Thursday, September 27, 2007
Pyrates: Their Villainous Ways and Keen Dress Sense
the Honorable Horatio Hans-Splatter QVC, KoT, MVP
of Millvesport the White Lands
Being the Tale of Jenna Swinesdottir Wanton, Duelist and Pyrate
Jenna Swinesdottir drawn from life by Noggin the Limer of Haimishport, who wishes it noted that the girl demanded to wear the patch though she needed it not
Wherein the author will describe how the tale of the notorious pyrate came to be known to him.
Whilst traveling among the stews of our fair capital it is impossible not to hear, from our stout sailing folk, of the singular pyrate Jenna Swinesdottir. She is spoken of in every dark wine-shop and e’en sung of in the fouler dens. She is reputed a deadly blade with hook and slim rapier and her manner much feared for tis said that e’en her own mates know not which way the wind might blow her mind. She is like as naught to skewer a lad as gaze on him and has been known to insight brawls upon a mere whim. Her beauty and youth are much remarked on as are her maniacal moods for she is a wench like the weather, changeable. When not a screaming mad thing, all who speak of her, name her generous with gifts, appealing of manner and e’en a bit naïve. The old salts say she is like unto their granddaughters and the young ones say she can be honey sweet without a care in the world, until she sees fit to become such a raging harridan that no tempest of the sea is like unto her for violence.
Wherein, the author endeavors to detail Jenna Swinesdottir’s body and visage.
Being born to swineherds she has their heavy build and stout arms but has been blessed with comely features, more the steeplechase thoroughbred than farmer’s plow horse. She stands a hands-span shy of an unstrung yew bow with red gold hair and eyes the azure of a sea-captain’s coat. Her right hand has been severed at the wrist and in its place is a hook all of the finest silver, with which she is reputed most deft and adept. Her left hand, like as not, is filled with a slim rapier, as handsome as the hook, with which she has gained a repute e’en among hardened orcs and soldiers. She stands fore-square with the devil may care attitude of a rake and yet she is said to be simple as a child in her understanding of the workings of the world outside of booty and bloodshed. She dresses in the finest silks, velvets and calf leather boots topped with the plumed hat of a cavalier tailored by our own White Land’s drapers and milliners, who speak of her rather as generous, than a vagabond thief.
Wherein, the author speaks of the birth, upbringing and history of the notorious pyrate.
Though, tis not the least the manner of the rest of the sea-born villains, Jenna is most forthcoming with her history. Troth, it can be found wherever the willing ear is placed among the seafaring folk. She was born to Hoggle and Omma Swiner, the fifteenth of seventeen children and the only daughter. Hoggle was, and by some accounts is, a swineherd and a prosperous one at that. He is of that breed of sturdy animal husbanders who can coax profit from out of his stock whilst still being a good-fellow-man to those who know him. It seems though he was an indulgent father, toward his only female child, if a tad distant. Jenna’s mother Omma died when Jenna was still in swaddling of an unfortunate and unlikely carthorse, water-well and Maypole accident, more’s the pity. Jenna was raised most by her boisterous brothers and the sailors whom her father took in as lodgers. E’en in earliest childhood she was an unnatural girl preferring the roustabout rumble tumble pell-mell of her brothers play to her own dolls and hoops. By the age of twelve she could climb like a forest pard and was reputed deadly with anything having a point. Though she seems to have been a dutiful child, in her way, a life of herding swine ne’er suited her and her father oft’ let her stay amongst his sailor lodgers and listen to their tales, whilst her many brothers ran the farm. These same salts filled her young head, with shanties and foamy quests, till her mind was fair addled and her speech was as colorful as a hand of fifty years. She began to believe that the life of a seaman, and a pyrate at that, was one of heroic adventure and naught but daring do. She determined that she would live that life and no other.
Upon her fifteenth summer, it being the custom among the islanders that fifteen was the end of childhood and the beginning of adult duties, she set out for the local sea port hard by, bent on becoming a sea-hand. Coming to the first sloop she spied she clambered up the gangway and demanded to be taken on board as an able hand and pyrate no less. The resulting hilarity drove her into an ale house where she chanced on three drunken sailors and their e’en more inebriated companion, a sawbones, or sea-born cleric. Convinced, as she was, that it was her visage, and not her manner, that had reduced the captain and crew of the sloop to tears of mirth, she set about to look more pyratical. She belabored the soused seadogs to have her left hand off and replace it with a hook. So they did after much drink and cajoling but naught could o’ercome them to have her leg off for a wooden peg and her eye out as well, fortunately for the daft lass. At this point the God’s smiled on her, or mayhap had their own jest, for it chanced that that devil of the sea, the scourge of maiden shipping and gunned hunters alike, Shannahan of the Cutlass was in port. He heard of the balmy bint and had her dragged onto his vessel. Jenna Swinesdottir has sailed loyally with him to this very day.
There have been tales, e’en within the month, of this damsel of the deep sailing among ghosts on foul a phantom vessel. She is reputed by a paladin of note to have battled at the side of half-orc and ‘Gyptian minotaur monks within a dank fetid chapel turned to evil. Tales tell of sea drakes and krakens o’er stepping the gunwales of the Cutlass, though, so perhaps Jenna Swinesdottir is drowned and devoured by such beasts. Indeed it is said that she is possessed by spirits, fair haunted by undead pyrate queens and may have died while swashbuckling on Mad Wizard Isle, a place of fearsome and uncanny repute. Among the gnomes it is said that she and her companions have turned pyrate hunters and, with their own vessel, currently rid the seas of other ocean brigands. What e’re the tale, good folk keep ‘ye wary for thy young lads and boy childer, keep them close. If Jenna is still about, and your boys comely, they may yet come to grief or have their manhood’s stolen by this wave-foam harpy, Jenna Swinesdottir, Mad Maiden of the Malestrom.