An Enigma Wrapped in Mystery

The Harbingers returned to the castle of their mistress the Witch Queen with a bevy of corpses, screaming injured men, and some pieces of wreckage from the ship that the Witch Queen had targeted with the devastating tempest in the rocky bay along the Dalmatian coast. The shrieking survivors of the shipwreck were clearly men of ill repute, most likely pirates, and as they were of no concern to the Witch Queen she turned them over to the Harbingers to see what information could be gotten from them.

“Use whatever means you deem necessary. Who are they, and why did they steal my most treasured statue?” The commands of the Witch Queen would have run a chill through any man that could understand her native Sikilian tongue, and for good measure she added, “If one of them is the captain of that doomed vessel, set him aside after his interrogations. I may have a job for him in the afterlife.”

The horrified men were dragged in nets out of the Witch Queen’s reception hall and their pleading supplications could be heard as the undead servants of the lady lich cackled with sadistic glee. A few Harbingers remained with some of the physical evidence from the vessel that had wrecked and then been plundered by the Witch Queen’s minions. Now back in the form of the cruel looking gnome, Meelo the Quasit danced forward with a mincing sort of hop and began to paw through the debris and loot.

Watching his motions carefully, the Witch Queen gave an evil smile and asked, “What is that over there? Is that the nameplate from the ship?”

Meelo hopped over to it and pulled it from the pile. Showing it to the Witch Queen, Meelo grinned and said, “Yes, your horribleness. It is the carved wooden sign from the stern of the vessel.” Pointing to it he read it aloud. “Queen Myrtle.”

The Witch Queen clapped her hands together happily. “That was the ship that sailed from Sarande before it could be searched for the missing statue! Well done, Meelo! You have proven your worth! But where is the statue?”

Meelo shrugged his shoulders and said, “It hasn’t been found, your wretchedness. And this board had been mounted over another name, what must have been the true name of that ship.” He set down the carved board and continued speaking. “The original name of that caravel was Blue Skull. Do you know that ship?”

Sitting back in her throne with a startled expression the Witch Queen let out a delighted squeal. “Everyone along these waters knows of the Blue Skull! That is the flagship of the dread pirate Captain Brass Sabre! Oh, how long have I yearned to destroy that man! No mortal has vexed me more than he did! Always attacking my beautiful ships laden with decorations and treasures for my palaces. But none of those men in the nets were Captain Sabre! His countenance is striking and his reputation widely known! If he is alive, then he surely knows where he hid my statue!”

A bit of anticipatory drool dripped from the side of Meelo’s fanged mouth as he hopped happily before the Witch Queen. “I shall find him, your awfulness!” he said with giddy glee.

The Witch Queen smiled slyly and said, “Your work is fulfilled, Meelo. You may return to the lower planes.”

Meelo continued his disturbingly happy little dance. “I wish to see this through, please! I want to savor their pain!”

The Witch Queen cackled hideously. “I could learn to love you, Meelo!”