Old Time Radio Drama Adventures

Episode 3 - The City of the Gold Spider

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Act 1

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Strange things are afoot in Star City. Some prototype prosthetic legs are stolen from Bellamy Laboratories by, of all things, a group of trained howler monkeys, and make headlines in the Star City Tribune on the day our heroes receive some theatre tickets.

“Tickets to the theatre from a grateful city” says the type on the letter awaiting our heroes this evening. They are invited to a special 9.00 PM encore screening of “King Kong” – the documentary that took the city by storm when it opened two months ago.

In reality, however, it is bait for a trap planned by Tommy Boscone who has finally stopped waiting for our Heroes to leave town.

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Mercy Jones has the sense that they are being followed around town by someone wearing a colourful poncho when they head off to the theatre.

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Travelling the short distance by cab (driven by the ever faithful Jordan Wilson) to the steep alleyway in which the Tibalt is located they arrive on a scene that is strangely dark and empty. The Tibalt Theatre itself is unlit and boarded up (appearing to have been closed for some time) and the group senses a trap. Mercy keeps watch as the remaining members of the group return to their hotel to dress for action. On their return they approach cautiously and note the presence of some shadowy figures down a side alley. Reaching the theatre, Mercy decides to look at the notice on the door but is interrupted when a voice in the distance cries “a little gift from Tommy Boscone” and men with Tommy guns spring from nearby doorways and open fire.

Michael Schneider returns fire briefly and seeks to get a nearby manhole cover open. Leaving a handful of thugs dead on the opposite rooftop the heroes clamber down into the familiar darkness of the Star City Sewers. Before anything else can happen, out of the darkness comes a little man in a large hat and poncho carrying a small hand cranked siren. He introduces himself asFelicio Dominguez and says, with a marked South American accent, that he has for some days been looking for a way to approach the heroes and ask their aid.

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He explains that he is here at the behest of his brother Jose to beg the characters to come to South America where he can provide evidence that Claire Mannix was under the control of another will when she committed the crimes that she now awaits the death sentence for. His brother and Claire were engaged to be married before the terrible events that saw her become enslaved to the Techno-Master and Jose believes their love can be saved along with her life if the heroes are willing to intervene.

His brother could not come himself as he has been captured to work as a slave in the City of the Golden Spider, the Techno-master’s new HQ somewhere in the Peruvian Jungle near Ayacucho, Peru – a town now mentioned only in fearful whispers as many members of the population appear to have vanished without a trace. A guide named Arturo Majalel will be able to lead them there and he can be found in Nazca, a fair way down the southern coast from Lima.

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Just as this information has been imparted and odd hissing noise is heard and a huge Tarantula spider with metal tipped legs scuttles into view. It hisses some more arches its back and launches spines from its rear end. Felicio is hit and begins to convulse almost immediately. The spines have been coated in the resin of the castor bean – an extremely powerful neuro-toxin that causes internal organs to rupture and burst (among other highly painful and slow symptoms). Acting quickly to apply a form of weird homeopathy, whereby the poison could be counteracted by further poison, Dr Waters saves Jose’s life. He is left comatose and, safe from pursuit, the heroes carry him to the hospital for treatment.

Destroying the spider, the heroes discover it is mounted with a familiar looking remote control device. Unfortunately, Michael’s attempt to fathom its workings results in the machinery breaking down completely.

Act 2

Our Heroes need to make their way to Peru and that means getting out of Star City Alive. Tommy Boscone is now playing for keeps and plants a bomb in their hotel room which Michael Schneider defuses (and sends to Dillon Tremere full of confetti). The roads, rail, and airports are being watched by Tommy Boscone’s men but it is not too difficult for them to be given the slip. At the airport they attempt to leave using Penelope’s plane “Evelyn” and Boscone’s men attempt to block the runway with a jeep. Michael manages to flip the jeep with a well-placed shot to the tires before the criminals can succeed in thwarting the take-off.

Once in Lima the heroes travel half a day by truck convoy to Nazca. The town is a small trading post where goods are shipped up into the Andes.

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On arrival in Nazca the heroes are met by the Police and brought before Gomez Santiago (a corrupt local official) who immediately places them under arrest on suspicion of being involved in a plot to smuggle South American children into the U.S to serve in brothels. They are not segregated from the other prisoners and must fight to be left alone and unmolested.

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Together, the group faces down a bevy of prison thugs before being offered the protection of Jesus Martinez (prison boss and chief smuggler of Peru). Using a bit of weird genius, Dr Waters creates an organic acid from human waste to eat through the lock and stages a mass jailbreak that results in the police chief (Santiago) being horsewhipped around the square in his underwear. While they have made a mortal enemy of Santiago they have also made an ally of Martinez.

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At this point Arturo Majalel appears to lead the group to safety. He says he has been paid well to get them to Ayacucho where his daughter waits for him. His truck holds a bunch of large crates (one of which has a U.S point of origin stamped on it).

Ayacucho is a small mountain village beset by a tropical storm when the heroes arrive. It is empty. Majalel shows surprise and consternation that his daughter is missing. Signs of struggle abound. Goods have not been packed. Dinner’s remain on tables. Truck tracks lead into the jungle.

“Slavers” is the conclusion that Majalel reaches. “Probably the cult you are seeking – take me with you”. Tyre tracks lead into the jungle.

The heroes follow the trail into the jungle finally coming to the walls of a city.

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Michael climbs to the top of the wall where he can see the general layout of the city. There is a huge excavation pit, a massive stepped pyramid, a long low structure that appears to currently serve as a combination pen and prison, and an odd round building.that appears to serve some ceremonial purpose. Before he can do much else he is set upon by armed howler monkeys. He takes off using his jetpack to lure them away. These mutant monkeys, inhabiting the city in huge numbers, each have a control box and are armed. They are also easily distracted and are quickly led out of the city in a huge wave allowing the rest of the team to sneak into the city. They heroes make their way to the “Temple of the skulls” – the low building being used as a prison and on entry the bars are locked behind them. Majalel has betrayed them (“Don’t hate me, they have my daughter”) and appears to be in charge. He had been sent to Star City to steal the prosthetics for the technomaster and eliminate Felicio Dominguez. A number of human guards can be seen in the familiar garb of the Cult of the Teeth.

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Within the temple they meet the chief of the slaves , Julio Chavez.
Julio Chavez reveals the following –
• Many of the villagers sided with the Techno-Master because of his demonstration of magic. They might turn against him if he is successfully challenged for the High Priesthood. The challenge is in the form of a magical duel.
• Panels at the rear of the temple reveal that the Crocodile god dispossessed an older god from worship here in the City of the Gold Spider. This older God was a river God embodied by the Scorpion Fish. His statue and the discs that hold his spells were buried in a cave at the bottom of a well here in the city. If found these spells may supply sufficient power to challenge the cult leader.
• He gives the heroes small hand-made necklaces with an odd disc on them. These allow them to read the hieroglyphs (and apparently provide some form of protection against minor evils).

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They also meet Jose Dominguez. Jose is very sick but reveals how the archaeological party that contained Claire Mannix were attacked and force fed drugs and potions that placed them under the control of “the Techno-Master” before being despatched back to the U.S to fulfil his nefarious plans. He says the Techno-Master keeps supplies of the mind-control potion and a journal containing his researches in his sanctum at the Great Pyramid of the Spider. Apparently the Techno-Master has a particular hatred for the U.S and Star City in particular.

The temple of skulls holds the remaining villagers who have been forced to undertake manual labor digging for something that the Cult’s leader wants. Apparently this object was recovered two days ago and they have now been locked up without food or water since. It seems most likely that they will be left to starve to death now that they have served the evil monster’s purpose.

Meanwhile outside, the human guards, noticing the city has been abandoned by its monkey protectors emerge to investigate what has happened. Michael is returning to the city and they open fire on him, hitting his jetpack and forcing him to make an emergency landing in their midst where they take him prisoner.

Mercy overcomes the guards and uses her hairpins to unlock the prison but the group is forced to surrender on seeing Michael awaiting execution amidst a group of the technomaster’s human guards.

The guards drag our heroes along the Sacred Way to the Well of Sacrifice.
Here, amidst the bones of the long dead, they are tried before the cult for their opposition to the will of the Crocodile God. Their past actions (ending the alligator menace, and defeating the cult in Star City) are brought forth as evidence.

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They are given the opportunity to either join the Technomaster (who is now walking with the aid of the prosthetics stolen by Arturo in Star City) or attempt to refute the charges before they are judged and thrown into the well of sacrifice – a deep pool of ravenous scorpion fish. Judgement is accomplished by calling to the dead. Mercy and Dr Waters attempt to bluff the Technomaster into believing they wish to join him. They submit to drinking the villain’s mind control potion. Dr Waters is able to resist but Mercy succumbs. The Techno-Master demonstrates his power by calling on the bones in this place to rise and point to the guilty and Penelope and Michael are condemned.

The dead rise and point to the prisoners (as he reads from a couple of discs lashed together with leather ties).

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As the heroes are herded to the well a young woman is pushed forward. It is Rosa Majalel, Arturo’s daughter. She has been selected for sacrifice. Arturo falls on his knees “You said you would spare her if I cooperated” he pleads. Grinning, the techno-master replies that only a member of the true blood would make a suitable sacrifice and with no-one to take her place – she is the obvious choice. Majalel pleads to be thrown into the pool in her place and laughing, the Technomaster agrees.

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The heroes and Majalel are thrown in the well. The cap is placed over the opening plunging everything into darkness and glowing scorpion fish converge from all sides to attack.

Act 3

The necklaces about the heroes necks begin to glow and try as they might the fish cannot approach. Majalel is not so lucky, but Penelope grabs him and helps protect him from the attack of the scorpion fish. Far below in the water is a strange blue glow as if light is entering the water from somewhere in the deep. Swimming down the heroes find a passage way that opens up into a temple chamber of sorts. At its center stands a huge stylised statue of a Scorpion Fish and from its fins hang a pair of disks similar to the ones seen earlier in the hands of the Techno-Master.

Most of the spells are unreadable but of the two that can be read, one creates some kind of super-powerful magical shield, while the other allows the caster to combine and draw from the magical energy of others.

At the rear of the chamber is a hidden passage. It leads directly to the Great Pyramid of the Spider, opening into a huge treasure chamber. The door to the chamber is locked but can be forced or picked without too much trouble. Bursting through the heroes enter into the court of challenge directly below the seat of the high priest. The high priest’s seat is surmounted by the defaced symbols of the scorpion fish and newer symbols of the crocodile cult. It is also moulded in the shape of a giant gold spider. To the left of this throne stands an obelisk that could be a twin to one standing in Star City Natural History Museum. Mercy and Dr Waters stand in the Technomaster’s entourage.

Taken aback by the sudden appearance of those he has so recently sentenced to death, the Techno-Master orders their immediate killing. Mercy however, committed to the cult through the agency of the Brain Washing potion though she is, challenges the Technomaster for control. His guards hesitate because the heroes stand in the court of challenge and the challenge must not go unanswered.

The Techno-Master calls up the dead and a number of zombies break out of the floor and begin shambling towards Mercy. Mercy uses her own telekinetic ability to wrest the technomaster’s spell disks away from him. The technomaster realizing the jig is up tries to escape and Michael disables his prosthetic legs just in front of the obelisk. All but defeated he takes the extremely risky chance to activate the teleportation crystal and escape through the obelisk, even though the door on the other side was destroyed in the previous adventure in Star City. Michael shoots the crystal causing an explosion. The last the heroes see of the technomaster is his flaming visage as he passes out of view. Dr Waters uses the distraction to head out into the jungle and try to synthesise a cure for Mercy’s condition. To give John time, Penelope challenges Mercy to a magical duel. Mercy’s ability is just as decisive this time but John succeeds in finding an antidote and administering it, returning Mercy to her The cult members immediately prostrate themselves before the heroes.

The cult is now under the control of the heroes and the heroes soon order the release of the prisoners. The heroes are not allowed to leave the city while the high priesthood is theirs, but a simple transfer of the responsibilities to Julio Chavez fixes that. He offers the players the wealth of the city (if they use it for the pursuit of justice) ending any financial difficulties they may have encountered. Jose gathers up the evidence that proves Claire Mannix was innocent and begs the heroes to return to Star City with it and free Claire from death-row. The heroes agree. Arturo and his daughter depart in shame, never to be seen again. Dr Waters gathers up the now broken, but still weirdly pulsing crystal that was embedded in the obelisk.

EXPERIENCE AWARDS
Adventure completion: 10 xp each
Discovering the trap at the Tibalt: 1 xp each
Saving the life of Felicio Dominguez: 2xp for Dr Waters
Escaping Star City: 1 xp each plus 1xp for Michael Schneider’s decisive intervention
Escaping Nazca Prison: 1 xp each plus 1xp for Dr Waters
Finding the city of the gold spider: : 2 xp each
Saving Arturo: 2 xp for Penelope
Recovering the scorpion fish disks: 2 xp for Penelope and Michael
Defeating the technomaster in a magical duel: 2 xp for Mercy
Recovering the evidence to clear Claire Mannix: 1 xp each.
Recovering the crystal from the Obelisk: 1 xp each.
Bonus points:
1 xp to Michael for leading the howlers away
1 xp to Dr Waters for curing Mercy
1 xp to Penelope for placing herself in harms way to buy Dr Waters time
GM’s bonus : 2 xp to Mercy for roleplaying herself while under the Technomaster’s mind control.
1xp bonus to Mercy, Penelope, and Michael for commenting on this summary.

EXPERIENCE BY CHARACTER
Penelope Goodhart: 23
Mercy Jones: 22
John Waters: 21
Michael Schneider: 22

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Episode2 - The Cult of the Teeth

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Act 1

While Councillor Lloyd Jansen promotes an anti-vigilante bill at the office of Mayor FrankWright, Havelock Maynard III comes to town to hunt and make a trophy of one of the giant albino alligators that were plaguing the city until recently. He is a glory hound and headline seeker with a gift for coming too late to most newsworthy events.

He is also a friend (if only one who is annoying and embarrassing to be seen with). He has talked our Heroes into dinner at the Metro on the first night of his arrival. In typical fashion he has wired the newspapers ahead of his visit and has been making ink for some days. Amidst the photographers and news reporters sit our heroes, uncomfortably aware that Maynard is basking in their reflected notoriety when suddenly the restaurant is invaded by a group of 6 South Americans in the garb of savages. A fight ensues as the intruders attempt to kill the heroes with blowguns.

They run when 3 of their number are out of action. They have the disconcerting ability to melt into the shadows. When pursued they disappear somewhere near the University district. While trying to escape, the leader of the attackers drops a collapsible blow-gun with a weird blue diamond tipped dart in it.

Havelock is ecstatic at these events. Tomorrow’s headlines will be drawn from tonight’s escapade and plays up his heroism in typically annoying fashion.

Act 2

The next day the police wake our heroes with the news that Havelock is dead, found killed in ritual fashion at the university library. They are asked to attend. Attending the scene, the heroes find Havelock’s body, a strange symbol carved into his forehead (that looks like a fang), and his heart removed. There is a great deal of blood. In Maynard’s hand is a crumpled photo of a girl.

The college dean (Allistair Standish) asks to see the heroes and reveals that three girls have gone missing from the college dorms in the last two weeks. No-one has heard anything of them until now – the photo is of one of the missing girls (Shelley Rossiter). All of the girls belong to the Beta Phi Sorority. He will be happy to put the heroes in touch with the Sorority head, Claire Mannix – a sensible girl of sober habits and dependable nature.

Caesar Cordova, head of the Cordova crime family sends his goons to bring the heroes to a mobile meeting as soon as the heroes leave the campus. He insists that the girls at the university are in danger and that the Dean, Allistair Standish, has something to do with it. He wants the heroes to look into it (and hints darkly that he will be very grateful). When pressed, it turns out that his neice, Marjory Ellison (on his wife’s side) is attending the university and he will look very negatively on anyone who lets anything happen to her.
When let out of the car, another car pulls up and an envelope is thrown at the heroes feet. It contains a typed note which reads; “Your days are numbered, get out of town now, or else. This is your last warning. – Tommy Boscone.” The car roars away.

The dorm room has been turned upside down. There is no sign of the girl to be found but some blood is on the doorframe. The only thing that appears odd is a leaflet poking out from the mattress advertising “Party Venue of the Year, Warehouse 6 on pier 3 of the Star City docks”.

The warehouse looks abandoned with no sign of a “party” anywhere. Entering the warehouse one of the heroes steps on a hidden plate releasing a strong sleeping gas.
The players awaken bound and gagged before a large golden altar.

Act 3

Standing in front of the Altar is a pale girl in the ritual garb of a South American priestess. It is Claire Mannix, her eyes showing a strange gleam. Tied down to the altar is Shelley Rossiter, mercifully unconscious. Behind and to the left of Claire stands Allistaire Standish (also in cult clothing) looking miserable, and behind them both stands a strange obelisk of stone carved with odd symbols (recognizable as the one stolen recently from the Natural History Museum).

Over the tied girl hangs a lamp with a glowing piece of coal in it.

In front of the altar stand four cultists.

Claire is feeling talkative and reveals the following.

  • We are the cult of the teeth, dedicated to the worship of the alligator god.
  • The recent events in the city have made Star City holy to us so we have come here to worship.
  • Blasphemer’s such as Havelock Maynard III could not be allowed to despoil the favored creatures of the Alligator God.
  • Standish has been blackmailed into supplying the cult with victims. I have compromising photos of him in flagrante delecto with… myself.
  • Tonight only one sacrifice is needed to finally charge the Stone of Iridion to full capacity. Once charged a portal will be opened and the stone ( a power source of some kind) will be passed through to the cult’s sponsor.
  • It is this sponsor who has rescued the cult from near destruction and given it this glorious opportunity to rise again.

She checks with Standish that the heroes have been properly tied. He responds in the affirmative, but gives the heroes a meaningful look. She clearly treats him with contempt and it is also clear that he feels nothing but hatred for her.

The bonds, when tested, are actually rather weak and could, with some work be removed. Obvious weaponry has been removed (but the collapsible blow gun has been overlooked).
Before the heroes can make good their escape Claire begins chanting and plunges a knife into the captured girls chest. As the players watch, the lump of coal begins to glow blue and form into a crystal or diamond of some kind. With a strange ringing noise the glow fades leaving a perfect crystal hanging in the lamp.

Claire reaches for it and takes it to the obelisk where a small depression sits in the middle.
As Claire begins to take the crystal towards the obelisk the heroes are freed. They hesitate as the cultists in front of the altar turn to deal with them and Standish suddenly yells “hit the crystal you fools”.

Putting the crystal into the depression the obelisk begins to shimmer strangely and then become transparent. The space within the obelisk seems to ripple and a figure can be seen on the other side, cowled and cloaked. Seated in some kind of conveyance that is rolling towards the opening. He reaches out to take the crystal. 

The players fire the blue dart into it. Destroying the crystal causes the portal to explode releasing a huge amount of energy.

Standish is killed instantly. Unhurt cult members take off into the shadows of the Warehouse.

Claire Mannix is badly wounded and appears to not know where she is or what she was doing. The police are hostile because of rumours that the heroes are working for the Cordovas, not helped at all by the card of thanks sent by Caesar Cordova.

When the heroes return to their place of residence a note arrives saying “Time’s up – Tommy Boscone”.

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Episode 1 - The Alligator Menace

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Act 1

On the evening of the League of Adventure Seekers’ annual dinner, the city is awash with rumours of an epidemic of blackmail and extortion in which no-one’s secrets are safe. During the dinner the meeting is overrun by a new menace. Giant rampaging Albino Alligators burst in on the diners and attempt to kill the guest of honour, Marion Ribbensberg. After the attack is beaten back, Ribbensberg invites the heroes to stay and defend the city against this rising threat. The following morning the kidnap (by alligator) of two of the children of two of the city’s major mob figures, along with the disappearance of numerous others (including two of the heroes friends) is reported. The heroes are notified by Detective Tony Wells (a secret supporter of the League’s work) that an alligator has been trapped in the basement of the Pendleton Gallery where their two friends disappeared.

Act 2

The trapped alligator is trying hard to rejoin its compatriots so the heroes follow it back to its nest. Doing so the heroes encounter an abandoned nest in which their two friends are caged and waiting to be fed to the creatures. When one of the cages is opened a switch is triggered that sends a deadly electrical charge through the other cage killing the occupant instantly. Tegan Rodriguez, driven to the edge of her sanity by grief, blames the heroes for the loss of her husband.

Leaving the scene the heroes are intercepted by members of the Falcone crime family who take them to a meeting with the head of the family, Jerry Falcone. Jerry Falcone orders the heroes to act as his emissaries delivering the ransom for his missing daughter to the designated drop location. The heroes do so and are met by Cinqo Tavolli (former cappo to the Falcone family, now working for the Tremeres) who is acting as the Tremere emissary. They place the loot on a slab that begins to drop down opening the cage in which Jocelyn Falcone and Marco Tremere are located (hanging over a pit full of hungry alligators), but Cinqo grabs the loot and tries to escape with it. The cage drops away and the alligators feast on both prisoners.

Pursuing Cinqo through the tunnels the heroes recover the money, but he escapes.

Falcone is desolate at the loss of his daughter and orders open season on the Tremere crime family. Cinqo convinces the Tremere’s that the deaths were caused by the heroes (working for the Falcones’) and so a mob war begins. Jerry Falcone instructs the heroes to leave town (under escort) for their own safety. At the train station the thugs who are escorting them receive word that Jerry Falcone has been assassinated by a sniper and that Eadie Tremere has been killed by an explosion. As they hurry off Claire Templeton, reporter for the Tribune approaches the heroes. She has evidence that Tommy Boscone (of the Falcone Family) and Dillon Tremere (of the Tremere Family) are colluding with an unknown third party to gain control of the two families.

She plays a tape of Tommy Boscone talking to an indistinct third party about how a rapprochement with the Tremere family can be accomplished after the assassinations. Mention is also made of the transfer of a large number of shares to a holding company on behalf of the indistinct voice for “services rendered”. When asked what guarantees Tremere cooperation the voice states that a similar deal has been made with Dillon Tremere. Claire is also aware that an alligator carcass has been recovered from the bomb site where Eadie Tremere was killed and has been transported to the city morgue. She offers to drive the heroes there.

As they approach the exit to the station a side door opens and Cinqo Tavolli, armed with a strange weapons appears, and motions the group into the stairwell and up onto the roof. He demands that Claire hand over the evidence she has gathered and in exchange he will let her live and allow the heroes to take her out of town with them.

If not, he will kill them all. Claire refuses to comply and Tavolli shoots her with his strange weapon. It is an electronic disruptor and it both stops her heart and destroys her taped evidence. The heroes charge Tavolli who, after a short struggle, tumbles off the roof to his death, but not before dropping the disruptor. Her heart has only stopped briefly and can be restored by the quick application of CPR. She is resuscitated and placed in an ambulance. As she is wheeled away she gives the heroes the name of the Medical Examiner (Theo Tyrone) who is examining the alligator corpse.

Unwelcome in the city by either mob (now that the Bosses are dead) and with vital evidence destroyed only the morgue remains a viable avenue for clues. At the morgue the heroes discover a wallet has been recovered from the animal’s insides along with human remains. In it are an id card, and a meal card for the Pevensee Street Mission. Apparently, the wallet belonged to a homeless man (Herb Whitman) who was eaten by the creature. Asking among the cities homeless the heroes discover that the Pevensee Street Mission itself is boarded up but hosts a soup kitchen once a week on the sidewalk out front. It has a very unsavoury reputation and it is rumoured that folk who break in to sleep there overnight tend to go missing. Locating the mission, the heroes discover that it is indeed abandoned and boarded up. Breaking in, they walk a short distance down the hall only to have the floor open up beneath them sliding them down into a cage beneath the building that sits on a ledge overlooking a huge nest of alligators.

Act 3

At a control panel not far away, sits a cloaked man in a wheelchair. The machinery he is working with listens to vibrations in the pipes and plumbing of the city that allows him to listen in on conversations anywhere pipes are exposed. By means of this he has been carrying out his campaign of blackmail and extortion. He congratulates the heroes on getting so far and discovering all that they have but, sadly, points out that they have reached the end of the road. In a few moments he will depart and, once the winch is set in motion, the heroes will be lowered into the alligator pit where they will become food for his adoring minions. When told that he will not get away with his attempt to take control of the city’s crime families he laughs and says that this was all merely a fund raising exercise, the first step towards his greater goal. Laughing he starts the winch and leaves.

The heroes use the electronic disruptor to wreck the winch engine and get the cage door open; they then burst out of the pit to give chase to the villain. He hurtles along the sewer tunnels ahead of the heroes trying to make good his escape but topples off a bridge over a dark pit into unfathomable darkness. The body is never found.

The disruptor has wrecked the listening machine beyond repair and the alligators, no longer under his control disperse into the sewers never to be seen again. In coming months it becomes obvious that the Tremere and Falcone families are now one mob, but the ultimate power behind the families is unknown. The heroes are now very unwelcome in the city having failed to apprehend the villain, being hated by both crime families (because of the possibility they may know about the assassinations), being shunned by their friends (because of the friend they failed to save), and being distrusted by the police (because of the unbelievable nature of their story). On the positive side, Claire Templeton (alive and recovering in hospital) is now a staunch ally, and the deaths by alligator attack seem to have come to an end, as has the wave of blackmail that had been washing over the city.

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