Beyond The Shore
Stéphanie d'Escars de Aiguillon
Niece, then sister, then dame d’atour of an Imperial Duchess, Stephanie d’Escars de Aiguillon might have expected to marry well. Sadly she fell in love not with a nobleman, but with a chef—a man of no account, but of great charisma, by the name of Guillaume De La Fontaine. The way to a ladies heart being through her stomach (and up), Stephanie ran off with her chef and boarded a ship headed for the colonies, hoping to make a life for themselves.
While rounding Drake’s Passage, their ship was attacked by the notoriously violent Spanish pirate Captain Barnabas Herrera and his ship, the Red Sadness. During the fight Guillaume’s left hand was cut off, and he passed out from the blood-loss. He awoke to learn that Stephanie, clearly being a lady of worth, was captured, and the ship was crippled and set adrift.
Stephanie, while possessed of no title of her own, is the Great-Grand-Niece of the late Armand Jean du Plessis, the Cardinal-Duke de Richelieu and her elder sister, Terese d’Aiguillon, is the reigning Duchess d’Aiguillon, having inherited the title from their aunt, Marie Madeleine de Vignerot du Pont de Courlay. While her disposition and whereabouts following her capture by Captain Herrera are unknown, she certainly would have had value as a hostage and ransom.