Young Aaron gets involved in a strange game where young kids from the streets of the Living City of Montpellier are pitted against each other at the gambling table… but the stakes are not for money.
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 2nd of June YD+10 @ 7 PM
The game is about to begin. A tall, middle-aged man with coiffured black hair and white gloves introduces everyone and lays down some rules.
Bela, Brendan and Jean are not around.
Samir is in jail.
The gambling gets underway. The patrons watch intently – although Jorge Ibsen seems to stare at Fifi a lot, with an almost knowing smile on his lips. It’s a strangely formatted gambling match, although much of the rules are the same. The kids, including young Aaron are not playing for money it seems. Although side-bets are taking place amongst the spectators…
Much takes place during the game:
<> Fifi meets a tall, interesting looking man in his early 30s wearing an immaculate suit, but with the hint of chaotic tattoos poking out from collar and cuffs. His name is Michelle Saint Claire, and Fifi feels like she knows him from somewhere… he is, in fact, very famous but she is unable to say why. Yet. He tells her he has an apartment in New Tokyo (3,000 miles away in former state of Florida).
<> Jean arrives with Valerie, moderately attractive blonde woman done-up with lots of make-up and a nice dress; although she seems to be trying very hard to fit-in. She somehow has the attention and interest of the people who organised the game. She gets Jean “in”, although he arrives with a second-hand shirt from a scavenger store; when he is asked to remove his jacket – the shiny thin leather one he’s been wearing since Aigues-Mortes – it reveals the massive tear under the arm of the shirt. Valerie is horrified and gives him money to go downstairs (20 floors below) to the hotel lobby where there is a store selling suitable clothing. Jean reluctantly spends the money on a nice shirt, but actually looks damn good.
Later, Jean gambles on Aaron winning set rounds of this strange game they are playing – he loses a little but then wins 400 credits. At this point Valerie suggests they leave and “go back to her place”. It involves a blissful moped ride through late night streets of Montpellier on a warm summery evening…. she lives on the 3rd floor of a house converted into tiny apartments, in an area just on the edge between Old Area and Corporate. She shares with Gertrude, who is a Rank 3 Bodyguard – and who has also been lured into Jean’s Long Con (using his Grifting skill).
<> Winter watches and observes.
Aaron wins 4 of the 6 rounds. Blade is declared winner. A number of consequences occur:
– What has been lost? And what has been won? The Blade is very happy – and energised. Some kind of private ceremony is due to happen later, however not all the patrons are remaining for this – many of them look tired and drained.
– The healer and her player approach Aaron. Winter keeps grabbing at them, sidestepping them, trying to stop them from touching him or Aaron – making him look a little bit weird and ridiculous, and in the crowded environment of the party it just isn’t realistic without causing a massive scene. The Healer quickly places one hand on Winter’s shoulder and he feels something pass through him, and away from him, like some part of him has been taken or lost. And she says, “Do not disrespect me or my child. You will be back to see me, when it gets bad.”  For the rest of the night a number of people comment on Winter looking ill or under the weather.
– One player kills himself, striping off clothes in elevator, which itself surges upwards crushing the young man who has stood on the top of the elevator car. Is it suicide or something else?
– The weird silent man, Jorge Ibsen comes to talk to Winter. Gives Winter his contact details, “I find you interesting. Make contact with me. We shall talk.”  At the end of the brief discussion, Ibsen smiles, and Winter see’s spider-like tendrils looping down from the roof of Ibsen’s mouth and then retracting again.
– Winter goes over to talk to Toten Reich, who immediately reacts to Winter’s presence by taking a step away and folding his arms – “You are not well. I will see you when things get bad.”  Winter asks for his contact details but Toten Reich declines, and says, “I will come and find you. Tell Bella I am asking after him. I am worried, about how he is handling the change.”
Fifi and Winter leave the venue with Michelle. At which point they discover the young man who has killed himself.
Aaron is staying the night at the venue, which is Blade’s apartment. Winter tells Blade to look after him, “he’s only a kid”. Aaron has a glint in his eye.
Later, they travel in Michelle”s sports car to airport, and meet a number of his retinue. Young men with mohawks or shaved skulls and tattoos, wearing tailored black suits that are too short in places, large black shiny boots and a lot of attitude (but good-natured). They travel by private jet from Living City of Montepellier to the large Living City of Paris. Met by an agent of the Orbital Skip company and transferred to a different beast of a vehicle. They blast off, up into space, into orbit; after leaving France at night, the come down 30 minutes later on the South East coast of America in sunset…. welcome to New Tokyo.
Michelle is the frontman, lead singer of a globally famous punk band. He is something of a megastar.
The sheer size and scale of New Tokyo – even as a Living City, surrounded by an even more immense Dead Zone – is beyond comprehension. Standing at the windows of Michelle’s incredibly high-tech apartment, where an AI-emulation system provides assistance through 3 Sony Houseman robots… looking out across the city they cannot see the boundary, cannot see the edges of the Living City or where the Dead Zones begin.
There is drinking. There is sex (Fifi and Michelle). In the morning, Michelle and his punk band depart, leaving a message for Fifi and Winter to enjoy their morning – before their transport arrangements take them back to Montpellier. It is an incredible act of extravagance. However Winter wants to explore New Tokyo… and see if he can get up the coastline to New York. He’s not been back to the dUS since Yellow Dawn happened. He doesn’t know what happened to his family or to the friends he grew up with.
Winter and Fifi secure an extension to the departure, through the AI-emulator, and head down into the chaos and noise and activity of New Tokyo streets.
RESUME 3rd of June YD+10 @ 1pm
Fifi and Winter are in New Tokyo.
Jean is at the tean apartment; it is 9pm for them.
Aaron – location unknown, last known place was at Blade’s venue, 20 floors up, top suite of hotel.
Bela and Brendan are not around.
Samir is in jail.
<> No Rank Rolls for this session (16th December)
<> All Money up to date – also, some characters have now stated how much of their money they carry round as e-Cash, how much is on online account (accessible via PA with internet connection, and so open to abuse by anybody stealing PA and getting through security — before character can cancel access). Nobody is currently carrying any gold, silver, copper or precious gems.
<> Brendan and Bela will need to state: How much of their cash is on digital accounts (type of access) and how much is carried on them in gold and gems *with a % for any given time*
<> Winter lost all his gear at the Merkenson estate.
<> 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 Living Cities, Dead Zones and the Infection?
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.
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CREDIT: Featured Hero Image – Cyberpunk City, source unknown, please advise and I’ll credit