Our campaign continues to expand in the Caribees. A plot hatched in the rum taverns of the Antilles and Jamaica culminated in a diversionary raid on the French held island of San Dominique in November 1693. This was one of the 'tune up' scenarios before the main event.
|The valley of the Honey River, San Dominique|
|The forces of Governor du Casse, Louis XIV's man on San Dominique|
|The mixed and rather bizarre force of De Ruvigny and Saqmal|
An unholy alliance of de Ruvigny's Huguenots, The Freeman Cutlers (an itinerant Pirate brotherhood) and Haitian voodoo practitioners planned a raid on King Louis's sugar plantations and a rum factory in the isolated valley through which runs the rivière du miel (Honey River) so called because of frequent spillages of sugar syrup into its waters.
|The Rum Factory- a target of the raid and in the background la rivière du miel |
On November 5th a force of around six hundred men put ashore under cover of night to find, loot and then burn two plantations and the rum factory. The spirit was destined to fortify the matelots of the King's fleets sailing out of La Rochelle, Brest and Toulon.
|Creoles in the service of de Ruvigny but in the pay of Kirke! (its complicated)|
The French had no pre-warning of the raid however Governor du Casse, a reformed buccaneer and former Huguenot, had companies of Franche de la Marine in the general vicinity and these rushed, together with some native allies and mobs of local planters to the site of the commotion in the hope of apprehending the miscreants.
|Tam's (Du Casse's) miracle! he threw 3 x 12s on d12s for a first fire for his Veterans!!!!|
Of course, nothing is ever simple in our campaign world and leading the Freeman Cutlers was their leader Loup de Mer (or Lou Deemer as he is known to most of the Brethren). He had inside information regarding the location of buried Spanish gold in the river valley. Although present to support de Ruvigny's raid the buccaneer chief had a mission of his own.
|Here comes the King's men! - Attack these Haitian heretics!|
An extract from the scenario brief of Saqmal (chief of the Haitians and ally of Ruvigny and Lou Deemer) read thus:
The Freemen Cutlers are aware of a site in the the riviere du miel valley where a considerable horde of Spanish gold is said to have been stashed away in 1665 by a long dead buccaneer- Rodrigo de Silva. The Brethren have expressed a strong desire to locate and appropriate this horde under cover of the landing. If this is achieved, one quarter is pledged to Saqmal. This information is to be withheld from the Huguenot de Ruvigny whose reward will come from the satisfaction of burning the King's rum factories and plantations.
|Huguenot officers issue orders to their Creole mercenaries|
Wheels within wheels it would seem. The attack began well with the raiders quickly setting each location ablaze (accumulation of score of 15 on 1 x d6 per turn for each). When the French arrived they set about the defence with gusto.
|Frenchman fights Frenchman Ruvigny's men exchange with Planteurs|
Curiously the Huguenot had English officered Creoles under his command. This may not seem unusual until it is understood that said officers served King James! It appears the hand of Kirke was at work in a bit of bet hedging.
|The Tainu Indian allies caused considerable problems for the raiders|
The French native allies and the Haitian death cult cut swathes through the ranks of the raiders and de Ruvigny himself was in danger of being cut off inland. Deemer's crew recovered de Silva's hordes (whilst they should have been rescuing de Ruvigny). The Major commanding the Franche de la Marine was captured and cut to pieces by the Freeman Cutlers and during an explosion of gunpowder and molasses at one of the plantation dozens of fighting men from both sides were killed.
|The Freemen Cutler's and Deemer defend the boats for a getaway|
The French managed to recover many of the abandoned stolen rum wagons when the Cutlers fled but the raiders destroyed all three installations, successfully brought off a considerable amount of rum and loot and killed or wounded over 200 French.
|Some of this rum was recovered by the Tainu who returned it to the French|
The raid was a success. It stirred up a hornet's nest but was of course only a distraction from the real objective.. the seizure of Tortuga!
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