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The Strange: Violet Spiral Gambit - Crown Jewel Alight

BACKGROUND

  • Enkara-ulla has replaced the Crown Jewel beacon atop the Transamerica Pyramid and filled the Spire below it with his multiply field-tested equipment.
  • When the PCs arrive, Enkara-ulla’s machinery is up-and-running.
  • His goal is to temporarily blanket downtown San Francisco with the law of Mad Science.
  • Enkara-ulla’s experiment will actually fail regardless of what the PCs do. However, if it’s allowed to continue to conclusion what it will do is rip a huge recursion rupture in the sky above downtown San Francisco. (See Failure, below.)

GM Note: The general intention here is that the Rukians on the 48th Floor will fall back into the Spire. There will be a big, climactic fight in the Spire itself. And then the PCs will need to ascend to the Crown Jewel and prevent Enkara-ulla’s machine from opening the recursion rupture.

GM INTRUSION: THE RUPTURE BEGINS

This intrusion can be triggered at any time when it would complicate something the PCs are trying to accomplish: Just as the PCs arrive at the building. While they’re arguing with security guards in the lobby. Just after they’ve been arrested by security. As the fight breaks out on the 48th Floor. (It should definitely start before they reach the Crown Jewel.)

BLUE LIGHTNING: Races up and down the exterior of the Pyramid, dancing across the surface of white quartz and between the 3,600 windows.

  • Speed defense (level 4) to avoid 6 points of ambient damage, then Might defense (level 4) to avoid losing next action.
  • Entering/Exiting Building: Blue lightning affects anyone trying to enter or leave the building.
  • GM Intrusion: Can be used for a blue lightning strike almost anywhere, but particularly in the Spire and Crown Jewel.

PANIC: Once the blue lightning starts, people will begin to panic (both inside the building and outside of it). PCs may need to deal with mobs (Might task to move through them). Once it becomes clear that the lightning is striking people trying to run out of the building, they may also need to take action to save people.

STRANGE CREATURES: The rupture can also serve as a vector for a GM intrusion which adds creatures from anywhere in the Strange or the recursions of Earth.

STOPPING THE RUPTURE: Once the experiment has been triggered, the equipment in the Spire is largely irrelevant. Its purpose was to catalyze the Enkara-ulla’s Ersatz Jewel. Once that’s done, the Ersatz Jewel runs by itself (see The Crown Jewel below).

FAILURE: If the PCs fail to prevent or interrupt Enkara-ulla’s experiment, the sky above the Transamerica Pyramid ruptures and a portion of the Strange is copied into the sky above downtown San Francisco.

  • Clouds billow out of the rupture, rapidly filling the sky above the pyramid.
  • Then the clouds are eaten away by huge, fractal roils of purple and blue which burn the eye that tries to follow them.
  • FRACTAL WORM: The massive tentacles of a fractal worm (Strange Bestiary, pg. 55) descend out of the roiling fog of the chaos-stuff. (Followed by the full bulk of the thing moments later.)

ACCESSING THE 48th FLOOR

  • The public is only allowed on the ground floor of the Pyramid (where a gift shop and historical center are located).
  • Access to the elevators requires passing through metal detectors monitored by security guards.
  • The 48th Floor is rented out by “Uller Manufacturing”: Mentioning that name or Andrew Uller counts as an asset for convincing the guards that you have legitimate business up there.

TRANSAMERICA SECURITY GUARDS (Level 3): health 12, damage 4, armor 1.

  • Perception as level 4.
  • Paranoid, all activities involving suspicion as level 5.

48th FLOOR

The Strange: Violet Spiral Gambit - 48th Floor of the Transamerica Pyramid

A single conference room with an elevator in a niche off to one side and a flight of stairs that lead down to the restrooms on the 47th Floor

VIEW: Surrounded by windows looking out over Alcatraz, Coit Tower, Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge. (The Bank of America building to the south takes a chunk out of the view.)

SPIRE DOOR: On the wall of the conference room opposite the elevator, there’s a metal security door in the wall next to a 55” television. It leads to a short flight of stairs up to the base of the Spire.

VENOM TROOPERS (x2): The Strange, pg. 300.

  • Armed with slaughter accelerators that spit out a hail of plasma-charged flechettes.
  • After a round or two of combat, they’ll fall back into the Spire.

ENKARA-ULLA ON AIR: Enkara-ulla will commandeer the TV, displaying his face and using it to shoot electrical bolts.

  • Electrical Bolts (Level 5): 6 damage

THE SPIRE

The Strange: Violet Spiral Gambit - Spire of the Transamerica Pyramid

BASE OF THE SPIRE: A broad, open space with diamond-like girders above. The walls of the Spire are only open, aluminum grating – the window howls straight through them.

  • Strange, alien machinery has been suspended from the support beams like scaffolding. Thick, black cables run between them.
  • There are several ominous hums in the air; each overlapping and harmonizing with each other in a horrible, broken cacophony.
  • Bright lights pulse randomly here and there. Several thick laser beams stutter-step back and forth, like some sort of fiery morse code.
  • GM Note: The Spire is 212-feet tall.

STAIRS: Lower Spire is lined with a 100-foot steel stairway at a steep, 60-degree angle (+1 difficulty to move up or down it).

LADDERS: At the top of the stairs, there are two steel ladders that climb another 100 feet to the Crown Jewel above.

VENOM TROOPERS (x2): The Strange, pg. 300

  • 1 near the top of the stairs, 1 near the bottom.

RUKIAN SERVITOR DRONES (x8): Flying here and there throughout the entire height of the Spire.

ENKARA-ULLA: He’s up on the ladders, finishing adjustments to the last bit of machinery.

  • Andrew Uller: Non-descript guy. Mousy brown hair. He’s taken off his suit coat and has the sleeves on his dress shirt rolled up. His eyes have purple irises.
  • Manipulating Machinery: Causes various pieces of machinery to jut out or spark, causing 4 points of damage. (If he feels eminently threatened, he triggers his battle chrysalid transformation.)
  • Battle Chrysalid Transformation: Rips out of his skin. Mechanical wings spread wide. His human face sloughs away. (Prop: Enkara-Ulla)

GM Intrusion: Instead of dying, Enkara-ulla smashes out through the aluminum grating. (He’ll begin using his shoulder cannons to attack from a Long range, firing into the interior of the Spire.)

ENKARA-ULLA: level 5, health 30, damage 5, armor 2

  • Performs Mad Science tasks as level 7.
  • Melee Flurry: Can make two melee attacks as a single action.
  • Shoulder-Mounted Slaughter Accelerators: Can also fire two shoulder-mounted slaughter accelerators as part of the same action.

RUKIAN SERVITOR DRONES: level 2, health 6, damage 2

  • Rukian Servitor Drones are the size of a small dog with a vaguely insectoid appearance.
  • They’re biotech, with either metal wings or aeropter rotors grafted to their backs.

THE CROWN JEWEL

The chamber at the top of the Spire is a glass cap perched atop the Pyramid. It’s roughly the size of an office cubicle.

  • GM Note: The beacon that is normally located in the center of the Crown Jewel is a multi-faceted reflector inside a glass cylinder. Puts out 6,000 watts and is only lit on special occasions.

ERSATZ JEWEL: A huge, cylindrical console thrusts up out of the floor. Atop it is a device studded with long, purple crystals.

  • Strange Lore – Intellect task (difficulty 3): To recognize the purple crystals as violet spiral (see Scenario Background).
  • Removing the Jewel: Intellect task (difficulty 6). On failure, the person pulling the jewel out is struck by arcs of blue lightning.

BREAKING THE JEWEL: Deal 10 damage to the Ersatz Jewel and it will explode. (The explosion takes off the top of the Pyramid.)

  • Explosion: 12 ambient damage, Speed task (difficulty 6) to jump down the stairs and only take 2 ambient damage.

REMOVING THE JEWEL: As they begin working to deactivate the Ersatz Jewel, it will begin sending pulses of energy up into the air. The blue lightning will intensify. It’s a race to finish before the rupture occurs.

  • Rupture Race: Must succeed at 5 Intellect tasks (difficulty 5). If the PCs ever have more failures than successes, they’ve failed and the rupture occurs (see Failure, above).
  • Special: PCs can’t fail on the first check. If they fail the first check, arcs of blue lightning (6 ambient damage) course through them. (This still counts as a failure; they’ll need to dig out of the hole.)

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