There is a port on the South Eastern shore of the island of Corsica that is ideal for trade from mainland Italy, from Sardinia, Spain and Africa. It is easy to defend from pirates and other seafaring brigands and so it has prospered. Our story begins many years ago, before there were steam trains or flying machines, when the world was perhaps a simpler place, though not without its difficulties.
A grand trading ship has just docked in the port this evening and the passengers are alighting. See there? That man is the King of Zonza. He has been away to see someone in Marseille on some political business and by the look of his pallor he is happy to be back on dry land. Over there is a grand merchant from Solenzara unloading his wares from the ship and stacking them onto his wagons.
The King looks ready to hurry back to his castle in the mountains. It is said that his fiancé is waiting for him. Indeed, had we been here just two days ago we would have seen a ship under the Royal flag of Spain on this very water.
The King’s men assemble and ready the horses and then they are off, at a sedate pace along the quay. The merchant looks set to be off by sunrise. Only the King dares travel the island’s roads by night. It is said that there is sorcerer’s blood in him and that there is no night creature you care to think of that can make him afraid. But do not misunderstand me; the King is still a man after all.
Now the merchant and the King both have a role to play in our story. At this moment neither is aware of their part in it, nor may they ever meet again, or be in such close quarters as they once were aboard ship. Everything we do, every action we make, or decision we take will add up over time and bring us to where we are. We are a collection of our decisions, good and bad. We can’t help it; it’s the way we move through life, choosing left, or right, up, or down.