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Command crew of the Graceful Dame

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I-II. Kingston, Jamaica. Monday, January 1, 1725 Anno Domini

  • Having just returned to Kingston from visiting Old Tom and learning valuable information, the crew have discovered that Billy, Sir Randel’s contact who pointed them toward the old coot, is dead. Artegal attempts to discern some clues from the corpse, but alas, he learns little more than the man has been murdered. The local gendarmes cart away the body and the crew return to the Graceful Dame wherein they are reunited with “Claude” who has been watching the ship.
  • That night, they make plans. Their next likely destination is Île-à-Vache, so they agree that during the following day, Artegal will assist Hayden in gathering supplies for the journey, recalling the rest of the crew, and perhaps seeking out some cargo. Hayden also plans to reach out to the captain of the Nijmegen to network. While this is going on, the other four shall dive for the Coin.
  • The dive takes all day as there is a great deal of territory to cover and it’s all underwater. Around midday, Sir Randel’s rival-enemy, Maurice Boissonade is rowed out to treat with him, presenting a document from the governor insisting that anything discovered in the graveyard rightly belongs to Boissonade. As his crew is not searching in the graveyard (having learned from Old Tom that the Coin is not there), Sir Randel is only too happy to comply, though he does make an effort to “accidentally” tip his rival into the bay. After some difficulty, they are successful and return with the Coin.
  • With Artegal acting as interpreter, Hayden manages to get word to the Dutch captain of the Nijmegen who comes ashore later; the two discuss recent events, with Hayden pressing his fellow captain into carrying some non-secret letters to the Admiralty back in England. They part, not as friends, but certainly as warm associates.
  • Artegal ends up enlisting Sir Randel’s aid in seeking out cargo and/or passengers to Île-à-Vache, no matter the latter’s utter disinterest in this part of the job. Hayden and Rogers handle receiving their supplies and getting the ship to rights as the hired crew trickle back on. While this is going on, Davino is visited by Jacob, the man who attended the now dead priest the day earlier, and relates to the Venetian some information about The Gun (aka Misericordia) – it is the weapon of Hunters, mean and women who seek out and destroy supernatural entities. This weapon is said to be able to kill anything it hits. Clearly not really buying into Jacob’s explanation, Davino effectively blows him off and goes back to work.
  • Time passes as they ready the Dame for sail. Early morning on the 4th, as Artegal is on watch with Isaac Bold, the doctor notes something odd in the bay approaching that appears to be a barrel … with men swimming alongside it! Artegal calls out to the men, who freeze (evidently in surprise), then there is a small light atop the barrel. Isaac calls out for a gun, having identified this as a threat, but Artegal (who has clearly spent too much time in Sir Randel’s company) reacts without thinking and dives into the bay, intent on snuffing out the fuse. This unexpected action causes some confusion – one of the would-be saboteurs attempts to swim away while another is accidentally kicked by Artegal while swimming. Having been roused, Rogers thinks quickly and has the cockboat lowered so he and some of the men can set out to capture the momentarily stunned saboteur.
  • Once Artegal is recovered, along with the now safed barrel of what turns out to be lamp oil, the crew interrogate the captured saboteur and learn only that they were hired by “the man on the docks” to cripple the Dame. Quickly determining to take the cockboat to shore and try to find the “man on the docks” to get some questions answered, the crew start preparing…
  • And then, in the distance, alongside the La Dame Blanche, there is a gunshot followed by an eruption of flame…

Player Notes:

  • Long, long overdue recap. I have no one to blame … but work. And my own laziness.
  • The Skill Challenge worked out rather nicely. Probably one of the best versions of that we’ve seen.
  • We gave Gigermann a bit of crap for the confusing time line.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Command crew of the Graceful Dame

Live Stream

I-I. Kingston, Jamaica. Monday, January 1, 1725 Anno Domini

  • It is early morning and former-Commander John Hayden is participating in a duel against a merchant named Smith, whom he dared accuse of cheating at business. The duel goes ill for Smith – Hayden was much faster, and struck the other gentleman such that his shot went wide. Smith’s second yields and publicly acknowledges that Hayden was the wronged party.
  • The crew return to Kingston where Sir Randel receives word from Billy who has discovered the location of Old Tom, who sailed with Captain Morgan’ old crew. Randel is desperate to meet with the old man to question him about the focus of his latest obsession. As they are waiting for Artegal to return from aiding the wounded Smith, the crew decide to break their fast.
  • During this repast, Davino is addressed by a stranger who asks for his presence at a church on the outskirts of town with … The Gun. Done with his meal, Rogers decides to accompany him. They go to a church where they discover an exhausted-looking priest tied to a pillar who explains that the Gun’s proper name is Misericordia and that it can kill anything it shoots. The priest states that he recently slew an African shaman near Santiago de Cuba, but was infected by the evil spirit that he (the priest) has been seeking to contain but no longer has to strength. It cannot get free. Nearby, the stranger who sought out Davino is playing a harp, and as he momentarily nods off, the priest’s demeanor shifts to a fierce and angry version. Rogers, feeling quite uncomfortable, urges Davino to do as the priest wishes … and kill the man with his Gun. The stranger, seeing that Davino is quite hesitant over murdering a priest, states that he shall do it if given the opportunity. It is done and the priest is slain. The stranger gives the silver bullets to Davino and the two men depart, more confused than before.
  • Once Artegal rejoins the party, the crew head out from Kingston, heading deeper into the interior intent on finding Old Tom. It is half a days walk and this journey turns out to be uneventful, though upon arrival, Artegal notes some men creeping up upon the shack that is Old Tom’s with obvious hostile intent. Hayden orders Davino to act as overwatch while the rest of the crew sneak forward; once in position, he loudly orders the skulkers to stop and identify themselves. Eventually, however, Old Tom interjects himself by firing his blunderbuss, dropping one of the enemy. Words are exchanged … also, certain bullets, and the surviving thugs flee, leaving their wounded behind.
  • While Artegal attends to the wounded with Davino providing overwatch, the rest of the crew treat with Old Tom, having gained the coot’s assistance thanks to Sir Randel’s wise decision to bring along rum as trade. The two men exchange what they know, with Randel learning that it is not in the sunken Port Royal cemetery, where everyone is looking, but in the old Governor’s Mansion there. The sound of someone on the roof causes some of the crew to react, though they cannot react fast enough to stop the eavesdropper from escaping into the jungle. Sir Randel rushes out, screaming “Boissonade!” Furious, Sir Randel declares that they are now in a chase…
  • After ensuring the surviving wounded are of no threat to Old Tom, the crew rush back to Kingston, making plans about how to proceed. Upon arrival, they discover a strange disturbance and investigate only to discover that Billy, the man who brought info about Old Tom to Sir Randel, has been murdered…

Player Notes:

  • Getting shot in this time period sucks. A lot.
  • Going to take a bit of effort to get accustomed to shot and powder and the like.
  • Need to determine price of laudanum.
  • Found it amusing that CommJunkee automatically presumed his rival was behind the eavesdropper.
  • This marked the beginning of Giger’s initial run. One player was absent, but her PC should be present next week

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Dramatis Personæ

Too Late

The team follows Andris Milic, Brooks’ contact in Medvedev’s organization, to a place where they can discuss the situation in private. They tell him they are looking for Breznikov (C/S Loki), whom he admits he helped smuggle into the country, and that he knows his current whereabouts. He says he will give up the location for $1M euros. The team dips into the funds seized from C/S Heimdall’s accounts, probably for the last time, and pays the requested amount. Milic then reveals, as promised, that Breznikov is in the custody of a large, probably-Russian team, on a research vessel, the Azov, just offshore at an anchorage in the Gulf of Riga. It is expected to depart around 07:00 tomorrow for parts unknown.

With Milic’s aid, the team kits up for a fight. They include night-vision, plus an inflatable electric motorboat and cold-weather swim gear for their insertion onto the boat. Brooks researches deck plans and specs for the boat, and Mahoney looks them over for the most-likely placement of explosives to sink the ship, while Lynch and Baum brave the winter weather to get eyes-on the objective. They wait until around 02:00 the next morning to make their approach.

Despite (or because of) the rough weather, the team’s motorboat slips up alongside the ship, unseen and unheard. They climb aboard quietly, and split up. Baum garrotes the officer on the bridge, and gets set to cut the power. Brooks and Lynch take down the two roving sentries at opposite ends of the ship. Mahoney immediately heads for the ship’s hold, avoiding being seen by the late-shift, and finds charges set at the location he had previously identified; he immediately starts working to defuse the bomb. Lynch, Baum and Brooks regroup on the main deck and start toward the cabins on the next deck up when they surprise Delacroix (C/S Bragi). He bolts back into the research lab he had emerged from, and triggers an alarm. The ship erupts with activity, and the team fights off several Russian operators, while giving chase. They find Breznikov in the lab, shot in the stomach by Dealcroix and left to die. Baum and Brooks run down and corner Delacroix, who was clearly looking for an escape. They gun him down, about the same time Mahoney successfully disarms the bomb below. None of the team aboard see the incoming anti-ship missile until it’s too late…

Dramatis Personæ

European Theatre

The team observes, to their shock and confusion, that the fallen enemy at the warehouse objective were wearing masks of the ConsOps team members’ faces. Mahoney defuses a misfired Russian explosive, and Brooks starts clearing rubble from a basement entrance. Meanwhile, Lynch communicates with Chana, who warns of an incoming probably-American drone strike. As the team scrambles for cover, Mahoney saves the briefcase containing the contagion samples by hurriedly cutting off a dead enemy’s hand to which it was handcuffed. Some members are lightly injured in the explosion, and the team elects to hide and wait out the drones. Once they leave, the team quickly leaves the city and regroups with Chana, giving her the samples, as promised.

The team leaves amongst the WHO medical personnel who are vacating the camps, and catches the next flight back to Israel, where they can take a few days to recuperate, and sift through the intel they’ve gathered. They choose to go to Riga next; Medvedev (C/S) had arranged to smuggle some people there for Delacroix (C/S Bragi), which might include Breznikov (C/S Loki), and Brooks “knows a guy” there through his undercover work in Medvedev’s organization.

Brooks arranges to meet his contact, Andris Milic, Medvedev’s lieutenant, at a café often used for such meetings. The rest of the team blends in with the café patrons and keeps an eye out during the meeting. The contact reveals that Medvedev has been picked up by British Intelligence, and Milic is seeing an opportunity to take over the business; Brooks indicates he might be interested in helping. But the meeting is cut short when an unidentified “lookout” is spotted, kicking off a very-brief firefight with other assassins in the area, some arriving on motorcycles and some hiding amongst the café patrons as well. Brooks reveals he’s brought help, as police sirens close in the distance.

Dramatis Personæ

Counter Strike

The team’s suspicion, that their struggle with the infected local woman might alert the nearby, unknown operators guarding the objective warehouse, is confirmed when one of them steps out of a ruined building to their flank, looking for the source of the commotion.

  • Baum retreats to some nearby high ground, but is harried along the way by more infected locals.
  • Brooks opens fire on the flanking element. Lynch throws a smoke grenade screen, and the two advance into the ruined building and take the guards down, rushing in to avoid a frag grenade thrown out past them.
  • Mahoney has taken up the opposite corner of the shack previously providing their cover, and in a hail of automatic fire from both directions, takes out several of the guards as they appear in windows and holes-in-the-wall. One of the guards levels the shack with an RPG, causing Mahoney to fling himself to the ground to avoid flying debris. A second RPG round hang-fires just before the firer is tackled from behind by an infected local, causing the round to strike the ground and explode.
  • Having finally reached his perch, Baum takes out the last guard as he steps out from cover to attack Mahoney.

With the guards neutralized, the team quickly moves into the warehouse to search it for samples of the infection’s source, as the firefight will undoubtedly have attracted the attention of a horde of locals. Searching the guards’ bodies for identification, however, it is discovered that they each have the face of the ConsOps team members!…

Dramatis Personæ

Quarantine Zone

After having agreed to Chana’s favor, to enter the quarantine zone for a sample of the infection, the team decides to wait until dark to go in. In the meantime:

  • Brooks spots a cut-out, who gives him a message from his SIS handler, informing him that they are dropping the Medvedev mission, and he is being assigned to aid the ConsOps mission he has found himself attached to.
  • Baum spots El-Sisi, the Egyptian federal agent the team encountered back in Cairo, and tails him to a meeting with some “mercenaries,” who appear to be gearing up for an operation in town.
  • Back at the WHO mess tent, Lynch encounters his FSB counterpart, Col. Sudokov, and in an initially-tense exchange, convinces him that his mission is only to stop Breznikov, not to question him, and they agree to not interfere should an opportunity come to take him out.

As evening approaches, the team regroups and prepares to go into town. Chana volunteers to take up overwatch from nearby high-ground.

The team creeps into town, carefully navigating through the ruined buildings toward the objective, a shipping company office where Medvedev was supposed to have delivered “materiel.” Along the way, they observe other “teams” in the area being assaulted and brutalized by hordes of berserking, infected locals. Cautiously, the team skirts wide around the trouble spots, and avoids traps left behind by the others. As they approach the objective, they observe that it is being guarded by another team, of unknown allegiance, faces covered in shemaghs. As the team creeps around to the guards’ flank, Baum decides to extract a sample from a nearby pile of locals’ corpses. He is shocked to find that one of them isn’t actually dead, when it attacks him. Concerned about the noise alerting the warehouse guards, the team keeps watch, as Brooks rushes over to help Baum subdue the woman. She is excessively strong and resilient, and highly aggressive, and they put her down with some difficulty. As Baum finally gets his sample, a voice from the warehouse is heard, exclaiming in Arabic that he “found it”…

Dramatis Personæ

Road Rage

The team flees the warehouse in a random pair of small SUVs, just as another random pair of small SUVs, bearing what appears to be “mercs,” arrives to give chase. The team splits: Baum (driving) and Brooks, with Dr. Woodcomb and the grievously-injured Reilly (CS:Njord), in one; Lynch (driving) and Mahoney, with the body of CIA Officer Walker, in the other. The mercs split as well. Baum uses local traffic to good effect, and their pursuer crashes; Baum doubles back to catch up to Lynch’s pursuer, whom he has not been able to shake. Baum repeatedly attempts to force the SUV off the road, and the passengers exchange fire, resulting in three mercs down in one vehicle, and Baum injured in the other, along with a blown tire. Having gotten well clear during the exchange of fire, and pulled out of sight under an overpass, Lynch charges out of the shadows and T-bones the mercs’ SUV, though they manage to continue to flee. Baum then stops his vehicle, carefully lines up the fleeing driver in his sights, and puts an end to it. Dr. Woodcomb bandages Baum’s arm while the others quickly strip the mercs’ vehicle of loose intel, and they squeeze into the more-functional of the two SUVs and speed away.

At a safe(r) distance, the team decides to let Dr. Woodcomb out at Abu-Dhabi where he can arrange to be picked up by his CIA handlers, along with Reilly and Walker, while the team contracts a local pilot for discreet passage to Yemen.

The team arrives at Ta’izz to find it cordoned off, under quarantine, as expected. They approach a border checkpoint, and among the WHO aid workers there, spot a familiar face: Chana Baum, undercover. They make discreet contact, and arrange to meet at a WHO mess tent, where they exchange intel; she agrees to help the team get inside the quarantine zone if they can get her a direct sample of whatever is causing the outbreak.

Dramatis Personæ

Unsafe House

The team arrives at the safe-house arranged for by Lynch’s CIA contacts, a remote warehouse. The provided surgeon, Dr. Woodcomb, stabilizes Vladimir Medvedev, and also treats the less severely injured Reilly (CS:Njord), who later regains consciousness. Meanwhile, Lynch and Mahoney identify Ta’izz as their best chance to catch Breznikov (CS:Loki), while Baum and Brooks check in with their respective HQs.

Brooks hatches a plan to use his cover as arms-dealer bodyguard, and playing the victim, get Reilly to confide in him. In the same office-room as the drug-addled Reilly, Lynch “beats up” Brooks while demanding to know about Ta’izz, before getting “called away.” Afterward, Brooks notices Reilly struggling with a second “sleeper personality”; in his confused state, Reilly confirms that Breznikov was involved in the biological attack in Ta’izz. On the monitors in an adjacent room, the doctor, there to inform on the patients’ condition, points out an odd scar on Reilly’s head that might indicate some form of “conditioning.”

With Lynch in the room with Brooks and Reilly another time, the interrogation is interrupted by the CIA officer there to oversee the site, Walker, with eyes glazed over, as she enters and sprays Reilly with automatic fire from an AK74. Lynch tries to wrestle the weapon away from her, as she backpedals out to the balcony, where she is killed by Baum with some well-placed pistol shots. At the same time, the Doctor notices on the monitors that a breaching team—local UAE federal officers—is stacking up on the front door.

The team scrambles for their rifles as four officers burst through the door into the lobby; they pop smoke and storm toward the warehouse stairs. One officer’s flash-bang throw is interrupted by Mahoney’s; the stunned officer’s own flash-bang detonates at his feet. Brooks defends the stairs with Walker’s AK74, while Baum hangs back to cover his probable retreat, as Lynch fetches his own rifle and catches up. Meanwhile, Mahoney swings over the rail and drops to the warehouse floor below, covered in smoke, and lays suppressing fire on the stairs, effectively ending the fight. All but one of the officers is badly injured, the other taken captive.

The team immediately starts tear-down procedures, as the doctor informs them that the scanner is picking up more police traffic; backup is inbound. Reilly is, surprisingly, not dead. Brooks decides they should leave his former objective, Vladimir, behind for the police to pick up—he’ll live. The team then quickly packs up what intel they have, along with Walker’s body (so the CIA might not be implicated), and Reilly, and the doctor to try to save him, and they flee the scene.

Dramatis Personæ

Presidential Suite

An evening arms deal between Vladimir Medvedev and Rene Delacroix (CS:Bragi) in the Presidential Suite on the 24th floor of the Burj Al-Arab is interrupted by a sudden loss of power in the hotel, followed by the exterior window exploding in, which knocks many bodyguards to the floor. The team rappels into the open window in full tactical gear and night vision, and a firefight erupts. Turncoat former member of the team, Reilly (CS:Njord), here as Delacroix’s bodyguard, immediately rakes Vladimir with submachine gun fire, who slumps, unconscious, over his desk. Delacroix, the team’s objective, bails over the railing to the suite’s foyer below; Mahoney follows, getting shot numerous times in the process, and engages several bodyguards below by himself as Delacroix flees the suite. Meanwhile, Ilan and Lynch gun down Reilly, and several others, before the remainder surrender.

Ilan recognizes a surrendered bodyguard as British SIS agent and former ConsOps member, Grayson Brooks, in deep cover in Vladimir’s organization. Grayson maintains his cover, and pleads to keep Vladimir alive. Meanwhile, Mahoney follows Delacroix out of the suite, and finds only a discarded mask-disguise resembling the face of Delacroix, though the man who wore it was nowhere to be found. With hotel alarms sounding, the team puts grievously-wounded Vladimir and Reilly in harnesses, and along with Grayson, they all rappel out of the window to the ground, and flee the scene in a waiting escape boat. Once out of immediate danger, Grayson swaps intel with the team as they look for a safe place to recover and get their prisoners in a condition to be interrogated. As the team reaches out to their parent organizations for help, they begin to realize something is wrong when they are ordered to come in immediately…

Dramatis Personæ

Airport Security

The team’s plane was directed to land at Muscat airport’s main terminals. The airport was locked down due to the chaos in the region (Cairo, Jerusalem, etc.), the terminals full of passengers whose flights were suspended. The PA announced a phone call for one of Ilan’s cover-identities. It was from Mahoney, who, via a disguised message, told Ilan that he was around 20-30 minutes away, and that they were being watched. The team spotted two groups of observers: one appeared to be Omani, probably state police; the other appeared Easter-European, probably Russian. During the flight, Chana had received a message from her superiors at Mossad calling her back to HQ ASAP; she wished the team luck, then broke off top make her own escape. The team started heading toward the food court, hoping to slip out the back of a restaurant, but their Omani pursuers were close behind, looking nervous. Instead, Lynch snagged a janitor’s cart, and they all headed toward an out-of-the-way bathroom.

Baum headed for the urinals, near the only other civilians present. Vega entered the first stall and pulled his feet up. The police were focused on Lynch as he headed toward the back, half-heartedly playing the janitor part, drawing them such that their backs were to the others. When the lead policeman of the four challenged Lynch, the civilians zipped up and left in a hurry; Baum pretended to follow. As one of the policemen opened Vega’s stall door, Vega kicked it, knocking him into Lynch, and the fight was on. Baum and Lynch grappled with two, attempting to disarm them, while Vega broke off his toilet seat and attacked. Then one of the Russians entered and suddenly opened fire with a submachine gun. Vega charged the Russian with the toilet-seat and struck him hard in the head, but took a full burst from the submachine gun in the process; he was struck in the heart, and died instantly. When the dust finally settled, the Russian and police were all dead or bleeding out, Vega was dead, and Lynch was shot in the arm.

Outside the bathroom, injured and frightened civilians were running away from other firefights that had broken out in the terminal at the same time. Lynch and Baum hoisted Vega between them and blended with the crowd, toward the main lobby. Mahoney had arrived at the main parking lot just behind the fleet of ambulances responding to the emergency. He found one ambulance temporarily absent of its driver, collected the rest of the team as they exited, and drove away.