UP: Napa Valley
I was walking to the Cats Lair Tavern in West Britain when I
looked up in surprise to see a billowing pillar of smoke coming from the docks. Being of a
somewhat curious nature, I cautiously approached to investigate and discovered a large
crowd gathered at the edge of the docks. They were trying to get a closer look at a
burning boat that had drifted into the harbor.
As I made my way closer I was greeted with a gruesome sight. Not
only was the boat aflame but it bore the signs of a bloody battle which the crew had
obviously lost. Two notes had been attached to the deck of the ship. Upon reading them I
learned that a group of pirates was responsible for this destruction. They had taken a
valuable cargo from the merchant ship and demanded that the merchant pay them 50,000 gold
for its return!!! The notes said that they would be waiting for the ransom at Buccaneers
Before I had even finished reading the note, many brave adventurers
were already making preparations to travel to Buccaneers Den. I was fortunate enough
to stumble into a kindly mage who gated me there. As I cautiously made my way through the
rough streets of Buccaneers Den, I heard a commotion nearby and went to investigate.
I could see that the pirates hideout had been located, but they had entrenched
themselves in a small building and were demanding the 50,000 gold in ransom.
Since the gold was not forthcoming, a battle soon erupted. The
pirates were more than a match for those that had found them, but fortunately
reinforcements arrived just in the nick of time. A horrible battle ensued, but still the
pirates were not defeated. At one point, a wealthy adventurer offered to pay the 50,000
gold to stop the bloodshed, but the pirates were enraged because of the attacks and now
demanded 75,000 gold. Their rage proved to be their undoing, for soon more reinforcements
arrived and the foul pirates were finally overcome.
Although the pirates were defeated, such occurrences cause me to
fear for the safety of all who journey upon the seas. I hope this does not signal dark
days ahead for the many merchants who rely upon the sea for their livelihood.
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Friday, January 8th 1999