Nujelm, Trammel, Chesapeake (PaxLair Times) – July 22, 2015 – by Ashlynn – Though many were expecting trickery or some king of ambush, Captain Holly Bloodhand – infamous pirate and wanted criminal – was true to her word and did indeed hold a poetry and story contest on the independent island state of Nujelm.
The promise of treasure did trump caution for several would be talespinners and after introductions were done and no hidden corsairs jumped out from behind curtains to rob the crowd, the contest soon got underway. I should probably mention at this point that I was asked by Holly to help judge the contest which I decided it best to agree to. The path of least resistance and all that.
There were five entries in all with a sixth written by Tehan of Yew and recited by Willow Covedweller once the results were in. This late piece was a not particularly flattering poem of the Captain but Willow quickly rounded up most of the spectators and led them on a raid of Corgul’s Island before Holly could properly respond.
The entries were the usual high quality fare we have come to expect but in the end a winner had to be chosen and the best three were:
- 1st Place: Almost Pirates by Naitch
- 2nd Place: The Heroic Adventures of Holly Bloodhand by Lestat
- 3rd Place: A Band of Rats by Phoenix D’Ville
All entries are also reprinted below for those curious enough to read them. (Editors note: Still waiting for a few entries to reprint here)
Almost Pirates – by Naitch
Late one evening at the Ironwood Inn of Vesper, a meeting is taking place around a wooden table in the shadowy corner of the tavern. Four figures huddle close and whisper back and forth to each other. Among them, the notorious pirate, Holly Bloodhand…
“So, you boys want to join my crew, eh?” Holly asks the ragged looking men.
“Aye. That we do lass”, says one.
“You’d be hard pressed to find more salty and *cough* loyal seadogs than we be”, says the other, liquor pouring off his breath.
Holly gets a whiff of his foul stench and waves her hand in her face to fan away the stink.
“What are your names again? And where did you come from?” she asks.
“I be Saul, and this me brother Raul… We from uh….” one says before the other chimes in.
“Serpent’s Hold!” the other brother says. “That’s where we from.”
“Hmmm…” Holly thinks to herself, “Well there is only one way to find out if you can be part of my crew. Show them the map.” The fellow sitting next to Holly is one of her buccaneers and pulls out a sun dried piece of parchment. Looks to be some sort of treasure map.
“If you can find this location, come back here to Vesper and tell one of my men that you did. We’ll go back together to dig it up.”
Raul and Saul look down at this map and get wide eyes when they realize the big red X on the map is near a place they recognize. “Ok, I think we can handle this….” Saul says.
“Now, don’t go diggin’ that there treasure up yourselves, ya hear?” she warns them.
My crew has looked long and hard but had no luck finding the actual spot….” Bloodhand gives a frown and glare to her crew member sitting next to her.
“But is still belongs to ME, and I would strongly advise you not to try and make off with any of it.”
“Of course!” they nod and quickly head out the door to the Ironwood Inn, map in hand.
“Do ye think we can trust them cap’n?” the pirate asks Holly.
“Not at all.” she says.
“That’s why I want you to follow them. Now go! I have other business to attend..” and she leaves and walks into another room of the Inn.
Raul and Saul travel west to the outskirts of Britain, which is where they recognize the drawings on the map to be where the treasure is located. The desert sands to the north, a swamp to the south, along the coast of water not far from a healer’s station. And it looks to be under a great big cypress tree.
“This is it brother!” Raul exclaims.
Looking at the giant tree they can tell that no one has been here.
“Yeah, now we need to mark it and go get Holly”, says Saul.
“What?! Are ye crazy?!” his brother answers. “This be our gold now, haha!”
Saul looks puzzled.
He says, “She told us to come back and tell her when we find it remember?”
“Bah!” , Raul swats his fist in the air disgusted. “Forget that! By the time we dig it up and hit the docks in Britain, we be long gone ‘fore that wench suspects a thing!”
Just then the brothers hear a noise. It’s someone walking in their direction!
They duck down behind some rocks for cover.
“I told you, we better get back to Holly! She’ll skin us alive if we disobey!” a nervous Saul whispers under duress to his partner. But when they peek from behind the rock, it is not a pirate at all….
Instead it looks to be a common man, a farmer, or some kind of lumberjack. He carries an axe and leads a pack horse by the reigns.
“See, you dummy?” , Raul slaps Saul across the back of the head. “Holly Bloodhand aint’ no where ’round.”
“Hmmm, I gots an idea bruther.” he thinks out loud.
He pulls his sword and jumps out at the man walking with his horse.
*Horse snorts and bucks up when startled*
Saul joins in, reluctantly at first, but also helps hold up the man.
“Stop right there mister!” the pirate demands.
“Huh? What is the meaning of this?” ,the lumberjack questions.
“This is a holdup. Now you put down that axe right now ye hear?” he demands.
Saul warns, “Better do it…”
Outnumbered the man complies.
“What’s your name mister?” Raul asks while holding his blade near the mans chest.
“Naitch. I was just out here cutting some wood….” Saul cuts him off.
“I got an idea too bruther! We just found our dirt digger! HaHa!” Saul let’s out a whiskey drenched laugh. “Here boy, put that shovel to good use.” and tosses the tool down at Naitch’s feet.
Back in Vesper, Holly Bloodhand is talking with someone in the shadows of one of the cities many bridges when she is interrupted.
“Those boys never came back”, the voice says. “They been gone three days. It don’t take that long to walk back, even if you’re crippled…”
“Mmm-Hmmm” Holly then says, “Well then, let’s go.”
She pulls her red tinted sword out and brandishes it in the moonlight. “Time to add another notch….” Off she goes with a couple of her pirate crew close behind to catch up with the “lost boys”.
Wiping his sweaty brow with the sleeve of his shirt, Naitch breathes heavy and breaks from the intense digging.
“It won’t be long now , haha…. We be havin’ a good ole time with the wenches at the tavern tonight.” The brothers joke before realizing one more problem.
“What we gonna do with him after we get the gold?” , Saul points to Naitch.
“What you think? We gots to kill him….” Raul replies.
As steel shovel meets wooden chest.
“I have something over here !”, the captive laborer Naitch speaks.
“Good! You done real good boy!”, Raul says and pats him on the back. “But now your usefulness is over. Get ready to ….”
He is interrupted by a strong voice shouting in the distance.
“What’s going on here!?”
“Aw shoot, it’s Holly!”
And she is no mood for the two almost pirates…
“Didn’t I tell you to come back to Vesper and tell my men once you found the map location?” , she asks rhetorically.
*Uhoh they think*
She brandishes her red sword at them, alternating back and forth between Raul and Saul. “You two idiots have failed the test I made for you. I don’t allow anyone in my crew that I can’t trust. And I CAN NOT trust you!”
She kicks open the chest treasure.
“Fools Gold!”, Saul yells.
“We been had, brutha!” Raul screams.
“You there! Get outta here!” , Holly points at Naitch, who wastes no time fleeing the soon to be crime scene.
Days later, Naitch is back in Britain enjoying an ale at a local tavern. He wonders what happened to the two fools who held him prisoner at knifepoint.
On the open sea, two idiots float on a raft, which also has their “fools treasure” chest to a small island. Sun burned and starving, they see small images over the horizon.
“Help us!” they scream as they get closer to shore.
“They look to be the size of children, what?” Raul asks out loud
“What the —?” Saul can’t finish his thought before he and Raul are pelted with yucky smelling mud.
Faces covered, the men plee for mercy:
“Goblins! Turn away, Turn this raft AWAY!!!”
The brothers are pelted with more dung and mud.
The Heroic Adventures of Holly Bloodhand – by Lestat
With fierce determination
Holly took her ship to sea
Looking for unattended loot
things she could take for free
On and on she sailed
looking for easy prey
When she happened upon a rowboat
lazily floating at mid-day
She ordered an assault
but nothing on her ship did move
She saw her opponent grin
and felt she had a lot to prove
She manned the cannon herself
but it utterered a quiet poof
No ammunition came out
she felt like a total goof
She ran to the side of the ship
with her cutlass in her hand
She tripped over a mooring line
in the water she did land
Avoiding serpents and krakens
toward the rowboat she swam
Suddenly she heard something
and realized that she was in a jam
There was an all familiar sound
a death toll heard at sea
Holly’s bathtub sprung a leak
sadly, her victory was not to be
A Band of Rats – by Phoenix D’Ville
Sitting back in my chair at the Governor’s office, pondering what to do with the horrendous smell coming from the Fish Guild, my thoughts were disturbed by what I thought were rats scurrying about on the docks. Being a bit fearful I ran to peek out the window. Oh, there were rats alright, drowned rats, the dastardly crew of the infamous Holly Bloodhand!
Reaching next to me, with a shaky hand, I threw the latch on the door.
Soon I saw what appeared to be the rascal herself, Captain Holly Bloodhand. Though hard to tell with her hair tangled with seaweed and a few small minnows. She looked like Medusa herself alive and standing on the Trinsic docks. Her tricorne was tilted and her doublet torn!
I heard her yelling at her crew..”What the ‘ell happened out there in the open waters, Stanley?” Before he could even answer she was overheard saying..”I hired you to get that gold and treasure from the Britain coffers to Nujel’m.” I could only take that the big, burly man standing next to her to be Stanley. Trying to get a word in edgewise spitting up sludge and seawater he replied..”Well Captain, it seems them mercenaries of Vesper had err other plans.”
Now this Stanley did look a bit like the young lad who was doing some recruiting around these parts, promising a sea voyage. I could not take myself away from the window, holding my breath for fear they would hear me moving about, so I quietly stood by the window listening to more of this nonsense. Stanley yelled over his shoulder wanting to know what bloke was responsible for bringing the ship down. A boy of small stature, walking with a limp, dark of soot and blood poring from a stump of a hand. Holly Bloodhand turned and looked at the child…”What do you have to say fer yerself?” “You were to keep the firing torches lit so the men could set off the cannons!” The young boy spoke with a stutter..”Caaptin..How was IIII susssposse to know not to go below with thththe tortorch ththatt the powwddder was down there?” “Nexttt, ththing I knew BOOM! and we were swswimming fer our livvees!” I chuckled loudly, almost giving myself away. This was proving to be a pirate tale unheard of, I feared no one would believe me.
Holly bellowed to Stanley…”Where did this smidgeon of a boy come from?” Stanley leaned and whispered..”he is your nephew or cousin, but I am sure he is a family member.” Holly still pulling minnows from her locks, stomped her foot..”A family member huh, must be one of the halfbreeds of Uncle Corgul’s, well shove him in a rowboat and send him back.” The poor boy was thrown in a rowboat screaming, “IIII won’t happpeenn agggain, I promise.” But his scream started to fade as a small rowboat drifted away from the dock. Stanley wiped his big hands on his shirt telling Holly Bloodhand that the job was done.
Out of the shadows, on the dock I could see a large ship faltering its way to the docks, flying the colors of Holly Bloodhand, the leeward side blown to bits. It appeared a few of Holly’s rats were still aboard. Men started appearing with planks of oak to make repairs. I found myself wishing they had found their way to another port and not here, hoping they would quickly make the repairs and sail back to sea. Soon they were back aboard and setting sail I can only assume toward Britain….
Letting out my breath and walking back behind my desk muttering “Hmm, perhaps I should send a runner to warn Governor Murdock.”
“Oh well, I am sure he will realize it soon as Captain Holly Bloodhand arrives with her band of rats.” With a hand resting on my forehead I went back to resolving the fishy smell coming from the Fish Guild.
Bloody Holland – by Tehan of Yew
Now three weeks of sailing
Searching for the culprit
I lay my head for resting…
How I’ll love her… WHAT IS IT ??
The admiral is yelling
The cannons fire on it
Another vessel’s drowning.
How I’ll love her… WHAT IS IT ??
Ork captains and pirates
Not her.. Can’t believe it !
Elusive seadog I hate !
How I’ll love her… WHAT IS IT ??
One day through some fog patch
She’ll come out of hiding
She shall be my prized catch
How I’ll love her.. HANGING !