Granada – Nicaragua

Piracy / Video Games Links

I’m far from finished with this treasure, I prefer to warn you.
Speaking of treasure, you’re likely to lose me for a few days – no I won’t say anything more – but my fingers are twitching – all I risk is breaking my knees again, but that, well, that.. I’m used to that.

Treasures made of gold, precious stones, silver and gold tableware, candlesticks like this and others like that, fabrics to drive you crazy, these treasures are from another time – and another continent than mine.

You put Morgan on your rum bottles, don’t you? I’ll put him on your stages.

That said, this rum is quite good, even if it is a little too vanilla I think.

Sorry sorry…. can we go on ? yes ? no ? yes – and then now, Morgan has a ship – he is licensed to piracy by the English government – as long as his prey is Spanish, all is well with him.
He has taken up residence in Jamaica.
And started his pirate trade, associated with two other captains, Morris & Jackman

Between the three of them, they plunder the Spanish villages on the coast – they take the cargoes of precious wood, mainly.
Morgan dreams of attacking Mexico City, to get his hands on more exciting treasure. Too big an expedition to prepare – he agreed to give it up.

In the meantime, he realizes that the Indians hate the Spaniards to an extent that surprises him. He learns about the too damaging blow of the forced Christianization, he feels all the hatred that holds these men and women, all their desire to harm these people who came there.

So, while coasting along the coast, he and his buddies end up hearing about a dream city: Granada.
For the three men, Granada was in Spain.
But no, say the Indians – Granada is a city of white stone, with seven churches.
Over there, inland.

To get there – yes it’s not easy.
You have to go up the Rio San Juan, the one that connects Lake Nicaragua with the Atlantic.
The waters are dangerous – shallow – and inhabited by hostile animals. It is necessary to go up this river by dugout canoe, then to reach Granada by crossing the Nicaragua lake.

The pirates hear this story once, twice, three times – so many times that they no longer doubt the existence of this city they had never heard of.

150 kilometers from the estuary of the San Juan to the lake. Another 150 kilometers to cross the lake – at the end: the treasure city.

The 3 captains are tempted – they hesitate, the Indians do not speak in distance as they do, they speak in day – to walk, to sail.
They have to decide – Morgan decides: they will go to Granada.

He has already agreed not to walk to Mexico City – so not to take Granada? out of the question.

Lake Nicaragua

100 men would go and take Granada – 30 would stay to protect the ships. As they leave, they wish each other good luck – they will all need it.

More than a week’s dugout – the Rio San Juan is navigable – but almost only. How many times did they have to dock and carry the canoes?
They sailed from dawn to mid-morning, then from late afternoon to night – the silence was absolute.

Without the Indians, the pirates would not have lasted two days.
They discovered the alligators by sailing with them – you know the ones that you send to see somewhere else by throwing stones at them? the ones that you, the Englishman or the Frenchman, had taken for an old, dead, ugly branch?
But the Indians knew the route – where to land – where to camp for the night.

When they finally arrived at the lake, the pirates were absolutely amazed – after the hell of the jungle, a little paradise was revealed: oxen, horses, fruit trees, the white plume of high blue mountains, there in the distance.
Then the Indians explained to the pirates that this paradise had become their hell: here, one had to either accept to be a slave or die – so they had left for the forest. And now they knew this forest very, very well.

In the shallow waters of the lake, there was a class of sharks that thrived quite well – and had learned the smell of man.
The sharks followed their boats, not trying to hide.

The bad luck of the Spaniards – or the luck of the pirates – is that Lake Nicaragua has thousands of tiny volcanic islands: they spent their days there, sailing at night and going up, island by island, the 150 kilometers that separated them from Granada.

Lake Nicaragua

Their crossing lasted 5 nights.

On the sixth night, they landed in front of the city: the Indians had not exaggerated. It was indeed a city of white stones, proudly decorated with 7 churches.

18 cannons were defending the city – but at night? besides, who knew this city?
18 cannons with no people were 18 cannons for the pirates.
And if only the cannons had been there – no one kept anything in that city: the powder, the weapons, everything was waiting for an owner, in fact.

The story goes that the panic-stricken people rushed through the streets barefoot: putting the 300 richest people in the cathedral and closing the doors was child’s play.
As for the others – the Indians were waiting for them.
It took 16 hours to get the gold crosses, jewels, gold and silver coins, precious dishes, cloths sewn with gold, silks and velvets out of the churches and houses.

It soon became clear that not even a hundred well-muscled men could bring everything back. The Indians offered their help – without wanting to take anything it seems. The fact that they had stripped the Spaniards was enough for them – the story goes.

When Morgan gave the order to free the notables locked in the cathedral, he had to explain to the Indians that it was better – for them – not to kill them. The pirates would not be there to protect them from the repression that would necessarily follow.

In the end, when they finally managed to get back to the beach and their boats, the beach was full of people, curious, admirers, who could not believe they had learned of Captain Morgan’s triumph.

The story is not quite over.
On his return to Jamaica, Morgan presented his report – stating that he had to leave at least half of Granada’s wealth behind.
Then, Sir Thomas, governor of Jamaica, writing in London, stated that “Central America is the most suitable region to date for an attack on the Spanish Indies”. Morgan could sleep easy in Jamaica. He could even dream of other conquests.

And if you noticed, this man was extremely human – amazing for a pirate, isn’t it?

I’m telling you all these stories from afar, but : can you imagine them up close? Being there, with them? sailing, pillaging, meeting the Indians? To hear about an unknown city, lost 300 kilometers away in the jungle? to move forward without making a sound? to see the alligators coming? to sleep and not be afraid of being eaten? to go from island to island without the Spaniards seeing you? – what do you do with your small boats against 18 cannons?
Up close, the story becomes unbelievable, breathtaking – with enough secondary characters to eliminate from the game to build tension and fear in the viewer.

If you want an idea of the effect up close, play Black Flag, there are some parts very : Morgan in the jungle – and you’ll see – it’s not so stupid my discovery: you’ll be a character in the game and not a spectator – it changes everything.

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