August – 1718 – Somewhere off the coast of Crook’s Hollow
Her Glory glided across crisp, crystal waters on a sunny afternoon. I steered the ship while my loyal crew, MicroCuts and Nautical Snowman, angled the sails. We were following a fresh treasure map purchased from the Gold Hoarders. Our destination, Crook’s Hollow, suddenly appeared on the horizon. The crew rejoiced at the sight, after several long days at sea.
“That’s it, straight ahead!” called first mate Snowman from the bow.
DING DING DING!
An alarm bell rang out violently.
“I see a ship!” quartermaster MicroCuts yelled from his perch in the crow’s nest.
I raised my spyglass to me one good eye to take a gander. Sure enough, I saw it—silhouetted against the Caribbean sun—the masts and sails of a ship anchored on the shores of Crook’s Hollow. Another crew had beat us to the punch.
“They’re docked!” I shouted to the crew. “Raise the sails! Man the cannons!”
The crew jumped into action. Snowman raised the sails to slow our speed, while MicroCuts loaded the cannons with fresh ammunition.
“I don’t see anyone aboard the ship!” Snowman called out.
“They must be on shore,” I said. We glided along the coast, until suddenly…we spotted movement on the shore. A pirate, SnapBack2 appeared before us on the beach. The crew and I jumped on the cannons and took aim.
“Hey, we’re friendly!” SnapBack2 shouted out. He moved in closer to talk with us, aligning himself perfectly in my line of fire.
“Howdy!” he called out, making his avatar perform the waving emote. Captain Piddle and Toot had had enough of these pleasantries.
I shot a cannon ball directly at his head. He just managed to avoid the shot as he ran back to his own crew on the other side of the island.
“They’re firing at me! That dude just fired at me!” he exclaimed.
“GET THEM, MEN!” I yelled, as my crew leaped over the side of our ship and stormed the island. I secured our ship before joining my crew on shore. Steel flashed and clanked together; shots rang out. The battle was quick and violent. My crew fell before me, and as I wolfed down my last banana, I knew it was a lost cause.
“Avast, you fucks!” I shouted, as I was taken down.
We all awoke from the Ferry of the Damned on a new island, with a fresh ship. We weren’t far from Crook’s Hollow, so we decided to not hunt down the rival crew in favor of going through with the treasure hunt. We set our course for Crook’s Hollow and set sail.
It was another calm voyage at sea until we happened by Ancient Spire Outpost. From his station atop the crow’s nest, MicroCuts called out:
“Over there, at the outpost! I think it’s those assholes from before!”
I gazed through my spyglass and scanned the horizon. Sure enough, a ship was anchored at Ancient Spire Outpost—familiar colors, familiar sails. This was, undoubtedly, the same crew who vexed us before.
“Should we ignore them and get on with the mission?” questioned Snowman.
“The mission can wait—I want revenge!” I shouted, in true Piddle & Toot fashion. We altered our course and pointed straight at the enemy ship. We knew they’d be selling loot ashore and wouldn’t notice us barreling toward their ship.
“Angle the sails! We need full speed! Prepare to ram them!” I called out. My crew angled the sails perfectly, and we were carried by a massive gust of wind, blowing in our favor. Her Glory was now careening directly toward the enemy vessel. The gap closed quickly, and before we had time to think…
CRASH! We plowed into the enemy ship and ran aground. The wood of Her Glory cracked and snapped. Water began pouring in, as it did on the enemy vessel. The men began firing cannon balls into the other ship. The rival crew was now well aware of our presence.
“Jesus Christ, we don’t even have anything!” SnapBack2 yelled, as he raced back to his sinking ship with his crew.
Treasure or not, this was no longer about the bounty. This was about sending a message. No one messes with Captain Piddle and Toot and gets away with it.
Unfortunately, Lady Luck was not on our side. Though we’d done a great deal of damage to their ship, the enemy crew was better in combat and made quick work of us. They killed us all and took Her Glory hostage, as we all waited in limbo on the Ferry of the Damned. We could hear them coordinating their plot to capture Her Glory and make off with it, not realizing we would keep respawning on the ship over and over again.
We respawned several times, and each time, they successfully put a stop to our assault. It seemed as though we weren’t meant to win, until a thought came to our minds: We could scuttle the ship.
By voting to scuttle the ship, we could destroy Her Glory right from underneath the enemy crew, and they’d have no way of stopping it. True, Her Glory would be lost—but it would be on our terms, not theirs!
We threw the plan into action, and the pops and bangs of the ship exploding underneath them alerted the rival crew.
“They’re scuttling the ship!” SnapBack2 cried out. “They’re scuttling it, quick jump off!”
They abandoned Her Glory. Our plot was working.
“Go after them, guys! I’m going to go search their ship for any treasure they might have left,” I stated.
Snowman and MicroCuts brandished their cutlasses and stormed the shores. I’ve included an excerpt from Snowman’s own log to give an accurate account of what transpired:
MicroCuts rushed off, like a mad dog let off a chain to chase a rodent. I kept in step, eager to make sure the man didn’t hog all the fun. The seas-damned pirates began leaping from Her Glory, the rats that they were. But we were in the shallows waiting for them.
Pistol shots were flying through the air in all directions. I drew my cutlass and engaged with one of the fools, moving from the surf of the beach to the solid footing of the wooden bridges along the island. Behind me, I saw MicroCuts holding his own in epic fashion against two, dancing and weaving between shots and swings before succumbing to the sting of steel.
My one good eye kept the blasted pirate between my view of Her Glory, so I remained aware of her journey to the depths. We still had some time before we no longer would return here. MicroCuts came back, reckless as ever with a mighty swing of his sword at the man I was fighting. I knew he would likely be the last one to make the trip back to this island so quickly as the ship finally succumbed to the ocean depths.
As I paid my respects to Her Glory, I felt the cold burn of steel. Looking down, a sword poked out of my belly, stabbed from behind. With its retreat, I fell and made the all-too-familiar trip to the Ferry, a ship I knew better than any man has a right to. Though, as I put in my penance, I felt a sense of pride in our last stand.
The doors flung open. “Thanks for the lift, mate” I called to the helmsman, knowing he had lost what little humanity he had in life many years ago. Tumbling through the swirling vortex, I found my bearings on the soft, white beaches of a new land.
– First Mate Snowman
“Are you still fighting? What’s happening?” I called out to my crew.
“I’m dead. I don’t know about MicroCuts,” first mate Snowman stated.
We were had yet again! In a fit of rage, I sprinted up the beach toward the surviving enemies. I had a sliver of health left, and I knew it wouldn’t be enough to come out of the fight alive. I closed my eyes as I approached and felt the blast of a flintlock against my flesh. My vision blurred; I staggered to the ground.
“We didn’t even have any treasure, loser,” SnapBack2 taunted, as I slipped into death. I awoke on the Ferry with rage in my heart. This was the last straw.
By the time I returned to the world of the living, the crew had already begun prepping our ship. Few words were spoken as we plotted our revenge.
I checked our surroundings. We appeared to be just off the coast of Devil’s Ridge.
“They’re still close by. If we hurry, we can catch them,” I proclaimed. This time, everyone on board Her Glory agreed—we needed vengeance. We had been made fools of three times, and our thirst for blood was beyond quenching.
The sails were unfurled and angled; the anchor was raised. We were off. The wind at our backs, we raced toward the horizon, heading in the direction of where we last encountered that infernal crew.
At first, the chase seemed pointless. We traveled for what seemed like days without any sight of them. Then, finally, a ship appeared on the horizon.
“There they are, those fuckers!” MicroCuts called down. Snowman raced to the bow to scan the horizon.
“That’s definitely them,” he confirmed.
“Full speed ahead, gents! We’ll take them this time!” I yelled. We loaded the guns and grabbed plenty of bananas. Live or die, we would take them down this time.
As we approached their vessel, it was evident they’d attempt to flee. They rerouted their ship and went with the wind in a pathetic last-ditch effort to save themselves. This could only mean one thing: There was treasure aboard. They had already defeated us three times in battle, why would they suddenly fear us otherwise? They had to have quite a bounty on deck, and we knew it.
As we closed the gap between our ships, the crew began firing on them. Cannon balls rained from the skies upon their ship and ours. Wood exploding and cracking all around us––pistols and blunderbusses blasting! Chaos erupted. We moved Her Glory in close enough to board the enemy vessel. Without speaking a word, all three of us leaped off our own ship and onto the enemy vessel.
We had caught them off guard, finally. They scrambled to form an assault, but this time, we had the upper hand.
First mate Snowman and quartermaster MicroCuts fought valiantly. Within seconds of boarding, we killed one of theirs and had not a scratch on us. As the fighting continued, I turned back to check on Her Glory. Unfortunately, in our eagerness to attack, we had neglected her. She was already being swallowed by the depths. This only further spurred my rage.
I ran into the rival ship’s captain’s quarters. Chests were abound! It appeared they’d recently come back from a Skeleton Fort raid. Treasures were littering the floors of the cabin. Without our ship, I knew we wouldn’t be able to get the bounty ashore.
If we can’t have it, no one can. I made quick work of tossing the loot overboard into the sea. Chest after chest, I hurriedly threw it all into the ocean. By the time their captain realized what was happening, it was too late.
“Really, dude?” I heard SnapBack2 say as he resumed his battle on deck.
“What’s going on?” asked his only surviving shipmate.
“They’re throwing our treasure overboard,” the captain replied.
“Why would they do that?” his shipmate asked.
“They’re just…sad people,” SnapBack2 stated, sounding defeated.
At this moment, MicroCuts and Snowman finished off the other crew member, before all three of us focused our attention on SnapBack2. At this point, the rival ship was quickly sinking. All the treasure had been claimed by the waters, and our last stand was coming to a close.
As Snowman and MicroCuts repeatedly stabbed SnapBack2, I took aim at his face with my blunderbuss.
“Fuck you, kid!” quartermaster MicroCuts called out just before I squeezed the trigger and ended the captain’s life.
His spirit separated from his flesh and was claimed by the infamous Ferry. The enemy ship fell to the depths, and we found ourselves adrift at sea. Though we didn’t get any loot out of the assault, we reclaimed our pride and were rewarded with the sweet satisfaction of revenge.
Before the sharks could make us their dinner, a mystical mermaid appeared before us to guide us to safety.
– Captain Piddle and Toot –
Special thanks to Lard Humungus for the amazing original illustration we’ve used in this piece. He’s such a cool dude, and really gifted artist. You should head over to his website and give him your money! He deserves it!