Ernesto “Massive” Masslow
A huge and muscle packed guy with a face similar to a bulldog, normally clad in worn out surplus military boots &cargo trousers , a stained hooded poncho and a muscle shirt. “Massive” Masslow is in his mid 30´s and quiet and intimidating appearance. He is monosyllabic, never answers quick and tight lipped towards strangers. He is not the smartest, but not a moron.
Ernesto is a member of Bal´s crew, a forma PDF soldier and the forma heavy gunner of Bal´s old squad. Bal “pulled him over” after both dropped out of service and Bal started working for the Undertow. Ernesto never quit calling Bal “Sarge” and always watched his back. As Bal was rising into the position of a “Rag-Baron”, he always kept the strong-but-simple Ernesto with him. While Bal never considered the man a close friend, it was reassuring to have someone not-that-rotten and (and loyal) around. And of course, the fact that “Massive” Masslow is towering heap of muscle helped to “smooth” some “business meetings” quiet good. Masslow on the other hand saw Bal as a close friend he would fight and die for.
”Massive” acted on occasion as “kinda bodyguard” for Bal and “heavy hand” of the crew
Characteristics: as Killer, except Strength +15, Toughness +5, Intelligence -4 Skills: as Killer plus Intimidation Talents: as Killer plus Heavy Weapon Training (SP), Crushing Blow, Take Down, Talented (Intimidation)
Equipment: Poor Quality Hand canon with 8 shots, brass knuckles, Rag-tag body armour (Body 2; Legs 2; Primitive)
If the pc start investigating in the Sink (p.42) and ask for “associates” of Bal Grey, they will get the description of Masslow together with his nickname. Asking around for him will reveal that he is currently a “watchdog” for a gambling spot established in a booze den called “All-the-year”. The same information and directions to Masslows actual residence can be gathered from the Enforcers with an routine Inquiry test once the pc arrive at their headquarters & identified themselves in order to ask questions and search records. As the pc leave, however, they will be shadowed by a member of the Mandato (see p. 41) which will report back their activity to the Enforcer General.
If the pc need to much time to get this information and/or to find the den the gambling will be over and Masslow will walk back to Bal (no-one told him that he is dead yet!). If they missed him just, one of the Drunk (p.66) in the “Year” might tell them which way he took and with another successful check on Navigation (Land) the pc will be able to catch up with him.
If the pc miss him and he arrives before them at the block, one of the neighborhood will tell him what happened before he reaches the crime scene. Masslow will then believe that Juvinal Priator is behind this (see “Leaving Masslow” down below).
If the pc meet him at the “All-the-year” they will find leaning backwards against the counter of the bar, having an eye on the door and the gambling tables. No other guards are present. Everybody in this block know who, whom he belongs to and will thereby think twice before doing anything stupid. As the pc enter, he will eye them up and slowly reach for one of his weapons under his poncho (ordinary Perception test to notice).How he will react to the pc depends on how they approach him.
“Bal Grey is dead.” This opening line will earn his immediate attention and a +5 on all further interaction tests. A routine for Scrutiny test will reveal that he is enraged, one level of success tells that he wants vengeance.
”We are Acolythes of the Inquisition” will earn a growled “bull” in response unless the pc show the rosetta (or other means of identification). A letter of investigation will not help, since Masslow cannot read or write. The pc will receive an additional +20 modifier on all interaction tests after the proof. If they reveal themselves openly, however, news will spread quickly in the Sink since the patrons of the “Year” will feed the news straight to the rumour mill. Some response of the Undertow (GM´s decision) is ensured unless the pc leave the Sink very quick. Attempts at Intimidation will be hard since he is courageous. If failed, “Massive” will prop himself up to full
height and tell the pc to “Leave. NOW.” [Option: Make an opposed test between Masslow´s Intimidation and the PC´s Willpower, with the pc “assisting” each other. If Masslow wins and it comes to a fight, the pc suffer a -1 penalty to Initiative and another -1 for every level they lost the the test]. If they don´t leave or achieve at least one level of failure, Masslow will attack them. He will make us of the brass knuckles first unless the pc draw a deadly weapon, have hands near their weapons or appear t be heavily armed/armoured (anything more then pistols; primitive hand weapons and/or light flack coats).
Making him answer any questions about Bal Grey will be hard as well as he is both sceptical and contemptful of strangers. If the pc where clever enough to disguise themselves as locals of the Sink, this drops to difficult. The modifiers noted above are not taken into account here and if the pc make clever use of Masslow´s thirst for vengeance the GM should assign further boni. Any kind of bribe will be met with scorn and the demand to “Leave. NOW.”
Depending on how and what questions are asked (and what level of success are achieved) the pc will learn about Grey´s role in the Undertow. If they do not mention the unnatural circumstances of Bal´s death, Masslow will assume that Juvinal Priator is not dead but responsible for the death of his boss. However, he will share this assumption only if the pc have achieved one or more levels of success. Sharing this, he will curse “Juvinal, this treacherous rat” for “striking a peace deal only to break it”
If the circumstances are reviled, Masslow will grow silent, turn to the bar and order a shot. After downing the booze, he will claim that “the Empty Man have returned” (see module) and tell some grisly story about the massacres that will provide no further clues. The pc can now try to re-role any checks with a +10 bonus since Masslow is now scared out of his wits. If they will ever meet him again during the adventure, he will be drunk.
If the pc fought and captured or killed Masslow, they´ll have to leave the Sink quick or will be confronted by “the circling wolves” (p. 43). If they told him about the death of Bal Grey he will leave the “Year” shortly afterwards. If he still believes that Masslow is responsible, he will arm up and try to gather the rest of Bal´s old crew (so only two or three will follow him). Next stop will be Priator´s Hideout. (p.44). Clever pc will try to Shadow them. The pc will have +10 bonus since Masslow and the others will be inattentive due to their plots for revenge which they´ll coke up on the run (literally).
What happens as Masslow and the other arrive is up to the GM, but it is most likely that he will trigger the trap. Some possible routes of action are:
•?The pc jump at the chance to launch a surprise attack at both groups
In that case the Undertow criminals will join forces against the unknown enemy
•?The pc surprise both group, but do not attack and make it clear that they want to talk
Georg Lussk will offer them a meeting with the Rag Court. If the pc insist that Masslow (whom will
remain silent since he is to confused at the moment) shall join them, he will and might form a temporal
alliance with them (giving additional bonus to all interaction in the Sink)
•?The pc remain hidden
Either Lussk will “escort” Masslow to the Rag Court or a fight breaks out between Masslow and Lussk men. In the later case, Lussk men will win, capture Masslow alive (but heavily wounded) and decide to drag him to the Rag Court. If the pc rescue Masslow, he will grudgingly thank them and tell them all he knows “to get even”. If Lussk brings Masslow to the Rag Court, the pc can try to follow them. Following Lussk and his men will be much harder then following Masslow, so. (Role for Lussk, but he counts as being “assisted” as by the core rules).
Optional places to encounter Masslow
If they seek him out in his quarters, all attempts of Intimidation will gain a (further) +10 bonus.
If they intercept him on the streets of the Sink, he will behave like he would in the bar (instead of ordering shots, he will take a sip from a pocket bottle with booze).