Pirate Game Fan Fiction


Sam's Story (Part 2) by Sam Underhill

Sam's Story 2: Northguard

“I think you can get it… if yer quick,” Grina told Dusty.

“Whadd’ya mean if,” Dusty replied, half over his shoulder. The Wharf Rat dodged through the street traffic and deftly captured the cabbage that had fallen unnoticed from some unfortunate shopper’s basket. That person was already gone, having turned the corner seconds before, so therefore the cabbage was fair game. The Rat youth returned triumphant to the pair waiting in the alleyway.

Dusty’s real name was Rattus, but was commonly known as Dusty Rat, perhaps because chances of bathing in this frigid town did not come around very often (if ever). He was a plain brown Wharf Rat, somewhat rotund, but good natured despite all life had thrown at him so far. Just another orphan cast out on his own into the Spiral, he had made it to Northguard some months previously.

Northguard, of course, was home to the seat of power in Grizzleheim. It mostly attracted traders and adventurers, but was mostly famous for its fish.

Dusty’s companion was a girl Polar Bear cub. Her name was Grina, but she had never told anyone her last name, even her friends. Nor did she speak about her past. She was an accomplished street urchin despite her tender years. Although her white coat made her somewhat conspicuous, she was usually used as a distraction so her friends could move about unnoticed.

The final member of this unlikely pack was a young human boy. His skin was light brown and his hair white. Although he had arrived barely a month previously from a small fishing hamlet, he had already earned a respectable place among the street youth of Northguard. Particularly after passing his ‘test,’ soundly defeating the three youths sent to teach him his place. This trio carved out their niche in the cosmopolitan (to them) town of Northguard. His name was Sam.

The tiny troupe feasted merrily on their cabbage, and counted themselves lucky to have found food (not rotten to boot) so early in the day. They would, of course, find more to share later that evening with their less fortunate brethren. Most of the day they would spend trying to find work amongst the fisher folk, or odd jobs carrying and fetching for the merchants, but those opportunities did not come about very often. But to the kids’ credit, when there was a job to do, their tiny pack had earned a reputation for honesty. Usually this meant they’d receive a decent, if not overly generous, payment.

Once their improvised meal was over, Sam left the others to meet up with later, and began moving about the town. He loved to listen to the stories told by Snorri and Erik, or enjoy the magical music in Nick’s garden. He tried his luck for employment, but neither the blacksmith nor recipe vendor had any work for him today. So Sam decided to go off and visit the gentle Bear Hagen Shieldbreaker, whose hut lay deep in the woods. It so happened that today Bjorn’s friend, the seer Hugin was visiting. He cast a long look at Sam and offered to see into the future for him.

Sam simply laughed at the notion. He had no future to speak of beyond hoping something edible waiting for him at dinnertime. Perhaps he might grab a fish on his way back to the nook he shared with Dusty and Grina.

“Come here, boy,” Hugin commanded, and something in his voice gave Sam pause and left no room for thought of not obeying. Hagen gave Sam one of ‘those’ looks, so the boy went over to the Raven willingly enough. “I see a long path ahead of you.” the seer began, then his eyes misted over and his voice went spooky. Chills actually ran down Sam’s back as he felt the air begin to grow even colder around them. “All the Spiral lays beneath your feet, young pirate. I see wooden ships, I see metal men, and I see…”

Hugin stopped, his eyes far away, trying to pierce the veil of the future. He focused once again on Sam and looked at him deep and searchingly. “That is all I see. Go away.”

Pirate indeed! That was a path best left well enough alone. Metal men, he snorted. Don’t be ridiculous. Disappointed by the whole affair, Sam made his way back to the town proper. The paths in Northguard were safe enough if you stayed on them, but straying could be dangerous. The clans kept law easily enough, even amongst the port areas where foreigners stayed. But upon arriving back closer to home, Sam heard a commotion ahead that gave him a start, and ran to see what was happening.

To his shock, he saw Dusty being led away by two burly Bears towards one of the trader’s ships. Grina managed to grab hold of Sam before he could even think of interfering. The gathered small crowd seemed only mildly curious, and not at all hostile towards the outlanders. “Sam, those Bears claim Dusty stole from them, and they’re going to take him away on their boat!”

Sam swallowed hard. “Did he? Steal, I mean?”

“Whadd’ya think, you idiot? Of course not! But those Bears say so and Dusty can’t prove he didn’t, so the law’s on their side. Probably they just need a new cabin boy. Oh Sam, what can we do?” Sam had never seen Grina even close to tears before, and he had never felt so helpless. Looking about he saw one of other local lads standing nearby, looking on the scene smug and amused. Sam felt like running over and punching him in that long snout. Sam closed his eyes, took a deep breath, then took half a step…

Suddenly a strong breeze blew up, right in Sam’s face, forcing him to stop and shield his eyes. For a brief moment he thought he heard a soft whisper in the wind, a voice he could not make out or understand, but it felt soothing and gave him comfort nonetheless. His first thought was of Aana, his Wolf foster mother, then about what the seer Hugin had said. ‘Wooden ships.’ Sam knew now what he had to do, and he wasn‘t about to abandon Dusty to his fate alone. He reached towards his friend and took her hand.

“Grina, do you want to go sailing?”


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