Life With The Jollier Roger

1

The evening is wearing down, the air humid and crew expended with the heat. There comes a knock on the door of the great cabin. No reply. Slowly, the pale visage of Captain James Roberts looks up to see the door opening, despite his ignoring it.

The young Spaniard enters, Estavan Acosta. “Come in…” says the captain with some irony.

“James.”

“Captain.”

“Whatever! The men are exhausted and the ship is canting.”

James gestures to himself. “And what am I expected to do about your problems?”

“MY problems?! It’s YOUR ship! Sometimes I find your lack of care appalling. What would you do if we suddenly struck an iceberg?”

The captain thought, long and hard, leaning back in his tall-backed chair and tapping his finger-tips together luxuriously. “Sink, eventually. But first I should spend a great deal of time wondering how an iceberg found its way into the Caribbean Sea.”

“Ugh…”

“Is that all?”

“Yes…”

“Well then! back to work with you.”

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How Jollier Roger Begins

Ahoy, maties! Being that ye’re here on Jollier Roger Cove, and ye always visit us at the Jollier Roger Facebook page, we fig’re some o’ ye might be wondering how Jollier Roger starts. We mean REALLY starts; the first words, even! Well, here they are.


Atlantic Ocean, 1724…

A small boat, just a dinghy and little more, having only one man aboard and dressed richly so that none could deny he was a captain. The thunder of the cloudy gray sky made the fish jump for fright, and the lightning was enough to scare a spirit.

But wasn’t that just why he’d come? Was he any man to fear his death, having lived a life longer and more fulfilling than ever he may have? Having waved his fist with a triumphant laugh, when all other men thought him dead?

The storm, the terror, the myth of the Atlantic Tristorm… Now wasn’t that exactly for what he’d come?

With the lightning came his low voice in a familiar song. “Of all the world’s colors I take me the blue. Yo, ho… yo, ho… yo, ho. Be free as the waves, that is what I do. Yo, ho… yo, ho… yo, ho. Steal from the crowns, no, I don’t fear no crew. Yo, ho… yo, ho… yo, ho. Give me the liars, for I can’t trust the true. Yo ho, yo ho, yo ho!”

As his oars dipped into the choppy waters, the spray of the waves filling the air so that a heavy haze clung to that place, he knew he was near. No man could have denied it, even before the lightning struck the sea before him. The green blast was like the shine of an emerald, coursing through the waters all around him.

Then a voice, “Avast, man of the sea.” He didn’t look away. He sat up all the taller with his hat tipped proudly, bold as the echoing voice went on. “Who do you claim to be, and what do you desire?”

A grin crossed his face, “… Captain Roberts, that is my name, and that you shall call me. As for what I’m wanting…”

Coast of Port Royal, 1762…

“The light filled him and all he had on him. From his ship to his brass buttons he was enchanted, but what became of him none can say. That’s the legend of Captain Roberts, the Atlantic Tristorm, and the Magic Treasures.”

The great vessel of three masts dipped then rose up, the boom of the waves echoing across the deck. All hands were busy on the main deck, besides the man listening to the story. He was about fifty years old, with a great brown beard down to his chest and a dull eye. “That really how it goes, cap’n?” he asked with his thick Norwegian accent.

The storyteller looked out to the bright blue sea, letting the spray soak his young face and long raven’s hair. He was a dark man of twenty so he seemed, his eyes alight with quiet excitement and adventure. He was dressed like a sailor, not so much a pirate; open black shirt, tight black trousers, and thin boots almost to his knees. “Are you questioning me story? It is! … Maybe.”

Excerpt of Jollier Roger – El Mordedor!

Ladies and gents, mateys and wenches! You stand now mere seconds away from one of the most exciting events of yer life; the first ever excerpt of Jollier Roger and the Golden Cross! Can ye feel the thrill welling up within? Are ye full to the gunnels with anticipation?!

Then wait no longer. Please enjoy this hilarious scene from Chapter 5 – Secret of the Waterfall, and El Mordedor.

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Rocks in the way forced them to climb over and back into the water again, sometimes as deep as up to their chests or deep enough to require swimming. This far into the cave, the ceiling had taken on a tan color and looked smooth almost to the touch, shaped amazingly; sometimes like icicles, other times like upside down hills.
_____“The light has gotten pleasingly bright,” James remarked at last.
_____“Aren’t ye curious how long this blasted path goes on?”
_____The captain thought, “I suppose until we reach the final blockade.”
_____“Which is?” Estavan tried.
_____“Consider the riddle.”
_____Dogban rubbed a finger across his lip, deep in thought. “Avast, cap’n. All that stuff about there beings a beast down here . . . None o’ that true, aye?”
_____“Not as far as I know.”
_____“It is true. It serves a dual purpose,” came Estavan suddenly, and everyone stopped to look at him. “One is to allude to an echo, but the other . . . My father was an explorer. Long ago he told me the story of El Mordedor.”
_____A silence filled the cave, “And I assume that means . . . I have no clue,” James answered.
_____“It means ‘The Biter’. It was a beast of immense size which lived in a cave much like this one, he said, feeding on bats or anything fool enough to get stuck in its web. The sight of it was enough to drive my father away from the trade . . . though how he turned to piracy I’m not sure.”
_____Almost as if overhearing their conversation, something began to stir. A shadow formed on the wall; six long legs reaching, and two fangs snapping at nothing. Raju noticed first, stumbled back, and alerted the others. All but the captain quickly fell into a state of panic.
_____He looked it over and clucked his tongue. “It is a bug. An insect,” their raven-haired leader spat. “And with the Golden Cross at stake- Argh, show me to it, and I will squish it,” he said as if to children.
_____He followed the direction the shadow was cast from, then came to rest his eyes upon the ledge, giving a sarcastic laugh. “What have we here, me hearties? Ah ha, a monster! A demon! An envoy from hell!” As he spoke he hoisted up the yellow spider by its hind legs. “El Two Inch Killero!”
_____The others stared with looks of horror as he jiggled the thing at them. “Bah! You lot have the courage of mice!”
_____“Cap’n?”
_____“Yes, Dwarf?”
_____“Didn’t ya grab that from the ledge?”
_____He thought. “I did.”
_____“Be there light on the ledge to cast the scary shadow . . . ?”
_____“Hmm, no,” he conceded, then slowly looked up to the wall. The shadow was still there and getting bigger, and as he turned his head he found himself face to face with eight eyes and two fangs. “Oh.”
_____El Mordedor opened its mouth as several of its brothers crawled down from above, “Ssseh!”
_____“Eeeheehee!” came the little spider as he dropped it in shock.
_____“RUN!”

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