It is in the year of our Lord 1596 that the São Catarina has set sail. Our voyage is underway. After some delays in finding men and provisions, the voyage to Macao and Nagasaki has begun.

Capitão Vassallo talks unceasingly of tricking more men aboard in Cochin, to help us through to Macao. The sailors and many of the men-at-arms see that his mind is weakening. He fails to make allies among them, and the constant demands on our rations is a burden on our sense of peace.

The Master of the ship, d’Amota, his Under-Master Jorge Paez, and a man named Viegas are three of Vassallo’s more trusted men. They stay in his wobbly shadow, as these kinds of snakes are accustomed to, and my numbers quietly grow larger. Already, de Sousa openly sides with me; we have sailed together for many years. This will not end well, but it is too early to make my move. Once we are clear to Mombassa and the Indian Ocean, we can act.


The first bold hero who to India’s shores
Through vanquish’d waves thy open’d path explores,
Driv’n by the winds of heav’n from Afric’s strand,
Shall fix the holy cross on yon fair land.