I approached the entrance of the mine, trepidation in my heart. Ever since the pirates came and unlocked the entrance, many ships have come to investigate. Most simply want power, seeking the Cursed Blades rumored to be hidden within. Some, like me, simply wish to discover what happened here - for academic purposes. Near the north idol, inside an excavated chest yet discarded by the person who excavated it; a pirate most likely, uninterested in that which is not cursed or made of gold, was a journal. A very old journal, written in Spanish. Most of the pages are faded or water-smeared beyond all hope of restoration, but one page, in particular, was mostly preserved. With what little knowledge of Spanish I had, I began to translate the journal and unearth its secrets...
January 16th, (the words here are smudged, but presumably the rest of the date)
Now that the campaign is over, and our ship has been crashed on this godforsaken island, I finally have a moment to collect my thoughts and process recent events.
Our captain is a fool, a fool who has led our campaign to ruin. After six months of mapping those cursed caverns and fighting Jones’ hellish crew, our goal was at hand. Leading the way into the final chamber, the captain’s sword glowed in his hand, pointing unerringly towards the wall of the cave. Men with tools moved forward and began to dig, while the rest of us set up a perimeter to keep out those who would oppose us. Finally, after nearly three days of fighting and digging, we broke through, the rush of water nearly washing away our camp; the trenches we had prepared carrying away the deluge into unused parts of the caverns. When the water stopped raging, we moved into the chamber, ready for whatever those monsters had in store for us.
The chamber was dark and damp, lit only by our torches and the captain’s glowing sword. The cave was massive, large enough to house a fleet of mighty galleons. The space echoed with our footsteps and the sounds of dripping water and the flickering light cast by our torches illuminated shipwrecks, many shipwrecks in various stages of disrepair; twisted, decayed, and covered in sea life, like the mossy bones of slain giants. The air was cool and moist, smelling of rotting wood and decaying flesh, along with something… cold. Something speaking of great power and unspeakable horror. None of us spoke, for fear of disturbing what felt like a tomb.
“Search the ships, and recover everything inside!” the captain shouted. “This treasure is ours, men! For Spain, and for glory!”
The men shouted in agreement; their cries echoing off the cavern walls like the roar of the ocean. The captain waved me over and said quietly, “Take your men and search that vessel.” He gestured to the largest wreck, half-submerged in a tepid pool. “The blades I seek must be in there. I will send more men to help you.”
I followed his orders, excited about what I would find. Our captain has been obsessed with the arcane, ever since that heathen aberration gave him that unholy cutlass. Perhaps inside, I would find a weapon of my own with equal power. Fortunately, I was right. The wrecked galleon was filled with chest upon chest of cursed weapons. The more we opened, and with every chest we removed, the air in the ship got colder, a chill that cut to my very soul, though I trembled more with excitement than fear. My men were joined by Cicatriz and her forces; working together, we soon had the ship unloaded and the chests lashed to carts and headed for the beach.
As the last chest was unloaded and the last cart had begun its journey back, a blood-chilling cry echoed through the chamber. Several explosions disoriented us, and Davy Jones’ crew began to materialize from the walls, from the decks, and from the very ground itself. When this campaign began, we were warned that Davy Jones’ crew was made up of those who died at sea, the number of which I never before had cause to comprehend. For every crew we struck down, two more took its place.
As the men fled to the ships, scattering like rats from the torchlight, the captain loomed high above on his horse like an awesome god of war; his ghostly visage a testament to the unholy power of his sword.
“On me, men! On me! These creatures cannot harm us!” he exclaimed. Easy for him to say, his sword protects him from most strikes; they pass through his spectral form without harm.
“FACE ME JONES, YOU COWARDLY EEL!” The captain roared, “FACE ME IF YOU DARE!”
As the sea-devil himself appeared before our captain, towering taller than all of us. A blazing green fire appeared at the cruel captain’s feet. I knew the battle was long from over. I considered running for the ships, but I could not risk Jones reclaiming his weapons, not after coming so far for them. Rallying my men, I saw Cicatriz do the same with hers. Together, we reinforced the captain and began to actually drive the cursed crew back. What happened between Jones and the captain, I do not know; I was too busy fighting off Jones’ crew, which kept coming and coming in endless waves; as relentless as the sea itself.
The battle was chaotic but glorious, the cursed blade I had recovered enabling me to strike them down by the dozens. Never before have I felt so alive! Eventually, we made our way to the beach and to the safety of our ships. The captain was not his usual, spectral self, his face held an unbridled rage barely contained by his physical form. The ships had been loaded with our plunder, and so we took to open sea.
Barely was that forsaken isle of torment out of sight behind us, when with a thunderous splash, the ghost ship herself, the Flying Dutchman, sprang from the water like the rising of the dead. Without pause, her gunports opened and her cannons spoke, spitting fiery lead and remorseless cannonade. The captain ordered our fleet to stand its ground, nearly two-dozen ships and two hundred men, all that was left of an army nearly five hundred strong when first we sailed. Nearly two dozen ships vs the Flying Dutchman; the best of Spain versus the Ship of the Dead. As ship after ship began to explode and sink, reclaiming half the cursed weapons for the sea, the captain signaled for our last war galleon to follow; it and his flagship began to flee.
“Captain, are we returning to Padres del Fuego?” I asked, wondering how long our men could distract Davy Jones.
“I feel we must; Davy Jones cannot set foot on land,” he answered. “We have enough of his weapons aboard to hold back any attack.”
“Perhaps an alternative,” I offered. I pointed out a rocky island, whose mountain towered into the sky like a grim fortress; a flock of ravens circling the highest peaks. “We could land on that island and make a stand. Redistribute our men and weapons before making a final run to Padres.”
The captain approved of the plan and signaled our other ship to alter course. After withstanding another attack from Jones’ men when we landed, we redistributed our men, cargo, and cannon and prepared to sail for Padres del Fuego. It was then that I noticed it on my hand. An evil curse; a portent of doom. Cicatriz had one too, as did the captain. No matter, we are more than a match for anything Jones can throw at us; we have his weapons, after all! He could not stop us from taking them, and he will not stop us from keeping them! We sailed, the war galleon in front as an escort and the smaller flagship behind. Barely had we escaped the shallows when the galleon came to a grinding halt.
“Blasted fools; not enough sense to avoid a reef!” the commander roared.
It was no reef. What it was I cannot say, only that the galleon’s fate was swift and deadly. Alone now, on our remaining ship and realizing we could not outrun the sea, we returned to the barren rock from whence we launched. The cove we hid in was collapsed, to cut off our vessel from the wrath hunting us at sea. The boss has us mining in the mountains, both as a base to defend and searching for ore; he has a plan to craft new weapons for use to break this siege and escape our prison. For this island surely is a godforsaken place; if we cannot escape, then these mines will be our tomb.