Monday, June 18, 2012

[Duty & Honour] Session 6: The French Spy Durand!

Session 6: May 4, 2012
April 1809, Portugal

Private Greenleaf was in a bind. The rest of the company was soon to arrive and his quest to find the cognac was in peril. What would happen if he didn't find it?

Lt. Hardrick was also in a bind - the French spy Durand was in his camp, with Wellington's battle plans. If he was allowed to escape, the tide would turn against the English and defeat, and the disgrace that comes with it, was more than possible.

Once the patrol returned with the lion pelts, the Lt. was determined to find the spy. He noticed, during Sgt. Finkauf's failure to rouse the 30th Northumberland, that several of the Spanish nobles were missing from sight. He quickly put the clues together and raced off to find them, realizing that the best place to hide the plans were probably Lady McFaine's quarters (she had so much luggage, one new piece would be lost among them).

Meanwhile, Greenleaf had managed to decipher his own clues to the whereabouts of the cognac and realized that they were hidden below Lady McFaine's quarters. The 13th Light Dragoons had set up Lady McFaine in the only ruins near the bridge, laying boards and stretching tarps for a roof, while the old wooden floor was still strong - the booze must be beneath the wooden floor!

Both Greenleaf and Lt. Hardrick reached the lady's quarters at the same time and burst in, disturbing Durand! Durand smiles at them and drew his sword and the wounded Greenleaf, the champion swordsman of the 13th Light Dragoon, drew his sabre in response - finally, to fight a skilled opponent!

A terrific fight ensued! Durand's skill was equal to the wounded Greenleaf and neither gained any advantage, no matter how much both tried. In the midst of the fight, Durand's sword caught a lit lamp and Greenleaf's sword flicked it onto the floor, where it smashed and soon the whole room was in flames.

Realizing that his booze was lost to him and the fire was out of control, Greenleaf grabbed Lt. Hardrick and leapt out of the inferno as Durand grabbed the plans and made his escape. The explosion of the hidden cognac (and gunpowder) completely destroyed Lady McFaine's quarters as the flames leaped a hundred feet into the sky!

The light from the explosion silhouetted the mounted Durand's escape from the camp and the chase was on! Hardrick, followed hard by Greenleaf, Crossley and Sgt. Finkauf quickly mounted and pursued the fleeing Durand in the darkness. Shots fired and a pass or two of sabres soon parted the battle plans from Durand.

As Lt. Hardrick dismounted to collect the plans, the heroes of the 13th Light Dragoons saw Durand in the distance. He pulled up his horse, shook his fist at them while swearing eternal enmity with the 13th Light Dragoon, and disappeared into the darkness.

The French spy Durand defeated, but not vanquished, the patrol returned to the camp and the fire that had engulfed Lady McFaine's quarters.

Greenleaf noted that the cache of cognac was ruined but found an empty bottle intact, figuring that he could fake the booze and sell it to some unsuspecting rube. However, Volunteer William York found himself in possession of an undamaged full bottle, salvaged by an enterprising dragoon who didn't pursue Durand! Greenleaf must have that bottle!

Volunteer York decided to use the sole-surviving bottle of fine cognac to influence the regimental purser's agent to gain a commission as a cornet in the 13th Light Dragoons but he suddenly found that he had a possible rival for that rank - Sgt Finkauf also wanted to raise his rank and tried to influence the agent by appearing as a model soldier.

Greenleaf used his skulduggery to switch the bottles during the meeting between Volunteer York, Sgt Finkauf and the agent, but neither Volunteer York nor Sgt. Finkauf suffer from any problems with handing off a fake because the agent dropped the bottle and it shattered. Feeling badly, the agent gave a good report to the regimental purser on behalf of York and Greenleaf took the real bottle of fine 1697 cognac away!

(The fire in Lady McFaine's quarters was all my fault. I told Greenleaf's player that if he failed at fighting Durand, the place would burn and so would his beloved - and as yet unseen - cognac!

The influencing of the regimental purser's agent lead to a three-way PC vs. PC duel - Volunteer York vs. Greenleaf vs. Sgt. Finkauf, with other PCs aiding in the process and it worked out pretty well.)

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