Septimus Hambley: An active 60 year old man, handsome, silver haired and a complete domestic tyrant. Hambley is the local magistrate and takes his duty to enforce the law very seriously. He has been in a long running battle with the fleet of smugglers who make the harbour below his house their traditional place for unloading contraband. He's put many of them in jail and thinks it's only a matter of time before he captures their leader, the infamous 'Velvet' Mack.

Hambley's main aim in life is to raise his family from the gentry to the nobility, and to that end he is forcing his son, William, to marry Lady Evangeline Ames, daughter of the duke of Cheame.

William Hambley: A tall, stern looking young man with slightly curly brown hair, grey eyes and a winning (though rare) smile. William is a dutiful and honourable person who would like nothing better than to make his father proud by carrying on the pirate-hunting tradition. Unfortunately, he's secretly in love with his best friend, Andrew, and has been avoiding his home and family in terror that they might realize this. He does not want to marry, and he has access to all the pistols in the family armoury. He's come home now entirely because his father has ordered him to, and he's brought Andrew with him.

Andrew Keating: An athletic young man with short cropped blond hair and blue eyes, Andrew has a great deal of vitality and charisma. He also has a conviction for indecent behaviour (kissing a fellow student in his rooms at university) which Septimus Hambley knows about. He lives in terror of William finding out and ending their friendship. He has no idea that William is actually that way inclined as well. Andrew has brought a pair of duelling pistols with him in his luggage.

Rather than risk his friendship with William, Andrew has set his romantic sights on the saturnine Phillip Hunt.

Phillip Hunt: A dark haired, dark eyed man of impeccable manners, but with a slightly sinister presence, nobody is quite sure why Phillip has been invited to this engagement party. But Septimus invited him, and so he's here, making slightly cruel but very witty remarks, listening to people's conversations, and doing God knows what. He appears to be encouraging the attentions of Andrew Keating, while also being very attentive to the bride-to-be, Evangeline. He carries a small pistol in his pocket at all times.

Lady Evangeline Ames: An inquisitive, intelligent young woman with honey-blonde hair and green eyes, Evangeline is being forced to marry William, and therefore she believes that she hates him. Possibly as a way of getting back at William, she has fallen in love with Andrew and is doing all she can to encourage him. She does not like Phillip's attentions, but tolerates them as another way of making William miserable. She is not aware that he doesn't want to marry her either, as he has been too polite to mention it so far. Evangeline's father has gambling debts to Septimus, and Septimus is forcing the match. She carries a small pistol in her reticule and is an excellent shot.

Julia North: Evangeline's maid. Phillip's accomplice.

Feel free to add any new characters you fancy. I'm hoping this will turn out to be an amusing romp rather than a serious historical. Think 'Pirates of the Caribbean' with murder mystery and m/m romance rather than Jane Austen. About historical accuracy, we'll call this an alternative universe where anything might happen at any date, so don't worry if you don't know much about the regency Ė neither do I! If you've ever seen a version of Pride and Prejudice, or read a Georgette Heyer, you're good to go.

My thoughts are that William and Andrew are the main characters and One True Pair of this story, but I have no objection to any other pairings you can think of :)