Skull and Shackles
The Journal of Ezikial Hands, Journeyman Gunner Part Thirty
Having little time to spare, we headed for Cauldron Rock and the Free Captains’ Regatta, knowing that Fairwind would be there. Having found her once we had arrived, we were able to had off the notes and the spymistress herself to Fairwind and enter the Regatta.
Fifteen other ships were gathered for the race; amongst them was our old captain, Harrigan. With quips being exchanged and escalating we were interrupted by the Master of the Gales, an ancient Pirate-Druid that easily glared down Harrigan. The Master then made known to us the rules of the race and the consequences of breaking the Truce. We retired to our ships to make ready for the morrow’s race.
Feruzi and Pegsworthy set off before dawn with Ukele and Feruzi returned alone to help us make ready without the distraction of her sister. When all was ready and set to sail, we waited for the Regatta to begin.
The following were the ship for this Regatta: Albatross, Barnacled Bitch, Bonny Witch, Chimera’s Teeth, Darcy’s Pillage, Kelizandri’s Fever, Pharasma’s Price, Promise’s Bounty, Redcap, Sea’s Largess, Skullduggery, Stormrunner, Sullied Strumpet, Wave Wraith and of course, the Wormwood.
With a bolt of lightning, the Master called the race to start. The whole crew scrambled about the deck and rigging, with several below to man the pumps.
Most of the race is a hazy memory to me as I felt my blood rage to Besmara’s Song like unto my bloodlust in battle.
I recall: The Rake Shoals, Gozreh’s Flow, Iris’ Splinters, Hirgenzosk, the rescue of Sullied Strumpet’s sailors, the lightning strike, the Eye’s winds, Sharkskin Reef and Pinnacle Atoll, mostly from the bowsprit. I do recall ordering ropes overboard, firing the ballista and fighting the flaming sails but the details elude me.
Besmara, carve your name upon my heart!
The ever-changing sea calls to me with your voice,
And, with blade and bullet, I will make my mark upon it.
Plunder, fame, and glory will be bought,
With blood, smoke and chaos!
With your name upon my lips,
I will earn my place among the legends of the sea.
We won the Regatta by a comfortable margin, and despite our exhaustion, raised a great cheer upon passing Coaming Point. Even as we were cheering, we saw our ally, Bonaventure, with warning flag raised and made our way there first.
We found that Pegsworthy had been poisoned in a fight and his first mate slain by Harrigan’s men. He had been after Ukele and been injured in the fight to recover her. Between them, Chopper and Sandara were able to save his life, but the Master of the Gales arrested him for breaking the Truce.