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  1. 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.