Happy seventh anniversary

Before the Mast!

Welcome

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!

This website looks best in Chrome and Internet Explorer. Firefox may distort some images.







Navigate

TIME STAMP

Command

Elena - Fleet Admiral
Mascha - Fleet Admiral
Alecto - Pilot

Spotlight

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!

Social

Affiliates

Click on our button above for the affiliation thread!

Historical Affiliates
HMS Aurora The Creed.online  photo Aff_Banner_zpsr4rgj8cu.jpg deadmentellnotales AoI Mini Banner

Historical fantasy affiliates
Maerish STORYBROOKE MAINE Olympus Has Fallen Warlands

Affiliates
Bloody Dices Storybrooke Witchlight The Next Incantation The Vow

Vote for us
Forum Roleplay RPG Initiative Topsites RP Lovers Shadowplay Topsites

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Protection Software Licenţa Creative Commons

Pages: (2) 1 2  ( Go to first unread post ) LockedNew TopicNew Poll

 Punishment, Att. Rowan & Nathanial. Open to crew
Wesley Stewart
 Posted: Sep 5 2016, 01:58 PM
Quote

Captain of HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 142


Date: 10-th of June 1720
Place: Aboard HMS Sovereign, anchored in Nassau, Bahamas


Wesley was seething. He was back from a meeting with Governor Woodes Rogers. It started as a regular protocolary one, meant for taking his sailing orders, and it ended in disaster, with the Governor telling him that the merchant sailors he had reported to have saved from an islet and brought to Nassau were the pirates of the ”Rising Sun”.

He had witnessed the blow-out of Sir Woodes Rogers' temper, and it was something less becoming to a Governor and more appropriate for the former privateer captain he had once been. A Governor had spies and informers on the docks, and some of them were repented former pirates who had taken the pardon or women who had served pirates in brothels and taverns when New Providence was the den of sin and debauchery; they recognized Sol Picador and a few others, seeking passage for Hispaniola.

Unfortunately, it seemed that a ship had taken them and weighed anchor, because when he got the information and sent the soldiers, all the black-flagged birds had left their former nest, now turned law-abiding. So, all the frustration of the Governor got spilled in Wesley's face. Now, seething, he was ready to give back in kind to those who had been accomplices to this.

"Send Mr. Bloodworth to my cabin!" he told the first sailor he had seen in his path, before going below the deck.

He didn;t ask for his steward. He poured himself a glass of French brandy, a gift from Rear Admiral Duval. He needed it after how the day had started... and how it was going to continue.
pm   
^
Iwan Rowlands
 Posted: Sep 14 2016, 04:39 PM
Quote

Sailor aboard HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 91


They were docked at Nassau, a port that never stopped to surprise Iwan. Always in this port he was amazed to how a former pirate shantytown of tents, taverns and whorehouses started to seem like a proper colony of law and God obeying citizens.

Much had happened during the rule of Governor Rogers in just two years. He had heard, however, that the governor was not enjoying much popularity back Whitehall and that the colony was 'floating' only with dept money. But this was not something a sailor like him needed to care much.

Now, it seemed now that their Captain Stewart was not enjoying popularity of the governor. Or, this is what Iwan presumed as he knew that the captain had left to meet Rogers and now the man arrived in a bad mood. The Welshman thought it was best not to irritate the other man further so when the captain asked him to get the master gunner he did not hesitate, “Aye, aye sir. At once sir.”

He had no idea what this fuss was about, but it was not his task to know. So now he was happy to get Master Bloodworth and not to have listen what the captain was seemingly mad about.

Once he encountered the master gunner he said with rather casual tone, “Master Bloodworth, Captain Stewart seemed to need you. I don’t know why but it seemed urgent! ”

In his mind Iwan thought that either this was about their last mission with the passengers or it was related to a new expedition.
pm   
^
Rowan Bloodworth
 Posted: Oct 2 2016, 06:34 AM
Quote

Captain of "La Chanson"
Group Icon
Posts: 161


The guests which the crew of HMS Sovereign had taken aboard had long since left the ship, unloading themselves and their items at Nassau; but as much as Rowan would have liked to leave the matter behind him, he simply could not. Indeed, he was not even certain why it lingered on his mind.

Nothing of note had happened during the voyage. The merchant sailors had behaved as sailors do, with that added thankfulness for having been rescued from their little island, and they had been quite helpful in pitching in around the ship where necessary. They had shared the game and the fruits they had brought along from the island, and the Navy men had been quite entertained by the colorful and chatty parrots. All had gone as well as Rowan could have asked, given that he had been in command of that particular project and had made the original decision to bring the sailors on board as free men, not prisoners.

The situation had begun with those men cast as pirates. Even as the men parted ways with their British Navy rescuers, there had been no sign that they were such. Involved in something shady, perhaps; Rowan even thought it likely. But smuggling or hoarding and such things were far cries from the actual practice of piracy. Besides, Rowan knew Rodrigo Solano personally, somewhat, and had never thought any ill of him. And if Rowan trusted anything, it was his own instincts.

But something continued to nag at him, even after having written it out in his journal, which usually helped him to think more clearly and dispel all his doubts. It settled in the back of his mind, not always to be mulled over, but ever present, such that when Iwan approached and informed him that Captain Stewart was asking for him, that was the first possible cause that occurred to him. For a moment, he felt frightened - which only a few sailors, Iwan included, could expect to ever see in him - but then he convinced himself rather vainly that it was some other matter and the merchants had to be halfway to Hispaniola by then.

“Thank you, Rowlands. I’ll speak to him immediately.” Rowan gave Iwan a curt nod and then strode off in search of the captain, where he was directed below deck.

“You sent for me, Captain?” he asked once he was in Stewart’s presence, finding not much else around besides the captain and a glass of brandy. He did not take that as a good sign.

--------------------
pm   
^
Wesley Stewart
 Posted: Oct 4 2016, 11:14 AM
Quote

Captain of HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 142



Wesley breathed deeply, trying to contain his anger. It didn’t do anything good if he showed it right now. First to ask for the man’s story.

”Yes, take a seat,” he said curtly but not yet on a scolding tone.

It sounded rather neutral.

”Tell me, please, whom of those men from the island were you acquainted for and how had you met first,” he asked, with the same lack of voice inflexions.

It sounded more curious than angry, and half indifferent. However, the indifference was only a mask. Wesley wouldn’t have doubted Sir Woodes Rogers’ information. He just wanted to know how much of an accomplice or how much of a gullible victim his master gunner was. For the other one, who said he was the Frenchman’s cousin, he would have definitely another set of questions and another tone…
pm   
^
Rowan Bloodworth
 Posted: Nov 13 2016, 02:14 AM
Quote

Captain of "La Chanson"
Group Icon
Posts: 161


While Stewart did an excellent job of keeping his anger contained, the effort did not go completely unnoticed by Rowan, partly because he was looking for it. He studied his captain’s countenance and demeanor carefully, trying to determine just what had happened and how much trouble he was in. Needless to say, the fury bubbling under the surface did not ease Rowan’s nervousness.

As ordered, Rowan took a seat. He looked up at Stewart, mildly confused. “Of the merchant sailors? I recognized their sailing master, one Rodrigo Solano. We have crossed paths in Port de Paix in the past, I am not certain when first we met.” This was the same explanation he and Solano had settled on before, choosing to keep Cuba out of the history due to the nature of that visit as a secret mission. Beyond that, it was not a lie, just something of an omission.

The way Captain Stewart phrased the question sounded less angry than Rowan had expected. But the question itself suggested that something had indeed happened with the supposed merchants - Rowan’s greatest fear at the moment. “Is something the matter, Captain?” he asked carefully, anxious to learn what the problem was and get past it.

--------------------
pm   
^
Wesley Stewart
 Posted: Nov 15 2016, 11:37 PM
Quote

Captain of HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 142


The master gunner seemed serene and a little confused. He was telling his story… and it seemed that said Rodrigo Solano was actually Sol Picador. But Wesley was still withholding this most important piece of information.

"Please tell me more about the circumstances of your first meeting," he asked, still on a calm tone, and choosing deliberately to ignore the next question.

If there was anything weighing on his conscience, let it weigh and probably show. If his confusion was genuine and he was only a gullible naïve young man, this wouldn't harm either. But the captain needed to know if it was betrayal or just foolishness.
pm   
^
Rowan Bloodworth
 Posted: Nov 16 2016, 01:17 AM
Quote

Captain of "La Chanson"
Group Icon
Posts: 161


This was becoming a bit too much for Rowan. For one, he had to lie; he could not have told Stewart who had been involved in the Cuba mission or why. It put too much at risk. Rowan trusted his captain, but the secrets were not his to share.

Was there something important about the way he had met Solano? Did Stewart already know about the mission's outcome? Or had Rowan been right to feel suspicious of Solano? It had occurred to him many times, even during the process, that he might have made the wrong call in casting the marooned men as merchant sailors rather than pirates. But that had been done and the men were long gone, and considering the advice of Concha there was likely very little he could have done in any case. He closed his eyes briefly and made peace with it.

"I don't remember much about it. There was nothing to remember, just another acquaintance from Port de Paix." Again he was not technically lying; nothing of importance had passed between him and Solano while in Port de Paix. "I recognized him among the marooned men and that informed my opinion on whether he was a pirate. That's all."

He shook his head, frowning. "If I've made a mistake, Captain, please tell me and allow me to make up for it. Trust that I will; you've known me too long to expect otherwise."

--------------------
pm   
^
Wesley Stewart
 Posted: Nov 16 2016, 05:22 PM
Quote

Captain of HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 142


Wesley's frown deepened. Now, he really knew master gunner Rowan Bloodworth for enough time to make an opinion about his work ethics, and he certainly didn't seem like one to fraternize with the enemy. Or, at least, not deliberately. He believed him that he had been honestly conned by the pirate. Damn, all of them were. He knew how to play his role. And everybody knew that in a harbour, two warrant officers could drink together, maybe frequent the same brothel or public bath, introduce themselves and discuss a little. If this was what had happened, could he fault the man who had the bad luck of believing a pirate's lies?

"I believe you," he said simply. "You did make a mistake, though. And so did I. Sir Woodes Rogers had just informed me that your acquaintance Rodrigo Solano is nobody else than the infamous Sol Picador. And you don't need much imagination to figure up how exactly the discussion went," he added with the irritation showing a little.
pm   
^
Rowan Bloodworth
 Posted: Nov 23 2016, 06:42 AM
Quote

Captain of "La Chanson"
Group Icon
Posts: 161


The news of Solano’s true identity struck Rowan like a gale. He’d had his suspicions about the man, even thinking that the crew might indeed be pirates, but to have been Sol Picador? Rowan had heard many stories - legends, even - of that man and his crew, those “gentlemen of fortune,” but had never expected to be taken in by them. And the man had, for all his faults, never once struck Rowan as the “ruthless” sort.

And then the news had been given to Captain Stewart by Sir Woodes Rogers himself. Indeed, knowing what he did of the governor’s background and famous temper, Rowan did not have to try very hard to imagine how that had been passed along. He also did not have to be very creative in imagining just how much trouble he was now in.

Yet he had no one to blame but himself. He’d suspected that he might have been helping pirates but had done so anyway. Granted that the entire crew, Akselsen and Rowlands especially, had believed much as he had, but for show the blame would have to fall on one or two people, and Rowan was realizing just how well he was positioned to take a mighty fall.

“Captain,” Rowan said, his usual confidence ebbing away more with each word that passed his lips, “I am sure it won’t be enough to say I’m sorry, but I am. I should have followed better judgment. And I apologize that you had to face Sir Woodes Rogers over such a matter. But you can count on me to make it right.”

He watched Stewart with a clear sense of nervousness - or was that fear he felt creeping up his neck for the first time?

--------------------
pm   
^
Wesley Stewart
 Posted: Nov 23 2016, 10:18 AM
Quote

Captain of HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 142


Wesley sighed. They were both sorry, but what was done (and known by the damn Governor of Bahamas) couldn't be undone now. And Mr. Bloodworth was naive enough to think about making it right...

"There is only one way for you to make it right without putting me into the delicate situation of dashing out punishments and bringing undeserved investigations upon you and your mate," he stated it plainly. "Here's the quill and paper - write your resignation from the Navy for personal reasons and give it right afterwards, approved by me, to Sir Woodes Rogers."

He regretted losing a good master gunner, but he saw no better solution.

"Nobody would know why you resigned and what happened between me and the Governor today. I'll miss a good master gunner, but better this way than having you questioned by the Vice-Admiral in Kingston and paying dearly for your naivety. At least I believe you are innocent, others might not. And when you return to the gunnery, please send here Mr. Bretagne."

With him he'd have another kind of discussion.
pm   
^
Rowan Bloodworth
 Posted: Dec 1 2016, 05:52 AM
Quote

Captain of "La Chanson"
Group Icon
Posts: 161


As he had expected, Rowan would be set up to take the fall. He frowned at the mention of his mate, though; he did not recall Bretagne having been more involved in the matter than any other man aside from himself. But then again he had been quite absorbed in his own duties and what he had considered as his accomplishment.

He did not respond for a long time after Stewart stated his expectations. Rowan’s instinct was to take the quill and paper and tell Stewart just where he could shove them. The insolent second son, the showoff, the hero of Cape Passaro, those traits had never fully faded from him despite the years and the miles he had put between himself and his past.

But in looking at Stewart, Rowan saw the months of patience and understanding the captain had shown him - rare enough qualities to encounter in captains even without Rowan having entered the Navy as an arrogant hothead. Only one of his past captains had ever done the same, treating him as more than mere hired help.

He started to respond, the words forming in his mind. Yes, Captain, as you wish. But something Stewart had said repeated itself in his thoughts and made him pause before the words left his tongue.

A good master gunner? Was that all Rowan had accomplished in his time in the Caribbean, or in the Navy at large? He had joined in order to prove something to his father and to himself, having had such limited options as a second-born, most of which had not appealed to him. Service to others had not appealed to him, at least not as a follower. He had wanted to lead, to accomplish great things and make his own name. But here, at what in one way or another would be the twilight of his career, he stood as nothing more than a good master gunner.

He closed his eyes. Stewart had not deserved the disgrace of being shamed by Woodes Rogers, but also neither did Rowan. He had made a mistake, as did all men. But the difference between “all men” and him was that he was Rowan Bloodworth.

Without a word, he took up the quill and scribbled onto the paper the following phrase:

I, Sir Rowan Bloodworth, do hereby tender my resignation from the Royal Navy, effective immediately.


He signed it with furious strokes, then dropped the quill, pushed the paper across the table, and stood up.

“There is my letter of resignation,” he said. “But find someone else to deliver it.”

With the tone he used, it might have sounded like an order or a refusal, and in some ways it was; but it was also a final concession. Sir Woodes Rogers’ legendary temper was ill-suited against just about any man, but ran a high risk of ending even more poorly with Rowan, who had drawn weapons against lesser men for smaller slights.

Rowan did not wait for a response from Stewart, instead turning away to march out of the cabin and collect his few possessions before leaving HMS Sovereign for good.

- Rowan's story continues here -

--------------------
pm   
^
Wesley Stewart
 Posted: Dec 1 2016, 12:07 PM
Quote

Captain of HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 142


Wesley could read the struggle in the man's eyes. He knew it was not an easy decision, but the wisest one. Because if Rowan hadn't decided to resign, he would have been subject to investigations which outcome Wesley couldn't predict. When someone wanted to find a fault, they would at any cost, justifying their actions by an alleged result; this was unfortunately how the world was spinning.

He understood the young man's disappointment too, and the need to not show in front of Sir Woodes Rogers.

"I will send a sailor with it," he said. "I wish you good luck."

His wish was sincere. But after Rowan Bloodworth left, he folded the resignation note, sealed it with the ship's seal and opened his door to find the men he needed among the idle sailors.

"You, tell the boatswain you are free in town until tomorrow at dawn after you get this message to the Governor's residence," he told one of them.

The sailor thanked him, took the resignation letter and left happy. Winning this way a day more of shore leave was a nice surprise.

"And you, send Mr. Bretagne to my cabin right now," he told another.

He should better finish what he had to do quickly.
pm   
^
Nathanial Bretagne
 Posted: Dec 2 2016, 08:03 PM
Quote

sailor, HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 107


Nathanial had seen Mr. Bloodworth descending in the cabin and getting out soon with his trunk, but when he was ready to ask him what had happened, a young sailor came to tell him that he was expected in the captain's cabin. This was not a thing to happen usually; Mr. Bloodworth was the one called for discussions regarding ammunition or other gunnery-related needs. But Mr. Bloodworth was... most likely, leaving, exactly after having been in the captain's cabin too.

He knocked at the door with a heavy heart, full of bad forebodings.

"You asked for me, Sir."
pm   
^
Wesley Stewart
 Posted: Dec 2 2016, 08:23 PM
Quote

Captain of HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 142


The epitome of naivety, both the master gunner and his mate, and each of them in cohorts with a pirate! Wesley was still angry - and what anger he couldn't actually bestow on the master gunner, he kept it for the gunner's mate. Just that he wasn't yet ready to burst. No, not before he would extract some confessions.

"You said one of these stranded sailors was your cousin. Who and which parent were you related through?" he asked, without inviting the man to sit.

These were all-encompassing questions, allowing for discussion. And what Wesley expected soon were confessions.
pm   
^
Nathanial Bretagne
 Posted: Dec 2 2016, 09:23 PM
Quote

sailor, HMS "Sovereign"
Group Icon
Posts: 107


Nathanial wasn't the brightest crayon in the box. He wasn't stupid, either. And something in the captain's words was highly suspicious. The questions about Sebastien, on a strange tone, were corroborrated, in his mind, with the fact that his superior, who had another friend among the pirates, had been packing and ready to leave. Something was fishy.

But he had already the story prepared for the case the lawyer in Kingston or anybody else would have been asking, so he replied immediately:

"Gerard Belanger is my second cousin, Sir. My mother was French. I don't know how she got established in London, I understand that a lord at the Court took her under his protection."

He used the usual euphemisms, being sure that it was written in his file that he was an illegitimate son having a gentleman's protection. Everything else was a speculation. Even a late King or prince could have been his father, as he was thinking when he was younger. He would never know.

"He was a merchant, but something went wrong and now he is a sailor, at least this is what I understood from him. He was a merchant when I met him first, in a French port, when I was... fourteen I think. He told me that our mothers were first cousins, but as close as sisters when young. That his mother took care of mine for a while, when she had lost her parents, until she fell in love with an Englishman and ran away with him against the family wishes."

They had both come with this story upon their Mardi Gras encounter. And it matched the gaps in his own biography, without being detailed enough to be caught lying.

"We sort of kept in touch from there, as he was my only relative. This meant a letter a year or even less frequent. For him I learnt French better, but I am still not able to write it. Then I got sent to the West Indies and he told me he'd come to Kingston too. I visited him there once, but he didn't have his own shop anymore, he was working for someone with a shipping line. Now I saw him here, and this is all."

He hoped it would be enough. He hoped to learn what had actually happened too, and what the captain was thinking.
pm   
^
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:
Share this topic:
« Next Oldest | Completed | Next Newest »

OptionsPages: (2) 1 2  LockedNew TopicNew Poll


 


 




Credits. This skin was made by MORU specifically for BEFORE THE MAST and rethemed by MASCHA.
Listed At:
RPG-D RPG Initiative Distant Fantasies RPGfix Forum Roleplay: Roleplay resources catering to play-by-post forum gamers and communities a team resource & community site Candyland Couture RP Junction: a RPG directory