SHAD-O-RUN(tm)

From Cruller, 9 Years ago, written in Venderant Nalaberong, viewed 1'064 times.
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  1. Mr. Johnson hires the crew to track down and rescue Kendra Speirs, a journalist. Her assignment was to travel to famous religious leader Ian Hartman's newly-built compound in the forest outside the small Washington town of Mirror Peak. The interview was a golden opportunity, since Hartman rarely gives interviews and specifically contacted Speirs offering a tell-all. When the group arrives in Mirror Peak, things are immediately suspicious: The townsfolk live in fear of the night, locking themselves indoors and turning on bright spotlights all over town when the sun sets, and refuse to talk about Hartman or his followers.
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  3. Kendra Speirs
  4. Age 28
  5. Big-time celebrity in the blogging community, founding member of a left-leaning straight news blog collective called Straight Up. Grew up in the barrens of Seattle and lifted her way from poverty with her bravery, intelligence, and technical skills.
  6.  
  7. Mirror Peak
  8. Originally a mining town founded in the 1980s, has survived since the beginning of the Fourth World on "spook hikes" tourism; a meteor crashed into the forested side of the mountain in the early 2060s and since then reports of hikers seeing strange things in the forest have grown exponentially. Spook hikers tend to come armed and/or with hired bodyguards, and the town's few hundred permanent residents have learned to keep abreast of the legal climate in order to make sure they can't be held liable from any of their interactions or transactions when a spook hiking group inevitably turns up inside out and strung across the branches of a tree every couple of months.
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  10. Ian Hartman
  11. Famed and secretive "religious leader" of a notoriously private sect called the Chrysalids. Rumors abound regarding their beliefs, but nothing has ever been confirmed. Hartman is considered by many to be a cult leader with better PR. Chrysalids can be identified by a distinctive ring worn on the index finger of the right hand, but aside from that there's no commonly identifiable characteristic in their public lives.
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  13. Mirror Peak important NPCs:
  14. Sheriff Sarah Winslow, a no-bullshit young orc woman and the daughter of the retired sheriff Arnold Winslow.
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  16. Mayor Daedelus Craven, who is, uh, a dragon. No biggie. In public he keeps in human form and is very, VERY good at disarming conflicts peacefully. He's charismatic enough that for the most part he doesn't get much stigma in public, and he keeps the town prosperous and provides free legal aid to residents when lawsuits come from the families of deceased spook hikers. He has a law degree valid in every North American jurisdiction and keeps up the requisite bar payments in all of them. He has never been defeated in a courtroom. Hartman is the only person who has ever made him visibly uneasy, though he won't speak to why. He has, however, passed some unusual local ordinances since construction of Hartman's compound was completed, and refused to comment on why all of a sudden "no public road or walkway within city limits may be lit at a level lower than that consistent with an overcast day at any point in time."
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  22. ***SPOILER SECTION HOLY SHIT WHY GOD WHY***
  23. The Chrysalids are a front for a hive of insect spirits, and Ian has built his compound on top of a conflux of spiritual energy and summoned Speirs to it so that he may use her body to finally give the Queen a permanent physical form. The ritual, however, requires willing consent by the host, and Ian is facing unexpected complications in achieving this, hence Speirs being missing for long enough that Mr. Johnson (actually her friend, ex-lover, and fellow Straight Up founder Harper Lei, an elf woman) was concerned enough to hire the players.
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  25. THE COMPOUND is an old-style mansion surrounded by 3-meter stone walls and dense forest. There is a solitary dirt road leading off from a main highway outside of town to the gate. The lack of paving is intentional, to make sure any vehicle travel along it leaves tracks. The spirits are very tech-savvy, and as well as detection spells protecting the walls and a moderate radius at the turnoff from the highway, hidden cameras dot the trees in the surrounding forest and leave not an inch of the grounds unwatched.
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  27. The surface of the grounds is brightly lit and guarded by drones, but the interior of the mansion and the underground complex hidden below are kept in pitch dark. The complex below the mansion is crude and contains sixteen holding cells in two eight-cell blocks, an elaborate organic resin temple, and exits to a vast network of tunnels with exits throughout the forests surrounding Mirror Peak.
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  29. *If the players obtain the cooperation of the mayor, which shouldn't be hard, he will provide the (incomplete) plans for the compound that were submitted as part of the permit process, as well as information about the power draw (which hints strongly at a surveillance network). He will even provide industrial flashlights and night vision goggles, but will remain tightlipped about why they would be necessary.
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  31. *Why are they necessary? These particular insect spirits are incredibly vulnerable when in direct, bright light, to the point that their normal armor ratings are completely absent.

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