Once Upon A Tusk Plot in Shadowland | World Anvil

Once Upon A Tusk

While this one-shot was written with Shadowrun in mind, it can be played in any modern or cyberpunk setting. Sample Characters can be found here.
The runners are approached by their current landlady in Amsterdam, just as they come home from a small gig. She tells them there's a Mr. Johnson who needs some extra security on a trip into the North Sea. It's a rush job that pays good for what should be a walk in the park. In fact it's so much a rush, that the runners have half an hour before they have to board the ship with all their gear.   On board the runners meet Mr. Johnson, who introduces himself as Little Don. He explains that an oil project dug into the Doggerbank, a submerged island, when they encountered caves. Drones discovered several skeletons inside, some of which seemed to have tusks. Don wants to explore the caves and is bringing the runners as additional security in case of unexpected threats.

Donald 'Little Don' Montella

Birth Year
Born the bastard son of a catholic Mafia Don, Donald Montella was immediately discarded by his father on account of being an Ork. His mother took him and fled to the United Netherlands. In his teens he was tracked down by his uncle, who supports Don to make up for his family's racism. This allowed him to train both his mind and his discovered magic talents well.   Since then, Little Don has been making allies left and right as a Fixer associated with the Dutch Penose. In his spare time he researchs rumors that Orks were around in the past. Then last week, he was told a tusked skeleton was found underneath the North Sea at the Doggerbank. He immediately prepared an expedition and all the bribes needed to start digging around, as well as several archeologists and runners.

The Run
The expedition includes two bodyguards, half a dozen archeologists, and a few dozen oil rig workers. They also have enough construction material to secure the caves against collapsing. However, Don is only getting a single week before the company intends to continue digging. He's determined to find as much as he can during these seven days.   The underground location gives most folks a hard time. Any Rigger or Decker has to set up repeater nodes so they no longer depend on line of sight, while magic misbehaves. Eventually though the expedition manages to map quite a few caves and even find some evidence of previous inhabitants. Not much that supports an actual Ork civilization, though.
Little Don
Job Type
Protection Detail
Nature Spirits & Mystery
Base Rewards
5 Karma
Word on the street
"There's something down there, I'll bet my tusks on it. And a small fortune as well."
"The skeletons are unfortunately too degraded to be sure whether they are Homo Sapiens Robustus or not. We need to find better ones."
"Don't worry, we'll be fine. This alchera feels decent, it's not going to swallow us up. So just chill and help me check this out."
"Thank you for helping my nephew. My brother is already foaming at the mouth due to Donald's findings. As gratitude, let me help you obtain some decent equipment."

The Complications
During the third night, the air shimmers around the camp and magic runs wild. Suddenly an entire cavern wall has disappeared, yet at the same time bedrock is now blocking the way back. It doesn't take long for the archeologists to understand everyone got sucked into a displacement alchera, a physical manifestation of a magical structure.   While looking for a way out, hostile nature spirits begin attacking people. The next few days everyone tries to find a way back, while Don insists all will be fine as he finds and collects evidence of a past civilization. When the alchera starts to collapse, fear sets in but turns out to be unneeded as everyone is displaced back to the base camp.
The Aftermath
Don managed to gather quite a bit of evidence, including plenty that supports his theories on Orks living at the Doggerbank in the past. Unfortunately all that evidence disappeared alongside the alchera.   However, all video footage, while partially corrupted, still exists. While it is met with scepsis, he manages to convince enough folks to gather significant investments. A more professional expedition is set up and the oil rig ends up with enough security to fight off pirates.   Don's uncle is happy with the kick against his bigoted family's beliefs. He reaches out to the runners and offers aid in obtaining illegal equipment.


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