betweensunandmoon: (Phantom)
[personal profile] betweensunandmoon
Turns out I have no idea how to write an action scene. At all.

There is plenty of information about how pirates boarded ships, but nothing about how they actually got the captain and crew to surrender. So I'm on my own for that part.

I've decided to call the fic Ghost Ship, for lack of a better title.

I wish I had more faith in my writing skills.




(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 01:39 am (UTC)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
From: [personal profile] igenlode
From the account of Captain William Snelgrave (1719):
The invaders swarmed up onto the quarter-deck of the ship at anchor, then drew their pistols and fired down into the steerage , hitting one of the sailors in the buttocks and wounding him so sevrely that he later died. Then they tossed a number of grenades down. Stunned by the noise and flash of the explosions, the acrid smoke and the confusion, the crew cried out for quarter.

The leader of the boarding party demanded to know how the captain had dared order his crew to open fire (in fact, they had been unable to do so as the first mate was in league with the attackers and had removed the arms chest). Snelgrave told him that it was his duty to defend the ship, to which the pirate made no reply, but pulled out his pistol, clapped it to the captain's chest and pulled the trigger. Snelgrave managed to knock the gun aside as it went off, and the bullet creased his side, leaving him bloody but still alive. When the pirate saw that he was still standing, he took his empty pistol by the muzzle and brought it down on Snelgrave's head, knocking him to his knees.

Only a few minutes had passed since the pirates had boarded, but the ship was theirs. Snelgrave was told that no further harm would come to him provided no complaints about him were received from the ordinary seamen of his crew. The pirates then fired a victory salvo with their small arms.



Most pirates simply fired a shot across the bows of their quarry and waited for her to strike her colours. They captured ship after ship without so much as a blow being struck by frightening their prey into submission. The lurid tales of what happened to those who resisted the pirates needed no embroidering.

The most obvious symbol of pirate terror was the skull and crossbones flag, euphemistically named the 'Jolly Roger'. But the pirates had other devices to remind their prey of who they were. While the pirate band produced hideous noises, the pirates 'vapored', as they called it, on the poop and afterdeck, which meant that they danced around growling and chanting war-cried and waving their weapons and clashing cutlasses -- a chilling, ringing sound. If they spotted the captain of the vessel they often singled him out for abuse.

(Details from "The Pirates", Time-Life Books, 1978)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-10 11:23 am (UTC)
igenlode: The pirate sloop 'Horizon' from "Treasures of the Indies" (Default)
From: [personal profile] igenlode

There are a couple of other accounts of ships' crews who fought back (often by shutting themselves into the superstructure of the ship and using it as a fortress from which to fire out onto the deck) which I can have a go at summarising if that would be relevant.

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