(So, this is the beginning of the novel that FlamingQuill and myself are writing. Finding ourselves in love with the dearly beloved Captain Jack Sparrow, our inspiration for this story came from the PotC trilogy. It is, however, quite different, as you will find. Both of us hope you enjoy it! Thank you!

-FlamingQuill and AzureInk)

The Prophecy

Come devil and daughter,

Come sailor and son,

Come all ye who desire

To find the Sacred One.

Venture ye to Icy Waters.

A beastly creature feared by many

There shall at one point be;

From her all souls shall shy away-

Aye, a mistress of the sea.

Venture ye to New Foreign Soil.

Rise up and dance!

Lift high your voices and sing!

In the midst of Terror's ears

Glory's songs shalt ring!

Venture ye to Ancient Lands.

A company of Ravens

'Round the Chosen shall flock-

Misunderstood with their dark wings

The world they shall rock.

Venture ye to Jungles Deep.

The waves will lose their new breath,

And Michael soon blot out the sun.

The epic it draws nearer-

The trees they shake; all creatures run.

Venture ye to Forger's Place.

The Dragon's Fang is nearly whole,

But the sinew- it is lost.

Thus evil cannot be slain;

The world will see the cost.

Venture ye where you have been.

On the wings of an albatross

The new sun shalt rise.

The final piece is found,

At dawn comes Cruelty's demise.

Venture ye across this land.

Venture ye to find it- that which was once lost.

Venture ye quickly- for the claws of the Wicked are growing.

Venture ye and slay them.

Chapter One

The stench of gutted tuna wrapped itself around him like a cloak on a misty night. He inhaled deeply, letting the scent fill the very depths of his soul and tickle his nostrils. The blade of his dagger dripped with the thick, shimmering blood of the fish. The fish, which was in fact quite dead, stared back at him from where it hung with glassy eyes.

He cackled maniacally and stabbed it again, glee overflowing from within him like a mug overflowing with warm, frothy rum of buttery taste.

The squeaky hinge voice of his younger brother slashed through the reality he had made for himself.

"Are you gutting another fish?" demanded Weevil. "The stench is appalling!"

"The most aromatic perfume of the saints, you mean?" Arrow corrected dreamily tears brimming in his earth-tinted eyes.

Weevil rolled his eyes, then gently took the dagger from Arrow's grip and said slightly condescendingly, "I think you've had enough fun for today, dear."

Arrow was jerked from his happy reverie and transported back to the true world in which he resided. He pouted, his lower lip hanging out.

"But I was having fun!"

Weevil, forced to be mature due to the lack of parental supervision, ignored his childish brother. He shuffled over with dirty, naked feet to the designated kitchen- a fire pit and cooking pot- to continue preparations for their dingy, meager meal.

Arrow continued to brandish an invisible blade, slaying the beastly creature.

This was very amusing to the slender young woman in the corner. Her arrival was always quiet, stealthy, and unexpected, as an owl swiftly appears upon it's prey.

Weevil, a young lad who had survived thirteen long journeys around the sun, was the first to notice the guest.

"Sepia!" he exclaimed. "Where have you been?" he asked as his twiggish arms surrounded her small waist.

She laughed, a rich melodious sounds that rivaled all fairy songs.

"I could smell Arrow's tuna from miles away and knew you needed rescuing."

Weevil giggled charmingly at her jest.

Arrow was peeved. "Must I tell you a thousand times? It the sweetest aroma of the gods! Gosh!"

"I'm staying for supper," Sepia informed them with a confidence reserved only for the two brothers.

"Where have you been?" Weevil reiterated.

Arrow leapt into the conversation. "Weevil took my dagger Sepia! Make him give it back! Make him!"

The teen boy flung himself to the dirty floor and wrapped his arms around her wiry ankles. "Cut off his toes with a spoon if you must!"

Sepia untangled herself from his grip and planted her foot atop his head, grinding his nose into the dirt.

"Arrow, there's something positively hideous on your neck! Oh, wait. Never mind. It's your head," Sepia insulted with a bored tone.

She went over to Weevil as Arrow inelegantly righted himself.

Arrow brushed his cast-off captains coat and muttered bitterly, "If this is how you treat your friends, I want nothing to do with you!"

"As if that's stopped you for the past eight years," Sepia remarked dryly.

Arrow wagged his tongue at her, reminiscent of their first meeting …

His mission was clear:

Get the rum.

Get out.

Cut down anyone who gets in the way.

Not that he could accomplish that very well at eight years of age and with a toy sword. But never underestimate the intimidating power of knee breeches.

"Gosh!" Arrow uttered as his sneakily entered the back of the tavern where the liquid gold was stored.

The raucous laughter of drunken men and the clanging of metal dinnerware could be heard from the front room, but Arrow was oblivious, intent only upon his mission.

He took an empty glass and filled it with amber substance from a tankard. He drank it slowly at first, savoring it, but after a few glasses, he began to madly inhale it with fervor.

And then the door opened.

"Saints preserve us!" shouted the pig-faced bar tender. "What are 'ya doing 'ya urchin?"

Arrow hiccupped.

"I'll teach you a thing or two before returnin' 'ya to the gutter, 'ya street rat!"

The bar tender took a menacing step towards young Arrow.

A girl with fiery hair and an attitude to match flung herself between the two of them.

"Please, don't hurt him!" she cried desperately.

He stared down at her, confuzzled.

"Please sir, my brother doesn't know any better! After that incident with the rabid bear, well, he's never been quite the same. You understand?" the girl pleaded, her tiny white fists clutched to her chest in a frightened manner.

The entire demeanor of the bar tender changed. He stumbled over his words. "I, uh, I am sorry young lass. I uh, dinna know that he was tetched in the head." He took his own sausage-like finger and delicately tapped his temple, a gesture which the young girl understood.

Arrow hiccupped again.

"I promise that he'll never do this again! Father will make sure of it!" she fervently vowed. Then, tenderly, she helped Arrow to his unsteady feet and guided him out of the tavern into the whipping wind coming off the sea.

The bar tender scratched his head, crossed himself, then left the scene, shaking his head sadly.

As soon as the door was closed, Sepia, for that was the girl's name, turned on the far from sober Arrow.

"You owe me so big!" she seethed, snatching the half-full mug from Arrow's hands.

Arrow hiccupped then stuck out his tongue.

So began a friendship with cords of loyalty thicker than the ropes of a ship.

Sepia kicked him- literally- back into the present day.

Arrow withdrew his tongue.

"Dinner is served!" Weevil said with an elegant swept of his arms. It was a dismal meal, consisting of boiling water with bits of cabbage and various tuna fish innards- the one thing they had in abundance.

"Tuna. Surprise, surprise," Sepia stated dryly.

Arrow, in childish ecstasy,. Grabbed the hot pot. "Gosh!" he cried, agonizing pain searing his tender flesh. He let the pot fly from his hands, ignoring Weevil's cries of fury and dismay.

"You idiot! Now what are we going to sup with?" He shook his tiny dark head. "What a kerfuffle!"

Arrow nursed his raw hands, staring into the near-empty pot. Very few tuna chunks remained.

"Blast! I guess we'll have to eat Weevil! Sepia, fetch my fork!"

Sepia gently crept towards the pot, scooped up the tuna, and distributed it evenly amongst the brothers and herself.

"We shan't eat Weevil … tonight."

Her twinkling teal eyes assured Weevil of her jest. The three of them partook of their sad remains, happy at least to have each other.