It's a Small Underworld After All
The shadow community is a small underworld, after all. With ShadowHaven being established and known for runners like The Incredible Behemoth, Pell or King Beef who can pull off some astonishing, larger-than-life feats, individuals from outside the Seattle Metroplex are willing to invest in them for out-of-town jobs. Locations vary. So do factions and kinds of gigs on offer. For ShadowHaven runners, it's an opportunity to expand their experience and make some pretty nuyen. For the powers that be, who knows?
Rather than factions involved from the start, this metaplot will focus on locations other than Seattle in an attempt to show runners new places, which may inspire other GMs to play outside the comfort zone. Due to this, the next sections will group Johnsons under the respective location, after describing it a bit, together with main sources.
The second largest city of the UCAS until 2055 when it all went horribly wrong (read: bug-shaped), the Windy City in 2083 is indeed big on the whole Project Takeback deal. It's got much more to offer than just insect spirits. Infected all around the former Containment Zone, including in the eponymous Ghoultown. Toxic spirits. The AAAs fighting as viciously as the gangs, the Ancients, Chicago Union and Human Brigade included. Anarchist communes with assorted nefarious rumours. Merrow in Lake Michigan. Radiation around the Cermak Blast area. SURGElings in Freaktown. The Old Sears Tower in the Shattergraves, an alchera showing one of the taller Fifth World buildings every February the 10th. Farther away north of the South Milwaukee Sprawl, you may even end up finding some centaurs if urban legends are to be believed.
If running in Chicago and its vicinity, keeping track of the outdoorsy skills, Navigation and Survival in particular, as well as protection from radiation and chemicals, are more important than in, say, Seattle. One, the irradiated Cermak Blast area is more than Pilsen - the zero ground zone. We're talking about a 3 km radius to cover the fallout grounds. The northern half falls under the Shattergraves neighbourhood with the Noose, the old Sears Tower, Union turf or ghoul communities like Ghoultown or the Sanctum. North of there, the McCaskill mafia family's smuggling routes via Lake Michigan are located, Wrigley Dome where KE made its last stand against the bugs before the nuke went off not far from the Lake View Ancients prowling grounds.
Two, it's extremely easy for non-locals to get lost there. You don't want to be running from gangers, infected and worse without a good idea where you're going (other than "away"). A great deal of what used to be the heart of Chicago lies in ruins. Dangers range from hostile metahumans through magical bad news to environmental perils like the difficulty of obtaining potable water. Flashlights, survival kits, gasmasks and hazmat suits become essential to work deeper in.
This is not to say that Chicago only offers "Mad Max"-style action. While acquired by Ares Global Entertainment, Truman Technologies is still significant in Chicago. Lone Star enjoys the municipal contract, with some straightlaced and many crooked cops on its payroll who want to use runners. FAB III pollution means the Astral Preservation Society may wish to hire instead of risking its own people. MIT&T and Aztechnology are also interested in studying the manascape and could employ irregular assets. Finally, small communities like the Maker Collective, Ghoultown, the Vault or Little Earth might be up for hooding if that's the direction you swing in. You can even navigate the interactive map before you end up there.
- "Bug City"
- "Target: UCAS"
- "Shadows of North America"
- Chicago (Wikipedia)
- Chicago (unofficial)
- "Sixth World Almanac"
- Emily Young (Networking). In charge of the UCAS government ghoul program producing the Little Hornet decks, she's genuinely interested in seeing it succeed, if only to keep climbing the ranks. It's not hard to imagine her sponsoring runs to achieve both. She and Erik De Ruijter of the Midwest Pirates' Guild have a long-running rivalry as both are rather skilled deckers. Runs from her tend to deal with reclaiming deeds to land in the CZ so that the government can take them over and personal advancement, so whatever makes her look good for her superiors.
- Erik De Ruijter (Gear). The mastermind behind the Xiao MPG-1, one of the members of the current top brass of the Guild is haughty and very much an alpha junkie. Unfortunately, apart from the unpleasant personality, he's also skilled with the deck. He likes to boast of himself as the People, calling Emily Young the Man. He could prove a worthy contact for deckers for sure. His jobs tend to involve the Matrix, regardless of the general Matrix noise being an everyday problem deeper in.
- Lisa Cutty (Fixer). Coming from a family of Seattleites, she's got expectations to live up to. Her grandmother Alice and mother Catherine both fixed in their time, leading to Lisa inheriting a vast network around North America, with some more superficial links in a number of European countries. But she wants to avoid her own daughter Rachel having to live the life as an adult. No-nonsense, she hopes to make her front as the administrator of Chicago State Hospital on the southern edge of the former Containment Zone her full professional focus.
- Alan "Kei" Limerick (Legwork). A retired runner and numerously submerged sourcerer, the follower of Delphi, this elf wears his tinfoil hat as a badge of honour. A survivor of an EVO technomancer experimentation black project "White House", so more than aware of the prejudices Emerged face first-hand as a teen, he embraces the Resonance fully. Working as Head of Matrix Security for Chicago State Hospital, he values his time for sure and avoids straining any muscles. Typically, when he's not diving into the Deep Resonance Realms, he's content fending off two-bit hacker gangs, unsuccessfully trying to tame technovermin, programming oddly artistic indie games or glamming it up on his favourite conspiracy boards. This changes if technomancers are at risk or there's a juicy theory to follow.
- Jeoffrey Phillips (Networking). Truman Technologies may have been bought out by Ares Global Entertainment, but to Jeoffrey, with his raw charisma of a Super Bowl star and the looks of a younger Morpheus, its Irregular Assets Department continues to be his little kingdom. To him, anything happening around him is a potential business opportunity. Hiring runners for Bug City runs not in Chicago, but in the South Milwaukee Sprawl isn't rare, but this fellow somehow always gets the absolutely best Chicago-style pizza at Chicago's Own pizzeria (formerly Giordano's) whenever hosting meets. This seems to be a running theme for him: money, cars, tech, medical supplies, new contacts - he can get you anything. For a price.
- Sally Kitchi (Service). Lone Star holds the municipal contract in Chicago after KE's show of gross incompetence with the bugs costing so many lives made the survivors utterly fed up with them. Due to this (and the general short life expectancy of officers deployed anywhere near the CZ), it hires beat cops by the dozen. Sally is one of such cops. The young ork didn't fit the tribal elders' expectations, but, naive as she is in it, had this fierce desire to serve and protect. A child of two worlds now, on one hand, her outdoorsy skills come in very handy in her line of work (and can be yours for a price when she's off-duty). On the other, she's a gun enthusiast, augmenting herself for that special edge - her datajack, smartlink and boosted reflexes were all bought on her own dime as she believes they can make her a more effective officer of the law. The pistolero isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but makes up for it with hard work and sheer enthusiasm.
The economic centre of the SSC, a highly important sprawl not far north of Seattle, Vancouver can prove lucrative for runners. It's the home of Universal Omnitech, with divisions of Eagle Security (the rent-a-cops providing the municipal contract security services), Gaeatronics, Kyuusei Medical and other corporations. It runs the gamut from Hallelujah Point and the lights of downtown to the grittiness of Boundary Bay docks, Downtown Eastside or False Creek where the poor live, with about everything in-between. For any barrens, go to Seattle, but Vancouver has a seedy underbelly just fine, with the Red Lotus Triad playing the main fiddle.
On Vancouver Island, Masaru's condoplex is located. Dunkelzahn also had a crystal one erected underwater in reference to the Chinese belief dragons live in crystal palaces on the bottom of the sea. Richmond is the place for spookiness as the fateful earthquake of 2059, the magical terrorists responsible never caught, still features unquiet dead. The Woodwards Arcology boasts twenty-two floors and a SkyTrain station for corporate intrigue. The Triple Eight casino nearby invites Red Lotus Triad trouble. Hallelujah Point guards its upscale suburbia dreams with Eagle Security on every corner. Downtown Eastside is poor, although with some hipster clubs like the Magic Box. For a floating shanty town of squatters on boats, be sure to visit False Creek. The proximity to assorted water sources and the rest of the SSC invites smuggling and tribal-related runs. Or perhaps you wish to liberate Fu, the fourth Coin of Luck, from Akira Kageyama?
- "Native American Nations Volume 1"
- "Shadows of North America"
- Vancouver (Wikipedia)
- Vancouver (official)
- "Sixth World Almanac"
- Sarah Chang (Service). The Vancouver branch answers to the elder lodge of the Red Lotus Triad in China. Sarah isn't its leader - that's the eastern dragon Chiao - but nonetheless an important person in charge of recruitment. The Red Lotus Triad is willing to employ metahumans and people of ethnicity different than Chinese. Sarah, a Salish-Chinese, is an excellent example of the relative lack of bias. She's got her ear to the ground about all the smuggling and networks with the crooks at Kyuusei Medical. As fit for the Red Lotus Triad, however, her fighting and stealth prowess are what she's actually formidable for. She'll typically offer jobs dealing with smuggling or violence.
- Anne Pavati (Gear). One of the hotshot Universal Omnitech scientists, the biotechnologist Anne (with an "E", something she's very touchy about) works with all kinds of genetech. Some describes her as neurotic, but her jumpiness disappears the moment she's got to focus on the job. Entirely unconcerned with the division between the legal world and the shadow community, she will sell the goods to runners with decent (R3+) fake SINs and may pay for assorted research.
- Caribou (Fixer). Trolls have horns, not antlers like caribou do, but don't tell this one that. Caribou is old and cranky, but his tribal connections, including in the Athabaskan Council, are not to be neglected. Maintaining a good relationship with all the big factions is why he's so respected. He's got a particular rapport with the Cascade Crow tribe and the Salish mafia, which is how he tends to get runners from Seattle to handle jobs the locals could view as bad luck, like in Richmond.
- Stanley Robertson (Gear). This elven Kyuusei Medical manager deals with the Red Lotus Triad, networking their fell-off-the-truck drug deals. Arrogant, but a gifted negotiator, would sell his own grandmother to advance. He's quite biased against the Salish mafia. Stanley tends to offer well-paying cold bastard corporate jobs. The elven assassin Long Lankin is basically his red right hand.
- Long Lankin (Service). An assassin for hire using the nickname Long Lankin works for the Salish mafia where they're not discreet enough to go as well as for any businessmen who can afford him. A full suit of alphaware probably didn't cause his superhuman psychosis, but brought underlying problems. Very stealthy and with a sadistic bent, a perennial favourite of Stanley Robertson when he doesn't want to get his own hands dirty.
- Eleonora Grayson (Networking). The matron of the Grayson family dating back to colonial times and a retired risk manager in Gaeatronics (holding shares to this day) is a stern, imposing woman with psychotic episodes. A proud psionic mystic adept of the analytical sort, despotic and unforgiving, she refuses the treatment of modern medicine, forced to deal with an almost-broken body.
- Darren Redoak (Legwork). The ork captain of Eagle Security for Vancouver. A proud Salishan and a Cascade Crow tribesman, he's prejudiced against "pinkskins" to a notable extent. That's the bad news. He also harbours no love for Humanis sympathisers, which is arguably the good news in there. Redoak has many officers patrol the area around Hallelujah Point in particular due to its affluence and good financing they receive from the neighbourhood, yet he's on edge due to the Chromeheads gang growing more and more daring. His (human Salishan) parents were friends of Eleonora Grayson and stayed this way despite Darren goblinising into an ork. While he's not a fan of "Anglos", he still hires (out-of-town) runners if a case he'd like solved for juicy PR for Eagle Security without risking his men.
Miami isn't a capital of the Caribbean League, but its touristic importance and the Awakened wonders of the Everglades make it a spot you don't want to miss when anywhere in the region. Officially, its main source of income is tourism of every stripe, ranging from Miami Beach through Wyndwood to Hollywood. In reality, even after Art Dankwalther brought the once-mighty AA, Gunderson Corporation, to its knees, gambling, smuggling, the drug trade, prostitution and metahuman trafficking fill Miami's pockets. Corporations also lair there - look at the mix of Downtown Miami, Wuxing Eastern Shores, Ares's Palatine Bank or Aztechnology's Sun Key. Gunderson Airport and Hospitality Centers area counts as the dying cry of Gunderson Corporation after 2061, having to sell TransSea (to Wuxing) and Montclair Industries (Global Oil). It's still a gyrating beach dancefloor for rich glitterati and retirees from the rest of North America, but slums are plentiful enough for an enterprising runner to disappear into.
Miami demonstrates the might of water best. On one hand, it feeds its tourism through picturesque beaches and turquoise waves lapping at them, perfect for every kind of water sports. On the other, it jealously claims chunk after chunk of land, ripping what metahumans settled in floods big and small. The Everglades Awakened and bite back. Still, neither tourists nor smugglers would change the nuanced relationship the sprawl has with water. You may navigate this pirate paradise with the help of this interactive map.
- "Hard Targets"
- South Florida
- Miami (Wikipedia)
- Miami (official)
- Worldbuilding Wednesdays: Miami
- "Shadows of North America"
- "Sixth World Almanac"
- Gabe Bryant (Networking). CoolCo Inc. is a B-grade corporation started by Peter and Helen Bryant producing air conditioning systems headquartered in Miami. A successful owner of a "modelling agency" - a front for a high-class call-girl business - he feuds against his mother and twin sister to claim the corp for himself. This means he has contacts in the underworld, with crooked lawyers and cops, corrupt politicians, as well as among Miami runners.
- Seal (Fixer). She's not really an adept surfer. Well, she's not just an adept surfer. Seal fixes lower-scale jobs in Miami on the side. You won't go into the corporate enclaves, but work from her will show you how the less-affluent live. Prepare for the unexpected just in case, but you can pretty much expect having to swim.
- Peg-Leg Paco (Gear). This Jamaican ork can grate on you for his push to look like a stereotypical pirate, but what (and whom) he smuggles makes up for the Jack Sparrow cosplay. If you want someone to get you in and out safely, navigate the Everglades or get you that sniper rifle you've been eyeing, you'll tolerate the "Arr, avast, matey!" speech, the bandannas, the smelly parrot and the fact the supposed peg leg is actually prime alphaware.
- Luís Rodríguez (Legwork). The Everglades Awakened and bite back as established. This parabiologist tends to be in the thick of it. No paracritter is too big, aggressive or difficult to reach for him. Luís can take you on a trip you will never forget to the end of your life. You may even return to tell the tale.
- Nonna (Service). This elven vodoun may be called "Grandmother", but she's nothing like yours, that's for sure. She's a trusted Zobop supplier of House Trafficante, all but ruling Havana, but just like she's willing to sail to Seattle to oversee a particularly interesting transaction, she regularly visits Miami. Hot-blooded charisma serves her well both on her chosen path of magic and dealing with her underworld partners, subordinates and rivals. She's a good person to scour the black market for reagents, Awakened drugs and magical paraphernalia as well as vampire slaves and zombies. She also binds a lot of spirits she can assist with on a run, but better don't make her angry.
A home for over two million souls, not just elven movers and shakers from the Star Chamber, Portland, or Cara'Sir as it's officially known now, the fabled Land of Promise has its shadows too. Even though Tír Tairngire hadn't signed the Business Recognition Accords, the local corporations like Telestrian Industries Corporation or Andalusian Light Industries offer a lot of work, just like the politicians. Sometimes, even the Tír Peace Force, if reluctantly - especially if you're not an elf. Hestaby's Mount Shasta home is probably not a place you want to visit, but the city is an excellent hub of runners. In fact, the Princes tend to hire from the nearby Seattle happily, because it lowers the risk of a local working for the political rival next. Telestrian spearheading a lot of cutting-edge technology, including genetics and neural networks, as well as military contracts and government services, means they're extremely influential and aggressive in their corner of the world. You may be hired for a lot of corporate espionage in corps they want to acquire. The Daisy Eater smuggling route runs from Puyallup to Portland, so smugglers come in all shapes and stripes. The relative vicinity of the forests can send you poaching Awakened animals for telesma. What if you're hired to tamper with someone's Rite of Progression?
- "Tír Tairngire"
- "The Land of Promise"
- "Elven Blood"
- Portland (Wikipedia)
- Cara'Sir (official)
- Portland (unofficial)
- "Shadows of North America"
- "Sixth World Almanac"
- Sean Baltana (Gear). This elf from the noble caste is dedicated Johnson for Telestrian Industries Corporation in Cara'Sir. Savvy and result-oriented, he's happy enough to strike deals with non-elves for a lot of Telestrian products, provided the business goes cleanly. He's also more than an acquisitions expert driving a hard bargain unless he likes you - he can offer assorted jobs for the corporation he works for. Whether busy with corporate espionage for a product Telestrian wants to put on the market first, performing extractions of experts they want to employ (or else) or going out into the wilds to research some magical phenomenon with a scientist you've got to babysit, you can at least expect him to deal with you fairly, without metatypical bias frequent in the Tír.
- Vanessa Michaels (Service). The Willamette Hospital shares its stellar reputation with the Tír Tairngire Medical Center and competes with it. Vanessa isn't very liked as a dwarf and staunch loyalist of Prince Kevin Jaeger, but her skill in trauma surgery isn't challenged by her worst enemies. With her steady hands and keen (cyber)eyes, any beaten, shot-up, burnt, broken-limbed runner will appreciate the contact. As a non-elf, she takes great pains to avoid anyone on her immediate staff having any pronounced metatypical bias. This makes her quite popular with all but her most elven supremacist patients.
- Archer Lawson (Legwork). The CEO of Carlisle Consumables, an unrated corporation producing traditional edibles like dandelions. Yes, this expatriate from the United Kingdom is either a genius of marketing or culturally offensive for the Tírs. Regardless, they make good profits making dandelion-and-burdock fizzy drinks, ready-made salads from leaves, packages for use in soups, frying or boiling like spinach, wine from blossoms, flowers for cakes and prepared buds for use in fritters and omelettes. However, there's a market for vegetarian-based products and the corp has good expansion prospects. The product not yet on the market, in the last stage of the process to fix, is Carlisle Consumables Dandycaf, an alternative to soycaf traditionally used in the region Lawson is from to make a coffee substitute. The CEO of the small corporation is its loudest fan, rooting for its success (dandelion roots are the key ingredient). It's the brainchild of the man and allegedly his great-grandmother's recipe used, adjusted by the chemist to fit production on a larger scale. Popular among his employees, Archer is more of a researcher than a businessman, available to lend you his academic knowledge as long as he remains blissfully unaware of what you do for a living.
- Ryan Niriame (Networking). He's under-secretary for something convoluted and innocuous under Prince Johan van den Berg. Which means he's embedded in the very heart of government. Ostensibly a quiet statesman, Ryan is one of those nobility-hailing elves who know a lot and mind what slips past their lips. A dedicated classical music enthusiast, you can catch him at least weekly after the most elite performances hosted at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. You can sway him to put a good word in for you if you can talk about the opera, orchestral music or ballet in particular.
- Patricia "Pat" Ethenia (Service). With the official bans on several AAAs operating in Tír Tairngire, smuggling like via the Daisy Eater route thrives. Yes, they insert themselves through shell companies, but an average citizen wants access to common Aztechnology products without having to jump through the hoops of buying in Seattle and going through the customs, needing connections or hefty bribes handled in such a way the official won't fake offence (because it's not as much as they felt like that day). This is where the rigger Pat comes in. Aware of the fact that aircraft is faster and less constrained by roads than wheeled vehicles, she flies her little modified plane with cargo and sometimes "tourists". She's got an actual licence for touristic flights in the vicinity of Portland, ostensibly for safe sightseeing, which, together with her contacts in the Ancients, she uses for business and pleasure. If you need to get into the country fast, contact the gang in Puyallup and pay Pat - if you tolerate her nerding out about grease-monkeying, she's reliable and well worth her prices.
- Liam O'Connelly (Fixer). There aren't really old elves yet, so it's safer to call Liam like he wants: a middle-aged gentleman's gentleman. This is chivalry-caste speak for a fixer. He's been in the business for several decades now, an epitome of discretion and neutrality, managing to earn the respect of about every faction of Portland's underworld. Many good jobs go through him, so best stay on his good side.
- "Lovely" Lucy (Service). The area between East St John and Swan Lake is largely non-elven slums. A number of gangs comprised of orks, humans etc. dwell there. The Hawt Dawgs are an example of a tusked one, with "Lovely" Lucy leading it. Their combat bikes are largely all they own, squatting in tents pitched next to them, but the characteristic trait is their love of small dogs. The ork would do anything for her chihuahua wannabe Princess Loca, but aside from it, her gang can help stage a distraction or communicate with the non-elven poor.
Home to some ten million souls, the Smoke continues to be the capital of the United Kingdom, the financial heart of Europe. Outer and Inner London come together to create one of the most iconic European sprawls. Corporations like Aztechnology, Horizon and Saeder-Krupp Heavy Industries have their fingers in all kinds of pie there. The constitutional monarchy doesn't help its crime plague, which paradoxically makes it an excellent place to run in if you avoid stepping on any toes. The Tongs, especially the Silent Reeds Tong, clash with the local British crime families known as the Firms, other syndicates and gangs like the Yardies. Pollution is rampant, Tír Na nÓg contacts frayed. The political class is so decadent and corrupt no one expects anything good from them. Entertainment may easily feel trite, but it's where the nuyen's at. It's a dirty world even for those familiar with the ugliness of the shadows, but the multicultural nature makes for a good time for the more mercenary-minded of us.
Inner London is the meat and potatoes of the Smoke. We can divide them into eleven districts including the Firm-dominated East End with as many dens of iniquity as your wretched little heart desires, the safe area of West End with its Tube Underplex and the Overground - a ripe ground for modest pickpockets - the political centre known as the Temple, the financial heart of the City, the motorway of Westway with its street gangs, the Palace's royalty and the Estates' nobility in name only, the British Industrial PLC's Angel Towers Arcology, the Isle of Dogs' expensive housing estates in fine skyscrapers, the idyllic pseudo-suburbia of the Village, the metahuman Docklands squats and the Lambeth Containment Zone (also known as the Squeeze) slums. The haves and the have-nots are separated from each other, with assorted shady characters, preying on the latter from either side of the law, which offers a vast array of runs (albeit from the more cutthroat end of the spectrum).
- "London Sourcebook"
- "London Falling"
- "Shadows of Europe"
- London (Wikipedia)
- London (official)
- "Sixth World Almanac"
- Giorgios "Jerry" Glikymenos (Legwork). The Dancing Zorba tavern in the Docklands is run by the Olympian adept couple of the satyr Giorgios and his minotaur wife Elena. The food is decent soy-based Greek cuisine, the live music events starring the man keeping in rather packed. There's nothing remotely British about the place as the proprietor believes mutton with mint sauce way too bland. Imports not from the Republic of Hellas? Alcohol other than ouzo. All the beer is from the AGS, vodka from the Russian Federation, whiskey from Tír Na nÓg, whiskey from the Scottish Highlands. Rumours through the grapevine, however, are absolutely local and even fresher than the soy souvlaki - yours for a price.
- Chandi Khan (Networking). This Horizon agent to Horizon-Bollywood starlets has been in the showbiz for a long time and has apparently seen it all (even though she doesn't look her age with all the plastic surgery she's got). She believes any kind of exposure is good for you, good, bad, in-between, it doesn't matter to her. A corporate loyalist, she frankly uses her charges, drumming up their moment in the sun and discarding them when their star is no longer on the ascendant, but to Horizon, it means results. To her credit, the passion for Bollywood-style trids and the Hindu culture in general isn't faked.
- Gai "Guy" Jin (Service). An enforcer among the Silent Reeds Tong, this fellow means business and is as cutthroat as the City politics. Drugs, gambling, BTLs, illegal weapons, paid sex, including on the Matrix - whatever your vice is, he or his underlings can and will provide it. A blade nut, he's an intimidating type, yet just as dangerous with guns. He's good enough at negotiations to moonlight as a Silent Reeds Tong J, so if they want someone intimidated, the opposing crime outfit surgically inhumed or so, he hires and pays well.
- Ebenezer Solomons (Gear). This nocturna comes from the Camden Town Jews and makes the most of his night shift work at Harrods. Benny as he's often nicknamed has very good supply lines, both above the counter and below it through the Tongs. A real nose for business. He's got customers in places high and low alike, with a lot of contraband provided by the Yardies. Often enough, he has to offer jobs involving smuggling something in or out, or perhaps overseeing an exchange of goods, when the unpredictable Afro-Jamaicans are unavailable.
- Fatima al-Samara (Service). This young hobgoblin lady is an Islamic enchanter and Alchemy Major, selling legal alchemical preparations in Camden Town. She does moonlight as Aperitif in the local shadows if you need a more esoteric prep. Her best-selling offerings are Heal, Resist Pain, Increase Reflexes, Armour, Sterilise, Detox, Cure Disease, Analyse Device, Combat Sense, Deflection and Blast, but she's able to crank out more. She can also talk about the various British magical phenomena, including the great dragon Celedyr.
- Sven Amundsen (Fixer). This giant is a good example of an immigrant starting over. He runs a successful runner bar styled into a traditional English pub called the Cheery Cervitaur. It's got tap beer, hearty local dishes from good soy substitutes, some rooms upstairs Sven rents. The last is particularly useful as he fixes jobs in Inner London - those areas are highly useful to Johnsons.
- Barry Swiney (Networking). An underboss in one of the Firms, the one thing he's quicker to roll than his Cockney accent is that beastly Warhawk of his. He's not getting old yet, but has the well-earned reputation of being quick in a fight and in the backroom sealing deals. If you want to do something illegal in East End, he will know even before you make the decision, it's rumoured. A very good bad guy, you can say.
- Emma Bellend (Legwork). Growing up in the Docklands wasn't easy, but this gnome journalist made it through and she's out with a vengeance to write all about the real dirt of the Smoke: the City, the Temple, the Palace. The pen can be mightier than the sword and compete with a pistol if your words are appropriately quick on the load. A dedicated whistleblower, she inspires extremely mixed reactions. Those whose dirt she launders vilify her. The little people view her as something of a candle in the darkness. Either, both or neither could be true, but her skill in finding information they don't want found isn't to be disputed.
There are a few things you've got to know about Vladivostok, one of the largest sprawls of the Russian Republic. One, it's distant enough from Moscow to let its Vory v Zakone do their own thing as long as revenue flows and they don't mess with the capital. Specifically, we're talking the Red Vory here. They'll react with extreme prejudice if you mix them up with the White Vory. They almost wiped themselves in the 2046-2048 war, letting the Seoulpa Rings and some Triads in, with the 2070s one leading to "Bloody" Otsana Kovalenko emerging victorious. You don't want to piss her or her people off. Two, EVO, the former Yamatetsu, has its headquarters here after Yuri Shibanokuji moved from the JIS to Russia, dominating the business landscape. Russian prejudices run the nationalistic stream, with non-Russians on the receiving end way more than non-human metahumans, Awakened or Emerged, but EVO's business model makes them mellow a bit. They're not doing it out of the goodness of their fake bleeding hearts: catering for everyone pays better than only for a single group. Ethnic Russians still rule, followed by European Slavs and Baltic peoples, with Transcaucasians treated with suspicion and the Russian Far East folks on the penultimate losing position (before everyone else). This leads to Russian Humanis skipping out on "their" metas to bash on Westerners, for example, or Russian Sons of Sauron paradoxically attacking their ethnically Russian kin. Don't try to make sense out of it, you won't. EVO wants to pretend they're getting better, but we're far from any real change. Since they're a member of the Pacific Prosperity Group, also headquartered in Vladivostok, corporate runs are common. Three, the whole society is highly militarised, with every SINner required to serve a minimum of two years. Politically and socially, they still dwell on the times they were an empire. You don't want to offend by even implying those times are gone, long gone, because they react poorly to it. With the great influence of the spy agencies like the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), the Federal Security Service (FSB) or military intelligence (GRU) in the whole country, you never know who is just a mole waiting to sell you out. The Russian Orthodox Church holds much influence, with Awakened typically forced to serve the state, so don't expect your confessions to be as secret as you hope. Its marriage with the national politics ensures the hands are appropriately greased to make the wheels of business turn. Four, for the tech-minded runners in particular, Vladivostok is a pilgrimage site for the sole reason of the Mosaic Data Haven being found there. The colourful mosaic of constantly shifting patterns and shapes hides one of the prime data havens of the entire world, with the then-Yamatetsu being one of the secret supporters. If you want to find something out, the Mosaic probably has you covered. Non-Vory syndicates include the Seoulpa Rings like the Northern Star Ring (the Mosaic Data Haven's sponsor, among others) and the Triads like the Red Dragon Association or the Ten Thousand Lions. With the Vory dominating wetwork, prostitution, smuggling and the drug trade, they focus on Matrix crime, the production of BTLs chief among their sources of income.
- "The Vladivostok Gauntlet"
- "Shadows of Europe"
- "Shadows of Asia"
- Vladivostok (Wikipedia)
- Vladivostok (official)
- "Sixth World Almanac"
- Denis Fyodorovich Yusupov (Networking). Sorry to dash your hopes, history buffs: Denis has no relation to the infamous Prince Yusupov. What he does have is his connections all over EVO, whose full SINner he proudly is: MetaErgonomics, CrashCart, Saotome Aquadomes, PensoDyne Biotechnical, Tsuruga International, ByDesign, MetaMatrix, Lightning Brands - if he cannot connect you with some middle tier exec there, this person just isn't worth knowing. As a corporate loyalist, his runs advance EVO's causes no matter what. He's also interested in cybernetics.
- Oksana "OK" Nikolayevna Mironova (Legwork). Part of the Mosaic Data Haven speaks for her skills. If you want a hacker for hire, she's your elf. Prepare for her nerding out about sprites, but this submerged technoshaman is excellent at digging up information deemed lost. An Ersatz! simsense fan.
- Boris Leonidovich Yakimov (Fixer). This one is openly part of the Red Vory of Vladivostok. He's thick with the Gruppa Obespechenie's accountants. He also never offers jobs which would imperil the rodina. That aside, a very good contact to have, especially if you also make yourself useful to the Reds. As the Gruppa is used to take care of the members who have been incarcerated and their families, Boris has many people indebted to him, some perhaps even genuinely liking him! He runs an upscale jewellery shop as the legal front of his operations. If you want to win his heart, be kind to the rodina, Matushka Russiya and cook well (read: traditionally, skill preferable but optional).
- Sergei Yegorovich Agafonov (Gear). A retired bojevik, Sergei uses his respect among the bojeviks and shestiorkas for overseeing smuggling in and out of Vladivostok. He's able to recommend some safehouses and boltholes when things grow too heated for runners he views as useful to the Reds. This ork is a fan of football and sponsors the local Little League, so fellow sports enthusiasts will have an easier time connecting with him.
- Irina Filippovna Kariyeva (Service). The head of one of the numerous CrashCart Medical Services clinics, she's the person you want to get stitched or implanted by legally. Or through political connections. Or through the Vory or EVO liking you. Whatever your in is, she does prime work, with up to alphaware available from the street and betaware access with prior appointment, the upfront payment, and a good enough SIN.
The Yucatán Peninsula is harrowed by the fighting between toxic and non-toxic spirits, but if you want to visit anyway, make your destination Tulum. Largely kept out of the way of the drama, mostly hidden away from the rest of the world by the picturesque beaches to the southeast, jungles in the other directions, regardless of Aztechnology's power, Tulum stayed a fairly sleepy town. You've got infrastructure, yes: a local teocalli dedicated to Quetzacoátl, assorted vacation rentals offering bikes or surfboards, small hotels and hostels, restaurants and bars, shops, if on the smaller scale, or stuff tourists want - tour guides, some BANCOMEX ATMs, language schools - and Aztech rules there. But the main emphasis to make to those considering visiting Tulum is: the ruins of the pre-Columbian Zama, the sea, the jungle and cenotes.
If you're planning on visiting, make sure you deal with some things much before you go. One, don't look like a Catholic. The Path of the Sun is the state religion and Catholicism has long been outlawed (even if underground worship exists). Two, don't look like a spy from Amazonia. They still have issues with Hualpa's DISA or the Ghost Cartels. Three, prepare for Aztec tradition Awakened, spirits and paracritters being quite commonplace, with a strong push for even the weakest of sparks honing what little talent they've got. Four, infected are borderline sacred in Aztlan due to the connection with blood they've got. You probably won't meet any Blood Panthers, but better to stay on the safe side. Finally, Tulum is far away from hubs like Tenochtitlán or Bogotá to be used as a kind of testing ground for various projects Aztechnology prefers to be quieter. While we're not talking about blacksites, laboratories playing with bioengineering security critters or archaeologists investigating the ruins of Zama, a pre-Columbian walled city located on the coast, and the purported religious site built by its people in Cenote Escondido, are hardly not to be expected.
- "Shadows of Latin America"
- Know Your Enemy: Aztechnology
- Tulum (Wikipedia)
- "Sixth World Almanac"
- Ana Sofía "Moustache" Mastache (Fixer). She used to live in Tenochtitlán's Iztapalapa barrens in her youth, but moved to Tulum when she could afford to leave the past behind. Extrovert and cheerful, she runs Hotel Ventura - an affordable family-style hotel with the secret of allowing many runners to rent rooms there if they don't draw attention to themselves. Moustache's nickname stems from her love for theatre and skill in disguise - in fact, you can pay her to help touch you up to blend in. Her jobs tend to involve the wilderness around Tulum, however - pack those survival kits.
- Chimalcoyotl (Legwork). Known as Yotl for short, this pantherine (jaguar with an elven form) shifter is getting too old to hunt big game, so she switched to hunting information. An accomplished enough Aztec magician and the follower of Snake, she's lived in Tulum all her life and has become something of a local wise jaguar… err, woman. Her beloved spell school is Detection, although she's a skilled healer as well. To gain access to her magical knowledge, the understanding of the jungle cenotes and free water spirits who inhabit them, folklore or history, you have to pay her in real meat, however.
- Diego Tlaqui (Networking). This elven adept, a follower of Seal and the Aztec tradition, is a dedicated Johnson for Aztechnology Tenochtitlán. His work tends to send him to Tulum every few months. While he's not quite a fan of the sleepy town, he understands the benefits of its location out of the way. Big on discretion, he's got a surprising preference for gringo runners - hiring outsiders means getting to pay them and forget about the whole affair.
- Alonso Tupac (Service). An Am-Azt War veteran and a boy next door, the boisterous ork has his community's respect. After returning home, he leads tours to the very edge of the jungles while his wife Nina runs an Aztlaner Spanish language school in the city centre (as much as Tulum can be called a city - doubtful - and having a discernable centre). He doesn't rap with much class. He raps with passion. He's arguably really good at outdoors and hunting with his sporting rifle, so canny runners may want to hire him as a guide.
- Guillermo Muñoz (Gear). Normally, he repairs all kinds of vehicles and drones, dabbling in weaponsmithing on the side. Through his cousin Ramón, however, he's got some minor connections to the smugglers from Havana, allowing him to organise some weapons if need be. Guillermo is much better at fixing your ride or weapon though. Mundanes may purchase Special Modifications if they gain him as a contact.
Not much more than a settlement for tourists to enjoy hardly altered nature, Goose Prairie seemingly avoids the typical troubles of the world. Bumping Lake provides a great spot for boating, fishing and angling. The nearby trails are rather easy. The woods invite sightseeing, including glimpses of wild game, which those with the correct permits may hunt. The lodgings like the Golden Goose, gift shops and the Yakima Valley Museum provide infrastructure for tourists, which private people and employees of Aztechnology, which owns a significant amount of land there, enjoy. It's not entirely an idyll, however: the Salish mafia use the areas above Deep Creek for their shady deals and the locals discourage pursuing the Copper City ghost town, although they clam up as to why.
- "Native American Nations Volume 1"
- "Shadows of North America"
- Goose Prairie (Wikipedia)
- "Sixth World Almanac"
- Aleshanee Yoomee (Service). The shaman and best friend of Momo the bandit, fittingly a Raccoon follower, is the unofficial protector of the settlement. Skilled at storytelling, she's something of a mascot at the Yakima Valley Museum where she works as a custodian. In Goose Prairie, she advises everyone not to venture past Deep Creek. According to her, the Great Ghost Dance messed the abandoned settlement from the gold rush times up badly, with spirits resisting summoning there, mutated animals, feral infected becoming prey rather than predator to… something. Her tales can chill to the bone, but she's happy to heal with her magic at no price if she doesn't take drain and there's no need for reagents to be spent.
- Lallo Segenam (Legwork). The teenage dwarf fishes in Bumping Lake as opposed to the rest of the Okanogan-Wenatchee and is a veritable fount of wisdom about what tourists may want to do in Goose Prairie. The woods, as he and his family can attest, have deer, boars, raccoons (those keep stealing from tourists, pose for photos in return for snacks or shinies and somehow brick their commlinks if chased away), eagles, wolves and bears. Predator sightings are not as common as of herbivores and omnivorous species, but regular enough. With a hunting permit (which he can help you get), you can hunt as well, info available on the Matrix or at the Wading Wolf Lodge, a local hunting association. Bumping Lake boasts different fish, crustaceans, molluscs and even a small beaver family, local mascots, and Lallo can tell you everything about them. He's known for ruminating on the legal restrictions, sizes, bait and rods used for hours if not stopped.
- Wyome Whakan (Fixer). She's not even hiding the fact she and her brother are part of the Salish mafia. Wared up and rugged, she knows both the tribal traditions and how to avoid breaking the rules (too much) while dealing dirty with the underworld. There isn't much shadow presence in Goose Prairie, but the remote location lends itself well for hiding the mafia stashes while she plies most of her trade in Yakima and Naches. She won't offer jobs which imperil her syndicate, but if you bear the "pinkskin" yapping, she's reliable.
- Askook Whakan (Gear). He doesn't hide the fact he and his sister are part of the Salish mafia. Big on his tribal honour, he's a sharp shot, which the ware he's got certainly helps. The downside of it is his "My Country, Right or Wrong!" attitude, but the smuggling connections he's got can definitely come in handy for an enterprising runner. Just bear the "pinkskin" yapping and get down to business.
- Nirvelli Yoomee (Networking). A distant descendant of the woman who started the Golden Goose, Nirvelli runs the family-style inn. Cheerful, knowing everyone and known in like, an excellent storyteller, she can occupy any tourist through the chilly night. Why are the nights so windy anyway? Why won't she let anyone go to Copper City? What's the dirty secret of Goose Prairie?
The ancient and storied capital of Egypt, Cairo started on the Nile River, although it has since spilled in every direction, east of the river in particular. A moderate enough Islamic Democracy, the country is noticeably more relaxed about metahumans and Awakened than its neighbours, although still troubled by tribal umbrages among the Bedouins and the New Islamic Jihad, the terrorist organisation still feared in spite of going underground. It's a rich sprawl thanks to the oldest and largest cinema and music industry in the Arab World, links with corporations like Global Sandstorm or Saeder-Krupp Heavy Industries and access to crude oil. Unsurprisingly, it suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic. The world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University, is part of it, together with museums and numerous digs, bolstering the Egyptian Sixth World Renaissance. Hosting the Desert Wars contributes to a strong mercenary and sports culture. It's also something of a safe haven for technomancers since the 2070s when the Coptic Church offered them protection.
Running in Cairo and its vicinity, a number of things are worth bearing in mind. While the country isn't anywhere as radical as other places where Islam is the dominant religion, the New Islamic Jihad is still a problem in Egypt, targeting Awakened and metahumans. Hobgoblins have the easiest time due to the metavariant being rather widespread in the Middle East and adjusting well culturally, followed by dwarves. Traditional Islamic enchanters and Egyptian tradition conjurers are the most tolerated Awakened. In fact, the Egyptian mages responsible for the safety of execs and politicians are official priests and no pushovers, able to hold their ground to the point of offensive possession. The entire country is Mossad's prowling grounds. Those people have access to training and technology, including some government technomancers, and don't play around. Stories of Krav Maga used for enhanced interrogation? All true - don't get caught. The Egyptian tradition of iconoclasm is followed rigorously: local execs are protected by their likenesses, taking advantage of possession spirits to guard them from manipulation. Iconoclasm is deeply ingrained within the culture, especially strong with its Sixth World Renaissance. Imagistic representations are a matter of public face for the well-to-do as well as real magical defences. To weaken business rivals before negotiations, Johnsons tend to hire runners to vandalise the statues and deal with the spirits. In general, Awakened other than of the Egyptian or Islamic traditions tend to be outsourced talent.
- Dhaafir al-Sultan (Fixer). Running in Cairo requires the know-how of how things are done here. Otherwise, one wrong step and you join the mummies. Dhaafir can amply provide that. Regal in bearing, he knows exactly when goods Mr Johnson wants stolen will be moved, which guard is lightweight and likes a drink, what route to take in order to make a speedy escape through the Nile. It's customary to bring him honeyed fruit, dates and raisins his favourite, because he's got a sweet tooth and believes business should be done with food and drink.
- Nafeesa al-Nasr (Legwork). The Coptic Church offered technomancers a safe refuge in Egypt, leading to their numbers increasing through migration. This Mossad-employed sourcerer follows the Archivist paragon, reaching entirely new heights of discovering secrets. She's very much a government loyalist, but if the runner has a goal which aligns with those of the ruling politicians - or she doesn't catch upon you being one - it's hard to go wrong with Nafeesa.
- Zeena al-Amini (Service). A research assistant at Al-Azhar University, Zeena proves hobgoblin possession specialists can be terrifying. Her main area of expertise is spirits, although she can sling a mean Comet as well. She views her Alligator mentor as Sobek, the crocodile-headed Egyptian god, the innate affinity for water spirits strengthened. Her jobs involve exploring the past, so better brush up on History and Arcana.
- Umar al-Zaher (Networking). Working as an upper middle executive at Arabia's largest corporation obliges. You have to know who to trust, who to betray, who to bribe - know people. Thankfully, Umar is a social butterfly, the life of the party, and knowing people is his element. Being mundane doesn't stop him from climbing the ranks. It's difficult to dislike him to his face even if you wake up to your enterprise being taken over by Global Sandstorm, his 24-carat grin on the photograph as you shake hands. He knows the art of social engineering like few others. He doesn't prejudice against runners, viewing them as good for business - you just have to hire them first and make an offer all counter-offers pale in comparison with.
- Husni al-Mostafa (Gear). The troll doesn't participate in the Desert Wars as a mercenary anymore. He's got enough accolades and the nuyen which follows to switch to mentoring the new generation. His erstwhile SpinGlobal sponsor is how he started angling for ware purchases, but his current network is all owed to his own business sense. If you want to buy alphaware or lower-grade cybernetics, solid restricted armour and weapons (automatics in particular), Husni is the man you want to go through.
The Hong-Kong Free Enterprise Zone is a painful reminder of corporations triumphing over governments in the Sixth World. There, China lost to megacorporate (particularly Wuxing) money. Corporate boardroom backstabs, crime centred on smuggling, drugs and talislegging, ruled by different Chinese Triads, dark magic and draconic plans spanning millennia are all present. Bordered by the Shen Zen city in the north and the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River) wetlands, Hong-Kong is nominally divided into eighteen districts, of which fourteen are sufficiently distinct, although the ancient dragon lines are much more important. "Everything here is designed to maximise and commodify qi," many will tell you. It's a runner's paradise, however: from fields on the outskirts where drug-producing plants are grown under Triad control through the river's meanders where smuggling of goods and people happens, skyscrapers jutting straight to the sky where a little dragon's scale can occasionally be glimpsed, loud outdoors markets you can buy anything at, to the infamous slums of Kowloon Walled City, there's work to be had. Just don't go without a map.
The extremely robust criminal landscape of Hong-Kong, including Downtown Hong-Kong, Wan Chai, Eastern Hong-Kong, Southern Coast, Yau Tsim Mong, Kowloon City, Tolo Harbour Complex, Kwai Tsing and Lantau Island, deserves its own section. Apart from corporate (or even draconic) dirty dealings, it's home to a great deal of Triads or Triad wannabes.
- The Red Dragon Association headquartered in Hong-Kong is probably the closest to holding dominion there, purely due to their allegiances to the great dragon Lung and the Chinese Big Ten, Wuxing Inc. As the de facto the largest and most powerful Triad in the world, not to mention the sprawl, its criminal empire spans Asia, Australia, both Americas and Europe. It's got a centuries-old rivalry with the White Lotus Society dating at least to the Boxer Rebellion. Thanks to Lung's assistance, it annihilated the Majestic Peacock Association. The global underworld war of 2062-2063 destroyed the Yellow Lotus Triad. Very well-financed, they use a fairly rigid and organised structure to make forays into territories of other syndicates. Due to their connections, high-ranking members may even boast betaware. As par for the course for Triads, ethnicity matters, not the metatype or status as a mundane, Awakened or Emerged. This openness gives them a distinct edge over most Yakuza, for example. The 58th Battle Brigade mercenary group answers to them. Prostitution, drugs, gambling, Matrix crime, counterfeit goods, gunrunning, smuggling, protection rackets, metahuman trafficking, doing the bidding of Wuxing and Lung - the Red Dragon Association does it all.
- The White Lotus Triad is international, with a "division" in Hong-Kong. Their strong ties with the Singaporean technology A-grade corporation Tan Tien, one of founders of the Pacific Prosperity Group, lend them much clout. In fact, given their enmity with the Red Dragon Association, they need that. Their focus is on prostitution and gambling rackets.
- The Smoke Circle Society is one of the most powerful Triads of Asia, controlling the largest share of the trade in Golden Triangle opium and Awakened drugs, including the infamous Tempo. As demonstrated in the Smoke Circle-Black Chrysanthemum War during the Battle of Kowloon City of 2071, their magical might is significant even after losing approximately half their power. The conflict with the Black Chrysanthemum continues. They're also strong with gambling (in Hong-Kong) and metahuman trafficking for the flesh trade (across mainland Asia). The Golden Army, one of the lesser Triads, is vassalised to them and fought in the Smoke Circle-Black Chrysanthemum War on their side.
- The Black Chrysanthemum, while based in Macao, has a stronghold in the worst part of Hong-Kong: the Kowloon City. One of the most brutal and cruel syndicates in the Sixth World, one which is as feared there as Tamanous is in Seattle. Its backbone are the Kowloon gangs made up mostly of mainland refugees, although unlike most Triads, it's willing to recruit non-Chinese (still Asian though: Filipinos, Vietnamese and Indians). Because of the strong focus on Awakened members, it triumphed in the Smoke Circle-Black Chrysanthemum War of 2071, currently at 70% of its power prior to it. Mundanes working for them are wared up. The main metahuman trafficking syndicate, it forces its clients into slavery to pay off their debts, such as working in sweatshops or factories producing counterfeit goods), frequently to the death. Other forms of slavery include victims they need for the international sex trade, SINless residents of Hong-Kong to be harvested for their organs, possibly even those indentured workers deemed too slow at work to be useful outside their guts. They oversee gambling rackets and are involved in the trafficking part of the Golden Triangle. In the Canton Confederation outside of Macao, they do gunrunning and organlegging. Other branches include the Kingdom of Hawai'i represented by Honolulu, the JIS (Neo-Tokyo), the Philippines (Manila) and the North American West Coast (Seattle, San Francisco).
- The Red Lotus Triad, while focused on mainland China, has two branches: Vancouver, SSC, where, overseen by the dragon Chiao, they largely control the water-based smuggling and drugs due to the partnership with Kyuusei Medical, and Hong-Kong. They work out of the Wan Chai and the Yau Tsim Mong. In the latter, not like in the former, Chinese ethnicity matters. Both focus on the drug trade, however, so if you want substances, you could certainly do worse than ask them.
- The Red Lantern Triad is another outfit with Hong-Kong presence actually more significant elsewhere. Before the brutal mob war of 2064-2065 they were decimated by the Kabul Maffiya, they had a stronghold in Tashkent, overseeing the local crime bosses and profits from the drug smuggling routes going from Afghanistan to Russia. In Hong-Kong, they use a marine salvage company named "ReVage" as a front for smuggling drugs.
- The Ten Thousand Lions started as a mere street gang and climbed to become a syndicate with presence on four continents. It's got pirate crews, smuggling rings and metahuman gangs these days. Built from survivors from the Yellow Lotus Triad annihilation by the Red Dragon Association in 2062-2063 who didn't escape to Seattle, it was the first Triad to give metahuman gangs real power and the first to establish their main operations in foreign refugee communities. Unlike others, they pay less attention to being ethnically Chinese - if you're Filipino, Vietnamese or Indian, they're happy enough to take your blood in. The Kwan Tong district constitutes its powerbase where they recruit from mixed immigrant and refugee populations from Vietnam, the Philippines and India. Into a variety of criminal enterprises, involved in the Golden Triangle drug trade, their focus is certainly on Wuxing BTL chips smuggled into markets throughout the Pacific Rim, wherever they are illegal.
- The Tolo Vory deal in prostitution, BTL chips and pornographic sim studios. EVO Hong-Kong's Yamatetsu Naval Technologies division has strong ties with them. As usual for the Vory v Zakone, you have to be Russian to enlist, a Slav to go anywhere, but they're not prejudiced against women or metas. In fact, orks, trolls and dwarves make up its numbers to a non-negligible extent.
- The Kim Dragons Korean syndicate is led by former dissident Kim Tak Goh. The man united a number of Korean gangs from the Sham Shui Po neighbourhood and manoeuvred assorted Triad wars by keeping their heads low enough to keep operating. Their niche is violent operations like kidnapping and home invasions, which ensures they can ply their trade without the bigger fish worrying about them.
- The 289s is a confederation of Hong-Kong gangs working out of the Yau Tsim Mong district. Flashy and ballsy, they live fast and proud, not long. Due to this, their focus is on scams you can pull off quickly and lose the payday in a nightclub even faster. Gambling, media piracy, counterfeit goods, the Golden Triangle drug trade, robberies - this is probably unsurprising. Interestingly, they produce low-budget flicks painting them as daring street heroes, wildly popular in Hong-Kong.
- The Gold Tigers aren't really a Triad - just a gang part of the 289s. Their turf is confined to Portland Street, revenue generated by orchestrating robberies and fencing the stolen goods.
- The Bronze Jian Triad is one of the less important. Definitely nowhere as significant as the Red Dragon Association or the White Lotus Triad, they do business while avoiding growing large enough for the big fish to mind them as potential threats. They deal in protection rackets, so if you want contacts to lean on a target for a bad cop, better than bad cop situation, the Jians are worth considering.
- The Golden Army is one of the lesser Triads of Hong-Kong. It's a vassal of the Smoke Circle Society. It fought on their side in the local Tempo Wars. Its focus, similarly to their bosses', is on drugs, particularly BADs.
As anyone can see, it's a boiling pot of criminal groups even before you add Wuxing, other corps and dragon interests. If runners can take advantage of this, it's a runner's paradise. If not, a cold grave on the bottom of the Zhu Jiang River.
- Yanmi Xie (Fixer). She's something of an old hand almost on the very border of Kowloon City. She operates out of one of the numerous typhoon shelters at the old Kai Tak airport by Kowloon Bay converted into a hostel and noodle shop combo. The locals don't try to mess with her. Through the years, they've learnt better than that. This is, those lucky enough to survive the ire of a former razorgirl. Her jobs tend to come from Johnsons who are connected to Wuxing, some Triad (usually the Red Dragon Association or the White Lotus Society) or both, although you can, on occasion, have hooding for the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island or the request from a Downtown Hong-Kong starlet looking for protection while slumming it.
- Arkadiy Leonidovich Karnaukhov (Gear). The Triads are by far the most powerful underworld faction(s), but EVO Hong-Kong has the Tolo Vory. Arkadiy's outfit, therefore, deals in prostitution, BTL chips and pornographic sim studios, supplied to his compatriots first, about everyone willing to pay shortly thereafter. As a rather important member of the Gruppa Obespechenie, he officially works as the Head Acquisition Manager for EVO Hong-Kong's Yamatetsu Naval Technologies division, but his day job aside, you can make a number of purchases through him, be they EVO miltech and aquatech or what the Tolo Vory can offer.
- Zhenya Luo (Service). He's an enforcer for the Gold Tigers. They usually steal whatever isn't nailed down, but Zhenya secretly dreams of the career of a young heartthrob in those trashy flicks they make. He knows Portland Street and the vicinity like the back of his own (grubby) hand, so if you want to hide there or have him shadow someone (robbing them likely, shanking optional), he's the guy you want to pay. If you can feed his acting vice, he'll love you, but in a pinch, a credstick will do.
- Iseri Genichi (Legwork). A custodian at the Sha Tin Museum, this korobokuru escapee from Yomi Island, JIS, loves his second home. Arguably, he would claim Hong-Kong is his first and only home. In general, academic subjects are his area of expertise, but he can also talk about the local folktales. He's fascinated by the mythos related to dragon lines and the Four Coins of Luck.
- Shi Yao (Gear). The Red Dragon Association is by far the most influential of the Triads of Hong-Kong. It's not surprising that Shi, a rather well-connected higher-up of theirs usually in charge of the different smuggling operations, can get you almost anything. With the Golden Triangle drug trade roaring, substances restricted or outright forbidden are easy to obtain for her, but she can also help with weapons or armour.
- Don Lingxin (Networking). Wuxing is the most important corporation in the sprawl. They've got ESSY Motors, a great deal of banking, shipping, entertainment and services. Don holds the position of Deputy Chief Marketing Officer of Swift Wind Deliveries Hong-Kong. The elven social adept is a canny negotiator with an extensive social network in the AAA, the Pacific Prosperity Group and the assorted Triads, especially the Red Dragon Association. The district of Southern Coast, specifically, the Wuxing Skytower in the neighbourhood of Aberdeen he calls his home, is where you have to go for some really high-class deal-brokering and much understanding of magic the sprawl exudes.
- Gang Quan (Service). The Black Chrysanthemum rules Kowloon City with an iron fist. Seemingly, nothing is too heinous for them to do if the pay is right. Gang is one of their enforcers. The day job has him oversee one of the sweatshops in the worst slums of the district, Kowloon Walled City, taking advantage of his strength and propensity for violence to cow the indentured workers into obedience (or else; there's always money to be made organlegging if you ask him). The ex-con troll is as swole as they get, wared back up when his friends broke him out for deadly efficiency, mixing unarmed combat augmented by the 52 Blocks prison martial art with about any automatic or heavy weapon. When necessary, he will act as a shock trooper without any issues. He's not the most sneaky person around, but if you agree with his attitude (there's no "kill" like "overkill"), you can hire him for "locate and destroy" tasks or ask for tips on what's going on in the district. As long as his comrades in the Triad aren't unhappy with you, that is.
- Peng Cui (Legwork). The White Lotus Triad focuses on prostitution and gambling rackets, so Peng is highly useful as an infobroker if you're looking for dirt on the high and mighty of Hong-Kong. He seemingly always knows about the vice of this or that executive. The habit a starlet develops with the Golden Triangle drug trade roaring like it does isn't a secret for him. If it's something you wouldn't tell your grandmother about doing (and enjoying), chances are he knows. His words - and silence - are golden, but he accepts escrow and credsticks.
- Yang Lang (A,N,G,K). In Hong-Kong, the lowest power is the Triads. Above are the megacorps, especially Wuxing. The absolute top is taken up by the struggle between the two eastern great dragons, Lung and Ryumyo. She's one of the many agents the latter has. He's connected, he knows secrets, but not many runners would freely work for this particular Mr Johnson.
- Yin Lin (A,N,K,G). In Hong-Kong, the lowest power is the Triads. Above are the megacorps, especially Wuxing. The absolute top is taken up by the struggle between the two eastern great dragons, Lung and Ryumyo. She's one of the many agents the former has. She's connected, she knows secrets, but not many runners would freely work for this particular Mrs Johnson.