Black Sails of the Old Empire

Diary of a Southern Gentleman: Chapter 4

The Perils of Rudeness

On the long and arduous path to becoming a true Gentleman, I have often been forced to – now how shall I put this – enlighten those less fortunate than myself on the drawbacks of their social ills. Though there are those wiser folks with ears to hear and a brain to listen, for whom my eloquent speech proves sufficiently educational, the greater masses require efforts of a, hmm, sharper nature.

I am no crusader, and no proselytizer. My words are gospel only to those foolish enough to think me immortal, or those who have had the good fortune to hear my bedded sermons.

And yet, there are times when certain points must be emphasized, when certain examples must be made, when certain dams in the general flow of Goodness that permeates this diverse world must be broken. And though not terribly clever, I reckon an orange smashed into certain uncouth mugs drives a point home pretty damn well.

‘Course, the Maul ain’t known for propagating any outstanding ideals, nor breeding the most upstanding of citizens – and this from a professional smuggler. As we learned in the previous chapter, there are goods meant for specialized trading, and there are those that to “trade” makes the trader an arbiter of Evil. Slaves bein’ a fine example of that.

Kidnappin’ is another of those things frowned upon by the true Gentleman, it bein’ not much more than low rent slavin’, so to see that pathetic Maul softie march into the ‘Safe, boasting of kidnapped daughters and demanding ship-sized ransoms, it’s no wonder my instincts at enlightenment took over. Words came first, of course, as is rightful in the grand scheme o’ things, but fate took it upon herself to present me the little gift of hurled citrus, and I ain’t never one to turn down a kind offering from that stingy bitch.

From afar, the projectile proved little bother for our intrusive and rude companion; crushed into his smoke-wrinkled eyes, the annoyance proved quite painfully effective. Amazin’ how what tastes so sweet can sting quite so fierce; but, I suppose, if you know Cherry, that ain’t no surprise at all.

Much as when recounting a night spent in the company of a fine young Southern lady, post-brawl details are best left vague, expressionistic, evocative without being squirm-inducing. For your sake, kind reader, I won’t deign to describe anything below that might spoil the fine meal you have most assuredly just finished devouring.

Suffice it to say that Therion and I (and damn am I glad to have found this sonuvabitch) dole out fear as consummately as Reverend Ral’houn does his “healing breast exams.” Post orange smash, every glance left engendered an horrific vision – cascading waters, paralyzing lightning, beasts from the netherworld, and I swear I saw Jarx’s ex-wife in there somewhere; every glance right brought with it visions of Therion’s frightful staff cracking skulls. With all this lookin’ around, mind, turns out I weren’t doin’ too much fighting, and I soon found myself on the ground, woozier than after a night of Broy Boys and Cherry’s Pie.

If you’ve been payin’ much attention at all through the course of this here manifesto, you’ll remember a couple ‘a key points ’bout your humble narrator. For one, though I may go down at a right constant clip, you damn well better believe that I’m underneath plotting a new scheme while you’re off celebrating your “victory”. For two, I ain’t below playing dead for a few minutes so that I might be better positioned to remove your testicles.

And for three, when my rapier enters your ass, you’re damn likely to find it comin’ out your mouth right quick.

Beyond that, all I might say is that some poisons were thrown, some stools were smashed, some bets were made, and in the end, Therion, Jarx, and yours truly stood tall, while two crippled fools and a permanently insane “Captain” limped back to Mr. Chalk chock full of lessons on being a proper Gentleman.

For all the lessons we True Gentlemen offer, there are still evils that remain behind, impervious to the Truth of Goodness. Talk as much as I do, and you’re liable to effect some sort of change, reducin’ some of these negativities and maintaining a mild balance. For the evils that the gods have seen fit to make deaf, some more direct action is necessary.

Schemin’ ain’t necessarily one of my strong suits. Communicatin’, drinkin’, and fuckin’ seem to be my most effective skills, and any combination of those three are usually sufficient to mask my inefficient and incoherent plans. And here I am, alive, presenting this guide for you, so somethin’ must be going right Here’s hoping young Therion here’s got as strong of a brain in that ugly mug of his as the fear that courses through his veins. A young lass we must un-kidnap, but how to achieve such a thing? Sounds like an ideal job for a True Gentleman smuggler, if you ask me.

But before we delve into those secrets, in our next chapter we will deal with another one of fate’s most unpleasant tendencies – pilin’ on the bullshit just when you thought your nose couldn’t stand one more whiff.


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