Thursday 3 October 2013

A Day of Piracy (Aug 25, 2007)

By THLaird Colyne Stewart

From the Journals of THL Colyne Stewart, captain of the Red Arrow

August 26th, in the Year of our Lord 42, while at berth in the Rouge Port.

As stated in an earlier entry, dispatches had reached my ear of a gathering of pirates, buccaneers, privateers and other knaves that were going to once again descend upon the Shire of Bastia du Lac. Having many friends in the good shire, and having a letter of mark from a previous baron and baroness of Septentria, I could not let such potential deprivation go unanswered.

Ethereal heralds were sent far and wide, and I did challenge all pirates to battle, letting them know that my crew and I would be on hand to protect the Bastia.

Yesterday, amidst a misting of rain, my good ship rolled into port, flying our colours proudly. Many pirates stood jeering on the docks, shouting challenges to us and waving their cutlasses. Most of my crew were in no condition to fight, but Lord Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr—the ship’s cook—exchanged his apron for armour and followed me ashore. I wore a bright new basinet helm with chain mail camaille, and we both wore surcoats in our canton’s colours.

We were quickly joined by the Shire militia, and squires of some of our Norman King’s loyal knights. Her Saxon Majesty herself and her husband (the King’s hostage) also appeared out of the mist, and the jeers of the pirates were transformed into worried mutters.

I noticed that there were no signs of Cap’n Bloodfox and his Black Trillium, nor of Cap’n Widow and her Clever Wife. I did however see the Jolly Menken lolling at anchor, though Chequeybeard stood at the ship’s rail, seemingly content to watch the coming violence and not take part. Beside him stood a tall blond woman with small braids in her hair who looked both fierce and congenial. She was, so I heard later, Captain Sincerity Cadfan, Captain of the Jolly Menken.

There then followed a great battle as we loyal Ealdormereans fought with the scum of the sea. This battle ended up taking place on a rickety boat that a squire-brother of mine had left behind when he moved to the East Kingdom. In the mist and rain and fog I fear things got a bit muddled, and it felt as if we all fought alone. In the end I stood upon the deck, triumphant.1

Quickly I bent to tend to Her Majesty when the drizzling rain turned into a storm. The boat was torn from its moorings and cast adrift. All aboard grabbed hold of the rails to keep from being swept overboard. I lost consciousness at some point.

When I awoke it was to find myself on the shore of a small island. I could see no sign of any of my companions, and quickly set out in search of the Queen. Soon I found our boat, miraculously still afloat. However, between it and me stood four pairs of pirates, each eying the others and gesturing with their weapons. It appeared that each pair was from a rival crew, and none of them wanted to share rescue with the others. I knew I had to secure this vessel for myself, so I could use it to take Her Majesty, Snæbjörn, and the others back to Bastia port.

One of the pairs contained a pirate Queen, and she saw me standing at the tree line and asked for my support in the coming battle. Usually I would never agree to such a request, but since I needed to secure the boat, and had less likelihood of doing so alone, I agreed. When the battle started I managed to fell a fierce amazon and her giant companion, only to find that the pirate Queen and her guard had both been killed. Alone I faced off against the other remaining pirates, and in the end I found myself standing with my back to the boat, one lone bull of a man staring bloodily at me. He charged me waving a mace, and I managed to gut the rogue as he thundered past.2

I quickly clambered aboard the vessel and tacked out into the now calm waters to begin circling the island. Before long I managed to find Her Majesty and the others. Luckily one of the Shire militia was an excellent navigator, and before long we were back in the Bastia.

When we returned I was taken aside by Her Majesty and asked to come up with the wordings for two awards that were to be handed out that day in court. I found myself sequestered with a knight who looked remarkably similar to Chequeybeard, who did the calligraphy for one of the wordings I came up with.

Court was soon held, and I attended Her Majesty as her herald. I was most pleased to read out scrolls for the following deserving individuals:

  • Elizabeth of Bastia du Lac, Award of Arms
  • Byrta of Bastia du Lac, Award of Arms
  • Athena, Award of the Wolf’s Cub
  • Serenity, Award of the Wolf’s Cub
  • Ellie, Award of the Wolf’s Cub
  • Lord Leod Dubh, Award of the Scarlet Banner
  • Lord Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Award of the Maiden’s Heart

After court I was able to sit and play at dice (without wagers) with several friends, which is a luxury I have not been able to partake of for a long time.

The Melusine and Phoenix Inn3 then presented an excellent feast, with my favourite dish being the spicy mushroom soup. All present were entertained by juggling, song, and the telling of stories.

It was a most excellent day.

1.       The fighters present fought a round robin where each fight took place inside a small row boat. I managed to come in first with 6 wins—winning a reign point for the Normans—followed by Her Majesty Domhnail and Quilliam of the Hrogn in second (each with 5 wins).
2.       The fighters were split into teams of two, though since there was an uneven number of fighters I was a team of one. Her Majesty and my brother asked me to fight with them in exchange for some beer and Peanut Butter Cups. (This alliance ended up being in spirit only, as we never ended up actually fighting side by side.) We ran through this scenario of fighting for the boat four times; I managed to claim the boat in the first run through.
3.       The feast was prepared by THL Melusine de la Rose, though since she ended up having to work that day, it was prepped on site by Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn.

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