Taking Sint Eustatius

The fire crackles in the night as you sit on a beach, the sound of the surf and cool air soothing your soul. One of the older men is telling the story of Ignaas’s death, and you lay against a coconut palm and listen. Though Old Ironbeard never married, he made a point of getting to know each of his sons, when occasion permitted.  Some of them even joined him in a life of piracy. Old Ironbeard’s eldest son, Ignaas, helped keep order among the men, and was made captain of the Shiny Teton. Many a night were enjoyed together by Old Ironbeard and his sons, enjoying the company of women, drinking, singing, dancing, and playing various sports and games of chance.

During an ill-fated attack on the Gensois, a vessel of the French West India Company, the Shiny Teton was secretly boarded by a team of assassins. They quickly found Ignaas on the deck, overseeing the artillery, and killed him. Some of them were struck down, but the rest slew several of the crew before disappearing into the water. They were known as the Leopard Seals, and Ignaas had not known that they were on the Gensois. French Admiral Casimir Dupont had been on board, and the elite sea soldiers had accompanied him.

Your compatriots turn toward someone coming down the beach. Ignaas approaches. He notices the silence at his presence, and grins crookedly.

He says, “My father’s testicles have miraculously regrown! After wallowing over the loss of that whore, Laurelia, he’s ready to do something other than mope about.”

You and your mates frown at the disrespect, but are not particularly shocked. Ignaas has become more capricious and dangerous these days. The men feared him as much for his unpredictable rage as his supernatural history. It was true that Old Ironbeard had been low in spirit following Laurelia’s treachery. He had muttered to himself more than once about how he wasn’t going to let that damned curse kill him. You recall overhearing him on one occasion, saying, “Maybe yer right, Laurelia. Maybe it is time I lay down my falchion and become and honest man.” Some of his followers seemed uncertain as to whether they should continue on with him. But Ignaas kept the crew in line. Ignaas was always looking for ever-more ambitious targets, and it was clear that his path, and that of the Cap’n, were about to diverge.

Ignaas continues, “We take Sint Eustatius tonight! That bastard, Casimir Dupont, is holding the island, and this time it’s his turn to face the Reaper! Ready the ships!”

You make preparations as the news is passed. The French West India Company had taken Sint Eustatius, an island with many Dutch settlers, including the family of Old Ironbeard…or what was left of it. Old Ironbeard decided that he would engage in at least one more conflict to regain the island for his brethren from the Netherlands, and to exact vengeance for his previous loss. Old Ironbeard had enlisted the aid of Grootmoeder, the secret matriarchal leader of the Dutch on the island. He would divide his followers into groups who would target key locations as they sought to overthrow the French. You didn’t know how all this would play out, but you did know that you were ready to do some serious damage to those misborn French pansies!

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