Pirates. Nuff Said.
A ship sailed through the calm waves, the wooden mermaid figure head seemed to call to the sea before her, hand outstretched, as if to offer help. But anyone who knew anything about mermaids would know that mermaids do not offer help, and neither do pirates.
Captain 13 stood at the helm of the ‘The Hysminai’ and looked out across the deck. He sighed as he was reminded of the lack of crew members. Damn, it had been a long time since the prey had fought back with that kind of skill, and he was kind of hoping they hadn’t. With so many lost members he would have to make port to ‘restock’ as it were. Unless he ran into some sort of miracle, the crew was in for a long journey back home.
Captain 13 was in deep thought, thinking of the time it would take to get to a decent port. He was interrupted by a quiet ‘meow’ coming from the direction of his quarters. He coughed in a ‘nothing to see here, not suspicious at all’ way and backed slowly away from the helm, before making a quick dash to his quarters. He locked the door behind him.
“Mr Whiskers. What have I told you about being quiet?” He addressed the black cat in an upper class manner. The cat pawed at a wooden bowl on the ground.
“Ah, of course. I almost forgot about your breakfast. Most important meal of the day you know.” He said as he searched his quarters for something edible. He would deal with the crew shortage later. Right now he had a cat to feed.
The Searching Crew…
April staggered around the port drunkenly trying as hard as she could to whistle merrily, but failing badly. She walked up to a random man and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Escuze me. Have you perchance seen a *hic* ship around here. He’s a very good friend of mine an’ I haven’t seen him for awhile. His name is *hic* Ivan. Or was it Steven? No it was defiantly Barney.” The man started backing away.
“Well if you see him, tell him The March Hare is *hic* lookin’ for him.” She called to him as she stumbled in the opposite direction, much to the man’s relief.
April made her way to the docks and continued her search for ‘Barney’. She looked high and low, asking anyone unfortunate enough to catch her eye. This continued for some time until she accidentally fell into a dingy.
“Perhaps with your help, Mr Dingy, I can find that *hic* rascal Barney.” She sat in the dingy for awhile, thinking. She came to the conclusion that she needed a crew. She knew of only one way to attract a crew.
“All aboard the dingy! If you’re lookin’ for excitement an’ treasure this dingy *hic* is goin’ where you wanna be! All aboard the dingy…”
The sea was calm and the sky was clear. A beautiful day to be sailing, unless you were on your hands and knees scrubbing the deck. And that was exactly how Nami was spending the wonderful day. Not that she minded though. As long as she wasn’t on land, she was happy. Today was an especially good day, because there was a rumour spreading around the crew, they were sailing for treasure. The rumour said that the order to find the treasure was given by the King of England himself and that the treasure held the secret to immortality. It reminded Nami of her pirating days. The excitement, the adventure, the gold. Just thinking about it made her smile. How she hoped that what the crew was saying was true.
Nami looked out towards the rolling blues waves and wondered what was awaiting her.
As Leonis awaited his drink he took stock of the company he was forced to keep, the sort of men who flock to the tavern; the lot of them seeming more apt to dwell in the dank oaken cavern of a bar than face the light of day. Gnarled men bent at the waist and hunched at the shoulder, filthy hands with fat, stubby fingers ending abruptly with grimy nails; rotund and gleaming bellies hanging from tattered rags of clothing, no doubt thatched together from canvas sheets meant for sails and the like.
All around him stood lesser beings, in form as in trade; surely none of these, these...degenerates were fit to sail alongside Johnathon Cor Leonis! Scratch that, Captain Johnathon Cor Leonis.
Purring to himself satisfied, a small smirk crept upon his feline lips as the tavern wench finally arrived with his brew. His mug was laid most unceremoniously on the table before him, clanging and ringing as it met the poorly-constructed table; one leg shorter than the others causing the dirty glass to wobble uneasily, teetering before a gargantuan paw seized the murky beverage and lifted it towards an equally large muzzle.
Breathing swiftly of the concoction, Leonis' nostrils began burning with a strong scent of spiced rum and swamp gas. Rearing back, he called defiantly after the bar wench, the tart sauntering towards the leering gaze of the Lessers. Her dress was patched in several places as though mended many times over, though for some reason the tailor never thought to make the dress fall below the woman's knees.
"You call this rum, ya scuddy whore?!"
In a fit of rage, Leonis chucked the brown sludge, mug and all, shattering it against a knotted wooden pillar. The Whore and the Lessers withdrew further into their corner of debauchery as Johnathon rose to his full height quickly, nearly upturning the table with his sudden movement.
Growling low, Leonis donned his hat and clutched his Walking Stick, casting several coins across the still-wobbling table and unto the floor. Making for the exit, the proud sailor ran a single claw across the door, once from to 2 to 7, then 10 to 4, leaving a large X carved in the old wood. Without a word, he then strode out into the daylight to the sound of a drunken shanty.
“All aboard the dingy! If you’re lookin’ for excitement an’ treasure this dingy *hic* is goin’ where you wanna be! All aboard the dingy…”
Leonis raised a large paw to shield his eyes from the sun, growling low in exasperation.
"Not another one."
Eyes scanned the horizon dully, watching the crashing waves like a day dream. His feet had him perched on the edge of the mast, shoes loosely hooked as his body swayed back and forth, giving the dangerous fact that at the slightest bump he could go flying down the mast like a limp doll. It didn't bother him though. He was a trained pirate, yarr. He knew how to carry himself around up here. And plus, he loved the danger. He lived off the danger. It was a good danger. His eyes quietly scanned the deck for a moment. Crew was a bit non existent. Needed some greens on board. Called em greens because there faces were green when they got seasick from there first trip out. He chuckled a bit at his own joke and thought of leaning on his hand, but quickly realized that might send him over the railing and onto the deck.
Instead, he hopped backwards, into the crows nest, and leaned back. Was gonna be a long road home, and who knew when they would hit land. He sure as heck didn't.
"BY POSEIDON'S LEFT BOLLOCK!!" The all too familiar voice of captain Staalhansch boomed from his quarters. The voice was accompanied by the sound of something being kicked out from the ship - hopefully it was an empty barrel this time, for last time it had been one half full of rum. Obviously the good captain had finally opened the letter he had recieved earlier on the same morning - and it looked like he disliked the contents. "BY POSEIDON'S BOLLOCKS!!!" The exclamation was followed by a sound much like someone dunking his head in to a barrel filled with liquid and a gasp.
Few moments later captain Olaf Staalhansch made his way to the deck. He did not bother with a shirt so the only thing covering his upper body was the blue coat he never seemed to part with. His white hair and pointy ears dripped with water as he brushed few locks away from his face. "Ok, listen up everybody! I got good news and bad news." The tall man glanced around the deck and spat over the railing "As most of you propably know by now we have recieved a little message - from His Highness the King of England and all such..." With a little movement captain took out the now unsealed letter from his coat pocket and folded it open. "We are going for a little treasure hunt - those are the good news. The bad news on the other hand are that His Royal Highness, the King of England has ordered us to hunt a damned fairytale! We are to search for the secret of immortality." It was rather odd to see the captain keeping his cool - since he was far from being superstitious and really thought all talk about seamonsters and legendary treasures just that. Tall stories and nothing more.
"Since it is a direct order from His Royal Highness I doubt there will be much I can say to protest. Well be heading eastwards and keep our eyes and ears peeked for even the most minor of rumours." Olaf coughed and again ran his fingers through his hair "Also if we run in to any pirates we'll blow them to smithereens. If we see a ship sailing under the Spanish flag they'll be up for the same treatment." He added as an afterthought and shook his head slightly.
May had hardly opened her eyes yet she was already up and out of her bed, which consisted of a pile of blankets in the corner of the crews sleeping corner, and was running wildly up onto deck. She ran on all fours and even though her body was somewhat human shaped she could still run with the speed of a wolf. As soon as her paws hit the deck and the burst of sea filled air his her nose she could feel the energy electrocuting through her limbs.
May was...well pretty useless when it came to chores aboard ship, she was really just a overly excitable wolf, but give her a target and she can steal whatever they have on them with no problems. Today unfortunately was not a land day so she just scampered about ship with blinding speed, jumping onto barrels and climbing up the mast using her sharp fingernails. She barked at seagulls and wagged her tail like a little puppy, all while still looking like a humanish girl.
To be truthful, there was definitely something wrong with her. She had gotten more human in looks but more wolf in personality then any other human/wolf hybrid she had ever met. But that fact hardly bothered her as she now sat utop the sail with the sea breeze buffering her face and making her white hair fly around her.
"Ah! That one looks like a pony!"
Silvan Nathans leaned on the crow's nest, scanning the horizon for anything interesting, occasionally announcing that she found land, there's another piece of cloud that looks like a fish, and such things. Most of the sailors that was on the ship had grown accustomed to her, treating her occasional announcement as just part of the background sound, unless she announced land, incoming ship or other important things.
She had been on the ship for a few months now, it seems. People were good to her, there was that old man teaching her how to use the rapier she had strapped to her side, and she was up here with good sunny weather. Of course she would not like it as much when it starts to rain, but that was the danger of becoming an accountant up here. Silvan had no idea why she was up here, and not down there counting the money or writing accounts. She did know she was put up here, and that was good enough for her.
Except for the rain though.
It made her wings soggy. And she was proud of her wings. She took the trouble of preening it every day, making sure its clean, and shiny.
Hao Luen was, as per usual, scouring the dockyard for a sea gong ship in need of crew, he knew full well his chances were slim. Not many people hired unexperienced vagabonds, and those that did were usually just as green, crews like that didn't survive long on the sea and he'd a fair share of stories from eavesdropping at taverns where most sailors went to drown their sorrows.
The lanky lizard sighed and ran a hand through his tatty, unwashed hair and started walking, hands in the pockets of the multilayered smattering that made up his clothing. He was gong to need a new jacket soon, this one was wearing out and the pockets were so riddled with holes they were useless. He gave another deep sigh and changed course to the nearest tavern, he was going to get a drink and maybe steal some other drunk fool's jacket. That was one of the best parts about a sleazy tavern. those who were in a drunken stupor, which was most, practically shouted 'rob me' and those who were still somewhat sober wouldn't stop you so long as they didn't know the victim.
He rounded the corner just in time to see a massive lion storm out of his favourite cesspit and leave a two deep furrows in the thick oak door with effortless swipes of his massive paws. It was a simple motion but no less impressive for it. Hao lowered his gaze and hunched his shoulders trying to look poor and useless, which wasn't too difficult given his current circumstance he would have shuffled right past the man but he was only just out of the doorway and if Hao was to walk past he would have to brush against him, and after seeing what the did to the door he figured he could afford to wait a few minutes outside if he had too. He leaned against the tavern wall and tried not to stare, the man's comment was a bit of a surprise though and he couldn't help but look up
"Not another one."
Not another what? He followed the lions gaze and saw the dingy and its drunken sailor. He smiled and was talking before he could stop himself
"Actually sir, that one looks like a bit of an exception to the rule to me. For a start most drunks looking for a crew to head out in a dingy usually have a death wish. That one looks like she can handle herself, crazy as she is, I've seen her around and she's gotten into more than a few fights and came out on top without a scratch on her, she might even give your good self a run for your money if'n you were to try it" He smiled a wide smile to show it was light hearted and mean as a compliment, he coughed and barrelled on, no use stopping now "But the important thing is the boats water-tight, if she manages to get a half decent crew of maybe two or three more and some solid rations I'd wager she could make it half way 'round the world in that little boat" He coughed again "Point is sir, I don't think anything about that one is 'just another'"
What in the nine hells was he doing? He prayed to what ever god there was that this powerful man he was so insolently talking to had a sense of mercy for lunatics, because he must be crazy to talk to a giant of a man like him. Maybe that was why he had piped up? Us crazies got to look out for one another that that hare defiantly qualified.
And with that his body experienced a small spasm from head to tail.
He really had to see some sort of professional about that twitch.
The sun still shown brightly through Leonis' paw; the creases of his fingers acting only as crude visors against the blaring rays. His eyes had become accustomed to the dingy ill-lit cadence of the Lessers' Lair and as such the light of day was making a rude time of welcoming his feline eyes back among the living. Whether it was the effects of the scuddy brew he had inhaled moments ago, the blinding readjustment of his eyes to day, or simply a lack perception on his part, Leonis hadn't seen the disheveled lizard approach him until he began to speak.
Drawing back in a start, Leonis reached a hand towards his waist; not to grab his scimitar as some would reason, but to see if the fiend had pilfered his coin pouch. Assured the scaly youth had taken nothing, the large figure loomed, examining the twitching fellow before him and listening as he spoke. His accent was of that would expect, hissing and the like - though not altogether unpleasant. More important was of what the youth spoke; namely an opportunity to leave these godforsaken Port Cities and seek fortune elsewhere. Leonis listened intently as the lizard spoke, measuring him for an informative lad if nothing else... and information can be worth its weight in gold.
"Interesting... You seem to know a fair bit about the goings-on in this dockyard, are you a worker here? Surely, a fine lad such as yourself could make his bread twice-over compared to these layabouts." Gesturing a wide paw towards the tavern he had just left, Leonis sought to win the lad's favour. "I say, dear boy, I never asked your name. I am Captain Johnathon Cor Leonis, or rather, I shall be once I find a crew...and a ship..."
Clearing his throat, Leonis noticed the fellow's gaze constantly shifting towards the doorframe in which he stood, no doubt waiting to enter. Ahhhh, the lion thought to himself. This would be his chance.
"Yes, once I find a crew I'll set sail for treasure. All the food you can eat, all the booze you can drink, and all the women you can lay!" With a deep chuckle, Leonis placed a paw gingerly on the lad's twitching shoulder, striding forth and gently pushing the fellow alongside him. "I'm not sure if you're aware, but that X I carved is a warning to all fine sea farers. That tavern is nothing but watered down booze, unwashed whores, and men that'll gut you as soon as look as you. No, a man like you deserves the best!"
Having rambled a fair while, long enough to reach his location some fifty yards from the shanty-singing drunk, (one who he had altogether expected to follow them what with the promise of free booze) the two men arrived outside a much nicer looking drinking hole, and one of Leonis' favourites. As the duo entered, patrons eyed the skittish fellow with distaste, lowly scum not usually allowed within the hallowed walls of a 'refined' drinking establishment, but were quickly dissuaded as they saw the lumbering behemoth at his side.
Setting the young man down upon a stool at the bar with a gentle pressure on his shoulder, Leonis concluded his long-winded spiel. "Ah, but enough of business! Let me buy you a drink, lad."
Pip had been off doing what he does best, observing. It was one of his favorite things to do when he didn't have actual things to do, which he did right now, but that wasn't really on his mind right now. What was on his mind was adventure and sailing the open seas. Was he half paying attention to the captain's orders? Kind of. Did he really care? Not really. After all, all that he needed to here was that they would be setting out for action and adventure soon. Maybe, if he was lucky, they would even find some news of Toes as well. Pip knew that he was more than likely dreaming when it came to that notion, but a man could dream, right?
Of course, the news that they were going after the source of ever lasting life was a bit of a downer and a confidence booster as well. Even though Pip and his ideals were solidly rooted in reality he did love himself a bit of fantasy and magic as well. More than likely this was all a wild goose chase, but what if it wasn't? What if they found out this supposed source of immortality? How amazing would that be.
In the back of his mind he was hoping that they ran into some pirates. Those people, even if they were rather vile creatures, were some of the most informed people on this earth. If anyone had news about toes, it would be them.
Treasure wasn't something he'd signed up for.
Corvus scans the horizons and frowns, watching the ocean roll around him. Treasure hunting was far too close to pirate behaviour for his liking, but the King had demanded it...Well, apparently the King had demanded it., so treasure hunt they would. He wanders about the deck and sighs, going over his orders in his mind, liking them even less the longer that he thought about them. He silently prayed that the rumours were untrue, that they'd be going back to sailing the seas hunting pirates, instead of wasting their time with frivolous treasure hunting, time that could be spent making sure those pirate scum were wiped off of the map.
Corvus ruffled his wings and took a seat on the deck, his mind too wrapped up in his own discomfort to continue walking. He resolved to bring a book on any subsequent long voyages.