The ship was made almost in mockery of what the humans sailed, appearing at a distance as a square-rigged three-masted ship of the line. But it revealed itself on closer inspection to be a haphazard conglomeration of trees uprooted and coaxed into strange shapes, dead leaves and dry twigs held in place by old magic, and gunwales bristling not with cannons but with catapults laden with explosive dynamite tree fruit.

But the skull-and-crossbones the fae crew carried was clear enough, as was the shot across the bow that left the Scarper‘s foredeck littered with caustic fruit pulp. Her master ordered the white flag aloft, and as the fae pirates pulled alongside, boarding hooks at the ready, he stood at the helm to receive them. Looking over the diverse shapes opposite him–elves, pixies, pookas, and far stranger things on gossamer wings–he turned to his quartermaster.

“What sort of thing,” he asked, “would a fairy plunder from a mortal ship?”

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