Last time we saw our gloriously grizzly-bearded adventurers, The Hero had travelled many-a-mile in search of the notorious Captain Crimson. After a scuffle in the local tavern with a crew of ruffians, the Hero was surveying the scene when a mysterious figure emerges from the entrance…
“What be the problem ‘ere boys?”
The booming voice echoes through the tavern. Whoever hadn’t cleared out of the tavern during the ruckus, slowly begins seeking an alternate exit, away from the mountain-of-a-man advancing through the doorway.
He’s easily 6’4 - 6’5 with wide shoulders and a barrel chest. A large crimson frock coat wraps around the man’s back, with a dark shirt underneath and dark breeches to match. A crimson bandana surrounds the mysterious man’s forehead and a simple tricorn cap rests on top. The cap has no decoration, save for an arrow that pierced through the front flap of the hat, reminding the wearer of a near encounter with death itself. A smooth, manicured curtain of crimson hair hangs from his thick jawline. He smells like salty ocean breeze, coconut rum, and a true pirate’s musk.
A teal macaw sails through the door, alighting on his shoulder. While teal is its dominant color, its chest was aglow with a colorful blazing sunset of feathers. The bird whispers into the man's ear lowly, as he moves through the room.
The man is a living, breathing armory, with several flint-lock pistols, knives, dynamite sticks, bullets, and a powder horn hanging from the bandolier draped across his long torso; a blunderbuss strapped to his back. His most menacing weapon, however, was the sword grasped in his large meaty hand.
The blade, thicker than a meat cleaver and full foot longer than the average saber, still has the surgical sharpness of the doctor’s finest scalpel. The sword sports an odd blade shape. The blade has an aggressive recurve towards the blade tip with a long-straight cutting edge running from the bottom of the recurve’s belly. The stacked leather hilt was girthy to fit in the enormous mits of the man, with a wide knuckle/cross guard. There’s a large symbol that haunts the cross guard, a skull with a gold tooth and a ruby eye sat atop a pair of crossed quillon daggers. The symbol of this pirate. A sword this robust would be too large for the average man to wield one-handed, but the hearty built specimen that stands in the midst of the tavern has no issue.
Captain Crimson examines the scene before him. His favorite tavern is in shambles, but it tends to get that way after returning from a long voyage. Sometimes his men get a little rowdy. No matter, pay the bartender for the damage and be sure to have a talk with his crew when they get back to the ship.
Crimson finally locks eyes with the last man standing. His eyes are intense but light-hearted, with hair, dirty blonde like fresh sand on the beach after a high tide. His beard was the same color, full and vibrant, smelling of tobacco, whisky, and cologne. He was young and wore a maroon tunic, with shiny brass buttons and dark, oaky, square-toed boots. A very dashing man, but he looked disheveled. No doubt he was either the beginning and/or the end of the trouble instigated here at the tavern.
“What be ye doing here lad, causing trouble in my favorite establishment?” muses the Captain.
“Well unfortunately, I believe me and these fine gentlemen here got off on the wrong foot. A misunderstanding, right fellas,” replies the Hero
The lead troublemaker groggily groans in agreement, still wobbly from the altercation.
“Seem like ye bested me first mate Cole, not a feat easily done.” says Crimson. “Who might ye be?”
“I am a wanderer, in search of fame and fortune, much like yourself. Some call me handsome, some call me baseborn, but most call me The Hero,” explains The Hero.
“Not a humble brag aye? I can appreciate that.” growls Crimson. “But you’ve embarrassed me crewmen, and unless you want to join my crew, you need to provide me something of value, else there will have to be a skirmish. Nothing personal, but you’ve slighted my crew and I don’t want that to reflect badly on me yeh see?”
The Captain levels his massive blade at the Hero. While the Hero has dreamt of the day he would lock swords with a true master of the craft, getting a closer look at the massive blade carried by the good captain leads the Hero to reconsider his approach. It’s also harder to get someone’s help when they’re dead.
“Now, good captain, I understand your position but I bring you something more valuable than doubloons or jewels. I bring you a chance at immortality. A chance to never be forgotten. An adventure so great that shanties will be sung of your great voyage for age upon age.
Captain Crimson’s eyes glistens at the thought. The offer to become the greatest pirate of all the ages hangs between the two adventurers. Crimson quickly recovers and sheaths his sword.
“And where, pray tell, would this great adventure be?” asks Captain Crimson.
“First we pick up my band of adventurers, then we set sail to the ends of the Earth, to find the lost island of the dark dwarves. Along the way will be trials and troubles beyond the mind's imagination. But when we reach that isle beyond the waves, there will be treasures beyond belief.” exclaims the Hero.
“It would have to be quite a treasure, lad. I’ve seen much with me eyes and pillaged many a village. But do you, young explorer, understand what monstrosities lie far beyond the shore? The sea is a mistress whose mystery is vast and calamitous. I am an older man of the sea and the things I’ve seen while riding her waves have turned even the most brave sailors to bilge-sucking sons of biscuit eaters. The dangers are beyond imagination, they are beyond nightmares. There are entities in this world you will wish you never knew existed. I have made my name upon the sea, but are you, dear Hero, ready to sail the mighty waves in search of glory and fame?
The Hero, never one to hesitate, boldly replies “You bet. All we need is your ship and your blade.”
Now the cards were on the table. The die was cast. The decision was the Captain’s. He was already the most notorious pirate on the waves. But there were pirates before him. Blackbeard, Sir Francis Drake, and Captain Kidd; names etched in history, immortal names that would never be forgotten. Captain Crimson deserved to be etched into the halls of history, ordained into the fellowship of the greatest and most feared explorers ever to rule the waves.
“Cole, gather the crew. We leave at first light. Around the cape, and on to the great realm. Then, we sail to the ends of the world,” crows the Captain.