Shifting Sands

A stoic man sat at his desk aboard his great vessel as rain pattered across the windows. Scratching at his beard, his dark eyes scanned the opened map before him for the hundredth time. He swore it had to be around these coordinates somewhere. 

Taking a spill and igniting his pipe, the man intended to clear his mind to focus better on his current dilemma.  However, just as the smoke began to grow, his first mate burst inside his chambers.

“Captain! Sail spotted off the port side!”

 “Do we have eyes on the make?”

 “Stygian, sir! And they be inbound.”

 “Those lily-livered bastards be followin’ us long enough.” The man looked up at his arrival, “Man the cannons and hoist the sails. This time we send ’em to ol’ Davy.”

 “Aye aye capn!” the man shouted dashing back out of the cabin.

Rain immediately slapped at the captain’s face as he exited shortly after, sheathing his rapier and manning the ships main wheel.  He surveyed his crew, who were busy taking up positions and readying their weapons.  Then glanced off the port side into the distance.  Though it was difficult through the rain, flashes of lightning helped outline the incoming vessel.

 It wasn’t hard to see that this opponent was manned with canons and ready for a fight.  A grin curled on his lips; he could already taste the blood that would soon stain his blade and it stirred the beast within him.

The roaring of thunder with the blasting of canons contended with one another as the battle began.  The waves rocked the ships violently, causing many cannonballs to miss their quarry during the first and second volly.  As the ships grew closer, however, there was no shortage of splintering wood and screaming victims.  When close enough for docking, the crews began to board each other’s vessels, clashing steel.

At first, things seemed dire for the captain and his crew.  The Stygians came well equipped and trained in combat.  Several of his crew fell to their prowess.  However, the captain knew it was time to turn the tides of battle.  Several of his mates watched as he reached to the sheath on his back and revealed a large, two handed sword.  It’s make of black glass, the blade itself was of a sapphire blue and serrated. Its intricately sculpted hilt curled up elegantly along the blade’s base.

 A few of his opponents froze momentarily in their tracks as he brandished the legendary weapon.  But their shock turned to rage as they charged forth.  Their cries fruitless as the captain carved through two of their torso’s like butter. With his face filled with blood and gore, his expression contorted into one similar to a demon as he looked onward to his next victims.  With such a display of power, his crew’s morale spiked as they retook up their positions against the invaders.

 It wasn’t long before the Stygian vessel had succumbed to their might.  As the war cries died out and the remaining stygian sailors attempted to flee, the captain turned to his crew, “Kill the stragglers and plunder whatever valuables you can from their vessel! Then sink it!” he roared triumphantly raising his mighty blade up into the pouring dark sky.

 As his crew complied, his arm fell slack and he wandered back to his cabin.  His first mate from before close behind. 

 “Captain, I wasn’t aware of such a blade. How did ye come by it?”

 

 The captain froze for a moment before setting the sword upon his desk to begin cleaning the blood and gore from it’s blade. “Ye do know why we’re in this specific waters, do ye not?”

 “Nae, Capn’.”

 “This sword be the Blade of the Betrayer.   The blade of our goddess, the Queen of the black coast, the very same blade that legend says came from a lost isle.“He caressed the blade with his cloth lovingly, “…well, a collection of isles to be exact. The exact  isles we be sailin’ to.”

 “These isles be our heading’?”

“Aye.  And if such a beauty be there, just imagine what else might be in store for us?” The man held the blade up to inspect it, “If we manage ta claim da bounty in these isles, the name of the Black Corsair’s will ring out across the sea’s as one to be feared.  No one could stand against us!”

The sailor grinned, his teeth a collection of broken, yellowed bones, “Aye capn’! And then-” before his sentence could finish, the boat rocked violently, knocking the two off their feet and against the starboard side of the cabin. The sword clattered to the ground.

The two men dashed outside. However, as they breached the open, the air nearly whipped them off their feet.  The captain gripped the side post as he tried to make sense of the commotion and steady himself.  Beside their ship, where the Stygian vessel had been, planks of wood were being ripped off the bones of the ship by the wind directly.  He used his free hand to shield his eyes and he gazed up at the sky.  Puffs of violet and sickeningly black clouds swirled above the vessels, carrying high powered winds which lifted the sailors straight up into the sky, and into the black abyss. 

 He looked over at his first mate who screamed something inaudibly towards him before being carried off into the abyss of the sky.  The captain grit his teeth, only managing to hang on against it’s sheer power, before a solid piece of wood snapped away from his own vessel and slammed into his vision.

 

…everything went black…

The fate of these pirates remains unknown…their tale is but a single grain in the shifting sands of these isles.  Yours, however, flows in with the new tide…where will your story go?

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