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  1. Ibn al'Sayeed was heading west. There were business he needed to attend to in the old world. In Pan to be exact. Personal business. But he was not in such a hurry that he could not make a stop underway to meet an old friend. Very old, in fact. Zhen Chao was one of the few, and one of the first, Lotii to have made it to the Halosian colonies. Very few knew why he had left home, or what his story was, but everyone in Port Raleigh, at least, knew of the Cherry Blossom Tea House, run by Chao. It was a very popular establishment, and served some of the finest tea in Terra Nova. Many people met there, as the quiet atmosphere and discrete location made it suitable for private conversation. The guests included naval and army officers, government officials, merchants, politicians and others of note. The tea house took its name from the ever blossoming Lotii cherry trees planted outside and presented an exotic and beautiful garden draped in colours rarely seen in the tropical heat of the colonies. "Al'Sayeed, my old friend!" Chao exclaimed with a smile, hobbling closer. "Come share a cup of tea and tell me all of your recent exploits." Discreetly handing over a sealed folder of documents and a small pouch of gold. "And perhaps you have something to share with me, about the Lotii/Carnian conflict in New Haven? Or perhaps... other business?" ______________________________________ I started building something for Port Raleigh, and it ended up looking rather oriental, so I thought, why not? :) I needed Ibn al'Sayeed going west, and Port Raleigh could use the love. C&C welcome.
  2. The Emporium consortium has further solified its hold as the dominant commercial force in Port Raleigh, this time by building the official headquarters of the trade house. Port Raleigh has very few tall buildings, the only other one being the Government House, and with its white facade, it became known as the Ivory Tower. Click here for interior view
  3. Renown artists Gianmario and Pierluigi d'Mozzarelli from Pontilla have landed in Port Raleigh! But why come to a backwater colony like Port Raleigh, you ask?! Gianmario: To create da greater arte, one musta see da Worldo! Pierluigi: To spreada da culture, one musta come to da New Worldo!
  4. Irasshaimase! Welcome to Koyuki's Al Fresco Seafood Bar@Port Raleigh. We are serving up the best seafood on this side of the New World. Order with confidence as all our catches come fresh daily from the Terraversa Sea. Salmon, tuna, scallop, shrimp, squid, whatever today's bounty is!
  5. This is a continuation of the story of animosities (or is it misunderstandings?) between Mr. John Hawksbrugh of Corrington and Captain Philip “Pip” Janszen of Eslandola. Their story began when Janszen encountered Hawksbrugh telling the tale of his escape from an Oleander prison with the aide of Lady Winifred in “Transvestite Prison Escape” and Janszen suggested that Hawksbrugh had hidden under the Lady’s skirt to escape. From there, Hawksbrugh called out Janszen in the Kings Port Advertiser, calling him an “Oleander turncoat,” to which Janszen took offense, as we saw in “Duel? We will see honor upheld!” Janszen sent an open letter to Port Raleigh, returning the challenge to Hawksbrugh, and we saw Hawksbrugh’s response in “Angling for a Duel.” Upon receiving Hawksbrugh’s response, Janszen is amused that Hawksbrugh is “taking instruction” and decides that the duel should be to first blood (so as to avoid murder charges) and then has an impromptu sparring session on the dock with his first mate in “Prelude to a Duel: Practice makes Perfect.” Meanwhile, pirates attacked Port Raleigh. Lady Pauline Norrington warned the settlement of the attack, and Hawksbrugh saved her life when some of the pirates attempt to kidnap her in “Dastardly Attack on Port Raleigh.” * * * After the pirate attack on Port Raleigh had been turned back and Mr. Hawksbrugh had rescued Lady Norrington, she asked him about the upcoming duel: “I’ve seen the public notice about the challenge between an Eslandolan seafarer and a John Hawksbrugh. Are you the man that is to duel Pip Janszen?” “Yes, I am. Why do you ask? You sound like you know him.” “I do, but it’s been a decade since I’ve seen him. We were so young then . . . but old enough," she said wistfully. "I thought Pip was relegated to my memories at this point; I didn’t dare dream our paths would cross again. Please don’t hurt him.” “M’lady, I believe Janszen is far more experienced with the blade than I. I will be doing all I can to make sure he doesn't hurt me.” Lady Norrington pondered this, then a glint came to her eye. “Can you defend his opening moves? If you can keep yourself unharmed at the start, I think I can get him to drop his guard. When he does, make your strike, but please do not hurt him.” “I will do my best, m’lady. Thank you for your help.” Hawksbrugh began to realize how special this lady was. “No, thank you. ’Tis the least I can do. But be sure not to mention me to him before your duel. The element of surprise will be critical.” “Of course.” * * * Janszen had intended to sail for Port Raleigh as soon as his trade run was complete, but Hurricane Stepho intervened and Janszen and crew were adrift at sea until rescued by Captain Velvetine and the crew of the Corrington trader Valkyrie (see “Hurricane vs Sloop: Hurricane Wins”). Finally arriving in Port Raleigh, Captain Janszen once again thanked Captain Velvetine for rescuing them. Janszen and his first mate, Anthony Crol, made their way to the Flask and Flagon to ask about Hawksbrugh’s whereabouts. The kitchen boy was dispatched to find Mr. Hawksbrugh and, after a stout drink, Janszen announced that he would await Hawksbrugh’s return down on the beach and their duel could commence. As Janszen headed to the beach, a small crowd gathered and followed him to see the duel – high entertainment it would be! When Lady Norrington heard what was happening, she hurried to the beach as well, but stayed hidden in the crowd. When Hawksbrugh arrived, he and Janszen exchanged words. “I have apologized for my comments regarding your loyaties, sir,” stated Hawksbrugh, “but I must defend the honor of Lady Winifred.” “And I have apologized for my remarks about your Lady Winifred, but your remarks about my loyalties demand action,” replied Janszen. “You have given me the choice of pistols or swords, and I choose swords. Since you have given me that choice, and because you apologized, I have proposed that our contest be to first blood: He who draws blood first shall be the winner. Is this acceptable to you?” “It is.” “Then let us begin.” And with that they bowed to each other and the duel began. Janszen started with some playful attacks, testing his opponent, and Hawksbrugh successfully parried. Soon Hawksbrugh was the aggressor, and Janszen parried the attacks as he sized up his opponent. Hawksbrugh had been training this past month, and Janszen judged him a good student. His form was good and he displayed some confidence, but he was still relatively inexperienced. Janszen had had little trouble so far, but thought it time to stop playing. Janszen countered one of Hawksbrugh’s thrusts and quickly had him on the defensive. Lady Norrington quietly moved through the crowd as Philip’s attacks became more aggressive. Janszen had Hawksbrugh back on his heels now. He would have his victory shortly. But Lady Norrington had maneuvered herself several yards behind Hawksbrugh, directly in Janszen’s line of sight. As Janszen made one particularly aggressive move, Lady Norrington caught his eye and smiled a smile than he had not seen in a decade. For a moment he was in shock. “Pauline?” he said . . . . . . and in that moment his focus was lost. Hawksbrugh countered with a sharp thrust to Janszen’s left shoulder. “Ow!” “First blood, sir,” declared Hawksbrugh triumphantly. “You are defeated.” Janszen dropped his sword and held the wound with his right hand, but his attention was still on Lady Norrington. “Pauline . . . how? Where . . . ?” “Mr. Hawksbrugh saved me in the recent pirate attack on this settlement. In return, I told him I would help him win this duel if he promised not to hurt you. How bad is the wound?” “It stings, but I am not injured.” Turning to Hawksbrugh, Janszen continued. “Sir, I misjudged you. You are a true gentleman, and I recant and apologize for suggesting you were anything else, especially in regard to your Lady Winifred.” “What’s more, you have presented me with a gift I never expected – to see Lady Pauline again." And with that, Janszen turned to her and they embraced. Janszen's first mate stood beside Hawksbrugh as they watched the reunion. “You have no idea what this means to him,” said Crol. “I believe you have a friend for life.” * * * Here's an overview of the beach scene: Thanks to Fuzzy MacFuzz and CelesAurivern for use of their characters.
  6. [NB: This attack happened before the arrival of the marine reinforcements in Port Raleigh and the building of Fort Redoubtable. Ska and Captain Wolfs' characters are used with their permission. Once again I am happy with the story and the build/s, but less so with the 'action' photography.] 20160330_085822 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr Kings Port Advertiser and Ship List Wednesday 30th March, 616 AE Dastardly Attack on Port Raleigh! Great perspicacity of Lady Norrington Ingenuity of young Mr Ravenscroft Miss Ravenscroft demonstates swift feet Heroism of Mr Kenner and Lt. Tanner Rescue of Lady Norrington by Mr Hawksbrugh Tragic death of old Mr Ravenscroft Immediate response by Viscount Oxley We have received reliable intelligence of a piratical attack on Port Raleigh on 3rd March last. A dozen pirates, apparently of Occidental origin, attacked at dawn. Due to the shortage of housing and the clement spring weather, a number of workmen from the new quarry and glassworks were sleeping on the beach, and bore the brunt of the attack. By the greatest providence Lady Norrington was taking an early morning constitutional on the beach and espied the approaching pirate boats, then rushed to rouse the sleepers. 20160328_112219 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr The inestimable Mr Hawksbrugh rallied his workers, who had but moments to arm themselves with whatever makeshift weapons were to hand. Dear readers, who would have thought that such a gracious specimen of female virtue as Lady Norrington would carry a loaded pistol in her undergarments! Miss Lily Ravenscroft was despatched to fetch help from the marines at the Government House. Meanwhile that most ingenious young man Mr Ravenscroft loaded a ship's cannon with powder from the stone quarry and a bag of carpenter's nails. 20160330_085848 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr Despite the efficacy of this weapon, the merciless pirates pressed home their vicious attack. Several were slain on both sides. 20160330_091735 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr Just as it seemed the brave defenders would be overwhelmed, the marines arrived. Led by heroic Lieutenant Tanner and Mr Kenner (still wearing his bed cap), a single volley and a brave charge by the marines cleared the beach of the pirates, who fled back to their boats. 20160330_095926 (4) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr It seemed the battle was over, but Mr Hawsbrugh spotted two of the villainous pirates carrying off Lady Norrington, no doubt intent on sullying her honour. Without hesitation, he charged down the beach and fearlessly cut down both these villains with his sword. 20160330_100454 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr The triumphant defenders of Port Raleigh celebrated their victory with three rousing huzzahs, then retired to toast the Queens's honour at The Flask and Flagon. All agreed that they had escaped only by the greatest good fortune, and thanks to the eagle eyes of a lady, the ingenuity of a young man, and the swift feet of a girl. Sadly three of the defenders had been slain, including Mr Ravenscroft the elder; his obituary follows. Corrington's response has been swift, with half a battalion of marines already despatched to reinforce the garrison, and plans for a fort, named Fort Redoubtable in honour of the defenders. In a public letter, Viscount Oxley has restated the Crown's determination to protect its fledgling colonies and vowed to launch an expedition to destroy the base of these wicked Occidental pirates. Obituary of Mr George Ravenscroft the Elder, fl. c.563 - 3rd March 616 With great sadness we report the death of Mr George Ravenscroft, slain while defending his family, his friends and his livelihood. Mr Ravenscroft served as a boatswain in the Corringtonian navy, before losing his left arm in the Forty Nine Year's War. He then took up window glass making, and for many years ran a successful business in Belhaven, where he married Mary Mullins and raised four children. Mr Hawksbrugh invited him to sail with him to Port Raleigh. Mr Ravenscroft, recently widowed, declared himself ready for a new adventure, but sadly it was to prove his last. He leaves two sons and two daughters, who have pledged to continue his glass company at Port Raleigh in his honour. 20160322_132704 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr
  7. 20160404_212244 (3) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr Good People of Port Raleigh! Know that due to the great munificence of our own Mr Hawksbrugh, the Port Raleigh elementary school and Port Raleigh Reading Room are now open! 20160404_212318 (3) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr Any child between the age of 7 and 11 may attend the school; due to Mr Hawksbrugh's rather unusual notions even young ladies! They will receive elementary instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic, plus a smattering of geography, astronomy, history and natural philosophy according to a curriculum of Mr Hawksbrugh's own devising. The newly engaged tutor, Mr Leonidas Wallace, is now giving lessons five days a week. Children should attend for three hours each day, either in the morning or the afternoon session, but not both. Due to restrictions of space, no more than three pupils may attend each session so please apply well in advance. Lessons for adults of modest proportions may be available in the evenings; please apply at the school for details. 20160404_212325 (3) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr We are also proud to announce the opening of the Public Reading Room, situated above the school. This library contains a wonderful collection of books paid for by Mr Hawksbrugh, plus generous donations from the private collections of our Mayor The Worshipful Mr Flynn, Miranda Merryweather and Lady Norrington. Books on all subjects are available to members, reference only. Membership is only half a doubloon for an entire year! The Reading Room is open Monday to Friday from 9 of the clock in the forenoon until 6 of the clock in the evening. Unfortunately due to the small space, only two members are permitted entry at any time. Obese members not permitted. [NB I actually built this school for my 9 year old daughter's Lego Elves, but then thought I could adapt it for BoBS. She did all the interiors without help, as you can see she is a better Lego modeller than me! I swear I will never do another hexagonal building, getting the walls lined up without falling apart was hard work!]
  8. 20160322_084423 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr [NB, for reasons that will become apparent in my Challenge 2 entry, this letter is dated before the arrival of the reinforcement marines at Port Raleigh and the building of Fort Redoubtable] To Viscount Oxley Dated this last day of February in the 616th year After Empire Sir, I have been here for almost a week now and wanted to write to update you on our progress. Things here are still in a most primitive state. Except for the Government House, there are no buildings to speak of. We are short of every resource required for civilised living. Luckily some enterprising gentlemen have established the Merryweather Lumberjack Company so we have wood of all kinds, and even charcoal. The lack of horses and oxen is particularly trying, all must be moved by Herculean physical labour. And before anything can be built, the dense jungle must be cleared by hand. Nevertheless, with every passing day we improve the place. 20160321_223554 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr The most pressing need is for housing, most here are living in tents made from sails or rough wood cabins. Anticipating this, before leaving Corrington I was able to engage the services of three excellent artisans. Firstly, the brothers Edward and Thomas Strong, both master masons. The Strongs took no time in opening a quarry and constructing an impressive wooden crane to lift the stone from the ground. 20160322_084003 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr Above: The quarry. Edward Strong (bottom left) is supervising the extraction of stone. Without horses, oxen, or powered machinery this is back breaking work for all involved. Secondly, Mister George Ravenscroft, a window glass maker. Mr Ravenscroft, a widower, has brought his two sons and two daughters with him, and all are engaged in his business. He and his sons have thrown up a glass kiln without delay; they assure me that the sand here is perfect for their craft and even now the first panes are appearing. 20160322_083953 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr Above: The glass works. George Ravenscroft the Elder is spinning crown glass while his son George the Younger is cutting the spun glass into panes. At the kiln William Ravenscroft is melting the next ball of glass ready for his father. The youngest sibling, Lily, is sweeping the floor while dreaming of running away to become a pirate. The fourth sibling, Isabella, is out of shot, pushing a handcart of glass panes up to Port Raleigh. I can assure you sir that we all labour without stint for the good of our mother country, and that soon streets of big fine houses will appear in Port Raleigh that will do Corrington proud. Any resources you can send us will surely hasten this endeavour; in particular we need good food, good wine, good horses, and good men. I remain your humble and obedient servant, John Hawksbrugh 20160322_132445 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr Above: John Hawksbrugh is delighted wih the rapid progress being made. With stone, timber and window glass now available house building can begin very soon, and he is already dreaming up grand designs. 20160322_132155 (2) by Chris Warburton Brown, on Flickr Above: A wider view of the beach at Port Raleigh
  9. I am Lieutenant B.B. Bridgewater, OC of infantry platoon 107. We were one of nine platoons that were transferred to Port Relaigh to bolster the defences in our newly founded settlement, assigned to the command of his excellency, the Governor of Port Raleigh, Lord Erie Flynn. One of our first and foremost urgent tasks was to establish fortifications to defend the settlement, as we have had several casualties in previous weeks, from skirmishes with the natives. We had to work with what limited resources we had, arriving with almost nothing, next to our equipment and some arms. But fortunately for us, a friend from a merchant house "the Emporium", had recently started a logging enterprise in the outskirts of the settlement. They have practically sponsored, in whole, vital material for construction together with their skilled carpenters. Thanks to that, we were able to erect our first fort in a matter of weeks. Fort Redoubtable is manned by a half-platoon at any one time, while the other half is at rest at the barracks. We have lookouts all-round and is able to defend against a land attack from any direction. The strongest fortified direction is the one facing the sea, where we have mounted two cannons to combat any threat from sea, as well as reinforced bulwarks on the ground to provide our men additional cover from a landing assault. Of course, defence is not just about sitting in a fort. We have 24-hour patrols, in rotating squads of 4 men, walking around the perimeter of the settlement. There have been a few incursions by aggressive natives of late, so we can never be too vigilant in times like these.
  10. Under the buzzer, this is my third free build, so please approve if you like it. I hope to get more pictures up with better light, but I wanted to get Port Raleigh founded this month! 616 AE – Lord Erie Flynn gazed out over the harbor and saw pure promise. Port Raleigh, secretly founded on the Island of Annetta a few months prior was starting to come alive. In the harbor the lighthouse was almost completed, the first permanent docks had been finished, and the first permanent houses had foundations laid. Up on the hill, his own house, and the seat of government, stood as a monument to Corrington ingenuity. The first three story building in the New World, it was blandly known as The Government House, although the workers of Port Raleigh now called it the Teal Bosshouse. The lower level served as the seat of government, the public notary, and the headquarters of the small platoon of marines Flynn had on hand. The upper level housed him, his wife, and his two children. His wife was ever so happy for this new adventure, and he was proud to give young Wellham a chance to shape a new world from a very young age. gomthbad by skaforhire, on Flickr Flynn peared into his wine glass and thought about the recent past. The Eslandolans had publicly claimed the island, which they called Berelli, they even planted a city in the best harbors, called Elysabethtown. It was to Flynn’s surprise when his Royal Sloop, Vengeance, arrived off the mouth of what he had named Snake River, on his first voyage to Annetta, and found the fledgling town in operation under the MAESTRO Trade Company. DSC_2511 by skaforhire, on Flickr [sorry poor focus on that one, but the closest I have to Flynn peering into his wine…] rudemap by skaforhire, on Flickr Lord Flynn, with a governor’s commission under his belt, sailed to another location he had found when he discovered Annetta, off the River Queens, on the Southeast end of the island. It did not have the natural harbor that the Snake River had, but it led deep into fertile planting lands. The first public work after the administration buildings would have to be a light house, as a reef right off the river was tricky to navigate – this of course would also add to the defense of the harbor. It was there on the south bank that he began surveying and laying out Port Raleigh, named after the Queen’s mother, Raleigh Anastaza Rose Mandaran. -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Lady Kally Flynn handed an apple to Welham. He was growing so quickly now. They had been here only a few months, and he had already started practicing with a sword, learning the native tongue, and impressing his father with his knowledge of geography. Soon the boy would be joining the marines if he had his way, or if his father had his way. LadyK by skaforhire, on Flickr His sister Elma held her stuffed bear tightly. “mum, when is da going to take us to meet the chief?” Kally couldn’t shelter her daughter from the intrigues of the island either. She was becoming just as strong willed as her brother, and perhaps her education was coming along faster. “I think your father will be negotiating with Chief Azuma by himself.” She put on her best face, she didn’t want the children to know that the Tenotclaxcans were already allied with the Eslandolans, and her husband was having trouble opening trade. The peace was tenuous at best. Last month the Native attacked a foraging party from Port Raleigh and killed three marines. DSC_2513 by skaforhire, on Flickr “Aww Shucks” Elma said as she began to play with her bear again. Kally kept her composure and strength even though the guard watching over them looked a little nervous. Kally knew it was only a matter of time before the tension hit a breaking point. -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* Sully Tanner parried Master Kenner’s swing. He smiled, he may have bested the old man for once! Sully Duels by skaforhire, on Flickr Nope. The old man tapped him on the shoulder. “Your dead,” the bearded curmudgeon said succinctly. Sully had bought a First Lieutenant commission a few years back, but the commission did not get assigned orders until just a few months ago, when Sully found himself ordered in charge of a platoon of Royal Marines aboard the HMS Vengeance. Their mission, to establish a port on a secret island, Lord Erie Flynn had discovered! Now, a few months later, with the Vengeance returned to Corrington, Sully found himself in charge of the entire garrison of the new town. As it turned out, an officer was expected to be a gentlemen, and Lord Flynn had taken Sully under his wing – most likely to impress his uncle, Admiral Woodbrose – and was now schooling the young Tanner in the ways of courtliness. Sully had grown up far from the estate of his uncle, and had little training in these ways. Additionally, it turned out that a commander was supposed to be able to handle a sword, not just firearms – which Sully was an expert in. So now, Flynn’s boy’s tutor had taken on another pupil. Sadly, Master Kenner seemed to think Welhelm the much better swordsman – but Sully Tanner would eventually prove to be the equal of the old man… he just knew it. -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* As I said, this is my third freebuild for January. Please approve if you like it! I am going to try and get a few more better shots up. As you can see it is mostly a front face of the building, because I don’t have enough teal to do the whole thing. (I disassembled a lot of Kaliphlin builds for this one!)