I can synopsize.
Sergeant (now Second Lieutenant) Hannibal Rourke: Commander of the expedition, despite being militarily outranked by nearly everybody. Veteran of the British retaliatory campaign against the Zulu. Longtime RACI operative. Can be extremely ruthless, second in that only to Hawthorne. Also Paladin of the Nadir Court of Vampires under Mina Harker, successor of Vlad Drakkuul, adn very klikely a future (far, far futuire) fledgling of Mina's; in fact already shows some minor traits of vampirism. A bit of a rough cob, as he speaks in a rather thick cockney accent and patois and has many common habits. partially 'gentrified' by his upper-crust contacts.
Captain Bledsoe: C.O. and one of the pilots of the Marigold. very much like a younger James Mason (the actor and his naval characters).
First Officer: Not named yet. "First Mate," ostensibly.
Also often in charge of Fire Control
Second Officer: Most other Bridge and shipboard upper-echelon duties.
The Bosun: More or less teh shipbaord "Head Noncome
Many crewfolk (varies from episode to episode).
Starling Scott: Medical/Scientific Officer; Civilian
His Lordship Alex Hawthorne, Earl of Halifax (somebody correct me if I got that wrong): British Intelligence; a very, very Ruthless and dangerous operative, and not a good one to cross. Old friend of Rourke's, and paramour (fiancee?) of Issa. Rank: Ostensibly Civilian, but is of course a Lord -- but doesn't impose it much (not at all, to date)
Issa (Iska Helene Elisabeth Baroness von Rabenstein. Originally a German operative sent as a mole to infiltrate the Marigold Team. Rank: Lieutenant. Turned to first stages of vampirism by Mircer Handthorpe, head of the Treadstone Gebel Barkal expedition, and a fledgling of Mina Harker.
Joe Rooney: Weapons specialist. Something of a ruthless loner; captured by the russioans in episode three, a prisoner, soon to be rescued, in episode four..
Captain Talbot: Agent of British Military Intelligence. Sometimes acts as if a law unto himself, but usually to the benefit of the team.
Adrik: Prisonmate of Joe in the Novgorod Gulag.
Mina Harker: Queen of the Nadir Court of vampires, and close friend and ally of Victoria Regina of Great Britain and the British Empire
Marmont: Mina's best and most powerful Agent, and head of the Nadir Paladins; very nearly an Alucard-like character in terms of strength and ruthlessness, but is much more urbane and cultured. A friend of Rourke's.
Colonel Piggott-Steng: Rourke's immediate superior in the RACI, and the Agency's Spymaster. Sees Rourke almost as a son of sorts (but would not be caught dead saying so). Tends to be crtical of people and methods outside of RACI.
Sinclair: High official of Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Ing: very-high-up operative of HMSS. Tall, pale, very Nordic-looking; he could be said tio closely resemble the name of teh Norse hero/God(?) whose name he bears. Very old friend and comrade-in-arms- of Rourke. It is never explained just how he gets from place to place, but although he is frequently seen around steamship berths, railway stations and aerodromes, he always arrives on the spot suspiciously close to the time of his alleged departure hundreds of miles away; It usually involves rainbows or some other trick of the light. Tends to be the bearer of news and of special accoutrements for Rourke and/or the team as a whole. Seems to regard Rourke almost as a charge or ward of sorts.
All are highly skilled and highly dangerous to the enemy, though some more than others.
The setting is in an alternate universe which is mainly steampunk in character; it's the early-to-mid 1880s, and steam rules, though petrol and diesel engines are starting to be used as well. Electricity is nearly nonexistent, but can be generated in the beginning on a small scale for airships and the like, using dynamos (the sort one commonly finds on locos of that period in RL, and larger) or a wonderful new source known as "aether."
The HMAS Marigold is a sort of "special operations" ship. Ostensibly belonging to the fleet under the command of the Royal Airship Corps (originally the Air Service), it is actually part of what has come to be called RAC Intelligence.
The ship began the first episode as being used by the British Medical Service (a fictitious organization, and just a cover in any case), as a cover for getting a "medical" (actually a specialist RACI) team on board the Nirgalian Dagger, a gigantic city-sized airship that had becomne stricken with the new Greenmouth Catatonia Plague (a disease that causes its sufferers to metamorphose into what are, basically, a form of zombie, or "greenies," in the context of the story. The world-wide, (and evil ) corporation that towns the Nirgalian Dagger, the Treadstone Organization, had brought aboard from an archaeological site in the Fertile Crescent (present-day Iraq and trans-Jordan) along the shores of the Euphrates , artifacts once belongng to, and cursed by, Nirgal, Mesopotamian God of Pestilence-- including the dagger, whose namesake was the giant airship, and a huge stone tablet, which was part of teh Book of Death. The proce of that theft was the Curse of Pestilence, embodied in the Greenmouth Catatonia Plague, which suddenly sprang up almost the moment that the dagger was taken aboard the Dagger
Long story short, the team fought their way through hordes of greenies, took back the dagger, and the scroll, said the words that they were ordered to say to break the curse, and hightailed it back to the Marigold, as the events leading up to the recovery of the dagger and tablet hzad started a chain reaction that would ultimately destroy the giant ship. The series ended with the team returning to England aboard the Marigold. They took with them both the artifacts and data on, and samples of, the Greenmouth plague and a new strain that had been developed by Treadstone's specialists aboard the Dagger, from which Starling Scott, the actual medical expert of the team, and Mike Rooney, the weapons specialist, dveloped the Smalls Vaccine, named after the first victim of the new strain.
The second episode involved the team's exploits in a mission to Egypt, as part of an operation to investigate reports of Greenmouth infestation in the area, and to counter a Treadstone expedition to the Nubian Pyramids at and around the Gebel Barkal Archeaeological site, against the backdrop of the Mahdist Uprising in the Sudan, and the apparently impending Siege of Khartoum.
Their mission was to prevent the awakening of the being in the crypt in the largest Pyramid, or failing that, to destroy said being and raze the pyramid.
They were successful in this endeavor, save that one member became changed by contaqct with the undead mummies, and ione was bitten by the vampiric head of the Treadstone expedition, adn was thus forced onto the road toward turning. (the vampire lore and sequence of events are much more complex than I feel comfortable broaching in this post). They return to England once again, this time using an experimental method of travelling in the upper atmosphere (what we today in RL call the "Jet Stream." The siege of Khartoum adn the death of General Gordon are both averted, and the Mahdi becomes an ally of the British Empire.
I'll post the overview of the last episode sometime after lunch (lol).
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 08:29:12 pm by MWBailey »
I'm just going to propose some events, feel free to change them.Name:
Oliver James Corliss Age:
A mostly unknown [air]shipwright, and is being held in Novgorod Gulag. Has designed a new class of russian airships, the first being built in a factory not far away.Cover Occupation:
Given enough time, can do anything technical on any airship. Understands the finer points of meterology, if not just 'instinct', as well as the effects on the human body at altitude (Think what the NSDAP did during WWII, and pretend the russians are doing it to members of the Novgorod Gulag now?)Weaponry (2 to 3 only, please):
For the time being, anything he can lay his hands on.Equipment:
In his cell he has everything from paper to tools, and much more besides at the near-by factory.
Example of my work:
The Grand Duchy of Sverq
Duchy of Sver, Kz’Sver
The Grand Hall
Torches lit the Hall, flickering and casting shadows upon the cold stone walls. A large table ran along the center of the room, chairs arranged almost haphazardly left where they were after the Meet. Only five figures still sat at the table fit to host eighty, all close to the head of the table. Around the outside of the hall, Twelve men of the Phalanx stood guard with eight of the Duke-of-Zellit Highlanders, the ceremonial halberds and claymores gone in place of their preferred regular weapons. It was late, later than any of them really should have been worrying about any matters of state. The man at the head of the table dropped the letter he had received and let it float softly to the table. Sighing he sat back in the grand red cushioned chair. It had been the first of the missives that had been given to him, almost three days ago now, and he had simply been too busy to open it. That and it had the seal of the Patriarch on it.
Naii was not a Lumanist man; then again, neither was he a pagan man. Although he really should represent one of the faiths prominent within his domain, with him as one the opposite faction would despise him. So he was neither, and attended only attended a service if it was a particular holy day. Sighing again he felt his age getting to him. It was sowing season, the heat of the south still drifting in the room. Naii looked to his right, to his first-born, Brai, his Lord-Commander of the Army and the next to step into position of Grand Duke. “What do you think, son?”
Brai shrugged, he really had no idea what to do about it. One time the Patriarch sends word that churches are giving out food only to those of Lumanist faith, and then the next is that everyone can have it. Coupled with the letter from his sisters in Pandesia, he really had no idea what to make of it. “Good for them, is all I can say in all honesty, father. Really, one way or the other, it doesn’t affect us. We have ample food for all, God if we needed to we could probably supply the entire south.” Brai was a lumanist man although he knew he’d have to cut his ties once he becomes Grand Duke.
Across from Brai the man reached for his goblet and peered in, finally deciding it wasn’t worth getting the last of it he placed the goblet down and sat back heavily. “With this word brought back from the north, of Asamark and Therisylvania, it just seems to be getting worse.” He shrugged, picking up a piece of parchment brought to the Keep by a Captain of a trader vessel, who was rewarded for the information. “It has come to the attention of his MAJESTY,” he spat, sitting back in his chair, “that cert-ayne nobile houses in HIS domain are failing to ABIDE by the commands of his holiness, the Patriarch, and are not acting as goodlie-” he paused smirking a little, “Is that even a word? - Luminists ought to. Therefore, his MAJESTY commands that those lords who worship pagan gods over the ALMIGHTY shalt be stripped of all their titles, and exiled as heretics. God Save the King.”
“Don’t mock him, Venner,” said Naii half-heartedly, knowing that Venner was teasing his brother as much as mocking King Wolfgang, as the man next to Brai muttered, “God save the king, indeed.”
Naii looked up and frowned. Normally he wouldn’t have people speaking at the same time as him, but in these informal sessions he really didn’t mind, however that wasn’t what was troubling him. “My Lord Earl, what were you saying?”
Earl Haerul of the Free Cities coughed softly before speaking, “Nothing, m’lord, I’m just wondering what we would do if the Emperor commands this too?”
“Well,” shrugged the Grand Duke, while smiling, “I can only suppose Pandesia would muster the army, send its navy east, and call upon Crethir, Lpqy and us to support her unless the Emperor changes his mind.”
Venner nodded, “Yes, they would order us to defend against any seaborne incursions to the west while their all-powerful Navy sits outside Ivlendir.”
“And then,” finished Brai, “If civil war occurs, we’ll be required to defend the south as well as marching through the Vale to Ivlendir.”
The Grand Duke looked away, glancing at the guards around the room. The Phalanxmen in their slim armor, the hulking Highlanders... he tapped his fingers on the table, thinking. He glanced at the men around the table – his sons having at each other over what would happen, the Earl amused over the debate. Then his eyes stopped on the last member of their group, Baron Vairaz of the Vale and he immediately began ruffling through the letters piled on the table. “How easy is it to get a force of men through the Vale?” he asked Vairaz, his sons stopping mid-sentance.
Brai looked sharply at his father, “What?”
The Grand Duke rolled his eyes, “Vairaz, how easy is it to – ha!” he cried as he found the letter he was looking and reading it again. His eyes darted from left to right as he read the neat script before he continued, “ – easy is it to get a force of men through the Vale?”
The Baron was a late addition to the group, but a well needed one. The Earl and the Baron - along with the Baron’s father, the Margrave Nsre - had arrived at the same time; unfortunately the Margrave was called back after the Meet due to some pressing matters in the Northern March. So the Baron stayed in this informal council, privy to secrets he wouldn’t have known before. At 26, Baron Vairaz Nsre of the Vale was not an important man. He was to be the next Margrave, however his 48 year old father was no closer to dying than Vairaz was, and thus all the man had was the small title to the most northern fief in the Grand Duchy. However, in recent years the Baron had been more times around the Empire than nearly any other noble in the Empire.
Vairaz shrugged, “Depends how many men, sire.”
“My Lord, or Lord will do just fine,” waved the Grand Duke before sitting forward, “Say, something like a Marshle?”
The Baron’s face twisted slightly in thought. Three thousand men, commanded by a Knight-Marshal, and the Vale was not an easy place to go through. Countless dangerous animals lived there, plus brigands and any number of criminals. “Such a large group..” he ‘hmmed’, “Not easy with a large party, the baggage train would get caught up easily.”
Naii nodded, tapping his fingers. No doubt his sons thought he was seriously considering invading the capital. “What about a small party – say, a twenter?”
Vairaz smiled and nodded. “Much easier, si- lord,” he corrected himself, “If you send, maybe a centente at a time in a different direction they could hunt for their food, carry what is needed.”
Now the Grand Duke shook his head, “It’s good you are thinking ahead, but no, only a twenter.” He looked at the Heir, “Lead by your son, in fact.”
Brai’s eyebrows rose sharply, “Dannik? Why?” Dannik was his first-born and a Knight-Captain of the Duchy of Zel.
“Aye,” nodded Naii solemnly before rising and passing the letter to Brai, “With a twenter of guards. It should be sufficient, should it not, Baron?”
“For the Vale, lord? If I had not already said it would, I would say it was not. If only because he is your grandson, not because he is incapable.”
But this time Brai shook his head as he read through the correspondence from a Sverqi in the Capital, “No, he will go,” he muttered before turning to his father, “Who sent you this? It is not addressed to us.”
The Grand Duke smiled and indicated with his hand towards Haerul and Brai lifted an eyebrow.
The Earl’s eyes shifting left and right before he leaned forward and, in hushed tones, asked, “Lord, with the guards here?”
Naii’s mouth formed a small ‘o’ before he covered it with a hacking cough, “I fear my health is not what it was before winter.” He snorted softly, remembering that many of the people here, guards included had caught the Cough over winter, and he just hadn’t got over it. “I fear that I should not worry about matters of state at this unfitting hour, we will talk about this in the morning.”
Venner smiled, “It is morning, father.”
“Ah, well...” muttered the Grand Duke, before clapping his hands. “We will continue this in my study, then. At least there it is more comfortable and considerably better for my health.” Placing his hands on both arms of the chair and he stood, gathering what papers he could carry before Brai placed an hand on his arm, and the Grand Duke remembered where he was.
Previously, before during the winter months up around his study on his own he would be more than happy to carry things around himself, to draw water and other menial tasks. But here, out in the open infront of the guards, he had to be the Duke of the third largest dominion in the Empire. Clapping his hands, he called the pages forward and indicated to several documents he wanted brought to his study, before he broke away and walked over to one of the guards – a Phalanxman.
“What is your name?” Naii asked.
“Gyre du Venderwalkn, sire. Earl-of-Freci’s Phalanx,” replied the guard calmly, however inside he was shaken.
Naii turned back to Haerul, “One of your’s, eh?” The question had a double meaning.
“Aye, lord, one of mine.”
Naii turned towards the Corporal of the Guard, “Corporal?”
A boot came crashing down, “Sire!”
“Tell the Knight-Lieutenant that I expect to see the full guard assembled on parade tomorrow morning one bell after waking,” he ordered.
Turning back to Gyre, Naii gave a second order, “I expect to see you and four of your most trusted comrades after parade.” Turning away, Naii left the dumbstruck man and joined the rest of his council at the door, which looked just as dumbstruck as the Phalanxman.
The walk to Naii’s study was a quiet one, giving him time to think about what was happening. His sons did not know about the Earl, and neither did the young Baron. Naii had a soft spot for the young Baron; he was like a grandson to the old Duke. Ever since his father had given Vairaz the Barony, he had been privy to more secrets then even his two Dukes. In all honesty, Naii trusted the his two Margraves more than he trusted his Dukes. The Margraves were military men, not those ambitious with power such as the Dukes. Margrave Nsre commanded the North and a sliver of the east where the Forts were. Margrave Xiou commanded the far north, the border with Raven’s Perch. The Grand Duchy had not seen war for – Naii looked off at the tapestry on the wall, hoping that one of them would jolt his memory. He went past four until the fifth reminded him – The Battle of Xioq, Hundred and Twenty years ago, he sighed. It was the last battle with Raven’s Perch where the Free City Phalanxmen re-enforced the besieged Stronghold via the river, with the Zel Highlanders and the Xiou Marshal supporting from the land. Gods, that was a battle from the legends, and since then, with the Free City treaty, the Phalanxmen have been an integral part of any significant force.
Then they had arrived, his irrelevant thoughts taking up much of the walk. The guard posted outside saluted the Grand Duke and opened the door for them. The Grand Duke entered followed by his council and lastly two pages that were carrying the files he requested. Dismissing them, he sat down heavily behind his desk and indicated the rest of them should sit.
“I’ll stand, thanks, I’m not used to this sitting for a long time,” said the Baron.
Brai snorted, “No doubt, with all the hard work you do for harvest.” The Vale was hardly a agricultural region, being able to produce not much more than what they need. The young Baron stared daggers at the Heir as he continued, “So, father, Earl,” he nodded at them both, “Why do we need to be up here?”
Naii sat back in his chair, as did the Earl. “I probably should have told you this before...” he muttered before rifling through some of the papers on his desk and handing them to his first-born, “Take a look for yourself.”
Brai took several of the leaflets of paper and looked at them, gradually his eyes got wider, and looked sharply up at his father, “Treasury reports, messages to and from the Capital, missives from El-Eal to churches... what is this? This, these... whatever they are, they are illegal.”
His father snorted, “If they were illegal, would we have them.. wait, no, we probably would, and they probably are in some hidden backwater law.” Rising out of the chair slightly, he leant forward and picked up the goblet of warm water mixed with ground beans recently sent from Pandesia, coffee they called it. “No,” he continued, taking a refreshing sip of the coffee, “No, this is all thanks to the Earl. You see, for years, the Earl, his father, and other hidden people in history have been serving the Grand Duchy in a way not known to you, or your brother. I’m fairly sure no one but me and the Earl know of his... other duties.” The Grand Duke missed the glance between the Baron and the Earl as he got up and approached the bookcase behind his desk. Pulling out a large volume, he reached in and there was a small click, and then his arm went in further that the bookcase appeared to be thick. His arm soon returned, intact, with a small book in hand. Replacing the larger volume, he turned back to the group, lightly throwing the book at the Earl. Then he looked at his sons who still had confused looks upon their faces.
“The Earl,” he continued, after a time, leaning his arms over the back of his chair, “is our representative in the Free Cities, but his relationship as a Free Citizen allows him to be almost anywhere without prejudice. No, he is not only our representative, but he is so much more. Given the missives in your hand, can you not tell? He is my Spider, my spy master.”
Brai’s eyebrows shot up, “Spy master? Why would we need one, we are not in a time of war?”
“Are we not?” asked the Earl, “Is not every House plotting their own position to power? Given the Eligibility of the Emperor’s daughter, the way to the Imperial household, does not every House with a son present themselves as eligible bachelors. Gods, even the King of Chulainan has proposed a son to marry your beloved niece, Saanya. I have people working with the Imperial Pigeons and Fast Riders, and I know much of the communications that head out of the Capital.”
Brai sighed at the mention of his niece, Saanya Tarquilya-Alcedina. Her father, his brother, Fallis had died in a hunting accident in Prinzwood eleven years ago. Brai had not been particularly close to Fallis, however Gaden was – his yet unmarried brother. It had severely affected the youngest of the four brothers to a point where many of the du Zealan had only seen Gaden once or twice since then. Now that the Grand Duke had given Gaden permission to marry out of love, rather than political gain, he had stop coming to Kz’Sver altogether.
“I see your point, my Lord Earl,” he muttered as a solid knock came through the thick door. The young Baron looked at the Grand Duke, who waved permission.
“Yes?” asked the Baron, before taking a leaflet of paper and closing the door. Turning back to the group he shrugged, “Didn’t say a thing, what an odd fellow.” Turning the note back and forth he raised an eyebrow, passing the paper to Haerul, “Its –err, in a foreign language. I believe this is your name, my Lord Earl.”
The Earl smiled as he read it, “Yes, quite.” He passed it to the Heir, “Correspondence from my people in the south.”
Bari frowned as his eyes ran over the page, “I can’t read this, nor can I put the language.” He passed it across to Venner who concurred.
“It is good you can’t,” responded the Grand Duke, “Only very few can, it is a language my good Earl has created. He’s created several, actually – a very resourceful man.” He looked at the Earl pointedly.
“Ah, very well,” he coughed before reciting the message he had memorised, “ ‘Magna assembles, Pandesia retorts with force on the border, Lumanist’s attempt to win over Reg.’ ”
“Reg?” asked Venner.
The Earl nodded, “Aye, the Princess Regent.”
The Grand Duke sighed, “I’ll pen an offer of support in the morning, but we are getting off track here. We were talking about the Vale, and my lord Earl brought up a good point about the Emperor’s daughter.”
The Baron, who had been quiet for a time, nodded and spoke up, “Aye, the Vale. Yes, if you were sending a twenter through the Vale, they would have little trouble - only the animals and the occasional brigand.”
The Grand Duke’s fingers put a beat out on his desk as, in his other hand, he re-read the letter that started this lengthy conversation. Finally sighing, he turned to his first-born. “Your son, Dannik, he is of marrying age. As is the Emperor’s daughter. He will go through the Vale, accompanied by the good Baron here as well as a twenter Bodyguard made up from my own men.”
“My son, to marry the daughter of the Emperor?” murmured Brai.
His brother snorted, “No, to see if he is fit to marry the daughter of the Emperor.”
Brai’s eyes shone as he still murmured, “It would make me brother to the Emperor..”
The Earl glanced sidelong at the Grand Duke, almost sighing.