Monday, 28 September 2015

Strange Aeons: Canadian Heritage Minute: C.O.R.D. A Secret History

Crest of the Canadian Occult Response Department
In the last days of December, 1921 newly appointed Prime Minister William Lyon McKenzie King conducted a private interview in Sir Wilfred's Laurier's former office.  The drawn and frostburned man sitting opposite him might have been mistaken for a vagrant but for his bearing and the singular purpose in his eye.  

William Lyon McKenzie King early 1920s
Constable Franklin Campbell had been one of small contingent of Mounties who had journeyed into the high North with agents of the Promethean Branch an hitherto unknown agency of the British Government.  One of these agents; a former British Army officer, Radburn had posed as an RCMP Sergeant Major and falsely assumed command of the men.

The journey Campbell reported upon was arduous but the true gravity of his tale did not become evident until the party reached their destination.  What followed was a nightmarish tale of catacombs beneath the pack ice and a battle against the denizens of Hell itself.  In the narrow confines of the icy tomb many gave their lives to secure a strange fragment from a foul altar.  

Fighting off their infernal assailants the damned party fled south to be whittled away one by one by their pursuers, the merciless elements, and a cloying madness that lingered over them like an albatross.  When only Radburn and Campbell remained the Englishman relinquished a satchel to the Constable imploring him to deliver it to the King with all speed.

When the haunted Constable made Ottawa he opened the satchel and discovered strange writings interspersed with discomfiting symbols.  Among the disturbing agglomerate  was a letter addressed to George V.  Uncertain, Campbell made his way to The Victoria Memorial Museum Building.
 
June 18, 1921 visits a medium

William Lyon McKenzie King was the catalyst for my imagined Canadian Mythos setting.  To some degree the man was a bit of an enigma.  His terms in office still give him the distinction as our longest serving Prime Minister and his terms in the Interwar period and during the Second World War were significant in terms of defining our national identity.  King is highly regarded by historians but not without his flaws. His first government toppled in a bid for reelection in a corruption scandal and has been maligned for indifference to the plight of Jewish refugees attempting to flee Europe .

King's personal life which he guarded closely is the basis for his involvement in my imaginings.  He had a deep fascination with the supernatural and was a prodigious diarist documenting his own beliefs and activities fastidiously through most of his lifetime.  After I skimmed some of the entries during the period I decided to utilize him as the patron of C.O.R.D. by pretending his degree of belief was sufficient to keep from having Campbell committed to an asylum.  I managed to find few gaps in King's narrative and fabricated a, "lost weekend" that might make him more receptive to the mountie's weird tale.  Hopefully I'll follow this entry up with more imaginary history and more importantly some fun Strange Aeons models.  If you happen to be a history buff or not or have any criticism's that could tighten up the story (plausibility or it being too boring) leave a suggestion.  Thanks.

June 19, 1921 a strange visitor

6 comments:

  1. This is really cool. I am a big SA fan too (and my Kickstarter goodies just arrived too)
    Perhaps CORD needs an Australian exchange agent :-)

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    1. That sounds awesome Paul. I have a long way to go before play time, I still need to place my order with Uncle Mike for the starter set and my RAFM order is dragging :(. For now I'm fleshing out the organization itself and painting a couple period vehicles but my first "fighty" agent will be the mountie in the story. Because mortality seems a certainty maybe you could give me an appropriate suggestion if I need a replacement or addition. Would a Great War vet of Gallipoli work? I'd like to have your input.

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    2. That could work very well indeed. In fact, there was a large ANZAC contingent in the Syrian campaign, perhaps a section of lads were assigned to support a local Imperial agent in beating an expedition of villainous Huns to an ancient temple. Between the result gunfight and nameless horrors that dwelled within, the British Imperial agent was lucky to escape with his life when a brave Australian Corporal dragged him from the ruins just before the cave in sealed the caverns below. After the war, the demobilised Corporal was visited by a couple of officious looking gentlemen in dapper suits with promises of further adventure...

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  2. Actually, I was thinking about how an Imperial style organisation might work - GB plus Dominions. Many other organisation maintained this kind of structure for decades after our countries independence. Or perhaps a precursor to the contemporary '5 Eyes" construct

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    1. A Commonwealth/Crown organization would be pretty sweet. I'll warn you that the worst part of coming up with any of this was cobbling together an acronym title. Cheaty, lazy beast that I am the "C" could be Commonwealth rather than Canadian but it would involve some revisionist history :) .

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    2. You wouldn't be the first to suggest revisionist history :-)

      Perhaps then, CORD could have a Division in each dominion, liaison officers in key counterpart organisations in US, France, Germany etc Naturally CORD HQ and its overseers would be located in London (which would add some interesting angles when a Dominion's interests start to diverge from GB's...)

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