A Motley Sisterhood of Pirates! (Part three Blog twelve)
By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
Master-at-arms ‘Dizzying Blade’ Sadie yawns as she buckles on her rapier and slips throwing knives into each of her boots. Next she clasps a thick silver necklace with a detachable letter opener over her neck. As she clips a corkscrew into her hair she sighs. She feels sorry about almost killing the Navigator but ‘Storm Caller’ should know better. In her pierced ears she puts in jewellery that can easily bend into lock picks. However, if she did accidentally kill—well not kill but maim—maybe just permanently damage ‘Storm Caller’s’ fighting hand, she could have that marvelous rapier her father gave her. She sighs again. ‘Storm Caller’ is her friend, her sister in their common quest to kill Barthadrow. Sadie’s glad she didn’t kill or maim her.
Barthadrow. The foul name that touches everyday of their lives. She was eight, maybe nine when the Queen of Pirates rescued her from the criminal ship both she and Alejandra were imprisoned on. She grimaces at the memory of her drunken father using most of the meager funds made from the small farm they rented in Wales to buy cheap mead. Her mother was another story: strong, fierce, and determined. She made that farm work as best she could. Still there was never enough food so Sadie took to stealing. A mistake when the British Empire decided they wanted to increase the Celtic population in Australia.
As drunk as he got her father was still a skilled swordsman and light infantry. Now that she’s much older she realizes the wounds he took as a soldier in the War of the Spanish Succession led him to his drinking problems. Since she was the only child he and her mother begot, he taught her from a young age how to use a sword—more of a dowel of wood at the time. He also taught her how use a bow, and how to load a rifle. She was too young to actually fire the rifle. It was the Queen of Pirates that made her the weapons expert she is now.
“Mornin,” First Mate Oli,” she calls to ‘One Eye’ who isn’t currently wearing an eyepatch.
“Mornin,” Master-at-arms Sadie ‘One Eye’ shouts back with a tired grin as she stands on the Poop Deck with her hands on two of the wheels spokes.
“Zala,” she says as she climbs up to the fo’c’sle and heads towards the bowsprit where the captain watches the water with a spyglass.
“Mornin’ Master-at-arms,” Zala replies. She looks terribly bored.
“Not much to call out?” she asks.
“Pretty still. Only excitement is watching the Sames trying to keep ahead of the Canibals.”
“Tristan’s ship and the Real Talls are out of sight?”
“Aye sir, heard that’s to be expected.”
“Well, keep alert Zala, our lives depend on it.”
“Looking forward to the glow of the Deep Dwellers sir.” That, Sadie notices, Zala says with some excitement in her voice.
“Comforting glow of colours that is,” Sadie says as she heads over to the Captain.
“Captain,” she says staring off into the clear horizon. She can see the Cannibals hurrying towards the Sames as Zala pointed out. With a glance back she can see Captain Peg legs’ Surprise trying to catch up.
“We’re almost out of gunpowder Master-at-arms,” the Captain says, as she continues to look through the spyglass. “And we need a ranged alternative so ‘Harlot’ Thelma is making string. What we need to do is find a shoreline that has wood we can turn into bows and maybe even crossbows.”
Sadie glances at the size of the deck and the length of the Nagua. “We could also make catapults and ballista. Or try to.”
“Talk to the Ship Builder and Navigator Master Jo Ann and see if between the three of you that’s worth doing but I want the bows made priority.”
“Aye, aye Captain.”
“We need them before we get close to Dread Island,” the Captain says in a whisper that she would have missed if there had been a stronger wind.
With thanks to Joanne Gosling (Navigator ‘Storm Caller’ Master Jo Anne): Joanne is an Interior Decorator who specializes in closets: Jgosling@calclosets.com Calclosetsjoanne
Leah Weir (Helmswoman ‘Wheel Turner’ Synthia): model and cover editor
Fire & Steel (medieval rapier): https://fireandsteel.ca/