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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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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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 The Power Of Blood, TAG :: raoul duval
Louise Anne de Bourbon
 Posted: Apr 10 2017, 05:52 AM
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Princess
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Date: 27-th of June 1720
Place: Port de Paix, Saint Domingue, Hispaniola


It was past midday when the Princess dispatched a servant to summon Rear-Admiral Duval to her home. She was pacing her living room. Her mind filled with thoughts. It had been a few days since the kidnapping and it had left Louise Anne quite full of emotion. On one hand, anxiousness had left her with very little sleep during the nights. Despite being back in her own bed, the princess slept poorly these nights given the fear that someone should come in the night again and kidnap her again. She was angry that it had happened. Angry at the pirates, at the guards, the servants. She was even angry at Madame de Sorel who dared make demands of her after such an ordeal.

Though, while the wedding had been too soon after the kidnapping for Louise Anne to have been able to manage and conceal the emotions, she was now at a point where she felt that she should take matters into her own hands. The fool of a governor was but a tool, a man more concerned with himself to get off his hands. The Rear-Admiral had not exactly impressed her either, but at least he was the direct link to any action she might demand of the military.

Still pacing around the table of her living room, Louise Anne was well dressed in an elegant dress brought from France. A dress no doubt worth more than an entire ship crew would earn in a month. On her head she wore her tiara. Not because she had to, but as a statement of her royal blood and the fact that she was done being used as a tool. Now she would take charge. She gently sipped from a cup of tea when a servant came into the room and announced that the Rear-admiral had arrived. ‘Send him in!’ She replied and turned to the door and awaited the man.
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Raoul Duval
 Posted: Apr 10 2017, 11:16 AM
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Rear-Admiral of the West Indies
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Raoul was still getting accustomed to his new life as a married man. There have been only a few days since the wedding, and the feeling of novelty was thrilling. Having to seduce Christine, then to keep knowing each other better, were things he enjoyed a lot.

On the other side of his life, Lucia was recovering after her illness, and, deep in his heart, Raoul was grateful to the pirate who had saved her life.

As for his professional activity, he hadn’t forgotten it either. How could he, after the nasty trick the damn pirates had played on him? He had sent all the ships in patrol, immediately after Saint Jean, with the special mission to catch or sink any pirate ship. Hopefully they weren’t making any stupidities to get him in diplomatic troubles, as he had heard some British ships from Barbados had made during the war, wagging war against another allied ship, mistaken for a Spanish one.

He was in his office when receiving a note from the princess, inviting him to her home. He took his lunch break to come to visit her, not wanting to delay any minute.

As the servant announced him, then accompanied him in, he bowed politely at the very impressively dressed princess:

”Good afternoon, Princess. How are you?”
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Louise Anne de Bourbon
 Posted: Apr 10 2017, 01:51 PM
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Princess
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There were many good reasons why Louise Anne dressed up before this meeting. Well, she dressed up exquisitely every day, but having been forced to wear the rags of some peasant girl in Tortuga during her capture, the princess enjoyed being back with her own wardrobe and being able to dress according to her status. Furthermore, being born into royalty, she had always felt that she was above everyone else and her attire should match that sentiment.

As the Rear-admiral entered the office. Louise Anne stopped pacing and turned to face him. Gently she placed her tea on a nearby table and one of her servants was quick to take it away to keep it from littering the place. ‘Good afternoon, Rear-admiral,’ she answered calmly, not letting her emotions slip through her well-dressed and important demeanour. ‘I am glad to be back in my own home,’ she added, still not revealing why she had summoned him.

Louise Anne gestured at a chair for the admiral to sit and then she walked towards her window from where she could see the harbour and the ocean. ‘Though I have trouble sleeping,’ she said and turned away the window again. ‘Anxiousness keeps me awake at night, that more pirates should stroll through town, unchallenged, to kidnap me again in spite of the French navy and the crown,’ she explained and sighed. Her emotion came to the surface so she turned back towards the window.

To think that they could use me to their unholy, unlawful business…’ she began but did not finish that sentence before beginning a new one: ‘And their captain… He shall soon find himself a grave man. A plague on all of them! A dog, a rat, a mouse, a cat to slink away in the night! A braggart, a rogue, a villain that fights by the book of arithmetic!’ she said and could feel her anger rising again as she figured that those pirates surely bragged about their accomplishments at this very moment.

I want these men to hang for their crimes, Admiral!’ she then said, almost as a command and turned back to face him. ‘I want every criminal to know that declaring war on the French crown is a death sentence,’ Louise Anne looked at the admiral and decided to use both carrot and the stick to make sure that her will would be done. ‘I was kidnapped on your watch, Admiral and I expect you to make sure that never happens again. It will not be good for your career to have my safety on your record,’ she said as a warning of the consequence of failure to bring the pirates to justice. But then she turned to the carrot part of the motivation: ‘Though if you succeed, Admiral, you may find me a much more pleasant acquaintance and earning my favour could improve your career’.
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Raoul Duval
 Posted: Apr 11 2017, 02:14 PM
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Rear-Admiral of the West Indies
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Raoul wasn’t as impressed by her sumptuous attire, as a commoner would have been. He had seen plenty in his time at court, and even at certain parties here in the colonies, where the wealthiest nobility showed what they had best. He understood, however, the reproach hidden between her words about being back in her own home. As for the complaints that she had trouble sleeping, he could understand this. Last spring, with his misfortunes, he had the same troubles, even if for different reasons.

He took a seat and replied promptly, on a reassuring tone:

”You know, Princess, that the guards had been strengthened, both soldiers and local militias, and no pirates stroll through the town. Be sure that misfortune couldn’t repeat and you are safe here. As for their captain, besides the patrol ships I have sent with the specific mission to catch any ship hoisting the black flag and especially the one they call the Rising Sun, he has now his portrait with a bounty on his head in the whole town… and in Cape Francais as well.”

She wanted them to hang, and told him aggitatedly so- as if he hadn’t wanted it since more than one year ago, when the damn ”Caribbean Siren” had raided his ship. But until now, unfortunately, Sol Picador had showed being a sly adversary, and Raoul couldn’t admit publicly that he had understood, ultimately, which were the pirates’ advantages in the fight against the allied Navies. These were tactics aspects, which weren’t to be discussed with a woman. She needed only to be reassured that he had taken all the steps in the same direction she wanted.

”I have already taken all the measures to catch them, using all the ships I have command upon,” he said, and it was the pure truth.

As for how a pleasant acquaintance she was... he had already seen enough to make an opinion for himself. And he didn't base this opinion on the reactions after the unfortunate event, but also before. She seemed so different from the person he had seen in Court a few years ago (without spending more than the briefest time in her company).
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Louise Anne de Bourbon
 Posted: Apr 17 2017, 10:52 PM
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Louise Anne wasn’t exactly put at ease when the rear-admiral explained that the guard had been doubled and that the pirate captain’s head was now on posters all over the Caribbean. The fact that it could happen at all showed that the French authorities in the colonies had been sleeping on their hands and that only now where something had happened, did they spring to action. Of course she was biased because she had been the one to suffer at the hands of the pirates, but regardless of who, any royal who could be captured without challenge by pirates would testify that the guards had failed. In fact, had Louise Anne not been somewhat rational, she might even have found it more appropriate to suggest hanging all of the guards for their failures.

You aren’t comforting me at all, Admiral,’ she said directly and looked at the uniformed man. ‘The pirates who kidnapped me have been a thorn in the side of the French for years and only now is something done. Worse, now the thing that is done is a paper poster of the people hanging around town?’ she added sceptically before her most pressing concern reached her lips. ‘And I certainly don’t feel at ease being guarded by the same militia that managed to lose a captured pirates just weeks ago,’ she told him not knowing what he knew about the escaped pirate doctor.

As he once again assured her that he had done everything to capture the pirates, Louise gave a short reply: ‘Good!’. Then she turned away. She could feel herself trembling a bit. She was still shaken by the whole thing and perhaps wasn’t ready to get back into the whole political side of things. But she wasn’t going to let the admiral see her as weak.
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Raoul Duval
 Posted: Apr 18 2017, 09:03 AM
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Rear-Admiral of the West Indies
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Raoul knew that her statements weren’t true, but it was to be expected. She had not been here to witness the successes and the defeats in the fight against the pirates. Because there had been successes too. It wasn’t as if only now something was being done.

”Many pirate crews have been captured since my arrival to the West Indies, last spring, both by the Navy and by privateers. If you look into the archive of the Gazette de la Paix you will see for yourself. There were public trials and executions that the journalists had recorded.”

Or maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to send her to the Gazette, since that had the defeats mentioned too, he realized after having made the suggestion.

”And I didn’t say that the paper poster was the only thing I’ve done. I have started by telling you that I have sent all the Navy and privateer ships with the specific mission to catch any ship hoisting the black flag and especially the one they call the Rising Sun, and I think this is far more important than a bounty on his head.”

Women were all so good at taking only what they wanted from a man’s words and turning them around to give them another meaning! But he didn’t let himself troubled by this.

”As for those guarding you, only a few are local militias now, most of them having been replaced with experienced soldiers from Port de Paix garrison,” he continued to reassure her.

He was feeling that she actually didn’t want to be comforted and soothed. She liked being agitated now, that she had a reason, no matter that said reason belonged to the past. Recent past, still past. If he thought better, he had met before women of that kind; she was not the first, nor the last.

When she turned her back to him, he interpreted it as the meeting being over.

”If there is nothing else I can be of help to you with, Princess, then please allow me to retreat and return to my duties,” he told her. ”It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity of talking with you, and you can address me for anything you wish,” he made a further attempt at being polite.
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Louise Anne de Bourbon
 Posted: Apr 18 2017, 08:58 PM
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Listening to the rear-admiral’s words did nothing for the princess. She wanted something done now. Posting wanted posters all over town was not going to yield immediate action. That pirate captain might have been a villain and a rogue, but he was no doubt too smart to wander into town days after having kidnapped a French princess. As for sending out the fleet, Louise Anne also didn’t honestly believe that it would bring results. She had indeed read of the admiral’s failures and being educated, she was aware of the vastness of the ocean. One ship could hide if it wanted to. Even if it was the most notorious ship afloat.

The Admiral mistook her mistrust of his action as her wanting to be agitated, but wisely, he didn’t verbalise this. Louise Anne was not interested in being angry, yet circumstances beyond her control had played with her life and right now it seemed like the military, the admiral, even the governor was doing little to rectify the situation. Louise Anne was quite used to people bowing and scraping to her, but life in the Caribbean had made people forget protocol. When the Rear-admiral nearly excused himself, Louise Anne turned back with a momentary fire in her eyes. If there was one thing beyond everything else that she disliked, it was being spoken to as an equal. Especially from people below her. ‘You’re dismissed!’ she told him directly not really wanting to scold him on his behaviour as it would only serve to agitate her more. ‘I want to be informed immediately if something happens!

- THE END -
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Credits. This skin was made by MORU specifically for BEFORE THE MAST and rethemed by MASCHA.
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