Board :Tales of the People
Author :Archon Iyagi
Subject :"The Unbroken Pledge" by Nocturnal
Date :5/2
The Unbroken Pledge

The chant of the sailors as they pulled their oars woke me from a gentle slumber. As I rose from my small cot on the ship, I stretched before heading to the small porthole to see where we were. In the distance I could see the small zig zags of land from the ship. The light caws of various birds were above the ship, as they circled a couple last times before heading back to land before we went into the deep sea.

Going top side, the chanting became louder. All along the sides of the ship were the sailors pulling oars happily and easily. Along the sides of the ship with the oars were the crews weapons. The main sail had the emblem of their ship, the Guardian Wave. The Shield glowed with a Wave that seemed to move against it. I always smiled looking to it, a sense of serenity would capture me. Though I was quickly pulled out of that serenity as I heard a call from behind.

"Holy one! We have entered sacred waters and from last sightings we should be near the Fleet soon." The Captain of the ship called above the howling winds, his hand on his gold crusted Cutlas.

"Thank you Captain. Once they are close enough, we will engage them with our full might. Be ready. Be the Wave." Was my calm response. I smiled knowing full well the weight of our task as I went to the equipment room to prepare.

After a time a jolt suddenly went through the equipment room and pulled me from my prayer. Shouting was heard loudly from above, the deck had the sudden scramble of feet running. Grabbing my staff and the Guardian Wave holy symbal, I quickly pulled the symbol over my head as I pushed through the door to see the few crew left below scrambling up the various ladders and quick escapes to get above. I ascended the stairs and found myself in the middle of chaos.

The crew fought ichor monsters that fell like viscous ink from a skeletal ship which had a Prow made of the decaying flesh of a whale. It still cried as if it were just torn from the body, and each black tear, created a monster. Atop the foul Whale Ship, was a humanoid with dark glowing hands that shook with joy as it watched the Wave and it's crew slaughtered before it.

I raised my staff as the Captain fell before me. His single eye stared to me, the right side of his face melted off. A pleading look and a grip on his cutlas that never wavered, even in death. Slamming the staff into his fallen body, I whispered the holy words to take the remainder of his life. I looked up sharply at the Whaler's Leader, and my lip curled as the last holy word came out with a snarl.

The deck rocked with light as the dying crews zeal came surging forth, empowering the Symbol of their faith. I felt their very belief surge through my staff at that grotesque ship and a golden swirl of power clear away the darkness. The ichor monsters and the Whaler vanished just as quickly as they must have come. The remaining crew on the Guardian Wave cheered, and my heart sang. We had protected her, and ourselves from this surprise attack from the Fleet of the Damned.

The painful shock that struck me as the glare and darkness cleared to see the actual fleet before us came into full view. Thousands of crying ships, lead by dark waters tainted with blood and hate.

"No..." were the words that left my mouth before pain erupted in my chest, and threw me off the ship as a ballista arrow blossomed from it. Sadness that I had failed, and the thought that there would be no hope encompassed me as I splashed into the water below. Feeling the tide washing away hope, I looked up, away from my murderers and saw in the distance my hope revive. Our pledge would not break, we would still overcome.

As I sank into the loving grip of our mothers depths, I closed my eyes to my last view. The overwhelming flags and sails of the Holy Order of the Sea, that covered the horizon, from end to end.

"Sleep well my dearest protector." Came the gentle words of our mother as I went to sleep for the last time.

~Nocturnal