Dredge By Scyllaz

Instruments: Card Deck, token, writing impliments

Game Description 

You are the lone captain of a boat in a large lake trawing the bottom for something. You cannot remember who you are or why you are doing this. What will you find and will you find your way back home?

Game Content Warnings 

These are content warnings that are from the game prompts and are present in all playthroughs.

Playthrough Content Warnings 

These are content warnings specific to this playthrough only.

Game Playthrough

Word Count: 2,873      Played: Nov 25, 2021

Entry 1

I can’t remember why I’m here. All I know is I’m out on this boat. I.. I think I’m looking for something, but I can’t find it. I don’t know what it is. 

All I have is the boat and myself and whatever I drudge up from the depths. I hope I can find it soon.

Entry 2

Card: 2 of clubs - Nostalgia

A Memory Returns

I nearly hit a log today. It was sticking up out of the water like it had been growing from the depths. It reminded me of someone. I.. She had long hair in braids, with rings and ribbons attached to it. I.. I think I was holding her hand as we sat out on a beach. 

But I can also picture here standing out on the dock, waving as I sail into the lake. I don’t have any rings or other jewelry, so she couldn’t have been my wife. Unless I lost those things to the depths. 

I hope I can remember soon. 

Entry 3

Card: 10 of Diamonds - A Murder 

Dredge up something shiny and empty 

There was something on my boat today. Hundreds and hundreds of crows. I’m no patter-reader but this is an omen. They shouldn’t be out this far into the lake. Someone has died. I … I just know it. At first it was one, then a dozen, then my entire boat was full of them. They watched me with their beady little eyes as I cast my net. 

Then all at once, like a dark cloud moving in front of the sun, the left, and the sky was made of feathers. 

In my net I had pulled up an old silver scabbard, as shiny as if it had just been polished. I put it in my cargo bay. 

Entry 4 

Card: Queen of Hearts - A Ceremony

Dredge up something beautiful and sharp

The lake was engulfed today in petals. They were small and pink and covered the surface entirely like a sheet of oil. The fragrance was overwhelming, like someone had dumped a bottle of perfume over my head. 

They felt… holy somehow and I knew in my gut that they were used for some sort of ceremony. I don’t know of anyone who lives in these parts, and no flower of these bright colors lives this far north. I pray this is an omen for peace. 

My net trawled along the bottom until it snagged a prize. It felt heavy as I cranked the wrench to bring it up to the surface, but when I sorted through the wet petals all I found was a small comb, in the shape of a flower. The teeth were sharper than I would expect and I pricked myself when I picked it up. 

Entry 5 

3 of Hearts - Cloud of Fog 

A fog rolled in, but it weren’t like anything I had ever seen before. It was thick like syrup and stung my eyes and nose. I could barely keep my eyes open in the mists, so I dropped my anchor and waited for it to pass. It sent a chill to my bones that I couldn’t explain. There was something wrong with this fog. 

I waited all day and most of the night below deck. It felt like an eternity had passed as I waited for clear waters but in an instant it was gone. I one moment I blinked and all the haze had disappeared like it had never been there before. I wonder if it was all in my head? 

Entry 6 

King of Clubs - Diver 

The Deep Hunter has arrived 

I first heard the knocking. Then the scraping and the etching. Something is here with me in this lake. 

Then I saw movement below the water, and saw a dark shape diving deeper and deeper into the depths. 

And last I saw the message, carved into the hull of my boat. “I’ve found you,” was what was written. Then on the rocks beside me, etched deep into the stone, “I’m here.”  And then once more scratched into the glass of a porthole a script that burned my eyes to read and left my mind as soon as I had finished reading it. I cannot copy it onto the paper because my hands cannot move in the way to make the shapes, but I know it has marked me and I am soon dead.

Entry 7 

Ace of Clubs - A Ghostly Presence 

Something broken and discarded 

I cannot sleep. I keep hearing the knocking on my boat. Why is it tormenting me? I left to go topside to get some fresh air, and clear my head but what I found frightened me all the same. 

On the water, far behind me, I saw it. Something in the shape of a person, floating on the water. Against my better judgement I turned the boat back to see it. 

A figure in a dress of many layers, each covered with lace and dangling scrimshaw hovered and pointed at me before vanishing in the air. I cannot be certain.. I think I saw a ghost, but of who or what I cannot say. 

I cast my net to the bottom where they were and it snagged something heavy. I pulled it onto the deck and it landed with a thick, waterlogged thud. It was an old worn trunk, once made of sturdy wood, now soft and malleable. 

The lock had long ago been broken away and it was missing half of it’s lid. I opened it and in the process accidentally ripped off the top all together.

Inside were more bones and teeth carved with scrimshaw. Something valuable? Something lost? I put the lid back on the broken box and took it down to the cargo. 

Entry 8

7 of Hearts Forest on the Water

Move the Deep Hunter 1 Away 

I am among the trees again, though they sprout from the water’s deep. I heard a tale of the god’s own tree which grows from the ocean, but there is nothing holy about this place. There is nothing desecrated either, this place is entirely mundane and I feel safe for the moment. 

I did not hear the knocking while I was in the forest. It seems as though the Deep Hunter avoids this palace. If I hadn’t need to get back home, then perhaps I should live here. There are plenty of fruits and beetles to sustain myself. 

But I soon exited the trees. I felt as though they almost cleared a path for me as I went. I hope that this lake contains more peace…

Entry 9 

Jack of Clubs Revelry

Dredge up something potent and tempting 

In the water today were the remnants of a feast. I saw it bobbing in the water and spilling upwards from below. A deep unsettling wine spiraled outwards from the center and was littered with cups and creates. 

Was this all that remains of the flower festival? Was this a gift to the lake? 

But still I cast my net. I pulled up a flask of silver and red glass. Inside there was a clear flowing liquid that shined brightly in the light. I hadn’t partook in years. I wanted to so desperately now. I couldn’t bring myself to place it in with the cargo, so I slipped it into my front pocket. 

Liquid light they called it… but it brought more darkness than any other drink. 

Entry 10

4 of Hearts - A good Omen

Move the Deep Hunter one away 

I saw a good omen in the sky tonight. I could barely see it but tonight I saw the constellation The Rival’s Knife. Every sailor knows the story, no matter how superstitious they are, and everyone knows it means a safe journey home. 

I pray that I may see it again for the rest of my time out here. 

Entry 11

Queen of Diamonds - Abandoned Vessel

Dredge up something unassuming and perfectly dry 

I saw the remnants of the Deep Hunter’s work today. It was a boat, much like mine, upside down, and weathered with age. But on the dry hull I could see them: wet handprints. It had been here. I walked along the surface of the hull, looking for anything, and saw again, carved into the side the warning, “You are next.” 

There was nothing for me on the boat so I cast my net into the depths. From it, I brought up a small rusted safe. It was easy to pry open and the contents inside were dry. 

All I found was a small log cataloguing the cargo of the ship. It seems as though this was a trawlerman like myself, and it chilled me to my bones when I saw it was completely identical to my own list. 

Entry 12

7 of Diamonds - Release

Move the Deep Hunter one Away 

I am ashamed to say that I drank it. I could not help myself. I thought of what my life could have been. I thought of the woman I couldn’t remember. I felt as though I was in mourning for my own life and I could not help but weep. 

I couldn’t sleep last night as the knocking against my boat grew louder and louder. I do not know which god I had blasphemed against to deserve this. And the only thing to make it stop was the Liquid Light in my pocket. 

I drank all of it in a single gulp, and let my senses fade away as the warmth spread over my body. 

When I awoke, I knew that it had done its job, as I felt refreshed and released. I can continue. But for how long? 

Entry 13

2 of Diamonds - Windtossed

Move the Deep Hunter to the Ace of Spades 

The wild winds came tonight. I had to take down the sail because I thought it would rip. I had never seen a tornado on the water before, and I didn’t know such a lake could form one, but there it was…. I am almost ashamed to admit it, but I hid below deck, hoping and praying to every god that I could remember. I was in the dark, huddled and shaking as the boat rocked and twisted. 

Somehow I survived and the knocking as stopped … for now. 

Entry 14

2 of Spades - Wall of Water

Move the Deep Hunter one away

I had thought it safe to return to deck… I was wrong. The tornado had left a wave, a great many times taller than the boat, in its wake. I hadn’t time to return below, so I braced myself against the mast as the water came rushing down on top of me. 

I was drenched from head to toe in the icy waters, but still yet I live. The boat is in one piece, and the cargo is still in it’s bay… is this ill fortune or good? I have yet to see another message or hear the dreaded knocking. 

Entry 15

6 of Diamonds - Eels

I saw the eels today… writhing in masses under the water. Their bodies were at least twelve feet long, and I counted more than a dozen of them feasting on some fell beast below the waves. Each one would bring back a fortune if caught, but I haven’t the means or the stomach to deal with such creatures…. Were this the start of my journey, perhaps, but I need to return home. Curse these eels. 

Entry 16 

5 of Spades - Mysterious Sounds

Move the Deep Hunter one Closer 

The noise has changed. It is no longer the knocking on the boat, but the sound of a cricket. It chirps and chirps at all hours and at all times. I haven’t seen land in so long and the water-forest did not house these bugs. I searched high and low, hoping that it was a true bug and not some trick of the Deep Hunter. 

I have not found it… and I doubt that I ever will. When I resigned myself to it’s noise it vanished as if it had never been there. I… I believe that I miss it now. It was a sign of land and of life other than myself. I wish for home. I wish for warmth. I wish for that woman. 

Entry 17 

7 of Clubs - The Souls Lost 

The Deep Hunter is here 

The birds were the first to tell me of its arrival. On the sea they are the lost souls of the sailors who perished. I wondered if I too would become a bird when this creature finally fells me. 

 Then the knocking, then the scraping, and then the wet footsteps down the hallway. 

I do not know what possessed me to go to it. Perhaps it is part of the creatures’ call. But my feet moved my body as my mind emptied completely. 

Down into the depths of the cargo I ventured before seeing the shadows move in the corners of my eyes. Frightened, I grabbed the nearest item, the silver scabbard and swung it around in front of me as my feet guided me. 

The knocking continued, growing louder and louder until I heard it behind me. I froze as I felt a cold icy grasp slither into my boot and around my ankle. I screamed and swung the scabbard around windy as I turned to face that thing. 

I heard it thunk against something and let loose an unholy shriek before I could see it. The knocking turned into banging so loud that I fell to my knees and clutched my ears. 

I couldn’t see the thing that had been hunting me but I felt it’s presence leave my ship as the ringing in my ears receded. The scabbard was covered in a thick slimy ooze that corroded and ate away the silver. 

I watched as it disintegrated before me into a melted puddle of metal. I didn’t dare touch it, and moved a heavy crate on the mess. It is out of sight and out of mind. 

Entry 18

2 of Hearts - Boiling Waters

Move the Deep Hunter Closer 

The lake is foul and rotten. I came upon a patch of water that boiled and smelled of sulfur. I couldn’t breath over the smell of the place and quickly turned the boat around. The sweat from the heat made my hands slick and I could hardly keep a grip on the wheel. 

This is a cursed lake and I fear that every day I grow closer to death.

Entry 19

Jack of Hearts - Something Old and Something Dead 

Dredge up something Jagged and Curved 

I always heard stories of the world before… strange and terrible creatures roamed the lands and hunted people. I didn’t know what to believe before now, but I saw it in the water. 

Something so large, and so terrible.. At first I thought it was a tower, or another large tree, but as I sailed closer and closer I knew it was a rib of something that died long, long ago. This place is cursed and I am cursed as well. 

When I was beside it, I could see more messages written on the side. Some in that script I cannot read, and some in languages I knew. All of them were sigils meant to keep this dead thing still dead. 

But still, I cast my net and dredge up something horrid. I believe it to be the bottom of a bowl, or an amphora… It was made of metal and had the same script written on every inch. 

It made my hair stand on end when I touched it, but I still put it with the cargo. Should it bring me ill fortune… I guess the lake can have it back.

Entry 20

King of Diamonds - The Offering 

This Lake is the Body of a God who sleeps. These items are all gifts to you with meaning and purpose. What does the god want from you? 

As I came upon the dock once more I … I remember. It all comes and goes, around and around again. I am in the body of a god. 

Those-Who-Dwell-Are-Apart-And-Together-Again-In-Sanctuary, God of Cycles, Decider of movement, repetition, renewal, transformation, and circles, it’s body is a lake, it’s body was the air, and it’s body will be the ice. 

As part of Its own holy cycle, it is now asleep. These items were gifts to me on my holy pilgrimage to circle the lake, and that creature, a test. I have proven myself to it and will take my gifts with me onto the land. 

The purpose of these items is not for me to know, and so I will give them to the fellow priests, as all acolytes do.  My mind and my faith have both been renewed by this harrowing journey.

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