Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries – Chapter 1
Chasing the Dead
Silver clouds billowed across the sky as the winds and rain ruthlessly pounded the famous ship, making the chase ever more treacherous. The massive ocean swells lashed the bow of the galley class ship known as the Aspen. The ship itself was daunting, with its charcoal black finish and red and black sails. But what lie at the root of the Aspen’s notoriety had nothing to do with the ship itself and everything to do with her captain.
Terra Vonnel, a pirate and master thief, stood at the edge of the quarterdeck, her long, black hair tautly secured by a scarlet bandana. Dressed in her signature white shirt, red sash, black boots and trousers, Terra Vonnel embodied to the letter her nickname: the Sea Vixen.
Just seventeen years of age, Terra had won her shipmates’ respect through countless life-threatening adventures, fighting side by side with her crew. Despite her young age, she was an old soul at heart.
“Faster, Coven, faster!” she yelled, her bright green eyes fluttering against the rain.
Coven Breckrill was the ship’s sailing master. In charge of ship navigation, he was the highest paid and most devoted crewmember.
As the Aspen sped through the turbulent sea with its mystical green flames licking its bow, it moved into striking distance. Powered by wraithlike fiends known as Sea Ghouls, the phantom creatures heaving the massive wooden oars, the Aspen accelerated into the squalling wind.
Won in a card game from a gypsy in Tortuga, the Sea Ghouls were her most valued asset to date. With the demonic creatures manning its oars, the Aspen was capable of reaching speeds of over 180 knots. It could outrun, out chase, and outflank any vessel on the high seas.
Tonight the Sea Vixen’s target was the Mont Delia, a dank brigantine class ship from the Mediterranean that possessed one of the twin Skulls of Aries.
Terra, who had stolen the first skull from a cleric in Pelegosto, now headed to Port Royal to seek out the other when word came that Count Dragos and his men had gotten there first.
Dragos, a Sicilian vampire and vicious pirate, had arrived a day earlier in Port Royal. He made his way through the village, slaughtering hundreds, until finding Petre Bendella, the cleric’s older brother. With little effort Dragos killed Petre, draining him of his blood, and stole the Skull of Aries. Now with only one skull remaining, Dragos departed Port Royal and headed toward Pelegosto.
Unknown to Dragos, the Aspen had been waiting cloaked in a blanket of fog, poised to make its move. With its lightning speed, the Mont Delia was no match for the Aspen.
Terra Vonnel waited patiently as the Aspen quickly approached its target. She needed the remaining skull. Without it, the other was useless, but together she would possess a power so unimaginable that even the Gods of the Sea would worship her!
The Skulls of Aries were magical gate keys. When used in unison they would unlock the Gates of Monticule, the last obstacle that stood between her and the Orb of Time. Once she possessed the Orb, she would be its guardian and free to travel back in time, rendering her meager form of transportation a moot point. She and she alone would have the power of the Gods, and from that point on she would travel like one!
For Terra, the plan was clear: Steal the Twin Skulls, enter the Gates, steal the Orb, and travel back in time. Her first objective would be July 24, 1715, seven days before the Spanish Plate Fleet, led by the flagship El Capitana, sank in the Florida hurricane. There on July 24 she would steal the 14 million pieces of eight and assorted treasure before it sank, making her, in one fell swoop, the richest and most powerful woman in the world!
**I will post one Chapter each week, so this may take a while. If you just can’t wait, you can buy (Just 2.99) the complete book at Amazon.
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