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  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. On his trip to the capitol to see if his cousin Renaldo Cuervo had truely returned, his crew decided to hunker down on a small island as a small tropical storm loomed on the horizon, which they knew they would not be able to outrun. The sun was high when they arrived but would very shortly be covered in heavy dark clouds. IMG_20160215_202238609 by Jesse Mauney, on Flickr -Jim Cuervo "go ahead men and gather any supplies you can find, water, fruit you know the drill make it quick who knows whats lurking in the jungle stay in pairs, one head up as lookout, one to gather, be back at camp by sunset" -Will Pepper "No need to lecture us boss we got it covered, we will be in and out of here before you know it" IMG_20160215_202132639 by Jesse Mauey, on Flickr Little did they know they were being watched as soon as they set foot on the island, the natives had rarely seen foreginers and always decided to lay in the shadows unless a sense of danger was present in which they would not hesitate in retaltion towards any new arrivals. OOC. final shot is just a over view of the MOC IMG_20160215_202104276 by Jesse Mauey, on Flickr