Tale of the Pirate Wizard (Part 1) by Alec Hawkins
Chapter 1: From Wizard to Pirate
“Take him to Marleybone, and have him hanged there to set an example for magic users.”
“And. What. Of. The. Other. Prisoner?”
“Do the same to him.”
Those were the first words I heard when I came to. I couldn’t see, and when I tried to open my eyes, all I felt was cloth.
‘A blindfold!’ I realized.
When I tried to speak, all I got was a muffled sound.
‘It looks like they also got my mouth...’ I thought.
When I tried moving my hands to get some wind to blow the blindfold off, they wouldn’t move!
‘They even handcuffed me!’ I mentally screamed; the Armada knew how to deal with magic users very well.
Luckily, I could use Balance magic to increase one of my five senses’ perception temporarily. Since I was blindfolded and cuffed, sight and touch wouldn’t help. Neither would taste nor smell. So I focused on my hearing.
I could faintly hear someone walking away, and then walking up creaky wooden steps.
Suddenly, my eardrums were blasted from the sound of cannons firing.
“Battlestations, mehearties!” I heard a gruff voice, which could only be described as being a bit crazed, yell.
‘Pirates!’ I realized as I turned off my acute hearing, ‘But they must be mad to be attacking an Armada ship!’
Suddenly, I could hear something hissing, without my enhanced hearing.
“Get down! She’s going to blow!” the same gruff voice from before yelled.
Suddenly, I could hear an explosion, coughing, and could smell smoke.
“It’s this prisoner!” a formal voice said, although not the same regal voice from the one that captured me and Alhazred.
Suddenly, I realized I had forgotten all about Alhazred! Where was he?! Was he alright?!
“You sure, Mr. Gandry?” the gruff voice said.
“Of course I’m sure! What other prisoner do you think has wizard robes on?!”
“Alright. I’ve got the keys,” I could heard the sound of a gate opening, “Now you handle freeing him while I keep a lookout for the Armada.”
Suddenly, the blindfold was ripped from my face and I could see lantern light shining straight into my eyes, temporarily blinding me for a second. When I could focus again, I could see that I was laying on the wooden floor of a prison cell. And I was being freed from my cuffs by a Monquistan, or a monkey person, in a Marleybonian’s outfit.
“Don’t worry, we’re here to rescue you.” he said in the formal voice I heard earlier.
The moment he removed the rope from my mouth, I yelled, “Did you see a Krok in here?! A old, brown Krok with a cane?!”
“Silence!” the Monquistan hissed at me, “Do you want to alert the Armada that you’re free?!”
“Who are you anyway and why are you freeing me?” I asked as he unlocked the last of my cuffs.
I stood up as he said, “I am Mr. Gandry, a humble First Mate to Captain Boochbeard. Now come, we must hurry.”
“Hurry up, Monkey! Our automated cannons won’t keep them busy forever!” the pirate’s voice hollered back to us.
“Aye, Captain Boochbeard!” the Monquistan said.
I nearly tripped over. Captain Boochbeard?! The unluckiest pirate ever?! And, indeed, as I turned around the corner, I saw the plump form of Captain Boochbeard. His extremely large white beard, from which he was named for, was as long as ever. I had once met Captain Boochbeard, when he came to Krokotopia to help with Alhazred’s plan to free the Manders from their bondage. But when that plan was thwarted, he turned made a run from Krokotopia, because he certainly didn’t want the Krok wizards after him.
“Aye, you’re the little tyke I helped in Krokotopia, aren’t ya?” Boochbeard said.
“Yes, I am.” I answered, smiling after seeing an old friend.
“Well, I must say that it’s a pleasure seeing ya again, Alex.” Boochbeard said.
“Captain! We must hurry! The Armada is starting to gather outside!” the Monquistan yelled, looking out the trapdoor they blasted open.
“Right!” Boochbeard said, “Sorry for the rush, but we must get going! And yar comin’ with us!”
“Wait! They mentioned another prisoner! It could be Alhazred!” I exclaimed.
“He is not on this ship! He is on another ship, headed for some other place!” the Monquistan said.
“We’ll have to get out of here to find him, but to do that, we need to get you to Skull Island!” Boochbeard said.
“Skull Island?” I wondered aloud.
“No time to explain! We have to get out of here!” Boochbeard said.
And with that, I stepped out of the trapdoor.
I saw that we were on a flying Armada ship, in the skyway! If I hadn’t been in danger, I would’ve stopped to view my surroundings.
“The prisoner must not be allowed to escape. Take them.” the pompous voice that had spoken before said.
I whirled around to see axe-wielding Armada Clockworks with an odd-looking man standing behind them. He had a white mask and a black Armada member’s outfit.
I recognized him on sight. It was Deacon, a high-ranking member of the Armada!
And suddenly, the Clockworks charged! I leaped out of the way of their axes, and shot icicles from my hands. Unfortunately, they skillfully shattered each icicle with practiced skill.
Next, I started focusing on my inner anger. Almost immediately, a Firecat appeared before me. I willed it to charge at the Clockworks, its claws ablaze with fire. When it got close enough, I willed it to pounce and rip open of the Armada Clockworks. However, while it did defeat one of the clockworks, it disappeared upon doing so, its time up.
“What the hey! I’ll get rid of them all in one blow!” I said as I evaded more of the clockworks’ attacks.
I summoned a thunderstorm above the ship, its rain pouring down on us. Then I called a lightning bolt down on the Armada Clockworks just as they were about to pierce me, effectively short-circuiting them, and they toppled to the ground.
That’s when the thunderstorm vanished, and I panted from the amount of magical power put into that storm.
“Impressive.” Deacon said, “You actually managed to beat my finest clockworks. Very well. You may have your freedom...for now.” And he pulled a Spark Thrower out of his coat and fired onto a nearby gunpowder keg, making smoke go everywhere.
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