The Savage Tide
The diary sheds some interesting light on Vanthus and his past.
Apparently, he met the Crimson Fleet through some “friends” (never referred to by name) and was able to use his family’s influence to increase their drug sales and learn about shipping routes for the pirates to hit.. Three months ago, after a particularly successful raid, Vanthus writes of being given the rank of Captain, despite the ambivalence of someone named “Whyther”, for whom Vanthus shows nothing but scorn.
The next entry is two days later, and far less lucid. He mentions a “promotion Ritual” that “grants incredible power”, and took place at the “fleshforges”. The nature of the ritual is unclear, except that the “D-men” were there and it was apparently quite painful.
His most recent entries are the most interesting, however.
Excerpts from Vanthus Vanderboren’s Diary
My worst fears have been realized. My poxy parents have figured out what I’ve been up to. I don’t know how much they know, yet, but it doesn’t matter. The moment I’m formally disinherited, Whyther will put me out to grass, if I’m lucky, or to the sword if I’m not. Bastard either can’t spot talent when he sees it, or he doesn’t want me deposing him later on. I’ve got to think of something fast, if I want to keep my position in the Fleet.
The plans are finished. I’ll head south ahead of my sister, with a ship full of pirates and a few “colonists”. Once we get to the isle, I must pay a visit to the Cove and drop off the colonists (the Pearls can be used as insurance if anything goes wrong).
Ingred will help me set a trap for my sister, so it will look natural. As for my parents, I have got the perfect patsy lined up. Once “Captain” Harliss is causing chaos in Farshore, I can sneak in with Ingred and a few elites, load up the mansion’s basement with alchemist’s fire, blow my misbegotten bastard parents to hell, and get out before anyone knows I’m even there. Then in comes The Sea Griffin, with Vanthus to the rescue! Farshore’s mine, and anyone who could spoil my sterling reputation is a silent corpse. Lordship for me, a new base for the Crimson Fleet… this will turn out better than if my parents hadn’t found me out!
We reached Gallivant Cove with no incident, although the crew renewed their demands for shore leave. I denied them again, promising them all the leave they could want once my parents’ little project is mine. Payment to the Glutton went smoothly (that beast’s teeth would make fine trophies!), and I personally led a group of five to the caves. The trogs looked worse than they stank—some kind of malady afflicts them for certain. Lords of Dread? Ha! Yet they took our payments and slaves readily enough.
There was only one Shadow Pearl ready for us. I made clear my displeasure, but the simpering lepers convinced me that they were being truthful, and promised several more in a few months’ time. I’ve tried to avoid staring at the pearl overmuch. Its depth are hypnotic. I wonder if the tales of the Savage Tide are true… death and madness to everything in range? I cannot wait to see the results when they all go off at once.
Ingred has summoned a deadly current outside the Burowao village. Lavinia will have plenty of witnesses to her “accidental” demise, and even if she should survive the crash, Harliss will take her out, with nothing leading back to m–––
The letter runs off the page, as though something made Vanthus drop his pen. The next lines look like they were written in a hurry.
That bitch Harliss!
Change of plan. Write more later. No, bad idea. Destroy diary later.