Ok, I admit. I have absolutely no idea what the hell I'm doing with this thread other than throwing it out there with a template that, I hope, is at least somewhat acceptable when compared to the vanilla template provided by the mods here. It's just, as Notsik said, I and the rest of the crew have been working on this RP for about 6 years now. If there are any problems, let me know, and they shall be corrected and/or explained.
Now without further ado, let's get to setting sail.
The year is 1666, the month is November, and war engulfs the world. Six months ago, there was only one supreme power in the New World, Arckenia; the Axifloan Coalition, a conglomerate of Old World nations. United under one banner, the powers of Midgard, from the greatest such as Avelia, to the meekest like Zenoa, had been on the verge of securing peace over their external foes.
But, as with every empire, this one was destroyed from within. On June 6th, 1666, the assassination of Princess Elizabeth of Avelia, one of the three Great Powers of the Coalition, was not only the latest of the near countless internal plots and schemes that had threatened to tear apart the Coalition, but it was the one that finally succeeded. Because of a single death, Avelia and its rivals, Sirene and Remillia, declared eternal war upon one another, taking their numerous vassal states with them, and leaving the Coalition as a pitiful shadow of its former self.
Avelia, the largest of the three, is mighty in both power and numbers, but its rivals are formidable in their own ways, leading to a brutal tug of war that sees many colonies changing hands multiple times in the span of a single week. In a daring (and many say foolish) move, Avelian High Command, at the behest of its King, Philip VIII, has ordered a majority of Avelia's mighty armada to gather at a strategic location to commence an all out attack on their enemies. In the wake of this gathering, many colonies are left with barely any defences, excepting some keystone cities such as the colonial capital of Reach.
This is the story of Port Arthur, one of the more prosperous of the Empire's colonies. Its prestige is known to the New World as a progressive city, with an infrastructure and lifestyle not too different from Reach itself. Yet because of the Empire's grand scheme, it is left vulnerable, with a meagre flotilla left patrolling its waters to protect it from an ancient and re-emerging threat: Pirates, scourge of Arckenia's Waterways. Once having been in constant hiding from the combined might of the now all-but-defunct Coalition, the chaos and destruction dealt by the sudden war has allowed them the audacity to spring from their holes once again, to wreak havoc and pillage like in the olden times.
Some pirates only want to enjoy this freedom. Others have bigger plans, such as one Captian Jack "Double Decker" Black, who intends to make a name for himself, a name worth writing volumes about in history books to come. His plan is simple, to assemble a fleet to raid the formerly impregnable Port Arthur, and to raze it down so hard that his deed will never be forgotten.
But how will his plans fare?
That is entirely up to you.
Will you sign on to the Avelian Armada and captain one of Port Arthur's few but resolute defenders? Or will you side with Captain Black, and join his quest for gold, glory, and infamy?
These are dangerous times. No blade but one’s own is loyal, and any merchant vessel could be ready to raise the Jolly Roger. But, with danger comes salvation, and with risk, reward. There is hope out there, for those willing to claim it. There are riches, grand and amazing, there for the taking. They wait, on the Open Blue.
Here's our signup sheet and accompanying guidelines:
Name: State a full name, along with any nicknames or titles.
Occupation: Pirate or Avelian Seaman
Age: As long as you have the talent, you can go anywhere in your life.
Gender: No, getting your wang cut off by savages does not make you a woman.
Rank: Seaman to Captain. (Applies only to crewmen on a ship. If you're some kind of street urchin, feel free to ignore this.)
Appearance: Remember the basic stereotypes, pirates have hats, soldiers have uniforms, and street urchins have rags. Go crazy here, it only helps. Use either a Face Claim, or a descriptive paragraph. If using a Face Claim, make sure to identify the character and their series of origin.
Biography: Start at the beginning, end with the present.
Specialties: As your parents have no doubt told you time and time again, everybody is just a bit different. Here, that logic is applied by setting up your character's speciality in Open Blue. Specialities are, basically, certain skills that your character focuses on, such as swordplay, or gunslinging. All characters regardless of their faction are entitled to three Specialties. Be warned though, Specialities do have drawbacks, namely the lack of focus on other skills. For example, Avelian Character Example Robert is a pretty good fencer, but since he focuses so much on developing that skill, he neglects his gunplay. Basically, for each strength, you must develop a weakness that makes some sense.
Weapons and Equipment: Ships and clothing don't go here. Five tools are all you can carry. This inventory assumes that you already have the standard Captain stuff, such as telescopes, ammunition, parrot etc. Therefore, don't include 'Captain Stuff' in your list, or I swear to Zod you'll walk the plank.
The high seas are made for lies and bending of the truth. Any infamous stories or "facts" about yourself go here. Remember, the more you're feared, the faster they'll surrender. You may have more than one, if they're shocking enough.
If you're not a captain of a ship, excuse this section, and kindly place the name of the ship you're on, and the name of the captain there.
Now, for you in command...
The faction you choose, of course, decides the type of ship.
You can choose ships based on your faction from the list located further down.
If it's a bit complex, let me explain it in a bit more depth here:
Ships in Bold cannot be accessed by pirates (exceptions only by special request and approval from the Powers That Be™, AKA me and whomever I designate as a PTB™).
Ships in Blue can be accessed by Avelian Seamen and Privateers working for Avelia. If they are not in Bold, pirates can access them too.
Ships in Purple can be accessed by anybody.
If you want to use a ship that's not on the list, talk it out with the Powers That Be™
-This section is limited to seperate ships, each one must have a form filled out, based on the condition and statistics of the respective ship. Each section must be filled out to completion, or it will be sent back for revisions.
Name of your Ship:
Remember, try to keep it original. There's many ships out there.
Size and Class:
This is affected by the ship limits mentioned above.
Namely cannons. Numbers and sizes, please. Be realistic in size and number of cannons. A sloop can't possibly have a hundred 48-pounders without sinking to the ocean depths. This section is split into three:
The front of the ship. Cannons placed here will serve as chase guns and face forward. Their primary purpose is to shoot at enemy ships to soften them up before lining up for a broadside.
The middle of the ship. Cannons placed here will serve as the main battery and face either side. Note that the number of cannons here will only be half effective when firing, since only half of your main battery will be facing an enemy ship. Unless of course, you're sandwiched between two enemy ships, but then that's a very bad place to be.
Multi-decker ships will have extra decks. Two-deckers will add an Upper Deck, while three-deckers will add a Lower Deck.
The rear of the ship. Cannons placed here will serve as chase guns and face backward. Their primary purpose is to slow down enemy ships that are chasing you.
Mods: (PIRATES ONLY)
Little gimmicks you can attach to your ship to give it some extra surprise and extra "oomph", whether it's a harpoon cannon, or bow-mounted flamethrower. Just make sure it's sensible and within technological limits. Anybody who puts outrageous things like LAZERS or 11-inch Guns on his ship will taste the fury of Kukulu.
The more canvas there is, the faster the ship.
How many men to die, and how many to pay? Note that not all ships can carry marines. A Sixth-Rate, for example, can only carry 24. A sloop would only be able to carry maybe a dozen.
A sailor's only as good as his ship. Dont be afraid to go overboard on the appearence. Please remember, though, that naval vessels tend to be standardized.
See following post for ship list.
---------- Post added at 01:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:04 AM ----------
THE OFFICIAL SHIP LIST FOR OPEN BLUE
Legend: BOLD = Cannot be used by Pirates UNDERLINE = Cannot be used by Player Characters without prior permission from Powers That Be™. BLUE = Primarily Avelian PURPLE = Pirates/Anybody
AVELIAN LIGHT WAR GALLEON
Number of Guns: 44 guns
Crew Size: 300
Displacement: 1000 tons
AVELIAN FAST GALLEON
Number of Guns: 28 guns
Crew Size: 200
Displacement: 550 tons
Number of Guns: 18 guns
Crew Size: 125
Displacement: 180 tons
AVELIAN TRADE GALLEON
Number of Guns: 10 guns
Crew Size: 100
Displacement: 450 tons
Number of Guns: 24 guns
Crew Size: 150
Displacement: 500 tons
Number of Guns: 14 guns
Crew Size: 40
Displacement: 200 tons
Number of Guns: 2 guns
Crew Size: 45
Displacement: 50 tons
Number of Guns: 1 gun
Crew Size: 30
Displacement: 5 tons
Kurt Hawkins was born on a rainy Tuesday evening in the year 1645. His parents, David Hawkins and Isabella Aldava, were two actors part of a travelling troupe of entertainers, La Caravana, who at the time were stopping by in the small Avelian town Vega. Kurt was, in fact, an accident, and his parents never formally married, but they were determined nonetheless to give the child a good, exciting childhood together.
And exciting it certainly was. There was never a dull moment with La Caravana, and Kurt was very quickly thrust into the duties that come with being part of a group of entertainers, serving as manual labor in constructing sets, providing for the performers, then eventually becoming a background actor, filling in as a choreographer, playing supporting roles, and eventually, at the age of 12, becoming a star in one of La Caravana’s plays. That role set Kurt on the twisting and turning path he would follow to this day.
A the age of 13, when La Caravana stopped off at a coastal village, the sea began to call out to the young Avelian, as it calls out to many men. Despite his fascination with the sea, however, Kurt was forbidden by his parents to even think about joining the Armada, as the life of a petty seaman or a marine was… dismal at the best of times, and there was no chance whatsoever he would be able to become an officer, considering his social status. Glumly, Hawkins turned away from the sea and refocused his efforts on La Caravana, though he never forgot its siren’s call.
Then, at 16 years of age, Kurt was set to star in his biggest role yet, La Campaña del Duque de Parma(The Campaign of the Duke of Parma), which chronicled the same’s efforts to turn the tide in the Yamani Wars and bring Avelia from the brink of total defeat to glorious victory, as the Duke of Parma himself. The role originally was for another actor in La Caravana, but that actor found himself in jail after a particularly nasty drunken brawl, and a replacement was needed without delay. Kurt was the only one available, and he was shoved into the role and given only a few days to prepare.
To ante up the pressure, La Caravana was expected to appear in El Teatro Real de Aguabajo(The Royal Theatre of Aguabajo), which was only the most prestigious theatre in all of the Avelian Empire, and just because that wasn’t enough, it was said that King Phillip VIII and his favorite daughter, Princess Isabella, would be in the audience. Naturally, Kurt wasn’t told this last part just in case the poor lad had a heart attack, and it was feared that the pressure would be too much for the young actor.
Then, on the day of the play, the curtains rose.
Kurt Hawkins proceeded to steal the show.
Given a hearty, standing ovation for his passionate, energetic, and frankly brilliant performance as the Duke of Parma, which he devoted everything he had to, the young actor was initially expected to go on in his acting career in even more prestigious roles and propel La Caravana to new heights of fame. But first, the 16-year-old Princess of Avelia requested that she meet the star of the play face to face to congratulate him on his performance. Naturally, the king couldn’t refuse his favorite, and summoned the young actor to her carriage before they rode off back to the palace.
Kurt obliged, and the moment the two laid eyes on each other, now no longer separated by an entire theatre, the two young Avelians fell in love. Over the next few months, Kurt was slowly yet surely dragged away from La Caravana to perform solely for Isabella. Understandably, Kurt’s parents were of two minds about this. On the one hand, they (and La Caravana) were going to lose their son to the Princess of Avelia, one of their brightest rising stars. On the other hand, at least the one who took an interest in their boy was King Phillip’s favorite daughter. After seven months since their first meeting, Kurt Hawkins officially left La Caravana and began performing exclusively for Princess Isabella, along the way refining both his acting skills and fencing capabilities with professional tutors.
Over the years, their relationship grew into a more physical one, Hawkins becoming a lover of the Princess who had, by this point, rejected countless suitors. Of course, the King disapproved along with most of his court, considering the fact that Hawkins was nowhere near the same social standing as the Princess. It was scandalous, no matter what spin was put on it. But what Princess Isabella wanted, Princess Isabella got, so there was no changing it.
When Hawkins turned 18, the Princess informed her lover that whatever he wanted for his birthday (save for unreasonable demands like marriage, of course), she would oblige. It was then that Hawkins remembered the call of the sea, and asked that she grant him a title of nobility and sponsor his application to become an officer in the Armada. Obviously, this involved separation of the two lovers, something that did not please Isabella in the slightest. The two argued non-stop for a week about it, something that shocked the court. Here was a man, an actor of all people, standing defiant against the Princess’ wishes. Even more shocking, that he eventually won.
Reluctantly, the Princess requested her father make Hawkins Don de la Vega, and that she be his sponsor in his application for the Armada. Forcing him to promise he would only complete the obligatory four-year tour of duty, she gave him a medallion he wears to this day to remind him of their connection. Acquiescing to these demands, Hawkins set out for the Armada to do his duty for Avelia.
It quickly became apparent that Hawkins was not a natural at this seaman business. He tried, none could deny that, but his navigational skills were terrible, and his seamanship was barely acceptable, even by the standards of the Armada. The actor who tried to play an officer seemed doomed to shameful obscurity and never surpassing the rank of Guardiamarina (Midshipman). This would have been true, but seven months into his tour of duty, Hawkins met two young men who would change his military life forever.
Fellow Guardiamarinas Javier de la Molona and Wallace Rodecker, the former an introverted, Reinian navigational wizard, the latter a competent Marish seaman, met each other and Hawkins during the Battle of Raymondo Strait, between their War Galleon and a Ridellian ship of the line. With Hawkins’ leadership (acted or not), Molona’s navigational skills, and Rodecker’s seamanship, the trio fought with distinction and, after the victory, were commended for their efforts that, the Capitán (Captain) claimed, contributed to their victory. After that day, the three became fast friends who, to present times, remain inseparable.
Eventually, in Hawkins’ last year of his tour of duty, he was granted an opportunity to take the examination for Teniente (Lieutenant), no doubt due to the influences of his lover. Nevertheless, he may have never passed had his two friends not given him a crash course in navigation and seamanship that allowed him to pass, barely.
Hawkins never forgot their efforts and, when his tour neared its end and he announced his decision to not pursue a military career, his two friends expressed their wishes to make military life their career despite the difficulties in promotion. Hawkins vowed that he would convince the Princess to sponsor them as well and make their dreams closer to reality.
But, on June 6th, 1666, only three days before Hawkins’ tour officially ended, devastating news arrived: the Princess was dead, likely assassinated, and the Coalition was falling apart. Numb with grief, Hawkins did not notice his tour of duty being arbitrarily extended by two more years along with every other officer in service at the time. If he did, it didn’t matter in the slightest, for he wanted revenge for the death of his lover.
Actor & Acrobat: Hawkins started at humble, albeit dramatic beginnings. For much of his life, he has been an actor and, as such, has achieved skill levels of lying that could rival some politicians. The acrobatic skills that come with being an active actor those days have not hurt either, allowing Hawkins to be unusually flexible and agile. As such, he has managed to acquire a talent for appearing like a strong leader, along with being more charismatic than he actually is, increased diplomatic skills, and so on. But therein lay the problem: it’s all just an act. Hawkins is in fact a rather shy man, whose actual experience at leadership is… limited at best, so in difficult situations he can easily crack. It must also be noted that, just because Hawkins is physically adept in terms of agility, does not mean the same in strength.
Co-Dependency: It’s not easy, being able to get important information from people in a single glance, but Hawkins is able to determine the skill and competency in most people from, usually, a single meeting. Combined with his charisma (however fake it may be for many), he can balance out much of his inexperience by surrounding himself with experienced subordinates that can get the job done. The key flaw to this, however, is that Hawkins relies on these trusted subordinates too much. When he has no one to assist him, Hawkins finds it far, far more difficult to deal with problems thrown in front of him.
Fencer: Despite all his inexperience in seamanship and leadership, there is little question that Hawkins’ blade-work is to be admired. Years of theatrical fencing, along with practice in actual duels (even here, the theatre is a cutthroat business… all too often literally) have made the young man a superb fencer, able to be both dazzling, and brutal, in his offense and defense. Of course, because he focuses on the sword, he considers the pistol and, indeed, most firearms to be less appealing and, as such, his gunplay suffers.
Weapons and equipment:
1) Officer’s Sabre
2) Parry Dagger
3) Officer’s Flintlock Pistol
4) Bandolier of Throwing Knives
5) Medallion from the late Princess Isabella
It’s an open secret amongst those who know of Hawkins that the only reason he got to be in the navy as a Teniente at such a young age was because of his near-scandalous relationship with the late Princess Isabella. Despite Marish reforms to the Avelian military, the officer’s corps primarily comes from families with a hefty amount of blue blood to back them up, and Hawkins had none.
Sure, technically he’s an aristocrat now, thanks to the good Princess pressuring her doting father to bypass the bureaucracy and grant the ex-actor the title of Don, but true nobles know he’s merely an actor pretending to be a Lord, and without the active patronage of the now deceased Princess, the opportunity for Hawkins to advance in rank are now rather slim, unless he proves himself through brilliance. And considering his skills and experience are lacking, that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.
Ship(s) Hawkins serves as a subordinate officer aboard the BSM Invincible under Captain Edward Marshall.
Commodore "Barnacle" Benjamin Covington aka The Commodore
Avelian Flag Officer
Commodore; Commanding Officer, Flotilla de Puerto Arturo
Stern and defined features show that this man has strong Marish blood in him, even with the slight tan that indicates an extensive career in the New World. A constant scowl marks his face, evidence of his endless hardship and struggle. Piercing blue eyes tell the tale of a man who has seen his fair share of battle. As to officer regulations, his hair, whitened with age, is cut short (which does not help his slightly receding hairline), and his full beard kept to what some might consider 'just right'. He stands 5'8", with a regular if fit build.
The Commodore wears the full dress uniform of the Avelian Armada with pride. From the tip of his tricorne to the heels of his boots, this is made evident in how he takes great care to keep it in best condition. From the clean blue trim to the full display of medals on his chest. He harbours almost no stoop at all, such that even the highly observant would have to carefully observe him to spot it. Covington is never seen without his oak cane, which he uses to keep soldiers in line.
Benjamin Covington, the man who would become known as the "Barnacle" for his age and crustiness, was not always like this. Born to a wench on the mainland, who just as quickly as bearing him, abandoned him on some well-to-do household's doorstep, Benjamin took on the name of his adoptive parents. This couple, coincidentally having been declared both sterile and infertile by doctors, happened to be thinking of adopting a son to carry on his father's name.
And so, having been dubbed Benjamin by his father, Lieutenant Rufus Covington, this boy was raised to become the heir to an illustrious career in the Armada. At least, until he was ten years old, when his father was killed in action, leaving his mother without a pension or insurance (because they totally didn't exist back then). This time around, Ben was conscious enough to see his mother start first selling their possessions, and, when she ran out of them, beggaring on the streets. He helped, of course, but he couldn't help much.
This continued for two years, until she died of pneumonia, protecting little Ben from the cold of the winter. All that was left to him was a precious locket with his family portrait in it, one of the few things they couldn't afford to sell.
Life on the streets was hard, especially when you had to beg, and sometimes, outright steal to survive. But that was daily life for Benjamin Covington. That was his world. All the things he was taught about sailing, those preparations for his future in the navy, were forgotten. At least, until he was fourteen.
Luck took a turn. If you were to ask him today, if it was for the worse, he would say it was quite the opposite. At least, if he actually remembers those exact details. Ask him about his childhood today, and he'll more likely than not give you a story so ridiculous it wouldn't be out of place in a children's fantasy anthology.
Young Benjamin despised stealing. It went against the code of honour his father had planted in him. But he had reasoned, that if he died, would that not be a dishonour to one's self? Nevertheless, even with this in mind, he stole only when he deemed it unavoidable, and as he did, felt much like a hypocrite who disobeyed his own rules.
It was at such a time, where he witnessed the member of a street gang pick a naval officer's pocket. Since his youth, Benjamin had always a close affinity to the Armada, mainly because his father was in it. To see his father's service robbed from blindly was not something he could abide, and so he went up and beat that gangster, and returned that sack of silver the latter had stolen. The rest of the gang subsequently came, and would have beaten him up, had this same officer not helped him in the ensuing brawl.
Suffice to say, for his efforts, he was compensated by being taken under the officer's wing as a midshipman. Coincidentally, this officer, Captain Bautista, happened to have been a good friend of his father's so... everything worked out coincidentally perfect in the end.
Benjamin resumed his education, and eventually passed the commissioning test at the age of 20. He served with honour and dignity, a way that he was most certain would make his father proud. He took to heart the traditions and writings of the Armada, and fought with distinction in accordance with everything in the textbooks and everything his father and Captain Bautista had taught.
Unlike war heroes out there, who distinguished themselves with incredible feats of arms, Benjamin clawed his way to his position, always in the thick of the action, but always being overshadowed by somebody else. Still, this shook him not, for he believed that slow and steady won the race, and so long as he abided by the traditions, advancement was inevitable.
He acquired his present rank at the age of 41, and has refused promotion since then, as he believed anything loftier would put him too far above that he would forget his roots. Over time, Commodore Covington has earned a reputation as a stern and strict commander, who never fails to remove himself from the traditionalist ways of the Armada, an immovable object that deals with the unstoppable force by... beating it with his cane.
He presently serves under Admiral Iñigo Harper, Governor General of Port Arthur, as commanding officer of the colony's flotilla.
Marksman - Even in his advanced years, the Commodore is a crack shot with long arms. Not even targets at 200 yards can escape his aim, albeit such cases surpassing 130 yards require that he don his glasses in order to make sure he hits. He claims this is a result of how he spent most of his shore leave hunting game. That being said, his swordfighting skills have not had much chance to stay sharp, as unlike a musket, which can be fired from a safe distance, such a weapon requires you to get in close and personal. Sparring is of course, different from a true battle, but it's all he has to satisfy his desire for melee combat.
Classical Strategist - The Commodore has no need for sassy newfangled tactics and strategies. He's managed fine over the years with good old fashioned, tried and tested methods to achieve victory on the high seas. While it is quite obvious that his inflexibility will eventually wash him out along with other old timers of his era, the fact that he sticks to the old school style causes enemies to underestimate him. His tactics and strategies might be dated, but he does them so well that younger opponents tend to be taken aback by seeing an actual relic in action.
Disciplinarian - If there's anything the Commodore knows well, it's how to keep even rebellious new recruits in line. His methods run the gamut from positive reinforcement, to negative reinforcement. His reputation precedes him, however, and he is feared as a 'terror' officer to serve under. Most personnel who only see his stricter side add fuel to the flames, resulting an overall, general dislike by people outside of his inner circle.
Weapons and equipment:
1) Cane - Made of the finest South Carthaki Oak, this cane has been with the commodore since he suffered a leg injury a decade ago. He uses it not only to help himself walk, but to instill discipline in his troops as well. Rumour has it that he also uses this cane to, eh, "acquire" information from prisoners.
2) Molde 1585 Flintlock Musket - The venerable Molde 1585 Sea Service Musket, a shorter version of the Avelian Land Service Musket and the standard long arm of marines. While its maximum effective range is cited to be 175 yards, for practical use, it is best used between 50 to 100. It fires a .71 calibre lead ball. Bayonet optional, and the Commodore certainly keeps one at the ready, even though his chances of actually having to use it are quite slim. The Musket's reload time is between 3 and 4 rounds per minute. The Commodore's reflexes are still quick enough to hit 4 RPM's.
3) Flintlock Pistol - Cheap, disposable, and readily available. This one is plated in silver, just to show that the Commodore has refined tastes. .65 calibre, and has a maximum effective range of 50 yards.
4) Manusian Sabre - Crafted with perfect balance in mind, this sabre is a wootz steel-based (read: Damascus Steel) Manusian weapon of superior craftsmanship. It is one of the last such high-quality weapons commissioned by the Avelian Military from elite Manusian swordsmiths before depletion of ideal ore sources forced the Raj to cease their export, and eventually, production. This weapon was issued to the Commodore over three decades ago, and has served him well.
5) Locket - The one true link that the Commodore has to his past. The last possession remaining from his family, the locket itself has become the bearer of many myths. While in reality, it contains a family portrait, his prized possession, many people believe it contains a map to some treasure, or some other such silly nonsense. It doesn't help that he never gives a straight answer when asked about it.
Older Salt Than Thou
The Commodore certainly looks like a relic of the past. At this point, he might as well be considered ageless, in the sense that if he says "his days" pre-dated the now-defunct Coalition, people are more likely than not to believe him. And with the way the Commodore rambles on a regular basis, it's as if he knew how war was fought before Avelia made first contact with Sirene, an even that occurred nearly three and a half centuries ago. Perhaps it's the way he says it. But regardless of how impossible it is, the fact is that Covington acts so old and grumpy that he might as well have been around during these times. People treat him like the old fossil he makes himself to be. Some with respect, others with ridicule. The latter will just as quickly learn (or relearn) the Commodore's personal definition of of "school of hard knocks".
Ships Name of your Ship: BSM Brutal Verdict
Size and Class:
141ft Light War Galleon
2 x 9-pdr Long Nine Chase Guns
20 x 12-pdr Bastard Culverins
20 x 18-pdr Culverins
2 x 9-pdr Long Nine Chase Guns
The Brutal Verdict has no mods. Mods are untraditional and therefore go against the Commodore's beliefs.
The Brutal Verdict is a venerable design, traditionalism incarnate. It looks no different from the other standard designs of the Avelian Armada, other than what seems to be some implied ageing, though even then, it has been recently restored to ensure an extended service life.
It has seen better days, but just like its commanding officer, it continues to serve the Empire.
Rank: N/A Appearance: Tall, very slender (hence the nickname), and blonde.
So basically Kristen Bell. Yeah. She'll do.
Biography: Bellany Mercader lived her first 14 years as a merchant's daughter in the Avelian colonies. Alas, her hometown suffered the tragic fate of all hometowns and was utterly razed in a pirate raid ten years ago, the inhabitants massacred.
Bellany was taken as a slave for "special treatment," given her good looks. Much to her captors' surprise, the first two men who tried to touch her were both killed by the young girl. Not a little intrigued, the captain decided to bring her on as part of his crew. Bellany, displaying a survivalist streak that would become one of her defining characteristics, accepted and served under the captain with little protest. His name was Captain Black.
She rose quickly through the ranks. While not the best worker or fighter aboard, she was possessed of a razor sharp mind and the best education her father had been able to afford for her - she had been intended to take over his business once he died. Now she applied her financial and political acumen to the business of pirating. Her slender appearance, sharp mind, and biting sarcasm soon earned her the nickname of "the Whip" among the men.
Five years ago, Captain Black began to expand his operations. He began to establish a larger intelligence network among the colonies, and binding more and more pirates to his alliance - becoming, in essence, a pseudoking of the pirates out in the wilds beyond Coalition waters. Bellany was ideally suited for this sort of work, and she soon became an agent of Black's, no longer serving aboard ship but rather serving as his emissary to other captains, and often as a leader of various espionage teams the pirate dispatched for various tasks.
Skillful, decisive, and cunning, Bellany has proven one of the most effective of the Black Hands (as the captain rather uncreatively calls them), one Black trusts to operate independently for weeks or even months at a time. She's come a long way from the frightened girl assassinating her would-be rapists, and her five years as a special agent have only made her even more deadly...
Specialties: Quick - Proving she has earned her nickname, Bellany is lightning-fast in all areas of her life, her mind as well as her body. Her quick thinking has got her out of more than one sticky situation, and her quick blade out of almost as many. She uses a light rapier and often catches enemies off-guard with her sheer speed, but she is no great duelist.
Manipulative - Brute force is almost always the last resort of a failure, by Bellany's standards. She prefers diplomacy and politics, manipulating others to suit her ends. She's not above using her looks to get her way, and she's capable of getting even sworn enemies to act as she pleases (much to their disgust).
Pirate Agent - An agent of one of the most powerful and dangerous pirates out there, Bellany has a network of contacts and allies in every port in the New World. For almost any situation, there's bound to be "this guy I know" who can handle it.
Weapons and Equipment
5)Medallion of the pirate Black, concealed inside an old locket from her hometown.
Extra Information: Stubborn Survivor - Bellany's number one priority, always, is her own survival. She has loyally served Black for ten years, but would abandon him in a heartbeat to save her neck. She's fled unceremoniously from more than one operation that went sour, leaving her mates to hang behind her. This survivor's instinct has served her well through the years of piracy, but it also has left her with a lot of enemies...
Bellany is currently serving on the Bottom Feeder, a ship captained by one Baltair the Fearless (self-proclaimed).
Name of your Ship: Bottom Feeder
Size and Class:
1 Yamani harpoon gun
30 x 12-dr cannon
2 x 9-pdr Long Nine Chase Guns
Under the philosophy "bigger is always better," Captain Baltair has overloaded his ship with heavy cannon. However, maintenance issues and the difficulty of keeping such cannons supplied in the lawless waters has reduced the ship's armament somewhat, though it is still enough to terrify any merchant vessel into submission.
The harpoon is mostly for show, but Baltair swears he's gonna use it one of these days.
Physical Description: I really don't know. It's a boat with three masts and a giant-ass harpoon gun on the bow. It honestly doesn't matter.
Biography: A popular tale amongst Avellian sailors is the story of Blas Mendoza and the massacre of Rumrunners Isle. While Mendoza had been a moderately successful pirate for some time before the incident, this is where he gained his true infamy.
Mendoza, a former Avellian navy officer turned pirate, was the captain of the Vulture, a small gunboat. Mendoza was known to be a severe and ill tempered man, who rewarded those who were loyal to him, and harshly punished those who defied him.
At the time, he and his crew were based in a ramshackle camp on Rumrunners Isle, a small, uncharted island adjacent to a well traveled shipping lane. When they spotted a wealthy, poorly guarded vessel, they would quickly sail out, take the ship by surprise and then return to their hidden base. While the crew had planned to only stay on the island for a short time, Mendoza was encouraged by the operations success, and decided to extend their stay.
Eventually, they pushed their luck too far. A privateer sloop, RMS Vermögen, armed with 16 guns and a crew of 75, encountered the Vulture on its way back to camp. The Sirenian Captain Schmidt demanded their surrender; Mendoza cursed at them and challenged them to do their worst. Although they gave a good fight, the Vulture was destroyed, apparently with no survivors. The Vermögen then turned its attention to the pirate camp. After killing the men in the camp, they decided to drop anchor and see what treasure they could recover from the pirate base.
Mendoza, along with a few other crewmates, survived. Using a hunk of debris as a makeshift raft, they made it to shore, where they rendezvoused with the survivors from the camp. Mendoza had suffered severe burns over his body and face. Some of the pirates wanted to wait for the Sirenians to leave, others wanted to throw themselves at their mercy and surrender. Mendoza, despite being in excruciating pain, flatly told them that their only choice was to fight or die.
They waited until night to attack. Most of the privateers had camped ashore, eager to find a prize. Mendoza, swathed in bandages, rowed out to the resting vessel with a few of his men, while the rest of his crew burned the sleeping privateer’s tents. Aboard the vessel, shouting in rage and pain, Mendoza set himself on the sleeping crew with a boarding axe. Imagine Captain Schmidt’s horror when he stepped on deck to the sight of his slaughtered crew, the sound of the shore party screaming as they burned alive, and the captain of the vessel he thought destroyed standing before him, like an angry, vengeful spirit. When he tried to beg, Mendoza shot him through the heart. He left only the navigator alive, instructing him to tell others what had occurred here. Afterwards, the pirate crew took the sloop and sailed away.
The story quickly spread amongst sailors, who often greatly exaggerated the tale; some versions say that a whole frigate with a 300 man crew was destroyed, and that Mendoza rose from the waves and shot flames from his eyes. All that is known for sure is one fact: Blas Mendoza is not a man to be trifled with.
Feared - Ruthless and cruel by reputation, just mentioning Mendoza’s name chills the blood of most sailors. Many people think twice before engaging him or his ship in combat. However, this reputation is a double edged sword; most other pirate crews want nothing to do with him, and many merchants, law-abiding or otherwise, are afraid to do business with him.
Brute Force - When fighting with a sword, Mendoza forgoes subtlety and finesse, preferring to relentlessly hack away at his opponent with brutal, crushing blows. While this is a useful way to quickly overwhelm ones opponent, one often tires quickly from this technique.
Made of Iron - Mendoza has an extreme tolerance for pain that allows him to shrug off blows that would drop most other men to the ground screaming in agony. This makes him rather cocksure, and he is sometimes prone to jumping headlong into unwinnable situations.
Weapons and equipment:
1) Bandages – To keep up his fearsome appearance, Mendoza keeps his charred face mostly concealed by bandages. He leaves a few patches of skin exposed, to show off some of his grislier burn scars.
2) Pistols – Mendoza keeps a pair of double-barreled flintlocks tucked into his belt.
4) Whip – While useable as a makeshift weapon or rope, Mendoza primarily uses the whip for disciplinary purposes.
Name of your Ship: Robber Baron
Size and Class: 80ft Sirenian Brig Sloop
Armament: 12 9-pound guns, 4 6-pound guns
Forecastle: 2 6-pound chase guns
Maindeck: 12 9-pound guns
Quarterdeck: 2 6-pound chase guns
Kept in a tightly sealed container in the Robber Baron’s armory, the Vile Fumes are the ships most unusual weapon. A disgusting concoction made from gunpowder, rotting meat and various toxins. Packed into a canister and shot on to an enemy vessel, when set alight, it produces a foul smelling, debilitating cloud of smoke. While non lethal, it tears sailors eyes, often induces vomiting, and generally tends to take the fight out of them. While handy for disabling and demoralizing sailors without damaging the ship, it’s a good idea to wait for the cloud to dissipate before boarding the vessel, and even then the smell tends to linger.
Crew Number: 75
Formerly the RMS Vermögen, the Robber Baron flies Mendoza’s Jolly Roger, a horned, worm infested skull. The ships figurehead is the skeleton of Captain Schmidt.
Ship Chaplain, Avelian Universal Church
A true Man of Zod to the very last, Padre Salvi was raised in a Church-sponsored orphanage, and was soon brought into a seminary as soon as he showed an aptitude for godly practises and an interest in servitude. Soon after completing his training, he was sent to join the Order of Saint Lennox, based on the results of a psyche and physical examination that revealed both the utter devotion and optimal fitness needed to participate in the Order's myriad of activities.
Indeed, to be built the way Salvi was built meant certain inclusion in some kind of active order. The Church would not allow someone with such physical capability to go to waste spending the rest of his days tending to a parish. No, someone like him was ordained, destined, to go off to the far-flung reaches of the world to preach the gospel of Zod as a missionary. Else, to protect the gospel of Zod from the ever-present threat of heresy. The Order of Saint Lennox was a group that practised the latter.
Having been formed several centuries past, the Order reached the height of its infamy during the Yamani War that racked Avelia, when it spearheaded a campaign to exterminate all heretics who embraced the invading Yamani barbarians' religion and rooted out the spies that sowed those seeds. The Great Inquisition, as it is now remembered, cemented the three Inquisitional Orders - the Orders of Saint Lennox, Saint Clara, and Saint Micaela - as a "trinity" symbolic of the Church's fanatical and dogmatic treatment of the Word of Zod. That is to say, it takes its religion seriously. Very seriously.
Today, the clergy of the Lennoxian Order serve in two capacities: as agents of Zod in investigating and rooting out heresy, and as agents of Avelia, in investigating and rooting out treason. The Order has deep ties with the counter-intelligence directorate of the Empire's Office of Strategic Services, the agents of which primarily learn their tricks of the trade from Lennoxian clerics. And these tricks are very effective.
The Order takes to heart as its motto the 5th Verse of the 8th Chapter of the Gospel of Saint Matthias, which includes the famous cautioning to be innocent as doves but cunning as serpents. Spoken by the Great Prophet Cleanthes himself. The context of the verse itself is pretty murky and ironically speaks of the persecution of the faithful. Nevertheless, the Order interprets it in a way that would be borderline heretical, to use any means necessary to further the will of Zod and the protection of the faith.
Salvi has served an extensive and gristly career as a priest of the Lennoxian Order. Most of this was spent scouring the New World for any heresy and purging those heresies. His guise as a ship chaplain serves to provide him with high mobility. The priest has served on over a dozen warships, building close ties with their captains along the way. These ties remain to this day. Five years ago, he was attached to Commodore Covington and has accompanied him since.
His present standing orders are to aid the Commodore in keeping order in the Port Arthur Sector. While it is Covington's task to maintain civil order, it is Salvi's to maintain spiritual order, which means putting down heresies and strengthening faith in Zod through various religious ceremonies.
Salvi is a very devout man, who sees his goal in life to be doing his part in helping mankind reach paradise. He is one who firmly believes in the statutes of the Scriptures and Church, and it is not unusual for people to ask him questions of faith. Well, that's really his job as the ship chaplain. Ironically, it is this devoutness and well-learned personal understanding of the Scriptures and the Church's mandates that brings him to perform his brutal duty without question. He does not so much view his actions as excessive fanaticism as it is a truthful execution of Zod's will. This is by his belief that the former is brought about by a lack of understanding and an over-abundance of zeal, while the latter is a result of careful study and meditation that brings forth understanding. And as he understands it, he carries out his mission while adhering to the Scriptures and Papal Mandates' very letter.
Thus, he comes across as very cool and calculating, rather than fanatical.
Zod is a God of Order, and so His will must be one that makes sense. If not to human sense, then most certainly to His own standard of sense and logic. To that end, even things that sharply contrast with the wisdom of the world simply do so because they are Zod's wisdom, which by that nature, makes this wisdom superior to that of men. If one were to choose between the words of men and the words of Zod, then by all means, Padre Salvi chooses the words of Zod.
Close Quarters Battle - As is with all the Inquisitors of the Order of Saint Lennox, Salvi is an expert at close quarters battle. When unarmed, any part of his body can serve as a lethal weapon thanks to having studied a martial art from the far east. In particular, he delivers some serious pain using his legs and feet. For when something calls for armaments, he is a master of the Inquisitional Orders' Red Crucifixes, able to throw them accurately at distances that would make a javelin jealous. Obviously, being armed only with a limited number of Red Crucifixes, which are powered by plain old human strength rather than gunpowder, he's at a serious range disadvantage.
Priestly Duties - Because, you know... he's a priest. He can administer funerals, mass, marriage, confession, and other things you would expect from a priest. Really, this is self-explanatory. Having focused his studies on that sort of stuff, he is completely useless at sailing, and would be the worst choice for... well... sailorly duties. He wouldn't know how to unfurl a sail or navigate or load up a cannon if his life depended on it.
Inquisition - This guy can get even some of the most tight-lipped spies, prisoners of war, and heretics, to talk, and he will get them to talk, no matter how long it takes. His methods are many, from psychological warfare of the filibustering kind, wearing down a captive's mental barriers with boredom, to physical torture of the cruel and unusual kind, stuff like slowly inserting a catheter into your eye until the ball plops out of the socket (sic, too much information), amongst other things, like simply asking the right questions. It is also a given that he is an expert at sniffing out lies, and that the aforementioned methods are there so that he can extract the truth that these lies are hiding. This basically means that most people who know about his job will have a very hard time trusting him, as he is seen as either a sadistic sociopathic maniac, or a fanatically overzealous maniac, whichever you prefer.
Weapons and Equipment: Ships and clothing don't go here. Five tools are all you can carry. This inventory assumes that you already have the standard Captain stuff, such as telescopes, ammunition, parrot etc. Therefore, don't include 'Captain Stuff' in your list, or I swear to Zod you'll walk the plank.
1) Red Crucifixes - Crucifijio Rojo. The Inquisitional Orders' primary weapon- err... sorry, 'tool'. It is a thin sword-like weapon tool meant to be held in between one's knuckles, and used as a claw/dagger rather than a sword. Their slender design makes them highly compact, and it isn't unusual for an Inquisitor to pack over a dozen under his or her spacious-by-design habit. The Red Crucifixes can also be thrown like javelins (i.e. being throwable in the first place; the throwing style is decidedly un-javelin-like), which provides various tactical advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, you get extra range, and can either impale a target at a distance, or pin them to some surface like a wooden wall. On the other hand, you're throwing away your weapon.
Lastly, they are blessed with Holy Water, and several prayers of purification. Many say that makes them very effective at putting down demoniacally-possessed people and hellspawn. While the former claim has been verified (at least so far as the Church actually considers people having been possessed), the latter has no official track record. After all, if the majority of Zod-fearing people knew that there were enough devils in the world for a track record to exist, then panic would break out.
Salvi carries four sets of three (for a total of 12), and as only the best Inquisitors can, can use up to three per hand.
2) The Book of Zod - The Holy Book of the Avelian Universal Church. Divided into three Testaments with 79 books, First, Second, and Third, and a section at the end for 23 Apocryphal books for a total of 102 books. Notably, many of the books in the Third Testament are actually letters written by saints, rather than the all-out books you'd find in the First and Second Testaments. Also notably, not a lot of priests have actually read the whole thing, and by that virtue, technically have an incomplete religious education. Salvi is one of the 'not a lot', and has read the Book of Zod from cover to cover twice. Perhaps it is this confidence of having read and studied the whole thing meditatively that allows him to routinely kill heretics with a clean conscience.
Oh, and the spine of his copy is filled with highly compacted gunpowder, with one of its built-in bookmarks as a fuse. A simple application of the Lennoxian Order's philosophy of being innocent as doves and cunning as serpents. There is no verse, no papal mandate, that says the Book of Zod cannot be used as a bomb. Nor is there a verse or papal mandate that says the Book of Zod cannot be sacrificed to further Zod's plan. In fact, if human martyrdom is blessed and encouraged, then surely, literary martyrdom would be acceptable in the eyes of Zod, would it not?
3) Pectoral Cross - A symbol of one's membership in the Avelian Clergy. It is made of gold, and... well yeah. When looking for a priest of Zod, make no mistake. This is your best sign. Also perfect for times when you feel like praying. Hang it from a wall, and pray. Don't forget to kneel before Zod while you're at it, of course. Also, it is made of gold, and gold is really dense. Going with its external iron plating, it would make a very effective bludgeoning instrument if proper force is applied.
4) Flask of Holy Water - Used for blessings and exorcisms. In particular, if a demoniacally possessed person is proving to be really stubborn, then the best option would be to drown that nasty demon in the might of Zod. Which also ends up drowning the possessed person, obviously. Well... it works, doesn't it?
5) Shroud of St. Lennox - It's a blood-red shroud issued to the members of the Lennoxian Order. And it's said to have miracles of healing, or something like that. More importantly, it can be used to strangle people to death, or cover their heads if they're to be kidnapped for inquisitional interrogation.
Man of Zod
Acts of heresy can run the gamut from simple disbelief, to outright violent uprisings. In the case of the latter, the Inquisitional Orders may dispatch up to half a dozen clerics to cull the expansion of the heresy and nip the disturbances at the source. These missions are very dangerous as they entail superior enemy numbers, frequently wielding superior armaments. As can be expected, these missions tend to have a high risk rating, and usually claim at least one of those clerics. Padre Salvi is one of maybe three Inquisitors to have survived more than a dozen such missions without any obvious grievous injury. This has earned him a reputation as a man who is protected by Zod Himself, invincible and impervious. Of course, being a highly-skilled killing machine also helps.
Padre Salvi is the Ship Chaplain of the Brutal Verdict, and one of Commodore Covington's most trusted confidants.
Name: Thurman Aurider, of the West Union Auriders. Surely, you've heard of them.
Rank: Right Admirable High Lordship of the Zettalian Armada (That's a 'cap-tan' for you country folk.)
Appearance: Okay. So, picture Charles Mingus, circa 1960. Now, have him dressed as Colonel Sanders. That's what we're going for here. Also with a scar over his eye.
Biography: Thurman, or the West Union Auriders, was born into a semi-aristocratic family of the minor Reman-aligned nation of Zettalia. As with all minor nobles, the lack of heirship prospects forced him into the navy, where he could throw enough pomp around to get a big paycheck for being pompous. As with all good hopeful upperclassmen, he tinkers in his off-time. The natural compassion for animals from his father, and his mother's innate abilities with scrap metal, both seem to have been inherited by him. Branded as an eccentric during the 1647 Gentleman's Knowledge Expo for his strange bio-sugeric mechanisms, he had served as an unaware embarrassment to the family for years.
Of course, with the diminishing paychecks he's been experiencing, what with the odd 'higher prestige, lower paying' promotions they've handed him for heading further and further from home, it had been harder to make ends meet. It had to be helped; a noble can't be expected to go without his wine at dinner, no matter how expensive it was at the ports he frequented. Surely, one little bit of 'commandeering' wouldn't hurt.
Thurman then accidentally robbed another Zettalian warship and barely escaped the whole ordeal with his ship and his life. And a highly resentful crew that would be gutted for treason if they ever returned home.
Specialties: He knows his fish, and his tinkering tools, and his fine foods and quality goods. He does not know the sword-fighting, or the gun-using, or the acting like a real officer parts of his job nearly as well, but he tries.
Weapons and Equipment:
1) "Zaptain's Cuff" - a pretty little family heirloom cuff link, passed down from dear ol' Gran-gran-granma Aurider, rest her soul. She always mumbled something about it belonging to the ancient god Chac-Ixtab, often translated to zap-twain, or the bastardized Zaptain. Ther's a reason Gran-gran-granma Aurider was kept out of sight.
2) Toolkit - scrap metals, weird little novelty screwdrivers, and all the bellows and piping one could need on the fly (not much)
3) Pet-care kit - you never know when those unloyal crewmen are going to walk off with your things. In life or death situations as the care for pet fish, it simply wouldn't be noble to risk losing your box of fish-foods, extracts, and other some Chekovian concoctions
4) "Daddy's Danwoldo" - 3 feet long, and one foot wide. The ultimate in swords he was never trained to use.
5) "Ye Nobleman's Arquebus" - a standard pre-standardized-guns gun. Sure, he have to shove properly sized metal bits in there, and the thing is slow, but it's HAND-CRAFTED AND DETAILED.
Massive Wonder/Blunder - It takes a madman to rob a ship captained and crewed by graduates of the naval academy you attended, while flying the same colors. Sure, it was a terrible mistake, but Thurman is more than willing to pass it off as being daring.
1947 Gentleman's Knowledge Expulsion - Thurman was the first person to destroy a year's worth of military research. Who knew hagfish and pumps went together that poorly? I... er... I mean, he has hit those law-lubbers harder than any pirate ever has, by hitting them in the blueprints. ON PURPOSE.
Ship Stuff (not in great detail, because computers destroyed everything I wrote and I didn't have a saved copy.)
Name: The Breath of Zod
AVELIAN TRADE GALLEON
2 in front. 4 on the sides. 2 in back. Total of 8
The Breath of Zod. - Through a combination of pipes Thurman had added into the ship's hull, and a series of man-powered pumps belowdecks, a good deal of suction and/or bursts of wind can be produced, in limited quantities.
Natural Products - Stored onboard are aquariums full of hagfish. For the unaware, the hagfish can turn a bucket of water into sludge instantly. When the hagfish happen to be Northern Zettalian Bogmakers, however, that bucket of water could be the size of a carriage. There are dozens of these stored on board.
Masts: 6. However, due to the weight of the aquariums, this gets the ship up to just under the speed of a normal Trade Galleon. If any of them are taken out, speed drops fast.
Crew Number: 100. 25 on special duties (pumping, fish care, so forth), 25 on ship-care, and 50 that can fight or work the ship in a pinch.
Physical Description: From the waterline up, it's the ideal, well-kept ship. From that point down, it's dyed a terrible green, with the frame bloated from absorbing far too much slime over the years. Additionally, glints of metal can be seen between cracks, pipes racing from the metal openings sticking out of the front of the ship, then disappearing into the rooms of machinery below.