1999-01-08: Pirates Nab Cargo And Demand Ransom
I was walking to the Cat’s Lair Tavern in West Britain when I looked up in surprise to see a billowing pillar of smoke coming from the docks. Being of a somewhat curious nature, I cautiously approached to investigate and discovered a large crowd gathered at the edge of the docks. They were trying to get a closer look at a burning boat that had drifted into the harbor.Bruning merchant boat
As I made my way closer I was greeted with a gruesome sight. Not only was the boat aflame but it bore the signs of a bloody battle which the crew had obviously lost. Two notes had been attached to the deck of the ship. Upon reading them I learned that a group of pirates was responsible for this destruction. They had taken a valuable cargo from the merchant ship and demanded that the merchant pay them 50,000 gold for its return!!! The notes said that they would be waiting for the ransom at Buccaneer’s Den.
Before I had even finished reading the note, many brave adventurers were already making preparations to travel to Buccaneer’s Den. I was fortunate enough to stumble into a kindly mage who gated me there. As I cautiously made my way through the rough streets of Buccaneer’s Den, I heard a commotion nearby and went to investigate. I could see that the pirate’s hideout had been located, but they had entrenched themselves in a small building and were demanding the 50,000 gold in ransom.
Since the gold was not forthcoming, a battle soon erupted. The pirates were more than a match for those that had found them, but fortunately reinforcements arrived just in the nick of time. A horrible battle ensued, but still the pirates were not defeated. At one point, a wealthy adventurer offered to pay the 50,000 gold to stop the bloodshed, but the pirates were enraged because of the attacks and now demanded 75,000 gold. Their rage proved to be their undoing, for soon more reinforcements arrived and the foul pirates were finally overcome.
Although the pirates were defeated, such occurrences cause me to fear for the safety of all who journey upon the seas. I hope this does not signal dark days ahead for the many merchants who rely upon the sea for their livelihood.