The Contingent

The Contingent Files

PLEASE READ: Here is the repository of journal entries and cases files that have been written by members of The Contingent.

If a player enjoys writing reports or journals of games, they will earn a Re-Roll to be used any time during the current season. A player can any number of rerolls banked at a time, and use no more than 1 per game session. The Storyteller is the last word whether a re-rolls is appropriate to the situation

Entries may be subject to editing to adjust formatting for consistency.

TAGS

The Following Tags are used for Adventure Logs:

Season #
Denotes what season this post falls within

Journal
A personal journal entry by that character

Case Files
An official report submitted by a member for the records kept by The Contingent. All Case Files are also Tagged with the session’s name.

Flavor
Photos, postcards, telegrams, news clippings, etc. All sorts of things that add to the season’s experience, but perhaps not directly to a particular session or character

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Dam research update
I went through a dimention in a dam with no name

Dam History

I’ve been continuing to research the history of what I’m going to refer to as the Hill Valley dam. The reason I say that is that as strange as this sounds, on every record and drawing I’ve come across, there is some sort of copying error, degradation, or damage that obscures the name. Construction of the dam was completed in 1929 just as the Great Depression was taking hold. There doesn’t seem to be any budget authorization from the South Carolina General Assembly to build the dam. I also can’t find any call or information about the impetus for this dam from within the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Transportation. It appears it came directly from a small office in the Department of Administration but the funding source for it is unclear. The whole project was planned by a company named Noir Astra and built by other various private contractors. They did not consult with the Army Corp of Engineers as is typical for large water projects of this nature. Noir Astra and every other company that I can track down that was involved in the construction of the dam went under either shortly after the dam was created or in the stock market crash.

Another oddity is that while this was a new dam, a project was undertaken under the WPA (Workers Progress Administration) to “revitalize" the dam. WPA projects were almost exclusively for new infrastructure that was labor intensive. I’m unclear what may have been labor intensive about “revitalizing” a new dam. Also strangely, despite the controversy of the WPA and how projects were selected and money was spent, this dam never showed up on any lists of misappropriated projects that opponents of the WPA objected to.

The Hill Valley dam also underwent another set of renovations and upgrades in 1979, exactly 50 years after the original construction. This time the upgrades were performed by the Department of Transportation but it is unclear who initiated these upgrades. The dam hadn’t been listed in the Department’s previous list of critical infrastructure investment needs in years prior. In 1979 it just appeared on the list and the work was performed. I can’t find any earlier environmental impact studies about the project that are required and typically done years in advance of the project actually starting.

Dam Design

Even more mysterious than the funding and building of the Hill Valley dam is the intent behind it. From looking at insurance flood plain maps and historical records, the Tyger River watershed has no history of serious flooding. From a flood prevention perspective, there is no reason for a dam even to the original specification size, much less the later improvements and upgrades. Agriculturally, along various branches of the Tyger River, there hasn’t been extensive need of water management either. Historically, Hill Valley and the surrounding area hasn’t had any heavy industry. Business have typically chosen to locate closer to Greenville. It wasn’t until Cloverleaf was set up in the 90’s that the area had any industrial base at all, so there was no need for a hydro electric facility of this size.

Now that I’ve ruled out all of the common purposes for building a dam, I’m left with the uncommon. The dam is constructed with multiple sets of wards. My research shows that one set of wards is to prevent ghosts from entering the area. Another set of wards are to prevent death. Looking at the various stages of the dam’s design and subsequent renovation projects, the dam always had a gothic style that is pretty atypical for both the area and the time period for public works. There is definite death symbolism included in the design. However, looking over the plans and the lists of materials used, it wasn’t until the 1979 renovations and upgrades that these were actually completed into what I recognize as modern wards. I can’t completely rule out whether there were mystical effects from the initial design though. The wards now however are degraded and not at the power they were designed with in 1979.

Dam Recent History and Interest to The Contingent
The land around the damn originally belonged to the Rourkes. At some point eminent domain was used by the State of SC and was declared public land and made part of an obscure conservatory program. The Carfax Trust acquired the land in 1992 from the State of SC. We now know that Alexander Carfax is a very powerful vampire. He had some knowledge of what was happening at/in the area of the dam but didn’t know how to access it. Someone within Project Chimera, in 2006, Carfax had Tom and Cloverleaf install security and keep a watch on the dam site. It wasn’t until our team discovered how to access…I don’t know quite what to call it other than “the site”, that Carfax could make his move. When in “the site” there was some somewhat modern equipment that seemed to be from a Project Chimera expedition. I’m unsure if they did not inform Carfax of how to enter, or if there were other factors that he wasn’t ready to launch his plan yet.

The Site

We were able to access what isn’t really the damn, but is in some sort of perpendicular space that is at the same site as the dam. In this other dimensional space, we found a massive device, that was comprised of two giant pillars that had interfaces at the base. The interfaces were VM interfaces with keyboards. Strangely enough we were able to understand the interface and keyboards. Even inside the interface, there was an escape to console such as you even see in some video games. It is truly frightening what could enable this sort of mapping onto our understanding of an intuitive interface. Once we were in the interface, we discovered a computer simulation of “heaven” afterlifes for souls that seemed to somehow be pulled into this device. It appeared to be the souls of those bound to the Hill Valley area. They were each living out an afterlife, unaware that they were actually in a device. The device itself seemed to be breaking down and not completely operating as it should.

This is what my research has turned up so far on the history and construction of the dam. There are other case files that further detail the encounter we had with Carfax and how his minions accessed the device.

- Jack Mills

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There is Always a Place

Chapel Hill, NC has a history of outsiders, weirdos, punks, hippies, actors and miscreants of a particular blend. Lately they’ve been harder to find. Making way for the marriage of new money and old. Developers out to make even the airport coffee Starbucks sells operate under the glamour of being fringe. Now open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Their numbers are still strong 8 blocks west on the other side of the Welcome to Carborro Line. The pioneers among them have gone further south to forge co-ops and communes on the Chatham County line.

However if you know where to look, you can still find the true believers waiting for the call for the great leap forward. They can be seen at the cemetery leaving tulips for Charles Kuralt. They can found trying out half baked monologues to an empty amphitheater in the Forrest theater. They are bumming bus fair for the free transit system in front of the Weaver Street Market. You can find them dancing in the dark when Dex and Sarah are rocking the Cave. Late at night their stomachs are growling in anticipation of the Gambler, served on salvaged plates from the Old Rat by TJ. Until September you might find one or two of them placing final goodbye scratches behind Red and Elmo’s ears at the Bookshop. If you have a broken heart you might even meet one of them serving you a magic martini at the Carolina Coffee House. If you don’t ask her to take out the olives, she might even tell you where to find their real sanctuary, the Undercity.

Once upon a time there were entrances all over town to the Undercity. Now there are two. You can get in at the Midway Barber Shoppe by asking PJ for a damn fine haircut, or you can make your way to the Undercity via Edith taking a shine to you at the Shrunken Head.

The Undercity got its start as a middle finger to the war on drugs in the 1980’s. It was built three stories the DA’s Office in the old Post Office at the line between East and West Franklin Street. The first occupants used it as a 50 yard marijuana farm. Climate controlled, hydraulic pressed doors 15 inches thick weighing in at 3 tons. Power is taken from the city grid, with a backup system tied to the oil back up for the university’s steam tunnel system. The ceiling lights are ultra violet. In 1989 the marijuana plants were cleared out, sheet-rock walls put up and a sprinkler system put in when it became a music venue.

Fate and fortune conspired to have the Undercity outgrown or forgotten about by the time the year 2000 came around. That changed when Edith, from the Sunken Head was painting her back wall to be ready for Halloween in 2004.

Edith, her husband Spaz gathered up like minded friends and turned the Undercity into a secret market. Only two types of currency are accepted PLENTY Dollars, a social experiment in local economic tender, silver, and quid pro quo from vendor to vendor. Edith and Spazz have spent years reproducing old tomes from the UNC-CH Libraries giving walls a Victorian gothic feel. If you spend enough time browsing the collection you’ll notice it is divided into lore, classics, law, and musical compositions. PJ encouraged a local band of Hari Krishnas and Lutherans to run operate a 30 bed free Hostel. Elizabeth Somner, a pastor with the Lutherans handles most of their operations.

Notable traders include a carpenter named Roger Growler Jose Cardenas gives the first option for his eggs and vegetables to the undercity before taking them his store on the city limit line. Sabrina Windshield trades upcycled gear. Mostly junk but people do throw out useful things. Professor Biarack is always looking for hired hands to help with his “science experiments”. What really makes the place come alive though is hearing teenagers practicing music, kids learning to throw hatchets, and an all ages menageries trying to entertain the market with original productions.

Being deep underground you expect it to smell like mold and mildew but you will pleasantly surprised. The undercity smells like sawdust, olive oil, and birch.

The streets may be wilted and full of fresh paint over decay but the Undercity makes this a town with wandering back to now and again.

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Souless
Part 1

Victim 1: 35 year old caucasian male. Third degree burns across the entirety of the torso, but not cause of death. Extreme heat melted the vitreous body, and there are small fractures on the inside of the orbit.

Mal paused, trying to find the best word to describe what she was looking at. The chest was splayed open, but there was not an excessive amount of trauma.

There is no indication of ripping or cutting. She furiously erased the sentence. The thoracic cavity was pulled open perimortem. There are holes, three fourths of an inch in diameter through the skin, muscle and into the costal cartilage of ribs 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9. The shape of the wound indicates a hook was used. The hook went through the cartilage and terminates into the posterior of the bone. The ribs are fractured but not broken.

If pulling their chests open without splintering the bone was their goal, this was a smart way to go about it.

The hearts are missing, but there is not any significant damage to the pleural cavity. No indication of any symbols or rituals.

Mal put down her clipboard and pulled on a pair of gloves, in preparation to start her examination of the abdominal cavity. But something made her stop, and she looked down at the body.

Why am I hesitating? It’s been awhile since I’ve been here, in the lab, doing an actual autopsy. Maybe that’s it? But, identifying what killed people is how I got into hunting in the first place, it should feel good, but it doesn’t. Why? Oh, that’s right, I have no soul.

She shook her head, in an attempt to stop her through process, and out of the corner of her eye she caught a glint of metal, lodged between the transverse colon and the stomach. Well, this must be the wire used to pull the chest apart. She thought. It looks thick enough. As she moved the intestine out of the way to access the stomach, she gasped as she noticed bite marks. But they were nothing like she had ever seen. The flesh was not ripped or torn, like she had seen on the victims of typical shifter attacks. It was almost as if the organ was impaled. The punctures were needle thin, on the medial ends of the stomach. Even just from looking at the distance between the bit marks she knew that whatever creature had attacked him, had the capability to dislocate their jaw. What the hell did this?

She removed the stomach with practiced ease, and placed it on a tray. She retrieved a digital camera from her bag, and started taking pictures from various angles. She wasn’t sure why, but something about it reminded her of a sea creature, but she wasn’t positive. Once she was done she sent a text to Chelsea.

Could you see if Empire has a marine biologist on staff? I’m going to forward you some files.

While she waited for a response she confirmed that there were the same bite marks on the internal organs of the other victims. The ones that were further away from the house did not have the damage to their eyes, and the the burns were less severe. She remembered something that Charles had said, about lights flickering near Stella, and she shivered. Her laptop pinged and she opened the email in her inbox.

From: AmyPerez@empirefoundation.org
To: MalloryCunningham@empirefoundation.org

Doctor Cunningham,

I was really surprised to hear from you! From the photos you sent me I’d say that it looks like the bite of an anglerfish. But a land dwelling anglerfish big enough to attack humans? That’s like MST3K stuff. I hope that helps. Let me know what you find out!

Sincerely,
Amy Perez

A fish shifter? I never even realized that was possible. Someone must know. Mal scrolled through the contacts in her phone, before hitting dial, hoping that the number she had was still active. She sighed in relief when it clicked over to voicemail.

“Hey Ed, it’s Mal. Listen, I have a quick question. Have you ever heard of a shifter that could turn into a fish? Call me as soon as you get this, it’s important.”

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An email From Zak to his Agent
Zak Zimmerman

To: Fred Fulson (ffulson@glamour.kingdom)
From: Zak Zimmerman (truezak@zak.awesome)

Subject: You might have been right about SC!!

Attachment: marvinmillerinvestigations.jpg

Hey Agentman. Do you remember when I played Chris in ‘The Storm Has A Name’?i’ve been thinking a lot (me? I know right!) about the part where the beautiful fortune teller saw his girlfriend’s death, and then he had a dream about it, and then it happened, just like in the dream! thats what happened to me in SC, except you aren’t my girlfriend (unless theres something you want to tell me :)), the fortune teller was actually a guy dressed as the devil, and it was you from the future talkgin to me instead of a dream. I know this all sounds crazy, just think of it as me ‘going hollywood’ and wasting my money. Oh, right, what I’m spending money on, don’t be worried if you see someone tailing you around (unless its a bad guy, then do be worried), I hired a PI (so cool!) to keep an eye on you until I think you are safe.
Be AWESOME!

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Reflections of One Kind or Another
Chaos Ensues Again

Where to start…how much more surreal can my life be? I feel lead to do the Lord’s work. But, I will be damned if I can make heads or tails of where he is leading me. I am plagued by thoughts of my last mission and what happened to me.

I was back in Hill Valley, SC where I met up with my fellow agents trying to find out the cause of the swarms of spirits in the town. We found information that led us to believe that Jason Crowe, the traveling philanthropist, was not who he seemed. in fact it was possible that was possessed by a devilish pig demon and was not even alive. What in God’s name is happening in this town? While searching for information, I had this… encounter… with what I think was my past, in the form of a little girl. Why does she keep haunting me? I tried to help her, but she…she…crawled up my arm… and into my body. I could feel in her my mind trying to taint my every action. God how does one exercise one’s self? I noticed the signs of possessions in Grainger. Maybe it was the taint in me seeking and finding one with a similar stain, but I saw it. As I am called by God to do his work and help His children, I could do not but help. I took his demon upon myself when I laid hands upon him……Oh God in Heaven, you had mercy on me that day, when that second entity entered my body, the two coalesced into one and began to transform. The pain was excoriating, the thing was transforming my body into its vessel. God be praised for the quick thinking of Grainger and the lab at Cloverfield. They were able to cryogenicly freeze my abdomen and stop the demons transformation of my body. but I had been tainted and could no longer perform the exorcism ritual to rid Hill valley of the pig demon. A new champion was needed. An informant told us that Hill Valley already had a Champion…Susan Rourke! So my companions, set off to gather her from the hospital in Columbia and bring her back to perform the ritual. We had gathered a number items and people to aid us in the exorcism and so set out at the local garage, for some reason it meant a lot to the community.

For the entire cermony my ears were ringing from the gun shots as armed men, Wayne and Jacob shot down spirits from disrupting our ceremony. But finally it was complete and Hell was returned one of its fiends.

If only now I could get the images out of my mind from my own possession. Knowing what I know now from my experience, how must that little girl have felt when I was leaning over here shouting biblical verse? Scared?
God knows i am still.

-Xander Court

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New Friends
Doctor Miller sat on a wall...

The itching wouldn’t stop. A little spot on the back of his left shoulder blade tingled, ensuring Richard was always aware of its presence. It was a reminder of an exhausting trial that he would much rather forget. It was perhaps the first time on a mission that Richard was in his element, yet it was all so alien. The Lazerus mission should have been a bust; They succeeded, but at what cost?

“You alright there, Egghead?”

The voice pulled Richard from his thoughts and back to the Alibi and the low drone of conversation that filled its walls. An adrenaline-junkie working with the Union sat across from him, eyeballing Richard with curiosity from behind a glass as he took another drink. Richard hesitated, almost forgoing his typical canned reponse. That certainly would have been a mistake.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just trying to think if I’m forgetting any questions. It’s been tough finding leads. Are you sure you haven’t seen any anyone else with this mark on them?”

“Nope. Not apart from what ya’ll already know. Might be better to comb over details you’ve missed than seek new leads at this point. Atleast until something else happens, yeah?”

A sigh escaped Richard’s lips. Taking a break from being hunched over research was pleasent enough, but he struggled to part from his work, even when seeking respite at the bottom of a bottle. Ten minutes hadn’t even passed before Richard was plying some of the regulars with drink in exchange for talk about recent happenings. Talk of rashes and marks cropping up within the recent months. It wasn’t leading anywhere other than confirming what most in the Contingent were already aware of. Perhaps it was time to stop.

“I suppose so. Thanks for the chat, yeah?”

“Sure thing, Egghead. Keep safe out there, ya hear?”

Richard offered him a thin smile, excusing himself from the table. After paying his tab, he eyed Chris McMillian for a moment, the man who always seemed to be tied to a phone. Always in touch with various unknown contacts, it seemed. The itching on his shoulder kicked in again. Eureka!

Unknown contacts. “Friends” he hasn’t made yet. Where to start though? He frowned in thought as he left the Alibi, walking down Bourbon Street as he hatched a new plan, for better or for worse.

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Faerie Tales: Susan Rourke

A long time ago, there lived in Hill Valley a girl named Susan Rourke. Incorrigible, she would smoke, talk back to her elders, cuss, and, worst of all, skip church. Raised by a single mother, everyone knew that Susan wouldn’t amount to anything. Then one day, a monster came.

Out of legends, the Dullahan rode into Hill Valley. Over the course of weeks, the good Christian people of Hill Valley began dropping like flies. The adults of the town, far too clever to listen to stories of magic and monsters, prayed for deliverance while looking for more mundane, medical causes. That’s when Susan and a few of her friends knew it was up to them. Through cleverness, bravery, and loss, they managed to seal the beast away in an abandoned amusement park. When it was done, they knew things could never go back to the way they were before. The world was so much broader than one small town in the middle of nowhere South Carolina. Susan left her mother and life behind to explore, to discover what else was out there.

Decades passed, and as suddenly as she left, she was back. The years had not been kind. Surgery scars adorned her, burn marks stood out on her temples, and her veins showed black against the skin by her arms and legs. She stumbled into town with a warning: the land was sick, and soon the world was going to end. Again, the good people of Hill Valley were far too sensible to listen to a crazy homeless woman. They dismissed her, and put her in prison. Her friends knew better, though. They reached out to the Contingent, and like a tempest, the Contingent came. With them, though, came Project Chimera.

Project Chimera sent forth witches and gun-toting psychic psychopaths. Monster snakes breathing poison slithered out of caves, and faeries came forth from hidden realms. Together, the Contingent and Susan faced them all. Every step of the way was a grueling trial until, at last, they reached the Promise Tree, a sacred symbol of an ancient pact between the Rourkes and the fae. Bleeding out on its roots, and slipping into a coma, Susan fulfilled the covenant and claimed the crown of the Queen of the Faeries. From her endless dreams she unleashed the Dullahan, and wielding a whip made of bones it cleansed the corruption in Hill Valley, ending the threat of Chimera.

As Susan lay dreaming, months went by. Her body mended, her mind healed, and she thought her story was done—that she was free of monsters and suffering. But that was not the case. While she slept, other monsters came. Hill Valley was dying, and the pact bound the faeries from interfering without their queen’s command. The Contingent came to her sleeping form and reminded her that she had a duty to her people and to the world. She awoke, and reestablished her dominion. Her mind now restored, she knew where the Patron was—and she would aid the Contingent in ferreting it out.

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Case File #040301
Journal Entries from Dr. Ethan Prescott

The following journal entries were found in the GesLab facility in San Francisco. It is believed that this journal belonged to Dr. Ethan Prescott, the head scientist running the facility. These are the portions we were able to save from the lab. It should be noted that these entries were handwritten and included doodles of a heart with a flame over it and a poorly drawn portrait of Stella Buchanan.


April 30, 2017
The last successful group has left. All were just as docile as the previous groups. The treatment has been successful. I’m not sure why we’re being ordered to stop. I feel like there’s much more we can do to help these troubled souls. I can’t complain too much as I’m being paid through the year as promised.

October 16, 2016
We have acquired our first test subjects. It has been decided that we will start with patients that have a history of severe mental illness or violent tendencies. Hopefully we can bring some peace to these people. I look forward to trying this new technology. I never thought I’d be chosen to work on such a prestigious and potentially life changing project.

March 13, 2017.
Our procedure today did not go well. We began with a woman who arrived with a doll she was very attached to. We had to sedate her to be able to remove the doll from her arms. The woman was delusional and seemed to think the doll was her child. I wanted to begin with her as I hoped to bring her some relief. However the machine seemed to cause her excruciating pain. She was thrashing in the chair and we had to administer even more sedatives. When the process was finished, and she awoke she was acting almost feral as if all humanity had been removed from her. Her cylinder was empty so we knew we had not successfully extracted her illness. The orderlies took care of her. I still don’t know what that means but I did keep her doll.

November 3, 2016
Finally a success! The cylinder was full. I spoke to Ms. Buchanan and she was very pleased. She said when we have 40 successful retractions, we can send them to the recovery center. The patient seemed at peace after awakening from the procedure. I really think we may have found the cure for mental illness!

November 24, 2016
Yes Im spending Thanksgiving at the lab. Ms. Buchanan had the staff over for a feast Tuesday evening. She is absolutely delightful. She was so thrilled at our progress in curing the patients. Our first busload of cured patients will be leaving for the recovery center next Monday. I am concerned about their complacency but Stella reassures me their time at the center will help them recover fully.

January 1, 2016
Stella invited me to her New Year’s Eve party last night. She was stunning. She chose to kiss me at midnight! I would do anything for this goddess of a woman. She’s so inspiring!

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A Dream Within A Dream
Storyteller: Richard

A Dream Within A Dream

Whether via email, SMS text, or your choice of messaging service, you receive a link to a non-public YouTube video. It’s audio-only, running beneath a still image of an ASI logo. A boyish voice speaks into the microphone; barely-disguised fatigue and worry are evident in the timbre of his speech.

“Uh, attention all Contingent operatives, this is Director ”/characters/ken-yakana" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ken Yakana of ASI Washington. We’ve, uh, got a pretty serious situation here, and I need a team to come help us sort it out fast. Look, a few of our advanced-skills agents volunteered for a trial run of a virtual-reality psychotherapy matrix. Um…I dunno how to tell you this, but…dude, they won’t wake up. I can tell from their MRIs that they’re not brain-dead…yet. But, bro, something’s gone really wrong and I can’t figure out how to fix it from this side. I know this sounds sketchy, but we need to send some backup into the VR matrix—preferably people who are highly mentally resilient and have dealt with psychic phenomena before. We’ve developed a new serum that can probably help you get in and out of the matrix more safely if you want some—I’ll give you the run-down on it in the interest of informed consent before we jack you in."

Hunters

Reyna Parker
Miles Jaggens
Fina Aquinas
Lisa Morrow
Vickie Mack

MAJOR CLUES:

1. The ASI dream matrix experiment was compromised by a virus inserted via a backdoor which traced back to an IP address at Duke University in Durham, NC. The purpose of the virus was to irreversibly fragment a user’s brain into multiple parts, leaving them comatose. However, Usturanol exposure intensified and altered the effects.

2. Five symbols appeared repeatedly and persistently in the dream world:
○ A sinister key, previously used by multiple followers of the Patron
○ The triple-eye symbol seen elsewhere recently
○ A Norse rune meaning “thorn”
○ A heart crowned by a candle flame
○ A tower resembling a chess rook with double doors on the bottom-front

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