Under the storm of ale the crews of the Privateer and the Revenge partied and partied hard. For every pirate there was a tipple, or three, of every drink they could wish for. Ale of the finest amber, cider made with only the best apples, whiskey harsh and spiced, wine from the sweetest grapes and rum with the purest of sugars, it didn’t make a difference what a pirate preferred it was present and present in ample quantities.
There wasn’t a single pirate who missed out on the huge party, even those on sentry duties got regularly changed over to allow an ever rolling circle of men partaking in their favourite tipple while also keeping the bay safe. Not that any crew would be brave enough to take on the Good Pirate’s crew at home, but it paid to be prepared, nonetheless.
As with every gathering of men, especially a gathering of merry men well primed with a healthy dose of throat lubricant, the stories flowed in a rapid foray. Some stories were short, some stories were long and some of the stories were as tall as the masts upon the ships the men sailed.
One such story came from the mouth of Ninefingers Atlantis the Galleyhand aboard the Privateer a long seasoned pirate who had been with the Good Captain since he learnt of the success the Good Captain and his men had over the evil Morgan.
“Gather ‘round me young mateys.” Ninefingers piped up from the corner of the room. “I ‘ave a tale t’ be tellin’ ye all.”
A small gathering of mean grouped around, each with a drink in their hands and the galleyhand began his tale.
“One night I be sailin’ th’ seas, afore th’ Good Captain invited me t’ be apart o’ his crew.” A cheer went up at the mention of their captain’s name despite him not being in ear shot. “I was sailin’ wit’ a kin o’ th’ evil Black Bart, a pirate whose name was barely known or logged in any ledger, but a man able t’ out do Bart wit’ his evilness should he needs t’.”
In just a few words Ninefingers Atlantis had his small group of pirates hanging of his every word.
“We were sailin’ th’ dark seas o’ Thuringia, which ye shall nah find on any map, well nah nigh any water anyway. Th’ reason fer that may well reside somewhere within this tale.” Ninefingers took a breath, took a swig of his drink and then continued. “Aft a long journey across th’ sea we thirsted fer a cold ale. We needed a bar, a place once known as Thuringia was chosen ‘n a beeline was made fer th’ bar.
Shczlunmpfi was th’ name I saw above th’ door o’ this hole, ‘n perhaps if ye knew th’ origins o’ such a name ye would perhaps know o’ where this place o’ Thuringia did once reside. But alas th’ location ain’t important ‘n I shall continue wit’ th’ tale. “
Tankards were clanged together and cheers of the small crowd filled the air. Ninefingers took another swig before continuing his story.
“A curious ‘n strange odour came out th’ door o’ this dingy wee hole, so we went inside t’ investigate. Immediately upon boardin’ th’ tavern we noticed that lightin’ was nah somethin’ th’ barkeep considered important fer only half th’ candles that donned th’ wall were lit. A strange darkness filled th’ entire tavern but it didn’t change our minds.
Shczlunmphfi hisself was tendin’ th’ bar, standin’ behind th’ dark oaken timber. ‘Welcome t’ me bar ye scrawny bunch o’ greenhorns.’ he cried wit’ open arms. ‘We ‘ave got th’ coldest ale fer many nigh-on half a league ‘n th’ finest schnitzels by th’ dozen fer ye t’ eat. Ye all needs yer strength ‘n eatin’ here will be a gourmet treat.”
The off rhythmic rhyming of the barkeeps words were not lost on the small group but they were more interested in the story than the poetic barkeep from years before. Ninefingers waved his empty tankard in the air indication he needed a refill. He took a breather while his tankard was replenished then continued speaking once the tankard was back in his hand.
“Cold winds were a-blowin’, th’ night as dark ‘n th’ night was long but we raised up our tankards, eat down o’ feast ‘n by th’ end o’ th’ evenin’ we were all singin’ th’ barkeeps shanty.
Plunder wit’ th’ noise o’ thunder
Kill jus’ fer th’ thrills
Drink up all o’ yer ales
Jus’ do fer th’ frills
Pirates we be forever now
Pirates we be ’til we die
Fightin’ th’ foes side by side
Fightin’ hard wit’ cutlasses in hand
Steal thar wenches take thar land
That was th’ shantey that we did sin’ ’til th’ wee hours o’ th’ morn. Thin’s were good, thin’s did seem great right up ’til our cap’n went t’ get hisself another drink.”
“What happened then?” a small voice from the back of the crowd said.
“Well me young lad, I’m glad you asked.” Ninefingers said proudly and finished his story.
‘Fill me tankard wit’ a pint o’ ol’ spiced, Th’ dark cap’n said. Th’ barkeep replied handsomely wit’, ‘o Captain, nah ’til ye pay th’ price.’ Now th’ cap’n was an evil man but he ne’er welshed upon payin’ his dues ‘n he had paid th’ barkeep generously fer our evenin’, yet th’ barkeep still demanded more. Th’ cap’n was none impressed.
So o’ course th’ cap’n did wha’ was natural t’ ‘im, he took his flintlock out from its sheath ‘n shot th’ barkeep through th’ knees. Angry words were then spoken, threats were made so th’ cap’n then shot ‘im in th’ groin. Aft that we drank th’ tavern dry, devoured all his fine meats ‘n we even kidnapped his ugly wife.”
At that abrupt end Ninefinger’s story did end. No questions were asked, no follow up was offered the small group simply dispersed and moved on to their next tale of the sea.
Previous Pirate story here.