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Table of Contents
Background to the scenario story arc:
Kazuo, so close to the center of the web, would have to see these preparations being made. He realizes that the conspiracy-inside-a-conspiracy that is the Taira-loyal Kurotokage won't be enough to face an Amaterasu-possessed Empress in an age of nuclear weapons. He decides that it is time to look for allies.
He has reports, rumors and a scattering of information that leads him to believe that there is a secret American organization working against the Mythos. There are reports, primarily from the days of the Occupation, that detail American Army and intelligence personnel investigating and attacking the Mythos in all its forms. No direct, formal contact was made, but there have been rumors that this shadowy American group still exists in the present day. Kazuo might think that only the might of the US government would be enough to stop the worst-case Amarterasu scenario. He doesn't have to know the truth.
So he hears about the planned mission to kill the two Japanese residents going to the US for genetic testing. He knows about their ancestry, so he knows what it's all about. He decides to let them out of Japan, and that the assassination should occur on US soil _after_ some genetic tests have been run. He knows this should be a red flag for any American anti-Mythos group. He expects them to inquire, and perhaps investigate, and he will be able to get a man to contact them.
That's where Deep Throat comes in. He's Kazuo's contact with the agents when they come to Japan. I don't know how to arrange that part yet, but the pieces are there. Deep Throat guides them to Mibe Town, and when that's over, he feeds them other missions. The places that he has them hit are of some importance to the pro-Amaterasu group, but nothing that would bring summary execution of the characters. In the end, Kazuo will arrange for Deep Throat to be betrayed, and bring the characters into an alliance with Kurotokage. He will _not_ reveal the secret of the Taira at this point. That would be for later, Kurotokage-centric campaigns.
We need to take into account that the Household Agency might issue an official proclamation that no woman will ever sit on the throne. (The Prime Minister has hinted that he favors changing the Constitution to allow a woman to take the throne, but in these parts, you can go out of the room to use the multifunction toilet and come back to find out there's been three changes of government while you were gone.) Not a major problem—just mention in the flavor text that Kazuo "cannot take that risk; even if the Household Agency were to explicitly prohibit a female Empress, even if Princess Masako were to give birth to a boy, the consequences of failure are too great."
1. Mibe Town and the Deep Ones
Mibe Town, actually a small island (Map) is located roughly west of Kagoshima. Located at about 30N 28E, officially part of Kagoshima Prefecture. Land area: 4.80 square kilometers. Population: 1691. Abandoned coal mines, with abandoned apartment buildings once used by coal miners. Max. elevation: 124 meters, little flat land. Mostly sandy soil, relatively infertile. Balmy climate, annual average 16.3 degrees C (61 degrees F). Relatively low precipitation, about 1800 mm year, and under 3 cm of snow. It was a minor coal-mining region in Taisho and until the end of WW2, but the coal mines were closed due to frequent flooding and unpleasant rumors.
It is located fairly close to Gray Dragon Island mentioned in Masks of Nyarlathotep, which means fairly close to the DO city in the Sea of China.
Several factors which could come into play here:
- Smuggling. This would include guns, drugs, illegal immigration from China to Japan and perhaps illegal immigration of prostitutes to Japan from the rest of E Asia and SE Asia.
- Arguments over fishing rights. These waters are heavily fished, and while the island means they are territorial waters of Japan, I would imagine fishing boats from other nations would poach, which means JSDF presence.
Standard dilapidated, Innsmouth-type place, but with a few extras:
- Buddhist temple
- Shinto shrine
- Coal mines, half-flooded
From a DG perspective the scenario begins with a triple homocide - the victims being a noted authority on genetic disorders and two Japanese nationals (a father and his daughter). The two Japanese entered the US just a few days previous, and a DG friendly autopsy of the girl shows she was in the latter stages of transformation into a DO. Clearly, she or her father realised this and were in the States to seek help - help someone didn't want them to find. A DG cell is dispatched to the pair's home town in Japan to investigate. This, of course, is Mibe Town.
But there's more. The two Japanese were indeed seeking help for the daughter's condition, and the noted authority on genetic disorders was keen to help; especially after examining a blood sample from her. All three murders were carried out by Kurotokage agents that followed the pair from Japan, seeking to prevent the knowledge of the existence of the DOs from 'getting out'. Kurotokage don't have the scorched earth policy towards the DOs that Delta Green does - they're aware of the DO infestation on Mibe, and have been for some time. As long as the DOs there don't get too organised, Kurotokage would rather not start a war with the China Sea colony, and they're happy to let this relatively minor pocket of mythos activity fester in the shadows.
The arrival of the cowboy Americans, of course, throws this detente of sorts into jeopardy. The Kurotokage PCs have to stop the DG agents from completing their mission - preferably without calling too much attention to themselves or souring future relations with DG - and perhaps deal with the growing numbers of islanders who are starting to feel a bit, well, shafted.
Mibe Town has always been at the periphery of Japanese culture, located in the China Sea southwest of Kyushu Island, Japan. This is relatively near to Gray Dragon Island, and the Deep One colony. It is not clear exactly when the island was settled, but references to it have been found in ancient Japanese historical texts including the Nihongi.
It is administered as a township within Kagoshima Prefecture, and while various prefectural authorities have attempted over the years to provide it with various infrastructural improvements, they have been, in general, poorly received. There is a small public school on the island teaching all 12 grades in the same building, and teaching staff is provided by the local town government rather than the prefecture. Since the island does not complain and demand new facilities, they are generally ignored and forgotten by the prefectural government.
Other facilities brought in from the outside include the Kyushu Electric Power generating plant, an NTT telephone satellite link, and a marine/air radio navigational beacon. All three of these facilities are constructed outside the built-up area and relatively isolated. It is unclear whether the siting decisions were made by the township or the companies building the facilities, but the result is that islanders rarely, if ever, encounter any of the maintenance personnel who come to visit these sites. All three facilities are built in the same region, utilizing a simple wharf facility originally built for the Imperial Japanese Navy prior to WW2, making it possible for maintenance personnel to service the equipment using their own ships, without relying on infrequent ferry transport.
The ferry runs once a week, on the weekend. It is an old and decrepit ship, built shortly after WW2 and still somehow remaining in service through "spit and baling wire." Fuel is purchased in Makurazaki, a rural city on the southwest corner of Kagoshima Prefecture, which is the only port of call for the ferry, under subsidy from the prefectural government. It has a capacity of one vehicle (up to a 5-ton truck) and about 30 people, and a one-way trip takes about 14 hours (varies with the weather, and may be cancelled entirely). It departs Mibe Island at 7:00 am Saturday morning, and departs Makurazaki at 7:00 am the following Sunday morning. Crew normally sleeps on-board at Makurazaki.
Mibe Town has always been a fishing community, with essentially all catch going to local needs. In the Meiji Era coal was discovered here, and a Mitsuboshi mine was opened and operated with modest success from 1902 to 1942. It was closed officially in 1945 by GHQ order, although in fact it had ceased operation in the early years of WW2 because of massive flooding which killed not only the Japanese engineers sent there by the national government, but also over 1200 Korean enforced laborers transported from the mainland.
The mines were never reopened after this accident, and there is considerable rumor that it was not an accident but a planned event. It is unknown who would want to close the mine or kill over 1200 people. The mine shaft and related buildings still stand, as do the dormitories constructed to house the miners. All of the buildings are collapsing and extremely unsafe (those that still stand).
In 1913 Nippon Marine Products constructed a canning plant here in hopes of locally canning fish caught in the local seas, but they encountered severe problems in keeping a work force. Laborers transported from the mainland often quit and fled the island, refusing to return even at the threat of being fired or fined. In 1917 the plant was abandoned, and its collapsed buildings still remain due west of the town center.
Other than these two events, the township appears to have no history whatsoever, and has ignored and been ignored by Japan proper for centuries.
Local Sites of Interest
Temple: Need details. To Amaterasu? Maybe good guys here?
Shrine: Maybe a Taininhodo watchpost. Maybe run by DO-friendlies. Deserted and a source for artifacts?
Roads, phones, power
Primitive. A few roads around the port area and the mining area are paved, although the pavement is cracked and potholed. The road linking the built-up region to the mining region originally ran over a bridge over the inlet directly to the west of the town, but this collapsed in 1952 and was never rebuilt. Other roads, including the roundabout connection replacing the collapsed bridge, are packed dirt with scattered gravel in places. The connecting road, as can be seen on the map, passes to the extreme west of the island to avoid the swamps south of the mine.
There are only a handful of telephones on the island, all in the town center. There are no public telephones, and the only way to get hold of one is to ask permission of the person whose house it is installed in. The connection itself is quite good, as it goes out an NTT satellite link. If you can connect your laptop to bare wires, modem communication at speeds up to 28.8 kbps are possible; above that point noise becomes a problem.
Power is generally available in the town center, and at many larger homes and buildings throughout the island. Isolated houses usually do not have power. Even the home equipped with power, however, tend to use it sparingly if at all.
Emergency services. There is one volunteer fire brigade in the town center, with a single firetruck provided with a diesel-drive pump for seawater, and a variety of ladders and similar equipment. The firetruck usually starts, but it can take 20 to 30 minutes for the volunteer fire brigade to assemble because of the lack of phones. The fire station does have a siren, which is used to alert brigade personnel.
There is no hospital, but a private clinic offers emergency services. The doctor runs the clinic out of his home. He is an NPC (have to explain why a doctor would be on this godforsaken island in the first place…).
The populace of the island are extremely poor, and basically have no choice but to live here. A few families have, at one time or another, elected to flee the island and live elsewhere, but those remaining are generally stuck here forever. Most are not DO-tainted, however, but merely extremely insular, fearing everyone and everything. The children, for the most part, act like children, but are aware that "something dark" happens when they grow up, something that scares them and their parents and is never spoken of. For some of them, it means beginning the transformation into a DO; for others, it means discovering that your family or friends may be monsters. In any case, everyone on the island (with the exception of the very few visitors or short-term residents) can be considered abnormal from a psychological point of view. Many people are abnormal physically, too.
(click image for larger resolution)
- NTT satellite link, diesel generator, radio beacon
- Abandoned mine apartments
- Abandoned mine shaft, buildings
- Abandoned cannery
2. Okinawa and Zoth-Ommog
Scenario Two: The US Military Base in Okinawa
Scenario One basically ends in one of two ways: either the players (as American DG agents) run amok and get arrested for killing Japanese citizens, or they find a way to avoid killing off the DOs and instead decide to live-and-let-live while determining exactly why the three people were killed. This causes the scenario path to split, but both branches end up in Okinawa. (Need maps and TOE for Okinawa.)
If they are arrested, the Japanese military (under prodding from Kurotokage) handles the case, either because some of the players are active US military or for some unknown security reason. They get sent hush-hush to Okinawa, eventually to be sent back to the States and forgotten. Deep Throat will arrange to brief them somewhat before they are imprisoned, and drop hints that there is a problem at the military base which, if they could happen to fix, would probably result in charges being cancelled. The players get much less information on Kurotokage in general and the specific problem, though.
If they handle the first scenario right, they have learned to trust (somewhat) what Deep Throat has to say. Deep Throat will ask if they would be willing to help clean up a mythos situation at the US base in Okinawa, in return for the gratitude of the Japanese government. Deep Throat will explain a very little bit about kurotokage, leading the players to believe it is an organization run secretly by the government. This will help set the players up for shocks later.
This is the Zoth-Ommog (sp?) problem written up in the Kurotokage list. One US soldier brought the "religion" to Okinawa several years ago, perhaps as long ago as Vietnam, and has gradually been accumulating personnel and victims.
3. The Bookstore in Tokyo
Scenario 3: The Bookstore
The players are now free again, and have Deep Throat much more impressed with their abilities. If they have done the first two scenarios correctly, they will be able to actually meet Kazuo, who will remain a nameless "important man in the organization." If they manage to impress him, more information may be forthcoming. If they screwed up on the first one, they won't meet Kazuo, but in any case they will be invited to visit the key tourist spots of Japan: Tokyo, then Kyoto, then Nara. A guide will be provided from the local ESS, arranged for by an unknown party that the players will not be able to determine. ESS records show it was a cash-in-advance arrangement by a Mr. Tanaka Taro. This entire tour sequence is just a waste of time, but it does serve to get the players used to moving around in Tokyo, and show them where to pick up an interpreter if they need one. Their guide is just that - a guide - and in fact they are being monitored by a totally separate group.
After the Keeper gets tired of dragging them around Japan (need maps etc; be sure to include visits to the Tokyo and Kyoto Imperial Palaces, being sure to mention the descent from Amaterasu), it's time to move on. The guide is a book collector, and mentions this often; he should be carrying some English-language book designed to grab the players' attention — how about "Tom Swift and his Dirigible" or something along that line? If the players bite, then they are off to Jimbocho, the used book district of Tokyo. If not, the guide should say since they're at the Palace, Jimbocho is real close and would they mind if he dropped by his favorite store and picked up a book they are holding for him?
If the players are lucky or sensitive, they will notice a piece of cardboard in the rare books cabinet, which has a (locked) glass sliding door. A portion of the title will be visible: "The King in Yell" with the remainder hidden behind another book. It is obvious that the cover has been torn off. The owner of the bookstore will be happy to open the cabinet, but will watch to be sure they don't damage his books, none of which are mythos. When he sees the cover (probably after a player picks it up) he will immediately become agitated, grab it, and rush out the door, shouting to the interpreter that he has to deliver it to "Kamata-sama."
The players should take the bait and riffle through his address book, finding out that there are two Kamatas listed.
The bookstore owner doesn't know anything in particular about mythos, and never even opened the King in Yellow book, but the bookstore and the ESS guide will serve as important information sources for the players. The two Japanese will take a liking to the players and make a variety of information available to them, as well as steering them in the right direction. Neither is tightly linked to kurotokage, the kuromaku or anyone else of particular import, but there are at least two channels available for the players to trace: ESS to kurotokage, and bookstore to Kamata.
The Kamata who bought the book is a retired executive managing director of Mitsuboshi Electric, one of the lead companies in the Mitsuboshi group. A little research will show that he was in line to be the next president and suddenly quit after something happened. Research will show that he was suspected of having been involved in ritual cannibalism, but charges were dropped for lack of evidence (ie, pressure from above). He was eased out of the promotion ladder, however. A visit to his house will turn up ghoulish items.
The players will be presented with unmistakable evidence of his guilt, and will (more than likely) waste the guy, rescuing his next victim(s) and finding evidence that points to the next link in the ghoul chain, this time an officer in Hidachi. A new Kurotokage agent will appear and suggest they leave the country because they are stirring up too much trouble, and be obnoxious enough that the players will NOT tell him about the link to Hidachi. If the players do tell him, the Kurotokage agent should give them specific orders to leave Japan, and the players will get a visit from yakuza that night. If they play it right, they can get a pistol or two out of this meeting, one way or another.
4. Hidachi and the Death of Deep Thoat
Scenario Four: The Corporate Labyrinth
Penetrate Hidachi, discover a little more about how corporate power in Japan is linked to various mythos baddies. Turn up at the same place as a kurotokage hit team, taking out a bunch of baddies at a Hidachi facility somewhere. The Hidachi baddies are performing a ceremony for an unnamed goddess, represented as a radiant woman dressed in ancient (Heian Era) court clothing, but who isn't named. The players will have plenty of opportunity here to get themselves killed if they really want to, either by some nasty mythos creature or just plain bullets. If they use their heads, they may be able to get a pistol and hide it somewhere for later recovery (if they keep it, the cops will find it). Deep Throat will not explain who the statue is, but cautions them to keep it quiet until they have a chance to talk elsewhere.
Later that night Deep Throat meets with them at a pre-arranged location, and discloses that least some of the worshippers were kurotokage agents. Just as he is about to reveal who the statue represents, he is shot by a sniper rifle. Within seconds police cars arrive (not minutes, but seconds) and the meeting site is a mess. The players will notice how quickly the cops arrived, and (eventually) ask who called them. It was an anonymous cell phone call, from the phone number that Deep Throat had given to the players.
5. Meeting Kazuo and The Taira
Scenario Five: View from a Height
Kazuo telephones the players (Deep Throat was a highly-ranked kurotokage agent, but was employed by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, in the Ports and Harbors Bureau). He makes it clear that he has been in close touch with Deep Throat for some time, and knows all about the players. He cautions them to stay quiet about whatever suspicions they may have because the walls have ears.
He asks them if they could meet with him, suggesting they climb Mt. Fuji and be at a particular station and restaurant for lunch on a particular day. He, obviously, arranges to be there as well. They run into each other, literally, and Kazuo apologies profusely for spilling soup all over the player; they end up sitting down at the same table to share a bottle of beer, and Kazuo reveals he is the person they came to meet.
They talk chit-chat, with Kazuo pretty much refusing to be drawn into serious conversation. If the players try to force it, Kazuo will leave. If they try to restrain him, he will noisily call for help. When he leaves, however, he will leave a set of necklaces on the table, one for each player, unmarked. These will allow the players to enter the dreamlands that night.
Most of the players wake up in the usual place, and must go down the 700 steps into the Enchanted Woods. A note there is addressed to them, directing them to the bridge across the River Skai to Mt. Lerion. At the bridge (a nice Japanese-style wooden bridge, with pagoda-style lanterns at either end), they are met by a Japanese monk (robes, staff, straw hat ﾐ the works) who is apparently mute and deaf, and leads them to unknown Japanese temple in the DLs (the home of the Taininhodo), where they are grilled by the abbot and an unknown elderly Japanese man (The Taira). The vast majority of their questions are ignored, but they are able to confirm that this is the usual DLs, and they are on Mt. Lerion, very close to the enchanted wood. The mission of this group of players is to get to the temple and pick up information. They will be given a talisman to allow them to awake the other group from the other DLs (made of agate, feels cold to the touch — usually, not always, wakens Dreamers).
One of the players instead wakes up in Amaterasu's DLs, where he has a glimpse of some Japanese world (Keeper's choice; usually any player or players with (mythos+sanity) scores of <75, who can't enter the DLs) and discovers that the volcano at the center of the world is a goddess named Amaterasu, or maybe is the place where she lives. He confirms that this is NOT the usual DLs, because none of the usual places or even gods are known. The mission here is merely to survive until they awake, because in these DLs foreigners are generally disliked, feared and even hated.