By John Roccia
Setting: Any North American wilderness.
A Simvan coming-of-age ritual places the lives of innocent D-Bee settlers at risk. This encounter offers opportunities to solve the dilemma with or without violence and focuses on the importance of protecting innocent lives, so it’s a great open-ended encounter for heroic groups who like to think creatively.
“Rising from the surrounding overgrowth are the skeletal remains of a once-mighty amphitheater. The scrapped remnants of Pre-Rifts buildings and vehicles, covered in rust and vines, form a labyrinth around the large circular building at the center. Through the many holes in the main structure, some of which are large enough to drive an ATV through, you can see a camp of D-Bee settlers. The approximately fifty pilgrims have horse-drawn carriages and only the most rudimentary supplies. They’re resting here before continuing towards their destination.
“The ground shakes as a sound like thunder echoes through the trees from the opposite direction! Entire tree trunks snap as a blue-shelled beetle the size of a bus charges towards you – a Fury Beetle! A Simvan desperately holds onto the charging Fury Beetle as several more Simvan on Ostrosaurus mounts flank the creature, keeping their distance but howling in rage – at you!”
A young Simvan must complete his coming-of-age rites by taming a monster to be his mount. This Simvan is overly ambitious and has chosen a Fury Beetle! The creature has entered its rage and threatens to destroy everything in its path. The heroes are right between this charging monster and the D-Bee settlers! The other Simvan don’t have specific animosity towards either the heroes or the settlers, but they do whatever they can to ensure the rites are completed. The rites are only complete when the Fury Beetle is tamed or the young Simvan is killed by it!
A success on a Common Knowledge roll provides awareness of the Simvan Rites of Passage so the heroes know this isn’t a normal raid; a raise tells the heroes the young Simvan are exiled from the tribe if they fail to tame their chosen creature. A success on a Survival roll tells the heroes how dangerous a Fury Beetle is and how difficult to calm once enraged; a raise on this roll tells the heroes enraged Fury Beetles sometimes ignore targets that already appear to be dead.
This is what happens unless the heroes change things:
- At the end of the second round, the Fury Beetle reaches the interior of the stadium, and the settlers won’t have been able to scatter fast enough. Most, if not all, are killed as the Fury Beetle indiscriminately attacks.
- At the end of the fourth round, if the Fury Beetle is still alive, it throws off the young Simvan trying to tame it and kills him. The remaining Simvan then escape, and the Fury Beetle continues to rage until it kills everything it can see.
- At the end of the sixth round, if he hasn’t been killed, the young Simvan successfully tames the Fury Beetle. He raids any remaining targets he thinks he can defeat with his new mount, and then he departs with his mates.
It’s up to the heroes to save the settlers’ lives. This doesn’t necessarily mean fighting the Simvan or the Fury Beetle, though that’s one possible solution. But this is a great opportunity for players to get creative!
- Simvan Monster Riders (1 per hero): See Savage Foes of North America. Each is riding an Ostrosaurus (Savage Foes of North America) Mount.
- Fury Beetle (1): See Savage Foes of North America.
- Simvan Monster Rider (1): Riding on the Fury Beetle. By default, this character takes no actions each round until the Fury Beetle is tamed, as he is fully concentrating on the task!