The following is ENTIRELY non-canon.
*How did this happen? How did leading a charge turn into cowering in a corner? How did these fiends win?*
*Maybe he should have just swam away, in any direction at all. Maybe he should have let the pirates defend their own ship. Maybe he should have just jumped from the crow's nest...*
*Barnes scrabbles up the netting. Every step feels like lifting a mountain, with plate armor and cold steel dragging him down. The netting rips again and again. Eyes fill with sweat. Almost there.*
*After reaching the top, Barnes sees that it doesn't go all the way to the nest. This high will have to do.*
"SAILORS!" *Points sword to the enemy, then the sky* "Ready your blades and boarding hooks! They may have spells and guns, but WE have cold steel! No toothpick of an Altmer can challenge us and we will BUTCHER them, on their own ship!