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Old Chicago Adventure

Operation Expurgate

An Old Chicago Adventure by John Stevens

 

This is the first adventure in the Old Chicago Campaign setting. However, by changing the names, the mission could easily be tailored to fit any Coalition game.

 

 

The Setup

Major Sheen stood upon a platform in the staging area of the Bridgehead Complex, the forward point of the CS presense in Old Chicago. The major stood behind a podium with a large screen behind him on the wall. He briefed the unit.

 

"A ley line storm has torn loose some sensor units near nexus point November-Zero-One-Zero. Charlie Company, you're next up on the rotation and tasked with doing a sweep of the area to see if any unwanted visitors arrived with the storm. Additionally, an engineering team will be attached to the company to replace the sensors. There are three main objectives:"


"Objective one: Recon the area for undesirables."


"Objective two: Secure the nexus point."


"Objective three: Repair sensor units."


"This is a company level operation. I will be on-site in the command vehicle. 3rd Recon platoon will be responsible for completing the first objective and reporting back any activity. Each squad will be assigned a search sector. Once your search is completed report back to command. If necessary, air assets will be employed or Charlie Company will move in to eliminate any targets."

 

"So, let's go make the fighting Joe's proud. Dismissed."

 

 

Location
The player group is assigned to one of the more creepy sectors: Former Oakwoods Cemetery. Here are some resources to help with the setting:


 

The Graveyard: Setting the Stage


The battered skyline of Old Chicago is creepy enough, but the location of Nexus point November-Zero-One-Zero only intensifies the feeling. Sitting directly atop the former Oakwoods Cemetery. the nexus is a small conflagration of two ley lines which cross over one another. One line begins somewhere in the Magic Zone and heads directly to the super nexus at the heart of the city while the other skirts off at an odd angle into Lake Michigan. The nexus point hovers hauntingly over the giant Camp Douglas Memorial where the bodies of over 6,000 Confederate prisoners of war were buried. The pulsating nexus casts an eerie blue shadow on the thousands of crumbling headstones that surround it. It was rumoured that when the Rifts came the dead who laid to rest in the cemetery awoke from their eternal sleep and haunted the city. Many believe those spirits still remain today.


Because the cemetery was devoid of buildings the area now looks like a giant clearing in the midst of the city, as if entire city blocks had been levelled clean by an explosion – with the nexus point as the epicentre.


Charlie Company rolled to the site in Mark Vs, with the 3rd Recon Platoon riding point well ahead of the pack. As the armoured vehicle approached the site it slowed to a crawl and stopped in what appeared to be an old parking lot.


As the platoon disembarked, Lieutenant Emerson gave each squad their patrol orders.


"Listen up. We’re going to patrol westward down what used to be East 67th Street, at intervals each squad is going to turn southward and patrol through the search area. Once your area is cleared the whole platoon will regroup on Linden Hill and assess the situation at the nexus point. If it looks clear we will recon in force and hold for the rest of the company, if it’s hot we’ll call it in and reposition to join the assault once back up arrives."


As the platoon moved carefully down the remains of Sixty-Seventh Street in a search formation they easily saw that this area was a hotbed of Rift activity. Many of the buildings in the areas were seared and scorched from constant aerial strikes, fire fights, and ley line storms. There were even a few burned out and destroyed Coalition vehicles that were too damaged, or too dangerous, to salvage.


First squad was the first to break south, as they had the longest patrol route through the suspected hot zone. They were to move in a zig-zaging pattern that head generally southward then turned sharply north and west toward the rendezvous point at Linden Hill.


 

The Graveyard: First Encounter

Unkempt grass rustled around the knees of first squad as they wove through the dilapidated graveyard the occasional crunch of a destroyed headstone underfoot was all that broke the 'dead silence'. Some memorials had withstood the test of time well and still proudly bore the names of those who lay beneath, in other places there were holes and depressions where graves had been dug up by looters, or perhaps vacated by their occupants.


What had once been manicured trees now grew wild and gnarled providing some measure of cover in the area. Overall, however, the team was in the open through most of their route with only battered headstones to hide behind.


[Encounter: a Haunting Entity of Big Jim Colosimo. HF 14, capable of psyhic attacks on the players (more mind games than injury). See Conversion Book 1, p.177, for details.]


 

The Graveyard: Second Encounter

First squad was not the only group to meet resistance during their patrol. Fourth squad had run a foul of a nasty tectonic entity, whilst second and third squad had been tormented (but unharmed) by a few haunting entities. Overall, it was clear. This area was hot with entity activity.


As the platoon began to regroup on Linden Hill, Lieutenant Emerson ordered the entire platoon to stay hunkered down on the east side of the hill and gave First platoon the nod to crest the hill visually observe the nexus point from the hill top.


Creeping to the top of the hill, the team was able to find a good observation point in a half standing mausoleum that stood on top of the hill amidst a small stand of trees. Using the still standing wall they peered down toward the nexus point.


From their position the team could see that a stone altar had been built at the foot of the large Camp Douglas memorial. An animal sacrifice was tied to the altar and small group of men stood around it, seemingly performing some ritual.


Just as Lieutenant Emerson was about to order the platoon over the hill to disrupt the ritual an explosion rocked the eastern side of the hill where 3rd Recon was standing by. Immediately radio chatter began to pick-up. A Private in third squad had unloosed his grenades right in the idle of his team and was now emptying his clip into his squad mates.


Emerson looked to first squad.


"Keep your eyes on that ritual, and call it into Charlie Company HQ. I’ll go down and sort out this mess."


From their position First squad could see that the explosion had attracted the attention of the men performing the ritual. A few of them broke off and were heading toward the hill to investigate. As they drew closer the team could see that these were not men at all, but some sort of demonic looking d-bees.


[Encounter: 3 Brodkil. HF 10. MDC of 250-350 each. Use modern energy weapons. Can turn invisible. See WB13: Lone Star, p.164, for details.]


As the demons approached a frantic call from Lieutenant Emerson came over the radio. "Reach command, tell them one of our men is possessed and we need a Buster unit on the scene pronto. What’s the status of that ritual?"


As if on cue, a great ball of magical energy surged forth from the ley line nexus and struck the very tip of the memorial monument sending blue magical waves pulsating down the entire structure like electricity through a lightning rod. Soon the energy pulsated through the entire ground. A moment of silence followed.


Then, slowly the earth beneath the memorial began to move, and hands reached up from beyond the grave in ever increasing numbers. Man sized figures emerged from the earth, dead civil war soldiers awoken from centuries old sleep, began to howl their displeasure at being ripped from their resting place.


Their displeasure was quickly redirected, however, as their summoner began to command them. As animated corpses continued to rise from the ground they marched a slow death march toward Linden Hill and 3rd Recon Company.


[Encounter: 24 skeletons head up the hill toward the player characters. Animated corpses are SDC magic creatures that will try to steal weapons / remove armor from the players. MDC bullets and lasers deal the equivelent SDC damage, because they pierce with small holes and the corpses must be destroyed to be stopped. MDC explosives or fire deal completed destroy the skeleton. See animate and control dead spell, Rifts Main Book, p.178, for more details. Double all range, duration, damage, and effects.]

 

As the skeletons are depleted and Brodkil subdued, or if the players engage them sooner, the three men remaining at the monument will attack the players, while attempting to retreat.

 

[Encounter: 3 Mages. Ley Line Walkers, Shifters, or Necromancers. One high level mage with spells up through level 10, two apprentice mages with spells through level 4 only. Spells with be defensive, or otherwise intended to stop, slow, or deter the player's advance as they retreat. May also use illusionary magic to distract the players. See Being at a ley line nexus point, Rifts Main Book, p.163, for details on spell bonuses due to location.]

 

Defeating the mages could be the end of the adventure, or it could be just the beginning. See the Campaign Setting Notes for more details.





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