Previously, on "Sküljagger Manual," we learned a few shocking facts about this game, specifically:
-Sküljagger isn't a pirate.
-Storm Jaxon isn't a pirate.
-There are, in fact, no pirates in the game.
-The story is actually pretty interesting (at least, IMHO.)
Anyway, when we left off, Storm had shown off his cool stolen magical (sorry, but using "magic" as an adjective just bugs me) sword to his buddies Wits and Trina, the latter of whom had a bad feeling about this. Now for...
The people of Westica lived for Mask Day.
It was the one day of the year when they didn't have to work in
the jemerald mines. It was the one, single, solitary day of the
year when Sküljagger actually let them celebrate.
On Mask Day, everyone wore bright green masks made of
bone, straw, and painted wood. According to tradition, anyone
who wore a mask on Mask Day became completely invisible.
All day and all night, the Westicans sang, feasted on roasted
bladeback, and danced through the streets of Tuscamesh.
Storm's favorite part of Mask Day was the story-telling contest,
where old men told tales of how happy Westica had been—
before Sküljagger came.
Later that day, Storm heard the news.
"Hear ye, hear ye!" the Kiltish warriors shouted. "By order of
Captain Sküljagger, there will be no Mask Day! And any
Westican caught wearing a mask will be shot on sight!"
Storm's heart began to pound like crazy his chest. (sic) Trina had
been right. There was going to be big trouble.
And Storm was the cause of it all.
2 THE REVOLUTION
Storm sneaked down the steps like a thief, careful not to
make a sound. He could hear the voices, rising and falling like
Storm's father had ordered him to stay in his room and
read. But this was a top-secret meeting—and Storm wouldn't
have missed it for the world.
Storm hid behind a workbench, and peered into his father's
locksmith shop. Twenty men were gathered around the work-
benches, their faces glowing in the dim candlelight. The air
inside was tense and still.
Storm had never seen his father so angry in all his life.
"It's the last straw!" Coe Jaxon said, slamming his fist on
his workbench. "Sküljagger can't just cancel Mask Day!"
Everyone grumbled in agreement.
"For ten years," his father continued, "Sküljagger has treat-
ed us like dirt. He's forced us to work like slaves in the jemer-
ald mines. And then he takes all of our jemeralds, packs them
onto ships, and sends them off to the Kiltish King."
"And we're left with nothing," someone said. "Nothing!"
"Those jemeralds are ours, not his," Coe Jaxon said, getting
angrier and angrier. "They came from our island. And they
should stay on our island."
All his life, Storm had heard his father talk about Westica's
incredible jemeralds. He knew that jemeralds were the most
valuable stones on earth—far more valuable than diamonds or
rubies. He also knew that the small island of Westica had more
jemeralds than the rest of the world put together.
Unfortunately, the Kiltish King had a big thing for jemer-
alds. And that's why—ten years earlier—he had sent Captain
Lucius Khan Sküljagger to conquer Westica and gain control of
her jemerald mines.
"Cancelling Mask Day is the last straw," Coe Jaxon said.
"It's time to do something about the Kiltish."
" But what can we do?" someone asked.
"I've got a plan," Coe Jaxon answered. "And it has to do
It was the most amazing plan Storm had ever heard. His
heart began to thump with excitement, and a little grin curled
the edges of his mouth.
The next night, at midnight, the men would put on their
Mask Day masks. Then they'd sneak onto a certain Kiltish
ship—the one where all the jemeralds were kept. And then...
they'd dump every single jemerald into Tuscamesh Harbor.
"Millions of duckets of Westican jemeralds," Coe Jaxon said,
"Dumped to the bottom of Tuscamesh Harbor! At least that
way, every Westican jemerald will stay in Westica. Even if they
are at the bottom of the sea!
Coe Jaxon pounded his hammer against the white-hot
metal, sending up a shower of bright sparks.
"Absolutely not," he said, lifting the hammer and smash-
ing it down again. "You cannot come along tonight."
It was the next evening, and Storm was standing in the
locksmith shop. His father was at the forge, fixing a broken
padlock. Storm watched his father's powerful arms flex in the
glowing orange light.
"First of all," Coe Jaxon went on, "Those are secret plans.
You should not have been eavesdropping on our meeting.
And second of all, you're too
young to come along."
"But you don't get it, Dad,"
Storm answered. "I've got to
come along. I've got to help
"This is serious business,
Storm," Coe Jaxon responded.
"Sküljagger said he'd shoot
anyone caught wearing a
mask. Anything can happen
out there tonight."
Coe Jaxon put his hands on
Storm's shoulders and looked
him straight in the eye. "When
your mother died, I promised
I'd keep you safe. Remember, you're my one and only son.
You're all I've got.
"But I can..." Storm began.
"That's it," his father answered firmly, turning back to the
forge. The hammer fell again, sending sparks into the air.
When Coe Jaxon spoke, his word was final.
Wits looked up from his workbench, and gave Storm a
shrug. Storm just shook his head. How could his father
expect him to miss out on the most amazing night in Westican
Storm and Wits worked together in Jaxon's Locksmith
Shop. Storm's great-great-grandfather had founded the shop,
over a hundred years before. Before Sküljagger came, Coe
Jaxon had been the finest locksmith in Westica. Now, he spent
his days swinging a pick in the jemerald mines—while Storm
and Wits did their best to keep the shop afloat.
"Dad's crazy," Storm muttered angrily, sitting back down at
his workbench. "I've got to go along."
Storm snatched up his hammer and got back to work.
"Hey, Storm," Wits said, when Coe Jaxon had left the work-
shop. "I want to show you something."
Wits walked over and handed Storm an orange ball. Storm
could tell it was Wits' newest scientific experiment.
"Don't drop it," Wits said. "It's a homemade hand grenade."
"You're kidding," Storm said, slipping his other hand
beneath the grenade. "What's it made out of?"
"You combine homemade bubble gum with the crushed
skins of oranges, then add the right amount of extract from the
brain of the giant insect," Wits said. "If my theory is right, the
stuff should explode on impact. And I mean really explode. I
haven't tested it yet, but...."
Just then Coe Jaxon walked back into the workshop, and
Wits hurried back to his bench. Storm opened up his work-
bench drawer and hid the grenade inside.
Sküljagger's sword was sitting in there too, beneath some
papers and an old white shirt. Earlier that day, Storm had
sneaked the sword in without anyone noticing.
The sword glinted in the dim workshop light, and the
orange grenade sat right beside it.
"I got us into all this trouble," he muttered. "And I plan to
help get us out."
At five minutes before midnight, Coe Jaxon came down the
steps with his mask in his hand. It was a fine green mask,
topped with bone and straw hair. Usually, the sight of a mask
made Storm think of dancing and stories and juicy bladeback
But tonight, the mask made him think of revolution.
Coe Jaxon put his hand on Storm's shoulder.
"Big things are happening, Storm," he said. "I'm almost
glad Sküljagger cancelled Mask Day. Because now, we
Westicans are finally standing up for the things we believe in.
Things like freedom and liberty."
Storm looked down at the floor. His father didn't speak this
way very often.
"It's going to be dangerous out there tonight," he went on.
"Some of us may not come back. But whatever happens,
Storm, always remember... we did what was right."
Storm thought he saw his father's eyes clouding up. Coe
Jaxon quickly slipped on his mask.
"And, Storm," he added, "I want you in your room tonight.
He slammed the door, and disappeared into the darkness.
Storm always thought twice before he went against his
father's word. In fact, there was nothing that Storm dreaded as
much as getting in trouble with his father.
But tonight, it was worth the risk.
Storm ran upstairs and pulled an old mask from his closet.
He put on some old clothes that he hadn't worn in years, and
snatched a hatchet from his father's
This was one night Storm was not
going to miss.
Before he rushed out the door,
Storm pulled Wits' hand grenade
from his workbench drawer, and
slid it in his pocket. Then he
grabbed a fresh piece of home-
made gum, took a sip of island-lime
juice, and blew a huge green bubble.
"In this get-up, Dad will never know
it's me," Storm said, as he closed the
door behind him.
Storm rushed through the
darkened streets, keeping an
eye out for Kiltish warriors. Finally he came to the wharf where
the jemerald ship was docked.
"Ingawa!" Storm said, stopping in his trakcs and gazing at
the scene that spread out before him.
All the Kiltish sailors were tied to the masts, with gags in
their mouths so they couldn't make a sound. Men in green
masks moved silently across the ships's deck, swinging orange
torches and searching for crates of Westican jemeralds.
Storm smiled and sprinted toward the action.
Storm lifted his hatched high above his head, and smashed
open another wooden crate. The bright green jemeralds—
worth millions of duckets—shone and glistened in the torch-
light. Grunting, Storm lifted up the crate and heaved it over
the railing. The crate hit the water with a splash.
Tuscamesh Harbor was already covered with wood from
demolished crates. A whole ship-load of jemeralds was sitting at
the bottom of the Harbor. There'd be a real mess in the morning.
That is, if they lived to see the morning.
"Faster, men, faster!" Coe Jaxon called out.
Across the water, the HMS Destruction was coming to life.
The Captain of the Destruction had noticed strange movements
on the distant jemerald ship. Storm could see the Kiltish can-
nons gleaming in the moonlight, and sailors running to battle
stations on the deck.
Storm was just about to smash open a bright red crate—
which had the words "Downwright Jemerald Cutters" stamped
on its top—when he heard a familiar voice.
"You there," Coe Jaxon called, pointing right at Storm.
"Help me pull up these crates. It's the last load!"
Storm slid his hatchet into his belt and ran across the deck.
His father, and three other rebels, were pulling on a rope, try-
ing to lift the last crates of jemeralds through the huge opening
that led deep into the belly of the ship. The men's bright
masks shone in the torchlight. Storm grabbed the end of the
rope and pulled with all his might.
"Heave!" the men grunted, pulling on the rope.
When the load was almost to the top, the rope suddenly
snapped and Storm and all the men fell back in a heap. The
jemeralds crashed down into the hole, with a gigantic
The sound echoed through the night, like a cannon-blast.
Lights flashed on in windows all over Tuscamesh.
So much for secrecy.
"In one minute, this place'll be swarming with Kiltish!"
someone shouted. "Everyone off the ship!"
"Not yet!" Coe Jaxon answered. "We can't leave a single
"But we don't have time!" someone answered.
Storm saw the broken rope, hanging right above the dark
hole that led below deck. Suddenly, he knew exactly waht to do.
He took a running leap, snatched the rope, and dropped
straight down—right into the deepest part of the ship.
Storm hit the crates of jemeralds and tumbled to the damp
floor, gasping for breath. Before he could move, he felt a
warm hairy thing run across his face.
"Snap-rats!" Storm shouted, leaping to his feet.Suddenly a
sharp tail whipped against Storm's leg, and he screamed in
pain. He kicked wildly at the snap-rats with his boots.
"Forget the snap-rats," Coe Jaxon called from above. "Just
tie that rope onto those crates, and get out of there!
Storm took a look around. The hold was dimly-liy, and
seemed to stretch on forever. In the distance, he noticed six
green jemerald boxes that had been left behind.
"We can't leave a single jemerald on the ship," Storm whis-
pered, clenching his fists. "Not a single jemerald for
Storm took off running, leaping over snap-rats and barrels.
He climbed to the top of the six green boxes, blew a bubble,
and looked around the hold for more jemerald crates. But
there was nothing—just empty barrels and crates filled with
cotton. So he jumped down, picked up the jemerald crates,
and lugged them over to the hole.
Storm heard a bell ring out above, and his blood ran cold.
"They just rang the general alarm!" Coe Jaxon shouted.
"Whoever you are, work fast! The Kiltish are coming!"
Storm let his hands take over. He had tied sailor's knots so
many times that he could do it in his sleep. He yanked the
knot tight. Then he stood on a purple jemerald crate, jumped
on it three times for good luck, and blew another bubble.
"Lift me up, he called, trying to make his voice sound dif-
ferent. "And hurry!"
Storm heard the men grunt as they pulled the rope, then
felt the load of jemeralds lift off the floor. His knot seemed to
be holding, and he rose higher and higher into the torch light.
When Storm got to the upper deck, his father reached out
and yanked him off the crates. Most of the Westicans had
already disappeared into the city. The HMS Destruction was
sailing full-speed. her cannons ready to fire. Storm could hear
Kiltish warriors running toward them through the darkened
streets of Tuscamesh.
"You're a real hero, whoever you are," Coe Jaxon said to
Storm. "Now, GET OUT OF HERE—FAST!"
Coe Jaxon leaped off the ship—and Storm was just about to
follow—when the HMS Destruction fired off two giant cannon
shots. The balls whistled through the air and exploded in the
water—soaking Storm to the bone.
Storm noticed three small cannons on the deck. He knew
he should run... but he couldn't resist taking a few pot-shots at
the Destruction. He ran to the first cannon, aimed, and fired.
The shot sailed into the night—trailing a tail of fire—then
ripped through the massive sails of the Destruction. Storm
could hear sailors shouting in outrage, and he raised his
arms in triumph.
But it was a short triumph.
After firing two more rounds,
Storm heard Kiltish warriors
boarding the jemerald ship.
"There's one!" they shouted,
pointing at Storm. "Don't let
the vermin escape!"
Rifle shots rang out. Storm
ducked behind a barrel, and
bullets splintered the wood all
around him. He took off run-
ning across the deck. When he glanced behind, five warriors
were on his tail and gaining fast.
Another round of shots cracked in the air and a bullet
ripped through the pocket of Storm's old pants. Wits' home-
made gum grenade almost fell to the ground, but Storm
grabbed it at the last second. In all the confusion, Storm had
forgotten about the grenade.
But he sure did need it now.
"Let's hope your experiment works, Wits," Storm said, toss-
ing the grenade over his shoulder at the charging warriors.
A giant explosion ripped through the night. The impact
tossed Storm over the rail of the ship and across the water. He
tumbled to the dock, did a somersault and landed on his feet.
Without missing a stride, he turned and sprinted down a dark,
"Good work, Wits!" Storm thought. "I owe you one!"
For five full minutes, the Kiltish chased him through the
streets and alleys of Tuscamesh. They screamed at him,
swung chains at him, and shot at him. But Storm knew
Tuscamesh like the back of his hand.
He ducked into an alley near his house, and scrambled up
the gutter to the roof—just as a unit of Kiltish warriors marched
by. Storm peered around a chimney, watching them pass.
The warriors were leading someone down the street at gun-
point. The man had a blindfold around his eyes, and his hands
were tied behind his back. The Kiltish pushed him forward,
and the man tumbled to the street.
Storm saw the prisoner's face, and gasped.
It was his father.
Late that night, Storm was laying awake in bed. In his
mind, he watched the Kiltish warriors push his father to the
ground—over and over again. Now that his father had been
captured, what would the Kiltish do with him? Would they keep
him in prison forever? Would they hang him?
The house and locksmith shop were very dark, very quiet.
The streets of Tuscamesh were quiet, too—except for a shutter
that banged in the wind, and the bats that whistled around his
Suddenly he heard a voice—deep and low—somewhere in
the locksmith shop downstairs.
Storm's eyes widened with fear. Knowing that his father
would never have hidden beneath the covers, Storm grabbed
his hatchet, crawled out of bed, and walked slowly downstairs.
Beads of cold sweat broke out on his forehead.
"Who's there?" he said, entering the locksmith shop.
"Wits, is that you?" Storm asked, his voice cracking. "This
When Storm heard the voice again, he knew it wasn't Wits
or Trina. The voice seemed to be saying something, but Storm
couldn't understand it. It seemed to be coming from some-
where near his workbench. He walked over, grabbed his work-
bench drawer, and yanked it open.
A blinding golden light shone forth from the drawer, and
Storm flew back, guarding his eyes.
It was the sword.
Storm inched closer and closer, his mouth open with
And then the sword spoke, in a voice as deep as the ocean.
"Do not be afraid, Storm," the sword said.
Storm rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn't seeing
things. But the sword was still there, glow-
ing in his workbench drawer.
"Pick me up," the sword commanded.
"And do not be afraid."
Storm reached his hand into the draw-
er. He grasped the sword by the handle,
then slowly lifted it. The sword felt warm in
his hand, as if it were alive. Its light shone
only on Storm's face, leaving the rest of the
shop in darkness.
"I am a sword of great power," the
sword said. "But you, Storm, can never
earn my true power—unless you find a red
jemerald, and place it in the hole in my
"But how do I find one?" Storm whis-
"You must prove yourself worthy of
one," the sword answered. "And when you
have proven yourself worthy, you will find a
red jemerald—and gain my power.
That is my promise."
Storm shook his
head, perplexed. "Who
are you?" he asked.
"I am a wise and
ancient soul," the
sword said. "Listen
to my story, Storm.
Listen and learn...."