(More from the Deveraux Campaign Journal)
Just what stratagem Colonel Deveraux has planned to attack the British Empire with, yet again, is unknown. The British, as the principally threatened power have striven to track and contain the Arch-Criminal in whatever location he has now considered to use as his base for his nefarious operations. Much foot-plodding and hard investigative work has been made in the dark streets and alleyways of the European capitals, stealthily following his known associates, and tracing the funds that Deveraux never seems to be short of.
At a recent extra-special conference of the Investigating Agencies of the Imperial Powers, held in the remote confines of Craigievar Castle, a week of deliberation was spent in assessing the best counters to make against Deveraux’s destructive ambitions.
The Craigievar Conference settled on the following four examinations:
The Case of the Swiss Merchant, brought to the conference by the French Surete
In a classic textbook operation of surveillance and entrapment, Monsieur Atage, a Swiss resident of Nice, was arrested and interrogated, releasing a horde of details about the arms procurement Deveraux had been known to be engaged upon. With many millions of Swiss Francs changing hands, considerable tonnages of arms and ammunition had been directed from French and German manufacturers to unknown destinations in the Mediterranean. Some of Hiram Beck’s key players, known gun-runners, had acted as go-betweens with a disreputable Greek shipping line, all investigated by Lloyds of London agents. French officials now surmise that these arms are destined for a major uprising somewhere in East Africa or the Middle-East, and have traced two sailing vessels, one to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, the other to the frozen wastes around Greenland. It is their belief that Deveraux has some vast new training ground at the latter.
The Case of the Great Mirror, outlined at the conference by the Russian Okhrana
The Russian Delegation provided copious files on an ongoing investigation of one of their own scientists, Dr. Ivan Nossovitch. It transpired that Dr. Nossovitch was engaged in serious research into the manufacture of a ‘super reflector’ – a giant mirror lens that would enable the Russian Imperial Military to install their first Earth-based heliograph. Continued experiments with the ‘super reflector’ had discovered, by accident, it’s further potential as a weapon, when reflected sun-rays ignited several hundred acres of Siberian forest. With the experiment temporarily suspended pending an internal enquiry, visiting officers of the Russian Imperial Aerial Naval Flotilla arrived to find all trace of the Doctor, his staff and the ‘super reflector’ gone. A sweeping search was conducted using the 12th Cossack Cavalry Regiment, and evidence was discovered that the trail ran northwards, to the east of Novaya Zemla, and on into the frozen wastes of the Arctic Circle. The Okhrana’s presumption is that the entire experiment has, either voluntarily or under duress, been given to Deveraux at either his Newfoundland or Greenland base of operations.
The Case of the Missing Zeppelin, read to the conference by the German Wache40
With a certain degree of embarrassment, the German Delegation announced that a certain party of Leftist terrorists successfully hijacked a Zeppelin from the marshalling sheds at the Imperial Naval yard at Wilhelsmhaven. The small garrison of Naval cadets were overpowered in an early morning infiltration, and at least 15 armed men removed a various amount of machinegun ordnance from the magazines, loaded the stolen property aboard L-13 and cast off, heading out over the North Sea. A small patrol Zeppelin gave chase but was driven off by light rocket fire. The Zeppelin was then discreetly tracked from a distance until lost in a high fogbank just 11 miles North-North-East of the Shetlands. An American merchant captain consequently reported sighting a ‘German dirigible’ approaching Greenland the following day. The Germans assured the conference that no other weaponry was stolen during the infiltration of their naval yard.
The Case of the ‘Marie-Lucerne’, shown to conference by the British Special Branch
An ongoing investigation briefly detailed by the Special Branch was that of the merchant steamer ‘Marie-Lucerne’ boarded and taken in an act of piracy close to Foulness, Essex. The cargo was disclosed as amounting to 800 tons of high-explosive gun cotton, and the vessel was sighted off the Newfoundland coastline, after a failed recovery attempt by smaller Royal Naval vessels, and was last seen heading into Canadian waters. Lloyds will continue to monitor reports of sightings from the world’s sea-lanes, but enough evidence exists to confirm Deveraux’s involvement.
This part of the campaign briefing provided the Deveraux player four options to set into order of priority, as first operation, second, third and final task. From that, several clues would be written up for the players of the opposing forces of Old World Order to potentially sleuth out, depending on choices they made on where they spent their Investigative Resources. They also had to decide what elements of their forces they would ‘position’ to monitor and react to which of the four Cases. And of course, there would never quite be enough men and materials at the start.