"Esperoque" The captain called. She was kneeling before him as he sat on a small throne crafted from pieces of legendary chests they'd plundered over the years. It was a mark of pride rather then comfort to say the least. She'd been called into the Throne room minutes ago and had waited, kneeling, until the Captain addressed her.
"The Shiroiryuu have killed our Ally, the Silver Skulls. You know what this means." The Captain was referring to their comrades, the SS, who have long been partners with them, the Burning Rose. They were the last partners they possessed. Meaning, they were next on the list.
"I do." She said.
"They will target us next. The Pirate King has yet to recognize the threat, as these attacks are highly localized to our sea and have only claimed four Crews now. We cannot expect aid to come to us. Our Crew has been lucky the past years. We are by no means the strongest out there, or even the strongest in these waters. We wont last long unless measures are taken." The captain sounded resigned, like a man just before playing his last hand.
"What do you wish of me" She asked.
"We must visit the Sea Witch." The Captain said blankly.
"Ca-" Esperoque silenced herself. She knew what this meant as well. The Sea Witch didn't do anything for free. A younger crew member must be given up to the witch, Rank depending on the favor. And Esperoque was the ships First Mate.
"I Understand. I'm ready immediately."
Esperoque watched her old ship sail away from the small island she now was forced to call home for what little time she may have left. The meeting was short and uneventful. They handed her over, and the witch told them they had her blessing.
"Girl." The witch called. She obediently stepped forward to the witch. No one knew what happened to the crew given to the witch, But this was for the benefit of the Crew.
"Calm your thoughts. I'm not going to eat your or anything. We must work quick to fulfill your ships request." The witched stepped out from behind the screen that hid her. Esperoque was stunned to see not some old woman, but a younger, mature woman who's beauty was breathtaking. Snapping herself at her short lived stare, she questioned.
"Fulfill the request?" She asked.
"Of course. You didn't think I could just snap and make anything happen did you? No. Thats what I use the payments for. You. You will fulfull the request, I mearly provide the way." Esperoque couldn't stop herself from laughing a moment.
"That makes so much more sense! Damn those men and their rumors. What need I do?" she asked.
"Its quite simple really. I'll grant you with protection against Divinations to determine your alignment and true nature, your origins and your side in the war. With that, You can join into the lower ranks of the Shiroiryuu and work your way up. Gaining their training, their secrets, Stick with them and you may even get a position of power if your skilled enough. Beyond my gift and aid, you'll be on your own. And you must not openly boast or act like a Pirate of course." The Witch explained to her.
"I... You.. I'm to join the bastards?!" Esperoque exclaimed. The Witch sighed.
"Swallow your pride, Black Rose, You Will join the Ninja or the war will be much darker for your kind, let alone your Crew." Esperoque was silent for sometime before replying. The witch was said to know nearly everything, But to know her Assigned name? A Name only uttered once by her Captain upon receiving Rank among the crew.
"I.. accept.." She muttered. And just like that the world went black.
((( Yes. The first segment of this adventure is Pirates VS Ninjas. Takes place Six years after that.)))