Kasa Brace, The Crimson Pirate

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Chapter 6


Kasa collapsed to one knee, breathing heavily, sweat dripping from everywhere. Her back was inflamed and she could feel the blisters that had burst during the remainder of the fight. Second Mate Kleine rushed over to her and performed a healing spell with her magic.

“Well, that was officially the worst fight of my life,” Kasa coughed up a laugh.

“It's fights like that that remind us why you are Captain,” Bausk stated.

“It's true. I don't think any among us, Winston included, could have won that fight,” Kleine said.

Kasa gingerly stood to her feet. “I only won because he didn't recognize I carried two magic weapons.”

She walked over and picked up Widowmaker, putting the rapier back in its sheath.

“OK, let’s check this ship out. I assume the treasure will be in the hold. Leave it for now, that shade said there was a way to return this ship to the bay. It'll be far easier to remove the treasure that way.”

“Aye, aye, Captain,” the crew answered.

Kasa headed for the captain’s cabin with Kleine in tow. The ship, though she was old, was actually in good shape; although it appeared that some of the blue crystals had begun to form on the vessel. Kasa opened the door to the captain's personal quarters. It was a large room, bigger than hers on the Crimson Widow, which was understandable, seeing that the ship was nearly double the size of her ship: the Devil's Reaper was made for power. The captain’s quarters consisted of a row of shelves littered with items the pirate king had collected over the years. There was a dining table, and judging by the scratches scrapes, burns and knife marks. she was sure it was used for a great number of things other than eating. There was a bed off in the corner, and a large desk, and sitting behind the desk was the body of Captain Felmorn Briarbeard.

“Kleine, look around for the journal. The answer to how to get this ship out of here is in there somewhere,” she instructed.

Kleine began to look around while Kasa checked the body of the captain himself. She checked his leather coat that somehow was undamaged by the years. She saw that he still wore his sword and that it looked just the same as when his spector wielded it. She unbuckled the belt and pulled the sword, belt and scabbard free. When she eased the blade from the scabbard, flame ignited along the blade, illuminating the cabin.

“I believe I've earned the right to wield this,” she stated, buckling the belt on her waist.

She checked the desk and found a skillfully-hidden drawer underneath the seat. She checked the body once more for a key. After a few minutes, she found nothing in his clothing. Just as she was about to look elsewhere, Kasa noticed a key-like shape amongst the bits of bone in Briarbeard's beard. She respectfully removed the key and unlocked the drawer. Inside, she found a leather-bound book and a whistle made of pure silver. Etched on the whistle were designs of birds flying.

Kleine came over. “Captain, that whistle has magic.”

“Yes, I figured it did,” she said handing it off to Kleine.

From outside the room, Kasa could hear a shout.

“We found the treasure, boss!”

“Good!” she shouted back. “I'll be over in a few. Don't touch it! It could have traps!”

“Aye, aye, Captain!”

Kasa sat down on the bed and opened the journal.

Year of the Azure Flame 1442, Day 45

We found it! The Hand of Tsubas, the glove that can turn anything it touches to gold. That poor sod Lockie should have listened to his captain when I said don't touch the tips. Ha-ha. Traded him in for a new third ship and all new cannons for the Devil's Reaper. Once we return to Hawk's Landing, we'll get the Reaper retrofitted for air travel. With this glove, I will not only be the pirate king, I will be king of the skies.

Year of the Azure Flame 1442, Day 66

The men have been acting strangely since we brought the glove to Eska En' Du. I think they plot to kill me and take the treasure from me. The fools! Only I possess the key to the golden chest and only I possess the key to transport the ship back to the bay. Kill me if you dare, there are only three ways out of here. I hold the key to them all.

Year of the Azure Flame 1442, Day 71

They have finally done me in. Meh treacherous first mate, the one I trusted most, poisoned me. As I write this, I am dying. He has taken the key to the chamber hatch and left me here to die along with the others. He did not get my treasure, though. I swallowed the key and have swallowed it again everyday. I could hear them die as they attempted to open the chest by force. Reflective magic is the best way to protect something. They will never get meh treasure. I shall take it with me to meh grave.

“Ewww, gross,” Kasa complained.

“What is it, Captain?” Kleine asked.

“Looks like Briarbeard became extremely possessive of the treasure to the point that he trapped his crew here with him. Most of them starved to death or died trying to break into the chest. Says that he had a reflective spell placed on the chest,” Kasa said, standing up and walking to the body once more.

“That's ingenious, really,” Kleine mused. “Any type of blow or damage done to the chest reflects back on the person that did it.”

“So strike it with a sword, feel the force of the strike.”

“Exactly, but why did you sound disgusted, Captain?” Kleine asked, following Kasa back to the desk.

“Because, apparently in his madness,” Kasa sighed deeply and plunged her hand into the rotten inside of the long dead pirate king,. “he decided the best way to keep the key safe was to eat it daily.”

Kasa shifted around a bit before withdrawing her hand, revealing the key.

“Is the whistle what I think it is?” Captain Brace asked with her clean hand outstretched.

Kleine handed Kasa the whistle. “Yes, Captain, this will trigger the link between lodestone stored within the cavern with its partner in the bay. Assuming another one is on this ship somewhere, one blow of that whistle will teleport us to the bay.”

“Excellent, get everyone ready.”

The two pirates walked out of the captain's cabin and headed down into the decks below. After a few minutes, they stood before a golden chest. The chest was two feet tall and four feet wide. It appeared to have been made of simple wood and steel but was now completely made of gold.

“Kleine, can it be moved without triggering the spell?”

The mage stepped forward and waved her open palm over the chest. A luminous appear just about the golden lid. Kleine studied the magic pattern for a moment before answering.

“Yes, Captain.”

“Good; Bausk, Helmda move the chest to the main deck. I want everyone there when we open this.”

The two titans nodded and proceeded to lift the chest out of the hold. Kasa and the others followed. Kasa instructed them all to find something to hold onto before she blew the whistle. The cool sliding sensation was brief and years on the Storm-Swept Sea kept their nausea at bay. In the blink of an eye, they were once more in the bay not fifty feet away from Crimson Widow. Kasa waved at Winston, who immediately lowered a boat to send over to them.

Kasa waited and had them load the treasure over, and like a good captain, was the last one to leave Devil's Reaper. Kasa climbed the ladder to greet her crew only to find those she had traveled with restrained and Winston's sword pointed at her chest.

“Winston, what are you doing?”

“Self promotion. Now, step over here and open the chest.”

“Make me, you wet nosed sea-pup.”

Winston moved forward and pressed the blade’s tip between Kasa's breasts. She smirked her most sensual smile and pulled Winston's right leg out from under him with her tail. As she leaned forward, she grasped the hilt of the sword, forcing it upward. She followed the motion forward, kicking him into his cohorts. Kasa smiled at the concussive sound of a thunderclap and watched all those near Kleine go flying.

Kasa pulled Widowmaker from her hip and crossed blades with Winston.

“This was your plan, huh?” She asked.

“Not exactly, I hadn't planned on you leaving me behind,” he grunted between parries.

“I see, you were going to stab me in the back and leave me down there.”

“As you said, you’re the best with a blade on this ship. I have the numbers, Kasa. You cannot win.”

Kasa parried a strike from Winston and another of his men shifted back towards the deck’s edge. The pirate lunged a thrust with his saber. Kasa batted the blade away and impaled the scallywag on Widowmaker’s poisoned blade. She kicked him away with a spin and in a single motion drew and fired Blood Biter at Winston. He jerked his head to the right and the enchanted bolt grazed across the treacherous bastard's left eye. Kasa started to advance as the form of Kleine flew toward her shouting.

“CAPTAIN!!!”

Kasa was tackled overboard as an arrow the size of a javelin, fired from a titan's bow, struck the intercepting half-elf. The arrow hit Kleine through the right shoulder blade, the point burst through her chest, stabbing Kasa as well. The two were hurtled in a frightful spin off the deck and splashed down into the deep blue waters of the bay.

Kasa held tightly onto Kleine, who was slack in her grip. She moved Widowmaker to her tail and swam hard and fast toward Devil's Reaper. Her body burned with the strain and blood clouded the waters around her. More arrows torpedoed around her as she swam. Arrows weren’t only problem she was sure the blood would attract sharks.

She powered onward and after what seemed like an eternity, her lungs burning like a wildfire, the two of them surfaced, gasping for air. Kasa swam to the rope ladder and looked back at the Crimson Widow. The flight sails had been lowered and the ship was turning.

“Shit! He's readying the cannons,” Kasa said to the unconscious Kleine.

The crimson pirate wrapped her arm around the rope ladder and her legs around Kleine. With her free hand, she pulled out the silver whistle. She looked up to see the cannons fire and blew.

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