Poppy took her Quartermaster duties seriously and became an even more critical role on the ship. She was in charge of a lot when Kalardash would take leave for a time or when he insisted he was too tired. This would cause Poppy to kick him, and sometimes she would sneak down into the ship and find some rats to hide in his room for him to find later. He hated rates, and it amused Poppy to no end.
They had been traveling for weeks and had found much in ways of treasure. Luckily, they had recently picked up a cleric turned pirate, so they were well cared for. Unlike some pirates, The Salty Dogs did not take to hurting the innocent. Mostly they procured things from places of hiding or took things as stealthy as possible from those that had too much in their opinion and wouldn’t miss it.
This is not to say that they avoided all fights. There was plenty of fighting. Mostly Poppy loved when they would find bandit camps with lots of money and slaves. She would free the slaves and hand them as much gold as they could carry, and send them on their way. Not believing in keeping people captive, Poppy did what she could to bring some light into a world she found to be too dark at times.
In the middle of the ocean, she laid on the edge of the ship, looking up at the sky. She was whistling and petting Amaranth, who was sitting beside her. One of the cabin boys went by with a bucket of water heading to clean Kalardash’s quarters, and he fell, and water went everywhere. She sat up and giggled, and he gave her a dirty look. Shrugging, she said, “Well, the deck needed to be washed off anyway.” She gave him a wink and went to lie back down when she heard overhead, “LAND!”
She was looking forward to being here; they always had great things wash up on the shores. She grabbed her rapier and a warm jacket as the wind was picking up. After docking, they were unloading their booty and taking it to be sold. Poppy knew she would have to wait until tomorrow to comb the beach, but she knew the morning was the best time to look anyways.
Kalardash came up beside her, “You are itching to get to the beach, aren’t you?”
Giggling, she asked, “How can you tell?”
He fussed her hair, “I know how much my girl loves the beach here.”
The following morning as she was getting ready to head towards the beach, Kalardash had asked to join her. Amaranth, Kalardash, and Poppy headed towards Poppy’s favorite spot. Talking along the way, Kalardash asked about her courting anyone, and she insisted she had no need. He decided to give her fatherly advice anyways. He told her to pick someone good enough for her and to never settle for less. Someone she can laugh with and will stick around in the hard times.
Poppy scoffed, “I don’t plan to leave The Salty Dogs. It is my home.” Kalardash shrugged his shoulders, “You never know, little one, you may change your mind someday. Follow your heart.”
Going along the beach, Poppy kicked her boots off and started walking along the water. Kalardash laughed, “You better be careful. The waves are as big as you are.” She laughed, “Well, I can always use a bath.” A big wave came and almost toppled her over about that time, and they both started laughing.
She came upon a pink stone in the shape of a heart and smiled. Poppy loved how sometimes the rocks spoke to her. After showing it to Kalardash, she placed it in the pouch attached to her belt, and they continued combing the beach. She picked out a few handfuls of shells and stones or pieces of smooth glass she wanted to give the crew when she returned.
They went on a ways, and Poppy heard Amaranth whine and his ears pick up. Looking along the coast, she didn’t see anything, and Kalardash looked as well. Poppy assumed that perhaps he smelled something on the wind that was on the other side of the bay. They continued on, but Amaranth just got more and more agitated as they went on.
They were coming up to a rock formation, and Amaranth wouldn’t budge. He stood there and started growling, looking towards it. Poppy looked over as an arrow came towards her, she tried to move out of the way in time, but it got her in the shoulder. Kalardash moved forward to block anymore, and Amaranth moved forward as men in all black came charging towards them.
Kalardash pulled his sword out and was ready as both he and Amaranth stood in front of Poppy. She looked at her shoulder and reached up and snapped the arrow off so that she did not have a large piece of wood sticking out of her body. Pulling out her rapier, she moved beside Amaranth as they came at them.
It was a whirl of bodies, blood, and chaos. Amaranth was a vicious fighter going for necks and inner thighs. He took down three men on his own right off the jump. There were four on Poppy who managed to take out two before Amaranth came to defend her. Looking over, she saw Kalardash was taking on 2 Half-Orcs and a human.
When she turned her head back, one of the men she was facing came at her and sliced open the side of her face with a dagger. She yelled, “Son of a bitch!” and as she stabbed him with her rapier, Amaranth jumped up and attached himself to his face. Backing up, she heard a crunch, and the man in front of her was silent and fell limp into the sand. They both turned on the last man attacking Poppy, and that was when she saw Kalardash fall.
He had taken out one of the Half-Orc’s but was being pummeled in the face by the remaining one. She saw one of his tusks land in the sand, and she screamed, running towards him. Amaranth kept the last man at bay while Poppy ran up the Half-Orc’s backstabbing him up his body until jamming her rapier into his throat. She backflipped off him as he fell to the ground, and she heard Amaranth yelp.
Leaving Kalardash in the sand with the waves lapping at his feet, she ran back to Amaranth, and she ran behind the man attacking Amaranth and sliced behind his knees. He fell forward, allowing Amaranth the opportunity to snap his neck. She saw he had been cut along his side, but it did not look deep and could patch him up in time.
Turning towards Kalardash again, she dropped to her knees beside him and held his hand. He was coughing, and she noticed there were four arrows in his chest, several stab wounds in his sides, and his face was swelling, and he was missing his tusk. He reached up and touched her face, “My sweet girl.” He gave a weak smile, and his hand dropped into the sand with a thud, and his eyes became lifeless.
Poppy couldn’t contain her grief and sobbed. Amaranth came and sat beside her as she screamed for him to come back. She stood up and went to the Half-Orc’s body that was last standing before her father, and she just started stabbing him over and over.
Walking back towards Kalardash’s body, she saw his tusk in the sand, and she picked it up, and she looked at it for a moment. Then she opened the pouch and stuck it inside. Standing by his body, she debated how to get him back and as the adrenalin faded, she started to feel how much pain she was in. Her face was throbbing, and she could taste the blood as some kept dripping in her mouth from her wound. She could also barely lift her arm due to the arrow still lodged in it.
Knowing she could not get Kalardash’s body back to The Salty Wench on her own, she crawled onto Amaranth’s back and, looking back at his body several times, as he took off at full speed towards the ship. She cried the whole way and was unsure how to tell the crew their beloved Captain was dead.
Upon arrival at the ship, the crew on deck saw her and knew immediately something was wrong. She looked at them with tears in her eyes, “Kalardash has been killed.” Several gasps were heard, while many were infuriated by this. They were ready to fight those that had done it.
There was no one to fight, and now it was important to find out who did this. Poppy was full of anger towards anyone that would harm him, and she needed answers. She ordered the men to get Kalardash’s body so he may have a proper Captain funeral, strip each of the men naked, bring all of their belongings to her, and leave the corpses to rot.
If there was anything to be found, Poppy knew it would be on these men. She needed all of the clues she could find in order to discover who these men were and why they came after them. Poppy was full of such rage she knew that anyone responsible, she would see die by her hand.
This is a backstory for a Dungeons & Dragons character I played