Reply To: Pirate Stories

Jonathan Bowen

Hey, y’all

I’m back at the tavern tonight to tell another story from the Dark Tides

Tonight, we join a pair of cursed sailors, as they make the mistake of antagonizing the Spanish…

Adrián de la Cruz

Philippe Desailly and Keith Atkinson were on their knees, hands tied behind their backs with gags in their mouths. They looked around the deck of the Spanish Galleon. About half a dozen men from both of their crews were lined up next to them, each one similarly bound.
The galleon’s captain had yet to show himself, but the other Spanish sailors surrounded the Cursed hostages, guns at the ready. Smoke drifted across the deck of the galleon, obscuring the remains of the Plague and Furies Whip from view.
A pair of loud explosions were heard, emanating from the direction where their ships were, both powerful enough to make the galleon rock. Desailly looked over at Atkinson. Absolute terror was visible in his eyes. Sweat ran down his brow, and tears threatened to descend his cheeks. The mental message he was sending Desailly was clear: I didn’t sign up for this!
A small pang of guilt passed through Philippe. He’d convinced Keith to join him in his attempt to take El Castilla del Infanta. It wasn’t his fault of course; how was he supposed to know the shipping schedule for the Spanish armada? Regardless, they were stuck in this situation now. But Desailly wasn’t worried. He’d find a way to escape.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Keith Atkinson heard shouts behind him. He tried to turn and look, but his movement was met with the butt of a rifle. Bending forward in pain, his fears made themselves known in the form of a quiet sob. This is not what he was promised by his freak of a brother. The shouts behind him became clearer. Someone was speaking rapid-fire Spanish with such hatred and venom that he thought he’d be sick. He’d learned some Spanish back in England, and what he could understand from the angry voice made him wish he hadn’t.
The speaker stepped into view as he finished barking his orders. He wore a simple sailor’s uniform but had a sword with a gilded hilt. He looked down at the Cursed Sailors spread out behind Atkinson and Desailly.
“Matarlos a todos”, he said gesturing towards Atkinson’s and Desailly’s respective crews.
The Spanish sailors leveled their guns at the heads of the oblivious cursed men and fired.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Desailly felt a sliver of fear lodge itself into his heart. The Spaniard looked down at him and Atkinson with such disgust and scorn that he suddenly wished there was a deity he could pray to.
“¿Son ustedes dos los capitanes?”
His words meant nothing to Desailly, but Atkinson seemed to understand. He was grunting and nodding, gesturing frantically to Desailly. Worry filled Philippe. What did he ask?, he wondered.
Whatever it was, Atkinson had supplied him with the wrong answer. The man (Desailly assumed he was the captain) kicked Keith in the face, knocking him onto his back. Keith was coughing up the teeth he almost swallowed when the captain’s sword impaled him, stabbing through his chest, and pinning him to the deck.
A muffled yelp of pain escaped the gag in Atkinson’s mouth. He twitched for a moment, then went still.
The captain pulled his sword from Keith’s body and turned to Desailly.
“You are the Capitan?”
His voice held a thick Spanish accent, but it was understandable to Philippe.
In response, Philippe glared up at him.
The captain smirked, and reached for a pendant he wore on a necklace. The pendant was a large wooden cross with a sharpened long end. The sharp end was stained a deep blood red.
Desailly began to struggle and shout through his gag. The Spaniards behind him held him still as the captain raised the cross-dagger above his head. He swung down, and the Cursed prisoner released a brief, unearthly screech.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Adrián de la Cruz kneeled before the full-size cross in his simple quarters. His wooden cross-dagger was floating in a basin of holy water for cleansing. When he finished his silent prayers, he rose and walked over to the wall behind his bed. He scratched two lines into the wood, adding up with over two hundred others already there. One for each Cursed ship the Cruz de Cristo had sunk.

And that concludes the third story from the Dark Tides.
I do not know when the next tale will be told, but I’ll be sure to come back to the Black Mongoose to tell it. Until then, good night.
-J. W. Darkhurst