• Daniela Sylmae

Meet My D&D Character | Jacklynn Bones

“My heart is an ocean filled with the lyrics of sea shanties. Soon I’ll find the pearl that is my own.”

A pirate’s life is one of a ship on the seas, a cutlass in hand, and a belly full of grog. If there be a storm on the seas, then better it be, for the storm forces the ocean to bring about her mightiest tides. And it is on a night like this that the Selkie of the Sea was born.

Jacklynn Bones came to this world on the night of a full moon and a full-on battle between her father’s ship and that of another ruthless pirate.

The name Whittaker Bones holds just as much weight as Davy Jones on the seas. A respected pirate, the white-bearded man had a reputation any pirate would wish for: feared, yet admired. He held true to the pirate’s code, taking what he could, giving nothing back. He bartered every chance he got and strategically held back his cannons only until a battle at sea was truly necessary.

His crew was the most loyal crew a captain could dream of. Aboard The Silent Selkie, he and his crew sailed the seas in search of any treasure they heard in the wind, even if it was just one word of gossip. They’d track it down until there was no use but to leave. In their travels, they’ve faced many a creature that towered over the ship, but with a level-head, Whittaker Bones commanded them to safety, destroying any enemy that blocked his path.

Always by his side was his First Mate and best mate, Gilman Dukes, or as most pirates knew him by his own well-earned reputation… “Rum Lover.” The two pirates took on the seas together, never leaving each other’s side, building each other up in name and in gold. They both even share a tattoo: an outline of a seal in honor of their ship.

Though most of the year, Whittaker Bones and his crew spent their time at sea, at least a few months during that time they’d return to land for some rest. Like proper pirates, they spent all the gold they did not bury, for what is the point of stealing gold if it’s not to spend it on a good life. Some visited women willing to accompany them for a hefty price. Some went straight to the tavern for a goblet of rum and a game of cards, with Gilman “Rum Lover” among them, of course.

However, Whittaker Bones always returned to the same island during their retreat to land, for on the island of Portrock Cay, there lived a woman who almost pulled Whittaker Bones away from the sea.

Lyla Lay had a name that sounded like a sea shanty meant only for Whittaker Bones to hear, and it caught his attention when he first met her on the beach. When he heard her sing a sea shanty per his request, she stole his heart and locked away the key.

A wench of a local tavern, she dreamed of living by the sea, but Whittaker told her gold just beyond one’s grasp is beautiful to look at, but when it sits in the palm, that is a sacred moment. Convinced by the pirate, Lyla Lay left her life behind and joined him on the sea.

Keeping the crew happy with sea shanties, she fit right in. Though some were skeptical at first about having a woman on board, they were far too loyal to their captain to question him. Eventually, with her voice leading them in song on long, weary days, they completely forgot about the bad luck she may have brought to the Silent Selkie.

And perhaps it was bad luck that she brought to the ship, for all pirates have enemies, but Whittaker Bones’ reputation kept those enemies at bay, until one had enough.

Garrick The Stubborn had an anger fueled by envy for Whittaker. Some say it is because every time Garrick arrived at a new island for treasure, he soon found that Whittaker had already come to snatch it up. Others say it is because Whittaker stole Garrick’s buried treasure more than once, and some say it is because Garrick had eyes on the beautiful Lyla Lay, she who was stolen from him by the captain of the Silent Selkie.

Like a water rat scurrying about, Garrick eventually found The Silent Selkie on open waters, on a day where the clouds were dark and heavy.

That same day, Lyla Lay sweat as she paced the Captain’s Quarters, holding onto her back as she awaited the arrival of her infant.

As lightning cracked and thunder roared, Lyla screamed at the pain of childbirth and Garrick The Stubborn attacked the Silent Selkie.

Loyal to his ship, Whittaker took out his cutlass and kept his attention on deck, focused eyes on the enemy while rain pelted on their backs. Gilman stayed with Lyla as she delivered her child.

Every tavern one visits will have a patron with a different version of the story, but this much is certain.

Lyla Lay died singing the name of her child, “Jacklynn Bones.”

Garrick The Stubborn boarded the ship and in the chaos, the great Whittaker Bones became lost at sea.

The crew, with their captain as a martyr for they could not find him and assumed him dead, overtook the enemy pirates and killed them all in the name of revenge.

Saddened by the events of the night, they took proper time to grieve their captain and his lady. Then, in their name, they kept the Silent Selkie’s flag high overhead, sailing her in their memory.

Gilman took baby Jacklynn as his own, raising her like the niece she would have been, had her father lived. He raised her as a pirate, teaching her the proper way to care for a ship, the proper way to play and cheat at a game of cards, and the proper way, when of age, to drink grog and rum.

Jacklynn had the presence of her father on the ship, but her heart and soul was that of her mother, or so say the crew of the Silent Selkie. The only young one on the ship save for another young boy earning his place on the crew, she spent most of her time alone. She felt at home in the crow’s nest where she sang sea shanties with instruments gifted to her by crew members.

The crew never stayed the same while she lived her life on the ship, though. Without Captain Whittaker Bones as their anchor, many pirates came and went with Gilman at the helm. Gilman was a pirate, sure, but he was no captain. Jacklynn grew to realize that crew members and even captains did not stay forever, and therefore were not most important. It is the ship that allows one to live at sea that is most important in her eyes.

Though in love with the sea, she did not think of herself as a true pirate. Aware of the story behind her family, she became a shy girl. Born with a reputation thanks to her surname, she prefered being quiet and alone. Thanks to the tales spread across the seas, many knew her as the Selkie of the Sea, the child born during a storm the night her father was lost at sea. Many believed she would soon grow up to be just like Whittaker Bones.

As for Jacklynn, she did not see herself as a great captain like her father. She never thought she could be. After all, with a shadow of reputation left over by her father, what chance did she have, she thought. She felt no desire to pillage nor steal. Though a fan of gold, she did not have a desire of keeping it all buried away or spending it all in one go. She felt like she was not the pirate everyone expected her to be. A failure. And so, she retreated to her crow’s nest where it was just her and the sea.

However, when she sang her sea shanties that the winds carried down to the ears of the crew, Gilman knew she was exactly like her father. Her voice, like her mother’s, had a spirit of its own. It demanded attention and encouraged tranquility as well as community. Her singing voice asked for respect, but generated just enough fear to be cautious of the Selkie of the Sea. The day would come that she would realize she is a true pirate at heart, he thought. The day would come that she would captain her own ship and build a story around her name for all pirates to know.

Jacklynn, in her crow’s nest, did not dream of owning her own ship, however. She dreamed only of writing her own sea shanty that would live on for centuries after her death. She dreamed of singing this shanty while gazing upon the sunset. That is the gold she treasured most and wished to share with the world who loved the sea just as much as she did.

Whether it be through a sea shanty or a ship, there is a legacy to be written for Jacklynn Bones. A legacy fit only for a pirate.

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