Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

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

Sunday, January 13, 2019

IHMN: The Forces of the British Empire during the War of the Witches, Part 2

“I do not understand exactly what you mean by fear," said Tarzan. "Like lions, fear is a different thing in different men, but to me the only pleasure in the hunt is the knowledge that the hunted thing has power to harm me as much as I have to harm him. If I went out with a couple of rifles and a gun bearer, and twenty or thirty beaters, to hunt a lion, I should not feel that the lion had much chance, and so the pleasure of the hunt would be lessened in proportion to the increased safety which I felt."

There are many British "non-governmental" agencies whose impact will be felt and needed in the War of the Witches:
1. Lord Greystoke's Company.  John Clayton, Viscount Greystoke, better known as Tarzan of the Apes, was raised in the African jungle by the Mangani great apes is greatly feared and admired throughout the world in the late 19th and early 20th century. No other group has fought the Witch King more than Tarzan and his faithful companions.

Dismayed that Tarzan's inspired leadership is cancelling the dread he causes, the Witch King decides to take on the Lord of the Jungle personally.

2. Allan Quartermain Quatermain is an English-born professional big game hunter and occasional trader in southern Africa, who supports colonial efforts to 'spread civilization' in the 'dark continent', though he also favors native Africans having a say in their affairs. An outdoorsman who finds English cities and climate unbearable, he prefers to spend most of his life in Africa, where he grew up under the care of his widower father, a Christian missionary. His sarcastic comments offer a sharp critique of European conventions. In many adventures, Quatermain is joined by two British companions, Sir Henry Curtis and Captain John Good of the Royal Navy, and by his African friend Umslopogaas

 Quatermain and Umslopogaas

 Captain John Good and Warriors of the Kukuanas

 3. Lady Prudence Fiona Throckwaddle and the Anti-Slavery League. None strike fear in the heart of the Zanzabari and Arabs slavers (other than Lord Greystoke) than Lady Prudence Fiona Throckwaddle, of the North Piddle Throckwaddle's. A formidable woman (just ask her deceased husband) she has lead numerous anti-slavery raids and most famously, she guided the raid at Iringa, which liberated more than 700 slaves. Though not popular with the German Authorities in the area (the infamous tea party incident with Herr Doktor Professor Oberst (Ret.) Sanders) they grudging allow her much latitude in her operations as she is now a signatory of the "Alliance" in the Secret War against the "Witches".  Baroness Grete Wölfflin has been assigned by Herr Doktor Professor Oberst (Ret.) Sanders as the Imperial German Liaison to the Anti-Slavery Leauge.

 Eunice Montjoy pulls her pistol to the left of Lady Throckwaddle while Lady Imogen Millais-Scott walks up with her sword cane. 

4. The Nightengales. What more can be said of the famous Professor Nightengale?  The Discoverer of the Hidden Kingdom of Natagala, the drinking companion of Professor Challenger, and the man who accidentally killed three Troglodytes in the first encounter with the Witch King (Huzzah!)

The meeting of Professor Nightengale and King Mehluli

Miss Nightengale is a power to be reckoned with.  Witty and smart, she invented a miniaturized proto-steam electrolysis device that acts as an arc generator and power source for her steam fist.  It is also rumored that she has been seen recently as a companion to the so called "Caretaker" or "Doctor" who is currently in Chinese custody. She also has one of two silver keys known to exist - a powerful weapon against the Witches.  The key is in the possession of the American Randolph Carter.

Miss Nightengale and her father

The Nightengale Expedition of 1890

Next Up:  The Evil Witches (BWAH HAH HAH!!!)

Friday, January 11, 2019

IHMN: The Forces of the British Empire during the War of the Witches, Part 1

"In times of war and not before, God and the soldier we adore. But in times of peace and all things righted, God is forgotten and the soldier slighted." - Rudyard Kipling

The British Empire has been blessed with wealth, scientific achievement and adventurous men and women. Though society is stratified and many leaders slow to adapt to new technology and tactics, the British are formidable in the War against the Witches.  Here are the governmental forces involved:

1. The village of North Piddle. In 1795, a large stony meteorite was observed during its fall to Earth at a cottage near Wold Newton in Yorkshire, England and a piece of it, known as the Wold Cottage meteorite, was carefully analyzed by both British and French authorities and they concluded that an extraterrestrial origin was likely. 

The meteor strike near North Piddle

The village of North Piddle is a small civil parish in the Wychavon district of Worcestershire, England.  North Piddle was named after Piddle Brook, on which it stands, and has approximately 200 inhabitants. On December 17, 1896 there was an earthquake in the region that "exceeded in violence any previous instance of seismic energy there within the present century".  The earthquake was preceded by a loud roar "as of thunder" or "a rushing mighty wind", and residents whose windows were facing north saw a "great light", which some attributed to a large meteor . . .

 The Ruins of the North Piddle Manor

Though North Piddle is tucked away in a remote corner of England, many famous dignitaries have been spotted there recently and there are rumors of an attempted robbery of the British Museum Warehouse annex located in North Piddle that was foiled by Scotland Yard.  For some unexplained reason, North Piddle is a focal point of the War of the Witches.

The British Museum Annex in North Piddle 

2. Scotland Yard. Another name for the Metropolitan Police Service, and is also the name of the building where it has its headquarters. The name derives from the location of the original Metropolitan Police headquarters at 4 Whitehall Place, which had a rear entrance on a street called Great Scotland Yard. The Metropolitan Police Service is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London, which is the responsibility of the City of London Police. Recently, more and more of the Metropolitan Police has seen itself on detached duty . . .

Mr. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. John Watson and members of Scotland Yard. 

 Sergeant Ridgewell Hawkes of the North Piddle Constabulary with Inspector Stanley Hopkins

3. Department H (there is no Department H).  Department H (there is no Department H) was formed by Mycroft Holmes for direct action against threats to the British Empire outside of the British Isles.  Though the Prince of Wales's Extraordinary Company is more than capable in handling most threats, they've been engaged in protecting the home islands.  When Mycroft activated Department H (there is no Department H) he chose Colonel Dugald Armstrong, VC, DSO, etc., to lead Department H (there is no Department H). So far Department H (there is no Department H) has failed spectacularly in the stopping the Witch King of Sokur and in fact they lost the famous Professor Nightengale.

Department H (there is no Department H)

4. The Gordan Highlanders.  What more could be said of the Heroes of the Battle of the Lost City of Opar and the Roopkund Lake Incident with Chinese Imperial Forces? Bydand!

 Captain Anderson, Sergeant McDuff and Piper Kidd lead the Gordon Highlanders 

5. The 14th Sikhs. Without the 14th Sikhs, victory against the Imperial Chinese Army's "Special" units would not have been possible.  Plus machine guns are cool.

The "Wand of Automatic Missile Fire"; known in the ancient Elvish as the Maxim Machine Gun.

One of the most famous units in the British Army . . . and they like loud explosions. It's men like these that forged an Empire.

When you positively, absolutely, have to take the target out!

Next Up: Non-Governmental Forces of the British Army - "God Save the Queen!"