Things That Go Boom In the Night
If the pilots follow the advice of Pankhurst, Mctavish can be found over in the isolated ordinance shed to the rear of the aerodrome. Private Mctavish is a short oil stained Glaswegian with tools and bits of wire poking out of every open pocket of his uniform.
If the group asks him to take a look at the bomb, his eyes glaze over and he gratefully accepts it and immediately starts looking it over. After a few minutes, he stops, sniffs and says.
"Aye, yon's a strange beastie t'be sure. F'all need tae tak a wee shoofty at it."
He carefully carries the bomb inside to a sectioned off work area, immaculately clean and places it carefully in a vise.
He adjusts a spanner and places it midway down the casing of the bomb and tightens it till it's gripping the section. He then takes another longer spanner and grips the nose of the device.
"Plese Sah, if y'id be sae kind. Tek yon spanna and give her a rare tug. Carefil mind"
He steps back and allows one of the pilots to take the other wrench.
This requires a successful strength roll as both spanners are twisted clockwise and counter clockwise, unscrewing the casing.
Inside the casing is a carefully bracketed piece of twisted, heat scorched metal about 6 inches in length. Wrapped around the metal is a piece of stained parchment covered in pictograms similar to the ones on the outside of the casing.
With a successful notice roll it can be discovered that the twisted metal has a stamped serial number on it.
LZ33 - L8
If the group decide to investigate the matter further, Parkhurst can use his connections to have the air ministry look up the serial number, alternately, a pilot with knowledge (battle) can roll at -2 to discover the same information.
The restraining spar belongs to the Graf Schmidt, an Imperial German Zeppelin that was lost with all hands in March.
The Graf Schmidt. First flight 17th December 1914, Primarily used for reconnaissance and bombing missions along the Western front. Brought down by anti-aircraft fire to the West of Mametz on 5 March 1915. The crew of 21 were all killed.
Later that evening, Parkhurst joins the squadrons in the officers mess, guest of Captain Herbert. As the pilots relax and drink, Parkhurst and Captain Herbert gab away. Out of the corner of their eye, they see a small brough-ha-ha in by the door to the mess. Notice rolls reveal its Mctavish arguing with the mess waiter.
"Pash!, away an sook ya heid, ye Teuchter! ah'm no wantin' te see yous, Captain! Captain!"
He furiously points at the ranking officer of the flight as the waiter physically ejects him from the mess.
If the group intervene he thanks them, and adds:
"Yon's an awffie wee man, Awfy sorry te' bother ye's, but ah needs yer"
He grabs the officer's arm and points
From the ordinance shed, a sickly red pulsing light is seeping from under the door and through the window.
As the airmen decide what to do next, roll notice.
On a successful roll, they can hear a powerful engine drone from above, near the end of the North airstrip, a thick yellow fog is seeping across the field, covering the nearby trees . From the leading edge of the fog, a conical form emerges, the huge nose of a Zeppelin. On the front is painted a sneering enormous shark mouth. Ground tethers drag across the field, gouging deep scars in the earth. From either side of the gondola, machine gun fire erupts strafing the fleeing group personnel and buildings.
After a moment's hesitation, Captain Herbert joins the stunned airmen,
"Chaps, get into the air, bag that bugger and we'll have a nice wee campfire, what?"
The pilots need two successful sprint rolls to get to their planes and take off. As they launch into the air, they can see the Zeppelin has begun to rain bombs down on the airfield. As they circle the airfield and move into attack positions, roll notice. On a success they realise that the gondola and airbag of the airship are bullet scarred, with glass shot shattered in the window frames and great rends in the hydrogen filled airbags. The damned thing should not be in the air. As they fly past the ship avoiding machine gun fire they can see the crew manning the guns are all dressed in rotting Imperial German army uniforms, and their flesh is decayed and missing in some places revealing white bone underneath. Green fire smoulders hatefully in their rotting eyes.
The Graf Schmidt
Area Appearing: Western front.
Acc/Top Speed: 2/44;
Toughness: 16 (0); Crew:
18 (Commander, 2 pilots, navigator, wireless operator, bombardier, 4 mechanics, 4 riggers, 4 gunners), +2d6
other damned souls who serve as guards.
Notes: Aircraft, Climb –2. Flight range is
Armament: 6 pintle-mounted MG08 machine guns on top, 2 forward gondola, 2 rear gondola, tail (each has limitless ammunition)
Ordnance: 3,500 lbs. of bombs. Those killed by the Graf Schmidt’s bombs arise as walking dead (see Savage Worlds).
• Night Flyer: The Graf Schmidt only flies
at night. When touched by the rays of the
sun, the vessel vanishes, only to reappear
elsewhere after twilight. This may leave
behind any intruders or foreign matter
within the craft at the time it disappears—
in mid-air, of course— adding a ticking
clock to any attempt to board the zeppelin.
• Spectral Durability: The Graf
Schmidt may appear derelict, but
it is actually quite difficult to
disable due to the supernatural
forces that have permeated every
bolt and spar. It has an increased
Toughness, already reflected in the
• Weakness: The Graf Schmidt’s
reign of terror will only cease
when Captain Schmidt is slain.
Run this as a normal fight, with the pilot making a piloting roll to close range to the airship, a success means no penalty to shooting, a failure means -2 to the roll because they're out of position. Assuming they manage to destroy the Zeppelin, as it starts to fall from the sky, the yellow fog starts to dissipate, and the ship itself starts to fade to nothing as it crashes into the ground, leaving behind nothing but tendrils of fog over the airfield and smoking craters and fires. Luckily, no one from the aerodrome was killed.
After the battle is over, Captain Herbert and Parkhurst approach the pilots as they land. Parkhurst holds his hat against the prop wash, and speaks.
"We clearly need to get that damn thing out of here, it's acting like a bally beacon for that monstrosity. We all saw the thing disappear, for all we know it might come back. It's therefore imperative we find out more about the markings and how to counteract them. Speaking to Captain Herbert, we've decided you need to take that damn thing to Father O'Connor in Paris. The good Father is an ally of our department, and has helped us in an advisory capacity in the past. If anyone can understand that damn thing, it's him. Time may well be a factor, from your report and the attack last night it seems that the Graf Schmidt only flies at night. Get that bomb to Paris and speak to O'Connor. We can discuss the matter further when you return for good old Paris, hopefully armed with some information about how to stop this unholy thing."
"Get some sleep, get yourselves washed and fed, then we can get you on your way to Paris. Time is of the essence here, so take your kites. You should be able to land at the Paris aerodrome with no bother, I'll arrange that, commandeer a car or truck, find Father O'Connor, we believe he was working in the secure document section stored in Notre Dame on the behalf of the Vatican."
The next morning after a fitful sleep, the pilot assemble on the airfield. Over night the sappers have hastily refilled the craters and removed all the debris from the field. Two of the mechanics hand the flight leader a small crate with the bomb casing inside.
Heading south over Amiens, the C flight can follow the line of the trenches towards Paris, after an uninterrupted flight of just over two hours, they can see the sprawling city of Paris with the Eiffel tower spearing the centre. The city is in a state of preparedness for the war, with cannon and anti-aircraft emplacements strategically placed, even the Eiffel tower has machine gun nests.