The cold night’s rain was starting to wear on me.  My bones felt like lead as I trudged up to the place I once called home.  It’d been years since I left, and there I returned to find it… empty.  “Just where had she gone?” I thought, stumbling through the house while trying to feel my way through the darkness.  Finally, I made it to her room and sure enough, the old oak drawer still stood, and still it accepted the key I’ve long held close to my heart.  Memories flooded through me as I looked down at what it contained: an old and dusty tome.

Unable to contain my excitement any longer, I lit a candle and flipped to the first page…

Keepers of the Code, Guild Roster

Success!  At long last, my journey was finally getting somewhere.  I knew that before reuniting with Alaina, I’d need to catch myself up with everything I’d missed.  I untucked the letter from Wade and inserted it carefully into the inner folds of the book before excitedly flipping through the pages, making my way past the familiar faces, until… Ah yes, a new face.

Interview of one Charity Ironflint for entry into Keepers of the Code.

Alaina Seastone: So Charity, I hear you’ve been searching for me?

Charity Ironflint: Aye, I have.  I heard word that you be needing another crew member.  Happens that I be needing more gold.

Alaina Seastone: Perhaps. But first, tell me all about yourself.

Charity Ironflint: Yes, suppose I can do that.  Guess I'll start from the beginning...

I was born in destitution in the early 1700s, in the sea port of Southampton, England.  Though my mother's occupation made it hard for her to raise a child, she kept me for as long as she could.  Every day she would tell me of my father.  “He was a feared pirate,” she would say.  “Dark skinned from the kiss of the sun at sea, eyes green as emeralds, and his long black hair tied into a braid… and his smile, it could charm the devil himself.”  Whenever she spoke of him, you could hear the love she carried, but I can only assume that he did not feel the same… Still, she would look at me with a longing every time and say, “You look just like him, right down to the birthmark behind your ear.”

Things changed when I turned 8 however, as a horrid bout of the pox struck our sea port.  Apparently it was caused by a ship that had arrived from Portugal, unknowingly carrying it amongst its crew.  It didn’t take long for it to spread all across town, and shortly after my mother began to act strange.  She dressed me in a gown made from the best cloth she could find in the house, and would only answer my questions of where we were going with teary eyes, whispering, “You’ll see.”  As we approached the area where the rich folk lived, I couldn’t help but feel strange… I’d never been dressed so proper, nor had my hair and face ever been so clean and tidy.  We approached a massive townhouse, and then… my mother turned and walked away.  The merchant stepped outside and guided me into the building, and realisation dawned on me.


I’d been sold by my very own mother.


For the next two years, I served as a chamber girl in the house.  I would clean the chamber pots, stoke the fires, strip the linens, replace the towels… you get the idea. I managed this for two years, day in and day out, all the while hating and missing my mother at the same time.  I understand now why she did it.  My life was certainly better.  I’d never eaten so well, and the house was so warm, but it just wasn’t… home, you know?  My mother wasn’t there.  Heck, she wasn’t anywhere, having died two months after selling me to the merchant.  The only remnants I had of her were her memory and stories of my father.  It’s those memories that kept me going… and the reason I’m searching for my father to this day.

It’s at this point that my eyes grew heavy, the toll of my journey catching up to me.  With candle light fading I closed the book, setting it back onto the oak drawer, and slowly curled up on the rickety old bed to drift into a deep slumber.  The rest of this story would have to wait for morning light...