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Monday, June 16

Baumann's Prize: Conclusion

Corinalous stood over the corpse of his friend, shaking his head. “Oh Flint. I told you not to pursue this.”

Kham peered at the words. “Leviathan, we offer these gifts in your name. O Master of the Seas, guide us as we struggle in your foul name. Bloody One, grant us strength.”

“Leviathan?” Vlad took a step back. “Did you say Leviathan?”

Between the unhallowed words, Kham could make out one design that was almost familiar: an octopus’ head. As he looked closer, he realized something strange about the design: five stars circle the dome of the octopus.

Corinalous lifted up a heel of the dead gnome’s boot and, twisting it slightly, pulled out a carefully folded piece of parchment.

He handed the parchment to Kham. It was browned, faded and roughened to the consistency of leather.

They stepped out of the room and downstairs. Sebastian took Bobbin aside to explain what happened.

Kham unrolled the parchment onto a nearby table. It expanded into a cracked five-foot square map, with wear along the edges.

The map had no indications of scale or direction; the trails of latitude and longitude began at the margins of the map, but they didn’t extend more than a few inches. Five islands rendered in ochre by an unsteady hand dominated the map, forming a rough circle.

Four of the island drawings featured terrain markings—mountains, jungles, natural harbors, and so forth. In addition, a unique icon sat below each of the four islands: a prosthetic hook, a spyglass, a ship’s bell, and a pistol. The fifth island was blank, save for a symbol in its middle—an octopus head and crossbones with five stars ringed above the dome of the head—and a single word beneath it: R’LYEH.

“That’s the sign of Leviathan,” said Vlad again, tapping the octopus head. “So the Leviathan cult has finally made it to Freeport.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:54 PM


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