Preview Chapter: On Silver Tides

Since I’ve finished my previous novel, Bard of Dreams – my thoughts on which you can read on my older, now defunct blog, A Writer’s Ramble – I’ve started a new project called On Silver Tides. Partially, this is to try and build some name value, but also because I love writing. It’s one of my favourite things.

So On Silver Tides is going to be the first in a planned series of Light Novels. Sort of. I’m not sticking entirely to the type. For a start I can’t afford an illustrator and I’m crap at drawing.

But I digress. If you’re interested in a tale of high seas adventure in a new fantasy world, click below the cutoff.

“Load all main guns and chasers! Helm, get us into the wind!”

The freezing spray lashed across the captain’s face as he stared across the gulf of the ocean. The running lights of the chasing ship flickered through the murk of the storm.

“Captain?”

He turned to look at the woman who had emerged from his cabin onto the deck.

“I told you to wait inside.”

“You didn’t expect me to listen to you, did you?” She said, a hint of defiance in her voice.

“As a matter of fact, yes I did.”

“That’s a pity, isn’t it?”

He glared at her.

“I don’t care what you do islandside, but on this ship, I’m in charge.”

“Captain! Down!”

He grabbed her and hurled himself to the floor, dragging her with him. A valley of shot spun through the air above them, missing the sails by mere feet.

“They’re trying to kill us!” She said as they struggled back to their feet.

“No. That was a warning.”

The captain glanced back across the churning water, and watched as the enemy ship’s running lights began to change formation.

“Helm! She’s coming broad onto us! Hard to port and all sail on the masts!”

“She won’t hold together, cap’n!”

“She doesn’t have to!” He yelled.

He crouched as the gun ports along the side of the enemy galleon belched fire and smoke, sending a torrent of leaden death towards his vessel. He felt the ship shudder as the balls smashed into the stern, chiselling great chunks from the planks of the lower decks.

“We’re holed, captain!” The helmsman called.

The captain swore, and turned to the woman.

“Get your daughter. We need to get you off this ship.”

“You can’t!”

“I can’t outrun them, and I can’t outgun them. The best I can do is draw them off. We’ll put you over the side in a small boat. The great currents should take you to an island.”

“You’re going to abandon us?”

He reached out, and gently squeezed her hand.

“No, I’m trying to save you. Now go. That’s an order.”

He turned towards the helmsman.

“Keep her steady! We need to do this as smoothly as possible! Crew, ready the boat, no running lights! Pack whatever supplies you can – we’re not going to need them after tonight. Move!”

The crew bustled into a hive of activity, lashing extra sheets to the masts. The captain strode aft onto the quarterdeck, and crouched next to the hooded mage at the rear of the ship.

“Any chance you can help us, windweaver?”

The hooded man shook his head, and offered an apologetic grin.

“Too much force in this weather cap’n. I’d be better off trying to lift this ship on my shoulders and carry it.”

The captain nodded glumly, and turned to stare at the flickering lights of the chasing ship. The briefest flicker of fire at the galleon’s bow was his only warning.

“Down!”

The pair threw themselves flat as the chaser cannon shot punched a hole through the mainsail. As the captain and the mage got to their feet, the helmsman toppled over, bleeding profusely.

“Seems you can be some use to me, windweaver. Take the helm.”

The mage grinned slightly, and took the wheel.

“Your ordered, cap’n?”

“Just keep her steady for now – we need to get the boat away.”

The woman emerged from the cabin cradling a young child in her arms.

“Are you ready?” He asked her.

“As we’ll ever be.”

The child looked up at the captain, then reached out an laid her palm against his cheek. The grizzled man smiled at her, then shepherded the pair to the boat.

“Good luck to you. We’ll do our best to keep you free.”

The woman’s eyes filled with tears.

“Thankyou, captain. For everything.”

He nodded, and signalled to the boatmen.

“Get them away from here.”

“Aye sir!”

The ropes were slackened, and the little craft lowered to the stormy seas. As soon as they were away, the captain turned back to the quarterdeck.

“Windweaver, turn us about!” He smiled, viciously. “Lets make these bastards earn their pay.”

The Mage shot him a startled look, then grinned.

“Aye sir!”

The captain spared one last glance at the little boat as the ocean it from them, then turned back to the fight.

“All guns loaded! Every scrap of cloth on the rails!”

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