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  • That which is unforgiven page 1

    Dax Blood was not the most loved of characters that sailed the Caribbean. He was by some accounts loathed by his peers. But this morning as he woke from a short rest he remained Captain of the vessel beneath his feet. The lieutenant had sent a deck hand below to awaken him. But upon arrival had found Captain Blood lucid and demanding.
    “A cup of coffee if you would be so kind” came the order.
    ‘Aye aye” the reply.
    Blood moved to the table located in the center of his cabin and surveyed the map. If the course that he had set before turning in had remained to order, then he would see a hint of coast on the port bow when he stepped foot on deck. If this was the case then he could reasonable expect the sails of his advisory to appear near noon on the Crimson Hawks larboard stern.
    The coffee arrived in a silver pot carried on a tray with two saucers and cups. Blood drank alone but the additional cup was reserved for the unexpected guest. Donning his uniform of silk shirt and wool coat he dismissed the valet and headed to the main deck.
    Opening the doors to the deck he was greeted with fresh breeze from the starboard quarter and the sight of bellowing sails. His second in command had set a course that would allow for the full advantage of the wind, though in all likelihood several degrees further north then expected. They would arrive at his chosen location long before he had intended.
    “ I changed course at six bells, I believe we are two hours before our position” said Lt. Cray.
    Clearly to the west laid the island and the sun glared over the water from the east. A steady breeze blew across his desk from starboard stern quarter, to port bow and the upper decks had been cleared for action.
    “Take us to the windward side of the island and dispatch a scouting crew to that high point” Blood pointed to the taller of the two peaks present.
    An hour later the Hermes Master Craft dropped sails and came to rest in a small Bay of towering cliffs. The long boat was lowered and filled with keen eyed sailors bound for the highest peak. Captain Blood unbuttoned his coat and returned to his cabin to await word. He was not long there when came a light rapped on the door.
    “Begging your pardon sir…the lieutenant has ordered the ship made ready for combat and we would like to remove the bulkheads at this time…if you have no objections sir.”
    Dax looked at the charts for a moment and allowed a silence to accumulate.
    “Yes of course” he said as he rolled the parchment up and stowed it away.
    The crew had become so adept at preparing for combat that the bulkheads disappeared in a matter of moments. Gun commanders had long since chosen the most rounded of balls for the first volley. Powder was packed in precise amounts for perfect execution of shot. Food had been cooked in excess and the barrels of grog were prepared but not as yet rationed. A confident quiet blanketed the ship as she rested in the windward side of the green Mountain Island.

  • #2
    I am hopeing for suggestions as this story unfolds. Feel free to submit any ideas. Enjoy

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    • #3
      p2

      The morning, which had started out with a fresh breeze from the southeast, had by mid morning turned brisk. When the lookouts relayed the message of a sail on the western horizon near noon, ominous clouds had gathered. Blood returned to the poop deck that had been turned over to his third in command XO Wolf. A cousin of the admiral that had risen through the ranks slowly and at the age of forty-two would end his service as a second in command only. Captain Blood had his opportunities to remove Wolf on several occasions. Unfortunately none of those lapses of leadership on Wolf’s part rose to the level of clear cut.
      Wolf stood resolutely with one hand on a rail. As Dax passed him he thought that he could smell spirits mixed with the dried perspiration of Wolf’s coat. Wolf had a weakness for liquor and was famous for carousing at The Salty Dog Tavern in his hometown near Portsmouth.
      A harsh cold wind rushed by the two, almost taking Wolf’s cap with it. Blood surveyed the rigging that bent with the gust of wind. He looked at the Chief Boatswain mate Hendrick then 3rd Lt. Balley and then at the rigging asking with his eyes why it had not been adjusted. They both avoided the XO’s glare by silently looking straight into Bloods eyes.
      “Mr. Wolf have the ship rigged for strong weather.” Dax ordered with just a hint of irritation.
      “You heard the captain, make for strong weather and be quick about it.”
      Dax was mauling how to chastise Wolf for not having ordered the rigging changed with the weather when Wolf leaned into him and with a crooked smile said.
      “This lot needs to learn to think on they’re feet.”
      Dax squared his stance toward Wolf, who seemed oblivious to the acidic reprimand that he was about to receive.
      “Three sails to the east off the starboard beam!” Screamed the lookout from aloft.
      At that very moment the lookouts from the island reported two new sails off the larboard bow.
      It was a trap.
      Last edited by jthecamel1; 08-18-2011, 11:04 AM.

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      • #4
        Yes it was a trap his plan had come to fruition
        He signalled Tib Franklin, Alexander MC roberts, Adam Whitby, Azure mist and another brave level 50 captain
        Frantically waving their signal flags they quickly positioned their speed fit ships to ensure the two unsuspecting prey could not escape
        They felt felt their hearts begin to race and they whipped themselves into a frenzy of bloodlust
        Meanwhile unaware they were about to fall into Dax's evil trap the 2 level 13 pirates sailed on oblivious, concentrating on the dificult task of gaining their seaman skills.
        They were fresh out of naval school and would require many hours of long grinding effort to eventually reach the status of Level 50 captain
        but until then they would sail from port to port learning their craft and hoping one day to become a famous captain
        Suddenly they saw the flash of sails in the distance a purple haze in the mid day sun
        6 fearsome looking ships that sped across the ocean at breakneck speed were converging on them leaving no opprtunity to escape
        Dax chuckled with glee, Tib Cheered and Alexander called out to the 2 level 13 captains
        Prepare to meet your ancestors
        Azure mist screammed how he had never been sunk in any ship encounter as he had the fastest ship of all
        It was over very quickly the 2 unskilled captains with thier small un outfitted ships were no match for Dax and his gang of Terrible Brits
        If you you sail in the red stained waters you will only suffer the same fate again Screamed Tib Franklin as their ships sank down to davey jones locker
        Dax toasted his captains with a fresh ale and they sailed off to find more un experienced captains to send to the bottom
        Last edited by Beouwolf750; 08-12-2011, 04:33 AM.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the suggestion Mr. Wolf? Your class move and thoughtful piece does give me an idea for a new character, however I'll continue within the already established context of the story. In your honor I have changed the name of the XO Malady to Wolf. I will update the story as such. Thanks for playing.

          For those of you who are wondering about this last post by Beowolf I will remind you of my first sentance in this story. I do have my detractors.
          Last edited by jthecamel1; 08-18-2011, 11:08 AM.

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          • #6
            p3

            “Prepare to make way Mr. Wolf. Have the anchor weighted” ordered Blood
            “But sir….er, the men on the island?” stammered Wolf
            “They will be happy they were left if we sink. If we get away, we will return for them.” Came his reply
            Wolf felt a qweeziness in his gut and wished he had not been drinking in his cabin when the island assignment had been offered. Another gust of fresh smelling wind passed along the deck and Dax looked aloft.
            Blood had been plying this water for some time now. Looking for easy prey when a Raa frigate had been spotted late last night. Blood had planned to intercept the vessel with good wind. Now that his plan had worked to perfection, it had become he and not the supposed unsuspecting captain who would have to flee.
            The ship to the west was indeed the Raa on a course to the island. The two to the North by northwest were Arcadias making nicely upwind and the three to the windward side were a mixture of Hercules sleeks and another Raa.
            Men scurried up the netting and shimmied along the masts. The choices were bleak for the Crimson Hawk. She could outrun the three frigates to windward, but the two Arcadias would overtake her before she cleared the Raa. Running upwind would be suicide. The only real option was to turn to windward and attempt to pass the three larger well-gunned frigates. The island was to close to make a turn to larboard so the Crimson Hawk would need to pick up speed and turn into the teeth of the wind. A slow process for a ketch, a cumbersome one for a small frigate. But a plan that no one would see coming.
            ‘Cut starboard cable” Yelled Dax to the men at the coxswain.
            “And only the starboard cable” he continued.
            The main sail, lower yards and topgallants fell and filled with the increasing breeze. The ship moved forward and took up the slack of the leeward anchor.
            “Cut leeward anchor?” asked Wolf.
            “not yet…wait for the order” said Dax as he gauged the ships forward progress.
            “Hard to starboard Mr. Gains” Dax said to the helmsmen who rolled the great wheel as ordered.
            The bow moved into the wind as the leeward cable began to lose slack to port. The bow moved toward windward but the headway that the ship was making would place her in irons. The wind began to back up in the sails as the anchor cable sprang from the ocean and straightened with a hum. The ship came to a halt as wood creaked and sailors steadied themselves. But the stern kept moving to place the bow into and then through the wind.
            “Cut leeward cable Mr. Wolf” ordered Dax with a smile.
            “Cut leeward cable!” yelled wolf to the crew.
            The cable was cut and the ship fell quickly to a strong larboard wind. The sails filled and the ship leaned to with all sails now unfurled. She began to make nicely to the south but she was still not out of danger.
            “What was that?” asked Wolf
            Mr. Cray who returning to the poop deck after overseeing the cable crew answered.
            “That sir was called a Club-haul. Our captain sailed with the Magnificent Hayes. Though I would say that Captain Hayes accomplished the maneuver in a line ship.”
            “Always stealing my thunder eh Mr. Cray.” Dax said as he smiled.


            3

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            • #7
              p4

              The sails bellowed and the masts strained as gusts of wind heeled the small ship. Dark clouds covered the sky above the deck and the rain came down in sheets. White crests exploded to ether side of the prow as the vessel dove into green waves. Dax dare not remove a stitch of canvas from the yardarms. The two Hercules sleeks were catching and would soon be within firing range. If the Crimson Hawk could clear the bow of the first enemy ship before she fired then Blood could make his escape.

              Dax was about to ask the helmsman to turn the ship two more points to starboard when a horrific tearing sound came from the main sail. Looking up he could see the sail split in two. The tear continued along the stay and the once powerful canvas flailed in the increasing wind. Lt. Cray immediately ordered a new canvas be brought up from below but every sailor knew the jig was up. The mighty frigates would now begin to overtake their fleeing vessel.
              "Mr. Wolf order both sides loaded with grape, if you would be so kind."
              XO Wolf for once did just as bid and headed to the gun deck below.
              "Steady as she goes Mr. Gains" no sense in minute changes of course now. The sleeks would be along side and splintering his fine ship very soon. Dax looked down at the cabin boy that was at his side. The boys face was strong and boned with just a hint of fear.
              "Boy, go below and have the cook issue a grog ration to the lads"
              "Aye aye" said the boy who was happy to leave the deck and go to the relative safety of the hold.

              Wolf returned to the poop deck and reported.
              "Both sides loaded with chain as ordered sir"
              "Not chain you......" But he could not finish as a swirling mass of iron bars ripped through the Crimson Hawks sails. Then the sound of the first salvo from the closest Hercules thundered across the waves. A sailor fell screaming from the fore mast and tackle came crashing down along side Dax. A second volley came from the other Sleek and this time the mizzen fell to the starboard side of the ship. Men with axes raced to hack the debris from the bulkhead. The Crimson hawk was losing momentum and began to roll in the swells.
              Dax grabbed Wolf by the shoulders and screamed into his face.
              "HAVE THEM LOAD GRAPE.....GRAPE"
              The XO saluted with vacant eyes and race down the ladder again.
              "Nincompoop" said Dax under his breath.


              4
              Last edited by jthecamel1; 08-18-2011, 11:15 AM.

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              • #8
                P5 The End

                The Crimson Hawk bobbed between the swells her masts had been reduced to stubby splinters. The crew, what was left of it, huddled behind the bulkheads and tended the few remaining guns. The stern and larboard sides took on water through gapping holes. The three enemy ships poured heated round shot into the hulk that once sailed majestically across the oceans. Helmsman Gains had been wounded and taken below, Lt. Cray had been shot through the eye from a marines rifle. Mr. Wolf was frozen with terror and useless.

                One of the Hercules sleeks came along side. It's hull towering over the smaller Hermes Master craft. A rain of grappling hooks crashed on the Crimson Hawks deck. Dax's crew hacked at the hooks as they were pulled to embed in the railings. Wild eyed sailors jumped the crevasse between the ships. Marines poured shot down onto the stricken ships dazed crew. Small groups of men held out as best they could while others pleaded for mercy.

                Dax knew this was the end for his small ship and brave crew. He was out numbered and outgunned. His ship was barely afloat and his pride was in shatters.
                "How dare these, these cowards call themselves captains." He thought
                "Anybody could take a ship with these outrageous numbers." He seethed inside with hatred for the enemy as they mounted the stairs to the poop deck and advanced on him. Mr. Wolf fell to his knees and begged for their pardon as he flung his sword overboard.
                "I asked captain Blood to surrender but he wouldn't" lied Wolf.
                The closest sailor cut Wolf down with his saber then eyed Dax who spread his stance in preparation for the enemies rush.
                "Be that true captain? Did ye not surrender when given the chance?" Questioned the man from behind the mob.
                A smirk came to Captain Bloods lip.
                "I do not surrender to scum...that would be unforgivable"
                The enemy captain pushed his crew apart and walked with confidence to stand before Dax.
                "Aye... and it would be unforgiven. Lay down your sword captain and you will be treated fairly and as a gentlemen should be, along with your crew." The enemy captain offered with a bow.

                Dax was left with two options. He could surrender his sword gracefully and live to fight another day with honor, or he could curse the mothers of the scurrilous scum that stood before him and attack. He had been on the other side of the argument too many times and knew there was no honor in cursing the inevitable. He turned his sword around and handed it the enemy captain.
                "Good fight sir" he lied.
                "A wise choice captain, I too have tired of pointless whining when we all know that we will rise again to fight another day...I salute you sir" He took a step back and handed the sword to a nearby sailor and saluted captain Blood with a flair. Dax saluted back and opened his coat and shirt exposing his bare chest. The enemy captain raised his pistol and expelled a wadded lead ball into Dax's exposed body killing him instantly.

                Dax Blood was not the most loved of characters that sailed the Caribbean. He was by some accounts loathed by his peers. But this morning as he woke from a short rest he remained Captain of the vessel beneath his feet.


                The End
                Last edited by jthecamel1; 08-16-2011, 03:47 PM.

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                • #9
                  HURRAY FOR DAX , the mans a legend and the greatest story teller since Bill Clinton

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