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 Victory A La Pyrrhus, Le Phenix crew and only prisoner pirates
Henri d'Estrees
 Posted: Oct 15 2017, 08:57 PM
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second lieutenant on "Le Phenix"
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Posts: 92


Date: 31-th of July 1720, late afternoon
Place: in the open seas


Le Phenix had sunk the pirate ship, and it had fished some of the pirates to be brought to trial. This was enough of a success to give all of them the aura of heroes back in Port de Paix, Henri mused. Having sunk a pirate schooner and bearing witness about the sinking of the pirate brigantine too – or who was not to say they had been sinking it too, when telling the story in a tavern? Because the Rear-Admiral should know, unfortunately, the truth as it had happened, including how his beloved friend, Captain Wesley Stewart had lost his life.

Three British sailors had been saved too, the best swimmers and luckiest to have been able to survive and head towards the French flagship. They were resting somewhere below the deck, while the pirates, securely tied in the brig, had been interrogated today thoroughly. Henri was the one who noted the replies. The Russian lieutenant, Alexis Perivolakis, was more adept at making them speak and confess than Henri was. He had some things to learn from the ruthless Russian, who had told him once that he had been in the battles with the Swedish before.

The caught pirates were a mix of nations - a Frenchman, two Spaniards, a Greek, a couple of Negros... Their stories, which had just started being unveiled, intrigued him. Before seeing them in court, then hanging as an example for everyone not to follow the same path, it was interesting for Henri to understand why they had done it...

So Henri had just gone out of the brig when a young sailor came to report:

"The powder room is wet, Monsieur le Lieutenant! We are taking water heavier."

"Go announce the captain!" Henri said, going to see for himself the proportions of the disaster.

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NPC
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 04:21 PM
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NARDO SERRANO, JEAN SERRE, HAJA. ABIDEMI, pirates


In a corner of the brig, well tied, Nardo, Jean, Haja and Abidemi were cursing silently their bad luck of having fallen right into the welcoming arms of the French Navy. Jean had been close to the noose two months ago; now he was fearing they wouldn’t escape marrying the wooden-legged widow. There was, true, another possibility for people like him, but this was worse than death: being sold into slavery. And if he thought better, for him personally, but not for poor Haja and Abidemi, it was a right comeuppance for his past deeds... Praying to Bon Dieu was the only solution he had now...

Nardo had been broken by the interrogatory. He had told them everything they wanted to hear. He was a good master’s mate, and he didn’t mind that it took remaining with the pirates in order to keep doing what he had always done, just for a better pay and esteem. This was going to cost him dearly.

The beating Haja got during the interrogation made him tell them everything about his life, in his accented French creole, from being born in Madagascar to being sold to the slavers and saved by Sol Picador:

"In the few months we spent with them, we were free warriors again. Our word in the council counted equally with the white men's, and we weren't slaves anymore," he had explained.

Of course it counted for a full confession.

For Abidemi, who didn't speak French at all, as he knew only some basic English and some Portuguese, it was more difficult until the officers realized he was speaking Portuguese and brought a man to translate. His declarations were taken therefore thoroughly, not sounding much different than the Malagashy man's.

Now that the torturers had left, giving them a break, the respite was welcome. The brig wasn't directly next to the powder magazine, so their area wasn't showing the water the ship was taking.

This post has been written by ELENA
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Casimir St. John
 Posted: Oct 20 2017, 10:09 AM
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Master gunner aboard the "Rising Sun"

Posts: 266


- Baptiste's and Cass's story continues from here-


Prisoner. Cass couldn't fathom a worse situation. Dead would have been better. He had an idea about the French hospitality from those who had to endure it before - Sol and Angel, but he hadn't understood exactly from Angel's disjointed words what exact torture he had been through - most likely, the same this foreign officer had applied to him as well, seeing that he wasn't too keen on confessing.

After the ship sank, he tried to keep his promise and bring Baptiste back to Carmen... but they got caught into the nets the Frenchmen had been browsing the waters with and brought to the brig of "Le Phenix" instead.

Baptiste hadn't said that he had a brother aboard this ship, but otherwise, he had said everything from the start. He hadn't been tortured, for being cooperating... a description which would never match Cass. Consequently, now the pirate master gunner's head was hurting, vibrating and pounding, the walls pressing against him, not allowing him to breathe.

He didn't remember anymore what he had said to that damn lieutenant. It was simply not fair for Maribel to remain widow again, at less than six weeks since their wedding. At least they had a year of happiness together, that he'd remember up to his last breath.

He felt nauseous, ready to throw up again, and he took a deep breath, conscious that his crewmates and brig companions now didn't deserve to spend their time up to Port de Paix in an air more vitiated than normal if he could avoid it.

Bleh! out of the pan into the fire, this was the outcome of last night's fight...
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Thierry Vounos
 Posted: Oct 20 2017, 10:42 AM
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Master Gunner aboard "Le Phenix"
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Leftheris tried his best to keep his attention to the guns under his responsibility. Not to think anymore about the prisoners, as he had recognized Thanos and Cass among them when the sailors had fished them out. Maybe if he never had the opportunity to directly look at them, he'd forget about this unsettling fact. It was almost as bad as when having Andrea there prisoner.

And he had now what else to focus on. Several people have been hurt or killed in the battle, including sailors he liked. Guns had been damaged, but some of them could be repaired, and this was exactly what he, Adrien and a few others were trying to do.

On his way to the captain's cabin, a sailor told him that there was no dry ammunition left. Leftheris wasn;t sure what was an exaggeration and what wasn't, so he preferred to see for himself how bad it was. He had made sure that the powder was well packed in dry barrels and that the balls, chainshot and grapeshot were also safely stored not to rust. But when taking water directly, all the precautions were worthless.

Once arrived in the powder magazine, he could see that the water was just below his ankle. Below, in the bilge, the pumps were heavily working but without succeeding to get them rid of the accumulating water. The oak beans creaked again, with an eerie sound, close to Leftheris, making the master gunner shiver at the thought that just a plank of wood or two, perhaps already damaged, protected him from the depths of the sea.
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Julien Bauldry
 Posted: Oct 22 2017, 09:14 PM
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First lieutenant on "Le Phenix"
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As the first lieutenant, Julien was the second in command, and as such he could not focus on just one task at a time. He had to focus on multiple tasks.

He had to see to the prisoners, rescued Brits, the ship repairs and everything else going on, including what was the situation of their wounded. There was also a need to know how many men had been lost. This started to seem quite clear, and even with precise numbers were still missing, it was clear that many men had been killed on their ship, besides some many enemies and British allies. The day had been the bloodiest Julien had ever seen.

Now, he had been handling the prisoners with Henri. He had heard some little details from the pirates, like who had been the pirate's captain. Much interrogation questions remained, but when he heard what a sailor announced to Henri, he hurried on deck, commanding all, "Leave the prisoners to themselves for now. We need to save the ship!" He knew that the situation was bad, so this was a good choice of words.

The leak was below and Henri went to look at it. Julien had to see the situation on deck first. How deep they were swimming? This, for example, was easier to comprehend there. Indeed, when he saw the ocean level Julien understood that they were deeper in the water than they should.

Julien gave commands to men going below, "Make sure the lowest gunports are closed! We should have enough water leaking from elsewhere without them making things worse!" Thankfully the pumps had been manned early on, he sighed. He then remembered and added, "Rested men to the pumps!" He felt need to hurry, so he went below himself again, knowing that he could help captain better if he knew the situation wholly.

Then, he found Henri, who was busy too, "This seemed to be a costly victory! How bad was the powder room?"

Julien seemed quite calm, even while he was not. He was afraid, but he knew that even the best officers were in some cases. Now, he just needed to hide it as well as he could.
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 Posted: Oct 28 2017, 09:31 PM
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JACQUES TOURINHO & VALERIAN SEVERN, French Navy sailors


Valerian, on his way to the pumps, went to the master gunner to tell him:

"The first lieutenant ordered that all the lowest gunports be closed."

Jacques and a few others went to the pumps too, while the sailor sent by the second lieutenant found the captain.

"Captain, the gunpowder is all wet. The pumps aren't succeeding to keep the water out. The powder room has water till ankles."

Pumping was a hard work now, since it was water everywhere, and a foul smell. Valerian hated this feeling of being emprisoned in the belly of a large whale, with ribs around, suffocating him, and no fresh air. This was most often a job given as a punishment to unruly sailors – but now it was out of dire necessity, as the water was seeping its way from various little or bigger holes. The ship sat low already, and most of the ballast had been thrown away already.

This post has been written by ELENA
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Henri d'Estrees
 Posted: Oct 28 2017, 09:56 PM
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second lieutenant on "Le Phenix"
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He had to admit that Julien Bauldry was right. The prisoners could keep being interrogated later, after the ship sat better in water. Because right now, it was slowly listing, and the sailor had just told him why.

"I am going to check," he told the first lieutenant. He hoped the sailor would reach the captain quickly with the bad news.

The situation was bad indeed. Henri wasn't sure what the captain would order, but in his opinion, first the wet powder should be thrown away, for better balance, then some of the guns on the listing board. Of course, he couldn't speak unasked, as he was too young compared with the captain and even younger than the first lieutenant. He knew these things only from tactical learning, not from having dealt with them before... unless ... well, this was how they had saved La Chanson a few months ago.

He came up on the main deck and he met again Julien.

"It is a costly victory, indeed. We are in water up to ankles there. Or almost. Had that stupid ass announced the captain, or what had he done in the meanwhile?"

He shouldn't admit that he started being a little afraid. He had never had a sinking ship under his feet.

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Thanos Perivolakis
 Posted: Nov 16 2017, 06:15 PM
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sailor aboard the "Rising Sun"

Posts: 56


-Thanos's story continues from here-


The Rising Sun lay defeated and sunk in the bottomless ocean. So did the other pirate ships. His own symbol of pride and joy was not just lost now, but sunken by their pursuers who wanted nothing more than to steal their hard fought freedom and independence just so they can impose the brutal rules of the most popular butchers who had ever worn a crown according to him. But what could he do now? Laying motionless inside a brig like an animal awaiting for its death. All the people who have been with him where already there. Even Lefterakis with whom he had celebrated once, before going to meet the family of Andreas...

His crewmates, pirates all of them, tied like hay piles in the brig, had been interrogated by the "now Russian" brother of his with that stupid Turkic torture method that hurt like a cannonball. But not him though. Not the criminal Thanos Pireotis. Because when the time came for his turn, the Lieutenant Alexis Perivolakis who aspired his nation to be rescued just like Venice was "saved", froze at the sight of the man who should have been a rotting corpse in Kingston. By his own hand non the less.

His eyes opened, tired from the sleep deprivation but still seeing clearly, saw the people closest to him. People who had lived for the first time as equals in a level like never seen before. Even the coloured former slaves that Thanos had to learn their side of things for the first time ever since he fought coloured mercenaries.

"Palikaria, akoute vre?," he started speaking to none in particular in Greek. After a few interesting glances he understood that his words would be in vain should he continued to speak in his own tongue. Therefore he switched to English.

"Listen to me. I... I was not interrogated by the lieutenant... Because that man is a Greek, my brother... The one i told you that got enlisted into the French navy... When i get... Out. And i WILL! Get out... I shall challenge this man in a duel, with nobody else interfering with us, or... Or else....

Don't worry about me... And don't return for me should any of you get out. I will be alright...

This is my fight. That is why Virgin Mary did not allow me... to perish... I... I was just escaping from my god given direction all those years. Our beautiful ship... It sunk because of all the bad luck i brought us, by avoiding everything...

Forgive me..."
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Alexandros Perivolakis
 Posted: Nov 16 2017, 06:44 PM
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third lieutenant aboard "Le Phenix"
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How was this even possible he did not know... After interrogating the criminals that they had caught and having some fun with Henry about giving criminals a taste of their own cruelty, the ghost looked at him with the same eyes as those of his brother. It was as if his body woke up and swimmed across the seas just to get him... Master gunner Lefteris did not say anything, despite hearing that the brother of Alexis, had died a pirate.

Alexis had been in in this state for some time and his fellow sailors were not sure what had happened to the man who not long ago was making the most bloodthirsty savages regret the day that they ever started playing with other people's lives. Just as he was about to go and interrogate the next man, whom he heard slew five marines on his own, fighting like being possesed by a satanic spirit, he saw Thanos Perivolakis. No, Thanos was dead, that ghost who wore his skin was Athanasios Perivolakis. Because it sait the same snarky remarks as his brother, and the pirate. Who had been the same person all along.

His state of mind did not linger any more on that occasion, thanks to the marine that barged into his office.

"What is it man?" He said with a disappointed tone for, not for being disturbed, but for not finishing with with his coffee.

"lieutenant! LIEUTENANT!!! The gunpowder, it was dry, and now it is wet, we may have been taking more water than we thought at first.."

"We may? As if we already had been taking water?" Alexis asked the marine without expecting an answer.

"Did your people inform anybody else or just me?"

"Only the other lieutenants sire" the marine responded earnestly.

"Are you insane?" Alexis barked, getting back to his senses thanks to the looming danger "only US! He says, what are you doing, did anybody else at least inform the captain? Are we some kind of ship nurses? My goodness i miss Russia!"

Hurrying to the spot where the water was seen, or rather felt in its entirety, Alexis left the room with the marine. His coffee remaining upon the table, as he thought in his folly that he would return to it and his duties.
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Casimir St. John
 Posted: Nov 21 2017, 05:51 PM
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Master gunner aboard the "Rising Sun"

Posts: 266


Cass tried to compose himself, but he was still sick from the tortures. He had no idea yet that the lieutenant who had tortured him was Thanos’ brother. He had thought it was a mere coincidence that Thanos had been the only one not tortured by this one, merely interrogated by the other two lieutenants.

He had heard first Thanos saying something he didn’t understand, but he didn’t realize that he didn’t know the language; how his head hurted and he was not feeling well, he simply thought this was why he couldn’t hear properly the words. Then, as he started understanding them, it meant that he was feeling slightly better. And the words sounded half like feverish delirium, half like some forced hope, badly needed in their conditions, when they could, in fact, expect only the trial and the noose… Nobody to storm the prison for them, how he had done, with the crew, for Sol, nobody to arrange a prisoners’ exchange for them, like it was done for Angel and the others recently. There was no ship left, no crew... A few crewmates here, to share the same fate with him, and only God knew how few to survive the shipwreck and make it back to Tortuga, to bring Maribel the sad news. Cass was realistic.

”Yes, we may get out, through a miracle,” Cass replied. ”I didn’t believe in them, but after Sol’s escape, then Angel’s and the others’, I know there might be a miracle for us too. Or not. We might be lucky or not. And no, you aren’t the bad luck one for whom the Rising Sun had sunk. It was the damn gunner on the consort ship, unfamiliarized with his new guns. Cease feeling guilty for this! As for brothers… God gave them to some of us as a new form of torture, and to some for help and bonding. Thanos, if you believe in Virgin Mary, better pray. Think about revenge and duels later.”

It was easy to say it… but neither Cass was as coherent as he tried to sound. Damn headache was barely bearable now.
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Marc Lafont
 Posted: Dec 3 2017, 05:05 AM
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Carpenter on "Le Phenix"
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Marc was relieved he hadn't had to watch his brother being tortured. It was bad enough that he was there when he was brought aboard. Knowing now that Baptiste had been aboard that pirate ship was enough to startle him, though not enough, grâce à Dieu, to make him lose his composure. Besides, if Baptiste hadn't cooperated, what good would torturing him have done?

"When we go into battle, it's not like we choose who we fight against. That is up to God. And if we lose, whether or not we are given the chance to live is also up to God," he'd said, rather bravely, Marc thought, when asked why he joined the pirates. "If given the chance to live, most will take it, and I took it."

These words, among others, which he considered to be well-spoken, were underneath the surface probably also a plea to remember how ridiculous it seemed to kill someone else for taking a chance. Marc didn't know whether or not anybody else actually understood, deep in their being, what Baptiste was saying, but he did, and it made him proud as a big brother, though he watched with as neutral an expression as possible. Still, he'd tell him later, provided they got a chance to be where no one else could hear them, that he was proud, but that to make statements like that might get him in trouble if he said them too often. In his blatant honesty, Baptiste might not have realized the consequences. True, it had saved his butt from at least the torture this time, but didn't one seemingly have to apologize exactly half of the time for lying and half of the time for telling the truth?

Yet, in the end, what did it matter?

Probably not very much. He was still going to die. Yet Marc felt determined to keep his brother with him for as long as possible. Maybe even long enough, God willing, to get him out of being hanged. Marc knew he would have to act carefully to avoid being caught and losing his post if he did that, but this was the sea. He could always go home, he thought. Baptiste was his brother.

Wasn't blood thicker than water?

For now, though, blood didn't matter. They'd locked Baptiste in the brig just like everybody else.

First things first, though. He'd better try to do something...anything... before everyone on the ship drowned. Not that he could think of anything to be done,carpentry-wise, if the water was coming up to people's ankles. Well, then. He'd watch Thierry for awhile and then see if he could fix a gun or two.
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Jean-Baptiste Lafont
 Posted: Dec 3 2017, 05:51 AM
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Able seaman, "Rising Sun"

Posts: 122


Baptiste, too, was struggling with his faith. Why would God let him be captured now, when things were good again? Well, not good, exactly- he still felt rather lost after his confession to Sol and Sara, and then Sara had left, which still made him sad- but tolerable. He still had so much to live for, like Carmen and the baby, whom he already thought of as little Amparo, short for Maria del Amparo Lafont.

There would be an even better reason for her name- meaning "protection"-if God brought him through this. He didn't remember many of his answers to the interrogation either anymore, more from numbness than anything else. He even missed Rayo, who ,despite having calmed down some, might still jump on him from time to time. He'd let him, now.

Still feeling as if he were not quite there, tied up in the dark, smelly brig, Baptiste spoke. His own voice sounded far away.

"I think if possible, Marc will try to get us two out, Cass, but I wouldn't count on him being fast," he admitted. Marc had met Belle, and thus would probably be willing to help at least Cass as well as himself. But Marc would also have to avoid being caught.
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Henri d'Estrees
 Posted: Dec 11 2017, 02:13 PM
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second lieutenant on "Le Phenix"
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The sailor announced the captain, as Henri found out personally when he ran to investigate what was happening on this ship. The captain had given the order to send more people to the pumps, to send the carpenter’s team and anyone else who knew the least about carpentry to help patching up the holes and to throw out the wet powder, in the effort to balance the ship again.

These were regular orders Henri heard and conveyed over. It wasn’t as if their ship could resist firing one more cannonade, even if the ammunition wasn’t wet, without breaking into pieces.

”The captain ordered to do your best to save the ship. Have you patched all the big holes?” he asked the master carpenter, who was closing the gunports with the master gunner. ”Why are you here? Take all your men and check the hull for holes!”

Then he looked at the master gunner:

"After the ammunition gets thrown out, some guns have to be moved on the opposite side, to prevent it listing more. This would buy time for the repairs squad."

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 Posted: Dec 11 2017, 02:28 PM
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BARTHEMY MADIANA & JACQUES TOURINHO & VALERIAN SEVERN


Barthemy was exhausted. He had patched several holes in the ship’s hull, which were easier to patch with wood scraps and tar. He was knocking the wood to hear the sound, then examined more attentively the pieces which didn't sound as fully as they thought. To his dismay, the many little ones could be patched somehow, but bigger ones were opening, due to the effects of cannonades and sea water. He didn't know the story with Hercules and the Hydra, to which three heads grew instead of the cut one. Otherwise, he would have said this applied to the present situation, their own Hydra being a wooden and way too holed one.

Valerian went to the pumps, together with other men who had been resting until then, to replace the pumping crews. They started energetically throwing the water out.

Meanwhile, at the orders repeated by Lieutenant d’Estrees, another team of sailors went to the powder magazine, to get rid of the useless, wet ballast in order to raise the ship a little. Jacques was among them.

This post has been written by ELENA
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Thierry Vounos
 Posted: Dec 11 2017, 03:30 PM
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Master Gunner aboard "Le Phenix"
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Leftheris got the first lieutenant’s orders, as conveyed by Valerian.

”Close the gunports!” he shouted, and he made sure that all of them were closed, not only the lower ones.

The situation was too dire to do any different. The master carpenter came towards him – presumably, trying to ascertain how the hull was resisting on that side too. But the problem was below the water, in the hold. The reinforcement of the hull had been penetrated by chainshot, grappleshot and cannonballs, some of the damages being obvious only hours later, after water had made its way through tiny places, widening them.

He heard the comments about the guns and the ammunition when lieutenant d’Estrees came to the second gun deck.

”I’ll start moving with my men a few guns right now. The last one from the bow, the last one from the stern, and the middle one, for the beginning, to see how the ship reacts.”

Soon they were moved. By the ship slightly redressing and sitting better in the water, one would say that the throwing out of the wet powder had been welcome too.
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