Ravages of Time (CthulhuTech)

As a reminder, all my developed CthulhuTech adventures are developed around an advanced team of mecha soldiers (pilots that have specializations outside their vehicles that facilitate investigative work).

The Unit has been assembled and is stationed in Egypt prior to being shipped out into the Congo.  The CO for the area briefs them before they are to head out.

“We have maintained a small airfield and training facility outside of Embe in the Congo for a couple of decades now.  It has trained our men in the face of the Migou and the cults in relative isolation, so not to draw their attentions.  Being tropical and inland, both the Migou and the EOD are far away from the location.  It has been a month since we have last received communication from the facility, which is unusual, but not outside the scope of their operations, but two days ago, we received a distress call from the base.

“We have a working relationship with the village of Embe, which is the closest thing to civilization the base has, but our communiqués to the village have gone unanswered.  Something has gone wrong in the jungle and we need you to figure out what is going on.  You have the choice of going into Lodja, which is the closest city with an airfield.  From there, you can gather supplies and arrange a trip into Embe.  Otherwise, you can saddle up in your mechs and drop into Embe Training Facility and ascertain what is happening at the base.  This mission is status red, so if you require the requisition of additional hardware, upgrades are authorized.”

Once the team selects their weapons of choice for the mission, they will be dispatched to their chosen theatre.  If they drop into the Embe Training Facility, go to Act I.  If they decide to investigate the village first, go to Act II.

Act I – Brother vs. Brother

If the Heroes come here first:
From the air, nothing appears out of place about the training facility.  When they touch down, the details on the ground are quite the opposite.  Burned out vehicles dot the area and bullet holes pepper the walls and windows of the base.  Thermal scans of the base reveal nothing, thanks to the tropical sun beating down on the base, though any X-Ray scans do show two distinct groups within the confines of the base.

One group is centered in the main building and have erected regular patrols within their space.  A few others patrol the surrounding buildings for activity.

The other group scurries through underground tunnels like rats.  They move in small teams to complete whatever their objective.

The organized group is busy sending their men into the underground after the arrival of the mechs (they don’t want to get killed by having their base of operations vapourized).

If the Heroes went to the village first:

Following the cleared path through the jungle, they finally push through the brush into a vast clearing.  Burned out vehicles dot the area and the walls have been peppered with bullets.  The area is very still and there are no signs of activity.

Both options
The building with the most damage is the central building on the Northern side of the runway.  Most of the soldiers are stationed in here.  Not far away is the Control Tower, perched at the edge of the tree line.  On the west side of the base, under the canopy are the hangars where mechs and transports can stop to be repaired and refuelled.

Dotting the runways are wrecked trucks and transports.  Many have been riddled with bullets and some vehicles (the ones that have the range to get them out of the jungle) have been blown up using explosives.

A series of tunnels run from the hangars to each other and to the main terminal.  The main terminal are under the control of a number of insane NEG soldiers who are captained by a sleeper agent in the form of a Gelgore Dhohanoid (see Corebook for stats).

The sane soldiers skulk around in the hangars and tunnels, trying to stay out of the line of sight of the control tower where a sniper keeps watch over the tarmac.  Interviewing one of the few sane soldiers left alive will reveal that a large number of soldiers went into the village for some leave and came back changed.  They were paranoid and excitable and ultimately turned on the NEG when a Colonel incited them to revolt.

Act II – Embe:  Town Insane

If the Heroes land in Lodja

Despite the level of technology available, Africa still lagged behind the rest of the world and it was evident in the Congo.  Outside the airport and nearby commercial district, the town degenerated to shanty town and dirt paths.  A transport takes the Heroes from the airport, directly to Isandja Etat, where they can gather supplies.

While not being the most modern of cities, the city has enough amenities for the soldiers to get what they need.  Rumours around town speak of serial killers in the town, though no one has the slightest idea of who it might be.  Brutal killings happen every couple of nights and police are baffled.  What people don’t mention are the increased number of suicides as well.

Once they are ready to go, the journey to Embe is a slow one, as it is 40 kilometer journey either through the jungle or over the canopy.  The technology is old and barely mobile, but it will get them there.

If the Heroes arrive after dealing with the base

After finding a working vehicle (or if they insist on taking their mechs), they embark on the 30km journey back to the village of Embe.  A path has been carved through the jungle for the transports to slip through, but they could go over if they chose to.

Upon arriving at the town

The town of Embe went from a tiny village of mud huts to a suburban appearing village almost overnight several years ago.  When the base was established, the NEG offered to upgrade the standard of living in the village in exchange for free room and board when the soldiers came on leave.

As a result, a small clearing in the jungle reveals a suburban neighbourhood without roads, with well-constructed houses, running water, air-conditioning and several places of employment.  The town center is dominated by a large clock tower.  On the North end of the village is what looks like a church.

Think a little along the lines of the Dharma Initiative village in Lost.

But something feels wrong.  As they arrive, there is no one in the village.  The green fields are void of human presence, though fleeting shadows can be seen from upper floor windows in some of the houses.  A lot of the homes have windows boarded over, but one house appears to have burned to the ground.

Paranoia is rampant here.  A few things can happen at random:

Someone shoots from a bedroom window at the Heroes
Make random Tenacity tests for the Heroes if anyone fails, give them random penalties.  Small at first but growing more severe with each failure.
Insane ramblings from the townspeople for anyone who gets close to a house

Some houses hold people who have gone off the deep end.  They will babble about nothing before frothing at the mouth and lunging at the soldiers.  Other homes hold people who still have command over their faculties, but supplies are running low.  They will be resistant to helping anyone, since most people have gone nuts.  Earning their trust will get them some information.

The clock tower was the town hall, but the walls are streaked with gore.  The council hall reeks of sun-heated bodies and the village elders all lie in pools of blood.  It appears that they attacked each other with their bare hands and ate the corpses before succumbing to their own injuries.  (more info on the clock later)

The church is inhabited by a dozen villagers and the local priest.  A few bodies lay piled in a far corner after succumbing to illness.  Everyone here is deep in prayer and are very jumpy.  The priest pulls double duty, teaching Christianity as well as the old shamanistic rites.  Murmurs among the villagers hold the priest responsible for everything that is going on.  Christians don’t like that he reveres the old pagan rites and the shamans feel he’s angered the Gods and they have brought a sickness of the mind among them.  The priest is innocent and has insulated the Church against the damning effects of the clock.

After interviewing people in the village, they will learn that the clock tower was broken in 66, but last month a man from Isandja Etat came to town offering to fix the clock for a pittance.  The elders agreed and the clock has been working since.  However, it tolls at the wrong times and ever since, people have been getting sick.

Every time the bell tolls from the clock tower, the non-Euclidian mechanics the man used, send ripples through the minds of anyone who can hear it, often making them insane.  Investigating the clock tower, will show the rear of the clock having no visible cogs that would allow it to keep time and yet it does.  Destroying the clock will stop the mind-altering effects (but not reverse any damage already done).  At GM discretion, the destruction of the clock opens a rift and allows something to escape into the mortal realm, which will need to be killed (use your imagination).

Act III – The Clock Maker

Once the town has been cleared of the taint from the clock and the base has been reclaimed from the Dhohanoid, the unit will likely want to take down the man responsible.

There aren’t many shops in Isandja Etat, so finding one that specializes in clocks will be easy.  However, those driven mad by the man’s handiwork are being puppeted by a malevolent intelligence on the other side of the veil and is going to work against the unit.  Seemingly normal civilians will suddenly turn on the team and attack them in the streets to try and slow their progress.

Once they find the clock shop, set up beneath a busy marketplace, and get inside, they find the place full of clocks running at different speeds and directions.  They chime almost constantly, so anyone going in must make an Insanity check to ignore the cacophony.

In the workshop in the back of the shop, they find a wild-eyed, middle aged man, leaning over a workbench.  When they walk in, he smiles a pleasant smile that doesn’t quite reach his eyes and asks, “Care to buy a clock?”

He will throw himself at the group, frothing at the mouth if they brandish weapons, but he will die quickly enough (he’s only human after all).

~ by 1nsomniac on January 27, 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: