Of Pirates and Privateering [RP Thread]
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((Since there's so many locales to pick from, and I'll be inexcusably late for work if I stick around to turn this into an IC post with my charry, just put your character's location in brackets at the top of the post. Not the Subject line mind you, just at the top of the message. For exampe, "," "," "," etc. Oh yes, and remember; anyone interested is to sign up in the OOC / Rules & Sign Up thread))
Captain John Owen strode into the Royal Governor of Jamaica's office on orders of the Admiral, who had said that the Governor needed to speak with him. "Have a seat," the Governor immediately stated in a monotone slur. John consequently obliged and waited for a short while before the Governor spoke. "We have a problem. You see, a Former-French Admiral, by the name of Luc-Tibou Livi'Nion, is giving us quite a bit of hell south of Haiti."
"If he is a 'Former-French Admiral', then how the hell is giving us trouble?"
"Well, you see, just when he retired and we thought the Caribbean was rid of him, he apparently signed a Letter of Marque, and he is now a Privateer. Recently, at least according to our latest reports, he, with his single Corvette, the Lady Orleans, effectively destroyed a small fleet conveying a regiment of the army to Tortuga for an invasion of the French colony there. It consisted of five transport sloops, a light galleon, and a fifth-class. We cannot allow him to continue to ravage our fleet and menace our shipping lanes. Therefore, I am appointing you to the post of Captain aboard the Intrepid, a brand new fifth-class frigate that was specifically built with French Privateers in mind. It is of the Perseverance-class and will be manned with a full crew complement of two hundred and thirty-five men. It is your job to intercept Livin'Nion before he returns to Tortuga, where he will inevitably return for repairs. Your thirty-six ten pounders will not do much to his ship, as it is heavily-armored, but his crew must have suffered at least a few casualties, and I want you to board his ship and use your manpower advantage to overwhelm him. Now, it is rumored that his ship can reach speeds of fifteen knots, so, to be able to keep up with him, we gave the Intrepid advantages over any other frigate in the Navy when it comes to speed, it is capable of ten knots, and, once you get to him, it will be hard for him to put much distance between you and him, that is, as long as you get in front of him to begin with. Now, before he raids another fleet, go, Captain, and bring Livin'Nion to justice!"
"I am honored, governor, I will bring the scum back to Port Royal, where he can face what all privates deserve, to hang in the courtyard, or to rot in the prison. Thank you, good sir, and I will be off as soon as my crew can hoist the sail." As he responded, John rose to his feet, bowed to the Governor and made haste to get out of his sight. He walked briskly to the docks, and was enthralled to hear the ship was ready to set sail. He boarded, and, without looking back, left port. His mind was now set on the Lady Orleans, and he would not rest until it was at the bottom of the sea, or even better, in the hands of the British...
((Damn, nice posts by all. Though they alerted me to a problem I overlooked in the setting, so go visit the rules area again for the exemption given to locales >.> ... ))
Ugh... another slow day...
Nathaniel Drakken was by and large, more bored than he had ever been in his life. Normally he wouldn't take up residence in a port like this so openly, but he hadn't been in the region long... and by his calculations, assuming the closest victims actually managed to get word out that the False Hope was in fact a pirate vessel, he had two things working in his favor. For one, he had a forged copy of an English Letter of Marque still in his possession. Obviously he had to turn the original over when he was ordered to, and thankfully he'd taken measures ahead of time. It was of course possible to figure out it wasn't legitimate, but the odds of any officer examining it that closely was close to nil; and any that decided to take him and his letter to the proper authorities... well, Nathaniel would have to think of something on the fly.
The second factor working in his favor was time. With the winds what they were, the merchant frigate he and the crew of the Hope had ransacked before coming to Port Royal wasn't due to actually arrive in the nearest port for at least another two to four days; and Port Royal for another six to eight. Which meant, for now at least, he could afford to be a little brash. He currently stood at the stern, looking off into town at the market that had been set up not far from the docks by a few of his crew to sell the recently "acquired" goods. Mostly spices, as a vast majority of the lumber and any usable cloth had been left in the Hope's hold in the event any repairs needed to be made in a hurry out at sea. He ignored the racket coming from behind him, as best he could at least, reassuring himself that the work being done on the mast was vital and well worth both the cost AND the headache. After all, it was a sloop; the one mast was all she had before she was dead in the water. Reinforcing it with iron was in the best interest of himself and his crew if they were going to continue testing their luck in the area. He woudl have liked to have a few guns mounted in the stern, and a pair of chase guns certainly met his fancy as well, but right now he was still a little short on finances.
Especially since the market stall that had been set up to sell the stolen goods was coping with worse business than he usually had to contend with. For the past day and a half they'd at least made enough to partially resupply on gunpowder and shot (for culverin and personal arms alike), as well as fully resupply on food and drinkable water. He was beginning to worry to a lesser extent about the British guards that made their rounds through here; evidently the local authorities were starting to crack down on undesirables, and given the fondness the local pirates had for small ships it was no wonder he kept getting the occasional glance from a passing redcoat. He was more than willing to let them inspect the ship to their heart's content, especially since the crew's own hooper had replaced any marked barrels with unmarked ones crafted on the voyage from the trade routes to port, leaving the former in pieces along the way.
Calm down...you've got nothin' to worry about. They wanna come aboard, let 'em. Refusal will only bring trouble...
A chill wind picked up behind the French ship, they were making good time considering the despicable loss in manpower. As they neared the infamous port, my black-flagged ships passed just within telescopic range, normally these were lawless waters, they were pirate's waters.
The black-flagged ships closed in just enough to make out the shape of the also-infamous Corvette, none wished to contend with the third-class, even in her apparently weakened state.
One vessel, however decided to take a closer gander, the fourth-class former English royal ship bore the black cloth of the free-sailors in these treacherous waters, obviously they had not seen nor heard of the former Admiral and his vessel.
Luc was already prepared, the guns were already loaded and every available man at his post with grenade-shot loaded in the front culverines. Two warning shots struck home from sixteen hundred paces, shearing off the frontal-mast and dropping her two triangular sails, the Pirate vessel knew then that it were outclassed in both weaponry and the skill to use it, pulling away with her tail between her legs.
Luc trusted pirates as far as he could throw them, which would only be a few feet. Tortuga was a den of the worst of humanity, not bound by any laws nor dignity as most normal place in the world, it was what men would be like almost as though they were godless, who in Luc's eyes that were true.
He would reach the infamous port by sunlight the next day, but for now, the morning air was a calm cool compared to the heat of yestermorn...
The cargo in the hold was worth more than his earnings in a decade as Admiral, as they say "tous dans le travail d'un jour!" ]
Captain John Owen looked out over the spacious waters of the Caribbean Sea. His mind drifted to the thought of battle with Livi'Nion, a chance to prove yet again that he was the best captain in the Royal Navy. It was around noontime, and Captain Owen decided to grab a bite to eat before the midday inspection of the crew. He walked to the middle of the deck, where there was a stack of crackers that had been brought up from the stores for lunch. He snacked on one or two and then proceeded to march the length of the ship three times. The first he simply observed how well the crew was managing the ship. The second, he inspected their uniforms while they were at attention. And the third, the crew was at ease, and he made idle chat with them.
While he was in the middle of a fascinating discussion with one of his lieutenants, a crewmen in the crow's nest called out in a heavy Scottish accent, "French ship, dead ahead!" John immediately cocked his head to the expansive water in front of the ship. He didn't see anything at first, in the glare of the twelve o'clock sun, but then, focusing his eyes in on a black spot slightly to port, he saw a small ship. Upon further inspection as the the Intrepid closed the gap between the to ships, and with the aid of a telescope, Owen saw that it was a brig of about ten light cannon. The Intrepid was soon side-to-side with the ship, and it surrendered without a fight. Upon interrogating the Captain, John found out that the small ship was only a scout for a larger fleet, and Captain John knew he would have to steer clear of that. Not only was his ship not equipped to take on a whole fleet, but he knew that he needed his ship and crew in tip-top shape if he was to take the Lady Orleans...
The men were growing restless, normally after such a large-scale raid they would be shipping off to French seas though they were vulnerable with such a loss in manpower. The Pirate-Port grew closer with each moment, yet the threat of Pirates was insignificant, they had cleared the Lady Orleans a direvct path after they wounded the Fourth-class with relative ease.
The moon was set high, casting an eery glow on the canvass, the waves were growing unsteady, yet there was no threat of storm. Luc lay swaying in his hammock, fondly openning his hidden locket, gazing at the warming face of his 32-year old spouse. He hadn't heard from her, let alone felt her velvet skin in over eighteen months, she lived in Paris, in as best accomodation as money could buy. Luc wrote to her every month, though never had time to hunt down letters of return, nearly every package he sent had at least one item of significant beauty and value, a gold bracelet here, diamond ring there though he was thankful that she didn't know how he came to possess them, pried from the bloodied hands of the English...
The Voyage was quite uneventful, nightwatchmen were tripled with the looming threat of the Pirates, there wasn't a moment where at least three sails weren't on the horizon.
Sitting up with a groan, replacing his silent secret under his matted beard, Luc leapt out of the hammock nimbly for someone of his age and moved to an old oak chest. From inside a padded-crushed-velvet case came an Italian Cello of the highest quality, carved from maple and teak, gold attachments to compliment the beautiful design, a present from the Master of the Fleet upon Luc's retirement.
As soon as the wand touched the strings, a sound eminated that could bring a tear to even the most hardened of sea-dogs, Luc was no master of the instument, though his skill needed no more encouragement than what the instrument herself offered.
The men in lower decks appreciated the break in the monotony, the sound eminated throughout the rear decks and many hummed along.
To Luc, time had slowed to a crawl as the sound engulfed him, the next thing he realized, was the sun's first light creeping through his cabin-window, time had infact raced...
"Terre sur l'horizon!" the first-watch called, the infamed Ila de Tortue lay in wait before them, the sun behind casting an ornate halo around the otherwise bleak den of sin. ]
Luc regrettably cased and stored his prize possession, making good time to the main deck, his brass and crystal telescopic eyeglass making good detail on the approaching landmass.
"Tortuga..." he muttered under his breath, they would be docking within the hour.
As night engulfed the sea and the Intrepid, Captain John Owen lay sleepless in his bed. This was not unusual for him, as it often occurs when he is on a mission of any importance. He began to realize the governor was foolish to expect him to find the Lady Orleans before it docked at Tortuga. She had such a head start on his ship that, at best, John thought it only possible to catch her leaving port, when she would be strongest. But there would be advantages to that, too. The Lady Orleans would have its back to the shore, so there would be no escape and limited maneuverability for her, or, even better, he would catch the Lady Orleans while it was in port, an opportunity for an almost sure victory. To these thoughts of pride and glory, Owen drifted off to sleep...
As the sun rose over the dark blue sea, the image of five French ships appeared on the horizon, but it was nothing to worry about, as Owen was already aware of the fleet's existence. He had already informed his crew of the protocols that needed to be followed, and the Intrepid's superior speed was more than enough to outmaneuver the large, bulky fleet, and she continued on her way...
((by the way, just to get your bearings: Port royal is to the South-East of Tortuga, Ila De Tortue is among the very top cluster of islands in the Caribbean, believe me, I looked these locations up
(Ooh, sorry, thought Port Royal was in Jamaica.)
In the glare of the morning sun, it took Captain John Owen a little longer than he usually would to find the Lady Orleans in the expansive waters of the Caribbean Sea, but it did not matter too much, as he new what he was looking for, and had the crew at the ready for battle. He yelled to the crew to assume their battle positions. The Intrepid was already in good position for a broadside, and Owen ordered it, bringing to bear eighteen of her twelve pounders. The shots pierced the silence of the open sea; the large, black spheres of death rained down upon the Lady Orleans. The battle had begun!
The initial bombardment did little against the hulking vessel, merely shattering block-and-tackle along with a few souls lost...
Their answer back, however was not as polite... the sixteen thirty-four pound guns roared ferociously, the entire ship bucked under the shock, solid-shot rained down noisy death on the English ship, the range was incredible and only a few shots missed as his crew were masters of naval warfare...
Captain John Owen hit the deck as soon as the shots were fired. This was not a precaution he usually took, but he realized this was not an ordinary cannonade, and the last thing his crew needed was to have their captain killed and take the Lady Orleans themselves. After the bombardment ceased, John rose to survey the damage. Several of the Intrepid's guns had been blown apart, and quite a few of the crew lay sprawled on the wooden planks. Captain Owen now knew he was not going to win a long range battle, even though the Lady Orleans had already been previously damaged. Both sides scrambling to reload, Captain John ordered his crew to turn the Intrepid to the side, out of the way of the majority of the Lady Orleans' gunfire. The Intrepid was now in front of the French Privateer and beginning to turn slightly toward the vessel. The crew was almost ready to board, but John ordered one more artillery barrage before the crew reported to the upper deck.
It was now that Captain John Owen realized he was up against one of the finest when it came to naval captaincy. He quickly realized that his ship was in no shape to chase after Livi'Nion, and he decided to instead return to Tortuga, conquer the island, and confiscate the ship parts that he knew the pirates had for use on the Intrepid...
Luc stood at the stern of the top deck, surveying the rizing smoke that drifted from his wounded adversary as it faded over the horizon. He realized that his men were running thin, of the 67 that accompanied him into Tortuga, only 52 now remained, any more and his ship wouldn't even be able to fire a single broadside as well as keep his ship moving.
The afternoon sun warmed the cold decks, the chill wind died down to a slow, reducing the Lady Orleans to just six knots. Luc consulted his maps, searching for a freindly port from where to hire more men and make complete repairs.
Upon reaching Tortuga, Captain John Owen observed the island. It seemed that the early afternoon was morning to them, as it appeared the pirates were just beginning to rise and go to their daily tasks. This indicated to John that they were up later at night, and slept through the morning. He wanted to get back on Livi'Nion's trail as soon as possible, so he decided the chance for a slight loss of manpower was acceptable. He ordered his crew to take the Intrepid into the port. The pirates quickly became aware of the Royal Frigate, and seemed to quickly rush up to a fort on a hill adjacent to town. Captain Owen ordered the captain of the marine company on his ship to take the fort. The one hundred marines assigned to the Intrepid deployed onto the land, and began marching toward the fort. It was clear the pirates were too vain to fire cannons into the streets where the British were marching, for fear of damaging their own homes filled with gold and other riches they had acquired from their ways of plundering and pillaging. As soon as the marines reached the gate of the fort, a white flag rose up in surrender. Though this was more in fear of a bombardment from the Intrepid, which had its guns trained on the fort as negotiations began to take place between Captain Counterbury and the self-appointed leader of the pirates. In the end, the Intrepid received the supplies it needed and was soon on its way back to the open sea, but the trail to Livi'Nion had grown cold, and Owen knew it would take another defeat of an English ship to learn the new whereabouts of the Lady Orleans...
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