Something Witchy This Way Comes
After a bit of carousing on the island, the three guys bit adiea to Cap. D'Ville, and took their chances with the three ships headed to Tortuga: a 4-mast, Lady of the Sea; a 3-mast, Santa Clarita; and a 2-mast, Boaty McBoatface. Of course, they went for the weirdest option, and chose Boaty McBoatface, with its weird, creepypasta Thomas the Train figurehead. The captain - a hook-handed, eye-patch-wearing, peg-legged pirate in traditional garb - introduced them to Stabby Pete, a white-and-red-striped shirt to match his red bandana who kept cleaning his fingernails with a knife, and Moby Tom, a near-toothless tricorn-toting fellow in a blue jacket (not pictured). Shortly thereafter, Isabella showed up with some supplies, and greeted the guests. The captain - they never actually got his name, but I'd bet you every dollar in the bank that it was Captain Redbeard - agreed to their 20 doubloons per day. Though, after asking if it was "each" or "for the lot o' ya" and being told it was for the lot, he said that while it was a two day journey usually, this time it would take six, because there were three of them. Isabella later told them he was (mostly) joking.
It took the guys way, way too long to figure out the "theme" of the ship (picture related). The red-and-white sails, the blocky build to the ship, the random bumps on everything... it was built to look like one of the LEGO pirate ships.
Two days later, they arrived in Tortuga, though they had a rough time getting to the dock - it seems the captain got in trouble a while back for stealing part of the dock, and wasn't allowed there any more. Instead, they had to ride in barrels - old food barrels, including the captain's failed attempt to make a profit selling garlic to natives. They managed to get to shore nonetheless, though poor Cazeon chose the garlic barrel, and smelled like a Fazoli's died on him.
In town, they decided to head towards a penciled in location: the Hag of Tortuga! Spooky! Of course, barely two steps in, someone tried to rob Kenny, and they had to chase the guy down and murder him in a dark alley. Seriously - he didn't even take anything, but they chased him to the edge of town, shot him in the head, and then killed his two friends. Colleagues? Anyway, after a short fight that ended very, very poorly for the three thieves, they looted the place (and made something like $350, plus a couple swords), then backtracked to find the Hag.
A little way out of town, after traipsing through the jungle, they found an odd shack - it looked partway like it had just grown there out of the jungle, and partway like the jungle tried to eat it. Either way, though, Cazeon knocked (a very good idea), and was invited in. The shack was dark, draped with cloth and drying herbs, and in the back, near a fire, a woman was bent over a cauldron, stirring... whatever was in there. She was black as night - not "African American" but super dark, like South Sudan black-and-white-picture-looks-no-different black. In the dark of the shack, she had a Cheshire look - just a grinning mouth and eyes. She graciously invited the three in, and to sit. After a bit of banter, in which Kenny said they were here to ask about the nearest big treasure, the "hag" answered that the biggest treasure nearby she knew of was in this room. Cazeon voiced his concern that it was "friendship" or something, which elicited a laugh. "No, no. I talk about power! Someone who can snap her fingers and everyone does what she asks. Money, well, you give money to someone else, and he snaps his finger - who has the power there? Hmm?"
Eventually, she introduced herself as Creole Amilie Lejeune - while it didn't ring a bell with any of them, I know enough about her I can fill in some details. She's immensely powerful, in legend, and generally people avoid her, because she often asks for something that is a higher price than the information or magical trinkets she hands out. According to the various myths, she can control weather, raise the dead (as undead), and freeze a man with no more than a glance. She's usually portrayed as an ugly monster - but I bet she shows herself as whatever she wants to be seen as. If someone is visiting her out of fear, she'll be scary; I bet she showed the form she did because they guys didn't really have any expectation, she she was free to be herself. Or something.
Anyway, she bantered back and forth a bit more, then went around the room and gave... prophesies? Foretellings? Fortunes? Whatever you'd call them. First, to Kenny, she noted the bandana, and took a careful look at it before handing it back. "You search for the Captain's Outfit, I see. You have another item, hmm?" - with a tap of her head - "A governor has a feathery top for your headpiece, and I think you'll find that Long Strides will keep you as warm as a jacket. The rest will reveal itself in time."
Second, to Cazeon, she gave an odd look, and said, "You have a strange aura about you... something odd, not... here. Mind your mind." with another tap of the head. Which, of course, freaked Cazeon out to no end (in and out of game, I think) - she could see into other games? She laughed again, and said she was no Player Character, which did nothing to allay his fears, what with her fourth wall breaking.
Third, to Dapper Dan, who asked about his coin, she said that it was unclear - some things are clear, some things are not, and that coin is not clear. Murky. No charge for that.
For the treasure request, she peeled the bark off a branch and drew a map on it - one that lead to Cuba, on the beach west of Santiago. She said it was a treasure that they would be able to use, more than others. Cazeon wanted to make sure she wasn't ripping them off, and that it really lead somewhere. She retorted that all maps lead somewhere, and always have a treasure, even if that treasure is the knowledge that you can't trust that map maker. It didn't help, I don't think, but then again, I also think she was having way too much fun messing with his mind.
They asked what they owed, and she asked for a "fancy knife" - just like the one they took off the dead pickpocket. Kenny turned it over, while Cazeon asked if maybe she meant his fancy knife, with a single charge left? She said no, and that it still had purpose - it would save his life one more time. Which, y'know, kept on freaking him out. I honestly wish I could have been there.
What was even better was when she unscrewed the handle of the knife and poured out a handful of diamonds. "Oh, but what will really do your head in - were the diamonds there before you handed the knife to me?"
Finally, after a little more joking around and messing with poor Cazeon, she quieted down a bit, and in a serious tone, said, "Be careful. Stay safe. Check in on your friends, and keep them close."
Finally, it was time to go - work in the morning, and all that - and the three said goodbye. Cazeon made a point to indicate that he was logging out, and would be back in the Real World, where Amilie didn't exist, and that he was never coming back because she freaked him out. She winked at him, and said, "Never say never little man!"
And, that night, Charles (Cazeon in Real Life) dreamed that he was back in the shack, and the Hag laughed at him and said, "Who says your dreams are the real world?" because of course she did.
Still... I wonder how much power she actually has. She's like the Oracle in the Matrix - is she a really good algorithm? Or is there something human behind her? Pretty cool, honestly. I used to dream about making puzzle games that had real people and scripted events working together to make a story, and now I get to live them!
Oh, and I forgot to add - the guys texted me last night to make sure I was ok. Because a video game character told them to keep their friends close. I'm actually really touched by that. Well, I am now - I was mostly asleep at the time.