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ID: 5215


February 13, 2010, 11:50 am

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Cheka Man

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Under the track


- "This is train CIV1181, kilometer 15 right after the station. There is a person close to the track on my left side. Could you send somebody to look at it."
- "Understood. Anything suspicious?"
- "He simply lies there. And I think he was there yesterday, too…"

Look at the scene of a crime. Three police cars, one doctor. The victim is male, under twenty. Trekking shoes and clothing for a trip, a small backpack was searched and strewn around. A purse is nearby, with the ID of the victim. No money, the watch also appears to be missing.

The apparent cause of death are multiple wounds caused by a blunt object, it could easily be a stone, there are several covered with blood. The deed was committed with great violence.

If you look at the location, there is nothing unusual. A mile from the next village, close to the track. There’s fields attended by large machinery, very few people. There is a small fireplace, a copse of trees, a brook is not far, a good place for a little trip or a personal drama.

The police will do their work. They will probably find some homeless guy, that looks crazy enough. Case closed.

But maybe you are of a more sensitive nature than most. Then you will be drawn into the trees, deeper, where it is dark. A small illegal dump, bottles and shards, plastic and tinfoil. There are thousands of such places. The cops just passed through it. You get a shiver down your spine.

Only if you have the Sight, will you see what is true. The stones you have ignored before, are a part of something. A structure, half-ruined, still standing. An altar is here, preserved with blood and offerings. What entity does it serve, a dark god or an evil spirit? How old is it? And how could it survive this close to civilization? Nobody ever moved closer. No one built a house here. The trees were not felled for fields. Not even the track exposed it.

So what happened?

1. The boy was just out on a walk, looking for a place to do a field trip with his scouts. He found more than that - a nice little dump they could clean up… and an angry spirit that resented the thought. Even then, spirits shouldn’t be this powerful - perhaps it was fed recently?

2. A random visitor, an unwitting companion, or dragged here specially for the purpose - it was a sacrificial victim, but something went wrong during the ritual, and the body was left in the open. There is an active cult here. You will see if you ask too much.

3. The spirit has stirred from its slumber. But the old people knew what slept here, and have appointed one of them as a guardian. This tradition was passed on through many generations, and the current guard has little of a shaman in himself. He started to be delusional under the influence of the spirit, and killed the boy he held for a cultist. You could be next.

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

July 28, 2008, 10:34
And of course there are more options, with or without the spirit, that may or may not be evil. Three is the number of tradition.

This plot does not exactly fit into the Tales of the Road, but I mention it here anyway. ;)
Voted Cheka Man
July 28, 2008, 11:38
I like the first idea best.
Voted Scrasamax
July 29, 2008, 9:03
I would like a little variety in the possible truths, perhaps like all the supernatural aside, the man was a mugger and his victim caught up with him, gave him a tasering and then beat him with a blunt object for stealing her purse (Anger management???)
Voted valadaar
August 21, 2008, 10:19
A good little urban paranormal hook. Could be the start of a much bigger story...
Voted Silveressa
August 30, 2008, 16:44
A fun little side adventure to plug into any modern horror game, then watch the pc's go nuts trying to figure out where it fits into the "bigger picture" of the campaign. (Some of the conclusions they sometimes wind up drawing either make for great ideas, or are eerily accurate.)
Voted tinypoisonousfish
February 12, 2010, 15:07
Nice evocative tidbit for a modern setting, fits well into a game I'm about to start up, actually, so high marks.
February 13, 2010, 11:51
Thanks! Added the Modern freetext for convenience.
Voted axlerowes
February 23, 2012, 15:53

I really like the lead in, this solid intro and plot set up.  A great write up.  It is more atmosphere than plot, but you could go a lot places with it.  It even be sci-fi adventure, mad researcher, alien space landing and all that. 


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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Almar

While setting up camp for the night, the PC's are aproached by another group of adventurers who seem nice enough. The road is somewhat dangerous and the other group suggests camping together. The two bands split watches, one adventurer from each group watching at once. The night goes by without incident, the next day the PC's travel with the other group as they are going the same way.

The group consists of Hordel the ranger, who is skilled with the bow. Hordel is a quiet man who speaks little but appears quite skilled. Dremar is a barbarian who is a little excentric, he seems to be an excasive drinker and thiunk that battle is the solution to everything. He appears to be a stout and powerful fighter with his greataxe. Ferrin is the leader of the group, a rouge by trade. He is daft and witty, speaking with the PCs often and asking many questions. He fights with finesse with his rapier. Preminitat as a cleric but he will not say which god he worships. He uses his spells to empower and heal his party and fights with a club. He sticks close to Ferrin. Ferrin is a great talker and tells much of himself and his party, but asks even more about the history and capabilities of the PCs. He tells of some adventures his party has had, and they seem like an interesting group of mercenaries. Hordel is quite and has little interest in speaking with the PCs, he ignores most questions. He spends a lot of time with Dremar and sometimes Ferrin. Dremar seems to not care about any questions ansked to him, nor does he seem to know the answers. He seems battle hardened and is a simple man. Preminitat rarely starts conversations but will speak with the PCs. However, some of his accounts of the party's history seem to condradict those of Ferrin.

The Party spends another night and day with Ferrin's group. One of four things can happen on the third night.
1: While eating dinner around the fire, Ferrin gets into an argument with one of the PCs when he/she mentions the discepincies between Ferrin's stories and Preminitat's.
2: Hordel gets mad after repeated questioning about his life from the PCs.
3. Preminitat gets mad after repeated questioning from the PCs about what god he worships.
4: One of the PCs rejects the offer of a drink from Dremar and he takes it as an insult.
All of these scenarios result in a battle between the parties. If Ferrin's party is defeated and still lives he swears vengance. His party may then cross paths with the adventurers again.

Encounter  ( Locations ) | November 15, 2003 | View | UpVote 0xp

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