Interludes: A Sojourn of Tales
Shanghai, 1921. The Great War is over and an uneasy peace presides over a devastated world stage. Expatriates, deserters, and war criminals alike make their way to China, looking for new beginnings. Foreigners flock east to capitalize on Shen City’s growing economic power. Chief among these are Russian intellectuals, White loyalists and imperial families fleeing the Bolsheviks. Along with skilled Jewish scientists, Chinese chemists and German engineers, Tesladyne manufacturers begin popping up all along the Bund, fueled by boyar coffers and immigrant labor.
As coil-trollies, voltaic-tractors, clanks and thresher suits are exported from Shanghai’s shores it seems everyone is looking for a cut. What’s left of Russia’s ruling class struggles to muster enough resources to oppose the Red Army. Japanese spies enviously scrutinize Chinese resources, contending with Triad gangsters and big-business tai-pans. British merchants control a volatile opium market, maintaining a tenuous monopoly as new bratva competitors stake claims on their hidden dens. The locals are left in the middle, enjoying the spoils of conflict and contemplating, for the first time, an independent Shanghai to rival British Hong Kong.
Arising in the city is every type of mercenary, hero, and scoundrel. Youxia seeking to guard China from exploitation overseas fly through the air using chi and Tesladyne augmentations. Gewu scholars work to develop better technology for corporate sponsors and city officials as masters of kung-fu, biomechanics, and physics. Zen monks have adopted the works of Freud and Jung, manipulating the masses with uncanny acuity and becoming unsurpassed detectives. Sailors and thugs concoct strange combinations of guns, dancing, and martial arts to rule the ports and ghettos with undisputed authority. From shady brothels to the velvet-lined meeting rooms above Nanking Road, Shanghai offers limitless prosperity for the enlightened few who take it.
EXAMPLE CAMPAIGNS: None, maybe
RULES: Medium (Feng Shui; Risus; Tavern Tales)