A Priate’s Tale
This be a tale of the mighty Gunthak in his latter years.
Gunthak’s life were a long and prosperous one. Though born a lowly land lubbin’ troll, he were shanghaied and brought on aboard the ship of the fearsome ratonga pirate, Seelie Lixx. It started out a joke ye see, fer trolls at that time were mighty distrustful of the sea, and when they made the young troll be thar cabin boy, they thought it twould break ‘im. But Gunthak were not so soft as that.
As time went by, Gunthak proved to be the heartiest, quickest, and cleverest pirate of them all. Aye, even the cleverest. Fer a troll, he had a mighty fine brain, and he used it to overthrow ’em all and become captain himself. From that day forth, be vowed ta bring more trolls to the sea. Slowly, his boat, and then his armada, filled with trolls recruited to ‘is cause.
I said this be a tale of his old age and I swear that be the case. From ‘ere, it is enough to say ‘e built up quite a crew of pirates, and had many great triumphs over many landlubber, even the mighty Warlord Ykesha, from who ‘e stole the Grozmok stone, the most worthless priceless treasure there ever was. Though ‘e’d promised to lead the landlubber trolls, ‘e just left ’em in the mess they’d gotten themselves into.
After that, things quieted for old Gunthak. He had all the wealth ‘e could ever need, many a fine troll wench to feed ’em ‘is dinner, and hundreds to do ‘is bidding. For old Gunthak, it had become enough of a job to keep it all straight. He barely saw the seas anymore, he did, which breaks an old sailor’s heart to say.
Before old Gunthak knew it, he was starin’ old age right in ‘er saucy old face, and it had been years since ‘e’d commanded a right proper skipper. Though ‘e had any number of ships that were his by right, they all had captains, and those captains t’weren’t eager to give up command. Gunthak’s mood grew dark the day ‘e’ surveyed the whole of what was supposed to be his armada, and realized none of it were truly his own.
But old Gunthak did not get where he was by lettin’ others get the best of him. ‘e came to the one pirate ‘e knew ‘e could trust, the very first troll ‘e ever managed to convince to come to sea, and asked ‘im to help. I don’t mind sayin’ I was that troll, and I did as I could ta help me friend and me captain.
In the dark of the night, we loaded a small ship with everythin’ Gunthak truly cared fer. I won’t say Gunthak were a sentimental troll and all ‘e took were ‘eart felt mementos or some such trip. No, Gunthak took the most valuable of all the treasures he had pillaged in his years, no matter whether ‘e’d promised it to another or not. Why, I remember slippin’ an amulet what sported a sapphire the size of my fist from the neck of his favorite wench, Slippery Sal, even! It all went into the hold.
Just befer dawn came upon us, we set out, Gunthak and I, into the open sea. Lookin’ at me old friend, I thought ‘e looked twenty years younger then ‘e’ad before. ‘e truly did love the sea. As I manned the lines and he the wheel, ‘e said to me, “Izak, look befer ye.” So I looked befer me, and I said, “What’s it be, captain? What do you want me to see? All that’s out there be water.” And then Gunthak said, “Exactly.”
I were struck dumb and felt ashamed of meself, fer of course there were the sea! And what more should there be but that? I knew I’d disappointed him, and when the next say I woke up marooned on an isle, I knew why it were that it happened, and I couldn’t blame ‘im fer it. None of us ‘ad ever truly loved it the way ‘e did. ‘e might’ve brought trolls to the sea, but it were fer a love ‘o plunder, not a love ‘o the ocean.
‘e left me with one of the lifeboats and enough rations to be sure I’d find me way back without too much hurt, but that were the last I ever say of ‘im. Stories would come in, simple tales on the wind, of him starting up a crew of lizardfolk somewhere, a gang of orcs there, and marauding new seas. But none could ever prove it were truly he, and ‘e never did return to what ‘e had built.
We all remember ‘is name though, and know what ‘e done fer us. The name of Gunthak’ll never die so long as Clan Brokenskull sails the waters.