Welcome to Beat to Quarters, a Play-by-Post Text Roleplay set in 1741. It's the Age of Sail, and also the Age of Piracy here in the West Indies. Will you fight for King and Country and uphold the law here at the edge of colonial civilization? Or will you pillage and plunder to your black heart's content? The wind's a-blowin' and the sea awaits, so prepare for adventure...

The Tale So Far

September, 1741:

Madre de Dios, a Spanish galleon loaded with gold, is on her way back to Europe with her convoy. But an ambush lies in wait for her in the Inaguas the Sea Hound is planning a bold assault on the larger ship, her pirate crew willing to risk it all for gold and glory. But Sea Hound is both predator and prey, as the HMS Steadfast closes in for another encounter with her quarry. The deadly showdown between the three forces is fast approaching...

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After "Beat to Quarters" closed, "Before the Mast" is the site leading the stories in the West Indies... but in 1720. Active since August 2010.

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Ship Captains:
Jonathan Silas Thorne
Captain of the Steadfast
Rodrigo Sol Valera
Captain of the Sea Hound

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Daniel Hedge, Annette Williams

Liz's enthusiasm, dedication, and talent all make her an invaluable member of the BtQ community! Her recent character, Dr. Daniel Hedge has proved to be a fine addition to Steadfast's crew, and a source of brilliant posting. Her commitment to character development makes each of her posts a joy to read.


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 McFarren, Evangeline
Posted: Jul 27 2011, 11:48 PM

Group: Members
Posts: 1
Member No.: 170
Joined: 27-July 11

- Player Info -


Tumblr: rumorsofmydemise.tumblr.com

Substitute players:

- Character info -

Evangeline McFarren

Evan McFarren -- or Evey, for those who cannot bear to call her by a boy's name (and there are many)



Formerly midshipman in His Majesty's Royal Navy
Owner and captain of the schooner St. Mary's Wake

user posted image

Although she's right around seventeen, sun damage and the rough-and-tumble life she's led have left Evan's face looking quite a few years older than she really is. Her dark brown hair is customarily kept in a braid down her back, the way she was taught to keep a sailor's ponytail when she was in the Navy. Her eyes are large and dominate her face, her nose and lips being quite small in comparison. Due to a small powder burn from a cannon, her left eye opens slightly smaller than her right, but this is only caught upon close study. As far as womanly figure is concerned, many would remark that she doesn't really have one to speak of, being so small and scrawny.

Often excused away by saying that she simply "weren't brought up proper," Evan often comes across as far too bold and capricious to be accepted as a lady in society. Her story, however, is one that has traveled around the fleet -- at least the lower ranks -- and her reputation is one of being very good company; she is an avid storyteller (any sailor can spin a yarn, after all) and plays the pennywhistle and fiddle, both of which she learned to play on her travels. Through extensive practice, she was able to quash down her natural heavy Cockney accent into a more conventional non-regional British, but this facade will often slip off if she becomes emotional, excited, scared, angry, etc.

Evangeline McFarren was born to Michael McFarren and his wife, Marie McFarren (nee Miljour), in London. Michael was a printer, Marie a schoolteacher, and together they taught young Evey to read and write at an early age. Unfortunately, early age is all they got to see of their daughters.

In the summer that Evey turned eight, the summer plagues swept through London with a remarkable vigor, and the family was shattered. Evey's younger brother, Daniel, was the first to fall victim, followed by her mother and, eventually, her father.

Left orphaned and penniless, Evey spent three years as an urchin in London's Cheapside, running with street gangs and avoiding the police as best she could. She joined up with the King's Own Knights, a gang much more fearsome in name than practice. They mostly begged, with a hint of thievery when times got bad enough (which they did, often). Evey's special trick, being that she was the only lettered one amongst the otherwise illiterate bunch, was to read out the broadsides on the front of the printer's shop, the comics and the news bulletins, and the people who gathered to hear -- who were often equally illiterate as the urchins -- would often spare a penny or two in her direction.

Soon, however, things changed very dramatically for Evey and her gang. After one particularly bad winter, when half of their gang had been wiped out by cold or starvation, the three remaining members of the King's Own Knights decided to split up and head their separate ways. Her way, Evey decided, was downriver.

It was a strangely easy decision for her to pretend to be a boy and join the Navy. She had always wanted to see the world -- she'd heard so much of it from the drunken sailors who sang songs as they stumbled down this alley or that, only to pass out and be pickpocketed by her own dirty self. And if that ticket to see the world also included a warm bed and three meals a day, then she was well-satisfied. Unfortunately, she'd also have to make a few changes.

Oh, well, she thought as she used her own handmade shiv to chop off all of her dark hair, leaving only stubble behind. It's easier being a boy anyway. No one questions you, no one stops you because something ain't your place, and nobody assumes you can't do something just because you're a stupid little girl.

She decided her name would be Evan, a name popular mostly in Wales and Ireland, but suitable for her, as her father was Irish and it sounded just like the beginning of her own name anyway.

Once she got to the mouth of the Thames, where the officers were signing on ship's boys, it was once again her ability to read which secured Evan's place on a 56-gun frigate, the HMS Queen Elizabeth. The grand ship's destination was the Caribbean; her mission, to hunt pirates.

Once onboard, Evan soaked in the ship's lore, the maritime traditions, the way of the sailor, and most of all, the sea herself. She was nervous to wear a ponytail, as is proper for a sailor, but after it became evident that this wouldn't give her away, she wore it with pride, as a sailor would. Fortunately for Evan, there are plenty of tiny nooks and holes in which to hide on a ship, which allowed her to have some sort of privacy where she could do her more feminine things -- and as she hit puberty and had long months at sea, those things became rather important to not spoiling her cover.

Before long, she was promoted from ship's boy to midshipman, or officer-in-training. Unfortunately, it was not long after this that, after a battle with a pirate in the waters of the Caribbean, she was found out and put ashore. She was lucky to have simply been that and not hanged or shot, but fortune smiles upon those who can charm, and Evan had certainly done that to most of the officers and men aboard the Queen Elizabeth.

After she was most unceremoniously dropped into Boston harbor, the nearest port on the way back to England, Evan assessed her situation. Her goal, she'd discerned, was to buy her own ship, perhaps start her own shipping company. Alas, the pay she'd been left with was considerable, but not enough to buy her a proper bark.

So back to sea it was, for she saw no other option. Quaker whalers, having no qualms about women onboard their vessels, were happy to sign on a seasoned sailor fresh out of the Royal Navy, male or no. Evan, a good fourteen years old by this point, worked as a schoolteacher for her captain's three small children, and in turn, she was also given lessons by the captain's wife in matters that she didn't have a chance to learn growing up. Not just arithmetic and science, oh no -- she'd learned much of those things onboard the Queen Elizabeth, under the watchful eye of the ship's surgeon, who often held class for the ship's boys and midshipmen. In this new environment, elocution, etiquette and sewing were often the orders of the day, and Mrs. Wellsley, the prim, tight-lipped wife of the captain of the whaler Serena, had no lack of advice to give the Evan. In fact, she seemed to rather enjoy the idea of taming the savage urchin out of the quickly growing girl.

That is not to say that Evan ever missed an opportunity to take up duties as a deckhand, and indeed on the calmer days she could be seen frolicking in the rigging as any young sailor lad would do.

After three years of hard work on the whalers, and with what she had saved up from her time in the Navy, Evan was ready to strike out on her own and purchase her own ship, which she did -- a lovely little two-masted schooner which she named the Saint Mary's Wake.

This was her destiny, she thought as she stood upon the quarterdeck of her boat for the first time. The ship was small -- barely eighty feet long -- but how many other girls of seventeen could claim to own a ship of any size? And since it was her own boat, she wouldn't have to hide her gender; those who sailed with her would be of her choosing, and so must be aware of her femininity.

The first thing to do was to arm her. After sailing and battling pirates on the Caribbean, Evan knew that her first priority was defense of her little boat, which she would be using to transport potentially valuable cargo. She fitted the Wake with a three-pound chaser on the bow and another aft, with three six-pound guns on each side of the deck, usually well-covered by canvas. No match for a ship of the fleet or a well-armed pirate, but this little merchant boat now had teeth.

With a cargo of New England granite to sell and a temporary crew working for passage, Evan McFarren was last seen in Kingston, looking for a crew to call her own.


Father, Michael McFarren, deceased
Mother, Marie McFarren, deceased
Younger brother, Daniel McFarren, deceased

Music (singing, fiddle, pennywhistle)
Easily learns new things, and is eager to do so

Too trusting at times, naiive
Makes decisions based on short-term circumstances rather than long-term
Often ignores people she does not find important at the time
Her temper
Very defensive of her position, her crew, and her ship, sometimes unnecessarily

Anything Else:
[Author's note: Admittedly many things about Evan were lovingly ripped off inspired by L.A. Meyer's Jacky Faber. Any similarities are meant not to infringe, but to pay homage. ^-^]
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