Saturday Seed ~ 95 (Brass & Steel)
This week’s seed is for the quietly great game world envisioned for Brass & Steel. It is suitable for an established group, or experienced characters that are lacking sufficient reason to work together.
A former designer of arms and equipment for the government, now in supposed retirement on psychological grounds, may be up to something devastating and unholy in his country estate. The aid of the characters is required to resolve the situation.
Planting the Seed
Characters can become involved as a result of many different threads and events. Government contacts requesting a quiet investigation on totally unofficial grounds might engage those with social ties and obligations, while others might be enticed to snoop around as a result of the large purchases of the sort of materials fit only for war machines in the new reality of modern science. Curiosity, jealousy, or concern may motivate a character to look around, but duty may compel others to investigate the rise in missing persons in the area. There are many ways in to the tale, and a compressed timeline which makes it easy for unrelated investigations to overlap by pure coincidence.
Legal concerns relate primarily to noise complaints, damage to the roads by increased heavy vehicle traffic, and the disappearance or abduction of a growing number of people from both genders and all walks of life in the county once the ancestral seat of the Wilkinson family.
More mundane concerns are connected to the purchase of massive quantities of high quality metals, precision tools and scaffolding, and so on, all through dummy corporations eventually leading back to nothing, but with a feel of old money such as belongs to few families, and even fewer in that part of the country. The Smythe-Wilkinson family is one of two possible buyers.
Rumours in high society about the increasingly erratic behaviour of one Lord Earle Wyndham Smythe-Wilkinson, culminating in the construction of a large wall and moat about his estate are making the rounds, including mention that the old boy, once an inventor of note, had made a secret pitch to the military about a super weapon and had been laughed out of the building.
Abductions have been reported, but more pressing is the question of whether the sudden increase in missing persons is really a rise in unrecognized abductions. Local police have been getting nowhere, and may be being blocked by ‘friends in high places.’
What is going on
Lord Earle Smythe-Wilkinson is indeed refining a super weapon, and is indeed totally out of his head. The weapon is a monstrosity of brass and glass, flesh and steel, and once ready will deny sleep to those who wish it, and lock those already asleep in a never-ending nightmare of mind-rending cruelty and personal horror.
Using huge, grinding cogs, thick and arcanely shaped glass modules, and the surgically modified and specifically lobotomized victims gathered by a soulless program of abduction, the machine produces subsonics and an unscalable wall of twisted dreams that can cripple – possibly for life – those forces arrayed against it.
In his disjointed mental state, the inventor is still seeking approval and adoption of his designs for the theatre of war. He would like nothing better to discuss them, display them – or if threatened or pushed, deploy them. Playing the lord of the country manse, the insane engineer of torment and death will wine, dine, and entertain any who come to call, or grind the organs and bones of any who come in force. For an easy description, you might treat him as being not unlike the Squire of Gothos from the original Star Trek series, minus the supernatural powers.
With infiltration or simple invitation at the outset, and then on to dinner parties, repartee, skulking, and the wicked sense behind one’s eyes that something is very, very wrong, the seed can take root and evoke an eerie unreality, a fear of reprisal, and ultimately outright horror. From there, many routes to adventure and intrigue await you.