#1 - Nightmare in Drogus

Summary: The party is approached by an agent of the Ascendancy Inquisitori for a mission in the mining city of Drogus in western Precaea. A series of murders – fifty-eight in total – has plagued the city's nonhuman ghetto over the past year. Initially complacent, the city Consul has had no choice but to finally take action as anxiety and chaos spills over into neighboring human districts.

Initial investigations have revealed that the victims were horribly mutilated, with various limbs and internal organs removed. Additionally, each had been marked by an X-shaped scar under the right armpit. An arcanist cabal or demon cult is suspected, hoarding such viscera for their black arts – hence the involvement of one of the Prelate Ascendant’s inquisitors.

Antagonism toward the sluggish administration has created an especially dangerous atmosphere in the ghetto, particularly against humans and agents of the Prelacy. The party is to investigate the murders on behalf of the Prelacy, locate the perpetrator, and either apprehend or kill him (preferably the former). They have been given conditional inquisitorial authority in the district, which excuses them from legal prosecution in the event of “collateral damage.”

Environment: Drogus’s nonhuman ghetto is located in the northwestern quadrant of the megacity, adjacent to an industrial sector filled with factories, processing plants, and city infrastructure. A man-made water channel choked with the city’s waste acts as the district’s water supply, bleeding a rotten effluvium into the already polluted air. Residential complexes stack heavily upon one another, leaving numerous buildings in a state of mid collapse. Humanoids of various shapes and sizes walk hurriedly along narrow cobblestone streets, or stoop over iron bins lit with meager fires. Drunken debauchery, chaotic market stalls, and the street preaching of Converts fills the air with a constant wash of noise.

Plot Points: The “cultist” in question is an eldrin squatter, half mad, near starvation, and living in an abandoned complex. The detached flesh of his victims decorates his rotting abode, assembled into vile trophies. Their blood has been used to paint giant X’s on the walls.

The eldrin is neither an Azrae worshipper nor an arcanist, but rather a deranged serial killer. Further investigation reveals that he was tortured into his current mental state by agents of a human-supremacist faction within the Prelacy (or even within the Ascendancy Inquisitori), for the express purpose of having him kill other nonhumans. The party must decide how they will deal with the perpetrator, whether or not to pursue the greater conspiracy, and how much information to divulge to their supervising inquisitor.

Notes: This adventure could work in any region and for any employer. The party could be undertaking the mission on behalf of the Baeus Bissancti in Agsten, Ilfernac, just as easily as they could be hirelings of a mercenary company in the Eastern Ridge, which has been commissioned by the local governorship to fix the problem.

Drunken Novag Citizens

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d6, Guts d6, Intimidation d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d8, Taunt d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Small
Edges: Luck, Marksman
Treasure: Meager per 5 novags.
Gear: Leather armor (+1), short sword (Str+d6), sling (Range: 4/8/16, Damage: Str+d4)

Crooked Merchant

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Guts d4, Knowledge (Trade) d6, Notice d6, Shooting d4, Stealth d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 4; Toughness: 5
Treasure: Meager for every 5 citizens. Worthwhile for crafters, merchants, and the like.
Gear: Knife (Str+d4), improvised weapons (Str+d6)

Street Preacher

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d10, The Voice d8, Guts d8, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Notice d6
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 8; Toughness: 8
Hindrances: Various
Edges: Arcane Background (Priest), New Power, Power Points
Treasure: Meager.
Gear: Chain mail (+2), battle axe (Str+d8), medium shield (+1 Parry), holy symbol
Powers: Armor, boost/lower trait, and smite (15 Power Points).

Eldrin Serial Killer

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d10, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d6, Stealth d10, Taunt d10
Charisma: –8; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Mean, Ugly, Vengeful (Major)
Edges: Ambidextrous, Frenzy, Hard to Kill, Harder to Kill, Improved First Strike, Two Fisted
Treasure: None
Gear: Two cleavers (Str+d8)
Special Abilities
• Sequel: It’s not just hard to put a serial killer down, it’s virtually impossible to keep them dead. If you want the serial killer to make a return, he has a 100% chance of surviving death, rather than the 50% from Harder to Kill.

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