“Order!” Kerdak Bonefist growled, slamming his mug on the long oaken table in the Pirate Council chamber. “I call this meetin’ ter order! First order o’ business, increased shares fer tha Island o’ Empty Eyes crew. Cap’n Fairwind, yer speakin’ for, I believe.”
“Yes. It is my belief that our newest Council members have demonstrated their value and deserve a full share of the Sargavan tribute instead of remaining at a partial share,” Tessa said.
“Well I disagree!” Bonefist replied. “We all come ter this Council tha same way an’ should start off tha same, too!”
Reiko smiled demurely. “Respectfully, I must mention that there have never been four new Pirate Lords at the same time before. Together, we do form a sizeable voting interest.”
“Votes!” Bonefist called. Arronax, Delemona, the Master, and Tessa all raised their hands immediately, followed by a few others, more slowly. Chopper quickly tallied the votes before waving for his crew to abstain. The measure passed. Bonefist grumbled, then shrugged it off.
“Next order o’ business, Cap’n Bloodmourn’s proposal!”
“Yes, Lord. My proposal is that we use the tithe this year for the erection of statues in all the major ports of the Shackles to honor the anniversary of our Hurricane King’s prosperous reign! This will only increase the infamy of this court.”
The Master of the Gales stood. “The tithe has always gone for port defense and the improvement of the Shackles fleet—both undertakings that make certain our infamy is backed by more than just threats.” The other Captains seemed to agree with him, but shot uncomfortable glances at Bonefist.
“Not sayin’ as the Hurricane King’s visage mightn’t strike terror in the council’s enemies, but in me own experience, fools outweigh them as what would bow ta their fears,” Chopper said. Even with the opposition of the newest group of Pirate Lords, the measure still passed, but only by one vote.
“I’m not really sure how anyone could want to spend all that money on such frivolity,” Reiko said.
“That’s Bonefist for you,” Tessa told her. “You see why I wanted help on the Council.”
“Third order o’ business!” Bonefist announced. “Yer have tha floor, Cap’n Sorrinash.”
“With all the stories of the Isle of the Black Tower and the sword Aiger’s Kiss that is said to be lost in side, I want Ollo to be guranteed salvage rights over the island and its waters, as Ollo is the closest significant settlement.”
Jolis Raffles the halfling spoke up in opposition. “Salvage rights have always properly belonged to the ship making the salvage, not the closest settlement!”
Tessa leaned over so she could whisper to Reiko. “He’s still bitter because he made a similar request for a different island during the last council meeting, and was voted down.”
“Those who brave the perils should reap tha rewards, no?” Chopper said.
“I agree with Captain Chopper. If there are all these rumors going around, why haven’t you taken it upon yourself to break the tower already?” Reiko asked. Sorrinash’s growl was lost in the Hurricane King’s booming laughter. The motion was swiftly voted down.
“Motion denied,” Bonefist declared with barely-hidden glee. “Per Council Law, the Isle of the Black Tower stays finders-keepers, an’ no tithe to be paid from any plunder taken therein. Fourth order o’ business, Cap’n Massey.”
The big, quick-tempered, swaggering Captain took a cigar from his mouth as he stood. “Scags Rotgram has been engagin’ in unsanctioned piracy ’gainst Sargavan vessels,” he spat. “I call fer him an’ his ship ter be declared outlaw an a bounty of 5000 gold sails placed on his head.”
Bonefist growled. “How much did Harrigan pay ye ter waste th’ Council’s time wit this?”
Tessa whispered, “Rotgram was Harrigan’s first mate back in the day. This is likely some sort of revenge ploy.”
“If Scags be piratin’ against me former countrymen, I’ll be happy ta hunt ’im down free a charge to the council, and Harrigan can thank me fer the favor at an opportunity of his barnacle-encrusted choosing,” Chopper scoffed.
“Motion denied,” Bonefist decreed, not even bothering to call for a vote. “No bounty on Scags Rotgram. Floor’s yers, Tessie.”
“Yes,” she said, and went on to produce her lengthy research into the looming threat of a Chelish invasion and the possibility of a Chelish sympathizer and traitor being among the Pirate Lords. Arronax Endymion rose to his feet to demand Council support for further investigations, which drew a lot of grumbling suspicion about whether Endymion might be the traitor, himself.
“We have seen far too much evidence that Cheliax is gearing up for some kind of major offensive,” Feruzi said.
Reiko nodded. “I am sure whoever is involved in this would love for us to think Endymion is part of it. I agree with him on this matter and I would like to think that he would be most willing to assist us in finding the truth.”
“I am done trying to sway the Shackles with words,” Endymion grumbled. “Only deeds will make you believe.”
Bonefist called for a vote, and appeared surprised by the outcome. “Motion carries. Ye’ll get yer fundin’ an support, Tessie. All right, show’s over, I’m tired.” He heaved his bulk from the chair.
“We Do have seven more well, yes, there he goes. Bugger,” the Master muttered as Bonefist lurched out of the room.