Heart of Oak

20150517

We receive orders for 10AM the following morning

  • Eoghan is so hung over that he ends up in a hospital and cannot join us
  • We proceed to HQ and, after waiting for a time, we are received by a non-uniformed man wearing a black outfit
    • We enter the commodore’s office, but it is Sir Lyndon Alton in the office
      • We learn that the man in black is Mr. Hampshire
    • Thor receives a full captainship
    • We are informed of another mission
      • Charles Edward Stuart, Count Roehenstart, is in the Netherlands
        • Son of Bonnie Prince Charlie, who has a direct line of ascent to being king
          • Full name: Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart
        • Charlie had invaded England in 1745 and was defeated at Culloden
      • Stuart has been staying with Baron van den Verberne according to Sir Reginald Bar Sinister (ambassador to Dutch)
        • Baron Charles-David-Alphonse van den Verberne… why the hell does everyone need such a long name here???
      • We will be sent to England on a warship to the Netherlands to meet with Bar Sinister
    • Hampshire leads us out, hands us some papers
      • Tells us that Alton appears to be underestimating the danger
      • The government needs us to prevent a political disaster
  • We proceed with training for the two weeks we wait for our ship to be retrofitted
  • One evening at the university, Jorgen notices Chunk & Monk, who propose some undoubtedly sinister plan
    • Blackeye attempts to refuse, but they remain insistent
    • Upon his return, they ask him to allow Fawlks to bid first on whatever he brings back from the Netherlands
  • We finally see our new ship
    • The Ambuscade is now fitted with 32 guns
      • We now have a new carpenter: John Shrimpton
      • And a new blacksmith: Samuel Hannay

We head off on our adventure to the Texel

  • We arrive and are greeted enthusiastically with surprising fanfare
  • We are greeted by our Dutch equivalents, who speak English well, but with Dutch accents
  • Over the next week or so, we seem to see every Dutch ship and sailor
    • The crews seem to be very efficient, in the opinions of everyone aside from Reginald, who knows better
    • The ships, however, appear to be in very shoddy shape, both antiquated and poorly maintained

We head to Amsterdam

  • We meet with Bar Sinister
    • Says that he read some dispatches and doesn’t believe that our presence is required
      • Tells us a bunch of stuff about how Stuart is a realist and he wouldn’t proceed down a path of destruction
      • Bar Sinister basically bores us nearly to death
    • We are greeted enthusiastically by civilians here (it was military at Texel)
      • We notice that the ship quality appears to be similar to what we saw at Texel… unimpressive
  • Someone knocks at Jorgan’s door, claims that it’s room service and that they can take care of his wig
    • Blackeye opens the door and lets the fellow in
    • Nothing out of the ordinary… we’re simply not accustomed to nice hotels
  • We get to Bar Sinister’s residence
    • Reginald Bar Sinister and his family are present, along with a few others
    • After dinner, Bar Sinister takes us to the drawing room for brandy and cigars
    • Bar Sinister critiques our clothes and wigs and wants to ensure that we’ll show well at the Countess DeWitt’s ball tomorrow

The next morning

  • We contract for a coach to take us to the ball this evening.
  • We head to The Broken Oar and are greeted by the hostess
    • We’re in Holland, which is the pro-English part of the Netherlands, which may be why they were excited to see the English ship
  • We head back to Bar Sinister for some info about van den Verberne
    • van den Verberne’s father may have been a French spy and had been banished from Netherlands during the war
    • May have helped the French win the war and take over the Netherlands
    • Many friends of high rank in French military
    • Wealthy and significant political influence in the Estates General
    • He is unelectable to office, but has power behind the scenes
  • We learn that Lord Kerry is the guest of honor at the ball this evening
    • Irish landowner who appears to have no connection to van den Verberne or Stuart

That evening at the ball

  • Very nice estate, nice party, people are wearing very nice clothes
  • Countess DeWitt introduces herself to us
  • As we’re milling about, the Baroness Margarette von Kleist introduces herself to Thor
  • We hear the Baron van den Verberne announced, followed shortly after by Le Chevalier Marie-Gilbert de la Tonne
    • A number of people gather around him, including DeWitt
    • Verberne and Chevalier seem to hang out together for a while
      • Blackeye and Reginald try to listen in, but hear mostly pleasantries and nothing important
  • Max notices Lord Kerry hurry over and quickly get down to some serious gambing, and rather high stakes
    • Kerry loses hundreds of pounds within a few minutes, almost as though he’s intentionally losing
  • The Baroness mentions to Thor that he should watch Le Chevalier, as he’s very interesting
    • van den Berne hands a message to Le Chevalier, who sticks a message to the bottom of a glass and heads to the gambling hall
  • Le Chevalier hands the drink to Kerry, who downs it quickly and pockets the message
    • Thor notices that Le Chevalier is a very attractive young man with impeccable skin, possibly androgenous in appearance
  • After losing 700+ pounds, Kerry gets up and walks away from the gambling table
    • Max follows him into a room off of the ballroom
      • Max notices in the john that Kerry isn’t stumbling drunk, despite all he’s consumed
    • Max follows Kerry and some servant down some hallway, up some stairs, etc.
    • Max knocks on the door that Kerry entered, and excuses himself when someone responds
      • He hangs out in a nearby bedroom and waits for about a half hour
      • A servant knocks on Kerry’s door, which is answered, but Max can’t really see anything
      • Max knocks again later, but again Kerry responds and Max backs off
      • Later yet, Max again knocks on the door and no one enters
      • Max stealthily enters the room to find someone passed out on the bed
        • Max attempts to stealthily remove the note from Kerry’s pocket
        • Note is an authentication for someone involved in “the plan,” signed “C of A”
      • Max takes note and leaves
  • Max returns to the gambling hall, explains the situation of the note to Thor and Jorgen
  • As the dance begins breaking up, Verberne and Le Chevalier start heading toward the door
  • Thor notices a man in a French naval uniform approaching Thor at a rapid pace
    • The officer, Robespierre, attache to the French diplomat, offers his hand for shaking
      • Congratulates Thor and states that they’ll be getting their ship back “any day now”
    • Thor taunts him somewhat and bids him a good night
  • We depart for our hotel

The next day

  • We seek out Sir Reginald Bar Sinister
    • Bar Sinister gives Thor a hard time about the 200 pound winnings
    • We are informed that Le Chevalier is a handsome man that attracts women
    • Kerry is an Irishman that drinks a lot
  • Thor and Reginald head to a money changer to cash out the IOU from Kerry
    • Thor is charged a 10% fee but receives the 90% of the remaining cash
    • Reg offers to take the cash back to the Baroness
      • Von Kleist is staying at a smaller estate nearby
      • Reg decides that there is a nearly zero probability of getting into her pants
  • Meanwhile, Jorgen checks on the Ambuscade
    • There is still a guard posted, watching our ship
    • Jorgen notices the Alcest, a 32-gunner French ship, docked a ways down from the Ambuscade
    • Thor and Blackeye check with the harbor master and learn that Kerry is travelling on a schooner, the Ij
  • Max heads over to the home of the girl with whom he danced, and joins them for tea
    • The father soons steers the conversation to politics, trying to get the English to provide greater support of the Netherlands
  • We meet up and head over to the embassy
    • After harassing Bar Sinister for a bit, we eventually obtain invitations for the ball tonight
      • The ball is hosted by the Austrian ambassador, George Augustus Selwin
    • The ambassador threatens to send a “sternly worded letter” if we get into more trouble

That night at the ball

  • We bump into the Baroness von Kleist, her lovely aunt and her bitter uncle
  • After a couple hours, the Baron van den Verberne has yet to appear
    • We decide to do some recon of the Baron’s estate
      • We get out there, there’s a company of soldiers guarding the gate
    • We head back to town

The next morning

  • We head to our ship
    • Notice that Kerry’s ship appears to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice
  • At about 11, Margarette and her aunt show up at the Ambuscade
    • Margarette mentions it’s odd that the Verberne didn’t show up at the ball
      • Perhaps he was busy with the new schooner that he’s been building in Rotterdam
    • Reginald takes them on a quick tour and gets them off the ship
  • We get the Ambuscade underway
    • We see the Ij heading NW
    • We notice a lot of people on the Ij with picnic baskets
      • The Ij heads NW up the coast a bit, stops and lets off the picnickers
  • Jorgen reads an article in a Dutch newspaper
    • Shipping company is attempting to build the fastest schooner in the world, which the baron will use to transport slaves

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Raylek

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