Clouds roiled, thunder crashed, and waves heaved. In a stormy evening some twenty years ago, the crew of the S.S. Esperanto rode out a squall sent from the Gods’ themselves. When blue skies emerged the following morning, the crew was stunned to find a sleeping infant, snoozing contently in the abandoned crows’ nest. The child’s appearance was all the more remarkable, as the Esperanto had not a single female aboard that fateful night. Thus began the life of Etak.

The Esperanto was a merchant ship that traded in one commodity… fine Ale. The crew was seasoned, well traveled, and superstitious to a fault. The Gods clearly wanted them to raise this child, so they thought, and that’s what they did. Etak learned much from his eccentric adopted family. They were a swarthy but good natured bunch, and noble in their own way. They cherished the freedom found on the seas, and fostered this same love in Etak. He learned to make friends easily, love recklessly, and drink heartily. Each new port brought new wonders, and Etak lived for the horizon. However, numerous scrapes with slaving pirates and a short stent in a navy press-gang made one appreciate the preciousness of such freedom.

Etak assumed he’d always be on the Esperanto, but that all changed last year. It started with a tavern fire, innocently enough. The “Haggard Mermaid” was known for two things: its’ prized kegs of “Double Dunn’s Ale,” and the Bar Keep’s beautiful wife. While drinking this rarefied brew, Etak attempted to gesture his “affection” to the bar keep’s vexing strumpet. All were stupefied when a blazing comet materialized from Etak’s hand. The ensuing chaos claimed no lives, though countless patrons wept for the barrels of Double Dunn’s lost.

As further incidents soon followed, the Captain and crew began to worry. A floating wooden box, packed full with combustible spirits was no place for an amateur sorcerer. Thus, even Etak realized it was time to leave the metaphorical nest.

Just two weeks have past since Etak’s swarthy family sent him boldly off into the world with heavy hearts and frothy mugs. Etak seeks to master his new found magical talent, a passion exceeded by only his love for fine ale and the fairer sex (whatever they be orc, elf, or anything in between).


Ghosts of Cities Past jakubpon matthew_e_dunn