Serial Setting 2 ~ Week 6
The Casting Shadows blog’s second Serial Setting will be running once a week over a six-month period, and provide details for heroic pulp adventures for the Ubiquity Roleplaying System as presented in Hollow Earth Expedition. These ideas, set in a semi-fictional version of the Korean peninsula in 1936, present a community oppressed by faceless enemies and their own countrymen, and suggest routes, leads, and hooks for GMs to entice groups based elsewhere in the world to get involved. This entry is a trio of such hooks.
6 The Designer - Military Men and their Killing Machines
The resistance is alive and well, but living deep underground since the last round of pacification spread reprisals much farther than those whose voices were raised in protest against the wholesale eradication of independence and personal identity. In the dark, anger and the desire for justice are fanned beyond mere sparks into a blaze of fury, fanned by fear and frustration. Both inside and outside Korea, proud nationalists, dying inside as their country is inexorably turned into a mainland extension of the oppressors’ homeland plotters seek a way to turn the tide and restore native rule to the peninsula once and for all.
Two plots have been hatched in the darkness of hiding, and one in the bright light of freedom.
Plot 1: Two if by sea…
Korean Rebels in communication with smugglers out of Shanghai (A splinter of the Eagle Gang, for details see the final version of my unofficial intro HEX adventure, Shanghai Shanghai) have arranged to bring in weapons and ammunition through Samhang. These weapons will be stolen from the American, French, and British enclaves in Shanghai in semi-successful raids which may attract official or unofficial attention. This plot may go so far as the abduction of personnel to train the rebels to use the weapons, and it is hoped that once the plight of the people is known to these experts they will simply volunteer to stay to help out.
Plot 2: Letters! We’ve got Letters~
Korean expats living in various spots in China and Central Asia are doing what they can to aid their countrymen versus the decades long incursion across the peninsula by giving speeches, and sending heartfelt letters to famous figures who represent truth, justice, freedom, and above all the right of self-determination. For some it is an exercise in futility, for others it is a noble effort that if even one letter can reach a person of real integrity cannot but succeed, for still others, it is a delicate dance of partial truths and implications which hope to attract the sort of tough and resourceful men the movement needs through hints and legends of great treasures the occupiers are looting and using for their own nefarious purposes.
“It belongs in a museum!”
-Henry Jones, Jr, PhD
Tales will be spun of hidden burial chambers bearing ancient golden artifacts, repositories in mountain monasteries housing tomes of wisdom and healing, medicinal herbs of great and unusual properties… all in danger of being stolen or destroyed by the forces of the oppressor. These tales are not exactly lies, but of course, the ones spinning the tales are completely unlikely to know the exact locations of any such treasures.
Plot 3: Fight Fire with Firepower
Korean expats seeking aid and support of some kind in the States have decided to either entice if possible, or abduct if necessary, a top weapons maker to design, develop, and deliver a weapon that will push the invader back into the sea and boil them alive once they get there. Devotees of science, and deeply enamoured of the indomitable spirit of their adopted homeland, the small group of conspirators will stop at nothing to accomplish their goal of freeing the land of their birth.
Their intention is to observe several noted inventors and scientists for a few weeks to see if they can deliver the goods, make their pitch to persuade the chosen star to help them win Korean independence, and if unsuccessful, kidnap their choice and ship him or her off to Shanghai for smuggling in to Korea to build a super weapon on Korean soil to be used by loyal Korean Soldiers of Freedom!
Plot 1 Head Conspirator: Won, Jong-Hee – leader of the ruckus army
Not one to ever take no for an answer Jong-Hee Won fights hard, laughs hard, sings hard, plays hard, and drinks hard. Of average build and appearance, he can easily blend into a crowd if needed, but when he speaks he can instantly capture the attention, hearts, and minds of all within earshot…. until the crowd begins to notice his relative youth. Just barely into his 20s, even if he had all he right answers and all the right plans, his lack of age-borne wisdom will prevent him from having any real impact on the resistance movement. His elders know better…
Not content to let nothing continue to be the primary course of action, Jong-hee has set a plan in motion to stockpile weapons against the day when he can spark the revolt which will free the nation.
Plot 2 Head Conspirator: Kim, Sang Hoon – Righteous Twister of Words
Balding, with a bloated stomach and a curved spine, missing some of his more important teeth, Sang-Hoon Kim is well-acquainted with discomfort and difficulty. Never one to seek attention or the leadership of anything, his mastery of the written word and impassioned plea has catapulted him forward both in his small cell of patriots, and as a powerful voice in the movement for freedom. His pamphlets, laboriously crafted and printed by hand, circulate everywhere men gather to talk bitterly about freedom which seems unobtainable, but yet must be won. Smuggled into small villages like Samhang, and into sprawling,desert cities half a world away already falling under the magic spell of motion pictures and the pursuit of easy green. His name will never be known to those he inspires, but his words will keep the fires of outrage burning for generations.
Plot 3 Head Conspirator: Lim, SoJin – Force of Nature
A woman of great energy and strong force of character, SoJin Lim is limitless dedication packed into a dense, 5ft frame. Her whole life has been work and sacrifice for family, for the future, and for her lost country. Now in her 50s, she is adept with emotional manipulation as she is with verbal coercion. She wields guilt and duty like twin weapons, and an apron and calloused hands like armour. She is without fear. She sees opportunities, and goes for them without hesitation.
If she decides a character can aid her cause, she will cause heaven and earth to be moved to see that this aid will come to pass.