It all started in 1892 England when Nora Mandrake
and her brother Hugh decided to trade inheritances. Hugh had been left the shipping company, Mandrake Marine Ltd., and Nora had inherited the family estate, in Grassendale, a manor house area near Liverpool, England.
But Hugh wanted to marry, raise a family and be Master of the Hounds...well, no. that can't be right... Anyway, he was meant to be Lord of the Manor, in his opinion.
And Nora? Nora was a born Pirate, more or less. She hated most ladies’ activities, loathed the cumbersome gowns and dresses, was bored by table games like cribbage, was lousy at the sewing arts and thought throwing a formal ball was punishment worse than death, or, well, worse than entertaining and feeding houseguests who always had such a great time they never wanted to leave. Awful.
But running cargo ships to Mogador, Morocco?
What would it be like to roam the sea instead of the hills above it? She would miss this pastoral loveliness, true, but lately, it had begun to depress her. She so missed her parents! Hugh was all she had, and if he were going to marry, she would need to spend her hours doing something she loved.
There was only one problem.
Perhaps several. The fleet was outdated (sail instead of steam), rat-infested (ewww) and failing financially (ouch). Ah well, details!
But she loved the sea.
It was her childhood, even her earlier twenties. Everyone seemed to know she wasn’t the marrying kind, not in the usual sense of the word. And after all, the only things holding her to this pretty piece of earth were the pretty memories.
She’d had enough of memories, though.
She wanted to create new ones. She wanted to be someone special as well as someone different. She wanted to be more of who she was.
Even so, Nora was not without a partial grasp on the firm realties of her new vocation. Death by barbarian saber was unappealing; being captured and put into slavery soured as an enviable occupation, and rescuing damsels in distress could as easily be done from a comfortable seat at the gaming clubs in London as on the rough waters off the coast of Africa.
Well…well, that wasn’t quite accurate, but Nora had better things to do than secure a time-consuming, problem-generating, emotion-filled alliance with a woman, the source of her preferred and, truth be told, her exclusive, interest in the amorous arts--
Nora Mandrake, Pirate, found her brother bent over a map of France, humming and daydreaming of his future. She stuck out her hand.
Mistress of Mogador
... when you want your pirate capable, your voyage memorable, your passions wild and your ending happy.