The two large ships came upon the ship of fools late in the evening of their second night at sea. They had first spotted the ship in the wee of the afternoon, not long before the sun went down but they had immediately dropped back and kept their distance. Before the sun dropped below the western horizon the Good Captain and Captain Bildgepoole had conferred through coded messages transferred ship to ship by men in the crows nests.
The Good Captain read the seas perfectly and by the calm of the evening he’d managed to put both ships smack bang in the middle of the high flowing southerly current that would see them approach their enemy with a speed that they could not match and therefore could not flee.
The order was to run dark, black sails were hoisted up the masts to ensure not even the moonlight had a thing to reflect off. All flames aboard the ships were extinguished well before they were in range, and although their noise would not be heard the crews ran as silent as the ships. The Good Captain knew that when the currents ceased it was going to come to the skill of both he and Captain Bildgepoole to corner the ship, slow her down, stop her and attack before she had a chance to fight back.
Despite their enemy running under black sails they obviously didn’t expect to be set up because they were not hiding themselves. Barrels of flames stood aboard the deck, an effort to keep the crew warm, and torches hung from mast to mast, protected from the breeze but keeping the ship lit.
The men in the crows nests of the Privateer and the Revenge may not have been able to read the name written across the ship’s stern or see the flag under which they were flying but the ship was unmistakable.
When the Good Captain ordered the first strike it was by no means a warning shoot. The Privateer was a hundred yards off the starboard side of the enemy ship. The Revenge, a similar distance off the bow of the same ship. The doomed captain of the ill fated ship did not even know he was cornered and had nowhere to go, he had shore on one side, and two well armed and dangerous ships in its path. By the time he did realise it it was too late.
Cannon fire blasted out from the side of the Privateer, forty cannons all sending their cannonballs flying at their enemy. Only seconds after the cannonballs left the side of the Privateer en mass the order was given by Captain Bildgepoole to do the same aboard the Revenge. Each ship had their own agenda.
The Privateer was tasked with the job of hitting the unnamed ship hard, and hitting it with as much fire power as it could. While the task of Revenge, with a slightly different form of ammunition, cannonballs made to explode into the water and create large waves was to stop the ship in its tracks and drive it towards the shore.
If there was any doubt whether they had been seen it was quickly removed once the cannon fire started and by the time the enemy ship was firing back it was already too late. The Good Captain’s crews had littered their ship with more than three hundred cannonballs, whilst the strong waves of water created by the Revenge had all but driven the ship to the shallow water.
When the enemy ship was eventually grounded, fifty metres off shore, even they knew they fight was over, but like any pirate worth his salt they did not give up. They fought on, fired their cannons, inaccurately due to the angle of their ships, they even sent a small punt of well armed pirates out into the sea in the hope of getting under the defences of their attackers but it made no difference they were dead in the water.
It was a bloody night on aboard the ship with the name that got forgotten before it was obliterated into a million splinters. Under the order of the evil captain the crew were ordered to stand and fight while he himself made a mercy dash and swum to shore. It was a rouge shot from a misfiring cannon aboard the Revenge that finally took his life less then twenty metres from where the waves were breaking at the shore line.
A hundred men died standing on the deck of the burning ship. Another hundred died as they leapt into the water to save themselves but found themselves unable to swim against the tidal wave like plumes of water created by the cannon fire of the Revenge. Those who managed to avoid the cannon fire stood aboard the still intact parts of the deck begging for mercy, waving anything of white that they could get their hands on. But even they knew their attempts for mercy would not be granted for they had done wrong, they had followed the orders of a man that should not have even been aloud to captain a ship.
Beggars still drifted in the water when the Revenge and the Privateer stopped firing, but their begging pleas had changed from begging for their worthless lives to be saved to begging for their lives to be taken.
When the last evil, begging, pirate’s life was taken the crews of the Privateer and the Revenge set about extinguishing the ship so they could board her and retake her treasures.
By the time the sun was rising the following morning the Good Captain’s ships were both headed back to port. Treasure that would, as time allowed, be returned to its rightful owners.
Previous Pirate story here.