21. Mermaid's Husband
This pirate has some sort of odd trinket he claims came from his mermaid wife. It is likely a ring of shell or some other trinket or bauble. Oddly, this pirate is able to stay underwater far longer than he should. The trinket gives him the ability to breath underwater so long as he is true to his aquatic wife.
Brown hair, brown eyes, a scar on one arm from a cutlass slash, he wears the plain clothes of a seaman-or for that mater, a pirate.
Edward Bailey never intended when he went to sea to forsake the law and become a pirate. At first everything seemed to be going well for him. A fisherman who spent long, dangerous hours out at sea, he was lucky enough to be one of the few to successfully escape when a De Madden Company press gang burst into his local inn. However, in the struggle one of those who escaped with him stabbed and killed a Company marine.
Knowing that the Company would consider him to be as guilty of the attack as the man whos hand wielded the knife, and not wanting to end up on the gallows for something he didnt do, he fled along the beach.
It was a stormy night, as it so often was on the world of Acqua. Edward heard, only barely above the crash of the waves, the screaming for help of what he thought was a damsel in desperate distress. Many, perhaps most men, rightly scared of the great waves that had dragged so many to their doom, would either have gone and got help, or left the girl to die. For Edward, an accused murderer on the run, going to get help was not an option, in case the law got involved and he was rescued and arrested. But neither was leaving a helpless girl to drown.
Risking his own life he ran into the ten foot high waves and managed, more through luck then anything else, to get to the girl and pull her away before she could be smashed against an outcrop of rocks. She and he between themselves managed to get to shore and it was then, when he touched her legs to check for injuries, that he felt cold scales instead.
The mermaid, who was named Pearl, told him that she had swam in to see the land from up close, being curious about it, and had been caught in a riptide. It was only his strength and her swimming skills that had enabled them both to escape alive. She gave him a ring from her finger and told him that it would keep him safe from the sea.
The next day, when the storm had abated, he carried her out deep enough for him to swim away, and she kissed him on the lips and begged him to come under the sea with her. The ring, she said, would let him breath and speak underwater. Though hesitant, he did so and found that she spoke the truth. The mermaid took him to meet her family, who were very pleased that he saved her life.
She told him that she wanted him to live with her, but he wanted to stay on land. She told him that as long as he was faithful to her, the ring's magic would continue. For a while they would meet on and off, and then he married her whilst remaining some of the time on land. He signed on as a sailor and promised her that the voyage would not last long. Unfortunately the captain of his vessel was a brutal man who maltreated the crew at every opportunity, until they snapped and committed murder and mutiny, both crimes carrying the death penalty.
Unable to return home, it was a short step from there to deciding to become pirates and pillaging over vessels, including even some of the smaller ships of the De Madden Company. Edward took pleasure in that because it was the De Madden Company that had turned him from an honest fisherman into a pirate. Whilst Edward robbed and on occasion murdered with the rest of them, he never committed rape, nor did he ever cheat on his mermaid wife with either a prostitute or with anyone else.
The other pirates thought him strange because he avoided women and privately wondered if he was homosexual, but because he was a good pirate and good with the cutlass they didnt bring it up in front of him.
His mermaid wife followed him and by night, after the loot was gathered in and fairly shared out, he would secretly whilst on watch drop the best pieces of his share, such as golden necklaces and golden coins over the side to her. Since gold was the only metal that does not rust in water, it was as valuable as a means of currency amongst the merpeople as it was amongst humans. Sometimes he would let down a ladder on calm nights and frolic with his wife and they would make love under the stars in the sea, before he kissed her goodbye and went back to his ship.
One day they came across two fast warships of the De Madden Company that splintered their mainmast with a volley of cannon fire, came alongside and boarded them. After fighting until it was clear that the ship would be taken, Edward jumped overboard to where his mermaid wife waited for him. He had a cut on his arm which attracted the sharks, and they barely managed to escape with their lives, spared only because dead bodies that were floating in the sea from the recent battle distracted most of the sharks.
When they got out of danger, Pearl gave him a choice, renounce piracy and live as a merman with her under the sea, as she disliked the danger he put himself in and wanted him to go straight and turn away from a life of crime, or leave her. He chose to stay with her and raise a family, and lives with her somewhere off the northern coast of Banhoesea to this day.
A ring of gold that gives him the ability to speak, breath, and live underwater, even in cold winter seas. If he ever cheats on his wife, it's powers will leave him.
If encountered before turning to a life of crime, he is an honest, plain speaking man. As a pirate, he makes a close loyal friend or a deadly fighter for those who are against him. As a full time merperson, he has become a bit suspicious of humans, thinking that they might be trying to extradite him to the land, to face trial as a pirate and executed on the gallows. He has a great dislike of the De Madden Company for, as he sees it, forcing him into crime.
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? Responses (8)
An interesting NPC with details that make him stand out from the run-of-the-mill pirate. Nicely done. Does Edward Bailey ever find himself yearning for his original home on dry land?
He does from time to time, but he loves his wife and children more then his old home.
Another character that has that 'tinge' of sadness about him. Well done.
(he's screwed if he ever cheats on her though)
If he cheats underwater, he'll drown.
An okay person, some polish would be nice. He could serve as the contact to the 'drylanders' for the merpeople, after they learned to trust him.
I really like this one - some of your most evocative writing Cheka!
I like the fact that there was a decently happy ending for Mr. Bailey.
A good sub, Cheka. You might want to check it for repetitions, along with a thesaurus (to loot it for synonyms) - any excuse to expand one's vocabulary is welcome.