He sauntered through the aftermath of the battle whistling tunelessly to himself, following a trail of blood to a human crawling away from the carnage. Bright colours and armour, a noble probably, but he didn’t really care. A quick look around showed him the usual post battle events. The crew were already looting; new feathers and boots and such, whilst in the distance the poo flingers were putting down the dying and celebrating their glories in their own ways.

The man seemed to hear his approach and hastened his crawl to a less embarrassing speed, seemingly aiming for a sword in the distance, lost during the battle. Gunnishment sauntered past hands in pockets and still whistling before kicking the sword away. The man screamed something at him, probably an insult of some kind but he had stopped listening to the cries of humans a long time ago. His only response was to deliver a hefty kick, flipping the human onto his back, before taking off his hat and dropping down to sit beside him.

He eyed the human before pushing one of his discharged pistols into a wound on the human’s side. It screamed again, something about vengeance, humans were always shouting about vengeance. He silenced the screaming with a gloved fist. “You my matey, are very much in luck” he spoke casually, uncorking a bottle with his free hand and taking a swig. “If those beasts had got ter yer”, he nodded in the direction of the mountain kith, “yer’d already be dead, or bein’ eaten, or on yer way to something worse, drink?” He removed his hand from the soldier’s mouth and the noble instantly returned to his pointless tirade. The Gauntleted hand returned more forcefully. “I’ll take that as a no shall I? said the orc, “well it’s like this mate, I don’t think yer wounds are gonna kill yer, an’ seein’ as you’ve been such good company, an’ yer crawl better than any worm I’ve ever seen, I’ve decided to let yer live.” The human struggled a little less, it was amazing how quickly honour and virtue went out the window when your skin was at risk.

He paused to take another drinking before speaking again. “ Yer gonna go home, back to yer houses an’ yer tame elves and yer dogs, an yer gonna tell ‘em what happened here. Yer gonna tell ‘em about the blood and the fire and the death. Yer gonna tell ‘em that the Face Eaters’ bringing his Shattered Spine, an’ that only more blood an’ death will follow.” He lifted the bottle to his lips and took a long draft of the harsh liquor. “Tell ‘em that when they see the sign of the three claws they should be about the business of running away.” A menacing grin spread across Gunishment’s face, “Run, run ter the ends of the world, or hide in the deepest holes, ‘cause nothin’ the band sees survives, savvy?” He looked over where that pile of fat and muscle the warlord kept as a pet was eating something. That something was still screaming and the human saw and heard it too. His eyes widened in terror. Gunishment just smiled and finished his drink before throwing the bottle away. “Oh, an’ should we meet again, or I decide the situation is no longer convenient for me, I want you to know that yer life is mine an’ you owe me it’s worth. I think that’s fair don’t you, yer life on yer honour?’

He removed his hand to allow more words, not too pleasing at first, but another probe of the wound with his pistol moved the conversation in the right direction. “I’m glad we have an accord.” He got up dusting off his hat and placing it back on at its normal hjaunty angle. “You owe yer life to Captain Gunnishment and the Sunken Clam’s crew, and you owe this”, he paused dramatically to swing his arm in the direction of the devastation in the distance, “to the attention of the Shattered spine and the Face Eater.” The Captain bent in close so that his face was inches from the nobles and quietly said, “This is just a taster of what the warband’s bringin!’”

The human saw fit to whimper a few more words before Gunishment stood and called out to one of his crew, “Keelhaul…”. Another meaty looking scarred orc slid out of the darkness, smiling in a sinister manner, “Mark him!” The human’s eyes widened as the second orc delivered a hefty blow to his head and he went still. Gunnishment sauntered back towards the mainstay of the horde, one of the poo slingers approached him and grunted something, he didn’t really care to listen, but he got the gist. “All dead matey, don’t you worry” he reassured the orc, patting the hulk on the shoulders and leading him back to the revelry, pausing only to look back to see his bosun heating his knife in a fire to mark the survivor. You had to have survivors, how else would legend spread?

A Captain’s Tale