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A new Story: The Scarlet Raven

Started by Capt Gabriela Fullpepper, May 26, 2009, 09:55:48 PM

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Capt Gabriela Fullpepper

Gabriella sat in the corner of the overly dark cell. She had been here a few weeks already and could feel it slowly draining her spirit and fight. Not to mention she had to share the cell with a few others and this made it worse in many respects. The only person who she managed to ever talk to was Verlo a down on his luck bard who had managed to end up in here a few days before she had. He had come in with a rather large buxom woman that could only be described as "un-civilized" Why the two where together, Gabriella had no idea, nor did she care to find out. The woman would have made three of Gaby, and ate everyone else's food if you could call it that.
Lucky for Gabriella, and the rest of the prisoners, this "barbarian" woman had been taken to fight in the games. Verlo didn't seem real happy about that, but he was just going to have to live with it, that she could be of value and he like the rest of the prisoners where in for the long hall.
Gabriella could here the constant squeaking of rats in the cell. She tried to ignore it, but the other prisoners got to the point of falling over you while chasing after a rat to eat. That thought always made her shiver to the bones. She wasn't about to stoop to eating rats to stay alive. Better yet she was going to get out of the cell somehow. She wasn't sure, but if she needed to, she knew she could count on Verlo's help when the time came. But for the time being, sitting in the corner of the cell thinking was her only option.
Thoughts often filtered into her head on how she had ended up in this mess in the first place. If she got out... when she got out, she would have vengeance to those that got her into this hell.
It had only been 3 years ago that Gabriella was an up and coming young noble woman. Her parents the Marques Fullpepper spoiled her but also kept a tight reign on her. She had the finest schooling, the prettiest dresses, and many young noblemen wanting to court her. None of them had caught her eye, she wanted a man of adventure who was not only dashing, and worldly, and these young whelps were none of that. At best they were a way to have fun and see them act like peacocks, falling over each other to try and court her. It was good for laughs to her and her friends of which she was the high rung on the ladder..
   Capt "Fancy" Fineas Bleubreeches had changed her life and in most respects for the worst. She had been down by the docks of Southport on one fine day with her father checking out his warehouse and ships. To say that Capt Bleubreeches was dashing would have been an understatement. He stood over 6 feet tall and the way he carried himself showed a man who had respect. His long dark wavy hair and his perfectly trimmed mustache only added to his demeanor.

He wore the finest blue silk breeches with boots just past his knees. His shirt was also white silk ruffled in the style of the court and his jacket of black and gold. On his side a rapier that could only belong to a noble officer.

Luck must have been with Gabriella that day as she also managed to catch Capt Bleubreeches eye. As soon as he saw her, he strolled over to her and her father to make sure he knew he had spotted her. Gaby's father was none to happy to have this "rogue" making eyes at his only daughter.

As the Capt took Gabriella's long slender fingers for a kiss, she could not help but blush at first then pull her hand away with a curt smile as her father stepped between them. "Captain Bleubreeches, this is my only daughter and I mean to have her marry a noble, and not corrupted by some pirate worshipped by many. Now if you will excuse us we have real business to attend to". As Gaby's father grabbed her by the arm and hustled her away shouting as he went about never bringing her to the warehouse again, and locking her in her room.

Capt Bleubreeches could only smile as he heard the young lady explain that she was of age and was not going to be treated as a baby anymore. Capt Bleubreeches spun about to finish his business in port and giving himself a chuckle. He had a ball to go to this evening as a welcoming for his captured supplies he had brought into port, and for keeping other pirates at bay. What that didn't know is he was working a racket with the other pirates to keep things interesting. And if he was lucky he would see the beautiful young lady again, as he had plans for her.

Gabriella's father almost had to drag her all the way back to there business estates in Southport as she cried and throw a fit making a scene and embarrassing her father, which was her plan. Gaby was not used to not getting what she wanted, but this was different. Once home he locked her in her room, to settle down. This time it may be a while as she had thrown quite the fit.
The few upper crust of Southport where gathering this evening for a party and ball and the Marques and Marquees Fullpepper where attending. Their daughter Gabriella was to attend also but knowing the Captain Bleubreeches was attending the ball, they where keeping Gaby locked in her room and under guard for the night unbeknownst to their daughter. She would throw a fit and not talk to them for many day's or even weeks but it was all worth it to keep her safe and out of the clutches of some "Pirate Rogue", especially Capt "Fancy" Fineas Bleubreeches, a pirate of some notoriety in these parts.

Why the nobles had put up with the pirate was beyond Marques Fullpepper. It may have had something to do with him keeping other pirates at bay, while helping keep the enemies of the empire weakened. He always seemed to bring in supplies he had captured, some which had been captured or so he explained. "Re-liberated" from pirates and enemy ships he had taken"
Always getting back supplies was a good sign, but loosing ships and men was a cost that could break even the richest of businessmen. Marques Fullpepper had been one of the few lucky ones as he always sent his cargo ships out escorted by a warship. It slowed him down a bit but he managed to keep pirates and enemy ships at bay in his tactics. His pockets grew as he climbed the ladder of nobility. It was only a matter of time that he would be made a Duke and if not he would find a duke to marry his daughter and thus gaining him more prestige.

Gabriella pounded on her door for over an hour to be let out. She cried and screamed, pleaded and begged to no end. She knew her night was ruined and she would not get to attend the ball in honor of Capt "Fancy" Fineas Bleubreeches. She curled up on her bed sobbing and clutching the beautiful blue gown she was going to have worn this night. As she sobbed she was soon asleep on
her bed having dreams of the dashing captain she had met this afternoon.

When Gaby awoke, it was night out and the house was quite. She went to the door to find it still locked and screamed out to be let, but no one answered her. A plan soon formulated in her mind on how she would escape.

She washed her face off and started formulating her plan. She knew she could not dress on her own so she packed up the items she needed and dropped them out her window. If her judge of time was correct she could make it to the ball before it was over. But getting dressed would be the hard part. She knew of people who could help her, but would they do as requested.

In her chemise and slippers she crawled out onto the ledge of her window and climbed out onto a thin tree branch near by. She had not planned on it breaking, which it did as she was halfway one it, and dumping her further down the tree and tearing her finest chemise. Lucky for Gabriella it was in a location that would not show under her gown. At best she could hope for no more mishap's which would not be the case, as she soon lost one of her slippers and could not find it in the dark. So she would go barefoot for now and hope she could borrow a pair from someone. Sadly they would not be as fine as hers.

Gaby's hair was in a mess and she gathered up her bundled up dress and headed to the servants quarters. Storming in on Eliza as she was in the middle of knitting a fine pair of stockings about scared the poor woman out of her mind. But as soon as she saw the Lady Gabriella Fullpepper she stood up and gave her best curtsy and then asked what honor she had of the young ladies visit.

"I over slept and I could not find anyone to assist me"! She exclaimed that Erika was not to be found to help her with her dress and she had gathered up her clothing.

"But what of your torn chemise and bare feet? Shirley you don't plan on going looking like an urchin my lady? They would cause much talk at the ball"!

"Oh NO" Gaby exclaimed, I did not know I had torn my chemise. It is my finest, and my slippers I lost in the dark. I stumbled on my way her and fell into a bush. I tried as hard as I could to find my slippers but I had no idea I tore my finest chemise"! She lied to Eliza.

Eliza gave her a smile and said something about being a poor helpless child then gathered up a comb to fix her hair and left for a moment. She was back in 15 minutes with a clean chemise from the laundry ladies and a pair of slippers that Gaby could wear.
Lacing her up into her corset then helping her with her gown and jewelry, Gabriella would once again be the bell of the ball. But getting there was her next concern. As it would take the stables time to hitch up a team to a carriage and riding in on a horse was not the proper way for a lady to arrive at a ball. She knew walking was too far and the fastest way to the ball would be through a seedier part of the town that Gabriella had no plans on going through. A horse would be the quickest way and with an escort if possible.

Even on horseback she had to have someone to watch over her. It was not unheard of being robbed in the dark even in the safer parts of town, especially a beautiful young noble woman. And escort would be a requirement at least to the ball.
Once Eliza had her ready, she asked Eliza to go to the stables and have her horse saddled. It would take far too long to hook up the carriage and then to go see if Tuomas and Rankin could make sure she arrived safely and announced.
"The Metal Maiden"
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody e

Capt Gabriela Fullpepper

It was nearing 11 at night when Gabriella was on her horse escorted by Tuomas and Rankin to the Ball. While she knew she could not ride full out, she did need to hurry. And then the thought of what to do once she was at the Ball, surely her parents would hear of her announcement and shuffle her out as soon as she arrived. She would then be in a load of trouble and locked in her room for days if not longer. Not to mention a good healthy spanking until she repented her misdeeds.

She had no other plans, she had to try and if her parents tried to take her away, she would through a tantrum the likes of which they had never seen or heard. Maybe then they would relent and let her have her way yet again as normal.

As soon as she arrived she walked up through the doors and told the doorman who she was. But then again he knew exactly who she was everyone in Southport and Abel and the Empire knew who she was in at least by name and description.

The ball was in full swing and all the nobles or people of importance where attending. There must have been a hundred or more. The herald soon announced her name and she walked down the stairs into the ball room. The music stopped and all heads turned towards her. She could see how all the young men who had gathered around the other young women soon left them and the young women she could see the jealousy in their eye's of her. But the man who caught her eye was Capt Fineas Bleubreeches.

Capt Bleubreeches was the first to take her hand and kiss it and bow to her. All Gaby could do was smile and hide it behind her fan. "Your parents said you had taken ill this evening and you where not making it"! He said as he looked into her eyes.

Gaby looked around to see if they where coming, but Capt Fineas Bleubreeches noticed this and gathered up a smile. Oh do not worry my lady, they left not long ago saying they were tired and wanted to get home to check on you. Besides I understand your family is headed back to your Abel estates tomorrow morning"!

"Thank you for your concern my good Capt, I am feeling better now and thought it best for my parents I make at least an appearance in your honor. It would not be right of me to miss out on such an event" Gabriella flittered back in her flirting tone she had gotten quite good at.

"Well my good lady, since you are feeling better, and have come to this event in my honor, might I be the first one to ask you to dance?" Capt Bleubreeches flirted back at Gabriella

"It would be my honor to allow you the next dance or any other if you so chose my good Capt!" giving him a flirtatious grin and taking his offered hand.

Capt Fineas Bleubreeches proved to be a very talented dancer, and allowed Gabriella to shine and look her best. It was very clear that they had every eye on them and every young noble was in awe of Capt Bleubreeches and every girl jealous of Gabriella, even her friends.

After only two dances with Gabriella, Capt Bleubreeches escorted her to a chair and went to receive some wine for them to sip. While Capt Bleubreeches was away, every young noble including the eldest son of Duke Estwith, Thuman, a rather handsome young man of 19 who was the desire of every noble young woman in the Empire, except Gabriella. But he had his eyes on her, and was hoping the families would work out a marriage between them.

As Thuman stepped up to Gabriella to compliment her on her beauty and dancing ability he asked Gabriella her for the next dance with her. Gabriella closed her fan, ran it through her left hand then placed it over her left ear. Any man who had any brains about him would understand the language of fans was saying she hated him and wanted to get rid of him.

Thuman was persistent and asked again. "I will not leave until you dance with me, as a noble of higher rank, I demand it!" He was showing his demanding side that everyone knew he had thus making the two a great match.

Gabriella looked away from him and let her fan come to rest on her left check was the signal for no. She was doing a great job at ignoring Thuman and it was upsetting him which only made Gabriella happier inside. Yet she showed no emotion to the scene.
Thuman started to reach down to grab her hand and yank her up when Capt Bleubreeches stepped in on Thuman's act.
"Am I interrupting something here?" Capt Bleubreeches asked while holding two wine glasses filled with red wine.

"Yes you are, and I suggest you bugger off rogue" Thuman trying to pull Gabriella to her feet as she tried to resist and puffing out his chest to try and show he was the bigger man.

Capt Bleubreeches grabbed the young noble by the arm that was holding and pulling on Gabriella. "I think this young lady does not wish to dance with you, and if you are a gentleman that I believe you are, I think you shall release her and leave her be!" Capt Bleubreeches asserted to Thuman.

"Why you pirate, I shall have you head for you insolence and for touching a noble and interfering with me. Now unhand me and we can settle this with blades!" Thuman said as he let go of Gabriella and pulled his hand free from the Captain.

"I don't think you mean that my good lord as I can assure you, you are no match even for my worst crew man on my ship!" Capt Bleubreeches said as if mocking the young noble." But if you insist, might I recommend we go to who ever is disarmed first?"
"I demand your blood foul pirate. I can assure you that the tramps father would not have you near her as it is. He wants me to deflower her and I mean to do that as soon as she is my wife.

The crowds at the ball started to gather around the commotion and bets soon started between the men on who would be the victor is it came to a fight. The women eyed Gabriella to see her response on this and it was pretty apparent that she would be supporting the captain over Thuman.

"Young sir, I do not wish to disrupt this ball in my honor with blood shed. I would recommend we both forget this incident before someone gets really hurt. As you can see I can be a gentleman about this even though you seem to have forgotten that you are supposed to be one as well"! Capt Bleubreeches said as he looked back to Gabriella who had settled her self in a chain next to him.
"Get me a rapier or sword"! Thuman yelled, "I mean to show this pirate once and for all that a noble is a better swordsman any day over some ruffian of the high seas"!

Captain Bleubreeches turned to take Gabriella's hand. "My Lady Fullpepper, I am sorry you had to hear these words from this uncouth man, and I would suggest we leave before I have to hurt him!"

No sooner had Gabriella stood up holding Capt Bleubreeches hand than he heard the "WOSH" of a sword pulling out of a scabbard and trying to slice into him.

Capt Bleubreeches pushed Gabriella to safety as the sword tip barely nicked his jacket and made a slice into it. But Capt Bleubreeches was no novice to combat and was soon in a defensive posture to avoid sword blows.

Thuman swung again wildly missing the captain and then took another step to advance and attack again. While not a bad swords man, he was still not the swordsman he though himself to be.

Fineas Bleubreeches stepped easily out of his way and stepped behind him giving him a little push and making Thuman loose balance. Lucky for him there where other men in front of him to catch him and keep him upright, then spin him around to face the captain again.

All Gabriella could do was smile at how efficiently Capt Bleubreeches was handling the insolent troublemaker young noble. She almost wished that Capt Bleubreeches would kill the Youngman, but then again she hopped that Thuman could prove himself the man he claimed to be even though she knew he was not nearly the man Capt Bleubreeches was.

Thuman centered himself and raised his sword up again. He took a couple of stepping lunge's at the captain, but the captain always seemed to know what move the young man was going to do next. It was almost as if the Captain were a cat and Thuman the mouse and the cat was having fun playing with the mouse. If the cat ever got tired with the game, the mouse would be made a meal for the cat.

Thuman made many quick jab's and feints but could never seem to catch the captain. He was growing tired and the captain had decided it was enough. He would put an end to the fight and show up the young noble and bring him shame. In all honesty though, the captain was quite surprised that the town guard had not shown up to stop this. But then again he was a pirate and they most likely thought the young man could handle him and thin the world of one less pirate on the seas, even one who seemed to be helping them out.

Thuman made one more lunge and Capt Bleubreeches ducked under Thuman. In his attack he tripped the young noble, and disarmed him. As soon as Thuman hit the floor on his backside the captain had Thuman's sword sticking at his throat.
"Now I demand you apologies to Lady Fullpepper, or I may need to take your tongue in its place. Captain Bleubreeches said as he held the young mans sword to his throat.

Thuman stuttered a bit to get it out and had to gulp a couple of times. You could hear the fear in his throat that he had been easily bested by the captain. "I am most sorry my lady and hope you will accept my hum, hum, humble apology
Gabriella got a huge smile on her face and turned her back on Thuman, "Finish the insolent fool off if you wish. You can tell him I do not accept his apologies and he can rot for all I care!"

Capt Bleubreeches made a quick flick of his wrist with Thuman's sword and caused a slight scratch that bled more than a typical wound, but it was not nothing dangerous, just enough to scare the young noble. He then dropped the sword at Thuman's feet and spun around to walk off.

Capt Bleubreeches extended his arm to Gabriella and she took it. He then escorted her away from the crowd.
"I think it is time we leave this party my lady, and I would suggest I give you a tour of my ship, "The Carrion Crow"

Gabriella agreed as Capt Bleubreeches held her arm down the stairs and into an awaiting coach. Capt Bleubreeches shouted up to the driver "To the docks, I wish to show the lady what a fine ship the "Carrion Crow" is as he shut the door behind himself.

The coach was soon moving, rocking back and forth on the roads of Southport. It did not take long as the coach pulled to a stop and Gabriella could hear the lapping of water against ships.

My Lady Fullpepper, pardon my insolence but I thought you might wish to see my fine ship, "The Carrion Crow" While it is not nearly the beauty you are, I will assure you it is a fine ship and quite capable of handling itself at sea or in a fight!"

Gabriella could not help but blush slightly and smile at what Capt Bleubreeches had said. It was true Gabriella was one of the most beautiful women in Southport not to mention the Empire. "Captain, I do think you are doing a fine job of flattering me!"

On board the ship, men of the crew gave Gabriella a strange look. Most were typical sailors who believed it was bad luck to bring a woman on board a ship. But this had not been the first female that Capt Bleubreeches had brought aboard. The other was Moravia the Sea Witch, captain to the ship "The Black Hag".

She was quite homely, but proved a worth while partner to raid with at times. And while most sailors considered women unlucky on ships, she had proven herself one of the best at pirating, so many men over looked the fact she was a female.

After the quick tour of "The Carrion Crow" Capt Bleubreeches invited Gabriella into his cabin to sip on some fine wine he had raided from the Maritime Elves. One advantage of pirating was the ability to partake of bounty not normally sampled by normal means.
As they chatted Gabriella let it slip that sometimes she wished she could leave home from her overly strict parents. All because once again the elven wine made her a little too talkative and willing to say things she might normally not say. And in the matter of three full goblets she was passed out.
"The Metal Maiden"
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody e

Capt Gabriela Fullpepper

Once awake the next morning, she could feel the ship swaying. The effects of the elven wine, the motion of the ship, where enough to make her feel very sick, and she soon found herself scrambling to get to a window as she could feel her insides coming out.

But make it to the window she did not do. Instead she sent what was in her stomach all over Capt Bleubreeches cabin and her fine blue gown causing a mess the likes she had never seen in her life... except maybe in the stables, and the smell was no better.

As she clung to Capt Bleubreeches bed and tried to find the strength to get up, Capt Bleubreeches walked in only to get a huge frown on his face from the smell and the sight, and then a smile that the young lady was now a captive and she would be the one cleaning the mess up.

"Well my little chum bucket, it looks like you have a mess to clean up. Since you have decided to leave home and join my crew, and you making the mess of my cabin, I think it fitting you get busy and start to clean up this mess you made"!

Capt Bleubreeches could not help but smile when he saw the horror on Gabriella's face. "Oh yes Gaby, you ran away from home last night and joined my crew. I even have your signature on my ledger. What a fine addition you will make. Despite the fact the crew isn't happy about having a young teat sucking female on board, they will get used to you, and besides, it means we have an extra hand on board to do the harder work meant more for a woman. Prove yourself worthy and well... maybe you can advance".

"But I never ran away, I came on board at your invitation, as a gentleman you owe me that. Now I demand you head back to Southport back to my family before my father has the whole navy after you for kidnapping" Gabriella demanded

"Oh but you came on board on your own accord, Gaby, and now your part of this crew. I can assure you, your father won't come looking for you as I have sent him a letter signed by you that you where leaving and joining our crew!"

The real truth to the matter had Gabriella known it was that Capt Bleubreeches had taken her as a ransom to stop her father from sending escorts with his trade ships... and a hundred thousand  gold coins

Capt Bleubreeches could see the temper in Gabriella's face. She was a hot one and he could use this in a fight... once he had broken her.

A wild eyed man with a scraggly bead soon showed up with a bucket, mop and sponge. "Har ye go Cap'n the bucket fur thar chum to scrubbing thar quart'ars. She be pretty chum, but thar won't las long, she make Moravia a look'r n' nar time!" with that he left the bucket in the room and both he and Capt Bleubreeches left closing the door to Capt Bleubreeches cabin.

No soon had he closed the door he re-opened it "You have till dusk to have my cabin spotless and smelling like a rose, if you don't you'll see the price of disobeying my orders... 5 lashes for a start! He then slammed the door and Gabriella could hear it lock behind him.

Her anger was at it's peak and she found what she could to throw at the door and managed to over come her sea sickness to pound on the door screaming to be let out and taken home. She pounded so hard her hands began to bleed and after what seemed like hours, she fell to the floor crying. What a mess she had gotten into. Now she began to fear that she would never see her family and have the life she knew she was meant to have.

The smell of the room started to get to her and she figured that Capt Bleubreeches would not really harm her so she sat pouting on his bed instead after dumping the contents of the bucket on the floor and leaving it.

Her head still hurt from the wine, and her stomach was not feeling much better, and soon she was asleep on the captain's bed, but only after taking off her ruined blue gown, and letting down her messy hair.

She was awoken by two sets of hands dragging her out of the bed. Two very large men, one with a shaved head and a goatee and the other a man with his hair cropped short had her up and headed to the door of Capt Bleubreeches quarters.

They had her up on deck in no time as she tried to struggle, but it was useless, hunger, hung over, sea sick and female didn't help. It was no struggle to lash her to the mast.

"As I warned you Gaby, I gave you an order to clean my cabin you made a mess of, now I have no where to sleep for the night and I cannot have my crew seeing me lax on a new crew member. So as I promised I will give you 5 lashes since this is your first offence. If you decide that you still wish to disobey your captain's orders, I will give you 10 and after that 20 and it will continue to double until you learn to follow orders on my ship! Do you understand Gaby?"

Gaby cried out again how she was not a part of the crew and was soon demanding frantically to be let go.

"Since you refuse to believe me Gaby, I will prove to you that you did in fact join this crew on your own accord. And if you continue to deny that your punishment shall be far worse than 5 or more lashings, but instead I will allow the crew to have their way with you, and I can assure you, this is far worse than any lashing's or punishment I can come up with". With that, a crew member of maybe 13 years old came out holding a leather ledger and held it in front of Gabriella's face, her signature was indeed scrawled hap hazard on the sheet. At which point she could only start to cry.

She was sobbing so hard she did not hear the tearing of her chemise, but the sobbing soon stopped when the first strike of the Cat-o-nine tails striking her back. The pain was intense and over bearing. There would be no way she would stand this. She cried out for mercy with each blow, and by the forth, she was out cold from the shock of pain. When she woke up she was in more pain than she could imaging and had a hard time moving. The young boy sat on the floor next to the door with the bucket between his legs. "Capt say's you best start scrubbing as he doesn't want to harm you more, but he will if you disobey him. Please do pretty lady, and I don't want to see your flesh peeled off you and ruin your beauty and then you won't be protected by the captain.

I'll help you, and together we can get this done. You and I can be friends, as the crew treats me badly. I too ran away from home, after I heard tales of pirates and thought it a good life... and well it was better than being a street rat, if you know what I mean?"
Gabriella could not help but smile at the grin of the young boy's face and his offer of friendship. "I can get you an ointment if you like to help with the pain? You'll feel much better but sadly it won't take away the scares the cat will leave!"

Gabriella started to cry again, her beauty was now marred and even if she did ever get home; no one would want her now. Her family would most likely even disown her if she ever survived this ordeal.

She didn't have long to wait when the young boy showed back up with what most likely was bacon lard and bindings. It smelled horrible but it did in fact help with the pain and stinging. Her chemise was ruined not to mention blood stained, but it was all she had. Lucky for her the young boy had also brought her a pair of breeches and a shirt to wear as the chemise would not do.

"My name is Iraen, but everyone calls me monkey. I can climb better than anyone on the ship and I'm small so that's why they call me Monkey. Not to mention I'm good at taking things when I need to and no one knows about it.

After introducing herself to Iraen as the Lady Gabriella Fullpepper, Iraen's helped Gabriella clean the room to the captain's orders, and upon dusk being dead tired and falling asleep on the captain's bed once again.

Gabriella hadn't sleep long when Capt Bleubreeches entered into his cabin and inspected the work that Gabriella had done. Waking her up with a slap on the behind, he stood over her sternly.

It appears you like sleeping in my bed. If you are planning on making this a habit, I may have to take you up on your offers of sleeping with you, as payment!"

Gabriella scrambled to her feet and took a slap at Capt Bleubreeches, but he being the trained fighter he was, had her hand in his before she came close to striking him.

"Hum striking a captain, that's worth 15 lashings or maybe a dunking and a quick swim behind the ship?"

."Oh please, Captain, Please no more, I promise I won't disobey you anymore, just don't harm me anymore!" Gabriella pleated and cried.

"Gaby, I am sorry but once again if I let you away with breaking my orders or worse this time allowing a crew member to attack me, I would not last long as a captain of this ship. I warned you that any breaking of ship law's would not go un-punished. And I hope this will be the last!"

Gabriella started to cry and tried to pull away from the captains grasp but he was far stronger than she was or would be. He then called out for Yarz and Finlan the same two men who had taken her before and strap her up for another beating.

She could not struggle enough and this time she noticed the more she struggled the tighter the restraints got on her hand. As she cried and struggled, she missed Iraen heading below deck to hide or to get the salve to help the wounds heal, but this time the damage to her back would be worse as the other wounds were still fresh.

Gabriella did not last long before passing out from the pain of ten lashes. She would be lucky to survive, but Capt Bleubreeches was a good judge and felt she would. His only desire was to see some of her noble spirit broken, meaning her being so spoiled. He would break her then dump her off at some port once he had gotten what he wanted from her father.

Gabriella had no idea how long she was out. But when she awoke, Iraen was sitting with his knees tucked up under him humming a little tune. When he saw her open her eye's he quickly scrambled to her with a ladle of water for her to drink.

She tried to take a long drink, but Iraen pulled it back. "Don't drink too much or you will get sick. I will give you some more in a few moments!"

Gabriella grimaced in pain and cried out. She could hardly move and worse she felt like she was dead. Every inch of her body hurt and every breath made her gasp in pain and for the little breath she dared take. She honestly wished she were dead, but that was not to happen.

"Where am I?" she could barely croak out as she lay face down now on some blankets on the wooden planks below deck. Little light was in the room except for a small lantern Iraen had hanging over head.

"You are bellow deck. Captain has made you a small private space at the bow of the ship on the lowest deck for you. He say's it will allow you a little privacy from the crew who would just as likely rape and kill you as have you on the ship".

Gabriella managed to lift her head a little again to get another small sip from the ladle Iraen held, and was soon out cold again. It would be many more days before she came awake again.

When next Gabriella awoke from her fever Iraen was no where to be seen. She still hurt all over but managed to sit up but not without shortness of breath. She tried to reach around to touch her wound, but this hurt more than she could bear. She found the bucket of water and ladle out a huge drink. Not only was she dehydrated but she was hungrier than she had ever been.

She noticed a small loaf of bread and an orange and soon had both devoured. But eating so much on an empty stomach would soon make her sick all over again, but not enough to make her lose it all to the floor.

She decided to stay where she was and not move around much as all movement was almost more than she could bear. Gabriella now hated Capt Bleubreeches and wished him dead and hanging along with his pirate crew.

Gabriella didn't have long to wait when Iraen showed up to check on her. "The Cap'n is wishing a report on you. He orders you to his quarters as soon as you are able. I'll go tell him you're still out.

Gabriella reached out for Iraen and called his name "Iraen, do not lie to that ,man, I do not wish to see you punished for it, as I am sure he is a demon and knows everything already, I'll go, but I may need your help, I don't have much strength right now. I'm not sure to thank you, or curse you for keeping me alive, as I know you did. Any way Thank you... I think!"
"The Metal Maiden"
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody e

Capt Gabriela Fullpepper

Iraen helped Gabriella to her feet and helped her out of her little space then up two decks to the main deck and then over to Capt Bleubreeches cabin. When Iraen knocked, both could hear the captain voice to enter, it sounder stern.

"Iraen, leave Gaby and I, she and I need to discuss her position on this crew now that she is a part of it. I do believe it is your turn to take the nest.

"Aye' Capt Bleubreeches, I will do as ordered"! The boy then spun about and closed the door to the captain's cabin and ran up on deck.

Gabriella had a hard time standing but she was not about to sit without orders. She would collapse if she must but she tried to show she had a little fight still in her. It seemed an eternity as Capt Bleubreeches sat and looked at her waiting for her to break. He could see the pain in her eye's and the tears forming up as she bit her chapped lips but continued to stand.

"You can sit" he finally said as he poured wine into a fine looking gold goblet. Gabriella had no choice but to sit near Capt Bleubreeches which was repulsing to her, but she looked into his eyes, eye's of which she had been attracted to a few days or weeks ago.

I see you survived; this is good, I am sorry I had to discipline you, but as I said I cannot have you or anyone breaking ship laws or disobeying orders of mine. Now once you are a little better healed and up to strength you will start taking more of a role on the ship. I think scrubbing the deck and helping the cook prepare meals will do as a good start... on second thought scrap the cooking, you may decide to poison all of us, in which Capt Bleubreeches gave a slight chuckle.

You might as well make the best of it Gaby, as I showed you; you are now part of my crew. Now, do you have anything to say?" the captain asked inquisitively.

Gabriella sat for a second looking into the captain's eyes, May I be dismissed Capt, I wish to get some air before I get sick again.
"Yes, and clean yourself up a bit Gaby, you don't look well!" the captain winked at her.

Gabriella stood up slowly as she was still weak and backed away from the captain never taking her eyes off him. She went slow as to not trip and fumbled a moment for the door and then opened it. Once it was opened, she backed out her eyes never leaving Capt Bleubreeches eyes and his not leaving her. Once through she shut the door and collapsed on the floor until she could find the strength to get up and walk out holding her head high. She would show these pirate dog's she was better than them with more fight than any of them ever had.

It was a week before Gabriella had the strength to really start moving about. She had managed with the help of Iraen to make the clothing she had fit better and to moisten up her dry chapped lips. Her back still hurt, but she was now able to move about, always holding her head up high and never showing she had pain. She was managing to find something in herself she didn't know she had.

Iraen and Gabriella spent much time together. He often slept outside her door and left her in her privacy when she asked for it. He knew little of girls or women, but knew that they liked not to be seen with out their clothing around men, and to have their privacy.

The crew often spat on Gabriella and talked what they would do to her given the chance. But each knew that if they did touch her, the captain would have their hide hanging as a new flag. On a few occasions the ship took cargo ships, usually putting the enemy crew in a little boat and setting them adrift. The ships where often pillaged then sunk of which Gabriella did not under stand until Iraen explained to her that taking a captive ship and trying to sell it would be more hassle to deal with if the crew had to deal with other ships. Having two ships or more would give two ships to pursue and attack with, but the crew would be divided and that would lesson the fighting force of the ship. So taking all of the captured ships good's was the best thing.

Many months pasted and the crew only made port a few times. Each time the Captain ordered Gabriella and Iraen to stay on the ship. The first time he shackled her into her quarters to make sure she didn't run off and the next time he told her what would happen if she was found by other pirate crew's and it would most likely be the fate that his own crew had for her given the chance.

Gabriella often scrubbed the deck down, it was monotonous but she dared not make the captain angry again. Her wound's had all healed up but had also scared badly on her back. She would live the rest of her life with those to remind her of her foolishness. She always hoped one of her fathers ship caravans would be spotted and rescue her, she keep this hope up for almost a year. And then started to lose it and fear she had angered her father so much he was going to just let her be. He was not normally one to give up and maybe this was where she had gotten her spirit, but now that spirit was breaking. And she started to grow lonely. Iraen was her only friend on the ship.

One day as Gabriella was on deck preparing to scrub a new section Iraen came darting out at full speed from below deck. Yarz was close behind with sword in hand. Iraen started to scramble up the riggings and the crew gathered around to see the fight. Yarz being the first mate was second only to the Captain and never questioned the captain, but this time he was ready to kill the boy.
Yar darty, lil pri-mate, 'll be hav'n yar skull around, me neck far tak'n me lucky coin!" As he grabbed Iraen and pulled him down hard knocking his head on the deck railing and splitting it open and blood started to pour out.

Gabriella had been opposite of where Iraen had come from and fallen, but it did not take her long to be close to him. Grabbing his head and trying to stop the blood from pouring out.

"Yar lil monkey's belch and it's time thar Cap'n let uz have sum fun boy's and if he don lik it'z pretty harm'd then ar' say we'z be tak'n thiz yar ship, what say'z ya boyz?"

Gabriella reached up and grabbed Finlan's rapier. While nice it was no match for Capt Bleubreeches. She tumbled under Yarz feet and came up rapier in hand. Yarz would pay for this and she also was not about to let him or any crew have their way with her way. Yarz could only grin and he no sooner had when he saw that the rapier in Gabriella's hand was sticking into his chest. He looked up just in time to see her pull it out and seeing the point headed for his eyes and then he fell over into the water dead.

Finlan pulled out a dagger and took a swing at Gabriella. Now the real fight was on and Gabriella parried each blow, side stepped it or ducked it. She had to take the retreat and soon found herself backing up the stairs on the forecastle. Finlan took a heavy swing and Gabriella jumped as it just nicked her thigh, a second attack cut her shirt and drew a fine line of blood. Angry now filled Gabriella eyes and she grew angrier. Finlan had the size and strength, she the speed. Making a sudden lunge attack as Gabriella stepped to the side, she drove the rapier straight down into Finlan's mouth as it exited out his back. He gurgled a few drops of blood out of his mouth then fell over as Gabriella drew the sword out.

Just as Finlan hit the deck she could see Capt Bleubreeches walking up to the fallen body. The crew started to clammier that she had killed Yarz and then Finlan and that she should pay. But the Capt seeing the weapon in Gabriella's hand shock his head and turned to the crew. Gabriella did not wait to hear what he said as she edged past him and ran to Iraen. She dropped the rapier and took his head in hand. He had a smile on his face as all he could moth was that he was glad to be Gabriella's friend. He felt limp in Gabriella's arms and she started to cry never hearing what the captain had said.

Since she had taken the lives of the first mate and another crew mate, she would now take their role as a proven capable fighter and crew member. He then asked what had started the fight and a crew member named Tonk explained that Iraen had stolen Yarz' lucky coin. The captain went to Gabriella and asked her to look through his items as she continued to cry as if she had just lost a dear family member. Gabriella did as asked and no coin was found, another crew member started to check Finlan's body and found Yarz' lucky coin.

The captain slowly picked up Gabriella and led her to her room giving orders for Iraen's body to be prepared for burial at sea. Once Gabriella was in her quarters she collapsed crying into her hammock and fell asleep.

The next morning Tonk came to tell Gabriella that she was requested in the captain's quarters. As she went she made a quick stop by the spot Iraen had died and said a little prayer for him to have safe travels in the after life.

Gabriella knocked on the captain's door and he opened it up to her surprise. "Gabriella, thank you for coming. I am sorry your friend Iraen was killed by Yarz; I guess it was time for a new first mate as I knew he was growing mutinous each day. And I think Finlan was just as bad!"

"What do you mean captain, a new first mate, and who are you choosing for that task"? Gabriella asked as if concerned.
Do not worry Gabriella, it is you, you're the new first mate on the ship, you'll start getting a cut on take, plus I see you have a little natural talent for the sword. As first mate you are going to need the skills to defend yourself, so I think it's time I show you how to fight properly. And I also think it's time we get you some new cloths more fitting as my right hand. I am to the point I am not sure I can trust this crew and I know I have hurt you, but as I asked before I ask you forgive me!"

"I'm not sure I can do that captain, but I will say you can trust me as you have kept me safe from this crew so far. With out you I know I would not have lasted as long as I did. But I will always hold a bit of anger in my heart for your scaring of me. Scares I will carry all of my life even if I ever get the chance to leave this crew and go home!"

Speaking of leaving this ship, I will allow that if you wish once we reach a safe port for you, but I have word you father and mother are perished. I am sorry I am telling you this. I don't know the details except that where headed from Southport to Abel and Kirakan orcs attacked their carriage and killed them. Trust me you always have a home on this ship. I know it is not the life you had wanted, but I know that you understand you are now a pirate crew member on "The Carrion Crow" and as such are under penalty of death or imprisonment if captured by any country who catches you... or me. That wasn't always the case as you know, I had my friends in the Empire, but that has ended now as I felt it prudent to break that fragile alliance I had with them.

Gabriella started to cry and turned her back on Capt Bleubreeches, she did not want to show weakness to him. She felt that if she did that he would once again treat her as a lesser crew member again. "Capt, May I be excused?" She said choking back tears.

Yes Gabriella, we will make port in a few day's and when we do so I want to make sure you are on shore with me and to get you more proper clothing befitting a leader on my ship.

Gabriella left and shut the door without looking back. She tried to hold her head high and not show she had been crying. If the crew saw that, then they would be on her again and she would never be the leader she now had to be, as long as she was on the ship.

Once in her cabin, Gabriella fell to the floor and cried. Now she was alone. Her parents dead, her nobility taken from her for being a pirate and no one would ever want her now. If caught, she would most likely swing from the gallows. If she returned to a life outside of piracy, she would be no more than a common beggar if she was lucky. Her life was now truly over. Staying on "The Carrion Crow" seemed her only option. Gabriella ended up crying herself to sleep.

When Gabriella woke up, she went topside and to the bow of the ship. The water was calm with a slight breeze blowing; the moon was crescent and only a few of the crew where up, the helmsman, the look-out and 1 other. She stood at the bow over looking the water and almost felt like jumping in, but what good would that do, her soul would be doomed then and she didn't want that. Living was the better choice as being doomed was rather frightening.

Time slipped as she stood looking out and over the water. Once the sun started to break, Gabriella had come to her decision, being second in command on a rather prosperous pirate ship wasn't bad. And maybe if she were lucky she could amass enough wealth and find a place she would not be considered a criminal.

She turned around and headed to the back of the ship and went to the door of Capt Bleubreeches. She reached for the door and found it un-locked. She could kill the captain, but then she knew if she did that, the crew would have her, he was her safety net and kept her alive, he always had and she was now feeling almost grateful to the man. Had she not gone to the ball that night, she most likely would have been with her parents when they where killed. And once again, that was not a good option. Her spirit to live was to strong now, and growing.

She slipped into Capt Bleubreeches cabin and walked softly to his bed. She then removed her shirt and breeches and climbed into bed with him. She would now be the captain's mistress as well as his first mate. It was her only chance to know happiness and the comfort of a man. This would not be the last she slept with him, in fact it became their quarters in time, a pirate king and queen to rule the oceans on.

Capt Bleubreeches taught Gabriella how to fight, and he became very impressed that she gained skill fighting Florentine... two weapons, even two swords and not just sword and dagger. Her skill in combat grew quickly and she became the best fighter on the ship 2nd only to the captain.

The next two years for Gabriella were some of the best. While never the sailor the rest of the crew was, she could best any in a fight. And when the mood suited her, she wore a dress, but only for the privacy of Capt Bleubreeches. The crew started calling her "The Raven" as she had raven black hair, but she always called herself Gabriella Fullpepper. The all grew more afraid of her than even their captain. Gabriella was not above punishing anyone who made her angry, and a temper was something she was now letting go. Even in ports, other pirate crews learned to not challenge her as they all knew that if they made grief on her they would most likely lose their tongue or their life

"The Carrion Crow's" fame grew as did its wealth. Gabriella managed to save some gold, but never enough to know that she could leave. She always waited for the next big take which never seemed to come and many of the crew talked of it being the curse of having a female on the ship as the reason, hopefully it would come soon.

As "The Carrion Crow" was sailing off the coast of the Grand Duchy of Abel a ship was spotted sitting very low in the water. This could only mean it had a good load. "The Carrion Crow slipped within range and started to fire on the heavily laden ship with its weapons. The fight seemed short as "The Carrion Crow slipped up to with boarding range and then hell broke loose. This was no doubt a trap. The enemy ship had men hiding who opened up on the pirate ship. This was not good and "The Crow" broke the action on Capt Bleubreeches orders. Their only hope was to outrun the enemy. Just short of 100 yards Captain Bleubreeches crumpled to the deck. He had been hit with an arrow tipped with poison. Gabriella who was commanding the return fire ran to the helm where Capt Bleubreeches lay the wound piercing his heart. His last breaths were coming soon as he gripped Gabriella's hand and told her to be strong.

"Gaby, I wish to say once again I am sorry for my past actions on you, it made you a stronger person, a women instead of a girl, show only strength, hold tight, and command my ship, it is now yours to command. If you show weakness the crew will mutiny and it will not bode well for you. I have grown to love you!" as he started to cough up blood.

Gabriella was trying to hold back tears as "The Carrion Crow" slipped out of range of the enemy ship and escape from capture.
"I have not always been honest with you!" he whispered then past into death. What did he mean by that? Gabriella had no clue; her mind was racing at now losing the only person left she cared about. While it had not always been that way, she had grown to love Capt Bleubreeches, now all she had was the ship he had left to her in his dying breath, what would she do?

As Gabriella kept her strength up for the escape, she ordered the crew to retreat and to then head south then east to try and confuse the attacking ship. She had to learn to command or she would not last.

Once away from danger, Gabriella went to her quarters and drank all the wine in it. She was soon passed out in a chair. Fineas Bleubreeches would have a proper burial at sea on the dusk of the next day.

It must have been mid day when Gabriella walked from her quarters. The crew looked at her with hunger in their eyes but she was too hung over to notice. Gabriella barked out a few commands and then returned to her cabin to drink some more. Once again she passed out only to miss Fineas Bleubreeches the once captain of "The Carrion Crow" buried at sea.

Gabriella spent more time in her cabin drinking what ever she could find to hide her pain. She had let Capt Bleubreeches words slip her mind. If she could not break her pain, she would end up dead from the crew, but would that be a bad thing, then she could join all those she had loved and cared for in the after life.

The crew would not wait, as they needed a captain to take them to riches, and Gabriella was failing at that. One morning after locking her door she awoke to be bound and gagged as Tonk stood over her.

"While, she be a woman, I refuse to harm what Capt Bleubreeches held so dear. And as we are running low on supplies we need money. And since she is the captain of this ship, I say we'z sell her back to the Duchy, what say ye men?"

.The crew responded with a huzzah and then picked her up to take her below deck once again. While the crew were also pirates, that were not the value of the captain and they figured they could work a deal and go free, maybe making alliances they had once held in the past.

Gabriella was not sure how long she was below deck, but she was awoken one day from a boot to her side. The pain was bad but nothing she had not endured before. Bound and gagged she was dragged on board deck and down a plank where 20 guards stood.
"Here be the captain of "The Carrion Crow" it was she that always led us. I think she should be worth a pretty gold piece as she has caused ye much hassle!" Her with Captain Bleubreeches planned on becoming pirate king and queen to rule, I think she be worth 10,000 gold?

You can discuss that with the Captain of the guard, latter, now that we have her in custody she is ours, you'll be lucky to leave not strung up by a rope the Sgt barked at Tonk's. They then dragged Gabriella to the jails to what fate she did not know, but most likely the noose or worse, a noble to pirate captain to a prisoner in chains in three years. Life was not fair and Gabriella knew she had to get out seeking her truths and seeking revenge on those who had disrupted her life. But sitting in a prison would not allow her that; she would escape with the help of Verlo, a man who reminded her of Capt "Fancy" Fineas Bleubreeches. And once she did escape she would call herself the Scarlet Raven.
"The Metal Maiden"
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody e