I just had the best session of SoT I could have ever asked for. It is a tale of length, with twists and turns that would make the best sea legs stumble. A story of how one man's half hour excursion for the Merchant Alliance evolved into a 5 hour trek of glory and fortune. Sit and behold…
'Twas a rainy Monday morning and I sat at the computer waiting for the Sea of Thieves to fill my screen. I was facing a bit of boredom so I decided to take a bit of time to help the Merchant Alliance with some animal transportation in my closed crew. After about a half hour of pigs and snakes, I thought it might be time to switch to something else. I hadn't seen another ship the entire time and just as I was about to log out, a cloudy skull with green eyes arose to the North. A Skull Fort. Perfect. Off I went, changing my crew from closed to open to share in the wealth.
As I drew nearer, I was joined by a French speaking crew-mate and though we did not understand each other very well, we knew enough to man the cannons for the Galleon we saw in the distance. As we came to Shark Fin Camp, we opened fire upon the Galleon anchored there. Unfortunately, after a brief engagement, we were sunk by a combination of skeleton and pirate cannon fire.
We revived, new sloop in the water at Picaroon Palms and sadly, I lost my French friend in the process. I decided to hike up my trousers and return to the fort for revenge. I came up to the island, but rather than lead a frontal assault, I anchored behind a nearby rock jutting out of the water. I launched myself towards the island and approached the fort stealthily. The Megalodon must have been calling out to her children, for there were no sharks to be seen around me. I snuck my way to the edge of the fortress, grabbed a nearby powder keg, and released a depth charge that took the unsuspecting crew to the depths of the ocean. All there was to do was clear the island of foes, and return to my ship.
It was here that I truly met someone I would get to know over the next few hours, Crispy Pickle. He was a valiant foe, slaying me upon the shores of the fortress, but as my spirit joined my body upon my hidden ship, I was met by my new crew-mate, InsightfulYeti. He, like my French friend, was new to the Sea of Thieves but I told him I had a surprise for him. We weighed anchor, sailed up to Shark Fin Camp and vanquished Crispy Pickle. In his dying breath he promised retribution for what we had done. An empty threat…
Within 3 waves, we were met with the Captain of the undead at the fortress, and no sooner had we slain him than BOOM our wee sloop was met with the vicious cannon fire of Crispy Pickle and his Galleon. In a moment of desperation, Yeti ran to the ship, and I took the newly dropped fort key to a nearby tower, stowing it away in case of our demise. This was a wise choice, for as soon as I placed it, and swam back to the shore, I heard the dreaded sound of our ship being pulled under the waves. That low, ominous THOOM was enough for me to know it was time to change our approach. Yeti and I both fell at the hands of Pickle, JC, Tickford and SmilingJack. However, I thought we may have the opportunity to salvage our plight…
We came to miles to the south of our deathbeds. Yeti was in despair but I told him of the hope planted in that tower in the waters near the camp. It was then we hatched our plan. We would travel back north to find one of two things: a galleon collecting our booty, or a galleon searching for a key they could not find. Anticipation grew within our stomachs. What we saw on the horizon brought a sly grin to our mouths, a galleon anxiously circling a slumbering skull fort. We knew in our hearts they had not found the key. We planned to draw the galleon away from the fort just long enough to outmaneuver it back to the tower, retrieve the key, and escape into the wind. This is exactly what we did. We made off with key in hand towards Marauder's Arch, straight into the wind.
As we put the galleon behind us, we saw them give up and drift to the west. We then turned south toward Plunderer's Plight to collect a treasure marked with a red "X". Just as we were going to return to the fortress to collect our bounty, I saw it. Barely, but I saw it. The bow of a galleon protruding from behind a rock figure FAR in the distance. It was them. They were doing what I had done, laying in wait for us to return with the key. I knew we could not keep the key with us, so I took it onto the island and laid it underneath a dead tree in the bushes. It was time to change our approach… and our appearance…
We sailed south to Galleon's Grave (the irony strikes me only now as I type this) and proceeded to strip down our person and our ship to new status. My black sails were bleached white, my Megalodon figurehead stowed away to see the light another day. My well tuned gray suit made way for my bare, tattooed chest. We would outdo this galleon with our minds if we couldn't with our cannons.
We traveled to a few islands, collecting castaway chests (like I said, Yeti was brand new) and soon we were making our way to Dagger Tooth Outpost. It was there that we were met by Pickle and Co. They opened fire on us, but upon my pleading, they ceased fire and apologized, explaining that they had been searching for a sloop with black sails for the past couple of hours. The recalled the sinking of their ship, the vengeful return to the fort, everything we had already seen. At this point, I was aboard their ship playing shanties, using the megaphone as a loudspeaker, and all around playing the rookie. Yeti had gone down with our ship and was taking a mermaid to the new one when it hit me. They were not going to give up this area willingly.
I mentioned to them that I had not seen any black sailed sloop, but I would help them find it if they would help me and my friend kill the Megalodon (you know, the one in the FAR south of the map?). They agreed and I sailed aboard their ship in search of some sacrificial sloop that could take our place as a scape-boat. Within 15 minutes, we happened upon some poor, unassuming sloop anchored at an island with black sails and a black hull. Each of them went into a rage and began swearing destruction upon this sloop. We pulled up to them, raised the sails, lowered the anchor, and within minutes, the sloop was joining the others among the Locker. However, upon searching the water, no key. No treasure. Not a thing floated to the surface.
I made a plea with them to head down to Shark Bait Cove in order to meet Merrick for his shanty. They agreed, but SmilingJack had other plans. He and Pickle were to stay at Shark Fin Camp in case the sloop ever returned to claim the booty. Not wanting to sound fishy, I went along with it, saying how good of an idea it was (it really was). We dropped them off and sailed southeast toward the Cove. JC, Tickford and I spent the next 10-15 minutes telling jokes, making small talk, becoming friendly with one another. It truly was a good time. I began to feel a smidge of remorse about what we had been doing. Just as this light began to shine through me though, the sea turned black…
THE KRAKEN! WHAT?!?! This beast I had been searching for for months finally appeared and began to lay siege to our vessel. That's when it hit me, if I were to die or take a mermaid, I would lose my foothold within this company and the ruse I had been playing at for the last few hours would be for naught! We all began to panic! There were only 3 of us on a giant galleon with exceptionally few resources to defend ourselves. I was sucked into the maw of the Kraken's tentacles and thrust deep into the black sea. As I returned to the ship I was met with the faces of two I was not expecting to see, Pickle and Jack had returned! Together as 5 we sailed our way out of the black waters and into clear blue peace… We could now see the Cove in the distance, and the Kraken had played a role much unexpected, it brought the only defenders of Shark Fin Camp directly back to us.
We pulled up to Merrick and I mentioned that my shipmate had been collecting some treasures nearby and that I would mermaid back to him so that we could have two ships for the Megalodon. They acknowledged me, I bid my new friends adieu, and I was returned to my ship.
This entire time, as I was talking my way through the galleons defenses, Yeti had been traveling back to Plunderer's Plight as we had been communicating through messages. A storm had taken his vessel once, a galleon another, and so as I arrived, we were approaching the dead tree, and the glowing key resting beneath it. Our joy found the key exactly where we had left it. Hours after we left it there. We picked it up, traveled north to the fort, collected our loot and traveled to Dagger Tooth Outpost.
We roared with laughter at the madess that had just occurred, and decided to play one final card. We unloaded our ship, I donned my gray suit, stained our sails a deep gray, reclaimed my title of Shark Killer, and brought the Megalodon figurehead back to the light. We would uphold what I said, I was going to bring my new ship down to Shark Bait Cove to finish the Megalodon.
We expected them to be gone by the time we had looted and sold everything. We thought maybe they would have gotten tired or bored. We were only half right. As we got near Plunder Outpost, we saw a Galleon departing Shark Bait Cove, headed to the outpost. No way. It was them. It was SmilingJack and his crew. (Pickle had left and had been replaced by a Ryan00s). As we approached the outpost in unison with them, I called out to them in joy. We anchored near them and I rejoined my old crew. They looked at me, confused as to where my outfit had come from. I mentioned to JC that I had found a ship with black sails and that it was actually anchored right outside. She and the rest of the crew looked over the bow of their ship to see a sloop with black sails and a Meg figurehead smiling at them.
I confessed that I had lied to them all along. I was the one who sank them earlier, we were the sloop that hid the key. I said that I earnestly enjoyed them enough that they deserved to know what I had done. Their initial shock and frustration was overwhelmed by laughter as we all proceeded to laugh about what had happened. Jack made me swear that we had at least gone back and taken the booty. We said we had, explaining our escape and hidden key. After the laughter was subsiding, we decided that the Megalodon must still die. But on hard mode…
We took all of the galleon's supplies and stocked our little sloop. Bananas, cannonballs, planks, everything. We raised the galleon's anchor and waved as the six of us stood on the deck of our champion sloop saying farewell to the ghost ship we were releasing to the open sea. We would sink the Megalodon as one crew, on one sloop. To make it all the better, we picked up ANOTHER sloop's crew at Merrick and sent forth yet another ghost ship into the distance. The 8 of us rode together out to T26 in one large band of percussionists, swearing death to the four-eyed, giant mother of all sharks below the waters.
Alas, it was not to be, as she claimed our small supply of bananas and planks too quickly for us to withstand. One by one, our white-named friends fell into green mist until only Yeti and I stood upon our ship. Hungry and out of food, we stood on our deck as the Megalodon approached us, mouth open wide, and claimed the last of us for the deep…
We awoke, battered and in despair about not knowing where our friends had gone. We scanned the horizon to no avail. No collection of three billowing sails. No Jack. No JC. No one. As we were about to scuttle our ship for the last time, it appeared. In the distance, in the northeast, a cloudy skull with green eyes. It was Shark Fin Camp. It was serendipity. I knew we would find them there. We sailed with the wind all the way to the fort where we found a galleon. But not the same galleon. This one had different sails, a different hull, a different crew. We approached, disappointed but happy at the chance for one last hurrah of a fort.
Surprisingly, the crew we came across were aggressively friendly. We said we were too, and that we could just split the bounty evenly after clearing it out. We finished the fort very quickly, with no accidental or purposeful kills of each other. We opened the doors and brought everything out. We split the loot down the middle. I grabbed our Stronghold Skull, they grabbed their Stronghold Chest when BOOM BOOM BOOM. Three shots rang out clear as day. No way… It couldn't be. Yeti and I grabbed the most expensive items and ran back to our ship. As we returned to the land, there he was. White coat, white hat, big white grin on his face. It was Jack. IT WAS JACK.
In one last act of treason, we turned on our very recent allies and they were sunk almost immediately by Jack and his crew. The half that we were giving to the recent group? Jack's. We even threw in an extra skull for the trouble from earlier in the day. After the Megalodon had killed them, they had sailed back to T26 to try and save us, they instead found empty waters, but sailed north upon seeing the skull appear in a very familiar area. We all laughed and rejoiced that we had found each other again. We all Made Friends with one another, collected our respective bounties and sailed away. Oh, but not after Jack's idea that, maybe after all of this, we shouldn't go to the same outpost… just in case…
With a new galleon somewhere on the hunt for both our ships, we parted ways swiftly to our outposts to sell our final collections. Yeti and I said our farewells, and as I sat on the pier, watching my ship scuttle for the last time, I couldn't help but smile about all of the madness that had happened that morning. And I believe a ways in the distance, on the horizon, JC, Ryan, Tickford and SmilingJack were all smiling too.
And that is how thirty minutes of animal collection turned into five hours of laughter, deceit and fellowship on the Sea of Thieves.
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