The Epic Experience
Fragmentary communication received from Antarctic Base Scott
Station: ... storm has cut radio link ... buried object still
unidentified ... Norwegians acting very oddly ... no sign of
the Commander and his patrol, foolish to go out in this weather ...
all still troubled by these dreams ... the dogs are barking
again ... may God have mercy on us ...
The British Antarctic Survey’s Scott Station is further south than any other settlement on the white continent. Founded ten years ago for the accomplishment of mighty experiments designed to push back the boundaries of human understanding, it has been a bit of a disappointment and is now regarded by the BAS as something of a white elephant – but one they cannot cull, because of the loss of prestige this would entail. Particularly rankling is the nearby Norwegian installation, King Haakon VII Base, which has achieved a number of good results. Relations between the staff of the two bases are good, though, as they are closer to each other than they are to any other fragment of humanity.
Recent events at the base:
- Commander Clark’s wife, the well-known author of family sagas Annetta Mortlake, has been posted here to act as writer in residence – this has caused some disquiet among junior staff, who have been denied female companionship during their postings.
- In recent years the BAS has fallen on hard financial times, and has been reduced to accepting sponsorship from private companies. One such is Mammon Inc, who fund Scott Station’s seismology. They have an engineer on site, Christian Carneth: this presence is rather resented by the BAS staff, but most recognize that, in these days of tight funding, strange alliances must sometimes be made.
- A few weeks ago, a solo walker, Jane Davis, was brought into the base – she had broken her leg falling down a crevasse. It is hoped that she will be well enough to leave in a few weeks more, although it appears autumn is coming early this year and she is unlikely to be able to continue her trek to the South Pole. And two days ago a second solo walker, Francis Lake, arrived: he had run out of food and needed to resupply.
- A week ago routine seismological tests revealed something interesting: some sort of dense, buried structure, thirty miles away across the ice. A mission of five, comprising Commander Clark, Jack Keller, Jim Loosebits, Otto von Trapp and Charlie Cairns, was despatched earlier today to investigate it: at the start of the game they are due to return shortly.
- Atmospheric conditions have been turning increasingly nasty over the past few days, and at the start of the game they has deteriorated to such an extent that radio contact with the outside world is only patchy.
- Martin Grant – Doctor
- Quintus Swelter – Cook
- Charlie Cairns – Dog handler
- Jane Davis – Walker
- Francis Lake – Walker
- Otto von Trapp – Astronomer
- Harry Henning – Radio operator
- Jack Keller – Helicopter pilot
- James Clark – Commander
- Roald Larson – Norwegian botanist
- Annetta Mortlake – Writer in residence
- Jim Loosebits – Mechanic
- Danny Jacobs – Student
- Christian Carneth – Corporate guy
- Graham Petchey – Security officer
Playtest: ShadowCon 1997
Premiere: EuroGenCon 1997
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Last update: 15th June 2012