Barin: My boat…
Najen: Those men had to get here somehow. They must have a boat anchored somewhere around here. I don’t think they’ll need it any time soon.
Dugo: Well then, let’s go about finding this pirate ship of ours.
11th of August – Samghon Outskirts
Naelroe: Are you guys sure there is a boat out here?
Barin: No… that’s the whole point of ‘searching’.
Naelroe: I really hope we find it soon. Maybe they have food on board, and some ale, and nice beds, and and and… bunnies!
Dugo: Bunnies? Why in God’s name would pirates have bunnies?!?
Naelroe: Why? DUH, ’cause they are soooo cute!
Dugo: Oh yeah… pirates… cute… makes sense.
Apul: I think I see our mysterious bunny ship up ahead.
Naelroe: Are you making fun of me?!?
Apul: I wouldn’t think of doing such a thing…
Najen: Apul is right, there is a ship about a thousand yards up the coast.
Barin: Looks like our search is just about over…
Naelroe: What are you guys talking about? All I see are three poles sticking up in the air.
Najen: Those would be masts… of a ship.
The natural configuration of the stone cliffs allowed the three-masted sailing vessel to dock right up against the shore. A natural walkway leads the five down to a point where a gangplank can be crossed to board the deck. Naelroe, the last to cross, stops onto the wooden boards of the ship. Suddenly, the gangplank behind her shifts and falls between the ship and cliff, making quite a loud racket. Four pirates, those rascally few who were left behind to watch over the ship, emerge from below to investigate. Upon finding our five adventurers standing there, they draw their swords looking for a fight. Twangs of clashing metal fill the night air as the second battle of the night erupts. Two of the pirates are obviously unaccustomed to battle, as Najen sinks her steely knives into the torsos of each man. How a seemingly weak woman could dominate over these brutish men astounds Naelroe, who watches from a corner. Barin makes quick work of his foe, parrying his strike and then flipping him over the edge of the ship into the cliff wall. Not ten feet away, Apul smashes a short plank over the head of the fourth, and final, pirate. Barin finds a length of rope and ties the man up against the main mast.
Barin: At least now we might be able to find out what this lot is after. I would like to know why they burnt my ship.
Najen: I haven’t any idea who these men are or what business they have with you. I propose we make haste in setting sail northward towards the White Isle. There are many great sages who reside there and may provide answers to our questions.
Apul: Not a bad idea…
Three hours pass as Barin, Dugo, and Najen prepare the ship for departure. Alterations what will allow their small numbers control such a large ship must be made. Barin’s previous experience comes in useful as he oversees the changes. They christen their new vessel “The Dark Prowler” just as the sun peeks up above the horizon. Irony at its best.
Just then, as the sun bathes the ship in warmth
Everybody’s favorite pirate awakens…
Pirate: Haha! You think just the five of you are going to sail this ship? Not a chance in hell has you!
Barin: Actually, that’s exactly what I was planning on doing.
Pirate: Wha…? You mean to say you are a sailor?
Barin: I’ve got quite a reputation around these islands. Name’s Barin.
Pirate: Barin? The ale runner? THE Barin? Barin of Blue Waters?
Barin: How flattering…
Pirate: Dammit! Whose idea was this? I knew a hundred rupees wasn’t worth the effort of this trip… no matter! The Pirates of the Black Isle will plague you until your death!
Barin: How cliché… now tell me. Why did your crewmates attack us and burn my ship?
Pirate: I’ll never tell! I’d die before another word escaped my lips…
And that’s what he did. Within seconds of uttering those words, the pirate fell deadly silent. A wicked cackle blew over the ship as a dark figure tore off from the bow of the ship. Flying east, it disappeared over the cliffs…
Which Gate Do You Choose?
Dugo: In order to find out what happened, I think we should follow that specter towards the Black Isle.
Barin: I agree; I want to put those bastards in their place.
Najen: The sages of The White Isle will be able to help us decide how to continue. Barin, I know the destruction of your ship enrages you, but we must keep our minds set on larger matters.
Naelroe: The White Isle sounds nice. Do they have cute bunnies there?
This poll ends on September 7.