They came aboard, all blades and screams. We didn’t have any fight in us, and they took our provisions, our extra sails, all of our tools, and our fat sot of a captain’s gold. Then they asked who the chief carpenter was. When everyone looked my way, they clapped hands on me and dragged me across to their ship. That was one year, ten battles, and twice as many ports ago. Had I known that I’d be better off on a pirate’s ship than on a merchant’s vessel…

“Well, it reminds me of part of a song the sailors sang when I used to cut planks for the Shipwrights’ Guild: ‘There’s a ship that’s a leavin’ Quent, and on you’ll quickly sign. The captain’s a tyrant, the bosun’s worse, but she’ll a-suit ya fine.’”

—Mathis Trevain, Master Carpenter aboard the Emerald Wake

Skull and Shackles

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