Dracos and Otter

The Strange History of the Dreadful Wolfen Corsair
AnnaMaria Dellasandros

Commonly known simply as "Dallas"

From her Birth in a small Fishing Village
Through to her Present-Day Circumstances
by one who was Privileged to know The Principal in Her Childhood, and was later to encounter her again as her Fame grew and was Honored with this History,
Hrrul Arkinsdaughter

With annotations, commentary, and footnotes by the translator, Liana Winsauer. 1

Translator's Note

The modern reader of this history may find the language dense. If not downright intimidating. Even so, I have taken some pains to render it as accurately as I have been able, as it gives an interesting flavor to this history of a rather questionable, roughish character. I have also maintained, as well as possible, those quaint anachronisms in capitalization and punctuation, that pepper this narrative, and are so typical of the Palladium Era. I have, however, regularized the spelling as much as possible and converted time, distance, and other measures into modern equivalents.

It was my good fortune, as a young lady2 to be a resident of the same small fishing village as the family Dellasandros, and to teach at the Village School for a time. One of my pupils was that well-known Privateer, AnnaMaria Dellasandros, daughter of the family, who was a delight to the heart of an educator, when the family trade of fishing did not remove her from the beneficial influences of school. Despite these hiatuses, which I will anon describe more fully, young AnnaMaria, who even then was known by the colloquial but briefer nick-name of “Dallas” was a a bright and eager scholar; albeit of a restless nature. It did not take even such a dull creature as I was then to see that she would not be long content with the future of a fish-wife. But how her fortunes would progress I hesitate to think that any in the township would have been able to foresee, save perhaps the old priest of Poseidon, who was gifted with snatches of the Second Sight, although most discreet with any revelations he ever received, for fear of unduly influencing the subject of such visions. For, as all know, to reveal to one a possible future as foreseen can doom one to such a future, when it may only have been a glimpse of what-might-have been.

Eventually my fortunes and careers removed me from this Village and I began my wandering life as teller-of-tales, and eventually authoress. Some years later I again encountered AnnaMaria Dellasandros while traversing the docks upon disembarkation from a vessel I had just completed a voyage upon. She recognized me quickly, while she had grown to such size and stature that I could only vaguely see the youngling that I had had the teaching of so many years before. Conversation quickly revealed, however, that her spirit and personality where substantially unchanged, and she was still the blithe and adventurous spirit I had known before.

We met several times before the ship she was serving on returned to sea, and Dallas (as she still was called by most) most graciously allowed me to take notes of our conversation, as a thought had struck me that a narration of her life and career up until this time might be of interest to readers of my other tales. Thus after our parting, me inland to the halls of King Faramond of Faraday3 to instruct the royal children in the arts of Composition and Language, and Dallas once again to the wide sea. Sadly, I have recently heard rumor that the ship on which she served was reported lost with all hands. I must endeavor to ascertain if such is true, and if so, Miss Dellasandros' share of any profits which may result of the Publication of this History, should be forwarded to those of her family still engaged in the fishing trade. Although I will to my utmost maintain the secrecy of their names and locations, as some have accused my subject of Piracy and other Illegal Acts, and I fear that they might scruple to commit treachery upon her innocent family.

Preface to the Second Edition:

My original title for this “History” did not include the possibly-vague term of “Corsair” for Miss AnnaMaria Dellasandros. Rather, I termed her most properly as a Privateer, as I will endeavor to show the reader, is most certainly the correct description of my Subject. Book publishers, however, are ever ready to distort the works of an author, and include much that is sensational, if not outright Incorrect or even Fraudulent. The First Edition, therefore, termed Miss Dellasandros as a Pirate, a must unfortunate and entirely incorrect appellation. As the First Edition of this Work most happily went through several printings and generated sales most cheering to my heart, It seemed a small quibble. However, on accidental destruction of the Duplication Magic documents, a new, Second Edition had to be prepared. Thus, I expressed to the Worthy Editors, who I am truly happy to have a professional working relationship with, despite what may be evidence to the contrary, that I was not entirely satisfied with their use of the term Pirate, and that it should be returned to my original choice of Privateer, which would be more accurate and more closely fit the meter and rhythm of my original Composition. Sadly, Editors are difficult creatures, especially those of Elven descent4, and after many discussions and negotiations we settled upon the title of Corsair, as seen in the Title.

A Secondary Introduction for the Reader who may not be Familiar with certain phrases of Maritime Significance, without which this History may be of some confusion

Oh gentle reader, it is a poor way to begin a tale, but alas! I must begin with such a transgression upon your good natures. For some of you may not be wise to the ways of the sea and that nomenclature that those of us whose lives are bound up in traffic and commerce on its wide face may be familiar with. Therefore, I beg you, please give your attention to these following words of definition, which may help you to more clearly understand the fine points and niceties of the this History.

1. A ship privately owned and manned but authorized by a government during wartime to attack and capture enemy vessels.
2. The commander or one of the crew of a privateer.

Letters of Marque:
1. A document issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to seize citizens or goods of another nation.
2. A document issued by a nation allowing a private citizen to equip a ship with arms in order to attack enemy ships.

1. A privateer.
2. A swift pirate ship, often operating with official sanction.
3. A pirate.

One who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without commission from a sovereign nation.

A pirate.

A person who pillages and plunders, especially a pirate.

So, good reader, you will easily see that it is of grave insult to term one a Pirate or Buccaneer who is acting in a proper legal capacity as a Privateer when possessing valid Letters of Marque. And if it is not considered sufficiently sensational to properly term one a privateer, one may, at whiles substitute the epithet of Corsair.

1 Too many Victorian-era novels. Deal.

2 In our Species-poor Modern world, it should be remembered that the terms “Lady” “Gentleman” and other such should not be construed as to imply that the writer or subject in question is Human. The author was herself also Wolfen race. – LMW

3 This must have been very close toward the end of Hrrul Arkinsdaughter's tenure with the Faraday royal family, as by the time of the publication of this History, she was employed as Royal Histographer of the Crown of Albermarle. – LMW

4See Prof. Bryan Fields' translation of Hrull's “Of Editors and Egomaniacs”, Miskatonic University Press, 1998, for more of Lady Arkinsdaughter's travails with her editors.

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