Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Thursday, January 31, 2019

IHMN: Wild Cards and Mercenaries in the War of the Witches

"Have you seen any monsters?"
"Yes, I have seen quite a few."
"Are you afraid of the monsters?"
"No, they are afraid of me."

1. The Caretaker. Not much is known about the doctor who is the Caretaker of the British Museum Annex in North Piddle before his kidnapping by General Ronglu. One unusual aspect of his kidnapping that was in the official Scotland Yard report, but later redacted, is that a young woman escaped into what appeared to be a blue box which then disappeared. A few know him and claim he is an adventurous scientist, who usually solves problems with his wits rather than with force. With the exception of his strange sonic wand, the Caretaker detests weapons and uses violence only as a last resort.  Supposedly,Mr. Sherlock Holmes has deduced who he really is and once stated "his entire history is one of opposition to conquest." Before he was kidnapped, Dr. John Watson heard him yell to the young lady running, "Never cruel nor cowardly. Never give up. Never give in." 

2.  The Sky Pirates of the Audacity. Following the destruction of the Weldon Institutes dirigible Go-Ahead by Robur the Conqueror and his airship the Albatross, the small aerial fleet of the United States engaged the Albatross near Philadelphia, PA.  Though the Albatross was defeated and severely damaged, it escaped and the ship responsible for the victory was the American privateer USS Audacity, under letters of marque, commanded my Captain J. T. Kirk of Iowa.  The Audacity itself was severely damaged and Kirk now lacks the financial means to repair his ship.

 The crew of the Audacity

James Tiberius Kirk was born in Riverside, Iowa where he was raised by his parents, George and Winona Kirk. Although born on Earth, Kirk lived for a time on Mars under the tutelage of his second cousin John Carter.  After graduating from the United States Naval Academy he received his first command, an airship roughly equivalent to a destroyer during the first infamous encounter with Robur the the Conqueror while still quite young. 

 The Witch King successfully gets up and engages Kirk in hand to hand combat.  Of course Kirk does a body roll and avoids the first swing of the cursed blade after missing with his radium pistol.

Kirk was now the youngest airship captain in the fleet.  A former officer of Kirk's describes him  "a hard-driving leader who pushes himself and his crew beyond human limits".  Kirk also had a "tendency to ignore U.S. Naval regulations when he feels the end justifies the means"; he is "the
quintessential officer, a man among men and a hero for the ages".  Although Kirk was considered a rising star, his run ins with the Naval Board and other bureaucrats in the US government forced his hand to resign and become a privateer with the US Navy with full letters of marque. Kirk is not afraid of being fallible, but rather is afraid of the consequences to his ship and crew should he make an error in judgment.  His loss of the USS Audacity has hit him hard and he is trying to raise the funds to repair her or purchase another ship.

Smith is attacked by two of the Witch Kings minions and kills another troglodyte. "Yeah", Smith muses, "these troglodytes were much tougher in the old days."

3.  The Observer. The Observer is a mysterious figure seen at the scene of many witch related events. He exhibits several strange mannerisms such as awkward phrasing when talking, a preference for extremely flavored, like spicy or salty foods due to an extremely dulled sense of taste, and the ability to appear or disappear when one looks away. 

 The Observer

He also uses a strange written language with which they maintain copious documentation in small notebooks. Though Sherlock Holmes is aware of the Observer, he has not mentions his intent to anyone, not even Dr. Watson.

4. The Bounty Hunter. In 1873, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that bounty hunters were a part of the U.S. law enforcement system with a decision in Taylor v. Taintor. When the bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties. Their domain is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize him and deliver him up to his discharge; and if it cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or by agent.

 No one knows his name (supposedly) and he is only known as the Bounty Hunter. Many suspect that he was an American soldier at one time as he carries 2 military revolvers and a standard issued US Cavalry saber.  He does not like evil and is an expert falconer.

They may pursue him into another state; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of due process. None is needed.  Bounty hunters may run into serious legal problems if they try to apprehend fugitives outside the United States, where laws treat the re-arrest of any fugitive by private persons as kidnapping, or the bail agent may incur the punishments of some other serious crime if local and international laws are broken by them.While the United States government generally allows the activities of bounty hunters within the United States, the governments in other sovereign nations consider them a felony . . . but The Bounty Hunter does not care. And there is a bounty on witches to be paid by an unknown benefactor.

Next: How the War came About.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

IHMN: The Americans (and Oz) in the War of the Witches, Part 3

From the private journal of Dr. John Watson, MD:  It was disturbing to see that great mind in such melancholy as he recovered during that fateful year of 1894.  As I had finished my practice for the day, and my wife was with her family, I decided to drop in on my old apartment and to make sure that Mr. Sherlock Holmes had not further sunk into depression and was once again experimenting with exotic drugs and concoctions of his own devising.  When I arrived, much to my surprise there was a young girl sitting in his room with the most amazing poodle I had ever seen. She was sweet tempered, a round rosy face and big earnest eyes filled with awe.
"Oh Watson, there you are.  May I introduce to you Miss Dorothy Gale of Kansas?"
I bowed politely, and Holmes must have seen the quizzical look on my face as I glanced at him.
"That's right Watson - it's time to get the Americans in the fight."

1. Dorothy Gale and her Untouchables. Dorothy Gale of Kansas is a forthright and take-charge character exhibiting no fear. She is not afraid of angering the Wicked Witch of the West or any other evil creatures that may cause harm to her beloved Oz. Now that the Witch King of Sokur has discovered the Tesla Gates as a way to cross the Deadly Desert, he has applied his evil ingenuity, with magical assistance, or through unusual natural phenomena to cross and not have his followers turn to sand or die from the noxious fumes. 


Mr. Sherlock Holmes has a heat dissipation electronic wireless amplifier that allows him to communicate with Princess Ozma of Oz. Ozma immediately dispatches Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Lion, the Clockwork man and of course, Roscoe the War Poodle, led by Dorothy, against the menaces of the the evil witches. 

 The Lion attacks the troglodyte and with his steam fist punches the living daylights out of him.

2. The First Munchkin Grenadier Guards (Dorothy's Own). "She noticed coming down toward her a group of the queerest people she had ever seen. They were not as big as the grown folk she had always been used to; but neither were they very small. In fact, they seemed about as tall as Dorothy, who was a well-grown child for her age, although they were, so far as looks go, many years older." A Munchkin is a native of Munchkin Country in the land of Oz. The Munchkins are described as being the same height as Dorothy and they wear only shades of blue clothing, as blue is the Munchkins' favorite color. Blue is also the predominating color that officially represents the eastern quadrant in the Land of Oz. 


When the munchkin Jinjur seeks to overthrow the Scarecrow and take over the Emerald City, a loyal group of munchkin soldiers protect Dorothy during the fighting and later become her personal guard. As a result of their loyalty, they wear green (for the Emerald City) instead of the traditional blue and a crow is prominently displayed on their banner to emphasis their loyalty to the ruler of the Emerald City, the Scarecrow. 

Next up: Mercenaries and Wildcards!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

IHMN: The Americans in the War of the Witches, Part 2

When evil inter-dimensional alien bad meanies go bump in the night, there is a Ivy League University that can help!

1.  Miskatonic University. A university located in Arkham, a town in Essex County, Massachusetts in the United States of America. It is named after the Miskatonic River which flows near the campus.  Miskatonic University is a highly prestigious university, on par with Harvard University, and that Harvard and Miskatonic are the two most popular schools for the children of the Massachusetts “Old Gentry”. 

The Dunwich Horror
Miskatonic University is famous for its collection of occult books. The library holds one of the very few genuine copies of the Necronomicon. Other tomes include the Unaussprechlichen Kulten by Friedrich von Junzt and the fragmentary Book of Eibon. The faculty and staff are some of the most respected men and women in their fields; however, very few know that they are also part of the secret war against numerous inter-dimensional beings that seek to destroy and repopulate Earth . . . and the occasional human bad guy has been stopped by these academicians.

Interestingly none of the "Witches" have attempted to steal the academic treasures of Miskatonic University . . . could the destruction of the "Dunwich Horror" given them pause?

 Dr. Francis Morgan is Professor of Medicine and Comparative Anatomy (or Archaeology) at Miskatonic University.  Also part of the trio that destroyed "The Dunwich Horror."  Loves large caliber bolt action magazine fed rifles and uses Cthulhu Cultists as target practice.

2. The Knights Templars Chapter of the USA.  The chapter of the Knights Templars is small but effective; they have stopped the Wicked Witch of the West on one occassion.  Due to their small numbers, they relay on other liked minded individuals and adventurers that like to . . . um . . . destroy monsters and other bad guys.

The American Knights Templars

 The Wolf does not stand a chance against a Master

Excerpt verbatim from the private notes of Sir Ralph, Secretary to the Chapter Master:

"Welcome to Dodge City Grandmaster." Sir Hugues de Payens, the secret Grandmaster of the Knights Templars looked at Sir John Singleton, Master of the Templar Knights in the United States.
"So it is true Sir John. The Americans are moving the Helmet and breastplate of Jason of the Argonauts?"
"Yes Sir Hugues. But there is a problem. We suspect The Witch is after the helmet and we in America have little experience with these beings from other worlds and mystical powers."
"You are fortunate.  There is an English "practicing" detective who deduced who I was and shared with me some interesting information."
"And . . . ," Sir John's voice trailed.
"There is an American adventurer who has faced the Witch King of Sokur and lived.  We must find this Theodore Roosevelt."
"And should we find him?"
"Then we will do what we do best.  Kill monsters."

Next up: The Bravest American of them all - and she's a princess!


Thursday, January 24, 2019

IHMN: The Americans in the War of the Witches, Part 1

 "The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens."  Alexis de Tocqueville  Photo: Teddy Roosevelt looking for the missing Professor Challenger, Library of Congress #395847USC5.

1. Teddy Roosevelt and Friends. The adventuring company that is always changing but has one thing in common - the American adventurer Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

Roosevelt's first African expedition to the lost Roman outpost of Castellum Dimmidi in 1890 and the discovery of the horror of the Witch King of Sokar.

Roosevelt was born a sickly child with debilitating asthma, but he overcame his physical health problems by embracing a strenuous lifestyle. He integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, and world-famous achievements into a "cowboy" persona defined by robust masculinity. Home-schooled, he began a lifelong naturalist avocation before attending Harvard College. His book, The Naval War of 1812 (1882), established his reputation as both a learned historian and as a popular writer. After the death of his wife and mother, Roosevelt focused on his work, specifically by re-energizing an investigation prompted by a visit by Randolph Carter, a former student of Miskatonic University that Roosevelt had met while he was visiting Harvard.  What Carter told him passionately made him the nemesis and driving force in the war against the Witch King.

 "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything", advises Wyatt Earp.  Teddy replies, "No. I'm not a good shot but I shoot often."

After his first encounter with the Witch King, no one in polite society would believe him - so it took members of not so polite society to act.  Roosevelt became fast friends with Professor George Edward Challenger - who then mysteriously disappeared in South America while pursuing a clue about the Witch King's plans.  Fortunately, after his fruitless search for Challenger, Roosevelt met Mr. Sherlock Holmes who immediately deduced the threat to the world. Roosevelt was no ready for the war.

  Roosevelt and Friends assisting Scotland Yard in the Great British Museum Robbery in North Piddle, England. Teddy Roosevelt leads a stalwart band of heroes including Special Agent Thomas Sawyer and Colour Sergeant Bourne.

(Editor's Note: Players who use Teddy Roosevelt in a game must use one Teddy Roosevelt quote per turn.)

2. The US Marshals. You want law and order?  We've got law and order. It is the oldest American federal law enforcement agency and was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789 during the presidency of George Washington. During the settlement of the American Frontier, marshals served as the main source of day-to-day law enforcement in areas that had no local government of their own. U.S. Marshals are instrumental in keeping law and order.

 L to R: Special Agent Thomas Sawyer (on loan to the US Marshal Service), Volunteer Huckleberry Finn, Marshal Wyatt Earp, Marshal Grant Johnson and of course Teddy Roosevelt.

They have been involved in apprehending desperadoes such as Bill Doolin, Ned Christie, and, in 1893, the infamous Dalton Gang after a shoot-out that left Deputy Marshals Ham Hueston, Lafe Shadley, and posse member Dick Speed, dead. Individual deputy marshals have been seen as legendary heroes in the face of rampant lawlessness with Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Bass Reeves as examples of well-known marshals. They always get their man . . . or witch . . . or gargoyle.

 African-American US Marshal Bass Reeves


When he’s not staggeringly drunk, Cogburn’s good at what he does, but he’s lost the calling and in fact seems to have lost respect for human life. In the Coen brothers noir Western ‘True Grit’, Jeff Bridges’ plays Rooster Cogburn as an amiable mess of a character; a flawed U.S. deputy marshal, but someone you can rely on and would want by your side in times of trouble . . . especially during the War of the Witches.

 Wyatt Earp: "All right, Mr. Gargoyle ... you called down the thunder, well now you've got it! You see that? (pulls open his coat, revealing a badge) It says United States Marshal! 
Gargoyle: RRROOOAAAARRR!!!!
Wyatt Earp:  You die first, get it? Your friends might get me in a rush, but not before I make your head into a canoe, you understand me? POW POW POW POW KACHING! (That's the noise pistols make when you roll two "10's" and you are shooting using the gunslinger talent.)

Next up:  The New World(s) in the War of the Witches, Part 2


The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/alexis_de_tocqueville_387422
The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/alexis_de_tocqueville_387422
The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/alexis_de_tocqueville_387422
The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/alexis_de_tocqueville_387422

Sunday, January 20, 2019

IHMN: The Criminal Gangs during the War of the Witches


"In these, the twilight years of the nineteenth century, I'm amazed at how high mankind has soared, and at how deep it has fallen because of the myriad advances in our sciences and in engineering. Seldom does a day go by without a gentleman announcing his newest life-changing invention. Each claiming it will benefit mankind in some way. It is a pity that we, the leaders of the civilized nations of the earth, could not have put these marvels to better use against the Witches. May God have mercy on us all." Robert Delamere, Lord Conway and Prime Minister 1893–95.

 "Well, well, what do we have here?" muses the Napoleon of Crime.

1. Professor Moriarty. "But in calling Moriarty a criminal you are uttering libel in the eyes of the law—and there lie the glory and the wonder of it! The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every devilry, the controlling brain of the underworld, a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations—that's the man! But so aloof is he from general suspicion, so immune from criticism, so admirable in his management and self-effacement, that for those very words that you have uttered he could hale you to a court and emerge with your year's pension as a solatium for his wounded character. Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid, a book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it? Is this a man to traduce? Foulmouthed doctor and slandered professor—such would be your respective roles! That's genius, Watson." — Holmes, The Valley of Fear.

 The Professor's Gang

Professor Moriarty is highly ruthless, shown by his steadfast vow to Sherlock Holmes that "if you are clever enough to bring destruction upon me, rest assured that I shall do as much to you".  Moriarty is categorized by Holmes as an extremely powerful criminal mastermind who is purely adept at committing any atrocity to perfection without losing any sleep over it. It is stated in The Final Problem that Moriarty does not directly participate in the activities he plans, but only orchestrates the events. As Holmes stated above, what makes Moriarty so dangerous is his extremely cunning intellect.  In using his intellect, Moriarty has calculated the location of all of the Tesla portals.

Baron Maupertuis
From the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes as written by Dr. James Watson: "It was some time before the health of my friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes recovered from the strain caused by his immense exertions in the spring of '87.  The whole question of the Netherland-Sumatra Company and of the colossal schemes of Baron Maupertuis are too recent in the minds of the public . . ."
 
 Captain Harold Cold spotted in the North Piddle Manor ruins
 
2. General Ronglu's "Imperial" Chinese Army. Gulwalgiya Ronglu is a Manchu statesman, general of the Chinese Imperial Army and secret leader of a criminal gang whose job is to extend Chinese influence and make General Ronglu rich as the same time. Born into the powerful Gulwalgiya clan of the Plain White Banner in the Eight Banners, he is also a cousin to the the Empress Dowager Cixi. He has served in a number of important positions in the Imperial Court and was most recently the commander in charge of military security of the Forbidden City.  He has crossed swords once with the Witch King and has sworn vengeance every since. He is a force to be reckoned with in the world of In Her Majesty's Name.

General Ronglu - Beware his girth!
 
 Yang Wei is a Chinese engineering scientist most famous for the invention of China's first arc generator and arc weapons. Yang is a world pioneer in the research fields of fracture mechanics, arc meso-mechanics, mechatronic reliability and has published a series books based on his research.
 
 Yu Niu is the best swordsman of her province and many claim she may be the best in China. She is a former Shaolin nun and while at her temple, she developed the Hong Kong Hollywood  style of swordplay that is extremely efficient and ideally suited to smaller fighters having less strength.
 
 
 "We have a yeti."

Most distressing in the British Empire, was the capture of the "Caretaker" from the British Museum Annex in North Piddle by Ronglu's forces.  The Caretaker's whereabouts are unknown but Ronglu has let Mycroft Holmes that the Caretaker would be returned for a price . . . and some knowledge.

"What the . . . ?"  Yi Niu, greatest swords woman of China, discovers a strange structure as she races ahead as the vanguard of General Roglu's company.
 
Next up: The Americans . . . well it's about time!  Always showing up late for wars.
 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

IHMN: The British Allies during The War of the Witches

 Be as it may, the Tesla portal is in Algeria and I sent an urgent telegram to Lieutenant Colonel Jacques Duchesne to secure the way point and prevent the Witch King from entering." "What was his answer?" "The Legion does not surrender."

 From the private diary of Dr. John Watson, MD: 
When I look back upon those fateful years of 1894 through 1895, little did I realize how much my personal world, and the world at large would change.  Allies were needed, and my good friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes was dubious and did not trust many he encountered in these dangerous times.  Fortunately Holmes tracked down and arrested Huret, the Boulevard assassin - an exploit which won for Holmes an autograph letter of thanks from the French President and the Order of the Legion of Honour. More importantly, it put at Holmes disposal a contact in the French Foreign Legion to assist us in the upcoming war of good versus evil . . . 

1. The French Foreign Legion.  Legionnaires are highly trained infantry soldiers and the Legion is unique in that it was, and continues to be, open to foreign recruits willing to serve in the French Armed Forces. The Legion is the only part of the French military that does not swear allegiance to France, but to the Foreign Legion itself.  In addition, Professor Moebius and his daughter Amelie are valued members of the Legion, though there status as to whether they are Legionnaires is not actually known outside of the Legion.

Amelie Moebius looking fashionable in her Zoauve uniform.  Yes, she knows how to use that rifle and her mind; her mesmerizing beauty can make unsuspecting méchants do her will.

 Lieutenant-Colonel Jacques Duchesne places a well aimed shot with his arc pistol killing the Destroyer.  He didn't earn his Expert Pistol Marksmanship badge not to use it.

 Okay . . . no more Mr. Nice Guy

The Witch King was captured by the Legion but later escaped after the Zouaves guarding him mysteriously . . . well . . . melted

2. The Hidden Kingdom of Natagala. In 1890 the famous Professor George Nightengale accidentally discovered the Hidden Kingdom of Natagala.  Our hero journeyed up to the big curve in the Merowe river that flowed out of Batal Colony and then west into the Great Desert, where he eventually found a rich, primitive culture in a hidden valley on the other side of the Great Desert; the Kingdom of Natagala. Professor Nightengale theorizes that the Natagala are related ethnically to the Matabele and Zulus.
 
Natagala warband on the move

Though long isolated, they are a vibrant and rich kingdom that is starting to adopt and use modern technology.  The backbone of the kingdom are it's fierce and formidable warriors - and the occasional witch doctor doesn't hurt either.

King Mehluli, his royal bodyguard Lindani and Ntando of the High Temple.  Note the Royal Staff of Big Whopping carried by the king.

 "Majesty!" panted Lindani as he ran in to the palace. King Mehluli turned his gaze upon him and stated,"What is it Commander of the Royal Watch?"
"She comes. The one Tarzan warned us about. She wants to destroy your kingdom and enslave our people."
"So, this Wicked Witch of the West, a being not of this world, wants to challenge Natagala?" queried Ntando of the High Temple.
"That is so", replied Lindani.
"Evacuate the city, engage all defenses, and bring me The Royal Staff of Big Whopping," replied King Mehluli.

 Natagala forever!
3. Astragard.  Since the discovery of the uncharted island name Astragard by the French dirigible Hyperion, the lost Viking civilization that has been cut off from the rest of the world for centuries amd is now making an impact at the end of the 19th Century in the world of In Her Majesty's Name.

The Hyperion

In Norse mythology, Surtr (Old Norse "black"or "the swarthy one") is a jötunn or giant. Surtr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Surtr is foretold as being a major figure during the events of Ragnarök; carrying his bright sword, he will go to battle against the Æsir and their allies, and the flames that he brings forth will engulf the Earth. The people of Astrgard believe that the Witch King of Sokur is Surtr.  And nothing will get in their way from killing him . . .  

 Erik Niallson and the men of Astragard.  His constant companion is his wolf Fenrir who is officially classified as a War Poodle.

4. The German Imperial Marines and Schutztruppe. Schutztruppe (literally "protection force") was the official name of the colonial troops in the African territories of the German colonial empire from the late 19th century.  Similar to other colonial armies, the Schutztruppe consisted of volunteer European commissioned and non-commissioned officers, medical and veterinary officers. Most enlisted ranks were generally recruited locally. Though technically not allies, Herr Doktor Professor Kernal von Sanders has convinced the Imperial Court to "cooperate" with the British.

 German Imperial Marines protecting an ancient temple and artifacts from the troglodytes of the Witch King of Sokar
 

  Hauptmann Richter leading a unit of Schutztruppe Askari into battle.

Next Up: Criminal Gangs in "The War of the Witches."

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

IHMN: The Reason for the War of the Witches - The Witches!


 From the journals of Dr. John Watson . . .

When I look at the three massive manuscript volumes which contain our work for the year 1894, I confess that it is very difficult for me, out of such a wealth of material, to select the cases which are most interesting in themselves, and at the same time most conducive to a display of those peculiar powers for which my friend was famous. As I turn over the pages, I see my notes upon the repulsive story of the red leech and the terrible death of Crosby, the banker. Here also I find an account of the North Piddle tragedy, and the singular contents of the ancient British barrow.  Each of these would furnish a narrative, but on the whole I am of opinion that none of them unites so many singular points of interest as the secret war that was fought against the Witch King of Sokur, which includes not only the exploits of Theodore Roosevelt, but also those subsequent developments which threw so curious a light upon the causes of the change in the world . . . 

 The Destroyer

 It was a wild, tempestuous night, towards the close of November. Holmes and I sat together in silence all the evening, he engaged with a powerful lens deciphering the remains of the original Necronomicon, a feat I was regretting might drive him to madness.  It was strange there, in the very depths of the town, with ten miles of man's handiwork on every side of us, to feel the iron grip of Nature, and to be conscious that to the huge elemental forces all London was no more than the molehills that dot the fields. I walked to the window, and looked out on the deserted street. The occasional lamps gleamed on the expanse of muddy road and shining pavement. A single cab was splashing its way from the Oxford Street end when Holmes suddenly shouted," That American, that foolish American!"
"What is it?" I asked.
"Roosevelt.  That foolish Roosevelt.  The Witch King has the Jewel of Chance."
"I have no idea what you are referring to my dear Holmes.  Who is the Witch King?
"Well, Watson, it's as well we have not to turn out tonight.  HE wants us Watson.  HE wants us."

1. The Witch King of Sokur. There are mysterious rumors and legends of lost cities and ancient horrors that still exist in unknown parts of the world. Forbidden, dark, esoterically veiled knowledge drives the Witch King of Sokur to field one of the most dangerous adventuring companies In Her Majesty's Name.  It is not even know if the Witch King is human, and rumors abound that he is one of the "old ones."  Regardless of the truth, he has human servants and strange sub-human creatures that do his bidding as he collects ancient artifacts for his nefarious purposes . . .

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."
 
Using ancient arts, it is said he can breath dragon's flame and carries a supernatural sword.  He too is searching for artifacts long thought lost that can help his power grow and rumor has it that he is attempting to allow "The Ancient Ones" return. His first, one true defeat was at the hands of Princess Dorothy Gale of Kansas.  His last known whereabouts is on the Island of Astragard . . .

2. The Wicked Witch of the West. Serbian-American engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla made dozens of breakthroughs in the production, transmission and application of electric power. Once such discovery were "portals" which allowed instantaneous travel between portal gates.  Unfortunately, this allowed a vial creature to cross the burning desert from Oz . . .
The Wicked Witch of the West (brought to you in living color by Three-strip Technicolor)

The Wicked Witch of the West is the malevolent ruler of the Winkie Country. This is not the pathetic woman who accomplished nothing in the novel Wicked but one of the most evil and despicable creatures of all time. Her wickedness had dried her up long ago and she is extremely and deathly afraid of the effects that water may have on her.  (Though this may be a rumor as evidenced by a supposed battle in the United States where she stood in a stream!). Despite her fear of water, the Wicked Witch of the West is one of the most powerful witches in all of Oz. Her power is described as being so great that even Glinda the Good Witch of the South feared her.

 "Take special care of those ruby slippers, I want those most of all. Now fly! Fly!"

The Winkie Country is the Western region of the Land of Oz and is ruled by the Wicked Witch of the West. The Winkie Guards are the Wicked Witch of the West's slave foot soldiers from Oz. They are known for their infamous chant, which goes, "Oh-Ee-Yah! Ee-Oh-Ah!"


3. Omar the Magnificent (self-styled) and his League of Assassins. Omar's murderous plots are marked by the extensive use of arcane and mystical methods; he doesn't exactly not like guns or explosives, but prefers dacoits, thuggees, and members of other secret societies as his agents armed with knives, or using "pythons and cobras ... fungi and my tiny allies, the bacilli ... my black spiders" and other peculiar animals or natural chemical weapons. He does not mind however, the ole musket ball in the head trick. The exact nature of his mystical powers, and those of his unnamed assistant are unknown. He has a great respect for the truth (in fact, his word is his bond), and uses torture and other gruesome tactics to dispose of enemies.

 Omar the Magnificent

4. The Unknown Player.  Recently photographed near North Piddle, England, this Druid like man shaped entity appeared and then suddenly vanished when spotted by Inspector Stanley Hopkins of Scotland Yard.  How will he fit into what is going on in the "War of the Witches"?

The mysterious, druid-like figure seen photographed near North Piddle, England

 Next up: The British Allies