Ellie fumed as she left the bar, making less of an effort to avoid the other customers now. She actively shoved anyone who happened to veer across her path out of her way. It helped her mood only a little.That was such a waste! I'm no better off than I was when I came in.
She knew the process wasn't going to be easy or quick, but it was hard to swallow the lack of progress. All she had was the word of a woman, that Celeste Brand, whom she had just met. What proof did she have Celeste was what she claimed to be? And Ellie had lost some coin in the process on this woman's word. Most times, Ellie was willing to go with a person's word. But that was over a business table, among people who knew the other's reputations well. Tortuga... Well, any person who would come to Tortuga to do business was pulling more on its distractions than his -- or her -- own resources.
Outside, the air was a little cooler, but that was it, not enough to ease her temper. The roarous laughter of a drunken wench in the arms of an equal drunken sailor made Ellie sneer and increase her pace. They could have the decency to get off the main street! And that drove her thoughts to the other thing Celeste had said. That was probably the worst part. How dare she imply her husband was unfaithful! True, Ellie could be could and demanding, but that was they had agreed upon shortly after their marriage. In fact, she had insisted on it. Actually, she insisted on a lot of things. But she always did her wifely duties as she was supposed to whenever he came home. It was a very amiable arrangement. What was there that her Tom couldn't want? She was an excellent cook, kept their home clean and organized, and she had increased their finances beyond what he initially had and would have had if she hadn't married him. She couldn't help it if he kept choosing to go back to sea. It was what a man like him did. And he always came back.
"He always came back," she whispered into the darkness. She had come to a stop at a corner near the inn she was staying. Not as nice by far as hers, but the best of the town, and run by a friend, associate really. She shook her thoughts from that part and began to walk on when a large, redfaced man stumbled up to her.
"Excuse me, miss," he began. Her hand went up automatically at the strength of the alcohol. "You see, I was looking for a young miss. You see, we were talking and getting to know each other, and I was hoping to get to know her better, if you understand me." At that moment he chose to wipe his forehead. Ellie's jaw dropped recognized the cloth in his hand as a woman's undergarment. That did it! Her fist landed squarely in his face, toppling him to the ground.
"How dare you come up to me, you soddering excuse for sea slug! I am a decent woman, married! I have never been so insulted!" She fumed away. As she passed a barrel, she turned around, returned to the fallen man and snatched the underwear from his grasp. As she stormed past the barrel again, she wrenched the top open and tossed in the garment. "Next time, I'd more careful what men I'd give my favors to." And slammed the top back in place. As she continued to the inn, she heard the lid raise, the girl inside cautiously watching her leave.
The day dawned much the same way in Tortuga as it did elsewhere. Only with a stronger stench of rancid alcohol and mud. Ellie checked with the inn staff for any news before leaving with a bag of her things. She had given herself only so much time in Tortuga. Best to make good use of it. She was once again careful to avoid damaging her skirts too much, but knew it was useless. At least these were her work garb, nice but made for less than neat conditions. At least in the light of day, things weren't as bad as they were last night.
She stopped by a water pump to meet with a contact she had formed the other day. The boy, a worker for a nearby warehouse, showed up in due time.
"What do you have?" she asked.
He shrugged and gave her a pleased grin. "I got some word from the older crew. They'd heard about the Sundial alright. Got some real good news."
"Okay, let me have it."
The young man held out a calloused and dirty hand. Right, she thought. Payment first. She discreetly finished out a small coin and placed it on his palm. "Got word the Sundial had gotten into a skirmish recently with a French merchant. Off the coast of Florida. Heard they took on a good haul."
"Thanks. If you hear anything else within the next day or so, tell me. Same deal."
The young man left with a gleeful skip to his step. Her bribe wasn't large, but for an apprentice like that, it was a nice bonus. Ellie knew this, and used this familiarity well. It had yet to fail her. After he was long gone, she pulled the bag closer and felt around for a wrapped package. She handled the leather bundle with extreme care, or tried to do so with her shaking fingers. The strings were untied and the leather opened to reveal a pile of folded letters. Carefully, expectant, she scanned through them. She was nearly through them when one stood out. As she read it, her heart broke. The French merchant the apprentice had mentioned was in the letter, and that was one of the earlier letter. The information was useless. It was so hard to hold back the tears.
Maybe her other informants could tell her.
The sun was low, and Ellie was on the verge of crying or killing someone. Her contacts, servants and merchants, all couldn't tell her anything new. Each bit was confirmed by a letter from Tom, so they were true. But they were useless because they didn't tell her anything she didn't already know. Nothing that could be confirmed as new. All that effort and cost and she was back at square one. Now, it looked like Celeste Brand was her last option. She wasn't looking forward to the meeting. She gazed into the murky pier water. Time for a change of look.
Celeste neared the bar just as the sun disappeared beneath the waters. Part of wondered if Mrs. Moore was going to show up. If she did, well, that gave the woman some points in Celeste's book. A proud woman like that, it was almost funny.
As she came closer to the bar entrance, which was already roaring and flowing with patrons, she caught sight of a person seated on a crate drinking. There was something off about him. No, her. Definately a woman. It was hard to tell if the large coat and waistcoat were supposed to hide the woman's figure or not. It did to a degree, but not enough to fool anyone who'd look twice. As she came closerr, Celeste could make out more details in the gloomy light.
"Ellie Moore, what do you think you're doing?"
The disguised woman looked up with a grin. "What makes you think I'm doing something?"
The bosun gestured at the getup. "This. You're not fooling anyone. And no proper pirate holds their tabard that way."
"So says you. I find it funny that a bosun doesn't recognize the variety of pirates. And I've run into my share of 'proper' pirates."
"Why the getup?" Celeste was getting annoyed with the attitude.
"Nothing much. Just didn't want to come off as more of a target. So I changed into my husband's old clothes. Besides, if anyone tries, well..." She leaned back a little as she downed the remainder of her drink. As she did, she pulled back her coat to reveal a pistol holstered in the rear of her pants, easy to get to. Very clever and smart, Celeste had to admit. Ellie lowered her mug with a sour look. "I've tasted better. So. I hope you have better news than I've had. I'm not in a good mood."
( Not fooling anyoneCollapse )
Celeste Brand did not appreciate having her dinner interrupted. Sure as hell not when she'd finally been granted a couple of days leave at port. This woman certainly didn't look like she belonged here at Tortuga.
Only two kinds of women come to Tortuga. Whores and tavern women best lumped together as wenches for there was little difference in their behaviors at the end of a day. Or female mercenaries and pirates like herself. She was dressed too expensively to be either. Too proud and obviously disgusted by her surroundings to be a wench, and no swordswoman worth her salt would be caught dead in a place like Tortuga wearing a skirt. So when she introduced herself as the owner of one of the better taverns in Port Royal, her appearance at least made sense, but not her presence. Then came the story about her missing pirate husband.
Celeste groaned inwardly.
"Ellie Moore huh?" Celeste cast a sidelong glance at the coins. They'd be real gold of course. Ellie Moore wasn't exactly going to be a poor woman. And if popular tales held any truth, she had no love lost for pirates. Looked down her nose when you walked into her tavern. "If your man's a pirate, Mrs. Moore, and he ain't come home for overlong, it's probably safe to assume he's sharing someone else's bed these days."
Ellie's eyes flashed anger. "He would not dare," she said in an icy calm.
"Right then." Celeste cracked a smile. "Well Ellie-dear, despite being a female in this tavern, I'm not one of those gutter wenches." She patted the hilt of her cutlass confidently. "Thusly, I don't get the same rumors of a man's whereabouts as they do. Nor is it a part of my work to be locating errant men that aren't members of my own crew."
"I don't expect a gutter wench to know anything about my husband's whereabouts, I expect a pirate to." She narrowed dark eyes at Celeste over the glasses balanced on the end of her nose. "And since I'd prefer not to get groped or have the cheap swill they pass for drink here spilled on me in the process, I thought you looked somewhat more reliable than the rest of this lot."
A reliable pirate. Oh-ho! That's rich. She bit back her laughter. The extra coin would certainly be nice, and it wasn't like she didn't know how to track a man down. She did have at least 4 days shore leave here at Tortuga. "Alright Mrs. Moore. I don't know anything off hand, but consider this," Celeste pulled the pile of coins over next to her plate of food. "A down payment and I'll have at least a starting lead for you by tomorrow night."
"And how can I trust that?"
"Of course. Celeste Brand, Bosun of the Crescent." She offered her hand across the table. "As bosun, it's part of my job to locate delinquent crew members. At least getting a reasonable idea on your husband shouldn't be beyond me."
Celeste smiled widely when Ellie shook hands with a strong grip rather than behaving like she was being forced to touch a dead rat. Maybe the rumors aren't all true about Mrs. Moore.
"Well, let me put an initial line out, and I'll start the real work tomorrow." Celeste stood abruptly, pocketing the coins from the table and made a beeline for the bar.
Ellie followed, wanting to see just what her coin was buying.
Celeste leaned heavily on the bar. "Alexandria..." She cooed alt the tall muscle-bound man behind the bar.
The barkeep turned angrily and frowned when he saw the source. "Celeste Brand."
"Hey there Al. It's the fastest way to get your attention you know." The barkeep only harrumphed and stared Celeste down. "Seen any crew from the Sundial recently? I'm looking for Tom Moore."
"Ear out for me sweetie?" The barkeep only grunted again, and Celeste slid four of the gold coins to him across the bar. The barkeep eyed them suspiciously, but grabbed and pocketed them without comment. "That's a love."
Celeste turned back to Ellie, as the barkeep turned and went back about his business.
"I could have done that," Ellie growled.
"Could've paid four times as much and he wouldn't 'ave told you even if he saw Tom dancing up and down the bar top. There's advantages to being a bosun, even off ship. Besides, Al likes me."
"Great, I've hired a delusional woman."
"See you tomorrow night Mrs. Moore." Celeste waved her off and returned to her dinner.
( Hey there Al. It's the fastest way to get your attention you know.Collapse )
Ellie’s impression of Tortuga steadily declined the longer she was there. At this particular moment, as she made her way through the jostling crowd on the poor excuse for a street, she doubted it could get any lower. A loud yell was her only warning to move faster. A large man fell just behind her, followed by a large barrel that landed just right enough to clip the man without damaging him but just wrong enough to break and slosh her shoes and the edge of her skirts with rum. Ellie shook the skirts in disgust and forced her way ahead. That might be an improvement for the rum.
Her destination was little better than the street. The tavern was noisier and even more rowdy. Her lip curled at the lecherous looks from the patrons she passed. Her customers never looked at her like that, they knew better. How she longed to back in Port Royal and working in her shop. What on earth was she doing in this den of sin anyway?
Ellie was about to give up on finding any good help when her eye found a calm spot. She took a deep breath and forced herself over.
“I have a proposition for you,” she said as she sat down on the empty the bench. The young woman she had addressed looked up from her drink and food with a quizzical and suspicious look. Ellie quickly added, “I need information.”
“What kind of information?” answered the woman with an uninterested tone. The small pile of coins Ellie placed on the table clearly changed that mood. ”Must be important.”
“It is. I’m looking for my husband.” Now the woman looked insulted. She straightened and eyed Ellie in annoyance. Ellie caught a glimpse of the blade’s handle and decided to cut to the chase. “I’m Ellie Moore – yes, that Ellie. I’m looking for my husband. His name’s Tom Moore, of The Sundial. He’s a pirate and I haven’t seen him for a long time. Hear me out, please, I know it’s more than a longer than average tour. He’s overdue and I’ve gotten nothing. He always gets a message to me. Always. I’ve asked around Port Royal for any official word, and not so – arrests, warrants, wrecks, executions – but they’ve told me nothing. Now I’m here for more… underground and direct sources. That’s a taste of what I can pay. Give me a good lead and I’ll pay more.”
( Read more...Collapse )
Character name: Ellie Moore
Profession: Entrepeneur, silent partner of a supply company (fresh foods, etc), and owner of a tavern in Port Royal
Weapon(s) of Choice: cutlass (can barely use), pistols, and a long knife
Initial Character Art: Character sketch
Brief Bio Ellie is a pretty well off woman, originally from the Bayou area, but now in Port Royal. She has a very strong entrepeneurial streak to her, being a silent partner in a supply company for ships (both legal and pirate), and owner of a respectable tavern in Port Royal. She also produces and sells a better quality grog through the supply company. She projects a dislike of pirates, but that is mostly from a professional position. Besides, she's married to one, Tom Moore, who's currently missing. After a longer than expected absence without word, Ellie's worried and has gone to search for any information on her husband's current status.
She has a strong stubborn streak, and will keep pushing until she gets her way, backs down, or finds a different approach. She can come off as cold and fierce, but it's partly a facade to keep herself protected from harm. She can also be a little devious if called for.
Okay guys! asatira has officially joined the community, and been made a moderator! So that means up next is posting Ellie's character bio, the first two RPG entries, and recruiting players!
And we want you!
So here's how to join!
To join sketch_rpg's Pirates of the Caribbean game, here's what you need to do.
Send an email, to me at elfgrove[at]gmail[dot]com with PotC RPG, Windward RPG, Sketch RPG, or something to that effect in the subject.
Below is what you MUST send as the email's content:
Your LJ Username:
Character's Weapon(s) of Choice:
Brief Character Bio:
An initial sketch (or sketches) of your character.
We are NOT looking for masterpieces with anyone's art here, just reasonably fun to look at. Art does NOT have to be in color. We do encourage the initial art for your character to include a full body drawing, because it's a reference that the other Sketch RPG artist's will use to be able to draw your character.
If there are any sidenotes you feel are important regarding your character, please do include them!
Character Name: Celeste Brand
Age: mid twenties somewhere
Profession: Bosun(Boatswain) on the pirate ship The Crescent
Weapon(s) of Choice: Short Cutlass (see character design) and of course a whip (the Bosun is in charge of discipline on a ship)
Initial Character Art: Character Design, General Sketch
Brief Bio: God knows how Celeste Brand ended up on The Crescent, much less how she came to be Bosun. But she openly dresses as a female both on and off the ship... most of the time anyways (not that she wears skirts, but she doesn't hide her gender). And the crew seems to respect her as well as they do any of their other officers.
Celeste has a fierce but jovial personality, and little patience for women. She has no problem letting anyone know that she disapproves of any "weak" behavior. Her network for getting information in pirate circles is not unimpressive, but she usually doesn't care what's going on with anyone not connected to her ship. She is stubborn beyond reason once she sets her mind to something, but fairly slow to anger (not much of a temper). She's fiercely loyal to her Captain, First Mate (Lieutenant), and the Crescent’s Navigator.
Side Note: Bosun - The boatswain (or bosun) was one of the most important men aboard any sailing vessel. He was responsible for "...all the ropes in general belonging to the ship: with all her cables, anchors, and sails; her flags, colors and pendants...". He was also responsible for making sure every man was correctly on watch and at his station. During battle it was a small group of the best seamen under the command of the boatswain and his mates (if he had any) who saw to the sailing of the ship while most of the crew worked the cannons. On many ships the boatswain was also responsible for discipline. In some ships the boatswain also took on the duties of master gunner. Boatswains are listed as pirate officers in both proclamations of 1717 and 1718, and are listed in the articles of Roberts, Lowther and Phillips, in each case receiving one share and a quarter. There are several references to pirate boatswains in various sources of the period, and in Johnson's General History there are at least two mentions of boatswain's whistles, their method of communicating orders to men aloft as well as being a badge of office. (Superstition had it that only a Bosun whistles on a ship, lest other sailors accidentally call up an ill wind.)
EDIT: For people wanting to join, there's probably going to be a good chunk of time spent on board The Crescent, so I certainly encourage people to volunteer to play as other crew members (Captain, First Mate, Navigator, Lookout, etc...). Of course, there will probably be a lot of time spent at sea in general (Windward is a pirate RPG), so hey, go for the navy, other pirate ships , merchant ships, fishing vessels, whatever suits you!
This community sketch_rpg is an experiment in a new way to go about doing a narrated RPG. Think of it as story/illustration tag. The goal is to take turns role-playing a cast of player and non-player characters through a story in a given universe. To continue the story, you don't reply in comments, you make a new post. Each entry by our role players must be around at least a minimum of 400 words (close to 1 page in MS Word at the default 12pt Times New Roman), and have a sketch (however rough) illustrating a moment from the RPG entry.
That's why we're calling it a Sketch RPG.
The entire idea for doing this was asatira's. I'm along for the ride because it sounds fun.
And when we say sketch we mean it. We're not looking for masterpieces; just good enough that it adds a little color to your snippet of story. No stick figures obviously.
I chose to give this community a name very general to the concept so that if we finished this story, we can potentially change to a new universe, and begin a new round with new characters, new players, and a new world.
But for now, lets get this going.
As I said, this is a narrated RPG done fairly round-robin (everyone takes a turn writing) fashion with the stipulation of every RPG entry must also have a sketch attached.
The setting is the universe of Pirates of the Caribbean sometime between the first and second movies.
Big rule number one; we will not be playing with the lead heroes of the movies. While the characters you see here may pass by Jack Sparrow or Will Turner, they will not be interacting directly with them. We may encounter some of the same bad guys or side characters, and we will definitely be wandering around many of the same settings. But frankly, while playing in that universe will be fun, I don't want to deal with even the best intentioned of RPGers potentially getting drunk and kissing Will/Elizabeth or someone hopping aboard Sparrow's ship.
I think playing in the universe can be plenty of fun without messing with the cannon leads.
Given that... Well, actually... That's it. If we need to set up other rules, we'll figure it out as we go.
The title of this community, aside from "Sketch RPG" is "Windward". It's an old sailing term meaning to sail against (or into) the wind. And so, Windward is the title of our PotC RPG.
I'll make a post soon about how to sign up to play.
Every player-owned character will have a post briefly introducing the character, and each piece of story will be a new stand-alone post.
The sketch should always go under an lj-cut to save everyone's LJ layouts and sanity. Savvy?
Anyone can join the community, but only the players will get posting access.
And with that...
Welcome to the beginning of Sketch RPG, now entering the world of Pirates of the Caribbean
~ elfgrove a.k.a. Celeste Brand