As your are walking around the deck of Serenity's Bane, the pirate ship you came across on Krawk Island, you can't help but feel you're being watched.
But you seem to be the only one on deck. Shaking the feeling off, you continue to explore the enormous ship. Suddenly, a shadow falls over you as something swoops overhead. You look up only to find the sails billowing in the breeze. More than a little worried now, you make your way to the nearest door. Before you can reach safety, however, you hear a beating of wings as something knocks you down from behind. Dazed, you turn around to find a very tall, very angry-looking uni mare staring back at you.
And just who might ya be?" she asks, snorting and stomping her hoof, "A thief, come to steal what we've rightfully stolen?!"
Gah! I'm serenitys_bane! I'm just visiting!" you cry, getting to your feet.
She snorts again, glaring at you.
A pirate's ship is no place for 'visitors'..."
Suddenly the ship's captain, Veruka_FyreFly, emerges from her quarters and approaches the two of you.
Aye, Frey, I see yeh've met serenitys_bane. Why don't yeh show 'em around?" she says.
The uni turns back to you, sneering, "...Fine."
As the captain goes back to her quarters, the uni glances at you, muttering, "She's much too trusting..."
She heads into a nearby door and you reluctantly follow. The door leads through a very narrow hallway to a small room with barely enough space for a bed and a nightstand.
Not exactly th'most comfortable o' rooms, but I get by," the uni says, offering you a spot on the bed.
First off, m'name is Freyalise. Preferred that you drop the 'lise' part, though, er... 'serenitys_bane'," she says, as you take your seat.
She sits herself down on the floor, now eye to eye with you, and clears her throat before beginning....
# Beginnings #
Long before I ever laid eyes on the Serenity, I lived m'whole life on Mystery Island. Born and raised there, I was. My family was poor, as the island was small, and there weren't many available jobs. Even the jobs that were available my parents could not take, they had been ill with an unknown sickness as long as I could remember. Tourists were the main source of income, as all the islanders would sell them little trinkets and souvenirs. But still, that was hardly enough to support a family. So I found m'own way. I still made money off of the many tourists that visited the island, but instead o' wasting m'own time making worthless gifts they'd throw away as soon as they returned home, I'd pick their pockets. I know, I know, not the most 'honorable' way to make a livin', but 'twas so very easy...
The years went buy, and the pickpocketing had earned m'enough money to support m'family, though it wasn't enough to move us all to Neopia Central. But the money was not coming fast enough. One day, I visited the docks, I don't remember why exactly, but when I arrived there I found many ships that were looking for new crew members. Truth be told, at that time I'd never even set hoof on a ship, but the wages were double, even triple what I 'made' in a month. I told m'parents of this, but they were not as enthusiastic about it as I had been. They feared that I would not want to return, that I would just leave them there and go to Neopia Central by m'self. Or that I wouldn't be strong enough to carry out what it took to keep a ship sailing. I vowed to show them that I could do it, and that I would return.
That afternoon, I set out for the docks...
There was still one ship loading in the harbor that was taking on new crew members. I quickly went aboard and asked for a job. The captain, a rather gruff looking Eyrie, barely looked up from his manifest to tell me I was welcomed aboard, and that the ship would be leaving by sunset.
As I sailed around the waters of Neopia, I quickly learned the basics of commandeering a vessel. Admittedly, I wasn't very efficient with steering the boat, but I have to say I surprisingly excelled at plotting courses and taking care of the many sails. And being that I'm a fairly large uni, loading and unloading cargo was a simple task for me. Howe'er, m'captain only saw me as a draft uni, which I can only assume led to his decision later..." the uni pauses, breaking off eye contact with you and simply staring out the porthole with a forlorn look on her face.
..We had just about completed our voyage, one more stop and we were headed back to Mystery Island. I would be paid, but more importantly, I would see m'parents again... Our final stop was Krawk Island. I had only heard stories from the tourists about it, how it was a very seedy place, how you basically couldn't set foot on it without becoming the target of at least one pirate there. I tried to keep my wits about me, be attentive around the foreigners, when really, I shoulda been more attentive around m'captain.
It turns out there was more to our voyage then just delivering cargo. There were pirates on Krawk Island looking for strong pets to carry out work for them. And I fit that description. I was captured and imprisoned on another ship, betrayed by m'own captain. I was held prisoner there and forced to work, usually pulling the heaviest of cargo, and sometimes even helping to bring the ship itself ashore for repair, and unable to return to Mystery Island. I soon learned the ways of piracy, the hard way, and to keep m'self alive, I had to be tough, tough as I could possibly be...
# Escape #
It was months and months later before I returned to Mystery Island, much later than m'parents expected me to. And even then, I wasn't allowed to leave the dock, guarded by two other pirates. Not that I was going to let two pirates who barely came up to my chest stand in my way. It was the perfect opportunity, and I took it. With one flap of m'wings, I was off, leaving two very startled pirates standing on the deck below, yelling at me as I flew away.
My first instinct was to return home, to let m'family know I'd returned. I ran down the beach as fast as I could to the little hut by the shore where we lived. I pushed open the door with m'snout, only to find that it was empty. No furniture, no possessions of any kind, but more importantly, no family. They were gone. I hurried to the Island Mystic's nearby hut, surely he would know where they'd gone...
M'afraid they did not believe you would be returning, child,' the Mystic said quietly when I inquired about m'family's whereabouts, 'They gathered up the money you'd left behind and left the island a few months back...'
I trudged slowly through the beach, wondering what I would possibly do now. It was m'fault that I'd taken that 'job'. My mind was swirling with thoughts of guilt, and I hadn't noticed I'd wandered to the dock. I also hadn't noticed the two angry pirates walking towards me, a rope in one of their hands, until it was too late. They threw the rope around m'neck and tried to drag me back to the ship. I fought with all the strength I had, flapping m'wings and kicking whenever one of them got too near. I wasn't going, at least not without fighting with all I had. Suddenly, with a cracking noise much like a whip, the rope snapped in two, and I fell backwards onto the deck, landing very hard on my right wing. I looked up to see a wocky, cutlass in hand, glaring at m'captors.
I stood up and attempted to fly again, but there was too much pain in my wing. The wocky raised her cutlass menacingly, 'I don't believe there's a problem here, is there, gentlemen?' Faced with this strange, armed wocky, they shook their heads. 'Then perhaps it be best to cut yer losses and get yer sorry hides back to yer ship, eh?' The pirates glowered at the wocky, then at me, apparently deciding that I was not worth the fight, and ran back to their ship."
Yeh alright?" the wocky asked, sheathing her cutlass and turning to face me. I nodded, wincing a little at the pain in m'side. "Perhaps we should have a look at that wing, aye?" she said, leading me to her ship..."
# Finding Serenity #
The wocky, whose name I soon learned was Veruka_FyreFly, was the captain of a grand ship that was named Serenity's Bane. It was an exquisite ship, its hull a deep purple color and it had golden sails. Veruka told me all about her grandfather and how she had inherited the ship, and in turn, I told her of the pirates that had held me captive. She helped mend my wing, and offered me a place to stay for the night. And so I did. I found out that she was in desperate need of crewmates, especially one that was good at handling the sails. I m'self was in need of a ship that could take me all over Neopia, so that I could find m'parents.
So I became first mate, as well as sailing master. I was in charge of plotting courses for the ship, and sometimes drawing up maps, as accurate maps were hard to come by. I also controlled each and every one of the eleven sails, and was responsible for making sure they were in perfect condition and repairing any damaged ones. When it comes to raiding merchant ships, or even other pirate ship, I must admit I am the brawn. You won't be besting me in a fistfight, that's for sure," the uni smirks.
Captain Veruka pays m'well for my work, and I am allowed to keep a fair share of whatever we pillage off of rival pirate ships, not to mention a good deal of the treasure we've found. I do not know if I will ever find m'parents, but for now, I feel like I'm home. Even with the cramped quarters, the hard times at sea, and the occasional fight that goes awry, I'm grateful to the Captain for taking me in, and she'll forever have m'loyalty..."
# Family #
Captain Veruka FyreFly.
The Captain saved me on Mystery Island, and offered me a place on her ship, so naturally I am forever in her debt. That being said, I think I find her too trusting and too curious for her own good. She can't keep offering strangers to come aboard. Still, she does have a fairly good judge of character, and she's quite good at being a leader. Not to mention how good she is as finding buried treasure. Quite the pirate. I'm glad to serve on her ship.
Kalia? I do not know too much about her. She came aboard under suspicious circumstances, and I can't help but wonder if it is safe to have her stow away on this ship. Someone is certainly after her... As far as her personality, she's a little on the quiet side, but is very opinionated and expresses those opinions quite well. She does her fair share of work, even if it's small things like swabbin' the deck and cooking meals. I have to admit, she is a pretty good cook. Still don't know if I trust her though. She's holding back something, but I can't put m'finger on it.
# Nautical Knots #
One thing every sea-faring pirate should know is how to tie knots. You'd think a simple knot might do, but there are many special knots specifically made to keep the rigging from slipping, and more importantly, keep you alive. Here are a few basic knots you may want to know.
The Reef Knot
The reef knot is the most basic of nautical knots. It's a simple knot that can easily be tied and untied. Unfortunately, it is not the strongest of knots, and it can slip fairly easily. It's commonly used just for tying two pieces of rope together at the ends. Its main use is for reefing sails - rolling up sails and tying them up with the knot - where it got its name. It is also known as the Square Knot.
The Clove Hitch
The clove hitch is used to tie a rope to pole or spar, and can be made quite quickly and easily. However, it should be only a temporary knot as it has a tendency to jam when under heavy tension, making it very difficult to untie. It also may untie itself when it is subjected to repeated strain (for example, if the water is particularly choppy, the rocking of the boat would be enough to loosen the knot.)
The Rolling Hitch
This knot is like the Clove Hitch, but with an addition turn in it. This knot is mostly used to take the strain off of a second rope by tying this rope to it. If there is enough strain on the rope, you can also tie it one-handed.
The Sheet Bend
Another quick tying knot, the Sheet Bend is quite similar to the Reef Knot. This rope is used for tying two ropes together, but especially ropes of varying thickness. Unfortunately, it is also a weaker knot than most others, and if there is no tension on it, it may very well loosen enough to fall apart.
The Angler's Knot
This knot is used to tie together ropes of equal thickness. It's usually used by fishermen to join two pieces of fishing line, and it works especially well on thin string or twine. Very difficult to untie, but sturdy.
The Carrick Bend
Also called the Anchor Bend or Sailor's Knot, the Carrick Bend is perhaps the strongest bend. It is easy to tie, and is readily untied. It cannot jam, and does not slip easily in wet conditions.
# Adopt a Compass #
One of the most important things for anyone at sea is a trusty compass. So, I offer this one to you to put on your page and guide your way. I may have more colors soon...
# Adopted #
# Find Me Again #
You have to go now? Pity. Er, I mean, finally. However, if ever feel like dropping by, you can take this piece of map to find your way back. Veruka gave Kalia and I both a piece.
...And this be where my piece goes...
Or, you could use a simpler link.
# Friendly Ports #
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