Tuesday, August 12, 1650
The sea and the sky shimmer, and as though emerging from a fog, the sandbar and the ship upon it make themselves evident. The bar is fairly large - the tide has started to go out, this being past three bells - but the ship is close, no more than fifty yards off. Nine-toes can feel a curse emanating from every part of the sandbar itself.
The ship is immense, rising nearly 30 feet above the sand - almost as high as Scharhorn does above the sea. In its day it would have rivalled a ship of the Armada; it is well over five hundred tons. It's clear now that the central part of the ship, along with the deck that protrudes above the sand, has been smashed and splintered all to pieces, great beams are torn asunder, and shattered pieces emerge from the hulk in every direction. There are no pieces on the sand, of course - they have been long since washed away. But the party can see the absence of barnacles or even seaweed, which have not gathered upon the ship's form.
Terrell sees that the skiff well and truly is set upon the sand, and he leaps off onto the beach before he can be stopped. No ill befalls him. In amazement he staggers forward a few yards, head turned to the side, so that he can read the words on the ship's prow. All at once he shouts, his hand pointed, "It's the PALE!" He calls. "My GOD, that's a lost ship! Been lost for seventy years!" He approaches the skiff again. "It was never found! Word was it was wrecked by a kraken ..." He gazes at the ship. "It certainly looks it. The thing must have smashed the ship right in the middle with one tentacle!"
When he looks back and sees that none of the party has had much of a reaction from the name of the boat, he'll explain. "It's the ship of Francois About, the Butcher of Nantes. He was famous for killing hundreds of Huguenots during the time of troubles in France. He turned pirate and plundered half a dozen English vessels. Bloodthirsty as all get out ... the Catholics never produced a bastard like him. And this is his ship!"
All about while this goes on, the sea is calm, the waves wash upon the shore. The sun is out and high, the sky clear, the wind from the west at four or five knots. There's nothing to suggest movement or threat.