The Wyrm's Croquet-Ground

I've been with the pirates for a week now, learning their ways and their language, and have found that they are somewhat decent folk. But my God, these French Pirates smell like merde. Even Viney is welting from the hostile air.

They were an odd bunch, scraggly and misshapen from a lifetime spent inside a dragon. They were the offspring, they told me, of those who survived a raid many ages ago. The Wyrm, they told me, swallowed their ancestors during the Storming of the Bastille (which they claimed was named incorrectly due to mistranslation and was in fact known locally as the Day That Dragon Swallowed a Bunch of Really Fine Folk Who Were Just Minding Their Own Damn Business, but whatever). 

They, of course, aren't pirates in the traditional sense of the word. But they refer to themselves as les pirates français and make routine raids on the neighboring communities. Then again, they aren't particularly French either. Sure, they speak something sort of like French--if French could sound intestinal, gurgley, and more even acerbic than it already does. They wear stripes and drink something they call a cappuccino, but really, they are just smelly, slimy, strange creatures who get passionate about rather random things.

Their latest passion, I found, was croquet. Not having the proper equipment, they used Bowelbear skulls for balls and swords as mallets. For hoops, they removed their disturbingly large hook-hands and wedged them into the flesh of the dragon. They were in the midst of the First Annual Wyrm-Croquet Tournament when they abducted me, and were competing for a rather lame looking trophy, an old helmet that looked as though it had never been cleaned.  

They had abducted me, I found out, to referee their final match, as none of them could remain impartial upon penalty of death. This seemed very prudent to me, and I understood at once my solemn duty to judge fairly and watch for cheating (as French Pirates do love to cheat at a game). The Guy could wait, fair-sportsmanship was important. And so I refereed eagerly and honestly with one hand on my nose and the other holding a copy of The Game of Croquet, its Laws and Regulations. You can imagine my horror when I found that as I called 'foul' the offending party was immediately executed! 

This, however, gave me an idea. It was clear that the French Pirates were a vicious bunch, and although they had lived in relative prosperity for some time, they were itching for a fight. And so it was that on the final match I unleashed my plan.

"Foul! The balls are cheating!" I called. 

That's right. The balls, those hideous Bowelbear skulls, had been cheating the entire game. The Bowelbears themselves were working to undermine the beloved First Annual Wyrm-Croquet Tournament to steal the glory of the French! Those bâtards!

With their nationalistic spirit raised, they took their mallets and hoops in a vengeful fashion and plunged into the dark to take their penalty shots, carrying their beloved referee, myself (nose-plugged), on their shoulders.

Together we sang:

Aux armes, joueurs de croquet,
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons !
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons !

Whatever the heck that means. All I know is that my nose hurts and it's time to storm a prison.