Ashes of Empire
Lanky blond man in well made clothes, with a perpetual bored look on his face.
Ahh, to be born second in a world that values first so much, I have to say was a challenge. Not a “growing up on some dirt farm” sort of challenge, or even as some sad sell sword sort of challenge, but a challenge none the less. I was much more bitter about it in my youth, I plotted and schemed ways to seize the throne. But as I plotted and schemed it dawned on me. There were so many others doing the same in the background. How many daggers wait in the dark for my dear brother? Poisoned cups? Accidents while on the hunt? Did I really want to be in that seat?
After all, I was generally left to do as I pleased – a little bit of book keeping here, a fancy dress dinner there, but no real work. The city itself is a barely organized messed, filled with all sorts and stripes of criminals that were all clawing for a bit of coin. The port could make us a lot more if it didn’t have so many pocketing so much. I had considered suggesting a tax on bribes to increase income, but then who would pay? Even our tax collectors are on the take. With that simple truth, it also became clear to me that such activities need to be monitored, guided. I don’t need some upstart pirate lord upsetting the apple cart and crying for a revolution.
So I dabble here and there. Spend some money to make sure no one gang gets the upper hand, adjust guard patrols to give a guild a break. It’s really quite easy, and lucrative. Why shouldn’t I take a bribe here or there myself? It is, after all, simply how our system works. The real trick was getting the shell company to pay for it all. Annabella was the key in the lock, her father was quick to marry her off and give me sole control over his business (such a shame about his death, but the docks can be a tricky place to navigate at night.) I think part of me really could have loved her- given time – and I was genuinely upset when she was assassinated.
I have little doubt who ordered the hit, a man named Markus Fleetwind. Mr. Fleetwind runs a rather sizeable shipping company, and would be precisely the sort of upstart pirate lord I got into this realm to keep an eye on. The death of Annabella was to remind me that I was not untouchable, and that the other players on the board didn’t take kindly to meddling. I got the message, and got a little more circumspect in my dealings. After all, no need to court that poison cup until I have to.