The village’s generator has broken down due to a cracked cylinder head. This is easy enough to repair except that Old Bill, the old man who built and now maintains the generator, doesn’t have the parts he needs (i.e. a new cylinder head).
Since the electricity is used almost exclusively to power several freezers in which much of the community’s winter food reserves are stored the loss of the generator, although not fatal, is a major blow and any possibility of repairing it must be explored.
For the PCs
Old Bill asks the PCs to go to a supply depot ran by a woman named Kelly Granger that he used to use shortly after the Collapse. Although Mrs Granger is probably long dead (she was well into her fifties then) he believes (well hopes really) that her son, one Jonathan Granger, may still be there and that he may be able to obtain the required parts.
The depot is located in the ruins of a pre-collapse market town about three day’s journey away. He stopped using it in 2025 when a group of Crazies occupied the town, making frequent visits a little too dangerous (Old Bill never was one for risking his neck if he could avoid it). Bill knows very little about these Crazies but he does know that they are aggressive (or they were 50 years ago).
Bill cannot, of course, go with them since he is 81 years old and somewhat frail (not to mention being an abject coward).
Mary and the Angel
On route the PCs will come to the territory of a group of Crazies. These are not the group Old Bill warned them about but this will not be immediately apparent.
The group was formed about five years ago by a young woman named Mary McGuire. She believes, having seen this in a dream, that she is the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary and that an Angel will come to her. Mary spurns all potential lovers, reserving herself for the Angel, for she knows that she must be a virgin when he comes.
The cult that has built up around her is small, consisting of only around 20 members, but highly enthusiastic. When the PCs arrive they will welcome them, asking if any of them are angels. They will gladly relate the tenants of their faith if asked (even if the PCs claim to be angels since they will assume they are being tested).
They know the location of the depot and the nature of the Crazies who control it. If the PCs are on good terms with them (i.e. they haven’t started a fight) they will share this information and offer what advice they can. They will also offer to hold in safe keeping any obviously technological items (e.g. guns) the PCs are carrying and, where appropriate, lend them substitutes (e.g. crossbows). They can be trusted to keep their word, but the PCs of course have no way of knowing this.
If any male PC claims to be an angel he will be taken to the Lady Mary who will test him to see if his claim is true (it simply wouldn’t do to give herself to an impostor since she could then never bear the Child of God).
Since angels can fly, the test basically involves jumping (or being thrown) off of a high building. Several temple guards (equal in number to the PCs) wielding baseball bats are on hand to ensure that he takes the test.
The Supply Depot
A little further on lies the ruins of a large pre-collapse market town. The depot is, or at least was, located in and old warehouse in the industrial district.
For the past 50 years the town has been controlled by a group of crazies who believe that all technology is evil. The current inhabitants, who are mostly second or third generation, are not as fanatical as their forebears, and are unlikely to attack visitors (such as the PCs) unless they are carrying obviously technological items (like guns).
Finding the industrial district is not too difficult since it is sign-posted (pre-collapse town planners just loved signposts) and the correct warehouse is also easy enough to find for the same reason. However, the warehouse is derelict and virtually empty, having been destroyed by the crazies during the first wave of religious further in the mid-2020s.
As the PCs pass through the town they encounter a patrol of the local militia (total numbers equal to party size), all crazies from the local band. If the PCs are carrying any obviously technological items (anything later than about the Norman period), they will attack without warning.
If PCs do not have any forbidden technology they will greet them with the half-hearted "friend or foe" routine common to guardsmen everywhere. In this case, they will warn the PCs that the old warehouse district is haunted by the "Daemons of Technology".
A careful search of the warehouse will reveal a makeshift workshop, apparently missed by the crazies. Inside are a few useful items, most of them in remarkably good condition. Amongst these is an engine block that looks about the same size as the generator’s engine.
The block itself is far too heavy for the PCs to take but the cylinder head, although heavy, could be carried. Removing the head (a job that will take a full day since the retaining bolts have rusted into place) is difficult but not impossible.
Leaving the Town
On the way out the PCs meet another militia group similar to the one above. Unless they have taken special care to hide any items they took from the warehouse (including the cylinder head) these guards will see them and, consequently, attack immediately.