A Clash of Wolves
Written by Spartan Franco
A Clash of Wolves
Captain Vladimir Nikonov – the Black Wolf: A Russian renegade, scourge of the seas, and the most notorious mercenary of the Sturginium Age. For more than a decade he has defied the will of the Tsar of all Russia itself, carving his own path and, in the process, managing to create a covert empire courted by sovereigns and governments across the world.
But Nikonov is not, despite his mercenary status, without honour, and he has not forgotten his friends. Now, one such person requires help that only he can give. Goscia Stepanova, Oprichinina Major and secret dissident is in danger…
More than ten years ago, as a young officer already disillusioned with the organisation she served, she helped Nikonov escape from Russian servitude with the now-infamous ‘Death Bringer’ submersible, standing down the guard at Kerch, and allowing the Black Wolf to destroy the research base.
But Goscia did not flee with Nikonov. Her part in the ruse required she stay behind, playing a subtle role of misdirection. And for more than a decade she played a double agent game within the Tsar’s own secret service.
Her treachery at Kerch unnoticed, she rose rapidly in the ranks. Eventually, she attained a position of special favour; being part of the detail guarding the Circle of Markov at Vorkuta. The knowledge she imparted to Nikonov gave him leverage with the Covenant of Antarctica, a key factor in his enlisting their aid in the building of his Black Companies.
But in 1875, the cloak of suspicion began to fall upon the ‘model officer‘ at last. During a leave of absence to Moscow, she fled. Using many disguises Goscia travelled swiftly southwest, through the Ukraine into the Kingdom of Romania. She eventually reached the Free Hellenic Kingdom, where she took ship, intending to rendezvous with the Black Wolf’s agents in Tangier.
But the dissident officer never reached her destination. Her former colleagues, enraged at her defection but unable snatch her back themselves, placed a contract with the Kingdom of Sicily to retrieve their agent by any means necessary.
Goscia’s ship was waylaid by a flotilla of Sicilian warships and taken to Corsica, where she was imprisoned. But the Sicilian ‘sea wolves‘ had become aware of who their prisoner was through her own oblique hints; Goscia sought to sow yet more unrest to frustrate her pursuers, knowing that Corsica was well beyond the direct reach of the Oprichnina. In true Italian spirit, the Sicilians began to haggle with the exasperated Russians over the price of their services, refusing them access to their prisoner.
While her captors argued with their paymasters, Goscia sowed her own plans. After several months, she managed to make contact Nikonov’s agents. Immediately that her messages arrived, the Black Wolf himself took personal charge of a rescue mission.
Leading his own Black Company from aboard the Death Bringer, Nikonov entered the Mediterranean and headed for Corsica with all speed. Meanwhile the Sicilians, turned paranoid by the stalled negotiations and rising suspicion of their perfidious prisoner’s own activities, stepped up their security around Corsica, even deploying new warships in defence of their troublesome, but highly valuable, prize.
With Nikonov determined to liberate his old comrade, and the Sicilians equally determined to protect their prize, the scene is set for a ferocious Clash of Wolves on the blue waters of the Mediterranean!
Black Wolf Cyclops Class Rocket Cruiser – BW – Assault Cruiser – Cyclops
League of Italian States Spuntone Class Gunship – LoIS – Gunship – Spuntone
Fortified Prison Tower – LoIS – Corsican Prison Tower
Keep checking back for our free to download Corsican Incident Scenarios: Jaws of the Black Wolf, the Volcano Erupts and Prison Break.