Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur, first published in 2007, is an RPG written by sci-fi & dark fantasy author David J Rodger – it blends the Cthulhu Mythos and cyberpunk genres in a post-apocalyptic setting. Learn more…
6th FEB @ 5 A.M.
The team have just got back to their hotel and crashed. Today is Sunday. They’ll have to kill time before going back to meet the professor at Belgrade Museum on Monday. Josh is already gobbing off about they have to buy everything – but does come up with the smart suggestion they should convert the cash into precious metal or gems they can take back to their own true universe of Yellow Dawn – and not remain in this odd parallel universe where Yellow Dawn never happened.
Telfus has booked into a smaller, cheaper hotel and waiting to see what he does with his life now that he dealt with the killer of his sister.
The team grab some sleep then head down for a late breakfast; they agree to buy in:
() Vortek Personal Protection Fields (these are only 50,000 each rather than 500,000 as listed in Yellow Dawn rulebook, because this world is a blister reality where YD did not happen).
() Armwatch Security Cover – snapcards
() Executive quality suits with ballistic and stab resistant weave.
On news in story about assassination of Serbian minister of interior. SPARSK are mentioned. Nobody claimed responsibility but Croatian or Kosovo is picking up blame via speculation. Tensions in country are increasing. SPARSK militia noted as mobilising across countryside.
They are hassled by a high-ranking journalist from WorldStar Media who wants to know how they bested Fargan Laslow last night – and what happened; but this appears to be more about digging for dirt on Marcus Hardman (wealthy host of last night’s party where the jewel was stolen by Countess Roskoff but recovered by characters). Characters play silent. Journalist threatens to expose links between deaths and mayhem in Paris, Milan, Venice and Trieste and their arrival in each of those locations on the Orient Express – timescales overlap.
Team ring Marcus Hardman to warm him about journalist digging.
Marcus Hardman says thanks, repeats his promise to have minister of culture approve their paperwork for removing rare artefacts from Serbia.
Team contact Dimitri to ask about a favour. Dimitri was wanting to meet them anyway… Caterina wants to have lunch / dinner with the team before she has to head back to London for an opera.
They all meet at a posh warehouse eating place. Dimitri arranges for a hacker called Viral 5 to contact characters – to satisfy their needs.
Heading to a cafe near bazaar later on, a car bomb goes off… dozens killed and many more injured. Dimitri hit in leg by shrapnel; everyone else blasted to ground; Paul is hit by shrapnel but it destroys his PA instead. Then the driver of Dimitri’s SUV (who has a SPARSK tattoo) shoots the other bodyguard, shoots Dimitri and then shoots Caterina and flees. Marcus and Paul chase after him (as does a drone) and catch him amongst tables and chairs of an indoor cafe (closed). Dimitri’s men arrive to shoo away police and take the prisoner.
Josh and Metz use magic and first aid to save Caterina’s life. Dimitri is ignored and dies from his wounds.
Police are grateful to characters and no awkward questions are asked.
Characters return to hotel to assess situation.
Barely there 30 minutes they’re summoned by a phone call with a modulated voice to meet at a sports stadium. Taxi there. They go in and meet a man in late 50′s. A Serbian spook. Dimitri was helping internal security protect minister of interior… looks like his failure made him a target of SPARSK. Government spook says thanks for what you did and offers to grease the wheels a bit whilst they’re in Serbia: also says to be wary of SPARSK, now that they helped apprehend the assassin.
The spook leaves. The characters wait a few minutes, standing in the middle of the pitch surrounded by empty rows of stadium seats. As they’re about to leave… the lights fail. In fact, there are no lights ANYWHERE. With a chill horror they realise they’ve phased back into the world of Yellow DAwn.
There are Infected within the stadium – just visible in the moonlight.
Marcus uses his pop-gun to take a couple down. More surge in, attracted by the noise.
Metz falls victim to some kind of mesmerization, he stands there, not participating (caught within Influence of Hastur). The team try to get him out of there but more Infected are running towards them, shrieking and snarling. Marcus shoots. Paul wrestles one to the ground as it thrashes around in his desperate grip. Josh slashes with his sword cane. Metz get’s tackled by an Infected and slammed to the ground, the Infected bites deep into Metz’s neck, tearing the flesh…
The lights snap back on.
They’ve phased out again; back into this strange blister reality where YD has not happened. And to their horror they can see Paul is still grappling an Infected; one of the things has come back through with them!!!! It stops struggling and abruptly becomes alert. It looks at Paul and Paul sees a monstrous intelligence seeping into that rotting face… it looks around with growing delight as if sensing a whole new world to Infect. And then it disintegrates into golden glowing particles of dust and blows away. Spreading Infection or vanishing from this realm, nobody really knows. Then all attention turns to Metz who is sitting there clutching a wound to his neck and asking over and over – am I ok? Am I okay? Only a few seconds have elapsed. Josh approaches him, uses magick to heal the wound and steps back… watching cautiously. The transformation is fast and brutal. Metz snarls, leaps up to attack… but then before anything else can happen he too disintegrates into golden particles of dust.
The team are traumatized to see a long-standing character become Infected and then to disappear like that.
They return to hotel, numb.
A government suit arrives at hotel and hands over paperwork authorising team to take artefacts from Serbia. Marcus goes to Belgrade museum and is told about the village where such artefacts may be found.
Team are driven by their new Serbian security man, Roman, in his jeep, out into the wild countryside to Oraszc.
Encounter the village. The priest and the headman.
A fertility rite takes place.
They sleep the night there.
Team head out deeper into forest to see the old lady in the woods.
A terrifying encounter with an ancient spirit form – Baba Yaga takes place but the characters pass the test and are told where to find the RIGHT ARM of the statue.
Team head back and witness the beginning of a ceremony, a goat sacrificed on an altar stone and strange chanting. Marcus and Paul wander down amongst the “cultists” as if to confront them when something large and monstrous emerges from the woods. A Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath.
Marcus throws down something given to him as a charm – but it’s a false gift, a trap, and TEN MORE Dark Young materialise!!!
Paul is grabbed by tentacles and hauled towards slobbering mouths.
Roman shoots dead the Headman and priestess, with the random consequences of allowing Marcus to take control of the TEN Dark Young – Marcus commands them to attack the solitary DARK YOUNG. Paul barely gets away with his life.
Marcus grabs the RIGHT ARM and everyone flees through village. They are not pursued. The TEN Dark Young chomp, grab, stamp and devour the cultists.
8pm on 8th FEB, just leaving the area of the village in Roman’s jeep – driving like the wind, clutching the RIGHT ARM of the statue and everyone feeling very lucky to be alive. Roman’s right index finger now has a gnarly nail, since Baba Yaga bit it down to the bone and stripped the flesh from the finger (and Josh used magic to repair the finger as best he could).
As they accelerate, Roman has to brake hard and screech the jeep to a halt: a large black dog is on the road, staring back at them with intelligence that is far beyond what is normal.
The team need to get back to Belgrade and get on the next train to Sofia.
LEFT LEG, LEFT ARM, RIGHT LEG, TORSO at Excelsior hotel in Belgrade. RIGHT ARM is with the team in the jeep as they’re blasting back towards Belgrade.
GM NOTES: all characters had Rank rolls with a +3 bonus.
DJR: thoughts for next session on local copy of these notes.