Waverider was born 35 Floruntzian years ago to a dockside whore in the
town of Merch (pronounced "murk").
She never learned who her father was, though many years later a gypsy
fortune teller would inform her that she was a mix of the elven and
human races, which would explain why she has always looked younger than her
From the time she could walk and speak, she was put to work
in the Inn Of The Light Skirts as an all purpose drudge. She had no name
then, and was simply called "girl" by those who worked and lived there.
Not long after she reached her 5th year, her mother commited suicide,
leaving her in the hands of the whorekeeper. She continued her drudge
work, trying to keep out of his way when she could, for he was quick to
show her the back of his hand when he noticed her about. Years passed,
and her body grew and changed, her young figure hinting at the woman she
would someday become, and the day came when the whorekeeper noticed this
instead. He decided it was time for her to change professions, and that
he would be her first customer. She left him with a knife in his throat,
stole some boy's clothing and signed on as cabin boy to a ship leaving
port that night.
The ship she had signed onto belonged to a Captain Aengus, who was a fair
Captain, and a bit of a pirate. She was now called "boy" having had no
other name to give for the log. The Captain trained his new cabin boy
in the basic use of the cutlass and rapier, so she could defend herself
if necessary in these bloody battles. It was during one of these battles
that she saved the Captain's life, slicing a man who intended to skewer
Angus from behind. She engaged him in swordplay, her smaller size allowing
her speed that the larger man could not match. As he sliced down, she
leapt back, but not in time to save her shirt, and her gender was revealed.
This stunned her opponent long enough for her to dispatch him, but the
damage had been done. Aengus, upset more by his own failure to see
through her disguise than by her deceit, decided not to throw her overboard
as was his first impulse (women were bad luck on board a ship, after all),
but to keep her on and train her, along with a boy who had signed over
from the ship they had just taken.
He became her father figure, and the boy, Rovus Roundabout, became her
brother and protector. She protected him, too, when he was too deep in
his cups and easy prey for any doxie or cutpurse, but they both pretended
not not notice. They were taught the ways of the sea and of sailing, by
instruction and by watching. He taught them both letters and writing and
how to read a map. She learned the intricacies of cutlass and rapier, as
well as other light weapons, pistols, daggers and throwing blades, and
what was to become her favorite, the whip. Rovus was taught with heavier
weapons as well as lighter ones, since his larger size and muscles allowed him to manipulate
such weapons. Still, with her smaller size and quicker feet, she beat him
in at least half of their practice spars. It was during this time that she named herself, content no longer to be
simply "girl" or "boy". Dorianne, grace from the sea, Valora for valor,
and Waverider, for what she did best.
Rovus left Aengus's ship to forge a future of his own when he reached the
age of 18. Dorianne missed her friend, but stayed on with Aengus for
a few years longer. When she was in her 20th year, she was caught in a
moment of carelessness. Too drunk to be wary of footfalls behind her in
an alley, she was struck down, and woke to find herself in the clutches of
a slaver. Once on board the slaving vessel, she was certain that Aengus
would discover her missing and come to rescue her, but as the weeks passed
this hope waned. Left on her own, she had no choice but to free herself,
or let the slavers sell her at auction. The latter was out of the question.
She'd die fighting, not as the lapdog or pleasure thing of some slaver.
One night, out at sea, she made her escape. Leaving the single guard with
a broken neck, she took his keys and freed the other slaves. Taking any
weapons they could find, including the chains that had bound them, they
advanced to the deck. The crew was caught unawares, and only a few would be
slaves were lost in taking over the ship.
This became her first vessel, The Chained Rose of the
Guild fleet belonging to the most powerful slaver
in Floruntz. With this ship, she plagued the waters of that world, capturing
Guild ships and selling them, when they were not destroyed, and stripping them
of their booty. But she enjoyed nothing more than destroying a slaver's
ship, leaving the slavers with longboats or none, depending on her mood.
The slaves were always freed, and a select few from each prize were invited
to join Dorianne's crew. Dorianne chose mostly women for her crew, as most
men refused to serve under a woman, and mutiny was always a danger in such
cases. The rest of the freed slaves were taken either to Dorianne's home among the
Pirate Isles, Valora Isle, or to a Princess, who, having much free time on
her hands as her sister ran the kingdom, devoted much of her time to the
retraining and job placement of the slaves that Dorianne brought to her.
The two had met when Dorianne had taken a ship on which the Princess was
traveling, and the deal the Princess had offered had much appealed to the
Dorianne came by the Sea Witch in her 32nd year. She knew she had to have
the ship as soon as she saw it through her spyglass. The vessel was taken
with very little trouble, the poor Captain having just purchased her a
scant time before from Dorianne's old friend Rovus. Rovus had named the
vessel the Sea Wolf, but Dorianne renamed her the Sea Witch, with the
hearty approval of the crew. As for the poor owner, he had been on his
way to pick up a cargo of slaves, but he and his crew were shown the mercy
of a longboat for giving up so easily.
Now Dorianne sails the seas, fiercely proud of her vessel and crew, fat
with the riches kept on her pirate island, hunted by The Guild, and more happy
than she's ever been in her life.
© 2001 by K. Thornberry