Hello everyone! My sincerest apologies for cancelling last week, but a friend of mine had just recently moved and need my time to help her out with all the work. Now! We return to our faithful hero amongst the waves. Pastebin with everything I've typed with my grubby little hands: http://pastebin.com/P2G4nyrPThe Map: http://i.imgur.com/4iPYlLv.jpg@BootstrapsQuest on twitter for updates and news!---Last time: Catherine's father is discovered on a waystop, Catherine and Mary had a heart-to-heart conversation after the tension exploded into a flying fist in the bedroom of Mary's home. James and the Captains decided to continue on the journey to the abandoned fort even after the battle with Ainsworth. Upon entering the old keep, James is trapped inside in the dark, a figure speaking French toward him. (cont.)
The main doors to the keep still stand on rusty hinges and as you test the swing, they lurch forward into the interior of the fortress. There are no lights, no torches to illuminate the inside. As your men fashion some grass torches to help see in the windowless ruin, you wander slightly deeper inside. You come upon a smell, a smell that shouldn’t be inside an empty ruin. As you venture deeper into the darkness, you stumble into a small table with a small object atop it. As you reach down, you pick up the smooth, curved object and feel its warmth and a tiny trail of grey wisps emanating from the bulbous end. Barely visible in the darkness, the smell is much more pungent. “A pipe…” you murmur. Alarm bells begin ringing in your head as you drop the pipe and turn to yell out of the door. As you open your mouth, the large, heavy doors slam shut. Moments later, a secondary thud of a cross-bar locking the doors sounds. A scrape is heard as a match is lit in the darkness, the pipe now in the mouth of its owner. A soft red glow of the embers barely illuminating a face you do not recognize. “Well well, Capitaine Abbot. Il semble que nous rencontrons…. Encore.” >Who.. who are you?>Draw your weapon>Try and escape
Can I be the ship?
>>33024534>>Who.. who are you?
>>33024534>Who.. who are you?
>>33024534>Draw your weapon>Who.. who are you?
You stand with tense anticipation as the figure’s face radiates the small glow from the pipe’s embers, your brain trying to search for the voice or the face before you in your memories. “Who… are you?” You ask cautiously.“You do not remember me, Capitaine Abbot?” The voice rasps back at you. “I have been thinking a lot about you, my friend. It has been a year since you abandoned me.” You are puzzled, the face you do not recognize, nor the voice it produces. The scraping of metal and stone produces sparks upon a torch as the room illuminates with a dull red glow. Multiple men stand before you, many of them older gents, but they all seem distraught with anger. “You cannot have forgotten, James.” A heavy French accent speaks from the chair. An older figure rises from the chair’s patchwork coverings and approaches you, arms crossed. “Ye nary remember yer old Captain?” The sudden realization hits you like a wagon of grain; he stands before you. The many who you served under during the war. You had not thought about the fact that you stole his ship and most of his crew in Kingston that faithful night one year ago. “You ruined me, Abbot. The Navy disowned me, my wife, she left me. No money, no home. The only solace I held was my faithful men who stayed at my side as you made off with my livelihood…” The figure speaks. “William Gorne… as I live and breathe” you whisper. ---->Reasons with him>Try to escape>Draw your weapon
>>33024805>>Draw your weapon>Try to escape
>>33024805>Reasons with him
You slowly pull the sabre at your side from its scabbard, the rasping of metal filling the emptied room with echoes. Brandishing it before you, William musters a laugh. “Always quick with the blade, James. You never change.” He scoffs. “This is far more fortunate that you’ve stumbled upon myself, rather than I you, James. What fortuitous luck I have!”You back into the large doors that bar your path and you can hear jostling and shouting from beyond their exterior, your men trying to find a way into the keep. You quickly scan the room; no doors or windows to be found, and those that may exist are out of your reach as the men in the room slowly begin to circle you. Their faces begin to thrust memories back into your head of those times during the war.“Now, Captain Gorne-“ You begin.“Hold your tongue, James.” William interrupts. “You’ll not talk your way out of this.” He finishes, pulling a sleek blade from his side. “You’ve destroyed me, James. You don’t know how that feels!” He shouts. You continue scanning the room, spying 7 other men within its confines. You bet that you could have put up a good effort if you weren’t recovering from the injury at your side. You hear a faith thumping behind you as the doors gently reverberate under your touch.>Surrender>Attack>Stall
“I’m a wounded man-“ you begin again. “You’d nary kill a man who cannot fight, would ye?” You ask. Gorne mulls the thought for a moment before he shakes his head and continues toward you with his blade drawn. The 7 other men tighten their circle as they make a neat fighting ring. “Tis a blow against yer honor, Captain Gorne. Ye were always an honorable man! Why die with this dishonorable deed on your hands?” You question him. “Oh, my boy, I’ve done things far worse than kill a thief in my time.” He responds, a sickly smile cracking across his beaten visage. You raise your weapon to the ready position, your side already beginning to burn from the movements. You clutch the wound with your free hand as you begin to circle one another, the duel starting in earnest. Before you left the door’s side, however, you felt the force increasing and the sound audibly echoing in the room. A thrust streaks through the air as it pounces past your guarding blade and between your arm and ribs, narrowly missing your chest. You leap back awkwardly, your previous wounds slowing you down considerably. As you approach the ring of men, you are shoved back into the centre. This time, the thud is heard loudly as the doors shimmer under an unseen impact. The other men begin to worry as the latches on the door begin to clang against its heavy construction. >Continue stalling>Make your attack>Remain defensive>Surrender
>>33025262>>Continue stalling>Remain defensive
You resign the fact that you are engaged in combat and prepare yourself for the worst. As you defend yourself, you can see that time has not been kind to William Gorne; he is withered and beaten, his confident stride replaced by a stiff shuffling. The attacks are slow and clumsy, but your wound makes you equally slow and equally clumsy, making this combat the slowest, clumsiest that you have ever seen. You parry another wide strike as the keep’s doors crack once, then twice, then explode open as the cross-bar shatters under the weight of the force behind it. Your crewmembers tumble into the room, the sunlight piercing the dusty haze within the old fort. The men around you abandon their circle and engage your own men, a small melee starting in the musty space. You continue fighting Gorne as his old men are quickly dispatched around you. Eventually, two men grab him from behind and force his weapon away from him, pushing him to his knees. “I never wanted it te end this way, Gorne.” You state. “I left ye in hopes of never seeing ye again. Fate’s brought us back together, an’ ye just couldn’t let go.”Wayne Skinner walks beside you and gives you a knowing nod. Alesa, who can be heard grumbling behind you, motions you to kill him with her thumb as she drags it across her neck, clearly unamused by the escapade. “Thieves always get what they deserve, James.” Gorne rasps, his face contempt with defiance. “I’m no thief, I’m a… liberator.” You reply. Susanne scurries up to your side as you clutch you side, peering at your wound. She looks down at Gorne and he cracks a small smile, nodding gently towards her. Susanne stares at him as you give the call to Wayne, who produces a knife and glides it across the old man’s neck, blood beading behind the knife and quickly pooling upon his collarbone as his life drains from him. >Go back to the ship to rest>Continue looking for the cannons>Inspect the Keep
>>33025482>>Continue looking for the cannons>>Inspect the KeepLet's finish the job first
>>33025482>Inspect the Keep>Continue looking for the cannons
>>33025482>Continue looking for the cannonsSo is that our docs father then
You toss your head to one side as your men continue on their way to search for the canons. You can already see the ones atop the remnants of the walls being hoisted down to be loaded onto the ship. “Alesa, can ye show the boys where the canons are?” You ask. “I have a pretty good memory James, but they may have moved… I’ll do my best.” She responds, hobbling along with Susanne at her side. She has not taken her eyes off you since your former captain was killed. All that remains are some men outside the doorway, which is barred open, and Wayne. You both begin to rustled about the room; various chest-of-drawers and other furniture items cobbled together in the room stand closed and out of the way. The central fireplace and the small chair and table next to it, as well as a large, iron-clad chest. It looks rusted shut, and bears no markings. Mayhaps the key is around the room, or one of the persons? Maybe the footlocker is nothing at all. With the light illuminating the room, you find it to really not be that large; no more than a small gathering hall. No doors lead to an adjunct room and no windows belay the other side. It seems this little fort couldn’t have stationed more than 100 men at a time. >Search the bodies>Search the drawers>Sit down on the chair>Try to break into the chest
>>33025663>Sit down on the chairCall in few of your men to do the rest of the searching, including breaking into the chest. A wounded captain should be resting
>>33025663>Search the drawers
>>33025663>Sit down on the chair
You shuffle over to the lonely chair; exhausted from the ordeal and the toll your wounds have on your mind. The fireplace sits empty as you wave the men from the door inside as they begin checking drawers and other furniture. Wayne remains focused on the chest as he tries to pry open the lid. “Doesn’t look like it’ll budge cap’n.” Wayne expresses, delivering a swift kick to the side panels of the chest. “If she wasn’t an ironclad I’d smash her on the rocks!” “Well, something built like that must be holding something worthy of its protection, aye?” You inquire. “Oh, I spose that would sound mighty plausible cap’n.” Wayne responds. You lean back in the small, yet surprisingly comfortable chair, pondering the outcomes. “How much does she weigh, Mr. Skinner.” You ask. Wayne attempts to gauge the weight of the chest, roughly 3 feet long, and 1 foot wide and tall. He lifts one end by the rung affixed to its side, his eyes shooting upwards and to the right, deep in thought. A few moments later, he puts down the chest and counts on some fingers before answering. “I reckon she be ‘bout 150 pounds, cap’n.” “Hmm.” You exclaim. The other men return no items of worth as they find only junk and small trinkets amongst the room. >Carry the chest to the Abbey>Attempt to search the bodies for a key>Try to pry open the chest once more>Go and check on the canon situation
>>33026112>>Attempt to search the bodies for a key
>>33026112>Attempt to search the bodies for a key
“Search the bodies lads. Maybe one o’ them has this here key.” You command. Your men swiftly roll the bodies and examine pockets, pouches and chains as they pick over the dead bodies that dwell within the room. One man returns an odd looking iron rod with teeth that appears to be frail, but should fit within the key-hole. Extatic, you are about to try when another man calls out saying he has also found a key. This one is brass in nature and is two small rods parallel, with teeth on each end. As you hold both in your hand, Wayne calls out saying that Gorne had a key on him too; sterling silver and geometric in pattern. All three keys look warped and hackneyed; as if they are used they would snap or become unusable. Confronted with a tripled choice, you fear you only have one chance to choose the right key; as they may render the chest unable to be opened. You call upon the judgement of your fellow men, but each gives a reason to choose a different key worth equal to another. Wayne shrugs his tall shoulders and returns your puzzled look. You ponder the right choice as you sit in the chair, your hands running over the keys in question. Each is distinctly different, but all seemingly would fit within the key-hole. The heavy iron bars that lock the chest lid shut remain steadfast in the assault, and it could seemingly take days at home with a smith to open. But then again, the contents may be destroyed in the process. >Try Iron key>Try Brass Key>Try Silver key>Use none, but take the chest for later.[Breaking for dinner. Be back in 45-1 hour]
>>33026334>Use none, but take the chest for later.
>>33026334>Use none, but take the chest for later.who knows, maybe we'll find some hints... or at least someone who can lockpick the chest
>>33026334>>Use none, but take the chest for later.
You mull over your options like a Greek philosopher of yore; but it dawns on you. “Alright lads, we’ll take the chest with us. I’d reckon we find someone more capable than us on the matter.” You call aloud. Your men murmur in agreement, all anxious to know what lies within. They begin to haul the chest out as you exit the fortress with Wayne, the sun-bleached stone reflecting the light harshly in your eyes. About the ruins, you notice that it would be a startlingly beautiful place as well as practical to reside… but that is just an idea. You smile to yourself as you pace about the ramparts slowly, the idea swirling dangerously within your mind.=====You’ve grown closer to Catherine every waking moment that you share with her. Finally relaxed after two weeks of no threats, she has let down her guard and even broken down right in front of you. The scar forming on your cheek is a daily reminder when you look into your scuffed silver mirror, but you wear it with pride. It is a mark of your loyalty to friendship. Catherine apologized when she calmed down more, and you couldn’t hold it against her; she has had a rough upbringing in her time alone. She sits beside you on the beach enjoying some rum with you, but you hold the bottle in an iron grip, and she only a small tin cup. You glance at her with a glint in your eye. A game has come to mind. “Catherine.. hows about we play a little game…?” You ask. Catherine raises an eyebrow in intrigue, but smiles with willingness.>ask her a personal question>ask her a question about her past>Ask her to ask you a question
>>33027239>Ask her to ask you a question
>>33027239>>ask her a personal question
“Ask me anything you desire, and I shall tell ye the truth.” You state simply, looking over to Catherine with a smug grin.“Anything?” replies. “Anything at all.” You answer. Catherine mulls over the thought for a moment before a devilish grin streaks across her weathered face. “When ye first met me after James hired me, were ye jealous?” You purse your lip at the question, your brow furrowing slightly. You fight the urge to lie about your jealously, but you sigh and give in. “Aye. I was.” You reply. “But I’m no beautiful lass like yerself. What’d ye be afraid of?” Catherine asks.“You have an attraction all your own, Catherine.” You reply, Catherine tries to hide a small, giddy smile. “Okay, now my turn!” You blurt. “Wh-what?” Catherine stammers. “You asked one, I get to ask one.” You slyly state. “It’s the rules.” Catherine begrudgingly agrees to the rules as you turn to face her, the white sand shifting beneath your bare feet. “Were you attracted to James when you met him?” You inquire. There is a long pause as Catherine ponders the question. You lean closer and closer, and you can see Catherine beginning to squirm under the pressure. “Okay, okay Lass!” She shouts. “Aye. I was. How could ye not be? There’s somethin’ about a man with big ideas and even bigger dreams that just makes ‘im… handsome.” ====(cont)
>>33027586The stony fortress ruins are attractive to your eyes as you peruse the sourroundings. It engulfs thewhole rocky island, walls ending in towers create a small harbour that could hold 4 or 5 medium sized ships, and while it is in disrepair, it could be fixed by hauling stone… But then the Key comes to mind; it’s beautiful lagoon, its small town and bustling jungle, the tavern and the wharf. That is your home. You longingly place a hand on a large hewn stone, but you look to the West, as if to gaze upon the Green Turtle Key. By the time every able canon is loaded onto the ships, night has fallen, and you count a total of 27 that were salvaged in working order along with multiple crates of powder and shot. Pleased, you debate whether to set out immediately or stay the night anchored, leaving at first light.>Sleep on the ships>Sleep on land>Depart immediately
>>33027605>>Sleep on the ships
>>33027605>Sleep on land
With the work that was done today, you decide that some sleep will do everyone well. Calling out remain anchored, you find your cabin calling you swiftly as you find the small bed in the corner of the room. You do not even bother undressing as you painfully remove your jacket. A small knock on the door is heard as Susanne brushes past the barrier, gliding smoothly across the floor in her floral dress. By now, you know the drill. You lift your arm as high as you can so she can inspect the bandages. Under a scrutinizing eye, she makes a ‘tsk’ sound and shakes her head. She places a small pot of sea water on the wood stove to boil as she removes the bandages. They cling and stick to you and one another as she unravels your midsection like a mummy. The wound looks clean, but still bleeds occasionally through the sutures. She makes mindless small talk while the bandages boil clean, but you cannot stop thinking about the chest. As you ponder, you feel a smooth hand on your chin, its forefinger and thumb on either side as it gently coerces your head to turn side to side. “Mon pere, he was a… barbour. You need to shave that face of yours.” She speaks quietly. You don’t say anything as she digs into her bag, producing a small tin and brush, as well as a formidable straight razor. She gestures them at you and you rub your chin; the prickly stubble and hairs protruding from your face rasp against the flesh of your hand. Gazing into a mirror upon the wall, you take note of your shaggy and haggard demeanor. >Accept the shave>Accept, but do it yourself>Refuse politely[By the way, it's going to be another short one today. About an hour or so left.]
>>33027937>>Accept, but do it yourself
>>33027937>Accept the shave
You agree to the statement and Susanne begins to prepare the small mixture of foam; using a small spoon to take some of the boiling water. Once prepared, she uncovers the straight razor, its polished edge finely crafted and maintained. She gazes past the razors edge towards your face, and you feel a slight unease building up in your mind. She scoots closer to you on the bench, but you divert a hand to her wrist that brandishes the blade. “I think I can do it m’self, lass.” You state. You can see frustration behind those calm hazel eyes as she produces a smile and an upturned palm. You seize the razor in your own hand and turn to the mirror, watching closely as Susanne stares intently. You begin shaving, the remarkable razor cutting effortlessly. After the bandages are cleaned, she begins to wrap your wound once more as you shave, always keeping an eye on your reflected gaze. Once completed, she flashes you a warm smile and proceeds to the door just as you finish. You lower the razor and inspect your work. “Much better, Capitaine.” She chirps happily. You close the small tin and gather the brush and razor, making your way to return it to Susanne. As you stand in front of her, holding out her affects, she shakes her head and smiles at you.“Non, do not worry about zat. It is yours.” She exclaims. “Susanne, I can’t this from ye-“ you begin. “Non non non, James. You take what you please, mighty pirate capitain!” She jokes, shaking an imaginary cutlass in the air. You return with an uneasy shuffle of your feet as you keep the things outstretched. “I’m not worthy of such a fine thing.” You protest once again. “It’s okay, James. Good men always get what they deserve.”With that, she curtsies and departs from your cabin and you are left with a feeling that makes your stomach turn over in the pit of your insides.>Go after her>Go to sleep>Ask Wayne his thoughts
>>33028401>>Ask Wayne his thoughts
>>33028401Ask the Wayne man his thoughts
You can barely make it out of your cabin as you spy Wayne leaning against the cabin wall next to the door. You have a strange moment of deja-vu as you recognize that Catherine did the exact same thing. You can scarcely open your mouth before Wayne pipes your thoughts out for you. “She’s got something on her mind, she does.” He rasps. You relay your encounter, and Wayne gives a heavy sigh. “I don’t know if’n that be a coincidence, cap’n.” You gaze out towards the working woman as she went from man to man, asking if he is okay, checking his bandages and wounds. Beneath that exterior of the quaint and charming French nurse, something has changed. You can’t put your finger on it, but you can sense the tone of her demeanor change around you. It doesn’t seem angry or sad, nor happy or jovial. It is something that you cannot pin down- but should you ask? Or should you just let it go…=====Okay. Sorry to cut it short, but I have need to get some medical treatments for my left hand right away. I'll be sure to tweet a better reason later if you are following me. I don't want to not give you my usual farewell, but this will have to do as it is getting painful to type. Next Thursday, 3:30 pm. Regular schedule unless otherwise stated. Thanks for everything guys, and if anyone was new to the thread, @BootstrapsQuest is my twitter to receive timely updates and other random stuff.
>>33029039Thanks for the thread, hope your hand gets better soon