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...
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...
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.
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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, Updated and improved a bunch!
Member No.: 84
Joined: 30-January 10
- Player Info -
firstname.lastname@example.org AIM will only be given when asked privately
- Character info -
Start off as regular deck hand (or sailing master mate) but she will work her way up to Sailing Master one day, hopefully!
Height/Build: Annie is about 5’ 3.5” and weighs about 115 lbs. She has a small bust (A cup) with moderately sized hips and strong shoulders. Her body type is not muscular but she will do any kind of work set before her so long as it brings her closer to whatever goal she might have.
Facial/Head Features Her hair hangs just below her shoulders with a slight wave to it; it is a light brown with blond highlights from the summer sun. During the summer light freckles will appear on her cheeks and nose but they disappear with the winter. She has big brown eyes with a hint of green around the irises. She has graceful eyebrows and pink lips she inherited from her late mother along with a strong chin from her father.
Clothing She wears an undyed shift that she tucks under a pair of men’s breeches that her brother lent her. The breeches are dyed maroon and they button at the knee. Over her shift she wears a faded red gown with middle length sleeves, typical of women in that era, however she tears the skirt of the gown later to make it shorter and therefore easier to move in. Over the breeches, but under her dress, she wears a single faded blue petticoat. Her belt is made of dark leather with a large bronze buckle that has a relief of a three masted ship on it, the belt used to be her father’s, and it is used to hold her gown, shift and loose pockets in place around her waist. Over her midsection she wears a red stay that ties in the front; it has yellow stripes of color on the top and bottom of it. She wears very typical shoes of the New England area with simple leather ties but she doesn’t wear stockings due to the hot weather of the Caribbean. On her head she wears a simple, undyed linen cap to hold her hair out of her face.
Annie has a strong, pragmatic type of personality typical of many New England “Yankees.” She’s a hard worker, tenacious, and stubborn to a fault. She also has a very practical approach to moral quandaries, generally going with the idea that the ends justify the means in most scenarios. Additionally, she is a very intelligent young woman; she has an unusual gift for numbers and calculations, and her “book smarts” are accompanied by a tendency to be almost irritatingly clever.
There are some aspects of the New England ethos, however, that Annie bucks again. While many of her neighbors are devout Puritans, she herself has never been an especially religious Christian. Perhaps this stems from her problems with the Bible on the topic of women – she resents religious and social subjugation of bright female minds, and craves the freedom afforded to her brothers by their sex.
Though initially shy around strangers, it doesn’t take too long for Annie to accustom herself to new faces, at which point she is likely to emerge from her shell and show her true vibrant energy.
Annette was the second born to her family and her parents soon found that she learned things like reading, writing and arithmetic much faster than the other children in town. When she was a child she would often watch, perplexed, as her father and older brother created maps and navigational charts for her father’s cartography business. When she could find paper and ink outside of school she would sneak into her father’s study and try to copy some of the maps he had on his desk. One day, while she was working on a very rough copy of a map of Brittan’s south coast, her father walked in on her. After getting very mad at her for playing in his study and sending her out he found the drawing she had been working on and noticed that her drawing was quite good, despite being done by a young girl. Later, he considered taking her under his wing after her brother had left to become apprentice with a friend, who was also a cartographer. The next summer, she began watching her father even more and he began to teach her the art of cartography.
(Note: Her mother died a few years after her birth and her father knew very little of how to raise a daughter. He was not an avidly social person and so never really approached anyone to help raise his daughter except for a maid who only came by a few days a week to keep the house tidy. Because of this, Annie wasn’t weaned on the ways a female should act and instead spent a lot of time either by herself or with her father and brother. The maid taught her a few things but did not have a huge hand in her life.)
Annette learned very quickly, even faster than her brother had, and in a mere 5 years she was assisting her father with small commissions such as mapping the local geographic area and surrounding towns. Annette would take regular trips around the more rural areas, with accompaniment of course, and while her father was busy and she would make very precise drawings of the farmlands that she studied. Around this time she also became more and more interested in the sea maps that were becoming more and more available with the continuing exploration of the western hemisphere. On days that she couldn’t work on commissions with her father and mapping farmland had bored her she would turn to her old pastime of copying her father’s new maps of ship trade routes in the Atlantic Ocean. At one point, she asked her father about the construction of the sea maps and, seeing how far she had come from mapping farmland and towns, her father agreed to teach her the complicated tricks of telling longitude and latitude at sea and how to put that information into a readable map.
After she started learning to map bodies of water she began occupying her days with learning how to use instruments such as a marine chronometer and her nights were spent using a sextant and telescope to map longitude and latitude using the stars as references. In the next four years she found that her father could only teach her so much regarding celestial and sea mapping so she turned to books to feed her thirst for knowledge. She became a regular at the Boston Marine Library when she was about 19, much to the displeasure of the men running the building.
After just a week or so of her attending the library her father was approached by the committee, which ran the library, demanding him to explain his daughter’s actions. That night a great argument took place where her father found himself regretting ever teaching her so much; he had finally been hit with the realization that she would never be able to use anything she learned due to her gender. Up until that point her father had begun to think of her as a second son. After the fight she was restricted to studying cartography in her father’s house only and she was no longer allowed on mapping adventures in the surrounding areas for fear of someone from town complaining again.
Only a year later her father finally decided to re-marry and Annie’s life took another turn for the worse when her new stepmother was around more than her father and she was forced to partake in lady-like activities she was never subject to as a child. Her brother also returned that year and began the process of taking over the family business when her father fell ill with the coming of winter. He died in February of the new year, leaving his son to take over and his daughter to live with a stepmother and stepsisters.
The next year was filled with Annie being dragged to church more often than desired and persistent pestering from her stepmother about why she wasn't married yet. Her brother, who hadn’t lived with Annie and her father enough to know much about her previous cartography instruction, refused to allow her access to his maps and especially his commissions; despite Annie’s suspicion that she could complete the commissions not only faster but also more accurately than her brother. She longed for her father’s guidance again but was unable to receive it.
That summer her brother, now the sole provider for the family, received a very unique commission from a new client. The job entailed Jeremiah Jr. to relocate to Barbados and work on mapping the surrounding islands. After much debating and arguing with his stepmother he decided he didn’t want to leave the family behind. With no one to continue the commissions in Boston and provide income, he ignored the possibility of Annette taking over, he took the Willams family along with him. The job provided a decent enough pay that he believed they would all live comfortably in the Caribbean. Thus, near the end of the summer the family boarded Annette’s first ship and embarked on the long journey to the Caribbean.
Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Jeremiah Williams (father)- died of the flu in winter a few years before Annie’s trip to Barbados
Sarah Williams (mother)- died shortly after having Annie
Christine Williams (step-mother)- married Annie’s father years after the death of Sarah; mother of Jane and Carol
Jeremiah Williams Jr. (brother)- oldest in the family and currently is in charge of his father’s cartography business (almost 30)
Annette Williams (me)
Jane and Carol Williams (sisters)- twins and very lady-like; younger step sisters to Annie and her brother[/i]
A talented and precise cartographer, she can read, write and speak English fluently as well as some French and Latin. She is also very good with using instruments such as Harrison’s marine chronometer, compass, and marine sextant, and she can read the paths of the stars and planets easily.
After some experience on the high seas she develops an interest in the creation of weather/wind maps.
She is not very good in fights. She can dodge pretty well but she has almost no way of seriously defending herself. She is also quite shy around people she doesn’t know and she tends to greatly resent people when they say she can’t do something because she is a girl. She knows she can’t do hard labor like a man but she takes great pride in her knowledge of cartography and her ability to learn things quickly. She is also really bad at lying for some reason; but that doesn’t prevent her from trying every now and then! Another weakness is that other than the trip down to the Caribbean she has never been on a ship at sea before.
The World We Live In by The Killers
A little back history on cartography (nothing fancy, just a few points I found out):
Cartography is considered a mathematical science connecting the celestial and earthly geographies together for the expansion of the empire (more or less). Cartographers we considered theologians and professors in their respective fields and where brought to the higher side of society as inventions such as the marine chronometer, sextant and magnetic compass became popular. The empire considered expert cartographers to be indispensable in the expansion of the empire into new lands and often sent them over to new lands to map out the areas and find the safest (i.e. quickest) trade routes between these lands and Britain.
Of course, these high society cartographers were usually working for the royal government and there were many mapmakers who worked for more local clients, especially in the New World. Annette’s father isn’t a royally employed cartographer but he is still skilled to have attracted very well paying clients who would probably use his maps to expand their lands or follow the trade routes to increase their business. In his earlier years, her father would have traveled quite a bit himself and maybe even published his own interpretations of the coasts of the British colonies.
P.S. If anyone would like to read more on cartography I found some very good journals on Jstore. The one I am reading right now is called Mathematical Cosmography and the Social Ideology of British Cartography by Matthew Edney
Also, is the note in the bio an acceptable excuse for her father not really paying much mind to her being a girl? It made sense in my head but I’m not sure about how it came out on paper.
Another point is that I have a very hard time with catching grammar and spelling errors; I have never been tested for dyslexia but I do show mild signs of it. I do use Word spell check and I try to have people proofread for me but I’m warning you there may still be some grammatical and spelling errors in some of my posts. Sorry for any inconvenience!
|The Seven Seas
Member No.: 1
Joined: 19-April 09
One troublesome remnan from your earlier draft:
Sarah Willams (mother)- died shortly after having Annie’s twin sisters
Christine Willams (step-mother)- married Annie’s father years after the death of Sarah; mother of Jane and Carol
Might wanna tweak that unless your character's little sisters have two mommies.
But aside from that, this looks MUCH better! I trust you to fix that one error, at which point you can consider yourself approved.