My dear colleagues...
I have recently found amongst the documentation for this society a desire to have the backstories of potential members spelled out. Here is my story, for those who are interested.
--Mbate, "Le Candomble"
That's exactly how long it has been since the slavers raided our village.
My ears rang with the deafening screaming of children that morning, but as I tried to shake off the mantle of sleep, I found I was too late. A pair of ghastly iron cuffs had been locked onto my wrists with a *click* as I awoke, and I was dragged amid the confusion of a deep night's sleep through the dust of our central town square. By the time I could writhe and start to resist, I realized that I was far, far too late. My dearest friends, some bloodied in ways I did not care to know, lay alongside me as we were tied to a single rope and each tried to make sense of how this strange and bewildering fate came to our people.
I can remember very little of the Crossing. My mind has deliberately forgotten many of the horrors, although I consistently yearn to remember more. The spray of salt water mixed with blood and feces is a taste and scent that I shall not soon forget, though the specifics remain clouded.
For the next several years, I worked in the mines of the New World. My job, day after day, was to march the chalky residue of our mining to the refinery in a rickety wooden cart so that it could be refined for God only knows what end. Splinters ceased to bother me after a while. Callouses on my hands and feet cracked and oozed with blood only long enough to form other callouses.
Finally, one day I found the only possible option for my escape. My overlord had carelessly neglected to completely fasten my leg restraints. Full of adrenaline, I waited for the Portuguese to turn their backs for a fraction of a moment, at which point I fled into the jungle. Shots rang out behind me as soon as my escape became known, and I don't think I stopped running for ... oh ... days.
Careening clumsily through the foliage, I literally stumbled into one of the communities of the escaped slaves, the "Candomble." My condition was immediately recognized, and I was given water and medicine. Exhausted and without any other hope, I turned my soul over to the fate of the Candomble.
For a few months, life seemed at least somewhat normal again. I hunted with my newfound brethren until rumors began to surface of a new European incursion into the area. Desperate not to reenter the realm of European slavery, I ran to to the Northern coast, and again exhausted, collapsed on the shore and was eventually taken onboard a friendly French fishing troller.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est?" inquired one fisherman as I started to regain my senses
"Je ne l'avais jamais vue avant de cela. Il semble d'etre sans allegiance." said the other. "Peut-etre il faut donner cet homme aux autorites."
After several weeks of my trying to account for myself in a language which I did not fully comprehend, I was eventually (and amazingly) trusted to work on a privateer ship in the service of France, though precluded from joining Her navy.
This accounts for my situation today. As a "French" privateer, I labor tirelessly to enact revenge upon all pro-slavery European powers, inculding the English, who continue to demean local cultures in terms of how much money may be brought to the crown. News of the Highland Confederacy has been brought to me through a shipmate, and I would love to join with these sailors in the quest to subjugate the aims of these imperialists by my right arm. Perhaps one day I shall meet my countrymen again...