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  1. [size:20]"West Side Thunder" Author’s Note: This story takes place the summer before Jameson was hired by Anthony King and details Jameson most recent run in with the man know as Dr. Zeigfried. The excerpt below is reprinted to help tie in what contemporaries of Jameson may know regarding the incident. This story should help explain why Jameson accepted King’s employment offer. Excerpted from the New York Times June the 12th, 1922, page 6 Explosions Rock West Side Home The home and laboratory of noted physicist and researcher Dr. Heinrich Ziegfried was rocked by explosions late last night. Neighbors say that in addition to the explosions and fire they believe that the sounds of gunfire and "thunder" could be heard coming from the basement laboratory. Firefighters responded to the fire and although they were unable to put out the flames, they prevented any of the neighboring houses from catching the blaze. By morning the three-storey mansion was reduced to a pile of smoldering ruin and Dr. Ziegfried could not be located. It is believed that he perished in the conflagration. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ That was what the newspaper reported; it was true, though the details that were left unsaid were the greater part of the whole …
  2. The following are stories about Janos' experiences in the Great War. Some of them are going to be Pulpish, while others are written more to give a feeling of the times, the men, and the War itself. Here it goes. Within the first four months of the Great War, the Austria-Hungarian Empire lost 957,000 men … twice its pre-War military strength. August, 1916 - The Romanian Front General Rakoli looked at the map, sighed, and poured himself another shot of poorly fermented rye. His situation looked, and was, bleak. On the surface, it didn’t look like a disaster in the making. He had two Honved (Hungarian National Guard) divisions and a Border Security Brigade defending a 16km front. Of course, neither division had any artillery. They were made up of old men and boys with ancient rifles and no machineguns. Neither one of the divisions mustered 8,000 men at full strength. The Border Brigade was manned with medical misfits and the handful of politicos with enough pull to have avoided front-line duty until now. Their equipment was modern, but they had been in combat for the past 7 days and they were nearly spent as a force. Less than a thousand of them were left of a muster of three thousand before the war with Romania had broken out. Facing them was the Romanian Fifth Army, 75,000 strong, with machineguns and artillery and reserves behind it. And here stood General Rakoli’s Corp, or so headquarters claimed, guarding the vital rail link between Hungary proper and the Transylvanian heartland. He kept screaming for reinforcements, but so was everyone else. Help had come trickling in. Yesterday evening a regiment of Austrian Alpine troops had arrived, if you could call 500 men a regiment. Obviously, the troops had been burned out on the Italian front and had been pulled out for a bit of R&R when this crisis exploded on them all. Now, the anchored the western end of his line, which was a brave way to say they were left with their right flank hanging in the wind. Sometime today, he had been promised a Grenzer Battalion; Elite Hungarian troops, or so the brilliant minds back at Vienna would have him believe. How tired and how few would they be? Outside, the dull thump of the Romanian artillery began again. The General’s expert ears could make it out to be on the eastern side of his line. The ground was flattest there, but it was also were he had stacked up the majority of his troops. Maybe they would hold. Maybe. Another noise edged into his perception; the tramping of feet on the march. He looked down the main street of Pujac, the hamlet he had decided to make his own HQ in, and saw a ragged band of soldier’s marching alongside the railroad tracks that had made this hamlet so important to the Hungarian cause. At first glance, the men looked dirty, ragged, and undisciplined. They carried sacks along with their full kits. Rifles were slung over shoulders or carried loosely by their straps. Then he saw the others. Moving quietly ahead of the marching column were five other men, spaced apart and eye’s wary. They moved down the streets as if they expected Romanians to pop out of the storefronts and houses. As the column moved away from the tracks and headed down the main street, the General saw four more men coming out of the woods to the units flank. Two of the five men scrambled back to the column and reported to someone who must have been an officer, though he hardly looked it. They saluted and noncoms began bellowing orders. The main column snaked right and began marching to a pasture off the main avenue. Five men at the head of the column kept marching on toward him. “54th Independent Grenzer Battalion, reporting as ordered, General,” the lead man spoke loudly as he saluted. The general returned the salute and took in the officer … a captian, it seemed. “Are you it?” the General asked. “A battalion commanded by a captain?” “Yes sir. Captain Rakozi, sir. I have been in command for over a year, now. We have 192 effectives, as of this morning. I would also like to report that the rail has been sabotaged about six kilometers outside of town. The crew is busy replacing the track. It was a real amateurish job. They simple took off the rails and dumped them in the nearby woods. We even found the spikes to reuse.” “Well, we will need to hang a few more of the peasants, then.” The General motioned off to the corpses in front of the local constabulary. “Perhaps, sir, if we didn’t hang our own people, they wouldn’t be driven into the arms of the enemy,” replied the Captain matter-of-factly. ‘Mouthy upstart,’ thought the General. “Rakozi, you say? Are you any relation to Count Rakozi?” “He’s my father, sir.” ‘Hmmm …’ thought the General. He knew the Count and also knew that he had lost more than one son to this war already. It seemed he had at least one more. “Enough of that, Captain,” the General quipped. “Standing orders say we are to repress all enemies of the Empire. Is that clear?” “I still think it is a stupid order, sir, and my men have more important things to do … like fighting the enemy.” “Mouthy brat,” muttered the General under his breath. He stepped back and looked the Captain and his men over. Yes, they were worn-seeming, but that was deceptive. Their green uniforms were so worn and battered that they were more olive than green. They were patched and stained, and some of them even looked bloodstained and sown-up with the man still in them. The men inside them were hard and lean, like wolves after a hard winter. ‘Wolves … very much like wolves,’ he thought. The officer in front, the young Rakozi, was cut from the same breed, but younger. Still, his eyes held the same hard strength and the cut of the man told everyone that he was a veteran. From the way his men stood around him, the General could tell he had their confidence. It was something that officers needed in these dark times. “Come inside, Captain. I will show you where I want you to go into the line.” The Captain nodded then turned to his men. “Go back to camp. Give the men fifteen. I will be back directly.” The men saluted and headed off to the pasture. Inside the HQ, the general laid out the situation the junior officer. He was to take up the Austrian's flank and try to hem in the Romanians, if possible. “Barring that, if you have to fall back, make sure a runner gets to me first,” added the General pessimisticly. “Understood, sir,” the young Captain replied with an easy smile. He saluted and left. The General was left with the certain impression that something had definitely been left unsaid.
  3. OOC: Set just before 'City of Thieves' on January 29th - Feburary 3rd. Imbolc is an old Celtic pagan holy day dedicated to the goddess Brigit and considered a time of fertility. It is celebrated on the new moon between the dates previously mentioned. This is a character piece, but one to explain the sudden radical shift in Rhiannon's behaviour between 'City of Thieves' and 'Air Raid.' Rhiannon Lewis set up a candle by her window and lit it, murmuring a soft prayer to the Goddess Brigit. It was Imbolc, the old faith's festival of renewal, cleansing and fertility, but these things were furthest from her mind. A letter had come from Nanllaw today, one that had her heart torn in two. Olwen Glyn had died. Her mother said it had been a heart attack that took the old lady to the Otherworld, even if the fiercely Christian Seren did not say it like that. More like 'to hell as the Devil's handmaiden' went through Seren's mind as she penned the letter, for mother and child had never agreed - and Rhia had always taken her grandmother's side. "Nain, may your journey to Caer Arianrhod be swift and easy, and may you come 'round again in a time where you need not hide your faith," she whispered in a heartfelt prayer. "Do not worry for me - I will take charge in my life now, and let no man decide it for me." She turned from the burning candle and went to her desk, pulling out a sheet of paper and her fountain pen, a gift from Reverend Parr on her graduation. The irony of writing the letter with that pen would have set Olwen cackling like the hen Ceridwen that consumed the kernel Gwion. The crone had always had a dry sense of humour. Dipping the pen in ink, Rhiannon began to write in a graceful, lady-like script that her mother had insisted she learn. "Mother, I am grieved to hear of Nain's death and I hope that it was swift and easy for her. I regret that I was not there for the funeral, but I pray that you planted the snow-drops and white clover over her grave just like she requested. Your personal beliefs aside, it is always wise to respect the wishes of the dead. How is Father? I hope that he is well and that he has taken Doctor Mulray's advice on less alcohol and more water in his diet. Mulray is an excellent physician and if all Irish doctors are like him, I think that England ought to import more. I know that the Irishfolk I dealt with at Oxford were all competent, intelligent people, much unlike how popular rumour paints them. Is he still walking out with Cousin Gwendolyn? I shall not be returning to Nanllaw. I have a good job in America as a secretary to a millionaire named Anthony King no less and have made too many friends to come back. One of them is a Chinese woman named Li Mei - her name means 'Beautiful Plum Blossom' or something like that, I believe. I even have acquired a Chinese name of my own - Li Qi-Hua, 'Beautiful Fine Jade Flower' - after that frightful business with the white slavers I told you about. Mei's family have adopted me as one of their own, and I must confess it is nice to be respected! Send Reverend Parr my regrets and apologies for any misunderstandings he may have acquired about any future relationship between us, for it was not I who gave them to him. I will not become the parson's wife, no matter how you might wish it. Grandmother was correct in assuming my destiny lay elsewhere. Enclosed are a number of small items for you, Father, the Reverend and everyone else: a bottle of sandalwood oil for yourself, a Chinese jade symbol that means 'health' and which Mei assures me will help Father with his drinking, a silk landscape painting for the Reverend, a silk shawl for Gwen (tell her to either marry Mulray or leave him alone! He's an Oxford graduate like myself!) and little carved dragons for her two boys. I'd send Aunt Branwen something, but you know how she and Uncle Rhys are about me being educated and that. Women were granted the vote for a reason, and I am not minded to let some man order me about without a good paycheque at least! Give Gwen's boys a hug, plant snow-drops on Nain's grave and admonish Father about his after-dinner beers for me. Yours Sincerely, Rhiannon Rhia folded the paper up and put it in an envelope, sealing it with sandalwood-scented wax from the burning candle. She would send it tomorrow with Mr King's mail. She then turned to watch the candle burn, waiting for the dawn and mourning her grandmother.
  4. Afraid I can't take credit for this, folks. The following was written by Blaine for my Adventure! pbp - I'm just posting it up.
  5. OOC: Set after Rhiannon joins K.I.S but before 'City of Thieves.' This is definitely a more adult piece than the rest of it, but it's another thing I intend to bring into Rhiannon's playing. ------------------------------------------------- The fan opened delicately like a flower blooming, the thin green silk shining in the light except for where an elaborate pattern of tiny white flowers and mint-green leaves had been painted. Sandalwood formed the slats and a scarlet tassel hung from the handle, swaying with each movement the holder made. Raised demurely to the face, only a pair of large green eyes could be seen as it was fluttered delicately by a slender, snow-white hand. The fan was then lowered, revealing a straight nose and full mouth, dimpled cheeks and a cleft chin. Rose was carefully painted on the lips and across the cheeks while kohl artfully darkened curving eyebrows. Long brown hair was swept up into a bun and fastened with a flower-carved jade comb, the only piece of jewelry that was worn. The fan was brought to the side of the woman who carried it and closed. She was clad in a short-sleeved, side-slit dress of forest-green silk brocade, tiny white flowers and mint-green leaves woven into its fabric and the hem, mandarin collar and sleeves piped with brilliant scarlet. The garment revealed much flesh, from the smooth white arms to the slim legs to the narrow feet enclosed in slippers of a matching brocade. She brought the fan up again and slowly pirouetted, opening the fan with a snap at about eye-level. She lunged forward with her arm extended, closed the fan again and turned to face where she had been, bringing the fan to her breast. "Damn, I wish Li Mei were here to remind me of the next step," she grumbled in a magnificent contralto voice, placing the fan on her bureau. She doffed the silks and the comb, allowing her brown hair to tumble to the waist, then she sat on her narrow bed, naked as the day she was born and began to comb out her hair. Though of only medium height (her father had bequeathed her height to counter the Welsh shortness), Rhiannon Lewis was perfectly proportioned, with a narrow waist and firm curves. The Tai Chi that Li Mei had taught her aided in her balance, while the martial arts that Anthony King insist she learn kept her well-toned. As she combed out slithering locks of hair over her breasts and lap, she idly wondered if she could turn the tricks she'd picked up from the Chinese to her advantage. I wonder if I could learn to use fans in combat? she thought with a sudden flash of inspiration. The Japanese had done it, and some of the fan-dancing techniques would certainly help. She arose and wrapped herself in a pale violet cotton brocade robe embroidered with plum blossoms. These days, only her work clothing and the dresses ordered by Anthony King were Western-style. Li Mei and her people had made more of an impression on Rhiannon than she had first realised. And if she embraced the exotic, it could one day be turned to her advantage...
  6. OOC: I'm on a bit of a posting roll here and fleshing out Rhiannon's woefully neglected background and personality. Make this character-piece set shortly before Rhiannon is hired by Anthony King, while she's still living in Chinatown. ------------------------------------------------- The room was small and narrow, walled with dingy white plaster and floored with worn wooden boards, its furniture consisting of two beds, a chest and a cabinet made in the dark-lacquered, mother-of-pearl-inlaid Chinese style, all of it a little chipped and cracked. The cheap-glass window was hung with threadbare green curtains and several silk paintings of poor quality depicting nature scenes hung on the walls. On the bed to the right, covered by faded grey sheets and a coverlet knitted from scraps of wool, two women sat, one combing the other's hair. The one whose raven hair was being combed was a tiny and delicate Chinawoman, with apple cheeks and deep brown eyes, while the one doing the combing was taller and pale as snow, her brown hair and green eyes marking her as an obvious Westerner. They laughed and spoke in Cantonese, one voice high and piping while the other was low and rich. "Oh, Mei, you didn't!" exclaimed the Westerner as she drew a jade comb through the other's hair. "No wonder Han Xiu was looking sour this morning!" "Han Xiu has the looks of an ass, the breath of a dog and the brains of a gnat," Li Mei replied haughtily, waving a hand dismissively. "Besides, he frequented the Red Phoenix - " " - Where the Emerald Moon had some of their best customers," Rhiannon Lewis finished with a sigh. "It's such a cursed pity that not all of the ring were caught." Li Mei shrugged her shoulders faintly. "My family has a lot of influence in Chinatown, if that's what's bothering you, Qi-Hua," she said softly. "The Lus have been seriously disorganised since the injury of Jing and the arrest of Chin." "And not so incidently, the Lis have taken over the gambling and opium dens that the Lus ran," Rhia observed dryly. "We all must make a living," Li Mei pointed out with another shrug. "You Westerners are overly moral about perfectly normal things at times." "My grandmother used to blame the Christians," Rhia said with a quiet chuckle. To the Daoist Lis, her belief in a Goddess was perfectly normal and acceptable, even expected of one with magical powers. Li Mei nodded wisely. "Everybody blames the missionaries in China," she laughed softly. "But at least my family won't dabble in slavery. That is immoral." "You won't catch me disagreeing with you." Rhiannon combed out Li Mei's hair for a little longer. "I would kill for hair like yours." Li Mei chuckled. "I'll trade you for your eyes," she replied. "I could have any man I wanted if I had eyes like yours." "You seem to be doing well right now. You have hair that my grandmother used to describe as 'midnight silk'. She says that she had hair like that when she was younger." Rhia sighed. "I miss her." "I miss my family in Shanghai too, but I wouldn't go back," Li Mei answered. "You mention your grandmother a lot. Tell me of her." "Her name was Olwen," Rhia murmured softly as she combed Li Mei's hair. Talking about the woman who had all but raised her made her homesick, but she enjoyed the opportunity to discuss her past without having to edit it for Christian morality. "She was named for an ancient princess who was so beautiful that white flowers bloomed before and after her wherever she walked, and whose father was a giant destined to die on his daughter's wedding day." She paused for a while, gathering her thoughts. "Grandmother was a country girl born and bred, but very beautiful with hair of night, lips of blood-red and skin of snow. She knew more about the local herblore than any doctor, and because she held to the old belief of giving back to the Goddess what you took, she would help the poor who had been thrown out of their homes because of the lords raising rents and everything. We have a long and sad history with the British too, Li Mei, except they have managed to kill many of our legends and ways until the old language is forgotten in the cities and we all sound like them. "Olwen Glyn married a man from Snowdon to bring more of the old blood from other places into our family. She wasn't just a country herbalist but a white witch as well, with an ancestry that ran back to the Welsh Lords who served King Arthur - or so the story runs in our line. I've never agreed or disagreed with that particular tale, but it certainly enabled me to pass Oxford with flying colours since all of the tales were known to me from childhood! "She had a daughter named Seren who married a Devonian with a Cornish mother and had no interest in the old ways or herbalism. Truth to tell, Mother was just a little horrified that Grandmother refused to go to church, so she brought me up to be a good little Christian. But Olwen also taught me the old ways, even if I was a dismal failure at the herbs!" Li Mei laughed quietly as Rhia shook her head. "Mother wanted to call me Mary, but Grandmother won that argument with Rhiannon, the fairy princess who married the old king Powell and sang with a voice that could enchant the birds. Father gave into Grandmother because he was tired of the carping. "You already know about Reverend Parr and my years at Oxford, so I shan't repeat them. But my grandmother told me to go to America, because the Goddess wouldn't have given me such gifts without a reason. So I did, and here I am. I cannot say I regret it yet..." She looked at the comb in her hand, then put it aside to swiftly braid Li Mei's hair. "There; all done." "Thank you," Li Mei replied, throwing the braid over her shoulder. "Your grandmother sounds like a very special woman. Do you think you will ever see her again?" "Barring a miracle from the Goddess, I doubt it," Rhiann replied with a sigh. "I don't think she'd like America, and I doubt I will return home." "It is how the gods decree," Li Mei agreed sympathetically. "Now, if you don't mind, I need some sleep." Rhiannon courteously dimmed the oil lamp, but lay back on her bed and stared at the ceiling for a long time, thinking about the extraordinary woman who had paved the way for her to gain her powers.
  7. OOC: Set after Emerald Moon, but before the game. This is a bit of a background piece into one of Rhiannon's most precious possessions, which will eventually make its way into the game, I hope. Li Qi-Hua means 'Beautiful Fine Jade Flower' literally. Oh, the legend of the comb is crock, but hey, this is the Inspired Age, right? "Exquisite..." Li Kang held up the comb, allowing the lantern light to filter through the jade, polished to translucence before being carved with a series of elaborate flowers. In the hands of the Chinese jeweler and fence, it seemed to visibly glow with an inner light, as if it knew it was precious. "I thought this comb was a legend," the fine-boned young man observed in Cantonese, looking up at the two women who stood in his workshop. One was a tiny Chinawoman with apple cheeks and long raven hair dressed in a blue cotton robe embroidered with butterflies, while the other was a white woman with long brown hair and pale skin dressed in severe grey and brown Western clothing. Both were beautiful in their own way, but Li Kang's eyes rested a little easier on his second cousin, because it was common knowledge in New York's Chinatown that the Western woman called Li Qi-Hua by his family was more than a little uncanny. After all, the comb had come into her possession. "Legend?" Li Qi-Hua asked, curiosity seeping into her vibrant, almost throaty voice. Li Kang had once seen her in Chinese dress with the comb in her hair, just after she had escaped the Emerald Moon, and it was quite a sight. It was strange that an object of legend such as the Jade Flower comb had rested itself on this white woman instead of someone like Li Mei, but Li Kang had to admit that Li Qi-Hua had a more forceful personality than the beautiful Chinawoman. "The comb is said to have belonged to the wife of the Emperor Ch'in, who founded the Middle Kingdom," Li Kang explained. "Her name was Qi-Hua and she was considered the most beautiful woman in China." Li Qi-Hua's green eyes - a shade that shifted between jade and emerald - narrowed. "That is what they call me." "Indeed." Li Kang set the Jade Flower comb down and sucked on his opium-pipe, the reason why he was reduced to living in such poor circumstances. "Qi-Hua had green eyes and it is said that when she died, Emperor Ch'in mourned ceaselessly though he took other wives and concubines for heirs. In respect for his mourning, the Jade Emperor himself infused Qi-Hua's favourite jade comb with the colour of her eyes and the shine of her beauty. But wary of less honourable folk that would steal it for their own ends, the Jade Flower comb was also enchanted to hide itself in plain sight as a pretty hair-ornament, nothing more." Li Kang nodded over to Li Qi-Hua, who had arched an eyebrow, but not in skepticism. "The Jade Flower comb can only come to beautiful women with strong wills, as the story goes, which is something not usually wanted by Chinese men." The jeweler smiled sardonically. "Li Mei is considered the perfect woman: obedient, eager to please, loyal..." His second cousin wrinkled her nose at him. "You do not know what you're talking about," she chided him delicately. As wonderful a person as Li Mei was, it was pretty much common knowledge that she had been a prostitute under the Emerald Moon and liked the company of men more than was seemly for an unmarried woman. Interestingly enough, Li Mei had taken to following Li Qi-Hua like a duckling after its mother, something that amused and exasperated the Westerner to no end. "Whereas I'm too smart and educated for my own good?" Li Qi-Hua countered dryly, earning a chuckle from Li Kang and a tittering giggle from Li Mei. "Perhaps. The Jade Flower comb has come to you though, for whatever purpose." Li Kang handed the comb back to Li Qi-Hua and waved both women off with his opium-pipe. Once outside, Li Mei looked at Li Qi-Hua with awe. "I knew that comb was special, but something out of legend..." "Did I tell you that I gained my powers at a place sacred to my ancestors?" Li Qi-Hua asked with a smile. "I will consider it a gift from the gods and leave it at that." Both women scurried into Li Mei's cousin Li Shen's laundry to avoid the spring rains, laughing and talking about ancient legends.
  8. OOC: This is the sequel to 'Stonehenge Solstice Eve'. ------------------------------------------------- Rhiannon Lewis endured the chill of an early March morning as she waited in line to be allowed into America. In a crowd of huddled, slightly battered and tattered individuals, she stood out like a polished gemstone among fieldstone with her huge green eyes and astonishingly beautiful face, her poise assured and her posture straight-backed despite the pallor of a sea-voyage and the greasy condition of her straight brown hair. Her garments were old but well-mended and made from good grey wool and brown cotton, a gift from her grandmother for this voyage. Olwen Glyn had always prophesised that her granddaughter would travel far and wide instead of marrying Reverend Thomas Parr like everyone else in Nanllaw expected, and though both elder and maiden knew they would never see each other again short of a miracle from the Goddess, the crone was happy to see Rhia go. "You have your fate to fulfill; the Goddess would not give you such gifts without good reason, cariad," the elderly woman had told her the day before Rhia left Nanllaw for good. Gift of insight, gift of finding, gift of tongues, gift of ill-fortune and gift of command; Rhia knew that she would have a heavy burden to bear over the next few years. She finally managed to get through and be approved, her papers checked and noted. The immigrations official's eyes had slid over her like oil on glass, but Rhiannon was used to such indignities, and considered it beneath her to notice them. She left the dock district as soon as possible, trying to find a cheap and reputable place to stay. Without knowing it, Rhiannon wandered into Chinatown, observed by the greedy eyes of a particular Chinaman. "She'll do nicely," the thin, wiry man observed to his chief lieutenant in Cantonese. The bigger man bowed respectfully and left the presence of his superior Lu Chin, the leader of the Emerald Moon slaving ring. Such beauty as that of the dark-haired woman with the pale skin would fetch a tidy sum, possibly even enough for Lu Chin to retire in the style of a Mandarin. Now all he had to do was sit and wait, hoping that the dull-witted but loyal Lu Jing would not mar the merchandise. Meanwhile, Rhiannon had secured lodgings just above a laundry and across the street from a restaurant. It was cheap and only a little dirty, the cockroaches only the size of pence. She had bought a magazine on the way and was searching for jobs in the hope of finding one soon. She didn't have a lot to spare, and she wanted to be gone from this place as soon as possible. A knock caught her attention. Serenely folding the paper, Rhia went to answer it and was greeted with a cloth soaked in opium and held over her face until she passed out. When she had crumpled to the ground, Lu Jing grinned, showing broken teeth, and picked her up, slinging her over his shoulder in order to transport her easily to the Emerald Moon's hideout. ------------------------------------------------- Rhia came to consciousness bound to a bed with silk rope, her garments replaced with an exquisite dress of emerald silk brocade piped with scarlet and woven with mint-green ferns and tiny white flowers. The dress was short-sleeved and slit up the right side to reveal as much of her slender arms and legs as possible while a tiny Chinawoman hovered over her anxiously. "You awake?" she piped in a high, quavering voice. "That good. No fight. Must fix hair." Seeing little alternative, Rhia allowed herself to be brought into an upright position and her brown hair combed into a bun at the back of her head and stuck with hairpins and a comb of flower-carved jade. "Beautiful. Many men want you," the Chinawoman said with satisfaction before flitting off. A few moments later, a pair of individuals dressed in the loose tunics and trousers of Chinese labourers appeared, both smiling avariciously. They were accompanied by a wiry little Chinaman in finer clothing of Western cut who grinned like a shark and had cold black eyes. "Westerner, listen to me well," the grinning Chinaman rasped in good English. "You are now the property of the Emerald Moon. Do what we say, or we will kill you. It is as simple as that." Despite her chagrin and injured pride that she had been kidnapped, Rhia nodded and acted meekly until the men moved on. Her powers allowed her to understand that she was to be sold to the highest bidder, most likely to a brothel or even shipped to China. Seething inwardly, she settled down and plotted, wryly reflecting that she wouldn't have to pay for her bed and board for the next few days at least.
  9. OOC: This is an IC story for Alex Craft's game Adventure: The Roaring Twenties. Rhiannon Lewis is the only female PC in the group. I hope you enjoy the tale of her Inspiration. ------------------------------------------------- A massive storm raced over the bleak Salisbury plains, culminating in a deluge at the ancient megalithic structure known as Stonehenge. It had seemingly attached itself to the omnibus full of Oxford students who travelled to the legendary place as part of a field trip. That it was Summer Solstice Eve played a big part in it, as they were studying the alignments of sunlight and shadow as part of the course on Celtic Mythology... Well, that had been the plan, until this veritable tempest had kicked up. Most of this class were girls for a change and shrieking with every crack of thunder or bolt of lightning that raced across the iron-grey sky. Even the young men seemed subdued, and most of them eyed the muddy road and lancing rain nervously. But one of the students, a slender young brunette clad in old-fashioned grey and brown clothing (pre-war, some of her classmates sniggered), sang an old Welsh lay, her magnificent contralto voice throbbing with passion in the ancient lilting tongue. Even the professor, accustomed as he was to the ancient pagan legends, couldn't place the song, though it detailed a warrior and his lady separated by war... Rhiannon Lewis was old-blood Welsh, from the tiny mining town of Nanllaw in the depths of the mountains. She was proficient in Latin beyond the usual for her classmates, a dedicated scholar despite her stunning looks and blindingly intelligent, with an encyclopedic knowledge of Arthurian and pagan legend from Cornwall, Wales and Devon. (She admitted to both Devonian and Cornish blood in her father's line.) She was one of those people who had clawed her way to possible success through sheer determination and the odd bit of charity, having earned the admiration of her town's vicar and a scholarship to Oxford's Magdalen college on his say-so. Local rumour attributed it to sheer lust on the older man's part, but Rhiannon had proven herself worthy of the honour in her first year alone, finishing at the top of her class. The Welsh beauty had a secret that would either be considered delightfully wicked or absolutely terrible by her classmates and teachers; she was not only old-blood Welsh, but of the old ways as well. Her grandmother had raised her with the ancient beliefs, and that was why she could sing in a storm on the way to Stonehenge at the Summer Solstice's Eve. When she returned home, she would have to tell her grandmother of the experience. The omnibus stopped and everyone piled out in mackintoshes, grumbling profusely. Rhiannon was one of the first, and she made her way to the nearest stone, laying her hand on its rough-hewn surface. "Ancestors, ancestors, I have come!" she cried out in Welsh, much to the mystified amazement of everyone else. She closed her eyes and let the rain pour down over her, imagining that she could feel the heartbeat of the Goddess here. ....Thump.... Thump-thump.... The wind seemed to intensify as Rhiannon felt a surge of power from the stones. The Goddess had sensed her presence here and was answering! She stood unafraid even as the others scattered like quail under the lash of wind and rain. Faintly, the slender brunette could hear the panicked thoughts of everyone else and realised that the Goddess hadn't just answered her, but had granted her gifts. They needed to leave before the storm got any worse, and reluctantly, she turned from the stone. "Calm down!" she yelled, and to her amazement she was obeyed. "On the bus!" For some reason, the professor in charge of the trip didn't contradict her, but merely obeyed alongside everyone else. Rhiannon was the last aboard, and she looked back at Stonehenge as the driver gladly drove away, the trip abandoned until tomorrow. Rhiannon never revealed her talents to her classmates, being all too aware of the stigma attached to those with paranormal abilities. She wasn't above playing the medium under the assumed name of Gwendolyn Glyn, but her powers were too precious to be squandered on the whims of the idle rich and bored students. But even they couldn't find her employment after she finished her degree with the highest of honours. So she emigrated to America... ...And that is another story for another time.
  10. for me at least BRANCH 9 is the most interesting organization in the ADVENTURE! era. i was just wondering if anyone has ever used it in a series? like had anyone play as an operator from it or had them tango with your characters in a game. i once played as an operator for BRANCH 9 and it was alot of fun, being on the inside with the storyteller i was given info about the AEON agents i was with... in the end i got to double cross them. pretty fun. i returned with the character later on and it's great the ammount of tension between my operator and the rest of the group... they are always uneasy around me and catch themselves before they let slip "private" information.
  11. remember that kickass show BATMAN BEYOND? well when i made my first and only ADVENTURE! character i used his suit as the insperation for his gadget. i gave my character the artifact enhancment for the background gadget... with the following knacks and advancments... LEVEL 3 PSYCHIC KNACK: cloud the mind the character is able to activate the suit making the material absorb visable light and thus become invisible. DYNAMIC KNACKS: heightened senses and man for all seasons the suit has small microphones and enhanced goggles with heighten the wears senses. and the fabric is so durable it protects the wearer from the elements. ADVANCMENTS: 1 advanced alloys, 1 silk-steel, +1 to all physicals attributes this refects the durability of the suit. figure i'd just throw this out there... ::wacko
  12. It's been tossed around before. Sorcerer Revised is said to make for a good spellcasting/occult option in Adventure! I'm just wondering if anyone had come up with any firm rules writeups for introducing sorcerers into the Aeon continuum. Having recently dug out a copy for my friend's A! campaign, I decided to flip through it, and wanted to write it up, but I'm horribly lazy, and would rather check someone else's work first, if any such animal exists.
  13. For the first time in about 4 years now, I'm not GMing a game! That's right, I'm playing a character! So since I'm psyched about it, I figgered I'd share it... Name: Jacob Flint (Captain, retired) Age: 24 years old as of game time (1920) Inspiration:Heroic Physical description:Jacob is a moderately handsome man in his mid 20s. He stands 5'9"and weighs 160 lbs. He dresses both formally and (incredibly) casually, and is as likely to be dressed in his flight suit as he is formal wear. He carries himself in a very confident manner. Origin: Born and Raised in New York City, Jacob was always a little bit of trouble. his lack of interest in "gentleman's" activities and insatiable curiousity lead him into enough trouble to embarrass his parents. In an attempt to keep him out of the spotlight, his father, Phillip Flint, actually bought his way into the army when The Great War rolled around. He found his way into the United States Army Aviation Section as a pilot. He took to the sky almost immediately, seemingly having a knack for flying. Jacob managed to turn some heads, even crossing paths with the Red Baron (Although he was, invariably, splashed by the Baron). However, his inate piloting skills alone weren't enough to keep him in the military. With the end of the war, wanderlust took over and he began to travel over Europe and parts of Africa, following interesting stories and legends of all things great and larger than life. His parents actually endorse his travels, as he would disappear for months on end, and keep himself out of the public eye, so to speak. Both parents however, hoped that he would simply "get it out of his system." To this date, he hasn't. Obligatory stat block (note that he wasn't quite built on the normal WW build. I had slightly more points to work with at several points, but it's in keeping with the game rules) Nature Hot Shot/Explorer Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Stamina 2, Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 4, Appearance 3, Manipulation 3, Charisma, 4. Abilities: Athletics 3, Firearms 1 (form the hip), Melee 1 (fencing), Awareness 2, Investigation 2, Navigation 2, Academics 3, Beauracracy 1, Engineering 2 (airplanes), Linguistics 3, Survival 2, Occult 2, Style 2, Interrogation 2, Intimidation 1, Savvy 3, subterfuge 2, Ettiquette 2, Perform 1, Rapport 1. Backgrounds: Backing 1 (Jacob has some clout due to his parents' deep pockets and a few innovations [not in the inspired sense] which he controls). Contacts (Military and aeronautics--Jacob impressed people in the military, leaving an impression that has allowed him to occasionally wrangle information, and he has served as one of Hughes' think tank boys on more than one occasion), Followers 1 (a dirt poor boy who only goes by "Kidd," who is a mechanic). Gadget 3(His personal plane, the Icarus). Influence 3 (between the flintname, his patents, and his time in the military), Nemesis 5 (I actually don't know. Some of the character details were decided working with the GM, and he thought it'd be fun to be in the dark as to who my archfoe is...), Reputation 3 (Primarily with flyboys) Resources 4 (both from patents and support of his parents, who would like to keep him far, far away...) Sanctum 6 (Any port in a storm: Rather than having a high quality sanctum, Jacob has an array of level one sanctums in major cities (ensuring he normally has a place to crash in any locale) Advantages: INspiration 3 (Intuitive 3--Seat of the pants type of character+6 inspiration pool), Willpower 6, Knacks: Barnstormer, Gadgeteer (Inherrent understanding of most things mechanical, especially things that fly)
  14. USA, Location: Unknown 1942, 14 January Doctor Michael Griffin reached out to open his car-door and steeped out into the pouring rain. He quickly made his way towards his little suburban house. Making himself run the last of the way. If it had not been raining he might have noticed the absence of light from the house, as well as reflecting on the fact that the door was locked. He struggled with the lock and, in his mind, cursed the damn weather all to much to put any thought at all to these small details. Therefor, once he got into his house, he was doubly suprised when he heard, not the voice of his wife Brenda, but the harsh voice of a man. "Gotten Tag Herr Doctor" United Kingdom, Location: Somewhere Along the Themes, London 1942, 14 January Professor Robert Lockridge slowly walked along the Themes, followed closely by his bodyguard, William. Non of them noticed the curtains that was pulled aside in the second story window across the street, however, both noticed the shot that rang from said window. There reactions where totaly different however, while William slumped together Robert threw himself behind the closest cover, a bench, and drew his old service revolver. He looked over to William and saw that he was dead, the poor fellow. A voice cut through the night. "Herr Professor, I suggest that sie come out of there nice und quiet, ja" The german accent was thick in the mans voice, and as a true englishman, the only thing that Robert loath more than the french is the bloody germans, so his respons was quiet understandable. "Bloody hell I will" and with those words he stood up behind the bench and let out a shot. His attacker let out a loud sigh, and said, with a very tired voice: "As ze wish" and to his companions he simply said "kill him" Professor Robert Lockridge, former Lieutenant who served with honors in the first great war, adventurer, father and one of Great Britains most inspired chemical engineers died there, but not after taking down two of the men attacking him. Russia, Location: Military Physics Laboratory nr 14, Ural Mountains 1942, 14 January The complex started to shake when the first three explosions rocked its foundation. Sergei Ivanovic looked up, startled, from his workstation just in time to see three armored transport vehicles and numerous soldiers enter through the newly created hole in the remade factorys northern wall. Resistence was quickly quelled and all the reaserchers and technicians, including Sergei, was huddled into a corner as the soldiers started to disassemble the rockets that the russians had laboured with. A man started to recite names from a list, and the laboratory workers was quickly split into two groups, Sergeis name the last in the list. He quickly noted that the only people who had been pushed into his group was those who worked on the Zeus project and this was trublesome in deed as there where only eight people who had access in the whole sovjet state, five of who accompanied him now. He and his fellow reaserchers was quickly forced into one of the transports, and a few quiet minutes later he felt the vehicle starting to move. Japan, Location: Imperial palace, Edo 1942, 21 January Eri Takase, officialy Imperial advisor and inofficialy Spy Master for the Emperor was kneeling in his privat garden, snow slowly falling around him. He wrote the last of the kanji characters in his current haiku when he heard someone breath behind him. He did not turn around, but instead spoke. "Report!" The man behind him, Komori, knew that Takase was displeased, otherwise he would not have neglected to mention his title and he would not have had that commanding tone. "The chinese affairs is concluded, as well as Arakei Todas tragic death. The disappearance of Lady Tokugawa Miko is still under way, but I belive that she will be found within a forthnight and her kidnappers brought to Imperial justice." Takase noded and brought up a new paper, writing down a few more characters befor he spoke. "Use Inspector Odu to make the arrest, he have served us lojaly and deserves a promotion." Komori kneelt down, his forehead touching the floor. "Is that all Takase-sama?" Takase left Komori there for a few more characters befor he continued. "No, it is not. Something is happening in Europe, more precisly in Germany. We have had strange reports, and I need someone to investigate." "It will be done immediate Sensei." And then he was gone. Egyptian Cost, Location: German Submarine, Mediterranean Sea 1942, 23 January U-221 surfaced slowly. The Captain and his Second got up on deck and acted lookout. It had been three weeks since they had been up the last time and the batteries forced where all but drained. But Captain Ernest Emmerich didnt wannt to surface, not since it was found that they had an infiltrator on board. They had not found out until he had killed Gerhart and used the radio to who knows what. In any event it was tuned into a known english transmission frequency. The chance still exists that Gerhart was listening in to it, but Emmerich doubted that. It did not seem like Gerhart to do such a thing. Anyway, surfacing like this with a spy abord increased the chance of someone finding them. "Trubled Captain?" Emmerich could hear the concern in Gustav. "Yes Gustav, its Gerharts killer" "I under..." Gustavs reply was cut short by the loud gurgle from below. Emmerich tried to pull him back, but Gustav looked down into the manhole and got shot in the head. He died immediately. Emmerich jumped back and drew his Luger, taken out of the armory after they found Gerhart. "I suggest that you drop the gun moi capitan, or else you will die", the words wore a thick french accent and sounded like they belonged to a female, "your crew is dead, the radio destroyed and a brittish submarine will come alongside any minute now". Emmerich thought fast. He had a rather small crew, that was true, but the french pest could not have killed 32 men all by herself, alas she was lying. "You are bluffing", Emmerich said in a very smug tone, "my men are alive, you could not have killed them all". "Could not le petit moi? Perhaps you are right, but le poison in le soup could" Ernest groaned, she could be right. He took a step away from the ladder and looked out onto the the Mediterranean Sea, right in time to see a brittish u-boat break the surface. "I surrender" He said out aloud and then tossed his gun down into the hole. He never heard it slam into the floor. Egyptian Cost, Location: German Submarine, Mediterranean Sea 1942, 23 January (2 hours later) Captain Henry Willard walked onto the tower of the catured u-boat, towards the couple that stood there. He turned to the women in the black divers-suit. "Émilie de Benth I presume?" He put forth his hand. "Pleas call me Mouse Moi Capitan" She took his outstretched palm in his and shook it, and Henry could feel that this was a workers hands, not soft like one who had never done a days hard labour. "Bloody good work in taking this ship, Miss Mouse, if I may say so" "Merci" she gave a small nod. "However, there is no rest for the working, it seems that you have been called back to London, to be part of a new task force dealing with something that the germans are up to. A plane will come and pick you up at as soon as we get to port" "Yes Moi Capitan, vive la France"
  15. Is there any point for me to continue it? (Check out the general adventure area if you dont know what Im posting about ::biggrin )
  16. Patrick 'Blarney' O'Bannon Human, 1st level Entertainer, Daring Template Strength 10 Dexterity 10 Constitution 10 Intelligence 10 Wisdom 15 [+2] Charisma 34 [+12] Hit Points 8 Wealth Bonus +3 [before adding starting wealth roll] Inspiration 12 Facets: 4 each Feats: Gadget x2 - Contraption [x10 Medical Advancements] Persuasive [+2 Bluff & Intimidate] Skill Focus - Bluff [+3 Bluff] Daring feat: Master of Dissimulation [+10 Bluff] Class Features: Bonus feat [Persuasive, included above] Stories from the Road Inspire Competance BAB +0 AC +0 Fort' Save +0 Ref' Save +2 Will' Save +4 Skills: Bluff 4 Diplomacy 4 Disguise 4 Gather Information 4 Perform - sing 4 Speak Language 1 [English is native, plus Celtic language group] Intimidate 2 (cross-class) Sense Motive 2 Listen 1 Notes: Built using the 'standard point buy' method - with 18 Charisma, 9 Wisdom, & 10 in each other Ability. Medical Advancements (Plastic Surgury x3, Pheromone Implantation x2, Lobotomatic Behavioral Modification x2, Sensory Enhancement x3) added +14 Charisma & +6 Wisdom. The Daring Template added another +2 Charisma. The second tier of the Gadget 'Background feat' was purchased using the free Background feat that all characters get & one of the character's two starting feats (for being human). 'Persuasive' was a class feature bonus feat, & the character's last feat went into Skill Focus - Bluff. His Daring feat comes from the Daring template. You'll note that the character has a total Bluff bonus of +31, as well as +16 for his other Charisma-based skills. Background: Paddy O'Bannon was a second-generation Irish-American living in New York City & using his charms & beautiful singing voice to make a living in the various illegal pubs & taverns in the area - & to charm the ladies... ::wink One day, however, he woke to find that he'd charmed the wrong lady - the (once- ::blush )virginal daughter of an Irish mob boss! Beaten to a pulp, the young lad wasn't killed, but instead the vengful mobster sold him to an insane LA-based surgeon known only as 'Doc Hollywood'... For months the mad plastic surgeon used Paddy as a test subject in his demented quest to produce the perfect 'beautiful person', & then sell his skills to the movie community who so craved them. However, the pain & stress from the experiments caused something to spark within Patrick - he became Inspired (probably the only reason he even survived)! Using his now-godlike ability to lie, O'Bannon managed to spin one of the Doc's nurses an amazing tail (involving leprechauns & a pot of gold) which she brought hook, line, sinker, & copy of angler's weekly - he escaped, & has been on the run from the mad sceintist ever since. Quote: "'Twas th' little people who did it... Would I lie t' you?"
  17. What follows is the history of Tortuga Bay, taken from the Running Wild forums, and is to serve as an inspiration point to any and all Pirate Adventure Campaings: Settlement by the French (1625-1632) In 1625 the French arrive and establish a colony at the island St. Kitts (St. Christopher), together with English colonists. From this island they set sail to Hispaniola. They found it fairly populated by Spanish colonists and therefore continued to the North to the island Tortuga. On this island only a few Spanish colonists were based. The French colonists start setting up plantations and steadily increase their numbers, some of them from the Islands St. Kitts and Nevis that were attacked in 1629 by Spanish forces under command of Don Fabrique de Toledo. In the same year they also attacked Tortuga. The Spanish forces were succesfull and temporarily expelled the Frenchmen. A number of the colonists flee into the woods and some escape to the woods of Hispaniola. Spanish forces fortify Tortuga in 1630. Despite this, the French take possession of the island again when most of the Spanish forces leave for Hispaniola to root out the French colonists in the woods there. The small Spanish force that had been left was defeated and the Frenchmen extend the fortifications the Spaniards had set up. Most of the English colonists did not return, but settled again at the Island of Nevis. Those that did return established a new colony under the control of the Providence Island Company in 1631. The Governor of the English Colony on Tortuga is Anthony Hilton. Buccaneers on Tortuga (1633-1634) The French send a request for a Governor to the Governor of St. Kitts. He sends Jean Le Vasseur to them with men and equipment to further fortify the island. He built the Fort de Rocher on a rocky outrcrop of a natural harbour. Tortuga from then on is regularly used by privateers and pirates as a base of operations. In 1633 the governor of Tortuga, also called association island, is still Captain Anthony Hilton. In this year the first slaves are imported. 1634 saw the Governor-General of the French West Indies transfer his seat of power from St. Kitts to Tortuga. The Compagnie des Isles d'Amerique takes posession of French Colony on the island. Tortuga under Attack (1635) Captain Nicholas Riskinner(/Reiskimmer) arrives on Tortuga in 1635 to take up as Governor of the English Colony on the island. Apparantly he was a scoundrel since Richard Lane, enroute to the Island of Providence and sailing on the same vessel to the West Indies, reported that he had taken his goods by force. Riskinner dies shortly after his arrival at Tortuga. For some time now slaves had been imported to work on the plantations of the island. Despite advice that the colonists should distribute them evenly over the island and treat them well the experiment with slavery faltered in 1635. On Tortuga the slaves were said to be out of control and the planters dispersed because of Fraud and mismanagement. There are also continual disagreements and fights between the English and French colonists. An Irish deserter of the English colony named John Murphy brought intelligence of this to the Spanish forces in the area. As a result, in the same year, the colony is attacked by Spanish forces under the command of Captain Gregorio de Castellar y Mantilla. The English colony is soon captured and many colonists are killed. The Spanish forces later continued on to the Island of Providence (Santa Catalina). The English forces on this island were able to defend it succesfully against the attack. After the attack on Tortuga, and its abandonement by the Spaniards, the English and French colonists that managed to escape from the attack return to the Island. Second Attack on Tortuga (1636-1639) This situation of the failing plantations must not have been improved much by the year 1638 when Spanish forces again attack Tortuga and temporarily expell the colonists. In a letter by Don Inigo de la Mota to the Spanish king in 1639 he makes mention of the succesful attack on the pirate colony and its mixed population that consisted of Dutch and French pirates. Very shortly hereafter, in 1639, these manage to recapture the Island and refortify it. In 1639 the number of colonists on Barbados and St. Christopher is so large that these wander to other colonies to be able to establish themselves and make a living. Some of them go to Tortuga where they set up succesful plantations in tobacco. Their leader was Captain Robert Flood. The Third Attack on Tortuga (1640-1659) In 1640 the buccaneers of Tortuga began calling themselves the Brethren of the Coast. In this same year Jean Le Vasseur is commissioned to take full posession of the island. He was able to expell the ill-organised English colonists without much difficulty by 1641. The population of pirates and privateers on Tortuga consisted of a mix of most Europeans, but the largest parts were French and English. A Spanish report from 1646 again mentions the buccaneer hideout and informs us that in 1645 the population consisted of Dutchmen and Englishmen. The French governer imported several hundred prostitutes round 1650, hoping to regularize the lives of the unruly pirates, some of whom lived in a kind of homosexual union known as matelotage. Le Vasseur is assassinated by his own followers in 1653. During his years as a Governor the island was heavily fortified against attacks from Spanish forces. His successor, Chevalier de Fontenay, was attacked in January 1654 by Spanish forces from Santo Domingo. A garrison was left to hold the island but it was withdrawn in 1655 to aid in the defence of Santo Domingo against English forces in the area. When some Englishmen heard of this they sailed from Jamaica to reoccupy Tortuga. This they did from 1655 to 1659. From the island they frequently attacked the few Spanish settlements that still remained on Hispaniola. As a consequence these were destroyed. Colonel Edward D'Oyley, then Governor of Jamaica, tried to establish an English government on Tortuga from 1658 to 1659. Despite help from French deserters he failed and a French government was set up by the colonists. The High Point of the Buccaneer Base (1660-1669) In 1660 the French attack the Spaniards on Tortuga and retake posession of the island to use it again as base for piracy and privateering. Most buccaneers set out from the island and, after some time, return to drink and gamble away their spoils in a matter of days or weeks. The buccaneer Captain Guy used Tortuga as well as Jamaica as bases of operation in 1663. In this same year the Governor of Jamaica, Sir Thomas Modyford (1664-1671) received orders to relax his restrictions against buccaneers on the island. Many of the English on the island went sea-roving against Spain again, but the Frenchmen under the rovers left Jamaica to concentrate on Tortuga as a base of operations. The immediate result was that they expelled most of the English settlers living there. 1664 saw the French West India Company take possession of the island and send as its Governor Monsieur D'Ogeron. In 1665 he arrived at Tortuga. Bertrand D'ogeron had the difficult task of convincing the buccaneers to accept him as governor and to abandon their relations with Dutch rovers. He found the men whom he hoped to convert into colonists dispersed in small and unorganised parties living in a rather primitive fashion. In a report to the French Minister Colbert he told him that there were about seven or eight hundred men scattered along the coasts of the island in inaccessible places. By the by he was able to control them and he even managed to get many new colonists to settle on the island and on Hispaniola. Several French privateers and sea-rovers were also attracted and made Tortuga their base of operations. In 1666 Morgan arrives on Tortuga as an endentured servant. After running away from a cruel master he joins up with buccaneers as a surgeon. The Buccaneer L'Ollonais is based at Tortuga in the 1660s. Together with Michel le Basque he carries out an attack on the cities of Gibraltar and Maracaibo in 1667. Sometime later this year he sets out again with a fleet of ships to plunder the harbour city Puerto de Cavallo and the town of San Pedro. In 1667 he dies on the coast of Nicaragua where he and some of his crew were captured by Indians and killed. Henry Morgan sailed to the Isla Vache, South-West of Hispaniola, in October of 1668. There he was joined by a band of French buccaneers from Tortuga. After sailing for some time he attacked Maracaibo in 1669. In 1669 the Governor of Tortuga, d'Ogernon, was again trying to restrict the activities of the buccaneers of Tortuga: he tried to persuade them to confine themselves to Tortuga for refitting and the disposal of their booty. He did not succeed, however. The Decline of the Buccaneers (1670-1679) Some of the buccaneers of Tortuga who found piracy too dangerous turned to logwood-cutting. When the forests of Tortuga and the easily accessible ones in Hispaniola were cut out they went to Campeachy. In the peninsula of Yucatan they sought the better wood. Their principal gathering-ground was in the Gulf of Mexico at a place called Triste. There were several more of these places along the coasts of Yucatan, Moskito and between Honduras and Guatemala. A valuable trade sprang up between the logwood-cutters and Jamaica. Despite many protests of Spain Jamaica continued to trade in the wood. The use of corsairs by Spain forced the buccaneers to sail in company for protection. By 1670 the English buccaneer Henry Morgan had to conceal his activities under French Letters of Commission and he actively promoted the island of Tortuga as a base of operations and for the disposal of booty. 500 buccaneers from Tortuga and a 1000 buccaneers from Jamaica, under the command of Henry Morgan set sail in 1670. They attacked and plundered Santa Marta, Rio de la Hacha, Puerto Bello and Panama. Morgan received a formal vote of thanks from the Council of Jamaica in May 1671 for his activities. In this year he is send to England and briefly incarcerated in the Tower (for appearances sake) in 1672. He was treated as a hero on his arrival in London. A lot of Jamaican buccaneers went sailing under commission for the Governor of Tortuga by 1670. Many of them also settled on the coast of St. Dominigue. Others wandered off to other colonies in the Caribbean. Despite the attempts of D' Ogeron these settlers continued to trade with the Dutch. They obtained most of their stores and African slaves from them in exchange for tobacco and ginger. Around Tortuga the Governor eventually managed to control the trading activities of the buccaneers somewhat by employing a regular squadron of frigates that drove the Dutch traders away. The buccaneers from Tortuga and St. Dominique were used as a striking force and a means to supplement French forces in their attempts to gain a larger foothold in te Caribbean. When the Lieutenant-General of the French Antilles, Jean Charles Baas, made an attack on Curacao in March 1673 he was expecting help from Tortuga. The assistance from Tortuga failed to arrive, however, because they were shipwrecked on the coast of Puerto Rico. They fell in the hands of the Spaniards and were treated as pirates. In 1675 a Dutch force under the command of Jacob Binckes arrived in St. Dominique and attempted to stir up a revolt under the colonists there. In a fight off Petit-Goave they attacked and plundered a French merchantman, but soon afterwards the Governor of Tortuga arrived with reinforcements to aid in the defence of the settlement and the Dutch were driven off. The Governor never completely succeeded in controlling the buccaneers at Tortuga. Between 1670 and 1678 many buccaneers continued their raids on vessels and colonies of foreign nations, especially those of Spain. Tortuga remained a harbour where not much questions were asked and buccaneers could come with their booty. Among them were many Englishmen who plied heir trade under French commissions. In 1678 the leader of the French buccaneers in Tortuga and Hispaniola was the Sieur de Grammont. At the head of a large force he continued attacking Spanish settlements around Maracaibo. He even managed to set up a pirate stronghold there for six months. Buccaneers under command of the Marquis de Maintenon were ravaging the coast of Venezuela. They also destroyed the Pearl fisheries at Margarita and several Spanish settlments on Trinidad. The End of the Buccaneers at Tortuga (1680-1688) Eventually, in the 1680s, laws were made that English rovers sailing under foreign flags were considered to be felons. The laws were actively enforced: several Englishmen were convicted and hanged for piracy after attacking Dutch ships. Jamaican plantations also became the frequent targets of attacks by French buccaneers as the opportunities for profitable attacks on Spanish targets diminished. This led to protests from the English government to the King of France. Increasingly ships of all nations were attacked by buccaneers despite being nominally under Letters of Reprisal. The Governor-general of the French Colonies also increased his efforts to stop the activities of the buccaneers who were nominally under the control of the Governors. In 1684 the Treaty of Ratisbone, between France and Spain, was signed which included provisions to suppress the actions of the buccaneers. The buccaneers were still at it in 1684. They would rather break out into open revolt than give up their piracies. In this year several buccaneers were made offers by Governor Tarin De Cussy of St. Domingue. Enlisted into royal service they were employed to suppress their former buccaneer allies. By 1688, the same year in which Henry Morgan dies in Jamaica, the age of the buccaneers was over in Tortuga. Many turned pirate or went away to find other harbours to sell their booty.
  18. I leave for a few months, and everyone disappears.... ::crazy
  19. Hello everybody, Im in dire need of a name for franksteinian type doctor (necrosurgiry and "genetic enginering", or superscience), anybody got an ide???
  20. (mid-February, 1924) It is a cold afternoon, and condensation clouds the breath of the men and women walking past the unassuming Baltimore headquarters of King Industrial Steel. It has been snowing fitfully all day, but the snowfall hasn't amounted to much. Most surfaces are glazed with a thin layer of dry, powdery snow - excepting the streets, where the snow has been beaten into a fine slush. Inside, the ornate lobby contrasts with the simple Georgian exterior. The ceiling drifts two full stories above the floor, and a large chandelier drips with an intricate array of electric light bulbs. The gleaming brass, the lustrous red leather, and the critical desk staff all seem calculated to isolate less refined visitors - a description that well suits the three men waiting a little off to the side: Blaine MaCallister stands solidly in somewhat worn street clothes. His broken nose, cauliflowered ear, and gnarled, scared hands mark him as a man of action - likely unaccoustomed to these surroundings. From his appearances, ‘Locky’ McKenzie can’t be older than his late teens. The red-haired youth unobtrusively slouches against the wall in a cheap grey suit, casting quick, alert glances around the room, not missing a detail. The third man wears a shabby suit and tail coat, their extreme age not hidden by many inexpert repairs, but generally overlooked due to their wearer's forceful presence. His swarthy skin, piercing eyes, and showman’s smile cause him to seem almost gentlemanly - the impression marred only by an intimidating intensity to his gaze and a shark like edge to his grin. This is John Adams Frederickson - known on the stage as the incomparable Dr. Mystery. They have been waiting five or six when a forth man arrives, this one more at ease in these surroundings. Jameson Bradford strides into the lobby, his tailored suit and winter trench coat only partially concealing the two silver-plated revolvers belted around his waist. He moves with easy grace and total confidence.
  21. I got the first post in the new forum! Bud-ump-bump! That's kind of strange, since I really doubt I'll be getting the Adventure! d20 book or any of the supplements. ::wacko
  22. What follows is a pulp-themed piece of fiction I wrote a few years back, after I found out that 'Adventure!' was on the slab but before it was actually released. The story details an account of what I had hoped a game might go like, and I am of course happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. You will likely notice that this piece of fiction isn't strictly canonical, and that's the reason why. Assume anything that doesn't fit is a new knack and let it go, okay? ;;; Opinions would be welcome. ...Hoo, I really need to repolish this. I don't mean to sound suspicious, but I was beginning to think that maybe Sergei had lied to me. My first clue was the fact that currently, I was hanging on for dear life from a metal railing overlooking a mile-high death drop that ends with either the mouth of an active volcano, or -- if the wind speed was high today -- a stretch of rocky beach my native guide told me the locals call 'Akwa nopatwuga Kado Filk'. Roughly translated, I hear it means something like 'Happy villagers laugh and smile as pale white man falls to messy death on big, sharp rocks. Then we eat bananas and roast pig. Ha, ha, ha.' It sounds charming. Not that my rather unfortunate current situation is enough to implicate my good friend and close colleague Sergei all on its own, of course. But when you start to put together all the details, look at the situation as a whole just so and really give it some honest thought, it all sort of starts to make sense, in a funny way. For example -- and hey, maybe I'm jumping to conclusions -- part of the reason I'm hanging from said railing has to do with the fact that I was chased here by a band of smelly marionettes called the Sondermaschina. Now, if you've been paying attention, you're probably wondering what that has to do with my buddy Sergei, right? Well, the railing in question, you see, happens to be the northernmost guard rail of Strut C, Section H, Starboard side on the Primary Observation and Bombardment deck of the world-infamous flying palace and warship known as 'Castle Stahltraum', owned by the feared and vilified Temptress Tyrant of the Air, Madame Quincunx. As you may have expected, Miss Q did not, as it so happens, invite me to Castle Stahltraum, nor was she aware of my presence until about two minutes ago. As such, when I was discovered -- quite by accident, I had thought -- in the second of six generator rooms in sub-basement two involved in an act of what could best be called 'sabotage', I was rather hastily given chase by the Sondermaschina who chanced upon me. And while this wouldn't seem to have a whole lot to do with my good friend Sergei, it starts to sound the tiniest bit suspect when you consider that the Sondermaschina are here at all. The Sondermaschina -- that's 'Machines of the Living Dead' -- are animated corpses, usually those of big, scary men, who are preserved and fitted with armor suits (called something like 'X-O Skeletons') that give them greater strength, speed, mobility and smarts than any walking corpse has any business having. The ugly things are kept moving and their armor kept powered by water-cooled, steam-powered batteries implanted into the cerebral cortex of their 'host'. The Sondermaschina apparently patrol Castle Stahltraum, and while they aren't much more than ugly, smelly robots, they know who's supposed to be here and who isn't. I guess it goes without saying that yours truly is not on the guest list. So when a couple of the rotten bastards spotted me fitting a dozen sticks of dynamite to one of the turbine engines that process ambient water vapor and electronic energy to keep Castle Stahltraum aloft, I suppose it only made sense that they would try to chase me down in an attempt to separate my head and limbs from the rest of my body. What all of these seemingly inconsequential pieces of information have to do with my good comrade Sergei is that Sergei (my dear, true ally), just happens to be the one who designed and constructed both the engine and the X-O Skeleton the Sondermaschina use. But even this isn't really enough to point the finger in the direction of my dear, stalwart, loyal, honest friend Sergei. After all, he sells his various inventions to lots of people. And though I know he would never willingly peddle his creations to a villainous fiend such as Madame Quincunx, Miss Q easily could have obtained some of the Sondermaschina units through any one of the various catspaws she has in her employ. Still, as much as I don't want to believe it, certain evidence leads me to believe that perhaps I misjudged my great ally -- nay, my adopted brother! -- Sergei. Despite being nefariously evil, hell-bent on world domination, quite possibly insane and hateful of dogs (imagine!), Madame Quincunx is awfully beautiful, and a damn sharp dresser, too. Most people will tell you that nobody who sees her survives to talk about it, but there seems to be an awful lot of speculation and rumor going around about her appearance anyway. Most often, Miss Q is described as an incredibly beautiful Chinawoman with hair like black silk, eyes like pieces of burning jade, skin like snow, fingernails that could rip a man's heart out of his chest and an icy but predatory demeanor that knocks lesser men dead on contact. Now, I'll confess to not exactly having the best view of her right now, what with hanging-on-for-dear-life-so-as-not-to-fall-to-my-death and all. However, since Madame Quincunx happens to currently be commanding the Sondermaschina unit tearing a large portion of Castle Stahltraum away in order to capture or kill yours truly, poor view though it is, I think I can tell you with no small amount of certainty that the rumors appear to have a great deal of truth in them. If not for the unforunate position I currently occupy of being a heroic, two-fisted private eye attempting to thwart the malicious machinations of a certified evil genius, I might be inclined to try and pick her up, myself. Sergei, on the other hand... Well, Sergei always had trouble with the ladies. For those of you who don't know Sergei (you unfortunate wretches!), I suppose that the best way one could describe him is as a sort of sweaty, human capibara. Pudgy. Furry. The worlds' biggest rodent. Sergei was a brilliant inventor and engineer, but unfortunately the ability to turn a carcass into a sentry and butler or create a gun that can tear matter apart on a molecular level isn't typically the sort of skill that tends to attract the dames. Anyway, the reason that I brought looks into this is because, were you to know Sergei like I do, you might have a certain insight into the cause behind my final indication that Sergei may have intentionally led me astray. Because while I could have written off all that other stuff, it's sort of hard to ignore the fact that Sergei also happens to be on the deck above me, one arm around the waist of the beautiful (but evil) Madame Quincunx, the other clutching his world-famous (and equally as feared) 'Matter Scatter' pistol, which was presently pointed at me. "Now, Sergei, pal...” I called up to him, trying to remain unflappable about my rather unfortunate situation. "Don't you dare patronize me, Gruber!” he shouted in reply. Taking his arm from the stoic but ever-smiling Miss Q, he produced a red, silk scarf from his vest pocket and dabbed his forehead with it repeatedly. With a forced gale of maniacal laughter -- it always sounds better when it comes naturally, if you ask me -- he fired a shot that would have ripped my arm clean off if Sergei didn't have such lousy aim, but came off instead as a warning shot. The kimono-clad sky harpy leaned into Sergei and whispered something no doubt treacherous into his ear. He smiled a smile that didn't look very good for me at all. "Come on, Sergei. Why'd you do it? Why'd you have to go and betray me? I thought you and I were friends, right? After all the times I saved your ass, this is how you repay me? You rotten fink!" Trying to reason with him at this point was going to be fruitless, I knew that much. Whether it was drugs, hypnosis, mind control, sonic disruption or simply the lure of feminine wiles, Sergei was way too controlled and way too eager to be talked out of this madness now. But it might buy me the time I need to -- An anti-matter blast whizzed centimeters away from my head, turning part of the collar of my brown, canvas overcoat into vacant space. Okay, time not for sale. Point made, Sergei. Now here's my quandary; about three hundred feet away from the area I'm hanging off of right now is my escape route, a little invention of my own called the 'Bat-Pack'. The reason it happens to be three hundred feet away at present having a great deal to do with the fact that the Bat-Pack is built into the emergency compartment of the ultralight, one-man dirigible that brought me to Castle Stahltraum, which I had the foresight to cover up in a tarp after landing. Having brought forty sticks of dynamite, a Luger and my axe, combined with the fact that (I thought) I had detailed maps of Castle Stahltraum and full knowledge of when patrols would pass and where guard posts were located, I was not expecting a great deal of resistance to or from the engine rooms. Then again, I also did not expect to be chased nearly off the castle by Sondermaschina, nor did I expect Sergei to be in league with Madame Quincunx. Next time -- should there be one -- I shall have to prepare for contingencies such as this. That said, it may be worth mentioning that while I by no means finished planting all the dynamite I had brought for the express purpose of blowing up Castle Stahltraum, the thirty-five sticks which are already planted on the engines thus far should be more than adequate. When it comes to destruction on a grand scale, I prefer to err on the side of making sure that a structure is broken down to bite-sized chunks of shrapnel. And while I'm only hanging on to this railing with one hand -- and man, is my arm starting to ache -- it may also be worth mentioning that my other hand is in the pocket of my overcoat that contains the remote detonator for the incendiary devices I did plant. Thinking back, this situation sort of reminds me of a story that my friend Zhou once told me in a run-down gin-goint in Karachi we spent two weeks hiding out in from the zombie cultists of Doctor Rushifel, back before my life got interesting and I started going on wild adventures like this. Zhou told me the story was a 'Zen Cone' or something like that. The way I remember it, there was this monk who was fleeing a ravenous tiger through the mountains and found himself, having stumbled, hanging from the edge of a cliff. With the ravenous tiger above and a shallow stream far below him, he was about to meet his certain doom. And as he was hanging there, trying to decide what to do, he spied a ripe, juicy plum just within arms reach. "Do you know what the monk did, then?", Zhou asked me. "No", I confessed and proceeded to roll my cigarette. "Having resigned himself to his imminent death, he reached out and grabbed the plum, biting into it. It was the sweetest, most delicious thing he ever tasted." I stared at him blankly. "And then?" "Having done this, he let go of the branch he was hanging from, and falling to the ground below, he died", Zhou smiled. "That's the stupidest goddamned thing I've ever heard." Zhou feigned insult. "Oh? Why?" "Well", I said as I lit my cigarette, "one thing about that story is obvious." "What's that?" "Obviously, that monk wasn't a fucking Viking." "No", Zhou smiled wryly. "I do not believe that he was, my friend." And suddenly, that conversation started to make a whole lot more sense. I fingered the detonator's button and thought that maybe I should just grab the plum, sending Miss Q and that treacherous bastard Sergei to their own damn tigers and rivers. For a time, I speculated on this possibility, feeling a growing sense of anger and something that might have been sadness welling up inside my gut. I felt myself doing something that might have been resigning to imminent death. But then, a wicked, gritted-tooth grin crept across my face, and I remembered that I, Garm Gruber, am a fucking Viking. Sergei is sweating like a pig and shaking like a leaf as he trains the Matter Scatter on my head. "Any last words, Gruber?" Miss Q smiles hungrily and squeezes his shoulder. Sergei uses his free hand to dab his forehead again. The Sondermaschina relent, backing off at Madame Quincunx's demand so Sergei can take his shot unobstructed and finish me off. "One thing", I say. "DUCK!!" Reflexively, Sergei crouches and covers his head, just like I knew he would. Quick as a flash, I pull the detonator out of my pocket and hurl it at Sergei's pistol. Hitting it squarely, pistol and detonator alike fly from Sergei's sweaty grip and clatter to the catwalk below. Temporarily distracted, I use the sudden chaos to pull myself back up onto the deck, pushing myself forward into Madame Quincunx as I hurl my frame forward. I slam into her legs like a tank hitting a giraffe, and with a hiss, she tumbles on top of Sergei, who falls to the ground like a blob of gelatinous lead. Springing up, I grab the detonator and Sergei's pistol and make a run for the tarp on Strut E. The Sondermaschina are already in pursuit as Miss Q and Sergei get to their feet. I half-turn as I flee, firing the Matter Scatter indiscriminantly into the crowd of zombie soldiers in pursuit, and in a stroke of what might have been good luck, two shots sink into the smelly bastards. One, who took it in the engine, stops abruptly and plummets over the railing, sinking into the sulfurous cloud belching forth from the volcano below. The other takes a hit in the leg and falls on his face, but is immediately stepped on and over by his fellows. One shot punches a circular hole in the strut six inches or so in diameter. Another goes stray and flies off into the wild blue. I hit Strut E and turn. Four bullyboys are in hot pursuit, while Sergei and Miss Q have joined the chase. I fire the space-age pistol into the welds that hold the support rods that keep the struts linked, dislodging Strut D from where I stand. The catwalk lurches downward, and three of the four that remain fall to eternal sleep below. The last surges forward and onto me, knocking me to the ground and Sergei's gun out of my hand. Ouch. Headbutting him was a bad idea. Planting my legs into its gut, I grab its arms and swing backwards from my back onto my chest, throwing my attacker behind me. Springing to my feet, I draw my axe from its resting place at my side and start hacking away at the bastard like the gritty, crazed Nordic cur that I am. Half the blows clang! and the other half squish!, but the end result is the same, and soon my foe has fallen. I bolt past the twisted mass of steel and flesh towards a familiar-looking canvas-covered object. With a quick glance over my shoulder, I see Sergei prostrating himself to Miss Q, who just stands there, looking down at him and scowling. Just as I reach my ultralight, I dislodge the tarp with a crumpled thrust and prepare to start rifling through the storage pack. My attention is commandeered, however, by the chicken-hearted scream that issues out of Sergei's throat, and I turn to watch in horror as with a great crunching sound, Madame Quincunx unhinges her jaw, opens her mouth -- now a cavernous maw, filled with razor-sharp, sword-like teeth -- and.... ...She bit Sergei in half. Half of Sergei falls over. The other half slides impossibly down Miss Q's gullet. Like watching a gunfight, I can't pull my eyes away. Miss Q's jaw retracts with an equally hellish crunching of bone and sinew as it extended, and with Sergei's red scarf, she smugly dabs the corners of her mouth, leaving the greater portion of her face and the entirety of the front of her dress smeared in Sergei's blood. And she smiles at me. Without tearing my eyes away, I yank the tarp aside and grope around for the hatch containing my escape. I undo the brass facet and open the hatch that contains the Bat-Pack. Okay. Now...I happen to know for a fact that the Bat-Pack is still in here, and that it just slid somewhere and that when I turn my head to the compartment I'll see a strap or something and that Madame Quincunx is just smiling because she's the villain and that's what villains do and that she did not just unhinge her jaw and bite Sergei in half and that the thing she's holding in her hand is definetely NOT my Bat-Pack! Right? Well so much for the power of positive thinking. Without any effort at all, Miss Q circumvents all obstacles between the two of us, floating an impossible distance before clattering to the metal catwalk to meet me face-to-face with all the weight of a feather. Desperately, I draw my axe and swing at her. She grabs it -- by the blade -- and throws it over the side. She's still smiling. What a lousy way to end the day. I pull the recovered detonator switch out of my pocket. I have enough time to latch onto my tiny derigible and see Miss Q's smile fade before I say; "Fine, then. I'll bite the goddamned plum." and press the button. I have no idea how much time passed between then and the time I woke up on the beach, clutching the remains of a tiny, blast-beaten dirigible. All I know is that I was alive, that there were large numbers of former Sondermaschina on the beach with me that were not, that the sun was high and bright in the sky and unobscured by a giant, flying fortress and throngs of islanders were spending the day outside, eating, laughing and generally having a good time.
  23. Adventure d20 was released a few days ago. Does anyone have it yet? I'd really like to find out how people think d20 works in the Trinity Universe, and then get some reviews for it on the site.
  24. You know, I don't even know a thing about it yet, but I'm fucking psyched. What a grand idea. What a grand goddamned idea. --@venger ------------------ Don't try to run, you son of a bitch. You'll just die tired.
  25. I am going to run a table top game of Adventure in Feb. and was hoping to get some helpful hints or insight from people that have ran/played it before. I've been trying to get a group to play it since it came out and I don't want to blow the opportunity, so any help you can give is appreciated. Thanks, Chosen
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