The BPRD Training Camp - Why It's Cool To Be A Kid In Portland

The BPRD Training Camp – Why It’s Cool To Be A Kid In Portland

Posted by January 22, 2012 Comment



It’s been pointed out that Portland may have the greatest number of cartoonists and comic book creators per capita than anywhere else.

So where do their kids go when they want to let off steam?

Why the Official B.P.R.D. Training Camp of course.

Thoroughly Hellboy themed, this experience has been created by Trackers Earth in coordination with Mike Mignola.

9 to 10 year olds get to “train survival and field skills in local greenspaces. They also spend their day investigating the haunted history of our city, piecing together the larger mystery revolving around the legend of Adolph Aschoff.”

While those aged 11-13 & 14-17 “investigate nearby “haunts”, then finally travel to Camp Trackers near Sandy, Oregon to investigate reports of dark figures and strange happenings at the remnants of the old defunct town of Marmot. Here they search for legendary and lost pioneer cemetery (true story) to ask local spectres and spirits about the town’s history and the legend of Adolph Aschoff, the man who is said to have sealed away an ancient evil upon the founding of the town.”

This is BPRD after all. “We immerse you in tactical training of all forms, including survival skills in any environment (both earthly and non), martial arts and self-defense specific to praeternatural entities, hand to hand weaponry (we train foam swords, bows and more) and forensic investigation. All these key skills that every agent must have, plus you are steeped in the history of our Bureau and legacy of paranormal research.”

It’s good to be a kid in Portland. Which other camp teaches you not only survival skills but also telepathy. Here’s a look at the background to the case the kids will be investigating…

The Legend of Adolph Aschoff

Adolf AschoffBorn in 1849, Adolph Aschoff grew up learning how to hunt and track from a poacher in Hanover, before the German Empire ever came to be. His first brush with the supernatural was when he came upon a village burnt to the ground by what locals claimed to be demonic forces. This piqued his curiosity, leading to a lifelong study of the occult.

When Prussian soldiers invaded, Aschoff realized their interest in the town was more than a military land grab. The soldiers were part of a secret order within the military called the Order Nem-ett Ethem, which according to Professor J.H. O’Donnell worship one of the sleeping Ogdru Hem. Aschoff believed that the Prussians were there to wake a sleeping god who lay beneath the town. In fact, their target in Hannover was a tablet in the ground marking one of four points spread across the western hemisphere. The Order of Nem-Ett Athem sought to unearth and activate each point in order to raise the Ogdru Hem that they revered, whose location they did not know.

Forced to flee through the swamp, Aschoff failed to stop the Prussians in Hanover, but managed to steal one of three ancient compasses the Order used to pinpoint the position of the tablets. On the annual Fall equinox, the compass locks onto an azimuth (direction) of each tablet. The first equinox he traveled far and wide to triangulate the four locations. Aschoff discovered a ritual that would seal the tablets, preventing the Order Nem-Ett Ethem from releasing their god. Since maps were relatively inaccurate in 1866, Aschoff couldn’t nail down the location with much precision, so he would have to return to a general area over the course of a few years in order to try to pinpoint the site of the tablet. His travels took him to the Far East, South America, and the American Midwest. While he was pursuing this quest, the Prussians were busy doing the same, and with their two compasses were better able to track the tablets down. Twice Aschoff pinpointed a location too late, only to find the tablet removed.

The remaining point was somewhere in the Pacific Northwest of the continental United States. Aschoff made his way there, knowing it was the final location, and set up permanent home outside of Portland, Oregon. Over the course of a few years, he located the tablet beneath a small way station along the Devil’s Backbone portion of the Oregon Trail.

Aschoff was thwarted in his attempt to seal the tablet by local spirits known as the Aplas. These demonic spirits prey upon both humans and animals, rendering their victims undead slaves, leaving them as mindless zombies when they’re done with them. The Aplas were under the direction of the Order Nem-ett Ethem, who were still trying to pinpoint the tablet’s location.

Aschoff was saved from the Alpas by another local legend: a great hairy beast, and one of the most famous bits of folklore of the Northwest. Ashcoff had been exploring the area’s forests for years by this time, and had been aided more than once by this “Bigfoot,” who he found to be very useful as a temporary ally in any situation.

As the Sasquatch held the Alpas at bay, Aschoff lay his seal over the site of the tablet, preventing the Order Nem-ett Ethem from opening the final point and freeing the Odrgu Hem. He founded the town of Marmot in order to maintain and guard what had become his life’s work. He and his wife Dora raised a family there and worked a toll portion of the Barlow Trail. Aschoff and his wife and the other early settlers of Marmot were buried in a pioneer cemetery that was long ago reclaimed by the land.

Recently, strange goings on have been reported around the site of the Trackers Summer Camp, on the old site of the town of Marmot. The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense have been called upon to find the hidden cemetery, and to solicit the true history of the town from these spectral informants. Agents will conduct research at the Historical Society of Sandy, Oregon, along with good ol’ fashion tracking and forensics, looking for the grave site itself.

From there Agents will get the true story of Aschoff, seek out the compass he stole from the Order Nem-Ett Ethem, and finally unearth the tablet Aschoff sealed in the earth. Agents will learn that there is a flaw in the seal, and realize that only they can repair it before the Ogdru Hem is raised through the efforts of his returning minions. In our camp recruits must uncover the clues about how to reseal the breach once and for all.

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

(Last Updated January 23, 2012 1:26 pm )

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