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Richard Jacobus Merrywether

"I can't judge a book by its cover... Mainly because I can't read a book by its cover."

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a character in “Pirates ll Hearts Of Oak ll”, as played by Cypher


Richard Jacobus Merrywether


Age: Richard doesn't know, but the census puts him at around 37 years.
Appearance: With his pale skin, lanky build and unkempt sideburns, Mister Merrywether isn't what you would call attractive in any sense of the word. He almost always works shrouded in sweat, which mats down his receding blackish-gray hair and sticks it to his skull, the only hair on his head that isn't affected by this being his prodigiously curly sideburns and the stubble around his face. He has a long, almost horse-like face, with a long, narrow nose, a tall forehead and a lined, weary-looking face. His cloudy gray eyes are puffy and usually possess dark bags beneath them. When he's intoxicated, his whole head - not just his face, but his ears and all of his scalp - become engulfed in a crimson glow. Merrywether is perpetually underweight, and as such his clothes; which are normally ragged, stained and dirty, seem to hang off him like sack-cloth from a scarecrow.
Title: Ship's carpenter

Nationality: English (Sussex)
Languages: English
Literate?: Richard is mostly illiterate; he barely read and write at a primary school level.

Personality: Richard Merrywether is usually the sociable type. Despite the fact that he speaks in an almost indecipherable Sussex accent, Mister Merrywether enjoys socializing with the crew whenever he gets the chance. Which isn't often. Richard spends most of his time in the lowest bowels of the X, locked away from the sunlight and the sea air, preferring to spend his time keeping the hull of the ship patched and carefully maintaining the bilges and securing the cargo stores. When he comes topside, it's usually because there are fumes coming up from the ship's bottom side that need to be vented or it just smells too badly (stale seawater has a certain odor to it). That said, when he is above-decks he is also working diligently to keep his X in working order. He never believes that he's done a good enough job on the first attempt regardless of how impeccable his work is (and it usually is quite impeccable).

At dinner he enjoys a good drink, preferring scrumpy or gin, although he will drink anything alcoholic if offered. He does not smoke due to the risk of the matches catching the tar he uses to seal the hull ablaze and sinking the X, which would jeopardize both himself and the others aboard - something that he simply could not live with. He gets along well with most of the crew, but he is also heavily superstitious, this lending itself to the fact that he has spent most of his life on ships and is so steeped in the old legends and lore that even talking of a woman aboard will send him scurrying belowdecks to his meager accomplishments where he will grope for the nearest toolchest and immediately busy himself with repairs - whether or not they actually need to be done.

He is a good friend of Captain Arturo's, but he is only brave and courageous to a fault - he enjoys living, and as such will not do anything suicidal. And if fighting mermaids is added to the equation, you can very nearly count him out. Unless there is damage being done to the X, in which case he will be sent into a raging fervor.
Bio: Richard Jacobus Merrywether was born in Littlehampton, Sussex, England, thirty-seven years ago (it will be thirty-eight in three months), to poor parents, both of the dock-working occupation. Due to their meager income, which placed him in a cramped shack with two sisters (one older and one much younger) and an older brother, Richard literally could not afford an education. He spent most of his young life either moving equipment to the shipyards to build small fishing vessels or on the docks moving the day's catch to the fish markets. It was back-breaking work, but it made that much more for his unfortunate little family.

When Merrywether turned fifteen, his family told him to take up a job on one of the fishing vessels in the area; having long since proved himself to be a fairly competent carpenter and a diligent, passionate worker. Merrywether was hired on the third vessel he asked the captain to join, and their first voyage began soon thereafter. It ended badly for Merrywether; with things occurring that were so terrible that to this day he refuses to talk about them. Suffice to say that when it was over; Merrywether was lucky to have survived.

It was a while before Richard took to the seas again, but when he did he signed aboard a privateer's vessel, and spent a while as their ship's carpenter. It was here where he learned most of the skills of the trade, for the ship of the privateer was quite old and brittle, and frequently sprung leaks or became damaged in fights, and it was only through the skillful carpentry of Richard Jacobus Merrywether that it stayed afloat. Merrywether was eventually, though, publicly disciplined for unintentionally refusing an order, and the captain lashed him and set him ashore once more.

Here, he joined the faithful voyage with Captain Kidd. He doesn't say much about that voyage either, although he relayed what he knew to his good friend, Captain Arturo, whom he met several times in Tortuga while he worked for the privateer captain. At present he is under contract with Captain Arturo, where he has promised to keep the Bloody X afloat in exchange for a portion of the treasure of El Dorado.

10 Jun 1???

Deer mum

We lef Toartooguh toda to seek owt the treasur of Captin Kid. If we find it I will let you have sum of mi shar. I miss you an how are Sissy an Papa doing? I hope Sissy likes the new doll I sent las month. It cos me 15 quid in Porchugull.

I wil visit yoo soon.


Richard sealed the envelope using some of Arturo's wax and one of his (stolen) stamps, being careful to not burn himself on the heated red fluid. The carpenter looked at the envelope and then left it on Arturo's study, then turned back and left the room. He didn't address the envelope; he wasn't sure how that kind of thing worked and even then he wasn't sure that his family's home had a formal address to start with. He knew that they were doing alright, but Papa hadn't been well these last few weeks and Richard was worried. Believe it or not, the reclusive carpenter was a family man. He worried about his younger sister and his mother more than anyone else in the world, sometimes including himself.

He pushed the thoughts of his family from his mind and made his way back belowdecks. He would have time to worry about them later; for now the needs of the X needed to be ministered to. Arturo liked his ship spotless, and Merrywether was only happy to oblige in this. It kept him and the others busy between fights. But still, he was a bit nervous. Perhaps Arturo's plan would get him hurt? Perhaps it would sink the X? What would happen to his family then?

Again, Richard shoved the thoughts from his mind and removed a beaten hip flask from his rawhide tool belt. He took a long draught of gin and then capped it again, setting about his job once more. He couldn't worry about Arturo's competence; he was a very good captain and he was sure he could handle whatever came his way.

So begins...

Richard Jacobus Merrywether's Story