Damien, first mate of Somborn's Strife, passed the spyglass back to Wilhelm, saying, "Cap'n, that may be the prettiest ship I have ever laid eyes on." At the sharp glance from the Captain, "Second to the Skies of Somborn, of course Cap'n," he hastily amended.
Taking the glass, Wilhelm said, "Yes, that may very well be the gaudiest ship I have seen since our beloved flagship was stolen in the night. I would kill the sentries had we not found their bodies floating near the shore three days later. If not for them, I would not be sailing this petty ship."
"Begging your pardon Cap'n, but a Postillionen class frigate can hardly be called "petty." Most captains would give their right..." Again a sharp glance from von Somborn, "eye-tooth, sir."
Pausing for a moment, Wilhelm says, "You may be right about that Damien. In any case, a ship with gold trim. Its like they are practically begging us to relieve them of their goods."
"No offense Cap'n, but that is a Mignone class Indiaman, and a rather well armed on at that. We are seriously out-gunned sir."
"And when has that ever stopped us before?"
"Well there was that one time off the coast of New Orlea..."
"Yes, well, we can't always be dwelling on the past now can we?"
"Yes, sir. Orders Cap'n?"
"The same as always. Charge them."
Turning to the crew, Damien bellows, "You heard the Captain, men! Full speed for the enemy! No need caution! We have the Captain's Luck!"
As the Somborn's Strife charges for the merchant, the enemy turns to starboard, bringing her port side battery to bare upon the smaller ship, poised to reduce the bow to so much pulp. Even so, the Somborn's Strife holds steady as it makes its way forward with all speed. The Indiaman unleashes a lethal barrage of metal. Fountains of water spring up all around the privateer, and yet... not a single one touches the frigate as it continues to barrel ahead. Another volley. This time one hits but fails to penetrate the reinforced hull of the, now laughing, Hessian's ship.
As the ships come to within a scant two hundred yards, Wilhelm gives the order, and the Somborn's Strife turns hard to port, prepared to go broadside to broadside with the much larger craft. Madness! Nonetheless, the Strife unleashes a resounding volley to the Indiaman, penetrating its armored hull in numerous locations. With this, some of the captain's fervor begins to take a hold upon the crew, who rush to reload the cannons. The battle swings clearly in favor of the smaller craft now. At this point, Wilhelm turns to Damien and nods.
With a wince, Damien turns and goes below deck. Within a minute, the most horrifying noises imaginable begin to emerge from below. Upon the other ship, a sailor begins to shout, "The cursed! The souls of the cursed have come for us!" while another cries, "Ghosts! It's a ghost ship. Flee for your souls!" In the resulting chaos, the crew flees to the long boats and abandons the once proud vessel.
Returning from below, Damien says to Wilhelm, "I keep telling you, sir: French-born Scotsmen cannot play the bagpipes properly. At this rate, there will be more stories of a red ghost ship than there will be of the Highland Confederacy. Begging the Cap'n's pardon."
Ignoring the remark, Wilhelm waits for the crew to finish securing the abandoned ship before jumping over to the bloodstained deck. Immediately upon boarding the Indiaman, he could smell that something was amiss. Rushing below deck to the hold of the ship, he stopped, aghast.
Turning to the panting Damien who had hurried to follow his captain, Wilhelm said,
"Damien. Why is the second most beautiful ship we have ever laid eyes upon FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH FISH?!?"
((Based on the true tale of Wilhelm von Somborn vs a lvl 45 Mignone MC Indiaman))