Agostino Canella stared out across the sea from the deck of the Bella Morte, the waters almost mockingly calm after the storm that had brought he and his ships to...whatever strange corner of the Earth they found themselves in. He listened as some of the younger sailors cursed the ocean's cruelty in the calm after their first real storm, and though he could not begrudge them their fear and anger, his experience lead him only to give a wistful smile and shake his head.
The sea could be as harsh and cruel as it was serene, but he understood by now that this was simply the way of the world -of God's design- that the sea brought at least as many good tides as ill. His family had always been men of the sea by trade, and it was the sea that allowed them their fortune. He had lost his elder brother to the sea before either were even men, and later his father to a chill brought on by the storm and damp. In this storm he had lost not only a younger brother and two cousins, but perhaps the chance to see the Holy land or even find his way home.
At the same time, every misfortune brought a chance to pull victory from defeat: death was inevitable, and a small price to pay for men of faith. Just as he had taken his place as head of House Canella after losing his brother and father, and increased the fortunes of his family, he would not let the losses they had suffered in the night be in vain.
"Sig. Canella?" he turned, frowning, to see one of his closest friends: Irek, the Easterling. "The men are a bit restless, even some of the experienced sailors. What would you have us do?"
He was silent for a moment, looking out towards the sea one more time, then turned back to Irek with a smirk, "We act of course, my old friend!"
Without delay, he climbed atop one of the galley's castles, shouting to the men below, "My friends, I believe I have held my tongue for the dead long enough, so let us speak, though I mourn alongside you even now! We have lost friends, brothers, and in their memory we should live twice as much, which is why I say to you: remember that God allowed us to pass through that storm alive to remember them, and to remember him! God is with us even here on these strange seas and under these strange skies!"
There were some nods at that, and even some weary echoes of "God is with us!"
Remember that I have not led you astray before. I have led you towards the Holy Land for the glory of God, and through His grace we live still: now it is clear that He must desire us to live for His glory elsewhere, no?
There was more approval now: his men were Christian men, if not always the best Christians: there was little arguing with the logic evidenced by acts of God. "And now that we are bound together by the Lord in this strange land, do not think I will abandon my duty to you, nor can we abandon our duty to one another. Our faith has been put to the test, and we shall not fail...shall we?"
"That is what I like to hear, my friends! Now, prepare to set sail, and bring me the scrivener and the birds. We send word to whoever we can, and head for land." He pointed to one of the younger sailors, "Why do we do this, my brother?"
"...So that we can carry on for our friends' sake, Signore?"
"Yes!" He cupped a hand to his mouth, "and why do we carry on, my friends?"
"God wills it!"
Agostino Canella smiled as they went to work, and he saw the scrivener making his way up from belowdecks. He still had it. It wasn't hard to convince people when you believed it at least a little yourself. He couldn't rightfully say he knew God's plan, much less understood it, but he knew and understood the sea, and himself. The sea took, and the sea gave, but most importantly he knew this: the sea allowed you to pry fortune from its hands...
But in the end, it was still up to you to take it for yourself.
Thus passes the glory of the world.
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