Monday, January 21, 2013

Giglamps in the Heart of Darkness

Giglamps and Co. tramping through the bush.

" Well, you see, Willard, in this war, things get confused out there. Power, ideals, the old morality, and practical military necessity. But out there with these natives, it must be a temptation to be God. Because there's a conflict in every human heart, between the rational and irrational, between good and evil. And good does not always triumph. Sometimes, the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature. " -- Apocalypse Now

"But his soul was mad. Being alone in the wilderness, it had looked within itself, and, by Heavens! I tell you it had gone mad. I had - for my sins I supposed - to go through the ordeal of looking into it myself" -- Heart of Darkness

The Station.
Sir Kev Blyng lay dying.

Giggers watched the antics of the faqir through the billowing clouds of incense.

 " Ickity ackity ooh, eh eh!"

The trip up the Bomoo river had been painstakingly slow but otherwise uneventful. Nothing of note had occurred once Colonel Kilpaw had taken B'Water.

"Ziggity zaggity zoo, eh eh!"

Sir Kev had gone mad they had said but nothing had prepared Giggers for this.

" Ooh, ooh, ptht!"

The Station was in disrepair. There were piles of carrots everywhere, mute testament to Sir Kev's success. There were other, less wholesome trophies, testament to Sir Kev's methods. Unsound.

" Ah, ah, ptht!"

For all of that, Sir Kev was an officer, a gentleorc, and the Hero of nGwakia Wells  and that ought to count for something. And so here he was, participating in some native cleansing ritual designed to save Sir Kev's blighted soul.

"Flippity flappity floop!"

The walls of the Station wavered and faded. A feeling of dizziness akin to having played too many rounds of whist while quaffing Madiera seized hold of Giggers. Instinctively he reached for his pistol.

"It is done."

Presently Giggers and company were standing in...it looked like..St. Gothmog Square!

 "Od's Fish, this can't be so" he stammered.

St. Gothmog's Square?
"Please put your guns away Gentleorcs, You have asked me to do this thing and I have done it.

'We are in Sir Kev's spirit and must now act quickly to save it..."



The Table from Past to Present

The Game

This scenario is based on "Occupy: Hitler", an encounter I wrote as part of THW's "Monkey Business"   offering. The game is played on a table representing Sir Kev's soul. In this case it is depicted as a series of places that influenced his life. 

Giggers, The Chief, Chef, Lanz, Mister Kleen, and the faqir, have all entered Sir Kev's earliest key memories. A great rise, and a mighty river led straight down the middle of the table, straight to the Station, where it all went wrong.

Rural Chavchester

On the left the table started with pastural Chavchester, as it appeared before the industrial revolution changed it forever. There was the old barn where little Kev used to watch the farm animals and beyond that up the lane you will see The Tarte and Sweete where little Kev would watch animals of a different kind take their pleasure.

Astute readers will already have seen St. Gothmog's Square. Here a somewhat less young Sir Kev, used to wile away the hours while at college. There was much carousing, and not a few broken windows and noses, as the young "gentleorcs" made fast and loose with those of lesser breeding.

The Ruin of Queen Roo di Shia's Palace.
Beyond the confines of Albion, we find the ruined remains of Queen Roo di Shia's palace. In the aftermath of nGwakia Wells, Sir Kev let his Chavchesters loose on the defeated enemy's property and person.

The Line and the Jungle.

Which brings us to The Line. It can be said that in condoning the slaughter after nGwakia Wells, that Sir Kev had crossed the line between civilized and savage behavior. Here that line is made manifest by a shallow nullah that separates his civilized past from his savage present. 

Beyond The Line, the lush jungle closes in, concealing a native village of the type first protected and a later raided by Sir Kev and his askaris.

The Metaphysical Station.
Finally we come to the Station itself, are a more cramped parody of the same. It is here that Giggers must come to save Sir Kev's eternal soul.

And "what of it?" you may ask, "all Giggers has to do is walk from here to there and it is done".

Not so! There are three Possible Enemy Forces (PEF) that seek to prevent Giggers from his completing this  noble endeavor, and an even fouler foe at its end.

The Tribeshalflings
One represents the tribal halflings that embody the spirit of natural savagery.

The Revelers
Another is made up from the dregs of Albion society, no less savage in truth.

The Slavers Occupy the Station.

The last is composed of halfling slavers. Truly the most savage of them all.


Marching through  St. Gothmog's..
How it all went.

The journey started out easily enough. Giggers gathered up his startled companions and their faqir guide and trudged off towards Queen Roo di Shia's palace.

The Forces of Darkness Converge.
Meanwhile the PEF's meandered, as PEF's will, generally in Giggers' direction. Soon the tribal PEF was observed.

Birds burst forth from the Brush.

And found to be nothing more than some animals moving in the bush combined with some rather taut nerves. 

When it came to the revelers however our heroes were less fortunate.


A gaggle of depraved tavern dwellers rushed the party.

Over the River and through the Woods.
A quick shot from Giggers brought down their leader but the mob didn't seem to care. Soon it came to a clash of arms, cudgels, axes, and tusks versus cold steel (and the odd belaying club).

"Prepare to Receive Revelers!
The fight didn't last long but took its toll.

Revelers Repulsed
When it was all over, both Lanz and Kleen lay in pools of their own metaphysical blood. 

Giggers quickly brought the survivors around and set off once more.

er...Out of the woods and over the Bridge...
As Giggers was leading his party over the bridge, he spied movement along the bank upstream.

Movement 

It was the remaining PEF.

Slavers!
Which resolved into an angry bunch of Slavers.

Slavers massing.
There was a good deal of shooting from Giggers and Chef, and  a good deal of skulking about in the brush by the slavers.

Slavers rallying.

The firing kept the slavers off balance. Their leader was never able to mass them for a rush and in the end they came on in ones and twos, only to be shot down or run off.

Keep on Trekking.
With the last PEF out of the way, the party marched on to the Station.

The faqir, for mystic reasons beyond my meager ability to comprehend let alone explain, bid them proceed while he hung back in the jungle.

With a gasp Giggers, the Chief, and Chef  met their greatest challenge yet.

The Heart of Darkness
Themselves!

Giggers quickly recovered from the shock and dropped evil Giggers with a well placed shot.

Chef fired and missed.

Shots are exchanged.

The Chief charged, only to be knocked down by his alter ego.

More shots and the Chief is down but not out.

Evil Chef fired at Chef and missed.

Giggers to the rescue!
Chef charged evil Chef and brought him down.

Giggers stepped over the Chief's prostrate form to engage the evil Chief.

but who would rescue Giggers?
The evil Chief was one tough son of a gun. He knocked Giggers to his knees and readied the coup de gras. Evil Chef recovered and the two would be cooks circled each other warily.

The Chief!
The Chief recovered and rushed in to cover Giggers. The evil Chief was brought low and despatched. 

Evil Chef brought down Chef and closed in for the kill.

Only one bad guy left.
Recovered, Giggers stepped in and stabbed evil Chef bringing the action to a close.

Good Triumphs over Evil.
Afterward

Once again Giggers was staggered by the rigors of metaphysical travel. When he finally recovered he was once again standing at Sir Kev's bedside.

Kleen and Lanz lay slumped on floor where but moments before they had stood, all attentive.

The Chief and Chef looked on seemingly a bit worse for wear.

Sir Kev looked Giggers in the eye and spoke in a weak voice, "Thank you for saving me from the Horror. The Horror..."

The faqir knelt by Sir Kev's side, taking his hand. After muttering a few words in his native tongue, he spoke to the assembly.

"Mistah Blyng, he dead".