Riven, did I ever tell you the story of Captain Jacobs and his skeleton crew?
You see, Captain Jacobs was a merciless pirate who terrorized the open seas aboard his ship, the Cutthroat, the fastest ship ever built. One day, his crew attempted a mutiny, after they couldn't stomach what they had been forced to do any longer. Too much of a coward to fight them, Captain Jacobs set fire to the galley, and escaped aboard the ship's only lifeboat. With no food or water enough to survive the long sail home, his crew died at sea, leaving a ghost ship to the mercy of Davy Jones for four long years.
Alas, the tables turned on Captain Jacobs. He lived a lie for a family and town that had no idea who he was. When his pirate rivals finally learned he no longer had his famed Cutthroat, they openly attacked his home. His family was murdered, his town burned to the ground, and he was taken to a tiny mound of sand and marooned. Facing death, he looked out to sea, and on the horizon, he spotted, yes, that's right, the Cutthroat. He found the strength to swim to his ship, and found it molding, decayed, and his men rotted into a skeleton crew, seated around the table as if all was well in their final days.
It was a foggy dusk in Bilgewater when a dozen of the very same pirate ships threatened to take our port by force. They ruthlessly laid siege upon us, when suddenly, through the fog, came the Cutthroat. Pirates and guards alike screamed the coming of the pirate ghost ship. Most of the pirates turned tail and sailed off, but the largest was too far into our bay to flee. The captain, who had marooned Captain Jacobs, ordered all cannons to fire at the Cutthroat. But, broad side facing the stem, very few of the cannonballs hit their mark. Standing on the stem, famished, cackling like a madman, Captain Jacobs let his ship ram the pirates. In the madness to follow, Captain Jacobs drew his blade, charged the helm, and cut down the leader of the pirate siege.
Nobody dared venture near the ships for two full days. They were smashed together, but by some miracle, neither ship was taking on water. Finally, the guards sailed to the Cutthroat and boarded her. They ventured down into her, where they found Captain Jacobs, sitting at the head of the table with his cutlass rested in front of him. He was near death from dehydration, barely able to lift his arms. His crew was still seated at every chair. As the guards took aim at him, unsure of what to do, Captain Jacobs grabbed his cutlass off the table. With his final words, he looked the guard captain dead in the eyes, and said, I've taken enough from you, don't tax your people the cost of your bullets. And with his last ounce of strength, he cut his own throat, and rejoined his crew in death.
Why am I telling you this? Well, one, I love dead pirates. But two, today, Captain Jacobs' sins are barely remembered, they're a footnote of who he was. All people recount are his final acts to save Bilgewater. Set the helm forward, Riven. Don't spend your time trying to make up for the past. Worry about what you're doing now. It's all any of us care about, and it's all any of us will remember.
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