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 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.
Nothing untoward happens during the night. Aaron gets drunk and a little aggressive with The Blade but it is taken in stride and Aaron finds himself next morning waking up in the luxury of the Chief of Police’s house – courtesy of her daughter, Fifi.
Bela, Winter and Jean wake up in La Roche Sabel Academy. Willian, the boy, is fine… albiet still traumatised.
They spend the day researching Dr Merkenson and the area where the family house is situated.
They learn –
Dr Merkenson’s wife died during YD. She became Infected. Grief-stricken the good doctor threw himself into his work. Joined a UTOC mission to Africa, supposedly searching for wreckage of the SOYAR craft that rained down on Earth bringing Yellow Dawn with it. However he left after 6 months, came home and quickly set off on an expedition with two Montpellier University professors to South America. Neither professor returned but he did, and with some explosive theories about biology in Earth’s earliest epochs. Initially ridiculed he was subsequently proved correct – he has spent past 8 years travelling extensively with a small team that he put together surprisingly quickly. Never known to work without them or with anyone else. Speculation that he is working on an epic project that promises big results, of which his public notes so far are merely a taster…
Jean also learns that Dr Merkenson is currently at a river side dig, 120 miles north of Montpellier, looking into something about a Minotaur myth and sea-faring Cretian tribes who came to the south of France thousands of years ago.
Late afternoon, Bela, Winter, Fifi and Jean arrange for bonded transport to take them to the Estate. They are collected from the Academy by aerodyne and flown out over the Dead Zone, on the far side they land, met by a car and driver who takes them the 20 miles to the Estate. A huge thunderstorm has started. Half mile from estate Winter and Bela get out.
Jean and Fifi arrive unannounced but their mention of the Academy and Willian gets them an audience with Lilian, the Dr’s PA. They also meet somebody called Bo who dresses like Indiana Jones… he carries a brutal looking whip made of metal and carries a hip-holster pistol of brass/ copper and fused crystal that looks like no ordinary weapon – even the grip isn’t made for normal human hands.
Jean is soaked through. Fifi is made comfortable in a lounge whilst Jean is taken to a bathroom to change. He takes a hot bath. Lilian and he quickly get it on, but the act is almost violent, animalistic and primal. She manages to extract some information from him during this – about Willian being at the Academy and in a state of fear /trauma.
Meanwhile, a young man enters the room with Fifi and talks to her coldly, questioning why she is here… Fifi is very unsettled by the man’s demeanour. Something is not right and she is glad when they are asked to leave.
Winter and Bela by this point have worked their way through heavy foliage and the rain and thunder to a place where they have some view of the estate. They see a man leaving by a jeep. Winter calls the head of security at the academy and warns them.
The team arrange for transport back to Montpellier.
On the way, they learn that a man matching the description Winter provided tried to get into the Academy – using some kind of trick or technique to confuse one of the armed well-dressed guards. Thwarted the man ran in flight.
A short while later this man reappears in the Academy having once again tried to sneak in…
He comes crashing through a doorway and encounters Fifi and Jean – who have just arranged for a safe house with Fifi’s mother for the boy (off the grid, not official police channels).
The man runs at them and lashes out at Fifi, causing her a horrific wound to her abdomen – even though he doesn’t appear to carrying any weapons.
He is apprehended moments later by armed guards.
Jean takes the boy to safe house.
Fifi is taken to hospital as medics at the scene can’t stop the bleeding to the four slashes to her torso.
Winter and Bela want to interrogate the man but the Chief of Security is handing this over to the police- doing everything by proper channels. They manage to get 5 minutes with the man, who is sitting in a room, with cuffed hands on the table in front of him and watched by two armed men.
The man seems unphased, distant.
Winter steps behind him and applies a violent grip to his shoulder and shouts a threat, massive intimidation. It cracks the man’s icy veneer; he plunges forward in pain, twisting in rage to snarl some weird word at Winter. There is a crackle of energy and the cuffs fly apart, the metal charred. The man tries to strike Winter with violent blows – Winter manages to block them with calm, fluid movements that reveal formidable combat skills.
Everything goes into slow motion. Winter struggles to unhook his tomahawks. The man attacks him again, failing to get a proper strike in…
Bela is pulling out his massive sledgehammer (with spikes). The two armed guards are drawing down on the man and barking orders for him to back down.
Winter unhooks his tomahawks and continues to demonstrate his remarkable fighting ability (Martial Art) to slash his tomahawks into the man; yet the man manages to twist and weave and deflect the brunt of damage from the attacks – the blades deliver glancing cuts to his leg and torso; he then turns and runs. At which point Bela steps forward, swing his sledgehammer and delivers an fatal blow to the man’s back.
The man crashes to the floor, spray of yellow blood. Both armed guards rush forward, check for his pulse but the man is dead. They close the scene down, careful not to disturb too much as this will become part of a formal crime scene…
Everyone leaves to brief the head of security. Was the attack justified? Were Bela and Winter in fear of their lives? Um, the man was killed by a blow to the back as he fled…. difficult questions ahead.
Going to inspect the crime scene, the first sign that something is wrong is the blast of cold air and rain coming in through the broken window.
The man is gone, and the spray of yellow blood is bubbling and evaporating away into dust.
RESUME 23rd MAY YD+10 @ 10.00 PM
Fifi is back home after surgery, recovering from her wound. She is currently at (-6 HP) which will full recover by 7 a.m. on 29th May (+1 HP per day).
Aaron is there too, having spent the day at the house using the fantastic computer suite.
Brendan is at Samir’s place, drunk.
Samir is in jail.
Winter and Bela are at the Academy, going through final debrief with head of security and Rhonda. She says, if and when the boys father returns asking for his son, she will HAVE to hand the boy over. The characters MUST find out what is going on before this happens as she is VERY worried about the boy’s safety now.
Jean is at the safe house with an ex-cop, now private detective called Reno Brigadano, and with a semi-catatonic 13 year old Willian.
<> All money up to date (note, the team are being paid 1,000 credits per day from 22nd May. Winter has already received advance cash for one day but that is all)
<> No RANK rolls for 14th 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.