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Eastern Rosewood and the Coast: The Buccaneer Castello and Settlement of Lindos-Pentor

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Duilliath
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The Buccaneer Castello and Settlement of Lindos-Pentor


Lindos is the compact Castello of the Vicos Band of Pirates, led by Guissene Vicos, self-styled Pirate Duke. The fortress consists of a massive stone pile, tawny in color, and located on the Vicos Lagoon. The fortress has an old Amenee-built foundation, but was abandoned a hundred years before when the Amenee Kingdom contracted from its far-flung expansion. The place is occupied by the pirate band of a few dozen men. A fortified sea wall enclosed a safe harbor and alongside the fortress is the remnants of the old dry dock constructed by the Amenee Navy.

Guissene Vicos is ably seconded by The Captain-General, Orestes Miraglia, and advised by his Captains and the Quartermaster.

The Freebooter Settlement of Pentor is a smallish settlement on the shore side of the lagoon where free buccaneers live and ply their trade.  Nearly anything is available is Pentor, for a price.  

The Vicos prey on shipping between Amenee and Haven, prowling the merchant lanes in the dangerous seas on the east side of Noitnetta.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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The scene and the setting:

Among the rocks were stone walls, squat strongpoints and a couple of low towers.  The walls were six feet thick at the top and widened at the base, the original design making it more likely to shed missiles. One of the towers was faced to the South, looking toward the Haven-ward shipping lanes. This one had been made strong and whole again, though some of the lower towers were still missing a few stones or had broken battlements.  It gave the fortress a bit of a look like an old fighter who had some gaps in his pearlies... though the dun and tan colored rocks would not have made healthy tones for teeth, either.  

Also among the rocks and stones were the buccaneers who called this place home. Usually home to three crews, plus those who stayed with the Governor as guards and hangers-on, so call it about 60, there were an equal number of lubbers and another crew of buccaneers across the lagoon in the reclaimed village of Pentor.  

Well, along with some unfortunate prisoners.  Though like all things in life, some unfortunates were more fortunate than others.  We'll look in on some of these momentarily...

Outside, while the waters were choppy and the breeze fresh on the open sea, the lagoon was placid.  The Minerva, a sloop rigged smuggler’s craft and warship lay at anchor in the lagoon, while one of two luggers, Ambuscade, lay in the slip to the side of the tawny pile of the fortress.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Hostages

Some unfortunates were more fortunate than others. One though in particular, proved a spitfire. That one had gotten hold of a sailor’s panga knife and laid two of the Pirates  out with a slashed cheek and a lacerated bicep.

So, there was that.

It was enough trouble that locking the wench in the South Tower became a necessity. It was one that Pietro Azzanarri and Collo Hezianni had no interest  in maintaining, The two had come to their Captain General and begged to be allowed to cut her into bait…

 

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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                                  Bait

Naught had gone as expected of late, and Absynthe had lost her tolerance for fuckery. Yes, 'twas an unlady-like word, but there were neither any ladies nor gentlemen within earshot, even if she had said it aloud. Which she had not.

She had not ever desired to leave her home and travel across the seas to this wretched place, although someone with a dark sense of humour had named it 'Haven.' However, her father had owed a debt to a Cardinal or some such church-ish lord, and apparently she was to be payment. Her voyage here with Doré had been uncomplicated, speeding the pair to Haven with benevolent winds.

Upon arrival, she and Doré had become separated when she had gone with her servant to check upon her horse, and Doré had checked for some missing luggage. The servant had ushered her into a carriage, but not one sent by this churchman. Instead, he had made some sort of agreement with pirates--how does one become so unfortunate as to be captured by pirates on dry land? 

She was certain he had betrayed her, but had he betrayed Doré, too? Syn believed in Doré's talents, and knew if Doré was free...and alive...a hard things for her to contemplate. Syn turned her thoughts from blackness back to hope. If Doré was free, she would look for her mistress until time came to and end. If their positions were exchanged, Syn would have done the same for Doré, so close was their bond.

She signed and paced slowly across the rounded room. Her view had compressed to several windows, from which she had learned much about the comings and goings from Haven's harbor. The room she had been refurbished sometime recently. The doors were stout and reinforced with iron, and the floor and walls of stone. 

With a second sigh, she sat on the hard bed with a lumpy mattress stuffed with dank straw. Thus far, she had not received any visitors since she'd carved up two of the pirates man-handling her. Satisfaction lit her violet eyes as she finger-combed her long auburn hair. Already she had secreted a large wooden splinter from the bedframe which she could use as a knife. The more pirate blood she spilled--the better! 

This post was modified 8 months ago by Absynthe

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Fish or Cut Bait

No matter how long one raged at their captivity or at their captors, it counted for naught.  Eventually rage’s fire banks and exhaustion and numbness manifests.

Eventually she dozed and while she lay senseless, three of the largest women servants of the Castello arrived and bundled the prisoner to the Small Hall, where the Captain General waited.

”Ah, settling in? So nice to see you getting comfortable.  The Tower can get a bit drafty but it’s quite solid.  He offered victuals and wine on wooden table service and when he tucked into his repast, gestured to the wall where a series of marks were made in a kind of grid.

”Quite the jewel you are, much-desired by a certain Magnate of Haven, and we hated to interrupt your journey but we had an offer - seize you in the streets and hold onto you here. 30 days… you’ll note that two of the boxes are slashed. 28 days remain for you to be our guest… and what happens after?”

He saluted her with his goblet, “You are either collected or disposed.  Quite simple.”

”Oh, do eat something.”

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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                                                       A Toast

"I am settling in nicely, thank you, and I your words are unexpectedly kind. I have not be compared favorably to a gem to my recollection." Nae, 'twas usually to a knife blade or horse's hoof. Syn offered him a brief smile, settled her dark auburn locks, and collected the food and drink before her. She would need to eat and drink so she would be as strong as she was able, so she started working slowly on her meal despite being ravenous.

The repast was not excellent, but it 'twas at least hearty and not stale nor rotten, so she would find reason to be grateful in that. "I appreciate your sharing your meal with me Captain General." Her soft, melodious burr drew words together as though every utterance were a poem in the making.

Once the food was gone, she sipped the wine from a goblet that had no doubt been stolen. "Eight-and-twenty days more, and we shall learn if I am to be disposed of or collected. I wonder which it shall be?" Her violet eyes fixed on him, and she gave a sleek smile. She lifted the goblet," To surprise endings, sir."


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The Captain-General

 

“You will be well-treated, with care second to none for the duration of your stay. I fully expect the Interested Parties to have come to whatever accommodation they will make. It’s quite rare we have such a distinguished guest. You will attend our revel?” Buccaneer revels were *legendary*.

The set of her jaw spoke for her, but she might still have a change of heart.

It wouldn’t matter to the Captain or the Governor General, but “It’s good for the men and women to understand the assets we safeguard…”

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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The Captain-General

“Indeed, my Dear. As you wish, then, to surprise endings…but more to the point, to resolution.  I prefer a steadier outcome… where we all get what’s best.”

He had drunk as she had, and just before she was able to take her leave, given the Universal Signal of the aide de camp’s entry and collection of the tableware.

“Try to enjoy your time here. I suspect you are a woman of letters.  There are, from time to time, volumes that appear here… or in Pentor. I shall have some sent to you.”

She was escorted out in the company of a maid and two watchmen, “Should you need anything… reasonable… please make it known to Lellen, here.”

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Invitation Accepted

"Thank you for your hospitality. I shall be pleased to attend your Revel," she added to her host as the accompanied the maid and the pair of guards. The self-proclaimed Captain-General was crafty and cautious. He was not taking any risks or giving her the opportunity to escape. Too bad.

Once she was back in the tower and the guards and maids were gone, she checked to make sure the door was secure. It was still made of heavy wood with iron reinforcements, and she suspected her guards were just outside--even if she were able to work some sort of magic and make the door open. 

Syn turned away from it and sat on the lumpy bed. She needed to watch and wait for an opportunity, which is why she had agreed to the revel. Realistically, her chances of escaping at the revel were slim, but in the tower, they were non-existent.

She was here due to no fault of her own, and her faith in men was at a low ebb. Her father had broken her trust. Even this Cardinal she was supposed to meet had not bothered to greet her upon arrival, or she would not currently be pirate fodder. Once she escaped and found Doré, they were going to start over somewhere else, far, far from her former home or this misbegotten place.


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Absynthe
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Revel with the Devil

Absynthe had stopped asking the maid where the rest of her garment was. It was not that the material was of poor quality, 'twas that there was less of it than she was used to. Thus, more of her bounty was visible to any roving eye, and tonight there would be many. As a royal, unwed female, her personage had been stoutly defended from unwanted (or even wanted) male attention. Yes, she was capable of killing demons, but she wasn't going to kiss until she was properly wedded.

A wedding was very unlikely to happen in the pirate's nest, and she didn't even want her scheduled husband-to-be to ever appear. Two very unfortunate circumstances. After fastening her final earring, Absynthe made her way down the stairs with her escorts to the sounds of coarse celebrations. Rather than offending her senses, she welcomed it as her best opportunity to escape. Or build a plan for future escape attempts. 

On her way through the door, she took a tankard from the gloved hand of passing pirate and took a hefty drink. Her victim gave her an appreciative whistle and might have done more had not the Captain-General headed her way. 

Absynthe offered him a sleek smile. "Sir, I am ready to revel."


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The Pirates of Lindos Pentor

The throng had grown to something more than 100 buccaneers and pirates along with some lubber-side folk that ran the town.  

Some of the guests and attendees were not Pirates, some were soldiers, merchants and visitors and dignitaries of sorts.  Of course, there were some servants and ‘prisoners with jobs’ who supported the crews and attendees. There was a select group of Others, too. 

Among these were a few Hostages, some promising prospects for coin and other wealth. There were four who were dressed in finery, two men, an older woman in a severely cut dark dress and a dark auburn-haired haired beauty with intensely violet colored eyes that wore a scandalously styled fashionable dress…

The sea folk danced and drank and feasted… and more than a few cast a covetous glance at the wench that circulated at the edge of the crowds and ended up seated at the Captain-General’s table. 

While the gathered buccaneers feasted the sharpest - eyed among them noted that there were three attendants around her at all times. While she was displayed to optimum advantage, it was nigh impossible to get close to her… but getting close to the wardens was possible…

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Guissenne Vicos

The lean and stately figure of the Governor, The Pirate Duke of the Vicos, made his way through the gathered throng.  He had come from his residence in Pentor in the company of his own crew from the pilot ketch, Venomous, to join in the celebration.  In his company was a tall and board shouldered fellow, with dark blond hair cut very short and wearing a dark leather and blackened steel cuirass, but the rest of this clothing bore the mark of a 'Working Merchant' who was not afraid to stand to with raiders or even buccaneers and was an honored guest, a smaller man was at his elbow and spoke to the larger man periodically.  He was brought to the head table, where he was introduced all around, as Karal Arçe Hançer, who apparently did not speak much of the local language.  The slighter fellow with slightly tinged skin was apparently his translator. 

Like most everyone else present, the most dangerous weapon available was a knife that was used for eating and for threats...

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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Revel Reveal 

In her rather short experience with life, Absynthe was used to everyone knowing who she was. It was novel and bit disconcerting to be unknown. Of course she was attracting attention--she was secure in her allure--but she also knew there were very few women in the room and scarcity always drove a desire to possess.

Now that she was used to the dress, she thought the Captain General had surprisingly good taste. Mayhap because he dealt in women, treasures that appealed to women, and the men who wanted to appeal to women. Of course there were others. Some of the pirates had bad teeth and crude ways. Other pirates dressed in silks and gold and used honeyed words.

She sipped whatever was in the goblet. It was good. Another coup for the Captain General. Her violet eyes took in the handsome women in a dress that bespoke of mourning, or perhaps a devotion to some goddess or god of piety. Her lips curved. There could never be a god who preached virginity and piety for males.

Keeping her amusement within, Absynthe took more time to scan the room. Her guards seemed to be very loyal and well-trained. Despite all of the temptations in the room, they remained with her, albeit somewhat sullenly. It was doubtful she would find her way free of them, but she could learn more about this place she was captive in.

Behind her, she heard someone whisper, 'The Governor,' and her attention was drawn to a man with an air of wealth and power. To either side of him was a man who was large in all directions, and a smaller man who seemed to have earned the respect of the others. Introductions seemed likely to happen at any moment. Was one of them the man her father had promised her to?


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Introductions

Her original plan to behave, lasted only as long as she thought anyone was paying attention to her. Now that everyone was focused on the governor and his eclectic entourage, she took advantage of that distraction to fade toward the back of the room. Although she was curious if one of the new arrivals was her husband-to-be, she thought the odds were low her intended was a governor.

With unhurried, yet purposeful steps, she moved toward her destination. The key to escaping was to look as though you were going somewhere you were supposed to be going. Syn gave a brief, sleek smile as she thought of this and kept moving toward an arch.

She had caught sight of a stairwell leading down when she had arrived for the revel. Keeping her violet eyes on the room, she slid her hand around the stone corner. Turning, so her body now followed the lead of her arm, she ran directly into a man's chest with enough velocity that she let out a soft 'Oof' and looked up.


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Better Wall Than a Doorway

 

Gloom reigned on the far side of that portal, though it was not total Stygian blackness. There was a noticeable change in the air, with the scent of the sea borne on a cooling beeeze.

The ersatz partygoer had swung round a stone column, saw a hit of the night sky above a balustrade, and a dim lamp on a plinth but no more details were available for viewing as her entire field of vision had been taken by her collision with a broad armored chest.

Actions beget reactions, so too did this one, the forward momentum of an athletic and well-put-together lass hurrying imparted some of that momentum to the much larger, metal and leather armored figure that had been ambling in from the portico. Physics being physics the worlds over, one could consult a natural philosopher to calculate… or simply make observations.

A comparison of momentums would result in Syn’s deficit every time.

So, she bounced off the armored wall and would have tumbled had not the thickly thewed arms not reached out to snatch her back and keep her from falling.  The hands did not release their quarry, but kept it fixed in place so that her rescuer might get a better look at her.

“Well, now here’s a surprise bit of a treat…” the voice sounded like a load of gravel had fallen from a precipice. The face that belonged to the voice was one that spoke of a few generations of species mixing, eyes the color of a lambent corona and an azure ring around a catlike pupil fixed hers in a gaze filled with amusement… and something else. Want? Perhaps that was it.

In the darkened balcony area with the stone and iron balustrade this ‘Wall’ had every advantage.

Duilliath Suilleach Seanake, Fool and the Traveler Who Lost a Kingdom


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