A small-time drug dealer is caught with an old, esoteric looking book in his possession.

Friday, March 4, 1994

Agent Marcus summons the Agents to Keeper’s Cafe, in Bloomfield, at 16:00. It’s a rundown joint between New York and New Jersey, very close to three different major roads. He arrives at 15:30 and sits at the back, in a booth close to the bathroom. As soon as the Agents arrive, he will give them the details of the operation, with very little chit chat.

  • Two days ago, Boston Police arrested Alzo Prendes, a small-time drug dealer with a legal record the size of Microsoft terms of service. Oddly enough, he had no drugs on him. He was carrying a weird old looking book though, so the police arrested him anyway on the suspicion he had stolen it. After a couple hours at the station, they released Aldo with no charges and gave him back his book, titled Ars Goetia.
  • Later that night, at Brolly’s, a popular bar among Chelsea’s precinct police, a “friendly” overheard two cops laughing about how they caught “a drug dealer wizard with an occult book about demons and shit in his pocket”. Apparently, they were having fun over how much the suspect believed in his own powers.
  • Our “friendly” contacted agent Exeter in Boston, who in turn contacted us because he lacks manpower at the moment. The mission is simple: go to Boston, locate Alzo Prendes, eliminate him if he dabbled in the occult too much for his own good, and apprehend the book. Under no circumstance Agents should read the book. It must be stored in a green box guarded by Exeter.

After explaining all this, Agent Marcus will handle the agents the address for the green box and will answer their questions. If they don’t know where to start, he will suggest going to Chelsea’s district precinct and ask the police, or maybe to Brolly’s.

Driving from Keeper’s Cafe to Boston is roughly four hours. Agents will feel observed on the road but won’t find anyone tailing them. An Agent asking for a search roll will find out that the drivers of some of the cars they pass appear to be looking at them. With a success, they will also see some drivers smiling at them (san 0/1).

Once they get to Boston they will have different options on how to locate Prendes, depending on their skills. Here are some of them:

  • Asking about him for an hour in the worst part of Chelsea (criminology).
  • Asking the police at the precinct for a favour (law).
  • Going to Brolly’s and discreetly inquire about the topic (HUMINT)
  • Just looking at a phone book. There are only two Alzo Prendes living in Boston and only one of them lives inside the Chelsea district.

Prendes lives in Joey Road, 17, 4ºA. It is an ugly five stories building surrounded by different businesses: a laundry shop, a bodega and a bar.

Prendes will not leave the building. At night, it is easy to identify Prendes’s apartment because it is the only one lighted with candles. From the outside, even with the blinds closed, it is possible to see his outline from time to time.

Asking the neighbours is a dead end. Nobody wants to talk in this building. At least not to some police looking Agents. If they are clever, the best they can get from a noisy neighbour is that Prendes has been acting weird for a week or so.

Prendes will not answer his door. In fact, if Agents do knock, they will hear chants in Latin getting louder. Prendes' apartment's door is easy to pick or break. When Agents enter, they will find him in the centre of his apartment, inside a carved circle on the floor, with a dagger in his right hand and a book in his left. The whole apartment smells of cinnamon and is entirely light with candles. Prendes will shout “NOT YET!” the moment he sees the Agents, and will throw the dagger to one of them. After that, he will try to reach for a gun that’s just two metres away from him, resting on a chair.

If Prendes manages to grab the gun, he will start shooting until he kills the Agents or dies. He will not let off the book in his hand. After Prendes is dead, Agents will need to clean, grab the book and leave. Depending on how much noise they make, the police will be there in five to fifteen minutes.  

Waiting until next morning is a very, very bad idea. At midnight all candles will go off and, after a few minutes, Agents will see a teenager no more than eighteen years old entering the building. After five minutes the teenager will exit the building. The bad news is, after this, Prendes’ attacks will consist in just snapping his fingers, engulfing his objective in fire for 2D6 damage. Witnessing this attack will cost 1D4 sanity as well.

The book is no more than a dirty bundle of pale handwritten leaves sewn together with red thread. The title on the first page reads “Ars Goetia”. Anyone with Occult 30% or more will know that this is the first book of the Lemegeton, a grimoire that circulated in the 17th century, that details 72 demons, as well as seals they must pay allegiance to. This looks old enough to be genuine.

After Agents have the book in their possession, they should deposit it in the accorded green box and leave. Exeter will be watching.


Alzo Prendes: he is a young Hispanic man, with short hair and a clean shave. He is tall and thin, and has an ugly tribal tattoo covering his whole left arm. One week ago, a finely dressed client didn’t have any cash on him, so he produced a ragged book from his leather suitcase and told him that it was very valuable. It was indeed. Prendes has been summoning demons for the best part of a week and is on the brink of madness.  

HP: 11

Motivation: he wants wealth and power

Attacks: Dagger 30%, damage 1D4

Firearms 30%, damage 1D8

              Snapping Fingers (automatic), damage 2D6


Operation: PALE was written by Andresito for the 2022 Shotgun Scenario contest. Source:

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