The two ships sailed quickly on the flat ocean, the Privateer in lead of the Revenge by less than half a mile. Both ships were riding high on the water with only the bare minimum of ammunition loaded into the hulls. They were on a journey to the Island of Gold, as described by Captain Blackscuttle, and their need was for man power and hand held weaponry not cannons on the high seas.
The Good Captain, his Fair Maiden and Captain Bildgelpoole had not just believed the old captain’s story about the island of such wealth, they had planned, plotted, trained and set sail for the island under the old man’s guidance.
According to Captain Blackscuttle they were but twelve hours from setting anchor and storming the island.
Only twenty crew remained aboard each of the two anchored ships. Although Captain Blackscuttle had suggested there was no land based attack units when he last visited the island the crews took no chance. It was many a short and arduous journey in boats to ferry crew between the motherships and the island but it was deemed to be better safe than sorry.
“Ahoy t’ th’ Island o’ gold me mateys.” Captain Blackscuttle said when the three captain’s feet hit the sand.
As the smaller boats began their return trips the three captains stood on the shore of the island getting their bearings and looking at what surrounded them. What they saw was no different to that which would greet them on many a deserted island in the tropics. White sand, smooth and seeming untouched by anything other the seaweed and birds. Tall trees with large dropping frond like leaves, similar to that of a coconut tree. Even taller trees reaching for the sky that would make strong construction timber, and a lush green undergrowth feed by high rainfall and a warm everlasting sun.
“We each ‘ave a map t’ start our trip. But remember me words. All here ain’t wha’ ye might ‘ave seen afore. Th’ enemy we face does nah always walk on two legs, ‘n those that do ‘ave no needs fer our primitive weaponry.“
The words of Captain Blackscuttle were hard to forget, even if Captain Bildgepoole and the Good Captain struggled to grasp them they were hard to forget. They’d battled the mighty Leviathan, twice, they knew first hand the force and power a creature from the depth could summon. But creatures of the land, creatures not only powerful but smart enough to protect a treasure, that was something completely different.
The words of the old captain were treated as trustworthy as their own, but that did not make visualising these land based animals, many of which they thought they’d come across before when searching foreign lands, easier.
Although there was defined path through the tall trees and the lush green undergrowth it was decided that the crew, as lead first by the Good Captain who would never send his men into danger before himself, would start their journey off the beaten track. If that was only element of surprise afforded to them they needed to take it.
They crept into the trees, a scattered line twenty pirates wide covering an area of more than sixty feet, if an attack as going to happen it was not going to take the entire line of pirates out in one hit. Less than ten steps in, the sun had started to hide behind the canopy of tree branches and fronds, the temperature dropped, the breeze picked up and the ground became thick with a grass and moss type hybrid. No more than twelve steps in and the first attack took place.
Out of the trees and straight at Scattered McBones came a large and looming shadow. Black as the night, four strong legs powering four huge and powerful paws., a growling and snarling snout dribbling saliva. A black haired wolf it could have been, the kind often seen in the wilds of the northern hemisphere, however at seven foot high it was like no wolf they had ever seen before. The wolf like creature could have made its target any one of three or four pirates without changing course by much, but for whatever reason it seemed to have its eyes on only McBones.
The snarling, slobbering mouth was open wide, McBones head would fit neatly inside. The eyes of the beast were bloodshot, bright red almost glowing with rage. The greyish black fur behind its thick neck standing upright as if enraged like they beast it grew on. There was no denying that if the beast got hold of Scattered McBones it would tear his skin from his spine. There was also no denying that if the beast succeeded in taking down one, it would take down another, it had to be stopped and stopped quickly.
Weapons were drawn quickly by three pirates either side of McBones, it was a battle plan they had trained for at the request of Captain Blackscuttle. He’d before seen the beasts that protected the Island of Gold and he knew the best chance they had to beat them.
The beast was mere feet away when the first red hot pellets of the flintlock were fired into its belly, but it barely flinched from the impact. The blunderbuss was a better close range weapon but even at three feet the shards of glass, nails and pellets it could fire only seemed to score the mighty beast’s fir leaving small incised wounds, welted blood spots and singed fur. It was clear such small hand held weapons would not be what took the dog like beast down and it was up to the swords.
Everything happened in the blink of an eye and with four pirates waving their rapiers, broadswords and spadroons it was not a blink of the beast’s eye that it happened in. The slashes were low, at the strong and powerful legs trying to take the beast off its base. They were aimed its neck to slash the jugular and they were high with several pirates jumping and stabbing at the same time.
The result was better than any pirate could have expected with such a large beast and when it collapsed to the ground several swords protruded from it, each one alone fatal in its strike.
Previous pirate story here.