Sunday, September 29, 2013

Full Metal Cthulhu

A team of eight of the best men and women an army can provide. The best cold weather equipment that technology and money can buy. A simple objective: a recon operation in Antarctica. Go in, gather information, get out. What could possibly go wrong?

This is a summary of yesterday's game, enjoy.


Few things scare players more than an mysterious and larger threat  than the already huge threat they think they are facing. When they entered Antarctica for an undercover recon operation of a strange thermal activity, things were bad enough already. They were cut off from any help as military operations are strictly prohibited in the continent. Add to that the unrelenting cold weather of Antarctica, the near imminent winter and the six month night it brings, the fact that they're operating in practically continual daylight and the area of operations is centered on a major glacier with the risk of sudden gale katabatic winds from the super cooled Antarctic plateau.

As if things weren't bad enough when they reach the target point they realize there is indeed a bunker complex, that it is not a natural phenomenon and that the masters of cold weather warfare, the Russian Spetsnaz are there. Entering the complex and seeing what is inside was clearly not going to be easy, but things got ten times worse when the Spetsnaz themselves started disappearing. Who, or what, is doing away with the masters of the game in their own turf?


Strange heat signatures have been detected at the top most area of the Beardmore Glacier. A team has been requested to investigate the area by setting up "scientific outpost" at the base of the glacier and go on foot or snowmobile to the area to gather information. Determine if the activity is of natural origin such as geothermal activity or something man made.

The following satellite image shows the location of the heat signatures.

The mission begins at McMurdo Station. The team of eight arrive on February 4, planning to set off to the Amundsen-Scott station on February 8 and be dropped off half way there as part of a ice and ozone research team. The leader Major Darya Groshkov is in charge of the "research team" she is also the unit's intelligence specialist and fluent in five languages aside from English: Russian, Spanish, German, Swedish and Norwegian. Carl Owens is the team's medic. Two heavy weapon specialists accompany the unit: Anthony Mc Knight and Andrew Hayes. Two snipers also integrate the group Thomas "The Eye" Young and Mike "Whisper" Gonzalez, the highest ranking NCO in the team. Two more members complete the team Justin "Hawk" Reed and Martin "Hard Head" Wood, both Airborne.

The plan is simple. Setup a decoy scientific station halfway to the south pole, at the mouth of the Beardmore glacier, this will be OP Gentoo. From there go up the glacier's steep incline to the place the heat signatures have been seen, survey the area and get as close as possible to it. If foreign nationals are found try to make contact and obtain as much information as possible. That's what Darya is there for.
Problem is "halfway there" is a 10 day trip which gets delayed four more due to bad weather. By the time the set up camp it's already February 22 and night is less than a month away. Will they make it?

Once setup at the base of the glacier things got interesting. First the team must make it up the glacier for the first 120 km. This under all daylight conditions, freezing temperatures, strong winds coming down the glacier and the ever present risk of crevasses that can swallow the whole party.

After a day's travel they setup RP Echo and start operating from there. An ascent up the mountain sets them in an ideal spotting position they then call OP Alpha. All operations and observations then take place from there for next few days. From OP Alpha the survey the two bunker positions at the entrance of the now clearly human inhabited complex. These are called X-Ray and Whiskey. The main complex being called Yankee and a strange tube/pipeline with a steaming lake is called Zulu.
All seems to be going well as the party monitors the activities of the now clearly identified Russian Spetsnaz in the area. Suddenly on the first of March X-Ray is found empty. The Russians in Whiskey are more interested in monitoring what is going on at X-Ray than doing their normal watch duty of guarding the glacier's entrance. This makes the party scramble a plan to infiltrate the complex through the X-Ray bunker and find out what happened there. Making use of the now scant hours of twilight they're getting they go around and approach X-Ray from the north, keeping themselves hidden from Whiskey.

They enter X-Ray only to find and abandoned complex. Two bunker areas are found deserted with the clothes and personal items of those who stood guard there. A personal diary which Dayra translates to English reads, "The sounds at night, if you can call it that in this place of permanent daylight, have become more frequent lately. They are followed by that strange penetrating smell. More and more we are convinced we are not the only ones in this place. Who built this and are they still here? If not them then who or what lives here? Antarctica is thought to be a desert this far south, but we fear we are not alone here." That is the last entry in the diary and it is dated just a day before, prior to the strange disappearance of the guards at X-Ray.

The arrival of a patrol to X-Ray only increases the tension in the team. Why would the Russians send a team to patrol their own outpost. What are they searching for and why? Do the know what happened to their comrades? Unfortunately that answer will remain unknown as they were neutralized by Hayes and The Eye when they were unfortunate the spot the team inside X-Ray.

The big room in X-Ray is a complex dome/storage area. A complex set of pipes and valves criscross the area and stairways lead to other middle levels and decks. Two corridors lead out aside from the one leading in from the outside observation post. One to what appears to be another set of living quarters and the other to a simple dead end. On both service shafts are found leading to an underground rail tunnel that seems to lead all the way to Yankee.

The party now stands ready to walk down the tunnel. Marks on the floor show footsteps leading in and out as well as indications of something, possibly bodies or prisoners being dragged away from this area.

Join the next session and find out where this leads to and who or what is behind these strange disappearances.

Remember, it's already March 3. It's a two day trip back to RP Echo on foot, or a few hours on snowmobile, if they work. From RP Echo to OP Gentoo it's 123 Km. A day's trip on snowmobile if the weather permits, but 8 or 10 days on foot. From there it's still three of four days back to McMurdo. Sun sets on March 20 for a good 6 months of winter night. Do the math and see how tough things are getting. See you next weekend, and good luck.

Image sources
Google Maps

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