It's 1719 in the West Indies. The Caribbean Sea is boiling in the war and there is no quiet place ashore or at sea. Besides the political turmoil which leads the colonies at each other's throats, pirates and privateers are on the prowl. Come spend some time with us BEFORE THE MAST, on any ship you like!
played by Thomas
The faithful privateer is a good father figure, caring for his crewmates, and, at the same time, a well rounded and well researched character, written by a very good writer, who has returned to us after a long break.
Faithfulness deserves to be spotlighted too!
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Our Story So Far, - the condensed version -
|The Flying Dutchman
Helping Dead Souls Since the dawn of sea travel
Group: Fleet Admiral
Member No.: 1
Joined: 18-July 10
Our Story So FarBackstory
“Behold! A cry from the crow's nest.
A ship appears from the south west.
The years below deck that bored me,
All lead to what lies before me:
Hear the terror! Fires burn and cannons sound.
Fate awaits me, as the vessels circle round
See the slaughter - cutlass swings and pistols fire.
I hold my breath, close my eyes and hang on for
Death before the mast.”
The year is 1719, and the alliances and hostilities between the European nations extend all the way to their distant colonies, causing the Caribbean Sea to boil with conflict as the War of the Quadruple Alliance begins to unfold. The English, French and Dutch have allied their forces against the Spanish, and from Aruba to the Bahamas and beyond, there is no quiet spot ashore or at sea. What's Already Happened
Besides the political turmoil that leads the colonies to the point of tearing at each other’s throats, the pirates and privateers are also on the prowl. Terror rules the trade routes, and both Spanish and English authorities have sworn to try and end piracy in seas.
While the ships are fighting storms and enemies, on the islands life attempts to go on as normally as possible in the face of the war; people work, pray, drink, brawl, party, fall in love and break up. In a world where nobody is what they seem to be, everyone has their own secrets: the tavern owners and barmaids are spying for the pirates, the tanned merchant sailor with a charming smile is a mercenary following his mark, the youngest English Navy sailor is a girl in disguise, the French Governor is involved in shady deals with the pirates, including granting them hidden protections… Who knows what other secrets people could be hiding?
During a working dinner with the English governor of the Bahamas - Sir Woodes Rogers - a strategic alliance was formed, with the English privateers agreeing to assist the English and French Navies in the ever present battle against piracy, as well as against the common enemy in the Caribbean: Spain. The daring plan agreed upon was to disguise their man-of-wars as defenseless merchant ships and pretend to be a trading convoy, a juicy piece of bait for both pirates and Spaniards alike who certainly would not be able to resist sailing into the allied firepower of the strong vessels, blinded by their greed... or will they be able to see the trap?
Meanwhile, the privateers and the Navies aren’t the only tricky ones in the Caribbean. The pirate ship the ”Caribbean Siren” has been spying on the English Navy’s moves in Kingston, as well as watching for the arrival of a rich Manila Fleet in Havana. Nobody ever knows where their informants will be hiding, and their cunning makes them just as formidable a foe as the Spanish. Information continues to change hands as the weeks go by, and no one can ever be certain who has the advantage in this war…
Early in the spring of 1719, the French Navy ship ”Le Phenix” got lucky and managed to board, plunder, and sink the Spanish vessel ”La Princesa”, taking the Admiral’s daughter hostage. The French capitaine Raoul Duval looked forward to a sure promotion for his successful venture, as well as his valuable booty, but his luck was quick to change. His already damaged ship was boarded by the notorious pirate crew of the ”Caribbean Siren”, and not only was Duval taken prisoner, but his proud French flagship was stripped of anything with worth, including the high-born Admiral’s daughter. Yet surprising to everyone, Captain Duval, as well as the rest of his ship, were set free again, leaving his crew to wonder at what price they had been granted their liberty… Relationships and Intrigues
Back in Tortuga, the pirates partied the night away, celebrating the victory while the newcomers who jumped ship from ”Le Phenix” and ”La Princesa” tried to fit in with the new crowd. But somewhere in the midst of the festivities, the pirate captain made a bad bet in a game of cards, and was nearly fooled into losing his sailing master. Fortunately, the bartered man managed to get himself out of the trade with a little bit of intimate service, and returned to the captain who had mistakenly bet him away.
In Cuba, when it was discovered that the Spanish Admiral’s daughter was missing, a mercenary known by the name of El Moreno was sent to retrieve her. Though he soon brought her home to her father safe and sound, he kept to himself the information that she had been all too willing to go with the pirates in the first place, and had been reluctant to be rescued…
Through March and April, the French seamen were forced to spend a couple of long months ashore before their ship, ”Le Phenix”, was finally repaired from the damage the pirates had inflicted. But once the imposing vessel was back out on the high seas, the alliance of the English privateers, the English Navy, and the French Navy wasted no time in putting their plans of attack in motion. The three vessels assumed disguises as merchant ships, and by doing so managed to ensnare two pirate ships, when they then towed to Port-de-Paix. But much to the allies’ dismay, the ”Caribbean Siren” was otherwise occupied, and didn’t take the bait…
However, the ”Siren” crew was not able to hold onto their streak of luck much longer. After an unfortunate succession of events, the pirate ship’s sailing master suffered an intense flogging after infringing upon the pirates’ code, and then was further tormented by the boatswain’s mate, who abused the already weak man while no one else was around. Feverish and frightened, the sailing master fled to Port-de-Paix, where some friends secretly helped him recover his help. But in an attempt to find the sick and runaway sailing master, the pirate captain, Sol Galvez, ended up being captured and imprisoned on the French island along with two other pirate men taken as “trophies.”
It didn’t take long for the pirates to formulate a plan to rescue their captain, though, and after sneaking their way into the fort where the men were imprisoned, they managed to free Galvez and return him to Tortuga.
Not long before the pirates’ escape plan was put into effect, a mutiny ensued aboard the privateer ship, ”The Fate’s Hand”. The mutineers killed the acting captain and then took the ship they had captured from the pirates as a prize, renaming it as the ”Twilight Shark” and sailing under a newly elected captain. With a letter of marque from Nassau and a ragtag crew of men, the new privateer ship set off in search of prey, ready and willing to take on Spanish and pirates alike.
Fortunately for them, the privateers didn’t have to wait long before an opportunity for triumph arose. On the 23rd of June at St. John’s Festival, the Duchess of St. Albans made a startling arrangement with the pirates. She asked them to attack her husband’s ship, and kill him in the process, which the crew of the ”Siren” readily agreed to. After confronting the ship in battle, the pirates took the Duchess as a “prisoner,” killing her husband as requested.
But before the noblewoman could even be brought to solid land, the pirates found themselves in an encounter of a very different kind. On their way back to Tortuga under the cover of night, they were attacked by the ”Twilight Shark”. Although the details of the battle aren’t known to many outside of the two crews, the fact of the matter is that the pirates invoked the right of parley, and a truce was reached between the ships. The privateers took the Duchess with them and returned to Kingston, where they were received as heroes, and the pirates went home to fight another day…
After the ”Twilight Shark” captured a Spanish galleon as a prize, they weighed anchor only to realize that Captain Sharky, as well as his trusted man, Kemba, were missing. Investigations made them understand that their captain and fellow crewmate won’t return anymore, since they had been sold to a slaver. So, they had to elect a new captain, who started gaining new prizes for them due to an original way of gathering intelligence.
After a string of victories in battle, the ”Caribbean Siren” set out yet again on an expedition at the beginning of August of 1719, not knowing that it would be their last aboard the ship. They encountered the vengeful allied English and French Navies all too quickly once at sea, and the resulting clash came with disastrous results. How many of the crew survived this battle, which ended finally in the sinking of the ”Caribbean Siren”? It’s up to you to count them… But like the legendary bird getting reborn from its ashes, the remaining crew got regrouped again around their captain, gaining a new ship, the “Rising Sun”, new members and new victories… Will they win also against the forces of nature, as hurricane season is ongoing?
The Navy forces are regrouping too after the taxing battle. There is a new British ship, with a new captain, ready to fight pirates, and the known French flagship, ”Le Phenix”, has a new captain, since the former one has been promoted to rear-admiral.
Love and romance abound in the Caribbean, and it is a well known fact that sometimes, the relationships, the scandals, and the gossip – both true and fabricated – can become as complicated as the bloody battles themselves. What’s Happening Now
The French Navy rear-admiral Raoul Duval continues to stir up the Caribbean with his highly secretive and intriguing love life, which rumor has it consists of an ex-pirate male lover as well as a pretty mistress who is carrying his baby – or so he thinks... To keep the affair out of the way of gossip and scandal, the captain has arranged a marriage for his mistress, with no intention of letting her, or his child, out of his life anytime soon. Will the birth of his first son, in October 1719, influence him in any way?
Over the time, the French Governor's daughter, Marie Josephine de la Bastide, has managed to raise the interest of not only two French Navy lieutenants, but of an English one's as well. In the end, however, only one of them had the courage to ask her father to give them his blessing, and he obtained it. The wedding of Marie de la Bastide and Giles Laurent took place in early September, much to her father’s happiness, as he is bound to return to France soon, and Laurent has been promoted in recent months to a captain’s position.
The tavern keeper from Tortuga, Maribel Vargas, fell in love with the most unlikely suitor, a young and innocent French pirate, without knowing that he wasn’t the only one pining after her. But a few months later, when learning the whole truth of the other man’s love, she made a painful decision, and broke the heart of her French courter to follow truer love with the pirate master gunner. (Said Frenchman got soon comforted by a lovely naïve Mulatto, whom he not only swept away to Tortuga, but he married her officially, circumventing the Code Noir interdictions.)
And the intrigues are never ending…
A new governor arrived to Saint Domingue, the former one being recalled to France. This means the complete end of the “closing eyes” policy against pirates selling their loot to the local merchants, and enhancing the war against piracy. Times are changing, and weather too. A strong hurricane is hitting all the islands and all the ships in the open sea. Which will be the toll it takes, and what reconstruction lies ahead?
What happens next? Who will be fighting whom, and who will find death before the mast? Whose lovers will weep somewhere ashore, and whose will celebrate, showered in gold and gifts? That's entirely up to our players... and to you! Sharpen your blades, load your guns, drain the last sip of rum, and raise your sword to swashbuckling adventure!
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specifically for BEFORE THE MAST