Starting Mission – Investigating the Ruins of Hef-elek-meser

This setting is for ASO or I-CA characters with some Scimrahn and Corporate characters if desired but could be modified to be played with an all Corporate group.

The characters can be new to The Artifact for this setting. It’s up to the GM if they want to go into detail on the character’s arrival. Starting characters would have arrived by teleporter some time before this mission and gone through several days of medical checks and waiting for an assignment but may not have been allowed to leave base due to medical orders. Possibly one character in the group or even an NPC tested positive for some common disease, was given a heavy round of antibiotics and now is clear. The other characters were in the same teleport batch and the group was locked down.


The characters are brought in for a mission briefing. They are being attached to a platoon that is present at the briefing. A Captain is giving the briefing.

Three days ago we received this transmission from the 139th platoon’s Commander Lieutenant Gary MacDonald. He plays an audio recording “Status report on the titan. It is still moving in a random pattern and stopping periodically. It’s course may bring it in contact with the Chezbah town of Hef-elek-meser. There have been two brief encounters with Hunter E-Suits that attacked the titan but we were not able to do any damage from what we can tell. The titan destroyed the E-Suits once with an energy blast and crushed another. We’ve kept our distance as it seems hostile to anything it encounters. Our engineers estimate that it’s mass is in the area of half of a million Kilograms from the ground impressions it has made and their displacement.We will continue to observe the titan and keep you informed.”

The Captain continues by explaining that the Chezbah town of Hef-elek-meser was destroyed by this “titan” an unknown class of vehicle. Lieutenant MacDonald’s platoon is still observing the vehicle and it continues to move away from the town. Command wants to investigate the ruins. Two platoons are being sent in. Your objectives are to rescue any survivors and to recover any intel on the Chezbah or their technology you can in the process. So far the Chezbah have not responded to the disaster but it is expected that they eventually will. If any substantial force arrives the platoons are instructed to retreat.

The two platoons being sent consist of 2 lieutenants 48 Footsoldiers 6 Medics 6 Comm Officers 6 Scouts (and motorcycles for ASO scouts) 2 E-suits and 2 Tanks and various transport vehicles. If the players made characters that are in this list, they make up one of the numbers here. If they made characters that are not on the list like Engineers or Scientists they are added to the list.

The characters are teleported out to a remote operations station that has been set up just for this mission. If there are any Comm Officers in the group it will be their responsibility to report in every two hours with the remote station. If they miss two reports in a row the remote ops crew will pack up and leave the area. The rest of the way they will drive in on Transports or trucks dependent on if they’re ASO or I-CA for another 300 km.

Scene No. 1 – The Rescue

The Town was comprised of two city blocks (See page 87 of The Artifact RPG for maps or Scout Maps for larger city block maps) next to each other. One was leveled, the other suffered heavy damage. The city block that suffered the most damage is mostly impassable. If there is a PC with the tracking skill (Scouts) they can figure that the leveled part of the town was used less. On a 1/4 or 1/8th roll the tracker will be able to guess that it seems like the garrison that was in the town, lead the titan vehicle away from the main habitation. The lesser used block is impassable. Every building is crushed, even the huge walls of the block have been cracked and portions of them melted. Any attempt to investigate it are futile.

The main habitation is also heavily damaged but not leveled. There is rubble everywhere and many buildings are cracked or melted but it is passable.

Every two hours of searching each character gets to roll a Intuition roll. Each character that passes can roll once on the three tables below. Each time the Comm Officer must report back to base and any rescued Chezbah must be prepared for transport. Medics can give first aid to Chezbah in shock or with minor wounds. Survivors with mortal wounds need surgery.

Survivors roll 1d100

1-50 No one found
51-55 Child found with mortal wounds
56-60 Child found with minor wounds
61-65 Child found in shock
66-70 Child found hiding
71-75 Teen found with mortal wounds
76-80 Teen found with minor wounds
81-85 Teen found in shock
86-90 Teen found hiding
91-93 Adult found with mortal wounds
94-97 Adult found with minor wounds
98-100 Adult found in shock

Minor Loot roll 1d100

1-30 Nothing found
31-40 Hand woven and dyed blanket
41-50 Tunic (Chezbah size)
51-60 Medium sized cooking pot
61-70 Hand carved totem
71-75 Warm Cloak
76-80 Small toolkit of hand tools
81-85 Hammered silver hat (worn by prominent Chezbah)
86-90 Woman’s silver & gold necklace (¥6,000)
91-93 Stash of Food (5 days of food)
94-97 Spices (¥12,000)
98-100 Chezbah Plasma Rifle(s) (roll 1D10)

Major Loot roll 1d100

1-50 Nothing found
51-60 Staff with a Brugha Gastrolith headpiece (¥400,000)
61-70 Food store house (20 days of food)
71-80 Big game hunter’s trophy room with many unknown specimens (pictures alone are of great scientific value)
81-85 Chezbah Plasma Pistols (roll 2D100)
86-90 Undocumented pet animal in a cage
91-93 Pouch of Chezbah medicine
94-97 Trained Pettok in pen unharmed but spooked.
98-100 Builder 42576 C-Suit (See The Fringe Sourcebook)

The GM should role play the rescues. Many of the injuries will be from survivors being pinned or buried in rubble. The Chezbah are likely to be frightened if they are conscious and will have to be coaxed to come with the characters (Charisma rolls). If there are characters with E-Suits or Tanks involve them in the rescues by using the vehicles to move large pieces of rubble out of the way. Engineers can be used to great effect here also, making sure that there aren’t cave ins.

The characters will search for ten hours before moving to scene 2.

Scene No. 2 – The Sniper

After long hours of searching the PCs will be tired and dusty. All should take INT rolls to start to notice that there are things moving around in the shadows. There are a group of Chezbah Hounds moving to encircle the characters. There are two for every character on foot and five for each in a vehicle. They will not attack right away but will draw the character’s attention. There is a Chezbah Warrior up in one of the buildings 400 meters away (long range 40% Impairment to hit and 20 points of damage with a Chezbah Warrior’s plasma gun) that will fire down at the characters. Since plasma fire is visible once he fires his position is given away.  Once he fires he will retreat and attempt to take up position in another building. The Hounds will attempt to distract the characters from pursuing him but will only attack if given an open opportunity.

This scene ends when the Sniper is dead or captured.

Scene No. 3 – The Kelrath Warband

A group of Kelrath have followed after the titan looking for spoil in its wake. The band consists of two Rall 4s four Kerdi and thirty Geetin in a skiff. If the war band is too much for the two platoons, then have small groups of Chezbah Hounds attack. The Kerdi and Ralls are not threatened by them but they will turn their attention to the hounds to protect the Geetin.

Once the players are winning against the Kelrath, they will receive a transmission from the remote ops station. A group of five Chezbah Demolishers are on their way to the ruins and will arrive in fifteen minutes. They are advised to evacuate back to the remote ops station with any survivors.

The Wrap Up

On returning, the characters will not be allowed to keep the items they have found (unless the characters can hide items with the Conceal Object Skill). They are to be turned over for study, as a reward for turning Major Loot items over, they receive an extra XP up to three for the session representing honor medals and rank increases.

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