The frigate bounced off the waters with magnificent speed, the calm sea waters disturbed by the great ship Queensbane. Twelve cloth sails propelled the frigate faster than any ship known in Earthengaugh.
On board were the 113 crew including the Captain Banobany as well as the 100 ton of plunder. She had sailed the rough seas of Earthengaugh for close to 12 years. Her red hair always tied in a pony tail under her black hat. Her immaculate black suit and white shirt stood out against this crew.
She looked into her spyglass and saw her target. A ship ahead in the horizon with the flag of Tartha. Her hated enemy, it’s emblem of a Red Cross with black arrows pointing outwards.
She smiled menacingly and shouted down to the few crew members gambling on the deck.
“Avast!” She yelled. An instant hush surrounded the deck and the crew looked up in awe. A small grin appeared on her face, she hopped off her platform and somersaulted onto the deck. She landed gracefully and put her hands behind her back. One hand within easy reach of her scimitar, she paced up and down.
“Those bastards are sailing on a ship a little farther to the North. We need to be swift! Dead men tell no tales!” She growled the sentence then looked at a few of the faces with a piercing nglare. “Well?”
“Get on with it!” She demanded. A few of the men winced and suddenly the hush turned into shouts of commands. Men rushing here and there, some pulling various ropes to set the main sails up. One pulled a rope and up rose the flag of the Queensbane. Four green Daggers pointing in each direction.
The ship’s pace fastened and the ship was soon near the enemy.
“Captain Banobany will suceed in her mission Lord Commander!” The Queen knelt forward on her throne “you should have more faith in her Sir!”
The Lord Commander grimaced at being scolded by the Queen. This royal woman was no fool and he knew the price of not taking advice.
“My queen” he started confidently but took a deep breath to think clearly “I trust your judgement but this Captain Banobany is a known pirate”.
The Queen interrupted.
“Ah! Ah! Ah” she tutted “Not a pirate any more. Dear Sir she’s a privateer!”
The Lord Commander was thrown off guard and his expression was puzzled. The Queen urged him to proceed. The Lord Commander took another deep breath and continied.
“Nonetheless I have concerns she may turn to our enemies if the price is right. Hoc confident can we be that she will keep her contract. This item you need is so precious!”
The Queen rose from her throne. She towered over the audience in this grand chamber. Her mithril throne glittering behind her.
“She will Sir Lancel! For if she does desert us…she will die!” The Queen sat down abruptly and Sir Lancel frowned. He immediately bowed to hide the frown from this Queen, she was dangerous.
The Queen contemplated her next course of action. She looked carefully at Sir Lance his dark eyes showing their true intent and distrust of her plan. She had to play this out carefully, she could have him executed but then his loyal men would not align themselves with her.
He was a smart man she knew this, with his colourful rainbow hair and brooding honour she had to keep him on side.
“Very well my loyal Lord. I have decided that you should take a ship of your choosing from my Armada, take the best men in my Kingdom. Make sure she completes her goal!” The Queen bent forward in her seat “Do this and be successful or I shall send you to the Mithers!”
The Lord Commander winced and bowed once again. He took his leave with several soldiers behind him.
The Queen sat back and put her closed hand to her chin as if in contemplation. Her voice confident she commanded her advisor forward.
“Sir Alistair!” She did not mo e from her stance.
“Yes Ma’am” a stocky little man standing to the right of the queen answered.
“What say you of our current predicament?” The Queen was still staring at the door that was now closed.
“Sir Lancel is a valuable asset to our kingdom. I fear that although he is loyal he does not trust this pirate” the Queen turned her head abruptly in annoyance. Sir Alistaire nodded in apology “he does not trust this privateer, I believe this is the best outcome if we are to recover the Shard.”
The Queen turned her head back to the door.
“Hmmm. Indeed.” Her eyes narrowed as she thought of the Shard.
The frigate Queensbane was hurtling towards the enemy ship at dazzling speed, it was less than a league away. The crew were getting ready for battle, Captain Banobany growled as she took out her spyglass.
She saw the enemy crew loading cannons and running around deck to prepare for battle. She smiled menacingly.
“Boyce!” She shouted and a toothless crewmember with one hand scuttled next to her.
“Yes cap’n?!” Boyce said excitedly.
“Arm the lads! Make sure the boys hold on tight when we near the ship.” The privateer looked back into the spyglass.
“Aye, Cap’n!” He ran off to command the crew to obey the orders.
The Captain never looked away from the ship, she was looking for weak spots in the ship. She noticed after closer inspection what looked like charred wood, a tell tale sign the ship had recently put a fire out under the deck. It was on the aft end of the boat, perfect to sink this ship.
It was a difficult situation as she had orders from the Dreadful Queen to recover a shard and she could not sink it straight away. That same Queen who blackmailed her into the Royal Contract, her blue eyes narrowed.
“Margyle!” She roared and a tall skinny man appeared to her left side.
“Yes Captain!” He stood proudly taĺl beside her. She threw the spyglass behind her and with fast reflex he caught it.
She paced up and down the platform never taking her eyes of the distant ship. Her arm raised as she did so.
“Take a look in the spyglass, at the aft side just under the main deck. What do you see?” She concentrated her pointed finger at the vessel.
Margyle grinned, this woman was not only beautiful but clever “You’ve found a weakness Captain!”
“I’m thinking to sink the miserable vessel to the depths of Eloin. But alas there is something I need to attain in it” she narrowed her eyes and glared at Margyle “as Weapon Master good this great frigate I’m wondering if you have any input?”
Margyle took the spyglass away for a moment, he looked at this beautiful woman. Then he looked back into the spyglass.
“We could still sink the ship…just means that time would be important…and the bravery of the crew” at this point there was a similar at his throat.
“Our crew not brave enough boy?” Sneered Banobany.
He took the spyglass from his eye and looked her straight in the eye “I’m not talking about our crew…but theirs!” The scimitar dissapeared in an instant. She snatched the spyglass back and viewed the ship, she noticed that most of the enemy crew looked malnourished and chaotic. This might be easy.
“Very well Margyle! Load your cannons and give the order on my sayso!” She turned the steer of the ship and made a straight path to this doomed vessel.
The frigate was closing in cutting the water like a hot knife on butter. Soon they were organised and the Captain addressed the crew. Her platform was enough room to give her speech and she started with her scimitar in the air.
“Lads of the sea! Our enemy is not far” her scimatar pointed to the ship “we are but moments from glory! Give your all to this cause and I will give you fortune! Disobey and you know the consequences!” She squished her sister so fast it seemed a glint of sun had appeared.
“We shall storm the ship! Follow my lead, I will board with half of you, when I do the remaining crew must pull back our frigate to the side and blow a hole into the aft end of that ship!” She put her scimitar away “Draw lots on who is staying and who is storming with me!”
She turned to the enemy ship who was so close now, they would be there storming the vessel in less than 5 minutes. The Captain gave the steer over to a crew member and balanced on the bowsprit, walking so delicately with her scimitar out and a dirk in the other.
The enemies were moments away and the bowsprit was approaching the vessel quickly. The Captain grinned menacingly and let out a roar!
“Boys! Get ready for war!”