• “Graybeard!” Ashlar cried, “I believe I see another ship off our starboard bow.”

    Graybeard peered in the direction that Ashlar was indicating and spotted the hull of the other ship slicing through the heavy fog that had come in overnight. The ship had a rough look to it and propelled towards them with great speed. “Is it one of ours?” Denethir asked.

    “No.” Graybeard answered, “It bears the flag of the Southern Pirates. I think we have passed into their territory.”

    Voran joined them, “What is the plan then?”

    Graybeard gave a slight smirk, “Get into the cargo hold. When I give the word, we will run out and take them by surprise.”

    Voran nodded, “Good plan.”

    All four of them, along with Eric, closed themselves below deck with Ashlar covering the door with his loaded bow. Seconds later, they heard footsteps above them and several gruff voices barking out orders. The door swung open and Ashlar loosed his arrow, impaling the pirate in the stomach. The other pirates gave alarmed cries and Graybeard and the others rushed onto the deck, quickly overwhelming the opposing enemies. The remaining pirates retreated back to their ship and quickly sailed out of sight. Denethir sheathed his sword, “Well, that went well.” He remarked.

    “Aye.” Ashlar agreed.

    Voran frowned, “Why was it just the one?” he wondered aloud, “I thought that pirate patrols always traveled in pairs.”

    “They do.” Graybeard said, “It is a mystery why it was not so.”

    “Well, as much as I would like to ponder the meaning of life, we have a stone to find.” Denethir said.