The Treasure of Upson

Captain Venues walked toward the room where the stowaway was being kept. Actually, his real name was Donald, but what kind of pirate was called Donald? Captain Venues, the only pirate who has been in every sea and channel in Atherias. Only Charlie, his first mate, knew his real name. He was dead now. This is getting out of hand. The sound of the crew above was heard. It was muffled but audible. He braced himself at the door, knowing he was going to have to kill the boy. He opened the door and stepped in. The boy was strapped to a chair which was nailed to the floor in the middle of the cabin. He looked like a strong lad. About fourteen or fifteen. He didn’t appear to be scared or worried. Venues liked that. Under normal circumstances, he would have had the stowaway join his crew. Offer him a chance to see the world and earn more money than he could possibly imagine. But Venues was in anything but normal circumstances. He took a deep breath.

            “I was told that you crept onto my ship at the last port while my men were dru…. asleep.” Venues didn’t like the fact that his entire crew went and got drunk that night. Then again, he couldn’t really blame them. The boy smiled.

            “Yessir. I thought it was just a cargo ship on its way to Ginniva. My cousin lives there and I figured no one would find me. I didn’t know this was a pirate ship.” Venues sighed.

            “You shouldn’t stow away on any ship, boy. Pirate or not.”

            “Yes, sir.” The boy looked down, slightly crestfallen. Venues smiled.

            “You seem like a good-mannered boy. Got any parents?”

            “No sir. They died about two years ago. I’ve been living with my uncle ever since.” The boy looked up angerly. “But he’s always drunk and he treats me like a slave. He beats me. So, I ran away. I’m going to my cousin in – “

            “Ginniva. Yes, you said.” Venues began to pace. “But we are not sailing to Ginniva.” The boy caught his breath.

            “You’re not?”

            “No. We are sailing to a Gurytic island named Jainms. We will reach its sands in about three days’ time.” Venues stopped pacing and looked at the boy coldly.

“I can assure you that you will never reach Ginniva. You will never see your cousin or anyone else you’ve ever loved or even hate. Do you know why?” Venues reached down and pulled out his gun. “It’s because I am going to kill you.” The boy began shifting in his chair in a fit of panic.

           “Sir please, take me with you! I’ll join your crew. I’ll-I’ll work real hard. Don’t kill me please!”

           “I’m sorry boy but I’m afraid I don’t have much of a choice.” Venues walked in front of the boy and bent on his knees. “Still, I think I should tell you why. After all, I’d hate to kill anyone without them knowing why. You see boy, I am after the Upson treasure.” The boy’s eyes widened.

           “But- but that’s a myth!” Venues got back up and began to pace once more.
           “The Upsons are not a myth. They were quite real. The famed treasure that they housed however, is proclaimed myth. Even I believed such a vast treasure fake. It wasn’t till I came across a scroll from a Lavana temple in Rotain that I saw the truth of the myth. The monks kept it in a very tight chest in a very deep part of the temple. The scroll obtained secrets of the Upson empire that I’m sure even historians don’t know of.”

           The boy had stoped shifting in his chair. He seemed interested in the Venues words. Venues smiled slightly. He really wished he didn’t have to kill the boy.

           “The scroll mentioned the famed treasure. It was pretty damaged and a lot of words were blurred and stained. We did manage to get the location though.  Jainms. Now this may sound weird to some, seeing how the Upson empire was located on the chain islands of Ginniva. But to me, it makes perfect sense. If I knew I was under attack and was going to lose everything, I would send my valuables somewhere far as well.”

           The boy nodded in agreement. Venues continued to pace the floor. He looked out the windows of the cabin every now and then. There was nothing to see. Nothing but water and sky for miles and miles.

           “There were symbols on the scroll that were next to the location of the treasure. I knew they had importance. Perhaps the direct location of the treasure. Jainms is a big island after all. I took the scroll to a man I knew. He was a historian. I knew he could read the symbols. He was an old friend. I thought I could trust him.” Venues paused; his face began to turn red in anger.

           “I was wrong. He read the symbols, which did describe a vault in which the the treasure lies. However, he did not like that I was going to steal something so important to history. That a pirate would take not only more money then any kingdom could possibly obtain but riches of an ancient empire that is half lost to time? He could not stand for it.” Venues took a deep breath. He leaned onto the window and stared out into the water. It was silent for a while. Nothing but the waves and the creaking of the ship. The men above was heard walking back and forth. They weren’t drunk anymore. They were nervous. Anxious. Their captian was too.  The boy coughed, bringing Venues back from his thoughts.

           “What happened?” He asked timidly. Venues turned to the boy slowly.

            “He begged me to stop pursuing the treasure. I refused. He pulled out a gun and made to bring me in to the authorities. So, I pulled out my own gun. He shot first, he missed.” Venues smiled sadly. Grover was never a good shot. Not even in his prime.

               “I, however, did not miss. I killed him, grabbed the scroll, and set sail towards Jainms.” Venues began his pace once more. The boy sat there with a look of horror on his face. Captain Venues continued.

           “Guess I should’ve searched for any kind of copies or notes on the Upson scroll in his workshop before we sailed off. He apparently left a note or something behind. This note or clue was discovered by a wizard and I’ve been hunted down by him ever since.” Venues began to pace faster.
               “That damn wizard has made this voyage a living hell. He’s summoned some of the largest sea creatures I’ve ever seen to attack us. He’s conjured some pretty deadly storms to slow us down that has even flooded some of the local islands that were nearby.” Venues stopped pacing and turned to the boy. The boy shifted uncomfortably under his gaze.

           “I have lost over half my crew on this trip, boy. That’s twenty-two men. Those men include my first mate, as well as the ships cook. Most of our supplies have been flung across the ocean. My ship is battered beyond recognition. We are two days away from Jainms. And there are two things that stand in my way.” The boy gulped.

           “W-what’s that?” His voice was weak. He was frightened. He should be.

           “Well,” Venues said quietly. “The first would be the Yerkrong.” The boys face went pale.

           “The- the Yerkrong? But – but that’s impossible it- it hasn’t been seen since – since-“suddenly the boy’s face relaxed. He smiled at Captain Venues and chuckled lightly.

           “You had me going sir. That was good.  Wizards haven’t been in this part of Atherias in years. Also, the Yerkrong hasn’t been seen in over 600 years. Even if it’s still alive, it’s locked in the Inwhar Gates. No one can open those gates except Lington the Current.”

           Suddenly there was a loud roar and the ocean around them seemed to vibrate intensely. The ship rocked violently as huge waves of water from all sides of the ship began crashing into it. The crew above began screaming in desperation and fear. Then suddenly it stopped, just as quickly as it began. The ocean fell silent. The ship began to rock normally. Water slipped from the cracks above, assuring Venues that the deck was covered in it. The sound of sloshing and scooping began a few seconds later. It would seem Captain Venues still had a crew after that violent attack. Although it wasn’t the most violent attack they’ve experienced on this trip.

           “There’s a reason I didn’t say the wizards name.” Venues spoke very quietly. The boy looked at him in alarm. He was completely terrified. Venues couldn’t blame him. He was scared as well.

           “He doesn’t want us to find it. Perhaps for the same reason my historian did. Or perhaps for another reason. Perhaps the wizards don’t want the treasure found at all. Either way,” Venues walked over to the boy and cocked his gun. The boy began the struggle once more against the straps.

            “He’s not going to stop me. The second thing in my way is you, boy. I don’t know if you’re a spy for that bastard or perhaps a spirit he conjured. Perhaps you are truly just a stowaway. Whatever you are or not, I can’t take any chances. I’ve lost too much. If you are just a stowaway consider this a mercy kill. Better this then that beast. Rest in peace, boy.” Venues pulled the trigger. The boy stopped struggling and sagged in his chair.

Five days later half of Captain Venues ship was discovered on a small isle a few miles off of Jainms. There were no bodies found with the wreckage.