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||You are on Week 698
Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...
We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!
Story Six Hundred Ninety Eight Ends Friday, August 14
The crew of the Jolly Dodger agreed without a shred of doubt: Danny was the worst pirate they’d ever had.
They didn’t deny it, the Gelert had stuff. He had the drive, the excitement glimmering in his eyes and teeth when he suggested a new place to raid. He was just as thrilled as the rest of them during a raid, the excitement of facing powerless foes and making off with their treasure—
The problem was that Danny was far too polite.
In the past, the Gelert had actually had the nerve to bargain with their victims, the gall to write them notes, and even worse, on most successful raids he had an apologetic look in his eyes that overshadowed his triumph.
Worst of all, he looked back.
Even went so far as to ask them to go back and return a little bit of the well-earned pirate booty.
Captain Sim E. Tar (“Captain Tar to you lot else ye taste me blade!” He crowed at least twice daily,) slammed his paws onto the table. “What else have ye got to say ‘bout Danny boy?”
“He’s a liability to our work!” A pirate screeched, swinging her tankard of Krawkade about.
“His kindness will undo us all!” Another sneering pirate stabbed the table with his dagger.
Others echoed their sentiments just as emphatically, if not more.
Captain Tar’s face wrinkled with unshakable finality. “Then it’s settled. Tonight, at the Flotsam Cove raid, we send him on an extra-special mission: one where Danny boy probably won’t come back.” Jagged teeth curled into a terrifying Ogrin grin as he raised a paw. “All in favor—“
A chorus of “Aye”s rippled from the Jolly Dodger’s crew.
“And don’t ye be going about telling Danny about this, else ye taste me blade. Got that?” The crew nodded, eyeing the blade at Captain Tar’s hip.
Alas, Gelerts have excellent ears, and this one had his pressed against the door. He didn’t miss a single word.
Danny trembled at the door and scurried to his bunk once he heard footsteps approaching. In his cot, he still trembled, though whether it was from fear or betrayal, he wasn’t sure. His breath was betraying him at that moment, never seeming to catch enough of itself. The Gelert couldn’t help being polite; it was in his nature. He had a passion for adventure and gold—he just exercised it differently from the rest of them. Was that so bad?
Maybe not, he answered himself, his ears perking up with an idea. All he had to do was show that he could be a very capable pirate, even with his charming mannerisms. By Maraqua, his charm could even work in his favor! Danny’s tail wagged back and forth as the idea in his head continued to stitch itself together.
First, he needed some supplies…
Date: Aug 10th
…but it was easier plotted than done, and as he well knew from years of sailing the seas with his crew, Captain Tar was not one to let supplies on his ship go missing so easily. But it appeared that fortune was smiling upon him. One of the ship’s mates - a gruff Kacheek by the name of Fran - arrived to inform him that the captain had requested him up in his quarters, in order to brief him on a special assignment that was meant for his ears only.|
“Oh?” Danny feigned surprise. “Whatever could it be?”
Fran shrugged her shoulders. “Wouldn’t be a secret if he told us all, now would it?”
As Danny knocked on the door to Captain Tar’s quarters, he couldn’t help but be a little curious as to what the nefarious Ogrin was plotting for him. Knowing his captain as well as he did, Danny was certain that Tar would not make it easy for him.
“Arr, enter,” came the voice from inside the room.
“Fran said you wanted to see me, sir?” said Danny, approaching Captain Tar’s desk calmly.
“Aye, lad. It be about that Flotsam Cove raid tonight. Ye see, we have a special task for ye. Ever heard of the Palisade Isles?”
“Of course, sir.”
“There be treasure hidden on the largest isle, and we have entrusted you to find it,” said Captain Tar, fishing out a scroll from behind his desk and unfurling it. “See here. Legend says that powerful magic ensures its protection from those that seek riches—“
“Like us,” offered Danny.
“Indeed,” said the captain. “But we know of you to be a kindhearted individual, and believe you to be worthy of this mission.”
Danny had to fight to not laugh at Tar’s words. “I will do everything in my power to complete this mission, sir,” he said instead. “I’m honored that you would think of me.”
Captain Tar chuckled slightly. “Who better?”
It was a dangerous and futile mission, undoubtedly, but Danny realized that this was his ticket to getting his supplies, and the key to the rest of his plan.
“If I may, sir, I’d like to request a few items.”
“Request away,” said the captain.
“I’ll need a rowboat,” said Danny. “Food to sustain me for the next week or so… A cutlass, a map of the surrounding waters, and a compass.”
He didn’t need much. Just enough to sustain him until he could find another pirate ship…
Date: Aug 10th
Captain Tar nodded. "If that be what ye need, Danny my boy, then ye have my blessings. Go meet with the first mate to gather up what ye desire."
Danny gave a polite bow to the captain, but kept his eyes locked on him just to make sure he wasn't going to skewer him early and just be rid of him. He noticed the sly grin on the Ogrin's face when he thought he wasn't looking and could easily figure what was on his mind.
"To be rid of Danny, it would be worth losing those."
He could just picture Captain Tar thinking that. He wasn't mad, so much as disappointed. But, he knew that when he joined the pirate's life, there would be backstabbing and double-crossing. He just hoped that he could... well... make them better then all that.
"Now be off with ye, Danny." The pirate captain said, handing Danny the scroll, "Ye got a job to do."
The Gelert took his leave from the captain's quarters and made his way down to the supply closet in the galley of the ship. As he was heading there, he could see the other pirates eyeing him. All of them in on the captain's plan.
He did come across Edmund, the large Aisha who was the First Mate. He was sharpening his rapier on a piece of leather.
"Edmund..." Danny started, before he suddenly had the Aisha's rapier under his chin!
"I already know." He replied, pulling back slightly. His own large ears twitched as well.
"No secrets on this ship with how many good listeners we have..." Danny thought to himself once his heart was done pounding out of his chest, "Or will have once I'm gone."
Edmund got up from where he was seated and lead Danny over to the supplies. His heavy footsteps creaked out along the wooden planks of the ship before he opened the large door.
The Gelert was about to step in and gather up a few, before Edmund stood in front of him.
"Before you do this, you need to know something." The First Mate said softly...
Date: Aug 11th
"They plan to get rid of you," said the burly Aisha. "They will maroon you on the Palisades tonight."
Danny's ears pricked up in surprise, touched that the Aisha cared enough to give him a heads up. "Wow Edmund... Thank you so much for the warning. I would never have expected less of you. You've always been very kind to me, or at least, kinder than the oth-"
But the Aisha cut Danny off again, this time with a rapier to the snout. He chuckled slyly at Danny's naivety. "You realise, of course, that my charity comes at a price?"
Danny felt his face fall. It seemed that believing the best of his shipmates only led to disappointment time and time again. Still, he was willing to strike a side deal with Edmund if it meant ensuring his survival on the island.
"What do you want?" Danny said in a hard voice, concealing the disappointment he felt in his heart.
"I want the Palisades treasure for myself," Edmund declared. "You will bring it back to me. In exchange, I will hide you in my private bunk until we reach the next port. Yay or nay?"
Danny thought it over in his head. Getting the treasure would be difficult, but surviving the treacherous Palisades jungles was surely even harder. "Deal," he said.
"Good. Now take whatever supplies you need. The Captain will not know if I do not tell."
So he now had a free run of the supply closet. This meant he could make some changes to his plan...
Date: Aug 11th
... but it would also mean that his original plan was in jeopardy. If he attempted to leave the ship and find another, Edmund would know that he had failed in his promise, and that could send the Jolly Dodger right behind him; however, he would have the protection of a new pirate captain with their own ship, but that was assuming that he would find a new captain.
Attempting to concentrate on the matter at hand, Danny went down into the supply closet. He opened the doors to it, and found a cramped room full of used objects, most of them weapons. However, he did find something that caught his eye - a small piece of parchment, behind a few books, with writing scribbled upon it. He picked it up, and read:
"...we will do it tonight. That old Tar wouldn't have known what was coming to him. What he thinks of as his treasure is ours by right..."
At the bottom of the page, Danny saw a circle of names, and recognized them as names of the crew: Fran, Gaunter, and Edmund. Danny's eyes widened. "Edmund is part of a mutiny?" he thought to himself. This changed things: now Danny had something he could use against Edmund, and perhaps his original plan did not have to fail.
Danny stuffed the note in his pocket and looked about him. Behind a weapon's locker, he saw something perhaps even more important than Edmund's betrayal...
Date: Aug 12th
…A series of tightly-furled scrolls, packed tightly into the crevice between locker and wall. Danny extracted them slowly, noting that they were written on smooth, high-quality parchment, in writing that was surely far too beautiful to be that of a crude and coarse pirate like Edmund.
They were letters. To the governor of Krawk Island, they each started, and Danny wondered why it was that Edmund would be writing to the authorities.
You wanted names, and I’ll give you names - in exchange, of course, for my own immunity. I have been sailing the seas for a long time, now, and I know all the pirates that have been attacking your ships—
It was dated from two weeks past. Danny scrambled through the letters, giving each of them a quick read. The pieces clicked together in his mind like a puzzle - not only was Edmund involved in a mutiny on the ship, but he was also backstabbing his own crew mates. That rotten Aisha was out for only himself.
He quickly rolled the letters back up and returned to his plan. Of course Edmund would want the treasure for himself - after selling out his fellow pirates, he could retire quite comfortably on the Palisades treasure and never have to worry about the seas again. Danny would have to move fast. If he was onboard when the ship was apprehended by Krawk Island authorities, that would be the end of his pirating days.
Night had fallen by the time Danny finished loading his rowboat, and with his maps in hand, he rowed away from Captain Tar’s ship, headed straight for…
Date: Aug 13th
...a dark island in the distance, vague silhouettes of trees just barely visible in the dim light of the moon. Danny knew from the maps that this was the largest Palisades Isle. He had enough supplies, thanks to Edmund, to survive on the island. Unfortunately, supplies no longer seemed to be the issue. If Danny returned to the Jolly Dodger before the Krawk Island authorities, Edmund would just lock him in his bunk and let him get arrested. On the other hand, if Danny never returned, Edmund might come looking for the treasure - or for Danny - himself.
Danny had to make a new plan, and fast. He wanted to avoid incurring Edmund's wrath but he also wanted to avoid the authorities, and it seemed like those two goals were at odds with each other.
Of course there was also the real possibility that the Jolly Dodger would not even be at Flotsam Cove when Danny sailed there after recovering the treasure; the Krawk Island authorities might impound it, or it might have sailed somewhere else following the mutiny - assuming the mutiny would actually happen and was not just Edmund manipulating Fran and Gaunter.
After mulling it over Danny decided that the safest option would probably be to just find the treasure in case Edmund came looking for him and lie low on the Palisades Isle for a while. If Edmund came, Danny could pretend that it had taken him a long time to find the treasure. And if Edmund didn't come, Danny had an artifact of value to prove his worth to another pirate ship, if he could find one.
That was about the best he could do in this situation.
The Gelert exhaled as the front of his boat bumped against the shore of the island. He began to haul his supplies out and arrange everything on his back. Danny couldn't carry everything the entire time, but he didn't want to leave any supplies just sitting near the shore either. He then lifted the rowboat over his head - one of the benefits of working as a pirate was the physical labor had left him fairly strong - and trekked off into the jungle.
Hours later, Danny was hacking through the thick undergrowth. He had left the rowboat and some of his supplies in the large, hollowed out trunk of a fallen tree, and he had put a rough marker of the location on his map. He figured that, if nothing else, he could follow the plant debris he was leaving behind to get back.
The work was tedious, but finding the treasure was a safety net. A safety net that Danny desperately needed.
Eventually, the Gelert reached a clearing. It was probably just luck, but the moon illuminated the small, tree-less patch of grass perfectly. A small, worn, wooden box sat on the ground. Was THAT the treasure of the Palisades Isles? There was only one way to find out. Danny knelt down, plucked open the latch on the box, and lifted the lid...
Date: Aug 13th
... a massive ball of Spyder webs.
Danny reached in, grimacing. Specks of blackened wood and clumps of dirt hung in the thick swaths.
Danny felt his stomach sink. He wasn't good with gross things.
This ball of cobwebs was really something else, but he knew it was surely covering something up. The Gelert took a deep breath. He knew he had to uncover the real treasure. The Palisades Treasure, so far at least, was one of the most disgusting things he had ever seen. Danny gritted his teeth. Holding his cutlass carefully, he began to work his way through the cobwebs.
Twenty minutes passed as Danny worked. The cobwebs refused to come off in broad layers, only thick strands. They stuck to Danny's hands, coated the sharp edge of his cutlass, and occasionally surprised Danny with a small, spindly Spyder that darted out from the depths. Danny felt unbelievably disgusted, violated, and horrified. What kind of treasure was this? He wondered vaguely, only half-jokingly, if there just so happened to be giant Spyders on the island.
Finally, his cutlass tip lifted away a tuft of cobweb that revealed a glint of red. An enchanted orb? A gigantic ruby? Danny felt his heart race. He worked quickly now. Danny had felt drained and dazed for the past hours, but now he felt his heart soar with elation, feeling almost like he was uncovering the treasure for himself, and himself alone...
His cutlass suddenly cut into the treasure, revealing a honey-colored inside. Danny froze.
And then the surface regenerated, the red skin once again totally smooth.
It was an Everlasting Apple.
Danny's heart rate sped up even more. An Everlasting Apple! Known only to grow in Fyora's gardens! Danny lifted it up and hugged it. He felt awfully enthusiastic about treasure, for a kind pirate.
Danny peeled off the last of the cobwebs. He felt so hungry, and he left all his food with his rowboat. He couldn't resist biting into the apple for himself. His teeth sank effortlessly into the crisp fruit.
The Gelert suddenly felt his stomach turn cold. And it wasn't just a gut feeling. A tingling sensation was slowly spreading over his skin, causing him to drop the apple. The Palisades' magic had begun...
Date: Aug 14th
"What's happening to me?!" Danny screamed, and fell down on the ground next to the apple, which had already reformed.
Blind spots clouded his vision, and before he knew it, everything was black.
Danny woke up with the morning sun shining on his face. At first he couldn't remember where he was or what he was doing, but then the previous night came flooding back to him.
He looked next to him, and breathed a sigh of relief to see that the apple was still there.
Danny started to stand, and found that he was lifted into the air.
"What?" Danny asked, incredulous, but then looked at himself, and found that he, indeed, had grown wings.
"What is wrong with that apple..?" Danny said.
Just then, a Krawk came out from the swaying trees.
"Who are you?!" Danny asked him urgently.
"I'm the only native to this island. Don't tell me you took a bite of the apple..."
"I did. I was so hungry I couldn't resist! Why did it give me wings?"
"That is a special Everlasting Apple, one Queen Fyora had to... discard... for purposes of it being too powerful. She entrusted it with me, and so I made my home here, hiding the powerful apple."
"Oh," Danny said, "I'm sorry I took a bite."
The Krawk shrugged. "It's fine. Many pirates have come here, and turned into a Neopet with wings. I came for all of them, gave them a warning they did not concede..."
Danny gulped. "What warning?"
The Krawk looked him in the eyes. "The Apple gives great power, but also a curse among any who eat it and do not stay at the Palisades..."
"Did the pirates not stay?" asked Danny, curious but afraid to know the answer.
The Krawk nodded. "They all told me I was crazy, and set off to show their treasure. But the Apple belongs here, and it always comes back, and left the pirates stranded alone somewhere nobody anyone will ever find."
The Krawk looked at Danny, dead serious. "Will you heed my warning?"
Danny nodded, scared. "Yes. I am in sort of a... predicament. Staying here will give me some down time."
The Krawk smiled. "You are wise for a pirate. Come with me to my home. I am called Leo, by the way."
Date: Aug 17th
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