9: Mojo the Gnarled

The Hermit

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Bio:

Gather around, lads, and I’ll tell ye a tale of pirate adventure and woe. Many moons ago, I was crewed with the most devlish of men, the infamous Captain Albert. We were trawling the West seas, preying on the wealthy merchant ships and crushing any military crew foolish enough to get in our way.

I was a spry young lad then, still with me leg and full of fight. Albert had me working the rigging every day. Smart man, I clambered up and down those ropes like a monkey, and- ..What do ye mean I am a monkey, lad? Are you blind?

Anyway, a few years after we ’ad scared off all the other pirates in the West, we finally met our match. This enemy was no military ship, was no rival pirate crew, nay. He was a shark so huge, so vile, that a single bite from his massive jaws would have sunk a lesser vessel. His skin was black as night, and one of his teeth was as big as yer chest, lad! Yes, you. No, you with the hat. Sit down and shut up.

This mighty beast tracked us day and night, maybe knowing like we did that he had finally found prey worthy of his respect. Then, one rainy, moonless night, he attacked, slamming his bulk into the side of the sip and almost capsizing us right there. Now captain Albert, he was a monster of a man. Fat as a whale and mad as a rabid mongoose, he was missing one eye, one hand, and most of his teeth. He didn’t let this slow him down any, though, and replaced everything he had lost with spikes. Yes, spikes. Did I stutter? Spiked eyepath, a big wicked spike where his hand used to be, and, well, you should have seen this bastard smile.

So Albert, he was none too pleased with this brute of a shark slamming itself into his ship, and made sure it knew it. Soon as the ship stopped rocking, he stormed over to the side and ripped up one of the cannons, holding it over his shoulder and shouting for some fool to load it and light the fuse while he aimed it at the black shape in the water.

Young as I was, I scrambled to make the captain happy, and lugged one of the ship’s cannonballs over and put it in. The blast sent everyone around reeling, but Albert’s aim was true and that cannonball hit the shark dead in the eye. Now I know sharks ain’t got a voice like you and I, but I swear that thing screamed. As the ball fell to the depths, it was left with a gaping bloody crater on the side of its head, and a rage that made the water around it boil. Whaddya mean rage doesn’t work like that? Are you telling the story or am I?

That shark launched itself out of the water, black shape flying like the very ball that took its eye out, and jaws ready to close around Albert in revenge. Now Captain Albert was a right bastard, don’t get me wrong, but I was a young lad, and all idealistic and loyal and that, so I pushed him out of the way. It wasn’t easy, running into the captain’s blubber was like pushing against a wall, but we tumbled out of the shark’s mouth as its jaws came down and all the thing got was a big bite of me leg. Maybe it was scared, and maybe it was satisfied, but after that the shark swam off, leaving a bloody trail through the water. I ’aven’t seen the beast since.

Things went bad from there. We never seemed to get the same loot from merchant ships that we used to, and found ourselves losing men to them military ships more often than not. Eventually, Albert got it in his head that I was bad luck, that I was causing all this misfortune, and threw me overboard in the middle of the night. I was always a fair swimmer- What? I don’t care if monkeys can’t swim, we’ve been over this. Now I was always a fair swimmer, and I made it to a piece of drifting wood and held on for dear life. Five days later- How did I survive without water for five days? I was in the middle of the ocean, you idiot, surrounded by water.

Anyway, that piece of wood took me all the way to Port Peril. Wet and exhausted, I survived for weeks just tellin’ me stories to whoever would listen and scraping up coppers. Eventually I got enough together to get really drunk, and took meself to the pub. It’d been too long since I last had ale, and it showed. Even though I was long used to me pegleg by now, I was a bit wobbly when I stood up, and that’s when one of you lads hit me on the back of the head with a bottle and dragged me onto this blasted ship. No I don’t know who it was, and he’ll keep his mouth shut if he knows what’s good for him. Now all you lot get to bed, and someone bring me more rum!

9: Mojo the Gnarled

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