This book contains a pirate crew that is inclusive (including disabled, LGBTQ+, and diverse characters and related topics/issues). Please be aware of this and if this will bother you then this is not the book for you.
Tides of Chaos is a brand new standalone novel in the world of Dakaal that explores the world of the pirates seen in Regret (Book 1 of the Assassins of Dakaal series). This is Dark Fantasy. It may contain instances of horror elements, steamy scenes, and dark humor.
This book is being written with all the best intentions and the author welcomes thoughts from people in those communities to ensure that they are being properly represented. Due research is being conducted and the main characters have interacted with people from those communities for years in other forms of media.
Tides of Chaos will be free-to-read as it is written. It is being posted as a serial novel with the goal of at least one chapter a week. As such it is being minimally edited before it is posted. If you would like to read the polished and professionally edited version please wait until it is published as a book. The author does welcome feedback from readers should they want to take the time to do so. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this. I hope you enjoy these characters as much as I enjoy writing them.
Recklyss helped the crew settle the ship back in its bay in Port-Town. Once they were safely docked the crew started to wander off. Recklyss leaned on the railing, watching Celeste wander off chatting eagerly to her newfound friends, eager to show them the town. Vinnie curled up on Recklyss’s shoulder, giving him a rat-grin, if such a thing existed. “Good sail, sir. We did good.”
“Aye, I ‘spose. Mission accomplished. Good sail ya lot!” Recklyss agreed then called down to the pirates leaving the ship. They waved back to him, echoing “Good sail!” before dissipating into the town.
“Ahem,” Vinnie tilted his head toward the treasure pile.
Recklyss turned to watch Dahlia pick her way around the treasure, eyes narrowed. Well, Dae, he supposed, now that they were back in Port-Town. Dahlia was a drag artist who only became Dahlia when they sailed, in Port-Town they were normally Dae, the male owner of the local theater and happily married to a lovely little woman named Lilac. They were still dressed as Dahlia though, this time wearing a brilliant blue silk kimono and a long blue wig, makeup flawless as always. Recklyss rolled his eyes and strolled closer. “Lookin’ fer somethin’?” He knew sometimes Dahlia just couldn’t help picking up shiny things.
“Oh! Goodness, Recklyss. Well, you know, sometimes if I see a shiny thing in the treasure pile I can put in word that I want it. Girl’s gotta have pretty things for the costumes, you know.” Dahlia put a hand to her chest, startled by his presence. Then, dropping the female voice for his more natural masculine, he showed Recklyss a beautiful necklace. “Surely you don’t mind if I take just this one for my wife?”
Recklyss looked around to make sure no one else was watching or listening besides Vinnie, then nodded. “Aight, now scram b’fore Inxli wakes up and sees ya.”
“Oh, thank you!” Dahlia went right back into the drag act, complete with overly sappy voice, tight hug, and a kiss to the cheek.
Recklyss laughed and shook his head as he watched Dahlia prance very convincingly down the plank to the dock. Only the crew of the Flamingo knew that Dahlia was a drag-artist, everyone else in Port-Town knew them only as Dahlia or Dae Two very different people. It never ceased to amaze him how talented at the act Dae was. He was fairly certain they should be performing somewhere at a much higher level of society but they seemed happy to own the theater here in Port-Town. Besides, like most people who settled in Port-Town, Dae’s birth place and society there were less than supportive of his acting talents.
Recklyss turned as he saw Pete approaching with Tim slung over his back. “Pete, ya get the boys and start haulin’ this treasure ta the treasure room soon as ya got Tim settled back at home, aye?”
Pete gave a curt nod, as was customary.
Recklyss grinned and gave Tim a friendly shoulder pat. “And ya get some good rest, aye Tim? Best lookout a ship ever did have, aye. Good job, lad!”
Tim beamed at him. “Thank ya, Reckless! That means a lot. Always appreciate ya givin’ a poor cripple like me a purpose in life.”
“Ain’t anyone else I’d rather have up in me crow’s nest, that’s fer sure.” Recklyss winked at him, then nodded at Pete. Even Pete had a big smile on his normally somber face. Pete couldn’t speak and Tim couldn’t walk but the two brothers were invaluable for their crew and Recklyss made sure to let them know that as often as he could.
Pete nodded once more then lumbered off with Tim chattering to him about daily life things they’d have to tend to now that they were home. When they weren’t sailing, Pete helped on the docks and guarding duties while Tim ran the small souvenir shop out of their home near the gates of the town.
Recklyss took Vinnie off his shoulder and set the rat down on the deck gently. “Go make sure nobody made a mess when we was gone.”
Vinnie scurried over to a small bucket near the ramp and pulled off his pirate hat. He switched it for a constable’s hat and with a small rat-salute, he tore down the plank toward the town.
Once the crew had dispersed, Recklyss leaned on the pink railing of the ship and watched the brilliant blue waves dance on the horizon. A perfect day, blue skies, a little breeze, a few clouds. He waited there for a while and when Inxli still didn’t join him he frowned a little from worry and walked into the captain’s cabin.
Inxli still lay curled up in the comfortable bed, almost lost in the ridiculously luxurious pink bedding. He still looked exhausted, pale and tired, deeply asleep.
Recklyss sat down next to him on the bed, ruffling Inxli’s pink hair gently. The sea-green roots of his true color were starting to show through again. Recklyss tucked a green-pink strand behind one of Inxli’s perfectly pointed ears then leaned down to kiss his forehead. “Time ta wake up, yer terrifyin’ness. Ain’t good fer yer reputation if I carry ya home.”
Inxli grumbled and curled more into the blankets, hugging his pillow tighter to his face. “Go ‘way.”
“C’mon ya lazy bones. Ya can sleep when we’re safe in our home. Ya know the ship ain’t as safe when we’re docked. Get up or I will carry ya,” Recklyss said, smirking, as he took Inxli’s pillow away playfully.
Inxli let out an exaggerated loud yawn and rubbed his eyes. Then he sat up and his brilliant lavender eyes focused on Recklyss. “Well I can’t just strut out there like this with no cosmetics and in my night clothes!” Inxli huffed, got out of bed, washed up, then carefully dressed and applied the cosmetics he was accustomed to wearing. Garish pinks and lavenders, lipstick, mascara. Beautiful, and sometimes to Inxli’s frustration, mistaken for a lovely woman instead of a beautiful man. Such was the curse of the ethereal features of Elven nobility.
Recklyss rubbed the scruff on his chin, eager for a shave himself, but he was restless to get off the ship. Unusual for him. He grew up on ships and the sea and normally he felt more at home on the ship and longed not to leave it. Today though, something wasn’t sitting right. “C’mon, Inx.”
“Okay, okay,” Inxli picked up his hat, digging through it to make sure everything important was still in hat-space, then with a relieved look he put it on his head. Then he eyed Recklyss. “What’s with you?”
“I don’t know. I just want ta be home. Let’s go,” Recklyss said with a shrug as he opened the door for Inxli. “After ya, Cap’n.”
“Thank you,” Inxli grinned at him then strutted through the door.
The unease didn’t leave Recklyss once they left the ship, nor when they walked boldly through the crowds of Port-Town. Maybe the nerve-wracking nature of their trip had unsettled him and it was just catching up to him? He gave the Flamingo one last look of scrutiny as he saw Pete leading the crew to unload the treasure. Nothing seemed out of place. The brilliant pink ship glittered in the sunlight and nothing seemed out of place. Recklyss frowned and shook his shoulders. He wasn’t one given to superstition, nor was he one that had any sort of magical gift for foresight or anything like that. So why did he feel like he was carrying a weight on his shoulders today? Being Elven, despite not really caring for that fact, did make him more magically sensitive to things than most other races. He didn’t want to ignore it or just write it off as nothing.
Inxli gave him a few curious looks but picked up his pace, surprisingly quick for someone so small. Recklyss was grateful for the swift pace and made a full sweep of their lovely sea-side cottage before he made sure everything was locked and they were safely within.
“What’s wrong with you? You’re not normally the paranoid type,” Inxli asked, cross-armed, once they were alone.
“Aye, I dunno. Somethin’ just didn’t feel safe,” Recklyss took off his hat and hung it on the coatrack then ran a hand through his long hair to work out tangles. “Feel okay now that we’re here though.”
“Hmm..” Inxli frowned thoughtfully and looked out a couple of the windows before drawing the curtains. “Well, how about we relax for a while?” Inxli smiled at him and walked over to take Recklyss’s hand in his, tugging him toward the bedroom. “We should celebrate another victorious voyage, my handsome husband!”
Recklyss grinned. “Oh, aye? Celebrate ya say? Sounds good ta me,” Recklyss said then swept Inxli off his feet and carried him into the bedroom. Maybe that’s all they needed, was some relaxation and distraction.