Pirates | Cypher

Chapter Fourteen: Armies of the Abyss, Part I
Aug. 18th, 1692

The crew of the Liberation arrived in O’Shea Bay, only to discover that it was being occupied by Emily Pryce’s forces. They called a meeting with the Pirate Queen and made way for the town proper. Jimothy, Vesper and Anne met with the keeper of the Pumpkin King’s diminutive half, which had been steadily growing weaker with each passing day.

Jimothy consumed the fetus-like creature, strengthing his bond with the original Pumpkin King. Meanwhile, Duffy, Bronston, Shayla and David prepared for the meeting with Pryce and decided to hold it within the large town hall.

Pryce and a retinue of her finest men eventually arrived on the island with two prisoners, Roland Greer and his first mate Rodrigo Alvarez, in tow (both of whom Vesper taunted). Everyone gathered in the town hall to partake in the meeting. Pryce made an offer for Duffy: the first piece of Nereus’s map for Greer and Alvarez – as well as a large sum of money. She gave him and his officers until the evening to talk it over.

Duffy made up his mind. Anne spotted her ex-betrothed, Monsieur Fayatte, now apparently a pirate, looming in the corner of the town hall. He noticed her as well. Back on the ship, Bronston fell ill and regurgitated a pulsing, purple mass with one eyeball. It claimed to be speaking on behalf of “them” and warned him that everything they treasured could be taken away in an instant. It then died.

Later in the day, Pryce and Duffy met aboard the Liberation to come to a conclusion on the offer. Duffy’s counteroffer was that he give her O’Shea Bay for her piece of the map, and Greer and Alvarez. With some persuading, she agreed and a deal was struck.

However, the entire fleet anchored near the town was abruptly attacked by mechanical sea serpents and dark-scaled, mechanical Atlanteans. Hundreds of sailors were massacred and the Liberation was snapped in half by the twisting coils of one of the serpents; everyone aboard was tossed into the sea.

Duffy, Anne, Shayla, Jimothy, Bronston and Cookie all made it relatively safely to the shore, but Vesper and Pryce were swallowed by a serpent and frantically tried fighting their way out. Shayla became a werewolf. Cookie was swiftly decapitated by a thrown Atlantean blade.

Enraged by this, Duffy and Jimothy temporarily fused their energies together to launch a vicious scythe spell toward the serpent that had eaten Vesper and Pryce and destroyed their ship. It’s head was hewn off and it collapsed, freeing the two allies.

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Chapter Thirteen: The Clockwork Men
Aug. 11 - 18th, 1692

With Aquitaine’s armies and city in ruins, Anne, Duffy, Bronston, Shayla, Bird Boy (now preferring to be called Vesper) and Jimothy utilized Camilla’s magical cabinet to teleport back to their ship. They then set sail to the Red Port and permitted the entire crew of the Liberation to plunder what was left of the city.

Jimothy, Anne, Duffy and Shayla stumbled across one of Aquitaine’s wizards, dead and strung up between two buildings. A letter on his body indicated that he had been one of Governor Moss’s many informants and spies. Willard, a glass blower, was later intimidated into joining the Liberation’s crew.

Meanwhile, Bronston explored Aquitaine’s vacant castle and found that several of the rooms had been rifled through. Noises emanated from around him. Upon entering the library, he was confronted by two clockwork men seeking information for “them”, as well as a clockwork cat scampering about.

Bronston escaped by leaping through a window, but he fell to the street ungracefully and was then injected with a strange serum by the clockwork cat.

The crew later regrouped at a destroyed smithy and salvaged many unique and exotic weapons from the rubble. Back on the ship, Bronston warned the rest of his crew about what he saw, but no one believed him. As a new day dawned, the Liberation embarked on the week-long journey to O’Shea Bay.

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Chapter Twelve: End of the Line
Aug. 10 - 11th, 1692

For Aquitaine, the end of all things had finally come. He took his soon-to-be wives Shayla and Anne to bed, but Shayla inadvertently transformed into a werewolf and attacked the nude pirate lord while Anne hid beneath the bed.

Aquitaine, after probing Shayla’s mind and seeing her troubled past, sympathized with her over the loss of her father. He surrendered and revealed himself to be a wizard named Castor Morales, and then assembled all of the other wizards for a special meeting

Beyond the citadel, Jimothy’s rebellion went exactly as planned. Many of the pirates, mercenaries and traders not directly aligned with Aquitaine’s crew were rallied behind the promise of newer and stronger leadership in the city.

They gathered their weapons and charged for the citadel, meeting Aquitaine’s wizards and bruisers head-on in a violent clash in the courtyard. Jimothy, after trying to sneak past the conflict and into the citadel, was shortly discovered by a wizard and taken to the ritual chamber underground.

Aquitaine, now as Castor, announced to his loyalists that they would not allow the city to fall to the sudden rebellion. It was made known to Duffy, Bird Boy, Anne, Bronston (who was present, but still disguised as a guard) and Shayla that Castor and the other wizards had been attempting to resurrect Aquitaine through a ritual that would bind his soul to his body again.

So far, however, the ritual had been a failure. Bird Boy astutely suggested that the ritual book could’ve been mistranslated, which led to the translator Bartimaeus being apprehended for incompetence.

Bartimaeus was forced to be sacrificed in one last attempt to perform the ritual. Him and the rest of the crew were brought to the ritual chamber, where a stone altar and Aquitaine’s desiccated corpse lay. Castor stabbed Bartimaeus upon the altar and commenced the ritual with three other wizards. For a moment, nothing happened.

Then, a crackling rift in space-time tore open above the altar and released a large, writhing mass of flesh with dozens of eyes on its head. This creature, referring to itself as the Mother of a Thousand Eyes, was ostensibly under Castor’s control, so he dismissed the other wizards to aid in the defense of the citadel. Jimothy was brought to the chamber shortly thereafter, where he was finally reunited with the captive crewmates.

Castor, however, was not pleased. He ordered the Mother to execute Duffy and Jimothy on the spot, as both of them had been the greatest thorns in his side thus far. This began a harrowing battle for survival, compelling Bird Boy, Anne, Shayla, Bronston to side with their compatriots against Castor and the eldrtich beast.

After Castor was defeated, the Mother of a Thousand Eyes relented attacking and vowed to return to this world with more of its kind. It stole Castor’s body and vanished through the rift with it. The crewmates, battered but victorious, returned to Aquitaine’s reception chamber and were met with a knocking in the closet.

They opened it, revealing an old, white-haired witch calling herself Camilla. She claimed that Bronston had saved her life two weeks ago and had been trying to search him out ever since. In Aquitaine’s office, the crew found notes on the possible location of Nereus’s third map: the frozen Arctic.

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Chapter Eleven: The Rising Tides
Aug. 10th, 1692

A day passed, with the entire crew except for Jimothy still in captivity. Duffy (dressed in a maid outfit, no less) was placed in the same cage as Bird Boy for the amusement of Aquitaine and his court, while Shayla, Anne and Bronston were locked away in the dungeons. Bronston was strapped to a spinning wheel and tortured for information, but he used his magic kill the guards and the torturer, then assumed the identity of one of the fallen guards.

Aquitaine, after being alerted of this incident, nearly executed Anne as retribution for Bronston's "escape". Bird Boy, however, convinced the quietly enraged Aquitaine to instead take both Shayla and Anne as his wives and continue the pursuit for Bronston. This simple act ended up saving Anne's life. 

Back on the Liberation, Jimothy, now acting as captain, devised a plan to rescue his captured compatriots. He ordered the ship to be docked in a nearby bay and then sailed back to the Red Port in a rowing boat with intentions of starting a riot in the city. When he arrived, he hired mercenaries to rile up the townsfolk - inspired by his formidable visage, they were committed to doing so.

Meanwhile, in Aquitaine's citadel, Greer and Rodrigo visited Duffy in his cage and began taunting him, gloating that Aquitaine was close to acquiring all of Nereus's maps. Bird Boy taunted Greer in his own way, mimicking him, but this only angered the renegade captain, who lashed out before being calmed by his first mate.

Afterward, Aquitaine peered into Duffy's mind and learned the truth about his connection to Jimothy's father – that is, that he may have been responsible for the man's death some time ago. 

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Chapter Ten: Red Port
Aug. 6th - Aug. 9th, 1692

After days at sea, the crew finally reached their destination: the pirate-held city of Puerto Rojo – Red Port, seat of Aquitaine's power. They were greeted by a soft-spoken valet named Manfried, as well as an entourage of Aquitaine's crewmates. Bronston managed to produce official-looking documents with his magic, convincing the valet and his protectors that they had important business with Aquitaine.

Duffy, Bronston, Shayla, Anne and Jimothy were then escorted from the Liberation to the gubernatorial palace serving as Aquitaine's headquarters. The Pirate Lord was in the middle of holding his bizarre "court". There were dozens of shady pirates, wizard-advisors, a musical troupe of slaves playing various instruments, and near the back of the room, a gilded cage containing a boy dressed in a bird costume.

The expedition of the Liberation treated with Aquitaine, but the conversation quickly turned south. After Duffy was asked about Nereus’s maps, he pushed the topic aside and asserted his domineering presence over the older Pirate Lord and his men. Jimothy, who had been sneaking in the shaded rafters this entire time, attempted to ambush Aquitaine by releasing the Pumpkin King onto the entire room.

However, the wizard-advisors acted faster, casting a spell that immediately froze and shattered the physical essence of the demonic attacker. Aquitaine, enraged, called on all of his men to slay the interlopers who dared to assassinate him. Nevertheless, the meek child in the bird cage, who Aquitaine often confided to and trusted, persuaded Aquitaine to rethink this decision.

After some thought, Aquitaine chose to execute only Jimothy and imprison the others, spurring a chase in which Jimothy escaped and sailed away on the Liberation. Meanwhile, Anne, Duffy, Shayla and Bronston were all made prisoners of their new pirate master.

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Chapter Nine: Welcome Aboard
Aug. 4th - 6th, 1692

With the British frigate crippled, the crew of the Liberation swung aboard it and engaged the enemy soldiers in combat. Shayla found the captain, Horatio Prior, just as he was preparing to flee. Anne, after struggling to swing aboard the other ship for some time, was shot down by a squad of soldiers and fell near them. Jimothy offered their souls to the Pumpkin King, then leapt to the other ship to shield and rescue Anne.

Bronston was shot in the back and partially crippled. Skillfully utilizing his magic, however, he repaired his shattered vertebrae and extracted the bullet from it. Back in Horatio's cabin, the enemy captain fired at Shayla, but then surrendered after yielding to her persuasive words. Together, they ordered a cessation to the fighting. The British soldiers were rounded up.

Throughout the battle, Duffy was being healed in his cabin by Ashley. Most of the broken ribs were knitted back together by her magic, but he needed a few more days for them to continue healing. With Jimothy's permission, the Pumpkin King devoured the souls of the nearly forty enemy sailors, sparing Horatio Prior. Two prisoners were found in the British ship's lower decks: a terrier and a bald hair priest by the name of Abzan. 

Abzan made it known that he would be Jimothy's servant. The following day, the terrier, now named Kiwi, found a skeletal hair priest beneath Jimothy's cabin. The priest had been dead since at least 1678, and had been put inside the ship after being killed somewhere else. Shayla realized that another transformation was imminent, so Duffy directed the crew to dock near one of the Florida Cays.

Duffy and Shayla ventured to the far corners of the island, but were assailed by ghosts claiming to be Aquitaine's victims. Their hostility was quickly allayed. Jimothy began the dangerous ritual of absorbing the Pumpkin King, ingesting copious amounts of ectoplasm which caused him to violently convulse. The young first mate survived the endeavor, taking on new features such as orange skin, clawed fingers and a repaired voice.

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Chapter Eight: The Pumpkin King
Aug. 3rd - 4th, 1692

Plans were made for O'Shea Bay to be founded on Tenenbaum's Rock. With many believing the island to be haunted, an expeditionary force consisting of Chinwe, Hector, Jimothy, Anne, Shayla and Samwise was sent to investigate the rumors and strange phenomena. When they reached the shores, Anne collapsed and was taken aback by a disturbing presence. Chinwe sensed the energy of a spirit calling itself the Pumpkin King.

The expedition came across a large cross erected at the center of a misty clearing. Three men were crucified upon it. After further investigation, a compass belonging to Aquitaine's crew was found, as well as a ghost-capturing wand inscribed with the name "Morales". Chinwe spoke with one of the corpses. It mentioned Aquitaine's men performing a dark ritual to some unknowable end, then fleeing in haste.

The Pumpkin King possessed Jimothy and, after splitting his consciousness, possessed Anne as well, hell-bent on slaughtering Aquitaine's pirates. Both Anne and Jimothy bargained with the Pumpkin King and appealed to whatever humanity it had.

One of the now-split Pumpkin Kings agreed to give Jimothy his hand and voice back if he were personally taken to Aquitaine and permitted to kill the man and his crew. Jimothy agreed. Anne convinced her half of the Pumpkin King - a more frantic and child-like version – to defend the new town of O'Shea Bay from anyone who may bring harm to it. Not wanting to be rejoined with his other half, the spirit agreed.

Over the course of the day, the frameworks of many buildings werefinished. Graham took charge as the town's governor. Hector gave Duffy O'shea a pocket watch belonging to the Kraggles family and told the captain that the boy was ready to learn the truth. Later the following day, the crew sailed within range of a British frigate and began raiding it after crippling it with cannon fire. Duffy was shot in the chest by a retalitory cannon ball.

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Chapter Seven: Leaving Nassau
Aug. 2nd, 1692

Shayla, now a werewolf, tracked the source of the zombies and learned that they came from hundreds of old graves south of town. Jimothy was led to the warehouse where Jonathan lay unconscious. On the way, Jimothy failed to sneak past a pack of zombies and lost his right hand to their bite. Bleeding out, he fled to the burning warehouse and urged the Atlantean to return Jonathan to the ship and inform Duffy of Jimothy's predicament.

Shayla came across Jimothy's tracks and slew scores of zombies with her claws before heading back to the ship. Jimothy managed to escape on his own by leaping from rooftop to rooftop. At the ship, the Atlantean told Duffy and Bronston that he was a prisoner of the French schooner that they encountered a week earlier. He told the captain that Greer was potentially in possession of one of Nereus’s maps. 

Ashley halted Jimothy's bleeding. Bronston vetted some of the refugees as possible recruits for the crew. Twelve of them accepted. Making good on her promise, Pryce sent fifteen of her own men, led by Benjamin Waters, to serve under Duffy's flag. Driven to found their own pirate kingdom on a new island, Duffy and the others enlisted a refugee blacksmith named David Graham to act as this kingdom's governor. He happily accepted.

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Chapter Six: City of Fire
Aug. 2nd, 1692

Ashley Hartwood asked Duffy and his friends to reclaim her village from the hands of an immortal pirate named Virgil. He agreed, so long as she served as the crew's healer.

Discovering an army of zombies at her doorstep, Emily Pryce called upon all captains docked in her harbor to come to the city's defense, even offering Duffy and his crew a handsome reward should they cooperate. They renegotiated the terms and agreed to instead evacuate and destroy the city to avoid any unnecessary deaths. After a successful evacuation, kegs of gunpowder were then placed all across Nassau.

A possessed Chinwe warned Duffy about the dangers of seeking Atlantean artifacts. Duffy disposed of the Pandora's Box. Ashley, escorted by Bronston, created a wall of brambles around Nassau to temporarily stave off the invasion, then collapsed into her protector's arms. Cookie noticed that Jonathan was missing, purportedly somewhere in the city. Duffy, Jimothy and Shayla left the ship in search of him.

Shayla and Duffy came across Bronston, who was pushing an unconscious Ashley on a cabbage cart. A building near Duffy exploded from a stray cannon ball, but he survived with only minor burns and bruises.

The rest of the ships bombarded the city shortly thereafter, leading to a cascade of explosions that incinerated scores of zombies. As Shayla voluntarily transformed into a werewolf to continue the search for Jonathan, Bronston, Ashley and Duffy made it safely back to the docks with the help of the quartermaster's magic. Meanwhile, Anne masturbated and sipped tea in the confines of the ship.

Back in the city, Jimothy failed to find Jonathan, instead coming across a large trident-wielding Atlantean who guided him to safety. Reaching the rooftops, Jimothy underestimated a jump and fell into a pack of zombies who immediately began eating him. However, he managed to escape in time and, directed by the Atlantean, followed him into the inferno of the city.

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Chapter Five: Wolves in the Night, Part II
Aug. 1st - 2nd, 1692

Bronston, Anne and dozens of their crewmates defended the ship against Greer’s raiders, with Bronston disposing of several enemies before accidentally shattering his hand in a backfired spell. The raiders, losing ground, eventually retreated. Shayla and Allison continued to brawl in the marshes as Jimothy fled back to the ship with most of his men.

After both Duffy and Hector soothed their respective werewolves, Hector carried an unconscious Allison back to town, and Duffy and Shayla found one of their startled crewmates who had gone missing in the fray.

Returning to the carnage aboard the ship, Duffy inquired as to what the hell had happened. Bronston filled him in. After tracking Hector down to one of Aquitaine’s hideouts, Duffy and Jimothy convinced him and his lover Allison to take refuge aboard their ship and leave the island.

They then met with Emily Pryce to inform her that Hector had been dealt with. Duffy requested more men from her, but she refused because Duffy would not sail beneath her flag as one of her lieutenants. She still rewarded him with five pouches of flying powder. Anne seduced and had sex with the shopkeep James for five pounds of free tea.

Shayla discovered a thick, green mist and slime – connected to the Atlanteans – just outside of Pryce’s Castle. She bottled the slime. Bronston met with the young Ashley Hartwood, the purported best healer in Nassau, and had his broken hand mended. Pandora’s Box, now glowing silver and radiating energy, was opened by a charmed Jimothy, unleashing countless shadows into the surrounding region.

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