Rise of the Twelve
I am not blessed with the Dangerous Beauty that afflicts too many of my male comrades. That meant that I was born with other gifts: I am quick of tongue, fleet of foot, dexterous, able to make many so-called friends and few real ones, and (reportedly) foolish enough to know no fear. For some reason I cannot fathom, I relish taunting horrible monsters and major villains just to make them take up pursuit of me.
I stand about 5’10" on tiptoe, so I make a small mark for arrows and bullets. I am not cursed with the premature baldness that afflicts some Vodacce men, though I have considered shaving my head just to enjoy the feeling of wind upon my scalp as I sail the ocean blue. Like most native Vodacce, my eyes are dark and my hair too. My soul is, however, as pure as the snows of Ussura.
My current family:
Brothers: Eduardo (youngest), Benito (oldest, deceased by my hand), Lucio (next oldest, exiled)
Sisters: Gisepini (married to Pietro Canossa), Emanuella (the youngest girl, unmarried so far! and run off after being taught to read by parties unknown)
The Lady Morena: My loving and perfect wife. Our little baby Marcellina, is as perfect as my wife can make her, while keeping her away from her father’s misfortunes.
As you read this, remember that it might be true. As we Vodacce say, however, “Given the choice between that happened and what might have happened, choose might. It is more entertaining.”
Delacarpini Family Flag
Chapter I: I am born and soon orphaned
It will never be known if mother fell or was pushed down the stairs, not long after Father ate the bad dish of clams. Alas, the family’s taster was on holiday, and father was feeling rather cavalier after the appetizers, with two courtesans feeding him seafood and another dancing the famous Snake-Hips Dance of The Crescent Empire.
Such family disasters are common in Vodacce. My elder brothers Benito and Lucio, eager to see me die horribly, sent me to Signiore Fagan’s School for Wayward Boys, where I was taught to be an honest merchant. Fagan, a man of Avalon who left for Vodacce under mysterious circumstances, taught me many useful arts.
Chapter II: My triumphant return and just revenge upon my dear, deceased elder brother, who dared call himself Pater Familias
I was just a rakeshell, rolling drunks for a few Guilders, when FATE put me on the path to fame and fortune, followed, I am sure, by a miserable and prolonged death. I do sometimes miss my job as bouncer at The Pink Bloomers Social Club, run by the incomparable Mistress Lucinda Pantalones.
But as the Vodacce saying so wisely advises, “Let us make merry before the next calamity arrives.” I found my way home in time to learn that my eldest brother, Benito, was running business into the ground. My dear brother-in-law Pietro Canossa, a man of wit and wisdom, happened to be owner of a sailing ship held together by courage and many coats of paint. Pietro proposed that I sail in it using a map he had to unknown lands. Ostensibly we went in search of a new vegetable, so far unknown in civilized lands. In reality, we were returning an artifact for the Prince Giovanni Villanova, and Pietro was in debt to him. This is a good way to perish in horrid ways, so I got ready to betray everyone and bring Giovanni the artifact myself.
The rest is history! My plans of betrayal failed, so I and my brave companions Gaston, Damon, and Vasily went west, yes, WEST, to unimagined lands of terror and delights. The terror consisted of monsters, hostile natives, and awful weather. The delights consisted of hostile natives who happened to be lovely women who could turn into huge jungle cats. One of them, an exile named Miko, befriended poor unfortunate me and after some clawing and tumbling that ruined my best shirt, she and I became fast friends.
Miko showed us the mysterious plant the Tomate, and we returned to Theah with a hold full of these. They are the rage of Vodacce, and the secret sauce of Pietro’s masterpice, the Piet’s Pie, which in Vodacce sounds like “Pietzapie!” I had, however, to deal with my brother. We fought before the family and I killed him, exiling Lucio and putting Eduardo, the youngest, on a short leash.
Now truly Pater Familias material, I asked the father of the Lady Morena for her hand in marriage, and great were our celebrations! All that tim around family, and siring my firstborn baby, soon exhausted me. I turned to my companions and asked about further adventures. After all, and though I love them dearly as long as they are of use to me, “Family is here to make you appreciate your friends.” That is another famous Vodacce saying.
Chapter III: The Wide World Calls to Marcello
Wait for it!