High Tides and Low Life

Fuck the Sea
Arrival in Vodacce

Well the voyage was interesting to say the least. We save the crew at the bar fight and again from pirates, yet when another passenger steals a sword and makes a ruckus, we get blamed. Good riddance, may lightning strike you where you sail! Worst hospitality on the sea.

Now that we’ve arrived in Vodacce, I must make a trip to see my Donello Falisci and let him know of his gift’s delay. The bastard Wetback that stole my masters wine, wants to go to Numa. But I’m not sure I want to oblige his punk ass now. Besides the task my Prince has set for me, I’m on no other quest. We will see if my spirits lighten on the journey home. The rest of the party seems pretty capable, quite the warriors I like to surround myself with.

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To dig in the dirt

I was so glad to get off that ship. TO many crazy things were happening, a murder, being blamed, a pirate attack and a general feeling of being trapped, and my partner deciding he’d had enough and wanted to go home; well I wish him luck. With no time frame on my mission I decided to follow this group fro a little longer to dig up artifacts in Vodacci. What harm could that do? Plus it would give me a chance to get to know these people and their customs a little more. I hadnt been out of the Empire long so this would give me some new perspective.

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Nothing better to do
That I can remember

I have apologized to the ship captain for my outburst. I’m not sure what came over me, but the lockdown was frustrating, as was the assumption that the troupe I travel with were the guilty parties in all of this that has been going on. Also, I was hungry. That tends to make me very grumpy, especially in the state I currently find myself in.

Rafael has unveiled a plan to divest an old Numan ruin of whatever it might hold of worth. Everyone else has decided to throw in their lot with him; I am uncertain of this path and where it might take us. But then again, I am uncertain of everything.

I can’t really say why I have decided to join him, other than what else do I have to do? I have no home, no loved ones, no one seeking to find me, no purpose that I can recall. There is a name that haunts me, and a dream, but nothing substantial behind them. I am a blank slate.

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The Search Awaits

It appears I have an affinity for this fermented grape beverage given to me by the wealthy merchant the Castillian has named 괴도. I believe I could be inclined to partake of more…if only I had another bottle. Although…sometimes I worry, what more I would be willing to partake of under its influence…

I seem to have found myself aboard a sailing vessel bound for yet another strange land…but at least I know the common tongue of this Vodace…the only other language I can speak besides my own. My lack of linguistics does seem to be a hindrance…but thankfully I have found a teacher in the Castillian who is willing to aid me in learning his language…at the cost of teaching him my own. He does seem to be quite the scholar! Then there is an amnesiac with a Montaigne accent…not quite sure what to make of him, although technically I have been acquainted with him the longest. He does seem to be quite good with a sword, though. And then there is this Eisen who seems only to be interested in the fishing…

But, I digress…my linguistics tutor, Rafael, has come upon some information leading to an old archaeological site somewhere on Vodace land…could this be the beginning of my quest to relocate the sacred artifacts?

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A voyage of the damned

We had fled San Cristobal, and been attacked by pirates. My new traveling companions have apparently made the belief that I am a blood thirsty beast. I can not understand their beliefs that in a fight that there is not black an white, win or lose, live or die. Maybe they have experiences I do not but where I am from it is live or die there is no in between. We will see where this takes us. This Vodacci Prince does not sound like one I want to be involved with but if he is as powerful as they say maybe he can help me in my cause.

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Into the Vipers’ Nest
Sailing La Boca de Cielo

We are headed into the vipers’ nest. I use the plural here not because of where we are sailing, but more because of what I believe we are sailing into. My memories are not whole, so I cannot draw upon them as recourse. I have heard men aboard the ship speak of Prince Giovanni Villanova. He seems a rather black hearted individual, according to what has been said.

His Lordship, the Baron Falisci, has deemed it necessary for himself to be the one who returns Villanova’s blade personally. As I now seem to be in his employ as a swordsman, I am set to walk into this viper’s nest. The reaction of a Vodacce prince to a lesser noble carrying his prized possession may or may not be one we will survive intact. It is Villanova’s house, and lands, that we enter. We are at a disadvantage there, even armed with Falisci’s wiles and my blade.

We are accompanied by a brooding Eisen hulk, a lovely Crescent dancer, an even lovelier Cathayan archer, and a boisterous Castilian guitarist. Oh, and a Highland sailor. I do not know their motives in this venture, beyond keeping a viper’s fangs at bay. There will be more than one viper here in Vodacce, though. I hope my companions all know to watch their step, and mind the coils.

Or else we all will be bitten.

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Ya Ibn el Sharmouta
Son of a.....

Samirah

We had barely been in San Cristobal for a week and we were fleeing. We were supposed to meet a contact at a tavern. Taverns make me uncomfortable on a mission like this, to many things could go wrong and of course with my luck they had.

Someone started screaming about a Montaigne spy and then accused us of being in league with them. Four men advanced on my small group. So I did what had to be done. After the fight I find out the man I had slain was an Inquisitor with the Vaticine Church. That was all I needed. We were offered safe passage onto a merchant ship, who’s crewman was the one being labelled a spy.

Aboard the ship, a Montaigne crewman searches my master’s room and finds a Vodacci blade. He claims this blade belongs to his prince. A Vodacci named Villanova, a man whose reputation definitely proceeds him. After capturing the thief, my “master’s” assistant and throwing him and my master in the brig. I interrogate them both. The thief says he is not who he claims to be. As if my job wasn’t difficult enough. I am at a loss for words and what to do at the moment. My only thought is I do not, for any reason, want to be on Villanova’s bad side, and how to complete my job without the help of my “master.”

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We Take It!
Aboard the Santa Cecilia

After the incident at the bar, it seemed my only way out of this place was to board the ship with these individuals. Though I had no involvement in what had occurred, I was there and had no desire to be “interrogated” by the Inquisition.

We sat, had some food and drink, and got to know each other. Then as we were all going about our business, there was a ruckus below deck involving the Cresent girl and her Master. As we all rushed to see what was going on the Eisen merc and her, were finishing an altercation with another servant. Come to find out he had a stolen Vodacce sword, and it was Giovanni Villanova’s twisted blade. At first sight, I thought this was nothing but a bad omen.

The Montaigne that was on the ship claimed he was Giovanni’s Hand and proceeded to take the weapon, but I do not believe he is who he says he is. And after a restless night I have come to a decision. I will take the sword to Giovanni myself, and over the frauds body if need be. His hands on one of my nations sacred artifacts is an abomination. Giovanni has spies everywhere, and if he doesn’t get it back but finds out that I was here, it could bring his wrath upon my Prince. It could also bring some fortune our way, though I’m more concerned about the first.

I don’t believe Vinezio is up to the challenge of this caliber yet. But thankfully one of my new friends is. I’ve asked the Swordsman to assist me and explained to him why this needs to be done. He is not a Vodacce and has just taken the sword for himself, so we will do the same. When we get closer to shore is when we will strike.

I sat back a little more relaxed, thinking of what will transpire. “I’ll need some escorts through Villanova lands,” I thought.

Thinking about the bar fight, I started assessing each of my boat mates. Etienne, had proven his skill to Vinezio and looked to have the flair that I desire by my side. The Eisen, Alexander, is a hulk typical of the Eisen Mercenaries in the north. The Cresent, Samirah is as deadly as she is beautiful, though not quite as refined as Etienne, I did not choose her for the duel because of her brutality. The last two, are a mystery still. The Cathay, Ki seems to possess some nice sorcery that I could use to my advantage, and the Castille, Rafael has been great entertainment, which I always welcome in my company.

“Yes I think they’ll do just fine, maybe this isn’t such a bad omen after all,” were my last thoughts as I finally drifted off to slumber.

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Well isn't this nice?
Adventure in San Christobal

Once again, i had no luck with a job in San Christobal. Being a Mercenary had it’s perks, but it doesn’t help when nobody needs one. So, as i wandered around, i found myself a nice place to stay the night. First thing i needed, of course, was a drink. So what did i do? I got a drink.

Wasn’t the best I’ve had, but it was something. At least, it would have been if some guy hadn’t shouted right as i was taking a sip. Breathing in liquor does not work, i found out then. I turned on my stool to see what was going on, only to see some guy attacking this other one with a sword. Now, i’m not one for bar fights, but that was not going to be acceptable. brought out my panzerhand, and k.o.ed the guy. Also saw what i think was a dragon somewhere, but i was too busy with Mr. McShouts.

Found out they were part of the church, which was not good, seeing as how i’m an Objectionist. heheh… oops. So i tagged along with the rest of them. Might find some work along the way. On the boat, my time was wasted on fishing. Hey, old habits die hard. Especially when you were raised doing it. finally, something had happened ‘cause i heard some yelling coming from the hall. as i joined the rest of the crew, one of the Crescent’s allies was making a break for it. Sensing that was not a good move, i stuck my arm out to clothesline him, but he freaking ducked it. After being tripped by one of the others (I don’t know them that well) i picked the guy up by his tunic and handed him back to the woman. I then proceeded to listen to their conversation.

It soon died down, and i returned to my fishing. I was getting sleepy,so i began to reel in my line. out of the corner of my eye, i could have sworn i saw a face in the water. i shook my head and reclined in my chair, finding out the next morning that i had fallen asleep in it.

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A Swordsman's Honor
Memories of Steel

The motion of the ship awakened me; I feel I am familiar with this motion, though its rhythm is not one I have been used to for some time. It sets my footwork slightly off as I go through the motions of my school’s training. The salty air stings skin as I move, my shirt lying on the deck wet from sea spray.

I move through guard, thrust, cross-blade, and feint, my body’s memory serving where my mind’s is lacking. Though the monks did their job well, my new scars are still tight and my practice seems affected. The fancy Vodacce who calls himself Enzo Falisci seemed impressed enough with my practice while sparring with his man Vinezio, but I see where I am weak.

I am aboard this ship because I rushed in to protect the beautiful Lee Seul Ki from the threat of brutish fiends upon the docks of San Christobal, and because I rushed to the defense of a fellow Montaigne in the bar we later found ourselves in. The Inquisition was probably ready to hang us all, or worse, after that. At least the barkeep was happy—the purse I lifted from the man so unceremoniously butchered by the dancer Samirah seemed to cover whatever damages we had inflicted upon the place.

We were also joined aboard this ship by a jovial Castillian guitarist who introduced himself as Rafael Felipe Ortega and a quiet hulk of an Eisen named Alexander. The crew itself seems a mixed lot, but competent. We were out of the docks of San Christobal in minutes, with agents of the Inquisition upon our heels, so to speak.

A twist came when it was discovered that the Crescent merchant who was Samirah’s master had set his assistant to stealing a sword of some renown some time in their travels. My countryman, whose defense I had leapt to, proved to be a spy for a man named Villanova. We were all assured by Enzo that this man Villanova was no one to be trifled with in his homeland.

My regrets are two-fold, here—I never got to find who I was looking for in San Christobal, and now it seems that I might have to kill a countryman. Enzo offered his employ as a swordsman, and took me into his confidence. He means to take the sword by force, in order to present it to this Villanova personally. I assured him that I am no thug, I am a man of honor. Of this I know with a certainty, regardless of the cloud cast over my memories by a bullet.

However, Enzo wants me to challenge this fellow to a duel. WIth luck, I might just be able to land this Villanova’s blade at the Vodacce lord’s feet.

I sheathe my blades, and sit beside the mast to take in a draught of water. Sweat from my efforts rolls down my face and chest, which seem to be taking well to all of this sun. I wipe it away with my shirt, and reach into my money belt (newly-weighted by Vodacce money) to retrieve the fragment of a letter that I’ve looked at so many times since I left the company of the monks.


Étienne,
How I’ve missed you! It seems so long since we laughed in the garden together! I only wish that now, during this time of war, we’d spent more time together. I fear for you. Perhaps someday soon we will see each other again, I hold onto hope. I will soon be going to San-

Here, the ink is blurred from water, and unreadable. But below this section is a very well-lettered signature.

Yours,
Paulette


The monks said it was upon my person when they found me. This is the reason I know at least my name. Everything else I might have known seems so far away. Lost in the tides of battle, and the roar of a gunshot—a gunshot that came from behind me.

Something is locked within those lost memories. I am driven to find out what. But now, with our sudden flight, I fear I will never know for certain who Paulette is, or whether San Christobal was her destination. But I do know that I’ve found some companions to share my path, and I am willing to commit myself to assisting with their own journeys in whatever small ways I can.

I tuck away the remnants of the letter, my hand moving to the familiar pommel of my sword, fingers tracing along the stained leather of the hilt.

This is all I really have left now that I am sure of. Memories of steel.

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