Monday, July 13, 2015


With a horrific crash one of the carron shots slammed into Dimae’s Hound, sending razor splinters spinning across the deck. Screams followed in their wake as the spikes of wood found soft targets, even with armour.

Marines clutched faces where a piece of wood stood out between bars of their helms and fingers, blood pouring down their breast plates. A squire boy writhed on the deck with a length of wood in his gut, sticking out of the leather.

The medics rushed out of the main cabin and, skidding on the suddenly bloodied deck, scooped injured into their stretchers and hustled them inside. Sailors flung water over the red and it became pink as the Hound lunged forward, faster as another sail unfurled above.

The last few shots had injured a dozen sailors and marines, the decks were gouged by spinning chains and metal shards, gathered up by the mast monkeys and squires, together.  Stains that would not wash away were everywhere, on people's clothing and armour, the wooden decks, on sails and ropes. The Fehinnan had gotten better at hitting them as they bore down on her.

“Captain… we can’t…”

“AIM!” It was the forward springald captain bellowing.

“BOOM!” The shot from the barquantine falling further and further behind splashed harmlessly into the sea.


The springald was quieter than the hayelish thunder of the Fehinnan weapons but the thrum -pp- crack! resonated through the wood under their feet and the bolt, as long as a man, tipped with steel shot out, arced through the rigging of the schooner without  hitting anything.

“AIM! AIM!” The other two forward springalds took their shots.


THRUMP! One impaled a Fehinnan, pinned them to the decking, the second, with a half-moon cutting head tore a hole in the foresail of the schooner that gaped wide in the wind and tore.

“Commend those crews, First! Prepare to come about.”

“Aye, SER!”

The Captain stood steady on the foredeck, bloody water fading around his shoes, raised his far-lookers.  “They must turn now, with the loss of speed and if they hope to hit us with all four of their carron, hoping to disable our sea-legs, or rigging.”

“Aye, Ser… Hull centurions report crews ready.”

“Turn… you hayel-damned dog-vomit…” Filarias snarled softly. “YES!”

The schooner had her foresail shreds down and her mainsail snapped over sharply as she heeled, almost burying her gunnel in the sea, spray foaming just over the deck as she turned.

Trumpets rang on the Hound and, at speed, oars snapped out of both outriggers. Red hull bank dug hard into the water, four oarsmen --missing their locking mechanism -- were smashed into the oars behind as their oak oars shattered. Gold hull couldn’t reach the water, at all with the trimaran heeled so far over as she turned.

Sails crashed across, the mobile sails turning smoothly and quietly, a sailor fell and hung from his safety harness, limp. Gold hull oar-tips dug in, then full blades and Dimae’s Hound turned. 

She turned, more oars breaking, rope snapping, but she turned inside double her length, crashing down off her sea-legs but the broken oars were already stripped out and the oarsmen pulled free and new sitting on the bloody benches.

“Row! Row! You dog-sons! Don’t let ‘em get their carrons around to be able to fire on us! One, TWO! ONE TWO ONE TWO! Back up on our legs! UP! UP! UP!" The roar of the marines became a chant amplifying the rowing beat.

Dimae’s Hound staggered, -- Captain Filarias held the rails hard with both gauntlets -- and inside three heartbeats charged down on the Fehinnan. “ALL SAIL! AIM, YOU DAMNED DOG-SONS. LOAD! AIM!”

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