Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dear Gorm: Starbuck

by Jeff Harris

Disclaimer: Gormie is a Dwarven barbarian and advice colunmist. The publishers of this blog do not condone voilence nor do weaccept any liability for the advice offered here. This content is for entertainment purposes so if you push all your negative emotions deep down into a black ball of rage and release it at an inappropriate time please be aware we do not accept liability.

Dear Gorm,

I find myself in an unusual situation and in need of advice. I’m a first mate on a whaling vessel known as the Pequil and have sailed with her and her captain Ahabar for over ten years. He promoted me early and I can say I have known no finer friend, yet I find myself having to seriously consider killing him.

A little over a year ago he lost an arm in an encounter with a Fiendish White Whale(link) which he and all hands about this ship were lucky to survive. The monster is enormous, can cast magic and fly. It has smashed vessels larger then our own to flinders and is perhaps the most feared beast of the seas. I’d rather face a hurricane then encounter this beast again. But not Ahabar!

The man desires vengeance beyond all reason and keeps the company of a mad cleric to guide us on a chase to find the whale. He has a harpooner crew of mercenary looking adventurers he seems to think will be enough.

As I see it Ahabar is going to get us all killed so I must consider some options I do not care for… I can kill him in his sleep, I can try and call for a mutiny, I can steal my way onto another vessel and let those that don’t make the same choice be dammed, or I can face my death as a loyal friend and watch my friends die too.

Call me Star-buccaneer

picture depicting the mutiny on the weing
Dear Star-Buccaneer,
                There is no easy way to say this lad, but your friend, your captain, is taking you on a one way sail to hell.  No matter what the man may have once been, he’s not that same man anymore.  It’s mighty clear that your captain has lost himself to madness, and that madness is a demonic white whale.  Your only duty now is to yourself and the crew of the good ship Pequil.
              image from

  Now, the way I see it, there’s two demons at work here, a whale and your captain, and I say both of them be damned as they deserve each other.  Ol’ Gormie is here to tell you that you already know the right course; you simply need to have the courage to walk it.  Ask yourself this lad, how many souls are aboard your ship, how many souls are going to go screaming to the crushing black of the locker if you don’t act?  The answer is simple, ALL of THEM.
                I won’t tell you to spill your captain’s blood, and only a coward would abandon his ship mates to the insanity of this white whale hunt.  So when I said you already know the answer, then you know I’m going to tell you to mutiny.  Now don’t you look at me like that, I’m sure enough aware of what that word means for a sailor, for a man whose honor is still intact.  But if you are to live through this storm, it’s your only choice lad. 
                You will be needing to rally the crew to you, make them see the wisdom of calling off this hunt.  Get yourself the key to the weapons locker, and take the ship by force if you must.  Any man that stands with the captain stands against you, and if his guts get spilled on the deck, then mores the pity for them. 
                Once you have the ship, you put your captain and any who stand with him that yet live in the life boats, leave them enough food and water to get to land if you can spare it, and you leave them to the mercy of the bitch queen, that is, the sea.  Live or die it’s a better fate than they would find on this mad blood hunt.  One man, lost arm or no, has NO right to condemn so many other souls to purgatory along with him.  Look at it like this, your saving those worth saving, and saving those who aren’t from themselves.
                This may not have been what you were wanting to hear, for there’s no happy ending in this story, no heroes, and no reprieve from the horrible truth of things.  But look at it this way lad, you either become a mutineer, or you become a monster, just like your captain.  The thing is, in the hell your sailing in now, those are the only choices, all you have left to you is to decide which you can live with.  I leave you with these words lad, and they are not my own, but they wise none the less.  “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” (Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146)
                                                                                                                                                Fair weather and fast winds,
                                                                                                                                Gorm “Gormie” Mountainchewer

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