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Author Topic: The Gulliver Fellowship and 18th C. Torchwood?  (Read 16218 times)
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abdul666lw
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« on: January 15, 2013, 10:02:03 PM »

Just toying with ideas... Smiley

Having re-read Anno Dracula I became curious about the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and was thrilled to discover it already existed in the 18th C. -my favorite period- as the Gulliver Fellowship.
Since I prefer the time of the War of Austrian Succession I have no qualm to modify some birth dates to have it already active by 1745 -'alternate histories' in the Multiverse (not even a Moorcockian one) are not exactly 'superimposable' for deaths, so why they would be for birth? And following the example of Kim Newman, whose recurring characters are not exactly the same from a 'time-line' to another.

The Gulliver Fellowship fits directly in the period, but what about the Diogenes Club and, 'worse',  Torchwood officially created in 1879 -and which may pose problems of ©®™ IP? Answer: *to merge them*!
 I suggest that by the time of the Lace Wars 'Torchwood' was already the self-given nickname of the informal group formed by Francis Bacon, yet still (semi-)officially known by the British Crown only as Bookworm, the 'innocuous' name initially given by Bacon to his secret gathering of scholars specially knowledgeable in the esoteric and the occult (because of the time they spent perusing 'many a quaint and curious volume of a forgotten lore'). 'Torchwood' -a counter-reference to Wormwood
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/duST2l6c0sQ&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/duST2l6c0sQ&rel=1</a>
- is to become its official name only when the group receives more official support with the creation of the Torchwood Institute; for it, or at least its secret HQ, Mycroft Holmes is to found the Diogenes Club as a cover, and it will copied far later in America by 'The Threshold'.
Since the mid-17th C. those (very few) outsiders suspecting its existence often referred to it -or at least to its 'directorial board'- as the 'Invisible College': a confusion? Probably not entirely.
Currently the apparent Chairman of 'Bookworm' is M(other), a portly more than middle-aged man with an old-fashioned wig, always in a wheelchair generally pushed by a statuesque, if a little manly, blonde.


Back to the Gulliver Fellowship, since it is already active in 1745 Lady Blakeney is obviously not the Marguerite of the French Revolution: several hints point to Venetian Clarimonde later to be known as 'Venus' (and in fact none else than Amber St. Clare). Here the Blakeney will part in the late 1780, and while he becomes the Scarlet Pimpernel in Paris she reappears in Venice as La Bianca Paloma; currently she goes very, very well with Fanny 'Mana Peel' Hill. According to their centuries old tradition England and France are at war, yet Orlando currently serves the French Crown in London as the Chevalier d'Eon (would require 2 figurines!): but patriotic loyalties are irrelevant when facing dreadful supernatural threats.


Of course other secret private organizations and State services would exist, cooperating or competing with the Gulliver Fellowship and its sometimes employer Wormbook: Freemasons, the Prieuré de Sion, the Templars successors, the Jesuits, perhaps already Iscariota, the 'Assassination' branch of the Pope's secret services Section XIII...   and obviously various Evil Cults.
As other possible 'factions' what about La Fraternité de Jean le Presbytre, the Sons of the Martyrs, a kind of 18th C. Bene Gesserit and the Bennet Circle?

Note that according to their ethos these diverse companies / factions will vary in their attitude toward 'modern' / 'futuristic' weapons: 'traditionalists' such as the Priory of Sion and the Templars are likely to shun them, 'modernists' such as the Free Masons, and pre-Torchwood of instrinsic 'Lacepunk' nature, will probably favor them, for instance using 'galvanic' weapons, throwing Leyden jars rather than holy water at 'supernatural' creatures.

Various characters can be added to the cast such as a young Baron Münchhausen, the Comte de Saint Germain, Cagliostro if born some 20 years earlier in this time-line, Edmund Blackadder with Baldrick... as well as Geneviève d'Isle Dieudonné (Geneviève Sylvie, in this time and place; probably in Bookworm / Torchwood service) and some incarnation of Jeremy Cornelius (aka 'Dr Who'), Una Persson von Bek and Catherine Cornelius de Barra.
 





Miniatures, specially in and around the 28mm size, abound.

As for rules, there is a cornucopia of choice: those specially written for the period or for the 'Pike & Shot' times or for witch finding / hunting; but popular sets intended for 'Victorian times' or even later can certainly be adapted. Strange Aeons was successfully 'transposed' to the 18th C., Chaos in Carpathia can be played with figurines in tricornes; but the recent Empire of the Dead would probably be specially adequate for a 'Diogenes Club / Torchwood' setting -mainly give to 'lacepunk' weapons the stats of the 'steampunk' original ones. Vampires appeared in Western European literature in  1748 at the latest and at least one great EOTD 'fan' faction *has* to already exist in the 18th C..


Given that in EOTD a faction has at most 2 'characters' the Gulliver Fellowship can provide several such. 'Wormwood' is more likely to stay in the background as a NPC 'employer', though it can provide a team (as in 'Anno Dracula') or a single top-level field investigator. For the Gulliver Fellows the 'muscle' filling the ranks of the faction could be recruited among highwaymen ('highwaypersons', more generally, think the 'Wicked Lady') and robbers. An agent of  Wormwood would probably have a more official support: Privateer Press Arcane Tempest Gun Mages look adequate to depict an  'initiated' SWAT section of the  Bow Street Runners.





I'm retired *also* as a wargamer, and in addition isolated and such 'campaign' does not look propitious to solo play. So I just hope someone younger and more 'active' will pick up the general idea -and then will post his/her achievements somewhere on the web.
You know, we elderlies enjoy to watch younger people doing what we can no longer do ourselves Cheesy



« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 08:47:37 PM by abdul666lw » Logged

smokezombie
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 10:39:07 PM »

Sorry, I can't take the baton... But I really liked your post. Some cracking ideas in there. Well thought out.
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 09:50:18 AM »

Brilliant  setting and some of my favorite characters, very well done indeed. who makes the floating  female with the  Dove if i can ask?

Getting me thinking about female pirates and  wolrds  hehhheh
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abdul666lw
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 10:09:58 AM »

The White Dove is a character of the 'Lovecraft in late 18th C. Venice' game Carnevale of Vesper-on Games


« Last Edit: March 13, 2014, 06:34:32 PM by abdul666lw » Logged
abdul666lw
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 02:58:01 PM »

The Carnevale minis are fine sculpts -though some are in a pose too 'dynamic' to be 'generic', but I'm afraid they are on the 'large' (33+mm?) size.

The same for the Laughing Monk 'NOT brotherhood of the Wolf' minis

(Fanny Hill?)

and Fenryll Chasseur de Sorcières

(Nathaniel "Hawkeye" Bumppo in 'English' dress?)



On the other hand the minis of the boardgame 'A touch of Evil' (some available separately) are inferior sculpts but seemingly of 'traditional' 28mm size.



(Btw the two young women in gown would be adequate to represent two of the Bennet sisters <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/S1JdPvyy93I&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/S1JdPvyy93I&rel=1</a>
by the time of Fontenoy and Culloden Cheesy)

Freebooter Assassins are said to be compatible with 'mainstream' ranges.






 Huh?LINKS for those curious about Lacepulp (mid-18th C. Horror) and Lacepunk (mid-18th C. Sci-Fi) Smiley
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 06:48:06 PM by abdul666lw » Logged
abdul666lw
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 09:32:26 PM »

I don't know about their current availability, but with their huge zweihänder
Magnificent Egos (male) Pilgrim


and (female) Pilgrim Reincarnate

would make *great* 18th C. monster hunters / witchers (sorcelier and sorceliere, to give them a name more 'exotic' and with a less restrictive obvious etymology, for you anglophones).



Now, the 18th C. equivalent of Torchwood / Threshold agents, just like their modern counterparts, would appear as civilians with unobtrusive weapons. Such minis can be found in several 'pirates' ranges, among Foundry Moonfleet-type 'smugglers'..;. Seemingly the Rattrap 'Characters of Gevaudan' are out of stock? Westwind have some useable figurines in their 'Sleepy Hollow' range, but the most appropriate minis come probably from the F&IW armed settlers, e.g. from Galloping Major:
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 06:28:12 PM by abdul666lw » Logged
abdul666lw
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 05:34:57 PM »

Specially for a multi-players campaign there is a wide choice of potential part-time allies (while Torchwood is roughly the European equivalent of the Pangaean Hoellesingen-Organisation, but having to face more diverse... 'monstrosities') and rivals / arch-enemies:





For French colleagues (members of the 'Cabinet Esotérique' of the Secret du Roi, its field operatives led by one Guy De Vere known in some circles as El Desdichado), some characters from 'Brotherhood of the Wolf' are obvious choices: Gregoire de Fronsac and Mani (so reminiscent of Hubert "Double Scalp" de la Pâte Feuilletée and Oumpah-Pah)

and Sylvia (the beautiful courtesan-cum-skilled assassin in the secret service of the Vatican).





Now, to really become an Extraordinaire Gente Dame 'Sylvia' can actually be Geneviève Sylvie d'Isle Dieudonné - maybe having received the Witchblade from her dear companion Joan of Arc
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/EfOeANDsXbA&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/EfOeANDsXbA&rel=1</a>?



As other possible 'factions' what about La Fraternité de Jean le Presbytre, the Sons of the Martyrs, a kind of 18th C. Bene Gesserit, the Bennet Circle and some very 'Lovecraftian' cults?

Note that according to their ethos these diverse companies / factions will vary in their attitude toward 'modern' weapons: 'traditionalists' such as the Priory of Sion and the Templars are likely to shun them, 'modernists' such as the Free Masons will probably favor them, for instance using 'galvanic' weapons, throwing Leyden jars rather than holy water at 'supernatural' creatures.


As for appropriate rules, there is a cornucopia of available sets; hard to choose, each seemingly offering original elements: indeed ideally a group effort (given the number of books and supplements to buy, peruse and analyze) would "break the bone and suck out the substance-full marrow"of all this documentation and write the perfect synthesis?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 05:06:17 PM by abdul666lw » Logged
ink the troll
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 10:33:04 PM »

I don't know about their current availability, but with their huge zweihänder
Magnificent Egos (male) Pilgrim and (female) Pilgrim Reincarnate would make *great* 18th C. monster hunters (...)
They're still available via Valiant Enterprises Ltd., if that info is of any help.
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abdul666lw
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 10:06:01 AM »

 Seemingly Eureka got Moorcock's agreement to produce 'Hawkmoon' miniature? From the 1st images the sculpts have some 'Old school' look.

Relevant here because Flana Mikosevaar could very well be a mysterious 18th C. lady wearing a mask (Carnival, fanciful dancing party) and of course she would fit for Carnevale.
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Franz_Josef
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 07:41:06 AM »

Might the origins of the Society have not actually begun even earlier, in the 16th Century?  Perhaps with Dr. John Dee 1527 – 1608, Elizabethan era mathematician, court astrologer, magus and geographer, - and sometime ally of the alchemist and "spirit medium" Edward Kelly aka Edward "Talbot" (who later resided in Prague, employed at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II) and Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth I's spymaster, and Lord Burghley. (employing Walsingham's son-in-law, Sir Philip Sydney, as their muscular right arm)?   They provide a counterweight to the machinations of Catherine de Medici and her favorite astrologer, Nostradamus.
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 02:09:51 PM »

Excellent suggestion - so much the more as John Dee -according to the most knowledgeable sources- published a translation of the Necronomicon

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
Then Francis Bacon is a not unlikely 'heir apparent', then successor, of John Dee.
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abdul666lw
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2013, 10:36:33 AM »

A wargamer regularly granting us with eye-candy and excellent action reports launches into 18th C. Horror:
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2013, 05:26:23 PM »

I heartily applaud your decision set Operatic Metal music squarely in the 18th century its a perfect companion to your concept.  Wink You can include Solomon Cain in this concept and the undead pirates of "On Stranger Tides". I will have to say I reject  "lacepunk" as a term for this gaming. I can do much better than that!
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abdul666lw
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2013, 02:31:55 PM »

For some 10 years I've been using 'Lacepulp' for fantasy/ horror / pulp adventures set in the 18th C. (the age of the 'Lace Wars') as a 'twin' for 'Lacepunk' = 18th C. Sci-Fi (based of course on 'steampunk').
Of course the two subgenres can be fruitfully combined (in the same way as some steampunk weapons appear in 'Empire of the Dead'): the same pirates (preferably including many pirettes) can encounter King Kong and dinosaurs (and cave girls in fur bikinis) on an island and Dagon worshipers and Deep Ones on another (not on the same island or the campaign will be very short-lived). Some very creative players such as LAF member bogdanwaz  are equally proficient in 18th C. Horror  and in 18th C. (or slightly earlier) Science-Fiction (he uses 'Clockwork Punk' to cover both).
Some of bogdanwaz':






Give (VSF) Wrath of Kings Herald of Blood a tricorne (Wargames Factory WSS plastics are a great source of conversion bits)

and she'll make a great 18th C. / Lacepunk adventuress wielding a short range 'thunderbolt thrower'.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 09:02:17 PM by abdul666lw » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2013, 06:44:45 PM »

I heartily applaud your decision set Operatic Metal music squarely in the 18th century its a perfect companion to your concept.  Wink You can include Solomon Cain in this concept and the undead pirates of "On Stranger Tides". I will have to say I reject  "lacepunk" as a term for this gaming. I can do much better than that!
Sorry that should have read "you" can do better than that. I did not mean to be rude and it sounds rude. I simply meant that you need not add the appellate "punk". There is very little punk in steampunk. Especially since you have such great period phrases like the Grand Guignol.

Please I hope I haven't caused offense with my failure to double check before posting.

 
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