Admiralty Mission from the land of Patagonia to the Western colonies.
IN early July the small flotilla of two ships victualed in the Red City and set a course for the colonies in the western sea. The flag ship Scarlet would be carrying none other than King Michael, Ruler of Patagonia and his royal entourage, along with a significant military escort and a population of colonists bound for the isle of Marnon.
The flotilla. The Centaur is in the lead and the royal banner of Patagonia can be seen flying from the second ship the Scarlet. Late July passed and the voyage was uneventful. The royal family passed the time with games of "India" in the luxurious staterooms aboard the Scarlet.
One morning in early August the Captain of the Centaur signaled the Scarlet that a sail had been spotted on the horizon. The precaution of calling all hands to stations was necessary as the ships were now in international waters and in the area known as the "crossing". A portion of the sea wherein common sail traffic was very heavy. The ship that the captain held in his spyglass appeared to be an Auricanian merchantman sailing S by SW and heavily laden.
The merchantman sailed under the Auricanian colours. The ship was the Leon, and was rigged very much in the manner of Auricanian merchant vessels.
The ships warily approach. The merchantman could make for open water and was seriously outgunned if it came to a tussle. The Centaur shielded the Scarlet from any fire and began to make maneuvers to intercept the foreign nations ship. But as is usually the case in these sort of encounters the impertinent bastard...
...unleashed an unprovoked cannonade on the Patagonian fleet.
Which responded in kind with cannonades of their own. In the ensuing battle the royal cargo was never in harms way and in fact. King Michael attended the side rail mid battle to see the enemy ship pounding the devil out of the Centaur. He ordered the Scarlet captain Brodeur, to engage as well as he was in need of the cargo on board the Centaur (many said later that in the after telling he actually said cargo of the enemy merchantman. A rather piratical stance for one so noble of birth so the official story is what is mostly in the histories of the time.)
The Centaur, heavily damaged in sail cloth and starboard guns keeps the merchantman from slipping away. The Leon hauls down the colours and surrenders her cargo of mostly colonists and military conscripts.
The Scarlet in the wake of the Centaur rolls back her gun carriages and clears the gun crews away. King Michael personally oversaw the requisitioning of material of war from the merchant ship and put aboard a prize crew.
Imagine cannon fire and a raucous noise of naval guns firing broadsides.
The Centaur after the battle. From a painting in the naval military museum in Marnon. 1782. 1
1. VanPelt, K., The Cruise of the Scarlet. Patagonis Press. 1782. pp.11.