Jacek looked out across the Lake of Mists and Veils from the shore of Acuben Isle. After talking with his parents and brother he’d come here to gather his thoughts. To the South, on the other shore was mainland Brevoy, and further, far past that, his own realm of Ursundova.
Despite it being summertime, there was still a chill breeze in the air and the remnants of morning fog lingered. Fisherfolk and crabbers went about their business wrapped in heavy coats and cloaks, not unlike the one Jacek wore at the moment to hide his identity from the casual observer. He didn’t think it too likely that any would recognise him, but still. His family, the Lodovkas, ruled these parts. Some folk may remember him from his childhood, or as a young man in the temple of Abadar, or when he left as a bodyguard on that fated journey to the Stolen Lands. It would be better for people not to find out immediately that King Jacek Lodovka of Ursundova was here visiting his father, Lord Kozek Lodovka of Brevoy. It could precipitate the imminent conflict that Jacek was still hoping, in part, that he could lessen. It paid to be circumspect.
I wonder how many would be surprised to know, he thought, that my own father has not ruled out sending troops against me. Once a pirate, always a pirate.
Pirate. Even hinting at that word in relation to the Lodovkas could get you a beating if you weren’t careful. Still, if the boot fits.
If he did one truly good thing in his life, it was sending me into the service of Abadar.
Jacek stood and watched the boats casting and hauling their nets for a while. He loved Ursundova, but still missed the great Lake of Mists and Veils. The rivers and lakes of his new realm weren’t quite the same, somehow. He’d tried to explain it to Katya; others too, but all they felt here was dreary fog, cloying damp and the stink of fish. No matter how we try, or where we go, we can’t fully escape where we came from.