Feb. 21st, 2014

jackdaws_master: (Edward Swording it Up)
For some people, finding themselves shackled in bilboes beside a scar-faced black man, in the belly of a Spanish ship bound for Seville, is a thing that prompts them to look back at their life and their choices, and to figure out where they went wrong.

However, in this particular situation, said shackled person was Edward Kenway, and all the situation really did was make him angrier.

The governor'd only given him those thousand lousy reales. A mere thousand! You couldn't even buy a respectable weapon for such a sum; might as well donate it to the nearest church as keep it. And when he'd gone to all the trouble of delivering the man the means to secure that Observatory of his; hadn't Torres said his people had been after it for decades? Hadn't he said it could let him oversee the actions of anyone he chose? Wasn't that worth more than a fistful of silver?

Bloody right it was. So Edward really had no choice but to slip onto the mansion grounds and find that precious Sage himself, not if he wanted the reward his efforts'd been worth. Was it his fault the man had murdered his guards and escaped already? No, and he'd said as much to Torres and his lackeys when they caught him. Fat lot of good it'd done him, though. If they'd just paid him what his delivery had been worth at the beginning, he'd have gone on his way and they'd have to deal with Roberts themselves. If anyone's choices or lives had gone wrong, it was Torres', frankly.

But Torres wasn't the one chained up, alas. Edward was.

Miserly bastard.

A rattle of metal broke his stew of irritation; one of the crew had come by with plates of… something. Edward had had foul rations before, but this looked worse than the usual. As the soldier left, Edward glanced to the black man beside him. "You hungry?" he said.

His companion snorted.

The Spaniard had made the mistake of stepping out of the holding area and out of their line of sight. Edward's companion looked a strong enough sort. When he saw Edward take hold of the rod that ran through both their shackles, he did the same, and proved his strength a moment later as the two of them managed to rock the thing several times hard enough to force it out of its mountings. As they kicked themselves free, Edward said, "Now, what's your plan, mate?"

The black man shrugged. "Find my weapon and steal a ship," he said.

Edward liked him already.

A few throttled Spaniards later (honestly, one would think they'd look over their shoulders once in a while, nervous as they sounded in their talk with one another), they'd reached the aft-most part of the hold together. As Edward eyed the room for whatever stash of weapons there might have been, the ship rocked heavily underfoot. "Christ, the seas are uneasy today," he muttered.

His companion glanced upward. "Hurricane coming," he said.

"Hurricane?" Edward shook his head. "Jaysus."

A clink of metal caught his attention- his companion had found blades and guns alike. "We're stealing a brig," the dark man said firmly. "Hey, take what you need."

"Won't be a minute," said Edward; he'd found a heavy leather vest, a good deal stouter than the robes and coat he wore, and given their situation it seemed wisest to put a little something extra between his skin and any Spanish blades.

The dark man nodded. "There's many prisoners held on these ships," he said. "If we set them free, they'll sail with us, no question."

"So that's the idea, then?" said Edward. Now that he had his blades- both the hidden ones to strap onto his forearms, and the cutlasses he knew somewhat better- and his pistol, it was a very little thing to head for the ladder up to the deck. "Free what men we can, then find a fast ship to flee in?"

"Aye," said the dark man. "There's a brig in this fleet. I'll make my way to it."

It was good, Edward thought as he cast a swift glance at the Spanish ships all around them, to have an ally; and one with a simple, straightforward plan, at that. Oh, to be sure, the plan would require skittering unnoticed from ship to ship like a startled seagull until he found one where the guards might be taken down by surprise alone, and then throwing the holds open and securing the allegiance of the prisoners within. But it was a plan with a definite goal, and a goal he approved of, at that.

And Edward had never liked Spaniards anyway.




Here is a thing about freeing enough prisoners to man an entire ship: all of them are likely to be just as unhappy with their situation as you are. So long as you have already secured the way to the ship's armoury, you really only need to loose about six personally. After that, if the weather is on your side, things tend to take care of themselves.




The brig had been easy enough to find, once Edward had the freed prisoners at his back. It was the only ship he hadn't set foot on yet that was wracked with smoke and gunfire. Evidently, Edward's companion knew mayhem like an old friend. "This way, lads!" he called to the men behind him. "That brig there's just waiting for us to take her!"

A mighty cheer went up from the other men. Edward grinned. Oh, he could see it already, standing at that ship's helm like a man of real station, plundered reales and doubloons dripping from his pockets like rain-drops… but there was the little matter of the brig's crew to handle first. And of reaching the brig, first.

Well, it was only a little ways off, really. And while none of the rigging-lines were long enough to let him swing over to the brig's deck, he'd swum in worse seas than this by far.

And the captain, for all that the dark man was laying waste to his crew, was simply too busy trying to hold himself steady on the tossing deck to look behind him…

Edward heaved the new-made corpse over the rail. As it disappeared into the devouring waves he bellowed, "Lay aboard, lads!"

Man after man clambered over the ship's rail, cheering. One of them started to raise his voice in song. The dark man, who'd just come to the quarterdeck alongside Edward, cut him off. "Save your singing for Davy Jones, you jagabats!" he yelled. "It's a hard wind coming!"

"The man speaks true," Edward called to the rest. A blast of rain caught him full in the face; he ignored it. He stepped up to the helm and pointed to the nearest cluster of men on deck. "You lot weigh anchor. As for the rest- half on the foremast and half at the main! Let's outrun this hurricane!"

Thunder rolled perilously close by. The men scrambled to obey him as the darkening sky grew ever heavier. "Keep watch on those galleons," Edward said. "See they don't give us trouble."

"They won't," said the dark man. "Far too slow for this weather."

"Bark any orders you think wise, mate," said Edward; he knew when he was in the presence of someone who knew their business. And the wind was growing too heavy for his liking now. "We're up against it here."

"These men know their place," said the dark man, with something like a smile. "They'll see us home."

And with that, the storm broke over the brig and the fleet alike.




"Oh, what a mess! Jaysus."

"Godfrey Lijah, we made it!"

"Sweet mother of mercy…"


The storm, what was left of it, lay well behind them. The Spanish treasure fleet- again, what was left of it—bobbed in tatters and shreds all around them. Edward turned slowly from port to starboard and back again, taking it all in, and let out a low whistle between clenched teeth. "By God," he said, "we pulled this one straight from the teeth of Neptune…"

Lightning flickered repeatedly in the clouds behind them. He turned to his dark companion and put out his hand for the shaking. "I'm Edward," he said. "Much thanks for your aid back there, ah…"

"Adéwalé," said the man, and shook his hand.

Edward nodded. "Ever been to Nassau, Adéwalé?"

Adéwalé shook his head. "Not yet," he said.

There was splintered wood everywhere, from storm and Spanish cannon alike. Edward ran a hand along the port rail a moment. "By God, she took some knocks, didn't she?" he said. "I think I'll keep her."

Adéwalé crossed his arms over his chest and looked sidelong at him a moment. Eventually, he nodded.

Well, Edward would deal with that later. "All hands aft, lads!" he called to the rest of the crew. "We're taking this one home!"
jackdaws_master: (Adéwalé close up)
"I've made my choice, Adé. I'm calling her the Jackdaw, for a sly bird I loved as a child back in Swansea."
"A dark little creature, no?"
"Did it rub you wrong when I took this brig as my own?"
"It was the sort of rub I have learned to endure sailing among faces of such... fairness."
"It's true, most of these men wouldn't accept you as a captain. So what fair role would complement such unfairness?"
"I'll be your quartermaster. Nothing less."
"All right. And as quartermaster, have you any immediate counsel for this tyro captain?"
"Rest and repast would do us good before Nassau. Water for drinking. And hunting for food and repairs."
"Well reasoned, sir. Hunting it shall be. We'll find a decent place to drop anchor."



"I spied a few items in the hold earlier... powder and a few pistols. I think I'll fashion a second holster if I can."
"Ha! It's a good start."
"One you find laughable?"
"Could we talk a moment about the condition of the ship?"
"What's the trouble?"
"I had a walk about the gundeck this morning, and couldn't stand for what I saw. A clutter of linstocks heaped like tinder... and one with a slowmatch still burning."
"Christ."
"And just nearby, two barrels of gunpowder closer than man and wife, fit to explode at the touch of a spark."
"We'll stow ours, good and proper."
"As for the cannons, they might as well be tossed. Clogged touch-holes in need of scraping; corrosion on the bodies; barrel swabs as naked as knives and breech-ropes so rotted I could use them for knitting yarn. The short of it is, we need good equipment, kept in fine condition. For we cannot win every battle with sneers and shouts. So worry about your own armaments when it suits you. But don't forget about your Jackdaw as well."
"No, indeed. We'll make it a point to keep this ship and its crew in fine condition."



"Ahoy, Captain. Find what you need?"
"My needs and wants are oceans apart, mate. But I did fashion myself a new holster. All I need now is a pistol lie in it."
"Here. Taken from the hold, just as you said."
"Hm. Little more than a blow-pipe... but it'll do. So... are we rested? Or shall we idle a while longer?"
"Best weigh anchor, I think the crew is itching to reach civilization."
"You'll find no civilization in Nassau. But it's a fine place to be merry all the same."

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jackdaws_master: Blond scruffy guy in early 1700s clothes on a dock, looking up at something offscreen (Default)
Captain Edward Kenway

March 2014

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