Whilst the crew of the Privateer were being lifted into the air by two massive tentacles of the mighty beast Leviathan things weren’t exactly plain sailing over on the Revenge.
As the frothy white water rolled towards the Revenge they knew not what was coming. Although the single pirate up in the crows nest could see the Privateer was in trouble with the naked eye he didn’t have time to set his eye piece before his own ship was being rocked.
Unlike on the Privateer that was being wrapped by the massive tentacles the Revenge was being swamped. A massive bow wave moved toward the port side of the ship as a huge tentacle surfaced and pushed it’s way towards the hull. The crew had no way of measuring such things but if they did they’d have known the thick, suckered tentacle had a diameter of more than ten feet, and it was pushing against three quarters of the hull’s length.
On the Privateer the crew were able to battle the beast’s tentacles with their swords and their knives but the crew of the Revenge did not have the same luxury. Without any exposed part of the beast being within reach of even the longest swords the Revenge was nearly helpless in the water.
The large tentacle pushed up against the side of the ship causing it to list dangerously to the starboard side, it was only sheer luck that none of the top deck pirates were washed overboard. Captain Blidgepoole may have been a green horn in the captain stakes but even he knew if the ship listed far enough and the sails broke the water’s surface they were in trouble. He wondered if maybe Leviathan also knew it and the attack was planned.
When the starboard tip of the largest mast, the centre mast, skimmed across the rough water Capitan Bildgepoole swore then called out loudly,
“Ye gunna not take ’tis ship!”
In an act of good luck more than anything else at the same time as the captain was screaming to the skies a rouge wave pushed up from the south by a weather front they’d yet to feel the effects of. The wave, although large gently rolled the big ship against Leviathan’s tentacle. The ship righted itself as it peaked on the wave, they were still in rough water but were at least horizontal.
Despite not being able to see much from where they stood and despite the fact they’d been thrown from side to side in the confines of gunner’s deck the cannon crew knew exactly what was going on outside and didn’t hesitate. When the port side levelled out there was a blast of thirty cannons all firing simultaneously.
While close combat cannon fire was never recommend due to potential of ricocheting cannonballs sometimes it was necessary and the experienced crew of the Revenge knew that which is why they fired as the ship righted itself. By the time the fuses had burned down and the cannonballs were fired on their way the ship had over righted itself, not by much just enough to give the cannons a larger target, a meaty, soft target.
Of the thirty cannonballs fired twenty seven made their mark, tearing through the rubbery outer skin of Leviathan’s tentacle, biting into the soft inner flesh then ripping their way out the other side. The flaming tail of burning gunpowder trailing each cannonball scorched it’s way through the meaty flesh.
Thanks to the adept crew, who had cannon reloading down to a fine art that took less than five seconds, a second barrage of cannon fire blast into the already flailing tentacle before the effects of the first round were fully known. It was however the second round that drew the final blow and saw the tentacle release its pressure on the side of the ship.
Not every one of the crew was in a position to see it but the cannon fire had severed the massive tentacle from the beast and while the salty air was filled with the smells of scorched squid the flailing tentacle was pulled away from the Revenge and back into the water. While chunks of squid floated on the rough white water, rolling up and down the waves, the severed and dying piece of tentacle sunk to the inky depths where the beast did dwell. It might have only been a small success but it was still a success that drove them further into battle.
While the mighty Leviathan’s severed tentacle was released to the deep ocean and the beast relented it’s attack on the Revenge the same could not be said of the crew. The ship was within cannon range of the massive beast’s head and at the call of their captain they fired the cannons, one after another, at the blueish purple translucent dome that was sticking out of the water.
Aboard the Privateer they had no idea how successful the crew of the Revenge had been, they were too busy fighting for their own lives. Although they had fired several rounds of cannonballs the ones that had hit the target appeared to do very little and Leviathan’s grip on them remained strong. Had the beast kept them airborne they’d have had no chance of survival, but for reasons they didn’t know they were slapped down onto the water. The only reason their hull did not break under the unforgiving water was that the beast’s tentacle that was wrapped around them broke the surface of the water first. But that didn’t stop the spray and splash as the water was pushed out of the way and the waves crashed against the ship.
Throughout the time the Privateer was airborne the crew slashed, stabbed and attacked the tentacles that held them captive. Cuts, slices and gashes covered the tentacles, chunks of flesh had been removed and a thick goo covered the drenched top deck of the ship, but neither tentacle appeared to be giving up it’s grip.
It wasn’t until one of the crew, Pockmark Rattersly, grabbed the only torch that had somehow remained burning where it hung on the centre mast and pushed the flaming timber into an open wound on the largest of the tentacles that the beast finally let go.
At the exact time the recently freed Revenge was pounding cannonball after cannonball into the front of the massive beast’s bulbous exposed head, the Privateer was released from it’s grip and left rocking side to side in the frothy white water and churned up water.
The weather front that had helped The Revenge get the upper hand on the beast had approached fast and as the winds from the south increased the waves got bigger and the cannon fire became less accurate. Even with the Privateer recovering and adding to the fire power their accuracy was being severely hampered. Neither captain knew how long they could last blasting into the massive beast before it chose to strike again but neither of them gave the order to stop.
Then it happened….
Previous Pirate story here.