Samsara & The Privateer

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The sand crunched under a pair of light buckled leather boots as they set foot on Black Mountain island. The sun began to rise, a clean-shaven man picked up his wet tricorne hat and looked towards the rough sea, his beautiful ship had smashed into rocks that were concealed just beneath the surface of the water, a storm had manifested as if it were engineered by the gods and forced his ship into the treacherous terrain. He was flung into the icy grips of the ocean and carried to the shore by an undercurrent. Smoke began to billow from the wreck, he watched his motley crew scramble to get away from his burning beauty, screams came from within the ship with parts of her raining down due to a massive explosion.

The water turned cherry red with severed limbs floating towards the shore, he watched in dismay while his prized cargo floated off in crates and barrels. He worried more about what was happening to the collection of oddities he had acquired over the years than his crew itself. You see the Captain of the burning beauty named Samsara was in fact a Privateer, but not any Privateer. He started off as an official pirate, licensed by the British state to seize Spanish ships and a portion of their prizes. That was until he came across a supposedly cursed artefact that changed the course he once followed. He was now more a collector of supernatural eccentricities, from superstitiously declared cursed or possessed items to the much darker and sinister kind, those being some of them were alive and even worse some of them were dead, and now they were leaving him one ocean current at a time.

The wooden barrels and crates covered in magical symbols were swept off by the gulf stream while others rolled to shore on the waves. A few crew members washed up on the beach intact with some of the crates and, apart from vomiting and choking from the amount of ingested saltwater, they were fine for the time being. The Captain watched the embers fall from Samsara's main mast, crumbling and crashing down into the ocean, her piercing red flag disintegrating in the flames enveloping her crow's nest. "Cap'n Sir," he turned to a tall young man, "we are all of us cursed, Cap'n Sir," he warned pursing his chapped lips. The Captain did not answer his neurotic powder-monkey.

He walked towards the other crew member with the youngster following behind. He was relieved to find his Quartermaster alive, they had travelled the seas together for many years collecting peculiarities from many continents. "Cap'n," his raspy voice quivered slightly, "why are you not aboard Samsara?" he asked with the rest of the crew standing behind him. The Captain became angry, he pushed past his second in command as the Bosun muttered his concerns to another member under his pungent breath. The Captain turned and explained that he was flung off the ship and due to the current ended up on the shore. He continued to tell his crew that if they questioned him again they would all wish they had died aboard Samsara as he drew his cutlass. The Captain's tough linen breeches and calico waistcoat were drenched, he looked down at his hands as the saltwater stung his fresh burns, he looked towards what was left of Samsara, he then looked at the barrels floating further away from the island. "She left me as mysteriously as she found me," he said to himself. The storm seemed to dissipate within a matter of moments before his eyes, he rested his decrepit hat on his head as he remembered meeting Samsara.

The Captain was stranded nine years before on a small island after being robbed on one of his many senseless explorations, he was looking for a cursed mirror that was believed to open a doorway to another world. To his consternation, he was led astray and left on a deserted island to die, his ship the Alexandria Delroy was taken from him, his crew were slaughtered except for his Quartermaster who managed to escape the ship and find the Captain. He lay resting against a Banyan tree with the pale moonlight casting down on their tired bodies, suffering from dehydration and losing the will to live he looked out to the ocean. He was not sure how many days or weeks they had been on the island but his body was shutting down, he looked towards the ocean and begged to be saved from a hellish death, he offered everything from an eternity of service to even giving his soul, to whatever or whomever was listening and interested.

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