While making ready for their nautical adventure, each member of our adventurous group went their own way. Some a little moreso, as Macha the Amazing proved to be unreachable when Marius got a Very Important Message.
Marius had a certain knowledge of gang tags, and unfortunately, this knowledge turned out a little too accurate (and the number of witnesses a little more than zero), and the Nijmegen Cleaner Bots (a gang whose ferocity is hidden by its name) were none too pleased. With a little light prodding and some minor threats, Marius assembled what was left of the group and prepared to give in to the NCB’s demands.
In return for abusing their tags, they wanted an assassination.
To be fair, it was a hit on a racist git, and the gang offered a finders-keepers bonus.
In the company of Nikkolas, a NCB street samurai, the group advanced ona second-storey office, the entrance deftly discovered by kicking a trashcan. Once inside, all power was shut down after hitting only a single trap. Unfortunately, some traps worked on magic, or simple physics. Like the string attached to the door on one end, and the flamethrower on the other end, which went off and scorched Nikkolas in the face, which gave Tjouke his first real opportunity to show off his healing skills.
Many rooms were searched, most of them empty but some of them containing resellable loot. Of course, after the power went out, people had congregated in the main office, riiiiight at the other side of the building.
It was not a subtle not a quiet fight (for example, the hacking off of limbs), but it sure was effective.
And so, the group (minus one) returned to our regularly scheduled storyline, a little richer and happily out of debt with the gangs.
“Hello lovelies. So glad to see you back once again. You may have guessed why I called you all in, and you’re right! I’ve got just a teensy little errand for you to run. No rush, really.
You see, it’s all about a ship.
In the headlines:
SUSPECTED GANG VIOLENCE IN ZWOLLE
Gang Tags Found At Break-in of Local Transport Company
2 CASUALTIES IN ROBBERY AT DAAMEN SHIPPING
Company Expresses Grief at Loss of Valuable Employees
LOCAL VIOLENTY ROBBERY
2 Dead, Unknown Financial Damage
ARE GANGS ON THE MOVE?
Possible Nijmegen Gang Tags Involved in Violence in Zwolle
BREAK-IN ZWOLLE SUSPICIOUS
Though Police Has Closed Case, CEO Points Out Anomalous Security Footage
CRAFTY GANG MEMBERS
No Evidence of Break-in on Security Footage; Invisible Gangsters?
Our wonderful adventure continued as the group went searching for their ultimate objective — retrieving the BOX OF MYSTERY — and earning some sweet, sweet money.
After finding some mysterious codes and also numbers on little yellow sticky notes in the office, the group erased themselves from the security tapes and located a secret vault, which was opened with the help of Sorelli and a BMW number plate.Of course the boss would set the code to his new car. Why not?
Seeking to disguise their true intentions, the group then set to raiding the hell out of the place, and painting gang symbols in guard-blood. Yes, our heroes are nothing if not thorough. And a little morbid. And opportunistic, as was proved when they once again managed to get more money for their efforts.
So ends the first mission, in glory and blood and loot and a bit of notoriety for the unlucky Marius.
After the disastrous flooding of Zeeland and the ensuing evacuations in 2012, survivor and support groups started popping up like mushrooms after rain. One of the oldest surviving groups, and one of the most conservative ones, is the Zeeland Survivor Community or Zeeland Community, also known as Zee-C. It is a community that draws its strength from close neighbourly contact and a strict Christian faith.
The Zeeland Community describes itself as a community of men and women of God, displaced from their homes and seeking only peace and a place to live and all that is right in the world. Unfortunately, this does not include the acceptance of those who do not agree with their ways of thinking.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that from the Zeeland Community spring the highly illegal Troll Hunting Club. It is an open secret within the Community, and a hushed-up secret outside. As trolls are seen as perversions of nature, and thus in leage with the devil, the general consensus within the Community is that they deserve to be treated like animals and abominations. After all, they surely must have done something awful for the protection of God to be withheld from them.
A slightly more legal, although recently once again hotly debated, offshoot of the Zeeland Community is the Emergis centre for de-troglodysation and rehabilitation. Formerly a mental health institute, following the Awakening and emergence of the highly racist and religious Zeeland Community, it turned its attention towards those affected physically by the changing world, especially that new race which resembled most closely the Christian ideal of evil; trolls. The Emergis centre specialises on “returning the purity of creation” to those affected by their troll genetics, although they have always refused to make their success rates public. The Zeeland Community, vouches for their good work, but given their association with the hunting and lynching of those who do not remain true to their standards, this is dubious at best.
Our aforementioned intrepid heroes took a close look at the files they had purloined, and formulated a plan.
On a dark Saturday night, or perhaps more accurately early morning, our team, composed of a stealthy elf, a stoned shaman, a sexually frustrated troll, a perpetually grumpy mage who was really starting to dislike that troll, and that weird totally normal dude with the nice robodog, approached warehouse number one.
They assaulted the first guard with the purpose of capture and manage to knock out his heart with a stungun, an unfortunate event which lead to the totally legal acquisition of a shiny (nearly) new stun baton and a keyring. This keyring promised excessively easy entrance through the loading bay, at least until our master locksmith broke the first key in the lock. A little fiddling and a second key later, however, they had successfully infiltrated.
The bad luck continued when it appeared that there were, in fact, cameras, and the second guard was not, in fact, caught off guard. Experiments with flash-bang grenades resulted in a slightly fried camera, an uninjured guard, and a blinded mage. The troll was starting to doubt his smartgun’s intelligence.
Finally, and thankfully, the second guard was knocked cold after a heroic barrage of bullets to the head, proving that apparently some guards really are paranoid enough to wear a helmet indoors.
This (and a pair of manacles) concludes the report, until such time when the group decides what form of torture is best used to divine the place of the secret vault.
Location: Nagele is east of Urk, in the Zuiderzee
The Zuiderzee in the middle ages was a different creature than it is now, or was even a hundred yearrs ago. Changing water levels turned long, large islands into a string of smaller ones, including Urk, Nagele and Schokland. In more recent years, extensive reclaiming of land has turned these areas into polders, and more recent still disastrous flooding has reclaimed this land again, to the sea.
Nagele was a seperate and inhabited island roughly between the fifth century and the thirteenth century. Beyond the thirteenth century the only reference to Nagele (until it was turned into polderland) is of “de Nagel”, a stony shallows where nets were reported shredded and strange things were fished up, including a church altar. The area was also called the graveyard of Urk.
Nagele was a good and god-fearing community, tough, like all those that lived so close to the unpredictable sea. They built in stone, including their church, which the citizens of Nagele consecrated to the Virgin Mary. One day, a white stone statue washed ashore. Recognising it as Mary, they placed it in their church. For a while it seemed a blessed island. The worst storms would blow over, and while there was always flooding, it never reached the buildings around the church, where the land was highest.
Some people, however, felt envy. Especially those who lived farther from the church, who were perhaps not quite so loyal to the faith of the Virgin. These people disliked the statue, and called the other islanders blind, for the Virgin was not praying, she was weeping. They were tempted by the dark powers of the seas, and in the dark of night, they made their plans to unseat Nagele’s silent queen.
When the moon was dark, they crept up the island and to the church. Like the sea, however, they could not climb the slope. Every step they took landed in mud, sliding them back in their tracks. Every step forward was a step into a wall of freezing fog, heavy on the shoulders and blinding to the eyes.
It was then that a young man called down from the top of the hill. He asked the conspirators what they were doing and they said; “We are freeing this island from its evil influence, to give it back to its rightful master.” The man asked them who their master was and they answered: “Our master is that which lies beneath.” The man asked them what their reward would be and, as one, they answered: “Nothing at all but the light of knowledge in our eyes and our darkest desires. And this will be yours if you help us.”
The young man was tempted. He opened the doors of the church and as the light came streaming down from the altar, the conspirators were freed from the mists. They ran up the hill and torn down the statue. Immediately, a violent storm rose on all sides, and rain poured down on Nagele.
The island was drowned in a single night, but some of its inhabitants survived. Where the village and the church had been, nothing remained but rocks and steeples, sharps points tearing the nets of fishermen who dares sail the cursed water.
But that, of course, is only a legend.
After some tortuous deliberation, the group decided to send their face in for a little recon. And like the sea level over what was one the Flevopolder, Macha the Great swept over the poor underlings at Daamen’s head office, the pinnacle of slightly snooty charisma. The universe was impressed and, not least of all, amused, and sent some good karma her way.
From the intrepid depth of the Head Office, spoils were brought to the appraisal of the group. A manilla folder contained a wealth of documents, most of which were found to be more of the same upon closer inspection.
Photographs were also taken of the administrative office, which may prove helpful at some point.
All this, and without leaving a trace (so far). Consider this the universe wishing our adventurers of slightly questionable moral fibre the best of luck on the continuation of their mighty quest for the mystery box.
“So glad you’ve all made it here. I’m sure you’re dying to know what I have in store for you today. You see, we’ve run into a little problem. I’m sure you all agree that keeping an eye on what goes on in our little kikkerlandje is essential to our general well-being.
“It just so happens that I have found something I have not been able to explain — yet.
Around the events of the awakening, what has been predicted by many has finally come true. The Netherlands were hit by successive flooding, leading to the current state of the country where almost a fifth of what was land at the start of the 21st century is submerged, partly submerged or flooded with pollution.
An overview of the major flooding events of the 21st century:
Flash Floodings of 2003
A series of flash floods washed the first major wave of pollutants onto the Dutch shores. In terms of casualties and property damage, this was the mildest episode of floods.
The Black Tide, February 2011
In the first week of February 2011, an abnormally powerful hurricane struck the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Part of the Dutch annd Belgian coastline was flooded. Although the Deltawerken held, it was only barely. They were damaged extensively and the Afsluitdijk in the north was even worse off.
It took months to regain some form of order, and it soon became obvious that in many places the water would not be retreating without drastic measures. This uncluded much of Flevoland , Friesland and part of Noord-Holland. Wherever the water had gone, it had left behind a devastating amount of toxic black sludge. Efforts to purify these areas, especially in the north, are still running, with moderate to disappointing results.
The White Tide or Storm Tide, January 2012
On the heels of the Black Tide, not even a year after the disaster and before any serious efforts of rebuilding had even begun, a second flood hit the Netherlands. This storm surge in combination with a spring tide, comparable to the disaster in 1953, hit Netherland’s already damaged defenses with devastating results.
The Deltawerken finally succumbed and Zeeland was surrendered to the water. In the north, parts of Friesland were hit again and despite the struggle to reclaim Flevoland after the Black Tide, the White Tide finally reclaimed all the land, apart from some isolated islands and the village of Urk, which had been reinforced by its rather paranoid inhabitants.
After evacuations following the toxic Black Tide, casualties were relatively low, but property damage was significant, and the successive floodings were a hard blow to the economy. The one advantage the White Tide had over the Black Tide was the relative cleanness of the water this time around. Although it did not clean away earlier pollution, it did not add much either.