Friday, 5 June 2015

The Burning Dispute (Pt 3 - Talking costs nothing)

It´s now been several days since James and Adahy were last seen and inside the stockade surrounding the fishing town of Boddinton, things are getting tense.
Jeremiah Coleman and Mr Cheeseman are discussing with Company B´s Staff Sergeant, Robert Lambton,  wether to send out a large patrol and if they were to do so, what would be it´s  size and how might that weaken the towns defences.
At this Moment the sentry on the watch tells them a figure can be seen breaking cover from the distant woodline....and it appears to be  a Native!!
Quickly the town is called to full alert, all those capable of carrying and using a fire arm Position themselves along the palisades.
Using his fieldglass, Jeremiah makes the figure out to be one of the missing two men,  Adahy!!
Quickly mr Cheesman and Staff Sergeant, Lambton run down to great him.

Adahy tells them that James is alright but being Held at ransom to force a Meeting. He has been sent to lead representatives of Bodstonia to the  place of this Meeting and that they must follow him now.
Quickly Lambton gathers a handfull of his Company together, accompanied by Jeremiah and Mr Cheesman, the small Group sets off behind Adahy.
The Party follows Adahy into the forest and after an hour they Come into a large Clearing, on the far side of which is a large Party of natives, James in their midst.
Both groups warily approach each other, weapons held at the ready but after both
Adahy and James assure both sides of no harmfull intent from the other fingers are removed from Triggers and shoulders relax.

After a Long talk it is discovered that the attack on the Trappers cabin was carried out by a handfull of Young braves  from one of the   large Family Groups belonging to the Chinqua tribe.

Thier reason? During the last winter the Trappers had killed beaver and left the meat to the wolves.
A headman from another Chinqua Family Group had discussed this  with the Trappers who said they would in future bring any meat to the natives but word of this hadn´t got to the Young braves of the other Family Group. Thier disgust at the waste of the beaver meat turned to rage when one of the braves got his foot caught in a gin trap set by the Trappers.
It wasn´t a serious injury, the trap wasn´t set well, but this was the last straw for them and  Unfortunately they decided to take the law into thier own Hands.

Upon Hearing about the use of a Gin trap, both Mr Cheesman and Jeremiah Coleman shook thier heads  in  desolation...gin traps are specifically forbidden in Bodstonia and the Trappers would have known this to be the case, it is so written in the Terms of thier hunting licence, which they have read and sighned.
After Long discussion it is decided, there has been hurt  and loss on both sides but as These cannot be measured against each other, "Zacks" injured arm against that of the Natives injured leg, the lost beaver meat against the burnt log cabin,  it is considered that all is equal. As no further harm is intended, no-one had lost thier  life,  both parties consider the matter closed.
They part on friendly Terms.

A week or so later.
The Trappers, Rob and "Zack" ,  have had thier hunting licence revoked and for now work in Boddington as fishermen.

Mr Cheeseman, ever keen to learn more,  has, along with Adahy , met again with the headsman of the Chinqua and arranged to visit their Family Group later in the year.

Jeremiah Coleman and the Bodstonian Dragoons  have returned to Bodston.

And James? He has quietly  gone back to Bodston to write up his adventure, add a bit more to his map of Bodstonia and.......for now.....

...remain the Apple of Symphonies eye

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

The Burning Dispute (Pt2 - Reasoned preperations)

After the two Trappers have been taken to safety in Boddington, a rider is sent to Bodston with News of the recent Events. A section of Company B from the Bodstonian Fusiliers and a handfull of Folks Militia head out in the direction of the first Group of Militia to lend  assistance.
After nearly two days hard ride the Messenger reaches Bodston and quickly a Meeting is Held to decide on the measures that need to be taken.
Present at the Meeting are, Bartholomew Motesfont,  Jeremiah Coleman, Charles Livesy  ( Captain of the Artillery), Rose Tremain, Officer in charge of the  Purple Roses,  Mr Cheeseman, Dr Greyham Watt, Edward Binder and James Forrester.
It is quickly decided that Company A and C of the Bodston Fusiliers, the  Purple Roses and the Artillery would remain withing Bodston.
Notification is immediately sent to all the local Militia to be ready at a moments notice.
Company B would remain at full strength in Boddington and Company D likewise  in Boddingham.
Jeremiah Coleman and Mr Cheeseman would travel at first light the next day with half the Bodstonian Dragoons  to Boddington, the rest of the dragoons would ride to Boddingham. They are also tasked to alerting and gathering any  single homesteads along the way. 
Two dragoons  loading Barrels of Gunpowder to take to Boddington

Further,  James Forrester would leave as soon a possible for Boddington, then he and  Adahy would continue into the woodlands around the area of the incident and as far as possible, without endangering themselves, try to discover the reason for the sudden and, from the Bodstonian side, unprovoked attack.
Symphonie DelaCroix  watches from the outskirts as James rides away towards Boddington. A sense of foreboding fills her heart.
Evening of the next day is falling and James is nearing Boddington. Suddenly as if  placed by a Spirit Hand,  Adahy appears in a clearing. Both men greet each other warmly  and then continue onwards to Boddington, discussing the Situation and exchanging News as they go.  In the town they learn that the Militia and Bodston Fusiliers have returned safely with no further sightings of the natives and no further incidents have been reported.
Early the next day James and Adahy leave Boddington and after two days search,  find the remains of the log cabin. As The day is now late they decide to rest and proceed on thier Task early the next day but............. sooner than they have set off but they are suddenly surrounded by a Group of natives,whose muskets are cocked and aimed at them. Escape is impossible, both men are quickly disarmed, thier Hands tied and they are led further and deeper into the forest.

Was Symphonie´s foreboding justified? Why didn´t Adahy notice the natives before the trap was sprung? The reasons and Wherebys coming soon.....

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Burning Dispute (Pt 1- Cabin Fever)

For near on two days,  natives of the Chinqua* have held "Zack" Butler and Rob Perris under siege in thier log cabin. Exactly why this Event has come about is for both Trappers unclear and as they have virtually no knowledge of  any native languages, it will, for the time being,  remain so.
However, one thing is clear to both men, their Situation is becoming untenable.

The exchanges of gunfire has  depleted thier  powder supply to a few remaining shots. So far, neither side has suffered any casualties although "Zack" has recieved  small wound to his left shoulder. This occured as the very first shot was fired. "Zack" had gone outside early on the morning of the 1st day of the seige to carry out his morning "constitutional" as a musket ball hit him. Luckily for "Zack" it only broke the Skin but it has  impaired his use of that arm..which is now held in a sling.
Also thier water supply is all but gone.... the Close confines of the cabin combined with the summer heat is becoming unbearable for both men.

With no sign of aid arriving, both men decide on a desperate measure.
Over the period of the attack, they have worked out, through seeing them moving and their rate of fire,  that the Natives cannot number more than a handfull. Hoping that this is the case, they decide to make a run for it. Now useless to "Zack" and too much weight to carry but not wanting it to fall into the Hands of the natives, , Rob takes the lock off "Zack´s" Musket , bends the Barrel and smashes the butt. Then taking one last look around thier cabin, they draw breath, nod to each other in a last agreement and then Burst out of the door, both men firing thier weapons  in  order to Keep the Natives heads down.
It works!!! The natives are taken by suprise at this bold move, one or two fire wildly at the emerging figures but all miss thier marks. Both men run into the surrounding Woods, zig-zagging past trees as they go.
The natives watch them go, considering that giving chase would serve no usefull purpose, thier attention now fixes on the cabin. After rummaging through it´s contents and finding nothing much of use apart from some cooking untensils and blankets, they set fire to the Cabin and after making sure the fire will not spread to the surrounding forest..they depart.
Both "Zack" and Rob run as fast as they can but very soon realise they are not being followed so Change to a quick walk. Soon dusk falls and exhausted from the last two days excersions,  they settle in a small hollow. Sure of thier escape and there are no persuers, nonetheless they spend a fitfull night and as the first light of day breaks, they make thier way again. Around midday they are relieved to meet Group of Militia  who are on thier way to investigate the cause of the smoke rising from the forest. 
After hastily telling thier tale of the preceding days Events, both men are then sent back  to Boddington (a large Fishing Hamlet) with two Miltia, the rest of the Group proceed to the Scene of the seige.
Upon arriving they can clearly see the result of the fire. Nightfall is due and thier numbers not great , they decide that to go further and give chase would be a risk, so they turn back towards Boddington.
*So named after the  Dwarf chestnut common in their Region and  which serves an important part of their winter Foods as contains a lot of starch and protein. Cooked and ground to a  powder it  is commonly added to squirrel stew. Also it is used as an astringent and tonic. An infusion of the leaves has been used as an external wash for the feverish condition common to colds and the dried leaves of the Chinqua tree are commonly used (blown onto the Patient by the healers ) to cure headaches, chills, fevers and fever Blisters.
The wood is hard and durable and is sometimes used for posts and fuel.
Picture from "The Compendium of scientific and traditional knowledge of Bodstonia".  by Kind permission of Jeremiah  Cheeseman

Saturday, 23 May 2015

"Betties Grace"

Quite a few of the rivers in Bodstonia are quite shallow and wide. Not shallow enough to be forded on horse.  This poses no problems for canoes or rafts but for the larger types of boats,   even ones with shallow keels, These rivers are virtually untraversable.
Not only this but Inland the wind is not regularily strong enough to power craft with sails and boats so equipped have proven quite unrealiable.
To overcome this Problem the Good folk of Bodstonia have built themselves several Horse powered flat bed paddle boats.
They are propelled along thanks to the power provided by two horses. Very Little effort is required  from them as the power from the horse driven turntable is transmitted to the paddles by some clever internal gears.

As the rivers upon which These paddle boats are employed are quite shallow, steering is done by the means of Punting poles, which again, requires Little effort from the punters, the boats being flat bedded in design.

Here we can see one of the Bodstonian paddle-boats, the "Bettie´s Grace" as it ferries a Pair of  hunters back from thier day was successfull, they have a brace of rabbits with them.
Also onboard are  Jedediah and Jonathan Johanssen. Maybe they are going into Bodston town to buy some small bits and pieces.

"Bettie´s Grace" is owned and run by the Edgewell Brothers, Bobby and Billy.
"Bettie´s Grace" is one of the larger Paddle Boats and is capable of carrying a full  Company of the  Bodston Fusiliers and all thier baggage mules.