Return of the Hydra: prologue
The proconsul (governor) of Shairra, a man of great wealth and ill reputation.
Simonides has been an example of how you can achieve everything you wish in Shairra, as long as you have the money for it. Not much is known of his youth, only that he gained a lot of money somehow and managed to marry Polyxena, the disgraced daughter of a once powerful Shairran family. He proclaimed her daughter Kallithea to be his own, but no one was deceived, for Simonides’ dislike for women was well known. Didn’t he write a very well known poem ‘On Women’, where he contemptously compared women to all kinds of animals?
Luckily for her misogynic husband, Polyxena didn’t live long. Some say she died of grief and mistreatment, but others suggest a far darker truth. Because Polyxena’s parents died soon after, and her brother and sister were nowhere to be found, Simonides became heir to a huge fortune and was able to bribe his way even into the Kernian nobility. As a praetor, he took charge of the interrogation of the infamous pirate Bloodbeard, in the hopes of locating his fabled treasure, but all in vain, for the Dwarf refused to give any information.
As proconsul, Simonides extorted such amounts of money from the city that even his friends in the senate were alarmed. He was summoned to the capital of the empire in a small ship called ‘the Hunter’, but will he ever arrive?