When the sun rose on the eastern horizon the following morning the two ships, the Privateer and the Revenge, were sitting aside each other on the open ocean. They were south of the equator, an area they had only on a few occasions ever sailed in before as a crew. Their mission still remained unknown to all but a select few aboard the ship but that worried no one.
There was only a skeleton crew awake as the sun rose, enough men aboard each ship to keep a watch on the seas around them. The three quarter moon and cloudless skies had helped the sentries ensure they were not being crept up on during the night by other pirate ships, however the cloudless skies quickly disappeared as the sun slowly crept up into the sky.
No sooner had the clouds began to fill the skies than the wind picked up, it was a southern wind, coming straight up from the Atlantic and colder than the frigid winds that came down from the snowcapped mountains that over looked the castle in the air.
Only seconds after the white clouds blew in and covered the blaring sun they began to turn dark, then seconds after that they were pitch black leaving the dawning day look like the black of night.
“Warn th’ cap’n that thar be a storm front approachin’.” Oneared Nipperkin called down from the crows nest of the Privateer to the crew below.
Aboard the Revenge the order was given by Pepper Squidstern and while it varied in wordage the message was the same, summon the captain and warn of approaching bad weather. Although it wasn’t a summon for the captain to retake control of the ship, aboard both ships they knew their captains would do exactly that.
As the skeleton crew pushed the ships apart, separating them so as any wild weather would not see them crash together the two captains surfaced. In almost identical manoeuvres aboard both ships Captain Bildgepoole and the Good Captain made their ways to their respective navigational decks for their reports. Each captain then retook control of their ship and prepared for the on coming storm in their own way.
The ships rode the storm well, less than five miles apart. The rough water bounced the ships up and down and side to side. Waves came in quick succession often seeing the front of a ship rise on one wave before the rear of the ship had surfed down the back of the last. Water crashed over the decks, every crashing wave bringing with it a plume of white frothy water that clung to whatever it landed on. The crew aboard deck fought hard holding on to anything that was tied down as they tried to get from one place to another. Anything not tied down skated across the deck taking unsuspecting pirates off their feet before they knew what was happening, then skating back as the ship rocked in the opposite direction hitting the same pirates a second time if they were not successful in getting out of the way.
Ropes that had come loose or snapped lashed around in the wind wildly, Calico Bart aboard the Revenge was lashed with one such rope causing him pain and laceration he claimed he’d only before experienced when lashed with a cat-o-nine tails.
Aboard the Privateer the Good Captain and the Fair Maiden stood on the navigation deck, wind lashing them, rain drenching them and deafening thunder crashing loudly in the sky above, however through all of that the Good Captain could hear something else.
“Listen me dear, wha’ be that?” The Good Captain said and the darkness of the storm came the sweet and dulcet tones of Scowling Drivelswig once again.
“Sail away me maties!
Now that th’ winds they ‘ave a-changed’
Into th’ breach o’ the storm we shall sail
Flanked by our brotherly crew aboard th’ Revenge
Formidable charges shall nah help us today
Nah even if they were fired wit’ a volley o’ grapeshot
Fer a lesser crew their blood would stain th’ ocean this day
But we be th’ agents o’ slaughter ‘n we nah cut a swift path t’ th’ grave on this day.”
As the storm raged on around them the Good Captain and the Fair Maiden marvelled at the way Scowling Drivelswig’s dulcet pipes were able to penetrate the rain, wind and thunder that surrounded them. They were both sure that had they been in battle they would not have heard a cannon ball fired from any single cannon aboard the ship, however Scowling’s singing came through as if his voice was the only sound in existence.
Scowling began to sing again, this time but for a few changes, it was the words he had sung the previous day.
“We shall soon be a sailin’ away,
Sailin’ toward a blue horizon in a cloudless sky
Crestin’ th’ waves, and ridin’ the seas which shall guide our destiny
We be sailin’ away ready to be fightin’ another day
And on that day we shall fight without mercy, without fear
‘n ye can be restin’ assured thar will be no quarter fer those wit’ no grave
No grave but th’ sea”
As the final words drifted up from below them the Good Captain and the Fair Maiden noticed almost immediately that the angry, dark, rain filled clouds were not just fading in colour but they were also spreading apart. Then within seconds every pirate on board the two ships stood in amazement as the sky cleared revealing a blaring sun belting down on them from the eastern sky. Just like the clouds had disappeared almost instantly so had the hard gusting wind, the large waves and the driving rain.
Previous Pirate story here.