A Gelert on Treasure Island
A short note before I start my tale. My name is Scar. I am a yellow Gelert, hailing from Krawk Island. The early details of my ordeal are sketchy at best, due to both my strange situation and my lack of writing implements. I hope the end of my tale sees me safely returned to my family.
This day started just like the previous fifteen days I had spent aboard The Spray. When the sun came up that morning there was nary a cloud in the sky. I was so engrossed with my chores on deck I did not notice the huge swath of angry black sky approaching quickly. Shortly before noon, a massive peal of thunder obtained everyone’s attention. The crew sprang into action, trying their best to secure the cargo before the storm hit us.
Within minutes, the seas grew angry. They churned and swelled higher and higher, eventually sweeping over the deck. It quickly became obvious that we had no choice but to go below deck to ride the storm out. As I was securing the last of the cargo, a towering wave struck, rocking the ship. I lost my footing as a second wave, easily twice as large as the first, slammed me against a stack of crates, and then swept me out to sea.
I struggled to stay above water in the heaving ocean. I do not know how much time passed before I was lucky enough to grab a barrel that floated close by and hang on for dear life.
How I managed to survive the night is a mystery. The seas heaved for what seemed like days, but I managed to keep my grip on my barrel. I hoped my strength would last long enough to either be rescued or to wash ashore on some deserted island.
I was awakened this morning by a school of Noak nibbling on my paws. There is still no sign of land or rescue.
At long last, I have spotted land on the horizon. After a few hours of swimming with all my remaining strength, I managed to collapse on the beach. I have been a sailor all my life and never had I been so happy to make landfall! I kissed the sand and crawled past the high tide line and fell asleep.
I spent the day briefly exploring my island. It is big enough that I could not explore it in its entirety in one day. I am happy that the current and my swimming landed me where they did. From what I could tell, there is only a small natural harbor on the island. The rest of the island seems to be surrounded by steep cliffs. I found a small stand of banana trees not far from where I washed ashore, so I decided to make camp there. After eating a couple of bananas and making a bed out of palm fronds I went to sleep early, set on exploring the rest of my island home the next day. I needed to find a supply of fresh water and hopefully some materials for building a shelter.
I discovered a small cabin near the center of the island somewhat hidden behind some trees laden with vines. I decided to spend the night in the cabin and explore what would be come my home in the morning.
What an exciting morning! There is an air of mystery around this quaint little shack. It seems quite old and well lived in. It is not big, but it has a kind of comfort about it. There is a corner that is dug into the ground a little bit, probably for sleeping since I had a peaceful sleep in that very spot. There is a large tree stump in the middle of the room acting as a table. There are a few shelves on the wall holding some strange looking shells, interesting rocks, some shaped with sharp edges for cutting, a couple of empty coconut halves. The hut was a little overgrown and I found a silver fork lying in some of the weeds.
Outside, I discovered some banana and coconut trees a short distance away. Further still, towards the center of the island, I discovered a pool of fresh water at the bottom of a waterfall.
While I was gathering a breakfast of bananas, I heard the strangest sound. It was quite shocking to hear something different; the only sounds I had heard until then were the crashing of waves and the calling of birds. A ways off to my right, there was a Doglefox wrestling the husk off of a coconut. I decided to approach the little fellow and help him get his breakfast, but I stepped on a branch and scared him off. I peeled the husk off the coconut, opened it, and left it there in case he decided to come back.
I woke up to quite the surprise this morning. The Doglefox I spotted the day before gave me quite a start when he applied his wet nose to the inside of my ear. He is quite a friendly creature, reminding me of the Noil I had as a youngster. I had named him Balthazar, as he was fearless when he was by my side. If the Doglefox decides to stay in my company, I will honour the Noil by sharing the name with my new friend.
I spent the last few days doing nothing of great significance. Balthazar delights in bringing me the little trinkets he finds around the island, shells, brightly coloured rocks, pleasant smelling flowers. His most exciting discovery was a discoloured sheet of paper. It looked as if it had been torn from a book. I asked him where he found it, but of course, he did not indulge me with an answer (I have not gone mad yet).
Balthazar brought me another sheet of discoloured paper today. After congratulating him on another spectacular find, he took off running on another treasure hunt. Acting on a hunch that he may return to the source of the paper, I followed him.
After perhaps an hour or two of trekking through the jungle, we came to the mouth of a small cave. At first, I could not make out the cave, as it was obscured by an enormous curtain of vines. I could not see much more than a few meters inside before it became too dark. Balthazar rushed inside before I could restrain him. I called out, but he did not return to me. I decided to wait for him to return on his own and after a short wait, he emerged with yet another treasure, a book! The tome was a diary bound in leather (it is the very book in which I write my tale). The pages were all slightly discoloured and few were missing; I assumed the missing pages were the ones Balthazar brought to me earlier. I was pleased to discover a pencil tucked away inside the spine.
The biggest surprise was that someone had started writing in the diary. It seemed to be the story of someone who had been on this island sometime in the past. I will relate the details of his story later. Balthazar decided to return home; night was approaching and I did not want to be caught in the jungle after dark.
When we arrived at our cabin, I started a fire. It was the first fire I had lit since being marooned on the island. The nights had been warm and I did not see a need to cook any bananas. I decided to start the fire so I could read the diary that night and to start putting my tale to paper as well. I also fashioned a torch to allow further exploration of the cave Balthazar had found.
(What follows is the tale Scar found already written in the diary)
My name is Jeremiah, a green Kacheek. I was shipwrecked on this Island after a raging storm washed me overboard from the ship that was taking me from Sakhmet to Krawk Island. I will recount my tale quickly, as I will be leaving this island shortly and I will be leaving this diary behind. Hopefully anyone who is unlucky enough to share a similar fate will read this and will find some tiny shred of assistance.
I was lost on the sea for 8 days before I washed up on the shores of this island. When I leave I will have spent a total of 75 days here, most of them in complete isolation. After a few days of sleeping under a banana tree I discovered a small hut quite by accident, either built by smugglers or someone else who had been washed ashore. Either way, it suited my purposes just fine. After 35 days of solitude I was awakened by something I did not expect to hear, voices! The voices loud and boisterous and I knew them right away to be pirates. I followed them at a distance until we came to a pool of water. There, the pirates sat and waited. I had my first chance to study them. One was an Aisha with at least 30 earrings on each ear, the other was a Techo covered in tattoos. They boasted grandiosely about their most recent raid. I was not paying too much attention to their tall tales until they mentioned treasure. The Techo complained about how long it was taking their fellow pirate, Reinhold the Red, to follow them with the loot.
As soon as he finished speaking, a fearsome looking Quiggle, with a barrel of a chest emerged from the jungle. He was carrying a huge treasure chest. The Quiggle, who turned out to be Reinhold the Red, put down the chest and opened it. It was filled to the brim with dubloons! Reinhold bade the other two, Gerald and Miser, take their share and emptied the rest of the dubloons into the pool. I followed them back to where their ship was moored and heard Reinhold talk about how they would perform one final raid and return in 40 days before taking a break. I knew then that I would only have one chance to escape from this island.
Two days ago, on my 73rd day, a crate washed ashore. Where it came from, I have no idea. It contained this journal, which was blank. I do not know what these pages contained before I opened it, since it appeared as the text had run completely due to the sea water which had leaked into the crate. It also contained some clothing, some kitchen utensils, two pencils, a red Lenny plushie and a music box that no longer worked. The contents must have belonged to a young girl.
I intend to sneak aboard the pirate’s ship in two days while they are dumping their ill gotten dubloons into the pool. I will leave any of the supplies I have gathered in a cave where they are protected from the elements, in case another forlorn sailor shares my fate.
The first thing I did upon waking this morning was to gather my torch and examine the cave Balthazar found. True to Jeremiah’s word, I discovered a crate containing the clothing, plush toy, and broken music box. After relocating my ‘treasure’ to the hut, I gathered Balthazar to see if we could find a real treasure at the bottom of our water supply. Balthazar decided to claim the toy as his share of the loot.
I could not see the bottom of the pool, but I dove in anyway. After what seemed like hours, I touched bottom. I felt around and found a coin. Straining for breath, I burst through the surface of the pool to examine my prize. A dubloon! After dancing about with Balthazar, I sat down to plan my next move.
It took me four days, but I finally managed to haul all of the dubloons from the pool of water to the cave. There were so many, I stopped counting them halfway through the move. I am not entirely sure why I decided to move the treasure; perhaps it was just to pass the time, or perhaps it was something else.
I heard some strange noises before I retired for the night. I made a short examination of the area around my hut, but was unable to identify the source of the noise. I will investigate further in the morning. This is the first night since I discovered Balthazar that he has not slept next to me. His toy is nowhere to be seen, which is not a surprise; he does not let it out of his sight for very long. Maybe he went to bury his treasure in a hole of his own.
I was out early to investigate the strange noises I heard the night before. I thought perhaps it was the results of too much exposure to the sun while I was moving the dubloons until I started toward the pool to get a drink. I was lucky to get an instant's warning before I stumbled onto an amazing scene. The largest Quiggle I have ever laid eyes upon stood before the pool, dripping with water. I knew in an instant it was the Quiggle mentioned in the very journal I am now writing this in. It was Reinhold the Red, returned from the sea to retrieve his treasure!
I watched through the foliage as he contemplated his situation, no doubt wondering where his treasure was. He examined the area around his feet, looking for a clue to its whereabouts. I could see his expression change and knew what was racing through his thoughts. Where was his treasure? Was this the right pool? The right island, even? As his exasperation bubbled over, he let out a horrid yell, so loud every bird on the island seemed to take flight; so primal it chilled me to the very bone. I knew then that if he discovered me, it would be my undoing. I stayed in place long after he stalked into the jungle, lest he hear me.
I have decided that it would be best to pack my things up and move them to the cave with the dubloons. I will try my best to make the hut look as if no one had been here in a while, as it was when I came across it. I am certain some minor adjustments to the curtain of vines covering the mouth of the cave will be enough to keep any marauding pirates disinterested.
I spent most of my day watching the pirates move to and fro in front of my cave. The curtain of vines does keep the prying eyes away. One pirate came right up to the entrance and was on the verge of brushing them aside before he decided there was nothing behind them. It was not until he left that I realized I had been holding my breath for some time.
I am writing this entry just outside the cave, by the light of the moon. I can hear the mournful sobbing of Reinhold the Red in the distance, no doubt contemplating his misfortune by the side of the pool. Had I not known of how ill-gotten his loot was, I would feel sorry for the Quiggle and return his treasure. How many came to harm in his fearsome raids? Maybe he will see the error of his ways, the futility of robbing and pillaging to earn his way in the world? I doubt he will see things that way. I only hope he decides to make his way through life in a more honest manner after he leaves the island.
Another day of pirates searching the island has passed. During the search, I heard one pirate ask another how long they would be forced to search. The answer was that they would be leaving tomorrow at first light. I knew right away that this was probably my only chance to escape the island. I would have to sneak aboard the pirate’s vessel and stow away. How I would accomplish this feat, I do not know, but I am certain I will find a way. I am sad to be leaving Balthazar behind, since he has not returned since he disappeared three nights ago. I hope he leads a happy life here, on this island.
I am relieved that I finally get another chance to write. I sit now in my room at a Neolodge on Krawk Island. My journey here was both dangerous and exciting. I will start where I left off; with the night I had to sneak aboard the pirate’s ship.
Sometime after it became dark, I made my way to the beach, where the ship was anchored. I could see the pirates busying themselves making the ship ready to leave the cove, even at this late hour. After watching them for a few hours, the pirates starting moving below decks to get some sleep. I waited for the two guards who remained on deck to start talking amongst them selves before I decided to try to climb the rope that attached the anchor to the ship. I went over the side and froze immediately. Directly in front of me was... Balthazar! I didn’t have any time to ponder how he got aboard the ship before he leapt into my arms with a small yip of joy.
Unfortunately for me, that yip alerted the night watch to my whereabouts. They approached me with their swords out and pointed in my direction, asking who I was and what I was doing aboard their ship. Before I could answer them, one of the guards noticed Balthazar in my arms and demanded that I release his friend, Scabbers. After a short discussion about Balthazar, or should I say Scabbers, one of the pirates, Miser, declared that any friend of Scabbers was a friend of his. When I relayed my tale to them, Miser thanked me for taking care of Scabbers for him. It seemed that he had left the ship when they came to dump their last haul of dubloons. I asked them if another stowaway was on their ship for the return voyage, but Gerald, the other pirate, told me that if there was they had not heard about it. The only thing I did not tell them was my relocating of the treasure.
They agreed to stow me in their cabin after I swore that I would not implicate them if I were to be caught. I spent the next fortnight stuffed under their bunk. It was a difficult voyage, but at least the seas were calm. When we pulled into Krawk Island, they transferred me into their sea chest to smuggle me off the vessel.
At last, I have come to the end of my adventure. I owe Miser a debt of gratitude and my life. If it were not for his generosity, I would have been put off the ship and made to stay on the island, or worse... far worse. After being stranded at sea and marooned, I think I will make a move to the mainland and trade my sea legs for another trade. I will bring the two helpful pirates to the house I maintain here on the island, which I use when I am not at sea. I will tell them about my role in the disappearance of the dubloons on the island. In return for saving my life, I will give them a map to the dubloons. Hopefully they will put their treasure to a better use than Reinhold the Red.