The Aftermath of Glimmershore
Told from the viewpoint of Kelley Essex
Coming back to the Anchor’s Bane its clear the amount of stress she was put through today. While the coast is safe once again many faces be it ship hands and press gangers alike have gone missing. A mast torn clear from it’s root and a hull gulping down sea water constantly it’s a marvel that she even floats. Aboard the blood-soaked docks Kelley Essex stares at his vessel and only mistress left with a look of powerlessness in his eyes, a look he never has once shore from Blackshoal to Glimmershore.
Trudging up the ramp together the smell of gunpowder and blood lingers upon the boat only dragging up the terrifying battles that recently came. A grunt as Essex plants his mechanical hand along a fierce wound just under his ribs given to him by the swirling chaos of the Saytrix Warcaster’s crew. “We’ve had it rough haven’t we girl…?” He asks his boat almost in a daze trying to reach for a cigar only to remember he used it last. Planting a foot onto the Anchor’s Bane invites the gazes of the crew.
With a wheezing breath Essex scans the faces of his crew, hatred burned bright in the eyes of many but relief in the eyes of those he cared of. It was only then that he caught sight of his faithful Buccaneer Jack, Penny. She was scarped, bent, marred and nearly broken beyond repair. It was clear she must have taken a deck gun or two to the chest and harpoons were still lodged in her pneumonic pistons and gears. He felt guilt wash over him as he thought about how he’d of normally cut and run had he thought it through.
Limping over to the stairs of the Captain’s Wheel he was greeted by a almost untouched Morgan Ulvari. His outfit was still bright and only a few drops of blood along the cuffs showing he had fought but most likely only when it merited it. Essex’s eyes closed and a breath rolled out of his lips “I don’t see how you do it Mr. Ulvari… How did you keep her together?” He turned his back to his First mate and sat down staring toward his crew shocked to see the battle damaged Penny had already noticed him and was trekking toward the aft of the ship to greet her master in her subtle way.
“Through the steam engine overdrive of course, we fled their gunfire till we felt sure their broadsides were depleted… We miscalculated.” Ulvari smiles step past his Captain and turning to meet his gaze as Penny strolled up beside the first mate weakly extending it’s fist toward the Captain who stared at it nearly forgetting the custom he and his Jack had established. Essex Extends his Mechanikal limb bumping fists with the Jack, and immediately it let its arm dangle showing the extent of the damage on one of it’s hydraulic actuators in it’s arm was torn lose. For a moment Essex simply stared in disbelief that she could even move the limb only reminding him how much of his stubbornness rubbed off on his little girl.
Turning to look to Ulvari he simply nodded retracing the last few moments of the conversation. “ The fact she isn’t drown in the coasts or has living souls on it at all is a testament to your skill Mr. Ulvari. I expected nothing less, Good work I have it from here…” First Mate Morgan Ulvari gulped slightly looking over to the crew and back to his captain. “Sir… the new recruits almost turned on us in the middle of the shootout, it would have been nice to have had Termon to crack a few skulls, I see 2nd Mate Chaffer but where is-“ Essex cut him off and bluntly said “Fought to the bitter end, and would have none of my excuses. His burial was saw to…” His relaxed posture tightened up and Penny leaned in as if to try and console her master who pushed her away “I’m up to my throat in death and let downs first mate, I’m sure you realize this don’t bode well for the chain of command egh? We just had shore leave cut early and heavy losses… What I wouldn’t give for a friendly bottle of rum and a bit if irresponsibility right about now…”
Morgan nodded knowing all too well that morale was low and without the threat of the quarter master’s Lash as well as any pay for their lives things could be turning ugly soon. “Then we should address this misconduct right here and now captain.” He said very plainly expecting to hear Kelley agree. However Essex sighed replying “… I don’t blame them for what they are feeling for a change. We’re starting to have a long run of bad luck and without an end in sight I might have been right along with them were I not in charge… give the men double the rations, a ration of rum each and make sure they know that we plan to set up at Five Fingers again soon.”
Morgan blinked in disbelief “Five Fingers sir? Why there?” Essex’s gaze turned to Glimmershore and narrowed with a cold anger that could have unsettled the most seasoned pirate. “I need to pay someone a visit there. I plan to be settling a few scores and making sure that my men wet their appetites on simpler vices than murder and mutiny…” Morgan Simply sighs “Well then that just leaves the matter of the Quartermaster…” Essex sighs and gives Ulvari and gesture to just leave him alone “Mr. Ulvari… I appreciate your promptness but I am in no mood for talking about who is going to count my plunder, we’ll save it for another time, Aye?” Morgan remained respectful and true to a naval officer’s professionalism acknowledged his wishes and walked out.
Essex looked away from Glimmershore as it was beginning to make him sick with anger and looked to his promising 2nd mate Chaffer. Only a few weeks aboard he had learned many things both wanted and unwanted about him. It still haunted him how he pulled away those screaming souls in the middle of battle he often wouldn’t be able to recognize the strong solider in the midst of his unholy fury. Those spiteful words proclaiming he would become a Scion of Thamar before good hearted fearful men, women and children. While strong, independent and gifted he could see it plainly on the boy’s face that he loathed his own existence, that he only woke up to create a different story than those around him wove. He admired that, but wondered if it was what he really wanted…
Essex reflected upon his own personal gifts, how much pride he felt when his naval captain discovered his gifts and sent him back to the capital for proper training. Friends and family congratulated him, face he hasn’t seen for years wishing him well and hoping he would bring honor to the navy. Nostaglia took its toll as his mind lingered on the memories and faces of people he hasn’t see in many years reminding him less than a handful would even want to see him since he became a pirate on the seas. Despite the pain it opened his eyes to Chaffer’s history. Despite his talent and power he hasn’t been provided with respect or appreciation simply because of a Hokey religion he opted for over another. It didn’t sit right with him he wondered how much of a proper life he ever even had before it was snatched from him by these same horrors of Glimmershore. Without of doubt Chaffer deserved better than he was given by those folks within Morrow’s temple…
Yet Mr. Atimos… was another story entirely. Essex stewed in his anger knowing any words he would deal toward Atimos Chaffer would come to his aid and defend him. “But why? “ he thought, “We are not above those folks, I’d of rather been broken, beaten, tortured and put on display like that Ghastly Specter’s Warding than known I had that little girl’s blood on my hands…” He tapped a finger anxiously on his knee lost in thought “ I don’t buy his philosophy, He claimed to help ‘kill a few to spare the lot’ yet he constantly drags us into the collateral… the innocent, my crew and worst of all me.. I don’t see someone who is weighing life… I see in that man someone who weighs victory and that the ends justify the means. Between him and Mr. Uldara I’m just inviting further tradgey I think…” He pushes back some of his hair and chew his lip a bit before standing up from the steps as Penny examines him and he can feel her eagerness despite her injuries to complete a new task. “You’ve done good little lady, you saved who you could I bet just like I’ve taught you ey? How about you squeeze into my quarters for now egh? Its going to be cold tonight, before you shut down make sure to warm my quarters and I’ll see what I can do about those parts you need.” Penny stared blankly for a moment fully processing what her master said as she set her Gaffhook against the walls of the doors into his quarters knowing it’s too cramped to use such a tool and clanked away without much further response.
Essex hailed down Chaffer with a simple order “I want a headcount Mr. Chaffer, make sure to split them numbers between press gangers and old crew. Oh and thank you, without you to my back I’m sure this sorry lot would have been lost without me.” He said with a smile before finishing “…afterword my quarters, we have much to discuss” He simply nods not letting him give a response.