Case Officer Notes
This scenario is playable with any mix of Agents and Friendly Investigators. It can be either an eerie investigation, with infected townsfolk operating in a covert manner to misdirect the agents, a more robust action scenario or any combination of the two.
The scenario plays with the idea that advanced technology and magic are essentially the same.
The setting is Asiento del Fuego, a small town in New Mexico, the only unusual thing about which would seem to be its prosperity. There is no obvious reason for the boom in investment the town is enjoying.
The Case Officer should emphasise the isolation of the location and the inaccessibility of assistance due to the time of year.
Whilst this is a one-off scenario, the environment and back story would allow the Case Officer to make it an introduction to a wider story arc (Tcho’Kobran who have moved away from the town and may be in positions of power, or perhaps artefacts from the vessel), and also a good way to introduce new NPC’s that could provide future plot hooks (Frank Haynes and Insight Solutions).
Just before Thanksgiving, the player’s Cell Leader receives a message from Frank Haynes, an old friend (and Friendly) that runs a small private security company called Insight Solutions.
Insight Solutions has been hired to guard the Montana del Fuego Resort complex between now and its Grand Opening in the New Year. The complex is situated high atop the Mesa del Fuego near the town of Asiento del Fuego in Canton County, New Mexico.
The complex comprises the High Plains shopping mall and the Cliff Castle Casino.
Frank’s employees have reported some strange events (people acting unlike themselves, strange creatures spotted around the development, a weird schizophrenic hippy protestor), he has in turn contacted the Cell Leader to request help. Only Insight employees are left at the complex, all other workers having gone home for the holiday season. They won’t return until the Grand Opening.
Asiento del Fuego is a small American town of approximately 3000 souls in an extremely isolated location in Canton County, New Mexico. Despite this, it has managed to not only attract the finance for a new casino complex and a high spec redevelopment of its small commuter airport, but it also boasts an extremely fancy spa and many new housing developments. The town was founded by monks from a nearby monastery, the ruins of which are in the grounds of the resort.
The town has all the usual places i.e. Town Hall, Police Station, churches, shops and restaurants, and the following specific locations.
The ‘La Dama’ spa is a luxurious and expensive establishment with natural hot springs and mud treatments. The springs are fed by an underground river that surfaces in a small grotto below the spa. Following the river is extremely difficult, even with climbing gear and diving equipment, but could potentially be a way to get into the mountain and the vessel.
Motel Nuevo Mejico is on the edge of town and is the accommodation in the whole area that isn’t either closed or full.
El Teta Tornado is a Roadhouse on the rougher side of town.
The Montana del Fuego Resort complex is made up of the High Plains shopping mall and the Cliff Castle Casino. It is ready for the Grand Opening in the New Year.
The ruins of a monastery are in the grounds of the resort and have a hidden access to the area beneath the mountains.
The Airport is small and closed for the holidays. It has a brand new terminal ready to go.
Local Legends and Rumours
The Legend of La Dama Sin Fe tells of a high ranking Mexican Lady who, after losing her Husband, left home to wander the desert to find her lost Faith. After roaming for several months she appeared at the gates of a small Monastery. She told the monks that her Faith had been renewed by Angels in the mountains. Her zeal was infectious and the monks, empowered by the flames of her Faith, followed her instructions to create an imposing Monastery high on the Mountain, they then went about founding the town below.
The Mesa del Fuego mountain, or ‘Table of Fire’, is thus named because a fire from the sky supposedly burned the top off the mountain, making it flat like a table. The ‘Angels’ supposedly use it for their dinner parties.
There are also rumours of a mysterious beast similar to El Chupacabra or Sasquatch in the area, and a crazy hermit supposedly lives in the desert.
So, what is actually going on?
Deep inside Montana Del Fuego is an alien vessel. When it crashed hundreds of years ago, it smashed through the top of the mountain into its geothermic interior (the source of the local hot springs). The crash brought the top of the mountain in on itself, giving rise to the Mesa del Fuego legend and creating its flat top where the monastery stood, and where the Montana del Fuego Resort complex has been built.
The vessel was a prison craft. Crewed by ten members of a servitor race, it carried a cargo of thousands of Tcho’Kobran, a race so aggressive that their physical bodies were taken from them to prevent their escape. Their essence held in the structure of a crystal lattice.
One of the Tcho’Kobran, utilising an ancient psychic technique previously considered mythical, broke free and managed to possess the body of one of the guards. The escapee wreaked havoc on the ship causing it to crash.
The Tcho’Kobran managed to free two more of its comrades and take over two other crew members. Other attempts at transfers failed, killing both the Tcho’Kobran and the potential hosts.
Centuries of investigation, although few actual attempts as potential hosts were scarce, enabled them to establish that desire was the conduit.
They captured the grieving Spanish Lady when she wandered into the area and were able to use her yearning for her dead husband to complete the possession process. Using their new host, they lured the monks to the mountain and infected them too. The Tcho’Kobran used them to slowly build the town, and in doing so increase their potential host supply.
Slowed by having to bring hosts to the mountain to infect them; raw essence did not travel far beyond the ship, and the fact that positive desire (Faith or Love for example) took a long time to work through to allow infection, the Tcho’Kobran finally realised the converse was also true. Greed and lust allowed for a much better transfer process.
Eventually there were enough hosts in the town to work to attract big business. The Tcho’Kobran had already established an exclusive Spa to capitalise on the desire for youth and beauty amongst the aging rich. They had discovered that their essence could survive longer without host or life support if it travelled through the hot spring river due to chemicals from the ship leaking into the water.
Imagine the number of conduits available to them in a Shopping Mall/Casino!
Scenario notes and further adventure seeds
There are three Tcho’Kobran in crew member form living under the Mountain maintaining the vessels systems and life support units. They are sometimes spotted, giving rise to legends like Sasquatch and El Chupacabra. They are physically very tough.
One guard is left, but in the form of a hermit who lives in the desert. The guard’s essence was driven out by the transfer process but it happened upon a dying old hermit who accepted the spirit in return for further life. Both now share the same body ‘fairly’ happily (they bicker like an old married couple!). People think he is a mad old man, maybe an old hippy or eco warrior, as he tries to stop the development, realising the disaster should it open.
Various townspeople have become hosts – this should increase as time passes.
The Tcho’Kobran are stuck with the constraints of the body they occupy, but they can ignore pain and can utilise 100% effectiveness of the physical mechanics of the body they possess.
A paper trail search will show the Spa and Casino Complex is owned by ‘Out of State’ money … how many Tcho’Kobran could there be out there and how powerful?
Are the Tcho’Kobran were working to open a portal to their home world?
Will their presence attract ‘other’ entities?
Are there artefacts in the wreck of the ship?
The Tcho’Kobran carry an artefact, particularly if they leave the area, so their essence has somewhere to go if they are ‘inconveniently disincorporated’ (killed). This would need to be collected by another Tcho’Kobran or agent for recycling. Interesting for a nemesis!
This was an entry to the 2015 shotgun scenario contest. Written by Anthony Lee-Dudley.