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**Note -- Originally posted to Reddit June 1, 2019 Fellow Texians and Men of Honor in all Parts of the World, I come to you now in earnest to account the loss of our island in F10 to the rogue agents of Wendigo and Jazz Cabbage. I would dare say that it was a fair fight to the last man, but from our own ill-preparedness that was hardly the case. Our island harbor was protected mostly by the ships at anchor, their crews set to ready action should any hostile approach our entrance. But due to the earlier raids by the accursed bandits of the Wendigo and Jazz nations, our harbor lay exposed and empty except for the wrecks of our small Texian fleet...which we were in the due course of salvaging when the scoundrels appeared on our horizon once again! A ship of unknown allegiance first approached our harbor and the call went out to action! I climbed the High Guard platform and manned a mortar...one of my captains joined me there and manned a second. We identified the ship in harbor as she opened fire on our remaining yards and structure...as suspected it was our friends to the West come again to harass our small settlement and test our Texas good nature. In appropriate response we tried our best to bite at their heels with what teeth we had left ~ Don't Tread on Me! Our pucklers began to shout out sightings of men-at-arms on foot and mounted bears entering our valley. We turned our mortars then to the inner grounds of our crafting hall and surrounding buildings as my captains called out positions and sightings of the invaders. We caught sighting of a second brig off our eastern coast...at anchor in the unprotected waters where we have often invited visitors. It dawned on me at that moment that it was the exact spot we had invited a Jazz Cabbage galleon to come ashore to harvest cotton just days ago and welcomed them with our nicest Texas hospitality....myself guiding them to anchor using multiple flares and bidding them safe travels on their peaceful departure afterward. It is now believed in my heart that their pale excuse of needing our cotton was but a ruse to scout our defenses and make ready for these underhanded and treasonous actions against us. So be it...all pleasantries be damned at this point! The High Guard turned our mortars on the offending brig at anchor to the east and we opened fire! She bore the brunt of our assault and made a hasty retreat....leaving ashore her men and cannon bears to fend for themselves! It was one of several small victories we enjoyed during the night. But that was just the beginning. We rained mortar fire down on the island below and exhausted our stores of ammo in rapid order. One of our captains mounted horse and rushed from our crafting hall up the sloped cliffs to High Guard and brought us new stores and supplies. An enemy cannon bear followed him and we attempted to rid our cliffs of the animal to no avail. Protected by own platform, the enemy began to attack our mortar structure from below and was helpful enough to instruct us and advise us on our lack of experience and poor tactics. We Texians enjoyed a laugh or two as this helpful individual seemed willing to help and yet so willing to grief us at the same time. How noble these brutes must think they are, I wonder? The battle lasted for some time. We would attempt to man puckles and swivels as our hired crews would fall, only to be cut down ourselves by either cannon or marksmen or grenadiers. It was a good fight and quite the spectacle, to be sure! Our High Guard mortars kept up the barrage during the battle until the enemy was able to assault it directly on foot and rid us of our mortar captains -- then they set about to destroy the mortars themselves which they accomplished unopposed. Their cannon bears made short work of the crafting hall walls and our beasts of burden were slain in their pens. Wall defenders died at their posts or had their stations blown out from under their feet from cannon fire. Our stores were plundered, our crafting resources pilfered and many of my fellow Texans were slain in their beds at slumber with no chance or offer of surrender or retribution. From our hidden spots among the cliffs and ridges overlooking our small settlement, my captains and I bore witness to the destruction and the barbarous nature of these poor bastards who would have you hold their actions in high esteem as "fair play" or "it's just PVP". No my dear friends, utter destruction for the sole satisfaction of kicking a dog while it is unable to bite you back, is not fair play....not by Texas standards at least. Then the leader of the assault called out his wish to now talk. Suddenly it would seem that once there was nothing left to destroy or pillage this man would wish us to join his allegiance and swear fealty to himself and his band of miscreants. To be absolutely clear and honest, my captains and I had discussed this possibility already prior to the events of the day at hand -- prior to the raid on our harbor by the Jazz Cabbage brig, Grimm Reaper. We had already noted that the Wendigo nation seemed to be good sports and had only given us their cursory attention in due course as they made patrol of our waters in search for their intended quarry, the YT men of China. I swear to you now on the Holy Ground of the Great State of Texas that had the Wendigo and Jazz Cabbage invasion come to our shores with peaceful intention to recruit the Republic of Texas as an ally and sought our favor as a friendly harbor in the F10 war....they would have been met with respect and interest. But as God is my witness when their demands came in the form of an ultimatum to either join them or pay them taxes after such a pointless raid of utter brutality and accompanied meaningless show of force....my one and only response was, "Have you ever been to Texas, sir?" It was our national hero, Colonel William Barret Travis, who upon hearing the demands of el Generalisimo de Santa Anna, that the garrison of men of the Alamo mission surrender their arms and submit to the Mexican army, answered with a single cannon fired over their heads! If I had but one shot and one cannon at my disposal, my answer would have been likewise. My Texian captains and I stood our ground with nothing but the rocks and sticks in our hands and we refused their satisfaction. Our hearts and minds were set. They would have to take it by force for we would not give them a single inch. It was then that the Wendigoans and Jazz Cabbage men set about to take our claimed island from us. They established their claim and set their perimeter. I took note of the time and my captains and I discussed our options. To some, the battle was over and the time was late...our ships were at the bottom of the sea and our base was but a shell and empty walls. Understandably, some elected to retire for the night and hope for the best. A few of us remained. I inquired to the men who now wished to take our home from us if it was truly their intent to play hide and seek for the next three hours as our island would count down and cycle back to peace time. They assured us that they had nothing better to do. My captains and I discussed how sad a state of affairs it must be to be in such an organization that would have nothing better to do than spend an entire night taking pennies from the poor and call it fun. Why would anyone want to join up with such a group in the first place, I wonder? To be honest, some of their members expressed their displeasure in the situation. We could overhear their discussions....and one of the ships departed entirely when a single YT ship made its presence known in the grid. The Chinaman's poor attempt at insult to the Wendigo nation made even our Texas captains smirk. We bantered in private, "and they think we are with these guys? Do they not see that nobody is coming to help us???" But the line had been drawn in the Texas sand. We set our minds to harass the invaders and try to keep one of our number within the line at all times...thinking that if we can delay the declaiming of our island for the next 3 hours that the fight would be ours and their efforts totally wasted. It was a battle of wills at this point.....we were determined to defend our small claim as best we could or at least make it the most irritable action for them to endure as possible. We gave it our best. At one point, we had sent a captain to our reserve base and returned in a small sloop loaded with supplies. We donned armor and weapons, firearms, bows and arrows, grenades...and we steeled ourselves to rush the walls of our own crafting hall. We split up and came into sight...one of my captains stripped his armor to appear naked as before, attempted to lure them out as seemed to work easily and had been often repeated. When they came upon him, myself and one other lept from our cover and rushed them...muskets and blunderbuss fired, swords drawn. It was a short fight but chaos none the less. I ran through the melee having spent my powder and ran to the crafting hall. I literally ran into a number of their men who let me pass not knowing it was a Texan wearing armor and not one of their own. I was able to approach their claim flag and discern the timer -- it still showed 59 minutes and the Texas flag was still above half-mast. We were doing the best we could and it was going to take them all night to be sure. My captains were killed in the fight but I escaped detection for some time. While hiding inside the boundary line, the claim timers were frozen, contested. They would have to find me. I could see the back of the crafting hall and I remembered that I laid some ceiling tiles next to foundations when I put in the plumbing for our seed crops....if I could make my way to one of those tiles, perhaps I could hide under it and go unnoticed for some time. It seemed like a plan so I jumped at the chance. I ran to the back of our structure and demolished one of our cisterns...directly behind it was an open space under our wooden floors and I crawled inside. It didn't take as long as I had hoped for them to find me. In fact, I wondered if they had a lookout posted above the valley in the cliffs and he had seen my actions because it wasn't long before one of their men addressed me at the end of a musket and bid me come out. He fired to persuade me. I had just used my final respec and focused all my energy in health. So his musket did me far less damage than he had hoped and I'm sure the full plate armor helped as well. I crawled out to face him and he fired again....I grinned under my visor and drew my sword! We tangled...I embraced him in close hand-to-hand combat and danced around him leaping and jumping. Then I remembered the grenades I had on my belt....I began dropping them at our feet as I laughed maniacally in my bloodlust. This one man was about to pay for all the wrongs given us by these miscreants! To my great satisfaction, I blew both of us to smithereens....and laughed and celebrated for quite some time! Another small victory. The game of cat-and-mouse continued...for hours, literally. At another moment in the effort, I found myself swimming in our harbor among the wreckage of our ships. A pair of elephants had gotten themselves tangled in the debris and I knelt below one of them perched on the hull of our harbor tender sloop. I was inside the circle and contesting their claim, again. Quite happy with myself I knew they would have to go to a great length to find me. I thought I was discovered when one of their men swam around me and literally demolished the plank I was perched on....I fell into the water behind him and immediately swam away under our docks. He did not follow. Did he even see me? I curled back under the docks where we had left many open spaces between columns, pillars and stacked foundations....I could hold my breath for quite some time and could catch air when the waves and tides surged. Not long after I was discovered once more and put to the sword. One of my captains managed a huge feet of luck when he was able to rush the crafting hall and lock himself in the space between the inner and outer main gates. To the joyful glee of myself and my fellow Texians we laughed and joked about how they would have to really put in some effort to get him out...stone gates on one side and a medium wood gate on the inside of the crafting hall....surrounded by stone walls. It was a tomb fit for a king, or in this case, the most brilliant turn of luck of the night. We laughed as our invaders gathered what grenades and hand weapons they had and began to chip away at the gates. My captain taunted them yelling "Tik Tok, Tik Tok!!!" from inside his coffin. Another small victory, yet short lived. they eventually blasted him out but every minute and every second counted to our favor. We were not winning, but neither were they! They eventually setup cages and gibbets and instead of killing us outright they switched tactics to try to take us prisoner. They would chase us with grappling hooks and assault us with clubs. We countered by rushing the rhinos and elephants and slapping them as we ran into the courtyard to be taken captive. If done right, the animals would kill us and knock our foes in all directions as well. Their beastmaster made work of taming every animal he could. They eventually had a small herd of goats guarding the claim flag and we would run in and jump into the middle of the aggressive animals and attempt to get them to chase us out of the claim area. One of my captains rustled up a small herd of elephants and lead them into the fray to much entertainment and confusion. They eventually caught me and placed me in their guillotine...they removed my head and took their prize...it was a grizzly scene but a small victory for them to be sure...and a hard won trophy. I hope they never forget this night and think about it every time they look upon my face. I hope it haunts them. But the night was not over. Another of my captains retired...the next day brought real work to be done and 2am was his last call. That left it to only two of us remaining. We took turns in our efforts...one would lay in wait while the other would do his best to distract the enemy whose numbers were also greatly reduced from the start of the evening. When they were distracted, the other of us would run in and try to hide inside the claim. The enemy had been hunting down our beds and safe havens and were removing them as methodically as they could. They even enlisted the work of a small sloop to destroy our watch towers around the entire island since each had a safe bed inside. We also had platforms and observation points on the cliffs facing the open sea and those as well had to be destroyed or climbed and the beds thereon removed. It was tedious work I'm sure...and meant to make them earn every second of their conquest. I was caught again and placed in a cage...guarded by one of their men who was quite apologetic for the circumstances. We chatted and I expressed my utter displeasure for their antics and methods of harassment and promised that this was not a sure way to earn one's respect or allegiance. In fact this was how one makes enemies, not friends. I eventually died of thirst and went about the work of thwarting their efforts once more. With less than thirty minutes remaining in our combat window my fellow Texan was captured, leaving me alone. I spawned at our last bed...our farthest south platform, facing open ocean on the side of a cliff. I knelt in a corner and privately discussed our situation with my fellow captain. He was taken with full health and well fed and rested...it would be some time before he would die in their cage. The timer was under 20 minutes. Would the claim fail if the island came out of combat before our flag was lowered? We didn't know but that was our hope. While we were discussing our options, the enemy climbed onto my platform and stood just outside my doors. I heard them discuss that they had no way of destroying the walls or doors as their grenades and blasting powder was spent. They suspected this was the last bed and they would just wait for me here. They had no idea I was just inside and heard every word. It was then that I laughed to myself as my plan solidified in my mind. When the timer clicked 15 minutes, I demolished the platform on which we all stood. The entire structure fell out from under our feet and we all plummeted to the cliffside below. The plan did not quite go as I imagined because we did not fall in the water and nobody died when we hit the cliff -- it was not so far a fall after all. And lastly, the weight of the materials now in my possession made it impossible for me to run away. Damn the luck! My enemy made short work of me with clubs and knocked me out just as I was able to drop my inventory on the ground. They shackled me and lifted me to their shoulders and began parading me back to their base and the waiting cages. Happily they estimated that the fight was done and they had won. But it was a ruse....I played the part of being knocked out until I regained my strength....at once the man carrying me dropped me and I landed on my feet! I leapt from the cliff and found the water below and made for swimming the deep and followed the cliffside below the surface. I was very familiar with the waters of our small island and as long as no sharks, mantas or crocodiles caught my scent I would be able to make the harbor. As I held my breath I circled past the harbor and came out on the northern cliff slope....just a few yards from their claim flag...I just needed to run that short distance to suspend their claim once more...maybe for the last time. But the effort was in vain. At that moment, the island was still in combat phase for another several minutes, but they struck down our Texas flag and our claim was lost! The battle was over. .... It would take gold for me to contest their claim now and all our gold had been stolen from us during the night. What we had left was on the claim flag as I had not thought to remove it when the invaders appeared on our shores. The claim was lost and there was nothing I could do about it. The victors called out asking what my intentions were to which I responded "I need to find a way to remove these hand cuffs" which they replied they had expected me to be food for the sharks by then. My captive captain began to ask them to remove him from the cage he was in....which they were reluctant to do so seeming intent to add insult to injury. His pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears...as they took him to their guillotine. In response he pointed out their poor sportsmanship and I myself found a crocodile to help remove my shackles. Unable to return to our once home island, we retired for the night...swearing that our vengeance would be patient and measured, as is our way. This was Thursday night and all the way up til 3am on Friday morning. It is now the weekend and we Texians are busy making preparations to claim a new settlement and work towards new ships and bases of operation and we will incorporate many of the new ideas we have learned in the past few days to bolster our defenses against such invasions in the future. And rest assured....one day the time will come....that we will present ourselves before the factions of Wendigo and Jazz Cabbage and ask a single question: Remember us? ~Republic of Texas
**NOTE -- Originally posted to Reddit on May 31, 2019 My fellow Texians...I come to you with sad news from the Republic of Texas of grid F10. When I joined my crew this night, it was reported to me at once that members of the Jazz Cabbage nation were issuing threats and warning our small island residents of a pending attack. My captains reported that messages were exchanged and it was indicated to the aggressors that our governor (myself) was not yet available for comment. The reply from Jazz Cabbage was flatly that there was no time to wait for a reply. A black and red brig flying black sails was soon reported off our southern harbor. Before we could man our stations the brig parked behind our harbor walls and opened fire into the harbor. This hostile action was utterly without provocation but my crew and I were more than eager to return them with a warm Texas welcome! We raced to our ships! I tried to calm my crew and urge patience as I sprinted to the harbor walls. But in our haste to make a good showing and offer our visitor a stand-up fight we already had ships pulling out away from their docks. Afterall, it was just a single brig and we easily outnumbered her. Based on recent experience we hoped for a fight where we might squeeze out an advantage. Giving honor to her namesake, the brig [TXS] Davy Crockett was first into the fray! Thinking back to our Texas hero of history, Crockett was one of the last defenders of the Alamo of 1836. He and the men of less than 200 fought to the very last and the Crockett sailed into battle hoping to stand toe-to-toe with her enemy....for better or worse. As the two brigs circled outside the range of our harbor cannons and mortars, the galleon [TXS] San Antonio mustered all hands to action and pulled out from her moorings. But her inability to maneuver in such tight quarters with dueling brigs took her far out of range of her cannons and fighting the wind to beat back to the fight. As for myself, I took command of the galleon [TXS] Alamo and made ready to push off. I suddenly realized that her crew were yet off-island on leave to the nearest Freeport. (ie: she was severely under manned...only her forward-most cannons were manned and ready. She was not ready for battle!) Seeing my delima, I abandoned the Alamo and swam for my personal flagship, the brig [TXS] Rio Grande. She was a sixteen-gun brig with a mix of both large and medium cannon. Not an ideal fashion for a war brig, but I hate only being able to fire in straight lines abeam. As the Rio Grande pulled away from the docks and rigged full sail, the Crockett sank under the far superior firepower of the offending brig. Her captain eagerly cursing us all for our slow response and call to arms. Totally understandable, but I was however in no place to remedy the loss. We sailed now with a singular focus...Victory or Death! The galleon San Antonio was making for the hostile brig, Grimm Reaper, and the Rio Grande came out to meet her head-on. We passed gunport to gunport and my crew let fly a full salvo of cannon....as did the Reaper. Planks and armor were shredded instantly and several crew cried out as even some of my cannon were destroyed! The fire swivels on the Reaperswept my decks as we passed and my forward sail hand leapt to his death with his uniform on fire! I too, was a casualty with that first pass...and my ship limped forward to a stop as the sails came down and her guns fell silent....I had issued an order to fire a broadside, not a standing order to fire at will... *sigh* When I woke after what seemed like an eternity, the crew was all about in chaos! Below decks were filled with smoke and debris littered the gun deck from stem to stern. The spray of the ocean rushing in from the forward bulkhead made the run amidships treacherous but I did my best. With planks in-hand I returned to the forward compartment and waited for the debris to clear and slapped planks into place. Now back to the fight, or so I thought. As I came above deck, the Reaper was firing again. Her cannons landed devastating blow after blow and I barely made it to the ship's wheel and issued all guns to free fire before I was cut down once again. My ship and her crew would fight without me for the next two-minutes! While I was out, the San Antonio finally got into range on the Reaper and the two were exchanging fire. The captain of the Crockett made it aboard the Rio Grande and was attempting repairs when I found my way out of the surgeon's cabin. I asked him to demo the ship's wheel so I could put one on the middle deck out of harm's way. We accomplished the change of command in brief order and I resumed control of the ship, only now being below the deck armor I had no visual to my surroundings. None the less, I issued the order to go to full sail and I pulled up the Atlas map to see where the fight was. I was sailing blindly under full sail directly ahead. As my view cleared, I realized that the Rio Grande was entering the harbor at a full gallop. Her sails pushing her to speed with nothing to stop her but that large shipyard directly ahead! We plowed into the shipyard and two more planks disintegrated in the collision. What a fool I was for not checking my bearing before issuing the order to go all ahead! Damn the luck! I pulled what resources I had and loaded the smithy. Surely two planks was not beyond my ability to repair and get back into the fight! But only one could be fashioned from the materials at-hand. And where once you could demolish structures to regain materials in time of need, now an unanchored ship somehow expels all demolished materials without even so much as a single fiber to be put to good use. I blame the loss of the Rio Grande on poor preparedness, unlucky navigation, and a shell-shocked captain. Dieing two times in three minutes while fighting a sinking ship is stressful work! That's my excuse anyways. But the battle was not over. I abandoned the wreck of the Rio Grande and whistled my crew to follow me to the Alamo. We boarded and I hastily made her ready to sail. As we pulled out of the harbor, I began assigning crew to battlestations. I placed one on the wheel and directed her to take a southern heading....last time I looked at the map that's where the fight was. As I finished making ready the crew, I checked our bearings and announced my intention to bring the Alamo into the fight even with a reduced crew. My other captains were now weary of the battle as the San Antonio was all but lost at this point. As the San Antonio went down we all gathered on the decks of the Alamo...this would be our last stand. We approached the enemy brig and she made sail as if to run....but we paralleled her course and slowly closed range, almost matching her speed perfectly. She led us by a boat length, which made us easy prey for her long range cannons but she was just outside of ours. We needed more speed or I would have to take the hits until we could bear away and fire. I tried to trim the sails but the Alamo was being stubborn in the light air...and no more speed was to be had. We ran along on a southerly course and we matched heading changes in unison. Our cannons opened fire under orders but the shots fell behind the Reaper while hers found our forward planks and decks. It was obvious by then that the brig was slowly pulling ahead of us -- she was slightly faster. Up ahead I saw a chance to possibly turn the running sparring match into a broadside brawl where would have the upper hand of more cannon...a fleet of Ships of the Damned appeared directly in our course ahead....two galleons of low/mid level and an assortment of brigs. I steered directly for them and told the crew to prepare to receive multiple incoming cannons. I then had our gunners stand down so as to not waste ammo on the glowing fleet. The Reaper realized what was happening and angled toward us. She passed through our firing arcs and I attempted to land a manual sighting salvo to not very great effect....and she took up position behind us on our stern. We passed through the ghostly fleet and the night sky illuminated with their glowing cannon fire. Half their cannons scored hits on the Alamo and as we cleared the two galleons I cranked hard to port...or at least as hard as a galleon will go to port. The maneuver was almost perfect! The Ships of the Damned had been caught mostly unaware as we sailed through their midst but they turned hard in on us in pursuit......and rubbed railings with the brig as she gave chase. We were attempting to tack across the wind but the Reaper had loaded bar shot and was ripping our aft sails to pieces! We were slowing....and even though the brig got tangled up with the galleons and other fleet of the Damned, she broke free and closed on us rapidly. We lost our two aft sails and I tried to reverse back into the fleet of the Damned once more. The Reaper took up close quarters on our aft and my captains fired medium cannons and ballista at her dark hull. Our aft planks melted away and on all three decks above the waterline one had a clear view of the engagement! Our broadside cannons were useless and our efforts at repairs were spent. All around us cannon fire was still sounding...the brig and galleon both were sending ships of the Damned to the depths in rapid succession...but our two vessels were locked in mortal combat. In a last ditch effort, we dropped sail and waited for the boarders. As my captains yelled the enemy was coming aboard, I raised the forward handlers and pulled hard to port once more trying to out-turn the brig while she sat with her sails down and officers attempting to board us. The move worked ever so slightly as the brig broke off for a moment raising sail and trying to avoid our large cannon as we turned....she was just too fast and we barely landed anything more than glancing blows. However, seeing as we still had some kick left in us, the Reaper turned in and went for the kill. There was no boarding action to repel nor any last hooray to be had. Once again, the Alamo was lost. We had been soundly defeated by a far superior ship in every manner. If there had been a chance for us to leave our mark by sending the Reaper to the bottom it was only in our minds alone. The reality of the engagement was that we were outmatched before the first cannon was ever fired. I give much respect to the shipbuilders of the Reaper and her crew, yet I hold very little for her commander and for the manner in which the battle came about. There was no patience to await word from our leadership about the diplomatic issue at hand and the commander of the Reaper took it upon himself to enforce some unwritten rule of wrong-sided allegiance which we were wrongly accused of breaking. And to add further insult, it was plainly clear that at any time the superior vessel could have called off the attack and disengaged after seeing we were clearly outmatched. Had the alliance between Wendigo and Jazz Cabbage been so eager to win our favor in a fight with YT, which they claimed was their honest intent, and being the good sports that we Texians are...we would have gladly taken our lumps and retreated back to our harbor to lick our wounds, salvage our wrecks and entertain a parlay for our allegiance. But none of that happened...and in our defeat we still sportingly accepted our losses and returned to home base to begin salvage and recovery operations. All the while discussing our need for better investment in ships and cannon. But unfortunately, the night was not yet over.... ...to be continued...
NOTE: Originally posted on Reddit on May 30, 2019, Edited A little info about us: Since the wipe, the Republic of Texas has been doing what we normally do...building up bases and outposts, trading with neighbors and nearby islands, and trying to keep our ships afloat. In the larger scheme of things we have realized that our little island is pretty quiet....we have visitors come and go without incident almost daily. Texas is a friendly place and we welcome visitors. If you care to visit, I suggest you keep to the north-eastern shoreline which is away from our harbor. And while you are on excursion, most areas east of the lighthouse are safe for all visitors. With that being said, we have now been raided twice by our good friends, Wendigo. And by their actions we have had to install base and harbor defenses which are always on alert. And now comes the second installment of our experience with the wayward Wendigoans. ==================== Our mostly quiet region of F10 usually exhibits few more than a dozen active sailors at a time. So imagine my concern when we began receiving reports of multiple sailors entering the region....again and again...more coming...and more. The population rose to over 34 men at arms over the span of a few minutes...and talk began to spread of our westerly neighbors, the Wendigoans, seeking adventure and sport on the high seas. They seemed intent on seeking out ships flying the flag of our neighbors, YT, and attempted to call them out to a fight but either the YT company was out of region or they were nowhere to be found. We Texians realized quickly that hostilities were coming to our shores like it or not and our minds were set and focused on our motto -- Don't Mess With Texas or Come And Take It. Your choice. We set about to make ready our harbor ships at anchor and we manned the mortars. I stood lookout on the High Guard peak and began scoping the horizon for sails while others prepared the lower mortars. Negotiations took a sour turn when the Wendigoans located an unmanned YT vessel at anchor on our southern island. I didn't know it was there, nor do I care. We have sought safe harbor during peace time at every island in our region from time to time, so it just seems neighborly to us that others would do the same. But the Wayward Wendigoans were looking for a fight and with YT laying low and our friends, the Hippies, in absence...that left Texas as the only means at their disposal to rid their cannons of their blue cannon balls. They used the unmanned YT ship as their reasoning for bringing the fight to our shores....if we were allied with YT then we were the crazy ones. My assurances that we leave YT to fight their own battles and we only concern ourselves with ours fell on ignorant ears. Even word from Jazz Cabbage vouching for our Texas hospitality went ignored. Then they accused us of allying with CSTG....to which I had to verify our company records that they were NOT floating somewhere in the lists. Seeing as how we are only cursory members of two regional alliances, CSTG was not shown or indicated, and our pre-wipe membership with the Federation of SCA would have meant nothing to the ship captains making sail for the Texas coast at that moment...so I didn't bother to explain our history and heritage. Ultimately, the only company that has shown us any hostility has been Wendigo itself...and since they appeared to be hellbent on shooting at something or someone regardless of affiliation or peaceful intent, we Texians resigned ourselves to the second half of our motto and agreed on comms -- Let them Come and Take It! As expected, sails appeared outside our harbor, a solo brig flying Wendigo colors with two speed sails and a handler. She brought up and heeled to as she found what was waiting for her....the Texas harbor was not so lightly defended as it was last time. She circled outside of cannon and mortar range...dipping in and out of view at the farthest my spyglass could see from the High Guard. Our harbormen reported her movements as she went off our southern point and lied in wait. Shortly, a second brig arrived, masted with 3 speeds, and approached hugging the cliffs of our northern point....she dropped sail just as she was about to enter the firing arc of our harbor tower. I reported to our crews to standby...watch for foot soldiers and listen out for puckle fire! I assumed that a smart captain would have put a man ashore to scout for weaknesses in our defenses...but apparently I was wrong. The 3-speed Wendigo brig made for a slow sail as she rounded the point. She fired on our northern-most large shipyard and I could see cannon balls being exchanged through my spyglass. The harbor crews reported the shipyard destroyed after only 2 or 3 volleys! 300,000 hitpoints gone without our cannons making a dent in the Wendigo brig's armor! Amazing! As the brig passed our harbor, the handler brig that had being laying off the southern point had approached within firing range. Her broadsides began flying into the harbor and ripping through masts and rigging! Our ship crews stood their ground and every cannon in the harbor fired as the two vessels crossed and came to bear....I was regretting my decision to be perched on High Guard with all the fireworks taking place down below but the Texas harbormen were reporting the action and I could hear the cannons bellowing in the background and I could see the muzzle flash light up the rigging and walls of the harbor! At about that moment, I heard the only shot that I heard during the entire battle from so high on top of our High Guard peak. "What was that??," I wondered. One of my captains had landed a mortar shot on the brigs as they crossed and was reporting fire and sparks on the offending vessel! It's a small victory to land one solid hit against a much stronger foe and we Texians enjoy our small victories! At that point I lept off the platform of High Guard and began sprinting down the cliff face....I was obviously missing all the damn fun! But as I descended High Guard using grapple and gravity, the Wendigo ships pulled out away from the harbor and our guns fell silent. Everything fell silent. The elephants and crows meandered along our harbor street as if nothing of import had occurred. I joined my fellow Texians at the harbor... "Was that it? Where'd they go?" "We lost the shipyard. Anything else?" "Not that I can see." It was then that the crew of the schooner, IH8Rocks, began shouting and yelling as she sank unceremoniously near the mouth of the harbor! "Damage crews! To the ships!" Damn our ignorance....we had forgotten that a ship sinking makes no sound until it's too late so we split up and began boarding our ships and making repairs! The galleon, Alamo, was struck hard, her bow facing the open harbor entrance had sustained heavy damage and several planks were completely gone, her bilge already full of water and her lower deck awash! The brig, Davy Crockett, was also taking on water...one plank missing and several leaks! We scurried about the ships and tended them like bees tending honey....repair hammers in-hand and rummaging through caches of spare planks and wood! I was not able to locate the Alamo emergency box...and as her lower decks became flooded I was grateful for having spent the time to learn to hold my breath for extended periods. I finally climbed above deck and jumped over the side to swim to the next galleon, the San Antonio. I was familiar with her layout and knew where to find supplies. With replacement planks in-hand, I dove back into the shark-infested harbor and swam alongside the Alamo...dropping planks in place as I went. With only her last remaining deck above water, we plugged all the holes and she began to rise again! Saved! We gathered on her deck as the water was pumped out and took stock of our losses: A large shipyard and a plundered schooner with no cargo or cannons aboard. We also lost one of our harbor walls and the four cannons perched upon its ramparts. The four gun crew and the solitary deckhand from the schooner were all saved and assigned new duties. We all agreed it could have been much, much worse...and that we need more mortars around our harbor! After the frenzy of repairs, the salvage operations began. The shipyard was replaced and the schooner Loot and Schootnerwas backed up closer to the shoreline away from the exposed harbor entrance. We exchanged pleasantries with the Wendigo captains and acknowledged that their mythic and legendary cannons had been well demonstrated. They were reluctant to accept offers of trade for some of them however, advising us to go out and find our own. They did offer to come back and rid us of our harbor defense tower since it seemed to block the firing arc of our mortar so well. That was mighty neighborly of them to offer. Just a thought I would like to opine...when ballista can be armed with ship harpoons...drive-by broadsides on harbors may become a very costly hobby. I saw how much damage those brigs took in a single pass of our harbor....and I would not have made a second pass either. Good fight, Wendigo. See you next time!
*NOTE* Originally posted on Reddit May 19, 2019... Wendigo paid us a visit tonight. They came with 3 armored brigs with cannons mounted mostly on one side. The first brig did the most damage. On the first pass, it damaged the Corpus Christi (an armored brig) and removed a rear plank from the San Jacinto (a standard brig). They posted in global chat "Texas, anyone on? Knock knock. Come out and play." To which I responded, "Hello?" while we were on a nearby island collecting metal. I informed the Texas Volunteers that Wendigo was paying us a visit and I jumped the bed to the San Jacinto to find it already flooded and sinking. I replaced the missing rear plank and ran up on deck to see the Wendigo brig #1 circling and lining up for its second run. I decided to try to back the SanJack out of the shipyard and targeted the brig. As she passed within range I began landing hits as well as our other ships in the harbor. The captain of the Corpus Christi arrived just as the enemy brig turned to fire. I couldn't tell how damaged the Christi already was, but as the brig's salvo landed she went down. I was about half-way backed out of the shipyard when the brig landed a full broadside on the SanJack and removed two more planks. A second volley knocked out the main deck and myself and my entire crew fell into the bottom of the ship in a hail storm of debris. As reinforcements were spawning in the zone, I abandoned the SanJack by demolishing a lower plank and whistling the crew to follow me to shore. Some made it, most got hung up in the wreckage and the shipyard, eventually to drown or feed the sharks. Once on shore, I whistled everyone to hold their ground and I jumped onto the little Rockport fishing sloop which I had just completed an hour or so earlier. She was fitted with two rear-mounted cannon and a freshly installed ballista...as well as a forward swivel. Even though she was not intended as a ship of war but strictly for whaling and fishing, her guns were manned and ready. Most of all, she had gone unnoticed by the raiding party thus far and was undamaged...and only a few yards away! As I was raising sail, I noticed that a second enemy brig had arrived and rammed the SanJack at the end of the shipyard. The first enemy brig was just then firing on the Dallas (a schooner) and I saw her shipyard destroyed in that moment. I targeted the second brig and my rear cannons began firing over the SanJack's shipyard and through her rigging to land on the enemy. Upon clearing the shipyard, the SanJack took her last breath and fell beneath the waves. Her service was ended. Our harbor defenses began issuing notices that the enemy was on shore. The puckles were firing and several kills were scored against at least one enemy player. Where ever he was, he was being persistent. The Rockport was under full sail and I turned to bring my rear cannons and ballista to fire on the first brig (#1) which was making for another approach. Her bare side faced me and I felt confident enough to run up along side her within easy range. Ballista and cannon shots landed true but as I turned around to see where I should be turning next, a third armored brig was bearing straight for me. I was being caught between the two enemy vessels, so I lowered my handling sail and made to turn hard right to pass behind the first brig as she passed me....midway through the maneuver, the third brig rammed me at full sail and as the Rockport spun away from the impact I was thrown from the deck and landed in the water. The third brig was armed with fire swivels and the surface of the water lit up above me. I dove under the Rockport and could hear her medium cannons still firing as I swam below her keel and made my way for the second brig (#2) which was still pinned against the SanJack's wreck and shipyard. I came up with grappling hook in hand and caught her rigging. I climbed aboard and found myself well hidden between the enemy's hull and her outer armor plating. I resigned myself to stay aboard and see what would happen next. A few moments later, the enemy began to withdraw....as there were no more surviving Texas vessels in the harbor, the skirmish had been little more than chaos amid the puckle fire. Crew losses were filling the screen with deaths due to cannon, fire or shark attacks and comms were excited and hectic. As the enemy ships departed, I noted on the Atlas map that we were heading south, so I finally took a few moments to announce in Alliance chat that it looked to me like the Wendigo ships were heading south to their next destination. As recovery efforts were getting underway in the Texas harbor, the Wendigo fleet ran through a SotD patrol and began taking fire. One of the crew aboard the brig that I was hiding on was running around and making repairs. He spotted me in the ship's armor and attempted to route me out with sword and pistol. After taking a round of musket ball and black powder I elected to throw myself overboard and risk the sea. It was futile as I succumbed to my wounds and shortly died. Upon arriving back at our harbor, the Texas Volunteers were already busy at the work of salvaging what could be had. Some gold had already been plundered or lost from the wreck of the San Jacinto, but most all other material was left to rest. The Galleon which we had framed only hours before was left undamaged save for a few hits to the shipyard itself. All other vessels of note were at the bottom and ready for plunder. We lost the Dallas and the Riptide shipyards. However, a small yard and two large shipyards remain intact. We lost the Dallas, San Jacinto, Corpus Christi, Rockport and at the time of this writing, a recently acquired schooner claim was un-accounted for. I'm not sure if it made it back to our support base or if it was lost in the fray as well. We lost many crew. However several survived and were relocated to the crafting hall taming yard. Of a humorous note, one of our fine captains put together a small salvage sloop for recovery efforts and was able to salvage the wreck of the Rockport which was beyond swimming distance from shore. But upon returning to the docks, the Recovery was also lost due to an unfortunate mishap which I witnessed first-hand when she ran up on the dock and lost her entire forward planking. It was quite the spectacle and a huge laugh was enjoyed by all. For what it's worth, it was fun...but also somewhat discouraging to see the work of the last two weeks so easily destroyed by such a well practiced enemy. We have enjoyed some success in small skirmishes in nearby grids among other similarly sized groups...mostly fighting over resources and ship anchorages. But with this raid by a much larger group, the Texas Volunteers are looking to up our game. Wish us luck in our endeavors. And join us next time for more adventures on the Texas frontier. ~Remember the Alamo!