Polarbear Poachers: Report of Wild Things #1

The first Wild Things session went quite well. There were six players, who all played Polarbear Poachers.

The job: Go to Thule (Greenland) and take care of polar bears killing local wildlife, while killing as few polar bears as possible.

The team:

  • Sergeant Sam, a military brat gone Street Samurai
  • H.R., a bow-wielder who likes to shout “You have failed this ___!”
  • Carl, a combat mage army veteran
  • Will I Am, a Survival Expert and polar bear fanboy
  • Charmante, a huntress who can handle any environment
  • And finally a smiling Face who has to clean up the mess of others

The team received their briefing during the flight to Thule: Since polar bears went virtually extinct but rich people like seeing majestic animals in the wild, Wild Life Incorporated had sponsored a reintroduction program in the barren lands of Greenland several years ago. The locals got paid for the hassle and the Corp promised to take care of any problems. Problems were now present: Recently there had been a massacre of seals and the locals weren’t too happy with that.

Due to a snowstorm, the team had to be dropped off a while removed from the village. Fortunately they had received a decent bit of equipment: Arctic suits, survival kits, rations and good-rating commlinks with satellite links. They got to the village with just a bit of frostbite, where they ran into the local (well-armed) youth who immediately picked a fight, and the runners returned in kind. The mayor arrived and intervened, and when the rabble discovered the team was from Wild Life Incorporated the temperature dropped even more.

While Carl left a spirit outside to start change the weather, the team got briefed by the mayor. He reported that there had been two seal massacres so far the past two weeks, and yesterday a shepherd had been attacked. The man had gotten away, but his goats got slaughtered. In all cases the killings had been needless, with most corpses not even having been eaten from. The seal corpses had been picked up with snowmobiles and stored in the village, saving the village some hunting, but if more were killed then the local seal population could become endangered. And as an added burden, the snowmobiles had broken down from all the load.

The team checked out the dead seals and soon discovered anomalies. The hunting behaviour seemed amateuristic for bears, instead the attacks seemed to more resemble how swordwielders would attack. Furthermore a magical residue was discovered in some of the wounds. With the snow storm now alleviated by the spirit, part of the team went off to check on the villagers, while Charmante and H.R. decided to go out and interrogate seals. And of course got lost on the way, fortunately ending up close enough to then find the seals by following their sounds.

The team discovered there were a few latent adepts in the village, as well as a low-magic adept (the shepherd, who apparently frequently saw local spirits) and a young girl the spirit described as having a connection to the strange world humans connected to through their devices. In other words, a technomancer. A few theories arose about polar bear cyborgs being controlled, but these seemed unlikely. They also dug into the timings of the attack, and realized they seemed to resemble that of Long Haul periods: Four days on, two days off. These helped cement their suspicions that shapeshift-spells were involved. Their most likely suspect was a hermit living a while away from the village.

Meanwhile, Charmante and H.R. found the seals at the second attack location but got attacked by a walrus. After quickly beating him up and intimidating him, they then proceeded to demand the walrus told them where the polar bears were. By some miracle, with the help of some animal empathy, they managed to get through enough and the walrus led them to a damaged bush. They quickly realized that this bush had suffered damage from a large falling individual, suggesting that a polar bear had tried to stand on hind legs and had failed horribly at that.

The rest of the team contacted Wild Life Incorporated and discussed their findings so far. When Charmante and H.R. joined the conversation and spoke about interrogating a walrus, they immediately got psych evaluations scheduled. The team discussed what would be the best course of action. Taking out the mage first would likely result in unshifted people freezing to death, so they decided to first take out the fake polar bears, without lethal force, and to go after the mage after that.

After convincing the local youth to NOT go out and pick a fight with polar bears, the team went to the most likely location for the polar bears to show up now. They managed to quickly ambush them, knock them out and then managed to bring them back to the village where they were chained up and guarded by the trigger-happy youths. To get to the hermit, Carl summoned a Beast Spirit which pulled a dog sled for the team. After a tactical pincer-movement on the hermit’s cabin, H.R. opened the door to find… The hermit busy solving sudoku puzzles and not paying attention at all…

A quick takedown later, which they confirmed had undone the spells on the fake bears (which turned out to be trolls), the team scouted the scene. They found troll-sized sleeping bags, a bunch of books including a bible, a lot of solved sudoku and a commlink containing only received sudoku files. Suspecting secret codes, they took it all in and brought it back to the village. Since the real polar bears had not been involved in any of the attacks, culling was fortunately not needed. Still, the team arranged for plans to tag more of the bears and to set up a beacon net around the village to detect any trespassing polar bears in the future.

As for figuring out who arranged for these fake polar bears, the team left that to Wild Life Incorporated. With a job well done, it was time to get back to civilization and get wasted on warm food and good alcohol.

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