This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross
By the summer of 2000 many things have a value. Whilst it is common practice for military units to remove weapons, radios, rangefinders, etc, from an abandoned vehicle, the stripped down hulk can still wield a decent amount of salvage for those with the right tools, whilst a civilian car can be a rich source of spare parts, metals, and even seats and mirrors. This has given rise to a new breed of “entrepreneur”, scavengers who root through the debris of civilisation in search of items of value which they can then either make use of themselves or sell on to others.
One such group of scavengers is that headed by the Dudek brothers, forty three year old Pawel and thirty eight year old Dariusz. The group comes from a village near the town of Stalowa Wola and makes a living travelling around south eastern Poland collecting salvage, which they then sell on. They travel in an ex Polish Army 5 ton truck which has been converted to run on alcohol. The truck tows a 1,000 litre tank trailer, whilst additional fuel is carried in drums and jerry cans. They have a wide variety of basic tools (wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, hammers, etc), but their real assets are several oxy acetylene torches which they use for cutting and welding, and for which they have an extremely limited supply of acetylene fuel gas. They also have a 6,000kg capacity winch mounted to the front bumper of their truck.
Encountering the Dudeks
The brothers have recently heard reports of heavy fighting between American and Pact forces in the Kalisz area, so are making their way there in the hope of finding abandoned vehicles that may still have some items of value. They are armed with a number of Warsaw Pact small arms, for which they have reasonable supplies of ammunition, and also have helmets, some items of body armour, and two Soviet Army chemical defence suits. They do not wish to run into large bodies of troops from either side, so will avoid the main area of the battlefield, preferring instead to linger on its peripheries. When done they intend to make for Krakow, where they plan to sell their salvage.
A PC group encountering the Dudeks will find them to be wary but not openly hostile unless attacked. Should the PC’s enter into dialogue with them they will find the brothers to be extremely useful. Not only will they have 2d6 x 100 kilos of assorted salvage in their truck, which they will be quite happy to trade with the PC’s should the PC’s need any materials to repair vehicles, they can provide a skilled mechanic and will also be happy to do any welding the party require (for a fee obviously). Finally, they will also prove to be an excellent source of information on the local area. A small PC group without their own vehicles may be able to hitch a ride with the brothers for the right price (some persuasion and / or negotiation will be required here as the brothers will be reluctant to be seen to be openly cooperating with NATO troops – at the very least they will insist the group change into civilian clothing).
Secrets are given for several characters should the GM wish to use some (or all) of them.
43 yrs old Veteran NPC (LNG: Russian 20, Mechanic 50); AKR, 9mm Makarov
The group’s leader, after completing his military service in the 1980's, Pawel worked at a steel mill in Stalowa Wola, south east Poland, until it was destroyed by a NATO conventional airstrike in early 1997. Honourable and reliable, by nature he is a cautious individual, and it will take strangers some time to earn his trust. His wife died from cholera in 1999. He speaks some Russian. Pawel usually drives the group’s truck.
38 yrs old, Experienced NPC (LNG: Russian: 50, LNG English: 30, LNG: German 20); AK74, P 64, Flak Jacket
Pawel's younger brother, Dariusz acts as the group's negotiator when carrying out trades. He speaks passable Russian as well as a smattering of English and German, and has a number of of contacts throughout southern Poland, including in Krakow. He is extremely fond of female company, for which he is quite happy to pay when necessary. He secretly lusts after Szymon’s girlfriend Ewa.
Dariusz is extremely ambitious and privately feels that he would be a better leader than Pawel (who he feels is overly cautious). Whilst he has considered splitting from his brother on several occasions, he has not yet done so, however ultimately Dariusz sees himself living a life of relative luxury as a merchant prince in Krakow surrounded by beautiful women, and he will do whatever is necessary to achieve this.
35 yrs old, Experienced NPC (LNG: Russian: 30, Mechanic 65); AKM
Grzegorz has been friends with Pawel for fifteen years, the two of them having worked together at the steel mill before the war. Five feet eight inches tall, he is a taciturn individual who says little, keeping himself to himself much of the time. He is a chain smoker, being seldom seen without a cigarette in his mouth. He speaks a smattering of Russian.
26 yrs old, Veteran NPC (LNG: Russian 40); RPK, Kevlar Vest, 4 x HE hand grenades
A conscript in the Polish Army at the start of the war, Szymon joined the group after his unit disintegrated over the winter of 1999. Friendly and with a good sense of humour, he is well liked within the group. He speaks passable Russian.
Szymon is not who he claims to be. Whilst he was in the Polish Army, he deserted in 1999 and became one of the leaders of a particularly brutal group of marauders who operated approximately one hundred kilometres north east of Krakow until they were destroyed by a regular Soviet unit in the winter of 1999. Szymon escaped and made his way out of the area masquerading as a regular Polish soldier. He encountered the Dudeks in the spring of 2000 and has decided to stay with them for the moment. Szymon is a sociopath and should the circumstances arise he would not hesitate to betray the group.
22 yrs old, Veteran NPC (LNG: English) 60; 9 mm Makarov, Knife.
Szymon’s girlfriend, Ewa joined the group with him. She is five feet six inches tall,
slim, blonde and attractive, her entire family have been killed during the course
of the war. She does what she has to do to survive -
If GM is using Szymon’s secret above, Ewa will be aware of his true identity and will be a willing accomplice in any actions that he takes.