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Hethwill

Candle Bay Letters

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Candle Bay Letters


a collection of letters, captain logs and other assorted manuscript material


 


Disclaimer


the events presented in the various entries cannot be verified for authenticity and therefore may or may nor represent the meta-gaming reality


national events and intrigue shall always mark presence in the way I feel right for the story and I do not give a damn about how you play the game


I play a character. I use the game as a way to tell a story. If you simply play the game without separating yourself from your character I suggest you keep your comments for yourself.


 


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Foreword


all events and occurrences take part on PVP1


Community Events will be planned according to the storyline and will require the participation of many in organizing these.


As such when you see the hint for a community event and wish to help do message the author.


Anyone wanting to cross-post their own stories that contain passages that overlap the storyline presented are free to do so. Keep it in-character, keep it clean.


 


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Log entry

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privateer_detail_1.jpg

 

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Third day of April, Year of Our Saviour Two thousand and sixteen
 
Weather is clear.
Horizon visibility at 16 miles.
No sails reported in the last 6 hours.
 
After all the confusion setting up the new base of operations, and with the accord of all the good men that kept up with me all this time we took to the sea searching for prizes and in truth we have been blessed with a good start.
 
Of note that our former investors did send a letter asking, once more, for the urgent return of the other five ships of the privateer fleet. This will not happen. All ships were secured with our efforts and with our rightful share of the prizes.
 
Naturally as seeing a big part of the effort ( and blood of many ) being disregarded as mere currency the Aardwolf Quartermaster, Sir Elias Gropp, the youngest son of a baron somewhere in Saxony, or so he claims, flung into a rage and knocked the courier senseless with one stroke of his baton. Sadly the courier died this morning having succumbed to the blood clot in the skull. We gave him burial at sea and will dismiss the matter completely.
 
Onto other subjects.
 
Our prize count is now at three merchant ships, all of them hailing the French colours which cargo, after rounded up and sold through our provisioner at Coquibacoa, yielded no less than 5 thousand pieces of eight. (( OOC: basically 40 thousand gold in game currency )). Silver, cotton and copper in good quantities for the most part. Also the crew salvaged some guns mainly 4 pounders, medium length, which we will be running on trials for the next days.
 
After the necessary refitting and repairs and supplies the entire crew, each man received their portion. We voted to use the navy standards with bonus for active duty crewmen. Given the entire company numbers 450 souls with a rotation system we are able to give every man a fair share of all the prizes, enough rest and work at the dry docks. This also ensures that if the need arises we can effectively crew the frigate of war for action.
 
Before we left port I told our provisioner, Mister Ignacio Parente, a old privateer fleet commander from Pernambuco, to register any mercenary companies that would be searching for work, not sailors nor artillerymen but fusiliers and marines.
 
We now set up again at Candle Bay and wait. The silver flowing through this reach is in such quantities that it cannot be ignored.
 
Freebooter Hethwill Eskeath
aboard the “Hyena”, a modified sloop-of-war
anchored at Candle Bay

 

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This is always refreshing to see on the forums, enjoying the history and the game as it should be. I will be doing my own captains log a couple days a week. Looking forward to more from you.

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Letter to a friend

 

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Dear friend,

 

I must conclude that your plans for the Charleston establishment have been successful given the latest news that have been floating around every free port I have visited, but without any letter from you reassuring of a complete and unopposed achievement it becomes somewhat hard to separate the truth from the hearsay, so I patiently await any communication on your behalf.

 

Nonetheless I must fill you in about the latest developments in the South. I am sure you know of the big events that took place on the eastern reaches of the United Provinces colonies with all ports being liberated from Swedish occupation.

This is indeed great news for both of us as it opens way to our most pressing concerns, but we will get to that at a later date once I have established relations with our informants at the new outposts.

 

One thing that surely warrants our attention is a rumor about a massive transport of valuables from the Dutch colonies to Europe. I will try to investigate this rumors in detail but word is that a vast quantity of silver was ordered by the Prince and, given that the war with Sweden still goes on, that it must leave the colonies in the fortnight, due month or similar schedule.

 

Also on this subject and maybe as a signal that all of this might be true a new type of transport vessel, named Large Guts, or like the french like, Gros Ventre, have been delivered to the colonies along with teams of builders for this model to be built in the shipyards at Willemstad.

Given the speed and cargo space along with the defensive armament this vessels would be a definitive choice for a Dutch Silver Fleet, but as I said before I will try to uncover more details about this.

 

Imagine wild, my friend, the amount of treasure that only one of those ships can carry… let alone a fleet. We must find more details about their schedule so I urge you to take measures on your side of the Caribbean to find more about this and especially try to misinform any interested parties so the challenge to the treasure hunt is minimized.

 

Your trustful friend,
H.E.

 

 

p.s. - Tell our mutual friend that they are on her trail. Progress warrants Liberty.

 

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Another point of view.

Captain Martin W Morey de Saumarez had recently enjoyed a back and forth correspondence with a privateer who recently cut loyalties to crowns and senates and decided to operate completely independent of a nation. The officer was technically an enemy and though captain Morey would likely exchange broadsides with the other man's ship of they were to meet, he considered him a friend. Captain Morey decided to write him a new letter before leaving his ship yard office to board his sloop 'le Petee Bôt' (The Little bay) and setting sail from his crafting base to head south west for his target. He had a task to complete for himself before he resumed reaching for the next objective of Les Abaissé he began to write:-

To my most respected enemy Captain Hethwill Eskeath

I look forward to a possible meeting with you on the high seas, I am currently taking my Snow Le Petee Bôt into the area of warfare between the Dutch and Swedish navies. I will be carrying out tasks of interest for my squadron, but will welcome seeing you and your fellow privateers in the area. If a meeting should happen I'd be honoured to exchange broadsides with you, however I will not attack on sight but will leave the decision as to whether to have hostilities or cooperation to you and your fellow captains. I'd be more than happy to do either with you sir for we both have common enemies and interests in the area, one of mine being the safe trading and supply route from my ever expanding shipyard and warehouse to the Central American mainland in the south.

I know not what rate of ship that you and your comrades sail. Le Petee Bôt is an exceptionally built snow, crafted by a very experienced ship builder of France. A fellow Les Abaissé captain, Grim DeGrim, very kindly ordered and then bought it before giving to me as a gift. I am still yet to properly test her in action.

I leave the decision with you sir as to whether we shall have hostilities or cooperation, what's it to be?

Your friend and enemy

Captain Martin W Morey de Saumarez

Les Abaissé

Captain Morey sealed the letter and handed it to the bosun of a brig that was soon to set sail for La Orchilla before walking down the hill towards the docks. He stopped to shield his eyes from the sun and take a distant look at Le Petee Bôt from a distance. She was at anchor in the harbour. He regarded her trim and admired the beauty of the vessel. Finally he climbed into the boat and his coxswain ordered to cast off. After being piped aboard he ordered the first lieutenant to set sail as soon as watering was complete and retired to his cabin. He stared out of the stern windows at the frigate being built at his shipyard, she was modelled on the Surprise and would be given to a member of Les Abaissé. He could also see the shipyard crafters working on the new highly refined reinforced masts that he had ordered for the captains of Les Abaissé. It was for the future of these projects and projects of similar likeness that Captain Morey had decided on the course of action that would see him seeking out captain Hethwill Eskeath on the sea.

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Willemstad, Hugo Republic Shipyards, one day earlier.

 

“Watch out with those carriages you moron!”, I yelled at the clumsy sailor that stumbled his way into the remote warehouse of the Hugo Republic Shipyards with a load that was obviously too heavy to handle for his meager stature. The sign Hugo Republic Shipyards - providing the finest French ship designs West of Carupano”, looked like the only thing still in good shape in this rathole.

 

Hugo asked me to oversee this project, but to be honest, it has me spooked beyond imagination. Paranoia is not one of my traits, but this secretive stuff sure does something with your mind.

 

“Great day to deliver these carriages, Pier”, the bearded Chief of Repositories mumbled irritated, “This couldn’t wait ‘till at least the rain stopped? And what did you put in those carriages? Lead? They are as cumbrous as Mona’s chest without her ….”. My gaze was deadly and he quickly turned his attention to his staff to make sure the unloading went faster.

 

Hugo better be sure this concealment plan is going to work or the entire Willemstad Crafters Guild will be hanged for sure.

Edited by Lytse Pier
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log entry


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privateer_orchila_1.jpg

 

 

 

 

Fourth day of April, Year of Our Saviour Two thousand and sixteen

 

Weather is clear with distant mist

Horizon visibility at 12 miles

Twelve contacts registered, two engaged

 

- Great Britain trader, yielded 1500 pieces of eight sold to the provisioner at Grand Corn

- United Provinces trader and fleet of sloops engaged, both escorts sunk, cargo prized at 750 pieces of eight sold to a Dutch merchant at the Free port of Coquibacoa, merchant which identity shall remain undisclosed

 

The last 24 hours were spent on the sea travelling first Eastbound to reopen the contacts at Cariacou and then Westbound to visit some friends at Concepcion and finally setting a new base of operations at Grand Corn.

 

The only idle stop was, when returning from the East and after we prized a over-confident Dutch trader despite being escorted, and we sold the silver to one of our former contacts in the Dutch fold. Reputation remains solid as ever and the men enjoyed the stop after the fight against the two sloops. The first went down under withering cannonades, the 4 pounders paying off the rate of fire along with some youngster we hired to help the crews by moving the powder canisters, and the second had to be put under the sword by boarding her after we forced the surrender of their master ship trader in such a rake pass that devastated their entire crew. Morale was surely shattered and they struck soon afterwards. The cheers of the crew made me smile like I didn't in a while.

 

The Brittish trader was simply a welcome gift from Grand Corn and its cargo of gold alone was worth more than two thirds of the prize. Despite having a good sailor as a captain the superb flying of the "Indigo Bobcat", a modified sloop based on the American lynx models, made sure that he had nowhere to run once land was off away beyond the horizon.

 

No help could come. Nowhere to run. The captain tried all the tricks he knew but a valuable lesson he learned. Do not underestimate a lynx sloop.

 

Given all these events I must record a rather peculiar one which took place at Coquibacoa before I departed to Cariacou.

 

A well known captain of mine, a standing piece of the United Provinces Colonial Navy, a member of the Dutch Antilles Squadron, which identity shall remain undisclosed, approached me in the peer with a odd proposal. Not that I have not been in rather unsavory or strange straights but this one, he said, comes in the right moment for the right captain. A perfect job to be executed alongside my own agenda.

 

Then it struck me like a twelve pounder...

 

- "I want you to find this certain captain ( for identity purposes let's call him Mr. White ), hunt him and do battle with him until he has to abandon ship or surrenders. "

 

Now this is something out of the ordinary for a Navy Captain let alone for a humble privateer but given the gravity of the events, which my good friend proceeded to recount, I acquiesced to his request.

 

I shall remain some time still at the new base in the West and then will return to the main haven.

 

We have a marked target to hunt and a treasure fleet lead to uncover.

 

 

Freebooter Captain

Hethwill Eskeath

aboard the "Indigo Bobcat"

Free port of Grand Corn

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5th April

Captain Martin W Morey de Saumarez

Le Petee Bôt (26 guns)

Coquibacoa

Our journey westward was much longer than I had planned, the original course that was set from my shipyard had us making landfall a huge distance away from where I wanted. It is of course my own fault, I set the course hoping to pass la Orchilla and then got to work on the novel I have been writing and leaving the sailing of the ship to Mr Bertrand my first lieutenant. I was most angry with myself when the signal gun at Pampatar spoke, asking our number. Pampatar, how could I have been so inaccurate.

Well, naturally we adjusted course and it wasn't too long before we passed La Orchilla and a large amount of Dutch shipping. I still don't trust the Dutch and remained cleared for action through out the area and I had my crew stand by their guns as we passed Willemstad just to be safe.

Finally, the word came that land was in sight, but almost simultaneously a pirate frigate, build along the same lines as the Renomee was sighted also. We exchanged shot and received very little damage to the sails but was able to pull away and arrived safely at Coquibacoa where I have rented a section of the harbour capable of holding five ships. Here's to hoping for some prizes. It is from this base that I hope to seek out Captain Hethwill Eskeath. He is operating further west but there will be pirates in the area also.

Word reached me that The league of gentlemanly conduct, that is the international authority for ensuring the correct censorship of all written materials released to the world by captains, are enacting a media black out of all reports, diaries, figures and facts. This is due to the increasing amount of misconduct in the items released and it is much easier to have a hopefully temporary lock down than work at censoring individual items. I must admit that the news hit me like a breath of fresh air. However it does mean that my own diaries and reports will not be seen by my fellow captains around the world.

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Willemstad, at the Red Room of the Willemstad Crafters Guild, two weeks before the departure of the convoy.

 

 

“The meeting is in session, gentlemen”, Hugo van Grojt said calmly. He softly imbibed on his pipe in between his sentences. “First point of order is the special gun carriages. Pier?” Hugo was well groomed and his velvet blue shirt with gold embroidery stood well out from the old fashioned red-curtained room where time easily could have stood still for at least the last century.

 

Pier, alerted by his name answered quickly. “I’ve had them prepared as requested and the, erhm, deliverables are in place. I had them unloaded to your wharf’s storage facilities at Punda in Saint Anna’s Bay. They are ready for mounting after Pietjes modifications to the ships..”

 

The ugly curtains moved slightly in the wind.

 

“I have used enough pieces of eight to ensure they will remain undetected.”, Pier added a bit distracted.

 

“Good, good, we need that to be our best kept secret. Onward to the second point of order, the ships themselves. I have seen the building schematics and the captured ship, but I was not satisfied. Together with Pietje we did some modifications to the design.”

 

“Can I explain?”, interrupted Pietje eagerly.

 

Hugo nodded with a smile and a friendly wave of his arm had our faces turned to the brightest crafter of us all, despite his young age.

 

“This French Le Gros Ventre design is amazing. She has the ability to keep good speed on most of the quarters from the wind and it’s sleek lines lets her keep it, even when suddenly depowering or dropping sails. Apart from some minor tweaks to her keel, I had worries after inspecting the captured ship that was delivered to us from Europe by the Admiralty of West-Friesland. Her masts are not strong enough for the amount of sails it has. I made some strength modifications to the masts, however I am still not sure that under strain of strong winds they will hold like they should. I had extra masts added to the hold as contingency. We are building more ships on these new specifications at our wharfs, as we speak.”

 

Pietje never seemed to stop to amaze us all with his efficiency. Even the eyes of Jester “Duitsman” Tul, our most experienced instructor and the master of any ships helm, twinkled by looking at those schematics.

 

“When we sail these beauties I am sure the route I scouted will bring us to the island at least two days ahead of schedule! Even with those heavy loads.”, Jester announced. “Look, I’ve added the route to this map and marked the place where we will meet the Prince’s fleet for the transfer. The only thing we need is some fine frigate escorts to the convoy and some fair winds.”

 

Hugo unbottled the rum for all of us. “Gentlemen of the Willemstad Crafters Guild, a convoy shall be assembled with those escorts, arrangements will be made. I will set the date and inform the Dutch Consortium leadership that the plans are on track.

 

After a few drinks, all left the meeting satisfied, even the red haired cabin boy that had hid himself behind one of the dreadfully tasteless and ugly red curtains. For a change Pagan Pete might be kind to him this evening was all he could hope for.

Edited by Lytse Pier
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log entry

 

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prize_brig_1.jpg

 

 

 

Fifth day of April, Year of Our Saviour Two thousand and sixteen

 

 

Weather is overcast with a strong mist settled.

Horizon visibility impossible. Sail spotting at extreme of eight hundred yards.

Many contacts registered. Two engaged.

 

- French trader sloop, yielded 800 pieces

- English trade brig, yielded 1700 pieces

 

 

Today was a close run. Too damn close if I ever had one.

 

For all the virtues that Grand Corn has to offer, being so close to one of the richest and most populated trade lanes in the southwest, it surely has its dangers and the Royal Navy surely is one of them. Given that their efforts are focused up north in Jamaica it is not too often that I bump into their war fleets but this turn it happens they were out in the hunt for Danish ships.

 

- "Stay away from Mosquito Cay ye 'ear me. " - said our provisioner at Great Corn, a portuguese named Venâncio Torto, former employee for West Indies Company and now a runaway due to gambling debts and murder of a WIC oficial over the same debts, or so the story goes. He doesn't seem to show much of his worries about what people comment on his story. He denies everything with a raspy loud chuckle and a shake of his head.

 

We did sail exactly to Mosquito Cay accompanying a flotilla of Dane ships, all 74 guns, which their captain, after the usual hailing and identification, revealed be hunting a Royal Navy flotilla led by a 80 gun ship of the line. I replied in jest if they needed an escort which they took with good nature humour and thanked us for the eventual help in the upcoming fight.

 

The flotilla arrive Mosquito Cay without an incident nor any sails spotted and we soon departed in search of prey.

 

No soon as we moved westward we came upon a brig. She rested nice and comfortable flying with a good wind but was noticeable heavy and this sparkled the predator instinct. Called to quarters and announced the prey.

 

For a while this brig did not fly any colours which was intriguing but our decision was taken. The closure rate was surprisingly fast given the broad reach but we cut through from behing at beam and then reversed course for interception at a much better three points off port side.

 

No sooner than 600 yards she then suddenly raises the British colours and turns hard to starboard. I could see the crew starting to dump cargo overboard, one barrel after the other...

 

I brought her about, the Indigo Bobcat responded with such a elegance, and rapidly brought us into musket range and we raised the hyena banner. That is when the brig captain knew what was coming for them. He tried for a while to move out of our best wind but our guns were prepared with chain so we brought the prey to a crawl and approach her.

 

There was a little resistance, more out of fear of what would happen to them than to preserve their cargo, but after a brief clash the trade crew laid down and surrendered.

 

It happens this scoundrels were smuggling French wine, which was embargoed by the British Colonial rule following the Anglo-French war in the Panama coastline. I promised the crew a bigger share than what we have been practicing so they got very eager to return to Grand Corn and serve themselves to the barrels no doubt.

 

We kept a south by south east course for a while when sails were sighted, royal navy colors. Frigates and more frigates and seventy-fours were stretched all along the east-west paralel between Mosquito Cay and Grand Corn. There was no doubt we would have to find another way around as I wasn't going to risk a ruse with contraband.

 

I ordered us and the prize to go East and try to circumvent the navy deployment. This was not to be necessary as out of nowhere a thick fog descended and we cast the decision to try to go through them while the mist was up, and it showed no signs to be lifting any time soon.

 

We crawled steadily, sails here and there showing up above the mist betraying the position of the taller ships, other times just a shadow in the grey wall of fog. We risked little and I issued no voice commands the entire time letting the crew keep her steady.

 

The fog kept us undercover until we finally reached Grand Corn, after deviating slightly to the East. We managed to make dock under the cover of night and the Royal Navy presence in the free port was indeed strong.

 

We served ourselves to some of that nice french wine and I tried to gather some intelligence.

 

Nothing new about the Dutch Silver Fleet, although the word is that the Republijk Shipyards were busier than ever.

 

No letter arrived during my absence.

 

We shall remain in port until this weather subsides.

 

 

Freebooter Captain

Hethwill Eskeath

aboard the "Indigo Bobcat"

Free port of Grand Corn

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Not in italics, well played mate :) and a good read. (If the comment crosses the flow of the reading, just delete it)

Edited by Manta Scorpion

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Rented room, Coquibacoa

I stood at the window of the small rented room in the tavern at the water front looking out to sea. I was watching my ship 'l'Ancresse Common' as it arrived at the harbour. It had cost me a lot of money to have her brought here from Guernsey where she was captained by my brother as part of the Channel Islands defence squadron. She is a private vessel and belongs to my family and with the war between Britain and France at a bit of a lull, my brother agreed to sign over command to me. Her journey here had not been easy. Her masts had been removed for the voyage, and she had needed long arms attached to her sides and small boats placed under them like pontoons. This allowed her to ride the rough seas much easier without capsizing and a crew were regularly in place to pump her out. She had been towed across the Atlantic by the corvette 'Thunder Child' and had been refitted at my Ship yard before a skeleton crew had sailed her to my current base of operations at Coquibacoa. I was planning to transfer to her for my current short range operations and keep 'Le Petee Bôt' in reserve or for longer voyages. Both ships were exceptionally made but had been built using different materials and I favour the Brig based on the USS Niagara for any fighting to come over the Snow.

My mission had changed over the last couple of days, I still wished to seek out captain Hethwill Eskeath but I had become determined to uncover the Dutch plans. Something is going on, the activity around their anchorages is great and they have drawn attention to themselves. However, exactly what it is they are doing does still remain a secret, at least to me anyway. I have some speculations but I need more evidence.

I requested reinforcements from my squadron, but it is difficult to know how long it might be before help arrives if at all. Being such a small force we are extremely busy and many of the captains had been working at improving their ship building skills in recent days. I decided that it was time to get in for a closer look of the Dutch ports, once 'L'Ancresse Common' had completed her trials in the area I planned to take her close to the Dutch home waters in the Caribbean to see what I could find out. Although I still don't consider the Dutch to be an enemy, a nervous captain might think that I am preying on merchantmen or a junior captain still trying to learn his trade and so I can expect to be unwelcome. I must be tactful and not start an unnecessary conflict in the area.

It was time to see my new ship. I grabbed my coat and sword and left the tavern to take a leisurely stroll down to the docks. A long boat was waiting for me to take me on the short crossing to the brig. It was a glorious day, and a glint caught my eye. I pulled out my telescope and pointed it at the gleaming light. It came from an open window on the other side of the harbour. I man dressed In what I believed to be Dutch uniform stared back at me through his own glass. I replaced my telescope and waved my hat to the distant figure. I wouldn't let this bother me. Perfectly reasonable explanation. Either the Dutch authorities were aware of me and the mission I had set myself, the Dutch were not happy with a foreign ship setting up a base on their door step or it was just a Dutch naval officer being curious. It could even be all three. I cared not.

Captain Martin W Morey de Saumarez

L'Ancresse Common (22)

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Close to Macanao, main Dutch Consortium fleet aboard the 74-gun Theresa, 2 hours before the start of Operation Flying Dutchman.

 

“Shhhh, hush!”

 

“What did I do? I only asked why he is called Captain Bubbl….”

 

The big fat with calluses riddled hand of the boatswain tried to smother the words of the young sailor on his first voyage.

 

“You do not start about it. You do not ask. You will address him with Captain and with sir! No, even better. You will not address him at all, understood?”

 

Baron Gerardus Johannes Rijckevorst de Boubleons stepped onto the deck and asked for his optics.

 

His heart beat faster. It was a sight to behold. Something he lived for. About 35 ships of the line with at least 74 guns and a double amount more of heavily armed frigates had set sail from the regional capital and temporary naval base in Caracas. On command of the Dutch Consortium they were to meet the Swedish fleet at Macanao as part of a grand strategic counter offensive, whilst smaller fleets would simultaneously hit on other Swedish occupied ports in the region. It would be tough. The adversaries had remained dug into port Macanao like a nordic tick in their King’s skin.

 

He smiled. His French fabricated optics were much better that he had before. Spoils from the first French-Dutch war for Isla de Margarita. Inhaling the fresh air deeply, thinking about those glorious days he peered the surrounding ships. Captain Neith, Schout bij Nacht and commander of this main fleet sailed to his portside and had a small Polish flag on his second mast. On his other side some ships with a German banner in theirs. The Dutch Nation was small compared to the other European giants and did not have many men to spare, but the riches, action and the best of them all, fame, that could be gained sailing with the colours of the Dutch Republic was a lure to many able captains and men of numerous other European nations. The caribbean republic fleet was stronger than ever. Freedom, servitude, discipline, tolerance, all good protestant values that made our nation into the power it is. Even here on the other side of the world.

 

Tolerance, tolerance, …, tolerance. It pealed through his head a few times. The Baron’s eyes turned towards the young sailor and took in his fine features, noticing some sudden fright in his eyes. Today it would be tolerance and the young sailor would not be punished for his insubordinance. Perhaps tomorrow, when he would choose discipline and if the lad would survive the soon to start battle.

 

First it was time to have some fun and retrieve the Prince’s belongings from Macanao.

 

"MAN THE GUNS!"

 

(this small writing is also part of a continuing portraits of notable PvP1 server characters ingame)

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The dilemma

Captain Martin Morey's rented office, Coquibacoa

There was a knock at the door, and Captain Morey's steward opened it to permit First lieutenant Jean Bertrand to enter. Martin put down his pen and stood up, "Jean, good to see you my friend, tea?". "Thank you sir". The steward exited the room and the two officers both took a seat. Jean Bertrand and Martin Morey de Saumarez were friends from childhood. But Jean Bertrand was a real Sarnian, completely of Guernsey blood and fluent in the Guernesiaise patoi of the Island, Martin was half English on his father's side but regarded himself as a Gernseyman first. He was also related to an Admiral and baron, who was the victor of the battle of Algeciras and former captain of HMS Orion, Sir James Saumarez.

The two men were informal and relaxed in private due to their long friendship, "Jean, what is your opinion on how to next proceed. We need to get to the bottom of this but remember the buck stops with me. We're still adrift as far as the French council is concerned and it looks like reinforcements from Les Abaissé will not arrive any time soon if at all. Captain Hethwill Eskeath remains hidden from us and as you know whilst on our last patrol to La Orchilla and back we saw no less than five of Le Gros Ventre style ships. Without boarding one for inspection we have no real way of knowing what the Dutch plans are. But then I don't want to start open hostilities with the Dutch. But we can't just sit and watch them, they could be working at destroying the status quo of power in the Caribbean for all we know".

"I agree, but this is a high risk high stake game we are playing. Someone is going to end up getting upset whatever we do. We are alone, our status towards Captain Hethwill is still an unknown because we don't know what will happen when and if we meet him on the sea. Dutch ships either ignore us or treat us with suspicion but none have seen fit to approach us yet. I doubt this will last much longer and if we don't do something soon we may miss our opportunity".

Martin nodded his head and stood up and walked over to the window with his hands behind his back and looked down towards his two ships. 'L'Ancrese Common' was being fitted with reinforced masts and a new magazine that would help the gunners cut down their load time. The lively group of powder monkeys should help with this too. The new section of marines were practising at drill and the sailing master was supervising the light weight ropes and blocks installed through out the ship. All he needed to make the ship as he wanted it was, the anti boarding barricades and he would be content.

Finally he turned to his first lieutenant, "as soon as the ship is refitted, we set sail. We go west first, see if we can find captain Hethwill Eskeath. Then we go to work on the Dutch to get information".

"How do you plan on getting the information?" Jean said leaning forward, interested.

"It's simple but distasteful. We just ask Dutchmen. We have to act like big bad bullies and threaten to attack lone ships. We also offer to leave them be in exchange for information. I don't like it, it's not an honourable way of doing things, but what choice do we have. We should also try to see if we can't run alongside one of their new big merchantmen".

Jean sat back again, worry etched on his face. "Dutch reprisals will come quickly, we will be treated as pirates".

"First let's see if we can find Capt Hethwill Eskeath, then we shall see to the Dutch plans".

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letter to a friend

 

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To the most commendable and trustworthy friend, which never forgets where true allegiance lies,

 

Kapitan P.b

 

 

My good friend,

 

I must thank you yet again for speaking on my behalf to your peers, many of whom I do not recognize their ensigns. I must conclude the Prince has sent reinforcements from Europe along with the new cadets to this side of the World no doubt to bolster the Fleet and the upcomign plans for a new war.

 

It is hard to reach any good contact on the Keys. Despite the Charleston tragedy I am still working to achieve the results we expect and the route should be safe but all rests in your planners.

 

I must confide I found myself quite breathless with the sight from yesterday upon my arrival at the Hyena base. There I was setting sail watching this combat from afar, could decidedly see a dozen ships flying the black giving chase to other three or four flying the Independent Colonies flag when all of the sudden the horizon became alive with sails. What a wonder any captain would say, what a vision.

 

I must confess also terrified for flying the hyena black put me into the line of battle but given the overeagerness of the hasty dutch captains the interception was far from exemplar. A terrible mess I must say and would he be under my command he would be brought for a reprimand.

 

But I jest with you sir, and I keep focused on the task at hand.

 

The route we planned for the Silver Fleet is surely the best given the prevalent westbound current and winds and I only predict any danger passing through those straights. You navigation goes wrong and you get stranded in those shallows for a dozen hours. Please consider that with our associates.

 

Furthermore I wagered a bounty on your command, to keep it for real and not arouse any suspicions. Apparently they call it the Black Bear Roulette and every captain wagers on whom is going the next bounty to be collected. Quite fun I must say and I've heard the prize on you has risen considerably. I wonder if any of your associates thinks you more... dispensable than others.

 

Your loyal friend,

The Hyena

 

 

p.s. - tell Mr. H.v.G. that all his efforts are attracting attention. You have seen pirate fleets setting up camp at my town. Eventually they will gain enough strength and I wonder when they will be able to raid one of the towns.

 

 

-

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Log entry

L'Ancresse Common, Captain Martin W Morey de Saumarez commanding.

Not long after we had set sail from Coquibacoa heading west toward the British territory where Captain Hethwill Eskeath was known to operate a pirate Corvette (Cerberus) had appeared to windward and had cut off our course. I had been nervous as the ship cleared for action and battle commenced. The corvette had the advantage by far, firing long guns at range and I had initially thought of coming about and making a run for it back to Coquibacoa but doubted that we'd make it. The pirate made a tactical blunder and had clearly underestimated the manoeuvrability of 'L'Ancresse Common'. I saw my moment and managed to bring the ship about sharply and ran her across the Corvettes stern raking her at point blank range with our 32 pounder carronades causing a huge amount of damage and loss of life. The corvettes stern was ripped open and I ordered grape loaded as 'L'Ancresse Common' came around again for another broadside. We now had a decisive advantage, if only we could stay on the pirates stern and the two ships went into turn and counter turn with the pirates one remaining stern gun speaking out occasionally. It was the Niagara class ship that won the battle of turns and We delivered yet another devastating broadside through the enemy stern causing a huge loss to life and sending the pirates scurrying for cover in a state of shock.

The Corvette turned into the wind and her pace dropped off dramatically and i ordered hard a starboard, this allowed the larboard battery to fire across the corvettes deck. We were now able to get up alongside under the corvettes guns and our broadsides came thick and fast punching huge holes through the corvettes sides and the pirate captain tried to take his ship away but his crew was much depleted and the gun crews were slow at reloading. The corvette fired one more poorly aimed broadside before we sent her to oblivion with one last devastating volley that opened up the corvettes hull and she began taking on water. Her pumps damaged and the crew so badly depleted she sank rather quickly.

Upon returning to Coquibacoa for repairs, many letters awaited me. Intelligence reports, personal letters and latest production reports. The most interesting for me was that the Dutch and Swedish nations had signed a peace treaty and all territory occupied by the Swedish crown were to return to the Dutch.

Another was a report that agents had good reasons to believe that the pirates were to launch an attack on a Dutch port just along the coast from Coquibacoa. This was potentially disastrous for me if they were to gain a foothold. I decided we shall go west up the coast to assist the Dutch defence fleet. I made my intentions known to several Dutch ships that were gathering but received no reply. Suddenly L'Ancresse Coomon came under attack from a large group of Dutch ships and after exchanging signals with the lead Dutch captain I was able to take my leave. However, we were now frustrated having taken significant damage in such a short amount of time due to the numbers that opened fire on us. We reached the rendezvous and waited. I paced my deck in frustration, I knew not to trust the Dutch. We waited for a long time before I grew so frustrated that I ordered a return to base, to hell with helping the Dutch.

Once again upon my return I received a letter from a Royal Navy friend stating that the British and Americans had come to an agreement to form an anti piracy coalition and were inviting anyone who wished to join them in the crusade. I raised a glass of port to this new development and decided that it was a worthwhile item. Although I, myself didn't have the capacity to formerly join them, I am sure that the captains of Les Abaissé would agree that it was a worthy cause. I have decided to take a more hostile stance against the Dutch and what little trust i had in them is near depleted. I shall be wary of their ships and will not offer to help them again, I understand captain Hethwill Eskeath's frustration now and why he decided to cut ties with his former nation.

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commercial break

 

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Just arrived at the Office...

 

WP_20160411_15_32_28_Pro.jpg

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Macanao, Commander Neith Waleczneserce’s office, two days after the victory over the Swedish fleet.

 

 

Commander Neith Waleczneserce sat behind his desk on an elaborately decorated oak chair. It’s origins were obviously Spanish with its elegant and curvy regal lines. A painting of Francisco Bayeu y Subias behind him depicted a biblical story Pier didn’t recognize at first glance; but it wasn't the decor Pier was worried about.

 

“You Willemstad crafters are crazy! A peace between Sweden and the Republic? Now? We just finished our counter offensive, which was a huge success if perhaps that feat eluded your perceptions?!”

 

A pounding vein in the commander's neck revealed that this wouldn’t be easy. That was sure. Despite the Polish name from his father's side of the family, Neiths mother came from a Vlissinger merchant family with strong ties to the “Staatsgezinden”, the pro-Republic party in The Hague, opposing the Orangists. Our Dutch Antilles Squadron openly supporting the interests of the Orangists here in the Caribbean didn't help.

 

Pier looked at Hugo standing next to him and to the Baron who had taken the liberty to take a comfortable seat on one of those other beautiful baroque chairs in the room. “Sir, we have been given the order by the Admiralty of Amsterdam to devise a plan to get the valuables to Europe within a strict timeframe. It is the opportunity we need to move these kind of amounts of silver swiftly and spread the risks. We can steer the Baltic hemp and flask trade through the Negotiation Bills on the Amsterdam stock exchange in favor of the Swedes instead of the British. You certainly can see that?”

 

Neith sighed and exchanged a worried look with the Baron. “The men will be outraged, you know that Bubbles.”

 

The Baron nodded. “But orders are orders. Are you sure you want to have our caribbean politics to get in the way of a chance to stop the Batavians in our homeland? We need that wealth in Holland, the Prince needs it if we want to stop these growing pro-French influences. The Swedes want to get into the Baltic trade from Saint Petersburg again now the English almost have monopolized the hemp and flask trade there with the exclusive agreement they made with Tsarina Catharina. Although we do not control the trade, we still hold power in Amsterdam to manipulate the money flows, like Pier said. We can sell our waning interests in the Baltic to the Swedes now they are still worth something and they get to to fund their expensive war against the Danes with it. All in exchange for the transport. Win-win. I’m sure your family's fleet in Gdansk will also have some nice benefits if you get the right contacts from the Swedes in this deal.”

 

It made sense. It always made sense, these obscure political games. Just not for the men he had to command.

 

“Damn these Batavians having me side with you Orangists. You will have your peace and we will get the silver deal in there, but get out of my sight now. All of you. I have an angry crowd of captains to address soon and a Consortium meeting to prepare with endless discussions about new enemies.”

 

Hugo and Pier smiled. The first half of their major problems were just solved.

 

----

 

You can read the official peace treaty here:

http://forum.game-labs.net/index.php?/topic/13041-swedish-and-dutch-declares-peace/

Edited by Lytse Pier
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( wow, awesome ! )

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message to Jo

 

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Damn it Jo, this smuggling runs will be the end of me. This last deal went fine for sure but had to go through two Dutch patrols, one of which really wanted to verify my papers ( what papers ? ) and gladly the other one was led by a mutual friend. I hope you take care of things on your side with the handouts. They are corrupt and happy with comfort and wealth.

Other than that is not easy to go through the lagoon, with so many unknown black flags around plus the wandering British patrols, with such cargo but I will always get my way about, I hope.

.

That amount of carriages suffices for now I am sure. I also threw in the bonus stash from what I plundered from the other dutch traders. Two grade notes, a medium and a high, plus all excess gold for another two notes, and more frame parts for your project. Will have a new shipment ready in three days.

Make sure you have the new lady ready. I will try to get you some silver. Yesterday almost got a full shipment from a former comrade coming from La Vela if it wasn't for the interference of one of the patrols. Talked my way out of it anyway so no big loss. I bet he was full of it...

 

Laters and compliments to the LD lads. If we do not meet in 3 days...well... maybe I am strung up in some gallows...

 

-

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The blue room,

Saumarez Manor,

St Martin

Bailiwick of Guernsey

Captain Martin W Morey de Saumarez strode into the room dressed in his finest uniform. His family made for him to shake his hand or embrace him. He had recently returned from the Caribbean upon receiving the news of the death of a prominent family member and hadn't seen many of his family for years. The admiral was there too. Rear Admiral Sir James Saumarez shook captain Morey by the hand. The Baron de Saumarez had not long ago written to captain Morey telling him of a temporary banishment from the island. But a death in the family, a person whom Captain Morey directly descended countermanded the banishment until 1 month after the funeral under the terms of the unwritten family law.

At dinner that night Captain Morey told the story how he had been close to a break through on sussing out the Dutch plans for what appeared to be a vast shipment of silver. For the Dutch Caribbean officers involved, the plan had been a painstaking enterprise. The crafters had been hard at work building special gun carriages and improved masts for the large cargo ships based on the French design.

Captain Morey had also had to call off a search for a friendly free privateer who he wished to work with in fully uncovering the Dutch plans. A sudden peace between the Swedish crown and the Dutch, and problems with a handful of Dutch captains at the moment captain Morey took the brig 'L'Ancresse common' towards the west, the free privateers preferred hunting grounds had spoilt that. He ship had taken damage when a whole squadron of Dutch ships had opened fire on his small sleek vessel he attempted to take 'L'Ancresse Common to join the Dutch screening fleet in preparation for a possible pirate attack. He would never do it again. He explained that there were still some Batavian supporters that he might rely on but for the main, he deemed the Dutch as untrustworthy.

Admiral Saumarez remained indifferent to the stories, he was still bitter that whilst the Royal Navy had been in a desperate campaign on many fronts, captain Morey had seen fit to abandon the privateering operations in Danish waters, and was no longer doing much to help his former RN colleagues. Instead sailing southwest on what he called 'a free booters holiday', to search for a needle in a haystack and skulk around spying on the Dutch. Captain Morey shrugged off such comments. It was at this point that captain Morey decided that when he returned to his post at Coquibacoa he would double his efforts to find Captain Hethwill Eskeath but also decided it was time to cause the Dutch discomfort. He had been polite, patient and helpful and had received several broadsides for his troubles. It was time to give some out. The pirates in the area would get some too.

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log entry

 


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stranded_1.jpg

 

 

 

 

Ninth day of March, Year of Our Saviour Two thousand of sixteen

 

 

Stranded...

 

After the smuggle runs into Dutch territory things got a bit confusing for this simple privateer.

 

Got a message from one of the contacts of the Charleston ring, a fair madame now providing her services in Saint Nicolas, to meet in Mortimer Town.

 

For those that do now know it, Mortimer Town is the most absolutely anarchic and free port in the Main. The true capital of the smugglers, pirates, mercenaries and debauchery. Flying some national colours at large of the town is a death sentence and as I brought the Hyena into port I could sense all these unwashed and raspy voiced captains, which for some reason always prolonged the use of the Rs when speaking, judging me, my ship and my crew. One even asked why would I be commanding such a lowly vessel. I simply ignored the question and pat his shoulder telling a story about a buffalo and a pack of hyenas but given his facial expression I am sure he did not get it.

 

I put all the detail in order with the madame and passed along a order of acquisition for a mutual contact for some specialty built carriages which I personally saw build according to some novelties proposed by my crew which I have been using to a good deal of success. Apparently, because it is impossible to keep this things secret, someone asked for a large order and we supervised the building, the shipping and the delivery. All good. There is a small detail we...forgot to implement in the carriages. Better safe than sorry.

 

After all this I got drawn into a flotilla of like minded captains. From intercepting Royal Navy patrols and Continental Navy privateers, with spectacular success we then moved down to Jamaica.

 

And here things got bad. After a initial successful campaign in which we managed to subtract the Royal Navy off two ships, a super frigate and a fast interceptor, I got trailed by a coastal guard ligt frigate which we proceeded to sink anyway but the damage was done and I had to leave the flotilla and manage to strand the Hyena in a nearby chain of islands.

 

We are proceeding with the repairs as fast as we can but also have to manage the water and food. The Island is nothing more than a nipple in the middle of the sea so there is no water Spring nor any valuable food for a full privateer crew.

 

Let's hope we can set sail back to Saint Nic before our reserves get too low and the season changes and the winds turn into hurricanes.

 

 

Freebooter Captain

Hethwill Eskeath

stranded on the Nipple Island

aboard the privateer Hyena

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Getting stranded on that Island was not the end but maybe the violent hunger and thirst that the captain and its crew were subjected to made them establish a pact to declare war on the world.

 

A new chapter of gruesome piracy, ruthless chase for riches and violent taking of prey under self-imposed "hardcore pirate rules" is about to kickstart.

A starter-pack of pirate ships ( as historical as NA allows ), no cash, nothing on the warehouses. Living in free ports, lost amongst tavern greasy tankards and tuna smelling girls from the brothels, stealing and selling whatever loot will be found.

 

Rules I will be following as much as possible:

 

- record of days at sea versus prey taken and proceedings from selling the loot.

- only pvp, no preying on AI

- only 1 ship at a time. no teleport of captured ships. this brings...

- loot amount will be limited to my ship cargo capacity

- cash is to be divided equally by crew numbers used. I will keep the Captain's share. Rest of money will be given away to someone. example: 600k proceeding, split by 60 crew, I will keep 10k. Rest will be given away.

- Ships used - schooners and brigs. Maximum Rattlesnake Hvy as a upgunned brig simulating Q.A. Revenge type.

- Officer Perks as "historical" as possible for pirates. Meaning rigging master, storage master ( if it affects ship )

- Will play Captain with 10 lives, same as Officers. So can be captured/sunk 10 times before resetting the character.

 

Why ? Piracy is a viable playstyle with no ties to Conquest, Diplomacy or Navy rated ships.

 

as a bonus I leave you a nice little video from a very good little production group.

 

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