Kingsport was nice this time of year. Open-market vendors speckled the pier, shouting and competing for sells of their wares. Likewise, an assortment of aromas from neighboring food bazaars sifted through the air. The sound of rushing waves contributed to a calming effect even amongst the hustle and bustle. Near the shore, families and friends played amidst the surf. A bright and colorful beach ball flew aimlessly through the air and landed at the bare feet of a tattered middle-aged man. A young sandy haired kid ran forward to collect the ball. With a quick glance, his mother spotted the disheveled man standing near the ball. He wore torn pants and a dingy yellowing tank top. His feet were bare and his hands were wrapped in a grimy cloth like a fighter. His face was a dirt covered muss with matted grey sprinkled hair. “Timmy.” She cried. “Timmy, come back here.” The boy ignored her as boys sometimes do and continued to pursue his ball.
As little Timmy came within arms reach of the shabby man, the man bent over and picked up the ball. “Ahoy young Timmy…” the man said in a gruff, but friendly voice. “Timmy!” His mother cried as she began to run towards the pair. “Timmy Oliver, come away from that man now.” The shabby man took to one knee and smiled at the boy. “Timmy Oliver? That’s a nice name. My name is Roger. Is this your treasure?” He asked, pointing to the boy’s ball. The boy nodded and reached for it. “I’m a pirate.” Roger said when suddenly a tuft of sand sprayed into his eyes. He spit and coughed, clawing at his eyes. “Stay away from my son, you pervert!” the enraged mother said. Like a lioness protecting her cub, the mom pulled Timmy close by and eyed the shabby man reminiscent to a hawk as she backed away slowly. Immediately, anyone within earshot looked towards the debacle. Without hesitation, several young men rushed to the scene, “Is this man bothering you ma’am?”
“That man was…well, he was eyeing my son…don’t ever talk to my son again, you pervert!” Immediately, the young men surrounded Roger who was now stumbling from the sand, his eyes clear. Before he could fully compose himself, he was shoved to the ground again.
“You some kind of pedi’ man?”
“Damned homeless, somebody should do something.”
The threats became worse and the boys became ever more threatening, when a few lifeguards arrived with an armed cop. “That’ll be quite enough of that guys.” The officer proclaimed. The boys froze. “Hey, we were just getting rid of this perv.” One said. “Yeah man, you guys were over there playing Baywatch while this guy was about to have his way with some kid.” The cop looked at the shabby man, smiled and then turned back to the boys. “No boys. This here is Old Roger. He’s a good guy. A bit slow on the uptake you know, but a good guy. He never hurt anybody.” They all looked at Roger who was now trying rather clumsily to stab a butterfly that flitted by with a stick. “See boys, Old Roger thinks he’s a pirate.” Roger fell over in a heap into the sand.
“I am a pirate, Mr. Charles.” Old Roger returned childishly.
“See boys, he is a pirate. Why don’t you guys go back to your Frisbee catch game and let the grown-ups take care of poor Roger here. Without a response, but a few disgusted looks, the boys exited. “Come on Roger, let’s go get you something to eat.” Officer Charles said patting Roger’s back. Meanwhile, the lifeguards were close at hand lightening up the mood of Timmy and his mother. As Roger and the officer walked towards the marketplace eateries, the homeless, shabby man glowered as he heard Timmy’s distant laughter as he played with his ball. “Timmy had a treasure. I want a treasure.” Roger said to the officer as they entered the nearest restaurant. “I know Roger, but don’t you go taking other people’s treasure. Pirate or no – you got it.” Roger grinned widely and nodded in agreement. “Ok. Pirates’ honor.”
Out of the Abyss
Communication: superior (rank 2)
That night under the twinkling stars of a calm black night, Roger played in the sand in a humdrum manner. With a sigh he kicked the granules beneath his feet, rose and looked to the endless blackness of the sea. An amorous couple walked by him chuckling at romantic nothings. As the young man embraced his love, he likewise threw a bag of half ate fast-food to the homeless man. Roger frowned as the bag hit his feet. “Don’t throw me food. Roger is a pirate. Pirates take what they want.” Stepping on the food, he crept closer to the shoreline as if drawn forward by the Piper’s flute. The sound of the ocean breeze mixed casually with the drifting waves of the tide. Soon Roger’s whispered voice wafted into the air intermingling harmoniously. As if carried aloft by the very winds themselves, Roger’s soft voice grew with strength in the night sky.
For what seemed like hours, Roger continued his invocation tirelessly until finally like a knife sinking into flesh a gloom fell upon the shore. Immediately, as if every foul creature in the area became aware of the malevolent presence in the air; the backdrop became saturated in the sounds of bestial baying. Roger continued to whisper to the winds as the growing sense of dread persisted. If there were any man with eyes keen enough to pierce the mystical veil of immoral darkness, he would have seen it clearly. Casting sharp eyes upwards would’ve beholden him to an ominous spectacle indeed. For reaching into the uppermost cosmos, looming like a dire wraith over the sea was a chaotic spiraling tower of ill content. Like a mountain upon a plain, it hung over Old Roger awaiting his next move.
The Black Galleon
Vehicle: supreme (rank 3)
Although she was invisible to the naked eye, the Spire was quite clear to Old Roger. Her size was immense. Her underbelly was crusted with dirt and mire as if she were picked from the very Earth by some hand of a god. The soil seemingly rose forever until it met at a precipice somewhere high in the night sky. Roger could see tufts of green grass peeking from her edges. From her current distance, the rocky Spire that was the fortress of foreboding menace sat like a blackened sword piercing the heavens. Glowing, fluidic, ocher sludge leaked from her pores. Infrequently, it rolled and collected at the mass’s edge and dripped into the sea which fumed and hissed as if poisoned. Like every time Roger called the dark vessel for his adventures; his eyes became saucers of wonder at the sight of the Spire’s arrival. For in Roger’s heart, he was a pirate and this was Queen Anne’s Revenge. Thusly Roger dreamt nightly of sacking villages, wars on the high seas and pillaging for treasure. Like a Jinn of ill intent, the Spire answered to the kindred call of the pirate known as Old Roger. So there she stood having finally arrived like a leviathan from the depths lording over the dim seas behind her. For an intense moment of concentrated horror she paused upon a lofty summit, as if in inner-deliberation of her own eminence, then it shuddered like a wet dog, and — came down offering Roger entrance through a crumbled opening at its hull.
Bad meets Evil
Power Manipulation: supreme (rank 3)
- Ranged Attack
- Area Affect
- Super Area of Effect
A cold, damp smell of rotten Earth seeped from within the Spire. Distant sounds that would fill a stern man with dread echoed through the foyer. Oblivious, Roger waltzed forward unto his newly formed access with an eager grin. If any onlookers were to have seen him outside, it would’ve looked like a man disappearing into thin air. As he tripped and fumbled forward in the dark abode, he spoke aloud that he would “very much like some light.” Without delay, the murky pathway illuminated to his liking. In comparable manner, the slickened, mossy floor altered into a cobblestoned stairwell. Striding through casually, Roger touched the walls as he passed, describing his fantasy dreams of pirate ships from years past. As he did, the Spire bristled as if excited by the notions presented. Between the two there was seemingly much analogousness. The Spire began to slowly shift and dislodge with a threatening rumble that to Roger felt like a purr. The entire hull went from rock, root and Earth’s crust to a form similar to planks of wood. There were geometric shapes where natural aberration once reigned.
Externally, the Spire came apart like flaps of tapestry and strung themselves into ship’s masts and sails. Reliefs and rudimentary, yet traditional carvings aligned themselves in a gradually forming boat’s deck. Most alarming and coupled with a loud cracking noise; brass-like cannons bursts from the walls of the framework. The mouths of the cannons dripped the same such lava-like substance that leaked from the pores of the Spire’s previous incarnation. Upon the peak of the Spire’s topmost point was a crow’s nest – and on that crow’s nest flew a Jolly Roger. It was of a grizzly skull with horns and crossbones and an hourglass in its mouth. If any man were to ask the Pirate Rogers what the hourglass signified, he would’ve gladly told them. With a proud smile from his years of reading pirate themed comics, he would say that the hourglass signified “the little time you have left on this Earth, mate.” When it was all said and done, there she rose aloft into the night sky, a full-fledged flying pirate ship – a regular Flying Dutchman.
As Roger made his way up to the Captain’s quarters, he passed the familiar faces of the Children of Sayang that awaited him on the upper deck. A very well dressed blond man, bowed respectfully as Roger passed. “Your cape, cowl and hat, sir…” He said courteously. Old Roger took his favorite old cape he had found in the alley of a costume shop and an old theatre mask that was given to him by a one, Marshell Percy. The mask was that of a devil and it served as Roger’s pirate hat. “Where to today, my Captain?” Marshell queried with wickedness in his tone. Roger’s tone changed from his normal friendly, gruff to a harsh, clichéd pirate’s drawl. “Argh, to get back what’s rightfully mine! Treasure hunting we shall go!” Percy chuckled lightly and returned, “Good show.” As Roger began to sit, the Spire quickly prepared a makeshift throne appropriately suited with bones and skulls. Roger sat and was bestowed a flask of absinthe by a little emerald fairy. “Thank you. Now, onward ho!” He bellowed in his most authoritative voice. While the ship quickly plunged forward above the waters, the Children of Sayang laughed heartily at the opportunity for wanton chaos inspired by this childish mind.
Voyage of Doom
Creation: standard (rank 1)
- Ranged Attack
- Long Ranged Attack
- Area Affect
- Super Area of Effect
- Target Seeker
Excerpt from the Devil’s Night at Killian’s Crossing, the memoirs of Detective James Rhodes:
“Dear God, what evil has come down upon Killian’s Crossing tonight? As I sit here humbled in my own home by the sounds of booming cannons outside my door; I wonder how long before one of those terrible things finds me. With their fitting and howling, they came in the night like a bombardment during the Great Wars. Even now as I sit here peering out a basement window, I see them appearing and disappearing into the sky. It’s as if there is a portal to Hell in our very own skies.
Various men, women, beasts and things too unimaginable to describe tore into the streets at precisely twelve O’ clock midnight. I saw them with my very own eyes: there was a man-beast that flung leech-like creatures from its jaws, a young girl who walked through the madness casually as people clawed out their own eyes as she smiled carelessly, a smoky wraith that devoured anything in its path, the boy who caused the fires… Calls came in from all across the Crossings. It was like nothing we’ve ever seen before in this side of Khazan. This wasn’t Khazan Proper, there were no superheroes here – just ordinary men and women scared out of their wits. I was one of them. Taking to the streets, our squad cars and vans were immediately assaulted by explosions and detonations of every magnitude. The night sky…the night it looked like something from one of those war videos you see on Us-Tube during the war. The horror. Homes of friends that I had known for years were obliterated before my eyes. But this was not the worst of it. Several officers and civilians and even I briefly swore to glimpse a ship in the sky flickering between blasts. The most loathsome sight however was not the ship, but what was above it. In the sky not invisible but clear as the morning sun was a flag of skulls and crossbones, like that of a pirate’s ship. As it flapped in the wind, it seemed to laugh at our devastation.
The things those terrors did in this town. To the people, the women and even the children. It is unspeakable. So much death. So much destruction. Why? Why had I lived to witness it all? I would’ve given anything to have been taken quickly and benevolently from this Earth than to run through the night witnessing the horror of it all. So much death. So much…”
Officer Charles put down his book, chortled a bit and rose from his resting stop on the Kingsport strip. “Imagine that, a pirate ship attacking the suburbs…ridiculous.” He said aloud. “Urban myth is all.” He began to walk towards the beach to begin his rounds. In the distance, he spotted his old friend Roger playing with a large, colorful beach ball. Not again, Charles thought and began to walk towards him, when a loud splash at sea caught his and many others attention. Considering it a large fish, he ignored it and continued on. Seconds later, there was a scream. A lifeguard rushed to the water. Tourists parted as the lifeguard struggled to pull something to shore. More lifeguards made their way towards him. As he came closer to the beach, more screams were heard. Officer Charles had been rather far away, but was used to walking on the sandy beach and made good time. His eyes widened in repulsion at the sight. With gentle care a young, brave lifeguard pulled a bloated, sickening carcass to the shoreline. Several bystanders quickly became nauseated and did their work on the beach. Officer Charles’ eyes could not blink. He stared for what seemed like hours. The body was distorted, distended and grotesquely twisted, but he knew the face. It was the little boy he and Roger had an altercation with months ago on the beach. The boy who’s mother brought him to the beach one weekend every month. She stopped after that altercation. It was the boy with the beach ball. It was Timmy. Even more startling to his eyes was the ropes that bound the boy’s arms and legs, the wounds that covered his body and a missing hand. Officer Charles had read a few pirate themed books to a homeless man many times in the past. There were some parts that he left out of his tales – awful things. He knew what he saw, but wouldn’t believe it. His mouth hung dumbfounded as he surveyed the boy unflinchingly. It was plain that Little Timmy had been properly keelhauled.
Officer Charles’ mind raced as he remembered the young boy’s colorful beach ball; a beach ball that he had recently seen in the hands of…