The storm nearly capsized our ship; we struggled mightily to keep everyone on board during the squall, and Azima was thrown off the ship when trying to wrestle the anchor under control. God’s be praised, she made it ashore safely, if rough around the edges. She managed to subdue a giant crab, if a bit clumsily. She has an impressive will to survive, but her skill in nature could be improved.
Our ship ran aground not long after Azima went overboard and was badly damaged. Jayanam tells us that the pirate’s cache has supplies for repairs, so Annam and I went scouting to determine our location and whether or not we could reach the cache. We found Azima shortly after, and also discovered groups of the island peoples. We have chosen not to approach, as none of us speak the language, but now I wonder if this was such a good idea…perhaps they could have told us more about our destination.
With Azima and Jayanam, we journeyed south to the pirate’s cove. On the way we found a great stone carving – an idol telling a myth or legend; a dragon broke the land and it was covered with water, the Great Heroine slew the dragon, and its blood fell all over the ground. The Heroine was queen for 10,000 years, but the people forgot her name, so she died. The dragon ate itself in the deep, and then there were more dragons, tomorrow. The dragon’s blood fell near our location, and Annam tells me that dragon’s blood is rumored to bring the dead back to life.
After a brief encounter with some gruesome butterflies (I still shudder to think of the things I heard them saying…) we made it without much trouble, but it seems the worst is yet to come.
We have discovered the pirate’s cove, but on the sands we find an alter with signs of animal sacrifice, and posts with human remains lashed tightly to the wood. Into the skulls are carved the emblem we have seen now on wooden disks and on the idol – and I saw it, too, in the thunderheads driving us to shore – a dragon eating its own tail. Dark omens.
Nearby lies a dark, ugly cave, its mouth surrounded with runes. I have been learning his language from Annam, and Jayanam tells us that the runes read something like:
Run, As Fast As Your Feet Can Carry You.
Swim, Though The Tides Would Sweep You Away.
The walking sand does not sleep here.
The golden mask can see me.
They are not gone.”
We have also found the body of a sailor, his lungs filled with sand. And no animals – no animals anywhere. Bubbles refuses to enter the cave. It fills me with unease.
Jayanam has told us how to recognize the cache and how to unlock it, once it is found. Tomorrow, in the morning, we will enter.
A quick note: it is now morning, and three new poles have been erected near the altar. Three poles, for three adventurers intent on entering the cave? I shudder. The dead man’s face is now covered with a mask of gold. Nothing can be seen except for a great, gaping mouth…it looks something like the mouth of the cave. I do not wish to enter, but I know we must.