A Jolly Rogers Tale: Skull & Shackles

The hunter's tale

My friends, let me tell you a story of a shipmate, and a hunter. Trista was skilled in the ways of the outdoors, able to find her way easily through the densest undergrowth. She was canny in the ways of nature as well, able to identify things safe to eat from those that were poisonous.

She only made one mistake, and one might not even call it that, for she risked her life…but I get ahead.

Several days travel north, hacking through dense jungle with our blades, we came upon a clearing. But no natural clearing was this, instead, mighty trees had been ripped away, leaving but stumps in the ground. The sunlight beat down upon the ground, and revealed beetles the size of horses, four in number.

Trista rejected the idea of calling one into service, for what self-respecting pirate is followed around by insects? Instead, we rejoiced at the feast our cook would provide, and the provisions we would be able to lay in. All that lay before us was to lay these creatures low.

But luck was not on our side. A stray twig, left uneaten, revealed our presence, and those mighty mandibles open for us. With blades and bows we sought to defend ourselves, but these beasts were too strong. Seamus was the first to engage, and the first to be laid low.

Now outnumbered 2:1, I looked Trista in the eye. I had thought to suggest we flee, but she was having none of it. She ran forward, hoping to heal Seamus, and was bitten in half by the great beasts. Only by concealing myself with a spell was I able to evade the chomping jaws and heal enough of Seamus’s wounds that he could hear me. I whispered for him to lie still, and the beetles wandered off, shells cracked and burnt, and one with arrows still stuck into it.

Later, Seamus and I carried Trista out on a pole, because we knew she wished to be consigned to the sea. But let that be a lesson to you: a pirate must learn when to fight, and when to run. Should you fail to learn that lesson, it’ll be your body what gets thrown over into the deep.


Kevtor RKraus

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