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Assassin's Creed : Black Flag : Assassin's Creed Series : Book 6 - Oliver Bowden

Assassin's Creed : Black Flag

Assassin's Creed Series : Book 6

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'I was spellbound by the hooded man at work.
Mesmerized by this agent of death, who had ignored the carnage around him by biding his time and waiting to strike.'


It is the Golden Age of Piracy and the New World beckons. Edward Kenway - the brash young son of a wool merchant who dreams of gold - cannot resist the lure of a life of glory on the high seas.

When his family homestead is attacked there seems like no better time to escape, and Kenway soon establishes himself as one of the deadliest privateers of his day.

But greed, ambition and betrayal follow closely in his wake. And when evidence of a crippling conspiracy begins to surface, threatening to destroy everything that he holds dear, Kenway can't resist the urge for retribution.

And so he is drawn into the centuries-old battle between the Assassins and the Templars.

About the Author

Oliver Bowden is a pseudonym for an acclaimed novelist who is also a Renaissance historian.

1

1719 (or thereabouts)

I cut off a man's nose once.

I don't recall exactly when it was: 1719 or thereabouts. Nor where. But it happened during a raid on a Spanish brig. We wanted her supplies, of course. I pride myself on keeping the Jackdaw well stocked. But there was something else on board, too. Something we didn't have but needed. Someone, to be precise. A ship's cook.

Our own ship's cook and his mate were both dead. Cook's mate had been caught pissing in the ballast, which I didn't allow so punished the traditional way, by making him drink a mug of the crew's piss. I must admit, I've never had it happen before where the mug of punishment piss actually killed the man, but that's what happened with the cook's mate. He drank the mug of piss, went to sleep that night and never got up. Cook was all right by himself for a time, but he did like a nip of rum, and after a nip of rum was apt to take the night air on the poop deck. I'd hear him clomping about on the roof of my cabin, dancing a jig. Until one night I heard him clomping about on the roof of my cabin and dancing a jig – followed by a scream and a splash.

The bell rang and the crew rushed to the deck where we dropped anchor and lit lanterns and torches, but of cook there was no sign.

They had lads working with them, of course, but they were just boys, none of them knew how do anything more culinary- minded than stir the pot or peel some spuds, and we'd been living on raw grub ever since. Not a man among us knew how to do so much as boil a pot of water.

Now, not long back we'd taken a man- of- war. A tasty little excursion from which we'd bagged ourselves a brand spanking new broadside battery and a hold full of artillery: cutlasses, pikes, muskets, pistols, powder and shot. From one of the captured crew, who then became one of my crew, I'd learnt that the Dons had a particular supply ship on which served an especially adept cook. Word was that he'd cooked at court but offended the queen and been banished. I didn't believe a word of that but it didn't stop me repeating it, telling the crew we'd have him preparing our meals before the week was out. Sure enough we made it our business to hunt down this particular brig, and when we found it, lost no time in attacking it.

Our new broadside battery came in handy. We drew up alongside and peppered the brig with shot till she broke, the canvas in tatters and the helm splintered in the water.

She was already listing as my crew lashed and boarded her, scuttling over her sides like rats, the air heavy with the stink of powder, the sound of muskets popping and cutlasses already beginning to rattle. I was in among them as always, cutlass in one hand and my hidden blade engaged, the cutlass for melee work, the blade for close finishing. Two of them came at me and I made short of the first, driving my cutlass into the top of his head and slicing his tricorne in half as the blade cleaved his head almost in two. He went to his knees with the blade of my sword between his eyes but the problem was I'd driven it in too deep, and when I tried to wrench it free his writhing body came with it. Now the second man was upon me, terror in his eyes, not used to fighting, obviously, and with a flick of the blade I sliced off his nose, which had the desired effect of sending him back with blood spraying from the hole where his beak had been, while I used two hands to finally wrench my cutlass out of the skull of the first attacker and continue the good fight. It was soon over, with as few of their crew dead as possible, me having given out special instructions that on no account was the cook to be harmed – whatever happened, I'd said, we had to take the cook alive.

And as their brig disappeared beneath the water and we sailed away, leaving a fog of powder smoke and a sea of splintered hull and bobbing bits of broken ship behind us, we gathered their crew on the main deck to flush out the cook, hardly a man among us not salivating, his belly not rumbling, the well- fed look of their crew not lost on us. Not at all.

It was Caroline who taught me how to appreciate good food. Caroline, my one true love. In the all- too brief time we'd spent together she'd refined my palate, and I liked to think that she'd have approved of my policy towards the repast, and how I'd passed on a love of the finer things to the crew, knowing as I did, partly due to what she'd shown me, that a well- fed man is a happy man, and a happy man is a man less prone to questioning the authority of the ship, which is why in all those years at sea I never had one sniff of mutiny. Not one.

'Here I am,' he said, stepping forward. Except it sounded more like, 'Beer I bam,' owing to his bandaged face, where some fool had cut off his nose.
Oliver Bowden

Oliver Bowden is a pseudonym for an acclaimed novelist who is also a Renaissance historian.

Visit Oliver Bowden's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9780718159528
ISBN-10: 9781908172372
Series: Assassin's Creed
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 30th October 2013
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.3
Weight (kg): 24.2