The Captain and His Crew of Misfits Locate the Correct Island
The Oceans are wide and are as varied as the people who drift upon them.
You will experience everything and meet everyone. Such is the nature of
the ocean, that chaos incarnate.
Her dark lady, the M.S. Nocturna, glides across the reddened waters of a
distant, exotic ocean far from her home port. At the helm, an
entirely-bandaged figure in naval garb stands resolute, calm, and
authoritative as he overlooks a large island through his circular, misty
“We almost there, sir?” A half man-half fish sailor asks with a
The Captain nods, glancing behind to address the seasort with his gaze.
“That is correct, Swab-mate Gregory. Our destination is indeed the
island ahead,” he says with a strange, deep voice, like a cross
between an eccentric, compassionate uncle, and a cold, calculating
commander of men.
Gregory nods his scaly head. “Well, I mean are you sure, this time?
This is the third island you said that about, sir.”
The Captain is quiet a moment. The seaspray frolics across the deck.
“Tell me, just who is the captain of this vessel, Gregory Gallsway?”
The seasort sighs and returns to wiping down the deck. “You, sir.”
“That is correct, and how many times did our navigator turn to his
dark side when charting the course?”
Gregory sighs again, glancing at the statuesque captain. “Every time,
“And how many times did I… Suddenly forget about double checking the
“…Also three times, sir.”
The Captain nods. “As such, now that we have thrown Mr. Masthaven in
the brig for his traitorous decisions, and I have not had a regrettable
lapse in the past week on the subject of navigation, we can as such
assume that this island is the correct one, and that it also contains
Gregory nods with his brows raised in tolerance to The Captain. “Sure
An hour passes and the Nocturna is at the rim of the island, just five
minutes away. Most of the sailors have lined up across the railing to
look over their destination: Ketman’s Keep Island. It is a vast,
verdant swamp island, its trees an impenetrable fortress from every
direction but the single town on the island. Alien, feral sounds come
from the swamp within, but when overlooking the sizable town there is
nothing but laughter and celebration.
“What’s ya’ think they celebratin’?” One seasort asks to his
“Could be anything,” he answers while scratching his dark chin,
“maybe a holiday.”
A few Crew members exchange fanciful theories while The Captain, as
mysterious and impenetrable as the swamp, approaches with his
officer’s cap straight and in perfect condition.
“Gentlemen,” he nods to the large crowd. “Mademoiselles,” he
nods again to two young ladies, one dressed as a cook, and the other
having just finished dawning expedition gear. He starts trotting to the
side of the group. “As you all know, our charge for this mark is to
find the ancient, supposedly magical book of the great witch Vuuya. It
is said to grant wishes, and while we all have heard that one before-”
There’s a knowing guffaw shared between some of the sailors.
“-It is still our job to chase such wild dreams, and the O.E.L. will
pay good money for it. Very good money; your paychecks for the next
three months good money. And so though it is late in the day, I find no
need not to initiate the expedition immediately and send our away
Nods and agreements are given from a multitude of the group.
“I have decided that this team will consist of myself as I am the
captain, Dunklestein the Daring should beasts or the locals prove to be
a problem, Colette Ketiere for she desires experience in adventure and
arms, and finally, Jim-”
An uproar overflows on the deck as concern and disapproval abounds.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please,” The Captain says quietly. The
yelling continues and people bombard him with questions. The Captain
cracks his knuckles, a sound that every sailor on the ship has been
trained to be alert to, and the yelling quiets to a disgruntled
muttering. “Very good. I have chosen Jim because he is among the best
adventurers we have, and honestly I would rather him off the ship in the
advent of his turning, especially on an empty moon, which is tonight-
While most of the crew is silent, some do nod their heads and generally
“Very good, feel free to remain in port and go on shore leave as you
see fit- Just remember if you hear the rifle, get the ship ready,” The
Captain says, patting the strange, dark rifle strung around his back.
At that, an apologetic, confused Jim is let out of the brig, brought up
to speed with the situation and joins the other three as they enter port
and start down the boardwalk.
“Thanks for having me along, Captain. I thought this would be the last
time you’d forgive me,” Jim, a slender, handsome man with shaggy,
raven black hair says.
The Captain nods as Dunklestein scoffs. “Whatever dude. Just don’t
pull that shit again,” Dunklestein, a sizable great white shark
seasort says with a smirk across his wide, tooth-lined jaws.
“Now now, Dunklestein the Daring. There is no need for foul language
in this outing party. A clean mouth is as a clean conscience, after
all,” The Captain says, quickly receiving a sigh from Dunks.
“It’s like you’ve never heard the term ‘swearing like a
“I am not a sailor, Dunklestien. I am a captain.”
Colette and Jim exchange come sly smirks, certain The Captain will never
change, and that Dunklestein will never realize it.
“Come on, Captain. You sail, that makes you a sailor. Stop acting so
superior,” Dunklestein says with a smile, the usual expression he owns
“I am too busy being The Captain to care about coming off as a prig.
Now please, let us commence with our mark,” he says, straightening his
cap as the four walk to a great square of dancing people.
Excerpted from "Nocturna League (Episode 1: The Witching Book)" by Kell Inkston. Copyright © 2015 by Kell Inkston. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.