I am back from my break on writing the pirate story of Brandy. I had decided to rewrite the original adding much more detail and interesting plot changes to make the story fit where I am going to take it in the future. I will post the new chapter one here and a newly rewritten chapter every day going forward until the end of book one which should be about 13 chapters. I hope you enjoy and feel free to comment and make suggestions! I am also always open to adding characters based on community members. There are already at least five characters based on real players so let me know!
LEGEND OF BRANDY: A SOT STORY – CHAPTER ONE
Wind splashed through the lines and sails, lacing the girl's dark coarse hair as it passed. She fully inhaled the salty air and willed her ship onward. Behind the young lass lived her will in the form of two men who toiled begrudgingly at the lines, catching what gusts they could between puffs on their cigars. A grizzled man stood at the helm bellowing his orders. The men slowly fell to it, but the woman up front only heard the sea calling her forth.
"BRANDY!" the pirate thundered for the third time. Her ebon eyes flickered, finally being reached by his words. She tossed him a smirk and ran to the side of the ship, sailing herself over the edge. She nabbed a rope on her way overboard and swung herself gliding just above the water's edge, playfully splitting the waves with one arm. Her black and bronze dress accepted the sun's amber rays and complimented her dusky complexion as she flew clear from bow to p**p deck. She landed with a soft thud, placing her newly dampened arm around the man who called her forth. "I'm not deaf you know. I was just busy thinking of what glitters. " she winked.
With a sigh, his harsh tone fell into a knowing smile. Middle aged and starting to gray, it was clear this sailor had wisdom to spare and experience earned in scars and burns printed across his body. He wore a deathly black long coat made of bear fur with extravagant trimmings of silver from top to bottom. "That’s your father in you, that much I know. You eye the sea’s glittering adventure and both see but that shiny gold."
"Hey!" she drew back, flicking up a silver piece she discovered in his pocket. " Shiny things are pretty. Just like me, Uncle James!" she exclaimed while pushing down on his wide brimmed hat that touted a large albatross feather. "There is just something about the ocean that calls me to it. It feels like home." Her last words floated a while as she looked listfully to the waves.
James searched the splinters of the ship for a way to get Brandy back on track. "You might have learned the blade well lass, but you best be paying some attention if you ever want to sail well enough to be as good as Revan. Your father is no joke as I’ve said. You can’t be lacking in any area or you will never be able to stand with him, Brandy." He offered, leading her back to the task at hand.
"True.” The young lady admitted. Her father was a legendary pirate. He lived at sea and sent James to visit Brandy when possible to check in on her. His life was too dangerous for his daughter to be a part of, but she was working on changing that. Revan’s First Mate James had taught Brandy a lot about the pirate life over the course of her childhood, and in the last two years he had come to mentor Brandy full time in preparation of her coming to the age of 17. An age believed necessary by James to start her own legend. Even though they shared no blood, James had always been in Brandy’s life and they were close as family. She eagerly learned everything James challenged her with and was always ready for more. “So tell me Uncle James, what do I have left to learn to catch the old man?" She sounded with her focus revived.
"Over the last few months we have covered all the basics. You know the duties of the crow’s nest and you learned the sails. I have made you aware of battle stations, strategies, and every detail down to anchor maneuvers and ship mending. Your last challenge is to take the helm. Become a leader who controls the teamwork and results of a voyage. As captain, one of your most important responsibilities is to motivate your men into trusting your word. A moment’s hesitation on the sea can take a deadly turn. They are the blood of the ship and your coordination of them will be the difference maker every time. This random pair of sailors we hired for training aren't much to work with, but you will find even the most lackluster of scallywags can perform enough for someone they respect." James motioned forward to invite Brandy to try her hand at commanding the galleon crew.
"OK you lot! I want to see those billows blasting and I want eyes up front to alert me of any obstacles or adversaries, do you hear me?!" Brandy shouted. The two crewmen chuckled at one another. They had met James and Brandy only a few days prior. James was obviously time tested, but Brandy inspired no confidence at first glance. Sure she seemed an adventurous sort and perhaps a bit scrappy for a pretty lass, but she couldn't possibly be up to commanding a galleon. Her soft black skin was unmarked, and her dress too pristine. It was clear to them that this woman was green and not to be minded. They stayed their course, ignoring Brandy for the teenaged, delicate lady she appeared to be.
Brandy pursed her lips in slight frustration and looked to her uncle out of the corner of her eye. James leaned to her ear and whispered,
"Respect comes from trust and experience, but sometimes a little fear can speed along the respect process."
“But I thought you told me to tone down my ’vicious’ behaviors?” Brandy reminded James who tried his best to keep her feral side in check.
“It’s all about the balance, lass. Give them just a taste and they will imagine the rest. You’ll see. They aren’t pirates like us. It won’t take much.” He winked as he permitted her to unleash a little of her inherited personality on the stubborn sailors.
Brandy turned fiercely to the loafs and removed the bind from her long, night stained hair. It splashed about wildly as she scorched straight up to the flippant sailors. They had a foot on this lady, but her abrupt speed caught them off guard and they flinched. She whipped out her cutlass slicing the cigar from one of the men's lips. A tiny spat of blood sprang to the other crewman's face and Brandy roared, " You won’t like what happens if I have to ask again!". She gestured overboard with her steel that now carried a single drip of red. Her eyes struck terror in the men. They hopped-to in an instant, "Yes, Ma'am!", they whimpered and split off to accomplish the tasks she set them to.
Brandy’s word was followed to the letter the remainder of the evening with no halt or hesitation. Benefits of the lessons had taken hold. James and Brandy had changed locations, ships, and crews every few weeks for these naval exercises. This was a rough time in a wild, seafaring world. All manner of miscreants and ne'er-do-wells littered the islands they travelled and you could never be sure of who to trust. Not to mention the common appearance of otherworldly Hell Gates that allowed all manner of demons to cross over from the Underworld, spreading chaos to all living creatures. As treacherous as life was for all people, it was worse for Brandy. No one could be allowed to know who this young lady really was. She was too sought after, unbeknownst to herself. Marines, other pirates, and even those of different worlds all had a reason to thirst for this uniquely brewed spirit.
The sun had sunk low and there was a glaze of orange showering all in view. The galleon was sailing into the wind, and the pace was as lazy as the crewmen on board. Brandy stood along the ship's wooden railing with the celestial glow softly baking her chocolate face. "Uncle James." she began while still scanning the ocean's glinting waves and picking at her sleeves. "What was my mother like?" James stared at the deck calculating a proper response. Brandy had never known her mother either. She was absent since birth and aside from a few vague stories, her mother was more of a ghost than someone who really existed. While she had never met her father, she at least had James and he was always ready to spin a tale about the Captain. They were working toward meeting Revan as well so he seemed somehow closer. Her mother was a different story though. Typically, no one let a word slip about her. Still, though the silence, Brandy longed to have her as a part of her life. On rare occasions, James would comfort her with a few sparse details, always ending with the sentiment that her mother loved Brandy very much and had given her the silvered necklace she wore every day, but that wasn’t enough anymore.
"Father wasn't around." She continued, turning to face James who had come up empty so far. "I know the two of you were off on your adventures, and you would always tell me of your fantastic voyages, teach me to use the blade and other arms to fight like him. I know he's wild but kind, and your stories about him meant everything to me. That's how I could bare his absence and why I seek to meet him now, but you have always kept so quiet when I ask about my mother. Can’t you tell me anything more? Please? I just need something to make her real."
Her Uncle examined his lightly tanned hands a while then began slowly. "Well, darling, that is a hard thing to answer. I know your parents would have me hanging overboard for hours if I spoke out of turn. Some things you will just have to find out in the right time, Brandy. All I can say as usual is that necklace was your mother’s. It shows she is real. She wanted you to have it always to remember her by. Your mother knew this would be h*****n you and it is just a piece of her you can hold onto. Try to understand."
"It isn't fair though! It's my right to know! How can I know who I really am without knowing where I came from? I feel like there is part of me missing. Like a giant hole in my heart and she expects this necklace to fill it?” Brandy shouted while clutching the emerald encrusted decoration. “the only time I can half way fill it is when I’m sailing. It's like I can feel her calling out to me when I am at sea. But sometimes I can’t shake this feeling that she might not actually even be real! Maybe I am just crazy." she pondered.
James walked up to his self-proclaimed kin and rested his hands on the bronze studded shoulders of her dress. "You most certainly are." he smiled. She looked up to meet his playful warmth and let out a small laugh. James put his arm all the way around her shoulder with a gentle squeeze. “Brandy, like your father, your mother has kept her distance to keep you safe. You are training very hard and you have become very tough. A bit unnerving how deadly you’ve become really, but to think of those whose blood courses in your veins it’s no surprise. Unlike your father though, your Mom is a lovely woman. No push over either. She can somehow be fierce and elegant in the same moment. Nothing could rattle her, and not at the sacrifice of her humanity. That poise and ability to do what was necessary while remembering right from wrong and respecting life is what I admired about her most. There is a self-control there that your father desperately needs but has more than often lacked.”
Brandy savored every word and her curiosity was captured. “You mean my Dad is a little bit of a loose cannon? Did Mom keep him under control?”
“Loose cannon is the understatement of our day, lass.” James chuckled and continued, “It’s true that your mother does have a calming effect on him and all those she comes in contact with. She is very persuasive, much like you. But they each have independent lives to lead. Your mother is a very important lady to the kingdom. Noble born and held to a high standard. So, with your father’s wild spirit and illegal behaviors, their interactions cause a bit of a scandal, and as such their meetings are very limited and very private. I often pray some of your mother’s charming serenity and good judgement will show itself in you, Brandy, but that day has yet to pass. You are too much like Revan.” Brandy laughed at this. She knew she had given James more than a few gray hairs in his time watching over her. She was definitely her father’s daughter. Brandy was excited to find out she may have noble blood in her veins. Without her parents around to raise her, Brandy lived with families of all walks of life. Sometimes James took her to live with an aristocrat for a few months, then the next year could be on a farm. Other times she had lived with a merchant family or even stayed at a pirate’s hideout for a few days. Anywhere James felt was safe, as long as she kept moving. The noble families were always more comfortable, although she typically found them to be a little snooty and controlling. She had a million follow-up questions, but was interrupted.
"Oy! Ship! Ship!" shouted one of the sailors who had been drowsily surveying the sea. Their galleon had been sailing parallel to a long island, and passing the shore from around the bend came a large red vessel. It had scarlet colored boards and rails powdered with pompous gold design. The vivid red ship came upon them swiftly, blocking their path alongside the island. The rented galleon was only equipped for sailing exercises, not battle, so James decided the best course of action was to drop anchor and parley. Hooks sprang across to fasten the vessels together. Brandy's crewmen scurried about like roaches in the light, attempting to hide as they knew this was a pirate ship and no good was to come from this encounter. Six men dressed in red coats and black hats came aboard with their weapons draw.
Brandy was not intimidated. James had shown her how to deal with brazen pirates many times and that insolence was not to be tolerated. She moved forward to deal with the threat, but James laid his heavy hand on her shoulder. Scarred from flame and iron the pattern of James twisted skin led halfway across his body, and personified his experience of life on the seas. "I will handle this, lass." He spoke while descending the stairs to the deck now spotted with adversaries cloaked in a threatening hue. Brandy frowned and crossed the puffy arms of her dress across the bronze and black cloth fitting tightly at her waist. She kept watch from the helm with vexed eyes glowing almost as brilliantly as the sun off her silvered necklace.
"Are you the captain here?" One of the pirates asked of James.
"Aye. And you are addressing James Silver Blood, so appreciate the last moment of your life should you have ill intent here." All eyes widened a bit as every pirate knew of James Silver Blood and the legendary crew he sailed with, as well as their reputation for violence on those who challenged them.
"We don't care to cross the Devil's Own, but we have orders to take the girl." Their leader snarled throwing a finger at Brandy. "We cannot disobey. Our Captain would do far worse than you or any of the other devils."
"I’m not sure that’s completely accurate.” James said taking a step forward causing the man to tense up under the pressure of James’ presence. The black fur on his coat reacted slightly to the wind as he continued speaking. “I know your captain. I recognize these colors you sail." James said pointing to the black flag sporting a golden snake. "I find it hard to believe Captain Esmeralda is after this girl. She's always aligned with the Devil's Own and we have agreements in place. I will speak with her and put this matter to rest." James felt in control and always glad to resolve petty squabbles to prevent needless fighting among pirates. Any other day, he would have been right. Esmeralda's Serpents and the Devil's Own had strong ties. She knew of Brandy and had worked closely with her father and James many times in the past. But things had changed.
As Silver passed the leader of the boarding crew, the man grabbed him around the waist preventing James's advance. "Sorry, but we don't sail for Esmeralda anymore. Tell me, is that blood of yours really is silver!?" He shouted while plunging a dagger into James's back. Silver grimaced with pain but kept his focus as another serpent pirate came at him waving a sword. James twisted the man attached to him into the blade's path. As death carried his foe away, Silver removed the dagger from his back and thrust it into the advancing pirate's neck who had dropped his attention after accidently killing his crewmate. James then pulled his own cutlass and readied for more battle while the back of his coat soaked up his blood.
The other sailors shrieked and tried to abandon the ship, but everywhere they looked, a serpent was waiting for them. One at a time they were mercilessly dragged down by their attackers and painted red. In seconds, the screams of terror fell silent and they were no more. The pirates then turned their gaze on Silver Blood. James faltered under his deep wound multiplied by the pressure of three men slicing ever closer. A blade ate greedily into his hand and pinned him to the floor. James's gray eyes bore deep into the serpent teasing to loosen Silver’s collar with a cutlass raised above.
A shot sang out, dropping the pirate in his place. His sword fell away with him as Brandy wailed past the other two men riding the same line she had earlier that day. In her wake, two heads fell sloppily to the deck next to James. Brandy rolled off the rope near the hooks lashing the ships into one and, wasting no time, struck them separate once more. The enemy galleon broke free and distance was forming between the two as its anchor was raised and the current guided the ship away. The cold heart Brandy inherited from her father had taken over. No emotion emitted from her ebon eyes to the men she had just slain, but they did lock onto the last serpent pirate remaining on board.
Brandy engaged the fiend, wrestling him onto his back. He fought against her, but she straddled his chest and forced her steel above his face. He held her back by her wrists, feeling the gravity of her iron begging to crash down on him. He was stronger, but Brandy had learned to overcome stronger foes her whole life. She targeted his ribs and brutally kneed the man three times before his will gave way and his life fell to a messy end. Brandy rose to her feet, a bit wearily and stepped to her Uncle. He smiled as life came back to her eyes upon seeing a small pool of blood surrounding his war torn body.
"I'll be just fine lass. Not the first blade in this back of mine." He winced out softly. A few tears escaped her eyes and she leaned down to embrace him, but was interrupted. The enemy galleon had the distance now to lay cannon fire on their ship. The first blast sent splinters flying onto the pair of pirates. Brandy instinctively leaned forward to shield her Uncle. The next cannonball blew the mast into chunks a mere foot away from them. Several pieces bashed into Brandy who felt herself soar seaward with James flying right behind her. He splashed a few feet away, floating to the surface with closed eyes. Under the water blue, Brandy could feel the ringing in her ears swallow her up while seeing their ship erased up above. She sank into the depths as her sight faded into darkness.
Here is chapter two! https://www.seaofthieves.com/forum/topic/74969/new-legend-of-brandy-chapter-two