“Have a care, lads,” mutters Old Ironbeard. “We know nary a thing about this place, and there may be a surprise or two in store fer us.”
You and a few of your mates slink down a long corridor of an abandoned Spanish mission, now the demesne of the Chilote warlock, Tinieblas. The place seems empty, but there are signs of habitation, such as the half-drunk glass of mote con huesillo (wheat and peach) and a fragment of leatherwork on a nearby wooden bench. They were likely left by the warlock’s men now out in the town, trying to restore order. You search each alcove for lurking warriors, but so far none have been found.
The captain suddenly swings his iron-shod staff toward his first mate, Black Jack, restraining him from moving forward.
“Hold, Jack!” Old Ironbeard peers around at the walls, then says, “Step back, all o’ ye!” He then crouches and presses with his staff on a loose paving stone in the floor. The air hisses as a dart flies across the hall and strikes the staff. The captain picks it up, then gingerly tastes the tip and spits.
“Poison!” he warns. He opens a canister of rum and swishes it around in his mouth, spewing the contents onto the floor.
Jack steps back, saying, “Oy, Cap’n! Watch me boots!” Some men snigger. Black Jack always did favor his footwear. The boots were green sea turtle carapace, lined with cashmere wool.
The captain grimaces and glares at his first mate. “Even your luck wouldn’t hold against curare poison, Jack! Then the only gamblin’ you’d be involved in’d be vicarious, as the men here drew lots over yer precious footwear!”
Black Jack shrugs, but tugs at his black mustache in concern as he steps a bit more lightly down the corridor. Reaching the end safely, Old Ironbeard orders two men to throw open the doors under the archway. A cold wind tasting of death blows from the chamber. Within stands Tinieblas, the Chilote warlock, tall in dark robes, staring blankly upon the invading company.
Old Ironbeard shouts, “Stop swingin’ the lead, me hearties, and bring the dark picaroon to me! Alive, I say!” You rush forward with the others and then slide to a halt as Tinieblas raises his hands and speaks a foreign word. Thunder detonates, and the smell of sulfur reaches your nostrils. Standing before you are mirror images of Old Ironbeard’s crew! They draw weapons and attack. Now it’s time to see if all of your recent training will pay off!
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