Session 62 – “Hello, Mister Johnson !” – Tuesday 3rd April 2012 – by Frithhill, Modus and ShaunFreney
Elapsed time – 652 days real time, 482 days game-time (2nd December 1603 ?)
Location – approaching the Sea of Cipangu
Objective – to secure the intercession of an (aforementioned) Cantonese warlord and a Cathayan Imperial bureaucrat by taking on the role of nemesis to another pirate warlord (the aforementioned South China Sea pirate, see comments page of Session 61). Maybe to raise some capital. That would be delightful.
“JOURNAL ENTRY – CATHAY. DAY 12. I, after some questioning, am relieved to find out there is no hostage being kept in the galley. However I am still befuddled as to what the meaning of the notes, and their cryptic messages, that I consistently find in my biscuits.” Melchior Augustus Browne
“Zis foreign tobacco is rather strange, no? Pierre is offered local pipeweed, sees colours vivant and wakes up with pants on, boots unstolen and not facedown in gutter. Truly, zis Cathay place is full of wonder. Pretty cups and plates, too.”
(“Mister Johnson”; or the man who has a lucrative job he wants done, and ensures that there is no visible connection between the commissioning party, appearing in this instance as regional administrator Grand Secretary Xiao Gubai, through his military lieutenant General Qi who in turn speaks through his interpreter Li Kiao) and the contractors. To the extent that Wokou can distinguish between Pertuese regulars and Montaignaise mercenaries, the arrival of inexorable aggression will be baffling. The price ?, political protection and the promise of a fifth of the value of any seized ships, persons and goods.
The regular officers of le Dauphin have been brought to the view that though their orders give no provision for such a measure, the consequences of the withdrawal of patronage would implicitly leave them to deal with the Pertuese unsupported. Also there is an assurance that the Nihonese pirates will be badly overmatched by a well-armed, freshly outfitted, abundantly manned Europan ship in good condition and repair. It therefore seems like good policy, while consideration is given to the long voyage back to Europa (without the benefit of charts and such-like).
Pierre Le Schtroumpf has boldly gone where none of the rest of us would go. To an opium den. The fact that he awoke to find that he wasn’t breathing carotid/jugular blood and harbour water may be sufficient to instill in him a belief in a benevolent God
Thomas Rede threw a few more cogs when his horses weren’t where he left them.
Melchior Browne set to learning the rudiments of the local dialect, manners and customs. Boy, is he going to be crestfallen to learnt that Cathay is large, large enough to have millions of people speaking a minority language, and culturally distinct from the other parts of an empire of an unthinkable vastness. It’s a different world, than where you came from.