Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Agema's Play-By-eMail RPG Game "Swashbuckler" - Turn #3

So last turn we left my character, Mister Bartholomew Yorke, leaving his native city of York, Yorkshire, and along with his three new acquaintances, arrive at London. Well today saw the third turn, September 1706, arrive and we get to see what he's been up to...

LINK to turn one

LINK to turn two

September 1706

Location: London, England.
What am I doing: Just arrived this month and have spent the turn familiarising myself with the place, and looking for work opportunities. 
'Old' London Bridge - hence the song, 'London Bridge is falling down...'
Current Situation:
Your first need is to find lodgings, preferably within the area of the old city walls. Such will allow you to acquaint yourself with the locations of Cheapside and Leadenhall Street, the Wool Merchant's Guild at Bishopgate, and any clubs where wool and linen merchants may meet. 
London is a very busy place which makes York seem like a quiet backwater. As you go about attempting to find suitable lodgings, followed by Ern and your two other 'employees', you happen to pass a well-dressed gentleman and lady. 
You overhear he is pontificating to the lady in the manner of someone explaining the wonders of the city in depth to a visitor. "The population includes a Huguenot √©migr√© community which fled persecution in France during the late 17th century. The Bank of England was founded here in 1694. Sites include the Tower of London (11th century, a Norman citadel), and the Tea Exchange near East India House in Leadenhall Street. Squares..." 
The lady yawned. 
"It's BORING!" she cries, with a gleam in her eyes. "You promised me adventure. If I have to make eyes at one more old man with a cheap wig I'll SCREAM! Let's take the money we have so far and run away, let's visit some exotic country..." 
"Yes, my dear, of course," the gentleman replied hastily, "Have you ever travelled to... Denmark?" 
"Denmark? Of course I bloody haven't, it's just a few islands of fisherman and pig farmers!" 
"Far from it, my one love." 
They wandered off as you pursued your own course.
Ern observed, "They talk funny around 'ere."
'Old' London Bridge
Now everything is hustle and bustle, the streets are busier still in the centre. You end up having to pay a guinea to secure a decent room at an inn near the Thames, namely at the Old Thameside Inn near London Bridge. 
During your stay it becomes clear that there is a huge variety of life and opportunity in this great city. You are aware of Tompion's workshop where apprentices are taken on to learn how to make watches. There's also the famous Tower of London where the Board of Ordnance is based. The royal court meets in St. James Palace, while Parliament meets in the Palace of Westminster. 
The war office is housed at Horseguards Palace, and the Board of the Naval Commission at Whitehall Palace. There is also a royal naval academy, as well as the Royal Marine Society of Craft and Workshop. 
The London Society meets in the city, headed by Sir Isaac Newton. 
In addition, under Colonel Holcroft Blood there is an artillery academy. 
The Church of England runs Lambeth Palace where Thomas Tenison, the venerable Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England resides, while the Bishop of London runs St. Paul's Cathedral. 
Then the Royal Society of Medicine is based in Cavendish Square near Westminster, which includes Sloane Square Hospital and includes several GP practices. 
There are barracks, and two shipyards called the Old and New Yards. 
Then we have the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich. 
Other places of interest include the Bank of England, the Board of Trade, the headquarters of the Hudson Bay Company and the Honourable East India Company. 
You have heard of several eminent gentlemen residing in London, including Nicholas Hawksmoor (architect), Robert Hooke (scientist), Gregory King (statistician), Henry Winstanley (engineer), and Sir Christopher Wren (architect, physicist, astronomer and mathematician). 
One of the senior military commanders in the city is Lieutenant-General Charles Mordaunt, 3rd Earl of Peterborough.
'Old' London Bridge - note the spans of bridge that can be levered open to allow tall ships to pass through
What do you wish to do, or do you wish to explore the city? 
You have already fallen on a curious advertisement entitled 'Men of Substance and Quality' in a newspaper you happen to pick up, the London Gazette. While you do not have much to buy an interest in the business therein described, perhaps this Company would let you invest, or need employees like your men as sword-hands to protect their interests, or yourself as a Company officer to protect them from savages in the desolate land known by the oddly inappropriate name of Greenland? (Iceland would be a more apt name, but apparently that has already been taken!) 
Ern favours it, and the others seem to do what he says. It is possible they can speak for themselves, although you have seen precious little evidence that this is so.
The River Thames was never this clean, surely?

So that's where Mister B. Yorke now finds himself, at London and having to decide whether to follow the wool trade he knows a little about (being a merchant from York), pursue another of the many starting points for trade and adventure that London, it seems, has to offer, or try his (and the other three's) luck on this Greenland venture. 


Then there's also the small matter of needing to lose my temper (as in use my 'weakness' - a necessary game action once every six turns) in the next couple of turns. 

Decision, decisions.

One thing that is for certain. London's an expensive place ... One Guinea for an inn room! I'll be bankrupt at those prices, unless I find work soon. 


  1. Decisins , decisions, descisions. I foreseee some troublesome times ahead. Your imminent cash-flow problems would seem to me to be your mst pressing concerns. Have you considered a career in larceny ?

    1. @Zabadak: Yes, my character had best find a paying job next turn, or it'll be taking a trip over London Bridge and living in Southwark, there amongst the many pubs and gaming dens that feature in the game, in next to no time.

      At the moment, I'm trying to keep my character living an honest life. It is easy to become a highwayman or a pirate, in the game, or even join the criminal brotherhoods of a town or city and set yourself a specific target to rob. One other player that I know of, his character has ended up going through one crisis after crisis, at the moment he's stuck in the wilds of Canada facing a black bear coming chasing down upon him. Another player's, German character, is an officer in the Prussian army, been across the Atlantic several times on diplomatic missions and to Africa, also. At the moment, the German ritter is suffering and has had his pet monkey stolen from him - the fact that a general had taken a fancy to the animal previously may not be a co-incidence!

      Anyway, I'll get my character started on an 'Adventure', hopefully this set of turn orders I'm going to send in this weekend, and then the turns should be more rpg -like and feature more action. I had thought of trying the Honourable East India Company and seeing if I could find passage aboard an Indiaman, but since the GMs offered the Greenland opportunity, and he might have ideas already for such, I may as well go along with that - if there is a job available on the expedition? - and make a few choice purchases to use against the Arctic climate. The fact that I (and presumably the other three, too) can't swim may bring about some fun whilst on-board vessel.

  2. A whole guinea! That is Preposterous. !!!! I think he must have seen you AND your entourage coming!

    Well clearly you need to loose your temper and get some money! now what on earth can you do honestly to achieve both results!

    Well I have no clever ideas but I am enjoying the story and do wish them well!

    1. @Clint: There's certainly an, in-game, economy difference between York and London. But, then, that does make sense.

      I did have the option of finding rooms south of the Thames, which are cheaper, but as I wanted to try and impress would-be employers I chose to lodge within the old city walls, take the finacial hit in the wallet, and hope that my prospects could find a quick remuneration opportunity asap. Possibly the GMs provided the newspaper opportunity thanks to this - If I'd had gone looking for work in the wrong places the GM might of had me set upon by footpads, or my character losing what money I had left gambling.

      Anyway, I'll have to think about my Temper game mechanism as it needs to be used soon, I don't know whether to use it in London, while I have the chance of it just making a fool of me, or, if I did go to Greenland, there? If it went off on-board the ship then I've no escape from any upset I might cause. If I allowed it to erupt in Greenland, I may annoy someone who may decide to turn the other way when I need help and let me suffer.

      But this has to take second place to my immediate concern, of which 'adventure' to start off upon? As I mentioned in my reply to Zabadak, the GM may have an idea for a Greenland story line, so I'm happy to go along with his suggestion.


comments left on this blog will not be viewed by Colonel Bill himself (unless I email him and advise him to)

to contact the Colonel direct, email colonelbill@colonelbills.com