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Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars

"Never mind we're outnumbered, we'll frighten the bastards to death."

0 · 1,194 views · located in The Seven Seas

a character in “Making Waves”, as played by LordTalbot






Hair: Long and blonde, usually tied back but often blown free.
Facial Hair: None
Eyes: Blue
Build: Stocky and muscular, evidence of a life at sea.
Skin Tone: Tanned
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 13st
Handed: Right handed, though capable of wielding a sword in one and a pistol in the other.
Body Markings: None
Scar Tissue: Numerous scars across his body, including marks on his back from a flogging.
Unique Body Features: None

Nathaniel Sellars

Black Nate

Captain of the Acheron

Factual Age





Nathaniel appears to all to be the indomitable and stonewall commander he wishes to seem. Around his ship he insists on a strict adherence to discipline, a habit left behind from his days in the Royal Navy, but also his way of ensuring effective control. Though haughty in command, Nate is always understanding to the needs of his men, ensuring they are kept happy as possible whilst driving them hard to success. However, he is often brutal when he is challenged. Brooking no questions of his authority, he is good to the crew as long as they accept it.

Behind the stonewall appearance he uses most of the time, Nate is very open with people he knows well. He would never go so far as to appear weak, but he enjoys company as much as the next man, and often shares words with his crew. He is also very passionate about music, playing the violin in his spare time.

A seaman through and through, the sea is Nathaniel’s home. He knows her ways like the back of his hand, and his dedication to his ship is unmovable. Despite being a privateer he strives to keep her an efficient and well-run vessel. In battle he is fearless, standing on the quaterdeck amongst the flames of guns and the crashing of wood. He often leads boarding parties, roaring onto captured ships with a roar and a cutlass in his hand.

One subject Nate never talks about is his past. Hatred burns in his heart for the Royal Navy, and all those associated with it. Whenever he captures a navy ship, he gives no mercy to the crews, often stringing the bodies of the officers from the yardarms of the captured ship as a warning to those who find it.

He is entirely motivated by his desire for blood and riches.

Music - An avid follower of new musical styles, Nathaniel tries to hear as much as he can when ashore. When he isn't he plays his violin in his cabin, improvising his own pieces as well as playing well known ones.
The smell of gunsmoke - Reminding him of the rush of battle, the scent of guns and smoke brings a surge of adrenaline to Nathaniel that he relishes.
Humiliating the Royal Navy - Always keen to beat those who he feels betrayed him, seeing an RN ship founder or flee always makes him smile.
His ship running smoothly - Nothing pleases a captain more than the efficient sailing of his ship, and Nathaniel is no different. He sees it as evidence of his effective command when his crew perform a maneuver perfectly, or fire and reload their guns in a matter of minutes.

Disobedience - Nathaniel views any disobedience as a challenge to his authority and cracks down on it, often brutally. He hates doing it, but views it as necessary.
Losing - No one likes losing, but Nate flies into an uncontrollable rage when he does. Quite a few times he has taken the matter into his own hands and reversed the result.
Heat - Preferring the cool breezes and strong winds of the sea, Nathaniel hates the heat, which is why he doesn't go to the Mediterranean often.



Marital Status
Single as far as anyone knows. He refuses to talk about it.

He might have a father and a brother left alive in England. Any others he does not know about.

Nathaniel was born in a small town in England, but quickly outgrew it. In search of action and adventure he ran away to join the Royal Navy when he was twelve, signing on to a ship's crew and leaving his home far behind. He spent his early years on the ship as a foremast jack, heaving ropes and holystoning the decks the same as any seaman. However, his intelligence and ability quickly stood him apart from the rest and he was put forward as a midshipman. Wounded in many engagements, Nathaniel was only flogged once by a captain he had for refusing to stop fighting a French officer he had cornered in a boarding action. The captain disappeared soon after on a stormy night, and rumours circulated that Nathaniel was responsible, though no evidence was ever found.

Acing his midshipman's exams, Nathaniel was promoted and given his own small ship. Through numerous conflicts and prizes he rose to the rank of post-captain, and was given a frigate, the Acheron. It was at this time he fell out with those who ran the navy. It was reported that Nathaniel had been snapping up neutral merchant ships, slaughtering the crews and selling the contents for his own personal gain, and that of his crew. An admiral attempted to arrest him but was strapped across the mouth of a cannon and blown apart. From that day forward Nathaniel was outlawed as a pirate. Sailing the Atlantic he preyed upon merchants and shipping from the Americas, destroying any Royal Navy ships sent to stop him. But following a recent engagement his ship was badly damaged and much of the crew killed. He needed to put into land somewhere and recruit a new crew, refit and repair. Maybe now his old navy habits and clothes would suit him well.


escargot ;)

So begins...

Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars's Story


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Hull-down just out of sight of the port, the Acheron rocked gently on the swell. Silhouetted by the setting sun, the furled sails moved a little in the wind, the masts moving from side to side with the motion of the sea. A few members of the crew clambered around the rigging, moving carefully to avoid the great tears in the lattice work. Ropes dangled from the masts, and on deck broken spars and splinters were being packed away or thrown over the side. The crew was working quickly, repairing as much as they could. Ropes replaced or tied end on end, sails sewn, holes in the side of the ship plugged as well as could be. As the ship’s bell sounded four bells and the end of the first dog watch, the crew descended from the masts and dispersed about the ship.

The Acheron was in a sorry state. Her hull was holed below the water line, her rudder nearly shot away, and he rigging was in tatters. A chance encounter with two ships of the line had nearly spelled her end. Now, flying Royal Navy colours, she laid in wait off the port town, hoping for a miracle. The decks, so recently awash with blood and flying metal had been cleaned as best as possible, the wounded and the dead moved away. She had suffered terribly. A third of her crew killed, and her captain wounded. Things had not been helped by the furious captain’s order to turn and fight. The lucky shot on one of her pursuers’ magazines had nearly set fire to her sails with the resulting explosion. However, she managed to escape, limping away in the early hours of dawn.

A flash of dirty blonde hair signified the arrival of the Acheron’s captain on her deck. Nathaniel Sellars clambered up the ladder and onto the quarter deck, scanning his surroundings with a calculated, oppressing eye. His fury the night before had settled into a stony coldness, and his crew avoided him as he inspected the work. A sling held up his left arm, blood already soaking the bandages and the blue cloth of his coat around his wrist. The gold epaulettes he wore glimmered in the dying sun, and contrasted sharply with the powder stains and blood spatters on the rest of his clothes. The tie holding back his long hair had long since broken, and his matted locks lifted a little in the breeze. His pacing ended at the taffrail, where he stood and stared out to sea.

“Damn it.” He cursed quietly to himself. Those Navy ships had snuck up on him far too easily. He had known raiding shipping in the channel was dangerous, but he had allowed himself to be hunted like a lieutenant on his first command. His good hand gripped the rail till the knuckles went white. He and his crew had suffered badly, too badly to stay in the channel. But this was why they were here. Lying to near the port town was a risky move but necessary. Nathaniel needed to repair, refit and press more crew, and this place was the perfect one to do all of those things.

Spinning around Nathaniel caught the despondent expressions of some of the crewmen. Piercing them with a cold stare he guessed exactly what they were feeling. They’d been winning, living the high life. Now this defeat had set that all back. He would have to win over his crew again, those that lived at least. Stepping down from the quarterdeck Nathaniel called to his boatswain. “Mr. Peters, I will be going ashore. Choose a party of eight of our best and get my boat ready.” Barely waiting to see if his order had been acknowledged he grabbed another seaman. “Mr. Dogood, take another eight men in the other boat, land to the leeward of the town and meet us at the shipyard. I will need you to help secure it before we bring in the Acheron.”

“Aye sir”, the gruff seaman replied. Though disappointed by defeat, the old salt knew enough of his captain to expect a quick return to glory. “I’ll see it done sir.”

“Good man.” Finally, Nathaniel turned back to the quarterdeck. “Sailing master, bring the Acheron into the harbor when you hear the signal gun fire. We won’t have long before someone alerts the Navy so we will have to make our repairs fast.” Walking briskly to the side of the ship, Nathaniel flipped himself over the side and climbed down into the waiting boat, the bosun’s whistle signifying his departure. Settling at the prow of the boat he turned to the boatswain, “let’s go Mr. Peters.” With a quick word of command, the crew lowered their oars, and the boat pushed off towards the town. Nathaniel glared in its direction, his temper simmering as he relived the defeat. “Soon”, he said to himself. “Soon.”


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Tal and Vincent's collab:

Karena stepped into the town resting on the coast and took a moment to relish in the familiar setting. It had been a while since she had been in a harbor city. Normally, she'd stay away but it had been two years. The girl doubted anyone would be after her anymore.
Right now, she was after someone else. A former pirate if the word going around was reliable. Pirates weren't exactly easy to take down like a business man or a woman that knew too much. They had fight in them.
But they all bleed and die the same when shot or stabbed. Karena thought. If the target was tough then they went down from a distance. That is if the mercenary didn't have time to figure out their day-to-day patterns. Killing someone with a gun was too loud and drew attention. If she could catch them while they were sleeping then things went much easier. They wouldn't even feel a thing.
This target was different than most of the others. There wasn't much to go off of. Word went around that there was a nice bounty on someone in The Lighthouse inn. It was different than the inn that Karena had stayed the day at. As the young girl stepped inside she immediately noticed how full the place was. Her eyes looked over the crowd of guest trying to pick out which ones were actually here for a meal or place to stay and which ones seemed to have a more malicious reason for dining.

A light splash of oars was the only sound emanating from the boat as it neared the harbour. The men on its benches sat in the growing darkness, their eyes fixed on the sun that was just slipping over the horizon. Nathaniel knelt at the prow, glaring towards his intended destination and gripping the hilt of his sword with white-knuckled ferocity. Quietly slipping around the few anchored ships, the boat glided up to the stone side of the harbour, Nathaniel immediately leaping out of the boat and onto the steps leading up to the town. With a gesture his men shipped oars and followed him up the steps with barely a sound.
Quickly heading off towards the shipyard Nathaniel hoped that the other boat had landed in time, and that he would have the support he needed to take what he could from the yard. Passing closed workshops and a few of the busier inns and brothels, he scowled, lengthening his stride.
The gates of the shipyard loomed ahead, as well as the couple of soldiers assigned to guard them. The soldiers stiffened as the group of sailors approached, snapping to attention at the sight of the officer's epaulets. "At ease men. Is the yard master around? My ship is coming in and badly in need of supplies."
The soldiers looked at each other. "I'm sorry sir", one of them said, "you just missed 'im. 'E's off for the night see?"

"Is he? Well that makes this easier." Quickly whipping out a pistol Nathaniel pulled the trigger and a blinding flash filled the gateway. The soldier still looked surprised as blood poured down his face and he slumped to the ground. The other had no time to react as the boatswain smacked him over the head with an awl-pike with a sickening crunch. "Right gentlemen, to business." Nathaniel pushed open the gates and his men rushed past to secure as much as they could of the badly needed supplies.

Karena took a seat, as not to gather more attention to herself than she already did. A waitress came by and she merely ordered a light drink. She wasn't going to drink it. She had herself to thank for that. With the many drinks she had poisoned before there was no way she would drink something unless poured by her own hand.
The girl merely sat and observed. She could feel eyes on her but not the kind that was just curious. Karena was used to those kinds of eyes. These eyes were the ones that stared at you when they wanted to rob or steal from you. There was a commotion with a group of sailors and one of the waitresses that distracted everyone's attention. Karena used this moment to excuse herself. She thought was clear of The Lighthouse when she heard the door open again and a voice call out from behind.

Overseeing the moving of spars, ropes, and equipment to an empty dock, Nathaniel gave the signal for a cannon to be fired. The sound of the gun echoed round the yard and the smoke rolled off the buildings. Satisfied, he turned to look back into the town. "We should be able to press some good sailors here, or at least some able lubbers." Scanning the closer buildings he noticed a small figure slip from the door of an inn, briefly silhouetted by the lights inside. Shrugging his shoulders Nathaniel decided to try the inn and see if any there would join his crew, setting off at a quick pace, his sword slapping his thigh as he walked.

"Aye!" Karena kept walking. "I'm talkin' to you, bitch!" She stopped and half turned around towards the man and three others. The light from the inn windows revealed the ugly smile he gave. "I thought you was a boy when ye first stepped in the Light'ouse. But my friends placed a bet on whether I was right. Seeing 'ow you turned at the mention of 'bitch' I'm guessin' I win the bet. But now somethin' else is botherin' me. What's a young'un like you doing dressed like dat and holdin' weapons fer?" Karena stayed silent. She hoped that they would just talk to let their egos out and then return to the inn. Then one of the other sailors chimed in.
"Oi bet she's 'ere for dat bounty too!" This seemed to be a punchline to a long winded joke because the four sailors burst out laughing and leaning on each other. Karena turned around and started walking again when the laughter suddenly stopped.
"Give me yer weapons." The first man called out again. This time Karena decided to ignore them when the similar sound of a weapon being cocked could be heard. "Oi don't like bein' ignored. And I also hate repeatin' meself." Kerana let out a sigh before turning and firing her sidearm at the man. The bullet smacked square in his chest and he reeled back and fell to the ground with shock on his face.
Karena expected the men to get the message at that point but then was surprised when the three others pulled out weapons of their own. One pistol and two daggers. They have fight in them too. Karena thought to herself as ducked for cover. She heard the gun go off and the bullet flew past her. The sailor cursed and brought out his dagger as well, after he threw away the spent pistol. The girl had the element of surprise at least once more as she dodged the thrust of the leading man's blade.
She brought out her own dagger and slit his throat in one swift motion just as the second sailor was closing in on her. He swung in a horizontal motion aiming for Karena's throat and she managed to parry the blade and scoop out the leg he had his weight on. The man dropped in a kneeling position and the girl slammed her dagger into his thigh and ripped the blade down to his knee. The sailor screamed before Karena pulled the blade out and stabbed him several times in the chest then finally delivering a kick to his jaw that left him sprawled out.
The last sailor hesitated just as the inn doors opened and several more of them spewed out to investigate the noise. It took them only a second to assess the situation. Immediately, weapons were drawn but the last sailor of the first four held out his hand.
"Put away your guns, boys. This lady just earned herself a nice and slow death. Take her alive." Karena took a step back. She wasn't expecting the reinforcements and kicked herself, mentally, for not thinking of it as a possibility. She should have shot the man with the gun and ran. Now she was heavily outnumbered.

The crack of the gunshot rattled in Nathaniel's ears as he stopped a few paces from the inn. The hanging sign that read 'The Lighthouse' swung in the breeze, and after the bang of a second shot, Nathaniel lent back against a wall to watch and wait for whatever was going on to end. He casually reloaded his own pistol as he waited, listening intently to the sounds of combat coming from just around the corner. This breeze was perfect to bring in the Acheron, and by now the sailing master should be leading her into the harbour as quietly as possible. Catching sight of a tall, black shape moving up from the sea, he allowed himself a quick smile. He might just pull it off. Clatters from the direction of the yard signified the last of the supplies being quickly moved to the dock.
Pouring the powder into the pan of his pistol, Nathaniel threw away the rest of the cartridge and closed the pan. Taking his arm out of the sling he pulled the lever back to half cock, holding the pistol upright and relaxing against the wall. He closed his eyes for a moment, listening to the sounds from around the corner as a new group of men burst from the door of the inn. Passing his pistol to his left hand, he drew his sword with the other, the gleaming steel shimmering as it was exposed to the light. Just cleaned the night before, the oiled metal seemed to hum and ripple, swishing as Nathaniel moved it through the air.
Taking a breath he stepped round the corner, immediately taking in the sight before him. Two dead, many standing, one opponent. Good odds. Barely hesitating Nathaniel pointed his pistol at the man nearest to him and fired, the bullet catching him in the back and throwing the man into one of the others. As the rest turned Nathaniel set about them with a roar, his blade flashing in his hand, the pistol turned over to be used as a club.
The sailors responded with a howl of indignation, recoiling from the demon in their midst before recovering their senses, swinging at him with their knives and cutlasses. Finding himself between two attackers, Nathaniel dropped to the floor, sweeping his sword low and feeling it connect with flesh. Rising quickly he rammed his fist into the stomach of the other, sending him sprawling to the floor. Turning to the erstwhile victim Nathaniel flashed a bloody grin, his blonde hair streaming over his face and spattered with blood.

Karena jumped at the sound of another gunshot. She thought for sure that it was one of the sailors ignoring the orders of the survivor and finishing her off quickly. But she saw one of the sailors fall into the other before, she thought, a demon joined the fight. The man let out a battle cry and the sailors almost immediately let out their own in retaliation. Then the fighting continued except now the sailors were confused as another unknown factor entered the fray. Karena took the opportunity and jumped on the back of one of the taller sailors that turned to see their new attacker. She sunk her dagger into his heart several times before jumping off and looking for her next target.
She noticed one of the men pulling out a pistol. Orders were out of the question at this point. It was a fight for survival. The man aimed it at the blonde haired man that was also fighting them off. Karena threw the dagger at him and impaled him through his side. Not what she was aiming for but the purpose of the action was at least to throw his aim off. He screamed in pain and looked at what struck him. By the time he realized what had hit him the girl was already by his side. She grabbed his firing arm as she kneed the dagger upwards.
He reflexively shot but not before Karena readjusted his aim to the chest of one of his crew mates. The mercenary kicked at the back of the man's knees making him lose balance. She then ripped the dagger from his side and swiftly plunged it into the man's chest as he fell to the ground.
Karena looked around for any other opponents but the only other one was a man that stood out from the others, wearing a Navy captain's uniform. She guessed he was the one that let out the roar to distract the sailors. She stared at him while catching her breath. If it not for him, Karena, would surely be experiencing some torture this very moment.
If a man saves your life then your life is no longer your. It now belongs as a state of servitude of that man. Karena remembered her father's words. Did that mean She now needed to serve this man as a slave? No. She would see if he was worthy of having her. Karena's self worth wasn't discarded just because someone saved her.
She stood up straight after, finally, catching her breath.
"Thank you. I'll remember you saving me whether intended or not. If fate permits then I shall repay you when our paths cross again." Karena stormed off. She hated being in the same place as a kill for too long. And it had been much longer than her usual time since she shot the first sailor. She needed to regroup. The bounty was now the last thing on her mind at the moment so she was in no state to claim the it. She would clean herself up, grab her rifle, and try again later.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson
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The coin purse in Ren's grip mocked her relentlessly. It was not her own, but belonged to a man who was foolish enough to walk around outside just after sundown, too busy enjoying the company of a young woman to have paid the vagabond that passed him by any mind. The knife had been drawn in a flash, a quick grab and one clean cut and the purse was freed from it's owner, but now all Ren could ponder was the shame of her actions. The shame she brought on to the uniform stashed in her bindle bag between her feet.

'But now I can eat...', she thought, letting out a sigh as she swallowed her pride. Honest work was hard to come by when no one knew who you were, and Ren dared not to stay in the same town more than a few weeks. Last time she settled for too long she had spied red coats roaming about, and she wasn't going to go to the gallows for dreaming. She'd worked too hard, been bled dry, and lost too much to die a beaten dog. Shame would have to just be a symptom of survival for now. It's not like she'd gone pirate just because she parted an idiot with his walking around money.

When the waitress came around, Ren ordered a hot meal and a room for the next two nights, placing four of the ten silver coins she had in the waitress's hand. The waitress nodded and started to walk off, but after a moment's thought Ren touched her arm to reclaim her attention, placing the rest of the silver coins in her hand.

"Keep the grog coming, as well. I'm tired of thinking," Ren added, and the waitress let out a laugh before walking off once again.

She would regret that decision if she couldn't get more work in three days time, but her words had been true enough. She'd drink herself into a stupor and let her worries catch back up to her when the cock crows again.

She looked down at her side and regarded the old sabre that sat propped against her leg. It wasn't her own, not being foolish enough to have an identifiable blade on her person while being on the run, but one she had bought from a drunk about five towns back. With the polish she'd given it, it might sell for a few pounds and keep her from starving...

Ren reached up and smacked her cheek, scolding herself for continuing to worry.

Ren flinched instinctively at the sound of gunfire outside, though it was hard to hear properly from inside the bustling inn. The walls were thick but Ren had heard the sound enough times to recognize it. She did happen to notice a bunch of men leave, more still after the first shot rang out, and the inn grew considerably quieter after a second shot thundered outside. Ren gripped her sabre's handle tightly as she eyed the door, content to let things be so long as they remained outside. She had no gun, nor did she want to die by running into someone's bullet, but a thought crossed her mind that made her curse her moral compass.

Weren't the first guys following after a kid?

Ren cursed under her breath as she stood and crossed the room, sabre in hand and eyes aflame as she threw the door open, eyes scanning the horizon for anyone taking aim with a flintlock or, God forbid, a blunderbuss. All she found instead were about five or six dead men, and one bloodied man in a navy coat. No sign of a kid, living or dead, but that didn't loosen Ren's grip on her sabre.

"I just ordered drinks so I'd appreciate it if you kept the killing out here," Ren said, sweating a little as her smart mouth spoke of its own accord. She'd consider the fight in her favor, given the man only had one good arm, but that apparently hadn't meant jack-all for the dead lying about.

"...What happened to the kid that came out here?" She asked, hoping that the man both had a sense of humor, or at least didn't have a loaded pistol ready to reply with.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Fights were common in and around the Lighthouse. A night didn't go by without a drunken brawl of some sort, with the occasional death of course (often at her own hand.) Whatever was going on, the men usually wrapped up on their own. Jacqueline usually left them be.

Tonight was not a normal night, though. Jacqueline felt off as she walked back into the kitchen. Had what Bertie said really gotten to her? No, well, perhaps a little. The older man had a point; the inn was unusually busy tonight. She sighed, and checked the stew.

As she was bringing the spoon to her lips to taste the stew, she heard the boom of a cannon. Jacqueline rolled her eyes. “Such a waste,” she muttered before taking a taste. “Hmm.” She set the spoon down before giving a look around the kitchen. Normally she’d run it for another hour or so, but Angelique already exhausted and needed a rest. After this, she’d shut it down for the night and help Bertie-

*bang! bang!* A few gunshots could be heard right outside the Lighthouse.

Thuron sighed, grabbed her saber from its hook, and walked back out to the floor. “What have les bourriques been up to in the minutes I was away?” she asked her bartender.

“Can’t tell. Looks to be some sort of one sided fight between a smaller man and a group of sailors, though it’s hard to tell from back here.” Bertie shook his head. “Kid ordered a drink and never touched it. Damn shame, too. Waste of good liquor.”

“I’ll check. Would you let Angelique know that we’re closing the kitchen early?” Jacqueline asked, not waiting for an answer. She adjusted her saber on her hip and made her way to the front of the inn. In the diminishing light she could clearly see the rather bloody fight, and hear most of what was left of it. She almost went out to offer the two survivors a drink on the house, but stopped. The light pouring from the inn helped to illuminate the bloodstained naval uniform of the taller man.

Jacqueline scowled and stepped away from the window. She wouldn’t have been surprised if the man came in and started demanding that all of them were to come in for questioning, then blame some sorry sailor for the deaths of the others. She barely registered someone brush past her as they rushed outside.

Or… no, she could have sworn they’d finally lifted the bounty. Even if they had, she had enough in the inn that were loyal to her that she’d be able to fight them off. It had been seven years since she’d last sailed… Jacqueline shuddered. Wrong place, wrong time.
She needed to retain her reputation, anyways. Hospitality to all who came to her doors; a lighthouse is willing to guide anyone who sails safely into harbor. Any money was good money, though she didn’t have to like the previous owner.

Besides, she could hold her own against anyone if they dared to attack her in her own home, especially if they really were navy.

Against her better judgement, Thuron ducked her head out the door of the inn. She could see the other person in the fight running off somewhere; hopefully home. She stepped into the doorway and asked “Are you just going to stand there and wait for the blood to dry, or are you going to come in and get cleaned up?” God, she hated having navy in, but it was better than leaving him for some other group of drunken sailors to fight with. Thuron was fine with the company of murderers; she just tried to avoid having it on her front stoop. “And you,” she said, glancing at the younger man, “look like you should finish a few extra meals, kid.” She looked at the pair expectantly.

“Though if you'd rather take your chances with those sailors’ friends, feel free.”


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Breathing heavily through his nostrils Nathaniel watched the girl, as he now knew she was, dart away into the darkness. He leant down and wiped his sword blade clean on the jacket of one of his more unfortunate opponents. Some others lay groaning, a dismembered limb or two signified by small humps in the dark street. Gun smoke lingered on the corners, and the smell of gunpowder and blood saturated the air. Allowing himself a slight smirk, and feeling the rush of adrenaline subside into a pleasant high, Nathaniel sheathed his sword and tucked his pistol into his belt. Standing up straight he brushed off his coat as best he could. “Thank God it’s dark”, he thought. The epaulettes on his shoulders still sparkled in the light from the windows of the inn, but the wound on his arm throbbed. He pushed his arm back into the sling as the door of the inn opened.

Light was cast out onto the street, briefly illuminating the scene before it was blocked by two people standing there. As his eyes adjusted to the light Nathaniel made out two women, one older, one younger. The first, the younger spoke. “I just ordered drinks so I’d appreciate it if you kept the killing out here.” Nathaniel’s eyes narrowed in a scowl, though his face remained largely impassive. He pulled himself up to his full height and cast a cold eye over the speaker. Her clothes, a naval uniform, were interesting but of no consequence. Dirty, thin, obviously on edge. If pushed she could snap all too easily, and as a point of principle Nathaniel hated killing women without reason. The sabre she held was more interesting, by her poise it was obvious she knew how to use it. Someone of potential use.

“The ‘child’, as you so called her, is none of my concern good lady.” He kept his tone cold, calculating, with a hint of haughty aggression, just enough to keep a potential opponent on edge. Bringing himself to his full height, Nathaniel stepped further into the light, taking note of the second woman in the doorway again. The expression on her face betrayed an obvious hatred, though she tried to hide it. Good, the uniform had some sway here.

“Are you just going to stand there and wait for the blood to dry, or are you going to come in and clean up?” Her voice was dripping with venom, the attempt at seeming hospitable totally lost on Nathaniel. He barely stopped a smirk breaking out on his face as he fixed her with an icy stare.

“Madam proprietress”, he stepped forward again and spoke in his most authoritative voice. “I would be very glad of some refreshment, but with your permission I would like to make use of your patrons.” Without waiting for an answer he went in through the door, his eyes quickly adjusting to the light inside.

The low murmur of voices immediately died when he stepped in, all eyes resting on him. Some were filled with malice, some fear, some bleary eyed and drunken, though none of that mattered to him. Striding to a table in the center of the inn Nathaniel kicked one of the more comatose patrons out of his way and jumped up onto the table. Turning to look at all the faces staring up at him, he glared back with barely concealed contempt. He fixed his eye on the proprietress, now back inside her inn, before speaking.

“My name, is Captain Nathaniel Sellars, and I am here to recruit a new crew.”


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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The man scowled at her in response, cementing the fact in her mind that he was, in fact, not a man with a sense of humor. She silently cursed the fact that she was hilarious and swallowed the lump in her throat, but widened her stance and put a hand to her scabbard, preparing to pull the sword out if he should so much as twitch in a way she disliked. She'd have to gamble that he was one of the ones that fired before, and had yet to reload so it would be a close quarters fight. The left arm was damaged, making it the ideal side to flank should a fight break out. She'd lunge, smack his blade to the right as soon as he made a mistake, and deliver the kill from the left before he could recover.

"The 'child', as you so called her, is none of my concern good lady," he spoke, his even tone only slightly denoting his aggression, but he didn't need to speak it for Ren to feel it. The man was danger, and regardless of the coat she knew damn well he wasn't Navy. She braved one more scan of the Inn's property and confirmed what she had seen before.

All the bodies present were older men, and he was alone... did he step in to rescue the kid?

She felt another person walk up behind her, but dared not to take her eyes off of whoever this man was. He didn't seem the sporting type to forgive lapses of focus. A woman's voice called out just behind Ren, “Are you just going to stand there and wait for the blood to dry, or are you going to come in and get cleaned up?”

The invitation surprised Ren, but not enough to loosen the grip on her sabre.

“And you,” she said, “look like you should finish a few extra meals, kid.”

Ren's stomach growled as if on cue, but it wasn't until the man stepped forward, his good hand free of his weapon, that Ren allowed herself to relax. Of ill repute he might be, but he had no quarrel with anyone still living, it seemed. He shouldered past both her and the woman, the cook, if Ren recalled, and muttered something about making use of the patrons. Ren was about to mention how the brothels were down a few streets, but decided to keep her mouth shut.

The man then proceeded to stand on a table, the one Ren had just been sitting at, and declared himself a captain here to recruit for his crew. The name of Nathaniel Sellars rung a bell in Ren's mind, but Ren simply turned to the cook and let out a nervous laugh.

"Certainly a dramatic fellow, isn't he?" She said, sighing as she shut the door behind her once the cook was back inside.

Black Nate, if she was recalling the right name, was one she'd heard many times back in the Navy. There was rumor he was a privateer for the French with the way he would dog British ships near the Americas, but he was most certainly a pirate. A pirate in need of hands to take out to sea.

'I wouldn't have to run anymore...' Ren thought, but shook her head. She wouldn't betray the crown for gold, or for the sea, no matter how sorely she needed both. If she were still so loyal to the crown, though, why was she still staying her hand from her blade? Was she that tempted by the airs of gold and freedom? Had hunger stripped her of what little dignity she had left?

"Have your men ever gone hungry, Captain Sellars," Ren blurted out, subconsciously putting a hand to her stomach as she spoke. The past three years had been harder on her than she thought, it seemed. The question betrayed her interest, but the conflict in her mind was written plainly on her face. If he could promise her food, promise her the open sea...

She wouldn't have to run anymore.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Ivory Emerson
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It had been a long day for Ivory, only just starting to pack up his medical equipment, placing tools in their rightful place. His home was divided so that one side would be for his general living and the other for medical procedures. However he always carried a rather large, wooden case full of his main, most used and needed equipment for sudden spontaneous work that seemed to come up frequently when he was out and about.

The sun was starting to set now, he had seemed to have worked a bit later than usual. Ivory usually tried to pack up early, so he had enough time to eat, and get a good nights rest for the next day. Although he enjoyed helping others, he had to admit this was most certainly not his dream job. As nice as it was to be able to successfully heal another, the burden was far too heavy for his heart whenever he was unsuccessful in saving a life. It frustrated him that his tools and remedies were limited. There was only so much the shop keepers had to offer and only so much they could find. Ivory wanted to explore more of the world, discover new remedies, plants; see what unfamiliar poisons were out there as well as cures. But it was impossible and his family would surely disown him if he were to follow his dreams. Perhaps he was being a tad too unrealistic though. His parents were just looking out for him right? Yes that's what Ivory would keep telling himself anyway.

The day had ended on a low; Ivory was unsuccessful in saving the life of yet another. A girl far too young lost her life, only fourteen years of age. Worse part was that Ivory knew there was no cure for her disease after diagnosis. What is one to do in that situation? Tell the family that he'll do the best he can and give them hope? Or tell them it's hopeless and walk away? Of course he'd give them hope, it was heart breaking knowing the outcome though.

Enough of all that, Ivory wanted to keep the days work off his mind, he was in a foul mood enough already, lingering on such defeats only made him feel worse. Letting out a long, tired sigh, the young man grabbed his large wooden case by the handle, locked up behind him and made his way to the usual place that seemed to be the only place that sold decent food at decent prices. The Lighthouse. Only to suddenly hear a canon go off, gun fire and a heap of yelling. Instinctively, he jumped at the sudden loud sounds that went off just as he left his home; then shook his head in disgust. "Yep. Typical. That's nice just make more bloody work for me, thanks." Ivory scowled, talking out loud to himself. He should be used to this by now.

Although Ivory seemed like the type to run away, considering how jumpy he was; the man knew how to take care of himself. And not just because he was a surgeon, but because his older brother who was a leader of one of the navy fleets had taught him how to defend himself. Something about how scrawny Ivory was and getting him killed someday unless he could defend himself blah blah blah. Ivory had to admit, what his brother taught had certainly come in handy and saved his ass quite a few times.

Ivory walked just a bit further, seeing the Lighthouse up ahead, only to then get distracted by the ships pulling into the harbour. Particularly a rather battered looking ship. The ships reminded him of his brother. He wondered how his family was doing. Anyway, enough distractions, his stomach reminded him he was hungry by letting out a loud, impatient growl. Closing in on his destination now he almost didn't notice the young, blonde girl who suddenly and most swiftly ran right past him. He looked back, watching for a moment as she disappeared into the darkness before shrugging it off and continuing.

"Holy Irish apricots! What- why?!" Ivory exclaimed in reaction to the mess at the front door of his usually most favoured place to dine. He closed his eyes briefly, rubbing them in gentle, frustrated circles with index finger and thumb followed by and agitated sigh. Today was just not his day. He decided to pretend he didn't see those dead bodies laying around as he casually stepped over them, entering the Lighthouse at last.

"My name, is Captain Nathaniel Sellars, and I am here to recruit a new crew."

Ivory suddenly felt tight in the chest as adrenaline suddenly ran through his body. Did he hear that correctly? Was he serious? Ivory was growing excited at the thought of the possibility that this man before him was the man his brother had told him stories of. The man who left all the navy crap behind and became a pirate. Whenever his brother spoke of this man, there was much resentment. There was no way Ivory would ever tell his brother how interested he was in the pirate life. Not unless he wanted to be disowned. And perhaps traveling the seas just wasn't meant for him.

Ivory removed himself from the doorway, staring up at the infamous man who felt as thought he was looming over everyone around him; beaming with confidence, strength and determination. His will was strong. Ivory opened his mouth to speak, but at first, his words came out strained and croaky. Coughing shortly and clearing his throat, feeling mighty nervous by the idea of speaking to this man, he finally managed a clear sentence. "What kind of people are you looking for?" Ivory's sentence was brief and perhaps not very specific, but if this man was looking for meat shields or grunts for battles and the usual shitty jobs then there's no way Ivory would consider joining.

Although he was nervous, he tried holding himself in a confident manner, standing up straight, holding his case close to his side, with his free hand he adjusted his glasses and waited for a reply. Another woman had seemed to have spoken before him though, he'd have to wait patiently.


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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Ivory Emerson
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“My name is Captain Nathaniel Sellars, and i am here to recruit a new crew.”

Jacqueline grit her teeth and returned the captain’s glare with vigor. It figured that he’d be a damnable captain. Still, at least this meant he wasn't current navy; though she still couldn't stand him. He came off as too self-righteous for that.

“Certainly a dramatic fellow, isn't he?” The younger girl (maybe Jacqueline needed to get her eyes checked, if she’d thought she was a boy) remarked as she shut the door.

“I've never met a captain that wasn't, in some degree or another,” Jacqueline ground out before taking a deep breath. With the recruiting, it was going to be a late night. She couldn't afford to wear herself out with anger this early.

What the girl said next broke her heart. Though it wasn't directed at Thuron, she knew exactly how it felt. Hell, that was half the reason she’d started pirating in the first place.

She noticed Angelique over at the bar, motioning furiously to her. Jacqueline walked midst the tables to the bar and was immediately questioned by her niece and the bartender.

“Auntie, I know you don't like me getting in the way of recruiters but can I please-” Jacqueline cut her zealous niece off.

“No. I'll take care of his table, and you and Mavis can get the rest of the floor.”

“Jacqueline, I trust your judgement, but why the hell are you letting an ex-naval officer in the bar to recruit?” Bertie asked, dumbfounded. “You rarely let navy in here at all, much less captains.”

“Believe me, it was not my decision,” Jacqueline said. “But I’d rather have him where I can keep an eye on him than let him kill half my patrons.”

“Was he the one who was causing the commotion outside?” Bertie asked.

“I was too late to tell, but someone ran off, so I can only assume so. It looked like he saved them.” Jacqueline shrugged. “Still, there are currently six bodies right outside the front door. We can't have anyone running around bloodied.”

“Please, Auntie, I want to take his table! He's bound to have some fantastic stories to tell, and you look like you'd run him through any chance you'd get.” Angelique butted in, pouting.

“Mon ange,” Jacqueline started, but stopped. Her niece was right. Though many of the men shared her sentiment, they also needed work, and it wouldn't do to take their chance of a job away from them in a moment of passion. “Fine. Take him a round on the house of whatever he wants, so long as he gets off the table. Oh,” she added, “don't let the young lady” -here she nodded at Ren- “give you or anyone else any more money. She looks and sounds like she needs it more than us.”

“Sure you’re not going soft?” Bertie only half joked.

“Prepare to be busy,” Thuron told him as Angelique skipped off, ignoring his question. “You know how it gets during recruitment.” Jacqueline glanced back over to the captain, who seemed to have already enthralled the young lady and a young man. She wished she were a drinking woman. She certainly needed a stiff drink, though she knew what it would do to her.
“First round is whatever you want, on the house, sir,” Angelique sweetly told the captain after the others had finished their inquiries. “Though my aunt requests you step off the table first, if you please.” Unlike her aunt, she actually liked talking with the navy boys. The younger ones were always so flustered and cute, and the older ones usually had fantastic stories to tell. The pirates and privateers did as well, but the navy men were often far more polite to her, and were easier to wrap around her little finger.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Ivory Emerson
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Nathaniel allowed his words to sink in, casting his gaze around the room over the gathered faces. Some obviously knew, or had heard of, who he was, and he was curious to know what the new rumours were. He put his good arm behind his back and paused for a moment. This was the moment of truth. If any one of these people here spoke out against him then he would have to act fast. Dissention like that spread quickly and could turn the whole room against him. He clenched the fist behind his back. He needed new crew members, and a failure here could well mean the Acheron would not survive very long. With the crew she had at the moment she could sail, but taking another ship was virtually impossible. The ports around here were all guarded, and attempting to cut out any ships would be suicide. The foray into this port was dangerous enough, and a hostile populace could make things go badly very quickly. Staring around the room Nathaniel tried to gauge the feelings of each person he set eyes upon. Many were hesitant, a few simply too drunk to react. Some however, looked decisive.

"Have your men ever gone hungry Captain Sellars?" Breaking the silence it was the girl who had seen him outside who spoke. Nathaniel glared over and appraised her again. The girl had changed a little from the previous bravado. She looked on the verge of desperation, the hand on her stomach saying much about her state of affairs. Looking into her eyes with his icy blue ones, Nathaniel saw turmoil and conflict. Now the questions about the Navy uniform came back into his head. Her loyalties were divided by her desperation. He only hoped she would simply join him instead of try to arrest him.

He could sympathise with hunger. Memories of voyages around the East Indies, with desperate eyes scanning the horizon for land, came flooding back. Even the rats on board had fallen victim to the ravenous hunger of the sailors as supplies dwindled. What little rain there was sustained their water supplies. Barely. He had no idea how they had arrived in Bombay alive. The moral about how fickle the weather gauge was at sea was plain in his mind, and he felt a little shudder go up his spine at the thought.

"What sea-goer has never been hungry on a long voyage? The sea provides a little, but never enough. When the hard tack is dwindling near the end of the journey, who can say they have not wished for food?" Out of the corner of his eye Nathaniel saw a few of the old salts nod knowingly. "Only those who cannot call themselves proper sailors have never been hungry. But rest assured, on my ship, I suffer the same as you. If you are hungry, so am I." He emphasised this by pointing to the room and then to himself. "Pray God that had the desired effect," he thought.

"On the Acheron, we owe nothing to the clerks in London, to the dogs in the Admiralty, to those who would steal our hard won bread from our mouths and call it just. On the Acheron, what you win is yours, and yours alone." The venom in his voice was barely disguised. The Royal Navy he had once loved, he now hated. Not its practices, but it's leaders. Captains and Admirals grown fat off the sweat of honest foremast jacks. Armchair generals who claimed authority over matters they knew nothing about. Politicians who say fit to lay off thousands of seamen at a time simply because it was more 'cost efficient'. Nathaniel hated them all, and he could barely hide it.

Reeling himself in from his momentary lapse, Nathaniel glared at the woman again. A woman. That was another problem. Seamen were notoriously badly behaved around women, and having one on ship would simply be like lighting a powder keg. Besides that, superstition held that women brought bad luck to ships, and so far Nathaniel had found cause to never question sea-going superstition. He would need a very good reason to allow her on board.

"What kind of people are you looking for?" A thin voice from a man Nathaniel had not noticed before. A quick look over him told nothing good. The man was reedy, and could barely form a sentence. However, a closer look revealed all. The hands that the man clasped together looked clean and dextrous, and his eyes seemed to notice everything. Nathaniel's eyebrows shot up in surprise before he could stop himself. "A surgeon? Here?" He thought. My, my, a stroke of luck indeed. The barber surgeon of the Acheron had died the year before, and had never been replaced.

"Why sir I am looking to take any man who can haul a rope, reef a sail, or has the will to be taught how to." Murmurs of assent flowed round the room and a multitude of small, whispered conferrals broke out as many considered the offer. "But, there are other people a ship simply cannot do without... doctor." Nathaniel hoped his observations had been correct, because if they weren't he had just made a horrific mistake in a very public way. As if his eyebrows agreed they dropped into a scowl that focused itself on the young woman now stood at Nathaniel's feet.

"First round is whatever you want, on the house sir." The girl seemed eager to please, and that was immediately irritating to Nathaniel. Drinking was the last thing on his mind at the moment. "Though my aunt requests you step off the table first, if you please."

Fixing the girl with a look of fiery indignation Nathaniel forcibly resisted the urge to say "bugger your aunt" as loudly as possible. Instead he pointedly ignored her, turning back to face the room and stilling the murmured conversations that had begun. He swallowed and tried to fill his voice with as much fervour as possible.

"Now hear this. No doubt many of you have heard stories about me, some may be true, but on the Acheron, loyalty lies with me and me alone. Anything you had before dies the moment you set foot on my ship. Follow me without question or complaint and you will win what you deserve." Nathaniel took a breath, glaring out at the faces turned to him. "My rule is hard, and it will seem harsh, but it will keep you alive, and make you much richer than you are now. On that deck, I am God." Nathaniel winced at the expression, but it carried the meaning he needed. On the Acheron he had power of life and death. The sooner they realised it the better. No Navy court could save them from him if they fouled. "The question you need to ask yourself is, are you worthy of the Acheron? To sail the ship that ran the Channel blockade. To work a gun on the ship that sank two of the Royal Navy's ships of the line. To walk the decks of the ship that have run with the blood of seven different nations." Here he paused for effect. "Ask yourself that question, and if you feel you are, sign up with me and win glory. We will sail at first light"

Finally climbing down from the table Nathaniel sat on a chair next to it as the door of the inn opened again. One of his sailors rushed to him carrying the Acheron's crew log and a large bag that chinked as it was dropped onto the table. With pen and ink beside him, the sailor opened the log and wrote in the date next to the first empty box.

"Now," Nathaniel declared. "Who's first?"


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Ivory Emerson
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"What sea-goer has never been hungry on a long voyage? The sea provides a little, but never enough. When the hard tack is dwindling near the end of the journey, who can say they have not wished for food? Only those who cannot call themselves proper sailors have never been hungry. But rest assured, on my ship, I suffer the same as you. If you are hungry, so am I. On the Acheron, we owe nothing to the clerks in London, to the dogs in the Admiralty, to those who would steal our hard won bread from our mouths and call it just. On the Acheron, what you win is yours, and yours alone."

The words resonated inside of Ren's head, bringing with them the memories of Captains eating while the laymen on deck did without. She had been both, and suffering as she did now made her ashamed that she never thought twice about the injustice at the time. Back then she'd only viewed the hunger as motivation to earn her gold buttons, to prove herself worthy, and the way Sellars spoke made it clear that the uniform he wore was not stolen. He was on the run too, just like her, except he decided to stop and punch back.

The connection gave Ren a moment of pause as she thought back on the past three years. Hunted like a dog, starving half to death and reviled by the country she had served, and for what? For daring to risk her life for the crown without the God given blessing of a dick? Was the blood she shed invalid? The sweat any less meaningful than anyone else's on any of the ships on which she served? Was it she that brought shame to her uniform by surviving, or had any sense of dignity been long stolen by the dogs that hounded her? What else did she owe to the goddamn King?

A fire was lit anew in Ren's chest, flame fresh in her eyes as she listened to the rest of the pirate captain's speech, tuning most of it out as she thought now of what to expect of life on a pirate ship. She would have to start passing again, that was a given. She had no desire to fight half the crew day in or day out to preserve her modesty, and she imagined the Captain was smart enough to have had this thought as well. The doctor might be so kind as to lend her bandages, especially if he wasn't looking, but after nearly a decade of surviving the scrutiny of the Royal Navy, she was confident so long as she wasn't caught squatting to piss that she'd be fine.

As the captain wrapped up his speech and made his way back to the door to begin the official recruiting, The silence that filled the tavern was quickly filled with murmuring. Some mulling over the idea of turning pirate themselves, while others were debating how best to contact the Navy. Three men, drunk off of their asses, stood and the leader among them began to shout, "OI NATE YA FUCKIN FRENCH POODLE! THE HELL KIND'VE TRAITOROUS CURS YOU TAKE US FOR?" He bellowed, the two men behind him shouting in agreement.

"You think one fucking speech is enough to make us forget his majesty? You trying to take us for simpletons?"

Drunk as he was, the voices talking about getting the Navy began to grow louder.

"I say we show this shit bag what we think of bloody pirates. What say you all?" another man spoke up, several rising from their tables in agreement, but none seemed armed or particularly eager to rush the very armed and very dangerous Captain.

"And what do you think of bloody pirates? Have any of you met one before today or do you all just swallow the bile King George spews to hide the fact a ship-full of rogues can and has bested his Navy? You hate and are indignant because that is what is expected of you, but there's not one thought or opinion you can shout that you haven't been spoon-fed by someone else. No pirate has ever took coin from your pocket, but the Crown has! No pirate has commandeered your food for their men, but the Navy has! Has any Navy Captain ever come to you and offered you work? A chance at the open sea, to prove yourself a man of worth? No, but a pirate has!" Ren shouted back, her voice harsh as she spoke.

"I served the bloody fucking Navy for six years and have nothing to show for it but an empty belly and scars from men I had called ally. I've fought pirates and I will tell you honest, no pirate has cut me deeper than another man wearing the same colors I wear now! What cause do you have for loyalty, you bunch of drunks? So either sit down or draw your swords, but either way no one is taking a step closer and taking my chance at the sea away from me!"

Ren glared hard at the man who had first started shouting, who scowled back but struggled to find any words to counter her own. Several who were considering joining the crew of the Acheron stood now as well, and unlike the upstanding citizens who were loyal to the King, many of the ill mannered who might be pirate were armed with either sabre of flintlock, which brought a decisive end to the debate. Riding her high from shouting down the drunks, Ren marched over to the log book, stopping only to steal the mug off of another man's table and take a long swig, before slamming it back down and taking the pen Black Nate's pirate clerk had generously provided.

"I would sign if you would have me, Captain Sellars," Ren said calmly, ready to jot down her name and move aside should the captain give his approval. Were he to not, well, a stow away might be hard to find with all the new faces suddenly clamoring aboard the ship, now wouldn't it?


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: Ivory Emerson
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Nathaniel rested his bad arm on the table top and placed the other in his lap. The crewman sat next to him at a respectful distance, thumping the crew log down on the table and opening it to the end. Some of the more recent names now had some new additions next to their details, 'deceased'. Looking away, Nathaniel locked eyes with the young woman who had spoken before. There was a fire in her eyes that gave him pause. He suddenly wanted to know more about her. The Navy uniform he had noticed before obviously had a story behind it, a story which fueled this fire. If she signed up, he would have to find out. Knowing what drives people is one step towards directing or controlling them. Having her under his control could be useful, very useful indeed.

"OI NATE YA FUCKIN FRENCH POODLE! THE HELL KIND'VE TRAITOROUS CURS YOU TAKE US FOR?" The sudden shout stilled the room, which had up until now been buzzing with quiet conversations. Many of the men who had been animatedly waving their hands towards Nathaniel and his crewman now froze, staring at the man who spoke. "You think one fucking speech is enough to make us forget his majesty? You trying to take us for simpletons?"

Narrowing his eyes, Nathaniel glared daggers towards the man, hoping that the ice in his stare would be enough to frighten the man into submission. He had no real desire to fight on in this place when it held the potential for so many new recruits. The man was obviously drunk, the same as those behind him. No real threat then. The only vague problem he posed was that his shouting about treason was putting people off joining the Acheron. His scowl deepening, Nathaniel reached across under the table and pulled the pistol from his crewman's belt, holding it in his lap out of sight.

About to rise and threaten the drunk into submission, Nathaniel was stopped into his tracks when the young woman shouted the drunk down. "And what do you think of bloody pirates? Have any of you met one before today or do you all just swallow the bile King George spews to hide the fact a ship-full of rogues can and has bested his Navy?" Nathaniel nearly smiled. He hadn't heard anyone speak this way about King George in a long time, and he had certainly not expected it from the desperate girl. he had guessed that the Navy uniform indicated some semblance of remaining loyalty, but now it appears he was wrong. But maybe it had before now, and simple desperation had caused her switch. Another question he wanted answering.

As the girl marched over to his table, Nathaniel fixed her with a hard stare, one eyebrow raised questioningly. "I would sign if you would have me, Captain Sellars." Her words answered a couple of his questions at least. But could he take her? Desperate people were always a risk, and a woman even more so. It wouldn't be the first time the Navy planted a spy in his crew. Though, maybe even they weren't stupid enough to send a spy in a naval uniform. Maybe. He would have to watch her closely. But first things first.

Nathaniel stood and placed the pistol on the table calmly. Walking around to the other side, he nodded almost imperceptibly to the girl in thanks, then strode to the drunk man, picking up a tankard as he went. The man tensed up as Nathaniel approached, but Nate held out the tankard as if to give the man a drink. Suddenly Nathaniel brought the tankard up and smashed it on the man's head, the pewter bending and the remaining ale flying out. The man crumpled, but Nate brought the tankard crashing down again and again until it was just a twisted lump of metal covered in spatters of blood and brain matter.

Breathing hard and with his eyes blazing, Nathaniel stood up straight and dared anyone else to face him by glaring around the room. Dropping the crumpled tankard he strode back to the table and sat down, focusing his attention on the girl again.

"We'd be glad to have you on the Acheron Miss..?"

"Thompson, Ren Thompson, sir" Ren answered, undeterred by the display of violence. Ren was surprised she got five words out before Black Nate shot the bastard.

"Formerly Lieutenant Ben Thompson of the Royal Navy. I'll answer to either moniker, Captain."

Nathaniel raised an eyebrow. "'Ben' Thompson? Then a few of my questions have been answered." Nathaniel leaned back in his chair and rubbed the wound on his left arm which was throbbing violently. He had to be more careful till this damn thing healed.

"Tell me Lieutenant. How long did you serve? Where did you sign on? And how in God's name did you do so?"

"For six years, sir, aboard the HMS Thunderer, The Dragon, and the Dublin respectively. As to how... You probably know better than most how imperceptive Navy-men can be to the unexpected. So long as I didn't squat to piss and stayed in uniform, I was free to serve. Wasn't found out until the doctor I'd been bribing fell ill and his apprentice took over. Refused a bribe, I conked him over the head and stole a lifeboat. That was near three years ago now," Ren answered, a slight air of pride in her voice until she got to the doctor bit.

Nate nodded, he did know how unobservant sailors could be, but he was still surprised that living cheek by jowl no one had ever suspected her. That was a story for another time. The list of postings was impressive enough, but he wondered at her performance. True, her promotion to Lieutenant said a lot, but he had met many bad ones in his time. Killed a few too. Regardless, that would be seen when she was on board.

"Well Miss Thompson, it would appear you are a resourceful and talented officer. I would be glad to have you on the Acheron as my First Lieutenant." Here Nathaniel gestured to the log. "Make your mark, name, birth-date and so on, then sit by me. Weigh in your opinion on any potentials."

"Aye sir, thank you sir," Ren replied, taking the pen and supplying the requested information. She signed her real name, desiring for it to be in at least one ship's register regardless of whether she had to dress as Ben on deck, and took a seat at Captain Sellars table.

"If I get a tankard you're not going to bludgeon someone with it, right?" She asked, smirking as she lay her knife on her lap in case someone decided to try something besides signing.

Nathaniel whipped his head round in a flash, fixing Ren with an icy glare. "Miss Thompson you will refrain from such familiarity outside of the Gun Room mess or in my own cabin. I expect from you the same level of decorum as the Navy did. Only I will reward you for it if you do your duty." He allowed his words to sink in for a moment. "Is that understood?"

"Aye, sir. Sorry, sir," Ren immediately responded, saluting out of habit. The rumors of pirates being wild and free were greatly exaggerated, it would seem, but at least now she wouldn't have to wear a powdered wig.

"You are free to drink lieutenant, but stay sober enough to do your duty." Nathaniel barely stopped himself from laughing at the crestfallen expression on her face. He knew what she had been expecting and he was glad to dash those ideas early. Naval discipline was what had kept the Acheron and it's crew alive all these years, as well as rich.

Raising his good had Nathaniel waved at the serving girl. "Mademoiselle, a drink for the lieutenant and myself."

Black Nate was strict, and a terror if he caught you out on the open sea, but was actually less of an ass than some of the captain's Ren had sailed under before. She'd seen a man flogged for improper mopping. A few cold glares she could handle.

Looking out over the men that had begun to line up, the only real opinion she had for the most of them was how unremarkable most looked. Nearly all were weathered old salts who were either broke or on the wrong side of the law already. They'd prove their worth on the ship soon enough, and based on how fresh the wound Nate was fidgeting with on his left arm, she imagined they shouldn't be too picky.

In fact, the only face that caught the lieutenant's attention was that of the comparatively scrawny man whom Nate had pegged as a doctor during his speech, though hadn't really moved much since the signing began.

"The man with the glasses over there, you had him pegged as a doctor after he spoke up, right, sir? I'd trade a good many sailors if he's more than just a glorified cutter," Ren commented, looking back to her Captain. "Maybe taking a look at your arm would be a good way to test that, if I may be so bold, sir."

Looking over at the man Nate nodded. "If my suspicions are correct you may be right. Our last barber surgeon died a couple of years ago. A new one would be very useful." The man still didn't look like much, but appearances can be deceiving as Nate well knew.

Looking the man straight in the eyes Nathaniel waved him towards the table.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Jacqueline resisted the urge to down a few drinks as the captain did his little spheal. She looked at the desperation in the lady's eyes, the hope in the young man who had just come in, and thanked God that she no longer had to sail to make ends meet. Just the thought of the open sea made her cringe. She doubted anyone could pay her enough to get her back on a ship.

“Especially with someone who thinks he owns the world,” she thought and scowled.

Angelique stormed back to the bar. “Okay, Auntie, you win. You can have his table. I'm done.” She sat down on a stool and set her head upon the bar. “I' can't believe he ignored me!”

“He’s full of himself,” Jacqueline stated. “I'll tell Mavis to take his table, though it looks like we won't need to go by often.”

“Least, not for ‘im,” Bertie noted. “Though I bet ‘is new recruits’ll want to celebrate.” Angelique, still sulking, went off to serve other tables.

Jacqueline called for the other serving girl, and gave her the instructions. God, she was glad she didn't have to set foot on a ship again. Though her inn could be rough, it was home, and-

Jacqueline had been wrapped up enough in herself that she completely missed the sailor’s insults upon the captain and only saw him beat the daylights out of the man with a tankard. She made as if to stand up, but the bartender stopped her.

“The bastard deserved it, Jacqueline,” he told her calmly.

She grit her teeth and sat back down. “Merde. I swear, I must be getting old,” she grimaced.

“Not as old as me. You've still got plenty of time to live the rest of your life. Though, it's crazy that we finally found someone who hates the Navy more than you,” Bertie chuckled, pouring a drink for a man down the bar from them.

“I don't recognize his name, but I know that ship,” Jacqueline frowned. “I've definitely heard stories float around about the river of pain it trails behind.”

“You can't say much on that,” Bertie grinned, sliding the drink down the bar with ease. “You've caused your fair share of hurt, slashing through those who stood in your way.”

“Yes, but I had captains who were willing to admit they were fallible!” Jacqueline slammed her fist on the bar, starting some of the drunks around them. She lowered her voice. “I would never have sailed on a ship that was a monarchy!” she hissed.

“You weren't thinking of joining him, were you?” Bertie cocked an eyebrow.

Jacqueline looked at him incredulously. “Are you mad? No! You couldn't threaten me enough to get back on a ship. I'd rather hang than see nothing but open waters again.”

A few patrons glanced over uneasily at the mention of hanging, and she waved them back to their drinks. Bertie filled two drinks for Mavis to take to Ren and the Captain (“On the house, right?” “Yes, though tell them it's compliments of the bar. He won't take it from her.")

After a moment, Bertie spoke up. “I think maybe you should let me close tonight.”

“What?” Jacqueline blinked. “No, are you mad? I'll close. I always close.”

“You're wearing yourself out, getting worked up.” Bertie placed a hand on her shoulder. “Besides, you deserve a night off.”

Jacqueline eyed Bertie suspiciously. She stood up. “No. I've worked too hard to take off. I'm closing.”

“Alright, alright,” Bertie said. “Thought I would offer. Oh!” he added, smacking the bar lightly. “Would you mind watching the bar for me in a little bit?”

“I suppose not,” Jacqueline replied slowly, raising an eyebrow. She trusted Bertie, yes, but she'd been betrayed countless times. She'd have to have Angelique see what he was up to on his errand. “Just let me know.”

With that, she left the bar and went to the window. She could still make out the bodies outside in the dark. The local police would have a field day with this, and if the navy caught wind? Not that she wasn't up to the challenge, but the whole thing felt fishy.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
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It had been rather rough going the last few days, the worst in recent memory to be certain, but nothing that Carmichael Carrington hadn't seen before. He had been through it all, hurricanes, tsunami's, rogue waves and thunderstorms. He'd raided every sort of vessel one could imagine and had even made off with a payload for the captain on a rowboat.
At least that's some of the things he would tell the boys, and most of the veterans aboard knew to believe less than half of any of the Sailing Master's stories at any given time.

He was, at the moment yelling at an idle pair of hands to help him pull up a cannon that was hanging precariously from it's perch near the helm, while he himself simply held the rope in one hand, while the other handful of men with him were straining with all their might to keep the large brass weapon in place.

"Get over here you filthy sons of 'ores, and help get this lovely piece of artillery mounted!", he bellowed, waving one hand about like a madman trying to get someone's attention. "When I was back in the academy we hoisted a cannon just as large with 'alf the manpower, and if a bunch fuckin' lads can do it, so can you!"

At the sound of the Captain Nathaniel's voice, Carrington's attention on the gun disappeared like a flask of rum at a dice game and he simply released the rope and turned on his heel, taking a few steps towards the man as he spoke.

“Sailing master, bring the Acheron into the harbor when you hear the signal gun fire. We won’t have long before someone alerts the Navy so we will have to make our repairs fast.”, before walking briskly to the side of the ship. Nathaniel flipped himself over the side and climbed down into the waiting boat as the men hoisting the cannon let out a cry of surprise at the sudden deficit of Carrington's meager help.

"Aye, Captain!", Carrington replied with an enthusiastic salute, while noticing that more than a handful of the crew suddenly seemed interested in the captain's departure.

Carrington took another step towards the railing in front of the helm and shouted, "Jesus tap dancin' Christ! Ya think ya'd never seen the man depart before. Quit yer gawpin', dry your tears, cinch your skirts and get this lovely lady back in walking shape before it's time to go before I personally come down and shit kick every last one of ye!", with as much authority as he could manage. Which, by the way, was considerable due to his close relationship with the captain and his perfect lack of qualms when going through with threats of bodily harm.

Turning, Carrington came face to face with the only man aboard the Acheron that he truly hated and noted him still looking towards the spot the captain had slid from. Without a word or preamble, Carrington cuffed him on the side of the head and shoved him towards the men with the cannon. "Daniel, get over there and help them ya lazy bastard!", he shouted before turning and yelling, "Mr. Franklin, Mr. Donovan!"

A few moments later the two men arrived before him and gave him inquisitive looks that almost mirrored one another. The three of them were good friends and often cheated with one another at the gambling games aboard the ship.
"Mr. Franklin, I realize it is already being done, but take another twenty men that're actin' busy or dawdlin' and take them below and get as much water out of 'er guts as we can. Mr. Donovan, take another 'andful of men, gather the dead's belongin's and 'ave them placed in the officer's cabins. I don't want any of these newer dogs takin' time spent workin' goin' through their things. We'll divvy it up once we're under way once more, ken?"

The pair both gave him a nod and a loud, "Aye!, before heading off.

For the next half hour or so, Carrington bustled about, making sure everyone on deck was working to get the lady moving before simply standing near the helmsman, swapping jokes as the man made sure the wheel was in working order despite the damage to the rudder.
Carrington himself held a small spyglass up to his eye in the direction of the shipyard and saw the first flash of gunfire as a smile spread across his face and he continued with his joke, " 'Ickory Dickory Dock, she took a good look at your cock, it's pretty scary all wrinkled and 'airy and smells like a twelve year old so....", his words suddenly cut off by the boom of the cannon at the harbor. "Alright boys! Let's get the lady under way, we 'aven't got long and you know how the captain likes punctuality! He finshed his shout and moved out of the way as the men burst into even more motion, getting the shipping moving as fast as they could. There was so much damage that Carrington didn't bother shouting individual orders at the men, they knew their jobs well and yelling at them individually would only be counterproductive.
Instead, he began pounding his fist and stamping his foot in a boisterous rhythm and began to sing in his rather rich voice, getting all those aboard to join in as the worked and focus more at the tasks at hand. (the song, since I don't know how to link words )

A short time later, they pulled into the little harbor and repairs got underway,and lucky for those at the inn, seeing Carrington blissfully unaware of the delightful amount of violence happening within.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Karena finished washing herself after taking an indirect way to get into her room. It wouldn’t do very well to stroll through the lobby bloodsoaked. She changed into her another outfit and sighed. The clothes she wore now didn’t hide the fact that she was a girl but were still easy to move around in.

Karena still was sour about what happened in front of the other inn. Stupid, drunk, sailors putting on an act in front of their friends. Good riddance to bad rubbish. She thought. And then the girl allowed herself to get caught off guard by getting involved in the stupid fight. Fighting out in the open and in a drawn out battle as well.

The mercenary grabbed her rifle she placed under her bed. She checked it over before reloading her sidearm. She didn’t know how many people knew what she looked like or saw her. She hoped it wasn’t many. And Karena also hoped she wouldn’t draw so much attention again.

Then there was the Navy officer that helped her. Karena wondered if the man was still around. More importantly why he was there to begin with. For a Navy officer to attack other sailors was baffling. It was unexpected and much needed help. But at the same time Karena felt uncomfortable just leaving like she did. She didn’t even get the man’s name. Not like I need to. What’s the point if I’ll probably never see him again? Karena just came to the town in the first place for the bounty. If it wasn’t taken already then she would try to claim it for her own and then after the reward she’d be on her way. Probably never to see the man again.

Karena shook her head. Every minute she pondered on the past events were minutes wasted that could be used to pursue her bounty. The girl holstered her sidearm, slung her rifle over her shoulder, sheathed her dagger, and set out once again. As she approached the inn she noticed that the bodies were still strewn about. She was surprised no one had arrived or decided to take care of the mess. It obviously would steer away any potential customers for good. Surprisingly, Karena could still hear the business of the inn going on when a man exited. He passed the girl without so much as a glance. When the mercenary came to the door she placed a hand on the door to let herself in but paused. Everything that could go wrong rushed through her head. She could be recognized and immediately kicked out.

As these thoughts raced through her mind she noticed a woman at the window, looking out. Karena hoped the the lady didn’t see her moment of hesitation and merely nodded before, finally, letting herself in. To her surprise everyone was acting as nothing had happened outside. Were they used to that kind of violence happening. Was it common? Then Karena saw the man that saved her. He was surrounded by a few other people as well as a line leading to him and many people were eyeing him, in the bar but it was with mixed emotions. Some people looked at the man with a glare with others looking at him with curious glances. Karena eyed the paper the gentleman had in front of him. It seemed like he was either recruiting or selling something.

Karena took a seat and just observed.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Taking a second look at the thin, reedy man, Nathaniel suddenly had second thoughts. It did not happen often, but when it did it always worried him. Over many long years he had learned to trust his instincts, but he hated looking like he changed his mind with the wind. A commander like that will like as not get you killed faster than simply walking up to an enemy and baring your chest. Glaring at the man Nathaniel shook his head. “Not this one Miss Thompson. We will find a surgeon more suited to a man-o-war.” Sitting up straight Nathaniel shook his head again more vigorously. “A man-o-war is no place for the weak or the timid.” The man sank back into the crowd, and Nathaniel followed him with an icy stare.

His gaze was distracted by the passing of the barman. The man pushed his way through the crowded inn and left by the front door. Where was he going? To summon the authorities? To warn the navy? Nathaniel was surprised they had not arrived already, but the potential threat of the barman was not one he could ignore. Though it seemed someone else could not either, as the girl who had fluttered her eyelashes so prettily at him earlier slunk out after the barman. Raising his eyebrows Nathaniel turned his gaze on the owner, still stood behind the bar. There was more to her than he had thought, maybe enough to pursue should he ever come back to this place.

The noise of the men lining up to join the crew of the Acheron brought Nathaniel back to his senses. Turning to face them again he gestured to the crewman with the ledger. “As I said gentlemen. Sign your name and make your mark. We shall see if you’re cut out for the Acheron.” Most of those who had come forward looked like old salts. Good. They will definitely be useful.

Suddenly anxious to see how quickly things were progressing with the Acheron, Nathaniel decided now was the time to go. “Lieutenant Thompson, deal with things here, I am going outside.” He didn’t look at the woman as he gave the order. If she questioned him things would end here and now. He needed people who would obey him unquestioningly and immediately. That way he could keep them alive. Standing up Nathaniel made his way to the door, the crowd parting like Moses at the Red Sea for him as he did so. With a final look back towards the proprietress, he opened the door and stepped outside into the darkness.

Stepping away from the inn and towards the docks Nathaniel noticed the masts of the Acheron over the shipyard, the rigging swarming with frantically moving men. From where he stood it seemed much of the damage had already been repaired, however, he knew the ship would need a new copper bottom soon. Where on earth would he get one of those? Maybe they would sneak into another Royal Navy supply base and ‘requisition’ one as one of His Majesty’s ships. That might work, but after tonight many bases would be alerted to his presence. Nathaniel would need to take the Acheron far away to finish repairing her.

Nathaniel was snapped out of his reverie by a whistle to his right somewhere along the dock. The first few bars of ‘Hearts of Oak’ echoed a little on the stone, but Nathaniel heard it clearly. He replied with the first bar of ‘Rule Britannia’. As the notes died away, the shapes of eight men arose from the darkness around the docks, the able-seaman Mr. Dogood leading them. Nathaniel smiled to himself. Now was definitely the time. So far, all was going well.

“Mr. Dogood, I’m glad to see you safe and sound. Do you have anything to report?”

Dogood shook his head. “Nothing sir. We passed a few guardsmen on the way here, but they took us for ordinary sailors and let us be.” Dogood fingered the long knife on his belt, “but we did have to silence one of them who got a good look at us. Saw our weapons you see sir.”

“I assume you dealt with the body?” Dogood nodded. “Good. Then we continue as planned. I have a good number of new bloods in that inn there,” Nathaniel pointed, “and Carrington is well underway repairing the Acheron.” Pausing for a moment Nathaniel thought of something which would raise his men’s spirits. “Mr. Dogood, you will take your men and create as much chaos as possible. Loot, burn, kill. You have free reign.”

A grim smile spread across Dogood’s face, and those of the men behind him, who started pulling weapons from their belts. “Aye sir, we can do that.”

Nathaniel raised a warning finger. “But, if you are faced with significant opposition you will retreat to the Acheron. Also, when you hear a signal cannon you will return to her. Is that understood?”

“Aye aye sir.” Dogood saluted, the grin never leaving his face.

“Then get to it Mr. Dogood.” Dogood nodded and made to pass his captain, but Nathaniel put a hand on his shoulder, “and Mr. Dogood. If you find any good wine, bring it to me.” Nathaniel took his hand off Dogood’s shoulder and stepped back as his men went past him. “Always keen to get stuck in,” Nathaniel thought.

Turning back towards the open sea, Nathaniel could swear he heard a ship’s bell. The sound, imagined or real, sent a shiver down his spine. Was the Royal Navy ship they had left behind still hunting them? How could they have found them so soon? If the bell came from another ship then God help them when the Acheron blasted its way out of the port. “The time is now,” Nathaniel thought, and he strode back to the inn, barging the door open with his good shoulder.

Nathaniel took in the scene of Lt. Thompson questioning a potential new crewman, the crewman with the log furiously scribbling, and the small group of those already signed on who were drinking behind the table. Clearing his throat Nathaniel shouted. “We have run out of time. Those of you who wish to join the Acheron but have not yet signed on come with me now. You will have your chance to make your mark later.” He fixed his eyes on Ren. “Lieutenant Thompson, bring up the rear and get any stragglers moving, the Acheron is leaving immediately.” With that he stepped out of the door again and strode towards the shipyard. Already some of the houses closer to the docks were aflame, sparks flying onto the houses around them and the sounds of screaming rising above the town. Somewhere a bell was ringing, and the frantic barking of dogs could be heard. As if in response Nathaniel quickened his step, driving himself towards the shipyard, not caring if any of the men had followed him or not.

On reaching the shipyard Nathaniel took in the sight of the Acheron, her hull patched, her sails replaced and her hold full of supplies. Striding through what was left, he kicked over a barrel of gunpowder and hefted it, spreading it around the spare supplies liberally before throwing the barrel back into a storehouse. Turning back to the ship Nathaniel caught sight of Carrington, the Sailing Master. “Mr. Carrington, we will be departing shortly so ready her for sailing as fast as humanly possible.” Clambering up the side of the ship, Nathaniel stood on the deck again, feeling much more at home even amongst the chaos. “And meet the new first lieutenant,” Nathaniel gestured towards Ren, who was pushing the new recruits towards the gangway. “She should do well for us.” He then turned away from Carrington and strode to the quarterdeck, taking his holy position above the rest of the ship. Truth be told, he was having fun.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
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It struck Ren as a might odd for Black Nate to suddenly lose interest in the doctor so suddenly but trusted in his judgement. Wouldn't do for her to start questioning her captain before she'd even seen his ship, and from what little time she'd spent in his company he'd already proven himself to be perceptive of others. So, with a quick nod, Ren resumed eying up the potential new crew members as the Captain had ordered.

She limited herself to the single tankard as time went on, heeding the advice of staying sober, but was surprised when a bowl of stew she hadn't ordered came out for her. The serving girl had been coy about it, but insinuated it was the cook's doing, which left the woman even more perplexed. Times were hard for the honest and the hard-working, and charity was more of a sermon than a practice in Ren's experience. She eyed the bowl for a moment or two, and cast a suspicious gaze back towards the kitchen before putting the bowl to her lips and letting the aroma flood her senses. She could almost pick out the spices in the broth, the warmth of the bowl bringing a much needed relief to her cold hands.

"The cook has my thanks, miss. I'm in her debt, and it is one I shall remember should we come back to port," Ren said to the waitress, pausing for a moment as a thought crossed her mind.

"The Acheron could probably accommodate another cook if they are interested," Ren said innocently as she took a sip of the stew and ignored the lump of potato that nudged by her nose as soon as the bowl tilted. The flavor was rich, all of the ingredients flavors mixing yet pronounced. It might have just been her empty stomach, but she felt the wooden bowl wasn't grand enough for the skill held within. She might've been tempted to stay here as a waitress herself if it meant free meals, but even in the fantasy she knew she'd never be satisfied on dry land.

"Captain, this stew is fanta-" Ren started, but held her tongue as the Captain spoke, asking her to stay and oversee things here while he went outside. Been too long since he'd seen his ship, she figured, but saluted and turned her attention back to the line of people wishing to sign on, greedily eating her stew as she did so.

She only recalled turning a handful of people away. A few drunks who looked like they hadn't lifted anything besides a bottle in years, a few young boys wishing to taste adventure without fully realizing what that meant, but she was fortunate in most of the candidates being qualified sailors to begin with. One boy was being particularly stubborn about his being told 'no' when the Captain returned, and declared that the time to board ship was now. Anyone not in the log book but that still wished to join was to follow to be sorted once they left port. Ren had the boy by the shirt collar before he could take the first step.

"A pirate ship is nowhere for a lad to learn his knots, how to sail, how to kill. You wait by the docks, find yourself a merchant vessel short on hands, and start there. Learn all you can, and if the sea and the life of a pirate still calls to you, you might live long enough to enjoy it... but it isn't this day," Ren said calmly, but the boy struggled to escape her grip, clawing at her hands with desperate swipes of his hands and delivering a few kicks to her legs in an effort to free himself. She struck him once across the cheek with the back of her hand, slamming his arm down onto the nearby table and drew out her knife, stabbing deep into the wood table. The boy let out a cry, but realized as Ren walked away from him that the blade pinned his shirt sleeve to the table and nothing more, though try as he might the blade refused to budge.

"Proprietress? I apologize for not knowing your name, but you seem the charitable sort. Caught you a new dishwasher, and feel free to sell the knife to settle my bill. You've a good heart and I apologize for the excitement this evening," Ren called out to Ms. Thuron, waiting patiently as those bound for the Acheron embarked. She held up the rear, hand on her sword handle to dissuade any whose name had been written but found himself a coward in the final hour. She couldn't help but feel relieved when she made it to the ship's dock and hadn't had reason to draw her blade. She could hear the screams and see the flames in her peripheral vision, but dared not to look lest she lose what nerve she'd drummed up for this. She'd accepted the terms of her new life, but time would be needed before the carnage was familiar to her, especially those of innocent folk. That she made no attempts at stopping the raid spoke volumes about how much of her former self she'd let go of already.

She was the last to board, wanting to ensure no one got cold feet even at this stage, and regarded the Captain with a grim nod as he took the full mantle of his titles and began issuing orders. Ren did as well, but took care to only speak to the newly recruited, not feeling bold enough as a newcomer to bark orders at the established veterans until the Captain made her position of Lieutenant more widely known.

"Haul up the gangway and get to moving! You wouldn't be here now if you didn't know how to set sail, so find the slack and get to work! Captain said we're to leave immediately, and I fear for the source of any delay under his gaze!" Ren called out, pride seeping into her voice as she started to feel her stride return. The creak of the wood beneath her feet, the smell of the canvas and the salty air, the shifting of the ship beneath her feet... She hadn't felt at ease in three years, but the Acheron was the first taste of home she'd had in a long time.

"Mr. Carrington, we will be departing shortly so ready her for sailing as fast as humanly possible. And meet the new first lieutenant. She should do well for us.”

The words caught Ren's ear by surprise, turning towards the Captain but had not been paying attention to whom he'd been addressing. Being a pirate, she doubted he'd have qualms about introducing himself when he took a notion, so Ren headed up closer to the Captain before saluting.

"Captain! I've set the new recruits to the stations where hands seemed lacking, but preparations seem to be going at a brisk pace. Any specific orders or should I join the men with the grunt work?" Ren asked. She didn't know Nate well enough yet to presume his will, and thought it better to ask permission than beg forgiveness until she did.


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Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Angelique stepped quietly behind her old friend, trailing far enough behind that Bertie wouldn't see her, but close enough that she could see the guilt in his gait. He moved quickly through the night, towards the nicer part of the port where the Navy usually docked. The teen ducked behind some shipping crates when Bertie finally stopped and pulled her dark shawl out of her skirt. She covered her blonde hair so as to blend in better with the night, in case any passerby decided to glance between the crates.

“Stevenson. I see you've decided to honor the deal?” A voice Angelique didn't recognize muttered from in front of the crates.

“Y-yes, sir.” Bertie’s voice, though a far cry from the the jovial tone he usually carried. She'd never heard his voice like this before. Angelique shuffled closer to them, being careful to stay hidden.

“And is the Serpent’s Teeth in the Lighthouse?” The other voice definitely carried authority.

“Currently manning the bar, sir. A-and there's a bunch of other pirates as usual…” Bertie trailed off.

“Good, Stevenson,” the other voice murmured. Angelique took a quick peek and saw the navy blue of, well, a Navy captain. She stifled a gasp as she ducked back behind the crates. The clink of a sack of coins could be heard from her hiding place. “You'll get the rest when Thuron burns.”


“Begging your pardon sir, but burns?” Bertie asked. “I thought the agreement was that-”

“Agreements change all the time for pirates, don't they Mr. Stevenson?” The captain’s voice became dark quickly. “Be glad we're honoring even part of ours.”

“Y-yes, sir.” With that, the captain’s steps clipped away. Angelique was frozen behind the crates. Her aunt, burn? Sure, she knew her aunt was no saint, but no one deserved death by flame. She had to go back and warn them. She peeked out, and-

“Angelique, I know you heard that.” Her old friend couldn't even look her in the eye as he spoke.

“You backstabbing son of a bitch!” Angelique cried, unable to hold it in any longer. “You had no right to sell out Auntie! She trusted you! She cared about you! Do you have any idea what you've done?” With each exclamation she stomped closer to Bertie until she was arms length from him. Tears burned her eyes. She raised her hand to slap him, but felt some resistance. Someone had grabbed her wrist from behind.

“‘E knows exactly wot ‘e done, miss, an’ ‘e don't give two shits ‘bout your Auntie,” a deep voice rumbled behind her. The man pulled both her arms behind her and grasped them firmly together with one meaty hand. “All ‘e cares for is th’ gold.”

“You bastard!” Angelique yelled, struggling against the big man’s hold. She surprised him by ragdolling and managed to throw him off enough to escape his hold. She regained her balance quickly and sprinted in the direction of the Lighthouse.

“After her!” she could hear in a deep rumble behind her.

She prayed she’d make it in time.


“The lady says she’s in your debt, ma’am,” Mavis related to Jacqueline. “Absolutely loved the stew, nearly ate the bowl it came in.”

“Always good to hear,” Jacqueline said, glancing frequently at the door as she mixed drinks. She had caught the captain's eye a moment ago, and while that and the compliment from his new first mate had repaired her ego somewhat, she was still concerned about Angelique. And Bertie, though for completely different reasons.

“Yeah, said somethin’ about needin’ another cook, too,” the waitress added. “Op, got a table wavin’ me down.” She rushed off to handle another table’s order.

Jacqueline raised an eyebrow at the cook comment. There was no way that had been made without reason in front of Mavis. No, that was a nudge that Jacqueline had been given before. And she'd bitten that bait before, too. Not today, and especially not with someone as high and mighty as Sellars in command.

Time went to a crawl for Jacqueline after Sellars left. She went between glancing at the door for her niece and watching the girl recruit sailors for the Acheron. It took most of her willpower not to burst into the night looking for her angel. She almost felt relieved when the door opened what felt like ages later, but was disappointed to see Sellars return and announce that they were boarding ship now. Angelique never took that long when getting information. If she'd been kidnapped, or worse, well-

She was knocked out of her murderous thoughts when she heard the boy screech like a stuck cat. The first mate called over to her. "Proprietress? I apologize for not knowing your name, but you seem the charitable sort. Caught you a new dishwasher, and feel free to sell the knife to settle my bill. You've a good heart and I apologize for the excitement this evening.”

“No need to apologize, and no worry for the bill. You're always welcome in the Lighthouse,” Jacqueline called back to the girl as the crew filed out. “Good heart, huh,” she muttered to herself as she walked to where the boy was stuck. The idiot was still trying to get free of it, but to no avail.

Jacqueline slammed one hand down on the table to get his attention and grabbed the knife handle with the other. The boy jumped.

“If a lady gives you sound advice, you follow it, understand?” Jacqueline hissed as she pulled the knife out of the table. “Now, out with you. Go home.” Not that she couldn't use a dishwasher, but that would mean letting someone else interested her kitchen, and she was a bit too preoccupied with the issue of her niece to threaten the boy anymore.

The boy fled pretty quickly after that, presumably for his house. Through the open door Jacqueline could see flames licking the buildings not too far from her inn. Typical pirate behavior. She'd been lucky enough never to partake in razing. Her hand went to the saber still on her hip at the screams. She sighed, letting her shoulders sag. Nothing she could do now. The flames would peter out by morning.

She made to shut the door when, of all people, her niece burst back in. Her blonde hair was unkempt, her shawl gone, and she was completely out of breath. Jacqueline ushered Angelique back into the kitchen.

“What happened?” Jacqueline asked, getting her niece water.

“Bertie sold you out,” the girl gasped, clutching her side. “Navy wants you to burn. Something about the Serpent's Teeth. Got caught, had to run.”

Jacqueline nearly smashed the glass in her hand. “Merde! Did they hurt you?”

“No, but I barely shook them off,” Angelique took the glass from Thuron and gulped down the water. “Thought I was too late when I saw the flames, but they were on the other side of me.”

Jacqueline paced around the kitchen. She never thought she'd be called that ever again. With the Navy on her heels once again, she had no choice but to run. She couldn't leave her niece on her own, not like she left her brother.

“Go pack your things, Angelique,” Jacqueline stated sharply. “On your way up, if anyone's left, have them clear out.”

“Aren't we going to make a stand, Auntie?” The girl had regained her breath, along with her fire. “We can stay and fight!”

“Not against the Navy,” Jacqueline said, putting the knife in her belt and grabbing her frying pan. “Now go pack as small as you can.”

Angelique almost argued further, but one look at her aunt told her it was not the time. She bolted out of the kitchen.

“Oh, brother, she's too much like you,” Jacqueline sighed as she took a last look at her kitchen. She would miss it dearly.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron
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Karena was surprised when the man that had saved her suddenly left the inn. But he left the people he sat with so she guessed he would be back. Maybe running an errand. The girl had to shake the thought from her head. The captain wasn’t why Karena was here. She was here for the bounty. But seeing that the target was surrounded by witnesses all the mercenary could do was watch the events of the bar go by. She was patient. She had to be as an assassin.

Karena watched as the girl left in charge turned most people in line away. For the most part Karena agreed with the girl’s judgement. The sense of adventure out on the open sea clouding their right mind. Ignoring or forgetting all the tales of pirating that others often relayed to scare each other at storytelling.

Unfortunately, there was one boy who must have been spoiled rotten because he didn’t accept rejection well. He was stubborn on the idea or joining. It looked as if the girl was going to just beat the definition of the word “no” into the boy but the captain burst through the doors saying that he was leaving. He also mentioned that anyone left that wanted to join come with him. The girl left with the captain but not before pinning the boy, by his shirt, to a table with a dagger. Karena smirked at the action and felt no sympathy as the boy tugged, futilely, at the knife.

Most of the inn seemed to clear out. Either to follow the captain or because their source of entertainment was gone for the night and it was getting late. Karena’s target freed the boy and, after giving a brief lecture, he rushed out of the tavern. Soon after the smell of smoke made the mercenary look out a window to see the village set ablaze just as a woman in shambles burst through the door and drama ensued. Karena raised an eyebrow. Was this related to the captain? Or was this part of an effort to attain the bounty?

Karena took her leave of the inn and and decided to wait. It seemed like the serpent was going to be leaving soon and Karena would take her out when she got a clear shot. If the other woman stayed with the dead instead of running then Karena would kill her as well.

In a little while Karena’s target and the other woman dashed out of the Lighthouse. They conversed a bit longer and then noticed that the inn was catching fire as well. The assassin had moved to another position to avoid being revealed by the new source of light the fire was creating. Cannon fire could be heard earlier and Karena figured that the village was done for. It didn’t seem to have any type of guard protecting it. And if it did, the fact none of them could be seen nor heard at this point, they were probably dead. A man yelling shook Karena from her thoughts.

“There they are!” They must be men after Karena’s target as well. Immediately, the two women sprinted for the harbor. The mercenary felt a small pang of annoyance. If she wanted to claim the bounty should would have to take out this new group of people. And then if she managed that then she’d have to catch up with the duo before the escaped onto a ship or got too far on a boat.

"Come on, Auntie, you've got to pick up the pace!" Angelique called back to her aunt. The older Thuron was lagging behind and breathing a bit heavily.

"Just keep ahead of me," Jacqueline shouted forward to her niece. "I'll take care of these buffoons. You warn the Acheron that they'll be expecting a few more passengers!"

"But Aunt-"

"Go!" Jacqueline yelled, drawing her saber and standing her ground. The ship wasn't too far from there; in fact, it could easily be seen despite the darkness of the night. She could hold them off long enough for Angelique to make it aboard, and make her retreat after her niece was safe, if possible.

Angelique faltered, but ran off to the Acheron when she saw the men catching up with them. "Give them hell Auntie!"she cried back as her aunt took a battle stance.

"Prepare to dine with Davy Jones tonight, gentlemen!" Jacqueline shouted as the first of the men rushed forth. "You'll find yourself writhing betwixt the Serpent's Teeth soon enough!"

One. Two. Four. Seven. Karena counted the number of pursuers and gauged the situation as she followed after them. Should she let the men do all the work in capturing Jacqueline? Then Karena would ambush them and take her. It sounded like the path of least resistance. Especially, if the former pirate managed to take out some of the men in the process of being captured.

More shouting and Karena looked to see the other girl running towards the ship. Getting help or running to safety? The first possibility would be the best but it was also unlikely. Especially, after the mercenary saw the captain rounding up a new crew. If the girl was going to get help then there wasn't much time. Karena had to make this quick.

Jacqueline had turned to stand her ground. Possibly to buy time or because she thought she could take out her pursuers all at once. As much as Karena would have liked to stay in the shadows and spectate, in order to get an estimate on her targets fighting ability, time did not permit that option. As the first men were reaching the woman, Karena decided to take down the ones furthest back.

She unsheathed her dagger and quick made her way towards the man closest to her. They ran in no formation so whoever was the furthest back was just the slowest. As long as the man in front of him didn't possess good peripheral vision then he wouldn't notice his comrade suddenly being yanked back and silenced. Karena easily caught up with the men and took down two before the rest of the stragglers noticed. Now their group was divided into two. Three men to face Jacqueline and two for Karena.

"Who the hell are-" Before the man could asked him a throwing knife sunk into his chest. The other man pulled his pistol in reaction to his comrade falling and failed to notice Karena had already unslung her rifle and took aim. Before the pistol was raised to firing position a hard force struck him in the head. The force of the shot jerked the man backwards and lose grip of his pistol. Karena rushed to grab the weapon in mid air and then pointed it towards her real target.

Jacqueline saw two men crumple as she skewered a third. Perhaps fortune really had smiled on her today. She kicked the still standing body into another man as she clashed swords with a third. The third seemed to actually be a decent swordsman; it took a few clings of the sword before an opening arose. She neatly slashed into the man's neck before the second man recovered.

"You bitch!" Number two snarled before coming at her with his fists flying. Jacqueline lunged with her sword, and the man ran right into it, just as a shot rang out.

"Never could get decent ruffians," Jacqueline called out to her unknown assistance. "Suppose that's why they're called ruffians and not-" Jacqueline froze as the last man fell. She could now easily make out her 'help'. It had been some time since she'd faced the barrel of a gun, and Thuron definitely didn't like it. She needed to keep a cool head in this, or she'd easily lose her head.

"Come now, if it's the warrent you're after, you'll make much more if they hang me," Jacqueline told Karena, left hand in the air, right still outstretched with the bloody saber. "If you're here for revenge, well, I suppose naught but my death would be satisfactory." Not that she particularly wanted to die, but she would rather die to atone than die to appease some fat bastard and his navy.

Damn, but she had much to atone for.
Angelique ran as fast as her fair legs could carry her, faster than she had ran merely half an hour ago, faster than she'd ever ran. Her bright blue eyes sparked with fear; not for herself, but her dear aunt. She knew her aunt could take out seven men, but that lighter pair of footsteps didn't bode well. "Acheron, Acheron- There!" Angelique saw the gangplank that led up to the Acheron, with a few sailors still making their way aboard. She clamored up the plank, pushed past the men, and nearly collapsed at the top. Angelique hung on to the railing for support as she relayed her request, appealing primarily to the thin woman by the captain's side.

"Jacqueline and me need passage, and we're more than happy to pull our weight," the girl gasped, her chest heaving. "Though if I can't get some help she'll get taken by the Navy or someone and hang and I'm not losing her too so please please please-" She coughed violently before gesturing not far from the ship.
"I don't plan to kill you." Karena Replied. "At least not unless you give me reason to." It was convienent that Jacqueline knew about her own reward. If she would have put up any type of resistance Karena would have fired. And it would prove a challenge to carry away a body larger than her own before that girl returned with reinforcements, if she went for help, came to Jacqueline's aid. Not to mention that if there were others looking for her then that would slow Karena down in dealing with them. Either way, having Jacqueline alive offered more reward and faster travel than a corpse.

"Drop the saber and turn around slowly. And keep your hands where I can see them. Try anything stupid and put a hole in your head." Karena grabbed the rope she carried and walked up to bind the woman's hands.

Jacqueline obliged, though she set the saber down rather than drop it. "Very well. Mind the saber; I'd rather not part with it any time soon." She kept a calm facade, but inside she was broiling. The girl stepped up to bind her hands. Jacqueline balled both her fists and brought them up hard into the girl's chin. She manoeuvred the girl into a choke hold and forced her dominant hand behind her back.

"Bounty hunters," Thuron spat. "As much as I want to rid the world of another, I'm due on the Acheron. God that's painful to say," she added. "You'll be joining me. Doubtless you'll enjoy it. I've no energy to deal with you, so I'll turn you over to that damn captain."

Karena was mentally kicking herself. She took her eyes off of Jacqueline for one second to look at the damned saber the woman had laid down. That one second and Karena was now in a bad position. And then Thuron said something about the girl having to join her in boarding the ship. Did she already work under the captain? If so then that was territory, Karena didn't want to step in. Dealing with a full group of pirates was voluntary suicide. If you planned to kill one then by default you better have a plan to kill them all. Pirates were like family to each other. Normally. There are few cases where they go by "every man for themself" but it was too much to hope for their type in every pirate crew Karena came across or saw.

At the moment this woman was to deal with and Karena did not want to be a young girl on board a pirate ship. Pirates were made up of ruthless and disgusting people. There was no telling what they'd do to Karena.

"I'm only doing this to feed my family." Karena made her voice higher pitched with a tint of desperation. The "desperate girl" act worked pretty much all the time unless the people she used it on were heartless. Which if that was the case then Karena saved her breath. She hoped this Thuron wasn't a heartless woman considering she was protecting someone else.

"You can't put me on that ship! They'll surely kill me or worse. Then my siblings would either starve or die from intense labor. Life for children without parents is nothing but an uphill battle and being a bounty hunter gives the most money for what I'm capable. If I would have known you were a pirate I wouldn't have gone after you." That last part, at least, was true.

"Former pirate, thank you," Jacqueline glared at the girl. "Believe me, I'm not thrilled about it either." Memories flooded up at the mention of siblings, memories of leaving for the first time, her brother sound asleep in his bed, their father passed out drunk again in his, the smell of the sea and the tears...

Jacqueline grit her teeth. She really had gone soft.

"Look," she said, keeping her hold on the girl tight, "If you really do have family, then I'll be more than happy to send them a sum, but I've already been sold out once today, and I'm not letting that happen again." As much as it pained her to get on a ship again, she’d do anything to protect Angelique. She owed Maximo that much. She owed him far more than that, but...

"You won't come into any harm on the ship as long as I'm aboard, so long as you drop your pursuit of my bounty," Jacqueline told the girl. "Can't stand bounty hunters, but I do understand the desperation that comes with taking such a job. I can't fault you for that. Now, unless you want knocked out, I suggest we make our leave." More men would surely be coming soon, and every minute was precious.

"Do you still plan on me boarding the ship after the mention of my siblings?" Karena asked. During their chat Karena was preparing herself to get out of the situation. She grabbed onto the arm that was choking her, sunk forward, swung her leg to link her calf around Jacqueline's calf, and made a shard one hundred and eighty degree turn. Karena swung Thuron across her body and gave her a quick knee to the stomach before kicking the woman away.

Karena quick went for the pistol she dropped and aimed it at her target again. "I told you if you did anything stupid you were dead. Not following my instructions was dumb. Not killing me was stupid."

Jacqueline wheezed and spat on the ground next to her as the girl pointed her gun at her. She gave a hearty but rueful laugh. "Oh, Bertie, I have gone soft," she chuckled. "Before you shoot me, let me tell you a bit of advice, girl: Always have a backup plan. Or, consequently, never be afraid to die." Was she stalling? Yes. Was she going to berate herself later for using such a cheap trick? Yes.

Had she a greater sin than prattling on to save her skin? Definitely.

As she stalled, the crack of gunfire banged through the air. A few bullets whizzed past Jacqueline, though the girl hadn't fired yet. She took the opportunity to duck and grab her saber.

"There they are, men! Arrest the Thurons!" There were at least another ten men, these ones in uniform, not more than 100 meters away. Naturally, Jacqueline took the safe course of action and bailed for the Acheron, doing her best to weave enough to throw off gunfire. She could barely see her niece's bright blonde hair gleaming in the moonlight.

God, was she going to get a stitch in her side later. Jacqueline didn't know how Angelique did it.

Karena noticed the group of men charging in their direction and noticed Jacqueline bolted for the ship. Karena thought about shooting the woman as she fled but then she'd have to deal with the men coming. And there was also the fact these men were uniformed. It was already suicide to try and pick a fight with a pirate that was part of a crew. To pick a fight with the Navy or any military branch was just mad. The girl was pretty sure if she was captured her crimes for murdering many sailors would see her hanged since she was carrying two of the murder weapons on her person. The choice was obvious at what to do.

Karena grabbed her rifle from the ground and quickly followed after Jacqueline. The men were already firing. The distance to the ship suddenly seemed to grow immensely. She was an easy target as she ran for the Acheron.

She managed to quickly get to boat and was about to celebrate when something hard smacked her in the back of her left shoulder. Karena put a hand to see if the object did any damage and it came away with blood. Then it dawned on her. She had been shot. One of the many stray bullets found their mark. The shock and sudden burst of pain instantly made the girl's leg strength give way as she fell to the floor of the ship deck. Karena's vision blurred for a second before everything went black and her consciousness slipped away.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
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Nathaniel paced the holy side, the captain’s side, of the quarterdeck, his hands clasped behind his back and his heartbeat speeding up with the ever larger amount of adrenaline coursing through it. His eyes were constantly on the move, flicking from place to place as he feverishly watched the activity both onboard and off the Acheron. The last of the new crew were coming aboard and Nate noted with satisfaction that they immediately got to work rather than hung about like lubbers. There was a slight hesitation in their movements, but that would go as they settled amongst the crew. Nate’s eye was drawn to a flicker of movement on the deck. A boy, no older than seventeen. Damn. One or two always made it on with dreams of riches and glory. Nate sighed. Powder monkeys he had plenty of, but they always seemed to die easy.

A shout at the gangplank drew Nate’s attention, his eyes casting their icy glare over the two who caused the commotion. The new lieutenant, and the sailing master. Damn it all he needed was those two getting at loggerheads when he was trying to get the Acheron to safety. From what he saw it seemed like Carrington had been doing his usual, overriding the orders of a superior. Nate resolved to have words with him about it, especially around the new first lieutenant, barely onboard for more than an hour. The order had been presumptuous, granted, but Carrington would need to learn his place with the new officer.

“Perhaps I’ve given him too much freedom,” Nate thought. It had been a long time since the old first lieutenant had been killed, and he had never been replaced, the eccentric sailing master filling the gap but refusing the rank. Nathaniel let out another sigh. Carrington had been with him a long time, longer than anyone else on the ship. He couldn’t afford to muddy the waters. Bridges would have to be built.

Nate had dropped Ren in at the deep end and he knew it. Watching her with narrowed eyes he judged her every move, as well as how she dealt with Carrington. He knew the difficulties new officers faced, especially with long established crew, and Ren had an even more difficult job. To the crew of the Acheron she was an oddity, and a thin, malnourished oddity at that. They were more likely to laugh themselves to death than follow her orders at the moment, but it was how she dealt with the problem that Nate was interested in. If she managed, he had found himself a damn good officer. If not, well, a bullet in the brain would be the least of her concerns.

“Captain! I’ve set the new recruits to the stations where hands seemed lacking, but preparation seem to be going at a brisk pace.” The new first lieutenant looked nervous. Nate could understand that, but appearances must be kept up. He scowled, and focused on controlling the building urge to kill something that was building with the adrenaline. “Any specific orders of should I join the men with the grunt work?” The question was unnecessary, if Nate had any orders he would have given them, and it betrayed her insecurity. Nate was not in the mood to be sympathetic. He glowered at Ren a moment longer before turning away to kick open a weapons locker he always had on his side of the quarterdeck. Picking out two pistols he flipped one and handed it to Ren, pushing the other into his belt so that he now carried two.

Glaring down onto the deck Nathaniel was suddenly blinded by the flash of a cannon. The roar resounded in his ears and the cannon threw itself back against its traces as it belched fire and smoke into the night. The heavy shot whistled through the air, but from where he was Nate could not see it land. “God damn your eyes who ordered you to fire?!?” Nate yelled down at the crew, where he saw the conspicuous figure of Carrington. Any other man would be dead already but Nate settled with trying to set Carrington on fire with his eyes and making a mental note to make life miserable for him for the next three days.

“Miss Thompson!” Nathaniel shouted above the sounds of the crew dashing to get as much done as possible before they ran out of time. “Get men up into the tops with muskets. I want a cask of grenades brought up from the magazine as well.” Anyone trying to board the Acheron would now have to face snipers from their elevated position. The fighting platforms in the tops were perfect places for musketmen.

“Sir, I do hope Mr. Dogood and the boys will be returning, the fodder is closing in, and I am certain the Navy is right on their tails! Ya ‘ave a ‘eading for us Captain?” The slap of boots and the whap of a salute had betrayed Carrington’s presence, and Nate turned to face him slowly. If he had been a midshipman, and not a captain, he would have punched Carrington in the stomach. Now that wouldn’t mean they weren’t friends, but good friends can straighten each other out time to time.

“I assume that’s what you were firing at then Mr. Carrington?” Nate raised an eyebrow, barely disguising his annoyance with his tone. But Carrington was right. They were out of time. “Fill the hammock netting and beat to quarters.” The climax of the evening was coming, Nate could feel it. He could barely contain his excitement as the drummer boy sounded the beat to quarters. All the great guns would be loaded in less than a minute, and they would give this town a night to remember for all time.

“Prepare to cast off!” Nate called, placing his hands on the taffrail. As he did so he spied a group of figures running through the night, silhouetted by fire. He lost sight of them in the smoke but when they re-appeared there were only three, two fighting and a third running straight for the Acheron. “Cast off now! Loose gallants and mains!” Nathaniel wanted away from the side of the harbor. Right now.

A group of men burst from one of the storehouses and sprinted to the dock, where they leapt onto the Acheron. Nathaniel recognized them as Dogood and his men. They carried as much loot as their broad arms could carry, and Dogood himself was carrying a crate of wine bottles. They grinned at each other as they disappeared below-decks, Dogood heading to Nathaniel’s cabin. Right behind them though another figure leapt onto the ship. The girl.

Nathaniel’s eyes widened in anger. “Get that girl off my ship!” He stabbed a finger at her, drawing his sword with the other. “Throw her off!” He ignored her plaintive cries about being chased, his fury deafening him as he stalked down the steps from the quarterdeck. The whip of bullets past his face brought him back to some sort of sense, revealing the other two people now on the Acheron. One was unconscious, the other was the owner of the tavern. Almost flying across the deck Nathaniel came to a stand-still in front of them, glaring the woman down till the bullets became annoying.

“Cannister. Those Bastards. Now!” Nathaniel yelled, jabbing his drawn sword in the direction of Jaqueline and Karena’s pursuers. “And you!” He swung the sword around to point at Jaqueline. “Get the hell off my ship before you leave in pieces.” All semblance of stoicism was gone. Nathaniel’s blood was up, and he was furious beyond measure.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nathaniel 'Black Nate' Sellars Character Portrait: Karena Schneider Character Portrait: Renata "Ren" Thompson Character Portrait: Jacqueline Thuron Character Portrait: 'Smiling' Carmichael Carrington
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"Well you 'eard the Lieutenant, get us ready to sail! ...And leave the plank where it is, Mr. Dogood and the others 'ave yet to return. We'll give them.... Five minutes!"

In a maneuver almost reminiscent of her new captain, Ren's head swiveled around to glare at the man that had belayed her order. Her hand found itself on her sabre, but the fact that the man had corrected her with knowledge she did not have was all that kept her from drawing it. She had hoped that the pirates that were razing the town were not still within, if the goal was to distract the navy. She had given the pirates a mite too much credit in their efficiency... Not all of them were as disciplined as Nate seemed to be.

The man that belayed her order was Mr. Carrington, she presumed, and based on the movements of the veterans his word carried a lot of weight. Knocking his block off with her scabbard at the moment would only agitate the already agitated crew, but she got the distinct feeling in her gut that this situation would present itself again, and actions would have to be taken. For now, she let it go, and returned her attention back to the captain, anger still seething in her eyes. She could see the same in her captain's, but she was unsure of what the cause might be save for the stress of shoving off before the Navy caught wind of the Acheron's presence. He was studying her though, of that she was certain, and she recognized that an inability to fulfill her duties would not be met with a thanks of service and a hearty farewell at the next port. She also hoped her judgement wouldn't be based solely on her first day... Nate was intelligent and probably recognized the uphill battle she was in for. He also would have turned her away if he didn't think her capable.

The grizzled old salt turned and gave a swift kick to a weapons locker, drawing two pistols. He pocketed the one, but skillfully flipped the other as to offer her the handle. He gave her no new orders, which meant she was doing precisely what he wanted, if clumsily. She accepted the flintlock, thanking the stars to have a loaded gun at her side once more. She regretted selling her old one, but still kept powder, paper, and rounds on her person in the event she ever needed to... appropriate one, on her travels. She was only good for three shots, but she'd make a trip to the weapons locker after they were on open seas to stock up proper.

"Much obliged, Captain," Ren said in thanks, but her body briefly stiffened as the thunder of a cannon cut through the bustle of the decks. Nate's expression soured on the spot, with both Ren and himself now glaring at the source of the insubordination. Carrington again. She was definitely destined to kick that man's ass into a Kraken's gaping maw.
She could smell it clear as the gunpowder he'd just wasted.

“God damn your eyes who ordered you to fire?!?”

The Captain was on his man in an instant, though Ren cast her gaze off to the side, where several of the new hands stood idle, watching the commotion.

"You four! Get to moving or I'll acquaint you with the cannons myself! You're pirates now, and you'll hang just as quick as the Captain if we don't get this ship out of port!"

The four nearly tripped over themselves to get back to work, but Ren eyed two or three more beyond them who regarded her with a sour look. She held her ground, glaring back with eyes ablaze until they begrudgingly returned to their stations. Another situation she'd have to address sooner or later, it seemed.

“Miss Thompson!” Nathaniel shouted above the sounds of the crew dashing to get as much done as possible before they ran out of time. “Get men up into the tops with muskets. I want a cask of grenades brought up from the magazine as well.”

Ren saluted and gave a quick, "Aye" before heading off towards the main deck. She instantly spied a large group of men preparing rifles near the way leading to the magazine, expecting to meet Navy men up close before they disembarked.

"You lot! I need your best shots up on the tops with those muskets, on the double," Ren called, but the men simply spat on the wood at her feet and glared at her. One, a senior out of the lot she assumed, stepped forward and jabbed the barrel of his musket to her forehead.

"You seem lost, friend. Captain prefers his whores to wait in his quarters, not scurrying about the deck like she's something," He said coldly, thumb poised over hammerlock of his gun. He'd regret not shooting her.

In a flash, Ren had a grip on the barrel of the musket and both yanked it away from her face, and very violently shoved it back at the man who held it, bringing the stock crashing back into his nose. The man fell to one knee, and Ren still held his rifle, which she swiftly flipped so that she now held it to his forehead, holding the pose as she glared at his friends who had started to circle her.

"You will address me as First Lieutenant Thompson or Miss Thompson, just as Captain Sellars has. You want to piss and moan about who the Captain has brought on as officers, you take it to him, but I can promise you he'll be much angrier at your questioning him than I am," Ren barked, her voice filled with the pent up rage she'd acquired from Carrington's belaying her orders before.

Blood dripped onto the deck from the man's broken nose, but he looked up at her, eyes still full of hate but nodded.

"Say my name," She said calmly, noting the man's hands as they curled tightly into fists.

"Aye, Miss Thompson," He said plainly, and Ren glared about at the rest of the men, rifle still aimed at the man on his knees.

"Well?! I said to the tops with the lot of ya! This isn't a play recital, ya bilge rats!" she shouted, watching as the men looked from one another, then back to her. They still glared, still didn't respect her, but they moved to the tops. It was good enough for now. The man she'd brought to heel stood now as well, but Ren put the barrel of his gun to the back of his head when he started to walk off.

"You, go down to the magazine and bring up a cask of grenades. Report back to me when you do, and you'll get your gun back," She said coldly, the rage evident in his voice as he saluted and ran off. She smiled on the inside at the sight, but dared not do so on the outside just yet. She needed to be a fierce warrior right now, not a giddy schoolgirl.

She continued surveying the deck, keeping the men on task as they prepared to sail, stealing a glance to the gangway every now and then so she would know when the away party returned, as well as remembering Carrington's belay so that she could keep the fire in her gut nice and stoked. She was going to need it. The sight of her dealing with the riflemen had apparently been seen by more than a few, as most of the men did as she said, and those that hesitated in their indignation glared at her, but regarded the rifle propped on her right shoulder as she paced before continuing their work. The feeling would not last, but she'd rather deal with it when the Navy wasn't at their heels.

When the man whose rifle she was holding returned with the barrel of grenades and a friend to help him carry the weight of the open cask, Ren pointed them over to the edge of the main deck, nearby where Nate was surveying the ship but not on his deck proper. The seadog's glare never faltered as he moved, walking the barrel over to where she had pointed. As soon as the cask was sat down, Ren held out the rifle, but pointed back over to where she had first struck him with it before.

"I expect every drop of blood scrubbed off the Captain's deck by the time we're on open seas. Understood?" Ren ordered, voice stern and her grip on the rifle like iron as the pirate attempted to take it without accepting the orders. The strength of her arm surprised him, and he looked from her, to Nate, and back to her with a scowl on his face.

"Aye, mam,"

Ren smirked and released the rifle. "Good lad, now to the tops with you. I said best shots and I meant it," She said, a confused look spreading on the pirate's face before he saluted and ran off. Ren looked back to her captain, hoping this made up for the gangway incident. She took her sabre and jammed it into the cask's lid, one good shove popping the top to reveal the incendiary munitions within. The fact that there were actually grenades inside surprised her slightly, half expecting flour so as to make her look foolish. It was why she made sure Nate saw who'd gotten the cask to begin with.

She turned and saluted, but turned to look back at the rest of the ship. Nate would give her orders if he wanted her to have them, and she needed to build a report with the men.

"Extra hands to the tow line! Move it lads, we're not looking to buy property here!" She barked, though a commotion near the gangway caught her eye. It was a girl, one from the Lighthouse if she recalled, looking nearly scared to death as she pleaded for refuge, followed a few moments later by the Proprietress and a limp form, their pursuers firing at the ship now. Ren couldn't hold back a grin as a few of the snipers picked off some of the navy, but she ran forward to deal with the stowaways.

She made it a point to crouch before Angelique, Ren using her body to block any of the men on the ship that might open fire, though her own face was stern.

"Any navy that followed you are probably more concerned with the ship than you, now. If you leave and make a run for it, there's a good chance you'll survive," Ren said as gently as she could manage, looking over at Jacqueline as well. The woman had fed her... she hated to turn her away in her hour of need. With Nate blowing his stack at the sight of them, however, they were probably in more danger on deck than they were on the docks.

"I know this is no way to repay a debt, but my hands are tied, mam" Ren said as she stood, hand on her sabre as her face hardened. Disobeying the captain now would end her own life, and no stew was worth dying over... though Jacqueline's had come damn close. Ren started to draw her sword, but a sharp pain hit her shoulder, the force of the musket round causing her to do a full spin before she fell to the deck. Her hand was instantly to her the place where her bicep met her shoulder, gripping it tight to put pressure on the wound, and sat up, though dared not stand again with the bullets flying.

Ren could hear the ringing of bells in the distance, the navy trying to alert their ships nearby of the battle going on. If they stayed any longer, the ship would be filled with holes before they left port.

"Captain, the navy is signaling their ships. If we don't sail now we won't make it out of harbor, sir" Ren said, sincing from the pain as she attempted to stand, her hand covering her wound now red with blood. She looked to Nate, pistol drawn in her free hand, ready to follow his orders. She made her choice when she signed that manifest, and debt or no, she intended to sail again.