The Forgotten Island

Playlist: Open Water - Zoe Mulford

Online platforms - a combination proved best

Clemens Park, Surrey, England, Sunday 27th May 1941, 09:02

Keeper Note: With the shift to online gaming, it's been possible for Aimo to connect in from the Falklands, so we get Birapeer back. We may get Francoise as well. Technically, both are on another adventure in New Orleans on Rolegate. But am I going to spoil things by making a point of that? No. Smile and wave, boys! :)

After a couple of days, the motorbikes with their ice tyres had arrived, and the party felt they were ready. Marcus stepped up to the stone slab, still not entirely sure he was ready for taking this step, and worked the enchantment - his first. A mingled sensation of ectsasy and draining rushed over him as a slice of his soul flowed into the stone, empowering it as an item of magic. Gradually, the runes began to glow - but instead of the unnerving Nachtwölfe blue, this was a warm, positive orange; the colour of firelight and a Túcume sunrise.

The two circles of runes began to rotate, and even before they vanished to leave a shimmering interface, Marcus knew that they had indeed opened a Gate to somewhere in Greenland.

BSA M20 Motorcycle

With a roar, Joe started his bike and fearlessly gunned it through the aperture. As soon as he touched the interface, he vanished, bike and all, and the sound instantly vanished, leaving the rest with ringing ears. The others glanced at each other; despite their new minted competence with the machines, they elected to wheel them through the aperture.

Scoresbysund, Southern Greenland, Sunday 27th May 1941, 09:05

Stepping into the Gate was not like walking between two rooms; not at all. The process was nearly instant, but that instant was hideous; every iota of the traveller’s body and soul was ripped violently and agonizingly to shreds and then rammed painfully back together. As they rode and stepped out of the far side, the travellers were dazed for several seconds as their nerves rebounded from the screaming agony and their vision cleared, leaving them shaken and traumatized.

Joe found himself jolting and hurtling across very uneven terrain, his vision temporarily blotted out, and only his muscle memory and instinct kept him in the saddle until he could come to a halt.

Inuit Hut

The team found themselves on a cold hillside, looking down at a grey bay inlet into the coast and the sea beyond. A tiny village of Inuit huts clung to the coast of the bay near them, about half a mile away. A glance behind confirmed that there was no magical aperture to be seen; the Gate was a one-way process. It also became apparent that the terrain between them and the village was rough enough that they would need to walk and push the bikes, although Birapeer - also experienced with motorbikes - opened his throttle and rode ahead over the bumpy ground to the village.

The locals were occupied at their daily tasks, mainly involving fishing nets, the catch and caring for their umiak boats. As Birapeer rode up, turban and all, they looked up at him with mild surprise and interest, but not as much as he had expected. Clearly, they had seen strange-looking people pass through before quite recently. This supported the intelligence that had led them here.

Stefan Gulbrandsen

After a few minutes, a new figure ducked out through the doorway of one of the huts, straightened and walked towards Birapeer. A large man with atypical piercing pale blue eyes, he extended a hand and, in reasonably competent English, asked, "Am I speaking to Bridgeman, or Darkwing, or Past Master?" Birapeer nodded - Darkwing was his own code-name. "Good!" boomed the man. "I am Stefan Gulbrandsen. This is Malik, who will one day be angakok [shaman] here."


Malik, who had been standing back a way with a rather stern and disapproving look on his face as he looked at the strangers approaching, shifted his feet, looking a little mollified. His face was smooth and young, and the rather envious glance he threw at Birapeer's own magnificent beard suggested that he wa impatient to sprout his own. Birapeer was to discover that a lush beard was a sign of an important and wise man here, which made the locals treat him as the leader of the little band.

Once all were gathered, discussions on the best approach to following the ship - KDM Nordlys - were long and detailed. Gulbrandsen was unimpressed by the motorcycles, but finally agreed to track a path to a village on the south coast, from where the team could barter for use of umiaks to search the islands off the south coast in search of their prey.

After a brief discussion, the team elected to explain the basics of the Secret War to Gulbrandsen and Malik. After what had happened to the captain of the Potero del Llano, they didn't want any sudden supernatural experiences to rob them of their allies' capabilities. With his knowledge of folklore and psychology, Cyril took the lead here, and explained it in ways that fitted in with the strong traditions of the Inuit. The two seemed to take it all in their stride, though not completely convinced that there was any actual danger from it all.

Gulbrandsen confirmed that he had selected some Danish and Inuit hunters from the village to accompany the team - mainly to handle the boats - and that he and Malik would also come. It would take them three days to walk across to the village he had on mind.

What Was Happening?

Cløtch, Southern Greenland, Friday 30th May 1941, 13:01


After some dickering with the locals - they had little interest in money, and Cyril's brandy and possible ownership of motorbikes seemed much more negotiable currency - a deal was struck to provide two umiaks along with enough hunters to make up the numbers of rowers needed.

There was obviously no way to take all the bikes, but with some redistribution of gear and more alcoholic bribery of the rowers, one was fitted into one of the boats. Joe also decanted petrol from the others into half-a-dozen jerrycans the villagers had available, and took those along; they'd encountered too many creatures who seemed to regard bullets as a mild irritant.

Sedna, Inuit goddess of the Sea

Before setting out, Gulbrandsen and the villagers performed a brief ritual to propitiate Arnakuagsak - known elsewhere as Sedna - the Mother of the Sea.

Joe and Birapeer, wanting to help, sat down at benches and took up an oar each. As the boats pulled away, however, their lack of experience with something this shape became apparent, with "crabs" being caught and splashing galore. Chuckles and good-natured banter arose from the hunters and inuit, and Joe gave over his oar and reverted to being a passenger.

Norwegian Sea off Southern Greenland, Monday 2nd June 1941, 12:37

The Atlantean statues, which indicate proximity to Palladion pieces by movements of one arm, have sadly been referred to as "the wanking cat" for most of the campaign... I thought I'd better remind you what they actually look like

The first day's search had been unsuccessful, and a night spent beached on a tiny island had been improved by sharing of food and the local coffee, alcoholic and piping hot. The next morning, the boats set out again, and this time - around lunchtime - the first twitch of the Atlantean compass statues confirmed they were nearing their target.

A distant trace of smoke indicated some activity on an island in the distance, which gave them pause for thought; the statues generally didn't tend to show results this far away. Presumably the "signal" was extremely strong.

An hour later, binoculars revealed several small boats of European manufacture drawn up and upturned on the beach of one of the islands, with a couple of European tents further up the strand. A few figures moved about in a methodical way. As the island came closer, sharp ears picked up the sound of diesel generators running.

"Can we get around to the other side of this island without them noticing?" asked Joe. Gulbrandsen snapped some orders, and the boats turned, looping around behind another island to cover them from observation. "That island has some dark stories," he commented. "Glemt Øe, the Forgotten Island." Malik took up the tale. According to tradition, people had once lived on the island, but that they went out hunting one day and could not remember how to find their way back. No matter how hard they tried, the place where they thought the island should be was empty, and so they were forced to find a new home.

"How many people live there now?" asked Anné. "None." said Gulbrandsen flatly. "Well, that makes it easier," said Birapeer. A couple of hours later, they beached in a similar but unoccupied cove on the western side of Glemt Øe. The statues had confirmed their suspicion that what they were looking for was roughly in the middle of the isle as they circumnavigated it.

Edge of the Pit, Glemt Øe, Norwegian Sea, Monday 2nd June 1941, 15:32

The Pit. Note that the artists for this adventure had a double delivery of Artistic License, and the pictures while groovy don't always marry up with the actual descriptions in the text. This looks bigger than it should, really, but kinda cool

Leaving four inuit with the boats and cautiously working their way up the slopes from the beach, the team headed for the centre of the island. Reaching the western edge of a large natural amphitheatre, they crawled to the lip and peered over.

What they saw was impressive. At the bottom of the depression was what looked at first like a complete rat's nest of cables and wiring. Thick, heavy-duty cabling was wrapped around four large drums which had been positioned at the cardinal compass points, approximately twelve feet apart. More wires ran from the drums to large generators, one for each of the coils. A control panel was connected in by more cables to the east. The engineers among them were pretty sure that the equipment had quite a bit in common with the new gear being developed to "degauss" allied ships - a process which eliminates as much of a ship’s hull’s inherent magnetic field as possible by either installing large, electromagnetic coils on board or passing charged electrical cables across the hull in a process known as “wiping". A quick check with the statues conformed that the item they sought - or something emitting the same kind of signature - was located in the middle of the structure. Despite the range being beyond what the Voorish Sign could normally view, a massive magical activity was clearly preceptible.

Scientific looking men were moving around, adjusting and tuning, with significant numbers of Wehrmacht soldiers wearing the Nachtwölfe patch to do any heavy lifting. The whole thing gave an appearance of final tuning rather than initial construction.

The pit itself was fifty feet deep with the slope of the sides varying between 45 and 60 degrees.

Sliding back down into better cover, the team called a council of war to decide what to do next.

Keeper Note: From here in, I was too busy keeping things moving to take detailed notes, so I am having to reconstruct from memory.

After some discussion, the plan evolved was to send Gulbrandsen, Malik and 6 of the hunters around the pit to attack the boats at the beach as a distraction. Once that started, the team plus the last 2 hunters would spread out around the top of the pit for a co-ordinated attack, leading off with hand grenades.

TacMap, pretty much at the end of session - click it for larger image!

The minutes ticked by, and then suddenly the distant thump of hand grenades and crackle of rifle fire signalled the start of the attack. Immediately, everyone opened fire.

Grenades bounced across the pit from all sides, and several tents in the encampment to the west went up in flames. Soldiers and scientists went down and shrapnel ripped into the structure itself as well as its control panel. The truck in the north-eastern corner burst into flames.

Charlie, unfortunately, mistimed his first throw, and the grenade exploded directly in front of Anné's well-entrenched position, hurling soil and stones up in front of her - fortunately channelled away from her by the angle of the slope.

The surviving Germans scattered for what cover they could find, but the team's tactic of spreading out right around the rim paid off as they managed to rake the interior with fire. Some managed to get a bead and get some return fire off, though, and Marcus ducked frantically as bullets ripped past him. Cyril was not so lucky, and two rounds slammed into his body. With a gurgle, he dropped. Birapeer, who had noticed this, gestured and shouted to the hunter Thor Morgensen - in between him and Cyril on the edge - and the man waved in acknowledgement and slithered back so as to work round towards Cyril's still form.

Charlie, on his feet to get a better throw with his grenade, fumbled it as he threw. In desperation, he lunged forward to slap it away and lost his footing. He and the grenade pitched over the edge and tumbled down the steep, rocky slope, bouncing and spinning. No sooner had Charlie's battered form hit the floor of the pit than the grenade went off, blasting shrapnel through him in multiple places. Observing this with horror, Marcus, gulping, prepared to head down into the pit to try and save him, well aware that nothing short of magical healing was going to achieve this. The world's best hospital wouldn't have a chance; and they were in a hole in the ground in Greenland.

Suddenly, from a tent in the camp guarded by two soldiers, a hefty female figure in a Nachtwölfe came sprinting, heading towards the structure. The two guards fell into step behind her. Joe, directly behind, grinned - he couldn't miss! His Bren hammered, and a volley of .303 rounds nailed all three. The two soldiers went flying away, chopped to mincemeat, but the woman kept running, the bullets somehow deflected from her. Joe cursed, remembering the Black Sun Canon in Isfahan. Magical protection, he felt, was not cricket!

Session Date: 31st March 2020 - in CyberSpace!