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Piracy in Vodeo

Piracy in Vodeo and the Sea of Uthyra was a direct result of economic pressures and opportunities in the colonies of Cambria and St Austell between the late 16th and mid-18th centuries. The main era of piracy in the region is typically defined as beginning in the 1660s and ending around 1735, although pirates and privateers had been known to operate in the area as early as the 1580s and as late as 1752.

Ingerish Civil War

While pirate activity had mainly taken place in the eastern islands of the Sea of Uthyra for much of the 1710s, the outbreak of the Ingerish Civil War in 1717 saw a major shift in the balance of power in the region. While initially the conflict had only required those soldiers and sailors either in or close to Ingerland, leaving the colonial forces in place, in 1718 and 1719 a large portion of Ingerland's colonial military had been recalled home to fight. While Cambria and St Austell had initially taken little interest in the war, the recalling of the troops caused alarm in the colonies, as the colonial garrisons remaining were not strong enough to defend against the Castellanese or Florescentians, both of whom were highly active in the Sea of Uthyra.

By the early 1720s, economic conditions in Cambria and St Austell had become dire. The flow of Ingerish money into the colonies had all but dried up as the Ingerish government commandeered almost all of the colonies' resources, settlement had dropped from 2,813 in 1714 to 386 in 1721, and most of the colonial army and naval forces had been recalled to Ingerland to fight in the civil war. Fearing an attack by another colonial power (primarily Castellan), in April 1718 the Cambrian and St Austellian governors turned to Ingerish privateers and pirates to help defend the colonies and bring in desperately-needed funds. In return for helping the colonies, the pirates and privateers would be welcomed in port towns and given provisions and services; in addition to this, crews were entitled to 50% of whatever money they made at sea, with the other 50% going to the colonial treasuries. This agreement attracted pirates and privateers from around the world, and by 1720 the Sea of Uthyra had become a haven for piracy. Officially, attacking Ingerish ships was forbidden, however at the time it was known that this took place, with governors choosing to turn a blind eye.

The presence of pirates and privateers in Vodeo had an immediate economic impact. Port towns that had lost significant custom since the beginning of the war rebounded with the number of ships visiting for supplies and repairs, and the flow of foreign gold was enough to sustain both colonies, although at a lower level than had been the case before the war. Avington, Brynderwyn, Holme, and Saviso became the chief seaports, although other smaller towns along the coastline saw visits from ships.

Brynderwyn became the main port of call for many crews, as it offered the shelter of Port Adelaide (unlike the more open coastline of Holme) and was defended by the imposing Fort Brynderwyn at Caerau. Despite Holme being the largest port on the Vodean coast at the time, the city's upper class disapproved of the influence of pirates on the town (while at the same time enjoying the profits of piracy). With the colonial governor Albert Rutland not wanting to upset his townsfolk nor incur the anger of the crews, he offered them the town of Brynderwyn, where local authorities would be given orders to be lenient with crews.

Decline and end of piracy

While piracy had been a lucrative endeavour between the late 1710s and early 1750s, by 1760 the age of piracy began drawing to a close. Imperial powers had adopted new naval warfare tactics and were building more ships than at the start of the century. Authorities around the Sea of Uthyra began cracking down on piracy, and revenues started to fall. Coupled with this were a number of pirates who, having been active primarily during the 1720s and 1730s, began to settle in Cambria and St Austell in the 1740s and 1750s. A number of pirates went on to form the basis of the first Cambrian and St Austellian navies, with ships formerly devoted to acts of piracy now defending against them.

Notable pirates

Charles and Rachel Montgomery (Redbeard and Red Rachel)

Charles (c. May 1689 – 22 August 1718) and Rachel Montgomery (4 December 1694 – 29 June 1775) were a brother-and-sister duo who became arguably the most famous Vodean pirates, known equally for their fiery tempers and naval cunning as their red hair, which led to their nicknames of Redbeard and Red Rachel, respectively. Charles had been granted a letter of marque to engage in privateering in the Sea of Uthyra in 1715, and had made his base of operations in Holme. Charles returned to Ingerland for three months in 1719, and after setting sail for Cambria, discovered his younger sister Rachel had stowed away. Despite protests from the crew, she was allowed to stay, and proved to be a skilled fighter. Charles was killed while fighting the Castellanese near present-day TA330, and after the battle Rachel was elected leader. Rachel continued to lead her crew until opting to settle in Holme in the 1740s.

War of the Vodean Coast

War of the Vodean Coast
Part of the Ingerish Civil War
Date15 October 1719 – 6 February 1720
LocationSea of Uthyra off the coast of the Cambria and St Austell colonies
ResultDecisive Ingerish victory
Belligerents
Ingerland-flag.png Royal Navy
Pirate Flag of Jack Rackham.svg Pirate Brethren
Flag of Castellan.png Castellánese Navy
Commanders and leaders
Ingerland-flag.png James Franklin
Pirate Flag of Jack Rackham.svg Rachel Montgomery
Flag of Castellan.png Valente León †

The War of the Vodean Coast was a series of naval engagements fought by the Ingerish Royal Navy and an assortment of pirates against the Castellánese Navy off the coast of the Ingerish colonies of Cambria and St Austell in late 1719 and early 1720. The war was prompted by the outbreak of the Ingerish Civil War in 1717 and subsequent reduction in the presence of Ingerish soldiers and sailors in the western Sea of Uthyra, which the Castellánese saw as an opportunity to seize the wealthy sugar-growing colonies.