SANTIAGO MORENO NAME:
Juan Santiago ZamorraALIASES:
Chago Moreno, Jacopo Mora, El Moreno ("The Dark One")AGE AND BIRTHDAY:
29 (born on 28-th January 1691)GENDER:
MaleOCCUPATION OR TITLE:
smuggler, captain of the ship "Hermione"; former mercenary known as "El Moreno"BIRTH PLACE:
Nueva Valencia del Rey, Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada (now called Valencia, Venezuela) CURRENT LOCATION:
aboard his ship "Hermione"CHARACTER FACE CLAIM:
Fernando ColungaGENERAL APPEARANCE:
He has dark hazel eyes and dark hair, slightly curled, usually worn long and tied either with a kerchief, or in a pony tail.
He is not too tall, but athletic, broad shouldered, with well toned muscles. His skin is tanned, towards a copperish shade.
He has various scars from the fights he was involved in. His collection of scars increased dramatically after he got tortured in Kingston in August 1719, so his body is practically all scarred, with three nasty ones on his chest, got with a burning iron. Once he has his sleeves a bit up or his shirt strings untied, one can see a few scars already.CLOTHING:
His travel clothes are usually a common sailor’s attire. He wears at his neck, visibly or not, the cross of Santiago
, received from a monk in Compostela.
If on a mission, he used to wear something appropriate to the places he had to frequent, covered by a black cloak when needed, especially to conceal his weapons.
He can impress by dressing elegantly when he wants - and now, as a ship captain, he might be seen, in ports, with more middle class attire, which looks elegant without being really as expensive as a nobleman's.PERSONALITY:
A reasonably educated man, he blends well in any society. He can be charming when he wants to and silent, keeping to himself and efficient when he has a job to do. Chago is challenge-oriented and he likes to get into mischief. He lies in order to keep up appearances and nobody would have believed the charming sailor was actually a deadly mercenary.
Loyal to his few friends, to his beloved sister's family and to most paying customers, he is rather stubborn and has his own opinions… aspect less recommended for a mercenary, because sometimes it gets in the way of doing business. There have been two cases when he had been paid to kill someone… and the customer was the one who ended killed instead of his innocent victim (who proved to be once a young lady, the other time a nine years old boy). He used to hate pirates, but due to spending a while in Tortuga in the summer of 1719, and knowing a few pirates better, he had learnt to be more selective in these feelings. There are cruel, cut-throat pirates worth being hated, like the ones who had enslaved him years ago, and against whom he had got his revenge, and like those whom he had hunted for a while, and also sailors like any other, who didn't see a better possibility in their circumstances. He still doesn't approve pyracy, but he has learnt to understand and accept some of the pirates.
He treats most people with respect unless they cross him someway... or unless he has been paid to do otherwise. Strangely, even as a mercenary, he saw himself a kind of tool for doing justice in a world where it is scarce. Now, as a smuggler, he sees himself as a merchant captain like any other, promoting international trade - exactly what the kings had forbidden to happen among neighbouring colonies. This is also the right thing to do, in his opinion - only the law doesn't think so.
The fact that he has a few men under his command makes him more responsible, knowing that their lives might depend on his decision. He treats his crew fair, he works together with them and this is how he has gained their respect
Smuggling doesn't get him as much money as when he was a mercenary, but it makes for a comfortable living in present. The fact that he has made lately a few friends in Tortuga might help as well. This, corroborated with his stash of savings (he has some in Kingston, some in Port de Paix, some in Maracaibo, as his Cuba reserves ran out by buying the ship and paying the men their overdue wages) which might be invested wisely, make for good prospects for the future. His nephews' studies will be paid for, and he'll still have something aside for himself and a potential family... if he would ever find the appropriate woman to start a family with.
Easygoing and laid back, he liked partying as often as he can: music, dance, women, liquor… only that he knew when to stop. He won’t get drunk because he knows that under the influence of alcohol one may spill the best kept secrets; he trusts no woman in order to fear betrayal. He had a romantic disappointment in his youth and he has guarded his heart since then, thinking that all women are flimsy.If he found love again, in 1719, it happened briefly, for a couple of months, before losing his beloved Hermione to death, executed in his place. This left him bereaved and full of guilt. These, corroborrated with the shock and pain of being imprisoned and tortured under the accusation of being a Spanish spy, had taken a toll on him. He had been depressed for a while, and he might show even now one or another symptom of PTSD. He is fighting nightmares and his mood isn't as easy as it had been before, even if he has mostly recovered, especially by returning to religion and following his brother's advice on performing soul-cleansing pilgrimages. He had done three between November 1719 and February 1720, each of them bringing him a step closer to recovery. When finally recovered, he married a young woman he knew for more than one year, and who was also in need of protection.He loves her, maybe with less passion than he had loved Hermione, but with more tenderness, willing to protect her and to care for her, to make her smile again.Strengths:
+ The three years aboard a ship gave him good sailing skills and no seasickness.
+He also knows the secrets of local medicinal herbs (including the Arauca healing lore his mother had taught him) and patching wounds, having helped his fellows wounded or sick.
+Besides his native Spanish, he also speaks English and a little French, enough to get along with his customers and to understand if others plan something against him. He can read well in Spanish and he manages it also a little in English, but with difficulty.
+From his father he learnt also playing guitar - the cuatro llanero
usual in his native area. Weaknesses:
- He doesn’t kill women and children, because a defenseless enemy is of no interest for him - besides, he had done it once while in the army, being forced to take part in the burning of an Indian village, and his sense of honour and the share of blood inherited from his mother had rebelled deeply against this. Now, that he has a choice, not blind orders to obey, he chose to kill men only.
- A strange sense of honour ("honor sin mancha"
- i.e. blemishless honour
, as it is the logo of the knights of Santiago he had learnt about) gets him sometimes into trouble, either because he defends the one he considers worth defending, or because he refuses a job if it proves not to be what was initially told (and “refusing”… is not quite the exact word, when it happens midway).
- It is also complemented by a strange kind of religiosity, less found at swords-for-hire. He knows well that "Do not kill" is among God's commandments, but he sees himself as a tool for justice. He may go to church only occasionally, but it doesn't mean he doesn't believe in God and he always starts a mission after having made the sign of cross. Actually, his patron saint, Apostle Santiago, is the protector of soldiers and braves... FAMILY: Father
– Jose Santiago Zamorra (deceased), an adventurer born in Sevilla, SpainMother
– Juana Zamorra (deceased), born in a village of Araucas tribe, near San Juan Mission Wife
Katerina Meshcheryakova de Zamorra, 22Siblings
– Pepita Zamorra (married Dominguez), nearly 2 years younger
- Jose Manuel (Josema
) Zamorra, 3 years younger, a priest in a remote mission in the Indian territory
- Maria Zamorra, 7 years younger (deceased)
- several others who died before their first birthday. Nephews and nieces
- Juan Batista (Juancho
) Dominguez y Zamorra, 11 years old
- Manuela Maria (Manolita
) Dominguez y Zamorra, 9 years old
- Santiago (Sancho
) Dominguez y Zamorra, 8 years old
- Jose Antonio (Pepito
) Dominguez y Zamorra, 5 years old
- Juana Asuncion (Chonita
) Dominguez y Zamorra, 2 years old Adopted mother
– Concha Italera, healer, midwife and santera, 53Father figure
– Edur Zuri "El Duro", former mercenary, 58Sworn brother
– Sol Picador, 28, former pirate captain, now sailing masterHISTORY:
His father came from Sevilla, enchanted by the dream of “El Dorado”, but instead of finding gold, he found the same injustice he didn’t like in Spain, but also uncharted territories to explore. Due to his good combat skills, he was hired as guard for many transports inside the territory of the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada. Some of the caravans he accompanied were meant for the Jesuite Missions raised in the forests inhabitated by natives. And if he did not find any silver or gold, he found a copper-skinned beauty in a mission… Unlike others of his kind, he married Juana at the mission, before taking her with him. They bought a little house at the outskirts of Nueva Valencia del Rey, in a poor neighbourhood, and while Juana was busy to raise a family and cultivate a little garden, he offered his service to the mayor a few years later, when he got tired of wandering in the wilderness. Being more at home, he got his attention to raising properly his two sons, of whom he was extremely proud.
As one of the mayor’s guards, he had no problem in sending his sons to a priest to obtain a proper education, as he resented the fact that he couldn’t read, and he took care to teach them to fight. The younger son preferred less fighting and more the monastery environment, and later he decided to become a priest. After the required period he chose to build a mission among the Indians, feeling the call of his mother's blood inheritance.
The older son, Chago, was more like his father, he wanted both worlds, of learning and fighting. And if he set his mind on becoming a soldier, that was what he did after having lost his parents and sister in an epidemy. His only remaining sister, Pepita, was already engaged, so he stayed as to assist at the marriage, then he volunteered for the army.
As he had an education, he received the rank of alferez
and he was assigned, first, to a remote post in the Guajiro Indians territory. One year later, he was sent to Spain with the troops. He had the opportunity to know his father’s land, to fight in the War of Spanish Succession… But besides the fighting, what had a great impact on his life and soul was the short time when he and three of his men were appointed as accompanying guards to some high nobility who were doing the pilgrimage to Compostela. The "Road of Santiago", his patron saint and the one from Compostela Cathedral, was an incredible experience to him.
When turning back, with the rank of lieutenant, after three years in Spain, the ship they were on was sunk by the British privateers. He had the luck to remain alive, even if hurt, and to be found two days later by a British merchant ship.
As he was saved by “Morning Star”, he remained aboard for a while, learning English and sailing, reefing and rigging. He was an ordinary sailor, not working at height, but he did a good job and enjoyed life at sea… until the ship met some pirates. He fought bravely… and they liked this, so when “Morning Star” was conquered, he was among the ones put to choose between becoming a pirate and dying. Cornered as he was, he accepted for the moment being… but a few months later, in Santiago de Cuba, he managed to disappear and stay hidden until the ship left. He took another Spanish ship to Cartagena de Indias… and since then he became El Moreno the mercenary, making his army discipline and high fight skills useful for the one who paid better and having sworn revenge against the pirates. He fell in love in May 1719 with a British woman from Kingston, Hermione Sledge. He didn;t know she was married, she believed he was a Venetian sailor. When everything got revealed in a twist of fate, somebody overheared his confession to her and reported him to the authorities as a Spanish spy. He was imprisoned, tortured to confess what he hadn't done, and saved, through Hermione's diligences, by a rich banker who was in his debt. But nobody could know that the Fort Commander had already bragged to his superiors about the Spanish spy when he was forced to release him... so he got Hermione instead, torturing her and making her confess anything needed to get her hanged instead of Chago.
When he learnt about this, it took a lot of effort and his whole family's help (together with some friends') to recover. And the pilgrimages he had been on since November 1719 till February 1720 made him rethink if to keep being a mercenary or not... Ultimately, for each of them a moment to retire comes.... For him, this moment came in February 1720, as a revelation connected to his last pilgrimage. He bought, rather cheap, a smugglers' sloop named initially "El Gavilan" from a captain about to be killed if he didn't pay certain overdue debts, he kept the sailors who wanted to stay under his command, and he put his sailing skills to good use, becoming a ship captain. He renamed his ship "Hermione", after his lost love.
Since then, he is crossing the seas from an island to another, with the little ship carrying goods specific to one nation to another, given that all the colonies had to obey the rules of official monopoly trade only with their mother country."
In May 1720 he married Katerina Meshcheryakova, whom he had known for more than one year, and he got established in Tortuga, where he bought a house for them.WEAPON SKILLS:
He has a good aim with a pistol or rifle, but he prefers blades of all kinds, a passion inherited from his father, who trained him in combat skills. He owns a wide range of blades: navaja
, daga de ganchos
(left-hand dagger), machete
. ANYTHING ELSE: Theme song:
Mago de Oz – La Cruz de Santiago MEMBER INFOPLAYER'S NAME:
ELENAE-MAIL, YIM, ETC.:
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