Day 1: Flying in

Spring, well north of the arctic circle. 1975. A small surveying camp sits just south of the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk and Bettles river confluence, among dense forests of spindly spruce trees. Above it, the ramplike prow of Sukakpak mountain dominates. It is a striking, curious and isolated peak south of the Brooks range. A survey team is re-flagging the original pipeline route that was flagged in ’71. There is great urgency, as construction of the North Slope Haul Road has already begun and will reach Atigun pass in less than a month. The route must be clearly marked.

And now a man has died.

Moderator: evil_scientist

Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:12 pm

landscape.jpg
landscape 2.jpg
12 April, 1975

The roar of the Cessna 206 floatplane’s engine is deafening. State Trooper Stanley Kramer is an experienced pilot, but travelling on such a small craft is always a shaky experience at best. Arctic Construction representative Jeff Michaels and safety inspector Harry Miller try to study the scant documentation provided by the company, but concentration is often broken by gushes of wind. Conversation is impossible (the plane is not equipped with an intercom), so you spend most of the journey staring out the window.

Seen through scratched plexiglass, from one thousand feet up, the world is an endless spruce forest in three directions, with the massive wall of the Brooks range abruptly stopping its progress to the north, like a sea wall against the brownish-green. Forest as far as the eye can see. It’s dark, featureless, somehow implacable.

Around 9:20 am State Trooper Kramer finally starts descent, and after some careful maneuvering lands the Cessna on the waters of the Koyukon river. He slowly navigates the craft close to the bank of the river. The patch is marked on the Arctic Construction survey maps as the preferred landing site and entry point. It was cleared of undergrowth last month, when the survey began, but since then the vegetation started to reclaim the area. There is a pair of reinforced concrete pillars protruding from the ground - the only signs of civilization. You tie the aircraft to the pillars with strong cables.

The plan was that a member of the survey team would meet you at the landing site and take you to Camp 204, a four mile hike. But you are only greeted by a swarm of mosquitoes and biting flies. A barely visible path leads to the east, into the deep forest.

Mt. Sukakpak looms over everything, a dark grey slanted mass rising above the pines.

sukakpak.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
User avatar
evil_scientist
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Rooter » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:14 pm

Image

Jeff is angry and embarrassed by the company's ineptitude. "Dammit," he mutters, trying to wave away the mosquitoes with the manila folder. "Those guys better have a good explanation for not being here." He regards the dark spread of forest warily then turns to State Trooper Kramer, avoiding the safety inspector Miller's eye. "Can we radio the site from here?"
Rooter
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:50 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:36 pm

The aircraft's on-board radio equipment can be used to reach the camp. You know the bandwidth. The question is whether their radio is switched on and receiving at the moment...

A Luck roll is required to attempt this.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
User avatar
evil_scientist
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:15 am

Image

Trooper Stanley Kramer never gets tired of looking at the beauty of his native Alaska from the air. It isn't too bad from down on the ground, either. "We can sure as hell try," he says, keying the radio and trying to reach the camp.

Spoiler:
Luck roll (60% stat) to contact the camp:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
92
Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu Campaign:
(viewforum.php?f=176)The Terror Out of Time
The Ninth Planet
The Shadow Over Dunwich
The Brotherhood of Death
The Horror in the Blackout
User avatar
Mr. Handy
Admin
Admin
 
Posts: 38574
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:45 am

The radio crackles, and for a second a high-pitched whistle emerges, but then it's back to hissing static. The camp is not receiving.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
User avatar
evil_scientist
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Rooter » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:15 pm

Image

Jeff suppresses a groan. "Well I don't feel like hanging around out here to be eaten alive by mosquitoes. We'd have to make the hike to camp anyway, right? Should be no problem finding our way with a State Trooper to guide us. I'll mention all this in my report for the company," he adds.
Rooter
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:50 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:11 pm

Equipped with a detailed survey map, a compass, and many years of field experience, State Trooper Kramer leads your small group into the wilderness. The first mile or so is tolerable, but then the trail gets steeper. Harry Miller can keep up with the swift Trooper, thanks to his natural stamina, but Jeff Michaels is slowing you all down. The insects seem to multiple in the shadows of the trees. Swarms of Biblical proportions, buzzing around you, latching on to all uncovered patch of skin...

Around the third mile, when he stops to catch his breath, Jeff notices a couple of red-and-white striped rods scattered in the mud. He recognizes them as the ones that are used to mark out the pipeline's route. After consulting the map, you understand that this is approximately the beginning of the pipeline section, the re-flagging of which is the goal of the current survey. But the all the markers have been torn out of the ground.

Spoiler:
You can spend more time (and endure more mosquito bites!!) in this place to investigate in detail, before continuing your hike to the camp. Provide Spot Hidden or Survival rolls.


Further up the trail, the scenery changes slightly: the spruce trees of course are still present, but there are more rocks protruding from the ground. A thin fog descends, and a drizzle starts - at least it forces the mosquitoes to retreat. With some effort you cover the last mile and arrive at a small clearing. At the other end of it, about 50' from you, there are a couple of tents pitched in a semicircle. You can see two figures hunched by a campfire.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
User avatar
evil_scientist
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mister Ginge » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:10 am

Optional Spot Hidden:
Mister Ginge rolled 1d100:
5


Harry pulls a mosquito off his ear and breaths a sigh of relief. "Looks like our guys. Let's go say hello."
User avatar
Mister Ginge
Acolyte
Acolyte
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:06 am
Location: Ulthar

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:03 am

Image

Stanley can't tell anything from examining the site where the rods were torn out, so he nods and proceeds to the camp.

Spoiler:
Survival roll (50% skill) investigating the rods:
Mr. Handy rolled 1d100:
100
Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu Campaign:
(viewforum.php?f=176)The Terror Out of Time
The Ninth Planet
The Shadow Over Dunwich
The Brotherhood of Death
The Horror in the Blackout
User avatar
Mr. Handy
Admin
Admin
 
Posts: 38574
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Rooter » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:38 am

Image

Puffing from the unaccustomed exercise of the hike, Jeff waves one of the marking rods he picked up from the ground at the figures by the campfire. "What's going on here? Why didn't you come to meet us at the landing point like we arranged?"
Rooter
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:50 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:47 am

You spend an extra 15 minutes investigating the area. Harry Miller comes to the conclusion that the flags and rods were torn out by heavy winds, or maybe by animals. Foul play seems highly unlikely, as the route is too remote and difficult for malicious persons to be responsible. You are, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere. Kramer lets out a curse: a sudden gush of wind sends the survey map flying high, and it gets stuck on a pine tree. The State Trooper manages to retrieve only a torn half - unfortunately, not the half where you and the camp are located...

After this short intermission, you follow the trail further up and arrive to the campsite.

Jeff Michaels calls out to the men. They turn towards you, and hesitate for a few moments, seemingly unwilling to leave the campfire. Then one of them stands up - a tall, broad-shouldered, hulking figure, and starts slowly pacing towards you. You meet halfway across the clearing. You recognize him as Assistant Surveyor Mike Ravello, only he now has a curly beard.

"We didn't want to leave the camp unattended. Thought you could make the hike yourselves," he says. "I'm Mike Ravello. Welcome to Camp 204..." he adds, pointing to the tents behind him with a wide gesture.

Image
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
User avatar
evil_scientist
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Rooter » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:14 pm

Image

"Jeff Michaels, from the company. This is State Trooper Kramer and Mr. Miller from federal safety. Is the Chief Surveyor here? We're going to need a full briefing on the status of the project. And, uh, about the fatality, too, of course."
Rooter
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:50 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:51 pm

"Ray is guarding Bill's body," Ravello says, pointing to the south-east, to the forest. Looks like he has to accompany every piece of information with a hand gesture. "I mean Chief Surveyor Ray Kennedy. And Bill Scott, poor fellow."

"We were told to leave the body where we found it. But we have to guard it. There are bears in these forests."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
User avatar
evil_scientist
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:43 am

Image

Stanley nods knowingly. The shotgun he carries and the other one in the plane are the only real defense they have against bears. His pistol wouldn't do much good against them. "I need to collect the body," he says. "I'll go see the Chief Surveyor too."
Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu Campaign:
(viewforum.php?f=176)The Terror Out of Time
The Ninth Planet
The Shadow Over Dunwich
The Brotherhood of Death
The Horror in the Blackout
User avatar
Mr. Handy
Admin
Admin
 
Posts: 38574
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mister Ginge » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:43 pm

Image

"I'll come with you," says Harry. "I'd like to get a look at the scene."

Turning to Ravello he says, "do we know what was the cause of death?"

"I hope they don't think I've been watching too many crime dramas," he thinks to himself.
User avatar
Mister Ginge
Acolyte
Acolyte
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:06 am
Location: Ulthar

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:00 pm

"Blunt trauma. From falling, maybe," Ravello says. His expression was without any emotion before, but now it turns somber.

"You can drop your bags at the tents, then I can take you to the place. It's not far, a quarter mile from the camp."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
User avatar
evil_scientist
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:38 am

Image

"Thanks," says Stanley. He deposits his luggage at the tents and then returns to Ravello so he can guide them to the scene.

Spoiler:
Do we have a camera? I'd like to take some pictures of the scene before we touch anything. Jeff actually has points in the skill.
Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu Campaign:
(viewforum.php?f=176)The Terror Out of Time
The Ninth Planet
The Shadow Over Dunwich
The Brotherhood of Death
The Horror in the Blackout
User avatar
Mr. Handy
Admin
Admin
 
Posts: 38574
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:28 am

Spoiler:
Yes, you brought a camera.

Another thing: I think you probably brought the second shotgun from the airplane with you up to the camp - I don't think it's allowed to leave weapon unattended somewhere in the forest...


Spoiler:
I'm very busy today at work, will post later or tomorrow!
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
User avatar
evil_scientist
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby Rooter » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:59 am

Image

Jeff drops his bag at the tents, nervously eyeing the surrounding forest for any lurking bears. He retrieves the camera and the shotgun he took from the plane - he's never fired a gun in anger before but the solid weight in his hand is slightly reassuring.
Rooter
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:50 pm

Re: Day 1: Flying in

Postby evil_scientist » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:15 am

The investigators and Ravello approach the camp. The man sitting at the fire finally acknowledges their presence, and looks at them. He is a young man, his thin, bony features framed by the hood of his anorak. "This is Arthur Antal," Ravello introduces the man. Antal sluggishly stands up and shakes hands with the investigators. He murmurs something that can be understood as a greeting. His hands are cold.

Image

"I'm taking them over to see Bill."

Antal nods, and sits down again by the fire. "I'll stay here," he speaks, finally.

Ravello lifts up a stainless steel camping mug from by the fire, takes a sip. "Then heat up some water for coffee for when we get back, I'm sure the boys will want some." He then turns to you: "Let's go, gentlemen."

He turns around and strides off towards the forest.

Spoiler:
If you want to interact with Antal, or ask more question from Ravello while at the camp or along the way, feel free to re-wind!

There is no beaten path here, just the dense forest. Progress is slowed by the muddy, loose soil. After about ten minutes you see a blue tarp laid out on the ground, covering a conspicuous mass - Bill Scott's body... Chief Surveyor Ray Kennedy is sitting nearby on a trunk, reading a book. He notices you, slides the book into his anorak's pocket, stands up, and waits for your approach.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
User avatar
evil_scientist
Keeper
Keeper
 
Posts: 1467
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Next

Return to Sukakpak

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests