We sailed for Bordeleaux next. The citadel was much like many other Brettonian castles, except it was built atop a cliff and was in a position to control the great harbor below, the original founder of the town picked a perfect location for the future maritime power of Brettonia. The harbor was filled with ships both great and small, including the commanding flagship of the duke which was almost a match even for the ships back in Marienburg, as I was to learn this was not surprising. I learned that advisors from Marienburg had helped design and build the ships of Bordeleaux and had helped the duke get around the laws surrounding use of gunpowder on Brettonian soil, these ships floated and so never touched the soil. A typical merchant move, though one I can almost appreciate as the lack of black powder weaponry is one of reasons Brettonia will never amount to much militarily. The age of chivalrous knights is at an end, no matter how much the king wishes otherwise. He should be encouraging lighter forms of cavalry and integrating artillery into his armies, though I can see why he is worried. His Kingdom has reduced the peasants to little more than animals and the simplicity of gunpowder weapons would allow them to overthrow the tyrannical rule of the Brettonian noblity. A wide ranging series of reforms is required if Brettonia is to survive. The nobles must step up to the task of being actual caretakers of the peasantry and should better the lot of the peasants, meanwhile a better monetary system and a huge change in military doctrine is required to modernize the Brettonian army. Though if they wish to stay as antiquated relics as the empire only grows in power let them, soon enough their dukes will be elector counts and the empire will gain form Brettonia’s loss.
While we were here we focused on obtaining a new and better ship, both to make our work easier and to allow us to return the Siren’s muse to clear our debts in Sartosa. While the ducal flagship was a tempting target, it was ultimately too big and slow for our needs as we need to be able to catch our prey. On top of that we don’t have sufficient crew for her, and the theft would attract far too much attention. Instead we have selected a Marienburg style merchant escort ship that was preparing to escort a squadron south to Araby. She is light and fast, while still carrying plenty of guns and having plenty of storage space. Under ordinary circumstances the Siren’s Muse would be blown out of the water facing her, but luckily we are far from normal circumstances. If we can close on her and board her we should be able to easily overwhelm the crew aboard. To do this we will lie in ambush to allow us to get very close to her minimising time for her to bring her superior firepower to bear on us. To aid us further I have arranged for her water supplies to be tainted meaning her crew will be less effective than the normally would be, Hopefully all of this and our vampiric abilities will carry our crew to victory.
Speaking of my arrangements to foul the water, i n order to do so I purchased several dead rats from a local ratcatcher and sever bottles of rot gut. This was all simple enough, thought the ratcatcher warned me off eating the rats as they were weird, apparently all the rats here are weird, I also found that the harbor bottom had already been scoured, I wonder if these events are connected