bringmethatnpc: (ship at sea)
Everything in Panama City had gone mostly according to plan, a rare happenstance for the pirates in this motley crew, and the more superstitious among them spent the first few days on board their new vessel debating whether this meant good luck or bad, fair wind or foul.

The Spanish ship they'd stolen isn't large or particularly pleasing to the eye, being in need of some new paint and wood maintenance, but it's seaworthy and swift before the wind, and most importantly, well-stocked for a long voyage.

And a long journey to Singapore it will be.
bringmethatnpc: (edinburgh trader)
Today the Pacific honors its name. It's one of those days the sea is dark blue and the sky is a lighter blue, and the line of the horizon between them is a perfect circle, and both are like twin tin plates reflecting the merciless heat of the sun. The wind is barely enough to push the stolen Spanish ship forwards towards Singapore, but not little enough to excuse the crew from work.

The scaffold rises in the middle of the fort's yard like the sun-bleached skeleton of a shipwreck. A monotone voice numbers the list of new crimes punishable by death under the East India Trading Company rule as the line of chained figures marches forwards.

So while below deck some people conspire to jump ship early and head for a certain temple, above deck sailors work in a dull silence under the stifling sun. The only sounds are the splash of the waves as the prow cuts through them and the creaking of the wood and the rigging.

Funny thing, how these little sounds can combine in a way that almost, almost sounds like they had a rhythm of their own, isn't it?

A thin, trembling voice rises from the gallows. The boy slowly turns the coin in his hands, eyes low.

" The king and his men
stole the queen from her bed
and bound her in her Bones."

How the wind and the voice of the ship itself seems to insinuate a melody into the crew's minds as they go about their duties.

"The seas be ours
and by the powers
where we will we’ll roam."

And through the rattling of chains, and the cry of the seagulls, hidden in the splash of the waves ashore and the howl of the Atlantic winds. In the crashing of glass and the roar of the cannon,  the song travels. And those for whom its sung, even those who don't know yet, hear it.
bringmethatnpc: (cabin boy)
On a beautiful day in the Caribbean, the drums roll.

A soldier's officious voice rings out, matter-of-fact and crisp, as the cart piled high with corpses is wheeled through the yard, and an empty one takes its place. “The condemned are hereby sentenced to hang by the neck until dead.”

The long line of the condemned, snaking through the yard and beyond, shuffles forward in defeat, the threatening muskets of the soldiers of the East India Trading Company doing their work. Six strangers take the hollow, echoing steps up to the hallows, irons clanking, and find their places beneath the nooses. The lone woman among them breathes unsteadily, her face streaked with tears.

The final set of footsteps makes next-to-no sound, as the young cabin boy climbs the stairs. His face streaked with dirt, lank hair falling in his eyes, he looks up at the noose twisting in the warm breeze several feet above his head. He lowers his gaze, watching the doubloon in his manackled hands as he slowly turns it between his fingers.

He sings softly to himself, his voice a low, steadying mumble. “The king and his men stole the queen from her bed.” The wind toys with his ragged sleeves and ruffles his hair, and he barely hears the rising roll of the drums again. His voice rises, high and true. “And bound her in her bones.”

The black-clad executioner crosses behind him, and the cabin boy sings louder, shaking his head once to himself as the heavy footsteps set the gallows to creaking. He will not look. “The seas be ours, and by the powers...” He bites his lower lip for the beat's rest, and then he raises his head, defiant and afraid, as he looks up into the blue, blue Caribbean sky. “Where we will, we’ll roam.”

The barrel hits the wooden gallows with a loud thud, directly in front of the cabin boy. The executioner's hands are large and cold, and he lifts the boy up onto the barrel in one heave. The boy falls silent as the noose is fitted around his neck, and he watches the way that the light catches his coin, his mouth shut tightly.

The condemned man to the left of the cabin boy stares at the ground, dark eyes defeated, and when he murmurs, “Yo ho,” it starts out weak, like the last gasp of a dying man. “All hands,” he sings, quiet and shaky, “hoist the colours high.”

The cabin boy's eyes dart to the side, and he begins the next line -- with a chorus of six adult voices. “Heave ho,” sing the seven with ropes around their necks, and that is when something curious begins to happen.

The next seven condemned to take the gallows take up the song, and the next seven, and the next seven. “Thieves and beggars, never shall we die.”

The song ripples through the line of prisoners, growing stronger by the second. “Yo ho,” pirates and whores and thieves sing together, their voices coming together into one strong, resonant roar. They stomp in time to the song, leaning toward the few East India Trading Company soldiers guarding the line, and the yard echoes with the rattle and clank of manacles and chains. “All together, hoist the colours high!”

The outnumbered soldiers cast wary glances at each other and begin to back away from the glaring, snarling, spitting, furiously proud prisoners.

On the gallows, the cabin boy's voice soars. “Heave ho, thieves and beggars.” The boy closes his hand tight on his coin and lifts his eyes to the heavens. “Never shall we die!”

The executioner pulls the lever.

A coin spirals down into the dirt as one pair of feet dangles limp in the breeze, high above the other six.
bringmethatnpc: (The Flying Dutchman)
After the Endeavour is destroyed, the fight goes out of the East India fleet, and those that don't flee are quickly brought down by the combined might of the Flying Dutchman, The Black Pearl and a combined fleet of ruthless pirates with nothing to lose.

After the short battle, most of the victorious fleet returns to Shipwreck Cove for celebration and rejoicing. All that remains are two ships, one with black sails and one with white, fresh from the corrupting influence of their last captain's curse. The two sail onward together in perfect parallel, lovers proceeding down the aisle from the alter.

And the human lovers are there too, standing at the rail of their respective vessels, gazing across the ocean between the ships. Captains William and Elizabeth Turner are separated by mere dozens of yards. But for each of them, the other might as well be a world away.
bringmethatnpc: (Crossed swords)
On a deserted beach just barely within sight of Shipwreck Island, two sets of footprints lead up from the surf to a pair of crossed swords thrust into warm, dry sand.

A few steps beyond the swords, breathless and finally close enough to touch, Will and Elizabeth stare at each other much as they had from the decks of the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman.

No plans have been made, no words rehearsed. Up until this moment, all either of them had been able to focus on was being together as quickly as possible.

They only have one day. Neither Captain Turner intends to waste even one second of it apart.
bringmethatnpc: (wake)
Deep in a bayou near the mouth of the Pantano River, a wooden shack sits among twisted vines, high roots, and still, stagnant water. Moonlight illuminates the scene, and the shack is lit from within by what seems like hundreds of candles. A single lantern at the entrance beckons all those who dare to step over the threshold.

Not long ago, only a few days or so, the shack and tangle of surrounding trees was the site of a wake for Captain Jack Sparrow.

The shack had been overflowing with pirates that night. Tia Dalma offered drinks to fight the chill and the sorrow, and the return of another dead pirate gave the crew hope where previously there had been none. Some of those pirates seemed to disappear that night. No one asked too many questions, however, as the shack is bigger than it appears on the outside and the unexpected is to be expected wherever Tia Dalma is found.

But now the missing parties are starting to return. Some are even accompanied by people who had not been there before.
bringmethatnpc: (ships locked in battle)
The storm rages around both fleets, favouring neither treacherous side over the other. The sea, black and deadly, bucks beneath the ships and above them, clouds thick enough to turn the bright afternoon sun to twilight, rain down so thick that one can hardly see from port to starboard.

"MAELSTROM!"

Only two ships have the nerve to sail forward into the preternatural tempest, and even when Gibbs' anxious cry rings out across the deck, neither turn back. The Pearl and the Dutchman advance on each other under the expert and fearless helmsmanship of Barbossa and Jones.

Around the pit they circle like hungry sharks, drawing tighter and tighter, each under the unrelenting fire of the other. An then the maelstrom has them completely, and the only thing stopping either from sinking down is the other ship, as the topgallant masts touch and the rigging becomes entwined.

The storm rages, and the battle rages with it.
bringmethatnpc: (Jack's Hat)
Unrescued, the hat floats out to sea.





Sometime the following day, it bumps against the side of a small slovenly fishing vessel.

One of the fishers spots it, and hauls it aboard at the end of a line. He grins delightedly at his shipmate -- Isn't it a fine hat? -- claps the hat onto his sunburned head, and gives a mock salute. Look at me, I'm the captain!

The other fellow laughs, and holds out his hand. Let me try it, eh? My turn. He puts on the hat and poses, puffing out his chest (bare under an ill-fitting leather vest) and preening.

The first makes the appropriate admiring noises, and then holds out his hand. All right, give it back now. The second demurs, wanting to wear the hat a few minutes longer, and disputes his shipmate's claim to ownership of it. A brief argument ensues, and is abruptly cut off by the unearthly creaking groan that rises from the water below them.

Silence, and a ripple of water that isn't from the tide.

The argument resumes, with a frantic edge, as each man tries to push the ill-omened hat back to the other. I don't want it! You take it! -- You take it, it's yours, you're the one brought it on board! --

There isn't even time to scream when the little boat is dragged under in one hideously strong pull.
bringmethatnpc: (wake)
The longboat moves slowly upriver, burdened with more than the weight of its passengers.

All around them, standing waist-deep in the water and amidst the trees, the people of Tia Dalma's swamp have gathered to mark this passing. Each of them carries a candle whose flickering flame reflects from the surface of the water.

In the dimness, the marks of tears show brightly in the candlelight.

Even the natural sounds of the swamp are muted, this evening, buried beneath the low moaning chant that echoes eerily through the air. As the boat approaches, the mourners let it pass, and then draw together once more as they turn to watch its path.
bringmethatnpc: (lord cutler beckett)
There are two things to be said for the military: their propensity to do as ordered, and their very fine pointy objects.

Cutler Beckett, in his office -- his study, he likes to think of it -- admires a very well-crafted sword, since parted from its owner.

Shame.

Examining its length, he says, casually, "There’s something to knowing the exact shape of the world and one’s place in it, don’t you agree?"
bringmethatnpc: (kraken twist)
The deck of the Black Pearl is full of activity as the crew hastens about, making ready to set sail. Whether hauling lines or hoisting sails, securing the longboats or tying down nets, everyone has work to do and is busily seeing to it.

Everyone, that is, save Will Turner, who is still lying unconscious on the deck.
bringmethatnpc: (cannibal island)
The sound of thunder rumbles through the air, heralding an approaching storm--

--no, wait.

That's not thunder; that's the beating of drums.

It's a beautiful clear day on the island, just perfect for a ceremony and celebration, as the tribe prepares to send their chief to the gods.
bringmethatnpc: (EIC tariffs)
It is, indeed, business as usual.

The windows are thrown open to catch the sea breeze -- Port Royal is, like all these places, damnably hot, and damp to boot -- and Beckett's office is as an oasis to the home-hungry eye. The furnishings perfect (if getting a little warped, thanks to the damp air), the map in progress --

This is Cutler Beckett's home away from home. This is, in effect, his home territory.

And he moves within it as though he owns the world.
bringmethatnpc: (edinburgh trader at sea)
The Edinburgh Trader comes across the barnacle-encrusted longboat near midday -- and the single man, wet and shivering and looking as if all the hounds of Hell are after him, seated inside. It's a wonder how the entire boat hasn't sunk with the weight of all that's grown onto it.

Bellamy has no time to speculate, though; it's more pressing to get the lad aboard and give him a mug of something strong, along with a few blankets to dry the saltwater off of him.
bringmethatnpc: (Davy Jones: tentacles)
You don't venture into the captain's cabin, on board the Dutchman. Especially not when there's any sort of music coming out. When it's the music-box it's especially deadly to interrupt him ... but it's almost as bad when it's the organ.

Tentacles clutch and hammer at the stepped keyboards like the hands of a madman, and the organ groans and bellows and thunders like the storm outside.

-----


Lightning flashes, wind tears at the sails; rain slams down, making the deck slippery and treacherous. The crew of the Dutchman works through the storm, hauling a cannon into its new place.

Over the noise of the thunder, the bo'sun bawls "Secure the mast tackle, Mr. Turner! Step to it!"

On the rain-lashed deck below, two Mr. Turners look up and move to obey.
bringmethatnpc: (Default)
The prisoners reach through the bars, whistling and coaxing. It's a rare thing to have such a pretty inmate about. For some of them, it's the closest they've ever gotten to a lady of Elizabeth's stature.

They wonder if what's under her skirts is the same as what's under more common wenches.

"Come closer, we don’t bite!" leers one, waggling his filthy fingers at Elizabeth.
bringmethatnpc: (edinburgh trader at sea)
It is the middle of first watch, several hours after sundown, and the Edinburgh Trader is charting a steady course through the star-speckled dark waters. The men not on watch are sleeping as soundly as they can, and more than one man on duty stifles a yawn and thinks longingly of his hammock.

But sleep is not the only thing on the men's minds. A thorough search of the ship had produced neither hide nor hair of a young lady without her clothes on, and as a result the whispers of witchcraft and ghosts have started again. Very quietly, of course -- no man wants to face the Captain's temper -- but even the most seasoned sailors are doubly alert to every creak and groan of the ship.
bringmethatnpc: (The Black Pearl)
The deck of the Pearl is covered in wreckage. Pieces of boats and broken barrels lie splintered and shattered everywhere, as do chunks torn from the kraken's tentacles by the force of the explosion.

Some are still burning.

Cotton climbs unsteadily up from belowdecks, his parrot on his shoulder. Slowly, Gibbs gets to his feet and staggers to the nearest rail. Nearby Marty shoves his way out from under a pile of wreckage and comes to join Gibbs, asking,

"Did we kill it?"
bringmethatnpc: (the Black Pearl at night)
The Black Pearl lies off the coast of the island garrison-- far enough out to be safe and almost entirely hidden in the darkness, particularly on a night like this.

All is quiet-- or mostly.

Waiting alone for the captain's return, save for the bottle of rum that's his frequent companion, Joshamee Gibbs is singing as he staggers down the deck.

"Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!"

He chuckles and pauses for a drink.

As he does, fog wraps around the ship with chill damp fingers. The pull of the wind against the sails hisses as softly as the water against the Pearl's sides, while ropes creak against the strain of the sea-anchor.
bringmethatnpc: (The Black Pearl)
The sea around them is calm, the surface roughened by just enough wind to make for smooth sailing. The sun overhead is bright, and there's no sign of cloud nor distant storm anywhere to be seen. In fact, conditions couldn't be finer for setting sail.

If only they knew where to go.
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