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Keep it friendly and PG language please. Non-game chatter is in brackets. OPEN IMPROV means light story and heavy on the improvisation. Come as you like or pick a character from the selected list below. And most of all HAVE FUN!!!
September, 1781 on the opening of the Chesapeake Bay, Southern Virginia. The American Continental Army (led by General George Washington) and their French Allies (led by General Rochambeau and Naval Commander Comte de Grasse) surrounded the British forces (led by Lord Cornwallis) in the small sea village of Yorktown. The seige lasted 3 weeks while Cornwallis awaited support from British Commander Henry Clinton (whose fleet based in New York expecting to battle the rebels there). If Clinton got word soon enough, he had a large enough fleet to route the French and Rebels. But alas he received word too late. Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781 as the British played "The World Turned Upside Down".
This story is placed on the southern peninsula of Virginia near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay between the York and James Rivers on a waterway called Hampton Roads.
The 11th Doctor - [Cody] tall, 6 foot man in his late 50's with gray curls, a wizened face, and sparkling blue eyes. He closely resembles his 4th incarnation after being aged a bit by time and turmoil.
Ravena Shaw - [Jen] Virginian colonist, granddaughter of a local farmer now deceased. She is unmarried, a woman of 23 thus a spinster (by choice). She lives on her family farm with her sister-in-law and nephew. Her brother (who owns the farm) is off fighting in Washington's army. Like the women in her family, she practices the old traditions of home remedies and Irish white witchcraft.
Major Patrick Jefferson - aid to Washington, CO sent to track down escaping Tory spy before he can get reinforcements for Cornwallis.
Magistrate Josiah Henry - local leader, a zealot reverend with Tory leanings.
Adams - soldiers under Jefferson's command
Robertson - soldier under Jefferson's command
Biggs - runs the docks at Hampton, also a brawny henchman who works for Henry as guard and local militiaman.
Keefe - muscled by dumber henchmen working for Henry. He works with Biggs transporting the local crops to market towns.
Pleasance Shaw - age 20, Ravena's sister-in-law. Her husband
(James) is serving in Washington's army believed to be north in New York Colony.
She has a newborn son (James Jr.) about 6 months old. She has no other family
and thus fears losing her home. If her husband does not return or the local
magistrate can find some reason to accuse her husband's family of wrongdoing she
fears she may lose their lands and home. Her sister-in-law's strange antics are
a source of dismay for Pleasance.
Widow Penworthy - Pleasance and Ravena's aunt, widowed 10 years. Her husband was a South Carolina landowner. She had no children, married late in life, and has returned to her father's Virginia farm with the remnants of her husband's fortune - a good inheritance and one slave (who she has freed and pays wages to).
Strom - A former slave who worked for Widow Penworthy's husband. He followed the widow to Virginia. Now freed, he chooses to stay with her out of loyalty and friendship. Unfortunately, the local whites, namely Reverend Josiah, still treat him as a lowly slave. He does mostly handiwork keeping the farmhouse in order. He's big, strong and silent with haunting eyes that have seen more than most ever would.
Major Jefferson and Adams discuss what to do with the addled Doctor. The Doctor continues rambling about his various battles, but beneath the mania he keeps a watchful eye and ear on his captors. Jefferson concludes the Doctor is not their spy and should be let go, but Adams protests just letting a deranged man loose on an unsuspecting township. Jefferson thinks on it and contemplates turning him over to the Reverend for care. Just then Robertson bursts into the tent with news. He tells the Major there's something going on in the town he should see.
A crowd assembles outside the Meeting House where Rev. Henry addresses them in his usual fiery manner. He whips them into a frenzy naming each townperson's sudden and strange misfortune: crops falling to pestilence, livestock suffering mysterious ailments, even the number of strong young men who have heard the beat of drums and fife only to disappear in war. And he sums it all up by declaring this day he has found the culprit, the agitator who visits ungodly woe upon them... the witch! Biggs drags Ravena out of the Meeting House cellar already bound and gagged.
Major Jefferson, Adams and Robertson arrive just in time to see Rev. Henry declare Ravena a witch. They observe the crowd is in a dangerous frenzy and discuss how to proceed carefully. But then Widow Penworthy and Pleasance Shaw arrive with their servant Strom to protest this arrest. Rev. Henry uses Pleasance's own words against her sister-in-law asking Pleasance to confirm she accused Ravena of being out in the woods just the past night seeking spirits. Pleasance cannot deny it and therefore riles the crowd more. Major Jefferson intervenes, calmly addressing the crowd in hopes of easing their frenzy. He asks that the accused be allowed to speak in her own defense.
In the Major's urgency to get to town, the Doctor is left on his own in the commander's tent. He continues to play up his madman act so the remaining soldiers leave him alone. As soon as the coast is clear he slips out the tent back and makes his way to freedom. But while heading toward the woods where he first appeared, he hears the ruckus coming from town. Curiosity gets the better of him so he approaches town, yet remains out of sight. (His mind wars with itself the whole way, part of him urging he investigate and another warning terrible things if he continues on.)
Keefe removes Ravena's gag, apologizing for its tightness and earning a rebuke from Biggs. Major Jefferson asks the young woman, Ravena Shaw, to explain this accusation - did she seek spirits in the night or was she merely walking in the warm night air? It's clear Major Jefferson is trying to give Ravena an out. But Ravena takes the chance to try and offer an explanation for the man the soldiers captured. She admits she was out walking as was the custom of her family since leaving BallyMacDonnell, but she neither sought the company of evil spirits nor encountered an evil person in her walks. She tries t get out the explanation of what she did find (the wounded Doctor), but Rev Henry angrily interrupts calling Ravena a liar. He knows she consorted with Satan himself and has proof. He holds up a gleaming sapphire signet ring with a serpent-like design on its face. From this talisman, he and his men saw her summon the dark spirits, daring to do so in the light of day!
The Doctor watches from around a corner, both intrigued by the display and tormented with the desire to flee. It is only when he catches sight of the so-called devil's trinket, that the Doctor is compelled to stay. He instantly recognizes the ring as his very own and knows it to be a link, perhaps the nly link to his TARDIS.
The crowd oohs and aahs at the sight of the talisman. When the sun catches it, it seems to cast a brilliant flash into everyone's eye, temporarily blinding them from the sun. Robertson and Adams suggest they retreat back to camp as this business has nothing to do with them. Major Jefferson is conflicted, sensing this town is turning into a dangerous mob that could threaten his men while also feeling the call of duty to provide some kind of order in this time of war. Jefferson ultimately speaks up offering to take the prisoner to Williamsburg and face a high court for justice. Everyone knows the high court has the power to execute the guilty. But Rev. Henry has a better idea, one of immediate justice. He reads from his bible and translates the passage to mean the only true justice for the wicked is a baptism of purification. The crowd cheers. Biggs and Keefe drag Ravena away as Rev. Henry leads them to the shores of the river.
The Doctor watches the mockery of a public trial with a mixture of awe and disgust. He questions himself about his time period and whether something more is going on here. Ultimately he concludes it is more a case of desperate people becoming more desperate in war. Again he thinks he should stay out of it, but knows he must recover that ring from Henry. He conspires a way to get it back. But the crowd moves faster than he and all he can do is follow to the riverbank, though careful to stay clear of sight.
Rev. Henry leads the mob to the banks of Hampton Roads. Again Widow Penworthy and Pleasance plead for mercy. Pleasance even begs Major Jefferson to stop this madness. Biggs and Keefe rebound Ravena in the traditional way... thumb to toe like a pig. Jefferson sees the situation as too dangerous to confront alone so he signals his lieutenants back to rouse the troops at camp in a hurry. Adams and Robertson run off to do just that. Jefferson stalls by asking Rev. Henry what this baptism is to accomplish? Rev. Henry answers him as if he was a simpleton: the water is pure, a gift from God. Therefore if she is as pure then she will be welcomed into the bosom of the Lord's gift. If she is evil, then the water will reject her and she shall face the punishment due all the unrighteous. Of course, by this reasoning, Jefferson concludes if she is innocent she will drown. But her soul will be saved, Josiah happily proclaims and directs his men to toss Ravena into the river. Before Jefferson can stop it, Ravena is thrown headlong into the river, too bound to float or swim. At the first sign of her sinking, Rev. Henry tosses the devil's trinket in after her in hopes it too will be purified in the water.
The Doctor follows the crowd, all the way conspiring ways of getting his ring back and perhaps save the woman who helped him. When he gets to the docks, he surveys the area and comes up with an improvised distraction. (Something that will take out Rev. Henry, his goons and distract most of the crowd.) When Ravena is thrown into the river, the ring after her, the Doctor acts. In the distraction, he dives into the river after his possession.
Ravena sinks to the river bottom, darkness closing in around her until something brilliant blue flashes in her eyes. The ring falls down to her. She grasps it with the fingers she's able to move. Just then the Doctor grabs her arms and starts pulling her down the river and up to the surface. They break free on the riverbank. Ravena thanks the Doctor for helping her as he unties her hands. But rather than be cordial about his rescue he gruffly asks for his ring back. They hear the sounds of people coming. Ravena unclasps her fingers to reveal the ring. And as soon as the Doctor grabs it, the world changes around them both. Suddenly they are within a structure, a library lit with a brilliant blue console. The console begins to move with a familiar wheeze and groan.
Rev Henry recovers from the distraction along with the others. He's furious and paranoid about this invisible attack. Robertson and Adams run up the riverbank with the troops. But the heavens darken, a fierce wind whips up and the river churns wildly. Rev. Henry searches for signs of Satan. To his pleasure and dismay he finds it in the form of an emerging Ravena and the Doctor (her demon). Rev. Henry orders the crowd to stop them, even grabbing a weapon off Jefferson and taking a shot at the pair. But then a pale blue box forms around the escapees making everyone, townspeople and soldiers to stop and fall silent. The tall blue box takes corporeal shape, proudly displaying the words POLICE CALL BOX. It absorbs Rev. Henry's bullet, then shudders away with a loud bang, wheeze and eerie groan.
A brand new universe begins. Revolution, war, strife, witches, strange devil's campfires and a confused stranger who barely knows his own name. To join the group and get next week's script by e-mail, please use our web sign up page or e-mail AlxKeegan2@aol.com.
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