Marina COSTA Name:
Martin Costa while a Navy topmanAge:
19 - born on 25-th of March 1700 (said 15 while trying to pass as a boy)Gender:
female, disguised as a male for a whileRank:
former able seaman (topman), now governessLocation:
Kingston, JamaicaCharacter PB:
Hilary SwankGeneral appearance:
Her hair is an unusual shade, light brown, colour of the riping acorn, cut short and round, according to the fashion for country boys in that time. She has green eyes like the warm seas. The skin was rather pale by nature, but exposure to sun had tanned it. She is among the taller women, even if not too tall, toned, rather strong. She is not fragile, work on the ship since young made her strong. She has rather small breasts and she knows how to hide them when needed. The fact that she has no pierced ears helps her also passing as a boy. She is not beautiful, neither ugly – actually a common, plain face which doesn’t attract people’s attention… when not remarking the unusual shades of her hair and eyes.Clothing:
While at sea, she wore boy clothes, especially sailor’s trousers, white shirt and blue handkerchief at the neck. Boots hiding a small flying knife.
As a young woman (and it hasn’t happened for 2 years, but it started happening again after she got decomissioned), she wears the simple dresses of her time’s poor to middle class women – i.e. simple fabrics, but she can embroid en tailor herself the dresses to be beautiful, but comfortable. She doesn’t like high fashion, only a decent dress in which to be able to move easily. Not that her position as a governess would allow her anything too fashionable... Personality:
Her original outgoing, open and friendly personality was further reined in by the education received in the monastery. She had to become tough – or at least to mask herself seeming tough – in order to resist to others’ abuse. She doesn’t curse and doesn’t drink, becoming the subject of the mates’ jokes for this.
In things which do not belong to sea life, but to the one on land, she might be as naïve as a six years old, because she had lived all her life either at sea, either between the walls of “Saint Mary” monastery. She had never known how is life in the countryside, for example, having seen animals, fruit and vegetables only in the markets of the port towns, and there are lots of other things she doesn’t know about…
She is a worrier by nature, but this makes her only think of several alternatives, not to be paralysed by fear. Earnest, stubborn, ambitious, but liking to help others. She can lie to protect somebody, but not to cause harm. Hardworking, generally observing rules and commands, she doesn’t give a dime on social conveniences and she rebels when the other is absolutely wrong. She is always wanting to do the right things… but right for whom? Sometimes this is tricky… even with a high conscience like hers, which doesn’t allow for middle grounds.Likes:
+First and foremost, life at sea. This is all she wants for herself, and she is dreaming that one day, after fighting pirates and getting her part of the prize, she will be able to buy a small merchant ship, more or less like her father’s, and get a small crew of trusted friends with whom to roam around the Mediterranean, carrying goods from port to port.
+admiring the sky and the sea from the topmast
+Likes attention, and she knows she may be remarked only by being among the best in everything she does, so she strives accordingly
+The Carribean Sea and the islands around: this world is so different from the Mediterranean one she had known, and she enjoys learning about the differences.
+ Swordplay; though she is just learning, with the goodwill of some officers, she is fascinated with blades
+She loves to discuss with cultivated persons about books and to avail any opportunity to learn something new and useful.
+When in ports, she loves to listen to the songs of the country, and when the sailors are free to sing under the deck she loves listening to their songs and stories as well. Dislikes:
- fire - once she had seen “Colomba” in flames from a lightning, it’s a memory haunting her forever.
- cowards and people who don’t keep their promises
- vices and especially drunk people
- prejudices of any kind – a man is good or bad irrespectively what nation gave birth to him
- subjugation of any people (and she is ready to fight the tyrants, thinking mainly at the Turks who had invaded her father’s country)
- pirates – not only because the Navy is fighting them and her allegiance is to the Navy, but in her childhood aboard “Colomba” they had been attacked by the Barbary ones too
- unjust displays of authority. When somebody is right, he is, but when he isn’t and tries to impose his point of view just for the sake of the higher rank he has… This is why Marina doesn’t really like the stiff hierarchy of the British Navy.Strengths:
+ Knowing at a young age how to do most things at sea (including ones not done by the simple sailor, but by the officers on a large ship)
+Speaking several languages – Greek and Venetian as bilingual, from her parents, English and Latin learnt in the monastery. Now she may be trying to learn Spanish or French, as they are useful in Carribean, and closer to Venetian and Latin. She can read in Greek, Venetian, English and Latin, and write in the first three languages, if needed, even if with some mistakes.
+She has learnt to sew well (doing embroideries, lace, making herself clothes), both in the monastery and before, from her mother and aunt, but of course she doesn’t do this since she is on ship, unless it was about proving, in the beginning, sailmaking skills.
+She is also interested in herbs and remedies for illnesses, as she liked assisting the ship’s surgeon and learning from him.Weaknesses:
- The ambition she has to be one of the best among the crew and the desire to be accepted by everybody (and remarked by the officers) makes some of her fellows to tease her as “officer’s pet”. Ambition (which is sometimes extended to a rather aggressive competitiveness) and stubborness may be her greatest flaws.
- Even if she is generally open-minded (as in against slavery, against judging people without hearing them first, willing to try/ learn anything new which may be useful), her moral values are more of a black/ white nature, without gray middle grounds, as she was taught in the monastery. She did not emulate everything learned there, but more than three years among nuns had to leave a mark somehow on the severity she sees the sin.
- She had been trying (in vain) to be as tough as her fellow sailors, because the education received in monastery cannot be hidden. Some of her fellows make fun of her because she is too “soft and religious”, but nobody suspected her secret, that the uniform of Martin Costa hides a girl’s body, until she got found out by accident…
- She doesn’t know how to be girly, she can’t dance. She is actually a wild tomboy with a great heart;
- Being with child while unwed... and moreover a mixed blood child would be a great weakness in society too...Birth place:
Born at sea, somewhere in the Ionian Sea, on the little merchant ship “Colomba”, bearing the flag of Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia Family: Father
– Sterio Costa, born in a village in Greece (which is part of Ottoman Empire), deceased at seaMother
– Maria Pasqualigo (married Costa), born in Kefalonia (a Greek island under Venetian domination), deceased at seaUncle
– Ianni Costa, deceased at seaBrother
– Andrea Costa, one year and a half older, lost at sea in the same shipwreck History:
Her family, together with her father’s sworn brother, Diamandi, and his wife and child, owned the little merchant ship “Colomba”, carrying goods from the Greek islands and mainland to Venice and Mediterranean ports.
There was no other crew aboard, so the three men and two women had to cover everything to be done and to teach the children. The children had got an unusual education, as their life was basically at sea and the ports were to be visited only. So they were bilingual in Greek and Venetian, they learned almost everything their parents knew - and this included not only changing sails, washing up and steering the ship, but also reading maps, establishing the good road, the ship’s speed, etc. As the family chose life on sea in order to flee the Turkish power in their region, and they were often smuggling guns and ammunition for the rebels fighting Turks, the children grew with stories about the cruelty of invaders and fighting for liberty.
When the ship sank in a storm in the Mediterranean, she was saved by an English ship and, when ashore in Cork, an officer whose wife and young daughter had died one year before sent her to the Saint Mary Monastery, where the nuns had a school for girls. The old prioress liked her and allowed her to study together with the rich girls, even if she had also, in parallel, work duties to perform in the kitchen, because she had not paid for the school, and as an orphan she must work. She was a good student and the prioress liked her even more when she noticed it, thing frowned upon by other students and nuns.
The prioress died two years later, and Marina’s life was made a hell by the ones who didn’t like her. She was forced to take the veil upon her 18-th birthday, being told that "she has nowhere where to go and what to do". But she didn't like the confined life in the monastery, compared to the vast seas she has lived on for her first 14 years, and, even if she believed in God, she felt that her vocation and call was on sea, not in being God’s bride. So she took her opportunity and ran away when she was nearly 18. She stole some boy’s clothes from a dry hanger and cut her hair, not to be recognised, then she headed for the port of Cork, to see if any recruitments on ships are made.
Fortunately for her, Navy ships were recruiting, and they wanted her as a cabin boy. Once embarked on HMS "Rose", she asserted her cause, showing her knowledge and previous experience of “son of a little merchant ship owner”, and proving what she knew, she was accepted as the youngest of the able seamen, because her knowledge surpassed much the ordinary sailors’.
But her secret got revealed some day... first, during a heavy rain on Isle de la Gonave, while she was picking fruits with her privateer friend, Shirai Masaki. This had led to them hiding into a cave
, and to secrets revealed, ending in each other's arms... Then, a couple of months later, when she fainted aboard the ship, in the heat, and the doctor found her not only female, but also pregnant
. So, she got decommissioned and she remembered whose help she could ask for in Kingston: therefore, the beginning of August 1719 finds her in Kingston, a governess
for Lady de Vere's son, Richard.Weapon Skills:
She is an average fighter, not one of the best, but she can manage to defend herself. She prefers pistols, not swords, as her aim is rather accurate after the training received in the Navy, but her less usual knowledge is that of flying knives. Her father trained her when young in order to be able to defend herself if needed against pirates or villains in the ports. When she entered the Navy, she perfected her skills and learnt to use a dagger and a sword. Theme song:
Thalassa – Yannis Parios Member InfoPlayer's name:
ElenaE-mail, YIM, etc.:
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