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Thursday, December 10

Isles of the Damned: Conclusion

The city of Freeport loomed before them, a welcome sight after spending so much time at sea.

“That was quite a risk you took,” said Beldin. “There was no guarantee that Cadic would restore your hand.”

Vlad nodded, flexing his fingers. “But he did. That’s all that matters.”

“The artifacts stopped working,” sighed Kham. “The Pistol won’t even fire. I tried it.”

Captain Baldric clumped by, muttering about reckless sailors.

“Fortunately,” said Kham a little louder. “I loaded the treasure into chests. There’s enough for the crew and all of us too.”

“Now what?” asked Beldin, staring at Freeport’s docks.

“I am deeply unsatisfied,” said Sebastian. “I find it hard to believe that Cadic manipulated us across so many years merely to lift a curse with an artifact that was in his grasp the whole time. If that even was Cadic.”

“Whether or not that was Cadic, I can’t stay in Freeport,” said Vlad. “With war brewing on the continent, Duke Adolphos will want me at his side. I’m hopping the first gate to Milandir.”

“I’ve requested arms and armor from Master Elabac. I suspect he wants me to return home as well,” said the dwarf. “But I agree with Sebastian, whatever Cadic’s got up his sleeve has not yet been fully revealed.”

Kham shrugged. “I’m done with this place. I’m going to buy myself a big Altherian gunship. And then I’m going to drink and whore my way into unconsciousness like any good pirate should.”

“You’ve changed,” said Vlad. “You seem more…hedonistic.”

Kham spat. “Bah. I’m merely embracing my inner pirate. We just encountered a god. We’re lucky to be alive. If I were you, I’d forget this whole war nonsense. I could use a first mate…”

Vlad chuckled and shook his head.

“Besides,” said Kham. “I’m not the only one who’s changed. Sebastian’s been acting strange too, ever since he touched that Bell. I think he’s cursed.”

The dark-kin merely crossed his arms. “The power of the artifacts have unlocked access to powers I did not know I had. But I am hardly…” he said the word with distaste, “cursed.”

“You nearly forgot the most important treasure of all.” Kham tossed Sebastian a tiny box that had contained the gaseous form of von Grebel. He smiled up at the noontime sun.

Sebastian smiled back. “We are technically in Freeport, as I swore by Sarish.” He lifted the lid over his head.

“Now wait a minute,” said Beldin. “You can’t just—“ more

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:53 AM


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