Most Secret: The New Model Army

This column will be a irregular series on the blog, providing more detailed information about the villains, organizations, and events of the Victorious Earth. They are mostly based on my home chronicle, so Genteel Magistrates are free to modify the information given here at leisure.

Background:

Sir Reginald Hawking was a soldier’s soldier. He was given his commission as a subaltern in the British Army in the 1850s, just in time for the Indian Mutiny. He served with some distinction and no small amount of brutality in that field, then fought in the Crimea in the furious taking of Sevastopol in 1858. Knighted for bravery in the occupation of Alexandria, Egypt, he earned both his ranks and ribbons, gaining the lordly rank of Field Marshall in 1889; right after Lord Roberts. A fitting capstone to a brilliant career.

There was a problem however. SuperMankind. When they began their public emergence in the mid 1880’s, Hawking was convinced they were a threat to British civilization. Bad enough they wore masks, as if they were ashamed of their actions…but too many of them were women. Women (he refused to call them ‘ladies’) who rejected the proper maternal role of the weaker sex but instead used manly acts and improper dress to wallow in the streets like common ruffians…it was unwomanly, ungodly, and damned un-English!

Sir Reginald let this obsession drive him to recruiting SuperMankind (many by hook or by crook) to participate in ‘experiments’ to allow the British army to create their own Supernatural champions. This project, called the “New Model Army”, even briefly had the sanction of the Prince of Wales. This was given less out of concern for the future of the empire and more for a desire for powers beyond mortal man for himself. Failing that, perhaps a mistress of the SuperMankind variety for himself. Even Bertie turned against them however when Dancer revealed the full depths of the tortures and drugs used to create or replicate the powers of the costumed vigilantes and villains.

Arrested, humiliated in the press, and eventually found guilty in the Queen’s court…it was too much for Sir Reginald. His agents freed him from Dartmoor, and from then on he vowed to save the ‘real’ Britain. He proclaimed himself Lord Protector of England (since the crown was obviously too degenerate to continue) and to date will not rest until the monarchy is overthrown and Britain is ‘saved’ for the proper classes to rule once again.

Organization:

The New Model Army is made up of cells, usually no more than 15 or 20 men; called troops. They train in secret, awaiting commands from higher authority to make strikes against the ‘illegal’ government or their SuperMankind traitors and traitoresses. Most are former or active military, with only a few in the naval service and none at all in the Royal Airship Fleet. Sample statistics for these troopers are below: Their leather armor is a modern update of the English Civil War’s “Lobsterbacks” style helmets and cuirass, and are detailed as follows:

“Lobsterback”: (He is a Neutral or Evil human 1st level agent whose vital stats are: HP 10, AC 14. His prime attributes are: Strength and Constitution. He wears a reinforced leather helmet and breastplate and carries a magazine rifle that does 2d6 damage and fires 8 shots. On his belt are 2 grenades (1d8, Dexterity save for half damage.) His skills are Firearms, Roguery.).

Clockwork and steam technology is developed for the New Model Army by a Contraptionist named Doctor Zurich, a pseudonym and his real identity is unknown. He appears as a normal old man, but has Rank 4 of Invention and is a 3rd level Contraptionist. His greatest current creation for the New Model Army is the “Iron Duke” armor for Sir Reginald. The Lord Protector tired of being repeatedly manhandled by the heroic SuperMankind of Great Britain, and demanded that Doctor Zurich provide a suit of armor for him equal to or superior to the Ironclad armor. The Iron Duke has yet to face off against England’s armored hero, so it is currently unclear if that goal was achieved.

The “Iron Duke”:

The "Iron Duke" battle armor
The Iron Duke, copyright Mike Stewart; artwork by Elizabeth Stewart

Nom du Guerre: The Iron Duke
Proper Name: Sir Reginald Hawkings

STR: 22 +5
INT: 15 +1
*WIS: 10
CON: 22 +5
DEX: 10 +0
CHA: 16 +2

Init: +0
Primes: Wisdom
Actions: 1
AC: 20 vs. Temporal attacks, 13 vs. Mystical attacks
Defensive: +3 Temporal, +3 Mystical
Hit Points: 31
Level: 2
Alignment: Evil (New Model Army)

Skills

Firearms
Linguist: French, German (English native)
Melee
Profession: Military Arts
Target
Thespian

Supernatural Powers

Battlesuit (Iron Duke Armor) — Rank 4 (No fatigue)
1 Blast 2d8 fires every other round — Rank 3
2 Super-Movement (Flight) 60 feet — Rank 2
3 Armor +10 AC vs. Temporal attacks, +3 vs. Mystical attacks — Rank 2
4 Attributes Rank 2
5 Keen Senses +3 vision +2 hearing, Darkvision — Rank 2
6 Invulnerability +3 Temporal, +3 Mystical — Rank 2

Shortcomings

2X damage Electricity
Enemy: Queens Knights — Rank 2
Phobia: Disdains “New Women”
Phobia: Must defeat women hand to hand
Unlucky — Rank 1

Plot Hooks

The following are several ideas the Genteel Magistrate can use to introduce the New Model Army into their Victorious chronicle:

  • The New Model Army is determined to access a new battlesuit “The Beefeater” (See Hunter & Hunter Catalogue for details) for use by their forces. Heroes could interfere with a warehouse raid, a fire on a production facility with the New Model Army troopers sneaking several sets away in the chaos, or subverting the soldiers being trained on them to escape with the goods.
  • Certain heroes or villains (Fawkes, White Rabbit) owe their ‘powers’ to Hawking and the New Model Army. Perhaps they want revenge in the bloodiest of ways. This can result in Fawkes gunning for the Lord Protector, smashing a officers club that is in secret a New Model Army post, or battles in the streets between the New Model Army and the Looking Glass forces led by the demented White Rabbit.
  • Hawkings uses certain information to blackmail the Prince of Wales to give the New Model Army funds, access to technology, or even set up a scenario in which to capture a heroine for further experiments to build SuperMankind. Only your heroes and heroines, good Genteel Magistrate, can save the day!

Liz Stewart’s Behance page:
https://www.behance.net/Indigo_Rose

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