Thursday, May 24, 2012

[Duty & Honour] Session 4: The Night Attack

Session 4: March 16, 2012
April 1809, Portugal

The watches set, the 13th Light Dragoons and the 30th Northumberland prepare to defend the bridge for the night. The evening is quiet, at least until the late watch.

Private Greenleaf sneaks from his tent and, leaving behind his sabre and his carbine, he passes silently through the camp, past the pickets and crawls under the bridge, looking for his clue about the booze he's seeking.

In the dark, he feels his way along the stones on the French side of the bridge, using his fingers to find a loose brick. Prying it loose, he sticks his hand in the cavity and comes out with a clue!

And that's when chaos breaks out!

Screams come from the Spanish camp on the French side of the bridge, screams of pure horror and pain. Screams that drift over the wind, screams of "Fantasma! Fantasma!"

The 30th Northumberland picket on the French side of the bridge starts firing into the darkness. Then they start screaming, in horror and pain, too.

Greenleaf crouches below the bridge, thinking the French are attacking. He prepares to leap out and plans to kill the French commander.

Limekiller awakes and sees that the the chaos and confusion is freaking out the horses. Without horses, the 13th Light Dragoons can't do their duty, so he rushes to the lines. Unfortunately, some of the horse break free, running through the camp, adding to the confusion.

Lt. Hardrick and Cornet Wyle rally the 13th Light Dragoons around them and grab some of the 30th Northumberland as well. John Crossley, on watch at the back of the camp, rushes towards the bridge, trying to rally the 30th Northumberland pickets on the British side of the bridge but they are totally paniced, firing into their fellows on the other side in a crazy blaze.

Greenleaf leapt out of from under the bridge and came face to face with ... a lion! Not the French!

The lion jumped on Greenleaf and savagely mauled him as another lion ran rampant through the Spanish camp. The British camp was still in chaos but Hardrick was pulling them together.

After they had their fun, the lions went off into the darkness, leaving their destruction in their wake.

Hardrick finally gets the camp together and they rush to the bridge, finding the dead and wounded from the pickets friendly-fire and the lion all along the bridge. They also found the mauled Greenleaf.

Rushing to save his life, Wyle and the crew did their best to patch him up, making him at least upright.

(The appearance of the lions was quite a shock to the players. I told them that the lions were part of a local Spanish nobleman's menagerie and when the French came and burned out the nobleman's villa, the lions escaped and, in the midst of the war, there was plenty of food and chew toys to play with.

I told them the lions appearance was based on the movie The Ghost and the Darkness, hence the "Fantasma" screams from the Spanish camp)

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