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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.

We are not the usual sandboxy RPG, neither a narrative-driven one, but a story-focused writing community where each actively writing character can make a difference and an impact on the overall plot. We are writing collaboratively a coherent story with many sideplots aside of it. We also have guides to help you with the time setting, and are more influenced by historical events rather than following them by the history books!

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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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aka LA CACICA - First mate of the "Rising Sun"
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Anani Fireflint

Pirates

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Dec 1 2016, 05:02 AM
Date: 23-th to 24-th of June 1720
Place: Basse Terre, Tortuga


- continued from here -


This was an odd habit of hers, to attend a party in support of her friends but avoid everyone once she actually got there. The same had happened at the wedding of Angel and Honey; in fact there were more than a few similarities there, as she had also worn a dress then and had turned down invitations to join in. And then she had caught the bouquet, but as with much else she did not choose to put very much thought into that tradition.

Her thoughts were broken by Sol’s question, and she turned to find him standing next to her with an orange in his hand. She was somewhat aware of the idea of feeding mermaids - not of what the custom meant or where it had even originated from, just that many sailors she had met seemed to hold mermaids in high regard. As a girl, just growing into her place as a pirate, she had occasionally been called a mermaid - when she wasn’t being called a “curse” - but as she grew away from being that expected sort of soft and warm female the comparisons largely ended.

She gave him a small smile. The two weeks that had passed between the seizure of the Rising Sun and the release of the captured pirates had been a long time to go without seeing the majority of the crew, especially when having been sequestered with only Sara and Sabelline for much of it, and the questioning and torture she had endured. But Sol and the crew had rescued them. Not that she fully agreed with the way he had accomplished that, but it certainly beat wasting away in a cell, torture, and the eventual execution.

“Yes, if you’re sharing,” she said with a small chuckle, still a bit distant and lost in thought, her mind now on the most recent few days - the exchange of prisoners, her return to the crew, Maribel’s care of her. It was the first time she had taken in everything to consider as a whole.

She glanced at Sol again. “I’m not sure I ever said ‘thank you’ to you and the others for rescuing us,” she said, meaning that as gratitude despite phrasing it in an indirect manner.
Feb 3 2016, 01:53 PM


Journal Entry #1
26 April 1720, nightfall, aboard Rising Sun


At some time in my travels I purchased this little book, with the thought of practicing my writing. But such practice reminds me too much of when I first learned to write, as a child and house slave. Then I thought this could be a journal. But I have never kept my thoughts to myself, I have always said what is on my mind, and it has always worked. I never needed a journal.

Tonight I think I must be alone on this ship, even though I know it is filled with our crew and the men we captured, and their former slaves. I can hear them all around. But they do not see me, they do not hear me. I am more frustrated then I ever have been.

So now for the first time I write down my thoughts rather then speak them. I have not written or read so much in a long time, aside from navagational charts and suchlike, so I may miswrite some things. This is for me only to read, but some day I may look back and think what little i knew back then. For I already think back as I learn more Spanish and French and feel much more learned.

But as for the reason I write. The chase and battle with the slavers went perfectly. But then a council was called, for what we should do with the captured men. Were they any other men I would have suggested we leave them beached, as I did myself when I sailed Kokuyo. But these slavers were in leauge with Mil-Homens. If we let them get back to their allies, we could have had the whole of the organization bearing down on us. And what then?

So I recommended death for all the slavers. Some of the crew took it poorly and so I suggested I would do it myself. But I cannot in good conscience let there be even the smallest of chances that one man make it back to Mil-Homens and suggest revenge on the Rising Sun. Our crew, our families… and even with me being the least to lose, I have no family left, and in fact I might have been sold back into slavery instead of killed.

I am not sure which of those is worse.

But some of the others argued for mercy, and it was mercy that won the vote. Fools! Am I the only one on this ship with any foresight? Or have we won so much that we have forgotten what it is like to lose?

Why am I using we? I told them all I would quit and I stand by it.

It was strange that so many wanted me to stay but did not understand why I was leaving. Pieter even said I was being dramatic. Yes, I must be throwing a fit because I did not get my way. Is that right? Or is it because I think you are all throwing your lives away? Young Jean-Pierre could not have understood, of course. And at least Pieter said sensable things. But Sol and Angel… they did not even vote. I do not understand.

So it seems I am only days left aboard this ship, with this crew I have come to care for so much. I have been trying to avoid the others but it is not easy when I have duties as first mate. Some of the others keep their distance. I have not thought about what I will do off the ship. But I do admit I have thought about killing the slavers… I am leaving anyway, so what? And I would leave, or be kicked off, knowing I had done what I could to keep them safe, even if they would never understand why I had done such things.

I do not think I will do anything so drastic, but I have imagined it. For now I just wait to see what happens before we get to shore. Because if nothing happens I will - I must - keep my word.
May 27 2015, 08:22 PM
Date: 28 March 1720
Place: - Rising Sun, open ocean, coves around Bahamas


For two days, the Rising Sun had been settled in wait, for the fat moneybag that they had planned so carefully to capture. It promised to be an excellent win, but so challenging that alliances had meant to be made with other pirate ships - alliances that surely would fade in the face of gold, but Anani had her own plans for that. As it was, everything that could be set up had been, and… well, all they could do was wait.

An idle crew was often the most difficult to manage. Anani knew that well. She had taken out her rubber ball and invited them to play another game of batey, and sang songs with them when the sun set and chores were done, but those were only entertaining to a point. And Anani’s heartfelt promises that they would soon have plenty of action were wearing thin.

She was keeping an eye on Pieter. The quartermaster’s suggestion regarding both the goats and the lanterns had been a good one, but had gone against her own orders. In her mind, that was out of place. The quartermaster had been part of the Rising Sun crew longer than Anani had, and likely had more years of experience as well, but the call to add the goats and add a cabin boy should have been hers to make, not his. And now she had an excited little boy whose disappointment would spread throughout the crew if she did take away the goats.

To say she was not impressed would be an understatement.

The rest of the crew, however, seemed to respect to respect her authority, or at least did not attempt to undermine it. Sol had entrusted a position of leadership, as first mate, to her; then given her command of his ship in his absence. That was something to respect. And Anani herself had been a captain before, and never one to take lightly.

This evening, she was on high alert. She and Angel had examined the maps and, based on the last sighting of the Spanish ships, their target would appear within reach of their trap this night. It would be a matter of timing now.

It would be dark, which matched their plans perfectly, and, working closely with Angel and Cass especially, she was waiting their turn. They had enough men on the lookout; and her senses never failed her. So, at the report of a large bulk coming through the dangerous pass, Anani took in a breath and decided to make the call. “Tend the goats and lanterns,” she said to Jean-Pierre, and sent an older pirate to help the boy as well. Then she nodded to Cass. “Prepare the fireboat.”
Jul 8 2014, 09:30 AM
If there was one single thing Anani wanted, if there was one precious wish she could have answered, it would be to explore the world above them. Her father was kind to her, but King Triton had banned all contact with the humans, and so the mermaids and mermen were left with no one but the fishes.

She swam quickly to her little trove of treasures. These were little items that had fallen from human ships that she hoarded; from a fork to a statue. She liked to look at them, to imagine what it would be like to use them. They were her connections, her anchors to that other world, which, it seemed, she would never get to experience.

But a sound soon caught her attention. She followed it to its source, and found none other than the witch Ursula waiting for her in her pit, dark save for the glowing light that emanated from the very center, the bowel of the pit.

“What is it you want from me?” Anani asked.

Ursula’s lips turned into a devilish smile. “Ask, rather, what it is you want from me.”

Anani understood the ruse now. Ursula must have found out her deepest wish, and wanted to grant it for her - for a price. “I want to be human,” Anani said. “I want to walk along the sand and have parties and all the things that humans do, even if only for a short time. I know you can grant it to me. What’s your price?”

“Why,” Ursula said, “only your voice.”

Anani paused. She had not expected that. But among the humans, what would she need her voice for? She wanted to walk among them; she could communicate without using words for the little things. Sure, she would miss her beautiful voice, but it would not be for long.

“For how long?” she asked.

“A fortnight,” Ursula replied. “I will keep your voice for that time, and return it to you when you come back.”

Anani mused over this. “All right.”

“Here,” Ursula said, handing her a bit of parchment. “Just sign your name at the bottom, and we’ll be good to go.”

The young mermaid signed her name.

“Excellent.” Ursula rolled up the parchment. “Oh, I forgot to mention that if you don’t earn true love’s kiss by the end of the last night, you’ll turn back into a mermaid but I will keep your voice. Au revoir! See you in two weeks!”

And just like that, Anani spun around a few times and her fins turned to legs; and, feeling suddenly nauseous, she swam for the surface as hard and fast as he could.

———

The next thing she remembered was a young man’s face. He had found her on the beach, and was carrying her somewhere. “Hey,” Anani tried to say, but then remembered that her voice was gone. Drat! She moved around a bit to indicate that she was awake and aware of him.

“Oh! Good, you’re awake,” the young man said. “I was taking you to the care of my doctor. Don’t worry, we’re almost there.”

Except that “there” turned out to be a palace.

Anani thought she must be dreaming. She saw many of the things she had scavenged and left in her trove, but many other sights - and smells! and sounds! - as well. It was a colorful world, and lively. “My goodness, Phillip,” a woman chided her rescuer. “We should get her a blanket straight away.”

And, as the woman wrapped Anani in some fabric, Anani learned that humans weren’t as unaffected by nudity as merpeople were.

A doctor - a man with shiny instruments that were cold on her back or that lit up when pushed near her eye - studied her, and found that she was all right. “You should join us for dinner, just to be sure,” Phillip said. “You look as though you haven’t eaten in a long time. What’s your name? I’m Phillip.”

Anani could not speak, but since her name basically meant “water flower,” she moved her hand to indicate the ripples of the sea, and then opened her hands like a lotus in bloom.

“Oh,” Phillip said with a frown. “Water Flower. Okay, Water Flower, what would you like to eat?”

She had no idea what she wanted, but that was no matter, since dinner was chosen for her: lean steaks with prime sauce, salads with finely spiced croutons, rice and potatoes and pasta salad. She had no idea what any of it was, but it was good, and she gave a smile of thanks as they seemed to be near the end. But there was dessert, and it was on fire. Anani watched in amazement as pieces were cut from this flaming dish.

It was delicious, though, as it turned out.

She met Philipp’s father at the dinner. As she was beginning to suspect, he was the king of the country she had landed on, a small but influential nation called Louisiana. The people around her assumed she was simply mute, and treated her as such. They gave her an item that apparently she could write or type on, using a “stylus,” but she did not know how to write their language, only speak it, thanks to the ships that passed by. So they simply used hand signals, which became a routine that worked out just fine.

And indeed, within a week, Anani realized she was falling in love with Phillip. She only hoped the feeling was mutual. And it was; with three days to go in her appointed time, they were standing on a balcony, he was leaning in to kiss her… when a scream sounded from below them.

Phillip, ever the savior, turned and looked down. He saw a woman running, and jumped off the balcony (only two stories) to reach her. Anani frowned but followed suit.

Even in her slimmer, svelte, more sexy form, Anani recognized Ursula. The witch had probably come to stop Phillip from kissing Anani, knowing it meant she would have to give up Anani’s voice. And, in fact, it was Anani’s voice she used when she spoke. “A man… he was chasing me… I’m so afraid….”

“It’s all right,” Phillip said, reaching for Ursula’s hand. “No men are following you. Why don’t you come with us, just to be sure?”

“Yes, that would be wonderful,” Anani’s voice said.

That was it. Anani had had enough.

Using her new legs, she issued a sweep kick that knocked Ursula to the ground, then pressed a boot into the witch’s chest. Using a steak knife - she had stolen it to keep in her trove, to match her fork - that had been stuffed haphazardly into her jeans, Anani cut Ursula’s throat open from end to end. Suddenly, she felt a shock rush into her - a surge of power - not only her voice, but all of Usrula’s power combined into one wild package.

Anani cracked her neck from side to side.

“Well,” she said. “That’s better.”
Jun 16 2014, 11:41 PM
Date: 3-rd of February 1720, in the morning
Place: aboard the “Rising Sun”, in the open seas


Before heading out to sea, Anani had made, among others, two odd purchases: resin and rubber. The reason for these purchases, completely unquestioned by the craftsmen she had bought them from, became apparent only when Anani appeared on deck with a particularly bouncy ball. She had a mind to introduce her crewmates, if they were not already somehow familiar, to a game her people had played. The game was called batey, and it had deep roots in her former tribe’s culture.

She glanced around as she bounced the ball between the deck and her hand. Some of the crew were working, some not; she thought she could persuade at least a few of them, enough to make an interesting game, to join in. This would be quite unlike the field that batey was typically played on, but then again, this would be quite unlike any other batey game ever played, she suspected; at sea, with no walls save those of the ship and the depths of the sea.

“Anyone for a game?” she called out, still bouncing the ball against the deck.
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Credits. This skin was made by MORU specifically for BEFORE THE MAST and rethemed by MASCHA.
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