DISCLAIMER: While this work has been inspired by the characters and stories of Sax Rohmer (and a few others, as will soon become apparent), it makes no attempt to be consistent with the original Fu Manchu (or other) stories. This is an alternate history world, and anything that differs from the original in it, simply didn’t happen that way here.
This AAR is a sequel and continuation to “Master Plan of Fu Manchu
”, an AAR that ran in the HO1 1 AAR forum 2003-2005 and covered the time period 1936-39. As a word of warning, the game is completely immersed in a by now quite convoluted story involving the travails of arch-criminal mastermind Fu Manchu to gain control of the world and of a motley collection of heroes taken from history and early 20th century fiction (or fiction set in the 20s, 30s & 40s) who oppose him. While I shall strive to make the story enjoyable and understandable for newcomers as well as old hands, it might be a good idea to read the original story.
This has happened:
The diabolical arch-criminal, head of the Si-Fan secret society and scientific genius Fu Manchu has slowly infiltrated the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-Chek. Beginning as a humble advisor to the Generalissimo of the Kuomintang, he eventually shed this unassuming mask to claim his proper role as master, with Chiang as a mere extension of his will. Under his ruthless leadership, China has built up a formidable German-trained host, armed with an exotic biological weapon, a debilitating influenza-based plague known as the Jade Fever, and fortified by a drug known as the Soul of the Dragon, as potent in the short term as its long time effects are horrific to the user. Thus equipped, the armies of Nationalist China have quickly brought Tibet and the Warlords of the Sinkiang to heel. When the Empire of Japan attacked in 1937, the Chinese counterattacked furiously. The war has then degenerated into an extraordinarily bloody stalemate, where Chinese numbers and exotic weapons are roughly balanced by fanatical Japanese determination, superior weaponry and martial skill.
Meanwhile, by covert orders from resigning premier Stanley Baldwin, British Intelligence mastermind and long time nemesis of Fu Manchu, Sir Dennis Nayland Smith has collected a select group to thwart the evil plans of the Devil Doctor. The Secret Service Section FM (for Fu Manchu) is centred around the field operatives Lieutenant James Bond and Dr Henry “Indiana” Jones, the virus expert Dr Jonas Salk who battles tirelessly to find an antidote against the Jade Fever and the intelligent and efficient secretary to Sir Dennis, the curvaceous Miss Monneypenny. Together, this formidable team has began to uncover a conspiracy of monstrous proportions, threatening to bring about nothing less than a new Great War – The Master Plan of Fu Manchu.
Nayland Smith, aided by Dr Jones and young Bond (who turned out to be father and extramarital son), parachuted into occupied Sinkiang where they uncovered the existence of the Jade Fever and the Soul of the Dragon. But the full horror of the Master Plan was only revealed to the Secret Service through the efforts of another pair of intrepid adventurers. Jealous of the disproportionate influence Hitler’s quack doctor Ferdinand Morrell, Reich Marshall Goering and Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler sent out a pair of private investigators, Austrian fencer and Nazi militant Otto Skorzeny and aviatrix extraordinaire Hannah Reitsch to discover the how’s and why’s of Morrell's influence over Hitler.
What they found, to their misfortune, was the chilling fact the Adolf Hitler, Führer of the German Reich, was nothing but a puppet, wielded through the mind-altering drugs of a hypnotically enslaved Dr Morrell by none other than Fu Manchu’s beautiful and ruthless daughter, Fah Lo Suee, whose extraordinary hypnotic skills surpass even those of Fu Manchu himself.
After a pitched battle in a Shanghai night-club, Skorzeny and Hannah Reitsch were captured by Si-Fan acolytes, but not before Hannah had been able to communicate the essence of Fah Lo Suee’s control over Hitler to Indiana Jones. Fah, who once loved Sir Dennis and helped him against her father, allowed the British agents to leave and then set to work on the minds of her Nazi prisoners.
His iron will subdued through hypnosis, drugs and refined torture, Otto Skorzeny was made a love-slave of Fah Lo Suee, after which he was sent to learn the secrets of Sinanju, the mother of all Martial Arts from the Master of Sinanju himself, the nasty and grumpy old Korean Chiun. Hannah Reitsch, her personality flawed by the incongruence of her strong catholic faith and fanatical Nazi beliefs fell more easily under the hypnotic influence of the Lady of the Si-Fan and was made to forget all about her experiences in China. She was then sent back to Germany to reassure Himmler and Goering that there was nothing more to Dr Morrell than met the eye. After that, Fah Lo Suee used her as an unknowing spy, using subconsciously planted commands to make her pawn collect German military secrets for her. First, through her position as a Luftwaffe test pilot and later through becoming the Mistress of Luftwaffe General Ritter von Greim and rocket scientist Werner von Braun.
Meanwhile, Skorzeny had completed his training with Chiun, and was sent on a mission to murder the Japanese Imperial Army commander in Manchuria, during which he had a brief but violent encounter with James Bond, who had been assigned the mission of collecting a sample of the Jade Fever for Dr Salk. Bond later procured the sample from a disaffected Japanese doctor, who objected to his own country’s research into biological weapons, while Nayland Smith and Indiana Jones, posing as war correspondents gained a sample of the Soul of the Dragon drug through aplomb and ingenious deception.
Skorzeny’s next assignment was to kidnap the former Emperor of China now turned puppet Emperor of Manchukuo, Pu-Yi, for Fu Manchu. The Devil Doctor claimed he would alter the hapless Pu-Yi into a war-winning weapon against the Japanese, through means that are as yet obscure. Using advanced Sinanju sexual techniques learnt from Chiun, Skorzeny tried to thaw the ice-cold heart of Fah Lo Suee into setting him free, but was only partially successful, in that he was sent back to Austria to act as a top spy for the Si-Fan.
In this capacity he enrolled into the Austrian SS under Ernst Kaltenbrunner, played a small but important role in the Anschluss and was later rewarded by Himmler with a command within Hitler’s Praetorian Guard, the SS-Liebstandarte, with the understanding that he would be acting as the Reichsführer-SS’s eyes and ears near Hitler.
Acting on orders from Fah Lo Suee, who in turn had been instructed by her father, Skorzeny, Hannah Reitsch and the sinister SS-officer Günther Duhrn of Sonderkommando H (for Hex, the SS occult specialist division) traveled to Antarctica where under cover of the 2nd German Antarctic expedition they were to investigate an ancient ruined city, rumoured to hail from the mythic civilization of ancient Thule.
Along the way, they picked up Indiana Jones who had been forced to jump ship off the Azores after his own quest to find the lost continent of Atlantis had floundered due to the piratical nature of the crew of the ship he had hired.
Together with a group of German scientists and a squad of crack SS-Liebstandarte soldiers, the four mismatched adventurers confronted the mind-crushing horrors of the primordial city of the Old Ones, a pre-human space faring race. Only through the magic of the alien city builders, inexpertly wielded by the desperate Duhrn, did they barely escape with their lives and sanity intact. They had also acquired a mystic black orb, much coveted by Fu Manchu and the real reason behind the expedition.
As the Orb, an Old One navigational device, was sent back to Fu Manchu, Duhrn became suspicious of Skorzeny and embarked on a personal quest to expose him as an enemy of the Reich.
Back in Europe, after being spotted and not recognized by Hannah Reitsch during an espionage mission against von Braun's rocket test facility at Peenemünde, young Bond’s infatuation with the lithe German aviatrix grows, convinced as he is that she purposefully hid his identity from the German authorities. In fact, Hannah’s memory of Bond had been suppressed along with all her other memories from Shanghai by Fah Lo Suee’s hypnosis.
As tension in Europe rises after the Munich crisis, Bond and Nayland Smith embark on a desperate mission to secure proof of Fu Manchu’s power over Hitler. They are caught and threatened with torture but are saved and set free under humiliating forms by Skorzeny, who thereby effectively discredits Nayland Smith before the eyes of his superior Sir Hugh Sinclair (C) and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
In Rome, the horrific visions of clairvoyant nun turn out to match chillingly with the apocalyptic prophecies of the Voynich Manuscript (written in a code known only to the Church) and of Nostradamus. Alarmed, the dying pope sends forth a junior agent of the Vatican Intelligence, Sister Irene, to prevent the disaster by any means necessary. Her first suspect as the agent of this apocalypse is none other than Adolf Hitler.
As the German annexation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia once more brings Europe to the brink of war, Fu Manchu harshly orders Chiang-Kai Chek to win a great victory against the Japanese, or face a life plugged into a pain amplifier. After a gruelling long summer and autumn of slaughter, the Japanese lines finally crack, and Fu Manchu demands to negotiate directly with the Japanese Emperor. To provide an equal party with which to talk, the Chinese Empire is temporarily reinstated with Pu-Yi returned to his throne, now altered by Fu Manchu’s science to wield the same kind of strange hypnotic power as he does.
Hannah Reitsch is suffering from Fah Lo Suee’s hypnotic alterations. Her Nazi beliefs have been subconsciously reinforced (in order to squash any hint of memory about Hitler being subjected to the will of Fah Lo Suee) but it has the unexpected consequence of Hannah being unable to accept the slightest fault with Nazism. As she learns in Antarctica about Sonderkommando H and their dabbling in Black Magic, her Catholic faith and Nazi beliefs enter into a frontal collision. After talking about her anguish in Confession, she is presented to Sister Irene, who upon learning her story decides that Duhrn and his group must be involved with the upcoming apocalypse. Aided by the Vatican intelligence network and Hannah, Irene starts to map the activities of Sonderkommando H until she has a pretty clear picture of what’s going on in the gloomy Wewelsburg SS-order castle.
Meanwhile, Fu Manchu’s daughter Fah Lo Suee who had been planting evidence to encourage the Soviet purges, is arrested by her last victim, Nicolai Yezhov, and sent to a cell in Lubyanka, the feared headquarters of the NKVD. Yezhov’s own arrest follows shortly but the new head of the Checka, Lavrentij Beria sees no reason to set Fah loose. Fu Manchu himself, wary of the growing power of his daughter in the Council of Seven decides to let her stay were she is.
Without her, the carefully crafted network of hypnotic slave agents in the German Reich is lost to the Si-Fan, as nobody but her knows the hypnotic code words given to prepare the agents to receive instructions. In the case of her two conscious agents, Otto Skorzeny and Dr Theodor Morrell, the former chooses – emphatically – not to cooperate further while Dr Morrell, being a complete nervous wreck, willingly accepts orders directly from Fu Manchu in the desperate hope of garnering the favour of his Mistress. Because of this, Hannah Reitsch is able to break of her affaires with Werner von Braun and Luftwaffe General Ritter von Greim (relationships that were used by Fah Lo Suee to steal German military and scientific secrets). Instead, as war erupts in Europe, she seeks transfer to a combat squadron, which she is granted through the interference of Fu Manchu, who expects her to be killed shortly, being a woman in a men’s war.
As the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is made known to the world in late August 1939, Skorzeny seeks the help of Günther Duhrn in the hope that his occult powers can help him save Fah Lo Suee from the clutches of the NKVD. Duhrn agrees, but claims preparations will take time. In the meantime he gives Skorzeny an enchanted SS-Rune Sword, which Skorzeny takes with him when he goes to war in Poland. In the lull between the Polish surrender and the German offensive in the west, Skorzeny returns to Duhrn who informs him that they will travel through the Dreamland, a parallel dimension where modern technology doesn’t work (hence the Rune Sword). As the two SS-officers fall into magically induced sleep, Hannah Reitsch, Sister Irene and a platoon of Swiss Guard in French uniform led by a Grand Inquisitor prepare to assault Wewelsburg.
Acting through Dr Morrell, Fu Manchu has Hitler squash the Manstein plan, resulting in the Wehrmacht repeating the Schlieffen plan in the great offensive in the west, which takes place in early November 1939. Fu expects this to lead to a protracted war of position as in the Great War, but unexpectedly, the Wehrmacht wins a stunning, if bloody victory through tactical and aerial superiority. Meanwhile, the Peace of the Two Emperors is under way. After a week of solitary confinement with Pu Yi, Hirohito is completely under hypnotic control. Together the two Emperors announce the creation of a new joint Sino-Japanese Empire going by the name of the Pan-Asian Empire. Fu Manchu is the new Empire’s Prime Minister and the real power behind the hypnotically enslaved Emperors, and from the start its clear that Pan-Asia intends to live up to its name… or more.