The beautiful portrait has been done for us by none other than @momma-dread-wolf! She was so incredible at quickly working on her interpretation of Iselan Lavellan, the captain of her ship, the Hanal’ghilan, that everyone has come together to create!! Thank you again so much, Momma! She looks beautiful and I know she’s going to be quite a badass woman to write! I hope I can do your beautiful artwork justice. <3 <3 <3
Just as a quick sidenote before you read my introduction - Thedas is not arranged as we are used to. I have split it up and shifted it around, but I will go into more detail throughout the actual beginning of the story. Basically, the Waking Sea is now a vast sea between Ferelden and Orlais. The Free Marches are still north and stretch between the two countries. The Frostbacks are entirely in Ferelden.
The seas surrounding Thedas are rough, vast, and dangerous. For many long years now, they have been swarming with pirates. These grand ships, crewed by rebels and outcasts, swoop in on their targets, which are often ships carrying cargo, supplies, or even people to and from the mainlands. Most of these innocent ships have employed mages to try and protect them. However, many of the pirates have their own mages with no rules, willing to do whatever they need to in order to get their ship safely to their target and prevent themselves from sinking.
Depending on the pirates depends on the level of danger one may be in. They vary from simple highwaymen to murderous thieves. The majority of pirates do not discriminate - all walks of life are aboard the ships at any given time. There are, of course, exceptions. Some ships only allow crew members of a certain race and they spit upon the others.
One thing that has been changing in recent years is the number of pirates.
Relatively unknown to the mainlands, save for the port towns, no one is aware of the raging battles the pirates have amongst themselves. There have always been squabbles about territories and whatnot, but they are pirates! There are no rules! Few even have honor. These battles have grown on a large scale, effectively turning into an all-our war on the seas. Rumor has spread in the ports that the pirates are clawing at each other’s throats because they want to have one ship who rules above all others. One pirate who is the most fearsome of them all, who could command the other ships to do as they please. If that were to happen, no seas would be safe for travelers any longer.
There are now two well known ships that have passed the lips of anyone who knows about pirates. The Elvhenan and the Hanal’ghilan. The Elvhenan is crewed by strictly elves and not only that, but most are powerful mages. They are vicious, savage, and take no prisoners. That is, if their demands aren’t met and if orders aren’t followed. They are captained by a fierce man, Elgar’nan, and their flag is a brilliant golden sun on a black background; Easy to spot. For such a bright and seemingly welcoming flag, it has spelled doom for many seafarers.
The Hanal’ghilan is another story. It has a crew of truly all walks of life, from humans to Qunari. There are mages, warriors, craftsmen, and tinkerers. They are captained by an elven woman who they call Iselan. Not much is known about their life on the ship, other than their flag: set upon a grey background, there is a layered design. A white, outlined eye in front of a small sun and with a sword vertically in the background, point down. The pupil and sclera are both a blood red. It appears more intimidating at a glance than the Elvhenan’s flag, but very rarely do they ever kill anyone innocent, unless it is in self defense. When they are in port, the crew splits off to do as they please. Some bunker down in an inn, eager for a quiet night’s sleep on solid ground. Some go to the markets, looking for a small bauble or even a book to preoccupy themselves on their travels. Most, however, go find the nearest tavern and drink it dry. Captain Iselan is always present in the tavern, usually tucked away in a corner with her boots on the table, kicked back and relaxing. She drinks with her crew, but has never been seen drunk. She smirks at the rowdiness of her people, but when someone attempts to approach her and they aren’t intercepted, she narrows her eyes at them coldly, warning them silently that she doesn’t want to deal with them.
There is a strange thing that occurs where the Hanal’ghilan makes landfall. They are bold. They strike places that are rich and full of fierce warriors that guard the houses or mansions where the most of the gold and silver is kept. They charge in and pillage, taking as much as they can carry. Then, mysteriously, wherever they choose to put down anchor in a port city, the poor that live in the streets are suddenly flooding to buy food and clothing with this money they had not had before. Not a soul has ever admitted where they had gotten it from, but the most popular assumption is that the crew of the Hanal’ghilan distributes some of their wealth to the starving and unfortunate. No one has ever had the courage to ask any of the crew directly. They are still pirates, after all.
Iselan has never admitted to being a part of the pirate war, but judging by the damage to her ship when they pull into port, it is not something that needs to be said aloud. Few people have ever actually spoken to her that aren’t in some way related to the crew. She is an intimidating woman. Taller than most women, yet curvy and toned from seeing action. Black, wavy hair that reaches to her mid-back that she keeps held back with a bright red bandana. Grey-blue eyes that are as stormy as the sea when it is angry. She has scars from close calls in combat - a vertical slice over her right eye, a horizontal one across the bridge of her nose, and a jagged, vertical one going down the left side of her neck. She has several piercings, as well: multiple ones in each of her pointed ears, one on her right brow, and a small nose ring. She has several sets of daggers that she keeps on her person at all times, but the only ones that outsiders can confirm are the two longer ones she keeps strapped to her back and two she keeps on each side of her hip. If she were not intimidating enough, her first mate is usually not far away from her side: a towering Qunari with an eyepatch that goes by the name of The Iron Bull. He is nothing short of a beast of a man, covered in all sorts of scars.
Life aboard the Hanal’ghilan has always been shrouded in secrecy. For whatever reason, no one can say for sure. That is, until a fateful encounter in the port city of Kirkwall, which is sure to shift the fate of not only those under the command of Captain Iselan, but of all remaining pirates within the Waking Sea.
@deputyhook asked me for a fic where Killian’s mother is still alive and bonds with Emma, and I too happily obliged because I love myself some Maureen Jones. set in early 6A without all that Emma-is-dying crap because I’m not about that life.
The income of people from the Land of Untold Stories is overwhelming to say the least. Emma didn’t expect so many refugees at once, and it takes everyone quite some time before they manage to agree on how to proceed and to keep things going. Granny welcomes most of the people, packing families into cramped rooms and offering hot meals to the most hungry. David finds old cots and requisitions the town hall, turning it into a makeshift camp. Mary Margaret makes sure everyone is accounted for - names and fairytale of origin, just in case they know someone in Storybrooke and can be reunited with them.
It’s a slow process, taking up most of the morning then afternoon, and Emma feels the exhaustion creeping into her bones after a few hours. She switches from hot chocolate to coffee after lunch, proof that she needs more than a few hours of sleep, and Killian steals glances at her whenever he can, worry in his eyes. She dismisses him with a wave of her hand every time, but can’t wait to be back home, in her bed and in his arms.
Emma just explained a woman that they don’t have healers in this realm, but she will find the hospital a few streets away from the dinner, and waves her goodbye, when Killian tenses by her side. He’s thrown an arm around her shoulders the way he so often does, and his muscles go stiff all of a sudden, a breathless gasp caught in the back of his throat. She frowns at him with a mix of confusion and worry, before following his sightline.
A woman just entered the room, black hair tumbling around her shoulders and dusty blue dress hugging her body. There is something deeply familiar about her, about the way she moves and holds herself, but Emma doesn’t make the connection straight away.
Not until Killian lets out a small, broken, “Mama.”
Vanessa. And where is she? When did we lose her, Ethan? She was standing in a quiet room, gazing up at a cross. She reached out, took it from the wall and put it in the fire. And then she was lost. And so alone.
a/n: I wrote this originally thinking it was going to be a oneshot, but then I completely latched onto the idea and decided that it needed and deserved more. It’s all I’ve been able to write lately, and I just today passed 35k words on it, so I’ve decided to start posting it.
Please be understanding about my other mcs not being updated! It’s hard enough struggling to write one while being harassed about two others.
The decks of the Jolly Roger are covered in salt water,
blood, and gunpowder. His men are weary, quiet, and in need of solace on land-
hopefully including a good bath for each and every one.
Captain Hook is what he insists upon being called. It helps
keep curious sailors away from the flag of the Jolly and it’s as gruesome a
name as it is a story. But in truth, he’s just a man seeking justice and when
he gets it, he’ll find rest once more.
Killian Jones is who he really is at his heart. Killian
Jones- a lost boy. A broken man.