The Defense of Roseau
|Subject: The Defense of Roseau Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:16 pm|| |
...Madam Baudelaire's fingers whitened as she held fast to the wooden railing as her ship heaved in the heavy ocean spray. Before her was the imposing sight of Commodore deMontfort's flagship, and beyond it the assembled forces of French fleets surging forward with the wind at their backs.
It's just your nerves, nothing more... she told herself, fighting the queesy sensation of seasickness that had overcome her. I will not, can not disgrace myself by retching over the side like a common sailor at this hour. I... She silenced her internal monologue as her ship, the "Fleur du Mal" rose and fell once more.
"Captaine, English spotted off our port. There seem to be a great many of them!" spoke Louis Saint-Simon, the Fleur's First Mate.
"I see them Louis. Hold course steady to that of the Commodore's, and tell the crew to make ready. Our lines will soon be within range of each other..." Madam Baudelaire replied.
Looking at his Captain, Loius seemed on the verge of saying something else, but decided against it, and instead turned and began barking out orders to the waiting crew. Looking back to sea, Josie couldn't help but frown. The British were approaching Roseau's outlying fort in a long column, looking for every part the professional Navy they were. Her eyes darting ahead of her she sighed as she saw the mess of French ships before her, more of a "horde" than anything resembling battle lines.
Still, it will have to do. We didn't lose New Orleans, and I will be damned if we lose Rosseau. Looking behind her, she spotted the sparkling bow of Captain Angevin's frigate and smiled for the first time in hours. Well, at least three of us are in a line. Thank God for the likes of Chantilly and our other Confederates...
Her attention was snapped forward at the first sound of cannon fire, drifting back towards her as the report resounded across the waves. It was soon joined by several answering booms, and the battle was begun in earnest. Grabbing her spyglass from Marie-Thérèse, her cabin girl, she brought it up to her eyes and watched in frustration as one of the leading French warships that had strayed a little too close to the English line disappear in a hale of gunfire, the sea around where the ship used to be literally exploding upwards as hundreds of cannon shots fell from the sky. A fine cloud of splinters and sea spray settled over the area as the ship disappeared from view.
So it begins... she thought grimly to herself.
The next few moments were some of the most tense in Madam Baudelaire's life. As a vintner and growe of foods, she was no Naval Officer, but she knew her duty to France, and steeled herself against the coming onslaught. The cannon reports were now so numerous you could not tell when one ship had stopped firing and the other began. The screams of dying men intermingled with the shouts of orders, floating above the water, barely heard over the symphony of destruction being played out.
Several ships on both sides died in those first, brutal opening minutes. The English closed the distance even further, seemingly intent on beaching their line into the Fort they were fast approaching as they dealt death from their belching cannons. But they were suffering losses as well, and their line now had several gaps where once mighty warships had stood. Madam Baudelaire gritted her teath as the Fleur altered course to follow Commodore deMontfort. He had tacked thirty degrees or so to starboard, his new course skirting the giant mass of embattled ships before them. Having been literally at the end of the line, their tactical options were more limited, and the Commodore had obviously decided to move his small line into an area it could be of the most use.
"Captaine, the English! They are... they are turning towards us with full sail!" yelled Louis, pointing far to port.
"What?" she replied, obviously a bit surprised at this most recent turn of events. Squinting her eyes, she saw this was indeed exactly what was happening. The English ships had turned hard to starboard, and were rapdily approaching the frantic French ranks. Madam Baudelaire blinked rapidly several times, finding the sight before her eyes almost unimaginable.
They've crossed their own T! What in God's name are they playing at? she wondered, quickly snapping herself out of it as the first British warships, under heavy fire, began to sail amongst the beliegured French forces.
(...to be continued soon...)
Last edited by on Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
|Subject: Re: The Defense of Roseau Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:23 pm|| |
Madam Baudelaire reached out and steadied hreself on the shoulder of Louis who stood barking out orders besides her. The Fleur had just skimmed the surface of one of the most recent wrecks in her frantic attempts to turn and engage the enemy. Commodore deMontfort's line had turned with the British that had come flying through the French ranks, both sides erupting in cannon fire as they did so. The Fleur, being an older Postillion class frigate, was much smaller than many of the warships present and had made the turn readily enough, but the battle was completely chaotic.
All around Madam's small, black-hulled vessel ships were engaging one and other, several exploding nearly simultaneously as their mutual point blank broadsides ignited each others powder stores in one giant conflaguration. Several of the sailors on the Fleur's deck had to duck as flaiming debris rained down upon them, yet somehow the small ship itself had avoided attention... until now.
Struggling to keep the Commodore in sight, Josie never saw the looming British Frigate that closed on her. Truth be told, the British warship was fighting for its very life, and had suffered massive battle damage itself, its rudder having been split in twain by an errant piece bronze shot. It came as a surprise to both Captains when they slammed into each other with a horrible shrieking of metal and groaning of wood. The two vessals rigging instantly became entangled as the ships stuck fast to each other.
Pulling herself up from the deck, Josephine shook her head to clear it, her ears ringing as muskets were fired from both topdecks in a furious close range exchange of gunfire. Louis dragged her out of the line of fire while her crew rallied and fought back with furious resolve. Both ships still had full sails, and the wind blew the entangled pair at breakneck speeds. The few sailors that tried to make the crossing from one ship to the next found it to be too dangerous to attempt despite the two ships being stuck fast to one and other, either falling into the sea after an attempt, or being shot down after having barely made it aboard the other vessel.
Recovering her wits, Madam Baudelaire stood slowly, bracing herself against the mizzenmast as she looked closely at the British warship. She recognized the colors and personal heraldry of James Quinn, one of the British Captain's of some repute who had been plaguing these waters for some time. She also noted the extreme damage to the ships aft, notably below the waterline. Looking around and seeing that the Fleur was msotly surrounded by other French warships in hot pursuit of the remaining English that had broken through their lines, Madam Baudelaire was seized by a sudden inspiration. Forcing her way over to the ship's wheel she grabbed hold and told the sailor on duty to help her. With effort, she cranked the wheel over, two more men coming to help n the effort.
Slowly at first, but then with increasing speed the two trapped ships began to turn in the direction Captain Baudelaire had steered them, presenting the damaged broadside of Captain Quinn's ship to her waiting allies.
"Everyone, get down!" she cried as she saw her fellow Frenchman line up their shots. With a thunderous roar of fire, three seperate broadsides shot out, their impacts felt clear through to the deck below Josephine's feet. With a horrendous schrieking sound of metal tearing and wood splintering, the two vessels came apart at last as the doomed British warship foundered and began to sink rapidly below the waves. The Fleur was almost dragged down with, tilting precariously to the side as the British warship clung fast to its side, as if intent on dragging it down with it. Teams of brave sailors climbed over the side of the railing with boarding axes and went about chopping at whatever they could find. With a sudden twang, the Fleur righted itself and rocked back and forth, several sailors being flung high as the two ships seperated at last.
(OOC - Funny bug during the battle described by the above action. James Quinn's ship and mine got slammed together, true, but what had happened was that my ship ended up INSIDE his ship's model, but for some reason I was able to steer us where I wanted to go. I couldn't shoot him, nor he me, but I was able to steer him into the midst of our forces and eventually he sank.)
Tearing her eyes away from the frothing churn of bubbles and water spilling blood and sailors to the surface, Captain Baudelaire took several deep breaths to calm herself. Looking up at Loius, she shouted, "Damage report!"
Quickly speaking to the Bosum and several other sailors, he hurried back to her and said, "Mam, its hard to say, but it looks like most of the damage is superficial. Our riggings a mess, but we still have sail. No damage below the waterline, although were going to need a new coat of paint or three when we get back to harbor, that's for damn sure."
Nodding to her First Mate as she took in the information, she replied tersely, "See what can be done about that rigging, the Commodore doesn't like excuses, and I for one am not prepared to give him any. Now see to it!"
"Yes mam!" he replied, saluting smartly before turning on his heels and barking out orders.
Madam Baudelaire crossed to her aft and leaned on the remaining railing there, bringing her spyglass up and doing some quick counts. My God, where have all the British gone she marvelled. She looked again, just to confirm what she was seeing, but having difficulty believing. Sure enough, it was true. Only a handful of British had survived their mad dash through the French ranks, for every French ship having sank beneath the waves, two full British warships joined them. Only a handful of Cutters remained, having used their great speed and manueverability to thread their way through the greater ships to good effect.
A single massive British Frigate had remained behind, wounded but still fighting. Several French ships were turning to engage it when a bugle was sounded and flags ran up on the Commodore's flagship. The command was clear. Give chase to the Cutters. Do not engage the Frigate.
The French fleet leapt into pursuit of the English Cutters, hot on their heels as they closed towards the port of Rosseau proper. Fate, wind, and God's sweet mercy was on the side of the French as their lead elements were able to reach Rosseau in time. Aboard every vessel carpenters were busy making hasty repairs, hulls being patched and spare cannons being hauled out from below decks. The Fleur had found its squadron once more, now snuggly positioned between Commodore deMontfort and Chantilly's ships as the Confederate Line was drawn across the mouth of the harbor.
Further out the remaining Trimmer Fleet formed the hard outer shell of the French defenses, drawing up their remaining strength in a long battle line a mile or two out, their black sails snapping in the wind as their crew fought to secure them. Several times the fast British ships would circle round and make passes at the waiting warships, coming in just long enough that each of the small Cutter's could loose one or two volleys at most before turning back to sea to make repairs.
Captain Baudelaire was breathign easier by now, reasured by the calming presence of her fellow Confederates around her as she watched the antics of the British. She still couldn't believe that she was seeing what she was seeing. Why on Earth would the British bring a compliment of such small vessels to the engagement? she wondered. With no answer forthcoming, she satisfied herself with watching the unfolding spectacle in front of her. Having a moment's respite from the action, she orders double rum rations be handed out to the crew, who were at moment taking a much needed break. It was met with a rousing cheer, later followed by a spirited singing of the French anthem.
After what was close to an hour of the British seeking any way they could conceive of dodging past the French lines, they eventually turned tail and made for the open sea. Apparently not even a Britishman is foolish enough to run a scout ship down the waiting throat of twice its number of well prepared warships. As the last of the British turned to leave, a swelling cheer rang out across the sea as every Frenchman, Scotsman, Welshman and stalwart defender of the besieged port raised their voice in cheer at the days victory. It was truly a day to be remembered.
Turning towards Louis, who wore a smile from cheek to cheek, Madam Baudelaire said, "Louis, break out a crate of the Black Rose Privat Reserve and pour yourself a glass. Make sure a bottle is sent to the good Commodore and Captain Angevin as well. Come to think of it, make sure to remind me to send a case to the Trimmers as well. They fought well today."
Smiling, a twinkle ion his eye, Loius replied, "My pleasure Captaine! Consider it done." Turning back towards the sea, Josie allowed herself to beging believing it was real. They had beaten the odds. They had won the day.
Number of posts : 669
Localisation : Belle Isle (Virginia, US)
Registration date : 2007-05-22
Locations: Belle Isle, New Orleans, Irish Point
Production: Shot, Cannons, Fittings, Powder, Unrest Supplies
Requirements: Saltpeter, Limestone, Doubloons
|Subject: Re: The Defense of Roseau Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:27 pm|| |
(Bravo, Madame B. Bravely written.)
|Subject: Re: The Defense of Roseau Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:52 am|| |
(Thank you for your kind words Deoiridh, it means a lot to me that people take the time out of their busy days to read something that I have written. It is one of the best compliments I could hope for. I look forward to writing more for our Society. There are great stories waiting to be told after all...
|Subject: Re: The Defense of Roseau Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:50 am|| |
Madame if i may?
I cannot add more to all the above that have commended you on your art as i have come to see your writtings,
ye are talented indeed and i as well do enjoy reading them!
Your friend and servant,
|Subject: Re: The Defense of Roseau Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:39 pm|| |
"(OOC - Funny bug during the battle described
by the above action. James Quinn's ship and mine got slammed together,
true, but what had happened was that my ship ended up INSIDE his ship's
model, but for some reason I was able to steer us where I wanted to go.
I couldn't shoot him, nor he me, but I was able to steer him into the
midst of our forces and eventually he sank.)"
((Same exact thing happneed to me; but with a Trimmers Ship and before the first shots in the battle were ever fired so I spent the whole battle like that, I took all the damge protecting his ship and when I sunk he popped out from my ship full hull and ready to tear apart the Brittish.))
EDIT for the post Below:
I have had this happen with at least one NPC ship. Incidently it was on the same day of the battle; several hours prior.
Last edited by on Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
|Subject: Re: The Defense of Roseau Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:24 pm|| |
Henk, thank you very much for your kind words. It warms my soul to know that you appreciate the efforts I put into writing down my exploits, and those of my brave companions. Be careful though, you never know when you
may appear in one of my tales....
Benoit, you too got "merged" with another ship? Too funny, although I am very sad to hear that you met an unfortunate end as a result. I have slammed my ship into a wide number pf NPC ships before - I wonder if this bug is only with player vs. players ships? Hmmm....
Thanks for stopping by. Thank you both.
|Subject: Re: The Defense of Roseau Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:34 am|| |
- Madam Baudelaire wrote:
- Be careful though, you never know when you may appear in one of my tales....
Oh but i count on that all the unfinished "adventures" we started, i do believe there is more to this tale that will not be openly spoken 'o in ale houses 'n taverns alike!
|Subject: Re: The Defense of Roseau || |
The Defense of Roseau