This page is about the character.
S. has lost his memory due to what seems to be an fall or falling accident and is suffering some kind of amnesia. He is also atheist and has some connection to a woman named, Sola, whom he meets at a tavern.
He only has three things that connect him to life before we are introduced to him: ink-stained paper on which he believes something important was written (contains an S Symbol), a tiny black orb that might be a pebble or could be ancient fruit, and a sense-memory of falling from a great height (page 6 of Ship of Theseus).
Eric notes that he believes S is an Atheist on page 39 as the texts says, “he begs an array of gods in which he does not believe…”
S. is believed to be roughly 26 years old. The novels centers around his self-discovery, as he does not know who he is, and seeks to understand his place in the world. From his experiences within the story, S. enjoys human interaction, as exhibited in Chapter 4, with Corbeau. He is quite knowledgeable about nautical terms and ship sailing, which may mean he has prior sailing experience. He also notes how though he is used to being alone, it takes a toll on his sanity, causing him to pick up odd habits like muttering to himself.
S. is first found without any memory traveling the streets of the Old Quarter in an unnamed city. All he has in his possession is a piece of paper with a strange “S” symbol on it. After walking to the harbor, spotting what seems to be a strange ship on the horizon, he returns to a tavern, where he spots a woman. Feeling an odd sense of familiarity, he approaches her, noticing the enormous book she was reading: The Archer's Tales by Arquimedes de Sobreiro. S. is then knocked unconscious by an unnamed man; as S. is losing consciousness, he catches a glimpse of the man, who he thinks looks like a scarred version of himself (S. does not actually know what he himself looks like, due to his amnesia).
S. awakens to find himself aboard a ship captained by Maelstrom with a crew of 19 strangely discolored sailors, each of whom has their mouth sewn shut. When S. inquires about his past, Maelstrom responds cryptically, but mentions the word “Sola.” Believing this to be the name of the woman in the tavern, he also notices the “S” symbol from his pocket on the ship itself. After attempting to hail a nearby ship for rescue, S. is forced to watch as the crew of the ship boards the other, kidnapping the only survivors (an emaciated young man and a Monkey) and forcing the boy down belowdecks. S. decides to escape.
S. is able to escape after a freak storm strikes the ship while the ship is within sight of land. Able to swim several miles to shore (after resting on a sea mine), S. washes up just outside a factory in the city of B—–, where a strike is ongoing. Spotted by a pair of protestors, Ostrero and Pfeifer, S. is brought to the strike's leaders, Stenfalk and Corbeau, who explain that they have been fired after demanding to know what has happened to The Zapadi 3, and that the factory's owner, Edvar Vévoda V, had hired Detectives to enforce the lockout.
S. spots a woman in the crowd that looks like Sola. Ostrero tells S. that her name is Szalómé. S. follows her, but loses sight just as he sees two Detectives donning disguises as protestors and carrying a bomb. After a moment of hesitation, wanting to continue looking for Sola, S. races back to warn the protestors, but is not able to warn them in time to disperse. The bomb is detonated in the basket of an 11 year old boy's bicycle, killing 58.
The bombing is blamed on the anarchists Ostrero, Pfeifer, Stenfalk, and Corbeau with S. being labeled as Agent X and now officially one of them. Stenfalk says, “You may not have been on of us before, but you are now. Whether you like it or not.” pg. 120.
S., Ostrero, Pfeifer, Stenfalk, and Corbeau take refuge in the home of one of the Zapadi 3. Ostrero discovers that they have been blamed for the attack, and that wanted posters have been placed all over the city. They escape the city, hoping to head south to the town of G—–. After discovering they are being followed, and with the older Stenfalk's health failing him, the group comes across a crater in the ground. Covered in a black substance and filled with charred bones, the crater seems to have been a test performed by Vévoda's company of the secret weapons it had been developing.
S. makes the choice to explore the confines of the ship's, The S, holds and finds that the sailors have been spilling their souls into writing for 3 hours before resurfacing on deck. S. sits down to write and is found by Maelstrom and the crew not long after. The thread and fishhook are brought, and S. allows them to sew up his mouth.
S. takes his place among the crew but as a sailor and assassin. He is given a valise containing a mixture of elements with which to make poisons then is given assignments by Maelstrom, studies his target and makes a plan, takes out the threads that shut his mouth, then finds and kills them. Afterwards returning to the ship, resewing his mouth and continuing with the writing and ship upkeep till his next target.
Just before killing one of the Agents, S. is told that there is a surprise if he finds the governor of a place called the Territory. S. asks Maelstrom to take him there, but is refused. After the ship is damaged by Vévoda airplanes, the crew leaves S. in the Territory. Here he meets with a family who then row him upriver through the tropical Territory until they reach the Governor's estate. S. leaves the couple and their baby in the canoe while he goes to kill the Governor, whose name is Nemec. After paralyzing the Governor, S. realizes that the Governor is actually Pfeifer; he survived the events in the caves and instead chose to become an employee of Vévoda's. S. kills him and leaves, to find the family and their village killed. S. almost catches up with a group of refugees rowing down the river, but accidentally drops his paddle when he notices that the pair in the rear canoe are Sola and a younger version of himself. S. is carried down a different fork in the river than the refugees and is washed out to sea, where he sees that the ship has been bombed and all who were aboard are now dead.
S. wakes up in an apartment in the Winter City, having apparently traveled there among a crowded group of unresponsive ghosts. The city is filled with such ghosts, people who cannot interact with one another; the only connection to the regular world is the daily newspaper providing information on what is happening outside of the Winter City. After returning from a snowy walk in order to pick up the paper, S. finds a letter directing him to an apartment elsewhere in the city. He braves the cold to get there, discovering that the apartment building was the location of Sobreiro's suicide. He climbs to the ninth floor of the complex, having difficulty due to his advancing age. He is pulled inside the apartment by none other than Sola, who explains that she has found the location of Vévoda's secret hideout, the Chateau. They leave the city, and walk across the frozen harbor to another mysterious ship, one that has carried Sola on her journey.
After landing outside the Chateau, Sola and S. adopt disguises of the wait staff. They plan on poisoning the black wine that Vévoda's powerful guests will be drinking and killing Vévoda in his basement; S., however, only partially poisons the wine in order to cause the drinkers to have bowel troubles. S. also convinces Vévoda's son, who will be making a speech to announce his takeover of the company, to drink beforehand. This leads to the son openly insulting the distressed and uncomfortable guests; as S. descends into the wine cellar in which Vévoda is hiding, he hears Edvar VI get shot.
While descending the steps of the cellar, S. receives a signal from Sola stating that she's found Vévoda on the fourth level. S. gets lost on his way down and discovers that the barrels of the black wine, derived from the same substance as Vévoda's secret weapon, are all named after past massacres. When S. reaches the fourth level, where Vévoda is entertaining two guests, the monkey from his ship is spilling several extremely expensive wines and Sola has Vévoda at gunpoint. S. encourages Vévoda to check on his son, to which he agrees. As the group leaves, S. holds Sola's hand.