NationStates Jolt Archive

The Kellsguard and Shattersoul Alliance (Invitation Only)

27-04-2005, 10:38
((Play through invitation only. Any souls interested need merely drop me a line. Those welcome know who there are, no need to list names. Everyone else, enjoy the tale. Thanks for your interest!))

She had several aliases, but her crew knew her best as Captain Crimson. No one seemed quite clear upon the exact origin of the name, but most chalked it up to gruesome tales often attached to her name; sailor yarns that spoke of bloodied decks, ruined ships and countless lives lost to her insatiable thirst for savagery. Stuff and nonsense, her men would have claimed had they not been so proud of their leader's vicious reputation, for while the newly named Pirate Queen was as cunning and lethal as any of the Brethren had right to be she inforced a rigid code of honor that barred senseless slaughter. It was because of her rule that her sailors worked without the usual sloppiness of buccaneer crews, for she had made them understand that discipline and efficient was the quickest means to the end they all desired.

It was with these same skills that Crimson had gathered up a carefully selected group of Captains with which she had laid claimed the scattered islands known collectively as Kellsguard and united the vast array of people beneath her banner. Her growing fleet of privateers ("nothing common pirates!", claimed other nations) laid claim to the merchant vessels who sailed through her waters, finding safe harbor in her islands for a perfectly reasonable percentage of their ill gotten gains. A constant thorn in the side of far more powerful nations, her support of the Sweet Trade was swiftly earning her more enemies than her fledgling country could afford.

Stretching out her longs legs, one booted foot crossed over the other in the sand, Crimson settled her back against a grounded pirogue and lit a thin, brown cheroot. After placing it between her lips, she rubbed a hand through her short, windblown hair and tugged the band of black cloth she wore under her bangs and around her forehead, making sure it concealed the delicate taper on the end of each ear. Only her closet mates knew of her elven heritage though there was plenty of speculation. Had not a similar red-headed, point eared pirate ravaged unsuspecting ships a generation or two before? Her mouth curled into a lopsided smirk as she puffed the slim cigar, green eyes lighting upon the impressive black and red frigate moored in the nearby harbor.

For the past few days the Savage Siren had been tucked away in the safety of the small harbor. Less than half a dozen vessels were anchored there and none of them battle forged frigates like Crimson's fine ship. The island was but a tiny thing, rarely marked in most maps though it was tucked in between Shatersoul waters and her own Kellsguard. It was here that had begun the initiation of her alliance, neutral ground where plotted to align the interests of a nation thrice as brutal as her own. With the Gnolls at her back few would dare approach her Islands in search of a coup.

Crimson drew again on her cheroot, breathing out a puff of pleasant, clove laced smoke. She was relaxed but still alert and suddenly craving the taste of a drink. There seemed little point in watching the horizon for Shattersoul sails. The Grand Matron Jinkaru had never shown interest in another kingdom before beyond adding it to her collection of ravished lands. Stubbing out the cigar she rose to her feet in a single, lithe movement and headed towards the small tavern that, beyond a handful of warehouses and palmetto thatched huts, was the only structure on the island. Brilliant with touches and lamplight the establishment beckoned invitingly despite it's less than savory appearance. It was filled with unruly sailors who, even in their drunken merriment took care to avoid the Pirate Queen as she crossed the threshold.

She claimed a table near the far wall from which she could keep her back guarded and her eyes and the door. While she relaxed, she was ever alert, sparing the serving wench a nod when a mug of her usual drink was plunked before her. Grimacing at the taste, the claret was in truth watered down whiskey at best, Crimson left the dented container be.

"Cap'n," a voice hailed as a man strode into the common room. She recognized him as Lorcas, a sandy haired mate with a ready sword arm and grim features. He moved quickly to her side where he murmured something unexpected into her ear. "Shattersoul sails 'ave been spotted. 'tis hard t' tell in this cursed gloom, but th' pennant is recognizable as th' heathen Queen's."

"Well, well, well," she drew out in a low, pleasant voice left tinted by an unrecognizable but melodious accent. "It seems as though we'll be having guests after all." Flashing her trademark smirk, the salt dog settled in for the short wait, eyes directed towards the door through which the Grand Matron would soon arrive.
29-04-2005, 02:13
The flagship of the feared tyranny of Shattersoul was a grim site indeed. A large and hardy frigate made from the black oak of sacred Spine Wood cruised the waves at a steady pace. The linear row of cannons were created from the mold of black iron and the mouth of the cannon's barrels revealed the open maw of detailed canine skulls, accented with chained clusters of totemic skulls; trophies which strung across the cannons like a sacrilege of holiday tinsel supported by barbed metal. There were two distinguishing features about such a dread ship: The first being the extruding jib post, the second being the disturbing insignia upon the main sail that dominated the ship's appearance. Typically on a standard ship, one may customize the appearance with a golden mermaid or other such maiden. But this was simply not the Matriarch's style. Chained under the job post was a massive torso of skeletal ribs, the arms tied upward in such a way that it gave the illusion of a tortured person, spared in only the mercy of death. The twisted grin of the skull gazing forward, a leather bound collar upon it's neck forced the position of the skull to gaze forward where as the spinal cord of the figure stopped at the lower end of the helm area. The second of these churning features were the sails. Each one made of elegant spider silk and fortified with linen, dyed in a coat of black shadow weave to complete the phantasm. This ship had a name, and it was obvious in the markings upon she sail, a three headed flail risen above a mound of decapitated skulls and severed limbs. The ship's name was none other then Death's Voice; the will of Yeenoghu and the Matriarch's flagship.

A snarling voice rebelled within the war room of the ship's under belly where three of Jinkaru's flinds were huddled upon a strategic map marked with an X and various skulls. "Since when did the matron accept alliances with outsiders?"

"Crimson" Replied the more stoic of the three flinds. All three of them were female, and the fourth flind on board had managed to prove himself strong enough to the others to lead the gnolls into their raids. "Is very rich and well known."

With a glare, the black furred female snapped at the other two flinds, she was dominant among the other two. "Never question the Grand Matriarch!" She growled, seemingly ready to tear apart the other two for even discussing this. "She has never led us to failure and without her the Spire would have fallen years ago!" She glared at the one who had dared question the Matriarch. "You would have been dead, Kelasha if Marrowsnap had not convinced her that you were still useful."

"I was not questioning her actions." Kelasha replied strongly. "I just don't know about trusting Crimson. Why should we share our plunder?"

"Leave that to the Matriarch to decide." Skultra, the ebon furred flind would interrupt the brief debate. "Now quiet, we'll be docking soon. It's best not to let our personal feelings cloud any judgment."

Kelasha dared not over step herself a second time, she got off easy on the reprimanding words of Skultra. She would not wish to give the flind an excuse to eviscerate her belly and spill her organs onto the wooden floors. She just gave a silent nod and turned to head out of the room. "I'll make sure that the gnolls remain at the ship as directed..." With that, she made her leave and the other two flinds would exchange a few more words before nodding to each other and exiting as well. This was an operation of peace and there for only those with official ranking had the rights to be at Jinkaru’s side. Besides, this was neutral territory and a landing party of gnolls would suggest that they were planning for an invasion. That was not the impression Jinkaru wished to give at this time.

Death's Voice had scouted the harbor carefully and the crew of gnolls had been priming their weapons in an intimidating manner as if daring someone, anyone to attempt to cause trouble with them. They were as respectful as gnolls can be, but still willing to cause trouble should the oppertunity arrive. Skultra would be at the matriarch's right side, where as Bone Singer would stand at her left. They acted more as escorts then negotiation officials, being as the Grand Matrairch made the country's laws, decisions, and fate.

Pushing the door open with one hand, Jinkaru would make her way into the tavern. The sharp features of the dark grey furred and black striped hyena gave a chill down one's spine. Her choice of garb was the perfect blend of erotic desire and deadly fashion. She wore an ebon, spider silk frock over her shoulders, which was embroidered with intricate and grim designs within the material in gold thread. The rock was not buttoned or even tied, but rather she gave an open view of the two horned skulls worn over her chest, which was supported on her body by two thin chains that crossed over her back. She also wore an elegant loincloth made of the same spider silk material as her frock, a secondary horned skull was displayed at the end occasionally brushing against her knees. Upon her waist, she wore a barbed leather band that held the masterwork cutlass upon her waist. The hilt, on the other hand, was a unique image in itself. A hyena's skull was carved into the pommel, bearing two obsidian eyes and a snarling expression. The matriarch gazed about slowly out of her enigmatic, mismatched hues. "Charming place..." She spoke calmly to herself. A clawed hand would move up to her spiked collar where she absently toyed with the horned skull draped there. Ah, those eyes fell upon the figure beside the sandy haired lad. This was the one whom she came the distance for. "Crimson, I presume?" She flashed a mischievous little smile for her greeting. Perhaps this night would prove interesting after all.