Long Live the Duke

Honey was bubbly as usual. She was with friends among was one of the best cooks in all the oceans of Palladia. Overkill’s child was starting to give her such seasickness that she knew that she was not alone but that wasn’t going to slow her down, Mary’s words still burned when she closed her eyes at night. She still cried sometimes but it was such a soft whimper she hoped that no one realized her pain.

Marmana was a small town and very much a fishing town. There was sailors nets and ships all over. Smiles were on most every face if they were not working. Most of the men would give an occasional cat call but that was to be expected from such a small town to such infrequent strangers. Honeysuckle loved the attention and would occasionally wink at a sailor mending his nets.

At lunch time the three sailors took time to sing with some sailors at the Broken Anchor over salmon sandwiches and mashed crab salad. Honeysuckle was attempting to get used to not drinking and it was killing her at times when the fellows were having an occasional sip.

The list was getting shorter but it was still so long and the names were so familiar she could almost recall them by memory. She was sure that they would be found but where or when would be a mystery.

As it began to rain, the sailors were happy that they had taken refuge in the pub. As they surveyed the bar they noticed that others were racing in to get out of the light down pour. That is when they saw him.

Higgins was using a paper that he had acquired from off the ground Honeysuckle looked at Annie and nudged her. Her all so familiar smile Annie quickly looked in the direction of where Honey was referencing and she saw him too. The illiterate was using a piece of discarded paper as a temporary shelter before he had got into the establishment. Showing that he was not a loiter he bellied up to the bar and ordered some pomegranate juice and lit up.

Annie jumped from her chair and began approaching with the dwarf not far behind. From his left and right they came into view.

“Higgins!” Annie was smiling. His immediate response was to smile till he recognized the girl. “Higgins.” Honey cooed softly drawing the human’s attention. He quickly turned from one only to face the other his smile faded again.

“What do you two want?”

“A favor for someone that is quick for adventure and women.”

“I don’t want anything to do with you two and the nightmare that should have never happened.”

“Oh come on…” Annie smiled.

“It wasn’t that bad” continued Honey.

“You and your precious captain can suck it.”

“Overkill is dead. What I am about to ask is for the greatest reunion that will ever be.”

“I have a good life girls. I am a fisher and have a fiancé. The pirate life is behind me. I am respected.”

An elven bar wench snuggled against him as he began to continued his tale. She placed a large mug of ale and gave a seductive smile. “Who are these… girls?”

Taking a large swig he turned to the girl. Honey and Annie began to smell this wet dog… sea dog. Wow the smell was offensive.

“I thought that you were engaged?”

“I am… meet my girl.”

The two girls rolled their eyes. It figured that this leopard had not changed his spots. The elf gave a sour look to the dwarf. Racial hostility had not escaped ten thousand years.

“This discussion is over.” The elf said with a cold stare. The Annie and the dwarf ignored her.

“You’re a pirate Higgins. I know that Overkill took your ‘birthright’ and that your roll as son of the royal families in Bizantium leave a bitter taste…

The she-elf suddenly turned to Higgins. “WHAT? You’re Rich!?” She hopped off his lap and shoved him hard off his stool.

“Annie! You swore an oath that you would never say that I was the nephew of a lord of Bizantium.”

“I said no such thing. You did.”

“Who is Higgins really!” The elf was fuming now. A magic flame now had appeared in her hand.

“I am the son of the Malemore family. I was supposed to be king of the pirates of Bizantium. Overkill took that from me while I was a cabin boy.”

“You’re Rich??!!! You worthless piece… You CREATANT!! Get out of my father’s establishment! NOW!”

Higgins face was of embarrassment and coy joy. Annie gave the young man a hand to get up as the elf was now swearing in dragonese.

As the three and their offhand companion walked out of the establishment in the rain the cook turned to her companions and smiled.

“It’s nice to see the gang get back together.”

Higgins was smiling somewhat as he uttered, “I hate you guys”, than he laughed.

“You need to be a better liar, Duke Malemore of Bizantium.”

“Don’t call me that and we’d better run, she’s pissed. Oh and you have some explaining about Overkill.”

The four ran for what seemed like a solid half hour in the sudden downpour while the others explained the outcome of the Captain of the Redbeard.

Written by HoneySuckle on the 12th of Gryphon in her journal for her child.

Picture from Mjranum on Deviantart.

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