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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 1: Beginnings & Changes

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Fallon Avery:

Tis the year of my twentieth summer and all of the Known Lands and Seas are my oyster, so to speak. The King's men from all shores of the world dare'd not cross my ship, the Arcangeline, nor any pirate who flew the flag bearing the pirate arms. I am Queen, Pirate Queen of Teramir, and most feared of all the Known Seas. There is no sea that I have not ventured, and no treasure that is too far out of my reach. I have it all. Yet, I find this liberation of difficulties... tiresome. Where had the blood-curdling sword fights that had me on the brink of my life gone? Where were the pirates or King's men who dare to stare me down as they opposed my Captainship? Where was the ADVENTURE?!

The scent from the wisp of smoke filled the stuffy captain's quarters as the candle flickered out. I had finished my entry in my logbook in time, it seemed. Stretching my back and feeling the knots click into place, I finally stood and stared out of the porthole. Millions of stars shone so incandescently in the night sky, and once again I found that I couldn't sleep. Deciding against forcing slumber, I threw on my scarlet coat and pushed the door of my quarters open. Frigid salty air rushed past and I greedily breathed it in. There was something about the ocean air that freed one's soul and made the blood in their veins pump fluidly through the body - it was what I lived for. That, and the rush that made my heart beat furiously at a new adventure.

The flat heels of my boots thudded on the worn wood as I walked to the deck of The Arcangeline. Out here the lapping of the waves sung a lullaby, as the stars took their turn to twinkle in their inky black net. My crew were asleep, except for Yuri, my first mate who stood at the helm, eyes at half mast and staring out at nothing. We had a long day of looting ships, and while none of the fights were worthy of my logbook, the bounty was quite large. Everyone was exhausted, I understood that. I may be legendary as being ruthless, but my black heart was still a heart. Besides, if my crew dropped of exhaustion I'd have to throw the worthless bunch overboard and find new hands to sail with.

"Yuri," I called out to the mountain of a man. "I'll take over. Go on and rest."

"Ay Captain." He replied with a slight nod of his head before his heavy footsteps lumbered below deck. I had known Yuri for as long as I could remember. We grew up on the streets of our hometown together, stealing baltiks from the pouches of unsuspecting merchants, food from wherever we could reach and on good days we pinched clothing that were hung up to dry. Yuri grew so quickly that at the age of ten he was stealing clothing of grown men, while I was as thin as a stick and could pass as a young boy. I let the memories of my childhood momentarily fly through my mind as I gripped the smooth wood of the wheel. I hated my childhood. I hated the bastard of a father who tried to sell me for ten baltiks just to afford another bottle of whisky.

The day I made the decision to leave Teramir was the best day of my life. Yuri had no one else, it was just the two of us scallywags and it wasn't hard to convince him to sail away with me. He easily passed as a grown man and by pinching more men's clothing for me I looked like a young teenage boy - so long as I kept my hat on and my eyes cast down. We signed up as part of a crew the first chance we were able and it was nothing but fine sailing for me since then. The corner of my lips twitched, well, fine sailing for me... not so fine for the men I eventually overpowered.

I stood for hours at the helm of The Arcangeline guiding her through the ocean, no particular destination in mind, and not caring either way. The last ship we looted was only on its second day of voyage and its stock was full to the brim. Now our stock was full, and theirs was probably sitting on the ocean floor. As I gazed at the horizon, the rays of the sun crept upwards and slowly brightened the velvet night sky with strokes of crimson and burnt orange bands. The stars that had accompanied me disappeared and soon the new day had begun.

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