Bandit's Landing

Primary Crew Members:

Talia Mateo, captain, navigator.

Reynard Ironsides, second in command, arms manager.

Seraph Jaesen, third in command, business manager and accountant.

Alister Bennett, surgeon and cleric.

Meryll Laureyns, mechanic.

Based in the Iron Kingdoms campaign setting published by Privateer Press, Bandit's Landing is a fantasy story written by mendokusai revolving around the renowned pirate captain Talia Mateo and her crew as their rise to glory takes a turn for the worse, quickly going down in flames. Having cheated death twice, Talia suddenly finds herself left with nothing. Now she must realize what's most important to her before she can discover what it truly means to live.

The prologue of the story focuses on the key players of the crew, following them around during a day in port, primarily focusing on the ship's mechanic. Through their eyes we see the infrastructure of the crew and their relationships, and begin to see that Talia's small empire is slowly coming apart at the seams.

Translation to BtMS

While mendokusai plans to one day make photostories out of her main story, in the meantime the characters are portrayed slightly differently in the Beneath the Midnight Sun photostories. Due to the nature they become introduced and interact with eachother it's necessary to make small tweaks here and there. The most noticeable is Shael, whose character is introduced by herself in Bandit's Landing. Her seriousness is offset by Tato and their interactions help to develop the two of them before they encounter the other characters, and Shael's work as an assassin is a key part of her story. In BtMS, Shael is immediately thrown in with the other characters and Tato is rarely seen. Her seriousness then comes off as flat and boring because when compared with the other characters the reader is only seeing half of a character when Tato isn't around (because Shael and Tato were developed as two halves of one character). Shael's general attitude is also toned down greatly to allow her to interact with the others on a more casual basis. The other characters are modified similarly, though they are mostly pretty similar to their Bandit's Landing counterparts.

San and Meryll's Relationship

One significant difference (between BtMS and Bandit's Landing) that will stand out to readers is the relationship between San and Meryll that develops during the prologue. It should be noted that while a few of the characters from Saints & Scoundrels make appearances throughout the story, Hakari-chan's characters are based in a storyline that is significantly different from Bandit's Landing and do not make any appearances (so while Meryll and Gabe are a couple in BtMS, they are not a couple in Bandit's Landing because Gabe does not exist, although Meryll still wears her heart necklace as a small nod to the other story). This is not the only (romantic) relationship to be different between storylines; nearly every one of the relationships are tweaked or changed completely. The only couple(s) who are together in both storylines are Talia/Rey/Seraph aside from a few characters having short flings in both stories (San/Sparrow, Alister/Chase, etc.).

An Excerpt
Seraph’s head swam with numbers: the cost of ammo to be replenished after raiding that abandoned Cyrissan temple, the cost of repairing the broken boiler from Meryll’s tinkering, the down payment on the new cannons Talia wanted, the broken turret… and she was already getting calls from the local taverns demanding payment confirmation for the tabs everybody was running up.

She rubbed her temples and sighed.

The door opened and a woman peeked in, her large caramel-colored eyes offsetting the frown on her mouth.

“Seraph, can we talk?”

What now?

“Sure thing, Chase, come on in.” She tried to clean up the scattered papers on her desk and quickly gave up.

Chase slipped through the door and walked over to the desk, her heels making sharp sounds on the metal floor.

“You really should get a rug or something in here. Some pictures, maybe. S’awfully dreary.”

“Are you here to talk business or give me decorating advice? Because I don’t feel like listening to either.” Seraph eyed her visitor carefully as she took a seat. “You’re wearing a low-cut top so I’m assuming you need me to smuggle something.”

Chase smiled, but absent-mindedly adjusted her shirt. “Nothing major. I’ve been hearing rumors about a—“

“Rumors,” Seraph scoffed. “Really? We just got in a fight with another privateer group and came out of it with a broken turret, among other things. I’ve got Alister off begging some medical supplies from the church just to save a little cash, and you come to me with rumors? I'm starving here; you'd better feed me something a little meatier than that.”

Chase fidgeted and Seraph leaned back in her chair, watching her carefully.

The room swayed slightly as the water in the harbor rocked the ship, and footsteps from somewhere on the ship could be heard. The entire ship was made of metal, after all.

“I, um…” Chase ran some fingers through her long wavy brown hair. “I have a source for some cigars coming out of Khador, if you would be interested in that?”

Seraph leaned forward, putting her elbows on the desk and resting her hands on her cheeks. “Tell me about this rumor of yours.”

“Are you sure?” Chase raised an eyebrow, perking up a little.

Seraph gazed back, saying nothing.

“Well, there’s a rumor that there’s an island in the Meredius, west of Port Vladovar. Supposedly there’s—“

A figure came shuffling into the room, carrying a large crate. Chase turned to glare at the intruder while Seraph remained motionless.

Alister’s face was visible over the top of the crate, glasses askew and in danger of falling to the floor. He carefully maneuvered over to the desk and set the crate down.

“What’s all this, then?” asked Seraph, as she peered inside.

Alister straightened his glasses and glanced at Chase nervously. “Some cotton swabs, bandages, ointments, Epsom salts, a little iodine… Whatever they would give me. Still need some, uhh… still need… some…”

Seraph looked up from the bottles, and Alister shifted his feet, folding his arms and motioning to Chase. Sighing, Seraph rolled her eyes and shifted her gaze to the small woman.

“Can you come back tomorrow? Maybe we can go out for a drink.”

Chase nodded and rose to her feet. “I’ll come by at ten.”

Alister stiffly watched her leave the room, collapsing into the chair as soon as she was out of sight.

“You really need to loosen up sometimes, kid.” Seraph dug through the mess of papers on her desk and pulled out a list of medicines.

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