My name is Mackenroe Donnerick, a Yellow Kyrie. However, most folks know me as the 'Pirate Avenger'. My crew, the Revenge's crew, was splintered completely after Cap'n Scarblade went down. Benny was put in jail, most of the crew split into their own tiny factions, and only a few of us still hope for the Captain's return. You'd know them as the Helmsman, the Scout, the Bomber, and the Champion. We live out of a fishing boat that we found crashed on the beach. It's got a lot of space, and tons of preserved food, but all of us spend our time hopin' and prayin' that we can take to the seas again.
By the by, it's a shitty kind of place to live in during the winter. I remember distinctly one day, in the Month of Giving, before it all started, it was especially bad. The Bomber and the Scout were both huddling close to the Champion, as we'd found nasty petpetpets in the blankets. No, none of those are their real names - Their names are Sammy Shoemaker (the Bomber), J. Morgan Harrier (the Scout), and Al Cid Bermellón (the Champion). You know my name, and that leaves Jane Beckman. She wasn't just our helmsman; she was a shipwright before piracy became her only option, and that experience was invaluable to the Revenge on our travels. Well, I don't want to go off on too bad of a tangent, so I'll try to keep focused.
While Jane was buying sleeping bags for our little motley crew, I had an important job that she'd sent me on. For you see, I was always the luckiest bastard on Scarblade's crew. So, I was on a job to get some money. I'd already squeezed those rats in the bilge dice hall dry and related the cash to Jane, so, I decided to try my luck at an old venue. Into the Golden Dubloon and down the stairs, like always, I went through the heavy door and into the dim room beyond. I had a distinct love of Krawps, but hadn't gotten to play in a Warf's age. So, I was pleased to see the familiar green Krawk in his suit, manning the table. No words needed to be shared between us: I set my chips on the bets I wanted, and when I was ready, he gave the two red dice a roll.
I left with easily twice the coin I entered with. "Still got it," I muttered to myself, satisfied. As I made my way back to our little place on the coast, I found myself taking a route alongside the sea. The stormy, steel-gray water churned beneath the sky; just as dull, the clouds were, discounting the occasional spear of lightning and crack of thunder. As the waves bashed onto the rocks, sending up an icy spray that even my fur couldn't keep from faintly stinging, I kept thinking about the Captain. He was a monster of the seas, and we all feared him like no one else. It was more for fear than respect that most of us obeyed him.
But then, there were the likes of me, and later, Sammy. We were orphans on tiny islands, far out on the sea, and had to learn how to fight very young. I mostly taught myself swordsmanship, with any blades I could find. As for Sammy, her older brother made explosives for a mining outfit. Horace Shoemaker is still known as the foremost expert on detonations to not live on the mainland. Anyways, we both nearly lost our lives fighting for our islands against smaller pirate crews. That was until the Revenge came to our separated shores, and Captain Scarblade's crew lit into our attackers.
He claimed our islands as his territory: and there was no one foolhardy enough to attack an island by sea, if Scarblade's name was their shield. He added us both to his crew, gave us a way to repay him for the debt we then owed him. Now, neither of us quite knew what to do without the Captain around to direct us. Plus, without his name protecting all of those tiny little islands, there was nothing in the world stopping other pirate crews from attacking them. But, knowing that it wouldn't help to dwell on what I couldn't change, I forced myself to keep walking to our little new home. See, I have a problem with letting my mind wander, when I'm not sailing or fighting. It's only gotten worse during our stay on land.
When I got back, I found that Jane had already handed out sleeping bags. Morgan (or as he's become known, the Pirate Scout) had a miniature version of the rest, hanging from the ceiling; as opposed to him, Al Cid (you know, the 'Pirate Champion') was sleeping in a truly massive version of the others. Sammy was tossing and turning around, as usual, but like the others, she was finally getting the sleep she was due. The cold hadn't lent itself to good rest.
Jane and I looked at each other, but found we were both too exhausted to speak. I tucked my loot from the gambling joints behind a loose plank in the wall, crawled into my own sleeping bag, and soon managed to find rest.
... ... ...
The next day, the cold weather had ever-so-slightly slackened up on us. So, we all decided to make our way into town. Sammy dragged Al Cid along to look at Petpets (the poor giant never could say no to her when she went all 'Little Sis' on him, for some reason), while Morgan took his own coin to look for maps. He was still convinced that we'd be finding a way to set sail any old day now, and I didn't have the heart to challenge him. That left myself and Jane, walking through the main square. Somehow, our conversation turned to the possibility of setting sail.
I didn't think we were talking very loudly, but as Jane mentioned how unlikely such a dream was, we both heard an uproarious laughter from ahead of us. It came from a Shadow Yurble, but one whose size was unparalleled to any normal 'Pet I'd seen before. Even sitting down, the huge Yurble had to be a full head taller than me; it seemed that his nose was slightly crooked, and he had many gaps in his teeth. He wore a loose, open-buttoned white shirt, a pair of mottled olive and forest green breeches, seaboots with bronze buckles up the front, and a stained, pale blue bandana that somehow held back his unruly mane. As Jane and I appraised him, he took an entire pie by one hand from a huge basket at his side. Tucking into the baked dessert, the Yurble's smile never once faded.
At last, once he'd finished, he chose to speak to us. "No matter how unlikely yer dream may be," he said jovially, "Ya can't ever give up! No one ever came to greatness by playin' it safe all the time and never takin' a big risk! Trust me on this: if ya don't go for it when ya can, in ten years, twenty years, ye'll be rememberin' the things ya didn't do, and ye'll be kickin' yerselves for it." Both of us stared; perplexed, but oddly comforted. The mammoth Yurble picked up his basket, removed another pie, and decided to take his leave. "Love me some pie," he said between bites.
Neither of us knew it at the time, but that man was going to play a huge role in our future. For better or worse, his fate was going to be intertwined with ours. But I shouldn't jump between time and place randomly, should I? I'll tell this story in proper order.
... ... ...
Just two days after that chance meeting, the weather took a turn for the worst. Freezing rain pelted the island, and the lot of us were huddled in our sleeping bags. The cold was truly terrific, and it made any kind of activities to pass the time impossible. None of us was able to get fully to sleep, but we weren't truly awake most of the time, either. Thus, we all gave a mighty start at a pounding on the door to our little home.
Out of my sleeping bag, I convinced the others to keep quiet. Sword in hand, I made my way up the stairs and to the landing where the door was. Cautiously, ever-so-slowly, I eased the door open. What I didn't expect was for a half-dead, Spotted Gelert to collapse right at my feet. He looked up at me blearily, and managed a weak chuckle. "A pleasure, I'm sure," he wheezed. "I don't mean to drop in so suddenly, but I seem to have lost my ship." The 'Pet had no way to elaborate further, for he abruptly drifted off.
We managed to get him bundled up in a chair, and Jane brewed him a special tea she'd bought in case one of us got stuck in the rain. Though it took someone's help every time to give the Gelert a drink, at first, within an hour, his eyes opened. He murmured his thanks, took the teacup in both hands, and carefully sipped the aromatic drink. For a while, none of us had the gumption to speak. Then, at last, it was none other than quiet old Al Cid who spoke up. "Stranger," the massive Cybunny said in his thick accent, "What is your name, and why where you out there?" The look in his eyes spoke of suspicion, and I'm not sure I disagreed with such a sentiment. Only a fool would be out in this weather.
Eventually, the Neopet in our chair spoke. "My name is Jackson Trelowney," he said simply. For some reason, that name rang a bell in all our minds. Still, we let him continue. "I was on my way back to my ship, when I got lost. My entire crew left after our last voyage, which did not exactly go to plan. Too much danger, not enough loot. So, now I'm primarily living out of my ship." Falling silent, he contemplated the tea left in his cup. "This tea is delightful. Thanks muchly!" Jane blankly nodded in confirmation. The lot of us were turning over what he'd said in our minds. This fellow had a ship, and was in need of a crew.
Morgan spoke up first, and I'm glad he did. "What would you say," he began tentatively, "To us acting as your crew? We all have experience sailing, and Jane here is a helmsman and shipwright." He gestured with his wing to Jane, who nodded in confirmation. "We've all been yearning to back out to sea. It would be a win-win, wouldn't you say?" We generally let Morgan do our negotiating, with his silver tongue and all.
For a while, Jackson stroked his chin. However, the smile on his face told us his answer long before he spoke. "That would be an offer I can't refuse," he said simply. "Shall we head to my ship once the storm clears?" Nodding went all around.
At last, we were setting out to sea once more!