Caribbean Quest

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Bjorn
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Caribbean Quest

Postby Bjorn » Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:36 am

Image

Prolog - Out of the North

The Charter from King Louie called for the crown to receive 100% of the revenue from the minerals of the New World until the loan for the expedition had been repaid, and 50% of the profits after that. It required those who accepted to put up at least 50% of the funds for the expedition, but if the rumors of the seven cities of Gold were true, there was a chance for some to grow very rich. The expedition would be arduous, the land was largely unexplored and the inhabitants could be hostile. History has shown that there is rarely a lack of people willing to take great risks for the chance of great reward, and this time was no different.

Bjorn of Valn Ohtar, the King of Diamonds, had accepted the Charter and mortgaged his lands to lead one such expedition. The expedition had been reasonably successful, as a couple of mines in the high mountains to the west had yielded enough gold and silver to pay off his debts and provide a steady income. King Louie eventually granted Bjorn the title to this land, with a free hand to do as he pleased for an annual Tribute. He established the capital of his New World Empire in Deweysiene, between the mines and the coast, where he would be able to build and monitor this small kingdom.

It was about then that the rumors began circulating in Deweysiene.

As the Charter Lands expanded, so did trade with the natives. Many of the Old World hands had commented on how young the traders from the south appeared, although it was difficult to determine their age because they measured time differently. But, as time passed, these traders did not appear to age at the same rate as the explorers, or even the local inhabitants. Some of the old hands began to speculate that this was due to the water they drank.

All were familiar with the story of the Spaniard who had searched for a fountain of youth, to no avail. There was something different about the water that these traders drank, but not because it came from a fountain. Almost unnoticed, because they did it so briefly, they were found to 'brew' or 'steep' the water with small bags before drinking. They were very secretive about the contents of these bags, in fact seem to know very little about what was in them. They procured them from the south, but the actual source was unknown. As best as could be determined, the contents looked to be made of some plants, but primarily of a ground bean. None could identify it, for it certainly did not grow in this northern climate. But, the flavor it imparted to the water was unmistakeable.

As the story spread, the magical power of the contents of this bag grew with it. It was said to cure all ills in addtion to slowing the aging process. Eventually, Bjorn was compelled to organize an expedition to seek the source of this magical bean. If it had a name before this, it is lost to history. Henceforth it was known by the name of a certain young lady of the court as ...

...the Carra bean.
"We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing" - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Postby korexus » Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:30 pm

Yay! I like Bjorn's stories. :D

Just noticed your comments on the game page, Bjorn. Your images are filtered, but GM Dragonette's aren't. Therefore, if she's willing you can post put [img] tags in and D can change them to <img>.


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Postby Hannibal » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:09 am

Loved the story and wordplay!

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Postby Bjorn » Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:20 pm

Chapter 1 - The Crossing

The force that marched from Deweysiene was officially designated as Army Group I (AG1). It may have been a group, but very little of it would pass for an army by any definition of the word. There were a handful of knights, each with their own personal escort and entourage. Each of the nobles brought some of their own Men-At-Arms to form the backbone of the army. The rest of the army was made up largely of middle aged men seeking to relive or rediscover their youth. This was encouraging, as most of them had some military experience and would be accustomed to the rigors of a campaign. There would be some time available in the first few weeks and months to work them into a reasonable fighting force.

As with any army of the day, there were those who joined for adventure, but then quickly fade away as the hard work of campaigning progressed with little chance for adventure. There were the camp followers, the families of those on the campaign and the traders who exploit them. Lastly, there were the opportunists, who knew a marketable product when they saw it. If the stories of the Carra bean were true, they new that demand for it would be high. They would set to work setting up the trades routes necessary to get the bean to the markets where people would pay. Bjorn was counting on them to secure his Lines of Communications since he would need to have his combat troops with him.

The army marched out of camp and along the main highway through Louisiene to the main port of Nouvell-Paris. There was very little fighting, as this highway continued to be the main road for trade and travel to and from The Charter Lands. There was the usual march attrition, as many of those who started the march had second thoughts and abandoned the army, returning home. Others along the way joined the expedition. Bjorn took advantage of the brief respite at the port to look to the training of the army in advance of the next phase of the expedition.

Bjorn had decided to avoid marching through the wilderness in this campaign, believing it would be best to keep to familiar roads and make the passage to the south by sea. He had "called in the favors" from his merchant friends and asked them to provide enough ships to sail his army south and keep it supplied. In exchange, they would have a five year period of exclusive rights to transport and market the Carra bean. Many scoffed at the offer to market a mythical product, but enough were willing to take the risk and procured enough shipping for the bulk of AG1 to make the Gulf Crossing.

But, what was that destination? In spite of several inquiries in the Inns and taverns of Nouvell-Paris, there was very little useful information on where the beans might be found. That being the case, Bjorn decided to take the advice of some of the old traders and sail along the usual Gulf Trade routes. This should take him to a central trading city someplace in the south, where more useful information might be available. The usual port of call was a Spanish mission on the coast, Neuva-Espana. With little more to go on, AG1 embarked.

These were merchant ships, not really set up for transporting an army, especially the horses. For many in the army, it was the first time they had been to sea. We could devote an entire chapter to the embarkation and Gulf crossing of AG1. It is not a pretty story, and most of those who took part do not like to think about it. Suffice it to say that the weather cooperated and all of the ships that left port in the campaign completed the voyage without a major incident.

No one was sure what to expect as the fleet arrived off the coast of Neuva-Espana. The approach of such an armada was not something that could be kept a secret, but Bjorn had hoped that his merchant friends could convince the defending forces that this his army had no hostile intent.

[Hmmm....looks like the GM reran the turn, with dire results for the expedition. I will have to re-write the last part. Yondallus, your earlier misfortune has now turned into good fortune!]
"We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing" - Oliver Wendell Holmes


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