Beyond the Shore: To Seek After Sadness
The HMS Guardian is a 44-gun two-decker, fifth-rate frigate of the Imperial Navy, under the command of Post-Captain Edward Riou. Originally commissioned by the Imperial Admiralty, the ship has been converted to carry stores and serves mainly to ferry colonists, convicts, and their overseers from England and France to the Imperial Colonies in the South Pacific. The Guardian also sees occasional service in patrols around Queensland, New Guinea, and Nova Britannia.
The Guardian carries two complete decks of guns, a lower battery of 20 18-pounders (10 to a side) and an upper battery of 22 9-pounders (11 to a side), plus two 6-pounder chasers mounted in the forecastle. This battery enables the vessel to deliver a broadside of roughly 285 pounds.
The Guardian has two rows of stern-lights (windows), but only a single cabin deck. In wartime the guardian carries a compliment of 280 sailors, gunners, and marines. For its South Pacific voyages, the Guardian operates with a crew of 100.
In addition to the crew, the Guardian carries 220 passengers, mostly convicts bound for the penal colony of New South Wales, and a few private men and women bound for the Imperial colony of Moonplum on Nova Britannia, as well as animals and provisions. In case of attack by pirates of the Republic, all private passengers have been given basic instruction for supporting the gunnery crews.
The Guardian carries 5 boats for ferrying passengers to and from shore. 4 of these are barges, with room for sixty passengers, and a single raiseable mast in addition to oarlocks. The last is a small launch (a “jolly-boat”) with room for fifteen men.
Construction: 12,322£, 12s, 11d