Round-Robin Story

Chatterbox: Inkwell

Round-Robin Story

Round-Robin Story

I read on TNO's rant about how the Chatterbox could be made better something about a round-robin story, so does anyone want to make one? *looks up hopefully* 

submitted by Lena G., age 11
(January 17, 2009 - 6:25 pm)

*Adventurous music starts*

*Kit Kat comes bursting through a sail with dagger in hand*


Okay, inserting in 5, 4,3,2,1...



With a last look around the crowded mess hall, Tarus jauntily strolled over to the ladder leading to the storeroom. He shimmied down it, but paused when a tanned hand closed around his wrist.

"Where ya' goin', young un'?" Tarus turned to meet the eyes of Serk, the gunner's mate, a relatively handsome young man, just several years older than him. 

"Oh, I'm off to check on our Never know what might happen out here on the endless mist..." Serk cocked an eyebrow, but released him. Tarus finished his descent down the ladder, landing lightly on the wooden and iron planks. He waited a second for his eyes to adjust to the gloom, before setting up a bag stuffed with his, and his shipmates, old clothes. He eyed it slightly, pacing around it. Then, in a sudden, alarming gesture, he unsheathed his cutlass, holding it across his chest. 

He danced around the bag, flicking out with his wrist, the blade of the cutlass slicing through the old canvas. It flickered, somewhat eerie in the darkness of belowdecks. Up above him, footsteps. Below him, the tumbling mists. But he stayed focused, warily eyeing up the torn bag that had morphed into his enemy.  


submitted by Kit Kat
(January 30, 2009 - 2:20 pm)

Thanks, Kit Kat! That fits in there perfectly. *big grin*

submitted by Commander Kip, age 16, Zraeland, Irlic
(February 1, 2009 - 5:34 pm)

Here is an addition to your story


So immersed as he was, Tarus hardly noticed the soft squeek of the steps until almost to late.  Startled, he threw both the sack and his cutlass in an obscure corner and commenced to look VERY busy counting absoulutley nothing.  In stepped Romania, a girl not much older than Tarus, who was a captive aboard the Poisonus Emerald.

"Oh hullo, Ms. Romania," stammered Tarus, blushing. "What are you doing down 'ere?"

"Actually I was looking for some thread," answered Romania haughtily. "My dress has a rip in it."

"Well, the thread is right over here but tis not good dress thread."
"It will have to do," sniffed Romania. "I must look good, even on this dreadful ship."

All of a sudden yells and shouts came in through the open hatch.  

submitted by Phoenix, age Forever, Embers
(February 1, 2009 - 6:06 pm)

Yay, another cool charrie! Romania's great! I forsee us having much fun with her, yuss yuss.

"Stay down here," Tarus told Romania, and swarmed up the ladder to see what was happening. Sailors were dashing to and fro on deck, shouting in confusion. Tarus made straight for the wheel, where the coxswain was busy bellowing orders. "Miz Gwin, what's goin' on?"

She glanced down her sharp nose at him. "One of the lookouts has spotted a floatin' wreckage, right where th' Fugal Retreat ought t'ave been. See there?" One of her long, bony fingers jabbed at a spot on the horizon.

Shading his eyes, Tarus looked out over the swirling mists. Sure enough, a smoking, blasted hulk was riding low in the clouds, seemingly deserted. "Aye, it looks as if someone got to 'er before we did."

A stiff breeze tossed Gwindolyn's raven-black hair. She gave it an impatient flick. "The Captain ain't goin' t'be pleased with this..."

"Red sails, off to stern and starboard!" bellowed the lookout from the crow's nest. "Red sails! Comin' up fast!"

Gwindolyn hauled the wheel to the right as Tarus snatched a telescope from his belt. Snapping it open, he glanced into it, first right, then back behind them. Several sets of blood-red sails were coming swiftly toward them. The Poison Emerald rolled to the side as she turned to face the new threat.

"Blast!" spat the coxswain. "It's those bleedin' Crimson Corsairs, hoggin' all th' plunder again! I hope we get the go-ahead t' give 'em what for!"

Tarus nodded, wishing he had not left his cutlass below decks.


Wow, Phoenix, you could'nt have possibly set that up any better! Nice job!

submitted by Commander Kip, age 16, Zraeland, Irlic
(February 3, 2009 - 10:25 pm)

Okay, this might be a bit mangled because I got a little confused, but if this is going to fit in, glad to contribute...

Eventually Tarus' pride won out over his best judgment: yes, okay, he was needed above-decks, but his cutless was in the hold and that cutless was the absolute center of his life...

Scampering down the stairs, he tmbled down the last few in his haste. He thanked God he wasn't seen by anyone... but his silent gratitude came too soon.

"In a hurry," noted Romania, her voice heavy with sarcasm. "It's just that you're so graceful today, Captain."

Tarus recognized an insult when he saw one. Romania was implying that HE, friend of the Captain, advocate and advisor, was pompous! How dare she! And ow dare she sit there so calmly knitting her little dress with there was such turmoil above!

"You wench," he said. "I'll have you know that of all the honorable Captain's shipmates, I alone take meals and converse with him. I alone am his lifelong companion. And I shall not tolerate such mockery!" He puffed his chest out.

Romania dissolved into helpless, girlish, decidedly un-Romania-ish giggles. "You!" she managed to choke out. "The captain's- companion! Pfff!" She snickered.

The banter between these two haughty passengers on the Poison Emerald could have gone on all day had Tarus' next comeback not been cut off by a shrill scream from above.

Note I avoided all the nautical things... I'm better with the dialogue. Was that okay?

submitted by Mary W., age 11, Bordentown, NJ
(February 5, 2009 - 8:07 pm)

OK, where should I start? ...


"All right lads," shouted the captain. "Show them that they have no right to be going after OUR kills!"

The Poisonus Emerald had turned broadside and the pirates loaded the cannons.  Tarus, after shoving Romania in the hold, had scampered up the ratlines to see the Crimson Corsairs.  These pirates were renowened as the greatest pirates to ever sail the Mist seas, though no pirate on the Poisonus Emerald would ever admit that. Tarus could see the opposing ship getting ready for battle, too, the men a dark swarm on the ship's decks.  Sliding down the rope, Tarus landed at the feet of the captain.

"Best go below decks, son," growled the captain. "This could be a bloody battle."

"But sir," stammered Tarus, "I, I want to stay and fight"

"Leave that to the more seasoned pirates," the captain said. "Now go below decks."

'Yes sir," mumbled Tarus resentfully.

"Captain," shouted the lookout, Eagle-Eye Smith, "them Corsairs 'ave raised the flag of peace and they sendin' a boat ta meet us!"

"I wonder what they want," mumbled the captain. Raising his voice he shouted, "Men, we are going to have visitors soon.  I don't know what they want, so be on your guard!"  All thoughts of going below decks were driven out of Tarus's mind as he leaned over the railing, peering at the small rowboat in the water.

"Welcome to the Poisonus Emerald," said the captain cordially. "Let's get to buisness.  Why are you here and what do you want?"

"Must you be so... brusque, Captain?" asked the stranger in a silky voice.  "I was hoping for more sophisticated arrangements. But, no mind. Here." Pulling out a scroll from his vest, the stranger handed it to the captain.  The captain opened it and began to read.  The more he read, the more furious he became, until he looked incapable of speech.

"Your demands are outragous sir!" shouted the captain.  "I refuse to accept any of them."

"I see," replied the stranger "Well, then I'm afraid, we must fight."

"Fight we will!" shouted the captain.

"Good-bye, Captain," said the stranger. "I don't think we'll be seeing you again."

"Well, you will be," replied the captian, grinning evilly. "You're not going to be let off this ship alive."


Continue this story PLEASE!  2 people can't continue the story alone.

submitted by Phoenix
(February 5, 2009 - 7:05 pm)

Tarus trudged grumpily down the steps into the hold. "Leave the fighting to the MORE SEASONED PIRATES," he muttered mockingly. "How darst he suggest that I, Tarus, feared buckaneer, be not seasoned! I, who has remained on this floating trashcan for nearly five years, faithfully subserviant! I shall show him! I'll MUTINY! An UPRISING! I'll show that lousy scum rat just who's SEASONED."

His incessant ramblings were interrupted by the sugary sharp voice of the dark-lidded, northern Romania. "The first sign of insanity is talking to oneself," she said sweetly.

Tarus ignored her, or maybe he just didn't hear. His mumblings were becoming madder and madder, and he was working himself into a frenzy. "Just WHO does that BILGE RAT think he is to question ME, TARUS? Up there, trying to ORDER THE CREW AROUND AS THOUGH HE MATTERS IN THE SLIGHTEST! WELL, I'LL SHOW HIM! I'LL TEACH HIM!"

With that last "him" Tarus' voice grew high and shrill and a fierce but maddened gleam appeared in his eyes, the gleam of someone who is about to attempt something VERY dangerous.

And Romania, though she'd never in a million years even if threatened by the rack admit it, felt a twinge of worry for the pompous pirate.

(But don't tell her I told you.)

submitted by Mary W., age 11, Bordentown, NJ
(February 6, 2009 - 1:43 pm)

Please People ADD TO THE STORY!!! I mean its nice writing with Mary and everything but come on!


Tarus followed the captain down to the hold.  Feeling better from his earlier crazy ranting he had calmed down and realized that the Captain was looking out for his best intrest.  That didn't keep him from being a little miffed, but he had absolutley no intention of acting on his earlier decision to mutiny.  The Captain was like a father to him and he loved Tarus like a son.  Right now, the "prisoner of war", as they were supposed to refer to him now, was being caged in the hold.  The Hold, usually held supplies, because the Captain had 2 rules about keeping prisoners.  Let em roam free or  kill 'em.  For this prisoner, though, the Captain wanted to keep him secure because left alone who knew what would happen.  Tarus noticed Romamia down in the hold, still working on her dress.  Another person noticed Romania too, the prisoner, and from the calculating look Tarus saw in his eyes, he had plans involving her.


Again I repeat my plea.(If you see this and you don't reply...... Well.. Some things are better left unsaid)*cackles maniacly*

submitted by Phoenix, age 12
(February 10, 2009 - 4:33 pm)

Gee, I'm complimented... you like writing with me so much that you're begging for somebody else! (Just joking.) But seriously, Phoenix is right... can we PLEASE have some more writers? I mean, I know everybody loves the role-playing story (okay, me too, it's the best thing on here), but we'd appreciate it if maybe some previous guys (Kitkat, Commander Kip?) or new people would help out because two people can only think of so many sailing scenarios, especially when one of them (me) is not exactly nautically smart. So I repeat Phoenix's plea... help us out here!

But anyhow... (note that I'll completely avoid the deck scene and huddle in the hold).

Romania, painfully oblivious, didn't notice the prisoner's gaze, fixed on her heavy-lidded face. But sure enough, he was thinking... about her, about Tarus...

Some of his unspoken words were gabbledegook, complaints to himself about the decrepit conditions or filthy smell, but others were dangerous plots.

That just may work... just may. With that self-proud humbug that calls himself a sailor when he's not worthy to be a deckhand and some flattery of that haughty ninny-of-a-girl, that just may work.

"My sweet lass," said the prisoner, licking his hand and pushing his hair back as though that may tame the greasy, tangled mop of untidy tresses. "Pray, tell me your name. Your beauty exceeds that of the loveliest rose. Your eyes alone enchant me to stuttering." But his words were as oily as his hair, hardly pausing in their empty praise. "Even that mangled dress looks fit to be a gown when sewn with thine dainty hand and careful eye. Will you look upon me with good grace or force me to turn my head to wall forever in shame at not receiving your fair favor?"

Romania, of course, was delighted with such lavishing, especially after harsh banter with that horrid Tarus. "Oh, mysterious one," she simpered. "Never have truer or sweeter words been spoken." And so on. After this bland monologue, the prisoner spoke again.

"I will give you anything in the world and more that you desire if you help me," he said. Romania, doofus she is, didn't ask him why he needed her help if he had the power to obtain anything in the world. Instead, she immediately pledged her alligiance to him.

And he began to tell her his evil plan, disguised as buttery speeches.

(Where was Tarus while this little act was unfolding? The captain's cabin. But I'll leave it to somebody else to decide what was going on in there. I've probably written too much already.)

submitted by Mary W., age 11, Bordentown, NJ
(February 10, 2009 - 7:53 pm)

Sorrysorrysorry! Kipin lives a crazy life! *writes furiously*

Tarus was sitting in the hold, keeping an eye on the two prisoners, when an enormous BOOM rocked the ship. Everything tilted crazily to the left. Crates, barrels, and prisoners slid across the floor.

Almost instantly, Tarus was off the deck and on his feet. He knew exactly what had happened. "Brace yourselves!" he shouted to a wide-eyed Romania and a sulking Corsair. "We're bein' broadsided!"

On the word 'broadsided,' another explosion threw the hold into chaos. This time, everything slid to the right, including Romania, who had been too busy screaming to brace herself as Tarus had suggested. Before she could hit the wall, Tarus snagged her by the ankle and dragged her to the middle of the hold. "Stay in the middle!" he shouted. "It's the safest place!" The Corsair lay flat on his face, covering his head with his arms.

BOOM! BOOM! Again and again, the ship was hammered with cannonballs. Cracks and splinters began appearing in the walls. The Poison Emerald's hull was reinforced with several layers of steel plates, but even the tempered steel was no match for the might of the Crimson Corsairs' artillery. 

Yay, explosions! *luffs them* Kipin is very fond of explosions, yuss yuss.

submitted by Commander Kip, age 16, Zraeland, Irlic
(February 10, 2009 - 9:31 pm)

"Kipin loves explosions"? Uh, really?

(I will admit I had to look up "broadside"--not so good with the nautical terms-=but for the rest of ignorant fools out there, firstly, join the club, and secondly, it's the simultaneous release of all the guns on a ship. Let's not forget that "Kipin loves explosions.")

The ship was sinking quickly. Before it went down, Tarus saw other pirates boarding it and looting whatever they could, then being hauled back into their own ship. Falling into despair--and the frothing ocean--Tarus closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable.

It didn't come.

He had a faint sensation of drifting, but was most certainly alive. He felt as though he was sleeping. Then, waking up, he realized he was--had been. He was now on a small dinghy. Surrounding him were the surviving members of the crew--the captain, Gwindolyn, Romania, her dress newly ripped, and a few crew members and deckhands.

The mysterious prisoner was nowhere to be found.

Sorry for sinking the ship. There was very little else to do, and it provided, I think, a fairly decent explosion. *rolls eyes* Plus, if they land on a deserted island or something, we'll be rid of all that nautical slang, which will be more than terrific.

submitted by Mary W., age 11, Bordentown, NJ
(February 11, 2009 - 3:16 pm)

Dude, that was awesome! Nice job, Mary Liz.


The captain was in an understandable rage. "Why, those miserable scurvy Corsairs! Nobody gets away wid sinkin' me lubberly Poison Emerald! I'll give 'em what fer!"

 Gwindolyn blew a sigh of exasperation. "Cap'n, we're in th' middle of th' ocean in a dinghy, we've got no supplies, there's only a dozen of us here at best, an' one of them is a useless prisoner... I don't think we're in th' position t'be givin' what fer t'anyone at present.

Tarus tried to speak, but his voice came out as a tired croak. "Ca - ack, ahem - Captain? What did I miss?" Romania gave an unladylike snort. "What did he miss," she muttered, "not much, just the blasted ship exploding, and half the pirates dying, that's all!"

With a gloomy glance at Romania, the captain nodded, seeming to deflate considerably. "Aye, lad, unfortunately, that about sums it up. My lubberly Poison Emerald!" He buried his face in his hands, in a very uncharacteristic show of emotion.

 There was a shout from Eagle-Eye Smith, who had survied the sinking of the ship. "Avast there, an island, lookit, there on th' horizon!"

The remaining pirates all crowed to the starboard rail, craning their necks eagerly. Tarus painfully drew out his spyglass, minding a nasty bruise on his ribs, and passed it to the captain. Looking through it, the captain declared, "Aye, it's the Lubber's Isle! Look lively, shipmates, an' tack to port! By my grannie's wig, we're goin' t'make it!"

submitted by Commander Kip, age 16, Back from the D
(February 13, 2009 - 11:47 am)

Commander Kip is the ONLY ONE who read another post and remembered that I do not go by Mary! I don't mind Mary, but it is very nice to know that SOMEONE is remembered that I'm used to (and prefer) Mary Liz. Thanks!!

While Tarus and the others rowed desperately to make it to the mysterious isle by sundown, which was rapidly approaching, on that arcane island, known by outsiders as Lubbers' Isle but in truth called Raven Beak Point, the land was buzzing with activity.

A young native Indian girl, one of the Ihcnaib tribe, washed pottery pieces in a small stream that fed into the ocean that her village was surounded by. All of the Ichnaib, even the smallest child, were trained in warlike manner and had the eyes of a hawk, a trait prided by the tribe. Therefore, as the sharp-eyed girl looked out to sea, it was no magnificent feat for her to spy a small boat a good few miles away.

She quickly gathered up her things and darted shadow-like back to the village, sprinting to her father's tent. He was the chief of the town, and a very imposing one at that. He frihtened even her on the best of occasions.

"Papi, Papi," called the girl. "I saw a ship on the horizon." She spoke in her tribe's native tongue, not a language understood by many.

The tall man strode out. "What do you mean, Otoila? You saw a ship? How large? How far away? Ammunition? Men? Crew? Nationality? Flag?"

Otoila answered her father's rapid-fire questions in order. Spitting out unintelligible inquiries and hardly breathing was one of his small idiosyncrasies.

"I mean just what I said. Yes, I saw a ship. Not very large at all, hardly fit to be called a dinghy. A few miles at the least. I'm sure they have few or no weapons. About a half dozen men, give or take a few; I was too far away to tell. No professional crew to speak of. I was too far away to tell where they were from but they didn't have a flag. They looked rather disorganized. Could be runaways, or marooned, or maybe they were in a wreck."

Her father, Rehpotsirhc, called Sir for short, looked unflapped. "I'll send a few warriors out and we'll see if there's anything to loot."

Otoila didn't ask about the fate of the sailors. They'd either drown or be brought back as prisoners. At best, her dad would decide to indulge the islanders with some fried crewmember. In their language, Ichnaib meant "cannibal," and they lived up to it- not eating their own people, of course, that would be rude, and not strictly carnivores, of course, that would be suicide, but eating whatever unfortunate people happened to come along. Otoila's own personal favorite was sauteed captain with chive and clam chowder.

A mere fifteen minutes later, strong-armed young men were rowing out swiftly to ambush the survivors of the Poison Emerald.

submitted by Mary LIZ, thank you, age 11, Bordentown, NJ
(February 13, 2009 - 4:07 pm)

You're welcome! *goggles at the cannibals* Mmm, this should be fun.

As the dinghy drew nearer to Lubber's Isle, Tarus asked Gwindolyn some questions. "So, what's the big deal about Lubber's Isle? Why is the Captain so happy that we found it?"

The blade-tongued coxswain wrung water out of her hair. "Not entirely sure, lad. There's stories about Lubber's Isle, stories that c'n make yer blood run cold. Man-eatin' reptiles longer'n a coral reef, giant clams that'd swaller ye whole as soon as look at ye, cannibals all o'er th' place -"

Tarus was startled. "Cannibals? I thought they died out long ago, from starvation."

"Naw, not all of 'em," Gwindolyn answered. "There's still th' occasional is'lated tribe that's managed t' escape extinction... 'n there's rumors o' one such tribe somewhere nearabouts."

His nerves jangling, Tarus gulped. "Well, let's hope there are no cannibals on Lubber's Isle, then. It sounds like we'll have plenty to deal with, counting th' reptiles an' clams an' all."

"Oi!" shouted Serk the gunner, surprising Tarus. "There's summat in th' water, look!"

submitted by Commander Kip, age 16, Back from the D
(February 14, 2009 - 3:57 pm)

Question: Why would the captain be happy to find an island overrun by cannibals? Just a thought.  You may have some reason for this and if so, ignore my question.


Paddling toward them with ferocious speed were 5 rough men.  Their bodies were covered in an intricate  pattern of tatooes.  Most of the men had strange piercings through their nose and ears.  Cutting through the waves, the men quickly reached the longboat holding its precious cargo.  Two savages, who seemed to be the leaders, climbed into the dory.  Grunting in a kind of guttural language, they surveyed the terrified crew of the Poisoned Emerald.  None of the crew dared to speak. Tarus was more concerned about Romania, who looked about to faint, then he was about himself.  The two savages conversed among themselves, trading all manner of  clicks and grunts.  Apparently, they had come to an agreement.  Motioning to one of the other men in the other boat, he grabbed a rope and handed it to the captain. Then he gestured toward the island in the distance with his other hand.  The meaning was clear.  The savages were going to tow them to the island.


submitted by Phoenix
(February 14, 2009 - 7:48 pm)