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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(Ian, Nyell)

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

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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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 Valera, Rodrigo Solano, Sol Picador
Rodrigo Sol Valera
Posted: Oct 25 2009, 02:15 AM

Group: Admin
Posts: 470
Member No.: 70
Joined: 24-October 09

- Player Info -

Name/nickname: Elena

AIM/e-mail/whatnot: lelia_vasilescu@yahoo.com

Substitute players:

- Character info -

Name: Rodrigo Solano Valera

Nickname/Alias: Solano Galvez - the name he says since he chose the sea life. Nickname - Sol Picador – Piercing Sun

Age: 27

Gender: Male

Rank/Occupation: Pirate


Height: 1.78 m

Build: Athletic, graceful, with fine traits.

Hair: Dark, slightly waved, long up to the shoulders, rarely tied - and in these occasions more with a bandanna than in a pony tail.

Eyes: Dark brown

Marks: He wears a silver earring, having a sun charm on it. He has various scars from battles.

Clothing: On the ship he wears canvas trousers and a cheap breezy shirt, usually half unbuttoned, occasionally paired up with a vest. If work is hard and the heat horrible, he might be shirtless as well. A neckerchief and a wide belt, and boots hiding a navaja. His shirts and trousers are often off-white, as it is customary in his native Veracruz area, but sometimes he has others in any colour he can get. He usually has two changes of working clothes and some nicer ones, for when in ports with a spying mission.


He is optimistic, spontaneous, intrepid, jovial and makes light of things most of the time, especially in odd situations where one would expect prudence, but he is a man of hot temper and extremes. When not smiling kindly or ironically, he is boiling with anger. His heated temper keeps him from doing any emotion halfway and this leads sometimes to fierce arguments and fights.

He strives to win against any obstacles life may get in his way and succeed – especially to prove to himself and anybody else that the illegitimate son of a nobleman can get through his own forces what his legitimate siblings obtained through their birth - and this includes acquiring knowledge and wealth equally. He is bold and brave, liking less taken paths in all fields, A mystery is only intriguing for him, and he secretly dreams of discovering something to leave his name to – be it an island or any other place. He is loyal to friends and ideals, not willing to sacrifice his life in vain, but standing up for his beliefs, and would die for them if the case might be.

He treats all women respectfully, as he was taught by his mother. Although his beauty attracted women of al kinds in the ports where he has roamed, he is not a seducer, a womanizer, but his tender and romantic nature make him even more irresistible... and he likes the attention received. He is currently too occupied finding glory and wealth to worry about settling down, and he considers himself immune to love since the death of his fiancee, nine years ago.

+ the sea – it has made his life not only bearable, but nice and free.
+ victory - there is nothing quite like winning, especially if since birth some people told you there is no chance for you to win
+ strong women –it is nice to feel chivalrous and protecting sometimes... but it is even nicer to know that the woman by your side is not needy and frail, but reliable, a wild flower, not a greenhouse one
+ learning new things. He is open minded and has a good memory.

- cowards and traitors, because they put stupidly one’s life in danger
- nobility with the associated vanity and prejudice. If there is in this world a “blue blood” not making case of his/ her origins and treating everybody well, at the same level, than no grudges
- law enforcement, obviously, because they hunt pirates… and all kind of rebels
- strong ones opressing the weaker
- long range fights and getting shot – because there is no honour in killing from a safe distance, and getting a bullet in one’s flesh is painful indeed.

Birthplace: Veracruz, Viceroyalty of New Spain

Father – Rodrigo Manuel de Sandoval y Galvez, viscount
Mother – Marisol Valera de Goyri, servant (deceased)
Stepfather – Juan Diego Goyri, peon
Twin brother – Jose Manuel Valera (Josema), foreman on Sandoval’s encomienda
Younger sister – Juana Maria Goyri de Perez, two years younger, married to a baker, living in Veracruz
Younger brothers – Diego and Juan Antonio (Juanto) Goyri (twins), five years younger, craftsmen, Juanto living in Veracruz, Diego on the encomienda

The viscount’s legitimate offspring don’t count here, as they have never seen him as more than a rebellious and ungrateful servant who ran away


The illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a sixteen years old servant, Rodrigo has been raised in his father’s house in Veracruz, as well as his twin brother Josema. As they were looking exactly like their father, and they were the first sons he knew about, he liked them enough to give them a good education for their birth status – they attended a few years of school with a priest, together with other boys from Veracruz, even if their colleagues were petty merchants’ children. Being teased as illegitimate by the other children, the Valera twins learnt quickly to fight and to defend themselves… and while hating their natural father for the shame they were bearing, to try to take advantage of anything he could offer. And they were both clever, quick to learn, studious and eager to win… in a world where the name and social position counted more than anything else. But their personalities were different, Rodrigo being the rebellious, hot-tempered one, while Josema was calmer, slier and more calculated.

Marisol married one of the peones who was sent to the city house to help in the yard and in the garden. One couldn’t be sure if Juana Maria was really his daughter or the master’s, as she was born seven months and a half later… but she bore the husband’s name and looked more like Marisol, so at least she couldn’t be labeled as the viscount’s daughter, as Rodrigo and Josema were known, having inherited more from their father’s Navarro face traits, and only the skin colour from their mother’s mestizo family.

Surprisingly, Juan Diego Goyri was a rather good stepfather, even if he was a little strict. Later, when he had his own children – also twins – it was shown that he actually made no difference among all his wife’s children. When he was drunk, he treated them equally bad; otherwise, equally well or with indifference, it depended on his moods… and when one of them was up to a mischief, Juan Diego took care not to punish an innocent. All the boys had learnt from him how to play the local guitar.

School, where they excelled, to everybody’s pride, hadn’t lasted much, however, and at twelve their stepfather wanted them to learn a trade, even if the priest had wanted at least one of them to follow a clerical path. But none of the twins had such a vocation, despite their thirst for learning and the nice penmanship which had attracted several times the priest’s praises and the classmates’ envy. Juan Diego Goyri asked them whose apprentices they would like to be, and while Josema answered he wanted to be a little merchant’s, Rodrigo said the blacksmith’s. The Veracruz blacksmith taught him not only how to make blades, but also how to use them. However, when he died an untimely death and another one took his shop, the nearly 16 years old Rodrigo did not find this job bearable anymore under a mean master. He took an opportunity to ask his natural father if he could be of better use to him with his knowledge… and so both Rodrigo and Josema were sent to the encomienda and given into the foreman’s care to find them suitable jobs. The foreman liked more Josema, and kept him around, as his own trusted man, while Rodrigo was given various tasks.

He fell in love with a girl who was helping in the kitchen, Benita, but immediately after he won her grandfather's blessing to get engaged, he found her struggling in the arms of the local constable, who was known in all the region as having the eye for young peasant girls. He fought the rapist and killed him with his navaja. After realising his deed, he had no other choice than to run away… and where else could he not be found by the guards, than on a ship? He went to Río Banderas, a little bay southern from Veracruz, where he knew that small ships used to anchor, and looked for one who was ready to leave. It proved to be “Volante”, a smugglers’ ship which made good deals with the British colonies up in the North… so while he learnt the ropes to become a sailor, he felt useful to the future business to learn English as well.

His drawing skills were put to good use with drawing maps, and he was fascinated by navigation. The quartermaster also liked him because of his nice writing and quick calculations, so Rodrigo – or actually Solano, how he gave the name when embarking - found himself helping with the logs too.

Three years later, the ship was attacked by the British Navy South from Charleston, caught with unexplainable merchandise… and at 21, he got acquainted with the British jail. The cells were common… and so he befriended a clever and bold Jamaican pirate, Frank Norman, who was by his side... And when the pirate had a plan to evade, he took Rodrigo with him – a little from friendship, half from fear not being betrayed and a little because he needed the help of somebody who could fight by his side…

This is how Rodrigo found himself aboard the pirate ship “Merciless”, together with his friend from jail… and when the captain and part of the crew jumped ship, following a violent encounter with the “Sea Hound”, he was among them. The perspectives of both gaining good gold and getting revenge on the British Navy for the year of jail and on the snobby noblemen as well motivated him strongly. Soon his skills got appreciated and he found himself the master’s mate. He likes life at sea more than piracy itself... but if this kind of life is an opportunity to win what was denied to him by his birth... why not?


+ He is very good with any blades. The nickname “Sol Picador” (Piercing Sun) comes both from his high ability with blades and his name Solano. He is rather a traditionalist in his own way, prefering his navaja to a dagger, and the smugglers on “Volante” taught him to fight with it baratero style, like in Andalucia. His machete – which is similar to the cutlass – is always handy and put to good use, but his much prized Toledo sword, obtained from a dead Spanish officer three years ago, is more often kept in the trunk. It has been used only for a few combats lately.
+ good sailor, especially helmsman, also skilled at drawing maps and navigation
+ he can read and write with nice penmanship. He writes correctly in Spanish and with mistakes in English, but he had the ambition to learn to read and write in English when he sought the position of a master's mate on "Merciless", as he couldn't obtain and keep it otherwise.
+ he has a quick wit and a thirst for knowledge
+ playing guitar (the four-stringed requinto jarocho from his area, also called guitarra de son sometimes) and singing might win a girl’s heart or get him popular in a tavern or brothel, but it is also useful in the free time aboard, to avoid boredom not only for him, but for his mates.


- women – be they seducingly beautiful ones to be wooed or ladies in distress (of any age or social status) who need help he could provide
- not really wanting to kill people if there is any solution to avoid it. He can do it if really needed, but will try every way around it before doing so
- overpowering ambition and desire to win
- a strange sense of honour
- letting his hot temper and emotions get the best of him sometimes, which gets him into trouble
- recklessness
- not holding well his liquor, and sometimes he knows when to stop drinking, other times he doesn’t

Theme Song: Tierra Santa - La cancion del pirata

Anything Else: Model - Eduardo Palomo in "Corazon Salvaje"

Percival W. Legge
Posted: Nov 3 2009, 07:07 PM

1st Lieutenant, Steadfast

Group: Admin
Posts: 656
Member No.: 59
Joined: 31-August 09

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