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As Harry Stottel says, "Twelvians are social animals." Thus, they love spending time with their peers, whether playing games of all sorts, feasting, or throwing back a cool drink… or three. Indeed, all this happens regularly – and more often than that on holidays – at the popular Tipsy Mumussel tavern…

One night during the Me Hearty Party, Greedo rum was flowing freely at the Tipsy Mumussel tavern. Barban the Barbarian, Barb'Iturat and Barben'Froth – three of the old tavern's most loyal customers – were playing their usual game of darts, wisely located near the bar. Darts, and more… The young "pirates" as they liked to call themselves – rather prematurely, according to many – regularly battled it out in what could be called "ego jousts". The winner of these jousts was the one who'd accomplished the most incredible (or most grotesque) exploit! And that night was no exception… Tall tales and bravado of all kinds were flowing freely…

"I didn't tell you yet, guys, but… I pulled another great one five months ago!" said Barban the Barbarian.

"What? You brushed your teeth, did ya? Bwaaahahahahah!"

"Go on, laugh if you want, Barb'Iturat. But I know someone who likes my 'pegs' just fine…"

"Dantinea? Shocker! The Queen of the Trituns'd flirt with a shovel wearing a wig!" said Barben'Froth.

Barban ignored his friend's comment. He pulled a stool out from under the bar, lifted his right leg, and slapped his foot down on the seat. Then he pulled up his pant leg to show his calf.

"You see that?"

"Ohh… fuzzy! Can I touch it?"

Barban slapped away Barb'Iturat's hand. A half-circle bite mark a good three centikameters deep was clearly visible in his flesh, which was as thick as Deminoball leather.

"Fishing for Grawns really isn't your thing , Barban…" teased Barb'Iturat.

"No, but catching a Crabtun bare-handed is."

His two friends looked at each other and then shot him skeptical grins.

"I'm serious," insisted Barban. "The nasty critter was cutting its teeth on the hull of my ship. So I grabbed it by its lil' light bulb and sent it flying. Five spins around, on the house, and then wham, direction Shustuft Crust in one straight shot, no stops, if you please!"

"Sure… Fine. But that doesn't stake up against the time I defeated an army of Diepwons, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a storm, in the middle of Descendre, in the middle of…"

"A dream? Bwaaahahahaha!" interrupted Barb'Iturat.

He and Barban started laughing hilariously, slapping their thighs like mad.

"Go ahead and laugh. At least I know how to swim…"

Barben'Froth's comment was directed at Barb'Iturat. The pirate, usually always in a playful mood, froze, his face suddenly sad.

"You're not going to bring that up again, are you? I wasn't feeling well. It happens, you Raul Mops, you! Let me remind you that I swam across the Asse Sea, I did. Yes, sir! From Moon Island to Nolifis Island. And in just under three days!"

"Right. And I dug the Abysses of Sufokia!" answered Barban with a snicker.

"And I beat the pants off LeChouque!" exclaimed Barben'Froth.

Barban and Barb'Iturat laughed loudly at that.

"No, really… I'm not kidding, guys."

The two pirates stopped cold. Barb'Iturat was trying hold back a grin. Barban, for his part, rolled his eyes and sighed with exasperation.

"Slow your roll, Barben'Froth. LeChouque? Really? You think we're gonna swallow that one?" he said, annoyed.

"The person who can defeat the captain of the Hurl hasn't yet been born, old chap, so stop with all your tall tales!"

"The only one who showed him what-for is that cursed monkey, Moon. And even then, it wasn't on purpose!" added Barban.

"No, it's true, I'm telling you…"

"Right… And you ground his crew of walking skeletons to dust, too, maybe?" said Barb'Iturat.

"Hang on, hang on. In two minutes, he's gonna tell us he adopted Telltail…"

"And beat LeChouque in an arm wrestling contest. Or rather, a hook wrestling contest! Bwahahahahah!"

Laughing uncontrollably, Barban almost choked on his Greedo rum. Barb'Iturat kissed the tip of his dart before throwing it, and missed all the same.

Barben'Froth tried to get a word in. To no avail.

"For your information, LeChouque doesn't have a hook anymore, guys; he's got a real hand that he took off a thief, you ignoramuses. I was trying to say that…"

"Oh, stop with the bragging! How in the world could you beat him? Go on, tell me, I'd like to kno…"

Barban, who was getting ready to throw his dart, didn't have time to finish his sentence. He felt something brush past his face near his temple, followed by a slight breeze and whistling sound. In front of him, a saber came out of nowhere, cut through the air, and hit the bullseye on the target containing the three friends' scattered darts.

Frozen in fear, neither he nor Barb'Iturat dared turn around. Barben'Froth, slightly behind them to get his glass sitting on the bar, got a good look that answered the question his two friends were asking themselves: "Who?" A satisfied, slightly smug smile lit up his face.

"LIKE THAT."

A hollow voice from beyond the grave sounded out behind them. It was immediately followed by a huge shadow that seemed ready to swallow them whole. That figure, so opulent and ghost-like… It could only be… him.

LeChouque himself, accompanied by a few of his late crew, had just entered the room. A deathly silence fell over the tavern. The clients were frozen, so much so that you'd think you were watching a deadly game of Red Light Green Light. Barben'Froth walked over to the target to pull out the dagger stuck in it. Then he walked up to LeChouque under the shocked eyes of everyone there. He held out the pirate's blade, with a sly little grin.

"Ready for a rematch, Captain?"

Ever since he was hit with the spell accidentally activated by Moon because of a stupid game of voodoo darts, the pirate had started playing darts every Septangel 19 against anyone who wanted a go at that little game. He hadn't won a game yet – including the one he'd played against Barben'Froth – and hadn't yet announced what fate awaited whoever it was he'd finally beat…