This week’s Saturday Seed is for the once-again resuscitated Blue Planet… back as it were from its watery grave. This seed is in celebration of the release of the Revised Edition’s Game Masters Guide, allowing this new, leaner and meaner version of a great game come rushing back up from the depths to drag in a lungful of fresh air.
This small seed is set off world on Poseidon’s smaller moon, Nereus. It is a dark and claustrophobic little seed filled with as much nastiness and violence as you can imagine.
Planting the seed
The seed is easily planted for GEO personnel, particularly Marshals or Incorporate security personnel. Additionally, should you actually be running a campaign set on the mainly uninhabited Nereus, perhaps at the Atlas mining facility, then you will have the easiest time of anyone getting this seed planted, as it will already be gunning for you.
This seed will be much harder to plant with other types of characters than off-world miners, Atlas Materials facility maintenance personnel and security officers, or GEO law enforcement personnel. Ideally, the group will be made aware of the situation, be rapidly prepped to deal with the environmental conditions of the planetoid, and then shipped off to hell. This seed is intended for a group that investigates violent crimes and hunts violent criminals. It can, however, work just as well with a group of vigilantes drawn from the hard, working men and women who toil in the deep, cold dark and call a nearly airless rock their home in order to wrest ore from its depths in areas too challenging for machines to do alone.
Quite simply, someone or something is killing people in the mines. Brutally.
Three bodies have been positively identified from a pile of mixed remains containing enough recognizable parts to have been drawn from at least twice that many people and likely more. Two of the three were reported dead by misadventure (cave in) weeks before, and one was recorded as having left the facility more than a month earlier for ‘greener pastures’ in the Belt. When the group arrives, (or in the case of locals, gets enough information to act) medical personnel are still trying to find appropriate pieces to match to other transfers and MIA workers assumed to have left Nereus or died on the job.
The mine on Nereus is owned by Atlas Materials and is home to a population of slightly more than 300. News a killer of this type is in their midst causes unrest of many kinds, from roving bands of hard-asses seeking vengeance, to panic. In both extremes, it falls to brave people to descend down into the mines to seek out a very clever and cruel murderer.
Information will slowly be forthcoming as the local MD investigates the remains. Interspersing the slow revelation of grisly facts with tense runs through tiny tunnels, crawl spaces, tight series of linked caverns and chambers miles below a deadly surface while in sense-limiting survival suits can make a strong start to the session. The time frame of this can be significantly hastened should the group have someone who can assist or lead that process.
- the remains come from 8 people, the pieces were hacked apart by a bladed object such as an axe and are in a range of sizes smaller than an apple
- the remains come from 5 men and 3 women, bite marks indicate some of the pieces were gnawed
- fingers, hair, eyes, and skin are missing
- the three identified bodies all worked on the lowest levels on the lightest shifts. Two of those three worked as inspectors and often were in the mines on their own
- the oldest remains show signs of having been partially eaten while the victim was alive, the others were killed prior to consumption
- a rough estimate is that the killer consumed several pounds of the victims’ flesh
- A partial analysis and mould of the killer’s bite (… or the eater’s at any rate…) can be made and used to help with identification
- no trace evidence (DNA, etc) was left on the remains or in the area around them, so a confession and bite comparison will be needed
- analysis of employee records highlights areas where the killer could have struck and made it unseen with the body to the killing/eating zone
The MD (not ME) speculates (with little proof to support it) that the killer attacks his victims from behind, incapacitates them with oxygen deprivation or an anesthetic, takes them to his cavern, strips and then butchers and feeds on them. Based on data files, the MD is concerned the loss of the killing floor and collected remains will cause erratic behavior.
What is going on
Unsurprisingly some serial killing is going on, and the environment is not conducive to easy bravery. Depending on the challenge level your group appreciates you can have much of the mine be as airless as the rest of the moon. The risk, and greater degree of isolation/alienation/deprivation should enable you to build a very memorable and dangerous hunt.
The villain is up to you to devise, and perhaps go with the idea that it is a pair… one of whom kills for the other, who consumes. The responsible party(s) is lairing deep in the mine and can slowly be identified through dental records, cross-references with transfers shown to have left Nereus, but who never showed up anywhere else, and careful investigation of long-term employees of the mine whose minds are already churning in circles of suspicion and recollection.
With a little effort the seed can manifest in stages:
- First the notification and selection process for this mission. Going to Nereus should thrill no one (goths notwithstanding) on an idyllic beach on Poseidon.
- Second the approach to the moon and descent to the mine before the actual descent into the mine can ramp up the sense of claustrophobia and isolation
- The searches of the mines should be fraught with physical peril, stress, exhaustion, and vac-suits full of sweaty frustration
- The gradual narrowing of the hunting range can heighten the tension, and introduce the fear of loss and attack
- The identification of the killer(s) without knowing where to find them can make the group reach the level of hate and outrage necessary to push them through the hardships they will have to pass in order to find, and capture or kill their quarry
- Capture can lead to a whole other level of story as they investigators start to plumb the depths of the killer’s madness…
Darken others' doors: