The Red Island was once a haven for those feel tired of the weeks on the sea and those who were wanted by the royal navy. The island piers were always full of ships that were either refilling water, food, cannon balls, or hiring sailors, or striking shady business. Everything here was for sale: slaves, looted goods, inns, wh*res, and even the governor position.
However, there were good chaps on the island, too. They worked mostly on the wet docks. I could still remember exactly how the South wet dock once was. The dock was full of fishing ships, which were in turn filled with marlin and tuna and all sort of other seafood. The fish was sold in baskets right on the wet dock where housewives made bargains on and the rest went to local who produces smoked fish to export to the land. And after the tiring labour, the sailors would find themselves lost in the local inns and taverns and cheap brothels which were abundant on the island.
In its golden time, you could find any kind of people on the island docks. From wanted pirates, clerics who were going to spread their religion to the most remote part of the world, the critically ill who sailed to the land of Yharnam to seek a miraculous cure to strange scholars who donned iron cages on their head. The island narrow streets and cheap wh*rehouses were always filled with people. But that was the good old days.
Now, only some sandbanks, some skerries knew only to seagulls are what remains of a once rich and crowded city island. Nobody knows what happened to the Islanders and the docks and the island itself. They all vanished in a night. Nobody except me and my shipmates. How could we forget that fateful night, when men provoked the anger of the Gods?
The tragedy struck this island seventeen years ago, but it rooted from an even dated back to three years prior the fall of the city. It started with strange waves of light that were dancing on the horizon for ten days long. Some claimed that gold was raining from the sky. Some said it was the moon fell into the sea. However, an old man claimed that the lights indicated an Old One of the sea had left this life and return to their world, which was true as several days later, I heard of a rumour that a Great One had washed up ashore in a distant Fishing Hamlet. The life on the Red island continued at the usual bustle rate as the strange waves of light disappeared days later. Little did they know, their lives would never be the same from that day. Mystery events occurred with alarming rate later on. Fishers started to see frightful things in their nets, women and children disappeared, and there were rumours of a gang of bloodthirsty werewolves on this island. There was a rumour about people started to worship the dark Gods that was declared forbidden by the Catholic Church. And when the disappearance of women could no longer be ignored, the government started to hunt down such individuals, believing that those cultists were responsible for the strange event that plagued the city.
And how could I forget I lost on that fateful year? I lost the woman I love: Merlinda. She was a young, pretty, high-graded wh*re. She's the prettiest woman on the Red island and was popular amongst captains. She was not only beautiful, but she also knew how to please the grumpy old coots and how to fill her pocket with their gold coins. As a second mate on a small pirate frigate, I could never afford a night with her, but she stumbled upon me one stormy night and we fell in love. When we woke up, I told her I could not bring her as much money as her customers could, but she replied that she only needed a strong man on the stormy nights. The following weeks, she often visitted me and one day, she showed up with two heart-shaped magnetic pendants: one was carved 'Merlinda', and one was carved with my name 'Sparrow'.
The captain and the first mate said I was lucky. I fell madly for her. I convinced her to quit her job, I quit mine and we would live a normal, quiet life. She agreed. We even planned on moving to some quiet islands in the newly formed America and spent the rest of our lives growing turnips there. But, life wasn't that easy. Her customers, this included the gorvenor himself, weren't very pleased with her decision to quit and our leaving was delayed to next two months.
And sadly, we could never leave Red island together. There was a large scale purge the following month. And, to my dismay, Merlinda was amongst the arrested. An old hag claimed that Merlinda had been bewitching men for a long time. At the court, the old lady accused her: " I saw with my own eyes this wench went into a cave by the sea, near the old lighthouse. I followed her inside and I saw her disrobed, and she rubbed dead mollusc tentacles on her body. And in that cave, to my horror, there were many monsters with woman head and mollusc bodies. Then this wench bowed down before a strange, evil-looking obelisk and she chanted malice words."
" What did she chant?" Asked the judge
" Iä! Iä! Kos Fhtagn. Mother Kos, please protect us from the beasts that plague this dock. Please protect us from the high sea and the coming storm. Iä! Iä! "
I could not believe my eyes and ears because it was Merlinda who spoke those words. The court frowned upon her. And she started to explain about "mother Kos" and her love and the greatness that no Gods could match, and that the Islanders had better convert to Kosm. Not even the accusation of heresy could falter Merlinda, nor the pyre could.
The government soon located the cave. And, much to the horror of the aghast islanders, the cave was exactly like the old woman described. The half-mollusc women they found inside were the disappeared women. And according to the frightened city guards, the women looked even younger and more beautiful than they once were. Some of the onlookers, who were husbands to the some of the turned women, went mad when they saw the twisted malformed body of their wives. The governor claimed all of them witches and they were deemed to be burn alive the following day.
Later that night, thanks to the help of my shipmates, I managed to sneak into the dungeon under the city hall and met up with Merlinda. I asked her if she was forced to say so. But she said it was true that she worshipped the dark and horror entity she called mother Kos. I told her I came to rescue her and my the crew was ready to cast off. But she said she could not leave her sisters like that. And that mother Kos would save her. She kissed me and urged me to go.
I left but I did not give up. I gather all men whose wives were accused of witchcraft and were deemed to be executed the next day and told them to prepare for a fight.
The following day, she and the mollusc woman were brought the pyre in the city centre. When the pyre was set alight, the women chanted in a union:
" Iä! Iä! Kos fhtagn. Mother Kos, have mercy for your poor children. Iä! Iä! Kos fhtagn."
Rain clouds came swiftly and put off the fire quickly. The governor, however, demanded the woman to be shot. They did not falter and continue to chant. I, captain Peg, my shipmates and other husbands fought the city guards but we soon found the rest of the citizens had us surrounded. They have seen too much horror in the previous months and they had suffered much. We were unable to save our women. Knowing another mass execution was too much, the governor banned us permanently from the Red island and he demanded us to leave immediately without fresh water nor food.
As soon as we set sail from the cursed dock, a storm started to rage and to our horror, a whirlpool, as large as the Red island itself, emerge next to our ship. The city and the island were ripped apart and disappeared into the gigantic vortex of salt water. Everything happened in mere minutes and we could only hang onto the ship in order to survive the wraith of a Great One. Likely a few minutes later, the whirlpool closed and there was no trace of the Red island, saved for some broken ship masts and floated empty barrels. We found some surviving islanders but most of they had gone batsh*t insane. Some madmen claimed that massive, nightmarish tendrils emerged from the whirlpool and dragged houses and ships into it. Some could not even talked in any recognizable language. The shock was too much for their feeble mind to handle.
The next few days, the rain continued and we were able to refill fresh water. The wind brought us back to Nothingharm and none could think of a proper explanation about the previous event.
Today was the day the Red island vanished seventeen years ago. From that day, I and my shipmates retired from piracy. I opened an Inn near the wet dock and was often visited by captain Peg and the crew, now are merchants.
And today, I have come back here, to this place that was once Red island, to unite with Merlinda. My magnetic pendant wants to unite with its other half as well. Last month I saw her in a dream, and she had told me how to unite with her.
Iä! Iä! Kos Fhtagn. Merciful mother Kos, do you hear my prayer?