In the stronghold of Helvetia, a survivor conclave settled in what was once the Swiss Alps, three wastelanders with connected pasts crossed paths once again.
Wilhelm, a trueblooded werewolf from the forests of Germany in possession of a genuine Atlantean artifact.
Klaus, an alcoholic telemancer and ex-militia member whose only tie to life before the war is his father’s broken rifle.
And the man known only as Rook, a loner scarred by the war and playing host to an infernal power beyond his control.
The feudal Sorcerer-Baron, Helveticus, requires mandatory public service to be granted citizenship in his sanctum. In order to earn their entry, the three joined up with a scavenger team to bring food and medicine back from the outlying villages of the wasteland.
The team was lead by Armand Reneaux, a Swiss-French ace mechanic who built The Bear, an all-terrain transport for six, cobbled together from parts of civilian and military vehicles.
Aiding him was American-born veteran wasteland scout, Giselle Genevive (“Jen”) Louis. Using a dirt bike, she scouted ahead and radioed back to the team if danger was near.
The team set out, meeting minimal resistance from small packs of Spellghouls, humans turned into bloodthirsty husks by the magical energy fallout from the Mage War. They were dispatched easily, but the group then came face-to-face with a Hulking Abomination: a massive, brutish creation warped and twisted far worse than any simple ghoul. Luckily, they were able to subdue it without suffering much damage.
Eventually, the group reached the small town of Souset, where they began loading up on supplies. While doing so, they discovered a secret room beneath a drug store that seemed to be a well-stocked fallout shelter that had never been used. Within was a further hidden passage: a hatch leading down into a tunnel system that seemed to go on for longer than they had time to explore.
By the time they emerged, Jen radioed back that a large horde of ghouls was approaching the town. They made it out in time, but Jen didn’t. Encircled by the horde, she abandoned her bike to get to higher ground on top of a two-storey building. Armand insisted they turn the Bear around to save her, and the group agreed.
In a daring brawl, they broke through the horde and thinned it with the help of Wilhelm’s wolf form, Rook’s involuntary (but effective) transformation into his demon shape, and Klaus’ use of the Bear’s mounted machine gun. Jen was able to leap down onto the vehicle, and the group sped off.
As the town faded in the distance and they thought they were safe, the abomination from before charged from hiding, evidently having been wounded but not killed. The Bear was flipped on its side and sustained heavy damage. They finished off the abomination, but Armand insisted that he would need at least a day to repair the vehicle.
A camp was set up, and two more abominations that were wandering dangerously close were taken out. Afterwards, the group took turns taking watch while the others slept. During Klaus’ watch, he was grabbed from behind by a dark figure, but luckily managed to teleport himself away. The others awoke, and the intruder was apprehended.
Upon a search of his belongings, Wilhelm came across a USB flash drive—quite an uncommon sight since the Mage War left very few working computers lying around. Upon interrogation, the stranger admitted to being a courier who had hoped to steal their vehicle. He was carrying the encrypted data on the device, but insisted that telling them who it was intended for would lead to him dying a far worse death than anything the group could do to him.
Despite protests from Wilhelm, Armand, and Jen, Rook elected to put him out of his misery quicker than anyone could say otherwise.
The next day, Armand had the Bear back up and running around noon, and the group headed back for the stronghold with a full load of supplies and the mysterious data drive in tow. However, as they came over the ridge and within sight of the city, they saw that much of it was burning. The sound of gunshots filled the air. The whole citizenship thing was not looking too promising.
To Be Continued…