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The chair creaked as the old man rocked back in it, groaning to himself. "Nay, Olaf, Nay" said the venerable Captain Pryce, "'Tis a wondrous ale you brew, lad. 'Tis only my mind playing tricks on me again, it happens when ye get to be my age..."
The fire popped and sputtered to itself as the old sailor scrubbed at his chin through his scraggly gray beard, his brow furrowing of its own accord as the memories came flooding back to him.
"T'was a night of horrendous storms," he began, "I knew I shouldn't have left port, but the Duke was insistent. He had to have his cursed wines!" "Pah!" he exclaims, slamming his fist into the table, "The fool knows nothing of the sea and it's foul moods!" His gaze falls across the scarred leather cup that hides the stump where his left hand should be, "Blast me! I should've heeded the signs, but I braved the sea, the storms...then the beast took us! The BEAST! It took me poor Golden Lady like she was cuddling a child to its breast...and then it ripped us apart! The lads tried to save us, but the beast was too strong. It shrugged off our bolts like annoying gnats. I saw young Langdon dragged off and broke like a child's toy by one of the beast's sinuous arms...big around as oxen they were! And as if the Fates hadn't had enough, those blasted fish-men came scrabbling over my bow while the beast held us fast, and killed any they could catch. Lucky for me, a few of the lads managed to scramble into a dingy before my poor Lady went under...lotta fine mates went with 'er."
Sighing reluctantly to himself, the Captain went back to his ale...