Chapter One: Shipwrecked!
Our heroes were en route to Barbados aboard a merchantman, The Felicty- Captain James Gold, when high seas and hurricane strength winds surprisingly late in the season drove the ship on to a reef surrounding an unnamed island somewhere in the Leeward Islands where it broke up and was lost.
The adventurers awoke to find themselves on an unknown beach with most of their possessions lost or missing. Bodies of some of the Felicity's crew were scattered on the sand around them.
As they took stock of their situation they saw, further along the beach, a group of native Caribs dressed in frightening spider masks butchering wounded sailors and dragging the bodies into their canoe.
Grabbing what improvised weapons they could find from amongst the driftwood and wreckage from their ship that littered the sand the heroes rushed to save their comrades.
They were met with unexpected force and the surgeon, Professor Julius Arbuthnott, was felled immediately by a native spear.
Undaunted, the rest of the party fought on and drove the Indians off despite suffering minor wounds themselves.
They found three of the ship's crew still alive, The cook- Bartholomew Stew, his Chinese assistant- Wu Ma and the ship's carpenter- John Oxenham.
Once the Professor had been revived he was able to minister to the rest of the wounded and the party headed inland to higher ground.
On a promontory they came across the remains of a camp obviously constructed by Europeans.
There were two huts and a cooking area. In one of the huts was a body with a signet ring and a locket containing the likeness of a woman. Near the body the remains of a journal was found containing cryptic scribbles.
The party decided to use this camp as their base and set about strengthening its defences.
Chapter Two: Exploring the island
Lefty Hamish McTavish, the artisan in the party, set about making a raft with the help of the carpenter and the next day Panama Red, the only real sailor in the group, accompanied by Celina Merice (a secretive woman who's shady past included acting as an agent for several governments) braved the surf and sharks to attempt a salvage mission before the last remains of the Felicity were washed away.
They returned triumphant with supplies, weapons and the rescued ship's cat.
Further exploration by the rest of the party revealed that the Spider tribe Indians lived in a cave behind a waterfall on the western side of the island.
That night Celina displayed more of her talents by disguising herself as a native and entered the cave alone to spy out the land.
The caves, for there were more than one, were adorned with crude spider paintings and many local species of tarantulas and centipedes swarmed everywhere.
Undaunted Celina crept past sleeping guards and moved further into the complex.
Around the first corner she was confronted by a giant web. Stifling her involuntary exclamation of shock so as not to wake the nearby sentries she realised it was a construct formed from scraps of rope and vines and moved on past it.
The main cave was full of sleeping women, children and yet more spiders who seemed to be completely at home with the humans. Celina managed not to wake any of the sleeping guards here but a couple of women spotted her and began to get suspicious.
Deciding discretion was the better part of valour Celina retreated without having completed a full reconnaissance.
Chapter Three: The Second Island
A second island was spotted to the north west and, with the canoe strengthened and enlarged the party headed off to explore it.
They found a sacrifice and cooking area on a beach where they had spotted smoke the day before. This area contained signs that another Indian tribe, this time with monkey masks, used it as a ritual slaughter site.
Moving to the high ground the adventurers discovered the remains of an old fort that showed signs of recent European activity. Another island was visible from the fort further off to the north west.
In a store room they found the mouldy logs of a slave ship, the Dominion, captained by Thomas Kane. Amongst Kane's possessions was a magnificent sword and an unsettling wooden doll. The heroes took both.
There was a tunnel leading from the fort to a concealed sea cave which offered a sheltered anchorage for any passing ship. The cave and passage were stocked with loot and supplies showing it was used regularly as a base of operations by someone.
NEXT- Chapter Four: Monkey Island
Celina Merice. ‘Colonel’ Courtney Rice. Lefty Hamish McTavish . Professor Julius Arbuthnott. Panama Red. Honest Jake Fluke.
As the sugar industry developed into its main commercial enterprise, Barbados was divided into large plantation estates that replaced the smallholdings of the early English settlers. In 1680 over half the arable land was held by 175 large planters, each of whom held at least 60 slaves. The great planters had connections with the English aristocracy and great influence on Parliament. (In 1668 the West Indian sugar crop sold for £180,000 after customs of £18,000. (Chesapeake tobacco earned £50,000 after customs of £75,000). So much land was devoted to sugar that most food had to be imported from New England. The poorer whites who were moved off the island went to the English Leeward Islands, or especially to Jamaica. In 1670, the Province of South Carolina was founded, when some of the surplus population again left Barbados. Other nations benefiting from large numbers of Barbadians included British Guiana and Panama.
The Caribbean hurricane season runs from the 1st June through to 30th November but the hurricanes are not evenly distributed across the region during this time. December to May is considered good for sailing with the weather being hot and dry. July and August are the wettest months.