Sage's Skulls and Shackles
The Last Cormorant and Nemo
Since the invention of the sail, the Cormorant family has used the high seas as a great highway to rob the rich and the poor alike. Pirates by family tradition, the Cormorants were part of the first Cheliaxan explorers to discover the bay that would one day become The Shackles. Over many centuries the descendants of the Cormorant family dwindled, either because of the rigors of battle, sickness, the noose, or the uncaring lethality of the sea. Still the name of the Cormorants raises many a drunken bucaneer’s brow, even after the waking of the Eye of Abedengo and the election of the Hurricane King, Kerdak Bonefist.
Andre Cormorant is the last descendant of that ancient pirate family. Like all his ancestors before him, Andre was born with freedom in his veins and to poverty on city streets. Growing up in Westcrown, a port city in lawful Cheliax, Andre had to learn to restrain his urges to cause chaos and run free. At a young age he witnessed the Imperial Navy’s quelling of the uprising in Westcrown and witnessed the devastating power of Cheliaxan oppression. But he also saw an opportunity to free himself of the laws of the land. Ironically, Andre signed up as a sailor in the Imperial Navy allowing him to escape the watchful eyes of the Hellknights in Cheliax.
Andre served in the Navy over many campaigns and missions which gifted him with numerous experiences in many of the Inner Sea countries. Most of these campaigns involved fighting the wild pirates of the Shackles as well as the Kingdom of Man’s merchant marines, both seeking control of the Arch of Arcoden. Other times, Andre found himself on reconnaissance missions to the diverse countries of the Inner Sea. One of the countries he visited was Qadira where Andre discovered the traditional art of falconing. In falconing Andre saw a deep bond of brotherhood developed between man and bird. He studied the art and learned how to make his falcon an extension of himself, to be able to go where he could not go. With his trusty falcon, Andre returned to Cheliax where he married a childhood friend and fellow bird enthusiast, Freesia Krupt. He gifted her his prized purebred bird as a wedding gift. Hardened by his naval campaigns and growing ever more bitter with the diabolic government of Cheliax, Andre settled his family in a small fishing village east of Corentyn and the Arch of Aroden.
With the Qadiran falcon Andre gifted her with, Freesia opened a small eyrie and with Andre’s help trained the falcons in catching fish. Andre and his wife were making a killing in the fishing business, and happily prosperous the couple had a daughter, Anastasia Cormorant. Andre was called away many times on assignments and campaigns, working as a reconnaissance officer for the Imperial Navy. Every time he returned to his home his daughter grew taller and her love of birds and the sea also grew. In Anastasia, Andre could see the same spirit of freedom that had pulled him to the sea, a spirit passed down through the Cormorant bloodline.
Expedition to Arcadia
A year before his daughter came of age, Andre was commanded to join a top secret elite expeditionary force to the mysterious continent of Arcadia. The rest of the expedition would consist of some of Andre’s best comrades and colleagues from his career. Fearing his assignment a suicide mission, yet unable and unwilling to refuse Andre, left behind his wife and daughter, gifting his daughter with the purest breed of Qadiran falcon he had managed to preserve. Anastasia named the young chick Nemo and promised to take care of it as her father left for the far west.
The expedition disappeared the day it left for Arcadia. Andre resurfaced two years later in the Cheliaxan capital, Egorion, wearing strange armor from Tian Xia and sporting a tanned complexion. He explained that his expedition had become hopelessly lost soon after leaving charted waters and while they had in fact found Arcadia, were summarily wiped out by disease, hostile natives and the predatory wildlife. He never explained how he found the Tian Xian armor, commonly found on a continent across the globe, but instead requested to return to his home near Westcrown. High command explained to Andre that the village he referred to no longer existed.
A year after Andre had left his home, a pirate raid had destroyed the town. The Imperial Navy at the time had been busy defending against Rahadoum attacks and had not been able to respond to the town’s pleas for help. Horrified by this news Andre immediately left for his village, ignoring the threats of martial discipline and charges of desertion. Arriving in the ruins of his village, Andre found the graves of many of his friends and the marker for his wife among them. Despairing, Andre believed all lost before a survivor of the incident informed him that his daughter had been spared the sword by the pirates but had been kidnapped. He also presented Andre with the other sole witness of the pirate raid, Nemo his daughter’s falcon.
Andre swore vengeance on the pirates who murdered his wife and kidnapped his daughter. With Nemo’s guidance Andre found himself in the seedy streets of Port Peril in The Shackles. Knowing full well that his daughter may already be dead, or worse, Andre decided to do everything and anything to exact his revenge. Branded a deserter by the Imperial Navy he had served for two decades Andre realized he could chart only one course. To catch a pirate he would have to become one.
“By land, sea or sky I will find my vengeance. Then there will be hell to pay.” ~ Andre Cormorant
“KAW!” ~ Nemo