While we do recommend scrolling further down to fully experience both the interactive art pieces and short story, you may now listen to the tales of Cap'n Thomas Bloodgut below. So, lend a listening ear!
Ahhhhh.....it was the year 1833 and we find ourselves in the sleepy town of Milton, Delaware. A shipbuilding village near the head of the Broadkiln River. Many a schooner were built in the area as well as trade of seashell buttons, holly boughs, and red-hued bricks to build homes.
With all the riches being transferred to and fro between Milton, Philadelphia, and other small port cities along the Delaware Bay, enterprising individuals took notice. Bands of raiders, pirates if you will, started midnight raids of ships docked along the banks of the Broadkiln River.
One such raider was Cap'n Thomas Bloodgut. Originally second in command of the Penumbra, he quickly dispatched the captain of his ship over a silly argument during a drunken and cutthroat game of sand dollar toss. Thomas’ shipmates were more than happy to oblige his mutiny and surprisingly agreed to Thomas becoming their new captain. At least for now. Unfortunately, he did lose his lower right leg during the skirmish but was outfitted with a wooden peg soon after the mutiny.
One evening, Thomas was scouting around by himself with his lucky lantern. Looking for his crew's next big pillaging opportunity, he wandered into the pine tree forest far away from the riverbank. A peculiar sound had caught his ear and he wanted to find its source.
Getting closer to the eerie screeches, he finds a clearing within the forest. Suddenly, a skeletal owl creature appears! Cap’n Thomas Bloodgut falls to his knees. Not one to be easily shaken, he raises his arms in a posturing stance, pistol in hand.
His fear takes over as purplish lightning emanates from the owl’ish creature’s wings! With an even louder screech, the creature speaks to Cap’n Thomas...“Do not be afraid scoundrel, for I have been seeking one such as you.” Thomas speaks “What do you mean, one such as me?”
The owl creature continues…”I am Bereærn, the omen of death. What is your name?”. Thomas stutters…”Bl o o o dgut, Cap’n T t t t t tomas Bloodgut”.
Raising his wings, Bereærn commands “I have chosen you Cap’n Thomas to become my spirit rider, my harbinger of doom, my Revenant!! You will ride through the night along the banks of this river Broadkiln, collecting the souls of evil doers for my collection.”“For these deeds, you will be rewarded. Cap’n Thomas, you will forever be immortal” screeches Bereærn.
“You will even have a trusty steed to carry you along your soul-seeking journeys.” Bereærn beckons Cap’n Thomas over to a mound of dirt. Suddenly a skeletal unicorn awakens and shakes the mound of dirt away from itself.
“His name is Abdulbaith, and he has the power of fire within. Be mindful as you pet him” Bereærn screeches loudly.
Abdulbaith gallops closer to Cap’n Thomas to greet him. Flame spews from his jaws as Thomas caresses the unicorn’s head.
Suddenly, Cap'n Thomas begins to feel strange. He begins to feel pressure within his scalp. His face morphs into an oversized, skulled head!
“What have you done to me?!?” Thomas asks Bereærn.
“As my spirit rider, you will become transformed into the skulled Revenant during the last three phases of the moon….the waning gibbous, last quarter, and waning crescent. All souls must be delivered to me each month before the new moon ends. It’s during that time of total darkness that I am allowed to harvest their souls for my sustenance” Bereærn states.
Cap’n Thomas Bloodgut then fully transforms into the Revenant and raises his arms in delight of his newfound immortality!
“To also aid you in your journeys, I am bestowing upon you the soul musket. A rifle imbued with soul catching bullets.” Bereærn screeches.
The glowing rifle magically appears in Cap’n Thomas’ right hand.
Bereærn continues…”You now have the tools needed to collect souls in this region, DO NOT FAIL ME SPIRIT RIDER!!”
“You may continue to live as Cap’n Thomas Bloodgut by day, but during the waning moon cycles, you will be in my indenture as my Revenant. To hold you to this bargain of immortality, I require one more thing, a simple gesture of good will…YOUR HEART!” Bereærn commands.
Bereærn then reaches into his chest and pulls Thomas’ beating heart from his body. He places it into Thomas’ hand. Surprisingly he feels no pain. Bereærn states that Thomas must willingly give his heart to Bereærn for safe keeping.
With the lust of immortality, Cap’n Thomas gladly hands his still-beating heart over to Bereærn. Bereærn laughs loudly knowing that Thomas may not fully understand the implications of this transaction.
Cap’n Thomas Bloodgut now transformed into Bereærn’s Revenant…mounts the fire breathing Abdulbaith and takes off to ride along the banks of the Broadkiln River to begin his search for evil souls.
Bereærn continues laughing loudly, his screeches echo within the forest as the Revenant escapes his sight.
In modern times, some claim to hear the ghostly galloping of Abdulbaith, his eerie neigh, and the Revenant’s scream during nature walks along the Broadkill River. This harbinger of doom, this spirit rider...continues to search for evil souls! "Beware Bloodgut!" people often say...
So be wary traveler…if you have dark thoughts, an evil mind, or black soul, I’d advise you to never travel along the banks of the Broadkill River. The Revenant of Cap’n Thomas Bloodgut, the Pegleg Pirate of Broadkiln River, might just pillage your soul.