1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

stTNESI: Before They Were Hanged

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Thlayli, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. bestshot9

    bestshot9 Monkey Sharpshooter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,110
    Location:
    600m Away
    The "Black Lord" is a man of mystery to most in the New World. Little is known of his origins, but "facts" about him have arisen over time. It is said he commands a crew of former black slaves from the wild, interior regions of Oxis, where Pyreans rarely travel and little is known of the strange jungle and disease-infested lands.

    Word is that this "Black Lord" may or may not have been the personal slave and body servant of a now deceased Daemish plantation owner in the New World, who may or may not have blessed the savage pirate criminal with the gift of education. Survivors of his attacks claim the man speaks with an educated Daemish voice and accent, while the rest of his crew appear to be nothing more than mere savages.

    How a slave came to run a pirate vessel is unknown, and several rumors circulate the various port cities. The one that most people claim is true, and which very well might be, is that when his master passed away he was inherited by the man's heir. Having little desire for the company of slaves, the heir decided to discard him, and sold to a merchant ship as part of a press-gang slave crew. The details are unclear, but people claim at one point, perhaps during a storm, or maybe even during a pirate attack upon the ship, he led a mutiny of slaves, killing all the Daemishmen aboard and claiming the ship, the "Sea Mare" as his own private vessel.

    They say any white man who sees a ship flying a black flag with a red diagonal slash through it had best fill sail and catch as much wind as they can, because they will receive no mercy from the pirate captain, the "Black Lord".

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There is one man who knows, without a doubt, the true story behind the "Black Lord". Daniel Freeman is the "Black Lord". Surprisingly, the rumor as to his background is very close to the truth. He was the slave of a rich Daemish plantation owner who would later find himself as a slave aboard a merchant vessel. However, his former master never died. He trusted Daniel to conduct errands for him. On a trip to San Saveda to conduct business, he was sent to deliver a message for his master. While enroute back to his master, a gang of thugs, angered to see what they believed to be a wealthy freed man in fancy clothing above his station, beat him, tied him up, and hauled him off to be sold to a shipping company.

    He had not personally experienced mistreatment at the hands of slave owners during his time on the plantation, being the personal slave of the plantation owner had its benefits. He did, however, witness the brutality of the slave overseers in the fields from time-to-time, but he had still convinced himself it was not as bad as it seemed. After being enslaved and forced to do back-breaking work on a transport ship, given barely enough food to keep him alive.

    Daniel and the other slaves, though not allowed to talk to each other, had nonetheless devised various non-verbal communication techniques. Over time they plotted their attack, and one dark night they enacted it.

    The plan was simple, but effective. While it was late at night, and the majority of the slaves were shackled below decks, they began calling out in despair. When their guard went to investigate, it appeared that the largest, strongest slave had finally died. Doing the only logical thing he could, the guard went to get a partner and returned, unshackling the "corpse", preparing to throw it overboard. The large slave caught the two sailors by surprise, and he was able to kill the guard with the keys, while the other one was able to escape.

    Quickly unshackling his fellow slaves, a number of them were able to free themselves before more sailors could get to the hold and fight back. Even though the sailors were armed, the slaves had numbers on their side, and while some slaves kept the Daemishmen occupied fighting, another went and unshackled the rest.

    Some time during the fight, the slaves were able to gain control of some weapons and began to really turn the tide of the battle into their own favor. Eventually, when all was said and done, the Daemish crew were dead, along with about half the slaves, but the ship now belonged to the freed men, to be captained by the one who planned the uprising, Daniel Freeman, now known by other merchants and sailors as the "Black Lord".

    OOC: I hope this is kind of what you were looking for, I want to develop his background and character more as the NES progresses, but as of now the rest of the world knows very little of this guy, and most people probably assume he's just a story told by Astajarian sailors who are paranoid of slave revolts and the like.
     
  2. Nuka-sama

    Nuka-sama See ya! It has been a fun decade!

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,461
    Gender:
    Male
    Your Prince has arrived. I am His Royal Highness, Lorenzo Vattea. Charmed, I'm sure.
     
  3. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,573
    Location:
    In the desert
    The deadline has passed, and unfortunately several people who promised to write me stories (azale, Crezth) and extend their existing entries (Iggy) have not.

    I'm going to give you guys a few more hours before making my selection. I would still like to finish the update 0 tonight, though I'm considering withholding it as punishment. :p
     
  4. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,564
    Location:
    Yukon
    My story is in the course of being written. I'll also note that you haven't sent your promised DipNES orders. ;)
     
  5. alex994

    alex994 Hail Divine Emperor!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    12,666
    Location:
    Breadbasket of USA
    Update being up tonight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  6. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,564
    Location:
    Yukon
    The Fall of Captain Broon

    The Captain’s round face was flush with anger, his mouth curled into an unpleasant snarl.

    “So. Mutiny then?”

    “Indeed it is.” My sabre rested firmly against the Captain's chest. The rest of the crew was gathered around me, armed with rich assortment of blades and cudgels. We were certainly better armed than he’d expected.

    “You treacherous sea rats.” spat the Captian.

    “Better a sea rat than a mountain goat.”

    Broon’s anger flared again at the appellation, for a goat he was- some grandson of Bergenmark nobility, hailing from some mountainous castle far inland. Not some beggar child who’d grown up with the smell of salt in his nose.

    “You’ll all swing the day you touch shore again.”

    “I doubt it. Any last words, Captain?”

    “Traitors burn in the darkest pits of hell.”

    “Say hello to your mother when you get there.”

    The crew laughed and jeered. I stood back, allowing them to slide the Captain’s gag back into place. The mob shoved and kicked the man, pushing him towards the deck’s edge. As he began to pinwheel his arms, crying in muffled terror, I called out.

    “Enough!” My voice boomed above the clamour of the crowd. “Back away from him, and let’s do this properly.”

    With some reluctance, the crew backed away from the target of their anger.

    In the name of God, Mark and Crew, you are sentenced to death, Captain Linus Broon. Will you die by blade or water?

    The man made some sort of noise through his gag. It didn’t really matter what he said, of course. The decision was his, and making it was as easy as leaning backwards.

    “You have to the count of three.”

    At this point, Broon’s bravado failed. Tears flowed down his ruddy face, and his head shook.

    “One.”

    The man’s breath came in brief, heaving gasps.

    “Two.”

    Broon fell to his knees, shaking his head desperately. His hands would have likely been held out in supplication, had they not been bound to his sides.

    “Three.” My sabre swung out into his neck. It wasn’t the clean decapitation I’d aimed for, but it was a lethal blow nonetheless. The dead man flopped to the ground, only to be caught by two crewmen, who swiftly hefted his corpse overboard. The crew broke out into cheering and a few crude patriotic ditties, while I wiped Broon’s blood from my weapon. Taking no time to savour the moment. I called out again, bringing the crew to attention. My crew, I realized. We’d agreed upon it beforehand, but the sudden weight of authority was unexpected nonetheless.

    Before an hour was out, the ship was full asail once more. The old captain’s flag was torn down, and in its place was raised a tricolour of orange, black and white. The Gebedenkeizer, the Fettered King, was on its way to Kronstaaje.
     
  7. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,573
    Location:
    In the desert
    Thanks, Iggy.

    While I'm sure this is upsetting to many of you, due to the aforementioned delays in submissions I have decided to also delay update 0, at least until Sunday.

    At least it will give Crezth, azale, and potentially Masada (who privately told me he would submit something) more time to save their butts. Honestly though guys, I won't delay for you much longer if you're not interested.
     
  8. The Strategos

    The Strategos Thanatos

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,175
    As Sunday afternoons are basically the one time I have a large block of time free to write, count me in the disappointed camp since for all intents and purposes it effectively is a week delay for me (unless you can PM me enough information on Saturday afternoon that I would be able to write a story this Sunday).
     
  9. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,573
    Location:
    In the desert
    My earlier promise was, of course, contingent on the promises of the masses.

    I'll do my best to update Saturday night instead, even though I'll be traveling a bit.
     
  10. alex994

    alex994 Hail Divine Emperor!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    12,666
    Location:
    Breadbasket of USA
    I am very interested. earlier would be better :)
     
  11. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,573
    Location:
    In the desert
    Okay, I've made my decisions. Every player that I have not accepted has a thorough critique explaining my reasoning. After Update 0 I will, if the non-accepted applicants would like, attempt to create spaces for them to write stories on other players ships. (There would be potential pathways for them to become captains in their own right after writing well under other players.) Or, they can PM well thought out stories of non-pirate characters to me to be added to the background.

    The following will be admitted as pirates into the first update:

    Lord_Iggy
    alex994
    Strategos
    spryllino

    The following will be admitted as pirates pending sufficient response to my critiques:

    Ork75
    fili_noctus

    Critiques:

    Nintz – Your story was good, and stylistically I liked it, but it glossed over several important details. The details of the old captain’s death, as well as his name, were left unanswered. You also left it unanswered how Aerk became the new captain, despite his whiny and unstable tendencies. How could he have won the power struggle if he was such an inferior candidate to begin with? Also, the idea that the new captain would fail to realize that he wasn’t throwing his intended victim overboard requires a willing suspension of disbelief. If Aerk is really this incompetent, how did he become first mate to begin with, especially in the rather meritocratic environment of a pirate crew? Overall it just looks like you set up a buffoon to showcase how super-awesome Ota is.

    Talonschild – This is sort of a confusing story. The main character is a farmer, and then he’s pressed into military service for the wars, but he also learns to sail, apparently well, during the single voyage from Astajar to Marklandt? And then these poor, ex-farmer/sailor conscripts just randomly get bags of gold out of nowhere? I like the symbolism of ex-conscripts revolting and fleeing to the New World, but overall this story was done very quickly and sloppily. It just requires a lot more detail and thought overall.

    Arrow_Gamer – This story is vivid, but far too short to accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish. It doesn’t seem like you really thought it through. Additionally, you have some serious errors of grammar and syntax, which immediately counts you out. Examples include “Thuring new” instead of “Thuring knew” and “the ships, seemingly sloops…” instead of “The ships, seemingly sloops…” If you are a non-native English speaker, I apologize, but this, in combination with a very cursory story, counts you out for my NES.

    Ork75 – The good before the bad: The detailing of Daemion’s possession of Skarae (I was reminded of the Faeroes) and the backwater crypto-pagan tradition of the Hangēd Man is fantastic! You’re really quite clever in setting the scene, and I appreciated your attention to detail. I REALLY want to have you in my NES, but it doesn’t seem like you learned what a paragraph is. It’s a shame because your writing is actually quite good, but the poor formatting makes it almost unreadable. Also, you fall into the same trap as Talonschild in assuming that a soldier can quickly and easily make the transition to a sailor; he cannot. You do compensate for this by admitting his failings in sea combat, but you need to explain how he can still captain a ship at all despite his lack of sailing experience. If you’ll consider cleaning up your story and formatting it better, and answering my queries, I might consider you for a future update.

    fili_noctus – You did well with this, and overall I liked it, but the point when Kamar kills the captain was a bit weak. Do you really think that the old captain would have had *no* other loyal officers that also needed to be put down? You're in, but you should edit this section to reflect more of a bloody power struggle that would probably ensue when the galley slaves did rise up.

    bestshot9 – This is sort of similar to fili_noctus' story; you both have slave revolts, and his story was longer and more detailed. This was the reason I decided not to pick you up. You also had some weird misplaced sentences, ("After being enslaved and forced to do back-breaking work on a transport ship, given barely enough food to keep him alive.") which belied a lack of editing and care that I'm trying to inculcate in my players. Thank you for your submission though.

    ---

    For those of you that did get in and don't need serious critiques: Spry, I think you need to abandon the cockney dialect, or at least tone it down. Iggy, I'd like more background in general, particularly of how Broon lost control of his ship, though I do approve. alex, your background was good, but we've talked privately about how you need to improve your narrative style. Strategos, just keep doing what you're doing.

    I'm still going to consider Crezth whenever he gets around to an application, as long as it's in the next couple days, because I'm already familiar with the high caliber of his writing. Get on it, Crezth! I guess azale can do stuff too if he stops being a bum
     
  12. Nintz

    Nintz King of the Britons

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,748
    Location:
    Seeking the Grail (UTC -8)
    I was trying to write in such a way that people could infer the details. I didn't want it to become boring to read from too much exposition, which is my most common flaw. When I generally write, a story or paper supposed to be, say, two pages, easily turns into four simply from that + details. The problem is that, while that works well in school and what not, it is just boring to read. I know. I've read my own stuff from time to time.

    I suppose my problem in this is that I went too vague then, yes?
     
  13. ChiefDesigner

    ChiefDesigner Sunset Emperor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    761
    Placeholder for slightly late application.
     
  14. talonschild

    talonschild Drive-By NESer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Your points are fair; my mind and my writing are not exactly in sync. I will rewrite later if and when I have more time; in the meantime I shall watch with a good deal of interest.
     
  15. spryllino

    spryllino Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,162
    Location:
    England
    Jolly good. I'll kill/improve the dialect and get on with the story when I can.
     
  16. ChiefDesigner

    ChiefDesigner Sunset Emperor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    761
    Thlayli -- Not sure if this fits better as a PC or an NPC entry. Critique is useful, and the ending was a little rushed; my apologies.

    -----------------------------

    "You profess yourself a Recusant, Mister van Becker, yet you claim great skill at xabac? I find that highly unusual."

    The lorcha was solid -- no more than that. Worn masts and ratted sails, rigged in the Eastern style with wooden spars to support the sail -- but her hull was fine teak, and solid planking covered her decks. She would serve, and do it proudly.


    "There are many Recusant sects, Stadtholder. I myself am a member of the Measure Brethren, and among us xabacc is one of the few pastimes befitting the rational. It teaches the young discipline and focus, and reminds the old of the role of chance in the Divine Logic."

    The xabac deck was a fixture on the polished oak of the manor house table. Three generations of van Beckers gathered around it on the sabbath after lecture, cheerful Nils and grim Mathis and silent, sharp Ella. They were excellent teachers.



    "That may be so. I am given to understand that your lady wife was introduced to you via this game?"

    The souk was stifling, the desert heat and sand dulling his senses. Still, the rumors of the Queensguard Slave -- a Marklander in the Queensguard, taken as a prisoner of war and now serving as a slave, had led him here, to the xabac tables of the local bailik. He'd played conservatively the last month, well enough to be noticed; this was his first time at the lead table.


    "That is largely correct, Stadtholder, though I would differ on some minor details."

    "Into the pot, I wager my sword. The best Astajari steel -- note the watermark and the quality of the metal. ...Largely unused." He was playing the crowd as much as the hand; a great deal of money was going to be changing hands if he won. "And yourself, Bailik?"

    The bailik grimaced. "One slave from my household. The standard wager."

    "Agreed - on the condition that I choose the slave. I have no need for maids or nannies." The crowd laughed again. The beylik, trapped by the demands of his position and the pressure of the crowd, would have no choice but to accept.



    "Very good. I am told that at the customs house, you are renowned by your fellows as something of a sharp. I would test your skills myself."

    The beylik was smiling. Though he had the weaker hand, probability had been good to him; the both the Lord of Coins and the Lady of Swords had been dealt this hand. The odds were against him, and he had very few hands left to build. Keeping his face impassive, he looked over his hand one more time. Three pages, plus the Wheel. "I discard the Wheel."


    "As you wish, Stadtholder. Would there be a wager involved?"

    His man had finally made contact a week earlier. Now, dressed in a slave tradesman's outfit with a load of salted cabbage, it was his turn. Pausing outside the bailik's house, he pulled two xacao rolls from his satchel, and passed one to the guard. "I heard in the cafe there's a new slave in the household."

    The guard sighed. "Indeed. She has been placed as a harem guard - passing over ten good men in the process. See over there? The orange-haired one? Still has her own sword and armor, if you can believe it ."



    "If I win, you will teach me your technique."

    The bailik smiled. "The Full Court. Two Lords, two Ladies. Your hand, Marklander?" An excellent, if improbable hand -- he'd been counting.

    van Becker carefully laid his cards face-up on the table. "Four Pages, the Knight of Reeds, and.. the Idiot, makes the Idiot Prince. And I do believe that is the game, Bailik."

    A great hush fell upon the crowd. Then, in the back, someone began to clap; then another, and another, until the room thundered with applause.



    "Agreed, Stadtholder. And if I win?"

    "Wife! Tomorrow I go to sea."

    "I take it that the game went well, husband?"

    "Indeed. She will take some repairs, but this warrant should take care of them. I depart in a week's time."

    "Very good, husband." The red-haired woman drew herself up. "Metteya! Fetch the polish, please, and bring me my sword and armor."

    "Wife. You should not."

    "Husband. I love you dearly. But for all your charm and knowledge of mathematics, you've never been a fighter or a sailor. I trust you can find sailors to employ; as for fighters, Metteya and myself will be going with you. That's final, husband."
     
  17. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,564
    Location:
    Yukon
    I actually sent you some details of how Broon lost control of the ship in the PM where I also asked for your Diplomacy orders, just incase you needed it.

    Background to the Mutiny on the Gebedenkeizer

    Aram van Kennekoek is a participant in a conspiracy by a variety of Kjeesmarker nobles to establish an independent merchant republic. To do this, Aram assembled a loyal group of like-minded sailors to crew the Fettered King, the vessel upon which he was first mate. They were unable to perform a simple bloodless changing of flags once they got out of port due a systematic problem with the military attitudes of Markandt. As the rank of Mark-Captain has long since stopped being meritocratic, many positions are given to petty nobility, favouring breeding over capability.

    As Aram was 'some beggar child with the smell of salt in his nose', the captaincy was unavailable to him for this reason. Van Kennekoek started sailing very young- at age seven he became a rigging monkey on a merchant holk, gradually working his way up through the ranks on several ships as he matured. At age 12, he came into the crew of a man named Cornelius 'Kees' Van de Kaap, an aging trader from Uwendaam. Kees took a shining to the young man, eventually teaching him to read and write, and showing him a great deal about navigating and operating a ship. By age seventeen, Aram was Kees' first mate, and two years afterwards the old man hung up his hat, leaving Aram to operate his business.

    Aram enjoyed several years of peaceful trade, before the outbreak of the War of the Markward Succession. His vessel was impressed into the Fleet of Marklandt, and subsequently lost in a skirmish against an Îlennais squadron. Washed ashore, and poorly compensated for his loss, Aram developed a chip in his shoulder towards the high-bred men responsible for the war- both in Marklandt, and in Îlenne and Astajara. Nonetheless, he was quickly impressed into the crews of several other vessels, receiving commendations for his skill at the helm and bravery. After several years of war, Aram had survived two more near-coast shipwrecks, and ultimately came into contact with the 'Rogue Lieutenants', the Kjeesmarker nobility who sought to remove themselves from the war, and their lands from Marklandt in general. Aram proved to be an enthusiastic ally of this cause, and set out to aid them as best as he could: by commandeering a military vessel and using it to further the Kjeesmarker cause.

    It was shortly after this fateful meeting that Aram returned to the Marklandt navy, being appointed first mate to yet another vessel, the Fettered King. Upon meeting 'Captain' Linus Broon at a bar in Uwendaam, Aram quickly realized that he would be quite unable to bring the pompous and arrogant blueblood over to his side. With plans for the upcoming mutiny already brewing in his head, Aram gathered a crew, and the Fettered King set out for the Niew Wereld.

    Broon was the grandson of a nobleman from the far-inland Bergenmark, who gained his position through his grandfather's influence, to fulfill his desire of commanding a crew. As Aram noted, he was a mountain goat (a reference both to his alpine heritage and his rumoured/boasted sexual escapades), not a sea rat. In Aram's view, Broon was the personification of many things he had come to hate- subordination to ineptitude, noble privelege, and the political dominance of the inland marks. It was these things combined, plus his plans with the Rogue Lieutenants, that led to the death of his erstwhile 'Captain'.
     
  18. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,573
    Location:
    In the desert
    Oh, yes. Iggy, I appreciate it, thanks.

    I have a lot to respond to, particularly consideration of Chief_Designer's story, but I'm doing my level best to finish Update 0 tonight so my kind players know that I won't abandon them. :)
     
  19. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,573
    Location:
    In the desert
    Significant progress made, but not quite done yet. Will try to post by early afternoon tomorrow (or sooner) so as to allow Strategos his writing time. :p
     
  20. alex994

    alex994 Hail Divine Emperor!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    12,666
    Location:
    Breadbasket of USA
    Ooc: Why thlayli :(
     

Share This Page