End of Days: Rebirth XIII

The Priates of Sovereign

There was a steady creaking of worn wooden wheels turning nearly covering the sounds of muted conversation. I opened my eyes to see the inside of a covered wagon full of supplies. Crates and barrels stacked around me. I sat up and peered out the back to see another wagon behind me with a gruff looking dwarf half-drunk and half asleep holding the reigns. He wore colors of Morgan’s crew. How we got out of the tunnel and I woke up in this situation were my first questions. I shambled over the goods in the wagon with me and shifted to view out of the front.

“Finally awake I see boyo” Balefore celebrated as he followed the wagon ahead of us. “You were out for quite a while there this time.” A hand clasped my shoulder, and I could see that Haeys was sitting on the right side of the pirate. “Quite a few things have happened after you collapsed in the tunnel the other day.”

“After the attack, I had another vision. The world tree is growing in Celeste, we have opened the pathway to one of the elemental planes, and one of the crows are dead. I saw their plan to bring back Negan. They are preparing a powerful spell to break the seal on the plane of Negative energy where he was banished to. Unfortunately, the only way to stop it is through furthering part of their plan.” The Haeys explained. “By fixing the elemental planes, we are re-establishing the closeness to the negative and positive planes.”

“Our best strategy for protecting this world is to help them? Who’s plan is this?” I questioned. “What did your vision show you?”

The Elf’s eyes rolled back in his head. “The tree of life blossoms in it’s own ash, four doors open. In Mines of riches clash, The Murder gone shines hope in. Brothers at Sea bring in the whale, light lost. Dragons wing gale,  Rule will change at quiet the cost.” He prophesied. When his eyes returned to their normal state I looked upon him with a worried look. Haeys always has been a distant Elf. It was as though his mind was torn between the planes and his soul stuck gazing in the future. His burdens were tearing him apart.

“And whatever that all means is our clue to stopping the Queen, Akor and The End of Days.” Balefore stated with clenched teeth. “We don’t have the man power or the know how to free the Dwarfs so we are heading to what we do know. Morgan told us that one of his vessels ran into one of my other son’s. William, my Eldest has joined up with the Queen and sails on my ship. Worse yet he holds Rackam and Bartholomew hostage as well. They are sailing the northern sea looking for something. We are going change that.”

“Are these supplies for our voyage then?” I questioned.

“Aye,” Balefore confirmed. “No lousy son of mine will sail under the flag of the Queen, I’ll string that dog up myself if I get the chance.”

The three of us went silent for a long while after that. I contemplated Haeys’ words as the sun raced towards the horizon. The sky was brilliantly ablaze with crimson and dotted with golden clouds. A soft wind pushing us towards the coast as if we were being called out to sea. The hills rolled on endlessly as our caravan of pirates creeps closer to their salty home.

“Brothers at sea bring in the whale, light lost” I quoted aloud to myself. This had to be Balefore’s sons. William, Rackam, Bartholomew, and Morgan. They controlled the sea that surrounded the Sovereign coastal regions. Balefore had ruled them all until they threw him in the crypt. The whaler turned pirate. Pendos and Drometorn had said that when their brother was banished by Akor the whales all died off or disappeared. With nothing left to catch he had turned to plunder the royal fleet and coastal towns. Morgan’s crew had said that Balefore the Dread Pirate had a fleet of stolen ships twice the size of the Queen. Now that fleet sailed splintered by a broken family of sons whose father vanished. I was more inclined to believe what we were told by the God-Dragons, but by mixing the tales of the pirates did help fill in the blanks. William at the helm of Balefore’s whaling vessel sailing the northern sea. Bleached white whalebone instead of lumber, a magnificent sight to behold.

“So the goal is to help them bring in a whale? If they are all gone then what are the odds we will find one?” I questioned. “Then we have to get all four of your sons to catch it? What if we can’t parlay with William?”

“My children will answer to me, or I’ll beat the lot of them into submission myself.” Promised Balefore. “Working for the Queen.” He said disdainfully as he spat to the side of the wagon. “Legends say they were all barely teenagers when I turned Pirate. Trained them all meself I did. Learned from the greatest pirate Sovereign had ever seen. They learned to be cruel and take what they wanted. If I could have met myself back then I would have kicked my ass. Maybe William would have stayed away from the Queen. If I only had been there to stop him.”

With the amount of travel we had been doing and were about to do on the seas we had more time to talk about the “what ifs” and “if onlys”. There was a terrible weight that we all felt. It burdened our very souls. The price of resurrection was our lives before death. Even after finding out the things they had done Alessisa, Balefore, and Haeys had no memory of it. It was gone. Even Tahnmgrind carried a similar burden. None of us knew why he was selected but the God-Dragons to aid us, but I am glad that he is. Having at least one person with us who can explain things to us was beneficial. Not to mention he was a great help in a fight and a splendid cook.

The wagons finally pulled to a stop as we came to a large gravel cove. All thirteen of the wagons made a double crescent opening to the edge of the water. A fire was started in the center and the wagons were all unloaded and a series of small boats began to row towards the shore. Morgan had quite the sizable ship rocking peacefully out on the waves. We all gathered around the fire as a feast was cooking on its flame. Ale and hard liquor poured to an empty glass and as we all filled our stomachs a tune hung in the air. Pirates loved the song and dance as much as Alessisa. The sun had finally gone down as we all enjoyed each other’s company. The festivities went on for hours before Morgan stood upon a pyramid of barrels.

“All right everyone!” He yelled, silencing everyone. “When the sun rises over the sea to greet us in the morning we will make our final preparations and set sail for the north.” Morgan’s crew all did their best to stand for their captain’s speech, however, some were too drunk to sit, let alone stand. “We sail to find my treacherous brother William and make him answer for his dealings with the Queen.” They all let out a roaring boo to back up his statement. “We sail to free my other brothers from his grasp.” A loud call of agreement met him. “We sail to find a whale to offer to the God-Dragon Jorgund upon his return!” The cacophony arose yet again. “We sail to show my dear old father that there is still some honor left attached to the Usteler name.” Laughter erupted from the crew, and with it, Balfore approached his son and placed his hand on his shoulder. There was a smile larger than I had ever seen on his face and a swelling of pride in his eyes.

“It seems that at least one of you has some sense to ya!” Balefore exclaimed causing another burst of laughter from the crew. “Now who needs their mugs filled? A sober man the night before a voyage is bad luck if I recall correctly!”

I soon wandered into the warm shallow water of the cove and gazed at the stars. The small pebbles didn’t bother my feet, and with my armor and other personal effects at the shore, I sat down and let the peaceful lapping of the small waves wash over me. I don’t know how long I sat there having had as much as I did to drink made my head feel light and floaty. I laid back into the waves and let them carry me a while. Looking into the starry night sky. I had never felt more at peace with the world. The water muffled the sound of the feast so it was almost silent. My left hand went to my necklace and I felt the ring that had hung there since being brought back in the crypt. I held it firmly in my hand. It was almost like I could hear a voice calling out to me.

“Cinredi! Cinredi! Where are you my love? Please save me Cinredi!” The voice called. But who was it that needed me?