Ship's Log:
Date: January 22, 1669.
Place: Port Capital, Isle of Caelstrom, in the region of Caspia.

Happy as the town's drunkard, I am. Walking from the Governor's office I hold my salvation: Letters of Mark. I had petitioned for the letters over three months ago when I received my Uncle's ship into my ownership.
With these Letters comes the right to engage and battle the Crown's enemies. Although I shall receive no compensation from the King, I can profit from any of the stores or equipment of my captured enemy. But most importantly, I have been allocated four cannons from the his Majesty's armory ship yard. They are not much but they are enough to fight off goblin pirates or a small Romus galley. Certainly they will be fit for a fight with a Jappon junk. Anything else, Viking warship or sea dragon, will be a test of my sails.

Ship's Log:
Date: January 26, 1669.
Place: Port, Isle of Marion, in the region of Caspia.

Now that I know I will be setting sail soon I will retell my story in my ship's log, the appropriate place for the origin of my tale.
I never knew much of my father, except that my mother said he perished in a rare hurricane soon after I was born. His only brother, my Uncle Ishmail, visted our home only a few times my entire life. He was a merchant captain, buying articles of trade in far-away ports then sailing half way around the world to sell them for a profit. On one visit he gave me a serpent ring that he said would make me sail fast on the open ocean. I have not been able to test the power, if any, of the ring because my mother made me promise never to become a sailor. The sea has lured away many in our family and she warned my Uncle not to talk about his adventures. But our family does not make for good farmers or ranchers, so the best I could do was working at Marion's shipyard. I have learned about all there is to know about constructing ships, but I have not learned much about the open sea. I have never left Caspia waters. At any time I could have joined the Caspia Navy and seen distant lands but I was not much for following orders. The fates intervened, and now I am the captain of my own ship.
About four months ago I was summoned to the Governor's office in Caelstrom. The Navy had found my Uncle's ship adrift in Greecian waters. No captain, no crew, no ship's log, nothing. It was the first time I got a good luck at his ship. A corsair with five large holds and room for twenty cannons, of which there were none. As fate would have it, my Uncle had filed a Will with the island Barrister which left me everything he owned. I took possession of his ship and behind a false panel in the captain's cabin I found a small chest filled with some gold coins, a pendant, and a large ruby. Despite complaints from my mother, I decided to heed the call of the mariner inside my soul. Instead of finding a merchant sponsor I will use what little gold I have to hire a crew and seak my fortune in foreign ports of call.

Ship's Log:
Date: January 30, 1669.
Place: Port, Isle of Marion, in the region of Caspia.

Tomorrow my ship sets sail for distant lands, to which I have never been. My crew is only half of what is needed but it's difficult for an untested captain to find good crewmen. I will go to the market of Caelstrom and buy the cheapest commodity I can find to fill my ship's holds, then I will sell it abroad. I should make back my cost and then some.
When I was in town scouting the bazaars and looking for sailors the most unusual thing happened to me. I stopped in the local tavern to see my friend Nadia, who is a barmaid there. She told me to buy a drink for an old man sitting in the corner booth because he might have some useful information. Nadia has rarely been wrong with her advice to I did what she suggested. At first I thought he was just an old drunk, but he had plenty of scars and a tattoo of horse on his arm that I had seen somewhere before. The old man said he used to be the first mate of a Greecian war ship and he said he had an old treasure map that he would sell me for a fair-sized ruby. The price of rubies at the markets would take all the gold coins I have left but then I remembered the one gemstone in my Uncle's small chest. Through the streets I ran back to the cabin of my ship I got the ruby. When I made it back to the tavern the man had finished his bottle of whiskey and I probably could have tricked him out of his map but I know that would bring bad luck to my ship and crew. He was happy to see my ruby and I was glad to have his map. Nadia gave we a wink as I left the tavern. Back at my ship I put the treasure map in a locked drawer in my Uncle's old desk in my cabin.

Nadia

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