Down in the Digs

by Andrew Frades

Art by Rogerio Vilela and Philip Reed, and ArtToday

The war between the two celestial forces is a cold war of information and covert action. Boston, unlike Austin, is an excellent example of this move and counter move. So far the balance of power has been fairly even, though lately the efforts of the demons have begun to give them an advantage, and the angels are worried.

On the demonic side stands Japhet, an Impudite Captain of the War, and de-facto commander of the local demonic forces. Her role is that of Andrea Carnegie, an organized crime boss and consummate planner. She has unified her side in Boston and the surrounding suburbs and rules them with an iron fist. She has spent a great deal of time thinking and planning for the demise of both of Boston's protectors and fears a powerful heavenly response if the World Trade Center falls.

On the angelic side stand two stalwart guardians of Heaven: Rimmiel, A Seraph Master of Trade and Worded Senechal of the World Trade Center, and Zaccai, A Malakite Vassal of the Sword and protector of the children of Boston. The two angels communicate regularly though they rarely work in concert, having such different views on the War. It is through communication that the two delegate responsibilities based upon who is more capable of handling the response.

To this volatile celestial mix is added a new flavor, Pelon, A Calabite of Fire, who is following in the footsteps of his unknowing mentor, Furfur, the newly crowned Demon Prince of Hardcore (see Night Music). Pelon is not a Renegade, but is working without the knowledge of his Superior, or anyone else for that matter. The Calabite is fairly subtle and has spent some time assessing the situation in Boston. His plan is simple: cut off all of the traffic routes into the World Trade Center through a series of accidents, and then, when the Tether is weakened, cut the power and communication trunk that runs into Boston's south end. He hopes that this will shut down the flow of heavenly essence and collapse the Tether. He is probably correct.

Background Locations

The World Trade Center

The most active conference and convention center in North America is in Boston: The World Trade Center. The Center itself sits on a long pier on the waterfront that extends off of Boston's south side across from Logan International Airport. The Center is easy to get to from anywhere in the Boston area as it is just off of the Central Artery, I-93, and the Mass Pike, I-90.

The Center has achieved its number one status due to the work of one angel, Rimmiel, a Seraph of Trade. She took what was once just one of many trade centers and built it into a major force for trade in the area and across all of America. Besides being a convention center the building is also home to some of the best technology available for high-speed money transactions and communication across the world. The Center has direct satellite and ground based communications access to hundreds of other sites and is a major player in the world economic community with billions of dollars flowing through its networks each year.

The importance of this site to world trade has allowed Marc to stabilize a Tether here and, in gratitude for her service, he awarded Rimmiel the duty of Senechal.

The "Big Dig"

Boston's Central Artery and Tunnel (C/AT) project is the largest, and most expensive, road construction project in the United States today. Consisting of the reconstruction of many miles of eleven story tall roadways along I-93 (north to south) in Boston and a three mile extension of I-90 (east to west); it is not surprising that the project is one hundred percent over the original projected budget. The price continues to skyrocket with little end in sight. It has caused no end to the traffic trouble into and out of the city, and is considered a public embarrassment. Many consider the "Big Dig" to be nothing but a very large hole that is designed to contain and destroy money a million dollars at a time. All this is all done without the designs of a single demon.

This has brought no shame to Japhet, the highest-ranking demon in the area. Instead it has brought nothing but praise for the wonderful backdrop of espionage, corruption, and intrigue that the demon has sponsored in the city without the loss of a single human life. Japhet is proud of the people of Boston.

South Station and Chinatown

South Station is one of two major public transit points in and around the city of Boston (the other being North Station). It is also one of the best ways to connect directly into Boston's south side via bus or by the T (Boston's system of trains that travel within the city and to many of the outlying suburbs).

The station itself is on the edge of Boston's Chinatown, which is small compared to those in other cities, but is still quite active. The district contains many of the stereotypical elements of any Chinatown. Unfortunately, this particular area can also be one of the most dangerous areas of Boston proper once the sun goes down.

The Ted Williams Tunnel

The tunnel, one of three that come across Boston's Inner Harbor, is the only one that leads directly from Logan International Airport to the south side. At one time it was only open to commercial traffic, but congestion in the city has caused the tunnel to be opened to all traffic during peak hours. The tunnel itself is over a mile long and has multiple lanes in each direction.

Saint Joseph's Church

Saint Joseph's in Boston's West End was intended to be a Unitarian church that was built to be a house of worship for the best and brightest of Boston society. This was not to be, as a rush of immigration into Boston from Ireland during the potato famine caused a massive explosion of population around the church and drove high society away. The Catholic Diocese of the time saw an opportunity and purchased the beautiful brick and stone building at a fraction of its cost, paying nearly $27,000 over one hundred and fifty years ago. The church is nestled in a square mile that contains not one but two hospitals, and has become a stabilizing influence in what could have been a bad part of town but is not. The ministry of the church has always been active in local projects and, following the lead of the Archdiocese of Boston, has become active in local politics as well. The saying that all politics is local was probably first said in Massachusetts, and the Catholic Church follows the edict well.

The church is also home to Zaccai, a Malakim of the Sword, in his role as one of the priests, Father Zachary Morrison. The Father is extremely active in many of the church's neighborhood programs, taking a special focus on the children. He is a powerful figure and symbol to the people of the area, who enjoy his strong countenance and unwavering smile. The Father has also been seen to personally drive off any of a number of potential hazards to the area, including drug dealers, pimps, and other criminal elements. This is not to say that there is no crime in the West End, it is just understood that harming the children of Father Morrison is a bad idea.

Adventure Timeline

Monday 9 a.m. It all begins with a phone call

Arnold Becker, a foreman at the south side C/AT construction site, picks up the diagrams for the underground power grid in the new area of construction. He speaks with Martha Williams, one of the clerks, and signs for the copies of the city documents. These documents are actually forgeries planted by Pelon just over a week ago. He has been waiting for a call from Fredrick Sturgeon, another clerk, but one that he has bribed and threatened. Fredrick was instructed to call Pelon when copies of these particular documents leave the Department of Public Works.

Monday 10 a.m. Inciting a riot

After getting the call from Fredrick, Pelon leaves his small apartment outside the city to find some of Boston's less savory element. He travels to Chinatown and finds a gang of Asian-American youths. He gets them to agree to harass the users of South Station and begin to cut off traffic to the south side. In return, Pelon provides them with the information that when the power gets shut off the next morning, the security system at Kischel's (a local south side gem distributor) will shut down. Unfortunately for Pelon, one of the gang's youth is a Catholic and his family is a member of Saint Joseph's.

Monday 1 p.m. Seeing Father Morrison

Having had a change of heart, Tommy Tseng arrives at Saint Joseph's and visits with Father Morrison. He tells the Father everything that he knows about the gem merchant and the other planned activities of the gang. Zaccai plans on showing up at Kischel's gem distributors the next morning to have a little talk with the Chinatown youth.

Monday 10 p.m. A little sabotage goes a long way

Pelon uses his resonance to destroy the engine governor for the Ted Williams Tunnel ventilation system. He correctly assumes that the fan will spin out of control when the tunnel's carbon monoxide levels reach their highest, during rush hour. He knows that if this happens that the circulation system will overheat and shut down, causing the necessity of a tunnel closing.

Tuesday 1 a.m. Tying loose ends

Pelon travels to the home of Fredrick Sturgeon and ends the poor public servant's life. This creates a good-sized disturbance in the Symphony that could easily be noticed by wandering PCs.

Tuesday 7 a.m. The plan begins to come together

As rush hour reaches its peak, a number of the circulation fans for the Ted Williams Tunnel over-rotate, wrecking many sensitive mechanical systems. The tunnel is quickly shut down due to dangerous levels of monoxides and all traffic is diverted to other routes.

Tuesday 8 a.m. And then the lights go out

Arnold Becker orders digging around the south side C/AT construction site in an area reportedly free of underground power lines. This information, fed to him from false documents, is incorrect and a backhoe rips open one of the main power lines into Boston's south side.

The power goes out in the World Trade Center, Kischel's gem distributors and many other businesses in the area. The backup power generators in the World Trade Center keep the Tether's business systems up for some time, but some key systems begin to shut down near the end of the two hours it takes Public Service to repair the power line.

Rimmiel is concerned and suspects a demonic plot to harm the Tether. She begins planning a response to her belief of Japhet involvement. Japhet is no happier than Rimmiel and is also suspicious of demonic involvement not her own.

At this time Japhet or Rimmiel will call in extra help from PC favored servitors, if they have not already.

Wednesday 3 p.m. It goes from bad to worse

Two tunnel repair workers are trapped when a support for one of the circulation fans breaks loose. The support was due to be replaced soon and the stress placed on it by the breakdown proved to be too much. The workers are trapped in an access shaft and repair work on the tunnel is halted until they can be freed. Since the tunnel is one of the major sites of traffic incoming to the south side, its long-term shutdown might pose a continued problem for the Tether. Agents of Rimmiel or Japhet (or both) might be sent to help the workers and reopen the tunnel.

Wednesday 5 p.m. But Pelon isn't done yet

Pelon, ever resourceful, has planned another problem for traffic trying to reach the south side. He has watched the C/AT workers park their construction vehicles at the I-93 site for some days. One particular vehicle, a tall crane truck, has been parked in the same place for many days, and Pelon takes a chance. By using his resonance to subtly destroy the hard pack clay in the ground at the sight, he hopes to remove any stability in the ground. When the many ton machine is parked on the now-unstable ground, Pelon's gamble pays off.

The crane slowly sinks into the ground and topples on the upper deck of I-93. The upper deck buckles, cutting off traffic on it (northbound) and on the lower deck (southbound) due to stress fractures. Traffic in this area is diverted, causing many generic traffic problems throughout the city as well as cutting off one of the major roads that is used as a connector for the south side.

The collapse causes a great deal of Symphonic disturbance that could easily be detected by any celestial within about a mile.

Thursday 8 a.m. Pelon blows up the T

Pelon has made a large explosive charge and gives it to one of his Chinatown youth to plant in the T station close to the Trade Center. This will avoid disturbance and frees him to be in other places. Because the charge will go off just prior to rush hour, Pelon hopes to cause a maximum of trouble for the city and the south side.

Thursday 12 a.m. Pelon sets an explosive in the hole dug by Arnold Becker's workers the day before. It is set to go off in two hours.

Sneaking in and carefully placing a prepared explosive to destroy the main electrical trunk to the Trade Center is Pelon's coup de grace. By depleting the Center's power backup the day before he hopes that they will have had no time to get them fully back online. He is correct.

Thursday 1 p.m. Pelon sabotages the satellite uplink on the roof of the World Trade Center.

Satellite uplinks are not as sensitive as many people think, but can fairly easily be rendered useless to those with the right skills. Pelon has these skills and has set up a number of tight beam broadcasters around the area to interfere with the satellite traffic. This quickly renders the financial data useless.

Thursday 1:15 p.m. Pelon stands in the World Trade Center parking lot and watches, waiting for the finale.

Pelon waits drinking whiskey from a bottle wrapped in a paper bag and sitting on a car. He will talk to any angels (or demons) that arrive, but will not tell them how to stop what is going to happen even if threatened. He knows he is about to succeed and there is little they can do to stop him.

Running Down in the Digs

The important thing to remember is that Rimmiel and Japhet have been enemies for so long that they simply assume that the other is maneuvering, and send in forces. Though Japhet does suspect some demonic involvement, either side will have difficulty believing that the other is not responsible, somehow. Evidence pointing away from their long-time enemies will not be ignored, just reinterpreted to seem as if the enemy is crafty and plotting, which they are. Alternately, Japhet may want to take down whoever is working in Boston without her permission, there is a chain of command, and she will see that it is followed. This is important to play up as it is unlikely that Pelon, despite being rather tough, could take on an entire group of celestials and win.

Another thing to remember is that the PCs should be troubleshooters from one side of The War and the other side has called in reinforcements as well. Though it might be interesting to run the adventure with a mixed party, it is unlikely that they would all be called in to work together with the rampant mistrust and scheming going on in Boston.

Down in the Digs

Involving Your Players

Angels of Marc might be called in to help defend the Tether either by Rimmiel or by Marc himself.

Demons might be called in to help Japhet figure out what exactly is going on and put an end to it. Japhet wants to deliver the final blow to the Tether and angel that have been a thorn in her side for quite some time and will tolerate no upstart taking out her enemy simply for his own gain.

Angels of David, Dominic, Laurence, or Michael could easily be called in to deal with the new force of demonic activity in the Boston. This works particularly well if the angels have already been set up as "heavenly troubleshooters."

Demons of Fire might be called to find Pelon, who has gone missing. After the events in the "Demon Prince of Rock and Roll" (see Night Music), Belial is taking no chances.

Angels serving the more peaceful Archangels could easily be drawn into the web of confusion surrounding Boston's Chinatown, and the corruption of its children. This works particularly well for servitors of Christopher or Yves.

Demons serving Fate, Drugs or the War might be called in to help Japhet's organization in any of its aspects, and become involved in the events of this adventure.

Angels of Animals might get involved in defense of the New England Aquarium, home to many fish and marine mammals. Though the Aquarium is not on the south side it is just across the inner harbor from the Trade Center and some of the damage to the power grid could easily spill over leading to the potential destruction of thousands of ocean dwelling animals.

Demons of the Game, Dark Humor, and Factions might become interested in whomever is causing this turmoil. The Game might want to recruit them, while Dark Humor and Factions might just want to shake their hand.

Angels and Demons serving Lightning or Technology respectively could be sent to one of the nations most technologically advanced colleges, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and become involved from there.

Soldiers from either side might be working for either Zaccai or Japhet, and could easily become embroiled in the events surrounding the World Trade Center. This could also work for Celestials from either side who could be called in to help.

Agents of Heaven
The Major Players

RIMMIEL, SENESCHAL OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER
Seraph Master of Trade

Corporeal Forces - 4Strength 7Agility 9
Ethereal Forces - 5Intelligence 12Precision 8
Celestial Forces - 5Will 10 Perception 10
Vessel: Human/4 (adult female), Charisma +1
Role: Janine Mallory (Director of Operations/6, Status/6)
Skills: Computer Operation/3, Detect Lies/4, Dodge/3, Emote/3, Fast-Talk/6, Knowledge (Business/6, Finance/6), Languages (English/3, Finish/3, French/3, German/3, and Swedish/3), Savoir-Faire/4, Tracking/6 (Paper Trails)
Songs: Charm (Corporeal/3, Ethereal/3, Celestial/3), Harmony (Ethereal/4), Shields (Corporeal/2, Ethereal/4, Celestial/3), Tongues (Corporeal/5, Ethereal/3, Celestial/3)
Attunements: Divine Contract, Elohite of Trade, Master of Finances, Seraph of Trade

Rimmiel acts as the Director of Operations for the entire World Trade Center in Boston. She is a shrewd business woman and has led the center to be the most profitable and active of all the World Trade Centers in North America. She is a micro-manager and no one is surprised to see her involved in any aspect of the day to day business of the center. Her vessel is a handsome woman in her late thirties with short dark hair who is never seen out of her business attire.

She is, however, having a bit of trouble with the problems that have been caused by the local construction. She is in a quandary about what, exactly, to do. She suspects that the local heavy hitters from the other side, a demon of the War whom she has never met directly, is behind the power and communication outages, but she does not have any proof. Every solution that she has come up with has failed, and she knows that it is time to get some help before any permanent damage is done.

ZACCAI, MALAKITE VASSAL OF THE SWORD

Corporeal Forces - 4Strength 10Agility 6
Ethereal Forces - 2Intelligence 5Precision 3
Celestial Forces - 3Will 5 Perception 7
Vessel: Human/2 (adult male)
Role: Zachary Morrison (Catholic Priest/4, Status/4)
Skills: Detect Lies/3, Dodge/2, Emote/4, Knowledge/4 (Boston), Large Weapon/2 (sword), Tactics/3, Throwing/2
Songs: Tongues (Corporeal/3)
Attunements: Malakite of the Sword, Vassal of the Sword
Artifacts: the crucifix sword (power +9, permanent Blade Blessing of Laurence and Scabbard Attunements, double the check digit for damage against creatures of evil)
Rite: Successfully defend an innocent person without the use of violence
Oaths: grant all requests for sanctuary, never surrender in a fight or allow yourself to be captured by the armies of Lucifer, defend the innocent, suffer no evil to live while it is your choice

Father Zachary Morrison is sixty years old and shows no sign of slowing despite his advancing age, wrinkles, and gray hair. He has been a staple of Saint Joseph's Church in Boston's West End for thirty years, and has earned a place of respect both within the church and within the surrounding community. He can often be seen on the athletic court that adjoins the neighboring youth house playing basketball, hopscotch, dodgeball, or just talking to the children. He has become rather fond of the children of the church and has correctly come to believe that they are the future. Many of the youth that the Father has worked with have gone on to further their education and become productive and successful members of society. Father Zachary is proud of each and every one of them, remembering each of their names and perhaps even a short story about their life years ago. He has been know to give sermons on Sunday, but usually defers this duty to younger members of the church staff preferring his time spent on other duties.

Zaccai is also the commander of the forces of God for the Boston area and he knows of most of the Soldiers and angels within his territory. As such, he is well aware of the activities of Julie Hamilton and often finds the time to seek her out and have a short chat. He would willingly help her with any problem she might encounter, especially if involved thwarting the plans of demons or helping the innocent youth of Boston.

Agents of Hell
The Major Players

JAPHET, IMPUDITE CAPTAIN OF THE WAR

Corporeal Forces - 3Strength 4Agility 8
Ethereal Forces - 4Intelligence 8Precision 8
Celestial Forces - 5Will 12Perception 8
Vessel: Human/4 (adult female), Sex Appeal +2
Role: Andrea Carnegie (Crime Lord/6, Status/5)
Skills: Computer Operation/4, Detect Lies/3, Dodge/6, Emote/3, Fast-Talk/6, Fighting/3, Knowledge (Boston/6, organized crime/6), Move Silently/4, Ranged Weapon/6 (pistol), Savoir-Faire/2
Songs: Acid/5, Projection (Corporeal/5), Thunder/5
Attunements: Art of Combat, Captain of the Infernal Armies, Impudite of the War, State of Ophis

Japhet has been active on the corporeal plane for some time and is the commander of all of Baal's armies in the Boston area. She is a competent servitor of the War and is every bit the demonic captain of the underworld with a tip of her shapely hat to the Lord of Lust.

Japhet is a bit worried about the recent events surrounding the World Trade Center. Though Rimmiel and Japhet have been adversaries for some years, Japhet is not behind the sabotage and this has the demon worried. She is certain that another demon is active in the area and has begun to work within the organizations of the police and the Underworld to find out who. So far she has had no luck and would be most appreciative to anyone who could point out the demon responsible. It does not look good for a demon at Japhet's level to be unaware of what is going on in her zone of command.

PELON, CALABITE OF FIRE

Corporeal Forces - 4Strength 12Agility 4
Ethereal Forces - 4Intelligence 9Precision 7
Celestial Forces - 4Will 11Perception 5
Vessel: Human/3 (adult male), Rat/1 (adult rat)
Skills: Chemistry/5, Computer Operation/3, Electronics/5, Engineering/5, Fast-Talk/3, Fighting/5, Lockpicking/4, Move Silently/5, Ranged Weapons/3 (Pistol)
Songs: Form (Ethereal/4, Celestial/5), Possession/5, Shields (Celestial/4)
Attunements: Calabite of Fire
Artifacts: Satan's Hammer (Colt .45, Corporeal Artifact/4)
Discord: Pallid/2

Pelon is actively seeking the word of sabotage. Unfortunately the word is already taken, so Pelon is working his way up in hopes of unseating the current holder. His vessel is that of an unremarkable man about thirty years old who is almost unnaturally pale and smells of decay. In order to hide his Discord, Pelon often dresses as a homeless man. In doing this he has learned of the added benefit of becoming one of society's invisible people; no one notices you and if they do they pay no attention to what you are doing. This is a valuable asset in the line of work that Pelon has chosen for himself.

Pelon has spent years learning how to get in and out of places, and has learned quite a few tricks to make things break in mundane fashion as well. He rarely causes large-scale destruction, but rather uses a tactic usually unexpected of a Calabim: subtlety. He likes to use large explosions in his finales, though. He uses his resonance at times but also enjoys setting up timers and explosives to break small pieces of equipment or short out vital wiring that snowballs into larger problems. Pelon loves to watch the little damage he causes ripple out and cause major destruction for which he is not directly responsible. Taking down the Tether at the World Trade Center is to be his crowning achievement where he shows the rest of the demons what a true Calabim is made of.

* * *

(Editor's note: In the "real world," information about the Boston World Trade Center is available via their website at http://www.wtcb.com Also available is a website about the Central Artery and Tunnel (C/AT), appropriately enough at http://www.bigdig.com .)




Article publication date: May 12, 2000


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