Standing at the crumbled path, puzzled between hundred pound slabs of stone pillars and bricks that made up the grave of the crumbled temple front, the setting sun lied lost behind the monument’s mile-high summit. Bourbon splashed liquor down his constantly drying throat, as Grey fed their boss water. Holding his bandana to Olli’s cryptic mind, pressuring way the large gash of blood above him right ear, the British aristocrat hissed at the stinging pain, as Grey snatched his brother’s alcohol to sanitize the wound. Listening to him explain, he revealed to the group.
As the drunken pirate tended to his boss’ arm, he held on to it with a firm hand in his chard wrist. Hearing the agonizingly jarring news, he looked to his brother in silent. Receiving silence back, staring awkwardly at the man who stood on the opposite side of the Brit. With nothing to say, Bourbon nonchalantly tugged the dislocated arm, violently popping the joint back into place. Gaining a truncated grunt from the slender brit, “I would ask how – but, I’m honestly not concern with th’ jack@**…we’ll deal with him later. How are we getting the booty back to Jestor City?”, the smoky eyed bandit took a breath of air that he didn’t need, as he thought of the treasure that they still needed to get to the civilized world. Gazing over the horizon, in the direction of the river that led up to the Awekian city, he licked his chapped lips before placing the slant of his cigarillo between them. “…Simple, mi lads. We load the shipment onto a raft, and sail the cargo to St. Jestor…Simple as that, mi laddies…”, the Jest spoke with the calmest level of assurance. Holding no ounce of doubt or fear, he smiled with faith, as he stretched his now-sore arm. Biting his teeth, he stood up, with the leveraging assistance of the pirate. “Mi love tells me she engaged in a conversation with ye lads?”, Olli immediately mentioned his beloved wife, before being redirected by Grey. “Not simple, boss. That be we only vessel”, the swashbuckler pointed to the burning rubble in the river. “…and, we seem t’ have lost the Grimm Venturer…we’re stranded here.....”, the cowboy informed the wealth, reloading his revolvers. “Now, ye expect we carry this chest all the way to Jestor City!?”, the brain of the dead duo questioned their employer. However, ignoring the worry of the group, while staying in his pleasantly upbeat state, the gentleman changed the subject.
“...she informed me of ye prior predicament.”, he continued speaking of the conversation he held with his wife, moments for coming to them. Limping away from the pyramid’s entrance, Bourbon carried him through the field of fading flames and jungle weeds. Marching over ashed Spaniards and scolding metals, the two dead men listened to the whistling wind howl upon them with the , beckoning away from the suffering of the physical world. But, before they could sign a thought of the graveyard of burned men, a blast of smoke flush into the air. From over the treeline of the river, the sight of their small gallon floated in from the shadows of the trees. Covered in the mystic mist of its origins, they stared in confusion as the made its return. With the same gypsy woman standing at the decks, waving at them with the mindset of a child pretending to be a pirate, Tabitha Jest held up the outfit of a swashbuckling caricature, as Bourbon’s bird sat on her shoulder.
Taking to the sky, the bird announced the vessel of the Grimm Gold Brothers, to which, the piracy captain cheesed and broke for his ship. Letting go of Mr. Jest, caring little of him falling to the dirt, Bourbon sprinted into a full dive for the river. Swimming for his ship, he grabbed hold and began climbing up to the railing. As Grey and Mr. Jest starred, the boss laughed his way back onto his crippled feet, using the assistance of a cane that he pulled from the parlor tricks of his top hat. “…as mi said, laddies, we’ll just sail to St. Jestor…..”, he looked to the smarter of the bandit brothers, who was gazing at the field of bodies. Grey licked his lips, dragged the deep breath of his cigarillo and signed out the smoke of his lack of disbelief. No longer jarred by the surprises that the Jest held in store for them, the capped gunslinger was ready to be done with this mission. “Fine, Jest…let’s get ye treasure t’ the museum and finish this…”, he marched for the shoreline, whistling for his horse. Witnessing the black stallions trot over to them, the cowboy stood along the shoreline of the wide river, watching as the golden sails drew on their dark wood merchant ship. The same vessel that they previously fought the Spaniards with, he cleared his mind of where the bloody galleon had gone, or how the madam had gain control of it. However, upon standing before its arrival, Grey raised a brow at the true Grimm Venturer.
“Jest, what are ya planning?”, the rugged bandit stared at the black planks of wood, carving into the hull and body of the ship. Knifing through the fog and flowing as a , the cowboy knew danger must surely lie before the end of their journey, if Jest allowed the true Grimm Venturer to be seen out of mortal state – in the brute of its macabre form. Still hidden in the sunlight, the truth shall be revealed. “…Laddy, we’re bating a big fish, this time.”, Olli winked as Grey stared on in wonder of his meaning.
Looking upon the crest of the House of Jest engraved in the wooden face of the ship’s body, the Awekian flag waved in the breeze of the setting sun, as Grey waited for the ship to let down its ramps. With the grace of the beyond, the ship nearly floated above the water, as it steadied to a unnatural level of stillness. Seeing the lady stand upon the higher deck of the ship, staring down on top of them with bellowing smiles, she glared at the garden of death and the temple of her history with cryptic thought. Digging in her belt pocket, at the nodding smirk of her husband, she sprinkled out the of lit sage leaves and smoked chocolate mint leaves. Releasing the strong scent of spiced repellant and forewarned blessings, Olli pointed his cane at the pyramid’s summit-placed temple, “I bid ye, ado…”. Squinting his eyes to view the tip aligned with the structure’s highly grand roof. Swaying the sea along the grass petals, the vessel halted behind him, as Grey led the horses up onto the black craft of mystic ability. Looking to Bourbon, holding a sun-gleaming copper monocular up stream, “Ay, we have a ways to go, mates!”, Grey opened the map of the land. “…if we sail off now, th’ wind current should carry us through th’ mountains…”, he followed the river’s path, estimating the direction of the thick Awekian breeze, before bowing to the madam. “Zalu, mi danh-kuu…”, he gentlely muttered in respect to the lady of wealth and class.
“Ye fella need to alleviate yeselves and embrace the mysteries of life.”, the injured Jest announced in a voiced that oozed of nihilistic passivism, “ye let the chaos of th’ universe degrade ye spirit. Lads, accept th’ role that we find ourselves in, fully engulfed in the magnitude of disorder…”. Olli stood at the mast of the deck, finding himself staring at the lemur steering the vessel. With a perplexed expression in his face, the Brit made his way up to the quarterdeck. Looking at the full scene of a monkey sitting on the wooden wheel, running across it, using his hand, feet, and tail to control it. “…..observe Mr. Key, here…a primitive lemur, as he is. He asks no questions of how dangerous is what may lie ahead of him. He just goes after his duty…and, so shall we”, Olli pointed to the open route to St. Jestor City. Immediately feeling the jolt of the Grimm Venterer, as if his announcement forwarded the craft down river, the wind crashed into the bowling sails, launching the ship.
Grey stood next to his wolf-dog, BK, before following suit and assisting his brother in getting the ship up and running. As the mystic vessel moved with the mechanics of a full crew, the navel craft chilled with the feeling of them not being alone. Fogged in the dead of evening, the mist silhouetted the ghost of crewmen past, locked to the Grimm Venterer’s body. Pulling up the same coloreds of gold that got them along the Singing River, and through the caverns of Mt. Theronus, it was now bringing them home. As Grey climbed to one of the watch points of the lased rigs, the paranormal sound of moaning could be heard along the rickety old deck, as the thick-furred dog lied passively at the door to the lower decks, where Bourbon was ridding them of useless goods. While Tabitha walked along the decks with a person drenched in the power of smudged sage in her outfit and strong incents in her hair, the misty shadows echoed to work upon the vessel of macabre essence. Searching through darkness of the brigs, Bourbon passed abandoned skeletons and the fleeing rats as he journeyed the hull. Placing the chest of treasure in the brigs, he looked to the rotted skulls, “Lock ye eyes t’ tis for me, mates?”.
A Few Hours Down River
Sailing down the river, they soon rowed into a full sway of an open curl of water edged by grey cliffside, covered in the moss of green jungle foliage. Flowing downstream, rocking to the sounds of nature cawing around them, the flock of paradise birds filled the air with a beautiful rainbow of feathered colours. As the river widened out to what looked to be a full two hundred yards of blue water. Rafting in rainy streams from the rocky edges, the channel of water pushed hard and compelled the Grimm Venturer with strengthened speed. Carrying them a few miles in the northwestern direction, through the swampy waters and fungi-rich bogs, a few hours of travelling led them pass the calm and quant. As the brewing winds pushed rainfall against the floor of the river’s surface, the two brothers maned the decks, tending to the mast and the swelling of the night’s environment. As the winds grew ferocious along the , and they witnessed the hilly horizon of surrounding mountains, they knew they were in the rapids of Awekia’s mountain range. “Tis be a bumpy ride, maties!”, Bourbon called out, as the sound of sloshing waves commenced, and the iron and steel braces at the ballast of the ship knocked, the rain punched the decks. “Reel in th’ horses!”, Grey shouted over the misty noise of river water growing chaotic, as they hit the first of many rocky humps in the rapids. As Tabitha guided the horses below the deck, into the hull, they heard the howling of the sailing lemur, gripping the wheel. “Mi know, Mr. Key…ye can see, mi was cursed wit’ two hands…”, Bourbon muttered to the ape, as he climbed the shrouds to the mainmast, to adjust the sails.
Immediately, they felt a huge dip, as they dropped over a hilly swell in the water. Cricking and creeping roamed the shadows of the hull, as the splashing the mist figured the silhouettes that the vessel like hired crewmen. Olli opened the door and exited the bright light of the captain’s quarters to hear the flapping of sails and rattling of strings and rods, rolling barrels and loose cargo stumbled along the deck, as he hobbled like a pig-legged sailor, “…falls ahead!!!”. Hit in the face with water, the Brit pointed to the dim sight of what looked to be the declining falls of the mountain. Holding an oil lantern, glassed off from the wetness of the rain, he turned to his wife, who was now climbing the staircase to the front deck to swish on the searchlights. “We need to watch for th’ river edge…we’re drawing too close to this side”, she yelled back to Olli and Grey, as she activated the bright swivel base of the spotlighting lamp. Booming a pale white beam of light out the front of the black ship, Grey ran back to across the line of the deck. However, in an instance, they felt a drop that lifted them off the floor with a jolting bang. “Godnabbit, Key – move tis bloody thing t’ ya left!!”, he shouted over the stormy weather to the lemur. Feeling the thunderous flash of lightning, as it struck over the mountain, the bandit’s skeleton form could be seen. Undead as the many times before, the light revealed the darkness of the ship. As the water slid from railing to railing with each roll, the tattered sails and rotted wood left the deck chillingly cold and with the strong smell of sage and brimstone.
The of the mist revealed themselves under the explosive light – many of the dead crewmen of the Grimm Venturer. Dying long ago, their the work that needs doing, as if they were still present. Shadow figures, they moved like robot in the fray of action; ignoring strikes of nature’s power and focusing on the work of Jest. Earth’s creation donned the light necessary to peak behind the curtain of Olli’s creation. As the sky grew dark grey and cloudy, blotting out the sun with thick mist, the sky cracked more with booming fury. “…Man the stations; prepare the cannon…Grey! Bourbon!! Ready ye arms. Tabi, I smell Imperial honey!!!”, he called out, as the two brothers loaded their weapons. As the lady looked into the blurred mist, hit by rapid blasts of water, she saw it. While a haunting swell built up under the deck, growling from the depths of the hull, the likes of terror swell within the vessel. “BK, get boy!”, Grey shouted for his wolf-dog, as he gripped the comfort of his Kingman rifle. Walking up the stairs to the poop deck, he heard the gypsy madam; “They’re here!”, a burst of water splashed up like as volcano, as a hellish red and gold galleon surfaced from the water. Immediately following aside them, Barbossa was back. With the assistance of the fish men and monsters of the netherrealm, his Spanish crew was now a hellish army which he sold his soul to.
And in the warring chant of the dog’s eternal blood-chilling howl, Grey readied his rifle and fired off. Immediately, cannons blasted over from both sides. As the lantern-carrying maiden looked at the opposing crew with eyes of awareness, she held up her hand and began chanting psalms in Awekian. Moving down the rocky river, through , cannonballs and fire rained off in into the sky, as a wall of mist shot up before her. Protecting them from the blunt of the force, rocketing ball dulled beneath the weight of the water. Held up by Tabitha’s will, the gypsy kept her hazel eyes on the , as the two ships were thrown by the waves. “…They be aboard us soon!!!”, Bourbon alerted, as he fired his rifle at the invading humanoids, swinging across the gap of mist between them. Hitting two, three others crossed over. One landing close to Grey, baiting the of his wolf launching into a attack, tackling the squid man down the flight of stairs. The bandits began to turn their attention to protecting the Venturer. With Bourbon leaping down from the Crow’s Nest, he pulled his cutlass, and started hacking at the creatures.
“Find the treasure!!!”, Ct. Barbossa ordered, as more crossed over. As Tabitha muttered before them, many of the men were dragged from their attempts, by phantoms of the Grimm Venturer’s control. Under Tabitha’s lead, the ghostly crew of the Jest flushed the decks like a tornado, and flew in tendril mist, over to Barbossa’s ship. “James, protect the treasure…”, Olli looked to the fishmen who were making their way to the brigs. As they fought off the skeletons that lived in the hull of the cryptic ship, Olli returned his golden helmet to his head. Laughing with his sadistic grin, he ran over the railing to the other ship. Holding his hand out, and unsheaving a rapier from his cane, the magician burned the deck of Barbossa’s vessel, as both ships entered a fall.
With a battle breaking out on both ships, between the Jest crew of ghost and skeletons, and Barbossa’s crew of fishmen and demon, the two crafts dropped from the water, enter a series of falls. Nosediving into the pits of a forty foot drop, both ships torpedoed into the lake. Lingering underwater for a few lengthy seconds, they still fired tendrils of force at each other. Casting charms and muttering spells, Tabitha was spoke the into the water. Purifying the lagoon that they landed within, the sorcery boiled the flesh of the demons, as both ships moved underwater. Bourbon watched as Barbossa’s ship showed more signs of damage. Swimming into the mast, he gripped it as her felt the pressure of water pressing against him. And, shooting up with pressured tension, lightning struck as the two ships crashed into each other. While the two Jest pulled out the blunt of their powers, Olli burned down the Spanish sails, and Tabitha ordered the phantoms of the Venturer’s control to hammer through the hull of their ship. Breaking through, Barbossa’s vessel crumbled. Leaving the crew of fishmen swimming after them, they began climbing the Grimm Venturer. As Olli floated off the ground, spraying flames over the side of the ship, Tabitha propelled the ship forward. “We need t’ capture Barbossa”, Tabitha told the battling Bourbon, as she created a swell that pushed their ship.
As the two undead bandits fanned away the chalky thick cloud that caked up upon the ship, as a flash of light between their surfacing confused the two men. Seeing the misty sky absent of rain and lightning, while the sun lied behind the mountains, light crept in for a refreshing grasp on reality. Not knowing what time or day it was anymore, Grey noted the idea that it was likely morning, as the cloudy presence of dew blanketed the river. But, the time was not one of contemplation, as Barbossa and his fishmen climbed the Venturer and attacked the crew.