Characters Elsa and Yecats
Special thanks to @stacky-a
for letting me include her cat in this story :D
Here is my story legend of brandy. if you haven't seen chapter one you can find it here. https://www.seaofthieves.com/forum/topic/74913/the-legend-of-brandy-is-back-new-chapter-one/7
“Brandy, move!” Herb’s shouted words deteriorated in the presence of the mermen. Brandy stood as still as a statue staring into the other worldly eyes locked on her. The merman closest to her paused at the mention of her name. He examined her a moment then relaxed his weapon to his side. He knew this human. He placed his slick hand on the stunned girl’s shoulder and leaned close to whisper in Brandy’s ear. After this, he turned to the other mermaids, signaling them back into the sea. The newly formed crew watched in disbelief as the mermaids dove into the ocean, their legs transforming back to tails in a shimmer of blue mist. The harps of battle continued to strum in chaotic harmony and the army of mermaids descended on the small fleet in pursuit of Brandy.
No one on board could make sense of what had just taken place, but experience woke Esmeralda. The captain seized the advantage, bellowing orders to get the ship on course and sails angled to the wind. Herb and Elsa caught the sails while Esmeralda secured the helm, but Brandy’s encounter with the people of the sea imprisoned her attention.
During her childhood she had befriended a young merman she discovered trapped in a net. They swam together daily, as much as she could keep up with her human lungs, and often played in the bay she had been living by until one day the nobleman looking after her discovered this friendship. He gathered several people from the town to take to the water on boats and capture the mer-child. Brandy never understood the hatred most humans had for merfolk as the Water Tower War ended when she was just a few years old. Although she had heard stories, she had never seen the warriors of the merfolk and wasn’t going to miss her first chance. Brandy ran to the stern and readied her telescope to watch them fight. The tales of their ferocity had not been exaggerated.
One sloop had already been capsized. Brandy could see several men floating in the water through her spy glass. One by one, they disappeared under the waves, mermaids grabbing their ankles, dragging them screaming into the depths. On board the enemy galleon, Brandy could see mermen dueling pirate marines with tridents clashing against steel. A man in the crow’s nest was doing his best to snipe the attacking hoard with his eye of reach rifle, but the few he took out did not slow them down enough. The ship was emptied of every human soul within minutes. The sniper fired off all his ammunition and had to wait in despair as a snarling merman climbed the rope ladder to his nest. He tried to kick him off, but the merman grabbed his leg and tossed him to the deck below. The other warriors sprang on his broken body like a pack of piranha. The last sloop had defeated the boarding mermaids with superior firepower and were sailing back to shore. The drumming squadron gave chase into the fog and Brandy lost sight of the battle.
“What the hell was that?!” Esmeralda demanded of Brandy. “We should all be dead. What did he say to you, Brandy?”
The merman’s words rang in her ears. “He said ‘I let you go this time only as a favor I owe, but if we cross paths again, my debt will be paid and I will tear you apart Abomination’. I don’t know what he’s talking about though, the only merman I ever met was killed almost ten years ago.”
Esmeralda didn’t appreciate this coy message, but let it go for the time being. “I guess I can be satisfied with being alive for now. Mermaids are vicious even for my standards. Well, maybe not that bad” Esmeralda chuckled.
“They will destroy Ica, Father!” Elsa wailed. “Our home will be lost!” Herb came to his daughter’s side. “I don’t think so, darling. The mermaids are savage warriors, but they have a code of honor among their order. They wouldn’t attack unarmed residents without cause. Even if they wanted to, the sun will soon rise and, if caught on land, they would be defenseless. Only by the fall of night during the presence of the moon can a mermaid use their legs.”
“Have a lot of mer-friends, do you?” Esmeralda questioned. Herb explained, “As a life-long fisherman I have run across many merfolk. They are a lot more like us than people would have you believe. Some just want to live their lives peacefully. Some have less honorable agendas, just like any human. My wife fought in the war and her life was taken by their warriors. I hated them for a while after that but one day was met by a merman while fishing. We shared tales and I found out that he had lost his wife in much the same way as I did. He too was left alone to care for his child. That meaningless war hurt both sides, but people like to overlook that.”
“You mean the Water Tower War?” Brandy asked. James had told her about the battles that took place nearly twenty years ago between the merfolk and humans. As the legend goes, there is a tower deep below the waves that houses one of the Ferryman’s keys to the Underworld. This mysterious key could be used to open or lock gates leading to the world of the living. Occasionally, these gates appear across the world releasing skeletons, ghosts, and other demonic leviathans to deploy havoc on humans and merfolk alike. No one has ever been able to recover the key though. It is too deep underwater for man to access, and the key is said to be locked in a room made of sunstone, a material deadly to the touch for mermaids. The legend claims a terribly fiendish skeleton lord once stole this key from the Ferryman to not only escape the underworld but open the portals as he pleased and release his demonic legions across the world.
This was tragic for human and merfolk alike but instead of working together, differing philosophies about what to do with the key caused a war to break out. The battles were hard fought, burdening both species, and eventually ended in a truce. Dealing with each other and the random attacks from the Underworld proved too challenging to reasonably sustain. Despite nearly fifteen years passing since the war’s end, distrust and hate remained between mankind and the children of the ocean.
“That’s the one, pointless affair that was.” Herb said.
Esmeralda scoffed, “Pointless indeed. Perhaps if they drowned less of my family and mates, I’d be a little more interested in forgiveness. Still, I haven’t seen anything like this since those days. It’s as if they don’t know the war is long since over. What are they doing in Ica?”
Herb considered this. “I don’t know, but Elsa and I will stay with you for a while, Brandy. It’s too dangerous to travel the waters back right now, and for whatever reason, the merfolk appear to like you.”
Elsa chimed in after her father. “Yes! I want to stay too. I was scared before, but I don’t want to give up on my dream of being a pirate. The only mistake I made was trusting that jerk who gave me up to save his own skin. Besides, I owe Captain Esmeralda for defending me. Thank you so much. Truly you saved me from so much!” The long haired blonde said while placing her hand on the Captain’s shoulder.
Esmeralda smiled at Elsa. “I can sense the spirit of a pirate in you, darling. Think nothing of it but one betrayed lass lending a hand to another. Take what you can because no one will give you what you deserve, Elsa.” The captain then looked to Brandy. “Now that we are all decided to stay the course, let’s go get James back. We sail to Stillshire. There we will find your Uncle, and I will find Admiral Pike.”
Esmeralda explained to Brandy that he was the man responsible, not only for the attack and capture of her Uncle, but also the man who had betrayed Esmeralda, having her locked away.
Brandy understood. “If that’s the case, I will see him dead too. Uncle always said Father would never let a wrong go unchecked.”
“He taught you well, I see. It’s kind of scary how much of Revan I can see in you. Just remember, it’s a hard balance to strike between violence and freedom. Without James to cool him down, I think Revan’s thirst for ‘freedom’ would have spread a fire consuming the whole world, himself included. You let your bloodlust get the best of you and your focus will be lost. I’ve been there.” She winked with the smell of recently slain pirates wafting around her. “Don’t get me wrong, in doses, it is necessary. Just take caution. Your blood runs hot, Brandy.” Esmeralda guided the wheel, keeping straight between the motion of the waves below. Brandy considered her advice. Esmeralda wasn’t wrong about her father. Revan was wild. Judging from the stories she had heard, his freedom was bound to infringe on yours if you came too close. Still, James always made sure to remind her of Revan’s love for her. He claimed she was the best part of him. “Listen, when we get to Stillshire they are not going to be happy to see me.” The Captain continued. “They locked me up when I refused to play a part in capturing you. I assume they want you so they can get to Revan and the Devil’s Own. They have gone unchecked for a long time so that makes sense. Whatever they want, it isn’t my style to sell bodies. I deal in stolen goods. Tea, spice, silks, that kind of thing. Besides, the Devils and I have agreements profitable to both. I wouldn’t want to mess with that.”
Brandy pondered this for a moment. “So if they won’t listen to you we will have to go in guns blazing and arms slicing?” She said with a familiar sparkle in her eye.
“Wow kid, really? We just talked about this. You’ve got to start using your head or your flame will burn out bright and quick. I think we should turn you in.” Brandy threw her hands up in shocked protest. “I mean not REALLY turn you in, but if I present you as a prize, it could get us an audience with Pike. Without something to offer, we won’t get within a hundred feet of him.” The plan made enough sense to Brandy so she begrudgingly agreed to play the role of captive if it meant saving her Uncle.
The journey to Stillshire would take a few days. This gave the Captain time to teach Elsa tricks and tips in handling a dagger, Esmeralda’s specialty, while Herb took some time to instruct his daughter with the firearms they found in the Snake Pit’s armory. “Keep steady, Elsa!” Her father called out. Elsa had never had an interest in guns so she had never been shooting before and the adrenaline from the act had her blood pumping. She tried to stay steady but missed the bottles on the ship’s railing again and again. Elsa cried out in frustration dropping the flintlock pistol to the deck. “I just can’t do it! I can’t stop shaking! I don’t think I can do this!” She said walking away from her father and consoling herself by wrapping her arms together.
“Hey, honey. We can take a break, ok?” Her father said while scooping the pistol off the boards of the galleon. “Don’t worry it will come to you, Elsa.” He went below deck to store the firearm as someone else came from behind Elsa.
“Just leave me alone Dad!” She shouted turning to see Esmeralda. “Oh! I’m sorry Captain. I just.. I’m frustrated. I want to make him proud of me. Both of you!” She finished, turning away a bit shyly.
Esmeralda pursed her lips and rested her back against the side of the ship while fiddling with the bird in her arms. She wrapped a scrap of parchment to the bird’s leg and sent him off into the sky. She looked back at Elsa who seemed curious about this and said, “Popular girl like me has to keep up with her friends, you know? Anyway, you have already impressed me, Elsa. You seem to be picking up the dagger very well. Unlike shooting, that adrenaline will serve you greatly. Use that energy to be faster than your enemy and strike thrice to his once. Maybe pistols aren’t for you, still, it’s good to practice with all arms. As a pirate, you never know what situation you will end up in. Just know that you don’t have to worry in battle. I will watch over you, Kitten.” Esmeralda said with a smile.
Elsa had changed out of her torn jail clothes. She now wore a green coat that was waist length and had golden trims and designs on the back. Her pants were tight, tan, and tucked into her tall black boots. Underneath the coat, she wore a frilly white shirt. All of these she had borrowed from Esmeralda’s wardrobe stored on board. Elsa’s mother had died soon after her birth. The Captain was beginning to take the place of the role model Elsa had always wished for. She knew her mother was a tough soldier and Elsa couldn’t stand being so meek, but didn’t know how to change it. Maybe Esmeralda could help. Her confidence was enticing to Elsa.
Herb emerged from the lower decks with his blunderbuss in hand and a big smile across his face. “Alright, so precision isn’t your thing yet. Let me introduce you to your new best friend, Elsa!” He handed his daughter the wide blasting weapon and lead her back to the bottles. “Give it a try, baby.”
Elsa felt the weight of the weapon, but smiled. If she couldn’t be tough yet, this weapon could be tough in her place. Her father posed her arms in the proper place and backed away. With a squeeze of the trigger shrapnel tore through all the bottles at once. Elsa let out a cheer and jumped up and down while Esmeralda and Herb gave applause.
Brandy looked over down from the yard arm she was laying on. After a quick smile, she returned her eyes to admiring the sea. Brandy noticed dolphins racing alongside of the ship and she dreamed she was one as she toyed with her silvered chain. The ocean was her best friend growing up. It was the only real constant in her life. Friends and caretakers came and went. Her Uncle had been around now and again, but the ocean never left her side. There were nights she would sneak out and wade in the water. Finding sunken treasures, chasing fish, and avoiding sharks with the skill of a matador were her favorite pastimes. Brandy had also learned to hold her breath for an exceptionally long time as well. More than once, she had used this trick to avoid teachers, chores, and real danger alike. Brandy drifted off to sleep pulling her uncle’s wide brimmed hat over her face, undisturbed by the sounds of Elsa practicing with her new toy.
At long last, Esmeralda’s ship, the Snake Pit, arrived in Stillshire. In great contrast to Ica, Stillshire was a lively city. People were out and about everywhere. The roads were paved in cobble and carts full of goods were being pulled by horses to and from the port. Brandy and the others docked the ship and disembarked. As they got onto the long wooden pier, an officer of the Navy came up to inspect them. He was backed by two other armed service men. They wore blue uniforms as opposed to the red ones worn by Esmeralda’s imposters back on Ica. Their coats had white trimmings, gold for the officer, and looked quite fetching on the young men. These were real marines Brandy thought. “We have been expecting the Pit for some time, but I have to say it’s a bit alarming to see you captaining it, Esmeralda. Has there been a change I wasn’t made aware of or should I put you down right here?” Asked the officer with his hand on his pistol.
“Charles! So good to see you too, handsome.” Esmeralda began. Charles was not handsome. He wore an awful scowl that was permanently fixed to his pale face. His hat hid a receding hairline and his dull eyes would inspire no poet. “I come bearing gifts! This is the young lady you have all been so hot and bothered to get your hands on. I believe Admiral Pike may take a different attitude with me should he see this bargaining chip. Would you be a darling and go tell him for me?”
Charles winced his eyes and got within an inch of Esmeralda. “Know your place, pirate.” He said the word with such disgust. “We will see how favorably the Admiral remembers you.” Without looking away from Esmeralda, Charles snapped his fingers at the marine next to him. “Oscar, ride ahead and alert Admiral Pike we will meet him in Storehouse C.”
“Aye, Lieutenant!” The man said and took off on his horse as Charles and his remaining bodyguard put iron chains on Brandy’s wrists, leading her down the road with Esmeralda, Herb, and Elsa cautiously in tow. A few blocks away, they came to a desolate part of the port. They passed by a few guards and a gate sectioning the zone off from the public. The group entered a building used for storing goods to be exported and Charles kicked a gray cat lazing about in his way so he could reach the center of the room. The cat hissed and raised his claws as the others passed. Elsa gasped at this display of cruelty and grabbed a small piece of food from her pocket, leaving it near the cat as she passed. He stopped hissing to study the blonde woman a moment before running off with the bit of food. In the middle of the dimly lit storehouse with Brandy’s arm in his hand, Charles came to a stop and snapped his fingers. Five soldiers appeared from behind different aisles of shelving that housed various products for export. They took aim on Brandy and her friends from a safe distance. Two more officers arrived from the back of the building, striding up to Charles. “Good work Lieutenant. Oscar has informed me that you captured Brandy, Esmeralda, and their two sailors attempting to sneak into port. Your loyalty to the crown will be handsomely rewarded.” Spoke Admiral Pike. He was a stocky man built like a bear. His royal blue and gold uniform seemed stretched to a breaking point by the man’s muscular frame. He also had an unusual beard that narrowed down into five individual points like a pentagon. Pike was an imposing figure.
“What a pack of lies! I have to say Charles, darling, I’m impressed by your sinister cunning. Especially for a military man.” Esmeralda baulked.
The third officer present stomped forward. “Does the manipulation ever cease with you pirates?” He was a tall and strapping man. His face left just a dusting of stubble and his piercing blue eyes held up dirty blonde furrowed brows.
“Sweet Prince! When will you come to your senses, Griffin? These lot are not the good guys. That sense of justice you have is entirely too twisted and ironic for me. Excuse me whilst I gag.” Chided Esmeralda.
“Yes, sharp tongue you have as usual, Pirate. You disgrace the crown with your criminal activities off the authority we granted you to bring order in the Ica sea. It brings me great sadness to see you come to this.” Griffin looked Esmeralda over, but quickly turned away when their eyes met. “Such a waste of potential. Now drop all of your weapons and let this be settled.” The marines held their weapons tightly on their prey. Brandy struggled with Charles who held her close. Esmeralda was searching the area for options while Herb and Elsa raised their blunderbuss’ to meet their opponent’s rifles. Something caught Esmeralda’s eye and she smiled. “Down!” She yelled.
A gunshot from above tore into a bag causing flour to erupt into the air. The crew dropped down behind cover in the shade of white mist while bullets began to fly. Brandy dug her heel into Charles shin and while he hopped in pain, she grabbed the key off his belt, spit in his face, and took off down an aisle. A marine stepped in front of her and steadied his rifle right under her Uncle’s wide brimmed hat. Suddenly, someone poured off the shelf above crashing into the marine. In an instant, the soldier was disarmed, crumpling onto the floor. “Hey miss, allow me?” He took the key from Brandy and unlocked her irons. She rubbed her wrists and examined the dapper young man that had aided her. He had blue pants with a matching vest and a formal white shirt rolled up to elbow length underneath. Long orange hair swayed on his back with a small black ribbon binding the fiery locks neatly at the bottom of its length. “My name’s William, and I’m here to help, but we can talk details later.” He said pointing Brandy’s attention to Charles who was charging them with his sword drawn after wiping her saliva from his face.
William and Brandy darted around the corner ducking and dodging blade swipes along the way. William knocked supplies off the shelf eventually succeeding in stumbling the Lieutenant. The pair hid behind sacks of sugar as Charles regained his feet and searched for them frantically. Just as he was about to discover their hiding spot, two shots landed inches away, causing Charles to rush off to find cover.
Herb and Elsa were blasting away with impunity as they had tucked away by some barrels filled with ammunition. Marines returned fire as the father-daughter combo took turns offering up barrages to cover one another’s reload as Herb had directed. Elsa popped up to fire off another volley but was disarmed by a marine who had crawled across the floor to the barrels they occupied. Another marine took the opportunity to jump on top of Herb who hadn’t noticed this while gathering more bullets. His ammo spilled forward and he was sprawled onto his stomach with the soldier on top. Elsa took off and the marine with her gun gave chase.
Frantically, Elsa tore down one aisle after another. She finally worked up the courage to look back to see if anyone was after her and immediately tripped over a misplaced box of bananas. She crashed to the floor and her hair flooded her vision while she reached down to cup her bruised knee. She twisted onto her back and saw the marine now standing over her, breathing heavily with the barrel of her own gun pointed right at her. Tears rolled out of Elsa’s eyes as she imagined becoming one of the bottles she had trained with the past several days. The weapon went off with a blast. “I’m dead!” Elsa thought. “I’ve died and this is how it ends for me..” She then felt something heavy land on her and heard the sounds of a furious cat screaming as it clawed at the marine’s face above her. He had caused the man to miss his shot and drop the blunderbuss right on top of Elsa’s lap. She was shocked but reacted as she had practiced on the ship. From within a pocket on her green jacket, Elsa fished out a few iron blunderbuss pellets. She stuffed them into the weapon and fired. The marine was taken off his feet and laid still at the end of the aisle. The gray cat landed on his feet next to Elsa and rubbed his warm fur against her cheek where she lay on the floor. “Thank you so much!” She embraced the feline and rose to her feet. She looked at her feline friend and said, “Let’s go save my Dad!”
Meanwhile, Esmeralda had been chased outside by Pike and Griffin, but they didn’t realize this was part of her plan. She needed more room to avoid being cornered by the men’s blades. She was a sight to see. With one man on either side of her, she spun her daggers to deflect and parry attacks from every conceivable angle in a splash of sparks. She danced with them back and forth, no one able to connect steel. The officers were very skilled in dueling, but even though Esmeralda had a disadvantage of blade reach, she was faster and more talented at group combat. She began to trick up Griffin’s footing and misdirect Pike’s blows toward his partner. Griffin stumbled backwards and fell over an empty chicken crate banging his head into a steel barrel on his way down. Esmeralda laughed as he lost consciousness, but this second of distraction allowed Pike to clutch Esmeralda’s red jacket. She wiggled free and left him holding her coat. Underneath, she had a flowing white shirt captured in a black corset under her chest that lead into tight black pants and boots. “I bet all this play is making you tired old man. Let’s finish this, what do you say?”
“Stop stalling, Poppet. You know you can’t beat me.” He teased back. Esmeralda smiled and dashed toward Pike. He dodged her first swipes and moved her about with his long blade. After a few more flurries of their steel, she popped up his guard and kneed him in the gut. Pike dropped to his knee. “No! I’ll give you whatever you want Esmeralda, just let me go?”
Esmeralda chuckled. “Quiet fool! You led a pathetic life, you will enjoy a pathetic end.” She moved to slice his throat but pulled back in pain as a bullet pierced her arm. She turned to see Charles freshly emerged from the storehouse. He began to reload, but stopped cold when Esmeralda pinned his throat closed by tossing a dagger into it with surgical accuracy. Pike slashed her leg while her back was turned and left, scurrying down the road to escape.
Brandy, Herb, Elsa, and William all came outside having dealt with the remaining marines. Esmeralda called for William to chase Pike as he was heading for his ship. William bolted after him while Herb picked up Esmeralda off the street, wrapping her coat around her leg wound, and followed the remaining group back toward the Snake Pit. “Who was that William guy?” Brandy asked.
“I’ll explain once we are on the ship, but we need to hurry. We may not get an opportunity at Pike like this again. Pike is a coward and he will never stop running.” Esmeralda said. The crew moved down the street to board their ship, all the while no one noticing Griffin tailing them, a small trail of blood crossing his intense face.