Terry (Cap'n Beefheart), Ken (Mr. Stevens), Jon Mark (Wang), Tommy (Isabelle), Bill (Mr. Harrison) and Tim (Bosun).
Captain Beefheart's Journal, 28/4/1716
Much has come clear as of this afternoon. There is more to this archipelago than was imagined by the even the most robust writer...
We were blown hither and yon by the accursed weather of the Fingers, eventually harboring off a tiny isle with an even tinier beach. To our surprise, a canoe filled with islanders similar to the kind we encountered while Mr. Stevens and I were at the mercy of cannibals approached The Skidmark. After a brief parlay, we not only had found a safe haven for provisions and rest, but also allies within these otherwise hostile isles.
As we talked, our "Crow" spotted smoke on the horizon. The islanders looked leery and refused to join us in exploring the cause of the smoke. All their leader, Junto, would say was "Bad place, friend. No go!". Still, onward we sailed.
This is where the tale becomes...interesting. We anchored off an inhospitable spit of land and rowed amongst some rocks. After securing the dinghy, we made our way toward the smoke. Not knowing what to expect, we crept as quietly as possible for a bunch of sea-legged sailors on dry land.
In a clearing was something out of nightmares. In our encounters here in the Fingers, we've fought enemies both human and fantastic, but would never have guessed they were in league with each other!
In the center of the clearing, a sailor was creating the smoke we'd seen by tending a large blaze. He deferred to a man called "Bosun" (not to be confused with our fine man) and another named "Cook". They in turn kowtowed to a large man with blazing, intelligent eyes and a tankard grasped in a bony grip: Captain Bonefist! Isabelle had to be restrained else she'd have charged at the men with ill intent.
It was well we were able to curtail her bloodlust, as the pirates were not alone. Bonefist was talking with both a "witch doctor" cannibal as well as a cultist in green robes! We could tell from our previous dealings that these men that both wielded power. Indeed, they were surrounded by many followers. While these men eyed one another suspiciously, it was obvious that this event had happened before. Fortunately, we were able to get close enough to listen in on Bonefist's conversation.
In essence, he was offering them tribute from a rather large chest. The conversation centered around the exploits my crew and I had 'shared' with the evildoers, how we'd killed many of their 'friends' and vague plans on how to lure us to our demise. Bonefist made a point of insisting that the archipelago's "reputation" must not be "tarnished" and that The Skidmark and her crew must be dealt with until he'd found Haworth's treasure!
Like a spark struck in the black of night, the reality of the Fingers was laid bare! Bonefist was at the center of the Finger's evil reputation!
We waited for the cannibals and cultists to leave, then had to make a decision: Attack and steal the treasure, or attack Bonefist outright? The cultist and his retinue exited in one direction, with the cannibal and his ilk began to wander off on an opposite course. Bonefist signaled for his crew to douse the fire and carry the chest and commenced to follow the cannibals.
Unable to be retained, Isabelle and Mr. Stevens broke cover and attacked the pirates. The exchange was brief, but bloody. Isabelle was nearly killed a couple of times during the ensuing struggle, but we were able to save her. Bonefist, Cook, Bosun and the cannibal witch doctor all made it safely into the jungle...I figure we'll see them soon enough.
|We opened fire...|
|...and the sailor caught fire!|
|Bonefist and his cronies ran like the dogs they are...|
|Isabelle in dire straits...|
|Bonefist's crew wasn't a challenge|
|First the sailors, then the pygmies. Bring it on!|
|Rally the troops!|
After considerable discussion, we decided that finding Bonefist was secondary to nabbing Haworth's treasure. Knowing we have some competition has focused the crew's desire to see this thing through. We'll find and handle the cannibals and cultists if we happen upon them, but the treasure is the thing.