Handouts.

April 1941- Vichy France.

You are, you are assured, somewhere over France. But whereabouts, your guess is as good as anyone’s. Beyond the small windows of the Lockheed Hudson all you can make out is darkness, and one patch of darkness looks like any other. Suddenly that darkness is broken by five patches of light that seem to burst into life. Five fires that should outline the drop zone. Five fires that show you are expected, and that friends wait below.

The converted bomber passes over the fires, then turns back.

“Green light, good luck chaps”

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Handouts.

Postby Priest » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:32 pm

Operation Foothold


Briefing notes

1. The aim of this Operation is to establish a covert landing ground for future infiltration missions. With the co-operation of local partisans, it is hoped that the Saint-Cernuef region will be a ‘back door’ to the Dordogne, and from there to both sections of France.
2. You will parachute into France under cover of night, carrying with you a radio set and other vital supplies for the local partisans. With their aid, you will establish a network codenamed ANTIQUARIAN. The priorities of the ANTIQUARIAN network are:
a. To communicate any intelligence obtained from the partisans and other informants
b. To establish a secure, hidden landing zone for future parachutists, and to investigate the possibility of establishing a secret landing strip
c. To provide a source of cover identities and documentation for future parachutists
d. To complete other tasks as assigned and required by control

3. The partisans expect a landing on May 11th. The password to identify them is BIRCHWOOD. Should you fail to rendezvous with the partisans at the drop site, find a safe hiding place and use the radio to contact SOE for further instructions.
4. Our assessment of the partisans is that they are eager and committed, but may not be reliable. Ascertain whether or not they can be trusted before involving them in operations unless absolutely necessary.
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Nin
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Re: Handouts.

Postby Priest » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:37 pm

Letters from Lionel Malo to [REDACTED].

Saint-Cernuef-du-Bois
April 24th, 1938

Dear [REDACTED],
Forgive my handwriting. The table in my hotel room quivers when I put any weight on it, so I am obliged to use my suitcase as an ad hoc writing desk. I have, in my time, slept in tents, rail carriages, barns and on one memorable occasion in an igloo, and I have never before encountered such an insalubrious place as this hotel. I fear for my health (and my wallet, from the look of my host) if I stay here too long, which is a great pity, as Saint-Cernuef is a curious place.
I came across a reference to the village in the records of the Diocese of Cahors. In 1541, Bishop Pau de Caretto was sufficiently troubled by the ‘wild and larcenous’ ways of the monks of the Abbey of Saint-Cernuef that he dispatched an episcopal inquisitor named Alain Heremol to investigate. The bishop’s annals merely record that Heremol ‘died in a fire’, but local legends hold that the monks murdered him, allegedly to conceal their sinful ways that included ‘congress with beasts of the forest’. Did these the monks have some alarming vices, or was Heremol onto something?

Saint-Cernuef-du-Bois
May 3rd, 1938

Dear [REDACTED],
I write to you from much improved accommodation, thanks to a chance meeting in the local library. My new hosts know a great deal about the history of Saint-Cerneuf, and their home is on the grounds of the old monastery. I spent several very pleasant days tramping around the ruins, although there was little to be found there. I also visited the Devil’s Field, a burnt patch on the edge of the ill-favoured Abbot’s Wood. The locals insist the devil may be encountered there, but he was not in residence when I visited!
Perhaps I went on the wrong night, but my hosts insisted on my dining with them on May Eve. We discussed mostly trivialities – the price of copper, the new prime minister, the referendum in what was Austria – until I tried to steer the conversation to the history of the monastery. R paled visible, and said that such a topic should not be discussed on that particular night. There was absolute horror in his voice, and I thought it best not to press the matter – at least, not while I am a guest under his roof.
I slept poorly that night, with dreams of wheels and earthquakes. I was disturbed, I think, by May Day celebrations in the village, which involved raucous piping and dancing.

* * *
Exploring the ruins again the following morning, I found curious footprints that would best be described as goat-like, but which I would swear were made by a two-legged individual. Now, I do not discount the possibility of mockery (I have made no secret of my interest in local legends and the supernatural), but the prints led away across Devil’s Field into the wood. I made an attempt to follow them, but quickly became disorientated in the forest. There are little cairns of stones in the wood, ostensibly to guide travellers, but they proved useless. To be wholly honest, I cannot entirely account for my disorientation. A feeling of overwhelming, irrational terror came upon me. I am not a man to be easily scared, as you yourself know, but the shadows of those trees seemed to me as unwholesome and as perilous as anything I have ever encountered. R was more willing to discuss the monastery tonight. It seems that some parts of the copper mine were once used as storerooms by the monks. Those sections were closed off many years ago. He has reluctantly given permission for me to explore those vaults, and see if anything from the old monastery survives after nearly two hundred years. The locals, I discovered, have stories about a cache of treasure – jewelled chalices and gold and the like - that was rescued from the wreck of the monastery and buried in the old mine. Some of them suspect me, I think, of being a treasure hunter and clearly worry that I am about to steal away that fortune which is theirs by squatters’ rights!
In exchange, my host asked me for a favour, one which I believe I am uniquely able to fulfil – perhaps with your help. There are mysteries to solve here, my friend.
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
- Anais Nin
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Re: Handouts.

Postby Priest » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:40 pm

Image
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Re: Handouts.

Postby Priest » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:25 pm

Hopefully this blow up of the map with enhancements will make the details clearer.

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Re: Handouts.

Postby Priest » Wed Sep 02, 2015 4:17 pm

Image
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.
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