The Journal of Ezikial Hands, Journeyman Gunner Part Seventeen

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Dense the jungle was as we traveled into it: dark and close. Of all of us, only Pluggsley seemed to feel at home. As we forged our way deeper, towards the temple, the nature of the local beasts was discussed. Dinosaurs were what they were called, some sort of lizard of large proportions perhaps.

Shortly, we arrived at the temple, a magnificent ziggurat carved with crude images of jaguars. Seeking the lair of the Kora-Koro, we made our way closer. Then the bushes disgorged several large, bird-like creatures that were set to harm us and, by the looks of their claws and teeth, consume our flesh. Being well suited to their hostile environment, they made quick inroads upon our flesh and Sandara was hard pressed to keep us in fighting trim. As we began to recover from our surprise, we heard it: a loud voice of a larger one of these creatures that had grown bat like wings and swooped down o upon Chopper. After lightly mauling him, it spoke some words in a language I could not make out and darkness fell upon us. Sandara, being of a prepared mind was able to dismiss this darkness and we won our victory over the beasts.

Being of a mind to test the properties of its blood, I kept the beast’s blood from draining and made to take it back to the Crisis. Also, we did find the corpse of the gunman and were able to recover the pistol described by Grok, a pistol with six barrels around a pivot…

(the journal goes into great detail on the workings of a rotational pepperbox pistol, with sketches)

When we arrived at the river mouth, we espied a mast of great proportions, indicating a large vessel, perhaps even a man-o-war. Seeking to avoid conflict with such a ship, we spied upon it and saw that our only chance to escape it would be to disable the steering so that we may sail past it unperused.

Those of our group with a stealthy bent were to sneak aboard, whilst I would man the boat, holding it out of sight, and Reiko would ready the Crisis to recover us.

I had to assume that the boarders were discovered, for I saw that the crew of the man-o-war made ready. To make myself useful, I set myself as a distraction by firing Feruzi’s bow at the ship. I did notice that the powder horn that I had made to explode worked and then the boarders escaped the ship and we all rejoined our own.
The man-o-war fired upon us but missed and we made our escape.

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The Journal of Ezikial Hands, Journeyman Gunner Part Seventeen

Skull and Shackles Gurtchmann