The Case of the Jade Dragon (an Untold Tale of the Ministry), episode 2

Cur­ruth­ers shoots a gang­ster; Pren­tiss uses his fists.


22nd April 2010.

Dramatis Personae


Hav­ing secured the ware­house, the team decided to try and get their pris­on­er and the crate back to the Min­istry. Pren­tiss headed out of Lime­house at speed to loc­ate a cart big enough to trans­port a two-ton lump of jade, while Marsh began wrap­ping the corpses in chains. He then got Cur­ruth­ers to assist him in dump­ing the bod­ies in the river. In the pro­cess, they dis­covered that all the bod­ies, and their pris­on­er, spor­ted elab­or­ate and col­our­ful tat­toos, mostly of assor­ted myth­o­lo­gic­al creatures; Marsh had only seen designs like this on teapots. Lady Ant­o­nia main­tained a watch, while Marsh and Cur­ruth­ers attemp­ted to inter­rog­ate the pris­on­er, who turned out not to speak a word of English.

Pren­tiss returned a fret­ful hour later with a cart, a horse and their driver, a man he said could be trus­ted. They man­aged to get the crate onto the cart, after dis­cov­er­ing a winch in the build­ing, and began the trek back to Shaft­es­bury Aven­ue at a very slow pace (even a draft horse was hav­ing dif­fi­culty with the weight). It was now about two o’c­lock in the morning.

Things went well until they reached the edge of Lime­house, when they were sud­denly ambushed by sev­er­al large bands of gang­sters. Lady Ant­o­nia man­aged to give the team enough warn­ing to pre­pare weapons and a rather unequal battle began as they cut and blas­ted their way through the tide of thugs. Pren­tiss fought with his newly-acquired boat­hook from on top of the cart but, when the driver was knocked out, he jumped down to defend him. Spot­ting one of the gang lead­ers, a some­what brawny fel­low, mov­ing towards him, he put the hook aside and they engaged in hand-to-hand com­bat. Mean­while, Cur­ruth­ers was also look­ing for any sign of a lead­er and, spot­ting anoth­er likely can­did­ate, a pir­at­ic­al type with two exot­ic-look­ing knives in his belt, took a shot at him with little effect. Marsh decided dis­cre­tion was the bet­ter part of valour and hid under the tar­paul­in, with the inten­tion of stay­ing with the cart if the bad guys won. Lady Ant­o­nia moun­ted the carthorse and tried to get it to move but, dis­cov­er­ing the press was too great, she used it as a shoot­ing platform.

Pren­tiss engaged in a swift exchange of blows with his oppon­ent, then put him down, break­ing his nose as a num­ber of the sur­round­ing gang­sters broke off their attack and fled, begin­ning a mass exodus. Cur­ruth­ers’ tar­get recovered from the impact of the shot and somer­saul­ted over the inter­ven­ing crowd, stabbing the Cap­tain quite badly. Marsh attemp­ted to inter­vene but was unable to pen­et­rate the vil­lain’s tough hide. Lady Ant­o­nia found it too dif­fi­cult to assist and con­cen­trated on clear­ing the thin­ning crowd ahead of the crows. It took Pren­tiss, who had stopped to check the driver was still alive, hit­ting Rain with his boat­hook to bring him down.

Once the dust had settled, the ori­gin­al pris­on­er and Pren­tiss’ vic­tim had dis­ap­peared with the crowd. They decided to con­cen­trate on get­ting their new pris­on­er and the crate to the Min­istry, where Rooke was very pleased to take charge of them.


The story con­tin­ued this week, as flight dis­rup­tion from the ash loft­ing from the Eyjaf­jalla­jökull vol­cano ensured that the tour­ists remained in Japan.

It was anoth­er fight, arranged using the mook rules from Adam­ant Enter­tain­ment’s Thrill­ing Tales. Rather than give a spe­cif­ic num­ber of oppon­ents, I decided that the crowd would dis­perse after 30 of them were taken out (adjust­ing for the robust­ness of the play­ers’ defence) and that 1d4 of them would be able to attack each char­ac­ter in a round. It worked out in a fairly bal­anced fash­ion, but the two hench­men (also from Thrill­ing Tales) caused a few prob­lems. The fight fea­tured three jokers, lead­ing to some spec­tac­u­lar die-rolling (not­ably Pren­tiss’ KO of the first hench­man and the second hench­man’s fly­ing leap to attack Cur­ruth­ers). It also fea­tured the first use of anoth­er option­al rule from Thrill­ing Tales, story declar­a­tions, which allow a char­ac­ter to spend a fate chip (benny) and request that some­thing hap­pens: in this case, Pren­tiss was still car­ry­ing his boat­hook from the pre­vi­ous battle, rather than hav­ing left it in the warehouse.