Tales from Forgotten Europa
The man who would become Kal the buccaneer began his life in the smoke and fire of a tower burning. He had been struck down, he bleeds, his strength ebbs. The woman in white, his love(?), is slumped near the window, crimson staining the ivory. He leaps (?), is dumped (?), is thrown (?) from the window, saved from the heat and smoke but sent to dash his life out on the cobbles below.
He woke in a blur, in some alley, dreaming black mary nightmares about the tower, and not knowing his name or anything that has come before…
Kal woke broken and bleeding on the harsh cobbles outside a run-down inn in <name>. Sage, an orphaned street urchin had found him crumpled on the streets near a series of towers all-aflame. Sage pitied the still-living victim, and saw to it that he would live, for reasons truly only known to her.
Kal survived and recovered, under the care of the urchin girl. He begins working to earn his keep. He began settling into his new, odd life, his past still lost to him, still recalling nothing but vague dreams of ivory towers and a woman even paler.
Until he sees the sea. Immediately, unequivocally drawn to the water, he feels his past life and his future both hinge upon the sea. He can almost recall hints of past adventures and derring-do. Over Sage’s protests, Kal signed onto a merchant trireme out of Tilea and left Espana. The fates disagreed however, and the trireme was met and sunk by pirates on his maiden voyage.
Kal fought bravely and well and was spared after finally falling. The pirate captain was sore in need of fighting men, and offered Kal the option of death or a berth as a pirate. Kal felt the tug in his heart and immediately signed on.
Things went better for him afterwards. He spent years learning seamanship (he is an eerily apt pupil, picking up abilities with frightening rapidity, lending credence to his claims of his past). In time he became boswain, and then afterward that navigator of a new pirate crew. He traveled the world, seeing new peoples and lands, learning more about them. He did well among them, with a shrewd mind and a strong eye for value and worth, especially amongst art and other such ephemera. It was at this point in his life he came to know his Russian dwarfess and many are the tales surrounding such.
Fate again turns at this point, and a particularly bloody action robs Kal of most of his easy joy and demeanor. A largish merchant galley bearing both cargo and passengers, the promise of a very rich haul. They fought the insurgence with unexpected fervor (piracy captures are normally fairly genteel affairs). Much blood was spilled, including that of children, and Kal found the taste of the spoils intensely bitter. He would be haunted by Black Mary’s for years thereafter.
Driven by these changes, Kal retired his corsair’s saber, and turned to more acceptable privateering. He became a specialist in reclamation. He seemed to have a suspiciously exceptional knack for this sort of work. A fantastic eye for appraisal, and a seeming magical predeliction for locating artifacts of interest and worth. He quickly improved his lot in life, and found himself in charge of his OWN ship, Shallya’s Mercy, a first for him, at long last, decades after returning to the seas.
He traveled extensively and came to meet another soul something like him, the exiled elfish prince Kil’Derek. The elf lord obviously had things in HIS past to hide from as well, and the link of shadowy pasts and being outcast elves made them close for a time. The privateer took a shine to the exile and brought him into the crew for some time, at first befriending him and then as a necessity when the prince won the ship out from under him playing Nines (a gambling card game popular to seafarers).
After the events in the Glen of Dan’Dannock, the elfish prince gifted Kal back his boat and they parted as friends, if barely. One again back in command of his boat and his life, Kal’s thoughts turned immediately to his freedom and the seas…