Chapter 7: The Madagascan Curse

The Indian ocean gave us lot of merchant ships to rob for treasures and goods. Who knew there was so many ships sailing between the Indian and African continent. By the time we reached the island of Madagascar the Black Rock was so stuffed with treasures that the aft lower decks threatened to sink. Luckily we had calm waters and easy breezes all the way to the island. The crew was tired after all the plundering and Captain Bloodspatter let the crew take a whole week off before we started to trade goods in order to compact the Black Rocks load a bit.

By the end of our week off, the crew was well rested and happy to continue on. The Village we had visited was poor, but we had spent quite a bit of silver during our stay and quickly robbed everything back and sat fire on the entire village one morning before we set sail. Due to the huge treasure we had little room for food and Bloodspatter had the Goddess make everybody fish an hour a day to make up for it. I wasn’t bothered by it. Time spent fishing meant less time scrubbing the deck and over all the crew was very happy. We soon arrived in what had to be the islands largest village, it was more of a town and since we arrived at night it was a great sight, seeing thousands of lights light up our way toward the harbor.

The next morning Blæik and a few of the other men returned from a night of drinking in the towns bodegas. And not without news. A few miles inland there was stories of a tribe known to keep vast amounts of treasures hidden in the jungle. None of the locals dared to even get close to the tribes territory, it was said that their treasures was protected by a curse. Anyone trying to get close had left with nothing but death or sometimes they had simply gone mad and never returned to normal. Captain Bloodspatter who was in general not a big believer in old folklore and magic of any sort decided to take a group of men into the jungle to investigate while others stayed back to protect the ship.

We took off in the afternoon. A small crew including myself, Simen, Blæik, and our best fighters Tom and Teddy was led by Captain Bloodspatter himself and Balto the monkey toward the dense jungle in the middle of the island. We had purchased some donkeys to carry us the long way, and we didn’t expect to reach our target until late the next day. I never thought I’d get to go camping with Captain Bloodspatter, but since we didn’t find any inns or other places to take us in for the night it was decided to sleep in turn around a campfire until the early morning. It actually turned out to be kind of fun. We listened to Blæik and Bloodspatter talk about the good old days, before anyone else onboard had even begun our pirate journey. In short it was pretty much the same thing we had been doing for the last few years, but other people, and other treasures. Bloodspatter reviled to us that night, that his plan was to leave most of the huge treasure we now had accumulated behind, hide it somewhere safe, and continue on doing what he did best – namely collecting more of it. He wouldn’t say what had happened to the last treasure he had collected like this, but I gathered that it had been taken from him in some way long time ago.

Next morning we started early and by mid day we had reached the edge of the dark jungle forest we were told was the line nobody dared cross. It didn’t seem too scary compared to what we knew from previous raids and Bloodspatter ordered us to start hacking our way through bushes and bamboos growing a few inches as we passed them. Within half an hour the jungle was so dense that no sunlight got through the raging trees above us. Luckily this also meant that the smaller bushes below didn’t grow as dense and we eventually found an animal track to follow. We pushed on for another half hour until we suddenly stepped into a village. It was no people there, none that we could see, and the huts looked like they had been abandoned for centuries.

We walked in silence and checked every hut. It looked like the people living there had left in a hurry, or maybe just suddenly disappeared. But it was a long time ago and animals must have cleaned out everything edible cause all the cabinets and shelves were left a mess. As we continued through the village containing at least fifty huts and houses we ended up looking at the entrance of a large cave. It was blocked off by a wooden wall and signs in a strange language that could only indicate that we should keep away. Not really seeing any danger in still checking it out Blæik blasted through the door-lock with his gun.

Inside it was damp and dark. We made ourselves a few torches and continued through the dark tunnel. It actually wasn’t too long and we were surprised to discover that it was more of a tunnel that soon opened up to an opening. It was still dark, but above we could see the sky raging high above us. In front was a smelly swamp. In the middle of the swamp, halfway covered in dense fog, we could see an old hut placed on an island. In order to get to it, we had to jump from stone to stone in the swamp and we barely made it over without having our feet bit off by an angry alligator that had been lurking in the sump-green water surrounding us.

Safely on the other side, we walked toward the cabin. It was larger than the huts in the village, but I was thinking that it unlikely would contain any treasures of value. It looked like it had been abandoned for years, the only thing that proved otherwise was a green glimmering light from the windows. Just as we were about to check the door fountains of dirty water raised up from the sump around us. The heavy door sprang open and back-lit by the same green light was a shadow of a person with glowing red eyes and a black cape. It pointed at us with some sort of stick. Before we got the chance to introduce ourselves she had cast a spell that came out of her stick and covered all of us with a red glittering thin smoke.

We woke up hours later, just outside the cave entrance which some how had been boarded back up. It was already dark outside but surrounding us was a large circle of men with torches. Their leader stepped out and spoke to us in our own language.
“You have been cursed with eternal life for trying to steal our treasure!” He said – “You shall live forever!”

Eternal life must have meant something else for the tribe than us, cause although we didn’t as much as get to see the treasure we were happy pirates as we walked back to the Black Rock. Captain Bloodspatter was in an abnormal good mood and started loudly to fantasize about all the treasures he would find in his eternal lifetime. I wondered if this also meant we were immortal, that we couldn’t die in battle. What would happen if the planet suddenly disappeared, would we just float around among the stars forever?