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2002: Dark Tides V
Note: This was originally posted on the short-lived uo-europa.com official page, rather than on uo.com.
The day after Grarg arrived at his stronghold to defend his hoard of treasure, the enemy came.
The first sign was a magical gate that opened nearby, just out of range of the cannons that lined the fortress walls. The gate sparkled blue in the early morning sunlight, and out of it strode a score of men clad in armour. Gates began lighting up the horizon, and with each came yet more people to join the gathering masses on the Nu’Jelm coastline. The clamour of horses and armour resounded across the rocky crags, sending flocks of sea-birds soaring.
Boats began arriving carrying yet more fighters, and before long a vast army of people from throughout the realm had gathered at the entrance to the stronghold. Shouting insults and challenges to the cowering pirates they strode forward, pushing toward the huge wooden gates. Those who carried axes swung their weapons, cutting and slicing through barricades as they went. The splintered walls began crumbling, and each time a large section collapsed the horde gave a mighty cheer.
Before long the gates had been destroyed, and most of the walls to either side lay in splinters. Men poured over, and the clash of weapons as they drove into the pirate army echoed around the bay.
The two armies hacked into each other, and before long the two previously organised sides were in disarray, men found it difficult to decipher between friend and foe. Such was the way in war; battles were often quickly reduced to a frenzy of confusion and blood. Those who hesitated were quickly slain.
It was clear the pirate horde was doomed. Most wrapped cloth around their heads, and before long groups of men wearing these garments were dotted scarcely in the fighting throng.
Then Grarg appeared.
He had been hiding in the basement of his stronghold, and waiting for the right moment to attack. He was followed by a dozen of his strongest men, but against the hundreds of their surviving enemy they stood no chance. Despite his age he wielded a sword as well as any man, and danced around the enemy hacking and slashing with precision. But Grarg knew he would die this day.
A crowd began to surround him, and the men viciously hacked him down. The blood spraying high into the air as the vile captain fell. A cheer boomed around Grarg’s base, and the noise was fuelled as the pirate’s standard was toppled into the frothing seas below.
After the battle the enemies’ corpses were piled high and burned, atop a funeral pyre made from the Buzzard’s decks. Folk had cried with joy as the ghastly vessel was hacked to pieces. It was fitting that the same vessel that had been the bringer of such death and despair should now rid the land of all traces of this pirate scourge.
Beneath the mountainous flames the survivors danced and sang long into the night.
The pirates had been vanquished, and Britannia was once again at peace.