Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Do ask for Dukas...

Captain Greco sited down the barrel of the ivory handled pistol, the trigger cool and rigid. The mechanics of the pistol were as a jewel box lock, applying a gull’s breath of pressure the trigger snapped, the pistol belched out a roar and all the world was white smoke.

Greco took a breath, lingering in the smell of the powder. The crew let out a cheer and one poor powder monkey whispered a prayer thanking whatever gods, that his hand holding the shattered remnants of a water pitcher was whole.

The crew was a chorus of praise, “Fine shot keyptan! Do it again skipper! What a beautiful gun!” and it was a beautiful gun, ivory handle, etched barrel, embelished gold, the pistol and several like it had been given to the Venecian captains to entice them to rescue Dukas and today, at least this pistol would be put to that task.

“Enough yapping, get ready to earn your keep!” Greco rubbed the pistol with a tea cloth and reloaded the weapon. He moved to the forecastle and removed a spyglass from his coat.

The trap was set, his or the Moreans was to be determined. The Sagittario had rendezvoused with Captain Sanuto and the Zeffiro, as expected. What was not expected was the small flotilla of Barbary Xebecs that accompanied the Zeffiro.

When the two captains met briefly the evening before, a dismissive Captain Sanuto explained, “My curious captain, the Xebecs were hired to give us support and confuse the enemy, you needn’t worry about their loyalty, they are paid by me!”

“Paid to make sure you are the only captain to return Dukas”, Greco thought, but they would supply fodder if the Maria-Louisa was accompanied.

The small flotilla was in line with the Sanuto to the far left, one Xebec, the Sagittario and finally two more Xebecs. The line would run perpendicular to the Maria-Louisa’s course.

Greco snapped open the spyglass as a sailer shouted, “Ship to starboard!”


“Three Xebecs and a couple of gun ships?, this can not be beneficial to our cause,” thought his lordship, La Chevalier De’Corfu

“Captain Valieri, I have a confidence in your ability to protect us and our cargo should this rag-tag flotilla prove hostile”

Captain Valieri answered, “I have faith in our guns and crew also, my lord, the ships are not moving to intercept and have struck colors of truce, we could ignore them and try to sail around but I feel with this mediocre breeze and there smaller size they could close to engage if they wish.”

“Well I suppose we should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

“Agreed, my Lord, all hands full alert!”

“One of the ships is leaving the line and approaching, her name is il Sagittario!”


Captain Greco had won the “honor” of submitting the demands to the Morean Captain. As the two (2) ships neared Greco was impressed with the glistening guns and spotless hull.

“This ship looks new but I’d wager she’s seen her share”, he thought

Captain Greco was greeted on the deck of the Maria-Louisa, it had taken about half an hour to make his way from the Sagittario into a dingy and on board.

“I am Captain Valieri of her majesty’s ship Maria-Louisa bound for Morea, what business do you have to blockade our course?”

“I am Captain Greco and interested parties would relieve you of your cargo, one fellow named Dukas I believe.”

La Chevalier could not contain his anger at the arrogance of the statement, “you dog, you are unworthy to step your grimey boots on our nations ship yet you would challenge the will of her majesty, we carry a known traitor and thief to the royal court of Morea!! You should be murdered where you stand for such demands!!”

“Try and murder me you fop! I’ll wear your guts to supper!", Greco said with a smile.

Members of each party restrained the antagonists. Greco practically beamed when stating, “We will return to my ship with Dukas now yes? or would you prefer we come get him later?”

Captain Valieri spoke before La Chevalier could answer, “Captain Greco, return to your ship unmolested and give us some time to retrieve Dukas from the brig, I would not sacrifice my crew for an outlaw.”

La Chevalier could not believe his ears, had the world gone mad, Captain Valieri would surely be tried upon their return to Morea.

“One hour, Captain to fetch Dukas after that we come take him.”, Greco said with a bow.

The Venecians departed the ship.

“Do not worry my lord we shall not give up Dukas, this ploy has bought us some time to prepare, we may die but we will die fighting.”

Someone shouted, “Ships to port!!”

Captain Valieri looked to the North and on the horizon two ships with the burgundy and gold cross of Morea. “God be praised!! We will see how brave you jackals are now!”

Captain Greco stepped onto the Sagittario “another Morean ship well this will certainly inspire them to fight, and I thought this day might be boring.”


The stage is set and we now leave the fighting of the battle for the Buccaneer Dukas in the capable hands of our esteemed colleague Captain Bill, who will play out this scenario in minaiture and detail the outcome in a future blog.


Capt Bill said...

A very nice set up. I'll arrange for some of our group to play the scenario. Best regards...Bill

Frankfurter said...

Sissss ... Boom!
Looking for quite a splash!

A J said...

Ah, a naval battle in the offing! I'm looking forward to the account of action.