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Walk The Prank [Closed]

Isabela

Prominent member
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
60
#1
[[OOC: 4th Bloomingtide, morning, somewhere in the Waking Sea]] Celeste Monroe

It was good to be alive.

It was a thought that Isabela had entertained at least once a day since she had finally managed to procure a ship worth of living up to the name of Siren’s Call, and even more frequently since she had started to develop the fleet. It had started with capturing one ship that was just too pretty to sink after they had relieved it of its wares, and with the crew of it mightily sick of not getting a decent share of pay, it hadn’t taken much to make them swear to her command. And with two ships it was even easier to capture a third, and easier still to capture a fourth. When they’d got number six, Isabela had filched the captain’s hat and coat after a pitched battle that had left the former owner only fit for shark chum. After she’d got the blood out of both, it had been quite pretty, and sat on her well.

She was a Maker-damn admiral now, and when the odd dark thought floated across her head – what Hawke might be up to these days, was Varric okay, memories of ten long sodding years in Kirkwall with only the odd sniff of the sea – it was easy to beat back just by standing up at the helm and gazing out over the splendid deck to the horizon beyond.

The fleet didn’t always travel close together, as that would draw too much attention, and today even the nearest one had disappeared over the horizon a few hours previously. Likely they had spotted a ripe prize somewhere and gone haring after it. Isabela was happy to allow her sailors that leniency, as long as they brought back a juicy portion of the spoils. For the moment she was considering a course towards Wycombe, to offload some of the bounty from the last haul, but they were still running a little light, and it wouldn’t go amiss if they ran into something else on the way.

So the call from the crow’s nest, that a ship had been spotted to the east, was welcome. Isabela pulled a small but powerful brass telescope (another gift from a surrendering captain) from her pocket, and scanned the horizon.

When she saw the shape of the ship in question, she grinned.

“Are we going after her, Admiral?” Her bo’sun, a dwarf with a voice that seemed to have burbled up from a bog, was hovering by her elbow. As wide as he was tall, he was also an astonishing acrobat on the rigging and more than one attacking sailor’s last sight had been Rukhor descending on them.

“She’s a friend.” It was the Wicked Grace, all right; no mistaking those lines. Rukhor shrugged and turned away, when Isabela pinched his jacket. “So we’re going to have some fun.”

Most of her crew had a sense of humour, and even those who didn’t weren’t going to speak out against Isabela playing a prank on a friend. She directed the Siren’s Call towards the Grace, and then went up in the rigging, positioned so the sails hid her from view. “Here we go!”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
243
#2
“Ship off the starboard bow!”

Celeste shaded her eyes with one hand, squinting against the sun reflecting off the water. The seas were choppy, so she’d only just put eyes on the distant sails when Bailey called down again from the crow’s nest:

“She’s turning toward us!”

“Shit.” It might be coincidence. It might be that they were low on food or supplies and looking for help. It might be that they were a floating Chantry looking to make converts. But in general, having another ship on an intercept course with yours was not a good sign.

“What is it, Cap’n?” Charlie stood at her elbow, watching everything she did. Barely a week on board, she was still green enough to be more of a hindrance than a help on deck, but she practiced her knots every night, scrubbed pots in the galley after each meal and emptied the thunder mugs every morning without complaint. It was the first time that the Wicked Grace had had a cabin girl, but so far, Celeste wasn’t regretting the decision to keep her on after finding out that she’d lied about being a boy to get taken on.

Celeste didn’t answer, pulling the spyglass from a pocket in her vest and focusing in on the ship. Three masts under full sail, not low enough in the water to be weighted down, she was closing the distance between them rapidly, and … yes, that was a fucking black flag that had just been hoisted.

“Get below deck,” she told Charlie tersely, pocketing the glass and looking up at the sails.

“But Cap’n -”

“That’s an order!” she snapped without looking around, and that was enough. She’d let the lie go, but the rest of the terms remained unchanged, and were the same as they’d been for every other urchin that had been taken on over the years: follow orders or get ashore. Some had obeyed, some hadn’t, but to date, they hadn’t had to bury any cabin boys at sea because they hadn’t followed orders, and Celeste didn’t intend to break that tradition for a cabin girl.

“Torgun, all hands!” she called out, and a second later, the bo’sun’s whistle pierced the air, blasting out the signal that brought every able-bodied member of the crew on deck - which meant all of them, as even Stubby could set himself in a chair and wield a crossbow.

“Pirate ship coming up from starboard,” she told them, and all eyes turned to where the sails were just becoming visible from deck.

“Just one?” Dax wanted to know.

“Just one,” Bailey confirmed as he slid down the rope from the crow’s nest, and Dax’s lip curled in a predatory grin, knowing what Celeste was going to say.

“We fight,” she confirmed. Weighted down with a load of Nevarran steel and with the wind against them, they weren’t going to be outrunning anyone, and unlike most of the sitting ducks on the Waking Sea these days, the Wicked Grace was more than capable of defending herself, at least from a single ship. The wolfpacks they’d heard reports of were another matter; that would require them to dump the cargo and run. Without the steel, the Grace could leave just about any other ship her size or bigger trailing in her wake. But the Inquisition had need of the metal to forge weapons and armor for its growing forces, and since they were the only ones trying to fix the tits-up state of the world right now, she made sure they got what they needed. They paid pretty well, too.

As the crew scattered to grab weapons and armor, Celeste spun the wheel until her ship’s bow was pointed directly at the pirate ship, wishing she’d given in to the impulse to put a ramming spar on the prow. Maybe next time they were in port.

“Let’s dance, fuckers,” she muttered as the sails of the other ship grew clearer across the waves. The black flag was intended to strike terror into the hearts of sailors, but after four months of fighting demons, pirates barely qualified as an annoyance.
 

Isabela

Prominent member
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
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60
#3
Isabela’s formal education hadn’t begun before Luis bought her, but her learning had begun at her mother’s knee. And she had learned that whether putting on a show as a distraction or staging a con, timing was everything, and it was no less true of pulling a prank.

Particularly when this all had the chance to go pear-shaped quite spectacularly. All it would take was one of Celeste’s crew firing at hers and hitting their mark, and she could forget about amusing herself and instead concentrate on trying to prevent a bloodbath. At least all her guys were in on the joke. Quite a few had met Celeste and her crew before, and no doubt were looking up to making up for some gambling losses with this.

As they came closer to the Wicked Grace, Isabela’s crew moved away from the rails, positioning themselves behind the various crates scattered around the deck which were used to give the impression that they were a merchant vessel from a distance. O’Malley, her first mate, had taken on steering duties, and was guiding them closer with careful ease. Isabela, obscured by the billowing sails, caught only brief glimpses of the Wicked Grace’s crew through the canvas, but what she did see made her grin.

Everyone looked so damn serious! Celeste was probably justified in giving her a punch for this, but was it ever worth it.

At a signal, grappling hooks were fired towards the Grace, aimed to only curl around the rails and not bury themselves into the wood. Isabela liked to avoid damaging ships unless it was life or death. Even if there was nothing worth much on board, the vessel itself could be a prize, and that practice now meant that Celeste wouldn’t be running her through for doing the same to her ship.

As the vessels closed together, Isabela indulged in her flair for the dramatic. A few tapers were stuck beneath the hat, and now she lit them; with a gesture to her crew, she indicated that the sail obscuring her from the others below be pulled back to reveal her, and she bellowed at their ‘victims’.

“All right, you swabs! Surrender all your booze and booty to me!”

The cross-beams were close enough that she could leap from one to the other; knowing the Wicked Grace as well as she did, she knew just which rope to grab that would allow her to descend to deck level. She did so, coat billowing, and landed in front of Celeste, grinning. “Or just booty would do, but if you don’t have booze on this ship, your name isn’t Celeste Monroe.”
 

Celeste Monroe

Shenaniginstigator In Chief
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
243
#4
The other ship was closing fast, and Celeste could feel anticipation dancing along her nerves as she gripped the wheel. For months now, they’d been fighting demons, blood mages, renegade templars. And truth be told, these days, she liked fighting … maybe too much. More than pranking assholes and prigs, which was definitely a first. When she was fighting, it gave her a place to put the frustration and anger and left no time for the fears that haunted her in the quiet watches of the night.

So yeah, maybe they were going to fight when they maybe could have run, but if this bunch thought they had stumbled on easy pickings, they would be in for a nasty surprise. Compared to what they'd gotten used to battling, pirates would be a breeze. She could see them on deck now, crouching behind crates and barrels, and she eyed the sails, weighing the risks of a flaming crossbow bolt or three, but flames like that could get out of control too easily, and they were already closing to boarding distance. Grappling hooks sailing across the narrowing expanse and tightening on the rails, drawing the two ships together.

“Get ready!” she roared. She could see Stubby propped up in the galley with his crossbow; Gid with his ginormous, hull-crushing maul; the rest of them similarly poised to pounce as soon as the first attacker boarded. Celeste secured the wheel and stepped away, hands dropping to her daggers.

“All right, you swabs! Surrender all your booze and booty to me!”

Celeste stopped, staring upward as the mainsail furled to reveal a very familiar set of curves beneath a grand looking hat, smoke from lit tapers swirling around as the form leaped nimbly from one yardarm to the next and caught a line.

Son of a -

“Hold fire!” Celeste shouted, just in case any of the others hadn’t recognized this fucking lunatic.

“Or just booty would do,” Isabela announced, landing on the bridge with a stylish flair of her admiral’s coat and a very self satisfied grin on her face, “but if you don’t have booze on this ship, your name isn’t Celeste Monroe.”

“You fucking bitch!” Celeste strode forward, grabbing the pirate and kissing her hard.

Then she punched her.

Hard.

“Get those fucking hooks off my rails, O’Malley,” she bellowed, spinning toward the Siren’s Call, “and if I find one scratch, I’ll be using your ballsack to polish them out!” With him still attached.

“Aye-aye, cap’n,” Bela’s first mate called back with his own version of his captain’s shit-eating grin. Tensions evaporated and catcalls flew back and forth between the ships as everyone emerged from cover and set about securing the two ships together in a way that wouldn't damage the woodwork.

Celeste turned back to her friend, relief getting caught up in the surging adrenaline that was still spoiling for a fight. “You know how close you came to getting shot?” she demanded. “Or getting your sodding sails set on fire?” But the smile was winning out and the urge to fight subsiding; friendly faces were in short supply these days.
 

Isabela

Prominent member
Canon Character
DAO/DA2 Timeline
Posts
60
#5
Everybody ran around on the deck of the Wicked Grace as she descended, fast enough that none of them could draw a bead on her. The look on Celeste’s face as she landed in front of her was worth every second of the wait, and Isabela topped off her arrival with a swirling bow.

“You fucking bitch!”

“Ooh, foreplay already?” Successfully riled up, Celeste grabbed her and kissed her; Isabela surrendered no dominance at all, and they might have dragged each other to the deck right there if Celeste hadn’t pulled away enough that Isabela was able to see the punch coming. She turned her head to catch it on the cheek; still smarted like buggery, but didn’t knock her out. She could take her licks but she didn’t want anybody on either crew to actually see her chew dirt. Planking. Whatever.

“And return volley on the fucking bitch, dear. I almost got a tiny little bruise there! Maybe you should work on your fighting some more.”

Both crews had started to cross the rails to each other; most of the veterans knew each other well and the old hands were comforting the newer folks who were startled to see their Admiral take a punch and not immediately throw the other person overboard to the sharks. Isabela grinned as she saw Gid loom into view. Living proof that not all qunari – Vashoth – whatever – were stone-faced bores, she’d climbed him like a tree on a few occasions and thoroughly enjoyed herself. Although it had to be said, not as much as she did Celeste.

Who was still pouting at her, a bit. “You know how close you came to getting shot? Or getting your sodding sails set on fire?”

“Oh, I know, darling, it was a big risk. But absolutely worth it for the look on your face.” Celeste was smiling now, which Isabela took to mean meant it was safe to draw her into a proper bear hug, pulling back suddenly as the smell of singing filled the air. Wetting her thumb and forefinger, she removed the tapers from her hair, and then pointed out the small ember smouldering at the collar of Celeste’s shirt. “I see you’re hot for me already.” She pinched it out before it could go any further, then grinned. Her face was almost hurting but she couldn’t help it, it was so damn good to see her. “So what do-gooder stuff are you up to these days? Not too much, I hope.”

She noticed, with a little surprise, that she couldn’t see Nicolette anywhere. It wouldn’t be surprising that she’d be sent below decks in anticipation of a fight, though. Maybe she was just being cautious about coming up again.
 
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