Thursday, November 22, 2007

On Shetland

Shortly after dawn du Nord is carried bound hand and foot to a small boat. The highlanders lift him gently in and set sail. Du Nord keeps his composure ( as one would indeed expect ) but he wonders where he is going and what will happen to him next. So far his treatment has been civil and his needs provided for . After a foul crossing through heavy seas the boat makes landfall on what du Nord assumes is the mainland of Scotland. They haul the boat upon the beach and then out of the mist see a welcoming party clad in tartan and armed to the teeth. Their leader beckons for the others to untie du Nord. Du nords shakes his numb limbs and listens to the following in heavily accented French -

Greeting and welcome we have been expecting you . Come with me to Castle DunKettle and we will talk....


Gallia said...

Narrator: Unshaken du Nord slowly looks left, looks right and finally ahead saying,

"Merci pour votre hospitalité extraordinairement mes amis. En avant, S'il vous plait.

My friends, thank you for your extraordinary hospitality. Proceed, if you please.
Narrator: Meanwhile the Gallian dispatch vessel Alerte returned to the port at Shetland with new dispatches and a particular visitor to see l'Chevalier du Nord. However, the landing party could not find du Nord, discovered he had been shockingly apprehended and taken to sea. The captain set off in pursuit in the direction indicated by Shetlanders who presumed to know what had happened. Alerte rendezvoused with ... offshore and out of sight of the island. All rounded up to chase, Alerte taking station in the lead, the rest in line abreast behind. In this way the most sea room could be observed. One lonely traveler aboard by the name of l'Comte de Albany who had hoped to speak directly with du Nord quietly paced the forecastle of one of the vessels.

Gallia said...

Narrator: Alerte forged ahead of the rest of the Gallian vessels nearing the shore of Scotland first. Crusing along the shoreline the foremast lookout is joined by the ships first officer an hour before sundown. Together they see nothing to offer hope to find du Nord. A beached boat on a sandy beach with a castle looming over a rise inland is the most to be seen on this stretch of shoreline.

Soon the setting sun will make further investigation pointless and hazardous. The officer descends to the deck and reports to l'Capitaine. Moments later the order to wear ship is heard. Alerte is now heading back to seaward to join the rest of the Gallian ships just over the horizon line. She saw nothing.

Meanwhile aboard the flag, l'Comte de Albany returns to the quarterdeck, then goes below to his quaters to dress for dinner in the great cabin with....

tradgardmastare said...

Part 1
"We are sorry about the manner of your journey but we needed your presence urgently. We are about to send the Firey Cross to summon the Clans to battle. We need a military advisor and perhaps one who can gain the aid of Gallia for our cause. We know that Gallian and Tradgardlandian forces reside upon the Northern Isles now . We need them here upon the mainland directly . The time is right - what say you Sir?"
Part 2
The Captain of the Alerte has his attention drawn to a vessel upon the horizon -its colour cannot be discerned but it is making for the Alerte. He is uncertain what to do next but such uncertainty only lasts for seconds. He decides that he must.....

Gallia said...

Alerte's Capitaine is on the weather rail when the lookout cries out:
Monsieur! Mon Capitaine. A little vessel, a boat, is making for us from shore astern, one point aft to larboard. I believe she is the craft we saw breached. She signals for us to speak.

[Turns, looks through his perspetive glass, snaps it shut and orders....] "We shall come about on the starbord tack. And Monsieur officer l'premier, we shall beat to quarters as we trim sails."

The ship nimbly turns onto the starboard tack to maintain the weather gauge. A drum immediately begins "beat to quarters" but the hands knowing this was to come were already poised to take their stations. Moments later the guns are loaded and run out along the long deck. Marines are posted aloft with loaded muskets. Swivels too are readied.

"Monsieur, mon enseigne, Run up the colors, if you please, and hoist the flag saying we will speak."

The colors are run up and the signal saying Alerte will speak is also hoisted. The latter is acknowledged by the approaching boat.

"Enseigne, run up flags for her captain to heave to [so as to stop] at two cables length and repair on board to speak to me."

Oui Monsieur mon Capitaine.

Moments later the little boat is stopped pointed into the wind. Alerte has crossed the bows of the stranger. Alerte's Capitaine has spoken to his first officer to open fire, if any mischief is suspected. "You now what to do mon ami, he says."

[Picking up his speaking trumpet he shouts....,] "Approaching vessel. What is your business with a ship of the Royal Gallian Navy?"