Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chapter XVIII: Rescued?

EXPEDITION TO ALEXANDRAPOUR
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Date: 1 November 1900
Locations: Ruined Camp, Wasteland and Jungle
Situation: More Discoveries
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See Chapter XVII posted 28 May 2012 here:
http://generalpettygree.blogspot.com/2012/05/chapter-xvii-pillars-of-alexander.html
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EXPEDITION TO ALEXANDRAPOUR
Colonel Lawford And Romanov Captain Tumarkin
1 November 1900

Prelude To ACT 1

Lawford: "My previous narrative ended with Captain Tumarkin relating how two of his men captured and brought a gentle creature into camp on the evening of the 31st of October. This caused immediate excitement and alarm for Professor Grenville and his native workmen. Grenville without explanation appearing resigned to a terrible fate simply walked to his tent quoting verses from The Old Testament's Book of Job."

Tumarkin: "After the infant was brought into camp, we heard snapping tree limbs and trees crashing to the ground within the rivereine jungle nearby. The campfire fully illuminating us might as well have placed us upon a gas lit promenade in St. Petersburg. We fled the camp hoping to save our lives. What perils awaited us in the darkness did not matter. We had to run, but from what?"

Tumarkin: "The workmen fled in a jibbering panic. Most everyone else ran into the night too. The way was occasionally if dimly illuminated when scudding clouds allowed moonlight to brighten the way. Alexandra, Stirling and I drew our service revolvers covering the rout."

Tumarkin: "When we reached the escarpment barrier, everyone spread out within the hoped for security of cover offered by bushes and trees."

Lawford: "I could only poorly guess what Captain Tumarkin's astounding story would next reveal. He did not identify the creature brought into the camp but Grenville, it seems, thought it had something to do with Job's behemouth. However, the little animal though large was not of such size or demeanor as to strike panic in the hearts of the frightened mob. Surely it was something else."

"When Tumarkin recommenced his story, it was not about the troubled nocturnal flight from the camp but with what happened the next morning. For what occured during those terrifying hours of darkness, dear reader, we must imagine it or await the pleasure of the Romanov Captain. Meanwhile, he started by saying...."

ACT 1
The Next Morning

Tumarkin: "I mentioned we ran to the cover of trees along the escarpment wall in darkness. The next morning we observed two of those dreadful flying creatures Sir Richard previously encountered descending into our camp. Through my binoculars...."

Tumarkin: "I saw them float down into our ruined bivouac. The rasping sound they emitted was loathsome to our ears. We imagined their vulturous plans. Horrible. Unthinkable. Unspeakable!"

Tumarkin: "Arching their heads skyward, they called to each other in hungry excitement and satisfaction. Logically we could do nothing about their impending desecration."

Tumarkin: "Sir Richard though wanted to return to the camp, fire shots and scare them away."

Alexandra: "Might there be more flying devils en-route who might silently drop upon us in the open and carry us to our deaths?

Stirling: "Someone might still be alive. We are honour bound and must try! I will go alone if I must."

Tumarkin: "Then in an instant the pair of wretched monsters ascended disappearing down river."

Tumarkin: "The reason for their departure was due to...."

Tumarkin: "The arrival of Colonel Villainovich with some of our party crossing the river. They soon broke into open ground between the ruined encampment and our escarpment hideaway."

Tumarkin: "Never had I been so glad to see my countrymen. We were saved."

Tumarkin: "Colonel Villainovich with his escort saw and approached us."

Tumarkin: "Alexandra explained everything finishing with...."

Alexandra: "And Uncle, the infant was rescued by her mother. Realizing her baby was in our camp, she instinctively could only think of saving her offspring and perhaps punishing us. Yuri, Josep and Professor Grenville were crushed to death either by the behemouth or falling trees. After she trampled the Professor's tents, we heard mother and baby moving in the direction of the river away from us. Where they are now, we do not know. In darkness we continued our flight here where you found us, thank God."

ACT 2

Lawford: "A creature that could topple trees. How large it must have been! Pray continue your story.

Tumarkin: "Our Expeditionary Party did not stay long at the late Professor Grenville's archaeological camp."

Tumarkin: "His hired workmen were encouraged to join us and did so. They preferred the protection of our firepower to walking back to Dongolo virtually unarmed and alone."

Tumarkin: "Sir Richard Stirling was adamantly opposed to jouneying deeper into Terra Incognita again. In the end he accompanied us anyway."

Tumarkin: "A day later we crossed into a sulphurous arid region."

Tumarkin: Two small volcanic vents were the source of the odor.

Tumarkin: "Several hours later we came upon unremarkable ruins of an unknown age."

Tumarkin: "And there came upon another of the blood stones I mentioned earlier."

Tumarkin: "I remarked to Colonel Villainovich that it must be another marker pointing in the direction of our goal, the lost ancient city of Alexandrapour. We talked."

Villainovich: "We appear to be proceeding correctly."

Stirling: "Right you are Colonel. We, that is the Professor and I, came this way weeks ago before retreating to the camp where you discovered us. The vents were dormant then. They appear awakened now. Ahead lies more prodigous trouble as we earnestly  told you. I again strongly recommend you withdraw as well?"

Villainovich: "We shall move forward Sir Richard."

Tumarkin: "As we did so, the ground vibrated and deep rumbling sounded behind us."

Tumarkin: "Our rearguard turned about and stopped to observe...."


Tumarkin: "An eruption eminating from each vent."

Tumarkin: "We saw multi-coloured gaseous clouds begin to rise into the atmosphere. Lava rose within one of them without explosion or ejecta. Hastily we moved further away hoping nothing more severe would occur."


ACT 3

Tumarkin: "Fortunately nothing worse happened. Later that day...."

Tumarkin: "We camped beside a small lake surrounded by palms."

Tumarkin: "We discovered more ancient ruins. Colonel Villainovich and Countess Alexandra set the native workmen to digging. A small volcanic vent nearby was troubling but only light steam arose from it."

Tumarkin: "Nothing was discovered in the few hours left to us before sundown."

Tumarkin: "Alexandra thought our encampment enchanting but this was soon proved wrong because...."

Tumarkin: "When riding to the south I discovered unusually large and strange footprints beside the lake."

Tumarkin: "My escort and I rode perhaps a half mile in search of more tracks when I noticed...."

Tumarkin: "Our cavalry forming up on a hill behind us."

Tumarkin: "The reason? Native warriors previously hidden were moving toward our camp."

Tumarkin: "On they came. Bugles were blaring an alarm in the camp causing our soldiers to rush out of their tents."

Tumarkin: "We turned about to join the battle. Aroused crocodiles nearby viewed us with menacing stares. They crouched to spring upon us if we made a mistake or our horses foundered. Near the camp...."

Tumarkin: "Our cavalry let their horses go so every carbine was available to stop the surging tide of tribesmen. Yet this was of no avail as more angry natives rushed towards us. One body astoundingly charged into the chattering teeth of our Gorlov (Gatling) gun and...."

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CLOSING REMARKS
1) There are two chapters left after this.

2) The battle in Act 3 was a weeknight wargame fought on 27 June 2012 between Chuck L., Todd B. and myself. We drew colored dice from a box to determine sides. Todd drew the Russians whilst Chuck and I drew natives.

3) Rules? A Colonial version of Batailles de l'Ancien Régime known as BAR.

4) Chapter XIX will describe the battle with images and text along with it's shocking results.

5) Comments welcome as always below. Thank you for tuning in. See you next time after July 4th., 2012.
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4 comments:

Rob said...

Veeeeeeeeeeeeery interesting.

Who's figures did you use for the horses? I have a bunch of Sash and Saber horses with saddles and without riders for my US cavalry, but not for Brits, Afghans or the like.

Gallia said...

Thank you Rob,
The horses come with riders as part of Tiger Miniatures Balkan Wars Bulgarian cavalrymen. I bought them and get great service from Recreational Conflict. See:
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http://www.recreationalconflict.com/
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Cheers,
Bill

Anonymous said...

An excellent post and the dice have guaranteed a great after action report.

Earl

Stephen Gilbert said...

Absolutely amazing..... thank you so much for all your work and effort. It I inspirational, and certainly was a big factor in pushing me to put together my own colonial imagi-nation campaign.

Steve :-)