Tenderfoot

How Overkill Got His Name

A recantation of the experiences of Overkill the pirate-

Bexx sat across the table from Overkill. “How did you get your name sailor?” Overkill put down his dwarven ale and cocked an eyebrow to show a sign of reflection in his face while looking at the ceiling. Silence carried in the room for only a moment. Chip chimed in, Yes, how did you get that name. I am curious.”

Finally after what seemed like an hour Overkill started. “Several years ago when I was second mate on the Redbeard, well before it was the Redbeard, I was known as Tenderfoot. Mostly because I was a thinker and not a doer. I would hold out on the possibility that there could be too much danger for a mission. Impulsive and brash decisions were made around me but when they wanted to make sure that the plan was sound or grounded… enough they would turn to me, Tenderfoot.”

Bexx and Chip both took sips of their ale and nodded in approval of the introduction.

”About that time the Bizantium Navy had decided that their slave stock was getting low and they had decided that they should send a young man named Clay Kirsgen, who was a lord at the time, to retrieve some from the Jorruth Barbarians across the water. He was fitted with six ships and a full crew and was commissioned to get at least 300 slaves. The likes of which would cover the expense of the trip and give each sailor a healthy bonus. Now thanks to our Bizantium spies we found out about the excursion before the three ships were even stocked and gained passage on the ships minimizing our need to use the Redbeard. Our intentions were to gain a whole new ship for our growing fleet by putting all our men in one ship and keep the ships captain unaware of our intent.”

Bexx and Chip were now very entertained and began to lean in close in the lamp light. They had even begun to drink slower so they would soak the whole story in. Overkill was one guy that they didn’t know all that well and this story was certainly a way for him to open up as he did a lot of cussing in Northern or Eastern and kept to himself. Chip didn’t pay no mind as he magically could understand all languages but Bexx would occasionally ask about what he was saying when the dwarf wasn’t speaking Elven. Tonight though seemed different because Overkill’s unmoved demeanor had become animated and it was quite entertaining.

“The team had consulted ‘Tenderfoot’ to insure the teams success and I had role played the scenario out a few times and was certain that if our ship lead the mission that we could escape if there was a problem. I didn’t know that the barbarians that we were going after were dwarves as I was still somewhat inexperienced to piracy as I was to being a sailor. When we took our row boats to shore the team and I made sure that most of the docking crew was us and that if things got sticky we could kill the survivors and make our escape. Because we were not experienced with slave catching we had to be extra careful so as to not do anything that would get us killed. What I later found out after the mission is that three of my mates who had joined the mission were former slaves and this was a golden chance for revenge on Bizantium. “

“For several hours we scoped out the region to insure we had an exact head count of the stock and at first we went for the weak, young and alone. That worked for about an hour then they got wised to us and he had to hit them with everything we had. We were so lucky that they worshiped primitive gods who had no real power in our world. If they were gods of this world that went by another name we didn’t know. At the time my Dwarven tongue was weak so I barely knew what they were saying but I had a mate of mine that understood perfectly witch was good because after we captured three tribes they started talking to each other and whispers of their god’s chosen one went wild. They said that ‘he’ would free them and lead them to a new order and vanquish the Bizantium fools. “

“You might not now this but some of the barbarians have married into the Redbeard clan so when we did the raid I had to be careful not to be noticed as some of these savage half naked dwarves with dirt under their nails and mud on their faces and hair could of recognized me and a few of us Redbeard clansman. It worked a little til one little dwarven girl about ten years old (mind you we mature at a very slow rate till we hit about twenty-five) recognized me and with a tear in her eye called me Oka. We had beaten most of them into submission and chained and tied them up but this little one instead of resisting just stood there. One of the other sailers smacked her in the head and gave her little head a gash that bled perfusely. I stopped the next blow from happening when I parried his next move and whispered lowdly and harshly “Alive, you ass, alive!”

The two of us for a moment stared at each others faces. The mission had gone off without a hitch and no casualties so this incident was about to turn bloody itself. “Tenderfoot”, he started “if we were not on the same team I would add you to the whole lot of these pieces of dwarven garbage”. I considered raising my sword but held my peace. I attended the wound as best as I could and had our priest heal her. This Bizantium citizen was going to be floating face down when I was done with this ship. “

“As we had collected our stock on the beach, we started to move them to our ship. We had the largest and because (through magic and psionics) we had gained their trust the slaves were moved to our ship. The others would be used as guards of ‘our ‘ stock. This had made the mission a bit complicated as I was unaware that we would have so much ‘crew’ aboard when we were going to commit mutiny. The young lord was also aboard our ship and he was so overcome with our stock and on more then one occasion wanted to have me and a few of my mates put in with them because we were dwarves and would make a handsome price but members of the Redbeard did their best to convince him otherwise. It was on the trip back that I had shot off my mouth too much after too much drinking that Lord Kirsgen had had enough and ordered that all non-humans be added to the stock and that we were to be sold when we got to Bizantium waters. I was stripped of my weapons and clothes and because I could barely speak Dwarven I was in trouble with the natives.”

“Naked and alone in a crowd I encountered the little one that I had saved from death. “Oke, you’ve come to save me?” Her question hung in the air for a moment on silence. There she was now stripped of what little beauty of being a native now covered in blood and dirt. Her innocent brown eyes just stared. Change of plan thought I and began in my broken Dwarven pointing out the sailors that were going to help us escape and those that meant us harm. I signaled the insiders for the mutiny after getting the signal that we were one day from the main land and the mutiny began with that prick human that had hurt the little one. With one quick swoop he could only watch as a sword went through the bars from some one that had gained his trust and land in my hands. Before he could cry out his throat was open and he had collapsed on the ground. Our team conquered the Bizantium sailors quickly and disposed the bodies off the bow so that the assault would show little notice. One of the sailors attempted to show a flag to warn the others but he was cut down as was his flag. The fight was swift but within the half hour we had the young Lord and his senior officers tied in the place where the slaves once were and now we had to figure how to escape five ships and get back to our budding fleet. Certain that they would get wise to or seizure we called the other fleets to draw their attention telling them that we had a mishap and that we would need to be left behind temporarily. Navy did an all stop to crowd around the ‘disabled’ ship. The dwarves now freed and in clear control of the ship with us kept quiet later that night we light lanterns and dropped some row boats. Under the dead of night our lanterns were the only thing that illuminated the night and drew attention away from our escape.”

”Bizantium fleet caught on too slowly as barbarian sailing ships though small were fast and caught back up to us. They out numbered us twenty to one but Bizantium still wondered why our ship was down and they didn’t know of the oncoming onslaught. Accompanying the small fleet was the Redbeard as it lead. Before the Bizantium sailors could turn their ships the smaller faster ones began to unload their crew on the larger ship and attacking the ships directly. With nothing but stone and wood weapons and the ones that we had provided if it wasn’t for the Redbeard and her experienced crew those four ships would have had a prayer. For two whole hours we fought and finally the young lord called for a surrender but because I was given charge of this mission and was determined to see its success I said no. All but one ship (the one we wanted) was burned and the crew given mercy to swim or sail in the smaller row boats (without paddles I might add) back to Bizantium or die from with the fishes. We spent the better part of the next day returning the dwarves back to their homes. Compassion told me that I should stay and help them rebuild their lives but a sailor named Jasmine told me that they would be ok and that I should join back with the crew. A celebration was given in our honor and I was given a tatoo for what I had done. The crew stopped calling me Tenderfoot because of the bloody mess I could create when given power and changed my name to Overkill.”

Bexx took a drink before making a comment. “That story was fantastic. Is it true?” Overkill just smiled and took a drink himself. “You’ll just have to ask the tribe should we ever go to Bizantium”.

The End.

Written by Overkill on the 19th of Majestic the 1st year of King Wilgan.

Picture from Frank Salinas.

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