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Found 26 results

  1. Chapter 1: New appointments "I believe now is the time - the diplomatic landscape is moving rapidly" Fletcher remarked with a firm nod. "But are we certain Montoya is up for the task?" "I can hardly say, sir. All I got was this hastily scribbled note, and though I am flush with joy of my friends resurfacing in good heath, I know nothing of Montoya's state of mind." Cooke answered. "I see. Perhaps it would be wise not to burden him too much, although his experience would come in handy..." Fletcher pondered for a moment. "There is the young mr. Barlow..." Cooke interjected. "Ah, indeed! I shall appoint him Junior Attaché and put him in charge of getting the expedition formed. I believe I will soon have some ships made available too!" "The Amiable is launched and outfitted, and ready for service." Fletcher nodded. "Ah, and here we have mr. Farley" who was waving at them. "I trust we are not running late?" "Not at all, sirs" the seemingly always confused young gentleman said and bit them into his mansion.
  2. Things were returning to normal after the great ball that had turned King's Harbour upside down in preparation and anticipation of the event. The local commerce had benefited from the guests, although it had not brought the activity and investments in the settlement hoped by the Colonial Governor. However, with sir Michael Farley appointed colonial administrator to King's Harbour, Cooke now had more time on his hands to handle governor's business and his Royal Navy commitments. He had even found the time to retreat to his country residence just outside King's Harbour from time to time, enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside on beautiful Cocovia. Today, though, rear-admiral Fletcher had come to visit to discuss the newest developments in the colonies, the establishment of the Royal Society of Navigation and Discovery, and its grand expedition. "Mr. Epper II. showed his abilities in constructing the wagon way here on Cocovia, and he seems a competent fellow..." Cooke pondered "...but this new Royal Society of Navigation and Discovery and their 'grand expedition' is quite the undertaking. He will have every chance to prove his meddle... or to fail miserably..." "I know only little of the man, but I am assured he is competent. And he has some good seconds in that Clutchington fellow and Captain Blackwood." "Formerly of the Royal Marines, I believe?.." Cooke interjected. "Indeed - although there was some talk of... amourous missteps... I have never heard any reproof against his tactical skills." the rear-admiral said with something that was almost a chuckle. "But there are some rumours of extravagance and overspending. I am told that an initial Royal grant of 1000 dbs was deemed insufficient, and it was to be doubled...." "Doubled!" Cooke said raising a brow. "2000 dbs to outfit an expedition?" "Indeed - and it seems mr. Epper II. are lobbying for even more funds." Fletcher said. Cooke seemed somewhat shocked. "Imagine what the Royal Navy could do with an extra grant of 2000 dbs... That would be three brand new frigates with money to spare!" "And a possible end to many a pirate, yes." "I have a feeling the activities of the Society will be watched carefully by her Majesty and the ministry..." Cooke said. "And by every political opponent to the Society vying for funding..." Fletcher brooded. A house I build some while back but which was missing a story. Happily, the RSND came along for a little commentary by Cooke and Fletcher. :) C&C on my efforts towards a tuscan style country home for the Governor.
  3. Captain's log, 12th of June, 618 AE, Cocovia Today, I have been inspecting another part of the growing naval base. While the actual installations of today's tour, Quay no. 3, was relatively unimpressive, the vessels docked there were highly interesting. The quay is nothing but a place for vessels under refit to dock, awaiting masts, rigging, supplies, armament, or similar, but one cannot underestimate the importance of space. Ships that would otherwise occupy a critical element like a dry dock can now be placed out of the way, while minor tasks are being carried out. It was a busy day at the quay, where the Montoya Estate had just finished outfitting a new schooner, the Amethyst, to compensate for capacity lost by two of the Estate's vessels being held ransom by Oleon. I had the pleasure of inspecting the ETTC Minotaur, which had just gotten her masts in at the masting sheer, and was now undergoing preparations for her final outfit, dockyard workers over her. She is the largest vessel yet to be constructed at the King's Harbour shipyards, and will bring a whole new level of capacity to the ETTC. I had the pleasure of inspecting her together with industrial magnate Sir Dee ( @Captain Dee), who has a particular interest in ship building. This Terraman has a deep hold, five gunports a side for 18 pounders, and spacious cabins for guests and officers alike, and will certainly be a great asset to the ETTC. Fletcher later told me al'Sayeed was voicing some very troubling complaints about Corlander ships being detained under a threat of violence. This could risk leading to diplomatic incident, but at least the Montoya crews has been instructed to remain passive and make no attempts at escaping. Hopefully, this issue can be recolved peacefully - I have had high hopes for relations to Oleon. In many ways, they are more similar to us than the greenies and all their trade and profits... /Cooke _______________________ Another part of the KH port. C&C welcome. Both ships will be shown separately later. :)
  4. NB: Many pictures and long post Invitations had been sent out liberally, but Cooke had far from anticipated the amount of interest a ball, the first of its kind in Terra Nova, would garner. People from Eslandola, Oleon, and Corrington, as well as a number of Sea Rats, had flocked to King's Harbour the last few weeks to participate in the festivities and now the night had finally come. Everyone was gathered in the great hall of the new government palace (in the only wing anything close to finished) and the clock struck the hour, marking the beginning of the event. Cooke called the crowds to attention from the library balcony with a young smiling man at his side. "Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the first great ball of Terra Nova. It pleases me to see so many faces, new and familiar, and trust we shall have a... well... ball!" The crowd laughed merrily. Cooke wasn't exactly known for his humour and wit, but he had his moments. "Allow me to present to you all sir Michael Farley, the new Colonial Administrator for the Southern Isles. He will henceforth take over civilian administration of King's Harbour and acts as my second in all civilian matters. I trust you will welcome him - tonight is as much his party as it is mine." Cooke stepped back, and Farley held a short, somewhat nervous, but good-hearted speech, before retreating with a sweaty brow and a sigh of relief, calling out: "Let the festivities commence!" The orchestra started playing and the crowd dispersed, many the quadrilles of the lanciers. The dancing took up most of the floor, although some found room for conversation and a glass of sparkling wine. Rear-admiral Fletcher and Constable de Tourment found common ground, figuring they might have fought against each other on more than one occasion, sharing war memories and some recent events. @blackdeathgr Nearby, Mordo of the WTC, Richard Brickford, and Uncle was discussing trade companies, mr. Brickford listening attentively to his more experienced fellows... @Kai NRG, @Drunknok, @LM71Blackbird ...while Micah of Wolfhaven is discussing Montoya's disappearance with Ibn al'Sayeed, as well as strategies for the ETTC. @SilentWolf Sir Aidan Coyle and Cooke himself, both colonial governors to Her Majesty, took the chance to catch up on the military and political situation of the pirate-ridden Brick Seas. @Mike S On the balcony, Willem Guilder, Admius Legistrad to Eslandola, discussed cooperation and trade with the mayor of Mooreton Bay, James Hume. @Capt Wolf, @Ayrlego For those with a taste for more quiet surroundings, the upstairs library and downstairs smoking room were popular. Captain Anthony Genaro was seen talking to Lieutenant Thierry LaGaufre of the Royal Musketeers, perhaps lobbying for access to his Majesty's ear for a command? Rumour had it Genaro had long been on half pay. Downstairs, Hadvice Goshawk and Sir Mowgli were deep in conversation, as Sir Mowgli told an engaging, touching, and almost unbelieveable story of his missing cat, a large black panther last seen on a raft in the middle of the ocean. @Professor Thaum, @Roadmonkeytj Amongst the books, Wilbur Epper II, Royal Conductor of Corrington, was discussing new and innovative means of transportation with Alberto de Pontelli of the Royal Society. Epper maintained the effectiveness and punctuality of the wagonways, while Alberto told of his recent invention of flight and its principles. @Drunknok, @Captain Braunsfeld It was a lovely afternoon, and many retired to the gardens for fresh air or a refreshment in the guest house placed there. The bar was serving the finest wines and rum, and fresh fruits ensured the well-being of the guests. Outside, in the gardens, many found peace for conversation. Sergeant Major DeLeau and Captain Cookie debated swordsman's techniques... @gedren_y, @Captain Braunsfeld ...while Frederick Spud and Colonel Brickinson had an enthusiastic discussion about the merits of apples versus potatoes. @Spud The Viking, @Captain Braunsfeld Young Lieutenant Lavendwood was taken quite aback as a heavy hand landed upon his shoulder, and no less so as he realised it was the hand of a rear-admiral, as near as a god as any man can be to a young naval officer. "Relax, young man." the god-like creature said in a deep, booming voice "I merely wish to express my satisfaction with your recent dispatches. Cooke has praised you no insignificant amount, and should you keep up your initiative, I have no doubt you will one day raise your flag. Corrington needs men like you and your colleagues." @Flavius Gratian Many passed by the gardens that evening, discussing matters of personal interest, including Jerome Monezterrel and Captain Tristan Rimbaud... @Legostone, @Keymonus ...Rodsh Derr and Major Romain.... @blackdeathgr, @Bart ...Brickinson and Thierry LaGaufre... @Captain Braunsfeld, @blackdeathgr ...and Elise and Kathy, who discussed the fine Olean wine and rum delivered by Elise herself. @KotZ, @Bart The new colonial administrator also took his chance to meet some of the important people of the Brick Seas, amongst these Lord Frederick Spud, head of clan Spud from the north-most corners of Corrington. @Spud The Viking "I am sorry my invitation should have taken you such by surprise, Captain Genaro." Cooke interjected upon hearing the story. "I had thought my name would have been familiar to you?" "You will forgive me, will you not? I fear I..." "Most certainly" Cooke said with a rare smile. "You helped me once in a time of need. A matter of secrecy - I sent you a few letters...? Genaro's face lit up in recollection, before looking over his should carefully. "Indeed - I remember now. Some matter of political delicacy... Are your situation still... troubled?" "Less so, less so, although you never know when politics are involved! You did me a great service, and I hope I shall one day be allowed to repay you. If not in kind, then in friendship." Genaro patted Cooke's shoulder jovially. "I have no doubt, my friend, I have no doubt." and they walked down the path, sharing stories of the sea in good humour. @Captain Genaro Back in the ballroom, people mingled happily, making new acquaintances or revelling in old. Captains Tristan Rimbaud, Miles Bowditch, and Rodsh Derr found a common interest in the myths of the Brick Seas.... While young Keenan Reid was in exquisite female company with Lady Villeneuve, and mademoiselle de Tourment. @TheCubbScout, @Capt Wolf, @blackdeathgr Nearby, Aidan Coyle and Jerome Monezterrell shared their concerns with the piratical activity stifling trade and communications, not to mention the safety of sailors in general. @Mike S, @Legostone Captain Whiffo was in high spirits, conversing with Lady Norrington. @Capt Wolf, @Garmadon Ibn al'Sayeed inquired industrial magnate Sir Dee, and Mordo of the WTC, for insights into the foundry business, in which both were heavily involved... ...while Captain Nathaniel Brickford was sharing romantic and military exploits with his naval colleagues, Lieutenants Lavendwood and Ferguson. @LM71Blackbird, @Flavius Gratian, @Asgon Agnes Mesabi and Uncle were in complete agreement that "back in the good old times", balls were larger, the spirits stronger, and the young people less noisy. @Mesabi, @Kai NRG "No news whatsoever, I fear." Cooke said with a furrowed brow. The Fontonajos looked concerned, Roman being an old friend of Montoya. "I certainly hope he will reappear. He always has." "Indeed." Cooke changed the subject. "While I wish not to reflect badly upon Guilder, for whom I have the utmost respect, there are many in Corrington, present company included, who were sad to see you retire as Admius Legistrad..." Pausing for a moment, he continued. "You are regarded a friend of Corrington, and you shall ever be welcome in my halls. Montoya have said only positive things of you and what you have achieved in terms of governance and city planning..." @Elostirion And so the party went on into the night, people discussing subjects large and small, in general enjoyment. Hopefully new friendships were made, and perhaps a trade deal or two struck? Only time will reveal what came of the great ball of King's Harbour! ___________________________________________________________________ This was a lot of fun building, writing and photographing, and I hope I have managed to include (almost) all, and that no characters have been grossly misrepresented. It was great fun collecting all these sig figs, and I hope to have a chance to use them all again some day. C&C welcome!
  5. To all noteworthy citizens of the Brick Seas, King's Harbour has recently received Royal Recognition as a city of the Empire, and to celebrate this, Colonial Governor Jtno. Cooke, Captain, RN, wishes to invite dignitaries of all nations to a ball in the soon to be opened Governor's House (See spolier). One of the first events of its kind in Terra Nova, the Governor hopes that socialites from all over the Brick Seas will make their way to King's Harbour to join in the festivities, the banquet, and the following ball. (Dancing optional) Should you be interested in attending, please send your card to King's Harbour so the event can be planned accordingly. Your host, Captain Jno. Cooke, RN Colonial Governor, The Southern Isles OOC: Why not celebrate? I am building a ballroom and thought I might as well populate it. I hope to see many sig figs or their representatives making their way to King's Harbour, and will try to recreate everyone who attends to the best of my abilities. Fleshies might be "yellowfied" and I might need a little help in identifying proper parts, but I will do my best. I will of course highly encourage a few story builds leading up to the ball getting your characters to King's Harbour, and you are welcome to build here while you are at it, but it is not a requirement. Only the most obvious plotholes will be denied. (eg. if your character is known to be far way to the south. But then you can always send someone else). If anyone wants to interact specifically with some of the other guests, I will do my best to show that in the build. Just let me know - it may be a good opportunity to talk to a friend, prospective business partner, or strike secret political deals. I can't make any promises as to timing, but my best guess is in about a month. I think this will be fun :) Edit: All credit for the coat of arms goes to @Kolonialbeamter
  6. Location: King's Harbour Type: Small Cultural (Government office) Governor Cooke sat in his office reading his mail. There was a knock on his door, and a soldier entered. The request by North White, on Flickr "There's a Lady Mesabi here to see you sir." the soldier said. "Curious, send her in." He replied. Countess Mesabi entered holding an envelope. The request by North White, on Flickr "Good afternoon, Governor Cooke. As acting Chair of the Wayfarer Trading Corporation, I'd like to formally present to you our request." She said cautiously, and handed him the envelope. "Very well, Madam." he said, equally cautious. The request by North White, on Flickr He opened the Envelope, and began to read. The request by North White, on Flickr "So, Governor Cooke, What say you?" She asked. FIN Just a small build requesting the licensing status for the WTC. Sorry @Bregir, I had like none of the parts you showed me for Cooke. King's Harbour is free to license this, I'll be concentrating my efforts in Mesabi Landing this month. C&C appreciated, and I look forward to hearing from you @Bregir as to the WTC's Status!
  7. Captain's log, February 7th, 618 AE HMS Ironsides, moored in King's Harbour Today, I took the new brig-of-war, recently commissioned as the HMS Beagle, on her maiden voyage. She proved to be a sturdy, stable, and well-handling little brig, although a bit slow in stays, but I should think restowing her ballast will fix that. While King's Harbour has plenty of able seamen to man her, we are remiss of junior officers, which meant I had to take her out myself. In a way, it was a pleasure getting back to commanding a small vessel, feeling the water rushing by the hull. However, the situation is untenable, and I shall need someone to take command. Perhaps young Lavendwood would be an option? ( @Flavius Gratian) He has done good work with the gun boats and will benefit from experience in commanding a larger vessel if he is to earn his promotion to commander. I shall consider this. Something must be done about our lack of junior officers if the Royal Terra Novan Navy is to remain relevant in the Brick Seas. For now, I shall be working up the crew myself. They have already proven their skill in gunnery and seamanship, but it will take time getting them to work effectively together as a machine of war, and I can only hope a new commanding officer will not put them out of order. Signed Captain Jonathan Cooke The HMS Beagle is a 10 gun brig-of-war built for the Royal Nova Terran Navy. She carries eight 4 pounders, four on each side, and two 6 pounder chase guns at the bow. As a general purpose warship she isn't the fastest, or nimblest thing in the Brick Seas, but served by a brisk crew, she will be a valuable resource for any colonial governor. She will be licensed as a class 3 warship. C&C is, as always, welcome.
  8. Captain's log, December 16th, 617 AE HMS Ironsides, moored in King's Harbour Admiral Fletcher has recently sent me a young officer, formerly first of the HMS Redoubtable. Seemed a decent enough chap. Some of these young officers have a tendency to feeling entitled, thinking that a plum is their birthright, and will scoff at anything less. Back in my day, anything copper-bottomed was a regular god send. Independent command was all one of her Majesty's officers would ever dare dream of, even if it was the lowliest transport afloat. Hopefully young Lieutenant Lavendwood ( @Flavius Gratian ) is nothing of that sort. His service record appears commendable, but he is very young to have reached 1st Lieutenant, and, being the son of an Earl, one could fear some influence of favouritism. However, with the service lacking in ships, and more so officers, I shall soon find out! He carried out the outfitting of Gun Sloop No. 1 expertly, but now is the time to see if he can lead. I have put him in command of the two gunboats, which should be ample chance to prove himself. Today, I shall be drilling the gun boats in gunnery. Although I expect no miracles, after such a short while, we will see whether the young man has been able to make the men follow him. Time will show if they will respect him too. Captain Cooke is, in the HMS Ironsides' jolly boat, dropping empty casks as targets for the gunboats. Golden watch in hand and spyglass at the ready, he will carefully gauge the accuracy of the gunners, and the time between shots. Aiming a gunboat's guns is more complicated that those of a regular man of war, as the whole boat must be turned to train the guns. ___________________ A quick little story build including raising the shiplimits (to 75) for Corrington. As always, C&C is welcome. I am quite happy with how the blurred out background works, and all lego shots have always fascinated me.
  9. In the outskirts of King's Harbour, construction work had been going on for some time. So far, its exact nature had been unknown, but a few days ago the ETTC announced the imminent opening of a cocoa grinding and pressing plant. With this announcement came an invitation to the Colonial Governor to visit the plant on its opening day. Thus, Captain Jonathan Cooke had now made his way to the site in the company of Ibn al'Sayeed, manager of the Montoya estate and local representative for the ETTC. "The plant applies the newest Corlander innovations all around to achieve high output levels without overworking the employees." "First, follow me around the side here, where you will find something quite interesting..." "Allow me to introduce Mr. Thomas Brickcomen, a young engineer recently arrived from the Royal Polytechnic University of Belson. He is the man behind the contraption you see behind him. Mr. Brickcomen, this is Captain Jonathan Cooke, colonial governor of these isles." "Honoured to make your acquaintance, sir... " said the young man shyly. "Likewise, young man." Cooke said absentmindedly, his attention entirely taken up with the strange and noise contraption before him. "Please, tell me of this machine!" he added with an enthusiasm quite remarkable for him. Stunned for a moment that any official would show anything but contempt for his machine, he stuttered a few words before himself bring caught up with enthusiasm. "Certainly, sir. It is what I call an atmospheric steam pump. You see, the factory needed a steady watersupply in the height of 12 bricks, and as rainfall is unpredictable in these lands (as you can see, the tank also collects rainfall from the roof) a different, more reliable source was needed. As it happened, I was looking for investors and bumped in to al'Sayeed while I was wandering the docks looking for work.. Erhm... Investors, I mean... " "Yes?" "Well, not to put too fine a point on it, the ETTC hired me, and I built this. Shall I tell you how it operates or will that be too technical?" "I studied the invention of the flying balloon, and attended Alberto de Pontelli's presentation on the subject. I shall venture to follow your description." "Oh sir, would it be imprudent to discuss that matter with you? I have some thoughts on the matter... But another time... You see, in the boiler, we create steam, which is let into the main power cylinder of the pump as it is raised by the rocker arm's return to its initial position. You see, there are weights on the other side, in the pump cylinder, there. As the power cylinder reaches its maximum elevation, a valve opens, and lets in a small jet of cold water from the ancillary tank, resulting in... " "Resulting in the steam condensing, lowering the pressure behind the piston, and the atmospheric pressure pushing down the piston, operating the pump!" Cooke interrupted, his eyebrows rising as it dawned upon him. "Most ingenious, young man. I shall ask you to join me to further discuss the principles of operation at a later time. For now, I must continue my tour, I believe." Cooke followed al'Sayeed inside through the large gates. "Through a set of gears, the waterwheel outside drives these millstones, into which the fermented, dried and roasted beans are poured to be grinded. During milling, the temperature rises and the beans are ground into a thick cocoa mass, which flows out through slots in the bottom of the grinder. Here it cools and solidifies to be retrieved through the grates you see in the floor." "Please follow me... This cocoa mass contains neigh on 60 % cocoa butter, which is extracted through pressure in this press. We load the cocoa mass into the main pressure chamber here..." "...and pivot the pressure plate around in its mounting. As you will know, typical presses are screw-operated, but we have went with a more innovative and efficient process. At this stage, the pressure plate is perfectly balanced with these iron weights and can be turned by a single man, while a typical press would require many more people for handling. " "If you will look up there... To apply pressure, we lower the contraption and open the valve, which pours water into the four big barrels on the press. This water is supplied by the steam pump outside. As the water level rises, the pressure follows..." "...and the finest cocoa butter can be tapped by our two expert chocalatiers by this tap and three others like it. The butter is then barrelled and shipped off to market, just like the residual product, the cocoa solids, which we extract from the press and ship off separately. We expect a great interest for this in both the old and the new world, as the taste is quite extraordinary!" ______________________ The first part of the ETTC Royal Cocoa factory is hereby opened. (And the last part of the process, unfortunately.) The production process is largely correct. It has been standing on my shelf for a long time, and now I finally managed to finish it. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the process from my ETTC collaborators, and as always, C&C is more than welcome.
  10. King's Harbour was growing, and had recently become the seat of the Colonial Governor of the Southern Isles. The former governor's office was quickly turning out too small and was now only the seat of the planning office. The rest of the colonial administration had moved to grander surroundings in the newly completed Government House. Spanning one of the freshwater canals that keep King's Harbour clean from the filth of concentated population, it has been built between the two planned boulevards planned to lead into the city to ensure a central location. This does put it somewhat at a distance from the busy harbour, but Cooke is expecting the settlement grow to such an extent that it will soon be a more central location. For now, at least, the distance ensures that only the most serious of petitioners make their way to the office. Almost palatial in appearance, Government House provides ample space for a bustling city administration, and throughout the day, civil servants, merchants, army and navy officers, and civilians pay a visit to get permits, orders, licenses, and some even to have an audience with the governor himself. Today is particularly busy, and Cooke, a man of action, is getting somewhat short-tempered after dealing with a paranoid Olean count (convinced clerics of Hades are haunting him), a tiresome group of Eslandian merchants (as ever requiring compensation for one slight inconvenience or other), and a multitude of other complaints and requests. However, the positive weekly constable's report just delivered by one of the delightfully efficient Winged Cuirassiers (the unit has been charged with keeping order in the city) has ligthened his mood somewhat in advance of the arrival of one of his protegees, young lieutenant Collingbrooke. "Goodday, Captain Cooke. I hope I find you well, sir" "Quite so mr. Collingbrooke, if it wasn't for all these goddamned landlubbers and their endless complaining. Not to mention the paperwork..." Shaking his head, Cooke continues: "I mustn't speak so, of course, forgive me. What brings you here?" "Despatches, sir." Handing over a sealed folder, and hesitating for a moment, he adds: "I mean not to be impertinent, but.... erhm... have you had the time to examine the bottled message? It is the talk all over town, if you don't mind me saying." "Ten thousand blistering barnacles! I knew I had forgotten something..." Rustling through the locked, ironbound drawers of his desk, he brings up a bottle. Lost in his own mind, he uncorks it and motions to pour himself a tot of rum. In doing so, a weathered document falls out into the glass with a thud. "Sir..." "I am quite besides myself, it would seem! Now, let us see what the fuzz is all about..." he says, unfolding the document under the inquisitive eye of mr. Collingbrooke. "To the crown of Corrington, or its representatives.... Blabla... titles... introductions... Here we go.... ...And so, stranded on Cascadia I wandered for days until I found nothing less than a golden city! Natives long isolated from their mother-civilisation by some obscure series of events that I have not yet unravelled. It appears there are extensive taboos surrounding this... goes on at length about taboos and legends... I have now taken up residence here and will study the indegenous civilisation... directions for the location of the city... I suggest assigning a full anthropological and diplomatic mission to establish relations with the inhabitants. Your humble servant Dr. Albert Brickingstone Anthropologist, Royal Society of Natural Philosophy 598 AE, Cascadia" Once more at home in a situation requiring decisive action, the old piratical gleam reaches his eyes. "Write out three copies at once" he calls out to one clerk, "I need an able commander with a fast vessel, and I need him now!" to another. Turning to Collingbrooke, he says: "You will man and provision the Ferret at once. You may have your pick at crewmen amongst the squadron. Destination: Cascadia. You must reach Montoya. I shall write up a cover letter, and you will leave this very afternoon. Any questions?" "No sir, you have been perfectly clear. I shall report aboard the Ferret at once."
  11. Outstanding contracts: Class 1F vessel w/station: 40 db Lumbermill: 25 db Coming soon: Quarry Outstanding offers: The King's Harbour Foundation ________________________________________________ The military governor's office in King's Harbouris where the settlement is managed, and where you will find all outstanding contracts, offers and incentives, as well as all other issues related to the management of King's Harbour, both military and civilian. The small but stately building was one of the first to be erected on the new stone quays. It is rather small, but for the early beginnings of the settlement, it is more than sufficient. However, in time, the administration is apt to outgrow this small building. Outside the building this very day, Cooke and Montoya are conducting each their business. Due to a shortage of manpower, Cooke has commandeered young mr. Baker, nominally Montoya's research assistant, and is currently dictating a contract for a new despatch vessel for local communications, especially to improve contact to the fortress at Chase Point, to far away for overland contact. At the same time, Montoya is welcoming Ibn al'Sayeed, manager of the Montoya Estate, who has arrived with the Sphinx, while his crew is dragging a heavy chest of gold into the new office. ____________________________________ Hereby a small office for the management of King's Harbour. Of course, C&C for the build and story is welcome, but in the long run, this post will be used for different announcements and the like, relating to King's Harbour. Any advice on what license type I should choose?
  12. Cooke has finally arrived in Quinnsville, and after apologizing for his extensive delay, he is now discussing the state of the settlement in particular, and Cocovia in general with the mayor. As might have been guessed, Smaugton was not happy with such shabby treatment, but assurances that the delay was due to official duties soon turned Smaugton back to his old cheery self. Cooke is somewhat concerned with the morals of Quinnsville, seeing the number of bars, pubs, and houses of pleasure, and the very public display of various vices, but Sir Smaugton is assuring him that everything is under control. They are touring the settlement, and has currently reached the outskirts, where a baker has set up a considerable house and bakery just by the palisade surrounding the settlement. "Sir Smaugton, I very much respect what you have achieved here, and I mean no disrespect but... I am certain I saw a courtesan conducting... business just around the corner." Cooke exclaimed. "Could not such... services be offered more discreetly?" Laughing merrily, Smaugton replied: "My dear Governor Cooke, I assure you everything here is perfectly under control. We have to let the populace have their entertainment. Otherwise, life in the colonies can grow insufferably dull!" "I suppose so...." Eyeing Smaugton for a moment, Cooke sighed before continuing. "Might I ask you to inform me of the defences of the settlement? Fortifications, troops, militia, gunboats, the sorts." "Of course. As you have undoubtedly noticed, just behind you, we have the city wall, or palisade. As to troops available, there is...." Smaugton explained, going over the defences of Quinnsville. ___________________ Finally got Cooke to Quinnsville as promised a looong time ago. Being commander for all forces on Cocovia, it was about time. It will be licensed as a medium artisan. C&C welcome.
  13. Prior builds: In the Captains Cabin (Bregir) Pieces Of A Puzzle (Ayrlego) Balls of Steel (Elostirion) Traitor at the Livery (Silentwolf) Arriving at Mooreton Bay (Bregir) Undercover for the Final Piece (Bregir) Plundering the Treasure Fleet (Ayrlego) The glass was falling, and fast, and large specks of grey cloud were forming an impenetrable heavenly roof, while the waves were growing taller by the minute. The Ironsides were on a chase, running under reefed courses alone through the swell. Only hours ago, the look-out had reported the flash of guns reflected in the heavy clouds, and short thereafter the thunder of the great guns had reached the deck, and since then. A hushed silence and tension had fallen over the crew. This would not be an easy battle, not in this storm, and not against this enemy. Only a few days since, Cooke had looked on in horror as the Black Oak had departed with Allcock and his consorts on board. Their plan had been simple: Allcock should have left the Oak under the cover of night after acquiring the "smoking gun" - the evidence to legitimise pre-emptive action against the privateer. Returning to the Ironsides, they would then have taken up station to intercept the Oak before she were to catch her prey. But as ever, the plan had only worked until the first encounter with the enemy, and he had had to improvise. Rushing back to the Ironsides in Mooreton Bay, he had taken on as many volunteers from Major Allcock's Light Company as could be accommodated aboard, and set sail to intercept the Oak. And they had been rushing on just this side of recklessness ever since, the timbers moaning and the rigging singing from the stress. "Deck ahoy" the look-out shouted through the cacophony of sounds, "Sails spotted, just off the starboard bow. Two ships, apparently damaged." Cooke, with a firm hold on a stay, trained his spyglass towards the enemy, and as they reached the top of a swell, his mark, clear and true. "An extra ration of grog to that man - AFTER the battle." he replied, before barking out a number of orders, putting the Ironsides about, setting her on a course towards firmly gaining the weather gauge of the enemy. "…and shake out another reef in the fore and main course. They shall not escape us now!" he added with a confidence he did not feel. In fact, he had little doubt of catching up, as the Ironsides had proven a very stiff ship, well-suited for harsh weather, and the crew would have their fight. However, he knew as well as the crew that the odds were now very different. It was clear that the privateer had taken its prize, and this meant he now had two enemies to deal with. But would this prove to be two undermanned, heavily damaged cripples, or two battle-readied warships? Cooke had seen the Oak close by, no doubt more than a match for the Ironsides, and he knew enough of the Eslandian Treasure Ships not to disregard the formidable power of the prize galleon. A plan was forming in Cooke's mind, which always seemed to take on a life on its own in these situations. He expected the Eslandians to have put up a ferocious fight, and therefore assumed at least some damage on both ships and crew, but more importantly, he expected the pirate crew to be in a state of disorganisation. With a prize just taken, some would be drunk, and all would be exhausted from repairs, as well as spread out across the two vessels. He reckoned he had three things at his advantage: The element of surprise, the sharpshooters of Allcock's light brigade, and the heavy, short range carronades. Armed with 24 pounder carronades and with a crew trained to near perfection by their former commander, the Ironsides could release a hellfire of heavy steel, if only she could get close enough. Cooke's mind lingered for a second thankfully on Ferguson, who, during the voyage to New Terra, had drilled the crew to near perfection at the great guns. He would rush down between them, fighting both broadsides, forcing them to a swift surrender. Two things worried him, though. First, if the privateers were ready for him, his command on the Ironsides might be ended prematurely, as would many lives under his command. Second, there was the risk of maiming or killing prisoners on board the two vessels, or Allcock and his men. But this was a risk he had to take. If only the privateers would give some sign as to the level of damage and fighting ability. If only…. "They flee, Captain!" hailed the lookout. Cooke smiled. "Beat to quarters! And let's show those ruffians a measure of Corrish justice!" Considering their current positions, battle would be inevitable… __________________________________ A few words on the Ironsides: She is a small razee galleon of considerable age, cut down in '04 to improve her characteristics. She is armed with four long 12 pounder chasers, two fore and two aft, and a broadside of eight 24 pounder carronades on the gundeck. Further, she carries a number of 18 pounder carronades on the upper deck, currently two per broadside. Alongside the scantlings of a much heavier vessel, she is a very effective brawler, able to take on heavier opponents if she can get to close quarters. However, her rather outdated rig makes her somewhat sluggish in light airs. While Cooke had the pleasure of a spacious cabin in the Athena, he must now content himself with a bulkhead aft, enclosing the aft part of the gundeck, allowing him to sling his hammock between the chasers and broadside carronades. Before being cut down, the Ironsides would have had a spacious cabin above deck, but in the name of true Corlander utilitarianism, this had to be sacrificed. ______________ Thanks for looking! We hope you have enjoyed our little story (even if you are Eslandian). For now, this is the final entry, but perhaps time will show the outcome of the battle? ;) C&C welcome as always.
  14. The north-western most of the Rider Islands near Cocovia are often the first sight sailors behold, and an important strategic location for both civillian and military navigation. Therefore, a small outpost has been erected on the one called "Hussar's Isle" in preparation for the construction of a large lighthouse. Upon returning from the old world, and most recently a succesful naval engagement against a Garvian privateer and a captured Eslandian treasure galleon, Cooke, now a post-captain, has decided to stop by the new outpost for an inspection on his way to Quinnsville for a long delayed meeting with the Mayor, Sir Thomas Smaugton. Lieutenant Sharpe, commander of the garrison, is now facing his first inspection on an independent command, and the prospect of a godlike creature such as the Military Governor of the Southern Isles is bringing a sweat to his brow, although the last 14 hours since the Ironsides began beating its way against the wind towards the outpost had been rigorously spent in polishing every piece of brass available. The single cannon starting its salute, and the troops lined up for parade, the inspection was becoming very real... Captain's Log, 22nd day of October, 616 AE Raised Hussar's Isle at four bells in the forenoon watch. Winds unsuitable for mooring. Took jolly-boat in for inspection. Lieutenant Sharpe capable commander and troops in good order. Clearing ground for grand lighthouse proceeding as planned. Four bells into the afternoon watch returned to HMS Ironsides. Course lain for Quinnsville. Sails spotted on northern horizon. Private signal answered correctly. Continued on prior course.
  15. The next part in my collab with Ayrlego and my category 4A entry. Prior builds: In the Captains Cabin (Bregir) Pieces Of A Puzzle (Ayrlego) Arriving at Mooreton Bay (Bregir) Continuation: TBD What Major Allcock had to report made Cooke regret the orders he had given Ferguson. The Athena could have evened the scores somewhat, but she would be halfway to Cocovia by now. The curse of hindsight. Cooke pushed aside these fruitless thoughts and considered recent events. Just earlier this day he had stepped aboard the old Ironsides, only to be greeted by a widely smiling version of his old friend Ferguson. "I have been given the honour of being the first to congratulate you on your promotion, CAPTAIN Cooke," he had said, presenting Cooke with a set of glorious golden epaulettes and the news of his promotion. "Post-captain" - he had yet to fully grasp his own bliss. And while the Ironsides was not the frigate he had dreamt of, nor exactly a flyer, she was still a powerful tool if only used right... And he found himself endearing to her already. His orders reaffirmed his position as commander of her Royal Majesty's armed forces on and around Cocovia, and in Ferguson he had been given a competent officer to assist him in this task. Which is why only hours ago, it had seemed so natural to dispatch him with the Athena to Cocovia with the newest orders and directives. Cooke had to admit other duties had forced him to neglect the colony recently, but Ferguson would surely make up for this. It was in the capacity of commander that he was now talking to Major Dirk Allcock, the ranking Corlander military officer on Alicentia and temporary military governor of the colony, and a friend and colleague of Montoya's. Being responsible for the colony, Allcock had been concerned by the build-up of military forces in the neighbouring Garvian colony Leopoldis, which had led him to investigate recent rumours of a large warship being stationed there. "Let me see if I understand you correctly, Major. A Garvian frigate sailing under a letter of marque has arrived in Leopoldis, rumoured to after the largest ever prize of the New World?" "Correct," Allcock interjected. "And you believe the prize is an Eslandian treasure fleet?" "So everything suggests, sir." "You have done good work, Major, very good work. One might take you for a man of intelligence one day. Intelligence work, I mean." Cooke said, forcing a smile. "Thank you, sir! All in the line of duty." Allcock said, bowing his head politely. "Diplomacy be damned... Even though we know all this, there is nothing I can do without risking diplomatic ramifications... We need proof," exclaimed Cooke after a short pause. "Might I suggest getting someone on board the privateer to investigate? We could arrange for certain crewmembers to... fall ill, opening up for replacements..." "A sound suggestion that might give us conclusive evidence," Cooke responded before letting out a sigh. "But it is a dangerous mission... And we would have to ensure our men get picked..." "One of my advisors... Russel should be able to arrange for me and him to fill those openings. He is somewhat of a rogue, but rather well-connected in the relevant... eh... circles..." "Are you willing to take that risk?" Cooke asked, and Allcock nodding in the affirmative. "Very well. I shall row you out myself to see you off. And you must get off that vessel the moment you have the necessary proof - take no chances! When you return, the Ironsides may have to re-earn her nickname..." And so, late next evening, a new purser and his mates were being taken to the "Black Oak" in the port of Leopoldis after the original crewmembers had suffered from alcohol induced comas... "Godspeed, Major Allcock, Godspeed..." "Thank you, Commander Cooke. I shall return as soon as I have the evidence..." ----------------------------------------- Hope you like the story and builds - C&C is, as ever, more than welcome. Stay posted for more. Extra photos in the spoiler.
  16. Personal Diary, Montoya, 35th day of Montoya-Cooke Expedition Upon entering the cove, I immediately noticed the indigenous structures erected on poles in the water, and asked Cooke to approach it. The natives seemed to expect us, as they were standing on parade with what appeared to be full ceremonial gear, including large shiny brass-shields, gold ornaments and metal-headed spears. Obviously, these people have at least basic practical knowledge of metallurgy, which appears to me a rarity outside the socalled "civilised" world. (One might question how civilised we truly are, considering the amount of ressources we spend improving our ability to smash eachother on the head….) The natives welcomed us most kindly, and as their language seemed to be related to that spoken by the natives of Nelissa, we were able to communicate rather well. The granted us presents of fresh fruits and large brass plates, and the chief told me that many foreign ships had been spotted recently. As we were the first to make landfall, and if we behaved with reason, he was willing to strike an alliance, and help us with supplies and repairs for now and in perpetuity. (He seemd rather well-versed in the challenges of sea-travel. I suspect they are a nautical tribe, who came here by some sort of ship.) In return, we are required to protect and respect his people and customs, and help them to advance. We sat for long hours in the Chief's hut, discussing the situation, and I found that his tribe was rather sizeable and scattered throughout the island, as well as culturally advanced. After the meeting, he allowed me one of his best men as a guide to the Island, to show me the natural wonders here, and we agreed that I might return later to learn more of his people. I shall be leaving with young Baker and a few hands in a few moments. Oh, what discoveries these lands might hold! My mind is fairly overflowing with delight! In the meanwhile, Cooke has embarked upon his habitual frantic naval activity, preparing the cove for God knows what and measuring every little nook and cranny of the anchorage. One wonders the crew abides, with all the wonders here to behold. Custom and loyalty seems to have more leverage on people than I would have believed, and Cooke almost seems to swell in physical size, when exercising command. The men do seem to love him. As he sent off the HMS Otter, I managed to ship a few letters of business, as well as a scientific paper that will certainly make a noise in the Royal Academy! Captains personal log, 35th day, New Terra Expd., Second Entry 48o 43'' 15' E, 68o 23'' 36'; In sheltered cove Entered the cove shortly after noon. Landed at native village. Montoya established contact with natives, who seemed to be friendly and willing to trade. Carried out initial sounding and mapping of cove, which proved to be a fine natural harbour. Dispatched HMS Otter to seek Corlander Royal Navy Expeditionary Force: Suggested setting up base of operations, with proper defenses. (See "Hydrographical Remarks" and "Tactical Remarks" below") Moored HMS Athena in the sheltered cove, broadside to entrance, and established look-outs on shore. Resupplied greenstuff, water and meats through trade with the natives. Montoya and Baker, with a few hands, landed to explore island and establish further contact with natives. Hydrographical remarks: The cove is a fine natural harbour, protected by the elements by two rocky peninsulae of 10-20 m in height. The entrance measures approximately 20 m across, with a fine channel suitable for all vessels. The cove is appr. circular: measures 250 m at the widest point. Depth of the harbour is consistent at about 20 m (See soundings on attached chart) as little as 30 m from shore. The bottom is soft sand, perfect for anchorage. Northern beach is well suited for careening. Tactical remarks: A single battery could entirely command the harbour from the seaside, while the nature of the landscape and the heavy jungle will effectively make a landbased assault impossible. Further, the jungle offers plenty of wood for spars, masts, planking, firewood, etc. and the natives supply a fine, strong, white rope, which, by the look of their own designs, require no tarring to last. It will prove to be a fine base of operations, refitting, and resupplying, and I have thus suggested sending in a platoon of Royal Navy Engineers to fortify the cove. Montoya ensures me that, treated fairly, the natives will support our presence. They have agreed to an alliance. ________________________________________________________________________________ Hereby my entry to challenge 1b. It isn't exactly my best build to date, but I am farily happy with it. The pictures didn't turn out perfect either, but being away from my bricks, I can't redo them. It was fun writing the story from two different perspectives (and different narrative styles), and I hope it makes sense! C&C is welcome, as always.
  17. The next part of our collab for CH IV. (Although this is not an entry, but just a freebuild.) Prior builds: In The Captain's Cabin Pieces Of A Puzzle Following builds: Undercover for the Final Piece Montoya was not at ease. This tiny little vessel was dancing up and down the waves, rushing close-hauled towards Mooreton bay in a most haphazard fashion, and his stomach was not agreeing with him. "Tell me again why I find myself on this fragile little death-trap. The Athena seemed a perfectly fine transport…" he gasped. "The Athena would have taken day and night to tack in here against the wind. And as I am certain you are aware, Ferguson signalled for me to report on board the Ironsides without a moments delay!" Cooke shouted against the wind. As they had approached Mooreton Bay, the lookout had spotted the horrible old Ironsides in the port and, moments later, the signal flags requiring Cooke to report on board for orders from the Admiralty. And for a naval officer, nothing was more important than orders from the Admiralty. "But surely, my friend, this haphazard pace is both dangerous and unwarranted?" Cooke laughed, thrilled with their speed and the prospect of new orders: "Tide and wind waits for no man, my friend!" The Dolfijn The socalled "death-trap" was a small Altonian privateering sloop named the Dolfijn, captured off Tiberia, as it was attacking some local fishermen. It had proven a flyer close-hauled, and Cooke had decided to keep it as a tender to the Athena, a decision he could never have been happier about right now. "But have no fear, doctor - in a moment we will be moored and you will have firm ground under your feet once more!" Cooke knew the doctor as something of a landlubber. "And while you go meet Major Allcock and discuss your beetles, I will meet with Ferguson and find out what orders the admiralty has seen fit to give me! And you may let the good Major know that I will seek him out at first possible convenience." he said, letting the sloop come up against the wind, steering her for the wharf at the customs office. Wharf and customs office Artillery tower protecting the harbour
  18. Following builds: Pieces of a Puzzle (Ayrlego) Arriving at Mooreton Bay (Bregir) Undercover for the Final Piece (Bregir) In the cabin of the HMHV Athena, Montoya and Cooke are discussing the recent batch of mail. C: "Say, Doctor, do you remember Thomas Ferguson?" M: "An old shipmate of yours, if I am not mistaken? Some story with a fortress…" C: "Quite so - he has finally gotten a command, albeit a temporary one. With New Terra opening up, the Admiralty is recommissioning a number of old vessels, and Tom writes me that he has received orders to assume command of the horrible old Ironsides. Apparently she is being despatched for the colonies." M: "Horrible old Ironsides?" C: "Well, that's what she's known as in the service. You see, she is possibly the smallest, and most definitely the oldest, postship in the service." M: "Postship? Will she be delivering mail, you think?" C: "Now Doctor… A postship is a ship above twenty guns, but not quite frigate size, commanded by a POST-captain." M: "Hmm, I doubt anyone ever explained me that before…" C: "Not above a dozen times…" M: "Perhaps I should attend better…" C: "Perhaps… She is built like a brick wall, scantlings like a 74. Finest oak. Unfortunately, she handles like one too." M: "Scantlings?" C: "Her sides, Isaac. She started her career as a galleon, back before they razeed her in '04. She is clad in thick oaken timber, and when she was up against a Carnian 18-pounder privateer in '99, not a single shot pierced her! That's how she got her name." M: "18 pounds seems like very little for a privateer…" C shakes his head to himself. M: "Pray, what do you mean "razeed", my friend?" C: "Cutting down her upper works - the fore- and aft-castle. Brings down her centre of gravity, making her stiffer and more stable. Her rigging is rather old-fashioned, though." M: "Old-fashioned?" C: "No topgallants, lateen on the mizzen. Rather under-rigged, really. Slow in anything but a strong gale and useless on a bowline…" M: "Fascinating, I am sure. Will we have the pleasure of meeting him, you think?" C: "Only time will show…" __________________________________________________________________________________________ Just a small freebuild to propel the story and drop a few hints as to things to come. C&C welcome.
  19. Part I: "Protecting her Majesty's Honour" Part II: *Link to be added later* Part III: "In her Majesty's Diplomatic Service" Montoya had gotten the dubious honour of delivering her Royal Majesty's response (not exactly soothed by the letters from the privateering captain) to the Carnite actions. As he arrived in the capital of Carno he was lead not the Royal Palace, but to the foreign office, where he was presented before an investigative jury. "Gentlemen, surely this must be a misunderstanding." Montoya said, after presenting himself. "There is nothing to investigate." "We assert no such conclusions, sir. You will present your case before this investigative jury, and we will decide where to take this issue" a man in fine crimson garments interjected, obviously the president of the jury. A juror dressed as a sailor chimed in. "And who is to say you did not fire the first shot?" "Why, your very own Captain Whoknowswho, my good sir, in his very public letters to my Queen." Montoya looked round at the shocked jury. "However, that skirmish was but a symptom of the wicked character of your foreign policy!" Pausing dramatically for a second continuing: "Your government has been issuing letters of Marque against Corlander shipping, a very harsh breach of the peace." A third juror threw his hands in the air, "There is no proof of this - and who is to say our ships were not threatened by your warships?" "Or pulled into an attack by a clever ruse" the last member of the jury shouted, spewing spittle, their contempt growing very obvious. Montoya took half a step back, wiped a speck of spit off his coat with an arched brow. "But sirs, you entirely misunderstand the situation. Corrington is not looking to negotiate but present you with our demands. Return the HMS Bullshark and its crew, cease all aggression against our shipping, and commit to pensions for those who lost their fathers and husbands in the battle, and we will consider this case closed." Montoya said in a firm voice, before furrowing his brow, "… should you fail to do so…" he looked to Cooke, who was obviously straining to keep his temper under control, before continuing "we are forced to consider the attack an act of war." The jury was taken aback, and Cooke observed with pleasure their surprise. It seemed the Carnites had hoped to push Corrington to strike a bargain, but now realised their mistake. ____________________ A sligthly higher angle to better show the interior. While a bit low on tiles and similar detailing bricks, I liked how this turned out. I had not expected those bows to work on both sides as well as they did, and I am certain to revisit the use of those. Good luck to all contestants - We shall see who made the best case.
  20. "...now, my dear friend, you really cannot hold me here any longer!" Cooke said. "But..." Cooke interupted Montoya immediately: "If I hear one more word of a curious beetle or a non-descript turtle, I swear by the gods, I am going to have you keelhauled under your own vessel! It has been weeks since we set out from King's Harbour towards Quinnsville and sir Smaugton has been expecting us for at least a month!" Montoya blushed, hesitated, and discreetly let go of a bunch of feathers, before speaking up. "I have no idea why you would expect such of me..." Clearing his throat he continued "Of course... As you have so often told me, the tide waits for no man..." Cooke nodded with satisfaction "Indeed!" "As soon as we have dispatched the orders I asked you to write up..." As Cooke held up a document, Montoya nodded "Thank you, good sir. I hope you support my dispositions..." "I do, entirely. McLeod will be happy with a new command, and will make a fine captain. And more so, the Justicia is going to be a fine addition to the pirate hunting task force." "Let is be so, and then we are off to Quinnsville..." The "Justicia" is a sistership to the "HMS Kite" (Formerly "War Dwarf") by Legostone. I simply manipulated the colours a bit. Thanks for looking - C&C is welcome, as always. The Justicia will be my contribution to the pirate hunting task force.
  21. As some remarked, Baker was preparing for a dive while underway to Quinnsville - luckily, in a period of calm, they had a chance to survey one of the reefs. While a sovereign monarch on his own quarterdeck, Cooke's authority means little to Montoya once engulfed in scientific endeavour To the Editor of the Proceedings, Journal of the RS of Nat. Phil. Dear Fellows, Luckily, (which I say at the peril of rebuke from my good friend, who is ever in a tearing hurry) we were becalmed in one of the bays on our way to Quinnsville, and we had a opportunity to exploit the diving suit I had procured in Arlinsport long since. While our initial respite was taking up by furious surveying from the seamen, and we could not even procure a boat, when the bay had been measured and sounded meticulously, Cooke graced me with his company and the jolly-boat. On an aside, he has shown a very acute understanding of the physics behind the suit, something I have never managed myself. I knew he was a prodigious mathematicians and astronomer, but that physics came so natural to him surprises me. If ever possible, I shall invite him to join Señor da Pontelli's lecture on flight! Young mr. Baker is a natural too, and he fairly glows at the prospects of going down again. And from what I can see, and the specimens he brings up and his descriptions make it clear why. The wealth of the coral reefs around Cocovia is unfathomable, and while our world above the surface still offers many discoveries, it is not to be compared with the novelty and diversity below the waves. Such wealth! I have enclosed a preliminary paper on some of our discoveries and hope you will bring it in the proceedings. Sincerly Don Isaac Montoya Fellow RS of Nat. Phil. Enclosed: "Preliminary findings on the reefs of Cocovia - A study in diversity" - Montoya, Don Isaac & Baker, Charles The wealth of the underwater world is fantastic, as is the colours. And an overview picture Thanks for looking - C&C on story and build more than welcome. Hope you enjoyed it!
  22. Cooke was in high spirits - This was the kind of sailing he was made for - Cracking on through the waves at nine knots two fathoms under every conceivable scrap of sail. The HMHV Athena was heeling over, and the frequent spray of sea water reached as far as her main mast each time she broke a wave. Cooke we driving her hard, just this side of reckless, and he loved it. So did the crew - After weeks of lying moored in King's Harbour, keeping harbour watch and working hard on shore, they were now back were they felt at home. Familiar duties, meals, and watches that to most landsmen would seem insufferable, was their way of life - and they loved it despite Cooke constantly calling for sail trimmers to get that extra half a knot. Currently, most of them had a respite. It was nearing noon, and Cooke was occupied with his sextant, measuring the angle of the sun at its highest, a daily ceremony that would mark the start of a new naval day and allow him to lay down his latitude with the utmost accuracy. A landsman might have remarked that with the coast of Cocovia clear on the starboard side, this was perfectly superfluous. One had simply to keep it there, and they would invariably reach Quinnsville, their destination, in due time. In fact, Montoya had done so, but surprisingly (to Montoya), Cooke had not attended to his arguments and instead suggested that he should retire to the main-top from where he might spot some curious birds. Right ahead, some wreckage had been spotted, and some of the crew where now exercising the chasers, running out the starboard nine pounder to fire at an empty barrel. This was a procedure they had done countless times, and they were already expert gunners, yet they never seemed to tire from the joy of the great guns firing and hitting true to their mark. On the fore top-gallant yard, a midshipman and a seamen were in the progress of shaking out the last reef in the top-gallant as the wind had dropped slightly, and Cooke believed she would carry it. The HMHV Athena is a snow-rigged sloop-of-war, formerly of the Royal Navy. Originally built in Oleon, but captured at the onset of the last war, she had been Cooke's first independent command and allowed him a small fortune in prize money, as well as several chances to distinguish himself as an enterprising commander, none of which he had passed over. However, during the peace, the Athena had been sold out of the service and Cooke set ashore on half pay. Recently, Montoya had inherited a considerable sum and purchased the Athena, and had now outfitted her for an expedition to the new world. The crown had caught news of this expedition and offered its support, assigning a contingent of Royal Marines, protection from impressment of its crew, and access to ports and supplies, in return for claim to any land discovered. Therefore, the Athena now carried the designation HMHV: Her Majesty's Hired Vessel. She is armed with four 18 pounder carronades per broadside and four long bronze nines for chasers. The long range chasers enable her to harass an enemy from afar with swift and accurate fire during a chase, often allowing her to take weaker enemies, or escape from stronger, without significant damage. And while the carronades are ineffective in long range engagements, they give her the punch of a much larger vessel, if she manages to close with the enemy. Cooke had recently received orders from the Crown, which was the reason for all this cracking on. Not only had his appointment as military governor of King's Harbour been confirmed, but he had also been appointed Military Commander for Cocovia. A rank in navy terms comparable to commodore, and only in very few cases bestowed upon a mere commander, not yet even of post-rank yet. It should be of no surprise that Cooke was both excited and nervous to do a good job. This might well be his best chance for a promotion to post-captain, and perhaps the command of a frigate he had always seen as the pinnacle of naval enterprise. Currently, this new command included only a few forts, a gunboatand the HMHV Athena, plus whatever the mayor of Quinnsville had at his disposition, but his orders had also told him that a mixed battalion of cavalry and infantry was despatched for Cocovia. Therefore, the Athena was stretching out towards the East-coast of Cocovia and Quinnsvilleto discuss military dispositions with Sir Thomas Smaugton, the mayor of the settlement, and to get at better insight in the tactical situation there. At the same time, he would circumnavigate Cocovia to survey all possible landing sites and vantage points, as they may prove to be of tactical importance at a later time. _____________________________________________ Thanks for looking and reading - I hope you enjoyed it - I am quite happy with how this vessel came out, but C&C is always welcome - I would like my next one to be even better. The pictures are a bit potato, but they were taken in the rush of pacing everything up and moving out. I would have preferred a better background and I struggled abit with the sunlight, but I hope you can still enjoy the moc. There are a few more detail and overview shots in flickr. While the landsman might take her for a brig, she is actually snow-rigged, due to the small trysail-mast just abaft the mainmast. I think the Athena is best fitting for a 4A, but thoughts on this is welcome too. I am not going to license her for quite some time, as I will be using her for story purposes, rather than risk losing her in the MRCA. Plus, having her sail around wouldn't fit with my story.
  23. **Warning: Wall of text** At sea, communications from home where rare. Even more so on Cocovia, far from established shipping lanes, and the crew had not seen a letter for months. In fact, some had jested that they feared losing the ability to read… However, recently an old tub of a packet carrying despatches and mail had skirted by, only lying to long enough for a boat to exchange mail. It was a meagre chest, and between them, Montoya and Cooke only received two letters and a message addressed to them both. Montoya had excellent news from his man of business, and Cooke had a pleasant letter from his family. However, these good news were quickly overshadowed by the third message in which a very public affront to them both was detailed by a close friend of theirs. As gentlemen, they could only make one reply, and they quickly put together a note demanding satisfaction, unless a full public apology would be offered. Both expert duellers, in their rage they both went directly to putting an edge on their skills, practising with sword and pistol. Their cynical practice was at its highest point of intensity as young mr. Baker came running up the hill with a bundle of letters. He had heard about the insult, and the new bundle was topped by a newspaper in which he had circled a notice on the front page. "Sirs... sirs!" he yelped, short of breath from the run. "A despatch cutter arrived just after that horrible old tub! Judging by the date of the newspapers, it left Bellson almost a month after the packet , but has already almost caught up with it! There is a full bag of mail as well as some official despatches! And in the paper something that will definitely interest you! A full apology!" Mr. Baker smiled broadly, relieved not to risk losing one of his benefactors to a mindless duel, and Montoya and Cooke both lowered their weapons. "Sir Dee offers his full apology - it was only a misunderstanding! I believe there is also a letter from him in the mail!" Montoya looks up from the paper with a relieved sigh. "And it would seem the other party to the insult was a religious figure. Surely, we cannot duel a priest?" "I am much at ease, my friend…" Cooke said. "I had not much liked to return home only to expect a duel." "Although it seems you are still perfectly able to hit your mark, Sir!" Baker added enthusiastically with an impressed look at the target, bullseye shot out. Montoya cut him short, somewhat jealous, not being praised for his, although somewhat less obvious, still excellent double parry and stab on the practise dummy: "That does not make him invincible to bullets, Mr. Baker. A duel is always a cruel thing - Never feel too confident." "First, hand me the despatches, mr. Baker. Official business first!" Cooke said, ever dutiful. "Afterwards, we better write a reply to Sir Dee…" Baker handed one heavy, sealed envelope to Cooke, and another to Montoya, who looked somewhat perplexed. Why would he receive official correspondence? As he recognised the seal of the Society of Natural Philosophy, he smiled and opened it with great interest. For a few minutes, they read in silence. The admiralty had long held Captain Cooke's skills in hydrography and naval tactics in high esteem. Further, it had recognised the need for a naval base in the new world, as the Royal Navy and the Merchant Marine must be maintained, provisioned, repaired, and a have a safe port in the event of tropical storms. Without such a port, Corrington's interests and further expansion into the east is in danger, as the Royal Navy and the Merchant Marine are the most important tools at the Crown's disposal. Thus, Cooke's sealed despatchcame at an opportune moment. The elaborate sounding charts of the natural harbour, the detailed description of the tactical situation, and the maps of the surrounding landscape made the situation so clear that not even the bureaucrats could delay the decision of the First Lord of the Admiralty: A naval base was to be established at this very spot, and this at the highest possible dispatch. The first order was to assign a battery of the Royal Navy Artillery Corps to the location to set up initial defences. They were to travel at all possible urgency, bringing with them the Royal Charter for the new settlement, named King's Harbour after Queen Anetta's farther and predecessor. Bellson, March 616, the Admiralty To Captain Jno. Cooke, The Admiralty hereby appoints Captain J. Cooke, Master and Commander of the sloop the HMS Athena, temporary military governor of King's Harbour to set up a naval base of operations in the location specified in the attached maps. He is to assume this responsibility with all possible dispatch, and is required to use his discretion to act such that he finds most fitting in furthering the interests of the Crown. Further, he Admiralty considers cordial relations with the locals of highest priority. Failure to do his duty is subject to punishment as determined by a court martial. Signed The First Lord of the Admiralty The Society of Natural Philosophy had too recognised the need for a secure base of operations, in order to explore the new world and all its scientific opportunities, and had thus set up a designated foundation to support all entrepreneurs wishing to set up relevant businesses in the new settlement. To Don Isaac Montoya, Fellow Your most generous donation to the Society has been duly noted, and the Society is most grateful. The Society believes that such an extraordinary sum should be immediately employed to improve the basis for future scientific exploration. Therefore, the Central Executive Committee has decided to establish a foundation for King's Harbour, and decided to appoint you manager of this Foundation. (See attached charter). In much the same perspective, it has been determined that the new horizons of the New World warrants the establishment of a New World Branch of the Society, and we hope that you will accept a position on the Executive Committee of this branch. The New World Branch will take over the Society's properties in Arlinsport for headquarter, including the staff there employed. Best regards Central Executive Committee The Society of Natural Philosophy Finishing their reading, they both looked up with an enthusiastic smile, eager to tell each other of the news, and spoke in unison. They both broke off, and went: "You go first, my friend." After a few gentlemen-like objections, they spoke in turn, each taking great pleasure from the good news. "What prodigious good news, my friend. We shall have this base up in no time!" Cooke concluded. "But now, let us finish this ugly affair with Sir Dee. It troubles my mind so." "Certainly, my friend. Give me a few moments to collect my mind, and I shall read it out to you." Montoya said, and turned to pen and paper. Dear Sir Dee Your gracious apology has reached us on this fair island recently named Cocovia and added to the Crown. It has found both Cooke and I much relieved, as none of us have any wish to risk to prematurely end the life of a respected gentleman such as yourself, nor risk the same upon ourselves. Both the nature and publication of your response entirely satisfied our request for an apology, and we are pleased the affront was but a misunderstanding. You may consider our challenge withdrawn. As a way of repairing relations, it is our hope that you will accept an invitation to dine together, next we are in the old world. Sincerely Don Isaac Montoya "A very handsome letter, upon my word, Isaac. I do hope it will be received in the same spirit in which it was intended. I should much deplore to have made an enemy of such a respected gentleman, based on a mere misunderstanding…" __________ I hope you will excuse me the mass of text and the small size and scope of the accompanying builds. I have only three medium sized set to work with, and a lot of story to tell. I am slowly fleshing out the Society of Natural Philosophy, of which you will hopefully see a lot more in the future, as well as King's Harbour, for which I will very soon post its own thread. Comments and critique is more than welcome.
  24. Captain Jonathan Cooke had a habit of taking a morning swim, as life on the quarterdeck does little to maintain one's physical fitness. This day was no exception. His command the HMS Athena had just anchored nearby an uncharted island, and the crew was preparing the launch for an expedition to explore the island. In the meanwhile, Cooke had dived off the quarterdeck head first, and taken a long underwater swim. As he jumped, he had just missed the lookout shouting "Boat on larboard bow!", and had inadvertently headed directly for the strange boat. As he surfaced, a curious sight met him, as he saw a large canoe with four rowers and a helmsman at the stern. On the bow, a raven-haired, exotic beauty was standing in perfect balance with the waves, playing a strange flute, sending out harmonic tunes. Cooke was thrown into a trance-like state for a moment, until an oar missed his head by inches, and he was pulled back to reality. The natives seemed unaware or indifferent to his presence, and rowed on. Cooke placed himself low in the water and took care to observe every conceivable detail. He knew Montoya would appreciate any detail he could give. The canoe was outfitted with nets and weights, obviously for fishing, and the men all had painted faces. All wore adornments of brass or gold and their attire was made of a multitude of materials including both hides and cloths. Back on the Athena, Cooke shared his observations with Montoya, who had been observing the spectacle closely through his looking glass: "…but I wonder what that music was for… It was obviously a fishing trip!" Young mr. Baker suggested with an enthusiastic smile: "Perhaps it was to keep the rhythm of the rowers?" Cooke shook his head: "There was no particular rhythm to the music - it was more free flowing, like a song." With a fascinated look, Montoya leaned in: "It is probably part of a ritual - perhaps to please the gods of the sea to give them a good catch. Such is seen in many primitive cultures… Even the fishermen and farmers of Oleon are known to host similar rituals!" Suppressing a joke, Cooke the added: "And the canoe was of a most curious design… Long and slender, but very steady on the waves… I could not quite discern the construction techniques…" Baker and Montoya took elaborate notes as the discussion went on, while the crew was making the final preparations for the expedition. An expedition that now had a goal - the cove from which the canoe had come! _______________________ Thanks for viewing - I will be looking forward to your feedback - this is my first try at an underwater scene. Originally, I only had the surface part, but it seemed a little bare, so I added the scene below. Considering all the diver-sets I had as a kid, I really need to find a use for all those sea creatures!
  25. Captains personal log, 35th day, New Terra Expd., 48o 43'' 15' E, 68o 23'' 36'; off unknown Island In a few minutes, we shall embark the jolly-boat and go investigate that curious cove from whence the natives came. It is odd how things turn out - When Montoya first approached me with the offer I was quite shocked. To leave the Queens Service for a personal, scientific expedition! Had not the Crown itself sanctioned the expedition, I should never have left the service! However, I must admit that being under the command of none but my closest friend does instill a certain degree of freedom. No royal yard to question my decisions on rigging, no overzealous armory commander questioning my choice of armament, or the barrels of powder used in gunnery practise... I never quite fathomed how rigid the service really was, I suppose. Of course, the ship being the Athena did spur my motivation, even though she was in a sorry old state when Montoya bought her from the lists... Condition regardless, she was my very first command, and one never forgets one's first command! 'Tis good she was completely refitted, and I must say she has responded well to the efforts. I shall never forget the first time I saw her again, after being decomissioned from the Royal Navy. Lying there at the shipyard, waiting to have her masts removed. Never there was a more beautiful sight... I had to try Gideon's forced perspective thingy! I am not entirely happy with the amount of blur in the background, but blurring it more didn't really seem to answer. Looking forward to hearing what you think - if you like it (and are not a corlander), please approve, as it is my third freebuild this month.