Serial Setting 2 ~ Week 14

The Casting Shadows blog’s second Serial Setting appears in weekly installments scheduled for a 6-month run. This series is focused on providing basic details for heroic pulp adventures for the Ubiquity Roleplaying System as presented in Hollow Earth Expedition. These ideas, set in a fictionalized and mysticized version of the Korean peninsula in 1936, present a community oppressed by faceless enemies and their own countrymen. It will additionally suggest routes, leads, and hooks for GMs to entice groups based elsewhere in the world to get involved. This installment suggests a unit of thoroughly despicable villains for use anywhere in the world, potentially sparking ties with the oppressed Korean peninsula.

14  Three Scrolls of Achievement –  One man’s truth is another man’s affront

Since claiming the peninsula for their own, few things upset the propaganda machine of the Oppressors as much as the rock solid certitude of the locals that their culture fostered that of the annexers so busily transforming everything around them. That a people, unable to resist the might of ‘their betters’ and so forced to surrender their nation, could hold to such a belief in the face of the advances and improvements being provided for them by the new government is preposterous… especially when there is documented proof.

Certain facts are unacceptable and therefore must be destroyed. In order to break a people, you must first strip them of support, and all evidence that says they are anything but the dogs you’d have them be. As this decade progresses, more and more attacks will be made on cultural treasures, linguistic resources, the language itself, and finally on the training and indoctrination of the youth. Korea is to be remade in the image of its neighbor. Any other result is unacceptable. The new government occupies the geomantically perfect grounds where the king’s palace has stood for the last 600 or more years of peace and inward-looking stability. Temples, private collections, and other less savory repositories of knowledge are looted. Even the very life’s blood of the nation, the dragon lines of the world’s natural energy flows, are broken and disrupted; symbolically killing the vitality of the land itself.

As an example of this cultural pogrom, the Oppressor is now seeking the truth behind a rumour of three scrolls purported to explicitly detail the early relations between the royal family of the ancient Korean Baekche kingdom and the warlords of the fractured and warring states of their nation’s past. If even half of what these scrolls are rumoured to contain are true, fundamental beliefs of the soldiers and citizens of the land of the rising sun will be shaken. This cannot be allowed.

To further the agenda of cultural erasure and replacement, a small unit had been created. Charged with seeking out and claiming or destroying any and all cultural items which could be used to refute or diminish the official line and silencing those who spread this information, this group already had wide-ranging powers and limited supervision. To obtain these scrolls, the chains have now been loosed completely.

This unit, known only as the Gyongsong Task Force, sends its few prisoners to the already notorious prison from which its name is derived (now known as Seodaemun Prison), but prefers to exercise its mandate in more immediate, and less visible ways. With this new mandate, they will take their cruelty and unflinching dedication to their cause to all the treasure houses of the East and West, stopping for nothing, and no one. The unit uses any and all means in its arsenal to obtain its goals. Members enrich and entertain themselves in the process. They are understood, and they are evil.

 

Maki Haru, inquisitive sadist

If his family would ever dream of discussing it, they would admit that Haru was born… wrong. Respectful, intelligent, good in school, good with physical training, hard-working, but evil to the very core. Most would wish to believe that evil is something that a man becomes after a series of experiences and decisions. This particular child of the Maki family shatters any faith in that belief.

His plain, but strong face is made into the fascinating visage of the hunter by his exceptionally bright and piercing eyes. He is neatly groomed at all times, and both larger and more fit than his occupation and training demand. He is not one to accept defeat in either the social or physical arenas, but uses his intellect as his deadliest weapon (Calculated Attack – brawl, Calculated Defense, Accuracy). Trained to debate with logic as sharp as the most thoroughly honed razor, Haru finds pleasure only in destroying arguments, not making them. He does not think to create – ever.

He has slowly recruited a team of individuals as amoral and strangely loyal as himself. They train rigorously to be able to dominate those they investigate, and to obtain that which they are charged to pursue. Failure is met with torture, and persistent failure with slow and horrific death.

They serve Haru with utter loyalty and devotion as one would follow a god on Earth.

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