Skull and Shackles
Merrill 16 Rova
Excerpts from Merrill’s Journal: 16 Rova 4712 AR
A great deal of oddness to record today. We left Hell Harbor on the morning tide before first light, making for the shorter route toward the Island of Empty Eyes that passes Deg’s Machine. I thought little enough of the circumstance at first, but a lone merchantman has been dogging our course for most of the day. All my efforts to either get a closer look at it or leave it behind proved vain, so I became sore puzzled. Deg’s Machine is considered by most too risky a course for ordinary trading vessels and there is little else here but some inhospitable rocks supporting great colonies of birds. No people as far as I know. I was beginning to have grave suspicions when the ship abruptly vanished. Not wanting to chance the Machine with who knows what possible foes lurking, I called for Labella to turn the ship so we could ascertain their purpose for once and for all.
It did not prove to be a terribly long search. The merchantman put in some distance from a rocky island that is large enough to support a small patch of jungle and dispatched four heavily-laden longboats to the shore, where they were met by a group of men that appear to be camped on the island, which does not seem large enough to have a ready source of fresh water, meaning they must have some other means of supply. Sure enough, when we sought out a secluded position to observe them from what do we discover but another ship, the Jester’s Grin, a corvette belonging to one Fargo Vitterande. This seems unlikely to be coincidental. Neither ship seems to have spotted us as yet, so tonight under cover of darkness I plan to have Renvel take some of his men ashore and see what they may discover to unravel this apparent conspiracy.