The Sanguine Manta
Tell us about a famous wreckage in your world. What happened to it? The Sanguine Manta was never a bonnie maid, lad- no, never! She was built to be a smuggling ship for the Erbs from the very beginning. Born a crusty sea whore from the start. They had her built out on their Isle all out of bloodwood. She were wider than most, with a broad cargo hold and the usual hatch out the bottom for dealin' wit' the Deeps. Though she were a bit stocky, she could fly, lad- she had sixteen sails, all different shapes, some hanging over the side of the rails so that when she leapt over the waves she looked like a leaping ray indeed. Her captain was Capric Jack. Oh, yes, lad, that one. I know you've heard the stories. They're true, lad. He were a Chymeara- the bastard get of one of the Serpent crime lords off an Ungul slave. He mostly took after his ma, wit' huge curling horns and lifted heels and th' unsettlin' horizontal eyes of her kind. He grew no fur, though- his head were a smooth pate of black scales wha' spread over his shoulders and back. His evil smile hid venomous fangs, and his tongue were three feet long. He were 'orrible to look upon, lad. The mere sight of him scared men stiff, and he cut them down like firewood. But his crew loved 'im. He took to leadership and the sea like a Cat to stiff drink. He were no slouch, leaping through the riggings himself if it were needed, bellowing orders and rallying spirits. He always paid 'em well, and treated em as often as he was able. There were never a more loyal bunch of sea deovils. And then Jack saw Arne. A prettier little Deep there never was, if you're into that kind of thing. Jack saw in them everything he loved about the sea- the beauty, the terror, the danger and the rush of reward. They were for sure into Jack and what a wild time the two had. But Jack forgot that Deeps love like the tide, and when Arne left he were filled not with sorrow, but with rage. He and the crew of the Manta sailed all the sea, snatching up and slaughtering Deeps in droves. He dyed the sails of the Manta red with their blood. They became renegades from the lawful Nations, the Erbs, even other pirates would not deal with them in good faith. At last their wickedness caught up with them; the Deep and the Erbs had plotted to rub out the threat of Jack and his crew. The Erbs set a fleet of assassins on the Manta's tail, and though the Manta could outrun them all, they pursued him. They harried and chased and herded Jack into their trap. The Deeps had a leviathan waiting beneath the surface, and the great beastie surfaced under the ship, catching it up and eliminating escape. The monster rushed toward shore, stopping short of the shallows and flinging the Manta with all its might! And down she came, right onto the Hookclaw Reefs. One stone pierced the Manta's hull and passed straight through the deck, catching Jack in the chest. And so, with captain and ship both run through the heart, Capric Jack breathed his last curse. Many of the crew were killed, the survivors scattered to the wind. And still the Sanguine Manta remains there, impaled on the reef. A reminder for sailors, lad, of many truths. If you're brave, or foolhardy, enough to get close you may catch a glimpse of Jack's bones. He's still there, lad. Nobody bothered to bury him, and even the sea don't seem keen to take him. And if ye watch the sea at night, you may see his ghost aboard a ghostly Manta, leaping about the rigging, making sail all by himself. He heads out to sea on foggy nights, still searching for the Deep wha' spurned him.