EPISODE I: THE DUST OF WARLORDS

Sahara Desert, thirty km SW of Mourzouk

April 19th, 1893

The evening air is still yet cool. Your bodies are awash with sweat from the hours of hiking it took to reach this forbidden place.

For nine days, Second World magazine has had you positioned in North Africa, undercover dredging up a story of the region's nomadic tribes. You've garnered some amazing photographs of Berbers, raiders, and reddish dust storms. It's been a sweaty, turbulent ride, but educational.

However, it is not why you are really here.

In the dead of night, you stole into local estates, paid off old men to comb through libraries buried underground, ancient parches pages written in Latin, Arabic and Greek. Somewhere in those pages lurked the key to a mystery. A foreign enigma. An extraterrestrial presence!

Long ago, aliens secreted themselves on Earth. Everyone knows about the blue-skinned Lunite warrior women. Some even live on Earth long after their race left the Moon. Jovians, whalemen from Jupiter, invaded and were defeated over a decade ago. But the Lunites left clues, clues that not only did they have more influence on the history of mankind than they admitted, but that there were other beings here in the past.

Theo Mason, owner of the magazine, bird lover, obssessor of the bizarre, has spoken with the Lunite warrior MG'latsoh (MEG laht-so, lit: 'remember crystal) on her deathbed. She spoke of a chalice used by the Lunite empress BH'neepht during the time of traveler Ibn Battuta. She said the empress travelled with him, and fought the Bedouin and Berber and more.

Her final words, "...on...chalice...map of...the Zerestry...to Battuta"

Zerestry: The Lunite term for an astro-geographical map. If found, and utilized, it would possibly pinpoint the location of Lunite artifacts, maybe buried orb ships, and other alien species.

So here you are, in the dead of night, clues gathered, librarians paid off, hush hush...in the desert. After wandering, you come to the ruins of a Roman city. columns jutting out of sand, a viper slithering off into the dark. Here, the Chalice of Battuta lies, supposedly (according to one text) in an iron chest beneath the ruins of the coliseum seats to the northwest. Daunting? 

Perhaps. But you've got shovels, maps, water, and paranormal talents no one else possesses. 

However, on arrival, standing atop hill of sliding sand, you notice an obstacle.

A campfire in the ruins. Shadows of men. Sounds of digging. Others are already here.

Did the librarians talk? Was someone eavesdropping on you conversations back in Mourzouk or Be Abbas?

Too late to worry about now. The only real question is...

...what do you do?

Comment

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Comment by Captain yesterday

I hesitate to suggest this but William J. Jackson maybe you should go ahead and roll the dice.  Professor Wilbur Sterling what do you think?  It doesn't look like we are getting anymore help soon.

So, can I roll up a similar replacement character? ;-) 

Comment by Captain on May 15, 2018 at 7:16pm

(I can't say that I didn't expect this but....)

Kaspar is virtually useless in a fight flanks or otherwise.  He has no real weapon. 

What Kaspar is attempting is to send his mismatched platoon of tin soldiers to try to get rid of their camels.  I noticed that camels have soft toes compared to horse hooves.  So while some tin soldiers are attempting to cut the ropes with their tiny swords the rest are using tiny bayonets/spears to stick the camels' toes and scatter them far & wide.  This hopefully will cut off their escape with the artifact and distract them form focusing completely on Rooster. 

Otherwise, I am keeping my head down. 

Comment by Professor Wilbur Sterling on May 15, 2018 at 6:31pm

Rooster spits out his tobacco. "Alright," he says "I'm no genius but given the circumstances I'd say they either found the chalice."

His fists clenched cracking noticeably, and his face reddened. "Here's the plan lads. I'll charge in, all guns blazing and just beat the daylights out of them. While I draw their attention and possibly gunfire, you flank them and pick them off... ONE. BY. ONE."

Rooster grunts and beats his chest, then pounds his head twice and gets ready to charge them forcefully using his rage stunt.

Comment by William J. Jackson on May 15, 2018 at 6:06pm

Thanks for waiting...

The Laughing Owl does not arrive?! (A story point for later). 

This leaves you a man short!

Meanwhile, Commando Bear reports: the workers have broken into an underground tunnel. Two men fell in. There was a series of cries, then jubilant laughter. Then, torches lit, they crept down below...

Comment by Professor Wilbur Sterling on May 5, 2018 at 8:13pm

Rooster digs into the sand with his foot, looking in which direction the sand blows and spits in the general direction of the wind. "I guess we sit here thumbing our suspenders until they find something then." He looks behind him with a puzzled expression. "Theo Mason, where is the chuckling owl?" he asked ambiguously tripping over the code name.

Comment by Captain on May 5, 2018 at 12:31am

The best thing that I can think of to get them all gathered up is to wait until they find the iron box with the artifact in it.  They are sure to gather around to admire their find. 

Comment by Professor Wilbur Sterling on May 4, 2018 at 9:22pm

If we can lure them all to a central location, I can use my rage stunt to pick them all off since I would be taking lethal damage as non-lethal damage for a full five minutes, until the effect wears off and the wounds kick in. So the question is can we draw them all into one campsite, or possibly bait them into an area where I can basically stealth kill them for five minutes?

Rooster looks at the camping site and spits out tobacco. "You know what lads, the ride here has been bumpy, my flask's got a metallic taste, and I'd like to just sit down to a warm meal AND THESE ROTTERS ARE IN MY WAY! I'm getting a bit angry here" *his face contorts briefly* "I say we put 'em six feet under with their own shovels and help ourselves to their rations." He gets quiet for a second seemingly calmed down. "Right who's got a plan?"

Comment by Captain on May 3, 2018 at 12:54pm

Professor Wilbur Sterling  At this time there is not much that I can do other than sharing this information with my one companion, Rooster.  Kaspar is not exactly a tactical genius but recognizes that we are out-manned and out-gunned. 

Maybe we could steal the camels so that we can carry an artifact away and at the same time strand the diggers (some very bad archeologist jokes come to mind).  We are hardly expert camel handlers and camel theft may be the supreme local crime. 

Alternately my toy soldiers just might be able to sneak in and use their tiny swords and bayonets to puncture all of the diggers' water skins.  The soldiers could bury themselves until the diggers are forced to leave.  IF the diggers try to just send one person racing for more water skins can you "delay" him, Rooster?   If their water was even a day late they really would be desperate. 

Comment by William J. Jackson on May 2, 2018 at 8:27pm

Okay.

This is the Sahara so the men in question are North African, perhaps Berber. Two fires. Ten tents. Standard digging tools. Some dynamite. A few rifles.

Comment by Captain on May 2, 2018 at 7:53pm

Native or European/American?  How many fires?  How many tents?  Any firearms?  Any unusual gear that a tacticool teddy might remark on? 

I am still making minor updates so I'll try to scan you a current character sheet in a few days. 

Comment by William J. Jackson on May 2, 2018 at 7:15pm

You begin the game with three Stunts, so you need to detail what they are.

As for Commando Bear, it informs you there are none men in robes laboring to dig around a column. All are armed with swords. There are camels farther off.

Comment by Captain on May 2, 2018 at 7:10pm

I guess that I have "stunts" now although making toys bigger requires actual negatrite in the toy. 

So any way, what did commando teddy find out? 

Comment by William J. Jackson on May 2, 2018 at 4:13pm

Sounds to me as if he imparts a bit of himself into his toys, via the negatrite in his blood. This needs to be a Stunt, worded as Toy Chest Army, Commando Toys or whatever sounds right. Make sure you list said Stunt whenever you use it. Now, if you wish to make them grow to Biggins size, that's another Stunt. Have you listed Stunts yet?

Comment by Captain on May 2, 2018 at 3:08pm

I picture regular toys being able to "talk" to me.  Basically the talent is driven by my imagination + focuses on toys + empowered by negatrite directly and indirectly.  IF in the unlikely possibility that I had a thread of negatrite in a teddy bear then it might transform to grizzly size and be as formidable.  If I had a bear made out of solid negatrite then it could look like a Japanese monster movie.  A regular toy would only be animated by my negatrite derived talent so a teddy bear with a mouth could "talk" but not a model train.   A teddy bear would probably be limited to cutsey bear talk and a whisper since Kaspar knows that bears do not have vocal cords but it could get a story across.  Now if I had a 1970s 12" GI Joe LT I would get a full sand box military recon report complete with firearms serial numbers.  ;-) 

BTW - While Kaspar is an apprentice toy maker he has never handled enough negatrite identified as such to have made this connect yet. 

Does this sound reasonable? 

Comment by William J. Jackson on May 2, 2018 at 2:42pm

Lol! Capital!

First, is Commando capable of speech, ir is this drawing in the sand? Or sign (paw) language?

Comment by Captain on May 2, 2018 at 2:04pm

Please PM what "commando bear" whispers to me when he gets back. 

Image result for commando teddy bear

He is going to be full of himself for weeks now. 

Comment by William J. Jackson on May 2, 2018 at 1:16pm

Bear gets a 2. +2=4. Bear is very, very sneaky indeed...

Comment by William J. Jackson on May 2, 2018 at 1:15pm
Comment by Captain on May 2, 2018 at 1:01pm

William J. Jackson  Please roll for me.  I have a +2 Sneaky.  Not only does this keep me honest(er) but I roll badly anyway and it might give you more story telling opportunities. 

Of course if the bear gets caught he is "playing dead."  He'll probably be sold at auction as an ancient Roman artifact that way. 

Comment by William J. Jackson on May 2, 2018 at 12:25pm

Glad you arrived, Rooster! How were exams?

We have one more member coming, once he clears the Welcome hurdles. The Laughing Owl will make this a trio...

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