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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 The Plot
The Seven Seas
Posted: Aug 2 2009, 07:17 PM


Group: Admin
Posts: 373
Member No.: 1
Joined: 19-April 09

You've read the Rules. You've read the Setting. And now, you're probably wondering: what's going on?

We don't have a pre-made story for you here. The plot evolves as a result of player actions, which means what you do and say matters. A lot has gone down so far, and a lot more can happen with your help!

So here's the skinny:
    The Dutch merchant vessel Persephone left port in Jamaica for Barbados, loaded with considerable wealth and important passengers. Fearing for his ship's safety, Captain van der Marck made an arrangement with the British Royal Navy to have an escort; The HMS Steadfast, captained by Jonathan Thorne, was assigned to the duty.

    But as the two vessels were sailing around the south-western coast of Hispaniola, the pirate sloop Sea Hound ambushed Persephone and boarded her, slaying Cpt. van der Marck and taking hostages. Steadfast’s crew then boarded Persephone, rescuing all but two of the surviving hostages, but failing to reclaim the ship before Sea Hound plundered her and hulled her. The pirate crew made away with their loot and two female hostages, and the wreck of Persephone sank to the bottom of the sea.
    (See here)

    Steadfast continued on to make port in Barbados, delivering the rescued passengers to safety and delivering the bad news regarding Persephone's fate. Her crew took on a few new hands and continued training and conducting repairs to the damaged vessel. A storm in port resulted in a number of sailors from a nearby ship called the Sunderland being swept overboard, prompting Steadfast's men to embark on a perilous rescue mission to save Sunderland's sailors from a watery grave. Captain Thorne had meetings with both both Admiral Westchester and the Lady Diana Blakesley, and was issued official orders to proceed to Tortuga to avenge Persephone and reclaim as much cargo as possible from the Sea Hound.

    At sea the sailors set to training once more, honing their skills at the guns. A meeting of the officers shed further light on Steadfast’s mission, as it was revealed that the secret orders Westchester had issued required the ship to make for Tortuga itself. But as the navy men disguised their vessel and prepared to sail right into enemy waters, danger reared its ugly head from within. A marine, Sean O’Rourke, was found brutally attacked on the decks, with sailor James Macnair the primary suspect. With an investigation into the truth underway, Steadfast's anchored not far from Tortuga. Captain Thorne, Lt. Commander Gray, and Mister Hardwick composed a shore-party that traveled to Tortuga harbor to rendezvous with a double agent, planted in the pirates' midst. During their absence, Steadfast's crew encountered some of the local color, and made a fresh enemy. The party having now returned aboard, plans must be made regarding new intelligence and the pursuit of the Sea Hound, and the officers struggle to conclude the matter of O'Rourke's assault before discipline breaks down into anarchy. During the following night, while Steadfast is still anchored in Tortuga, the crew is attacked by the pirate Fox and his men.

    In the brothels of Tortuga, another tale unfolds: Georgiana Campbell, wife of Edmund Campbell, executed a plan for her escape from the life of a noblewoman, into the terrifying freedom afforded by Tortuga. There she now works as a seamstress for the ladies of the night, and has found the friendship of Sol Valera, First Mate of the Sea Hound. But Georgiana’s husband has discovered her whereabouts, and has set a bounty hunter on her trail.

    After sinking the Persephone, the Sea Hound made landing off the coast of the isle of Tortuga, where her men eagerly spent their shares of loot on wine, women, and song – all of which can be found in the Pure Poison tavern and Guilty Pleasures Brothel. In between debaucheries, a fresh plan for plunder began to form; an assault was planned on a Spanish Galleon loaded with wealth and treasures. The rouges were all set to celebrate their last night in port, when a violent tragedy struck: Captain Eamon O’Sullivan was found murdered. Out of a fog of suspicion and wild accusations, Sol Valera eventually emerged as the crew's new captain, but other schemes have already been set in motion.

    Shortly thereafter, Sea Hound hoisted anchor and got underway (the murderer's identity still unknown) to pursue her next mark: the Madre de Dios. Now a violent storm has whipped the sea into a froth, with Sea Hound and her crew now struggling to keep afloat. In nearby waters, another vessel, the Rose Claret has also been caught up in the storm. A few of her passengers have been swept overboard, and are at the mercy of the waves until they are rescued by the Sea Hound. Though glad to be alive, they are non too thrilled to find themselves on a pirate vessel...

    The trick the pirates have prepared for Madre de Dios is functionning, and the passengers are ...persuaded to help the pirates. Meanwhile, the British Navy officershave understood the pirates' intentions and plans to intercept both the Sea Hound and their Spanish prize, waiting for them over the next cay, with two long-range cannons set ashore too.

    Finally, the battle for Madre de Dios starts as planned, the pirates being oblivious of the Navy ship hiding nearby. The galleon gets caught in the trap and the exchange of cannonades is followed by the pirates boarding successfully the Spanish ship. When the Navy ship is seen by the pirates remained ashore, the two cannons hit it.

    Meanwhile, the galleon hits a sand reef and half of the galleon and half of the pirate ship are blown out.

    It was a victory, but a victory Pirrhus style.
What happens next? Were any survivors, of any allegiance? That's entirely another story... yet untold!

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