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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Captain of the Steadfast
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 Vargas, Maria Belen (temp.), Barmaid and prostitute
Maribel Vargas
Posted: Apr 19 2010, 02:35 AM

Group: Members
Posts: 61
Member No.: 103
Joined: 19-April 10

- Player Info -

Name/nickname: Elena

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

Substitute players: Any one

- Character info -

Name: Maria Belén Vargas

Nickname/Alias: Maribel, Belle

Age: 22

Gender: Female

Occupation: barmaid and prostitute


She has raven black hair, long up to the waist, styling it in various ways. Sometimes she has a sort of bun fixed with a net and traditional Spanish combs, or she might have plain tresses, rolled around her head somehow or let hanging on her shoulders. Anyway, she seldom lets it loose. As a prostitute, she learnt to wash her hair with nut tea, in order to get reddish shades, but these don't last much. Her eyes are charcoal black. She has pierced ears, with long earrings. She likes less make-up than other girls in her trade.


Social and extroverted, Maribel enjoys large crowds, flirting, being admired and the center of attention. She has always been proud of who she was, accepting both her heritages and she has always loved being different.

Men can see a spirited and graceful young woman who knows how to lure them and to please them. She can charm her way out of the stickiest of situations when needed. On the negative side, Maribel has a temper and a sharp tongue when somebody has crossed her, but her friends know her as loyal and reliable, always ready to please, to help, and her acquaintances are in a wide range of fields, so she always knows somebody who might be of help to one of her friends for a right price.

Since her life had experienced so radical turns and twists, Maribel likes to be in control of herself. Yes, she had to be a prostitute - at least for a while, as she thinks, hoping for a better future – but she learnt from the women around her both what to do and what not to do. She keeps away from liquor, as she had seen young lives destroyed by alcohol, and her Math skills are put to use making sure she won't acquire debt. Otherwise, she couldn't leave and change place if she feels she can't stay anymore in that particular place, as it happened in Antigua.


Maribel is the eldest child of a man from a family of wealthy merchants from Madrid, who fell in love with a gypsy girl during a business voyage to Granada. Unlike other rich youngsters, he decided he wanted to marry her, facing therefore both his parents’ wrath, who disowned him, and her family’s. However, the gypsies proved to be more understanding than the rich merchant, and they finally accepted their in-law. His business spirit was appreciated, his advice helping them gain some money, and with some unsaid associates, after a few months of marriage bliss he was helped to open a small tavern in Cartagena, a little port at the Mediterranean Sea. The family’s children were born there.

The tavern business went well, it had customers, brought also by Maria Salome’s songs and dances… Gypsies, fishermen and sailors came often to the tavern, and the children liked to hear their stories about other cities or adventures.

When Maribel was fourteen, her mother and two youngest siblings died of an epidemic fever. Her father couldn’t stand anymore living in that town which kept the image of his beloved wife, so a few months later he decided to sell the tavern and buy passage on a boat to the Colonies, together with his remaining three children, in order to start their life anew in a new territory.

The ship was attacked by French pirates, most men were killed and most of the young women were sold to brothels in the first port they anchored, but the master gunner of “Goeland” kept Maribel for himself, and he was seducing enough to charm the fifteen years old girl into loving him. The captain didn’t mind that some of his men kept women aboard, as long as this didn’t distract them from their tasks – and Maribel knew to make herself useful, mainly in the galley, but also with mending sails and other small tasks.

So she spent the next two years with Hervé Guénan, on the pirate ship, but the love bliss ended in a pool of blood when he was killed during a naval fight. The captain got rid of the “widows” in the port where they had anchored for repairs.

The island happened to be Antigua, and Maribel’s first intention was to find work as a barmaid, because this was what she had learnt to do in her parents’ tavern. She was good with calculating the bills, she had been the eldest and she had helped since she was nine. However nobody had warned her that Antigua was a British colony, so she had to learn English too in order to make herself understood, neither that in most taverns, being a barmaid meant also being a prostitute. The good times in Cartagena, when she was respected as Antonio’s daughter and nobody asked more from her than delivering promptly, with a smile, what was ordered, and a dance on festive evenings, together with her mother and sister, were over – accordingly, she had to learn a painful lesson.

After having been taught - violently, as she had rebelled at first, what submission to men's desires really meant, Maribel had to learn to become a rather skilled seductress. She was known as Belle, exactly how Hervé was calling her, and the natural grace and beauty of the seventeen years old newcomer attracted enough customers. Her artistic talents were also cultivated by the Madame, who knew that she could draw more men in her establishment if the merry-making included also songs and dances. As the brothel was in a port, sailors of all nationalities came there, some of them having Belle as their favourite.

When the establishment passed into another's hands and Maribel couldn't get along with the new owner, one of her customers offered to arrange her a passage to Tortuga on the ship he was on. There, on the smugglers' ship, she learned about “Pure poison and guilty pleasures” and about Jacquotte, who treated nicely her staff if they behaved, so, once arrived to the destination, she sought and obtained employment with Jacquotte.

Birthplace: Cartagena , Spain


Father – Antonio Vargas, former merchant, then tavern keeper (deceased)
Mother – Maria Salome Heredia, married Vargas (deceased)
Antonia, 18 months younger
Juan Batista, almost four years younger (deceased)
Salome, seven years younger (deceased)
Jose, ten years younger (deceased)


+ She has a native talent for foreign languages. Besides her native Spanish, she learnt quickly French from the pirates of “Goeland” and then some English while in Antigua. She also speaks a little her mother’s language, Rromani, but not too much.
+ She can sing and dance equally well, being also good at storytelling.
+ She learnt from her mother to read cards, and she does it sometimes for herself and for the other girls around. She also learnt some of the secrets of healing plants.


- She tends to speak her mind when angry, hurting the other party and making enemies. She also threatens the ones who offend her with gypsy curses, but nobody knows that it is unlikely she would really cast them.
- She is impatient and she can rarely stand to wait for something for much time
- She has a wild heart longing for love – a charming man can seduce her into doing anything for him.
- Her total lack of fighting skills may make her a victim of a violent man, thing which happens to many women in her trade.

Theme Song: Sarita Montiel - “Bien paga”

Anything Else: Model – Sarita Montiel

Percival W. Legge
Posted: Apr 19 2010, 03:24 PM

1st Lieutenant, Steadfast

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

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