Commodore the Lord Jake Stirling - Jonathan

Player: Jonathan
Rank: Baron (Rank 2)
Religion: Church of England

Lord Stirling had been a member of the Order of Sir Walter Raleigh until he bought his commission in the Navy as it was formed. He subsequently disappeared on a mission for his superiors, some say for causing some outrage, and only recently has returned to court. An excellent sailor and sea-fighter, the Navy has been forced to recognise, grudgingly, the Commodore's brilliance.


Career and Retirement

Extracts from “To Sail a Further Ocean”, a biography of Jake Stirling. Technotitlan: Jaguar Press, 1912.

“…his excellent work for Cornwall, both during the Episcopal Crisis and in later years, kept Albion's seas and those of her Colonies safe from piracy, rebellion and invasion. Stirling's career was marked by a series of hot engagements; while he always led from the front on his legendary ship, the Black Phantom, he suffered frequent accusations of wasting Crown time and resources to chase after rumours of mysterious artefacts or individuals lost in the wilderness of the unexplored ocean. Despite the occasional lucky find, this maverick reputation eventually forced Stirling's retirement after some twenty years in the forces…

…with retirement, however, came the greatest surprise of all; a revelation that Stirling's increased interest in holy texts and ancient myths had been not from zealotry but from scholarship. It seemed that the Commander had been attempting to discover a route back to Eden, or perhaps the hidden resting-place of the Fountain of Youth.

One dark day in the late 1600s, while the darkest tempest ever to lash Oxford caused every other ship to hide in safe harbour, the Black Phantom was seen setting sail from Oxford with every grim-faced crewman on deck. The ship was never seen again by reliable record, though it continues to sail proudly through sailors' myths and dockside superstitions, in addition to the inordinate number of 'Cargo Cults' in seas from the South China to the remote Atlantic, surrounding legends of a black-sailed ship with a mysterious captain who landed, told incredible tales and demonstrated fabulous omens to the natives, and then left, never to be seen again…”

A Distant Tree

Imp-powered wire-report from noted illusojournalist Elijah Temple, during his groundbreaking coverage of the conflict which would later develop into the Volcano Wars of the Philippines

“…several of the guerilla factions claim to be disputing a map of some sort, which is said to carry directions to an island known as the 'Shadow Garden' or the 'Ancient Forest'. Whether this map truly exists, and whether the volcanic eruptions which have downed several Government ornithopters in international waters is related to the rumours, is yet unclear. The situation is deteriorating, however, and with local religious leaders refusing to condemn the use of bitumen-throwers and modified Cathayan earthquake-generators, despite the highly unstable seismic properties of the local seabed, few diplomats hold out much hope for the fragile ceasefire….”



Excerpt from Common myths of the sea Dr Elizabeth D'Amberleigh 1751AD

The Black Phantom is a mythic ship believed to be based on a ship owned by Admiral Stirling until it disappeared in the year of our lord 1681. Stirling sailed a distinctive ship which always had black sails, sailing out into The Great Storm of that same year it was never seen again.

The Phantom is said to appear at the most desperate of naval engagements and render aid to the righteous, or just against the Spanish, and disappear again without trace. Regardless the sea always run red with the blood of its enemies.

Some sailors also suggest that it may be responsible for the high number of disappearances in a region of the Carribean close to Bermuda, which is well known to be due to unusual currents and the prevalence of submerged rocks in that area. No documentary evidence has ever been produced and the assertion that this ship is piloted by a madman with a bandage across his eyes which cry tears of blood is surely the fanciful imagining of men who have spent months at sea.


A common folklore among sailors

Mark the sign of the sickle upon your sail in the blood of your shipmates unjustly killed and cast salt to the four winds, cry forth for the aid of Albion and prepare to pay the price, for the Black Phantom shall be upon you.


Sails of Black,
Heart of Gold,
Cannons of Death,
Cometh from Nothing,
Phatom of the Seas.

Yield the Price,
Enemies Slain,
The Black Phantom Rides Again,
Albion Forever.


Excerpt from An Account of the Battle of the Cape (1695) Commodore (retired) Mary Stirling

It is only now that I have retired that I feel I can write about this battle and be content with the calls of madwoman which will inevitably accompany it.

We sailed around the cape of good hope in order to provide relief to the forces of the good company which were tied down trying to defend the mouth of the Zaire against the resurgent HRE, it should have been a textbook maneouver to surprise their fleet from the rear using the cape to hide the bulk of our fleet until the last minute. Somehow the Spanish were waiting for us. With twice the numbers.

Death walked, swam, danced among us and all hope seemed lost. One of my seamen, a native from this area, suddenly went mad, spreading blood upon the sails and crying out in some strange language, the only word of which I could undersant was Albion, and for some reason my own name. Suddenly the wind changed, and the sky changed, day became night and the stars swirled into unfamiliar patterns. Out of the sun came a ship with black sails and the laughter of a madman was carried on the breeze. It maneuvered as no boat that size has a right to before holy god, and demolished four ships within seconds of its appearance, signaling for us to form a line behind it, as it sailed straight at the enemy fleet. The resulting battle blurs in my memory but by the time the sun set (when did it reappear?) everywhere I looked all the ships were burning, apart from my own. How they can call that a victory for Albion I will never know. I passed out.

When I came to it was almost midday but fully half my men were missing. No bodies remained on my deck but nobody ever recalled having thrown them over the side and some swear they were there immediately after we `won' the battle. On my desk was a note which merely read `Keep up the good work, granddaughter.' which crumbled to ash when I touched it.

bio/jake_stirling.txt · Last modified: 2008/03/04 15:09 by helen