Saturday, 12 January 2013

Battle Report: Western Isles

Yesterday, the sleepy isle of Felicity’s Wish was the venue for a fantastic three-way clash between the Iscean Merfolk Clan, Bloody Throat Pirates sailing the sloop Vertinue, and the Western Isle Militia.

The clear favourites going into the encounter were the Bloody Throat Pirates who have owned the shipping lanes between Port Raglaff and Cape Newbury ever since their infamous leader Baron Sangar achieved a phenomenal sixteen-man kill streak during the siege of Fort Sandburgh.

However, the Iscean Merfolk Clan had been showing improved form of late, raiding a string of merchant vessels with an impressive four-to-one kill to casualty ratio.

Rank outsiders were a second-string Western Isle Militia who couldn’t even claim a minor hero amongst their number. They would be relying on the other two sides weakening each other before they could move in for the kill.


The battle started in early morning, when the Isceans launched a raid on the island’s sole fishing village. Little did they know the pirates were already there, inflicting their own peculiar brand of debauchery on the locals.

While the Isceans were surprised, they weren’t caught with their pants down like the pirates, so they started off with the upper-hand. What followed was a fine example of coordinated trident-work, with the merfolk scoring a respectable eight piercings, two slashings and one rectal lancing.

But the Bloody Throat Pirates didn’t earn their reputation as fearsome fighters by bending over and taking a good thrashing from a flock of fish fingers, and they came back with a flurry of hook-hands and scimitar swings. First-mate Mad-Dog McGrew claimed an early prize scalp when he used a length of fishing wire to decapitate the Isceans’ Senior Merman-at-Arms.


The Western Isles Militia, under the command of Captain Norman Woollock, arrived shortly after noon. His frigate had been alerted to the plight of the villagers by a passing merchant vessel. He took his time assessing the situation before sending in troops shortly after one. He employed a traditional four-eight-sixteen formation, while holding a further six marines back on the substitute’s bench.

At first his tactics look to have worked. The battling Merfolk and Pirates were surrounded and the militia called upon the locals to help snare the opposition in fishing nets. But this day would belong to Mad-Dog McGrew. Slipping free of the trap, he snatched some up seal meat the fisherman used to draw monsters away from their boats and swam out to sea.


At that point, the game looked to be won. The Militia were securing the pirates in chains and putting the Merfolk to the sword when a great tidal wave swept into the bay. It brought with it a Lesser-Spotted Kraken, Mad-Dog McGrew astride its back, crudely steering the creature by heaving on its great eyelids with his hook-hand.

The Militia frigate was smashed into firewood. The marines scattered, but many were caught by flailing tentacles and then either fed into the beast’s many-fanged maw or smashed to a pulp against the quayside.

With victory assured, Mad-Dog McGrew celebrated by stabbing his improvised mount in the eye with his scimitar and exclaiming that his men would be eating spit-roasted Kraken balls for dinner that night.


Mad-Dog McGrew said after the encounter: ‘You know, Hans, we had a tough fight out there today. We respect both those sides, but we also know when we’re on our game we can take on anyone and win, and I think we proved that out there today.’

Captain Woollock of the Militia was more circumspect: ‘Of course we’re disappointed with the result, but you have to look at a battle like this and try to take away positives and there’s no denying some of the lads did themselves proud out there, even if some of the others learned only what their intestines look like splattered across stone.’

The Iscean Merfolk were all killed and disembowelled, so we can only assume they were gutted with their defeat.

By Maxwell Buck

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