Monday, 11 July 2016

Esoteric Extravaganza Part3 - A Return to IHMN

Here is the fluff that I wrote as the background to the third installment of an "In Her Majesties Name" wargame. If the Europeans prevail, the British Empire will be saved ... if not ... better not talk about it too much rather than saying Cthulhu will be stalking Cockneys for the foreseeable future.

Dr. Dias tumbled not a little way through the dust eventually coming to rest at the base of what he assumed was an odd African tree. He gathered his senses and brushed the fine sand from his waistcoat when he suddenly gasped. His favourite tome, the “Cultes des Ghoules” lay open a few feet away from him, soiled and missing several pages. Trudging back to collect the pages he, for the first time began to take stock of his surroundings. A sparse line of weathered telegraph posts stretched away across dry terrain and desiccated scrub. To his left, several hundred yards away, was a ramshackle compound with yellowed, baked mud walls and a roof of thatched twigs. Dias cleaned his spectacles and began the short walk to this island nestled in this parched waste.
As he neared, Dias noted a tattered flag limply, but almost lasciviously, undulating atop a flag pole which extended from the courtyard of the compound. The dry wind combined with the sun’s heat to slowly bake the good doctor who was completely unaccustomed to the desert … or indeed any form of hardship at all. The flag revealed itself to signify the Congo Free State of King Leopold. “Good,” thought Dias, “at least I can expect a civilised welcome and an enlightened ear to receive my plea for help.”
Within half an hour Dias was bound to a chair, which was festooned with splinters, in the company of three men whose reek, unkempt appearance and menacing demeanour seemed to compete with one another to threaten him the most.
“I will try to explain things to you one more time,” the strain was evident in Dias’s voice as was his pleading intent. He had been trying to convince the trio the veracity of his story. London, in the future, will fall to the machinations of a cabal of swarthy malcontents led by the venomous, Filthy Abdullah – whose nom de guerre was the ‘Sultan of Baksheesh.’ To do so they must prevent the birth of Abdullah by fair means of foul.
“So let me get this straight,” the drawl was unmistakeably American, “you want us to shoot some blackies?”
“There is no need for shooting, and in any case,” retorted the good doctor, “I have no idea what this devil’s author actually looks like. We can’t simply annihilate a whole village.”
“Well,” returned the American - known as O’Connell - , “we can’t at the moment anyhow. Damn place is like a powder keg set to explode. Not only do we have the local fuzzies, who turn to eatin’ folks with not much prodding, but there’s also the local Mullah been stirring everyone up. If we start firing we might have the whole valley bearing down on us, and our local militia ain’t worth much in a scrap. Added to that there’s rumours of a band of murderers lurking about in the night picking us off, although that might be our boys running to the hills as they can see things goin’ from bad to worse.”
“All I actually require is to prevent a certain turbaned laddie from mating tomorrow evening,” stated Dias. The room fell into an awkward silence at this utterance.
“A rum request to be certain,” blurted Captain Savage. “But I dislike the thought of these blighter’s coupling to supply the Mullah with more Mohommodans. Also damnedably boring around here. I’ll dip my wick into the business. But … how the devil do we stop our unknown semite cassanova from hoisting the flagpole and feeding the cat?” An unsurpassably awkward silence now befell the room.
All were waiting, however, for the interjection of the, as yet, silent occupant of the room. In this case the elephant in the room was of Belgian persuasion. All awaited Captain Lacoste, our Belgian. His nationality singled him out for sadistic ingenuity in his dealing with the indigenous and his continental European background imprinted him genetically with a preoccupation for pursuit of sexual deviancy of the basest sort.
The Captain now stood, clad in a once martially magnificent uniform that was now starched stiff by the sun and countless deluges of perspiration of near biblical proportions. He seamlessly began to speak of topics so detestable that they would render another man helpless under an avalanche of self-loathing and degradation. Savage only stroked his moustache in such a manner that it profoundly disturbed the Doctor.
“After toiling under the date palms,” Lacoste spake with professorial grandeur, “the return journey of the swarthy gentlemen may lead past certain stimuli. Remove these and you will be sure to conquer his ardour. First, he may stop by to fill his bag with khat. Next, he may linger at the pen of the goats to ogle, or fondle, that hirsute temptress, the Sultana – most lovely goat in the village. From here, the lure of Khamal’s fermented milk still may draw him in for a secretive draught. Finally, he may gather at the door of the local missionary, with his fellows, to pelt the door with ordure, for nothing excites the turban toter more than violent thought and deed toward the feeble.”
“So, to save London and the future of humanity,” O’Connell’s voice was pregnant with incredulity,” we have to burn some plants, kidnap a goat, blow up a still and fling shit at the door of a priest before the darkies can do it?”
Lacoste stood erect and simply stroked his moustache in an even more grandiose manner.
“Well, gentlemen, will you aid me?” pleaded Dr. Dias.
O’Connell plucked the spittle drenched stub of a well abused cigar from the corner of his mouth and slowly coaxed it back to life through application of a flaming match. Once done he puffed several clouds of noxious fume into the already seedy air of the room and said simply, “We’re in.”

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