My Pirate Story Part 3

Okay, this is part three of my pirate story for WriAShorStorWe. You might like to check out part 1 or part 2.

The following morning the crew assembled on the deck of the Revenge. Captain Ardent addresses them from the poop deck.
“Well lads, I think it’s safe to say that you’ve just written another chapter in your own legend. The only crew clever and daring enough to steal straight from Port Royal’s treasury. I tip my hat to you all, you may not be the finest of men, but you are the finest of pirates. Now, I know all you want to do is take your share in what is a very large haul, find a tavern, a homely woman and some good food, and I don’t blame you. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have a problem at all, but I’ve been informed of a target that’s too big to pass up, so big it will ensure our place is legend as the greatest pirates ever to sail the seas and let us live in luxury for the rest of our lives. So are you with me men, will you stay on board, hold off on the taverns and give yourself a chance to make us all very rich men?”
“This goes to a vote. I for one would follow the Captain anywhere, if he says it’s a haul too big to pass up, then I know it must be so, but each man needs to make his own decision,” said Jackson.
“How big is this haul?”
“That’s a good question, Smithy. I don’t know for certain, but if my source is right, and I’m confident he is, it’ll be enough for us all to live like kings, enough to retire if you want.”
“All those against, raise a hand.”
One or two sailors raise their hands.
“All those fore.”
“Everyone else raises their hand.”
“Okay, this one is going to take skill, cunning and lots of planning, so first we head back to base and rest up for a few days.”

Sometime later, in the port of Hispaniola, sits a merchant vessel, one of a hoard of different ships that Ardent has captured and uses for different tasks. In a tavern frequented by the crews of merchant vessels is Ardent, Jackson and eight of their crew, dressed as Danish merchants. They’re drinking and making merry, befriending anyone in the place, buying drinks for other merchants. A group of Spaniards enter. Ardent catches the eye of his men, all of whom are acting drunk, but are bright-eyed.
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My Pirate Story Part 2

Okay, this is part two of my pirate story for WriAShorStorWe. You might like to check out part 1 first.

As the group stepped from the murky depths of the fort out into the bright sunshine they hit the wall humid heat that layered the Caribbean in the summer.
“Captain, would you be so kind as to entertain my daughter, I have some things to discuss with the Commodore,” said the Governor.
“Certainly, sir. It would be an honour.”
The Governor turned to Amelia.
“Now don’t be a burden on the young Captain, my dear.”
“I’ll try, father,” despite trying her best, she couldn’t entirely hide her mocking tone, though no one seemed to notice.
They watched the two men slowly wander off to the Commodore’s office.
“Would you like to take a stroll along the battlements, the view is excellent?”
“That would be pleasant.”

Slowly they ascend the steps and break out onto the battlements which provide a clear view out over the bay between the castellations. They wander past the ranks of cannon, ready to rain down on any intruder in the area.
“The Commodore said it was you who caught Ardent.”
“Yes. Well, the traitor Roberts came to me, having heard of me. I then consulted with the Commodore as to the best course of action, but it was I who lead the squad that ambushed Ardent and his crew.”
“That must have been very frightening, taking on a pirate like Ardent.”
“Oh, he’s a fearsome brute, though not as murderous as many, but I knew I could handle him if the going got tough. Her Majesty’s navy is the best in the world, and with my careful planning, Ardent knew he was beaten and didn’t even put up a fight.”
“You show exceptional modesty for your actions, Captain. Tell me, what’s known about Ardent, was he always a pirate?”
“No my lady, that’s the thing, he was once a naval officer. He resigned his commission and sailed to the Caribbean to become a privateer, attacking ships in the name of Her Majesty. Many sailors did this, mainly the undisciplined or disgraced, after hearing stories of fortunes being made. He was very successful, his name became known throughout the Caribbean. He rarely killed crews, instead employing all manner of tricks to get on board and take control of a ship. That’s how he became known as the ‘Gentleman Pirate’. Then one day, a navy frigate stumbled upon his boat and one his ‘prizes.’ Everyone on board — man, woman and child — had been tortured and slain, the women had been violated, the decks were supposedly swimming with blood. The Captain of the naval frigate questioned Ardent, who denied any knowledge of the act, saying he had merely stumbled onto it but a half-hour before their arrival. The Captain of the ship wasn’t satisfied, but when he tried to bring Ardent in for questioning, Ardent shot him. The rest of the crew held off the pirates long enough to escape.”
They walk on in silence.
“He deserves to hang,” said Amelia, taken aback by the story.
“Is there much known about him before he left the navy?”
“Rumours mostly. He’s thought to come from a well to do family, which would account for him being an officer in the navy, and also explains his level of education. Other than that, details are vague, some say he was orphaned, some that his family moved to the Americas.”
Realising she is neglecting the Captain and constantly asking questions about Ardent, Amelia changes tack. “Well I’m very glad you were able to rid us of such a horrible man. I trust you will receive your share of the praise for apprehending him, after all, it sounds as if you did it all, not the Commodore.”
“Well, between you and I, the Commodore believes that this may be enough for him to make Admiral and he’s assured me he would recommend me to replace him as Commodore.”
“Commodore Morgan, that will be grand.”
They stroll on.
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My Pirate Story

Okay, this is the first part of my pirate story for WriAShorStorWe. Be warned, it’s very rough, even though I have tidied it up a lot compared to the original.

In the harbour of Port Royal sits the pirate ship Revenge, a silent floating menace, dark and brooding in the moonlit night. The ship looks to be a hive of activity as small craft return to it and men and merchandise is hauled up the sides. Among the haul are a number of captives to sell as slaves. As the tall, imposing Captain Ardent runs his eye over the men and women his crew have taken, he notices one who stands out amongst the rest: a beautiful young woman with dark flowing hair and impossibly smooth, pale skin, dressed in the finest clothes. Even with he hair a mess, soot streaks on her face and a torn skirt it’s obvious she’s not ordinary. Stopping as he wanders past, he checks the grabs a handful of her dress, feeling the fabric.
“Who brought this woman?” he calls.
A small rodent-like pirate, called Dobs, steps forward.
“I did, Capt’n. Ain’t she a beauty, should fetch a good price.”
“Where did you find her?”
He examines her more closely, grabbing her under the chin and turning her face this way and that like he’s examining cattle. The woman breaks free of his hand.
“Take your filthy hands off me.” The response if fiery and filled with venom.
A sudden urgency comes over Ardent, he turns on his fellow pirate, barely concealed anger in his voice. “Quickly man, where did you find her?”
“L-large house up the hill, like all the other big houses.”
“Did it have a red door with a coat of arms on it?”
“Y-yeah.”
Anger rising: “That’s the Governor’s residence, I thought I made myself very clear when I said no-one was to touch the Governor’s residence.”
“Sorry, Capt’n, I made a mistake.”
“Yes, you did.” He raises his voice to the rest of the crew, not taking his eyes off Dobs. “Did anyone else make a mistake?”
Silence.
“That’s something at least.”
He casts a glance at the rest of the captives. Spotting a reasonably well dressed, rather elderly gentleman. “Dobs, put him and the lady into a launch, we can’t have her rowing back to shore alone. Do it now, do it fast.”
“Aye, Capt’n.”
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Towering Darkness (pt 5)

If you haven’t already, you may wish to start at the beginning or read the last part of this story before reading on.

“Who are you?” asked Rael.
“We’re simple travellers, my lord.”
“I’m not your lord and if you’re travellers, why were you hiding in the trees?”
“We heard your horses and didn’t know if you were bandits, we hid in fear of our lives.”
“If you don’t stop lying we’ll see how you fair with an arrow in your heart, speak quickly.” Rael drew his bow, aiming at the smaller man, who looked at his companion and shrugged.
“Very well, we’re bandits. We were planning to rob you. Satisfied?”
Rael lowered his bow.
“How would you like to earn some honest money?”
This got their attention. Continue reading

Towering Darkness (pt 4)

If you haven’t already, you may wish to start at the beginning or read the last part of this story before reading on.

He let the princess sleep late. With no idea what they faced there didn’t seem much point in rushing headlong into it. After a leisurely breakfast, Rael packed everything back onto their spare horses and lead the way back to the road. Nothing moved and there was no sign of any fresh tracks. Slowly they edged onto the road and started back towards the road that led to Edlenser. Despite making their way back along the road after escaping the guards, Rael estimated they were still a couple of hours ride from the fork. They moved slowly. The princess had said nothing so far, which worried Rael, he was concerned she may be suffering some sort of trauma following her ordeal. He didn’t know how to help her deal with it though and so decided staying quiet, giving her time and space and being ready should she need him was the best course of action. They were both silent as they rode and it was nearly midday when the princess pulled back her hood, the motion startled Rael so much he nearly fell off his horse. Continue reading

Towering Darkness (pt 3)

If you haven’t already, you may wish to read part 1 or part 2 of this story before reading on.

“No sign of him?” asked Fiden.
“He’s gone deep into the forest, impossible to track him.”
“Leave him, I’m sure he’ll head home, or run into a bandit. So much for your brave defender, my Lady. Now it’s just you and us, oh what fun we’ll have. Tie her hands.”

At camp that night the Guard didn’t bother with the royal tent, tying the princess to a fallen tree as they feasted and drank. After they had filled their bellies they looked for entertainment. One of the guards, staggered over to the princess. Continue reading

Towering Darkness (pt 2)

If you haven’t already, you may wish to read part 1 of this story before reading on.

The princess was accompanied by five sour-faced Royal Guards, all heavily armed and clad in their distinctive black tunics. They did little and said even less, but they had the look of fighting men — the steel-eyed stare — and several sported the scars to prove it. Princess Bouchet remained hidden under the raised hood of her cloak and kept her words to a minimum when she spoke, which was rarely. This suited Rael, he enjoyed peace and quiet and as the others largely ignored him he took the opportunity to enjoy the nature and views that surrounded them, something the others seemed not to notice.

Slowly the countryside slipped by and he got into the routine of the trip. They would rise shortly after dawn, breakfast, the princess would bath, then they’d break camp and head off on the road. They would stop when the princess signalled time for lunch and have a bite to eat, then continue on until the light began to fail, when they would find a suitable campsite and the royal guard would erect a tent for the princess. Rael and the guards would sleep outside, except when it rained, when they would hang a tarpaulin from some trees for protection. The guards took turns to stand watch throughout the night. All this was done in near silence. If they passed a village or small town they would often stop outside as one of the guards went in to purchase supplies.
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