The Commonwealth of Wellon
Senior Aircraftswoman Sheelagh Donnelley had barely taken her seat when the BEx 359 space plane swung onto the main runway at Han Li Island spaceport. They were on a priority Emergency Rescue Team scramble and air traffic control was rapidly driving incoming traffic out of their predicted path. They waited only a moment before the powerful aircraft roared down the wide expanse of concrete and rapidly angled off into the sky passing through the sound barrier. Startling the wild life and even causing people on the outskirts of Point Sterling to look up in annoyance.
Sheelagh fumbled with the comms gear and was rewarded with a flood of voices over the ERT Command Net. She rose from her seat and made sure her freefall harness was seated correctly on her, then checked the Grafton C-90 carbine was strapped securely to her and safed.
'Objective One is Business jet Golf Whiskey One Seven Kilo Four southbound from New Cleckheaton, continues to report an emergency' Burbled the net. 'Possible bird strike according to the diagnostics. Pilot is trying to return to New Cleckheaton local.'
Sheelagh ripped open the pre-packed trauma treatment set, checking everything that she might need was in there. Satisfied she looked around at the other nine Air Commandos on the ERT who were running through similar checks. Big SAC Phillipson was strapping on the long and unwieldy Dutch storm gun that provided their ultimate guarantee of safety should they run into something unfriendly in the depths of the Rain Forest that was even now far below them. It was the ERT's job to provide the first wave of rescuers for any plane that found itself in difficulties over Wellon's vast wildernesses.
'Objective One reports sustained loss of altitude imminent crash landing. ERT-2 is now seven minutes from Objective.' High and hypersonic the BEx 359 was racing to the scene. 'Objective One has lost contact. Objective is off radar coverage. Beginning satellite search.' In some air-conditioned bunker near Colenso ERT Command began co-ordinating the search effort, waiting to pick up the downed planes' rescue beacon. The Air Commandos watched each other nervously, no one liked jumping into the forest, the chances were that one of them would end up breaking a limb.
One of the sats had picked up the beacon, and it was being received loud and clear now by the circling spaceplane. It had been ten minutes since the plane crashed in and the first pictures from the sat showed an ugly scar in the upper canopy but little else. The Air Commandos went slowly through their final checks as the cabin de-pressurised and they breathed in the cool bite of pressurised oxygen from their tanks. Satisfied the Flight Sergeant moved to the door the rest of the team clustering around him for a good tight exit group. One last round of thumbs up and they went, spiralling down to earth. Sheelagh just hoped their was someone left alive on the ground to rescue.
None of these careers are unique to Wellon, as most turn up across human space. However the skills sets of some are substantially different from their counterparts elsewhere.
Deep Sea Fisherman
Fishing is a vital industry for most of the coastal communities along the boundaries of Tiralbion. Open ocean fisheries are immensely rich and Tiranean fish analogues have quickly become popular throughout Wellon. However the exposed conditions on the oceans require skilful crews and high technology equipment to ensure a profitable trip and safe returns especially in Arctic seas. Additional risks come from the zealousness with which Tiranean nations patrol their fisheries and the sometimes violent tactics of New Canberran Malvinan fisherman.
Although well developed and with a large population Wellon is predominantly unsettled and still in places unexplored. The Blight, Arctic Territories, Pendragons and Rainforest are all areas in which travel without a properly qualified guide and survival expert is very foolhardy. Guides are highly skilled in navigation and survival techniques for any given region.
Organised Crime Gang Member
These characters are low ranking members of a variety of groups: Triad '49's', Clan Syndicate Gun Boys or Firm hard-men to name but a few. Whilst organised crime on Wellon is generally fairly sophisticated in most of its methods, they still retain an expertise in simple violence and intimidation if required. Most syndicates have many other specialists either on the books or as freelance associates.
Dedicated criminal hackers are fairly uncommon compared with the number of 'wannabes'. Most work as freelance consultants for themselves or others, whilst increasingly hacker circles such as Amaterasu's Kinuryugumi or Wellon's Kat's Paws are going into business for themselves. Professional hackers often conceal their real work under the guise of being de-facto computer consultants and most are highly specialised and usually require associates to do their dirty work.
Professional terrorists are few and far between on Wellon although some hard-line Republican, Tiranista and Hibernian groups do support a number of direct action cells. Perhaps more common are those terrorists from overseas who hide in supporting communities of expatriates. This particularly infuriates Tiranian and Nouvelle Provance authorities, although WI5 frowns on attempts on either side to bring their war to the streets of Wellon. Modern terrorists have to acquire a range of skills to survive and many possess military experience, relatively lax controls in the colonies allows easier access to weapons and explosives than in the core.
Travellers have been a part of Wellonese culture since the early settlements. Bands of travellers would journey between isolated settlements selling goods and providing entertainment, the travellers were normally either Roma or groups of people who wanted to pursue a similar lifestyle. Since those early days travellers have not really been trusted by common people who saw them as more than a little criminal. Today more and more bands have been forced to settle down in permanent settlements and some fear their way of life is under threat.
RWC Detective Branch
The Royal Wellon Constabulary likes to see itself as the pre-eminent police force on Tirane and this reputation is founded on the skills of its detectives. Whilst given a basic grounding in uniformed police work the concentration on deductive skills and effective use of evidence produces very effective law enforcement officials.
RWC Tactical Branch
RWC Tactical Police of WO5, WO8, STF and other units are trained differently from the other branches although they share a common period of basic training. They are essentially, dedicated, highly trained paramilitary operators with excellent firearms skills, and many are ex-military. Tactical officers also train for large scale surveillance operations.
RWC Data Crimes Branch
DC Branch are the so called 'Shadow Hackers' of the RWC and has evolved out of the BTP's DC Unit almost unchanged. DC officers do undergo the same basic training as all of the RWC's recruits but their training swiftly changes tack with impressive technical training being combined with excellent equipment. DC officers often operate on the very edge of legality, maintaining and edge against the more competent Hacker groups requires some compromise of the normally strict integrity of the RWC. Hence the common Hacker joke: 'How do you stop data crime in Wellon? Disband the Shadow-Hackers.'
RWC Undercover Branch
Undercover operators share much with the DC branch in that they have to operate in a moral grey area outside of normal RWC rules. They also train in similar ways. WI5 agents also are similar, but rumoured to be more inclined to resort to violence.
LTA operations are the lifeblood of the economy in the south of New Albion and thousands of airships operate in the area. Wellonese LTA pilots must not only face a wide range of operating conditions but also be prepared to survive in a range of conditions in the event of mechanical malfunctions.
Hunter. Number Appearing: 1 Initiative: 5 Melee Hit Chance: Routine, Size: 200 Kg Speed 70, Armour .1, Consciousness: 10 Life: 20 WPM 0 DPV 0.5 Signature 0
The Afanc is the top predator to be found in the Marches area and in the eastern foothills of the Pendragon Mountains. The creature is omnivorous and will eat just about anything it can catch. It superficially resembles a smaller, slimmed down bear, with impressive claws, protruding fangs and a somewhat oily black coat. The presence of an Afanc in the area can be easily spotted as it builds dams in the rivers in which to live, which gave the creature its original name of the Beaver Bear. However whilst normally relatively passive and content to consume a predominantly fish diet, the Afanc can react with incredible violence to any serious intrusion into its range. Foresters in the regions where Afancs are found normally hunt down and kill any Afancs when moving in to exploit a new area. This has caused a perceptible dip in the Afanc population.
The Afanc's speed on both land and water, climbing ability and arbitrary viciousness have made it into something of a bogeyman figure in eastern New Albion. It has also inspired a series of particularly alarmist horror movies set in the area, which has done even more to counteract attempts by environmentalists to protect the creature. A white coloured cousin of the Afanc, regarded with some superstition by locals is found in the Wellon Arctic Territories.
Gatherer. Number Appearing: 2D10 Initiative: 4 Melee Hit Chance: Routine, Size: 300 Kg Speed 90, Armour 0.1, Consciousness: 10 Life: 20 WPM 0 DPV 0.3 Signature 0
The Bayard is a large, omnivorous quadruped of the Dranta group. It can be found in herds in the Savannah north of the Blight and on the North Albion Plain. Whilst normally a grazing animal it will also happily scavenge from kills from other animals. The spirited Bayard has a fearsome kick which along with its speed and endurance make it a rare victim of predators.
A recent project has been undertaken to tame the Bayard as a riding animal, which has had some success. Ceremonial units of the Army and RWC have started trials to use them for drill purposes. The Bayard is not normally a threat to humans unless cornered.
Grazer. Number Appearing: 3D6 Initiative: 2 Melee Hit Chance: Easy, Size: 3000 Kg Speed 70, Armour .3, Consciousness: 14 Life: 24 WPM 4 DPV +1 Signature +3, +4 with throat cavity inflated
This animal is the Wellonic equivalent of the elephantine Gargantacarnado found in Provincia do Brasil, its main difference is that it is slightly smaller than its southern cousin. It is primarily found in the New Albion Rain Forests, where it coexists relatively peacefully with human colonists. Although the ease with which the animal has accepted the human presence has not been reciprocated, as these animals frequently wander through human settlements especially during the mating season. It is not always easy getting to sleep with a love-sick Gnonose bellowing its calls outside your window. The Gnonose has also adapted peacefully to the introduction of Terran pachyderms into its ranges in the Livingstone Peninsular.
In addition to the Common Gnonose, there are two other types of Gnonose found on Wellon. The giant and majestic Grey Gnonose is found on Rijder's Island, and has a highly developed hierarchical society. The much smaller solitary Forest Gnonose has been discovered in some of the woodlands around the North Albion Plain. This animal is quite rare and is only found in any numbers in the Yellow Forest area.
Chasers. Number Appearing: 2D6 Initiative: 6 Melee Hit Chance: Routine, Size: 80 Kg Speed 95, Armour 0, Consciousness: 5 Life: 10 WPM 0 DPV 0.4 Signature 0
The Greerlion is largest of the Tiracat family found on Wellon (although the Koevoet Devil and Redkat come close) and is found in the Savannah regions to the north of the Blight. It is easily distinguished by the large tufted ears and black main sported by the male Greerlions. Greerlion society is rigidly matriarchal with the Alpha female ruling over a pride of males and lesser females. Prides also have a hierarchy especially as some are run by the offspring of a senior Alpha female. Greerlions are not particularly territorial and some evidence of co-operation between related prides during times of scarcity of food have been observed. However conflicts between individual prides can often escalate and come to involve related prides in the area, but are usually soon resolved.
Greerlions normally feed on members of the Dranta family, and only on rare occasion have they attacked Terran cattle. It is believed that Greerlion find them generally unpalatable, and it should be noted that the Greerlion is not poisonous like the smaller Gatto (known as a Kat in Wellon as 'a Gatto is a cake!'.) The Greerlion's lack of territoriality extends to generally ignoring humans passing through its range, although one male will normally trail the party. Whatever the reason for this behaviour it allows human researchers close access to study this remarkable animal.
'Like a wolverine OD'ing on PCP'
Hunter. Number Appearing: 2 Initiative: 7 Melee Hit Chance: Difficult, Size: 65 Kg Speed 75, Armour 0, Consciousness: 6 Life: 10 WPM 0 DPV 0.6 Signature 0
The Hellkat is smaller and rarer than the better known Wellonese Tiracats, but what it lacks in body mass it makes up for in bad attitude. Found in the Pendragons and the wooded hills around Narvik, the Hellkat has been described as looking like a Redkat on steroids. Although typically somewhat smaller than a Redkat, the Hellkat is noticeably more heavily developed across the shoulders and at first glance many people are misled into believing they are confronting a much larger animal. The Hellkat is technically a hunter, but typically prefers to launch close-range attacks from concealment. Pairs mate for life and a mature pair can demonstrate almost supernatural coordination in their hunting.
Redkats and Afancs will not willingly share territory, but the Hellkat seems to have taken the Tiracat emnity with the Beaver-Bears to new heights. Hellkats have actually been observed undermining Afanc dams and the confrontations that result will usually not stop until one side or the other has sustained serious injuries. Field zoologists from the FPK have recorded individual territories in the Eastern Pendragons switching repeatedly back and forth from Afanc to Hellkat control as individuals of each species grow to maturity and then age.
Unfortunately the Hellkat's bad attitude extends to other creatures
than the Afanc and a noticeable percentage of reported Afanc attacks
on humans have turned out to be Hellkat attacks when the claw patterns
and other forensic evidence have been examined. Tiranean taxonomists
are split over the Hellkat, a major segment hold that it is a subspecies
of Redkat and should be named 'Tirachat
Killer. Number Appearing: 1 Initiative: 11 Melee Hit Chance: easy, Size: 80 Kg Speed 85, Armour 0, Consciousness: 6 Life: 12 WPM 0 DPV 0.8 Signature -3
The Koevoet Devil holds a place in Wellon mythology not unlike that of the Great White Shark does on Earth, that of a mysterious, implacable killer. The Koevoet Devil was first discovered in the Koevoet Desert by a small FPK exploration team and resulted in the death of three of the teams members. The survivor managed to kill the Devil, the badly shaken Afrikaans speaking guide responded later that you wouldn't get him back into that desert with a crowbar (Koevoet). Which gave its name to both the area of desert and the animal. Perhaps luckily the animal has never been found outside the Koevoet Desert area.
The Koevoet Devil has proved notoriously difficult to track down and classify, one BBC wildlife camera crew having disappeared in its attempts to film this animal. The Devil appears to prey on the Tiracamel of the region, generally by hiding itself under the sand and then attacking violently with poisoned claws and teeth. The animal seems to be related to the Tiracat family, except being much larger and hairless. Conjecture has it that the animal has incredibly acute ability to smell moisture over large distances. There are also rumours that in Big Game Hunter circles the head of a Koevoet Devil is greatly sought after.
Hunter. Number Appearing: 1 Initiative: 8 Melee Hit Chance: difficult, Size: 80 Kg Speed 85, Armour 0, Consciousness: 5 Life: 10 WPM 0 DPV 0.5 Signature -2
The Redkat is Wellon's adopted symbol, a snarling redkat features on the RWAF and RWN Fleet Air Arm roundel. Originally discovered by an Afrikaans speaking researcher with the BACS who named it after the rooikat of his homeland (and soon transliterated to redkat). The redkat is a wolf-sized carnivore and member of the Tiracat family which is found in the northern zones of the Tiralbion and the other Tiranean continents.
Unlike the Greerlion the Redkats are largely solitary animals and are renowned for their intelligence, stubbornness and ferocity when cornered. Its dogged defence of its own kills and territory against the far larger Afanc soon earned it the admiration of the researchers of the BACS and people who lived in the area alongside it. Some Redkats have been tamed after being raised from birth, however the independent nature of the beast has never successfully been curbed.
Hunter. Number Appearing: 1 Initiative: 6 Melee Hit Chance: difficult, Size: 10 Kg Speed 110, Armour 0, Consciousness: 1 Life: 1 WPM -4 DPV 0.1 Signature none
The Reynard is a much smaller member of the same family as the Afanc, and shares some of that animals viciousness when cornered as well as its amphibious lifestyle. However the Reynard tends to live in riverbank sets and has a much larger range, being found throughout Wellon to the north of the Blight. The Reynard has gained a reputation for savaging smaller human livestock and pets as well as attacking human children on rare occasions. Consequently the Reynard is much hunted, both by trapping and shooting, but also with Horse and Hounds.
Chaser. Number Appearing: 1D10 Initiative: 7 Melee Hit Chance: Routine, Size: 60 Kg Speed 100, Armour 0.1, Consciousness: 3 Life: 6 WPM -1 DPV 0.2 Signature -1
The Rinn is an aquatic creature found around the shores of Wellon in a variety of sub-species. It seems to have followed a similar evolutionary track as Terran dolphins to which they bear a passing resemblance. However whilst the display some of the playfulness of their Terran counter-parts they also display some of the characteristics of the shark. Human ship wreck victims have reported being attacks by pods of Rinn where these animals will 'play' with the humans rushing in to attack and circling before attacking again. In some instances life rafts have been overturned by attacking Rinn.
The most commonly seen Rinn are those that are seen around the shores, feeding on the aquatic life found there. The University of New Capetown has been responsible for most of the basic research done on this subject, predominantly by studying the many Rinn of the Golden Bay. However other species of Rinn have been found much further out in the oceans, but much less is known about these. (The survivors of Wellon Air Flight 155 reported seeing Rinn-like creatures of up to 4 metres in length.) Another large relative of the Rinn has also been sighted in Arctic waters. The much smaller Delta Rinn has been seen surprisingly large distances up the Cam river, but have been dying out due to human fishing in this environment.
The coastal Rinn are gregarious, birthing their young live which are raised by the core (female) pod. Whilst the male Rinn tend to orbit around the core group, returning every day or so. Rinn have been seen leaving the water for prolonged periods of time, (up to an hour) using their muscular fins to drag themselves. They normally do this to scavenge a carcass or raid bird nests, but are not true amphibians and are very unwieldy out of water.
Grazer. Number Appearing: 2D10 Initiative: 2 Melee Hit Chance: routine, Size: 100 Kg Speed 70, Armour 0.1, Consciousness: 5 Life: 10 WPM 0 DPV 0.5 Signature 0
The Tiracamel is a member of the Dranta family like the Jumbuck of New Canberra, but one that has adapted to life in the arid parts of Tirane. It has longer legs and a large fat deposit under its belly, and can be found migrating between the oasis areas of the Blight. Its desert dwelling lifestyle gave it it's name, but it has a much more placid disposition than its bad tempered Terran counterpart.
Raiders of the Lost Art
One of the most popular exhibits in the Black Library of Victoria is the small collection of astonishing paintings by the bandit Eloise Carmichael. Carmichael emigrated to Wellon as a child, drifted into petty crime and was jailed in the infamous Carrick Prison. On her release in 2189 she became a member of a bandit gang operating in the foothills of the Pendragons, over five years the gang became increasingly violent and murderous and was eventually cornered at its hideout in a small valley in the High Pendragons by a Gurkha patrol and was destroyed.
This story would not be exceptional for the time except for the collection of sketches, paintings, writings and poetry that the Gurkhas found in the gang's small village. Carmichael was a remarkable, intuitive artist whose work told her emotional tale and that of the gang from their violent beginnings, the elation of their crime spree through to their eventual miserable hunted end. (Her last poem, a haiku, was written as she cowered in hiding whilst the Gurkhas finished off her friends and then her). The works were eventually released after their rediscovery by a University of Victoria academic and became instantly popular, a popularity that has never faded and been reinforced by the huge price fetched by some of her original work. Carmichael is a genuine Wellonese icon, often referred to as a cross between Bonnie Parker, Wilfred Owen and Mattisse.
There have long been rumours that Carmichael's work found in the Purple Valley was not the full extent of her work. Other pieces have periodically come to light from some of the small High Pendragon villages. Whilst the owners have always claimed that these pieces were passed down by their families many experts and treasure hunters have believed that before her death the prolific Carmichael cached some of her work in one of the many caves in the area. The value of such a cache in both financial and artistic terms would be vast. Many parties have tried to find this cache and all have failed, whilst some have disappeared entirely.
The Black Library Trust has decided to fund yet another attempt to find this cache. This time however no expense has been spared and mountaineering, art and media specialists will be amongst those employed. Professor Irene Carmichael (a distant relative) and expert on Eloise Carmichael will lead the team with her knowledge of the dead artist's work and movements to try to direct the party. Other aids will be the logs of previous expeditions and the hoped for aid of the sometimes suspicious High Pendragon communities. The greatest threat will be the high altitude and treacherous nature of the high mountains, whilst internal differences and greed within the party might provide more visceral threats.
Obviously the PC's can be members of the Black Library expedition, a team hired by a rival collector to thwart the expedition. Or part of a rescue team sent to find out where the expedition has gone should the worst happen.
A Lost World
It has always been something of disappointment for the Wellonese that their country has nothing to rival Nouvelle Provance's majestic Fon, a creature with all the dangerous charisma of the long dead T-Rex come to life. However rumours from the small communities deep in the New Albion Rain Forest have consistently claimed that similar creatures can be found there. Blurred pictures of creatures in the trees and mammoth footprints combined with audio tapes have helped foster an industry in hunting the so-called 'W-Rex' amongst a certain section of the adventurous tourist market.
However the FPK have finally decided to launch a major expedition into the dark heart of the NARF. Whilst the stated reason is to discover and catalogue more undiscovered flora and fauna the party know that finding evidence of the W-Rex is the real aim. The party is large and well equipped, the intent is to set up a base camp and landing site from which smaller parties will then range out from. Although the party includes several members with impressive jungle craft this section of the NARF has never been explored before. It is dominated by thick jungle, steep hills and fast flowing rivers.
The greatest danger will be the unknown quantities of the jungle: toxic plants, poisonous animals and the jungle itself. The party could get lucky and find a W-Rex (maybe living to tell the tale) or perhaps an 'elephants graveyard' of its remains or larger numbers of smaller more vicious creatures. Alternatively they might find a more enigmatic relic, a long crashed artefact of the alien race detailed in the Nyotokundu Sourcebook.
Again the PC's may be part of the party that descends in to the jungle and finds something it didn't expect, or could be a part of the Emergency Response Team sent to recover them if they run into trouble. Alternatively they may be a part of a RWC investigation team investigating the whole incident.
A Shot Heard Around The World
The upheaval of France in the last 20 years that saw the collapse of the 12th Republic, the rise of the Junta and the eventual formation of the 3rd Empire is still having its repercussions today. French exiles of all political hues are found throughout Wellon but are concentrated in Mont Royal and Riverside. Émigré Republicans are the most common and have transferred their hatred of the junta into a disparagement of the Empire which they see as little more than the junta legitimised by big business and riding roughshod over the eternal virtues of France.
Naturally the French state views these vocal opponents as a threat, especially because of their fund raising and support for dissident groups within Nouvelle Provance itself. Consequently increasing numbers of DGSE (French foreign intelligence) operatives have begun to operate covertly within Wellon. Whilst most of their operations are targeted against the Émigrés, elements within influential French foreign policy making bodies are becoming increasingly annoyed with Wellon's consistent refusal to crack down on the Émigrés.
The DGSE teams have recently received orders to step up the pressure against the Émigrés, with a policy of harassment and even assassination against key members. One team however has been ordered to commence an operation to conduct outrages against the Wellonese state and ensure that these attacks are blamed on the Émigrés in order to provoke a Wellonese crackdown.
The DGSE do not have an entirely free reign, however as a large number of WI5 and RWC Special Branch officers are also conducting surveillance on both the Émigrés and suspected DGSE members. The Émigrés also have their own covert counter-intelligence office financed by several key Émigré businessmen. What follows would be a game of cat and mouse between the various competing agencies. The opportunities for PC's as protagonists, players or patsies for any of the factions is obvious.
The Reformed Free Presbyterian Church of New Scotland is a major social and political force in the north of New Scotland and New Highland. One of its leading lights is Lewis Donaldson an elder of the Kirk in the small town of Tyrelochhead on New Highland across the straits from Dartmoor. Donaldson is not a fire-and-brimstone preacher but uses his considerable personal charisma to push his own agenda. His views are not untypical of the northern Reformists but he is the most prominent.
His eventual goal is to gain autonomy for a Reformist heartland, and he has pushed for increasingly Reformists policies to gain ground in the Dartmoor Council and New Scotland Assembly. However as a Reformist most of his bile is directed to the Roman Catholic Church which he would ideally see being forced out of New Scotland.
However one night Donaldson is found murdered in his Tyrelochhead Manse. The circumstances are undoubtedly suspicious and require investigation. Donaldson was a man with many enemies, but many powerful allies too. His death has caused an uproar in Dartmoor and elsewhere amongst the Reformist community, especially as the obvious suspect for his murder is a prominent Roman Catholic. Some of his allies are using the outcry to try and push even more Reformist legislation.
The actual culprit could be one of many. It could be the result of machinations at the highest levels of New Scottish society. Or it could be the result of a local quarrel and the intervention of someone with Hibernian Society connections. However the incident will certainly have major repercussions until the truth is known.
Since the return of the Lions of New Africa the numbers of Wellon Expeditionary Force veterans returning from the front has vastly increased. Many have been badly injured and returned home to recuperate. Most have been changed by the experience of vicious combat against the enigmatic Kafers. The vast majority have been in favour of continuing Wellon involvement in the fight against the aliens who have wrought such devastation. However some hold a different view.
Led by retired Captain Bill Davenport who fought with 2 LCR this faction hold the opinion that Wellon should withdrawn from the conflict entirely. Most are also Tiranistas who believe that the Kafer War was caused by the Colonial powers (especially France) intruding into the Kafer's sphere of influence and provoking a reaction. Whilst sympathising with the plight of the outer colonies they want Wellon and Tirane to concentrate on their own affairs and end the deaths and injury to thousands of young Tiraneans from Wellon and Nouvelle Provance.
Davenport is a career soldier and an unlikely revolutionary. His company was nearly annihilated in the Chill Valley and he was captured and held prisoner by the Kafers. Released in a raid some three months later he had come to believe that he had a great knowledge of the Kafer mentality. After an all too brief rehabilitation he went to work in the Intelligence Cell of 11 (Commonwealth) Armoured Division, where his insight into Kafer methods conflicted with his outspoken views about the course of the war and what seemed an imminent nervous breakdown. Repatriated he was first hospitalised and then resigned his commission.
Davenport's comments attracted other ex-soldiers and led to the formation of the Veteran's Policy Group. The VPG has received support from the mainstream Tirane Party and anti-war protesters but has also attracted supporters from the violent Tiranista fringe from both Wellon and Nouvelle Provance. Indeed several acts of sabotage and terrorism have been committed by this fringe, most notably the murder of the Assistant Defence Attaché of the French Embassy in New Camelot by a French member of the VPG.
Naturally this has brought the VPG under the spotlight of various intelligence and police groups. Davenport is aghast by this turn of events and speaks out often against all violence and castigating those who commit acts of terror. However he has become know as the figurehead of the movement and is routinely denounced as a traitor by many sections of Wellonese society. The VPG is coming close to causing a rupture in Wellonese society which has a long tradition of free speech, it is also starting to alienate and politicise many Tiranista sympathisers. These see the way Davenport is being attacked by the Establishment as an step too far, being an indirect attack on the Tirane Party by Unionists and war profiteers.
PC's can be involved with Davenport and the VPG in many ways. Either for or against his organisation, perhaps insuring his fall or protecting him from unwarranted official interference. This involvement could be as covert operatives, police personnel or as legal or civil rights campaigners.
Get Shorty's Bodyguard!
Trude Thomasson is an up and coming actress who has made her name in art house films in her native Wellon Arctic Territories. A petite woman renowned for both her beauty and her emotional intensity, she has long been regarded as one of the potential megastars of Wellonese movies. She has recently finally been tempted from her native Thorkillshafen to take a supporting role in a Sterlingwood movie starring Jeanne-Marie Li the renowned co-star of 'Inspector Singh'.
However the somewhat naive Thomasson has not counted on the involved nature of movie making in Point Sterling. However her idiosyncratic manager/agent Harry Monash has hired the PC's to mind his star whilst she makes her big break in Point Sterling. This may be something of a change of scene for the PC's but most will be willing to take a few months out living it up on an expense account in one of the liveliest cities on Tirane whilst baby sitting a beautiful, if somewhat unworldly, woman.
However things aren't exactly as easy as they first appear. Not only is the movie not exactly what Thomasson expected, provoking impressive fits of pique, but also Point Sterling's organised crime syndicates are almost at war with each other over the production. In particular the San Yee On, the triad most heavily involved with movie production, and the Ten Fingers Clan their perennial rivals. Combined with the usual array of film movie clichés this scenario has the prospect of mixing both entertainment and violence in equal measure.
Martin Leigh, Prime Minister
Martin Leigh is the current Prime Minister of Wellon and is also the leader of the Liberal Democrats. A populist and firebrand orator Leigh is the leading light of Wellon's involvement in the Kafer War. Although economically conservative and a friend to big business he has also staunchly defended the welfare state.
Leigh is the only son of Anglo-Cantonese parents who were both high ranking corporate members of a major Wellonese corporation. Although born in Dartmoor he was raised and educated in Point Sterling, but in his early twenties his father was arrested and jailed for corruption and Leigh moved away to Riverside. Leigh had a short career as an industrialist before moving into politics. Able, if uninspired, he served in several ministries under the Singh premiership, gaining a reputation as a middle of the road technocrat. It was from a position as Minister of Transport he succeeded Singh as leader of the Lib Dems, primarily as he was most peoples second choice candidate.
Leigh has grown into his position and has spent four years as Prime Minister. He is still tainted by his father's triad connections and rumour and innuendo circle about him even after exhaustive investigations by WI5 and the RWC. However his genuine popularity with the general public has insured his political survival, even if he lacks genuine statesmanship. One thing he genuinely resents is Oliver Singh's continued hold over the party and constant comparisons between the two of them. He is one of the few members of the current cabinet not to be a member of the FPK.
Lord Singh of Felixborough, former Prime Minister
The longest serving Prime Minister in Wellonese history Oliver Singh hailed from an impoverished Anglo-Punjabi family that had emigrated to New Birmingham in the early years of the colony. The family struggled on until they finally moved to Victoria just before Oliver's birth in 2225 where his mother became a manager in a local firm. Oliver Singh had a happy if frugal childhood and he grew up to be a popular member of his school.
He took part in politics from an early age, and later would be the President of the Student Union at Ashton University. He specialised in Law, becoming a master of technicalities and argument and became a QC at an exceptionally young age. At 35 he returned to politics, standing for the West New Albion Assembly for a suburban Victoria constituency as a Liberal Democrat. He spent some 16 years in the WNAA in a variety of senior posts before standing for the Wellon Parliament. Some were surprised at this but most of his biographers believe he was honing his political skills before moving up to national government.
With his strong power-base in the North Albion cities Oliver Singh was a major player in the Wellon Parliament as soon as he was elected. Inside four years he was Home Secretary, and even in Wellon's changeable political sphere he was never long out of power. He became Prime Minister for the first time in 2279 and held the position for all but three years until stepping down as leader of the Lib Dems in 2292 and his eventual retirement. When most Tiraneans are asked to name a prominent Wellon politician Oliver Singh is almost always the one named, and in spite of his irascibility Singh is remembered fondly by many Wellonese.
Since his retirement at the age of 70 Singh has been in the Upper House, taking his title from the constituency he represented for so many years. Singh still has a major influence on his former party, much to the disgust of the current leader, and is a major backer of Wellonese involvement in the Kafer War. Singh has a small family and his youngest grandson has followed him into politics whilst his granddaughter is a company commander with the Royal Victoria Rifles attached to the WEF.
Dame Victoria Stewart, WI5
Dame Victoria is the Director General and operational head of the Wellon Security Service. She was born in Ashington Garrison near Dartmoor into a military family and spent much of her childhood moving around the country when not at her Meritshire boarding school. As a result she has the rather rootless mid-Wellon accent common to many boarding school educated Wellonese. A precocious child she was a voracious reader and possessed an affinity for languages being bilingual at an early age. Her boarding school tutors had difficulty in keeping up with her rapid progress.
She went up to Ashton University at the age of 17 studying English Literature and Foreign Languages. She graduated with flying colours before travelling around Tirane and Earth for two years. On her return she applied to join the RWC and was accepted rising swiftly through the ranks before entering Special Branch. She is reputed to have run SB's operation against the Hibernian Society in New Highland. Later she was recruited into WI5 and has continued to rise.
Her background and lack of close contact with her family led her to become increasingly manipulative through her youth especially after her parent's divorce. However she was always very effective at forging close bonds within her peer group, several classmates have also risen to high office and this coterie is still in effect. This circle alarms many people within the media and government who are aware of it and increasingly are beginning to treat it almost as a conspiracy.
Dame Victoria matured into a tall, beautiful, dark-haired woman but anyone who judges her solely on looks is liable to be very surprised. She has a rare combination of intelligence, determination, low down cunning and manipulative flair that has enabled her to become a master of counter-intelligence and counter-subversion operations. Although she now spends little time directing operations, when she does she is usually five steps ahead of everyone else. Perhaps surprisingly, and disappointingly, Dame Victoria is only a very mediocre chess player.
Professor Dame Kanuka Kenichii, FPK, FRS, FGRS Chair of the FPK
Professor Kenichii is the head of the FPK, an immensely prestigious post in Wellonese society. To reach it one must be voted in by ones peers, no easy task with the sometimes bitter backbiting that exists in the higher echelons of the FPK. Kenichii holds her post because of her seeming disregard of FPK internal politics and her long record of successful field expeditions.
The daughter of Japanese parents working for the Poseidon Group and based in Victoria. The young Kenichii was a prodigy, quickly outstripping her educational contemporaries. She earned a prestigious scholarship from the Black Library before going to Oxford University to begin her studies in Xenobiology at the tender age of 16. A polyglot, she also attended universities on Tirane before taking part in her first FPK expeditions.
She has undertaken numerous missions on Syuhlahm, Alicia, 82 Eridani and elsewhere. These expeditions have alternated with spells teaching and conduct research back in the core. Kenichii has met some of the most prominent people, both politicians and scientists, alive over the last 50 years and has become something of a cult figure. Although slowing down and well overdue for retirement she is co-ordinating Wellon's investigation into the Kafers.
Now in her 80's Kenichii is still active and mentally intensely sharp, whilst her legendary unease in social situations remains undimmed. Tall and still attractive her only concession to vanity is to continue to dye her hair. She had a daughter, father unknown, who committed suicide in her thirties but Kenichii is immensely proud of her single granddaughter who has just entered Ashton University.
Brigadier Emile Vandeleur-Kahn, DSO, Ministry of Defence
Emile Vandeleur-Kahn has just returned from the French Arm where he commanded the WEF's 1 Armoured Brigade on Beta Canum-IV. He is now serving in the Ministry of Defence as a senior advisor to the Minister. He is one of the most outspoken proponents of increased Wellonese involvement in the war.
Emile is a scion of a Wellonese Anglo-German arm of the sprawling Vandeleur family which has a long history of military service. Vandeleur's have led forces in battle from Waterloo, to Market Garden, to the Battle of Fulda. And whilst Emile led a Wellonese brigade a distant cousin Brigadier Alan Vandeleur commanded a British Guards brigade in the same theatre. He is very aware of his family's prestigious history, which has caused much friction with other officers who believe him to be overbearing and arrogant. He is actually a competent officer who insists on rigid discipline in his units.
Emile was born at his family home in the Merit Hills near New Camelot and was educated at a prestigious school nearby but attended university in Bavaria on Earth. He was predestined for a military career and after attending Sandhurst academy was commissioned into Britain's Grenadier Guards. However he later transferred to the Wellon Army on the formation of the Wellon Guards where he has spent the rest of his career. Emile is the quintessential Guards officer, with very defined habits, conservative political views and grand social contacts. He is also a devote Roman Catholic.
This tall, handsome officer now hopes to stand for election to parliament in order to further his views on the Kafer War, although he fears for his military career should he appear to politicised so instead may angle for a title to sit in the Upper House. Emile is married with three children the eldest of who has just entered the Army, he is very wealthy with houses on Wellon and Earth.
Superintendent Helen Peters, Royal Wellon Constabulary
Helen Peters is the head of the RWC's Special Investigations Department in Point Sterling which is perhaps the most testing position in the force. She is responsible for all anti-organised crime and anti-corruption investigations in this most crime ridden of Wellonese cities. She has a well earned reputation for mental toughness, rigorous intellect and un-corruptibility.
Peters was born in the West Yorkshire Metroplex in England and had a tough up-bringing, attending only mediocre schools. However when she applied to join the police her aptitude tests more than made up for any academic deficiencies. She served with distinction in the West Yorkshire force as a beat copper and detective before being head-hunted for the National Police Intelligence Service where she was a member of teams specialising in tackling police corruption especially within London's Met.
In 2289 she was approached for secondment to the RWC to go undercover as a new colonist and infiltrate Riverside's criminal underground. This she did for nearly four years before the successful completion of her job after which she applied for a permanent post with the RWC. Since then she has served briefly in SB in Mont Royal before being sent down to Point Sterling SID. Her job there is immensely challenging and she has experienced as many setbacks as successes but has recently had a string of successful prosecutions against corrupt members of the Point Sterling Met.
Peters is a very private person, whose personal life has been secondary to her job throughout her life. Although small and slightly built, her cold-eyed demeanour is immensely intimidating. The current Mayor of Point Sterling has made a point of inviting her to all formal functions where he enjoys the effect her presence has on many of his other guests. The Dragonhead of the Wo Xing Wo has recently launched a 'honeytrap' operation against her, however her personal tastes will doom this to failure and perhaps open up an avenue for a counter-attack.
Major Andrew Dalton, Special Air Service
Andy Dalton is the commander of B Sqn, 25 (Wellon) SAS currently the on-call Special Projects Team and as such will be at the forefront of any anti-terrorist response by HMWG. Andy Dalton is a Narvicker from Dunedin who attended Heller University but graduated with a poor degree after spending most of his time indulging his love of mountain sports. He started his military career with the New Albion Greenjackets, whilst attending RMANC on the Junior Course his potential was spotted and he was transferred to the Commissioning Course.
Excelling as a rifle and recce platoon commander he then had a stint as one of the few non-Mountain Regiment instructors at the Mountain Warfare School near the remote Pendragon settlement of Sherbahadur Thapa Town. He then underwent and passed Wellon SAS Selection and served as a Mountain Troop commander. Once his stint was up he should have returned to the NAGJ to resume his conventional career, instead he applied for a posting with 24 SAS on the frontier, rebuffed he instead managed to serve 4 years with the Australian SAS in both the Neuvas Malvinas and on the Duffer's Strip border zone before finally returning to normal regimental duty. However that was swiftly followed by a stint in Army Junior Staff College before being promoted to the prestigious command of an SAS Squadron.
Dalton is one of the most experienced special forces officers serving in the Wellon armed forces. He is an intelligent, innovative and well read officer who physically is immensely fit (still enjoying a range of mountain sports and rugby) but has a reputation for intensity and ruthless efficiency. Under his command B Sqn has risen to a peak of efficiency, but Dalton is disappointed his unit has not yet been chosen to join the fight against the Kafers. Dalton is divorced and childless, he un-apologetically puts his career first and can be seen as something of a cold fish.