- Name: Sygel Ethertide
- Race: Human
- Class: Wizard
- Flotilla: Fourth Flotilla
The Alizarin Royal Mage Academy
Here I am, a “graduate” of the Alizarin Royal Mage Academy and “Scion” of a respectable Alizarin mage family, stuck on a dingy in the middle of… well… I don’t actually know.
I should clarify when I say “graduate”, I mean I would have graduated from the Academy’s Royal Mental Enforcement Corp, we called it Tiny Tyrant Training, had I not sparked up a relationship with the Headmaster’s only daughter, only to be betrayed when she lied and said I had used magic on her to make her fall in love with me. That went over as well as a kobold in the Alizarin Emperor’s bath. The residual fall out from that was being disowned and censured by my own family as a disgrace, so “scion”. Hey, at the very least I got away with my spellbook and wand… would have been a pain re-transcribing these spells.
Luckily, and I say that with all the sarcasm that can be mustered, I was able to stow away on a ship leaving the capital before I lost any body part of (ahem) importance. Unfortunately, the ship was a pirate ship captained by the most detestable dwarf I had ever met, Swampbeard. He made me a very simple and provocative offer, I become the mage on his boat and I get to live. The only problem was that he assumed me to be an Evocation wizard and expected the pomp and circumstance from that… when he found out my school was Enchantment he beat me nearly senseless. I finally proved my worth when I was able to charm a rival captain into ramming his ship into a coral atoll… after this slight accomplishment, the beatings were, let us say, less severe.
For the next three years, I worked that horrible, horrible ship. The only real alone time I had was when Swampy figured out I could read and do the “number magic” as he called it… then he stuck me in the navigator’s quarters (read: brig with walls instead of bars) to plot courses. Of course, I was able to practice and grow my magical ability… it came in very useful when we needed to get past tolls, guards, bounty hunters, or Swampy needed a date that couldn’t bear his smell. Truly a detestable creature that one. Eventually, he put me in charge of the robberies that didn’t require his special touch (read: violence and death).
Life continued this way until we arrived at Fendril, which was both an outpost for the Alizarin and the Order of the Hand… oh joy, intolerance and greed all on one island. Swampy had received information that a couple of magical rubies were being showcased by this airheaded Lady at some dumb social party. At first, Swampy was adamant that he was going to go “hobnob with sheep”, but the crew eventually talked him out of it.. they weren’t sure if they could ever clean him up past street bum. So all eyes turned toward me. I figured “It will at least get me off this floating outhouse”, I cleaned myself up and went to a party.
This kind reader is where my life went sideways….well more sideways.
The party was straight up an Alizarin rip-off, these weren’t Alizarin nobles but they were sure trying to act like it. The night had started strangely… while I was casing the place for escape strategies I watched a small owl creature and a goblin doing the same. Well, competition for jobs is normal enough, but that is a strange pair right there. They carried a large squeaking box which the owl creature would occasionally take something out of and put into his mouth. The goblin soon scampered off somewhere, I continued following the owl for a bit until he straight up went to an estate guard. Ah, these guys were amateurs I thought.
So the party was in full swing, the gems on display, and hostess moping about as I had come to learn her beau had left her recently. "This was perfect," I thought, time to make my…. And the most awful sonorous noise permeated the entire room, it was the goblin from earlier, dressed up as a herald? Interested, I continued to watch as his progression followed him: a shaggy gentleman who looked out of place in a uniform, a gnome thief trying to look dignified, and a mini fop. They made a beeline for the hostess, the shaggy gentleman and gnome eyed the rubies, the goblin has disappeared into the crowd, and the mini fop is now conversing with the hostess and offering gifts. I thought to myself, I need to let this play out and go in for the “kill” right after they are done. But it wasn’t meant to be, mini fop had made some mention of her former lover and she went off sobbing elsewhere. This could still work, I would just need to wait until I see her again and offer some soft words and a friendly shoulder. It was perfect… until the shaggy gentleman decided to hit on some noble’s wife... which caused the most ridiculous duel I had ever seen. That was when I finally figured out what was in the owl-things box… rodents (I think voles honestly, animal biology wasn’t a strong subject), and in the commotion, I watched the gnome and shaggy gentleman bumbley take the rubies.
The beating from the captain wasn’t as bad as I expected, mostly body shots this time. After explaining to him for the Nth time what had happened, he finally realized, with much help from the first mate, that they probably didn’t have a fence on the island. So now it was Swampy’s turn, and he was “gonna get ‘em good”, and he got damn lucky when the goblin turned up again in whispers from the lower caste. He had been going around riling up the peasants against the nobles… not a bad way to destabilize a government like this. But Swampy had a plan, he used his connections to let the Alizarin and town guards know where they were going to be demonstrating… and that they were dangerous and armed. I watched in horror as Swampy helped kill dozens of peasants, but he didn’t get the goblin.
We laid low for a few days, one of Swampy's Hand “friends” had a warehouse where we lazed around drinking and whoring. Well, we did until the warehouse burned down in one of the biggest fires I had ever seen. The blaze required magical means to contain and extinguish. And now Swampy was mad, he had enjoyed his vacation and now he wanted to “bust some ‘eads”. Guess who was to blame for the fire, the same bumbling crew that took the rubies. So Swampy used the last of his contacts and favors and figured out where they were staying and sent the entirety of the town guard and an Alizarin Expeditionary Regiment down on their head. We watched from the shadows as they were rounded up and captured. The rubies were still missing, Swampy looked a little worried… Swampy had planned to split the profit with some Alizarin noble. With no profit to split it looked like Swampy was up a certain river. I thought I was finally free, I turned to leave and put the situation behind me, and was punched square in the face by the first mate. During the brief lapses of consciousness, I heard Swampy say “Sorry boy but yer me get out death free card” and saw him hand a wanted poster of me to the noble, and then another fist to face.
I woke, locked in a cage with ten other people in a dark basement, not a great start. After fumbling around a bit I realize that I luckily was not sorted into the “magical prisoner” group. Unluckily, also imprisoned with me were a goblin, an owl-thing, and a gnome. I did a quick equipment check… of course, they took the book, it had the Alizarin symbol on it, but they didn’t find my wand… Peg-legged Jay, you are a brilliant man for showing me physical illusions. I was about to make a break for it with a simple charm when a small golden glint appeared in my cage and all hell broke loose. By the time I got out of the throng of bodies, the goblin, owl-thing, and gnome had escaped and were causing problems. Regardless, I “suggested” the guard to gain consciousness and let me out. I heard a few more yells and the sound of battle from above while I searched for my book, I waited until I heard scampering feet leave and exited myself.
I spent the next two weeks in an alcohol-addled stupor, letting my hair and beard grow out, and basically slobbing myself out. Room and board were easy enough, either a charm or just showing them the book got me in free. This wasn’t the worst time I had ever had. I just wish that the Alizarin hadn’t decided to attempt to anchor this island… cause now the place was crawling with them. I figured if I was going to get caught I might as well be drunk and belligerent when I did. As an Alizarin guard squad walked in, I cracked my knuckles, grabbed my wand, and then was hurled over 50 feet out of the inn landing on the beach. Befuddled, I turned to look back and was horrified to see the entire island was quaking. The inn I had been in moments before collapsed, a stone spire had erupted through the middle. “Nope” I wasn't going to have any of that… and proceeded to rush to the docks. Luckily, I found a dingy that was kitted out for a fishing expedition and an owner that wasn’t anywhere nearby. I set sail… and turned around in time to see an island implode. Islands don’t implode, that’s not how the world works…
So, here I am, a “graduate” of the Alizarin Royal Mage Academy and “Scion” of a respectable Alizarin mage family, stuck on a dingy in the middle of… well… I don’t actually know.
Oh, what luck! That’s a boat in the distance…. Why does it look like a grumpy fish?