Saturday, 30 July 2011

Rip-Snorting Productions presents: 'The Quest for the Emerald Orb'

Intrepid Adventurers 'roughing it'
The Legend of the Emerald Orb.
Legend has it that millions, maybe even squillions, of years ago in the time of the dinosaurs known as Duh..'The Dinossauric Age', the fossilized egg from a Stethoscopourous was transformed into a giant emerald orb through the combined forces of the Earth's intense heat and pressure. The story goes that a massive earthquake thrust the egg from its resting place in the Earths crust to be brought forth in all its glory, ripe for discovery. Not withstanding the incalculable worth of the orb, it's greater significance is it may lead Archaeologists to the fossilised remains of the egg's mother, possibly even a whole burial ground full of dinosaurs...WOW!
Needless to say the Orb has become the new 'must have' item for the Great Power's trophy cabinets.
Who better then to secure the prize than our own intrepid band of Archaeologists, Proper chaps, Soldiers of Fortune, Glory-seekers, cut-throats and downright scoundrels?

Therefore let us waste not a minute in introducing the plot and players in yet another Rip-Snorting Adventure....'The Quest for the Emerald Orb', heralded by crashing strains of heroicly inspiring music...think Indianna Jones.

The Set
The scene of the action is somewhere in the African Congo in 'A Land that Time Forgot'...groan. This dense, humid jungle, criss-crossed by crocodile infested waterways, tenuous trails, clearings and punctuated by the occassional summit poking through the leafy canopy, was once the home of an Ancient Civilization and is rich in ruins, artefacts and sites of historical significance.
Danger lurks round every corner in the form of poisonous plants, venomous snakes, ferocious beasts, life-sucking quicksand and then there's the locals..the cannibalistic Snoozenuluzem tribe of head-hunters.
Beware! for even greater, infinitely scary threats, beyond the scope of man's finite imagination, await the unwary!! Fade to strains of mysterious sounding music ...think the Twilight Zone..doodle doodle, doodle doodle...

The Land that Time Forgot (African Congo)

The Main Players
The Royal London Geographical Society Congo Expedition headed by the famous Archaeological team of Sir Percival and Lady Frockmorton. They are accompanied by the esteemed Professor Yeatman- Briggs, fellow archaeologists and a party of Sepoys acting as escort in the event that things turn nasty. Her Britannic Magesty The Queen has personally instructed Sir Percival that she will not be amused if the Orb falls into the hands of those beastly German Imperialists. Ever noticed how when anyone else tries to get their scone grabbers on the goodies they're beastly imperialists?

Proper Types

The Imperial German Congolese Expedition of Scientific Discovery and Enlightenment led by the arrogant Prussian opportunist, seeker of glory and some times shady arms dealer, Baron Otto Von Schlessinger including his loyal side-kicks, the Ribbentrapp Brothers and a mixed gang of hired thugs, pirates, cut-throats and labourers. This expedition is for the glory and personal betterment of no-one but the Baron, despite him telling you it's 'for the Greater Glory of the German People'.

Baron Von Schlessinger and his hired thugs

H.M Gunboat 'Aboukir' and a party of Royal Naval Marines led by 1st Leiutenant Fenton Makepiece.
His orders are to rendezvous with the British Expedition on the banks of the Congo tributary, known as the Imbulu River, and render any assistance to Sir Percival and his team. No sacfrifice is too great to ensure the success of the mission. Have no fear, the stalwart Lieutenant will be equal to the task.

1st Lieutenant Fenton Makepiece on a scouting mission.

The paddle steamer Der Kestrel with the highly decorated war hero, Oberst Wilhelm Von Fleihoffen and a highly efficient Company of the 1st Prussian Guards Regt onboard. The Oberst has signed orders from none other than The Emporer himself to secure the Orb in the name of The Vaterland and to keep an eye on that devious schweinhund Von Schlessinger who, frankly, he wouldn't trust with a kilo of sauerkraut, let alone the safe delivery of the Orb.

Oberst Von Fleihoffen on board the paddle steamer der Kestrel

The Cannibalistic Snoozenuluzem Tribe of head-hunters. Led by their mighty Warrior-Chieftain, Prince Imsolazi, the Snoozenuluzems have beaten allcomers who have tried to lay claim to their land... and mighty tasty they were too! Fiercley independent they will destroy anyone who defiles their sacred lands or trys to steal it's treasures.

The Native Village

The Noble Savage, Prince Imsolazi

Location and verification of the Orb.
The map is dotted with a number of clearly recognizable sites such as ancient ruins, idols and statues. (4 in total). At the base of each of these sites is a marker which may or may not be the Emerald Orb, only the game master knows its true location. When a party reaches any of the sites they must assign their leader to authenticate the artefact by throwing less than their Feild Craft rating. They must remain stationary and not involved in combat for one full turn.

How things transpired on the night.
As usual I wont bore you with a blow by blow account of every move and dice throw but will instead give you a condensed version of events as I recall them which will probaly bear no resemblance to my fellow gamers recollection of events..oh well you may as well try to recall the events of a Ball as try to remember what happens in the thick of battle as a great General, Wellington,I believe once said or words to that effect.

Opening Moves
The British Expedition, who begin the game encamped at the South End of the table, get the ball rolling by making a bee-line for the giant stone dinosaur statue on the perimeter of their camp. As they carefully pick their way through the undergrowth a cry goes up from the lead Ghurka scout, "HELP!.. I'm being sucked under".., the poor chap has stumbled into quicksand  and only the quick action of his comrades saves the day by hoisting him back to safety with a stout tree branch, (represented by a successful throw on his Luck Dice).

A lucky escape

Once things are under control Sir Percival makes his check on the authenticity of the marker he has found at the base of the statue...drat, its not the good egg!

Meanwhile things dont start much better for the Baron. Whilst beginning their ascent of the hill directly behind their campsite, on the South bank of the Imbulu, to check out the marble Statue of the Single Breasted Goddess, a hideous green cloud of noxious gas eminates from the gaudily coloured flowers of the giant Dhubbu Dhubba plant. Instantly three of his lackies fall to the ground gasping and cluthching their throats. Aarrgghh!! Alas it's not their lucky day as two of them succumb to the deadly effects of the gas before Gunter Ribbentrapp, wearing a patented pocket emergency breather apparatus is able to drag the third victim to safety. Somewhat shaken the Baron collects his wits and strides to the base of the Godess to make his check of the marker located in the bowl of the statue. Gott in Himmel! it's a fake.

 Baron Otto and the Ribbentrapp Brothers at the Statue of the Single Breasted Goddess

Here comes the Navy
Some furoius shovelling by the stokers of the British Gunboat Aboukir have allowed them to make good time up the Congo and to the South the unmistakable plume of smoke rising above the jungle signifies their arrival.

Not to be outdone the German Paddle steamer der Kestrel nudges her bow gently into the soft sand of the Imbulu river bank. Unable to progress beyond the low wooden bridge, the Oberst and his men begin disembarking on the North bank and begin a recce of the area .

First shots
Smarting at the early loss of two of his men and the failed verification, the Baron spies the British Expedition through his Zeiss binoculars from his elevated viewpoint atop the hill. They appear to be heading North and are unaware of his presence.  What an excellent opportunity to deal to those damned Britischers and leave the field clear for him to steal the prize he thinks. Drawing a bead on the lead Sepoy with his Mauser he orders his men to open fire on the Brits. A number of the British are hit but a check on the wound roll shows they're only supressed. The indignant Brits return fire and manage to score a clean head shot at one of the native riflemen killing him instantly.

The Baron and The British trade shots.

Deciding discretion the better part of valour the Baron regroups and decides to make for the Imbulu river- crossing to begin a search of the Northern section of the table. The Brits have the same idea and warily keeping the baron in sight they make their way to the river confident in the knowledge that the Navy are on the way.

Attack of the Zombies
Despite the sound of distant gunfire to the South, Oberst Von Fleihoffen decides to leave the inept amateur Baron Otto to fend for himself and sets out in the direction of the prominenet ancient stone columns he can see rising up ahead of him. Surely a prime location for the Emerald Orb.Why not claim the prize himself and earn the heartfelt gratitude of the Emporer and a nice fat estate to retire on.
As his party approach the clearing in front of the columns a hideous, unearthly moaning sound appears to be coming from a pile of rocks to their front. Suddenly... vile creatures from the very Pits of Hell emerge from a hidden cave chanting Brains..Brains..Uurrghh! Zombies!! Before the Oberst's men can unsling their rifles the zombies are upon them and two of his men are engaged in deadly life and death struggle with the foul creatures.


Please feel free to purchase some refreshments and stretch your legs for a bit while I get to work writing the rest of the story.

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Quest for the Emerald Orb

 The scene is set for another thrilling episode of Rip-Snorting Adventures. Watch this space for more images of the Conundrum in the Congo also known as 'The Quest for the Emerald Orb'
Stay tuned to see how our intrepid explorers fare in the steaming jungles and swamps of the Belgian Congo.

Will the Baron beat Sir Percival to the prize or will the cannibalistic Snoozemuluzem tribe thwart all their plans?

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Coming to a beach near you...VIKINGS!

Safe landing

Dont forget the buckets and spades

Welcoming committee

Funny way of saying "enjoy your stay"

Look!.. they're going to fetch firewood for us.

Once I've pruned this hedge your a bleedin goner sunshine

Daisy and Buttercup take a break from grazing to watch proceedings
Some holiday snaps the boys took while enjoying some R & R on the Costa del Anglia. Luv'ly scenery but we found the locals a bit surly.

Highlights from a recent 'Strandhogg' game that my fellow gamer and modeller extraordinaire Roger put on at the Southern Strategists HQ, also known as 'the Redoubt'. All credit for the terrain, buildings, fences, boat, and most of the figures goes to Roger. I will accept fullsome praise for my hand in the water effectsin which cellophane and flour played a predominant part. Look out for ther upcoming narrative on Rogers Blog, Rebel Barracks

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

A selection of lithographs from The Battle of Mhebja.

A selection of Lithographic prints from the British Punitive assault on the village of Mhebja, in which yours truly  recived his citation for the Victoria Cross of which I shall regale you in depth at a later date.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The East Surrey Regt on active service

Bugler sound the Call to Arms
Forlorn Hope

Make every shot count lads

Sepoys provide covering fire from the ramparts.

Native skirmishers

Dervish with their blood up


Bring up the Gatling gun...NOW!!
A selection of prints of my Lads, the East Surreys in action on the frontier.
My decision to lead an advance party to meet the natives head on before they reached the fort paid off fortunately.
Our staunch lads never wavered and once we brought the Gatling into play the fight soon went out of the Natives.
Colonial weapons of mass destruction...The Persuader!
Just another day in the life of a front line officer.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

A selection of lithographs from the Tragic Ingumu Massacre.

Wagons to the rear

I think the scout has located those Zulus Sir!

Imminent disaster

Welcoming commitee

Relief column on the march

'ere they come again lads

Care for a taste of Sheffield steel? would be fair to say things dont look to be going quite to plan Old Boy!

Sound the recall...NOW!!!

F'gawdsake dont show your backs to them lads!!

Lieutenant Fortesque Cutler...renowned scout
Whilst on leave from active duty I was rummaging about in the attic at Ogilvie Manor when I stumbled upon a packet of lithographs from my time in Zulu Land, principally the ill fated Ingumu Relief Column in which I played a minor part as a 'wet behind the ears' subaltern.
Regretably our column arrived too late to play an active role and well I remember the feeling of sorrow and revulsion when we alighted upon that dreadful scene of slaughter.  I thought I might share some of the less gruesome images with long as I can master this blasted blog, heliograph, semaphore thingy... it was never this difficult with courier pigeons, though I must confess a great deal messier. You know they never could get the stains of the Colonels best dress tunic....