The year is 1866. You are Daniel Stockton, a veteran of the American Civil War and colonel in the Aizu Domain's military. You've come to Japan looking for work, and with the nation on the brink of war, there is an ever-increasing demand for men such as yourself. Last time, you visited with Herr Zorn, who arranged for you to get a new wardrobe in anticipation of the European mission, and then made contact with the Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi: Hijikata Toshizo.Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ZapQMArchive:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=BoshinInfo Paste:https://pastebin.com/L50nUu0V
Hijikata Toshizo sits across from you as the carriage trundles down the road. Nakajima sits next to you, still ready for the situation to deteriorate. You both exchange a glance before returning your attentions to the Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi. Hijikata produces a cigarillo, the same brand you smoke, and nods at you. “May I smoke in here, General?” You nod. “You may, Vice-Commander.” He lights his cigarillo, puffing on it slowly. “So you wanted to discuss something with me, as per your letter?” “I do. It’s regarding something Princess Hikari told me.” You frown. “Ah, the Princess.” Hijikata blows his smoke out through the open window. “So I suppose that you know of the situation regarding Matsudaira Katamori, then.” “That is what the Princess told me, yes.” Leaning forward, you light a cigarillo of your own. “I have many questions, but I suppose the first is the most important: where is the Princess now?” Hijikata leans back, grimacing. “I have sent her back to Edo Castle with some of my men.” He looks at you with a frustrated expression. “It was a mistake to even tell that girl what I had learned; had I known she would outright leave the Castle, I would have kept her in the dark.” “So her leaving wasn’t something you wanted to happen. Interesting…” You frown. Hijikata chuckles under his breath. “The Princess leaving was perhaps the worst thing she could have done. The only way to keep suspicion away from my men was to have them say they found her and returned her to the castle.” “And have you told her what’s going on?” You raise an eyebrow. He nods. “I have told her that she needs to keep up appearances for now.” “Well then,” you begin. “I suppose that leaves me with one more question.” Frowning, you puff on your cigarillo a few more times. “Was the Shogun really poisoned by Matsudaira?” Hijikata’s expression darkens. “He was poisoned, almost certainly.” He trails off, puffing on his cigarillo. “Whether it was Matsudaira… Well, the list of other suspects that had the access or means to poison the Shogun over a period of months is incredibly short. The list of people who would have something to gain is even shorter still.” >”Well how do you KNOW that he was poisoned?” >”What other suspects could there be?” >”If it was Matsudaira, what does that mean? How should we proceed?” >”Can we trust Princess Hikari to keep quiet about this? There will be Hell to pay if any word gets out to anyone important.” >"Well regardless, I can't have you conspiring against my employer." (attempt to arrest him)>Write-in.
>>3740587>”Well how do you KNOW that he was poisoned?”>”What other suspects could there be?”
>>3740587>>”Well how do you KNOW that he was poisoned?” >>”What other suspects could there be?”
Frowning, you reply. “How do you know that he was poisoned?” Hijikata nods briefly. “A good question, General.” His eyes narrow. “I am the Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi, I know poisons.” Sighing, he puffs on his cigarillo some more. “At first, I was not sure… But as the Shogun’s condition worsened, I began to suspect poisoning. He ate a regular diet, was not exposed to anything that could cause health issues, and nobody around him was ever particularly ill.” He leans back, shrugging. “There are several poisons that produce similar results over time. The Shinsengumi have even used some of them before.” He then clarifies. “I saw the Shogun’s body after he died. All of the signs point to poisoning as opposed to any natural cause.” You grimace. “I see. You mentioned a list of other suspects, who are they?” Hijikata frowns, rubbing his chin. “Well, the list is short, as I said…” He trails off. “Matsudaira Katamori obviously had a great deal to gain from the Shogun’s death, but a part of me doesn’t believe he would do such a thing.” He shrugs. “Then there is the successor, Keiki. He has had ambitions to be Shogun since he was thirteen years old. He was also around the Shogun frequently, so he could have had the opportunity to poison him. I just doubt he is sneaky enough to have pulled it off.” “Anyone else you can think of?” You raise an eyebrow. Hijikata nods. “One of the ministers in Edo could have done it, but I have essentially ruled all of them out as possible suspects: none went along on the Choshu Campaign.” He frowns deeply, leaning forward and puffing on his cigarillo again before tossing the nub of it out of the window. “That leaves us with one more suspect, but I would argue they are the least likely one of all.” “And that would be?” You shrug, leaning back. Hijikata’s expression is troubled. “Princess Hikari.” He sees your eyes widen, and proceeds to explain. “She is the only other person who had regular, long-term contact with the Shogun. She also brought the Shogun most of his meals, which would seem suspect under most circumstances. I still don’t think such a thing would be possible, which is why I told her in the first place.” You grimace. “Well, then the suspect list is quite short after all.” “Indeed,” he replies. >”So how should we proceed from here?” >”Is there any way to investigate Keiki further? I don’t put it past him to attempt such a thing.” >”Come to think of it, what if someone slipped poison into the food before Hikari got ahold of it? Is there anyone specific involved in the preparation of the Shogun’s food?” >”Can we trust Princess Hikari to keep quiet about this? There will be Hell to pay if any word gets out to anyone important.” >Write-in.
>>3740789>”So how should we proceed from here?” >”Is there any way to investigate Keiki further? I don’t put it past him to attempt such a thing.” >”Come to think of it, what if someone slipped poison into the food before Hikari got ahold of it? Is there anyone specific involved in the preparation of the Shogun’s food?”
>>3740789>>”Is there any way to investigate Keiki further? I don’t put it past him to attempt such a thing.” >>”Come to think of it, what if someone slipped poison into the food before Hikari got ahold of it? Is there anyone specific involved in the preparation of the Shogun’s food?”
“Is there any way to investigate Keiki further? He seems like a likely suspect to me.” You cross your arms. Hijikata nods. “I am already investigating him. So far, we have no solid evidence, but things can change in regards to that.” He frowns, looking out at the passing buildings. “You never know what things you can dig up about a person.” Grimacing, you continue. “I had another thought as well.” You decide to light a cigarillo of your own, puffing on it for a while. “Is there anyone that had consistent access to the Shogun’s food? Perhaps someone could have slipped poison in before the Princess got ahold of it?” “That is a good theory,” Hijikata replies. “I have some men looking into it, but these things can take time.” He shrugs. “What I do know is that someone would have had to organize it, if his food was tampered with. The group of people who cook food for the Shogun is vast, and often different people make meals on different days.” You nod slowly. “Then I can see why Matsudaira would stand out as a suspect. He’s definitely got the pull to oversee something like that.” Hijikata nods with you. “Like I said, he is a likely suspect. That does not mean I have ruled out the possibility of someone else being responsible, though.” The carriage comes to a stop, likely to let another one pass in front of it. “So how should we proceed from here?” Hijikata leans forward, frowning. “My advice is to do nothing. Pretend you have never learned of any of this.” He looks out at the scenery as the carriage begins moving again. “If the Shinsengumi need to take action against someone, we will take action. You and your troops need only focus on the duty of soldiers.” “I see,” you reply. “Very well, that takes a bit of stress off of my shoulders.” Hijikata chuckles mirthlessly. “Well, perhaps it should not. You may one day have to choose between loyalty to Matsudaira, and loyalty to the people of Japan.” He grins slightly. “But such a decision will only be needed if someone on our end screws things up. As long as we do everything in the way we normally do, you’ll never know anything was done in the first place.” “Hopefully so,” you reply. The carriage comes to a stop once more, and Hijikata gestures toward the door. “Unless you’d like to discuss things further, may I leave?” >”Of course, Vice-Commander.” >”Actually, I’d like to discuss some more things.” (write-in)
>>3740941>>”Of course, Vice-Commander.”
>>3740941>”Of course, Vice-Commander.”See what Nakajima thinks of all this after he leaves
>>3740941>”Of course, Vice-Commander.”
“Of course, Vice-Commander.” You nod to him. As Hijikata opens the door and steps out onto the cobblestone road, he bows. “Good day, General.” You reply as you pull the door closed. “You as well.” Once the door closes and the carriage gets rolling again, you turn to Nakajima. “You’ve been pretty quiet.” She nods once. “I have been listening.” Looking at you, she continues. “Hijikata did bring up some interesting points.” “So what do you think?” You raise an eyebrow. “Personally, I believe Keiki is primarily responsible for the Shogun’s death.” Her expression darkens. “But I would not put it past Matsudaira to be involved somehow, even if Keiki were the one who ordered the Shogun poisoned.” “You think they’re both to blame?” Frowning, you lean back. “If Matsudaira and Keiki were buddies, why would he have ordered his men to beat Keiki half to death?” She shakes her head. “I don’t think they are allies. But I do think Matsudaira knew about the plot, and chose to do nothing.” She leans forward. “After all, he even told you that he has people everywhere. If Keiki were plotting to take control like that, perhaps Matsudaira saw it as an opportunity to seize control for himself.” You frown. “That seems a bit far-fetched, Nakajima.” She shrugs. “It’s just a theory, sir.” Her expression lightens a bit. “Still, I am glad that Hijikata still regards us as a non-threat. If I had to bet which would win in a struggle between a daimyo or the Shinsengumi, my money would always be on the latter.” She crosses her arms. “It is also good that he expects us to stay back and do nothing. Getting roped into political intrigue often proves dangerous, especially while hostilities are going on elsewhere.” You nod. “That’s true.” Sighing, you sit back and watch the scenery pass by outside. Your carriage is heading back to your base now. “Hopefully whatever happens, this will all blow over and end up in our favor.” “I’m sure it will, General.” Nakajima’s hand sits atop yours. >”Herr Zorn mentioned that I should begin investing in businesses or property. Are there any leads that you can think of in that respect?” >”Do you suppose we should head to Edo Castle, perhaps check in on the Princess and Matsudaira?” >”If it doesn’t blow over smoothly, do we have a way of consolidating our troops at the base?” >Remain quiet for the rest of the ride. >Write-in.
>>3741161>>”If it doesn’t blow over smoothly, do we have a way of consolidating our troops at the base?”>”Herr Zorn mentioned that I should begin investing in businesses or property. Are there any leads that you can think of in that respect?” house hunting already? the girl will melt in red
>>3741161>”Herr Zorn mentioned that I should begin investing in businesses or property. Are there any leads that you can think of in that respect?”
>>3741161>”Do you suppose we should head to Edo Castle, perhaps check in on the Princess and Matsudaira?” >”If it doesn’t blow over smoothly, do we have a way of consolidating our troops at the base?”
>>3741161>”Herr Zorn mentioned that I should begin investing in businesses or property. Are there any leads that you can think of in that respect?” >”If it doesn’t blow over smoothly, do we have a way of consolidating our troops at the base?” FUCK I'M LATE
“If it doesn’t blow over…” You frown deeply. “Do we have a way of consolidating our troops at the base?” Nakajima nods. “I can get couriers out to every lieutenant in the army.” Leaning forward, she rubs her chin. “That way, we can get all of our companies mobilized even if the other Majors are indisposed or worse.” She shrugs. “The furthest any courier might have to travel is a four days’ ride. We could get the army together within two weeks. For most of the troops, we could have them at the base within two or three days.” “Good,” you nod. “We might need to mobilize quickly at some point.” “My thoughts exactly,” Nakajima replies. “On a different note,” you add. “Herr Zorn mentioned something interesting when I met with him. I’ve been getting a salary from the Shogun and the Aizu Domain, but I’ve barely spent any of it.” You cross your arms. “I’ve actually got a substantial savings built up, and until today I didn’t have any idea what to do with it.” “How much, if you don’t mind me asking?” Nakajima raises an eyebrow. You frown. “About four thousand five hundred yen, by my recollection. If I’ve done the conversion from Japanese currency to American dollars, it would equal out to about seven thousand and two hundred dollars.” You shrug. “I recall it being enough to buy about twenty or thirty horse-drawn carriages, or a rather large farm back home.” She does a double-take. “Forty-five hundred yen?” Calming down a bit, she continues. “With that, you could buy a considerable amount of land. For something like that, you would have to talk to a local government magistrate.” She rubs her chin thoughtfully. “As far as purchasing buildings or businesses, I know little about that sort of thing. I am more than happy to do some research into the subject though, I am sure there are opportunities around Edo considering the influx of foreign traders.” “Thank you,” you reply. “Zorn also mentioned perhaps getting into emerging industries. Particularly things that are serious money-makers in America and Europe that have yet to reach Japan.” Nakajima shrugs. “Well, you would have to discuss that with Harp or Enzo. I am no expert when it comes to the popular businesses overseas.” Nakajima chuckles, squeezing your hand lightly. “I knew the salary for a general was high, but I had no idea it was quite so impressive.” She chuckles. “You should consider yourself lucky I have inexpensive tastes.” You chuckle as well, winking at Nakajima. “Oh, that’s not the only thing I’m lucky for.”
>>3741324Man with yellow fever flirts with proper samurai waifu.
And that's all for tonight! Thanks for playing! As I have a job interview tomorrow, I'm not completely sure when our next session will be, probably next weekend unless I get free time during the week. If you have any questions until then, feel free to drop in here and chat. Also I actually did the 1866 dollar-to-yen conversion, as well as looked up salaries and prices of goods from the 1860s. I had to estimate for some stuff though, I hope it's accurate enough.
>>3741342Can we become a monopolist on weapons for the japs?
>>3741353 There's nothing stopping you from becoming the Andrew Carnegie of small arms, Anon.
>>3741373 Heavy Sweating. And we already have some good ties with who we employ. Fuck I want that.
>>3741342Thanks for running and good luck on that job
Well American surplus is still a thing if we can buy the patents to the trapdoor we can upgrade our muzzle loaders
>>3742447>if we can buy the patents>paying money>to someone on the other side of the globe>while being in a country that isn't even recognised as civilized
>>3742947We might have to depending and especially with American eyes on Japan. Not to mention we have a bunch of American muzzle loaders.
>>3743737Or we can take a patented gun, make a 99.99% copy of it and claim the 0.01% difference is enough to ignore patent fee.Aka how this was done for most of 19th century.
Session today at our regular time. All this talk of blatantly ripping off foreign designs is giving me some interesting ideas. I may give you the opportunity to conduct some industrial espionage while abroad.
Session will go live later than normal tonight since it’s going to be a short-ish one. First post will be at 8PM Eastern.
It seems like the universe is conspiring against me tonight. Going to have to run tomorrow instead of tonight.
>>3761004Thanks for the heads up. See ya
You adjust your necktie, grimacing as you look out at the passing city. “I have to say, the last couple weeks have gone by quickly.” As your carriage trundles down the streets of Yokohama, two more follow behind with your party’s luggage, personal effects, and other necessary possessions. Nakajima nods. “It is quite exciting, going across the sea to new lands.” You shrug. “Not exactly how I’d describe it, but I can understand your excitement.” Sato, who also sits with you in the carriage, speaks next. “You mean to tell us you aren’t excited to travel, sir?” He grins slightly. “Perhaps the General has been subject to less than ideal travel conditions?” Enzo Beretta, who sits next to Sato, speaks next. You’ve insisted on having the Italian accompany you, seeing as his experience with the European arms industry could prove useful. You nod. “I’m not exactly a fan of ocean voyages.” Frowning, you recall the trip to Japan aboard two different clippers. The staterooms were crowded, the seas harsh, and the food barely edible. “Thankfully we won’t be travelling third-class.” The carriage stops just outside of the Yokohama dockyards. The four of you dismount and begin walking across the cobblestones. It is early morning, and the sea fog hangs over everything. You’ve been directed to the port office, which is where you will meet the rest of your colleagues and be briefed on the particulars of your mission. Walking up to the port office, you are greeted by an Aizu guard who promptly grants you entry. Inside is a conference room, with dozens of dignitaries and officials standing around. “Ah, General Stockton.” Matsudaira Katamori greets you. “Good to see you have arrived.” “Good morning, sir.” You bow, as does the daimyo. “I trust you’ve had no issues?” He looks at the four of you. “Thankfully, no.” You nod. “I take it these are the other members of the mission?” Matsudaira nods. “Some of them are assigned to the other missions, but yes.” He crosses his arms. “Your other guest, the Prussian, arrived earlier. We sent him to his stateroom aboard the ship, seeing as he was quite tired from a long journey.” “Very well,” you nod. “So now that we are here, does that make everyone?” Matsudaira nods curtly. “Indeed. Unless there is something you would like to discuss, I can have you directed to the ship. I am sure you have a great deal of unpacking to do before setting off.” >”Who all is assigned to our mission? Could you introduce us?” >”I understand the Princess was found unharmed. Has she been well?”>”You mentioned that our vessel will be stopping at multiple places. How long will we spend at each port before moving onward?” >Write-in. >”Of course, lead the way.” (head to the ship)
>>3763946>”Who all is assigned to our mission? Could you introduce us?” >”You mentioned that our vessel will be stopping at multiple places. How long will we spend at each port before moving onward?” If we're staying in certain nations for long enough, we might even be able to look into getting investors for any business we set up back in Japan. Though that would have to come after sorting our job's affairs.
>>3763946>”Who all is assigned to our mission? Could you introduce us?” >”You mentioned that our vessel will be stopping at multiple places. How long will we spend at each port before moving onward?” missed you Zap and this quest.
>>3763946>”Who all is assigned to our mission? Could you introduce us?” >”You mentioned that our vessel will be stopping at multiple places. How long will we spend at each port before moving onward?”
>>3763946>”Who all is assigned to our mission? Could you introduce us?” >”I understand the Princess was found unharmed. Has she been well?”>”You mentioned that our vessel will be stopping at multiple places. How long will we spend at each port before moving onward?”
“Who all is assigned to the mission?” You raise an eyebrow. “Could you introduce us?” Matsudaira nods. “Of course, General, follow me.” You do exactly that, being directed to the first of your colleagues. Many of them are statesmen and diplomats, as you’d been led to expect. They would mostly be along to officiate any deals signed with foreign powers. Their presence also adds legitimacy to the mission, of course, and further lends credibility to the Shogun’s government in the eyes of the world. Some of the other members of the mission stand out to you though. In particular, you note that foreign-educated Japanese engineers and inventors have been sent along. It makes sense, given the role of the mission. You’d not realized that the Japanese had this many men trained in the applied sciences. They are apparently Japan’s absolute best and brightest. As you finish introducing yourself to a man named Hideki Toyoda (whose knowledge of the steam engine would likely be impressive to anyone well-versed in steam technology), you return to Matsudaira. “I believe I’ve met everyone.” You look at the daimyo as you cross your arms. “Thank you for introducing us.” “It is my pleasure, General.” Matsudaira bows lightly. “I doubt you will have a great deal of communication with some of them, but it helps to know the people you will spend months working with.” “Indeed,” you nod. “You’d mentioned that our ship will spend some time at various other ports on its way to Europe. How long do you expect we will be at any particular port?” Matsudaira shrugs. “Oh, long enough to offload the members of their respective missions, take on more coal, and give the crew time to stretch their legs…” He rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Perhaps up to a week at each port. Likely no more than that.” “Interesting,” you remark. Being able to do a bit of exploring in the other locations where the Domain is sending missions could prove fruitful, if only to satisfy your own curiosity.Matsudaira continues. “Now, is there anything else you need, General?” He gestures to your luggage, which sits in the corner of the room, piled high. “I am sure you would like to begin getting ready for the voyage…” >”Indeed. Lead the way.” (go to the ship)>”I do think I’d like to discuss some more things.” (write-in)
>>3764362>”Indeed. Lead the way.” (go to the ship)
>>3764362>”Indeed. Lead the way.” (go to the ship)Shared cabin with Naka?
“Understood,” you say. “Lead the way.” Matsudaira directs several attendants and dockworkers to grab your things, and you gather the other members of your party. As you all exit the harbor office and step into the foggy morning air, Nakajima walks alongside you. “I believe I am beginning to understand your nervousness now, sir.” You frown slightly. “Well, I’m not nervous.” Pausing, you look around. “It does tend to be the worst just before you depart, though.” “I see.” Nakajima looks around at the various ships pulled up at the docks. There are many; most of them are either tramp steamers or clipper ships, all laden heavy with rust from their long voyages. “What sort of ship do you suppose we will be aboard?” You adjust your tophat. Though it is only early September, the mornings have begun to get quite chilly. You are thankful that your new wardrobe consists mostly of heavier clothes. “Well, I can’t imagine it would be anything too special. Likely an old tea clipper or something.” As your group turns a corner and clears the visage of a large warehouse, you realize immediately that your assumption might be wrong. There is only one ship at the end of this pier. It is colossal, easily the largest ship you’ve ever seen, with six masts, five funnels, and two paddlewheels the size of buildings. The ship itself is monolithic, towering over the pier itself by a good thirty or forty feet, and its hull is all freshly-painted steel. A steam-powered crane on the ship’s deck lifts a pallet of supplies slowly, its engine chuffing steadily as the payload ascends. Four different gangplanks extend onto the pier’s surface at different locations. As you get closer, you can see dozens of men climbing about the ship’s rigging, making it ready to sail. “My God,” you say as your party’s pace slows. Matsudaira turns to you, a smile on his face. “Our newest purchase from overseas.” He gestures toward the ship with his arm. “The Great Eastern. She’s the largest ship to ever sail, and when we found her, she had been relegated to laying subsea telegraph cables.” His arms return to their normal positions. “Suffice to say, acquiring her was quite a bargain.” He gestures to the men carrying your luggage, directing them to take everything aboard. He hands you each a map of the ship with your respective rooms highlighted. “You may want to head directly to your cabins and make yourselves comfortable, or I’m sure the Captain would be open to hosting breakfast with you, should you seek him out.” He bows lightly, which you return instinctively. “I must return to the harbor office. I still have others to meet with before sending them here.”
As Matsudaira walks away, you cross your arms. “The biggest ship ever made, eh?” Nodding slowly, you examine the Great Eastern with a more critical eye. Such a vast ship would likely cost a fortune to operate. You all begin walking toward the closest gangplank. The only question is, what should you do with the time before you sail away? >For now, head to your cabin. You want to get acquainted with the space in which you’ll be living during the voyage. >Seek out the Captain and arrange brunch. You’d like to get to know the man responsible for getting you across treacherous seas. >Such an engineering marvel is enough to intrigue you. Explore the ship and see what areas of interest there are. >There are some crew milling about, you might as well get to know some of them. >Write-in.
>>3764480>Such an engineering marvel is enough to intrigue you. Explore the ship and see what areas of interest there are.
>>3764480>For now, head to your cabin. You want to get acquainted with the space in which you’ll be living during the voyage.
>>3764480>Such an engineering marvel is enough to intrigue you. Explore the ship and see what areas of interest there are. >For now, head to your cabin. You want to get acquainted with the space in which you’ll be living during the voyage.
Gonna pause the session here for tonight. My apologies for the weirdness with my posting schedule lately, it should normalize soon. We'll resume the session tomorrow at around 7PM Eastern.
>>3764605Thanks for running
As you all walk up the gangplank and into the ship, Nakajima looks over at you. “Shall you retire to your cabin, sir?” You raise an eyebrow, looking around at the insides of the massive vessel. You’re in a hallway, lit by oil lamps, that appears to run a good length of the ship. The walls are steel and wood, painted white, with teak floors whose dark stain has begun to wear away. There is a spiral staircase made of wrought iron in front of you, leading up to the second highest passenger deck, where the 2nd class cabins would normally be. These are crew stairs, consulting your map of the ship, you see that the passenger stairs are near the stern of the ship. Looking at your compatriots, you grin. “I’ll catch up.” As you begin walking down the hallway, you look over your shoulder. “I want to get acquainted with our new digs.” “Be careful, General.” Zorn chuckles as you continue walking. “It would be quite embarrassing to die by falling into a coal bunker.” You chuckle as well. “I’ll take that into account, Herr Zorn.” As you continue down the hall, you realize that this deck likely used to hold 3rd class cabins. Opening a door, you see that they are now storage rooms. You’ve been instructed to bring back as much of the outside world with you as you can, and you imagine this extension of the cargo holds will be used for precisely that. After a while of walking along the hall, it opens up into a room that spans the width of the ship. There is a large cargo door embedded into the floor, with an identical one in the ceiling. You realize immediately that the lower door must lead to the cargo holds proper, allowing cargo to be lowered right into the bowels of the ship with a crane. Forward of that are more rooms, with the label of “CREW QUARTERS - NO PASSENGER ENTRY” above each door. Reaching the bow of the ship, you realize that there isn’t any further to go in this direction. Walking over to the hallway on the opposite side of the hull, you head aft. It is more of the same on this deck, which you expected really. The storage rooms are mostly empty, though some contain various curiosities from the Orient, likely to be used as gifts and trade goods.
As you walk, you can hear the gentle pulse of the steam engines beneath your feet. You don’t know how they can run without moving the ship (in truth, you know absolutely nothing about steam engines), but here they run without making movement nonetheless. Reaching the middle of the ship’s length once more, you find yourself at the crew-access staircases again. They lead both up and down. Peering up, you see some light streaming in though a skylight on the upper two decks. Judging by your brief glimpse of it, the next deck is quite beautifully-appointed; there is fine molding on the walls, as well as fancy lighting fixtures. You think you can hear pleasant conversation coming from upstairs. Looking down is a different story; you see little, mostly lit by the same oil lamps as above, but you can hear the engines more clearly, and smell soot and oil. Judging by how the walls bow out slightly, and how they are made of heavily-reinforced iron, you estimate that this staircase either borders or cuts through a coal bunker. >Head upstairs. You’d like to avoid spending too much time in the bowels of this ship. Plus you’re interested to see what sort of entertainment exists on this ship. >Descend into the belly of the Great Eastern. You want to get a look at what most passengers never even think about. >Write-in.
>>3766645>Descend into the belly of the Great Eastern. You want to get a look at what most passengers never even think about. Not just will open GUN SHOPS but BOAT SHOPS as well!
>>3766645>Descend into the belly of the Great Eastern. You want to get a look at what most passengers never even think about. She's a glorious ship. A shame that she was almost the death of the company that built her and was quite literally the death of some of her crew.>>3766660>Not just will open GUN SHOPS but BOAT SHOPS as well!Eh, we'd probably struggle. Unless we could get our hands on a good ironclad design and start producing them for the Japanese navy or something but even then that'd depend on government support.
Also because I felt like looking into Ironclad designs / possible purchases, I found a rather interesting ship that the Japanese did historically acquire:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_ironclad_K%C5%8DtetsuThe ship already exists and has done since 1864. In reality the Japanese acquired it in 1869 but who knows, in this universe where they are closer with the Americans and shit, we might be able to get it much sooner.
Clearing your throat, you descend into the engine rooms. Almost immediately, the air heats up. The scent of sulfur fills your throat and nose, stinging your eyes. As you reach the bottom of the stairs, you quickly become glad that you chose to wear your black coat today. The walls, painted white originally, have been stained many shades of gray and black by coal dust. You step off of the stairs and onto a metal platform, and as you begin walking out into the boiler room proper, you grip the railing rather tightly. You walk perhaps twenty feet above the boilers, whose open ports throw a ghastly red light into the room. Three or four men shovel large chunks of coal into the open fire lazily, talking loudly amongst each other. They speak English with Irish and Scottish accents, and have clothes and faces blackened by the same dust that covers everything down here. You descend another set of stairs, coming to stand on the boiler room floor itself. The boilermen have yet to notice you, or perhaps they have and merely don’t care. Stepping away from the boilers, you notice a hallway running the length of the ship down here as well. It looks as though it links the various boiler rooms to each other. At one end you can hear a colossal rumble, likely the engine itself. It is forward of your current position, you realize. Peering cautiously, you begin walking forward. It is insufferably hot down here, you cannot imagine spending hours doing this kind of manual labor in these conditions. As you walk, you come upon another boiler room. This one has more men working, and they all appear to be singing a working song to keep morale up. They’re midway through it as you stop to listen. “Our cracked four-pounders made an awful din,” one man sings. “But with one fat ball, the yanks stove us in!” The rest of the men join in. “God damn them all, I was told we’d cruise the sea for American gold. We’d fire no guns, shed no tears. Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier. The last of Barrett’s Privateers.” The lead man joins in again, a wide grin on his face. “The Antelope shook and pitched on her side.” This time they all sing a bit, softly. “How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now.” The lead man comes back in as aggressive as before. “Barrett was smashed like a bowl of eggs, and the main truck carried off both me legs!” There is some laughter at that line. “God damn them all,” the chorus begins again. It’s quite a song, you’ll admit. Standing there and watching these men shovel coal into raging infernos, you can’t help but respect them. Looking down the hall, the engines are just ahead. >Continue onward. You want to see as much as possible while you’re down here. >Keep watching the boilermen. What harm can it do?>Join in. You don’t know the song, but the chorus seems simple enough. >Write-in.
>>3766749>Keep watching the boilermen. What harm can it do?We ain't meant to be down here so let's try to not cause a ruckus or get in the crew's way.
>>3766749>Join in. You don’t know the song, but the chorus seems simple enough.
>>3766749>Keep watching the boilermen. What harm can it do?Is that a confed song?
>>3766765>Is that a confed song?Canadian, actually. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIwzRkjn86w Technically not period-correct since it was written in modern times, but I like it, so I put it in.
>>3766765Nah, it's a modification of a song about piracy to instead be about privateers. /v/ did a similar thing to it once but about Jontron.
>>3766754>>3766765Sailors are notoriously perceptive. Roll a 1d20
Rolled 14 (1d20)>>3766783
Rolled 10 (1d20)>>3766783
Rolled 4 (1d20)>>3766783
You decide to watch the boilermen some more. Leaning against a relatively un-stained section of bulkhead, you observe quietly. “I was told, we’d cruise the sea for American gold. We’d fire no guns, shed no tears.” The men seem to move their shovels with little effort. “Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier, the last of Barrett’s Privateers.” The lead man begins singing again after a few seconds. “Now here I lay in my 23rd year.” The others join in. “How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now.” The lead man takes a swig of something from a flask around his neck, continuing after swallowing. “It’s been six years since we sailed away, and I just made Halifax yesterday!” “God damn them all, I was told we’d cruise the sea for American gold. We’d fire no guns, shed no tears.” There is a pause before the men resume singing, now with longer syllables as the song ends. “Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier, the last of Barrett’s Privateers.” Some of the men whoop and holler, as one might expect. You fight the urge to clap after hearing such a spirited performance. “What should we sing next?” One man speaks with a thick Scottish accent. “Don’t know,” another man says. He grins and looks over his shoulder, directly at you. “We got a guest, though.” The one who was leading the song, a man about the same age as you, stands to full height and deposits his shovel onto a pile of coal. “Ah, bugger.” He grumbles to himself as he approaches you. “Right then,” he speaks with a more British accent. “Can’t be down ‘ere, Guv. Let’s get you back up top, yeah?” He walks up to you, wiping the coal dust from his face with a handkerchief. He has a mustache, as well as heavy stubble, and surprisingly sharp eyes. “You get turned around or something? It’s dangerous down ‘ere.” >”Yes, lead the way.” >”I didn’t get lost. I was just interested in seeing what makes the ship move.” >”I’ve been all over a hundred different battlefields. I doubt a little fire and steam will harm me.” >”The Shogun has ordered me to come down here and observe the ship’s engines and boilers.” (lie)>Write-in.
>>3766847>”I’ve been all over a hundred different battlefields. I doubt a little fire and steam will harm me.” To be fair, we could attempt to pull rank but technically speaking the Captain is above us and I'd rather not piss off the man we're going to be staying with for the next few months.
>>3766847>”I didn’t get lost. I was just interested in seeing what makes the ship move.”
>>3766847>”I’ve been all over a hundred different battlefields. I doubt a little fire and steam will harm me.”
>>3766847>”I didn’t get lost. I was just interested in seeing what makes the ship move.” >”I’ve been all over a hundred different battlefields. I doubt a little fire and steam will harm me.”
Frowning, you look at the man. “I’ve been all over a hundred different battlefields, sir. I doubt a little steam and fire will be enough to do me in.” The Englishman chuckles. “So you’re one of those foreigners working for the Japanese Shogun, then?” You nod. The man continues, his expression growing more serious. “Well Guv, this isn’t steam like you’ve seen before. I’ve seen men blown to bits down ‘ere before. Those boilers make a lot of pressure.” He gestures toward the place from which you came. “Now I’m afraid it’s non-negotiable, let’s go.” You sigh, not wanting to get in an argument with a crewman down here. “Very well.” Walking with the man, you decide to chat some more. “And I didn’t get lost. I was interested to see what makes the ship move.” The boilerman nods. “I suppose that’s understandable. You get the Captain’s permission and I’ll give ya the tour me self.” He smirks. “I may as well tell you a bit about where we are now.” He gestures along the length of the hall. “This is the Silver Line.” He chuckles. “We calls it that on account of the dust.” He removes his cap momentarily, running a hand through his hair. “There’s four boiler rooms and ten boilers.” He gestures to the colossal boilers as you both enter the room that allowed you access in the first place. “This ship takes a lot of steam to move. Right now we’re workin’ a skeleton crew. When we’re in port, we have to keep some fire in the boilers.”“Ten boilers…” You look at the building-sized machine. “Amazing. How does it make the paddles turn, though?” The boilerman shrugs. “I dunno. I’m a coal trimmer, not an engineer.” As you both reach the spiral stairs, he gestures upward. “Right then, head on up.” You turn to go, but the man puts a hand on your shoulder, bringing you close. Your attention is divided between the boiler room behind him, and his haggard face. “No offense, but we aren’t too keen on being entertainment for the passengers.” His eyes are bloodshot, and even where the dust has been wiped away, his skin is stained gray. “It may seem like a fanciful place to spend an hour, but some folks gotta get through a whole life a’ this.” He steps back, leaning against the railing. You also step back, walking toward the spiral staircase. He gives a small bow and salute, then walks away.You nod silently, ascending the spiral staircase and returning to the deck above the waterline. It almost feels as though you’ve left Hell and returned to the world of the living. Wiping some coal dust from your hands, you exhale deeply. >Head to your cabin. You should clean up before you do anything else. >Explore the upper decks. You’re curious what amenities are available to you. >Attempt to find the Captain. You’d like to introduce yourself. >Find another way into the engine room. You hate being told you can’t do something. >Write-in.
>>3766925>Head to your cabin. You should clean up before you do anything else. Time to look good
>>3766925>Head to your cabin. You should clean up before you do anything else.
>>3766925>Attempt to find the Captain. You’d like to introduce yourself.
Grimacing, you consult the map to find your cabin. It is on the uppermost passenger deck, nearer to the rear of the ship than the front. Upon reaching the cabin you know to be yours, you open the door and enter. It is quite a nice room, for a passenger cabin on a ship. There is a couch-type seat spanning the length of the room built into the far wall, with the portholes sitting just above the end of the backrest. In the center is a table (bolted to the floor to prevent it falling over in heavy seas) with two chairs, with an oil lamp bolted to the table. The bed, a rather large one, is built into the wall with a wardrobe on one side, and a small partition for a washbasin on the other. Above the bed is a space for large luggage, effectively making the bed somewhat like a pod. On the opposite side of the cabin is a bookshelf, upon which many tomes reside. There is a map of the world hanging on the wall, as well as an American and Shogunal flag hanging next to one-another. Your revolving rifle sits in a corner, deposited by the crew who handled your luggage, no doubt. You step further into the room, sighing as you remove your coat. A small cloud of coal dust rises from the black frock coat as you toss it into the corner of the cabin. “Dirty business, making a ship move…” You mutter to yourself. “Ah, General?” Nakajima’s voice can be heard from behind the partition. She steps out, and you find yourself astounded. She wears a light summer dress, made of blue fabric. “I had wanted to wear something a bit different… Do you like it?” You nod slightly. “I must say,” you begin. “There aren’t many who can pull off both a military uniform and a dress.” You both chuckle at that. She walks up to you, preparing to give you a hug. You stop her, however. “Probably not the best idea,” you say. Patting your trousers for emphasis (coal dust has permeated them as well), you continue. “I wouldn’t want to get your nice clothes dirty.” Nakajima raises an eyebrow. “Perhaps that is a good idea. I take it your exploration of the ship was interesting?” You shrug. “I didn’t get very far. Got to see the boilers, though.” Nakajima laughs. “I can see that. Well, there is a washbasin over there.” She gestures to the partition. “It is probably best that you get washed up. You wouldn’t want to get that dust all over our cabin.” You nod, walking over to the basin. “Our cabin, eh?” Pouring some water to begin washing yourself, you raise an eyebrow. “And what is your cabin being used for, then?” “Oh, just the extra luggage we don’t need.” She sits on the couch. “Oh, and I believe the Captain of the ship wishes to meet with us later.” You nod. “I had assumed he might.” Taking a tin cup, you pour some water over your head. The feel of coal dust running down your face sends a shiver up your spine. “Probably a good thing I got here when I did.”
And that's all for tonight. Thanks for playing! Once again, I'm not sure when our next session will be on account of my weird schedule, but I'll do my best to keep you guys posted. Until then, feel free to chat here with me about anything that might cross your minds. I'm more than happy to answer questions about the quest.
>>3767011Thanks for runningSharing a cabin with Naka, nice, maybe the two can finally have some alime moments without much worry
>>3767011Thanks for the run boss, But we'll be here.
>>3767007Naka is very bold for a traditionally raised Japanese woman.Also won't the other dignitaries seeing her in a dress raise quite a din? IIRC no one yet knows she 's a woman.
>>3767302 That's why she's taking advantage of the privacy of the cabin. She knows she can't get away with any of this elsewhere.
>>3767589She's quite the clever girl, she read too many american dime novels kek
>>3767589She still bought a dress for the European mission. Does she think no one will hear about a woman in the delegation?
>>3767643That was the plan from the start I think, she'll dress as a woman there, when we are away from the other dignataries on our mission, and Zorn already knows, I think only Beretta will have to be told but we are already telling our closest officers about it.
>>3767647In my head cannon there are already rumours going around on how the colonel and that smaller major are awfully close.Maybe Naka being known will put a lot of worries at ease lol
>>3767648AFAIK same-sex relationships between men weren't stigmatized in Japan.
We'll have a session in a new thread this Sunday. Expect it to go live at around 6PM as usual.