„Land“ the man in the Crow’s Nest cried, and down on the Quarterdeck Captain Richard Logan looked at his 1st Officer.
„Hold position, we wouldn’t want them to spot us now, would we Mr. Byrne?“
Byrne turned to his captain, who was still looking out to see trying to spot the land ahead himself
„ No Sir, I’ll see to it immediately“
Byrne made his way to the Deck to give the necessary orders.
Meanwhile Logan turned to the two men who were still with him.
„ So, what do you think?“
„ The Map we found in Puerto Grande seems to be correct, but that Monataigne Bastard will know that we have it“ Edelbert Ambrosius von Immenhofen, Logan’s Eisen Partner answered.
„Si, Senores, we shouldn’t have let him escape, damn those Montaignos and their bloody Hole Magic“ , the third man, Don Salvador Gallegos de Orduno added.
Logan turned toward their Castilian companion, „ If I may remind you, there was a boarding cannon between us and him at the time, and I prefer stopping it from going of in our faces over getting him, we will have another chance at that soon. And I was asking for your opinion on our strategy, personally I think we should wait till nightfall and then make our approach.“
Edelbert nodded „Yes, we have to few men aboard to deal with almost anything head-on, I told you we should have asked the Governor for one of those Galleons“
Logan chuckled „Yeah, and wait a week for them to be ready, by then the Gold would be long gone“
Don Salvador leaned against the rail, making himself comfortable „Si, and the Governor wouldn’t like that, right now she likes you, but if you fail in this that might change“
Edelbert sighed „If we fail in this we will most likely be dead“
Logan rubbed his hands eagerly „ So it’s settled, noble sir’s we wait till night fall“
„Fine with me“
„Si, they will most likely be drunk by then“
- – -
Later, after nightfall, the Donna Bianca closed in on the Island and the Pirate Hideout, the officers training their spyglasses on the natural harbour and the faint light that could be seen there.
Logan set down his spyglass and turned towards his 1st officer
„Mr., Byrne, any word from the Crow’s Nest? „
„Not yet captain, it’s to dark to make out anything at this distance“
„ Remind the men, no lights and as little noise as possible“
„ Aye Sir.“
A short time the first details of the harbour could be seen.
„ Damn, Logan they have three ships in there, not just one“
„ And a pretty big one at that, look the one on the right seems to be the Rosé Noir, and the one in the middle is just a sloop, but the one on the left, that’s a Warship, 4th rate I think, it’s hard to make out even with the bonfire they lit on the Island.“
„Could be right, now that changes everything, we can’t attack three ships with barely a hundred men“
„ Who says we can’t, most of them will be drunk, and I have just the Idea how to even the odds a little“
„And what kind of plan would that be?
Oh no you don’t mean to board that thing do you?“
„That’s exactly what I plan, we will take half the Crew to the Warship, take out the Crew and use it’s guns to take out the sloop, meanwhile Byrne can take the Bianca in and handle the Rose!“
„That’s crazy, we will not have enough men for the guns on either ship“
„That’s why we have to make every shot count, loading the guns is no Problem, it s running them out that will be hard, we will make two teams of the strongest men we have, they will have to run from gun to gun to make this work, Hein would be a good one for that, the man is as thick-headed as a mule, but just as strong“
„Maybe, and who else will we take, I mean we need the best fighters in the boarding team, but we should also take a few experienced gunners;“
„Si, but I say we leave Angel here, the fight with the Rose will be much harder“
„Yes we need our best gunner here“
„ Any other suggestions, Edelbert, Don?“
„Ah Senores, I would hate to miss this little adventure, I’ll accompany you if you don’t mind?“
„By all means, might get hot over there, you’re welcome“
„Hot?, Ah yes muchas gracias, I will gladly come“
„ Shall we take Alain? „
„ Yes, he has an amazing talent for stealth, and he doesn’t like his noble countrymen one bit, I bet he would like a chance at that bastard again.“
„Then it’s settled, Edelbert, pick the men, please, and Don, talk to Alonzo about issuing the weapons will you, I will talk to Byrne and Angel, give them their orders“
- – -
Half an hour later the boarding team was ready to leave and Logan gave a few last orders to the remaining Officers.
„Mr. Byrne, I expect you to have my ship waiting for me in one piece when I return, understood?
„Yes sir, and good luck over there, wish I could be with you“
„ Well, I need a good man over here“
„Thank you Sir“
The boats, packed with men, left the ship and disappeared into the night, making their way to the harbour, Byrne looked after them for a while, and then turned to Angel, who was waiting nearby.
„Well, we better get ready, are the guns loaded?
„Yes Sir, loaded and run out, I have had the men ready Grapeshot for the second volley, I had them load the port guns too, just in case.“
„Good work, get ready:“
„I just hope the captain knows what he’s doing, there could be hundreds of men on that Warship.“
„Not bloody likely, considering that bonfire over there.“
With that, Angel made her way to the Gun deck, and Byrne continued to stare at the dark silhouettes of the ships in the harbour, waiting for the signal to start his approach.
- – -
About an hour later the boats reached the entrance to the harbour, the Warship was only a few hundred meters away, Logan signalled the men and then he and those of his men who could swim silently slipped into the water and began their approach to the ship, Don Salvador waited in the lead boat with the rest of the men for the signal to approach.
The men swam to the port side of the anchored warship, which was looming over them like a sleeping beast, when they reached it, Logan himself prepared to be the first to climb aboard, using the Anchor chain, while a few others prepared to climb the aft section to reach the Quarterdeck.
He slipped out of the water and climbed the chain, carefully and slowly, to minimize any noise, when he reached the Deck, he carefully raised his head so that he could look over the bow of the ship, there was none near, but he could see a men standing close to the port side at the height of the second mast, two more were on the starboard side a little further back, and a small group stood near a lantern below the quarterdeck, he could not see the front part of the main deck, but he heard Voices that seemed to originate from somewhere close to the Ladder leading to the foredeck.
„Strange,“ He wondered, „There should be more of them here, even with those celebrations going on, this is just to easy“
He slipped on deck, crouching and motioned for the next men to come up, then he silently crept to the edge of the foredeck, looking down, where he could see two men, who stood together, talking softly, he could also see the Main deck Clearly for the first time, and he noticed that the ship had apparently been damaged recently.
„… told you, you shouldn’t have wagered that the damn Vendel would hold out for more then three broadsides, now we have to stay here and guard those damn Vendel when we could be over on the island celebrating.“
„And how was I to know what the captain had planned? I still don’t know how he did it, I mean, suddenly the damn rudder doesn’t work and they sit there unable to move.“
„I bet it had something to do with that Magic of his..:“
Logan had heard enough, he crawled back, to where there where now five more of his men waiting.
„ Captain, the others are ready too, just give the signal“
„Good, now all we have to do is take out those guards, we need to be fast, if there is one cry we are busted, I will take out the one on starboard, you too, take the Port man, and the rest of you take out those two down there, I just hope the others are ready.“
With that he turned and slipped to one o the lines that led up into the rigging and began to climb it, slowly making his way to where his target was standing, from up there he could see Edelbert and his group on the Quarterdeck, getting ready to attack the group close to them.
He prepared himself and then gave the signal, a short low whistle, and at the same time jumped his enemy.
The men looked up to see where the sound came from and only saw Logan’s Boot coming for his head, he didn’t see the rapier following it, or anything else for that matter.
The fight was over in a second, only the man on the port side had nearly managed to brake the hold his attackers had on him, only to be silenced by a thrown Knife, that Georgia, Logan’s Paymaster had thrown, after Climbing the Port side of the ship.
Logan quickly motioned for the signal to the boats being given and then called his men together.
„ People we are lucky today, this is not one of the Pirate Vessels, it’s a Vendel ship they somehow managed to capture, and it seems some of the crew are still aboard, search the lower decks as soon as the others are here, but be quit, sound carries far here, and we wouldn’t want to raise suspicion to early would we?“
A few Minutes later Alonzo Vincente returned from the lower Decks, with three men in Vendel Clothing in tow.
„Captain, this men is the captain of this ship, the other two are his officers.“
„Thank you Mr. Vincente“
„Greetings Sirs, my name is Richard Logan, Captain of the Donna Bianca, with whom do I have the pleasure?“
„My Name is Harold Magnus, Captain of this Ship, and these are my Officers, Ingwald Svenson, and Olaf Cole, we hear you are here to fight the pirates?“
„Yes, we are, where is your Crew?
„Nearly half of them joined the Pirates, the Scum couldn’t wait, Mr. Svenson told me the rest are being held on the Island, in that Stone Building over there, close to the beach.“
Logan looked over to the Coast, and the buildings that he could see in the shine of the bonfire.
„You mean the one on the left?“
„Yes, that’s the one:“
„How many of your Crew are there, and is there anyone else still aboard?“
„There should be about a hundred of our men there, the only ones still here are the Eisen.“
Edelbert, who had just joined the group looked up at the mentioning of his Countrymen.
„Yes a band of Mercenaries I hired to protect my ship, much good it did me with the ship unable to manoeuvre.“
„ And where are they now?“
„ In the forward hold, the Pirates wanted them separate from my Crew.“
„I’ll look into it, if You’ll excuse me, Logan , Gentlemen?“
„Sure, look into it, Captain Magnus, will you send one of your Officers to show my comrade the way?“
- – -
With that Edelbert left and made his way into the bowels of the Ship, accompanied by the Olaf Cole, they soon reached a door in the front part of the lower deck.
“Here it is Sir, I don’t have the key, the pirates have it.“
„I assumed so Mr. Cole:, stand aside.“
Edelbert knocked on the door and called out in Eisen.
„Stand back everybody, we are going to get you out of there now, and I don’t expect to be attacked once I come in, otherwise the one doing it will get himself a bloody nose, understood?“
Without waiting for a reply he drew his Broadsword, and rammed it between the Door and the Chain holding down the bar, and then, with one mighty heave he broke the chain.
He Sheathed his Sword, and then lifted the bar and opened the Door.
Inside there were a number of men in Uniform, looking somewhat dishevelled after being locked up for three days, at first they seemed ready to spring Edelbert, but only a moment passed before they recognized his Dracheneisen Armor, immediately a man stepped forward, and with a slight bow he saluted Edelbert.
„My Lord, we thank you for our rescue, my name is Karl Meisner, and those are my men the Golden Fists“.
„Are you ready for action men, there are still Pirates out there and you can show your gratitude by helping us to defeat them.“
„Gladly Sir, all we need are some Weapons, although we’ll fight without them if necessary, we’ll look around, maybe some of our stuff is still here, hey you Vendel, get me to that secret compartment of Yours, I bet you didn’t show that to those Pirates.“
The men began to move, nodding in respect to Edelbert as they moved by, he himself returned to the main Deck, where Logan was waiting for him.
„And what do you think Edelbert?“
„We might have found ourselves a real Fighting Force there, 30 men, all trained soldiers if I’m not mistaken“
„We could use that, the Signal has been given, the Bianca should be here in less then half an hour, the men are working on the Guns already.“
„Good, with those Eisen we might be able to free the Vendel sailors, that might be enough to turn the table in our favour.“
„My thinking exactly“
A few minutes later the Eisen came up to the deck, all of them now armed with Broadswords, Golden painted Panzerhands and Muskets.. Their Leader marched up to the Group of Officers standing near the Quarterdeck, he gave an short nod to Edelbert and Logan and then turned to captain Magnus, he looked him straight in the Eye and then struck him across the face.
„Our contract with you is over, we don’t work for men who lock us up before we even see the enemy, just be glad you didn’t tell those Pirates where our replacement Weapons were kept“
He turned to Edelbert and saluted.
„My Lord, my men and I would be glad to enter your Service, we are ready to get back at those Pirates.“
“Terms to be negotiated after I see you in action, well that’s acceptable.“
„Thank you Sir“
Only Minutes later Logan and Edelbert along with the Eisen where ready to use the boats to get to the Island and take the fight there, they waited until the lookout reported the Bianca about to enter the harbour and then began to row ashore, when they where halfway there the Mayhem started.
- – -
Aboard the Donna Bianca Shawn Byrne watched the entrance to the harbour pass, he could now see the look on the face of the men aboard the enemy frigate, one of whom had just looked dup and seen them, in that very Moment the cannons aboard the Vendel Warship fired a full Broadside into the Sloop in the middle of the harbour, immediately clouds of smoke began to fill the small harbour.
Byrne saw his men take down the rest of the sails and then scramble down the Rigging and into the waiting Gun Deck, only 5 men remained on the Main deck with him, crewing the only boarding cannon the Donna Bianca had, and just now firing it out over the Enemy Foredeck, sending the pirates there into a run.
The Bianca began to pass the Pirate Vessel and immediately her Guns began a rolling Broadside, timed exactly with the Movement of the Ship, so that the shots all hit a rather small section of the Rose’s bow, tearing a large hole into the enemy Gun deck.
The Bianca came to a halt directly across the Rose, and now her Port cannons fired, delivering a full Broadside into the already damaged Sloop.
By now the smoke in the harbour was so thick that visibility was impaired, he could only hear the Warships Guns beginning to fire again, now one after the other.
He looked out to the enemy ship, and had to dive for cover as he saw Jean Marie du Lac, the Pirate Captain, stepping out of a Porté hole, closely followed by some of his men, and aiming a gun at his head.
- – -
Logan and his men reached the shore across from the Prison building, he took Hein and 10 of the Eisen and ran for the door, while Edelbert and Meisner organized the other 20 into a line of Battle keeping the Pirates from the Doors of the prison.
Logan ran through the door coming face to face with an astonished Pirate and cut him down, then he rolled for cover as the other 4 occupants of the room trained their guns on him, he heard a curse in Eisen, and then Hein and the Mercenaries where on the Pirates, it only took seconds.
Immediately afterward Hein and 5 of the men ran up the stairs to the second level, intending to get to the cannons on the roof.
Logan himself had two of the Eisen watch the door while he and the others began to search the Pirates for the Prison keys.
- – -
Edelbert looked to his left and right, seeing the precision of his countrymen, as they formed a line of battle, but he had to focus his intention on the enemy, for now the Pirates came running for them en Masse´, the first where taken out by a volley of musket shots, but he knew there wouldn’t be time for a second volley, grimly he strengthened the grip on his Zweihander, hearing twenty broadswords being drawn in unison.
„Let them come“ he thought.
And they came.
- – -
Byrne came to his feet and watched as more and more Pirates appeared through the bloody hole in reality the Montaigne was still holding open, he cried orders to his men to aim the boarding cannon at the men, but before he was through they already fired, but they only hit some of the Pirates as du Lac ducked behind some of his men.
„Damn there are to many of them, Angel fire those Guns“ he thought.
He could see the Gun ports of the Rose opening, just as the Bianca began to fire again, one of the shots tore right into an opening Gun port, and he could hear the rumbling of a cannon freed of it’s ropes, but that was not enough to keep the rose from firing back, the world exploded into splinters as a shot hit immediately below him, and he could feel the blood running down his arm and face.
- – -
Hein ran up the stairs, closely followed by his men, only to suddenly be confronted by a men pointing two pistols straight at him, he leaped, hoping to avoid the shots, but was to late, as he struck the man down with his axe, he could feel the burning pain of a hit in his side.
He fell over the dead Pirate and his men scrambled over him and engaged the remaining pirates, when he got to his feet one of his men was lying on the ground, holding his side, but the Pirates where all down.
He got to his feet and looked around, trying to figure out what to do next, his men turned to him and waited for new orders when suddenly a loud thundering noise was to be heard from above.
Hein looked around, still not quite sure what was going on, when one of the soldiers pointed to a ladder in the far corner of the roof, “ Sir, there must be a cannon up there, we have to take it out!”
Hein looked at him slightly puzzled, the soldiers beginning to get restless “Sir, the roof?”
Hein slowly nodded, he began to understand now,
„The roof? The roof, yes . To the roof!“
- – -
Down on the Battlefield Edelbert heard a cannon going off overhead, but could not really divert his attention from the men he was fighting, they just kept on coming, and he had seen at least one of his men fall. Grimly he fought on.
„ Hurry Logan, free those men, we need them here“. He said to himself as he ducked another blow and immediately pressed forward again swinging his mighty Zweihander.
- – -
Logan had just found the keys, and began to unlock the cells, shouting to the men inside to get outside, grab a weapon from a fallen pirate and fight.
“ Go you fools, fight them of or we are all going down, now hurry!”
The Vendel Sailors eagerly rushed out, new hope and determination in their eyes.
„That were all Sir“, one of the Eisen told him, when he turned away from the last cell.
„Good two of you look what’s happening above, the others follow me, there is a Battle going on out there“.
With that he drew his rapier and with a laugh ran for the door to join the fighting outside.
- – -
Byrne saw the sails of the Rosé beginning to rise, already the ship had begun to move.
„Damn they are going to get away again“ he thought, he drew his Pistol and aimed, hoping to yet get du Lac, but the shot went wide, due to his injuries.
The two ships traded one last broadside, and then the Rosé was out of reached, already Sails where up almost completely, and the Bianca was in no condition to follow.
„I’m just glad they didn’t decide to board us“ he thought.
- – -
When Hein reached the roof where he saw the two large cannons placed there, one pointing at sea, and the other just being moved to point at the battlefield below.
Hein stared for a moment and watched the Gun Crew working feverishly to reload and move the big cannon all at once, behind him his men scrambled up the ladder.
One of them tapped his shoulder “Sir, the cannon?”
He looked at the man and then back at the cannon, it was nearly in place and it also seemed as if it was loaded now, just then one of the men working on it looked up and saw Hein and his men, he shouted a warning, and this roused the big Eisen to action.
He roared and charged, the poorly armed Gun Crews where no match for him and his men, and only seconds later he leaned on the Gun pointing into the Village when one of the soldiers asked him
„Now that they have moved this thing so conveniently for us Sir , what do you say we use it?“
- – -
When Logan and his men joined the Fighting outside the tide of the battle had already turned, the Eisen where slowly advancing, their ranks bolstered by the Vendel Sailors, just then the cannon on the roof fired again, but this time right into the Pirates, that broke their Morale completely, and the survivors surrendered.
- – -
As the morning sun slowly rose over the harbour, Logan and Byrne stood on the Quarterdeck of the Donna Bianca , both men looked out over the wreckage that the Battle of the previous night had left, the Sloop was so badly damaged, it was unclear if she was salvageable, the Vendel Ship lacked it’s Bowsprit, which the only shot from the land based cannon had torn off, and the Bianca, while still seaworthy was once again in dire need of repairs.
„It’s a shame the Rose escaped, Sir“
„Yes, but at least we have the Gold, it’s good they had already transferred it to the Vendel Ship, and I have a feeling we will meet that Montaigne again“
„You’re probably right, I’d much rather do it after we managed to find the reason for these accidents though, without that we might have gotten him, this time the spare shots for the boarding cannon just rolled straight into the path of an incoming shot, the explosion nearly tore off my arm, and we lost two of our men.“
„Maybe, but I have a feeling that won’t be easy either, but right now, go down there and join the men, you’ve earned it.!“
„Thank you Sir, it’s been a long night.“
„Yes, a long night“