War of the Spectres
Author(s): R.J. Christensen
Appears in: Strange Tales of Dread & Wonder 2.
It is December 2001. The ruins of the World Trade Center still smolder, while in Afghanistan the fight against the Taliban and al-Qaida is very much in full swing. On a mission in a rugged mountainous region the crew of an AC-130 "Spectre" gunship unexpectedly come under attack -- or at least the instruments say so. Yet no one can see the supposed hundreds of anti-aircraft missiles the sensors detect. And the compass is spinning wildly out of control. Something odd is definitely happening.
Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only
Players should not read any further.
The crew of the AC-130 gunship (dubbed "Bad Moon Rising") were on a mission to destroy an al-Qaida training base but were fired upon by an old Soviet anti-aircraft gun that was concealed in an ancient holy site. Despite orders not to harm the local religious sites, the Bad Moon Rising returned fire, destroying the terrorists. What they were not to know, however, was that the holy site was actually a sealed tomb holding an ancient Mythos horror summoned in the 3rd Century. In destroying the building they also destroyed an Elder Sign, releasing this terrible energy creature - known as a Demon Spectre - from its 1300 year captivity. The mysterious invisible attack the plane encountered shortly afterwards was the Demon Spectre, which feeds by absorbing any type of energy from electrical to biological (chemical and nuclear bonds in a living creature).
The day after the assault news emerges that in addition to the destruction of the holy site, the entire nearby village of Qomfor was apparently wiped out. The crew of the AC-130 are adamant that they did not fire upon the village, but local Afghan leaders and militias are seething. The Investigators are given the unenviable mission of travelling to the ruins of Qomfor and determining what really happened. The village was in fact destroyed by the Demon Spectre, who left behind no actual bodies but thousands of charred body parts.
As the adventure progresses the Mythos horror cuts a slowly moving path of destruction across the barren region, killing anyone in its path. The Investigators need to find a way of locating this terrible creature and then destroying it (not an easy task for a creature made purely of energy). All this while constantly running the risk of encountering much more mundane foes in the form of vengeful Afghans and al-Qaida fighters with an anti-American agenda.
Player Handouts: There are no player handouts.
Creatures: Cthugha (passing reference), Demon Spectre
Campaigns / Scenarios:
The scenario includes three new skills pertinent to military characters in a remote location.
It also has a wealth of information about the AC-130 gunships.
As noted in the scenario, this adventure is very atypical as it places the Investigators in the midst of a war zone. A number of different ideas for character backgrounds are provided, all of them either military personnel (Marines) or CIA / Delta Green.
Comments to Keepers about this scenario; Possibly how to run it successfully. Keep general DISCUSSION on the talk page.