Thursday, March 4

“Attack on the Dryad Dutchess” Original Fiction by Xan

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT This is the story I came up with from the picture I previously mentioned. ENJOY!

“His left leg was cut off close by the hip, and under the left shoulder he carried a crutch, which he managed with wonderful dexterity, hopping about upon it like a bird. He was very tall and strong, with a face as big as a ham-plain and pale, but intelligent and smiling.” (Stevenson, 1883)


“What happened?”

The rays of the bright sun rushed into her eyes like a tidal wave as she tried to focus on the shadow looming in the middle of the flood. As her eyes slowly came into focus the image of her battered and rusted warforged bosun came into view.

We have been marooned Cap’n.” The towering warforged replied to his captain in his rust stricken metallic voice.

She blinked and tried to rub her eyes as the white sand of the beach scratched her face. “Where is my Dryad Dutchess?” She rubbed her head where a large knot could be felt underneath her ebony curls. She winced at the mere touch of the swelling mass.

“Blackfin took her Cap’n.” A potbellied dwarf piped up from behind the massive warforged. His normal orange mohawk drenched in seawater lay like kelp over a manatees head after surfacing.

“Kilzar, my old friend,” The deposed captain placed a hand on the bare shoulder of her long time friend. “That ugly pirate has returned to take back what I have rightfully stolen.”

The dwarf looked up at his captain and smiled, “Aye.” His mechanical eye gleamed blue as it hummed and whirred as it telescoped out and back in focusing on his friend’s battered face. “The filthy shark killed more than half yer crew and shipwrecked us all on this blasted island.” He cursed under his breath while he wrung out his long crimson beard and tried his best to stand his mohawk back up straight. His blue tattoos all over his body and face almost seemed to writhe like snakes when he moved.

The immense pile of rust that was Ol’ Salt piped in with his tarnished voice, “Role call has turned up as; I yer bos’n, Kilzar yer quartermaster, Maccus ‘n Piper yer gunner and powder monkey, and ‘Bad Rum’ Maurice yer cooper. Ma’am.”

Slowly lifting herself to her feet she groaned, “It seems that my best men survived, eh Salt?”

“Aye Cap’n,” he grated.”

“It seems then that Captain Jenny Blackbirch is in need of a new vessel.” She wrung out her own hair as she looked at her lightened crew. “But what exactly happened to us Salt? How did I lose my precious Dutchess?”

Ol’ Salt produced his Captain’s hat and handed it back to her as he relayed the tale of the attack on the Dutchess.

A Bosun’s Tale

“We were sailing to the Straits of Xaloc where we usually…” Ol’ Salt cleared out his throat with a gurgle and a cough of oil and rust before he continued “where we toil at our honest profession.” The crew laughed at his choice of words. “We were approaching our favorite spot to weigh anchor and await the next merchant ship to arrive on its way from Sharn to the outpost of Weatherdeep on Xen’drik when we seemed to have run aground. Now Cap’n, you’n I both know these waters better’n any man and to run aground in the Straits is damn’d near impossible.”

Kilzar sat down on a stump and rolled his eye as the mechanical one scraped in and out with the grit of sand marring it as it moved. “Just because you were once an honorable marine during the war doesn’t mean you can navigate the tides n’ weather always, Salty.” He popped his mechanical eye out and spit on it and tried to polish it with his beard to get the sand off.

“As I said Cap’n,” Ol’ Salt continued, “we ran aground in the middle of the Straits.”

“How is that possible, Salt?” Jenny queried as she rubbed the knot on her head. “And I guess I can credit this knot to my foggy memories of the event.”

“Aye ma’am,” was the squeaky reply of the young gnome they called Piper. His ruddy cheeks could be seen for the first time in months as he was washed clean by the sea from all the cannon powder he was usually covered in. “The ol’ shark Blackfin knocked you good on the noggin’ Cap’n.”

“We are getting ahead of the story,” Salt retorted. “We had no more as gained our footing on deck when tentacles started crawling up the sides of the boat. We had been caught by one of those creatures, the ones from sea myth, those Kray-kens.”

“Crack’n,” said Maccus.

“Krah-kun,” barked Bad Rum.

“Regardless,” snapped Salt. “The giant squid believed only in fairy tales and nightmares had grabbed a hold of your poor Dutchess and began crushing masts and rudders.” Salt seemed to creak and groan in his joints as if he shuddered at the thought of this beast doing the same thing to his own frame. “Then came the real shock, Blackfin and his crew came around a nearby cove aboard his ship, The Sea Lance; As if he had taught that creature to lay in wait for us.”

“I wouldn’t doubt that in the slightest,” Kilzar chimed in as he popped his polished eye back into the hollow socket of his mechanical eye.

Salt’s voice box scraped out the words as he continued. “We were boarded as we were helpless in the grasp of the Kray-ken.”

“Crack’n,” snapped Bad Rum.

“Krah-kun,” whispered Maccus.

“Anyway,” growled Salt. “We were boarded by Blackfin and his band. You’d been proud of yer crew ma’am. Each man proved his mettle a hundred times over as they lay waste to three to four of Blackfin’s crew before bein’ cut down themselves.” Salt seemed to groan, but it was just his body creaking with the white sand mingling with the rust in his salt corroded joints. “You ma’am then squared off with Blackfin. You fought honorably, despite Blackfin’s predilection for cheating.”

“Predilection?” Kilzar grumbled. “Stop speaking like a Marine mate and speak to us like we are educated pirates.”

“His fondness for cheating,” if Salt could sneer he would have done so to the quartermaster.

Kilzar smiled.

“Despite all odd ma’am, Blackfin got the best of ye when one of his crew, a crimson red painted warforged skulked behind ye and knocked you on the head with his massive sledge of a hand.” Salt shuttered at the image replaying in his mind. “It is a wonder you are still alive ma’am.”

“So that is how we ended up on this island somewhere between Xen’drik and Khorvaire?” Jenny stood up and looked to the horizon for any sign of another spot of land. “How about we find a way off this rock and get our ship back?”



  1. Wow I felt like I was in a Johnny Depp movie and the parts about Kilzar's eye is funny. I only read through it once and got taken away by your imagination. Good stuff kido! (Your gnome warlock friend)

  2. The characters are so detailed! What an interesting bunch. I'm looking forward to reading what happens next. Kilzar's mechanical eye is an especially nice touch.

    I love the part where the crew argues over the correct pronunciation of the word Krayken. That made me giggle.