Friday, September 3, 2010

Pulp Mini Six - Session One: Part Two

Welcome to the second installment of the game report of the first session of my Mini Six pulp adventure game now running on Thursdays. I am breaking the game reports into several pieces as I feel the detail required to make them interesting really makes them bigger than I'd feel comfortable stuffing into a single post.

You will find that there is a minimum of game mechanics references except for where I feel it is important to note how they effected the action. Leave it be said that I do play a very transparent style of RPGs and no matter the system I have a tendency to roll dice only when absolutely needed.

I should also note that these reports are drawn from memory and though they describe the plot and actions that took place, there may be bits missing and in some case, I have cleaned things up to glance over some of the inconsistencies that come up in active play that had to be later adjusted for or retconned.

After returning to the United States, our heroes went their separate ways and back into their daily lives. We faded back in on our heroes several weeks after their adventure in India with Dr. Jenkins returning to his office one day and being handed a package by his secretary Sally.

The package was heavy and wrapped in crumpled brown paper. Tied up in twine and sealed with a red wax seal with the symbol of an elephant, the package smelled of exotic spices. Jenking took it into his office and opened the wrapper only to find a second, much neater wrapping of white paper with another seal and a note that read, "Open only in a safe and private place". Jenkins, being the impetuous adventurer that he was, waste no time opening the parcel in the privacy of his office.

Inside the paper wrapping was what appeared to be a piece of a stone tablet upon which were etched a collection of symbols and shapes including a a crescent and a long, wriggling line. Jenkins, having a background in ancient languages and texts immediately began working on trying to place these symbols, but their origins and meaning escaped him. Figuring it would take more than just a casual examination, Jenkins made a rubbing of the stone piece and had it expressed to his partner Johnothan Sussex who was in Maryland at one of his family's many holiday estates. The rubbing was accompanied by a note indicating that Jenkins himself would soon follow.

We then flashed to Sussex's receipt of the rubbing as it was hande3d to him by his butler Harold. Opening the letter and examining the rubbing, Sussex made an immediate connection (thanks to the use of the Perceptive perk), recognizing the symbols not as writing but as a part of some sort of primitive map. Acting on this revelation, he moved to his library and his families extensive collection of atlases and travel maps pouring over them for long hours and eventually determining that the symbols indicated a river in Tailand and that the crescent on the map was not a moon at all but rather a geographic anomaly such as a valley, canyon or some such. Action then flashed back to Jenkins as he was collecting his travelling gear from his office.

A knock at Jenkins' office door gave him pause. Normally Sally would have let somebody in and announced their arrival but it was her lunch hour. Jenkins asked who it was and was relieved to hear the familiar and, as usual, upbeat voice of Richard Collins, one of the universities deans. Jenkins let him in and a conversation ensued.

The dean proceeded to enquire about Jenkins' obvious impending departure and expressed a concern for his recent rash of abrupt and unscheduled trips away from the university. Despite Jenkins' reassurances, Dean Collins continued to press the issue and indicated a strong desire to know more about where Jenkins was heading this time. When Dr. Jenkins provided more vague but honest guarantees, the dean insisted that he might be able to get the board to relax their concerns a bit if Jenkins delivered a regular report of his movements and findings on this trip. Jenkins hastily agreed, wanting to get on his way and Dean Collins said his goodbyes, taking an apple from Sally's ever present, desk top fruit basket as he left. Action faded back to Maryland.

Nighttime in Maryland found Sussex having already made travel arrangements for the entire trip to Tailand. A train from Maryland to San Francisco, a steamer to Hong Kong and then they would arrange passage to Tailand from there. His packing and planning was interrupted by the announcement of visitors. Sussex asked his butler Harold if he was presentable, being in his leisure wear and was given the response, "For these gentlemen, I am sure."

Moving to the parlor to meet his unexpected guests, Sussex detected the odor of cheap tobacco indicating that his guests must not be anybody of station. He arrived in the parlor to discover two suited men waiting for him - one a lanky man in a dark suit and the other a larger man in a grey suit. Neither had manners enough to remove their hats and the slighter of the two was still smoking as Sussex arrived. Both had the obvious bulge of a pistol showing through their suit jackets.

The man in the dark suit introduced himself as a federal agent Jack Bernett, producing a passable ID and badge but failing to introduce his more massive companion. After greetings and limited introductions had been completed, Agent Bernett explained that he and his partner had been visiting the local estates and homes of the influential families in the area investigating a recent rash of illegal imports. Sussex, playing coy and just a bit antagonistic explained to the agent that his family was not the sort to do such things and that the artifacts and treasures in the house had been in the family for some time. Further exchanges were made with Sussex offering nothing of use to the rather insistent and barely polite agent.

As the conversation drew to a close, Sussex asked if the agents had a business card that he could keep handy should anything come up. Agent Bernett produced a rather cheap looking card that looked less than official with a phone number and his name on it. Sussex then excused himself for a moment, moving to his study and returning with a box of fine cigars. Agent Bernett accused him of attempted bribery which Sussex simply shrugged off, explaining, "If I had intended it as a bribe, they would have been Cubans."

The larger agent chuckled at this, even as his partner seemed a bit off-put by the remark and his obvious showing up. The two men dismissed themselves and and out into the night. As they went back to their car through the wind and rain of an approaching storm, Sussex observed that their car seemed a touch too stylish for simple government agents.

To be continued....

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