Heart of Oak

20150321

We are milling about on deck

  • A voice calls out asking for permission to board
    • Don’t recognize him; he’s dressed in a fashionable casual attire
    • Name is George Ashby; claims to be an estate agent who wants to sell our ships
    • We agree to meet with him later this afternoon
  • We discuss the items aboard the captured ships
    • Reginal recognizes one of the pyramids on the model and knows where it’s located in Egypt
    • During discussions, we realize that Napolean has just taken Malta and may be pushing toward Egypt
  • On the gangplank, a young master approaches with a message for the captain
    • Delivery of two items to the ship shortly
    • In morning, Dolphin to deliver the items to St. Mary Island in the Scilly Isles
    • Thor meets with the purser to ensure we have enough provisions for 5 days minimum
  • The rest of the officers begin moving rations and equipment from the captured ships
    • Sextant is found
    • Provisions, digging equipment
    • Model and the paperwork from beneath captain’s floorboard are moved to captain’s quarters
  • Max heads out with a sargeant to scrounge up 10 replacement marines
    • It takes them about 5 hours at multiple locations to find 10 suitable men
  • We try to vet George Ashby
    • Thor doesn’t get a lot of information from other captains, but the limited feedback he gets is not negative
    • Blackeye and Eoghan check out his office, which isn’t particularly impressive but doesn’t seem suspicious
  • Blackeye picks up a barrel of better quality whisky as a treat for the men who are losing shore leave
  • A wagon pulls up to the ship with a load of two large crates, taller and wider than a man
    • We receive these items and haul them up to the ship
    • Reginald opens the first crate
      • Pulls out a large leather oilskin pouch, containing fancy corsets
      • Pulls out another, and it’s also filled with quality clothing
    • Reginald opens the second crate
      • Three smaller crates, opens one and it contains leather goods: boots and other types of clothing he doesn’t recognize
  • The lieutenants head to Ashby’s, who enthusiastically welcomes us
    • After some discussion, we agree to the contract with Ashby
    • Max shows up a bit later, we enjoy a drink and get our receipt
  • Back at the ship
    • We discuss the crates, St. Mary Island is a tourist attraction and exporter of flowers
    • We thank the crew, announce the attempt to sell the ships, enjoy some food
    • After we leave, several of us, excluding Max, attempt to start assembling the model
      • After a number of hours, we complete the assembly of the model
    • Max notices commotion toward the bow of the ship: excited sailors with improvised weapons
      • There’s a pile of dead rats on the deck
      • It appears that rats are ascending the anchor chain and the sailors are killing them as they come to the bridge
      • Max notices a lot of rats in the water, then another begins ascending the anchor chain
      • Someone notices that the rats are leaving the collier ship docked next to us
    • Max, Eoghan and two more crew head over to the collier, the Two Brothers, and are greeted by a man smoking a pipe
      • The pipe-smoking captain, Philip Monoux, claims his ship is solid, laughs at the rats leaving the ship
      • Philip mentions that there is a Frenchie privateer in the channel
    • Reg, Thor and Eoghan go down to the hold and search the crates for any incendiary devices
      • We find numerous bustiers, corsets, leather goods, boots, gloves, but nothing seemingly dangerous
      • It seems like this may be contraband that is being smuggled via military ships

The next morning, there’s a strong wind WNW, which should make for swift sailing

  • Max heads out with the sargeant to collect the new recruits
  • Thor, Max, Reg and Eoghan accompany Blackeye to his apartment
    • Blackeye enters his apartment, no new messages, doesn’t seem like anyone’s been here
    • We head back to the ship
  • Drake announces that the ship is ready to sail
    • We get under way
      • We make good time while Max and Blackeye train their crews
    • In the evening, the wind dies and then shifts to blow out of the south
      • A fog envelopes the ship, we drop anchor
      • Reg hears two pistol shots from the south
      • Reg rouses the other lieutenants
  • We prepare to save a merchant from privateers
    • Blackeye readies the gunners, Max readies marines
    • Thor decides that it would be fruitless to attempt to find the ship using the Dolphin
    • Reginald leads two boats on a recon mission with 5 marines and 5 sailors each
      • After 30 minutes of rowing to the south, we see a small French lugger (traditional fishing boat)
      • The French ship appears to be waving goodbye to another larger ship, which disappeared into the fog southbound
      • Something small appears to be approaching the lugger, it appears to be John Drake
      • We both saw the larger ship leaving, and we return to inform the Dolphin
    • We decide to wait for the fog to clear before we approach the lugger, which takes until morning

The next morning

  • After the fog has cleared, we find the lugger and a collier, which appear to be moving together
    • Blackeye notices that both of the ships raise Dutch flags
      • The lugger has 10 long guns
    • Thor decides to engage the ships, disable the collier while we attack the lugger
  • We approach the two ships
    • The lugger, Le Moineau, appears to be loading its guns
    • Le Moineau fires first, but we receive minimal damage
    • Dolphin blasts the lugger with a full broadside, nearly splitting its hull in half
      • Le Moineau has many crew floating face down in the water, alongside chunks of their ship
      • They immediately strike their colors
    • Blackeye orders the men to load chain shot for the collier
    • Thor orders the Two Brothers to surrender and the collier sends up the white flag
    • Max and 30 marines board the Two Brothers
      • A French officer, Lt. Alain Dumas, comes to the deck and formally surrenders
      • O’Malley begins interrogating Dumas
        • Dumas claims that they were only out capturing merchant ships
      • In the officer’s cabin, Max finds a man with two gunshot wounds, isn’t doing well
      • In the crew cabin is 19 people in the hammocks, all appear to be dead
  • We send Doc Mather to check on the crew of the Two Brothers
    • Doc says the dude with the gunshots probably won’t make it
    • Down below, Doc and Max succumb to something, become weak and Max collapses
      • O’Malley hears Doc calling, goes down with several of our crew and rescue them
      • Dumas claims to not know what happened in the crew quarters
    • Reg investigates the hold and notices that a corner of the coal pile is burning
      • Max recommends that we just let it go down rather than risk our lives
  • After undocking from the Two Brothers, we head over to the lugger
    • Our boats pick up survivors from the water
    • We greet the captain of Le Moineau, Claude Chappelle
      • Claims that he’s a privateer, formerly in the French navy
    • We make some repairs to the lugger and plan to tow it behind us
    • With the French corraled by our marines, we search the ship
      • Thor finds a leather pouch with 4 French gold coins, Blackeye finds 2
      • We also find: maps, sextant, telescope, provisions, guns… seems like it was intended to be a short excursion
      • The captain’s log is representative of a privateer, with a recent reference to a coal ship he planned to take
    • Plan is to tow the damaged ship as we make our delivery and eventually back to Plymouth
    • Grenado gets to throw torches into the hold of the collier before we leave
  • Early in the afternoon, we pull into a port at St. Mary
    • A very nice place, beautiful foliage, and pleasantly warm temperatures
    • Max notices that one of the boats is missing from our prize… it appears to be heading south, a dot near the horizon
      • Max interrogates the crew to discover who is attempting to escape
      • The oars are removed from the rest of the boats
    • Some of our crew unload the two crates, which are picked up by a couple of blokes who don’t say who they’re working for
  • We set out for the rowboat, find them again still heading south
    • We pull alongside the rowboat, which contains Dumas and a few others
    • After retrieving the escapees, we head back toward Plymouth
  • Back at the dock, Thor heads off to visit the commodore
    • Thor meets with Robert Squire, because the commodore is having tea
      • Thor reports the capture of the French privateer, but doesn’t mention the Two Brothers
      • Squire requests that Thor fills out a full report to submit
    • English troops pick up our prisoners

The next day

  • Thor gives shore leave to half the crew, the other half has tomorrow
  • Reg and Blackeye head over to Ashby, inquire about our 3 ships
    • On the way back to the dock, Blackeye checks his apartment — nothing new
    • George sets relatively low expectations for the price on the damaged fishing boat
      • Blackeye haggles for a lower commission rate for George
  • We all head out to speak with our old estate agent, William Withers, who has failed to sell the Angel
    • After arguing with his secretary, the large oak doors open to reveal Withers, a middle aged, well-dressed, heavy set fellow
    • Withers claims that he has been unable to sell the ship, that there’s no demand for Spanish ships currently
    • We explain our concerns that the sale was being deliberately held up, Withers claims to know nothing of that

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Raylek

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