The Legend of The Golden Tiki
In the Annals of Privateering, few names struck terror in the hearts of merchantmen and navigators like that of William Tobias FAULKNER. As his name describes, he would fall on his victims with the speed of a falling bird of prey, sails roaring like a pride of lions smelling blood on the wind.
His reign of terror in the East Indies came to a swift and sudden end as a small fleet of mercenary captains chased him from Jakarta through the Coral Sea in the late Spring of 1697. Unlike many a buccaneer captain pursued by a revenge fleet, Faulkner just vanished.
Legend tells that he had stolen the only existing map to the elusive Skull Island.
The Dutch claimed it but never landed there, because of the mist, hidden coral atolls, reefs and wicked currents that have claimed the most skilled of Flemish or Dutch sailors, save one Dutchman who rowed out alive with the 'semblance of a map and fantastic stories in the 1650's.
It is said that an ancient mythological race of one eyed giants, once inhabited the island. The race of Cyclops' dug gold ore from the mountains deep in the lush interior of the ancient paradise. They carried their booty down causeways and stairs hewn from the living rock to be smelted in the fires of the lava. The same lava from the yawning maw of the Volcano that greeted shabby windtossed visitors like a face of fire.
Faulkner wanted that gold.
The captain and his staunch and blood thirsty crew beached their beloved ship on the rocky black sand beach of Skull Island.
One by one, the men were taken by island creatures, "head hunting" village tribesmen, and disease until miraculously, only a gaunt and sick Faulkner remained.
He made his way across the Island to Mermaid Cove where Sirens sunned and hunted. The fish women took pity on the strange pale man and nursed him back to health. From the golden amulets they wore, Faulkner surmised the truth in the tales, and secretly followed some of the mermaid priestesses to their secret temple under a shining glassy waterfall he later described as Diamond Falls. There he found what he was looking for. He gathered up all the trinkets and baubles he could, moving deeper and deeper into the grotto. until he came to the pedestal on which stood a golden tiki. Towered over it were huge carved stone men with hollows where their eyes should be and a great carved single eye in each of their foreheads.
He claimed the glimmering idol, and just as miraculously, like in a fevered dream, Faulkner made his way back to his ship. He lost his baubbles and trinkets while traveling overland with his haul, because the tiki spoke to him, demanded to be placed upon the captain's desk for veneration and worship. Faulkner looked away only long enough to scribe down his own tale amidst the Sirens wails to return the idol or suffer its curse. He ignored them, safe in his fortified cabin. His last words described his madness. His will enslaved to the golden god.
There he spent day and night gazing into its eyes as if it were speaking to him. Forgetting to eat and drink...victim to its curse.
Faulkner's bones were found there and rest there still, gazing into the eyes of the Golden Tiki. None dare touch it for they too will be overcome. His ghost will sit nearby in his broken arm chair, telling the empty sockets to look away. To save both their souls.
The later visitors to the island have found the grotto, but the tumbled down statues that seemed to have been guarding a deeper secret. Behind their cycloptic pillars was a deeper grotto, only accessable by swimming under the pedestal room. There was an even larger pedestal. On the pedestal was channel hewn into the stone that showed an even greater space for what might have been an even more massive tiki. For all the trouble the small golden tiki caused the cursed pirate captain, one can only imagine how much trouble a larger version might cause.