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Tandro Amarito

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Tandro Amarito was a Lendian admiral whose fleet was the first to reach the Mari'im islands (and possibly continental Melania) from the countries of Old Vexillium.

Tandro Amarito was born in 531 BP, in the Lendian city of Zolariza. His father was a prosperous trader, and his mother was the daughter of the city's mayor. He received a good education, and became interested both in marine navigation and in the study of distant countries. In particular, he was fascinated with accounts of Styrbjörn Eriksson, the Caboteniasan seafarer whose voyage in 815 BP had led to the discovery of Islandia. He was convinced that there were other lands across the ocean waiting to be discovered, but his attempts to convince his father of the potential profits were not successful.

Amarito took an active role in the running of his father's trading fleet, frequently captaining vessels himself. When his father died and his older brother inherited the business, however, Amarito quarreled over the direction to be taken, and eventually parted ways with his brother. He applied for a commission in the Navy of the Republic, and in light of his considerable experience, was appointed to the rank of captain. By 475 AP, he held the rank of commodore. Still retaining his early views about exploration, he became a strong advocate within the Navy of an "great voyage into the west". Finally, in 485 BP, a combination of Amarito's lobbying and other factors prompted the Republic to authorise an expedition of eight ships, commanded by an admiral, to seek out new lands across the ocean. Amarito, after strenuous lobbying, was promoted to admiral and given command.

AmaritoExpeditions

Map of Tandro Amarito's expeditions, showing the course of his first fleet, his second fleet, and the two independent detatchments of his second fleet.

It was not until 482 BP that Amarito's fleet finally arrived in the Mari'im islands. The first sighting of land was the small island now known as Isla Muerta, which was uninhabited. Sailing onwards, Amarito's fleet passed several other uninhabited islands until it reached the large island of Mo'i'a. Amarito landed and met local representatives of the Kingdom of Toku'ika — the language barrier prevented any serious negotiations, but the meeting concluded peacefully, and several token trades were made between the Lendians and the Toku'ika villagers. News of Amarito's fleet travelled quickly, and when he moved southwards, he was generally welcomed wherever he stopped. (The exception was Mua'anatalita, home of the Lai'a Ari'a, where soldiers warned him away from landing). Amarito visited Vaha'ai and Rihu before finally leaving the islands for Lendia again.

In Lendia, Amarito's report was met with considerable interest by the scholarly community and by geographers, and the general public hailed him as a bold and intrepid hero. Merchants and traders were not as impressed, however — they had hoped for wealthy lands with which they could trade, but Amarito's report described the islanders as comparatively primative, and possessing little that Lendia would want. The Navy, despite some misgivings about the expense, considered the expedition worthwhile on the basis that it provided valuable navigational knowledge, that it spurred the development of shipbuilding technology (needed for the long crossing), and that it served as an important symbol of Lendia's long reach. The government of Lendia was also pleased at the establishment of relations with the Mari'im kingdoms, and approved of Amarito's decisions in dealing with them. Permission for a second expedition was given.

Amarito's second fleet, consisting of eleven ships, arrived in the Mari'im islands in 481 BP. This time, it carried scholars and officials who would undertake more comprehensive negotiations with the local kingdoms, and attempt to study local languages and customs. The Papaist Church lobbied strongly for missionaries to be sent as well, but the Navy refused, saying that an attempt to convert the islanders might provoke a negative reaction, endangering the expedition. Amarito stopped first in Vaha'ai and then Toku'ika, leaving a detatchment of scholars and officials (plus two smaller ships) at each. Amarito then sailed further westward, where he landed on the island now known as Xochimechatl. There, he met with officials of the Ilhuicatl Theocracy, who were suspicious towards his fleet. With the Theocrats unwilling to let him leave a detatchment at the island, Amarito moved on — two ships were sent south to explore the coast of what is now Solimar, two more were sent north to explore the western coast of Mo'i'a (the eastern coast already having been explored), and Amarito himself led the remaining three ships into the unknown areas to the west.

It is unknown exactly what happened to Amarito and his three ships, but it is presumed they were lost at sea in a major storm that passed through the area shortly after he divided his fleet. It is uncertain as to whether he ever sighted the continent of Melania — if he did, he would have been the first person from Old Vexillium to do so. The two detatchments managed to survive the storm, although one ship in the southern detatchment was damaged badly enough that it had to be abandoned. The two fleets, plus the detatchments left in Toku'ika and Vaha'ai, eventually returned to a site near Amarito's initial landing place, which was where the fleet was to reassemble — the fleet waited four months for Amarito to return, but eventually concluded that he would not. The departure for Lendia was complicated when the crew of one ship, used to the comfort of the islands compared to shipboard life, attempted a mutiny — the mutiny was supressed, however, and all seven surviving ships set sail for Lendia, eventually arriving in the port of Lisaria.

When news of Amarito's death became known, he was widely mourned. An impressive memorial was built to him near the docks of his home city, Zolariza, and many statues exist of him around Lendia. He has also left a legacy in the form of geographic names — the islands he discovered were named the Islas Amaritimas (translated as Maritim Islands), which is the origin of their modern name, Mari'im. Also, the island of Mo'i'a takes its name from Amarito's Mosquita, or "Little Mosqa", named after a peninsula in Old Vexillium. The city of Ravenniara, in Xochimechatl, is named after Amarito's flagship.

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