The Corsairs Strike Back

Sir Jack stared at the men at work. They were assembling yet another repeating bolt thrower on the walls of the Sea Castle. This fortification was his responsibility as much as it was Ariakas’. He felt a weird sensation in his stomach at this thought. He was honoured to be the commander of the entire White Navy, but he also knew who would be blamed of the Navy was to make any mistakes – big or small. But then again – he should be the one to take the blame, Jack thought, power meaning responsibility and all.

He straightened his pose as he crossed his arms and shook the thoughts away. Lord Sunnycool had promoted Jack as commander of the White Navy only one month ago. The former commander – Admiral d’Babel had been killed in a dispute over a woman. How pathetic, Sir Jack thought, to die for a whore!

Indeed the Admiral had fallen in love with a prostitute from Spamith Village – Leonora - and they had a half-year-long relationship. Leonora moved to Ortin Port with d’Babel. But when Leonora got bored with the elderly yet wealthy Admiral, she found a much younger naval officer to spend the nights with. D’Babel was furious when he found out. He tried to have this young Lieutenant demoted and thrown out of the navy, but his actions were halted by High Marshal Andy, finding the reason for the demotion completely unjust – Leonora and the Admiral had never been married after all.
Because of this, the Admiral decided to deal with the lieutenant himself so that he could reclaim Leonora. He requested a formal duel with the lieutenant and as frightened as said officer was to fight a superior officer to the death, he accepted, being deeply in love with Leonora as well.
The duel was fought with swords. The lieutenant won the duel quickly and the admiral died of his wounds one day later.

Few in the Navy found the Admiral’s behaviour acceptable and a new leader of the Navy was found very quickly. Jack was the natural choice, being a strong willed man with experience at sea and strong loyalty to the Realm. He was known to be quite a sexist however, for which most women in the Realm despised him. Sir Jack did not care.
He decided to keep his knightly title, refusing the title of Admiral, as he did not want foreign visitors to confuse Jack with d’Babel. Formally his naval rank was still that of an Admiral however.

The Sea Castle had recently undergone some reinforcements. Sir Jack decided to redistribute the budget that his predecessor had established. Female sailors – mainly in the River Patrol were sacked and a few of the River Patrol vessels were sold to private contractors. The resources gained were used to reinforce the Sea Castle. As Sir Jack had told Ariakas: “The shore is our last line of defence and your first, Loremaster – either way it must be stronger than its current state!”

He was absolutely right, the Council of Mjolnir County decided.

Sir Jack was satisfied with his recent political victory and was happy to see this fortress stronger than ever before. The White Navy was not exactly famous for strength or courage and it was surprisingly small. Mostly, the vessels of the Navy were used to escort merchant ships to and from Weissland. An amphibious assault upon the Realm seemed impossible to almost everyone in the Realm. Only Lathaon’s kingdom had the resources and armed forces to accomplish such a feat and currently, the relations with Weissland were close and peaceful.
These facts made it impossible for Sir Jack to requisition more ships to the White Navy – the politicians refused to spend that much on something rather pointless. He had therefore decided to strengthen the Sea Castle at the very least. His ships might be too few to stop a full blown attack, but at least eventual attackers would not be allowed to set foot on Realmish soil.

Sir Jack walked away from the newly constructed bolt thrower and exited the Sea Castle, his bodyguards close around him. Jack believed in honour and glory, but his personal safety was still one of his highest priorities. As Sir Jack had told his inferior officers: “You are no good to the Realm if you are dead!”
Sir Jack believed most commanding officers in the White Realm military were too overzealous with the Code of Honour and Glory and the extreme patriotism. Staying realistic and cool was more important than saying time and time again how much he wants to die for his Realm.

Sir Jack stepped aboard his ship cruiser – Brave Hector – – the largest vessel in the whole fleet. The sailors quickly prepared for departure while the Admiral looked towards the open sea.

Recently, the Lord and members of the White Counsil had had a rather heated political discussion with representatives of the People’s Republic of Umbar. The name was ridiculous, Sir Jack felt, as everyone in the continent knew that Umbar was little more than a huge band of pirates and bandits. They had attempted to establish a so-called “Republic” on the Islands of Umbar – in the far eastern waters of the Sea of Strength. Now Umbar was ruled by Captain Rhodazz and his younger brother Jannick.
The debate had been rather pointless, Sir Jack found. The again – so were most political debates. The Lord and his loyal Counsil members had discussed political views with the “Corsairs” (nickname for the people of Umbar). The problems occurred when a member of the Counsil, namely Lord Videous, supported the Corsairs in their extremely different views.

Rhodazz and his brother were told to leave the Realm immediately by the Lord and so they did. The departure of their black ships had only happened two weeks ago and Sir Jack now led a small battle group, consisting of his cruiser, three destroyers and seven frigates on a patrol mission. The Counsil had deemed retaliation from the Corsairs unlikely. Sir Jack knew however that the Counsil properly judged that a standard enemy would not strike back. Sir Jack had seen them on the other hand. He had seen how viciously they kill for petty coins. He has seen how they hang traitors on their masts to scare others off. Jack knew these Corsairs were no standard enemies. Therefore, he had decided to keep a watch on the “eastern waters” of the Realm – just in case.

Brave Hector was flanked by the destroyers Gregorian and Sabretooth. More vessels now formed in around Sir Jack’s flagship and as the Sea Castle disappeared in the horizon, the battle group sailed in formation towards the borders of White Realm-controlled sea to the east.

As the cruiser sailed on, Jack once again thought about the White Navy. He was simply disappointed with the lack of emphasis on the Navy in the White Realm. The ships were few, the officers inexperienced and the crew members sub-par. Sir Jack had served for a year in the Weissland Armada and was astonished by their incredible ships and crew. Not to mention the sheer size of the fleet.
Nevertheless was he the commander of the White Navy and he had to have faith in his men and ships – whether they were perfect or not.

Sir Jack had ordered the frigate Infinite Hope to scout position a few miles ahead of the battle group. He doubted there would be any action after all, but as any good officer he took no chances. Many lives were in his hands after all.
In the morning, the following day, the battle group had reached its designated patrol position and the ships lay idle there for a while. The weather was clear, although the wind was against them. Sir Jack’s second-in-command Lieutenand Banks approached him, as he exited his quarters.
“Sir, the Leonora has drifted away from her designated formation spot. Orders, sir?”
Sir Jack frowned at the mention of the ship’s name. He still despised the former Admiral for naming a frigate after his love interest.
“Signal to Captain Anderson and tell him to get his ship in position!” Jack said with a steady, calm and commanding voice.
“Aye, sir!”
Sir Jack started a small conversation with another officer, inquiring about Brave Hector’s status, when Banks interrupted him:
“Sir, I am sorry to interrupt, but we have received an important signal from Infinite Hope.”
Sir Jack felt rather annoyed. Banks was a by-the-book officer, but he had little combat experience. Sir Jack would give his left thumb for a second-in-command who didn’t care that much about protocol, but who got straight to the point.
“And? What is it, Banks?” Sir Jack asked rather impatiently.
Banks was pale and trembled slightly as he spoke:
“S-sir, the Infinite Hope has visual contact with a hostile fleet.”
Sir Jack felt his heart beat a bit faster. He remained calm however; at least he forced himself to seem calm.
“What flag?”
“Umbar, s-sir! If the signals are to be trusted, the fleet’s size is around,” Banks swallowed before he said, trembling: “three dozen war vessels. ”
Sir Jack winced before he spoke:
“This is no diplomatic visit then! These Corsairs may be dumb and drunk, but their ships are heavily armed and their crew experienced and gruesome. We have no chance to win! I want full tactical retreat, Banks! The whole battle group!”
The lieutenant looked as if he was about to cry.
“Pull yourself together, man! We will be all right!” Sir Jack barked at the young officer. He would get a new second-in-command as soon as he got the chance – Banks was brilliant for handling everyday detail son the ship, but in a combat situation he was simply a coward.

There was no time to waste. They had to get back to Sea Castle and warn the forces stationed there and throughout the shore. Invasion was imminent and the miniscule fleet of the Realm was spread thin. As far as Jack remembered, only a dozen vessels were sail-and-combat-ready back at the harbours. The majority of the ships were escorting bloody merchants to Weissland.

The battle group turned about and started to sail towards the Realm. Panic flooded across the vessels, but the sailors were at least grateful that Sir Jack was not going to sacrifice them in a pointless bloodbath.
Jack had his communications officer order the destroyer Pregnant Lucy to lead the majority of the battle group ahead of Brave Hector, Gregorian and Sabretooth. If they were fast enough, the defenders might be prepared to meet the corsairs after all. At least on the shore.

As the eight-ship strong “forward group” sailed away, Jack finally saw the Corsair fleet himself. Black ships with blood-red flags and sails sailed full speed towards Jack, his cruiser and the White Realm. Sir Jack could not see the corsairs aboard the ships, but he had fought them before. They were grim and brutal to the core. What made matters worse; they were actually skilled swordsmen and sailors. The truth about the corsairs was that they were a formidable naval power, if united.
Mostly, small packs of corsair ships would prowl the seas and plunder occasional unescorted merchants or pillage small fishing villages. Jack had never seen such a large, united Corsair force before. He knew that Rhodazz had managed to create a cause for which to fight and to kill for – together. Whatever the dispute between the corsairs and the Lord had been, Jack knew that the dumb corsairs serving Rhodazz would believe anything he told them. Jack believed the proper word was “propaganda”.

“Well, now we have hundreds of these bloodthirsty bandits en route to the Realm! Whatever the reason, we have to stop them!” Sir Jack said to the man next to him. The lieutenant nodded and wiped off some sweat from his forehead.

Jack knew that all crewmen were nervous, scared or pissing their pants, but he knew that they would have to fight. This would be the first large assault on Realmish coast. He hoped that ever y defender on the Sea Castle or on the ships serving the White Realm would be ready for it.

***

Captain Veredi of the destroyer Crushing Blizzard was surprised when he saw eight war vessels of the White Navy show up on the horizon near dusk. Veredi and his ship were stationed in the Sea Castle harbour and his ship was currently undergoing minor repairs. As the vessels sailed closer, he recognized one of them to be Pregnant Lucy – the ugliest destroyer in the Navy according to most. He knew the destroyer was assigned to Sir Jack’s battle group, and knew that when the Brave Hector was not amongst the eight ships, it was a signal of trouble.
“Lieutenant Cole, get those carpenters away! Sir Jack’s battle group is returning at full speed ahead of schedule. Something is wrong. All hands on deck! We are sailing away!”

His men quickly followed his orders without questioning them. Veredi was an experienced officer and had the full respect of his crew.

The communications officer on Pregnant Lucy signalled following: “Prepare the docked ships for battle. An enemy fleet is en route – three dozen enemy vessels – corsair vessels.”

Veredi’s pipe fell from his hands. He quickly shouted to his inferiors to prepare the ship for combat as he saw the other docked war vessels prepare to leave docks. They had all seen the dreadful message.
“Men, three dozen enemy corsair ships are headed this way. Prepare for defensive combat action!”

In the following hour, the eight vessels that sailed ahead of Sir Jack’s cruiser and escort had regrouped around the Sea Castle, now forming a battle cluster with ten other vessels. Messengers on horseback had been sent across the whole seashore – preparing the soldiers and vessels alike for battle. A few privately owned combat vessels, belonging to a well-respected mercenary organization volunteered to help the Whtie Navy for the coming battle. The commanding officer on the ground was Eomer of Mjolnir, while Veredi received commanding responsibilities on the sea, until Brave Hector returned.

The passed hour had been hectic. Preparations across the whole shore had been initiated – especially around the Sea Castle, as it were the first place to hear of the dreadful news. Around ten thousand soldiers and volunteers prepared to meet the corsairs across the seashore. Civilians were encouraged to evacuate from the port cities and indeed many of them fled towards Thunderton and other heartland cities. Sir Eomer attempted to establish order within the defending ranks. He had been at the Sea Castle by mere chance and had 300 Mjolnir Soldiers with him. He quickly sent message for reinforcements from Thunderton and within three hours of Pregnant Lucy’s signal message, Loremaster Ariakas and around one thousand Mjolnir Knights had joined the hurried defences.

In the meantime, Veredi had assumed that the Corsairs would spread out and terrorise different points on the shoreline. He doubted they would have the guts to attack the vast fortress – at least not until they had seen it. Therefore, the other major ports were in danger and therefore he distributed the 21 gathered defending vessels between the main ports of the Sea Castle, Ortin and Port Village. Seven vessels at each. Veredi himself sailed to Ortin Port after appointing a leading ship in each defensive battle group – Pregnant Lucy at the Seacastle and a destroyer named Hammerhead at Port Village.

***

Torches were ablaze across the shore as Brave Hector appeared on the horizon at midnight. The moon shone clearly and Sir Jack hoped the men on the beaches and in the port cities as well as the men on the vessels were ready for the coming battle.
Signals were impossible during night, but Brave Hector could sail no faster. The Corsair fleet had almost caught up with the three fleeing vessels. The vicious men on board the black ships had fired off a wicked burning projectile from a ship borne-catapult only minutes ago, but it had splashed harmlessly in the water, about 100 feet from Sabretooth’s stern.

“Faster!” Sir Jack shouted to his scared men.

Two more burning rocks were fired at the retreating ships and one of them hit the rudder of the Sabretooth. The stern was ablaze as the terrified sailors attempted to put the fire out. The White Navy had nothing in their arsenal that even reminded of these ship-catapults. The Sabretooth clearly lost control, as Jack observed how the ship took a sharp turn to the starboard, sailing away from the fleeing ships and taking a perpendicular course relative to the corsair fleet. Jack was proud to see the men aboard the destroyer arm the ballistae and the sailors take out cutlasses and shields, ready for a fight. As Brave Hector sailed away from this imminent and doomed battle, the Corsair ships closed in on the Sabretooth as sharks around a lone man in the water. The destroyer launched two ballista bolts against the incoming Corsair ships. They both hit, but inflicted minor damage. About six ballista bolts, some of them ablaze hit the Sabretooth however, devastating two of the three masts and causing major hull breaches. The Sabretooth was on fire as it began its descent toward the bottom of the ocean. The Corsair fleet carried on, albeit slowed down by Sabretooth’s destruction. Sir jack closed his eyes, took off his hat and prayed for the men lost to these beasts of the seas. He was hoping on revenge, but it would have to wait. Sacrificing the Brave Hector would be idiotic. Sabretooth’s crew had bought them some time and the defending vessels might actually stand a chance if Jack was there to lead them.

As the Brave Hector and the Gregorian closed in on the shore of the White Realm, Sir Jack could see two things.

First of all, the defences around the Seacastle were fortified, with men on the ground and seven ships creating a blockade in the water. He was happy to see huge infantry forces on the ground and hoped that the ships had been distributed equally throughout the major ports.

As Jack’s cruiser sailed towards the Sea Castle, he could also see that the Corsair fleet split up in three, certainly going for the three major ports, hoping to inflict as much damage as possible, as many places as possible.

Jack had wondered what exactly the corsairs would do once they reached the Realm. They could perhaps defeat the naval blockades, but would suffer significant losses in the process and if they reached the shores, they would most likely be outnumbered by the defenders. Unless, Jack thought, they simply wanted to bombard the ports with whatever number of ships remained after the naval skirmishes.

***

Eomer had remained at the Sea Castle while Ariakas had ridden to the Port Village. Eomer saw the huge cruiser and its sole escort join forces with the already-stationed destroyers, frigates and corvettes, who formed a battle cluster in front of the Sea Castle. The repeating bolt throwers should be capable of destroying the majority of the dozen-strong attack group. As soon as they got in range, the Corsairs would feel the wrath of both the blockade vessels and the Sea Castle and the battle here would be over quick, Eomer thought. As the Corsair ship approached the effective range of the Castle weapons, however, they slowed down and turned about. “Cowards”, Eomer thought. The Corsair battle group split up in two disorganized and unequal groups and started to sail towards Port Village and Ortin respectively. It was hard to see in the moonlight, but the ships’ captains did not seem to know what to do and in the confusion, Sir Jack apparently launched an assault on the confused attacking force, Brave Hector leading the other eight ships on attack course. This would not enable the bolt throwers to fire, but perhaps they did not have to. Still, Eomer thought Jack’s plan was a bit too rash – a bit too foolish.

***

Jack had seen the group split up, as he had expected. The sight of the Sea Castle is indeed intimidating. Had they remained with the full strength of the fleet, they might have stood a chance, but not with this 12-ship group. Sir Jack was delighted to see that the fleet’s leader obviously was not present, as the ships broke formation and became completely disorganized as fear got the better of them. After fifteen minutes of utter confusion, some of the captains apparently realized that they should sail off and help their comrades at the other two ports. The confusion still remained however, and Sir Jack decided to strike upon the disorganized bunch of ships and quickly retreat, hoping that some hot-headed captains might follow – and come inside range of the repeating bolt throwers, which Eomer was in charge of.

The hit and run attack was initiated and eventually the Navy ships launched a total of 14 balista bolts upon the corsairs in the first volley. About ten or so hit the disorganized ships, a couple of them striking masts or breaching hulls of the enemy vessels.

Jack then ordered full retreat, as some of the Corsair ships got into attacking positions. One of their catapult projectiles barely missed Brave Hector, while a ballista bolt broke the mast of the frigate Inferno some of the Navy ships fired again, further damaging the still clumped and surprised Corsair ships. About seven corsair ships followed the retreating White Navy ships, firing blindly into the group. No hits as far as Jack could tell. As the seven ships prepared to fire again, four of the remaining five sailed north towards Port Village, while a single vessel drifted without course, apparently disabled.

***

Eomer realized the brilliant hit and run tactic and as soon as three of the seven corsair ships came into weapons range, Eomer ordered all bolt throwers to fire upon the attackers. These three ships managed to launch their projectiles upon some of the retreating ships and Eomer saw an unlucky frigate take three direct hits and go down. Revenge and retribution came swiftly however, as the bolt throwers devastated the attackers. Within fifteen minutes, two of the White Navy ships lay disabled, their masts or rudders destroyed by the angry corsairs, but after concentrated fire from both the bolt throwers on the walls and the defending White Navy ships, only one damaged Corsair ship managed to flee the massacre. Furious and yet victorious, the White Navy ships pursued the retreating vessel as well as the disabled one. As the gentlemen the naval officers and sailors were, however, they boarded the ships instead of destroying them and Eomer felt relieved as his stronghold had held. He hoped the other ones were just as fortunate.

Sir Jack immediately ordered his men to set course for Ortin Port, while ordering two other ships to pursue the corsairs going for Port Village. The remaining ships were either disabled, heavily damaged or took care of the two Corsair ships left near the Sea Castle.

***

Captain Veredi saw quickly that his decision to spread out the defensive forces was wise as a dozen Corsair ships approached his defence sector – Ortin Port. The port did not have any land-based defensive structures as the Sea Castle, so it would be up to Veredi’s Crushing Blizzard and the other six ships loyal to the White Realm, to halt the advance of these cruel pirates.

Veredi had ordered a tight blockade around the city, preferring to keep the city out of range for the corsairs. The ships mustered were not in best condition, and the armament of the mercenary frigate was slightly sub-par, but Veredi hoped that they could at least thin out the Corsair forces before they presumably started a bombardment or invasion of the city.

The corsair battle group formed an envelope formation, hoping to quickly finish off the defending ships. Veredi had little choice but to remain calm and hope that his men were up for this battle. Many were scared, but others felt the duty heavier than personal comfort and were ready to give their lives for the Realm. Veredi drew his sword and ordered the two ballistae on his ship to fire as a single corsair ship came within range. One of the bolts hit, inflicting some hull damage. Captain Veredi saw the other ships in the battle cluster mimic the Crushing Blizzard’s actions, but aiming was hard during the night, and Veredi could only confirm a single hit. Then came the corsairs’ volley and Veredi was petrified as he saw not only 20 balistae bolts, but also three burning rocks, shot from catapults, fly towards his battle cluster. Two ships sustained so heavy damage that they began to sink fast, while only the Infinite Hope was left unharmed. The Crushing Blizzard’s one ballista was completely destroyed, as was one of the masts. Three ships were on fire and many of the defending vessels had none or only malfunctioning ship-to-ship weaponry left. The first strike had been devastating, and as the sailors fought to remove water from the flooding decks, to put out fires or repair broken weaponry, the Corsairs closed in on the defenders and launched another devastating volley.

3 ships remained. Panic, water and fire covered all decks of the surviving ships. Veredi’s Crushing Blizzard was almost completely destroyed and he ordered all men to abandon the ship. There was nothing else to do. The ballistae were destroyed and the ship was sinking slowly. His men jumped out or used the few remaining boats to escape the wreckage. He made sure he was the last man on board before he too jumped into the last boat before it hit the cold water. The corsairs fired once more, completely destroying the remaining ships and Veredi only prayed that some of the crew members managed to survive.

A single Corsair ship had been sunk during the assault.

***

Sir Akatosh had been on visit in Ortin Castle, when he heard of the upcoming assault by the Corsairs. He rode off to Ortin Port as soon as he got the message and had helped muster the defences. He had observed the quick naval battle near Ortin Port, as the White Navy made a futile resistance against the more experienced corsairs and their better-armed and armoured ships.

The man in charge of the defences in Ortin had initially wanted to have all soldiers and volunteers wait for the corsairs at the docks, waiting for a melee fight with the bandits. Akatosh suggested, however, that if the defences were so evidently superior to the corsair’s land forces, the corsairs would not bother to leave the ships and would simply bombard the city from the security of the sea. Assuming tactical command of the defensive forces, Akatosh filled the storage cellars and warehouses near the harbour with the best and most experienced soldiers. There was room for about 800 men in these various hiding places. The dozen hundred volunteers on the other hand, hid further away – in the city’s park and nearby houses. It would be dark, making them hard to spot and they would be safe there, should the corsairs decide to bombard the port town anyways.

The city seemed completely evacuated, which should save it from extensive bombardment and would take the corsairs by surprise as soon as they hit the ground.

As the naval skirmish was over, the 11 corsair ships bombarded the obvious military structures – towers and barracks, thinking that any defensive troops would be there. After about one hour since first contact with Veredi’s cluster, the ships anchored at the docks, ready to pillage and steal what was left of value in this city.
Akatosh observed this from his warehouse and as soon as about 500 bandits gathered around the harbour, he ordered all of his 800 men to attack, the back-up forces of the volunteers following quickly thereafter.

The corsairs were taken completely by surprise and archery fire from the White Realm forces claimed around a dozen of them before vicious hand-to-hand fighting started on the docks, with Akatosh as the leader. Seeing their ambushed comrades, all remaining corsairs leapt from their ships and on to the harbour, wanting to fight back the sudden, surprising resistance.

As the bloody battle on the docks carried on, Brave Hector emerged and opened fire upon the unsuspecting and largely abandoned Corsair ships. There would be no mercy from Sir Jack. Akatosh saw how the corsairs fled to their ships, attempting to sail away. Many men had fallen on both sides, but the defenders had held the harbour. Brave Hector now caused even more chaos within the Corsairs, who had been taken back by the strong defenders and their numbers. As the melee ended and the corsairs fled to their ships, the defenders on the harbours picked up bows and used flaming arrows upon the fleeing ships, setting many of them ablaze as Brave Hector continued to thin out their numbers before the Corsairs could turn and use their weapons. Two corsair vessels fled the battle, and Sir Jack decided to let them run, thinking that the survivors on the ground and in the water would need his crew’s assistance to put out the fires in the city, caused by the flaming rocks from the corsair’s catapults.

Many brave men had died in the surrounding waters and on Ortin’s soil, but the White Realm had defended the city and victory was theirs.

***

The battle at Port Village was the last to be fought, as the Corsair group tasked with that target had experienced mutiny aboard one of the ships, which had slowed them considerably down. When the ships finally arrived, three ships that had been sent as reinforcements from the Sea Castle have already arrived at the defensive cluster near Port Village. Five additional vessels would help the defences, hailing from the River Patrol Service – these small ships had arrived from the Echoing River. It was dawn and the defenders near Port Village were ready to fight. The corsairs however, had heard of their defeat at the Sea Castle and Ortin (having established a powerful communications network using some enchanted items). The fleet’s leader, presumably Rohdazz felt the morale within his men was low and decided that enough had been lost in this attack. He did not want to risk another mutiny, knowing how his corsairs preferred not to answer to anyone but themselves. Pushing them too hard would probably backfire. Instead of engaging the defending ships near Port Village, he ordered two of the damaged ships abandoned except for essential crew. They were then covered in oil and set on fire. The few men on board would steer them against the defensive vessels, acting as huge suicide bombs. After this terrorist attack had been initiated, the surviving Corsair ships of their fleet set course for the Islands of Umbar, leaving the White Realm behind.

The burning ships terrified the men aboard the defending ships, but luckily, the vessels managed to sink the “bomb ships” before they did any damage to either the ships or the city. Unfortunately, one of the defending vessels hit some cliffs in its hurried retreat from the incoming burning ships. The crew survived, but the frigate was lost.

Ariakas had waited on one of the city’s towers, gaining an overview of the battle. The Loremaster did not like naval warfare – he did not understand it that well, so he was happy to see the corsairs leave. No more blood would be spilled because of them. He strongly condemned the cowardly attack with the flaming ships. It underlined the point the corsairs had made in the debate with the Lord.

Thinking of the Lord, Ariakas knew that Sunny would be furious, that he would demand retaliation and bring any traitors to justice. Such was this Realm’s leader – cool and intelligent, but highly emotional and hot-tempered at times too.

Ortin Port was severely damaged and it took half a year to rebuild the razed buildings. The White Navy had been crippled as well, but with assistance from Weissland, the shores of the Realm were kept safe. New ships were ordered to be built and the Sea Castle as well as the other ports was given extra fortifications. The aftermath of this Corsair conflict or Corsair War was that any corsairs were treated as hostiles by the White Realm from then on. Many citizens criticized the Realm’s leadership for the poor naval protection, but most of the debates were regarding extremist actions by both Lord Videous and Sir Davis. Both were punished severely by the Lord of the Realm following the conflict, causing much controversy around his decisions, while being considered just by the majority.

The Corsair War will remain a scar in the history of the White Realm, but also a monument to its military cunning. The victory on the shores may have claimed many Realmish lives, but it could have been far worse. A statue has been raised in Ortin Port – a statue of the cruiser Brave Hector – with the following inscription: “A monument to the White Navy’s biggest victory and yet biggest defeat – here on the last and yet the first line of defence!

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