Saturday, March 18, 2017

Penumbra Alliance 2: Mad Science and Base Corporate Behavior

The Players:

Mr X: A commando working for a shadowy government agency that doesn't officially exist. Mr. X is possessed by a benevolent (to them) spirit or presence of some kind- a voice that frequently pushes them to commit various acts of violence.

Hannah: An experiment who escaped the clutches of Specte Corp. Hannah has fine turned senses of vision and smell, and is a frightening front line combatant.

Arzela Ascoli: A philanthopist sage, Arzela funded the tricked-out RV the group drives around in, and is a big bibliophile and researcher. Arzela works for the Librarians of Alexandria, attempting to preserve knowledge of the occult.

Aquos: A non-binary witch, Aquos asks that you use the singular they pronous to refer to them. Aquos is extremely competent at magic, preferring the Path of Energy primarily. They help the Hidden Path guide newly awakened students of magic reach their full potential.

Last Time:

The group arrived in New Bedford, reaching out to Pulaski for information. They began with the teen at St. Luke's, with Aquos using magic to break the spell the teen had been placed under.

The teen's information prompted them to investigate Pope and Fish Islands- they found human remains on Fish Island, as well as the carcass of a demonic dog on Pope island. A little bit of research lead them to believe that the owner of the fishpacking plant on Fish Island was responsible.

Duncan was boating into work when Mr. X couldn't resist the temptation of the Phantom Voice in his head (crit-failed the will roll), and shot him with a sniper rifle for ~30 damage to the torso. Duncan wasn't expecting it, didn't have defensive charms up (Overconfidence, yo), and died on the spot.

The players did their best to hide how Duncan died via magic, and then investigated his house. They discovered a magical gem that's acting as a massive repository for magical energy- energy gained via human sacrifice. Arzela was able to recover the tome Duncan purchased to help with opening a rift into another plane of existence.

Overall, the team did a great job on the mission.

SAD 4, Maine

School Administrative District #4, located in Piscataquis County Maine, covers the towns of Abbot, Cambridge, Guilford, Parkman, Sangerville and Wellington. The district covers a population of roughly 5,000 people.

SAD 4 is home to multiple schools:
  • Piscatauis Community Secondary and Elementary Schools (Consolidated from the following three schools and a few others)
  • Abbey Fowler Elementary School, Sangerville (Closed, converted into a gym, now unused)
  • Guilford Primary School (Closed, now a food pantry)
  • McKusick Elementary School, Parkman (Closed)
Being located in rural Maine, SAD 4 doesn't boast many amenities. Local police is stationed in Dover-Foxcroft, a 20 minute drive away from Guilford (further for other towns such as Parkman or Cambridge), as are any EMT services. Guilford maintains a small fire department largely staffed with volunteers.

Dynco LLC

Dynco LLC is a multinational corporation deeply invested in scientific and biological research. Their main goals include creating super soldiers to sell to various government entities, enslaving supernatural beings for study and exploitation, and giving Spectre Corp the middle finger whenever possible.

Dynco has been winning against Spectre Corp as of late, with their stock increasing accordingly. Both companies are investing heavily in biomedical research, hoping that their latest crops of experiments will be able to shove the other out of business- whether through winning bids to provide soldiers to various clients, or by sending hit squads to more directly eliminate the competition.

Project Galapagos 

Started by Dynco, Project Galapagos is a long-running project on testing virus-implanted genetic changes on a relatively isolated population over multiple generations. Started in the 1950s in SAD 4, Galapagos has managed to remain unnoticed, even as they now begin on their fourth and fifth generation trials.

Project Galapagos maintains numerous research stations under various SAD 4 schools:
  • The largest and oldest is under PCSS.
  • Abbey Fowler, Guilford Primary School, and McCusick Elementary all have smaller labs
  • An abandoned lab exists at the old preschool in Abbot
Dynco has a monitoring station underneath a house across the street from the Highschool. The monitoring station is home to a small security staff, who have zealously taken care of intrusion into Galapagos dealings when they arise. Dr. Emerson, the third and latest lead of Project Galapagos, maintains ties with school administration to ensure their compliance.

Galapagos continues to try and make the local population more susceptible to the various processes that they use to make their Experiment soldiers.


The team gets the briefing from Logan. They're very unimpressed with the lack of information they're given- just that a precog and a member of The Velvet Curtain have reported incidents in rural Maine.

Either way, orders and orders, and they make their way North to meet with Jason Smith, the Velvet Curtain contact who reported the shady business.

Evidently the Veil in the area has been fluctuating wildly, which Jason views as an omen. During his investigations he discovered a nearby house that seemed to have an odd security presence around it, which made him very suspicious.

The players investigate the Guilford area themselves:
  • They learn that Dynco recently made very large purchases of chemicals at the local hardware store. Aquos is able to use magic to learn that they were made with legitimate Dynco accounts.
  • A local recluse/crazy person, Ronnie, is living in the house that Jason was scared away from. The players eventually kidnap him and use magic to make him less crazy, long enough to learn that he's been brainwashed by Dynco to act as a deterrent for locals to look into their affairs.
After getting Ronnie out of his house and determining that one of the labs must be under his house, they go in to kick down the door.

The firefight with security is short and brutal as Mr. X promptly unloads on them. Hannah goes off to intimidate some scientists when it becomes clear they recognize her, and similarly gets destructive once it's clear they have copies of her file.

Meanwhile, warnings and alarms are going off- evidently some virus dispersal system in on the fritz. The PCs call in a bomb threat to clear out the school, causing children to pour out onto the school grounds.

It erupts into an all-out brawl as the viral sabotage by Spectre Corp takes hold. 

Scrambling to contain the outbreak, Hannah uses Bioengineering to reverse the sabotage done to GIV-T. The chemical reaction necessary is strongly exothermic- resulting in the high school completely blowing up.

The team regroups and decides to raid the remaining Dynco labs. They discover Adam, a friend of Hannah's already inside one, having broken in to delete their records. He tags along for the final lab, where a lone guard Experiment attacks the group.

In a hail of bullets and with a few chainsaw blows, they cut down the guard without much difficulty.

Arzela manages to contact the saboteur who caused the GIV-T to cause zombification. The saboteur is some kind of '1337' hacker and infiltrator, who taunts the group, but has already made clean his escape before they even arrived in town.

With the labs destroyed and local emergency services dealing with the wounded, they leave the area, one zombie outbreak prevented and contained.