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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.

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