Dr. Yasmin Arriaga/La Guerrera Nocturna (Kathy Bauer) - Suspicious Doctor
Mateo de la Soriano/La Espada Cantante (Angela Marsh) - Cautious Musician
Marina Martínez/La Peonía (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 10th, 1804 (Tuesday)
The next morning, word of the actions of La Guerrera Nocturna the night before run rampant in Reina de Los Angeles. It is said that she had a male accomplice with her, but he is not identified though some think that he had a guitar. At the cantina, Mateo de la Soriano is enjoying a quiet breakfast. He is pondering keeping a low profile in light of some of what's being said about the fight the night before when he is approached by Dr. Yasmin Arriaga. The doctor asks if she can join him for breakfast, and he readily agrees. Once they are attended to and the food arrives, they begin to eat. Yasmin tells him she has come to a decision; he almost chokes on his food when she quietly tells him that she is La Guerrera Nocturna! He asks why she has told him this and what proof she offers. She surreptitiously reveals the dark green bandana she wears in her alter ego, tucked into a pocket inside her vest, and tells him that she owes him that after he fought so well against the four soldados. The two talk about what occurred last night, as well as the offer made to them by Señor Zorro, but he says that whatever is going on in Los Angeles, "the plan" that he has overheard being referred to, they must get to the bottom of it. That should be their priority. Yasmin agrees wholeheartedly with him, and she tells him what she has been able to learn about matters. They continue to overhear snippets of conversation from other customers in the cantina, and Yasmin smiles when a couple of cantina patrons wonder aloud who La Guerrera is and how they'd like to take her "side"...
At Dr. Arriaga's infirmary, Francisco Núñez is feeling much recovered from his recent wounds, and tells Calvilla that he feels fully recovered [which he is] and that he'll be on his way. Calvilla questions his health, but Francisco brooks no argument and, leaving some 5 dineros in payment for the good doctor, departs the infirmary. He heads into the pueblo of Los Angeles, intent on learning what information he can about his attackers. He is approached by a couple of soldados, who question his presence in the pueblo, and Francisco tells them that he's there to learn what he can about the needs of the Natives and the Spanish citizens as to what animals require hunting at the moment. On saying this, they recognise him as the local hunter and scout, and tell him to go on his way, but one of the soldados peers at him suspiciously. Francisco questions them about the events surrounding the attack on him, but both soldados claim ignorance of the event and tell him to be on his way. Francisco does not push the matter, but moves past them into the pueblo and heads for the place in the settlement where he was attacked. As he walks, he notes the presence of a large number of the local soldiers wandering around, eyes open and looking everywhere.
At the townhouse of the de la Vegas in Los Angeles, Marina Martínez is enjoying her morning's breakfast of eggs with salsa when she is surprised by the arrival of Bernardo. In his typical way, Bernardo shyly gestures at Marina, and hands her an envelope sealed with wax. The letter is addressed to "Dr. Yasmin Arriaga," but she doesn't recognize the handwriting though it reminds her of that of Don Alejandro de la Vega. Bernardo eventually makes it clear to her that the letter is to be taken to Dr. Arriaga at her infirmary - and that she is to wait for a reply, and return with it to Bernardo. Without another word, Bernardo joins her for breakfast. The two find little to communicate about. Bernardo departs, saying he is heading back to the hacienda, instructing her to deliver Dr. Arriaga's reply to him there. After finishing her meal, Marina goes to the stables and takes one of the more domesticated ponies and starts the trip to the Arriaga infirmary. She arrives there to find that the doctor is not present, having gone into the pueblo, but that she will return shortly. She and Calvilla introduce themselves, and the two talk about general stuff and the plight of the Natives. Calvilla tells her what she has heard about the events of the night before, and the actions of La Guerrera Nocturna, but Marina merely smiles. She settles in to wait Yasmin Arriaga's return.
At the local barracks, Sergio Torres is sitting and enjoying the morning meal, though he regrets not going to the cantina for proper, tasty food. He listens in on various conversations, learning of the incident the night before involving La Guerrera Nocturna and some musician type. He asks a couple of the soldiers what they've heard, and from the description of the man with La Guerrera, though she showed up on the scene while he was being attacked, realizes that it was Mateo de la Soriano. He determines that he will talk to the musician later during the day. Sergio sees two of the other soldados assigned from San Diego de Alcalá talking over breakfast at one of the other tables, and decides to try and talk to them and learn what he can. The soldados, Borja [Ferrer] and Xavier [Durán], are suspicious of him at first, but once he tells them that he's aware of Captain Pasquale's attempt to discredit Zorro and the attempt to deal with some revolutionaries in the pueblo that threaten Spanish rule, Borja and Xavier warm to him somewhat; while the latter is hesitant to discuss anything with him, Borja says that two nights hence, when the revolutionaries meet at a spot near the Los Angeles River, Captain Pasquale and his hand-picked soldados, including himself and Xavier, will be present to slaughter them all and end the revolutionary talk, in the process telling them that Zorro was the one who betrayed them. Sergio is horrified at the thought, but doesn't give away his true feelings. He has no idea what to do, but realizing that some of the revolutionaries in question might be caballeros, decides that perhaps he will seek out advice from Mateo as well. Sergeant Garcia appears, inquiring as to why the men are dillydallying around, as there is duty to be done. Sergio heads out on patrol with another soldado, Nicolas Vaca.
Yasmin returns to her infirmary and clinic just outside the pueblo, and learns from Calvilla that Francisco Núñez has left the infirmary behind. She berates her apprentice momentarily, saying that Francisco was still not fully healed, but understands that Calvilla could not have stopped him. She also see that she has a visitor, and she and Marina Mart&iacuete;nez greet each other. Marina tells her that she bears a missive for her. Yasmin accepts the letter from her, giving her a dinero as a reward, but learns that Marina is to wait for a reply to it. Yasmin gets a letter opener and reads the missive.
"My offer to you still stands. To both you and Mateo. But other things are afoot. Perhaps you, and some other friends, might rendezvous at the point where the arroyo touches our beloved river two nights hence, and stop those who are against the Natives by demoralizing a meeting. Your friend, Z."
Yasmin is, to put it bluntly, surprised by the note, but does not show this to Marina. [Marina sees through the straight face to the emotion below.] She goes over to her writing desk, writes down her reply to the missive, and seals it in an envelope, handing it back to Marina. She fails to notice as Marina slips the note sent to her into a pocket [she spends a Hero Point to do so.] Without another word, Marina departs the infirmary, bidding farewell to Yasmin and Calvilla. Looking around for the letter from Zorro, Yasmin realizes that it is gone, and fears that Marina may have taken it. However, she has other matters to attend to. Yasmin tells Calvilla that she hopes it will not be a busy day at the infirmary, as she must go back into Los Angeles again. She claims they have run out of cotton swabs, and must purchase a few at the general store. Yasmin heads back to the pueblo before Calvilla can respond.
Francisco Núñez finally makes his way back to where he was attacked the day before. He notes that life here seems to have returned to normal, but that several of the Spanish and the Natives going about their business regard him for a moment before going back to their work. He calls out, asking if anyone saw what happened to him the day before and if so, would they be kind enough to talk to him about it. [He gains a Hero Point on the roll.] Two of the Natives come cautiously towards him, willing to talk to him. The tell him their names are Jorge [Montez] and Pallat, that they are goods handlers for one of the local merchants, and say they witnessed what happened. Jorge says he was one of the men who took him to Dr. Arriaga's infirmary afterwards. Francisco says that he is grateful, and will make sure that his family receives some extra foodstuffs from his next hunting foray; Jorge is pleased. He and Pallat tell the hunter that the two soldados who attacked him were strangers to them, but that there have been soldiers around the pueblo the last few weeks who aren't from these parts; they have heard they are on loan from the presidio at San Diego de Alcalá. Pallat says that he doesn't remember the soldados being provoked in any way; perhaps it was merely him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Jorge suggests that he talk to Dr. Arriaga, or perhaps to one of the local soldados that they know who is friendly to the Natives, Sergio Torres. Francisco thanks them for their time, and gives them each a couple of dineros.
Yasmin returns to the pueblo proper, and after a fruitless search for Marina [the latter rolls a terrific Stealth roll, and gains 1 Hero Point], goes in search of Mateo de la Soriano. She learns that several people saw Mateo heading home to the hacienda where he lives with his family, and she makes her way there. Arriving at the de la Soriano hacienda, she seeks an audience with Mateo which she is granted. Sitting in a small lounge, the two make sure they are not being listened in on. Yasmin and Arriaga talk some more about their plans for dealing with the San Diego de Alcalá soldiers, and decide they need to talk to Sergio Torres. The two finish their tea and small snack, and then head back to the pueblo in search of Sergio.
Meanwhile, Marina travels to the de la Vega hacienda, and delivers the message that Dr. Arriaga had written as her answer to the original letter to Bernardo. Bernardo thanks her for her service, and pays her 3 dineros, and then dismisses her. As Marina goes to her room, she looks at the original missive and realizes that it can only be from Señor Zorro. She draws the conclusion that Bernardo must be working for Zorro!, but her thoughts about who Zorro might be are derailed when she quickly realizes she must find Dr. Arriaga. Changing into a darker set of clothing, Marina sets out for the pueblo again to find Dr. Arriaga.
Mateo inquires at the local barracks where they can find Sergio, and are told that he is out on patrol in the pueblo with another soldier, Nicolas Vaca. As they leave the barracks, Yasmin says they must talk with Sergio, but Mateo points out that he could be anywhere in the pueblo. They spend some time searching for Sergio, and eventually come upon Francisco Núñnez, who tells them that he's been looking for the doctor. Yasmin looks at Mateo, then tells Francisco that they are looking for Sergio Torres and need to talk to him. Something has come up, something that she believes is a threat to both the Spanish and the Natives alike, and that Sergio may be able to help them out. Despite himself, Francisco is intrigued and tells them that he will come with them to find Sergio and then he will talk with the doctor afterwards. The three go in search of Sergio, unaware that they are being stealthily followed by Marina Martínez.
Yasmin, Mateo and Francisco finally find Sergio and his soldado partner, Nicolas Vaca. As they approach the two soldados, Francisco tells the other two that they are being followed. When he describes the young woman following them, Yasmin realizes that it is Marina Martínez. Yasmin goes up to the soldados, and tells them that she needs to talk to Sergio - privately. Nicolas sniggers, and both Yasmin and Sergio are a bit embarrassed to learn what he's concluded, but they don't disillusion him. As the two walk away to a secluded spot, Nicolas can't figure out why Mateo and Francisco go with them. Marina is able to follow them, though Francisco is aware of her presence now, and listens in on their conversation. Under some lovely trees that hold the promise of spring, Yasmin tells the others somewhat reluctantly that she is La Guerrera Nocturna. Mateo is not surprised, obviously, but nor is Francisco. She tells them about the note that she received from "Señor Z" and what it said, and Sergio tells her what he learned from the two soldados earlier, Borja [Ferrer] and Xavier [Durán]. After a few moments silence, Yasmin says that perhaps they would like to join her for some nocturnal activities a couple of days hence and spoil the plans that Captain Pasquale has for the Natives and their revolution. Francisco calls out, and says that Marina might as well join them. The sheepish woman does so, and returns the letter from Señor Zorro to Yasmin after the latter admonishes her somewhat. Sergio says that he cannot dawdle much longer here, as he is on patrol with Private Vaca. The group decides that they will meet later tonight, at Yasmin's infirmary to talk about various matters and what they should do about them.
That night, the player characters meet at Yasmin's infirmary to discuss matters. Yasmin, Mateo, Marina, Francisco and Sergio each go over what they have learned about matters at hand, and resolve that they will take up the mantle requested of them by Señor Zorro, and foil Captain Pasquale's plot. The characters each go over what they know or have learned about the plot, and Francisco says that they will need...disguises. Mateo points out that Yasmin already has one: her guise as La Guerrera Nocturna. Mateo says that he has an idea for an alter ego, and tells them that he will become the Singing Blade, La Espada Cantante. Marina is excited to get in on the "game", but Sergio tells her it is not a game, it is a matter of life and death, and she may be required to kill during the night's "escapade". Quietly, Marina tells the others that she doesn't have a lot of memories of her childhood, but that she is fond of a certain flower. So she will take the identity of La Peonía, the Peony. Francisco tells them that he already acts to protect his people, the Natives, but that if he acts with the others he will be serving to protect both the Natives and the Spanish. El Defensor del Pueblo is born. Finally, Sergio tells them that he is always compared to a (cuddly) bear due to his appearance; the others smile, and Marina just laughs. He says that he will fight for righteousness and honesty, and will take on the identity of the Righteous Bear, El Oso Justo. Marina is excited at the thought that they will be working for Señor Zorro, but Yasmin corrects her: they will be working alongside Señor Zorro, there to be at hand when other matters claim his attention. The group turns their attention to coming up with a plan for how they will deal with Captain Pasquale's men and the soldiers from San Diego de Alcalá, while at the same time, ensuring the safety of the Natives and others plotting revolution against them. Sergio mutters to himself, "Revolution? Perhaps, perhaps not...something to be addressed two nights hence." Marina overhears him, and looks concerned. [She gains 2 Hero Points.]
Friday night's game session of the Zorro: The Roleplaying Game campaign went very well, with the players finally gaining an understanding of what is going on and what is to happen, and realizing they are the ones who must deal with the devious plans of Captain Pasquale. There was no fighting this session, much to Mark's dismay, as he wanted to "bash some soldado heads" with his club, but Kathy pointed out that he will get the chance next session in a big way. The players enjoyed themselves tremendously, every one of them getting chance to interact with the others and several NPCs in the pueblo, and their masked identities will be on full display in the next session.
Overall, an enjoyable game session of the Zorro: The Roleplaying Game game, and I'm looking forward to the next session of the game.