Comments part 3
Bonnie Annie: How can Bonnie Annie be as Irish as the average John Ford picture despite never having so much as set foot on any version of that island? (so far as we can tell, which isn't very far at all because Annie is MAGNIFICENTLY sneaky) - simple; she grew to womanhood within the confines of Waterdelve, a city notorious for boozing, blarney, dancing, firewater MOSTLY derived from potatoes, eating potatoes, storied eloquence, tall stories, trading, smuggling, running away with the fairies, harpers, having conquered their almost invincible conqueror (a frigging dragon!) after centuries of living underground, becoming fragmented into factions based on grudges so old even mutual triumph couldn't keep them struggling together (rather than against one another), for a peculiar mixture of implacable piety and incorrigible mischief (not to mention somehow uncovering relatives in the furthest reaches of Middle-Zoth, to the point where even the local Jews have been known to make the odd joke about The Tribe of Israel being one of the Twelve Tribes of Waterdelve) - also for being one and all invariably thirsty at all times.
Quite frankly they're so Irish they don't even NEED the rain, redheads or freckles (amusingly the locals look more Hispanic than anything, but more Galician than Castilian or Columbian), although it might interest you to know that Waterdelve sits on top of a series of sea-caves on the Isle of Esmeralda, because apparently the designer of Middle-Zoth had a peculiar sense of humour.
Also a still more peculiar fondness for pseudo-Irish rogues and swashbucklers.
Bravo, write-up, Libra. I'd love to see you expand on Waterdelve.
As for Annie, herself, she has one of the most loyal and talented of crews in the actual profession of piracy. She has mastered the art of picking the right sort of targets and exercisng JUST THE RIGHT amount of violence to fill her coffers with vast amounts of cargo. Bonnie Annie's charming qualities are such, as well, that many individuals are positively eager to hand over their valuables to her. This is helped, ironically, by the REAL reason she adores Julius as she has an almost Lina Inverse lust for Gold (for Libra, that means she's REALLY REALLY GREEDY) and finds his psychic powers the PERFECT tool for robbery.
Julius is less than impressed the height of her ambition for his power of Purple Man-esque mind-control (which he almost never uses) is to be more efficient at getting people to hand over their valuables.
She just thinks he doesn't appreciate said valuables ENOUGH.
Lord Chester XIII Stevens (called 'The Insensible'): If you came within twenty-four hours and a wake-up of marrying your own sister YOU would swear off the influence of Master John Thompson too BIGAD! (now if only he could persuade Annie to help him convince Foster-Mamma and Papa to stop dragging him along on their … ESCAPADES as catnip to ladies of a certain age, he could sleep soundly AND solo in his bed at nights - come to that he should probably start convincing Annie to let him quietly gentrify himself before he's too old to be anything but a curmudgeon rather than a sporadically-charming cad …).
'hem, haw-haw. On a more serious note Lord Chester does his best to stick with skulduggery rather than blatant piracy, partly because his natural aptitudes tend toward dirty sneaking tricks in the approved Rathbone manner and mainly because while he LOVES being celebrated, he really would love to avoid the sort of media scrutiny that paints any pirate that labours under it with the words "WANTED - DEAD OR ALIVE" in neon lights visible entire parsecs distant.
With this in mind he does his best to avoid working alongside The Free Brethren council (ESPECIALLY Goldtooth - he's learned his lesson BIGAD!) and will tend to construct creative excuses in a series of increasingly desperate bids for freedom while the high road out of town remains free and clear of pursuing lawmen - as a result of these fine displays of survival instinct, he's only become EVEN MORE popular company (Pirates appreciating his finely-honed talent for fighting to run away).
Sometimes you just can't win, even if you beat the other losers to the escape hatch.
It's an amusing fact that Bonnie Annie and Lord Chester get along like gasoline and fire but have a thoroughly chaste friendship as she is one of the few women in the world NOT impressed with his gentleman pirate routine. Ironically, Julius as the other LEGITIMATELY gentleman pirate on the team can't stand the man and the two are constantly at loggerheads. It's perhaps because Julius is a Prince and he's a Merchant King but also the fact Chester is naturally a spanner in the works to Magnificent Bastard and Evil Genius plans.
A qualtiy which INFURIATES Julius.
Lord Chester's servants are a collection of hundreds of individuals he's picked up on his travels and they're an almost One Piece-esque collection of oddballs and weirdos who just happen to be traveling with him rather than extensively devoted to the principles of piracy. There's master swordsmen, chefs, treasure-hunters, and so on who follow Lord Chester simply because they somehow all think they're going to reach their full potential under him.
You know, if they're not killed.
Captain Wendy Mitchell, Queen Mother of Pirates: It must be noted that Julius was more astonished to learn that King Liam actually took the time to MARRY one of his paramours (being something of a love-them-and-leave-while-they're-still-smiling sort of Merry Monarch) rather than the revaluation that Papa had fathered ANOTHER quiver of part-siblings (although thankfully these half-siblings seem closer to being wholly loveable than those others, mostly because they're rather a collection of mildly piratical Victorian Fairy Tale environmentalists and therefore have a better chance of turning the Pope protestant than they do of claiming Arthur's Seat).
To the astonishment of all, Captain Mitchell's long-term slightly-elvish buccaneer beau has revealed himself to be a full-grown man-child whose only ambitions in Life seem to be reducing EVIL pirates to screaming fits of impotent rage, pulling off still more implausible feats of physical skill and acting his shoe-size rather than his age; he's also quite convinced that as a grown-up he grows further and further past his prime by the day, exercising vigorously in a bid to keep at bay the ravages of time he subconsciously expects to manifest any day now.
Despite his youthful paranoia, he continues to look JUST young enough to be forbidden fruit and JUST old enough to be jailbait; the sight of him exercising with his shirt off was enough to reduce Mrs Cosmic to such a state that Mr Cosmic had to manfully carry her off.
I am reliably informed that long grass will never be the same again!
Cap'n Wendy, being a practiced hand when it comes to her eternally-youthful shadow and his antics, just does her best to avoid being caught eating the eye candy on those rare occasions when she's not hard at work keeping her extensive retinue to adoptive children and grandchildren happy, her charity cases alive and that miserable excuse for a sibling of hers less than happy whenever possible.
Also keeping her hands off Lord Chester, because she still has a thing for any fine Byronic figure of a man, even if this one is a touch on the weedy side.
The marriage of King Liam and Captain Mitchell, it should be noted, was not exactly a flowers and rice sort of marriage so much as the two of them exchanging nuptials before a Native Tribal ChiefTM after having exchanged a little too much in the way of narcotic-laced rum that would qualify for eye-surgery assistance. Nevertheless, the fact King Liam wanted to have the piratical equivalent of a Vegas wedding with his bride should tell you how dearly she was to him.
As for the Downworld, it is not so much an equivalent of said Fairyland but a section thereof which is still quite functional and draws upon the various incarnations of Peter Pen-like dreams for its architecture. While at least one of the Boys Who Never Grew Up most certainly HAS done so, it should be noted that such a state is more a POSITION rather than a strict identity. The various Peter Pans range from the lovable rogues to budding sociopaths in the making because, while a hero, it's also a position which comes from someone DEARLY suffering from Man Child tendencies mixed with a willingness to ignore the consequences of antagonizing bloodthirsty pirates.
Knowing there is a "Wendy" out there AND a Pan who have decided to give up on their story-based roles is enough to give several contenders desire to do some Lost Boys culling. Which, I remind you, is in the original stories as one of Pan's less appealing traits.
Goldtooth Rog: Amusingly classical music is just as effective as keeping his crew in line as 'footie' but the Crew tend to feel a vague embarrassment afterwards that leaves them just a wee bit moved to mad prodigies of hooliganism afterwards, in order to overcompensate for their pacific conduct.
It should be noted that I have some thoughts concerning Middle-Zoth which I hope to share at some point before the Heat Death of the Universe, but which are better addressed at some other time.
On another subject, Mrs and Mr Cosmic tend to regard Rog as letting the side down a bit ("Any Orc who sounds more Mummerset than monkey is letting the side down!" "WAAAARGH me hearties!"), especially in comparison to that True Companion and Warrior-Poet Earl the Bard, the only member of the Four that would be Free who remains on Middle-Zoth and who seems doomed to the happy fate of any Adventurer who has outlived his adventuring days - which is to say he enjoys all the satisfaction of knowing he changed the world for the better, made a pile of loot in the process AND still gets to grumble at the mess The Youth of Today, those overgrown kids, are making of the present.
He's also chronicling a clash between those Enlightened Orcs (and others) who obsess over 'Progress' before proceeding to bull their way through any obstructions and those sentient obstructions who fear that this progress can only end in illumination all the resources of the world - noble relic or natural resource - are put to the flame and are on the whole fully prepared to lash out in defiance.
It's a struggle that will redefine Middle-Zoth for centuries to come and Goldtooth Rog is STILL glad he missed it (because all that wretched politics and philosophy leaves him feeling like a friggin' elf AND gets in the way of a good professional pillage to boot!).
Goldtooth Rog on the other hand, is entirely happy to loot, rob, mangle and menace anyone who catches his attention for being especially Elvish … or formidably wealthy or richly formidable or just because they moved at EXACTLY the wrong time; Mrs and Mr Cosmic have exploited and can respect his muscle, but they DO wish he had an attention span exceeding that of a goldfish experiencing a feeding frenzy.
Goldtooth, on the other hand, just wants a shot at The Arbitrator, preferably straight into the unmentionables; instinct can be a deeply peculiar thing.
Goldtooth Roger's rather expensive collection of dungeons and dragons he's accumulated over the decades is one he's presently debating using. Having gotten his green-skinned band of crooks, criminals, and murderers with a large amount of heroics--he's debating using them to return to Middle-Zoth and liberate it from the control of the Pax-Concordians. Unfortunately, for that he'd have to overcome his cowardice. For all of Goldtooth Roger's bluster, he's quite terrified of Rozarak the Undying and the vengeance of the "gods." His ambitions to be the next Redcloak have been severely shaken but a part of him, a VERY SMALL part, one he keeps medicated with copious amounts of rum is intrigued by the possibility of being a hero.
The Revolutionary: The Revolutionary is a smug, obnoxious git with a knack for losing individual fights disgracefully that has won him more than his fair share of challenges in the end:- it frequently astonishes those of his companions who have become aware of this fact that he was born in a version of Quebec rather than Paris, because frankly he challenges Charles de Gaulle for the title of 'Most Aggravating Ally in the history of humankind'.
If it weren't for the fact that he's a majestically principled ideologue and a MIRACULOUS cook in kitchen or field he'd have probably been marooned on some outrageously British isle a very long time ago, but in the meantime he continues to fight for Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and the American Way.
This tends to confuse those of us who do not happen to come from mysteriously Francophile home worlds.
The Revolutionary's benefits are not simply his outstanding mastery of cuisine but also the fact, obnoxiousness aside, he is one of the most epic swashbuckling swordmasters of all time. He is a warrior par excellence
and not even his constant talk about the oppression of the lower classes eliminates his general all-round classiness and master skill as a gentleman fencer.
French stereotype or not, the Revolutionary is also a ladies man and a charmer when he wants to be. People swoon at his ability to throw off a witty quip or speak the language of love. Indeed, his unpleasant qualities are primarily due to the fact he spent a half-decade marooned on Earth-0 with the Star Kingdom expanding grossly into territories he had long since charted as well as befriended the locals thereof.
Yes, before in ADDITION to being a Douglas Fairbanks sort of fellow, he was also a SCOUT for the Grand Republic and a Fur-Trapper on his very-very forested homeland. The fact he's now a pirate is just a further addition to his already extensive cap of professions over the years.
Also, shocking as this may be, he's mellowing out a bit. Unlike the Outrageous Order, he's starting to LIKE his fellows.