"Every Island Turtle has a symbiotic relationship with the plants and animals that live on its surface," Two Reeds explains. "Even the soil, the rocks, the very air all around the island, the Island Turtle is symbiotic with that too. But like any other part of the world, it is possible for the balance of nature to be disrupted. Plagues and environmental disasters can seriously damage an Island Turtle's health by killing off the life on its back en masse, but it can usually recover from that. Actually, in modern times, the most common way for an Island Turtle to undergo total desiccation is as a result of uncontrolled resource harvesting."
Her expression grows disgusted. "Black Market investors often buy up unclaimed Island Turtles whose backs are home to high-value natural resources. Mines full of gold and other jewels, fields full of rare plants and animals, forests and valleys home to natural magic wellsprings and sites – if a Turtle has any resource that can turn a profit, then Black Market investors will try to establish a colony on it as soon as they can. Then, they harvest and harvest until the Turtle has no more to give, and it simply falls beneath the waves, a hollow and dead shell.">>721286
Granny is nearby, within earshot definitely, but she doesn't look at Kukulcan or his entourage, and is stubbornly grinding away at the deck with her mop. She seems to be cleaning an area that doesn't have any blemish or messes on it.
"Nobody knows," Kukulcan says. "But, popular legend and pirate lore holds that it jealously guards the mythical Heart of Gold, circling around the island eternally, biting its own tail to sate its own insatiable cravings.">>721287
Kukulcan and a few of the nearby pirates can't help but laugh at your self-description. "We'll have to add your name to the legendary Ancients of the Sea, then. Perhaps you shall be the one to make a meal of the beast and leave the Ribcage's inhabitants with one less thing to worry about.">>721284
"That is what you might think upon first examination," Kukulcan says, helping his companions to roll up the scroll carefully. "But I am more than certain that the island still exists in some capacity. It *must*. There is no other explanation. Nothing I have found in my years of research have ever suggested that Cuauhtemoc suffered any symptoms of environmental desiccation, and both your crew's Accompass and mine were able to sense the island's presence when presented with artifacts taken from it. There is no other explanation: Cuauhtemoc still exists, and I shall be the one to find it.">>721287>>721286>>721285>>721284
Kukulcan then bows as Cloud implies he should hit the road. "Yes, if you are satisfied, I shall take my leave. Excuse me if I have stayed overlong, good Cloud. As I said, if I may answer other questions you have, then you have but to ask. We shall be finishing our preparations aboard the Thunder Serpent
until the expedition this coming Sunday."
He turns to Captain Bee Holder, who nods. "Dismissed, Kukulcan. We'll surely be in touch."
Kukulcan turns and offers you a brief, pleasant wave, and starts to make his way off the Beesting
with his entourage.