The South African seer Van Rensburg had been identified as a potential breach of the ban on magical intervention. Actively plying his visions as propaganda to spur on the Maritz Rebellion, rather than his words simply being appropriated by others. An attempted ambush turned on the party’s heads quickly as spirits abducted Harriet, Glynn and Rensburg, pulling them into a purgatorial spirit world and leaving Bjorn and Nathaniel to mount a rescue. The spirits, slain British soldiers from the great battle at Isandlwana, interrogated and imprisoned the three champions, hoping that they would hold the key to escaping the afterlife they found themselves trapped in. Glynn and Harriet attempted to negotiate their way out of their predicament, but to no avail, and the word finally came that they were to be executed at dawn, along with Rensburg. Bjorn and Nathaniel meanwhile were invited to a nearby village by an amused local. A magician promised them a way to enter the spirit world, if they were to help him win a bride by removing her father from the picture. Finding the idea distasteful, the pair instead invaded his home and assaulted him, overpowering his tokoloshe guard and threatening to kill him unless he told them how to cross the barrier. Meanwhile, a desperate escape attempt by the captives lead to them surrounded by the soldiers, and Rensburg suddenly siding with them. He attacked Glynn from behind, capitalising on his previous genital injury at the hands of Harriet, but failed. The soldiers, through sheer weight of numbers still charged and could restrain them. Just in time for Bjorn and Nathaniel to arrive with a small arsenal of explosives. Capitalising on the confusion, Nathaniel immediately delivered a demand to be heard in the name of the British Empire. Spectacularly successful, and with a reunited party behind him, he helped negotiate some more time to save them, and to find an alternate means of escape from the spirit world. Rensburg, now revealed to have been playing both sides all along, put forwards his plan to use Harriet and Glynn as blood sacrifices, but after a visit to the ancestors of the Zulu people, Bjorn and Glynn discovered that the soldiers could simply make their way to Christian settlements and pass on. A brief resistance attempt by the camp commander was cut down by a shotgun blast from Bjorn, and with only the camp’s flag folded over Nathaniel’s arm, they left, the army disbanded. Rensburg, however, had decided to take his chances in the spirit world.
Now I think we did the right thing in the end, those soldiers died hero’s and never deserved to be trapped in an afterlife that they didn’t deserve. The only improvement I would have asked for is that we had a point of contact for the culture and spiritual lore for the operational area. I don’t know what the African gods are doing with their champions, but they sure as hell could have given us a hand with an issue in their own house. I think next time we get a mission outside of the knowledge areas of the team, I’ll try to consult that mad contraption on the bridge which give us the damn things. Might need to try and organise some better lines of communication with the various pantheon teams.
Once more, I find myself embroiled in issues born from my father.
I was initially reasonably excited by this mission, a chance to meet someone with the ability to fortell piqued my curiosity. Did he do it by cards like I do, or did he recieve messages from interested party? My curiosity was not well rewarded when, after confronting the man we were dragged into the realm of the dead by men who I found out were my father’s old regiment. There can’t have been a good brain between those in charge, as soon as my identity was revealed they threw me in a makeshift brig and later decided I was to be executed, seemingly out of some petty revenge for Barnabus. With nothing to do but ask questions, I soon found that these men, despite being here for 40 years, had not abandoned this post. Some would say they must have had a strong moral fibre to stay there for so long, but I say they must’ve all been idiots to lack the simple curiosity to go somewhere. 40 years! I would’ve been a stark raving madwoman if I was confined to such an unchanging location for such a long time. We were trapped for several hours near as I can tell, with Glynn, our newest recruit, me and the Seer having nought to do but twiddle our thumbs. Perhaps it was the thought of losing Edwin that spurred me on, or a simple need to do SOMETHING, but my attempt at an escape was cut short by Nathaniel and Bjorn coming to our rescue. With a great deal of frenzied shouting and some shotgun diplomacy, we were free once more, and the soldiers were finally setting off to whatever eternal rest awaits them. We lost the seer in the process, though I doubt we’ll hear from him again if my readings were anything to go by.
I now rest upon the lark again. It is confining sometimes, to live under this long shadow of my father, but the more I do this, the more I begin to understand him. I would not want this life for Edwin either as he grows up, and Barnabus had the benefit of knowing I had someone to care for me.
It was jarring to look at the officers of Isandlwana. The Realm of the Dead, or the Spiritworld, whatever the fuck it is called, was unsettling. I felt like an intruder in my own skin, an alien clothed in another’s flesh. Rensberg and Longa are trapped there, forever perhaps. Longa deserved it, and Rensberg nearly as well, desperate as he was to kill Glynn and Harriet.
I was pleased though, to have prevented it, and reopened diplomacy. I was born seven years after the Battle, and the heroism displayed there and at Rourke’s Drift inspired me, made me want to serve, to fight for Queen, King now, and Country.
To see them so lost, so broken, was heart wrenching. As it was, to see them so twisted that they would blame Harriet and Glynn for their misfortunes. Glynn is an innocent lad, kind and full of mirth. Harriet and I may not be always on the best of terms, especially after what I said to the Captain, but the sins of her father are not her own. Barnabas was a bastard, but not her.
By their logic, I would also be a monster after a fashion; I don’t know who my father is, or was. Should I be condemned for his actions? Or my mothers, God rest her soul?
I am a monster in my own way, and I am glad that the fight with the Tokolosh did not last longer, nor that anyone saw me speak to it when I returned to Longa’s house. There is reason enough to despise me, without questions as to what goes on inside my head.
This business with the dead weighs heavy on me. Where shall I go, when I die?
Shall I ever meet those I love? Ever?
These are thoughts for later perhaps. For now, I must recover from my wounds, and try to think of how to redeem my conduct with the captain.