Tonight was a bit more difficult than usual — i was trying to get a pair of new characters linked up with a pair of old characters, but one of the players didn’t show (old character) and one is no longer a part of the group, as he got a job in another town and had to move (new character.)

The new characters were Trevor FitzHugh, a talkative, hard-living pilot and his daredevil sidekick and Hollywood stuntman by day/cat burglar by night “Daredevil” Dan McCoy. We opened with them running guns and ammo to the Nationalists for a group out of Portugal. They get, apparently, set up and the drop is raided by an platoon of Irish volunteers fighting with the Republicans. They have to shoot their way out, and Dan (the player that was here), got to shoot his way out, drawing off the bad guys long enough for “Fitzy” to get the plane moving. Daring leap from horse to plane and boarding the craft? Check!

Unfortunately, in the fighting, Fitzy had taken a bullet, but plays it off until the land in Lisbon a few hours later. Once tied up at the dock in Lisbon, Dan finds Fitzy dead. Dan is now determined to find out who double-crossed them (if so…) He makes contact with a local British reporter and friend of Fitzy’s (and, I imply, a British agent) and finds out his employer has been selling to both sides, despite being in bed with local fascist businessmen. He’s also running the guns of a New York family — old character who’s player didn’t turn up, Jack McMahon.

Jack and Dr. Hannibal Drake, meanwhile, have turned up looking for Ariel Smythe, the femme fatale from the last “volume” which involved the search for Illuminati Treasure. She was responsible for the dead of Uncle Mike. They link up with the family’s broker here in Lisbon, Tom Cullen — a school mate of Jack’s — and are interrupted in their sussing out the situation in Lisbon and whether Ariel has turned up here by a drunk Dan McCoy. The characters’ stories are intriguing to each other and while they’re not working together at the end of the night’s session, they’re at least on friendly terms.

Tom takes Jack and Drake to meet his partner, Spanish businessman-in-exile Roberto Vega, who turns out to be a collector of Columbian and pre-Columbian artwork, conquistador armor, etc. Olmec/early Mayan is his preferred period and one of the pieces is a notebook from about the 1500s from an ancestor of his that catches Drake’s eye. There are drawings of a ziggurat, but the proportions are more in keeping with European architecture than Mayan. A sketch of a brick shows markings, mostly in Mayan, but a six “digit” signature using Roman masonic symbols catches his eye…could this be indications of Roman-period habitation in Mexico?

The night ended with Drake determined to get a better look at the book, Jack determined to find Ariel, and Dan determined to get to the bottom of the gun deal gone bad.

Overall, the pace was solid, if a bit slow for my pulp stuff. the players had a good time despite a series of interruptions, and I think it set the tone for the next “volume” that will lead them to southern Mexico and a run-in with a few old enemies, Jaguar worshipping natives, and possibly the first hints of a hollow Earth.