, giving the cove a cavelike quality in the shadows of predawn or twilight. More vines, creepers, and roots extend down the cliffs, creating a dense maze of twisting tendrils that shroud numerous dark hollows in the rock.
We arrived at dusk. Doc and Juan take a long boat into the cove and are attacked by vines.
Day 289: Preparations for battle made us miss the timing of Dawnflower’s first kiss, but we were not attacked by any vines. The cacophony of monkey cries was almost enough to drive one mad. Sharks seem to the like the cove and the crew speculates wildly about their appearance here.
Day 290: We enter the cove, by long boat, just before dawn and the vines are restless but subside with the sun. “Ha, the vine creature is nocturnal.” exclaims Doc. There are still fins in the water.
As the first light of dawn peeks into the darkened cove from the east, the jungle cliffs come alive with patterns of shadow and light in a thousand fanciful, ever-shifting shapes. When the sun is fully up, the cliffs will return to their normal appearance, but for these few moments they are almost magical with this display of shadow art. In the shadowy half-light, a group of caves and crevices on the cliff face takes on the appearance of a grinning skull. As the morning sun illuminates the shadow that resembles the skull’s mouth, a previously unseen glint of gold sparkles brightly in the sunlight, as if the skull has a gold tooth.