You know they don’t realize it. They think we’re all one people, one race, one shared history. They forget they were conquered. They forget that the kings came from the sea and broke the walls of this place. And they forget that the kings did not come alone. My father remembers. He remembers because his father did, as did his father’s father. The Graves came with the Seabreakers. We remember the North. We remember Cansod.
Our god sent us forth, commanded us to move from the steppes to the seas, to build ships and use the power he had gifted us with. So we did as he commanded, because steel is power, and power needs to be used. To use that power, we had to master the seas. Brine needed to fill our veins and our hearts be made of salt. For our efforts, Grazia. The empire. Glory.
You’d be foolish to think that the kings rest on the laurels of their fathers. The old skills must be known, because the earth can move, and Cansod may one day call us home. The king must lead, and so, the king must sail. It has been my father’s honour to see to it that Ignatius has the proper nautical education. I have only rarely spoken with the prince, but I have often watched as my father set him to tying knots or folding sails. He did not complain as his hands grew callus. He kept grace while mopping decks. He shows humility before the enormity of the ocean. We can be proud of Ignatius, the good Crown Prince. Sad though it is that his father will soon pass; his reign has been a blessing upon the city, Ignatius carries the promise of providence for the Heart of Fortune. You see him there, coiling that rope with care? Ever dutiful, ever mindful. A good king.
Ah, you hear those strained chords across the waves? You have a good ear, friend. That comes from the tiny vessel out there. In the distance, with that ridiculously oversized mast. Yes, the bobbing little thing there. That’s the other Seabreaker, Patient Sail, doing what he loves most. Yes, Ignatius has been dutiful, but Sail was born to the sea. He has instincts for it the like of which I’ve never seen. By the age of seven, Sail was rigging his own vessel and cruising the coast on his own. He’s played with the rigging on his boat since then, but only he knows what he’s trying to accomplish. He put up that mast that’s as tall as his ship is long, and then built a crow’s nest on it. He sneaks out from the palace and sets out at the oddest hours. He’ll push out past the seawall, and crawl up his mast with a guitar. He sits out there on the waves, plucking the strings in time with the bobbing of the waves. He’s different, that’s certain.
It’s good that Ignatius will be king. He will make a fine regent for this empire. But if Cansod does call us back, if we were to return North, I don’t doubt it would be Patient Sail who’d lead us.