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.

BTM affiliates
The Ship's Documents

Officers on Deck
You may contact the staff through the private message link in their profiles.

(Lei, Lioe)

(Ian, Nyell)

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

Featured Seadog

Featured Player:
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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 A Glimmer of Hope, <open>
Posted: May 26 2011, 06:58 PM

Group: Members
Posts: 15
Member No.: 141
Joined: 10-November 10

Navigating through the islets and reefs around Inagua at night was proving to be no easy task. Rey had considered suggesting to the captain that they heave too and wait until morning to continue. He decided against making such a suggestion for fear that doing so might call into question his abilities or confidence.

Slow and steady was their progress. Rey had the depth on both sides of the prow checked constantly, and manned the wheel himself, making the smallest of alterations to their course when necessary. There had come a moment of near catastrophe when the Madre de Dios nearly ran straight over a shallow reef that had managed to evade the eyes of the spotters. Fortunately it was spotted just in time, and Rey managed to steer clear of it.

Several hours of this and it seemed as though they were through the worst of it. Many of the men began to let their guards down, and many of those who had been designated as spotters were released from their service to return to their hammocks. Rey was even beginning to feel his own fatigue creeping up on him.

As Rey’s eyelids began to droop alien sights and sounds began to fill his head. Rey jolted back to consciousness as he realized what was happening. It was not like him to drift off like that, especially while on watch. But he wasn’t on watch he remembered, his watch had ended hours ago. He had not trusted anyone else to the task of navigating these perilous waters, so he had stayed on duty long after his watch had ended.

“Light, there’s a light a ahead,” one of the men in the riggings called out.

“Where aways?” Rey called back.

“Straight ahead sir,” though before the crewman had finished speaking Rey had spotted the light himself. Could it be? Rey wondered. While retain a high level of doubt and caution, Rey was still optimistic.

“Horado,” he called out to his pilotin who was standing nearby, “tell me your true and honest opinion, could this be La Princesa we are seeing?” The boy looked thoughtful for a moment,

“Possible, yes sir,” he confirmed.

“Send word to the officer of the watch,” Rey told a nearby crewman, “tell him we may have found La Princesa.”
NPC Elena
Posted: May 30 2011, 07:32 AM

Group: Members
Posts: 18
Member No.: 140
Joined: 10-November 10

Don Felipe Manuel Perez de Guzman, lieutenant

Don Felipe was on duty during the first watch. He hated the Bahamas channel, but he hated worse the fact that they had to change the route in order to arrive there, forced by the storm. This one was used by merchantmen too, but it was less sure than the customary one. Since the fall of the dark, they couldn’t spot a good bay where to anchor until the morning, how it was sensible. The pilot deserved more than his praises for having managed safely until now, especially when confronted with that hidden reef…

Suddenly, a sailor delivered him the news that “La Princesa” might be ahead, and he approached Rey.

“Where exactly have you seen it?” he asked, searching for the telescope to look for it himself.

He took it and watched closely the swaying light – no doubt, it was the position light of a ship… and which ship could it be, sheltered in a bay? In these treacherous waters, one didn’t navigate at night if they could manage to find a secluded bay where to wait for daylight, and if “La Princesa” had found it, better that they could join her.

“What kind of bay is it? Is it shown on your maps?” he asked Rey, fully aware that not all the cays and islets in the Bahamas were mentioned.

Perhaps it was a good one, without coral reefs, and easy to access. Then, another idea crossed his mind:

”But what if it is another ship… a British one?”

They were also roaming, less this route than the other, but with the storm which had perturbed most ships’ course… who could tell?

Playing Ned Barnes, Louie d’Angennes, Sir John Darcy, lady Jane Darcy, don Felipe Manuel Perez de Guzman, sailors, pirates, smugglers, prostitutes
Posted: Jun 1 2011, 10:26 AM

Group: Members
Posts: 15
Member No.: 141
Joined: 10-November 10

The light had disappeared to Rey since he had first spotted it. The most probable explanation was that one of the multitude of land formations that scattered this area was now obstructing those on decks' view of the light, although the men aloft still claimed to be able to see it, and so they sailed onward towards the light.

The first lieutenant joined Rey at the helm presently. “Where exactly have you seen it?”

"Anton, any change?" Rey called up to one of the men aloft who had been set to keeping track of the lights position and movement.

"No sir, still straight ahead," came the response. Rey looked at the lieutenant hoping this had been a satisfactory answer.

"It was first spotted some five minutes ago, it hasn't moved since, it's almost definitely a ship at anchor in one of these bays." Rey explained to the lieutenant.

“What kind of bay is it? Is it shown on your maps?”

"Based on our calculations sir," Rey said, turning to a small table he had set up on the quarter deck where the maps of the area where laid out,"...it is most probably this one," he said indicating a rather bay set within an islet that laid directly across from another bay. "The charts actually indicate that either of these bays would be a good place to drop anchor if need be."

”But what if it is another ship… a British one?” Or a Dutchman, or a pirate, Rey thought. Anything was possible, but it made the most sense for it to be La Princessa. What could any privateer hope to gain by trolling these waters, other than hardship and the danger of their ship sinking or running aground.

"It could be sir, but it seems unlikely in my mind. Perhaps we ought to fire the signal gun and see if we get a response, and perhaps we should clear for action as well. Of course, it is all up to you." Rey did not want to overstep his bounds with the lieutenant.
NPC Elena
Posted: Jun 5 2011, 01:06 PM

Group: Members
Posts: 18
Member No.: 140
Joined: 10-November 10

Don Felipe’s thoughts were somehow matching the pilot’s. After Rey had announced him that he had seen a light, he was there to learn everything possible about it. So it was a ship at anchor, and most likely “La Princesa”. He was honestly glad that they had found their escort. Irrespective how confident he wanted to seem before, in order to cut short the master gunner’s bad forebodings and whining, he preferred the assurance of the seventy additional guns, both until reaching the wide ocean and later, when passing through the treacherous area of Las Canarias, where other pirates were on the prowl.

”Glorious San Felipe, my patron saint, after we arrive safely to Cadiz, you’ll receive a silver candle holder and a silk robe,” he prayed silently.

The lieutenant looked on the map at the bay Rey had showed him. It looked good for anchoring, and the pilot was suggesting that they could fire the signal gun to check if that was “La Princesa” or not.

”Señor Zabala, fire the signal gun! You,” he looked at a young sailor whose name he didn’t know, ”go tell don Froilan to get his men ready… just in case”.

It was a good approach, as nobody could say for sure if it was really their escort. However, Rey had a point... what privateers or pirates would prowl these dangerous waters, where it would be more likely to find their death with the ship sinking in the coral reefs than getting any riches? It wasn't as if they could know about "Madre de Dios" and her load... or her route, because this wasn't the planned one anyway.

Playing Ned Barnes, Louie d’Angennes, Sir John Darcy, lady Jane Darcy, don Felipe Manuel Perez de Guzman, sailors, pirates, smugglers, prostitutes
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