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Old 05-02-2015, 09:46 AM   #71
Icelander
 
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Default Himmler's Inner Circle of 12 Black Knights

I would welcome suggestions for high-ranking SS officers that could be removed for large stretches of the latter part of 1944 and could be in Berlin the first four month of 1945 without affecting the course of the war too much.

I can accept three Black Knights who were invested, but now carry out their important tasks elsewhere and some others might be fairly newly arrived in Berlin after having been the senior SS officer in some territory now conquered.

I'd like to be able to give all twelve real historical names, though obviously I'll be altering history a bit.

The change-point is Karl Maria Wiligut (Weisthor) coming back to favour with Himmler as the war begins to turn against Germany and the finding that near the Amber Room, his occult ceremonies work.
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:11 PM   #72
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Default Preliminary list of Black Knights

Here is my preliminary list of Black Knights. The number in brackets refers to the order in which they were invested, while the order in which they appear is a rough reflection of their influence and power within the secret inner circle of Himmler's intimates of occult magicians (not necessarily identical with their rank within the official hierarchy).

The first nine are strictly speaking not members of the Round Table of twelve Teutonic Knights headed by Himmler as the reincarnation of Heinrich the Fowler, but instead form a powerful inner coven that in these last days of the war appear increasingly be the only ones Himmler discusses his plans with. They are not numbered, but have letters to represent the order they received their investments.

The final five are recent additions, arriving in a somewhat mysterious fashion only in the last month or so. All of them wear some form of extremely medieval-appearing* plate harness with helms that conceal the face at all times.

I welcome suggestions for changes or additions. I'm especially looking for cool titles drawn from Wiligut's bat-guano-crazy Irminism and the anachronism-stew of Arthurian-Wagnerian chivalric references connected to the Wevelsburg.

Does someone have suggestions for better titles for the inner coven or the Black Knights.

[A] Weisthor; Das Licht der Schwarzen Sonne (the Light of the Black Sun), der geheime König (the Secret King): Karl Maria Wiligut.
[G] Der Sonnenrad: Wolfram Sievers.
[F] Amfortas: Siegfried Taubert.
[H] Ritter Gurnemanz: Udo von Woyrsch.
[J] Klingsor: Paul Blobel.
[D] Tannhäuser, Sinnzeichenmeister der Irminenschaft: Karl Diebitsch.
[C] Schwanenritter: Günter Kirchhoff.**
[E] Erilaz, Hochgode der Armanenschaft : Werner von Bülow.***
[B] Titurel: Manfred von Knobelsdorff.

[8] Großkomtur Widukind: Maximilian von Herff.
[4] Ordentreßler Heinrich der Löwe: Oswald Ludwig Pohl.
[6] Ordentrapier Dietrich: Gottlob Christian Berger.
[7] Ordenmarschall Widewotu: Hans Jüttner.
[3] Ritterbrüder Siegfried: Walter Schmitt.
[2] Ritterbrüder Bruteno: Richard Walther Darré.
[1] Ritterbrüder Lohengrin: Kurt Dalüge.
[10] Ritterbrüder Konrad von Thüringen: Ernst Kaltenbrunner.
[12] Ritterbrüder Christoph Kolumbus ('Der Rattenfänger'): Ulrich Greifelt.

The Absent Knights:

[5] Ritterbrüder Florian Geyer: August Heißmeyer. Commanding Kampfgruppe Heißmeyer (Battle Group Heißmeyer) in the last-ditch defence of Spandau airfield outside Berlin.
[11] Ritterbrüder Hermann von Salza: Werner Lorenz. Commanding military police and security units behind Heeresgruppe Weichsel (Army Group Vistula), now inside Berlin.
[9] Ritterbrüder Fridericus ('Das Schicksalsseil'): Franz Breithaupt. Presumed to be still at the Hauptamt SS Gericht (Main Legal Department of the SS) headquarters in Munich.

The Returned Knights:

[β] Ewigritter mit dem eisernen Herzen. Rarely seen, but outranks everyone but the Reichsführer-SS.
[γ] Ewigritter Totenkopf. Commands the SS-Sturmkampfgruppe Totenkopf.
[δ] Zurückgeben Ritter Verwüstung.
[α] Zurückgeben Ritter Tolle Christian.
[ε] Zurückgeben Ritter Hagel .

Karl Wolff was a founding knight of Himmler's Wevelsburg circle and is still a sincere religious Irminist. Despite being a senior SS official, absolutely trusted by Hitler and steeped in occult lore, however, he is not among the current Black Knights. This may have to do with his emnity with Weisthor.
Richard Hermann Hildebrandt, the latest chief of the RuSHA, was formally invited to a position at the Round Table when he replaced Hoffman and adopted the name Ritterbrüder Hildebrand. The restoration of the first chief of the RuSHA to Himmler's inner circle, however, means that he has remained a relative outsider as the Black Knights have developed from a quiant fancy to terrifying reality.

Hans-Adolf Prützman, Walter Schellenberg, Franz Alfred Six, Karl Hanke, Herbert Jankuhn, Werner Braune, Odilo Globocnik and others would be influential figures in Himmler's occult circles, but not present in the bunker and not formally numbered among the Black Knights.

SS-Standartenführer Rudolf Hermann Brandt is ever present at Himmler's side.
SS-Sturmbannführer Heinz Macher is trusted with various sensitive missions of occult nature for Himmler.
Finnish military attache Kapteeni Georg von Grönhagen (Yrjö von Grönhagen) has been in close attendence on the Reichsführer-SS and Weisthor since early 1944. His duties are nebulous.
Felix Kersten is Himmler's physical therapist.

SS-Obersturmbannführer August Becker commands a small Einsatzkommando of veterans of the SS-Totenkopfverbände and civilian engineers from Amt C of the SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt.
Directed by SS-Sturmbannführer Kurt Plötner, SS-Hauptsturmführers August Hirt and Bruno Beger carry out some kind of research utilising the talents of the disgraced, but still indispensable, Dr. Sigmund Rascher.

Ritter Parsifal: SS-Standartenführer Joachim Peiper. After the failure of Operation Frühlingserwachen, Himmler has summoned his youngest knight and brightest hope to Berlin, with what fighting companions he can muster, presumably to defend the Weltmittelpunktbunker. So far, Ritter Parsifal has not arrived in Berlin.

*If we want to be pedantic, they appear Renaissance in design, more than medieval, as they are late Gothic plate harnesses, shading into Maximilian. End of 15th century, beginning of 16th, style of thing. But black.
**No online biography, but mentioned in Flowers, Stephen E., and Michael Moynihan. 2007. The Secret King: The Myth and Reality of Nazi Occultism. Feral House and Dominion Press. and Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas. 1985. The Occult Roots of Nazism: The Ariosophists of Austria and Germany 1890–1935. Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press. as an occultist, crypto-historian and a member of the Guido von List Society who spent a lot of his time measuring ley lines.
***As above, but member and later Grand Master of the Edda-Gesellschaft instead of the Guido von List Society, and the 'translator' (fantasist) behind a lot of long-lost occult pre-historic lore. Intriguingly, like Gerald Gardner, he was a retired civil servant.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:48 PM   #73
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Default Re: [WWII/TS/Covert Ops/Weird War II] Götterdämmerung on Walpurgisnacht

Real-world concerns delayed tonight's gaming session, which means I will have longer to tighten up the adventure design.

I'd welcome suggestions on the roster of villains above.

I'm also looking for good maps of the ruins of the central part of Berlin between the 28th and the 30th of April 1945. For the purposes of the adventure, I require a house that is not a huge official structure, but stands within a couple of hundred yards of the garden outside the Reichskannslerei.

I'm placing an ahistorical bunker next to the Führerbunker and Vorbunker. It will have a long escape tunnel leading in whatever direction makes the most sense* and this will be the proposed entry point for the PCs.

*Assuming that construction was carried out late in 1944, using mysterious and occult methods which made tunneling much easier than mundane construction, and the goal was to allow escape from the bunker even during a siege of Berlin, by taking the tunnel to an area where the invaders would not expect senior Nazi figures to be making their last stand.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:38 AM   #74
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Default Re: [WWII/TS/Covert Ops/Weird War II] Götterdämmerung on Walpurgisnacht

Does anyone have a clear idea about the distance from any practicable drop zone for paratroopers and the Reichskannslei?

The SOE did drop some agents into Berlin in April 1945, but I still haven't found out exactly where the drop zone they chose was located. I'm wondering whether the PCs' next task; to link up with dropped commandos in German uniforms and guiding them to the target area, will be merely a grueling and tense night march, with several short and brutal combat scenes if multiple difficult Acting (and related skills) fail* or a multi-day quest akin to walking into Mordor.

*Which I'd prefer, but not at the cost of having the drop zone be located somewhere utterly implausible.
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:13 PM   #75
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Default Re: [WWII/TS/Covert Ops/Weird War II] Götterdämmerung on Walpurgisnacht

The audacious route, at this point, is to fly in a captured German aircraft and land it in the Tiergarten. As long as you have someone who can seem like a Nazi bigwig, who does this kind of thing with some troops, you could plausibly get away with it.
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:13 PM   #76
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Default Re: [WWII/TS/Covert Ops/Weird War II] Götterdämmerung on Walpurgisnacht

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Does anyone have a clear idea about the distance from any practicable drop zone for paratroopers and the Reichskannslerei?[/SIZE]
Reichskanzlei.

About 200 m away begins the Tiergarten.

https://www.google.de/maps/place/Vo%...9a82e43f5ef6b8
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:15 PM   #77
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Default Re: [WWII/TS/Covert Ops/Weird War II] Götterdämmerung on Walpurgisnacht

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
The audacious route, at this point, is to fly in a captured German aircraft and land it in the Tiergarten. As long as you have someone who can seem like a Nazi bigwig, who does this kind of thing with some troops, you could plausibly get away with it.
I very much doubt one could get 34 troops there in that manner, could one?
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:26 PM   #78
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Default Re: [WWII/TS/Covert Ops/Weird War II] Götterdämmerung on Walpurgisnacht

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I very much doubt one could get 34 troops there in that manner, could one?
Not plausibly, no. The Tiergarten is a possible drop zone if you're using Ju52s and German paratrooper 'chutes and the dropped force can seem plausibly German to people they meet on the ground.

If not, you're going to have to go outside the city, which may make it easier to avoid being shot down by the Soviets. You don't want to tell the Soviets that you're putting troops in, in case Stalin gets a paranoia attack that you're trying to get Hitler out.
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:29 PM   #79
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Default Re: [WWII/TS/Covert Ops/Weird War II] Götterdämmerung on Walpurgisnacht

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I very much doubt one could get 34 troops there in that manner, could one?
Why not ? Use gliders. The tiergarten has open spaces.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militar...litary_gliders

http://www.berlin.de/geschichte/hist...+Berlin&page=2

http://www.berlin.de/geschichte/hist...+Berlin&page=1
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:32 PM   #80
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Default Re: [WWII/TS/Covert Ops/Weird War II] Götterdämmerung on Walpurgisnacht

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Not plausibly, no. The Tiergarten is a possible drop zone if you're using Ju52s and German paratrooper 'chutes and the dropped force can seem plausibly German to people they meet on the ground.
Or build duplicates of the DFS 230.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DFS_230
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