The Raven's Beak was a Galleon of the line, created by the Spanish to help guard their failing sea routes during the 1800's. However, it was captured by English pirates, and used for their less then desireble means.
In the shipyards of El Ferrol, Spain, 1713, a Galleon of the line called the Rápido Jinete (Swift Rider:Spanish) was built. It was among the many Galleons in production of the time, built to help strengthen the trading lines between Spain, and the New World. Vasco Aurelio, a long serving sea man was given captainship, and was ordered to first escort a small trading fleet to the New world. Then he was to report to the Government of New Spain (Current day Mexico) and commit further order there. Without hesitation, and already having experience among this sea route, Vasco Aurelio set Rápido Jinete to sail across the Atlantic, accompanied by three other trading ships.
Onto the high sea'sEdit
Among three other ships, the Rápido Jinete had its first taste of the open ocean when crossing the Atlantic. It was a journey that would take over a third of a year, and a journey in which the Rápido Jinete would have its first taste of sea combat.
In the morning of the 15th of January 1714, two ships appeared on the horizon in front of the Rápido Jinete and the other vessels bearing strange colours. Vasco Aurelio ordered the fleet to further investigate, and raised the peace colours on the Rápido Jinete mast. However, the two mysterious ships did not respond, and seemed to approach them at full speed. It was only then that Vasco Aurelio realised that these ships were either owned by Pirates or Privateers seeking Spanish ships. He raised the colours of battle, warning the other ships to prepare for battle, while getting the cannons ready on his own ship.
The Rápido Jinete approached the broadside of one of the enemy ships, and let loose his cannons before they had even prepared. The effect was devastating on the enemy moral, as not a shot was fired back in turn. Taking advantage of this, Vasco Aurelio ordered his crew to board the enemy ship. Throwing grapples onto the deck of the opposing ship, the crew of the Rápido Jinete ‘Pulled’ the enemy ship towards them shouting insults and curses. Then, at Vasco’s word, the crew charged upon the enemy ship, killing most of its scared crew in a matter of minutes.
In only 10 minutes, the crew of the Rápido Jinete had claimed the enemy ship, and begun work on scuttling it. Meanwhile, the other three trading ships were heavily engaged with the last enemy ship. They had all taken damage from cannon fire, and were all doomed due to the lack of cannons and men with military experience. Knowing this, Vasco moved the Rápido Jinete to engage the enemy ship. With all due speed, the Rápido Jinete moved forward, firing its forwards guns at the pirate ship as it continued. The enemy could not stand against this, with four ships against them they had now turned from hunter to prey. They surrendered, and with that the Rápido Jinete pressed forward towards the America’s.
In the America'sEdit
A month later, the Rápido Jinete made it to the port of Santo Domingo with its cargo intact. They made repairs there, and then waited for their next orders. Much to the surprise of Vasco, the Rápido Jinete was ordered to go Pirate hunting around the Caribbean, in order to lessen their numbers, and stop them from attacking Spanish shipping. Vasco followed these orders, and on the 26th of March 1714, the Rápido Jinete once again set sail on the high seas.
A few months later July 3rd 1714, the Rápido Jinete once again saw combat on the open seas. At the time, they were heading back to the port of Santo Domingo to report that they had spotted no pirates in the waters. However, as they sailed back, the Spanish crew spotted a strange ship on the horizon. Vasco, thinking that these might be some pirates that they were looking for; so he set the Rápido Jinete in pursuit.
The Rápido Jinete easily caught up to this ship due to favourable winds, and discovered it was indeed a pirate ship as it bore no colours but a black flag. Vasco ordered the attack and the cannons of the Rápido Jinete were loaded to be ready. Slowly but surely, the two ships inched closer and closer to each other, until, eventually, they were both in range of one and other. The sounds of cannon fire then erupted, shattering and splintering the wood of both ships. As the smoke receded, the cost for both sides was high. The pirate ship had lost its mast, and its rudder was blown to pieces. The Rápido Jinete however, had sustained heavy damage to its starboard side, and a few of its men had died.Vasco decided if he wanted to win, he would have to capitalize on the pirate ships damaged condition. He angled the Rápido Jinete around, ordering his men to open fire with musket and other small arms. He then ordered his men to board the ship. Grapples were thrown over, wooden planks were placed done, and then with insults and curses his men charged aboard. The Pirates could not take it any longer, and surrendered to the Spanish crew, dropping their weapons. Vasco then decided, that instead of destroying the ship, he would drag it back to Santo Domingo as a prize.
On the 6th of July 1714, the Rápido Jinete came into Santo Domingo’s harbour victorious and triumphant. The captured ship was handed over, and Vasco and his crew were given the share of the bounty for Pirates. From there, Vasco decided to leave active service in the Spanish navy, and the Rápido Jinete was given over to Captain Gonçalo Elias. This new captain was tasked with the same objective that his predecessor had been; hunt down any Pirates that were found. After some repairs, Gonçalo set off to do his duty for the Spanish Crown. However, this turned out for the worse.
Captured by piratesEdit
On the 30th of August, 1714, after a few weeks on the high sea, a sailor spotted a ship bearing down upon the Rápido Jinete at full speed. Gonçalo, having many years’ experience in these waters, assumed that this ship could only be manned by Pirates. So, he ordered for his crew to prepare the cannons. As the ship continued towards them, he was revealed to be right; this ship was indeed manned by pirates. He set Rápido Jinete to intercept, with all cannons ready and loaded, and all the crew poised to attack. But, despite the Rápido Jinete’s speed, the pirate ship was the one that struck first. Its cannons slammed into the wooden sides of the ship, killing many, and damaging much of the ship. The Rápido Jinete responded in turn, its own cannons roaring against the pirates. Both ships, now heavily damaged, slowly limped towards each other. However something bad happened to the pirate ship. Its hull was suddenly ripped apart by an unseen reef. Sensing victory, Gonçalo steered Rápido Jinete to board the enemy, in order to destroy the rest of the crew. However, the desperate pirates were prepared. They put up a great fight, and forced the Spanish crew back to their ship. They then pushed their advantage, and charged the decks of the Rápido Jinete soaking it with blood. When the smoke eventually cleared, the Spanish were all but dead; with Captain Gonçalo Elias’s head mounted upon a spike.
The English pirates, under Captain Ritchie Lamont took the ship for their own, abandoning their previous one, and rename the Rápido Jinete with the name of Raven’s Beak. They set sail south, intending to repair their new ship, and use it to gain wealth for all their crew.
Raising of the Black Flag
After the repairs were done in an obscure port located on the northern coast of South America, the Raven’s-Beak once again set sail on the high seas. Captain Lamont was eager to test this new ship out, and set his sights on the trade routes he knew well. Eventually, his prey was found. A few small merchant ships were desperately trying to make a passage north, only armed with a few guns. The Raven’s-Beak caught up to them, and within a matter of minutes, the small skirmish that followed ended in the surrender of these ships.
Loaded with goods, the Ravens-Beak then spent the next few months in port, as the pirates enjoyed the fruits of their labour. However, as the ship and the pirates stayed in port, another ship slowly drifted up to make landfall. This ship was called the ‘Weeping lady’, another pirate ship, with a grudge against the pirates that had captured the Raven’s Beak. They stormed into the port demanding the money that they were owed, plus a little extra because of the time they took. Captain Lamont refused to give these Pirates money, and ordered his crew to escape to the ship.
Despite all of the Raven’s-Beak’s speed, they were easily caught up by the Weeping Lady which was a ship of the line. Captain Lamont, seeing no other choice but to fight, ordered the cannons to be prepared. He angled his ship around and begun firing upon the Weeping ladies hull. However, it seemed to have little effect as the Weeping lady powered along, firing its front cannons at the Raven’s Beak. Eventually, the two ships came broadside to broadside, exchanging cannon fire in a duel of sorts. However, it was obvious who was winning. After only ten minutes of fighting, the Raven’s-Beak was leaking badly, and was beginning to sink. Then, a lucky shot from the Weeping Lady hit the Raven’s-Beaks ammunition storage, causing it to combust. The ship then exploded in a mass of light and fire, and slowly its burnt carcass drifted down into the ocean depths.
The Raven’s Beak, after a good 200 years, was eventually rediscovered in the year 2016. A small diving team accidently came upon its shattered remains in the Caribbean. Only days after this discovery, the world was soon abuzz with chatter over this long lost Spanish ship, and the interest in it was very high. Eventually a private Spanish organization acquired rights to its remains, and begun extensive work to excavate this ship and all inside it. After a few months the work had been done due to modern technology, and most of the remains are now in display in a Spanish museum located in Madrid.
AppearanceEditThe Raven’s-Beak has three masts, each adding to the overall speed this ship has. Its hull was built out of various hard woods such as oak and pine. This hull is quite large, with long beak extending out the front, and a square gallery at the stern off the captain's cabin.
The Raven’s Beak hosts an impressive 30 cannons (15 on each side) and an additional 4 rail cannons. 8 of these cannons were the 36 pounder monsters, massive cannons that could tear massive holes in the side of a ship. These were originally installed by the Spanish when the ship was built, however, at the time the Raven’s-Beak was sunk; only two remained. All the other cannons were modest 12 pounder cannons, which could punch a small hole in the side of an enemy ship, and cause casualties from its dreaded grapeshot.
- The Raven's-Beak is a name of a ship used in one of my stories.
Staleld all of this is completely fictional.