Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh.   Posted by SteamRoller.Group: 0
Grimsby H. Baskerville
 player, 302 posts
 A Colonial agent knowing
 Mars past and present
Tue 9 Jul 2019
at 03:02
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
Once that hatch has proven unhelpful, Grmsby suggests, "Perhaps we should try the captain's cabin. There may be no-one there at present, but we might be able to learn more of what the ship and its people have been doing here." 
Joseph Rudyard Hunnisett
 player, 147 posts
 Navy Commander (Ret)
 Wandering Explorer
Tue 9 Jul 2019
at 06:56
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
In reply to Grimsby H. Baskerville (msg # 821):

     Joseph gives a little shrug, "Sounds like a good idea--seeing as I have no idea which of these hatches will lead us to that fella Miss Brie called Miklos--" Joseph pronounces it more like 'Mick-loss' than 'Me-close'--"We'll just have to trust she can keep him asleep."

     Joseph gives a little shiver as they start towards the stairs up to the second deck of the stern-castle, and the entrance to what is assumed to be the Captain's Cabin.

     "I mean, I've seen lots of strange stuff in my travels.  Been witness to odd folks doing lots of unlikely things--but what that Miss Brie seems to do..."

     Joseph looks over at Grimsby as they are both climbing up the stairs,

     "Now that I've had time to put my mind to it, it's not that hard to grasp that she's--well--best way I can think of expressing it is that she's imposing her will on those fellows.  Think of it that way, and that's really not too hard to grasp.  But the other side of that biscuit--when you think about it--is that that ability is a bit scary, you know?"
Grimsby H. Baskerville
 player, 303 posts
 A Colonial agent knowing
 Mars past and present
Wed 10 Jul 2019
at 03:14
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
In reply to Joseph Rudyard Hunnisett (msg # 822):

Grmsby admitted, "Quite frankly, it would frighten me too, if I did not trust Miss O'Malley not to abuse her power. It could be quite dangerous in the hands of someone else. I believe her to be entirely honest, but if, for instance, one of the crew of this ship had the power, it could be deadly."   
Arthur Russell
 player, 16 posts
 I have drunk
 and seen the spider.
Wed 10 Jul 2019
at 03:20
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh

Arthur followed the others with his revolver drawn and at the ready. Looking left and right as they moved along the deck Arthur was wary of someone looking out one of the portholes or the like.

He had visions of someone running to the gunwale of the upper castles with a carbine or the like and opening fire on the party as they moved.


-
GM SteamRoller
 GM, 144 posts
 Gearhead
 Machinesmith
Wed 10 Jul 2019
at 18:59
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
The group reaches the second deck and moves to the left to reach the solo door. After trying the lever-type handle, they find that the door is not locked.

It opens inward and the left, just enough to let someone enter. There is no sight or sound of anyone in the room.

Not surprisingly, it is one large cabin at the back of the ship, extending port to starboard. The bed is against the back wall with a seachest at the foot of it, a desk is set against the port side to take advantage of the view through the bay window while a table and chairs does the same on the starboard side. There is a closet in the middle of the forward wall; it sticks out a bit to offer some separation, but also probably takes advantage of space under the stairs leading up to the bridge.
Felicity Van Horn
 player, 76 posts
 The American
Wed 10 Jul 2019
at 19:05
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
Not one to stand about idly, Felicity decides to investigate the forward end of the ship. Clearly, the lower doors give access to the guns displayed on either side of the hull, but could there be more to that area that it appears?

"Brie... can you sense where the sleeping occupant is? Is he forward or aft or amidships?" she asked the Irish lass.
Grimsby H. Baskerville
 player, 304 posts
 A Colonial agent knowing
 Mars past and present
Thu 11 Jul 2019
at 02:54
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
In reply to GM SteamRoller (msg # 825):

Grimsby gives the room a quick survey to be quite sure it is empty of enemies, and then moves over to the desk to see if it contains any informative materials --a log, charts, correspondence or the like.
Brie O'Malley
 player, 200 posts
 Irish
 Stunning Beauty
Tue 23 Jul 2019
at 04:16
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
"He's aft here somewhere," Brie answers Felicity.

"Must be below us. But don't worry, I'm keeping him asleep. As long as we don't make any really loud noises, he won't wake up."
GM SteamRoller
 GM, 145 posts
 Gearhead
 Machinesmith
Tue 23 Jul 2019
at 04:19
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
The desk isn't built in, but a separate piece of furniture that was brought on board.

There is a map on the desk. There are a couple of marks on the map, but no indication of what they mean.

There are a few letters and telegrams. All seem to deal with financing.
Joseph Rudyard Hunnisett
 player, 148 posts
 Navy Commander (Ret)
 Wandering Explorer
Tue 23 Jul 2019
at 05:47
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
In reply to GM SteamRoller (msg # 829):

     Joseph seems mesmerized by the closet--every time he looks away to start searching elsewhere, his eyes are drawn back to it.  The closet's placement in the room is unexceptional, but something from his early years aboard ships keeps giving him a feeling of 'wrongness' to it.

     Just as he starts towards the closet, with the intent to look inside it, Joseph realizes that on every ship he's ever served aboard--even the steamers--stairs that were for use out on the deck, like the ones 'behind' the closet, had always been built with the space underneath the steps open to the deck, so that rigging spares could be stored there, close to the masts where they would be needed most...unless there were a second set of stairs underneath them, leading below decks.

     But that didn't make any sense, either.  Why would there be a set of stairs leading up from below decks, straight into the captains cabin?

     Determined to resolve his suspicions about the closet, Joseph reaches for the handle of the door panel(s) and carefully tries to open it, and look inside.
Grimsby H. Baskerville
 player, 305 posts
 A Colonial agent knowing
 Mars past and present
Wed 24 Jul 2019
at 03:39
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
In reply to GM SteamRoller (msg # 829):

Grimsby examines the map a bit more closely to see what areas it covers. Is it a map of Spain, a map of the Western Mediterranean, or what?
Catherine Harston
 player, 145 posts
 Proper Young Lady
Thu 25 Jul 2019
at 08:39
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
Catherine joins Grimsby in looking through the maps and telegrams, her curiosity getting the better of her. It is an awful interesting mystery, this strange ship.
GM SteamRoller
 GM, 146 posts
 Gearhead
 Machinesmith
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 21:18
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
There are several maps. The biggest one is a map of Europe.

There are smaller maps of several European countries underneath the large map: Belgium/Germany/Netherlands, France, Portugal/Spain, Italy/Switzerland, and Great Britain/Ireland.


There are also several Terra Nova Guidebooks on a shelf: Russian, Poland, Sweden, Greece, Tcherkistan and Drachenburg.


The telegrams are directions for financial transactions, but they are rather cryptic so no one they weren't intended for would know what they really meant.

27 Bofors 16 Yen 12th of Never.
64 Vorn 25 rupees Saturday.
18 NRG 70 francs end of July.
No sell Fred or Gregory.
Buy by bye in orange.
Arthur Russell
 player, 17 posts
 I have drunk
 and seen the spider.
Thu 1 Aug 2019
at 21:40
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh

Arthur covers the deck as the others look through the office. He will use the doorway as cover while he waits for them to finish.

-
Grimsby H. Baskerville
 player, 306 posts
 A Colonial agent knowing
 Mars past and present
Fri 2 Aug 2019
at 03:11
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
In reply to GM SteamRoller (msg # 833):

Grimsby  looked at the messages curiously and said "The first three seem to fit a pattern --item --possibly arms, money--perhaps cost --and date --perhaps of delivery of the item --but none of them make sense as they stand --'twelfth of Never" is clearly not a real date, though it might represent one in some substitution code, and I expect the others are also code words. "Fred or Gregory" might be two nations interested (or, as it suggests, not interested) in buying or selling arms --say, France and Germany. The last message still seems to be discussing a sale, but I have no plausible guess what is being sold or to whom--- "orange" could be the Netherlands, I suppose,but they are not usually interested in this sort of intrigue."
Aubrey St. Claire
 player, 46 posts
 Eccentric Inventor
 Antecdents unknown
Fri 2 Aug 2019
at 17:14
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
"Could 'orange' refer to the Orange Free State?" Aubrey asked. "It could be some weapons deal they were negotiating."
Catherine Harston
 player, 147 posts
 Proper Young Lady
Sat 3 Aug 2019
at 01:30
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
"I think it's all a code. I mean, would someone who could own this ship really care about a sum of 70 Francs?"
Joseph Rudyard Hunnisett
 player, 149 posts
 Navy Commander (Ret)
 Wandering Explorer
Sun 4 Aug 2019
at 01:52
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
In reply to Catherine Harston (msg # 837):

     "Miss Catherine is probably right, you know." Joseph says, from across the cabin, as he's opening the closet door.

     "The telegram isn't likely to be a simple Word Replacement code--replace 'France' with 'Fred'--that's too easy to crack.  More likely it's a Book Code." before he looks into the closet, Joseph turns to look over his shoulder at the others, "You have to know what book to look in, then the first half of the line is a clue that tells you where to look in that book for the key that decodes the last half of the message.  Book Codes can be as complicated as having to look up every letter in a long message, or as short as just finding a single word that has some predetermined meaning."

     Joseph gives a nod and a smile to Catherine, "Excellently noticed, Miss Catherine.  I had to go to a Naval Military Academy, as a young adult, to be taught signals and codes--so just what are they teaching at that English Girls School that you attended?"
Aubrey St. Claire
 player, 47 posts
 Eccentric Inventor
 Antecdents unknown
Wed 7 Aug 2019
at 21:50
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
"I think you may be onto something, Catherine!" Aubrey says.

"And you, too, Joseph. It's a mixed system. For example, 'Fred' may simply mean the page number based on the number of letters in the name."

"And 'no sell' could mean the opposite... either sell or no buy."

"The big numbers are used because... well, there aren't words with that many letters! Or had to come up with them."

"So, page number, paragraph or line? Maybe word?"

"Unless those fellows had a book on them, it must be one of these books. There's only six. We could each take one and see what we come up with."

Grimsby H. Baskerville
 player, 307 posts
 A Colonial agent knowing
 Mars past and present
Fri 9 Aug 2019
at 03:27
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
In reply to Aubrey St. Claire (msg # 836):

Grimsby responded, "It is true that the Boers have been looking for armaments. They won their first war with the British Empire, but they know very well that is not the end of the matter.
 However, I grant it is quite possible that the code may be more subtle.However, a book substitution code is simply a word substitution code using a specific source of words."

Catherine Harston
 player, 148 posts
 Proper Young Lady
Sat 10 Aug 2019
at 01:31
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
Catherine blushes, embarrassed by the idea that her education included subjects not becoming for a young lady. "Goodness, I didn't know all that about codes. I was just thinking that the sums of money seemed oddly low."

Catherine frowns at the mention of the Boer War; she was a patriotic girl, and while she didn't know much about war, a defeat for the British Empire was an embarrassment.

"Are we quite sure the ship is safe? We should make totally sure before we try deciphering codes."
Joseph Rudyard Hunnisett
 player, 150 posts
 Navy Commander (Ret)
 Wandering Explorer
Sat 10 Aug 2019
at 03:11
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
Aubrey St. Claire:
"Unless those fellows had a book on them, it must be one of these books. There's only six. We could each take one and see what we come up with."


     "Right you are, Aubrey." Joseph responds to the scientist, "Just let me make a quick inspection of this closet, and I'll join you."

     Joseph turns back to face the now-open closet (assuming the door had opened), and pokes through it's contents for a few moments...
Grimsby H. Baskerville
 player, 308 posts
 A Colonial agent knowing
 Mars past and present
Sat 10 Aug 2019
at 03:12
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
Grimsby responded, "I am inclined to think that if any of the crew were still aboard this ship, we would have found them by now, but it would do no harm to make absolutely sure."
GM SteamRoller
 GM, 148 posts
 Gearhead
 Machinesmith
Mon 19 Aug 2019
at 02:37
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
The closet turns out to be just a built-in wardrobe. There are several suits of clothes hanging in it, a robe, and several pairs of shoes on the bottom.
Joseph Rudyard Hunnisett
 player, 151 posts
 Navy Commander (Ret)
 Wandering Explorer
Mon 19 Aug 2019
at 04:57
Re: Adventure 1: The Iceman Cometh
In reply to GM SteamRoller (msg # 844):

     Joseph frowned as he looked inside the 'closet'--it was just so oddly placed--so strange, according to how he understood nautical design.  Maybe this ship was designed by someone from a remote culture--like Russia.  He'd always found the few Russians he'd ever met to be really strange-thinking people.  He quietly closed the closet door and joined the others at the desk.

     "There is one person aboard this ship, remember!" Joseph says, as he came to stand next to Grimsby, "Miss Brie says that she can, um--sense?--someone sleeping below decks.  Remember?  That's why we're trying to find a way down to the lower decks--so we can tie him up and Miss Brie can relax from her...efforts...to keep him sleeping while we are all stumping around, here."

     Joseph looks over the items around the desk--then frowns as he spots one of the Terra Nova Guidebooks.

     "Hey, did I hear someone mention the word 'bofors' was on one of the telegrams?" Joseph asks, as he takes down one of the books from the shelf, "Long time back, I once ser--um--I once saw an Imperial Mexican coastal cruiser in port at...uh, Galveston, I think it was.  And she had a couple of big naval rifles made by an armaments manufacturer called Bofors AB..."

     Joseph holds up the Travel Guide so everyone can see the cover, "Located in Sweden."