Operatives of CROSSBOW

Operation Sacred Gamble

The Ambassador's Reception

In which Georgie works the party, Milton talks about the weather, and Gordy goes to the dogs

Location: The Hotel Royale, Vienna
Main Objective: Secure the package from ‘Stork’
Secondary Objective: Don’t spoil the party

Associated Intelligence Files

  1. The Codex
  2. The Cypher Key
  3. The Doctors Kropotkin
  4. General Vladimirev
  5. ‘The Buyer’

The Pavis team were inserted into a fundraiser for the relief of prisoners of conscience, organised by a group of business interests from the former USSR, mostly linked to General Valentin Dmitriev, retired Russian Minister of Culture, UN Ambassador and noted expert on North African cultural antiquities. Their mission was to make contact with an asset known as ‘Stork’, exchange code-phrases and receive a ‘package’.

Gordy entered the ball room first and flagged those who seemed to match the description of Stork (tall and thin). The team spread out and worked the room, agreeing that yes, holding political prisoners was wrong and all that. Milton struck gold first time, as he dropped the code into a conversation about humanitarian air drops:

“But the weather can be inclement at those altitude.”
“Yes; but the deliveries have to be made.”

Stork introduces herself as Dr Ileana Kropotkin. Gordy heads off an over-nosy waitress allowing Georgie and Milt to spirit the good Doctor into a side passage for a quick confab. She explains that she and her husband came to hand over the Codex, a book discovered in the Mountains of the Moon by her grandfather’s expedition in 1932, and the Cypher Key, a complex set of punched bone strips used, in theory, to decode it. Ileana and her husband had worked on the Codex for most of their lives. General Dmitriev was their sponsor, but recently declared his intention to sell the Codex and the Key into what she suspects to be ‘the wrong hands’.

With Gordy and Milt running interference, Georgie stole a staff uniform and infiltrated the General’s private meeting. While Gordy used a dog-whistle app to aggravate a guard dog and create a distraction, she swapped the codex for a phone book, and the team exited with both the book and the Cypher Key, earning a solid from the Kropotkins.

Later reports indicated that the meeting might later have turned ugly.

Behind the Scenes

This was a shortish session due to illness and exhaustion, but proved a good test of the Roll20 platform.

The team set their own vague objectives, around which I improvised. It was their choice to go for a personal contact rather than their more trad safe-crack and artefact snatch.

The dice were in a whimsical mood, and the team pretty much walked this one.


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