The Moonlight Market
A scenario seed following the old “Hook , Line, Sinker” format
Hook: The party arrives at the town which hosts the Moonlight Market . At first, the inhabitants are a little surprised by the Project uniforms: the MP symbol was used as a motif in some of the jewelery that they obtained in last month’s Market. They’d never seen the MP symbols before but several items (rings and pendants) feature it. If the players examine the jewelery, it appears to make use of a MARS/MP ‘Challenge coin’. There are at least 20 of these coins
Line: On the night of every new moon, the Moonlight Market takes place withina dilapidated pre-Death superstore. During the previous month, the locals stock the shelves with small items that they hope will attract the ‘ Cousins’. Jars of jam and honey are the only foodstuffs traded but items like wooden carvings are sometimes well-received and so are items made from good quality metal or leather.
It’s a slightly eerie form of trade; no-one has ever seen the “Cousins” (although everyone suspects that they come from the nearby ruined City). All that is known is that the “Cousins” prefer to be unseen. Many speculate on the reason for this – but nobody has any evidence.
It’s a simple arrangement. On the night of the Moonlight Market, the doors are locked and the townspeople stay off the streets. Obviously, some of the braver and more curious have tried to see the Cousins but all attempts to spy on the Market have failed and no-one wants to upset the status quo. At dawn, the town gathers to unlock the doors – and see what has been taken and what has been left in exchange.
The visitors usually leave ‘like for like’. Honey and Jams are replaced with foodstuffs like dried mushrooms (which are sometimes mildly hallucinogenic), perfumes and a wine that smells of flowers. Carvings are replaced with other artworks – apparently made from plastic or bone. Finished items of leather and metal can produce a trade in some form of artwork or jewelery: anything from a leather wrist strap to gold rings and silver pendants.
Sinker: It should be obvious that the Cousins have recently found a platoon of MARS personnel. Whether this team is still frozen is up to you. The team will probably want to place the Market under surveillance (which breaks a local taboo)
The identity of the Cousins can vary depending on the Realism level of your campaign. If you have a “Cinematic” campaign, they could be anything from Maggots to Monks to Children of the Night).
For PDs that run a “moderate” realism level, I would suggest that the the Cousins should be run like the Sidhe rather than Vampires . They are fully human. However, they are aware that they carry a disease which boosts psionic ability while it damages the immune system (It’s a trade-off; more psionic power equals more chance of AIDS)
For High realism, the Cousins are rather sad descendants of survivors. Generations ago, the Moonlight Market evolved as a way for the City to deal with the farmers’ fear of bioweapons.