Nocturna League (Episode 1: The Witching Book)

Nocturna League (Episode 1: The Witching Book)

by Kell Inkston


Publisher Kell Inkston

Published in Science Fiction & Fantasy/Fantasy, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


Colette, a firey young jobber of The M.S. Nocturna is given her first assignment off ship- to take part in a search for a magic tome of ancient power: Vuuya’s wish-granting grimoire. Together with two more experienced sailors and The Captain himself, the four reach the island fabled to have a book that can make any dream come true. If all goes well, Colette will have proven herself as a competent and capable member of this eldritch crew, worthy of The Captain’s respect, but it won’t be so easy.

Sample Chapter

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.

- unknown

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 glasses.

“We almost there, sir?” A half man-half fish sailor asks with a gurgle.

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, sir.”

“And how many times did I… Suddenly forget about double checking the course?”

“…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 our mark.”

Gregory nods with his brows raised in tolerance to The Captain. “Sure thing, sir.”

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 human friend.

“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 team.”

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- understand?”

While most of the crew is silent, some do nod their heads and generally agree.

“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 sailor’, Captain.”

“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 when arguing.

“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.
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Author Profile

Kell Inkston

Kell Inkston

Born in an extra-dimensional pocket of space that was probably filled with good books, Kell emerged one long Summer to begin its quest to become a writer of renown and a voice of reason in a world that needs more writers of renown and voices of reason- what a laudable goal.

View full Profile of Kell Inkston

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