Its Raining Men

Downtown Valdez, midsummer - the body fell from the sky, so say all the witnesses - falling with a dull thump, laying there in stylish high end outdoor gear.

The Operation Briefing

The briefer looks tired, grayed out - the shell of a man who was once vital and powerful, is now just exhausted and going through the motions.  He puffs on his e-cigarette, vapor escaping his nose.  

“We have a body, folks.  Strange circumstances.  Witnesses don’t have a clue.  Body unknown identity.  Yada yada yada.  Do what you do.  Haul your asses up to the Great White North, figure it out, fix it, cover it up, try and avoid civilian casualties - if possible.  You know the drill.

“Oh, you want details.  Okay, let’s see.  Body.  Fell from the sky.  Into the ‘downtown’ district of Valdez - in Alaska, biggest city on Prince William Sound.  Population is around 3500 people.  No idea how, why, who - the when and where is pretty well documented, just look at YouTube - we are in the process of getting the videos, yeah: plural videos, taken down - they are snuff films.  I don’t know, we have people for that end of the biz.  This happened 12 hours ago; this is still fresh.  You hop on a plane to Anchorage now, you can be in Valdez before the ME starts cutting.  I have nothing to offer here, but 1 set of FBI creds for,” looking up for the first time, the rheumy eyes scanning the assembled Agents.  “You…”  He points at one of the Agents, reaches into his desk and pulls out a set of IDs.

“Oh.  Yeah.  I have airplane tickets for one and all.  All five legs.  Have fun folks, I would suggest you only take carry on…” {For details on Valdez, Alaska see resources at end of scenario}

The Truth

Seventeen years ago a young man named Billy Upton disappeared from the St. Xavier’s Home for Orphaned Children - he was never found.

The Son of an Alutiq Shaman and a French psychic, Upton came into the world Gifted - but into a home filled with substance dependency and common abuse.  Arriving at St. Xavier’s Home for Orphaned Children, the abuse he witnessed between his parents began to rain down on him, via the sadistic Sister Mina Perdue.  Calling on racial memory, his psychic birthright, his father’s beliefs Billy Upton rescued himself by manifesting a savior, a Thunder Bird - rescuing him and carrying away Sister Mina at the same time. (She was never to be seen again, never reported missing - a dark secret of the orphanage and the parish; her abuse was known, attempts made to discourage it, failure - her disappearance came as a relief to Sister Abigail and Father Roy).

Issac West was an avid outdoorsman, climber, hiker, explorer.  When he came to the Nest he was amazed; began taking pictures, marking the path - which led the Thunder Bird directly to him.  He found himself taken high into the sky, dropped from unknowable distance, landing on the streets of Valdez, Alaska - suffocated from the altitude long before his fall, dead, with no form of ID on him.

The Investigation

The YouTube Video(s)

The video shows a happy couple dressed in comfortable sweaters and hats hugging and mugging for the camera - the caption reads “what happened on our honeymoon!”  There is a blur behind them and a dull thump.  A body on the ground becomes the focus of the camera, heavy breathing is heard, 10 seconds later there are a few small screams, then people start gathering around the body.  The video cuts out.  SAN 0/1 Violence

The Body

Held at the Providence Health Clinic and Hospital waiting for the ME to arrive and examine the body.  If pushed by the FBI credentialed agent the body can be examined by the Agents or they can hurry the ME in from Fairbanks.


The body had no wallet, no ID.
It was wearing high end outdoor gear, a Luminor Marina Carbotech watch (valued at $14k - google will give this information), had 2 Kliff Bars, Toula Hiking Boots ($2k retail), there is an old many folded newspaper article in a skat bag
{Suggestion: GMs will not hint the Agents go Googling information - the clues that The Body was a wealthy man should be glossed over, unless the Agents do the work}

The Autopsy

An Agent with Medicine or Surgery 40+ can competently perform the autopsy.  To do more than just cut and look will require Search 40+ (or a successful roll) and then Medicine 60+ (or a successful roll).  The ME (if performing the autopsy) can gather the information gained by successful Agent rolls but it will take 3 days to give that information to the Agents.

The Body - Autopsy
Weird: the fall occurred post mortem
Weird 2: frostbite on fingers and ears, tip of nose
Cause of death: pulmonary edema
Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by too much fluid in the lungs. This fluid collects in the many air sacs in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. In most cases, heart problems cause pulmonary edema.
SAN 0/1d4 (for anyone without Medicine 40 or Adapted: Violence witnessing the autopsy)

The Old Newspaper

A many folded newspaper article - faded, stained with unknown fluids.  Placed in a skat bag and sealed.

The Newspaper
A forensics skill 40+ or successful check will get a date (12 years prior to session).
A search at The Valdez Star morgue will discover the following information from that date
Upton went missing from St. Xavier’s Home for Orphaned Children on {date}.  He was there in temporary care after his mother was hospitalized by an OD of heroin.
Follow up shows he was never found.

Paths Forward

The Body: possessions.  

The watch can be tracked to gain an ID of the body with a Bureaucracy roll or skill 40+ (if the Agents do not twig onto the watch, give him pins in an ankle that have serial numbers that can be tracked - more cliche, but gets the job done).

The boots.  The boots have traces of shale and rock from above the treeline - impling a mountain hike.  This can help narrow down the search area.

Once ID is known can check rental car companies, find the car Issac West was driving and begin searching the area by helicopter.

Billy Upton and the Orphanage

{This is background/red herring; nothing here helps with investigation but is pure flavor - or a hook for additional investigations, as the GM chooses}

Orphanage run by Sister Abigail Sumner

St. Xavier’s Parish Priest is Father Stephen Roy

They remember the day Billy went missing.  Very traumatic.  They are hiding that a nun went missing at the same time.  An abusive nun named Mina Perdue.  If the investigators press or convince or whatever, those details will come to light.

The Mountain

Finding the car at the base of the mountain, the trail is pretty obvious - fresh trail markers, biodegradable stakes with small blue flags.  The trail up is perilous.  Survival, Athletics, or Military Science (land) 40+ allow the climb, 60+ (or successful roll) allow the climber to aid one other person making the climb.  Failure involves a minor set back.  Fumble causes 1d6 damage from a fall, a twisted leg, or other injury as the GM chooses.

On the Trail

A camera.  Alertness 40+ or successful roll.  The camera is broken.  An intact SD card exists though.  Looking through the SD card there are many (moderately good) pictures of terrain and views.  Near the end of the storage, however, is a huge nest made of sticks, bones, bits of plastic and trash.  In the nest are three eggs - luminous with cyan and umber, chartreuse and fuchsia: the markings of a horrible holiday egg painted by a mad man.  A hand in one frame shows the scale - the eggs are the size of a basketball, at least.  SAN 0/1 (Unnatural)

The Nest

A huge nest.  Three eggs.  The smell is of rot and corruption and cinnamon and salty ocean breeze.  There is a sleeping bag in one corner of the nest.  Black hair - human hair - can be found on the head of the bag.

The Attack

With a screech the Thunderbird attacks, Upton jumping off the back of the beast, attacking with tooth and nail.

The Cover-Up:  Areas to address

  • The Body Falling From the Sky
  • The Odd Autopsy
  • The Camera the Nest the Eggs and the Beast


There, flopping rhythmically a tame, trained, hybrid winged things that no sound eye could ever wholly grasp, or sound brain ever wholly remember. Crackling cosmic energies surrounding something that is not altogether crow, nor mole, nor buzzard, nor ant, nor bat, nor decomposed human being; but something you cannot and must not recall. It flopped limply along, half with its webbed feet and half with its membranous wings casting that obscene head to and fro, looking for something unknown.

From its undercarriage hang four ponderous dugs, leaking a thin white fluid - the hot watery solution steaming on the cold stone of the mountain side as it dribbles out of the distended nipples.   (Edited HPL)

Thunder Bird


STR 25 CON 25 DEX 12 INT 1 POW 8

HP 25 WP 8

ARMOR: 3 points of furry chitin.

SKILLS: Alertness 50%, Flight 40%.


Claw 40%, damage 2D6.

Bite 40%, Lethality 15%.

NON-TERRENE: The Thunder Bird is at home in nearly any environment. Radiation, pressure, cold, vacuum, and more have no negative effects on it. It can move on the surface of Saturn, the depths of the ocean or in open space with equal ease.

OTHERWORLDLY FLIGHT: The Thunder Bird can “fly” in any environment, flapping its membranous wings as if against some unseen current—even underwater or in space. In flight, the servitor seems slow and clumsy, certainly more sluggish than most avians. Yet, while in flight, it may suddenly vanish as if launching away at terrific speed, passing out of everyday dimensions and through unthinkable realities.

UNNATURAL BIOLOGY: The Thunder Bird’s physiology would baffle any biologist. Making a called shot for “vitals” or another apparently vulnerable area inflicts normal damage, with no special game effect.

SAN LOSS: 1/1D6.

Billy Upton


STR 18 CON 14 DEX 13 INT 6 POW 10

HP 16 WP 10

ARMOR: 2 points of thick squamous and feathery hide.

SKILLS: Alertness 40% , Athletics 90%,

Dodge 40%, Stealth 40% (80% in the mountains).

ATTACKS: Bash or bite 60%, damage 1D8 or grapple

Throw Rock 40% damage 1d6 range 15m

CLIMBING, LEAPING, AND SWINGING: As his action, with an Athletics roll, Upton can nearly instantly shimmy to the top of a tree or seven meters up a cliff, or leap up to seven meters with a running start. SAN LOSS 0/1d3


“Relic” Thunderbird Milk.  If the Agents choose to milk the Thunderbird, they can recover 1d4 bottles of Thunderbird Milk ‘doses’.  Milking the Thunder Bird costs 0/1d4 SAN (Unnat) Drinking a “dose” of the milk makes the drinker immune to all harmful environments and effects, such as outer space and deep waters.  That immunity costs the drinker 1D4 SAN overall, and 1 WP per hour.  At zero WP, or upon returning to a safe environment, the drinker’s immunity wears off.



It's Raining Men was written by Pavel for the 2022 Shotgun Scenario contest. Source:

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