• Published 23rd Feb 2015
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Daughters of the Sea - Mister E

Summergale. Former Captain of the Maiden’s Fancy. Former Queen of Equestria. Mother of Harmony and Discord. Saved from certain death by Twilight Sparkle and her husband, the Doctor, she must now make a new life for herself in modern day Equestria.

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Chapter Five- The Pirate King

Chapter Five
The Pirate King

It took a few moments before order was reestablished. A properly chastised Discord sat in the corner as the rest gathered back at the table. Summergale once again leaned across the table, and after a brief angry glance toward her son, she began once again.

“Now before I explain why you are all here, I wanna tell ya a little story. This is a tale that I first heard when I myself was a filly.” Summergale settles into her chair, takes a sip of her tea and begins.

“Back in the days when Equestria was new, and pony herds were spreading out across the land and sea, one of the few ways we all had ta interact with each other were ships. Huge vessels sailed the sea. Some were explorers, they’d go out fer years at a time, exploring strange new islands, seeking out new beings and new civilizations, boldly goin where no pony ever went before. Then after them would come the settlers, looking ta start fresh far out on the frontier. Then after that came ponies like myself, the merchants, setting up new trade routes, and moving exotic goods back ta the home port. It was a wilder time. Ponies took great risk in the uncharted sea, many of them losing their lives. But oh the discoveries that were made! First contact with the dragon, and griffin empires, the diamond dog immigration, the discovery of indigenous ponies in Prance an Saddle Arabia. It was an exciting time ta ply yer trade on the seas.

Now it’s worth noting that although ponies are a peace loving race, that not all of the races of Equestria were the same. And although as a race, ponies are peaceful, not all ponies were the same either. And it was a good thing too, because back then when the griffin empire first met ponies, all they thought of at the time was ‘conquest’. Now ya gotta figure, we had Zacherle living in Equinity at the time. We never even thought of needing an army or a navy. We always figured that if anything REALLY bad were ta happen, that she’d step in and fix it, even though she told us time and time again that her and Muenchinger would NEVER interfere with us again.

So things could’a gone badly for us ponies back then, except for one thing. Or should I say, one pony.

Captain William (Billy) Colt. Now no pony knows exactly where he came from. Some say he was an orphan. The sole survivor of a griffin attack on one of the outer islands. Some say he was the son of a sea pony and an earth pony, and that he rose out of the sea ta protect the ponies from the aforementioned griffins. Some say Muenchinger himself created Captain Colt full grown when he saw that the future of the pony race was in jeopardy. What we do know for a fact was, that he was brave, he was tough, he was a brilliant tactician who never lost a ship, and that he was a pirate. Oh, and one other thing, he REALLY didn’t like the griffin empire.”

“He was racist against griffins?” Rainbow Dash said, her face beginning to cloud up like the storm outside.

“Not at all,”Summergale replied. “He had nothing against griffins personally, and was known to have several very famous ones on his crews. What he hated was the empire, and what it stood for. Back then they saw themselves as superior ta every being else. I suppose that’s natural when yer genetics is half lion an half eagle. Put enough of ‘em in a government building and all it would take is one of ‘em with a slightly smaller... ‘beak’, ta suggest that conquest was a good idea, an the next thing ya know we got an invasion.

But that invasion never got off the ground so ta speak, thanks to Captain Colt. Fer whatever reason, he was already out on the edges of the outer islands when the first griffin Hawks-of-War, started making probing attacks on pony held islands. His first daring raid against a Hawk-of-War that was harassing the Sammich Islands made him famous overnight.

He was quoted by one of the survivors as sayin, “By the sky stallion, I expected these griffins to put up more of a fight. That was the easiest days work I’ve had in years. Any of you lads want to join up? I have a fresh new ship in need of a crew.”

“Well, sure an THAT kicked the hornets nest. Them griffins had NEVER had their beak tweaked like that before. Invasion plans were put on hold until the embarrassment o’ Captain Colt was taken care of. Five Hawk-of-Wars, armed to the beak were sent out under the best captains of the empire. Their orders were to find and capture Captain Colt, an bring him home to the empire for trial. They scoured the islands looking for any sign of him. Questioning the locals, and threatening to burn their villages if they didn’t give him up.

But the Captain was already one step ahead of ‘em. He knew that the griffins weren’t going ta leave things be, so he left ponies at certain places, and told ‘em ta tell the griffins exactly what he wanted them ta hear.

Sure enough, he got the griffins ta believe he was hold up in Crescent bay. All five Hawks came in after dusk, they could make out the silhouettes of two ships tight in near the shore. It wasn’t until they were within firing distance that they realized that what they thought were ships, were just decoys made of bamboo an driftwood that were aground against the beach. As the captains came about they saw a sight that gave em all quite a shock. An enormous chain had been winched out of the ocean across the entryway to the bay. Ponies in a rowboat had went along the length of the chain and stuck torches through the links so that all could see it. Then signal fires lit in a great ring all around the bay and the captains could see cannons surrounding them on every shore.

Well they knew they were licked. No matter what shore they might’ve thought of tryin for, they were sailin into a wall of cannon. They could fly off the ship an at best give up their ships an be stranded, or at worst be shot from the sky. The sea chain kept ‘em from running for it. They were beat an they knew it. So they did the only thing they could do, they surrendered.

Well Captain Colt was mighty happy that day. He gave ‘em all a choice. They could swear allegiance to him, and sail under his colors, or he’d put ‘em off on an island somewhere on the griffins trade route. Surprisingly all of the captains, an half of the crews decided to stay on. Griffins respect strength ye see, and Captain Colt had handed them the worst defeat the empire had seen since their foolish attempts to invade Dragonhold. Consensus among ‘em was that the empire had grown soft, and that Colt offered ‘em something they had been missing. There was no denyin’ that there was something special about him. He had a spark, a fire inside of him. He never wavered, never faltered. An he was relentless as he stalked the ships of the empire.

So now with a fleet of seven ships, six of them Hawk-of-Wars, the leaders back in the griffin empire had become apoplectic with rage. Twenty warships were sent out. Their orders were to destroy Captain Colt’s fleet utterly, and to bring back his head. Unfortunately, when the fleet arrived, there was no sign of any of Captain Colt’s ships to be found. Try as they might, they could find no word of him. Eventually the griffin admiral was forced to make the mistake Colt had been waiting for. Divide the fleet, and track him down. Colt gained another fourteen ships after that. Some were taken while the crews were ashore. Some ambushed at sea. All the crews were given the same choice, join or be set free near home. Finally months later, Captain Colt confronted the griffin admiral and his six remaining ships, head on at sea.

Faced with twenty-one ships armed to the teeth, and no hope of victory, the admiral did the only thing he could do. He retreated. The first time in history that the griffin race had ever retreated from anything smaller than a fully grown dragon.

Well, after that it was on. The griffin empire sent everything they had after Colt. It got messy real fast. Colt no longer had the luxury of taking every ship, many times he was forced ta sink ‘em. He still manged ta garner a sizable fleet though. And him and his privateers cut a terrible swath through the griffins fleet, as well as their economy. Cutting off the griffin trade routes, and plundering griffin merchant ships was causing major problems back in the empire. Without money coming in from trade, and the ever increasing cost of the war against Captain Colt, the griffins in charge responded by increasing the taxes on their citizens. This proved ta be a VERY unpopular decision. Despite several years of propaganda, the griffin citizenry, had become increasingly vocal. ‘Why are we trying to invade the pony kingdom in the first place?’ Was a commonly heard phrase.

They had all become aware of Captain Colt by now. Any most of the sentiment toward him had begun to change. They respected his strength, and having never met any pony themselves, had begun to think of him as a template of what all ponies were like. Young griffins began to gather in the back of shops, discussing ponies, writing stories about them. Ponies rapidly became the idols of the younger generation. They were curious, they were ready for the wars to end so that they could go and meet their new ‘heroes’. Fortunately at the time, the older griffins in power for the most part ignored what they deemed as the pony ‘foolishness’ that their chicks had become enamored with. This eventually proved to be their undoing.

It took several more years of battle before the griffin empire finally began to lose ground, or rather sea. Their coffers exhausted, their citizens near open revolt, and Captain Colt now had a larger navy than any kingdom in Equestria. The griffins in the capital were in a panic. What they didn’t know was, that Captain Colt had secretly been sending over a hundred of his most loyal griffin crew members back to the empire. They had been in constant contact with the captain, and he was both surprised and pleased to see that he had gained the support and goodwill of most of the populace. Plans were made and quickly set in motion.

It was less than a month later, that the Emperor, Luristan, who was at the time, addressing a crowd of griffins on the steps of the capital, was stunned to see a lone pony step from the crowd before him. It was Captain Colt himself. Trotting up before the leader of the griffin empire, he challenged him on the spot to a duel. Well, there was no way for the emperor to save face if he were to back down. He accepted the challenge and the two fought.

The crowd of griffins stood in awe. Never before had any of them seen a real pony before, and they were amazed by his skill with a blade. The griffin emperor had been taught combat, just as every chick when coming of age, but he hadn’t had to fight since his battle of succession, where every griffin leader has to wrest power from the previous emperor. Even so his skills were still great, and the two battled back and forth for almost an hour. But finally the emperor’s strength began to ebb, he had spent many years on the throne, while Colt had been out at sea fighting battles from sunup to sundown. It had to be said though, the emperor didn’t yield. It was after countering one of Colts’ attacks that he drew back for a moment and clutched his chest. His eyes went wide for a moment, then he locked all four legs in place, glaring defiantly at Colt. He had literally died on his paws.

A cheer went up from the crowd behind him, as the palace guards began to surge forward. However they were quickly subdued because Colt had gathered every griffin member of his crew, and had them dispersed in the crowd. In a matter of moments, he had successfully taken over the heart of the griffin empire. Then he left.”

“HE LEFT?” Twilight said, incredulously. “He just took over an empire, and he left?!?”

“Aye, that he did lass.” Summergale says smiling. “Oh what style! What panache!

He gave a great speech right there on the spot. He told ‘em that all the ponies wanted was peace. He said he had no intention of running the empire, that it was up to the griffins to decide how to take care of themselves. BUT, he added, if they decided to keep up their aggressive ways toward the pony kingdom, that they would find him right there waiting for them. Then he gathered his crew, marched though the capital full of cheering griffins, got in his ships, and left.

Well, as you can expect, it was total chaos in the empire after that. Civil wars occurred, and the empire would see nearly a thousand years before they ever fully recovered. But during that time, peaceful trade was finally established with the pony kingdom. The griffins were anxious for trade to help their struggling economy, and griffins that grew up on tales of heroic ponies were coming to visit by the shipload.

As for Captain Colt, he gradually sold off most of his fleet back to Equinity, many of which were converted into trading vessels. He did maintain a much reduce fleet, and sailed the seas, raiding the occasion griffin vessel that was still loyal to the old regime.

By now he had a massive treasure galleon, the ‘Pony’s Pride’. Now widely regarded as the ‘King of the Pirates’, he sailed from port to port, helping those in need whose islands had been ravaged by storms and typhoons. But one day a great storm arose out at sea, and the Pony’s Pride, weighed down with the accumulated treasure of decades, sank to the ocean floor, the location lost to all, save the Pirate King himself. Legend has it that he laughed as all his treasure sank in the waves before him. He hosted a massive party for his crew, and claimed loudly that he felt as if a great burden had been lifted from him that day. He sailed away to parts unknown, but left one last cryptic message for all that might come after. “If you seek my fortune, it is yours for the taking. I left it all, in one place.”

For nearly a hundred years thereafter, all pony seafarers would repeat the tale of Captain Colt, and his fabulous lost treasure. Ponies uncounted have set sail to find it, only to return bitter and disappointed. This is why I’ve called you all here. I’m going after that treasure. I’ve got a ship, and I’ve got a map, now all I need is a crew. What do ye say? Are ye with me? Will you sail with me for treasure, fame, an glory?”

Twilight rises from her chair. She gently picks up Paradox in her hooves before addressing the captain. Her response is quiet and firm. “No.”

Author's Note:

Although not filled with humor, I quite liked writing the tale of Captain Colt.
However for those of you, like myself, with a mixed bag of trivia knowledge, I'm sure you caught all the puns in his name itself. Captain 'Colt'- Colt being the young male descriptive term for pony, just as kid would be a descriptive term for a young human child. 'Kid' being phonetically the same as not one, but two famous pirates, Captain William Kyd 1430-1453, and Captain William Kidd 1645-1701, who was famed for his buried treasure. Add to the mix that I added "Billy" which is the accepted short form of William, and Billy Colt sounds almost exactly like Billy Goat. And what is the term for a young billy goat? 'Kid' ...
(Drops mike, walks off stage)... :twilightsheepish: