(Captain's quarters of the southern shipwreck, Tribute Peak)
Well this is embarrassing. I’m normally a dab hand behind the wheel, and I don’t make a habit of wrecking my ship halfway up the beach. Still, what matters is that I made it here. Another first for Captain Briggsy! I should plant a flag, but all I have is these journals. I’m kind of disappointed that the shores aren’t really made of gold, but at least I won’t go blind once the sun comes up. The Shroud doesn’t seem to cover the island, just… wrap around it, I guess. That means it’s safe to explore, and exploring I shall go!
Bah! Looks like I’m not the first to make it here after all. This stuff doesn’t look ancient, just old, and I’m sure it was made by pirates. I guess the island slips out of the Devil’s Shroud from time to time, and that’s when others came? Maybe even Ramsey got here in the end. Well, no point in sulking. I’m here now, and I bet I can find something they missed. A memento, to help remember this place. And when I tell this story, maybe I’ll conveniently forget to mention this little discovery. We’ll make it our secret, okay?
It’s still night, but I just woke up sweating. My first really bad dream in years. Maybe if I write it out, I can sleep. I was back in the tavern at Golden Sands on the night Ramsey called parley. Trying to open one of those sealed chests. I couldn’t pick the lock. Couldn’t force it. Then suddenly, there’s the key in my hand. I smirk and throw open the lid… Nothing there. Seriously. Nothing, like looking into a chasm. A bottomless pit in a box. And suddenly, I feel hands on my back, shoving me! I think it’s one of Ramsey’s men, and now I’m inside the chest, falling — screaming out as the lid snaps shut overhead… Then I woke up. Ugh.
(Behind broken pillar in the circle of totems, Tribute Peak)
This is a weird place. It looks like someone used powder kegs to blow their way down into whatever lies below this island. Maybe they managed it somehow, maybe not. Either way, the tunnel they left behind collapsed a long time ago. There has to be another way down. Ancient civilizations love putting secret passages in stuff. It’s a well-known fact! Ask anyone. Whatever it takes, I’m going to get down there. I want to see every last inch of this place before I leave!
You know how some people are good climbers? Well, I am a GREAT climber. That’s why I left this book up here, as proof. Well… I say “climb”. I actually used a cannon from the wreck of my sloop. But if you’re reading this, you must’ve had the same idea. This place has some amazing views, and I want to see them all! I do wish I had someone to talk to though… I hope you’re okay out there, Sudds.
I am very much creeped out right now, not that I’d ever admit it to anyone. I finally made it on top of the throne and inside. I hadn’t gone far before I spotted a chest. One of the sealed ones people sometimes sell to the Gold Hoarders, but… open. It looked just like the one from my dream. Like, exactly the same. It sounds stupid but I didn’t dare go near it in case I fell in. As if I needed more clues, I spotted the Gold Hoarder emblem on a door, too. So. They’ve been here before. But why?
I don’t like Trading Companies. There were none when I first came to the Sea of Thieves, young and cocky as I was. I don’t blame people for working with the Gold Hoarders though. If you’ve found a chest you can’t open, why NOT take it to them? Well… Maybe because we should have been asking ourselves what they do with the treasure afterwards, when we’ve walked away. I think it comes here. I think it ALL comes here. That’s why this place is called Shores of Gold.
I’ve made a huge mistake. I only wanted a little thing. Just a keepsake, something to prove I’ve been here. Just one little trinket from a treasure pile. I don’t feel sick, or cursed. I feel great! And that’s bad, because I haven’t slept or eaten in days. There’s a different kind of feeling inside me now, though. I don’t like it. I don’t understand it. But I know it’s getting stronger.
He was waiting for me, just as I expected. I thought he’d attack, but he seemed to understand. He says I can’t go back. I’ll be an outcast. A target. I know he’s right. If I agree to serve, he’ll share a cure one day. He’s probably lying. But what choice do I have? Briggsy died on this island, and I’m all that’s left.
A last act of free will
(Scaffolding before the corridor to the final room, Tribute Peak)
I was commanded to destroy the relic. He doesn’t want pirates reaching here unexpectedly, when he might be sleeping. I have disobeyed. If there really is a cure for… what I am, now… I might need the Shroudbreaker to find it. One day. Instead, I’ll hide the gems that seem to focus it’s power. I know plenty of old places to keep them safe from fleshy fingers. The Shroudbreaker can go back to sleep in its vault to recharge. And I’ll start gathering treasures for him, as ordered. I’ll be a slave. I’ll be a villain. I’ll be a monster. At least now I know what the feeling inside of me is. Shame.