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⚧Morri🏳️‍🌈 @focolaire
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I'm gonna try something I've been meaning to do for awhile regarding some of the non-player characters in #TheBookofExile I'm going to write some short little stories on them and likely post them into the game at some point. First up is Captain Abram Wolfe
The long weeks aboard the prison ship were coming to a close soon. Wolfe knew this by the scent of the air; It was old, rotten and felt heavy in his lungs. He'd only made the trip once before, but that was different, back then then he wasn't the one in a cell.
A fresh chill blew down the row of cells as a rough gust buffeted the ship. Wolfe drew himself up into his now overlarge coat to ward it off. His eyes looked out onto the other prisoners near him. There were men and women from all round the world, most of them rightly exiled.
He laughed inwardly and thought of his own situation. "Exiled for treason, what a farce..."

His old position was that of privateer captain doing the easily denied job of making sure the other nations knew that Tynan Weir controlled the seas. If only that fool of a noble hadn't-
decided to fly the wrong colors. And of all of the possible choice; the colors of a ship from a guild of known slavers from the southern warring states. It was a dark night on the Weir and the fog was even thicker than usual. Wolfe's ship and crew were well equipped for the task.
Fog-Eating Machines, enchanted spectacles, spyglasses as well the most quiet engine the artificers of the College on the Moors could provide. It was simple to just appear out of the fog and board the other ship. He and his men were practiced and eager to take on a-
deserving target for once.


Wolfe looked up, memory fading away as his current reality reasserted itself. There was a man in front of his cell resting an iron club against one of the bars. In his other hand was a ring with many keys that reflected the light of the-
candles illuminating this section of the ship.

"We're 'ere, Cap'n." he taunted in a rough voice

Wolfe glared at him for a moment before he stood. His joints popped and cracked as he rose to his feet. He realized he must truly look pathetic, he was swimming in his coat.
"We've made it to the Tir, huh? Do we still get a boat or have you decided to skip the formalities and just dunk us into the ocean?" Wolfe practically spat at the man.

His face contorted briefly to a grimace and then went back to a smirk. He knew he was in control here.
"Now, now oh Cap'n, my Cap'n. That just wouldn' be right, would it?" He laughed and the smell of rotten teeth spilled out

"I guess it wouldn't, would it." Wolfe walked over to the door "Let's get this over with." he presented his wrists to be cuffed.
The Jailor grinned showing all the blackened and broken teeth he could. "Co-operative aren't ya? Guess that's why it's jus' you 'ere an' not the rest a ya crew."

Wolfe kept his face neutral, but bit down on the inside of his lip. "Cuff me and get on with it."
The Jailor laughed again, this time in Wolfe's face then clapped the cuffs around his wrists through the bars. He opened the cell and bowed mockingly.

"Right this way, sir." he said then laughed before taking the lead.

Wolfe kept pace as the two of them passed many empty cells-
the remaining prisoners. They had been dropping off the other exiles periodically as the ship followed the unnatural currents around Lahad Tir. The two went up several levels of mildewed wooden stairs before reaching the top deck.
The light was not as blinding as he might have expected, the sky was overcast and almost looked bruised. As he was led towards the side of the boat that faced the Tir he was matched up with another prisoner. It was someone he knew, someone he'd sent off to jail.
Wolfe thought grimly on the Admiralty Board's sense of humor. Who he once knew as a beast of a man was much like he was now, withered from weeks of rations that barely counted as food. His tattoos distorted oddly now that much of his muscle had wasted away.
Another member of the crew pushed between Wolfe and his fellow exile hefting a large chest.

"Belongings for Abram Wolfe and Willie Anders." he said as he set it down on the small lifeboat

The Jailor turned to Wolfe and whispered "It is a small world, ain't it?"
"Now get on you two, your stop is next! And remember to make nice, at least until you aren't my problem anymore." spat the Jailor

Anders and Wolfe stared at each other for a moment before getting on the tiny vessel. It creaked as they got in, but otherwise seemed water-tight.
They positioned themselves facing each other with the chest of belongings between them. It was nice that they'd be allowed some of their personal effects, even if they were stuck in a mixed box. The two men stared at each other, not saying a word. There was a lurching-
and the sound of rope hissing through pulleys as the boat was lowered down towards the deep cobalt water. As the boat hit the water their cuffs clicked and fell off.

"Row! Or we shoot you ourselves!" yelled the Jailor over the side of the prison ship
Anders began rowing first, placing Wolfe's back towards the Tir. Wolfe started shortly after he did, but never stopped looking at Anders. He knew what type of man he was. Anders had been a murderer, not as Wolfe was, no. Anders prowled the streets for his prey.
There was never any reason behind them and it was only chance that Wolfe had caught him. Anders had been dumping his victims in a small secreted cove that Wolfe and his crew used on rare occasion. He just happened to be there when Wolfe's ship slid silently out of the mist.
"Anders, what do you intend on doing once you reach the Tir?" Wolfe asked, feigning benign interest

Anders continued to row without saying a word, Wolfe returned the gesture. The water here was thick and seemed to pull at their oars.
Once the prison ship was a good distance away there was a small click from the chest between them. Anders moved first for it. Wolfe pulled an oar up and pushed it into Anders' chest sending him backwards. He used a foot to flip open the chest.
"Not a smart move, Anders." he said as he slide the tip of the oar up to the other man's throat and pressed down.

Anders choked and sputtered as Wolfe glanced inside the chest. Within were his own belongings and several of Anders' trophies. He lifted a foot and pressed down-
on the oar. There was a wet squelching and the body that was once Anders went still.

"Should have done this when I first met you." he mumbled

Anders, as withered as he was, was still so heavy. Wolfe struggled to roll him off the vessel.
Once the corpse was off Wolfe watched as it was pulled under the dark waters by something. He sat down and began to row. The Tir was supposed to be a death sentence in and of itself. He knew this and frankly, he didn't care.
The rest of his passage went by without incident and he made landfall in an area of the beach strewn with old driftwood and other things that washed up here. He drug the chest off the boat and began sifting through it. He took the time to bury Anders' trophies.
Once that was complete he grabbed his own belongings; a short blade, an engraved silver flask, a set of cards & dice, a heavy flintlock and his cigar case. He unscrewed the flask and took a drink.

"Still good, guess it's shore leave for me" he said and began to walk inland.
He made his way up the escarpment that separated his landing from the rest of the Tir and surveyed the land. First, the beach he had just left behind. The sand was abnormally ashen and dotted with more wrecks and debris than he could imagine.
The Tir was known for it's covetous grasp, but to see it with his own eyes was something else entirely. The shallows were littered with fragments of vessels from every nation and several that had fallen over the centuries, all of them clustered around the sharp spires of stone-
that jutted out of the waves like teeth. The beach itself wave strewn with abandoned life boats and remnants of campfires. Large crustaceans chased swarms of sand mites across the sands and through the debris. One of the crabs scuttled over a strange looking patch of sand and
there was a flash of movement and a horrible cracking sound. Blue blood and sand sprayed into the air as something massive attacked the crab and rose out of the beach. It was huge, a few meters of it stuck out of the ground and hinted at even more beneath.
Its hide was leathery but unmistakable in its similarity to a species of worms Wolfe had seen near the merchant confederacy of Kasite. It seemed to operate much the same, but on a far grander scale. The sand settled around it as it began to retract into the beach.
The crab was no where to be seen, crushed and devoured by the massive worm that now was flush with the ground, save for its crossed sets of mandibles. Even from up on the escarpment there was an audible sound that reminded him of over stressed rigging as the mandibles opened and-
came to rest nestled into the nearby debris. It looked barely any different from the other sections of the beach now, so well did it camouflage itself.

Wolfe fumbled for his flask and took another sip, the smooth burn of Tynan Weir fire brandy was a welcome feeling.
He heard a sound near himself as he screwed the cap back on and drew his blade. Near his position a strange six-legged turtle with what seemed to be an exoskeleton was digging at the ground, apparently looking for something. Wolfe relaxed a little and watched the creature.
It scraped and scrabbled at the dry, but still warm earth until it snapped its jaw shut on something. It pulled its head back and snapped again before gently pulling out a piece of root and began to walk off. Wolfe looked at the turtle, his stomach rumbled.
"Sorry little guy." he mumbled as he reversed the grip on his blade.

These creatures didn't seem to fear humans, that was odd, but he didn't have much energy to devote to that as he became more aware of the gnawing hunger his adrenaline had been suppressing.
The turtle was actually rather large, its shell about equal in size to the torso of a man. Wolfe stalked behind it before leaping on top of it and embedding his blade in its neck. It barely had a chance to cry out before its head was severed with a quick wrenching of the blade.
The root it had been slowly chewing on rolled out of its jaws into a spreading pool of blue blood. He cleaned off his blade on his coat before placing it back in its sheathe. With a quick scan of the surrounding area he was able to see the remnants of an old campfire.
He held onto one of the legs and dragged his kill towards the site. Without life animating it, the shell made it surprisingly easy to drag along the scrub and grass that covered most of the area overlooking the beach. The old campsite was nestled up against an outcropping of rock
that shielded it from the winds that seemed to never stop blowing up here.

He set down his kill and surveyed the area. While he wasn't a skilled tracker something seemed very off here. The fire had been quenched with dirt and would be very easy to restart. There was-
evidence of several people here as well. His eyes drifted up from the ground to the stones that shielded the area from the winds. There it was. Deep claw marks in the stone, a place where a flintlock ball struck and a distorted section of stone likely warped by magic.
Wolfe grumbled, but decided that filling his belly would let him survive longer than continuing inland with a fresh kill. He rebuilt the fire and began roasting the legs of the turtle. It had been well over a month since he'd had anything but near rotten hardtack and the scent-
of roasting meat was intoxicating. He ate as much as he could, fulfilling his body's basic need for food pushing his concerns down. Night had fallen over the course of his meal and he found himself alone around the flame, not a single star visible in the sky.
Feeling the weight of everything he positioned himself with his back to the stone and made sure his flintlock was loaded before letting sleep take him.

In his dreams he was back in Tynan Weir, he was home in his office at the Admiralty, alone.
Wolfe had a lover once, but where they went he couldn't recall at the time. Pieces were missing. He looked around the office, his eyes resting on the bookcase that he knew held nautical charts, trade logs and several personal books. The books were blank, like the words had-
melted off never to be seen again. Everything seemed to be losing definition. There was a pulsing sound in his ears. A loud, deep thrumming that became painful the longer he heard it. He stood up quickly, the chair was thrown back as if gravity had broken.
It clattered against the window behind him. He turned to face the window. He looked out, out further and further over an unfamiliar city. His head ached as the pounding continued. The scent of rot began to fill the room followed by a loud snap.
It was enough to wake him from his dream and reveal a nightmare. Looming opposite him across the dwindling fire and illuminated by it was something truly horrific. It stood nearly eight feet tall and reeked of decaying marine life. Its skin was taught in some places and sagged-
in others, but what was most terrible about it was the way it was constructed. Seemingly random growths of arms, legs and teeth all over its body and the head of a shark with a bifurcated jaw. Wolfe scrambled and grabbed his flintlock, leveled it at the creature and fired.
The roar of the gun was deafening when reflected by the stone behind him, but the ball blew a portion of the creature's right jaw off. It gurgled and shrieked while lurching forward over the embers of the campfire. Wolfe scrambled as well as he could considering he had just been-
asleep as the creature clawed with a malformed arm at where he had just been. He managed to get to his feet and began running while feverishly attempting to reload his gun in the pitch black night. He packed the powder and fumbled several balls that clattered to the ground as he-
ran. The creature was gaining on him, but was partially alight from the campfire, not that it seemed to care. Wolfe finished packing the shot, whipped around and shot at the creature once more. It blew off the top portion of its head and it slumped forward and came to a stop.
He took a moment, his lungs aflame and heart practically leaping out of his chest to watch the thing burn. The scent of burning rot filled the air as flames danced across the monstrous form. Wolfe looked into the darkness that now surrounded him and the burning abomination.
He began to load another shot, just in case there were more of them. He prayed there were no more of them. His weapon loaded he took the last swig of fire brandy from his flask before putting it back in his coat.

"The Tir, certainly earned its reputation well." he spat.
The flames moved irregularly and he felt his stomach drop. The creature was still alive. Its flesh seemed to quiver and quake before new limbs thrust out of the burning pile. Cursing, Wolfe fired another shot at the mass of burning limbs before turning to run into the darkness.
A clawed arm shot out of the writhing mass and tore at the back of his calf, hobbling him. The pain was terrible, but he had to run. He had to get away. Absolutely every fiber of his being wanted to be gone and away from this horror. He kept running as well as he could, the-
blood running down his calf rapidly cooling. He couldn't feel his foot after some distance and fell onto loamy earth. He turned and began trying to push his body away. It wasn't responding. He felt cold, tired. He passed out.
He was back in that dream again. He looked out on the unfamiliar city. He could see the sun on the horizon. No, not the sun, something else, but it glowed so wonderfully. Tendrils of light extended from the shining mass, travelling down the streets and between the buildings.
They reached the building he was in and snaked up to the window like clinging vines. The tendrils pushed through the glass, shattering it, but the shards did not fall. Glass hung like giant snowflakes in the air as the tendrils of light wrapped around his body.
It was soothing, it felt safe and warm. As he relaxed something went wrong and the tendrils constricted sharply, digging into this flesh. He screamed a wordless scream and woke up.

It was day, he was face down in the dirt. Behind him the smoldering remains of the the horror.
His body was whole, but how? He checked his calf that the creature had ripped into, it was smooth and unmarred, but as he went to remove his hand from the skin there he felt movement beneath.

"What in all the hells is happening here?" he stammered
With a quaking hand he pulled out his blade and cut into his own calf. There was no pain, like he was cutting something else. The flesh of the calf parted easily and gaped open. No blood poured from it. He watched it in awe.
Then from inside the wound, small writhing protrusions emerged. They interlocked with those from the other side and pulled the wound shut. For the first time in his life, Wolfe was well and truly terrified. What had happened to him?
Shaking off the feelings and focusing on more immediate concerns, Wolfe looked around himself. He'd run further than he'd thought. He was surrounded by plains dotted with outcroppings of rocks that seemed to reach up from the earth itself.
The beach was only visible on the horizon and to his north was what appeared to be an old tower and even further a great black spire reaching up into the bruised sky. He eventually managed to make out what appeared to be a road to the east and headed for it.
He was very aware of how alien his new flesh felt and how it seemed to not feel any pain or anything really. The crunch of dried grasses under foot was calming to him and reminded him of when he was younger and still lived out in the moors.
Better days to be sure, when he wasn't worried about enforcing the Admiralty's trade law with words or cannon fire. Wolfe thought of the times when he and his, his... Who? Who was he thinking of. His steps grew irregular and erratic in pacing. His head spun.
He lost his balance and tumbled over rolling on his shoulder out of reflex, his hand going to the grip of his flintlock. He drew it and pointed it forward, at what, at the bruised sky and craggy horizon? Who was he trying to remember?
He tried desperately to focus as he put his gun back into its holster. His other hand went for his flask and began unscrewing the top.

"Nothing, not a damn drop." Wolfe closed his flask and jammed it back into his coat

"Damn it." He muttered and began walking again
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