The Aether Travellers of Down Cthulhu

The Temple of Gaaryan

Percy decides that, for this one specific instance, we will fly the flag of Seldon above the Brit flag.
Covington promptly spits his tea.
Met by another ship, half mile out, they only let one ship approach. We send Nimrod. 6 soldiers and several priests board. 1 priest walks up to Percy.
“You are the English visitors we were expecting?”
Percy “I AM.”

Recording

They want to place us under arrest for assassination in London and demand the amulet.
Covey elbows Dinoos to speak up for us now.
He wishes to speak to Keer, we tell him what happened and that Worm cultists have been dogging us.
Percy demands to be taken to temple, as he is Seldon. We show him the mathematics.
He is baffled, stumbling for words. Fine, we’ll take you to temple. Bring your retinue and come with me."
Lancelot on the Prince, Scotty on Nimrod, left in charge. Annabelle, Kip and Crammond there as well, though they are told they are in charge.

4 carriages take us all to our destination. 1st has 2 priests, Percy and wife. 2nd has 2 more priests (Lliis Hadfii) and Covey/Number 1. 3rd had Celts and Gawain.
Lliis in youngest of elders here. He’s in disfavor with high priests and is reason we are here. He developed the new form to pinpoint Seldon in place of the old astrology that didn’t work, the mathematics. He offers to show me how he achieved those results, Covey says sure and makes a friend for life.

Recording

Covey “Why in disfavor?”
“They don’t believe me. Most of the young believe me.”

Recording

Arrive temple. Offer to tour temple. Grounds are huge, fortress shaped, gun batteries at towers, giant domed chapel, stables, lots of other buildings like soldier barracks, dorms, servants divided tween married and not….
The religion is thriving only here, last bastion of strong faith. Perpetual motion machine waterwheel of liftwood is impressive.
Shown our quarters in a tower are very comfortable, good servants, but it basically shuts us in. Armed guards on roof and bottom are unobtrusive to us but always there.
1st night we just spend the night. We have freedom, but nothing much to do here. Martin suggests the celts set up in one of the courtyards for drink, music and dance. Gawain joins of course. They attract many servants, guards and young priests.

Next Day

Night is falling and Percy, with his humans, are called for audience with priests at temple, dress our best! Hundreds of priests chanting dolefully. We are weaponless for this. Kir’s death is announced and states the side of the prosecution.
present at both crimes
leader of elder council, oldest, asks us to make our statements.
Percy “Hello, I’m Seldon.”
Covey “We were with them because Keer believed Percy to be Seldan, so of course we were present at both occassions.”
Percy “Plus, everyone who follows me will attest to the Cult of the Worm’s attempts to kill me throughout my time on Mars.”
Our 5 civilized white PC’s each get to speak.
Old man totters forward "We have reached our decision. Suddenly, whips out the amulet and puts it around Percy’s neck “WELCOME HOME LORD SELDON!!!! We have sorely missed you.”
All cheer! The guards spears swing away from us and the congregation begins to sing. Guards have to stop some to rush stage. Motions for silence go unheeded. “As you all know, Lord Seldon is perpetually reborn to guide us as our high priest.” He declares us innocent of evil!
Announces that he is too old, so make Goovre the Chancellor, the one who didn’;t believe us at first. It was he who threw his weight behind us. Declares tomorrow they will take up the old works again.
We follow him upstairs and tells the story of last Seldon’s assassination. True we were deceived to lure us here. Says we must all remain here for the rest of our lives.
Percy insists planet needs fixed but can’t stay here forever. He says even if this is all superstition “You are Seldon to all now.”
Covey and Martin explains that the old Seldon didn’t sit around doing nothing, Seldon took care of things.
He does not agree, Seldon was always kept here safe. Covey speaks up strongly, say “I read about him, he did not stay here.”
“That was the first Seldon.”
Covey “Right, who went out into the world and united and conquered and fixed everything himself. That is what Mars is like now and what it needs now! That Seldon is who the circumstances require.”
He seems to be bending.

Next Day

Full of ceremony.
During one, outside, at new barracks construction that they are blessing, the priest restarts the ritual after a false start. Covey, Number 1 and Gerald are standing with Percy, others in crowd. Covey sees the glint of a rifle barrel out of a window above.
Brutus, in the crowd, and Gerald see 2 men on a wall 20’ up starting to tilt a broken section over so that it will fall on Percy.
Brutus races for the wall like shot out of a cannon (card) and makes it up the wall as well.
Covey raises the Martian sniping rifle he carried in case of assassination and hits 13 wound points, dropping the sniper to 0 wound points yelling “Percy get down”.
Gerald draws pistol and fires upward at the wall and hits 11.
Percival jumps tween Percy and Sniper, drawing sword.
LP fires at wall pusher with his new Covington pistol for 20 (now at neg). Falls off wall which kills him.
William draws vibro blade, Gawain makes for wall enemy.
Sniper misses badly and drops KO’d.
Martin makes for wall.
Number 1 guards Percy. As does Igrane.
Last guy left tries to bullrush Brutus off the wall but misses.
Gerald rushes up the wall. Brutus grapples for 5.
Villain fails to damage. Brutus pins him. Martin hits for 15 total, Gerald 4 both brawling.
The villain fails to escape. Gerald hits 11 KO’d.
Chancellor says take him away and question him. Group who protected Percy also grabs the priest who was leading the ceremony.
The priest false started, so he was waiting for a very specific time.
They take him away to question, Percy sends Percival to help.
The rest of the day passes uneventfully, but for faint cries from the treacherous priest.

Later, a yelling outside gate “Let me in!”
A creature driving it climbs off the wagon and says to a servant “Excuse me sir, will you take care of my beasts?”
“Of course sir.”
Asks to see the humans and the Seldan.
They show him to us, a wrapping at the door.
He says his name is Cecil Bumpo.
Covey is about to say who he is when Percy opens the door and there stands a bear man, bowler hat and umbrella. Percy shuts the door.
Covey says this is a famous Moreau mutant bear, from when Moreau worked at Chicago University. Experiments on 5 bear cubs, Chicago Ersine Modification Experiments. Could not adapt to life among humans well. So, Bumpo came to Mars figuring there were plenty of non humans here anyway. Brian is lost in South America, Douglas committed suicide. Adam is a broadway performer, Efram Teach is an evil air pirate on earth.
Each took a last name after someone they admired.
Cecil “I’m here on a secret mission.”
Martin “For who?”
“May I speak to you frankly and privately?”
Percy “All right, everybody clear off!”
Cecil “I meant all of you.”
Percy “Everyone, gather around.”
He’d like to go back to Sirtis Major as soon as we return, he has been stuck around here for a long time.
Second, “your ships are under guard by the military of Gaaryan. Your crews though still alive are in the dungeon.”
Martin “What!? Where?”
“I don’t know if any died. They sent barrels of wine to she ships, drugged. They all passed out. Then the troops boarded and the men were hauled off like animals.”
Percy is highly upset, threatening to burn the entire city down; if one drop of blood has been spilled he will kill everyone responsible.
Cecil says he was staying in the city when this happened but couldn’t get to us through the crowd. Stopped by soldiers. He saw a priest come to town the next morning and talk to the Prince of Garyan.
Brutus recommends seeing if Cecil can ID the priest from the ceremony as that priest.
Cecil “Whatever you intend on doing gentlemen, I am more than willing to help.”
Martin is super upset at a captured Annabelle.
Cecil had been going around as an entertainer on the streets. Once he got here he couldn’t get out again. Why? He was broke and it turned out it was against the law here for animals to perform. Passed after he arrived here. Since then got a job as a porter. So they passed a law against that. Finally, I became the prince’s jester."
Percy “I’m passing a law that you can do whatever you want.”
He says sometimes when he’s fighting he can go berserk.
He prefers brandy to whiskey.
He ID’s our prisoner as the priest who visited the Prince. Brutus recommends hanging him from the yardarm once we get to the ships.
Interrogator and Percival say he told nothing.
Cecil “Why is the priest torturing that man?”
Turns out Cecil was confused at who we were asking about, and confused us. Its the torturing priest who talked to the priest!
Percival burns him with the hot poker.
They let the captive free.
Percy sends Cecil to get some of his favorite priests. They look bewildered. Cecil says Percy, who calls the mathmetician Merlin, wants Merlin to come to him. They send Cecil to the astrology room. He finds Merlin slumped over the desk, knife in his back! He looks up, blood running from mouth, and is shocked. Cecil carries him out, some priests stop him. He asks for medical assistance. One young priest says get out of here, another older one calls of guards. Cecil makes a run for it and 2 guards block the doorway. Cecil overruns them and out the door.
We see him with the priest over his shoulder, rushing out to us.
Yells to us where he found him, guards tried to stop him.

We get him back to our quarters. Says he found calculations, they want to kill Percy at a specific time so that the next reincarnation will be born in Oenitria. Can’t try again for another week. Then, the moons will be at the correct alignment though not exact. He shows us the calculations from within his robes.
He says he knows his young pals are not a part of this.
It was Grouivr who stabbed him!!
It seems everyone over maybe 18 has to be taken out! Covington brings up “The question is, what about the guards? Are they all just in the middle of all this?”
Guard battalion has been called out, forming up outside the tower, Grouivr behind them. He yells we are heretics, he is not Seldon, we must all die but for capturing Percy.
Percy plays the Ah Love card, Col. of guards refuses to go against the great Seldon. The troops are torn. Percy yells back from window, backing the Captains words to stay put while Grouivr tries to get them to attack.
Most guards join the Col. and Percy, but some try to follow Grouivr and a fight commences won by our side. Grouivr rushes into temple.
Col. yells what should we do now and he is shot in the head. Troops turn on Percy’s word and fire a volley of arroes and muskets, killing the priest assassin on the near tower.
Next in command “What now.”
Covey “We have to raid the temple.”
Percy yells “We raid the temple!” and we rush down.
The temple doors open, and 10 bound priests are rushed out, all young ones, with older priests behind holding guns on them threatening to kill the rest of our loyal priests.
Percy “Everyone stand down. You can have me, let the priests go.”
They say “Deal”. The young priests try to say don’t to it but Percy says its ok, boys. They take Percy inside, where he sees about 15 to 20 priests dead inside. A sleeping cell crammed with wounded priests who obviously supported Seldon. So all left, about 15, are the enemy.
Percy draws his saber and yells a great warcry (deaf card) inside and rushes, firing the LP pistol for 11! Outside we hear it and charge.
Inside, Percy draws saber and misses. Grouivr hits 5. Rest of priests run to door ready to fire a volley.
We rush to the temple door as they fire. Cecil is hit 13, Brutus7, Number 1 hit 3 times 23, 14, 15 KO; Igrane hit 14, 9, 11 KO.
Note: with Karnake involved, this creates an international incident.
Will and Martin enter rages (cards).
Percy misses. Cecil hits with claw DEAD, cleaves DEAD, cleaves 18; Gerald stops short and shoots 10; Brutus misses.
Grouivr hits Percy 8.
Percival and Gawain miss, Will with vibro on hits 22 DEAD cleaves 18, surges next guy 23; Martin hits 8, Karnake stops short and fires but misses. Sigeus Cpt of Marines fires the double barrel flintlock 19. Covey first aids Number 1.
Priests: Cecil it for 6, keeps man grappled; Brutus 4; Pervical critted 7, Gawain is missed; 2 on Will miss/crit 11; Martin is missed; Karnake is hit 8; Marine Cpt is missed.
Percy attacks and hits 12; Brutus hits 8; Cecil bites his grappled priest 11 and drops him, claws him 19 and 20 DEAD. Cleaves 17; Gerald shoots 10; William hits 19; Percival misses; Gawain hits 5; Martin hits once 15. Karnake hits with saber 5; Marine cpt misses. Covey fails first aid on Igrain.
Grouivre hits Percy 3.
Priests:
miss Gerald; hit Brutus 4; miss Percival; miss Gawain; miss/miss Will; hit Martin 8; hit Karnake crit 12; miss Marine cpt; hit Cecil 4.
Percy crits 18; Brutus hits 12; Percival misses; Gawain misses; Cecil claws 16 DEAD, cleaves Martin’s 19/bite 12 DEAD, cleaves Karnake’s miss/claw vs same 18 DEAD; Gerald shoots 12; Will hits 16 DEAD DEAD, cleaves his second attacker 20; Martin turns and helps Gawain 12/miss; Karnake helps Percival miss; Marine cpt crits 16.
Covey first aids Igrane.
Priests:
hits Gerald 8; crits Brutus 12; misses Percival; misses Gawain; miss marine.
Percy crits 16 DEAD; Brutus misses; Gawain misses; Percival misses; Martin hits Gawain’s twice for 28 total; Karnake attacks Percival’s 3, marine Cpt hits 7, Cecil kills Gawain’s, cleaves 13 on Gerald’s. Covey brawls marine’s miss.
Priests:
They surrender, the last 4.
Percy orders them all kneecapped or hamstrung as Percival suggests. The other priests want to essentially crucify them. Basically, by the next day they are executed. They offer to swear fealty to Seldon but we refuse. They do say getting the Oenitrians in was all a plan to crush Tossians, then use them to force humans off of Mars. They are Ground Cleansers.
Our Venusian wore his bowler as a sign of friendship with Cecil.

Questioning of survivors leads to our belief that Cult of the Worm has nothing to do with this. Just too long since no Seldan, priests just an institution now, in it for the power.

Percy says if any of our prisoners are harmed he will burn the city to the ground.
We have 100 infantry, 100 cavalry between Percy/Seldan loyalists and temple guards.

Next Day

Report of flyers crisscrossing desert between here and city. Search pattern! They are looking for someone or something else, not just watching for our potential approach.
We must assume priest loyalists got out of village and to town, informing them of our victory here.

Percy sends 10 groups of 10 cav to scout, Brutus with 1st, Will with 5, Gawain with 7.
Through a spyglass, Percival sees a ship flies over group 10 and one of the cav men climbs onto the ship for about 10 minutes, then climbs back down and ship flies away.
Martin says don’t ask him about it, let him talk freely first.
Says he was indeed stopped, asked what had happened at temple complex. They are looking for an escaped prisoner, a famous jewel thief. Asked if the cav is planning on coming to city now that temple overthrown by false Seldan. Officer said he needed to talk to captain as they were not aware the Seldan was false. The head Priest in town is now the head of the religion. Prince wants temple back, it is the state religion afterall. Does not want a lot of bloodshed. He’s worried about what the Red Devils are capable of.
Covey asks about prince to guards: father died of a strange wasting disease, brother in hunting accident before he could take the thrown. Same guy has been head priest through it all.

Then, one ship turns sharply, into wind, past temple straight into desert past. Percival says its a swiftwood, crew of 40 (20 marines and sailors each). It’s heading for something, suddenly.
Martin looks outward into desert via spyglass: 3 figures, one large hill martian, a medium hill martian, and a small hill martian on foot and staggering. About a mile and a half away. Small one starts to cling to largest, he embraces as if its a girl. Medium one wears a top hat and points indirection of the ship. Largest gets in front, clothes torn, wearing British officers uniform as he throws off his robes, woman cowering behind him and pulls pistol and starts firing though well out of range. Guy with the hat is a Venusian with a spear ready.
Martin says “It’s Crammond and Grommet, with Lillian!”
Percy leads Gawain, Brutus, Covey, Martin and 20 cavalry to meet them.

We get there and race for the temple Crammond “Jolly good to see you fellas.”
As we ride Crammond “We have big news!”
It’s a race back to the city, and they hit a bad wind cause we make it. They do fire the rogue at us. First shot misses badly from a sudden gust that tilts the ship. then a dust devil covers our entry (card).
Crammond comforts Lillian.

Crammond says they were arrested. Says our taking of temple is big news. Troops are split about 1/3 favoring the new Seldan, 1/3 the priest, 1/3 watch and wait attitude. More time that passes, more will favor the priest. He has some sort of hold over Prince, very scared of the priest.
Crammond speaks “a little bit of their gibberish,a nd Grommet quite a bit.”
Grommet made friends with a jailer, strong follower of canal keepers and told us of the new Seldan reborn as English “Made perfect sense to me”.
Told us yesterday there had been a brew ha ha at temple, most of priests dead. Seldan declaring himself ruler of Mars and only the priests could stop him. Crammond through Grommet convinced him Percy was true Seldan and he let them escape with Lillian. He climbed up tower where she was being kept, disguised self as a woman, killed the 2 guards and we escaped.
Percy “What is the condition of our friends?”
“3 have recanted, Bors, Lionel, and Dagonet and been set free, all former pirates.” They put them in black hole of Gaaryan w/o food or water until they recant. Many are still in there."
Then they ran into a roving band of hill Martians. He fought the leader, won but refused to kill the Martian. They explained they were escaping, and since the Martians aren’t kind to the city they let them go with 3 mounts. Crammond led them the wrong way again but they saw the smoke from the battle here. Left mounts where they tired to they would live and return to the tribe.
Then we saw them.

Percy holds war council in morning. Talk of using subterfuge, boldly marching up, simply announcing “I am Seldan, do as you will” Napolean style and see what the soldiers do.
Infantry will be left behind to guard temple, we will bring the cavalry with us.
Lillian stays at temple.

Next Day

18 miles to city. Arrive around noon.
In sight of city, airships are keeping a good distance. We fly a flag of truce with British and Seldan flag. Swiftwood fires its 2 light guns on either side of road. We halt our approach. Then a cry, and a man falls from another swiftwoods followed by the sound of the shot that killed him. It then attacks the others, firing its rogue gun across its bow. 2 others close in on the new one that seems to have turned for our side. Its a standoff. We keep moving.
Another ships raise a makeshift Seldan flag, then 2 others move in as well.

We reach range of walls, and a regiment comes out and meets us.
Officer “Come no closer or we will fire!”
Percy “I don’t believe you” and steps forward. “These priests are honorable men….” modifying Antony’s speech.
The officer is about to order fire, but sees many guns pointed at him. He stops and is willing to take us to prince if army stays outside.
Percy “This is not an army, this is my personal retinue.”
Percy agrees, telling cavalry leader to maintain safe distance and if anything happens don’t hesitate to charge.

Once inside the whole city reeks of a powder keg ready to explode. We see a hill martian merc cavalry regiment leaving the city. Percy tells Grommet to talk to them and tell them Seldan’s pockets are deep. He does, and they are from the same tribe as he and Crammond met. They tell him ‘“its about to be brother against brother here and we didn’t sign on for this."
Grommet tells them they can get the same salary if they form up with our cavalry outside and hold. They accept.
Grommet catches up.

Palace:

Palace guard regiment is on high alert. We meet Prince on the throne. The room is some 3 stories high, huge windows in the back. “What’s the meaning of this, why have you brought the pretender Seldan here? Guards defend me!” and a line gets between us.
Percy says we’re not his enemy, only the priest. All bloodshed stops if you give me the priest.
“No, I can not do that.”
Covey says “We know you are scared of him.”
The priest steps out from behind the throne, a staff in his hand. He says to the Prince "Arrest them now, and execute him (to Percy).
The Prince says no.
Priest “Don’t forget how you became king.”
Prince “No, no!”
Percy “Don’t forget how you’ll remain king.” Draws his saber and charges to priest “Death to the usurper!”
The priest is surprised, an Percy swings mightily, but wildly for a miss (coin card). The priest backs into an alcove and opens a hidden doorway “Say hello to my friends” releasing a pack of ugly looking dog like things.
Covey says “I know those! He’s summoned Demons Dogs from Hell! They are great leapers.”
Percy leaps over a couple of the dogs for a tackle as the priest misses with a dagger, but Percy misses.
(Rt and Lf from throne point of view)
The dogs charge in. 3 on Percy hit twice 6/6; Prince is hit 4; Gawain is missed; Fr G 3 and 4 hit 5/7.
FrG 1 fire at dog who hit Prince 21 DEAD; FrG 2 fires at one of 2 on FrG4 and DEAD; FrG 3 misses one on Percy; FrG 4 misses one who attacked him. Lf G 3 hits for 3 other 2 miss; Gawain crits his 13; Bumpo runs to attack the 3 on LfG’s, biting LFg2’s for 12;Gerald hits dog on Lfg3 for 5; Covey misses Gawain’s; Martin runs around our left side to help Percy (picture taken); Kip, Crammond and Grommet guard our rear at the entry door; Will makes for Percy and hits one for 13; Percival helps Gawain and Covey hits 6; Brutus charges another behind Percy.
We hear screaming in hall outside. Door bursts open and 10 more Devil Dogs rush in. 7 pass by our 3 rear guard: AoO = Kip crit 16 DEAD, Crammond crit 11, Grommet 7. They all surround Bumpo.
(Picture taken)
Percy goes for the grapple again, hitting but failing the grapple.
Priest yells casts again.
On the lft, first 2 soldiers are hit 3/5; Dog on Gawain hit 2; 3 dogs around Percy: one hits Brutus 2, Will for 5, Percy 3; last on the princes G4 misses; Crammond is missed, Grommet is hit 7, Kip is missed; 6 on the bear (including original that turned from LfG3) = crit 6, hit 4, rest miss.
Crammond crits 11, Grommet hits 6, FrG3 and 4 double on theirs miss/5; Kip punches 4; William hits 10; Gerald crits saber 12 on the one that turned to Bumpo; RtG3 hits 3; Brutus hits 9; Covey hits 13; Martin misses the priest; Bumpo hits with 1st claw DEAD to a new; cleaves new 17; bite hits 15 same DEAD; cleaves a new 19 DEAD; gr cleave hits new 19 DEAD; gr cleave on new 13; 2nd claw hits same 22 DEAD; cleaves the original that turned on him Miss; Rt G’s guard prince still, FrG1 and 2 stay by throne guarding him as well.
Percy draws his LP blaster, AoO from priest misses, and crits 32 blowing his head off! 10 more dogs rush in through the hidden door now behind Martin. They all rush the Prince. the Rt3 Guards fire their readied shots 24/25/15; they rap around to the FrG 1 and 2 who miss their readied swords.
(picture taken)
FrG1 is hit 5/6 by 2, FrG2 is hit 2/6; LfG1 is missed, 2 is hit 6/3, 3 is hit 2/5. On RgG1 is critted 9, 2 is hit 7, 3 is missed. 1 on Percy hits 4; Will is hit 6, and Brutus 2; original dog on Fr4 misses; original who turned on bear misses; Kip is missed; Grommet is hit 3, Crammond is hit 2.
Will hits 10; Gerald crits with pistol 21 to new on from front door; then stabs 7 on one who turned on Bumpo 7; Kip steps back and fires Webley 10; RtG’s pull out sabers miss/crit 10/miss; Gawain steps to one on LfG2 4; Percival flanks with LfG1 4, All 3 LfG miss; Brutus hits 10; Prince spring attacks one on FrG1 for 8; Martin hits dog on Percy 14/8; Covey crits 21 on dog vs FrG3 and 4; Crammond misses; Grommet crits 18; Bumpo claws one who turned on him 21 DEAD; cleaves dog vs LfG2 20.
Percy quick reloads and hits 18 to dog Martin just punched twice DEAD; RtG’s miss/8 DEAD/miss ; FrG 1 adn 2 both miss; Prince misses.
Dogs: dog on RgG4 hit 3, RtG5 is missed; Will is missed; Brutus is missed; FrG 2 is hit 2; Kip hit for 3; Grommet is hit 2; Crammond is hit for 6; FrG 1 missed; FrG 2 hit 5 (each with 2 on them); RgG 1 hit 2/4; 2 hit 3; 3 hit for 7/5; LfG 1hits 8, Percival hits same 6 DEAD; LfG2 hits 6, Gawain hits same 4;Brutus hits 9; LfG 3 misses; Will hits DEAD cleaves to RtG3 miss; Gerald shoots guard on Crammond for miss; Kip misses; FrG 1 and 2 hit 3/miss; Crammond crits 12; Grommet misses; Covey helping Fr3 and 4 hits 13 DEAD; Martin hits Brutus’ 15 DEAD; Bumpo reaches the Prince’s area. Claws to dog on RtG1 18; claw same 20; bite same DEAD, cleaves other dog on same guard 16.
Percy fires again for 10 to dog on RtG3; FrG1 and 2 miss; Prince springs on 2nd on RtG1 crit 10 DEAD; RtG 3 hits same Percy shot for 15 DEAD; RtG 2 hits 12, RtG1 misses.
Dogs: Last of original dogs, on RgG’s misses; Kip is missed; Crammond is missed; Grommet is hit 7; RtG2 is hit 3; RtG 3 is hit 7; 2 on FrG1 miss/4; FrG2 missed/12.
Gerald shoots Grommet’s 12; Kip punches 11; Crammond hits 5; Grommet missed; LfG’s hit miss/9/7 on same one; Gawain hits same 8 DEAD; Percival moves to help FrG2 crit 10; Brutus helps RtG3 for 9; Bumpo flanks the 4 on Fr1 and 2 hitting same one Percival hit for 17; bite same 17 DEAD; cleave bite on next in line miss; 2nd claw hits 22; Covey misses same; Martin misses dog on RgG2.
FrG1 hits 6, FrG2 hits 4; Percy shoots on LfG2’s 10; Prince misses; LfG 1 hits 8; LfG3 misses.
Dogs: Grommet hit 4; Crammond hit 4; Kip is missed; FrG 1 missed/7; FrG2 hit 3; RtG 2 hit 3; Martin hits 12/11 on last vs RtG’s; Brutus hits same 14 DEAD; Crammond misses; Grommet hits 9 DEAD; Kip misses; Gawain charges Kip’s for crit 12; Percival vs dog on FrG2 hits 5; Lf1 crits Crammond’s on a charge 21 DEAD; RtG 5 hits Kip’s 9 DEAD; Bumpo claws same Percival hit 21 DEAD, cleaves crit 47 DEAD, gr cleaves last dog 21 DEAD.
VICTORY!!

Prince to Bumpo “You sir, will be a knight of the Realm.”
“Oh, thank you.”
Covington to Prince “Satisfied?”
He is, immediately ready to announce Seldan is truly Seldan.
Percy “Tell me truthfully, did you have anything to do with the death of your brother and father.”
“If you’re truly Seldan you know the answer to that. My father, no, that was all…him (nodding toward the priest). I had no idea about it. Not until the priest claimed to me that my brother had my father killed to become Prince, and offered me the crown.” So the priest lied to get the brother killed.
Announcement is made publicly, and its time to party. We go to let our men out of prison and find the guards at the black hole dead, our men not in there. All our NPC’s are freed, but the Martians are gone.
Percy is incensed and wants blood, asks for all known to be loyal to the priest to be rounded up immediately.
Martin insists on the officer from outside.

Back to throne room as the rounded up jailers are brought in. They don’t know what happened. They do know another was killed at the 1st door and another 2 on the path that leads to the Pit.
Suddenly, the huge stained glass windows shatter inward as…pirates….swing inward on ropes, cutting down 3 guards and wound in ga few others. It’s our pirates! Landing ready for action shouting “Up Seldan, down Gaaryan!”
Percy “Hold up, hold up!!”
Covey “Easy lads, everything is under control.”
“We came to rescue you, we recovered the ship.”
They had draws straws, the three losers pretended to reject Seldan to get out and given positions in the guard. From which they proceeded to sneak in and rescue everyone else et al.
Everything is quickly calmed down. They thought, while they were hiding on the ship, that when once the city calmed that meant we had lost.
Percy says to find his 3 best warriors to begin an elite corp to be called The Brotherhood of Seldan, and idea Percy has had brewing for several weeks now, with parts of the brotherhood all around Mars eventually. The Prince agrees.

The Party:

We are not in good state during this. Covey is drunk, and Percy is hammered, Martin is slobberingly plastered; the marines are drinking only lightly, Crammond and Kip 3 sheets to the wind, Brutus and Grommet are on guard, Bumpo also sober.
It’s a record breaking night, highest Oxford Boy water balloon drop ever!
Percy and the Prince are talking, as well as they can that is.
Bumpo smells something horrible, like bile or rotting meat. It’s getting stronger.
“My good fellows I believe there is something horrible coming.”
The pirates are mostly out for the count.
The Prince says “I’ll see what it is.”
Percy stops him so he says “Cpt, see if there is something out there.”
He opens the big doors into the hall, nothing but the stench rolls in. Percy calls him back in before he foolishly steps out. Some of the passed out drunk start to wake up and vomiting.
Then echoing footsteps. We have heard nothing of guards in hallway.
Covey “Brutus, close that door.”
He does and puts the bar across the door.
Something then starts to pound against the door but the beam is holding. After about a minute it turns and walks away.
So, what in the world was that.
Brutus offers to investigate. As he opens the door he hears screams and running within the palace. Cpt of guard says it sound like its coming from the kitchens.
Will “We need sandwiches anyway.”
Martin points to him in the affirmative.
They 3 and the cpt join him, Percy and Gerald and Covey following.
Prince orders the general alarm sounded.
The cpt makes for the barracks. Percy follows us to the kitchen. A pair of legs w/o a body lies on the ground, screaming inside. Brutus steps in.
Immensely fat man, almost 8’ tall, easily 8’ around with huge legs, not neck, nude, skin different colors and textures as if made from different grafts rather than sown. He holds in his huge hands a person thrashing and screaming until a crunch silences him. He turns to us, ans we see a mouth that is most of his head. When it opens his head practically disappears around it exposing 2 or 3 rows of teeth. He is eating the maid, half in the first bite! It disintegrates as we watch and it chews. It looks like there is some sort of supernatural void for a mouth.
It moves toward us slowly and deliberately.
“Me, Grendel.”
It stops, looking at us with bleary eyes. IT opens its mouth and sprays huge spray of stomach acid and bits 20’ long. 12 acid to Will, Martin, Sam and Percival, Gawain takes 0, Brutus, Gerald and Percy takes 6.
Brutus draws his Webley and hits 12. Round goes in, it starts to bleed green stuff. As it drops on the ground it burns like acid.
We start a strategic withdrawal, it appears he can’t go faster than a walk. Brutus keeps firing at it as we move, hitting for 7. Percy runs for the party to ready the marines’ muskets as we lead it there, Covey with him to get the detonite. They runs into a servant who asks for help, its bashing in to eat the women and children. After stopping to tell the marines to get ready they make for the servants quarters.
The think spits a gout of phlem and meat and acid hits Brutus with a splash for 6. We put more distance between us. The cpt runs up and says another ate some of the soldiers, the rest fled into the parade ground via the windows.
The ready marines hear a yell from behind, a stumbling servant moaning help me. He falls, and on his back is a huge mosquito like thing, its proboscis stuck in his back sucking. A buzzing now from that direction. The blob appears around the corner. Bumpo takes position toward the buzzing.
Brutus shoots the mosquito 10, Crammond misses it. Will hits 13 DEAD with a pop.
A swarm round the corner, about 6. Gerald hits one for 9, Martin 11.
Marines fire a volley, all 20. 9 hits: 21/14/15/13/15/19/18/15/14. It explodes in green acid splashing all surfaces and rolling down, leaving inch deep gouges in the rock. DEAD.

Percy and Covey find a soldier on his last gasp, mosquito monster attached. We pass. Covey hits with vibro 12. It detaches and strikes but misses. Covey swings 30 with vibro DEAD. Insect guts and soldier blood all over. They start reloading. Pirates are too passed out to be of any service.

At party, the mosquitos fly onto us. Brutus shoots his revolver 11; Gawain his musket for 21 DEAD; Percival misses; Gerald crits pistol 27 DEAD; Will pistol hits 12. Cecil is attacked by 2 of them miss/miss; Gawain is missed, Will is missed. Martin punches 6/10.
Merlin, in the party, says there must be a gate that the priest opened and never closed. We have to find it and destroy it.
A man comes running around corner through the acid filled corner, falling over as his feet disinigrate in it and burns to death after he yells another one is coming behind him.
At mosquito’s: Bumpo kills 2 we wound others. 2 remaining: Brutus is missed, Gawain is missed. We kill the other 2.
By the time the other blob comes, the marines are ready and kill it as well.

At servants: find the door seconds from giving way. Percy takes a longer fuse and charges it, ramming it into its butt crack! The pack disappears. That gets its attention. Percy flees around corner and it follows, it opens its mouth to spit. Butt bundle of 3 does 48, Covey hits his throw right in the mouth with another bundle of 3 for 40 but extra 25% for 50!!
DEAD!!!!!! in an explosion of gross!!! He breaths for another couple rounds before dying. Covey avoids the spash of its nastiness, Percy takes 31!!!! But nothing (card).
Percy “It’s barely a fleshwound.”

Whole palace now up and in an uproar. We use the hidden door to get to the chapel. We leave Gawain, Percival, and Brutus at party. Cpt and 6 guards lead us to chapel but they will wait at entrance. Beyond there its a maze that leads to the center of the chapel. He set it up this way several years ago. A swivel wall reveals the entrance. Immediate stench of brimstone.
Percy, Will, Gerald, Martin and Covey enter.
Giant frog appears behind us releasing a poisonous breath. All but Covey dodges, andhe makes save. It hits one soldier and almost saps all his strength. Vibro blades on!
Percy fires the LP blaster and hits 19 DEAD.
We move in and start to make our way through the maze. We go left first.
Hit a see saw trap floor but jump forward.
6spear trap out of wall at Percy and Covey in front. Covye hit 12, Percy 8/11. Dead End.
We have to try to jump the dropping half of the trap. Covey and Martin jump to other side and stand there to counter the weight and the rest walk across.
Back at entrance, we go left.
Covey has a brilliant idea, let’s go out, get the navy, and blow this place to hell!
We go out and do so, blowing the central roof open into the central main room. A huge demon stands in the rubble looking up and takes flight for us.
2 city navy ships: Both lobs miss, both rod guns hit 11 total. 2 heavy guns hit 21/6 and 1 crits 41. It definitely has good DR.
Nimrod: rogue hits 14; gattling hits for 15.
Prince of Parhoon: rod hits 4; 2 heavies hit 6/8. They did no damage.
Covey “I say, that was terrible men!”
It is coming through roof.
Nimrod heavies hit 4/22; quick firing rogue hits 22; gattling gun hits for 10
Prince’s heavies hit 19/21
4 heavies from navy miss/jam/15/miss.
10 marines fire from their navy: 2 hits for 14/10. He lands among the marines. We fly to board the ship.
It kills 2 on our approach. We board.
The marines fight back with swords but they are useless against it.
Annabelle’s shot misses. Covey with air sniping rifle misses. Gerald hits pistol 14, Percy 18 with the blaster. Gawain and Percival miss with muskets.
The cpt orders all to back away now! It strikes quicker, killing another and almost a second. Covey hits 23 directly to wound points! Percy crits for 32 with blaster!!Gerald shoots for 13. William charges with vibro blade as the troops retreat and a heavy gun fires at point blank for 14. Will misses. Annabelle misses.
He begins to fly away. 3 of all our heavies hit 14/13/20; gattling hits 18; Annabelle hits 11; Percy blaster 20; rogue from Nimrod hits 8; 2 navy rod guns miss/14; 20 marines fire secondary muskets and DESTROY IT!!!!!!
We find that the rubble destroyed the gate which was a mirror!!!!

View
Voyage Continues over the Mts

RECORDING

Now travelling all day and night.
Day 1: 360 miles
Day 2: 300
Day 3: 180
Day 4: 360
Day 5: 300
Day 6: 180

Over mountains with no problem into sea bed near town of Aram.

As we come out over mts, 2 ships appear on an intercept course.
Through our spyglass, they are high martians on sky lords. Crew of over 60; each mounts 12 guns (6 per side) and 2 aft. Their guns can only fire from sides but for aft guns.
An emissary flies for us, a single High Martian. Annabelle has her rifle trained on him, but Percy says let him come.

Recording

Kip hits for 9, Gerald 10, Percy 11, wife 6, Martin 7, Robin Hood 6, Merrry men miss, Davenport 8, #1 13, Brutus 12, Crammond and Grommet miss, Will misses.
Martin missed/crit 13 ;Crommet hit 5; #1 hit for 8; Percy hit twice 2/3 (armor blocked); Gerald hit 7; William missed; wife hit 6; merry men all missed.
Martin hits 13/5; Grommet misses; Crammond hits 4; Jerry hits 5; Annabelle crit DEAD; Covey misses, Kip misses.

Recording

1 marine at 7 wound pts.
Sagrimore at neg 5
Lohengrin at neg 6
Brutus: I see something on the horizon. Martin climbs up the rigging with a spyglass "A small kite. Don’t recognize it. Brutus meets him and takes the glass “It’s a little bird of passage. Black Sails.”

They seemed to have been watching and are now high tailing it. Every once in a while we see it dogging us along our way.

Day 8: Port at Deucalonis, part of Tossian Empire, in the morning,
One of the Emperor class ships comes out to meet us. It’s…big. It sails above us, casting an intimidating shadow. Has us land at a airfield. The Tossians have a quality air force. Nice shipyard. There is a ship being built right now but covered with huge canvas.
We land.
Canal Martian meets us with a scribe and 2 ceremonial guards. He approaches the Nimrod, flying a flag of Seldan under the British flag.

Recording

Friendly or not, we can’t leave the ship until he gets things sorted out. By mid afternoon a crowd has gathered outside the gates of the airfield “kill the red devils!” There has been another warcrime by nearby Belgians. Signs they have read “kill the Belgians”. Percy orders Percival and Gawain to go to them and join in their chanting to try to show them we aren’t the same as Belgians. He gets Covey to show the Brit flag to symbolize the Brits on their side.
One old man breaks arm through fence as if reaching for us “death to the red Belgian!” The are frantic.
Percival tries to tell them in Martian that these red devils aren’t Belgian, but English. How offensive!
Belgians recently wiped out a village nearby, raped women and put babies on bayonets; brought one of their Congo regiments here, cannibals, who ate the dead and cut the hands off of their kills to prove to their command. They call them Black Devils.
“You brought the black devils!!! You!!!
Percival can’t reason with him at first, but after several minutes of Percy aiding Percival the leader and his crowd grow indifferent. Percy invites the man to talk in private on the ship.
Percy “Martin, ready some of your finest brandy.”
“You mean Guinness?”
“Yes, Guinness.”
The man has tatoos on arms, ID’d by one of our Martians as Canal Keeper tatoos!
Covey recommends being careful with this guy, in terms of how you present yourself to him. Not too brazen, though difficult for Percy. One of our martrians says he was an air captain.
They walk aboard, inviting the man into the cabin and pooring brandy. The guy tells one of his 2 men accompanying him to follow him in, the other stay outside. Covey and Percival join.
The man removes his cloak, revealing seamens attire. He has mannerisms and earrings of earth, specifically cloud captains. He is therefore fairly widely travelled. Probably knows well the difference tween Belgian and English.
Percy of course decked out in his Sigius Portus breastplate, English tassels….A handful of Seldan’s symbols.
Percy “What are you the captain of?”

Recording

They agree to let us port here and give us the what we need to work on our ship equipment. Covey and Scotty are going to add mods to the guns and add turrets to the guns as well.
The Prince agrees to an audience with Percy day after our arrival.
Martin, Brutus, Number 1 and Percival join Percy at palace.
Chancellor takes us into throne room. Prince is maybe 40 yrs old, 1 arm over back of chair, one leg up, very relaxed. He talks to his advisers who look more like freebooters and soldiers.
Seems weak prince, but probably cause he can afford to be. These guys all his friends and classmates from the military academy.
They study a map of the Tossian Empire and west into half of Caprates Valley. Obviously they are trying to hurt the Belgians w/o open war. Most of their troops in royal army, they discuss how to manipulate some of them to be sent back here to strike Belgian interests. As we approach they cease talking and put on fancier cloaks.
Prince “Ah, our visitors from Earth.” As the map is covered with a drape.
“Come over here.” He introduces all of his advisers.
They are like fancy men as in ‘charmed, I’m sure’.
As Covey told Percy as he left the ship, and Martin reminds him, Percy thanks him for his hospitality and use of airfield. Percy is invited back for a royal dinner the following night. Then audience is over.
As we leave, Percival kind of ducks out while no one is really watching and slips behind a tapestry. We easily noticed that security is highly lax here.
They start talking again of the plan as the map is revealed.
They talk of needed a couple ships that can’t be traced back to us “Those guys looked pretty soft to me”.
Another “Don’t be so sure, I think there is a toughness to these red men you didn’t see. We may not want to try to take their ships from them.”
“You thing they could defeat the army?”
“NO, but I do think some ships could get damaged in the attempt. I think we should ask for their assistance.”
Prince “Too late for that, they already think we’re fancy men.”
“Maybe we can make it worth their while.”
“Well, tomorrow night they’ll all be ehre, we could take care of htem then/”
“I don’t like the idea of killing these Englishmen.”
Prince “Then what do we do?”
“I think we make them an offer.”
Prince “What if they refues?”
“There will be more of us than there will be them. We capture them, put them in prison, and use their ships. Then let them go when we are through with them.”
Other guy “Or just kill them.”
They are planning a strike under pirate flags into the Caprates to kill or capture the governor!!
Percival then sneaks along the wall of tapestries to the nearby servant door. At first opportunity, but not until late evening as they are drinking heavily, he sneaks out when Prince’s wife breaks things up. The ladies in waiting come in, the girlfriends of the advisers.
He relays all the info back at the ship.
So, what to do.
Percival suggests attending the dinner with a preemptive strike, killing entire leadership. 2nd plan, volunteer our services but not actually do it, just leave.
Covey suggests working around the clock to finish the work and leave before dawn OR attend the meeting, say no, assume we can fight our way out and leave fast if they do try to take us (If we do that, we should then send out a sabotage crew to disable the rudders on the ships that would likely chase us).
We decide on that idea until we hear what they have to say, so Covey and his engineers successfully do the disabling.
All PC’s will go to the party, plus Igrane; we decide to just say no thanks and see what happens. Brutus wears the Abe Lincoln top hat, 7 1/2".
Prince “Do I have any traitors here, anyone unfaithful? Good, then let’s talk strategy.”
Nothing.
“Good, Major Lord Percy, we have a proposition for you.” He lays out their plan to kidnap the Gov. of New Amsterdam and hand him over to Nektar. They will likely use him to force a treaty to keep Belgians from moving out of Caprates. They ask us to do the raid as we can not be traced back to them.
Percy “Well, here’s the issue…” Cannon fire!
Prince “Are you attacking the city?”
PErcy “Why would we do that?”
Percival “Oh, boy, their ships are disabled.”
The prince orders all to the air. We rush to our ships.
A false Tossian ship snuck in, blew up a small patrol ship, and now head for the shipyard.
We RUN. The Black Avenger rises to meet us, with only about a quarter of its crew.
It then drops a load of bombs across yard going for our ships but miss, one right next to the Prince of Parhoon and damages the side.
Emperor starts rising with a half crew but then starts to list back and forth thanks to our sabotage.
Covey “They must have sabotaged it.”
Prince “You’re right, its the Cult of the Worm” as they raise a cult flag.
Martin “Why would they attack you (ahem).”
Prince “They are going after you!”
The Prince of Parhoon can’t get up because of damage to steering mechanism. The crew says its not repairable quickly. Percy orders the Nimrod into battle. The Avenger trades shots with the enemy ship, a cruiser of the Tossians or made to look like one, Sword Class Screw Galley! It’s huge!

Black Avenger limps back, another scout ship lands and leaps aboard, gives orders, and leaps off. His 2nd in command gets on and takes off. The cult ship is leaving before the city wall guns start to fire upon it.
Prince says he sent his scout ship to tail it. He apologizes, promises our ship will be repaired tomorrow. As soon as we repair the sabotage we’ll be chasing after it. Now he’s not sure they were real worm, as most are High Martians.
Captain Karnake reports to Prince: Ship had Canal Martians with some Hill Martians. Says damage to the ship will take a week to repair around the clock.
They also need to find the Emperor’s sabotage. Percy recommends his chief science officer Covington, who gladly takes the job.
Prince then suggests to go and handle our business at Garyan, since it will take at least a week for them to be ready, and come back if we can.
Percy asks if Karnake and a couple of his men want to join us to Garyan since his ship is down. He agrees, taking 5 men.

So, our ship is ready by next morning and we leave late morning.

Day 1: 360 miles
Day 2: 600
We arrive!!!

View
Sigeus Portis
The High Martians Attack!

April 2

Arrive Sigeus Portis.

Escorted in by 2 sweeper scouts who intercept us about 40 miles outside. We tow the ship to the naval yard where we dock.
Fairly large amount of freedom here, for instance starting a business is easy here if you have a merchant protector/benefactor/promoter.
Take our wounded to medical facilities.
Our audience with Prince in 3 days, after Percy’s hospital stay where the Prince, upon hearing of the reason for our delay, sends his personal physician.
Covey, Grant and Scottie make the small repairs to the NImrod necessary.Covey also spends time in invention research.

April 5

Dinner with Prince, lots of merchants and army officers, who hit on Annabelle. Luckily Percy puts Covington in charge of her ‘protection’ so the advances stop soon enough. Percy notices many of the merchants, especially a particular skinny one, don’t seem to like us much.
Percy of course talks about his future tin, and they are extremely interested. Tin is rare here. Percy butters them with the possibilities of this being his tin import hub on Mars.
Hamonius Bilba and M. Glavius Silva really probe the possibilities of cornering the market. A woman objects to their scheming.
All do a simple bow to prince out of reverence. We find out he is not allowed by law to enter into business ventures, but he owns large tracks of land from which he makes great cash from. Taxes are used for civic and military upkeep.
Royal family stays out of the businesses, both sides are happy here.
Prince shows us his ‘collection’: table that is a topographic map, with tiny airships made with real liftwood floating above it tethered to fine wire. The models he builds himself, very very impressive. All the rigging and liftwood panels move. Its genius.
We’re invited to sit at upper table with him.
A bell rings in the distance, High Martians moving on Sevonus Lacis in force! One of their towns south on the canal. Prince becomes all action. We say the Nimrod is coming with them, they are all for it.

They get 2 hullcutter fleets, 2 merchant ships packed with troops, and us under way.

First a victory in the air pg 17; bottom 0:4:00

Land at palace after aerial victory.

Large Land Battle the next morning. Bottom pg 17; Restart

Our side is victorious. Over 4000 enemy are killed. Over 400 of our side killed! It is a heavily lopsided victory.

April 6

Back to Sigeus Portis and palace for a visit with the Prince. Oenetrians, we find, used the Hill Martians to attack. There was a small attack on the capitol but it failed while we were gone, but even got as far as street to street. Some people were kidnapped.
There is a celebration, and they give us their gratitude.
Percy is given a quality suit of armor. Percy assures they will go down as great allies of us, and slyly brings up how great it would be if some marines from here would travel with us.
That night, we go out for a night on the town! There is a very small human population here, but there is a single human pub. We hit that first. About a dozen humans and the same of Martians in human like dress. We walk in like our usual boisterous selves. One human is wearing a martian desert attire like he just walked in from the wilds. Non military boots, more explorer type, but also a pair of green rifle regiment pants, drinking a snifter of brandy.
Not many women in this bar. We joke about leaving soon.
A 3 man Martian band starts to play, some traditional Martian dance starts by some patrons. Percy and Covey with Percival approach the desert man and sit with him. His name is Aristotle. He’s a scout, spy, general agent for England, has been in the Martian Guides out of Sirtus Major but knows Archimedes. Was sent a heliograph message by Archie to seek us out. Finally found us by accident, but a few friends of his have disappeared to the north in the desert.
Shows us 2 Sirtis Star clippings: a tremor in Moab Desert on Feb. 16, felt as far away as Sigius Portis; geological survey team dispatched; then, team is missing, led by Dr. Fairbanks and Lillian DeWitt. Reward offered. 50L reward by paper for info and 300L reward for their return to Sigius Portis. We get the info on their destination.

April 7

Spend the day working on ship, and provisioning for the short land expedition. Percival and Gawain will stay here with the pirates, spreading the word of Seldan to try to get some more men. The crew stay
All the 5 PC’s will go, 6 handlers and such, and 5 Guides with Aristotle, plus Kipper, Crammond and Grommet.

April 8

Depart first thing in morning. First couple days or so is through settled territory, all disguised in Martian garb. Once an Oenetrian scout ship flies over and by but nothing results from it.
1st day: hear a strange buzzing noise. Dirge flies!

00:50:00 top pg 18

Sewer

Willy leads us into sewer to rescue Lillian. Parceval and Gawain join us as Will is taken to hospital.
Gawain say “watch out for Galag Po. A sewer creature, 6’ long, long teeth, reptilian, always hungry. Eat anything that moves.”
Martin “How common are they?”
“Not too many cause they eat each other too. Usually you only run into 1. But at times a whole colony. Especially during breeding season.”
Covey “How can you tell if they’re coming?”
“You don’t until their right on top of you. And they hide under the filth and wait. Martian sewer rats, sometimes come into the streets and steal the occasional dog.”
Willy “We must hurry before doctor tortures young lady.”
Martin “He tortures them eh.”
“No, most he just changes. But he say he teach her who is master and who is grovelling slave.”
A splash ahead. Willy looks around nervously “We must go back, its an eater, its an eater.”
Gerald hears it coming and warns Martin as it is about to attack. It spashes out at him and Martin jumps to the other side over its gaping maw landing on the other side. Gerald slashes at it 10. End surprise round.
Gerald hits 6/dagger miss, Martin jumps on its back and punches it in the neck for 6; Gerald makes opportunist attack 10; Tail misses Gawain, imprinting in the stone; Covington hits with sword 10 DEAD.
Covey “That’s easy!”
Keep going, and at T intersection Willy forgets way.
Bangs head on wall “Willy just so stupid!” We stop him from hurting himself. A few moments later “Me know, this way” to right. Just then we hear a female scream from left “That way”.
We rush, and suddenly he stop “Here we are.”
Nothing is there.
Covey “Is the door secret?”
Willy “NO, WIlly know.” There is, he opens it. “See, no secret, Willy knows.”
Down a corridor there are electric lights. We rush on.
Row of cages along the wall, with animals in them. Couple are ape like, maybe earth. Most are Martian creatures. Inside the Baron is standing in his pseudo german uniform, puffing on big cigar. In front of him Lillians tied up semi nude (ripped and torn), legs tied by ankles and knees stapled to floor, rope tied to waste from above her so she is sitting back. Another rope on shoulders to wall behind her so she can;t move, hands tied above her head holding a rope that goes through a pulley and back down to a hatch on a metal bucket suspended above her chest. The door on it will open if a lever is pulled out. The lever has a rope on it running to another pulley to a tray with large metal weights at other end of rope. So, she is holding the weight up so that it does not open.
He yanks on it a bit and a couple hot coals drop onto her. Then he puts another weight on.

Recording

Ape attack:

Covey “Save the girl.”
“Oh, let me take care of one thng first.” Takes the cigar from his mouth and puts it on her nipple and puts another weight on the tray."
Covey moves for the ape as the unaffected ape attacks the other. Martin and Gerald rush to free the girl.
Percival and Gawain follow Covey; Saw Sword turned on; Baron misses LP;
Covey hits 20. Our martians miss, LP crit 13, Baron crits Percy 16. Martin rushes to girl.
Other 2 apes go at it. Ape hits covey 13 total.
Martin and Gerald get weights off and coals from above her.
Percy hits 9; Gerald gives her her jacket; Baron hits LP 7 (card halved it); Percival hits 1; Martin cuts girl free; Gawain hits 4; Ape attacks Covey and misses with all 3.
The apes kill each other.
LP misses; Covey misses the ape; Baron hits 8, steps and opens an individual cage “My feral Moon Man will kill you.”
It picks up its spear and stabs at the Baron “That spear doesn’t work on me!” and hits 12;
Percival hits ape 4; Gawain misses; Ape attacks Covey ("I say, there’s 1 2 3 of us, can’t you count). It hits both claws. Martin and Gerald get the girl out into the hallway.
Percy, with 1 fatigue left, pulls the revolver and shoots Baron 20 (makes save); Sam kills the ape “Thanks men” to our Martians ‘A valiant effort". Gerald re enters room; Baron opens 2 more cages, AoO by Moon Man misses. One is a croc Gulag Po like thing from earlier, the other is a bear like creature but with a glint of intelligence. Baron yells to it “Get the woman, my pretty!”
Percival and Gawain rush the Gulag Po crit 12/10; Gulag Po attacks Gawain miss; the Bear thing charges to hall after women. Sam’s AoO 17; Bear reaches Martin and Gerald, claws Martin 9 and grapples Martin. Percy fires at Baron miss/surge 11; Gerald hits bear 12 cutlass/7 dagger; Covey charges bear 19; moon man stabs Baron 14; Baron, badly hurt, opens one last cage "Now face my greatest creation and die!!); Percival hits G Po 7, Gawain hits it 8; Martin “I’ve got him right where I want him” 25 and a gout of blood spews from its mouth. G Po attacks Gawain miss and catches his teeth in a workbench (fumble); The bear drops Martin and full attacks him: 1 claw hits 13, other misses as does bite.
New creature like some kind of giant squid, but a land creature. Only found in deepest desert on Mars. They are horrible opponents but his serum actually backfired and weakened it. Its tentacles hit the Baron twice 9/7 miss as 2 others miss!! DEAD!! It attacks moon man with 4 other tentacles hitting three times for 21, and grapples #1 as it sloshes out of the cage. Percy shoots it 8. Gerald hits bear 12; Lillian appears with her derringer 7; Sam takes it down DEAD. Against Gulag Po, Percival misses, Gawain crits 16; moon man escapes grapple! Martin pulls revolver on the move and fires at squid but misses, its AoO with reach hits 6 and grapples Martin; Lillian reloads; Willy who had been lurking around stuff leaps upon the crocodile with an iron bar from the furniture the croc bit and hits 10.
Gulag Po clears its mouth of debris; squid constricts Martin 11; #1 hit once 6 and grapples him; Percy is missed twice; Gerald is missed; 4 tentacles on crocodile all hit 30 total and it grapples croc; it bites the squid 23.
Percy shoots squid 14, its AoO hits 8 fails grapple; Lillian fires 4; Sam rushes at the squid and hits 15, Gerald follows and hits 10 DEAD!! #1 performs a power lunge for 15; Percical crits 10 DEAD!!
Lilian puts bullet in the groin of the dead Baron, then through the roof of his mouth.

End adventure.

We go back to surface and tell cops what happened.
Medical attention for Percy now as well as Will. We have to make our report to police, making a medical examination of Lillian.

Back at ship, Scotty meets us “Lord Percy, there is a lizard man here to see you, from Venus.”
LP “Right, bring him to my office” which is right next to that sail.
It is Thyman from our adventures there.
Percy “I shall call you Brutus.”
We are happy to see him and he is welcomed with open arms.
“Had a jolly good time in the swamps with you in my homeland. I craved a bit more of it, and was afraid I’d never get off the planet to see you. Then the British agent there sent me by courier ship with a message for you.”
There are 2: They believe that the poison gas that we uncovered in north Africa is not from Mars, but on Venus! They would like us to look into it. See if there is a group of Cult of the Worm or Ground Cleansers operating off of Venus.
Second is from someone in England named Archimedes: an agent of his has uncovered a possible cult worshiping old one on Venus, he is sending a group to investigate. We are the backup if anything happens to them.
He joins us permanently.

View
Voyage to Gharyan Begins

Gerald decides to sail not coal. Grant decides to come with Annabelle after all, this is too important to abandon us for the sake of repairs.
Cleaning continues as we fly.
First day travel, 25th: 300 miles
Second day travel, 26th: 300 miles

Something hits the sails, a tether mine probably lost from another ship who knows when. Will gets there and cuts it loose with 2 sailors.

3rd day travel, 27th: 360 miles

Pirate attack, ship to ship fight! Through spyglass, Percy sees that dastardly woman who led the attacking force at the hotel! Percy calls for a full frontal charge and boarding. It’s a whisper death. Rod forward, 2 heavy guns aft and 1 on each side, 2 torpedoes and 2 fire wracks.

Insert Battle, pg 17, 2nd session listed

Fight ends with a bunch of the pirates joining with us. The chic escapes in a fast launch after initiating a self destruct explosive. Covington races below to try to stop it but it blows and crashes, Covey none the worse for ware (card). It only blows hole and cracks the hull enough that it goes down fairly hard. There is a lot of liftwood to salvage as well as the guns in tact.

It takes long into the next day for Sam an Scottie to patch up enough so that it floats well enough to tow.

morning 29th

We fly on, a 5 day trip to Sigeus Portis.

View
Parhoon! Our introduction to Martian city life.
needs expanding

March 16

Arrive Parhoon

We stay at the Prince Albert hotel, a European place obviously.
We need to find out about Gharyan.
It’s a known city, hundreds of miles away. It’s the base of the canal keepers.

We get things straightened out with the salvage and all, passengers safety seen to and generally settle in. Grant’s ship is not quite as bad as he first thought, a week or 2 of repairs so we get that set up. Grant and I get to work on that throughout the day. :Percy argues for the surrendered enemy, as promised, but to no avail. The Martian governor will hang them all within days.
We bury poor Benson.
We are invited by Dr. Grace at dinner, and our allied passengers, to the Grand Opening of the Parhoon Cricket Club.
We go out site seeing at night. Grant arranges a late dinner for he and Annabelle so he can keep her from going out with Martin. Several taverns/pubs catering to humans is where we start for now. Kip joins us of course. As well as Crammond.
Notes:
Some martian women are quite attractive.
Inter species breeding is not possible.

At tavern, Percy is noticeably gone at one point, upstairs to as bartender says “enjoy the garden of heavenly delights”.
Covington “A martian woman then?”
“He desired to experience them both…at once.”
We leave him to it. Kip is experiencing his own Martian ecstasy. Just a martian woman for him.
The rest of us keep partying and drinking.
A Martian introduces himself to us, knowing who we are and claims to know why we came, that he “shares the interests” of the canal keepers. Asks to speak with us privately.
Covey “I’d rather wait for our fearless leader.”
He claims to not have much time, and Martin says he smells a trap. Covey offers to fetch Percy, but he says not to bother him “I will be back.”
Martin “What’s your name?”
“Cramsib.”
Upstairs, Percy is attacked by a martian thug and a chase ensues through the streets, ending at an old vacant building.
They kidnap Kip.

top 17; 20:00 (see notes for a few missed attacks)
They yell something about ‘the worm that walks’.
They have Kip, and they want to trade him for the amulet. It’s Cramsib. Notice tatoos on his neck.
We rescue Kip; await and capture Cramsib the ringleader;

Authorities take Cramsib away. We go to the hotel to get a few hours sleep, its dawn by now.
Recognize Moriarty/O’Reilly at the hotel bar as we walk in! Percy and Covey sit with him. It’s as if he doesn’t even know us.
Percy “Moriarty?:”
“Father Moriarty, yes.”
Percy “Don’t play games with me, Irish?”
“I am Irish, what are you talking about? Do I know yoiu gentlemen?”
Percy “How did you get out of jail? I just turned you in.”
“I haven’t been to jail.”
Percy “Were you on the Alexandria?”
“No.”
Percy “Oh bloody hell.”
Covey “How long have you been on Mars?”
“8 years. Last time I was on Earth was 3 years ago.”
Covey “And you’re a Minister here.”
“Yes. I run the Parhoon mission for the church of England. I know what this is about though, gentlemen.”
Percy “Have you ever had anyone impersonating you?”
“Not uintil recently. Evidently some rascal, possibly a Fennian, impersonated me adn did who knows what nefarious business on Earth and then returned on the Alexandria.”
Covey “He did, we were aboard as well.”
Percy “Don’t play games with me, O’Reilly.”
“Ah, I see.”
“I assure you my good man, I am not O’ Reilly.”
We believe he is telling the truth.
Covey “Sorry to mistake you for that horrible fiend, an enemy of the crown and all.”
“I’m glad we could get that straightened out.
Covey “Seems that way.”
Moriarty “If I or anyone in my flock can assist you while you are on Mars, just ask.”
Covey “Where is your mission?”
Moriarty “Just down the canal.”

March 17

Martan goes to the police station, since he’s a drunk and use to no or little sleep, to make sure O’ Reilly is there, though he’s not O ‘Reilly either. His name is Dennis Doogan, a Lt. of O ’Reilly.
He finds out the tatoo is common among the Worm cult. The cult is not illegal on Mars. They and Canal priests do hate each other, but like many faction of different religions do. No violence here on Mars, though they did in London.
In Shapstash uprising, the Canal Priests were killed as Ground Cleansers sided with anti human side as did Worm cult.
Questioning of Cramsib shows that the cult of the worm want us all dead, that “It is important for all Mars we are not allowed to live.” Claims we were “brought here under a ruse by the Canal Keepers. The rest of mars wants us dead. Something about bringing a red death back to save Mars and kill us.” He gives a sign, but we have never seen it before.
He goes back to report to the others. We rest the day away until the cricket match. Boarding a cab we make our way there.
Riff raf begins to surround us and we tell the driver to make haste but nothing happens.
Cricket club is brand new, the first on Mars. Some Martians have taken to learning the game and some are quite good.
Match is between Army and Nave, but first Grace “takes on the cream of both teams in a virtuoso display”. 1st regiment of Parhooni rifles play the opening music.
Governor reveals a plaque commemorating the occasion.
Young martian woman says she sent by Father Moriarty to help us. Her name is Spoolin Danoos. She’s a Christian convert.
Grace’s score rapidly mounts as we talk.
A screaming out of the sky, High Martian going for the Dr. who smashes the next ball right into the flying creature. KO’d. Authorities take it away. Grace continues his exhibition.
Percy assumes the High Martian could not be acting alone. Spoolin says the cult of the worm originated among High Martians. We got to police who have it in custody.
Some HM in Parhoon are mercs serving on ships. Very unusual seeing a naked high martian here. He only sneers at the translator. He’ll only say “All those who came aboard the Alexandria must die, for the great worm as a need of its own.”
Covey “They just want to kill this special person, whoever he is. Since they don’t know his or her ID, they plan to just kill everyone.”
They throw him into a cell.
Cops say the cult hasn’t side with anyone in the war vs Enetrians. If they do, it’ll make things that much more difficult.
The high martian dies in a pool of his own blood in his cell, ripping himself open. We check it out:
Covey sees its old tatoos, worm cult all over. But, one on arm looks much fresher. Looking closer, its not a tatoo but painted on. A picture of the amulet of Seldan.
Grant “We had better keep that amulet hidden from sight.”
We are asked to visit the governor after the match and we agree.

He says great deal of unrest, after Canal Keeper’s assassination. Warns us to stay out of trouble or he’ll throw us in jail. Worried that Moriarty’s conversions will upset some factions, Fennians and anarchists….
He knows about the amulet, and says do not let anyone know we have it. The cult of the worm will kill you for it. He can’t spare a ship for us to fly to Gharyan
“We’ll try to keep a low profile.” That’s laughable.
“You want to help? Get that amulet out of the city as soon as possible, find out who killed that priest, watch out for Moriarty, and keep the factions from killing each other.”
Basically, everything that is his job.
Spoolin will stay with us as local aid and guide.
Martin “Percy and Kip’s would be kidnappers need to be questioned. Rigorously.”
Covey to Percy “Let the Irish do it. That’s not the work of proper British gentlemen.”
The Gov gives us the go ahead and all the leeway we need.

The Celts go to work. 2 of them die in the interrogation.
Essentially:
They are members of the Cult of the Worm
Have been actively working agains the Canal Keepers
They know we have the amulet and they want it
For some reason they want us dead.
Hill Martian attack on Grace part of same thing

Governor desires us out even moreso now with the worm cult organizing against us. It’ll be bad for the colony if they turn overtly anti British. He makes the repairs on the ship a priority.
Back to the hotel after dinner and meet Hiriam Pressburger (he’s an American), difference expert from the voyage, and his wife Anne at the bar. We sit for cigars and brandy to his toast"To our health, our president, and you’re Queen". He tells us of Martian priests who visited his offices in Parhoon 2 years ago with a great quantity of scrolls and complicated equations to be solved. Paid in gold and supervised every step. This was under my predicessor. One martian was an old man who carried an abacus with him. Like a very complex navigation but strangely different.
Final result 3 or 4 numbers of 10 to 12 digits. The priests insisted on the burning of all evidence but for what they took away.
Guys at the office remember the head priests name a Zinker or something similar.
Covey “Could it have been Zeen Kir?”
“Could have been. They seemed satisfied but disturbed by whatever answers they saw in the results.
So, Johnny, was this 2 or ‘10 or 12’ years ago?? You say both within minutes.
They say they have no material left.

He suddenly yells “Anne” and he races up the ramp. We follow and hear shots. An officer appears at the top of the ramp, firing. Then 3 shots hit him and he falls dead. Rounding the corner, patrons are screaming and running. Suddenly a hill martian steps out of a room following a panicked woman, grabs her and cuts her throat. More are coming down from the floor above! Crammond rushes out of his room, sword in one hand and pistol in the other, and shoots that hill martian dead “I saw out the window, they have a ship on the roof!” Seeing us “It’s my jolly partners!” On the other side, Kip comes out of his room and engages one, disarming it and stabbing it down with its own blade.

Battle; schematic pg 17; start

Grant unveils his aether ray energy rifle with tank on back and helmet: effect is as an old sci fiction ray, like they scratched up the film for the special effect. DC 16 to make it work.
We save Pressburger’s wife from being taken alive.
A woman is recognized aboard the Hill Martian ship as it escapes: a martian translator from the Alexandria voyage. Canal martian who worked at British Museum, travelled here to claim inheritance from uncle who died. She seems to be captain of the ship. Probably who killed Zeen Kir with the hatpin!
Percy hacks on the Marquesse’s son, and his effeminate nature, so the Marq challenges Percy to a hand to hand brawl the next night!
The hotel gives us our bill and apologetically asks us to vacate the premises. Too much danger to patrons with us around. A couple other hotels politely decline our stays as well. We meet back up with Spoolin at the British embassy, Cramden and Kip have been thrown in with us.
Cov “Well Kip, you;re thrown in with us now. Everyone is out to kill you.”
The regency makes room in the barracks forus. Grant’s ship is in the Parhoon naval yard being repaired. Security is very tight already considering recent troubles.

March 18

Spoolin takes us to Father Moriarty’s mission 16 miles up the canal via canal boat. We make it there by the end of the day. We sleep a lot along the way.
Grant stays behind, insisting niece does the same to supervise repair of the ship. Percy hires a solicitor to begin supervising the financial aspect. The officials give us a few months to pay the entire thing back.

Moriarty’s looks like a fort, like a walled mission in Mexico but stronger. There are bullet marks. There is a watch tower, 2 cannons on swivels, and a dock. Huge veg garden, flower garden, a sweeping lawn all around the place. Cultivation, huts. Moriarty greets us at dock. He’s an Anglican. We are invited in for Martian Coffee (bitter and spicey). It’ll be acquired for most of us.
Says worm cult definately out for us, that by itself is serious. He has met Zeen Kir, he was THE head of the canal priests even though he didn’t let on. He asks what he was doing on Earth and we tell him. He finds it ridiculous as they have no use for our religion at tall. Says the center of their worship is in Garyan. 4000 mile journey.
Right where Kir told us to go.
Percy “We shall do it.”
Said we must go to temple and said the word ‘Seldan’.
Moriarty says he’s regarded as a god hero, built temples.
We show him the amulet. Say Kir also talked to his companion of getting someone there safe.
Moriarty calls for his servants and he holds it up. They all bow and murmer ‘Seldan’.
Moriarty says its blessing was a dupe, the amulet is 100000 years old. Most sacred artifact on Mars. Should never leave temple. Not long ago half of Mars were worshipers of Canal religion. They don’t hate the red man. Word has leaked that they have made some kind of change to their dogma, that red men are brothers of the Martians.
Some time ago, a group of canal priests went to IBM for calculations. Brit gov’t considered the tech to be protected tech, so priests came to me since I respect all, but for cult of the worm. He interceded with them and convinced IBM to let them. The did all of this to come up with a date and place by their calculations. For what they didn’t say.
Covey “Maybe they succeeded.”
M “Perhaps they did.” He shows us the calculation!
The place is London, 412 Grand Regency Hotel. The date, Covington realizes quickly and matter of factly,
“Percy, this is the year before we were born.”
“Looks like 9 months before I was born.”
“Its your conception, old man!”
“My parents had regular rooms at the Grand!”
Any one else wouldn’t believe its true, but we do. They think Percy is the reincarnation of Seldan.
M says go home, don’t do it. You can’t go there. Who knows what they’ll do if they think you’re the reincarnation. Its one of the few religiously ruled cities. The prince defers to the high priest, who would defer to Seldan. If they every discover you aren’t Seldan, they’ll kill you.
The priests probably all are in the know about this. The worm cult surely knows someone on the Alexandria is supposed to be Seldan. We need to stamp them out.
He offers for us to stay here since Parhoon is too hot for us. Insists we should really think this through (going to Garyan). Its 4000 miles!
Think, HA!
We decide to stay for the night, he gives Covey access to his library. Covey spends all his time there.

  • A few years before Edison came here, local canal keepers withdrew from society. That’s why they have lost favor. They don’t keep the canals anymore hence the drying and silting. Just recently the effects are hitting big.
    Seldan killed a couple of years before Edison came. That terrible blow sent them packing and hiding.

Looks like they need their Seldan back!
We discuss sending an envoy, but its a long and dangerous trip.
M says “if you are determined to go on this journey, let me give you a gift.”

Covey starts plotting our trip assuming we can fly.

March 20

We go back to Parhoon. Going through Market, Percy is having a big Seldan complex. Covey says he’s going to see Grant and work on the ship.
Percy feels a tug at his clothes as someone tries to pilfer him. Luckily, he gave Covey the amulet to keep!
Percy grabs the arm of a 3 or 4 year old Martian boy. He goes to point out who made him do it when he is shot in the back. Percy and the celts give chase immediately. Through the markets, we get strung out.

pg 17, schematic, 3:43:00

We catch him and beat the tar out of him. 4 thugs start approaching. Martin takes the assassins nasty dagger. They don’t like Red Devils, so another brawl. They are taken to jail after a drubbing at our hand.
We check in with our friends to let them know we are back.
Crammond insists on joining us on our voyage! Kip will come as well.
Back to our military quarters.

March 21

Percy shows up to fight Marq but is a bit beat up thanks to Kip’s antics so Marq, as a gentleman, agrees to put the fight off.

Find a rust bucket ship that needs a lot of work. Covey loves it immediately, sees it as a challenge, and wants it badly. It’s 1000 pounds for the Nimrod and repairs. We pay out of our L8000 salvage pay for the anarchist ship. They insist 2 weeks or more to clean up. Covington gets to work with a crew aided by Grant who takes break from repairs on his ship. 3 days, though still dirty, its ready to fly! We schedule to leave on the 25th. Get to work immediately.

Will notices a Martian who turns out to be a bomber, while work is going on. Cops shoot him dead. Its defused by beer.
We definitely have to get out of here quick.
During repairs, the others get supplies together.
Crammond and valet, and Kip all join us. Next, we need at least a minimum crew, which Percy, Will and Gerald interview and hire, interviewing while working on ship and breaking for tea/food. Covey insists only on interviewing the engineer.

March 23

Spoolin shows up this day before we are to leave, says Moriarty killed at the mission by an assassin in their midst disguised as a convert. He was going to recommend a couple guides for you but now she’s going. And he has gifts for me to give you.
Remember, religious artifacts of all kind are sacrosanct on Mars. If you are ever taken captive they will not take these: crucifixes, 1 for each NPC.
They contain hidden within:
1)Knife blade sticks out of bottom like a straight switchblade; compass; glass vial of acid, skeleton key and lock picks.
2)Switchblade, compass, turns into a gun with 4 shots with a full round action.
3) switchblade; compass; with 50 gold sovereigns
4) blade; compass; 2 metal cylinders: grenades with 10 second detonation time
5) blade; compassl striker on bottom for a flare

Night of 24th, 3rd and last full day of repairs/interviews

We leave late at night, before the announced time the next afternoon in order to try to sneak out.
If we use coal the whole way, it would be 12 days.

View
The Mars Landing

March 14

From the landscape we flew over on our descent, Sam believes we have landed in the hills of Mars, somewhere in the area of Parhoon. It is late afternoon. Sam pulls out his astronomical atlas, Conklin’s and a telescope. Using the sun’s position and where we roughly know we are, he narrows down our position greatly: North of Parhoon in bandit territory.
With Kip, Crammond and his offer of military help should we need it and he can gather the help, and the Marquis who prior to this voyage thought, by reputation, the Lord Percy to be only a buffoon, we hopefully have some quality unexpected help and allies during our adventures on Mars.
At this point, the ship is of no use to fly us out of here. It is too damaged now to go. But, Cyrus has no idea of what happened to us so far as we know.
Percy “If Grant gets to Sirtis Major before us, he will likely come looking.”
Sam “Perhahps someone saw us streaking through the atmosphere as well.”

We begin moving south, the entire group of passengers and crew, leaving the Fennians tied up in the ship. We see a gleam in the distance and find a small gold pyramid in the sand. We dig a foot and it continues. We may actually have the top of a full pyramid structure! We marks its position on our maps in relation to the wreck and our supposed position, bury it well, and continue. It is a hard march through the Martian landscape. We find a large outcrop for shade and stop to rest after almost 2 days of travel…

March 16

Looking up, we see a sky galleon.
Martin “Signal it!”
Percy “Wait! We don’t know who it is.”
It has already seen uis though, and comes closer and closer, landing a short distance away flying the Irish flag of all things. Several of the crew exit and make for us, and we send Martin, Will and Gerald to meet them.
Sam “The Irish have a ship on Mars?”
The Marquis insists on going, until we explain the ancestry of our 3 men. As we approach, we see Moriarty in their number! They have already stopped at our wreck blast it! Our intended bluff has been ruined.
Crammond “We have guns and men. We could fight them off.”
Percy “Not with the manpower they probably have.”
Will “We have snipers, don’t take another step.”
Moriarty “Ah sure. And we have snipers on you too.”
Gerald “To be expected. A nice peaceful parlay then, Moriarty?”
“My name is not Moriarty. It’s Col. Ian O’Reilly. Of the Army of the Republic of Ireland.”
That name almost turns our 3 white with fear. A terrifying man know all over the world for leading the Irish army. He despises anything British, especially active officers and NCO’s whom he loves to torture. Other Brits are fairly safe from him. Active duty military is his focus, as well as collapsing the British influence on Mars. ‘He is not randomly cruel’ and will give any but active military a way out. Willing to join with anyone, even Germans, to achieve his ends. He is a master of disguise, but his schemes are always grand and require vast sums of money to bring to fruition.
Knowing O’Reilly, Martin knows he never leaves Mars since coming here several years ago. Yet, he was on our voyage from Earth. It is possible Moriarty is not O’Reilly, and instead this man is a lier.
Martin “Surprising you left Mars for such a time, if you are who you say you are.”
“Where I go and what I do is obviously not any of your business. And who are you to question me?”
Martin “I’m Irish! I should know O’ Reilly if I saw him.”
M “No one knows O’ Reilly. Look at this ship, it’s O’ Reilly’s ship. Very recognizable. If that’s O’Reilly’s airship obviously I’m O’Reilly.”
Martin “Maybe you stole it off of him.”
M “Nobody steals from O’Reilly.”
Martin “Maybe you murdered him.”
M “Nobody murders O’Reilly.”
Martin “Either way, I don’t believe O’Reilly was on Earth to come back on our ship.”
Behind him, one of Moriarty’s men, a hulking giant of a guard with a nasty facial scar and large red beard plus eye patch, nose obviously previously broken several times “Don’t matter if he’s O’Reilly or not. Just know that you’re listining to O’Reilly’s orders.”
Martin “Well, I don’t take orders from O’Reilly. Neither do my friends.”
Hulk “We got 3 canon and 2 sweepers. Loaded with grape on that ship. A lot of women and children are going to be dead if you don’t listen.”
Martin “What is it you all want?”
Hulk “We want all the British sodiers in your party to come over here, and give themselves into our tender mercy’s.”
Martin “I don’t think you have tender mercys.”
Hulk “We also want the 2 Lords among you. Lord Herring and Lord Percy.”
Martin “You’ll have to speak to them.”
Moriarty “If they give up, and with the British soldiers, we will let the rest go in peace.”
The 3 head back to deliver the news, and promises of water and food for the survivors.
Moriarty “You have 10 minutes.”
Percy “So, we surrender and take the ship from the inside.”
Martin “He didn’t seem to be bluffing about anything to me.”
Percy says the ship is a modified swiftwood, a popular ship. A row gun at the fore. One on either side plus the sweepers. He estimates they use up to 35 to 40 men. But that unless they have a stable base around here they are likely not full. But, they could still have all the prisoners we left at the ship. They did come from the same direction we came from. They would need room for the prisoners among us they want. Hmm. A toss up on their numbers, really. Ship has 2 mounted gattling guns as well.
A net is dropped over from deck to climb aboard. Douglas, Percy, Coveyt, Kip and manservant, the Dr., and Crammond all give up as prisoners.
We are already talking about uprising aboard ship; Queensbury and the Dr. are astounded at our brazen nature.
Suddenly, Grant’s ship arrives in a blaze of Maxim, Benson firing the newly built in gun that Grant applied before he followed us. We rush up the netting and board the ship and capture it.
Benson is killed by return fire. Grant has daughter in tow. Moriarty is captured.
Grant’s ship can still fly but will not be aether ready for a couple months or more.
Percy gives crew option, Percy will argue amnesty for them or they can foot it into desert as deal for surrendering. Most choose to hoof it.
Swiftwood is worth 40,000 pounds and change. Our salvage reward will be 8,000 pounds (= $40,000)!
We take the guns off ship, Grant and Covey disasemble them, and stow in Gran’t ship:
2 sweepers, rod gun, rogue gun (need to look up “size of the explosion”?), 2 gattling guns, grappler

We find all of our prisoners from the trouble during the voyage on our captured ship. As we are cleaning up, a cruiser escorted by a couple cargo airships arrive from Parhoon. They came after Grant’s ship. He had been watching for us and saw our entry via telescope, that’s what sent him looking for us.

It takes us all late into the day to get to Parhoon. We still do not know who murdered the Canal Priest on the Alexandria.

View
The Princess Alexandria
After a Fennian bother, our aether voyage gets under way

Princess Alexandria particulars, gathered mostly by Martin’s Gather Info and Sam’s reading:
-For 2 hours early in the day, then 2 hours in afternoon, then 2 in evening, a form of purda takes hold-separation of sexes during those hours. Women and men are to be in the company of other women and men, respectively. Separate lunch times…
-Smoking lounge has it’s own filtration, library with most new literature, ship’s newspaper printed daily. When in sight of the Heliograph, the paper will incorporate as digest of System News courtesy of Reuters.
-Leather lined music room is soundproof, latest Edison phonograph with assortment of cylinders, piano, harmonium, sheetmusic…
-Billiard room richly panelled with exotic wood from Mars.
-see ship handouts for more info and schematics
-Follows Greenwhich Meantime, including lights off and lights on 9(dawn breaks at 6AM) schedule.
Passengers of note:
-See handouts

-Covington will take a tour of the Engine Room, visit the observatory often, listen to cylindars just because it’s new tech.
Rumors:
-says it’s taking the gold sovereign shipments for pay to British workers, military…
-originally going to be a naval escort, but cancelled because of another bomb threat against the Harbinger.
Sam “We can’t handle everything, you know.”

Keer says the Canal Keepers like us Red Men. They feel we may be an answer to saving Mars and both sides are stronger with each other, but the Ground Cleansers want to kill us all.
The ship will land at Syrtis Major, the human capital of Mars. It has more canals entering it than any other city, and a high population.
The canals in repair run heavy and full during the wet season. In the dry season, a smaller channel at the middle of the bottom of each canal is all there is. There are huge plants at the north pole that helps melt the ice quick enough. The knowledge of how the canals were built has been lost to history. The Brits estimate that it would take a fleet of 10000 flying battleships 10000 years to create them by blasting them with their guns. It was an astounding feat, however and whenever it was done.
We see Archimedes before we go. He gives us a codebook, so that we can send messages back via heliograph when possible.

Tuesday, January 14th, 1890

We arrive for the hoopla of the Princess Alexandria’s maiden voyage! A friend of Percy’s, Lord Reginald ‘Kipper’ Herring spots Percy “Stinky old pal”.
Percy “Lord Kipper!”
Kipper is very happy to see Percy, and farts very loudly.
Percy “You are intolerable.”
Sam “Sam ol’ Kipper.”
He is as much of a troublemaker as we Percy and Sam are known for.

During the final ceremony, a brass band plays. The Prime Minister prepares to cut the ribbon, and we have pulled some strings in the last couple days. We are part of the group standing at the ribbon on the gangplank, with Percy (his English Bulldog in tow) right next to the Prime Minister (who is to cut the ribbon) and the rest of us behind. Nearby, photographers load equipment onto an aerial steamlaunch, engines warming up. At 24,000’ they will record the moment the aether screws are activated.
Oddly, in the distance, we hear a loud ‘chuffing and clattering’ like cymbals. Above some trees, a strange looking flyer appears with oscillating dishes.
Sam ‘Ah Ha! The Fennians!" It shoots a rocket but misses it’s mark badly, exploding midway tween trees and the crowd’s edge. Some soldiers begin firing futile shots from the ground as people run in every direction.
Percy orders us to take the launch, and Gerald leads us on, taking the controls. We have to head the ‘Fennian Spear’ off at the pass. A second rocket fires, missing the ship wide and exploding harmlessly. It seems the rockets can not be aimed themselves, they are fixed and the pilot has to aim the shit. We throw the crew off, but for 1 civilian, and the photographers run. We see a sgt with 5 men almost at the launch as well, having had the same idea.
Sgt “Here, here, are you authorized to go after that thing?”
Sam “We work for the queen!”
Sgt “Ah, get aboard men!”
We and soldiers gather on the deck, weapons ready.
Sgt “Prepare to volley fire, men. Prepare. Fire!” They volley, but the range is too great.
Sam, Percy, tell them to stop wasting their energy!"
Percy “Sgt, I’m Lt.Col Lord Percy.”
Sgt “Yes sir!”
Perrcy “Hold your fire, sgt.”
Sgt “Men, hold fire! Prepare to fire at the Lt. Col order! Stand ready men!” as he stands, pistol in one hand, rifle in the other. “My Lord, men are ready!”
Sam “We could scrape the top with our hull, take out the oscillators.”
Percy “We could go alongside and volley into the pilot or oscillators.”
In what is a short aerial dual, Gerald maneuvers at a T to the Spear. Meanwhile, another rocket misses but explodes in part of the crowd killing about 15 after whistling directly over the PM’s spot and exploding just far enough away! The Prime Minister’s wife’s hat blows off as the PM’s guards have rushed them away and thrown them to the ground, covering he and his wife.
At this point, we cut directly in front of the Spear and volley fire. The soldier’s volley, 3 out of 5 hitting, kills the copilot and wounds the pilot. Percy fires at the pilot, hitting-13 DEAD. A rubber ball flies through the air, a soccer ball! It hits the pilot of the Spear in his head. It’s Kipper, who slipped aboard but was unarmed.
Kipper “I say old man, I think it was my ball that knocked him unconcious.”
Percy “Not a doubt in my mind sir.”
As we land by the gangplank, the band is playing God saves the Queen then bursts out with For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. Percy passes out cash to the sgt and his squad as an immediate bonus.
Sgt “Thank you very much, sir” then turns to his 5 men “Give me those pounds. If you keep them you’ll just spend them frivolously. I’ll see they get their money sir.”
Once again, we make what will be frontpage headline news.
The ceremony then continues, Percy allowed to cut the ribbon with the PM, each with hands on one handle and snipping simultaneously.

We board the liner for takeoff.
Secretly, Grant will follow in our ship later, fast enough to catch up and arrive close to us. They have the Martian amulet. Any papers they need, thanks to the secret service, will show them travelling the opposite direction.
The ship takes off to great fanfair.
Covington spend the first few days in the infirmary fully recoverring. Within a few hours of his release, Percy and Sam’s room has been turned into a small laboratory for Sam to work on the batteries for the Martian blades and other such things.
We spend lots of leisure time with the 8th Marquis of Queensbury. Will offers to make a man out of his son, like only a naval man can. Lots of time in the saloon.

During Voyage:
During the first visit to saloon, a guy stands at the bar surrounded by several people including army officers. They follow him around like he is the greatest. Martin asks around, and it is Dr. William Gilbert Grace, the world’s greatest cricket player. Even Douglas introduces himself to Grace. He is travelling to Mars to inaugurate the game on Mars on Parhoon’s new cricket grouds. Cunard will be the official transportation for teams between Earth and Mars.
We meet an officer, wearing a victoria cross, names Cpt. Hugh Crammond. We know of him, the hero of Ft. Collinsworth on Venus (where we have been). We swap Venutian stories, and he is very friendly and happy to talk. We get along with him swimmingly. He has a Venutian Lizardman vallet Grommett, who used to be a pirate an sips Cola.
Percy “This is my valet William, he used to be a pirate.”
Crammond “What a coincidence, we might as well be brothers. Well, I’ve had lots of adventures on Venus, and now travel to Mars. Maybe I can shake things up there too.”
After talking with him much of this night he says “I have good connections with the military, so if you should need any help while there on Mars just say so.”
Grommett likes to say how Crammond would be dead many times over if not for him, though Crammond saved Grommmett. Grommett says Crammond has a jolly heart. “I better see if he needs anything. If his brain were as good as his heart he’d be a genius.”
Martin “Can’t leave him alone for 5 minutes.”
Grommett “No. I don’t want him to go wandering into the airlock.”

2 Martian Sgt’s come over and bow to Keer, thought sgt’s should be in steerage. One of them converse in Martian before Keer blesses him. Will says later that the sgt was a member of the Canal Keepers and wanted Keer’s blessings. Both are from the Martian Rifles, and have medals. Were flown to Earth to get their medals, now going home.

Grommett later “Too many bloody foreigners in this army.”

In the card room: 2 women who look younger than they are play cards with a few men. The Amazing Gustav enters, and they perform a magic act on the ship every Friday night. Someone asks him if he wants to play, to which he replies “I never play cards.” Someone asks why, and he asks for a deck. He opens it, shuffles, and begins to pull ace after ace after ace…and does a couple other tricks “That’s why I don’t play cards.”

Meet Pressburger, of the Difference Engine Corp. Huge competitor to Imperial Babbage Machine Company (IBM). "You woudn’t believe what we’re working on. It’ll put IBM out of business. It’s a man-machine interface. Instead of punched cards, we have attached a typewriter board to our difference engine so you can imput orders by typing!

A waitor pops a champagne cork rather loudly, and from a table next to us a man hits the deck, a rather nervous and paranoid one.
“They’re out to get me, I know they are.”
Martin “Who?”
The man “Who? You’re probably one of them? The Monarchists, they’re out to get me.”
Sam “Who are you?”
He’s Patrick Wendle, of Parliament and the Naval Estimates Board. “I may never live to get there.”
Percy :Why would the monarchs want to kill you?"
Patrick “I am the rightful heir to the throne of Britain. You don’t think they want to get rid of me? There are attempts on my life daily. My great great great great grandfather was the rightful king of England.”
Percy “Who, Edward III?”
Sam aside “Wendle? Don’t recognize that name.”
Wendle “My ancestor was a royal bastard.”
Sam aside “We should mess with him this entire trip.”
His wife beckons him away to rest “He works so hard, kind sirs.”
Martin “Why is he so paranoid?”
Wife “Because the monarchists are out to get him. He’s the rightful king of England.”
Sam “That could be construed as treason.”
Wife “Well, he may not really be. He gets confused sometimes.”
Hid daughter is darling, and tells us of her puppy in the kennels. She says how great it would be to have it with her in her room, even mentioning how maybe we should sneak it out. Sam tells her about his lizard and Percy his dog.

Prof. Strabismas thinks the aether doesn’t exist.
Percy “Absolutely preposterous.”
Martin “We’re in it right now.”
He thinks light exists as both a wave and a particle, his Theory of Wave/Particle Duality, and is trying to explain everything as the attraction of sub-atomic particles.
Passenger to us “The man’s insane.”
Prof “Aether technology is a fortuitous fluke, backed by mistaken theories.”
Gerald “What is space, a void!”
Sam “So how are we actually travelling now?”
Prof “I still don’t know, but there is no aether that surrounds us.”
Will “Yeah, ok.”
Martin “Whatever.”
Prof “In fact, I think that energy and matter are 2 forms of the same thing. And there has got to be a formula that describes the relationship between them.”
Sam “But what, man?”
Prof “I just have not figured it out.”

Every day at 11AM Keer teaches Martian languages. 2 Martians from steerage, also lay members of the Keepers, visit him during this on most days.

We meet the Japanese guy with the codebook.

4th day out:We notice crewman observing odd corners and such of the ship and checking storerooms, as if searching for something, and with a certain degree of urgency.
Sam “We’d better go ask the captain, introduce ourselves and explain the Harbinger adventure.”
Percy goes to visit the captain.
Cpt “Ok, maybe it’s time to talk to some others.” Tells his executive officer to get the Marquis and Wendle.
Will tries to gather info on the crew, who aren’t talkin until he overhears one say “If we don’t find that bloody bomb soon we’ll all be dead.”
Back with the cpt, fiddling with his brass telescope:
He got a message from Scotland Yard from heliograph, that the Fennians have supposedly planted a timebomb on board. It must be taken seriously condisering the last attack. He asks the Marquis and Wendle to try to play it off as looking for a minor leak and keeping all calm.
Marquis “Of course my good man.”
Wendle of coure, freaks out as if its the monarchists trying to kill him. He finally agrees to pull himself together “After all, there are other lives at stake. Including my own family.”
Cpt. to us “I understand you have had experience with these murdering scum, and finding bombs on spacecraft. I’d be grateful if you and your friend would help us in the search.”
Percy “Yes, they have proven somewhat helpful before.”

We all look at a schematic to decide how to conduct our search.
Sam thinks we should check the saloon and observatory, considering the catastrophic consequences of the front glass breaking instantly, and the mechanical workings of the ship. The crew, knowing the ship, has searched the engine room already as well as storage. So, it must be in a common area in plainer sight.
Sam “Let us begin with the observatory and make our way back.”
In the music room, we see that the harmonium is of the trademark Francotti and company. Of course, the Fennians who kidnapped us were in a warehouse full of pianos and such. The company was Francotti and company! It’s in the harmonium! From inside, Sam hears a faint tic-tic-tic. Opening it, we see the explosive. Sam examines it, and thinks he can defuse it.
Percy “If you can’t, we can dump it out the airlock.”
No one, including Percy, realizes the idea he just had, but for Covington who’s head pops up. He turns and says “Not a bad idea. We can do that, can’t we. Why don’t we simply dump it out the airlock now?” Of course, Covington should have thought of it, but he’s so concerned about the technical side of things he was only thinking of disarming it. HA! All worked perfectly for the Aether Traveller feel.
We pad the inside well and toss it into space, leaving it behind us.

Some time later, there is a drunken fight tween Carstairs and Kempff who share a room too. It is obviously Carstairs is a horses ass. He has been transferred to Mars from the Guards to get him away. He thinks all who aren’t English are worthless, and got caught talking down Germans. It has been brewing for a while now.

Another day: Kempff and Evans provide some musical enterainment this night. Steerage passengers have been allowed in the saloon, and the performance ends to great applause. As it draws to a close, the performers silouetted by the backdrop of stars through the observatory, some of the stars appear to be moving.
A steward “Ships! 8 or 9 of them.” As the ships get bigger and bigger closing in on us. They shoot past, only in range for a minute or 2. Quick signal exchanges by light between us and them which Gerald translates.
First each names themselves, they are 9 British Navy on maneuvers. Second from them to us, saying no risk of collision. 3rd wishes us good luck and apologizes for alarming us.
Sam “God save the Queen!”
Sudddenly, a great crash, the liner shudders hit by repeated blows, and one of the glass panels shows a crack. Our ears pop as the pressure begins slowly dropping! All scramble for the airtight door out of the saloon.
Percy “Were we fired upon?”
He and Sam rush forward, and see the glass of the observation deck cracked and slowly bending outward as we watch. We see a nutshell lodged in a hole it created in the glass. We ran into the military’s recently dumped garbage!
Sam “Everybody get out!”
There are 2 armored doors, one from either side, that close outside the glass, and need handcranked shut.
Covington “Quickly, we need to crank them shut!”
A bottleneck at the doors of course slows the exit, with Keer leading the crowd out trying to control the situation from the front. Martin sticks to him like glue.
Something else is wrong, for the ship slowly but noticeably lurches back and forth. Gerald says something must be wrong at the controls, so he and Will make for the bridge. They will need spacesuits however…
A dented can of Bully Beef had crashed through the bridge glass and out the roof, tearing away all of the equipment like the communications and telescope for longrange calculations. The hypersonic shockwave and decompression killed all present, including the cpt., doctor and navigator!
Percy “Let’s give it the old Oxford try old man!” They both put on emergency oxygen masks and each takes a crank, Percy left and Covington right. Kipper appears to help Percy at the physical task, and Queensberry helps Covington. Crammond takes the other door, opposite Keer, trying to organize the exit. Seeing us, he runs up to the window and covers the cracks with his jacket! HA!
Sam “Damn fool.”
Wendle was fast into the hall, making for the rear of the ship yelling about monarchists out to kill us. The cricket players stand on this side of either door ushering women and children out, ready to slam the doors from our side to save the rest of the ship should it come to that.
We begin cranking (half a point of cranking per person on a crank per turn, str check can add bonus;below 10 and you slow it down by half a point;10 points closes a side):
1st crank: All succeed for 2 points each side.
At this point, flakes of glass fly off the window.
Percy “Get away from that window.” He runs and grabs a large Turkish carpet, doing the same with that he previously had done with his jacket “It has a rubber based back!” yet he has the fuzz on the outer side at first before turning it. The slight pressure through the cracks actually holds it in place.
2nd crank:Sam and Marquis get 2 1/2, Percy and Kipper 2.
Outside, Keer suddenly gasps and falls over. The widowed Martian woman had bumped into him just before him. Martin stoops and finds a short hatpin thrust into his heart, but he’s still alive.
Martin “I need a doctor, a doctor here!!”
Just about everyone is out, so the cricket players slam the doors shut after Grace races out for Keer and Martin, but his son remains on the saloon side.
Air getting thinner now, but we 4 endure.
Crammond and Grace Jr. grab 2 oxygen tanks, breathing as they run for us. Crammond shares with Sam and Marquis, and Grace Jr. with Percy and Kipper. At first, Crammond just lets it blow in Percy’s and Kipper’s face from a few inches away until Sam yells “It has to be right against their face, man!”
3rd crank: Sam fails and Marquis gets -half for 1/2 total; Percy and Kipper get 1 1/2pts.
Crammond and Grace Jr. pass out. Sam starts to feel woozy.
4th crank: Percy and Kip gain 2,Sam and Marquis 2 1/2.
Kipper passes out.
5th crank: Sam and Marquis get 2 pts;Percy gets 1 1/2
The window spiderswebs fast as the section of the glass not yet covered shatters at our final crank. Percy needs a point, Sam and Marquis a half.
6th crank: Sam and Marquis close theirs, as does Percy, as Crammond and Grace Jr. began sliding across the floor by the suction.
Outside, Martin shows the doctor the weapon and says it may have been poisoned. Everyone knows who it belongs to, it is something she had openly worn many times. It was that of Lady Jane Evans. The doctor saves Keer’s life, thank God.

The aftermath:
-when questioned after the events, Evans has no idea what happened to her hairpin. It was lost to her days ago.
-We now have a computer out and observation deck gone. Will and Gerald now pilot and navigate with spacesuits on. It will require old fashion navigation and dead reckoning now.
-A few hours after, the saloon is pressurized but overall the ship is still a bit underpressure. Ears and throats ache and people pant easily. The ship was peppered and watersupply is low.
-Keer is in the hostital still in trouble, it is unclear whether he will survive.
-The ship’s remaining senior officer speaks while we sip tepid chocolate: he explains the situations to all, and that he is the only surviving officer, thus in command. Bridge instruments badly damaged and can not communicate. There will be water and air rationing and…smoking is banned.
Sam “No.”
Percy “That’s barbaric!”
He asks for anyone with skill in aether navigation, operation and engineering to join him after this meeting. He asks Dr. Grace to become ths ship’s acting doctor. He then announces Keer’s attack, assuming it was and accident by a frightened passenger. He has Father Moriarty to lead a prayer.
Covington, Gerald and Will see the new Cpt. after the prayer ends.
Essentially, we have taken much control of the ship. In the next 3 days, Covinton leads the repair teams and complete juryrigged repairwork, including finishing the readjustments of solar panels, lacking much of the proper structural materials that would make a full repari. On the first day, Sam successfully completes 14 man-hours of repairs in a single 7 hour shift. Over the last 2 days, he completes 36 man-hours in 16. In the meantime and with much work, Gerald and William succeed at replotting our position and course, somewhat oldschool-style since much of the mechanical navigation tools are gone.

On the 3rd day after disaster, Keer wakes up but is dying. He moans an inhuman wail and speaks gibberish at first, seeming to concentrate on Percy, then “Must go to temple…Seldan…Seldan. Must go to temple…Garyan…safe there..Garyan.” And he dies.
Sam “Nooo!”
Percy “Bastard!!” Still, we have no idea who murdered him. In the bar, Covington with some books on Mars in hand goes over some of what Keer said: Garyan is a city, the center of teh Canal Keepers. Seldan is a kind of mytho-historic Alexander and Caesar, leader of their past who united Mars and built the canals. He wants us to go their, obviously."

Next day, Percy and Martin are walking down a corridor and smell somethng.
Martin “Do you smell that?”
Percy “Irish cooking?”
It smells like smoke, but not a fire or cigars. We seek its source and come to a crew lavatory. Inside we see 2 of the Chinese stewards smoking opium.
Martin “They are wasting oxygen.”
Percy draws and waves his revolver at them “You had better put that out and hand it over immediately.”
Martin “We are confiscating this.”
Percy “By order of the Queen, you will hand over the opioum pipe.”
Martin “And its contents.”
Percy “Or you will meet swift justice.”
“They should be thrown in the brig.”
Percy “Good show, Irish!” They stand, wobbling some, and hand it over. We take them to the purser and new cpt, meeting Sam along the way.
Sam “Lashes I say.”
Percy “Let them taste teh cat.”
Purser “We don’t do that anymore, not even to the Chinese.”
Percy “The hell you say!”
Sam “What’s this world coming to?”
They order the Chinese back to work, without pay for the entire voyage. The Marquis of Queensbury says they should be thrown out into the aether for using up valuable air. Martin has pocketted much of the unused opium for possible sale on Mars for a good price. If they repeat any offense, Percy says they will certainly be tossed out the airlock.
The cpt and crew are now to search the ship, confiscating all smoking materials and other combustables.
Percy “Except for my cigars, of course.”
“No, sir. Even yours.”
Martin “You’re not going to trust Lord Percy?”
Sam “I find that preposterous.” Percy, after a few minutes, is able to ‘convince’ them (more like intimidate them with his enormous presence and grand charisma).

On day 9 since disaster, the ship starts to shake and shiver. We are passing through Mercuric aether turbulence which we failed to calculate for. Dishes fly off shelves; Sam, though outside on the hull, immediately thinks of his lab equipment. Those outside making repairs are in danger of being shaken off, but only one steward slips away. His air/pressure line breaks from the strong tug and he dies very quickly.
Gerald rushes to the repaired bridge and takes the controls. In a show of supreme ability, Gerald not only calms the ship throught the turbulance, but he is able to angle the ship as such that he used its wake as a kind of slingshot, the Princess Alexandria being the slug, hurtling us further on our way!
Sam, later “Gerald doesn’t so much fail, as succeed less.” So, Covington has successfully led the repairs, and Gerald has us safely on our way to Mars.

On day 13 since disaster: Kemp is again ranging on the British “Of course I ahve nothing against your Queen, but as for the rest of your government…”
Wendle “The Queen! The Queen! DOn’t you realize the monarchy is responsible for this disaster? They dare not admit that I am the true heir to the throne. You really thing what has happend was as accident? They want to kill me! Even aboard this ship!”
Sam “That’s treason.” Percy makes to settle him, and he pulls a revolver!
Wendle “Back! Everyone back!”
Percy is able to calm him by playing on his delusion, telling him how the Percy’s family would be the ones he wants on his side if he wants the thrown “King makers we are! And have always been!” and Wendle “I trust you” then hands the gun over. Immediately the purser and staff jump him and drag him away as he screams “The monarchists did this, we’re all doomed! Just like Jack the Ripper!”
Sam “What in heaven is he talking about, Jack the Ripper? The man’s insane. He’s right for once though, we monarchits did it.”
Soon, he’s in a straight jacket and locked up for the remainder of the voyage.

20 days since disaster, day before we will land on Mars: Mars is well in site and getting larger, Gerald’s navigation certain. Repairs still being done as well. Early morning, a knock on our cabin door. It’s Cpl. O’Brian, the captain has asked all passengers to assemble in the saloon. “Come along now, please” We gather our group and follow him to the saloon.
We find that all the crew are there. Gerald and William are absent, currently manning the bridge, as well as all passengers. At the far end is the Cpt (chief engineer) standing with Father Moriarty. Steerage is also present. After a time, Moriarty says “Ladies and gentlemen, this ship has been taken over by the Fennian Brotherhood…”
Martin “Not again.”
Sam “I think not.”
“…and I ask you all not to try anything untoward. If you all maintain calm, after the ship is landed, I will make arrangements to see that many of you are returned to British holdings on Mars.” We assume that by ‘many’ he means most but us and friends.
Cpt “I’ll have none of this, you can’t take over this ship…” at which M calmly draws a revolver and shoots the Cpt/chief engineer between the eyes.
Percy to Sam “I guess you have been promoted old man.”
The crowd draws in a breath of surprise and all freeze in shock. Sam looks around and spots the Marquis…Kipper…Crammond…We see everyone loyal to us is here.
Sam It’s time for a jolly good drubbing. Percy, rush him."
Percy “Right so.” Before he does, we hear noise behind us. The stearage from behind us has pulled out clubs. 15 of them.
Martin holding up his fists “I carry 2 of those.”
Percy “I say, let’s get them boys.”
We figure we 3 can depend upon Crammond, Kipper, the Marquis and son, Carstairs, plus Kempf. Sam makes a quick mental calculation of the odds: 9 vs 16 known opponents. Less than 2 to 1 against us! Seeing as an Oxford Boy counts as 4, and Kipper counts for 2 since he went to public school with Percy, that makes an even fight. Of couse, in any even fight, the side with Oxford Boys will undoubtedly win.
M “My men lack rifles, since the bluff would be useless as we all know rifles could compromose the hull.”
There is pandemonium as Queensbury makes for M, but Percy stops him “Keep our cool, Marquis.”
Queensbury “Indeed, he shot the Cpt, but he certainly wouldn’t shoot a nobleman.”
Percy “He’s Irish!”
Queensbury “Dash it all!”
Percy “Trust me, I work with 2 of them.”
Quickly the room is obviously divided, between those willing to fight and the meak who won’t or can’t (including all the Chinese; Percy “I say,there’s not a karate man among you?”).
M “Are you really thinking on resisting?”
Percy “Not at all. I am planning on taking my ship back. Resisting implies the possibility of failure.”
Everyone else back off, leaving us and all that we knew we could rely on.
M to the Marquis “You should behave more like a gentleman” and shoots him-9.
Marquis “Just a fleshwound, men.”
Kempf rushes one of the soldier but misses with his fist. Martin does the same and crits-15 KO’d.
Percy rushes Moriarty and slugs him-10, then heroic surges-miss.
The Fennians engage. Sam, Percy and Martin are missed, Kipper is criticalled, Kempf and Marquis are hit, and 2 are pounding on his son.
Kip and Crammond hit, the others miss. Sam punches-6.
Moriarty turns his pistol into a bludgeoning weapon against Percy-miss/7 as it breaks off of the handle upon striking Percy(card).
Percy crits M-16. Martin turns and crits another soldier-16 KO’d. Kempf crits-8.
Martin is hit-4; Sam is hit-5;Kip is hit-4;Kempf and Carstairs are missed;Crammond is hit-8;Marquis is missedx2, and son vs3 is hit-4/miss/6 KO’d.
Crammond hits-11/5;Sam hits-10;Marquis hits-8/10.
Our energy surges and we all go first (Johnny decision to simplify fight): Percy hits M-18crit!;Kip hits-7;Martin hits-10;Crammond hits-11;Carstairs hits;Sam hits-10;Marquis ?
M now brawls and hits Percy-8;Martin is missed twice;Sam is hit-5 and by another-7;Percy hit by a soldier-4;Kip, Marquis is missed and hit-7 and Crammond are missed;Kempf is hit-7 and by hit by another, Carstairs is hit-8 and missed by another.
Sam hits-10;Martin-miss;Marquis hits once-10;Percy hits-6;Crammond hits-7;Kip hits-8.
Martin is missed, Sam hit-8, Percy hit-3, Kempf critted;Carstaires is missed;Crammond is hit. Marquis vs2 is missed and hit-7; M hits Percy-7. 3 extras now hed to gang up on Carstairs (Sam “Carstairs, look out man!” but he’s an ass anyway) and they start beating on him. He screams “pitshit Irish” as he fight back.
Marquis hits once-6;Sam hits-9 KO’d;Percy hits-16 KO’d by a bloodied Percy. Kip hits-8, Crammond hits-5, Martin misses.
Martin is hit-8, Sam is hit-5, Percy-missed;Kip-3;Kempf-2;Carstairs and Crammond are missed;marquis hit-4. The extra 3 on Carstairs-miss/crit16 KO’d.
Meanwhile, someone must have snuck out because Gerald and William (with his cutlass) suddenly show up!
Martin hits-5, Kempf-miss, Sam hits-10, Percy hits-9, Gerald-6 and Will-7, Kip hits-4, Crammond-5 KO’d. Marquis hits-5KO’d/6 to another.
Percy, Kip, Kempf, Crammond are all missed. Marquis hit-7 and Martin-5. Sam is hit-8 (KO’d but card that clears his hp!) Will is hit-7, Gerald is missed.
Marquis hits once-7;Sam hits-10;Martin hits-6;Percy hits-8;Gerald hits-4;Will hits-7;Kip hits-3;Crammond hits-5.
Percy is hit-4;Kip-6;Kempf-7;Marquis-8;Martin is missed;Sam is hit-13crit;Gerald is hit-7, Will is missed;Crammond is hit-8.
Sam hits-6. Martin, now fighting at the door to the music room misses a bullrush attempt;Marquis hits-6/8;Percy hits-8, Gerald-4;Will fumbles;Kip hits-8 KO’d;Crammond misses then hits-4.
Percy is hit-7 KO’d. Sam “Percy! Nooo!”; Kempf is missed;Marquis is hit-14crit;Gerald and Will are missed;Crammond is hit-4.
Martin hits-6, Sam hits-8;Marquis hits-7/10. Gerald hits-9, Will hits-7, Kip hits Percy’s-9, Crammond hits-12 on 2 hits.
Kip is hit-4, Kempt-3, Marquis and Martin and Sam are missed;Gerald is hit-8;Will is missed;Crammond is missed.
Sam crits-15 KO’d;Martin hits-9;Marquis hits once-4 KO’d. Crammond hits-9, Kip hits-8 KO’d, Kempf misses.
Kempf is missed, Martin is hit-3;Sam, Gerald, William and Crammond are missed.
Marquis hits Martin’s-8/6 KO’d. Sam misses. Kip helps Kempf and hits-11 as Kempf hits-3, Crammond hits-9;Gerald hits-10;Will hits-7.
Kempf is hit-4; Marquis and Gerald are missed;Will is hit-7 and Crammond-3.
Kempf misses, Kip hit his-16crit;Marquis hits-8;Sam hits-10, Martin hits-7; Gerald hits-4, Crammond-10 KO’d;Will misses. 3 left now.
Marquis hits-6;Gerald is hit-8;Will is missed.
Marquis hits-9, Kempf misses him but Kip hits him-10 KO’d. Gerald and Will miss. Martin misses Gerald’s;Sam does 6 to Will’s, Crammond hits Gerald’s-10 KO’d. Sam hits Will’s-6. He is the last remaining. He misses and is quickly beaten to a pulp. Sam turns to treating Percy. The Marquis talks it up, insisting he could have taken them all on by himself “You were find comrades in arms, however. Did you see my son. He took on 4 of them. 4 of them! He didn’t turn and run.”

Gerald and Will, along with Martin in case of trouble, get back to the bridge. They find the door to the control room locked, and jammed from the other side besides. Gerald uses his key to unlock it first (the bridge is resealed by this time). William and Gerald break the door down on the first rush, Martin behind them with a fist in one hand and a sap in the other. The crewmember left to watch the deck lies on the floor, head broken open. 2 of the ‘soldiers’ (Fennians) are there. One at the helm and another holding a rifle ready for action. He turns the rifle toward the new window!
Gob springs at the man, grappling-5 his arms to pull the rifle down. The Fennian tries to resist but can’t, pulling the trigger all the same to fire randomly about the room. The slug hits the pilot in the back of the head, killing him, and ricochet’s off the ceiling just above the glass.
Martin and Will rush in, and the 3 Celts beat the man down easily
Meanwhile, down below, the real soldiers have all been found, throats cut.
Cpt “Why would Fennians put a bomb on a ship and blow up their own men?”
Percy “Well, multiple opportunities to get the job done. They were willing to sacrifice themselves.”
We have made the final approach fast, and the ship is going to go into the atmosphere hot. The outer mirror is broken, unable to fold in. Covington leads Crammond, Will and the Marquis outside to reattach 4 pairs of cable so that the handwinch will secure the mirror. Suddenly, an explosion rocks the ship! The boiler room is destroyed.
The work on the 2 handcranks starts off fast, but then Sam and Crammond have a tough time on their 3rd crank. After getting it closed, Will and Marquis suffer the same. With the air getting hotter and the first feing feel of atmospheric pressure, we finally succeed in getting it all retracted. On the way back in, Crammond is practically swept off the side by the movement and wind, but we all get back in safe.
The descent is rough, and it’s a testamemt to Covington and his teams the the ship doesn’t splinter into pieces, especially after the Mercurial turbulence. The hull creaks…shakes…pieces start to fly off from the previous damage. Through it all, somehow, someway, Gerald is able to land the ship with only a minor crash and everyone survives relatively unscathed thanks to him, all with total calm. The ship is very damaged now, and of no good for flight in the atmosphere at all. We have landed in what seems to be the middle of nowhere, in late afternoon, a bleak Martian landscape in every direction.

View
Assassination at Westminster
Aznun is gunned down right in front of us, starting a hunt for the London Ground Cleansers

Next Day
The police come and clean up our mess. Afternoon, our cab comes to a hault in Parliament Square in front of Westminster Abbey.
Keer “Do any of you have any ideas as to how we can get the priests to help us?” They obviously have no plan nor any letter of introduction whatsoever.
Percy via experience and highborn knowledge of etiquette and Covington by sheer brains agree we should see the Dean of the Abbey, knowing they must ultimately see the Bishop. The secretary says the Dean is a busy man, you can’t simply barge in on him like this.
Pery “Well, I just happen to be Roger Livingstone Lord Percy, and my guests from Mars. High Priests you know and what not.”
Sam “Stand aside, man.”
He agrees to ask the Dean to see us, and comes back in a minute with the affirmative but only 4 can enter.
Percy “We’ll leave our Irish here.”
Will “I’m not Irish I’m Welsh.”
Sam, Percy and the Martians enter. The Dean is a middle aged man, gets to his feet and makes a curious gesture before speaking in fluent Martian. Both Martians look surprised and bow vehementlsy. They respond in kind. Then…
Dean “Please forgive me. I rarely get an opportunity to practice any of the Martian languages. I’m delighted to meet you all.” He says he hears they are Canal Priests,and though he speaks their language he is not expert “Perhaps we’ll do better in English.”
Sam “I am impressed, Dean sir. Have you been to Mars?”
“I spent 3 years on Mars as chaplin to the Parhoon Brigade. You might be surprise to hear it, but there are many Anglicans and Episcopalians on Mars.”
Percy “God blesss the Queen and the Bishop of Parhoon.”
We explain our Martian friends’ purpose.
He is very sympathetic to their cause, knowing they oppose the worm cult that has already murdered Anglican Missionaries (which we were not aware of), but it is out of the question to bless the amulet. “The Anglican faith does not allow the blessing of non-Christian relics.”
Grant “They believe when they take it back it will cause the skies to open and bring the rains.”
Percy “They don’t seem to so much worship a god, like a pagan, but believe in and protect nature and its primal fortunes. Especially water which God has a strong connection with himself considering the flood and baptism.”
Sam after a queer look at Percy “Not to mention, following up as a missionary one could say ‘look what our God’s blessing did for you’.”
Dean “well, I was going to keeep the amulet in my pocket during service this evening but your argument is compelling. I could at least say a prayer over it I think.”
Sam “Imagine the converts if it actually rained.”
Percy “By having blessed this, it would like baptising the nonbelievers in mass.”
He agrees to also pray for it and the Canal Keepers good works. That’s the best we can get, but he’ll have to hold onto it. Percy asks for a crucifix, blessed by the bishop, for our own comfort to bring with us on our jouney. The Dean says ok. The keepers agree to leaving the relic with him for now and we leave the abbey.
The Martians are very happy about the outcome of this visit. Keer"Soon we can leave for mars and return with the amulet of Gariyana. With the help of the good Dean the power will be restored."
Sam “Let’s hope so.”
Suddenly there is a soft sound, and Aznun to our horror crumples to the ground with a round in his head.
Martin “What just happened!!”
Grant “What to do! Do it quick!”
Sam “Dear God, look around us!”
Martin gets Keer to the ground and covers him. All looks normal in the streets, no one in sight paying us any special attention. We get the attention of the nearest police as Keer says “He is dead. The hight priest is dead.”
Martin “Has he been shot?”
Keer “There is a whole in his forehead with brains and blood oozing out.”
Sam “I’d say he’s been shot, Marty boy.”
People begin to gather around now, gawking.
Keer raises the body up "If they are sure he’s dead they’ll stop at nothing to capture the amulet. Help me get inside. We must pretend he’s still alive.
Martin yells in bluff “He’s still breathing! Quick…inside!” We hear some around passing the successful bluff around.
Inside, the cops say “What’s all this then? Nobody leaves until the detectives gets here.”
The first detective arrives soon accompanied by a doctor who examins the scene and body. “An air rifle, and a powerful one I’d say. Fired from the road judging by the penetration and angle of entry into the skull.”
The detective snorts “It’s easy for you to say that, but this isn’t one of your damn stories Dr. Watson.” He then turns to Keer and says “You, Martian fella, why you kill him?” (talking simple, assuming the Martian can’t understand big words in English).
Martin “He was standing right next to us!” but the detective thinks he’s found his villian.
Det. “You Martian fella, put hands out” grabbind cuffs “Me put..these on you..Martian boy.”
Percy whispers for Will to say to Keer in Martian “Don’t do a damnable thing this detective asks”.
Percy says ‘Not a chance,sir. We know this Martian did not kill the other. He can not be arrested."
Det “Then why did you fellas kill him?”
Martin "We didn’t."
Det “We have a dead body here, of a dead Wog, someone obviously killed him.”
Sam “Yes, but from a distance. Do you see any of us armed with a rifle?”
Det “Despite what Dr. Watson may be saying here, that is no bullet wound. It looks like someone punched a whole in his head.”
Martin “With what?!”
Det “Maybe with the end of that umbrella (grabbing Grant’s).” He puts it in "It’s a little too small in diameter, but…possibly (stumbling now)..it..when he shoved it in…um…went in…it made a whole…larger maybe…than the size of…
Sam “Are you kidding us, sir? You’re the most ridiculous excuse for a police that I have ever seen!”
Percy “Listen here sir. Right then! This is the third assassination attempt in our presence, one that finally succeeded. First by the Fennians, then in our hotel room, and now here. He has been with us all along. Believe you me, this man (Keer) is not the assassin and neither ar we. If so he would have been dead a long time ago. Your killer is obviously, or was, likely in a building nearby. Until you held us up and let him get away. If you want to help us out and be productive, good show. If not….”
Det “You there (Percy), I’m arresting you to!”
Sam “HA!!!” finding that most amusing.
Percy “Man! I’m a member of the aristocracy. Lay your hands on me and I’ll smack you down.”
Det “And I’m the queen mother.”
Sam “We have teh ear of the queen ourseves.”
Det “And what might your name be, Lord ha-ha.”
“Roger Livivngstone, Lord Percy.”
Det “Ha, who could vouch for that?”
Keer “The Dean would certainly vouch.”The Dean is summoned and he brings the matter to an end.
The detective’s demeanor changes fast from annoyingly accusatory to annoyingly submissive, grovelling “Oh yes, your lordship. Sorry your lordship. I can understand no one in your party could possibly have done this your lordship.”
Percy “Right. Now that we have lost so much time, behind our quarry. Very nice, inspector.”
Sam “Long gone, certainly.”
Will aside to Gerald and Martin “That’s what you get when you have to go through the cops.”
The Det. Sgt Ian Bostrode “I understant no one in your party is part of this crime, but what about this Martian?”
Percy “As said, he has been with us the entire time.”
Back outside we go, still taking a good look around us. Sam notices an odd looking blue object wrapped in paper lying in the street. Picking up and donning his spectacles, it is a half squashed blue fruit-looking thing.
Keer “That is a Shi’u’u’shtook (sp). Martian plant, very tasty. Someone must have done it.”
Det. Bullstrode “I knew it was a Martian who did this. That proves there was a Martian here who fired the fatal shot!”
Watson “If it wasn’t for the fact that Holmes is out of the country right now, I would try to enlist his assisstance. I think he would find this case fascinating. Especially since it involves Martians.”
Keer “Do you know what plant this coves from? The liftwood tree.” Here, he plucks one of the seeds out and when he lets it go, it floats away.
Martin “Why was someone carrying it around?”
Keer “Probably eating it, that’s all.”
Percy “Does it taste good?”
Keer “Yes, it’s delicious.”
Upon looking at the worn and torn and stained paper it was wrapped it, we see it is from a department store…It is a bit difficult to read, Sam thinks it seems to be an advertisement for a Martian department store of various goods: fabrics, antiques, food, spices and such. He picks out the possible name of the store itself, and Martin exclaims “That’s William Whiteley’s (sp) Emporium. I know where that is. It’s London’s first and largest department store. It’s in Bayswater”

We catch a couple cabs straight to it. In the window, is a full version of the scrap we have. An “authentic Martian Bazaar” of goods and music.
While standing outside, a loud noise startles us at first. But we realize we are near the construction of the Crystal Palace, Queen’s Road. (This does not seem chronologically consistent. Why was this mentioned?2:01:03)
The Martian event takes up part of the ground floor, with Martians employed. They are all bored being treated like a sideshow. Their clothes are a cross tween Martian and Victorian decency. Surprisingly they all speak passable English! We wander around, and a women soon comes up to Keer and asks him a price, insisting he must work here.
Sam “He is a visitor.”
Woman “You mean a REAL Martian?”
Sam “Yes.”
Woman “Well then, would you happen to know how much this costs? It is Martian?”
Sam “Since it would not cost the same on Mars, he could not tell you madame.”
We continue on our way, and Keer has us each taste a Martian candy. Sort of like a Turkish delight and quite delectable. However they are incredibly spicy, something which he does not tell us. For some reason or celts in particular feel the burn and make a break for the nearest cold drink.
Sam calmly, while sweating somewhat “Quite the bite, wouldn’t you say old man?”
Percy also sweating a bit “Indeed.”
We hear some disorder from nearby and investigate. There is a pompous looking manager talking to a Martian worker. Something is said about missing a mornings work. Keer gets closer to listen to the Martian being spoken. Suddenly, the Martian draws a sword of the same type as the Martian from the night before and goes for ZeenKeer. Martin, who had been charged as his bodyguard and looking out for him at all times, quickly steps in front of Keer, knocking him back a few steps. His swing hits Martin-14. After that, the general combat begins.
Will and Keer move first. Keer draws a short sword and steps forward to confront his wouldbe assassin. Keer hits-6; At most, in his current position, we could only get 3 guys on him comfortably. Percy goes for a bullrush, gets hit by AoO-15, but (card) pushes him 20’. They hit a counter beforehand and plow right through it into an opening behind it. We can now surround him with up to 6. Martin and Sam move in and both miss with brawling; Gerald stays back and guards Keer. The assassin swings, yelling at every turn things such as “Death to the redmen” and “Mars will be cleansed!”, at Percy-crit24. That should have put him down, but the Oxford Boy comes out of him and he recovers instantly (card)! Percy slugs him with an Oxford gutshot in return-13. Sam grabs the assassins hands for a disarm and takes it away, the weapon now in Sam’s possession “Take that!” A crowd is gathering, and Gerald watches it keenly. Keer takes a bag, looking like a wrap of leaves, and makes to throw it at Sam. Unfortunately for him he fumbles it for a moment. Martin punches-6, Sam hits him with his own sword-14, Will hits-7 and Percy hits-4. The assassin is bloody and reeling. He recovers the pack and throws it at his own feet and it bursts into a ball of flame. He is killed instantly. Sam and Martin take full dam but Will and Percy save for half. Next round, Martin puts his burning clothes out but Sam burns once more and drops KO’d. He stabalizes a few rounds later, but does have a minor scarring afterwards on the backside of one of his hands.
The police show up again, Bullstrode again “Not difficult men to follow around. You leave dead bodies wherever you go.”
Sam “Just another ‘big step’ by Percy.”
This time things are cleared up much quicker. Nothing on the assassin ID’s him. He does have a cheap silver pocketwatch (cover of which contains the photo of a young Martian woman), some bullets, 6 airgun rounds under the counter, several UK coins, and an antihuman pamphlet. Turns out records say he has lived most of his life on Earth; but that must be a lie. He had more of the firebombs but they burned up in the fireball. Several Martians working ID the woman in the watch as living in the East End where Little Mars is located. Seedy part of town. A paper has a recipe for a Martian dish, expensive delicacy. On otherside is a message, telling the assassin that the Canal Keepers would be at Westminster Abbey today: it’s his orders. Both are written in the same hand. Is the boss in the letter a chef? Percy asks if the woman could be teh boss, but Keer says that’s unlikely, considering the gender roles of the society.
Martin “East End, that’s where the Ripper killed a couple years go. I think I caught a glimpse of him one night, I tell ya. But I lost him in the fog.”
Little Mars is made up of those that moved here after British colonization. Martin describes it for us: Mostly soldiers and merchants; small shops of Martian goods; highly clannish, many speak little English; smells of Martian cooking; otherwise much like the rest of the East End…unfortunately.
We go directly to the East End after dropping Sam at hospital. By the time he is at the hospital he is awake “Sorry boys, I have to hang it up for the day.” With Percy’s influence, the finest wound doctor there takes care of Sam. 2 days later he is able to move around carefully, but by the next night he insists he be taken to he and Percy’s suite. The doctor makes several visits personally each day. A couple days later he is back into light wounds and more mobile. He starts working on repairing the hotel-assassin’s sword while laid up those days. He figures it out and finishes it on the 7th day after wounded, giving us 2 working blades. It is electrical in nature, and the pack is some sort of extremely longlived battery. Sam will use the repaired one, Will gets the one from the bazaar-assassin.
Sam asks Keer if he knows how these packs work. Is it just electricity? He say he knows exactly how they work: “You find a powerpack in a ruin, hook it up and it works.” Um, ok. So, they are ancient weapons of forgotten technology. The batteries must last centuries, shelf-life. With our technology, it may require something closer to a small backpack sized battery. Running them drains it much faster.
Sam to Grant “We need to work on a newer kind of battery for this, small enough.” Luckily, even apart from Covington’s science know-how, Grant specialized in electricity and Aether.

2 Days Later

A knock at the door of Percy and Covington’s room claims to be a man named Shulto, Commander Shulto. Special Agent of the Queen, here on business for the Queen. We are leary, to which he replies “Just open the door you damnable fools!” Obviously he is who he says he is, no trickster would say that, so we allow him in. He shows credentials and asks if we have a phonograph. The room does come with one (as well as a telephone).
Sam “Do you have a cylinder for us?” He draws one from his cloak.
Sam “Is it the Queen?”
“No. I said it was the Queen’s business. I will wait in the hall.”
He leaves and Sam plays the wax cylinder. It is the first time we have listened to one, and it is difficult to understand at first. It asks us, while on our voyage on the Princess Alexandria, to act as spies on behalf of Britain against the Japanese, though the two are at peace. A Japanese passenger named Hirakaya Nakimatura is known to carry codebooks that would be valuable to British agents, but only if the carrier never knows they were compromised. As it orders, we give the cylinder back to the agent. Sounds difficult, we are to do so only if we can, it is not of urgent or necessary.
That night a ringing goes off in the room. For a second, they are bewildered until Sam says “That’s is the telephone. I’ll answer it!” Sam, moving quite slowly and painfully still, makes it in time “I believe Bell wants to use Ahoy, while Edison prefers Hello. Since we’ll be on a voyage soon…‘Ahoy!’”
An Irish voice says “Ah, still travelling to Mars are ye? Oh well now, it’s a brave man that you are to be true. Tell your friends in the police you haven’t heard the last of the Fennian Brotherhood.” CLICK
Sam “He didn’t even give me an opportunity to respond!”
Percy “How incredibly rude! After all the effort you made to reach it in time.”
Sam “Just like Irish.”

Later that evening, the police pay us a visit. They say that our actions opened up leads and suspects gathered in the aftermath, and their questioning of suspects captured at the bazaar has shed some light on the situation: The Ground Cleansers on Earth are led by a woman, likely she from the picture we have, named Miss Shaeenda Husaalsh. This is the first evidence of such a group on Earth. Constables sent to each of the 4 Martian restauraunts in London and all seem legitimate. The police figured they would let us know in case we wanted to avoid them. HA!
Sam “Percy, tell Pennybaker to dig into their records. Perhaps he’ll find something untoward.” Pennybaker says he will get back to us tomorrow.
Grand Canal (largest and most luxurious, English staff and Martian cooks;frequented by military who have served on Mars;food uses curry rather than Martian spices so not very authentic);Star of Parhoon (staff all Martians;Parhoon cuisine, much more authentic);Sands of Mars (authentic;highly priced);Xantha Arms on Greek St.(comes the most highly recommended by the hotel clerk).
Since 3 seem authentic, we go to the odd one out. We head for Little Mars in East End. Most of the other Martians in the East End immediatey treat Keer with great respect, bowing even. We ask around and show the watch picture around. Any trail goes cold. Seems like a perfectly normal place. They let us talk to the cooks about the food, saying it is terrible here but what you Red Men like. The food isn’t horrible, just not authentic. It is a 2 floor place and very packed, a lot of British officers. Worst place possible to have a secret cult. We make small talk with the staff, they say earthlings own and run it. An English lord is the main investor.

Next Day

Pennybaker pays us a visit sometime after lunch. “Owners of Xantha Arms are Italian and Mexican.”
Sam “Mexican? In Britain?”
Percy “That’s absolutely beezare!”
Pennybaker “The Mexican moved to England from Mexico, and is from a wealthy family.”
Sam “Wealthy, from Mexico!?”
Pennybaker “Yes. He moved here and opened a resauraunt of his native cuisine, but it failed miserably. He met and teamed up with 2 Italian brothers who had just returned from Mars, thinking Martian spices would make an interesting addition to Italian cuisine. They opened the restauraunt as a mix of Italian-Mexican-Martian cuisine. Cheap and plentiful beer. Lots of students and quite a rowdy place, mariachi bands. Spagetti ala Parhoon (w/Parhoon spices). Certainly not the place you’re looking for, my Lord.”
We instantly plan on a long night of debauchery there.
Pennybaker “Sands of Mars” is on Fritz St. Relatively small and quite expensive. It’s Martian owned, but I can not determine by who. He or she rents the bottom 2 foors. When I dug up the contract, the signature was illegible scrawl. The building itself is owned by a Chinese gentleman, with the resturauntur renting his space. The Chinaman runs an opium den on the third floor."
Sam “The conspirators would have to run the place, so as to use the place for private meetings.”
Pennybaker “This is your most likely spot.”
We board cabs for the Sands of Mars. A 2-man handsome comes trotting alongside, making us a bit nervous.
Martin “Get ready Gerald.”
Percy “There’s something you don’t see everyday. There’s a Martian cabdriver driving that handsome.”
Sam “That is certainly odd.”
Martin moves in front of Keer.
Then, the door of the cab opens revealing 2 Martians. One holds a stick that looks like a ladle. He lights a ball with a fuse and tosses it into the cab. In through the window it comes. Percy quickly but calmly plucks it out of midair before anyone else can act (card) and tosses it directly back into the cab!
Sam “Fine show, old bean!”
It goes past the enemy martians hands, landing in their cab and detonating. It kills those within but does not actually blow the cab apart. The driver jumps off and comes at us with a knife to stab through the window.
Sam “Let’s simply get out and beat the man down.”
As the man stabs, Keer leaps in front of Percy but the stab misses instead. Martin shows up outside the cab and hits with a kidney punch-5.
Will “Shall I kill him?” drawing his Martian blade.
He stikes with the flat of his hand to Martin’s chest, obviously using some oriental-like Martian martial art, but Martin blocks it. Martin misses, and just as the enemy is striking at Martin with some strange Martian martial arts finger touch, Will crits with the blade, taking his arm off at the shoulder-DEAD. He bleeds to death quickly.
Sam “That’s what one gets for bringing fingers to a sword fight. HA!”
The police are summoned…again…and the matter is cleared up.
The Sands of Mars is not open til 6, so we plan on dinner. Instead, we visit the college hangout.

There, the food is quite superb: meatballs made from a large Martian beast/beef/lamb/pork mixture. Mariachi band is all we hoped it would be. Martian pizza has a sauce made of a vegetable from Mars. Students abound, mostly from Eton.
Sam “Eton? bah!”
One group, when they discover who Percy and Covington are, invite them to their table. A few of their group are actually Oxford men. Many college stories of pranks are exchanged and a great time for all. Soon, several young upstart ruffians come in causing a bit of a ruckus, quickly making lewd passes at the girlfriend of one of our new friends, one from Oxford. Apparently she’s a hired girl, for she asks how much the new visitor is willing to pay. A fight tween the 2 boys ensews, all of us gathered around. A friend of the interloper teams up on our man.
Sam “All right!”
Percy “Let’s show him how it’s done.”
Sam makes for the 3rd party now holding our boy, Percy for the closest of the interloping group “Have at you, naive!”
Once we engage, both sides begin a general brawl
Sam hits-6 “Lay off my boy.”
Percy hits the original lewd fellow-10. Sam is hit-6 “Tough are you? A roughhowser.” Percy is then missed. Another picks up a chair but critically misses Percy, tripping over a stray foot and falls over. Another misses Percy with a gutpunch. Martin arrives but misses, Sam hits-3. Percy grabs the man who last missed him with a bearhug-7. 2 others now flank Martin, they grab him and lift him off his feet. Sam is missed, then another would be grappler misses him.
Percy slams his threw a table-8 KO’d. Sam hits-9. Martin grabs the nearest bottle, an ale of Geralds who cries “Hey!” and smashes it over the head of one of his attackers. He recovers as Will misses one of them, and they toss Martin through the front window and onto the sidewalk-16 “Not the first time that’s happened to me.”
Percy is missed, as is Sam by his original man, and the other would have hit him with a chair but Sam ducks in time, the chair shattering (card) on a table. Gerald now drinks from Will’s bottle. Sam hits-7, Martin stands up and dusts himself off, moving into the doorway. Percy hits-13. Will leaps upon one of Martin’s tossers and they both topple out the window-13, Will taking-3. Will’s man is first up, kicking Will-miss. Percy is hit-3 byh Martin’s other tosser, and is missed by his original man. Sam is hit by both his opponents-13 total “Not so pretty now, are you?”
Martin grabs a small table, using it’s top as a ram to bullrush his tosser who is attacking Percy into another table-9, knocking him over and sending him sprawling with Martin’s table atop him. Sam hits-7 KO’d. Percy grabs his man, sliding him down the bar-8 and off the other end to the floor-2. Sam is hit-3, Will is hit-8, the boy Martin rushed staggers up.
Gerald dives off a table and onto him-KO. Martin flanks Covington’s and hits-8. Will stands up outside and misses.
Will is misses, Percy’s misses him, Sam is hit-7. Martin hits-6 but Sam misses. Percy grapples his slider-9 KO. Will hits-9 KO. Sam is missed, Martin hits him-6 and Sam hits-6 KO’d. Our boys win the brawl!!!
The manager yells “Who’s gonna pay for my window,who!”
Martin “Let’s get out of here.”
Percy “Send the bill to Edon!”
Gerald grabs an ale off of a table on his way out.
Ah, just like the old college days. Sam contacts the Oxford Boys by mail, telling of the fight and insisting that the students from our alma mater who were involved in our scrap be admitted to the Boys at once! At 6PM, back to the Sands for dinner.

A Martian waiter greet us in both English and his native, ushering us to a secluded corner table and gives us the bill of fare. A ‘mouth searing’ our douvres comes first: a gray rice-like grain around a center of Martian native meat, very spiced and hot. Keer eats Martin’s, who doesn’t want any, and Percy eats Sam’s. A fish dish is the main course, spicy but not super hot. We all eat that. After, desert made from similar to chocolate but with a coffee-like taste. It’s icecream like but also spicy, so a wonderful combo of cold and spice is delicious to all. The final dish is alcoholic. Looks like a volcano, pushed to the table. It is lit and fizzes…smokes, a lot.
Sam “Ah, dear God. Is it supposed to do this?” It isn’t, as it smokes and burns too much, and another waiter rushes over to help put it out. Gerald falls from his chair as the others find themselves becoming paralyzed. Keer grabs his throat and falls from the chair. A door opens from nearby, and severral Martians emerge. They grab us all up and drag us into a back hallway. Martin finds he can move, though stiffly, but bluffs that he is incapacitated as well. Will (card) is fine and does teh same. 4 are left with us in the hall, one says in English “He’s not dead is he? Make sure he is not dead you fool.” That one slaps Keer “No, he’s breathing.” An inner sigh of relief from Martin. “Throw them in the basement.”
At this point, Percy feels himself able to stiffly move while Martin fulls fully recovered. Both stay put. The 4 pick up Percy and Keer, dragging them downstairs and throwing them into a dark and dank cellar, leaving the rest alone. Martin follows them down after a wink from Percy. Upstairs, Sam is recovered “Bloody hell” but stiff.
Martin sneaks up on them downstairs in the cellar, confident he and Percy can take on 4. Martin ambushes with dagger-7. Percy takes advantage and punches-18crit KO’d. Will with his dagger hits another-10crit. That one draws a short martian blade-miss. Another pulls a carving knife on Martin-miss. A 3rd pulls a .38 pistol and fires upon Percy “Dear Goood!”-5. Percy now is fine, the drug worn off. Sam becomes stiff but mobile, but Gerald is still down.
As the shot from below rings out, we hear noise from the dining room. No where to drag Gerald to, and the kitchen door opens and there stand a coupld cooks with cleavers.
Sam “Guess we’ll have to have at them then.”
Sam draws his revolver…a dud. Gerald get up stiffly.
Martin misses with his both dagger and fist. Martin’s opponent, wielding his blade 2 handed, Percy shoots from the floor-10, Will hits with cutlass-9. Martin is missed, Percy’s is shot at twice-miss/9. Will is hit-4. Everyone has recoverd now, but Gerald is still stiff.
Upstairs, the cleavers attack Sam-miss/10crit. Sam punches-3. Gerald fires his revolver from the floor at one-8.
In the cellar, Martin punches and stabs-6/miss. Percy fires a double shot-12/9. Will slashes-9.
The cleaver Sam shot at misses Sam, the one punched hits Sam-5. Percy is shot at twice again-miss/5. Martin is missed, Will is hit-6.
Covington punches-9, Martin punches-8. Gerald, Will and Percy all miss. We hear people fleeing the place from the dining area.
Sam is hit-5, the other attacks and missed Gerald. Percy is shot-8. Martin is hit-11crit, Will is missed. Sam hits-7, Gerald-4. Will hits-7, Martin stabs-8, Percy shoots and hits-7 then his second shot hits Will’s-10.
Sam is hit-3, Gerald is missed, Martin is missed, Will is hit-5. Sam hits-8, Martin punches-5 but dagger misses. Percy punches Will’s-4 and Will hits-4 DEAD. Martin hits with both-11total DEAD. They race upstairs, leaving Keer for now.
Sam is hit-4 and since still wounded from before his hospital visit KO’d, Gerald is hit-6.
Gerald hits-6. Gerald is hit-5 and missed as the others arrive. Martin crits Sam’s with punch-11, Gerald backs up and shoots the same-10 DEAD. Percy with saber hits-20crit DEAD. Gerald does first aid on Sam and stabalizes him. The kitchen door opens, but Will had his pistol ready and fires-8. That enemy fires back-miss. Percy, reloaded, fires-6 as Gerald hits-11 and Will-5 DEAD. As Gerald kneels by Sam, Will says “I got a bad feeling about this.” (card). So we are ready when a secret door right next to us opens. The head waiter from out front comes at us, hatchet in one hand and a Martian sword in the other.
Martin punches him straight in the face-crit10 then moves aside. William and Percy each fire double shots-6,6,2,7. The waiter hits Martin with both weapons-13total and misses once. Martin fumbles his punch, but the dagger crits-7. Percy’s shots hit-10/6, Will hits-8/miss. The waiter with sword-7/miss and cleaver hits-4. Pistols are dropped and the 3 surround the waiter. Martin punches-5 and dagger-12crit, Percy slashes with saber-8, Will hits-8 KO’d. Martin grabs his handaxe and Percy his sword.
As we are getting Keer upstairs, the police show up “What’s all this then.” We explain, and send for Lestrade, telling him all we know about the Canal Keepers vs Ground Cleansers. We are allowed to search the place with the cops, but no sign of the woman leader. Sam is taken back to the hospital.
In the cellar, Gerald finds that a few patches of cement is still a bit soft, able to be scraped and different then the rest of the floor.
Martin “Recent, must be hiding something.” The cops get more men to chop into it, quickly coming across human corpses. Horribly mutilated, things cut off… Nothing found on first floor.
Second floor office: A file contains a list of all of us, with biographical notes, news clippins. Also, sketch of Keer and amulet plus time schedule of the Princess Alexandria. A pencilled ring encircles Keer’s room on a ship drawing. In a locked drawer, we find lots of antihuman pamphlets and other such propaganda. In a cupboard, various Martian poisons and 2 more air rifles with 40 darts.
Storerooms for food, including a glass case with a lizard in it which Covington is allowed to take for his own; in a cupboard in the cooler, we find 4 of the bombs that were tossed at our carriage with fuses.
Large wooden chest, a dozen long knives and bloodstained canvas with other various ritual accoutraments for sacrifices in this room.

View
Enter the Martian Cults, and Fennians
We meet the Canal Keepers, Fennian kidnappers pop in for a visit, and the Ground Cleansers takes the offensive

At the address, we show Audley’s card given to us. At the meeting, a courtly but somberly dressed gentleman, early 60’s;gray hair and neat mustache. Name is Anthony Sinjun Audley. As we enter he checks his pocket watch “Ah right on time. I appreciate a man who is right on time. Would you prefer sherry or tea?” Covington “Tea” Percy “Yes, tea all around.” Audley “I represent a distinguished foreign client. He is interested in the British legal system and was impressed by your actions in the Smythe case. This client will be travelling to Mars! Carrying with him a precious antique which he is extremely worried about. He would most appreciate it if you would go with him.” The man is worried about theft of the item. Well, we planned on going to Mars anyway only on our own ship. We talk amongst ourselves. Percy “Do we want to go on our own ship and follow his?” Covington “Let’s meet with him. See what he’s all about.”
A clerk leads in 2 Martians. Audley “I’d like to introduce you to the Archbishop of Gariyan.” Martin aside “Damn”. Both wear gray robes. One elderly and walks with the heir of an aristocrat. The other is frail looking. Steel rimmed glasses with tinted lenses. Smell of odd spices, a little like oil and cloves and pepper. The younger Martian steps forward “Forgive me introducing selves. I am Zeenkeerr, secretary of ?” The elder says something in Martian which only Will has any understanding of, recognizing the lang as SanGaryan which is the lang of ? Empire, considered to be a dead tongue but that which all the martinian lang’s based on. He says later the Martian said: ‘we haven’t got all day. Wish ‘em a clear canal so we can start to talk business’. The elder then bows.
The other Martian says to us “His excellencey is extending greetings to honest people known throughout Empire of Queen Victoria and hopes that your waters will always be clear.” Martin “Clean water, always good.” We all sit and they explain they’re hear because this elder is the high priest regent of the canal keepers. Covington says supposedly that was a religion that had died out at least a few years before Edison 1st went to Mars. They were known to spend their time on upkeep on the all important canals. They are in direpair now. The Keepers say when Edison landed, the Church of Garyan was in decline, faltering in it’s path of enlightenment through good works and opposition to the evil Cult of the Worm.
Martin “That does not sound good”.
The Cult believes that all sentient beings must bow down to their horrific evil gods that lie sleeping beneath the surface of Mars. Including the Wormgod. The priests had decided some spark of faith had departed the religion. When Edison landed they decided that it had gone to Earth, and they must take their most sacred relic there and recharge it in the ice caps of Earth’s power from which “your spiritual strength flows”. They believe this place is Westminster Abbey, not the Vatican, because they have dealt with mostly English. The relic is an amulet. They were originally accompanied by guards, but the Cult heard what was happening and attacked at the docks. The guards were killed in assuring the envoys escape. But, they now believe the Cult is here on Earth. Their rooms have been burgled and Martians have been seen at their hotel. So, Aznun has decided he needs honest English Gentlemen to look after the relic. Zeenkeer saw the reports of the trial and so contacted us via Audley. They have already reserved space on the Princess Alexandria(newest ship of the Cunard Line) which leaves Mars on Tuesday the following week. They say there is risk, and Zin Kir says “No true Englishman would fail to help defeat evil cultists.” Percy “Indeed not this Englishman, and his 2 Irishman!” Covington “So you wish for us to guard you from now and throughout the voyage?” Yes they do. The Martians speak to one another in Martian. Will understands somewhat, they speak of hiring us as guards, the Elder says we must ‘protect Him, nothing must happen to High Lord Seldon’. The younger says ‘no need to worry, we can protect him when we get home.’ Will wonders if the Amulet is somehow this ‘High Lord Seldan’. The younger says we are to see the amulet, most precious relic, and may attract many dangerous thieves. Zeenkeer pulls out a small wooden box and presents it to Aznun, who makes a strange symbol over it w/ his hands then opens it by pulling a silver chain. It then rises into the air (it’s made of liftwood! The pull turned the panels grain to floating-direction). He takes it out and says it is the amulet of Seldan, made when he conquered Mars and worn by him to concecrate his rule. Its an ovular bronze plaque, about 4″×3″x 1/4" thick, fixed with a larger oval ring to attach it to a chain. A disc of quartz is imbedded into the hole in the plaque carved, above are 3 lines of strange hierogyphics. It has the petina of age yet otherwise looks like a common trinket from Egypt or India. It is older than the oldest civilization known on Earth.
We should show them the case to the Scroll of Anubis.
They say the writing is a poem, predicting the restoration of the canals and water ‘in the name of undying Seldan’. Zeen Keer reads it to us. Intricacies are impossibe to translate. They return it to box, and they speak of it being blessed by high priest of Westminster. A cab awaits us now for the Abbey. They ask if we will go, and their church of Mars is happy to pay our expenses. We leave w/ the Martians as Audley calls in his next client.
Gerald “Grant should follow us on his ship”. Percy “Perhaps we should stow the amulet on Grant’s ship during the voyage, only we could possibly know.” Covington “Fine idea to consider, old bean.” They give us a recent martian newspaper from Sirtis Major to read over (see handout).
Outside, Percy and Sam board the first cab with the 2 Martians while the rest of the crew the second. We soon see that Martian nobility reminds us most off English Rajas. While waiting for a gap in traffic, a man leaps into the cab with a handkerchief over his face and waving a revolver in the other hand.
“Good afternoon to ya. Nobody move a muscle now and we’ll all be takin a little ride together.”
Sam “Enough of this foolishness, Martin. We haven’t the time for these shenanigans.”
The driver shouts “yah!” and the horses go to a fast trot. In the rear cab, the driver yells into the interior what happened, and Martin says to follow them quick as you can.
“I’m not payed to chase after other cabs.
“You’ll be paid well for it. That’s Lord Percy in the cab ahead anyway. You’ll have a lot to answer to the Queen. You could be hung!”
The younger Martian says to us “Let there be no need for the making of violence” as he sees on our faces our intention of beating this man to a pulp. Percy “I don’t think you understand our English ways.”
Sam “No Oxford Boy could stand for this.”
Percy “We’ll give him a good fonging”.
The irishman looks surprised at men talking of making a fight so openly as if he weren’t even there. The Martian wins however.
Soon, a few other Irish jump onto the sides of the cab as we roll quickly down a bumpy street. One says to the driver “Lose that cab”, giving it away to us that we are still followed by our pals. A shot then rings out from the top of our cab.
Percy “If they kill the driver who does that leave it up to, to…”
Sam “Yes, does anyone them know how to drive a carriage? It’s a lot different than flying a spaceship”.
Percy “Well, if…”
Sam “I can row a good boat, of course. From my days on the Oxford rowing team.”
Percy “Indeed. If they kill the driver I think they’re done for. Besides, Gerald is practically too drunk to walk. And Will’s been a Russain pirate for years.”
The cab in the rear starts to slow quickly. Martin yells “Man! Why are you slowing down.”
He yells “Nobody is paying me to risk my life getting shot. If I do, who’s taking care of my family? Answere me that?”
Will “Percy Holding Company.”
Gerald “I think it’s Livingston Holding Company.”
Martin “One of us needs to take over this thing and try to drive it” as the front cab is zooming out of sight. William gets out, climbs to the front with Martin who boots the driver off allowing Gerald to take the reigns." They race after our fearless leader.
They gain on Will at first, extending to long range as we race by the moderate traffic.
Will “Ay peasant, get outta me fu—ing way!” and makes up some ground befor they turn a corner. They make it too wide and run up half on the curb, sideswiping a lampost and doing some damage to the carriage but they keep going. Will makes the turn successfully and keeps right on pace and gains to close range. 2 men atop the kidnapper carraige pull knives. As Martin pulls his revolver they put their knives away and pull their’s, surprised we are willing to use firearms so brazenly in the streets of London.
Martin’s first shot misses badly. Gerald leans out of the side and fires 3 speed shots-11crit/miss/miss; One of them yells “Mother of God, he hit me!”
The kidnappers come quickly upon a fruitmonger crossing with his haul and white-knuckle right through it as the monger dives out of the way, fruit-veg-cartpieces flying everywhere as Will races by and into point blank range.
Will “Boarding party!” Gerald pulls his knife as Martin cracks his knuckles. Grant is still on the inside, looking on.
Martin “Wish Grant’s niece were here for this” and leaps across to the top of the carriage, followed by Gerald.
They are confronted by the 2 Irish atop as the driver hardbrakes and Will can’t stop in time, roaring by him and to close range again. Martin and Gerald not only stays atop but remain standing! The wounded Irish falls prone and the 2nd stays standing. He tries to bullrush Martin, who strikes him-6 with his knife but is pushed off onto the street-15. Will breaks, leaps down and pulls his gun. Martin hears a rumbling behind and sees a wagon pulled onto the deserted street, blocking it. Another comes out in front of Will and dumps barrels out the back. 3 men at the back and 2 with shotguns cover us. Martin looks for cover.
A door next to us to a warehouse opens and the kidnapper carriage disappears inside. Inside, men with shotguns cover us. We notice a sign on the building of ‘Fracotti and Co. Musical Instruments, 1825’.
“Sorry I am to be puttin’ ya to so much trouble but would you mind getting out of the cab. Keep your hands insight and don’t be making any sudden moves now.”
Percy “And if I refuse?”
“I’ll be blowin your head off, and mighty sad I’ll feel about it.”
Outside, they hustle the 3 of us into the warehouse as well, just as (card) 2 bobbies run around the cornerr just in time to see the end and the door close.
Martin yells “Kidnapped!”
Percy “Noblenapped.”
They definately saw the deal. And these are certainly Fennian Irish, damn murderous rebel fanatics. The building has offices and large tarp-covered objects, cardboard boxes saying Brock’s Fireworks. By a workbench there are what looks to be homemade missiles of some sort. They take us up as short flight and into an office. Inside is an older man, looking extremely upset.
“What in the name of God are ya doin! I told you to bring me the 2 bloody Martians and ya came back with a circus! Have ye no brains?”
“We couldn’t help it they were all there. We tried to lose ‘em but…’
Old “Cut the mularky and tie them up.” They do. “Now let’s get down to business…” He tells that ‘commrades on Mars’ tells them that the martians are makin deals with English and they don’t like that.
Zin Kir tries to calm him, assuring him of no political dealings.
Sam “What do the irish have to do with Mars?”
“You mean to tellme you have made no deals with the English?”
Kir “No deals, we are on a religious pilgrimage.”
“Well then what’s this box.”
Sam “It’s a religious relic of their, they only wanted to visit Westminster Abbey.”
The old man messes with it and it suddenly floats for a moment. He takes out the amulet within and says “This trinket has value to you?”
Kir “Yes”.
Old “What about the rest of you? What are you doing here?”
Sam “We were only escorting them to the Abbey.”
Gerald, Martin and William, being Celtic and rogues, try to tell them we own our own ship and are only to escort them to Mars on the Princess Alexandria. Will “Effectively this is mercenary. It’s what I don and it often ends in bloodshed.” Martin “It’s a private venture.”
Old “It seems my friends on Mars have misinformed us. Ah well, it happens sometimes.”
Sam “No hard feelings old man” and stands up.
Old “Sorry I have made a little mistake, But maybe you’ll be thankin me for it eventually.”
Martin “Really,what do ya mean by that?”
Old “That’s for me to know”. He looks at the amulet “I wouldn’t want ya to be thinkin now that we’re casual thieves. Ye say this is holy? Lork knows it looks like nothin to me. Best be keepin it to yourselves” and puts it back into Zin Kir’s robes. Turning to a compatriot “Now that they’ve seen us, we’ll have to be keepin them here for a few days. They’ll miss their flight but maybe they’ll think its a blessing in disguise in the end. Lock them in the far storeroom”.
They lead us there still tied up and throw us in with some blankets and some bread and water. “This is to keep ye warm at night” as he tosses a bottle of gin.
Grant “How are we supposed to eat with our hands tied?”
“I’m sure clever gents like you will figure something out.”
Martin “Can you find it in your heart to find us a case of Guiness?” as he locks us in.
We seem trapped for who knows how long…a police whisle “Hands up! You’re under arrest by the name of the queen”. Shots begin to ring out. Will slips his bonds like a regular Hodini;a loud crash from in the building. Minutes later, the door is unlocked by several police. Oddly they are armed “Looks like we have more of the Fenians in here.”
MSam “We were taken prisoner by these ruffians.”
“Is that so?”
Now it’s titme for Percy to talk, Irish need say nothing else “Me and my Oxford pal were escorting the Martians with these other friends of ours.” They lead us outside, we see that part of the roof has caved in.
Sam “How did that happen?”
They had charges places around the place. One of the tarps is off, and silouetted against the sky is a steamdriven flying machine topped by 2 huge metal cones oscillating up and down. The pilot as he flies away screams “Long live Ireland, long live the republic” and escapes out the hole in the ceiling.
2 Fenians are dead and half a dozen others are rounded up. The rockets are gone! Perhaps taken in the flying machine.
Grant “So they have a flying machine and six rockets. What are the up to?”
Martin “No-good.”
Grant “I’d wager that.”
Gerald “I think they mean to attack the Alexandria.”
Percy “Too bad we don’t have time to arm our ship.”
Sam “I have been thinking about that, but yes our time is too short. He did say it would be to our advangate not to be on the ship.”
Percy “We need some good artillery. Perhaps a gattling gun to go with our maxim.”
Searching the warehouse, we find little but harmoniums and some fireworks. The business is but a front for the fenian movement. Getting to peruse the Martian newspaper, nothing is of an obvious fenian link.
Sam “Grant, we must meet with this man Hollingsworth in this article! About discovering new stars. Could mean something what with our new planet and all.”
Martin “The poem could mean something. A lot can be hidden in a poem.”
Sam “Perhaps we should send word to that man of Archie’s in NY, have him look it over for clues and possible codes.” We do, sending a message to Archie to do so. Also, Covington and Grant begin reading all they can on Mars and the backgrounds of stories most interesting to us in the papers. Most immediately, we are taken to police HQ to be debriefed on our kidnapping and give statements, descriptions…
By the end it is late, and the old man Sneal ask us to join them at their hotel. As we go out, it is raining and Keer says “How lucky you are to have water that flows so readily w/o canals. When amulet is filled with sacred power of Westminster Abbey maybe it will rain on Mars too. Too late to go to Abbey tonght. Savoy serving dinner soon, would you like to join us?” A very luxorious hotel, so we join him.

When we arrive, Keer is met by the clerk who tells him his new suits have been delivered. Kir “Tis odd. I am buying no suits.”
Martin “We better check this out.”
Percy “Refuse the delivery.”
Clerk “Too late, we already took them to the room. They are boxed.”
Sam “Quickly, we may have to disengage an explosive.”
Sam, Grant and Will go for the rooms while Percy, Martin and Gerald guard the Martians in the lobby.
In the room we see 3 boxes in a neat row, a 4th beside them with a hole through the top, the cardboard ripped outward.
Sam “Like something alive came out of it.” The edges seem chewed. “Shut the door and make sure nothing escapes”. Grant does so. Sam draws his revoler, Grant holds his umbrella afront for defense.
Will “You want me to open another box?”
Sam “Shake one of them.” Nothing moves or slides around and it is very light.
Sam carefully examines the open box, and it is empty but there is what surely is animal feces within. “Better keep an eye out, Will.” Grant and Sam go to open it, but Will stops them. He pulls his knife and pierces one of the boxes, wiggling the blade it inside. There is not much resistance, though a bit more as he goes back and forth. When he withdrew it, it had nothing on it and no noise came from it. He then turned it over and set it on its top, kicking in the bottom. Inside was rull of newspapers. Grant used his umbrella to rummage through them but nothing. Doing the same thing with the other boxes brought the same result. We began a careful search of the apartment. Will dimmed the lights to attempt to give any small creature a false sense of security.
Sam checked the bathroom and within seconds, from under the bathtub appeared a large lizard like creature with a frilled neck. It stood up on its hindlegs like a bipedal as it let out a loud and angry hiss. Will and Grant rand for the room. Sam pulls his dagger and stabs as it leaps at him-4. As Will enters it is in midair, he fires his revolver-10. It lands with a solid bite-12 on Sam, venom flowing into the wound. He begins to feel woozy for a moment but (card) it fades. It will leave a minor but lasting rash on his shoulder from the venom however. It kept its bite clamped on to Sam’s shoulder, and he turned pinning it to the wall. Gerald pulls his cutlass cutting it across the flank-crit as Sam stabs into the underbelly-crit DEAD. The mouth stays where it is, and needs pried apart by Sam and Will before Covington can escape. The front door bursts open as our crew floods in.
Zeenkeer yells “Did it bite any of you?”
Covington “Me, here in the shoulder.”
Zeenkeer “Oh, you’re a deadman walking. There is no antidote to this poison. It kills you 100%, for sure.”
Will “I;ll sstart to suck the wound.”
Sam “What’s the treaetment?”
“I don’t know why you’re still alive. At this point you should be dead. It should cause death in a minute.”
Sam “Odd thing. I feel pretty fine right now.” Though the next day there is a minor soreness (-1 checks with that or both arms).
Percy “Takes more than poison to kill an Oxford Boy!”
Sam “It’s all those nights of heavy drinking.”
“I guess the poison is not as deadly to you as it is to Martians.” Indeed, during Grant and Sam’s Martian research they find that it is lethal to Martians, but to humans it causes nausea and unconciousness. Occasionally with a bad reaction swelling in a bitten extremity. Still, Sam suffers no such ill effects. Ts’kkiiss is the name of the reptilian thing.
The boxes are unmarked by the sender, with only Aznun’s name and suite upon them.
Percy “Not sent by the ‘Dublin Times’ I gather?”
Grant “No, Fennianns had nothing against these Martians.”
Keer “Probably the wormcult. Our bitter enemies.”
Martin “What?”
Sam “Explain.”
Percy “Would have been kind of you to mention them before.”
Sam “Let’s talk over dinner, then brandy and cigars.”
The mMartians order Chicken Currie, while Percy and Covington down an entire roasted Pheasant.
Sam “Now, you did mention them in Audlies office.”
They explain:
“There are 2 groups of Martians that are against the ‘red devils’ (humans). One, whom we battle as well, is The Cult of the Worm. They worship an ancient evil demon, and believe that the only way to defeat the evil of the world is to destroy the world. So, they actively work toward the destruction of Mars, which means the canals we as the Canal Priests watch over, and likely now Earth as well.”
Martin “What’s this demon called?”
“Simply The Worm. But, it can also go by another name, and that is…(here he lowers to a whisper) Shsiyig (?). You must not say it aloud.”
Sam “Strange. We should mention the name to Archimedes.”
Percy “Does that mean they know they also will die?”

“The other is the Ground Cleansers. They have nothing against the Canal Priests but they do hate earthlings, are determined to cleanse Mars of all of them.”
After, we retire to our rooms for the night.
Martin “We should all go out drinking.”
Sam “We need to guard these Martians, do we not?”
Grant “Yes.”
Martin “Damn it! I’m drinkin’ in my room then.”

In the night, Gerald wakes to a noise from the adjorning suite, that of Percy. He goes to the door and opens a bit, smelling an odd chemical smell, a faint light and hearing movement in the dark. Then a cockcney voice whispers:
“I thought he was awake for a second gov’. Want me to use more chloryphorm?”
From the other side of the room, a strange inhuman voice “No fool. The lantern might make it explode. If he wakes use your cosh.”
“Any sign of the metal, gov’?”
“No, and quiet Terran scum.”
Aside “Bloody foreigners.”
Inhuman voice “No, it’s not here. Perhaps he’s wearing it. Kill him nd search the body.”
“What? YOu didn’t say nuffing about no murders. "
“I’ll pay you another five pounds.”
“That’ll do nicely, gov’.” The sound of a clasped knife opening, followed by Gerald’s revolver going off in the direction of the likely Martian, hoping the cockney being a hired thief will lose nerve, or at least concern himself with his self rather than killing Percy.
The bullet hits-10. Martin, up late drinking with Will and both 2 sheets to the wind, hear the shot and burst into the hallway. It wakes Grant and Covington up as well. Even drugged, Percy wakes up as the cockney is pulling back the covers. Groggy, he reacts slowly though he’s no longer helpless. The cockney hits-6. From the mysterious Martian comes a puffing sound (blowgun) which sends a substance onto Percy-saves for 8, his bed and the cockney both of which burst into flames-16! The cockney drops to the ground screaming and writhing. Covington wakes, gets out of bed and grabs his rifle. Grant thinks the sound came from the other direction of the Martians room and makes for it with his Colt. Gerald fires 2 shots in succession-5/6 to the Martian.
Will bursts in with his Cutlass drawn and hits-10. Percy flings off his burning covers-2 continuous damage, stands, grabs his jacket and begins to put the cockney out. The Martian attacks with a hooked-sword-8. It then begins to buzz with a whirring sound. Gerald charges in as well, followed by Martin “What the devil is going on!” who engages him in fisticuffs. Will hits-crit17, Gerald-7 with a dagger, Martin-5 KO’d. As he falls, the sword cuts into and down the wall before catching on the framework and breaking. The sound from the sword grinds to a stop a few seconds later. It is some sort of hooked chain-sword. Perhaps repairable by Sam?
The cockney is alive, but in terrible shape and probably not for long. He yells “The damn Martian hired him to get him into the room of people who had met a lawyer, wanted him to find an amulet. Don’t know why. Hired me at a public house in Paddington yesterday. Wierdest thing to die for an amulet.”
Sam "Sorry it had to happen this way. Could have given you a job. Percy likes neirdowells.

Back to sleep.

View
Billy Boy? Suicide? Intolerable!
An old friend dies, so we have our own investigation

We land at Percy’s estate, and send a request to meet with the Prime Minister as well as informing Percy’s solicitor,Nathaniel Pennybaker of the firm Barnes and Pennybaker, that we will be visiting his office the next day. We party it up at Percy’s.
Next Day

While we were gone, a telephone has been installed in the Percy home. Covinvton finds it remarkable and calls anyone he knows who may have one.
We wake up groggy the next day from the drinking, receiving word that the Prime Minister will see us! That’s something the Percy family never thought we’d be able to pull off: getting the PM to take time out of his busy schedule to meet with him! The heroes of the Harbinger have clout!
Pm robert cecil
We head for London and meet with the PM late in the afternoon. PM “It’s wonderful you have averted a financial crisis to the Empire, but all this tommyrot about a new planet? Are you sure?” Sam and Grant show him our charts. PM “Well, I’ll let the Queen know and if we decide to take any acion we’ll let you know.”

We head for the solicitor, who handles Percy’s allowance and other financial concerns. Penny “So you wanna form this tin trade?” Pennybaker will say this isn’t a good idea. “What you need to do is form a holding company, perhaps Livingstone Industries Limited. Under that, as the first subsidiary company, will be Livingston Tin. The only one for now, but that leaves room for expansion. This way you will always own LT. LI can own 60% of all the shares, guaranteeing you permanent ownership and avoiding any takeovers in the future. The other 40% can be divided up amongst the shareholders with you holding a majority 25% of that.”
Percy is utterly confused and befuddled by this capitalist speak. “I may need to commit suicide for this. This business capitalism is for pencil pushers,” he half-jests.
Pennybaker “Don’t worry sir, let me and the lawyers take care of it. Think of it this way, you’re giving away shares but it doesn’t matter because LT is owned by LI, so the shares are only for profit sharing not control. You’re still in full control.”
Percy “Sounds good. Make it so, Pennybaker.”

We spend the next week and a half or 2 weeks setting up the business with Pennybaker, making minor adjustments and upkeep on the ship, and working on the Moonrifle.

Also, what to do about the Scroll of Anubis, now known to have Martian writings on it? Covington “Let’s take it to Oxford and the museum. Show it to some Egyptologists and Astronomers.” Percy “What about that Rathbone fellow, from the Adventurer’s Club?” Covington “Rathbone?! But he’s at Cambridge! We can’t take it to a Cambridge man!” We do anyway, and Rick greets us “To what do I owe a visit from you buffoons!” jokingly. Covington “Sir!” Percy “Buffoons!” Rick “Heard about your Harbinger affair. Great job, men.” We show him the artifact and Rick “I know some chaps who may be interested in this.” Unbeknown to us, over the next several days he shows it to some Iluminati men, and from there to Archimedes who gets a look at it.

2 Days Later
We receive correspondence from Rick Rathbone, that he has important matters to discuss with us. He will see us at the Xmas Eve Adv’s Club Gala and afterwards will speak to us at his room in private.

This afternoon, a woman calls on the new telephone for Percy: the mother of Sir William Perkins, an old friend of Percy’s. Her son has been found dead. Seems he blew his own brains out in his office. Percy “Impossible! My friends do not kill themselves.” Martin “We should check it out, if you don’t believe it.” Percy “Not that I don’t believe it, I KNOW it’s wrong. Belief implies a modicum of doubt.”
Can these ‘buffoons’, none of which are cluemasters, handle such a thing? We make haste for the train to the murder scene still underway.
The bobby out front stops us “You can’t enter here, who do you think you are?” Percy “Lord Percy!” Bobby “Lord Percy?” to the other bobby “Better get the inspector.”
One Inspector Lestrade “It’s a suicide not a murder, my Lord. But if you want to look around, come on up, but do not touch anything. I think your friend was involved in a scandal of some sort and took the cowards way out.” Percy “First of all it’s impossible associates fo Lord Percy and the Percy name do not get involved in scandals…often.” Grant to Martin “That’s not entirely true.” Martin back “That’s not true at all.” Percy “And they certainly don’t take the coward’s way out”
We go upstairs and check it out, but they only let a couple people in the room. Percy and Martin are the ones to enter the scene. Inspector “The gunshot was heard by the servants downstairs.”
Percy questions the female servants: “How was he acting before he died, out of sorts?” Maid “Oh, there was definately something botheringhim, my Lord.” Percy “Know of any potential scandals he may have been involved in? Overhear anything?” Maid “No such thing as a hint of scandal in the Perkins house. But he was upset about something.” Martin “For how long before his death?” Maid “Several days, only” Percy “Any visitors?” Maid “There was a gentleman 2 days ago, and I heard raised voices.” Martin “Just that time?” Maid “The gentlemen had been over several times before, and the Lord had gone out with him in the evvening at least twice.” Percy “Do you know where?” Maid “No but my Lord was dressed in his fine eveningwear. I assumed perhaps the theater or opera. Or possibly a gentleman’s club.” Percy “Did he happen to say anything right before his death, send any packages out…” Maid “As a matter of fact, no. He had been pacing downstairs for some time. Since he’s not married no one was here for him to speak to but servants.” Percyu “So he dallied not with any of his servants?” Maid “Certainly not. He then mumbled something to himself, went up to his study and locked it. About half hour later we heard a shot. The butler ran for the extra key and there we found him at his desk. Bullet in his temple and gun inhand.” Percy “No footsteps or loud noises, nothing breaking, no one seen around the property?” Maid “Nothing.” Percy “Anyone on the shelf of questionable character?” She says no, not as far as she knows. We do find out the butler and handyman both have criminal records, the Inspector says only petty theft, nothing violent or major. Percy says that’s likely of no consequence. Percy “Can you give us a description of this man who he spent so much time with?” Medium length hair, neatly trimmed muttonchop sideburns and mustache, rather tall, prominent nose and aristocratic looking and speaking. Percy “I believe you just described everyone in parliament!” Maid “Red hair”. Covington “A ha.” Percy “Now there’s a clue.”

In the room, Martin Takes 20 on the body and part of the room, Percy the rest of the room. Inspector “You’re waising your time, it’s cut and dry. He sat at his desk and shot himself.” The windows are all locked but for one, though it is shut. There is a pen sitting next to a blotter, to Perkins’ left. The gun is at his right side. Bullet is through and through, blood leaked out upon the desk under and around his head. Percy “Hm, no blood spatter on the desk. Just the pool.” Martin looks for the bullethole across the room and finds nothing to Perkins’ right. Percy “I know from military xp that a bullet through the head takes brainmatter and blood with it. If there isn’t any, he was not killed here.” We find the spatter and matter behind the chair on the wall, higher than where he sits as if he were standing when he was shot and facing to the left. Martin “Quite the acrobatics to shoot yourself from that standing position and fall perfectly into your chair, turn around in it and lie your head on your desk.” Percy says the man was left handed, but the gun is at his right! The pen to the left! The pen is recently used. Someone took a paper or papers perhaps?
We check the unlocked window, and it goes into a small courtyard with the stables to one side and a tressel one could use to climb down the wall, shrubbery at the bottom An adjacent building is quite close. On the other side of the yard is a gated low fence, leading into a back street. Martin “We better go down there, probably escaped this way and into the backstreet.” We go down and find the shrubbery quite compressed and broken. Martin “Let’s see if there are any horses are missing.” There are not. Martin “Let’s question the neighbors”. They saw nothing, but an upstairs maid said she saw the strangest thing: A well dressed gentleman climb up the tressel, later came back down the same way and walked out the back gate. Gerald “Did he have red hair?” “He did, and quite a mustache, sir” . Covington “When was this?” Maid “Around 10AM this morning.” Martin “Broad daylight. What direction after he left by the gate?” Maid “To the main road.” Percy calls for Lestrade and tells him all we found out and has this maid relate her story to him as well. Lestrade “So, I should put an all points bulletin out for every man in London?” Will “You’d do it if it were a black or a Jew. It’s probably a Mac.” Lestrade “Thanks my Lord for your help.”

Grant “So now what?” Percy “How about Martin and Will hit the streets and question the criminal element?” Martin “It was very late this man left. We should ask shopkeepers and the like if they saw this man pass by. He should be distinct.” After many who saw nothing, a couple do give us a brief trail where we talk to a cigar shop owner who had just such a customer, who stopped in sometime soon after 10AM. We reach a deadend soon after as far as witnesses, finding ourselves on St. James Street, a well known haunt of Percy and Covington with its many clubs, taverns and coffee houses. Just nearby is the place called Boodle’s, which Percy knows to be one of Billy Boy’s frequent haunts, tending to hang in the gambling room often. Covington “Let’s ask if they’ve seen this redheaded man.”
In the club they say members only, if you’re not a member they won’t tell us anything. Luckily for us Lord Percy, always quite the socialite an hobbnobber amongst snobs, is a member though he has not visited the club in many months and the new employee does not recognoze him. We are quickly allowed in, the door man granting many apologies and Percy notices he has a burst button missing. Percy “I say man, your buttons off.” We enter the card room, and see sitting at a game waht must certainly be the redheaded man we are looking for. He plays against the living great grandson of the well known Earl of Sandwich and another man. The Earl is eating a sandwich. The redhead is quite a burly fellow, too. Percy “I say good sir, you have killed my friend!” Red “What! I’ve been here all day!” Percy “I say Mr. Sandwich, how long have you been playing cards with this killer?” Sandwich “I’m appaulled at your accusations. This gentleman has been here since 11:00.” Percy “Yes, just enough time to have killed my friend first.” Red “You have no proof that I commited any such crime.” Percy “we were told a scotty-dog looking redheaded man, well dressed, climbed the trellace to the building, killed my friend, climbed back down and escaped. Men all along the streets have led us here, good sir.” Red “You have no proof I did any such thing!” Percy “I’ve got a whole trail of witnesses. I say , do you have a cigar?” Red “Not for such as you.” Percy “I don’t smoke them anyway, I’m a pipe man. However, a cigarshop said you stopped there and bought cigars from him right after the murder.” Red “We’ll get this straightened out.” Martin heads out the front door in case he makes a break for it. He goes to the cloak room to get his jacket and we follow behind. He puts his jacket on, picks up a long case and clicks it open to reveal a short-barrel shotgun! Which he levels upon us. Percy, not expecting a gentleman to do such a thing even considering the situation “What-whatp-what?!” Fortunately, Percy’s friends are on edge: Covington in the rear “Look out!” Gerald, standing closest to Percy, like lightning deftly disarms the weapon(card), it tumbles to the side! Covington steps forward and throttles him-16crit KO’d! Covington “See that Percy. One shot.” Percy’s stupification ends and we call the authorities. In his jacket is a note stolen from Billy Boy, who had written out all that had happened: Smythe had cultivated Perkin’s friendship, playing and winning big at the clubs they frequented. Perkins suspected Smythe of cheating. There was an incident in which they were found to be using a marked deck, but which was supplied by William! The club was going to have him blackballed and expelled, leading to terrible scandal of him being a cheat and cardshark. Smythe kept it a secret but backmailed him to continue to take Smythe to Boodles where he could win big money, William his unwilling accomplice. But, William had had enough and was writing the whold thing down to take to the police.
However, he sent a letter to Smythe informing him of his intentions and insisting Smythe should “as a gentleman give yourself up or if you’re a scoundrel run. If you wish to talk come to my house.” He came, but climbed into the window, surprised Perkins, a bit of a struggle before Smythe was able to kill Billy with Billy’s own gun from his desk. The matter is quickly cleared up at the scene.

The following day, we are called before the Queen on the matter of the mysterious planet. She says they are keeping the knowledge of this a top secret. The only other person told is the President of the United States. They plan to send an expedition on a battle cruiser led by the Duke of York. In recognition, The Queen gives us an exclusive charter to all mineral rights of Mercury! Percy “Huzzah!” Covington “Good Lord!” Of course there are some strings attached, one being we must sell our tin first to the Empire and English concerns. Percy “Like we wouldn’t do it otherwise.” The only fly in the ointment: possible Germany is going to try to claim some of the mineral rights for themselves. There are rumors the Kaiser is putting together an expedition to claim some of it. England may need to send some Exporers to circumnavigate the River and claim strategic spots for Britain, including expanded military presence at those spots.

December 24, 1889

Adventurer’s Club Year’s End Christmas Gala.
After the meeting, Rick takes us to his rooms where the Earl of Mansause awaits. They tell us of a man named Archimedes Brown. Knowing Percy’s interpanetary Grand Tour, he says we should begin preparations for going to Mars. At last, here, the final pieces of Archimedes Chosen Men materialize before him and a meeting is set for January 3, 1890.

January 6th or so, 1890
We have spent the days since Xmas Eve preparing logistics for a trip to Mars.
We give evidence at the Central Bailey vs Jasper Fortiscue Smythe, the redheaded killer of poor ol’ Perkins. A murmer of excitement from the court, as a reporter runs out and shouts for a cab. The killer has changed his plea to guilty and the judge wants us in court for the sencencing immediately. Smythe stands flanked by 2 warders, who seem to stair balefully at Percy. We take our seats behind the prosecutor and the sentencing begins. The judge affirms the evil crimes of Smythe, sentencing him to death regardless of his guilty plea! The warders start to lead Smythe away, but suddenly he yells and kicks one down, pushes the other and jumps the railing. He runs to the clerk’s table. He hurtles a pile of books at a chasing cops face, and grabs the shotgun from the evidence table! Everyone steps away. Smythe “Back, everyone back I have nothin to lose!” Covington “You’ll never get away!” The clerk is shouting, judge banging his gavel, the audience in chaos…
Martin looks at us “Is that even loaded?” We see the clerk shaking his head and pointing. Covington “I say, that gun isn’t loaded, man!” Smythe turns, it as a club and Percy rushes the dog. A furious swing and a miss by a barbarically raging Smythe, and Percy is upon him. Even in his rage he can’t stand up to Percy who grapples him-8, the shotgun falling to the ground. Gerald “The man doesn’t know who he’s up against.” Percy yells “Covington, old top, get him while I hold him”. Covington races to the scrap “Pin him down and I’ll sock him one!”, followed by Gerald. Smythe tests himself by grappling back, but to no avail. Martin “Get him, Percy!” Percy puts all his heroic force into a hold, bashing the man’s head off the floor-12. Smythe, like a raging berserker, turns it on Percy and gouges Percy’s face-6. Gerald deftly takes advantage of their standing still and legsweeps Smythe to the ground, taking Percy down on top of Smythe. Percy grabs him by the hair and smacks his head into the floor again-4. Percy “I say, is anyone going to try to arrest this man! This is a court of law!” Covington “Yes, this man’s insane!” Smythe fails to hurt Percy on his turn. Covington starts yelling instructions to Percy as he sees certain openings “Head butt him,head butt him!” Martin enters the grapple but fails to do damage; Percy hauls off with a massive headbut-10. Gerald enters the grapple and hits-8. Smythe, about to crush Percy but Covington yells “duck left,duck left!” Percy does and Smythe misses the move. Percy, Gerald and Martin all fail to make headway. Covington “This man’s mad!” Smythe tries to wrench Percy’s shoulder but Percy twists away just in time. Martin fails his grapple attack, Gerald hits-9, but Percy crits-14. Suddenly, Smythe loses his raging fury and is obviously fatigued from his superhuman efforts. His attempt to bearhug Percy fails. Martin chokes him -7 KO’d and Percy gives him a final hit anyway-8. The cops take him away.
The court calms and the judge addresses us: He’s been very impressed with our honesty, smiling to us, and our integrity.

Percy’s reputation has done a complete 180 degree turn in public perception in the eyes of the pubic. His father, even, must be proud.
As we leave, we get an invitation from a gentleman outside. His name Audley of Audley, Butler and Price. He represents a client who desires our help in a delicate matter. “Would it be possible to you to visit my chambers this afternoon at 3?” Percy “Certainly.” His offices are at Lincoln’s Inn, near Fleet St. Pennybaker’s offices are in the same complex.

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