Yellow Dawn Session Notes 19th March ¦ Aigues-Mortes – Alex and the deserted island #1

Introducing Alexander Dumas

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. It also now has two novels set within it, Dog Eat Dog and The Black Lake.

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BEGIN 25th Feb YD +10 (ten years after Yellow Dawn happened).

This is a sub-session to introduce Alexander Dumas (Nice Guy Tony) into the Aigues-Mortes fold. This session takes place after Winter and Bela have returned from their travels, just before a number of weeks elapse at Aigues-Mortes where Bela attempts to construct a crossbow.

Alex arrives in Aigues-Mortes broke and lucky to be alive after the merchant caravan he was travelling with was attacked by bandits. Everyone but him was killed and he escaped with a sack of provisions and the clothes on his back. 22 years old he was only 12 when Yellow Dawn happened so has little memory – or nostalgia – for the old world. Slim, wiry and strong, with remarkably attractive rugged good looks, bold charm and vibrantly intelligent, he wins over most people who meet him at first glance. For this reason, Alex is able to occupy an empty stall at the Canal Gate Market rather than being turned away as most other refugees are. After a couple of days standing at a table trying to sell the few provisions he was able to save from the bandit attack, he is desperately thinking about what his next move can be. How does he get stock to kick-start a trading enterprise? He gets to meet the local “security” – a Native American Indian with a physique like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger.  And he encounters the arrogant, scathing, abusive Somali who acts as lieutenant for the local crime gang who controls the market. The Somali takes a bottle of Alex’s water and says Alex “owes him” for letting him pay late rather than up-front for occupying the market. Alex is told he owes 20% of anything he earns to the crime gang – for protection.

Then next day, Alex shuffles over to the carbo-plastic hut on the edge of the canal, near the market, where Winter’s boss lives and works. Hot weak coffee is being handed out to security men.  Winter blags one for Alex – who is deeply grateful. Then the Somali arrives and tells Winter’s boss that he is late on payment and owes the “big man” money – to avoid a beating, the Somali takes Winter (and Alex) away for a job. He sends them up the coast, 30 miles along an Interlink, and then 10 miles inland where there is apparently: “.. and island loaded with medical equipment. Ripe for picking. Meant to be worth a fortune.  Go there and come back in a week and tell me if it’s for real and worth anything.”  There’s no mention of Alex or Winter being cut into a share of any profits; they’re merely being treated as slaves under threat of violence – and violence towards Winter’s boss – if they fail to comply.

The journey North is good – the first day. Although that night both Alex and Winter fail to build a proper camp, fail to get a fire going or find food or enough water, so have to huddle and shiver and eat into their scarce provisions.

The next day both men suffer aches and pains for the exertion of travelling – they reach a small settlement where they spent the night by a fire (paying for it with provisions) and get fed a hearty stew. Freak weather conditions drop the already freezing night down to -10c and Alex nearly freezes to death; he suffers exposure and has to spend the next day getting warm and resting  – thankfully the locals take pity on him and offer help, otherwise he would probably have died!!!

The next day, Alex and Winter head west and find a scattering of huts on edge of vast lake – rain and mist obscure much of what’s there. They ask to hire somebody to take them out to the island by boat – at first, the locals say there isn’t any island.  Aware they’re lying, Winter and Alex press the point and learn that the island is shunned. Some crazy medical men used to live out there with a patient – then 9 years ago, after YD happened, a lawman from Marseilles arrived with three other men – one of whom was young wealthy and arrogant, looking for the medical man. They were taken over to the island, but never came back.  Locals went there looking for them after a few days – found the house there empty and intact, even found their coats all hanging up, but no sign of anybody. And that’s how it’s been left all these years.

Alex and Winter get rowed over there (2 hours!!!) and dropped off. They ask the boat man to come back for them noon the following day. Boat man says he will, but he won’t come back again if they’re not around. It’s a creepy and unnerving idea. On the island Alex and Winter find an overturned boat in good condition – so at least they have a way of escape if they need it.  They also find a large cottage in a bad state of decay.  Empty. Coats hanging in hallway.  No sign of anybody in years.

And then Alex falls through the rotten floor into a chamber below… and from that moment, everything changes….

More to follow.
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David J Rodger – DATA

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