Welcome to Fear Is Darkness

This Shadowrun Fifth Edition game takes a group of amateur runners down a dangerous path littered with obstacles as they attempt to survive during an apocalyptic story that begins in the American Midwest. Our runners are ill equipped and naive to the future of civilization, but around the corner lies the potential for the party to leave its mark on the Sixth World.

Fear is Darkness is the story of the Personal Area Network Virus, known shortly as the PANvirus in the years following its rapid spread across North America and the world. Little is known about the virus except that it originally infected the minds of people with their own personal area network device. According to the estimates of amateur hackers the virus is more accurately described as a malfunction in hardware that changes the biological composition of the brain, the effects of which become slowly more evident in the behavior of the infected. The physical effects begin to manifest in a disturbing vitiligo that drains pigment from every portion of the patient’s body and hair. The brain activity of infected individuals descends into chaos that drives many into a waking coma, unable to interact with or respond to the world around them and on a path toward death that may not end for decades. For a small portion of infected individuals the chaotic rearrangement of neural connections in the brain drives them to utter madness, though there are very few accounts of these mad bipeds from survivors of such encounters. One of the only tales comes from a magic user that described looking into two souls in the face of a madman…a madman he saw sprinting toward him in the astral realm.

Once the PANvirus was discovered on the east coast there were few people willing to answer for how it came to exist, and what would happen. In the absence of any governmental response, the megacorporations of North America shut down their own vast networks to protect themselves from infection and began the forced evacuation of billions of people from cities they deemed worthy of protection. The migration of refugees across the United States and away from the source of the virus led to the formation of America’s Ring of Fire, a legend of weaving refugee camps that stretch around the American Midwest in an enormous circle and enclose the Burning Plains. Here there are billions of people fighting to survive amid the chaos of what is becoming known as The Sixth World. They work to support family members that die slowly each day to the PANvirus, they construct makeshift forts and form their own governments, they test the borders of cities that belong to the ultra rich and smuggle everything from goods to services and messages through their borders, they investigate their own experiences with the PANvirus in search of meaning where no one else can provide it, they steal from one another, they fight with one another, they brutally murder and forget one another in what feels like an endless pattern of great solitude or sacrifice.

Ten years after the PANvirus hit, in the criminal metropolis of Boulder, Colorado, four runners are called together by the great Johnny K to investigate a memory once considered lost.

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Fear Is Darkness

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