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Library: The Phantom Ship of Batrealm's Northern Sea

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Author: nu
Date:Oct 15 2006

The Phantom Ship of Batrealm's Northern Sea.

This tale begins early one winter's morning in the year of 698. The captain of
our ship, the ISI Sentinel, had accepted a charter as picket escort to the
merchant trader JHW Bloodway. The Bloodway was planning a dangerous trade
route through pirate infested waters, starting at its home route in Highwater,
to Oystria, and on to Bat City. Our mission was a simple one, serve as extra
eyes for the Bloodway to warn of any pirates, and perhaps draw off any
pursuit.

It was a cold morning, too cold for any morning fog. As soon as the Bloodway
was loaded, we set sail, making good progress. Mid-day, something happened:

"Ship on the horizon, captain!" came the call from the crow's nest. "She's
showing no flag!"  When the captain went to look, nothing was there.  Strange.

The rest of the journey to Oystria went uneventfully.  The Bloodway crew
managed their trade with the crab folk, no problems.  When we left is when the
story really begins.

During the night spent outside Oystria, the fog rolled in.  Between the ship
sighting earlier and the lower visibility, the captain ordered a double watch.
 In the morning, the Bloodway emerged from the Oystria whirlpool.  We raised
anchor and joined her, plotting a route to Bat City.

"Ship, 100 feet to starboard captain!" came a shout from the crow's nest.  A
moment later, "Aye captain, she's closing fast," this time from the other
watchman.

"Stand fast!" ordered the captain.  "Prepare to ram, give the Bloodway a
chance to clear away!"

As we prepped for battle, the incoming ship's cannons roared.  The Sentinel
shuddered with the impact.

"The rudder's been hit!" shouted the helmsman.

"It's the Interceptor!" came a shout from the crow's nest.

A shiver ran through all our spines.  The Interceptor, just what we'd been
afraid of, the most fearsome pirate of the northern sea!  The captain
immediately ordered us to change course and flee, hoping the Interceptor would
give chase.  A signal was sent to the Bloodway, telling them to run full speed
while we drew the pirates off.

The navigator plotted a change in course.  CRASH!  Another cannon shot.  One
of the crew members fell from the rigging, heavily wounded.  We sailed into
the fog at top speed.

"Ship dead ahead, brace for impact!" came a shout.  Dead ahead, shimmering in
a swirl of fog and faint beams of moonlight, was a large derelict galleon.  I
grabbed the rail for support and closed my eyes.  A shiver went down my spine
and my breath was pulled from my chest.  My body felt frozen to the bone, and
the crew went absolutely silent.  I opened my eyes, looked around me, and saw
the galleon sailing immediately behind us, a skeleton crew (literally!)
working it's rigging!

We didn't see the Interceptor again, and have never taken any more charters in
those waters.

--Paul, 2nd Mate of the ISI Sentinel, Night Watch


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