Requiem

Another day, another plan

The group awakens early again, mostly cured of their nasty ailment. Raith however, the past picture of health, seems to not be so lucky this time. The illness keeps him bed-ridden the entire day. William, who had mostly recovered, managed to convince the doctor to keep him out of work. Connor, having been assumed to be sick, was allowed to sleep in late, though upon awakening he made his way outside and began working, pushing his still slightly ill body harder than was wise.

Mr. Ryder visits Seth, checking his recovery rate, and work. Ryder seemed to know just the buttons to push to infuriate Seth, but the man managed to keep his anger and annoyance at bay.

William, deciding to no longer maintain his sick cover, attempted to escape. He managed to walk a bit, but was stopped by a guard. When he tried to nonchalantly walk back to the hut, the guard attempted to strike him with a whip. This disciplinary action escalated into a fight, which ended with William being led to the whipping tree. His brave, or foolish taunts led to the guard pulling a knife instead of using the whip. What new scars the man will get have yet to be determined.

A good viewing of the dying woman in the gibbet completely ruined Nate’s want to create more cages, but the boy/man, was between a rock and a hard place, so work he did! At least until his tools ran away again. This coupled with the woman who was hanging on his conscious completely ruined his focus. This left a bad impression on the person who checked on Nate. The man wanted an impossible quota met in an impossible amount of time.

When a carriage pulled up, and a man tried to force the young dark skinned boy to bow, to an attractive women dressed in white, Connor stopped working and intervened. Unsure of what exactly was happening, he spun a story about how the kid was sick, killing the woman’s want for the kid to be her servant. Connor took advantage of this free moment to ask the woman question. He discovered that her name was Effie, and that she was looking for a house boy. Connor painted himself as a kind, obedient slave, with hopes of working inside. His plan to move from field work, to inside work to aid in his escape attempt was delayed, but not fully stopped by Carney.

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Montezuma's Revenge

The group awaken with a nasty case of dysentery. Raith, seeming to have dodged the illness alerts Ash, who along with the doctor begins medicating the sick ones. Raith’s luck in dodging the illness causes him to be one of the few ones able to work.

Connor and William, likely dealing with fever induced hallucinations, crawl out of the hut, and away. Ash, alerted by Raith, goes to intervene and warns the two that this could be viewed as an escape attempt. Connor, even in his fevered state notes as he is being carried back to the hut the warning that the slave owners guard dogs.

Later that evening Ash discusses with everyone that escape could be possible, but that it would involve teamwork and patience. During this announcement, the group fill Ash in to some of the things that happened to them before they arrive. Raith does his best to paint William as a fool, and Connor passionately claims that Seth is untrustworthy. At the end of it all, they more or less agree to work with Ash’s plan.

Nathaniel gets better enough to work, finds his missing tools and finishes a gibbet, which everyone gets to see in use. He also spends that night apart from the others in response to a midnight disturbance.

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Rhythms

The fielders, with the exception of William Bellamy who is too ill from the abuse his body has taken, follow Ash to the field where they learn to cut cane. Ash has made a friend of the boy, evidently, and the have a hushed and hurried conversation in French, a language which none of our band understands.
Ash asks about their stories during the course of the day, while trying to be sure that those who need rerst get it, and no one gets into trouble.
When Connor asks about promotions, Ash and the child both have questions. Connor also climbs a tree and falls out of it. Later Ian tells him his back may take a month to heal.
At the end of the day the boy shows Connor and Raith how to prepare some of their food.

Seth fixes some of his own errors so he will not get into trouble ands finds evidence that all is not quite on the up and up with the plantations finances and gets Baynes to take his letter to be sent. Baynes informs him that the plantation is owned by Colonel Ferris. At the end of the day Ash teaches him how to prepare some of the food available to them.

Nathanial finds that some of his tools are missing and the housemaid that brings him his meals helps him look for them, warning him to tell no one. HE also makes little progress due to a mistake in his work.At the end of the day Ash teaches him how to prepare some of the food available to them.

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Settling In

The slaves taking the group to the plantation walk them to a wagon and bid them get in. When the group refuses, the men simply attach them to the back of the wagon, and lead them on at a brisk pace. The 10 mile walk is exhausting to men who have not walked anywhere in months.

William is dragged along, losing his pants and quite a bit of skin.

They get their first look at the owners house (long and low and white), the sugar mill (a large conical roof shading the works. Under the sharp eyes of the overseer, teams of men are pushing at long low bars, which move the works. Others rapidly feed the cane in so it may be pressed. Still others carry the waste away in buckets. From the other end, the juice flows into a series of vats. There is fire there, and smoke. Looks like hot work.) the cane fields (6 to 12 feet high green plants), and the slave/convict dwellings (a settlement of sorts, a huge number of small mud wattle huts arranged in some order, all with stick fences that shelter small plots of land seeing varying types of use. In the center of the arrangement a massive oak tree, large enough to require seven or so men, to ring it shelters and shades the ground. This also serves as the whipping post.)

Raith suggested that Ian get over his regret and guilt at leaving Marko to die and seemed to endeavor to get over his own resentment at the trouble Connor had caused that landed them in shackles again.

Carney, one of the overseers arrives to escort Nathanial to the smithy where he is charged with building three gibbet cages (the old smith caught a flux an’ died), Seth to the office, where he is charged with helping the elderly Baynes with the accounts, and the doctor.

The others are there when the freshly branded shipment of slaves, including the boy that had seemed so amused by William, arrive with Carney’s obese and addicted brother.

The child is much more grim and reserved than before. Perhaps it is the brand. When he notes William eating dirt however, he does opine, “He should be out of the sun,” in oddly accented but perfectly fluent English.

Carney brings back the other three around dinner time. The slaves exit the pen as they are told, the child following dully. One of the transporters from earlier takes them in tow, walking off an explaining something.

Carney points out some of the shacks to the group that is left. William mouths off but Carney ignores him, explaining what will be expected from them on the morrow. Connor gets smart with the man and Seth pressures Carney to let him break rules. He gets annoyed and intends to chain them all, but the final straw seems to be when Raith is found to have picked the locks on his manacles and the whole lot of them are whipped, including the thoroughly innocent Nathaniel. William comes in for the severest abuse by far though.

Ian and a mysterious stranger appear, seeing to the men’s wounds, dosing them with rather primitive painkillers and then feeding them by hand.

The stranger suggests that they keep their heads down a bit, saying, “If the don’t notice you, you’ve a better chance of getting out alive.” He gives Seth a bit of information on the runnings of the plantation, volunteers to get a letter smuggled out for him and introduces himself as Ash.

Carney releases you before dawn the next morning. The voice and scrawny wrists of Ash belong to a young lad who would be beautiful if he wasn’t painfully thin. He is with the new slaves and volunteers to take the fielders with him while Nathanial, Seth and Ian go with Carney.

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Routines and Recklessness

Our heroes are deloused and fed, and settle into a routine of miserable backbreaking work with little rest. The exceptions are Nathanial and Ian who are chained to their oars 24/7.

After a few weeks of the routine, they hear that land has been sighted, then, from their places in at the oars, they hear violent sounds above.

Connor’s curiosity immediately moves him to try to investigate, but Jordao stops him, which angers the quick-tempered beauty. Raith tries to encourage him to sit down and forget about it, with land sighted they have a chance to be free in the next day or so, however William and Seth make obvious moves to support Connor. Jordao orders them back to their oars, but they resist and a fight ensues which is soon broken up by a mob of sailors.

Seth attacks William, blaming the death of the sailor they murdered on him, but to no avail. The men, all of them, are chained, and as a result of breaking their words they are sold instead of freed at voyage’s end. When Raith points out that this fate could have been escaped with patience and sense, William threatens his life and Connor grins evil agreement.

The exception is Marko, who, being aged, will bring little on the market. As a result of Connor’s rash attack, Marko is chained after the fight and then, though Ian tries to talk the sailors into selling him because the life will certainly kill him, abandoned aboard the galley ship, with no action being taken save the old man.

Seth and Raith both threaten the French captain for his intentions, though he is quick to point out that they broke the pack, not himself, and he ignores the threats. The men get their first glimpse of the magnificence of the West Indies and of Africans and slaves (barring, perhaps, Seth, and William who would have seen many slaves while fighting abroad, though most of those would have been Semitic) and William’s antics caught the attention of a fine-looking, though obviously misused child of nine or ten, who laughed at him.

They were then taken to the block where their skills, histories and physical attributes were assessed, and purchased. Connor was backhanded twice for insolence, but William’s ravings were largely ignored. The group was then led away in chains by two stolid slaves.

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Newgate Prison, England to the Thames and Beyond
Ends and Beginnings

Our heroes were taken from the hellhole known as Newgate prison and paraded down the the streets of London in a humiliated spectacle.

Nathaniel saw his brother, James, and sister, Sarah, one last time, but was able to speak to neither and was beaten for being uncooperative. The children were physically removed from the vicinity and his last impression of England was his sister screaming his name.

Seth was able to at least speak with Riven, who vowed to follow him to the New World and find him there. He was then stuffed in a hold with more common folk.

William’s father was conspicuous in his absence, though whether it was because he didn’t know about the fate that was befalling his son, didn’t care, or was prevented— William may never know.

Connor, chained to the friendly Marco Punka, also suffered abuse when he refused to board the transport. The elderly Roma physically prevented some injury intended for Connor, taking them upon his own person.

For Raith Aaron, it meant the chance to get back on the water, but under considerably less than favorable circumstances. He did his best to keep everyone grounded, sensible and alive, discouraging William from attacking the men bringing meals in hopes of taking the ship.

William endeavored to pull the iron lantern hooks from the walls, resulting in friction between himself and Nathaniel, who would have preferred sleep. They did however share a meal, against both Raith and Doctor Ian Byrne’s advice, but Nathaniel insisted that he would commit no wrong deserving of his fate.

Connor tried to give Marko his meal, but the elderly man refused. He offered little in the way of resistance to whatever plan was proposed, even going so far as to mention a plan for getting a spoon, which was dismissed.

Seth maintained a cold and rigid distance, but disdained the idea of trying to escape at this junction.

It was only when Connor insisted that many hands had a better chance that the hooks came free. Raith offered to do the actual lock picking as he has some experience in the matter and Conner began trying to sharpen one end to a point.

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