Sunday, 8 May 2016

Welcome to Hell

It started small, as these things usually do. Looking back, and like so many people have claimed since, it does feel like everything started to go wrong after the solar eclipse of 2090. Whatever the cause, things did start to go wrong.

I think the first I became aware of it was when the killings started. Random gruesome murders. People ripped apart, burned to cinders. The police were baffled, the Corps intrigued and the people were scared. Hells, even the crooks were running with more weapons than usual. My comm was ringing non-stop, I had gangsters asking me if it was the cops, and cops asking me if there was a new gang.

Then the sludge really hit the air-recycling unit. People started to disappear. One, two, then a dozen at a time. Space habitats would go dark, and when boarded they would be empty. Nothing missing, nothing stolen, just no people. The Matrix started to be flooded with odd code. Not programing, or a recognisable language, just…. Information.  For what, no one knew. Crashes were frequent. Then electrical blackouts.

And then, a year to the day after the eclipse, Stuart Williams, the head of the Everleaf Group was found naked and skinned on the Board Room of Leaf Tower, surrounded by black candles, litters of what was to be identified as goats’ blood, inside a circle with odd runes and geometric patterns. In front of him there was a patch of singed carpet. And in his own blood, he had written: THE STARS ARE RIGHT. THEY COME. DOOM.

Then things got scary. People were committing crimes in broad daylight. They would be caught; they would pull weapons on the cops. They would be shot. Then they’d go down.

Then they would get up and flee, cackling.

Mental institutions were overflowing. Some nights, every patient would have the same dream. And even in the outside world, a lot of people felt them, whatever they were, whispering, scratching at their minds. Something was coming. Something big. And a lot of people on our side were more than happy to help. Ahead of this wave came the pilot fish, the ones that have crossed over in the past, but now found it that much easier. Fairies. Vampires. Deamons. Werewolves.

NH-LOADED was funded. On paper, we are a special investigation division of the New Hades Police Department. In fact, we are a mix and match of people with…. Shall we say, appropriate gifts and abilities. There are people like me, with guns and contacts and steeetwise. But there are priests. And people that….changed after the eclipse. And people that went to the other side and didn’t like the catering. And people that…. Well. I’m probably stretching it by calling them people.

We investigate and if possible destroy these special threats. For you see, someone knew what’s coming soon. Somehow, this obscure American writer saw it, almost 150 years ago.

My name is Orion Grey. We are the New Hades Lovecraftian Anomaly Defence Department.

In every sense of the word, welcome to Hell.

Friday, 11 December 2015

NPC: Jack Buck, NHPD

Jack Buck is an inspector at the Downtown Headquarters of the New Hades Police Department.

Jack Buck is also a horrible human being. 

He is petty, childish, prone to anger explosions, a heavy drinker, an even heavier smoker. His personal hygiene can be best described as 'spotty' and his eating habits would make a hyena regurgitate.

But there is another side.

He is reasonably fair. He always protects the innocent. He prides himself of never receiving a bribe. He has a pet parrot called Silver that he adores. And he has a nephew that he dotes on.

He has been described once by Orion Grey as a 'dung covered Vietnamese water buffalo: he is big, fat, dirty and stinks; but by golly, he'll pull that plough'

He dislikes Orion. The feeling is very much mutual.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

NPC: Doctor Aether Theobald

If one had to describe Doctor Theobald in one word, the word could be mad, as he deeply deeply is such. Another, however, could be amoral. Theobald has no affiliations, no agenda, no morals to speak of. All he cares is to increase his knowledge of cybernetics and surgery, and of course the Novus.

Pay him, he will graft or install anything you like. Don't pay him and there's no deal. Here is a man of black and white, of yes and no.

In a city of greys and shadows as New Hades, some find him a welcome and refreshing new approach.

A surgeon. I am most definitely bringing the cyber-implants home to roost and I needed someone to install them. SPectacularly high Knowledge: Surgical Modification (D10), hopefully it will mean patients don't die.  

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Tanhauser Gate

'If you come for Fun, welcome', says the sign when you enter The Gate. If you're here to find trouble, says the unofficial, non-existent sign, you came to the wrong place.

The Gate stands near the Redcrest side of Anubis Bridge. It is a multi-level arrangement of bars, dance-floors and booths, catering to one and all. Most things are in fact permitted (if not actively insisted upon) at the Gate. The only two rules are: a) consent, and b) if money changes hands, Mrs Chang takes a cut.

Mrs Chang is an elderly woman, blind (in fact, with a forehead that just keeps coming down to her nose, without even the orbits where eyes should be), but with a sense of smell and hearing that would put a pack of bloodhounds to shame. Why she was spliced like this has never been established, as such questions are..... discouraged.

With a retainer of bodyguards to make even the richest envious, she slides effortlessly around The Gate, bringing a smile or a chastisement (if such is needed).

If you need information, some fun, or a drink, The Gate is where you want, nay, need to be.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Secret

Half way into the war, in 2050, a very faint signal was detected coming from a distant asteroid, beyond the orbit of Jupiter. This nameless rock, HPL18901937 was at the time the farthest object on any interest in the System, and access to it was difficult.

A mad race started, mirroring the space race of the 1960s.

After sabotage, set-backs and back stabbing, the five major Corps, Koruachi Corps, Everleaf Group, MegaGen, Eclipse Inc and Schatten Korp arrived within a week of each other. And after some space battling, leading to a number of deaths, they decided to end the stalemate and find the source of the signal together.

They found an obelisk. It had clearly not be made by man. And it was old. The type of old that is cold to the touch, even at absolute zero. 

After 2 weeks of research, the obelisk was just that, an engraved, vaguely glowing carved rock. As interesting as a possible clue to alien intelligence might be, there was a war on.

The researchers came back to Earth, vowing to return one day.

They haven't yet.

Also, they didn't take anything with them.

And weren't changed in any way.

Character: Archetypes (Elaran Neural Parasites)

One of the most well guarded secrets of the New Hades universe is the Elaran Incident. In a nutshell, alien insects, evolving independently at an exponential rate, isolated in a remote Jupiter moon, bla bla bla.

What NO ONE knows at this stage, is that some of the Elaran insectoids have already escaped. They found a way (possibly experimenting on dead soldiers sent to destroy them) to link small larvae to the corpses' nervous system, thereby animating them. And so they did, to said soldiers, to the research scientists and to a couple of scavenging ship crews that went into Elara looking for some quick Novus. 

What these Archetypes want is still a mystery, but they are out there. They might look odd, but who doesn't these days?

An updated version of the zombie character. Stronger, slower and in need of some chemical every 24h, else, -2 to tests. Maybe without it, it goes into a frenzy and attacks friend and foe alike? Also, perhaps a -2 to CHA?

Character: The Myth (Constantina 'Tina' Bianchi)

On paper, it looked like a spectacular idea. Instead of all the work needed to resequence someone's genes and turn them into a Gen (DIVERS therapy can take months), how about a virus, encoded with upgraded genes (faster, stronger, more agile, you get the idea) injected directly into a soldiers' bloodstream. It wouldn't last long before their immune system fought it off and back into a baseline human, but until then, they would be better at everything.

It worked. Until it really didn't.

Yes, it enhanced as they wanted. Yes, it was temporary. But it destroyed the subjects' skin pigmentation, and wreaked havoc with their blood cell count. These poor people were now better than humans, but they needed constant blood transfusions and were clinically sensitive to sunlight.

Yes. For all intents and purposes, they are vampires.

It didn't take long for the young Lieutenant Bianchi to realise the possibilities of her condition. Escaping her facility she now roams the Hadean nights looking for work, and for the next pint of scarlet life force....

I just got my hands on the Horror Expansion for the Savage Worlds rules. So this character HAD to happen. It is as it says on the text above, she is faster, and stronger, but vulnerable to sunlight and with an addiction to consuming blood every 24h. Without it, all her rolls are at -1 penalty.