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Author Topic: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect, Some Raceplay)  (Read 1651 times)

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Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Background

For over six millennia, the dark Bandot tribe had existed in peace, both with itself and the world around it.  Their origins were lost to antiquity, rooted in the winding-up of the last Ice Age permitting their distant ancestors to migrate from inland to this new land, which now had been their land from time immemorial.  Nurtured by the jungle and the river, the Bandot people, numbering in the high hundreds, had existed in a steady state.  They traded with other tribes, further inland, and caravans went back and forth during the dry season.  While there were occasional disputes, there was no war, no large-scale conflict.  The sea was a source of food, a calming presence, save for those odd times when a storm whipped it into a brief, spiteful frenzy.  The sun rose, the people worked and children played and went about their business, and the sun set.



And last night, the sun set on the last day of that age for the Bandot, that long afternoon in the jungle by the sea.

Today is the first day of a new age, bringing promise and peril...indeed, the threat of destruction of the Bandot way of life.



For across the sea came pale-skinned explorers, in a ship called the Dawnbringer.  The Dawnbringer was so much bigger than the canoes the tribe plied the river with, bigger even than the fishing-boats the tribe took to sea at times.  They came from a distant land.  The Dawnbringer had been blown off course by one of the great late-summer storms, and had spotted this land and anchored here.  The ship had been damaged, and needed repairs, which would take months without outside assistance.  So a skiff was launched, and some of the men paddled it ashore to see what resources this unknown land had to offer.  They gripped their muskets, for they knew not what hostile tribes or strange beasts this land might contain.  They got to the beach, and pulled the skiff into shore.  The leader of the small expedition pointed inland, to a row of trees.  If they could find bigger trees of that species, they could be cut to replace the damaged areas of the ship.  And where there were trees, there was freshwater--another commodity on the ship that was in short supply at the moment.

The expedition passed the row of trees, and heard running water.  Coming around a last row of bushes nearly twice as tall as them, they beheld the sight of a river as wide across as their ship was long, and a native female...

The Native Negress

As the cool of the morning surrendered to the heat of the forenoon, Akele had gone to the river to look for flowers, swim, and gather water for her tribe.  It was a favorite place for her.  And the flowers were a rare kind, used by her mother to make a beautiful purple dye that was much in demand come trading days. The negress was 17, with carefully braided hair laced with colorful beads.  Deep chocolate skin.  Budding young ebony curves.  A beaded skirt, no top.  Gold necklaces and jade bracelets.  Graceful, she bent down to draw water.  It was then that she saw the group of strange, pale men.
 
They must come from somewhere far away, Akele thought, as she looked them over, seeing their strange garb.  Perhaps they had goods to trade.  She had heard whispers about pale men from far away.  Some thought they were demons.  But demons surely would not talk, in voices like she heard the men speak.  When demons spoke, you heard it in your head, not your ears.
 
So she put the jug of water on her head, balancing it deftly, and walked toward the men.  She was tall, already developed.  As tall, in fact, as the shortest of the white men.  She walked confidently, even smiling.  They could see she had no weapons...only the jug of fresh, cold water from the spring.  She did not recognize the language they spoke in...

The Campaign

In this freeform story, a whole slew of ideas and concepts will be explored--central to this, the consequences when an expansionist, Renaissance-level civilization with a racial superiority complex encounters a Bronze Age tribe.  It is the less advanced people who tend to get the worst of such encounters, and likely this is what will happen here.  The story will likely feature a lot of exploitation of the natives...especially, the native women.  However, I've put in some checks and balances to make sure the white explorers don't have a total across the board advantage.  For starters, the natives outnumber the explorers about ten to one.  Unlike in Earth history, there are no lethal diseases the whites bring with them.  The explorers do have firearms, but they are muzzle-loading flintlocks.  The ship has eighteen cannon--seven on each side, two in front, two in back--but the effective range of the cannon is about 400 yards over water or level terrain.  Moving the cannon ashore would be a formidable undertaking, as they each weigh half a ton, and there are no horses aboard the ship to assist--and the skiffs are too small to carry the cannon to shore anyway.

As for the demeanor of the men...they come from a culture that believes that dark-skinned people are "lesser breeds without the law."  God endowed the lighter-skinned race with intellect and reason, and the dark races exist to serve, as slaves, or be pushed aside.  Of course, how those deeply-held cultural beliefs manifest in a given individual, and to what extent, will depend on the character.  Many of the sailors are in fact uneducated brutes--indentured servants themselves, even criminals shipped off as part of their punishment--who will gleefully oppress others, even irrespective of race, given the chance.  Some (especially amongst the officers) may be more educated...but, perhaps, no less racist, as their education merely gives them the "evidence" that supports their trenchant racial chauvinism.  A few may be more "enlightened" by our standards...but the pressure to conform to cultural norms likely makes them keep their opinions at least mostly to themselves.  In short, we today would consider their treatment of the darker natives to be ignorant, even evil...but to them, it is merely the norm and how things are. (Note that some of the sailors may be evil on general principles, as alluded to above, which is allowed.) 

The sailors are not one-dimensional exploiting racists.  They can have a variety of motivations for being on the expedition: to work off a debt or serve a sentence, to see more of the world, scientific curiosity, the pursuit of wealth, raping and pillaging distant lands and their people on general principles, learning the art of seamanship in the hopes of getting a better posting the next time around, finding some land to prove, finding strange beasts and hostile men to battle, and even just jumping ship and getting away from the socially stratified stuffiness of the Old World.  The cultural background is just that--a background, and is certainly not intended to be an end-all and be-all for what makes these men tick.

Eventually, the men will repair the ship, and at least most will return to the Old World.  And this is the single biggest advantage the sailors have, in the long run: once this land is charted and word of it gets back to the ports of the Old World, there will be more and bigger, better-equipped ships sent to establish a more lasting, more formal colony...



The following posts are available on the ship:

Captain
First Mate
Second Mate/Quartermaster
Navigator (Frelance)
Helmsman (TackyHillbilly)
Master-at-arms (Muse)
Surgeon
Chaplain
Naturalist (arkhos)
Able Seamen (about 10, experienced sailors, mostly from middle-class families) (spooky)
Seamen (about 25, some experience, from the ranks of the poor)
Recruits (about 30, inexperienced, the lowest rank of freemen)
Convicts and Indentured (about 20, the dregs, from the street and gaol)

The ship's officers all carry flintlocks and pistols, along with armor.  Able Seamen are equipped with chain-mail breastplates and flintlocks.  Seamen and below carry pikes or cutlasses and crossbows.  Convicts and Indentured typically are equipped with only long knives and/or cutlasses.  This is a (quasi)-historical game; no one has any super powers or magical abilities.  Note that this is a DM-led adventure, so I am playing the "world" the sailors adventure in, including the natives.



To start the story, I am looking for four characters (the ones who come on the initial landing party).  Once the game "has its legs" and the first scene is complete, I'll open it up for more players.
NOTE: Still accepting more players
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 08:31:43 PM by OldSchoolGamer »

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 12:07:15 PM »
Addendum: I'm not using a character sheet, since there are no stats or system here.  This is an interactive story in RPG form; most stories don't reveal every last detail of a character up front.  We the reader discover for ourselves.  So all you need to do is post a description and brief history.  Give me and your fellow RPers a physical description and highlights...things your character would likely have revealed about themselves over the course of the voyage.

Offline JDrew Spider

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 12:47:22 PM »
Awesome idea consider me interested.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 12:48:59 PM »
Awesome idea consider me interested.

Thanks for the interest. What type of character/rank did you have in mind?

Offline JDrew Spider

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 12:53:37 PM »
I have absolutely no idea. I was interested in playing a native first hand, but if it's a crew you need I can provide for that too.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 12:57:33 PM »
I have absolutely no idea. I was interested in playing a native first hand, but if it's a crew you need I can provide for that too.

I'm emphasizing crew first, to get the game booted up and the storyline underway.  I figure the initial scene will involve only a handful of crew and one native woman, so there will still be plenty of opportunities for new entries on both sides.  I am envisioning this being a long-term campaign, probably involving entities beyond even the sailors and the tribe.

However, one of my core philosophies as GM is nothing is ever etched in neutronium.  Everything is negotiable.  So, much as I'd really prefer crew at this point in time, I won't turn down a character concept for a native out of hand.

Online arkhos

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 10:01:10 PM »
Very interesting premise you have here, OSG!

I was considering applying for the Naturalist position? He would also be something of a linguist, and though he might not speak the language of the natives, perhaps he might learn it quickly than less-educated crewmen, and therefor assist with communicating with them?

He'd be something of an aristocrat, perhaps taking a 'liking' to one of the native girls they meet. He would NOT be into 'raping and pillaging', and he'd offer some 'resistance' to the idea of outright exploiting the people - essentially, trying to play the 'moral conscience' for the captain and (some of) the crew. Yes, he would likely be ignored regularly, and perhaps even disliked by some of the crew and even threatened, etc. He would not be everyone's 'best friend' by any means.

Would something like that be doable?

-Ark

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 10:11:22 PM »
Very interesting premise you have here, OSG!

I was considering applying for the Naturalist position? He would also be something of a linguist, and though he might not speak the language of the natives, perhaps he might learn it quickly than less-educated crewmen, and therefor assist with communicating with them?

He'd be something of an aristocrat, perhaps taking a 'liking' to one of the native girls they meet. He would NOT be into 'raping and pillaging', and he'd offer some 'resistance' to the idea of outright exploiting the people - essentially, trying to play the 'moral conscience' for the captain and (some of) the crew. Yes, he would likely be ignored regularly, and perhaps even disliked by some of the crew and even threatened, etc. He would not be everyone's 'best friend' by any means.

Would something like that be doable?

-Ark

Sounds like a great concept there.  Feel free to flesh it out.

Offline Frelance

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2012, 04:24:46 AM »
I am definitely interested in this game. I cannot say what character I have in mind at the moment because I want to do some research into at least four before I decided. So I will probably edit this or post again when I have done that.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 11:20:27 AM »
I am definitely interested in this game. I cannot say what character I have in mind at the moment because I want to do some research into at least four before I decided. So I will probably edit this or post again when I have done that.

Excellent.  Looking forward to seeing it.

Offline spooky

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 01:05:35 PM »
You've got my interest. I'll happily play Able Seaman #2 of the landing party.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2012, 04:19:16 PM »
You've got my interest. I'll happily play Able Seaman #2 of the landing party.

Added you to the roster.  Recruitment is still open.

Offline Frelance

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 05:11:55 PM »
I will take the position of Navigator. I am thinking that this will be his second voyage to the new world. He has spent most of his life on ships and picked up most of his skills on fishing ships in his early years then moving onto a merchant ship that sailed from Europe to India. He would have taken a position on the Dawnbringer because he wants to see more of the world and if possible gain more wealth.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Re: Voyage of the Dawnbringer (Historical, NC, Politically Incorrect)
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 05:31:20 PM »
I will take the position of Navigator. I am thinking that this will be his second voyage to the new world. He has spent most of his life on ships and picked up most of his skills on fishing ships in his early years then moving onto a merchant ship that sailed from Europe to India. He would have taken a position on the Dawnbringer because he wants to see more of the world and if possible gain more wealth.

Sounds like a good basis for a character/  I've added you to the roster as Navigator.

Offline spooky

Able Seaman # 2 AKA. Charleston Mason, 20 years of age.

A young man with a sailors blood. He comes from a long line of men on the ocean, some of them astounding men fit to be admired and some being the most filthy of scoundrels. For most of his life he simply took to the sea fishing and doing small jobs as a guard on merchants crossing the high seas. This time, for the thrill of adventure and tales of distant lands with women with flesh of ebony and porcelain, Charles finds himself crossing an expanse of ocean so big his mother feared it would be his death.

Charleston is from a family with both proud and noble history, though the money and grandeur had vanished long before his generation. His low born upbringing and proud family name give him hope to rise up and find glory and wealth in the distant New World.

Sound good?

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Able Seaman # 2 AKA. Charleston Mason, 20 years of age.

A young man with a sailors blood. He comes from a long line of men on the ocean, some of them astounding men fit to be admired and some being the most filthy of scoundrels. For most of his life he simply took to the sea fishing and doing small jobs as a guard on merchants crossing the high seas. This time, for the thrill of adventure and tales of distant lands with women with flesh of ebony and porcelain, Charles finds himself crossing an expanse of ocean so big his mother feared it would be his death.

Charleston is from a family with both proud and noble history, though the money and grandeur had vanished long before his generation. His low born upbringing and proud family name give him hope to rise up and find glory and wealth in the distant New World.

Sound good?

Excellent.

Offline spooky

Thank you

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Still open...I'm looking to boot this up on Thursday or Friday.

Offline spooky

I'll be waiting

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

JDrew Spider, have you decided which character you want to enter with yet?  I'm looking to launch in approximately 48 hours here.  Looking forward to seeing your character!

Offline JDrew Spider

You can put me down for First Mate :)

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

You can put me down for First Mate :)

Excellent.  Everyone, please post characters here: http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=143603.0

I'm still open for anyone else who wants to join.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

And we're off!  In-game story thread is here: http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=143751.0

Still accepting new players.

Offline OldSchoolGamerTopic starter

Positions for the initial landing party have been filled.  However, there are still positions for people on the ship (who will, as the story progresses, have the chance to make landfall).  Even without native women to play with, you still have opportunities...for example, Convicts and Recruits can attempt mutinies, or steal a skiff and try to make it to shore and strike out on their own, etc.

Offline Muse

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