Desolation

If you are not a fan of the idea of the Earthdawn-Shadowrun setting connection, then this adventure will probably not suit you very well, as this adventure hints very strongly at the history of the 4th World, as per Earthdawn.  This adventure also relies heavily on the sourcebook Hazard Pay.  If you do not have this book, some of the included references may not be overly helpful.

The runners are contacted by their fixer for a job that he characterizes as being “unique”.  The fixer wants to meet the team at Club Infinity at 9PM.  He’s booked the ultraviolet room so they can discuss business undisturbed.

Club Infinity is a busy place, with a line around the block.  Luckily, their names have been left at the door and with a few words and a few credits, they can get in ahead of the line.  The inside is alight with the most state of the art holographic images and the dance floor is packed.  Thankfully, the runners can go around the crowds and head for the stairs in the back that head up to the meeting spaces.  The team’s fixer is in the back room awaiting their arrival.

Once the runners have arrived, the fixer starts into the spiel.  “All right, bear with me on this one.  I got a call from a Mr. Johnson in the Trans-Polar Aleut.  He represents an independent mining corporation called Pisces… not a lot of independent companies in that part of the world.  They were exploring the Northern reaches of Umingmak Nuna (“land of musk ox”), formerly known as Ellesmere Island and they found a cavern they think may be pre-Fifth World.  They lack the manpower to mount a proper expedition and they would like to hire a team to go in and find anything of value.  Because they are operating without the knowledge of the government, they need to hire people not affiliated with the Pisces Mining Company.  Anything you find in the caves can be turned over to the company, where you’ll be paid according to what you find.  Even if you come up empty handed, they’re willing to pay you 15000¥ apiece, just for the inconvenience.”

Pisces is being totally forthcoming.  They are prepared to give the runners a week to ready arctic gear for the journey.  Unfortunately, with the issues TPA is having in Thule, the Inuit on Ellesmere Island are not overly happy and by the time the runners can get to their final destination, word has leaked about the secret dig site to the Dunkelzahn Institute for Magical Research (DIMR) and they are already en route.

The runners are given time to collect equipment before being tossed on a plane to Edmonton, to a smaller plane that takes them to Resolute, Nunavut, which puts them on a prop plane cargo plane to Aujuittuq (“place that never thaws”, formerly Grise Fiord), a small Inuit village with the only airfield on the island.  Pisces has set their arctic operations outside of Thule here and one of their employees meets them at the airfield to provide them the latitude and longitude for the dig site in person.  He explains that the site is very remote and under the glacier that covers the Northern shore of the island.  He provides the team with enough arctic snowmobiles to get the team to the destination.

Along the way, the team could run into resistance in the form of any number of obstacles:

  • An Inuit Independence force, who wants Pisces off of the land they feel they own.  They will be similarly armed and equipped to the runners (possibly better), as the arctic climate is their home turf
  • Any number of indigenous creatures moves in on the runners when they unwittingly stray into their hunting grounds
  • When crossing the river or the glacier, they team steps on an air pocket and find themselves falling down into a fissure in the ice.  They will need to climb back out successfully to proceed.
  • One of the snowmobiles breaks down, either from use or sabotage.  They’ll either need to find a way to economize on packing, or conduct repairs on the craft in the open.

The runners will need to make regular checks against exposure, in the face of the near constant darkness and the wind that whips across the predominantly flat landscape.

The snowmobiles can only go as far as the glacier’s leading edge and from there the runners have to travel on foot.  As they near the provided coordinates, they can see heavy machinery on top of the glacier, as well as all the riggings needed to airlift them off again should it be deemed necessary.  The team is not present and the machines are cold, apparently dormant since the initial dig.  Scaffolding has been erected, descending down into the hole that has been burrowed into the ice, but a layer of ice has formed on the metal, so the runners will need to be careful on the descent.

Underneath several stories of ice, which is already showing signs of shifting, there is a cavern which appears to have collapsed after millennium under the ice.  Perhaps once upon an eon ago, the space wasn’t so arctic, as the cavern looks like it was once a subterranean city.  Buildings carved into the rock line the outer walls, though it appears as though much of the city has collapsed under the weight of the glacier.

Walking through the ancient streets, it shows signs that a great cataclysm struck this place moments before the city was frozen.  The buildings show signs of battle damage and mummified bodies lay in the streets.  In some of the buildings, tombs of ice seem to be bursting out from the walls.  Skeletal remains are encased in ice, in a lot of cases, only partial bodies, with their lower extremities obscured by dark clouds in the ice.  At the town centre, there are a circle of what appear to be elves and various indiscernible runes around them.  The items they have on them could be worth a considerable sum.

As they study the town square, they are fired upon from somewhere in the city.  This is a strike team from DIMR, who want to cover-up the old cairn from the 4th world.  They are trained in arctic warfare and should cause the runners some difficulty.

If they don’t end up surrendering the objects to the DIMR (if they retreat, the strike team won’t pursue), they can turn them over to Pisces for payment, or keep them to see what they can get for them.  If they choose to keep them, they can make a lot of money, but earn Notoriety for double-crossing their employer and will have several powerful foes as a result of their taking artifacts that certain elves will see as theirs.

All Arctic hazards and gear can be found in Hazard Pay.

Inuit soldiers are armed with HK-247-Arctic SMGs and wearing Ares Armored Survivalist parkas, with a Resealer Unit in case of puncture.

DIMR forces carry Ares Predator CW pistols and Ares Arctic Rifles.  They are all wearing Ares Arctic Forces Armor Suits and if dealing with greater threats (aka runners), they carry clips of APDS to ensure the enemy can’t survive the arctic environment.  Outside the excavation site is an Ares Snowstar 2070 Helicopter with a couple more guards and the pilot, who will retreat rather than let the aircraft fall into enemy hands.

>> There isn’t enough nuyen on the planet to get me to the North Pole.  If I find Seattle cold, I’m not suited for cold climates.
>> Havik

>> Honestly, humans nowadays have a hard time living that far North.  Before modern amenities, how could an ancient culture possibly reside in some dark hole in the ground up there?
>> Wraith

>> Fear drives people to extremes.
>> Orange Queen

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~ by 1nsomniac on June 13, 2013.

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