Another spur of the moment idea. Sorry. No picture with this one. If you're curious, try to find the meaning of "Keela Sal".
by Bevie James
Episode One – Part I
The beacon on the Watchtower flashed continually. Like a cry in the night it repeated itself over and over again. And it was a cry. A cry for help. Once again, the city of Hamilton was in danger from marauders. Once again they were desperate to be saved.
Keela sat on the hilltop overlooking the bay which contained Hamilton, it’s port and the wealth it contained. In the distance she could see the sails of the Monte pirates on the sea. Their bright red dragon emblem announcing their coming with force.
Three ships. That would mean two to three hundred pirates. Difficult enough for the Hamilton defenders. But these were not just ordinary ships. These were Monte warships. That meant their best fighters would be aboard. They were after more than plunder, although they would not turn their noses at the wealth Hamilton had to offer. Probably, they were also after women. Their previous captives now too old to amuse. Or just plain dead.
Keely looked down into the town. Even from this great height she could see the people running to and fro, desperate to hide both themselves and their precious wealth. Shops were locked up. A lot of good that would do. Hadn’t these people ever heard of battering rams? No. Anything and everyone within a stone’s throw of the wharf was open to be taken, burned or killed. Women were being rushed to the base of the cliff which stood behind the town like a tall and useless sentry. There were caves down there. Perhaps they could survive long enough for help to come?
She shook her head. Perhaps. Perhaps not. It was just as a likely the townspeople would make a bargain with the pirates. Give up so many girls in exchange for not destroying the town completely. The lives of a few for the lives of many. They could always make more children. But a town? Hamilton must survive.
It was tempting to turn and walk back into the forest. Leave the people of Hamilton to their fate. After all, if they were going to establish a city of wealth along the coasts of the Crystal Sea, where pirate lands were as common as mosquitoes in marshland, then they should have bothered to establish an army. But there was no money in maintaining an army. Armies were expensive. Better to hire for help when it was needed. And so Hamilton had done. They had successfully fended off three major attacks by buying help from their neighbors. But this time they had miscalculated. They had waited too long and ignored the warning signs. Now it was too late.
Had it only been the town and its riches Keela would have left. But she thought of the girls, and how terrified they would be, and the lives they would be doomed to live once they fell into pirate hands. It was a life she knew from her past. It was a life no girl should have to live.
Sighing, she rose from her crouch and began making her way down toward the town. It was possible she could take out a ship from here. But that would drain her completely, leaving the town to face the two remaining vessels on its own. And with one ship gone they would not be in a bargaining mood.
Damn it! Why couldn’t pirates just content themselves with stealing treasure and killing a few worthless merchants? Why did they have to include children in their plundering? Keela Sal didn’t want to get involved. But she couldn’t forsake the girls.