As the Avarice drifted through the debris field smoke rolled away from her bow, the ship cut a clear line through the choking fumes, the sculpted eagle’s head prow oblivious to the smoke and fire. Around the frigate the sea undulated like the breath of an angry demon was driving the waves and flickering flames as tall as a man twisted atop the murky green water in patches fed by inky black oil, floating powder kegs, and splintered wood. The shouts and moans of the wounded and damned could be heard over the sharp snaps of timber cracking, block and tackle snapping, and canvas tearing apart as what remained of the Edo Imperial Trading convoy broke apart and began the long journey to the abyssal plains far below the Emerald Sea. The crew aboard the Avarice stood transfixed, carpenter’s mates, gunner’s mates, linemen, and seamen all captivated by the Hell they had entered. Along the rails and ratlines the men stood slack jawed, only the slightest flinch detectable upon their faces when each, in turn, realized the lapping thumps against the Avarice’s hull were being made by floating corpses.
“Mr. Camden…” A voice, steady and firm as granite and just as cold shook Lieutenant Harry Camden’s stupor and brought him back to the present situation. “…it would be best if the crew hastened to their duties in order to remove us from this, tragedy.”
The man that spoke stood upon the Avarice’s quarter deck, a handsome fellow, long of hair and stout of limb. He wore the cloth of the ship’s Captain and his determined stare, focused on Mr. Camden and not the abattoir floating about them, reinforced his authority. “Very good sir.” Mr. Camden replied quickly, turning away and raising his hand and dipping his cover’s brim. The young lieutenant’s voice rang out in the silence, pipes sounded, junior officers and watch commanders began to call out as well, and men began to move about their duties once again. Quickly the sails were trimmed to catch the prevailing wind and the Avarice moved smartly away from the remains of the destroyed convoy. Seeing that the deck crew was once again gainfully employed the Captain passed the helm to a young helmsman, “Keep her northerly Mr. King and put thoughts of that mess behind you, it is not our concern.”
Below decks the Captain had returned to his quarters and with a feathered quill and inkwell handy he began noting the incident in the ships log.
15th of Midsummer, encountered debris field just after nine bells. All indications point to the ships being part of the Imperium of Edo’s trade convoy; I estimate eight in all. As to their reason for being so far south in the Emerald Sea I cannot speculate. Cause of destruction unknown, manner of destruction… complete. With clear horizons in all directions no aggressor could be spotted though the carnage appeared not but hours past. The Avarice presses north under my direction, we could not take the liberty of taking on drifting survivors, our cause is too perilous and our cargo too precious. So far from home and confronted with such abominations I fear the spread of rumors amongst the crew. Discipline must be maintained.
The Captain set aside his quill and sighed heavily as he closed the voluminous log. “Has there been a difficulty Captain?” A woman’s voice, demure and reserved, asked moments after the book was closed. She sat at a small table tucked in the corner of the Captain’s cabin, her veiled face could not be seen but he knew she was observing the ugliness left in the Avarice’s wake. “It is but a curiosity that concerns the Young Emperor more than it should concern anyone aboard this ship.” The Captain said in reply as the cries for help drifted away as the distance grew. The woman’s hands folded neatly atop a case that looked like it contained multiple scrolls, sealed with wax, and linked to her wrist by an ornate golden chain that struck a brilliant contrast against her black, concealing, and formless garments. The Captain’s eyes fell on the scrolls before he stood from his chair and made his way from the cabin. “I beg your pardon mistress Jal’adar but I must see to my crew.” In truth her presence was the sole thing about this voyage that struck his soul cold.
***All the events of today's world swam around in the mind of Captain Blake “Ironsides” Chaplin, like a school of sharks feasting on the overworked gray matter between his pierced ears... it all gave him a headache. He sat back quietly in a simple wooden chair in his cabin at the far aft of his ship, the balance of his weight tipping the chair back onto two legs. The sea was glass-like and calm as the night settled upon the Cerberus. The sun had long ago drifted below the horizon and night had fully enveloped the ship and her crew who, at the moment, were sitting off the coast of Sardonia. Things had gone well for the past few weeks, the crew had spent all the loot from a recent blockade breaking contract in the port town of Combrith. Captain Blake had taken what he needed to maintain the ship, supplies, and men and then had the Quarter Master divide up the rest evenly, according to station and rank, among the crew and they were given liberty for the week. Now the top decks of the ship were kissed by the cool breeze that settled around the Cerberus as the ship sat in the warm tropical waters off the Sardoniaian coat. Right on time Blake heard the first pipes of the second watch echo out into the still night and a bell was struck, two pipes and six rings. The time was near or about midnight. Like wisps of shadow the duty crew changed watch quickly and efficiently, this was to be the forth watch of the day and second of the night. With a crew of over eight hundred the ship was well crewed and cared for and could afford four sets of six hour watches. It was a good system, thought Blake idly as he rocked back and forth in his chair wishing for sleep to take him. The crew spent one six-hour period on watch, manning the guns, and assisting with the sailing or maintaining of the ship, another six-hour shift of work following that. The watch that just came off did whatever needed to be done, maintenance, rigging, and working parties before they were free to have twelve hours to themselves, a tight schedule but a good one. Each watch was roughly two hundred strong, and while they watched, another two hundred slumbered, the next two hundred were occupied with working parties, and the last watch would be on its blessed free time if the luxury could be afforded.
Blake sighed heavily, standing and tossing aside the handful of papers that had been given to him at the last port call. All of them were potential contracts from warring Nobles and Lords in Wind Haven, angered city-states in Sardonia, dissident factions in Edo, unhappy guilds everywhere, rouge traders trying to run blockades, and everything else one could think of. He paced around a heavy oak table he had brought with him when he assumed command, considering the merits of each contract now scattered on the table top along with other papers, tools, books, and charts. He turned away from the tasks, exasperated... an affliction he could only express in the privacy of his cabin, and looked at a fine and detailed model of the Cerberus fixed upon his wall… she was a beautiful ship. A three mast, fully rigged, first rate, ship of the line first leased to Captain Blake by the Royal Navy of Wind Haven when he was still a Commander in the King's fleet. Command of the Cerberus was gifted to Blake by the King upon Blake's successful sacking of a Sardoniaian port during the Schism War. In those days political considerations did not favor Captain Blake "Ironsides" Chaplin bid for Admiralty and instead of making an enemy of the seasoned Captain the King enlisted him, with command of the Cerberus as a privateer. Blake was little more than a pirate sanctioned by the Royal Lands of Wind Haven at that time, paid handsomely to hunt down and capture rouge traders, unsavory people, and pirates under contract with other nations and dispense with them at will. It was a profitable business, and shortly after his thirty-eighth birthday, he had won enough favor, a loyal crew, and enough personal gold to buy off the Cerberus from a financially strapped Kingdom and most of her crew gladly stayed on to sail with Blake under his own flag. To this day a better crew of mercenary privateers for hire to any nation or man with a gripe and enough money does not exist.
The model represented the Cerberus as an impressive 227 feet long with a 51 foot beam, 6,510 square yards of sail, which included 42 square sails, 18 fore-and-aft sails, 18 stay sails, 4 jibs, 3 spanker sails, and 22 stun sails. Her masts reached up just short of 210 feet, and she had enough line, net, pulleys, and rigging to baffle the mind. She weighed in at a hefty 3,500 tons of displacement, and with all her sails set could reach a top speed in a good wind of 10 knots. She held an 850 soul crew along with over 100 guns, some of Kel’es make. She was a warship, an older ship of the line, slow, powerful, and steady and her deep gold and black sides, darkened by age, reinforced with iron, were two feet of solid oak... making her the most feared privateer on the seas today. She carried enough supplies, wheat, bread, yeast, oats, grains, barley, hops, ale, salted meat, chickens, pork, fish, fresh water, dried fruit, jerky, vegetables, fresh fruits, stored beef, and on occasion the odd livestock to last a good four months at sea, a normal seven months, or a very bad year plus. The sleeping decks gave each man a hammock and personal chest, whilst the officers, doctor, cook, and other unique and high-rate billets had cabins at the stern. Her hold could carry additional supplies but was kept empty for the loot that their profession usually encountered and of course the brig deep below was also open for now.
Captain Blake Chaplin broke away from the ships model and walked the circumference of his cabin running his hands along the elegant scroll work and carpentry. Today had seen the completion of the re-provisioning and now the Cerberus was fully stocked with fresh supplies, newly repaired and refitted equipment, and ready for any one of the myriad contracts laid out before the Captain. Ironsides Chaplin settled into his rack after admiring the view of the nighttime Sardoniaian cliffs that the ship sat off of along with smaller emissary ships drifting a few hundred feet away. Each one awaited the Captain’s reply to their contracts. The fourth watch, under the command of one of his young Lieutenants no doubt, kept the sails drawn up and stowed, the Cerberus’s masts looking like skeletal fingers wrapped in all manner of lines and rigging, reaching into the sky while the crew, mostly at rest, awaited another contract from their Captain. Finally the cabin boy, Garret was his name, blew out the candles in the Captain’s cabin and the last light aboard ship save for the bathing moon light was extinguished.
READ & HEED
This is not just another pirate, privateer, or sailing story. I have (what I think is) an intricate story behind this, it will not be just about flamboyantly dressed ninnies hopping about from deck to deck, swathing through the sails and killing armies of enemy sailors for no reason. So if you are looking for something with a devolved plot, if you are looking to write and portray interesting characters, if you are looking to be in a story where the life, quirks, issues, and complexities of the people involved are the main driving forces that complement the plot, then please read on. If you are looking for the countless one liner deaths of NPC's and fanciful pseudo-magic that means you can do "anything", then please look elsewhere, that stuff has its place and that place is not here.
Now, second on the agenda, this story is trying to break the mold set by the other pirate or sailing stories. I want writers with experience, drive, creativity, reliability, and consideration. I want you to be able to think like a sailor of a time period from the late seventeen hundreds to the early eighteen hundreds, I want you to portray and write a powerful character well beyond simply “existing” within the story. I need people to know at least something about actual open, deep-water sailing. I myself am no scholarly expert but when something of a nautical nature comes up I want you to know what the heck it means, or if you don’t to be able to quickly look it up and make an intelligent reply using the terminology and slang of the time. I will always be happy to share what I know in the OOC (if and when this starts) and I will provide these links for you to brush up, if you so desire.
Rigging Want to know what all those ropes, stays, blocks, tackles, yardarms, pulleys, cranks, and jibs do? Find out here.
The life at sea Good notes on what life was really like at sea. Covers food, hygiene, life, and many other interesting topics.
The RHS Cerberus AKA the HMS Victory in the real world This is a most excellent site to see what life on a warship was like and all it entailed. It is the primary reference for the RHS Cerberus the main ship that will be featured in this story.
A side note here, people can play more than one character but don’t get stupid with this, if you can’t handle one or are treading water, do not take on another character. And do not let me see someone playing two characters heavily involved with each other so you control everything. That’s not what this is about if you want that… start writing a book, I love books but we are here to write and interact with other writers. Lastly follow all the Guild rules to the letter. That’s it for now. If this takes off and becomes a quality story then I will post a credits section with every player and a list of whom they play.
CHARACTER SHEETS MAY BE SENT TO ME ANYTIME VIA PM. I WILL REVIEW THEM AND ONCE THERE IS ENOUGH INTEREST FOR AN OOC & IC I WILL ACCEPT THOSE THAT I BELIEVE FIT THE STORY BEST.
BACKGROUND & HISTORY
This does take place in a world much like our own, only with slight differences that will be explained latter. Now understand this, this is not a “fantasy” world… the only race is human and its ethnic branches with relation to common day ones as amended in the following sections. Weapons are swords, knives, and the like, black powder is not yet perfected or stable really. There are flintlock pistols and rifles / muskets and cannons in abundance, but they are horridly inaccurate, take copious amounts of time to reload, are fragile and fickle to moisture and humidity and all together unreliable so your main weapon, if you even need one… should be steal.
The World Details:
The Royal Lands of Wind Haven:
The largest and most powerful Empire is the Royal Lands of Wind Haven. Here the lands are controlled by a brutal but just King named Victor the VIII. He is the most law abiding King to ever sit on the throne, reaching his high status through conflicts and adherence to the laws set down by the royal line before him. There is no deviance from the letter of the law for this King, no gray areas, only black and white as he sees it. His kingdom has had an undefeated naval presence in the West Seas for generations beyond count. However a schism is brewing within the ranks due to internal political struggles between Wind Havens commodores and admirals (Some ex pirates and privateers, others official naval officers) the naval forces are hard pressed to extend their reach effectively. With advanced knowledge of rifles, cannons, pistols, building methods, etc they are comparatively the most advanced Empire to date. Only Kel’es stands above The Royal Lands of Wind Haven with their knowledge of black powder and the Sardonians are quickly threatening Wind Haven with their newfound advances in ship building skills but are still considered marginally inferior. Wind Haven ships are strong-hulled, metal plated, behemoths and most carry over 100 guns. Slower than most other ships, in fact the slowest of all navies they are floating fortresses of power and range. The Wind Haven armies are the rank and file, stand in formation and fire type; brightly uniformed and well renowned for discipline and marksmanship. Socially the lands of Wind Haven have a distinct upper and lower class with a very minimal middle “tradesman” class, and if you are not of the upper class or serving them you might as well not exist. Many of the people of Wind Haven are more worried about who they will be seen with at the next royal ball then the wars beginning around them. Politically many upstart Lords wage civil war within the lands of Wind Haven in an attempt to overthrow the King and this nobility war is draining valuable tax money from the Navy to the Army. Some Wind Haven Lords claim independence, others cite that this tyranny of strict moral adherence must be ended, still others are just power hungry. In turn King Victor has launched a bloody campaign of attrition within his lands devoting most of his Army and leaving his Navy to blockade his holdings in the West Seas, he is busy at his own boarders which has prompted many probing attacks from the raiders of Kel’es, the country of Sardoina, and even his long time ally Emperor Orishu of the Edo Imperium seems to be testing the mettle of the King, looking to procure technological favors for the Edo Imperium.
The Edo Imperium:
To the North is the Edo Imperium, a land modeled after the post isolationist Japan just when the lure of technology was enticing a young Emperor. Edo began being ruled by the young Emperor Orishu after his father past away five years ago amid a conspiracy of murder and deception that still shakes the foundation of the Empire. The Young Emperor also employs a hand-selected counsel of advisors of landowners, military officers, and businessmen, both foreign and domestic to aid his governance.
The country is steeped in many traditions and cultural moors much like the ancient orient, the old generation fighting the new in quiet civil wars in the mountains. Many say that the very soul of the Imperium and the nation of Edo is itself threatened by the expanding culture and power of places like Wind Haven. Their trade however has evolved much more quickly than the rest of the world despite their recent entry onto the world stage. The Imperium merchants are the world’s best traders and merchants with lines that run both across land and sea all over the world offering impartial if not overpriced trade to all... if you can’t get it in Edo it does not exist. The ships the Imperium uses are midsized, most are converted merchant ships, armor and weaponry having been added when wars arise. This factor makes them very easy to conceal as merchant ships rather than ships of the line and the Imperium’s favored tactic is ambush. The regiments of the army still employ sword carrying soldiers along with riflemen and the officers are very green when it comes to tactics but will die to the last. The young Emperor’s council is made up of landlords and business owners that are pushing for a quick adaptation of the world’s technology, while the Emperor struggles with loosing the traditions of his people. Socially in Edo it is a very traditional culture with set positions in life that all should be happy to serve the Emperor in, honor and loyalty are paramount but a black stain of dishonor is beginning to infest Edo as it quickly vaults into modernism and it seems as if the Imperium is ripping herself apart. The land lords of Edo look to the south and the Wind Haven lands, civil war for new conquests are being fought in the high mountains, and political deception is the norm in the Edo Imperium.
The Northland Tribes:
The lands Farthest to the north are called simply, the Northlands. Ruled by a tribal council that meets semi annually at Widow Peak Fortress to discuss matters that pertain to all Northerners, besides this the people of the Northlands are left to their clan or tribe rule. Modeled after Scotland and Scandinavia the Northlands are a harsh land mostly covered in snow and jagged highlands but with short growing periods in the valleys. The people of the North live in clans some modernized with some knowledge of black powder but many still live as barbarians and Viking style raiders, attacking the coasts as far south as the borders of Wind Haven. The main religious belief is druidism, and the shamans and clan family leaders rule the clans but within the line of the Widow Peak council. Many border skirmishes always rage but they are nothing compared to the civil wars of Wind Haven. The Northland sailors are the only men and women ever brave enough or knowledgeable enough to sail the frozen seas and no one will venture there without a north man navigator. The Northlands have remained free of outside influence since the clans came together in loose and fractured peace, because every army that has tried to march past the Frozen Point Mts. or any navy that has sailed the frozen sea turns back long before an invasion can be completed. Isolated and hardy these men and women hardly ever venture from their own clan lands let alone out of the Northlands but there are exceptions. Socially the culture is based on hard work and community, very little royal corruption or scheming exists because survival year to year is paramount. Black powder is nonexistent in all but the rarest cases and sword and shield are still the main weapons and they are brutal and deadly with these weapons, their ships have no cannons and are nothing more than coastal longboats. The only danger is if the mass force of the clans were to one day unite or worse yet be provided black powder weapons. This could possibly pose a great threat to the lands of the south and this is a fear that pervades throughout the political circles of the world.
The Kel’es Kingdom:
Far to the South of the Northlands are the Deserts of Kel’es. This realm is shrouded in mystery because few except Kel’es natives can brave the vast deserts that surround the “One City” and fewer still face sailing the harsh sun and constant doldrums of the burning seas. This land is based on the Babylonian times in Egypt and the Middle East. Besides the One City, which is rumored to be a massive complex of unparalleled architecture, tribes are rumored to camp at oases scattered throughout the sands but they have no influence in any part of the government. Technologically the people of Kel’es were the first to discover and use black powder and they have guarded the secrets of its most advanced uses with the very lives of their peoples and kingdom. At one time a treaty between King Victor and the Government of Sardonia nearly ended the Sultan’s rule of the lands of Kel’es in a deadly two-pronged invasion. The invaders were beat back though at the former city of Golgotha which was destroyed in the fighting. Golgotha was said to be a city that today’s survivors of that first war cannot find words to describe in size or grandeur. The people of Kel’es have a technology base set farther forward than any other country. Socially little is known about them except a woman from Kel’es has never been seen outside Kel’es and politically they are ruled over by a family of Sultans who rarely leave Kel’es but send emissaries often to express interests and parlay the other governments with promises of new technology. The people of Kel’es control the Burning Seas, their ships are lightly armored but heavily gunned, even out gunning Royal Wind Haven ships and possessing more speed but frighteningly little armor, and their use of black powder makes their cannons far more powerful and deadly than any other. Their army however is in shambles after the Wind Haven / Sardoniaian invasion and they have resorted to raiding the civil war ravaged lands of Wind Haven and the corrupted lands of Edo to bolster their forces.
The Free Haven of Sardonia:
The last land to the south east is Sardonia, a land modeled after the colonial United States. It was founded by a group of Wind Haven explorers exasperated with King Victor’s rule. When they found the new land they broke away from Wind Haven’s monarchy and started their own republic government. Bloody wars of independence followed and after years of fighting these Anarchy Wars and false treaties the Sardonians won their freedom in a bloody show of cooperation expressed by their aid of Wind Havens invasion to Kel'es. Today, socially, they are much like Wind Haven though the majority of the people are independent, governed very little if at all by representatives, and live in a society based of voluntary contract and private property. This can lead to Sardonia being a bi-polar country with its government representatives and people being mostly good people or vile pigs… there are few in-between and each actively opposes the other in subversive manners just short of war in the streets. The armies and navy of Sardonia are modeled after the Wind Haven army and navy only they are much smaller and tend to engage in more raiding and guerilla style attacks. The fledgling country once attacked Kel’es with Wind Haven at its side but was beaten back soundly at Golgotha, it is whispered though that in the attack on the city that Sardoniaian spies gained some of the Kel’es research on black powder and this is causing much unease in both Kel’es and Wind Haven.
King Vincent the VIII began the Wind Haven Baron Wars nearly a decade ago and Wind Haven is still embroiled in combat and treachery. Lords and Barons fight each other and the King in a bloodthirsty bid for the crown that hardly ever has clear and defined sides. Armies march in rank and file slaughtering each other in intense ranged combat, walls of flesh falling before cannons and muskets. The kingdom is at war with itself, laying siege to her own lands, burning her own fields, and destroying herself in a horrid struggle for power and status. The West Sea blockades long held by Wind Haven navies are falling; constantly smugglers and traders from the North, Kel’es, Sardonia, and Edo are running the blockades and bringing black market weapons and supplies to the warring Lords for a huge profit.
On all sides of Wind Haven the other countries are testing the borders and each other, the armies of the Edo Imperium, fledgling and young in the modern ways, move forward with both the ancient orders and armies that hold black powder weapons, each day they test Wind Haven’s borders. Mounted raiders seize towns and then fall back, cannons fire into the country side and then vanish and a state of unease grows. Warships disguised as merchants hammer away at any other ships engaged in trade within Edo’s waters, creating a strangle hold on the Eastern Imperial Ocean and imposing dreadfully high tariffs on any who enter their waters under penalty of death. Internally the Imperium of Edo is crumbling, the Emperor is young and naive and distant from the people and with no successor to his throne a council of Land Lords and businessmen have been appointed to rule in matters the Emperor cannot, which more and more becomes everything. Each one of these men are dreadfully corrupt each fighting in much more political ways then the warring Lords of Wind Haven but just as deadly and hateful.
Far to the cold Northlands barbarian hordes have amassed for the first semiannual meeting at Widow Peak Fortress. Whispers are running through the various clans of spy guilds and governments and that a war is brewing and the entire world is the target. All fear the unified Northlands. Clans to the North dissatisfied with being confined by the other Empires of weak, fat people are amassing to push out of the frozen wastes. Already raiding parties have ventured out on brash and effective raids against towns as far south as Wind Haven's north border. The barbarians are funding their raids and what is rumored to soon be a war with the arms sales from their master blacksmith’s to all the worlds warring people and the plunder from their raids. Costal long ships sail down deep water rivers and inland avoiding the Royal blockades and setting a startling foothold in the Royal Lands. All though the use of black powder is unheard of yet, the barbarians sheer size, number, force, and tenacity, and their ability to sail the rivers has set many governments at guard and as the hordes move, the corruption of Edo and the wandering eye of the King follow. It is even rumored that far to the North, in the frozen sea that no man sails, spies have spotted mast bearing capital ships sailing through the ice, though these stories are hard to believe as no ship should be able to sail the ice.
To the south in the barren deserts of Kel’es and in the oil filled burning seas the desert nomads are moving in defense, aiming to stay immune to the world destroying itself. They fear that the coming events will threaten their borders as every country desires the secrets of black powder and the rumored wealth of the Kel’es oil fields. Wind Haven and the Imperium blockades have isolated the Oil and Black Powder trade of the Burning seas and thus the world. Within the One City, forge masters, and technicians’ craft cannons that are unmatched, lining both city walls and the swift destroyers of the Kel’es Sultans fleets in preparation for war. Raiding armies search for more bountiful lands along the borders of Kel'es and into the Empire, Wind Haven, and Sardonia. No one can match the power and knowledge that the Kel’es people have over black powder, nor their resources of it. This leads the Sultans to fear that if all out continental war is to break out that they will be a prime target, so they have isolated themselves, secure in their defenses of impassable desert and superior cannons. Though even the Sultans are not foolish enough to think that they can stay the coming tides of war and representatives and mercenaries flock to and from the deserts.
In the free lands of Sardonia the senate is moving quickly, and a people are backing it with fervor for war. A youthful nation of controlled democracy and freedom they are seeing the oppression of slaves in Kel’es, the corruption and theft in of Edo, the uneducated masses of the North, and the Brutal civil wars of Wind Haven and they have all become the Sardoniaian charge willfully or not. At one time they were allied with Wind Haven in an assault on Kel’es, old connections and ties are being reformed with Wind Haven Lords, at the same time Sardoniaian militants move against both Kel’es and Wind Haven borders raiding and testing their military might while still some barter with Kel'es and the Imperium of Edo. Diplomatic emissaries’ sail to the Northlands, Edo, and Kel’es not far behind them are always mercenaries, privateers, and other contract warriors all to test the mettle of this ever-changing world. Sardoniaian shipbuilding has grown by leaps and bounds and with rumors of Sardonia either working with or stealing from the Kel’es people, their secrets of black powder lead to unsettling possibilities, Sardoniaian warships are becoming the thing to fear.
The world is crumbling into all out war between every nation, soon barbarian hordes may come from the North, corruption in Edo might spill to every government, Kel’es could burn the world around them before giving up their secrets, Wind Haven stands weak with infighting and Sardonia grows in both brazen outburst and subtle maneuverings. These are the right times for mercenaries of the sea. Not pirates, though some may have been… but privateers holding contracts with the governments and Lords, to further their plots and line their pockets, but there is always more than just the cover of a book and these men and women, these independent parties will be the ones to decide if the world falls into open war or if it is all a rumor, their actions are what it all depends on.
There it is, the back-story and current events if you will; I hope some of you endured the length of it all and feel like joining up. A few other things I have to say about this world. Women are not considered bad luck on a ship unless it is by a characters personal preference and outlined within his or her story… so female chars are available… that is if you want to sail months at a time with an isolated crew of mostly men. Other than that no women chars can come from Edo because of cultural reasons, think of ancient Japan… women did not leave home and no chars male or female from Kel’es unless cleared with me, I need this place for story purposes to stay shrouded in mystery. Those people do not get out in the world at all unless they are emissaries. Other than that have at it, keep in line with the histories and my rules along with guild rules and really think this out... character design, story, action, plot, history, and everything… but please, have fun and please join.
The other thing I wanted to say is that every character that joins will be a crewmember on the Cerberus which will be Capt. Blake “Ironsides” Chaplin’s ship. It is modeled off of the HMS Victory, see the above links for reference, and was once a Royal Haven Ship (RHS) but since its Captain has fallen from grace it need not be crewed only by those from Wind Haven. The positions I am looking to fill could be anyone or combo of these. I want to stick with the Officers because they form a small, close knit group, who have a shaping influence on events. Thanks to Waxwing for pointing out that I should address that point.
First Lieutenant: A trusted 2nd in command handpicked by the Captain. Normal with military service and a majority of life at sea. Next in line to the Captain in the chain of command, apt at all manners of sailing, gunnery, and seamanship
Lieutenants: No more than four; all young men or women (Ages 20 -25) aiming to become Captains.
Gunnery Officer: Is in charge of all gunners, cannons, and gunnery matters. This was also the Officer charged with the care of the young Midshipmen. Often referred to in common as "Gunner" or "The Gunner"
Deck Officers: Officers that oversee the crew on deck in the working of sails, and general seamanship. Often much older gentleman or ladies that have spent a life at see. These were the trusted advisers to the Lieutenants and Captain, they fill the role much like the senior enlisted adviser in modern navies (master chief / command master chief)
Midshipmen: No more than eight, all very young men and women (Ages 12 - 16) aiming to become Deck Officers, Gunnery Officers, or move on to Lieutenants and command. They were very young boys and girls that would have been from well off families (like all officers) and would have attended two to four years at a sailing academy before coming aboard.
Master at Arms: Trusted person charged with the distribution of the crew’s weapons and keeping the stocks of powder and shot in stock and in prime condition. Often worked closely with the Gunner and was not a commissioned officer but a senior rated enlisted man often included at the Captain's mess.
Doctor: Often accompanied by a few aids this is the ships surgeon, sometimes a military officer, many times not. The ship's doctor would most likely be the most educated man or woman aboard and would defend against disease and battle wounds... more often than not by amputation.
If you want resources take a look at these
Any of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin novels
The Master and Commander series of novels
Think Moby Dick and Captain Ahab
"A Pacific Legacy"