Pride of Yirrimburra

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Details

Cover of Terror Australis

Pages: 52-70

Author(s): Penelope Love, Mark Morrison

Artist(s): Ron Leming, Phillip Anderson, Marion Anderson

Setting: 1920s

Appears in: Terror Australis, Terror Australis (French)

Summary

A simple family visit transforms into dangerous business, as the investigators match wits with a town and with the unknowable to bring justice from a tragedy of racism and vengeance.

Having decided to travel to Australia, an Investigator is told to be sure and visit their old uncle Jack, a reformed black sheep who made a small fortune gold-mining. They soon learn the township is plagued by unexplained deaths, and has a ghostly history.

Links

Link to outside reviews or helpful pages.

  • [Link 1]
  • [Link 2]

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Synopsis

The township of Yirrimburra is cursed by the crimes of decades ago. Men who are now leading citizens were part of a posse, decades ago, who massacred an Aboriginal tribe and set up a mine on their sacred land. Now they are dying.

The cause of the deaths is the last survivor of the massacre, who has spent the intervening years growing in mystic power and in hatred. He alters the killers’ dreams to send them fully into the Dreamtime, where their souls are hunted and destroyed by legendary monsters. Once the men are dead, he plans to burn the township to the ground, wiping away all trace of the white invaders just as they wiped out his people.

Meanwhile, local youths are stealing gold from the mine, and their actions complicate life and investigations alike when they accidentally kill one of the watchmen.

Investigators trying to unravel the mystery must deal with notables desperate to avoid a well-justified murder charge, with citizens inclined to back the men who’ve done so much for their community, and potentially with the deadly attentions of a master of Dreaming.

This is an exploratory adventure, based on social interaction and research, with an open-ended conclusion. There are no monsters here, no cultists; the villains of the piece are (depending on your perspective) the bitter old man casting murderous spells, or the old men who concealed their own crimes and will fight hard to keep them hidden. Investigators may save the last victims, insist that justice be done, or allow the survivor to wreak his final vengeance – or indeed, abandon the township to its fate entirely.

References

Player Handouts:

  1. 1 Uncle Jack (a potted biography)
  2. 2 Jack’s last message
  3. 3 Townsmen not guilty (newspaper article)

Locations: Yirrimburra township, the MacKenzie mine

Creatures: None

Tomes and Artifacts: None

Comments

Contains the following images:

  1. Map of Melbourne and its suburbs
  2. Map of the Yirrumburra region
  3. Map of Yirrumburra, Victoria (usable for any small township)
  4. Map of the MacKenzie mine (usable for any mine)
  5. Several images of an Aboriginal family
  6. Image of Alcheringa, the Dreamtime

Contains a new spell Send Dreaming.

Keeper Comments

This scenario is built around interactions with the townsfolk and careful digging. Kicking in doors and searching houses is of limited benefit, so pulpier approaches can be problematic. The townsfolk, as written, will rise in each others' defence, so a confrontation approach may see Investigators run off. In many scenarios, the correct response to suspicious hostility is to break into someone's house or threaten them; this is not one of those scenarios. Some care may be needed to help Investigators realise that treading carefully and slowly will get more results than showing all their cards or leaping to accusations.

The scenario offers no Mythos, no monsters, minimal action and has little chance of combat. However, it's possible for one trigger-happy Investigator to cut things off early if they shoot Yurragan, reducing the chance of answers.

This is essentially a scenario about talking and making difficult decisions. Some players will love it, others will find it frustrating or struggle to grasp that.