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Prometheus Rising

Summary:  Prometheus Rising is a 4 week game I ran from January to February 2014.  It is loosely based on, but heavily influenced by, the Game Dark Harvest:  Legacy of Frankenstein and it's associated fiction.  I used the QAGS rule system, mostly because it was fast and easy.  However, the game has a very dark tone to it.  The heroes have all killed a "monster" of some sort, bringing them to the attention of Abraham Van Helsing.  Van Helsing sends each character a letter and asks them to join him in fighting the creatures that seem to be terrorizing Romania.


Episode 1 - Werewolves of Calciulati

Synopsis 
A handful of monster hunters leave from Budapest for Caliulati in a rented carriage.  On the road the group is attacked by large wolf-like creatures.  The creatures kill two of the horses and wound most of the team.  Upon reaching Calciulati they find a village whose men have been unsuccessful in capturing the creatures terrorizing the town, responsible for killing several women and children.  The last hunting party has yet to return.  Hold up in the town's small tavern, they come under attack by formidable creatures of great size and strength.    However, when all seems lost and our heroes lay bleeding on the floor, a dark figure finishes off  the attacking beasts. 
 
Afterwards 
Needing time to heal their wounds the group stays at the tavern while Fr. Isler's new friend, Petronela, remains close to the group.  She tends to their wounds and acts as a sort of liaison between them and the villagers.  They find that their horses have been slaughtered by the attackers.  Upon  investigating the bodies of their now dead assailants they also learn that these creatures are a horrifying hybrid of man, bear, and wolf - assembled together from parts and pieces like some patchwork quilt.   While similar to the creatures encountered in the woods, the addition of man in the mix makes these creatures even more terrifying. 
 
Within about three days two additional adventurers arrive at the town, explaining that they too had received invitations from VanHelsing and are here to lend their services.  One is  a brooding  investigator, Nicolas Gray, the other a boisterous Serbian named Durnik Slavern. 
 
Not wanting to allow the trail to get too cold, the team, somewhat recuperated, leaves - in hopes of finding the missing  villagers and the remaining creatures.  
 
Important NPCs 
Henri - coachmen and new found friend 
Petronela - Daughter of a missing villager 
Cloaked figure - figure that assisted in dispensing the wolfmen 


Episode 2 - The Artist


Synopsis

Two days after our first group of heroes' battle with the 'werewolves' of Calculati, 2 additional members join them.  Durnik and Nicolas.  After a few days of much needed healing and recuperation the team sets out on the trail of the remaining creature and in hopes of finding the rest of the hunting party, if there are any survivors.

Within a few days they come across a small village, tucked in a valley.  However, the once peaceful town is now full of horrors.  Each and every member of town has been staged as if part of some sick scene.  The epicenter of the town, the church, is the biggest spectacle of all as the villagers are posed (all still living, but unable to move or communicate) looking up at a display of living cherubs and angels.  

The group defeats a small group of soldiers and enters the church, now operatory of a madman, and are attacked by more augmented soldiers and spider-like creatures made from human arms and torsos.  

The creatures are many and it appears as if the heroes are nearly defeated when the cloaked stranger crashes through the stained glass window, quickly dispenses with the remaining guards, and then flees into the night.

During the commotion the doctor has escaped but Nicolas stumbles upon a clue, a strange surgical guide book with VF imprinted in its leather-bound cover.   Father Isler gives each member of the village last rites as the team mercifully ends their lives and burns the village to the ground.

Prometheus Rising - The Artist




Episode 3 -Gravediggers and Nobles


Summary

Heading north, the town and it's tortured residents burning behind them, the group comes upon a village.  The path to the village leads them first through the graveyard, and then the peasant's section.  The graveyard is full of graves both freshly dug, and what appear to be those freshly dug up.

Moving through the peasants section, the group notices that many are missing limbs, even eyes.  It seems that a great number of the peasants are injured in some way.

The town is quiet, and the local inn keeper is pleasant enough.  There they learn that the peasants have lost their limbs in the last harvest.  They also learn that it is time for the annual Festival al Recoltei at Conte Laurentiu's Home.  The group decides to spend the night in, recuperating and preparing for an attack, possibly by werewolves.

The night passes uneventfully and the team decides to crash the party on the second night.   They make their way to the festival and find themselves in the Count's grand ballroom, surrounded by nobles from all over the area.  It almost appears as if it is a masquerade ball because everyone is dressed well, wearing masks, and covering most of their bodies.  After a brief welcome speech, in which the Count regrets to inform the gathered that His Highness could not attend as he was detained in Targu Mures, the nobles shed their clothes, revealing their augmented bodies, complete with scars.  

At this point the group decides to eliminate Doctor Gheorge Hadstat who is in attendance at the head table.  They recognize the doctor as the one from the previous village.

The battle that ensues between the heroes and the augmented guards goes quite well, in the heroes' favor.  They kill the Doctor and the guards.  They interrogate the party's host who reveals that His Highness is actually Victor Von Frankenstein.  He also reveals that the peasants had "willingly" sacrificed their body parts to keep the nobles alive and that the doctor had been using technology to keep the nobles young and healthy.  It is apparent to the team that everyone here believes that Von Frankenstein is some sort of savior.

Prometheus Rising - Gravediggers & Nobles



Episode 4 - The Citadel & The Man


Summary
Leaving the Nobles and their unusual lifestyle behind them, the group heads to Targu Mures to confront Victor Von Frankenstein, who they believe to be about 200 years old.

The city is bustling with activity.  A military presence is everywhere, augmented, but more refined, soldiers like the ones they have encountered before.  However, the city dwellers go about their business with a sense of normalcy.  

When asked about His Highness, the locals, overall, speak very highly of him and his contributions to their lives.  They tell tales of how he has saved lives and how his science has bettered their world.

The heroes prep themselves for a confrontation and then head to Frankenstein's tower.  After defeating the guards and their augmented watchdogs, they utilize Nicolas' grappling hook to scale the tower and enter from above.  

They find Frankenstein calmly sitting in his laboratory, along with a  handful of guards.  They decide that his crimes outweigh the benefits of his science and attack.  The guards immediately step in and hold the heroes at bay.   Before they can engage Victor the door bursts inwards and the large, hooded figure that has been following them intervenes.

He removes his hood and the team see that the man is extremely large and horribly disfigured.  He is pieced together from body parts from many men.  Standing between Victor and the group he tells them that they are welcome to dispense with Frankenstein's other abominations in any way they see fit but only HE can extract vengeance upon Victor himself. 

By this time Victor has escaped. The creature pulls his hood back over his visage and walks out into the night, leaving our protagonists to set the tower aflame.

Prometheus Rising - The Citadel & The Man

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James Pearson,
Feb 22, 2014, 4:10 PM