Near the Ta-bo Mountains, French Indochina
November 30, 1930
Despite the failure to get your hands on Brother Virigi’s journal, you came away from the Portuguese monastery on Macau with solid information. The monk had left a few weeks ago for the monastery’s mission on the mainland in French Indochina. The brother monks had set up an outpost in the foothills of the Ta-bo Mountains to preach to the primitive tribes living there. Villagers you speak to along the way there always spit when saying the name of the mountains, so you suspect an evil story lurks in this area’s history.
It takes about a week to trek through jungle and cultivated plain before you begin to climb into the foothills. Once or twice, you see signs that the other archeological teams you encountered at the monastery may be on the same trail. Villages and hamlets are becoming more and more scarce, though. What’s more, in your last several days of travel, all the villages you pass through are deserted. Chickens and goats wander untended, making you suspect the villagers left in a hurry. There is a smell of smoke in the air as you finally come to the mission station. A grayish haze hangs over the area, as if a fire has been smoldering for days...
|The second scenario saw Dakota Smith and his rivals discovering Brother Virigi's mission station on the mainland raided, smoking, and with no signs of life...|
|A map showing the board as I initially planned it -- some changes were made when I set it up|
|Dakota Smith passes up on checking out the village to instead examine the temple ruins at the top of the scrubby hill, hoping to get some clues about the history of the area|
|The steely-eyed Von Jaeger notices something odd left by the footprints in the mud|
|The mystery of the raided mission station distracts Lady Shannon -- always ready for adventure -- from her hunt for a Buddhist tomb|
|The British come upon a grisly discovery in the marshy patch in the center of the table. They are stunned to find the horribly stabbed Chinese man still alive, but even more astonished by the stunted, misshapen body of what wounded him...!|
|Once again, the mission of Opay and other members of the Order of the Fire Coral is to frustrate that of the westerners, and keep hidden the mystery that Brother Virigi must have stumbled upon...|
|The perilous areas on the board slowed down the occasional character, and even temporarily downed Fraulein Blucher (German ally). However, she recovered quickly. All hands were available at the bullets began to fly, shortly...|
|Dakota was a bit miffed that Dolly sauntered in and finished off his deciphering of the minor plot point. This didn't prevent him from taking a quick pencil and paper rubbing of the temple inscriptions...|
|Guns blazing, the Germans chase after the British and the major plot point|
|Ryan O'Shea and Tex open fire on the Order of the Fire Coral|
|Inside the jungle huts which composed the Portuguese mission (and newly-constructed for this scenario), Tat-Ko discovers the missing Brother Virigi's new journal and swipes it|
|The melee in the center is furious, and the Germans are in the thick of it. All teams are eventually drawn into the brawl, though.|
|Bullets and fists fly as the characters all compete to drag off the howling, wounded survivor of the raid. They know he had key information on how to track down the attackers, and hopefully, rescue Brother Virigi.|
As the leagues retreated from the bloody fray to bandage their wounds and take stock of the situation, they knew they all had one piece of information. The monks of the Portuguese mission station had been kidnapped by a tribe of savage pygmies known as the Ta-bo. The wounded survivor's words still echoed in their ears, "Save the brothers, please, masters! The Ta-bo are cannibals...!" If they were ever going to find the location of the lost city from Brother Virigi, they'd first have to rescue him from pygmy cannibals of the South Seas...!
Everyone seemed to enjoy the game, and got into the fact that they were bitter rivals eventually. Pulp Alley is still a new rules set for our group, so we are still learning tactics and strategy. I am still learning at how to incorporate the perilous areas into the game, and keep the storyline of them coherent, pulpy, and well, as believable as a rousing pulpy yarn should be...! I'm sure I'll get better at the storytelling aspect of the game as we play more. The guys are helping out, though, and suggesting reasons for outcomes that make good "B movie" sense. It'll probably be January before I run Scenario 3 (The Search for Skull Cave), as our Sunday night schedule is filling up. That's fine, though, as I have lots of jungle pieces to create. Plus, I have a hankering to make a rope bridge, and what can be more "Indiana Jones"-like than that...?