Investigators gathering information
on the trade in ancient artifacts stumble across the shadiest
of dealings in a Cthulhu D20 adventure for low-level investigators
set in the modern-day UK.
Open Eye investigators receives
a call from Professor Van Fleet at the Reynolds Museum, a small
museum attached to the University of London which maintains a
valuable collection of artifacts from the ancient Mediterranean
and Near East. Van Fleet is a tall, very thin man in his fifties,
almost bald with a sharp beak-like nose and glasses. His voice
is very soft and quiet and he behaves with great politeness.
A week ago, Professor Van
Fleet was shown a nearly complete Etruscan wine bowl, of excellent
quality and condition. The curious thing was, it was shown to
him by a band of teenagers who found it in the alleyway behind
the Corinthian Building in the City. The kids brought the bowl
to the museum in the hope that it 'might be worth something'.
Van Fleet and the museum's patrons at the university would very
much like to know how a valuable and potentially important artifact
should end up discarded in a pile of rubbish. If there is an
underground trade in such artifacts, the University wants it
tracked down and stopped before more items of historical value
Van Fleet is to be Open Eye's contact at the museum. The University
of London will pay Open Eye's retainer and fee.
THE CORINTHIAN BUILDING
The Corinthian Building, in the City of London, will probably
be the investigators' first port of call. The wine bowl was found
in an alleyway that runs behind the building, providing access
to the car park the building shares with a number of other adjoining
office blocks. The car park is nothing unusual - you need an
ID card from any of the companies before the Temple Security
chap at the entrance will let you park your car. The five large
bins, situated in an alcove in the alleyway, are equally normal.
They contain mostly office waste from the waste paper baskets
of the companies on the Corinthian Building. Carefully examining
this rubbish is largely fruitless but a Search check (DC 20)
and Knowledge (Accounting) check (DC 25) might reveal that there
is no indication in any of the printouts of what Sharvell Holdings,
supposedly an Import/Export company, actually buys or sells,
or keeps in its warehouses.
The Corinthian Building itself is a V-shaped five-floor office
block. The ground floor has the reception area, post room, cafeteria
and People's Republic of Coffee concession stand. It also houses
Brown Trout Designs, a trendy web and graphic design company
that is bright and laid-back but secretly on the skids.
The first and second floors house Sharvell Holdings, an import/export
The third and fourth floors
are empty, and currently up for rent.
A plausible backstory is the easiest way to get into the Corinthian
Building. During the day security guards man the reception area,
but a delivery man, cycle courier, visitor with a reasonable
story (mentioning one of the companies in the building is enough)
or expected maintenance chap can all expect to be let in. A larger
group of investigators will need to have a more convincing story
and will probably have it checked out by security, especially
if they want to get onto the first or second floor (this process
might alert investigators to the fact that Sharvell don't like
strangers wandering around their offices).
Security is provided by Temple Security. They have three security
people on duty at any one time during the day - two at the reception
desk and one in the postroom. Sharvell Holdings has its own security.
Using the window cleaners' cradle is another option. The cradle
can hold two people and is winched up and down the building from
the roof. This is set up by Collins Environmental Engineering,
who provide maintenance and cleaners to the Corinthian Building,
and is done on the first Wednesday of every month, starting an
hour before workers start arriving at Brown Trout and Sharvell
Holdings. PCs using the cradle will be able to see into the 'open'
half of the first floor, and into the empty third and fourth
floors, but not into the 'closed' half of the first floor or
any of the second. The windows will simply be black. Breaking
the windows requires a Balance check (DC5) and a Str check (DC10).
On the closed floors, this will reveal a solid metal wall. On
the 'open' part of the first, this will set off the alarm. Opening
the windows from the outside requires a Open Lock check (DC 30).
Failing by 10 or more will set off the alarm.
Investigators breaking in to the ground floor at night will have
to avoid the security guard Temple keep in the reception area,
sneaking past him and using the stairs. Breaking in through a
window into the cafeteria will grant the guard a Listen check
Investigators might try to get a job within the building to get
in and vouch for other investigators. Only People's Republic
of Coffee are hiring - they have one vacancy and the interview
requires a Diplomacy check (DC12) or Bluff check if the investigator
has to lie, make up references, etc.
Wily investigators might try to rent some of the empty office
space. It is simple to organise a viewing with Red Horizon Properties,
but actually renting the space requires at least two weeks' notice
and a deposit which will need either considerable resources or
a successful Knowledge (accounting) (DC 15) and Forgery (DC18)
check to pay. Once they're in, investigators can get away with
a few days' access to the top two floors until Red Horizon starts
asking why there isn't any office furniture or other employees
entering their building. That is, unless the investigators actually
manage to set up a plausible dummy company.
THE GROUND FLOOR
1 - Reception. This is an area with pale grey walls and dark
grey granite-effect flooring, with a couple of sofas for visitors
and a reception desk. Two security guards at the desk require
visitors to sign in and workers to show their ID badges, which
are supplied to anyone getting a job or renting office space.
There is a CCTV camera here which will record anyone entering
or leaving reception, day or night, and which is reviewed in
the morning for intruders. There is a button under the desk that
will summon the police to the building within minutes in case
of dire emergency (like investigators bursting in with guns).
2 - Post Room. All post going
into the company ends up here. An employee supplied by Temple
Security hangs around here, sitting on the easy chair and watching
television as well as, theoretically, the reception monitor.
The back half of the room has a large rack into which post is
placed, with compartments for People's Republic of Coffee, Building
Staff, Brown Trout, Sharvell, and Others. Each compartment is
divided into Ingoing and Outgoing.
Investigators who lure the guard out or break in at night will
find in the Ingoing compartment for Sharvell a small brown paper-wrapped
package containing a plastic case. This case is lined with packing
foam cut to accommodate an intricate item of carved wood about
the size of a paperback book, forming an ornate box framing a
large uncut blue-white gemstone and covered in tiny dancing figures.
At the bottom of the box, figures in gold are rising from coffins,
while angels fly around the top. A Knowledge (art or history)
check (DC 12), or asking Professor Van Fleet, will reveal that
this is a medieval reliquary, a container for a sacred relic,
which in this case is a tiny dark sliver in the gemstone. This
sliver is probably either a supposed thorn from the crown of
thorns, or a purported splinter of the True Cross. The gemstone
is a polished, smooth chunk of quartz. The reliquary is worth
a lot of money, but would be impossible to fence. There is no
return address. The package itself is addressed to Jessica Craven,
Sharvell Holdings, at the Corinthian Building's address.
3 - Meeting Room. This glass-sided room has a large table and
a number of swivel chairs.
4 - Colin Cadwaller's office.
This office has two glass walls so anyone can see in. It has
stylish chrome furniture with a mock jukebox radio, a bubble
tube, and a fish tank. It's as if Colin is trying to make his
office look as little like an office as possible. There is an
Imac on the desk, one of the newer ones with the screen on a
moveable armature. Colin Cadwaller is here during office hours,
and usually for an hour or so afterwards.
Colin himself is in his early '30s and wears a black suit with
a black polo neck shirt underneath. His hair is black, too (Spot
check DC 18 - it's dyed). He maintains quite a slick, laid-back
Colin says Brown Trout is a dynamic, forward-looking company
at the cutting edge of design. It works on advertising, web sites,
business-to-business graphic design, and anything else hip enough
to demand its attention. He claims to be very proud of his staff,
who are assembled from the best young graphic artists and web
designers. (Sense Motive DC 17 - Colin does not believe the things
he is saying).
The truth is, Brown Trout is on the brink of going under. The
customers are drying up and many of the best designers have left
for bigger companies. Brown Trout might be cool, but it doesn't
make any money. Colin hasn't told any of his staff and is trying
to pretend he's not up the spout. He won't tell the investigators
this under normal circumstances, but he is a bit of a wuss and
breaks easily when threatened or intimidated (-4 to the DC of
He also knows some things about Sharvell, but not much. He knows
they keep themselves to themselves, although he's seen Sharvell's
boss, Jessica Craven, once or twice in the café and thinks
she's an impressive-looking (if slightly intimidating) woman.
Sharvell's employees don't tend to mix with his own - Colin thinks
they're a bit of a backward-looking company, all shirts and suits.
If pressed as to what Sharvell actually does, Colin will fluster
and say it's some importing thing, not really his bag.
If pressed (probably Intimidated) he will confess that he and
some of his designers have seen some large equipment being moved
onto Sharvell's floors. He doesn't know what it was - it looked
like one of those big coffee-making machines to him. Maybe they're
putting in a staff kitchen up there.
5 -Lifts. There are four
lifts. The lift shafts can be used to get to upper floors at
night, but they require a Str check (DC 25) to force open unless
the investigators have a car jack or something (DC20). The stairs
are beside the lift, but the door to the first floor is locked.
At night, the electronic lock will require an Open Lock check
(DC 25), with a secret Disable Device check (DC 25) to avoid
setting off the alarm. The door to the second floor is a dummy
(Search DC 15). If levered off the wall, it reveals a smooth,
metal wall behind it.
6 - Brainstorming Area. A
number of round tables, flipcharts, and beanbags are in this
area. The flipcharts are covered in scribblings and sketches,
and the tables in glossy magazines. Brown Trout designers use
this area to bounce ideas off each other at the start of each
7 - Storeroom. There is a
whole bunch of stationery in here.
8 - Work area. Brown Trout's
twenty or so employees will be here during office hours, most
on Macs, with others on drawing boards. The windows here are
large and the area is quite bright and open. Employees here are
young, arty types, often with aspirations to working in film
or comic books. None of them know that Brown Trout is on the
skids. If pressed about Sharvell, they will say they don't know
anything about them. The two sets of employees don't tend to
9 - People's Republic of
Coffee. Two large coffee machines and a buffet counter with various
sandwiches and pastries make up most of this concession stand.
There's an area in the back for storing ingredients. The stand
serves passable coffee and lots of slightly exotic-sounding sandwiches
and baguettes. There is never more than about fifty pounds in
the till, and it is emptied each night by Marge, the concession
The staff wear white clothes with maroon aprons. At the moment
there are only two - Marge and Rumbi - and they are advertising
for another staffer. Marge is the concession manager. She is
a portly greying woman in her late forties who would probably
be more at home as a school dinner lady. She likes the Brown
Trout lot - nice polite young people - but she doesn't see much
of Sharvell's employees. She thinks they're getting staff kitchen
put in up there so they don't have to come down to the cafeteria
- that would be just like that lot. She knows they're getting
some big equipment taken up to their floors, which Marge thinks
is catering equipment.
Rumbi is a young black South
African girl with good but accented English. She does most of
the serving and preparing, although both muck in at busy times
10 - Cafeteria. There are
several large round tables here, along with a couple of couches
which are always bagsied by the first employees to get there
from Brown Trout at lunch. There are a couple of vending machines,
too, one for canned drinks and one for chocolate bars.
1 - Sharvell Office. The décor is all white, cream, and
grey, very dull, with plain pine effect furniture and a few pot
plants here and there.
The work space is divided into several pods, each with three
or four workstations, with unremarkable shirts and suits working
at them. These workstations appear to be for the entry of pricing
and shipping data. However, anyone actually checking them out
(Computer Use DC 15) will find that the figures don't seem to
mean anything - no actual cargoes, destinations, suppliers or
customer names are mentioned. A particularly thorough going-over
of the system (Computer Use DC 25) shows that the Sharvell system
does indeed control a business, but that the suppliers, customers,
and so on are referred to in an elaborate code. The employees
in this area know nothing of this - they are mostly school leavers
or graduates temping, who assume they are doing some form of
dull data entry.
2 - Supply Chain Supervisor's
station. This is a pod with on workstation and a great many hanging
files. The files contain only numerical data, meaningless on
its own. The supply chain supervisor himself is not there when
the investigators are - he runs the 'front end' of Sharvell Holdings,
but is never actually seen. He might be referred to by NPCs at
Sharvell, but is never encountered by players. His computer has
a message archived on it (Computer Use DC 17) telling him that
he has been given extended access to the 'strongbox' along with
a seven-digit code.
3 - Human Resources. This
separate office has a couple of desks, and Sandy will be sitting
at one when the investigators arrive. Sandy helps manage the
'front end' of Sharvell Holdings. She is a petite woman, very
neat, with short black hair. Investigators speaking with her
can take a Sense Motive check (DC 12) to realise she's not very
sincere and rather cold, in spite of her attempts to be polite.
She knows about some of the work that goes upstairs and will
divulge this to investigators if threatened or bribed (she isn't
very loyal and she'd quite like to get away from Sharvell while
she still can). Sandy knows that medical equipment has been installed
upstairs and that Sharvell has medical technicians and badass
mercenaries on its payroll. She assumes it's some kind of bioweapons
research and has little idea of the true nature of Sharvell's
business. She has a code to get through the door into area 4,
but will assure investigators that they had better know what
they are doing before they go in. Once the investigators know
that Sharvell is up to something fishy, Sandy will take her leave
and never be seen again.
One desk has a computer, while another has a computer and a filing
cabinet. Busting open/unlocking the filing cabinet (Break DC
15, Open Lock 15 but opening the lock is silent) will allow PCs
to rifle through the files. Knowledge (Accounting) (DC 13) will
reveal that Sharvell hires and fires at quite a high rate, rarely
using anyone other than temps and never retaining temps permanently,
apart from a small core of 'consultants', about a dozen of them,
who are paid rather more and have all been with the company about
two years. They have names which, when checked out, reveal that
about half are ex-policemen, soldiers (usually elites), or 'Executive
Outcomes'-style mercenaries, while the other half are biologists
and high-quality medical research staff.
4 - Security station. The
door leading into this room looks like an ordinary fire door
but is, in fact, of heavy steel with an electronic lock. This
requires an Open Lock check (DC 25) to open and a Disable Device
check (DC 20) to avoid setting off the alarm. It can be opened
by using the code on the Supply Chain Supervisor's computer,
or the code supplied by Sandy.
The station itself is like a solid metal box with a raised desk
of metal, behind which are racked several guns - four automatic
shotguns, four pistols, and two full boxes/clips of ammunition
for each, along with four CS gas grenades and four gas masks.
During the day there will be a security guard here, a tall, burly
chap dressed in black, who will have one of each of these items
about his person. Investigators who collude with Sandy will be
able get the guard to check them through into the rest of the
floor with a call to Sandy - otherwise it's difficult (DC20)
to Bluff past him and even then, he'll just keep you there a
few minutes while he gets Jessica Craven to check you out. She
will immediately recognise the investigators as being, well,
investigators, and have the guards take the investigators away
to be shot.
Fighting the guard will require the investigators to incapacitate
him before he reaches the alarm switch beneath the desk, otherwise
the alarm will be set off and the other two guards will high-tail
it down from the second floor to see off the PCs.
At night, this guard will not be there, but the investigators
will still have to contend with the next door and the souped-up
security upstairs. The door can be opened by a lever on the desk
which must be held down continuously, so investigators will have
to either leave someone outside or hang something heavy on the
5 - Decontamination. This
short corridor has an unlocked sliding door at the far end. When
the door back to the security station is closed, tiny holes in
the ceiling will open up and a 'dry shower' of cold air will
blast down, leaving the investigator's skin raw and tingling.
6 - Lab Floor. This windowless,
harshly-lit area of white tiling is set up as a laboratory, with
lots of medical and scientific equipment, a few microscopes,
plenty of Petri dishes and test tubes. There is a hand wash station,
with eye wash and medical kits. Three NBC suits with integral
as mask hoods are hung up on the wall by the door. There are
heavy metal shutters on the walls that might conceal windows,
but they are impossible to open.
During the night, a single security guard waits here, watching
a black and white portable TV or reading. He can, as a full-round
action, take out his walkie-talkie and alert Nnamdi upstairs.
During the day there will be three scientists working here in
white coats with heavy protective gloves to prevent infection.
Their job is to check and prepare biological samples and report
the results to Jessica Craven. They know the samples are of human
foetal material and that the research is secret - they have been
told this is to protect them against pro-life extremists. They
do not like their jobs much, since Jessica is a rather cold and
unwelcoming boss and their work environment is oppressive, as
well as the fact that they do not know all the details of what
they are working on. They do it because there have been hints
of unpleasantness that will follow if they quit.
Taking any of the samples and having them analysed will show
that the lab works on human foetal material.
7 - Analysis station. This
raised L-shaped desk with integral chair has a high-powered microscope
and several devices to examining the chemical breakdowns of samples.
Studying this equipment and the information stored on them (Knowledge
(Biology) DC 25 of (Computer Use) DC 25) reveals that the samples
were being studied to see if they fell within a number of parameters
- if they indicated that the foetal material was of a certain
blood type and state of good health, they were 'passed' - if
they did not, they were 'failed'.
8 - Dissection area. This
small area is separated from the lab floor by an opaque plastic
curtain. It contains a large stainless steel autopsy table, a
basin, and a couple of stands for medical implements (although
implements are missing). This area is devoid of clues - there
are no bloodstains or equipment. The scientists on the lab floor
do not go in here and do not know what it is for.
9 - Stairs up. The area around
the stairs is neat and carpeted, with several pot plants dotted
around and a large abstract painting on the wall.
10 - Jessica Craven's office.
Quite at odds with the rest of the floor, this office is quite
spacious and very well-appointed. The floor is carpeted deep
burgundy and the walls are wood panelled. There is large window
on one wall, looking out across an impressive cityscape - cursory
inspection reveals this is actually a large plasma screen fitted
to the wall. There is a big hard wood desk with a computer on
it and a large leather-upholstered chair, a filing cabinet, and
a table with a kettle and a stock of herbal teas.
Jessica Craven, the 47-year-old head of Sharvell Holdings, is
here during the day and for some time after office hours end.
She wears a sharp business suit and has long reddish brown hair
tied back in a plait. She looks middle-aged but in a handsome,
if cold, way. Her manner is clipped and precise, with little
pretence at politeness or banter. Jessica has a gun in the drawer
of her desk and will pull it on any investigators who she suspects
should not be there. There is a button under her desk that will
summon any security personnel - after office hours, this will
include Nnamdi, the bad-ass from upstairs.
Jessica knows all about Sharvell's operations, since she's the
one who runs them. She knows that the lab is for cleaning up
and checking the foetuses Sharvell receives from Dr Sharpe, which
are paid for with ancient artefacts gleaned from the black market.
She knows that the foetuses are then taken to a secret facility
under the Quebec coast where the ancient technology of an abandoned
underground city is used to turn them into huge monstrous killing
machines, which are then sold on to mercenary companies and terrorists.
Jessica's job is to oversee this whole process and ensure that
there are no leaks of money, material or information. She might
run the whole business, or she might just be an employee of a
higher level - just which is not certain.
She will not volunteer any of this information under any circumstances,
including physical coercion. Magic or psychic means will have
some effect but Jessica has taken leave of her morality to the
extent that her mind is no longer the same as that of a regular
human - she has the 'Mad Certainty' and 'Madman's Intuition'
special abilities as per a cultist and psychic or magical mind-reading
effects only acquire about half the information they normally
Jessica's computer contains (Computer Use (DC 20)) details of
her daily calendar. She works from eight in the morning until
seven at night. She has an appointment in one day's time at a
fishing village on the Yorkshire coast called Davenbridge. There
is no indication what the appointment is for save that it is
to be held at the Northern Associated Shipping offices. The filing
cabinet contains accounts which yield similar information to
the workstations on the first floor.
This floor can only be accessed from the stairs up from the first
floor, or through the floor of the third floor. The staircase
up from the first floor is surrounded by thick plastic curtains.
The temperature suddenly drops at the top of the staircase, even
though the curtains serve as insulation.
The rest of the second floor is refrigerated. Investigators who
are involved in a combat up here must make a Fort save (DC 15)
of suffer -2 to their ranged attack rolls due to numb fingers
and shivering, unless they are protected from the cold (such
as by wearing the NBC suits from downstairs).
1 Containment. This area
is freezing cold and shrouded by water vapour, like thick mist.
Ice-crusted metal pipes run along the walls and ceiling. There
are a great many large glass tubes, about five feet high and
two feet wide, on raised circular metal units. Those marked with
an X on the map contain preserved human foetuses suspended in
clear liquid (San 0/D3). These canisters can be removed but
a Disable Device check (DC 20) is required to avoid setting off
The mist means only this
area of the floor can be seen from the stairway.
2 Climate control. This is
a large bank of machinery and controls that regulates the temperature
and humidity. Fiddling with controls achieves nothing.
3 Nnamdi's post. A table
with a Radio/CD player and a chair. This is where two security
guards are stationed during office hours, and where Nnamdi is
lurking at all other times.
Nnamdi Pfende is a tall Nigerian in his early thirties with a
shaven head and an athlete's physique. He wears black close-fitting
combat gear with webbing and lots of pouches, which protects
him from the cold, and a gas mask on his belt which he puts on
at the first sign of trouble. He is armed with a combat knife,
an H&K MP5 with two clips of ammunition, and a CS gas canister
(When used, everyone in the affected area - the whole floor -
must make a Fort save (DC 20) or suffer -2 to all attacks, skill
checks and saves due to streaming eyes, running noses and nausea.
This does not apply to anyone wearing a gas mask). His favourite
tactic is to hurl the gas canister, then spray with the MP5 using
the automatic spray variant rule before changing clips and picking
off any survivors. This tactic will result in spectacular showers
of broken glass and general destruction - hits are allocated
amongst any targets Nnamdi can see and any such targets must
make a Will save (DC 15) or throw themselves prone whether they
are hit or not.
Nnamdi knows that Sharvell is involved in some sinister biological
experimentation on foetuses, but he's not sure about the details.
He suspects it's bioweapons or illegal genetics research. He
doesn't really care either way. The pay is good and he likes
Jessica - she's the only person he's met who is as cold-blooded
as he is. If Nnamdi is killed, searching his body will yield
dogtags with his name, but no other identification.
4 Artefact pile. A number
of flight cases are piled up against one wall. One of them has
shipping details taped to it, evidently for a cohort with a van
rather than the postal service - the cases are to be delivered
to the Colson Street Clinic (this information is key and can
lead the investigators to the next stage of the adventure). The
cases have foam insides cut to accommodate various artefacts.
Hunting through them at leisure will reveal:
A Neanderthal skull in good condition.
Mycenean beaten gold jewellery, comprising two earrings and a
brooch in the shape of tiny golden honeybees.
A heavily worn carved jade statue of a portly female fertility
Several sheets of papyrus with ancient Greek writing.
A mummified baby crocodile from ancient Egypt.
The blade of a 17th Century Japanese katana sword (this can be
incorporated into an impressive weapon by unscrupulous investigators)
A small golden statue of a Buddha.
A Russian Orthodox altarpiece, with the Madonna and Child rendered
All of these items can be identified by Professor Van Fleet,
who will be exceedingly grateful that the investigators returned
them, but very concerned indeed at the volume and value of historically
important objects that seem to be passing through Sharvell Holdings.
He will not hesitate to promise a hefty bonus to Open Eye's fee
if the source and destination of these artefacts can be traced.
Investigators who keep any of the items will be unable to fence
them - a Gather Information check to find a fence that results
in a score of twelve or less will result in the investigator
attracting unwanted police attention.
5 - Dissection suite. A plastic
curtain separates this area, with a handwash station just outside.
It is dominated by a freakishly large stainless steel dissection
table, with two tracks running along the ceiling above it. There
is an object on the dissection table which appears to be a side
of meat. Inspection reveals it is a lumpen, misshapen, grossly
enlarged humanoid arm, six feet in length (San 0/D3). Examination
of this reveals it is biologically human. It has been neatly
removed and was evidently part of a dissected cadaver.
There are several small stainless steel tables on castors, with
a range of scalpels, medical saws and forceps laid out. They
are very clean. Hospital gowns and caps are hung against one
wall along with what looks like a parachute harness minus the
canopy - this is, in fact, used to suspend a scientist over the
middle of the table when working, since the table is too large
to reach the centre while standing at the side. Cables from the
harness can be fixed to the rails above the table. While this
is interesting, it is of no practical use apart from illustrating
the size of whatever was being dissected.
The third and fourth floors
are featureless, with only the odd bit of builder's debris.
Investigators can get into the second floor through the third
floor. The floorboards give way to a crawlspace, then tougher
ceiling plates fronted with stainless steel which open up into
the second floor. Freezing air will billow up as the investigators
lever off the ceiling plates. It is likely that the noise from
this will alert security, who will probably come up to the third
floor to investigate.
RAISING THE ALARM
The alarm will be set off
if the door to the first floor or into the sealed section of
the first floor, the foetus canisters, or the windows into the
first floor are tampered with. It can also be set of by Jessica,
the guard in the security station, and Nnamdi. The alarm is a
loud klaxon and causes all electronic doors to lock if they are
open. They can only be re-opened with another Open Lock check
and a Str check (DC 20, -4 to the check if this is attempted
without a crowbar).
If the security guards and/or
Nnamdi are overcome at this point, an armed response team from
the police will show up. Firstly, the shutters on the first floor
will open to reveal windows, beyond which is hovering police
helicopter with two snipers armed with assault rifles. The pilot
will demand the investigators drop any weapons they are holding.
This demand will be repeated regardless of whether the investigators
obey, and then the snipers will open fire.
Then the assault team will
go in. They are six-strong and will go straight to the first
floor. PCs retreating to the second must either face them (they
will probably be shot if they resist and arrested if they don't)
or escape through the ceiling (the tiles require a Str check
(DC 17) to remove from this side) and onto the third floor.
CALLING THE COPS
Investigators may wish to alert the police to possible artefact
theft by Sharvell. Jessica Craven, however, has contacts within
the police force and will learn if this is the case. A police
raid will follow, but Sharvell security will be in wait. As the
raid moves into the sealed section of the first floor, two bombs
will go off, one on the first and one on the second floor. Raiding
police will be killed.
The investigators, who will have been requested to accompany
the police but not enter the building, will be treated to a pyrotechnic
show as the first and second floors erupt in flame. A containment
canister will hurtle down and land next to one of them shattering
and disgorging the foetus within. One of the flight cases will
land on the nearest car - it is the one with the katana blade
inside and the scorched but readable shipping details taped to
it. The police will not act immediately on this information,
but the investigators can and will be encouraged to do so by
Professor Van Fleet and Michael Santiago, owner of Open Eye Investigations
(he's not having the Fuzz solving his case and snatching away
THE COLSON STREET CLINIC
The Colson Street clinic is located in a sheltered, quiet area
of west London. It is an older red brick building fitted out
with an entirely new reception area, fronted with glass with
drawn blinds. Visitors enter through the entrance into the reception
area - there are no other ways in.
1 - Reception. This is a
large and well-lit room with cream walls and floor. A large pair
of double doors leads into the clinic. There is a reception desk
along one wall and a number of sofas and comfy chairs at the
other end of the room.
Although the room is well-lit,
the blinds along the front windows are closed and if the lights
are turned out this area will become pitch black.
During the day there will
be one or two female patients in the waiting area. They will
refuse to answer any questions and will leave at the first hint
At all times the receptionist
is waiting behind the desk, occasionally tapping away at the
computer on the reception desk. Investigators who notice that
the computer is turned off will get their first hint that something
is very strange about the receptionist.
The receptionist is a petite
young woman with short blonde hair, dressed in jeans and a white
shirt. She is not human. She is a biological construct with a
very limited set of pre-programmed actions and phrases. She only
knows the following sentences:
'How can I help you?'
'Please take a seat.'
'The doctor will see you now.'
'I'm afraid you'll need an appointment.'
Any questions are answered
with one of these phrases, no matter how inappropriate. The receptionist
will tell the investigators that they need an appointment to
see Dr Sharpe, and then to take a seat. She will then ignore
them. If the receptionist is threatened, she will say 'The doctor
will see you now' and the lights will go out. This will trigger
the baby attack. The receptionist never fights - she stands stock
still if there is any combat going on. She has AC 8 and 5 hp
- if reduced to 0 hp she dissolves into a sticky mess (San 0/D6)
which, if analysed, consists of basic biological matter which
defies further analysis.
Quite where the receptionist
came from, and what she actually is, remains a mystery. She was
probably an early experiment of Sharvell, but this is never confirmed.
2 Corridor. This is a clean,
well-lit white-painted corridor. The door at the far end is sealed
with a chain fastened with a heavy padlock. This padlock can
be picked (DC 18) or forced (DC 25). Sharpe has the key to it
in his pocket but won't give it up without a fight.
3 Exam 1. This room has an
examination table with stirrups, a sink, and a desk with a medical
implements and supplies. There are some cabinets along the far
wall which are full of medical records. These records take about
half an hour to examine thoroughly and can reveal that every
pregnancy test carried out by Doctor Sharpe at the clinic has
4 Exam 2. Examination table
with stirrups. There is an emergency defibrulation unit mounted
on the wall that can actually be used as a weapon. It takes a
full round to charge but once charged, any living thing hit by
it must take a Fort save (DC 17) or be stunned for D4 rounds.
The paddles are difficult to wield as a weapon and a character
using them always suffers a -4 attack penalty regardless of weapon
5 Exam 3. Examination table
with stirrups. The first female investigator entering here will
suddenly find herself lying on the table with her feet in the
stirrups, and no-one will know how she got there (San 0/D4).
Search (DC 17) reveals a small hole in the back wall that appears
to lead to a hollow in the wall.
6 Sharpe's Office. This is
an impressively-appointed office done out in dark wood. If the
investigators ask to see Dr Sharpe, this is where he will take
them. He is a man in his forties, ruggedly handsome with thick
chestnut hair, wearing a neat dark grey suit. He is an arrogant
and rather condescending man. If he talks about his patients,
Sense Motive (DC 15) reveals he doesn't care about them at all,
almost as if he didn't consider them human. He will admit to
an interest in ancient cultures, but not that he has any actual
artefacts. If asked about the Chine vase on his bookshelf, he
will say 'Oh, you mean that. Yes, that was a gift from an oriental
patient of mine.' Sense Motive (DC 15) - this is a lie.
The office has a desk with
expensive fittings, a pair of comfy chairs for visitors, a chest
of drawers along one wall and a bookcase along the back wall.
The bookcase has some medical textbooks, books on medical law
and ethics, and a number of ancient history books. There is a
small vase on one bookcase, white with blue decoration. Knowledge
(Art or History) (DC 10) reveals it is old and Chinese, possibly
valuable. Professor Van Fleet can tell the investigators that
it is very valuable indeed.
The chest of drawers is empty.
Investigators looking behind the chest will see a ragged hole
has been broken through the wall large enough for someone to
7 Wall space. This is the
dark, dusty space between the walls of Sharpe's office and Exam
3. There is a large gas bottle here with a rubber hose attached
to it. There is a surgical mask duct taped to the end of the
hose. Anyone with any ranks in Knowledge (Medicine or Biology)
or a medical background will recognise this as a bottle of anaesthetic
8 Burns Ward. The area of
the clinic past the doors in corridor 2 is the old hospital.
It is dark and musty. The white-painted walls are peeling and
stained with damp. The floor has dark patches where water has
dripped from the sweating ceiling. A couple of beds on trollies
lie overturned at the side of the corridor. There is a layer
of grime over everything and the faint sound of dripping water.
The first investigator to pass a Wis check (DC 18) will catch
the faint smell of cooked meat. No other characters will smell
The burns ward has twenty
beds in two rows. They are unmade and their sheets are damp and
dirty. There are a couple of wheeled cabinets with shelves of
razor-sharp medical implements. A large cupboard stands towards
the far end. This cupboard has some dark green surgical gowns
hung up inside - they are covered in old bloodstains. Behind
this cupboard is the door to area 12. The door is covered by
a membrane of pale skin, a slightly different colour to the wall,
and must be torn through to get to 13. If it is torn, it will
The first investigator to
touch anything in here will have their hand come away dripping
with gore. The object they touched will have no blood on it and
this will not happen to any other characters (San 0/D4).
9 Theatre 1. This is an operating
theatre, tiled in white. The operating table has been torn off
its mountings and lies buckled on the floor. The tiles have been
broken in several places, as if hit by some great force.
10 Theatre 2. The table and
the floor around it are covered in thick, crusted, very old bloodstains.
Analysis reveals that this is human and foetal.
11 Storage. This is a dank,
dark room, poorly lit by a single yellowing bulb. There is a
lingering smell of urine and chemicals.
Against the far wall lie a number of metal cylinders, lying in
a pile as if discarded. One of these contains a human foetus
suspended in colourless liquid (San 0/D4 if the investigators
haven't seen a foetus yet). There is a large refrigeration unit
in this room with a biohazard symbol stencilled on the side.
Investigators standing next to or approaching the refrigeration
unit get a Listen check (DC18) to notice something slithering
in the unit. If they pass this check, they won't be flat-footed
when the skin graft monster emerges.
The skin graft monster is made of long ribbonlike strips of tattered
human skin that weave and reach like the tendrils of an anemone.
The monster has a grapple bonus of +4, and can grapple up to
two targets each round as a full attack. It has no other types
of attack and cannot move from the refrigeration unit. The first
grapple check grapples the opponent, the second pins them. It
does D6 subdual damage to a pinned opponent per round. It can
reach anyone in the storage area.
The monster has 20 hit points and Damage Reduction 5 which is
negated by slashing weapons (the medical implements from the
burns ward will do nicely).
The skin graft monster will grapple the nearest two investigators
and throttle them until they are unconscious, whereupon it will
do the same to the next two until it is dead or has run out of
victims. If it has an unconscious victim in its coils and there
is no-one else near enough for it to grab, it will haul the victim
into the unit as a full-round action and the do D3 damage per
turn as it digests them. It can only digest one victim at a time.
When a victim reaches -10 hp, it has been reduced to a dark reddish
sludge. The victim can be pulled out by an ungrappled character
who gets next to the unit and passes an opposed strength check
as an attack action.
12 Tunnel. This is a tunnel
of crumbling brick which is damp to the touch. Runnels of water
trickle down the walls and there is an earthy, decomposing smell.
13 Shrine. The walls and
ceiling of this roughly circular chamber are papered with pictures
cut out of hardcore pornography magazines. Wooden shelves against
the back wall hold a collection of ancient artefacts from all
eras. Apart from the statuette, they can all be identified as
authentic and valuable by Professor Van Fleet.
- Pride of place is given over to a statuette not much larger
than a man's fist. It depicts two humanoid figures leaning towards
each other - their heads are melding into one. As an investigator
looks on, the features of the faces look up at him, then flow
into one another sickeningly (San 0/D4).
If an investigator tries to pick this up, it will be so cold
that it burns to the touch. For a second the investigator will
be unable to let go of the statuette and cold bolts of pain will
shoot from their hand right through their body. Then, they drop
the statuette and are suddenly exhausted, panting for breath
and subject to the rules for fatigue. There is what looks like
a very old, healed-over wound on the palm of their hand (San
- A Greek vase with a lid. It is decorated in the red figure
style and shows scenes of combat. Closer examination (Spot DC
17) show several figures dismembering and eating a fallen enemy
- A large medieval brooch of polished amber set in silver.
- A Faberge egg. This is can be tentatively identified by Van
Fleet as being from turn of the century Russia.
- A rolled-up canvas that, when unrolled, turns out to be a very
fine oil painting of a nativity scene. Investigators can tell
(Knowledge (Art) DC 12), or Van Fleet can inform them, that this
painting is by is by Carravaggio and was thought lost by the
- An ingot of solid gold. It has a hallmark depicting and eagle
perched on a swastika.
- A large, heavily tarnished
bronze disk, on the floor propped against the shelving. Knowledge
(History) DC 15 or Van Fleet can tell this is a Greek hoplite
shield in remarkable condition.
If the investigators have
not yet fought Sharpe, he will find them here, crying out to
them to leave his shrine. He will first seem indignant, then
pleading, and then threatening. Sharpe knows a couple of spells
but is not a fighter - he is a weakling and a coward, and will
fold as soon as he is hit. If he suffers any loss of hp, he will
collapse to the floor whimpering that he has been scarred or
crippled for life. Investigators can now question him with total
impunity and he will answer any questions, interjecting with
pathetic pleas for clemency.
Sharpe knows that Jessica
Craven has been buying the foetuses Sharpe steals from his pregnant
patients. He steals them by anaesthetising the patients in Exam
3, then taking them to the old hospital and removing the foetuses.
Jessica pays him in ancient artefacts - he doesn't know how Jessica
gets them and this cannot be found out from trying to trace the
artefacts themselves. Sharpe doesn't know what the receptionist
is, only that Jessica gave her to him as soon as their arrangement
began. He isn't certain what Jessica does with the foetuses or
what Sharvell's real business is, but he's pretty certain it's
something very illegal indeed.
Most importantly, Sharpe
knows from an overheard conversation between Jessica and one
of her scientists that the foetuses are transported to Queen
Christiana's Bay on the eastern coast of Canada. This piece of
information forms the true objective of the investigators' visit
to the clinic, and even if technically dead Sharpe should offer
the information as part of a plea for the investigators to save
his life just before he dies.
If he is not killed, Sharpe
will flee if possible. If handed over to the authorities, Sharpe
will never be heard of again. Jessica will have found out about
his arrest and had her contacts in the police liquidate him.
WHEN BABIES ATTACK
If the investigators threaten
the receptionist or confront Sharpe outside the shrine, of if
they're just wandering around and getting bored, the lights will
go out and plunge the area into complete darkness. The first
investigator to pass a Listen check (DC 18) will hear a faint
crying, like that of a baby. As soon as they mention this to
anyone else, an infant will drop down from the ceiling onto them.
There are two infants, probably (but not provably) a by-product
of whatever Sharvell is doing to the foetuses supplied by Sharpe.
Their main threat is their sheer hideousness - being touched
by one for the first time results in D3/D6 San loss, with 0/D6
(or 1/D8 if you've been touched by them) for seeing them. Investigators
only see them if they have a source of light, like a lighter
or a torch, or if they move into a lit area while being attacked
by an infant. The infants can either be killed or driven away
with fire - if driven away they will disappear and never come
back. Everywhere they go they leave a trail of gore, in the form
of tiny foot and hand prints and spatters on anyone they touch.
QUEEN CHRISTIANA'S BAY
Queen Christiana's Bay is
a fairly isolated bay on the coast of Quebec. It is accessible
by a single road and is, in its own way, a coldly beautiful site,
a broad curve of grassland between the freezing sea and the coniferous
treeline sweeping down the from the high ground to the north.
As the investigators approach they will make out a cluster of
buildings near the shore. Some of them are modern but unfinished,
other are portable cabins of type used on buildings sites. There
are several mechanical diggers parked near these. There are other
structures - unroofed, low-walled rectangular stone enclosures
- which mark out the supposed Viking settlement.
The site is, in game terms,
little more than the entrance to the climax of the adventure.
However, it is described in some detail as there could well be
a big gunfight here at some point.
1 - Car Park. Two mechanical
diggers are parked here. These are easy to hotwire (Disable Device
or Knowledge (mechanics or electronics) DC 12) and provide one-half
to three-quarters cover to action-minded investigators making
a daring escape in them.
2 - Security huts. These
are both empty. The doors are locked but the locks are flimsy
(Open Lock or break down DC 15). Each hut has a window looking
out onto the approach road and on each window is a metal bracket
that can be used to mount a gun. There is a table and a couple
of chairs in each one, with a kettle on the table. On a rack
on the wall of each hut is an AK-47 and a single magazine of
ammunition. Investigators will doubtless want to pinch these.
3 - Gift shop. This small
building has a counter with a till and lot of shelving, but no
stock. The door and windows are missing and the cold wind blows
right through. There is a stand of leaflets on the counter. The
leaflets are damp but readable - they are information pamphlets
on the Viking site. They mention that so far the swine pens,
grand lodge and one house have been unearthed. Excavations on
what has been dubbed 'Olaf's Cairn' are due to begin soon. Given
the state of the place, it is fair to assume that these excavations
never got started before the money ran out for the site.
4 - Information. This building
is unfinished. One wall and the roof are still missing.
5 -Hotel. This is a large
building but is only half-finished, little more than the wooden
skeleton of a building.
6 - Swine Pens. Three largely
featureless archaeological trenches have been dug. They are very
old and much of the detail is obscured.
7 - House. This is little
more than a rectangle of knee-high stone walls, with a small
circle in the middle, presumably a hearth.
8 - Grand Lodge. A larger
excavation has revealed a structure similar to the house, but
larger and with a couple of interior walls.
9 - Olaf's Cairn. This is
a pile of loose rocks three metres high. Checking the ground
around it indicated that this was excavated rather more recently
than the rest of the site. Examining the cairn itself will reveal
that one stone seems to have a cavity behind it. This is very
difficult to move - DC 25 for one person, DC 20 for two or more
(plus the bonuses for assisting). Using the digger will make
short work of it, though. The space behind is a cramped, claustrophobic
stone shaft leading straight down. Metal rungs have been hammered
into the stone to form a crude ladder.
The rungs are slippery and difficult to climb down, requiring
a Climb check (DC 15) to avoid falling. If an investigator falls,
the other investigators will hear a splash as they land in the
entrance pool of the next section.
10 - Containment huts. These
huts over look the cairn. Each one has a hunting rifle converted
to take tranquiliser darts. Each gun has a case of six darts,
which must each be loaded manually as a move action. The rifles
can only hold one dart at a time. Anyone wounded by these darts
is instantly knocked unconscious - anyone failing a Fort save
(DC 18) fall comatose instead, and will wake up in a couple of
weeks if given hospital treatment. Upon waking they will suffer
D3 Wisdom and D3 Strength drain due to minor brain damage and
muscle wastage. This loss is permanent.
If the monster is hit by a dart it will suffer D6 Wis damage
from the soporific effects. Hitting it with lots of darts is
one of the few ways the investigators can bring down the monster.
P'Gaarn (although investigators need not find out its name) is
an underground biological city beneath the eastern coast of Canada,
built by a prehistoric race as an altar to the Mythos gods. Their
form of worship involved mutilating themselves using the flesh-distorting
technology of the Pit.
Jessica Craven discovered the city while in charge of the development
of Queen Christiana's Bay. Discovering the qualities of the Pit,
she closed down the development and started a rather more lucrative
business, under cover of Sharvell Holdings, melding foetuses
(acquired from Dr. Sharpe) into giant attack monsters which were
then sold to terrorists, mercenary companies and unscrupulous
When the investigators arrive, the city is empty. Some time after
their arrival, Jessica and the latest consignment of foetal material
will arrive to be transformed into yet another hulking monster.
At this point the investigators will have a chance to kill Jessica
(although this is not as easy as it sounds if she manages to
enter the Pit before she dies), blow up the Pit, release the
monster and flee the resultant destruction, gather enough evidence
for a raid by the authorities, or die in a hail of bullets. Their
aim should be to stop whatever Jessica is up to - how they do
this is up to them. Successful strategies are generally limited
Wait until the monster is created, then release it and run like
Kill Jessica and as many personnel as possible, then flee.
Use explosives to destroy the pit.
Use explosives to destroy the Olaf's Cairn and collapse the entrance
Gather photographic evidence and give it the authorities.
The first two methods will
result in a dramatic gun battle where the investigators must
escape under a hail of fire. The other three can have much the
same result if the investigators are spotted and news of their
presence gets back to Jessica. If explosives are used or evidence
is gathered, investigators who haven't got into a scrap yet should
have to face something before they can escape - perhaps Nnamdi
if he's still alive, or one of the monsters created by the Pit,
staked by the entrance road to deter the curious.
The response of the authorities to convincing evidence will be
extreme and covert. A few days after the investigators hand over
the evidence, a news item will appear. A ship carrying radioactive
waste has run aground off Queen Christiana's Bay and the area
has been sealed off. It is expected to remain radioactive for
several decades, during which time all access is sealed. Environmental
activists cite the incident as a symptom of the dangerously heavy
traffic of radioactive materials across the world's oceans. The
Canadian government, however, describes the cleanup operation
as 'a textbook example of how to deal swiftly and conclusively
with a threat to the well-being of this nation.'
Investigators might well conclude that a nuclear device was used
to make sure the Pit stays sealed. They would be right, although
they will probably never know it.
P'GARRN WELCOMES CAREFUL
When the investigators emerge from the entrance shaft, they find
themselves in a large cavern thigh-deep in clear water. A number
of fluorescent lamps have been bracketed to the walls to provide
illumination. Leading from the cavern is a tunnel leading downwards.
Checking out this area will reveal he tunnel isn't natural, being
perfectly circular with an odd ribbed pattern along the ceiling
This tunnel is a bout a hundred feet long. At the end it opens
out into an irregularly-shaped plaza or clearing within the city
Buildings are piling haphazardly on one another and there are
no straight lines - everything is biologically curved, like some
immense complicated organ preserved in black, silver-flecked
stone. Alleyways are curving tubes running between lumpen mounds
of buildings. The ground is gently undulating and made of the
same flecked black stone.
The city must be underground as the ceiling of an immense cavern
is like a stone sky far, far above. There is a weak spicy smell
and the very faint sounds of cracking and straining from below,
like a glacier thawing or a huge building settling on its foundations.
Investigators at foot level can see little beyond the plaza but
twisted spires and thrusting biological towers seem to carry
on for many miles around.
Seeing P'Garrn for the first time costs 0/D4 Sanity.
THINGS TO MAKE AND DO
P'Garrn is not simply a collection of buildings and streets.
In its heyday it was a living, breathing creature, its inhabitants
more like symbiotes than citizens. It has slumbered for a very
many millions of yeas, but the renewed activity inside it are
slowly waking it up. Travelling through P'Garrn is not a matter
of following landmarks or maps. The city changes around you as
you move, and getting anywhere in particular is down to luck
and opportunity rather than logic.
To travel in P'Garrn, make
a Cthlhu Mythos check (DC 20) for the investigator with the most
ranks in Cthulhu Mythos (cruel GMs, or those whose Investigators
have made it this far relatively unscathed, might make the first
check automatically fail). If the investigators succeed, they
arrive in one of the following locations. The exact location
is determined by the GM, and should accord with whichever one
would be most dramatic given the current situation and the intentions
of the investigators:
If the investigators fail the check, they end up in one of the
following encounters (again, selected by the GM). Once they
have survived/completed/escaped the encounter, they may make
another Cthulhu Mythos check with a +2 bonus. Investigators
who turn back from a particular area must negotiate another area
before they can make another Cthulhu Mythos check. The areas
The Hall of Records
Investigators hear a rushing sound, like fast-running water.
Around the next corner the buildings part to reveal an immense
cataract, not of water, but of quicksilver, rushing over the
sagging precipice of a heap of buildings into a massive circular
hole in the ground with a wide open space around it. Numerous
alleyways lead off from the opposite side of the area.
The alleyway behind the investigators warps with a horrid sucking
sound and seals itself closed behind them. They will have to
go out onto the circular area to continue.
The circular area is a highly
sensitive surround to one of P'Garrn's feeding orifices. Investigators
moving across it have a chance of setting off a reflex swallowing
action. The orifice has a Listen modifier of +8 - this gives
it a chance to hear characters who walk without moving silently,
talking, shooting guns, and so on. Once it has heard something,
the ground will ripple (Spot check DC 18).
From then on investigators must make Move Silently checks (opposed
to the orifice's Listen check) to move without alerting the orifice.
If it is alerted again, it will begin a reflex swallowing action.
The circular surround warps alarmingly, undulating like jelly,
and huge glistening fangs of black stone will emerge from below
the edge of the opening. The buildings around pucker like contracting
muscle. The quicksilver will break against these teeth like water
on rocks. The realisation that the waterfall is plunging into
the huge mouth of a living creature costs 1/D6 Sanity.
Investigators who just sprint for the alleyways on the opposite
edge will make it unless they all go for it at once, in which
case the last (make Str checks - whoever gets the lowest is last)
will be trapped outside as everyone else piles into the alleyway
The second round after the swallow begins will see mercury swirling
around the area like water in a washing machine. Anyone moving
must pass a Str check (DC15) to move their basic speed in a round.
The DC increases by +2 every round. An investigator failing two
checks in a row will be dragged down into the maw of P'Garrn.
Once all investigators have made it to safety or been swallowed,
the swallow will complete with a vast sucking sound as the area
puckers shut than booms open again.
Anyone getting swallowed must make a Fort save (DC18) or drown
in the quicksilver. If they survive they still take D12 crushing
damage (mercury is very heavy) and will wash up, alive or dead,
on the shore near the Dormitories. They will be unconscious,
and must be awakened by their colleagues.
The Hall of Records
Investigators emerge into an enormous structure formed of long
curving struts forming a domed canopy hundreds of feet overhead.
Six massive rectangular slabs hover, end-first, five feet above
the ground. These slabs are 100 x 30ft x 10ft and are made of
a glassy, brittle substance that flakes away to the touch.
There is a circular depression in the centre of the floor. Thin,
rail-like patterns on the floor radiate out from this point.
It is a simple matter to cross the floor of this structure and
continue through one of the alleyways that radiate off from it.
Nosier investigators, however, may find something rather more
An investigator standing in the depression will find their feet
suddenly rooted to the floor. One round later the world will
turn black and swirling images will begin to coalesce from the
First, the investigator sees a sky overhead tinted red, with
many irregular moons and a single orange sun that skims across
the sky, faster and faster, until the sky shimmers light and
dark. The ground is bare and rocky. Small shapes flicker across
the ground and gradually, as if watched on a stop-motion film,
a city is built in fast forward. Large black lumpen shapes are
planted in holes in the ground and grow rapidly, joining with
one another into huge pulsing masses. The flickering shapes become
more numerous and it is apparent that they are the builders of
the city, their work here seen vastly sped up.
The city grows outwards until it stretches between the horizons
and begins to pile up upon itself, towers reaching towards the
flickering sky. A pit opens, like a mouth, right in front of
the investigator. The inhabitants flow into the pit like water,
hundreds at a time.
For a moment the action switches to real-time. The inhabitants
have a dark grey skin and spindly bodies, each with several arm-like
limbs sprouting from its waist and elaborate feathered gills
around its chest. A single vertical oval eye runs down its thin,
otherwise featureless face.
Something emerges from the pit, clambering over the sheer black
stone wall. It is of the same colour as the inhabitants but much
larger, a tangled knot of rubbery grey flesh. It turns and looks
directly at the investigator, who sees that from its shoulders
sprout dozens of heads, each with that single vertical eye.
The view speeds up again. The sky is suddenly covered over with
stone and the flickering dark shapes become white. The pit continues
to receive a constant flow of bodies and vomits enormous monstrosities
back out. Gradually the flow dies down and then the inhabitants
are gone, and the city is empty. Then there is a slight flicker
as more shapes, of varying colours, flit past. For a second time
the view pauses and the investigator sees one of the new inhabitants
staring at the pit. It is human. It is Jessica Craven. She is
directing a crane that is lowering a large crate into the mouth
of the pit.
Then the image speeds up again, flickers, and is gone. The investigator
stands in the depression once more, with only a few seconds having
As might be imagined, this experience costs D2/D8 Sanity.
The passage turns downwards and emerges in a long rectangular
chamber lit by a faint blue-grey glow from the stone. The walls
are covered in shelving, irregular and curved, as if it was grown
rather than built. On the shelves are hundreds of statuettes
of strange, melded, vaguely humanoid shapes, some slender and
two-headed, other hulking and barrel-chested with dozens of heads
and limbs. They are fashioned from a variety of shades of dark
stone. Investigators who saw the statuette in Doctor Sharpe's
shrine will recognise these statuettes as being of the same type.
The whole place is eerie and utterly silent, even from the faint
sounds of the waking city, and the air is still and cold.
Several exits lead from all around the tomb-gallery. Getting
across here is not a problem unless the investigators make the
mistake of touching anything.
The statues do not like being touched. Picking one up bare-handed
will cause cold burning in the same way as the statuette in Sharpe's
shrine. Statues nearby will topple off the shelf and shatter
on the floor. They will suddenly melt and flow together like
quicksilver. More will fall, shatter, and melt until there is
enough liquid stone to form a human-sized creature. This is a
P'Garrnian ghost, although investigators need not know this.
The ghost is dangerous, with a body of solid stone and a dislike
of anyone desecrating the tomb-galleries of the city. It will
attack the investigator who woke it up, focusing on them to the
exclusion of all others. It will pursue the investigator until
it or its target is destroyed.
The alleyway end abruptly and investigators find themselves looking
out from the edge of a shaft that runs up for several hundred
feet and down further than they can see. In this shaft are suspended
several islands, like massive irregular chunks of stone floating
impossibly in the air. A thick, sinewy, segmented spine runs
down the centre of the shaft from the dark depths of the shaft
right up to the ceiling of the city-cavern. It is pulsing slowly
and there is a sound like distant heavy breathing.
Investigators must get across
the shaft. There is, apparently, no way to get between the floating
islands. In fact, there is, but investigators just can't see
it. Invisible bridges join the islands, forming a path across
consisting of five bridges and four islands. This will become
obvious to anyone throwing dust, gravel, a pebble, or anything
else across the shaft.
Investigators who use this
route can get across the spine directly. The route passes very
close to the spine itself, close enough to touch. An investigator
who touches the spine will suffer an electrical shock and must
make a Fort save (DC 20) or be thrown backwards. A Ref save (DC
15) lets them grab onto one of the free-floating islands. Investigators
within 10 feet can make a Ref save (DC 18) to grab them as they
If all these are failed,
the investigator, instead of falling, flies upwards, right up
to the ceiling and out of view (San 0/D2). They suffer 2D10 damage
from hitting the ceiling and are regurgitated, alive or dead,
on the shore of Queen Christiana's Bay.
Investigators who suffer the shock but survive gain the augury
spell, etched into their minds as the 'Wisdom of P'Garrn' ritual.
This highly incongruous collection
of prefabricated huts sits on the shore of a passing river of
quicksilver, surrounded by cliff-like walls of undulating black
stone. A chasm leads off towards the Pit.
There are four huts.
1 - Dorm 1. There are four
beds laid out here with lockers underneath them. Only one looks
like it has been used. A curtain has been fitted that can be
pulled around the bed like a hospital screen. In the locker beneath
it (Open Lock DC 20/Break DC 18) are several items of women's
clothing (some underwear, a business suit and a couple of blouses),
a washbag with toothbrush, sanitary products, deodorant, breath
freshener, and a loaded .38 revolver with a box of twelve bullets.
This is where Jessica Craven sleeps when she spends the night
2 - Dorm 2. This hut has
four beds, all used, and smells of sweat and sleeping men. This
is where the security guys sleep - Jessica makes sure there are
at least two of them here with her when she spends extended periods
in the city. The lockers under the bed contain -
Half-a-dozen porn mags, a
survival knife, and a supply of chocolate bars.
Some clean underwear, a Gameboy
Advance and two games.
Three science fiction novels
and three cans of beer.
A basic medical kit with
bandages, plasters, and disinfectant, and a yo-yo.
3 - Wash hut. This hut has
two toilet cubicles, two wash basins, and a shower cubicle. The
toilets are chemical and the water supply comes from a tank under
the hut (P'Garrn, as might be expected, doesn't have running
4 - Storage. This hut is
used to store scientific and other equipment. There are several
empty cylinders piled up at one end, identical to the ones investigators
may have seen being used to hold foetuses. Three hazmat suits
hang on the wall alongside heavy-duty elbow-length rubber gloves.
There are two pairs of rubber boots by the door.
On a table is a laptop computer
and a variety of sensing equipment, mostly metal probes on long
wires that can be attached to the back of the laptop.
The laptop requires a password
when it is turned on. If the password is not entered in thirty
seconds, the laptop's frag switch operates - this is a very small
thermic charge that utterly destroys the hard drive and any hope
of recovering information from it. Should the investigators somehow
manage to get the password (PURITY) off Jessica (only psychic
or magical means will work, and bear in mind she is resistant
to such things), they will find enough information to let them
use the technology of the pit to make their own hulking kill-beasts.
Creating such a monster costs D4 Sanity as the character meddles
with things that are not meant to be known by mortal man.
There are six pens, arranged in two rows of three with a corridor
down the middle. Each pen is immense, a hundred feet square and
easily fifty feet high, made of chain mesh with a six-foot metal
surround at the base. The twelve-foot high gates in each pen
are secured with a bolt and a heavy padlocked chain - simple
to pick (DC 18) but made of heavy steel and impossible to break
without cutting the chains with a bolt cutter.
All the pens are empty of
the monsters they were made to contain. The nearest one has the
gate unlocked. Inside, the pen stinks of animals and what looks
and smells like human waste is piled up in one corner. The stone
wall at the back of the pen is scored with scratch marks.
A tall stone arch at the
end of the central corridor leads to the Pit.
The Pit is the most likely
place for a showdown with Jessica and her security guys. As the
investigators make their way through the city, Jessica and some
of her security guys arrive in two trucks, enter the city with
a pallet of containers each holding a foetus, and head through
the city towards the Pit. If the investigators took more than
one 'step' to get to the Pit, Jessica and her men are at the
Pit when the investigators get there. If they got there faster,
they will be there when Jessica arrives. They will have a few
turns wandering around the Pit or the Dormitories before a shouted
order from Jessica will alert them to her arrival. There will
be three security men, two wheeling a cart with the pallet on
it, and two scientists. The best tactic here will be to find
a hiding place before attacking with surprise, or sneaking away.
The Pit is a huge irregular
depression, its sides glassy and smooth. Investigators who were
subjected to the history in the Hall of Records will know this
was the same place where P'Garrnians went into the pit and were
melded into larger creatures. It is about thirty feet deep. The
high walls of stone surround it, formed into biological shapes
like knotted muscles, with gaps in the cliff wall leading to
the Dormitories and the Pens.
An observation and cargo platform has been built projecting over
the edge of the Pit. It has a guard rail around it and a console
which gives temperature, humidity, radiation and vibration readings
from the inside of the Pit. A mechanical winch on the platform
can deliver cargoes to the bottom of the Pit, and is operated
from the console. There are large packing crates and mounds of
building materials lying around the edge of the Pit, which can
be used by investigators to hide in.
The pallets of containers will be lowered into the Pit. After
a couple of minutes the glass of the containers will shatter
and the wood of the pallets will break down. The dribble of pinkish
foetal material will run, quivering like quicksilver, into a
rippling puddle in the middle of the Pit. The puddle will grow
rapidly and lumpy shapes will begin to rise from it, swelling
and bubbling until something huge and vaguely humanoid is standing
in the Pit, blood-streaked liquid flesh running off it. Scores
of tiny mouths will emerge from its skin, long talons will extrude
from its fingertips, and its skin will solidify and tighten until
it has become a fully-formed attack construct (The investigators
may have seen one of these at the harbour earlier - if they didn't,
they suffer the full Sanity effects for witnessing the beast
for the first time).
This process takes about
three minutes to transpire. It can be stopped by successfully
trashing the monitoring equipment by the crane, by dropping something
heavy from the crane onto the emerging monster, or torching the
monster before it is fully formed.
Jessica is probably armed - she will have collected her .38 revolver
from her dormitory - and will shoot her way past any investigators
who try to accost her. If he is taken down to 0 hit points she
will not die immediately, but will crawl towards the Pit. Once
there she will pull herself over the edge and will tumble down
into the Pit, whereupon her broken body will begin to swell and
deform with the sickening crack of bones and tearing of gristle.
She will rear up, now a grotesquely mutated version of her former
self, fully healed and angry. Her body is packed with muscle,
the skin shiny and taut where it stretches. Spines of bone jut
from her back and forearms. Her face is a single yowling maw,
red and wet and lined with teeth. She will clamber up the side
of the Pit and lope towards to Dormitories, tearing through any
investigators or surviving personnel as she makes her escape.
This will not happen if she is captured and tied up/handcuffed,
or is prevented from getting to the Pit by a sharp-eyed investigator.
If the investigators show
their hand after the creature has been created, or if they don't
stop the processes creating it, the security guys will be too
busy dealing with the investigators to herd it into the Pens.
It will clamber up the side of the Pit, bellow hideously from
a hundred discordant mouths, and stomp through the Dormitories
towards freedom. It will almost certainly tear up a couple of
security guys while doing so and may, if the GM decides it would
be dramatically appropriate, catch and kill Jessica Craven before
tossing her body into the Pit.
The security guys aren't
being paid enough to deal with all this. If any of them are wounded,
or they see anyone killed, or if gigantic monsters start turning
up, they'll run for it. The scientists will try to stop the processes
from being interfered with but will run for it once things have
gone permanently wrong. Jessica will flee if she is left alone
with the investigators and/or a giant monster.
Investigators always have
the option of running for it. They would be advised to do so
once they have raised enough hell to stop Jessica's operation
or acquired enough evidence to have it shut down.
The case is, technically, solved if the investigators ascertain
that Sharvell Holdings was responsible for some form of trafficking
in ancient artefacts. Michael Santiago, owner of Open Eye Investigations,
negotiates a fee of ten percent of the value of any artefacts
actually recovered by the investigators, which results in a happy
Mr Santiago, continually employed investigators, and an impressive
new collection for Professor Van Fleet.
P'Garrn may be nuked by the Canadian government. If not, it remains
there, unknown and hidden, waiting for the next curious individual
to unlock its secrets.
There may or may not be a vengeful Jessica Sharvell (in woman
or monster form) and a gigantic attack construct running loose
Destroy Jessica Craven's Operation (by killing Jessica, destroying
the Pit, or collecting enough evidence to have P'Garrn destroyed):
Prevent Jessica from escaping: D3
Prevent the attack construct from escaping: D3
Stop Dr Sharpe's embryo farming activities: D3
The Corinthian Building
Public Knowledge - The Corinthian Building houses Brown Trout
Designs and Sharvell Holdings. It is managed by Red Horizon Properties.
DC 12 - Temple Security provide
security personnel for the building.
DC 15 - the top two floors
have been vacant for some time. Red Horizon is offering them
at a discounted rent to anyone who asks.
Brown Trout Designs
Public Knowledge - a graphic
and web design company. Tends to win a lot of awards. Run and
owned by Colin Cadwaller.
Gather Information DC 15 - Brown Trout has missed the last three
rental payments on its office space in the Corinthian Building.
DC 20 - Brown Trout is on
the skids. Its last few tax and finance statements mask significant
losses and banks are beginning to cotton on that the company
isn't likely to be paying back its loans any time soon.
Publicly known - an import/export
company with head offices in the Corinthian Building.
DC15 - The Corinthian Building office is run by Jessica Craven.
The company has been in existence for just over two years, and
has been at the Corinthian Building for all that time.
DC20 - There is next to no
company history for Sharvell Holdings. It is not clear if Jessica
Craven own or runs the whole company, or if she is an employee
of an unknown owner of CEO. The company only ever seems to break
even. There is no record of what Sharvell Holdings actually imports
or exports, or where such goods might be held. From the information
available, it seems that Sharvell doesn't have any assets other
than what is located in its head offices.
DC 21 - Moved from Canada
to the UK two years ago. Is a UK citizen, suggesting that she
was not born or raised in Canada.
Publicly known - security company specialising in providing security
personnel for companies in the City of London.
DC18 - Nigerian by birth,
thirty-one years old. A mercenary since the age of fifteen, employed
by a couple of 'security consultancies' in Western Africa. There
are no records of Pfende for the last five years.
Doctor Jeremy Sharpe
Publicly known - Doctor Jeremy
Sharpe is the resident specialist at the Colson Street Clinic.
DC 15 - Sharpe is forty-one
years of age and unmarried. He specialises in the treatment of
DC21 - Sharpe narrowly avoided
being struck off for alleged 'severe misconduct' relating to
the miscarriage of an unnamed female patient. Details are unavailable.
The Colson Street Clinic
Publicly available - The
Colson Street Clinic is a specialist private practice for gynaecological
and pregnancy-related cases. It is located in west London.
DC 18 - The clinic is located
in a converted hospital. The building used to be the Colson Memorial
Hospital, which boasted an impressive burns unit. It was closed
down in the 1970s when its burns ward was merged with other hospitals
Gather Information DC 15
- The clinic is very discreet and is considered the best option
for well-to-do women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy.
Its discretion is advertised through word of mouth alone.
Queen Christiana's Bay
Publicly known - Queen Christiana's Bay is in Canada, on the
south-east coast of Quebec. The easiest way to get there from
the UK is to fly to Montreal and drive for a day and a half along
the Quebec coast.
Queen Christiana's Bay is
the location of some recently-unearthed ruins that are almost
certainly the remains of a Viking settlement.
DC 17 - Queen Christiana's
Bay was the site of a tourist development. The intention was
to create a centre for adventure, walking, and nature holidays,
with the attraction of the Viking ruins as the centrepiece. The
proposal ran out of funding three years ago and the buildings
DC 19 - the person in charge
of the development during its abandonment was Jessica Craven.
MONSTERS & NPCS
2nd-level bitch (Defensive Option)
HD: 2D6 (9 hp)
Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex)
AC: 11 (+1 Dex)
Attacks: +1 .38 revolver ranged, -1 unarmed melee.
Damage: .38 Revolver 1D10, Unarmed D3-1 (subdual)
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +5
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 15, Cha 13
Skills: Listen +7, Spot +7, Diplomacy +6, Intimidate +6, Computer
Use +7, Knowledge (Accounting) +7, Knowledge (Biology) +7
Feats: Weapon Proficiency (Handguns), Alertness
Equipment: .38 revolver (In P'Gaarn)
JESSICA CRAVEN VERSION
2nd-level mutant bitch (Defensive Option)
HD: 2D10 +2 (16 hp)
Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex)
AC: 15 (+1 Dex, +4 natural)
Attacks: 2 claws +1, Bite -1
Damage: Claw D6 +1, bite D6 +1
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +5
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 15, Cha 13
Skills: Listen +7, Spot +7, Diplomacy +6, Intimidate +10, Computer
Use +7, Knowledge (Accounting) +7, Knowledge (Biology) +7
Feats: Weapon Proficiency (Handguns) (this feat may not be used
as Jessica's fingers are now too deformed to hold a gun), Alertness
DR. JEREMY SHARPE
Use stats for Dr. Corbitt
from the 'Night Shift' adventure (P. 277). Dr. Sharpe replaces
Psychoanalysis with Bluff.
Dr. Sharpe also has the spells
circle of nausea (which can be cast to affect his office and
his shrine) and shrivelling (which does 2D4 damage).
4th-level badass (Offensive option)
HD: 4D6 + 10 (20 hp)
AC: 17 (+3 Dex, +4 body armour)
Attacks: MP5 submachinegun +6 ranged (Full attack +4/+4 ranged),
combat knife +4 melee
Damage: MP5 1D10, combat knife 1D4 + 1
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 12
Skills Modifiers: Move Silently + 9, Intimidate +8, Tumble +7,
Spot +8, Listen +8, Climb +2, Use Rope +3, Demolitions +1, Drive
Feats: Weapon Proficiency (Submachine Gun), Point Blank Shot,
Equipment: Bullet resistant vest (+4, -1 armour check penalty),
H&K MP5 + three 15-round mags (1 loaded), combat knife, torch,
CS gas grenade, cold weather gear.
TEMPLE SECURITY GUY
Use stats for Officer Charles
Peal (P. 279), except that the Temple guys have
Weapon Proficiency (Melee)
instead of (Pistol) and are unarmed.
SHARVELL SECURITY GUY
Use stats for Officer Robert
Nelson (P. 279), except that the Sharvell mercs have the Weapon
Proficiency (Pistol) and Weapon Proficiency (Rifles or Shotgun,
depending on what they're armed with). They are either armed
with combat shotguns or assault rifles, and in some situations
can also use the single-shot tranquiliser rifles. They wear protective
clothing beneath their black fatigues, which increases their
AC to 12 but do not impose an armour check penalty.
ARMED RESPONSE OFFICER
Use the Officer Robert Nelson
stats (P. 279), except these chaps have Weapon Proficiency (Submachine
Gun or Pistol) and Weapon Proficiency (Melee), and are armed
with MP5s or revolvers, and tonfas (count as nightsticks). They
wear either reinforced vests or flak body armour (p. 95, don't
forget armour check penalties).
Hit Dice 2D4+2 (7 hp)
Initiative: +2 (+2 Dex)
Armour Class: 16 (+2 Dex, +4 size)
Attacks: Masticate +1
Damage: D3 + 1
Special Attacks: Yowl
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60ft, immunities
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +0
Abilities: Str 12 Dex 15 Con 14 Int 8 Wis 11 Cha 8
Skills: Hide +11, Move Silently +7, Spot +7, Listen +3
San Loss: D3/D6 (touch), 0/D6 (see), 1/D8 (see after touched)
Infants attack by chewing
with their horrid gaping maws. They prefer to drop onto someone's
shoulders and yowl into their ear, and then chew on the victim
until thrown off or driven away.
Wall crawl: Infants can move
at normal speed along walls and ceilings. They tend to drop from
the ceiling onto their victims.
Yowl: An Infant can yowl
as a standard action. The victim yowled at must make a Will save
(DC 11) or be paralysed as long as the Infant is in contact with
them. Once someone has been yowled at and made the save or been
taken out of contact with the Infant, they are immune to further
yowling for 24hours.
Use Gug stats (P. 172) except the Attack Construct knows no spells,
has only 2 claws, and causes D2/D10 San loss.
Hit Dice: 3D8 + 5 (24 hp)
Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex)
Armour Class: 17 (+1 Dex, +6 natural)
Attacks: 3 stone tendrils +3
Damage: D4 +3
Special Attacks: Spark
Special Qualities: Freedom of P'Garrn, stonesight 60ft, Immunities
Saves: Fort +10, Ref +3, Will +3
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 11, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Hide (in P'Garrn) +6
San Loss: 0/D6
A P'Gaarnian ghost is a stone
reconstruction of a P'Garrnian, the long-extinct alien race that
once walked the Earth. It is made of the same flecked black stone
as P'Garrn. It will attack intruders with its spark attack, then
crush them in its lower limbs when they are unconscious.
Spark: A spark leaps from
the P'Garrnian's single eye as a standard action. This is a ranged
touch attack with a +2 attack bonus. The spark causes D6 Wisdom
Freedom of P'Garrn: The P'Garrnian
ghost, as part of a double move or full-round movement action,
pass through the walls, floors and ceilings of P'Garrn at full
speed as it melds with the city's substance.
Stonesight: The ghost can
see anyone or anything in contact with the stone of P'Garrn.
It is otherwise blind.
Immunities: Immune to mind-affecting
effects, massive damage, critical hits, poison, paralysis, stunning
and disease, along with anything that requires a Fort save unless
is also effects objects.