Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Prelude - James Allen

Jim Allen is a well respected popular scientist specializing in Archeology and the History of Ancient Peoples. He is frequently seen in Cable Television programs about the latest discovery of an artifact or treasure. Allen spends much of his time in travel out in the field. Usually he comes in somewhat after the main work has be done by rank and file archeologists, he then arrives to help publicize the find.
He is happy with this life as a sort of liason between the world of social sciences and the general public. And the role has been quite lucrative for him. He has a penthouse apartment in Uptown Franklin City.
He had just returned to that apartment from a trek to Chile to reveal the newly found ancient city there, the day of the Event. He received an intriguing message from an old colleague Dr. Franz Heimholtz chair of Near Eastern Archeology at Freedom University. Dr. Heimholtz invited Allen down to his lab to study an artifact he brought back with him from Northern Iraq.
Allen got there and worked the crowd of Graduate Students, eventually finding the elusive Dr. Heimholtz in a dark lab studying the strage relic. About the size of a golf ball, this piece of brass, gold and amber might be the ancient Eye Of Ea a Babylonian relic alleged to be the crafted eye of the God Ea made to replace his eye lost to to the goddess Tiamat. They discuss how to verify the find and fund a trek into Kurdistan when the Aged Historian succumbs to fatigue. Allen agrees to wait with the Eye while the doctor recovers.
Shortly thereafter, there is a power failure (see Game Background Stage 1). Allen tries to feel his way in the dark basement lab, and eventually decides to grab the Eye and bring it with him to protect it. Upon touching the Eye, he blasted with pain and a flash of light. He loses consciousness.

When he awakes, it is months later and he is in St. Agnes Hospital apparantly the suffered of short term amnesia. Allen goes along with it for a bit, but begins to suspect that there is something unusual going on. For now he bides his time. A few days later, he is told, he is brought down to the basement for physical therapy. Working on exercise machines hooked up to a laptap, he jogs, lifts weights and performs other standard exercises. The therapists seemed impressed with the numbers, and conduct a quick reflexes test, by throwing a billiard ball at him. He catches the ball crushing it in his hand. He is shocked and confused by this, and stands agape.
Then he sensed something wrong, and turned to see a man creeping up on him with a syringe. He knocks the syringe out of his hand, hearing the snapping of bones, and the scream of the man. After a brief chase, he confronts the other therapists.
One, an attractive woman, admits that they've been drugging him, to induce the amnesia, and keep him off his balance. In addition they showed him the data from his exercise trials. He was jogging over 10mph, and bench pressing over 1200lbs. Something had changed. He tested his own toughness by punching through the dry wall and feeling nothing.
He plotted an escape with the help of one of the therapists. But before that, he was tested again, for resilliancy. Pretending to be under the effects of Rohypnol (Roofies), he waited for the test. During the tests, the Doctors tried to use a drill press on his chest. Amazingly, the drill bit broke before causing anything more than a tickle. On his way out, his Therapist friend (Lt. Acorn?) took his gurney and maneuvered down a unused hallway. She pressed a business card into his hand with a code written on it, then launched him at high speed through a window. He fell a story and landed on a roof top. Unhurt, but half naked, Allen sped across the dilapidated mental hospital, and escaped into the Carolinian country-side.
After stopping and examining his own hospital wrist band he saw a code similar to that on the back of the card. Perhaps, it was the code of another patient. Allen decided he had to return to the hospital and see about this mystery.

Monday, April 24, 2006


The game is over, and a few days have past. I was very pleased with the way it worked. My main gripe is that over half my players were from out of state so it wasn't much of a recruitment tool. Oh well.
There were no real disappointments, although I did kluge the Minion rules a bit, on accident. No one seemed to notice or care though. So that is good.
The pacing was good, the players quickly seemed to act like they were old friends, and we had ongoing jokes, and lots of fun in general. Sigh... I wish they were my regular group. But we press on.

Here are some photos of the game.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Event - Part 1

December 16th - 2005
Scientists are unsure how to categorize the events that occured that day. Here is what is known.
Stage One - 8:56pm EST - Gravity Fluctuation detected by satalites in Earth Orbits of these Statalites are still be corrected)
Stage Two - 8:58pm EST - Electromagnetic Pulse center 4,400 meters in the air at Latitude : 35.6171381629608 Longitude : -77.0305934216478 - EMP causes 17 airplanes including 7 large passenger jets to drop from the skies and crash seconds later. EMP cause a power surge and blackout throughout the area primarily by affecting the Chocowinty Power Station. The black out lasts for approximately 7 hours across the county and neighboring regions.
Stage Three - 9:03pm EST - High Pressue - Barometers around the city go off the charts as atmospheric pressure reaches a high several millibars than previously recorded in that area. Paradoxically, this was accompanied by cloud formation, and high winds (contrary to normal weather patterns).
Stage Four - 9:05AP EST - Energy Surge - A bolt of unknown energy strikes the earth in two places. One 15 miles east of Franklin City (about half way to Pantego), and the other 5 miles south east in the Pamlico Sound at Blounts Bay. The energy type is unknown but massive, the equivalent of a 100 megaton nuclear blast. It was concentrated in the two areas, but the various effects of the impact were felt throughout the region.
At Site 1, the bolt destroyed most of the Grover's Farm. The is an impact crater believed to be 75 meters across and deep (precise data unavailable, because the site is a no fly zone). It is also rumored that the hole below it showed signs of burrowing to unknown depths. The area has a one mile quarantine zone maintained by the Air Force.
At Site 2, a plume of vaporize water leapt hundrds of miles into the sky and stayed cohesive long enough to be seen over France weeks later. The blast resulted in a massive fish kill, local fisherman have been bailed by the government in a two year staged program to slowly return them to their work after careful study of the effects. The impact site appears to be slightly more deflected than Site 1, and the effect appeared to open a trench under the bay. This results in a draining of the bay into the trench, and subsequent tsunami when the ocean refilled the bay. Because of the distance inland, the tsunami was of moderate strength is resulted in only minor destruction.

Parallel Event - 02:50AM GMT - Astronomers around looking at Jupiter note an energy trace visible from the earth. An arc of energy was measured that seemed to be similar to the one seen in North Carolina. The time dealy suggests that the effect was simultaneous to the event on Earth. Studies of this energy pattern reveal similar events in other star systems throughout the stellar neighborhood. Previously believed to be atmospheric interference.

Immediate Aftermath - The Beaufort County Coroner estimates that immediately following Stage 4 of the Event, approximate 2400 people were killed by the EMP and Impact. The majority of the 32,000 deaths resulted in the following minutes and hours. With the EMP and blackout, there were plane crashes, fires, massive car crashes and a complete overload of the civil emergency services, the city and region were in chaos.
Major Fires swept through the poor Southern District of Franklin, and at BFI (Benjamin Franklin International Airport). Luckily the traffic situation was not overly serious due to the hour. But there were dozens of serious car accidents throughout the region. In addition there was a commuter train collision with a chemical train West of the city. The nearby Greenville Nuclear Power Plant suffered a type 3 alarm, but was able to be shut down without meltdown.
Approximately 1 in 5,000 people in the region suffered from related but unprecedented neurological damage from the event, but the direct causation is unknown. The visible symptoms include bleeding from the eyes and ears. The immediate behavioral symptoms was primarily hysteria and rage.

Long Term Effects - Despite the massive energies unleashed by the event, there is little or no lingering radiation, realtively minor structural damage, and reconstruction was begun quickly. The Federal Government quickly declared a federal emergency and used civilian and military personnel to deal with the emergency. Having learned its lesson from Katrina, the government acted swiftly with massive aid and control. Because of the extra terrestrial origin of the event, the Air Force took control treating the incident as a possible attack until it was clear that this was not the case.
Approximately 30% of the casualties from the Event can be attributed to radiation sickness and other mysterious illnesses called CES (Catastrophic Event Syndromes). Blindness, burns and other illnesses were commonplace. In addtion the 'Bleeders' began to suffer a heightened rate of psychopathia. Several mental institutions were constructed in the area to deal with the vast number of cases (over 4000).

Electronic Equipment and File damage. The Event caused a massive loss of electronic equipment and damage. Many companies lost all electronic data, and many of their computers were destroyed. Government recovery programs have helped people by replacing their equipment, and helping them recover lost data. A group of volunteer computer geeks called The Atomic Think Tank, has assisted in this process. About a hundred or so companies were not able to function after the Event and closed shops, but most of their employees have be reabsorbed into the recovering economy. All in all Franklin has bounced back well from the devastation. As government oversight of the Impact Site, hospitals and research is beginning to be farmed out to contracters and universities, new discoveries about the event and its aftermath are being revealed.
One of these discoveries is a new metallic alloy called EVA (Event Alloy) which may simply the result of the vast energies fusing other metals together, has shown remarkable maleability, durability, and conductivity. Already US Minerals has petitioned to mine the alloy and exploit that resource.
Site 1 management has been contracted to Cromwell Industries, with US Airforce oversight. Site 2 management has been contracted to Seaboard Oceaongraphic with US Navy oversight.

Prelude - Jack Summerhall

Adventure Summary
Decemember 16th 2005
-Jack is a freelance writer and part time volunteer fire fighter from a quasi-artistocratic family in Washington N.C., a wealthy suburb of Freedom City.
He not as successful as his siblings, or parents, but he makes do.
One day was like many others, or so it seemed. He was on duty at Fire Station 5742 out in the country in Sandhurst, off Hwy 32. He was working on a fluff piece about the Crappie Festival when they were hit by a power surge and blackout.
The firefighters figured something was up with the massive black out, and go ready to go. It wasn't long after that they heard a huge explosion. They looked around and saw a major fire in the distance. Driving towards it, they saw other fires, the radio was a jumble of confusion, so they pressed on. When they got to the blaze they saw the wreckage of a 737 splattered across the field.
Jack drive as close as he could, and they got out to help. They were getting their gear together when his comrade Beau pointed out a strange atmostpheric phenomenon. The clouds, a swirling purplish mass were writhing and foaming in the sky. Then seconds later he felt a the tingle of ionization and the smell of ozone. Expecting lightning, he dove for the ground commanding anyone near him to do the same.
There was a blast of blinding light, a wave of scorching fire, and blow of concussive force that was the last thing he remembered.

April 18th 2006
St. Agnes Hospital
Jack awakes from a coma. He is still bandaged, burnt and bruised from the injuries he took that fateful day. A day the doctors and the refer to simply as 'The Event.' Jack experiences some unusual phenomena at first. His hospital room is unnervingly quiet. The TV, Clock and intercom do not seem to function. Maybe the clock is moving, but very slowly. He is too wounded to get up. Then he is hit be a wave of pain in his head, and the door opened with a nurve alarmed to see him awake. She summoned a doctor and the situation and Event were explained.
[See Entry on the Event]
In the hospital, he learns of Beau, his co-fire fighter. Apparantly he wasnot seriously wounded, but he has had a psychotic episode as a result of the event. He is one of the 'Bleeders' and was fixated on finding and talking to Jack. The hospital has him under protective custody and won't let him have visitors until he can control his violent rages.

He is taken home by his mother. He learned of his brother James's job loss due to the Event, and subsequent heavy drinking. One day as he was recovering, and watching his brother outside stumbling near the Koi pond he saw James slip and fall into the pond.
Then suddenly he was there, holding his brother's surprised head out of the water. He has no idea how he got there, but he knows he is somehow different.