Vox Populi Forum
We arrived back in Court without further incident at sea upon the eve of the anniversary of our first great victory in Salerno. Despite our failure to retrieve Bourbon and her cannon, we uncovered new leads as to their whereabouts, the motivations behind the theft, and uncovered seeds of a plot to embroil France in a pointless and costly war. Such intelligence should have been of great value to the Court. Our return should have been heralded as a triumph, and we should have found ourselves free to join yourself, Marshall Duclos, His Excellence Wischard, Harmon Boylen, Viceroy Moridin, and other veterans of Salerno in a celebration of Vert Valliant.
Alas, it was not to be.
His Highness, King Maximine has a different temperament than his father. More…mercurial, shall we say?
The Court was displeased. The imminent threat of war with Spain has the King in foul temper, and, while Bourbon’s whereabouts remain unknown it seems she may still actually be in port in Paris! A change of Flag and a lick of paint to her trim may have hidden the ship in plain sight.
We were called upon to account for ourselves for our “treasonous failures.” I produced a (previously prepared) writ of “Holy Dispensation” for myself. It was accepted without question.
Rolfe D’Ambray, a skilled sailor and doughty fighter, is also an impulsive man. His appeals to onlookers for honor, glory and justice brought disapproving murmurs. D’Ambray’s voice rose, his words became base, and the man fled Court in a near riot! The man might have been wounded as he fled?
When order had been restored, Major Bonadventure’s turn came. To the surprise of many (myself included), Bonadventure claimed to be above these entire proceedings. The Bonadventure family were, centuries ago, royalty, and Jasc claimed rights of peerage! This was allowed to stand.
Chip Wildemoon revealed himself as a cousin of Major Bonadventure. The sobriquet “Wildemoon” has, all these years, been an alias! Now he reclaimed his true family name, and passed off the cameo always about neck - engraven with the ancient Royal Crest of the Bonadventures with a small delicate painting of a centuries-dead Queen as both token payment to the crown and proof of his claim.
And so, we come to Gaspard Oceane. Oceane was, of course, among the party that rescued you from Olaf Porse, was a veteran of Palermo, was part of the battle to retake Nantes, and uncovered evidence of agents of Lichtenstein operating in France during your voyage to deliver Alexander Pope and Ben Johnson to far-off Burma. Yet this service to the Crown was overlooked. Instead, Oceane found himself blamed for the escape of Marco DaVinci from the Bastille, and accused of stealing the King’s own Royal Barge! I attempted to intercede on his behalf, pointing out his loyal service to the Crown and the aid to which he had given France. To my shock, I found myself dismissed as a possible ally of DaVinci himself! Monsignor Maurice accused me of actually being DaVinci, despite being decades younger than the infamous Pyrate (not to mention my own eyes are brown, not the distinctive green of the villain).
Indeed, not only did my efforts to mitigate Oceane’s sentence fall upon deaf ears, they seemed to incense the Court.
Gaspard Oceane was beheaded in disgrace, his corpse dumped in an unmarked common pauper’s grave.
My friend, I am beyond shocked and discombobulated at this turn of events. I admit to you now I have, of late, been reconsidering my choice to seek appointment to the Admiralty. At heart I am an explorer, not a military man or politician. My soul yearns to feel the wind at my back and face unknown lands., to ride cresting waves and behold creatures and strange peoples unknown to civilized man. As I compose this letter the Fuggar Bankers have contracted an expedition to open trade with the mysterious Mughals, whose homeland no European has seen, and my heart aches that my duties to France and the precariousness of my own position require me to stay in Paris. I begin to chafe at the bonds of service I have placed upon my own wrists.
Leon Leonard L'eonce (Admiral of France)
Nice read, weep not for Oceane -- red (posted: 1/17/2019)