The book you now hold in your hands is part of a series of stories set in the uneasy peace before a period of almost sustained conflict that reigned across Europe between 1792 and 1815. It was a time that would see men made into legends and countries tear themselves apart.
Into this maelstrom of conflict I wrote a short story, The Diabolical Plan, which was published in an anthology a few years ago. The story received a lot of praise though and I kept thinking that it would be a shame to let the characters simply fade into obscurity. The years before the war and the early conflicts of that time, lent themselves perfectly to a crew of maverick heroes that faced more unusual enemies than recorded history has documented
This was a time of superstition. A time when the world was still being discovered and new islands and fantastic creatures were being unearthed. If you read history you will notice many references throughout the ages of seemingly impossible feats of achievement, as if something otherworldly may have happened but had never been accurately recorded for obvious reasons. This is the fringe in which the crew of the HMS Swift find themselves time and again as they fight to save their world. They encounter many strange and terrifying creatures and phenomena and their tales of heroism and sacrifice will continue, whether they are published or not.
For the history buffs among you I have tried hard to keep the stories within the actual historical timeline so the dates and many of the events are real, I leave it to you to spot the ones that are not. I do reserve the right to take a certain license and embellish some of these to better suit the story. This is fiction after all.
The HMS Swift is a Class 5 Frigate in the service of His Majesty. She runs one hundred and thirty seven feet along the lower deck and one hundred and thirteen feet at the keel, although the exact measurement included a few more inches if one was to be entirely accurate and Mister Moon, the Master, was always convinced that these extra few inches were critical to the ship’s performance.
The deck stretches to thirty eight feet in width and she was ported for twenty six cannon on the main deck, though, with the extra armament on the forecastle and quarterdeck, her full compliment was closer to forty.
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On a cold and stormy evening the small human settlement celebrate their survival. Not all of their number have returned though and it is a bitter-sweet celebration. The festivities are interrupted when an elite force of Carter’s thralls find their hidden home and attack. The fallout from the nuclear plant is also creeping south with the…