Top of the sink hole
Skagharin heaved himself to the top of the sinkhole, along with his companions. He noted with distaste that Dintari had carried the demon-worshipping priest up with them. The priest still lived, though he was unconscious. “What did you bring him up for?”, he asked irritably. Dintari shrugged. A chilly grey sky pressed down on Skull Island. Skagharin shivered. The priest Alefric led them back to his stone temple, where the fires of Brigantia still roared in the hearth. Moonshadow was injured; he slumped in the corner. They tied and gagged the priest. Skagharin examined the strange crystal. It was orange in colour, glowed slightly, and was like no rock Skagharin had seen on earth or under it.
Fire and food
It had been an eventful night, but Skagharin did not feel like rest. He wandered the island with Alefric in search of food, but also to scout out the territory by daylight. Alefric pointed out a small bay with a usable dinghy pulled ashore. “The villagers used it,” he said. The two also passed a deeper sinkhole, and the old watchtower which was now a nesting place for eagles. Alefric and Skagharin climbed up and down the cliffs to gather eggs for breakfast.
When they returned to the temple, Freilen had been interrogating the prisoner. Freilen said the priest had offered him great wealth. Skagharin was skeptical. “The only wealth in this entire village is the inkeeper’ s better stuffs — but we saw none of that.” Freilen noted consternation in the priest’ s eyes at the mention of the inn.
When everyone was up and breakfasted, they decided to investigate the eagles’ tower. They dragged the priest along too.
Eagles of the tower
The eagles swooped and keened over the tower. How to get them to move on without killing them? Skagharin glanced at the demon-priest in disgust. This one would happily have ended all their lives; Freilen pointed out a skeleton at the base of the tower and Skagharin nodded. They staked out the priest, still bound and gagged. One of the eagles swooped to investigate, and Brutarl and Moonshadow advanced to the tower. The other eagle swooped to attack, but Skagharin threw a rock at it and it dispersed, giving the warriors their chance to make the safety of the tower. They reached the top soon afterwards and lit a huge fire. Screaming with rage, the eagles flew away from the tower. The demon priest was dead. Skagharin and Dintari hurled his eyeless body into the sinkhole.
They bade farewell to Alefric, who from now on would be able to man the old lighthouse, and departed Skull Island. They returned to the inn in the village, the Silver Halyard. Captain Rakehell was there, behind the bar now. Skagharin comiserated with him on the loss of his ship, making no mention of the strange crystal. Brutarl and Skagharin started drinking, while Moonshadow and Freilen investigated below. After only a few drinks, Skagharin heard noises below. He descended and saw a cellar stuffed with barrels and bolts of cloth — stolen from wrecked ships. Freilen, Moonshadow and a strange human were staring at the contents of a chest. Skagharin stuck his head in to admire the gold. Moonshadow started guiltily. “And who is this?” asked Skagharin of the stranger.
“Frankie, a navigator held captive by the wreckers.”
Skagharin rubbed his chin. Navigator, eh? Lassa’s Grace had need of competent crew. Adlek had been brave, but not competent. Maybe this newcomer would sail with them?
Frankie joined them, and they loaded as much loot as they could in Lassa’s Grace, and set sail with the morning tide.