Dr. Yasmin Arriaga/La Guerrera Nocturna (Kathy Bauer) - Suspicious Doctor
Mateo de la Soriano/La Espada Cantante (Angela Marsh) - Cautious Musician
Marina Martinez/La Peonia (Ellie Bauer) - Determined Former Thief
Francisco Núñez/El Defensor del Pueblo (Mark Williams) - Cooperative Hunter
Sergio Torres/El Oso Justo (Peter Johnson) - Disgruntled Soldado
Date: April 9th, 1804 (Monday)
Raising his sabre quickly to defend himself, Sergio Torres finds himself facing a poor swordsman, and is able to place himself between the soldado and the local peon. The two engage in a flurry of blows, sabre-to-sabre, and Sergio finds himself evenly matched by the other. However, Sergio's blows when they land are quite devastating to the other soldado, and in a remarkably short time (that seemed much longer to him, of course) Sergio is able to take his opponent down. [He spent 2 Hero Points during the fight, one to negate a Stun and the other to double one of the attack rolls.] As Sergio is bending to check on the condition of the soldado, a commanding voice demands to know what has been going on. Turning, he sees his commanding officer, Captain [Esteban] Pasquale, glaring at him from horseback.
At her medical practice, Dr. Yasmin Arriaga tells her apprentice, Calvilla, that she's leaving her in charge for a little bit and has to go out. The young woman is surprised, but pleased to have her mentor trust her to such an extent. When Francisco Núñez says he's coming with her, Yasmin tells him that's out of the question as he's still suffering the effects of his injury and can't go anywhere for the moment. Yasmin departs before Francisco can say anything else, and heads for the small military quarters established in Los Angeles proper, to see whom she can have a talk with. Reaching the constabulary in due course, she blotches away the sweat from her "trip" with a scented shawl, and enters the building. She sees Sergeant García and several other soldados lounging about, though they quickly come to order when she enters. She tell the Sergeant she wishes to speak to any of the soldados who were sent to deal with the incident at the cantina the night before. When García asks, she won't tell him why he wants to talk to them, but he tells her that Antono (pointing to him) is one of the ones who responded to the cantina incident. Yasmin tells Antono she wants to talk with him right now, and leads him to one of the small rooms off the main area of the constabulary. When they are alone, she demands to know what happened at the cantina, and why some of the soldiers attacked the defenseless locals in the cantina with sabres! Antono [Randilo] tells her that he knows that it was none of the local soldados who did so, but that the soldiers temporarily assigned from San Diego de Alcalá were somewhat more...violent...in their approach to the locals. She asks him to tell her more...
Mateo de la Soriano continues to entertain several of the patrons who enter the cantina during this time, earning several Dinero for his efforts. He continues to listen in on various conversations, and is attracted to a conversation between two more soldados who have entered the cantina and sat down to eat. He learns the names of the two, Oscar [Arroyo] and Denis [Ferrón], and listens in on their discussion about the events at the cantina the night before. While they are not new to the constabulary in Los Angeles they are pretty low ranked so don't know what exactly is going on, but discuss how Captain Pasquale brought in four soldados from San Diego de Alcalá for a mission of some sort. Denis doesn't like how they were so violent towards the locals last night, especially some of the indigenous, but Oscar says that this is part of some plan that Captain Pasquale has cooked up. Besides, it is none of their business anyway; they have their own duties and other matters to concern themselves with. Mateo goes up to them and says that he couldn't help but overhear parts of their conversation, and wants to ask them something. However, neither soldado is very cooperative and they both have uncomfortable looks on their faces in light of his approaching them. Putting their hands on their sabres, both Oscar and Denis tell Mateo to leave. It's not any of his business. Seeing that discretion is the better part of valor, Mateo begs their pardon, and then exhorts to the cantina proprietor that he will return later to play for the supper time patrons of the cantina.
Marina Martinez exits the dining establishment, with Doña Vasha Bartolo reluctantly following her outside. They see the incident occur outside, as the soldado manhandles and berates the local man, a merchant, before shoving him violently to the ground. She witnesses the arrival of the soldier [Sergio Torres] on the scene and the confrontation between him and the soldado, its outcome, and the arrival of Captain Pasquale. Vasha tells her they should go back into the eating establishment, but Marina tells her that she's not going to let that "kindly soldier" take the fall for what he had to do to save the local man. Vasha is somewhat shocked by her attitude, but lets it pass for now. Martina strides towards the two military men.
Sergio Torres explains to Captain Pasquale that he has just returned from some time policing the El Camino Real, and that he witnessed the soldier at his feet taking liberties with the local man. He could not allow that in all good conscience, but the soldier came at him forcing him to defend himself. Captain Pasquale looks down at the soldier on the ground, and says that he's one of the men transferred to the local presidio from San Diego de Alcalá. Sergio checks the man out and says that he lives, but will need medical care. "Pity," says Captain Pasquale, and tells Sergio to take the man back to the barracks and have a healer sent for. Before the Captain can depart, Marina Martinez comes up to them. She tells Captain Pasquale that she saw it all, from the assault on the local merchant in the dining establishment through the attack forced on "this brave soldier" by the attacker of the local merchant. She commends Sergio for his coming to the man's rescue, and asks the Captain if this is how the men under his command are supposed to act towards the pueblo's citizens. Captain Pasquale tells her that it is not for her to question the military's actions or behaviour, but adds that he feels the "new man" may have gone too far, and he will be disciplined for it. The Captain leaves, and Sergio goes over to the fallen soldado and helps him to his feet. The man tells him his name is Tomás Bolivar, and Sergio prepares to help him to the barracks. Marina offers her assistance, and she and Sergio introduce themselves to each other. They help Tomás to the barracks, and then Marina offers to fetch the local healer to help Tomás.
Back at the local constabulary, Antono [Randilo] tells Yasmin (after some persuasion, and some feminine wiles) [she spent 2 Hero Points] that four soldiers have been assigned temporarily to Reina de Los Angeles from San Diego de Alcalá. He knows that it has something to do with discrediting Zorro, but that it also involves dealing with some revolutionary agents in the pueblo who are intent on gaining more civil liberties for the indigenous population. Antono tells her that the natives have been getting restless of late, and that this plan has been approved by the Governor himself. Before he can say more, one of the soldiers, Ramón Aldenes, interrupts their conversation and says that it is time for them to go on duty. Yasmin thanks him for his time. She goes back into the main room, and tries to get the feel from the soldados there about the situation, but they are somewhat more cagey with the information, though they say that they hope this time it will lead to the capture and arrest of Zorro. She prepares to head back to her medical offices.
Marina goes to the local healer, Yolanda Melero, and requests that she comes to the barracks to help treat one of the soldados who has been injured. Yolanda goes with Marina to the barracks, and finds the injured Tomás with Sergio still attending to him. Yolanda is shocked to see who the patient is, and adamantly refuses to treat him! She tells Marina and Sergio that she knows this Tomás, as he was one of the people who "accidentally" killed her father, Pedro, when the family lived in San Diego de Alcalá several years ago. She refuses to say more about what happened, but says that she and her mother moved to Reina de Los Angeles to live with family here and that was when she opened her small medical practice. Seeing her, Tomacute;s does not recognise Yolanda, though she comes very close to attacking him - stopped only by Sergio getting in the way. Marina takes Yolanda aside, and tells her that she understands how she feels towards the soldier, but that if he dies the blame may be laid at Sergio's feet. Telling Marina that she really does like Sergio, despite the obvious, she will overcome her reticence and treat Tomás - but she won't make it easy for him! Leaving her to her ministrations, Sergio and Marina talk and realize that there is something definitely afoot in La Reina de Los Angeles, but they're not exactly sure what. They discuss possible plans to figure out what is going on. A short time later, Yolanda emerges from the room where she treated Tomás, and tells Marina and Sergio that he is resting now, but will be unconscious for some time.
That evening, Mateo de la Soriano is heading back to his rooms from the cantina, where he has made a small fortune (25 Dineros) playing and singing for some of the patrons of the cantina. As he rounds a corner, he hears the sound of footsteps and the jangling of swords in their sheaths from ahead of him and behind him [he spent a Hero Point to double the perception check dice.] Drawing his rapier, he is not surprised when four soldados, including the two that he met earlier in the day, Oscar [Arroyo] and Denis [Ferrón], with drawn sabres approaching from both in front and behind him. Oscar apologizes to him, saying that it is unfortunate that he overheard their conversation earlier in the cantina and knows too much - and so he must die to preserve the "plan". Mateo attempts to maneuver into a position where he does not have any of the four soldiers at his back, but anticipating his move, they cut him off from such protection. As one of the men moves to attack him, the others holding back, Mateo strikes at him but because he is fighting defensively, is unable to do more than stun him for a time. As the other three move to the attack, a female voice cries out to them, "Four against one? That is unfair odds, I think, so I will come and join the dance." It is a woman, wearing a dark green (almost black) pair of breeches, a blouse, and a leather vest, with a bandana with holes for eyes, and a coat dyed greenish black - La Guerrera Nocturna, a new masked vigilante who seems to share the same aims as that Señor Zorro.
Two of the soldados change their course, heading for the woman, who in turn draws her rapier. And the fighting begins! Oscar and one of the other soldados circle with Mateo, trying to get a feel for each other. Mateo weaves a circle of protection with his steel, but feels himself tiring and knows that he must dispatch of the two soldiers relatively quickly. He shouts that he is grateful for La Guerrera Nocturna's assistance, and she is somewhat surprised that he's heard of her. He replies that her feats, while not yet equal to those of Senor Zorro, have been talked about by various people that he's had the pleasure of overhearing. Mateo manages to hold his own, taking a solid blow from Oscar that injures him [he suffers a Wound, and while Stunned twice, uses Hero Points to negate them]. He is finally able to badly injure Oscar, and manages to outright kill the second soldier with a solid flurry of blows. Meanwhile, La Guerrera Nocturna takes the fight to Denis and the other soldado, and quickly dispatches the other soldier, while managing to disarm Denis [she spends a Hero Point to do so, also spending a couple of Hero Points to avoid Stun outcomes]. Telling La Guerrera that there will be an "accounting," Denis flees into the night. From somewhere in the shadows, comes the sound of clapping!
Turning in that direction, Mateo and La Guerrera see the figure of Señor Zorro emerge from the shadows. He tells them that that was a marvellous demonstration of swordfighting on both their parts. La Guerrera asks him why he didn't come to their aid, and Zorro says, "Because you did not seem to need my assistance." Zorro asks them if they know why Mateo was attacked, and while La Guerrera says she has her suspicions, Mateo remains close-lipped. Zorro tells them that perhaps then they should investigate the matter more, as he has other concerns, but that if they need his services he will be there for them. He also tells them that he was impressed enough with their efforts this night that perhaps they would consider joining him in his fight against the Spanish oppression of the indigenous people. La Guerrera is delighted at this prospect, but Mateo seems a bit less inclined. Zorro cocks his head, and then tells them that soldiers are coming. They had best leave the scene, as Captain Pasquale will not be pleased by their actions this night. With that, the Fox retreats back into the shadows and is gone.
La Guerrera and Mateo decide to make themselves scarce. Telling the masked woman that he was proud to fight next to her, Mateo and La Guerrera split up and move off in the shadows as well.
Friday night's game session of the Zorro: The Roleplaying Game campaign went pretty well, all things considered. I am still living in the Marriott Courtyard East as I write this entry, so the players agreed to come out and game at the hotel, which we did. Rather than play in my hotel room, the players decided we would play in the lounge in the hotel lobby, and that worked out fine. However, Mark couldn't make it out for the game session as he was working that evening, so his character, Francisco Núñez, was left at Kathy's character's medical facility, recovering from his wounds from the last session. Convenient! and it worked well! :) The players quite enjoyed the game session, and each player had some stuff that they could do during the session. The plot is starting to gel together, and there's just a few other things that the player characters need to learn before they can unravel the plot and make a few more enemies. This session also marked the first time that Kathy's La Guerrera saw action in play, and she loved every moment of it. Angela told me that she was afraid that Mateo wouldn't be able to deal with the four soldiers by himself, but was glad that she had nothing to worry about. And all the players *loved* the appearance of a certain masked hero at the end of the adventure as well!
Overall, a lovely session of the Zorro: The Roleplaying Game campaign, and I'm looking forward to next week's session of the game, hopefully back at my house. :)