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Thoughts of a Transylvanian


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This is my first post of perhaps a series of creative writing.  It is to be taken in the context of the 18th Century, and any response on it would be appreciated in a like manner.  Ideally, this thread will be moderated under the new ideals of National News, however those manifest.  I would request that any trolling or overly harsh language be moderated by self or by staff.

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With the wipe in place, it seemed time to get back on the horse and write.  For some reason, Open Office would not format this correctly, even after trying to fix it for a good half hour.  Apologies for the first paragraph being mis-aligned on account of it.

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(Raw text below for those who use a translator service)

 

Thoughts of a Transylvanian

2.  Renegade Rue Op

    I found myself upon a hunt recently, and as these woods do facilitate introspection, I once again contemplated the world around me.  There has been a cataclysmic shift – people flood to the New World, faces I have never seen, borders shifting once again.  The march westward of “Civilization.”

    I met upon my travels a Seneca, with whom I continued in good company.  What had him so far south and west of his home, I can only imagine to be the displacement of those Europeans fleeing their homeland.  “Civilization” brings with it many strange beasts, but the ugliest of all is its insistence on its own rectitude.  This Seneca I was with had been forced from his ancestral homelands, and laid out his plight:  Since the Revolution, those self-styled “Americans” aggressively moved past the Appalachian chain.

    I, too, traveled westward as a younger lad.  Yet it was the desire to be away from the government – then British, rather than the desire for a different government – now American, that drove me west.  The Seneca and I, then, had that much in common.

    He spoke of a desire to strike back at those who would slash into the land, rather than use it wisely, and invited me to a council meeting.  Before I knew it, I was in charge of a brig to strike out at those who desecrate our land.  I sailed on behalf of the Iroquois Confederacy.

    This raises an interesting query:  Does this make me Iroquois?  They do not have the same idea of “citizenship” as the Europeans would.  They have accepted me into their fold, and I do fight on their behalf.  It follows then, that I must be.

    My first cruise against the Americans was a learning experience, however, the second one proved highly effective.  Four of their merchants struck under my guns, 1000 tons of Fir Logs, evidence of the rapine of Hah-nu-nah, were listed in the manifest of one.  900 tons of iron in the manifest of another.  125 coats of the nöganyá’göh, destruction as mere declaration of wealth for those of Europe.

    This spoiling of the greed of the Americans was met with impotent vengeance.  Though they sent their fastest frigates after me, none were fast enough.  Twice they attempted to chase, twice they were evaded.  Each time, the commissioning pennant of one Captain Aventador seemed in the forefront.  Each time, his diligence was spoiled.

    The Americans, while enraged, seemed almost too lazy to care as well.  Though numerous were in my path, they entirely ignored the chase in their midst.  When one would be sailed past, they would finally notice something amiss and fall into the lee of the pursuing squadron.  The signal books of the Voodoo Shipping Company were apparently out of date, as they could not even communicate among themselves with a frigate to the fore and a frigate aft of me.

    This finally brings me to my musing.  The European (and the American cannot be distinguished here), is marked by greed.  Insatiable, lustful greed.  So long as their individual profit margins are not harmed, the world can fall apart around them and it would not so much as pique their interest.  This destruction of the New World is precisely what the Iroquois desire to be aggravated and diminished.  My own views mirror.

    I do not know if the waters will keep me along the American coast.  I understand Cuba is the crown jewel of Spanish conquest.  Jamaica of the British, whose Monarch has become even more senile in his dotage, though his subjects gladly toast him daily.  The French, though they themselves must be extirpated, seem to work hard to do that to themselves, if the newspapers are correct.  Yet these are all mere musings of the future.  For now, the greed of the European will be the clarion call to action.  Quiet nights at sea will provide ample fodder for my contemplations. 

    Renegade Rue Op.

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(Raw text below for translating purposes)

 

Thoughts of a Transylvanian

3.  A Splicer Scoffing

     Since time of last writing, I have met with success upon success. I found myself more and more comfortable with larger vessels, until finding what I believe to be the ultimate vessel for my purposes. As such, a Surprise class frigate was made with certain particulars in mind, and set forth upon its predations of the American coast.

     Why the American coast? Simply put, their avariciousness puts them contrary to treaties they themselves signed. The 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua specified the limits of the Iroquois reserve, and a payment of $4,500 per annum in perpituity. Surprising to none, the payments have stopped and the settlers, moving ever west-ward, have encroached. It is my solemn duty, then, to take the land back one plank at a time, and the payment one piece of cargo at a time.

     This leads to interesting scenarios, which will be arrived at shortly. Since returning with the independent cruiser Pipe Axe, four mercantile brigs, one mercantile frigate, one Snow, one Mercury-class brig, and two Surprise-class frigates have fallen to my guns. Sixteen scalps have been collected, which only the highest ranking officers of their respective vessels (being representatives of their government) having to part with theirs. In cargo, fifty pennants denoting various minor actions (the merchant carrying must have been bringing them to a city for distribution), 250 tons of coal, 450 tons of gold, 40 small carriages, guns of varying sizes, and likely other odds and ends forgotten about or sent to the deep. Head money of about 100,000 in specie, and materials to keep the Pipe Axe in good condition.

     Of these humorous scenarios, the sinking of the Mercury-class brig is the first to come to mind. Coming to the aid of one signaling as “Shanon the Cannon” in a Surprise-class frigate, this “Shanon” was doing her first work-up cruise, and asked for succor. Allowing her to return home, the Mercury that came to her aid was quickly struck down, her two senior officers scalped.

     Another has to do with the distribution of cargo. Already, an American prize agent serves to sell captured American goods back to the American people – the Iroquois stand to profit, of course. No doubt, the American individual greed will be the downfall of the American whole.

     On my final short journey before putting quill to parchment for this series of thoughts, a small schooner was seen. Giving chase, it revealed at hand another mercantile brig. Changing course to attack the brig, the schooner, bearing the squadron flag of the “Tattered Flags” and the Captain's pennant of “SV Elnora,” continued on, either unwilling, unable, or unaware – though we passed at only medium cannon shot.

     What then, can be concluded from this long hunt? American individuality has fractured the nation already. They are only too happy to sacrifice another for the safety of themselves. While the nation continues its westward conquest, its home waters are easily preyed upon – a rich underbelly only too happy to be eviscerated. Other independent cruisers have already started to show up to these self-same waters.

     A Splicer Scoffing.

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian

4. Fiercest Ship Moths

To start with, I suppose I ought to list the damages wrought upon that perfidious foe – the Americans. Over the past few days, vessels of all stripes have fallen prey to the Pipe Axe. One Lynx, outfitted for cargo, ten of the mercantile Brigs, four Navy Brigs, two Snows, one La Grosse Venture, one Surprise, and one Indiaman. Between hull value and cargoes, it seems that one million in specie's worth of damages, split roughly between the Iroquois Confederacy, and one enterprising American that is not too ashamed to sell the captured goods of his countrymen back to them.

It does not seem that they have gotten much better in their attempts at capture, as the vast majority of these captures or sinkings have occurred in or around Charleston Harbor, the current seat of their government. In one instance in particular, nineteen vessels of various sizes sallied out to capture or sink the Pipe Axe, to no avail.

Of those captured or sank, twenty-one scalps now dry for presentation and exchange. My American fence desires thirty, though that fratricide is acceptable in the pursuit of wealth serves as potent example as to why this war is waged in the first place. Perhaps, one day, the Americans will come to terms – exchange a port to serve as coastal seat of the Iroquois Confederacy – with lands to support it, and pay the agreed upon sum annually, as seen in the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua.

However, these are merely the current events. I should offer some of my own musings.

There is one overwhelming drive in any Captain worth the salt he or she sails upon. The ship must always come first. Many a frigate duel has ended with my own decision to break off the fray. Certainly, a winnable situation, but the risk is not worth the possibility of victory. As such, these brawls often end indecisively.

Yet, this ship has seen many a vessel strike its colors. No replacement vessel has been needed, as it has yet to be sank, scuttled, or captured. A mix of caution and aggression must always be present in a Captain's mind, and readily be able to determine which of the two to listen to. In my experiences, sticking around for one last broadside “just to see if it will turn the tide” only ends in disaster. These tides are not usually so easily turned, and the rare chance that it does? The pursuit of such makes one more fit for a gambling hall than Captain of a ship of war.

Similarly, I have seen Captains attempt to affect repairs while in the midst of exchanging broadsides. This seems raving lunacy to me. In an attempt to re-reeve rigging, they take valuable crew from the guns, and make the repairs of shot holes delayed as the material is shifted around. Vice versa for those repairing shot holes while still firing. Never once have I seen hasty repairs, began in gunsmoke, alter the course of the engagement.

My own advice to these Captains is that these repairs should be completed only while disengaging from the fray, so as to rest your men, reload your guns, and keep the barky floating another day.

Fiercest Ship Moths

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian

5.  Gory Deeds Rest

An eventful period that deserves writing upon.  The burnt and sank tallies as such:  Merchant Brig – 5.  Brig – 2.  Navy Brig – 2.  Mortar Brig – 1.  Snow – 2.  Merchant Snow – 1.  Surprise – 1.  Cherubim – 1.  Indefatigable – 2.

Havana has been reoccupied by the Native Tribes.  In light of the abdication of the Caribbean by the Spanish, it seems only right that we should re-assert our claims here.  Already, people are beginning to respect the flag.  In light of this move, and with desire to allow the United States to rebuild its mercantile fleet, a move was made to the south, to view those wild shores that fly the black.

Unfortunately, though hunting was originally good here, a series of long chases resulted in the strangest of things.  Each time the vessels were left in the dust, new ones would seemingly appear from nowhere.  Though this went on for four full revolutions of the wind, they finally caught the Pipe Axe, somehow appearing ever closer and ever more numerous, until the vessel was captured.

It had, in fact, a very good run.  On review, fifty vessels were prized, sank, or burnt before she herself was captured.  Estimates in damages vary, but it seems ten million in specie is an appropriate number.  Much was learned in my first vessel of this size, and the next, made in her image, has a number of improvements marked.  However, this latest vessel lacks a name, and as such, lacks spirit.  It will require some pondering to mark out the proper name for her.

In other news, two of the largest and most experienced squadrons are abandoning their nations.  The Tattered Flags squadron and the Voodoo Shipping Company, both of the United States, have abandoned their former masters.  Much as Benedict Arnold did, they have taken up the British Colors.  Perhaps they too will experience Damnatio memoriae.  The bizarrely named squadron, “No Pants Guys,” instead of entirely defecting, instead made a deal with the British exclusive to the rest of their nation.  Strange times for the United States.  In their weakness, it is not worth scalping their officers.

However, enough with the greater political scheme.  It is of little relevance to the Free Tribes.  Allow a slight bit of musing on my part:  Merchants always seem to return to their Capital with full hulls, yet they only ever depart with empty ones.  Perhaps they might be wiser to not sail in ballast, but to carry a cargo of their national goods and smuggle them into a port, whence they can return with smuggled goods in turn.

This lacks the grace and elegance of a philosophical thought, so, allow another one.  When the Europeans arrived to the Americas, they worked under the thoughts of Locke, though he would not write his until the mid 1600s.  The idea that value of land is done through improving the land is a good one.  Thus, every person should improve the land, and by doing so, make it better for all.  This idea of collection of “wealth” through land improvement is one that we mastered in the Americas without the aid of the European.

However, the European did add another layer to this:  Specie.  Specie does not rot if it goes unused.  It does not go to waste.  Waste was Locke's great limiter.  No more.  The collection of wealth remains center-stage for thought today, but it is divorced from the idea of “waste.”  As such, the destruction of land, opposite to the good Locke could have brought, is seen in a pursuit of rapid wealth acquisition.  This abject greed must be rooted out.

Remove the greed, and the European ceases to exist.

Gory Deeds Rest

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian

6. Deface Yore Imp

There is little of note to make mention of, as far as the Ship's log is concerned. One Indefatigable-class frigate was captured off of the Yucatan. Another was fought by Belize, though a merchant brig, bearing the same pennant as Captain Shanan the Cannon of the Tattered Flags squadron, valorously rammed my as yet unnamed vessel. This proved important, as it took me off my station, and caused the engagement to have to be broken off. If not for this un-armed merchant's ram, surely, another Indefatigable-class frigate would have been captured. The latest patrol has been otherwise uneventful, though useful for scouting purposes.

However, there is other news that has me set to my contemplations. The Danes have apparently established a client state in the French nation. The British, bolstered by their numbers from their American traitors, have declared war upon the Americans, only stating that they “promise” not to go “too far.”

These two things in isolation do not seem of concern to one such as myself. However, the Danes and the British have agreed to not interfere with each other's designs. This is what has set my mind to its musings.

Abu Zaid ibn Mahommed ibn Mahommed ibn Khaldun, (henceforth to be referred to as “Ibn Khaldun”), of Tunis, wrote on the decay of empires in Prolegomena. He writes of the three generations of empires:

The nomadic stage, with hardened warriors and communal solidarity.

The settled stage, with authority in few, and the echoes of their former prowess.

The cowardly stage, with the pagentry of the past but none of the ability.

The Free Tribes, for example, firmly reside in the first stage. We travel as we see fit, fighting those who would oppose us, and most often coming the victor. We do not seek the conquest of land, as it is anathema to our way of life.

The Danes and the British are not nomads. They “conquer” lands merely by planting flags. True battles are few and far between. What they have in numbers they lack in skill. Perhaps there are echoes of their former glory within their ranks - some few shining examples of ability. However, these are not uniform. They seem to be somewhere between the settled stage and the cowardly stage. They have seen the greatness of their forebears.

Of the third stage, Ibn Khaldrun writes that they “are so addicted to luxurious pleasures that they have become a burden on the state; for they require protection like women and young boys.” We see this often with the British, as they sail in massive fleets for mutual protection. Individual skill is less necessary than the appearance of power. “They impose on the people by their bearing and uniform, their horsemandship, and the address with which they maneuver. It is but a false show: they are in general greater cowards than the most helpless women, and will give way at the first assault.” A frigate, sailing in amongst the thick, can wreck great execution and escape before capture or destruction. Merchants in particular are prone to thinking in terms of personal safety rather than ability – Shanan the Cannon excluded.

Of the Danes I have little to say, as I have not yet visited their waters. They must rest within the second or the third generations.

Deface Yore Imp

 

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian

7.  Flame Peers Om.

This past week or so, I have patrolled many waters far and wide, sinking, capturing, or burning vessels under many a flag.  The list is as follows:  

Of the United Provinces
One Constitution-class heavy frigate
Two Indiamen

Of the French
Two Merchant Brigs
One Cerberus-class light frigate
One Cherubim-class frigate

Of the United Kingdom
Five Merchant Brigs
One Brig
Two Snows
One La Grosse Venture-class armed transport
Three Renommee-class light frigates
Two Surprise-class light frigates
Two Indiamen
One Indefatigable-class heavy frigate

Of the Pirates
One Surprise-class light frigate

There is little of import in these sinkings.  Two vessels sold, one kept, the rest sank.  Profit in cargoes of approximately 400,000 pounds sterling.  Further, I believe that I have learned every trick there is to know of my own light frigate, though I suspect I can always hone my own edge.

Two particularly notable events:  The Captain appearing in the signal books as “Norfolk nChance,” commanding officer of the British Indefatigable-class heavy frigate, suffered a devastating rake of grape at pistol shot.  On interviewing survivors afterwards, some two hundred plus are estimated to have been wounded or killed in that pass.  She was forced to strike soon after.

The Captain appearing in the signal books as “Koltes” of the “BLACK” squadron was sank by the dual effort of the Captain “Marcus Maturin” and myself.  Koltes proceeded to combat this British Captain, either not noticing or not caring of my presence on the same waters.  He was sunk for his efforts.  Marcus Maturin, the day after, or perhaps the day after that, met a similar fate in the self-same Surprise-class light frigate at my own hands.

There are two political aspects I am interested in myself, though I fear only the first will be written this day.  That focus will be the squadron known as the Rovers.  These Captains, ah, if only I could induce them to join with the Free Tribes.  They are renowned throughout the Caribbean.  Their loyalties, however, seem strictly with the Revolutionary French government.

How revolutionary could it be, however?  There is merely a new king in charge, a self-styled “Emperor,” no different than the barbarian kings of European history.  He has taken what he desired through conquest.  The ideals of Liberté, égalité, and fraternité seem to extend only so far as is conducive to the French Empire.  It is the same mob rule that Plato warned of in his Republic.  The Democracy devolved into Tyranny, as if they read his work as a guide, rather than a warning.

It seems wise to break here, to outline Plato, and see how it parallels France.  In Book IX of his Republic, Plato writes that from oligarchy the rich bleed the poor dry, and even those in higher echelons of society are subjugated to the highest.  The poor strike these individuals down, and share out the power to each other forming a democracy.  Yet eventually, in Democracy, Plato writes, “When a democracy which is thirsting for freedom has evil cupbearers presiding over the feast, and has drunk too deeply of the strong wine of freedom, then, unless her rulers are very amenable and give a plentiful draught, she calls them to account and punishes them, and says that they are cursed oligarchs.”  From there they are tossed out, trials, counter-trials, and one person starts to come to the lips of the people as a protector.  This person, then, becomes the tyrant.  With the mob at his back, he sheds blood until he is secure in his power, or perishes in the pursuit of his goals.

So to have we seen France descend from elder statesman to frenzied lunatic.  Thus, it is with sadness that the Rovers have not come to experience the true realization of the ideals they espouse, that very same  Liberté, égalité, and fraternité that have succumbed to the Corsican – cast aside like so many corpses.

Their Civil War has extended to these Caribbean isles as well.  Why would it not?  There are rumors the Emperor will visit to heap awards upon these Captains.  They well deserve it for their martial prowess.  I suspect, however, this is mere scuttlebutt.  It makes little sense for Napoleon to travel to this part of the world, and pulls him away from his campaigns in Europe.

While the Rovers are deserving of their accolades, it is with sadness I report of them, for they support this same passing of ideals in supporting their Emperor.  The blood of all those innocents lost stains evenly the hands that continue to support that regime.

The Rovers are skilled, but they are not innocent.

Flare Peers Om.

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With this next one, I would like to encourage anyone wishing to discuss these articles to feel free to do so.  (It can grow boring just writing to a mute audience.)

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian

8. Aria Drawn Fine

These past two weeks have been filled with intelligence work. Scouting out other areas to hunt, patrol, and otherwise explore. I believe that I have now sailed past every single coast in the Caribbean, and broader Mid-Atlantic region. This has offered me a feel for various regions and their hunting grounds. As such, the list of vessels captured or sunk is short:

Of the United Kingdom:

Two Cherubim-class Frigates

Of the Pirates:

One Surprise-class Frigate

One Indiaman

One Indefatigable-class Heavy Frigate

This leads to my series of thoughts. The late struggles in Europe have brought about a term that is now well familiar to any military sort: Guerrilla war. This is meant to be “Little” war. Yet, this style of warfare did not originate in the Peninsula. Any veteran of those wars termed, “The Revolutionary War,” the “American War for Independence,” the “French and Indian War,” or simply the American theater of the “Seven Years War,” will be familiar with the style of warfare.

Indeed, the “woods” war, or fighting “in the Indian style” is well known to many in the Adirondack Mountains. However, it does not have to be limited to terrestrial matters. Indeed, those of a more sea-going nature can learn much from this style of warfare.

The first idea of a war in the woods is to be maneuverable. It does not do you any good to be tied to a long baggage chain, nor to be a slow, lumbering, large force. It is true, that such a force will only be harassed by those among the trees, but the added cost of maintaining a supply line in such conditions will serve to slowly strangle those who depend upon it.

The second idea is to strike unexpectedly. This means attacking from different directions, in different locations, near to home, and far from home. If the enemy gives contradictory locations or descriptions, all the better. It is often best to leave no survivors, though there is rarely harm in collecting the occasional scalp or two before departing.

The third idea is to know the lay of the land. By knowing hills, trees, and streams, you can successfully lay ambushes and rapidly escape.

The fourth idea is to strike where the enemy is weak, and avoid the enemy where they are strong. Any fight that the enemy wants to have is a fight that you do not. Disorientation and broken morale matter far more than the maneuverings and skill of arms that you might personally display.

The fifth idea is to not get bogged down with plundering baggage. Your success will be rewarded regardless of whether you take the commander's personal valise. Do not allow your enemy the time to organize against you.

These ideas directly apply to the seafaring individual. It is, of course, up to the individual to read and interpret this, and pull their own meaning.

Aria Drawn Fine.

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I like especially the layout of the psyche of the empire making as you well layout on the number 6, lest we forget the individual resourceful captains that rows against the established complications as lay out by the so called councils and relative safety of PvE grounds and sails far and wide to bring discomfort to the empires in the 2nd and 3rd stages.

The bravery of the Iroquois Free Tribes is a inspiration to the corsairs of Saint Malo. In truth the Emperor considers the Iroquois a friend and a valorous opponent if it comes to that.

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I am honored by the responses, particularly from the honorable and able French.  So, too, do the Free Tribes consider the French friends and valorous opponents!

This next installment is less philosophical, and more practical.  However, I hope it is still of use and interest.

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian

9. God Never Nu.

I have spent this past week in a lighter vessel, the last Surprise-class frigate sunk out when overreaching for a 3rd Rate Ship of the Line. The Niagara-class brig has worked well for hunting in the waters about Inagua Island. As such, the following is a list of those captured, sank, or otherwise destroyed:

Of the Pirates:

Ten Mercantile Brigs (Two of the “BLACK” Squadron)

One Navy Brig

One Surprise-class Frigate

One Cherubim-class Frigate

Cargoes consisteted primarily of iron ore, to the measure of some 4,000 tons. Other things of note: Sheathing for Copper Plating, Arabian Coffee, and equipment for Rigging. As always, tons of materials for repairing at sea – always important.

My thoughts today are less obscure, and perhaps more practical: Waisters. Every vessel needs a complement of waisters – ideally trained to take on any task, certainly, however unaffiliated with a watch otherwise.

This serves the ever valuable purpose of replacements. Let us examine an army, as it is more familiar to many.

An army Battalion will typically consist of ten companies, one of Grenadiers, one of Light Infantry, and the remaining eight of “hatmen.” Within those companies, you will not find a slew of Sergeants and Corporals – each irreplacable and with varied roles. Instead, you will find dozens of entirely replaceable “Privates.” Should one fall, the unit does not retreat. What a ludicrous vision this offers!

So to, it is strange to organize a vessel of war around a series of unreplacable individuals. If every crew member has a job – what is the Captain to do when one falls? Does the Captain retreat? Does he or she suffer the vessel to be inefficient?

In my observations, there is a pandemic. Captains chronically overgun their vessels, making them bow-heavy and sluggish to respond. Casualties are catastrophic to the orderly operations of the vessel. She becomes a vessel that is unwilling and unable to take casualties – a glass toy afraid to be broken rather than the vessel of war it was made to be.

God Never Nu.

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Well, it is the hardcore survival mode for any player wanting to put itself to the test and live of the land.

Respect to both independent states, Iroquois and Dave.

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian
10.  Barbaric Veneers


A great cataclysm has taken place.  Two worlds have collided, not unlike the fated day that Europeans first set upon our shores.  Who and where these individuals hail from, I do not know.  New flags grace the waters.  New vessels are fitted out.  New Captains pilot these vessels.

So to are my braves an experience for them.  They are unfamiliar with the bush war of the Haudenosaunee.  This has proven advantageous.

I have fitted out a Surprise-class frigate and taken war to the lands that once belonged to the pyramid builders.  Of the British, the following vessels have been taken, burned, or destroyed – the scalps of all officers down to the Midshipmen taken as prizes.

One Mercantile Lynx, with two Mercantile Brigs in escort
One Mercantile Brig
One Surprise class frigate
One Cherubim class frigate
One Indiaman
Two Indefatigable class frigates
One Agamemnon class frigate

My people have received a diplomatic legation from, and have established an embassy with the Commonwealth of Poland.  Their ideals closely align with ours.  While we will miss our Cuban shores, the people from this new world have been bluntly unwelcoming, unwilling to share even the slightest bit of food or drink with the Haudenosaunee – or indeed anyone that is not of their caste.  They seem to wish to recreate the conditions endured by the pyramid builders.  We do not desire to share their fate.

And so, the cruises of my own frigate have thus far shown successful.  Indeed, merchants of Poland have seen fit to construct an Endymion class frigate on similar lines to take the combat to the enemy.  It has already experienced early success with a Polish task force seeking to delay and harass a British fleet.  This force was able to capture, with my own direct assistance:

One Cherubim class frigate
One Wasa class third rate
One Victory class first rate
And other vessels without my direct involvement.

Where the coming weeks will take this new Endymion class frigate remains to be seen.  However, at the end of the day they will see to the destruction of European shipping within this hemisphere.

Barbaric Veneers.
 

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian
11.  Cozen Orient Top


    There is a strange thing that has happened in the Free Tribes' time afloat.  Some strange new technology discovered by everyone in the Caribbean save the Polish, the Russians, and the Prussians.  It seems that, within range of certain advanced ports, ships are able to reveal 1st Rate Ships of the Line as if they had fallen from the sky themselves.  It is very bizarre, but has had interesting ramifications.
    For example, the Captains of the various navies with these technologies never stray far from their home ports.  I have sailed the length and breadth of the Caribbean, and see little until I come upon these particular ports.  Then, it is a bustle of activity!  Just on the water alone I see tens, sometimes scores of vessels, with likely more in port.
    These Captains have no reason to ever leave these areas.  They run their crew through drills, yet never actually take their vessels to sea, proper.  Those who do leave are manifestly unprepared.  They have no combat experience, yet are festooned with important titles and military rank.  They are issued well-founded vessels, some of the most advanced the world has ever seen, and quickly lose them, for they have never learned the art of sailing.
    These nations should feel shame at the abysmal state of their Captains, yet they do nothing to rectify it – instead hoping that a mysterious “other” will do their bidding for them.  In Thoughts #6, “Deface Yore Imp,” I referenced the thinker Ibn Khaldun, and his theory on the stages of empire.  Here we have seen that third stage, the cowardly stage, made standard.  As Ibn Khaldun writes, they “require protection like women and young boys.”
    The Russians, by contrast, have rapidly moved through their nomadic stage and are approaching their settled stage.  There are few leading voices in the community, from what I have ascertained, however they have an extraordinarily soft underbelly in Kidd's Island and Bermuda.  Distance has made them feel safe, and as such they sail like Englishmen.  When they are sunk, scant, if any, reinforcements come out to so much as investigate.  The Russians seem apathetic.
    It is easy enough to sail into these waters.  Hundreds of miles lay between the nearest free port and these locations.  One is not even on the map.  However, distances once extraordinary by foot have been made commonplace by sail.  The Europeans are simply too lazy to let the wind carry them, a bizarre enough thought that I cannot help but to remark upon it.  It is no wonder that they are tied to their baggage trains on land.
    The Commonwealth of Poland have yet to see the benefits of the Long Hunt.  Here they require training in the ways of the Haudenosaunee.  Yet, this training will come.  They come by day and by night, and the ranks of the Pierogi steadily swell.

    It is necessary to make an accounting of recent activities:

Led Polish Task Force from Great Corn to Tumbado.  Spotted one Victory, one Santisima, two Indiamen within their technological superiority region.  No other vessels spotted.

With Captain “Katastophic” sank one Swedish Trincomalee class frigate.

Independently:

Of the British:
One La Grosse Venture class merchant vessel with 1600 tons of Tobacco.
One Constitution class heavy frigate

Of the Russians:
One Mercantile Brig
One La Grosse Venture class merchant vessel
Two Surprise class frigates

    Approximately twenty scalps were collected by my braves during this Long Hunt, though a full accounting will be had once we return to port.  The past thirty days at sea have been eminently successful, and will likely be repeated as a self-financed venture.

Cozen Orient Top

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian


12.  Ax Thud Yin Sty

There has been another long hunt, with different stages making the whole. Some defenses around Les Cayes, in which the Captain known in the signal books as “HachiRoku” was captured with the efforts of Captains “Latron,” “Davos Seasworth,” and “Parchin.” “HachiRoku” and his officers were spared to man the vessel as it was returned to port and turned over for use by the Polish. A long hunt with a task force up to Rio Seco, which was cut short due to falling in with a Spanish fleet. Some scouting around Charleston, which had numerous American Captains in chase. Finally, patrolling by Bermuda, in which much tonnage was sunk.

 

To account for the successes as a group:

 

Of the British:

One Trincomalee class heavy frigate

One Belle Poule class frigate

 

Of the Pirates:

One Snow

 

Of the Spanish:

One Mercantile Brig

 

Individual successes are as follows:

 

Of the British:

One Bellona class 3rd Rate

One Indefatigable class heavy frigate

One Cherubim class frigate

One Prince de Neufchatel

 

Of the French:

One Endymion class frigate

 

Of the United States:

One Indiaman

 

Of the Russians:

One Indiaman

One Essex class frigate

One Surprise class frigate

One Renomee class frigate

One La Grosse Venture class merchant

One Mercantile Snow

One Mercantile Brig

One Mortar Brig

The Trincomalee, as noted, was captained by “HachiRoku,” while the Bellona and Prince de Neufchatel were baited in close enough to a fort to be smashed to pieces by the Polish gunners. Alas, these same gunners would not allow my Braves to collect any scalps. On the Russian mercantile brig, a handbook titled “Expert Carpentry” was found in the hold, which might be worth more than a few scalps. Perhaps I should study it myself?

These Russians often set traps in order to catch my vessel, and presumably, myself. None were successful, though one was close – headed by a the Captains “Skmarsh” and “Christendom” as they appear in the signals books. They had the weather gauge, and there was a leeward fort. Though we shredded each others sails, as the wind turned an avenue of escape opened up, threading the needle between two heavier frigates and a square fort. It was a thrilling chase, and a daring escape.

There is news within the Polish front as well. Two Captains, “Cr33d” and “Vazco” have defected to the Prussians. In doing so, they exposed Saint Louis to capture by the British. There are negotiations in place to attempt to recover this port, however, it seems foolish to gather ports when you could gather scalps instead. Yet, this is for those strange two-faced, jelly-spined beasts known as “politicians” to sort out. I am content to hunt.

This hunt has been, by all accounts, a success. I have not yet counted scalps collected, yet it seems there are more than a few drying by the taffrail. We have been sixty three days at sea, as we currently mark it. Lest they become overhunted, it seems time to leave the Russians alone to once again become complacent and fatten up for the slaughter. The next series of hunts are already planned.

Ax Thud Yin Sty.

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Thoughts of a Transylvanian


13.  Old Drums

I am uncertain how I desire to begin this pamphlet.  It has been a fairly unremarkable series of cruises these past two weeks.  I have worked with other members of the Commonwealth, I have sailed my usual paths, and I have even assisted in the taking of a port.  However, these are little excitement enough.  We have put word out that we seek new braves for the Free Tribes, however, thus far the call has gone unanswered.  Such is life.

At the very least, I shall start with a listing of those vessels which have sunk.

As part of a task force:

Of the Prussians:
One Endymion class frigate

Of the French:
One Surprise class frigate

Independently:

Of the British:
One Agamemnon class heavy frigate
One Essex class frigate
One La Grosse Venture class merchant
Three Mercantile Lynxes

Of the Russians:
One Endymion class frigate
Two Cherubim class frigates
One Surprise class frigate
One La Grosse Venture class merchant
One Privateer schooner

Some of these encounters deserve special mention.  The Prussian Endymion was the former Commonwealth Captain "@vazco" There was much celebration in Les Cayes after his vessel was sunk.  My braves were only able to scalp two or three of his officers before being stopped by the other Commonwealth sailors who do not appreciate our ways.

The French Surprise was Louis XVI, a monarch of France who struts a foot too tall for his body.  He was accompanied by a second Surprise which unfortunately escaped Captain "@Davos Seasworth" and myself.

Davos Seasworth, a strange name if I ever heard one (he must be from an exotic place), is perhaps less appropriately called “Captain” and more appropriately called “Viscount” or some such nonsense formal title, as he successfully led the capture of some port or another in the south.  I assisted here by shelling the town, so as to break morale before my braves went ashore.  This seemed strangely unappreciated by the Commonwealth Captains.  A strange bunch.

The Russian Endymion was an interesting fight.  I was so impressed by the British Essex that I was doing workups with my crew in one of my own.  This was simply a trial vessel, however, the best trial is of course by combat.  The Russian, a Captain of the “VCO” squadron (a squadron that is neither Dutch, nor in the East Indies, nor a Company) listed in the signal book as “@Forlorn Hope" did set about this trial Essex in good fashion, as we exchanged numerous broadsides.  I believe he was carrying long 18's to my 32lb carronades, but the gunfire of the Essex soon overwhelmed him.  As he attempted to break off, his planking splintering to nothing, the very beams of his vessel started taking damage, forcing him to slow.   His planking unable to resist my carronades, even at rifle shot distance, and his beams exposed, I was able to finish him off, though unable to send a crew aboard to inspect the vessel before it went under.

The VCO squadron, as a whole, however, have often given me grief in Bermuda.  Though the various squadrons such as RUS and USSR are slow to respond to my presence, VCO routinely organizes quickly and effectively, spreading sail in such a diverse group of vessels that it is difficult to find a heading that allows an escape.  This of course has to factor in how I manage my long patrols.

Old Drums.

@DesMoines - I think you're Louis XVI referenced in this?  (Not entirely certain.)
@Christendom - For references to VCO.

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