When the captain saw that you were human, he accepted you immediately as a member of his crew. Unfortunately, the captain’s understanding of humans quickly turns out to be distinctly…off.

[WP] When the captain saw that you were human, he accepted you immediately as a member of his crew. Unfortunately, the captain’s understanding of humans quickly turns out to be distinctly…off.

“We’re going to starve,” The captain said, rather lazily. She twirled a lock of her hair between her fingers and turned, casting her gaze through the lot of the crew and somehow, they ended up falling on me. Like two little purple spots in her half avian head. “You.”

I gestured at myself.

“Yes you. You’re the good luck charm. Figure out how to get us through these mists,” The captain turned, dismissively, her talons digging into the wood of the ship. That was the cue to follow her.

I sighed, ignored the mutterings of the beastmen crew, and followed after her. The ship groaned underneath of our weight, twisting (it’s soul pleading to be freed from being this close to the lands of the damned, but the Siren captain had long since ensnared it into servitude) and turning, but remaining solid, and we slid into the back.

“Good luck charm,” I muttered under my breath. Her tufted ears twitched on her head, rotating to face me, and I glared daggers at her exposed back. “That’s what you’re calling it?”

“If I told them we were down a navigator, they might riot,” The captain said, shrugging. Her feathers danced in the candle light. “And that would be tragic, since we’d most certainly lose our good luck charm in the chaos.”

“You could just tell them I have decent eyes, or training, or anything other than luck magic.” I said, giving her a long look. “On account of-“

“Shhhhh,” She said, shaking her head. “I don’t need your explanations, I need your natural skill in saving your own skin.”

I rolled my eyes. She tossed me the equipment, then leaned up against the wall. We were…

We weren’t really lost, because you couldn’t get found in the sea of souls. If you couldn’t be found, you could never be lost, because to be lost would mean that you knew where you were going in the first place, and that you did not know how to get there. One did not get much of anywhere in the sea of souls, not without a proper guide.

We didn’t have one. We had the good luck charm, myself, and the tools that the last guide had left before being dragged into the mists and devoured.

I looked over the map. Monster sightings, locations where reapers had vanished into the mist, and not a single sign of how to get home. It sucked to be a castaway. The guide’s stone rolled in my hands, still warm from the moment he had let go. I could still hear his caws into the night.

She clicked her talons against the wall, and I traced our last known ‘location’. “Well,” I said. “We’re not dead.”

“Obviously,” The siren said. “If we were dead, I wouldn’t be starving.”

“No,” I said. “Because if we were dead, the reapers would get us. Obviously.” I poked at our last three locations, relative to the ideas of what we thought was behind the mist.

I was lucky they’d picked me up, shivering, half dead on one of the rocks, but now I wished I might’ve stayed there a bit longer. It’d’ve been nicer than starving to death with the crew, no matter how colorful and soft the lot of them might be.

“Ah yes, your kin,” The siren said. “Why haven’t they come for any of us?”

I shrugged. “My guess is that none of us are going to die here.”

I had no idea.

“Nevertheless…?” She trailed off. “Do you have any idea how to get us out of here? I’d rather not find out how long your kin will stay away just because you’re here, you understand.”

I closed my eyes, looking over the map, and tried to remember the noises that had brought me here, and exactly how I was going to get home. It wasn’t going to be easy.

I doubted it was even possible.

I tapped the edge of the map. “There’s a serpent there.” The orb in my hands gleamed slightly. I could definitely keep pretending if it kept the captain off of my back.

“There is,” she agreed. “I hated that thing. It tried to stop us from getting in.”

“Wherever the serpent is,” I said, poking at the map. “That’s where the cloud ends.”

She squinted at me. “Is that how that works?”

I shrugged.

She squinted harder, then stepped over to the map. She towered over me, and her talons only made the entire affair even more unpleasant. “So if we find the serpent, we’ll find the edge,” She said.

“Yes,” I said.

“Well,” she clicked her talons against the map for a moment, mindful not to puncture it (it was worth it’s weight in precious metals, by my guess, how many maps of the sea of souls could exist? There couldn’t possibly be more places like this out there, right?) “I guess it’ll have to be a battle after all.”

Her stomach grumbled, and she frowned. “Just in time, too. I wonder if your kin are good eating.”

Her eyes settled on my stomach, and I shifted uneasily. “Good luck charm?” I asked.

“Hmph,” She crossed her arms under her chest. “Good luck charm.” She straightened up, popped her back, and slid back onto the ship’s deck.

The mists were thick as honey outside, and about the same amber color. The sun couldn’t penetrate (I couldn’t even be certain it existed here) but there was light all the same, just past the shapeless figures reaching towards the ship with misty hands.

“CREW!” The siren said, spreading her wings wide. With her wings like that, she was larger than even the white beast that manned the cannons, and everyone stopped to stare.

“It’s been decided!” She said, her voice high and shrill. “WE KILL THE SERPENT OF DEATH!”


I closed my eyes and tried not to be visible. Good luck charm.

I just wanted off the damn ship.

[Song of the Venturing Owl] Part 2