Fashion on the High Seas
By King of Malta
The Seven and a Half Seas! A Travel Guide
By Two Flower
“The Myst Mare Sea is a unique, sea region which stretches across the Mare Nostrum Ocean from the eastern coast of Equestria to the western coast of Gryphon. It is the second most viable route across the Mare Nostrum and known for its kiwi crops and for its large number of volcanic islands. It is these islands that help give The Myst Mare Sea its name and unique climate. The majority of the sea is covered by a thick cloud of mist or more accurately fog which is created from the combination of cool, local air patterns and the warm water generated by volcanic activity. The thickness of the local mist-fog can range from just covering the water to being totally smothering like an overweening parent or clingy special somepony. Despite this the islands within the island chain are inhabited by various local fauna and as well as trade ports and military forts by Equestians and Griffons as well as a mish mash of others. The dragon, Mawfang the Irritable is rumored to have a summer home here.
This tourist recommends it as a must see travel location! If you want to sail on the water as if you were sailing across the sky or perhaps you really, really, really love kiwis! A small word of warning though, this sea is noted for its piracy of the shipping lanes between Equestria and Gryphon. This tourist was personally captured by the famed pirate, Badbeard! See the gallery section for picture of author and Badbeard (the photo may be a little wet as shortly after taking it, the author was forced to walk the plank and the film got wet).”
“Are they not a thing of beauty and perfection, Mister Rover?”
“Yes-yes, things of Pony beauty-”
“Now, now Mister Rover. They may indeed be inanimate objects but, they represent so much more, darling!” Rarity sighed and leaned over the front bannister for the ‘fancydeck’ (Rarity refused to refer to it as the poopdeck and this she took with a fiery passion), her gaze fixed on the billowing sails that rose one-hundred and thirteen feet from the decking. The sails, HER sails, practically glittered in their pristine beauty underneath the soft rays of the noon sun. “Do you know what they represent? Mister Rover?”
“Not a thing, Lady Rarity!” Rover replied in a tone that showed more then he cared that he had, had this conversation with Rarity more than once. He tried to distract himself by pretending he was busy on the lookout but, the blasted sea mist of the Myst Mare Sea vastly shortened visual distance and made it look like they had sailed into a cloud.
“Of course, you would not. Those sails are made from the finest cotton and linens I could find in markets from Porka Porka to Baltimare! The hours I spent weaving every square inch of it, yards of stitched and woven perfection! The weeks we have used it and hardly a single sign of crimping! Those sails represent the sweat and concentrated will of myself and the crew from every time they are hoisted, darling!”
“Oh, my Miss. Rarity” Rover rolled his eyes and leaned back to chew on a nasty flea on his rear, but before he could manage a single nibble a rolled up newspaper encased in Rarity’s magic slapped him on the nose.
“What have I told you about that? It is uncouth! Now, where was I? Ah, yes! These marvelous sails represent my greatest work of fashion! All the other captains and rowdy sailors stare in awe whenever we sail into port and not only that but, one can easily agree these sails are much more useful than the dresses I used to-“
“SSSHIP! SSSHIP! SSSSHIP! SSSSPOTTED! SSSSHIP SSSSAILING THISSSSSS WAY!!” a high pitched voice from the crow’s nest frantically howled, soon followed by the frantic or excited howls of dozens of Diamond Dogs. Amidship a hatch burst open and a diminutive Diamond Dog popped out and began to fling peeled potatoes at several others who had similarly shouted the lookout’s cries.
“SSSPOT IS NOT SSSHIP! YOU TRYING TO SAY SSSSPOT IS FAT ASSS SSSHIP?” the boatswain’s shrieking voice adding to the discordant symphony of barking voices.
“Ugh…I feel a headache coming on.” Rarity sighed and used her magic to float off her tricorn hat while she rubbed her forehead slowly. After several seconds she looked up between her first mate, Rover, and the hulking helmsman, Fido.
“Would you two be so kind as to SHUT UP the rest of the crew, darlings? We have to ‘prepare’ for our guests.”
“Oh, yes! Of course, Miss. Rarity!” Fido barked with several notes of puppy like eagerness and released then wheel to crack his knuckles loudly.
“Right away, Lady Rarity. Just don’t…” Rover shifted his eyes and gulped loudly, “…start whining…”
Less than half an hour later Rarity was standing upon the quarter deck in full regalia, complete with her Canterlot rapier and pistols snugly holstered around her midsection. Though sometimes she swam in her coat the aesthetic effect of it was alluring, deceiving, and distracting to the eye which was the creed Rarity often enough used when she made dresses. While nowhere near as smartly dressed as Rarity herself, her crew at the very least wore neat and clean tunics and trousers, in their first days of sailing Rarity thought of herself as having had been quite the task master in getting the assortment of Diamond Dogs to take to proper hygiene and maintenance. The Diamond Dogs more thought of her as having had been a demon of fabric and banshee shrieks which they had all been stuck with on a small wooden box in the middle of the ocean.
Noticeably as well each and every Diamond Dog had been chained by collars and irons to various parts of the ship by thick bands and chains of iron. The collars bore the distinctive cutie mark of Rarity.
With the sails furled on the main and fore masts the ship was stopped in the calm waters and it signaled to the fast approaching ship that they were invited to board. What immediately plunged Rarity and Mister Rover into a state of caution was that instead of sending a rowboat over to their ship, the approaching ship, now revealed as a much larger frigate complete with close to forty cannons, had pulled up alongside and thrown attaching cables to tie together with Rarity’s ship. It was the nautical equivalent of barging through the door without knocking. What was even more worrying was that the frigate flew a flag of two black, fighting griffons on a background of gold.
The flag of the Kingdom of Gryphon.
No sooner had the two ships been docked together several Griffons in armored plate mail bearing halberds and muskets flew over from frigate onto the smaller brig. The sea around the two ships had become so clouded with mists that the decking of the frigate was shrouded, which defeated Rarity’s attempts to determine how many more Griffons may have been aboard. At the center of the Griffon boarding party was what appeared to Rarity to be a ball of feathers and overstuffed fabrics. Rarity’s inner fashionista screamed bloody murder at the sight of this griffon! His colors clashed! His style was fifty seasons old! The clothes were too loose in the right places and too tight in the wrong ones. Had this griffon dressed himself in the dark? As Rarity’s stomach lurched, the griffon began to speak in a heavily accented voice.
“Bonejer, I am Captain Gilroy le Guffaw de Paeyrie of The Bentbeak of Her Imperial Majesties of the Kingdom of Gryphon. “le Guffaw stated as if Rarity and her crew should know who he was. His tone reminded Rarity a great deal of a certain pony she had met in Canterlot. Before he had finished his first sentence Rarity disliked him. “Attached to the Third Royal Squadron, I have been charged with the safety of Gryphon shipping through the Misty Birdy Sea. As per the San Rook Accords with Equestria, I have come upon your ship, Pony to-“
“Who-what?” le Guffaw looked particularly peeved by Rarity’s interruption; his blood shot eyes focusing down on her. Given le Guffaw’s height and stature his stare could have been likened to a mountain troll.
“My name is Rarity, that is all Senjer le Guffaw. ” Rarity said matter-of-factly as she smiled her best ‘Water-Under-The-Bridge’ smile she could muster. A slight, but unnoticed twitch had begun to tick in the corner of her right eye.
“Ah, yes.” le Guffaw rolled his eyes and shoulders as he brushed away Rarity’s words as if they were less than nothing and continued, “As I said. Given the San Rook Accord I have been charged with protecting these waters from any and all…pirates.” Le Guffaw looked from Rarity and looked at her crew with a most disgusted expression, “I could not help but notice that your…crew appears to be entirely consisting of ‘Mongrels’, Pony.”
“Rarity.” Rarity once more corrected before she continued with her words, “And yes I am very familiar with the San Rook Accord, I was actually in San Rook at the signing but, at the time I was there checking the most precious of dresses made by a Roamane designer, perhaps you have heard of Maremani? No? A pity.”
“Never, but-“ le Guffaw began before Rarity interrupted him before he could continue past her purposeful pause.
“As for my crew, if you mean Diamond Dogs then yes, my crew is entirely consisting of Diamond Dogs as you can see. I bought them from a slave merchant in Porka Porka. As you can see I have the situation well in hoof.” Rarity pointed a hoof toward the collar around Mister Rover’s neck which seemed to hum with an unknown burst of magical energy, “Telepathic restraining models, and expensive but worth it.”
Denied his turn to speak, le Guffaw for a moment looked like he would explode into a furious ball of molting feathers but, against the odds he managed to keep himself in check and instead of disemboweling Rarity he nodded and continued to speak.
“As I said I noticed that your…crew mostly consists of Diamond Dogs, which is an interesting coincidence, Pony. Given that we have received several reports from attacked ships of a pirate ship manned by Diamond Dogs stealing their cargos.” Le Guffaw sneered down at Rarity, and she desperately wanted to sneer back but Rarity sensed that there was something specific le Guffaw was getting at and if she was to trounce him she needed to remain the composed and graceful lady that she was.
“Rarity” Rarity for the third time corrected the Griffon before her tone utterly changed as easy as switching hooves to that of a stricken and dramatic mare “Senjer le Guffaw! I hope you do not think that MUWAH is something as low and…and…as salty as a pirate! Criminal scum”
Rarity swooned with a pitiful cry, and dropped into Mister Rover’s outstretched arms. As he caught her no one noticed the quick, double sault his eyes rolled. Perhaps out of an instinctive, noble’s sense of etiquette for young ladies le Guffaw was actually taken back by Rarity’s words and rolled on the back of his talons. As did his accompanying guards at the increasingly loud shocked, wailing from Rarity.
“My lady, of course I don-“ le Guffaw caught himself and started before a look of anger bloomed on his face. “Wait! Yes! Yes I do!”
“Now, just how can you think of that? I am but a fabulous, fabric merchant sailing out of Baltimare! IF your men were to search my hold you would see it is just absolutely stuffed with said fabrics.” Rarity pivoted her mood like a dancer on stage and in a matter of moments had climbed back onto all four hooves. “What proof do you have of this…this…slander!”
“Hmph, none…” le Guffaw glared down his beak.
“Well, well then! By the San Rook Accord if you do not have any solid-
“EXCEPT! For the accounts of several sailors who describe a rather pompous Mare posing as a merchant-in-distress to lure several ships under the Gryphon marquis for the last several months” le Guffaw crooned triumphantly.
“Ah…” Rarity paused and glanced side to side, “Memory charms are really not my specialty.”
“Aha! By the San Rook Accord I have the permission of the Equestrian government to capture and quarter any Equestria pirate I find.”
“True, true…” Rarity sighed and hung her head. “My cargo will be seized and distributed back to the merchants they were taken from and their families.”
“…not necessarily.” Le Guffaw motioned for his guards to fan out across the deck, two approached Rarity with a set of iron manacles but, quickly backed away as Rarity had brought up her head and pierced their souls with a look of complete and utter…displeasure.
“What do you mean by that?” Rarity’s gaze shifted from the two Griffons to le Guffaw who much to his peril ignored her gaze and instead had moved past her, as if she no longer mattered, and plucked at the pelt of a chained Diamond Dog with a perm.
“Oh, It is not hard to think of, Pony. When I ambushed you while courageously leading my men in an intense boarding action where MANY of your Mongrels were dispatched, their bodies at the deep and certainly not on their way to Porka Porka, your hold was empty having already sold your stolen goods. The merchants or their families will still be able to petition the Gryphon government for reparations but it will take quite a few years and quite a lot of money to pay for lawyers. No, feathers off my back therefore if you would show me the cargo, Pony-“
“RARITY. THE NAME IS RARITY!” le Guffaw and Rarity looked at Rover in shock as the Diamond Dog advanced on le Guffaw and dragged his chains with him. “SHE is a lady and she wishes to be addressed as such! So you may call her ‘MISS’ or ‘RARITY’ or ‘MISS RARITY’!”
“Why you little beast!” le Guffaw hissed and smacked a talon across Rover’s face…only to be surprised moments later after Rover had grabbed le Guffaw’s arm and slapped the shackle from his neck to le Guffaw’s arm. Shocked, le Guffaw flared his wings and tugged on the shackle and chain only for it to remain tightly locked. “What…what is this? Guards!”
“Oh, dear. Oh, Senjer le Guffaw.” Rarity tut-tutted as dozens of Diamond Dogs ripped off their fake shackles and pounced on the remaining Griffons on the ship’s deck. “How dreadfully un-cavalier of you, I prefer to style myself more as a privateer, but I still play by certain rules: of fashion and of the sea. You however are nothing more than a scoundrel and war profiteer.”
“YOU dare to call me a scoundrel? You who are nothing more than a ruddy, painted , callejera Po-“ le Guffaw’s words rose then crashed in his throat before he could finish them, the pistol fastened to Rarity’s belt had magically appeared and pressed itself in the space between le Guffaw’s eyes.
“You do not seem to particularly bright either. My name is Rarity, IF you would be so kind as to say it with me, now, Raaarity.”
“Raaarity!” le Guffaw finally repeated as he dropped to the deck, Rarity’s pistol continued to press on until he was flat with limbs spread out.
“Good boy! See Mister Rover, you can teach old Griffon new tricks!” Rarity smiled at Rover who looked about as pleased as his captain.
“Maybe we teach him trick to walk plank, yesss?”
“Hmm, no, not today at the very least, he could pay quite a few overdue fees and bills from ransom money.” Rarity sighed as if she would have not minded Rover’s suggestion but there were more important matters that had to come first.
“M-my m-men! Y-you will never get f-far without them b-blowing your ship apart!” le Guffaw gasped, a quivering smile of bare triumph on his beak. It only lasted a few more sentences.
“Ah, yes. Your ship under normal circumstances would, certainly could, have blown us out of the water. In fact you probably should have tried that first instead of trying to extort me. “Rarity’s words were emphasized as out from the fog from the direction of le Guffaw’s ship several manacled Griffons were tossed onto the decking. They were followed by the leaping forms of Spot and several other Diamond Dog crewmembers. “At this range and mist cover my crew would never have been able to board your ship so stealthily.”
“Dinghy, sssecured! Miss Rarity! Looksss like ssseveral Poniesss manacled in the holdsss!” Spot saluted with a rather large blunderbuss.
“And that as they say is a wrap, my dear Sejer~” Rarity smiled down at le Guffaw, the latter unable to escape the feeling that he had been had like a mouse in a cat’s paw…
“Where to next, Miss Rarity?” Fido barked from his place at the wheel. The mist cover had finally receded and from their ship they could make out the sight of The Bentbeak as it sailed toward the nearest Equestrian port now crewed by some of Rarity’s crew and Equestrians who had been shanghaied by le Guffaw.
“Hmmm, just sail towards home.” Rarity gently laid her hat on the railing and gazed at the pristine sails of The Sweetie Belle.