In the coastal village of Brackwater, sea captains with crews to fill turn to Blackjack Burnhardt first. The legendary press-ganger owns the largest boarding-house in town, and has no compunction about drugging and selling his guests.[1a]

One late evening, Burnhardt found himself with an urgent order from a desperate captain for a hundred crewmen and little time to spare. Unfortunately for Blackjack, there were very few ships in port at the time and the boarding-house was empty. This meant that the ever-resourceful marine would have to quickly formulate one of his famous cunning plans.[1a]

The first step of Blackjack’s plot was to charter an old river barge called the Fortuna. Next, Blackjack put out the word that he had inherited a large sum of money, and invited everyone aboard the Fortuna to celebrate his windfall with free mutton and ale. One hundred and twenty men showed up, and the Fortuna put to sea amid much drinking and feasting. Of course the ale was drugged, and Blackjack sailed the Fortuna to a secret cove where the captain awaited his new "crewmen".[1a]

Now Blackjack faced a new problem. The whole village of Brackwater had seen the Fortuna sail off with a shipload of drunken revellers. He and his marine brethren were already disliked by many in town who resented their work as press-gangers. Any misstep now could fan the flames of resentment and Blackjack would be run out of town or worse.[1a]

How was he going to explain the empty barge when it returned to port? Just as Blackjack resolved to move on and find a new village to haunt, he came upon an Estalian merchant ship run aground. The marine knew good fortune (or Fortuna) when he found it, and sailed the grateful crew home to Brackwater under the noses of his oblivious neighbours.[1a]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Ed -- Career Compendium
    • 1a: pg. 135

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