Jun
25
2018

Tower of the Galvanized Serpent [The Day After Ragnarok]

Tower of the Galvanized Serpent – Google Docs

Tower of the Galvanized Serpent
(Schenectady, NY)
[The Day After Ragnarok]

City: Schenectady, New York
Population: 400
Controls: Schenectady
Government: Despotism
Problem: Serpent Cultists
Heroic Opportunity: Technology
City Aspect: Conspiratorial

To the outside world, Schenectady is a pitiful shadow of what it once was: most of the town was destroyed (including, apparently, the General Electric plant there), and the few survivors eke out a perilous living with what crops they can raise.  The ruins are not a place that is good for trade: the remaining locals are openly suspicious of outsiders, and just unpleasant to do business with. And every so often, people in the area disappear. There is nothing about the disappearances that could ever be linked to Schenectady, but it’s best to stay away. There’s nothing there worth it, anyway.


Some of the above is true, and some of it is not.  For example, Schenectady was one of the cities that burned, after the Serpentfall.  Unfortunately, the GE plant and television station WRGB in fact survived: ‘unfortunately’ because the remains of the town were taken over by an electrical engineer — and Soviet spy — named Morton Sobell.  He has been steadily building up his local cult ever since.

Sobell has an ambitious goal: he wants to get the television station broadcasting again, in order to make contact with the Soviet Union. This is, of course, starkly impossible, but Sobell believes that he is in ‘psychic contact’ with the Soviets’ Nart allies, who are teaching him the secrets from the ‘primordial science’ that he needs to boost the antenna’s signal enough.  That ‘primordial science’ apparently requires that the occasional screaming sacrifice be attached as a battery to said antenna — using a living, ophidian cable of scale and fangs — is something that neither Sobell, nor the ‘Electrical Vanguard’ that makes up his followers, really think about anymore.

Right now, the Electrical Vanguard is committed to building its power.  The glorious Revolution will come in good time; until then, the cultists must wisely keep their heads down.  Literally: most of the Electrical Vanguard’s activity takes place underground, in cellars and sewers where electricity can be used without threat of discovery.  When it is discovered by outsiders, well, the antenna could always use another battery. ‘From each according to his ability,’ right, Comrades?

One last note: First Galvanic Comrade Sobell is probably not in contact with the Narts.  But he is in contact with something, and it’s something with a taste for an aesthetic that merges Soviet slovenly industrial kitsch with electrical-themed iconography, and a big heaping helping of yet another snake cult.  It is unlikely to react well to somebody coming by and killing off all of its priests.

4 Comments

  • Rockphed says:

    Okay, the internet was unhelpful. What is a nart? I understand “nork” as being “north korean”, but “nart” makes zero sense.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nart_saga

      In this setting, they’re linked to the jotun, or frost giants. The Narts showed up in the middle of the Soviet steppes after the World-Serpent crushed Europe and inundated North America; and are now allied with Stalin, for their own inscrutable reasons. Also, Stalin carefully exterminated every member of the Ossetian and Ingush peoples he could get his hands on, just to make sure that the Narts did not develop other allegiances out of lingering cultural connections.

      This is really one of the coolest RPG settings to write fan stuff for. Hell, the write-ups practically write themselves.

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