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The Professor
Posted: Sunday, October 15, 2017 4:45:55 PM
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The story of the Lazuli in regards to their origins, the love between a Dragon clothed in the form of a hauntingly beautiful human, a partnership which gave birth to a lineage of proud female Magi and male enchanters. Their trek to what would become Constantinople, and their fealty to the Great Justinian, the remarriage between Justinian and Atheniael, and Atheniael’s descent into madness and terror leading to the resurgence of the Lazuli as a political House in more Earthly matters.

That tale has been told, but there is another to examine.

For when the Lazuli left for the Eastern Rome, Fafnir Lazuli, a young man skilled in both matters of trade, money lending, and the crafting of jewelry suggested to Coriniael Lazuli that perhaps there could be opportunity for the practice of their magecraft if they were to invest themselves in the accumulation of wealth.

“We have lost our mines, no longer does we have an inexhaustible supply of gems to store our spells, no more does we have precious metals at our reach to wrought into being as we deem fit. Now we must purchase these materials and essences. I have a plan, our goal does not rest within the Imperial Court of Caesar, but rather in the attaining of all the world’s treasure and wealth for our Art.”

Coriniael agreed, fearing that the move to Constantinople would result in having too few resources for her own research, and was curious to strike out on her own. With a small retinue loyal to her, and with a modest estate that she was entitled to, they split apart from the main caravan and diverted themselves towards a small unremarkable lagoon that seemed like it possessed potential as a trading hub and in it’s ability to provide safety in the chaos of the collapse of the Roman Empire, Venice.

They bought the rights to a small plot of ‘land’ within the lagoon from the local magistrate and began construction of what would become their offices, secret research laboratory, and villa. Erecting scaffolding that hide their work from prying eyes and through a system of Archimedean pumps and dykes pumped out water from the foundation and constructed expansions underwater.

Crafting gems to be sold in passing merchants helped generate a consistent flow of revenue; the usage of potions as medicine and the herbal knowledge of the Lazuli was also a useful means of gaining fees from wealthy families concerned with sickened children. Soon the act of lending money and then charging interest on the principle provided another consistent stream of revenue and most importantly a stepping stone into Venetian politics, political families needing short of gold having difficulty making payments would offer concessions to the Lazuli to allow consolidation and renegotiation of the debts owed. In particular, the granting of political offices to members of House Lazuli soon brought an increasing control of Venice’s bureaucratic and customs control into the hands permanently into the control of the Venetian branch of House Lazuli…

The cashing in of these debts, in addition to the non trivial wealth and obvious prestige of Lazuli, made electing Dragonir Lazuli as Doge a natural foregone conclusion. That they were rumoured to be Wizards possessing considerable supernatural power just added that slight taste of fear and dread that locked the electors from doing elsewise.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, October 22, 2017 9:45:24 PM
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Dragonir Lazuli leaned back in his chair pondering the leaflets before him and furrowed his brow in discontentment.

He groaned. He was going to have a bad day.

And sure enough, she entered the room. His lovely sister, Myriael, and he sighed as he immediately picked up the papers to hand to her.

She stopped tentatively suspicious of the papers, as though trying to divine their contents before grabbing them.

Several tense moments passed by without comment, just a heavy silence.

The lack of sound let Dragonir focus his concentration on Myriael’s face.

First her eyebrows arched in surprise, and the furrowed into rage, before finally settling with a wince.

She sighed.

“We have to inform her…” She started.

Dragonir audibly clenched his knuckles, gripping his chair tightly.

Breathing in deeply he was about to say something, but as he opened his mouth to speak…

“Caw”

The sound shrieked out like a terrifying banshee, a crow sat idly on the ledge of the window, almost as though it was confused that it is even a question as to why it is there.

That decided it.

It would be really bad to do anything other than go and see “her”.

Myriael’s hands were in her hands, almost like a concerned discontented pondering.

He sighed again, and forced himself from his chair, he look backed at it with longing, the chair symbolized everything that mattered to him.

His office, his power, his skills, he had carved and made that chair with his own hands and had been gradually weaving various enchantments into it ever since he first became Doge a decade ago.

Absent mindedly he had stroked the chair as he oriented himself away to leave his office chambers.

“Lets go, we have our duty.” He said to Myriael. She nodded curtly.

Myriael had noticed her silly brother touching his chair as they left, she smiled.

He was always sentimental, he had his passions and hobbies; he never quite desired being the Doge, he was the sort that liked to build models of castles, than to sit within one.

They entered into a secret passageway behind a sliding bookcase and began climbing the stairs, with a clunk, clunk, clunk.

These were not ordinary stairs, they were made of cold iron, the stairway, the doors above the stairway after they finished climbing the the stairs; cold iron reinforced the forbidden chambers of the Lazuli mansion.

The Lazuli mansion built over a hundred years ago by Coriniael Lazuli and her own brother, Fafnir Lazuli; a deep hidden complex was built beneath the watery depths of Venice’s lagoon directly beneath the mansion; and additionally there were secret chambers and passageways were further added and extended as the mansion continued to expand across the adjacent lots as the Lazuli Venetian fortunes and trade ventures improved.

They continued to make their way through various passages, relying on their crest to see them safely through the traps, phantasm killers, homunculus guards, trap doors, poisoned handles, and electrified surfaces, all to protect the person secreted within.

Within the antechamber at the end of their trek, was the person they feared the ire of, but also respected and worshipped.

The Lich, Coriniael Lazuli.




Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, October 29, 2017 9:36:21 PM
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It was almost impossible to notice her.

Sitting on a large wooden chair next to a large steel brazier, she looked like a doll.

With skin that looked almost like porcelain, giving the appearance of a hauntingly beautiful doll. So still she was that anyone else walking into these chambers wouldn’t have noticed her.

She was Coriniael Lazuli, the sister of the “founder” of the Venetian branch of the Lazuli family.

Long ago she and her brother decided against the migration to Constantinople, and in order to pursue their own path of magecraft settled in the Venetian lagoon where others from the surrounding regions had settled in the face of the invading barbarians.

Borrowing some money using their jewels as collateral, built the first Lazuli manor; secretly insuring it held the space for the study and research into the secrets of the world.

One thing led to another.

There was a need for funds to construct their new manor, they lacked lands to tax, or vassals for contributions.

So the only path forward was trade.

Fafnir bought a ship, it was as close to being a “wreck” as one could possibly imagine the word to mean while still describing a ship that can still technically float.

It took over a year, but gradually, through his own two hands and with the aid of a few of the local orphans whom he paid generously for their help, to fix up the ship to be fully seaworthy.

It arguably cost more in the end of repairing it than it would have to have bought a brand new vessel…

However.

To Fafnir this was fine, he preferred to work with his hands. There was a certain pleasure in working with his hands, to create something new, or as in this case, to take something abandoned as useless and broken, and renewing it with a renewed purpose.

Additionally, he could weave enchantments into the hull, reinforcing it.

Magecraft is essentially about establishing an illusion, an act of hypnosis to trick the target of your spell to change in some way.

A sleep spell is relatively easy, as most people and animals have an inherent desire “to sleep” and sleeping during the day, isn’t too strange compared to sleeping at night.

Making wood “stronger” is also not too difficult, there are varying kinds of wood, oak for instance.

But ‘wood’ and other inanimate objects have a strong memory of their previous form and properties, they aren’t easily tricked.

But something destroyed or experiencing ruin though, has lost its essence.

An existence that precedes its essence suffers, and thus strongly desires essence. As such taking something “broken” and “repairing” it is easy; most importantly, it won’t “notice” when the ‘repair’ make it stronger than it was before.

This is a key technique regarding ‘enhancement’.

With the newly restored ship, named The Kraken, Fafnir sailed up and down the Adriatic coast carrying out errands for local lords and princes, and for other merchants.

Fafnir’s ship was fast, and had a knack for avoiding storms; though it took time for him to learn the ins and outs of sailing from the crew he gradually put together, the best crew, for the best and most lucrative jobs.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, November 05, 2017 9:53:24 PM
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Fafnir’s financial successes soon brought him the reputation as being ‘midas touched’ amongst the Venetian merchants, which gradually reached the ears of the Merchant Lords and the Captain’s Assembly.

Fafnir was at first, informally consulted on various matters; of the best means of appraising the quality of precious gems, and Roman artwork and artifacts.. At first… But then gradually Fafnir was soon approached about other matters. About trade routes, trade winds, and the construction of ships.

Fafnir was soon famous for the quality that went into repairing The Kraken and was approached by even Merchant Lords to commission similar work on their own flagships.

Fafnir and Coriniael at this point had taken in street urchins to be assistance in their laboratory work, children born with a mutation giving them magic circuits. They may not have the passed down knowledge and talent of a long lived family of Magi; but they could learn spells, read the texts that normal humans wouldn’t be able to make heads or tails out of; and if need be, their bodies could be dissected for useful information and alchemical ingredients.

These assistants with only a few years of training didn’t have the skill or experience of Fafnir, lord no.

Fafnir was a Roman Lord, a Magi, and a Lazuli; decades of Magus training to be an Enchanter of the male Lazuli tradition, a craftsman with keen senses and nimbleness of hands; Coriniael herself was a Wizard, a Magi of talent, skill, and driven ambition; not fit to be a small fish in the larger family pond of the Lazuli family in their new home in Constantinople, but rather, determined to be a power in of herself in Venice, no longer will she be overshadowed by the rest of her family.

That was the problem ultimately, was the rest of Lazuli.

Compared to the others in the dynasty, Coriniael just wasn’t up to par.

Coriniael burned with a seething burning desire to accomplish something remarkable, something that would get passed down as her own unique contribution to the Lazuli lineage.

Where Fafnir appeared to be on a direct rise to ascend as a major political and economic player in Venice, Coriniael was struggling with her research.

The waters of Venice appeared to be well situated on a recently formed leyline, and the water allowed for easy access to the magical energies.

But all of Coriniael’s successes have been small, incrementing, interesting but not noteworthy or remarkable. Her research thus far could be described as ‘valuable’ but not ‘priceless’.

The original grimoires written originally by the Dragon, Silmariliael, married to Lazul, the Great Father and Ancestor, were without equal and practically were items of nearly religious importance to any Lazuli.

And it was from these books however that Coriniael finally perhaps found a path forward.

Dragon’s blood had many properties in it’s pure form, and the blood of Lazuli while much diluted, had a means of enhancing their magic.

Dragons were known for their long lives and the Lazuli were also well known for easily rearching over a hundred years old, the eldest Lazuli had reached 250.

Coriniael would begin the search for the secret behind eternal life.



Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, November 12, 2017 10:06:09 PM
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Coriniael began her search for immortality.

This would be no easy task, magi and sovereigns alike have for centuries sought the secret of eternal life or youth everlasting.

Centuries ago, Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China recorded by written history, spent the last decade of his life searching for an elixir that would forever cure him of death.

It is unknown if Qin Shi Huang had succeeded, though the Lazuli of heard of him and his quest, a young Lazuli merchant had travelled to Cathay and had acquired scrolls and books of the history of the land.

The Emperor had travelled to all the far corners of his realm, searching for that potion.

He talked to the wisest men, priests, and priestesses, he consulted passerbys, travellers, and merchants, and he beseeched the gods themselves, screaming into the seas as the cresting waves crashed into the shore before breaking down and sobbing on his knees, begging to be blessed with eternal life.

There are other tales and efforts, such as in Egypt. Albeit for a different purpose, the art of mummification.

There wasn’t just a religious purpose.

But a tactical purpose, a point of honour.

Honoured individuals were chosen by the Pharoah, and the High Priest, to continue ‘on’ in the mortal realm, as guards in a sense.

The mummification process is incredibly dense, and requires great skill from its practicioners. The embalming process created a form of greater undead, nearly immune from physical damage. Resting eternally from within their sarcophagus, they stand watch over the body and treasure of the Pharaoh.

The technique of mummification was created by one of the earliest known Pharaohs, Nitocris.

But this was obviously no good for Coriniael.

She didn’t want to live forever as a tortured cursed existence.

She wanted her body to be young and to feel.

She wanted to remain in full conscious control of her mind and body.

She wanted her abilities to continue to grow, and her knowledge to continue to acquire a great wealth of all the knowledge of the world.

So her research went into a different direction, preserving the frail human body would not be the best way of pursuing her research.

Instead… Perhaps it would be better to side step the process.

If preserving the human body would prove impossible, or at least, not lead to a desired result, then she would create a new body, one that resembled the essentials of the human essence, but would not break down, would not wither, would not grow old or succumb to disease.

She would create an artificial body, one that he would transfer her mind to.

This was reasonable enough a proposition, the mind was clearly a separate entity from the body, there were various thought experiments in which one could prove this, and various spells that allowed for ones spirit to go on an ethereal jaunt across the ethereal planes of existence.

And so her research progressed, and turned to the golemcraft of the practicitioners of kabbalah for the creation of remote controlled dolls.

And then the blood of the dragon, to breath life into those dolls.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, December 10, 2017 9:42:08 PM
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The Tradeposts of Venice!

Venetian trade by the 10th century CE was sprawling and prosperous, ships hailing from Venetian ports were crisscrossing the Mediterranean carrying their goods and cargo from one port to another. A huge amount of wealth just pours into Venice on a daily basis within the cargoholds of these ships, many are owned directly via the Doge, the elected highest office of the Republic. Nearly just as many though are also held by companies owned by the family of the Doge, House Lazuli. As the Noble House grew larger and many of its descendents spread out, there came a desire to form cadet branches similar to Feudal lords; wisely seeing the use for managing and delegating the affairs of the Lazuli business interests, a special council was formed to manage and coordinate the interests of the Greater Lazulai dynasty.

A new cadet branch would be delegated jurisdiction over a specific good, service, trade route, or geographic region and a written contract written up to formalize this, while specifying the details of the assignment; the assignment practically is intergenerational, typically up for renewal once every 60 years; but stipulations and conditions are present to enable the head branch to revoke the assignment should certain targets not be met.

Geographically by this time, Venice and by extension, the Lazuli had spread their domains and their interests throughout the entirety of the Adriatic, Northeastern Italia, Greece, Crete, and Asia Minor.




Venice proper is a bustling and fast growing city, the Lagoon itself, which contains the center of power over the city-state itself, the Mayoral residence, the Doge residence, and the Admiralty and the Merchant Guilds and merchant residences and trading offices, the original port complex.

Later, as the city grew and the amount of trade entering the city further expanded past the capacity of the lagoon, the city formally annexed the neighbouring mainland province, bringing it into the direct administration of Venice.

Gradually as Venice’s trade reach grew, so did the complexity of the task of tracking the exchange of goods and services, of recording and storing copies of written contracts, the history of ownership, copies of ledgers.

Thus, the lagoon from which even relatively poor early Venetians once were able to dwell soon gentrified gradually forcing out residence for all but the wealthiest Venetians and their servants. Entire buildings and city blocks, now have buildings whose purpose is not for the residence, but entirely for storage of papers.

The maintenance of these buildings, their security, the support of the Merchants who used them for their business and practice, required a number of servants and freemen to work on the lagoon, and their residence, due to the prices of rent, required to be in Veneta.
This requirement resulted in new commerce appearing to facilitate it, a number of large ferries working all day to transport thousands to their work or their residence as required.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, December 17, 2017 10:11:09 PM
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An observation of the trade practices of the Republic of Venice Part II

The eternal city of Constantine proved to be a fairly lucrative trading port for the Venetian Lazulai. With the main branch of the Lazuli dynasty setting up their thaumaturgical workshops, provided the financially savvy Lazuli plenty of contacts in which to make deals, transport supplies, and take part in the setting up of guilds.



Constintinople was a large city, one that continued to grow as the Roman Empire continued to gain strength in the east, recovering and absorbing from the decline of it’s eastern half. Thrake, Nikomedeia, and the city proper, all had great opportunities for merchants.

The cities tall walls needed maintenance, and thus required a constant supply of high quality stone quarried from beyond the city limits, loading stone from the Crimea onto ships was cheaper than importing it from the quarries in Bulgaria.

The soldiers of the Imperial guard, and the city guard, all required steel, leather, and niknaks, these too, all had to be imported for a garrison the size of Constantinople’s.

And then there was the hundreds of thousands of people that lived in the residential districts, crowded its streets to work in its workshops, journeymen, furnaces, barracks, and as servants for nobles.

The Venetian Lazuli soon eventually had the ships in which to take over all of this. Venetian ships, manned by Lazuli footmen and trusted captains, some even distant relatives of the House for the larger and most prestigious of stations, would trek the distances, sailing to and fro, bringing in all of those needed goods into the city that never sleeps.

Soon though the Lazuli could leverage even better profits, once the Constinople main branch entered feudal politics and exited the shadows of the Imperial court, and began serving as bannermen for the Emperor, they could use their authority and prestige, their position, to grant Venetian Lazuli representatives a favourable position in negotiations for contracts…

The renovations of the Imperial palace was one such project, an entire wing to be remade with new materials and an improved design and decour to show off the renewed splendor of Rome to the world! The Lazuli helped each other secure perhaps not the lead contract, at least profitable subcontracts regarding the acquisition of supplies for the workers, materials to be wrought into the new palace, and to scour the empire for qualified magi to aid in improving the magical resiliance of the construction of the palace.

The Lazuli acquired that subcontract and with it came an unintended benefit; where originally the Lazuli leveraged their access to acquire direct sources of wealth from within the Empire, soon brought them enough Imperial prestige that other merchants soon began to ingratiate themselves with the Lazuli… Trading information, income, and licenses in exchange for aid and access through the ever increasing network of Lazuli fortunes.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, January 07, 2018 10:16:15 PM
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The Greek trading Interests of House Lazuli of Venice

It is only natural that the lands of Greece, the core of the Eastern half of the Roman Empire would serve as a powerful economic engine of commerce for the growing Lazuli trade empire.

It way between the two “centers of trade” of Lazuli’s trade networks, one centered on Venice, and the other on constantinople.

Where Venice began to gradually focus towards managing the financial affairs of the well to do, petty lords, and other merchants, forming the nucleus of an emergent industry of banking; a business that engages in the loaning of funds with the promise of earning a profit on the interest of the principle amount loaned. Constantinople being the capital of Rome, was naturally more inclined with the storage and transportation of the large amount of goods from all corners of the empire, and the manufacturing of new goods. Materials would be imported and then wrought into new pleasant and useful forms to be sent back or to different realms entirely.

The after setting up their offices in Constantinople began to turn their eyes towards Greece, and it was obviously natural; the lands of greece way between the two points, the shipping lanes went through the seas of Greece, particularly the Aegean and the Ionian seas. Greece’s thousands of islands of various sizes were also of critical importance, docks and small trading outposts could be built, and gradually expanded to take in the shipping that was increasingly crossing through Greece to reach their destinations.

In particular was Athens, the ancestral seat of the wizard clan of House Lazuli, and the lands traditionally held by the heir. As the political fortunes of House Lazuli rose and they were granted lands by Justinian the Great, they were granted the role to manage and defend Athenai.

Athens grew naturally as the natural main trading center of Greece, as had been traditionally the case since time immemorial, since the times of classical greece under the reigns of the Athenian League. Athens had been a trading power, and then it was under the control of the Lazuli, profiting off of the trade to fund their research into the arcane unknown and to recover lost works.

After Justinian and the great turbulations, as the Lazuli were driven from their political positions and holdings in Greece, the Great House of Lazuli still thrived as a great trading House; and while they may not have remained the mayor of Athens, they remained in control of the docks, storehouses, and ledgers.

In the early 11th century disaster struck and the Lazuli had to reclaim their trade posts one by one, they were usurped while they were busy putting down a revolt by the Underrepublic of Friuli and the Lordship of Ferrera. They rebelled citing an insult, and were put down, but the distraction was more than enough for Archaia, the Kingdom of Greece, to seize those precious tradeports and to begin intercepting shipping demanding tribute.

The war was long, and Lazuli faced disaster multiple times as first they were driven away from the siege of Dyraccheon and then again when their mercenaries changed sides in the middle of a battle; but each defeat the Lazuli could escape to their navy and sail quickly to regroup, hire more mercenaries, and begin planning their next countermove; exhausting the Archaian will to fight they reclaimed and reaffirmed their rights to the trading posts and trade routes of Greece.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
The Professor
Posted: Sunday, January 14, 2018 5:40:46 PM
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Intermission

The Azure Drake cut through the waves like a heated dagger through animal fat. The winds seemed to always fill its sails full of wind, and the rudder was so responsive that the vessel seemed about as agile as a ship many times smaller than its size.

None of this comes across as a surprise to anyone familiar with the ship, its captain, or the House that birthed and trained him.
Gorgonir Lazuli, the Forgotten Son of House Lazuli.

He cut a daring and impressive figure, scimitar and keen dagger at his waist; though at first glance perplexing when you also see the lute equally proudly at his hip.

Though once in port, the lute ceased to be much of a riddle, when throngs of adoring fans would crowd around him in any inn he sets foot in, and only then, listening to him hum and strum his instruments did you finally get a picture of the man.

A bard.

Yes, that is what he was. His title wasn’t a signifier of some tragic past, but rather the bait in which to reel in his prey, women eager to relish the dark and mysterious man in front of them, and he was all too glad to oblige; no sooner would he have another conquest in some port, than he would need to quickly finish his business and evacuate, for fear of his life. Either some harbour master furious at the theft of his daughter’s purity, a husband filled with wroth at being cucked, or perhaps worst of all, for as they say, hell hath no fury than a woman scorned…

Rather, Gorgonir took the mantle out of a wistful whim. One of many sons given to his father, a Merchant Lord of Venice, a concubine at that. Gorgonir was unlikely to ever be elected as a Patrician of Venice, he was much too young and there were far too many prestigious uncles ahead of him in that line.

He was neglected, given a small stipend to survive within one of the many Lazuli branch family manors, given training in order to fulfil his duties with no regard to the boy’s upbringing or betterment beyond his name.

It was no surprise that he took to adventure with an almost reckless abandon. He desired escape from the drudgery of his studies, in how to best contribute to the glory and wealth of his house… But isn’t it all just a cruel joke? He had thought to himself back then. They weren’t the original Lazulai. Who knows what happened to those who inherited the legacy of the Lich Matriarch, the all powerful wizards and magi of Rome. Fooling about playing at Emperor in Constantinople?

The Lazuli currently seemed like they had fallen far from grace in his eyes, what good was the name, except as a means to attract unwanted attention or earn unearned prestige from those who know no better?

But then one day, he saw something.

A magnificent galley sailed into port.

The Haunted Chestnut proudly was its name, and the most beautiful pirate queen of the mediterranean stepped forth proudly into the docks.
Gorgonir, now had a goal, and a dream, he would meet this woman, and she would be his wife, and together they would dominate the seas.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
King of Men
Posted: Saturday, January 20, 2018 7:30:33 AM
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The Professor
Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2018 5:56:08 PM
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The Wizard of Venice X
Meredyth Raener was perhaps the most beautiful woman Gorgonir had ever laid eyes upon.
Now one might perhaps couch this perhaps, after all, the young Gorgonir was perhaps a lad, young in his years and rarely exited the enclave his branch of the Lazuli family stayed within. The women of the Lazuli were all particularly beautiful though, striking sharpe features, bright almost luminescent eyes that signify the quality of their talent within the mystic arts. No matter the mother or father, Lazuli or otherwise from across the seas and continents only the best features of the parent’s peoples ever seem to appear within the appearance of the child.
It is no surprise though, your family members aren’t likely to awaken your urges in the opposite sex, and most Gorgonir would have met would have been similar in age or maids, dressed merely in comely ways, uniformed to clearly mark their affiliation to the House; long ago it was clear that if the maids and butlers were perhaps too eye catching, the men and woman of House Lazuli would give in to their urges more often than not.
And so, Meredyth Raener, renown as both the greatest pirate of the Med’, and the greatest pirate hunter of the same sea, at the tender young age of 19 was to Gorgonir, the most beautiful woman in the world.
Gorgonir slipped away quietly in the night and snuck aboard her ship, it was tiring work. He was not much used to physical activity as only children from the Chosen Elder members of the House got to recieve preparatory training to one day become Doge or Archmagus. Gorgonir from a remote corner of the family tree was neglected, and given a basic education and training that all Lazuli could expect until they were old enough to choose an apprenticeship, or have one chosen for them.
On the ship, here Gorgonir was at a loss, he did not know the internals of how a ship appeared, or where the Captain’s cabin would be located, and so, exhausted, and with the pressure of the night’s darkness laying heavily onto his back, Gorgonir found a suitable bundle of fabrics and rope and fell asleep.
He was rudely woken up with a start.
A crewman had found him and shook him awake, beat his stomach forcing Gorgonir to double down in pain, and dragged him away.
“Where art thou taking me you FIEND!?” Gorgonir yelled out.
“To meet yer maker lad, only one fate meets stowaways like ye.”
“Have dare thou, thou curr!” Gorgonor yelled out and struggled like he never struggled before. Shaking himself loose, he ran out onto the deck dodging and weaving between legs of startled crewman and escaping the grasping hands until he ran straight into someone and fell down.
“Who are ye?” Demanded Meredyth, “And why are ye on me boat?”.
Stunned, Gorgonir couldn’t speak.
“Boss! I found this lad sleepin’ on deck, stowaway I tells ye, rotten kid, orphan stool if ye ask for me opinion boss, not that ye did…” The now rather sheepish crewman said, trying to act the brash seaman while keeping his tone respectful-like to the young Captain in front of him.
She rolled her eyes.
“Oy! Did ye need to visit the Doctor back there?” She pointed at Gorgonir, or more specifically, his well tailored clothes.
“Those leggings ye be rippin’ be worth more than YE ye blind joker.” Stunned, he let go of Gorgonir, who fell with a splat.
Meredyth bent low, and spoke softly, “Now now, why did ye sneak up onto me boat laddie?”
No answer, confused for a second Meredyth was about to ask again, until she noticed Gorgonir’s rapidly reddening face, and traced the route of his large bulging eyes.
“Oh…” She chuckled. “So that’s how it is boy.”
Suddenly she noticed something else, his signet clasped to his tunic, that signified him as being a member of a certain esteemed House, or rather, a Noble House, home to the current Lord of Venice.
She smiled. “Guess I’ll be needin’ to make a man out of ye eh?” She chuckled again. Opportunity comes a knockin’.


Their game can only exist to be won.
Then so be it who else can see it done.
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