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This first story is about my character, and was pretty much just a warm up piece.
The sky was dark and the air was cold with the chill of death.
I took a tentative step off of the dock, wishing I had taken the lantern off of my ship. The area was unfamiliar, rocky and dangerous-looking the type of place you expect to die on. I had heard rumors over the usual lines that people had been coming to this island and disappearing from sight. So I had decided to come here myself. Sailing alone was cumbersome but not undoable, and I relished the challenge. It took me some time to find the map I needed, but with a few well-placed coins the one I was looking for had fallen into my hands.
The trip here gave me time to think. I hired a few bland characters to help me with the more menial tasks of my ship. I know I said I sailed alone but if you?ve ever had to hire the types that came with me you?d feel the same way. These types never come off the ship with you. They just fade into the night looking for the next deck to haunt.
On our way to the island, which for your own safety I will call The Isle of Lost Souls, I was able to drop a few messages-in-a-bottle to my hearties to tell them where I was going so they knew that they might not be hearing from me again. My life was one of solitude but every man be they a merchant, colonist, or a fellow pirate needs some company in life. My hearties and I have had many good times but my curse in life has always been a wandering soul, my ship and I have sailed many leagues together looking for the next adventure.
My name is Tyrion. My ship is the Courageous Dolphin.
We are both different. Neither of us know of where we come from and we are both outcast from civilized society. I do not know who my parents are and the Dolphin has seen many adventures before she fell into my possession. We are partners and friends and we both provide and protect each other. It is the way of the Ocean. I load the Dolphin?s guns and she fires. She rides the wind, and I board the enemy?s ships. I fight and win our living and she provides me with a home. No better life in the world then that of a pirate.
Yet for all of my greed and past wrong doings I have always helped a fellow pirate in need. I knew that by coming to this island I had the opportunity to help my fellow pirates and to make a fair bit of money while doing so. I only had to find them now. Or, at least what remained of them.
I should have changed. I just bought this cape and fancy boots at a tailor at my last port. Now the cape while keeping me warm was getting in my face and the boots were getting scuffed. Well if all goes well I will be able to afford another suit of clothes easily when I leave this wretched isle.
?Is anyone here,? I shout at the rocks. No one can hear me it seems that or they can?t talk at the moment.
I continue to search the island. It wasn?t too big nor was it small, just the right type to get lost on and be frustrated with yourself. The rocks seemed to be just on the outskirts of the island. They formed a maze, as if they want to confuse the sea and keep it from swallowing the island entirely. Unfortunately, the sea wasn?t the only one confused by the rocks. I have no idea where I am. I continue to wander around in what I suspect to be a giant circle. This is pointless. There is no way I?ll be able to find my way out?.
?Damn it, this bastard is good!?
?Shut up and help me with this one I can?t take him alone.?
Voices! They are coming from the west. I pull my blade and start to run towards them. I hear them shouting for help, screams of victory and simply screams. This is it I tell myself. Time to fight, maybe even time to die. I?m glad I told my hearties where to find the Dolphin. I hate to think of her tied up on this giant chunk of hell unable to sail.
The voices are getting louder and I speed up, knowing that every second might mean a world of difference or just a closer demise. I see a clearing up ahead and I can hear the clashing of swords. I run in with a yell that I hope inspires terror in someone other than myself.
Bone. Death. Grinning on lipless faces. This is all I see when I enter the clearing. I think I might be over my head, this is too much. I?ve faced my fair share of brigands and expert swordsman, but this is a whole new level of danger. How do you kill skeletons aren?t they already dead?
I?m frozen. I am seeing my life before my eyes.
A little boy sits on a beach. Rags for clothes and only pineapples to feed on. He doesn?t know how long he has been on this beach. All he can remember are the 2 weeks behind him, and a scene of icy water with a woman who screams. He cries at night. He doesn?t know why, but it happens and he can?t stop it from happening.
He doesn?t know how much longer he will be alive. He has one last pineapple left. His only source for food and for water, ambrosia for the boy. His lifeline and the slight string he dangles upon. He doesn?t fear death. He has only lived for two weeks anyway. What does death do to him but give him a change of scenery? His thoughts have turned morbid and he wonders how old he really is, but there is no way or him to tell, no one for him to compare himself to.
Thunder roars in the distance.
?Well,? he thinks ?Rain is on its way, wonderful, now I can die from the cold instead of dehydration.? Except he sees no clouds in the sky, nothing but the burning sun.
The thunder roars again, but this time it?s followed by a second round of thunder. By this time he knows it isn?t thunder he hears. The sound is familiar, yet so strange compared to the silence of his island.
He stands up and runs to the east towards his island?s small bay.
?Hey Rex! How are you today buddy?? he says to the island?s only other occupant. The sleeping turtle pays him no mind.
?I glad your getting the rest you?ve been a bit grouchy the last few days.?
Rex continues to sleep.
The boy finally directs his attention to the bay where he suspects the ?thunder? came from. He was right.
The two ships danced with each other. Waltzing between rocks and tangoing through whirlpools like passionate lovers. The ships looked equally matched except that one of the ships seemed to be the more skilled dancer and was always a step ahead of the other. The boy found himself immediately drawn to the more skilled ship in a way that he couldn?t understand almost like he had seen it before.
The Other Ship moved away from The Ship as if it was trying to run away. But, at the last second it steered around in a complete circle. It was right behind The Ship side faced at The Ship?s back. The boy knew that this was not a good sign.
He could just barely make out the tiny figures on the ships. The ones on The Other Ship seemed dirty and careless, but the figures on The Ship were almost acrobatic in the way they moved on her rigging and swift across her deck, a dedicated bunch.
The Ship turned to the left exactly the same time as The Other Ship unleashed a round of ?thunder?. A solitary dark figure on The Other Ship started gesturing threateningly at his crew, while The Ship did its own circle.
The tables were turned. The Ship was now in the same place The Other Ship had been a moment before. Only one difference, this time the ?thunder? met its target.
A figure in white on The Ship pointed his finger at the rival vessel and seemed to shout an order at his men. A moment later a rope was thrown and the ships were locked together.
The damage to The Other Ship made her crew stumble and unprotected from the invading crew. Quickly they fell to the swift swords of The Ship?s crew until only the Captain was left standing.
He quickly fell two mates from The Ship and started to work on the third when the Man in White stepped in. The two locked blades and battled one-on-one. Both parried and thrusted with the skill of expert swordsmen, but again the Man in White was the more skilled. The battle was over quickly. The defeated vessel was raided and sent on its way.
The victorious vessel started to set sail and move away from the island.
The boy fell out of the haze of wonder the battle had drawn over him and realized this was probably his one and only chance to leave the island.
He started to shout and gesture, doing whatever he could to get the attention of The Ship. It continued to sail away. The boy kept his efforts up and gave one last soul-filled scream and finally collapsed on the sand in exhaustion. His last sight was that of the bow of The Ship.
?Wake up? a voice snatched him away from the forest of pineapples and dragged him to consciousness.
?I said wake up boy!? the deep voice said again. ?The Captain wants to speak to you and we don?t have a lot of time till port?
The boy found himself on a bed in a dark room looking at a patch surrounded by a face. He couldn?t think, there was just too much to digest.
?Ha! Does me patch scare ye boy? the Patch asked giving the boy a look of good-humor.
?No! I?m not scared of anything mmm..ister,? the boy exclaimed in indignation.
?Well aint ye a brave young lad, I think the Cap?t will like that,? Patch said with a chuckle.
?Who?? the boy asked.
?Aye the Cap?t a right good man if ever one sailed the water, I?ll take ye to him now,? Patch grabbed the boy by the arm and dragged him out of bed. He led him up a ladder into the light. The boy found himself on the deck of The Ship surrounded by men at work. Patches led him to the wheel of the ship and the Man in White.
?Here be the boy Cap?t, sir? Patches said with surprising respect in his voice.
?Very good Patches thank ye, take over in the crow?s nest if ye will? The Captain said.
?Aye, Aye Cap?t,? Patches said then scrambled up the mast.
?Don?t be fooled by the patch boy. That mate?s one eye is better than any other man?s two. He?s the one the spotted you on that beach back there. Lucky thing, too. You would have died if we hadn?t picked you up,? the Captain said.
The boy was speechless. He had made it off his island! He was going to live!
?Welcome to the Dolphin, boy. Now what do you have to pay for your passage on my vessel?? The Captain said his eye giving off a slight twinkle.
?Excuse me? Well sir, I don?t have anything! Well, I did have one last pineapple on me you can have that if you want it. You can have anything just don?t make go back on that island,? the boy stammered out. His eyes wide with terror and tears starting to form.
?Now boy don?t you start crying on me now! Why what would people say if they knew I, Captain Michael Wolfe, made a young lad cry! I know a certain way you can pay me back?
?How sir?? the boy asked.
?You can become my new Cabin Boy, you will live on the Dolphin and I will train you up how to be a right good pirate,? Captain Wolfe said.
?You mean it sir,? the boy asked with a high heart.
?Of course I do lad, I will teach you how to be brave and how to fight and how to help other people and make a profit while doing it!?
I moved, just thinking about ol? Captain Wolfe restored my courage. Whether I die or not I certainly won?t disgrace his name and what he taught me all those years ago.
?Hey look a new guy! Maybe this one knows how to help,? one of the men fighting the hordes of undead said looking at me.
?Ahoy, my name is Tyrion and I am here to help.?
?Then fight and let?s see you work your sword and not your mouth,? one of the fighters shouted.
?Very well let?s do this,? I said.
Many hours of battle followed. It seemed that more people than I realized had fallen to these creatures. The mates I found myself fighting alongside were diverse in both origin and skill. We were defeated time and again just to fall back and attack those boney bastards once more.
Finally it was done to myself and three others against five of those wretched monsters. The fight was the closest it had been since I had been there and I saw victory in sight. We formed two teams of two humans against a skeleton. The fight finally started to turn to our favor. Both undead fell quickly leaving but three more to fight but the mate on my left was attacked by too many at once and fell valiantly trying to keep them occupied while we battled. The fight was now three against three. We grouped together and attacked one skeleton trying to force it to it second and hopefully last demise.
The battle kept up in manner for many minutes until it was one skeleton against only two of us. My fellow fighter finally fell to the skeleton?s onslaught leaving but myself to fight the bastard.
Those unholy eyes bored right through me as I attacked and parried with this minion of hell. Finally after many close wins and defeats the monster left itself open widely. I put all my strength into one last attack, a hard swing to the spine. A crack formed but the skeleton looked like it was preparing to attack again. It raised its sword high and I knew I could not stop it again. I closed my eyes waiting for the final blow. Then without warning I hear the clang of a sword against rock and shouts of joy. The crack I made had caused the skeleton to crumble and fall leaving but the skull as a trophy.
I still keep that bastard?s skull in my cabin on the Dolphin. Whenever I sail for another adventure I look at it and smile.
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