21 Aug The Rumour Mill #1: Down Under
What follows is the first of a series of articles to help give more ideas, content and game concepts to people playing Infected. If you have some ideas you would like to join the Rumour Mill, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to include your rumour – it can be as long or as short as you like! It could be a plot hook, a theory, a faction idea, or even a small adventure in its own right. The idea is to spread the creativity and give as many ideas as possible!
The Newcastle Reavers
Down Under, there were never all that many people in the first place. The interior of Australia is vast, hot and arid. Farms were doing it tough for decades before everything fell apart in the Outbreak. Now that population has diminished even more. With less people, come greater distances to travel, less supplies and more…well, savagery.
One group that has really gone feral is the Newcastle Reavers. Stories from up and down the Hawkesbury River tell of a bloodthirsty band of riverboat pirates, heavily armed and eager to prey on coastal communities. Some say they’re taking prisoners back to Newcastle, where they’re building something big. Others say that they leave no survivors – except the maimed and broken.
One thing’s for certain – any community in the region is going to need professionals to resist these madmen. Are you up to the challenge?
Wandering out of the sun-scorched interior of Australia is a new religion. Wanderers have been found, drifting, exhausted and gabbling, talking of spirits speaking to them from crystals, and telling them to return to the old ways – to the ways of the black fellas, when the white men had yet to despoil this great, beautiful land.
Most seem quite unhinged, and when taken back to settlements seem only hellbent on burning all the buildings to the ground and casting off their “white man’s clothes” to return to the bush, and seek enlightenment from the Dreamtime spirits.
There have been more and more such individuals coming out of the red centre. So many, in fact, that some communities have declared it open season on these “fanatics.” Despite many being gunned down, the rest don’t seem phased, and keep wandering from community to community, spreading their Dreamtime message.
Some people say that there’s a huge fleet of ships somewhere off Australia’s east coast. They never actually set foot on land, except to send out search parties to forage for what they need. Apparently they’ve got food, water, and people in plenty. They harvest their oil from the abandoned oil wells, and process it at empty plants. Some say that if you can get on board one of these vessels, you’ll be set for life! You won’t need to worry about food, raids, or the damned Infected ever again! Others say that if the ships won’t let them on, they’ll damned well fight their way on. Some have even taken to gathering a small fleet of every vessel they can get their hands on. Of course, to have enough supplies for this venture, they’ll need to “acquire” resources from the towns nearby… but it’s all for a good cause!
Not everything fell apart in the Outbreak. Australia was founded as a prison colony after all. They know what to do when the shit hits the fan.
Their sanctuary is known as Lock Down, and a tough-as-nails establishment it is too! Located inside Sydney itself, it is a marvel of fortress engineering. The walls are high, well-manned and deadly. If you aren’t inside it already, they don’t want you, and you’d best keep out of sight (there’s a reason their signs say “Turn Back Now”).
Still, some say there are tunnels through the sewers that lead into Lock Down. Those same people seem to be making a killing on the black market… sometimes literally. But the settlement has regularly “purged” nearby areas, burning them, gunning down those who resisted, and demolishing the ruins. Still, people come back… just far enough away to be out of ready gunfire. Just close enough to be really annoying. But there’s too much profit to be made by people on both sides of the fence for the settlements to ever really leave.
What do you think? Useful? Interesting? Let me know! And remember to send me your ideas as well!
~Oliver R. Shead
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