House Roberts - The Blue Armada

Where other Houses enforce laws, House Roberts’ airships soar above them. Be they fortune-favored explorers, or illusion summoning scoundrels, depends on the sailor telling the tale.
Archivist's forward:

“Of all the extraplanar entities across the infinite ages of Ascendancy, the wind djinn stands apart from its fellows most curiously. They are not destructive by nature, as their efreet cousins from the realms of fire. Nor are they much help with building, as the earthen dao. It is neither our wars nor creations that interest them, no. The wind djinn cares only for deeds—daring deeds yet undone. They seek out the most pioneering among us, bestowing boons that turn the tide.”

A iX-Vii Lionhart —Delarkius, Master Archivist, Mayorie of Lore

Chronicle Installment CI#04:

Above The Law

  Captain’s log (final):


     I am about to die. It falls to you then, finding this message in its bottle, to relay my last will and testament unto posterity. I flatter myself to imagine that you should find many souls ashore that will be eager to learn of my untimely demise. There are a few—perhaps more than a few—who might reward you for the news. At Daggerfell there is one, at least, who will weep to hear it, and it is to her—to Princess Astra of House Raspute—that I bid you deliver this letter. 

     Considering my situation, I trust you won’t begrudge me a few theatrical flourishes of the quill. To whit: allow me to introduce myself…..

     I am Jean, captain of The Roustabout and Prince of House Roberts. Sailors know me for my silver tongue, enemies and lovers by my deft left hand. They called me Bladestorm during the battle of Azurefall, and The Pirate Prince at the ensuing trial. When I was only a newborn babe, a wind djinn stole me from my cradle—but let’s put a pin in that. I have treated with river nymphs, ghost ship admirals, and sailed to the edge of the world. Plus also I am very good at chess. That’s all to say: you’ve heard of me.

small jean

     And so it will not surprise you to learn that the damnable captain of my rival’s ship, Constant Vigilance, knew me as well. It started a tenday past, when my crew and I came upon them here at sea. They appeared on our horizon, fat with treasure and utterly alone. As dutiful explorers, what could we do but give chase? “Pirates,” they called us. Can you believe it? And yes, we transferred some of their cargo onto our ship. But we were doing them a favor! Heavy as they were, they might have sank were it not for our assistance. Job might have ended there, except that the bloody wind switched off about as soon as we boarded them, and so we’ve both been floating here becalmed since. 

     The captain of Constant Vigilance is upset. I can hear him as I write, shouting from his bow loud enough to reach me here in my quarters. 

     “Pirate prince!” he’s calling me, taunting me. “Looks like the law finally caught up with you! ‘Hanged Prince’, more like! Hah hah!”

     I fear he may be right. Even as our ships float becalmed, I spy no fewer than five capital dreadnoughts on the horizon, encircling us. They’re rowing close, so close that even if the wind picked up this instant, we’d never outrun them.

     “Poor Pirate Prince! Hah hah! This’ll be the end of House Roberts!”

     You understand now my predicament, that I have no choice but to use the amulet. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been bonded, marked. The djinn chose me in my cradle, stole me away. I suppose I’ve always known it would come to this eventually. I am—and have always been—destined. For what? Only the djinn knows. I feel its presence, seething ether from the amulet it inhabits—the amulet I’ve worn low these many years. It feels now… lighter, somehow, as if it knows the time is nigh. It calls my name, not “Pirate” nor “Bladestorm”, but “Jean.” It speaks softly, sweetly, like her.

     “A cost…” it whispers, and I know it does not speak of coin.

     Therein lies the rub. Some may think me dramatic. “Death,” I call it. What else to call this—djinn reaping destiny? Death of love, at least. It will spirit me away, out of this calm, away from Constant Vigilance and the encroaching law. It offers to bare me through the ether to soar through skies unseen, a life unanchored to port, or even sea. It offers with cruelest stipulation: that I soar and seek and slay, never to return—never again to lay my hat. Not so bad for a Roberts. And still…

     Astra, fairest love, forgive me. I address you now directly—


“Here the original parchment appears to have been torn away. Whether Jean Roberts’ supposed ‘final’ musings ever reached his fair lady, we do not know. However, we do know for a certainty that The Roustabout was not captured at sea. Find attached a log from Constant Vigilance’s stenographer to complete the tale.”

A iX-Vii Lionhart —Delarkius, Master Archivist, Mayorie of Lore

Captain of Constant Vigilance: “They’ve got you! That’s FIVE capital dreadnoughts, just for you, Roberts. Can you hear them? Their crews shouting. Water carries the sound. Hah hah! The law is finally here to make you pay!”

Stenographer note: Jean Roberts emerges from below decks. Stands visible on bow of his vessel. He waves politely to us starboard, clutching something at his neck. Says nothing.

Captain of Constant Vigilance: “I was there, you know. At Azurefall. Hah hah! Yes, you got away. But not this time. They’ll hang you for a Pirate. It’s the law. Don’t you know? Last words, yes! Stenographer, are you getting all of this? Last words before they hang you. Only fair. Like hanging! It’s the law.”

Stenographer note: Wings. Roberts’ vessel has sprouted wings. We’re rocking, ocean-spray everywhere. Enormous, glowing blue wings. Illusion? They are over the waves. Rising now. Up. Higher.

Jean Roberts: Looking down at us, sighing, “law? Oh but haven’t you heard, captain? House Roberts is above the law.”


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