In this post we’ll get to know another of the 13 Midgard icons: Cadua, the First Duke-Admiral of Triolo! There’s an overview of the 13 Midgard icons here, along with storytelling mechanics you can use to connect player characters with their world more powerfully in 13th Age, D&D, Pathfinder, and many other RPGs.
The first minotaur to serve as First Duke-Admiral of Triolo, Cadua is a polarizing figure even after 18 years of service. Most revere him for his stance against the Mharoti and consider him a promising sign of Kyprion and Triolo’s joint destiny. Others feel sure his steerage has brought the Republic to the edge of ruin.
“My lord, I will accept your surrender or send you and your fleet to the hell of your choosing. I suggest you decide quickly.”
In Triolo at the Ducal Manor or in the Forum of the Golden Council.
The Golden Council of merchant families governs Triolo, but much of its policy is in the hands of the commanders of its fleet. They are led by the First Duke-Admiral, who is elected by the council and holds the position for life or until they abdicate.
First Duke-Admiral Cadua inspires loyalty in his followers, fear in his foes, and respect in all. His appearance alone astonishes those who are not prepared for it: a minotaur dressed in an admiral’s finery with one horn replaced by a horn of gold, one hand replaced by a seaman’s hook, and one eye covered by an embroidered patch.
Failure, injury, and even death hold no terror for the First Duke-Admiral: he has been through the fire and emerged victorious. Now he leads his people and his fleet with sharp intelligence, courage, and hard-won wisdom. Cadua faces adversity in all its forms with a wry humor and fierce determination.
Adventurers and the Icon
There are plenty of opportunities for adventure with Triolo’s legendary corsairs, many of whom now serve as privateers against the Mharoti. The First Duke-Admiral will allow occasional piracy, but he will not tolerate cowardice, treachery, or needless cruelty in those who serve with him. Success on a mission sponsored by the First Duke-Admiral will earn you a free drink in many a seaside tavern. It will also make you extremely unpopular with those who serve the Dragon Sultan as well as merchants and captains who’ve lost ships to the corsairs.
Once enemies, the First Duke-Admiral and the Oracle of Kammae are now united in opposing the Dragon Sultan. The “Golden Horn” and the Bear King share a great mutual respect and affection, and he and the Queen of the Road are sometimes allies against those who would halt or oppress the hard-working merchant-pirate classes.
In the Dragon Sultan, the First Duke-Admiral has at last found a foe worthy of his steel. He hungers to unleash his fury on the fleets of the empire.
After an impetuous youth and a naval disaster, Captain Cadua left Triolo to find greater wisdom—and he did, for a terrible price. Visiting oracles across the length and breadth of the land, he sacrificed parts of himself (a horn, an eye, and a hand) to gain insight. He returned to Triolo, burning with the faith of Mavros and leading a score of ships.
The people of Triolo, even his detractors, acclaim him as the first and greatest of the minotaurs, and they acknowledge his potential to lead his people into the highest ranks of Triolo’s navy and society.
When Illyria fell to the Dragon Sultan, Cadua took command as never before, throwing open Triolo’s gates to accept the flood of refugees and then channeling their hatred, fear, and depression into a reborn resolve to fight. He believes to his core that Mavros wills the retaking of Illyria, and he will answer his god’s call by bringing Triolo to a war footing as no leader has ever done before in its history.
The True Danger
Everything will be all right as long as the First Duke-Admiral’s tempestuous nature doesn’t overcome his hard-earned wisdom, leading to a fatal mistake that gives the Dragon Sultan command of the seas.
Midgard is a place of war and intrigue, where powerful figures pursue agendas that have roots in the distant past. In some cases, their plots, alliances, and enmities are older than Midgard itself.
In the 13th Age Roleplaying Game, these individuals are known as icons—and adventurers, even those just beginning their careers, are vital to their intrigues. Player characters can use their relationships with their chosen icons as a resource during the game, getting aid from those who serve the icon or (if the relationship is a negative one) from those who oppose them.