Skull and Shackles
Quick witted of words, Fleeta has a cat like look at the world, everything is a game.
Fleeta Corrovon, Daring swordsman.
Fleeta was a child of the streets growing up in the city of Egorian in Cheliax. The harsh tyrannical environment did not do well for free spirited Fleeta, and he had to learn some deft handed skills to get enough to eat without being caught. Horror stories whispered on the streets talked about the faithful of Asmodeus taking kids away to their night temples to sacrifice them.
In his twelfth year he was dared to pick the pocket of a swordsman who had come to town and lived by the docks. Fleeta accepted the challenge and went to do it.
Fleeta was fast, but this man was even faster. Faster than he could draw the string pouch from the pocket he was against the wall with a gloved hand at his throat and a dagger pressed against his neck.
His so called friends ran, but Fleeta returned the stare at the stranger without fear, he would be stronger than his friends and would not cry or beg.
The stranger noticed this, and something about the lad made him reconsider.
He saw a greatness yet undeveloped.
" You can die in the streets as a gutter dog, or you can live to become a legend, your choice"
Fleeta, chose legend.
For the next four years he was trained by the man he came to know as Meriv Belclav. He has also learned from the streets that he had another name: ‘The Black Sword’. Meriv taught him everything from sword play, to reading and writing (his penmanship became excellent under Meriv, who could write flowing calligraphic script) , developed Fleeta’s quick wit and sharpness with words. He also taught him about how he saw life; ‘This sword is your freedom, authority and command. As long as you choose to wield it, no one can tell you otherwise’.
Eventually he learned that Meriv had another name: Othos Bladebright, and that he was a ‘retired’ captain of a ship called ‘One thousand cuts’, that he had given to a friend to watch over while he was here on business. He then learned about ‘The law of the Sea’ which is “What you can claim is what you keep” Meriv told him “Land laws are for people who give their permission away…never give your permission to law makers.” This resonated deeply in Fleeta, who had seen what had happened to children on the streets being ‘protected’ by ‘laws’ in Egoiran. With that Meriv also taught him everything about the Sea. How to survive on it, and thrive upon it.
All this would be tested immediately.
Meriv came and found Fleeta by the docks during a hot and sunny afternoon, he had been running and was out of breath. He began telling him a rapid fire story and made him promised he would obey his wishes.
Meriv had been running a complex forgery and impersonation scheme on behalf of house Athax to extort from House Havvas its vast sums of mysterious wealth by getting as much blackmail on them as possible, including learning their secret wealth powers they were using to buy influence with the ruling house of Thrune and gain the attention of Asmodeus.
When a slip of the tongue came to the attention of the rulers of House Havvas that they were being infiltrated, House Athax threw Meriv under the Ox cart as the main conspirator who had tricked the nobles of Athax with his charm and was playing both of them.
Meriv beat a hasty retreat but with no where else to go, he came to Fleeta, his cover had been blown.
“It was a risky but ludicrously profitable ‘get rich quick plan’ he said to Fleeta. ‘Take this ring, it is my signet ring, go to Port Peril in the Shackles and find Belgrim Baraath, he is the new captain of ’One Thousand cuts’ and the only other person I trust as much as you. Tell him what has happened here, that House Athax sold me out to House Havvas. I will do my best to stay alive as long as possible but Fleeta, I’m counting on you. Save me, and I will make you rich as a King, I promise! Now HIDE!’
Thrusting the very pouch filled with money Fleeta had tried to steal four years earlier, he hid him behind some cargo waiting to be loaded onto nearby ships. Fourty Havvas house guards came down to greet Meriv, whose demeanor changed instantly upon facing them, to that of a cool, and calm swordsman.
“Gentlemen, what can I do for you today?”
“Ragnar Banford, You are under arrest for forgery, impersonation of a high court noble, by the authority of House Havvas and the Great House Thrune!”
“Tell me gentlemen, how is it possible that you will arrest me, when I already see so many of you dead at my feet?”
And thus began the most formidable display of swordsmanship Fleeta had ever seen, from his hiding spot he watched Meriv dispatch twenty guards of House Havvas before they netted him and bowled him over. Beaten and bloodied, they dragged him away.
Meriv have given Fleeta purpose and hope for a better life, had enchanted him with stories of his adventures on the seas, and how that meant real freedom. He has raised him from poverty and fear to greatness, what his blade couldn’t provide, his wits would take care of the rest.
Fleeta knew how house ‘justice’ works, and knew that he only had a few to several months to marshal the resources to save his mentor.
With that he boarded the nearest ship with his equipment Meriv had given to him over the years, working as a sailor, he went from ship to ship till he reached Port Peril in a few weeks. He was on his way to the tavern called ‘Formidiably Maid’ when the press gang found him. The last thing he said to them before blacking out was ‘please…use spit…’