A number of children sat about a small room at the Templars refugee camp. Some played idly, others sat and bawled. Some were too traumatized to even speak. The few healers and caretakers that moved amongst them did their level best to help, offering blankets and toys where they could, though despite their aid, it still made for a rather dour scene.
Suddenly, the door to the room opened and all heads turned towards the interruption. There stood a huge man, nearly as broad as he was tall, dressed in a long, impressively decorated coat and wearing the epaulettes and impressive hat of a man of the Kul Tiran navy. He grinned and walked towards the center of the room, his cheeks rosy with cheer and his smile kindly. He took his time finding a stool that would support him and sat it in the midst of the gathered children and healers.
“How would ye wee lads and lasses like to hear a tale of Pirates and buried treasure?!” Morlen announced, and for a moment, no one seemed to move. Then, a small girl with a stuffed gnoll made her way over and sat before the towering sailor. She had a small anchor pendant tied about her neck and was clearly alone there. She sat before Morlen and looked up at him, her expression unsure.
Morlen smiled down at her and leaned in close, “Well then, I suppose it just be you and me, lass! Very well! This tale takes place just a few moons ago…” he begins his tale as the girl settles down and listens intently.
The winds lashed at the ship as it rolled and rocked. Dark storm clouds billowed over head and lightning lit the clouds with intermittent bursts of light. The sound of thunder boomed in muted delay after each flash, but each clap of thunder was nothing compared to the thunder of the ship’s mighty guns.
Cannonballs easily the size of an adult Kul Tiran’s head sailed from each gun’s roaring muzzle flash at the black sailed vessel just parallel to the ship. They smashed into the wood sides of the pirate vessel, sending shivers of wood in all directions. Shortly after, the pirates would answer with their own, albeit less disciplined volley. The pirate’s main mast was already snapped in two like a huge tree-trunk splintered by lightning, robbing them of their only advantage; speed.
Morlen gripped the ship’s wheel and held it tight as the two vessels slowly closed the distance. “Hold yer fire!! Hoooold!” He ordered as they drifted closer, “When I give the order, fire a broadside, then send boarding parties!”
The Kul Tiran crew under Morlen’s command held their guns fire for what felt like an eternity as Sorin’s men gripped ropes and their blades, ready to launch over to the pirate vessel.
The two ships finally edged within nearly point-blank range, and Morlen finally roared his order, “All guns, fire!!”
The disciplined broadside slammed into the pirate craft with thunderous force, rocking the ship sideways with its intensity. As soon as the volley was launched, Sorin’s men swung across through the clouds of cannon fire like wraiths through the fog of a graveyard.
“The pirates put up a good fight, they did!” Morlen continued his tale, judiciously leaving out certain aspects of the fighting so as not to frighten the children, now more than a half dozen gathered about and listening intently. “But me crew, and mister Sorin’s men gave the brigands what for!”
The children cheered at the defeat of the pirates, several of them clearly having been victims of pirate raids in the past and reacting with even more vigor.
“And so we searched the ship for the stolen cargo…” He continued.
The main deck of the pirate vessel were awash with seawater and blood. Sorin’s men had made quick, messy work of the pirate crew. The two vessels were now anchored side by side, and with resistance only remaining below decks and too cowardly to come above, Morlen himself made the crossing to the enemy ship.
“Search the lower decks, down to the bilges. If these rats are hiding anything, I want it. Grog, food, cannonballs, plunder, you see it, it be ours, aye?” He announces to the trio of his men, and the grouping of almost a half dozen of Sorin’s. A pirate nearby lay wounded, but not dead, and reached out to Morlen, pleading for help. With contemptuous dismissal, Morlen drew one of his Azerite-powered pistols and blew a hole clean through the man’s head.
One of Sorin’s hired help, a big Kul Tiran bruiser with a blunderbuss approached the door leading belowdecks and blew the handle off with a single blast of his short, stubby gun.
The first pirate sailor on the other side cried out in surprise and fear before he was quickly silenced by a flying dagger to the throat, courtesy of one of Sorin’s assassins. The group stormed into the bowels of the pirate vessel, butchering as they went.
“And so we got below and found the stolen treasure! There it be, all stacked and ready for our victorious crew to recover it!” He made quite a show of the awe he felt at finding their stash of treasure. ‘Oooohs’ and ‘Aaaaahs’ chorused from the group sitting about him now, nearly every child in the room and even one or two of the healers and attendants.
“Well we got right to work, carrying their ill-gotten loot back to me ship, and we left them with a wee surprise of our own as we sailed off! A keg of Azerite powder, with a fuse timed to give us plenty of room to sail away!”
The children’s eyes widened at the idea, and Morlen grinned. “And as we made it safely away… BOOOOOM!!” He roared, pantomiming the pirate ship exploding. The children all cheered, and Morlen laughed heartily.
“And what became of their treasure? Well, I brought some of it back with me, and I’m quite happy to share it all with ye!” He said as he snapped his fingers, and in through the door came two of his crew, all grins and arms full of sweet breads and shining trinkets. The children all cheered, some even hopped up and ran over to the two crewmen to get their sweets.
Morlen stood, smiling and nodding to the healers and attendants. He stepped out from the gathering to one of Sorin’s men who waited patiently outside.
“See to it that the rest of the plunder goes directly to the Justicar’s counters for distribution. Well done, lad.” He said to the burly Kul Tiran, who’s blunderbuss was slung across his back. “Aye, cap’n.” the man said and stalked off.