On a simple island a double murder has been committed, will the characters be able to solve the crime and apprehend the criminals?
The characters can be of any background but they need forensics skills and it is an advantage if the GM has access to “Frontier Justice,” but not an requirement. The adventure should contain sufficient information to play without the book.
On the afternoon the wind starts to increase in strength and after about an hour the storm with its lightning has reached its full strength. Being prepared for a storm helps and your vessel rides though the storm, not very gracefully and smooth, but except for a number of minor incidents where waves splash over the boat, You ride out the storm and around midnight the waves subsides and you can start to relax and start to make preparations for a sleep schedule.
Then one of you notices a light at the horizon. A good pair of binoculars reveals that there is a larger fire on what possibly is a beach. It seems like it is some kind of structure that is afire, the size of a hut or something similar.
According to the navigational data a small group of island is located in that direction, the largest one is large enough for inhabitants. The other ones is not large enough to give any shelter against storms.
It takes you until first light to reach the island and when you comes closer you notice an intact hut and a pier of logs and possibly something that can be considered to be a garden to the left of the hut. The jungle takes over from the pristine sand beach only a couple of meters behind the hut. You see no boats nor humans.
There are two huts on the island, one that has been burnt down to the ground (the hut is hidden behind an outstretched arm of the jungle) and the main hut, which is the one the characters sees.
The hut is located on poles and is about six times seven meters with the long side facing the sea. A ramp/ladder leads up to the hut that is located one and a half meter above the ground. The simple plank door is shut. The four meter long and less then one meter wide pier has three mooring points for smaller boats but none is here.
When the door is opened, it becomes evident that something is wrong. The bullet hole in the door is easy to see and a man is sitting at the table with his back toward the door. He does not react when the characters enters. His head is resting on his crossed arms, which are resting on the table. His knees are bent so both his feet are under the chair, crossed at the ankle. He has put a waistcoat over his shoulders like he was cold. The window to his right is broken and the shards are spread over the table and down on the floor (the storm broke the glass).
There is a gas stove and a kitchen area with an electrical fridge to the left of the door and some colourful sheets (that are currently drawn) surrounds a simple but homely bed for two. The bed is made.
The man at the table is Andrew Lloyd and he has been shot twice. A good roll on a relevant skill (Awareness-Vision or Forensics) reveals that he was most likely put in the position and the coat was applied afterward. In one of the entry wounds, which is located on his left hand side, just above the kidney, contains some slightly burned splinters of wood from the door – he was pressing himself against it to try to prevent the people on the outside to enter – and the bullet went quite straight through. It did not kill him instantly but he would have died within minutes from the loss of blood and internal damages. The exit wound is slightly to the right and above the entry wound and is oblong since the bullet went out sideways. The bullet itself can be found in one of the supporting beams of the roof on the opposite wall. There are several (about 20) places around the hut where the blood spray from his exit wound has hit. All indicate a location around the door area.
The second wound is on the right hand side of the chest to the right of the nipple, level with the heart. The exit wound is located close to the spine, ten centimetres down. There is a third, very small, exit wound on the right hand side of the chest, just below the armpit, after a splinter of one of the ribs. The fragment (about eight times five times four millimetre) can be found under the table with some luck. The bullet can be found heavily distorted straight under the hole in the floor, in the sand under the hut. The second shot did so much damage that he died within seconds from internal bleeding.
The second entry wound is a so called contact wound, the gun was held in contact with the body. The entry wound has the tell-tale star shape caused by gases travelling into the wound and creating small pockets beneath the skin. There is also a muzzle imprint to the left of the wound from the recoil.
Mr Lloyds shirt is soaked with blood and the trousers he wears are bloody on the front from the bleeding while sitting. His feet and right arm and hand are free of blood except for some blood from the outside on the lower back of his right leg – only enough to give the trousers some colour. His left hand at the thumb shows traces of blood.
The second hut was very similar to the main one except that it was used for drying fish, it contained nothing else then a large number of ropes and wooden structures to hang the fish upon.
It is completely burned to the ground but in one corner, under some ashy remains of the palm leaf roof, a extensively charred, adult, human body is located in fetal position with its back toward the corner. The stench of burned flesh is extensive ten to fifteen meters away down-wind and the remains of the hut is still smouldering and smoking and the ashes are very hot to walk on, even with good boots. Every gust of wind fills the air with ashes which burns throats and eyes. Protection is advised. The body belonged to Samantha Lloyd, Andrew’s wife.
The body is badly burned and very few facial attributes are left that can give any information about who it was and even what gender it is. Even the gunshots are very well hidden due to the burns and very few would be bold enough to inspect the body on site. The stench is too overwhelming.
In a proper lab with the equipment, a skilled forensics can find the gunshots and verify that she were shot five times, three in the chest and two in the abdomen, where the latter two went straight through and of the first three, one went out in her right side, one stayed in the lung cavity after ricocheting of one of her back ribs and the last went out slightly left of her spine. All bullets can be recovered from the remains of the hut and her body and all the bullets comes from different weapons and was fired from some distance.
The Lloyd couple were the leader cadre of an ecoterrorist gang and their story is a story in its own right. Andrew grew up in a native village but ran away from his drinking father and hardened-by-life mother in his early teens and ended up in the Floats in Haven. There he became a back-alley brat and was involved in some criminal activity. One of the elder girls in the gang, were also a member of an ecoterrorist group and recruited Andrew. About a year later, a girl named Samantha joined the terrorist cell and ten years later, Andrew and Samantha were the leaders of the cell and “married.” Exactly what happened then is disputed but a schism within the group made the Lloyds leave the organisation very urgently and change their names several times. That was five years ago and the couple has lived on the island for the last four years, building their hide-out and new life from the ground up.
The split up from the organisation left some very sour feelings and some of the terrorists couldn’t let go of any felt “injustices” and started to make enquiries about the couple. The five “man-hunters” have now found the couple and decided to kill the couple as a revenge for whatever crimes they think the Lloyds did to the group.
Andrew were already aware of the visitors presence when the the visitors arrived to the hut, and he feared for his life. He tried, in desperation, hold the door shut with his body when they tried to get inside the hut but the front man realised what Andrew tried to do and put his pistol very close to the door and fired. Andrew were thrown to the floor from the chock and kinetic energy from the shot. He was still conscious but only vaguely aware of what happened around him, he tried in desperation to call for help and warn his wife and flailed aimlessly with his arms and legs in vain attempts to get up and get somewhere he was safe. The assassins burst the door open, which didn’t have any lock nor were designed to hold anything else then weather outside, and entered the room. The woman in the group walked quickly up to Andrew and put her gun to his heart but he pushed the gun to the side with his left hand, in an attempt to get it out of the way, and was therefor shot in the right hand side. He died within a few seconds.
The intruders then took his body and placed it at the table and put a waistcoat around his shoulders to hide that he have just been murdered, in case any unexpected visitors turned up, and to set a trap for Samantha. They also got a sponge and wiped up most of the blood on the floor. They then started to search the island, trying to keep hidden, for her. Their tracks can be found at several places in the sand.
Samantha where at that time at the second hut for maintenance work and saw who was coming for her. She tried to hide in the hut but one of the visitors saw her when she threw herself into the hut and her hideout was revealed. They all walked into the hut and each one fired a shot into Samantha that was sitting terrified in a corner. Out of some kind of over-reacting revenge, one of the visitors poured some fuel, taken from a stock at the backside of the other hut, over the floor in the hut and then put a match to it. It was that blaze the characters saw in the night.
After this they all went back to their own boat, towed away the couple’s catamaran and put it adrift six hours journey to the west of the island. Three of them argued that it was completely meaningless but the other two did not listen, it was not an act of reason.
The terrorist will go for their base, mission accomplished, but they will not continue to be on friendly terms. Any conflict that they have suppressed during the last year or so will now rear its ugly head and they will argue about a lot of things – they don’t need to cooperate any longer and being individualistic as many criminals are, they over-compensate for past annoyances. The fire and the catamaran will be a frequent reason for argument.
Back to Gamemaster’s Refuge