The Gloriana Campaign: Events Log

Note: This document records events in my "Gloriana" RPG campaign -- actually a game set in the Elizabethan era (starting in 1585) using the Mage: the Sorcerers' Crusade secret history background and GURPS rules, including lightly modified versions of material from GURPS Mage: The Ascension and GURPS Swashbucklers. And if that doesn't make any sense to you, you've probably come to the wrong page.

As my players may read this page (in fact, I'll encourage them to), the text doesn't give away any significant details of the campaign background (I hope). As this is a secret history game (and then some), and as the log is something of a developing document, this means that it'll probably seem rather cryptic and incomplete in places. If so, good. I'll try to avoid gamespeak as far as possible, because I prefer it that way, but some notes may be inevitable. [Any serious game jargon will be in red and in square brackets, like this.]

Oh, and I should point out that game dates are Julian, not Gregorian. Frankly, I can live without having to adjust for the complexities of Renaissance calendars...

-- Phil Masters

The Player Characters

Seven different PCs have featured in this game; two players have had to drop out, one is currently out of play but may return later, and some have joined in the course of events.

Richard Gardiner: The son of an old mercenary commander and his Italian bride, the Honourable Richard Percy Michael Gardiner is 25, a graduate of Cambridge University, but also a man of action, schooled in swordsmanship and natural philosophy by masters his father brought home from the Mediterranean lands. His slight build belies his athleticism and martial abilities. Currently employed as a Captain of the Queen's Guns at the Tower of London (where his father is Warden), he shows considerable promise as a military engineer -- if he can but reign in his youthful rashness. [Played by John Dallman.]

Kate Gardiner: Richard's younger sister, Katherine Beatrice Maria Gardiner paid surprising amounts of attention to Richard's teachers when she was permitted to sit quietly in his lessons in childhood. Later, her parents feared that this had turned her brain, as she grew up to be an ill-tempered shrew who disdained the eligible young men who they brought before her in increasing desperation. She was perhaps encouraged too much in some of this by her doting Aunt Julia, in whose house she spent much time, when she was not in discussion with Master Aristotle the philosopher -- or, more shockingly, studying with Master Antonio, Richard's Italian fencing master. Her marriage to Sir James Tavener is a great relief to the family. [Played by Karen Gilham.]

Doctor Charles Avery: An old college friend of Richard's, Doctor Avery is a brilliant young fellow -- too brilliant, some might say. His cures are so often effective that many in London assume he takes only trivial cases and malingerers as patients. Others are deterred from seeking his medical aid by the brash enthusiasm with which he discusses matters of pathology and anatomy. His lack of social attractiveness is, however, balanced by a impressively broad grasp of applied philosophies and higher sciences, and in any case, he seems to have learned to moderate his conversation of late. [Played by Owen Smith.]

Edric Swann: Yet another Cambridge man, though not a close acquaintance of Richard or Charles, Edric Swann is a shadowy fellow of dissipated and deeply dubious tastes who has taken to life in the London theatrical world, where his poetic and thespian skills are appreciated. He also appears to possess acquaintances in higher (and more dangerous) circles, and to have spent time on the Continent. [Originally played by Jon Rowe: now acting as an NPC.]

Adrian Southgate: A sailor, indeed a master navigator, and an eminently practical philosopher after his fashion, Master Southgate is courageous, obliging, honest, and knows mathematics in all its ramifications. As one of the brave and sometimes secret brotherhood seeking truths at the edge of the world, he has faced many dangers; he adapted well enough to those he found in London, but was last heard of returned to explorations across the ocean. [Played by Adam Brooks.]

Sir James Taverner: Born poor but with a talent for fighting, the young James Taverner went overseas as a common sell-sword -- and was very successful, returning home with funds enough to acquire himself a knighhood. (Following the most recent command appointments in that war, he has decided to remain in his homeland. He has his own opinions of certain noblemen.) At some point, perhaps even in the depth of some Low Countries battle, he also became Enlightened (a rather traumatic experience for him), and he has since focussed this talent on the manipulation of simple devices and clever clockworks. He has a mystical reverence for his sword (which, he dreams, sometimes whispers to him), and he genuinely believes in chivalry -- at least when in England. His abilities have been noted by the Order of Reason, who have recruited him into the Mauls of the Artificers' Guild. [Played by Roger Burton West.]

Oswald Clarke: A scholar, perhaps somewhat shabby-genteel, risen through a choir school and Cambridge University. Quite devout in his faith, after his fashion, but that fashion is one some would call heterodox, given his belief that God reveals his plans to those men willing to pay attention to the world, and not least the stars... No, Oswald cannot deny that the world is an intricate place of mysteries and secret truths, and his gift for perceiving such things has led to him being recruited by the Celestial Masters. But the Order of Reason sees destinies folding and unfolding in the realm, and Oswald is now sent to London, where his skills and awareness may serve very well. [Originally played by Bridget Bradshaw; currently acting as an NPC, but may return to player control at a later date.]

The Action

May 1585
June 1585
July 1585
August 1585
September 1585
October 1585
November 1585
December 1585
January 1586

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