8 March 1921, County Monaghan, Ireland
The ‘Lion Pub’ was not normally a center of armed resistance, but this night was special. Around the town of Glaslough, and along the walls of Glaslough Castle a couple miles outside of town and on top of one of Irelands few true mountains a few sentries stood watch. They kept a sharp eye out for any signs of RIC or even worse, Black and Tans, the RIC Auxiliaries, ex-British army troops who didn’t seem to care who they killed, approaching.
Inside the pub, the air swirled with the acrid smoke of cigarettes and cigars, the clinking of ale filled mugs on wooden tables and the sound of boots stomping around the floor. Low hushed voices whispered back and forth to one another, male and female alike, though the deeper tones of the male voices far outweighed those of the women. Beside nearly every person present was some sort of weapon. Dozens of hunting rifles, pistols, and revolvers were present, as well as knifes stuffed into belts and jammed into tables as the men and women spoke a little nervously amongst themselves.
Many of the men of the town, and a few women had gathered in secret because the events of last 21st of November 1920, already being called “Bloody Sunday”. The day had started with IRA guerillas attacking British Army officers, killing eleven of them and two RIC - Royal Irish Constable, troops. From there things went downhill. RIC Auxiliaries, already having a reputation for brutal and indiscriminate killing, shot into a crowd at a football game, killing 14 and wounding more. That evening, three IRA prisoners were murdered in custody by RIC troops and then the troubles really began for the British.
The IRA had had some popular support of course, but the populace by and large hadn’t supported the descent into widespread violence. Now of course, thanks to the British missteps in late November of the previous year, support for the IRA skyrocketed. Donations began to flood in from across the country and from America, it seemed as if every town not in the majority unionist Ulster was forming an IRA cell or two, and even in the protestant areas, the minority rebels and catholics were fighting back.
Finally, a man in his early forties with a clear baritone voice called for attention. “Lads, and Lasses, I thank you for your attendance tonight. It does my heart good to see that even this close to the filthy loyalist arse kissers the heart of patriots beats strong.” A chorus of cheers rose up then and the clanking of glasses raised in toast rang throughout the structure. “The goddamned English think they can make us give up by burning our houses, treating us like animals. I say, to hell with the English! Every time they burn a house, we gain strength. We will make them and their Black and Tan lackies pay for every day they stay on our land! Let them impose curfews in the counties, we will not stop or give up until this island, our island, is free!”
The cheers that rose up inside the pub echoed into the night, fortunately, only supporters of the movement were around to overhear them. An hour or so later, the man who gave the speech that stirred up the townsfolk present was sharing a few pints with his fellow countrymen and rebels. “Well, the truth is we’re hard pressed. The damn protestants and Brits up north are getting more violent every week. Here we’re starting to focus on the Black and Tans, they’re the worst of the lot. What we need is a couple small groups, hit and runners around here. Folks that can work on their own, keep the damn B & T’s honest…”
So... this is a subject that has really started fascinating me recently. Not sure why, but I've lately become a little... obsessed with the setting - the Guerilla war between Irish nationalists and the British during the period of roughly 1919-1921.
I'm thinking a small mixed cell that acts on its own, occasionally being given objectives by their contact, but otherwise acting as they feel best. I'm thinking I'd try my hand at running this and using a good bit of the historical records to keep a track of things going on around the country at the same time the PCs begin their own reign of terror.
Uhm... anyway, this game would probably be a bit more on the violent side with less sex than most, though anything is possible, especially for any poor Irish lasses caught by the black & tans. I'm thinking at most five people for now, though if a bunch are interested we could have smaller teams in a couple threads.
Anyway, if I get enough interest I'll start doing a bit more work on this.