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Note: this adventure is based on the idea posted to now-defunct http://www.gurpswiki.net/default.aspx/InfiniteWorldsWiki/TimeOfTheRenegades.html

IntroEdit

This is a scenario for up to six players. The characters should be near the beginning of their careers - either normal Infinity Academy cadets near the end of their training or a newly-assembled ISWAT team. Traits like Overconfidence and Impulsiveness should be well-represented.

No maps or exact character sheets have been provided - the GM should be able to customize the characters and settings as much as necessary to fit his own style. Enough broad hints and details have been given to provide a framework to build on.

BriefingEdit

The team is called away from their normal activities and hustled into a Secure Room deep underground (for ultra-secret briefings that no one can know even happen). There they meet with an officer who is identified to them as Captain Rutherford Von Deln of Penetration Service, Echo Surveillance Division (the branch of the Time Scouts that monitors historical echoes). There they are given an unusual briefing.

Cadets ... my apologies for this, but until further notice you are to be kept under lockdown. You are forbidden from leaving your quarters or communicating with any but authorized personnel.
 


After the expected protests have died down, Captain Von Deln continues:

This is an unusual action, but - in higher circles - seen as necessary. Six weeks ago, an archaeological dig near Taos, New Mexico, Homeline, dug up an unusual artifact. All news of it was suppressed and the artifact was studied most thoroughly by Parachronics Labs.
 


The artifact - with an estimated age of eight hundred years - was a parachronic conveyor that apparently suffered a massive system failure. Not just any conveyor, either - it was positively identified as a cargo conveyor that is currently sitting in our hangars.

A human remain was found inside the conveyor - a severed body part, apparently fused with part of the hull. The remnant was tested and confirmed to be about eight hundred years old, and to have the DNA profile of {insert name and rank of PC}. Other DNA traces - presumably blood - were found, identified as {insert names of two other P Cs}. The partial reconstruction of the 'Black Box' data indicates that the conveyor was on a mission to Echo 802 Minus when it crashed. The coordinates were tested and found to connect to a previously-uncharted echo timeline currently at 1225 A.D. - by the standard classification, 802 Minus. The records were all but indecipherable, but it was determined that the conveyor left Homeline sometime this week.

As you can imagine, this has shaken Infinity to it's core. It has long been a fringe theory that some echo timelines were in fact our own past, despite mathematical proof otherwise. Now it seems that either that is the case, or some other ... uber-Homeline ... did everything we have done, only eight centuries earlier. Or they may be some other answer ... but until we know exactly what the devil is happening, all of you - and that conveyor - are under strictest security lockdown.

LockdownEdit

The PC's are now in their quarters, with guards outside the door (Von Deln's minions). This may be roleplayed - the GM is encouraged to build up feelings of "cabin fever" and Paranoia.

Von Deln will come in every day or two to "check up on" his charges. He will be friendly and supportive, with many interjections about the growing panic in the Infinity Council.

Topics will include:

  • Commentary about "destiny"
  • If they are destined to end up in Homeline's past, not going could trigger a Reality Quake and destroy Homeline itself.
  • Occasional references to being "caught like rats in a trap".

The PCs should by this point get the idea to run for it. They should make their own plan, probably unaware that Von Deln's minions will be covertly smoothing the path. His people are only in the lowest levels (Rank 2 and lower), but they have I.D. and uniforms for everything up to Rank 4.

If they decide to leave instead of going for the conveyor, Von Deln will kill the guards at their door and sound an alert. Once the PC's are panicked, Von Deln will show up and shoo them toward the hangar, where the cargo conveyor is waiting (and the only one that is not locked down).

If the PC's decide to sit it out, by the fourth day Von Deln will show up and tell them that he believes that their not going will trigger a reality quake that will destroy Homeline, and that he is going behind the backs of the Infinity Council to get them going. If necessary, he may actually kill the guards to establish his bona fides as a desperate man who believes that only Our Heroes can prevent the End of the World.

Of course, Von Deln will still be in Homeline, injured when he tried to stop the 'renegades'. He will probably get a medal.

Truth Edit

The entire scenario as Von Deln presented it is a humongous lie. No ancient conveyor was found, there is no "Echo 802 Minus" and Infinity as a whole is unaware of any of this. Von Deln is not a Captain and is not even with the Time Scouts - he's a Lieutenant in the I-Cops' Logistics Division.

Many years ago as a young Cadet, Von Deln was on one of those "safe" training missions - in this case, a geophysical survey of the Rocky Mountains in Timeline Smother. Accidentally becoming separated from his group, he stumbled across an anomaly - fresh clover, which never evolved in Smother's oxygen-free atmosphere. Following the patches into a nearby cave, he found a time tunnel to an uncharted parallel that he privately named "Clover".

Von Deln kept his discovery secret. Over the years, he made other trips to Smother (camouflaging them in various ways) and managed to smuggle enough equipment to Clover to discover it's parachronic settings and set up a tiny base there. Eventually, his career path took him to Maintenance, then Logistics, where he got enough spare parts to make a jury-rigged conveyor. Over the years, Von Deln has been improving and enhancing his base on Clover, recruiting a cadre to help expand his operations, building his contacts among outtime groups, and forming an outlaw colony.

Now, from his position in Logistics, Von Deln has managed to shuffle enough paperwork to acquire the components for a dozen subquantum field generators. These components are on board the cargo conveyor ready for transport.

Von Deln selected the PC's because their group is new and largely unsophisticated and has a reputation for unorthodox behavior and discipline problems. Von Deln has planted enough evidence on Homeline to make an investigator think that the PC's have gone rogue (their reputations will help in this). He intends to goad them into stealing the conveyor and going to the timeline designated "Echo 802 Minus" (in reality, Clover). Once there, Von Deln's minions will overpower them and take the components.

The PC's will be seen as dangerous renegades by Infinity who have stolen conveyor technology and obviously plan some nefarious use for it. If the PC's try to escape and go home, the I-Cops will already have a "Shoot to Kill" order on them as traitors and pirates.

Plot Edit

Von Deln has spent years building up resources on Clover as well as loyal confederates. Clover contains factories for producing TL (6+1) weapons and ammunition, simple radio systems, and the components for moderately advanced vehicles.

With the field generators, Von Deln intends to create a small armada of crosstime war vessels and invade a Q6 world in the edge of industrialization. Once conquered, it will be a base for pirate raids on technologically-superior Q6 worlds from which he hopes to gain superior weapons and the high-tech components for more conveyors.

Von Deln's eventual goal is the creation of a modest empire for himself. Clover is intended to be a secret fallback position, as well as (through Smother) a pipeline for intelligence about Infinity and Homeline. Possibly, at a future date, a base might be built on Smother, allowing the plundering of two quanta of worlds.

Crimson in Clover Edit

Clover (Q6, local present 1225 A.D.) is a world with no sentient life. Grass never developed (clover fills the ecological niche of grass), and all warm-blooded animal life is marsupial (including the bird-analogues). Humans find it fragrant and pleasant. A time tunnel exists in the Rocky Mountains leading to Smother in Quantum 5.

Von Deln has built a small base here with under 1000 personnel. The location is equivalent to Von Deln's "fishing cabin" in Homeline Colorado. The base is quite comfortable, with power and water, as well as cheap TL 8 workshops and warehouses filled with ordnance and supplies.

The colony (called 'Crimson Base') is run by a group called 'the Council of Thirteen' run by the Homeline Von Deln who has the title of 'Prime'. Every person on the Council of Thirteen is in reality a crosstime counterpart of Rutherford Von Deln. It took Von Deln years to recruit enough alternate versions of himself to staff the Council of Thirteen. That way, he feels sure that his immediate underlings have his best interests at heart.

There are about 200 soldiers in barracks in four very understrength divisions. This is deliberate - these soldiers are planned to be the officer corps and sergeants of Von Deln's crosstime military forces, with local recruits making up the lower ranks. All the soldiers are from TL 5 or lower timelines.

The bulk of the population is servants, slaves, hangers-on, and labor from assorted primitive timelines. As far as they are concerned, Prime Von Deln's people are wizards or demons or at the very least their lords. All of them are from TL 3 and under timelines, either captured in training raids or purchased from other crosstime renegades.

The 'Air Cavalry' consists of a dozen VTOL-propelled aircars that can carry two squads or one ton of supplies. They have a top speed of 300 mph and a range of 200 miles. They have lightweight DR 75 laminate armor, twin chain guns, and can carry rocket pods. These are awaiting retrofitting as parachronic vessels.

The 'Air Force' is six zeppelins which are currently being constructed. Each one will have a hydrogen peroxide engine and is intended. to carry bombs (especially FAE), and to act as observation platforms.

Our heroes' actions Edit

If they decide to fight their way out of the initial ambush, they will be injured and if not killed at least incapacitated as Von Deln's Council of Thirteen begins their wars of crosstime conquest.

If they allow themselves to be captured, it is likely that they will be able to break out of their confinement (with more difficulty than they broke out of Homeline) and/or be recruited by one of the other Von Deln's as part of a conspiracy to overthrow Prime Von Deln.

If they escape and hide out, Clover Base will go on high alert, with TL 8 sensors (purchased from camping stores on Homeline) deployed to prevent their re-entry. They might (very remote chance) find the time tunnel to Smother and use it, but without breathing apparatus, it won't do them a lot of good.

The PC's will somehow have to steal a conveyor from Von Deln's people, either the cargo ship they arrived in, one of the retrofitted Air Cavalry units, or the old jury-rigged conveyor in the basement of Prime Von Deln's personal quarters that is currently set on his cabin in Homeline Colorado.

If, somehow, the PC's gain freedom from Clover or get a message out, they will still have to convince the I-Cops that they are not the dangerous conveyor-stealing Patrolman-killing renegades that they appear to be. Hopefully before they get killed by their own people.

Once they manage to get their story told (and they have Clover's settings), the I-Cops can launch an armed assault on Clover. If the PC's have gotten away without the enemy realizing that they have escaped or survived, the Homeline assault should come as a complete surprise. If the Council realizes that the PC's have escaped and/or survived, the assault will arrive only to find the main personnel have fled, taking most of their more vital equipment with them. The slave population remaining know nothing of any help, and won't understand most of the questions anyway.

Traitors campaign Edit

It is possible that they may convince Von Deln that they want to join his side (or they may actually want to). Von Deln would like to recruit them if possible and milk them for knowledge if not. He will not trust them initially, but he sees no reason why all that Infinity Patrol training should go to waste. He will allow them to work under the supervision of his trusted lieutenant Rowena Von Deln. Once they prove themselves (after several dangerous assignments), he plans to have them become the core of his Crosstime Rangers, his own equivalent to the Infinity Patrol and Centrum's Interworld Service.

If the PC's actually manage to convince Von Deln they are on his side (or if they actually are), then the scenario becomes one of interworld warfare.

Von Deln has charted seven world unknown to Homeline on Q6. He intends to launch his first assault six months after acquiring the Homeline components.

The main target is Lightning (Q6; TL 3; local present 1776), a parallel where Benjamin Franklin died as a child after being hit by lightning. The Council of Thirteen put in a business front in Boston (Von Deln Factors) and introduced Franklin's inventions, becoming quite wealthy in the process. They have also infiltrated the Sons of Liberty and the Continental Congress (both somewhat more tumultuous than their Homeline versions). The battle plan is to sweep the British off the map and get hired as the replacement for the Continental Army. Then they seize control of North America and devastate Europe's cities with FAE bombs. They expect to have the entire planet under control within four years.

The Council hopes to use Lightning as a base for the manpower and resources. They expect to create factories to mass-produce their vehicles and weapons and recruit local troops as the grunts of their force. Enlisting military types like George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and possibly in a few years a young Napoleon Bonaparte (with adequate controls of course) is tempting as well.

If the PCs are on Von Deln's side, they will have an exciting time subverting democracy on Lightning so that the Council of Thirteen can take over. And then they can become the founders of the Crosstime Rangers and get in on the ground floor of the founding of a crosstime power (assuming either Infinity, Centrum, or the Cabal don't find them first).

Cast of characters Edit

Characters should be customized for the style of the GM and the players. However, a general description should be useful.

Rutherford Von Deln
He is a Lieutenant in the Infinity Patrol with twenty-one years' service, having worked in Intervention Service's Logistics and Security Divisions and Penetration Service's Survey and Records and Research Divisions. He has a slightly-better-than-average service record and is well-known in Infinity's more political circles for his ability to cultivate contacts. He is also something of an artist, specializing in the bleak landscapes of dead parallels like Smother. He currently serves in the Logistics Division.
Van Deln is a Megalomaniac who has formed his own renegade army to feed his dreams of self-aggrandizement. He is charismatic and well-versed in political skills; he knows someone just about everywhere. He is under the Delusion that he is the One and Only Von Deln, and any others are merely extensions of him; thus, he trusts his counterparts explicitly, despite all evidence that they are just as bad as him.
The Council of Thirteen
This group controls Crimson Base and the entire human population of Clover. It is intended by Von Deln to be the nucleus of his future crosstime government. Every member is a counterpart of Von Deln from another timeline; All of the Council are either from TL 7 and 8 worlds or trained in the operation of the computers and other advanced equipment;.all are capable but somewhat less skilled or charismatic than Von Deln himself.

Von Deln has the title of Prime and rules with an iron fist.

The titles of the other Council members are Constable (internal security); Seneschal (day-to-day operations); Exchequer (logistics and finance); Inquisitor (espionage); Bailiff (control of the population); Officer (infantry control); Marshal (transport control); Reeve (industrial); Chaplain (psy-ops); Herald (communications); Steward (survey). The second in command uses the title Castellan. The use of medieval titles acts both as security (to confuse outsiders) and to reassure the bulk of their low-tech recruits that they serve proper lords. Plus it strokes the egos of the vain and self-important Von Delns to have distinctive and unique titles.

Politically, the Council of Thirteen seems unified. In fact, it's a seething mass of rebellion, as each of the dozen Von Deln's is as ambitious and duplicitous as the Homeline version. Each one plans to kill the original Von Deln and grab the 'Prime' spot for himself. Von Deln almost subconsciously plays them off against each other; he is older by ten years than any of them and has been planning to be a conqueror most of his adult life, so none of the Councilors can match him for political savvy.

The current Castellan is Rowena Von Deln, a nineteen-year-old female counterpart of Von Deln, the sole female on the Council of Thirteen, and Prime Von Deln's lover (the ick-factor of that relationship should not be lost on anyone, nor what it says about Von Deln's psyche). She is also the most ambitious, and has been consolidating her control over the other Councilors. She is almost ready for a putsch that will leave her in charge and the Homeline Von Deln in a shallow grave. She counts on Prime Von Deln's narcissistic lust for her to keep him distracted.

TechEdit

The Council of Thirteen has access to late TL 8 technology, but their industrial base is deliberately kept at TL 6. However, the use of TL 8 techniques to design advanced equipment that can be built with primitive technology has made it a high TL 6, or even TL (6+1). Transportation

Transportation: The Air Cavalry and zeppelins of the Air Force are TL (6+1). Infantry has access to TL (6+1) vehicles like hydrogen-peroxide-powered tanks, motorcycles, hovercraft, and jeeps. Plans for railroads and airports for conquered worlds are ready for implementation. Prime Von Deln has a TL 8 Homeline aircar that he imported. Power

Power: Crimson Base uses a combination of TL 8 solar, windmills, and TL (6+1) hydrogen-peroxide engines. Plans for simple TL (6+1) 'pebble-bed' nuclear fission reactors await implementation. Medicine

Medicine: Kept at early TL 7, with plans for importing TL 8 physicians at the earliest opportunity. Weapons/Armor

Weapons/Armor: TL 6 Sten Guns with grenades and TL (6+1) disposable rocket launchers are the primary weapons if the Infantry. Upper-echelon types wear TL 8 body armor. TL (6+1) vehicle weapons are used. TL (6+2) systems like superguns and ballistic missiles are planned to help cement control on conquered worlds. Special

Special: The Council uses TL 8 computers and TL 9 notebook computers for "red tape", and have designed TL (6+1) computers for use in administering future conquests.

The Council has the know-how to construct subquantum conveyors, but lack the manpower to build the infrastructure to construct them. They plan on using the manpower of their first conquest to rectify that problem.

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