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.
- Winter – built like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger with North American First Nation features. An expert in martial arts and wilderness survival.
- Brendan – slim, awkward in appearance, with dark hair and untrusting blue eyes; he wears black clothing and carries an air of suppressed pain around with him. Scars, like energy burns, to parts of his face hint at his meddling with metaphysical powers. A road mage.
- Bela – tall, bulky, a victim of the 1st wave that left him Changed at the molecular level. Called an ‘Orc’ by those wishing to insult.
- Aaron – 16 years old, tall, willowy, good-looking, quick-witted and intelligent, he was only 6 when Yellow Dawn happened. His survival is a bit of a mystery. Good with his hands and fixing things, his movement is limited by a gammy leg, fixed into a leg-brace.
- Jean – tall, good-looking man, early 30s with classic southern French features; lean and muscular with a long mane of dark hair and blue eyes. Wears a beaten up leather jacket and leather trousers and boots that belong on a fashion parade, not the wilderness.
- Fifi – French girl, 22 years old, dark hair that could do with a comb, teeth a little too big for her mouth and a flat, wide nose, hardly a looker, but with an incredible aura, sense of presence and razor-sharp intellect she is quite the character. Dresses down, an artist, but anyone who gets to know her quickly discovers she comes from money and power.
RESUME 21st May YD+10, @ 12.30
Everyone except Aaron in the warehouse in Montpellier’s Dead Zone. Aaron on the boat. Brendan back in Montpellier sleeping off a hangover.
The team conclude their artefact hunt within the self-storage facility, vaguely aware that there are periods of noise outside – but the human mind has a great way of coping with extreme fear, the way it can pretend that nothing really bad is going on out there.
They acquire some interesting items, nothing earth-shattering.
Getting back to the canal requires some careful movement as there are Infected visible in the area. One comes crashing through the door of a derelict building, a fat guy in his 40s, most of his clothes missing… he staggers around, and it is quickly obvious that something is different about him. Fronds and tufts of a sickly yellow “organic material” like fine grass is protruding from his dead face and hands. He collapses by the edge of the canal choking up tiny floating wisps of this yellowish substance, like spores. The team avoid him.
They get back to Montpellier on the patrol boat without incident.
Arriving there, Fifi’s mother – the Chief of Police – is there also. She has Samir arrested, rebukes Fifi (but not harshly) and then leaves.
The team return to Samir’s apartment and discuss what to do.
They also raid his fridge and wine collection.
Aaron reviews the items they have found in the Dead Zone to see what value they have. Although expensive to buy they will yield very little money by comparison, because of the way the Trading Tables are set up… unless you know somebody in the business, at a high level, it is very hard to make big bucks from an individual item. It’s all about bulk with scavenging, which is why so many successful CRC units stick to the slow, unglamorous work of asset stripping buildings.
Bela senses he should go to the window. Looking out he sees Baron Toten Reich down in the street, looking up. Bela meets him. Toten Reich gives him name and phone tag of a woman and says he must contact her tonight: “This is important Bela. This one we cannot fail.”
Aaron uses the PA connected to the HUGE softscreen Fifi found, and contacts The Blade (the swanky gambler he encountered in Aigues-Mortes who is based in Montpellier) and gets an invite to a high-stakes game + guest (Fifi). Winter and Bela were going to join them but The Blade was vocally dis-likeable about Bela being a “fucking Orc”.
Fifi goes off to get changed into something glamorous. She comes back 2 hours later looking like a Christmas tree. It is not a good look.
Aaron and Fifi go gambling. Aaron missed out on 7,000 to the Blade. Then lost out on 40,000 because he lost his nerve and tried something new. In total he lost 6,000 – almost all his money.
Fifi meets Jim, a used car salesperson (Rank 4) who knows her mother… he is plying her with champagne but this doesn’t seem to be for any odious reason.
The Blade gives Aaron commiserations and ensures the kid has food and a ride home. The elusive brother of Mr Armstrong is unseen tonight.
Winter, Bela and Jean contact the Client. Woman called Rhonda who runs La Roche Sabel Academy. Top end school for the children of the wealthy elite with a wide, wide catchment area – no other school like it for 500 miles, maybe more.
They go to visit her at the Academy. Very exclusive, subtle and well-dressed guards, no students (out of term, students do not live on campus).
Rhonda has a problem.
A student should have been with his school friends in orbit right now, heading out to a trip to the Moon. However, driver injured in a collision with a horse and cart and boy left stranded. A bonded vehicle was used to take the boy back to family estate, 20 miles NW of Montpellier.
That was 4 days ago.
3 days ago the boy reappeared, at the school, god knows how he got through the Dead Zone but there he was….disheveled, a mess, and nearly catatonic with some kind of acute fright.
Rhonda was going to call the family when she received a call from the personal secretary of the boy’s father, asking if everything was OK at the school… Rhonda sensed the woman was being disingenuous and felt the boy was in some kind of terrible danger. She has him hidden away on the premises. Only 2 other members of her staff know the boy is here.
Jean goes down to talk to the boy. Willian. He is 13 and in shock. Living down in the basement, in the massive chill-out area used by students during term time.
Jean gets very little information, only something about tunnels, slime, creaking, it moved!!!, and also the fact he is clutching a large, curved bone-like thing… (NO IDEA WHAT YET).
Rhonda agrees to pay the team 1,000 credits a day, plus pay for any bonded transport to the estate if required.
She wants the team to investigate what is going on and find out if the boy is in danger, or what happened at the estate to cause such a reaction…
RESUME 22nd MAY YD+10
Aaron at casino, Fifi with Jim at Casino; Winter, Bela and Jean camping out in the chill out area at the school – they are wary that somebody may try and get to the boy. Rhonda is pleased by this. Samir has been arrested and held by Chief of Montpellier police.
<> All money up to date
<> No RANK rolls for 7th Oct (not enough happened)
<> Aaron has been blogging about recent events, since the demise of Hardstrom. GM should run through demise of Hardstrom; Gambling in Aigues-Mortes and The Blade; and experience of a Dead Zone.
<> Samir has the apartment, paid for by Deraloux, until end of May YD+10
<> DJR papers include notes on +to Brendan’s COOL for killing Hardstrom and +to FIRST CONTACT with Deraloux.
<> Baron Toten Reich has talked to Bela about his “progress” after seeing him coming in (flying) recent night. There was also a small gift.
<> Brendan has the gore-smeared cerebral codexes for Tengo Gin and Magnus Hardstrom in his pocket.
<> In Celeste: 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.
<> 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).
IN THE MORGUE:
<> Chris Langford (Dominic), killed by a creature From Beyond at Cereford Grandir near Soubere, 20 miles from Aigues-Mortes. 13th May YD+10.
Want to know more about Dead Zones and Dead Cities?
If you want to read more about Dead Zones and the Infection, I would strongly suggest you read Dog Eat Dog. Alternatively, if you’re interested in the cosmic horror that has followed the event known as Yellow Dawn, read The Black Lake – which the Guardian called “Atmospheric & Creepy”. Or, if you like the idea of the claustrophobia of living inside of a post-apocalyptic version of London surrounded by Infection, then read The Social Club.