The Drowned Curse's Wheel Myth in Fyria | World Anvil

The Drowned Curse's Wheel

The Legend

This is a tale typically told by word of mouth, often heard in loud bars and taverns on the southern coasts for over a hundred years now. Based on the true tales of the Dread Lord of the Vilanto Sea, Captain Kennard Draven and his crew on the pirate dreadnought The Drowned Curse.
The story is the tale of how Captain Draven and his lot took The Drowned Curse and set her off on a raid of epic proportion. They set sail right into the midst of a Casarei fleet, and fought for days on end, destroying a dozen Casarei warships on their own, and looting numerous treasure-laden containment ships as well. They left a graveyard of blasted and broken ships in the wake. After the battle had been won they travelled into the Southern reaches of the Vilanto Sea, seeking respite. But instead, they were caught in a storm the likes which none one had seen. It was as if they were being punished by Lathos, the goddess of the sea, for their brazen and violent actions.   When the storm cleared there was no trace of The Drowned Curse, except for the wheel of her ship. Which sat floating on the rolling waves. The wheel was said to have been found by a passing trader, who held it in his possession until his death only a few years ago. On his deathbed, the man told a tale he had not even shared with his closest family, one he feared until his very last breath. The wheel has whispered to him, for decades, it taunted him and told tales of the Dread Lord's treasure horde. And that all the man needed to do was find a worthy vessel, affix the wheel upon its frame and allow it to guide him into the unknown reaches of the Vilanto Sea. All the way to the Dread Lord himself, who still sits upon a mountain of gold.   Since then it has jumped from various traders and collectors. It's own story developed in the years since Captain Draven and his crew went missing. For those brave enough to seek out the Dread Lord's treasure, take The Drowned Curse's Wheel. Affix it to a vessel worthy of its name and let it guide you into the unknown reaches of the Vilanto Sea. There you will find the Dread Lord himself, sitting atop his treasure horde.  
Historical Basis
Based on a true account of one of the former pirate lords of the Vilanto Sea. It is a fact that he indeed led his crew and his ship on an extended raid of Casarei vessels. Looting and sinking several ships.
The debated facts are the number of ships destroyed and looted, the legend has inflated the number to that of an entire fleet of twelve Casarei warships at once, destroying them all in a single days-long battle. Then looting an additional four treasure-laden containment ships arriving in Casarei headed towards the king's court after a multiple year campaign in far off reaches of the world.   While parts of this may be true, it is very unlikely that all of this happened in a single encounter over a few days. The real event likely took place over several weeks or months with the pirate captain taking on and looting individual ships in surprise attacks. Taking and hiding the loot as they went somewhere within the Vilanto Sea.
Spread/Variations:   This is a popular story amongst seafarers in the Vilanto Sea, a fun ghost story to tell while drinking or a tale adventurers share amongst each other. Many have gone off seeking the wheel and the treasure it promises, none have found the wheel nor found any trails towards the treasure.   Similar tales are told across the Southern Coasts, including in the Jungles of Mijhail, Ithosia, and even Casarei in the west.   Though in Casarei the story differs and the tale of the wheel is not nearly as prevalent. Typically the nobles of the nation tell the story as a fable of honour and redemption. They cast Captain Draven as the sinister villain taking advantage of a weary fleet returning home from a glorious sojourn abroad. The story concludes with the honourable and just naval fleet of Casarei, filled with brave soldiers and sailors, gathering their strength and entering into the dangerous waters of the Vilanto Sea to free the area of the tyranny of pirate law.   While this telling is certainly fluffed up to provide some protection to the egos of Casarei citizens and historians, it is technically true. The Casarei fleet did regroup and did set off on a campaign that ended the rule of the remaining pirate lords, greatly reducing the concentration of pirate activity in the area. However, in recent years pirate activity has spiked.
Cultural Reception:   The story of The Drowned Curse's Wheel has been around for nearly four decades now, ever since the old man who found the wheel told the tale of its promises on his death bed. His story, along with other legendary tales of the Dread Lord is commonly told in drunken loud stupors in bars and vessels across the Southern Coast of Fyria.   While most take it as a fun story to laugh and speculate over, others have taken the tale as gospel and have sought the wheel to seek out Captain Draven's treasure horde. Adventurers from far and wide often come to the foamy waves of the southern sea trying to locate the wheel so they may cast out and discover the long lost treasure of lost pirate ship and crew.
Date of Recording:   The story and legends of Captain Draven have been recorded and told since the year he and his crew went missing in 655 EoC.   However, the story of the Drowned Curse's Wheel only started circulating after the wheel's owner dies in 720 EoC.   Date of Setting:   The original story took place in 655 EoC
Key Figures:
  Captain Kennard Draven - The Dread Lord of the Vilanto Sea   One of the four Lords of the Vilanto Sea, these men and women ruled the sea and all who rode its waves. Though after this event took place Casarei began a campaign to erase them from the trade routes. Which they did, killing the remaining lords and easing the pirate population. Though no one knows what happened to Captain Draven, as the legend says his ship disappeared into the southern waves of the sea never to be seen again. Some say he is still out there, protecting his horde of gold and treasure wherever it may sit.   Admiral Girart Loupe of Casarei   The admiral of the Casarei fleet that Captain Draven accosted and sunk. Admiral Loupe failed miserably in his task of defeating the Dread Lord and was nearly removed from the fleet entirely. Instead, he was demoted to captain a vessel during the campaign after Dread's disappearance.   Nearing the end of the campaign, however, he would commandeer the ship entirely and disappear into the night. Some say he was screaming the name of Dread, and that he had finally picked up on his trail and he was going to find him and restore his honour. The ship was found several weeks later smashed against the rocks of a small island. Admiral Loupe's body was not found and likely lost to the waves.

Cover image: ship by Raphael Ragimov


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