weclome vistior

welcome to the home of Oronegro, a land that not so long ago was a peaceful and prosperous place but by the mid 2020's it was engulfed in a violent civil war! The whole world watched doing their bit in the conflict. the story is one of a small country stuck in superpower politics

Monday, December 5, 2016

Oronegrean Patrol ships - Naval history

Oronegro has always been a naval power. Right from the start it was the ships and boats of the settlers that enabled them to venture into the interior up Oronegro's many rivers and connected the many coastal settlements that were established. Roads were later built connecting these places, and later still railways also linked the growing towns (Oronegro being the first to both build steam engines and railways - a story for another day). However, water remained the main link between the settlements and these links needed constant protection.

El San Francisco is typical of the many patrol ships in the Oronegrean navy
Almost from the start Oronegrean ships found themselves attacked, by hostile tribes on the rivers and by pirates along the coast. In response a series of ships were built to counter the threat. These included small vessels designed almost exclusively for use on shallow rivers and estuaries. These ships were often armed with only 2 light cannon or some swivel guns or no guns at all, relying on her crew to use their weapons to fight any foes they encountered.

The River going craft had shallow drafts to enable them to go in shallow waters or to land on beaches or river banks
Some threats however could not be dealt with by these small vessels. This was especially true along the coasts and shipping routes. Out here the river craft were, by design, less suitable and a different type of ship was needed. While a variety of naval ships could be used, such as frigates, cutters and sloops, it was decided that specially designed patrol shops would be made. These vessels were often armed with between 6-12 cannon and swivels. Not enough to take on other naval ships or larger pirate vessels but fire-power wasn't the focus.

Pirates were the main threat in these waters, but sometimes merchant ships would run into trouble and need assistance.
These ships were able to sail in quite rough seas, were fast and had shallow drafts (making them suitable for use on larger rivers). Although their primary task was to defend shipping lanes and coastal settlements they also served other roles. First amongst these was as search and rescue craft. Because of their speed they were sent out after storms to look for any survivors of wreaks, either clinging to floating debris or washed up on the coast. Another role was transporting important cargo securely. Quite often this meant that letters and parcels being sent during times of war were taken by these ships. In a similar vein high value individuals may also be transported. Such as officers being sent to or brought from the front lines.

Storms were deadly, sinking many ships. Oronegrean patrol ships looked for survivors often with little success.
These patrol ships operated in conjunction with the navy but were distinct from it. Often they were part of the Oronegrean Marines (which also operated in tandem with the navy.). This was because of the fact they were used for riverine and estuarine warfare which was considered the marines domain. This relationship wasn't permanent and the patrol ships were placed under the command of the navy and a distinct branch at others. It was this distinct branch - The coast guard - that would eventually become a permanent fixture of the Oronegrean state and carry on the legacy of the patrol ships until the current day.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Alberto and Sophia Castillo

Alberto and Sophia are the last members of the Castillo family to have their biography written, They are the second youngest son and eldest daughter respectively.
Sophia was born in 1719. Her childhood was a happy one and she spent many days reading down by the steam next to the family home. As she got older Sophia took to riding great distances in the cool Oronegrean evenings. It was on one of those evenings that she chanced upon a beautiful blue pebble in a stream bed. Upon returning home she asked her parents to encase the pebble in a golden case too keep as an amulet. It was this amulet that she wore to a local ball as a necklace when she turned 16. It was said that the son of a local aristocrat was so entranced by the pebble and Sophia's beauty that he asked her to dance with him. This caused quite a stir as it was expected for him to dance with the young ladies in attendance rather than the daughter of a merchant. 
It was soon after this that Sophia, possibly encouraged by her mother, started trying to court the young gentlemen of Oronegro. Although it was more common in Oronegro for someone of lower class to marry one above them it was still news when it happened.

Sophia out riding her horse, She doesn't wear her amulet most days for fear of losing it. She firmly believes that it once belonged to a queen of the indigenous peoples who lost it long ago. A local legend does support this idea although most are sceptical of this.
Although she has yet to marry she has caught the eye of many fine gentleman. And her mother tries her best to make sure that the finest match is made. Many suspect Maria's motives are securing her family a position within Oronegro's ruling elite. Whether or not Sophia shares her mothers motives is unknown and many do not care.  Most are just happy to see a young lady making her way in the world.

Clearly this ride is a short one, perhaps it is the heat or maybe she has an appointment to keep.
If his sister wants to be the glamorous aristocratic lady Alberto Castillo is most certainly not gentlemanly.  Born in 1714 he had a good childhood playing with his older brothers outdoors often exploring the woods around the family's property. As he got older he didn't take up a position within the family's trading business instead he went out hunting and drinking with his friends. This inevitably caused problems with his mother who had ambitious plans for expanding the family business that most definitely included him. So it was that in 1722 he moved out of the family home into a small hut on the edge of the forest. Although he would often visit his family he enjoyed his time away.

Here Alberto can be seen hunting. He appearts to have caught an Oronegrean short eared red hare.
Fishing, Hunting and Drinking take up considerable parts of his new life but he is not a fool. Although the black sheep in his mothers eyes he is respected by his brothers and is fiercely loyal to his family. Although unmarried he is known to have had (and probably has) multiple female companions. Considered a bit of a rouge he is not averse to danger and is a crack shot. What will become of his lifestyle is unknown but he's happy as he is and it doesn't look like he'll make a change any time soon.
Alberto returning to the shade of his hut to get out of he hot sun. Heat stroke it a very real problem in Oronegro's hottest months.
This concludes our biography of the Castillo family. Please refer to our expanding selection of biographies and histories to learn more about the people and events that make up the land of Oronegro.

Well that's all for the Castillo family. From now on I won't include dates for my Biographies this will enable more flexibility with dates. And it also removes Oronegro somewhat from our world in time just as Oronegro is somewhat removed in space through the use of a portal. Again this is all about flexibility it allows Oronegro to be 18th century without having to conform to all the realities of that period. I may include some dates for other things such as technological developments or conflicts.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fernando and Maria Castillo

Maria Castillo is wife of Jose Castillo and mother of their six children: Fernando, Rolando, Sophia, Alberto, Rosa and Giorgio.
Mother and eldest son together. Fernando seems to have found himself a nice mug of coffee.
 Maria Castillo's age is unknown, nobody dared to ask her for it. What we do know is that her no-nonsense attitude and stubbornness was legendary. And although she may have seemed harsh at times she always took the best care of her children.
Maria likes to wear simple garb as it is less likely to get ruined in the rural areas of Oronegro. Fine clothing doesn't last long there.
 Despite her stuborness she also had a keen sense for trade and it was as much her effort as José's that their trading enterprise got off the ground. And it was thanks to her teaching that her second born Rolando gained the insight into trade and was able to take the family business from the local to national scale. Of her social life and other exploits we know little. She was quite conservative in that regard and kept as much information as possible to herself. No rival would be able to find her weakness and none ever did.
Although it may not seem like it Maria and the Castillo family are very well off. José's successful trading business.
 With his golden blond hair Fernando takes after his father. Also like his father he participates in the family business captaining one of the family's river boats up and down the Oronegro river and its tributaries. Born on the 6th of February 1709 he would become quite famed for his numerous romantic exploits much to the annoyance of his mother who had hoped to arrange a good marriage with a family of Oronegro's established upper classes.
Fernando with his coffee. Coffee being one of the commodities the Castillo's trade regularly.
 Although his still with trade was competent he was soon overshadowed by his younger brother Rolando. Despite some fear that this could cause a rift between them, the result was actually a strengthening of the bonds between them. Fernando who was always following his heart rather than his head felt glad that the family business would transfer into his brothers capable hands rather than his own. Although recent rumours that his brother may split and establish his own trading company have unnerved Fernando.
Fernando may well take over the family business if Rolando does decide to set up his own.
 Fernando and Maria are quite different in their attitudes but both love their family and will strive to do what is best for it.

well that's it for these two for now. We'll be hearing of them again in the future but for now work is going on to complete Fernando's other siblings.

As always good day/night. :-)