Tashicorp, a large agricorp with interests in numerous sites around America, has a problem. At their Missouri ‘gardens’ (a term used to cover the massive tracks of agricultural land they control at this one site), a number of their automated worker bots have been destroyed in what the corporation calls ‘acts of terrorism’. Tashicorp blames a small community of ‘hold-outs’ trapped within the garden (made up of the original owners who refused to sell up their land) for these attacks, and needs some outside force to rectify the situation.
Facts – Drawn into this investigation either by curiosity, premonition or even Tashicorp itself, the Minion Hunters can discover the following:
- The bots and vehicles that have not been attacked by conventional weapons, rather they have sustained some sort of odd ripping and tearing damage. Suffice to say this is usual in the extreme.
- The families making up the enclave are survivalist types, who know that they only have themselves to rely on. This group is essentially trapped in their land, with the agricorp having erected massive security fences all around their property. They too make claims that their crops and buildings have been attacked and blame Tashicorp for these assaults.
- Investigating the locations of the attacks the Minion Hunters find evidence of a large lizard having been present at these sites. Tracking the creature back to its point of origin reveals a Dragon (the Dark Conspiracy version, not the fantasy winged beast). Quite obviously this Beastie doesn’t take to kindly to strangers.
Options – The Referee has a range of options in deciding what the truth behind Here Be Dragons might be
- A Biological Weapon by Any Other Name: Tashicorp created the Dragon using advanced genetics in an attempt to drive away the survivalists (knowing full well that to aggressively move on the group would be no good for the bottom line, i.e. bad press, effects on public relations, etc.). However, while this plan started well enough, the scientists at Tashicorp have recently lost control of the creature! With the costs of this operation now spiralling out of budget, they look to the Minion Hunters to rectify the situation; not only stopping the Dragon, but also remove the gun-totting survivalists from the equation. Of course, how much of this they tell their new employees is left to the Referee to decide…
- Corporate Rivals: The Dragon isn’t actually the perpetrator of the attacks. A rival agricorp, Des Sais, has instigated the attacks on the garden looking to lower the price of the property before placing an offer on it. In this scenario the Dragon, whose origin remains a mystery, is nothing more than an unfortunate bystander drawn into the conflict. That being said, this creature isn’t the sort to be reconciled with, and as such the story will quickly escalate into a four way battle between the interests of Tashicorp and the survivalists, and the threats presented by the Dragon and the Des Sais espionage team.
- Worshippers of the Almighty Dragon: A product of the nearby Demonground, the Dragon has become an object of worship for the fanatical survivalists. With sacrifices and offerings (and maybe a bit of Empathic skill) the leaders of the group have been using the Dragon to attack Tashicorp. These tactics, however, not only threaten the lives of the innocent families in the enclave, but bring with a backlash that could destroy the group for good. Here the Minion Hunters will be drawn into a conflict between not only their employers and the insane survivalists, but also an enraged Dragon who has grown used to the offerings it has received.
Author’s Note – Here be Dragons has the dubious honour of being the first Dark Conspiracy adventure I ever ran (way back in 1991). Back then I mashed together a number of the elements I’ve laid out above, and suffice to say chaos ensured. At the time I thought little of the story and its plot, but as I’ve grown as a Game Master I now look back fondly on this scenario and the journey it led me on in the decades that followed. I hope you too enjoy this tabloid story line as much as I did both back then and as I wrote it up 2012.