|This article was created with material from the abandoned Kurotokage sourcebook project. That material is in the public domain since 2003. The unfinished original content is archived.|
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.