A Scenario Hook for The Esoterrorists
Mr. Verity meets and briefs the team in Detroit, where Ordo Veritatis analysts have correlated an uptick both in violent crime and Internet searches of terms related to the Outer Dark. Following up on the apparently random homicides listed in the dossier, investigators spot a pattern, or lack thereof, that separates them from the gang reprisals that usually drive murder waves. Although the arrested parties do all have low-key underworld ties, they’re not directly involved in the drug scene. Their killings are sudden explosions of irrational violence, directed not at rival criminals but at random innocents, for little apparent reason. That behavior profile bears all the hallmarks of ODE influence.
The search for a connection between the perps eventually leads them to brothers Uros and Milos Mitrović. Their Serbian mafia colleagues sent them to establish a beachhead in Detroit, either because they wanted a US outpost or to get rid of a pair of reckless loose cannons. After failing to muscle in on the Chaldean mafia’s narcotics trade, the Mitrovićs went into loan sharking and dog fighting. Their two enterprises cross-fertilized when they squeezed delinquent debtor Warner Adame, a curio dealer with an eye for the occult. Adame avoided a kneecapping by giving them his prize treasure: a thick pane of handmade glass which, when placed in a suitably sized hole in any wall, allows one to gaze into the horrid realm of the Outer Dark.
Already psychopaths, the Mitrovićs had little stability to lose by peering through the window. Instead they saw opportunity. They now stage rotating events for the city’s most degenerate of degenerate gamblers. After paying a hefty cover charge to enter a garage, storage shed or old warehouse, invited guests jostle to behold the writhing entities of the demon dimension. These beings often fight one another, occasioning a frenzied round of wagers on the outcome as claw rakes tentacle or a serrated bone-arm punches through a scaly carapace. Uros and Milos do not act as the house, but do take a 10% cut of all winnings. Sometimes the demon fights end inconclusively, or simply whirl away from the single view afforded by the window. In such cases, no money changes hands. In fact most attendees forget to bet, instead staring slack-jawed at the mind-melting awfulness of what they see in the other realm.
When they trudge out into the light of early dawn after the Mitrovićs declare the session over, they scarcely suspect that they have lost impulse control and whatever moral limitations they possessed when they first arrived. Only a few break down to the point of abruptly slaughtering strangers who happen to mildly annoy them. Most just hit the Internet to type in search terms that might yield clues to what the hell they just witnessed. But the few who have crossed the line to murder have taken more than a dozen lives, and counting.
The brothers have never heard the word “Esoterror” or have any idea what the membrane is. They’re just making bank, as gangsters do. But they’re thinning the barrier between realms all the same—enough so that a few creepity crawlies might burst through just as the team finally locates and busts up their latest soiree of degradation.
The Esoterrorists are occult terrorists intent on tearing the fabric of the world – and you play elite investigators out to stop them. This is the game that revolutionized investigative RPGs by ensuring that players are never deprived of the crucial clues they need to move the story forward. Purchase The Esoterrorists in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.