It was a warm, sunny day on July 17, 1765. The throne room of Buckingham Palace was quiet, except for two men; one on a throne, one to the left of it. John Breasly, the king, and his friend, King Shadow Sail, were having a quiet conversation, when the doors opened, and Simon Lockward stepped in.
The Beginning of the End
Simon knelt before John. "My friend, the ship. It is completed. It can sail at dawn," Simon told him. And so, the three of them, side by side, exited the throne room. They took a carriage out of London. Before they left, John went to the Royal Museum where he retrieved the Krokonomicon, and the Golden Fang. "I think we'll be needing these," he explained. Then they rode out of London and to the southwest. They entered a hidden harbor.
Nestled in the harbor was a ship. Not an ordinary ship though. This ship was 7 stories of metal, wood, and hard labor. "Where did you get the money to build this!?" asked King Shadow Sail. "Don't you remember? You and the ITB loaned some money to me about ten tears ago?" replied John. "Right," muttered Shadow. They climbed aboard the ship, where John's wife, Charlotte, met them. "I'm sorry honey, you cannot come!" he told her. "I know, but I came to see you off," she said. And so, John, Shadow, and Simon climbed aboard the boat, and sailed off into the Atlantic. Once they were safely aboard, Simon showed them all their quarters, which happened to be in the same corridor. The ship, Simon later told them, was named the HMS Fearless. A fitting name.
A Minor Stop
Two hours into the voyage, the HMS Fearless was docking in Dublin. John stuck his head out of the door of his quarters. "Not trying to be rude, but why in the name of the Devil has my ship stopped?" John demanded. "Patience, king. The captain needed to stop due the some issues in the cargo hold. He'll be done by tomorrow," Shadow explained as he rounded a corner. "We could always visit the king, he's such a laugh!" Simon offered, emerging from his cabin. So, the three of them set off towards the palace.
When they reached the palace doors, a guard met them. "We're here to see the king," John explained. "Right this way, your highness!" exclaimed the guard, obviously shocked to see the kings of England and Italy. They were led to the parlor. When they entered, Simon and John received a huge shock. There, sitting next to the king, was David, a long enemy. He was also brother to the king. "What a pleasant surprise, John!" exclaimed the king. "Well, not to pleasant here, John O'eagle," Simon told the king, named John O'eagle. The king made the connection. "Oh... well, we can still be friends, right? My brother is only visiting" offered the king. "Hardly" spat Simon and David simultaneously. "Hmm. How about you all make yourselves comfortable. You ship is the one at port, yes?" asked the king. David leaned forward in his seat a bit. John replied "It is. We'll be gone by tonight." They dove into conversation, but it was awkward and tense. At nine o'clock, the king bade them good night. Then the door to the parlor opened, and Sailor Johnson, a member of David Inc, David's guild, stepped in. "Your ship is not ready to depart, your highness," he told John. So, the king gave them all places to sleep.
Late in the night, there was a thump on the door of the large room where the three of them stayed. Shadow awoke first, and opened the door cautiously. There was a thump. John and Simon awoke to find Shadow unconcious on the ground. They both grabbed their daggers, and went for the attackers. It was only then that John realized his old friend, Richard Swordsilver, was the captain of the attackers. That caught John and Simon by surprise, and they were bound and gagged. Now, being elderly, the three of them had a hard and painful walk to wherever they were to be taken. They were brought down to a cellar, and thrown to the ground. There, they slept. In the morning, John O'eagle and David entered the cellar, with Richard holding the king at gunpoint. "Hand over the throne, brother, and your friends need not be harmed," David told the king. The king replied, "Never!" and drew a dagger. He and David dueled. Richard couldn't fire. Then John spotted what was wrong. Richard's gun jammed. Then, Shadow did the best kick he could, and sent Richard to the floor. He untied John and Simon. The three of them got up, and joined in fighting David and his goons. Shadow and Simon were repelling David Inc, clearing a way for the battle. David, being in his late eighties, was magnificently strong. The battle raged up the stairs, through the palace, and out into the garden outside the main entrance. Townsfolk were at the gate. No, it wasn't townsfolk. It was the crew of the HMS Fearless! They were battling David Inc! John had a surge of gratitude towards them, which was short lived. Richard came dashing out of the palace, out of the gates, and slew the captain of the HMS Fearless. John's gratitude turned to rage. John, wearing his battle belt, drew the Sword of Valor. He took two good hacks. One broke David's sword. The other cut off his hand. David lay against a fountain, breathing hard. He looked at John and said, "It's the beginning of the end for you. You've got no idea what's to come. See you in Hell." John stabbed down. Hard. David's body lay, dead, against the fountain. then John collapsed, exhausted.
Setting Sail Again
John awoke in the palace. He was injured, and he couldn't remember what had happened. Then it came back to him. Shadow, Simon, and John O'eagle waited for him. "Sorry, I can't believe that traitorous..." the king began. "Save it. It wasn't your fault, my friend. We'll be leaving soon... Did you catch Swordsilver?" John replied. Shadow cut in, "He got away." So, the four of them rode to the HMS Fearless. Standing on the brick dock, John looked at Shadow. He asked, "King Shadow Sail, would you, the best sailor I know, take the honor of sailing my ship for me?" Shadow stood there in a stunned silence. Finally, he managed, "Yes... yes I will. Where is the helm?" John led Shadow down many passageways, until finally, they reached a staircase. They ascended the staircase, and came out into a large room. The room was oddly circular. It had many desks and tables with maps and all sorts of objects. "The Bridge," Simon said proudly, "is one of a kind. Notice how it has a one-eighty view to see in front of it. And see that door back there? You can follow it to a private office that overlooks the back of the ship and the sea. There is also a balcony in the front, to overlook the ship." Shadow looked around. "Two questions. Where is the helm? And what if I want to captain from the balcony?" Shadow asked. Simon led him up three stairs, onto a dias. There, on the dias, was the helm, embroidered with gold and silver. They looked up at the large windows. "You'll obviously need navigators. Oh, and this is my personal touch," Simon explained. He walked to the wheel. He spun one of the handholds, which hand an extremely small dragon carved into it. the steering wheel made an odd creaking sound, then folded itself up. The spot where it stood was now a closed hole. Simon took the wheel out onto the balcony, and leaned close to the wood. He twisted a part of the banister, and a small hole opened up in the center. Simon plugged the helm into the hole, and it unfolded. "Now, you can navigate outside. Just twist that little handhold on the helm to collapse it. To open the hole inside, press down on the dragon craved into a little stone pedestal where the helm sits," Simon told him. And so, they set sail.
Their voyage to the Caribbean started the moment they left port. On the way there, nothing much happened. about half way across the Atlantic, disaster struck. Several Prussian deep sea war vessels were closing in on the HMS Fearless. A cry echoed from the balcony. "Man the cannons!" Shadow yelled. The cannons set themselves. John came onto the bridge. "What is it?" John asked. Shadow didn't even turn, but told him while steering, "Prussian war vessels. Four of them. Looks like one of them is a flagship. They're not as big as us, but they'll be able to board after taking out level four's cannons. I can't see who's manning them." Suddenly, an explosion shook the ship. John walked onto the balcony to see they were surrounded. A mast near the stern of the ship collapsed. Then, grappling hooks fired from the vessels. The latched on to the fourth floor, just as Shadow had predicted. John looked at the flagship of the Prussians. There, he saw exactly who he expected. Francis Bluehawk was commanding soldiers, and swinging aboard John's vessel.
Francis Bluehawk was swinging aboard the HMS Fearless! But wasn't he dead? He landed on the fourth level, where he proceeded upward. The Navy put up a valiant fight. John, Simon, and Shadow were in the Bridge, commanding forces and sending messages. Eventually, Francis and his Prussians fought their way up to the Bridge. He busted through the door, sending wood everywhere. Francis marched in, and said in a raspy voice, "You die now, Breasly!" Though Francis was old, John was older. They each drew weapons. John drew the Bluehawk Blade, while Francis drew his Treachery's End. They went into a large sword battle, which nearly destroyed the bridge. "You cannot win!" Francis cried out. Then John took a large slash and sent Francis flying through the window, and onto the balcony. When Francis got up, he had a large cut running from the base of his jaw to his forehead. He gripped his sword and charged. John side stepped, and took another sweep at Francis' legs. His hit was perfect. He chopped off Francis' right leg, leaving him crippled. Francis leaned up against the banister of the balcony, fumbling in his jacket. John slowly approached. Then, Francis drew a Prussian pistol, and aimed it at John. John knew he was too weak to run up and overtake Francis. He stood there, knowing he was about to die. Francis looked at him and yelled, "You ruined my life! I'm about to end yours!" A shot echoed out. John looked at himself, but he was unharmed. He looked up at Francis, who had a large wound in his chest. John looked behind him to see none other than Simon Lockward, holding and Assassin's Pistol, and aiming at Francis. Francis shivered, then looked at them and said, "Goodbye, my friend. May God be with you." Francis toppled over the side of the balcony. The battle stopped. There was no cannon fire, no sound of clashing metal, no gun shots, not even a footstep. Everyone looked at where Francis had fallen in shock. John took off his hat, and held it to his heart. Simon did the same. Eventually, every living soul on the ship was silently saluting Francis Salazar Bluehawk. Then, Shadow and John made eye contact, and John nodded. "FIRE!" Shadow cried. Then, every cannon aboard the HMS Fearless fired. They blew apart the Prussian war vessels. All but one. Then, the Navy overpowered the Prussians. They took prisoners. Many on both sides fell. Eventually, when ready, the Navy sent the sent the Prussians aboard the war vessel, with Francis' body. Then, the HMS Fearless sailed away, the Prussians in the other direction.
After months at sea, the ship was finally repaired, and traveling as fast as possible. However, it wasn't always liesure aboard the HMS Fearless. There were diseases. Many soldiers died. Simon got very sick, and was soon bed ridden. John visited him every day.
After nearly six months at sea, the HMS Fearless spotted land. They sailed past Raven's Cove, past Driftwood Island, past Tortuga. They were headed for Fort Righteous.
A Stranger Caribbean
The HMS Fearless arrived at Fort Righteous late in the night. On the docks, meeting them, was a very wizened Samuel Redbeard. He had a walking stick, and had a hunched back. Samuel, now being 194, was not in a healthy mood. He had begun to get paler, and his hair was now ghostly white. He and John greeted each other briefly, and began getting unpacked. They sent Simon to the hospital straight away. Shadow was not happy with his arangement, since he had spent part of his childhood on an island called Isla White, which was inhabited by EITC. However, Shadow agreed when he saw he'd be living like a king. They stayed for weeks, and began to plan their next stop when Simon got better. Then, disaster hit them once again.
The First Attack
A blast of heat, and a loud crack awoke John from his slumber. He opened his eyes and looked around the room. However, he only saw a great gaping hole in the wall with a window on it. He climbed quickly out of bed, and grabbed a pistol off the nightstand next to him. He quickly threw on a coat and boots over his night clothes. Then, he raced out of the room. Another shake. The stairwell to the main floor was burning. John looked around desperately. He ran into the room closest and awoke Shadow. Then just as a third crack came, they dove out the window in time to see a firebrand slam into the fort manor. When John got up, his ankle erupted in pain. A nearby assassin, hurrying to the cannon fire stopped when he saw John's ankle. "Oh, m'lord!" the assassin cried. He quickly pulled cloth from his pocket and wrapped up John's ankle. "Dead Skull, is that you!?!" John cried. Dead Skull and John had a long history. Dead Skull looked up. "Yes, tis me, m'lord." Then, the three of them, John supported by Shadow and Dead Skull, made their way to the cannon fire. About half way, they passed the infirmary. They went inside to fetch Simon, but the doctor said he had disappeared. So, they trudged on until they reached a battlement with two guards. They entered, and climbed a little ways, to find Samuel Redbeard, observing the ocean. Then, John saw them. Pirates. Hundreds. His initial reaction was interest. But, that soon turned to fright. He realized the protective voodoo to keep the island hidden must have failed. Just as Samuel noticed them, a large explosive round came hurdling towards the battlement. They hit the ground with a mere second to spare. Then, rock and stone blasted everywhere. As they got up, Shadow suggested leaving. It was a unanimous vote. As they made their way to the dock, they encountered pirates. Dead Skull and Samuel's guards did most the work. Finally, reaching view of the docks, John thought of Simon. Suddenly, he stopped under the archway. He and Dead Skull decided to wait. He told the others to go on.
John waited for about five minutes. Just when he was about to lose hope, a figure came over the hill, running. He recognized Simon. Pirates pursued him. About twenty. John and Dead Skull drew their pistols, and began shooting down the pirates. Then, more pirates came. Simon made it past them, and then it all went wrong. Dead Skull misfired. His gun exploded, and it blew off his arm. Dead Skull fell to the ground. Then, the arch leaned. John knew it was going to collapse. "Let's get out of..." John began to say. Then the arch collapsed. John stood there, petrified. Then, two pairs of hands grabbed him. They pulled him back. John was dragged from the collapsed arch, with Simon next to him. Then, the hands spun him around, and he saw the two people he wanted to see most. His son Jack Cannonhawk, and his brother William Damproberts.
They all climbed aboard the HMS Fearless, and left as soon as possible. The two guards had decided to stay. William was at the wheel this time. They sailed for hours. Finally, they approached Padres del Fuego. Shadow ran out onto the balcony, and grinned. "Dock," he said. They all looked at him skeptically. "I said 'dock'," he replied.
They docked on Padres del Fuego, and made their way into the caves. Jack and William walked in the back, guns drawn. They finally reached a dark crevice between two large boulders. Shadow unsheathed his sword, the Life Sword, and stuck it into the crevice. The boulders rumbled aside, and there was a simple wooden door in the rock. There was no handle, but a lock was stuck on the center of the door. Shadow pulled out a small, fancy key, and put it in the lock. A series of clicks and clanks emitted from the lock, then the door slid aside. A narrow stone hallway, lit by torches, was beyond the opening. He led the way into them. Finally, he came across another door. It wasn't locked. They all walked into a small chamber with a large wardrobe in the center. There were three locks on it, vertically placed in the middle. "A wardrobe. You led us into a lava-filled cave, through a creepy tunnel, and you show us a wardrobe. I think you've lost it," Jack said curtly. "Oh, a wardrobe is it?" Shadow replied. He touched the top lock, and it opened. They peered inside to see a man working on a weapon in a forge. "Slint!" Shadow called. The man looked up from his work, then looked over at them. "Hey. I'll be out in a minute," said Slint. Shadow closed the wardrobe, and touched the middle lock, and it opened once more. This time, they were looking into what seemed to be a large dining room, but it looked as though it were in a castle. Shadow looked back at Jack and grinned. "A wardrobe, is it?" he said. Jack was awestruck. He walked fully around the wardrobe, as though to make sure there wasn't another wall. "Whoa, where does the third lock go?" William asked. Shadow waved the question away, and closed the chamber door. They all climbed through the door way. A wavy feeling washed over them, and then they were suddenly in the room.
Once everyone was through, they all looked back. What they were staring at was a mirror. But, instead of showing their own faces, it showed them where they had just came from. Samuel looked at the mirror disapprovingly. "Voodoo," he grunted, "is not my style." The jewel at the top of the mirror glew, and then the mirror became glass. Shadow waved his hand, and fireplaces built into supports across the room flickered to life. "Go ahead, make yourselves at home," Shadow said. He took their coats, and put them on a coathanger in the corner of the room. They sat down in plush chairs around the extremely long central table. The room was a long, castle-style room. There was a large fireplace, as tall as a man, at one end, and the mirror they entered through on the other. There were several banners hanging from the ceiling. They had a strange seal on them, but John could just make out the words Master Ex below the seal. There were several archways going down the room, with thick supports. There was a fireplace on every two columns, equal with the other side. The ceiling was very high, even though the arches only came up half way. On the other side of each set of arches, the ceiling was equal with the arches. Tables littered with instruments were under those ceilings. Equal with each arch, was a door. They all looked around the room with awe. Then, the grand fireplace shook. The fire within was extinguished. The bricks began shifting to make an arched doorway. Jack Daggermenace and Slint, two good friends of John, climbed out of the archway. "Welcome," Jack said, "to the headquarters of the Master Ex."
When they stepped off of the base, the bricks reassembled themselves, and the fire lit. Slint was carrying a long, curved dagger on a strange tray. Jack was leading him towards the main table. Only then did John look at the table. It was cluttered with chunks of metal, papers, plates, half-finished weapons, and several other contraptions. Slint laid down the tray on a small round table in the corner, and then cleared the table. After it was cleared, he walked off through one door. They engaged in pleasant conversation for a few minutes, until Slint came back with four large, cooked turkies. They had a marvelous feast. "So" Jack was saying between bites of turkey, "where are we going to stay, father?" John began to answer, but Jack cut in, "We'll give you room and board as long as we can." The whole group thanked him. "I don't mean to be rude, but how am I going to run the East India Trading Company? Fort Righteous has been sacked. Also, how is John going to send messages to England? They can't have a king gone missing!" Samuel exclaimed. Slint frowned, but stayed silent. A look of sorrow crossed Jack's face. "We'll show you in the morning," Jack said. He got up, and led them through one door. They walked up a set of stairs, and down a few hallways. Finally, after one more set of stairs, they came to a large landing, with several rooms. John was shocked how after all that they were still underground. "Where are your windows?" he asked. Jack just grinned. "Your room is right here, Your Majesty. You'll have windows. Don't worry 'bout your group, you all will be staying close. There's a map in your room. We've already gotten your items from your ship," Jack said. John walked in the magnificent room. He didn't even bother to look around, he'd do that in the morning. He got undressed, and went to bed.
When John awoke, light was shining in his window. He got dressed, and grabbed the map. He followed it into a large sitting room, with a fireplace identical to the one in the dining room. His friends were sitting in plush chairs, making a half circle around a large, round table. The walls were lined with books. When John closed the door behind him, he heard a strange thump. When he looked back, all he saw was a bookcase. He sat in an empty chair, and was offered tea by Simon. John accepted. "The Caribbean's a right mess," said Jack Daggermenace. "Che il danno?" Shadow asked. Jack looked at him quizically. Shadow looked embarrassed, and replied, "Sorry, Italtian. I said: What's the damage?" Jack and Soar shook their heads. "Too much," Soar said. Just then, a shaking above them echoed through the tunnels. Jack jumped to his feet, and ran towards a book case. He pulled on one book, revealing a small passage. He ran through, and moment later, returned with a large silver blunderbuss. "I haven't seen this in years!" Shadow exclaimed. He gripped the Silver Shadow Striker with glee. He then tied it to his back, and ran down the passage.
John was adjusting the Sword of Valor to his side, when he