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
****also toward the end is a little music that I think enhances the scene if you want to listen in during that section haha. Enjoy!
Brandy sat on the front steps of Herb’s fishing partner’s small home. Looking down, there was a beetle searching for the grass. He explored left until he hit Brandy’s boot, came about and climbed on the hand she lowered to scoop him up with. Behind her was a roaring conversation between Herb and the friend who had betrayed their whereabouts. The beetle entertained Brandy with his little dances, watching himself in the reflection of her silvered necklace until Herb finally came pounding out of the house. “Come on Brandy. It’s time to go.” He huffed, steaming past her. She laid the beetle on a flower, gave him a wink and wave goodbye, then skipped along Herb’s side.
“Things not go so well?” Brandy mused. Herb remained stoic and kept his stride. “You know I could take care of him. A quick ‘piff-puff’ and he certainly wouldn’t betray us again.” She said with her hand tapping the flintlock pistol tucked in her belt.
Herb glared at Brandy as they walked,” You can’t just kill whoever you want to make your life easier. I know pirates lead rough lives, but you are too young to be thinking that way. He just made a mistake. He was scared. Have you never been afraid and done something you regretted?”
Brandy shook the question off. “You can kill people to make your life easier. I do it a lot because it is so easy.” She started matter-of-factly. “We are about to break a lot of ‘rules’, Herb, and some people are going to get in the way. I’m fine with you letting your friend off the hook, but don’t expect me to follow your code. You still have the option to go home if that bothers you.”
Herb was saddened to think a teenaged girl could be so heartless when it suited her. He was glad his daughter had turned back from this path, but he knew Brandy wasn’t completely wrong. The serpents weren’t just going to hand Elsa over. “Fine. Just try to remember who the true villains are lest you shoot me in the back for stepping in your way.” He snarked.
Brandy’s mouth opened in amused shock. “Herb! Oh come on! I’m sorry for coming off brash. I know this is all happening really fast for you, but don’t think I don’t know I owe you, Herb. You saved me from getting caught on that beach and I always repay my debts. You risked your biscuit for no apparent reason other than to help someone you didn’t even know. I respect that, and understand what you mean. I will keep to my best judgement and I promise we will find your daughter and my Uncle.”
Herb smiled slightly and nodded to his new friend. She seemed to have some values at least. Herb had lived a long time and witnessed the world in all its forms, including the likes of war and death. His wife had died fighting in the Water Tower War against the mermaids and as a fisherman spending a lot of time by the sea, he had many dangerous run-ins with the species long after the war. There were also always pirates up to no good and an occasional attack on Ica from undead skeletons popping out of Hell Gates. Though he didn’t care for it, Herb was no stranger to battle and death, so he wouldn’t let this difference of morality on when killing was acceptable deter him from his true goal. His daughter was waiting for him and he was going to bring her home.
They got decked out in the red coats and black hats they had pinched off the marine pirates from last night. Herb had a blunderbuss strapped across his back. It was a bit worn with a few nicks and cracks from years of use, but worked well enough. Along with fishing, Herb was an experienced hunter of bears and game cats. He had never been in the Navy and wasn’t trained to be comfortable wielding a cutlass, but Brandy was missing hers as a butterfly would miss its wings. Herb knew a place they could pick one up and so it was decided that their first stop was going to be the market.
Ica wasn’t a very big place. There were no more than 200 souls on the island and that’s the way everyone liked it. Most kept to their own and that was just right for a pirate. Esmeralda’s Golden Serpents set up shop in a nearby fort and, as far as everyone knew, they were the law there. The market was the one place that could appear somewhat busy at times. There were stalls for fish, chickens, and other various meats. Nuts and beans could be bought along with supplies from ropes to mending boards for damaged ships. Brandy’s eyes fell on a merchant shop operating toward the back decorated with strings of pistols and swords on every wall. In front stood a woman with a wide smile, beckoning the pair inside. She had bright eyes and an inviting pitch to her voice. “Welcome soldiers! We have many arms for sale, please admire what you will!”
There were silver swords, red swords, swords for slaying demonic skeletons, swords more effective on mermaids, swords for decoration, and any manner of blade you could desire. Brandy admired a golden blade with a deep black hilt resting behind a long glass case that hung from the wall. “Oh, that is a lovely piece of steel you’ve spotted. Clearly, you have an eye for the excellent, Miss!” The shop keeper wooed.
“I’ll take it!” Brandy said breathlessly adoring it.
“Wonderful!” She began. “That will be 12,000 gold please.” Brandy looked the merchant squarely in the eye.
“I am not paying. This is going to be commandeered by the Navy. We have a great need of well-crafted blades and this one seems best. Don’t worry, it will go to good use and help us to keep your shop safe.” Brandy attempted to con, but the keeper wasn’t buying it.
Her voice grew deeper and rugged and her kind demeanor lapsed into a scowl. “For one, I know the serpents are pirates. They aren’t commandeering any of my goods. And another thing I know is that you two are not with them. I’ve seen every single one come through this shop and I am paid well to know what goes on in Ica. If you don’t have any coin how about you trade me that pretty necklace you have or get lost you muppet!” Brandy’s jaw dropped with shock as she covered her mother’s gift and then pursed her lips into a frown. Herb sighed and stepped in. “Hey Sarah, I have 3,000 on me. Can we make a deal?”
Brandy was sticking her tongue out at Sarah who waved her off dismissively and turned to Herb, “Well, you know I only deal in two things. Gold and information, so what do you got for me?” He considered what he had learned over the past few days. Sarah apparently already knew the marines on Ica were frauds so that wouldn’t do. He mentioned about Esmeralda’s men attacking Brandy and James Silver Blood, a name that piqued Sarah’s interest. The story also made her eye Brandy curiously, who was tooling around the shop. “Ok Herb, this connects a few dots for me and I think I can knock off another thousand but that’s still not going to get you my finest sword. How about this one?” Sarah presented a steel blade with a black hilt studded in green emerald. She demonstrated the weight and sharpness of the sword and Herb decided to take it. “Here you are Brandy. What do you think?”
“Wow! Not bad Herb, thank you so much! And Sarah, I really apologize for my behavior. You really helped us out here and I’m sorry.” Brandy softly offered.
Sarah seemed a bit taken back and smiled. “I guess you’re alright after all, kid. A bit of advice though. If you two intend to sneak into the fort, which I’m guessing you are by you and Herb’s uniforms, you’d better go at night around nine. There will be a change of guard and you might slip in with your unfamiliar faces easier at that time. Also, check the back of the fort walls. There are some loose boards back there that some of the serpents use to sneak grog into the barracks.” Brandy smiled and thanked Sarah as she backed out of the shop.
She and Herb headed out of the market and hiked the path to the serpent’s fort. They found a well-hidden patch of foliage to stage their infiltration and ready their supplies. “So that’s a pretty fine blade we got you today. What do you think, Brandy?” Herb asked.
“It’s sturdy and ready for battle, but nowhere near as fancy as this one.” She said as she brandished the golden sword she had admired at the shop.
“WHAT! How did you.. Why would you..” Herb couldn’t get the words out of his mouth fast enough.
“Herb, I’m a pirate. I don’t pay for anything.” She laughed. Sarah wouldn’t discover it until she closed the shop that night, but in place of the golden sword was a lovely golden straw broom.
“You can’t just take what you want Brandy. Sarah is a good woman who works hard to get by.” He reasoned, but pirates were not always reasonable.
Brandy shrugged, a sword in each hand. “This again? Look, I take whatever I want. Anyone can, pirates just embrace this lifestyle more than others. You can work hard all your life and never reach the toes of the nobility right?”
“That’s not the point! Just because you want something doesn’t mean you have the right to take it from whoever you want.” Herb retorted.
“I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree, Herb.” Brandy stated as she swung her swords about in a practice fight against the wind. Herb challenged Brandy by asking what if Sarah had stolen her pistol. “Well Herb, if she did that there wouldn’t be anyone left to own that shop. See? Then it wouldn’t matter that I took the sword or everything else for that matter. Not to beat a dead shop keep, but like you mentioned earlier, this would make life easier and we would have gained more loot.”
“How about her advice?” Herb mentioned causing Brandy to stop her exercise and listen. “She basically handed us a way into this place. This fortress with armed guards at every entrance. They can’t have more than thirty pirates here. They would have recognized us and shot us before we even got close. Without Sarah, who knows what becomes of my daughter and your uncle after we failed to save them.” Brandy considered this and sat down quietly for a few minutes. She had no snappy comeback for that one. Maybe he had a point.
The two kept quiet for the next few hours, preparing their equipment and passing the time until finally Herb raised his watch and declared, “It’s time.” They rushed down to the fort ramparts and found the few loose boards in the back Sarah had told them about. They pressed pass them and gained entry through the dark cover of night.
The compound was fairly small with an obvious layout. A barracks sat in the back where they entered. Ahead of that was the Captain’s office and a mess hall. It was across from their they spotted an armory and prisoner cage. There only seemed to be a few serpents patrolling the area. The majority were either in the mess hall or sailing nearby seas. Using his spyglass, Herb was able to get a better look and saw two figures in the dark cage. There also seemed to be a bit of commotion going on over there as three guards had swords drawn at the bars of the prison cell. “I’m not sure what is happening over there, but if we hope to intervene we need to move now.” Herb suggested.
The two marched across the compound toward the cage with their coats and hats concealing who they truly were as they passed a few serpents along the way. “Pirates dressed as marines to sneak into a fort of pirates dressed as marines. Kind of silly, isn’t it?” Brandy whispered to Herb. He didn’t hear a word. His daughter Elsa caught his eye as he continued to hurry up to the jail.
“Back! Back!” Hissed the other woman in the cage. She held a small dagger sparking it against the iron of the cage to keep the three anxious guards from admission. There was venom in her darkened eyes that kept the serpents approach timid. She wore a very rough uniform splattered with dirt and blood. It was like the other serpents, but had big golden shoulder pads with frills following the edges.
“Esmeralda?” Herb whispered. This black haired lady was the captain of the Golden Serpents, or at least she had been. Esmeralda was quite a beauty, but had clearly been through an ordeal. She had a few small scars on her olive skin, and she was frazzled from the abrupt life style change from captain to captive. Prison didn’t suit this wild animal and she still hadn’t taken to it in over a month.
“Come on Captain, we just want to help blondie repay some of her debt.” One perverted guard said as he carefully inched closer. “She has to pay for her crimes. Don’t you want her to get released? Come on now and give us the dagger.”
Elsa was cowered behind Esmeralda. She had been locked up for about a week and was psychologically tormented by a few guards about having to pay back her debts in dreadful and inappropriate ways. There was a real Naval officer at the fort when she had first arrived. His name was Griffin and he was there overseeing the change of command after Esmeralda had been jailed. He seemed reasonable and assured her that no harm of that kind would come to her, but he had to report back to his Admiral in a city called StillShire and sailed off a few days ago. Now that he was gone, Esmeralda was the only thing that had been standing in between Elsa and tragedy. The prior captain had one hand on Elsa’s shoulder and the other defending the door lock with her weapon. “Come get it, b*****d.” Fanged Esmeralda.
The guard pulled a pistol from his side. “Alright Captain, I have been looking for a reason to put you down that wouldn’t get Captain Griffin in a tizzy. This is just as good as any other.” He raised his gun and Esmeralda stepped forward unafraid, almost eagerly.
Her confidence made the guard stutter and she said, “Do it. I hope it does bother Griffin, he shouldn’t have let this happen in the first place!” Herb’s twelve-inch boot smashed into the back of the man sprawling him into the iron cage. As a feral viper, the captain gave no concern to who intervened and seized the guard now in her reach. Her arm came between the bars and slashed the dagger into his face a half dozen times. He cried out but it became more difficult when he had less tongue to cry with. The other two marine pirates froze in view of the carnage. Brandy helped them escape the sight with a few silent whips of her new steel. The men laid forever silent as Esmeralda’s victim fell down rolling in blind torment sputtering unrecognizable syllables.
The arrested captain watched her captor writhe with a gleeful smile, her pretty face patterned in his blood. “Who are you?” She spoke without looking away from her prey.
“I’m here for my Uncle James!” Brandy said. Herb looked worriedly to his daughter. She seemed terrified but unharmed physically.
“I see, that’d make you Brandy then, wouldn’t it? Release me, will you?” Esmeralda asked keeping her view fixated. As soon as Brandy released the door. Esmeralda fell on the wounded man again. Kicking him flat and striking down her steel again and again. When he finally stopped moving, Esmeralda leaned back and took in the foggy night sky with a deep breath. She rose to her feet and slicked back her bloodied black hair. “Brandy, it’s a pleasure to meet you! Sorry about that.” She motioned to the slaughtered man. “I just can’t stand unfinished business.”
Herb ran into the jail and collected his daughter. Elsa met his eyes and they both streamed tears. “I’m so sorry, Daddy.” Elsa wept.
“It’s ok now baby. I have you now.” Herb rocked his daughter slowly in his arms. Her blonde hair was smattered with dirt and her green and white dress was filthy and torn.
“So you know me?” Brandy continued with Esmeralda. “Did you see my Uncle? I have to find him.”
“Aye, he was here.” Esmeralda said pointing to a wide brimmed hat with a huge feather on it. Brandy picked up her Uncle’s hat.
“Is he dead?” She asked while stroking the feather.
“Dead? Ha! That man? I couldn’t kill him even when I wanted to.” Esmeralda admitted. She noticed Brandy’s suspicious look and set her to ease. “Your Uncle and I have a long history, but rest assured he’s back on my good side these days. He was recovering from the injuries he took in that battle a few days ago. He told me all about it, and he just knew that you would come. You should have seen the worry on him, it was adorable!” She laughed.
“Oy! What’s going on over there?” A serpent yelled out as he came to inspect the commotion. A fog had set in on top of the darkness taking away much visibility. “Thank God,” Esmeralda cried out. “I was beginning to get bored. She punched her dagger into the man’s throat as he appeared out of the mist causing him to drop his weapon and clutch his neck, gasping for air. “Brandy, go west from the front gate. We keep our ships there. Ready the second galleon for us to sail. I’ll take you to your Uncle, I just need to say goodbye to a few friends before we go.” Her face twisted into a crooked smile and she stabbed the choking man in the gut several times before allowing him to drop. Esmeralda walked over to the armory and disappeared into the smoky fog. Herb and Elsa had pulled their selves together after the emotional reunion and were ready to move. Brandy put on her Uncle’s hat and led them to the gate where they encountered two foes with weapons in hand. Herb revealed his blunderbuss and blasted the men off their feet. In the distance behind Brandy, Esmeralda could be heard laughing maniacally while gunshots and flashes of light rang out. “Herald! Don’t run! I just want to say hi! That shade of red looks swell on you, Barry! Why don’t you seem happy to see me, Clarissa?”
Brandy, Herb and Elsa made it to the ship. It was the same red and gold galleon that had attacked her and James. This was Esmeralda’s flagship named The Snake Pit. All three climbed aboard, readying the sails and raising the anchor as fast as they could. Boisterous bells began hammering out, alerting all the serpents in the area of the escape. Men poured out of the barracks and mess hall, racing toward the harbor.
The two galleons sandwiching the flagship in the harbor roared to life. Cannons fired at will, but were not able to do much damage at such close range they were unable to make contact below the water line and mostly whizzed over the top deck. Herb stood by the ladder smacking man after man attempting to board off the ship with the tail end of his blunderbuss. Elsa and Brandy were below deck repairing minor cannon damage.
So bright it almost seemed like day, an explosion overtook the galleon on their portside. Esmeralda came swinging aboard from the ship she just debilitated with a gun powder barrel. With seven new holes on the left, that ship dipped and quickly rolled on to its side.
Esmeralda took the helm and the four of them left the docks behind. The sky was clear away from the shore. Herb looked back to the wall of cloud and saw a galleon that had been on their starboard pop out. It was soon followed by two more sloops. The wind against them, it was only a matter of time before the sloops caught up with them.
Then there was a terrible scrapping noise from the sides of the galleon that drowned out the sound of the sea. Dozens of drums began to beat, rhythmically pounding like a heartbeat. Eerie harsh notes joined in, strung on a dozen harps. Esmeralda and Herb knew what was coming and took cover in the captain’s quarters. Claws and tridents scratched their way up the sides of the galleon. Mermaids and mermen appeared over the railings. They stood on the scaled legs gifted to them by the moon’s blessed light, allowing them to temporarily tread where usually only men could. Their skin was an ethereal blue with various colors of hair dripping from their heads in a range of reds, blues, and greens. They were clad lightly with thin jeweled fabrics and scales, each one armed with trident, lance, or spear gun.
Esmeralda and Herb stood in the doorway to the captain’s cabin with their irons raised and ready to fire. Three mermen advanced with the fins on their feet scraping the deck. Brandy rose from the lower deck swords in hand. “What is that crazy music?” She asked to Herb and the captain, not realizing there were mystic enemies a few feet away from her. They raised their weapons and focused them on Brandy who turned to see what Herb was staring at slack jawed. “Oh my..” Brandy uttered, too in awe to raise her blades.