Log of the Polifemo

The best estimates of historians place the laying of Polifemo's keel during the 1530s in Seville; a paymaster's records in the Azores first mention the caravel in 1542. For 35 more years it sailed the Atlantic for the Empire of Spain, notably participating in the suppression of Lope de Aguirre's Granadan revolt in 1561. Privateer John Hawkins captured the Polifemo in 1577, on its way to rendezvous with the Treasure Fleet in Havana. It was rechristened the Cyclops and spent an uneventful decade of merchant service in the Baltic. The Cyclops was scuttled in 1588, after sustaining damage while provisioning the fireships which devastated the Spanish Armada at Gravelines.

The most unusual section of the log takes place in the early 1570s, during which the Polifemo ranged up the eastern coast of North America as far north as the Delaware River. On this voyage the ship anchored at a barrier island to restock pitch and fresh water. Geographers differ as to the location of this island, as the descriptions of its flora and climate place it anywhere from the Chesapeake to the Georgia Sea Islands. The natives, described as extremely curious and friendly, invited the crew to stay for several weeks - an invitation which apparently was accepted. Here the narrative describes several ritual festivals that the Europeans witnessed and may have participated in.

The log then includes veiled references to a mutiny that occurred when the captain ordered a departure. Several crew members decided to stay and resisted all attempts to be forcibly returned aboard. A minimum of six cannonballs were fired at the shore, probably at the mutineers or natives. In turn the hull sustained unusual damage and, according to the lookout, was fired upon by forces on the beach - a strange claim, since the captain notes elsewhere that the Indians had no gunpowder or firearms. Deprived of a full complement of sailors on the voyage home to Spain, the Polifemo was stranded for several weeks in the central Atlantic. There is no indication of what happened to those who stayed on the island.

A few months before the Cyclops's destruction, the log passed into the archives of the Elizabethan occult lodge known as the School of Night, but was lost prior to or during the English Civil War. Royal Navy records of Blackbeard's inquest note that the pirate had it onboard the Queen Anne's Revenge for several years, but Teach delivered it to an unnamed acquaintance at Charleston in May 1718 - some six months before his death. The log was anonymously donated to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1928, with other documents believed to have been owned by Sir Walter Raleigh. It currently resides in the Rare Book Collection of the school's Louis Round Wilson library.

In Spanish, bound manuscript.
Examination Period: 2d4 weeks (DC 22).
Sanity Loss: 1d3-1 initial, 1d6 upon completion.
Contains two spells (Contact Deep One, Death by Flames).
Cthulhu Mythos: +1 ranks.

Submitted by R'yleh NC

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