Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Rogue's Gallery: Garian Hist, Ex-Aero-Marine Turned Freebooter

The Great Darmonican War left its mark on a great many men and women, some found fame whereas others were left little more than broken shells. All bear scars of some form or another, shaped by the experiences they endured during the conflict.

Then there are some like Garian Hist who were reborn amidst the carnage of battle.

Life At The Sharp End

Guard face concept - Dishonored
Garian Hist was one of many fresh-faced youths who enlisted seeking glory, being entranced to join the Royal Aero-Marines by the 'glamour' portrayed by the recruitment posters. Some of that glamour became a little tarnished during basic training, it became even more tarnished when Hist finally got to taste the bitter reality of service life. He quickly became frustrated by the long hours of sentry duty guarding air bases or spent scrubbing down barrack blocks, he longed for action rather than the 'hurry up and wait' attitude of the military.

Before long Hist was assigned as a combat replacement to No.319 Squadron embarked on CAS Viceroy. The Viceroy was a Regal-class skyship, equivalent to a naval light cruiser, and part of a picket aero-fleet guarding the Commonwealth's eastern flank against the Sodkans. Hist came under the wing of James Midnightte, who 319 Squadron's senior most NCO and had the title of Sergeant-at-Arms. Midnightte was for all intent and purpose a warrant officer, his job was to lead boarding actions against enemy airships. Commissioned officers were meant to stay on their own vessel to command its gun crews and stand ready to defend against enemy boarders. A squadron's Sergeant-at-Arms typically didn't last long in their role unless they were wise or extremely lucky, for Midnightte it was the former.

Midnightte had worked his way up the ranks, but had never gone chasing a commission. Part of a Sergeant-at-Arms' job was also to assess men, both in and out of combat, to offer recommdation for extra responsibilities, medals or even promotion. At the same time Midnightte also weeded out the hot heads and the incompetent, usually by having a quiet word with the squadron's commander to head off potential trouble.

The C/O of 319 Squadron learnt to trust Midnightte's judgement, or 'Midnightte's Word' as it became known amongst the men. So when Midnightte suggested promoting Hist to the rank of Corporal, the squadron commander did so without hesitation. Hist, for his part, proved Midnightte's Word was justified by proving to be a natural leader of men and soon rose to the rank of Sergeant. The odds were good for him to gain a commission, in fact he was made an officer-cadet on probation and needed final approval of his conduct before he could get his hard-earned commission.

Then disaster struck.

The Viceroy chanced upon a lone Sodkan skyship, managing to catch it unawares. A barrage from the Viceroy's guns managed to cripple the Sodkan's engines and knocked out her port side gun batteries. Seeing a chance to capture a prize, the Viceroy's captain gave orders for the Sodkan vessel to be boarded. Being the Sergeant-at-Arms, Mdnightte commanded the boarding party and as ever there was a number of men who wanted to prove themselves in his eyes with Hist chief among them. It became a brutal, close quarters battle as the Sodkans fought bitterly to defend their ship.

In any boarding action the first objective is the ship's engine room, it is where the main equipment used for the skyship's lift is located. Control of the engine room is key especially since a desperate crew could scuttle their vessel by deliberately damaging it. There are of course secondary objectives such as a vessel's radio which are still important, especially since the defenders could radio for help. Hist was given orders to secure the radio room and hold it with a small squad of men, the code books there were of particular interest to military intelligence and there was a need to ensure that the Sodkans couldn't co-ordinate their reinforcements.

The radio room was quickly secured, though Hist became increasingly anxious about the battle for the engine room which had become a bloody stalemate. Hist interrogated the Sodkan radio operator and learnt there was a secondary entrance to the engine room, effectively an emergency hatch that could be used. Rather than wait for orders Hist left a couple of men to guard the radio room and took the rest of his squad to find the hatch the Sodkan had mentioned, which they soon found and gained entry to the skyship's engine room. They were able to outflank the defenders, though the team under Midnightte's command were unaware of Hist's squad and took their chance when the defenders faltered. Hist ended up being wounded and knocked out by a hand grenade, it was hard to tell which side had thrown it in the confusion of battle.

Worse still the Sodkans had managed to retake the radio room and called for help from a couple of Sodkan skyships that were in the area, forcing the Viceroy to abandon its prize. Midnightte had explosives planted in the engine room before conducting a fighting withdrawal back to the Viceroy, carrying as many of their wounded as they could. Hist woke up a day or so later in a Commonwealth hospital and returned to duty six weeks later, though for disobeying orders he was busted down to the rank of Marine and his chances of a commission were shot. He became prone to fits of anger and also alot more ruthless, he finally ended up being dishonourably discharged after shooting some enemy soldiers who were trying to surrender.

After his discharged, Hist ended up in and out of prison where he made a few contacts. Once he'd his fits of tempter largely under control Hist used the contacts he'd gained, got himself an airship and a crew together before setting out for Alyeska. In a short time Hist had set himself up as a freebooter not to mess with, plus one that wasn't too fussy about what targets he attacked and how he did so. The Commonwealth had to put a bounty on his head after he took down a military convoy.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d6, Knowledge (Battle) d6 Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Shooting d6 Charisma: -2; Pace: 5; Parry: 6; Toughness: 9 (2)
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Mean, Stubborn, Wanted (Major)
Edges: Brawler, Brawny, Command, Command Presence,
Gear: Knuckleduster (Str+d4), Shotgun (12/24/48, 1-3d6, RoF 1), Flak jacket (+2/+4)

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