Part 3

You keep your eyes on the sea and listen to the waves as they smack against the side of your little boat. It is not, you have to admit, the worst debacle you have got yourself into. It is at least a pleasant setting, and the Marchioness seems to know what she is doing which makes things easier since you don’t.

In fact, you would go almost so far to say that if you had a quill, ink, paper, and a friendly messenger pigeon to hand, you might even write a letter to a friend that contained the words, “Wish you were here.” And it would only be mostly because most of your friends have ships that they could bring along to come and rescue you.

Yes, as horrifyingly dangerous as it is to be lost at sea in a small boat and no idea where you are, you could certainly be less comfortable.

Your eyes drift along the horizon. The horizon that has been, for quite some time, nothing more than one shade of blue hitting another shade of blue. But it isn’t anymore. Or at least not all of it is.

There is a thin smudge to one side, on the port side, which landlubbers might recognise better as the left. if you keep going in the direction you are currently headed then you will sail right past what has to be one of the first islands you have caught sight of in several days.

Your sudden movement alerts the Marchioness, and following your gaze and half legible squeaks of excitement, she sees what you’re pointing towards.

“An island?” She asks, then she repeats the phrase joyfully, “An island!”

Together you move around your little boat, trying to pull it into something approaching the right direction. The wind, apparently deigning to show some kindness for once, was pointing you in a direction that was mostly useful.

You start see some of the details of the island, a white gold beach starts to be suggested, and the green of a jungle in the background behind it. There are also, unfortunately, numerous large sharp looking rocks sticking out of the waves. Even more threatening are the dark shadows beneath the waves that threaten many more hidden ones.

The Marchioness hisses in a breath between her teeth, “My dear, seat yourself at the prow. I shall reduce our speed once we grow closer to the island, I will need you to give me warning of the hazards beneath us.”

You look at her incredulously, she cannot really be thinking that you two can navigate your way through that maze?

The grim look on her face reassures you not one jot. She is not sure that she will manage it either. But that will not stop her trying it all the same.

“Quickly, I would rather us be ready and awaiting trouble, than for it to catch us unawares!” She says, shooting you a stern look when you do not move fast enough for her preference.

The order is in tones that make you move. You are soon kneeling at the prow of the boat. Along the way you grabbed your cutlass, you make not have anyone to stab, but even so, you can still poke at rocks that get to close and hopefully shift your boat those few degrees that may prevent you crashing into them.

At least, that is what you hope is going to happen. Or rather, you hope you won’t need to do it, but if you do need to you wish to be prepared.

As your boat nears the island you will roll a six-sided die to see whether or not you hit one of the rocks that surround it. To begin with, every number is a certainty to hit a rock. Reduce the number of chances of hitting the rock by earning points. 3 points will remove 1 as a chance of hitting a rock. 6 will remove 1 and 2, 9 will remove 1, 2, and 3. This will continue all the way up to 18 points when you will be completely safe from hitting any of the rocks.

You will roll the die at the beginning of tomorrow’s session to see how many hits your boat takes.