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A Royal Tax and a Personal Affair (Cutlass 6/27/18)


I do not know who the betrayer in our party is, but I have my suspicions. I keep them to myself for now, but, what I am about to relate is true and accurate. I am an honorable, honest Christian man, and see no need to dissemble to a mere servant in thrall to a known traitor and mongrel. Yes, you are the mere servant. Surely you don't delude yourself into thinking you are anything greater?

HRH Maxime seeks a aid from Naples in repayment for services rendered by the Vert Valliant to fund forces to re-take Nantes. Ah! I see you remember the name! Did you remember I am a member of that august company? No, for I see your nervousness. Know then, Natt och Dag is to be our transporter aboard the May Sun, but Dag has other plans. He may be a scoundrel and scalawag, but he was at Salerno, and his reputation and finances are renowned far and wide. Yes, I see you know of him as well. Dag insists we must clear the waters around Naples of all pyrate vessels before we seek our funding. Such service will make the Genoese more amenable to our cause, so it is a worthy endeavour.

In return Dag says he will sign over the charter to May Sun. Merd-a-din thinks the ship is already rightfully his, so the offer may be meaningless.

Intelligence indicates the Ottomans have paid Spanish pyrates to stop us. The dishonorable doctor, Conrad Gessner may be involved. However did he escape his prison? Was it at your hand? You are a Cunning foe, I'll admit... Moreover, it seems the traitorous dog Leonard Tortensson is behind the pyrates, and I can overlook no chance to take my vengeance upon my sworn enemy. Still, Tortensson is a dangerous foe. As one we've fought before he knows many of our tactics, and we will require skill, not "Gentleman's Luck" to defeat him at sea.

"One-Punch" Wischard Percy, the Gentle Confessor serves as Fleet Commander, while I serve as Chronicler. Mal de Merd-a-din serves as Master of Soldiers aboard May Sun while a Landlubber named Gaspar "One-Shoe" Oceane functions as May Sun's Pilot. Perhaps Dag wishes the inexperienced lad to take the post as he knows that the rest of our band doesn't fully trust him? Dag is more than aware that members of Vert Valliant are not to be trifled with. And I see in your eyes that you know most of these names. Do you remember how we survived your attempts at foul homicide? Do you remember that every time you have gone against one of us directly you have failed? Does it bother you that, as we tell the tale, we treat you as little more than a joke?

Speaking of jokes, amusingly, at least at first, Helmut von Bismark - another man whose name is known to you? - remains a part of May Sun's crew. As always, the man is a grumbler.

We sail for Salerno when word comes that Admiral Louis is lost at sea. Bourbon is a fine vessel, and the Admiral a strong leader. No doubt he shall return soon.

Bismark finally makes a move. Yet, in his continuing incompetence, the inexperienced Gaspar Oceane is is able to defend himself against a cowardly sneak attack - he escapes Bismark's garrote, and the mighty fists of Wischard fell the man. Know you my companions are more tolerant that I of those who seek to harm us. At the least, I would have taken Bismark's shoes, at worst, slit his throat to end his continuing indiscretions, yet it was Wischard, showing himself to be the "gentle" confessor who spoke to the man about how our mission to rid the seas of the Spanish pirates helps Bismark's native Germany. It was Wischard who turned the man from a six-time defeated antagonist into a reluctant ally. Yet do not mistake the Confessor's kindness for weakness. His valor is known across continents. Who knows of your deeds? We know you for failure.

We set ashore to pick off a group of Dragoons pillaging poor, fallen Nantes. The Dragoons fought most fiercely and slew many of our musketeers, yet we of the Vert Valliant remain unharmed, save for one man's loss of purse.

We sail on and the weather turns twice, first to a becalmed sea where Wischard reallocates our rations, then to a strong wind which damages our sail. Laugh if you must. Twas Dag who made young Gaspar our pilot. We mocked him, too. Yet Gaspar took the ribbing with far more dignity than your Master has ever shown, and, unlike yourself, Gaspar shows every indication of being a quick learner who will attain the skills to do the job correctly ere long. You, on the other hand, will be lucky to be alive at this time next week.

Gaspar proved his potential by piloting May Sun into a battle between a merchant and a pyrate. One-Punch demonstrates the veracity of the moniker by, again, knocking the enemy captain senseless. Surely a better fate than the sword or shot I or my other friends would have employed. Merd-a-din ended the ongoing carnage below by opening all locked doors and hold and casually informing the crew there was nowhere safe left to run, hide or ambush from. We do not slaughter indiscriminately like you and your master.

Even the rats aboard May Sun can find mercy - for the Gentle Confessor lures them to the damaged and foundering pyrate vessel before we cut her loose.

Again we take to the shore to fight a raiding party, and here we are betrayed. As I said, I choose to keep the name of the man I suspect is the quisling to myself. I have told you more than you could wish to know, and I know it will do you no good. Vert Valliant comes for you and your master and your luck will hold true if you are able to walk away from the carnage to come.

I won't even waste the spittle on your pox-ridden face. You are barely worth my notice, much less scorn. I save that for your master, Tortensson. Tortensson may be Titled, but the treacherous cur has less honor than most commoners I have met in my travels, and less courage than beardless boys his cannon savaged in Nantes. You hold me for now, but that just brings me closer to my goal of thrusting my dagger, uncontested, into Tortensson's ribs.

Do your worst, Porse. I have no fear of you.


   Lord Bailey Baylee Bayleigh (Chronicler)

Message Replies:
Do we now abbreviate the name of the Sovereign? -- Wishard Percy (posted: 6/28/2018) 
Author's Note -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 6/29/2018) 
Was Bailey or Leon captured by Porse? -- red (posted: 6/30/2018) 
Bailey captured. -- Mike Myke Mique (posted: 6/30/2018) 
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