Carib Free Traders, Association of
By Martin Helsdon
A short-lived Association of Free Traders arising from rebellions within the High Kingdom of Colorado. Gordian Su, Captain of the Captains of the Coast, Master and Chief Pilot of the Association, had a brief but quite spectacular career.
None I dare tell'ee.
1703 – 1704 T188
High Kingdom of Colorado: The population of Chitimacha revolted and drove the governor, Gordian Su, out of the city along with his fleet and horse-guards. At much the same time, Morgan Sackett (command of the Coloradan forces at St.Michaels-in-Tonkawa) declared himself king and marched on Ayoel on the Snake to secure the port there. Su, with no place to take his fleet, sailed south, seeking refuge amongst the islands.
Frankish Carib Diplomacy: Ciguayo(hm), Taino(f)
Fleeing to safe harbor in the southern islands, Gordian found a warm welcome on the islands of Taino and Ciguayo, where once he had served as a Coloradan captain. A world of opportunity had opened up for a daring sea-captain with a few ready lads to hand.
1705 - 1706 T189
Hideyoshi Nisei Shogunate: Finally, the admiral Ikawa Yoshi and Musashi Mitsu sailed off southaway to bring some order to the lawless islands of the Carib seas.
Cardinal Huizil was sent to the island to negotiate with Su and his pirates.
Frankish Carib: Diplomacy: Cólon(fa), Chitimacha(a)
Gordian ruled from his palace in Kasar, entertaining a parade of various dignitaries who demanded this and that from him. He refused them all, save those that would trade with his fledgling realm. Those he welcomed. Coloradan and Hideyoshi emissaries cooled their heels for months before he saw them, and then he refused to join the "rebellious governement" of Morgan Sackett. The fleet, he had already sent out.
Under the command of Talko Su and Captain Bern, the Carib fleet first visited Cólon on Arawak, where arrangements were made with the local chiefs. Then, as the fleet was setting sail for the mouth of the Great Snake, the scouts reported the arrival of a fleet of Dakotan ships. Boats were sent out and negotiating positions exchanged. Talko realized that the Dakotans were in these waters to bring him to "justice". Choosing freedom over the slavery of Sackett rule, he ordered his fleet of two hundred and forty ships to attack the hundred-odd Dakotans.
The sea battle off of Cabo Corrientes was fierce, for the Dakotans were fearless warrriors and asked no quarter. Blood, burning wreckage and the bloating bodies of dead men soon marred the green tropical waters. The battle was particularly brutal, as the Dakotan warships were far superior to the Caribs, yet the Caribs would not yield. In the end the Dakotan fleet was ground to wreckage and flotsam, but only sixty-some Carib ships remained. Talko Su had been killed, as had both Ikawa Yoshi and Musashi Mitsu. Captain Bern recrewed all of the Dakotan ships that had been captured and sailed on northwards.
After a rough voyage, the Carib fleet reached Chitimacha where they were welcomed to New Orleans by the baron of the city. The baron was particularly glad to see them as a Sackett army was fast approaching the crescent city. Bern struck a deal with the baron and the combined armies marched out to face the Coloradan force. The Coloradan commander, Baron Detwiler, was certainly not expecting 17,000-odd hostile troops to pour out of the city. He attempted to flee, but without any cavalry to screen his retreat he was soon run to ground and his force wiped out.
1707 – 1708 T190
Great Britain: The English squadron stationed at Mahair on Arawak was woken from their peaceful sleep in late May of 1707 by the thunder of ships' cannons. For a moment, as they ran about in panic and shock, they thought that the Danes had struck at them, even here in the safety of the Americas. But no, it was merely a pirate raid, as was becoming all too common in these lawless times. Prince Robert, who had been yearning for action for years, immediately ordered his fleet to sea. Unfortunately for the raiders, their initial attack had only damaged or sunk thirty-two of the English ships. The remainder, once they had gotten to sea, chased the pirates down and smashed the pirates with their superior gunnery and seamanship. Many merchantmen were captured and thousands of pirate soldiers. Questioning of the raiders revealed that they were Franks from the Carib islands. Only their chief escaped.
The Association of Carib Free Traders: There was some trouble in Kusan on Taino as the Coloradan priest that had been captured during his abortive diplomatic mission three years ago escaped with the help of some bribed guards. An attempt to murder Gordian Su was foiled by his Carib guards, who smelled the assassins before they could strike. Su also issued a series of edicts banning piracy and the support of piracy throughout the Frankish islands. This earned him considerable emnity from the various freelance operators that had previously found safe haven in his ports.
The Chitimachans, who had been drinking some extra beers in celebration of the liberation from the Colorado, woke up one morning to observe a large army of both Coloradans and Hideyoshi bearing down upon their lovely city. With New Orleans lacking any defenses, the city milita was forced to take the field, though their cause was hopeless. This day, they cursed the name of Gordian Su. In fact, the baron that ordered them forth to fight was dead within the hour, and the city fathers agreed to pay tribute to Sackett to spare their city.
Azteca: While fleet was off playing baby-sitter to the Israelites, pirates raided the provinces of Maya and Quiche, spreading considerable death, destruction and the reduction of property values. Thousands of nubile Aztec maidens were dragged off into slavery - doubtless to be resold in Iroquois or French markets… Luckily for the inhabitants of Chichen Itza, strong walls protected their city. The Pachamaxali were not so lucky.
1709 – 1710 T191
High Kingdom of Colorado: Andy Jackson, meantime, had taken the new fleet to sea (along with a merry band of Dakotans) in search of the pirates that had been plaguing the Aztec coast. He had a really good idea who the pirates were, so he steered a course straight for Ciguayo…
The Association of Carib Free Traders: Captain Su was rebuffed by the Coloni, who wanted nothing to do with his Association. The English owned half of their island, they were afraid enough of losing their paltry independence as it was. Trade picked up out of the port of Kusan on Taino, bringing some needed currency to that tropical port. The fleet was sent out on anti-piracy patrol, though how much effect they would have would remain to be seen.
Azteca: Seemingly revitalized by the new national faith, the Aztecs responded to the pinpricks of pirate attack by disgorging a massive fleet from the Canal to restore Aztec hegemony over the Carribean. At the same time, a substantial rearmament campaign was undertaken to retool the Imperial fleet to a higher standard. Better cannon, better sails and hulls. Many older ships were almost completely rebuilt. An entire new legion, the Flower of Heaven, was raised under the command of the Empress.
Two legions, the Earthquake and the Flower of Heaven, took to sea with the fleet and, after an uneventful passage north, suddenly struck like a mighty tidal-wave at the Free Carib island of Taino. Defended only by the city milita and the harbor police, the city of Kusan was captured within a day and the island occupied.
Ciguayo was next, and there the Aztecs found a Coloradan fleet loitering off-shore, bombarding the town of Kasar in a desultory manner. Sriyésa landed her marines and began a serious shellacking of the defenders. She entered the city in victory three days later, finding the streets littered with the dead, and the notorious pirate, Gordian Su, dead in the governor’s house. A litter of bloody ice-picks surrounded him.
The Colorado and their Hideyoshi friends scampered off, then, and the empress spent the rest of 1710 ensuring that proper Aztec order and administration was enforced on both islands. Later in the year, another Aztec fleet arrived from the north, temporarily swelling the shipping at Kasar to over eight hundred ships.
1711 – 1712 T192
High Kingdom of Colorado: Jethro; flushed with success following the defeat of the Carib Pirates, sent his fleet back to Taino and Ciguayo and installed garrisons on the island to replace the Aztec marines, who withdrew. Otherwise, things were very quiet, all things considered.
- Gordian Su
- Myles Toomey T189-T191?