Cast of Characters
Edwina "ET" Teresa played by Catie
Vivianne Jones played by Cindy
Joe Kowalski played by Kelly
Kai Rizzen played by Tyler
And introducing Milos Budar, played by Ted
See our Session Zero for backstory and further introductions to our characters!
Part I by Game Master Caleb
5 July 1939
Frantisek Moravec, Czech intelligence officer in exile, looked over the ragtag group. Kai Rizzen, the Austrian physicist in his pressed shirt looked like one of those funnies comics come off the page. He'd recruited Edwina Teresa, aka ET, off of some street corner where he'd been keeping an esoteric whatsit that she'd managed to pull from the guard who was still recovering from the blow to the head stateside. Vivianne Jones, had had a weekend to clean the dust off her boots, though there were still bits of creeper vines in her tightly pulled back hair, before taking the steamer across the pond. And Joe Kowalski, "The Kid" as Moravec kept thinking of him, still had that unworn look of a fresh suit, except that he was just out of boot camp and held that Lee-Enfield rifle like it was made of gold. Cyril Black from Section D had brought the paperwork and was tagging along, though he would prefer the typewriters and halls of filing cabinets by the look of him. And Milos Budar, smiling at the chance to clock the Reich that had taken his home, managed to keep his silvery voice to himself.
They flipped through the briefings. Czech Resistance, well one of the four factions, had reported family abductions in the area around Castle Karlstein in the newly minted "Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia." Moravec had taken what intel he could before taking the last plane out of Prague when the Panzers came rolling in, but there were radio channels and code words that got the message out. Codename ANGEL was some local hero, had even made his way into the Castle Karlstein to rescue families. Meanwhile, the Three Kings of the Resistance were trying to figure out what to do with them, what with those willing already keeping families in their basements. And if this guardian angel of theirs wasn't able to get them home, then the unwilling recruits never came home. Moravec handed over a handwritten letter, the key to the castle, he hoped, for them to figure what the devil those Jerries were getting up to.
They flew in some hours before dawn. The Armstrong Whitworth Whitley's propellors urged through the night. They were deep in occupied territory and the plane would have just enough time to get back to Hungary before first light. Rizzen had identified a location at forest's edge in the farmlands near Grossmorschin to the northeast of the castle. After stowing their gear in the treeline, they traveled to a nearby farm.
Jonah, lacing up his boots on his steps, was already up for the day's work in the pre-dawn light. They offered what aid they could in exchange for breakfast and insight. With Joe's aid with the cows and ET's work on the hand-me-down tractor, Jonah invited them in where Helga and their grown son Matthiau were sitting. With broken German, Czech, and English they learned that Matthiau would not be going to school in Prague after all, that the Germans had instituted lean rations, and that Father Pavel of Grossmorschin had been taken up to Castle Karlstein for aiding the Resistance. The younger Father Andrej had come up to celebrate Mass from the town of Karlstein, but he had not been seen for some time.
Later, in town they met with the baker Dušan, who was the first of the merchants to open shop. None too eager to speak with the investigators, but with the sound of Volkswagen jeep, they ducked inside. The Germans were patrolling. Following a generous purchase, Dušan shared that the Resistance mostly kept to the forest around the castle where they could ambush the Nazis. It was not his business after all.
With the details on Father Pavel and Father Andrey, they snuck toward the small church in town. Locked up, that didn't stop ET from entering through the front and Rizzen from finding a loose cellar window. Resistance propaganda was stored in the cellar amidst other crates and while the hall was clear, Father Pavel's small room had been ransacked. A secret compartment revealed letters with the Josef Balaban, and in the corner a small crown was written. One of the Three Kings of the Resistance!
The patrols out in force, they made a dash to the forested hill peaked with the forbidding walls of Castle Karlstein. Joe was able to make sense of the propaganda. The Three Kings, it seemed, had taken to inscribing trees with J, Q, and K as a way to find one another. Scanning the forest, the J was not far! And then some scouting around led to the Q!
A hail of gunfire and the investigators ducked for cover behind the nearby trees! Was it Resistance or Nazis? Rizzen hailed them and was greeted with gunfire! Either way, they weren't friendly.
Joe rolls out, takes fire, and fires, nearly felling one of the soldiers, now clearly in German uniform. ET pulls from her belt one of the issued grenades and lobs it at the trup of five soldiers and their commanding officer, felling one and sending the others wounded and scattered. Jones takes aim and fires, killing one of the wounded. ET then hefts her wrench and runs at one of the men, hitting him across the shoulder. Joe fires again, felling a soldier. Before Rizzen can aid ET, she takes a shot to the midsection! The others fire on Jones and Kowalski, while the officer attempts to gain some distance in order to report.
Rizzen finishes off ET's assailant and sees that she is in need of first aid to which he moves. Joe dodges enemy fire and takes out the officer. Jones gets embroiled in a run and gun with one of the remaining heer soldiers, but is able to get the better of him! The final German dodges between trees trying to get away and eventually make a report, but from behind a tree swings a wide, flat cricket bat, felling the soldier.
The cavalry, it seems, has arrived.
Part II brought to you by Kelly!
After the band dispatches the German soldiers with their leader lying dead, four men emerge out of the trees. It takes just a few moments for them to identify themselves as Resistance fighters. The band watches as they rifle through the bodies looking for weapons and whatever else they can scavenge from the bodies.
Kai Rizzen shows the Resistant fighters the entry letter given by Moravec. After a short rest, the Resistant fighters take the band through the woods and back to town. As they pass one of the trees, one of the Resistance takes a few minutes to obliterate a “J” and a crown from one of the trees.
The band arrives at the small bar in Karlstein village that is owned by Fraulein Helena. Helena has been providing assistance to families in the area, working on getting them away from town and the General Kratz, commander of Castle Karlstein. Kratz has been seen around town taking notes of the people and activities and is most likely connected in some way to the families and children going missing. Helena admits that she is doing her best by hiding families and aiding in their escape. In fact, she is hiding a family at the moment in a trapdoor. The Honig’s, a father and three young children, are waiting for their opportunity to escape. Our little band volunteers to help the family and take them to the next town to the south. They bandy around several ways to help the family as well as ways to fool and/or incapacitate the Germans.
They finally decide to have Joe work behind the bar while Kai Rizzen and Milos work the Germans. Joe and Helena will get the soldiers drunk while Rizzen will take their uniforms and drag them off to a house of ill repute. Rizzen is surprisingly effective and swift in dispatching the soldiers to the bordello. (Or so young Joe is led to believe. - CA)
The Band uses a cart and some beer barrels to hide the family. Unfortunately, the uniforms don’t fit as well as hoped and there is a concern that bluffing their way through a checkpoint will be a little more difficult than hoped.
Circumstances were worse than they thought as bluffing didn’t work nor did gunning the jeep through the checkpoint as the jeep ended in a ditch. Edwina’s savvy decision to cut the following Nazi’s brakes was brilliant, but, again unfortunately, the damn Nazis decided to shoot instead of chase resulting in a shoot out between the two sides.
The band was able to travel overland with the Honig's to the Řezníček house where, with a crate of food and wine, they were welcomed. The band took shelter in the barn where Rizzen attempted to treat Edwina's wounds before they fell, wearily, to sleep.