WAlPublishing presents

“The sea is a strange creature is it not? It has the power to rip a man to shreds. Yet for most, it is as calm and serene as a field on a sunny day. Tell me then what significance do you have in its great presence? Both in your physical abilities and your strong spirit? The sea holds more secrets than we can even imagine in our feeble minds. Who knows what's down there under the vast, ever-shifting waves! What cyclopean knowledge does it hold? Some of my colleagues look to the stars for enlightenment, but I good sir look to the sea! And unlike you and my about to be sacrificed friend, it will keep having surprises and satisfying my thirst for knowledge until the sun dims its eternal evil light forever. ” - Unknown pirate cultist of Barbados.

“ This account is taken by Gerg Donald Bright, a playwright who interviewed the famous Pirate Sean Sid “Bloody stained’ Thawne about his time as a pirate and smuggler of anomalous goods throughout their world's 18th century. This interview is the main inspiration for the anomalous Irish play Of Ships and Blood Red Seas. (The most popular non-human version of the play is a musical written by a reincarnated Tuatha De Danna and is presented in the perspective of the Morrigan, a God of death in many Irish worlds. She narrates what the stage characters are doing and always starts the song transitions.) It is loved by many as a play that pushed boundaries across ways but is also one that is hated by many for its historical inaccuracy and depictions of mental health and LGBTQI+ people. Unlike similar texts, changes seem to be incredibly random but never truly significant ( Editor's note: though the greater problems of the text seem to be consistent in all versions). Changes to history include places, characters, and of course certain aspects of scenery and costuming that are random to every incarnation of the play. This is an official interview from one of the oldest records in accounting for the play and its creation. While there are still debates raging over the legitimacy of this interview. Please be aware that this is still under library property and damaging it or tampering with the document will be met with extreme force by the Docents.”

Thank for listing wanderers,
Archivist 235- desk 2000th

My dreams have always been odd. Not odd in the sense that they were strange dreams though they were. They felt like a window to my soul. Like if I had all my clothes removed on a stage when no one was looking. They were always about nature or the forest. Animals, magic, and all the silly things from my grandmother's old stories. And there were always Kings. Sometimes they did not look like modern Kings. Not crowns or castles or crosses, old Kings they were. True Kings, with both great power and strength. Who could mend flesh with just a whistle, kill giants with a throw of a spear, And Most of all I was always married to these kings. Who were always male. Those were my usual dreams, a mix of the time my people spoke of before the churches came. And the childlike glee of running through the green hills of my old farm home. My most recent dreams however were not like this. These dreams were about blood and death. I am on a plank of driftwood. Surrounding me is the ocean on all sides. My body aches with pain and there is a ringing in my ears. A ship is firing. The number of cannons it has not even an Imperial Dreadnought could match. It's on the Horizon fighting an enemy I can not see. The sound the guns make is so deafening I can barely hear my voice, and if the I decide to move towards the ship my teeth always shatter for a godforsaken reason and I arise from slumber in a gasp. Approaching the vessel was a sin condemned by god.
When I don’t move to the boat that is when the blood appears. It surrounds me slowly. Starting as a faint red and slowly becoming a true crimson, it paints the entire sea around me (or at least to as far as I can see). As this happens my arms begin to slip from the driftwood as if the driftwood was made of ice. And it becomes harder and harder to keep myself on the piece of wood as more and more blood surrounds my body and It becomes more and more slippery. Once the blood has fully encapsulated me a crow lands on the driftwood. It does not peck at my fingers like I expected it to, it just watches me. Silent but ever watch full as I drown. That's when the dream usually ends. I usually wake up suddenly and in a cold sweat brace. I then brace myself for the day feeling worse for wear. Today was different. I woke slowly but surely after the dream and the only moisture I felt was the damp drip that leaked from the roof of my debtor's cell. I Wiped the sleep out of my eyes and promptly moved towards the bard door to get my breakfast and thought that this day would be like any other in the King's Bench. I was lucky to be incorrect in my assumption.

As I gingerly walked over to the door a sudden surprise took me as a sound echoed throughout the prison. I heard footsteps coming down the hallway. No one ever visited these cells. Most of my crew had been Captured in prison hulks or went straight to the gallows. Meaning one of two things was about to happen. They are bringing me to be hanged, or my lover was coming to see if I was fine. As the footsteps grew closer, I could feel my heart pounding like a drum inside my chest. I steady myself for a fight, breathing in and out. focusing my breath to help relieve tension and allow for optimal pounding. Boom, boom, boom. The leather boots of the guard were slamming on the floor like a parade of hammers, as they marched through the halls. I could hear them get closer and closer. I then realized there were two sets of feet. They both were coming for the cell. This was it. They have come to drag me off to the hangman's noose. This was the end. I do not fear death. I believe most in my profession do not fear it. It comes with the job. But I wasn't going to be hanged, I just was not. I hid in the spot where the wall meets the bars of the cell. Where I knew there was a blind spot. If anyone would try and get in I could ambush and knock them down before they could even draw their muskets. Even if I failed I would at least die fighting to stay alive. Better than judgment by a noose and whatever comes after. As I waited for them to come I could hear their conversation. “ Very strange that you would be doing this so late,” The guard said. “ especially with his hanging dates and all!” It was now to make my move.

flattened my body against the wall and waited for the sound of shoes or keys being pushed into the door. I waited for them to come. My heart was still pounding it was a ticking clock that was about to explode into a crazed ringing. But instead of that dreaded sound of keys, I heard a man say “ There he is Mister Withinsby! Captain Sean “bloody stained” Thawne! Scourge of the sea- suahhh! Where did he go!” The man looked up and down for me. Then left and right. In his confusion h failed to notice me slip from my hiding spot and stand directly in front of him. “ Ohh there you are! You have a visitor. He will ask you some questions and you will respond to them in a timely fashion you lazy lout! Understand! No funny business got It? I silently stared at the man for what felt like an eternity. My heart stopped its veracious beating “ and I replied with a bare tone“Aye'. Then he paused. He looked slightly shocked that I was being agreeable. I had not seen him before so maybe he was a new guard. Turning of the shifts and all that. Expected “Bloody stained” Thawn to be a violent fecker eh? Probably for the usual reasons. He made some noises with his mouth that sounded like a mix between a stammer and a gasp and then promptly responded “uhh all right he will visit you for the next four days. Be kind or well you know?” The man looked at me with an expression of disgust and disdain, proceeded to look away in fright, jerking his head from me and then mimed stabbing me with a musket bayonet. As he moved closer I could see what he looked like. He was so wrinkled that if a raisin had to be a part of the British forces they confuse the two. “Any way to Toodle lou ” he said. The Guard pulled a chair in front of the bars, turned to the right, and marched off before I had time to even ask him who was visiting. The chair sat between the end of my bed and the hallway that led to the other cells and the exit of the prison. A perfect position. I was excited at first thinking it was my lover. Those hopes were dashed when the playwright sat down.

The Playwright was a scrawny man in every sense of the word. To the point, it almost seemed as if his skin was only a sheet to hide his bones from the view of the world. His hair was the deep red that I had in my youth. Unlike me he was not freckled or scared his facial features seemed almost unnoticeable and no blemishes. As if his features were built purposefully to be plain, almost boring if features could be that. He had a line nose, brown wood colored eyes, and from what I could see was shaved smooth. His only truly noticeable physical quality was that he had a very noticeable 5 o'clock shadow. But even so, the most outstanding thing about him was not his features. It was what he was wearing. It was the most ridiculous outfit I had ever seen. He had a pink shirt and a white ruff, white cuffs, and a pair of bright green pants that clung to him as if they were made of honey. He also had pointed shoes that defied the laws of Newton. It was almost like a stereotypical play writer's outfit. Like the one, I had seen back in Ireland as a boy in a production of Midsummer Night's Dream. They had an actor come out on stage pretending to be Shakespeare. It was strange, but I guess it was just a tradition the company had. To honor the man I guess (Funny though, I could swear the man playing Shakespeare had pointed ears). He sat down in a hunched position where his knees nearly touched his chin. He didn't look at me as he did. He only prepared his parchment, got out a quill, and strangely placed the quill into one of his pockets. He then took it out and began to jot something down as if the pen and ink on it. He then spoke

“Name,” Said the Playwright with a tone as cold as ice. I said nothing and had promptly sat on the head of my bed. Which was right in front of the man. I was so close to him that even with the bars stopping me from putting my whole arm through, I could still touch him with one finger. The hallway was cramped and not meant for visitors. Unless it was rats or the occasional spider that was your company of course. Not the architect's fault. Most people would never visit. If they did it was usually a rich something or bailing another rich something or other out. Or a debt collector trying to get someone to pay up. Or the jailors trying to get a payment. For some lucky few, the random discharge would be in order. If the cells were too crowded. I was not getting that luxury. The man paid no attention to me for a solid minute. He then began to notice I had changed positions, and that I was in hair grabbing reach. Well, poking reach. During this time he paid no attention to my closeness and continued to jot something down. He slowly realized how close I was. And for the first time of me meeting this man, he looked at me. For what felt like a very long second he just stared at me. He then slowly moved his rickety chair back. It made an “errrrr” noise as he did it.
He sat back down on his chair. put on what I could only assume was his best fake smile and said “Name, please”. I looked him up and down and said nothing. The man did not show any reaction though but he dropped the fake smile. He looked down at his notes. Taped his feet four times. And spoke. “Do you Insist on being this gregarious with all my questions?” I chuckled and replied, “no, but I don’t give away answers, nor my time for free.” For the first time, I could see a bit of emotion on his face. His eyebrow curved and he seemed to be shocked at my reply. He shook his head, looked down for a moment, and began a conversation that will culminate in my escape, his death, and simultaneously the end of the evilest man I had ever met, and finally finding the one I had lost all those years ago.

Chapter 2
Hell in High high water

The Playwright looked at me and said plainly “ you are in no position to bargain with.” I replied immediately “Then you won’t need that time or answers then and this has concluded are dealings, and you can promptly leave.'' I pointed towards the door. He looked at me with a calm and almost vacant expression that was undermined by the large sweat bead that dripped from his forehead as I spoke. It was this very moment that made me realize something was not quite right with this “Playwright”. He wiped his brow, looked at his parchment, and started what I only could describe as smacking his stack of parchment against his knees. He then looked up at me one more and said “ What is your price?” I bluntly replied'' You must not lie to me when you give information about yourself.” he was visibly twitching as I spoke. He attempted to cut me off before I could finish my sentence “ understood-” I quickly interrupted “and you must do something for me in return” and before he could say anything else I quickly cut him off at the last possible second, and in a clear succinct tone I said. “ do you agree to these terms of the agreement?” He looked at me with stunned silence. That's when I knew he was Rune Tongue. Another bead of sweat rolled down his face. This time he quickly wiped it up with his sleeve, rolled his eyes around the room once, and replied. “ I agree” “good,” I said. “Now who are you and what do you want?” He looked with a dull condescending look” My Name is Archbold winthinsby, I am a playwright and the play I am writing about is the lives and times of multiple pirates and other sea-based criminals who formed a confederation under the banner of The Bloody Bones Coalition. They operated as a group which was extremely unlike most pirates of the West Indies and specific to this group they dealt exclusively in the strange and thaumaturgical aspects of trade” he stopped picked up his parchment and said “ I want to know your involvement so I may be able to write a play about it” he flashed his fake smile for a second. to relax my apprehension. But when he saw my gruff visage he knew I would not be one over by simple pleasantries. It also did not help the situation that I had stayed quiet and I was visibly spitting out bits of old food stuck in my teeth. His regular bland emotional expression returned and he said. “ Alright, if you're not going to talk I guess I'll be leaving” he then stood up promptly turned to the right. And started to walk away. Just before his entire body had moved outside of my vision his head turned towards me. He spoke in a pho jovial manner and said “ Oh, and Thank you for your time” his head turned, and as he was about to leave when I sighed and said in a dry voice “ as I was going to say.”He stopped. What do you want to know? But I will warn ya. No fecker has gotten my story without a deep price to pay. So I would be careful about what you want If I were you at least.” as I spoke Instead of the normal way a human would return to his seat with his head moving in conjunction with his body. The Playwright's body moved individually to his head for a brief moment. He was not headless just his head stayed and then his body moved separately. It was a good trick but an overdone one. As he sat in a jerky fashion his head twisted towards me and he asked the first question.“When did you start pirating Phantasmagorical goods?” he said smiling like a devil.

“The year was 1660.” I Began to recount. “I had been conducting my business with an associate of mine in Florida when I found my first real beast” As I talked the narration flew through my head. The Merchant ships were throughout the keys and it was certainly more lucrative than anything I had been smuggling or plundering back down in Barbados or Jamaica. Business opportunities were abundant. And I am not a man who can say no to opportunity. I liked my money and made a lot of it. Merchant ships in the Keys had everything that was lucrative for a prospecting buccaneer. Sugar, Rum, tobacco, and every little bit and crum of lucrative imports we could get our hands-on. It was good, but I was getting too comfortable. Not Noble comfortable. I did not have an estate or land or real money or power. And even if I did it would always be in question for various reasons, where I was born, my preferences in partners, etc. But when it came to my profession I was more wealthy than a king of Spain. I had a ship of 30 guns, 100 to 200 sturdy men, and I even had a bit of a reputation among my pirating peers. The business associate of mine had been able to find us somewhere comfortable to stay together In Florida. Steal from import vessels and keep visiting my business associate. Life was good. “Excuse me,” the playwright said bluntly. “What do you mean by a business associate? Was this man a benefactor of yours? A muse if you will?” He looked at with that same dry unemotional look he always did. I sighed and said “no we were…uh how do I explain this to someone of your sensibilities” I then paused and thought how to explain this to him. I then said “fuck it’ looked him dead in the eye and said “ we were lovers and he was a man” I paused and saw the playwright turn pale “ his name was Arturo Montemayor. He was noble. But he is not important. Unless you want to know more about him of course ”. I said as I could not help a smile move through my face. Remembering him was easy. Far more than that rotten day or any more of my terrible memories. A bit of comfort in a world of doubt. He was a good man. When I refocused my thoughts from my reminiscing of old lovers to back to the conversation. I could see the Playwright about to ask a mass of questions I did not want to answer I said “anyway back to the story”. I had been okay with my situation. No Buccaneer worth his weight should. I believe God has a funny way of punishing people who get comfortable. And he hit the highs of his comedy with the way he punished me. It could have been many things. But God decided it was going to be the S.S. Crusher Keys

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