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Home is where the heart breaks.
A T L A S G A M E S P R E S E N T S

S I X S C E N A R I O S O F W O E A N D R U I N
BYRICK NEAL, JAMES PALMER, GREG STOLZE, JOHN TYNES, CHAD UNDERKOFFLER

art director John Tynes graphic design, illustrators Toren Atkinson


cover artist C. Brent Ferguson photos & production John Tynes Nathan Fox Matt Harpold
editor John Tynes proofreading Michelle A. Brown Nephew Thomas Manning Drew Tucker
John Nephew Alex Knapik
publisher John Nephew photo model Heather Hudson
playtesters Geoff Besko
Tim Besko Andrew Byers Chris Douglas Stephen Goulet Erik Isford Scott Kane
Tom Schoene Sandy Schumann Ed Spencer Clint Staples Penny Staples

special thanks to
Activspace Atlas Games Daniel Gelon Rob Heinsoo Karen Lewis Greg Stolze

The intellectual property known as Unknown Armies is owned by Greg Stolze & John Tynes and is used by Trident, Inc. d/
b/a Atlas Games under license. With the exception of any and all previously published elements of the Unknown Armies Atlas Games
intellectual property (which are all 19982001 Greg Stolze & John Tynes), this work is 2001 by Trident Inc. The Atlas Games
logo is 2001 and Trident, Inc d/b/a Atlas Games and John Nephew. All rights reserved worldwide. Except for purposes of
Saint Paul,
review, no portions of this work may be reproduced by any means without the permission of the relevant copyright holders. This Minnesota
is a work of fiction. Any similarity with actual people or events, past or present, is purely coincidental and unintentional. Ac-
knowledgements: Daniel Gelon supplied the freakish doll used in the chapter photographs. Some folks say Mr. K.C. www.Atlas-Games.com
couldnt run / Let me tell you what K.C. done / Left outta Memphis quarter to nine / New York City dinner time. info@atlas-games.com
Digital Edition Version 1.0 / September 2006
The Decision of Paris, Texas ........... 4 Maria Saputo, Gangland Strega ......................... 33 Loose Ends .................................................... 6 0
Anthony Vespucci, Mobster on the Rise ............. 34 Jumping Off Points ..................................... 6 0
A Few of My Favorite Things .......... 12 Contact Two: The Traders Guild ...................... 35 Drink to That ............................. 62
The Guildhall ........................................................ 35
The City at Night .............................................. 14 The Guildbrothers ................................................ 35 Act One: First Round ............................. 65
Encounter One: The Gun .................................. 15 What the Guildbrothers Know ............................. 36 Stimulus ........................................................... 65
The Ambulance ................................................ 15 The Price .............................................................. 37 Response ..........................................................65
Finding the Old Man ........................................ 16 Guildhall Doorman............................................... 38 The Point .......................................................... 67
Encounter Two: The Bible ................................ 16 The Guildbrothers ................................................ 38 Act Two: Happy Hour ............................ 67
Encounter Three: The Flag ............................... 17 Contract Three: The Spider .............................. 39 Stimulus ........................................................... 67
Encounter Four: The Automobile ..................... 18 Into the Web ........................................................ 40 Response .......................................................... 67
C O Conclusion ........................................................ 19
Swap Meet ............................... 20
The Parlor ............................................................. 40
What the Spider Knows ....................................... 41
The Point ..........................................................69
Act Three: Last Call ............................... 69
The Price .............................................................. 42 Stimulus ........................................................... 69
Using the Swap Meet ............................ 22 The Spider, Computer Nightmare ........................ 42 Response ..........................................................69
Information ...................................................... 23 Thats Far Enough ............................................44 The Ritual of Ersmon Rarisly ........................... 71
A Note About the Timeline .............................. 23 Whos it Gonna Be?............................................. 44 The Green Glass Grail .................. 72
Equipment ........................................................ 23 The Setup ............................................................. 45
Personal Objectives ......................................... 24 The Smackdown ................................................... 46 Location, Location, Location ..................... 74

N T

E N

Wheres the Godwalker? ................................. 24 Picking up the Pieces .......................................... 46 Background ....................................... 75
Price ................................................................. 24 The Swap Meet ................................... 47 The Ritual of Light ........................................... 75
Strip Mining ....................................... 25 Winnipeg .......................................................... 47 Shards of Infinity............................................. 76
Hearing the Word ................................ 25 Canadian Gun Laws ......................................... 49 Vince Jenkins ................................................... 76
Orders .............................................................. 25 The Drive .............................................................. 50 New Ritual: The Ritual of Light (Sig.) ............. 77
Rumors ............................................................. 26 Hat River .......................................................... 50 New Artifact: The Green Glass Grail (Sig.) ..... 77
T S Turnabout ......................................................... 26
Word on the Street ........................................... 28
Wendigo Hotel ................................................. 51
The Merchants .................................................. 52
Science Project ................................................. 78
Dead End ..........................................................78
Getting There ..................................... 29 The Sponsors .................................................... 52 Gamma Crew ....................................................78
Following the Bread Crumbs ........................... 29 Arthur, Swap Meet Sponsor ................................ 53 Rumors About Vince ......................................... 79
Contact One: Maria and the Mobster .............. 30 Beatrice, Swap Meet Sponsor ............................. 54 The Truth About Vince ......................................79
The Meet .............................................................. 30 Cagliostro, Swap Meet Sponsor .......................... 56 So Whats the Scenario? ........................ 81
What Maria Knows ............................................... 30 Doing Business................................................. 57 Step One: Location ........................................... 83
Marias Legwork .................................................. 31 Shopping Around ............................................. 57 Step Two: PC Involvement ................................83
The Second Meet ................................................. 32 Fun and Games ................................................ 59 Step Three: Plot Threads ..................................84
Playing With Fire ............................................. 32 Aftermath .......................................... 60 Step Four: Plot Elements ................................. 84
The Price .............................................................. 32 Wrapping Up .................................................... 60 Plot Element: The Homeless ............................... 84
Plot Element: Love Triangle ................................ 85 Hector Garcia, Beatnik Burglar ......................... 112 The Great White Ghost ............................ 15 7
Plot Element: The SHUs ....................................... 85 Maria Perez, Sin Eater ...................................... 114 Voodoo Lady .............................................. 15 7
Plot Element: The Suicide Kings ......................... 86 Mycroft Mike Fitzhugh ............................... 115 The Cats ....................................................... 158
Plot Element: Unnatural Phenomena ................. 86 Nero Nicky Fitzhugh, Freshly-Ex-Con ........ 119 The Clinic ..................................................... 159
Plot Element: Pass the Bottle ............................. 87 Elijah McGillicuddy, Raving Loon .................. 120 The Witchll Get You ........................... 159
Step Five: Themes ............................................89 Repercussions ................................... 120 Yvonne Cole, Old Witch ................................. 159
Step Six: The Phantom ....................................89 Mundane Response ........................................ 121 The Old Woman In The Woods ....................... 160
Step Seven: Events ........................................... 90 Involved Cabal Responses ............................. 121 The Mirror Man ................................. 161
The Street Phantom Candidates ......................90 Uninvolved Cabal and Duke Responses ........ 122 David Cole, Living Ghost ............................... 162
Event: Grail Tag! .................................................. 90 Stoon Lake ............................. 124 Coles Family ................................................. 164
Event: Grilled by Dena ......................................... 91 Men In Black Coats ........................................ 164
Event: In the Shop of Dreams ............................. 91 Who Cares? ..................................... 126 Coles Apartment ........................................... 164
Event: Meeting T-Joe ........................................... 91 Residents and Others .......................... 127 Taking Cole Out ............................................. 165
Event: Hes The Street Phantom?! ..................... 92 The Truth ......................................... 132 The K ............................................. 166
Event: You Want Fries With That? ...................... 92 The Community Grid ...................................... 133 Leonard Oakley, Lies Even To Himself .......... 167
Event: The Street Phantom Sends a Message .... 92 Stoon Lake Bigfoot Timeline ......................... 135 Cross Burning ................................................. 168
Event: T-Joe Meets Trouble .................................. 92 Trampled Under (Big)Foot .................... 136 The Ks Territory ............................................ 168
Event: Meet Nicky Fitzhugh ................................ 93 Hey! Wheres the Funky Stuff? ..................... 136 The K Buildings .............................................. 169
Event: Unnatural Phenomena Happens .............. 93 Garden Full of Weeds ................ 142 Dealing with the K ......................................... 169

Event: Homeless Person Grabbed by Phantom ... 93 Chronicles of the Unknown! .................. 145 Bad Things ....................................... 170
Step Eight: The Climax .................................... 94 Mood .............................................................. 146 A Small Pogrom ............................................. 170
Climax: Confronting the Phantom ...................... 94 Themes ........................................................... 147 Bad Dogs ........................................................ 171
Climax: The PCs Get the Grail ............................. 95 Loogarou ........................................................ 147 Phantom Whores ............................................ 171
Climax: The Phantom Gets the Grail ................... 95 Foreign Lands ................................................ 147 Tracking Down the Kuklos ............................. 171
Step Nine: The Plot Skeleton ........................... 97 The Course of Events ........................... 148 Daddys Still Home ........................................ 171
Major GMCs ...................................... 97 The Hook ......................................... 148 The Snowfallen .............................................. 172
Vince Jenkins ................................................... 97 The Park ......................................................... 150 The Terrible Old Man .......................... 172
The Angel of Mercy, Compassionate Soul ....... 99 The Real Hook .................................. 150 Marcus Longman, Chronicler Gone Wrong .... 173
The Street Phantom ....................................... 100 Bad Omens ...................................... 151 Red And Red And Red Indeed ........................ 174
New Ritual: The Consume Soul Ritual ........... 104 The Liegeless Land ......................................... 151 Godwalker Candidates ................................... 175
Dena Kustoris ................................................. 104 Longmans Fragments ......................... 152 Leaving Things Alone .......................... 176
T-Joe Walters .................................................. 107 The Rhyme ....................................... 152 Other Resolutions .............................. 176
The Hellhound.................................................... 108 Investigating .................................... 153
New Ritual: The Elixir of Life (faux-alchemy)109 The Other Version .......................................... 153
The Gamma Crew ........................................... 109 Dead Babies ................................................... 153
Adele Cox, Pocket Enforcer ................................. 111 Real Horror Stories ........................................ 156
PROLOGUE THE DECISION OF PARIS, TEXAS

The Decision of Paris, Texas


b y g r e g s t o l z e

neal brinker didnt look like the kind of guy


whod have three women fighting over him. It
wasnt just that his buzz-cut was growing out,
leaving patches of fuzzy hair on the back of his
neck. It wasnt that the black dye job on the
growing buzz-cut was starting to show roots
the color of sand. It wasnt the baseball cap
and the sleeveless Dont Mess with Texas! t-
shirt. It wasnt even that the Bahama Gold
tanning lotion hed smeared on his entire body
had been somewhat inaccurately advertised as
never streaking.
It was none of those things. They didnt
help, certainly. But even months agowhen
hed had natural skin color, long brown hair
and a moustache to distract attention from a
rather large nosethere was something in the
tone and tenor of his body language that
seemed to subtly whisper Im not worth it.
It was only if you looked in Neals eyes
that you might suspect him of being anything
other than your typical dropout store clerk.
Neal was (barely) a high-school graduate, but
up until very recently he had indeed been a
clerk. Then hed gotten shot, and had shot
some other people, and had crashed a car and
found a lottery ticket worth millions. What
with all the confusion and unpleasantness and
murder, hed never gotten around to turning in
his register key.
Something of those experiences was
written in and around his wide brown eyes.
Something reckless and hectic and unpredict-
able. Something that bespoke a very unusual
set of priorities.
Neal sat on the bed and looked at the three
women, and the wildness in his eyes seemed to
be leaking out like hysterical tears, leaking into
each of them and into the situation itself.

the woman with the semiautomatic didnt


know if she could use it. Objectively, she conversation as macho trash talking, but
knew she could pull the trigger, she knew the something about the way Cage spoke stuck in
safety was off and a bullet was in the chamber, her mind. He wasnt having fun in that
and she knew how to sight it and knew she conversation: He was genuinely enraged and
should breathe out while gently squeezing the bitter. So shed done some poking around and
trigger. But shed never shot a person. Shed found out about Neal Brinker. When she saw
never even shot at a person. In fact, shed the confirmation there on her computer screen,
never even fired on an animal. Just paper indicating that he did indeed have an un-
targetseven that she hadnt enjoyed much. claimed ticket worth $23 million, a spark
But the woman she was aiming at in Neal somewhere inside her blossomed cautiously
Brinkers hotel rooma redhead with a into flame.
broken nose and a mangled wrist, wearing a Violet was fixated on money, but not in the
denim skirt, holding a .38 revolverstood normal and accepted U.S. capitalist fashion. To
between her and the ticket. The lottery ticket. her, money was much more than a symbol of
Brinkers ticket. real wealth, more than status or an indication of
The magic ticket. worth. To her, money was truth, and truth
The woman with the semiautomatic was money. To her, money was literally magickal.
named Violet McIntyre. She had betrayed her With enough of it, she could feel the shape of
bossa man with billions of dollars and a destinyor shape destiny with her feelings.
private army at his disposal, a man who Her power was not some fuzzy, vague
showed no tolerance whatsoever for failure, mysticism that could be dismissed with psy-
never mind treacheryin hopes of persuading chology. It was hard edged and quantifiable
Neal to give her his 23 million dollar Power- and objective. If she received a certain small
Ball lottery ticket. amount of money, it brought with it a small
Shed learned of the ticket by accident. amount of mystic powera measure of
She worked in the Chicago office of her leverage she could use against the future, or
powerful employers personal occult conspira- the world, or the mind of another human
cy (an organization called The New Inquisi- being. A greater sum brought with it greater
tion, or TNI for short) alongside a man she power. She knew the border between those
knew only as Cage. Cage had been the origi- sums down to the penny.
nal owner of the ticket. Brinker had stolen the But there was a third level she knew of
ticket from Cage (along with a Lincoln Town knew of through vague, irksomely vague
Car) after leaving Cage bleeding in a ditch by a rumors. The highest level of all would allow
cornfield. her to blur the lines between money and all the
Cage couldnt seem to let it go. Shed things it touched and purchased. It was power
overheard him complaining about it one night that would allow her to buy anything in the
at the TNI safehouse. world, anything at all.
I mean, 23 million dollars. 23 million The only problem was, she didnt know
fuckin dollars! Thats not his money. Its my how much money she needed for that grand-
money. est, highest level. She knew it had to be
PROLOGUE THE DECISION OF PARIS, TEXAS

Well, it aint like he can claim it. Minute inconceivably high . . . but so many numbers
he does, you know were gonna fall on him were, really, too large for frail human minds to
like a million-ton shit. grasp. Was a million dollars enough? Proba-
Damn right. Like a twenty-three million- bly not, lots of people earned a million in the
ton shit. course of a lifetime. An average career at
Violet had been inclined to dismiss the $50,000 a year could do it.

5
PROLOGUE THE DECISION OF PARIS, TEXAS

But a billion? Would it really take that Alone, she probably couldnt have done it.
much? Violet couldnt let herself believe that, She could find numbers that were involved
because . . . because she just couldnt. If the 82 and 271 kept coming up again and again
threshold, the barrier that would take her from but not their meaning or context. However,
journeyman to master was that high, shed she was teamed with a vague (but always
never make it, never. She couldnt believe it. pertinent) tarot reader called Moonglow, and
Twenty million? the two of them started to make some head-
Twenty million was plausible. Maybe that way. Finally, a third propheta very odd old
was it. woman who claimed to be the last living
But really, it was foolish to think about it. haruspexrealized that 82 and 271 were not
(Thats what Violet had told herself, lying in quantities or addresses, but names. Neal
her bed at night, gnawing her fingernails and Brinker was hiding near the intersection of
unable to sleep.) If her billionaire boss Interstate 271 and 82.
couldnt find this Neal Brinker, what chance That very night, three of Alex Ables four
did she have? Even if she found him, what most feared assassins were on a private plane
could she offer that was worth his chance at to Dallas, where they would pick up a rental
millions? car and drive it to Paris, Texas.
Thenalmost like a jokeshed been put Violet took a different flight. Because it
on the task force looking for him. Violet could wasnt enough to simply steal the ticket,
read dollar bills like tarot cards, and her damnit. She couldnt just take it. It had to be
prophetic powers were set to the task of freely given.
tracking down the man who had defied her That was how shed wound up racing
master and lived. three killers to Neal Brinker. She was desper-
ate to persuade him to give her the ticket. forties, the kind who might get a second glance
Luckily, she finally had something worth if she wore a knee length skirt to the grocery
bargaining with. store and had to bend over to get something
His life. from a bottom shelf. Clarice got second looks
(and more) wherever she went, unless she went
listen, brinker, violet said. You out of her way to make herself unattractive.
dont have to go with either of them. You can Violet spent forty minutes every morning
be your own man! Just give me the ticket and making herself more attractive: Clarice usually
I can make both of us rich! Richer than you spent half that time on her appearance, and
can imagine! her efforts were to rein in her loveliness, not
You think you can trust her? asked the amplify it.
denim-clad redhead. Shes already betrayed Violet lived and worked in a world where
one boss. What makes you think she wont money was everything, where it was the
screw you the same way? central switchboard that mediated meaning.
Shut up, you, said the third woman Violets worldview was locked on lucre, and
dark-haired and exotic in a tank-top and everything else was secondary.
miniskirt. Shed been very beautiful that Clarice trafficked in realms of lethal lust.
morning, but in the last half-hour her face had Her job, over and over, was to meet her man,
gotten two nasty slashes, courtesy of a gravity make him want her, get him alone, and kill
knife wielded by the woman in denim. Blood him. Poison, usually, but shed also used the
was dripping from her forehead into her eyes, knife, the gun, the strangle cord. Intimate
but for all that she still had a gun pointing deaths at intimate range.
steadily at Neal Brinker. It was a long bar- Clarice knew very little about Neal Brink-
reled, blue-steel revolver and (ironically er, but she knew enough. She knew he was an
enough) it belonged to the very man she was entropomancerwhich meant, in practical
aiming at. Neal seemed to prefer revolvers, terms, that he was crazy and destructive and
because the gun the redhead held (also his) was that he had the power to make the world crazy
one, tooa chrome-plated snubby. and destructive. She knew he was like a good
Neal, youre a sorcerer like me, you know man or a bad mealvery hard to keep down.
what real power is. Give me the ticket and Ill Shed been shown his picture and briefed on
have it! Why would I betray someone who his first sexual experiences, and shed been
gave me that? Ill have the power to set both told to find him, seduce him, and kill him
of us up. We can have it all, have everything, before he had a chance to realize what was
have the money to protect ourselves! Didnt I happening.
save your life already? Didnt I warn you The usual deal.
about Clarice just in time? In some small, neglected corner of her
heart Clarice always hoped some guy would
clarice worked for TNI, like Violet. Like tell her no. Every time she did her usual
Violet, she was pretty, and like Violet she had deal, she did it thinking that this time the
dark hair. Like Violet, Clarice was a woman. target might pass up the offer of easy sex,
PROLOGUE THE DECISION OF PARIS, TEXAS

But there the similarities ended. might think with his top brain, might have
Violets job with TNI was primarily some honor or dignity or just plain self-
informational. She sat back and read dollars respect. But they never did, and every time the
and made predictions and took the long view. hope got a little dimmer.
Clarice killed people. Neal had been just like the rest, pathetical-
Violet was an attractive woman in her ly eager to believe that he had some quality

7
PROLOGUE THE DECISION OF PARIS, TEXAS

that could attract a complete stranger into even let you have the ticket if you promised to
intimacy. punch his ticket on the gravy train.
Only this time, that traitor Violet warned Dont I get a say in this? Neal asked. It
him. That alone wouldnt have been enough was the first thing hed said since Clarice had
to save Neal, but thered been a third woman stopped fighting the redhead.
waiting in Neals motel room. Youre the only one without a gun,
Like Violet and Clarice, the third woman Clarice said. So I guess you dont count.
was pretty, dark haired, and had once worked Shoot me, cunt, he replied.
for TNI. Violet sucked in her breath, and all the
women in the room seemed to get even more
look neal, I know both these bitches are tense, but no one pulled the trigger. Neal
promising you the moon and stars, but Im the smiled.
only one here whos going to tell you the I charge up on risk, he said gently. I
truth, Clarice said. Youre in shitty shape, just insulted a dangerous woman with a gun in
Neal. I got a gun on you and orders to kill my face. Now I am a gun. And I can aim at
you dead, and Im pretty sure I can do it even anyone I want.
after she shoots me. She didnt even look at Good show, Brinker, the redhead said,
the redhead. She wouldnt let herself. It was cracking a smile. Cmon Clarice. Put down
all she could do to keep her voice calm. the gun and walk. Well let you go, this time.
Dont listen to her, Neal! said the Youre outgunned and outnumbered and
redhead. with that last moveI think Brinker has you
No, do listen. Im the only one here who outclassed. You cant win.
isnt going to piss on your face and tell you its No, you cant win, Clarice replied.
raining. You give up to TNI and we wont kill Remember Tex? You were with Tex down in
you. Youll lose your fucking ticket and youll Argentina, werent you? Said he bullseyed a
probably lose your free will, but youll live. pregnant woman from two hundred yards and
You go with either of these bitches and I didnt change expression.
promise you wont live out the month. What about him?
Hah. The redhead didnt actually laugh. Hes here. Specifically, hes in the parking
They promised me the same thing in 1998. lot, holding a machinegun with a clip as long
Instead of meekly going off to get your ass as your arm. Hes got a laser mike trained on
punked out, come with me. Come to the the window, and if he hears me leave or get
goddess. We know youve been seeking us. shot, hell turn this room into a blender.
We know you want us. Bring the ticket and Brinker? You willing to take that much risk?
come with us and we can give Abel the biggest Shes bluffing, the redhead said.
fuck you of his life. Tell her, Violet.
No, give the ticket to me, Violet said. Shit, Violet whispered. Tex is here. I
If you want to go to the Naked Goddess sect dont know if hes here here, but hes in Texas
thats fine, great, Ill go with you, youll have with the mission. Adam too. Her hands
someone to watch your back, just give the were starting to shake with terror. These other
ticket to me! Violet realized she sounded people were used to violence, but not her, she
desperate, but she couldnt help herself. was in over her head and she knew it.
Its not too late to come back, Clarice I dont think Tex is out there, the
said. Either one of you. Neal here is a big redhead said. If he was, hed fire. Hes a
ticket item. Bring him in and the boss may let fuckin maniac, and Clarice being here
bygones be. Who knows, Violet? He might wouldnt stop him.
Youre wrong, Clarice said. going through the motions. For every gung-ho
The redhead squinted, trying to figure if officer making cold busts, there was a bureau-
Clarice was being honest or not. crat going through the motions. Worse, she
It should have helped that they were once watched as those officers turned into bureau-
friends, but really, it didnt make it easier at crats. It was like watching butterflies become
all. caterpillars. These dashing, dangerous, vital
men slowed down and got cautious. Cooler
the redhead wasnt really a redhead. She heads prevailed. Discretion became the greater
used dye, like Neal, only she did it much part of valor. Gradually, their beefy pecs and
better. She went by the name Justine Anander, biceps melted downward into complacent beer
though shed been born Jeanette Appleton. guts as they spent more time behind desks and
Shed worked for the DEA and had betrayed less time behind battering rams. The War on
them to drug dealers, and then shed worked Drugs became less important than waiting out
for TNI and had betrayed them to the Sect of the clock, counting another day towards
the Naked Goddess. Nonetheless, she did not retirement.
think of herself as a treacherous person. Shed sold out because she was searching for
To her way of thinking, she simply had something more. Money and danger and the
very little tolerance for meaningless bullshit. excitement of working both sides against the
Initially the DEA had seemed important middle seemed like a good start. Like Brinker,
saving innocent little U.S. teenagers from she enjoyed risk. Unlike him, she never started
becoming crack-piping home invaders, very to worship risk for risks sake. She was making
noble. But the more she did, the more she a lot of money, but unlike Violet, that wasnt her
realized how many people around her were Be All End All Ultimate Answer.

PROLOGUE THE DECISION OF PARIS, TEXAS

9
PROLOGUE THE DECISION OF PARIS, TEXAS

10

Eventually she screwed up, got arrested, mind. The last tape made of the actress as an
escaped and found her way to TNI. Shed actress. The one that chronicled her transfor-
hoped, really hoped, that this was going to mation from mere human into something
fulfill her. She wasnt just a pawn in an unknowably potent and mysterious. Some-
international game of narcopolitics: she was thing divine.
with the major players in the game of Reality After that, her eyes were opened. Before
itself. With TNI she learned that magick was she had seen only a group of sad women,
not only real, but was more real than the life going through the humiliating motions of one
shed left, the life of money and laws and of pornographys living tools. After, she
temporal authority. realized that there was a border between the
She had finally found the issues that really banal and the sacred, and that their practices
mattered. Unfortunately, the more she learned let them cross that line. Anything, no matter
the more it became clear that TNI was in the how commonplace, could become a vessel for
game and knew the stakes; they just didnt holy insight. A song on the radio, a TV
have a clue what the rules were. commercial, an overheard phrase on a crowd-
Then she got an assignment to infiltrate ed streetit all had meaning, everything. Even
the Sect of the Naked Goddess. At first they a batch of cruddy porn tapes could turn out to
seemed easily as stupid as anyone shed ever be the key to wisdom.
meteven the druggies were chasing their Shed triedcautiously at firstto explain
bliss, not just blindly mimicking the actions of to her fellow operatives the importance of
a porn actress who would never, in a normal what the Sect was doing. But they wouldnt
world, be considered a role model. listen. They were still hung up on the details
It was the tape that started to change her of it, on the external appearance. They
couldnt get past the porn. They couldnt get screw tex, jeanette said after a long
past the obvious. moment. Either hes there or hes not. If hes
Justine left them when she realized that all there, were all screwed. Even if we surrender,
her life had been spent trying to get past the were screwed. One way or the other, all three
obvious. of us have robbed, damaged, or betrayed the
The members of the Sect, despite their holy New Inquisition. If we surrender, theyll kill
aims, were not ignorant of the violent and us for sure. Remember Neal, I worked for
dangerous realities of life in the material them.
world. They were delighted to have a woman Shes lying Neal. You can live through
with Justines talents on their side, and once this, Clarice replied. The blood dripping
they were sure they could trust her she became from her forehead was starting to dry in her
a favored operative. hair and in the carpet at her feet.
It was Justine who learned that TNI was If you call that living, Violet said,
desperately seeking a young chaos mage thinking of Winston Kroll, who was practically
named Neal Brinker. She was the one who a prisoner at a TNI safehouse. Worse, there
uncovered Brinkers interest in the Sect, and was Jennifer Koeb, who reputedly had no free
she was the one who tracked him to Paris, will left whatsoever.
Texas just in time to see him heading towards Jeanette spoke again. You can give away
his hotel room with her old colleague Clarice your one hope for financial security. You can
Dominguez. crawl back to TNI and get whipped into the
Shed trained with Clarice and knew shed kennel like a dog. Or you can come to the
only get one good shot. Shed been so focused Goddess, Neal. You were looking for us,
on Clarice she hadnt been ready for Neal to werent you? If youve seen the tape, you
trash her hand with a mean look and a dose of know. You know the right answer, Neal. You
mojo. She thought she was done for until the can pick slavery. You can choose promises of
other womanthe short one with the South- more if you give away everything youve got.
ern accentshowed up. Or you can come to an organization strong
Jeanette had gone for her knife and Neal enough to resist TNI, strong enough and
had knocked away Clarices gun and then getting stronger because we have the truth,
Jeanette and Clarice were in the shit, knocking Neal. Thats your choice.
one another around the room and through the Dont listen to her
furniture. Jeanette got some good slashes on No, Neal
Clarices face, but she had to hold the knife left Uh, ladies? Neals voice quieted them
handed and it was awkward, and Clarice had instantly.
punched her nose flat and then done some- All three of them were already nervous,
thing that made her arm go numb so the knife but when they saw him grin their unease
dropped onto the floor. The other woman had increased.
kicked the knife away, fumbling for something Theres something you all ought to
in her purse. Neal had gone for a cheap- know.
looking blue and yellow gym bag, Clarice had He cleared his throat, almost apologetic.
PROLOGUE THE DECISION OF PARIS, TEXAS

thrown Jeanette into Neal and they both fell. Then he spoke.
Jeanette and Clarice had grabbed the bag at One of my guns only has one bullet in it.
the same time, torn it. Two pistols had fallen There was just a brief second as the two
out, each of them had grabbed one just as the women with Neals revolvers realized
third woman pulled a gun from her purse, and what this meant . . .
then suddenly everything had gotten very still. . . . and then it all went south.

11
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

14

This is a quick and dirty Unknown Armies


scenario suitable for most any group of player
characters. To get things started, the PCs are
on foot in a lonely part of the city late at night.
They might be leaving a rendezvous, or on
their way to a bar, or maybe youve just put
them in that situation for the purposes of this
session. It doesnt matter.
As they pass an alley, a disheveled old man
in a filthy trenchcoat takes a step out of the
shadows and leers at them. Youre in my city
now, he barks, and I really, really love you.
If the PCs stop to talk to this obvious
lunatic, he mumbles something about how
hed like some change. Can ya gimme some
change, man? I need some change. He doesnt
respond rationally to questions or offers of
money and after a moment waves his hand
dismissively and wanders off down the alley. If
for some reason the PCs follow him, he climbs
into a dumpster a block later and goes to
sleep, paying no particular attention to the
world around him.
The PCs can resume their journey.

The City at Night


The next four encounters all occur as the PCs
walk the streets at night, trying to get to their
original destination. But theyre no longer in
the same city, and this place is very strange:

Pay phones and wireless devices such as cell


phones or PDAs make only a low buzzing
sound, and the buttons do nothing.
Parked cars look normal, but make hostile
growling noises when touched. If the PCs
try to open one, cars nearby start growling,
too, until they leave the car alone. If they
persist, the noise stops as soon as the door
opens. However, none of the cars work.
Buildings are dark and locked; no one is
inside any of them except where noted.
There are no street signs or traffic signals.
None of the area traversed is familiar to
any of the PCs, even if it should be.

CHAPTER ILLO BY TOREN ATKINSON


the nearby boxed text. If possible, give one of
Encounter One: The Gun the women the chance to say, After this, its
Two drunken, middle-aged women get out of a time for some change, as she leaves the scene.
car across the street. One of them screams,
Im a gun! Im a gun! The other woman
runs staggering over to the PCs, bawling for Frances, Im a Gun
help. Shes a gun! Shes a gun! Summary: Frances is drunk and ticked off at
Shes right. The first woman screams again her longtime best friend, Jenette. Jenette once
and a bullet erupts from her mouth. Roll stole Francess boyfriend, or maybe it was vice
initiative and proceed by combat rounds. versa, and she cant remember his name but
The PCs can do what they like. The first you know, he was the love of her life, or at
womans only interest is in shooting her least she says so tonight. Also, Frances can
companion while continually screaming Im a shoot bullets from her mouth by screaming
gun! Im a gun! and her companions only Im a gun!
interest is in not being shot. The PCs are in Personality: Unpleasantly angry when shes
danger only if they try to intervene, in which drunk. Drunk all the time.
case theyve got to kill or incapacitate the gun- Obsession: Drinking.
womanor hang tough until shes fired six Wound Points: 50
shots, at which point shes out of bullets and
begins to cough with a staccato clicking sound. Stats
Either woman can explain that their names Body: 50 (Doughy)
are Frances and Jenette, and they were drunk- Speed: 40 (Poor Aim) (F)
enly arguing over a long-ago ex-lover when Mind: 40 (Clouded)
Frances lost her temper and started shooting. Soul: 20 (Bitter, Empty)
Neither woman sees anything odd in Francess
ability to fire bullets by screaming Im a Skills
gun! and will respond to related queries with Body Skills: Remain Standing 25%, Thrash
defensive rationalizations (Nobody was Wildly 36%
supposed to get hurt!) that completely Speed Skills: Dodge 22%, Drive Drunk 38%,
sidestep the unreality of the situation. Gunmouth 24%
Eventually either the two woman exchange Mind Skills: Look Around 19%, Sports Trivia
a sloppy hug and wander off down the street, 25%
or an ambulance arrives to pick up any Soul Skills: Charmless 18%, Deceive Self and
wounded or dead characters; if the latter, see Others 19%

The Ambulance
An ambulance might turn up in several of this scenarios encounters. Each time, it is driven by a
friendly Hispanic paramedic named Jesus (hay-soos) who makes jokes with the PCs about the
dangers of being on the street at night. He discounts any strangeness they report with a cheer-
ful, Ah, people see all kinda crazy stuff in this city, man. PCs who played through the scenar-
io Bill in Three Persons (see Unknown Armies, p. 212) may recognize Jesus from that scenar-
io, though he doesnt remember them or recognize the situation they met him in. Naw, man,
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

youre thinking of some other Jesus. He cant give them a ride or tell them any useful direc-
tions. Hey, I get lost down here myself. If the PCs force their way into the ambulance, it
wont start up again until theyve left.

15
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

16

Gunmouth: Frances has six bullets in her


bodyone for every time her heart has Madness Meter
been brokenthat she can shoot at fire- Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
arms velocity and accuracy from her 0 H/0 F 0 H/0 F 1 H/2 F 2 H/1 F 3 H/1 F
mouth. She cannot generate more bullets
until she undergoes more heartache.
Encounter Two: The Bible
Madness Meter The PCs enter a street where some of the
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self buildings are covered in pages torn from Bibles
1 H/0 F 0 H/0 F 2 H/4 F 3 H/3 F 6 H/4 F and glued into place. They hear a shout and,
looking up, they spot a chubby man standing
on the roof of a two-story apartment building
Jenette, Stop Shooting Me across the street. He waves at them and yells a
Summary: Jenette has some vague recollection hello. A couple of loose Bible pages fall from a
about a guy she loved or Frances loved or stack in his hands and drift lazily down to the
some darn thing. But shes pretty plowed sidewalk. Hell happily engage in conversation
tonight and just wanted to get back home with the PCs, but hes hard of hearing and they
when she and Frances started arguing over have to shout. He can tell them the following:
whatever it was.
Personality: Ambitionless sidekick to a lower His name is Fred Lewis.
form of life than she is. Hes gluing Bible pages to the buildings
Obsession: Drinking. because the Word of God is binding, and
Wound Points: 40 without it everything just falls apart.
He doesnt know anything in particular
Stats about the PCs, their predicament, or the
Body: 40 (Stringy) other people theyve met tonight. He
Speed: 30 (Staggering) (F) insists hes in Minneapolis.
Mind: 50 (Dogged)
Soul: 45 (Wants Better) Fred repeatedly asks the PCs to talk louder
because hes almost deaf. As they talk, he leans
Skills further over the edge, trying to hear them
Body Skills: General Athletics 17%, Struggle 32% better. After a couple of questions, he loses his
Speed Skills: Dodge 19%, Drive 22% footing and falls to the sidewalk. A trail of
Mind Skills: Days of Our Lives Trivia 23%, fluttering Bible pages follows him down.
See Danger All Around Her 39% Fred hits the ground with an awful thud
Soul Skills: Pick Up Older Men With Tracheot- and starts moaning and wheezing. He doesnt
omies 44%, Deny Misfortune 37% appear to have any obvious injuries, but

Finding the Old Man


The PCs are likely to assume that the weird old man they met at the start of this scenario is in
some way responsible for whats happening to them. Between encounters, allow the players to
try finding him. Since there are no street signs, you can call for Mind rolls to try and retrace
their steps. But the streets keep changing and nothing makes sense; theyre not going to find the
old man until youre ready for them to, though they might hear him singing in the distance from
time to time.
clearly hes in pain. Despite this, he does his His name is Jack, and some bad men
best to carry on the previous conversation have kidnapped his sister, Lynn. They kid-
until the ambulance arrives. napped him, too, but he just got away through
Should any of the PCs begin applying Bible the window of a broom closet. He thinks these
pages to Freds body, he sighs and relaxes as if men are going to kill Lynn unless someone
he was being healed. Ah, that changes every- saves her, and fast. He doesnt know who the
thing. But even with this, hes still getting on men are, but theyre always following Lynn
the ambulance. around. He points to a Veterans of Foreign
Wars building in the next block; painted on the
front of the building is a large American flag.
Fred Lewis, Bible Gluer Thats where theyve got Lynn.
Summary: Fred believes the city is falling apart The PCs dont have to help. If they wander
all around him and its up to the binding off, Jack will plead with them briefly. Then
power of Gods Word to hold it together. He hell pout and yell, Dont you want some
has an apartment nearby full of Bibles he change? I thought you wanted change!
looted from abandoned motel rooms, and hes Should this interest them for some reason, hell
slowly trying to paste pages over all of exist- offer to give them all the change he has if they
ence lest things fall apart. save Lynn. How much is this? Youll find
Personality: Affable yet demented. out!
Obsession: Saving the world through the Word If the PCs do decide to help, Jack leads
of God. them to the window he escaped from in an
Wound Points: 60 alley alongside the VFW building. They can
sneak in here, or choose some other course of
Stats action.
Body: 60 (Chubby) In the large central hall, a small girl of six
Speed: 35 (Clumsy) (F) or so is sitting in a chair on the stage. Her
Mind: 55 (Directed) hands are tied to the chair and she is crying
Soul: 50 (Deluded) softly, her eyes squeezed tightly shut.
Drifting in the air around her are the
Skills bodies of four dead boys, about eighteen years
Body Skills: General Athletics 33%, Struggle of age. Each has been dead for some time and
45% theyre mostly desiccated, wearing the encrust-
Speed Skills: Dodge 24%, Drive 26% ed clothes they had on when they died in
Mind Skills: Bible Trivia 42%, Notice Decay forgotten basements and warehouses. They
52% bob around Lynn in complete silence like corks
Soul Skills: Cheerful Conversationalist 44%, on water, making no motion except drifting,
Lie Badly 15% nudged by currents of air; their corpses are
rigid and dry.
Madness Meter Occasionally something clatters to the
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self floor: pennies, nickels, and other coins fall
0 H/0 F 0 H/0 F 0 H/1 F 4 H/0 F 0 H/1 F sporadically from the mouths of the dead
floating boys. If possible, reinforce this by
dropping actual coins on the floor during play
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

Encounter Three: The Flag a couple of times a minute during this scene.
The PCs are approached by a boy of ten, whose Rescuing Lynn is easy: theyre just dead
eyes are red from crying. He needs their help. boys, after all. The PCs need only untie Lynns

17
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

18

hands and lead her out of the VFW hall. As blushes. They took it all, he says, meaning
they do so, however, the corpses drift along the dead boys, but you can have some if you
after the girl, though they still seem to make no want. There are dozens of coins on the floor
conscious moves to indicate any form of life. of the VFW hall, all of them minted in 1963.
And indeed, they are completely lifeless. At
some point the PCs may realize that the dead
boys are attached to Lynn by slender filaments Encounter Four: The Automobile
that end on the girls head: her own hair is tied The PCs may have already discovered the
to them, keeping them close like balloons on curious reactions that cars here have when
strings. They follow me everywhere I go, touched. Now, every car in earshot begins this
Lynn whispers sadly. If the PCs simply cut the strange, menacing growling, beginning with
hairs, the dead floating boys drift off into the the closest cars and spreading quickly into the
night. Change continues falling from their distance. The city is alive with a terrible
pockets as they are lost amongst the stars. sound.
Should any of the PCs take violent action The PCs might want to run, or take cover
against the dead boys, nothing in particular indoors. They can do whatever they like.
occurs besides bits of dust and dried flesh After a few moments of growling, the
breaking off. The bodies can be pushed around closest car snaps on its headlights, and then all
by violence, but they do not leave Lynn until the rest begin to as well. The effect spreads just
the hairs holding them in place are cut. as the growling did. Its followed by engines
Jack and Lynn hold hands until the ambu- starting up and revving, and then all the front
lance arrives to take them away. If the PCs ask hoods begin slamming open and shut like giant
Jack for the change he promised them, he mouths.

MATT HARPOLD
Around this time, the ambulance arrives, are plenty more cars where these came from.
come at last for the PCs to take them out of All around, cars slam into the sides of the
here. Jesus waves at them from the window ambulance, sending the PCs staggering around
and honks his horn. Quick! he yells. the inside, trying not to fall out the back.
Theyre waking up! Jesus can tell the PCs that hes trying to get
If the PCs ignore Jesus or are too afraid to to the hospital where theyll be safe. The city,
venture outside, the cars begin moving. They man, its all crazy tonight!
circle the PCs location endlessly, clacking their In the midst of this chaos, theres a moan
hoods and revving their motors. Jesus drives from under the sheet. Underneath is the old
away when the cars start moving, but returns man the PCs met at the start of the scenario; if
from time to time to try again; if the PCs have they looked under the sheet before now, thats
waited until the cars start moving to get in the fine. He doesnt start moaning until after the
ambulance, theyll have to make Dodge rolls to PCs have tangled with the cars for a bit.
avoid being knocked around. Meanwhile, the Jesus flips out. The dudes alive! He asks
cars get more and more aggressive, ramming if any of the PCs have medical knowledge;
the PCs defenses and trying to get at them. regardless, he verbally walks a volunteer
If the PCs get in the ambulance at any through prepping an injection to save the old
point, Jesus guns the engine and goes blazing mans life. Call for assorted Mind rolls, keep
away from the neighborhood. The cars are in banging the devouring cars against the ambu-
hot pursuit. lance, ask for Speed checks to maintain footing
Jesus is the only paramedic in the ambu- in the swerving vehicle, and so forth until the
lance so hes driving. There is a body in the injection is complete. Go to the conclusion.
back, however, covered in a sheet. Dont mess If for some bizarre reason the PCs hurl the
with him, man, hes a goner. old mans body out the back of the ambulance
A car rams the back of the ambulance and at any time during the chase, Jesus screams as
the rear doors fly open; they are now broken they do it and theres a tremendous wreck; skip
and cant be shut again, hanging askew on the moaning and the revival and go straight to
their hinges. Through the open doors, the PCs the conclusion.
see the lean and hungry cars clacking their
hoods, fan belts sticky with saliva and rabid
foam, headlights flashing dizzyingly. Conclusion
Clever PCs will take the assorted hints The PCs are on foot, unharmed, in a lonely
throughout the scenario and begin throwing part of the city late at night. They might be
change into the open front hoods of the cars. leaving a rendezvous with a contact, or on
(Less-clever PCs can be encouraged in this their way to a bar, or maybe youve just put
endeavor by Jesus.) Lacking cleverness or them in that situation for the purposes of this
change, the PCs might throw other objects into session. It doesnt matter.
the cars machinery, or use firearms or spells. As they pass an alley, a disheveled old man
Resolve these attacks as you see fit, and allow in a filthy trenchcoat takes a step out of the
the PCs to destroy some of the cars by screw- shadows and leers at them. All I wanted was
ing up their works. Assume that a given car some freaking change. Next time stay outta my
needs 20 Wound Points to be disabled, and city. I dont love you anymore.
that each coin does 1 point. Of course, there The PCs can resume their journey.
A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

19
SWAP MEET

22

Its been almost fifteen years since the last one,


but word on the street is that theres going to be
another Swap Meet. Whats the big deal, you ask?
Well, at this Swap Meet some of the most
powerful Avatars of the Merchant get together to
cut deals. Word is that they listen to any deal
offered to them, and sometimes, if theyve had a
good run at the Meet, they can give you some
incredible merchandise. Swap ten years of life for
the sight in your left eye. Trade a ritual straight
up. Become a concert pianist, and all itll cost
you is your mechanical ability.
Theres a catch, though. They dont exactly
advertise. You want to get in the door, first you
have to find out where and when it is, and thats
some of the most valuable information in the
Underground. You want a ticket to this show,
better be ready to squeeze every source youve
got, touch every contact, call in every favor, and
follow every lead, cause the big boys dont want
to deal with a horde of clamoring losers. But if
theres something you needreally, really need
this is the place to find it. Its just gonna cost
you.

Using the Swap Meet


The Swap Meet is a tool to help you move your
campaign along.
Its a good way to introduce something into
your campaign that you want the players to have,
but you dont want to just give them. Because just
about anything can reasonably be found at the
Swap Meet, you can use it to provide the perfect
item, artifact, or bit of information you need to
drive your campaign forward, and make the
players work to get it. Need the address of the
last old-school Qabbalist in North America? You
can buy it at the Swap Meet. How about a knife
forged of meteoric iron, quenched in the blood
of innocents? We got a special on those. The true
name of the demon thats possessed the head of
programming at the local radio station who keeps
sending those encoded messages to his diabolic
cronies? Now that ones a little spendy.

CHAPTER ILLO BY TOREN ATKINSON


If your players need something to advance with the right bit of info, theyll jump at the
the plot, but you dont want to just hand it to suggestion of the Swap Meet as a potential source
them on a platter, send them to the Swap Meet. for that missing fact they need to make their move.
By the time they finish jumping through the Good ideas for this sort of information are
hoops and negotiating with the Merchants, theyll things like the backstory to important GMCs or
have sweated blood for whatever they get. Theyll conflicts that are shaping your campaign world,
value it, and use it carefully, because they will the secrets of using an important artifact, names
have paid dearly for it. Youll be able to move the and addresses of important GMCs either as
plot ahead with the characters a little more contacts or as targets, or rituals needed to
experienced and a fair bit more worn down. effectively counter a main threat. Given the
This scenario is not designed for beginning amount of effort thats going to be involved in
characters and one-shot games. The story works getting to the Swap Meet, make sure that the
best if there is a pre-existing campaign framework potential payoff is worth it for the characters.
to fit it into, and if the characters are experienced They will have earned it, and skimping on them
enough to handle a couple of nasty shocks. New at this point could make them turn on you.
characters are generally not hardened or skilled
enough to deal with some of the surprises, and
running it as a one-shot requires the GM to do a Equipment
lot of preparation work to come up with the The Swap Meet is the ultimate MacGuffin store.
characters goals and their information resources If theres an obscure item, rare book, or unusual
outside of what is detailed herein. artifact the players need, this is the place to find
it. Again, its a great place to have them go to get
that one item that can save the day, whether its
Information the component for a ritual or the hidden heart of
The Swap Meet works well as a source for funda- the main villain. Run them through the wringer
mental pieces of important information you need just getting to the Swap Meet, and then make
to provide the players in order to keep your them negotiate to actually bring the item home
campaign moving along. Names, places, stories, with them.
rumors, dossiers, connections, all these things are This is an ideal way to introduce specialized
for sale here. If theres a stumbling block keeping one-off items with particular importance in your
your players from making progress on your main game. If the characters chief enemy has enacted
campaign mystery because they cant find someone a ritual that renders him immune to all harm

A Note About the Timeline


This scenario can be set any time you like during the year, and it makes very little difference. Set it
when you need it to be set. For consistencys sake, the scenario is written with the expectation that it
begins in mid-September, giving the characters about four weeks to do their research and find out about
the location of the Swap Meet in time for the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, which is when it is
taking place. This holiday takes place on the same weekend as the American Columbus Day.
If this doesnt work for you, change it.
All that you have to alter in the scenario are the dates you give, and some of the description of
the town of Hat River in the autumn. Make it fit into the timeline of your campaign, so you dont
have to either rush the PCs through the investigation or let large chunks of time pass in the midst of
the storyline.
Its your campaign. Its your scenario. Make it fit.
SWAP MEET

23
SWAP MEET

24

except from obsidian Aztec sacrificial blades, this This can be a good way to bring subplots to
is the place to let them buy one. If the ritual the the fore in your campaign, giving the characters a
characters need to perform to protect their home chance to deal with issues theyve created in their
from an enraged golem requires hair from three backgrounds, possibly resolving things and
different rabbis who have been buried in the soil allowing them to move on. You dont have to give
of Jerusalem for fifty years, you can probably find them exactly what theyre looking for in this case;
stock of that here. It doesnt minimize the rarity maybe your Mechanomancer regains her memo-
of the item or substance, while still allowing the ries of her first boyfriend only to find that he
players to get their hands on what they need. abused her until she killed him. It can lead to
Once. new sub-plots, new problems to resolve, and new
storylines for the characters.

Personal Objectives
Providing the tools to move the campaign Price
forward is all very fine and well, but sometimes This is always the catch, isnt it? On the one
it can be fun to let the characters do things for hand, you want the characters to get whatever it
their own reasons. UA characters are obsessed, is that they came to the Swap Meet for. On the
marginalized, and generally somewhat disturbed. other hand, you dont want to drop it in their
Theyve got their own agendas for most of the laps just because they made it to the end of the
things they do, and this case need not be an run. You have to find a happy medium, some-
exception. Pretty much every character in your thing that fits for your campaign. Here are some
UA game has a very personal reason for wanting things to consider.
to get to the Swap Meet. Maybe the Mecha- First, anything really funky isnt going to be
nomancer wants her memories of her first sold for money. Singular artifacts, powerful
boyfriend back. The sociopathic gun bunny rituals, secret information, and most intangibles
wants to get back in touch with his feelings so like extra life are all bartered for things of equal
he can relate to his son again. The avatar of the value and power. These sorts of items are worth
Demagogue wants a pencil used by JFKs more than mere money; they are power in and of
speechwriter. themselves. Nobodys going to seriously consider

Wheres the Godwalker?


Youve got this gathering of some of the most powerful Avatars of the Merchant, getting together to
do business, buying and selling the real good stuff, making deals of mythic and epic power. Wheres
the Godwalker of the Merchant in all of this?
Far, far away.
Thorvald Drake (see Statosphere, p. 36) may once have attended these gatherings during his rise
to Godwalker status, but now he doesnt go near them. He has about as much desire to walk into a
room full of powerful Avatars who are looking hungrily at his position as he does to tape a target
over his face and wander through a live-fire rifle range. He didnt get where he is by being suicidal,
and he sees no reason to start that sort of thing now.
This is not to say that he doesnt keep track of these things, though. He generally knows about
every transaction that takes place at the Swap Meet, especially by the big boys. He has spies there,
and gets reports. After this, he knows the characters and what they bought, and can probably figure
out why. He may not do anything with this information, but remember that he has it.
It might prove to be valuable.
an offer of any amount of cash for the secret into your campaign. Thats always a possibility. If
name of the Freak, for example. Its far more you have no place for it in your game, dont use
valuable than that. Think of this as a good way to it. At least, dont use all of it.
rid the characters of any annoying artifacts youve The scenario is designed to revolve around a
begun to regret giving themthey can trade em number of characters that fit into rather obscure
in on something more suitable to the campaign. niches in the Occult Underground. These are
Second, favors owed may be money in the some of the most fanatical and strangest follow-
bank, but if the debtor dies before the favor is ers of the Merchant archetype that exist in the
called in then the vendor is out of pocket. This world. Its easy enough to pull them from this
means that anyone trying to pay with a promise setting and drop them into one thats more in
of a future favor is going to be scrutinized sync with the rest of your campaign.
carefully, and the odds of their survival are going Like one of the scenes? Lift it and use it in
to be weighed into the value of the favor. Dont an adventure of your own design. Need a high-
forget, there are some people who can collect ranking Merchant for another plot? Theres a
that favor even after death. batch of them in here, some with serious prob-
Third, negotiating the price of whatever lems. Help yourself.
theyve come for can be as challenging for the In short, this adventure can easily be disman-
characters as the rest of the trip. Just because tled into its component parts for use in different
theyve made it to the Swap Meet doesnt mean parts of your own campaign. Break it down and
theres any reason to make things easy on them. play with it. Go ahead.
Maybe they need to get something from one of
the other vendors, who only parts with it for
something someone else is selling and so on, in Hearing the Word
the classic Tom Sawyer ring of exchanges. Use Once youve decided how youre going to use the
the price as a jumping-off point to another Swap Meet, you need a plan to let the characters
adventure, if you want. Perhaps the Merchant in know about it. The people in charge dont want a
question only parts with the ritual in exchange lot of pedestrian traffic, so they dont advertise,
for a personal item of Alex Abels. Ready-made and they gather somewhere out of the way. People
quest! who know about the Swap Meet, for whatever
Fourth, even if things go smoothly and the reason, dont spread the word too wide; they want
characters are able to make the purchase they the best pickings for themselves. This is the
need at the Swap Meet, theyve now come to the ultimate garage sale, and as any fanatical soccer
attention of greater powers. Theyve been no- mom can tell you its best to get there early.
ticed, and the way they conduct themselves at the The way you let your characters in on the
Swap Meet can have far-reaching implications. existence of the Swap Meet is going to vary based
Allies and enemies made here can easily wander on what kind of narrative structure youre using,
into the rest of the campaign to mess up the the relationship between the characters and the
characters lives. rest of the Occult Underground, and what sort of
The key thing with the price is that the characters they are. Here are a few simple
characters should feel the cost personally. Make suggestions.
sure they know that theyve paid, and may be
paying for some time to come.
Orders
If your group is a TNI hit team or something
Strip Mining similar, word can come down from on high about
Maybe the Swap Meet doesnt interest you, or fit the existence of the Swap Meet. They can be
SWAP MEET

25
SWAP MEET

26

ordered to investigate and report, or to obtain existence of the Swap Meet thats provided. Any
some specific item or information. They dont hard information only comes as the result of a
need much more impetus than just the order, but concerted investigative effort on the part of the
the pot-of-gold sort of stories surrounding the characters.
Swap Meet should get them thinking about some
side purchases of their own.
This sort of thing works well for more Turnabout
groups than it might first appear. Not only TNI, If neither of these approaches fits your group, turn
but also the Sleepers, Mak Attax, or any extend- the tables on them. If youve got a Merchant avatar
ed, hierarchical cabal may send down orders for in the campaign that the players are familiar with,
the players. Also, private investigators with occult for example Jordan Clay (see UA, p. 204), send
ties may take on clients who either want to find him to the characters trying to convince them to
the Swap Meet or get something from it. Any tell him where the Swap Meet is because he thinks
outside agency can present the characters not they know. If you dont have someone in place to
only with the base information about the Swap handle this role, try Edward Macoy.
Meet, but an entire agenda to accompany it. Edward Macoy is a young man following the
path of the Merchant. He sees the Swap Meet as
an excellent place to work some deals in a far
Rumors more elevated stratum than he can normally
If the characters are more independent, they can access, thereby gaining a leg up in his pursuit of
pick up information about the Swap Meet on the the archetype. He knows about the Swap Meet
street, listening to their informants or talking to from a casual comment made by an older Mer-
any Avatar of the Merchant they know. This chant named Helena Iglesias, whom he met in
needs to be tailored properly to fit into your Spain about a year ago. The old woman men-
campaign, evaluating both the source and their tioned the Swap Meet in passing, then quickly
relationship with the characters. Remember that glossed over it, refusing to admit shed even
those who know about the Swap Meet want to mentioned it. It stuck in Edwards mind, though,
keep the number of attendees down so they get a and hes been chasing it ever since.
better chance at the good deals. They are proba- The reputation of the characters has led
bly going to be careful not to mention the Swap Edward to them in the belief that they know the
Meet casually, although there are some that know location of the Swap Meet. He approaches them
about it, have no intention of finding it, and love in a neutral place, introduces himself, and asks
to mouth off about how in-the-know they are. what it would take for them to sell him the
This lets the players know that the thing is information he wants on the Swap Meet. He
happening, but otherwise will probably just start expects the characters to be cagey and deny any
to annoy them. knowledge, so he plays along, with knowing
The knowledge of the existence of the Swap winks and circuitous talk, trying to arrive at a
Meet can be a great bargaining chip. If youre deal, never believing for a second that the
using the Swap Meet to provide something the characters have no idea what hes babbling about.
characters need to carry on to the next stage of This is going to get annoying for most
your campaign, someone may offer to sell them characters fairly quickly. If they blow Edward off
the rumor of where they might find such a thing, rudely, he figures theyre being cagey and returns
or use it to save their own skins. Maybe its in a couple of days, after doing some research.
payback for a favor done in the past, or an He has definite offers for the characters at this
investment in a future favor. It probably doesnt point, based on what hes been able to find out
come cheap, even though its just the fact of the about them. Hes careful to only offer things he
can actually deliver. If hes blown off again, he
gathers up some thugs (use the Stock Thug stats Passions
in UA, p. 211) and tries to beat the information Rage Stimulus: Mockery. He can take it when
out of the characters. If that fails, he runs. He others dont believe, but he does not tolerate
knows when hes in over his head. If it looks disrespect.
feasible, he tries to keep track of the group in Fear Stimulus: (Self) Blowing a deal. This is a
hopes that theyll lead him to the Swap Meet sign of a flaw in himself that may compromise his
when they go. destiny.
On the other hand, if the characters treat Noble Stimulus: Win-win deals. An exchange that
him courteously and convince him they know benefits everyone involved, including himself, is a
nothing about the Swap Meet, Edward tries to thing of beauty to Edward, and confirms his
broker a cooperative deal: they use their contacts worthiness in his own eyes.
to find the location of the Swap Meet in ex-
change for Edward providing transportation and Stats
lodging once they know where theyre going. If Body: 50 (Healthy)
necessary, he sweetens the deal with up to one Speed: 55 (S) (Controlled)
thousand dollars per character for their assis- Mind: 60 (Attentive)
tance. Refusal at this point means Edward moves Soul: 80 (Golden Boy)
on to try his next most likely lead, and out of the
characters lives. He doesnt make it to the Swap Skills
Meet this time around, so following him is a Body Skills: General Athletics 40%, Struggle 30%
waste of time. Speed Skills: Dodge 35%, Drive 40%, Target
Whichever way things turn out, the PCs are Shooting 25%
now aware of the Swap Meet and have some Mind Skills: General Education 30%, Notice
information that may intrigue them. Things 45%, Cost/Benefit Analysis 50%
should progress smoothly from there. Soul Skills: Charm 60%, Lie 50%, Avatar:
Merchant 55%

Edward Macoy, Earnest Young Merchant Cost/Benefit Analysis: Edward can make a
Summary: Edwards only been consciously decent guess as to whether or not a particular
following the path hes on for a couple of years, exchange is going to benefit any of the
but its taken over his entire life and mind. He is parties involved more than another, and this
convinced that he is destined to ascend, and that helps him come up with equitable exchanges
he has the favor of the Invisible Clergy, whom he for all involved. He likes trades to be equal,
privately terms the Gods of Exchange. He wants and tries to make sure that no one gets
in on the Swap Meet now to trade on more shafted by a deal he brokers.
elevated levels than he usually can, and to start
making a name for himself. Madness Meter
Personality: Edward burns with the fire of a True Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
Believer, and what he believes in is his own 2 H/1 F 3 H/0 F 0 H/1 F 0 H/0 F 2 H/0 F
destiny. Everything he says and does is colored by
his belief that he is fated for greatness, as long as Possessions
he can live up to it. Edward usually carries a .38 pistol with him,
Obsession: Fulfilling his destiny as the next God dresses in expensive suits, and carries an Italian
of Trade. leather briefcase. He drives a late-model BMW.
Wound Points: 50
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Word on the Street


The Swap Meet exists primarily as a rumor in the Occult Underground. Those few who have heard
about it know very little, and most of what they do know is wrong. Anyone who starts tapping
sources of information about the Swap Meet gets a mish-mash of wish fulfillment, cautionary tale,
disinformation, and speculation, with very little means of separating the wheat from the chaff. Some
common rumors are listed below. Feel free to elaborate or change them as you see fit, and toss in a
few of your own that serve the purposes of your campaign. Whenever you hand out hard informa-
tion, mix in a couple of the rumors to make things interesting.

Theres an entry fee for the Swap Meet. Its your soul. Alternately, it can be ten years of your
life, fifty thousand dollars, the head of Alfredo Garcia, whatever. Something to give the charac-
ters pause. In reality, the entry fee is the effort required to find the location.
The sponsors of the Swap Meet are all-powerful demons who feed on the greed of the attend-
ees. While the Merchant avatars may profit from the greed, they dont really feed on it, and
theyre not demons.
The Swap Meet is run by Cagliostro, the only apprentice of St. Germain. Well, Cagliostro is
one of the sponsors but its not that Cagliostro. Its a pretty common pseudonym amongst the
more pretentious folk in the Occult Underground.
St. Germain always attends the Swap Meet and sets up a stall. This is pure crap, of course. The
First and Last Man sees no reason to wade through the power-hungry dukes at the Swap Meet.
He can probably get anything he wants elsewhere.
Members of the Invisible Clergy frequently attend, especially the archetype of the Merchant.
Again, this is garbage. What would they need here?
The Merchant Godwalker is going to be there. Nope. He didnt get where he is by waltzing into
large gatherings of enemies, and hes not going to stay where he is if he starts.
The Swap Meet is always held in the main marketplace in Jerusalem at midnight. The charac-
ters should be able to spot this one as false pretty quickly. If it were that easy to find, why would
they be looking for it? Substitute any location that tickles your fancy, and roll this one out a
couple of times from low-level stooges.
The original Naked Goddess tape is going to be for sale there. Not likely, unless you want to
use this method to put the tape in the hands of the characters. There are probably a few copies
of various generations floating around, though.
The Swap Meet is a front for a slavery ring. Well, there are a lot of shady deals going on here,
many of which would not stand up too well to official scrutiny. There may be a little people-
trading going on, but its not the focus of the Swap Meet. You can modify this rumor to include
drug running, prostitution, or anything that might muddy the waters.
Its all a set-up to weed out powerful and determined dukes. If you want this to be true, go for
it. Theres something kind of appealing about using this sort of honey trap to lure the characters
into a nasty ambush. Make them work for the opportunity to be slaughtered. The adventure,
however, is written with the assumption that this isnt going to happen.
Its all a hoax. Again, this might be a fun turnaround for the adventure if you dont want to use
the Swap Meet as written in your campaign. But the adventure is written with the assumption
that the Swap Meet is real, and does take place.
What follows is a set of encounters that can
Getting There lead your characters into this subculture, showing
Its a long trail from the first Swap Meet rumor them the strangeness inherent in it, until they
to the point where the characters are sauntering finally arrive at the Swap Meet. They are arranged
up to a stall with their life savings in hand. The in an escalating chain of bizarreness so that you
whole chain of information is going to be can follow it directly, but it may be better inter-
dependent on your campaign, and you may want spersed with some of your own encounters to
to involve certain important GMCs in the plot, keep the proper feel for your campaign. In other
like an allied or opposed avatar of the Merchant words, you can use the adventure as an adven-
who wants to help or hinder the characters. Feel ture, or as a developing subplot within other
free to do this: make the adventure serve the adventures.
needs of your campaign. Always keep in mind that you are leading
What you should remember is that the trail your characters into something that should be
goes deep into a particular subculture of the unnerving and even repellant, especially if you
Occult Underground. The OU is not homoge- have any avatars of the Merchant in the group.
neous, but is instead composed of a number of They may begin rethinking their dedication when
small special-interest groups with some minor they start to see some of the strange alleys it can
overlapping interests. As you get deeper into any lead you down.
one of these little subcultures, you find things The encounters mainly center on a given
getting far weirder than you may have initially individual or group that has some information
expected. Granted, the Merchant is not the most about the Swap Meet, or can at least point
twisted archetype in the Clergy, but take the idea people in the right direction. What it costs the
of commerce to excess and you find some pretty characters is outlined, as is the effectiveness of
funky stuff. different tactics used in obtaining the information

Following the Bread Crumbs


The trail laid out in the scenario is pretty linear and leads step by step from the first hint to the Swap
Meet with no real side trips. It can seem a lot like railroading to players who are run through it strictly
as written. This is because the various clues along the way are designed to expand and contract, accordi-
on-like, to let you throw in some of the favorite GMCs from your campaign. Heres how it can work.
After their encounter with Merchant avatar Edward Macoy, the characters check him out with
Jordan Clay (see UA, p. 204), to find out if hes on the level. Jordan Clay gives him a clean report,
and tells the characters that hes heard some rumors about a mobbed up Bodybag downtown who
may be able to help them out. This leads the characters to Maria, who cant track down the Traders
Guild but gives the characters the number of her old teacher. This guys the powerful GMC Entro-
pomancer whos been a constant thorn in the side of the characters, although theyve never really had
an open conflict with him specifically. He runs the characters through several hoops before he sends
them on to the Traders Guild. The Guildbrothers decide that the price for the info about the Spider
is that the PCs must collect the credit cards to deliver to him, which is a lot easier to do with the
help of Jeeter (see UA, p. 204) and his homeless buddies. They want the characters to take care of a
problem theyre having with a local street gang run by an old nemesis of the characters . . .
Get the idea? All of a sudden, instead of three steps the trails up to six or seven, and the linear
nature of the main clues is hidden in the general background of your ongoing campaign. The charac-
ters no longer feel that theyre being led around by the nose, but rather that theyre working their
butts off to follow the thin threads of rumor.
SWAP MEET

29
SWAP MEET

30

needed for the next step. Because youre working one character coming, Anthony accompanies her,
with Merchants here, everything costs and taking a seat nearby at the counter to keep an eye
everyone has a price. on things. Both are extremely ready for any sort
No cities for these encounters are provided, of treachery unless the characters have previously
so you can drop them in anywhere you need. established a good working relationship with
Given the number of powerful Merchants, its a Maria or the local mob.
good idea to spread them through a couple of Should someone threaten Maria with Antho-
nearby cities. Place Maria in the campaigns ny present, they suddenly find Anthonys 9mm
hometown, put the Traders Guild in one nearby pistol pressed to their temple. They have one
city, and the Spider in another. If youre starting chance to back off or take the bullet. If Maria is
out in Chicago with Maria, stick the Guildbroth- alone, she slaps anyone threatening her with a
ers in Milwaukee and the Spider in St. Louis. Or blast spell. Shes not defenseless.
put Maria in Las Vegas, the Traders Guild in San On the other hand, if the characters treat
Francisco, and the Spider in Los Angeles. Keep her with courtesy, Maria is courteous in return.
the cities close enough together that its believ- She speaks politely, especially if shes heard of
able for word of such things to spread, and to any reputation the characters have built locally.
make sure you can pull the right parties together This courtesy does not prevent her from acting
when its time to whack the characters with a big quickly should the situation warrant it. All in all,
stick. if the characters play it straight then so does
Maria.

Contact One: Maria and the Mobster


Maria Saputo is a young Italian woman who is What Maria Knows
dating one of the soldiers of the local capo. Shes About the Swap Meet, not a thing. In fact, shes
also a minor Entropomancer who lends her quite upset that this is the first shes heard about
services to her boyfriend Anthony from time to it, and intends to ask her informants some rather
time. Shes fairly well known in the Underground pointed questions. The idea of something this big
as someone whos always willing to pay for slipping under her radar is distinctly unnerving to
information, which she passes along to her her, causing her to have some second thoughts
boyfriend. She also sells information, as long as it about the effectiveness of her intelligence net-
doesnt hurt the local mob interest. work.
Because of her reputation as a reliable Of course, she doesnt let on any of this to
information source with reasonable rates, Maria the characters. She has an image to maintain,
is a good early contact for the characters. They after all. What she does do is try to pump them
can get word to her that they want a meet by for as much information as she can, while
passing the request through her network of pretending to be deciding how much to tell them.
informants, who are mainly gang members and She starts with questions like, How much do
street people. Within a few days, word comes you know already? and moves into more definite
back agreeing to a meet at a local diner. questioning based on what information the
characters give her.
Once she feels that shes got all the informa-
The Meet tion the characters have, she says she has to
If Maria is meeting a single character, she arrives check on a couple of things and get back to the
alone at the meet about half an hour before the characters in a few days. If pressed into a corner,
appointed time, choosing a back corner booth. If she grudgingly admits this is the first shes heard
she knows or suspects that there is more than of the Swap Meet but she intends to find out all
she can. She is willing to share the information sell the name of a powerful Merchant to the
with the characters for the right price. characters, along with an introduction to get
them in the door, and let the characters take it
from there. Shes tempted by the prospect of the
Marias Legwork things she can find at the Swap Meet that might
First thing Maria does after the meet is to get help her and Anthony, so she gets Anthony to
Anthony to keep an eye on the characters. She keep a discrete eye on characters as they go about
assumes they try to follow her and figure out hunting down more information. This breaks her
what shes up to, and she wants to make sure that taboo, unfortunately, so shes got to go work up
Anthony is on hand to help out in the event of some more juice quickly or shes of no use to
any unpleasantness. Anthony should he need her. A few hours at the
Whether shes admitted her ignorance to the blackjack tables in Atlantic City will set her up
characters or not, Maria immediately starts again, and she keeps an emergency stash of
turning over stones to find out all she can about money for such purposes.
the Swap Meet. What she uncovers makes her Anthony makes a subtle tail, surprisingly
nervous, as she realizes this thing is taking place enough, as he only needs to keep track of the
several layers above the arenas where she usually general comings and goings of the characters and
plays the game. She comes to the conclusion that, doesnt need to monitor their every move. If a
given her rather modest aspirations of getting character tries to spot a tail outside, let them
Anthony into a position of power and keeping make a Notice roll to locate Anthony. Inside a
him there, she is in way over her head with the building, characters have no chance of spotting
whole Swap Meet thing. Anthony because hes just waiting outside.
This brings her to an idea. She decides shell Anthony stays on the characters until shaken,
MATT HARPOLD

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SWAP MEET

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chased off, or the characters make it to the Swap directions to the Traders Guildhall, but not much
Meetwhere they bump into Maria and Anthony, more. Once inside, its up to the characters to get
innocently shopping away. what they want.
As the characters leave, Anthony starts
following them. He doesnt work too hard at it,
The Second Meet because he knows that if he loses them, he can
The second meet takes place three days after the pick them up again at their appointment with the
first, at the same diner. Maria is there alone, with Guildbrothers.
Anthony waiting outside to follow the characters
when they leave. She offers to sell the characters
an introduction to the Traders Guild, a group of The Price
powerful avatars of the Merchant who should be So, what does this little runaround cost the
able to help the characters track down the Swap characters? Well, if they buy the story about
Meet. She also passes along a couple of rumors Maria just needing to check some sources, she
that shes picked up, although shes careful to let charges them five thousand dollars up front for
the characters know that these things are uncon- the results before she even starts working. If the
firmed. Unless, that is, theyve managed to piss characters have got her to admit she knows
her off, in which case she relates the information nothing about the Swap Meet, she holds off
as if it were gospel. setting a price until she knows what she has.
The introduction by Maria gets the characters Then she asks for five thousand dollars for the

Playing With Fire


Maria and Anthony are running a dangerous game. The mob has a snuff-on-sight policy regarding
adepts, because of their tendency to be unpredictable whackos. Trying to use them in the organiza-
tion resulted in a lot of problems, bad feelings, and dead people all around, and the capos dont like
the unnecessary expense. How far can your really trust someone who has to do the kind of twisted
things that adepts do to be useful?
Maria loves Anthony, and loves the lifestyle he and his business associates lead. She wants to help
him get ahead in the organization with her mojo, but has to do it very subtly. If anyone finds out that
shes playing with magick, both she and Anthony are worm food. Anthony knows about her abilities,
and likes the advantage they give him, but is very cautious about overusing them and is absolutely
paranoid about anyone finding out about them.
So with all this to lose, why are they doing this? Well, Anthony knows hes not the sharpest knife
in the drawer, limited in his ability to advance in his chosen career. With Maria working behind the
scenes, hes got a chance to be a much bigger deal than he could manage alone and he knows this.
He thinks its worth the risk, as long as theyre careful about things.
As for Maria, well, shes still a Bodybag. Every time she taps into the wild and wonderful world
of the Occult Underground, she runs the risk of someone finding out about her mob ties. And the
deeper she gets in with the twerps and the ding-dongs, the more likely she is to mess up her gravy
train with the mob. This dual risk gives her some nice juice. She wants the lifestyle of the beautiful
people in Anthonys world, but needs the power from the ugly slugs in the OU to get there. The
higher she gets in the mob, the more she risks losing. At some point, the games not going to be
worth the candle and shes going to turn away from her magickal contacts and abilities because
theres too much to lose.
Unless she gets caught first.
introduction, but can be bargained down to three has, and shes looking for that nicer life. When it
thousand. comes to the exchange of information or the use
If the characters dont want to part with that of magick, Maria is all business, looking for the
kind of cash, Maria accepts a favor on account. best deal she can cut and the most effective use
She knows that the kinds of people who come of her resources. This generally means that she
looking for this type of information often have deals with people fairly and courteously, although
some rather unusual talents that she may be able she can be merciless to those that cross her.
to put to use in furthering Anthonys career. Obsession: Playing the game. The politics
Bartering information is also possible, as it is surrounding advancement in the Mafia are
the one commodity that Maria values more than delightfully convoluted and dangerous, and Maria
money. If the characters have some information gets a big thrill out of pulling the strings, always
that is useful to her or to the mob, she gladly with the chance that someones going to notice.
makes the exchange. If the information turns out Wound Points: 45
to be false, the characters are going to be in a
world of hurt as Anthony and Maria both come Passions
after them, looking to make an example. Rage Stimulus: Being out of the loop. Maria
Maria also accepts magickal artifacts or hates not knowing whats going on, and is prone
rituals in payment, provided they are directly to tantrums when someone lets her down in this
usable by her or Anthony and are extremely regard.
subtle. Remember, if Anthony gets caught using Fear Stimulus: (Violence) Being pegged as
magick, the only chance he has at survival is to Anthonys hole card. She has pulled off a couple
cleanse his honor by kacking the strega who put of coups for Anthony, and she knows that if the
the spells on him. That makes subtle an other soldiers find out shes a valuable asset for
absolute necessity. him, shes as good as dead.
Noble Stimulus: Taking care of Anthony. He may
have started as an easily manipulated puppet, but
Maria Saputo, Gangland Strega Marias come to feel responsible for him, and to
Summary: Maria is the twenty-two-year-old love him.
girlfriend of Anthony Vespucci, a rising star in the
local Mafia. She has worked hard, using both her Stats
Entropomancy and her skills at acquiring informa- Body: 45 (Vivacious)
tion, to make sure that Anthony rises in the Speed: 50 (F) (Smooth)
organization and that he brings her with him. Mind: 60 (Quick)
Her reputation on the street is that she pays very Soul: 60 (Controlled)
well for reliable information, and also shares what
she knows at reasonable rates, as long as the Skills
goals of the recipients dont interfere with mob Body Skills: General Athletics 30%, Struggle 20%
business. She is also known to gamble heavily, Speed Skills: Dodge 20%, Drive 20%, Shoplift
although she has yet to run up a debt that she is 40%
unable to cover. Mind Skills: General Education 40%, Notice
Personality: Maria sees herself as a kingmaker, 35%, In The Loop 50%
working behind the scenes to put her man on the Soul Skills: Charm 45%, Lie 35%, Magick:
throne. She doesnt really think that Anthony can Entropomancy 55%
cut it as a leader; his gifts are more suited to a
subordinate role. She does think that he can rise In The Loop: Maria can make a roll to see if
a good deal higher in the organization than he she knows any given piece of gossip or local
SWAP MEET

33
SWAP MEET

34

information that has a direct bearing on her Wound Points: 75


and Anthony. A second successful roll allows
her to place that information in context and Passions
make a decent guess about the impact it has Rage Stimulus: Being called stupid. Anthony is
on their lives. very sensitive about his intelligence.
Fear Stimulus: (Unnatural) Magick. What hes
Madness Meter seen Maria do when shes riding high on the
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self mojo scares the crap out of him, and makes him
2 H/1 F 4 H/0 F 3 H/0 F 0 H/0 F 1 H/2 F more sure than ever that the mob needs to steer
clear of magick. Except him, of course.
Possessions Noble Stimulus: Looking after Maria. Not only is
Maria doesnt like weapons, and tends to not she his meal ticket, he loves her.
carry any. She feels that anything she cant handle
with her magick is best left to Anthony. She Stats
usually has five minor charges picked up from Body: 75 (Huge)
gambling and dealing with the Occult Under- Speed: 65 (S) (Well-oiled Machine)
ground. Mind: 35 (Not Too Quick)
Soul: 40 (Shallow)

Anthony Vespucci, Mobster on the Rise Skills


Summary: Anthony is the epitome of a street- Body Skills: General Athletics 60%, Beat You
level mob soldier: big, brutal, and not terribly Senseless 65%
bright. He knows that hes just another goon, but Speed Skills: Dodge 50%, Drive 40%, Blow You
with Marias help hes starting to see a way to Away 60%
climb above that and claim a position of more Mind Skills: General Education 15%, Notice
power and comfort. Marias track record has 15%, Follow 25%
convinced him to trust her implicitly and follow Soul Skills: Intimidation 30%, Lie 20%
any instructions she gives, whether or not she
actually explains them. Hes done it before, and Follow: Anthony can effectively tail someone,
its always worked out for him. At her direction, keeping himself unnoticed, and can pick up
hes started developing new ways of relating to the tail again if he loses it.
people, ways that dont rely on standard alpha-
male intimidation and appeal. Hes not very good Madness Meter
yet, but hes working on it. Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
Personality: Anthony is a thug, aspiring to be a 7 H/0 F 0 H/2 F 1 H/1 F 3 H/0 F 5 H/0 F
gentleman mobster. He likes to play the part of a
tough guy, but the limitations of that role are Possessions
becoming apparent to him and hes slowly Anthony generally carries two 9mm semi-automat-
developing other tacticsones more likely to ic pistols, one in a shoulder holster and one in a
inspire loyalty than fear. He still has a strong holster in the small of his back. He also keeps a
need to be respected for his physical skills, but .38 revolver as a back-up in an ankle holster. In
hes starting to see the value of other types of his pocket he usually carries a silencer for one of
respect. the 9mm pistols, a switchblade, and gloves. In the
Obsession: Being in control. Anthony wants to be trunk of his Mercedes hes got a pistol-grip
the quintessential alpha-male, always trying to be shotgun and an Uzi, as well as lots of ammo for
leader of the pack. He often stumbles. all his weapons and a big plastic tarp.
water and rust from the pipes overhead. The only
Contact Two: The Traders Guild furniture in the room is a heavy wooden table and
If the characters have dealt civilly with Maria, she the six chairs that hold the Guildbrothers.
warns them to bring a large number of one-dollar
bills with them to meet the Traders Guild, and
explains that they have to pay for every answer The Guildbrothers
they get. Take careful note of how many singles The Guildbrothers resemble a group of Mormon
the characters bring with them. The Guild are a missionaries who have spent the last decade living
collection of Merchants who view every aspect of rough on the street. They dress in identical black
life as an exchange of valuable commodities, and suits that have not been washed in recent memo-
have descended so far into that perspective that ry, with shirts that may once have been white.
they no longer have the ability to relate properly Their hair is uncut and uncombed, and the four
to the mundane world. males in the group are heavily bearded. They
These are the kind of people Maria says the smell of mildew and rancid sweat, and the odor
characters need to find the Swap Meet. They are is somewhat overpowering in the small room.
deeply involved with the mystery of the Mer- Until the first answer has been paid for, none of
chant, and have abandoned almost all mundane them speak.
considerations in their exploration of the secrets Questioning the Traders Guild is going to be
of the archetype. They are much more in tune pretty frustrating. Every time the characters ask a
with the mystic flows of the Statosphere than she question, the Guildbrothers look at each other in
is, and better able to identify the pooling of silent conference, then one of them holds up a
power that marks the Swap Meet. Or so she number of fingers to the characters, indicating
hopes. the number of words in the answer. When the
characters have counted the appropriate number
of one-dollar bills onto the table, the Guildbroth-
The Guildhall er takes the money and provides the answer. If
The meeting place of the Traders Guild is a far interrupted in the process of answering, the
cry from the high-rise image and reputation Guildbrother stops, calculates the remaining
Merchants typically cultivate. They gather in the words in the answer, and returns the correct
sub-basement of a run-down, turn-of-the-century number of bills. The answers are always fairly
office building, in a room tucked in behind the economical in terms of number of words, but can
furnace room. To get in, the characters have to be overly literal. Characters may have to dig for
buzz the building superintendent and say theyre the information they need.
here to feed the furnace. The super lets them into Of course, the characters have no idea about
the basement and points to a trap door with a this process. They can try to interpret the rules
ladder leading down to the furnace room. A from the actions of the Guildbrothers, they can
large, bald, black man stands guard at the door to ask the Doorman for help, or they can try
the Guildhall, and requires each person wanting something more direct.
to enter the room to pay him. He says that they Trying to figure out the rules is going to make
should give him what their consciences dictate, for a bit of a puzzle. The Guildbrothers mime
and accepts as little as one dollar from each. Any counting out money, and stop the characters when
less and he gets insulted and turns them away. If they reach the right amount the first couple of
attacked, he is more than ready to defend times, but they lose patience if the characters dont
himself. seem to be catching on. If that happens, they
The walls and floor of the Guildhall room are refuse to help any more until the characters figure
undecorated concrete, marked with decades of out the proper rules of exchange.
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The Doorman will gladly explain the rules, the payment per word can also be a little tough
for the sum of one hundred dollars. This is by far on the GM, so here are a few standard questions,
the easiest way to get the facts. their stock answers, and the price for each.
If the characters attack the Guildbrothers or
try to threaten them, things can go to hell very Does the Swap Meet Exist? Yes. 1$
quickly. One of the Guildbrothers can attack with When will it take place? Soon. 1$
a Struggle skill of 50%, another pulls a pistol How soon? In the next few weeks. 5$
from under the table and attacks with a Shoot When exactly? We dont know. 3$
skill of 50%, and a third one can bounce around Where is it happening? In Canada. 2$
the room with a Dodge skill of 50%. Any sound Where in Canada? We dont know. 3$
of combat brings in the Doorman very quickly, How can we find out? Ask someone else. 3$
and any adepts have to cope with the Mystery of Who should we ask? Someone who knows
Trade skill of the Guildbrothers. It will be very the answer. 5$
tough to get anything useful out of the survivors. Who would know the answer? We dont
know for certain. 5$
Any guesses? Yes. 1$
What the Guildbrothers Know Who? The Spider. 2$
The Guildbrothers know that the Swap Meet Where is the Spider? Hiding. 1$
exists, that its taking place this year in the next Do you know where the Spider is hiding?
few weeks, and that its happening somewhere in Yes. 1$
Canada. Their method of imparting this informa- Will you tell us where? For a price. 3$
tion can be a little arcane, so it may take a while Are you going to the Swap Meet? No. 1$
for the characters to find it all out. Dealing with Why not? It is too far from the Guildhall,

MATT HARPOLD
where we are safe. 11$ ment of the Task, and shall end Your obligation
Is Rumor X true? Yes or No. 1$ Note that to Us in the matter of this exchange.
the Guildbrothers can make a decent guess, If, after acceptance of this Task, You fail to
but arent infallible. discharge it in a manner acceptable to Us, You
Is it dangerous there? Of course, fools. 3$ hereby agree to accept such Penalties as We shall
deem fit, without reservation. In this regard, You
The big question, of course, is what it will cost to shall forfeit immediately Your sense of sight to
find out where the Spider is hiding. They tell the the Traders Guild, not to be returned until such
PCs their price for free. time as fit reparations are made to Us.
Please state Your acceptance or rejection of
the aforementioned terms and conditions. This
The Price contract constitutes a binding Agreement of
When one of the characters asks what it will cost Exchange, and may be enforced as such. Clarifica-
for the Guildbrothers to tell them where the tions and repetitions are subject to a surcharge of
Spider is, the Traders Guild exchange triumphant one hundred dollars each.
looks. The one on the left end stands up and If the characters have any questions about the
recites the following, at a fairly good clip, ignor- speech, the Traders Guild answers them at the
ing any attempts at interruption or questions. price of one hundred dollars each, explaining
Let it be stated that the Party of the First that they have a package that they need to deliver
Part, hereinafter referred to as You, seek to gain a to the Spider, and that they will tell the charac-
Consideration from the Party of the Second Part, ters how to contact the Spider if they agree to
hereinafter referred to as Us. The aforementioned bring the package to him. Accepting the terms
Consideration, to wit, information concerning means that, should the characters try to evade
the current whereabouts of a Third Party, herein- their part of the bargain, they have agreed to
after referred to as the Spider, is in Our posses- surrender their sight to the Traders Guild. That
sion, and We will release it, without let or means that, if the Guildbrothers make a success-
hindrance, to You, upon acceptance of a Com- ful Avatar: The Merchant roll, any character
mission, hereinafter referred to as the Task. breaking the deal will be struck blind. The
The particulars of this Task are as follows: contact method involves inserting ones ATM
first, that You will bear away with You a particu- card into any ATM machine and entering the
lar Object from Our presence. Second, that You code 774337463333. The Spider will then contact
will protect this Object to the extent of Your the character.
abilities, keeping it safe from all threats and Whats the package? Three hundred cut up
retaining possession of the Object until the Task credit cards. Why? Well, the Traders Guild
is discharged. Third, that You will bear the Object doesnt think that its any of the characters
into the presence of the Spider, whose location business why. If the Spider chooses to tell them,
We will disclose to You as the fulfillment of Our fine.
commitment in this exchange. Fourth, that You Of course, the characters can refuse to carry
shall transfer possession of this Object to the the package, in which case they dont get direc-
Spider, retaining no liens or reservations, so that tions to the Spider. They have a (sort-of) name
it passes completely into the ownership of the now, so they might be able to track down the
Spider. Fifth and finally, that You shall stand Spider on their own, but thats up to you. Trying
ready as the Object is inspected by the Spider, to beat the information out of the Traders Guild
and shall take full and complete responsibility for is probably a lost cause, and certainly gets the
any faults found in the Object as a result of said characters reputations trashed in the Merchant
inspection. This shall constitute the discharge- network. Divination may work, if the characters
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come up with something suitably funky, but ready to die for the Traders Guild, who have
computer searches probably wont, and they kept him in their employ for over sixty years
certainly alert the Spider if theyre attempted. without letting him age.
Another idea is to go back to Maria and ask
her to tell them where the Spider is. She doesnt Stats
know, but she can find out in a few days for the Body: 80 (Mammoth)
sum of ten thousand dollars. This is steep, but Speed: 70 (S) (Snake Quick)
meeting with freaks like the characters isnt going Mind: 40 (Gets By)
to be easy to explain to the mob if its noticed, so Soul: 40 (Follower)
Maria wants to make it worth her while and
discourage repeat visits at the same time. She Skills
cant provide an introduction, but can produce Body Skills: General Athletics 60%, Dirty Fight-
the information. ing 75%
Speed Skills: Dodge 60%, Drive 25%, Sneaky
Bugger 65%
Guildhall Doorman Mind Skills: General Education 15%, Notice 40%
Summary: The Doorman has no name, having Soul Skills: Charm 15%, Lie 15%
traded it away for the his sixty years of ageless-
ness in the employ of the Guildbrothers. The Madness Meter
Traders Guild didnt want anyone with the Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
weakness of a name to be guarding them, so 8 H/1 F 3 H/0 F 0 H/0 F 4 H/1 F 9 H/3 F
that was the price for giving him the job. He
also gets to keep any money given to him for Notes
admittance to the Traders Guildhall, and gets to The Doormans Dirty Fighting cherries are all
loot the bodies of anyone he has to rough up to Second Helping, allowing him to make another
keep out. He likes his work, and obeys the attack roll immediately in the same round that he
dictates of the Traders Guild with scrupulous rolls a matched success, with no penalty.
accuracy. Anyone who can tell the Doorman his name
Personality: In his role as guardian, the Doorman (Gareth Wilkes) forces him to take a rank-10 Self
is laconic in the extreme. He speaks only what is check. Failure results in him immediately fleeing
necessary for his job, and refuses to discuss the area, never to return. The Traders Guild is
things that have no bearing on his task. He not pleased about losing their Doorman.
projects an image of barely contained rage, which
he finds useful for keeping uppity visitors in line. Possessions
Obsession: His job. He does his job, and he does For when he needs to defend the Guildhall, the
it well. Doorman carries an aluminum baseball bat with
Wound Points: 80 pieces of sharpened rebar driven through the
business end. This deals +6 damage, and causes
Passions firearms damage on a matched success, as well as
Rage Stimulus: Disrespect. He has an important allowing a second attack.
role, and he hates it when people dont recognize
that.
Fear Stimulus: (Self) Meeting someone who The Guildbrothers
knows him and remembers his name. He would Summary: There are six Guildbrothers, but they
lose his job here if he reclaimed his name. have identical stats. They have traded aspects of
Noble Stimulus: Protecting his charges. Hes themselves back and forth so often that now they
are effectively homogenized, without any real performs in their presence by changing the
individual identities. They each appear different, symbolic meaning of the exchange of power
and two are women, but they dress in identical for effect. The roll is rounded to the nearest
black suits and they havent washed or bathed in number divisible by 10, and the result is
a very long time. They look like street people in applied as a negative shift to the adepts
suits. magick roll.
Personality: Very little. Everything the Guildbroth-
ers do is shaped by exchange, and they do Madness Meter
nothing unless there is some return on the effort. Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
This can tend to make them rather alien to 2 H/1 F 4 H/1 F 2 H/0 F 1 H/3 F 9 H/5 F
normal people, even the PCs.
Obsession: Exchange. The trading of one thing of Notes
value for another. In addition to the above skills, the Guildbrothers
Wound Points: 50 have a collective pool of skills that they trade
back and forth as needed amongst themselves.
Passions For game purposes, assume the Guildbrothers
Rage Stimulus: Giving something away for have a rating in any mundane skill equal to the
nothing. governing stat, but that only one of them can use
Fear Stimulus: (Self) Being given something for it at one time.
nothing.
Noble Stimulus: Encouraging fair trade. The Possessions
mystic key to exchange, they feel, is that all The Guildbrothers generally dont have much in
involved parties be satisfied with the results. their possession. They each have a couple of
hundred dollars and there is a .45 semi-automatic
Stats pistol in a holster fastened to the underside of
Body: 50 (Average) the table. Other than that, and their filthy black
Speed: 50 (F) (Average) suits, nothing.
Mind: 70 (Two Steps Ahead)
Soul: 70 (Guiding Lights)
Contract Three: The Spider
Skills So now the characters are off to see someone
Body Skills: General Athletics 15%, Struggle 15% called the Spider. If the last group of Merchants
Speed Skills: Dodge 15%, Drive 15% didnt make them nervous, the Spider should.
Mind Skills: General Education 15%, Notice Beyond the normal obsession with commerce,
15%, Mystery of Trade 40% and the bizarre obsession with exchange, you find
Soul Skills: Charm 15%, Lie 15%, Avatar: The someone that even the Traders Guild thinks is a
Merchant 70% bit nuts.
Thats the Spider.
Mystery of Trade: This is their magickal The Spider has tapped itself into the actual
understanding of the act of exchange. It process of trade, becoming the conduit for
allows them to understand the underlying thousands of transactions a day. To say that the
symbolism behind ritualized exchanges, such Spider is not entirely human any more is to damn
as the transactional nature of magick, and to with faint praise the superlative job that it has
manipulate it slightly. With a successful roll, done turning itself into a monster. And this is
they can twist any magickal effect an adept what the characters need to deal with.
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Pressing it produces a response in the same voice


Into the Web heard on the phone, asking who it is. If the
One does not simply approach the Spider. One players identify themselves appropriately, the
must first make contact and arrange for an door buzzes open and they are told to come
audience. This is done by invoking its attention at directly up to the top floor.
an ATM, which is the extent of the instruction
for finding the Spider that the Traders Guild (or
Maria) provides as their part of the bargain. The The Parlor
act of invoking the Spider is simple, requiring a At the top of the stairs is a short hallway, ending
character to insert his or her ATM card into the in a fire door. Beyond that is the Spiders lair.
machine and type the code 774337463333 (Spider This is a large loft apartment with a high, beamed
God 333). This flags the attention of the Spider, ceiling and hardwood floors. Most of the space is
who identifies the name on the ATM card, calls occupied by various cases of electronics and
up all relevant records, tracks down the tele- machinery, wired into each other in an unlikely
phone numbers registered to the character, and and baffling maze of cables. Some of the boxes
calls the character either on cell phone or home are clearly computer equipment, some are
telephone. medical devices, and some are large constructions
The minimum time before the call arrives is of gears and arms resembling Mechanomancer
ten minutes, and if the character does not own a clockworks. The cables that join them vary from
cell phone, their home telephone is ringing when standard computer cables to fiber optic trunks
they arrive home. The voice on the other end and hydraulic hoses. It all blends into an insane
when they answer is cultured and androgynous, network of devices feeding into the Plexiglas box
sounding quite artificial, and it identifies itself as in the center of the room.
the Spider. It listens to whatever the characters The Spider rests in this box. It is a strange-
have to say, but is unimpressed unless the charac- looking human being of indistinct gender, with a
ters identify themselves as couriers for the bloated stomach, shrunken chest, and atrophied
Traders Guild, in which case it provides direc- arms and legs, lying in a filthy rope hammock. Its
tions to its current lair. limbs are twisted at awkward angles, and twitch
If the characters are not acting as Traders spastically from time to time. The face is locked
Guild couriers, they have to appeal to the Spi- in a drooling grimace, with one eye clouded by a
ders ego in order to arrange an invitation. cataract, and the head dangles on a spindly neck.
Marveling at the contact method is a good first Strings of greasy, matted hair dangles down over
step, and entices the Spider to speak a little more the torso, and the finger- and toenails are long
about what it is, and what it has accomplished. If and dirty.
they build a good relationship, which in the Perhaps the most unappealing part of the
Spiders view is one where the characters are in Spiders appearance is the number of wires and
awe of it, they may respectfully request an tubes that penetrate its body. Fiber optic cables
audience, which the Spider magnanimously grants run into the back of its head, telephone cord
to them. pierces its throat, many copper wires plunge into
The directions that the Spider provides lead the chest above the heart, brass arms pump in
the characters to a loft apartment in a section of and out of the Spiders back, and tubes carry
the city thats beginning to go to seed. Unusually liquids into and out of the abdomen. The Spider
for this part of the city, the door to the building is the centerpiece in a bizarre cybernetic mobile,
is covered by three separate security cameras, and rocking gently in the middle of the box. The first
has an advanced electronic lock system. There is glimpse of the Spider is worth a rank-5 Unnatural
a call box at the door, with a single button on it. check.
There are a number of small arms reaching UA, p. 173), and the computer equipment in the
out from the front of the box, each with a small room counts as the Spider for this purpose.
gripping appendage. The Spider, speaking in the Secondly, the box in which the Spider dwells is
same artificial, androgynous voice from a speaker six-inch-thick bulletproof Plexiglas. Third,
overhead, instructs the characters to place the hidden in the ceiling are a number of automated
package from the Traders Guild within reach of weapons that the Spider can activate at will.
these arms, and to leave it there. It then deigns to These take one round to ratchet down into
answer a few questions, as long as the characters position. The gears make enough noise that
feed its ego and continue to flatter it. Failure to everyone can see whats happening and respond.
do so causes it to become rather surly, and it On the second round, the guns flood the area in
shortly dismisses the characters. front of the cube with flying bullets, causing
If the characters are not acting as Traders each character to automatically take one firearm
Guild couriers, the Spider grants them the wound each round he stays in the area, unless
requested audience, again answering a few he successfully Dodges. Any Dodge success
questions as long as the characters are properly means he avoids all damage.
awestruck and deferential. Finally, even if they escape with their lives,
The Spider answers questions concerning the Spider can completely destroy their credit
what it is, and what it hopes to become, but record, financial history, and keep them from
avoids questions as to its origins, not being amassing any kind of money in an electronic
comfortable remembering what life was like form for as long as the characters and the Spider
before the change. It is offended at questions as live. Or, at least, until it loses interest in them and
to its gender, as it feels that those who ask such goes back to contemplating its electronic navel.
things have completely missed the point. If For a god, the Spider has a remarkably short
allowed, the Spider goes on at some length about attention span, probably due to its high-speed
its incredible power and the change it hopes to connectivity. After about a week of screwing over
bring to the world, going on about how the trade its eternal enemies, the Spider gets bored and
and the trader are one, and that information moves on to something else.
transfer is the true medium of exchange, and how Barring a panic attack, the characters proba-
soon all the world will understand the glory that bly get around to asking the Spider about the
it has seen: typical self-made deity ranting. It even Swap Meet.
tells the characters that the credit cards they have
brought it (if they did) are all cards that it has
personally canceled as an expression of its power. What the Spider Knows
They now form the core of a powerful fetish it is The Spider knows about the Swap Meet. Its just
building to help keep it on the Merchant path. never paid much attention to it. It can find the
All through the conversation with the Spider, its location by tapping into the financial records of
head lolls lifelessly on its pencil neck, saliva some of the more powerful Merchant avatars it
flowing freely from its mouth, which doesnt knows of. It checks their purchases and cross-
move as it speaks. references the airline tickets and hotel reserva-
If the characters decide that the world is tions to find the ones that are going to the same
better off without the Spiderand who could place around the same time. This takes it about
blame themthey may decide to attack. This is a six hours. Once it finds the location, it can
bad idea unless they are very well prepared. contact the characters and provide them with the
Firstly, because of the Spiders high Avatar: The information. Wasnt that easy?
Merchant skill, each character must pay the The location, by the way, is a little resort
Spider before they may attack it each time (see hotel outside of a small village, just a couple
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hours to the north and east of Winnipeg, Manito- grounds finances as possible, becoming identi-
ba, Canada. Its the Wendigo Hotel in Hat River, fied with trade in that respect. Once it has the
Manitoba. The date set is in the early autumn, permission and the access, the Spider does its
which in Manitoba is mid-October. In fact, its utmost to make sure the funds increase, building
the weekend before the second Monday in a base of respect and awe, and enticing more to
October, which just happens to be the Canadian submit to its financial management. Of course, it
Thanksgiving long weekend. plays pretty fast and loose with the rules, and
its likely to wind up with the police investigat-
ing all these accounts for fraud, theft, and tax
The Price evasionunless the Sleepers spot the irregulari-
First and foremost, the Spider wants awe and ties first.
respect. Any other approach causes it to be surly, When the Spider shares its information with
unhelpful, and eventually hostile. This is the the characters, it is far from humble about the
minimum requirement to get cooperation. If the exchange and expects reverence for its abilities
characters are properly awed by the majesty that and its accomplishments. If the characters
is the Spider, it agrees to find the information for provide this willingly, all goes well. If they
them and provide it, as long as the characters discount the magnitude of the Spiders capabili-
make it worth its while. ties, they are rudely dismissed and warned never
The main thing the Spider wants is a stronger to return. After a few days of sulking, the Spider
connection to the Merchant Archetype. If any of decides that its time for some divine retribution,
the characters have the Avatar: The Merchant and starts messing in petty ways with the charac-
skill, the Spider demands some of their mystic ters online financial transactions. If the charac-
connection. This translates into the Spider taking ters ignore this, the Spider gets bored after about
7% skill from the Merchant character, bringing its a week and lets them off the hook. Should they
own Avatar: The Merchant skill to 98%. This take any action, the Spider starts to treat the
level of skill wont last long, as the Spider has characters as its nemeses, monitoring their
drifted too far from what the collective uncon- activities and interfering any way it can, as long as
scious conceives of as the Merchant, but it holds the characters keep messing with it.
it for a while.
If there is no Merchant avatar in the group,
then the Spider trades for an information retriev- The Spider, Computer Nightmare
al skill: research skills, notice skills, detective Summary: The Spider has hooked itself into the
skills, computer use skills, or anything else that global banking network by trading away bits of its
sifts the environment for usable data, then own brain and body for the ability to interface
collates it. It wants at least 20%, and takes either directly with the data flow. Thousands of pur-
all from one character, or from several; its not chases and sales are processed every day by its
fussy in this regard. own nervous system, turning it into the ultimate
If this isnt agreeable to the characters, it expression of trade. Unfortunately for its chances
offers one final price. All the characters must at ascension, it has also removed itself so far
turn over to it, for one year, all their finances. from humanity that it no longer even begins to fit
They can deposit and withdraw as desired, but into the idea of the modern Merchant. Only by
their investments are totally at the Spiders using its virtual presence to buy and sell online
disposal to do with as it pleases. It is trying to and through strange rituals that it has developed
achieve a mystical presence as a Merchant power for the purpose has it maintained its exalted tie
in the Occult Underground, and it hopes to do to the Merchant archetype.
this by taking control of as much of the Under- Personality: The Spider is torn between glorying
in its accomplishment in merging the data and
the mind, and bitterness in the fact that it now Stats
no longer partakes of the human ideal of the Body: 10 (Not Much Left)
Merchant that drew it to this pass. It acts like a Speed: 10 (F) (Almost Immobile)
petulant little god, belittling those who dont Mind: 90 (Computerized)
acknowledge the majesty of its accomplishment, Soul: 95 (Godlike)
and fawning in the admiration of those clever
enough to flatter it. It knows that it is truly a Skills
force to be reckoned with, and it likes to hear it Body Skills: None.
from time to time. Speed Skills: None.
Obsession: Whatever its obsession may originally Mind Skills: General Education 80%, Notice
have been, now it is obsessed with proving that it 70%, Mystical Computer Interface 90%
didnt make the wrong choice after all when it Soul Skills: Charm 20%, Lie 70%, Avatar: The
became the thing it is today. Merchant 91%
Wound Points: 10
Mystical Computer Interface: The Spider
Passions can tap into the network of financial transac-
Rage Stimulus: Being mocked. It will not stand tions that take place online and process a
for disrespect. number of them itself. With a successful roll,
Fear Stimulus: (Violence) Being disconnected will it may find one desired transaction happen-
reduce it to an invalid, and that terrifies it. ing somewhere in the world and process it
Noble Stimulus: The Spider is very magnanimous internally, altering it in any way it wants. All
to those who show it the proper awe. relevant information about the transaction is
MATT HARPOLD

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also accessed every time it does this, so it is Now that they have the secret of when and
able to keep track of specific people and where the Swap Meet is taking place, theyve got
events through this medium. a target as big as all outdoors painted on them.
You think everyone just kept quiet about their
Madness Meter interest? Not likely. These are the types of people
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self who sell information for magickal power, after
0 H/3 F 10 H/1 F 6 H/1 F 5 H/1 F 10 H/2 F all. The characters have enemies, after all. This is
a game of furious action, after all.
Notes
While it is no longer able to do anything for itself
physically, the Spider is still moderately safe from Whos it Gonna Be?
harm in its lair. It remains in a bulletproof So many possibilities.
Plexiglas cube when strangers are present, and The characters have enemies of their own who
has several automated weapons trained on the probably would like to both interfere with their
killing field in front of the cube. If attacked plans and get the information about the Swap
through its peripherals, all attacks do only hand- Meet for themselves. Use this as another opportu-
to-hand damage, and each piece of machinery has nity to tie the scenario back into your main
20 wound points. Each piece of machinery campaign. If youve got an appropriate bad guy in
destroyed causes the Spider one wound point of the campaign that would fit, by all means throw
damage from its total of ten. him in. If youve got one that wouldnt fit, but it
would mess with the characters something awful,
Possessions throw him in. If the characters are after something
Mainly some highly sophisticated computer to stop one of your main villains, then this is the
equipment and the machinery needed to maintain perfect time to send a goon squad after them.
its own life. Its not terribly concerned with If you dont have anything that you want to
physical comfort, as it spends most of its subjec- use here, weve got you covered. Remember
tive time in the world of electronic trading. It has Anthony, the mobster boyfriend to entro-
summoned and bargained with the soul of a pomancer Maria? Hes been discretely following
nurse who now resides in the Spiders life sup- the characters, just keeping track of where theyre
port system to help keep it safe, and with the going and to whom theyre talking. Hes been
souls of a couple of computer geeks who now tough to spot, and fades if noticed, so as to pick
inhabit the complicated interface system the up the characters later. This means that unless
Spider has built, helping to convert the data into the characters killed him earlier, hes still on the
something palatable to its once-human mind. job. He notices when the characters start to make
travel plans. He has instructions to scare them
off, so that theres less competition at the Swap
Thats Far Enough Meet, and he and Maria can have the run of the
If the characters have been playing friendly with place. Hes also pretty nervous about the fact that
all the Merchant freaks so far, there are probably these schmucks now know about Maria, and he
a couple PCs with a real urge to stomp some- wants to make sure something gets done about
thing. Theyve had to make nice with some of the that. Of course, hell need a good excuse to give
most irritating and bizarre elements of the Occult any goombahs he brings along as back-up,
Underground, biting their tongues and bobbing something like how they stole ten thousand
their heads to get what they came for. Ill bet dollars and a kilo of uncut cocaine from him . . .
theyre itching for a fight. If Anthony was somehow spotted and taken
Lets give it to them. out, Maria is out for vengeance and can count on
a pack of hard boys to help her out. She can put try to get out of town. Focus on warning them
together a band of thugs just as easily as Anthony off, scaring them away from the Swap Meet,
could, and she can find the characters with a making them miss the plane. Watch the difficulty
little bit of mojo. She wants payment in blood for carefully, because you dont want to kill the
the loss of her ticket to the top. heroes this close to the goal, right? Right?
Dont like that one? How about the Traders
Guild? Were the characters reasonably polite and
agreeable? Even if they were, the Guildbrothers The Setup
might want to protect the secret of their Now, where should you hit them? I say go with
Guildhall. The Doorman and a mob of friends the classics. Theres a reason they endure.
can be dispatched like little flying monkeys to do Early morning, on the way to the airport to
the bidding of the Guild, and lay an unholy catch the plane to Winnipeg, a big black van
beating on the characters. comes up behind the characters vehicle and tries
Theres always the Spider. Why would it want to run them off the road. If the characters are
to hurt the characters? Well, maybe its realized traveling by cab, the driver begins to panic and
that they were only humoring it, patronizing it so needs to be controlled in some way, or he
they could steal its secrets and go away, mocking careens off the road into a nearby obstacle.
it to their friends. Maybe they werent all that Whether the van stays on the road or not, a
polite at all, or maybe its seen the patterns in the couple of pistols poke out of the windows and
mystical web of data in its head that tells it they open fire at the PCs vehicle. If the characters
must die. Lets face it: the Spider is so far around exit the vehicle, your group of baddies jumps out
the bend that it can see its own butt. It doesnt and proceeds to unload on them. After a round
need much of a reason to track down a bunch of or two of this, before the characters can pull it
ruffians to perform a sacred hit for it. together, their opponents pile back into the van
Keep in mind that the characters arent the and speed away.
only ones on the Swap Meet trail, and that pretty Of course, that wont work if the characters
much everyone theyve talked to about it is just are traveling to the airport on foot or by bus or
the type to sell that conversation to someone subway. In this case, our villains follow the
else. Easy enough to have another group of characters, not trying too hard to remain hidden,
aspiring shoppers find out about the characters hoping to cause the PCs to run somewhere
plans, and try to warn them off so as to cut private, where they can work undisturbed. If the
down on the competition for the Blue Light characters are traveling individually to the airport,
Really Specials. stick a bad guy or two on each of them. Place the
Not enough for you? Mix and match. Antho- toughest customer, such as Anthony or the
ny wants to off the characters, but their old Doorman, on the most physical character. If
buddies from that rival cabal show up wanting to Maria is in on the hit, sic her on the one with the
squeeze the Swap Meet location out of them. The strongest magick.
characters are caught in the middle of a deadly Keep in mind that you may have more than
crossfire, both sides trying to cap them, but one one group trying to get their hands on the charac-
wanting some info first. Maria has to involve ters. A black van opens up on the characters cab,
herself to make sure the characters go down. which promptly jumps the curb and hits a hydrant.
Then along comes the Doorman, slipping As the dazed characters stumble out to face their
through the cover, closing in on the characters to attackers, a second van pulls up, hoses down the
plant his baseball bat in their heads. bad guys with Uzis, and tries to haul the still-
Pick your opponents, pick your reasons, and groggy characters away to be interrogated.
drop a grade-A obstacle on the characters as they If none of those setups work with the
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characters, why not just ambush them at the or pull a gun on someone. On a solo run through
airport? Parking garages are beautiful places for the subways, there are all sorts of hazards,
noisy gun battles, hide-and-seek chases, and big- ranging from cops to dead ends, for the character
time mojo blasting. If at all possible, this is the to contend with. Give the bad guys radios, and
tactic that Anthony uses, waiting until the charac- let them cut the character off when he or she hits
ters park and leave their vehicle before pulling up the street.
and thumping them. The Doorman also likes this If the bad guys are turning out too tough,
one, being able to hide amongst the cars with his bring on another batch but make them take out
crew, and jump the characters as they pass. the first crew before turning on the characters.
Nothing like a little Dry Gulch action at the Give the PCs enough time to make a daring
airport. escape, or try some sort of negotiation. Bring in
the police, which quiets everyone down pretty
quickly. Turn the cab driver into an impromptu
The Smackdown ally, or an amazingly good driver. If nothing else
Youve got the who and the where laid out, now is helping, vehicular accidents and other acts of
you need the how and the with what. God can leave the characters with a real sense of
One thing to keep in mind is that this isnt a having narrowly escaped, and a few hints about
dungeon crawl where every monster cries BREE- the Invisible Clergy and their ability to mess with
YARK! and fights to the death to protect his probability can turn a desperate save into a
pouch of gold: the characters opponents are source of endless paranoia.
going to have a limit to what theyre willing to The key is to make the characters realize that
put up with. When things go badly, they pull back they now know one of the Big Secrets in the
and try again later. About the only one who Occult Underground. Show them what the stakes
might fight to the death would be a grief-stricken are like when they sit down at the table with the
Maria if Anthony is toast, and shes just as likely big boys. Hit them hard, rough them up some-
to pull back and look for another opportunity if thing fierce, and show them that there are people
things go too badly. out there who would happily kill them for what
Youre the best judge of what the characters they know, or just to prevent them from telling
can handle, so its tough to tell you how much to someone else. Be careful that you dont add too
throw at them. A good base is one main bad guy, many entanglements, though; the characters are
like Anthony, plus one standard thug (see UA, p. supposed to be heading to the Swap Meet, and
211) for each character. Arm them with .38 you dont want to bog them down so much that
revolvers (MD 50) and switchblades (AD 3), and they miss it. Use the attack to either resolve some
turn them loose. If they seem to be no challenge of the loose ends theyve created in the scenario,
for the characters, bring in another interested or to tie the hunt back into your campaign. It can
party or a squad of reinforcements. also serve to reveal a new opponent, but you have
Alternatively, let the bad guys fight smart. If to make it clear that they dont have a lot of time
the action is taking place in the airport parking to do anything about it just now.
garage, use the cars for cover and the stairs and
ramps to flank the characters positions. Give the
villains a teargas grenade or two, or maybe a Picking up the Pieces
flash-bang. If things are happening in a moving The aftermath of the battle may be a little bit
vehicle, throw some driving hazards (see Lawyers, tricky to deal with, especially if the police are
Guns, and Money, p. 86) at the characters and involved. A graceful fade from the scene is
force them to split their attention. Let the cabby probably in the characters best interests, but that
try to knock one of the characters out of the cab may prove difficult if the authorities have arrived
and settled things down. In general, leave an out Of course, maybe you dont want that. If you
for the characters, a way that they can extricate really want to drive home the dangers of wasting
themselves from the scene without legal entangle- time, heres a real good opportunity. Make them
ments. Dont make it easy, though. miss the Swap Meet because they havent been
You might make the way out hard to spot, clever and quiet enough, and got themselves
forcing them to think a little. Do they have a entangled in a big fracas when they should have
character that could reasonably bluff her way out? been skulking away to their plane. That means
Perhaps a Personamancer (see Postmodern you dont get to run the rest of the adventure, but
Magick, p. 107), flashing a badge, taking the it really makes a point to the players, and in ten
rest of the characters into custody. That gets or fifteen years when theres another Swap Meet,
them out of the net of authorities fairly quickly, they wont dawdle.
once they think of it. Perhaps a fire escape ladder
in the alley, when the police start closing off the
ends. Quick characters can be up and out of the The Swap Meet
way before anyone gets close enough to positively Now theyre on their way: safely aboard an
identify them. Then its just a matter of a lengthy airplane, heading to a quiet little city in Canada,
chase across the rooftops. and then to a nice little resort town in the
Another nice trick is to have the method of Manitoba woods. Theyre waiting to do some
escape be unpleasant. Crawl underneath all the business with the big players in the game, a little
cars, sneaking down to the parking garage entry. battered, a little paranoid, but victorious. Not
Drop down into the sewers to avoid the police. much can get in their way now. Of course, they
Trade clothes with a homeless person to sneak arent quite there yet. There are still a few
away. Make it something that the characters logistical hurdles to jump through.
would hate having to do. If theyre well-dressed, Some things to keep in mind are the normal
let them escape across a muddy field. If they hate trip through customs, where any weapons,
being out of control, force them into a cab for a including pepper spray, are confiscated; exchang-
high-speed getaway. Got one of those indepen- ing currency; renting cars; booking accommoda-
dent, proud bunches? Rescue them with someone tions; and getting directions. Even if they are just
who calls for a favor later on. taking a short jaunt across the border, this is
On the other hand, if the characters are most likely a trip into another country and
making a move to the Swap Meet with plenty of involves some preparation. Also, it is the begin-
time to spare, arrest them. Throw them in the ning of autumn in Manitoba. Dress warmly.
holding cell and arraign them. Force them to
make bail, and then skip town to make it to the
Swap Meet. You can build an entire series of Winnipeg
adventures out of the fallout from this one little Winnipeg is a small city of approximately three-
dust-up, and still get them to the church on time. quarters of a million people. Despite this low
If you think theyve suffered enough, let them population, its the biggest city in the area. You
do what they do best and work their own way out have to go west across Saskatchewan and into
of it. You want them to think about how danger- Alberta before you get into a bigger city, and east
ous their knowledge of the Swap Meet is to them, all the way to Toronto, really. South, the closest
and if you think theyve got the point, lay back and city of any size is Minneapolis. This makes
let the characters scamper. The rest of the game, Winnipeg an important nexus in the geographic
theyre going to be waiting for the other shoe to center of Canada, and all the cross-country land
smack them upside the head. You can taunt them routes pass through it.
with that for several sessions to come. Its a prairie city, which means that it spreads
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out rather than up. Apart from the downtown possibility of sudden drops in temperature, most
area, most buildings are under ten stories. The Manitobans still dress fairly lightly, taking advan-
streets are wide, and there are no freeways as tage of every day they have before parka weather
such. Because of the abundance of wide-open sets in.
streets, just about any point in the city can be
reached by car in less than half an hour, no
matter where you start. Winnipeg International Airport
Winnipeg closes up pretty early on most Winnipeg International Airport has only a single
weeknights. Except for a few of the seedier bars terminal and one entry point for international
on Main Street, and a very few private clubs, flights. Arrivals come in on the second floor of
things tend to shut down shortly after one in the the terminal, and then must go down two sets of
morning. Most establishments other than bars escalators to the basement to pass through
close around ten in the evening, just one hour customs and collect their luggage before return-
after the malls close. Its a quiet place. ing up to the ground floor to leave the building.
Temperatures at this time of year are widely Canada customs is notorious for having no
variable. Days can reach as high as 25 degrees sense of humor and no tolerance for people
Centigrade (77F), or just hover around freezing. trying to put one over on them. Characters who
Nights usually dip down below freezing, and the try to lighten the mood are just asking for their
frost has started to show up most nights. The luggage to be searched carefully, and anyone
leaves of the abundant elm trees that line the city found with even the smallest violation faces the
streets have entirely turned by the middle of the full penalty of the law. There is often a drug-
month to a yellow-gold, and the lawns are sniffing dog on duty in the customs line-up,
starting to fill with the fallen foliage. Despite the roaming up and down the lines with its handler,

MATT HARPOLD
checking all incoming passengers. Use the and airport security and police begin arriving
standard police stats in the rulebook (see UA, p. within minutes should an alarm sound.
211) should the characters decide to start some- Having passed successfully through customs,
thing in the airport. There are generally five to incoming characters return to street level and exit
ten customs agents in the area at any given time, the terminal. Its about a two-minute walk to the

Canadian Gun Laws


Canada is very different from the United States in the key area of firearms. Without a constitution
that includes the right to bear arms, Canada has much stricter controls over who gets a gun and what
they can do with it. All firearms, no matter what type or who owns them, must be individually
registered; without the proper registration, the owner is unable to even buy ammunition.
In addition to this, all handguns are considered restricted weapons, and are illegal to own unless
you are in the armed forces, on the police force, a member of a shooting club, a licensed gun collec-
tor, or you are the proprietor of a business that sells such weapons. Beyond that, short-barreled
pistols, sawed-off shotguns, and anything that can be set to automatic fire are prohibited, as are any
modifications to weapons that minimize the sound of firing or muzzle flash. About the only people
in Canada who are able to obtain a license for a concealed weapon are plainclothes police officers.
If you come in as a visitor, the best bet you have for getting a permit to carry a weapon in any
way is to bring a hunting rifle, and make sure that you have all the paperwork completed and faxed
to the Chief Firearms Officer of the province youll be visiting some weeks before you come. If you
really, really need to bring in a handgun, youre going to need to be a registered contestant in a
shooting contest, and you can then carry your handgun, unconcealed, from your lodgings to the
contest site and back again.
Of course, thats if you want to bring the weapon in legally. Theres always the option of smug-
gling the weapon past customs, but keep in mind that Canada customs takes an extremely hard
stance on such attempts. Youre looking at serious trouble if they catch on.
Because the setting of the scenario is a relatively small city, theres not a whole lot of opportunity
to purchase an illegal weapon. The local chapter of the Los Bravos, the main motorcycle gang, is
pretty much history after running afoul of the Montreal Hells Angels. The street gangs are predomi-
nantly formed of First Nations youthpeople the U.S. typically call Native Americansand theyre not
going to talk to anyone who doesnt have a reference or isnt obviously a member of one of the First
Nations. What may be possible is picking up a rifle or shotgun thats unregistered at an estate sale or
farm auction, but these things are usually in pretty poor shape. Of course, stealing someone elses gun
is always an option, but that carries its own risks.
If you do manage to get a firearm, the police response to the presence of firearms is slightly
different from that of their U.S. counterparts. Keep in mind that in Canada, pointing an unloaded
gun at someone is an indictable offense and carries up to a five-year jail term. Most police depart-
ments, especially the RCMP detachments in rural communities, are used to seeing citizens with
various rifles and shotguns constantly, and dont react too extremely to them. But the sight of a
handgun, especially in a tense situation, is going to provoke a very serious response. Nothing gets
discussed or explained until the weapon is in the hands of the police and the bearer is completely
disarmed and restrained. Then you can try to explain yourself.
Just in case it needs to be said, please remember that these are guidelines for a game, and are
somewhat simplified from the actual statutes regarding firearms in Canada. Please dont use this as a
real-world primer.
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rental cars, and then off into the wilds of Manitoba. people living in and around the village. During
tourist season in the summer, the population
The Drive quintuples, as families from Winnipeg and even
The drive from Winnipeg to Hat River is about further afield swarm out to their cottages for the
ninety minutes. Its four-lane blacktop for about swimming, boating, and fishing. Around Thanks-
half the distance, then two-lane blacktop. Scenery giving, though, the town is pretty empty. Theres
is generally farm fields and woods, with a little not much activity in the streets except for Satur-
town clustered around the highway every ten day, when it seems everyone in the municipality
minutes for the first half, and then nothing but the comes in to town for groceries.
occasional service station until Hat River. The land
is pretty heavily settled by Manitoba standards, but
that just means the farms are a little closer togeth- The Locale
er. Its still a pretty long walk to the nearest house Hat River is located on the border of the prairies
if you happen to break down on the highway. and the Precambrian Shield, so bedrock outcrop-
The names of the towns in this part of the pings and forests with thick undergrowth separate
province are predominantly French, such as the farmland that surrounds the village. Deer,
Beausejour, although attempting to speak in that beaver, muskrats, and skunks are common in the
language to any of the locals gets you a funny surrounding forests, with the occasional bear and
look and some butchered high-school French in coyote. In the fields and swamps are large num-
reply. The actual inhabitants are generally of bers of ducks, geese, and partridge. Hunting and
Ukrainian, Polish, or Latvian descent, with a little trapping are popular with the locals, and some of
bit of English, Irish, and Swedish thrown in. the summer people also come out during the
Stopping in any of the little towns for food gets hunting season to participate. The sounds of rifle
the characters a fairly normal menu, although shots in the fall dont cause much excitement.
with the addition of borscht, perogies, cabbage The town itself is stretched out over about
rolls, and kielbasa. three miles north to south along the west bank of
The last leg of the trip from Winnipeg to Hat the Winnipeg River. The downtown area occupies
River is about fifteen miles of winding highway about two blocks near the north end of the town,
through thick mixed forest. Deer and bears are with residential areas and schools stretching away
abundant here, and many cars have been wrecked south. There are two hotels in town, each with a
by colliding with deer that try to dart across the restaurant and bar. There are also three grocery
highway in front of them. Except for the two or stores, a handful of clothing stores, and two huge
three miles of road at either end, there are no hardware stores. A Chicken Chef and a Subway on
houses at all on this stretch and it gets mighty the west side of town operate all year round, with
dark at night, with the tall trees and no lights two ice-cream shops opening up in the summer,
except the headlights of the cars. Traffic is one down by the river and one by the highway.
sporadic, although there is a fair bit heading The two hotels are Riverview, which looks
towards Hat River around sunset, as people head out on the river and is comfortable if not fancy,
out to the wilds for Thanksgiving. Shortly after and Finnegans Inn, which sits on the north edge
dark, traffic drops off to almost nothing. of town and is somewhat seedier. For entertain-
ment, locals either go to the bar or rent video-
tapes. Theres not much else going on.
Hat River
The village of Hat River lies on the banks of the
Winnipeg River. Its a quiet little farming and The Locals
tourist town, with about twenty-five hundred People in Hat River tend to be both friendly and
reserved at the same time. They are careful not to
intrude on strangers, not to pry into peoples Wendigo Hotel
business, and not to put themselves forward. But if The Wendigo Hotel is about twelve miles out of
asked for assistance or included in a conversation, town, half of which is travelled through on a
they are outgoing, pleasant, and very talkative. gravel road winding through a collection of farms
Everyone knows everyone else, and gossip is a and wood lots. The gravel road is called, not very
popular pastime. Characters can find out a great originally, Wendigo Road, and passes over a wide
deal about residents of Hat River who they know range of terrain. The road was named after the
nothing about, but whatever they say to the locals hotel, which was named by people who had no
quickly finds its way into the rumor mill, as well. idea that a Wendigo was a native spirit tied to
In a town this size, that means that everyone cannibalism. They just liked the sound of the
knows everything within a couple of days. word. Of course, you dont have to tell the
Enforcing the law and keeping the peace in characters that.
Hat River is a small detachment of the Royal The fields are dotted with round bales of
Canadian Mounted Police, consisting of ten hay as tall as a man. The trees in the woods are
officers, and the four Natural Resource Officers, just about bare of leaves, with the evergreens
who keep an eye out for poachers and such. standing in sharp contrast to the rest of them.
These are the only people in the municipality The bedrock forms mounds thirty and forty feet
who are licensed to carry handguns, although the high just off the road. A few farmers are finishing
NROs usually dont. They all take a very dim the baling, and there are a couple driving their
view of anyone who does have a handgun on tractors along the road from their fields to their
their person or in their vehicle, and tend to err farms. The dust is thick if vehicles are moving at
on the side of caution when confronting some- any speed, and the ditches along the roads are
one they suspect to be armed. They dont react full of stagnant water six feet deep.
nearly as strongly to rifles and shotguns, as many It takes about twenty minutes to get from the
of the locals have these on hand for hunting or town to the hotel under normal conditions. If
eliminating vermin on their farms. characters are unfamiliar with driving on gravel
Just for the record, the Mounties dont wear roads, or if they manage to get lost, it could take a
their red serge dress uniforms for everyday duty. lot longer. Again, there is no public lighting outside
They dress in a subdued uniform of tan and of the town limits, so it gets very dark at night.
black, with a yellow stripe running up the sides
of the pant legs, and black billed cap. The red
serge is only for special occasions. Accommodations
Anyone in town or the surrounding farms The hotel is set near the beach in a cottage
can provide directions to the Wendigo Hotel, and development made up of seventy or eighty
are more than happy to if asked. Theyve noticed trailers. They are pretty much all empty this
a large number of people coming in to the hotel weekend, as none of them are heatedtheyre for
in the past couple of days, and are having fun summer folk. The main building is a two-story
gossiping about the strange folk who seem to be wooden building consisting of about fifty guest
congregating there. If the characters are striking rooms, kitchen, dining room, banquet room,
in any way, they will be remembered and dis- lounge, and managers quarters. A newer addition
cussed with many gleeful speculations and is the indoor swimming pool, which has been
fabrications. Strangers cant pass unnoticed in grafted onto the side of the more rustic hotel
town at this time of year, and the weird ones sometime in the past ten years.
always get a lot of air time on the rumor radio. Inside the lobby, a placard announces the
Swap Meet, which takes place in the banquet hall.
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It starts at six in the evening on Friday, and runs Merchant who may have set the characters on the
continuously until noon on Monday. All the trail way back at the beginning of the adventure?
rooms are booked, so unless the characters If hes here with them, he actually proves himself
reserved theirs in advance, they have to make somewhat useful in schmoozing with the other
alternate arrangements for accommodation back Merchants, and can greatly improve the standing
in Hat River. of the characters in the eyes of this strange
The swimming pool is open from ten in the gathering.
morning until ten in the evening every day, and If there is a Merchant avatar that your
the dining room from seven in the morning until characters already have some relationship with,
eight in the evening. Room service is available you may want to include him or her in the Swap
until midnight. The lounge opens at two in the Meet. Especially if the characters never bothered
afternoon, and closes at midnight. It is not open to ask their friendly neighborhood Merchant
at all on Sunday. about the Swap Meet: its always fun to show
them how easy it could have been.

The Merchants
Merchants are thick on the ground hereabouts. The Sponsors
There are ten or so actual avatars of the Mer- There are three organizers for this Swap Meet, all
chant, with bodyguards, as well as another ten or of whom are extremely powerful avatars of the
so vendors who do a brisk trade in the unusual Merchant. They decided to put it on, and then
without a connection to the archetype. The each told a couple of people and let it arrange
remainder are, like the characters, the lucky few itself after that. Thats how the organization
who have found their way here. In addition to happens: simply through word of mouth in the
these people staying at the Wendigo Hotel, there tight-lipped Occult Underground. The sponsors
are about fifty or so more people who are are assured of both exclusivity and variety in this
booked into the Riverview or Finnegans, and way, which is what theyre looking for. This time,
commute to the Swap Meet every day. Everyone the three sponsors are Arthur, Beatrice, and
has his or her own agenda, and everyone is Cagliostro. None of these are actually their
paranoid and packing some kind of heat, whether names, but Cagliostro is the name he uses
its a hunting rifle or a nasty bit of mojo. regularly, while Arthur and Beatrice are pseud-
The Merchants are driving the hotel staff to onyms that are disposed of after the Swap Meet.
distraction with their constant bargaining and Arthur was the primary motivating force
haggling over every little expense and service, and behind this Swap Meet, and he invited in Beatrice
their goons are making everyone nervous. The and Cagliostro because of the way that their
twitchy folk who have come looking for their specialties complimented his own. He deals
own little piece of the pie add to the general mainly in material items, although not just
atmosphere of suspicion and danger. This whole mundane ones. He carries a wide variety of rare
place is a powder keg. and unique items, and prefers to be paid in cash
If they havent got themselves kacked earlier, for them. He generally has several minor artifacts
Maria and Anthony are probably in attendance. If around for sale at reasonable prices: things like
there was any unpleasantness between them and Skeleton Keys and Hands of Glory. In addition,
the characters earlier in the adventure, they he may have one or two significant artifacts with
apologize, excusing it as being just business. They him, and may also know of the whereabouts of a
are friendly with the characters, holding no major artifact. He loves clockworks, and generally
grudge as long as the characters reciprocate. gives good value for a new and unique one.
Remember Edward Macoy, the earnest young Beatrice is here because otherwise she might
miss something she needs to know about. She
also likes the pained look Arthur gets on his face Arthur, Swap Meet Sponsor
when she goes into her mad seer act. She is ready Summary: Arthur is one of the three powerful
to buy and sell information of just about any Merchants who make the Swap Meet take place.
description, and prefers to pay and be paid in He is here to trade in a neutral venue with other
information. She knows several rituals, the names powerful Merchants, both to keep his hand in at
of many of the prominent dukes, and the secret the high-level trading and to catch up on gossip.
plans of a dozen sects. Of course, a lot of what Arthurs primary interest is in rare and obscure
she knows is going to be about worthless, clued- items, and he is a good person to send the
out posers, but she still knows it, and gladly takes characters to for an artifact or other item. He is
trade even for the worthless stuff. With no one of the older avatars of the Merchant present,
compunctions about peoples privacy, she gladly at nearly ninety years of age, and has been
shares as long as she gets good return. coming to the Swap Meet for years. He is one of
Cagliostro comes to these things because he the primary forces behind the continuation of the
loves being the devil that people sell their souls institution, both for practical and sentimental
to. It makes him feel good to grant them their reasons. He is a staunch traditionalist.
deepest desires without them having to surren- Personality: Arthur is the epitome of an old-
der their entire beings to the slavish pursuit of world gentleman, quiet and reserved, with a
their dreams. Although he dresses and acts like a charm based on the manners of a bygone era. He
Satanist, he truly feels that hes on the side of is tall and spare, dresses in conservative good
the angels. He just gets a kick out of the act, taste, and has a thick shock of silvery hair and
and likes to make people think long and hard matching mustache. When he speaks, his low
about what they want and what its worth to voice has the trace of a German accent, but it is
them. He deals mainly in the things that have quite faint. Arthur continues to sponsor the Swap
lasting value in his mind: the intangible qualities Meet because this is where he started moving up
and abilities of humanity. He accepts payment in the mystic ladder of the Merchant. He has a
kind, or in just about any other form, as long as certain fondness for the institution as well as a
he sees that the customer is going to value the desire to use it to keep abreast of whats going on
purchase to a magnitude he feels is appropriate. in the Underground, and to move some of his
To this end, he often weaves his sales pitch rarer items. It has also proved quite valuable in
around the life of the person the quality was allowing him to acquire hard-to-find things for his
purchased from, making the exchange seem far clients.
more mystical and valuable, using a language Obsession: Fair dealing. Arthur finds the true joy
style cribbed from Ray Bradbury. (This . . . this to be in exchanging items of value between
is the distillation of a young boys summer, honorable clients, with everyone satisfied with the
spent running wandering through the woods, result. He takes a profit for himself because he
following in the footsteps of his beloved grand- feels the workman is worthy of his hire, and his
father, learning the signs left by passing animals connections and skills in smoothing the way are a
and men. It is a summer of shared discovery, service that few can provide as well as he can.
and the memories of a simpler, happier time. Wound Points: 40
What is that worth to you?)
All three of the sponsors spend some time in Passions
the banquet hall during the day, although they Rage Stimulus: People who want something for
tend to conduct their business with each other nothing drive Arthur to distraction, as they
and any big trades in private. undermine his entire estimation of the purpose of
his calling. He doesnt mind bargaining or
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negotiating, but cheating, stealing, and being one in short order. He can also sell the details
unreasonable about the value of what is offered about creating several of the minor artifacts,
are guaranteed to infuriate him. although thats not his main interest. Significant
Fear Stimulus: (Violence) Thorvald Drake, the artifacts may be available at your discretion. He
current Godwalker of the Merchant. Arthur is deals fairly with the characters as long as they
close enough to heart of the Merchants path to dont try to cheat him or rip him off.
be viewed as a serious contender for Godwalker
status, and hes terrified that Drake might decide
to eliminate the threat by simply killing him. Beatrice, Swap Meet Sponsor
Noble Stimulus: Honorable behavior. He values Summary: Beatrice might look like Arthurs
those who behave by a code that he can under- female counterpartif she didnt affect the dress
stand, and deals honorably with them. and behavior of a gypsy fortuneteller. She appears
decades older than her fifty years, and wraps
Stats herself in colorful scarves, skirts, and beads. Her
Body: 40 (Fit For His Age) jewelry is as gaudy as the rest of her dress,
Speed: 40 (F) (Slowing Down) although of much higher value: diamonds and
Mind: 70 (Incisive) rubies glitter at her ears and throat, amethysts
Soul: 99 (Rock Solid) and emeralds dance on her fingers, and heavy
ropes of gold drape about her neck, wrists, and
Skills ankles. She specializes in information, and isnt
Body Skills: Struggle 20%, General Athletics 20% above using her Entropomancy to divine the
Speed Skills: Drive 15%, Dodge 20% answers her clients are looking for.
Mind Skills: General Education 65%, Notice Note that Beatrice is not, in fact, an avatar of
70%, Mystic Artifacts 50%, Appraise 60% the Merchant, but has been buying and selling
Soul Skills: Charm 80%, Lie 70%, Avatar: The information for such a long time that most
Merchant 96% people just assume she is.
Personality: Beatrice affects the manner of a
Appraise: Arthur can compare the value of deranged prophet, cackling and making cryptic
various items, either in terms of barter or in references to the foggy future. She projects an all-
terms of approximate cash value. seeing, all-knowing demeanor, laced liberally with
Mystic Artifacts: This is Arthurs knowledge pure insanity. Behind this show she is a canny,
of the existence, powers, and creation perceptive person who understands that knowl-
methods of a wide variety of artifacts. He edge is power, and that being underestimated by
can, with a successful roll, speak knowledge- her clients can net her some wonderful bargains.
ably about any given artifact the characters She refuses to break character with the public,
have heard about. although she can sometimes be seen talking
calmly and clearly with the other sponsors.
Madness Meter Obsession: Knowing it all. Beatrice plans to
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self accumulate all knowledge for herself. She loves
3 H/0 F 4 H/0 F 1 H/2 F 0 H/0 F 0 H/1 F trading information, because she never winds up
with less than she started with.
Possessions Wound Points: 45
Arthur specializes in material goods, often with
magickal powers. He can reasonably be expected Passions
to have at least one of any common, minor Rage Stimulus: Being lied to. Exchanges of
artifact for sale, or be able to put his hands on information, like any other exchanges, are meant
to be a trade of items of value. If one receives Speed Skills: Drive 20%, Dodge 40%
counterfeit data, one has been cheated. Consider- Mind Skills: General Education 20%, Notice
ing that you can give someone information freely 80%, Keep It Straight 80%
without reducing what you possess, this angers Soul Skills: Charm 50%, Lie 60%, Magick:
Beatrice like nobodys business. Entropomancy 75%
Fear Stimulus: (Helplessness) Not knowing the
answer to a clients question. She hates feeling Madness Meter
that she hasnt achieved the pinnacle of informa- Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
tion possession to which she aspires, and being 2 H/0 F 6 H/1 F 2 H/0 F 2 H/1 F 7 H/0 F
reminded of it just drives home the fact that she
may not live long enough to know it all. Notes
Noble Stimulus: Honesty. If someone is straight- Keep It Straight: Beatrice can keep track of all
forward with her, she does her best by them. her information without having to write it all
down. With a successful roll, she can pull any
Stats piece of information she knows to mind with no
Body: 45 (Wiry) hesitation. She can thereby project an air of
Speed: 50 (F) (Spry) omniscience that she finds useful in her dealings.
Mind: 90 (Razor Sharp)
Soul: 99 (Illuminated) Possessions
Beatrice usually doesnt carry any weapons,
Skills relying on her Entropomancy to see her through
Body Skills: Struggle 15%, General Athletics 20%, the difficult times. She does have an Ouija board
Dance 40% into which she has bound a demon to answer
MATT HARPOLD

SWAP MEET

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questions for her, and she consults it when she ability, and he uses this to further unnerve his
either doesnt have the answer she needs or she clients. Play up his mysterious, sinister demeanor,
wants to impress the marks. She knows a great keeping the characters nervous and unsure in
deal about the Occult Underground, including their dealings with him, even though he may be
whos who and what theyre up to, and is familiar one of the safest people to bargain with at the
with a number of rituals. If the characters have Swap Meet. Dont let them catch on to that.
come to the Swap Meet looking for an important Obsession: Strangely enough for his behavior,
piece of information, Beatrice is the one to see. Cagliostro is obsessed with helping people to
She usually has ten minor charges and two improve themselves. He doesnt just gift people
significant ones, gleaned from selling dangerous with what they need, though. He knows that they
information about dangerous people to other do not value what they feel they have not earned.
dangerous people, and then selling the informa- Wound Points: 120
tion that she sold the information and . . . you
get the idea. She uses her charges to conduct Passions
divinations if the price is right. She prefers to use Rage Stimulus: Being mocked. He does not
tarot cards for her readings, shuffling them tolerate disrespect.
extensively, then closing her eyes and tossing Fear Stimulus: (Isolation) Being out of touch with
them into the air, reading her answers in the ones the needs of his customers.
that land face-up on the table. Noble Stimulus: Granting wishes. He goes out of
his way to work a miracle for someone, as long as
he is paid with something appropriate.
Cagliostro, Swap Meet Sponsor
Summary: First off, hes not the real Cagliostro. Stats
Most people in the Occult Underground can Body: 100 (Tempered Steel)
probably name five or ten people who have used Speed: 100 (S) (Perfect Control)
the name, and none of them are the true Caglios- Mind: 100 (Brilliant)
tro as far as anyone can prove. This one does a Soul: 100 (Magnetic)
better job at the shtick than most, and uses it to
his advantage when working his Faustian bargains Skills
with customers. Cagliostro is a young man with Body Skills: General Athletics 75%, Martial Arts
dark hair and beard and intense green eyes. He 90%, Endurance 80%
dresses the part of the evil sorcerer to perfection, Speed Skills: Drive 60%, Dodge 80%, Run 90%,
with all-black suits, silver jewelry, and a walking Acrobatics 90%
stick with a skull on top. He deals in the intangi- Mind Skills: General Education 90%, Notice 90%
bles: skills and abilities, extra life and true Soul Skills: Charm 90%, Lie 90%, Avatar: The
happiness. Merchant 91%
Personality: Cagliostro does his character to the
hilt, with a deep, liquid voice and a faint smile Madness Meter
playing around his lips. His eyes sometimes seem Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
to glow from within, especially when he starts his 5 H/0 F 5 H/0 F 5 H/0 F 5 H/0 F 5 H/0 F
sales pitch. He tends to go for a subtly conde-
scending air when dealing with his clients, never Possessions
quite belittling them, but definitely coming across Cagliostro is skilled at using his walking stick
as being slightly amused by their desires and with his Martial Arts skill, and as it is a sword-
motivations. He has used his Merchant abilities to stick he draws it if he finds himself in need of a
bring himself close to the pinnacle of human more serious weapon. He keeps a large briefcase
with him at all times that contains his wares: tiny a significant ritual. Cagliostro, of course, shows up
bottles filled with a variety of thick liquids in at midnight and stays until dawn, which comes
which he stores the intangibles that he trades. If around seven in the morning. He does not grant
the characters have come to the Swap Meet private appointments outside of these hours.
looking for a skill, ability, or other abstract Any serious violence in the hotel brings the
quality, Cagliostro is the person to see. RCMP to investigate and restore order. They are
pretty hard line about strangers coming in and
busting up the property of a local, and are not
Doing Business swayed by normal attempts at bribery. After all,
The banquet hall is filled with tables arranged they had to drive all the way out from town.
along the walls, much like the dealer room of any
convention. The Merchants have set up their
wares and settled down to do business. They Shopping Around
manage to stay at their tables about twenty hours You know that the characters are going to do
a day, anxious to not miss any chance to sell some looking around at the various tables at the
something. There are a wide variety of items Swap Meet. How could they possibly resist?
available, some authentic and some not. Any There are a wide range of strange people and
moderately mundane ingredients for rituals can creepy items on display, and you can use this
probably be had at a reasonable price in the opportunity to play up the weirdness factor of
room, and maybe even a minor ritual or two, the gathering. Below is a list of some interesting
although those are drastically more expensive. personalities working the booths.
Standing near the tables of their employers
are the large men who protect them. Use the Andy Campbell is a twitchy little fellow. His
standard stats for thugs from the rulebook (see washed-out green eyes shift rapidly and
UA, p. 211) should you need them. Anyone nervously behind his thick glasses and he
stepping out of line in here is going to get talks a mile a minute, always looking any-
stomped by everyones pet goon, because none of where but in the eyes of the person that hes
the Merchants want any disruption to this Swap talking to. He gets uncomfortable and
Meet. Who knows when therell be another one? defensive if anyone even hints at not believing
In the center of the room are three curtained what hes saying, which may give the custom-
booths. These are the sponsors tables, and they ers the idea that hes hiding something about
deal in a little more privacy than the common his wares. Andy is actually exceedingly careful
Merchants do. Each of the booths generally has about his acquisitions, and has the highest
another goon outside it at all hours, and two quality items most of the time; hes just not
inside with the sponsor. Anyone messing with good with confrontation. He specializes in
these folks deserves what they get. ingredients, rather than finished products,
The sponsors are not generally in the banquet and his table is covered with bottles, little
hall at the same time. Arthur comes in at ten in plastic bags, and tins of strange substances.
the morning, and meets potential customers until Some of the claims on the packages seem
four in the afternoon. If there is something that pretty unbelievable, like the bottle of Bill
needs a more private venue, he arranges an Clintons sweat, the packet of hair from the
appointment with the characters in his room after tail of saber-toothed tiger, or the ground
dinner. Beatrice comes in around noon and stays teeth of Jack the Ripper. Still, if you need a
until eight or ten in the evening. She sets up specific ingredient for a ritual or artifact, his
private appointments for people in her rooms if products can be trusted to be the real deal.
she needs to consult her Ouija board or exchange Andy wants cash or favors for his wares.
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Karen Gill dresses like a jungle explorer and someone doesnt want to sell. Her table is
talks up the difficulties shes faced in obtain- loaded with weird crap, most of it at least
ing her wares. See those herbs? She had to mildly disturbing, stuff like pieces of famous
gather those by starlight in the garden of a peoples tombstones, photographs of acci-
third-world dictator. That statue was recov- dent victims, and scrapbooks full of airline
ered from the Nazis who stole it from a crash clippings. Shes not peddling anything
rabbinical scholar. Everything has a harrowing worthwhile, using this as a buying trip for her
story attached to it, and she milks the tales to regular customers. Shell take anything in
drive up the prices on her rather mundane payment for her crap, preferring things with
offerings. Her wares are a mish-mash of resale value. She pays in cash or the promise
minor curiosities ranging from simple herbs of special rates in the future.
and powders, through rare books, to statues Willy Sykes goes by the name of Odin, trying
of blasphemous evils from beyond the pulp to cash in on the Norse myths. He dresses in
writers imagination. Her minor stuff is bedraggled jeans and tee shirts, usually with a
usually what she claims, but the only thing fringed leather jacket. His right eye is miss-
magickal about the more mysterious articles ing, a similarity to the Odin myths that he
are the enchanting stories she spins about makes the most of. Hes pretty up on the
acquiring them. She is most anxious to trade mythology, but there is no true mystical
for working rituals or artifacts. connection there. Willys just trying to put
Geoff Good doesnt hard sell, he doesnt together a decent offering to trade with
haggle, and he doesnt seem to care if he Cagliostro for his dead sons resurrection.
sells anything. The one thing he does care Hell lie, cheat, steal, and con for this goal.
about is always being paid in amounts Hes got a nice little assortment of occult
divisible by three. If the offer isnt a multiple writings, holy water, defiled communion
of three, its not acceptable. He also doesnt wafers, illicit drugs, home-made absinthe, and
feel the need to explain this to anyone, as other odds and ends that are pretty non-
its a geas that hes accepted in return for specifically occult. Hes a generalist, and will
the connections that let him find his very take anything of value in trade. Every little bit
small selection of very high-quality merchan- helps.
dise. He makes three counter-offers of
appropriate amounts, and becomes quite Aside from the interesting people, theres a lot of
irate if people keep offering amounts freaky stuff on the tables. Heres a little taste of
indivisible by three. There is very little on the weird things the characters may see if they
display on his table, but its all superb: look around. No game stats are included, allow-
signed first editions for the Bibliomancers, ing you to decide on a case-by-case basis what
rare vessels for the Dipsomancers, historical these things are worth.
items for the Mechanomancers, and special
mementos for the Iconomancers. The prices A baboon skull painted with Chinese pictograms
are high, but the items are worth it. Three Batman Pez dispensers bound together
Lindsay Williams is more concerned with with rusty barbed wire
buying than with selling, and uses her booth A copy of Finnegans Wake with every third
as bait to draw people in where she can word blacked out
scope them out and start making offers for A mummified babys hand with fleur-de-lis
things that interest her. She has a good eye painted on the fingernails
for spotting things of value, both magickal A box of vacuum tubes, each painted with a
and mundane, and is very tenacious when different alchemical symbol
Baby turtles with shells enameled in mandala trading just to find the identity of the claim
patterns jumper. Getting the stuff from him is even
A necklace made out of G.I. Joe Kung-Fu tougher. Is he just trying to make a profit by
Grip hands raising the price for the characters, or is this
Mandrake roots, with the heads blindfolded a plot to deprive the characters of the tools
and gagged they need to take out their enemies? Maybe
A snow globe shaker depicting a lynching its just a coincidence. But maybe not.
Boxer shorts with the Templar cross on them No ones sure how, but Selena Ramirez (see
An Easy-Bake Oven scribed with ancient UA, p. 205) has managed to make her way to
Greek recipes the Swap Meet. Characters may recognize her
Three black voting balls from a Masonic from her television program, and get nervous
lodge sealed in Lucite when she doesnt seem to be buying any-
A clasp knife tied shut with violin strings thing. She tries talking to a lot of the attend-
A fez with a bullet hole through it ees, however, and is never without a large
A set of the three monkeys who see, hear, handbag over her shoulder. Shes planning on
and speak no evil, with a fourth monkey that doing a special on this strange event during
is covering its groin with its hands sweeps week, and has a small still camera in
A bronze spearhead, the tip snapped off the bag which peeks out a lens disguised as a
A Colt .45 Peacemaker glass bauble on the side. Theres also a voice-
Disney animation cell from Fantasia, featur- activated audio tape recorder in her inside
ing Mickey casting the spell in the Sorcerers blazer pocket. Most of the people at the
Apprentice sequence Swap Meet shy away from anyone asking
A notebook, written in first-century Aramaic, questions just on general principle, but if the
chronicling the day-to-day life of an eleven- crowd figures out what shes up to, Selena is
year-old girl in Boise, Idaho going to be in a great deal of trouble.
A monocle with red glass The characters buy a little something from
Han Solos blaster pistol Lindsay Williams that seems intriguing, but
Photographs of the characters with their nothing special. Unfortunately, shed forgot-
friends and family ten that it was earmarked for a special
customer of hers, an Eastern School Crypto-
mancer (see Postmodern Magick, p. 71) who
Fun and Games needs it for an elaborate lie hes set up.
So, youve got a whole bunch of twisted, obsessed Lindsay approaches the characters a little
people gathered at a mystical garage sale in the later, offering to buy it back with a slight
wilds of the Canadian woods. What do these bonus thrown in. If the characters refuse, she
people do for fun? Heres a few plot hooks for offers up to double what they paid. If that
you to throw in. Some of them can be easily doesnt work, she sells the characters names
resolved at the Swap Meet, while others can serve to her other buyer, who is quite put out at
as the start of a whole new set of wacky adven- the extra effort involved, and over the next
tures for your characters, should they get involved. several months proceeds to make the charac-
ters sorry for interfering.
Someones been running around the Swap Some soldiers of the True Order of Saint-
Meet one step ahead of the characters, Germain, on a hunting trip in Hat River, hear
buying up all the toys theyre interested in. about the Swap Meet and come down for a
Given the kind of people the vendors are, its look-see. What they find convinces them that
going to take a little effort and some smart the Swiss Banks have infiltrated even calm,
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quiet Canada. Needing more information, Underground. Things are probably going to start
they try to capture a couple of attendees on happening quickly once they get home.
their way to or from the hotel, someone like
the characters. If theyre successful, the
characters can look forward to long interro- Loose Ends
gation sessions where they are beaten until With a nice vacation out of the way, the charac-
they confess the connection between the ters may have overlooked a little bit of unfinished
Swiss Banks, the Vatican, and the whole business that you can bring back to haunt them.
Peacekeeper U.N. force, which was a Canadi- If they left any of their contacts on the trail to
an idea, after all. the Swap Meet with a less-than-favorable impres-
Some clever fellow has stolen a small but sion of them, there may be some nasty people
valuable vial of Princess Dis tears from Andy waiting for them at the airport. In the case of the
Campbell. When Arthur hears about this, he Spider, their finances may be in a shambles.
is furious. He gathers the sponsors for If the trip to the Swap Meet was to obtain a
action. The whole Swap Meet gets locked weapon or information with which to combat an
down by the sponsors and their goons, and enemy, remember that their enemy hasnt been
everyone is given one chance to turn it in and sitting still while theyve been gone. His or her plans
leave without consequences. When no one are advanced by a few days at least, and maybe he
does so, everyone is subjected to a search, or she has taken advantage of the characters
and the vial is found on the person of one of absence to take out a couple of the characters
the characters. Hilarity ensues. allies, or set some traps. If nothing else, there may
once again be goons waiting at the airport.
A more subtle danger is the way the charac-
Aftermath ters have exposed themselves during the hunt for
The characters have until Monday noon to the Swap Meet. Theyve been asking questions of
complete their desired transactions. At that time, people who routinely sell information. Even if
the Swap Meet dries up and blows away, leaving they didnt reveal anything sensitive about them-
no trace of itself by one in the afternoon. The selves or their plans, just the fact that they were
town returns to normal in time to get back to known to be asking may be valuable to someone.
work on Tuesday morning. This is a good little thread to keep working in the
background for a little while, then spring on the
characters when theyre up to their necks in other
Wrapping Up problems. Sink or swim, guys!
At this point, the characters have either accom-
plished their objectives at the Swap Meet, or they
havent. Either way, they have to make their way Jumping Off Points
back to Winnipeg and home again. Keep in mind Besides the main reason for the characters going
that any purchases they made at the Swap Meet to the Swap Meet, and the way it advances your
are probably going to have to pass through campaign in that regard, it also gives you the
customs at some point, and must be dealt with opportunity to expand the campaign in a variety
appropriately. They may also have to make a of ways. Not only are the characters among the
report to their superiors in TNI, or the Sleepers, elite who have gone to the Swap Meet, and
or the Sect of the Naked Goddess, if they were possibly met one or more of the sponsors, but
sent there on orders. They can spend the trip they may have run into a number of other hooks
back composing their reports, and getting ready for further plots along the way.
to jump back into the hectic world of the Occult If theyve paid anyone with a favor, that gives
you a wonderful way to pull them into a future Rome or Carthage (see PoMoMa, p. 180) might
adventure, moving the campaign along in the be looking for a tool, human or otherwise, to use
direction you want and showing how the Occult in their ongoing game. And theres nothing like
Underground is connected by a web of contacts dropping in a couple bat-shit crazy soldiers from
and favors. It doesnt even have to be the original the True Order of Saint Germain, looking to
person who calls in the favor; the favor might spread the faith or simply find out what this
have been traded two or three times until it Occult Underground crap is all about.
comes back to the characters to be redeemed. Anything they purchase can also be a lead to
This sort of thing happens all the time, especially another adventure. Maybe the sword they bought
with the Merchants. is cursed, or the ritual requires the heart blood of
Want to introduce a new group or characters a Minoan bull to work. Off they go to get that
to your campaign, either as an ally or an enemy? taken care of. And if they bought somebodys
Well, anyone might show up at the Swap Meet. skills or abilities, well, the strange memories and
The Grail Knights (see PoMoMa, p. 162) may desires that come along with them may send
have one or two members on the scene, because them seeking a more personal goal of getting
you never know. TNI and the Sleepers may be their heads straight.
there to keep an eye on things, and the characters Any way you want to use it, the elements of
can run into them. The Sect of the Naked the Swap Meet, and the characters participation
Goddess is still looking for the tape, so its in it, can have a profound impact on your
conceivable one of them might have made it here. campaign for some time to come.

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DRINK TO THAT

64

Drink to That is a little different from


the stock-standard RPG scenario. Where the
average scenario has players start at Point A
and progress, concentrating on the conflicts
presented until they reach Points B, C, and/or
D, Drink to That is intended more as a sub-
plot that develops in the background. Ideally,
it builds and builds until the PCs are faced
with an ugly decision that turns even uglier
than they feared.
So instead of a setup that leads immediate-
ly to a series of time-fixed events, Drink to
That is a series of general events that occur
when character actions trigger them. The
pivotal events for Barney Kay Kubiky are
reactions to what the PCs dobecause, after
all, Barneys destiny is intimately tied to theirs.
In some ways, running Drink to That is
simpler than the average scenario. Theres no
question of railroading the PCs into a certain
decision or shoe-horning them into a given
situation. Everything that happens should feel
like it flows from their choices and needs
because it all doesat least, until the final act.
The three acts of Drink to That have to
go in order, but other than that theres no
particular timing needed. It probably feels a bit
more natural if you give it a good amount of
time to develop, but as long as the PCs feel
comfortable with the Kubikys, and feel like
they know them, the payoff should work.
Each act has a section called Stimulus.
This is the sort of thing that initiates that Act.
Act Two, for instance, has The PCs need some
help as its stimulus. Any time the PCs need
some helptheyre stuck on a clue in another
plotline, theyre menaced by an enemy they
dont know how to handle, theyre in the dark
about some aspect of the occultthen Act Two
can logically occur. The key to running Drink
to That successfully is to wait for the proper
stimulus. If things go just right, the PCs perceive
Barney as a useful resource and go to him
voluntarily. This is what leads them deeper into
the story of his life, and to their eventual choice.

CHAPTER ILLO BY TOREN ATKINSON


Drink to That is a sequel (of sorts) to Theyre looking for an unregistered fire-
Bill in Three Persons, the introductory arm, and Barney is said to be selling his
adventure in the Unknown Armies rulebook. old .45 now that hes on probation.
Theyre asking about some individual, and
Barney was seen talking to him/her a week
Act One: First Round or two ago.
Theyre curious about an organization,
Stimulus and Barney had some crazy stories about
Things are going unusually well for the PCs. that groupsaid he got the inside skinny
Perhaps theyve just finished up one plotline or when he got loaded with an ex-member
story arc and have not yet gotten entangled in who later wound up dining on a bullet.
another. If theyre TNI operatives, they may
have just done a tidy job for the head honcho. You get the idea: they want a clue, and
If theyre Sleepers or reality cops, perhaps they Barney is the clue dispenser. His favorite hangout
silenced a particularly loathsome or dangerous is a place called Munchys Old Rock Inn.
-mancer of some sort. If theyre Naked God- Munchys is dim, narrow, and decorated
dess cultists, perhaps theyve just acquired primarily by a large pastel painting of the
some religious artifactthe Goddess old owners old cat (the Munchy for whom the
teddy bear or one of her high school text- bar was named) hanging behind the bar. The
books. If youre using the other scenarios in floor is crunchy from peanut shells and a little
this book, right after the big climax in The sticky in places from lost inebriate opportuni-
Green Glass Grail or Garden Full of Weeds ties. The chairs look like aluminum kitchen
is a good time to introduce Barney. chairs from the 1970s, and theyre just a little
too low for the Old West style tables they
surround. But the peanuts and popcorn are
Response free and theyve got Budweiser on tap.
Some other NPC tells the PCs they should look When the PCs ask about Barney, the
up Barney Kubicky for some reason. The woman behind the bar rolls her eyes, says
reason should, ideally, appeal to the charac- You just missed him, and jerks her head
ters desires. Kubicky has a reputation for towards the back door. The sounds of muffled
being fairly in-touch in the local magick scene. shouts come from that direction.
(If the PCs are longtime scenesters themselves, Barneya chubby man in his forties with
you may want to simply say they already know big brown eyes and a bad comb-overis out
Barney or have heard of him.) In any event, back with two men who are younger, stronger,
Barney and his family were gone for a while. and tougher than he is. Theyre having some sort
But now theyve moved back into town. of dispute, and as the PCs enter the scene the
Barneys reputation is best summed up as shorter punk muscles Barney into a full nelson
clever, drunkand small potatoes. Hes a while the other one punches him in the stomach.
minor dipsomancer with a trick or two up his The PCs should be able to resolve this
sleeve, but theres a general feel that at some situation easily. The toughs are more than a
point hell probably bite off more than he can match for Barney, but if theyre outnumbered
chew. In the meantime peoples attitudes range or out-weirded they split pretty quick. A PC
from tolerance to affection. who pulls a knife or gun can make them
Here are some pretexts that could lead the retreat, and any use of magick scares the crap
PCs to seek out Barney: out of them. They make some vague threats to
Barney as they leave (You better not try your
DRINK TO THAT

65
DRINK TO THAT

66

Barney Kay Kubiky


Barney drives a forklift at a warehouse, moving pallets of blank copier paper into trucks. Its a dull
job, but he drinks to make it more interesting. After work and on weekends hes a minor player in
the occult scene. He doesnt need to drink to make that more interesting, but he does anyhow.
Barney sometimes wishes he was content to work and watch TV and raise his kid, but he
knows hes got a thirst for something more. He sees no way its going to help anyone in the long
run for him to pretend hes a normal guy when he knows, and his wife knows, and his real
colleagues all know hes In The Know.
Unlike many occultists, Barney isnt into it because he wants power or has an axe to grind.
He likes magick. He likes the way it makes him feel. Hes friendly to other occultists (of just
about any stripe) because he finds the whole thing so neat. He wants them to like him, too, even
though he knows his abilities are pretty slim compared to those of a significant adept.
Barney served five years in prison as a result of his occult involvement: he was arrested on the
scene of a burglary and convicted. Depending on whom hes with, hes either ashamed of his jail
time or strangely proud. After all, he didnt rat out his friends. Thats worth something, right?
Overall, Barney is a good-time guy who wants to like other people and wants them to like
him. He can be a little defensive and hes got a bit of temper when he drinks, but he also knows
that a lot of people can kick his ass. Thats taught him some impulse control.
Barneys stats arent particularly important. Hes got a dipsomancy skill around the 50% mark,
but he only uses the minor spells. Furthermore, he has no blast. (If the PCs ask, he just says I never
got taught it.) Dont worry about him in combathe just dodges. He probably gets knocked
around but never gets seriously injured unless the PCs attack him for some bizarre reason. If a PC
attacks him, he runs away with surprising swiftness and the PCs never meet him or his family again.
Barney is also clairvoyant, meaning he gets visions of other places and other timesbut
only the past. These visions are blurry, imprecise, unreliable, and he only gets em when drunk.
In other words, the PCs cant use Barney as some kind of all-purpose encyclopedia that solves
every riddle. But this power is a GM escape valve for when the PCs get stuck.

Vonda Kubiky
Barneys wife Vonda is a pleasant, polite, plain-and-tall woman. Shes a little younger than
Barney and she works in a grocery store.
Initially shy, she warms up to characters who befriend her and they discover a woman with
a kind heart and a good sense of humor. A good listener, she doesnt mind hearing other peo-
ples problemsin fact, she seems happy to do it.
She met Barney about twenty years ago when (as she tells it) she was a little wilder. The
two of them grew up in Miami, and theyd go to the shore in the morning, swim and surf all
day, then stay there for a cookout or beach party until dawn. Some weekends they only went
home to shower and steal more money from their mothers purses.

Ray Kubiky
Ray is a normal kid of thirteen. Hes not bright, hes not stupid. He doesnt know as much as he
thinks he does about girls: instead, he knows too much about stuff he doesnt need. He likes
playing pool and shooting hoops and eating soft-shell tacos. He listens to loud, mopey rock and
despairs of ever being understood. But show him a good fart joke and hell laugh until soda
shoots out of his nose.
tricks around my hood again old man, you in their problem, he contacts them. Says he
clear?) but they do leave and Barney is got a funny feeling that they were in Dutch.
extremely grateful to the PCs. He buys them a Initially hes all smiles and willingness to give
round (or triesif they order anything other assistance. He arranges to meet the PCs at
than beer, he doesnt have the cash to cover it Munchys or some other place. He gets there
and has to add it to his tab, earning him a first and has a couple empty beer glasses in
glower from the bartender). More importantly, front of him when they arrive.
he gives them his full cooperation on whatever Barney and the characters dont talk for
it is theyre investigating. His information long before a woman walks in the door and
shouldnt be terribly secret or powerful, but its comes up to their table, a frown on her face.
useful. He also gives them his phone number Barney hastily stands up and says Id like you
and beseeches them to call him for Any- to meet my old ball and chain, Vonda. She
thinganything at all you need. Im your man. gives them kind of a strained smile and asks
You really saved my hide back there, and dont him if they can speak in private. He rolls his
think I dont appreciate it. eyes at the PCs and excuses himself.
If the PCs dont think to go back to Barney If anyone listens in (which isnt too hard
themselves, give them a month or so of game Vonda is trying to keep her voice down but
time and then have someone else recommend shes distraught), they find out that Vonda is
that they talk to Barney about their problem du upset because their son Ray has run off and
jour. This time hes not in trouble, but is still she doesnt know where he is. Barney is
effusively glad to help them out. If you want to insistent that he has to help his friends. Vonda
introduce Barneys oracular powers, the second asks if helping his friends means he wont be
or third encounter is probably a good time. home until dawn again, reeking of booze.
Barneys silent, then says, You knew the deal
when you married me.
The Point If the PCs respected his privacy for some
You want to set up Barney as a minor ally, a reason, he comes back to the table and men-
boozehound whos not worth anything in a fight tions that his son has run off, but he acts like
but who owes the PCs a favor. It may work to its no big deal. Vonda gives him an unhappy
include Barney as a minor character in a few other look and asks if hes going to help her look for
scenesnot doing anything or possessed of any him. Barney turns and yells, Ill look when
particular knowledge, just around to be around. Im ready to look, damnit! Vonda flinches
Get them used to having Barney around drinking. and makes for the door.
Theres a couple ways the PCs can react.
If they ignore the family drama and try to get
Act Two: Happy Hour on with their business, Barney cant seem to get
over it. Over the course of the evening as he
Stimulus helps out the PCs, he keeps apologizing for
The PCs need some helppreferably something Vonda interrupting them, along with telling them
a little bigger than a name or some gossip. that his son has gotten really pissy lately. He
Getting serious firepower, hiding from the also offers them openers like, Can you believe
Sleepers, skipping town after a major felony, or her nerve? or Womenits always something,
hiding a body are all good stimuli for this scene. aint it? Try to make it as clear as possible that
the more he drinks, the angrier he is.
Response Later in the evening, if its plausible, have
If they dont think to call Barney for assistance him run across Ray and yell at him, sending
DRINK TO THAT

67
DRINK TO THAT

68

him home to his mom. (More detailed sugges- look for Ray, he tries to dissuade them at first,
tions for this scene are included below.) but not too hard. Vonda is extremely grateful.
If the PCs chastise him for yelling at Vonda Working together, it doesnt take long to find
and/or for neglecting his family, he apologizes Ray hanging out at a juice bar/pool hall called
at first. He puts his hands up, says hes not the Daryls Main Event. When Barney walks in the
easiest guy to live with sometimes, tells them door the guy behind the counter says, I thought
hell buy her some flowers tomorrow, tells them I told you never to come back here. Barney
shes exaggerating and Ray is probably just at replies that hes just getting his kid and leaving.
some friends apartment. However, as the Ray is sullenly playing pool with a couple
evening progresses and he gets more drunk he other teenagers who sulk off into the shadows
finds some way to raise the subject again. This and wont meet anyones eyes. Vonda hugs him
time hes self-righteous: his family is none of the (he resists and looks humiliated) and then
PCs business. Who do they think they are, scolds him for running off. When she asks why
asking him for help and then prying into he didnt tell her where he was going, he
personal matters? They dont know shit about glances at Barney, then shrugs. Anyone who
his life. Its real easy to pick and pry from the makes a Notice roll, or who succeeds with any
outside when they dont know whats really skill that includes reading emotions, can see
going on. And how come they only come to him that Ray is a little scared of his dad.
when they need something, huh? Barney suggests that Vonda take Ray
This may prompt the PCs to look for Ray. home. If hes been drinking much already, he
If not, they and Barney may run across him by makes some snide remark about hoping she
chance, if its plausible. Play it by ear. can keep track of him this time. In any event,
If the PCs offer to help Barney and Vonda he tells Ray Well talk about this when I get

THOMAS MANNING
home, then turns to go off with the PCs. a little better. But they just seemed to get worse.
Behind his back, Ray glances at his friends When she got pregnant, she thought that might
and then sullenly says Yeah, whenever that is. make Barney a little more cautious about his
Barney spins back towards Ray. If Barneys occult entanglements, a bit more discreet about
been drinking lightly, he just turns and glares. charging up. But it didnt work out that way.
If hes been drinking a little more heavily, he Now he seems to be drinking more than ever,
swears at his son and raises his hand. In either claiming he needs to be ready to defend his
case, Ray flinches and Vonda does too. family if anything happens.

The Point Act Three: Last Call


You want to introduce Vonda and Ray and get
the PCs thinking that Barneys got problems at Stimulus
home. Just as Barney could work as a minor The PCs are relaxed and happy. Theyve just
character on the scene or in the neighborhood, successfully completed another difficult mission,
even when theres nothing going on, you can and theyre feeling rewarded and competent.
now have the PCs run into Vonda and Ray
during fairly calm times in their lives.
Regardless of whether the PCs looked for Response
Ray, Barney eventually invites them over for Vonda and Ray show up at their door unex-
supper with his family. This is a chance for the pectedly. If its plausible that two or more of
PCs to see another side of the family dynamic. the PCs would be gathered at one of the PCs
When hes not drinking, Barney is a hell of a homes, thats where they are and thats where
guyfunny, loving, helpful, cheerful, a joy to Vonda goes. Otherwise, she goes to the home
be around. Hes also a good cook. While Ray of the kindest PC, or the one who seems like
and Vonda are both glad to have him around the leader. Privacy is important for this scene.
sober and happy, perceptive PCs may notice Vondas upset and shes got a fading black
theyre a little leerytheyd really like to be eye. Ray has a livid hand print on his face. She
seduced by this family bliss, but they just cant tells them that Barney did it. Shes afraid of him
seem to buy it all the way. and came to the PC (or PCs) because she didnt
If the PCs talk to Vonda or Ray about know where else to turn. All my other friends
Barney theyre both reluctant to say much, left me because of Barney, she says bitterly.
even though it should be clear by this point If the PCs run true to RPG form, they gather
that something is going on. Ray is a little immediately to discuss the problem. Vonda and
easier to crack. All he says is that hes glad his Ray can tearfully recount Barneys mounting
dads out of jail but . . . well, he just wishes paranoia and abuse (both of alcohol and of
Barney was more like a normal dad. If the them) as he got deeper into the occult under-
PCs ask what he means, Ray cant (or wont) ground. Tonight was the first time he actually hit
explain it, but vaguely alludes to that stuff Ray, and Vonda decided enough is enough.
you and him go off and do. You know. The As the PCs get the full scoop, Barney
weird stuff. shows up. Hes drunk and angry, but he wont
Vondas trust takes a little more effort to physically attack anyone. Instead, he rails at
earn, but she really does need to talk with the PCs for being phonies and for prying into
someone. She says she knew about Barneys his life. He says his drinking was fine with
habits when they were dating, but she them as long as he was casting spells to make
thought that getting married might make things their lives safer and easier. If hes been privy to
DRINK TO THAT

69
DRINK TO THAT

70

Tough Shit for You, Vonda.


It is not quite inconceivable that the PCs just shrug their shoulders and show Ray and Vonda the door.
If they do, Ray, Vonda, and Barney all vanish overnight. Nothing the PCs do, including magickal
divination, is sufficient to find them or learn what happened to them, ever. Its as if they never existed.

any of the PCs moral lapses (and remember, but he takes no action against them. He just
the mans a clairvoyant) then he throws those says something that sounds like atzor, mele-
in their faces, asking Who are you to judge? kh to Barney. (Anyone who speaks Hebrew
Barney wants to take Vonda and Ray recognizes it as Stop, king.)
home and he doesnt want the PCs to meddle. When he hears the words, Barney collapses
Anyone who tries to play peacemaker gets the into a pile of garbage. Beer cans and empty
full force of his anger. Play this argument mean bottles are his bones. A particularly large
and nasty. When you think youve cranked the Chianti bottle with moldy wicker on the
unpleasantness up about as much as you can, bottom serves as a head, while stacked and
Barney makes an ultimatum. Either the PCs cracked shot glasses make up his spine. His
can butt out and let him solve his own prob- fingers and toes are plastic cocktail swords.
lems, or hell never help them again. His clothes remain, but theyre now stained
This is the PCs choice, and he wont leave with rancid wine and stale beer.
until they promise never to interfere with his Give the PCs a moment to react before Sheriff
family again. If they do give their word (re- Ragoczy turns to Vonda. She screams as he says
gardless of whether they mean it or not), Ray atzor, malka (Stop, queen). Then she dis-
and Vonda reluctantly leave with him. See the solves into trash as well this time broken
box titled Tough Shit for You, Vonda for the videotapes and water-damaged self-help books.
outcome. Ray just stares, then nods quietly as the
If instead they defy Barney and insist on Comte says atzor, hayal (Stop, pawn).
trying to help his wife and son, he continues to Ray is reduced to chipped dishes, grass clip-
scream abuse at them as the door opens. (Even pings, and old newspapers.
if its locked, it opens.) If the PCs didnt attack before, its a good
In walks the sheriff from Bill in Three bet that they do noweither that, or they run
Persons. away. If they run, no explanatory exposition
The sling and cast are off his arm and hes for themthe destruction of the Kubicky
in a bad mood. (PCs who make a Notice roll family remains completely unexplained.
and beat a 15% see that his nametag says If they stick around, however, the Comte/
Ragoczy and that his badge number is 333.) Sheriff tells them to calm down and says
Barney demands to know who ratted him They were never real anyhow. Theres no
out to the police. The PCs can ask Sheriff reason to be upset.
Ragoczy anything they want but his most The situationat least, the situation as
likely response is, Oh, shut the hell up. hes willing to explain itis this: the Kubickys
If anyone tries to stop him from arresting were golems. They were never born, they had
Barney, he glares and says, If you mess up my no parents, they were never truly alive or self-
uniform, I will be very pissed. Pistols, knives, aware. They had no souls. Granted, they could
spellsnone of it works on this guy (who is, mimic feelings, awareness, and the other
after all, the Comte de Saint Germain). Gun- trappings of humanity very accurately. But
shots and the like leave holes in his uniform you must accept that they were artificial
and prompt angry glares at the offending PC, beings, says Sheriff Ragoczy, no more
capable of true pain than a chair or a card- over intangible, ethical concerns.
board box. Or, I suppose, you could believe Q: What did you mean, destroy the
that Im a sorcerer who can turn people into world?
piles of garbage. Either way, I recommend that A: Oh for Petes sake. You understand all
you listen closely. the words, dont you? Believe me, if its hap-
He created the Kubicky family as a test of pening youll know.
the PCs ethics and they passed. There is, as Q: Why do you have to go forget about us?
the saying goes, good news and bad news. The A: If the ritual becomes necessary, Ill want
bad news is that you may have to perform a to kill you before you cast it. Unless, of course,
very unpleasant task on my behalf some time I dont remember that you exist.
in the next ten to fifty years or so. The good Q: Who are you?
news is that the odds of this task being neces- A: I was the first man, and Im supposed to
sary are really very remote. He then hands be the last.
them an envelope containing the Ritual of Thats about it. The Comte leaves before
Ersmon Rarisly. If it ever seems likely that the questions get too ridiculous.
Im trying to destroy the world, Id be obliged There are no further repercussions from this
if you used this ritual on me. Ive already taken scenario. Barney and his family are gone for
the liberty of giving you an enchantment that goodmysteriously vanished. No occult
will penetrate any disguise I adopt. Now Im scholar, no matter how educated, has ever heard
off to forget I ever knew youunless you have of Ersmon Rarisly. The name Ragoczy was
any questions? a pseudonym used by the historical Comte de
Its quite likely that they do, but the most Saint-Germain, for what thats worth.
common answers from the Sheriff are Dont The only difference is that the PCs will, on
worry about it, or It doesnt really matter. occasion, see the Sheriff on TV. Its never on a
Some other common questions and their sitcom or dramaalways the news. Hes never
answers follow. in the forefront, either. But they might
Q: What does this spot him moving
ritual do? around in the
g{x e|t y X
g x tx x| e t|
A: Dont worry about {x |xwxw u}x xw y {| |t? | tww|| background while
that. Its unlikely that yy|v|t? wvxy t| xyyxvA bx t|v|t? {x the President makes a
youll meet anyone else on {x xv|t? w | uxA g{x {x t|v|t? speech. They might
whom it might work. tw xv|t | x t | {|xA U{ yy|v|t
|z t~x t | {x | see him shaking
Q: What if I dont someones hand when
t w u{ ux y vz|t y {t t ?
want to kill someone, or the stock market sets
xt|A {x |t
die, doing this ritual? a new high. Or they
\ {x x vx y {x |
t~ {x xx t u}xv? {x yy|v|t
A: Well then, find might see him among

{wx {x uvw|tx {x y|z x|M j|
some other silly tit to t{xR g{x {t| y yxxw? {t |z{ yxx the humanitarian
cast it on me. vt ux |vxwA z ux xtv? tw w observers at some
Q: Why us? g{x xv { third-world tragedy. If
{t vx? tw x|t\ x w vx? u
A: You handled the yx vxv {x u~ x x | {x ~ x they should ever bump
Bill Toge situation j{x {x |v|t {t Ax t into him on the street he
modestly well, and your wt y{ tyyx xvx|xw {| tx? {x just looks at them
treatment of Barney xv|t | t |zt blankly, and has no idea
y x tw ~|
x {x
and Vonda proved that xv|t uw |A fx t| y {x who they are.
{x ux tvxw {x y
youre willing to give
{ x | t u}xvA g{x xyyxv y {x |t | x{xt w y
up material advantage
|xw|txA
DRINK TO THAT

71
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

74

The Green Glass Grail is part scenario,


part toolkit. It presents several plotlines, story
elements, events, themes, and a large cast of
characters, all of which you can tether together
in a variety of ways. The goal is to present a
very fluid situation you can customize to best
match your campaign style and the PCs your
players portray. Its not a linear plot or even a
coherent, pre-planned story. Its an investiga-
tion-oriented, player-driven, free-form narra-
tive environment where the story develops
organically in the course of play. This is a case
where the tale is in the telling.
This is not without its challenges. There is
a lot of material here, and a lot of decisions to
make. In the interests of convenience, weve
included a worksheet on p. 82 where you can
record the ways in which you make this
scenario into your scenario. It lists the deci-
sions youll make, step by step, with page
references to all the various elements. Besides
using it during your preparation, you should
also find it very useful during play since it
serves as a handy index; stick a paperclip on that
page for ease of reference as you run the game.
The design of this scenario is somewhat
experimental. GMs often have to tinker with
published scenarios to make them work in a
campaign, and this scenarios approach
should greatly facilitate that. But GMs also
use some scenarios as pick-up-and-play works
they can run with a minimum of preparation.
If youre looking for that kind of experience
right now, there are other scenarios in this
book that can serve such a purposeas well
as those in our first scenario anthology, One
Shots. Those looking for a rewarding chal-
lenge, read on! (And even if you dont feel
like tackling this little project, its full of
characters and concepts you can rip off for
your own campaign.)

Location, Location, Location


Your first decision is where the scenario takes

CHAPTER ILLO BY TOREN ATKINSON


place. Its written to fit within most any Tongas clocks marked the start of the new
western city, but the question is whether it year: Derek magickally hijacked the singing
takes place in your campaigns main city or in crowd in Tonga and used them to enact a
another location that your PCs travel to. working called the Ritual of Light.
The scenario deals heavily with the citys Happiness and a sense of community
occult underground. It presents a number of spread first through the crowd and then
cabals, dukes, and unnatural phenomena both around the entire planet, the symbolic power
indigenous and migratory. As the head zookeep- of light and life transmitted by the energies of
er, you could prepare for this scenario by gradu- global telepresence. It was the Mak Attax
ally working the local elements into your cam- agenda writ large: instead of just using a fast-
paign, laying the groundwork for the story to food chain to dispense magick to the masses,
unfold at the proper time. If you instead want to Derek and his cohorts used the medium of
have it in another metropolis, you can just drop television itself. To the shock of the occult
the PCs into this existing milieu cold turkey. underground, a bunch of slovenly burger-
Think about this question as you read the flippers pulled off what was quite likely the
following sections. You should get a feel for greatest magickal event in human history.
whether theyd fit into your local setting or What not even Mak Attax knew is that
whether they should be banished to another during the Ritual of Light, the very Stato-
locale, a sort of theme park full of thrill rides sphere had kissed the Earth, and left lingering
for tourist PCs to visit and enjoy without traces of lipstick. Seeds were sown and left to
having to live with quite so many consequences. ripen. Shards of pure possibility lay waiting for
those who can find and claim them.

Background
As described in the sourcebook Postmodern The Ritual of Light
Magick, Mak Attax did something amazing on The way the Ritual of Light works is that for a
January 1, 2000. Derek Superconductor short time in the vicinity of the ritual, the ever-
Jackson, leader of Mak Attax, traveled to the shifting odds of the Statosphere smooth out
island nation of Tonga, where the first minutes of into an amiable upward curve. This is due to a
the first day of what was widely considered the shift in control of probability from the con-
new millennium would occur. Global television sciousness-proxy of the Invisible Clergy to the
networks broadcast those opening ceremonies, mutual desires of everyone emotionally con-
and no one realized that in the midst of the nected to the casterfriends, family, lovers,
singing crowd was a young man with a mission. etc.who happen to be in the vicinity. This
Mak Attax had spent the preceding several control is tentative and faltering, but real
months engaged in their biggest operation enough that chance gets skewed in favor of
ever: the Safe and Happy New Year program. what the connected folks generally want.
Thanks to doses of random magick dispensed The insight that Mak Attax brought to the
through the worlds fast-food restaurants, they table at the cusp of the millennium was that
thwarted numerous plots by terrorists and vicinity could mean global under the right
madmen to disrupt the millennium celebra- circumstancesvia telepresence. The key
tionsplots Mak Attax didnt even have to conduit is an emotional connection to the
know about, thanks to their magickal pro- casterfeelings of love, friendship, and
gramand instead encouraged the spread of camaraderie, such as those shared by billions
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

joy and harmony around the world. The around the world as Y2K unfolded peacefully.
culmination of this program happened as (An emotional connection could include

75
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

76

Bonding via Tilts [see Statosphere, p. 40] and warped the shard, and bang! There sits the
connections forged by Proxy Rituals [see Green Glass Grail, ready and waiting for him.
Postmodern Magick, p. 52] as well.) The Green Glass Grail is therefore a
Without the unusual circumstances of that perfect example of this. Its a shard of the
New Years, with the global live broadcasts, Statosphere in the form of an old 6 oz. Coke
the party atmosphere, and the earnest desires bottle. Other shards might coalesce into forms
for a safe and happy Y2K facilitated by the like a working model of a flying saucer, a
Maks program of magick-charge dispersal, it real vampire a la Bram Stoker (or more
wouldnt have affected many people at all. Its likely, Bela Lugosi), the True Cross, or Santa
a magickal concept thats been waiting for all Claus. The Cardboard Palace (see Postmodern
of history to be exploited: Give me a lever Magick, p. 147) could be such a shard.
long enough and a place to stand, and I can The Grail was discovered by Vera Leit-
move the world. The Statosphere trembled, winder, a slightly cracked do-gooder living in
twisted, and even touched the physical world the city where the scenario takes place. She
and no one, save possibly the Comte, could used it for several months to help the homeless
have expected such a thing. and became known as the Angel of Mercy. But
For one glorious day, the Invisible Clergy the restless Grail passed out of her hands, and
were not in charge. We were. soon after she was murdered by the Street
Mak Attax got one thing wrong, though: Phantoman insane magickal predator
the Ritual of Light isnt biased towards happi- seeking her healing touch to quiet the madness
ness. It merely accentuates the broad desires of of its mind. The Grail is now loose on the
its users. In the wrong hands, it could unleash streets, and could be in anyones hands.
a global nightmare.

Vince Jenkins
Shards of Infinity Vince Jenkins was a cliomancer, magickal
As the rituals potency lapsed and the Stato- theorist, and member of Mak Attax. He was
sphere retreated from the gross matter of the dedicated to the search for new and useful
world, shards of the Statosphere remained magick that could bring power to the people.
behind in the earth awaiting happy discovery His particular specialty was researching
or their own blossoming potential. These rituals, and that was his primary role in the
fragments have bizarre powers; as a sliver of cabal. He assisted Derek Jackson in the de-
pure chance and probability, they can do just cryption of the Ritual of Light from an old
about anything. The most obvious quality of manuscript.
these fragments is, of course, that anyone who During his research, Jenkins came across a
learns about them desires one very badly. number of references to the formula for the
Given the shaped-by-consciousness nature of immortality-granting Sovereign Cure, also
the Statosphere, it is common for shards to known as the major ritual Resurrection Body
manifest as familiar objects. (see Unknown Armies p. 83 and Postmodern
It could also be that each shard resolves its Magick p. 166). No surprise thereanyone
form into an object the first time someone investigating moldy old alchemical formulae
encounters it, based on what they were think- finds those dead-end references by the stack.
ing. So if some guy was thinking, Hey, a But then he started hearing rumors about an
Coke would really fix me up right now, as he Angel of Mercy who was dispensing sips of
walked near this pliable node of reality, his magick hooch (or strong medicine, or
conscious thought and subconscious needs the Blood of Christ) to the homeless of the
New Ritual: The Ritual of Light (Significant)
Cost: 4 significant charges
Ritual Actions: A short chant of catchy and repetitive words that seem to melt in the mind, not
in the ear.
Effect: Set aside the dice for fifteen minutes of game time. Every time during those fifteen
minutes of glory that the PCs would normally roll the dice, have the players and GM vote
verbally for succeed or fail. Majority wins. If theres a tie, its a success. Unanimous votes
for success or failure of all players but not the GM equals a matched success or failure; a
unanimous decision including the GM indicates an OUACOWA or BOHICA.

New Artifact: The Green Glass Grail (Significant)


Also known as the Real Thing, this green glass soda bottle fills with Elixir Vitae (see Postmod-
ern Magick, p. 167) every morning at dawn, growing a new cap at the same time. While under
the influence of Elixir Vitae, one cannot die. One dose can sustain life beyond its natural limits
for one full day. Thats twenty-four hours of immortality.
Of course, the Elixir doesnt provide any healing of wounds, removal of pain, curing of
disease, retardation of aging, or cessation of continuing damage such as poison or radiation
burns. It merely holds death at arms length. This can really suck if you get capped in the head.
You got brains leaking out, your motor control and involuntary functions are all over the place,
your mind is disorganized (literally), youre probably unconscious, etc. And you cannot die,
even when death would be a blessing, until the effects wear off. Heaven help the victims of a
vivisectionist who has a supply of Elixir Vitae. Cheers.
For dipsomantic purposes, a dose of Elixir Vitae grants a significant charge.

city, healing their hurts and helping them get Underground theory of his own that he came
through the chilly nights. up with while watching a fourth-generation
Jenkins believed there were no coincidenc- copy of the Naked Goddess videotape. He
es in the Occult Underground, and began to believed that the Ascension of the Naked
look into what the deal was. Half-insights, Goddess fundamentally changed the nature of
fuzzy notions, and veiled clues gleaned during magick and made it more accessiblejust as
the translation of the Ritual of Light resolved She (in her guise as Porn Star) was more
into sense: something clicked in Jenkins head, accessible than the average woman.
and he thought he understood what the ritual If something similar had happened with
had actually done. Perhaps a nugget of Stato- this alchemical elixir, Jenkins believed that the
sphere-power granted a transmutation ability merest taste of Sovereign Cure could free the
to an adept out there, or maybe a pot of coffee minds of the most mundane skeptic to wonder.
was transmogrified into a life-giving elixir by And magick being what it is, Jenkins was sure
brute magickal force, or possibly the underpin- that if he could get his hands on either the
nings of the universe shifted a little, empower- formula or a sample, he could summon or
ing a specific alchemical formula that had detect other Statosphere shards through the
never worked in the past. use of a proxy ritual: a win-win scenario. He
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

Jenkins held to the last theory, drawing a dropped a note on one of the private Mak
parallel to a crackpot-even-for-the-Occult- Attax email lists he subscribed to, a list called

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78

Brainfood Crew that was dedicated to magick- Dental records identified it as that of Jenkins.
al research. Beer cans and a marijuana pipe were found in
the crumpled wreckage. The cops said he had
stolen the car, went joy-riding while drinking,
Science Project whooping it up, and must have lost control on
Derek Jackson agreed with Jenkinsseeking the back-country gravel road. The police
out the Sovereign Cure recipe was a noble goal, statement boiled down to pothead slacker
one that was right up the Maks alley. They car-booster exits the gene pool: case closed.
wish to usher in an age of proletarian magick, Derek Jackson didnt buy it. He knew two
after all, and if Jenkins was right they could things that the police did not: Jenkins was
simply spike all the fast-food soda fountains terrified of carsrefusing even to ride in one
and zap!mass satori. Derek encouraged him and was straight-edge to boot: no booze, no
to continue his research and investigation. drugs, no red meat, no sex. In Dereks mind there
Reports to the Brainfood Crew came thick was no doubt that Vince Jenkins was murdered.
and fast. The daily digests were studded with He wants the killer found, and Jenkins investiga-
occult history, daily discoveries, and code tion into the location of the shard continued.
names: Flamel, the Androgyne, Eco, Barbara,
Pemberton, Green Lion, Albertus Magnus,
Fitzhughs Dreamshop, Saint-Germain, mercury, Gamma Crew
Hite, Paracelsus, Paulo Coelho. Discussions So Derek turned to the Open Sesame Crew,
flew, archives bulged, everybody chipped in one of the restricted Mak Attax mailing lists of
their two cents. References to the Real Thing trusted members. He told them Vince Jenkins
kept showing up in oracles, graffiti murals of had been onto something big and probably got
kingfishers and goblets appeared on downtown murdered for it. Immediately, a number of
walls, and stories of a mysterious stranger Maks volunteered to do something about it.
dispensing a life-enhancing elixir reached Derek winnowed through the volunteers
regional urban legend status. Jenkins trans- and selected a trio he felt would be an effective
ferred three times in nine months to different teampartially based on how close they lived
franchises around the country, finally arriving in to the target city, but also on how theyd
the city of the scenarios action ten weeks ago. comported themselves as Open Sesame list
He was certain that this was the true location members. He code-named this three-person
of the Angel of Mercys ministrationsand thus investigative team Gamma Crew, inspired
home to a shard of the Statosphere itself. by The Incredible Hulk. (You wouldnt like
After just a few tantalizingly productive me when Im angry.)
weeks at the new locale, Jenkins finally came But word has leaked that the Maks are onto
across someone who claimed to have a copy of something big and the local Occult Under-
the formula: a great lead. Unfortunately, Jenkins ground is buzzing. Joining the Gamma Crew on
reported to the Brainfood Crew that the lead the ground is a TNI investigator, Dena Kustoris.
crapped out on him and the consequences were She probably isnt alone. Some believe the
getting kinda hairy. Then there was silence. Sleepers killed Jenkins because he was getting
too close to something. Jenkins landlord has
been able to put a nice down-payment on a new
Dead End car from all the money being slid at him to
Jenkins was found dead out in the boondocks unlock the deceaseds former apartment. Why
at the bottom of a ravine where a burned body the hell did some loser cabal called Satans
sat behind the wheel of a Chevy Impala. Chosen Temple send flowers to Jenkins funeral
with a card that read Burn, baby, burn!? unfolds as part of a campaign, this list can be
Most disturbingly, who sent email to the used as a rough timeline of events.
Brainfood Crew mailing list claiming to be
Vince Jenkins, even as the cobweb farmer was 1. Jenkins discovers clues to the possible
burning to death out on Route 5? existence of both a formula and a sample
of the Sovereign Cure, possibly created in
the aftermath of the Ritual of Light.
Rumors About Vince
There are a lot of rumors floating around 2. Jenkins contacts T-Joe Walters of Satans
about Vince Jenkins and his death. Feel free to Chosen Temple (see UA, p. 200), who
put these words into the mouths of clued-in claims to have gotten the formula from
and clueless GMCs alike. beyond the Veil. Jenkins buys the formula
for $500 in cash up front and $500 on the
He finally figured out that ritual he was back end if it works.
working on while driving, and it made him
spontaneously combust! 3. Jenkins purchases rare ingredients for the
I knew that straight-edge crap was all an ritual from local magick store Fitzhughs
act. Dreamshop. Fitzhugh and Jenkins discuss
The Sleepers got him! rituals and alchemy. Fitzhugh mentions
That wasnt Jenkinshe faked his own that the ingredients Jenkins is buying
death! arent typical for a Philosophers Stone
I have it on good authoritythrough formula.
unofficial-official channels, if you know
what I meanthat the Zetans abducted 4. Suspicious, Jenkins tests the elixir pro-
him. duced by T-Joes formula on a stray dog,
The Street Phantom got him! Jenkins which is quickly possessed by a demon.
must have figured out who the Street The dog goes bananas and busts up his
Phantom really was, and it capped him! apartment before escaping out the window
I summoned up his spirit last night on my and down the fire escape.
TV and he said that Jimmy the Snake
killed him! 5. Mavra Piagetti of the TNI crew Smart
The New Inquisition got him! Patrol (see Lawyers, Guns, & Money, p.
I heard he was into some freaky kind of 55) finds a suspicious email from Jenkins
sex-magick and was on his way to a hippie on a hard drive acquired during a TNI
sex-farm when he ran off the road. Gross, field mission. Alex Abel taps investigator
huh? Dena Kustoris to find out what she can
Good riddance. He smelled like grease about the guy.
and cat-piss.
I heard the Wandering Jew ran him over, 6. The Street Phantom kills the Angel of
then torched the car to hide the evidence. Mercy (Vera Leitwinder) and consumes her
Vince Jenkins is dead?! heart using the Consume Soul ritual, in the
mistaken belief that she had a healing
touch that could soothe the raging voices
The Truth About Vince in its head. This just makes it even angrier
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

The sequence of events that lead to the murder and less stable.
of Vince Jenkins appears below. If the scenario

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80

7. Jenkins uses cliomancy to make T-Joe pay splitting a pizza. Jenkins trades Fitzhugh
for the possession attempt by casting a his copy of the Naked Goddess videotape
number of minor formula spells on the for a whole new set of glassware.
teenaged Satanist. Repeated uses of You
Remember Now have messed up T-Joes 9. Dena Kustoris hits the local scene on
head by making him remember screwing behalf of TNI, looking for Jenkins under
a cat, eating his own feces on a hot dog the cover of being an insurance investiga-
bun, and being brutally beaten by midgets tor. The police discover Leitwinders body
dressed in diapers, bowler hats, and and quietly start looking into information
combat boots (Jenkins was flipping be- on serial killings. T-Joe contacts his favor-
tween Under the Rainbow and A Clock- ite demonwho calls itself Zoraduul the
work Orange on cable at the time). In Sumerianto get some help dealing with
addition, repeated uses of Gnostic Gossip these weird rumors. Since Zoraduul is
have caused everyone who knows T-Joe to still stuck in the stray dog, T-Joe ends up
have heard some of these things. This with another demon who pretends to be
makes T-Joe very unhappy. Zoraduul. Nonetheless, the demon fingers
Vince Jenkins.
8. Jenkins stops by the Dreamshop to buy
new lab equipment and talk about the 10. T-Joe comes to town and prowls around,
Sovereign Cure. Fitzhugh takes him into looking for Jenkins so he can to kick the
the back room to look at the goodies he nerds teeth in. He contacts the false Zorad-
has back there (described later). They talk uul and convinces him to slap an Astral
about alchemy some more, and end up Parasite on Jenkins for favors to be paid

DREW TUCKER
later. Then he gets thrown out of his motel sages as a sham and boots Vince from
room, because the manager dont want no the listonly to regret it when he learns
sick cat-humpin perverts in this establish- that the guy was dead when the messages
ment! He has to give a maid $300 to get were posted in his name. Derek forms
his stuff back and is close to broke. Gamma Crew.

11. Days later, the possessed dog finds the 15. Jenkins funeral. T-Joe sends flowers
impoverished T-Joe as he is rummaging courtesy of Satans Chosen Temple with
through garbage cans for food and starts the Burn, Baby, Burn! card. Dena
hanging around him, remembering vaguely Kustoris reports this to TNI, and is told to
that hes a friend. Jenkins begins to weaken continue her investigation.
from the Astral Parasite stuck to him. Vera
Leitwinders body is discovered and
Angel of Mercy Murdered! appears in
the local newspaper. No mention is made So Whats the Scenario?
of the missing heart. In broad strokes: the PCs dive into the Occult
Underground in pursuit of their own agenda,
12. T-Joe sights Jenkins and a chase ensues. In which might focus on Vince, or the Grail, or
the course of avoiding T-Joe, Jenkins ends the Phantom, or some combination thereof.
up hiding in the back room of the Dream- Other cabals and dukes do their own thing at
shop. When Fitzhugh closes the store that the same time. Sooner or later, they cross each
night, he invites Jenkins to crash at his others path and sparks fly. Eventually, a
place for awhile. Jenkins agrees, and tells dramatic resolution occurs.
Fitzhugh hell meet up with him there in an Thats it! Within that that loose frame-
hour. Unfortunately, the Street Phantom work, your players choices and your reactions
catches up to Jenkins and lures him back to those choices build the story. But first well
to its pad by pretending to be the Angel of tighten up that framework a bit in the next
Mercy. Dulled by the Astral Parasite, section.
Jenkins falls for it easily.

13. The Street Phantom performs the Consume Preparing the Scenario
Soul ritual, gaining Jenkins memories and Vince Jenkins death can be the central mystery
cliomancy. It disposes of the body in a around which the scenario orbits. But if the
faked-up car wreck, and the Phantoms PCs are uninterested in figuring out who killed
eerie madi abilities ensure that the police the Mak, the Green Glass Grail can serve as
cant put two and two together when the goal. Or rumors of the Street Phantoms
dealing with this case. This prevents them mysterious agenda could command their
from connecting the missing-heart corpses interest. All are valid paths through this
of Vera and Vince. scenario.
The GMCs are likewise malleable. Dena
14. The Phantoms partial absorption of Kustoris can be played as a recurring obstacle
Vinces memories clue it in to the Grail and or featureshell be questioning everybody
the Ritual of Light. Still seeking solace for and holding her cards tightly to her chest, but
its jumbled brain, the Phantom sends email if she hits trouble then TNI backup comes
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

to the Brainfood Crew list asking ques- down hard. T-Joe Walters has a number of
tions. Derek Jackson recognizes the mes- uses: straight-up bad guy, comic relief, or

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82

Plot Skeleton Worksheet


Use this worksheet to check off the choices you make about the story and characters. It also
serves as an index to the various elements of the adventure for ease of reference during play.

Step One: Location (Write Your Choice) Part Two: The Phantoms Profile (Write Your Choice)
(p. 83) Goal(s):
(p. 90)
Step Two: PC Involvement (Check One)
! Mak Attax Crew (p. 83) Motivation(s):
! The Sleepers (p. 83) (p. 90)
! TNI Strike Team (p. 83)
! Magick Cabal (p. 84) Concentration:
! Circle of Friends (p. 84) (p. 90)
! Reality Cops (p. 84)
! Occult Investigators (p. 84) Step Seven: Events (Check Any, Write Order)
Step Three: Plot Threads (Check Any) ! Grail Tag! (p. 90)
! The mystery of Vince Jenkins (p. 84)
! The Green Glass Grail (p. 84) ! Grilled by Dena (p. 91)
! The Street Phantom (p. 84)
! In the Shop of Dreams (p. 91)
Step Four: Plot Elements (Check Any)
! The Homeless (p. 84) ! Meeting T-Joe (p. 91)
! Love Triangle (p. 85)
! The SHUs (p. 85) ! Hes the Street Phantom?! (p. 92)
! The Suicide Kings (p. 86)
! Unnatural Phenomena (p. 86) ! You Want Fries With That? (p. 92)
! Pass the Bottle (p. 87)
! Phantom Sends a Message (p. 92)
Step Five: Themes (Check Any)
! Interaction (p. 89) ! T-Joe Meets Trouble (p. 92)
! Mystery (p. 89)
! Action (p. 89) ! Meet Nicky Fitzhugh (p. 93)

Step Six: The Phantom ! Unnatural Phenomena


Happens (p. 93)
Part One: The Phantoms Identity (Check One)
! Dena Kustoris (p. 104) ! Homeless Person Grabbed by the
! Hector Garcia (p. 112) Phantom (p. 93)
! Mike Fitzhugh (p. 115)
! Elijah McGillicuddy (p. 120) Step Eight: The Climax (Check One)
! Other (p. ) ! Confronting the Phantom (p. 94)
! The PCs Get the Grail (p. 95)
! The Phantom Gets the Grail (p. 95)
additional obstacle. His role depends on how Crew can be handed the scut work while the
he relates to the PCs. Gamma Crew can be PCs deal with the main action. The Gamma
rivals, allies, or just a confusing presence. Crew members can courier charges from
Local duke Mike Fitzhugh can help solve some other Maks to the PCs via the Lesser Corre-
of the mysteries, but may also be a victim of spondence ritual. Alternatively, they could be a
violence. And any one of several GMCs can be rival Crew not necessarily working with the
the Street Phantom, since its presented as an PCs, just out for the glory of finding Jenkinss
overlay you attach to an existing GMC of your murderer or research.
choice. You can play the Phantom broadly as a
serial killer addicted to better learning through
cannibalism, a tragic Promethean figure, a The Sleepers
Faustian seeker corrupted by knowledge, or an The Sleepers know what the score is because of
evil mastermind bent on world domination. It the efforts of their Mak Attax mole on the
can also just be a nasty freak who needs to be Inner Circle and Brainfood Crews, Hannibal
put down like a mad dog. (Of course, theres Prepajchal (see Hush Hush, p. 21). Unfortu-
already a mad dog with a demon in its head. nately, Prepajchal wasnt tapped for the
He hangs out with T-Joe.) Gamma Crew. The info on the mailing lists
Using the worksheet at left, proceed Prepajchal has access to is starting to annoy
through the following steps and customize the his Sleeper handler, Wu Zhanhan, because the
scenario as it pleases you. Try using a pencil, normally ass-backwards and counterproduc-
since youll probably change your mind a tive Maks are moving very quickly and effi-
couple times as you plan. When youre done ciently on this investigation and Wu doesnt
youll have what well call a Plot Skeleton; like it. Anyway, with all the cabals converging
more about that later. around this Jenkins affair, things are bound to
get ugly. Thats why the PCs have been sent in.
Their orders are simple. If anyone gets noisy
Step One: Location and starts disturbing the Sleeping Tiger, hush
As noted earlier, decide where you want the them up. Spirit away anything that looks
scenario to take place. If your main campaign suspicious. Find out whats sparking all the
setting is suited for the action youve read so unnatural phenomena, and quell it.
far, go for it. Otherwise, its time for a road trip.

TNI Strike Team


Step Two: PC Involvement Alex Abel has assigned the PCs strike team to
The way you get a PC group into the action one or more of the following tasks:
has a strong effect on how you set up the rest
of the scenario. Suggestions for different PC Pick up Dena Kustoriss investigation and
cabals and campaign styles follow. Pick one follow it into the weird.
outright, or jot down your own notes on how Investigate and evaluate the danger of this
to get the PCs involved. Satans Chosen Temple cabal.
Discover Superconductors identity.
Triangulation of concurrent episodes of
Mak Attax Crew eerie radio voices and periods of missing
Like Gamma Crew, the PCs also volunteered time indicate that a significant artifact is in
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

to look into Jenkinss death. Theyre all the area. Secure it and bring it back.
expected to work together, though Gamma

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84

If the PCs are with TNI, youre best off 1. The mystery of Vince Jenkins.
minimizing Dena Kustoris. She should be a 2. The Green Glass Grail.
purely mundane employee of TNI, doing 3. The Street Phantom.
purely mundane private detective work, and
her main job is to brief them when they arrive Pick a Thread to serve as the main plotline.
and dispense clues when you need to prod the For a more complex experience, you may want
players. (Unless, of course, shes the Street to explicitly fold in one of the other Threads as
Phantom.) a subplot. Or braid together all three for the
full experience. Plotline bleed is bound to
happen anyway (and many GMs see it as a
Magick Cabal good thing), but you have control of how
Something big is going down right under our influential you wish each Thread to be.
noses. Murders, mayhem, and unnatural
phenomena: all could mean substantial power.
Everybody else is going downtown to snoop Step Four: Plot Elements
aroundso should we! These are chunks of story and information for
your use during the scenario. Look them over
and decide which youd like to use.
Circle of Friends
Jenkins may have been an email buddy of one or
more of the PCs. Knowing about his hatred of Plot Element: The Homeless
cars and his straight-edge lifestyle, the facts of There are a dozen street people rumored to
his death just dont sit well with them. have sipped from the Green Glass Grail. Five
of them are missing (Old Yellow, Trixie, Jimmy
the Snake, Pat, and Ronnie), all victims of the
Reality Cops Street Phantom. Of those who remain, all they
Were getting reports of a possessed animal remember is a trenchcoated figure with a
downtown. It fits all the signs. Well swing hidden face urging them to drink and be
down there tonight and put the poor beast out well. The taste of the fluid was like fire and
of its misery. Theyre here for the Hellhound ice, and they seemed to feel a bit better after-
(p. 108), but theyll soon find out that the dog ward. They have several uses to the PCs: some
is the least of whats going on. of the bums could get visions of the Real Thing
in their dreams, others could be used to dowse
for it through a Proxy Ritual, and one of them
Occult Investigators could actually have passed along the bottle to
This mysterious death, Vince Jenkins, hap- another GMC, by rescuing it from a dump-
pened after the victim spent a lot of time in the ster and then handing it off to someone else.
company of a cultist associated with something Here are some sample street folk who have
called Satans Chosen Temple. The circum- tasted the Real Thing and have yet to disappear:
stances around his death have some people
whispering cover-up. We should check it out Abdul: Suffers from paranoid delusions.
could be devil-worshippers! Resisted taking a sip because he thought it
was a CIA brain-rinse formula. His
flailing arm ended up spilling a dose all
Step Three: Plot Threads over himself, though . . . and he still
There are three Plot Threads in this scenario: worries about it.
Elizabeth: Elizabeth is an older woman, a Its a heaping bowl of conflict to start
drunk who has AIDS. The Elixir just made with, but when you add in that one of these
her higher than a kite. guys might be the Street Phantom, well, it
Jimmy: Jimmy should have died of hypoth- ratchets up to eleven.
ermia that cold, cold night. As it was, he
just suffered tremendous frostbite and lost
all the fingers on his right hand. Because Plot Element: The SHUs
he should have died without the influence A certain famous fast-food chain has identified
of the Real Thing, hes a good candidate to a particular subset of their customers as SHUs,
be affected by mystical weirdness. or Super-Heavy Users. A SHU is someone who
Kandy: A hooker given her sip after a eats at the restaurant four or more times a
customer beat her. She believes it healed week. In the Unknown Armies setting, these
her broken ribs, though they were really SHUs are front and center for receiving more
just bruised. magickal jolts from Mak Attax than anybody
Michelle: She was suffering from hunger else. The local SHUs are a trio of men in their
and malnutrition. Still is. Felt no effect twenties, each of whom have a mageekian
from her sip. ability they can use once per day with a
Susanna: While under the influence of the successful Soul check. They arent conscious of
Elixir Vitae, this bag lady suffered a mortal these powers, so its up to the GM to deter-
throat wound. Because of the Angel of mine when one might activate.
Mercys gift she survived. Like Jimmy, shes
a good candidate for mystical weirdness. Andy: Hes blessed with the ability to sense
Wang Ho: He was suffering great hunger. whether or not a fact placed before him is
The elixir didnt really do anything for true or false. Unfortunately, he discounts
him, but he believes it lessened the pangs these hunches because of his belief that
in his stomach. nothing is that simple. Hes also a
Elijah McGillicuddy: A local crazy, de- budding conspiracy theorist.
tailed on p. 120. If he isnt the Street Scott: Known to the workers at the restau-
Phantom, hes the one who had the Grail rant as the Fry Guy due to his copious
after Vera did and has since passed it on. consumption of super-sized baskets of the
greasy spuds, Scott has developed an
The Street Phantom has been hunting exceptionally soothing voice. He can plant
down these folks to question them about the post-hypnotic suggestions merely by
bottle, and possibly even to use them to find it. speaking. Of course, hes far too shy to
speak with anyone if he can avoid it.
Tom: He can summon the strength and
Plot Element: Love Triangle vitality of five men (Body 100), but is too
Okay, what weve got here is your basic love lazy to put forth even the simplest physical
triangle: Mak Attaxer Hector Garcia likes his effort.
fellow Crew member Maria Perez, who likes
local occult entrepreneur Mike Fitzhugh. The SHUs are useful to have wandering
Fitzhugh wants to be a friendly mentor to around in the background. They can serve as
Garcia, who isnt buying it, and is suspicious Greek chorus, sources of clues, sources of red
of Fitzhugh. Hes also trying to dig up dirt on herrings, or just plain annoyances. Since they
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

Fitzhugh to show Perez that Mikey isnt all each consume at least four meals per week at
sweetness and light. the same restaurant, the PCs have a good

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86

chance of seeing at least one of them at break- There should be plenty of Suicide King
fast, lunch, or dinner, purchasing their greasy imagery still floating around the neighbor-
sustenance. hood. Were talking hearts, cups, playing
cards, grails, water, wine, blood, drugs,
dreams, prophecy. All that stuff is good. After
Plot Element: The Suicide Kings all, the King of Hearts is related to the Tarot
The street gang known as the Suicide Kings King of Cupsthe Cup is the Grail. QED.
terrorized the downtown neighborhood streets In the Tarot, Cups represent the emotional,
in the 1970s. They wore black jeans, white T- psychic, spiritual, and relational world. Cups
shirts, and leather jackets with the King of are vessels: female and watery. The sexual
Hearts painted on the back. The logo above the underpinnings of the symbolism should be
card read Suicide Kings, and the members apparent. Being water, they can be calm or
name appeared on the front right breast of the stormy; in this way its differentiated from the
jacket. They were more than a little retro. Oriental concept of yin, but that connection is
Mike Fitzhugh, now the owner of a fun one to explore as well. The shape and
Fitzhughs Dreamshop and a minor duke, form of water is dependent on both its con-
joined the Kings in his youth along with his tainer and temperature.
brother Nicky. When the Kings started dealing As ruler of the emotional realm, the King
dope instead of just smashing windows and of Cups is empathetic, generous, and accept-
boosting cars, Mike got himself off the street ing. He uses dreams as oracles of his inner and
and into a back-room lab where he mixed up a outer worlds. He is secure in himself, but
lot of illegal product. Nicky stayed on the limited by the rules he has established. He
streets and got into more trouble. tends to be connected to business or law. He is
Over a period of about five years, the also a skilled negotiator, kind, considerate, and
Suicide Kings broke up and drifted away. Mike responsible, but ambitious. Usually, the King
had seen an addict die right before his eyes and of Cups signifies a man of ideas and agility of
was on a self-improvement kick, two Kings mind.
died in a wreck during a joyride, and a bunch
of Kings (including Nicky) got picked up for
selling LSD to high school students. Mike Plot Element: Unnatural Phenomena
dodged the bullet, but the others went up the The presence of the Green Glass Grail creates
river for a number of years. magickal static of unnatural events and phe-
Only three of the seven original Suicide nomena. At dawn and at dusk, within a half-
Kings are left alive: the Fitzhugh brothers and mile radius, the Real Thing causes one or more
one other. The third, if present for the scenar- people to suffer fifteen minutes of lost time
io, is the GMs choice. and causes all radios to tune into the ghostly
Although the Kings arent directly involved wails of demons for one minute.
in the scenario, their symbology and history A way to indicate time-loss to the PCs
may be of interest to some PCs. If youre into might be a sudden jump from ambient light to
tossing symbols around in the course of play darknessno twilight progression of dusk.
you should give this plot element a shot. Another would be seeing a banks hanging
The suicide king is the King of Hearts. digital clock/temperature sign jump ahead a
The card is called this because the King seems quarter-hour in moments.
to be shoving his sword through his head. The One way to indicate eerie radio stuff to the
sacrificial King is a great trope, for those of PCs is to have the weird sounds overheard from
you up on your Frazer, Eliot, or Powers. a passing car, have all the radios in an electron-
ics store display window flip out, or have a Instant eclipse (daytime)/sun on the moon
kids boom box start squealing and smoking. (nighttime)
Other unnatural phenomena (see Un-
known Armies, p. 145) suitable for this
scenario include: Plot Element: Pass the Bottle
At one point in this scenario, Vera Leitwinder
had the Real Thing, and was using its powers
Minor on the indigent and homeless. Who has it
Cold spot now? Is it lying in a garbage can in some back
Bubbly spot (tactile sensation) alley? Is it tucked away in a safe deposit box?
Stench of wine Could a small child be drinking it right now,
Small object vanishes without a trace smiling? Anyone could have had it or could be
Spontaneous appearance of soda water currently holding it, except for the Street
Spontaneous appearance of soda syrup Phantom. Indeed, its a good idea to keep track
Batteries drain of who currently possesses the Green Glass
Glass shatters Grail, because it should switch hands. (Also
Weird coincidence (doesnt involve people) see the event Grail Tag on p. 90.)
Find an omen (points to current short-term Heres a general idea for what each of our
goal) main GMCs could do if they get their hands
on the Real Thing, and the immediate reper-
cussions of those actions. Some elements
Significant change depending upon who the Street Phan-
3 minutes and 33 seconds of missing time tom is in the scenario.
Hysterical blindness (area effect)
Loud fizzing sounds that drown out Dena Kustoris: Dena shoves the bottle into
everything else a reinforced-steel briefcase and calls Alex
Synchronicity (coincidence involving Abel, who scrambles Eponymous (see
people) Unknown Armies, p. 192) backed up by
Red flashes and visual ghosts (the flash- some TNI heavy-hitters. They hit the scene
bulb effect) within 12 hours, grab the Green Glass
Invisible force crushes things (gunshot Grail, and hoof it to the nearest TNI
damage to non-living objects) safehouse. If Dena loses the Real Thing,
Spontaneous wounds (1d3 Wound Points she leaves its recovery to the experts.
lost) T-Joe Walters: Via Ouija board, T-Joes
Visions/immersive hallucinations (2 demonic entourage clues him in that the
minutes) bottle is pretty special. He hides it under a
Brain fog (momentary clouded judgment) loose floorboard in the hostel. He drinks
from it every day, thinking its giving him
kool majik powerz which, of course, he
Major brags about loudly and inanely to everyone
Building struck by lightning he meets. If he loses it, he makes a half-
Reality erase assed attempt to recover it but gets dis-
Moment of peace (all spirits banished; all couraged easily.
magick and channels quelled; everyone in Gamma Crew: The Gamma Crew sends an
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

area loses a Failed mark from their highest email to Superconductor. Superconductor
Meter; all is calm) gives them a Fed Ex account number and

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THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

88

an address at a mail service where it can be something special in his magickal pants.
delivered (with Express Overnight Special He throws the bottle away after draining
Handling and plenty of insurance). If it, but only in a public trash receptacle. He
Gamma Crew loses the Green Glass Grail, remains clueless, at least until the freaks
they try again and again until they recover come out of the woodwork and turn his
it, the persistent little buggers. life upside down.
Mike Fitzhugh: The first thing Mike Nicky Fitzhugh: Nicky, whos just made
Fitzhugh does is drink from the Real parole, drinks the Coke and throws the
Thing, thinking its a pre-New Coke bottle bottle away. But the Real Thing has a
of soda (back when Coke didnt taste like strange effect on his aurait notches up in
Pepsi). Then he forgets about it, leaving brightness by a factor of ten. The effect
the empty bottle on his desk at the Dream- of this is that Nicky sticks out like a sore
shop. When he sees that it refills (and thumb to anyone with Aura Sight or
recaps) itself the next morning, he analyzes similar abilities, he gets inserted into
the bottle. Once he realizes whats in the cast divinations or clairvoyant visions, and
bottle, he has a hard choice in front of he automatically succeeds at all Stress
him: keep it and risk all the sharks that Checks without gaining Hardened marks.
begin to circle around him, or quietly Until the end of the day, that is.
dispose of the artifact. Elijah McGillicuddy: Elijah drinks from it,
If he opts for the former, he beefs up hides it under a park bench, and forgets
his security systems and gets a little para- about it. Lather, rinse, repeat.
noid. Happy, friendly Mike is replaced by Joe Six-Pack/Jane Soccer-Mom: The
mean, crabby Old Man Fitzhugh. Green Glass Grail moves through the
If he decides the Green Glass Grail is mundane population quietly. No one
too damn big to handle, he drains off a notices its magickal properties, though
weeks worth of Elixir Vitae and then calls some accident or assault victims survive
the infamous Merchant avatar known as when they shouldnt. If the PCs are stalled,
the Bad Man (see Postmodern Magick, p. a newspaper article about such a miracle
157), whose number hes never had the might get them back on track.
gumption to use before. The Bad Man sets
up an auction, Fitzhugh gets a cut of the Note that the Real Thing is a good candi-
commission, and everything is roses. Juan date to be the Grail, and all of the Grail
Martinez of the Bad Mans Dealership is Knights (see Postmodern Magick, p. 162),
dispatched to ink the contract and collect especially Paracelsus, would be interested in it.
the goods. While hes waiting for Martinez, Grails also tend to attract certain archetypes
Fitzhugh keeps the Real Thing in his floor like magnets. Whether this is due to an under-
safe. The Grail could subsequently turn up lying mystical sympathy between powerful
in the scenario Swap Meet. symbols, the intentional manipulations of the
The SHUs: If one of the Super Heavy Invisible Clergy, or just predilection of the
Users (described earlier) gets the bottle, his Archetype in question is a mystery. Particularly
special ability goes into hyperdrive while susceptible are the Demagogue, the Fool, the
under the effects of the Elixir Vitae. This Healer, the Hunter, the Mother, the Mystic
means the SHU can use his spiffy little Hermaphrodite, the Necessary Servant, the
mageekian power at will, not just once per Pilgrim, and the True King. Any avatars of
day, and it is immediately obvious to these archetypes could be sucked into the
anyone with an occult clue that hes got mystic prop-wash of the Real Thing.
From the canon UA GMCs, two that GMCs? Pick Interaction. Want puzzles, secrets,
would be particularly interested in the Green and general weirdness? Pick Mystery. Want car
Glass Grail are Dirk Allen and the Freak. chases and things blowing up? Pick Action.
Immortality appeals to both of them, for You can add any other themes here that you
different reasons. Maybe Allen wants to make want as wellFamily, Love, Jealousy, whatev-
it a present to the Freak to get it off of his er. Check UA p. 119 for ideas.
case. More likely, he wants to use it to keep his
diseased body functioning despite his old
cirrhotic liver. And imagine how frightening Step Six: The Phantom
the Freak could be if it could charge up with Select a GMC to be the Street Phantom. The
no fear of accidentally killing itself. recommended selections are Dena Kustoris,
Hector Garcia, Mike Fitzhugh, or Elijah
McGillicuddy. You can select a different GMC
Step Five: Themes if you wish, or even a PC if you have an
There are three main themes: adventurous player or want to run a split-
personality plotline.
1. Interaction Whoever ends up as the Street Phantom,
2. Mystery their Goal(s), Motivation(s), and Concentra-
3. Action tion has a fundamental effect on the Plot
Skeleton. Goals are what it wants, Motivations
Pick a Theme for the flavor you wish for the are whats driving it towards those Goal(s),
scenario. Do you want mostly characteriza- and the Concentration is the manner in which
tion-intensive discussions and dealings with the Street Phantom comports itself on the path

THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL


DREW TUCKER

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90

The Street Phantom Candidates


Street Phantom Theme(s) Motivation(s) Concentration
Dena Kustoris (p. 104) Interaction, Mystery Figuring It All Out Research
Hector Garcia (p. 112) Mystery, Action Hungry for Power Misdirection & Theft
Mike Fitzhugh (p. 115) Interaction Changing Things Charm & Lies
From Behind the Scene
Elijah McGillicuddy (p. 120) Action Healing & Mayhem Hit & Run Weirdness

to those Goal(s). The overlaid GMCs Passions a Thread or Theme appears in parentheses, we
and Obsession should have a strong influence recommend that you play the parenthetical
on all these elements. See the nearby boxed element in a minor key, as it were. Thats not
text for a quick thumbnail of the candidate to say you cannot make Meet Nicky
Street Phantoms recommended Theme(s), Fitzhugh an Action scenefeel free! These
Motivation(s), and Concentration. More detail notations are provided simply for ease of
appears in the individual GMC descriptions assembly into a Plot Skeleton, the outline for
later in the text. the way the scenario can unfold.
For some basic Goals, try to place yourself
in the position of the selected GMC/Street
Phantom, and look at how he or she would Event: Grail Tag!
follow the Plot Thread. In Thread One (Jen- Threads: All
kinss Murder), the Street Phantom is focused Themes: Action, Mystery
on covering up its involvement in the crime The Real Thing should switch hands often
but not necessarily its identity. In Thread Two enough to help make the mystery interesting to
(Green Glass Grail), the Street Phantom is one the players, but not often enough to be frus-
of the questers searching for the Real Thing. In trating. Thats something a GM will have to
Thread Three (the Street Phantom), it is gauge in play. A good guideline would be to
desperately trying to keep its identity secret, hand-off the bottle after every two events
but not necessarily its role in the murder. (actual in-game time between handoffs de-
pends on how the GM wishes to pace the
scenario). Sadistic GMs can hand the Green
Step Seven: Events Glass Grail to the GMC that the PCs last
At this point, select Events from the examples spoke to, just to rub salt in the wound. Three
belowor come up with your ownthat switch-offs is a good number to have happen
should happen along the way to the Climax (see before the Street Phantom finally gets its pudgy
Step Eight). They can happen at any time, at fingers around the Real Thing. Then, move
any location, in any order, subject to how you directly to the Climax. An amusing thing
wish to run them. Not all of them need happen; would be for the Street Phantom to get a hold
they can be fiddled with to your hearts content. of the empty Green Glass Grail, then lose it
If a GMC mentioned in the event is not one before it refills. Thatll piss the Phantom off
youre using, feel free to replace him or her with mightily.
another GMC or even a PC. Getting the Real Thing out of the hands of
Each of the events below are noted for the the PCs for a Grail Tag requires careful
Plot Threads and Themes they work best in. If GMing. The first time they get their hands on
it, be merciless: exploit any opportunity the
PCs give you to take it away from them. Fiat Event: In the Shop of Dreams
it. If they take their eyes and hands off of it for Threads: All
a second, its gone. Maybe it fell off the Theme: Interaction
windowsill, or a cobweb farmer fried their The first time the PCs enter Fitzhughs Dream-
memories and walked off with it, or they shop, Mike will be polite and affable. Hell be
suffered some Lost Time, or they got their chatting with a couple of deadheads/Phish
pocket picked by three gypsies, or a booze- fans/aging hippies who are browsing the
hound teleported it away from them. Get it water pipes. After he finishes helping them,
away from them, preferably after theyve hell wander over to the PCs and ask if he can
contacted their bosses (if any). be of assistance to them. He doesnt announce
Thats only for the first time, to clue them that he has piles of nifty artifacts in the back
that this isnt a run of the mill artifact and room, but he very quickly picks up on dropped
theyll have to watch their backs. If they get hints. Once he sees the color of the PCs
their hands on it again, fair enoughno more money, hell move to the back room, leaving
fiats. The only way to get it away after the first the front room under the watchful eye of
time is through in-game use of the GMCs and Chuck, his assistant. Hell also make it clear to
their limited knowledge and abilities. No the PCs that he has friends in both the Occult
cheating. Underground and the Criminal Underground
who will find and hurt anybody who tries to
steal, stiff, or injure him.
Event: Grilled by Dena If the PCs succeed in being charming and
Thread: Vince Jenkins arent obviously idiots, hell open up to them,
Themes: Interaction, (Mystery) asking them questions about their areas of
Dena Kustoris catches up with the PCs, interest and expertise, then pointing out likely
preferably in a restaurant or caf, and gives wares. Hell mention without reservation that
them her insurance investigator spiel. (This he loves the neighborhood, hes nervous about
works best if the PCs are known associates of this Street Phantom character whos stalking
Jenkins or are poking around into his mur- the streets, that his brother is due out on
der.) She just needs 10 minutes of their time to parole, that Jenkins was his friend, and hes
answer some questions. If the PCs refuse, shell convinced Jenkins was murdered. Hell tell
thank them and go away. But not too far them for either cash or a favor that an investi-
awayshell start tailing them with binoculars gator (Dena Kustoris) has been around asking
and the parabolic mike and request back- questions, and that she stunk of alcohol at 9
ground searches on them. Then shell come A.M. He wont talk about his youth in the
back with suitable blackmail material in hand Suicide Kings unless pressed, or the PCs got a
and ask them for a moment of their time matched success on their persuasion attempt.
again. If they still say no, she delivers the
incriminating evidence to where it does the
most harm. End of story. Event: Meeting T-Joe
If the PCs are a TNI Strike Team, shell Threads: Vince Jenkins, (Green Glass Grail)
very grudgingly share her info on Jenkinsand Themes: Interaction, (Action)
only Jenkins, those were her orders from the When the PCs meet T-Joe, they should quickly
Bossand leave the PCs to continue her own notice that hes a clueless, swaggering moron.
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

investigation. His new friend, the possessed dog hes calling


Hellhound, should be within shouting

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distance, if not by his side. Hell try to sell his Attax HQ for three days straight. This is an
automatic demon possession juice as whatever indication that Somethings Afoot. On the
ritual that the PCs want: Lead to Gold, Spell- fourth day, the SHU wanders in, beaten,
breaker, Resurrection Body, whatever. This bloody, looking like hell, and orders his
leads quickly to a line of bull: Youre the kind regular meal. He doesnt realize that hes a
of people who might be interested in joining mess. The Street Phantom has grabbed him,
up with my group. We can help you meet your interrogated him, and wiped most of the
full potential. Come and visit our Temple. And interrogation with drugs, head trauma, and
bring some money. T-Joe generally ends the weird mystic shit. If questioned, the SHU
discussion at some point with vague and remembers only a dark figure and the stench of
overblown promises or threats. spilled beer. However, perhaps the PCs can do
If the situation devolves to combat, Hell- some memory recovery on the poor sod. They
hound will instantly come to T-Joes aid; T-Joe might be able to determine the general neigh-
tries to run away (see below, T-Joe Meets borhood of the Street Phantoms Pad with a
Trouble). little mind-spelunking through Psychology,
Hypnosis, or Random Magick.

Event: Hes The Street Phantom?!


Thread: Street Phantom Event: The Street Phantom Sends a Message
Themes: Interaction, (Mystery) Threads: Street Phantom, (Green Glass Grail)
The PCs notice theyve been seeing an over- Themes: Mystery, (Action)
weight man with sunglasses and a big white Something happens that clearly spells out to
beard repeatedly. If they pay attention, it really the PCs that the Street Phantom is watching
does seem like hes following them around! them; the creepier, the better. A recurring
The old man is constantly mumbling under his nightmare starts up with a huge, shadowy
breath Blind til X-mas! over and over again figure telling them to back off. A gargoyle falls
(he pronounces the x). Then hell break into off a building to smash close to the PCs, and
mild streaks of raving, usually repeating and the shattered pieces of the statue whip up and
embellishing whatever was recently said to around them in a malevolent dust-devil for a
him. He especially likes answering a question moment. They wake up to find a warning
with the same question, just rephrased. painted in blood on the ceiling over their bed,
When confronted, this is just Elijah McGil- which quickly evaporates, leaving no trace.
licuddy, a retired carpenter originally from Overnight, a sinkhole opens up under their car
Dayton, here in town visiting his niece. Unfor- and swallows it whole. They find that home-
tunately, Elijah wandered off without his less people are all humming the same song
brain pills and now hes delusional. The when they pass by. The cracks in their wind-
police are currently looking for him, and shield form the letters of a message. That sort
should catch a glimpse of him in about twelve of thing.
minutes from when the PCs start interacting
with him.
Event: T-Joe Meets Trouble
Threads: Vince Jenkins, (Green Glass Grail)
Event: You Want Fries With That? Themes: Action, (Interaction)
Thread: Vince Jenkins The Gamma Crew, Dena Kustoris, or the PCs
Theme: Mystery have found T-Joe, and T-Joe runs. The hunt is
One of the SHUs doesnt show up at the Mak on, with the pursuers on the young Satanist
like stink on a monkey. Use the Chase Rules store and figured it must be his lucky day.
from Lawyers, Guns, and Money (p. 8689) or Afterwards, he tossed the bottle somewhere or
just use opposed Driving or General Athletic other. And now every freak in the area wants
rolls. If the Hellhound hasnt been dealt with to be his friend in the hopes that they can use
yet, it swoops in during the third round of a him to find the Green Glass Grail.
chase scene to mess with T-Joes pursuers. This forces a Grail Tag! event.
If T-Joe gets away, that causes an immedi-
ate Green Glass Grail handoff (see above,
Grail Tag!). If T-Joe is caught, hell act Event: Unnatural Phenomena Happens
tough for about 5 minutes. Then, all in an Threads: All
instant, T-Joe cracks like an egg, crying and Theme: Mystery
wetting himself. Hell spill everything he Select an Unnatural Phenomenon to occur
knows, without reservation. Even if he hasnt from the list in Plot Elements earlier in this
been an important part of the scenario thus scenario. This is to add to the mystery and
far, you may want to use him as a clue dispens- strangenessand the phenomenon can also
er to help the PCs; maybe he saw or heard serve as a clue to the next point on the Plot
something theyll find useful. Skeleton.

Event: Meet Nicky Fitzhugh Event: Homeless Person Grabbed by the Street Phantom
Thread: Green Glass Grail Threads: Green Glass Grail, Street Phantom
Theme: Interaction Themes: Mystery, (Action)
Wherever the PCs areat the Mak Attax HQ, One of the street folks from the Homeless
a bar, in line at the bank, taking a leak in a gas plot element is grabbed by the Street Phantom.
stationthey see a late-thirties man wearing a If it happens out of the PCs view, it should be
leather jacket with the image of the King of one of the people they have spoken to or
Hearts on the back. The logo reads Suicide wanted to speak to. Otherwise, the next clue
Kings, and the name on the front of the they come across indicates that they need to
jacket reads Nicky. speak to the missing person. If, when, and in
Nicky Fitzhugh is out on parole, looking what condition the victim is found is your
for a beer, a smoke, a buck, a lay, and a job. choice. A word to the wise, thoughdead men
When he meets a PC, hell hit them up for one tell no tales, and if the PCs leads keep show-
of them. Hes just as friendly as his brother ing up dead then the players are going to be
Mike, but much dumber and louder. He really frustrated.
doesnt want to work for his brother Mike, but If the PCs actually see the Street Phantom
will if nothing else comes up. Hes not against try to kidnap the person, a lot depends on how
more criminal workNicky aint that bright, the Street Phantom intends on doing it. Mys-
and has a strong self-destructive streak. Hes tery and Interaction themes are best played
clueless about magick, the Occult Under- with an open faceif Denas the Street Phan-
ground, the Street Phantom, everythinghes tom, shed openly take the homeless person
been in prison for the last six years. away for a private talk on the Jenkins case in
Nicky almost seems to glow with luck and that vein. If its a more Action-themed game,
togetherness, thanks to his taking a swig from she might do a trench-coated and masked
the Grail earlier today. He knows nothing snatch n grab on the poor unfortunate.
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

about the nature of the Grail. He just found If the PCs interfere, the Street Phantom
the unopened bottle outside a convenience chooses discretion over valor and flees. This

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can lead to a chase sequence. Use the Chase points and yells, Look! Your shoes
Rules from Lawyers, Guns, and Money (p. 86 untied! or leaks a flash-bang charge and
89) or just use opposed Driving or General then runs, runs, runs. He then does guerril-
Athletic rolls. The Street Phantom has an la warfare on the characters, trying to
advantage in chase scenesits madi powers blindside or backstab them.
can help it squeak out of a tight place (see the Mike appeals to the PCs/GMCs that he has
Confronting the Phantom climax). the best relationship with, reminding the
character about how open, helpful, and
friendly hes been. Then he casts aspersions
Step Eight: The Climax on the character he has the worst relation-
Selecting a Climax for the scenario is intended ship with, dropping leading hints and seed-
to be picking a point to aim for rather than crystals of doubt about that person. He
hard-coding a result. Think of it not as a depot denies everything until he gets away. When
on a railroad line, but rather as a landmark to he goes to ground, hell dedicate time,
hike towards overland. Depending upon the money, and energy to puppet-mastery.
Plot Thread(s) selected and the PCs and Hell hound the characters with thugs and
GMCs actions and reactions, the actual weirdness until he gets them right where he
Climax of the scenario might be quite different wants them.
than the intended one. The suggestions below Elijah goes into a frenzy. He starts drop-
are to assist you in coping when things strike ping freaky-wild madi mojo like its going
out in a different direction. out of style. Then he swings his big,
grizzled retired carpenters fists around,
slamming them into peoples faces. If he
Climax: Confronting the Phantom gets seriously injured, he runs. The next
This Climax is suitable when the Plot Thread day, he does it all over again.
is focused more on the Street Phantom than
the Green Glass Grail. Its also handy to have Recall that the Street Phantom has useful
ready if one of the PCs tumbles to the identity abilities here that should aid it in conflicts of
of the Street Phantom youve selected before any nature, be they physical, mental, social, or
reaching the Phantom Gets the Grail climax, mystic.
on the next page. See Aura is valuable in determining the
If the PCs unmask the Street Phantom, and mood of the PCs and may allow the Street
the Street Phantom is Dena, Hector, or Mike, Phantom to draw to an inside straight in
make a Mind roll for it. If successful, the Street interactions where emotions have a strong
Phantom ducks and weaves verbally, denying influence (Charm and Lie rolls stand out
the charge until in a position to flee or distance strongly here). It also allows the Street Phan-
itself at maximum benefit. (Elijah just snaps.) tom to target the most dangerous adversaries
The overlaid GMC personality determines first. In general, the chain of being from most
how to proceed: dangerous to least goes adept, avatar, wild
talent, mundane. Of course, an Avatar of the
Dena opts for blackmail, using secret Executioner probably trumps a Cliomancer,
information shes been able to gather on and a pistol trumps both of them.
the PCs/GMCs, and tries to cut a deal. If Occult Countermeasures allows the Street
that doesnt work, she attacks each charac- Phantom to hide himself from being detected
ter at their weakest point. by magick and possibly even Avatar channels.
Hectorfiguratively if not literally He can also use it to set nasty little pseudo-
magickal traps or mines that should Underground is still looking for it, including
inconvenience occult characters, such as a one pissed-off madi Phantom. Without resort-
creative attempt to force an adept or avatar to ing to fiat or divination, pay close attention to
break taboo (forcing a Bibliomancer to hand everyone they speak to about it, everything
over a rare book, for example), or a psycho- they do, every little move they make, and
logical puzzle that would attract the attention determine if one of the other factions would
of someone magickally obsessed (carefully twig to their possession of the Real Thing as a
stacked piles of pennies, nickels, quarters, half- result. If they could, then move the factions in.
dollars, and dollar coins in an intricate pat- The first possible point of closure here is for
tern). Stuff like that. the PCs to hand off the Real Thing to their
The madi abilities of the Street Phantom superiors. Once the bottle leaves the scenario
cause subtle shifts in the universe to match what city, theyre done. Maybe a couple straggling
it desires. Unnatural Phenomena happen such factions show up to ask them questions about
that things align with what it needs. For exam- it, but its gone. Finito. The End. Rack up the
ple, it leaks a charge and a fuse box blows, experience points and move on.
making all the traffic lights in a four-block If the PCs are free agents and they success-
radius turn green and escaping in the ensuing fully assert and defend their right to the Green
confusion. These abilities can also be used in a Glass Grail, perhaps they can set themselves up
directly offensive fashion: the Street Phantom as Keepers of the Grail and Dispensers of the
cannot select what happens to the character it Elixir Vitae. (At the very least, this requires
decides to whomp on but something interest- neutralizing the Street Phantom in some way.)
ing and annoying (or cruel and unusual) should That status quo could last anywhere from a
happen to the targeted character. For example: month to a year before the Big Cabals come
suffering Missing Time in combat, Hysterical knocking. See Repercussions, below.
Blindness while driving, or Spontaneous Nose-
bleeds at the Mayors Cotillion.
Do not neglect the overlaid GMCs abilities Climax: The Phantom Gets the Grail
and connections: Mike Fitzhugh might have an The PCs should be present when the Street
alchemical preparation on him somewhere Phantom finally gets its hands on the Real
and he also has ties to a number of thugs and Thing. When the Phantom realizes that the
leg-breakers. Hector Garcia has his lockpicks, person its speaking to has the Green Glass
and Dena Kustoris has her .38 Special. Grail, it flips out and takes it from them. If it
Even after being unmasked, the Street discovers the Real Things hiding place, it loses
Phantom will hang aroundit wants the Green all composure in a mad rush, pawing for the
Glass Grail, remember. So unless the PCs take it bottle. It does not hesitate to hurt, maim, drive
out the first time, this whole scenario can be mad, or kill anyone who stands in its way. If
run over again, using a different Plot Skeleton, the obstacle is one of the PCs, so much the
and with the added plot elements of a revealed better. The attack should be unexpected and
Street Phantom, possible other factions on the fierce. Once the Phantom has the bottle, it
scene, and a different Climax. runs, bringing all of its knowledge, skills, and
powers to bear on getting away to the Pad or
another safe-house. See the Confronting the
Climax: The PCs Get the Grail Phantom Climax on the previous page for
If the PCs manage to regain the Green Glass ideas on how this can play out.
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

Grail after their first loss, the GM must again When the Street Phantom consumes the
become ruthless. The rest of the local Occult Elixir Vitae, things are going to go south

95
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

96

quickly. First, the Elixir wont heal its mind. during (or previous to) the scenario. If the
Indeed, its composure frays completelyit Street Phantom is Hector Garcia, then Mike
loses even the mildest veneer of stability. Fitzhugh is at the top of his list. If Mike is the
Secondly, itll give it a significant charge. Street Phantom, T-Joe Walters is in his sights.
Thirdly, the dose makes it immortal for the (Dena and Elijah have no immediate enemies
next 24 hours. Fourthly, it should cause a as written; their primary targets depend on
Major Unnatural Event. Something big and how the scenario has been playing out.) Note
weird and centered on the Street Phantom. See that Garcia does not kill Perez and Mike does
the Unnatural Phenomena plot element for not kill Nicky. Other than that, anything goes.
ideas. This first target is murdered brutally and
The Street Phantom comes down like a gruesomely, to send a message. Then, after a
hard rain on everyone it perceives as an enemy. day or so, the Street Phantom starts moving
This includes all the named GMCs in this down its shit list. See Confronting the
scenario and the PCs. However, even though Phantom again for ideas on how a particular
its nuts and (temporarily) immortal, it still has overlaid GMC might operate. It keeps fierce
serious qualms at jabbing a sharp stick into the hold of the Elixir to ensure its continued life,
ass of the Sleeping Tiger. Luckily, its madi even in the face of terrible wounds inflicted by
powers help the mundane authorities ignore the PCs. They may need to make some fast
whats going on right under their nosesuntil allies to take the newly energized Phantom
its too late. down for goodand of course its increased
The first enemy the Street Phantom targets activities may draw fresh attention from
should be a GMC or PC that pissed him off outside cabals.

DREW TUCKER
Cult of the Naked Goddess, the House of
Step Nine: The Plot Skeleton Renunciation, 101001101, Rome and
A Plot Skeleton shows the mileposts along the Carthage, the True Order of Saint-Germain,
journey. They do not necessarily have to be hit etc. All the Occult Underground would be
in order, unless the GM feels the scenario interested in grabbing the Green Glass Grail
flows better that way. How the PCs get from its a powerful artifact, after all (and if Jen-
point A to point B should be their business. kinss theories were right, it could be used to
The Plot Skeleton just serves as a projection of attract or dose other Statosphere shards).
a shortest path. References in passim and a few red herrings
You assemble your Plot Skeleton using the about other cabals are fine, but be careful not
worksheet on p. 82. A typical Plot Skeleton to overdo itif there are too many options,
would consist of something like this: the PCs might feel as if theyre drowning in a
sea of useless information. You should allow
Plot Thread: Green Glass Grail them to quickly discount any cabal or faction
Themes: Action and Mystery not involved in the scenario.
The Street Phantoms Identity: Hector Garcia Note that each GMC write-up has a
The Street Phantoms Goal: Get the Real Thing section called What Dena Knows detailing
for himself what Dena Kustoris, PI for TNI, has discov-
The Street Phantoms Motivation: Wants ered about them thus far. Also, most of the
Power GMCs have a section on locations that are
The Street Phantoms Concentration: Misdirec- associated with them. Finally, a few of the
tion and Theft GMCs have an additional section called If
[X] Is the Street Phantom, providing customi-
Events: zation notes for overlaying the Phantom
Grail begins in the hands of one of the template on that GMC.
Homeless plot elements
Unnatural Phenomena Happens
Grail Tag! Vince Jenkins
In the Shop of Dreams This information is provided in case you put
T-Joe Meets Trouble Vince into play previous to the events of this
Grail Tag! scenario. The write-up could be important if
The Street Phantom Sends a Message the PCs need to interact with Vince before he
Meet Nicky Fitzhugh gets whacked. A whole introductory adventure
Unnatural Phenomena Happens could be run around his acquisition or owner-
ship of a fourth-generation Naked Goddess
Climax: The Phantom Gets the Grail videotape, for example.

Voila! One scenario, ready to run, if youre a


seat-of-the-pants type of GM. If not, theres Location: Vince Jenkins Apartment
enough foundation here to flesh out even further. Address: Gutman Apartments, 134 Candler
Way, Apt. 653. College Heights. 555-1433.
What the Apartment Looks Like: The
Major GMCs apartment should be cordoned off by the Boys
Feel free to populate the background with in Blue. But it isntmore of the insidious
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

rumors or hints of other interested cabals that ignore my crimes fog that surrounds the
do not appear written up in this scenariothe Street Phantom. Sealing up Jenkinss apartment

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just fell through the procedural cracks. The thing that happened to Vince.) Dont neglect
landlord will let anyone in to search the place any bugs or booby-traps other factions search-
for $100 cash money. This is a studio apart- ing for the Green Glass Grail may have left in
ment with dingy whitewashed walls and a the apartment! Also, Jenkins is an excellent
faded red carpet. The single window is patched candidate for having a Nosy Neighbor Lady.
with plywood, and leads out onto a rusty fire
escape. A dingy kitchenette and a crummy
bathroom, both terribly cramped, complete the What Dena Knows
floor plan. Other than a single bed (unmade), a Shes got all the details of the police report on
TV tray, and lot of black milk crates holding Vince Jenkins. She knows that he worked at
books, notebooks, and such, the place is pretty the fast-food restaurant near the college
well bare. A successful Notice roll shows that campus, has some information on his credit
more people have been through Jenkinss crap history (fairly normal, though it should be
than Grand Central Station, looking for noted that Jenkins did a lot of internet shop-
something of value. If anything of reasonable ping), got confirmation that he spent a lot of
value had been here before, its gone now. It is time either online or at the college library, and
obvious that things are missingespecially basic he was a nice, quiet boy information
wall hangings, his personal computer, televi- from his neighbors. She has discovered his
sion set, numerous books, videos & DVDs, straight-edge philosophy from his co-workers,
and the stereo, as well as all of the pages of and realizes that it doesnt jibe with the police
interest from his notebooks. PCs might find a outlook. She knows he met with T-Joe at a
number of recent receipts from Fitzhughs local fast-food place (the one near T-Joes
Dreamshop, but the weird alchemical ingredi- motel), and that his bank account is empty
ents Vince bought there may be missing, or from two big ATM withdrawals: $500 two
just stored in the fridge. A playing card is weeks ago and the remaining $645.56 last
tacked to a corkboard in the kitchen: a King of weekafter Jenkins was found dead.
Hearts, also known as the Suicide King.
There are fast-food wrappers everywhere and
some crappy local souvenirs. Stats: Vince Jenkins, Cliomancer Victim
Using Vince Jenkinss Apartment: Vinces Summary: Former Classics major, morning-
apartment is basically a dead end, though shift grill monkey, part-time web designer.
many of the scenarios events could happen Helped Derek Jackson decode the Ritual of
inside it. Then again, Jenkins was smarter than Light. Member of the Brainfood Crew of Mak
everybodys giving him credit for. Maybe he Attax. Vince was straight-edge: no booze, no
found a truly inspired place to hide some of his drugs, no red meat, no sex; it was relatively
notesencrypted in the Morse code splatters easy for him to give all these things up. Only
of pancake mix across his counter, or hidden in his dedication to Mak Attaxs holy prole
a plastic bag inside the (expired) gallon milk cause convinced him to actually prepare what
carton, or wrapped up on the inside of the he deemed poison for anothers consump-
toilet paper roll. Heck, its conceivable that tion: before he died, he had started seeing it as
one of the soda bottles just sitting in his fridge a sort of homeopathy.
is the Green Glass Grail! He knew the Ritual Personality: 100% taped-glasses, sweaty-haired
of Create Homunculusis a teeny-tiny Vince nerd. Definitely carries the Mark of Kirk.
Jenkins roaming around the apartment, Obsession: (Magick: Cliomancy) The secret
fighting off the rats and roaches for burger history behind history, and the power it grants.
scraps? (If there is, the little guy knows every- Wound Points: 40
Geek Networking: He has lots of geek
Pick One friends that he communicates with over the
! High Road: Vince is a selflessif annoy- Internet. Theyre a resource.
ingcrusader trying to bring about a new Magick: Cliomancy: His main charge sites
magickal golden age. are the home of a local World War II
! Middle Road: Vince is an average nerd general (on the college campus), and a
who thinks hell get a better shake in a hotel room where Elvis had a party (about
more magickal world. six blocks from his apartment). Both
! Low Road: Vince wants magick to run provide minor charges. (The Street Phan-
wild so that he can get revenge on all those tom may be using these, as well.)
guys that gave him wedgies in junior high.
Notes
Passions Vince knew the following rituals:
Rage: Smart people who nonetheless poison Create Homunculus (UA, p. 82), Lesser
themselves with drugs, booze, red meat, or sex. Correspondence (UA, p. 196) and Scurvy
Fear: (Violence) Automobiles. His twin sister Livestock (UA, p. 82), Le Chevalier (a proxy
was killed by a car when they were 5, begin- ritual, PoMoMa, p. 52) and Recorded for
ning a life-long fear and hatred of automo- Posterity (PoMoMa, p. 48).
biles.
Noble: Attempts at true communication and Madness Meter
cooperation, unfettered by preconceived Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
notions or overt agendas, bring out the best in 0 H/1 F 5 H/2 F 3 H/3 F 6 H/2 F 1 H/1 F
Vince.
-Possessions
Stats Horn-rimmed glasses held together with tape,
Body: 40 (skinny) a taser, ratty backpack, and a spiffy wearable
Speed: 35 (klutz) (F) computer with clip-on display for his glasses.
Mind: 85 (ubergeek) Vince once owned a fourth-generation copy of
Soul: 70 (compelling, like a train wreck) the Naked Goddess videotape, now in
Fitzhughs Dreamshop. The Bottle of Elixir of
Skills Life that Vince brewed according to T-Joes
Body Skills: General Athletics 20%, Struggle formula is also in the Dreamshop. At the GMs
15%, Annoying Whiny Voice 15%, Hiking option, Vince may have spent the time and
20% effort to create a Homunculus using the ritual
Speed Skills: Driving 0%, Dodge 35%, Taser that he knew. If so, the Homunculus is still
20% hiding in Vinces apartment.
Mind Skills: Mythology (General Education)
40%, Notice 25%, Occult Research 25%,
Web Design 15%, Geek Lore 15% The Angel of Mercy, Compassionate Soul
Soul Skills: Charm 10%, Lie 25%, Magick: The late Angel of Mercy was a spinster social
Cliomancy 53%, Geek Networking 18% worker named Vera Leitwinder. She continued
her lifes work after retirement last year by
Annoying Whiny Voice: Treat as Distract- volunteering among the homeless of her city.
ing Physique (see UA, p. 42) The Green Glass Grail came into her hands
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

Geek Lore: Anything about comic books, three months ago, a scant twelve hours before
anime, SF&F, Star Trek, Buffy, or RPGs. she suffered a massive heart attack. The power

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of the Elixir Vitae she had drank kept her alive to the Coroners report on Jenkins burned
until the paramedics were able to get her corpseit was missing the heart as well.
stabilized and taken to a hospital. During a
particularly intense OBE (Out of Body Experi-
ence) her astral body traveled across town, Location: Vera Leitwinders Old Apartment
drawn to the Real Thing sitting in her garbage Address: 23 Parsifal Way, Apt B. Lakeside.
can at home. 555-4787.
Leitwinder had read the Bible and the What the Apartment Looks Like: Her
Weekly World News. She knew the score. She apartment had been cordoned off by the police
knew to keep it quiet, toootherwise, it pending investigation, but once the Street
would be embarrassing. When she was dis- Phantom chowed down on Jenkinss heart,
charged from the hospital, Vera took it as her they stopped coming around. The landlady
mission to bring the healing power of the tried to help the police, but when she repeated-
Green Glass Grail to the citys unfortunate. ly got put on permanent hold by the police
While she saved a few lives doing this, she had operator, she eventually just took down the
no idea that she increased the suffering of a tape and rented it to a young married couple.
handful of others, including a mortally- The couple are just moving in, so its very bare
wounded hit-and-run victim and a poor soul save for boxes and bustling newlyweds.
whose body froze solid one cold night. She was Using Vera Leitwinders Apartment: Her
fond of Elijah McGillicuddy (described later), possessions were donated to a local womens
and was very upset that the Real Thing seemed shelter. All her former friends and neighbors
to have such a lesser effect on his mental thought of her as a real treasure, but abso-
problems. lutely none of them knew about the Green
Due to her ministrations, the Angel of Glass Grail. They had noted her increased
Mercy got saddled with the rep (at least in the consumption of soda pop since her heart
Occult Underground) of having some sort of attack, and notice that she had become some-
healing touch, when all she was doing was what haughty and full of herself in the last
passing out samples of magick hooch. Indeed, month.
she had begun to believe that the power of the
Real Thing had passed into herself, as she
drank from it weekly, on Sunday, after church. What Dena Knows
The Green Glass Grail passed out of her hands Almost nothingKustoris has no reason to
just a few days before the Street Phantom look for info on the Angel of Mercy, unless she
killed her and ritually consumed her heart in a makes a tenuous connection with the murder
misguided attempt to absorb this healing of Jenkins. Even if she does, the cops are
power. keeping a tight lid on the details of the case
When the police discovered Leitwinders and see absolutely no relationship between the
body missing its heart, they kept that informa- two killings.
tion quiet. They made some requests to the FBI
on serial killers, but thats all come to nothing
so far. A day or two later, the local paper ran a The Street Phantom
front-page story on Leitwinders sad tale with There are rumors about a new player in the
the headline Angel of Mercy Murdered! Occult Undergrounda menacing bastard
No mention was made of the mutilation. called only the Street Phantom. Nobodys
The eerie madi abilities of the Street Phantom sure who it is or what it can do, exactly. All
ensure that the police do not connect her case thats known for sure is that the Street Phan-
tom has kidnapped people to interrogate them
about their magickal powers or interests. Some Location: The Street Phantoms Pad
of the people are released, in a worse condition Address: 50 Sydney Avenue. Edge of Down-
than when they were picked up and with only town. 555-1296.
fragmentary memories of the ordeal. Some What the Pad Looks Like: This is a one-story
turn up dead. Rumors run wild: its a gangster, shop (City Souvenirs), boarded up and
a Sleeper, a serial killer, a TNI hit man, an seemingly abandoned. It is centrally located
adept, the Comte de Saint-Germain, or a hoax with regard to the other locations in this
to the nth degree. In the last few weeks, scenario. There is one entrance: a padlocked
however, it has been acting even creepier, and side door. The shop has three rooms: a large
weird stuff is starting to happen more often. front room, full of broken display cases and
The Street Phantom is an overlay, to be furniture and a metric assload of cruddy
placed over another GMC. The short recom- souvenirs, a small back office which is utterly
mended list from GMCs in this scenario are bare except for a folding chair tastefully
Dena Kustoris, Hector Garcia, Mike Fitzhugh, appointed with rusty manacles, a small desk, a
and Elijah McGillicuddy. This scenario is huge velour chair for the Street Phantom, and
written with usage of one of those GMCs in a vast basement. The stairs down to the
mind. For other options, check out the nearby basement are in the small office.
boxed text. The basement is stuffed to the gills with the
sort of stuff youd expect to see in an adepts
lab: skulls with candles on them, monkey
Agenda fetuses in formaldehyde, bubbling flasks of
Find the Real Thing and use its powers to fluid, coiled glass tubing running everywhere,
heal its mind. kiddie beach pails full of graveyard earth, you
Hide its murder of Vince Jenkins. knowthe works. Shattered beer and wine
Eliminate its enemies (or suspected ene- bottles litter the floor, and the stench of booze
mies). hangs in the air fetidly. Theres a painting of
Other motives as appropriate for overlaid the King of Cups hanging on the wall upside
characters. downthe Tarot card that would eventually

Alternate Phantoms
If none of the short list GMCs appeal to you, what about a demon, inhabiting random
different GMCs at different times? (For a really freaky take along those lines, the Street Phan-
toms primary body might be the poor possessed dog thats been hanging around with T-Joe!)
Any of the non-adept GMCs in the sourcebooks can work well; the Sample Player Characters
(see Unknown Armies, p. 206-11) are quite interesting selections. Or if that doesnt appeal,
maybe the Street Phantom can be an alternate personality or Split (see UA, p. 154) of one of the
PCs, running a bizarre shell-game.
For an even farther-out angle, perhaps the Street Phantom is the Real Thingthe Holy
Grail was known to have a limited form of self-will, and indeed followed some of the Grail
Questers around like a loyal dog. What better shock for a bunch of PCs than when they grab
the flapping sleeve of the Street Phantoms trenchcoat and whirl it around to look into the
glowing bottle of the Green Glass Grail hovering there in mid-air? For total out-and-out weird-
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

ness, maybe the Street Phantom is none other than Vince Jenkinss Homunculus, driven mad by
being severed from its master: tiny, but deadly.

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transform into the modern King of Hearts. Leon Boswells wine-marinated heart two years
And a dry-erase board bears all the names and ago in revenge. In doing so, the Street Phantom
specialties of the players on the local scene gained a tremendous amount of occult knowl-
including the PCs. edge instantaneously. Since it could gather
Using the Street Phantoms Pad: This is a great charges but not use them, it could only leak
place to have a climactic confrontation with them to cause random Unnatural Occurrences.
the Street Phantom. There are plenty of props Its appetite was whetted for more power and
to pick up and throw, electrical arcs, cover to knowledge, but its mind was unhinging slowly
dive behind, glassware, and unstable chemi- from failed Stress Checks. The Street Phantom
cals. The small office can also be described to did not chow down again until last year in
the PCs by lesser adepts and gutter trash who Chicago: a doctor named Frank Honeywell,
have been taken into the presence of the Street who had tenuous connections to the Chicago
Phantom and roughed up physically, mentally, occult scene, crossed the Street Phantom and
or magickally. Indeed, the mysterious Street paid with his heart and soul. Again, it gained
Phantom may kidnap a PC, question him in knowledge to the detriment of its sanity.
the Pad, then dose him with hallucinogens and When the Street Phantom recently heard
its weird madi mojo, leaving only weird about a mysterious Angel of Mercy, it felt a
disjointed images behind that may arise in the possibility for regaining mental equilibrium
PCs dreams. had been revealed to it. Alas, it was not the
case. In a fit of rage, it killed and ate Leitwind-
ers heart. From the fragments of her memo-
What Dena Knows ries, it learned of the Green Glass Grail and
She doesnt know anything about the Street coveted the bottle for its power and its promise
Phantom. of healing. Hanging onto the last few shreds of
sanity, it went on the hunt for the Real Thing.
Vince Jenkins soon fell into its clutches,
Stats: The Street Phantom, Mysterious Threat and the Street Phantom played him for a patsy.
Summary: Before it all began, the Street Of course, when it consumed Jenkins soul and
Phantom was a regular personliving, work- absorbed his Cliomancy, it went utterly and
ing, and getting by. Then, a crazy old drunk irrevocably insane, but gained true power
slapped this poor fool on the back and did that of a madi (see below). Hey, thems the
something. All of a sudden, this innocent breaks in the Occult Underground, eh?
victim was having panic attacks, hallucina- The Street Phantom desires the Real Thing,
tions, visions, and horrible nightmares, culmi- believing that the Sovereign Cure can help quiet
nating in a coma that lasted three days. It took the tremendous clamor of its madness and unify
years of delving through the Occult Under- its fractured, Swiss-cheesed memories. Its
ground to piece the whole story together. The returned to tricking or dragging informants
drunk was a boozehound named Leon back to its Pad for interrogation. Neither the
Boswell, who had done something called a police nor the FBI have any information on a
proxy ritual, which used the Street Phan- cannibal with a taste for heartsthe subtle
tom-to-be as a living shield against the malign touch of the Street Phantoms new madi powers
magicks of his enemies. The Street Phantom wiped the slate clean.
didnt cotton to that, and thirsted for ven- Note that the Street Phantom may have a
geance. faint aroma of alcohol around him, and that
The Street Phantom eventually discovered hell probably be frequenting Jenkinss old
the Ritual of Consume Soul, and consumed charging sites for Cliomancy.
An option for the madi hereand use of
Additional Skills to Add to the Overlaid GMC this option is only for the Street Phantom, no
Mind Skills: General Education +10% (see one elseis that 10 significant charges are
note under Madness Meter), Memories of equivalent to 1 major charge only for the
Leon Boswell 21%, Memories of Frank purposes of leaking Major Unnatural Phenom-
Honeywell 18%, Memories of Vera Leit- ena. If the PCs and GMCs are slinging lots of
winder 12%, Memories of Vince Jenkins siggy juice around, well, then everybody
8%, Occult Countermeasures 15% should get a sip.
Soul Skills: Lie +5%, Cliomancy 15%, Dipso- The Street Phantom starts the scenario
mancy 21%, See Auras 20% with 4 minor charges and 3 significant charges
Rituals: Consume Soul to leak with its madi powers.
Note that even with the above option
Notes and Special Comments enabled, a madis powers does not make the
Cliomancy and Dipsomancy: Note that due to Street Phantom unbeatable; the scope of what
the ritual of Consume Soul, the Street Phantom it can do should be stringently compared
has gained two magickal schools, neither of against the listed Unnatural Phenomena in the
which are its Obsession skill. This means a book. Being a madi (and despite the colorful
number of things, the two most notable of which sobriquet) should not make the Street Phantom
are: 1. its completely nuts, and 2. it cannot into Doctor Doom or Sinestrohes more in
actually do cliomantic or dipsomantic magick the vein of the Joker or Doc Ock. Hes got a
(though it can still gather charges through couple of neat toys, but a quick guy with a
drinking alcohol or visiting cliomancy locations). nightstick could still take him out.
On the upside, it has gained the abilities of a The Consume Soul Ritual: see boxed text.
madi or whirlpool (see Postmodern Magick, p.
36), with the ability to break down the barriers Madness Meter (H/F)
between the mundane and the unnatural. Add two Hardened notches to the GMCs
In short, this means the following: Violence and the Unnatural Meters, then set all
the Failed marks to 5. After consuming the
Whenever a magickal charge is spent within heart of Vince Jenkins and gaining the Cliom-
its range (33 feet for a minor, 33 yards for a ancy skill when it already knew Dipsomancy,
significant, and 3.3 miles for a major), the the Street Phantom blew all of its already
Street Phantom gains a duplicate charge. tenuously balanced Madness Meters and went
Charges leak out of the Street Phantom stark raving mad.
just as mundane folk leak charges when One of the ways to play this without
subjected to the ritual of Lesser Correspon- obviously indicating extreme lunacy to the PCs
dence (see UA, p. 196). is to play the character relatively straight, with
It can purposefully leak a charge with a some exceptions:
successful Soul check.
It can only hold a charge for 12 hours When a subject touches on or references
before it leaks out spontaneously. one of the Passions of the overlaid GMC,
Relevant effects are determined by the the GMC should become irrational. If
unique Passions and worldview of the Mike Fitzhugh is the Street Phantom, then
overlaid GMC. These effects should whenever someone mentions jail he gets
generally be subtle and should use the wound uphe talks louder and faster, he
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

examples of Unnatural Phenomena (see fidgets, he drums his fingers on the table,
UA, p. 145146) as a guide. he repeatedly says, I dont wanna go to

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jail, before each sentence he speaks, he reborn or reawakened immortal Atlantean


doesnt pay attention to whatever the PCs adept-lord. But the Hidden Atlantis has
say to him in favor of repeating his many enemiesthose that covet its vast
thoughts/feelings on the subject, etc. (By powers gleaned from all historyand the
the way, this is a serious situation for Phantom knows the value of keeping the
Fitzhugh, since his brother Nicky is shortly secret of its identity under its hat. (This
getting out on parole. ) option is particularly fun for blurted
After consuming the intellects of four admissions, lunatic rants, weird clues, and
different people, the Street Phantom is red herrings by the netful.)
quite the know-it-all on certain subjects.
Indeed, it might be unable to restrain itself Possessions
from lecturing people (and with contradic- The Street Phantom has a substantial amount
tory statements of fact) if one of the of money, pilfered from its victims bank
following topics comes up: alcohol, histo- accounts, plus the possessions of the overlaid
ry, medicine, social work, or the occult. GMC. In a high-powered campaign, it may
This should be played up subtly as an have a significant dipsomancy vessel taken
aspect of its madness. from Leon Boswell.
Optionally, with the integration of Vince
Jenkins Cliomancy knowledge, the Street
Phantom may have just realized that its Dena Kustoris
actually an Atlantean. Its fragile mind The New Inquisition employs a number of
might have utterly bought into the Cliom- mundane investigators to do background
ancy-Atlantis connection, seeing itself as a checks and the like, usually in preparation for

New Ritual: The Consume Soul Ritual (Minor)


Cost: 5 minor charges
Ritual Action: The invoker of this ritual can absorb the knowledge of another human being
when he eats the targets heart. Preparation of a suitable human heart requires the use of
thirteen specially-consecrated spices and herbs, disposable cooking pans marked with mystic
sigils, and eating utensils that are at least 100 years old but not made of sliver. By reciting the
words tcahan velso twwhoga! between every third bite, the victims soul is chewed up and
digested into the invokers. The meal cannot be interrupted by anything; the eater must finish
the heart in one sitting.
Effect: This intentional cannibalism causes a Self check of at least Rank-9. A Mind skill called
Memories of (Name) is automatically gained at a level equal to the margin of success of the
ritual roll. The player may pick any two skills that had belonged to the owner of the heart and
take one at 15% and the other at 10%; if he chooses a skill that he already has, the invoker
may boost the skill by the appropriate percentage. (Example: When casting Consume Soul
while eating Leon Boswells heart, the Street Phantom is rolling against its Soul of 45% [this
number is just an example, since it depends on which GMC is the Phantom]. It rolls a 24. The
difference between the roll and its skill is 21%, thus it gets the skill Memories of Leon Boswell
at 21%.) The GM then determines two additional skills from those remaining that the consum-
er and consumed hold in common, and reduces them both by 10%, to reflect cognitive disso-
nance rising from the two sets of memories. Newly gained skills can be increased through
experience point expenditure, just like any other skill.
a clued-in field team. Dena Kustoris has been Fitzhugh is friendly with Garcia, too, and
dispatched to do a little information gathering Perez seems to have some mad love for the old
before the big boys come to play. guy. Messy.
Nicky Fitzhugh: Hes a punk, an old thug.
Other than being Mike Fitzhughs brother, I
Agenda dont see much connection to the case.
Investigate Vince Jenkins. Hector Garcia: Hes definitely unsavory, but
Investigate Satans Chosen Temple. too much of a screw-up to kill Jenkins. I dont
Investigate the PCs. get the killer vibe from him. Still, he knew the
Recruit the PCs for TNI. geek, and the cops did find a hash pipe in the
Make some money on the side. car.
Vince Jenkins: I have no idea who would
want to kill this loser. But somebody did, and
Her Opinions of Others did it sloppy. Ill figure it out soon enough.
(see each GMC to see what Dena knows about The Street Phantom: Never heard of him.
them) Maria Perez: Perez let slip that she had
Adele Cox: That little girl is just a paper tiger known the geek before starting work at the
for all her karate hoo-haw. franchise. Maybe she dated him, but I doubt
Angel of Mercy Murder: (puzzled) You think thatshe was way out of his league. Still, you
thats connected? Why? never know what rocks some girls worlds. Say
Mike Fitzhugh: He has the criminal connec- she was. Then Garcia found out about it and
tions to have Jenkins iced, but he seems to snapped. It doesnt quite fit, though.
have genuinely liked the geek. Then again, T-Joe Walters: I know hes dealt with Jenkins

THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL


DREW TUCKER

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but hes cageyI havent been able to track that shes an investigator with the Key Life Trust
him down yet. I think that he might be the best Insurance Company, checking out Jenkinss
bet for the killerlook at the flowers he sent death before they pay out to his beneficiary.
to the geeks funeral. Plus, Ive heard some Personality: (Aquarius) Dena can paint the big
stuff that makes me think hes nuts. picture from just a few dribbles of clues.
Obsession: Synthesis. Dena is obsessed with
connecting all the dots.
Location: Kahn Motel Wound Points: 60
Address: Route 5 & I-13. Outside of the city.
555-1305. Pick One
What the Motel Looks Like: Your basic motel, ! High Road: Utterly loyal to TNI; loose lips
middle-of the road quality. Rather clean and sink ships. But enough money offered
well-appointed. It has a swimming pool. should make her agonize for a bit.
Using the Kahn Motel: Just in case someone ! Middle Road: Enough folding green can
tails Dena. Shell also meet any PC team of make her quietly stop looking, though she
TNI provenance here, but no one else. still wont betray her employer, TNI.
! Low Road: She knows something weird is
going on, and she wants to know why, and
Stats: Dena Kustoris, Samantha Spade shes damned if her employer (TNI) is
Summary: Dena is a private investigator who going to get in the way of her figuring it all
spends most of her time taking pictures of out.
philandering spouses. One day, on the trail of
a straying hubby, she found that there was no Passions
other woman at all; the wayward man was Rage: Cheaters. She hates people who cheat on
going to the park, at midnight, to study some their wives, on their taxes, on their golf game,
weird flavor of martial arts (see Postmodern whatever.
Magick, p. 186). Soon afterward, TNI caught Fear: (Self) Dena is scared of connecting the
up with her to ask her a few questions about dots incorrectly and looking like a fool,
what she had seen of the mysterious Fu Hsing especially to her new employers.
Hwang. Impressed by her attention to detail Noble: Fair play. Keeping things even-steven
and solid investigative skills, TNI offered her a and on a level playing field warms the cockles
position at D level clearance. For 50 grand a of her heart.
year, Dena was inshe spends money like it
was going out of style. Dena has no frickin Stats
clue about the Occult Underground, adepts, Body: 60 (in great shape)
avatars, magick, the Unnatural, nothing. Speed: 45 (in no hurry) (F)
Indeed, shell give a sardonic laugh if any such Mind: 60 (perceptive)
thing is mentioned. Denas a hard-drinking Soul: 45 (rough manners)
woman, though shes never sure whether she
prefers ouzo, vodka, or single-malt Scotch. The Skills
faint aroma of booze around her may lead Body Skills: General Athletics 25%, Brawl
some clued-in folks to think shes a booze- (Struggle) 35%, Nondescript 25%
hound. Theyre wrong. Speed Skills: Driving 25%, Dodge 30%, Guns
Shes been on the case for 24 hours, and has 25%, Sneak 30%
some cursory information on each of the major Mind Skills: General Education 25%, Put It
players already. The cover story shes using is All Together (Notice) 58%, Tail/Shadow
25%, Photography 15% connect all the dots. All of them. Everywhere.
Soul Skills: Charm 15%, Lie 25%, Play Dumb Her Concentration is Research: she will spend
20%, Hard-boiled Reputation 20% a lot of time studying everyone on the scene,
compiling the information, and targeting their
Nondescript: See Lawyers, Guns, & weaknesses. Then she pulls out all the stops
Money (p. 82). Very little about Denas and hits them with their pants down.
appearance stands out; she makes very
little impression on people the first few
times they meet her. If someone sees her T-Joe Walters
only briefly, they must roll over her Non- Satans Chosen Temple isnt just a clueless
descript skill and under their own Mind cabal: theyre a really most sincerely clueless
stat when trying to give a description or cabal. To start with, they have no idea that
otherwise identify Denaeven to the point there are other cabals, though they have rumors
of picking her out of a police lineup. of a couple dukesbut only garbled accounts
of Dirk Allen (who they only know under a
Madness Meter pseudonym of Benedict Ginsburg) and the
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self Freak (who they think is some sort of King-
5 H/3 F 0 H/0 F 2 H/0 F 0 H/1 F 1 H/2 F Demon-In-The-Flesh named Rakasha). T-Joe
Walters is even worsehes caught up with his
Possessions own fantasies about his, ahem, bad-self and
PI license, .38 Special and conceal & carry has no conception of how badass he aint.
permit, cell phone, business cards, trenchcoat,
binoculars, parabolic mike, digital camera,
mini-tape recorder, fake Key Life Trust Insur- Agenda
ance Company ID and business cards. Try and convince some other sucker to get
possessed using his gaffed ritual and pay
As the Street Phantom for the privilege.
If Dena is the Street Phantom, shes done a Trade on the notoriety of his funeral
doozy of a job faking out her TNI bosses. Still, bouquet. Hint broadly that he was the one
as shes a low on the totem pole mundane who whacked Jenkins.
operative, she may have squeaked through. Get the demon back out of that poor
One easy way to do this is to make Dena a doggies body.
split personalitythe primary personality is Buy a nice present for his superior, Rebec-
Dena, with the Street Phantom sneaking out in ca DeGhoule (see UA, p. 200).
the night. She would have to live relatively
close by the scenario city, if not actually a
resident of it, as the Street Phantom kills the His Opinions of Others
Angel of Mercy before Dena is officially on Angel of Mercy Murder: Doesnt read the
the case; but that offers up plot hooks that can newspapers or watch the news. So what?
point to the Phantoms identity. She works on Vince Jenkins: Yeah, he got his, man. You
covering up her involvement. just watch yourself; you wouldnt want what
Dena as the Street Phantom is interesting happened to Vinnie to happen to you, huh?
with a PC team of TNI agents. A focus on the
themes of Interaction and Mystery works well.
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

Her overall Motivation is Figuring It All Out. Location: Hudson Youth Hostel
Dena believes that with enough data, she can Address: 114 Sixth Street. Theater District.

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108

555-1269. that sucks down the Elixir of Life. These petty


What the Hostel Looks Like: Like a college demons havent been able to (or maybe just
dorm furnished in Fifties cruddy. dont want to) come through with ways for T-
Using the Hudson Youth Hostel: Just in case Joe to get more money, so hes eager to sell his
someone tails T-Joe. fake ritual again, and has lowered the price to
$300 up-front and $300 afterward.

What Dena Knows Pick One


From what shes heard, hes young, brash, and ! High Road: Hes running this mission on
loaded with cash. She knows hes dealt with Rebecca DeGhoules orders.
Jenkins but strangely hasnt been able to track ! Middle Road: Its a ploy he cooked up on
him down yet. his own to rise in Rebeccas estimation.
! Low Road: T-Joes making an attempt to
wrest power from Rebecca by making his
Stats: Thurston Joseph T-Joe Walters own demonic connections.
For T-Joes write-up, see Unknown Armies, p.
200-201. Add 3 Failed marks to T-Joes Self
Meter, and note the effects of Jenkinss Gnostic The Hellhound
Gossip spells for new rumors that are attached Use the stats for a Lycanthrope (see UA, p.
to him. 152) for the Hellhound.
An ally from Beyond the Veil has dictated This is a dogs body, possessed by the
a ritual to T-Joe that produces an elixirThe demon Zoraduul the Sumerian. Hes
Elixir of Lifewhich lowers resistance to hanging around close to T-Joeat worst hes
demonic possession (see nearby boxed text). T- within earshot of the Satanistbecause T-Joe
Joe communicates with his main ally (Zorad- is his only hope of getting out of the dogs
uul the Sumerian, really a former accountant body before his personality completely
from Des Moines obsessed with voyeurism) evaporates. (That should happen in another
through a Ouija board. Unfortunately, word four days or so.) If a situation ever devolves
has started spreading through the Astral Plane, to combat with T-Joe, Hellhound should
and now demons are lining up for a shot at a appear soonif hes not there alreadyand
susceptible body. come to T-Joes aid.
T-Joe is a clueless braggarthell try to The last lingering traces of the obsession
impress the PCs with the power of T-Joe that enabled Zoraduul to pass back across the
Walters and Satans Chosen Temple. This Veilvoyeurismis reflected now only that
attempt should show how pathetic and clueless the Hellhound is utterly distracted by naked
SCT is if the PCs are clued-in; if the PCs are or scantily-clad humans. Hes like the little
clueless, SCT may be a credible threat to dog in the old Coppertone ad pulling down
investigate. In any case, T-Joe is dense as only a the girls bathing suit. Any appearance of such
teenage boy can be dense. He blew most of the forces a Stress Check for the Hellhound. If
money he got from Vince on booze and table successful, the dog merely sneezes once and
massages before he got tossed from his motel continues with what its doing; if it fails, it
and had to use a big chunk of it to get his momentarily loses control, and either suffers
belongings back. The demons currently swarm- rapt paralysis (drooling stare) or hyperactive
ing around him on the Astral Plane arent panic (tries to hump the persons leg). The
helping much either. Theyre all waiting for a poor doggy never gains Hardened or Failed
chance to jump into the next unsuspecting body marks, either. Alas.
The selection of the breed of dog that Overall notes follow. Individual write-ups
Zoraduul is inhabiting can have a strong effect for each member of the Crew appear after that.
on how this GMC plays out. For your stan-
dard threatening horror canine, you cant beat
a big beast like a mastiff, pit bull, husky, Agenda
doberman, great dane, St. Bernard, or german Find out what happened to Jenkins.
shepherd. For a selection with a little more Find out what Jenkins learned about the
pathos and hidden menace, theres always the Sovereign Cure and the Real Thing.
bulldog, beagle, irish setter, poodle, or general Punish Jenkins murderer.
ragamuffin mutt. For comedy or irony, you Forge alliances with compatible cabals.
cant beat a chihuahua, shar-pei, or daschund.

The Hellhounds Agenda Their Opinions of Others


Get out of the canine body before his mind The three members of Gamma Crew each have
is irrevocably lost. their own perspectives on the situation.
Look at naked people.
Protect T-Joe.
Cause mayhem. Adele Cox
Angel of Mercy Murder: It makes me angry
that someone killed her.
The Gamma Crew Mike Fitzhugh: Maria likes himhes cute
Summary: As members of Mak Attax, all of enough for an old guy, I guess. I dont see it.
the members of the Gamma Crew (Adele Hector Garcia: Hes cool, but he has it bad
Cox, Hector Garcia, and Maria Perez) know for Maria. Dummy.
the ritual of Lesser Correspondence (see UA, Vince Jenkins: He got murdered and nobodys
p. 196). Derek Jacksonwho they only know doing anything about it! Im so pissed!
as Superconductorhas given them their Dena Kustoris: Knows Kustoris is lying about
own encrypted mailing list. They are new to being an insurance investigator through her
each other in person, though they have use of Aura Sight. I dont trust her.
communicated frequently via email. Indeed, The Street Phantom: (shudder) I heard it was
Hector already has quite the crush on Maria, a vampire.
simply from her posts to the Mak Attax email Maria Perez: Shes great! Shes such a good
list. listener. Im glad we met.

New Ritual: The Elixir of Life (faux-alchemy)


Ritual Action: This ritual involves boiling up a batch of small amounts of really heinous psyche-
delic chemicals (LSD, peyote, shrooms, datura, and a couple handfuls of nutmeg) in a gallon of
white wine. The fluid is kept at a rolling boil until most of its volume evaporates; the preparer
must chant mumbo-jumbo over the mixture throughout the reduction. The elixir is then left to
cool, and should be decanted into a clean container. An 8 oz. dose gives the negative shift and
has some disorienting effects. A 16 oz. serving is enough to make a person seriously woozy and
tripped out for an hour or two; a 32 oz. dose should knock them on their ass for a day; more
than 32 oz. in a sitting could kill someone. The recipe makes 32 oz. of elixir.
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

Effect: All Soul checks to avoid demonic possession or regain control of a possessed Body are at
-30% for a day after drinking this fluid.

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110

are so much more mature, you know?


Hector Garcia Nicky Fitzhugh: Mike talks about his brother
Adele Cox: Cox is funny. You should hear all the time. You know, hell be out on parole
her when she gets going. Amuses me no end, any day now!
man. Hector Garcia: Hectors nice, but hes just a
Angel of Mercy Murder: That poor woman. boy. And how can you trust a thief?
She was just trying to help. Geez. Vince Jenkins: He was a real jerk, but he
Mike Fitzhugh: I dont like him, man. Hes thought he was onto something that could help
always up in my shit, trying to be my dad or the cause. We have to find it.
something. But, I gotta deal with him to Dena Kustoris: Nosy bitch. I dont think shes
unload warm materials and pick up some of really with the insurance company. I dont
the jazzy stuff he happens into. Jenkins liked know who shed be working for, though.
him. Elijah McGillicuddy: Hes just a poor, sick
Nicky Fitzhugh: My cousin up in the state old man who likes mustard on his french
pen told me that Nicky Fitzhugh was a cool fries.
cat. Cant wait to see him around. The Street Phantom: That Street Phantom is
Vince Jenkins: He was a loser, but damn, an occult operator. I can feel it.
manhe was a loser I knew and worked with. T-Joe Walters: Never met him, but Jenkins
And he was wicked smart. Damn. said he bought a rigged ritual from him. And I
Dena Kustoris: You mean the insurance lady? hear that a bunch of midgets beat him up last
Man, I was baked when I talked to her! week.
Totally baked!
Elijah McGillicuddy: Thats that old nut who
walks around pissin himself, right? Location: Mak Attax Field HQ
The Street Phantom: Theres your murderer, Address: 677 Chandler Way. College Heights.
right there. Some spooky bastard decided to 555-1251.
fry himself up a Mak, and Jenkins pulled the What the Mak Field HQ Looks Like: This fast-
short straw. food restaurant is identical to many others that
Maria Perez: Marias a sweetheart. And sprout like weeds across the nation. It has one
pretty. (changing the subject) Hey, who do difference from most of its ilk, and by such a
you like in the game tonight, man? sign may you know its secret role: the grease
T-Joe Walters: Never met him, but I heard traps never need to be cleaned. The most
that Jenkins got burned on a deal with him. important things about this restaurant are:
Said the little punk fed him a bum formula.
Oh, this T-Jerkoff is in it deep. I heard from Jenkins worked here.
someone that hes some weird perv-okittens All of the members of the Gamma Crew
and midgets. Freaky. have been transferred here.
It attracts the Super Heavy Users.
Theres old graffiti on the back of the
Maria Perez restaurant, almost hidden behind the
Adele Cox: Shes like the little sister I never dumpster: Suicide Kings Rule!
had.
Angel of Mercy Murder: Terrible, terrible Using Mak Attax Field HQ: The Gamma
thing. Do you think its connected to the Crew meets here every day to confer, plot, and
Jenkins murder? plan. Dena Kustoris has often used the HQ as
Mike Fitzhugh: Hes really cool. Older men a low-key meeting place to question suspects
for the Jenkins insurance case. Mike woman her size. An important thing to note,
Fitzhugh stops in every morning for a break- however, is that even though Adele is a full
fast sandwich, hash browns, and coffee. Nicky black-belt martial artist, shes never actually
Fitzhugh may be applying for a job here. fought outside of the context of a tournament.
She should suffer Violence stress checks if
actually confronted with real combat.
Location: Pemberton Drive n Snooze Motel Personality: Picture a short, female, black Joe
Address: Route 5. Near the city limits. 555- Pesci by way of Michelle Yeoh
5288. Obsession: (Kung Fu) Dont take any crap
What the Motel Looks Like: Your basic low- from anyone.
end cheapo motor lodge. Dirty and run-down. Wound Points: 70
Cox and Perez are staying here, splitting a
room. Pick One
Using the Pemberton Drive n Snooze Motel: ! High Road: There are magick creepy
Just in case someone tails one of the girls. crawlies out there. Somebodys gotta even
Hector shows up regularly (he generally trucks the odds for the regular people, give them
back out to the burbs to crash.) Theyll have the tools to fight on their own, and help
confabs here if none of them happen to be on- defend them til they learn how to do it!
duty. ! Middle Road: The best way to help some
people is to beat up other people.
! Low Road: Adele wants to hurt people
What Dena Knows that she deems deserve it.
Adele Cox: Has seen a photocopy of a Nation-
al Enquirer article about Coxs prepubescent Passions
feat (described in her stats). Rage: When bad things happen to people who
Hector Garcia: Garcias juvie record has been dont deserve it, Adele gets really steamed.
sealedbut her contacts say its just for some Fear: (Helplessness) Adele is afraid of bats.
petty shoplifting. Noble: Helping out others physicallymoving
Maria Perez: She is the employee of the month a couch, carrying groceries, cleaning a kitchen.
for the college franchise, despite having started
less than a week ago. Perez also let slip that Stats
she knew Jenkins before starting work at the Body: 70 (ripped)
franchise. Has six credit cards and a decent Speed: 65 (speedy) (S)
payment history. Mind: 45 (dippy)
Soul: 50 (nice)

Stats: Adele Cox, Pocket Enforcer Skills


Summary: When Adele was twelve, a heavy Body Skills: General Athletics 35%, Kung Fu
bookcase fell on her grandmother, pinning the (Struggle) 45%, Hysterical Strength 35%
old woman. It had taken two burly movers Speed Skills: Driving 15%, Dodge 45%,
substantial effort to bring it upstairs just the Throw 35%
day before. Alone, skinny little Adele lifted the Mind Skills: General Education 15%, Notice
bookcase off of the old lady, allowing her to 15%, Hairy Eyeball 25%, Hong Kong
wriggle free. From that day forward, Adele has Cinema 20%
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

been able to see auras and perform a number Soul Skills: Cutie Pie (Charm) 35%, Innocent
of feats of strength far beyond that of a Look (Lie) 25%, Aura Sight 20%

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112

Hysterical Strength: As Feat of Strength Madness Meter


(from Lawyers, Guns, & Money, p. 82). Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
This is for slow, careful, sustained muscu- 0 H/0 F 2 H/1 F 2 H/2 F 0 H/0 F 0 H/0 F
lar exertion, not fast, explosive move-
ments. Thus, its good for lifting very Possessions
heavy objects, pulling apart handcuffs, Throwing stars, nunchucks, a Bruce Lee
snapping ropes, tearing phone books in autograph, perfectly clean giwith a Hello
half, etc., not punches and kicks. If used Kitty face on the back.
on someone held in a choke, however, it
can knock them unconscious quicker. (At
the GMs option, Cox can only make Stats: Hector Garcia, Beatnik Burglar
Hysterical Strength rolls if shes failed a Summary: Inveterate slacker, always trying to
Stress Check.) get ahead with as little effort as possible.
Hairy Eyeball: Size up opponents (from Friendly, if a little laconic. No staying power.
Lawyers, Guns, & Money, p. 84). With a Laid back, cool, Type B personality all the
successful roll, Cox can find out if the way: a hipster neo-beatnik. David Niven cat-
person shes looking at has a higher or burglar with some Zorro, Fonzie, and Jack
lower Struggle, Dodge, or General Athlet- Kerouac for flavoror at least thats how he
ics skill than she does, or a higher or lower sees himself. He has a nasty scar on the palm
Speed or Body stat. She gets no more of his hand from a time he tried to filch a
details than higher or lower. mean little clockwork. Garcia lives about
twenty minutes away by motor-scooter.

DREW TUCKER
He met Jenkins in person at a Brainfood Speed: 70 (quick-fingered) (F)
Crew party, and disliked the supercilious little Mind: 51 (toasted, nicely toasted)
prick because of all his temperance-preaching. Soul: 64 (amigo!)
When he heard how Jenkins had died, he was
shocked. The rumors of foul play spurred him Skills
to volunteer for the Gamma Crew. Hector is Body Skills: B-Ball (General Athletics) 30%,
openly interested in his fellow Gamma Crew Streetfighting (Struggle) 25%, Hold Your
member, Maria Perez, but she just seems to Smoke 25%
ignore him. He doesnt much like Mike Speed Skills: Ride Scooter (Driving) 35%,
Fitzhugh, both because Maria likes him and Dodge 35%, Five-Finger Discount (Sleight of
hes patronizing as hell to Hector. Hand) 30%
Personality: (Pisces) Lazy as hell most times, Mind Skills: General Education 20%, Notice
hes razor-sharp in a pinch. 25%, Breaking & Entering 36%
Obsession: (Breaking & Entering) Gettin in Soul Skills: Charm 26%, Lie 30%, Play
an gettin outdats what its all about, man! Harmonica 15%, Play Bongos 24%
Thats real freedom, real liberty, real power! If
I can get at it, its mine, baby. Hold Your Smoke: Like Hold Your Liquor,
Wound Points: 53 but for cannabis sativa, dude.

Pick One Notes


! High Road: Hector sees himself as a stoner Hector is dead to the Cardboard Palace (see
Robin Hood, taking from the rich and Postmodern Magick, p. 147), and cannot take
giving to the poorand he sees magick in advantage of its abilities due to a tragic epi-
exactly the same terms. sode last year.
! Middle Road: Hector believes that every-
body should share the magickal wealth, Madness Meter
except that since hes the one handing it all Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
out, he should get first dibs on the cool 0 H/0 F 4 H/3 F 0 H/0 F 1 H/0 F 0 H/1 F
stuff.
! Low Road: Hector really wants to take Possessions
everything he can for himself, but is Penknife, pipe, nickel bag of pot, lockpicks,
wracked with guilt and compensates by chewing gum, lighter, pack of Camels.
being overly generous.

Passions As the Street Phantom


Rage: Getting trappedbe it physically (in an Stealing memories is the penultimate type of
alley) or mentally (into a single course of theft; the ultimate is the theft of magick power.
action). Garcia had Jenkinss trusta helluva lot more
Fear: (Unnatural) Hector hates clockworks, trust than any other person in the scenario.
plain and simple. Theres evidence pointing to Garcia found in
Noble: Generous to a fault. Hector gives gladly the death cara car he could have easily
of himself to help othersso long as it doesnt boosted. Hes trying to cover up the murder so
interfere with his lazy, low-impact lifestyle. he doesnt get caught, especially since that
would screw up his chances with Maria.
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

Stats Eventually he might kill Fitzhugh, though he


Body: 53 (weekend b-ball) probably wouldnt set him up for the Consume

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114

Soul Ritual. Hes not afraid to mix it up if mystical. Not ditzy at all; indeed, if theres such
push comes to shove. a thing as a magickal pragmatist, Maria is it.
Garcia as Street Phantom works particular- Obsession: (Play Guitar) Opening peoples
ly well with the Mystery and Action themes. minds and hearts through music.
His overall Motivation is Hungry for Power. Wound Points: 50
Hector believes that with enough juice, he can
be free to do whatever he wants to. His Pick One
Concentration is on Misdirection and Theft. ! High Road: Maria would like to teach the
If Garcias unmasked as the Street Phan- world to sing, in perfect harmony.
tom, his Crew members freak out. And exactly ! Middle Road: Maria thinks that by includ-
how they freak out is important. ing mystical elements in her songs, she can
Cox either fights or flees, depending on not only bring more magick into the world
how her Violence meter looks. More Hardened but also pull ahead of the music pack
than Failed marks means she attacks him which is important, because shes got
immediately, alone if necessary. More Failed something worthwhile to say.
than Hardened marks means she flees. An equal ! Low Road: Wants to use magick so she can
amount of Failed and Hardened marks means kick both Britney and Jewels ass on the
she has to work up the nerve to do it, but she music charts.
should attack him, preferably with back-up.
Perez should run to Mike Fitzhugh for Passions
protection, then contact Superconductor. Rage: Being patronized in any way.
Jackson will ask his most trusted Inner Circle Fear: (Self) Sometimes she feels left-out of the
membersthe ones hes met in the real world, mainstream due to her disability and all the
not just on the netto road trip with him to time she spent in hospitals as a kid.
the scenario city and take Garcia down. That Noble: Cheering people up.
includes Maks like Harvey Duopolous and
Monica Burberry. His uncle Hermann definite- Stats
ly rides shotgun. Body: 50 (striking)
Speed: 30 (severe limp) (F)
Mind: 80 (brainy)
Stats: Maria Perez, Sin Eater Soul: 94 (old soul)
Summary: Maria lost her left leg to cancer
when she was eight. Shes grown up to be a Skills
caring and self-motivated teenager who people Body Skills: General Athletics 20%, Struggle
instinctively turn to when they need a shoulder 15%, Pretty Girl with a Bad Limp 25%,
to cry on. She joined Mak Attax to feel like Endure Pain 20%
shes part of something, and her natural talents Speed Skills: Driving 20%, Dodge 15%, Slow
led her to become part of the Brainfood Crew. Dancing 19%, Aim Pepper Spray 24%
Maria is one of the reasons Brainfood Crew Mind Skills: Psych Major (General Education)
has been so effectiveher role is bullshit- 35%, Notice 35%, Occult Lore 15%,
detector, pocket therapist, and voice of Hypnotherapy 15%
reason. She knewand dislikedVince Soul Skills: Charm 35%, Lie 15%, Avatar:
Jenkins, at least via email. Maria has a crush Confessor 57%, Play Guitar 69%, Sing 24%
on Mike Fitzhugh, owner of Fitzhughs Dream-
shop, but is too shy to say anything. Pretty Girl with a Bad Limp: Treat as
Personality: (Cancer) Sensitive, loyal, and Distracting Physique (see UA, p. 42)
Avatar: The Confessor: See Statosphere, p. Nicky likes it or not.
5253, for the full write-up of this Arche- Protect his neighborhood.
type. A brief thumbnail appears here for Gain more knowledge of the occult.
ease of reference. The Confessor listens to Track down the Real Thing for himself.
the secrets of those under emotional stress Stay out of jail or any restraining enclosure.
and can bring healing. Taboo: Must listen
to tales of woe without interruption or
pause, save to offer advice or a solution. His Opinions of Others
Must record secrets. Channels: 1-50%: Adele Cox: Nice kid. Ditzy as hell, though.
Maria can use an enhanced version of Aura Angel of Mercy Murder: Horrible. I heard
Sight a number of times per day equal to she was missing parts when they found her.
the tens digit of her Avatar skill to see visual Nicky Fitzhugh: My brother just got out of
representations of the characters Madness the slammer, again. I hope this time he keeps
Meters, Passions, and Obsessions floating clean. I gotta get him a job. If he decides to
around them (a hood for the Executioner, a work here again then I can fire that loser
spear for a Savage, a crown for a True King, Chuck.
etc. ) 51-70%: Maria can act as a Sin Eater, Hector Garcia: He reminds me of me at that
removing Hardened and/or Failed marks age. I wish I could get him in here to work for
from a characters Madness Meters in me so I could fire that jitbag Chuck.
exchange for hearing their secrets; a minor Vince Jenkins: Smart guy. A real nerd, but he
secret equals 1 mark, a significant secret is knew his tricky stuff, Ill give him that. A
worth 2 marks, a major secret can eliminate shame. I was starting to like him when he got
3 marks, a mortal secret (one that could killed.
destroy lives) can totally clear one Meter; Dena Kustoris: I dont trust her. The Jenkins
usable twice per day. kid didnt have any life insurance. Who is she
kidding?
Madness Meter Elijah McGillicuddy: Hes a sad old man who
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self never hurt anybody. Terrible the way his niece
0 H/0 F 3 H/1 F 1 H/2 F 1 H/1 F 2 H/2 F lets him walk around like that. I give him a
sandwich when he stops by.
Possessions The Street Phantom: I hear whispers and
Nifty prosthetic leg, can of pepper spray, rumors. People are scared of whoeveror
acoustic guitar with case. whateverthis Street Phantom is.
Maria Perez: Cute girl. She gets around great
on that peg-leg of hers. Sweet kid.
Mycroft Mike Fitzhugh T-Joe Walters: I know Jenkins was having
The proprietor of Fitzhughs Dreamshop is trouble with this punk. The guy was trying to
semi-clued-in to the Occult Underground. He pass off a dangerous formula that sounded like
knows enough to realize there are sharksbig bad news. Like possession bad news. I offered
sharks!out in those waters. He tries to Jenkins a place to stay, but thats when he
remain as circumspect as he can, just to be vanished. I think this T-Joe had something to
safe, but hes hungry to know more. do with it, that shit-eating cat-fucker.
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

Agenda Location: Fitzhughs Dreamshop


Protecting his brother Nicky, whether Address: 423 Falcon Street. Downtown. 555-6243.

115
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116

What the Dreamshop Looks Like: Fitzhughs in stock are Anti-Fingerprint Salve (user
Dreamshop is your one-stop occult shopping doesnt leave clear fingerprints for twelve
experience. Its front room is that of a New hours) and Aura Juice (when the fluids in
Age-influenced headshop. You got your basic two vials are mixed in the presence of ongoing
crystals, tie-dyes, incense, artistic bongs, etc. or recent magick, they glow). Other than that,
The proprietor, Mike Fitzhugh, is well-regard- he has two Travel Bonds, a fourth-generation
ed and almost respected in the local Occult copy of the Naked Goddess videotape (bought
Underground. People enjoy dealing with him from Jenkins), a Wooden Nickel, a Skeleton
he knows enough about the scene to be help- Key, and a car that never needs its window-
ful, but not enough to be a danger (or so they washer fluid reservoir changed. Fitzhugh
think). Thats the biggest reason his place usually has a local entropomancer whip up a
never gets wrecked, but he does have a solid few Lucky Charms, but hes currently sold out
security system just in case. The main store is a (all these items are found in Unknown Armies
smallish, tasteful (as far as it can be) room and Postmodern Magick, but use whatever you
with exposed girders. But through the beaded like). He also has the remaining dose of T-Joes
curtain is a world of wonder. booby-trapped Elixir of Life; he knows what
The back room of the Dreamshop serves as it is and plans to pitch it as a Possession
a pawn and consignment shop for occult Potion.
goods. Its larger than the front room, and is Mundanely, Fitzhughs Dreamshop doesnt
done up in a rundown rich uncle Egberts deal in guns or ammo, but does handle other
library sort of style. There are a few wing- sorts of weaponsnunchucks, butterfly
back chairs that have seen better days, brass knives, even a couple swords. He has some
lamps with green glass shades, and a sturdy electronic equipment, mostly pawned spy
wooden table in the middle of the room. Filing gear that you order out of the backs of
cabinetssome made of wood, some of metal, magazines.
and some of plasticcontain most of the Above the back room, in a secret attic
goodies. behind the storage area, is Fitzhughs alchemy/
Currently, the back room has a whole drug lab. He really doesnt do much street
bunch of crap that is esoteric but not particu- chemistry anymoreat least, not on the scale
larly magickal. It looks like the Addams he used to. Maybe hell whip up a batch of
Familys garage sale. Mixed in with the curios bathtub LSD for a friends hippie commune
and the white elephants are some interesting potluck, but thats about it. Hes mostly
things. Fitzhugh generally has the goods under producing alchemical product.
lock and key, but a PC might get lucky and Mike Fitzhughs assistant Chuck, a clueless
find a pony amidst the manure. It cant be high-school dropout, watches the store when
anything too spiffy, because then either Fitzhugh needs to work the back room. He
Fitzhugh would have it locked up, or some- realizes that Fitzhugh has a secret lab, and
body would have snagged it already. You knows that hed be firedif not beaten sense-
might include limited artifacts that mimic a less or whacked in the nightif he ever
minor spell, objects of interest to cobweb mentions it.
farmers, boozehounds, bookworms, etc., or Using Fitzhughs Dreamshop: The Dreamshop
mundane but magick-looking items. can be used as one of the hub locations of this
The good stuff that Fitzhugh has locked scenario. Its a source of supplies and a conve-
up in his bigass tempered-steel floor safe nient gathering place. Fitzhugh was a new
include some alchemical preparations hes friend of Jenkinss. People are already swinging
whipped up himself. The two he has currently by to ask questions. Many of the events would
work admirably well set in the Dreamshop.
Since Jenkins was spending a lot of time here What Dena Knows
with Fitzhugh before he died, he may have Mike used to be member of a gang called the
hidden a computer disk with some of his notes Suicide Kings. Suspected street chemist. Nicky
here. Fitzhughs brother. Picked up a half-dozen
times a decade ago for police line-ups, never
arrested. Might be dealing drugs out of his
Location: Mike Fitzhughs Brownstone headshop, but no proofor hes paying off the
Address: 50 Green Street. Edge of Theater right cops.
District. 555-1269.
What the Brownstone Looks Like: This is a
well-appointed two-story brownstone. There is Stats: Mycroft Mike Fitzhugh, Dreamshop Proprietor
nothing out of the ordinary about this domi- Summary: After their parents died in a plane
cile. The furnishings are a little worn, patched crash in the late 1960s, Mike Fitzhugh and
here and there, obviously second-hand, but his younger brother Nicky (nee Nero), ended
still good stuff. The Cleavers, Nelsons, or up living with their Aunt Sadie downtown.
Huxtables would settle in just great. There are Sadie utterly neglected her nephews, and both
no busts of Crowley, no fat tomes of forgotten of them were dedicated gang members by
lore, no latch-hook rug acupuncture charts, no pubertythe Suicide Kings gang, described as
oddly-colored or oddly-scented candles, no a plot element on p. 86. Mikes high natural
wavy-bladed Kris knives, no terribly Frazerian intelligence led him off the street and into
or Campbellian artwork hanging from the makeshift drug labs brewing up the gangs
walls, nothing. Its clean, tidy, and boring. product.
Which can be fairly suspicious in itself. The One night in 1979, Mike witnessed a
only things of note are a battered leather client OD and die. That was the moment he
jacket hanging in a corner of the coat closet, realized that there had to be more to life than
bearing the painted design of the Suicide making and taking dopebut thats all he
Kings, and an origami swan folded out of a knew. He started spending his drug money on
burger wrapper, hidden under the couch in the textbooks, correspondence courses, chemistry
living roomis it a note? A ward? A bug? Just sets, and library dues. He was desperate to get
artfully folded trash? out, and chemistry was the straw he grasped to
Using Mike Fitzhughs Brownstone: Being the save from drowning. What else could he do?
amiable sort that he is, Fitzhugh may invite Alchemy.
PCs or GMCs that he takes a shine to back Mike got sidetracked in his study of
to his place for drinks or coffee. Hell try to chemistry by its mystical parent. Interest
allay their suspicions while studying them for piqued, he studied the subject. Because of his
any sign of weakness that he can use against street connections and quietly ruthless nature,
them, if necessary. Its also a good place to he soon brushed up against the Occult Under-
hide out if the Sleepers come, or Alex Abel ground. Immediately, Mike tried to insert
activates a Hit Squad. Who would look for an himself into this seedy magickal subculture. He
adept in such (relatively) posh digs? Fitzhugh, made a lot of progress in a short amount of
like Jenkins, is an excellent candidate for timeafter all, he could whip up a steady
having a Nosy Neighbor Lady, only Fitzhughs supply of drugs, always had money to spend,
NNL is far more frustratedMike never does and knew people who could handle illicit
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

anything remotely weird at home. things. He learned quickly.


Mikes alchemy led to him to a double

117
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

118

opportunity. The first opportunity was the ! Low Road: Fitzhugh gets off on being the
access to power (magick potions? sign me up!). local go-to guy, and sells his knowledge
The second opportunity was strictly business dearly. He also brews drugs up in the back
(if a crackhead goes to great lengths for a tiny of his shop.
piece of rock, how much farther will a nutty
old clockworker go for steam fittings from Passions
Fultons Folly?). Fitzhughs Dreamshop sprang Rage: Being ignored. Nothing jerks Mikes
from the unification of these goals. He dis- chain so much as that.
tanced himself from the remaining Suicide Fear: (Helplessness) Mike never wants to be
Kingsnot hard, as the rest of those idiots locked in, be it in a jail cell, in a room, or in a
were in rehab or jailand set himself up with car. This is a mild form of claustrophobiaso
a little headshop. He could hook people up long as he can physically get out, hes fine. If
with various things out the back door, hold restrained somehow, he flips.
some items, fence some others, and everybody Noble: Mike actually wants to help out his
was happy. And so its been going for 15 years. community. His neighborhood raised him, he
Mike is reserved about his street gang past, feels he owes it something, and gives back
but he talks about it guardedly if eased into it; what he can.
a blunt question about the Suicide Kings clams
him up. Mike has no idea of the intensity of Stats
Maria Perezs infatuation with him, but knows Body: 55 (athletic)
that Hector Garcia doesnt like him. For his Speed: 50 (smooth) (S)
part, Fitzhugh is patiently extra-kind to Mind: 65 (self-educated)
Garcia, seeing Hector as a twenty-years- Soul: 55 (intense)
younger reflection of himself. However, hes
informed the young thief that if he ever catches Skills
him stealing from the Dreamshop hell deep- Body Skills: General Athletics 20%, Kick Your
fry Hectors cojones. Ass (Struggle) 25%, Weightlifting 20%
Personality: A great, amiable guy whos easy to Speed Skills: Driving 20%, Dodge 20%, Use
get along with (until you cross him). Hes got My Nine (Firearms) 20%
hundreds of friends (that he plays off against Mind Skills: Street Chemistry (General Educa-
one another). Easy to talk to (and he remem- tion) 30%, Notice 20%, Alchemy 29%, Run
bers everything you say). A Business 16%
Obsession: (Alchemy) Real power is the ability Soul Skills: Charm 30%, Lie 35%, Street
to change things. Contacts 24%, Occult Contacts 18%
Wound Points: 55
Alchemy: See Postmodern Magick (p. 167)
Pick One for more detail about an alchemist at the
! High Road: Fitzhugh likes being the local top of his game. Mike Fitzhugh is nowhere
sage, and shares his knowledge cheaply near that level. In theory, alchemy should
but refuses to sell at all if the information allow Fitzhugh to do just about anything;
could compromise a friend. Hes not dealing in practice, he is limited to extremely
drugs out of the back room of the shop. subtle effects that are less overt than
! Middle Road: Strictly business: cash on the random magick or minor Unnatural. So no
barrelhead equals magick for you. He can healing potions, but maybe a salve that
get you what you need, but doesnt create doubles the speed of natural healing; a
product any longer. block of incense that helps you remember
where you left your car keys when insuf- theme. His overall Motivation is Changing
flated in your apartment; an ointment that Things From Behind the Scenes. He Concen-
provides a single 5% shift in a stat for one trates on using Charm and Lies to set characters
action, but is only potent for a quarter- against each other, then hell strike while theyre
hour when exposed to air. That sort of at each others throats. If Mike is the Street
thing. A good rule of thumb is one full Phantom, he is knowingly leading Perez on, and
week of brewing, mixing, and refining plus surreptitiously rubbing Garcias nose in it.
$100 worth of ingredients grants a minor
charge equivalentwith a successful
Alchemy roll. A failed roll meets Mike has Nero Nicky Fitzhugh, Freshly-Ex-Con
to start over. Nicky is a man in his late thirties, affable and
exuberant. However, hes also dense, loud, and
Notes lacks basic human caution. Hes fresh out of
Fitzhugh knows a faux-Lead Into Gold ritual jail and on the street on parole after serving six
brought to town by T-Joe, which is actually an years for selling drugs. He is one of the surviv-
invitation for demonic possession. ing Suicide Kings and usually wears the
signature leather jacket with the image of the
Madness Meter King of Hearts logo. Hes looking for the basic
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self necessities: a drink, a dame, and a daily grind.
5 H/2 F 3 H/2 F 1 H/1 F 2 H/1 F 1 H/0 F If all else fails, his plan is to stay with his
brother Mike and work in Mikes headshop,
Possessions but he hasnt gotten there yet. All things being
Ruger Super Redhawk, Fitzhughs Dreamshop, equal, hed rather find his own job and be his
old Camaro. He also has access to a number of own man.
acidic and caustic substances in his alchemy/ Use the stats for a Stock Thug (see UA, p.
drug lab. Currently, he has the bottle with the 211) for Nicky. His Violence, Helplessness,
remaining dose of trapped Elixir of Life (see and Isolation Meters have 10 Hardened
above) that Jenkins brewed up. notches divided amongst them. If youre using
the Meet Nicky Fitzhugh event, note that he
As the Street Phantom drank from the Green Glass Grail the morning
If Mike Fitzhugh is the Street Phantom, hes of the event and is affected accordingly.
come to look upon the consumed memories of
Leon Boswell as a blessing in disguise.
Through his hatred of Boswell and search for Agenda
vengeance, Fitzhugh has discovered the secret Meet woman. Get laid. Repeat.
of True Alchemyanthropophagy, the gaining Get a job.
of knowledge through cannibalism. It just Visit with his brother Mike.
makes sense, doesnt it? What also makes sense Get his own place.
is that he shall own the Green Glass Grail: he
can feel in his bones that its true. Mike came
to the understanding long ago that crime His Opinions of Others
sucks, and that knowledge was what paid. And Angel of Mercy Murder: Thats too bad.
magickalchemyis the highest form of Geez, you go away a little while, and the old
knowledge hes found yet. neighborhood goes to crap.
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

Fitzhugh as Street Phantom works particu- Mike Fitzhugh: I love my brother, but I hate
larly well when focusing on Interaction as a it when he starts using all those big words and

119
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

120

stuff. He dont even mix up smack no more. Kill all the bugs! (What bugs?) The ones in
Thinks hes better than me. Id rather keep it the corners. Of your eyes.
real.
The Street Phantom: Who?
His Opinions of Others
Angel of Mercy Murder: And the Angel flew
What Dena Knows down, but Heaven wanted her back. I kept her
Used to be member of a gang called the Suicide little bottle, then I threw it away. Angels dont
Kings. Convicted criminal. Mike Fitzhughs litter, why should I? I need it back to fix the
brother. cracks in my head, though.
The Street Phantom: I gotta tattoo of Casper
under my skin and it talks at night, yessiree-
Elijah McGillicuddy, Raving Loon bob!
An old bearded fat man with sunglasses. He Maria Perez: That little gimp girl cooks the
keeps up a running stream of commentary best damn french fries ever, you hear me,
under his breath, then hell break into streaks boy?
of cursing and swearing. He gets a phrase T-Joe Walters: Hes hangin out with a bad
caught in his head, and wont let it drop for crowd, I seen. Malingerers! Putting words and
days. Currently, the phrase du jour is Blind thinks into his melon. Melon dont got no
till X-Mas!pronouncing the x when he seeds, boy!
says it.
McGillicuddy especially likes answering a
question with the same question, just re- What Dena Knows
phrased. Hes been in town visiting his niece, a Absolutely nothing, nor does she have any
local streetwalker and addict named Rhonda. reason to.
She lets the old nut crash at her place (when he
remembers her), but doesnt much care about
where he is. So he wanders the streets, day and As the Street Phantom
night, sleeping wherever he falls. For some If Elijah McGillicuddy is the Street Phantom, it
unknown reasonperhaps just luck or coinci- can be satisfying to run the scenario as a simple,
dencehe hasnt been run in by the cops. Ever. pure-action bug-hunt. Youve got a crazy madi
Elijah used to be a carpenter back in warping reality. Stop him. Let the PCs run
Dayton, before he lost it. Hes still in good across him a few times in more innocuous
shape. If needed, use the stats for the Stock circumstances. Elijahs main Motivations are
Thug (see UA, p. 211). He has blown his Healing and Mayhemif he cant get the one,
Helplessness meter completely, and his Isola- hell settle for the other. His Concentration is
tion meter is completely Hard. Elijah is a local, simply Hit and Run Weirdness.
notable loon.

Repercussions
Agenda If the PCs were assiduous in dealing with the
Stay warm. Street Phantom, the local Occult Underground
Eat. has been a little shaken up but things quickly
Sleep. return to normal. If it all went to hell and
Warn them all about the bugs. (Warn the Street Phantom is wild, blood and magick
who?) Who cares? is running rampant in the streets until they
deal with him (the most likely), one of the Big Green Glass Grail. Their responses are divided
Cabals brings the hammer down (probable), or into Cabal Possession (if the cabal ends the
maybe even the Sleeping Tiger wakes up, scenario with possession of the Real Thing),
hungry (long-shot nightmare). Response to PC Possession (if the PCs have
set themselves up as Keepers of the Grail), and
Private Little War (if the Street Phantom
Mundane Response retains control of the bottle and starts settling
Everything up to solid proof of the existence of scores).
magick or a major riot with hundreds of
people witnessing magick should be discounted
as a drug war between rival gangs. The madi Mak Attax Crew
abilities of the Street Phantom provide that Cabal Possession: If Mak Attax gets hold of
much obscurity. Of course, that means that the bottle, theyre gonna start field-testing its
any PC or GMC hauled in as a result is treated properties in Harvey Duopouloss home
as a drug criminaleven if such a thing is franchise in DeKalb, IL.
blatantly ridiculous. Think Kafka, Orwell, Response to PC Possession: The Maks try to
Huxley, with some Sartre or Beckett for that acquire samples for their tests, but since
kangaroo-court flavor. they cant pay much at all, its gonna have to
be all on charm and promises.
Private Little War: Once blood is shed, Super-
Involved Cabal Responses conductor tells all Maks in the area to bug out.
Each cabal should respond a little differently Even the Grail is not worth more people dying.
to the effects of this scenario as regards the

THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL


DREW TUCKER

121
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

122

Thing, it goes directly into Alex Abels brief-


Satans Chosen Temple case. He then ends each day with the pause
Cabal Possession: If Satans Chosen Temple that refreshes.
hangs onto it, the cabal gets famous fastbut Response to PC Possession: They offer money
celebrity can be a bitch. Mak Attax labels them first. Then they offer magick. Then they offer
the enemy, maybe even blaming them for Vinces threats. Then they kill everyone.
death if they didnt find out about the Phantom. Private Little War: Hit Squads are sent in to
TNI either wipes them out or recruits them as scrounge through the wreckage for neat
demon-summoning specialists; either way, they magickal goodies or possible allies, but not to
pry the Grail out of the kids fingers. The Sleep- get involved unless attacked.
ers spy on them and hand the documentation
over to the Order of Saint Cecil, who murders
every last one of the little Satan-loving bastards Uninvolved Cabal and Duke Responses
in a John Woo hail of automatic gunfirewhich The Green Glass Grail is a potent enough draw
gets problematic if theyre under TNIs wing. that other cabals not involved in this scenario
Essentially, theyre wiped out or co-opted within can sit down at the table to play their hand.
three months and the Grail jumps owners again. Its a big deal, this Statosphere shard. Its like
Response to PC Possession: None. Unless he cheese to a hungry mouse. Here are some story
had it in his hands during the course of the seeds to get your ideas flowing. These folks
scenario, T-Joe might not even know the Green appear in various UA sourcebooks; if you
Glass Grail exists. dont know who they are, just ignore em.
Private Little War: Run away! Run away!

101001101
The Sleepers Response to PC Possession: Try to obtain the
Cabal Possession: If the Sleepers end up with Real Thing for use in ghostlights.
the Green Glass Grail, it goes directly to Berlin Private Little War: The Rayhab keeps its
to be locked up in the Fabulous Room of the people clear.
Berlin Temple of Truth.
Response to PC Possession: They try to get it
away from the PCs, mostly through sneaky The Dealership
and ruthless methods. If those fail, the Cabinet Response to PC Possession: Juan Martinez
meets and promotes the PC cabal to a danger- presents himself to the PCs to talk about what
ous status, then the gloves come off. theyd want for the Real Thing, speaking as
Private Little War: The Sleepers are geared to the Bad Mans agent.
pacify the local Occult Underground, by any Private Little War: The Bad Man shows up in
means necessary. One of their leaders, hard- person, to see what deals can be made in the
boiled Hong Kong cop Wu Zhanhan, should carnage.
be on the scene to direct Sleeper efforts to
mystify and cloud the weirdness from the
mundanes. They dont know that the Street Grail Knights
Phantoms madi abilities are doing this also. Response to PC Possession: The Knights hear
the rumors of the existence of the Green Glass
Grail within a couple months, and most of them
TNI Strike Team come looking for it. How they come depends
Cabal Possession: If TNI ends up with the Real totally on the character of each of the Knights.
Private Little War: Each Grail Knight would
probably lead his own splinter faction into the Team Salvation
warzone. Response to PC Possession: Fools rush in
where angels fear to tread. They waltz in if
they see the PCs abusing the power of the
The House of Renunciation Green Glass Grail.
Response to PC Possession: Some Rooms may Private Little War: As above, but theyll
dispatch Agents to lure the Green Glass Grail probably get whacked hard.
into the House. The capabilities of an Anti-
Grail are left as an exercise for the reader.
Private Little War: There are lots of opportuni- True Order of Saint-Germain
ties for Renunciation in the midst of a war and Response to PC Possession: If Randy Douglas
in its aftermath. decides that the Real Thing can be used to trap
the Comte somewhere, hell send his soldiers
for it. Otherwise, they wont know about it.
The Order of Saint Cecil Private Little War: If there are riot troops in
Response to PC Possession: The Order most the streets, Douglas might send some trouble-
probably would not be aware of the PCs makers to take advantage of the chaos.
possession of the Green Glass Grail, unless it
comes up during their involvement in the
Private Little War. If they get their hands on it, Dirk Allen
top Cecilite theologians will determine if it is a Response to PC Possession: Allen tries to buy
true sacred relic (and due veneration and or steal the Green Glass Grail, if its conve-
usage) or a mere magickal artifact (and con- nient. Otherwise, pass the Scotch.
signed to the fire). Private Little War: Allen stays far, far, away
Private Little War: Father Etienne Destin (last from any fighting.
seen in Hush Hush, p.124125) may be
coordinating the Cecilite enforcer units.
The Freak
Response to PC Possession: The Freak may
Sect of the Naked Goddess stop by to chat, and offer something outra-
Response to PC Possession: The Sect tries to geous for the bottle. It definitely wants it.
get their hands on it by whatever means they Private Little War: The Freak might show up,
can, because the Grail is a powerful female and just for jollies. Probably not, though.
sexual symbol.
Private Little War: Despite the attraction of the If none of these options appeals to you,
Symbol, the Sect stays out of open warfare and the Real Thing is too real for your cam-
over it. Too dangerous. paign, well, just remember: glass is fragile. If
somebody drops the darn thing, its dead
forever. Dreams die cheap.
THE GREEN GLASS GRAIL

123
STOON LAKE

126

Stoon Lake, Minnesota, seems like a


normal place. Its a small town on the shore of
a small lake. It provides groceries and gasoline
and a post office to many of the small farms
(and some large corporate ones) that surround
it. It also offers fishing bait, two restaurants,
and one small souvenir shop to the tourists
who stay in vacation homes that go all around
the waterfront.
When Stoon Lake was first surveyed, its
shape earned it the name Spoon Lake. A
transcription error onto an early map made
this into Stoon Lake, and when the town-
ship was founded in 1854 the name became
fixed. A piece of folklore has even grown up
explaining that the lake was actually discov-
ered by Scots (or Irishmen, depending on
whether youre talking to someone whose
name starts with Mc or with O) and that it
should have been Stone Lake. But maybe
thats not really relevant.
Whats relevant is that two French trappers
saw a mysterious hairy figure in the Stoon
Lake vicinity in 1891, and since that time the
region has had periodic bouts of sasquatch
activity.

Who Cares?
The Stoon Lake Bigfoot Attack (as it rapidly
becomes known on the Web, complete with
Those Capital Letters) seems, at first blush, like
a fairly minor urban legend. How, exactly, is it
supposed to attract the attention of important
characters like the PCs? The answer lies in what
interests them and who employs them.
Mak Attax: One of the members of the
email list posts links to the deputys report, a
minor news story about the mayors sighting, a
collection of links on past bigfoot activity, and
a recent news article (see next page). Some
Attaxers think this is a sign that the mundane
paradigm is finally starting to crumble, letting
creatures of myth and magic(k) return. Some-
one should check it out! There could be

CHAPTER ILLO BY TOREN ATKINSON


ta?
unicorns coming through next! After all,
B ig fo o t A tt a c k in Minneso
remember the opportunity we missed with
Mia Gilona
that big wolf/snake thing near Vancouver. rvice
Ipcress News Se
The Sect of the Naked Goddess: The , Ron William
s of
LA K E On July 18 K ei l C ou nty
unceasing research into Herselfs personal STO O N
in ne so ta , w as admitted to
Stoon Lake, M in .
history has uncovered the possibility that in at much is certa
broken leg. Th t broken.
hospital with a rtain is ho w hi s le g go
high school She was (briefly) friends with a girl What is less ce iams says.
y m ot he r s house, Will d
named Drew Brooks. Brooks family had a I was at m rain gutters an
fin is he d cl ea ning out her w he n I
vacation cabin on Stoon Lakein fact, a cabin Id just the garage
rr yi ng th e la dder back to st y, ro ad -k ill
was ca Just this na
right near the dock where local Ed Cliffe took hing terrible. dont re-
smelled somet I he ar d something, I
M ay be was
his (almost) famous photograph of Bigfoot. kind of sm el l. something. It
r. I tu rn ed , and there was d, an d I th ink
TNI: In one of his earlier books, Emil membe
an m e, with dark fu
r. I yelle
it hi t me
tall, ta lle r th e ladd er. Th en
Dodustov theorized that bigfoot sightings myself with th I dont
I tried to shield be r an yt hi ng after that.
might actually be the confused memories n t re m em . Th en I was
and I do so fast
I pa ss ed out. It was all
caused by werewolf sightings. TNIs library know if
f into the hous
e to call 91 1.
dragging mysel or what,
has a ritual that requires the skin of a loup ut io us ab ou t saying who,
s is ca ill say
Will ia m t other loca w ls
garou and which is supposed to provide the sp on si bl e fo r his injury, bu
is re
wont. hairit sounds
power to change form and cloud memories what Williams ta llness, the dark
l, th e Ed
and who knows, maybe ignore any damage The sm el nd here, says
ot he r bi gf oo t sightings arou en ce .
like th e t is the vi ol
short of silver bullets?so the PCs get sent to ly thing differen 1968
Cliffe. The on e th an a lo ca l observer. In
skin that lycanthrope. Cliffe is m or an d the
of what he
to ok a no w -famous photo as th e le ge nd-
The True Order of Saint Germain: The Cliffe e w ith him insist w
three men who
w er ure the ea- cr
boss said we should find out more about weird In 19 77 he set out to capt st of
ary sasquatc h. fairly clear ca
shit. This here shit in this newspaper sounds d fa ile d, bu t did produce a g b ig fo ot
ture an en huntin
ze d fo ot print. He has be
pretty damn weird. Lets give up on finding an ov er si
ke region ever
since.
in the Stoon La ce, but
this Bat Boy kid and try for bigfoot instead. or th em , more than on
Iv e se en it,
to atta ck . Th eyre
The Sleepers: This Mia Gilona character is v e ne ve r be en bold enough a go od sh ot at
they
ne ve r even gotten a
pretty sharp. It sounds like those dingbat Mak usually shy
I ve tack coul be d
a tra nq ui liz er gun. This at co w di s-
Attaxers are heading up to Stoon Lake on her one with like that mad
. Or something
case of rabies ve to find out.
say-so, so its a good idea to get some of our . B ut w e de finitely ha ly Stoon Lake
ea se
W ill ia m s arent the on fact,
people in there to run interference between her Cliffe an d ive creature. In
nt s w ho v e spotted the elus a ha iry fig ure
and them. Killing the burger boys is only going reside re po rte d seeing
M ul le n fore Will ms ia
Mayor Gene ly two weeks be
to whet her appetite; it would be much better from his fis hi ng bo at on
e heels of a 19
99
for all concerned to get some major discredit- sp ita liz ed . Th is follows on th D on na G uf -
was ho
a sh er iff s deputy named
ing done. report filed by ge 9)
(see Bigfoot pa
A Typical PC Group of Misfits and Weir- frey that stated
does: Dude! Its like, bigfoot! Cooooool.

Williams got along okay, but they had to


Residents and Others scrimp and there wasnt too much left over.
Ma Williams never let Ron forget it, either.
Ron Williams, Bigfoot Victim Ron cant actually remember when he
Story: Rons IQ is a bit above average, but his started hanging around with Gene Mullen.
moms income was a bit below. Thats not They were probably four or five when the
surprising: Rons dad died when Ron was very Mullens invited little Ron and his mom over
young. It was a lingering, expensive death. The for some Christian charity.
STOON LAKE

127
STOON LAKE

128

Gene had a lot of cool toys. Ron had a lot Ron went on to pharmacy school but he
of cool ideas for getting into and out of always planned to come back to Stoon Lake.
trouble. From that moment on, the two were After all, he couldnt abandon his mama whod
best friends. worked so hard. Plus his best friend Gene was
While they were pretty much inseparable there, still running the family business.
until puberty, there was alwaysalwaysa Not to mention Dora. His good friend. His
tiny bit of a competitive edge to their friend- good, close friend. His best friends wife.
ship and play. Each one genuinely liked the He got married and divorced and that
other a lot, much more than any of the other pretty much shut people up about his love life.
boys in their grade, but Ron thought he should Now he lives alone on the shore of the lake
be the leader of the pair with Gene as his and works in the town pharmacy. Currently
sidekick. Gene thought he should be in charge. his leg is in a cast, after what the papers call a
They both ran track, but Gene was the bigfoot attack.
staralways running a little faster to be sure Motivation: Its tough but fair to say that
he beat Ron. Ron was the class valedictorian, Ron never fully grew up. He wants to show off
obsessed with his four point GPAso hed and be special. Hes deeply jealous of his old
have something to lord over Gene. friend. Although they never, ever talk about their
But it was all in good fun until Dora history with Dora, they cruelly kid one another
moved into town. about everything else. They have poker games
In a small high school, certain things can with a couple other local men of quality who
become very clear. It was clear that Gene was have learned very well how to enrich themselves
the richest and most popular kid. It was clear by playing Gene and Ron off one another. They
that Ron was the smartest boy. When Dora spend many weekends on the lake seeing who
arrived, it was clear that she was the smartest, can catch the biggest fish, or in the fields trying
prettiest, liveliest, most desirable girl. Ron and to bag a buck with the most points.
Gene both fell for herand knowing the other Ron fears that Gene feels superior because
wanted her made each desire her more. he got to marry Dora and be mayor of the
It complicated matters a great deal when town. Secretly, hes terrified that Gene might
Dora became friends with both of them. This really be superior.
was not all that hard, from her point of view, Thats one reason he doesnt want Gene to
since each was so fun and clever when alone win again by pushing through his newest
with her. It was only together that they started scheme: developing part of Stoon Lake into a
to show off and one-up and generally make tourist RV camp with west coast real-estate
teenage asses of themselves. speculator Gretta Schliff. (He also thinks it will
Finally, she made them both swear they pollute the lake and rob the town of its small-
would never, ever try to be more than just town charm.) He tells himself he loves Gene like
friends with her because she could tell how a brother, and its probably true in some way.
screwy everything would get if she ever dat- But sibling rivalry sure can be a bitch.
ed one. She was unwilling to destroy either
friendship, just over a boyfriend.
That was okay until they graduated from Ed Cliffe, Sasquatch Stalker
high school. Ron got a full ride to Minnesota Story: Eds a local fuel-oil supplier who saw
State, Dora went to Harvard, and Gene went bigfoot standing next to his truck back in
to Boston College. A freshman year of Genes 1968. While the three buddies he was with
charms wore Dora down. At least, thats how were squinting or hollering, Ed pulled out a
Ron sees it. camera and snapped a blurry picture. Since
then hes divided his time between his fuel-oil But if it wasnt those bad facts that made Ron
business and the woods around Stoon Lake, smart, how much better would Ron be if hed
trying to get another picture, another foot- been born in Genes shoes?
print, or (best of all) an actual live specimen. (The first time he read The Prince and the
Oh, and theres the bar. He splits his time Pauper, Gene burst into tears.)
between the business, the woods, and the local While Ron grew up in the unpleasant but
bar. uncomplicated position of envying a richer,
As the years have flown fruitlessly (and better-looking friend, Gene had to deal with
probably pointlessly) by, Ed has become the confounding paradox of envying his
increasingly desperate to get his conclusive friends unhappiness. Even today, Gene cant
proof. Its a vicious circle: the more time goes find a comeback when Ron digs in with
by without results, the more an ass he looks. something like Unlike someone I could
This makes him more anxious to make good mention, I personally earned every single thing
on his claims so he works harder, hunts more, Ive got. When Ron gets like that Gene nods,
puts in more timeand looks even stupider gives a rueful not-quite smile, and quietly says
when these increased attentions yield nothing. Youre right, Ron, while privately wishing
Donald Cruz, the new owner of the land Ron would just shut up and get over it already.
where Ed took the Bigfoot photo, refuses to let But nodding and ruing and agreeingthats
Ed onto the property. This has only fueled Eds what friends do.
eagerness to go there. But at the same time he Yet while one part of Gene is ashamed that
hasnt done so, because as long as he respects hes richer and more successful than Ron,
Cruzs wishes he has an excuse. Yeah, I would another part is absolutely certain that Ron
have found it, if not for that meddling Don Cruz! could not be mayor. No fuckin way. Hes got
Motivation: Find the beast, find the beast, book smarts, sure, but he hasnt got people
find the beast. And when he cant find the smarts. Ron would never realize that when
beast, his motivation is to drink. He drinks youre trying to get someone on your side, its
until finding the beast, or not finding it, or often better if youre not smarter than they are.
never getting married, or never getting rich, or But Gene figured that out pretty early in life.
never getting famous doesnt matter any more. His desire to seem nicer, rather than
smarter, is what has gotten him through most
everything, but he cant shake the feeling that
Gene Mullen, Mayor hes a fraud, that his success is not really his
Story: If not for Ron Williams, Gene would own, just the result of circumstance.
probably be less successful and a lot dumber. Even Dora.
Happier, maybe, but less smart and probably Sure, he was the one who asked and who
not mayor. slept with her and put the ring on her finger,
Before he met Ron, Gene had no idea he but everything was so different at college.
was lucky. Ron and his mom were really What if Ron had been in Boston too? Mean-
Genes first experience with people who didnt ing, really, what if Ron was rich enough to go
have it as good as he did, and it disturbed him. to school there?
What disturbed him even more was he could Winning the race doesnt mean much when
easily see that Ron was smarter than he was. the other guy never made it to the starting line.
Gene had to wonder: was it being an Motivation: Gene wants to prove to him-
orphan and poor that made Ron so smart? If self, once and for all, that he can accomplish
that was so, shouldnt he, Gene, want to give something on his own. Bringing an influx of
up his advantages so he could be smart too? tourist dollars to the town would do that, so he
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needs to court Gretta Schliff and make sure that the house of Doras parents. It was the middle of
the P.R. is not only steady, but positive. the night. She saw him and screamed and he ran
Gene wants to get away with cheating on away, but she never felt safe in that house again.
Dora because he loves her and doesnt want to When she was fourteen, her parents moved
hurt herthough this desire to not hurt her to Stoon Lake and Dora loved it. She liked
hasnt stopped him from having guilty sex with swimming and hiking and fishing and riding
an 18-year-old whose parents live four doors her bike down to Smittys Big Dipper for an ice
down the street. At the same time he does want cream cone. Some of the people were a little
to get caught. Then maybe Ron will finally dour, but others were very friendlyand more
acknowledge that Gene is the best, because he importantly, you could keep track of everyone.
can throw away the woman that Ron could There werent strangers. There werent those
never even have in the first place. Or maybe he big, smeary crowds like back in Boston,
wants to get caught so Dora will leave him for crowds where you knew you might never see
Ron, the hardworking self-made man she any one of the people again.
should have been with in the first place. She liked Stoon Lake and she liked Ron and
Really, hes just not sure what he wants in Gene. Ron always had something interesting to
his personal life, so he distracts himself as say, and just being around him made her feel
much as he can with work. Luckily, thats not smart. Gene always made everything feel com-
hard right now. fortable and natural. She liked them both and
she was smart enough to see the love triangle
coming and try to saw the points off early.
Dora Mullen, Mrs. Mayor Nowadays, she wonders what would have
Story: When she was twelve, a man broke into happened if shed succeeded.

THOMAS MANNING
Maybe its memory gilding the lily, but she head out to the flyover states where (she
remembers those high school days as priceless expected) everyone would be stupid and easy
and precious and pureas a time when she to manipulate.
couldnt imagine being without either of her That attitude didnt play well in Chicago.
friends, even though she couldnt imagine Or in St. Louis. So now shes washed up on the
marrying either one. shores of Stoon Lake and wants to see if she
But college changed everything. Or maybe can buy up some cheap land, build an RV
it just changed Gene. Back in Stoon Lake, hed campground and make the lake enough of a
always had a quiet confidencethe confidence tourist attraction to push up property values.
that came from knowing he had the respect, if Then she can unload her purchases and, with
not the friendship, of everyone he met. But in her stake renewed, return to civilization.
Boston she was his only friend, and he felt lost Motivation: She wants Stoon Lake to
and afraid and uncertain. become a vacation destination and she doesnt
After years of competing with Ron to care how it happens. Shes pretty dubious
show her his best side, what won her over was about this bigfoot angle, but Gene assures
when he showed her his weaknesses. her that the people who come out for the
Telling Ron she was dating Gene was the kitsch value will be won over by the charm of
hardest thing she ever had to do, but he took it small town values, or something like that.
well. At least, it seemed like he took it well. Shes waiting and seeing. She does not, for
Once they returned to Stoon Lake, Gene even one moment, believe there is any kind of
was back in his element. It only seemed natural real bigfoot running around.
that hed marry Dora, take over more and
more of his fathers business, and eventually
get elected mayor. Its almost as if Gene was Mia Gilona, Freelance Muckraker
some rare plant that could only grow in Stoon Story: Mia has been so close. She just knows
Lake soil, but when hes there he flourishes it. But the only editors who trust her instincts
and expands magnificently. are the same ones who have staffers on the
The only problem is, Dora was used to celebrity diet and anorexia beat. No thanks.
being the soil he took root in. Shes been Mia has higher goals than boosting tabloid
teaching at the local school and doing charity circulation. She wants to track down stories
work and shes involved with the church, but that mean something.
she barely feels married anymore at all. She thought she was onto it when she
What frightens her is how little she misses it. heard all those stories about a mysterious Dr.
Motivation: Dora is starting to get a little Frakes or Dr. Farouk in Chicagoland who
suspicious about Genes late meetings and could cure nearly any disease for a million
business lunches. She also thinks he and bucks cashbut most of her sources disap-
Ron are both flat-out lying about their big- peared almost overnight and the rest started
foot sightings. Shed like to get to the bottom stonewalling hard.
of all her suspicions, but at the same time shes Then there were the leads about a serial
not sure shed like what shed learn about her killer who actually bit out his victims eyesa
two closest friends. serial killer mysteriously ignored by the FBI
and the RCMP. But again she was met with
curious silence, almost as if someone was
Gretta Schliff, Developer throwing up barriers in front of her.
Story: Gretta was a west coast real-estate Now shes left her native Milwaukee for
speculator who got burned bad and decided to Stoon Lake in hopes of uncovering the truth
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behind this bigfoot matter. At least it makes do what he did, only faster and with fewer
good copy, and maybe this time she can find a security concerns. They were intrigued and
story that doesnt just slip through her fingers. gave him a year off to do it.
Motivation: Proving that bigfoot is real The result was a program called TBIS-
could be the scoop of the decade. But proving CUIT. It was goodbetter than any other
its a hoax would also lend her some much- decryption software they hadbut not up to
needed credibility. Its win-win for Miaas his hype. It was, however, promising enough
long as she can unequivocally prove some- that they gave him five years to work on
thing. TBISCUIT 2.0. He bought a house on Stoon
Lake and has been coding hard for the last
year and a half.
Donald Cruz, Uncooperative Landowner (Incidentally, he picked Stoon Lake be-
Story: Donald was a homely kid, and like a lot cause his college girlfriends parents, the
of homely kids he became an introvert. Like Brooks family, had a cabin up there, and thats
many introverts he was good at his studiesin where he lost his virginity. In fact, hes bought
his case, it was math and science that drew his the same house they used to own.)
attention. He started his math degree the same Motivation: Putatively, to perfect TBIS-
year his college started offering computer CUIT 2.0 and be left alone. His return to
science as a course of study, and he graduated Stoon Lake probably indicates some kind of
with a double major in both. After doing some urge to reconnect with humanity, but any
coding for a bank and then for AT&T, he got impulses of that sort are ruthlessly repressed.
recruited by the National Security Agency. Of course, all this repression and isolation
They had seen his concise but powerful securi- have given Donald some odd quirks. He talks
ty programs, had noted his skill with cryptog- to himself. He eats with his hands. Some days
raphy, and thought he might blossom into a he doesnt bother to get dressed or shower. But
good asset. he can pull himself together when its time to
Cruz blossomed beyond their wildest go to the store.
dreams. He was quite good at encryption, but
it turned out that he had an unsuspected
genius at decryption. The Truth
So never mind that he was funny looking Heres the straight dope, campers.
and crabby and generally a big pain in the ass In 1891, two French trappers saw a pair of
to deal with. He was an asset, and the NSA bears ransacking their cabin. Bonnette thought
was happy to give him whatever he wanted as hed locked the door, but he hadnt.
long as he kept popping codes. The 1968 sighting wasnt a bear. It was an
It turned out that what Donald wanted exceptionally hirsute and mind-altered hippie.
more than anything else was solitude. He He was checking the truck in the hopes of
wanted to get away from all the stupid satisfying his munchies, and took off when he
people and live by himself somewhere so he saw four heavyset squares coming at him. If
could really concentrate on the squirrelly Bonnette hadnt been such a good storyteller
regions of higher math. eighty years earlieror if Cliffe and Hall
His bosses were reluctant to let him hadnt both thought it was their week to bring
telecommute when he was dealing with mat- beerits possible that none of the four
ters of national security, so he made them a fishermen would have thought sasquatch.
deal: instead of doing the decrypting himself, But they did.
hed write them a piece of software that could Ed Cliffe really enjoyed the local notoriety
The Community Grid
To find out what the major players in Stoon Lake think about each other, simply find the person
being asked in the left hand column, and follow the line across until you find the column for the
person being asked about. Comments theyd say aloud are in quotes. What they really think but
probably wouldnt say without some persuasion is in parentheses.

Ron Williams Ed Cliffe Gene Mullen Dora Mullen Gretta Schliff Mia Gilona Donald Cruz
Ron Williams (Im smarter than I never believed Ed Gene an me go Doras a real Cant say I care I think shes on to Huh? (Who?)
everyone else in til I saw it. Guess I way back. Dont gemGenes a much for her big something big!
town.) owe him an always agree, but fortunate guy. city airs. (Polluting (Almost as smart as
apology. hes one of my (Should have bitch wants to carve me. But not quite.)
(Saucepot.) closest pals. married me.) up my town for
(Lucky S.O.B.) tourists.)

Ed Cliffe I never thought (Is this the best you I didnt vote for Dont know her She just wants to Shes got street He hasnt let me
the Sasquatch could do?) him. (Rich, stuck- too well. (Great turn this place into smarts, but has she onto his land, and I
would get violent! up prick) rack, nice ass.) the Wisconsin got woodsy ways, think thats where
(What the hell Dells. (Bitch.) yknow? (Wonder the Sasquatch live.
happened?) what she looks like If theyre violent,
naked?) he better watch
out. (Whatever.)

Gene Mullen Rons a smart guy. Eds been chasing (Doin great!) Shes the best Shes got some Responsible Ah, another one of
If he said it this thing longer wife a mayor could really exciting, reporting is Stoon Lakes fine
happened, it did. than anyone. (And have! (Is she important plans essential for citizens. Hes
(Not as smart as if it lived in a six- cheating on me? that can move democracy. (Gotta entitled to his
me.) pack, hed have Does she know Im Stoon Lake into the get her to re-spin privacy, of course.
caught it by now.) cheating on her?) 21st Century. this story.) (Who?)
(brown nosing +
bigfoot = $$$!)
Dora Mullen Rons a terrific Eds a touch Oh, weve been (What the hell went We all hope Gretta I wish shed Donald Cruz?
friend. Has a great eccentric, but his together since we wrong?) decides to stay here realize theres more Doesnt ring a
sense of humor, hearts in the right were high school and settle down. to Stoon Lake than bell. (Who?)
too. (What could place. (Boozy old sweethearts. (Is he (Dull, dull, dull Bigfoot tales.
have been? Nah.) moron.) stepping out on woman.) (Arrogant urban
me?) hipster trash.)

Gretta Schliff Its possible, of I must say, Im not Hes made me Such a charming (Fuck the trees. Didnt she get Im sorry, who?
course, that he just impressed by his very welcome. woman. Wheres the nearest reassigned from the (I just dont give a
had some sort of evidence. (Toadying (Nauseating little Starbucks?) ex-girlfriends of fuck.)
accident. (Yokel.) (Drunken hick.) provincialbut hayseed.) Leonardo DiCaprio
useful.) beat? (Irritating
and inconsequen-
tial.)

Mia Gilona His injuries were If my expense Hes been very I havent spoken Well, I have to (Im smarter than Hes very
real, no doubt account comes charming, if not with her. (Little consider her everyone else in secretive. Did you
about that. (Hes through, Im going completely helpful. Miss Cheese interest in getting town put together.) know he works for
hiding something.) to hire him as a (Great ass, nice Princess, grown up good publicity, if the NSA?
guide. (Sober, he hair. Pity hes such into Queen Shit.) shes developing (Probably no
might be good for a tool.) here. (Bitch.) connection. But if
something.) there is . . .)

Donald Cruz Never heard of If he calls me I dont pay much Dont know her. I believe shes Ive read her (Why cant people
him. (Who?) again, Im getting a attention to local (Huh?) interested in article. I think what just leave me the
restraining order. politics. (Who building some kind she really wanted hell alone?)
(Total nutjob.) cares?) of godawful trailer was to write science
campground. (If fiction. (Loser.)
she does it, I am
out of here.)
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his bigfoot picture got him. As more people The pranks and the visitors kept sasquatch
bought him drinks and asked him about it, he on the minds of Stoon Lakes people, but many
became increasingly convinced that what he of the stories were obviously clumsy hoaxes.
had seen was a genuine cryptofauna phenome- Most of the rest were unreliable, coming from
non. As the initial interest died down Ed senile senior citizens, wide-eyed pre-pubes-
started to miss it, and became increasingly cents, or overweight guys with messy beards
vehement about what hed seen. (He also whod driven all the way from Roswell and
started drinking more on his own dime.) werent going home without a sasquatch story
Convinced that he alone had the wits to of their own. It all had a definite urban
capture the creature, he made his loud, public legend glow about it until Donna Guffreys
declaration to that effect, and he believed it. report.
But, out in the woods, doubt set in. Afraid of Deputy Guffrey did indeed see a very hairy
looking foolish by coming home empty- figure in the woodsthe hairy figure of
handed, he forged the plaster cast, salving his eccentric nudist Donald Cruz. If she hadnt
conscience with the notion that making fake grown up with Bonnettes story and Ed Cliffes
proof of a true thing wasnt really lying. More evidence and Stoon Lakes general sasquatch
like an explanation. cultural miasma, she might have recognized
More than one Stoon Lake inhabitant him for what he was. But she didnt, and shes
secretly suspects that Ed faked the footprint, but got a well-deserved reputation for being down-
by that point doubting the bigfoot stories seemed to-earth.
almost disloyal. Not many people were willing to News of Guffreys report was on the
come out and state emphatically that they were Internet within days (if not hours) and in the
True Bigfoot Believers, but neither were there summer of 1999 every rental cabin, hotel, and
many who completely ruled out the possibility. lodge within an hours drive of the lake was
Furthermore, Cliffes evidence (such as it full of wide-eyed bigfoot hunters.
was) had finally gotten some nationwide play. Mayor Gene was amazed and pleased. His
The sasquatch tourists werent very numer- analysis is that Twin Peaks and The X-Files
ousrarely more than five or six a summer, if have made the paranormal acceptable to a lot
thatbut Stoon Lake residents still found it of people with money to spend, and hes hoping
kind of nice to live somewhere famous. Even it to make Stoon Lake the Wisconsin Dells of the
was just a little famous, among a demographi- paranormal. When developer Gretta Schliff
cally insignificant subculture. bought up a stretch of lakefront land adjoining
These offbeat (and sometimes gullible) Donald Cruz property and started talking
guests got a lot of attention in an insular burg about making it into an RV campsite, Gene
like Stoon Lake. Not surprisingly, bigfoot- threw all his mayoral weight behind making it a
themed pranks and hoaxes became a favorite reality. To add some fuel to the fire, he filed a
pastime for local teenagersand if it was a bigfoot sighting of his own.
tourist who got fooled, all the better. Almost Not everyone in town is so enthusiastic.
everyone in town can, with a little encourage- Fun was fun, and it was okay being a little
ment, tell a humorous story about fooling famous, but you used to be able to fish on the
someone good with a gorilla suitjust like lake without some dingdong in a motorboat
everyone in town can, if pressed, present a blasting past with his binoculars trained on the
dead-serious and fairly plausible story of an woods. You used to be able to hunt and hike
encounter with something that could have without finding the four-wheeler tracks and
been bigfoot. (Well I didnt see anything, but discarded Mars bar wrappers of erstwhile
I sure heard something.) cryptozoologists.
Stoon Lake Bigfoot Timeline
1891: Two trappers, Leo LeTrey and Jacques Bonnette, return to a sealed winter cabin
twenty miles north of Stoon Lake only to find a pair of monkeys within, ransacking their
stores. When the two men fire their rifles, the monkeys flee. The few items of food theyd left
within (coffee beans, flour, a large jar of molasses, and a flitch of bacon) are disturbed, and the
cabin is full of brown fur. Theres no structural damage to the cabin. Although Bonnette insisted
that the cabin had been locked, theres no sign that the door had been forced. They said theyd
seen two monkeys, one very largeat least six and a half feet tall and enormously muscular
and a second one much smaller, perhaps its child.
1968: Four menAndrew Lee, Ken Bates, Ed Cliffe and Mike Hallgo fishing on Stoon
Lake in the late afternoon. When they return to their campsite they see a lanky, hairy figure
crouching by their truck. It flees when they came close, but Ed Cliffe manages to take a blurry
picture as it retreats into the woods.
1975: Ed Cliffe sets out to capture the creature with a tranquilizer gun. He fails to do so,
but does succeed in making a cast from a footprint found in the muddy ground.
19801999: Various people report seeing bigfoots and sasquatches, but no hard
evidence turns up.
1999: Sheriffs deputy Donna Guffrey reports seeing a tall, hairy figure in the woods as shes
driving on Locust Road north of the lake.
This Year: In June, Gene Mullen reports seeing a tall, powerfully-built and hirsute figure
keeping pace with his fishing boat in the woods near his home. In August, Ron Williams is
admitted to the local hospital with a broken leg and multiple bruises. Williams claims he
sustained the injuries after being attacked by the Stoon Lake Bigfoot.

Ron Williams was even less enthused. Part of This meant Ron had to drag himself into the
it, to be sure, was his unwillingness to suffer house and call 911 himself.
fools gladly, married to his certainty that the As he lay on the floor waiting for an
proposed RV park would bring in plenty of ambulance, Ron felt pretty sorry for himself.
them. But perhaps just as much was his desire to Like many people in that mood, he thought
see Gene lose. Genes always gotten everything how much it would cheer him up to pull a
he wanted (at least thats how it looks to Ron) dirty on someone else. Who better than his
and Ron was itching to take him down a peg. best friend/enemy, Gene? So when the EMTs
His grand opportunity came when he was showed up and found him broken, battered,
up on a ladder, fooling around with a saggy and covered with bad-smelling hair (courtesy
spot on his moms rain gutters. As she was of the wolfhound) he gave them a jumbled
leaving to get groceries his mom let her dog story about bigfoot and begged for anesthesia.
an Irish wolfhoundout the back door for a It didnt take long for the story to spread,
piss. When it saw Ron it charged him, hoping and it didnt take him long to get his story
for a scratch on the belly. Instead, it knocked straight in his own mind. It was, in his humble
the ladder over. Ron broke his leg against the opinion, a masterpiece. Vague enough to
railing around his moms back patio and sound authentic, but detailed enough to sound
bruised himself up pretty good. Unfortunately credible. It was certainly good enough to hook
for Ron, his moms a bit deaf and she didnt Mia Gilona from Milwaukee.
hear a thing as she drove away to the store. Gene didnt believe it for a second, but he
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Hey! Wheres the Funky Stuff?


It may have caught your attention that there are no adepts, avatars or genuine unnatural
phenomena in Stoon Lake. Not only that, but the potential for gunfights, explosions, car
chases, and other UA staples is notably absent.
These elements were excluded deliberately. Id be a hypocrite of political proportions if I
suddenly started condemning gunfights, car chases, and weird mystic stuff since Im one of the
guys whos spent the last couple years shoveling them into the UA oeuvre. However, given all
the invention people like to devote to coming up with new schools, new creatures, new rituals
etc., I thought it might be a good change of pace to slip in a nice red herring with nothing
paranormal going on. I find that adventures in the Scully/Scooby paradigm keep a game honest.
In an ideal horror game, characters shouldnt be able to count on anythingnot even to the
extent of reliably expecting a supernatural explanation.
If you want to import some more typical UA elements to Stoon Lake, I recommend that you
do it by having the big guns and kewl powerz in the hands of other outsiders. Instead of having
a real bigfoot, have the PCs and some other group of weirdoes (TNI? The Sleepers? Other
mixed nuts?) bickering and squabbling over what turns out to be a fake bigfoot. Itll be ironical!
Or postmodern! Or just plain fun.

couldnt very well call his longtime best friend are some of the people the PCs may talk to and
a liar, now could he? The story hasnt scared what encountering them may entail.
away all the yeti tourists. But its scared away
the best ones, damnitthe sarcastic ones from
the cities who are used to spending four Deputy Donna Guffrey
dollars for a cup of coffee. The bigfoot kitsch An obvious place to start is with the most official
enthusiasts are a lot less enthusiastic about report: the document filed by a Deputy Sheriff.
something that can and will break your leg The report is open to view, but all it states
and now its a lot harder to be ironically is that Deputy Guffrey saw a hairy figure off
detached in the woods at night. (Thanks a in the woods near Donald Cruz property. It
million, Blair Witch Project.) Those who was moving away and did not change course
remain are wild-eyed, toothless degenerates when she called to it. After briefly attempting
who drove all the way from Florida claiming to follow it, she lost it in the forest.
the Skunk Ape ate their dog. Deputy Guffrey is unavailable for com-
People like the PCs, for example. ment. She got married recently and is on a
two-week honeymoon in Cancun. The other
officers stress two things if asked about her
Trampled Under (Big)Foot report: first, she never said it was bigfoot.
So far, what you (the GM) have is a big pile of She just said she saw a hairy figure. Second,
characters, setting, history, and background. shes a reliable, sensible and down-to-earth
The question is, how do you cook it all togeth- cop. If she said she saw a hairy figure, thats
er into something that fits your campaign? what she sawno more, no less.
Theres no good way to predict what PCs are
going to do, but much of what happens in
Stoon Lake could be influenced by the PCs Ron Williams
actions. So, instead of a static structure, here First Visit: On their first visit, Ron is tickled
pink that people from far away are coming to definitely interested. (Of course, if she publish-
ask him questions, but he hides it very well. es or tries to publicize the PCs abilities then
He spins a good yarn about the sasquatch the Sleepers go from alert mode to full
coming out of the woods, moving fast, break- bore information termination mode. Theyre
ing his leg and knocking him out. If the PCs unlikely to kill her of course, but they either
believe him, he suggests they go talk to Gene pressure or try to kill the PCs. If they fail to
Mullen about the safety issues raised for kack the PCs, they brainwash her and sic the
tourists. He casually mentions how close he is cops and FBI on the PCs with an involved
to Gene and offers to set up a meeting. (Pri- frame job.)
vately, he wants to pour salt in Genes wound, The best way to get her on their side is to
and thinks that a group of nervous tourists is offer information she doesnt have already. If
just the way to do it.) theyve disproved Rons or Genes claims or
On the other hand, the PCs may doubt his caught Gene cheating on Dora, thats sufficient
story. What with magick, avatar powers, or to impress her with their sleuthing.
plain intimidation, catching him in a lie isnt If Mia dismisses the PCs as goofballs, they
that hard. Hes doing this for fun: the minute may decide to follow her. She talks to Ron
anyone hits him or pulls a weapon, he caves. without learning anything and goes into the
He also calls the cops if the PCs rough him up woods with Ed. If the PCs dont have wilder-
or threaten him. ness skills or experience, Ed and Mia quickly
Second Visit: The PCs are likely to revisit lose them and the PCs wind up lost in the
Ron if theyre suspicious that he was yanking woods all night. Stress the cold, the darkness,
their chain on the first attempt or if theyre the eerie sounds, ask them for Soul and Notice
still sold on bigfoot and want more details rolls that dont do anything, remind them how
to aid them in their efforts to capture it. hungry and sleepy they are, maybe throw in a
Frustration and suspicion are both ele- Helplessness check or two. In the morning,
ments that may lead the PCs to push a little they hear a motorboat off to their right and
harder on Ron. If frightened (or simply bad- can blunder their way to the lakefront, where
gered for a long time) he admits his fraud, but two stone-faced fishermen look at them like
accuses Gene of fraud as well. He can explain theyre lunatics and drive right on past. None-
the Gretta Schliff connection and encourages theless, once theyre on the shore they should
the PCs to go bug Gene next. find their way back to town.
If (for whatever reason) the PCs tell him If they do have the skills to track Ed and
that Gene is cheating on Dora, he turns very Mia, Ed is able to double back and come up
pale and is silent, then turns very red and behind them with his rifle at the ready. (What-
starts loudly demanding to know how they ever his flaws, Ed is a very competent woods-
know. man, and hes been wandering around Stoon
Lake for about fifty years.) This confrontation
could turn nasty, but doesnt have to. If the
Mia Gilona PCs are sensible, Mia and Ed may be im-
The PCs interaction with Mia depends on pressed by their tenacity and skill. Or they may
whether she judges them to be useful or blame the PCs for scaring off the sasquatch
dismisses them as pathetic dingbats. Handle and give the a basic scram kid, you bother
this however you wish: Mia doesnt have a lot me speech. Neither Mia or Ed make a first
of patience for people with outlandish stories aggressive move, but if there is a fight the
or substandard social skills, but if they show standard PCs should take them out pretty
her any impressive feats of magick shes quickly. (A mean GM might give Mia a hand-
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gun and a 35% Shoot skill, or upgrade Ed to a would I lie about it? To get attention? Hey,
handgun and a 45% Shoot skill. Both of them people are already discovering what a vacation
have Body 45%, Speed 40%. Mia succeeds at wonderland Stoon Lake can be!
all initiative checks, while Ed fails.) If the PCs try to see Gene without an
Alternately, a mean GM might decide that appointment, thats another matter. The
the meat of the scenario is how the PCs avoid mayors office says he left for home. Dora says
taking the rap after murdering Mia and Ed in hes still at the office. If the PCs have seen his
the woods. After all, theyve identified them- Ford Explorer before, they can get lucky and
selves, spent money, been seen talking to the spot him driving off into the woods. Easily
victims, theyre outsiders, and Ron may be followed, they find his truck parked and they
able to finger them as the people who threat- hear shouting a little ways down a nature trail.
ened him. Whats happening is this: Gene has decided
If instead Mia teams up with the PCs, she to break it off with his girl on the side, and
can be sent off to follow leads while the PCs do shes not taking it well. (Dont try to do this
their own thing. (This is a better option than line by line.) If the PCs interrupt, she runs off
having her tagging along.) This gives you a into the woods and Gene turns on them,
chance to pace revelations as you wish: she can angrily demanding to know what the hell they
go off and find out that Ron was lying while the want. On the other hand, if the PCs dont
PCs are trespassing on Donald Cruzs land with interrupt then she runs off into the woods and
Ed. Or she can find out the connection between Gene follows her.
Gene and Gretta Schliff while the PCs are Gene can be blackmailed once the PCs
shaking down Ron, and so on and so forth. know about his mistress (or ex-mistress,
really). Hes got some money, but hell tell his
wife (and file charges against the PCs) if they
Gene Mullen demand more than $5,000. The knowledge of
People who get an appointment to talk to his infidelity can also be used to leverage the
Gene are in for plenty of glad handing and truth out of him about his sightingand his
spin. Hes extremely vague about his own suspicions about Rons sighting. He begs the
sighting: Well, it was dark, of course, and its PCs not to reveal what they know. It wont
hard to see through all those leaves. Now if it just be bad for meitll be bad for the whole
was autumn, boy, you should see it up here in town!
the autumn! Its like the forest just explodes in If they want to, they can even bully him
color. He wants Rons story to get discredited into not running for re-election.
so that Ron looks bad and so the bigfoot
tourists dont get scared. But at the same time
he doesnt want all the area bigfoot mythology Dora Mullen
exploded. So he plays it as friendly and slip- Dora isnt terribly important to the bigfoot
pery as he can. element of the doins at Stoon Lake, but she is
If confronted about his connection to the center of the love triangle between Ron
Gretta Schliff, he makes no secret about it. Of and Gene. If characters just visit her cold and
course I want the town to expand. Of course I ask her what she thinks about bigfoot she
want more tourist income. Im the mayor, says she doesnt really have an opinion. Shes
arent I? Why wouldnt a guest want to come never seen it herself and she knows that a lot
to an unspoiled natural lake with friendly of locals think bigfoot hoaxes are fun. But she
people and gorgeous scenery? He stoutly knows a lot of people really do believe in it.
denies that he lied about his sighting. Why Even if pressed, she wont say shes confident
in the stories of Ron and Geneher husband him in his office at Northlakes Fuel Oil, Inc.
and her close friend. She might make some Hes got an office to himself, so hes happy to
oblique reference to their competitiveness invite them in, close the door, and avidly tell
instead. (Well, those two are still boys when them all about Yeti myths, sasquatch sightings,
it comes to one-upping each other.) tales of the Florida Skunk Ape, and (of course)
If the PCs tell her Gene was (or is) stepping everything there is to know about the Stoon
out on her, she initially refuses to believe it. If Lake Bigfoot. Hes eager to help any capture
they describe his girlfriend that persuades her, expedition that he considers serious. Anyone
but she doesnt let on to them that shes who offers him money is serious.
convinced. Instead she insists that they leave, As with Ron, intimidation or magick can
and she calls the cops if they refuse. get Ed to admit he faked the footprint, though
Once the PCs are out of her house, she he does resist for a while. He is 100% con-
goes off to Rons. Shes awfully distracted, so vinced that his photo is the real thing, though.
she doesnt notice if the PCs follow her. (As a side note, Ed is very familiar with the
If Ed or Mia is with the PCs, or if the PCs lifelong competition between Ron and Gene.
tell anyone what they know, the resultant He happily tells the PCs the love triangle
scandal loses Gene his next election, wrecks backstoryat least, the story as he under-
his marriage, and covers all three of them with stands it, which is that Ron was always in love
a scandal from which they never recover. with Dora but Gene married her cause hes
better looking.)
If they meet Ed by night, they can find him
Ed Cliffe at McMurtrys Bar and Grill. Early in the
If they go looking for Ed by day, they can find evening hes just having a few beers and is
THOMAS MANNING

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Cryptofaundling: the Mystery Hunter Narrative Structure


The word cryptozoology comes from Greek (or is it Latin? One of those old-timey languages)
words meaning secret and animals and word (indicating knowledge). It is the much-
maligned field of trying to find animals that are recorded in legend, but whose existence has
never been verified by science.
Its quite different from discovering new species. If an experienced biologist could get deep
enough into the Amazon jungle, or under the Australian deserts, or within the forests of north-
ern Russia, shed be unable to sit down without squashing an undiscovered species of insect or
nematode. (Thats the way it seems sometimes, anyhow.) No, cryptozoologists are the poor sods
trying to capture el chupacabra, or dissect a Yeti, or at least get a really good picture of the
mystery monster of Lake Champlain.
Muddying ones boots in the wilderness looking for something that may or may not exist
seems to be a pretty far cry from the usual UA soupon of gunfights, occultism, and pimp-
battered whores. But with a bit of stretching, a narrative structure based on searching for the
unknown can fit surprisingly well and provide a lot of pay dirt. Specifically: continued

mellow. The later it gets, the drunker he hissing at them whenever they step on a loud
becomes, until hes ready to go out into the twig, frequently gesturing for them to freeze,
woods right then and there. (Anyone who goes and so forth. Call for Notice and Soul checks
out in the woods with Ed drunk does get lost, now and then, for no particular reason.
and Ed definitely passes out around midnight.) Then, as the sun starts going down, the
Assuming the PCs have more sense than to characters come upon a stream that (Ed says)
go out into the woods with a drunken hick, leads up to a spring. Following the stream up,
they can get into even bigger trouble. Sober or they spot a hairy figure dunking its head into
drunk, it doesnt take much to get Eds opinion the spring at the same time it spots them. It
that many of the best sightings have been on rises and bolts. Play out the chase briefly. If the
Donald Cruzs property. PCs open fire, Ed doesnt shoot, but if they
Donald isnt giving anyone permission to dont he shoots and hits with his tranquilizer
tromp through his woods, regardless of rifle.
incentive. In fact, he wont even meet with The figure is, of course, a naked Donald
people in person, and after the first phone call, Cruz playing nature boy on his own property.
the PCs get an answering machine. The PCs have ten minutes before the tranquil-
Ed is reluctant to go onto Cruzs property, izer wears off. (Ed played it safe with the
but he can be persuadedespecially after a dosage, not wanting to kill his bigfoot if he
few stiff ones. could help it.) If theyre there when he wakes
After climbing over a barbed-wire fence up, Cruz first comment is, Im going to sue
marked No Trespassing, the PCs find the living shit out of you.
themselves in some dense forest. Lead them The PCs are guilty of trespassing and
around for a while, raising the tension. Men- battery at the very least. If they fired at him
tion how far from the road theyve walked and with anything other than a taser or the tran-
how lost theyre feeling. (Unless a character quilizer, thats assault with a deadly weapon.
has skills or experience relating to woodlands The outcome of a criminal trial is beyond
ability, assume everyone but Ed is completely the purview of this adventure, but given the
lost after the first half hour.) Have Ed go very evidence, the PCs are likely to pay some heavy
serious and tense on them as time passes, civil damages and may even do some jail time.
Serious Scenery. In normal UA, the word exotic connects to dancers more often than
location, but a gang of cryptozoologists can span the globe, dodging death on every conti-
nent. This is your chance to face the challenges of frostbite in Fargo, malaria in Malabar, and
trench foot near the Tigris and Euphrates.
Simple Story Starts. With such a clearly defined yet open-ended mission statement, the
Mystery Hunter narrative structure allows lazy GMs to spin out a fairly small number of
potential plot hooks, confident the PCs will bite at anything involving a lost dinosaur mesa.
Splendid Shams and Simulacra. Given the distortions of the media and the expectation that
most of their cases will be duds, genuine discoveriesperhaps a new species of ape instead of a
Sasquatch, or just about anything from the Unexplained chapter in Unknown Armiescan
be few and far between and still be very rewarding. Cryptozoologists win either way. Like Mia
Gilona, genuine discoveries make their careers. But uncovering fakes, or just explaining mis-
leading evidence, provides them with credibility. And even sham books on the subject can sell
well and support new projects.
Whats particularly interesting is that a lot of failures to a cryptozoologist can tie into
more traditional UA tropes. Specifically, they could run into a fraud, a hoaxer, or the byblows
of the truly unnatural.
That said, there are a few drawbacks to a lengthy Mystery Hunter game.
Stylistic Stutter Steps. In matters of theme and tone, a Mystery Hunter narrative structure
has more in common with Doc Savage than The Exorcist. Im not going to say the pulpy tone is
better or worse than UAs typical transcendental horror, but it is different. UAs rules are built to
play a gritty horror game, and may jar a bit when used for pulp. (The secret damage system can
cover a multitude of sins, however. Just take it easy with the stress checks and let people succeed
without rolling often and its close enough to pulp for government work.)
Supplement Sadness. Simply put, most UA supplements are written for character groups who
are either in, or working towards, an urban occult subculture. Mystery Hunter groups are focused
on the unknown and tend to spend more time in the Great Outdoors. (Tying a Mystery Hunter
group into Drink to That or Swap Meet takes a lot more doing than roping in a TNI team or
a band of Reality Cops.) This makes it great for GMs who like to do a lot of work on their own
(or GMs whose playersbless their hearts and walletsbuy and read a lot of UA supplements).
But be aware that if your players choose to be Mystery Hunters, youll want to either make sure
theyre willing to investigate the Occult Underground or be prepared to do a lot of prep.
Success Suckage. Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to a story is for the protagonist to
get what he wants. If youre prepared to end things when they discover that living brontosaurus,
fine. But if the game keeps going after the PCs really have proved that, no shit, theres Sasquatch in
them there hills, be ready to change it drastically. Success should open up as many plot doors as it
closes. Initially, Mystery Hunters are scorned and ignored. Now, theyre hounded by fans, paparazzi,
and crackpots. Before, they had no credibility. Now, they have too much responsibility.
The biggest mistake you can make in running a Mystery Hunter narrative structure is to try
and keep things the same after theyve made their big success. Ill give you an example. Weve
all seen sitcoms where the central conflict was, Will Boy and Girl get together? After a few
teasin seasons, they almost always do. And after that, unless the series writers are really sharp,
the show just deflates. After the deflowering, what do you do for an encore? In a novel, the
answer is, Type THE END and wait for my advance. If you want to keep playing with the
Mystery Hunters, you need a better answer than that.
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GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

144

This adventure is set in the absolutely


worst part of whichever city your campaign
happens to be located in, the part where no-
body goes if they can help it, the part where the
poor and the desperate and the lost drift to. Its
called Garden View; in New York, it would be
in the Bronx, in Chicago, a near parallel to
Cabrini Green, in Seattle, an exaggerated
version of the Central District. Think drugs,
excrement, crime, disease, despair, and poverty.
The buildings are falling down, there are
needles scattered carelessly about the streets,
some rooms have ten or fifteen people living in
them, there are buildings full of squatters where
the only toilet is a bucket in the corner or a
stinking hole. The word that will most readily
spring to most PCs minds is filthy.
Poverty and race in America being what
they are, the population of Garden View is
largely black with some Hispanics. Fifty years
ago, Garden View wasnt like this. It was poor,
but had thriving black and Jewish communities,
several jazz clubs, its own local newspaper, and
even a school. It was a popular place for rich
white kids to slum, toolike Harlem in the
1920s. But as people moved out to better areas,

A man of words and not of deeds


Is like a garden full of weeds.
And when the weeds begin to grow,
Its like a garden full of snow.
And when the snow begins to fall,
Its like a bird upon a wall.
And when the bird begins to fly,
Its like an eagle in the sky.
And when the sky begins to roar,
Its like a lion at the door.
And when the door begins to crack,
Its like a stick upon your back.
And when your back begins to smart,
Its like a penknife in your heart.
And when your heart begins to bleed,
Its red and red and red indeed.

CHAPTER ILLO BY TOREN ATKINSON


and as jazz dried up as the in-thing, and with writing again. Unfortunately, his considerable
the advent of drug culture, things went down- creative energies are now being directed
hill . . . and further downhill . . . and further, towards violent pornography, written for his
until they hit absolutely rock-bottom. own personal gratification and largely con-
cerning the degradation and humiliation of
those he feels have hurt or betrayed him. This
Chronicles of the Unknown! would be of no concern to anybody but
The causes of Garden Views decline seem Longman save that the current Godwalker of
tragically obvious; economics, urban flight, the Chronicler recently died, and there was no
drugs. There is, however, a hidden factor in obvious candidate to replace him. Consequent-
this story: Marcus Longman, a science-fiction ly, Longmans stories are acting as a channel
and fantasy writer, alcoholic, lecher, and for some of the pent-up creative powers of the
former Godwalker of the Chronicler. Longman collective unconscious. His stories are being
was a pioneering black writer of short stories acted out by those around him. A force nor-
for such magazines as Imagination, Fantastic, mally of order, the Chronicler, has been
and Unknown!, as well as a journalist for the transfused and infused with chaos and entropy,
local Negro newspaper. Today he is largely and its this thats empowering Longman.
forgotten. His tales focused on the fears, This is, as they say, a bad thing. Prominent
dreams, and legends of his neighborhood, a among the horrors being unleashed are two
mixture of urban terror and voudoun tales, members of Longmans own family: his ex-
marked by a tone of lyricism, irony, and anger. girlfriend Yvonne and their son David. Both
A typical example is Shades, about young are now empowered by the force flowing from
white couples who move into a largely black Longman, and they have their own plans for
area and become increasingly nervous at night, the unfortunate inhabitants of Garden View.
starting to feel that the shadows around them Yvonne was already a crazed, violently
are alive. Eventually they are literally con- racist old woman, but she has now become a
sumed by the darkness. Another, Jesus Lift loogaroua Caribbean witch-ghost. She is
Me Up, is concerned with a small evangelical using her power to steal the souls of newborn
gospel church whose members, after they die, black children, reasoning that by taking and
continue their service to the Lord as zombies. cleansing their souls she spares them the
Longmans stories so well reflected the lives original sin of being born to what she believes
of the people around him, albeit fantasticated is an inferior race. David, a former CIA agent,
and exaggerated, that he graduallyand at first has turned himself into a figure of urban
unknowinglyassumed the role of an Avatar of legend: the Mirror Man, whose dark shades
the Chronicler. Eventually he became aware of capture the souls of his victims.
his new abilities and, more clearly than ever The deadly pair are only the tip of a very
before, of the things that haunted Garden View. large iceberg. Garden View is so charged with
He had the smarts, balls, and power to become power at the moment that unwitting channels
the Godwalker, ascending to this position in of the supernatural come two a penny, and the
1958. But he lost it in 1960, when the devastat- already vicious and chaotic nature of life there
ing end of his relationship with Yvonne Cole, a is turning into something quite nightmarish.
young white woman, caused him to stop The tensions and fears underlying the prob-
writing altogether, and he drifted into a job as a lems have been there for years, festering away,
store clerk. Hes now a bitter, alcoholic old man but in the last few months Longmans sudden
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

who is barely scraping by on his pension. rush of power has turned Garden View into
Recently, however, Longman has taken up the paranormal equivalent of Chernobyl.

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GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

146

The two moods work together in that for


Mood many of the PCs, Garden View will seem like
Garden Full of Weeds is designed, firstly, to another, stranger world altogether. The scale of
have the feel of dirty urban horror, both urban poverty is not something that is particu-
fictional and real. For the fictional, try Clive larly comfortable to see up closeask any
Barkers The Forbidden. For the real, look social worker. In the middle of all of this,
at David Simons Homicide: A Year on the however, there are flickers of community, of
Killing Streets. Secondly, it should also feel like happiness, of love. Just when the PCs are
a folktale. Not the cleaned-up, moralistic tales starting to see Garden View as something dark
we hear in childhood, but the bloody, cruel, and terrible, throw in family photographs,
often seemingly illogical originals. children doing homework or trading baseball
For the urban horror, emphasize the cards, a dealer weeping over the death of his
poverty, amorality, and dirtiness of life in brother. There is hope.
Garden View, combined with the visceral In general, play up the mood of isolation
nature of the horrors plaguing it. Be as explicit and fear. Garden View should feel totally
as your players can cope with. For the folktale, separated from the rest of society, like a lonely
make sure your players never feel themselves little country village that happens to be in a
fully on top of whats going on. They should city. If at all possible, set the story in a cold,
feel like children in a world of adults, only bleak winter. When the PCs go back to the
vaguely able to grasp the principles behind the normal world, emphasize its warmth,
mighty events rocking their world. Even after comfort, and luxury.
the story is finished, mysteries should still
linger.

NATHAN FOX
Loogarou
Loogarou are Caribbean monsters, a cross between witches, vampires, and ghosts, who may
have their origins in Christian and African witch-mythology. Normally old women, they can
leave their skins behind and go out at night to suck blood. Sometimes they bear a witch-mark in
their normal form, such as a discolored spot or third nipple. Salting their skins prevents them
from returning to them, and results in their eventual destruction in the sunlight.
In the world of Unknown Armies, loogarou do not exist. But Marcuss own particular
crazed mythology has seized upon the image as suitable for Yvonne, empowering her with
similar abilities. Loogarou, by the way, is also sometimes used to refer to werewolves (I believe
it literally means skin-changer or something similar, but dont hold me to it), which may lead
PCs up the wrong path at some points. To some extent, this scenario is sort of a dark twin to
Stoon Lake.

others movements and habits, although theyve


Themes been separated since Yvonne gave David to her
The key theme of this adventure is the intersec- sister to raise shortly after his birth.
tion of race and identity. For all of the main Another possible theme is childhood
characters, their ideas about race have affected innocence. The children in Garden View are
the way they see themselves and the world. To the worst affected by the horrors plaguing the
some degree, each of them sees the world as a neighborhood, and to some degree they also
war between black and white, darkness and have the clearest insights as to what is going
light. This attitude echoes that of the normal on. At the same time, though, they sometimes
world towards Garden View. Those outside the give the impression of having lost their child-
Garden see it as another world, a dark, terrify- hood entirely. Emphasize the youth of many of
ing world; those inside see the outside world as the people the PCs meet: children with guns.
out to destroy them. The race of PCs will be
very important in the adventure, and you may
want to use black and white as much as Foreign Lands
possible when describing how buildings, This adventure is terribly American. No other
places, and people appear. You can play up Western country really has quite such a legacy
white PCs feelings of alienation and detach- of racial division, poverty, and hatredlargely
ment towards the events in Garden View, and because of the legacy of slaveryor such
perhaps black PCs feelings of either sympathy racially driven politics. Theres a decent-sized
or contempta middle-class black PC, for Third World nation within the United States,
instance, may well look upon the people in hidden away from normal eyes. If your
Garden View as being fundamentally failures, campaign is primarily European, your PCs will
trapped by themselves, not their race. probably have to holiday.
Another theme is the power of motherhood. An exception: the adventure could work
Mothers are intensely important within Garden with only relatively minor changes in Austra-
View, largely because the fathers are so often lia, in one of the dirt-poor Aboriginal suburbs.
absent or unknown. The feeling should be that Here Yvonne Coles stealing of the babies
the bond between a mother and child is an souls would echo the stolen generation of
intense, almost mystical one, and that the Aboriginal children, taken from their parents
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

severing or abuse of it is a terrible thing. by the government. Racial heritage in Australia


Yvonne and David Cole may even echo each is much less clean-cut than in America, and

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GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

148

there are very few pure Aboriginals. So play or trace. The PCs will also have to deal with
up the ambiguity of race, and the fact that, the K, which will be continually harassing
even in a tiny degree, a different blood can them, possibly with lethal intent. Behind the K
set you apart. is their leader, Cutter Jim, who is in fact an
aged white supremacist using magick to
manipulate the group. At some point, the PCs
The Course of Events may or may not discover the ultimate cause
Garden Full of Weeds is intended to be a behind all thisMarcus Longmanand
very loose, non-linear adventure. Unlike many perhaps resolve the underlying supernatural
UA scenarios, the existing power groups arent problem by channeling the warped power of
really involved. Nor is there an existing the Chronicler in some different fashion.
conflict between supernatural entities, nor any
direct threat to the PCs or life as we know it
just a small part of town that has gone to hell, The Hook
and that the PCs can walk away from any time Of course, the PCs need a reason to become
they choose. involved in Garden View in the first place.
The course of events depends largely upon There are two likely hooks: the pollution of
the actions of the players. However, certain the mystical atmosphere in the city by Garden
events occur if unchecked by the PCs, as well View, and the incredibly high rate of child
as many omens that gradually reveal them- mortality within the district. Several possibili-
selves over the course of play, perhaps provid- ties for various common campaign frames are
ing vital clues as to the nature of whats going presented below. Its also possible that any of
on. Or, quite possibly, simply confusing the the groups described below might be undertak-
Hell out of the PCs. ing their own separate investigations of the
Here, then, is what may well happen. The Garden, providing another source of danger or
PCs arrive in Garden View with one or more aid for the PCs if you want to spice up the pot.
leads, probably looking for whatever is killing
the babies. They do some initial investigating
and discover some clues as to the nature of The New Inquisition
Yvonne Cole, the old woman who is behind Alex Abels resident psychics and seers keyed
the deaths. At the same time they are discover- him in to what was going on in Garden View
ing that Garden View is in a fairly terrible state when the apple one of them brought for lunch
anyway, the streets being controlled by an exploded in a shower of maggots just as he
insane, vicious, and savvy new gang called mentioned a relative there. Abel started really
the K. They also discover that a strange worrying when a psychics wooden statue of
trenchcoated figure is the new bogeyman of the Virgin Mary burst into nettles, and a
local childrenprobably through talking to talented diviner began to get cramping pains in
the brothers and sisters of the murdered his belly whenever he moved his dowsing
babiesand this same figure (David Cole, ex- wand near the districts location on a map. A
CIA agent and creature of the darkness) begins little more work dug up the information that
to stalk them. not a single child born within Garden View in
David Cole is probably taken down by the the last seven months had lived more than two
PCs relatively early, as he will directly attack weeks, and that nobody within the city author-
and harass them; behind him, unfortunately, is ities seems to be giving a shit. Abel is angry as
his mother, Yvonne, who is less powerful in hell, and hes sending a team down there to dig
direct assault but much more difficult to harm dirt and kick ass.
Mak Attax
The Cult of the Naked Goddess Naturally, the worlds biggest fast food chain
Theres something seriously wrong with sex in has an outlet in Garden View. After all, cheap,
the city. All the Goddesss videos in the stores unhealthy crap is just what the place needs. A
suddenly seem to be those that show her at her bold member of Mak Attax works there; what
most dirty and degradedsome of them even other place is in greater need of the little bursts
have a body double of her in recently filmed of hope served out with each Happy Meal?
bondage scenes (which a close examination Hes started to get feedback from his use of the
will show to be taking place in recognizable Lesser Correspondence ritual, though: little
locations in Garden View). When 3:33 rolls images from his customers of a man standing
round each morning and afternoon, one of the in the shadows, of babies rotting in cribs, of a
porn booths in the city switches to nothing but terrible dark woodthis isnt really Mak
birthing videos. While one of the PCs is Attaxs field, but maybe its time to get proac-
gaining charges, he finds himself crying out at tive, you know?
the moment of orgasm, My son, oh my son,
would that I had died in your place! A quick
casting of Synchronicity breaks the PCs car The House of Renunciation
down in Garden View; clearly this is where the Any of the Houses Rooms (as described in
Goddesss work needs to be done. Statosphere) could well become involved in
Garden View. Theres enough twisted and
damaging obsession in there to draw the heavy
The Sleepers attention of the Room of Cold Reflection,
Frankly, the Sleepers wouldnt normally be too enough apathy and soullessness to attract the
worried about whats going on in the Garden Room of Rusted Things, enough pain to lure the
as long as nobody else notices it. Its not as if Room of Hearts Burden Lifted, and its precari-
they dont have enough to do elsewhere. But ous balance between civilization and nature
the bad mojo is leaking into the rest of the city, might be tempting for the Room of Ignorance.
and there are omens showing up right, left,
and center, and its probably just a matter of
time before people other than the sensitive Magick Cabal
start seeing themperhaps its time for the It starts when one of the PCs is attempting a
PCs to go down there and find out whats relatively minor working, something they do
going on. well, not on a regular basis, but when neces-
sary. The magick works, but with it comes a
terrible wrenching in their stomach, a psychic
The Order of St. Cecil pain. To use the argot of the 60s, its bad
Theres a small Catholic church in Garden View, vibes, man. This pain, which worsens the
run by a dedicated but tired priest who saw closer the magick-worker is to Garden View,
something distinctly strange in Rome in 1972. seems to be affecting the entire cabal. Com-
When his few, elderly congregants start coming bined with a couple of the omens described
to him with stories of witchcraft, demonic cats, later, the PCs ought to be taking a little trip
and a man who catches souls in his sunglasses, into the badlands soon enough.
he knows enough to place a long-distance phone
Circle of Friends
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

call to a tiny office in the Vatican.


One of the PCs from a poor background has a

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young female relative or friend unfortunate in the course of another adventure) discovered
enough to live in Garden View. She recently that David Cole knows something about it.
had a baby who died within two weeks of Tracing him to Garden View, they find that
birth. Ever since then shes been seeing cats there are even more mysteries to be unraveled.
everywhere she looks, finding claw marks on
her furniture, and hearing low meows in the
dark. The PC may well dismiss this as hyste- The Real Hook
riauntil she asks him to stay the night for Whatever motivations the PCs think they have
protection. for being in Garden View, they are also unwit-
ting tools of the Statosphere. The universe is
bleeding from the absence of the Chronicler,
Reality Cops and Marcus Longman is like a festering boil
Bad, bad things are happening. Rumors of any that needs to be lanced. The PCs have been
one of them should be enough to draw any subtly guided to act as agents for this task,
decent protector to Garden Viewwhere the which is why they are immune to the blindness
PCs discover that the truth is worse than their which Marcuss powers have cast over most
nightmares. others trying to interfere in Garden View. They
find their journey to Garden View exceptional-
ly smooth and lacking in any form of chance
Occult Investigators meetings, delays, or accidents, as the Invisible
The PCs are staking out some member of one Clergy exert a tiny part of their influence; this,
of the groups above when the person theyre unfortunately, does not apply within Garden
watching starts to take a peculiar interest in View itself. The PCs will likely be utterly
Garden View. A few weird encounters and unaware of this underlying reason for their
your average group of investigators should be visit, but the GM can use it to make interesting
barking to get in. Alternatively, the PCs are things happen.
attempting to discover the legendary Tune of
Midnight, which summons tenebrae from the
darkness, and have laboriously (and preferably Bad Omens
The events in Garden View, naturally enough,

The Park
The Park is located smack bang in the center of Garden View. Theoretically its Thomas Park,
named after some long forgotten local dignitary, but everyone just calls it the Park. Its sur-
rounded by a dark iron fence, spiked at the top, with six gateways; many of the bars of the
fence are rusted or broken. The interior of the Park is heavily wooded, and people steer well
clear of it at night. Deep in the woods is an abandoned childrens playground, the frames
collapsed, the swings spidery, long forgotten. The homeless take shelter in it, lighting little wood
fires which never quite seem to get out of hand; theres also a pack of wild and rather nasty
dogs. The homeless give food to the dogs, who guard them for it like ancient kitchen gods.
Essentially, the Parks role is to function as the Woods of fairytale. It seems much deeper
and larger than it could possibly be in reality, and monsters lurk within. At some point the PCs
should definitely find themselves deep inside the Park, jumping at shadows, seeking out one
killer or another. Yvonne Cole lives in the woods in a little hut, a distant shadow of the Little
Grandmother, Baba Yaga, the witch in the forest.
The Liegeless Land
Unknown Armies campaigns sometimes feature mystical urban conflicts between various True
Kings, Urbanomancers, Cliomancers and the like, with each petty king occupying a small part
of the city. If this is the case in your campaign, then Garden View is a wasteland: nobody claims
or occupies it, or wants to. One or two may have tried to claim part of the territory, and found
it feels like poison in their veins when they do so.
The last known True King of Garden View was Daddy M, a pimp and Plutomancer in the
1960s and 70s who took his stable of prostitutes as his wives and had many children, some of
whom were keyed in enough to want his throne. Surprisingly, he wasnt killed by one of them.
He simply disappeared one day, sparking a vicious internal war that ended with half his chil-
dren dead and nobody in control of Garden View. Since then its been a no-mans land.

are throwing off all kinds of nasty unnatural park are black and red, not black and white.
phenomena. Many of these may serve as useful A statue of the Buddha seems suddenly
clues for the PCs, being more in the nature of pregnant, not fat, with his smiling mouth
portents than threats. GMs whose players are gaping in a great hungry grin.
fond of divination magick, and who dont wish A PCs white sheets, while hes out of the
to short-circuit the plot by giving them an- room, seem to have arranged themselves
swers too early, can substitute modified forms into a KKK robe and hood.
of these omens, as the confusion of the Stato- A PC sees a cat in an alleyway, cornered by
sphere around Garden View, the blurring of a rat nearly twice its size.
the boundaries between order and entropy, A male PC suffers sudden, excruciating pains
plays merry hell with attempts to predict the in his stomach, for no apparent reason.
future. They are presented in rough order of Near a maternity hospital, the PCs hear
intensity. (Several other possible omens, it the wailing of babiesor possibly cats.
should be noted, are described under the A tire blows on a car, and the sound it
individual factions.) makes is not like a gunshot, as normal, but
disconcertingly like the rattle of a last
A PC glances at the adult magazine section breath.
of a newsstand only to see, disconcertingly, A PC sees the shadow of an old man cast
that all the women on the front covers against a wall, typing frantically.
seem to be both black and pregnant. A One of the PCs is reading the newspaper
second glance shows this to be just a when the ink turns to blood, soaking the
temporary impression. paper and probably the PC. The blood
The light of a candle glows black for a turns back to ink a few minutes later.
brief instant. (Unnatural-1)
The TV channels seem strangely obsessed Looking at herself in the mirror, a PC sees
with retrospectives of the O.J. Simpson trial. a tall man, clad in suit, trenchcoat, and
Children are playing hopscotch, and the mirrored sunglasses, staring back at her,
loser is cutting himself and mixing the with her own reflection shown in the
blood in with the chalk. When asked why, glasses. (Unnatural-1)
the reply is a shrug and Dont know. Just A PC makes a phone call, only to hear his
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

seemed right. mothers voice, panting in labor, as a


A PC notes that all the chessboards in a local ghostly echo on the line. The other party

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152

seems completely unaware of this, continu- In addition, images of Longman himself


ing their chatter as his mother gasps in sometimes appear, pale and flickering, like
pain. (Unnatural-1) images from a failing film projector on a wall.
Late at night, a PC feels a tiny form These may act out significant scenes from
snuggle against him, cold and clammy Marcuss life, such as his first meeting with
against his neck. It disappears as soon as Yvonne, his discovery of his wifes suicide over
he touches it in any way other than loving- his affair with Yvonne, and the quarrel that
ly, or if he turns on the light. (Unnatural-2) destroyed him, or they may be darkly porno-
A PC looks into a cradle or a pram and graphic, like his writing.
sees the babys face replaced with that of a
cat, hissing horribly. (Unnatural-2)
A white PC wakes up with black skin and The Rhyme
facial features, or a black PC wakes up The old childrens rhyme, A man of words
with white skin and facial features. Water and not of deeds, neatly exemplifies whats
washes it off, revealing her true skin and going on in Garden View. The series of chang-
flesh underneath. The new flesh burns as it es within the poem are symbolic of the changes
peels off . (Self-3) occurring within the garden, reality being
shaped by metaphor. (Well, technically simile,
but lets not push it.) It should be noted that
Longmans Fragments there are numerous versions of this rhyme. In
Fragments of Longmans current writings can particular, there are two endings, one deadly
be found scattered throughout Garden View, and one hopefulwhich of them emerges
spontaneously manifested in one form or triumphant will depend on the PCs. Symbolism
another. Their content is violently pornograph- from the rhyme can be worked into descrip-
ic, featuring abuse, bondage, racial-abuse (of tions of eventsweeds grow between the
whites and blacks), rape, and torture; the name cracks of old buildings, a passing plane is like
Yvonne frequently crops up, normally as a an eagle, during a storm the thunder is like the
subject of abuse. Most GMs will simply want roar of a lion, a PC hit in a fight feels it like a
to broadly describe the contents; those who stick upon his backand the actual lines of
believe their groups can handle such material the poem show up in various forms, such as:
might want, for props, to pull some of the
innumerable examples of such material from Graffiti on a wall.
the Internet, improve the style a little, and On the back of a bus ticket.
change some of the names. Shaved into the fur of a dead cat.
Here are some possibilities for the appear- A shy, quiet voice from a supposedly
ances of Longmans fantasies. unplugged radio.
Coughed up, in blood and phlegm, by a
On the back of discarded gambling slips. dying man.
As junk mail. Spelled out on a Scrabble board.
On a post-it note on a refrigerator. The solutions to a crossword puzzle.
Written on a wall in a close, slanting hand. A banner hung above a doorway.
Replacing the Bridge column in a newspaper.
Slipped into a book a PC buys second-
Investigating

hand.
Tucked into hospital records. Most of the information to be picked up in
On scraps of human skin, in a PCs bed. Garden View can be found through simple
hear. At the moment, almost everyone is also
The Other Version scared; theyve been having very, very bad
A man of words and not of deeds dreams, and hearing very bad things, and
Is like a garden full of weeds, theyre not in a mood to trust strangers.
And when the weeds begin to grow
Its like a garden full of snow,
And when the snow begins to melt Dead Babies
Its like a garden full of felt, One of the first tasks for many groups, un-
And when the felt begins to peel doubtedly, will be investigating the unnaturally
Its like a garden full of steel, high infant mortality rate within Garden View.
And when the steel begin to rust A freakishly high number of children have
Its like a garden full of dust, been dying in the last seven months, thanks to
And when the dust begins to fly, Yvonne Coles flights out of her body at night
Its like an eagle in the sky, to eat their souls. The obvious places to being
And when the sky begins to roar, investigating this are the nearest public hospi-
Its like a lion at your door, tal (as appropriate to the city) and the Depart-
And when your door begins to crack, ment of Human Services.
Its like a stick across your back, The doctors seem strangely oblivious to
And when your back begins to smart whats been going on. Some follow-up calls
Its like a whip across your heart, have been attempted, certainly, but none of the
And when your heart begins to fail, health workers are particularly keen on going
Its like a ship without a sail, to that neighborhood themselves. A little
And when the sail begins to sink, prompting will shock them into a response as
Its like a bottle full of ink, to the sheer number of the deaths, but this will
And when the ink begins to write be rapidly numbed once outside of the PCs
It makes the page all black and white. presence. This reaction, naturally, is caused by
the negative influence of the Chronicler,
blinding people as to whats going on. (PCs
observation and questioning. PCs may have who check the newspapers, by the way, will
problems, however, finding a convincing find absolutely, utterly no mention of Garden
excuse for their interrogations. Both the View for the last seven months.) The rate, too,
playtest groups pretended to be from the social has been hidden by the fact that a great many
services, on the grounds that the ID was of the deaths havent been reported. Some
reasonably easy to fake and it was a good autopsies have been performed, as described
reason why theyd be asking around after the below; these were highly inconclusive and
babies. PCs who pretend to be law enforce- generally came up with SIDSSudden Infant
ment officialsor who actually are law Death Syndrome, or we dont have a clue
enforcement officialsfind residents respons- what happened.
es sullen, antagonistic, and dishonest. The care workersprincipally Daphne
Pretty much everyone in Garden View is Horton, a middle-aged, thin, nervous black
black. White PCs, therefore, will stand out a woman, and Lucy Jacobwitz, a sarcastic Jewish
mile off, and have a considerably harder time woman given to a paternalistic approach
talking to the people there, who will tend to towards the schwartzesare somewhat more
assume an aggressive or a subservient stance responsive, but also overworked, underpaid,
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

either telling the PCs to get lost, or telling and sleepless. Theyre having enough problems
them what they think the PCs really want to dealing with the live children, let alone coping

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with the dead ones. Each of them has some in an apartment provided by her boy-
hundred and fifty or more children to deal with, friend, which she keeps in a reasonable
and they havent been comparing notes recently, condition, and has another son by Jo
being somewhat overwhelmed by a rash of child named Sam, who is one year old. She has a
abuse, beatings, midnight terrors, and so forth. vague recollection that the night JoJo died
They might possibly have picked up on some- she saw some kind of funny light outside.
thing of the story of The Mirror Man from Henry Samson, who died six months ago,
their charges. aged twenty-seven days. Hes the son of a
Going door-to-door on the various dead secretary, Catherine, twenty-two, married
children will have somewhat more useful to Jonah, who works at a local Mc-
results. Naturally, the mothers are not in the Donalds. He was their first child and
best of states, but there are concrete clues to be theyre torn up bad. She hasnt been able
picked up. This should also be a chance to to stop sitting in his room, and Jonahs
properly introduce the PCs to the joys of increasingly angry at her for no good
Garden View. The deaths all occurred in fairly reason. The night Henry died, Catherine
similar circumstancesduring the night, with heard cats fighting outside. They live in a
no sound or warning, just an absence of breath. house in decent repair for the neighbor-
The list of dead babies, and the circum- hood.
stances in which they died, is as follows. Feel Brenda Frazier, who died five months and
free to make up more unreported deaths, if a week ago, aged fifteen days. Her mother
need be. Rough times are given for the deaths; is Karen: plump, eighteen, unemployed,
take a few moments beforehand and work out with two other babies by a different father.
exact dates based on the time in which the She reported the death to the hospital, but
adventure is taking place. shes reluctant to talk to the PCs because
her current boyfriend, Jim, is violently
A nameless female baby who died seven jealous of other men and frequently beats
months ago, aged one week. Her mother is her. When the PCs call, Jim is probably
Arlene, a fifteen-year-old prostitute and slumped inside on the bed, passed out
heroin addict with a thin pretense of street from drinking. If woken, he gets interested
toughness covering her child-like nature. She in the PCs: hes violent toward men,
lives in a squalid squat. The other inhabit- lecherous toward women. He has a Strug-
ants of the squat were only vaguely aware gle skill of 30% and a Body of 60. If the
she was pregnant, and she had the baby by PCs get to talk to Karen, theyll find shes
herself. The night her baby died she was sick still very disturbed by Brendas death and
and coughing up blood and hallucinating especially by the insinuation of the hospital
she believes she saw a vampire drink her workers that she might have been responsi-
babys blood. After she died, Arlene threw ble. Shell protest that she loved that baby
the body into a trash heap and has been so much shed never do anything to hurt
crying hysterically ever since. her. A big black cat was hanging round the
JoJo Washington, who died six months day Brenda died, if the PCs ask.
ago, aged ten days. Her mother is Louise Rick Wahls, who died four and a half
Washington, eighteen, the girlfriend of a months ago, aged seven days. His mother
drug dealer named Little Jo. She was born is Lucy: obese, unemployed, twenty-nine,
in the hospital, and the death was report- with six children, living in a two bedroom
ed. Louise is shaken but not hysterical; she apartment. The oldest, Dennis, thirteen,
is a fairly together, practical girl. She lives will defend his mother aggressively. She
doesnt know who Ricks father was. Shes Shell be more willing than most to talk to
convinced Rick was taken to be with the the PCs, but she didnt notice anything
angels, because two of the children woke except for the howling of cats outside.
and saw a bright shining light over his bed Mark Henson, who died three months ago,
and over him hovered an angel. When they thirty-three days old. He wasnt killed by
checked he was dead, gone to Heaven, Yvonne, however. He was starved to death
such a good little child. by his mother, Margaret, a crack-addicted
Lew Jim James, who died four months sixteen-year-old who was barely aware
ago, aged fifteen days. His mother is Mary that her baby existed. His death hasnt
Sara, a beautiful eighteen-year-old girl, been reported yet, but Lucille lives in the
addicted to crack and a part-time prosti- same building as Lucy Wahls, who might
tute. She didnt report the death and gave mention that she hasnt heard that baby
the body to a friend to incinerate. She crying any more. PCs who talk to Lucille
doesnt know who the father was; she has will find her paranoid, cold, and almost
a boyfriend but he was put away for completely unmoved; she claims to have
murder three weeks before that, and it sent her baby to relatives, but is obviously
might not have been his anyway. There are lying. Marks body is under her bed; its a
muddy cat footprints all over her doorstep. Helplessness-3 check to see it.
LaraAnne Booker, who died three months Luke Walton, who died two months and a
and three weeks ago, aged thirty-seven week ago (Yvonne caught the flu, account-
days. Her mother is Sandra, a scrawny ing for the three week gap), aged eighteen
seventeen-year-old married to Roddy, a days. His mother is Frances, a plump
dealer. Roddy is probably out, but is woman in her mid-twenties who works at
violently upset if he discovers anyone a garment factory, with four other children
talking to his wife. (Hes probably hopped by her husband, Rob, a supervisor at the
up if he runs into the PCs, being a user of factory. Shes in a deep depression but
his own product; Body 50, Speed 60, remembers that she heard a most terrible
Struggle 20%, Guns 20%.) They havent howling outside and, when she went in to
reported the death, but the PCs may find see her baby, saw a flickering light through
out through relativesKatherine is the the window. Rob is a scrawny, short man,
half-sister of Lisa Wallace, below, whose seemingly quiet, who regularly beats his
grandfather may well mention it. other children and Frances.
Katherine is in a state of religious mania. Darmeka Louise Poe, who died two
The night LaraAnne died there was a months ago, aged four months. Her
storm, and she saw a great white ball of mother is Jane, a thirty-eight-year-old
flame enter the room and take her child, prostitute, who weaned herself off heroin
and heard the scratching of devils outside when she realized she was pregnant and
the door of her apartment. (The scratches was making a hard effort to raise her child.
are still there, at roughly cat level.) She was servicing a client in the next room
Susan Whittier, who died three months and when Kate was killed, and shes been near-
two weeks ago, aged forty-five days. Her suicidal ever since. She wont talk to PCs,
mother is Kate, a thirty-four-year-old except to insult them.
housecleaner with two other children who Jim Lawrence, who died seven weeks ago,
divorced her lousy deadbeat husband six aged twenty days. His mother is Hanna,
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

months ago. Shes a tough, capable wom- fifteen years old and still living with her
an, badly hurt by her daughters death. mother and six siblings. The child is her

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Real Horror Stories


Talk seriously to doctors, nurses, and social workers about child abuse and theyll generally
start telling you their own personal horror stories. This isnt done out of a desire to shock, but
from a need to unburden themselves of horrors seen, to try to communicate to those outside
how bad things can be. The PCs probably encounter people in Garden View with this need
several times, and it may bring home to them how horrific the world can be, without any need
for the supernatural.
I called a friend of mine, a young nurse in an ordinary English town, and she told me the
three worst cases shes personally encountered, which fit perfectly well into the mouths of the
medical and social workers of Garden View. More and worse can be found in many books.
The first was a girl of fifteen, brought in by her father with severe internal injuries. During
the initial examination, she was asked, as gently as possible, whether she had been raped, had a
boyfriend, and so forth. All she could repeat was My daddy didnt do it. The examination
revealed repeated vaginal and anal rape over a period of ten yearssince she was five. It turned
out that her father and uncle had been accustomed to raping her simultaneously.
The second was a fourteen-year-old girl, a cocaine addict and prostitute who still lived with
her family and concealed both facts from them. Her grandfather had been paying her for sex
and videotaping the act. Her little sister found the tape and used it to blackmail her grandfather
and sister, making over a grand and a half before they ran out of money and she turned them in.
The third was a three-year-old girl who was found unconscious with WHORE carved
deep into her back. With her was an envelope containing photographs. It lay on the staff-room
table at the hospital for a day, because nobody wanted to open it, until one of the surgeons
whod operated on the girlshe recovereddid so. The photographs were of a man carving the
words into her back, then urinating onto them. He was arrested and convicted. Afterwards he
was a frequent patient at the prison hospital, at which many of the same staff worked part-time.

brother Lawrences, whos been sexually drinking heavily and Annes been trying to
abusing her since she was nine with her keep him together. She thinks she saw a
mothers complicity. No father is listed on UFO the night Susie died, a bright light in
the hospital records. Hanna will attempt the sky.
the seduction of male PCs in an exaggerat- Thomas and Jacob Wallace, who died a
ed, desperate way; shes in a bad state, and month ago, both aged seventeen days.
keeps screaming at night. Shes also natu- They were identical twins. Their mother
rally psychic, and the night that Jim died was Lisa, a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl,
she saw the face of a terrible old woman in orphaned and living with her grandpar-
her dreams, cloaked in white flame. This ents. The father was one of the boys at her
will be conveyed amidst a whole lot of school, but she hasnt told her grandpar-
rambling, however. ents which one. Her grandfather and
Susie Anne Smith, who died five weeks grandmother, Henry and Anna, survive in
ago, aged three and a half months. Her their small house on a tiny pension; its one
mother is Anne, married to George, both of the nicer areas of the Garden, which
twenty-four and shop workers. They have isnt saying muchthey still have enough
an older son, Jake. George hasnt gone to locks on the doors and windows to guard
work since his daughter died. He has been a small prison, and theyve been burgled
twice this year. Lisa is deeply depressed
and sits in her room most of the time. The Great White Ghost
Henry and Anna are very helpful to PCs When Yvonne Cole leaves her body and goes
with a convincing story, and talk about out to suck souls, she takes the form of a
what a good area this used to be, back in glowing white ball of flame. She normally does
the 50s. There are cat footprints in the this in the wee hours of the morning when no
room that the twins were in, on the win- one else is aroundand she also flies high to
dow ledge. avoid noticebut some folks may have seen
Nicky Jakes, who died three weeks ago, her. In particular, the homeless, criminals, and
aged a month and half. His mother is insomniacs might be witnesses. Shes generally
LeAnne, a nineteen-year-old crack addict, been taken for an optical illusion, an angel, a
living in absolutely squalid conditions with ghost, or a UFO. She might be described as
other addicts; she hasnt reported the being like ball lightning, all bright and
death. Shes near-suicidal and is reaching glowing, a flaming ball, or like the sun, if
her breaking point. the sun was all white.
Rojene Fisher, who died eight days ago,
aged five weeks. Her mother is Julie, a sad-
faced thirty-six-year-old struggling to raise Voodoo Lady
three other children, including a sixteen- Currently, there is only one child under the age
year-old daughter. Her husband is Day, a of six months alive in Garden View, a three-
part-time dealer who regularly hits her and month-old boy named Benjen Wallis. Hes the
sexually abuses her daughters; shes son of Fanny Wallis, a twenty-three-year-old,
unconsciously aware of this second fact. dimly pretty garment worker whose husband,
Her daughter, Susie, may ask the PCs for George, died a year ago in an accidental
help if they seem to be from some kind of shooting. Her seventy-year-old grandmother,
government authority. Shes been steeling Kate, is a joyfully happy fat woman who
up the courage to do so for months, and hasnt ever allowed the fairly grim conditions
her baby sisters death has made something of her life to depress her. Kate is steeped in a
snap inside her. Day is a slim, foul- mix of superstitionssome of which, fortu-
mouthed man, a few years younger than nately for Benjen, are true. She had a bad
Julie, but he breaks if confronted with his dream a few months ago about a great white
abuse of his daughters. demon ball, a werewolf, that wanted to eat her
DeeDee Smith, who died two days ago, grandchild. She covered the room with charms
aged three days. Her mother is Gilda, a to prevent this.
fearful twenty-one-year-old woman suffer- Most of these protectionsveve symbols
ing from a variety of paranoid fears, some on the floor, garlic across the door, the win-
of which may have some basis in truth. dows bound with red cords, the posts of the
Shell claim she saw a great white ghost the cradle-bed placed in little bowls of salt water
night her baby died, looming up to eat her are useless against Yvonne, but one is more
soul, but then shell also claim to have effective. Kate scattered huge quantities of
been a virgin when she became pregnant loose change around the walls of the room and
with DeeDee, and that the CIA infected Yvonne was forced to stop and count every
her with AIDS. The PCs may well end up penny when she tried to enter. If PCs find out
playing into her fantasies in some way or about Benjenone of the mothers who has
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

another, though she isnt violent. lost children may know Fanny, and be bitterly
jealous of herthen they may have a chance to

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observe Yvonne hovering outside of the cats are trying to find Yvonne. Theyre manag-
building at night, afraid to enter lest she be ing to get to most of the sites of her killings,
caught there till dawn. but they dont have the power to do anything
except howl, scratch, and generally draw
attention to themselveslike a babys crying.
The Cats The chief effect of this is probably to throw a
What Yvonne hasnt realized, unfortunately massive red herring in the way of the PCs.
for her, is that she isnt actually consuming the Players probably associate the deaths with the
babies souls. Shes killing them, yes, but what cats, with some reference to the legend about
shes draining is the rich spiritual energy of a cats sucking babies breath. One or two of the
newborn child: their innocence. Normally, pre- residents of Garden View, particularly the
conscious children who die become fairies (see older ones, may harbor this superstition
Postmodern Magick, p. 129) but Yvonne has themselves. (You dont let a cat in the same
drained off enough of their nature to give them room as a baby, no sir, not unless you want it
a strange kind of consciousness. The souls are to suck that babes breath right out.)
surviving on a very nasty, primal level, and The cats also monitor the sites of their old
theyre angry. Theyre not powerful enough homes, and several of the deprived mothers
individually to do anything, but since their may mention a feeling of having been watched
sense of self isnt strong theyre able to muster recently. Once the PCs have visited a few
some collective power. Not enough to possess homes, theyll draw the cats attention them-
a human being, but enough to take possession selves. At first the cats wont be certain what
of most of the Gardens cats. the PCs intentions are, and so merely watch
Despite what the PCs may suspect, these them from a distance. They may prowl around

NATHAN FOX
wherever the PCs are staying, follow them on uting churches are normally around the place
the rooftops, or peer in through windows during the day as orderlies and security
whatever you think would creep the PCs out guards. The clinic has two doctors and ten
the most. Eventually, unless the PCs are nurses, all of whom work part-time.
particularly dumb or violent, the cats decide
that the PCs seem to be on their side. They can
then begin to function as helpful guides, The Witchll Get You
attempting to lead the PCs to other deprived If Yvonne notices that the PCs are asking
mothers or possibly even to Coles apartment questions about her, she goes after them in her
or Yvonnes hut. loogarou form. Her plan is to follow them at
night to determine where theyre staying, then
sneak in to suck the soul of the youngest
The Clinic member of the group. Her loogarou shape isnt
Several mothers may make reference to having exactly designed for stealth, however, being
been to the clinic while they were pregnant. bright and glowing, and PCs may well spot her
This is the Saving Light Motherhood Center, a trailing them in the sky above. Shes not that
small squat building with a faded sign outside. great a threat, being used to dealing with those
Its the closest Garden View comes to a public who cant fight back, although PC groups
health center. The staff gives advice and without magick may have a hard time hurting
support to pregnant women and young moth- her directly.
ers. It is funded by several evangelical and
fundamentalist churches, and its primary
agenda is to discourage abortiongenerally Yvonne Cole, Old Witch
with some degree of subtletybut it also Summary: Yvonne Cole was a pretty young
provides of much-needed care. girl from a wealthy, upper-middle-class family.
The head of the center is Dr. Thomas Her parents expected her to go to university,
Lewis Lexington, a big, bluff white man from make some attempt at an education, and then
New Mexico with a luxuriant moustache who marry well, if not happily. Instead, she shocked
is an ordained preacher in the First Church of them by adopting a taste for cigarettes, Com-
Christ Jesus (he switches between Rev. and Dr. munism, and black lovers.
as needed). He tends to be more concerned for When she met Marcus Longman at a club
his patients souls than for their bodies. The one night, she was 21 and he was 34. The
chief nurse is Janice Underton, a black woman attraction was instant, and she moved in with
in her late thirties. Shes rather more concerned him within the month. She became pregnant,
with their mental and physical wellbeing; he urged her to get rid of the child, and beat
although strongly opposed to abortion, she her viciously when she wouldnt. She ran back
had one herself as a teenager and appreciates to her parents, who threw her out of the
the factors involved somewhat more than house. Her sister, a kind woman, took in the
Lexington does. baby, and Yvonne, virtually destitute, became
The clinic is intended as a red herring for a secretary.
suspicious PCs looking for cults and suchlike; Over the years she has become increasing-
it may also be a fruitful source of names and ly, bitterly racist, blaming Longman and all
information. Since it first moved in six years blacks for her woes. In her memories, she has
ago there have been a number of break-ins, turned their love affair into a brutal rape, and
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

arson attempts, and so forth, and consequently convinced herself that she miscarried after he
a couple of the larger members of the contrib- beat her; she hasnt seen her son David since

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160

he was a toddler. A few years ago she moved Damn Kids 30%
back to Garden View, where she rapidly Soul Skills: Charm 10%, Lie 50%, Loogarou
acquired a reputation as a vicious old witch 70%
among neighborhood children, who she would
regularly curse and spit at. Cast out of her Loogarou: Yvonne can leave her skin and
home, she moved to a tiny hut in the woods of send her spirit out as a ghostly, translucent
the Park. ball of white flame, cold and insubstantial
It was there that she found herself becom- to the touch, which can seep through even
ing surrounded by the whispers of folktale. She the smallest of gaps. She cannot be dam-
saw the children outside her window with aged by physical weapons while in this
empty blank faces, smelled the sweet smell of form; only magick blasts or sunlight wither
their succulent souls, so close, so close . . . and and destroy her. A handful of scattered
she reasoned that it was time she took revenge, change will also delay her, requiring her to
for had she not been cast out, thrown away? halt and count every penny. Salting her
And was it not better for the children to die skin will prevent her return to it, eventual-
than to live as members of the cursed tribe of ly resulting in her destruction by sunlight.
Ham? She has become a witch of a rather While in loogarou form, she has the
more literal kind, the loogarou of Caribbean power to steal souls. Against babies, she
myth, capable of leaving her skin behind and needs only to cover their mouths with her
going out as a ball of flame to suck the energy flickering form for a few moments. Against
of new-born babies and send their souls into adults and supernatural beings, it works
the void. like the Dipsomancy spell of Soul Sipping.
Personality: Bitter, hate-filled, and quite evil. She does not consume the soul, however; it
Obsession: The inferiority of blacks and their usually passes beyond the Veil, although
conspiracy against her. the souls of infants tend to hang around as
Wound Points: 35 faeries. Seeing Yvonnes witch form is an
Unnatural-2 check.
Passions
Rage Stimulus: Being reminded of her history. Madness Meter
Fear Stimulus: Rape. Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
Noble Stimulus: Yvonne maintains a strong 1 H/1 F 6 H/1 F 2 H/0 F 8 H/1 F 4 H/5 F
affection for young, married white couples.
Possessions
Stats A small pension, tattered race-hatred pam-
Body: 35 (Bent Old Woman) phlets and newsletters, and a .22 handgun.
Speed: 35 (F) (Slow)
Mind: 60 (Twisted Intelligence)
Soul: 70 (Powerful) The Old Woman In The Woods
Yvonne was evicted from her home three years
Skills ago and since then has lived in an old grounds-
Body Skills: General Athletics 10%, Unexpect- keepers shed in the Park. She is barely known
edly Vicious 25% to the other vagrants who dwell there, but they
Speed Skills: Decent Shot 10%, Dodge 10%, might recognize a picture of her. The hut is full
Drive 05% of clutter: racist propaganda, knives, and
Mind Skills: Communism and Jazz 40%, rotten food. Yvonne is especially fond of
General Education 30%, Watch For Those chicken bones, and throws them outside when
done chewing. This gives the ground before tion or the Sleepers, for example, are quite
her hut a boneyard look. capable of faking identification for one of the
Following Yvonne back to her hut at some PCs as a close relative, and then having the old
point shouldnt be that hard, though finding lady committed to a good private nursing
her in the first place may be. PCs might find a home a long way away.
recent birth and stake out the infant in order Another possibility: the cats follow the PCs
to guard it; in this case give them DeeDee to Yvonnes hut and get there first. The PCs
Jones, the daughter of Carmen, a sweet little hear a loud, high-pitched scream and arrive to
sixteen-year-old counter assistant who is in find her on the floor, dying from a thousand
bad need of a father-figure. She looks to the scratches and bitesor a clean-picked skeleton
PCs for comfort and assistance, especially since if theyve left a gap between visiting her for the
shes heard some of the stories going around. first time and coming back. Either way, there
The direct way of dealing with Yvonne is are hundreds of little paw prints on the grimy
to take her out with magick as soon as shes floor.
seen in loogarou form, but shes slippery,
cautious, and liable to flee as soon as she takes
any damage. Craftier PCs follow her back to The Mirror Man
her hut and wait till daybreak. Really crafty Local children, the PCs rapidly discover, have
PCs who have read up a little on the loogarou a new bogeyman: the Mirror Man, who
return to her hut another night and cover her watches you from the shadows, clad in trench-
skin in salt, thus making it impossible for her coat, suit, and mirrored sunglasses. He can eat
to regain human form and resulting in her your soul up with a glance, and centipedes
painful dissolution in the sunlight. crawl out from under his boots. His mom
The PCs may well end up confronting never loved him, nor did his dad, and he killed
Yvonne as her ordinary self, however, during himself when they told him so, when he
the day. In this case, they are faced with a became a man. He worked for the Govern-
nasty, vicious old woman, heaping abuse on ment, and he hates black children. And white
them, throwing things, and probably biting children. He invented AIDS. He touches you in
and scratching. Killing her is perfectly possible, bad places. He lurks in bad places. If you sing
but should cause severe moral qualms in most to him, hell come get you, but playing hop-
PCsafter all, theres a big difference between scotch drives him away.
suspecting that an old woman is really a baby- This is David Cole, who, as described
eating demon and shooting said helpless old below, is currently stalking local children. The
woman in the face. This should be around a relative innocence of childhood allows some of
Violence-6 check, at least. Talk is useless: them to notice him, unlike the adults around
Yvonne denies everything. In fact, really mean them who are oblivious to his presence and
GMs may want her daytime self to be unaware activities. PCs who stake-out some of the
of the activities of her loogarou form. children Cole is watching, and who are excep-
Removing Yvonne from the Garden is the tionally careful and perceptive, may be able to
most humane solution. Deprived of the power spot him, though he disappears into the
behind her shapechanging she drifts away into darkness at the first opportunity.
a merciful, natural death within a couple of
months. If the PCs are very lucky or persistent
then this removal might be done via the DHS, David Cole, Living Ghost
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

but is more likely to be accomplished by the Summary: Yvonne farmed her child off to
private resources of the PCs. The New Inquisi- relatives as soon as she could, unwilling even

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162

to look upon him. Unfortunately for David, his with his new family.
aunt and uncle lived in a white-bread suburb Wound Points: 55
not noted for its tolerance of mixed-race
children. Not outgoing by nature, the abuse of Passions
his childhood contemporaries and the embar- Rage Stimulus: People pointing at him.
rassed attitude of his relatives drove him into a Fear Stimulus: (Isolation) Having his family
grim isolation. taken away from him.
Spook was what they used to call him. Noble Stimulus: David wants to gather and
Little spook, spy, black-boy, ghost, who nobody protect people who are dead like him.
saw and nobody cared about. His loneliness
drove him into study, and a scholarship, and Stats
four years at college in a largely self-imposed Body: 55 (Athletic But Aging)
isolation, away, concealed, secret. Nobody Speed: 65 (S) (Paranoid Speed)
noticed him, despite his high grades and athletic Mind: 70 (Lonely Brilliance)
talents. He slipped away from photos and Soul: 40 (Withered)
meetings and the memories of his classmates.
When he applied for an analysts post at Skills
the CIA, however, somebody noticed his Body Skills: General Athletics 45%, Killing Up
remarkable talent for remaining hidden and he Close 40%
was moved within the year to field work. Soon Speed Skills: Dodge 35%, Drive 20%, Killing
he was doing the darkest of black ops: El At A Distance 40%, Out of Sight, Out of
Salvador, Nicaragua, Tibet, France, Afghani- Mind 60%
stan, always in the shadows. He murdered, he Mind Skills: Black Ops 40%, General Educa-
ran guns and drugs, he stood by while children tion 35%, Paranoid Alertness 50%
were slaughtered. Soul Skills: Charm 10%, Head of the Family
With the end of the Cold War, Cole moved 35%, Lie 20%
into more specialized work, largely analytical
and administrative. He was never considered Out of Sight, Out of Mind: This represents
for the highest level posts, because nobody Coles remarkable ability to avoid notice.
could ever really remember who he was. Now People simply dont remember his face, or
his isolation has finally caught up with him, see him in the shadows, or recall his name.
combined with the influence of his fathers If the PCs are looking for him, he can roll
stories. He is convinced he is dead, gone, a on this skill every couple of minutes to just
genuine spook. Desperate for human contact fade away.
but unable to find it, he has begun trying to Head of the Family: This skill allows Cole
bring others into the shadows with him to command the demons imprisoned
through death. He has begun to murder, within his sunglasses to perform magick, in
attempting to form a new family of ghosts, one an opposed role against their Soul. A
that will shelter and protect him. He is chang- matched failure results in the demon being
ing into a figure of urban myth: the Spook, the released, a 00 results in all the demons
Mirror Man, the Trenchcoat Bogeyman, whose being released. Consequently, Cole only
sunglasses hold desperate souls and who can uses this skill in emergencies.
whistle up the dwellers in darkness.
Personality: (Scorpio) Desperate, obsessed, Madness Meter
driven, completely insane. Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self
Obsession: David wants to stay in the shadows 9 H/3 F 6 H/3 F 6 H/3 F 10 H/5 F 9 H/5 F
Notes Possessions
Cole is the most direct threat to the PCs in this Coles most valued possession is his mirrored
adventure. If used properly he is quite lethal, sunglasses, which, when placed over the eyes
but his paranoia and fragile mental state of a dying individual, captures their soul as a
should allow the PCs to take him down one demon. There are currently three demons
way or another. He should only appear in the imprisoned within the glasses, seeing through
shadows, a figure of looming darkness and his eyes and subject to a constant torrent of
night fears. Coles crazed thoughts. They are:
Cole knows the tune that attracts tenebrae Catherine Hamilton, a young CIA agent
from the darkness, which he learned in Russia lured into Coles offices late at night and
in 1993 from an insane GRU veteran re- brutally executed, making her into his wife.
nowned for his ability to make corpses disap- He has faked her records so she appears to be
pear. When Cole kills someone, he whistles up on an undercover operation in China. Her CIA
the tenebrae and feeds them the body. If there background and constant exposure to Coles
is no corpse present then the tenebrae attack mind has resulted in her sharing many of the
any humans handy, including Cole. same delusions as Cole, but she maintains a
A particularly keen-eared PC might be able core of herself, including a desperate desire to
to remember and replicate the whistling tune, escape. She has a Soul of 50 and a Mind of 60.
but will find it has unpleasant side effects. Lawrence Merton, an elderly inhabitant of
Each time the tenebrae are called up, the PC Garden View. Cole broke into his apartment
must roll against his or her Soul. (Cole doesnt and beat him to death, making him his fa-
have to do this because he is so strongly ther. Nobody has yet come to check on him,
associated with the shadows.) A failed roll and his Social Security checks are on direct
means that nothing happens, a matched failure deposit. His mind has almost completely
results in the tenebrae going after a living broken and he babbles endlessly to himself.
target, and a BOHICA means they target the His Soul is 30 and his Mind 15.
PC specifically. Bobbi Smith, a middle-aged, white, di-
In addition, whether the roll is passed or vorced woman who Cole stalked and killed late
failed take the tens die and add that number to a one night after her car broke down driving
new Soul skill possessed by the PC called Shad- through Garden View, making her into his
ow, but dont tell the PC until the skill reaches mother. She is listed with the police as a
25%. This skill can be used to hide or sneak in missing person. Both practical and spiritual, she
darkness using a sort of mental deflection similar is by far the most together of the demons and is
to Coles Out of Sight skill. At higher levels, the keen to break out of her imprisonment and
skill can create minor supernatural events related move on to whatever fate awaits her beyond the
to darkness such as sudden shadows or short- Veil. Her Soul is 65 and her Mind 55.
circuits in indoor lighting. The skill has the PCs with abilities such as Second Sight or
unfortunate side effect of attracting night crea- Hear the Dead might see the faces of the
tures, beginning with owls who perch on the demons on Coles glasses, or hear the constant
PCs house and cats who take a particular and bizarre conversation Cole maintains
fondness to him or her. At 50%, tenebrae begin mentally with them.
to lurk nearby at random times, and at 75% Cole carries a variety of guns, security
various revenants join them. If the skill ever devices, and a very sharp knife, and wears a
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

reaches 100%, the PC fades entirely into the bulletproof vest underneath his shirt. He drives
shadows and is never seen again. a large black sedan, normally assumed to

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164

belong to one of the local dealers, and keeps the mothers soul. After that, Cole goes back to
about $600 in his wallet. He still has an stalking, trying to decide if he and his wife
apartment in Washington, and an account really need more kids. Sadly, the disappearanc-
containing some forty-three thousand dollars; es attract almost no attention from either the
he never spent much. He has fake ID in the outside world or the childrens parents, for
name of a Burton Thomas; his real ID is in his whom the kids barely existed in the first
apartment. placeone of Coles criteria for choosing
them.

Coles Family
David Cole is determined to acquire a proper Men In Black Coats
family, drawn to the Garden as he is by the When David Cole notices the PCs, his first
tainted echoes of his father and mother in the paranoid reaction is to assume theyre from the
Statosphere. But he plans to do this by killing government and that theyve come to destroy
people, trapping their souls, and feeding their his family, which they kept him away from for
bodies to the scuttling tenebrae (see UA, p. so long. He may not be certain of this at first,
154). He already has a wife, father, and and observes the PCs at some distance, quite
mother; his next aim is to acquire some possibly bugging their rooms. When he is
cousins and children. certainand he latches onto almost anything
Approximately a day after the PCs arrive in as evidence for his fearshe attempts to
Garden View, Cole murders a local prostitute murder the PCs.
and crack addict named Holly so she can be his His plan is to isolate one or two from the
cousin. He does this by picking her up in his main group, possibly by using himself as bait,
car, shooting her in the head, and whistling up or by placing fake phone calls and notes. Once
the tenebrae in the Park to eat her body. he has them in an appropriate dark place, he
Two days later Cole beats an old woman, either executes them straightaway or knocks
Jean Wilson, to death as she fumbles to open them out with a powerful tranquilizer to be
the numerous locks on her door and get inside. taken back to his apartment and interrogated
She becomes his paternal grandmother. This about their plans and masters. He may well
time he summons the tenebrae right there in lurk in a PCs hotel room, waiting until they
the hallway, where the light has been out for enter, then knifing them quickly and silently. It
some time. is quite possible that he identifies one of the
Five days after that, Cole begins killing PCs as a suitable member of his hypothetical
children. Hes been stalking them for some time, family, which means he tries to give that
trying to decide which would make good inheri- person enough dying time to let his glasses
tors of his line. The first victim is Tonya Bee, a take his or her soul.
pretty eight-year-old girl. Cole kidnaps her while
shes waiting for her mother to pick her up from
school, then he murders her in the car. Coles Apartment
The second is Christopher Thompson, a Coles apartment is rented from a Morton
thirteen-year-old gang member, who approach- Freebody, who barely remembers his tenants
es Cole to offer drugs and is promptly knifed age and sex, let alone face. The apartment
to death. The third is Alexandra Violet, a ten- door is locked and bolted, and there are
year-old child prostitute whose mother acts as several complicated alarm systemspressure
her pimp and attempts to sell her to Cole. Cole and beamwhich trigger alarms on Coles
kills both of them, but doesnt bother to take pager, car phone, and inside the apartment
itself. Cole normally enters through a side rough location of the basement apartment to
door in the basement of the neighboring which he occasionally returns. Bait might also
abandoned building. The main room is small work, but the PCs would have to be callous to
and ridiculously tidy. One would hardly think risk a childs life to draw Coles attention. He
that anybody lives there, save for the camp may, of course, simply end up cornered after
bed, wardrobe of suits, stack of frozen meals, attempting to murder them. Another possibili-
and extensive collection of guns. There are, ty is that Cole is drawn towards his parents,
however, several other rooms for the members and might confront either one of them at the
of Coles family. Each is decorated appropri- same time as the PCs.
ately: flowered wallpaper and womens dresses However the PCs eventually find Cole, the
for his wife, toys in the kiddies room, and encounter probably ends in his death. When he
family photographs stolen from his victims or dies, try to break his sunglasses at the same
cut from old newspapers. time, resulting in the release of the demons he
has trapped withinwhich immediately
attempt to possess the nearest humans or
Taking Cole Out animals. Cole might whistle up the tenebrae in
The Mirror Man is probably one of the PCs his dying moments; the PCs would be well
first targets, seeing as hes a child-murdering advised to run at this point, letting the scut-
paranoid psychopath. Cole himself is incredi- tling shadows eat his body.
bly elusive, glimpsed only in shadows and
reflections, but he can be caught. His car, for The K
instance, is much more noticeable than he is, The walls of Garden View are covered with the
and PCs who follow it can determine the normal ghetto graffiti: boastful slogans,

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NATHAN FOX

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obscenities, memorials, everything from casual Greek kuklos.) Oakley is sixty-eight, wrin-
defilement to lovingly crafted art. Gang kled and white, but also a Personamancer,
symbols are everywhere, if you know how to which is how hes maintaining his faade.
read them, and the walls carry messages Cutter is just a Mask, a Personamantic artifact
youre not wanted here, this is ours. One that allows Oakley to assume another form.
symbol is particularly prominent, that of a The K are a plaything for him, a way to
backwards K within a red circle. mystically reestablish the power of his fading
Anybody under the age of 30 or so will be cabal while having some fun among the
able to tell the PCs that this is the symbol of a niggers. He has been drawn here as a
relatively recent gang, the K (or OKs, or channel for Longmans own self-loathing; the
Special Ks, or KOsthe symbol is more K have been unconsciously targeting places
consistent than the name). Members dont important to the writer. They burned down a
wear anything identifying themselves as such. small museum of the areas history, they so
They mainly deal crack and meth, though terrified the owner of Longmans favorite store
theyve also performed several violent robber- that he hung himself, and they have daubed
ies, one or two even outside the Garden. They the walls of Longmans building with filth.
formed a few months ago from the remnants Hes oblivious to their muddled affections, as
of two other gangs that had been in a long are they.
feud and lost several of their members, and are Talking to members of the Ka risky
rapidly acquiring a reputation for being business, as described belowelicits the
callously violent and extremely lucky. There information that Cutter is only about in the
are certain rules about making hits, and the K evening; nobody knows where he goes in the
have been breaking them: shooting people in mornings and early afternoons. He spends that
front of their mothers, kidnapping and occa- time gathering Personamancy charges, visiting
sionally murdering girlfriends and children, various friends in his Oakley identity. Properly
torturing and mutilating rather than killing. threatened or bribed, the K member may also
They are particularly partial to tarring and reveal that there is an initiation ceremony
feathering their victims. which involves three of the brothas holding
The head of the gang is Cutter Jim, the new nigga down, an pretending they be
given the name thanks to his liking for knives. Jewboys, while he says some crazy-ass words.
Hes a slim, handsome twenty-four-year-old Heal and conceal, somethin like that. Mother-
black man who is far more cunning than his fucking voodoo shit. This is actually a
age would suggest. Hes from down South (or bastardized version of the Masonic initiation
another part of the South, depending on where ritual that involves the ritual rebaptism of the
you set the adventure) and speaks in a deep, initiate after their torture by three Juwes.
menacing drawl. Hes only been around as The words are the initiates oath to hele,
long as the Ks and nobody knows his family, conceal, and never reveal the secrets given to
though he established himself surprisingly fast. him. Cutter is using this ritual simply for its
As the PCs may discover, the K are actually symbolic power; it has no direct mystical
a bizarre spin-off of the Klu Klux Klan, even effects, and most of the members of the K
though their members are black. Cutter is arent that loyal.
really Leonard Oakley, one of the three re-
maining members of the Kuklos (or circle), a
semi-Masonic cabal who were instrumental in Leonard Oakley, Lies Even To Himself
the founding of the KKK. (In real life, the AKA Cutter Jim, Atropis
name of the KKK does indeed come from the Summary: Leonard Oakley was from one of
the best families in town. Everyone knew the because back then their purse was mighty
Oakleys: they were fine upstanding church- deep. He rose within the cabal fast enough,
going folk, and generous with their money. learning the ways of magick from Atropos, the
Fine upstanding white folk. And white folks ender of mens lives, and he wreaked some
were the chosen of the Lord, the highest serious havoc in the Occult Underground for a
branch on the Darwinian tree, plain superior while. But eventually he found support for the
to others, as any fool knew, and as Leonard Klan and the Kuklos fading, and new recruits
Oakley sincerely believed. And when those were few and far between. He had ascended to
who were obviously inferior got above them- the position his mentor once held, but now he
selves, well, Leonard Oakley went to the was the head of a dying organization.
picnics at the lynchings like other children of His founding of the K is his last attempt to
Alabama in the 1940s. symbolically revitalize the Kuklos, this time by
But Leonard was a smart boy, and he was making his enemies do their own work in
able to put together his mothers dark Ital- destroying themselvesas well as to express
ian beauty, and the songs she used to sing his own feelings about his secret blood. He
him, and found the old Negro woman she used takes an evil pleasure in watching the other
to visit, ancient and senile, who she called members of the K call each other nigga. Hes
Granmama. He learned that he was one- working independently from the rest of the
eighth black, an octaroon; he bore the mark of Kuklos, although theyre dimly aware of what
Cain, he was not one of the chosen, the pure. hes doing.
So he told himself that this wasnt true, that Personality: An evil, twisted, secretly self-
he was as white as the next man, but he knew hating old bigot. Strom Thurmond on crack.
in his heart it wasnt so and that he was pre- Obsession: The mystical purity of the white
tending all the time to be something he wasnt, race.
to be clean. It came to a head when he was Wound Points: 40
seventeen, though, drinking with some of his
friends, talking about the girl he was courting, Passions
and one of them laughingly remarked that he Rage Stimulus: Uppity niggers.
must have a touch of the tarbrush in him, a Fear Stimulus: (Self) The exposure of his true
little bit of nigger, he was so horny to get into racial background.
her skirts, and Leonard had a gun to hand. Noble Stimulus: The preservation of the white
He shot his friend in the face and ran that race. Hes very concerned for children and
night, for the boy he had killed had come from mothers, provided their blood is pure.
a family just as good as the Oakleys, and he
knew even his father would have a hard time Stats
buying off justice. He was in a hotel room two Body: 40 (Tough For His Age)
nights later when he woke to find three hood- Speed: 40 (Spry Old Gent)
ed figures by him. They introduced them- Mind: 70 (Twisted Smarts)
selvesin portentous tonesas Clotho, Soul: 70 (Deep and Dark)
Lachesis, and Atropos, the Fates, the leaders of
the Kuklos. The Klan? he asked. No, they said, Skills
older than the Klan, and more knowledgeable, Body Skills: Cuttin 35%, General Athletics 20%
and mightily impressed by a boy who would Speed Skills: Dodge 20%, Drive 15%, Good
murder just because somebody slandered his Ol Shotgun 30%
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good pure blood. Mind Skills: General Education 25%, Notice


The Kuklos took him in and fixed his trial, 45%, Racial Theory 40%

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Soul Skills: Lie Like A Weasel 70%, Per- cant give their signal when they flash him, and
sonamancy 60%, Southern Manners 50% so they take him into the Park and lynch him.
They start using the burning cross to intimi-
Madness Meter date local businesses, and their members
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self assume the swagger of a small-town sheriff in
6 H/2 F 5 H/2 F 3 H/1 F 3 H/0 F 7 H/4 F the Deep South, walking along in the sure
knowledge that they own the streets and
Notes calling people boy.
Oakley racks up charges at a fair rate just for
hanging around other racists, thanks to his
tainted blood. He doesnt get any charges The Ks Territory
for posing as Cutter because he uses magick to Conflict with the K is almost inevitable, but
do so. Assume hes carrying roughly three the level of intensity may vary. If a K member
significant and ten minor charges at any time. notices a PC or group of PCs simply walking
along the street, his reaction varies depending
Possessions on the PCs appearance. White men who arent
He has several Masks, which he constructs from visibly threatening may be robbed, probably
papier mache and paints brightly. The first and with knives rather than guns, at least at first.
most commonly worn is of Cutter Jim, who was Black men over thirty are left alone unless they
originally a young black housebreaker Oakley obviously dont belong to Garden View. Men
killed back in 1964. Another is of an ex-wife, a who look intimidatingbulky, grouped
sharp, pained-looking woman with long black together, guns, whateverare reported back to
hair. The third is a Beast Mask, that of a lion Cutter, but left alone.
with a genuine mane; this has been enchanted Women on their own are taunted and
to utter the lions terrifying roar, which forces a harassed. If its night or a particularly deserted
Helplessness-4 check on those who hear it. The area theyre probably robbed, and possibly raped.
last and most precious is the Mask of an Young black menand possibly some
Executioner who used to work for the Kuklos, whitesare flashed the K gang symbol: the
and is a white Klan hood. hand held up, thumb and finger together to
Oakley also owns an antiquated Civil War make a circle. The correct response, as the PCs
generals outfit, which he keeps concealed among may be able to observe, is to hold your left
his gangsta clothes, his Klan robes, a number of hand straight up and place your right hand
firearms, and a series of letters from Lachesis, against it diagonally. Not giving the signal,
another member of the Kuklos council, urging depending on the mood of the K members and
him to continue with his great work. the numbers of the PCs, may result in being
shot straightaway; it certainly provokes a
violent response of some kind, or a physical
Cross Burning challenge. (Your average member of the K, by
The K would be a fairly nasty group in any the way, probably has a Body and Speed of 55
event; that theyre caught up in Longmans or so, a Mind of 50, a Soul of 40, a Firearms
fantasies just makes them even more vicious. skill of 20%, a big show-off gun, and a ridicu-
As things progress, the K are increasingly lously baggy pair of pants.)
caught up in the imagery and methods of the If the PCs are seen frequently, and especial-
Klan. Members take to wearing white suits, ly if they start asking questions about the K,
especially when out doing business. A fifteen- they are taken to be either clumsy cops or
year-old boy from a nearby neighborhood members of another gang muscling in on the
Ks territory. The more official and the more still have their own apartments elsewhere,
white the PCs are, the more likely the Ks are to often with girlfriends and children. There are
come to the first conclusion, in which case normally five or six people on guard at the
Cutter orders things toned down for a little HQ, their chief concern being other crimi-
while just in case. The general level of tension nalsdrug dealers, after all, are notoriously
in the Garden, however, means that some of profitable targets. There is also a steady stream
the Ks may well attempt to take matters into of people in and out of the building, most of
their own hands and kill themselves a pig or them junkies coming to get their fix. Nervous
two, probably by walking up and shooting the white guys from the city are not unknown, and
unsuspecting PC in the gut with a gun con- PCs planning an infiltration could find this a
cealed in the sleeve of their jacket. If the Ks convenient disguise.
think the PCs are from a rival gang then they Drugs are kept strictly to the second floor
kill them as soon as possible, though they and above, giving a few crucial extra seconds
capture them first to torture them as a warning to dispose of them in case of a raid; there are
to future interlopers. air horns, the kind used by sports fans, on all
If the PCs display magickal ability and floors for exactly this eventuality. The main
knowledge of this gets back to Cutter, he doors are steel-plated, with a slot allowing for
assumes theyre members of a rival cabal gunfire, though there are no security cameras.
determined to take him down. He has a fairly The personal living spaces of K members are
thorough knowledge of the dangers and generally a curious mix of squalid conditions
weaknesses of Plutomancy, Epideromancy, and hugely expensive personal gear: $1000
Dipsomancy, Urbanomancy, and Personaman- stereos, huge TV screens, filthy blankets,
cy; other schools are largely unknown to him kitchens that havent been cleaned in months,
and frighten him more. Hes been out of touch money in bags on the bed. Cutter has an
with the mainstream of the Occult Under- apartment on the top floor, which is noticeably
ground for years. He knows about the Sleep- cleaner and less ostentatious than the rest. His
ers, for instance, but not the New Inquisition secret personal possessions can be found
or the Naked Goddess. He orders the Ks to locked away in the bedroom, in a drawer
kidnap one of the PCs at gunpointpreferably underneath a mirror; there is a minor blast set
one who hasnt displayed magickal talent to trigger on the first person to look into the
and then joins the party himself in the shape of mirror who isnt Oakley.
said PC, either through use of a minor spell or
by taking the time to create a Mask. He wont
remain for longprobably an hour or sobut Dealing with the K
he uses that time to gather as much informa- The PCs dealings with the K can be wrapped
tion on the PCs abilities, equipment, and goals up in two ways. I personally get cheerfully
as possible. Once hes got an idea of what the excited thinking about a long running gun-
group can do, he uses his disguise to lure them fight through the streets a la Heat, followed
into a K ambush. His most likely disguise by a tense close-up confrontation in the Ks
would be that of a child, pointing the PCs building, full of people whirling around
towards where the bad men who tried to hurt doors, throwing tear gas, and such. This
me came from. might be facilitated by PCs bringing the
extent of the Ks activities to the attention of
The K Buildings the policewhich seems fairly obvious, but
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

The K occupy two large, decaying apartment youd be surprised how reluctant most players
blocks near the Park, though many members are to hand something over to the proper

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170

authorities. (Another cunning thought: faking The general atmosphere of corrupted sexuality,
evidence that the K are trying to move in on a violence, and racial tension caused by Longmans
serious gangs territory. From a brutally stories is building up to a brutal climax, and the
pragmatic point of view, other drug dealers PCs are unfortunate enough to see some of the
are far more likely to shoot to kill than results. Feel free to make up more nasty events as
police.) If things do end up in this kind of you see fit; in general, assume that rape, abuse,
overly dramatic firefight, I recommend you and murder have become even more vicious than
take the cinematic option of having the vast under the normal combination of poverty and
majority of the K members drop on a single desperation.
successful attack roll rather than tracking
their wound points normally.
More subtly, the PCs may want to expose A Small Pogrom
Leonard Oakley. This can be accomplished Theres an old man, Isaac Dienman, who
magickally, or by the recourse of removing his works doing door-to-door collections in the
Mask while the rest of the K are around. Garden: no-money-down stuff which people
Oakley is crazy enough not to notice this and end up paying through the nose for. As it
to keep on talking in his Cutter persona, while happens, hes German, not Jewish, but every-
the rest of the K looks on aghast. Oakley body thinks of him as a Jew and is likely to
wont last long if this happens. refer to him as such. A few of the families the
PCs talk to may mention him; he might even
Bad Things show up while theyre there. Sometime within
The following events may unfold over the course the first few days of the adventure, Dienman is
of play, unless the PCs do something about them. beaten to death on a crumbling staircase by

NATHAN FOX
Tracking Down the Kuklos
PCs who read Oakleys letters from a fellow Kuklos member, Lachesis, may well head down to
Alabama at some point to see what they can do about this little cabal. Being a well-raised racist,
Lachesis includes his address on the letters. From the tone of the letters, which talk constantly
of friends in high places, rising again, the power of the burning cross, and which claim
credit for just about every murder and arson in the South for the last year, nave PCs may be
expecting a conspiracy of power and scope.
What actually exists are a few ancient, nasty old men. Oakley was the only one of them
with any mystical powers, and the youngest; the rest are the remnants of something that may
once have been much bigger. Their children are generally Klan members, their grandchildren
tacit racists, and their great-grandchildren dont care. Lachesis address (his real name is Jim
Snowdon) turns out to be a nursing home, and hes a wizened prune of eighty-eight being cared
for by a superbly tolerant middle-aged black nurse who tidies up his stacks of Aryan propagan-
da with an exasperated sigh.

five or six people, and his body left hanging pulling them apart stops their movements, as
there from the stairwell with a swastika carved does daylight.
into his chesta Violence-2 check to see.

Daddys Still Home


Bad Dogs Horace Yard has been abusing his four chil-
Curb-crawling is a fairly common phenomena dren, two boys and two girls, since they were
in Garden View. One Friday night there are a toddlers. He did this with the complicit silence
whole bunch of nice cars in the Garden, the of his wife, who died a couple of years back.
drivers getting $20 blowjobs, when a terrible The oldest girl is fourteen now, and today she
howling strikes up. The Johns have suddenly took the kitchen knife and plunged it deep into
found themselves unable to talk, and can only her fathers wicked heartbut hes still moving
howl like dogs. Most of the whores get out of at night, pinned against the wall, kept in an
the cars as fast as possible. The Johns generally unnatural existence, unable to die until the
react in panic, their latent feelings of guilt knife is removed. The children are both
triggered, and try to flee on foot. If the PCs terrified and triumphant, throwing rocks and
stop one they see theres a desperate fear in his sticking pins in him as he gurgles and moans.
eyes and his teeth have sharpenedits possi- None of them have the courage to take the
ble he may bite them. knife out for fear that hell live again. If the
PCs are moving around at night, they may
hear his cries; investigating finds the family
Phantom Whores dog chewing on his not-yet-dead leg and his
The prostitutes of Garden View often leave a youngest daughter, eight years old, sticking a
spare change of clothing hidden under garbage knife and fork into his stomach, twisting
cans or cardboard boxes. One night these around the revealed entrails. Its a Violence-5
clothes pick themselves up, form into roughly check to see, and an Unnatural-3 check when
human shapes, and begin echoing the custom- they realize he couldnt possibly be alive in
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

er-seeking movements of their ownersan such a condition. If the kitchen knife is re-
Unnatural-1 check to see. Burning them or moved then he crumples onto the floor, and

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appears to have been dead for days. through the phone book. (Dirk Allen, by the
way, was a fan of Longmans stories, and
readily associates the name with Garden View
The Snowfallen if the players happen to know him.)
If the scenario takes place in winter, a Snowfall- The most likely way to discover Longman,
en may well put in an appearance, drawn by the however, is through Yvonne Cole, who still
mothers grief. This particular Snowfallen is a keeps a battered folder of his short stories and
young Maori woman, 6 tall with a statuesque a collection of photographs of the two of them
beauty, whose child was taken from her in a together (annotated with notes such as M.
raid by another tribe in the 16th Century and and me, Mar. 1st, 59) locked in what used to
who died of grief soon afterwards. She walks be a hope chest within her hut. She hasnt
through the falling snow, near-naked, with an looked inside it for years, and its heavy with
intense sadness. If approached she will sing to dust. Its also possible that either Cole or the
the PCs, switching effortlessly between jazz, cats might discover Longman for themselves
gospel, and blues, all tinged with sadness, but and lure the PCs into finding him as a way of
never finishing a song, just letting verses trail, taking revenge or finding release. Whichever
fragmented and broken: way, try to keep the discovery of Longman
until late in the adventure. Confronting him
Another man done broke a word should be the climax of the game.
Another man done broke his word Longman lives in a government-provided
Another man done broke the word housing block, on the seventh floor. His
The truth could not be heardso apartment has a bedroom, living room, bath-
Somebodys gonna have to pay room, and kitchen. He doesnt have any hot
And it looks like you and me. water and the place is overrun with cockroach-
es. His furniture is old and rotting, and the
She dont come up until the sun goes down whole place is covered with scraps of paper on
She dont go down until the sun comes up which Longman has typed or scribbled his
She catches souls in her magic cup, fantasies. There is a stack of cans in the
Leaves us all to crumble and drown. kitchen; Longman generally eats straight out of
them and rarely washes his cutlery. The smell
is atrocious.
The Terrible Old Man The old writer is antagonistic, cantanker-
The ultimate resolution of events in Garden ous, and quite unwilling to let the PCs disturb
View depends on finding Marcus Longman. him. If they pester him, they are likely
Several of the older residents of Garden View especially if any of them are female and
mentionand exaggeratewhat a bright reasonably attractiveto become written into
shining place Garden View used to be, includ- his stories, resulting in things becoming
ing its literary heritage. They might even distinctly more dangerous for them as they
mention Longman by name. The scraps of his become the focus of attention by the various
writing appearing in various omens also unsavory elements of the Garden. Persistent
provide clues, as should the ghostly fragments PCs eventually get to talk with him.
of himself he throws off. Particularly bright
players may put together the clues and deduce
the involvement of some kind of storyteller or Marcus Longman, Chronicler Gone Wrong
writer; a little research finds some of Long- Summary: When Longman was young, he was
mans stories, and his address can be obtained going to change the world. His stories were
going to make science fiction a respectable but he hadnt talked to anyone in years, not
genre at last, his journalism was going to properly, and he had nothing to write about but
shake up Washington, his tales were going to hatred and pain and sex; he began to scribble
break down the barriers of racial prejudice and down stories, fantasies, desires, full of dirt and
show the world the true strength of the Negro. hate and dead babies and whores and himself,
He was happily married, though childless, master over all. He sits in his apartment, a dried-
making a decent living, and the world was out stick of an eighty-six-year-old man, wizened
fresh and new and wonderful. and bent, a bottle of cheap whisky to the side of
Then he met Yvonne Cole, a white girl of, his desk, and he spills hate out onto the page,
as they said, good family, slumming it down barely aware of its effects on the outside world.
among the Negroes, and the first time he saw Personality: A bitter, twisted, sad old man.
her it was like fireworks went off in his heart. Obsession: Changing the world through his work
He left his wife to move in with her, much to Wound Points: 30
the horror of her family and his.
It was then that he first begin to see what Passions
was really going on in his neighborhood: the Rage Stimulus: Being judged because of his race.
demons that buzzed around the back streets like Fear Stimulus: His power being stolen from him.
fat flies, the walking dead men in the clubs, the Noble Stimulus: Deep down, Longman still
skittering scuttering things in the darkness, the secretly wishes to change the world for the better.
cold women in the snows, and he began to write
about them, and the people who met them, and Stats
the changes it wrought upon their hearts and Body: 30 (Elderly And Frail)
souls, until he realized that he himself was Speed: 25 (F) (Arthritic)
becoming one of these creatures, something of Mind: 65 (Widely Read)
power and majesty, that he at last held the power Soul: 85 (A Channel)
to change the world in his hands.
And thenYvonne got pregnant, and Skills
suddenly, terribly, he couldnt face the thought Body Skills: General Athletics 10%, Stay Up
of being a father. Something snapped and broke Way Later Than An Old Man Should 30%,
inside him, some terrible fear that the child Struggle Feebly 5%
would take his power, drain him, and he urged Speed Skills: Dodge 5%, Drive 15%
her to get rid of the baby. She refused and he hit Mind Skills: Compulsive Reader 60%, Knows
her: once, twice, three times and more, until she the Garden 35%, Observe the World 40%
was bruised and bleeding and weeping, and Soul Skills: Channel For Forces Way Beyond
then he walked out into the cold. He came His True Comprehension 85%, Charm 15%,
home to find her gone, and his grim-faced Lie 40%, Writing 70%
brother sitting on the sofa, bearing the news of
his first wife and a bathtub now full of blood. Channel For Forces Way Beyond His True
He never found Yvonne again. He stopped Comprehension: Longman is a focus of the
writing and the power leaked out of him, went currently askew force of the Chronicler,
elsewhere. He worked as a store clerk for which is the root cause of all this mess.
many years, packing bags full of groceries and This also means that the Statosphere
ringing up change, and he never set pen to protects him (though not the Invisible
paper or fingers to typewriter. He never slept Clergy themselves, who are disturbed by
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

with another woman. the whole business). He may flip-flop any


Recently he felt the need swell inside him, roll that attempts to harm him.

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174

collectively taking on the role of Longman.


Madness Meter The act of writing merely puts an end to
Violence Unnatural Helplessness Isolation Self the increasingly supernatural side of things.
1 H/1 F 3 H/2 F 6 H/2 F 5 H/3 F 2 H/1 F The hatred and pain and danger remain, and
must be dealt with individually by the PCs.
Possessions This means, for instance, that David Cole is
A pension, old clothing, and a typewriter. still a dangerous psychopath; he isnt, however,
a mystically empowered, ghost-wielding
Broadly speaking, things can go two ways. dangerous psychopath.
Longman can be disposed of violently by the Longmans writing eventually finds publica-
PCs. This would be unfortunate, as described tion again, and a small following. His original
below. The other resolution is a gentle one: if stories are rediscovered and collected by a
Longman can be convinced to cease his self- small-press publisher. He doesnt gain any great
obsession and write about things around and success, but he does begin to gradually work
outside him, he can assume, again, the role of through his past in his writing. It is most
true Godwalker of the Chronicler. popular in Garden View itself, where his
This requires some finely balanced roleplay- exposure of the political, personal, and even
ing by both the players and GM. Longman paranormal forces at work makes some look a
hates the world and everything in it, and wishes little harder at their own actions. A small seed
to have nothing to do with it. Even after the of hope has been planted. The place remains a
supernatural effects of his writing are shown to slum, but one that is gradually improving. If the
him, he dismisses the rest of Garden View as a PCs return, they will find no miraculous trans-
bunch of goddamned degenerate niggers who formations, but less of a feeling of utter despair.
deserve everything they get, waves off the
death of children with an assertion that theres
too many of the little bastards in the world as it Red And Red And Red Indeed
is, and expresses the belief that the world is Longman taking up writing again represents the
best rid of this place, and this place of the positive end of the rhyme that governs Garden
world. The key to breaking him down is to View, the words on the page all black and
bring home the effects of his selfishness upon white. The alternate end, on the other hand, is
his lover and son; how theyve become twisted, rather more unpleasant. If the PCs simply kill
evil people, largely because of him; not even just Longman, the statospheric power he was
through his supernatural powers, but through channeling is released under the loose direction
his abuse and neglect. of Longmans spirit, now a hate-filled, vicious
Longman may well attempt suicide if forced demon. The problems of Garden View become
into truth, but he probably doesnt have the briefly, and horrifyingly, exaggerated.
strength or resources to do so. Gentle, persistent The Park begins to grow outwards, the
persuasion should give him some insight as to trees consuming the streets and tearing up the
what has to be done, and he sits down and sidewalk, transforming the whole district into
begins, for the first time in decades, to write dark fairy-tale woods. Each tree seems to hold
about something other than himself. What he a human being in positions of either torture or
writes about depends on the PCs suggestions sexual ecstasy. The long-defunct fountain in its
the dead children, his son, the contrast between center explodes in a shower of blood. David
the old and new states of Garden View, whatev- Cole becomes a being of living shadow, flicker-
er. GMs with experimental players may even ing in and out of the darkness, and killable
ask them to compose the final story themselves, only if trapped in an area of complete light.
Godwalker Candidates
Here are three possible candidates for the position of Godwalker of the Chronicler, their at-
tempts currently frustrated by Marcus Longmans mystical blockage of the role.
Patrick Leary, among Americas best-known television war correspondents. He is particular-
ly known for his coverage of African wars, which he tends to present in a highly paternalistic,
somewhat despairing style, as though the Africans were children doomed to endless squabbling.
In Africa, he also became an initiate of the Leopard Man cult, whose members allow themselves
to be possessed by lycanthropic spirits. At least one of his rivals has been found torn to pieces
by a wild animal.
Calvin Blake, visionary comic book artist, whose work on prominent DC titles has recently
started to include material from his visions. They depict the Unknown Clergy, the gods who
secretly control the world, and the powers that those who follow them gain.
Debbie Chan, who runs an underground newspaper in China dedicated to exposing the
wrong-doings of the Communist government. Only twenty-three, she is passionately committed
to journalism, truth, and the propagation of samizdat.

Fathers begin to consume their children, Fortunately, this type of situation cannot
breaking off limbs and cramming them into last long; the statosphere has an immune system
mouths suddenly wide and gaping with teeth. for this kind of thing. Within ten minutes there
Yvonne Cole becomes a literal witch, is a rush of great wings, a terrifying shriek (in
cackling and screaming and throwing children Longmans voice), and a sudden silence. The
into a boiling pot. Massively charged with woods are gone from the streets, though the
power, she is able to use her magick skill to blast sidewalks and buildings are still torn and
those who approach her, withering their flesh broken. Men look at themselves in the mirror,
with the evil eye. The cats shriek throughout the seeing the flesh of their children hanging from
darkness, and fall upon anyone who comes close, between their teeth, and reach for the swiftest
rending their flesh. The K don white robes and form of oblivion. Yvonne Cole collapses into a
mount black horses, each riding with a hang- withered corpse, David Cole simply disappears,
mans noose in one hand and a burning cross in the cats are slaughtered in droves, and their
the other, hunting down human prey. motivating infant souls are seized by the Cruel
It is, in other words, a living nightmare. PCs Ones, unseen but heard all around. PCs who
who try to flee find that the woods seem intervene in their soul-harvest are broken in two
endless, and are inevitably drawn back in. with one single, invisible blow; merciful GMs
There is, in fact, remarkably little that the PCs may simply leave them shredded, bloody, and
can do except hunker down and try to sur- amnesiac, but still alive.
viveor, given the number of Unnatural and The event is rapidly justified as a terrible
Helplessness checks theyre going to be making, riot, motivated by the discovery of a dead and
freeze up in panicked terror. Theres no point in tortured child. The PCs stagger out of the
providing stats for the opponents they face; the broken buildings torn and battered and red
keywords here are near-overwhelming force and and red and red indeed.
utter terror. Dont give the players a chance to
pause or rest or think. Horror should be coming Leaving Things Alone
GARDEN FULL OF WEEDS

in at them from all directions, and their re- If the PCs never resolve things with Longman and
course should be running or hiding. merely take care of Yvonne and David, events in

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Garden View wind themselves up in their own he is exceedingly reluctant to go, and resists
fashion. Without Longmans family around to be with all the strength he can muster; should he
direct conduits of horror, his writings merely die in the attempt, apocalypse results.
motivate the inhabitants to extremes of depravity Another possibility is to fill the Godwalker
and self-hatred, and the neighborhood sinks even position with somebody else, who can then
lower. Eventually it is all but abandoned, leaving sever Longmans connection to the statosphere.
only empty shells of buildings where not even the This is somewhat outside the scope of this
most brave or desperate souls go. Only Longman adventure, though brief notes on some possible
is left, living off stored food and captured cats, candidates are included nearby.
writing out his dark fantasies until he eventually Perhaps the easiest resolution, in many
collapses of a heart attack, freeing the statosphere ways, is to force Longman into the House of
for a new Godwalker of the Chronicler and Renunciation. Depending on the room, this
releasing Garden View from his curse. People drift likely has the same effect as talking him out of
back there gradually. It remains a place for the his misery, only without all the roleplaying.
desperate, criminal, and lost. GMs who think the players may respond to the
prospect of having to perform said persuasion
with jokey catcalls of Turn away from the
Other Resolutions Dark Side, father! may want to make this
Physically removing Longman from the Gar- option clearer, perhaps by including one of the
den is certainly a possibility, as it breaks the agents of the House from Statosphere, who
symbolic link between him and the area. But already has Longman marked down as a target.

NATHAN FOX
We all work in the
office of unfinished
business.