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The early September sun had begun to descend from its mid-afternoon apex and the air had taken on a more distinct chill. The crew of the Crimson Rose had been listlessly going about their business, ensuring that the halyards were secure and the sails were flying correctly. Chrystal Salvara rested her wiry frame against the foremast and peered through a spyglass, towards the north-western horizon. Cast in the shadow of the slowly setting sun, a new vessel had drifted its way into view, its sails striped with a rough hew of ebony and scarlet.
Christopher Remmington rushed out of the doorway to the quarterdeck; elevating his own spyglass and peering through it, following Chrystal’s line of sight.
“Bloodsail,” Chris spat through gritted teeth, his tone a mixture of irritation and disgust. “Fucking worthless slugabed bastards, we won’t outrun them, not with this.” He clicked his heel against the deck as if to prove a point. “I’ll speak to the Captain if you –“
“I will fetch the Captain.” Chrystal’s sudden, stern tone cut Chris’ objection short, causing him to lower his head respectfully.
“Yes, First Mate.” He said, flexing his fingers as he stared out towards the incoming ship. “I’ll rally the Roses.”
“Get to it then,” Chrystal said coldly; whirling on her heels and breaking into a modest sprint towards the helm.
Chrystal ascended the stairwell with justified haste and focused her gaze upon Kayle, who stood by the portside rail; eyes hollow and narrowed, focused upon their would-be aggressors. She’d seen that look on his face before, when Darren Bloodstone lay pleading at his feet; a bag of smashed glass within Kayle’s right hand. The cold, detached precision, the steady coolness that divided and picked targets from afar, yet despite his gaunt expression, Kayle’s cocky smile remained.
“Can’t get a moments peace, can we sweetheart?” Kayle said, his smile turning into a grin more crooked than an acrobat’s spine.
“You’ve seen them then?” Chrystal said, her expression softening somewhat.
“I have,” Kayle replied whilst stretching. “I’ve had these eyes for twenty-two years you know? I’ve never once regretted growing them.”
Chrystal rolled her eyes and joined him by the rail, fanning her fingers out as she watched the Bloodsail vessel creep ever closer to the Rose. An onslaught of raucous cheers and cries erupted from the lower levels as Christopher Remmington erupted from doorway to the quarterdeck, festooned in a set of rough-padded combat leathers. He escalated the stairwell purposefully and tossed a moderately sizeable leather satchel towards Kayle, who plucked it out of the air with uncharacteristic fervour.
“Crew’s assembled, Cap’n.” Chris said, his voice somewhat hoarse thanks to the boisterous speech he’d thrown in the direction of the crew, to rouse them in preparation for the incoming hostile engagement.
“Very good, Mister Remmington.” Kayle replied with a hint of approval within his smooth tone. “Man the guns and prepare for further orders, keep the crew rallied if we start losing lives.”
Chris nodded, thrusting his arm across his chest in a salute before whirling on his heels and sprinting back down the stairway, shouting barely coherent orders. Kayle elevated a spyglass to his eye and peered through it, observing the crew of the Bloodsail ship as they prepared themselves for the battle ahead.
“What do we do if we can’t win this, Kayle?” Chrystal inquired, looking somewhat concerned.
“Red shirts, red trousers.” Kayle tutted audibly, lowering his spyglass. “Pirates have the worst sense of fashion – Ow!” He smirked as Chrystal punched him firmly in the arm.
“Take something seriously for once!” She sighed, shooting him a harsh glance.
“Relax, Sweetheart.” He said, opening the leather satchel that Chris has courteously provided. Withdrawing his weapons of choice, a pair of long-bladed hatchets, cast in blackened steel and sharpened like scalpels. “Hello ladies,” he said, giving them a ceremonial twirl before clipping the blades to the two loops upon his belt.
“Stop flirting with your weapons, again.” Chrystal raised her fist for another punch but Kayle cut her off midway, raising one hand in mock defence.
“We won’t lose, Sweetheart. We never do,” Kayle grinned arrogantly, patting the hatchets at his waist. “Just stay close, we’ll pull through it.”
Chrystal’s expression eased and she nodded in silent consent, resting her hand on the hilt of her steel long sword, the darkened pommel of which began to glow faintly as her inherent magical capacity began to exert its influence.
They stood in relative silence for several minutes, watching as the Bloodsail vessel began to gain ground, the sporadic shouts of the crews of both ships punctuating the air, alongside the roar of the rolling waves. Kayle had kept quiet, aside from a few orders to the helmsman, who diligently followed his Captain’s orders, steering the Rose into a better combat position.
The call to lay down their weapons struck the ears of the Rose’s crew; shouted in a thick country drawl that made Kayle wince at the inarticulate prose.
“How do we respond, Captain?” Chrystal said, her Gilnean tone thick with concern.
Kayle cracked a vindictive grin and drummed his fingers against the port-side rail, emitting a series of smug preening noises.
“Not a chance that I’m surrendering to a bumpkin from some ragged shithole in the arse-end of Westfall.” He said, rolling his eyes. “Fire.”
Last edited by Kayle Ravelle on Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Chrystal’s cry to open fire had been lost beneath the discordant cannonade that now erupted from the Rose’s quarter deck. Shot and shell flew across the churning ocean, tearing a mass of splintered holes within the Bloodsail vessel’s hull. The pirates responded in kind, sending a barrage of roughly crafted cannonballs careening towards the Rose; splintering on impact with the reinforced oak of the hull and sending a cascade of splinters down upon the crew. Kayle flinched as a sharpened piece of wood, no larger than a copper coin, skimmed his left earlobe, drawing blood.
“Bloody pirates,” Kayle spat, rubbing his minor wound. “They just can’t take a joke, can they? Fire a few pot-shots at them and they have unload their own guns to get their own back.”
Chrystal glowered at him from behind the barricade she’d fashioned for herself by the railing, holding her long sword aloft like an oversized flyswatter, as if she could strike projectiles out of the air. The Rose’s second volley appeared to do more damage than the first, sending pirates tumbling into the churning waters below. The survivors swam for their lives, clutching desperately at the hull of their vessel, trying to gain some manner of purchase. A large, lobster-like claw emerged from the depths, dragging a screaming pirate down beneath the waves, replaced by a rapidly expanding, dark red pool. Makrura, drawn by the taste of blood in the water, had amassed to indulge in a feast, no one that fell overboard that day would see the deck of their ship again.
Kayle winced as he choked down a measure of nervous bile, brought about by the sight of dozens of men and women, pulled to their aqueous demise. Steeling his resolve, he forced himself to his feet, casting his eyes across the deck of his own ship, now dappled with splinters of loose wood and metalwork. A few of his crew were hunched over; clutching bleeding wounds as they tried to keep themselves away from further injury.
Between cacophonous cannon barrages, the deck of the Bloodsail ship had become a whirling hive of activity. Pirates ran around dutifully, following orders that were barked at them by an ornery giant, a captain’s hat perched almost comically atop his melon-sized head. Their leader appeared to be some manner of Vyrkul half-breed, built like an ox and carrying a sizeable bardiche that must have weighed thirty pounds at least. Clad in a ring mail surcoat with padded leather strapped to the gaps in his attire, the pirate captain must have weighed thrice what Kayle did. He cast a far more intimidating figure than the wiry, twenty-two year old in his embroidered leather waistcoat and leggings; the silk decorations of which had become slightly torn in the cascade of wooden splinters.
The pirates began to amass in the centre of their quarterdeck, distributing ropes with steel claws tied to the end. Noting the grappling hooks and boarding cables, Kayle whirled on his heels to begin barking orders at Chris, but the midshipman had already begun to take action. The crew of the Rose began to pour buckets of small steel balls, roughly the size of a human fist, into the guns that lined the quarterdeck.
Already the grapples and ropes had begun to latch themselves to the Rose, the Bloodsail had thrown them en masse, covering the deck like the webs of a dozen busy spiders. Sharpened hooks dug into the masts and rails; embedding themselves in the weatherworn woodwork. The pirates themselves had begun their treacherous voyage above the Makrura infested waters, blades notched at their waists or clenched between gritted teeth.
“Captain, give the word.” Chris said, eyes focused on the incoming boarders.
“Shred them,” Kayle said, with disproportionate nonchalance.
Chris nodded and thrust his arm forward in the silent order to open fire, the quarterdeck of the Rose became immersed in the luminescent glow of yet another fusillade, the results however, were far more gruesome.
Across the deck of the Bloodsail vessel, a countless measure of the pirate crew fell beneath the grapeshot, ripped and torn apart like paper. Limbs flew as dead men fell like ragdolls, painting the ship a grim shade of crimson, well over half of those climbing across the boarding ropes fell lifelessly into the water, littering the ocean with blood, loose bones and flesh.
Yet more pirates ascended from below deck, latching onto the boarding ropes that once housed their now deceased brothers and sisters. Kayle gritted his teeth at their almost inexhaustible supply of fresh bodies to throw into the fight and whirled on his heels, drawing his hatchets and twirling them with an arrogant flourish.
“Roses!” He cried, amassing an impressively dominant tone for a man with significant brawn. “I’m getting pretty fucking sick of filth like this not realising who owns these waters. Let’s carve that message into their corpses!”
The raucous cheer that emerged from the crew of the Crimson Rose took Kayle by surprise, unfortunately his bewilderment would have to wait. The first few men of the Bloodsail crew had landed in a central position on the Rose’s quarterdeck. Kayle stared down and locked his gaze with that of the Bloodsail leader, the hulking mass of muscle had somehow avoided the majority of the grapeshot, yet a small puncture wound was bleeding steadily between his left breast and shoulder. The half-breed colossus didn’t appear to register the wound, he merely elevated his bardiche and pointed it towards Kayle; a broad, toothless grin forming upon his grotesque face.
Kayle’s own cocky smirk faded, ever so slightly.
Last edited by Kayle Ravelle on Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Join date : 2014-04-23
Age : 25
Kayle leapt from the helm, hatchets in hand and landed softly on the quarterdeck. He rocked forwards onto the balls of his feet, adapting the predatory stance of a dirty fighter, born and trained. Chrystal, Chris and Rappi joined him there, blades drawn whilst adapting their own stances. Prython Darkclaw finally decided to descend from his position in the crow’s nest, landing softly beside the amassed Roses and flexing his fingers, eyes locked on the slowly gathering pirate crew.
“They lack the numbers to win.” Prython said, matter-of-factly. “Not many deaths on our side, plenty on theirs.”
“You count yourself in the list of the dead, Pry?” Chris said, twirling his cutlass as his subconsciously picked his first target.
“No.” Prython said, staring at Chris like he was some kind of simpleton. Chris shied away from any manner of retort, turning to face his aggressors once again.
The Bloodsail leader took a lumbering step forward, flashing yet another grin in the direction of the Roses, displaying two rows of crooked, yellow teeth.
“It’s quite simple.” He grunted, his voice as coarse as sandpaper. “You lay down your weapons, we take your shit and put you down nice and easy, savvy?”
“As courteous as that offer is,” Kayle said, letting his usual smugness bathe his voice in arrogant superiority. “I’ll have to pass, you see, I’m under strict instructions to not die on this voyage. My wife is rather ferocious, so I’d rather not disappoint her. I’m sure I don’t need to advise you on the folly of disappointing women, given how it’s your hobby.”
The Bloodsail leader roared angrily in response, spurring his compatriots into a furious, headlong charge towards the Rose’s line. Kayle slid forwards, ducking a high arcing blow from a bold corsair and sending the flat of his leftmost hatchet into his aggressor’s kneecap, shattering it on impact. The pirate buckled forward and met his end on the tip of Chrystal’s long sword, the sharpened point puncturing a hole in his torso, piercing a lung.
A young man, little older than twenty and clad in the standard pirate garb of red and black stood among a swirling mist of ice particles, obviously an inexperienced mage. As he fixed his eyes on Kayle, he moved his hands upwards to amass the particles into a solid piece, forming an icicle little bigger than an ice cream cone. Kayle noticed just in time and dodged to the left as the mage let the shard of razor sharp ice fly, causing it to miss and break into a thousand tiny pieces against the doorway to the crew’s berthing. While Kayle had little in the way of brute strength, he was remarkably fast, the mage noticed this and began to hastily construct an arcane ward to keep him at a distance. Kayle moved with unmatched haste and snickered to himself as the violet shimmer of the ward broke beneath the mage’s own inexperience. Before the young man could raise his hands in defence, Kayle set upon him with a swift yet brutal cleave, embedding his hatchet deep within his foe’s chest cavity.
Kayle kicked the mage’s limp body aside and plucked his precious blade from its current resting place, casting a quick grin over his shoulder as he set off again.
“Don’t worry,” Kayle said. “We all have performance issues from time to time.” The mage was too busy being dead to respond, lying face down in a rapidly expanding pool of his own blood.
In the centre of the Rose’s quarterdeck, the wall of muscle that was the Bloodsail’s obvious leader punctuated his presence by carving a crewman in two. Kayle watched as the ragged halves of one of his newest employees tumbled limply to the floor, gritting his teeth in frustration. The guiltless eyes of the oversized commander focused on Kayle now, bearing his crooked, tobacco stained teeth once again as he bared down on the Rose’s captain, thrice his weight in sun blistered savage. Kayle whirled to the left, dodging an impressively quick downwards slice from the commander’s bardiche. Kayle came up swinging, sending a series of frantic slices towards his foe’s neck, scoring a handful of glancing blows against the thick steel gorget that rested there.
Kayle slid backwards, adapting his predatory stance once again as his eyes probed his opponent for weaknesses. In a fair fight, the fellow would have festooned the Rose’s deck with Kayle’s innards, so it stood to reason that he had to make the fight as unfair as possible. Darting forwards, Kayle slid beneath yet another cleaving blow, the air it displaced making a mess of his hair in the process. He brought his hatchets about, pivoted and struck hard, bringing both blades to bear in an assault against the corsair’s spinal column. One of the blades struck home, cleaving through the ringmail surcoat and puncturing the muscled flesh beneath. His opponent barely registered the blow, sending his mailed fist flying towards Kayle’s nose, it was only with fortuitous speed that the strike was narrowly avoided. Kayle rolled to the side as the blow flew past him, twisting to send one of his hatchets spiralling downwards. The attack struck home, burying the sharpened blades deep into his target’s arm, slicing through leather, skin and flesh before lodging firmly within the bone, to the audible crack of splintered cartilage.
The Bloodsail commander barely registered the blow, bringing his other monstrous hand around to grab Kayle by the neck and hoist him into the air like a ragdoll. Kayle kicked and spat, planting his leather boots firmly into his aggressor’s chest and stomach several times, Kayle groaned at the futility of his assault and began wildly swinging his hatchet, chopping limply at his foe’s outstretched arm. The pirate commander, apparently bored with the display, planted his head firmly into Kayle’s chest, driving the air out of his lungs. He grunted irritably and wound his arm back, bringing his foot forwards at the same time as he threw Kayle a good fifteen feet across the quarterdeck. During the foray, the pirate’s mailed left boot caught Kayle in the groin, causing the slender captain to groan in pain as he rolled to a halt, a good twenty feet from his opponent.
Suddenly, the Bloodsail leader registered the sorry state that Kayle had left his arm in. Moving his spare hand over to pluck the hatchet from his elbow joint like the proverbial thorn in his paw, he let out a loud, spine chilling roar of agony. The combatants across the Rose appeared to freeze on the spot, turning to curiously observe the giant man as he presumably dealt with an overwhelming, agonizing sensation. He looked down at the rapidly bleeding hole in his left arm and roared in agony once more, whirling on his heels and seizing up his bardiche from the blood-soaked deck where he’d left it. He turned to face the enemy he’d thrown away, preparing to charge and deliver a deathblow to the tawdry excuse for a man and end this charade once and for all. He slammed his heel, firmly against the deck of the Rose and began to charge.
Then, a hatchet had become his most prominent facial feature, the handle of which now protruded from the shattered remnants of his nasal cavity. Kayle Ravelle stood a few feet away, arm slightly lowered in the final stages of a desperate throw, his breathing was heavy and laboured. For a few moments, the Bloodsail commander stood there in silence, rocking back and forth on his heels until, suddenly, he did a convincing impression of a marionette with its strings cut, falling limply to the ground, bardiche falling from his dead, nerveless fingers. Kayle thought this seemed like a good time to lie down, or at least his legs did, as he found himself tumbling to his knees, his breathing more laboured than before.
With their leader deceased, the Bloodsail morale had dissipated, their surrender followed soon after and once those who had laid down their weapons had been put to the sword, the clean-up began. Chrystal and Chris, both holding bloodied blades and nursing cuts and bruises of their own, slowly ambled their way through the blood-soaked mess of the quarterdeck, to where their Captain had spent the past five minutes recovering from an unpleasant lower blow that had made his head spin.
“How do you feel, Captain?” Chrystal said, with a faint hint of amusement in her voice.
“Like I’m pregnant and the bastard is trying to bash his way out of me with a hammer.” Kayle wheezed, clutching at his particulars to provide a modicum of comfort without looking obscene. Chrystal chuckled, much to Kayle’s irritation.
“You made a real mess of him, poor fella.” Chris smirked, casting his eyes down to inspect the decimated ruin of the Bloodsail leader.
“Forgive my lack of sympathy.” Kayle said, gently pushing himself to his feet. “But thanks to him it feels like my testicles are permanent residents of my stomach.”
Chrystal laughed more heartily this time and walked off to check on the others, Kayle rocked gently on the balls of his feet and gathered himself, taking a series of gentle, shallow breaths.
“So,” Kayle said, surveying the bloody mess of deceased boarders that his crew had left behind. “This is a naval victory, is it Remmington?”
“Aye Cap’n,” Chris nodded solemnly, sliding his cutlass through a ragged cloth to clean it.
“It can go fuck itself.” Kayle said.
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