If God wills it, the final account of First Mate Piken, castaway on the rock somewhere off the Twilight Strand.
Near as I can tell, the rest of the crew, along with Captain Caruso, be dead... or worse. What happened? I'd not have believed it myself had I not seen it with me own two eyes.
At dawn, a light, green and dark, rose from 'neath the waves and into the sky. While most of us stood back in awe, I heard a cry rise up from the lower deck. Casting me eyes in that direction, I saw the waves upchuck, and a swarm of ocean crabs cover the vessel. Ravenous and of countless numbers they were, making quick work of the sailors about them. Nothing but bones and tatters of cloth!
We fled to the longboats as fast we could, hoping to leave them ungodly crustaceans behind us, but lo, from within that green pillar of light, I saw him! The Brine King, like a bloated whale he breached the familiar waters and turned the ship beneath our feet to match-wood. I was flung into the sea, yet managed to cling to some flotsam and make my way to rest on this damnable rock.
Seems that ancient Tsoagoth has a mind to take dominion of these seas once more. Captain Caruso was right to drown those mutineers in the old king's name. A shame we'd not found more. For now, beneath the waves, I hear the whispers of me own passing in a thousand clicking pincers. May God have mercy on me, and may someone benefit from this warning.
My motley crew, neither fit to lick my boots nor curl my moustache, have bloody well betrayed me. And I was only trying to save them, those that remained true. Even now, floating prostrate upon a plank of wood, bathed in the dying embers of the evening sun, I hear the clitter-clatter of a million tiny claws. If I close my eyes, I see those tentacles reaching up to me out of the deep.
I don't know why the Brine King chose me. For weeks I've heard the voices, whispering of his return, gurgling of doom and slavery to us all. I tried to warn the simple men of my ship, made examples of those more violent disbelievers. Yet my prophecies only served to drive the rest into obstinate ignorance. They cast me overboard, perhaps in the vain hope that in my death, none of my utterances would come true.
Alas, as the morning sun peeked over the horizon, a pillar of green light rose up from the waves, vindicating my darkest fears. The old god ascended from the depths and laid waste to my ship and all aboard her. Now, without food nor water, I shan't last the night. My bones shall be plucked clean by the pincered multitude that haunts me even now.
May this message find land, and by the unholy revelation that Tsoagoth has risen, may my reputation be restored. - Captain Caruso of the Lady in Waiting
...I beg of you, Mercutio, if you have any care for the friendship we once had, grant me this one favour. It is true I have my own boat, but that is for hauling in fish! It is not fit to travel the waters I must navigate. My wife needs me, my friend. I know it reeks of madness, but Abi has been taken, kidnapped by the King of Brine himself. I fear too that he intends to make her one of his fishwives, just as the old stories warned us!
Please, Mercutio, I've heard tell of your success as a merchant in recent years. Surely you can spare one ship? Let me voyage out and rescue her, or at least, bring her body back to rest on dry land. Help me silence the insanity in my own mind.
Every night, I dream of pale, slime-slick creatures that pursue my boat through the thick, dark waters. I try not to look at them, but I also do. And they look back, their eyes wide with sadness and longing. They are not eyes born of the sea, Mercutio. God help me...they are Abi's eyes. - Benric of Gulton
General Marcovius, Commander of the Templar Fleet Operation Ocean Blades
An urgent Report on: The Massacre of Pondium Strait.
"We were sent here to crush the Brinerot pirates, but something far more troubling has occupied our attentions. Of the surviving men, a few of the older, more superstitious types call it the Brine King. Apparently some false deity of the sea we've long since scoured from our holy scriptures.
Whatever the damned thing is, it's big. I've seen it myself, though as little more than a vast shadow far below us, veritably dwarfing the hulls of our fleet.
Most of our ships are gone, dragged beneath the waves by this malevolent leviathan. We could do little but watch in horror as the waters about us blossomed red. We are nearing the Beacon, what's left of us, and the wind blows strongly towards home.
High Templar Avarius, please understand that I am not a man cut from the coward's cloth, but this situation... this game of cat and mouse has gone on too long. There is nothing to be gained in continuing on to Pondium. We shall turn our sails and catch the trade wind back to Oriath. I only pray we can outrun this thalassic fiend.
May Innocence guide and protect us.
O' Lord of Salt and Scale, your servants attend to thee. Praise thee Tsoagoth! Without life yet living, the Brine King sleeps. We send our prayers to thee, so that you might eternally slumber.
O' great one, we offer up this human soul as slave for you in your drowned city. Take this life and bid the seas be calm and plentiful.
Woe to the Sailor who does not offer tribute to thee! Such a man is cast off from our ocean kingdom! He shall be made pariah, with neither captain nor commission. Judge us not by unworthy sails, Look to us as your servants. Your kin of salt and scale.