Esoterica of the Isles of Desperation Bay

Book describing Smuggler's Shiv with Aklo notations


This book was found in Ieana‘s room on the wreck of the Jenivere, along with the remains of a small wooden altar, a fang-shaped dagger and shattered brass disk carved with a symbol of a snake’s skull bordered by a snake swallowing its tail, the symbol of Ydersius, the beheaded snake god.

The Esoterica of the Isles of Desperation Bay (various authors) possessed a particularly well-thumbed through chapter regarding Smuggler’s Shiv. The introductory passage read:

They say the dead walk on Smuggler’s Shiv, and that those who have yet to die dine on the flesh of their kin. They say that the very plants and animals of the island thirst for blood. And they say that those who sail too close to the island’s cutting edge are already doomed, even before their ships are impaled and slip beneath the shark-hungry waves. The island itself is a grave to all manner of folk—pirate and soldier, merchant and smuggler alike. By day, one who approaches too closely can hear their screams from the green that crowns the isle, and by night one can watch the witchlights dance on its shore, said to be glowing cannibal ghosts eager to lure new meals to their shore. They say all this and more about Smuggler’s Shiv. I can think of no better place to hide my treasure. —Final recorded words of Captain Lortch Quellig

Though the chapter contained useful knowledge on the Shiv, its discoverers were more concerned with the notes, which were written in the black tongue of Aklo. When translated, an arduous task considering the layered syntax of the language, the notes roughly read:


Esoterica of the Isles of Desperation Bay

Age of Serpents Jim_Mount