Yellow Dawn Session Notes 20th May ¦ Libya – mission Fail

The characters hesitate at the final objective and lose their quarry – but the consequences are beyond their worst fears…

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Yellow Dawn – The Age of Hastur, first published in 2007, is an RPG written by British Science Fiction & Dark Fantasy author David J Rodger – it blends the Cthulhu Mythos and cyberpunk genres in a post-apocalyptic setting. It also has three novels set within it: Dog Eat Dog, The Black Lake and The Social Club.

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RESUME 30th APRIL YD+10

30th April 2pm, Winter, Samir, Brendan and Lukasz (NPC) are by the bridge, with the teenager, working out a plan of attack. Winter has spotted a private yacht moored several miles along the coast (Hardstrom?).

Team know where they need to go but consider the options and the risks. There are four of them, well-armed but poorly skilled in war, up against Tengo Gin and four armed and highly trained mercenaries.  Hesitation and fear took hold and Brendan watched helplessly as the team extracted the meteorite they had found – as hoped.  The young boy guarding the bridge demanded more money.  They watch as Tengo and his men climb into a rib and power away.  Tengo even throws them a wave – he wins again.

It all felt like failure.  Dejected, team find the small fishing village where the boy was from and find shelter on the beach. Brendan buys a vile bottle of cheap whisky from a savvy fisherman who sees the chance to make money. Brendan pays for it – he doesn’t care.  He is beyond caring and drifts off, drinking, sitting on the beach watching the sea as the night and waves roll in. A fire keeps him warm. Tomasz has left -bought a ride on a fishing boat, furious that it all went so wrong.  Winter and Samir set up a tent away from the beach.

Brendan becomes aware that there is a combat knife pressed against his neck.  Some conversation.  Winter and Samir are woken too by armed men.  They’re gathered on the beach, handcuffed and escorted to the rib. They are taken to Hardstrom’s yacht.  Luxury for a mad man.  Hardstrom is genial and pleasant, offering drinks (having Tengo make them), removing their cuffs and dismissing the guards – leaving just Tengo to protect him.  There is a tension between Tengo and Hardstrom. Hardstrom likes to poke Tengo with criticism and petty commands.  But it seems that Tengo’s recent death (and resurrection) put him in great debt to Hardstrom.

Hardstrom asks them about what they know – about Bino Bit, about Baron Toten Reich, and other things.  Throughout the evening they do talk and they do tell.   Hardstrom learns that Toten Reich is his adversary in the Prudence matter – or at the very least a conduit to the real adversary.  Smoking cigars, drinking 50-year-old whisky, dressed in a 3,000 credit shirt and trousers, with a smoking robe and slippers, Hardstrom cuts an imposing figure of success through megalomaniac might. But there is a darker side to this character…

Brendan takes interest in Hardstrom’s supposition that there is another layer to this reality. A place where fear has no calling. A place where fear is the fabric of that reality. Hardstrom is insane – and Brendan connects with him on this level. The CEO of Hardstrom Enterprises, Magnus Hardstrom himself, leads Brendan to his private pod attached to a metal exostructure fixed at the back of the yacht – even Tengo Gin looked uneasy and uncomfortable as Brendan followed his master away.

Winter and Samir are left with Tengo and three mercs who come back in to keep everyone company.

When Brendan returns, he is silent, shocked and deeply traumatized.  GM NOTE: I cannot write an account of what Brendan experienced because it was a genuinely disturbing scene, of human madness and harm, of abuse of a vulnerable person. But the player who controls Brendan will undoubtedly recall what occurred for a very long time.  The upshot is that Brendan considers Magnus Hardstrom a very human monster, who must die.  Add to this the fact Hardstrom was responsible for so much death and misery in Prudence, and is in the process of destroying beautiful landscapes in south of France and has just acquired a mineral substance that could revolutionise removal of toxic industrial waste and a source of abundant energy…. everyone agrees, Hardstrom needs to pay.

Hardstrom politely asks where they would like to be dropped off.  South of France.  Strangely, he complies. They spend an uneasy night in the brig, but next morning theyre brought up on deck. There is the coast of France. Maybe 30 miles from Aigues-Mortes. There is a small rib with their stuff.  A fleet of tiny fishing boats are sailing away from a settlement; fathers and sons, people who survived Day Zero or were born after it, able to carve out an existence from the sea.  Hardstrom observes the fishing boats and turns to the characters. Explains that they laws of dynamics and motion require a consequence for their actions.  He has his crew fire two white canisters into the sea… waste materials from his deep core injection plant, a business which the characters have called into question with UDP authorities, probably costing Hardstrom billions in lost revenue, or bribes. The canisters sink. Soon the surface of the sea near the approaching flotilla is bubbling and frothing – a white mist rises off the water and drifts over the fishing boats.  When the mist clears, everyone on the boats is dead. Hardstrom laughs and invites the characters to take their ride ashore… he is sure the settlers will be pleased to meet them after this, “and if I don’t see you again, I wish you a speedy journey through hell.”

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RESUME: 2nd May, YD +10. About to be ferried ashore.

GM NOTES:

<> All characters need to make rank rolls for 20th May session.

<> Bella needs to do rank roll for 1st March session.
<> All money is up to date. The team were paid 10 days advance for the Libya trip by the Baron (600 copper).
<> Bela has some raw components and specialised components he scavenged on the way to Prudence.
<> Bela has a special ops gel suit, although armour is wrecked over heart and right thigh.
<> Samir has bruising from being beaten up in Aigues Mortes, and knife wounds from the ship’s engineer.
<> Brendan has an assault rife with 24 rounds remaining.
<> Winter and Samir have acquired a large number of firearms and ammunition, plus heavy weaponry, from Mohammed’s camp and the gasses mercs at Bino Bit compound (these are written on DJR paper notes).
<> Team have 12 litres water, NO  food, but do have all their money AND all their equipment back.
<> NOTE: Bela is not with them. He is acting lawman at Celeste.

GM THOUGHTS

This session was the first to take place in our proposed new venue, a pub in the medieval heart of Bristol, now running weekly on Tuesday nights; rather than at my crumbling pile of 1870 stone atop a hill on the edge of the city, only one Saturday a month.  As a result, being in a quiet pub, we were sometimes in range of other folks earshot. Which led to one couple walking out after a new player (Simon) got carried away with his character’s unscrupulous desire to succeed at all costs…  screen grabs of Facebook comments attached.  I guess they didn’t understand the concept of roleplaying.

The risk of roleplaying in public places

The risk of roleplaying in public places

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CREDIT: Featured hero image – HighTech Stealth Yacht EARTHRACE
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David J Rodger – DATA

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