Should the Fair Maiden and Captain Bildgepoole been concerned by the way the Good Captain was acting? Probably not, all men and women, including the most feared yet generous pirate of them all can have an off day and the truth was, there wasn’t even proof the Good Captain was having one of those.

Sure the Good Captain had led them down to the jetty where all five ships were moored, stood under the bowsprit of the Privateer and started talking about what first sounded like the storm to end all storms. He’d also talked about the blackest of black skies and perhaps the strangest thing was his speech about not being able to battle the storm with firing cannons and swords, but none of that meant the man was having an off day. Not at all if anything it was the voice of an experienced pirate, a pirate who knows what lies ahead for his crew, understands the severity of what is at stake and knows how to deal with it.

Of course if it had been anyone else with such ranting they have been insane, but this was after all the Good Captain!

His final words about standing under the sign of the Storm of Ale had been the give away that what he was talking about wasn’t the rantings of a mad man but in fact a lead in to a night of piratical mayhem and craziness.

Still looking directly at his own ship from under the bowsprit the Good Captain spoke again.

“We shall look deep, deep into th’ barrel ‘n we shall drink all that we do find. If we be t’ be loosin’ our minds tonight we shall be loosin’ it t’ th’ a barrel o’ ale!” The Good Captain took a breath and then said. “Fer tonight we stand under th’ sign o’ th’ Storm o’ Ale!”

The Fair Maiden and Captain Bildgepoole began to understand exactly what it was the Good Captain was talking about. The storm was not the kind that carried with it high winds and pouring rains. It was not the kind of storm that saw rough seas and black skies. It was an Ale-storm, a storm that packs a punch and could often knock down even the toughest of pirates, but not in the same way.

“Barrels o’ rum! Barrels o’ ale! Barrels o’ mead ‘n barrels o’ cider! These are th’ thin’s th’ these pirates shall be needin’ tonight. Forget ye quests! Forget yer journeys! Forget yer cannon fire ‘n forget yer swashbucklin’ fer tonight we raise th’ flag. ‘N we surrender t’ th’ Storm O’ Ale!”

At the Good Captain’s mention of the words Storm Of Ale a crowd instantly formed around the Good Captain, Captain Bildgepoole and the Fair Maiden, almost like moths to a flame.

The Good Captain started speaking again, seemingly oblivious to the happenings around him.

“Ale, th’ best brewed nectar in all th’ lands, colder than th’ iced cap mountains o’ th’ ranges. Savour th’ taste as th’ froth does tease our whiskers, thar ain’t finer brew than a barrel full o’ Nancy’s finest!”

A roar of approval rose from the gathering crowd.

“Rum th’ finest potion known t’ man. It gets me drunk, it makes me numb, it makes me forget me name but it hath always been th’ spice o’ life.”

Another roar was heard before the Good Captain spoke again.

“Drinkin’ through th’ night ‘n into th’ day be our quest. An unknown voyage on th’ search fer th’ meanin’ o’ life. Where th’ journey shall take us no body does know. Where th’ journey shall take us no body does care, as long as thar be a tankard o’ ale in our hands that be all th’ we needs. A ne’er endin’ tankard lootin’ us into th’ party zone!”

For an outsider to witness such a speech they would have been easily convinced that the Good Captain was either loosing all the doubloons in his up stairs treasure chest or in maybe even effected by the nectar in which he spoke about, but neither was true. He was simply announcing to his crew that they would spend the evening, and the morning, drinking, relaxing and partying under the flag of the Ale-storm.

“Let us all get out o’ control! Let us all escape from our brains into th’ depth o’ our souls. Lets search that which we know exists but ain’t really thar. Lets raise th’ flag ‘n set sail in t’ th’ Storm o’ Ale!” This time the Good Captain started the roar of approval and within seconds every pirate along the dock was cheering, even those beyond ear shot.

Almost a predictable as the sun falling below the western horizon in the evening when the Good Captain finished speaking the black clouds rolled in from the east. There was little to no wind and the threat of rain, including those annoying little flying insects most of the crew referred to as Thunder Ants because they always arrived before the storm, were not present but that didn’t mean the dark clouds were less looming. However while some of the pirates may have been thinking the worst of the clouds the Good Captain knew they were not clouds of rain, they were clouds of the Ale-storm that would hover over them all until the last remaining effects of the rum, cider, whiskey and ale had abated into nothingness.

A natural silence fell over the jetty as if each and every pirate knew their Good Captain was about to speak again. Sure enough he was but how that was known was any body’s guess.

The Good Captain took a deep breath held it in his lungs for a few moments then turned one hundred and eight degrees and looked out over the crowd of men and yelled in his loudest voice. “Tonight we stand under th’ sign o’ th’ Storm o’ Ale! Go!”

Previous Pirate story here.