Dragos Koranyi

Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Dragos Koranyi

Written by Craig Gallant | Tags:

Dragos Koranyi

Dragos Koranyi

From the Journal of Dragos Koranyi

Day 7251, off the coast of Eastern Karneia.

If there is one thing I have learned from a lifetime of running, it is that every man is running from something. As I look at those words, written in a spacious guest cabin aboard the Condor Class Flagship Katerina Bel under the latest of half a hundred false names, I realize that there may be some small amount of self-serving interpretation in them. Regardless, however, whether from self-defence or a keen insight into the sentient mind, I stand by those words… Everyone is running from something.

Seldom are those things hunting them with blood in their eyes. But, we all have our own little burdens to bear.

I have been sailing these Uncharted Seas for over a decade, and still they never fail to surprise me. Sailing with captain Garrik Arkos has been nerve-wracking, despite the man’s friendly and open personality. I have not taken passage aboard an Imperial ship for years, and the fact that Garrik is a direct member of the Arkos family, no matter how distant, has grated upon my nerves these last several months. Why did it have to be the Arkos? There is every possibility the good captain and I met once, during some trade delegation or state fete within the walls of Arkruden. That would have been many years ago, and we both were much younger men. Still, the possibility makes me uneasy.

Here in the New World, where every captain sees himself as the hero of a new saga unfolding, where every first mate sees himself as a captain in the making, and where every leaky bark dreams of one day ruling the Broad Blue, there is one man who is welcome everywhere. One man who blends in wherever he goes, who is always free to come and go as he pleases, through any battle lines, among any factions: The Chronicler. Every man sailing the Uncharted Seas wishes to have his deeds and words immortalised in writing. No-one is immune to the siren’s call of fame, even the mighty Dragon Lords themselves. And so when I saw that my only real option was to flee to this strange new land and it’s mysterious waters, I knew there was only one mask I could wear that would allow me the freedom of movement I would need to survive.

When I first began to wander the New World, masking my true identity behind that of an itinerant chronicler, I was forever in awe of the multifarious races, factions, and communities that were spread over hundreds of islands and the larger continental land masses. Nothing in the Old World could prepare a newcomer for the sheer cosmopolitan spread of civilisation. The fact that humans are so prevalent here, as servants to his sublime and absentee Imperial worship, Overlord Saranic himself and other, stranger powers, made it easy for me to blend in. Because most humans here are in reality Subasha – willing slaves to the mysterious and seldom-seen Dragon Lords, who claim to rule over most of the region – making one’s way through the world here as a human is probably easier than back in the Old World.

But my mind wanders. Where was I? Ah, yes. Every man is fleeing something. Good-hearted Garrik is clearly fleeing his more powerful and power-hungry relatives back in the Imperial City, hiding here on the new frontier. You can see it in his face whenever an Imperial ship approaches. Here, far from the Overlord’s grasping reach, deep in the rebellious holdings of the Tepes, he still fears some word from civilisation, and I can only imagine what that is.

Lately, however, my reflections have been darkened by more ominous happenings much closer to hand. A series of unexplained raids have struck a number of human settlements along the outskirts of Tepes territory. Most of these villages are far from the common shipping routes and naval watch stations, and their destruction has come as a great surprise to the Tepes commanders in the area.

From reports Garrik has received and allowed me to read it is clear that the attacks have been brutal and savage. No survivors have been found, and each village has been sacked and burned, leaving nothing of even the most remote value behind. Rumours abound of attacks falling upon the territory of other factions as well, including a particularly brutal attack upon a Dragon Lords village whose funeral pyre sent a thick column of greasy smoke high into the clear blue sky that hovered for days after the assault. I have to assume that most of the other commanders are going to be reacting in much the same way as the Tepes, and the region around the attacks will soon host countless angry naval units, their captains eager to solve the mystery and spill reaver blood.

But something I believe they have not thought through; if they should meet each other upon the waves, who’s to tell the reaver from the revenge-seeker? None of the men I have spoken to, even Garrik with his smiles and absent-minded ways, seem inclined to speech and discourse over the matter. I know that when the human squadrons encounter another force in their search for the attackers, the bark of their guns will be the first resort.

Garrik has told me that he means to send a small force into the unmapped region bordering the decimated settlements before sending his heavier units. I have spoken with him at some length concerning the tales we have heard, of other forces that may be sailing into the same region, on the same mission, but without recourse to communication may believe his men to be the very pirates they seek. But he is under pressure from the Imperial Court far away, and by the council of Tepes that clandestinely rule over most Imperial subjects closer to home. These attacks need to stop, and vengeance needs to be exacted at once, lest others begin to think the Imperial Humans weak, and unwilling to defend their newly-won territory.

At dinner last night Garrik spoke of sending a small force of frigates and cruisers into the unknown region. A force large enough to handle any small force they might encounter, but fast enough to flee should the need arise. Through the porthole of my cabin I can hear them preparing to embark, and a familiar stirring moves my heart. It may be time for me to move on again. Perhaps, if I ask nicely, Garrik will allow me to take ship upon the command cruiser, and I might be able to watch this next phase of human history upon these Uncharted Seas unfold before my very eyes.

It is a delicate time for us Humans here as we carve a new place for ourselves. Surrounded by advanced, sophisticated new races as well as our old nemeses from the Old World, we must struggle to establish ourselves or risk being subjugated in our own turn; relegated to the role of willing slave just as so many of the native humans are.

I can see in this developing situation a cauldron into which we might be lost forever, if we venture forward without every precaution. Some force out over the misty waves has departed the paths of civilized beings and is massacring innocents and harvesting the fruits of their labours. Some unknown power has declared war on the human settlements and those of other factions and races. The entire area will be filled with angry and fearful men seeking to strike a blow against the mysterious, hidden enemy. And how are we to know the foe when we see him?

Everyone in the fleet speaks of the dreaded Dragon Lords and their lost city. There can be no doubt that these ancient rulers of this land will be scouring the seas with bloody intent. But there have also been rumours of the haughty and proud Thaniras Elves of the Old World, come much the same as we, to wrest lands of resources from the New World. Whispered tales tell of one of their hidden redoubts as the scene of something as terrible as a reaving, and if these adventure-seeking mariners are at all similar to their Old World steppemen cousins, then high will be the price they exact for that outrage.

Some even speak of the dreaded newcomers, the enormous ships of the Ralgard. In all my vast experience in the New World I have yet to encounter one of the huge humanoids. They are said to be excessively tall and broad, with blunted features and cunning eyes. What they may be seeking no one seems to know. They have apparently made no attempts to communicate with any other races, and have as yet established no settlements as far as I have heard. However, they have constructed several military outposts, stark and utilitarian in nature, and if one of those has been descended upon by these attackers, then you may count them, too, amongst those Garrik’s squadrons may encounter. Or these attackers could be Ralgard, in fact. That is the true danger of our situation now, for there is no way to know who the enemy truly is.

But for my part, as much as I would like to see my fellow man prosper in these new endeavours, every new trading post, naval station, or settlement increases my risk of discovery. It is a bittersweet observation, for me, to see my old countrymen spreading their influence and power across the waves of the New World, for with each hut or dock raised, my freedom is curtailed that much further.

It’s definitely time for me to head off once again into the unknown. I’ll join Garrik’s squadron, see what I can see, and then maybe jump ship and chronicle for someone else for a while, see the world from a different pair of eyes, bearing a different name, perhaps.

After all, we’re all running away from something.

We hope you enjoyed the introductory story for our month of Uncharted Seas blogs. Now head off to read Part 1 of our Admirals of the Broad Blue series where we introduce a US-based gaming group that has been busy creating scenarios, building fleets and much more for your enjoyment.