Part 48: The Last HorizonA loose letter The Last Horizon
There are no more entries in the Journal of Captain Petra Blackwood. After leaving London on February 5th, 1889, she was never seen again. Nothing was heard of her for several years. Everyone assumed she'd taken one risk too many and finally been lost at Zee. However, in 1892, the merchant ship The Callisto stopped at Nuncio. Much to everyone's surprise, there was a package there for one Josiah Blackwood, the ship's quartermaster. The box was a water-tight zee-chest, and clearly labeled -
c/o The Postal Rat
The Post Office
McMaster's Haven, Nuncio
The rat said it had washed up almost a year ago, had the young man sign and turned it over, waiving the holding fee because he was 'The son of an old friend'. Inside was a whole collection of documents, letters, snippets of lore, an exceptional quantity of Echos, and a thick, leather-bound volume his adopted mother's journal. At the front was a letter, written as neatly as everything else the Captain had wrote.
My dear Josiah,
I am sorry I cannot return to deliver this journal to you in person. I am no longer who you remember me as, and I fear I would not be welcome in London.
Even if I could return, I think many who knew me would be disappointed with me, and I would rather spare everyone the heartbreak of seeing me as I am.
But know that I am not unhappy! I am in pursuit of something greater than mere fame, or riches, or even secrets.
Me and my crew are on the cusp of something wondrous. We shall all soon bask in glories unknown to man, beyond the Last Horizon.
But take heart, my dear. I know that the Zee is in your blood. I know you burn, like I did, to see places exotic and wonderful.
More than anything else, I am writing this to tell you Chase that dream.
It will lead you down roads that will take you to strange, unpleasant places sometimes,
and sometimes ones so delightful one can scarcely imagine they exist.
Even so, on some long, dark night of the soul, you may find yourself wondering if the terror and isolation and deaths are worth it,
and in that moment, I want you to remember these few things.
Do not be afraid of things that are mysterious to you; exploring such things are the only way you can grow.
Remember that victories won at great cost are often the only victories worth more than a drunk Zailor's tales.
Do not be afraid of sacrifices. Money, time, blood, sweat, sometimes even your very heart and mind The world needs those willing to do so. We must be those people, for without us London would be dreary indeed.
Lastly, my child, remember When all is said and done, nothing cannot be accomplished with a quick wit, a loyal crew, and the will to do what must be done.
I hope the contents of this box will assist you in your travels on the Zee, but even more important than the notes and Echos, always remember that I love you.
I will always watch over you, Josiah, no matter where I go,
but it is time for me to say goodbye.
Captain Petra Blackwood