It was around six a.m when the lookout spied the dull grey ship bobbing away in the distance.
He called the captain over, and of course, everyone rushed over to get their own little peek, too.
It didn't take long until you all realised that there was something wrong with the way it was moving.
The ship didn't seem to be going in any specific direction, it was just moving wherever the wind took it.
What's more, there wasn't a soul to be seen on the main deck.
After some deliberation, the captain put together a team to row on over and see what was going on.
You, along with a few others, were chosen.
It didn't take too long to get there. The slight warmth and a gentle breeze blowing in the right direction made for easy rowing.
As you approached the vessel, Pip, the leader of your little expedition, called out to whoever might be listening, giving them fair warning that you were about to board with no malicious intentions.
No answer came, but she decided that you should board anyway.
The first thing you noticed when you finally climbed over the rails, other than the deck's emptiness, was how messy it was.
There were piles of ropes and empty bottles strewn about all over the floor.
A mop and bucket had been left there too, and from the streaks on the deck, it was clear that whoever had been using it had simply stopped halfway through and left.
Pip told you not to dally, that there was still the whole ship to search, and you're led down into one of the cabins.
The first is some kind of medical bay and again, it was also left in a state of disarray.
You tried not to spend too much time there, and you quickly moved on to through the next cabins with your cohorts, calling out for anyone as you do so.
Each of them told the same story, that whoever was in there just suddenly left, dropping whatever happened to be in their hands.
You even found an expensive looking necklace in what is probably the first mate's cabin. They clearly didn't care what they were leaving behind.
You travelled down to the lower deck, now unsurprised by the state of things. Someone suggested that you all just leave, since there was clearly no-one there.
Pip seemed to consider, but she decided that if they left without taking anything, that might mean that there was something useful still in the hold. She said she wanted to know whether it'd be worth it to go back and get another crew to help them haul the goods.
Everyone agreed with her logic, and you all descended deep into the ship's bowels.
The first thing that hit you is the stench. At first, you thought it might be rotten food, but you soon realised that there was something else there too.
It was indeed the smell of putrefaction, but of a unique and distinctive kind. It was a smell that, although you've never experienced it before, you knew exactly what it was once you had given it a moments thought.
It was the smell of death.
You all hesitated, not wanting to cross that threshold to witness what lay beyond, but Pip urged you all on.
It was you who eventually took that first few steps, not realising how much stronger the smell would be that close.
As you tried not to heave, you struggled at first to find where the smell was coming from, since the centre of the hold was empty save for a few barrels of dried food.
But the sight soon hit you as you noticed a general haze of red in your peripheral vision.
There, in the corner of the room, was a young man with his wrist slit. In one of his hands, you saw the offending knife.
Next to him was a woman with a messy splotch of red at her abdomen and next to her are two young girls with their throats delicately cut. Again, you found the knife in the woman's hands.
The others joined you and you all stared at the gruesome sight.
The dark edges of the room were littered with the crew, all seeming to have died at the hands of themselves and each other, all of them pressed back against the wall.
You were all thinking the same thing, 'what could have driven them to this?'
From above, you hear something making its way down to the hold.
Each of you made a quick count, noting that the entire expedition was already in the room.
The footsteps came closer, though you had a hard time considering them as such. Their sounds were wet and sloppy, not at all unlike the sound of fishing slapping against the deck.
They approached slowly but surely each of you instinctively backed up into the room.
From behind the small group of your crew, your view of the oncoming visitor was limited, but Pip was the last to enter and the first to see whatever lay ahead.
The next thing you heard was her sharp, shrill, scream.