Dappa is a member of The Cabal (not to be confused with the CABAL) and an adept linguist. He was raised in what is today Nigeria, in a village that profited from the slave trade. In time, he came to realize the evils of the trade and attempted to change the way in which the elders of his village prospered. For his trouble, he was enslaved himself, and found himself eventually passed along to the Barbary Corsairs. There, he befriended Jack Shaftoe and the other members of the Cabal and shared their adventures in their years-long journey eastward around the world. Befriended by Eliza, he was falsely imprisoned by a sadistic Jacobite, became a tabloid celebrity, and was freed after he fought a most unusual duel on the lawn of the Tower of London.

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