High Tides and Low Life

Intro

For this campaign, I am looking to start running this summer. Until then I want everyone to post their ideas for the “other 100 points.” Essentially divide 100 points between five categories (Intrigue, Romance, Military, Adventure, Exploration) that determine the direction of the game you would like to see.

Also, I only want one character from each nationality. So, first posted choice wins. Character creation will include a destiny spread, so as you work on your character, take into account that you may want to buy an advantage from the spread, or gain points from it’s flaw.

The game will be designed around the characters you make so you have to stick with whatever you make. In the event a character dies in game play, the new character will have to be from an unused nationality, this also precludes you from using the nationality you were.

Any questions, post here, or e-mail me.

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Into the City
San Christobal

Arriving by way of the directions afforded me from a pair of monks who had saved my life and nursed me back to health, I found myself striding through the massive walled gates of San Christobal. It was the capital city of a nation my own had sworn to tear down stone by stone. But I was a soldier with no hate, and no memory, dressed in the clothing of those who were supposed to be my enemies upon the field of battle.

I had discovered the language of Castille by way of the monks’ conversation during my convalescence. Upon my journeys so far, I encountered no difficulty in my disguise and found only shelter and laughter among these people. They were not my enemies; the monks had been very clear upon the uniforms worn by the men who had left me for dead. Those uniforms were worn by my own countrymen.

Making my way along the outskirts of the aged copper minarets and mosques standing side by side with the newer monasteries and cathedrals of the Vaticine Church, I wondered at this eclectic mix of architecture. But my wonder was soon lost upon the seedier side of the wharves, where the buildings’ paint was stripping away and bared wood was swollen and rotted. I wasn’t sure exactly why my path had led here, until I saw her.

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She was dressed in fine black cloth that sheathed her form in mystery. Until she looked up, all I could see was the long, fine snow-white hair that hid her face. Then those deep brown pools locked onto my own eyes. Her lips formed an exquisite bow, rounding to form words. Even in the state I still find myself in, my memories lost and thoughts often strewn like leaves on an autumn wind in a million random directions, I knew that she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever laid eyes upon.

Speaking of bows—she had one, and was nocking an arrow to fire! At first I couldn’t fathom what I could have possibly done to anger this vision magnifique so. It was then I saw the crude, leering men moving to surround her. There had to have been at least a dozen of them. Their knives flashed, showing their evil intent. I knew immediately that I could not allow whatever these villains wished upon her to come to pass.

I rushed headlong into their midst, my rapier and main gauche clearing their sheaths. They were unaware of my arrival until after I’d dispatched the first three with a flurry of elbows and pommels. Then their back rank turned upon me, four pairs of angry eyes fixed upon my person. I easily parried their small blades, stepped around one, and punched him full in the face with my rapier’s guard.

As he grunted and fell, I thrust my main gauche at the waist of the second and twisted the point towards the ground. The edge severed his rope belt, and dropped his pants in a timely if unorthodox parry of the man behind him, who was attempting to reach me by thrusting between this fellow’s legs. The unpanted man’s face flushed, and his eyes widened as I whirled around him to slash at his bared buttocks with my rapier’s point. He howled and attempted to shuffle away from me, but tripped up in the cloth fallen to his ankles and hit the cobblestones face first.

His fall dragged the man who had attempted to strike low at me with him. I heard air whistle through broken teeth after I kicked that fellow in the jaw and left him senseless. I stopped then with my rapier raised to the hollow of the remaining man’s throat. He dropped his knife, raised his arms, and held stock still.

Beyond myself and the men I’d laid low, I could see the woman fighting off her remaining attackers with graceful swooping blows of her bow to their foreheads and shins. One man lay in the street, clutching his shoulder where the feathered shaft of an arrow jutted. As the last was laid groaning in pain upon the ground, she again nocked an arrow. This time, she really was pointing it at me!

I tapped the underside of the man I held at sword-point’s chin.

“You may leave here with your life, if you leave here now,” I said to him in Castilian, and then called to the beautiful woman, “Milady, are you harmed?”

She held her arrow nocked, one eye closed and focused upon her aim. The fellow I held began to run, and she swiftly turned to fly the arrow she held at the ready towards him. Such a shot I could not have made, and have rarely seen! A hanging flower pot fell, rope severed by her arrow, to crash into the skull of the fleeing man. He crumpled with a grunt. With a swift motion, she drew another arrow.

I raised my hands, smiling. She did not understand Castilian, so naturally I thought she might understand my own native tongue.

“Milady, I am here to help. I have already dispatched several of the villains assaulting you,” I said in Montaigne.

The look on her face said she did not understand me one bit.

I had no desire to be shot, you understand. So in a last ditch effort, I spoke in the only other language I knew to try.

“I mean you no harm, milady. I saw what these scoundrels were attempting and could not, in good conscience, allow it to happen.”

I watched the sternness melt from her fine features. She brushed away a strand of hair that fell over her face, and let her bowstring go slack. Vodacce; it would have to be Vodacce, wouldn’t it?

She did not reply before pure happenstance allowed me to provide some relief in the tension. A passing cart bearing fruits and floral bouquets clattered in our direction along the wharves. I shifted to my side, and thrust my rapier into the depths of the cart. My main gauche flashed swiftly like a serpent’s strike. As it passed, I sheathed my main gauche and reached to my purse to flick a few cents into the back of the cart.

The flowers that were sliced from their bouquets landed near her feet, and I loosed one of the fruits upon my blade in her direction. In a flash, she nocked an arrow and impaled the fruit as it came close to her, catching it as it fell from the air. I think there was perhaps a slight grin on her face for just one brief moment.

“As we are both strangers in a strange land, might I be so bold as to suggest that we keep one another company for a time while we travel through it?” I said with a smile and a deep bow.

And that, my friends, was how I came to meet the incomparably lovely Lee Seul Ki in the wharf district of San Christobal.

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Trinkets and Gears

Samirah

Samirah looked around the streets of San Cristobal’s market place. Her eyes followed the flow of people as they surged through the narrow ways visiting shop and stall alike. Her “master’s” voice barked over the murmur of the crowd. Her hand involuntarily gripped her scythe’s handle. This was the part she hated the most. The meetings that were staged as customers coming to shop. These meetings were precursors to the real meetings, but there was always a chance of being over heard or someone following them.

If agents of the Vaticine caught on to what was really going on, they would be in major trouble. That’s why she was here. Her Sultan had told her to seek out aid to help drop the embargoes held in place by the Vactine Church. If they were discovered they would definitely not be leaving this city alive.

Her “master” seemed more beast than man at times. He always looked at her with a spark of lust mixed with a fear resting just behind his eyes. He wanted her but knew that if he tried his luck without her consent he would not survive the encounter. Samirah forced her hand to relax and the frown she had developed to soften slightly. She gave herself a silent prayer that it was successful.

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No way North
San Christobal

I was on my usual route through San Christobal, Castille, on my way to Charouse, Montaigne, to deliver a book of poetry from my Prince, to Lady Jamais Sices du Sices. As usual I had my entourage of Cristian, my valet; Marco, my driver; and Vinzio, my bodyguard. We had finished filling orders and were about to head out, when we were stopped at the gate.

“There’s no safe travel north, war has begun again,” the guard at the gate said. The last thing a Vodacce needs, is to get involved in another countries war. We turned around and headed back in town, to look for passage, before we were stuck. I was directed to the Lucky Pony Inn to inquire about a ship big enough to hold our cargo.

Cristian and I entered the establishment and found a quiet table against the back wall with complete view of the room. We then ordered some food and wine, the wine of course I immediately dumped out and filled with my own. “Can’t believe they drink this piss,” I said after the first sip.

The maid came back to ask if we needed anything else, to which I responded with flattery. I then inquired if she knew a Captain for which I seek. She walked off and started talking to a man at the bar.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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