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The Thanksgiving Plague

The following adventure hook is intended for either the +TimeWatch RPG or Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space.

Plymouth Colony, 1621. A disease spreads through the village turning Pilgrims into mindless cannibals. Curiously, the native Indians are immune.


The plague is a bioweapon that targets humans of European extraction, most dramatically Englishmen. Colonization stalls as newcomers fall victim to the disease. TimeWatch is alerted when the United States of America disappears from history, replaced by a patchwork of native nations and African and Asian trading ports. Agents must uncover who designed the plague and stop them, or at lease engineer a cure. If the cure must be administered during a feast that also cements good relations between Pilgrims and natives, even better.

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space

The TARDIS arrives in Plymouth to witness the first Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, they find a village filled with madmen. Investigation reveals that the disease should be impossible: it has elements of Time Lord DNA! When the travelers encounter the natives, they learn of a sacred cave the shamans claim has healing properties. They refuse to let any Pilgrims into the cave, but the Doctor can talk his way in.

Inside, he discovers the truth. The plague is a computational retrovirus placed into the natives generations ago. When they encountered the Pilgrims, the virus mutated unexpectedly. Even more shocking however, the Doctor recognizes the plague's creator, and indeed, the plague itself: it's the Rani.

To escape the Time War, the renegade Time Lady known as the Rani relinquished her physical body and distributed her consciousness in the form of a virus. For centuries, she has existed in the minds of the Indians of Massachusetts. Their combined intelligence, connected by a weak Gallifreyan telepathic field, has functioned as a vast computer continuing the Rani's research from the inside. With the arrival of the Doctor, the Rani has access to Time Lord biomatter, allowing her to form a new body and live again. And the sacred cave? A seedling ready to grow into a new TARDIS.

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