(Another re-visit to earlier writings – and potentially useful for IHMN & TMWWBK – with some slight editing & updating carried out)
Escaping from HM Prison Dartmoor, where he had been sentenced to serve 20 years hard labour for his attempted bombing of the Houses of Parliament, and ably assisted by his dastardly Siamese henchmen, the Infamous Colonel Richard Deveraux sailed to rendezvous with his anarchist associates in Brittany before taking ship to his remote hideaway in Newfoundland. There, he will set in motion his latest venture to wrestle any amount of power away from the might of the British Empire and discredit them in front of the entire World.
Rumoured to have served in some far-flung post of the British Empire, possibly even as a young Lieutenant during the Abyssinian Campaign in the 1860’s and an Intelligence Officer in the Ashanti the decade after, this middle-aged man has done more to upset the rational order of statesmanship than any war of recent times. Of Anglo-Irish parentage, and purported to be rich from his mineral prospecting in the interior of Australia, Deveraux has sponsored more acts of terror against the European Powers than any other individual or force. Even the new blossoming powers of the United States and Imperial Japan have had cause to rue his attentions.
He will have with him his notorious ‘Les Enfant Perdus‘ – Deveraux’s own personal forces he calls his ‘Lost Children‘. Unknown in number and from many varied sources – Siamese pirates, Tong gang members, American outlaws, East European anarchists – he has a startling ability to recruit from anywhere, which many observers put down to his enchanting charisma. Along with renegade European officers followed faithfully by their specially-trained cadres, Deveraux has an amazing capacity to field effective armed forces to attempt to achieve his nefarious goals in all four-corners of the World.
As for his motivation, that has been difficult for all to pin down. Some in Western Europe, particularly the French of the Rive-Gauche, have considered him to be a gallant Republican fighting against the despotism of Absolute Monarchy. Others like his German Leftisch associates look to him as the First Socialist Activist fighting for the Rights of the Common Man. Many consider him an outright Anarchist, taking on all authority of the Old Order. The British Government label him a Fenian from his previous exploits against them, even upon their sacred hills and vales of England itself.
Now, free again to exercise his criminal intellect, Ministers and Generals meet in darkened rooms discussing how best to counter-act his next Outrage. It’s soon known that it’s not just the British who have concerns about Deveraux, and eventually Lord Napier obtains the Prime Minister’s consent to hold a secret conference in Craigievar Castle, Aberdeenshire. Lord Napier himself then hand delivers invitations to certain foreign Embassies in London, and the scene is set for the Craigievar Conference.
This was the setting I drew up, quite a few years ago, for a Space:1889 wargame & role-play campaign, set here on Earth, using an adapted set of rules from Stargrunt II. It’s always provided a useful background to dip back into every now and then, and seems suitably useful for both IHMN and TMWWBK.