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a lil thing i started


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So this book doesn’t have a name yet but I’ve written some of it and done some (awful) drawings for it. I’ve done the prologue, epilogue and chapter 1 - yes i know i’m weird, i always start by doing the beginning and the end and working through to meet in the middle. it’s easier for me okay :P

Also I should probably mention that there’s a few implied references to rape/sexual abuse, so if you don’t want to read about that then please don’t read the prologue.

so here’s the prologue:


My name is Rebae Aranet. I am a Pirate Queen. 

They have kept me locked in the hold of this ship - ‘my’ ship - for seventeen years and ten months. Counting the days is the only mental stimulus I have in this darkest, deepest corner of the ship. Of the world.

They have beaten me down so often I feel as if I shall never again rise. Never again have hope.

The Maritime Board took that from me fifty years ago, when they proposed the brutal changes to the ways of the Pirate Queens. Lusting for power, they needed a figurehead. A puppet. 

They have found one in me. 

This is my fate. On my eighteenth birthday, I am to pick a suitor from the island to be my husband and king-consort. I am to be subjected to nightly horrors until I become pregnant with the next Pirate Queen. Upon her birth, I am to be killed. Immediately.

A future. That’s something they took from me, as well.

Every day, at six o’clock, they bring me thin broth and stale bread. The sailors know they must keep me alive, lest they incur the wrath of the Maritime Board, but they work hard to make my existence as miserable as they can. 

I used to have Elishan, the kindly old maid who would bring me food and talk with me, but I have not seen her in a month and I fear they have killed her. If they have, I bless her sacrifice and wish upon the tides that she may find peace in the next life. 

If they have not, I would have her return to me. My solitary confinement becomes almost too much to bear.

It will soon worsen, though, as my eighteenth birthday draws ever closer. The assaults and abuse will start, and then I shall become pregnant. If the child is a boy, the torture resumes, with renewed vigour. If the child is a girl, I am to be executed.

I am beginning to wish for the latter.

the epilogue:


Five months later

My name is Rebae Aranet. I am a Pirate Queen.

They have tried to cast me down, over and over, but they have failed. I was born a warrior queen, and I may not have lived my whole life like that, but I have come to a decision. From today, I am strong. From today, I am fierce.

From today, I fight back.

I have been subjected to tortures that no eighteen-year-old — no one at all — should ever have to endure. My morale has been continuously and mercilessly crushed. They tried to break me on that day five months ago, and tides, they nearly did.

Yet still, somehow, I stand tall. 

I cannot fathom how I am still mentally sound. Perhaps I am not. 

But I fight back. Nothing else matters.

Never underestimate the power of a Pirate Queen unchained. That was the mistake the Board made — they thought they could beat me down so that I never rose again. 

Well, more fool them. They should watch their backs.

I have Maikel. I have Elishan. I have little Taelen. I have everyone I need.

My name is Rebae Aranet. And I am not afraid.

an un-edited chapter 1:


2 months later


Chapter 1. Birthday


“… happy birthday to me…”

My voice echoes across the empty hold, barely more than a croak. It is husky from disuse and feels like sandpaper in my throat. I haven’t spoken a word in a year, not since my last birthday. 

I always sing to myself on my birthday, so that my throat doesn’t completely seize up, but I maintain my silence the rest of the year round. I vowed to do so on my fifth birthday, and have kept it so well that there are some who call me the Silent Queen. This is what I have done every year, and the familiarity comforts me.

There is nothing usual about this birthday, though. For today, I am eighteen. 

Today, I am to meet my would-be husbands. And pick the one I deem the most worthy within the day.

This, by tradition, is supposed to be a Pirate Queen’s choice. Yet I have already been told by the Maritime Board who I must select. Someone loyal to them, by the name of Maikel Nilkosz. Not even the sailors know of this.

A sharp rap on the door, followed by more aggressive banging, reminds me of it even more forcefully. 

‘Girl! Get out here now!’

I note that they are being civil today. Usually, they would simply barge in and physically drag me out.

I stumble to my long-unused feet and take a second to remember how to walk again. I stagger to the door, and manage to open it before my weak legs give way beneath me and I find myself on the floor. 

Looking down on me are the Captain, a woman I don’t recognise, and - blessedly - Elishan. I try to get to my feet to embrace her, but the Captain forces me down again. Elishan whispers something to him, and he relaxes his grip but still looks angry. Elishan pats my head fondly, and it’s the most intimate gesture anyone has ever given me. It takes every ounce of my self control not to shy away, even though I know she means well.

The other woman helps me to my feet with a surprisingly gentle touch for one so sturdily built. She reminds me of a mossy rock - left to weather out in the storms, yet still thriving. 

‘You are Rebae, I presume?’

I nod.

‘A pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Teriyone, but you may call me Teri. I will be your lady’s maid.’

Incredulity burns inside me. A lady’s maid? 

It must have shown in my eyes, for she adds, ‘You must be presentable for the suitors, of course. Those rags will never do. No, no. If we cut your hair, clean you up, add some makeup… you could be a beauty, a real beauty…’

She trails off, looking thoughtful, and I attempt to determine what all this meant. A lady’s maid? Washing and cutting my hair? Makeup?

They are trying to turn me into a mysterious seductress, I realise. They are spinning the rumours about me so that the unknowns are not dangerous but intriguing - thrilling, even.

The manipulative tides-cursed bastards.

Teri snaps suddenly into action and I almost jump out of my skin. ‘Right, come with me. We’re going to the bathroom to get you all nice and clean…’

She doesn’t stop talking for the entire way there, so much that I almost walk straight past the door, expecting her to continue her incessant spiel, when she declares, ‘Here we are.’

I grimace inwardly. I have never been cleaned before and I cannot begin to imagine how invasive and uncomfortable it will be.

My thoughts in a tangle and my mind still unsure what to make of the experience, I step inside.

some drawings of Rebae:



i messed up on the face so we’re saying she has a mask now. deal with it. also please don’t question the anatomy on any of these its soooo dodgy


idk why it went sideways??

this is the only one i actually kind of like




and here’s a bonus one of elishan, the kind maid (she shows up later as well as her mention in the prologue)





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Thanks so much!

14 hours ago, CalanoCorvus said:

that reminds me a LOT of the Three Dark Crowns series.

I wasn’t intentionally thinking of it when I thought of the premise/general plot, but I had read them recently so I feel like it was probably subconsciously influenced. And when I read them back i realised they do sound a lot like it :)

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2 hours ago, The Halcyon Girl said:

You will keep writing this, right?



… I think. :ph34r: You know when you get that super exciting thrill when you think of the plot for a new book, think ‘right, I’m going to write this in full, do all the editing and get it published’ and then a few weeks later you’re like ‘… why did I ever think this was a good story idea…’

Hoping that won’t happen here tho because I actually like this one :P


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1 hour ago, MysticalShadows said:


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… I think. :ph34r: You know when you get that super exciting thrill when you think of the plot for a new book, think ‘right, I’m going to write this in full, do all the editing and get it published’ and then a few weeks later you’re like ‘… why did I ever think this was a good story idea…’

Hoping that won’t happen here tho because I actually like this one :P


I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN. I actually have one of those posted somewhere around here (The Helios Symposium), and I hope I can add to it more than I’ve been doing. I’ve had other ideas that I’ve been really excited about but then just sort of fade to back stage, including one about dragons, one about kids, and one about an elemental world with a lot of backstory. Like, a lot. 

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Here’s a random scene from about halfway through the story, after Rebae chooses Maikel as her husband and while she’s in the process of falling in love with him for real (yes I know its cliche, deal with it)

Critique would be most welcome ^_^


Romi leaves the hallway and I realise with a start that me and Maikel are alone together. 

We study each other for a long moment, until I look away. As I turn, I catch the swiftly masked hurt in his eyes - he does not know why I cannot hold a gaze like that for more than a few seconds.

That gaze says that he wants me. I do not know how to want. I only know how to neglect, to despise.

I learned from the best.

He turns to go, with a downcast demeanour that breaks my heart. We cannot go on like this, dodging each other, exchanging awkward greetings. We are supposed to be married, bound in a contract of eternal love.

He loves me.

Do I love him?

I have told myself that I cannot love nor be loved. I am merely something to use. A plaything. A pawn.

Think like that, and you set yourself up for failure. You have been forced into this - you may as well make the best of it.

On a whim, I catch his arm as he leaves. ‘Maikel?’

’Yes?’ He looks surprised when I address him by name and I realise I have never done so before. He has always been ‘excuse me’ or ‘sir’ or nothing at all. 

I think the surprise is good.

Something sparks in his eyes that I cannot quite identify, and I feel the electricity crackle beneath my fingers on his arm. Perhaps he is full of nervous energy, and that is what I can feel. Yet he is perfectly calm and serene.

’I’m sorry.’ The words slip out, soft as a feather and just as light. 

He just nods, looking strangely resigned, the light in his eyes smothered. Then he walks away.

I sink to my knees. Oh, stars. Oh, stars above and tides below.

He loves me.

And I think I love him.

That is where Romi finds me four hours later. All she says is ‘come on, let’s get you cleaned up and ready for tomorrow,’ but I see the worry in her eyes.

I think…

I think I am beginning to love her too. Not in the same way as Maikel, but just as strong.

I have no family left. But family is what you make it.

And sometimes families are found.

I let her strong, capable arms carry me to my room, where I drift to sleep knowing, for the first time in my life, that I am safe.


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