High Tides and Low Life
Captain of the Santa Cecilia
Now 37, Sebastiano knows seven major languages and a handful of minor dialects. He has contacts from Cathay to Avalon, and is as comfortable taking coffee with a heathen Crescent as he is debating philosophy with the scholars of Montaigne. His first mate is a Crescent, his ship’s master is a Vesten skjæren, his head boarder hails from Ussura, and his chief gunner is a Vodacce girl about the size of a mouse. Navigators who understand quality would kill for his charts and rutters, and his stories of the high seas leave many listeners breathless.
Sebastiano is a handsome, dashing Vodacce with a rich booming voice, a ready grin, and a twinkling eye — the perfect image of a rakish sea captain. His skill with the sword is passable, but his true gift lies in his ability to communicate and persuade. He is a first rate navigator, and the Santa Cecilia has never been off course with him at the helm. His cargoes have made several Princes quite a bit of money (not all of it above-board), and they would be loath to give up a good thing.
Above all, however, Sebastiano keeps an open mind. He has seen enough to understand that nearly all men are the same at heart. Sebastiano is a Benefactor in good standing in the Order of the Rose and Cross, and maintains a membership in the Explorer’s Society. He tolerates people who would be considered shocking by much of the rest of Théah, and generally tries talking before fighting — but when he does fight, he fights for keeps. This mindset has contributed in large part to his success, and he sees no reason to give up a good thing, either.
“We have to go around. The reefs out there have torn Castillian galleons to driftwood and the Santa Cecilia’s a lot more delicate than that.”
The blood of half the nations of Théah runs in the veins of Sebastiano Scogna (Skoneya). His mother was the daughter of a Montaigne merchant and an Eisen ship captain’s daughter, his father the result of a union between a Vodacce navigator and a Castillian dancer. Sebastiano’s father was also a navigator for a trading ship, and Sebastiano set out to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as a youth, going to sea on his father’s ship. He learned to sail, learned to swear, learned to think fast, and learned to pray, all at sea. He also learned to dream, leaning on the rail and staring at the horizon, wondering what was out there.
His father saw to it that the boy was educated by the finest scientists and tutors he could procure, and Sebastiano took over navigation duties for his father when the latter grew too old to leave port. His career could have ended there were it not for his own insatiable curiosity.By the time Sebastiano was 22, he was versed in all aspects of seamanship, from ship construction to ship command.
Then his ship took a Castillian pirate vessel. The heavily damaged ship could not be easily towed back to port, and Sebastiano’s captain let Sebastiano claim it rather than lug it home to haggle for salvage. Sebastiano took a skeleton crew with him, and skillfully and delicately sailed the crippled ship to Vodacce for repairs. The Santa Cecilia (named for the Patron Saint of Wanderers) has now weathered several battles under the command of Captain Scogna, and her crew is fiercely loyal to him. They have sailed in all six seas, traded in the ports of every nation, fought pirates, bought drinks pirates, helped pirates hide their booty, and been pirates themselves.