As my first entry for #lore24, I chose something for Tribe 8 (of course). This is a rather old write-up — I rediscovered it while plumbing the depths of old posts from my retired blog. Named the Flotil d’Couer (intentionally bastardized French), it coincidentally mirrors the Caravan of the Sail, which it predates. I’ve cleaned it up and made a few adjustments to present it as an alternate floating Caravan.
“I think that if any Tribal still living under the grace of the Fatimas can understand the plight of the Fallen, it is I. If anyone knows there is still justice in the Nation, it is I. Cursed to never set foot on my beloved Vimary again, I can only gaze on the wondrous lights of Bazaar and feel the distance between my home and my heart.”
Seri, Little Trickster
The story of the Flotil d’Couer is seldom told outside of the other Dahlian Caravans. It’s discounted as a tall tale when whispered in taverns and corners of the Emporiums. The story goes that fourteen seasons ago, a young Little Trickster named Seri played a jest on an old crone of a Yagan. What the joke was and what prompted it varies from telling to telling. Still, every version agrees that Seri was cursed to never again set foot on Vimary. The particulars of the curse were particularly cruel — the moment Seri set foot on Vimary’s soil, the names of every person she had ever tricked or swindled were whispered in the ears of any person nearby.
Since not one Tribal has seen Seri for fourteen summers (at least, those who would admit it), dismissing the story as an excuse for why a Dahlian had to leave Vimary quickly is easy. The story, however, is true. Faced with losing her Caravan and likely Banishment, Seri did what any enterprising Little Trickster would — she turned her misfortune into an advantage. She convinced the Dahlians in her Caravan to follow her onto the Great River, rebuilding their wagons and carts into a floating carnival of light and color. Dahlia was so impressed that the Fatima chose not to banish Seri and her followers, but instead tasked them with a new mission.
The Flotil d’Couer does not follow any of the proscribed water routes; this is precisely how Seri and Dahlia want it. She goes to places the others do not, at times that the others don’t go, performing special trade missions and acquiring unique artifacts for Dahlia. Most of this is done without the knowledge or assistance of any of the other caravans or even the other Fatimas. Seri and her Dahlians are, without a doubt, the most accomplished boaters among the Tribals and have a wealth of knowledge about the Outlands.
Faces of the Flotil D’Couer
This wily Little Trickster has suffered more than most Tribals do short of Banishment, and her devotion to Dahlia is unwavering. This isn’t to say that she has stopped playing tricks on people — her seasons of experience have simply given her the wisdom to choose her targets more carefully. Highlights: Stoic, inquisitive, worldly. Eminences: Illusion, Motion.
Seri’s most trusted friend and confidant (but not, despite the rumors, her lover), Olif serves as Seri’s second and quartermaster for the Caravan. He is known for getting the right things to make their floating home more comfortable. Highlights: Cheerful, generous, loyal. Eminences: Illusion, Motion.
The only permanent Fallen member of the Caravan, none outside Dahlia herself know of her presence. A Lightbringer, she often serves as a liaison with the Fallen of Hom. Highlights: Flirtatious, fearless, headstrong. Eminences: Motion, Unity
A towering Dahlian woman, Jem is the protege of the ailing Anja, who has made innumerable modifications and innovations to the barges and boats over the years. Her special engineering knowledge has also helped her prepare special “surprises” for any attackers and her caravan-mates. Highlights: Anarchist, joker. Eminences: Illusion, Motion.
His real name is Shaun. Every time he asks why no one owns up to his nickname if it’s such a good joke, all he gets is laughter. Saying that he’s the most somber of the Caravan isn’t too far off the mark, but it doesn’t make him a Doomsayer or Yagan. He has a penchant for staying up late at night and writing bad poetry about whatever love interest he left in the last village the Caravan visited. Highlights: Romantic, inspired, solitary. Eminences: Illusion, Motion.