Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.
Most recent revision is shown below, by Augustus Dayafter.
Captain Maelstorme Smythe’s latest voyage saw the crew of the Seraph narrowly escape a violent raid. Severely damaged, the Seraph crashed heavily into the Vernian Sea, further damaging the ship’s engine room. The ship’s doctor, Augustus Dayafter, was commanded to find safe harbor for the surviving crew. Dr. Dayafter discovered New Babbage, and found a home there for the crew until the Seraph can be repaired…if she can be repaired. Until then, Mael has contented himself with creating and exploring hereabouts.
Maelstorme Mortgan was born in 1775 (Year of the Cock) on the coast of Lansia (rle: France). His birth father was the infamous privateer captain ”’Synjun “Sin Jim” Mortgan”’ of the Lansian Empire. His birth mother was ”’Seraphine D’Arban”’.
Seraphine D’Arban was Lansian nobility, and the reluctant fiance of the bloodthirsty privateer known as Synjun Mortgan. Due to the merfolken blood in her family line, Seraphine’s marital options were limited by the Lansian empire. Mael’s father, Synjun Mortgan, was half Morayen (a species of merfolken who use aether deposits in their bodies to generate aetherfire). Mael’s mother, Seraphine D’Ibanes, was one-quarter Syren (a species of merfolken who are incredibly comely, and capable of seducing humans and other mers with their song). Mael’s skin is tanned light brown by the sun, but always has an odd silvery sheen (akin to fish scales and mother-of-pearl) in odd places. His nails grow hard and abnormally sharp, with the same silvery sheen. His skin is thick and leathery. He has more sharp teeth than a normal human, and his teeth are prone to replace themselves at intervals, especially if a tooth is damaged. Hair does not grow anywhere on his body, save his head. Mael has no gills, but has extended lung capacity. He is capable of aetheric generation and manipulation using his fingernails and tiny scaly patches located at the interior base of each finger. He keeps his hands covered with black gloves unless he needs to navigate, or otherwise manipulate aether.
Mortgan rarely came home from his sea voyages. News of his brutal dealings reached his betrothed across the world and terrified her. Upon each visit to Lansia, his treatment of her became worse. Mortgan was a drunk and womanizer. However, these character flaws were tame compared to his legendary sober, sociopathic cruelty. He continually left Seraphine in a beaten, bruised, slashed or burned state when he left for his next sea voyage, trusting that she would heal by the time he returned for another sadistic bout. After raping and impregnating Seraphine, Mortgan did not return to Lansia until his son, Maelstorme, was two years old.
Mortgan arrived at port drunk after receiving news of his son’s birth. As he looked around his house, he found it bare of decor save furniture. He picked up the toddler, frowned at the fair complexion, sea-blue eyes and brown hair of the child, and accused Seraphine of making him a cuckold. Seraphine reminded the privateer that though he was dark of complexion, she was fair and blue eyed. Mortgan would hear none of it, and said that one way or another he would leave his mark upon his child. With a wickedly sharp thumbnail talon, Mortgan sliced and burned a skull-deep aether scar into the screaming child’s face, just missing the eyeball. As the child grasped Mortgan’s finger and jolted Mortgan with the same aetherfire, Mortgan realized too late how much his son had indeed inherited from him as Seraphine buried a dagger in his back, and his blacked right hand partly fell to ash leaving the wailing toddler’s electrified grasp.
Seraphine fled with her child and the meager fortune she had managed to pawn their household belongings for. She fled to port, and to the enemy country of Anglea. Upon reaching Anglea, Seraphine became a talented and much-sought-after burlesque dancer known only as “Lady Angel” or “Angel” to those close to her. Only her son knew her true name. In this way, she raised her son as well as possible in the seedy streets of Riverspoole, the capital and port city of Anglea.
Many men of society frequented the burleque shows in secret, including ”’Captain Everett Percival Smythe”’ and his ever-present first mate, Mr. Sundjai. After becoming close friends with Captain Smythe (a known Anglean privateer and hunter of pirates), Angel revealed her true identity to the Captain in secret and offered him information about Synjun Mortgan in exchange for protection by the Anglean state. Smythe confirmed to Seraphine that Mortgan was in fact still alive, according to the news of the seas and Anglean spies in Lansia.
Captain Smythe took to young Mael instinctively, as did the boy to the privateer. Smythe also took to Mael’s mother…as did she to the dashing young privateer hero. Despite their love, Smythe’s status (as well as Seraphina’s jaded past) prevented him from marrying her. The expectations and limitations of Anglean noble society and the rift between their home countries began to weigh heavily on the idealistic Smythe. When he approached the Anglean Parliament concerning Seraphina Mortgan’s information, she was discovered. The Parliament refused her plea, believing that their forces were adequate to conquer the Lansian Empire’s mad dog privateer. Smythe’s relationship with the burlesque dancer was also called into question publicly, and Smythe had to become more secretive in his visits to his lady love.
After this fateful confrontation with Parliament, Smythe soon found a cloaked visitor in his chambers aboard his ship, The Blue Rose. The visitor informed Smythe that a warrant had been placed for Seraphine’s arrest in Lansia for attempted murder some time ago, that the pirate Synjun Mortgan was indeed still alive, and that Lansian spies had now informed a certain Countess Lisette D’Abolique of the whereabouts of the former Lady Seraphine D’Arban. D’Abolique, an accused witch and lover/confederate of Synjun Mortgan, had passed the information on to Mortgan. The cloaked visitor informed Captain Smythe that Seraphine would be protected by the Black Onyx Confederation in exchange for her information. This meeting began Smythe’s gradual turn from a loyal privateer of Anglea to a spy and privateer for the Black Onyx Consortium, a feared league of rogues, rebels and revolutionaries.
===The Death of a Parent===
Although urged by Smythe to leave Anglea for the New Worlde, Seraphine refused to leave her life and fame as Lady Angel. Several attempts on her life were thwarted in that time, all secretly and neatly. Mael was 6 years old before Seraphine finally agreed to leave Anglea after her final performance as Lady Angel. The perforance was magnificent; her personal best. She would become a legend in Anglea’s red light and art districts thereafter.
After the show, Smythe and Seraphine were married in secret by a rebel paladin of Axiom. Maelstorme Mortgan became Maelstorme Smythe, the adopted son of Captain Everett Smythe. Seraphine’s things, including the gifts of adoring fans, were loaded onto the Blue Rose, which personally bore her toward the colonies. Smythe allowed the crew of the Blue Rose to drink with he and Seraphine, and celebrate their success. Thus, gifts of champagne and wine were opened and drained.
It was the next morning when several crewmen and Seraphine did not awaken from the celebration. None of the loyal crew of the Blue Rose knew which bottle held the offending poison; there were simply far too many random bottles. Worse yet, the poison was a draught of living death. The crew, Smythe, and little Mael bitterly mourned the loss of the fallen friends and the beloved Seraphine. As they mourned, the dead rose as revenants. Only the hardiest and most clever survived this turn of events. Captain Smythe was forced to end the animation of Seraphine’s corpse before she could reach Mael. All infected were dispatched and dropped into the brine.
Smythe, hoping to teach his new street-wise son the ways of a gentleman, and clueless as to how to properly raise a boy aboard a rebel privateer ship, placed Mael in a remote, elite academy for nobility. As Mael was raised a street urchin, he spent much of his time being punished for beating up potential bullies, being a bully himself, cheating, gambling, stealing, drinking, smoking, escaping, etc. Inexplicably, he made fast friends with the young lord Augustus Dayafter. Mael remained in the prison four years. At this point, Captain Smythe stopped throwing gold at the school, allowed Mael to be expelled, and decided that Mael’s future would be best served through a more personal education. As the sea was where Mael wanted to be all along, his behavior improved immediately under the harsh tutelage of Captain Smythe and Mr. Sundjai.
===Life at Sea===
Little Mael was taken under the wing of First Mate Sundjai Gurunnal from the time he boarded the H.M.S. Blue Rose. Sundjai taught Mael “Kirash” (rle: northern kalari payat), a martial art unique to Sundjai’s homeland, Ganarajya (rle: India). Mael became extremely flexible, learning to use a wide variety of weapons as well as his body. After years of begging and humbling himself, Mael was also trained in drunken fist Kunekai (rle: kung fu) by elder Chef “Sookie” Suk Chul (also of the Blue Rose) from ages 16-20. Both instructors died during the destruction of the Blue Rose in ACE (Aerthian Common Era) 1795. Thus, Mael can drink a great deal without becoming drunk, can act completely drunk while sober to gain an advantage, and…also admittedly drinks quite heavily, very often. The resulting behavior and fighting style is sometimes strange to watch, often humorous, and certainly off-putting, but effective. Mael learned well from both the captain and crew of the Blue Rose as a young Lieutenant, and his talents soon made him an extremely talented Navigator