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December Monthly Chronicles Of The West Indies
Topic Started: Nov 23 2013, 03:37 AM (2,324 Views)
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fighting the Spanish Armada since Sir Walter Raleigh's time
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“Before the Mast” is officially fourty months old! It doesn't sound as round as "three years" or "three years and a half", but it is an achievement in this world where sites get born and die every month.

During all this time, we have written almost 19,000 posts – or, more precisely, 679 threads, out of which 622 are already completed and 28 are ongoing. I am glad to see that more threads got finished this month, and it is remarkable, in comparison to most other sites, that we have less than 5% abandoned threads. We have reasons to be proud for it, as it shows that our writing community is stable and perseverant (even if a little too quiet lately, and this should be improved somehow).

Warm thanks to all the crew, to everybody who has made it possible for our writing community to flourish and for the story to get further, and please, have a piece of cake with us.

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I also let you know that it is the last Chronicle we have in 1719 forum. The upcoming ones will be in 1720 forum, which should take precedence from now. There you can find also a compendium link to all the past Chronicles in the 1719 forum.

As per the 1-st of December, statistics show that we have 39 male active characters and 19 female. This ratio is all right, given the focus of our story on adventures at sea, but a few more men aboard the ships wouldn’t harm either!

(We counted, as usually, the writers who had been active this month, with ALL their characters, not only the ones they have been active with.)

A note to remember that not everybody has transferred their bios to 1720 yet, and some who did, didn’t update them for the year 1719 and didn’t put a birthday to their characters. Others haven’t opened an OOC account or haven’t linked the character subaccounts to it – time to do all these!.

Active members: 15
Active characters: 58, out of which:

Pirates = 12
Privateers = 7
English Navy = 9
French Navy = 9
Civilians = 21

The census above and the positions in the ship roster give you a good idea about what ship needs your man the most. The civilians are a bit too many, while the ships are waiting for more crew for the adventures they have ahead.

Bring your characters to fight for the King and crown… or for their own freedom, and we promise you further action, drama and fun for them!

And given that our story in 1720 has shyly started already, join us in discussing and finetuning the January plots for the French Navy ship and for the British Navy ship! Let’s start them too! They are really ready to start, only your participation is lacking! (Besides these, you are free – and encouraged – to propose plots for the other two ships as well!) We have also an adventure in Saint Domingue looking for 1-2 more volunteers…

Remember, our story can get as epic and interesting as you want to contribute to writing it!

This month, the Jamaican Governor’s secretary Ralph Parkworth, played by Secar, has won the spotlight of the month, given that he has started the first thread in January 1720 – somebody had to inaugurate the new year and the new site page in style, and therefore deserves being spotlighted.

As for thread/ quote spotlight, the Tortuga thief Alessa Malone, played by Ally, deserves highlighted for the most scandalous quote from the thread ”The wench in the night”

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"Didn't'cher Mother teach'ya any manners? Who the hell did'ja think'ya were chargin' in at me wit'cher clothes bein' ripped from yer body like that? I'm not'cher wench, nor will I be."

A funny and scandalous line, at the same time, from somebody who is already in another man’s room…

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Warmest thanks to EmJ, who provided the starting ideas for the upcoming January plots both for the French and British Navy ships, and to George for showing initiative in starting another adventure in Port de Paix.

My deepest appreciation for Ren and Jouko for all their help in maintaining a welcoming and friendly community, shaping the story further and keep it actively going on.

Taking part in the community, giving feedback, talking about your characters is also important, and spending a few idle moments on a game while waiting for an answer is never a bad idea. However, many of our crew haven’t ever posted in the introduction thread, and nobody except their immediate writing partners know them. This is something to remediate in the introduction thread on the 1720 page then! (With your OOC account, remember!)

The discussion about characters and you and characters and time is also interesting, and the dare game is meant to bring more lively and interesting scenes for our story and for our writing community.

We have among us also characters who deserve spotlighted for being here already for a year:

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- Manuel Correa played by Elizabeth, joined 15-th of November 2012

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You know also that we need fresh blood of the history-loving, writing and dedicated kind… I am making an appeal to all of you to bring other friends of yours who are into writing swashbuckling adventures, because the word of mouth is the most powerful way of advertising. In addition to this, the ones who have blogs, MySpace, LiveJournal or InsaneJournal accounts, please advertise “Before the Mast” and try to bring new members. Those who have Facebook accounts – please “Like” our page and spread the word! Those with Twitter and Tumblr, follow us and retweet/ reblog some of our messages! We have the site’s Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Deviant Art group links in the sidebar, just a click away – but how successful can they be if even some of the members ignore them?

Voting daily in the topsites also helps… You can find them below the affiliates, under the heading "Vote for us!"

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Help us be seen and grow with gaining new valuable members! You can give your contribution to our site’s growth, and you’ll have more people and characters to write with! Each person’s effort counts in making our writing community better, sounder or bigger!

So, once the news have been broadcasted, I hope Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus to bring you brought you all the gifts you were hoping for, and ... let’s give the floor to our chronicler…

Keep writing, have fun and a wonderful winter!

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The holidays season is here already, and we are wishing everybody

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Yes, we can see the holidays, for fun, from our themed perspective too. We’ll celebrate them in our Caribbean writing community, with our friends. New Winter Holiday flavoured threads have been brought in a special forum, in order to give you the athmosphere of the Christmas Season on our board.

We have a Christmas songs challenge, a holiday traditions thread and an IC Christmas gift thread.

More events might be opened if there are any interesting ones I haven’t thought yet about. I am open to suggestions!

We are also launching two more contests for the holidays period (of course, with prizes!) besides the already ongoing ones, given that we are an interactive writing community:

1. Creativity contest (duration: 2-nd of December 2013 to 2-nd of January 2014) – there are various challenges which will add you points. Each participant will gain something when the points get tallied… but there will be a special prize for the 3 participants with the most points. The challenges, the number of points to be won and how to do it are here. Yes, they are almost the same like last times… but can you say the themes (and especially the prompts) have been exhausted and there is no more potential for new plot ideas based on the same general challenges?

2. Recruiting contest ( duration: 2-nd of December 2013 to 2-nd of January 2014) - The idea is to recruit by word of mouth or other special advertising means at least one NEW member to the site – one who will stay and post. If you recruit a new member who joins and posts an application, tell him or her to list your name under ”How did you hear about us”. You will earn a prize and a mention in the next “Monthly Chronicle”. The mere advertising contest by posting the site’s new advertisement on as many sites as possible counts also for the community challenges within the creativity contest above. If you need details how to do it, they are to be found here.

More holiday ideas are welcome from members.

We wish you merry holidays, may all your dreams come true, and… happy writing!

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This template; NEWSCASTER, was made by lucy aka COLOURED. of RPGU.
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1. Tell me something about your family - what do you think about them, your fondest memory of them and how has been your relationship with them?

I have wonderful parents, that I say first. They have been great in my childhood, and they still are. I do miss them, all the way back in England. But during my childhood, my father was quite often on the other side of the world, trading. Can’t blame him for that, it made me to what I am now.

And ofcourse, my own family I have now. I do love my wife Georgiana and our three children. They can be quite naughty from time to time, but they are children and we don’t raise them like our gracious Queen does. Thought we have it great at home, a really close family, there is something not right. I love my wife, but I feel I can’t love her for the full hundred percent. It blocks halfway, making it unable for me to love her more, no matter what I do. Ofcourse, I do hope this stays a secret.

2. What do you like most about Kingston? Least? Why?

It is quite hard for me to answer, for I arrived just a few months ago. I do love the clear contrast between our culture and architecture and the tropical surroundings. It seems as natural as unnatural, those majestic grand white planter’s homes surrounded by palm trees.

What I don’t like… is the fact that it is hot most of the time, mainly.

3. How do you spend your free time?

I love reading as I have an extensive library at home in Kingston. But I do like walking as well, just strolling around the city and visiting parks or gardens. And you can always wake me up in the middle of the night for a party!

4. Do you have any regrets in life?

Is it strange that I sometimes regret I married Georgiana?

5. What are you proudest of?

Aside from the answer above, the things I am the most proud of, are my beloved children.

6. Why have you chosen your profession and what do you like about it? What don’t you like?

Well, I haven’t really picked out this profession because I wanted it. I was told that it would be something for me. My father and his friends found I had some good diplomatic skills and the correct use of words. I always got frightened by the idea of leaving with a ship to the end of the world for some years, leaving everything behind. This was much more my style, living in the city where you also work. How convenient!

What I don’t like about it, is the slow pace of correspondence. I wished there was a much quicker way for having contact!

7. What would you like to tell your king if he were sitting right here next to you?

I am not going to bore you with diplomatic chit-chat, so I would tell him that he is doing a splendid job! For as far as I am concerned...

8. What do you think of the war going on in the Caribbean ?

Quite exciting from time to time, as there is special news, but mostly I don’t really notice it!

9. What do you hope and what do you fear for the future?

I hope that I ever experience real love, as I think I haven’t really experienced that. Golly, I can’t believe I am so open about this to you..

And what I fear, is actually the contrary of the above. Maybe a cliché, but it is the truth, sadly.

10. What do you think your greatest weakness is?

My greatest weakness is the love for beautiful things.

11. Which are your goals in life?

A big goal in my life is that I want to amass a fortune all by my own, from which I can live for my entire life. Now, if I do have the misfortune, I can always fall back on my father’s fortune. But that I something I don’t want.

12. Have you ever been involved in a scandal? Tell the details – be it a gossip, a duel or anything else.

Now, to be honest with you, I have not. Quite dull if I do think about it.

13. What is the fondest childhood memory you have?

My fondest childhood memory is also the most clearest. As a young boy, aged 7 or 8, I went with my mother to the docks with the carriage. Not wanting to become a merchant like my father, I always love seeing the busy men and the ships arriving or leaving the harbor. And there, as we arrived at the harbor, I recognized the ship from my father. He was back from a long voyage. I can’t remember if I ever became that excited in my life once more, than I was at that moment.

14. What is the thing that has frightened you the most?

Pain. I am terribly afraid of physical pain.

15. How do you imagine Secar would fare in your life?

I think he is a good chap, probably he would act the same way as I do!

16. What is your favorite possession? Why?

How stupid as it may sound, but it is an Oriental porcelain vase, brought back from the Orient by my father as a gift to me. I have it displayed in my library at home. I love that thing.

17. What characteristic of Secar's do you wish you had?

His ability to drink, then I would not lay underneath the table after two glasses of champagne.

18. What does Secar do that annoys you?

He makes me look as if I am that vain that I would check myself three times in the mirror before receiving guests. I don’t do that, only twice. I think… it is not that I count.
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1. Thread completion contest– each completed thread in the period 1 November – 20 December will earn all the participants one point each. This involves also the participants who wrote NPCs (only NPCs are counted on the OOC accounts - and yes, it is valid on both “story volumes”).

For now, the following threads have been completed:

- Peace, prisoners and treachery – finished on 3.11.2013; Characters involved: Titus Bailey, Don Gregorio Guazo de la Vega, Sir Woodes Rogers

- Legal endeavours - finished on 6.11.2013. ; Characters involved: Jonathan Willett, Marina Costa, Neil Donovan, Daigh Edmund

- Business plans, finished on 2.11.2013 ; Characters involved:: Maribel Vargas, Carmen de Lafont, Sol Picador, Jean Baptiste Lafont

- Birthday preparations – finished on 1.11.2013. Characters involved: Maribel Vargas, Monica Perez, Darcy Bouchard, Carmen de Lafont, Sol Picador, Jean Baptiste Lafont, Pieter de Wyntere, Andrea Costa, Benjamin Colt

- Confessions of a troubled soul, finished on 6.11.2013. Characters involved: Sol Picador, Sebastien Durand, Nails

- Just a lucky day, finished on 16.11.2013. Characters involved: Raoul Duval, Elouan Quervaric, Olivier Gadou, Stephane Vrignaud, Fernand Boissier, Thierry Vounos

- Those were the years, finished on 3.11.2013. Characters involved: Santiago Moreno, Josema Zamorra

… which means the following number of points (which can be reflected only to those who have transferred all their accounts on jcink):

- Titus Bailey: 1 point
- Jonathan Willett: 1 point
- Nails: 1 point
- Sebastien Durand: 1 point
- Marina Costa: 1 point
- Andrea Costa: 1 point
- Raoul Duval: 1 point
- Thierry Vounos: 1 point
- Carmen de Lafont: 2 points
- Santiago Moreno: 1 point
- Maribel Vargas: 2 points
- Sol Picador: 3 points
- Monica Perez: 1 point
- Jean Baptiste Lafont: 1 point
- Darcy Bouchard: 1 point
- Pieter de Wyntere: 1 point
- Benjamin Colt: 1 point
- Daigh Edmund: 1 point
- Elena: 7 points
- Thomas: 1 point
- EmJ: 1 point

2. NPC posts writing contest – each NPC post written in the period 1 November – 20 December will count for a special prize. (And yes, it is valid on both “story volumes”).

- The blockade runner:
– Jouko : 2 points (for captain Valeriano de Tolosa)
- Ren: 1 point (for Scrum)

- A special dinner:
– Ren: 4 points (for Elisa Hendon – Mannings)

We will continue counting, and we’ll display the points at the end of the contest! There is still time for you to write some NPCs, to finish ongoing threads and earn points – or to earn new ones by starting new threads in 1720!
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1. Give us some loose details about Ralph and how you came up with him.

He is an A-class gentleman on a conquest for real love, that might summary him.

I always thought my first character Hélène was a reflection of myself, but I got the knowledge Hélène mostly only has my bad characteristics. I wanted a character with a nice side, and so I came up with Ralph.

2. Did you find it hard to choose the playby for your character?

I strive for the perfect playby to pair with the character I have in mind. That is why I always first search for different playbys, and then the character forms thanks to the picture.

3. How would you see Ralph if born and raised in our time? What would he be and how would his life be?

I think quite the same as mine, aside from the fact I am not married, I don’t have children and sadly not the same bankaccount. I am very fond of traditions and chivalry, being the gentleman, so that would be okay.

4. What would be the perfect gift from you to Ralph?


It does sounds rather cliché when I read this. As if it is a Miss of the World pageant.

5. What does Ralph do to annoy you?

I think he is sometimes too comfortable. That can be a bad trait in my opinion when someone is too easy in new surroundings or at various occasions. I don’t think it can be something bad to feel somewhat uncomfortable. It makes sure you behave correctly. And the fault you make due to the nervousness are the one that will be forgotten, aside from the faults you make due to your laid-back nature.

6. Where do you see Ralph in five years (in our story)?

Not quite the gentleman he is, but I see him having a love affair, but also rich and powerful. Maybe even an aspiring ambassador, or even, governor!

7. What characteristic of Ralph's do you wish you had?

His charismatic skills. It is not that I am closed as a clam when around people and don’t dare to speak in public, but picking the correct words and say the right things at the right moments is an art I wish I mastered.

8. What about Ralph is most similar to you?

Looks and his personality partially (which is shared custody with Hélène).

9. What has Ralph done that you would never do?

Well, he hasn’t done it yet, but I don’t think I would ever cheat on someone.

10. What is the most fun thing about Ralph?

That he wants to the people around him to be at ease. He is always trying to comfort them.

11. When did you first know that you wanted to create your own stories?

When I started playing the Sims, the videogame, and when I realized what I wanted wasn’t really working in the game. It restricted me too much in my fantasy. An RPG was like playing carte blanche, starting from nothing.

12. What would you think has been your most significant achievement as a writer in a RPG community?

That I sustain that long. I sometimes had the feeling I might bail out eventually, but I am still sticking to the board and I am proud of it!

13. What lessons have you taken from RPGs that you can apply to your real life?

At this moment, I can’t think of any. Maybe I have to be part of a community for a longer time.

14. And, the opposite, what knowledge from real life you got to apply to your stories?

My knowledge of history, I think mostly. I find joy in applying my newly learned knowledge about etiquette, historical events or cultural clashes into the story.

15. What do your writings start with, the characters, the theme or the plot? How much do you know already and how much will it evolve as you write it?

It will start mostly with a theme I think, just a simple idea. Excitement, gossip, love, fear… Then I will pick out what characters will fit best in story, and whilst discussing with other or writing, the plot begins to develop. I always hope for those unique but exciting plot twists. They keep it fun.

16. What do you like most about writing with partners? What's the greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge is to find the perfect compromise. The story has to fit the characters and the ideas of the other writer. And what I like most about writing with others, is because of the different views. Everyone has other ideas, or ideas the other might not have come up with. What I also like about it, is that when the plot is somewhat open, how the other characters might react to your characters words or actions.

17. How are you researching for your characters and storylines?

Mostly I use my own knowledge and fantasy, but sometimes as for describing historical interiors, table manners and social etiquette, I search on the internet or look into a book. Sadly I don’t have the time I really can get lost between all the interesting sites on the internet and the valuable information.

18. How do you counter writer's block?

Patience. When you force to write while in the midst of a block, the post will be incoherent. And therefore, it will annoy me, as I want to search for a alternative, but an alternative I can’t create due to the block. So when I encounter one, I just wait. Watch a movie, read a book, search the internet; getting new information or inspiring possible plot twists.
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The blockade is ongoing, all the allied ships bringing their contribution to enforcing it, with brighter or less bright prizes gained in the meanwhile.

The privateer ship ”The Twilight Shark” has got a Spanish frigate as a prize, having to pay a price of blood for it, though.

Aboard ”Le Phenix”, a ship boy got the rare opportunity to befriend the boatswain’s mate. He can’t even understand how lucky he is, as it usually doesn’t happen… Unfortunately, the same boy got in trouble with the boatswain, and his new friendship can’t help him much with it…

The Rear Admiral found himself a new steward, with the hopes that he’d be less clumsy in his service than in seafaring duties.

After the news of the attack on the life of the French Rear-Admiral arrived to British ears, the captain of HMS ”Sovereign” came to visit the allied ship. The French master gunner befriended the British gunner’s mate upon a glass of brandy and a cup of coffee, while the French sailing master got to practice his unsure English with one of the sailors.

Don’t miss the next breaking news from the blockade zone!
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Before going to the market place, to hear more of the gossips, the chronicler is letting the readers know the latest news.

In Jamaica, a governess with an unusual story, supported by two privateers, asked for a good lawyer’s help in using a Medieval law, and she finally got it. Would the judge accept the case at law too?

Said lawyer and his intended were invited to dinner by the new secretary of the Governor.

In Port de Paix, a noble lady is meeting again her detractor in the streets. Are the gossips to be reinforced?

Somewhere in a tavern, a pirate and a Navy man are drinking peacefully. For how long?

On Inagua, the mistery of the treasure found by the pirates, and of the unusual Jolly Roger with an earring has been solved and the treasure arrived safely aboard the pirate ship.

In Tortuga, the pirate captain got to listen to an unexpected confession and find the right words to show his prudence. Tortuga has ears and eyes wherever one wouldn’t think, so pirates need to protect themselves first and foremost.

He also got invited to invest in a new shop and he accepted gladly. We might speculate about his reasons, when two women are involved in this business, and both are taken…

Well, he seems in general more generous lately – even the youngest tavern apprentice received from him the same gemstone gift like the one he bought for his newest sweetheart.

Sometimes, victories have a high price and the captain is the one needing more diplomacy than he has got, in order to bring bad news. This burden makes difficult to choose a first mate in the place of the fallen one.

It seems the inn “Elixir d’Armagnac” is losing its reputation of a safe place not allowing fights. A tavern brawl was reported to have happened there. With the pirates of the ”Rising Sun” in town, this is quite unlikely to have actually happened as some were telling it…

When a woman is considered to be a gift in an inn’s room, there might be either fun, or trouble. Let’s see which is the case now…

In Nueva Valencia, a priest is taking the most unexpected confession from a family member.

In Maracaibo, a noble lady received a clandestine visit one holiday night – how would this end?

Two mercenaries are planning to go to Cuba and force the blockade, each one for his own reasons. Will they succeed?

For further news and gossips, don’t miss the next issue of the “Histories and Chronicles of the West Indies ”!
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The Chronicler has been mingling among the guests at the masquerade party hosted by Sir Woodes Rogers, the Governor of Bahamas, eavesdropping where the case might be. And he had seen a lot of things…

It seems to be a trend that commoners hide behind masks to flirt with noble ladies. A certain Pierrot speaking French with a distinctive accent makes no exception in approaching Queen Cleopatra, and so does an alleged Marco Polo, also with a strong accent, dancing with a princess of the sea.

An angel is adored by a commoner too, while Robin Hood is sharing his bottle with another commoner. Obviously, they have succeeded to infiltrate due to the negligence of the guards, who were too busy chasing the serving maids’ skirts (or unsupervised drinks), on the principle that once a year it’s New Year.

Somewhere hidden from the eyes of the guests (and especially of the French allies) two enemy governors got to negotiate more than an exchange of prisoners. Said French ally was too busy, in the meanwhile, doing his own conquests of a gallant nature, oblivious to the fact that paid assassins were after him but happened to target the wrong mark. Will the assassination attempt succeed?

For further news and gossips, don’t miss our next news report from the New Year Masquerade!
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