Captain Tuta Riquiras (sometimes transliterated as Rikiras or Requiras) was a famous buccaneer and smuggler whose memory is still invoked by Besq Boat sailors, particularly those who pride themselves in being somehow apart from the rest of society (which is most of them). The swear word (I apologise for using the term, but academic needs should prevail even over manners) “breakas” comes from sailors swearing oaths “by Riquiras”.
As remarkable as his feats as a sailor were, he would probably be unknown outside of Besq circles were it not for his discovery of “Captain Riquiras’ Idol”, also called the “Brass Hell”, in -159 EC. This artefact isn’t actually brass, but some unknown metal of unnatural strength and lightness covered with gold leaf (though it is far more even than any gold leaf method known to artisans today). Engraved on the Idol is a horrific image that is disturbing and stomach-turning, even in comparison to other images of the Alezan pantheon.
Riquiras said the Idol was discovered when his men found an object while diving in the shallows of the Dagger Seas. They were unable to remove the object, but took from it the Idol, which was affixed to one side. The engraving proved disturbing even to some of Riquiras’ hardened buccaneers. One part of the engraving is said to resemble the object they had found on the sea bed, and they claimed that if it were to scale, it would mean the two deities standing in front of it would be slightly larger than Ghyllians.
These particular representations are more offensive to the eye than other Alezan deities, as they mimick the up-right four-limbed appearance of Ghyllians. Some have suggested that they may not be deities themselves, but rather some perverse creation performed in mockery of our natural forms. The taller of the two holds his right hand high in a position of command or perhaps performing some curse on the viewer. The shorter stands apart from him slightly and seems to bear an expression of contempt. Whether the couple are lovers, parent and child, or two aspects of the same figure, has been the subject of much controversy. Other parts of the same drawing appear to be sigils for some dark form of morphomancy and their study was forbidden for a long time.
Riquiras himself seemed immune to the psychological impact of the image and had it painted onto the sails of his boats to strike terror into his enemies. This was an unpopular decision amongst his crew, and they murdered him two years later.
For a long time, we debated whether we should portray the image in these pages, but to seal the pages to avoid accidental viewing. Please, unless you are a student of the iconography of the Alezan pantheon, and hence in some measure conditioned to such horrors, stop reading this article. I am smart enough to realise that many young and foolish people will look up this article in the encyclopaedia specifically because they've heard of the Idol and curiosity has got the better of them. I plead now with such readers to reconsider: you will never be able to “unsee” once you have seen.
With that caution in mind, break the seal and view Captain Riquiras' Idol.
--Talliesin 10:26, 18 Sep 2004
As a student of the Unbeliveable and Paranormal and a historian, I am aghast at your lack of knowledge! The figures depicted on the engraving are clearly ancient Ghyllians. Or the people of another world, possibly much like are own. Possibly. Or... Well, all I know is my research turned up images similar to the ones on the Idol, somewhere. You have read the facts you have wrong, my friend, and you lack many others I have access to. Somewhere.--Darus Ixa 09:03, 20 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Hideous. Horrible. It is a great burden we scholars must bear to be exposed to such images. My hat is off to you, Talliesin, for braving such terrors for science.--Joe Bowers 16:44, 23 Sep 2004 (EDT)