Joined: 20 Jan 2006
|Posted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:59 pm Post subject: The Drones
|Young men about town Edwin, Sebastian and Carlton arrived at the Drones Club for an afternoon snifter. They were surprised to find a moose wedged in the door blocking their access to their sanctuary of scotch and cream buns. A porter advised them that the moose was the property of another club member, Rollo Jenkins, who had apparently decided would be just the thing to lift the atmosphere in the gentlemen's bathroom.
After negotiating the moose and coming up with a solution for moving it, the PCs arrived in the dining room where they met Rollo and the club secretary Angus McDougall. They rather indiscreetly let Rollo (a terrible gossip) know that they had a bit of a secret weapon for the upcoming "Fat Uncles Picnic".
This secret weapon was Sebastian’s Uncle St John, a famously rotund figure who was scheduled to arrive back from America by steamship in the next couple of days.
While engaged in their idle gossip, the PCs observed that Angus was somewhat downcast. The Scotsman advised them mournfully that he had recently found himself unexpectedly engaged to a Ms Esther Cameron. What was even worse was that he subsequently discovered that Ms Cameron is a strict teetotaller. Rollo suggested that the PCs come with he and Angus to the engagement party in the hope that this would make the dreary occasion somewhat more enjoyable for the forlorn Scot. The PCs accepted this arrangement and then began plotting how to get Angus out of his unfortunate engagement.
Angus was far too much of a gentleman to break the arrangement off himself, so alternative solutions were sought. Sebastian wrote to a down-on-his-luck cousin and suggested that there would be some good money in kidnapping a Scotsman driving along the North Road on Friday afternoon in a blue Bentley. Edwin contacted some gypsies who his family had long permitted to hold a fair on their back paddock, and suggested that they should kidnap Angus from his blue Bentley. And Carlton’s character contracted a dodgy Chinaman to kidnap "the Scot" travelling north in a blue Bentley.
The PCs then headed off to Liverpool to pick up Uncle St John. They were shocked to find that he had not travelled well and had gone right off his food. Numerous attempted were made to encourage him to start eating again, but without success.
Returning to the Drones, the party encountered Tuppy Bigglesworth, the odds on favourite to win the Fat Uncles contest thanks to his large uncle Lord Toby. Rollo had clearly passed on word of the PCs “secret weapon” and Tuppy made some unsubtle enquiries which the party batted aside.
Shortly after leaving the Drones, Sebastian was surprised to hear that Uncle St John had just "won a competition" (which he couldn't recall entering) and that a whole pile of Swedish exercise equipment had arrived on his doorstep. Sebastian quickly persuaded Uncle St John that Swedish exercise was famously dangerous ("just look at the Swedes for proof, there's not a sane man amongst the entire race") and that he should dispose of the equipment at once.
The PCs then travelled north for Angus’ engagement party, Edwin and Carlton's characters racing each other in their sports-cars. On the way they spotted Sebastian's cousin driving a stolen blue Bentley back to London at great speed; a young couple in a second blue Bentley being menaced by a group of gypsies; and Rollo and Angus on foot vainly chasing a Chinaman who had mistakenly kidnapped the "Scotch" (and not "the Scot") which had been inside a third blue Bentley.
The PCs discovered that the location for the engagement party was a castle on a small coastal island accessible only by a thin causeway. Having beaten Rollo and Angus by some distance, they were forced into spending some time making polite conversation with Esther Cameron and two of her friends, Madelaine and Jane. Carlton's character quickly persuaded Madelaine out onto the deck by dazzling her with his knowledge of chamomile teas. They talked for hours, Carlton about tea and Madelaine about daisy chains and how the stars are the tears of weeping angels. Neither seemed to mind that the other wasn't really listening.
Meanwhile Esther became somewhat smitten with Sebastian, who in a burst of inspiration claimed to be an author when asked a tricky question about his occupation (in truth of course, he had none). Esther turned out to be a fan of literature and bemoaned Angus' lack of interest in books.
Jane was a somewhat dashing and daring young woman and she quickly and easily persuaded Edwin to head back out to purchase some whisky from a local distillery. Edwin departed in his sports-car, raised the local distiller from his bed and purchased a case of his finest single malt. On his return he was surprised to find that the tide was in and that the causeway had disappeared beneath the waves. Shrugging, he gunned his engine, pointed the car in what he hoped was the right direction and surged through the waves and up into the castle gates. Skidding to a halt inside the castle, he tooted his horn, yelled out a greeting to Jane and began to unload the large, clinking case from his boot.
Esther (who you may recall was strictly opposed to alcohol) came out of the kitchen and demanded to know what was going on. Edwin replied "Why, isn't that clear? I have returned from town with a large case of ... milk! I thought we would all enjoy a nice, hot cup of ... milk before we retire for the night." Esther was convinced and went back inside to put the kettle on, before retiring to bed with a mug of hot milk provided by the gracious and thoughtful Edwin.
With Esther gone, the remaining youngsters broke open the whisky and began to enjoy themselves. Angus became rather quickly sozzled and faded early. However, long after the others had retired he regained a significant degree of his prior vim and vigour. Loud singing and the sound of something breaking woke the castle at 5am, and the occupants awoke to find Angus trying to jemmy open the boot of Edwin's car in the search for more whisky. Much to the PCs relief, Esther called the engagement off shortly thereafter.
Buoyed by their success, the party returned to London.
Sebastian took Uncle St John out to lunch at the Ritz and with a marvellous use of his old grey matter, persuaded the good gent to start eating “healthy” portions of food again. Indeed, Uncle St John became so enthused that he almost ate the Ritz out of desserts.
Not long thereafter though Uncle St John contacted Sebastian in tears to explain that his private pastry chef, the extremely talented Pierre, had left his employ for that of Tuppy Bigglesworth. This was clearly another plot by Tuppy to keep Uncle St John's weight down. The PCs confronted Tuppy and Pierre and discovered that the pastry chef's key reason for leaving was that he wanted his pastries to enjoy a wider audience and that Uncle St John insisted that Pierre only make pastries for him. Tuppy's apartment was full of pastries that Pierre had already made and which Tuppy had promised to circulate amongst the Drones.
Carlton's character quickly claimed that this was a marvellous coincidence, because he had a financial backer who wanted to open a pastry shop in London and Pierre would be the ideal man to front it. Carlton told Pierre that the finance was not yet guaranteed, but that if the baker could provide "a baker's dozen" of samples a day for a week then he was sure the backing would be available. Pierre agreed to this deal and left Tuppy's apartment for Carlton's.
The final week before the contest was spent with the PCs constantly ferrying fresh pastries from Carlton's flat to Uncle St John (who fattened up nicely as a result). They eventually convinced Uncle St John that the only way this mysterious supply of pastries could continue was if he stumped up the cash for Pierre to open a pastry shop. Bank-cheque in hand they went back to Pierre and broke the good news that the long promised finance had been approved.
The day of the picnic dawned and Uncle St John was invited. Unfortunately he did not arrive at the appointed hour. The PCs took an instant suspicion when they spotted a smirk upon Tuppy Bigglesworth's lips as that bounder arrived with his own fat uncle. The PCs immediately raced to Uncle St John's apartment and found that he had gone.
The young gents headed to Tuppy's and found the doors locked, but with muffled sounds of eating within. They broke in and found Uncle St John surrounded by pastries. Uncle St John told them that Tuppy had lured him into a taxi with a pastry and had then taken him into this veritable Aladdin's cave of delight. Uncle St John made quite clear that he was extremely happy here and had no intention of leaving. The PCs then stole all the pastries (except for three - one stuffed in Uncle St John's mouth, and one stuffed in each of his hands). They then waved pastries at Uncle St John from the stairs and the great man lumbered after them demanding the return of his pastries, weeping and with his face streaked in tears, custard, glazed sugar and cream. They walked towards the Drones luring Uncle St John on with promises that he could have the pastries in a minute and leaving the occasional cream-filled croissant on the footpath to encourage him to follow.
With the competition almost at a conclusion, the PCs finally entered the Drones. Their arrival was met with a surprised silence, which grew into a heavy air of anticipation as the loud footsteps of Uncle St John began to echo down the corridor. His arrival was greeted with acclamation and a spontaneous round of applause. Sebastian was awarded first prize in the contest (which the PCs felt must surely be the finest moment in his family's long and honourable history) and the session ended with a not completely unexpected bun-fight with Tuppy's left over pastries (much to poor Uncle St John's distress).
My favourite roleplaying memory - "Daisy at Colonus", two drunk cowboys and a pantomime cow in a 'reinterpretation' of Sophocles greatest play.