On Board the Endeavour

by Alphaville Herald on 19/03/07 at 12:49 pm

[Editor's Note: The Herald HQ occupies a landlocked plot in Second Life's Hyperborea sim, so it was with great surprise that we found washed up on our non-existent shoreline a waterlogged book, in the pages of which we found a sketch of Tiny Newt's barque, the Endeavour, as well as the scrap of a diagram of some sort. Though most of the book's pages were unreadable, we found within the tome a log entry, as well as a few legible passages from the days preceding it, which we reproduce below. Faithful readers will find they bring new insights into the saga of Sanchon, which we left off a few weeks ago but which is due to continue as soon as the weather is right.
--Walker Spaight

Barqsketch1_2Sanchon Bay, 2300 hours, 20th January, Year of our Lord 2007

Lat. 58.-45’ 00” S.

Long. 60-20’.30” E.

Log entered by First Mate Clasico Cassini

First Mate Casini press-ganged into naval battle with pirate contingent.

2 Brigantine vessels sunk or damaged.

Fired signal round P side 1745 hours.

No loss of life.

Melee on shore. Captain has not returned as of 0035 hrs.

Slight ship damage by collision with pirate vessel.

Extra watch set.

Signed by Officer of the Deck
King Anaconda

“WHO GOES THERE!?” The words came out garbled. I sat bolt upright in my hammock, the pain in my skull making me wince. Blue moonlight splashed across the darkened cabin. Gentle waves slapped quietly against the hull. The ship’s clock chimed 6 Bells, 3am. There it was; that noise again. It sounded like someone running and something bumping against the deck. I heard a loud splash just outside the open porthole. Seconds later, up on deck, I searched for the intruder. Near the bow, wet footprints stained the deck and led over the side. I sprang to the weather rail, but all I encountered were bubbles on the dark surface of the water. All appeared tranquil, but I was certain, someone, or some thing had gained the deck of the HMS Endeavour. I traced the perimeter several times, making certain all was well. Weary, I sat myself on a coil of line, my head hurting fiercely.

“Now, what do we have here? Are you alright, Clasico?” asked Captain Newt, emerging bare-chested on the quarter deck. He had strapped on a cutlass. A brace of newly primed pistols was pressed into the waistband of his leggings.

I smiled at the concern in his voice as he inspected the worn bandage wrapped around my head. I was happy to see him alive after his disappearance.

“A minor flesh wound, sir, but she’s a bit of a bleeder, I’m sorry to say.” I laughed, tapping the bandage.

“Did I hear a splash,” he said, nodding his head toward the bow. “Out with it, my son,” he ordered. As he spoke, Captain Newt produced two long stemmed clay pipes, a pigtail of tobacco and a small silver flask. He settled his back against the mainmast and proceeded to roll the pigtail of “tobacco” beneath his meaty palm against the deck. Pulling his derk from some hidden place, he cut two small plugs of the gummy black leaf. Then, priming both bowls, he lit each pipe in turn. He handed me one. I took a long grateful puff.

“It’s our pirate friends, I’ll wager” he said, passing me the flask, I took a deep swallow and waited for the burn.

“If they came on board, what would they be after? Do you recall their great humor at learning we were a ship of simple exploration and not some fat galleon of full of Isabella’s gold?”

The Captain was a patient man, so he waited on my own good time to hear the story of my wound. The pipe was drawing well. I took time to shape my story, blowing a long feather of smoke into the rigging.

“Our party was jumped after we left you earlier, sir. We was up on the hill behind that abandoned wreck of a house when they came at us. We were outnumbered. They forced us aboard their Brigs, Sir. I was place aboard Commodore Benson Willis’ ship. Willis was one of those “Furries” Sir. I saw Sin go off with Warrant Officer Kris Electricteeth to his vessel. The next thing we knew we were in a battle.

Tiny continued to draw on his pipe . We silently passed the flask back and forth.

“That wily Willis was a sly fox alright. He had some clever moves to be sure, and in short order we had sunk one of the two.

“Could you tell who was in charge of the other vessel, Clasico?” asked Newt.

“Aye Sir, I think it was that bandit Garrett Sempet. He’s a black one I can tell you. We was on the port tack. Commander Willis was adding the squares and the top gallants for more speed, when he , Sempet, overtook us from the starb’d quarter. He raked us good says he. The mizzen was shot full of holes.

“It was providence Sir. Just then, the newbie pirate, Raiven Leigh decided to stand up! Can you imagine Sir? She didn’t realize the script is set to stop a ship cold unless all hands are attached to the deck. Well, by the time the Commodore got that little mess sorted out, the other Brigantine had pulled ahead and was coming about for the kill. Willis threw the helm down smartly bringing our fully primed guns to bear before they could reload. We gave her belly-full of iron, we did. The Brig sank immediately,” I concluded with a grin. The stern gaze of Captain Newt hauled me up short. The warmth of the rum must have loosened my tongue for I rushed on with my story.

“I joined back up with Sin on the docks. We was all given swords including the two female newbies, Sharrah Brendel and Raiven Leigh and we were all told to join the melee. Ms. Brendel refused outright and stood by to watch. Raiven was game on and took to sword play immediately, I wondered if her big wings might get in the way. My training prevented me from striking her.” I stole a quick glance at the Captain. “But she got on quite well against the others, kicking and slashing like a seasoned hand.”

“Commodore Willis proved to be unbeatable and soon laid waste to our Ms. Raiven. Her friend, Sharrah, seeing her friend fall, dead upon the earth, let out a piteous howl as to scare the beJesus out of me.” By now I had emptied the flask. I handed it back to the Captain without apology.

“Sin and me fought back-to-back, but alas we were outnumbered and took cover inside the ale house, it being wide open and such. The remaining pirates charged after us. They forced me into a corner, sir -I dodged a blow, but fell over some loose boards. I must have fallen and hit my head. When I came to, they were gone.” I paused to catch the Captain’s expression.

“Go on, Clasico,” he said quietly, his face hidden in shadow. Only the red glow of his pipe belied any agitation.

“Well sir, my foot had gone right through the rotten flooring. When I came to and pulled my foot out of the hole I found a small locked box tucked into the crawl space.”

“What was in the box? He asked.

“We were too tired to attempt the lock sir. The box is stowed below.”

“And quite right,” he said, rising. “Considering the circumstances, I’d like to see what they came looking for”.

A trail of pipe smoke followed him below like an obedient pet. One minute later the Captain reemerged wearing a fresh shirt, and came aft with the little box tucked under his arm.

“How did you know where it was hidden?” I asked, dumbfounded.

“Lucky hunch,“ he said, with a mischievous grin.

Dawn broke clear and the sun was rising with little wind. The sparse crew of the Endeavour now gathered round with keen interest. Gunners Mate Robin Sprocket took the box in her capable hands, immediately setting to work on the thick rust-encrusted lock with a variety of tools.

A cheer went up as she freed the box of its crusty jailer. Next, the corroded hinged lid refused entry as well.

“Probably some child’s toy inside,” Robin speculated.

“If it’s Doubloons, can we have our fair share, Cap’n, sir?” another asked. With a grunt and a heave, Robin popped the top, which flew off, skittered into the scuppers and fell overboard with a plop. Everyone cheered. The blackened oilskin pouch in the Captain’s hands transfixed every eye. It was sewn tightly closed with a sail-maker’s overhand stitch.

“Open it,” they shouted as one. The captain cut the stitching and rolled out a single scrap of parchment. He whistled.

“It’s a piece of a very old map. Dates back to 2003.” The crew, eager for a look, crowded the captain. He held the unfurled map toward the sun and squinted. “And from the look of it, I’d say it’s one-half of a treasure map!” This caused an immediate stir from all hands.


“How many came aboard last night Mate?” asked the Captain, turning to me.

“Seemed like just the one, I also heard a weird clumping sound,” I said.

“Like a peg leg?” Robin asked.

“Spot on, that would be the sound, alright,” I agreed.

“I’ve heard of a “peg-legger” by name of Long Johnson deSilver with a bad rep, but I don’t think he is one of the Sanchon pirates,” Robin said, absently shifting her scabbard to her smooth flank. We examined the map more closely.

“What island is it, Sir?” asked the late arrival, King Anaconda .

“No name; only bits of the latitude and longitude, and if you add up this list of coins it could weigh well over a ton,” explained the Captain.

“Of gold Sir?” asked Officer of the Deck Anaconda.

“AYE LADS! OF GOLD! THE PIRATE’S GOLD!” The Captain’s meaning hung in mid air, clear as Slovakian crystal.

I sat back down again in the shadow of the main mast to think while the crew discussed the gold with grand enthusiasm.

Although the day was warm, cold chills ran up my back. I scanned my valiant crew, seeing them for the first time. I had a premonition; a new crew member had just slipped aboard.

His name was Greed.

2 Responses to “On Board the Endeavour”

  1. Nacon

    Mar 19th, 2007

    Is this the news or a bed-time story? come on…

  2. Prokofy Neva

    Mar 23rd, 2007

    Great stuff! And a metaphor for SL…I wish there was a place in SL where I could go and see these things.

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