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Before the Mast!


Peace with Spain was signed in February 1720. In late April its news arrived to the West Indies, so all the Navies got allied against the common foe – pirates, making their trade more difficult to survive. Which side are you on?

Be ye a pirate, a naval officer, a slave or a lady, you will find a place aboard one of our four ships or live on a paradise island. Men aboard any ship are strongly recommended as first characters, and civilians as secondary ones. No more female sailors are allowed.

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Port de Paix dwellers

The inhabitants of Port de Paix, a French colony, are now busy with celebrating Saint Jean d'Ete and a wedding among the highest nobility. Time for everyone who happens to be in Port de Paix to know them better… and to add your personal flavour to the holiday!



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 Hightower, Thomas, Sailor, British Navy
Thomas Hightower
 Posted: May 20 2017, 12:15 AM

sailor aboard HMS Sovereign
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Thomas Hightower

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Name: Thomas Hightower

Aliases: Hightower

Age and birthday: 23, 2 September 1696

Gender: Male

Rank/ Occupation: Sailor, HMS Sovereign

Current Location: HMS Sovereign

Character PB: Chris Hemsworth

General appearance:
Thomas is a large man, well-muscled and handsome. He stands taller than average with a frame that has been shaped by several years at sea. His work as a sailor has stripped most of the excess weight from him, leaving him will a very well-defined musculature. Usually, he is one of the bigger men on the boat.

Thomas has blue eyes and blond hair. He always has something of a wind-blown look about him as his slightly curly locks are a bit unruly. His face is - as of yet - unmarred by scarring. He has an easy smile that crinkles his eyes at the corners and a grin that is infectious.

Thomas does not have much in the way of clothing. He has a simple pair of sailors trousers that end just below the knee and are slightly ragged and well bleached form the sea and sun. Normally while on board he is shirtless and barefoot. He does own a simple white shirt that has been patched a few times. To make himself more presentable while on shore leave Thomas has a brown leather vest to go over his shirt and a pair of well-worn shoes for his feet.

Thomas does not own a coat, rather he uses his sleeping blanket to cover up during cold night watches or during winter weather.

Thomas might best be described as something of a 'gentle giant'. His easy-going manner endear him to the rest of the crew and he makes friends quite easily. 'Hightower' ,as he is know to his mates, is quick with a kind word or a slap on the back with a joke.

Thomas has a love of the sea and of adventure which has led him to his current post far from home. He enjoys the open ocean especially and often laughs during the highest of storms.

He does his utmost to be a good friend and to be a loyal crewmember.

+ very physically strong
+ charming and likeable
+ learns new skills easily (particularly nautical things)
+ optimistic (sees the best in most situations)

- Somewhat gullible, can be taken advantage of by deceitful people
- Cannot read or write

+ The sea
+ having a good time with friends
+ a good scrape now and then
+ drawing

- liars and cheats
- big cities
- his family

Birth place: Bristol, England

Father Matthew Hightower - Cloth Merchant
Mother Abigail Hightower
siblings none
spouse, children, anybody else none

Thomas Hightower was born into a fairly well-to-do family in the English city of Bristol in 1696.

As the only child of Matthew and Abigail Hightower he was doted-on from birth and was generally thought to have his entire life mapped out for him.
His father was a Cotton and Tobacco merchant in the booming trade in those goods in Bristol and looked to Thomas as his sole heir and natural successor to the business.

Thomas had other ideas. During his early years, he neglected his school work to the point of never actually learning to read or write. A shocking oversight by his parents that went uncorrected. His teachers and tutors were far too frightened of the wrath of Mr. Hightower to admit that Thomas had slipped through the cracks and so they covered for him constantly. His quick wits and friendly smile usually won over anyone given charge of him and he managed to spend a huge amount of his time out of doors, particularly near the ocean.

He spent many hours near the docks watching the shipping trade bustle in and out of Bristol Harbor. He got to know many of the hands aboard certain vessels and a few of the officers as well. His large size while in his early teens led many to over-estimate his age and so he earned some pocket money on the side helping load and unload ships in port.

On the day he reached his majority, Thomas' father sat him down and told him his plans for handing over the family business. Thomas declined the offer, making his father furious. The senior Hightower forbade Thomas from spending any more time at the docks or anywhere he might even see a ship. This, in turn, made Thomas resent his father. He even went so far as to confront him during a dinner party, screaming "I'll never run this company! I hate you and everything this family stands for!"

Thomas gathered what little money he'd hidden away, took the clothes on his back and went to the docks, hiring on as a hand on one of the trading vessels headed for the coast of Africa as part of the slave trade.

Thomas' short career aboard that ship came to end during a severe squall off Cape Verde on the African west coast. The ship ran aground and sank, leaving Thomas floating for many days. He was eventually rescued by a passing British navy ship and was astonished at the difference in life aboard a 'real' ship compared to a slaver.

Thomas vowed he would learn everything he could about life as a proper sailor and began his career in the British Navy.

Weapon Skills: Thomas is quite adept at using his fist in a brawl. His immense strength and size gives him an advantage over most opponents. He can handle a knife adequately, but has never trained in longer blades or any kind of projectile weapons.

Anything else: Thomas is a very skilled artist. He can draw many things, including portraits, with a very life-like quality to them.

Member Info

Player's name: Blades

E-mail, YIM, etc.: paul@mralliance.ca

Player's age: 43

How did you hear about us: Found you through the PBEM page. Was very impressed by the scope and style of the site and was instantly hooked!
 Posted: May 20 2017, 08:52 AM

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Posts: 614

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Welcome aboard HMS "Sovereign"!

Your character is interesting. Looking forward to what adventures he gets into.

At the end of July 1720, HMS "Sovereign" is caught in a battle against the pirates. A hint - you don;t need to read the whole 10 pages thread, it is enough starting from here at the battle scheme.

Join the thread right now, as it is ongoing, while also thinking about opening a thread in Port de Paix on 23-rd or 24-th of June, when the ship is there for Saint John's summer fires festival!

"Goals change a vague dream into a plan of action. Clearly stated goals are the step between what you want and what you get. But goals dependent entirely on the actions of others are destructive."
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Credits. This skin was made by MORU specifically for BEFORE THE MAST and rethemed by MASCHA.
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