Black Wolf of the Pack (Rifts Earth Adventure):
A large number of characters have worked in Mercenary companies or the Coalition. This adventure is designed to use this as a tie in for the adventure.
The characters are somewhere in the Mid-West beyond primary Coalition control although a few patrols are known to travel through the area. The have been troubling events that the characters have heard. This is that villages around the area have been attacked and all of the residents have been killed. The first few villages were mostly Dbees so many people thought that attackers were some type of Coalition squad. As time went on, the attackers switched to villages with only a small number of non humans and pure human villages. Some tribal villages have also been attacked. Several of the villages were well enough defended to stop most bandits and one even had a Cyberknight defending it. No heavily defended villages have been attacked yet. The attacks have offered in both the day and the night although night raids are most common.
It is possible that some people might have gotten away from the villages but as of yet none have been heard from. The defenders of the villages are quickly killed and everybody else seems to be rounded up. These people are then grotesquely killed in a variety of ways. This should have been a tip off that the people were not killed by the Coalition because they are normally fairly quick and clean about their killings. Most of the bodies show signs of torture and the heart being taken out while they are still alive. The torture seems very precise and ritualist in nature. In addition, people have had their skins flayed off of them, others have been slowly and painfully bled to death, and some have even had their lungs taken from their chest while they were still alive. As of late, some body parts have been found missing and some bodies have been bitten into. The first few villages raided were not looted but later villages were looted as well.
There have been debates about who is doing these killing. Most people no longer think that it is some Coalition soldiers doing it and the way the killing are done it does not seem to be bandits either. It is thought that the looting is done after the villages have been devastated. Some believe that it is a Death Cult, some think it is Necromancers, and others think it is some type of Aztec cult.
The characters were camped for the night or have stopped for lunch. If they are not together as a group, simply have them have accidently met up in the area and have decided that working together is the safest thing to do.
Just as they are setting up, a Dogboy that is based on the Golden Retriever comes to the edge of camp. Most of the characters will recognize him as someone they have worked with either while in the Coalition or in a Mercenary company. His name is Floyd and he is a happy-go-lucky kind of 'guy' who most people enjoy his company. His nickname was Scooby with his friends and close associates. He is known to have left the Coalition with a group of other Psi-hounds and to have set up even further west. He does not look his normally happy self and instead looks both scared and sad. He will go up to whoever he considers to be the most senior of the people he once new and beg for their help. He will explain that one of the Dogs that used to be a member of the pack has gone insane and is part of the group that is doing all the murdering. Unfortunately, Floyd himself sees no other solution but to kill him. Floyd volunteers to stay with help the hunting down of his former packmate but everyone can tell that he does not enjoy the idea of doing it. He tried talking to a senior member of his own pack but they were unwilling to help him track the rogue down. If characters ask how he found out about what is going on, he will explain that he has clairvoyance.
The Dog that went rogue is named Arrack. He was an almost all black Doberman who was always very moody and a loner. He was very strange and blamed everybody for his perceived problems in the world. There is a good chance that some of the characters will have met him previously. Floyd will explain that about a year back Arrack left the pack and disappeared. There were some rumors that he had went to join a death cult but otherwise nothing had been heard. Floyd will not know this but Arrack joined with a Supernatural Intelligence (probably the Horseman Death for Rifts: Africa) initially for revenge on those that he saw as being at fault for his mistreatment. He left the actual cult and started working on his own and started by killing individuals and then working up to villages. He started by attacking Dbee villages because of his ingrained Coalition training but as the supernatural intelligence too over, he started getting less discriminating on choosing targets. Since starting the killing, he has managed to recruit several followers including a Necromancer, a Murder Wraith, and a former headhunter who is now almost merged with an Angrar Mk2 power armor. In addition, they now have some bandits working with them. The bandits are mostly of evil alignments (none better than anarchist in alignment and no aberrants) and are responsible for virtually all of the looting. Due to their looting, the bandits often stay in the village after the others have left. In addition, the necromancer has summoned a variety of demons, devils, and supernatural which they use to keep people from escaping.
The Destroyed Villages:
The group will hopefully start looking around with Floyd getting occasional psionic clues to the whereabouts of the corrupted dogboy. The group will find their way to a variety of different villages. The destruction will be horrible but similar to the way described by the stories that the group have heard. Each village will have the sign of magic having been used.
On leaving the first village, the characters will be attacked by a group of gargoyles that were summoned by the necromancer. Figure one gargoyle for every character but scale up or down as needed for the party. The group of gargoyles should be powerful enough to hurt the character group but not enough to do serious damage. If any Gargoyles get away and are followed, the gargoyles are just wandering around making kills and not directly tied to the Death Cult. As the party goes through other villages, have them attacked by other kinds of supernatural creatures under the directions of the cult.
Eventually, in one of the Villages, one of the human bandits will be found being a bit late to evacuate a village. The bandit group will be about equal in size with the player group and there will be a power armor in the bandit group for every character with a power armor but will in general be cheaper models of power armor such as the Chipwell Assault Suits, Northern Gun Sampson power armors, or some Pre-Rifts Ground Assault Armors. Otherwise, they will be decently equipped but the weapons will not be the most expensive and some of its is patched Pre-Rifts equipment. The Gamemaster should set it up so one of the bandits will surrender or that some will retreat. If they retreat, they can be followed bake to the Death Cults headquarters. If one is made to surrender, He can be made to also give the characters information enough to find the rest of the Death Cult by either them promising to not kill him or by simply torturing the information out of him. He will tell the group that the rest of the cult normally stay in a large underground tunnel complex that they found.
Eventually the group should be able to find the Death cults headquarters, either through clues, directions from a captured bandit, or by following some of the bandits home. The place in an Pre-Rifts underground complex that was built by an end of the world religious cult. The tunnel complex will be large and seemed to have been designed to hold a few thousand followers. The tunnels are too small to use any form of either large or winged power armor. The best power armor to travel through the tunnels would be the Triax Terrain Hopper or one of its knockoffs. Since being taken over by the Death Cult, many of the rooms have been had death symbols drawn on the wall in blood and religious symbols have been desecrated or destroyed. Most of the complex is not lit and is very dark. A few locations, used by the bandits, are lit by artificial light. They seemed to spend little time one way or the other worried about religious symbols. In the underground corridors will also be found vehicles, weapons, armor, and other equipment that was hoarded by the Pre-Rifts Armageddon cult. This is where the bandits got some of their weapons and armor including Pre-Rifts Ground Assault Armors if they have any. If salvaged, it can be used to outfit a small mercenary company or can be sold to make a fair amount of money.
The character group will likely spend a good amount of time searching and will be attacked by several minor demons. These are distractions so that the cult can gather themselves together. The meeting between the player characters and the death cult will take place in the site of the complex's chapel. It is large room and like other religious rooms, this room has been desecrated and converted to the cults uses. In the middle is a large and blood stained altar.
The Cult members that the part will meet will consist of the Dogboy that became a witch (Gift or power or union depending on power level), the Necromancer, the Murder Wraith, and the Headhunter in the Angmar Mk 2. If the game master feels that the part overmatches them, through several minor demons in to balance the situation. These can be assumed to be summoned by the necromancer before the fight begins. The cult will not fight to the death but instead will try retreating if it seems that they are losing. The players should be given a chance to catch the cult members while they are trying to retreat. The Death cult themselves will kill any party members they have a chance to.
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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2000, Kitsune. All rights reserved.