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Dread Possibility: The Miss Maria 
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Evil Genius
Evil Genius
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Post Dread Possibility: The Miss Maria
The Miss Maria was a proud, oceangoing ship out of Mordent.
Every day, she would sail out of port to harvest the ocean's bounty and bring it back to the home of her owners, the Meremont family, who had been fishermen for four generations.
Meremont men and women might be looked down upon in high society for 'the smell of fish', but they made a good living and never wanted for qualified suitors or the other things that make life worth living.

And then tragedy struck.
The Miss Marie sailed out of port one day, crewed by family patriarch Thomas Meremont, his wife Alice and their two daughters, elder Julia and junior Penelope... and she never came back. Thomas Meremont's body was found on shore the next morning, bloated with water, but he had not drowned; a bullet wound in his abdomen had killed him long before the icy brine could do so. What became of his wife and daughters, however, remained a mystery. Many fishermen went looking, but none of them ever found the wreckage of the Miss Marie. In the end, the ship's disappearance was declared just one more of Mordent's many great tragedies and people moved on.
The people who write the The Dead Travel Fast-series devoted a scandalous volume to the tragedy.

On the other side of the continent, Nova Vaasan fishermen chanced upon a fine ship, washed up on a sandbar. Salt and wind had worn away most of its name, leaving only the word Mari on its hull, which a linguistically gifted sailor knew meant 'husband' in High Mordentish.
Seeing as the woodwork was still in good condition, the only damage to the hull could be easily repaired and the ship had a goodly load of fish on board, the fishermen towed the Mari back to harbor and sold her to the ship-builders. Soon enough, the ship was in fine shape once again. There is plenty of talk about selling her to the first lucky soul to put up the money, even if there has been a rash of odd accidents in the shipyard recently.

'Accidents'.

The disappearance of the Miss Marie was no accident. Julien Meremont, youngest son of the Meremont family, was fed up with fish. What he liked was money - more than he loved his family. He sailed out in a dinghy and met the Miss Marie on open water. When his Thomas Meremont held out his hand to pull his son up on deck, Julien brought out his hidden pistol and shot his own father in the gut, then kicked him in the water. After that foul crime, he drove his mother and sister into the hold - and cut a hole in the hull, allowing the cold, cruel sea to rush into the family ship while he sailed away in his dinghy... and devour his mother and sisters.
To Julien, the matter is settled. The insurance has paid the Meremont family a sizeable sum, of which Julien has claimed the lion's share, allowing him to move to Dementlieu while his two brothers struggle to keep the family store open and outfit a new ship. He has no idea that the Miss Marie somehow ended up in Nova Vaasa.

The people who salvaged the Mari have no idea that Alice, Julia and Penelope Meremont have not quite... left the ship. Bound to the place of their death, their ghosts lay dormant as long as the Miss Marie was scuttled - but now the decks are once again bustling with life and the Mari is almost ready to go out onto the ocean.
Alice has managed to retain most of her sanity, but Julia and Penelope have descended into madness and evil due to the cruel nature of their death. When Alice's control wanes, her daughters lash out at every living creature within reach, inflicting a drowning death every bit as frightening as their own even if the ship is docked. The more people are at work on the Mari, the angrier Julia and Penelope grow and the weaker Alice gets. If the Mari sets sail, it is more than likely that the Meremont girls will slaughter all aboard - unless they are stopped somehow.

If the Mari is cast adrift, bereft of crew (one way or another) chances are good that she will show up near Mordent again - and thereafter the cycle will only repeat, unless someone manages to discover Julien's hand in his own family tragedy and brings him to justice where Alice, Julia and Penelope can witness it. Short of that, it does not seem that there is any way to stop the cycle of cruel drowning unwittingly started by Julien. No matter how battered the Mari becomes, it will never sink unless it is cleared of its ghost problem, and the ghosts will never move on unless they receive justice...

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Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:24 pm
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