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Before the Mast!

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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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 March Issue Of The Chronicles Of The West Indies
Elena
 Posted: Feb 17 2017, 02:00 AM
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MARCH


“Before the Mast” is over six years and a half old - and counting! To many more together! Warm thanks to all the crew, to everybody who has made it possible for our writing community to flourish and for the story to get further.

You are invited to join our next volume, Caribbean Dawn, and bring there the characters you want to survive the Doomsday (and all the land-based characters you want to keep). The only effort required from you is to make sure you update the character bios not only in form, but also in contents with everything which had happened in 1720 Before the Mast.

The circumstances of the move have been discussed here as extensively as you wished. The discussion is still open for all of you to mention any concerns, suggestions or comments regarding the new volume, the new possible plots, the ways to strengthen our community and anything else related to our story and community. The floor is yours!

Like all the past beginnings of March, our site has again a good luck March amulet at its lapel - may the lucky chimney sweep and the happy Romanian couple in folk costumes offered hereinafter to all our Chronicle readers, be they fans of "Before the Mast" or members, help us being the strong writing community we are striving to remain across the years!

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As per the 1-st of March 2017, statistics show that we have 36 male active characters and 24 female. For the purpose of the statistics, only the writers who have posted in February are counted here. However, if they have posted only with one character out of several they have, all their characters are counted as active.)

Active members: 11
Active characters: 60, out of which:

Pirates = 12
English Navy = 4
French Navy = 11
Privateers = 5
Civilians = 28

There are plenty of new things “Before the Mast”, looking forward to your participation, as they give opportunities for more characters than they actually seem to join. There are new and already ongoing threads which would welcome your participation. We are now in the process of exchanging prisoners between the French Navy and the pirates. There is also a big battle, which has also been opened for the pirates, the French and British Navy too, as shown here. It will end apotheotically the month of July 1720, making way for a Caribbean Dawn bright for the survivors.

I would also want to highlight the Whale of a tale section, where there are lots of interesting stories to read when you are waiting for your partners’ replies, as well as the Message in a bottle, where some journals start to contour!

As for thread/ quote spotlight, the former pirate turned tavern maid, Yazmin "Mini" Martinez, played by Mascha, deserves highlighted for the most scandal quote from the thread Several celebrations in one:

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‘I’ve been hurt worse!’ Mini replied, likening her condition with the only other thing she knew to cause bleeding: Battle damage. The came a surprising question from the innkeeper. That child that Mini had nearly forgotten about since yesterday was brought up in conversation and Mini shot Maribel a look and sighed. ‘If you are so concern for that… thing… Why don’t you take it to the doctor?!’ she sneered and turned away from the innkeeper..

It is well written, reflecting well the scandalous behaviour of a mother who doesn't accept her child. Keeping in mind that the writer isn't a native English speaker, this deserves more praise!

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Many thanks to Mascha for her work on the new look of Caribbean Dawn, our story's next volume.

The “Histories and Chronicles of the West Indies” are the whole site’s, not anybody’s monopoly, and I really appreciate when people get involved and show that we are a community! Taking part in the community, giving feedback, talking about your characters is also important, and spending a few idle moments on a game while waiting for an answer is never a bad idea. The discussion about characters and you and characters and time is also interesting, and the dare game is meant to bring more lively and interesting scenes for our story and for our writing community.

Many of our crewmates haven’t ever posted in the introduction thread, and nobody except their immediate writing partners know them. This is something to remediate, as we have also changed the former introduction thread into an introduction forum, which would enable a new thread for each member, to welcome them, to discuss with them and help them get acquainted with our writing community. This forum comprises also a questionnaire meant to find common points between newer and older members, and facilitate discussion subjects. So, please open a thread where answering to the introduction questionnaire, and browse the other replies, looking for people sharing any common interests with you. Now the introduction threads can be an open discussion with the others, for strengthening community and friendship among writing partners!

You know also that we need fresh blood of the history-loving, writing and dedicated kind… I am making an appeal to all of you to bring other friends of yours who are into writing swashbuckling adventures, because the word of mouth is the most powerful way of advertising. In addition to this, the ones who have blogs, MySpace, LiveJournal or InsaneJournal accounts, please advertise “Before the Mast” and try to bring new members. Those who have Facebook accounts – please “Like” our page and spread the word! Those with Twitter and Tumblr, follow us and retweet/ reblog some of our messages! We have the site’s Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Deviant Art group links in the sidebar, just a click away – but how successful can they be if even some of the members ignore them?

Voting daily in the topsites also helps… You can find them below the affiliates, under the heading "Vote for us!"

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Help us be seen and grow with gaining new valuable members! You can give your contribution to our site’s growth, and you’ll have more people and characters to write with! Each person’s effort counts in making our writing community better, sounder or bigger!

Happy writing and… a March amulet for each of you – namely Owly, our mascot!

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Scribbling Scholar
 Posted: Feb 24 2017, 03:26 PM
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VALENTINE’S DAY CONTEST RESULTS

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There were a couple of threads aiming at developing relationships, but they had been going as slowly as all the others. Fortunately, the stories are not limited to the months of February and March, but they are further going on. So I guess as long as there are stories to write, and the people are writing them, all are winning couples.

There were only a few IC love songs dedications for this year, but they are enough to get a few Valentine graphics.

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The intempestive wedding of Santiago (Chago) Moreno and Katerina Meshcheryakova had brought enough rumours among those who knew him.

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The romance between Jose Silveira and Nicole Cavalier has been sealed around Saint John's fires, with a kiss.

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As for the two lifetime friends, Nathaniel Bretagne and Sebastien Durand, it took a whole bottle of rhum to make them understand there might be more than friendship.
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Scribbling Scholar
 Posted: Feb 24 2017, 03:28 PM
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Before going to the market place, to hear more of the gossips, the chronicler is letting the readers know the latest news.

In Port de Paix, a young lad is giving swimming lessons to a girl. What would her mother say if she learnt about the girl's indiscretion?

At Cap Mole Saint Nicolas, an exchange of prisoners is going on. Will it pass quietly?

In Tortuga, a lad gives a cooking lesson to a vendor of spices and his customer.
The innkeeper and one of the tavern boys had been seen going to church together.

Two young tavern apprentices find a half-full bottle on a table they were supposed to clean and they decide to taste it. How strong is it? And how sweet? And how angry will the owner be on them?

An old man with a beautiful black horse entered the inn, after the man had promised a herborist girl to pass by her shop some day.

In front of a tavern in the neighbourhood towards Cayona, a duel took place, with a wider assistance than officially known. Fortunately, all the involved parties remained alive. The severity of the wounds varies though. And so varies the kind of reception the duelists have upon returning home…

In Cuba, the feast of Saint Peter brings a sailor to participate in the local competitions. He gains one of the consolation prizes and brings it to his adoptive mother.

In the open seas, a naval battle took place, the cannonades being heard at large distance. The attacking ship has just exploded and sunk. Allegedly nobody survived. Unbeknowst to the two winner ships, the Navy ships who heard the explosions are heading to their direction, to investigate who was battling whom…

For further news and gossips, don’t miss the next issue of the “Histories and Chronicles of the West Indies”!
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Scribbling Scholar
 Posted: Feb 25 2017, 01:57 PM
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Meet the newest Basse Terre town citizen, born on the eve of Saint John's summer feast, to Yazmin "Mini" Martinez and Gaspard Desjardins.

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As the natural mother rejected the baby, he was adopted by the innkeeper Maribel Vargas and her husband Casimir St.John, a pirate master gunner.

The baby was brought immediately to Juliette Turcotte, to nurse him, as she had a daughter five weeks older. He received the name after the feast day he had been born and after his adoptive father.

Juliette and her husband, the blacksmith Renaud Turcotte, were the baby's godparents, the ceremony taking place on the 5-th of July 1720 and inscribing the adoptive parents in the baptism certificate as the baby's parents.
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Scribbling Scholar
 Posted: Mar 1 2017, 12:37 AM
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GOSSIPS AROUND THE FIRE


Saint John’s summer fires are dwindling, but the celebration isn't yet over entirely. They have attracted many of the citizens of Hispaniola and from the other islands, sailors and other... shadier individuals.

In Tortuga, closer or farther from the fires, three lifetime friends are catching up and making plans for future. A herborist girl received an invitation to dance, while a newly arrived young woman's solitary drinking got interrupted by a child and another young woman who had the impression they had somethingin common.

The celebration of Saint John's feast is starting, next morning, with good news for the new bride (not mentioning the quarrell heard in the whole inn).

We'll keep our readers informed about any further developments... Don’t miss the next issue of the “Histories and Chronicles of the West Indies ”!
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