A Colonial Gothic Tale
Cast of Characters:
Ester Morris, a frontier colonist (Nevion)
Jebediah Ezekiel, a militia (Nathan)
“Whiskey Jack” Wisakedjak , a tribe adopted Shawnee (Darryl)
GM Note: On Saturday Feb 4th we jumped into our Colonial Gothic session with a bang. Introducing our heroes into a Rite of Passage of the American Revolution. For those who haven’t played “A Surprise for General Gage” which is in the Colonial Gothic Gazetteer there be spoilers below the cut.
Our adventure begins on the road to Boston; Ester, Ezekiel, and Whiskey Jack are on the road traveling towards Boston. Ester fled her homestead since she was being pursued by someone (or something thing) and she felt her life was in danger so she decided to live on the run. Jebediah had seen strange things in his life, but no one would believe him he set out to prove to find out for himself the dark secret that is hidden in the new world. Whiskey Jack was found as a baby and raised by the Shawnee. He is a tribe adopted, and raised off the land and was reluctant to leave his “home” but then there was something in him that was gnawing away; to reveal the dark secret that is hidden in his past.
Our heroes have taken up arms and decided to join other patriots to fight the British, along the way they pass ragtag groups of mountain men, platoons of uniformed militia in colours of various colonies, as well as other travelers on the road. The inns along the road is packed and many take a break under a tree or a little area to rest up for a bit before continuing on their way.
A Postal Delay
On a remote stretch of the road our heroes stumble across a robbery in progress, several armed men have stopped a messenger on a road and are in the process of stealing the messengers mail bag. Whiskey Jack takes to the woods for cover, as Ester follows suit, while Jebediah surveys the situation. The messenger breaks from from the scoundrels but in the process gets shot int he back and that prompts our heroes into action.
While running towards the robbers Whiskey Jack takes his Pennsylvania Long Rifle and fires a shot on the run. He hits one of the robber in the upper shoulder, and thus an exchange of musket fire begins as robbers and our heroes engage in combat. It doesn’t take too long for the combat, since our heroes have the advantage of the woods for cover and two robbers are taken down with some lucky shots and another is gut shot. The remaining two robbers take off since they were not expecting to meet resistance. As our heroes emerge from the woods a wounded robbery sits up and is about to fire at Whiskey Jack but then he is taken out by the swift action of Jebediah.
The messenger is wounded and conscious as Ester tends to him, he looks at her and reaches inside his shirt and takes out a letter and hands it to her. He tells her that it must get to General Ward outside of Boston at any cost. And with that, the messenger dies while Whiskey Jack is tearing strips off dead robbers shirts for makeshift bandages.
The Journey to Boston
Ester, Jebediah, and Whiskey Jack discuss their options. The letter to General Ward is sealed and since they are only couple hours away decide to complete the messenger’s task of delivery the letter.
“In for a penny, in for a pound,” Ester tells them. The decide to bring the messenger and his mail bag along. Jebediah drags the bodies of the robbers off the road and puts a marker along the side of the road, while Whiskey Jack covers the messenger with a blanket and tethers the body to his horse. Ester slings the mail bag over her shoulder, though she has a feeling that something is watching her from the woods. Jebediah taps her on the shoulder and startles her a bit before she regains composure and our heroes are on their way.
An Interview With General Ward
As our heroes approach Boston they come up to a small militia unit that is apparently on rest it’s here they meet Col. McCullough, who then directs them to Water Town Hill overlooking Boston; it is there where the headquarters of General Ward is. Col. McCullough assigns a young ensign, Deever Bend, who shows them the way. Our heroes and Deever make their way over fields, by passing abandoned farms and make it to Water Town Hill.
They are questioned and are told to hand over this message but Ester sticks to her ground and tells him that it was specifically meant for General Wards eyes only since their are “spies” around. Deever says his goodbyes to our heroes and proceeds to head back to his unit. Our heroes are escorted to General Ward’s tent. Before they enter a beautiful native leaves the tent, her hair black as raven and her eyes a pale green, she brush pasts the party.
Gen. Ward, and three of his men, are standing over his desk looking at a map of the area and takes the letter from Ester while thanking them for delivering it. He breaks the seal and takes out the letter and gives it a quick read. He jots down several sentences on a note and hands it to an aide and tell him to give it to Daggert at Yale. Ward then turns his attention to our heroes and have them explain how they came across the letter. They tell him what happen and he tells them that he is in their debt for doing so.
Before dismissing them he asks them are they up for a challenge? Since they do not look like regular soldiers and for a task like what he has in mind is not intended for just regular soldiers. Ester, Jeb, and Jack discuss among themselves and then acknowledge they are interested in doing this task.
With the map of the area on the table he brings their attention to it. He tells them that we command the area around Boston but the Royal Navy controls the harbour and Boston is filled with British Troops. Thus it’s a hard fought battle with little or no relief in sight but he has a plan that might just work, and he wants our heroes to go to Castle Island and take out the powder room at Castle William. The crux is that Castle William is under the control of the British. If a small team could make their way unnoticed to Castle William and break into the fort through an old drainage ditch, they could be the fly in the ointment and might deter the British commander there for at least a couple of days. With the guns silent Gen. Ward might be able to fortify the surrounding islands.
Ester, Jeb, and Jack accept the assignment. Grab a little more gear and then head out to the cost where they plan on stealing a rowboat and make it to Castle Island under the cover of night.
Approaching the Fort
They make there way to the cost, and hiding from a small patrol of British soldiers. They it looked like for a moment that they might just be spotted but they manage to safely bypass danger and a sentry who is not paying to much attention.
They hit the coast and make their way along the shore until they find a rowboat pulled up on the sand and they overturn it to see the ground underneath it begin to move. Jack hits the area with the butt of his rifle and ends up killing a crab who had dug in for the night. Our heroes eat good tonight. They drag the rowboat into the sea and proceed to row to Castle Island and to the side where the drainage ditch is.
Fort and Knife
They make it to the shore unnoticed by the sentries along the way, and they pull the row boat up and out of site. They head to where the drainage ditch is and find a huge iron grate to it. Jack tries to yank out but it seems to budge a little, so all three of them make a pull together to get the grate out, it comes out with a clang. Our heroes hold their breathe but to their luck (and my bad die rolls) the sentry isn’t paying to much attention at all. Our heroes crawl into the drain. Jack, Ester, and then Jeb taking up the rear.
As Jack makes his way he encounters a huge rat scuttles up to him and Jack takes out before it even has a chance to bite. He continues on and makes it to the grate on the other end.
*GM Note: I had told the players the drain open up inside the Chapel instead of outside. I noticed my mistake but went with it.
Jack is underneath the grating and hears muttering from above. He tries to listen to what is being said but the movement of the others coming down the drain drowns it out. Though, there is footsteps echoing above and the door to the chapel closes. Jack climbs up to the grate and tries to force it open, but it won’t budge. Jack thinks he might be able to open a latch from the other side (and he rolls a critical success) and it does. Jack enters the chapel and does a quick look around to see if anyone is in the area but it’s empty, then he makes a bee line for the door as Ester climbs up to the chapel. Jeb is bothered by a rat but he takes of that before proceeding up into the Chapel.
Jack is by the door when it opens up and in walks a British soldier and both are surprised! Ester throws a knife and hits the soldier and Jack with tomahawk in hand brings it down upon the fellow and drags his body into the chapel. Our heroes discuss their options and Jeb being the same size as the soldier decides to dress up as him and then take his position outside, to see if the coast to the storehouse is clear.
Ester and Jack stay to the shadows and survey the area as well, hoping to find a way into the stone storehouse. Jeb notices that there is a guard at the locked door to the storehouse and he then gets chewed out by an officer for slacking. Ester and Jack have a plan of action to start a diversion on the far side of the castle at a wooden barracks. Start a fire and while everyone is busy putting that out, they break into the storehouse and do what they came here to do.
A fire starts at a barracks which causes an alarm and a bucket brigade forming from the well to the other, the sentry at the storehouse waves over Jeb to tell him to watch the door since it’s his barracks that’s on fire. He hands Jeb the key to the door and he runs to the well to help douse the fire. Jeb unlocks the door to the storehouse and waves Ester and Jack to proceed. They go into the building while Jeb is standing guard at the door. They bust open a powder keg and set a trail to the others and proceed to light the fuse and then run like hell.
Bursting out the door and heading off to the chapel, Jeb follows as the whole castle seems to be in the courtyard at the moment. They rush into the Chapel and go to the drain and then that’s when the storehouse explodes! A fiery explosion that sends debris flying and our heroes scrambling into the drain and out the other side.
They drag the rowboat back into the water and row back to shore.