Neverwhere: How Shellfish (Adventure Seed)

Premise

The passages between London Above and London Below have been getting choked up and closed off for a while. Travellers have been finding it harder and harder to get from one version of London to another. Approaching the join between the two worlds the air seems to thicken and solidify. Up until recently people have been able to push through but now, one by one, every way to or from London Above is sealing shut… sealing shut with a mass of dripping, foul-smelling shellfish.

Lord Ratspeaker, being one of the most influential and important of the forces to deal regularly with London Above is offering a reward, lessons in Ratspeaking and The Catskin Windcheater (a comforting artefact of some value) to whatever bravo, hero or adventurer can find out what is going on and put a stop to it.

Plot

London Zoo has its own mirror below with many strange an ‘altered’ animals within it. One of those animals is a Slow Loris, called Boris, which despite having the feeble body of a tree-dwelling curiosity has the mind of an evil genius, albeit one that’s quite, quite mad. Incoherent and ranting, evaisive to a fault Boris has still somehow, along with his shabby human host (once one of the zookeepers) been able to come up with a terrible scheme.

He paid a band of pirates from the Thames to retrieve an artefact from New York Below, a length of chain once used to blockade the Hudson from British ships during the revolutionary war. He has now enchanted this to turn it into a blockade between the worlds and has employed Hammersmith to turn a couple of links of the chain into a myriad of tiny keys, that will allow passage, for a price.

As the players come into the adventure he’s still waiting for the entries and exits to be blocked off and plans to start selling his ‘Oyster Keys’ at the next Floating Market (two days hence at Trafalgar Square).

The Nautical nature of the shellfish blockades, as well as being a horrible pun, should hopefully get the players on the trail via the pirates and other forces on the Thames, eventually leading them to the evil mastermind, Slow Boris.

Complications

  • Slow Boris never gives a straight answer.
  • Slow Boris will deny any involvement, the keys are just his solution to the problem. You should be grateful.
  • The Shellfish Barricades rapidly demand more and more in payment as the days go by.
  • Trade between above and below rapidly starts to tail off and London Below depends on London Above for many things, plus the Market is held there.
  • The Mayor of New York Below has sent his best bravos, twins, New York, New York to retrieve the chain and they have a very… American, enthusiasm for dealing with obstacles.

Slow Boris

Slow Boris is a small, furry, big-eyed Loris. He is excellent at climbing and a genius at magic. While tiny and weak, his mind is brilliant, incisive and long-sighted. The only trouble is that he’s a gibbering, incoherent madman.

New York & New York

A pair of imposing wiseguys in dirty sailor suits, New York and New York always work as a pair, finishing each other’s sentences. Great fighters, terrifying intimidators and good sailors, they are often the muscle that the Mayor of New York Below goes to in order to get things done. Competent and professional they are fond of violence and a little too ready to resort to their fists. Big, tough and scarred, they can take a lot of punishment and keep on coming.

 

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