|Part of By Royal Decree|
The Seelie Court
|Tir Tairngire||Black Lodge||Ancients|
Enemy Runners,Knife, Charon
Ancient scrolls were found and stolen, taken to be sold to the highest bidder. Runners infiltrated an auction, stole the scrolls, and made increasingly poor decisions.
A cache of ancient scrolls were uncovered in the Salish Shidhe Council, near the Tir border. Discovered by accident, a complex array of tunnels were revealed, strange iconography painting the walls. None of this was expected, the find clearly not compatible with any local cultures or time periods. As news of the discovery spread, the curiosity of outside factions grew.
As Treasa began to organize an operation, local Ancients managed to strike first. While security by the Salish was growing increasingly strong, the bikers managed to raid and steal an preserved scroll from the excavation, then escaped southward, towards the Tir. Treasa had already sent an operative to surveil the site, and the agent continued after the Ancients. However, they never checked back in. Wanting the scroll and its secrets for herself, Treasa called together a team of runners to follow the trail and uncover what happened.
The team is called to meet together at Treasa's request. Like most of her meets, she provides food to the runners. Charon decides to be excessively old-meme-cringe-etc. The other runners adapt as best they can.
Briefing the team on the job, she lets them know that a spooky relic had been uncovered, and then stolen. Given that the Ancients were the ones to take it, this was not a comfortable mission for Babylon. Unfortunately for her though, Treasa was calling a debt she had earned in the past.
Treasa wanted the team to find the scroll, wherever it was, and return it, intact. A very simple mission.
Most of the team was alright with normal rewards, but Charon, the queen of poor decisions, decided to demand karma. Treasa graciously accepted the request. Babylon, knowing Treasa was a fae, was nearly exploding in "wtf Charon". She held it in though while Treasa was dealmaking. She didn't want draw a negative response from the J.
Prelude and Party
Heading into the SSC, the team deliberates how to start. The digsite was now swarming with security, and the Ancients were likely long gone, so they decide to focus on finding the missing agent. Charon realizes that asking for karma from a possibly hostile spirit could have repercussions, so she tries to make contact with Mr. Herenight to get help in beating them. Somehow though, she associates with the only vampire with more concentrated Elderly-Vibes than her. Herenight doesn't use phones, so communication is slow. While Charon tried to get the team to wait several days so she could secretly make contact, the rest tell her no.
They investigate the missing agent's home, hoping to potentially find some clues. And in fact, they find a very obvious clue that someone had broken in. The clue was a bomb. An exploding bomb. There was a bit of pain shared around the team, but they lived! It did thoroughly destroy the agent's home though. Some nearby witnesses mentioned seeing the agent run away with a bugout bag, but their memories seemed altered.
Following the few clues they could find led them to a shack in the middle of nowhere. Inside, heavily interrogated, the agent was bound to a chair. For whatever reason, he couldn't describe the people who had captured him, but the team did learn where the Ancients were likely headed, the estate of the Tir Duke, Caridan Bern. Bern, periodically opened his estate as a 'community auction' of sorts. Wealthy buyers flock to a party and conduct business with the upper crust of the black market. Likely, the Ancients were planning on selling the scroll there.
The team already very unhappy about having to enter the Tir, were less happy when they realized the estate was south of Cara'sir. Far from the border. Still, they prepared for the next steps. Rabbit hacked invitations for the team, identities were forged, and to make the party a bit more interesting, Babylon invited Juliette Burns to attend.
By investigating the hacked guest list, the team discovers a black market talismonger, Eithne Cyneras, would be attending the party. Thinking she might be the one who contracted the Ancients to steal the scrolls, the team decides to work towards finding her.
As the team entered the manor, the saw the exterior guard were official Tir Peacekeepers, but the interior was guarded by poorly disguised Ancients. Charon used adept powers to take the form of an elf.
A large amount of social happened. Babylon got to meet a princess. Bollwerk got an offer to snitch for money, and denied it. Rabbit stayed away from most of it.
Eventually, a pretty elf started pulling away Babylon for some private time, and she of course couldn't resist. Things were going well for her, until she got pricked with a stinger. Confused and angry, Babylon fell unconscious. It turns out that Knife had his eye on these scrolls as well, and hired his own runner team. The team saw evidence of their work with the agent and the bomb. The enemy face, Mirage, with Babylon dispatched, made contact with Eithne. After a bit of back and forth, Mirage secured the scroll and started to walk out of the party. The rest of the team was a bit behind on information, but Rabbit cornered the escaping face.
At this point, Rabbit felt that the subtle approach was failed, and decided to be a bit more direct. Letting out a banshee's wail, she paralyzed a large number of people, grabbed the scrolls, and then ran into the forest. People shot at her, but not very successfully. The party, and the rest of the team, was still a bit shocked.
As Rabbit ran into the forest, far from any real escape, the team disengaged from the party. Well, except for Babylon. Deciding to pretend to be a law abiding citizen, she put on her best shocked face and hung around.
Leaving the Party
Rabbit didn't have much of a plan at this point beyond run to the car stashed in the forest. While not the worst idea, there was a bit of a complication. That other runner team. As a sniper rifle opened fire from far away, the team realized things got complicated. In a hovering VTOL, a rigger shot at them from long range. After a bit of exchanged fire, it was clear this wasn't a great situation for them to be in. As they moved away, the VTOL followed, creeping closer to them, spirits from an enemy mage joining as well.
Throughout this, the enemy face, Mirage, communicates with Babylon and Gomorrah over DNI. She tries to get the team to surrender and hand over the scrolls. They'd even pay them 10k each. Sometimes jobs go poorly after all, and there's no need to bring more heat down on all of them. They might as well walk away from each other peacefully. And alive. The team doesn't take the offer though.
Charon eventually makes a very good decision, and somehow manages to grab on to the VTOL when it ranges particularly low. She activates terrorscape, radiating fear and despair. Hoping to paralyze them in fear, it more causes them to flee, rapidly. With Charon holding on to a VTOL, she very rapidly starts moving upward. As Charon manages somehow to hang on, the rigger starts maneuvering in the air to throw her off, causing Charon to fall a great distance, far away from the rest of the team.
With this distraction though, the team manages to pass the scrolls off to Gomorrah, who should have an easier time getting away, and all start to drive off. While not being actively shot at, they are still deep in the Tir, and their law enforcement is mobilizing quickly.
Thankfully, the enemy runner team doesn't reappear to continue shooting at them. On the down side though, unbeknownst to them, they decided to avoid drawing the eye of the Tir government at the moment, and decided to pursue a different tactic. They sent an information packet anonymously to the constabulary detailing the team, their location, and their means of escape. With this, the other runners felt they could try again later, and hopefully not become wanted fugitives.
So Charon still falling from the sky, landed in the forest, and started running for a highway, hoping to reconnect with her rental car. She fought off a spirit on the way, and eventually managed to find the car. This still had issues though, as traffic was starting to block up on the roads around then, and emergency services were setting up check points further away on highways.
Rabbit meanwhile, drove her rental car back towards the highway, trying to head west towards the coast. She ended up in a checkpoint. For various reasons, the cops got sus, and started checking various things. After a bit, it got to the point that Rabbit didn't think she could bluff her way past. She squelched the cops commlinks and pretty quickly killed all the Tir cops. Unfortunately, this was in public, so there was a bit of panic from all the other people stopped around here for the checkpoint.
Needing to act fast, Rabbit hijacked a new car, dwarf motorist inside, and started driving. After a bit, she pulled over another car, paralyzed the dwarf and started threatening the new driver, taking a new direction and leaving the old car on the side of the road. However, these hijacked cars were on GridGuide, so it kind of gave the cops an exact trail once they found the discarded car and started looking into GridGuide records. That will be important for later.
Charon managed to get in touch with Rabbit, and they met up, combining into a single car. Around then, Rabbit managed to spy that an astral mage was tailing her vehicle then. The mage vanished after she tried to make contact, and they just kind of were left in a, "well now what?" moment. Their answer was to keep driving lol.
They started driving towards the coast, hoping for an escape by sea. Having left the manor far behind, having avoided checkpoints, gunshots, tails, things seemed good now. Like they'd made it free. The coast was close too!
Then a gunshot blew out one of their wheels. As they spun out, a squad of Tir ghosts rappelled out of a concealed silenced helicopter about 50m away from them. This was not good.
Combat started up, and the duo decided to run rather than engage. Their opposition was not playing around at this point. Getting hit by suppression, AR fire, and helicopter support, they started taking severe damage. Charon went down first. Rabbit was maintaining decently well, until they got nailed by a HE missile, leaving them with one physical box unfilled. Rabbit smackdowned a stealth test to hide, for at least a little bit. Continuing to sneak away, she successfully managed to evade the squad on foot, and hobble towards the nearby coast, forced to leave Charon behind.
The vampire in question, meanwhile, was secured, stabilized, and kept under a UV light by a ghost, preventing her from regenerating.
Rabbit was near the beach, when the helicopter managed to spot her again. Going all in on fleeing, she dived into the water, trying to get as deep as possible. Her air tank let her breath, and she was relying on the water to negate aerial attacks. As she wasn't immediately exploded, she kept on swimming, heading for her submarine car. Unfortunately, being deep underwater, her navigation software wasn't working. She had to hope the direction she was swimming led to her car, and not the open ocean. Very luckily for her though, it was! Submarine car exit, acquired!
She was still in Tir territorial waters though, and they were still looking for her, naval vessels called in to aid the search. Using her banshee powers though, she silence her vessel and the waters around it, which managed to negate most of the sonar signals her vessel would create. This allowed her to narrowly avoid having depth charges dropped on her, and them popping her car like a balloon. Finally, at this point, she managed to leave the country.
As all this was happening, Babylon was just chilling at the party. Deciding that shit was fucked, she spilled who she was to the Ancients at the place, relying on them to safeguard her. Thankfully, they did, though they were annoyed at Babylon's participation in all of this. Getting in contact with Gomorrah and the scrolls, the Ancients quickly smuggled her out of the country, the distraction the other two were causing diverting enough law enforcement attention to make it relatively simple.
Charon, captured and near death, woke up in a sterile white room, relatively bare, but for a table and a matrix projector. There was a UV light blaring preventing her regeneration, and she was restrained to a chair. Expecting to be interrogated and possibly tortured by Tir officials, she was surprised when Knife showed up on the projector. They started by having a petty power play with each other, neither willing to talk first. Knife broke eventually, greeting Charon and giving her a very gremlin-like pleasure. As they griped at each other, Charon learned that Knife didn't call in the Tir strike team, but did manage to pull a few favors to have Charon captured alive. A lot of favors as it happened. What he didn't mention was that he hired the runner team that fought them in the first place. Knife wanted those scrolls too.
With a few more bribes and connections, he was able to have her slip through the cracks and delivered to a safe location. This wasn't just altruism from him, and he admitted that Charon owed him a debt. He did try to build connections with Charon though, to try to recruit her to his cause. It honestly worked semi-decently, though Charon is notoriously a wild card. In the process of this, Charon told Knife everything about the job, not happy about being abandoned by Rabbit, as she saw it.
She also mentioned her proposed deal with Treasa, regarding the karmic reward. Knife recommended not taking strange deals with Fae, but told her it was ultimately Charon's decision. After some more talk, he disconnected, unlocking Charon. She left, ate a complimentary delivered live meal, and took Knife's arranged flight home.
Babylon meanwhile took pictures of the scrolls on the way back, curious about what the target actually was. The scrolls were obviously old, made of parchment and ink. The language was one she didn't recognize, and there were also symbols interspersed. She sent a copy of it to Juliette Burns, asking her to figure out what the language was. After a bit, it was determined to be Akkadian. A language that really should not be found in some ancient hidden underground area in the Salish Shidhe. The language was too archaic and obscure for a quick translation, but Babylon resolved to figure that out in the future.
As they arrived back in Seattle, Babylon arranged a meeting with the J later that evening. The team reunited before hand, and checked back in with each other. Charon punched Rabbit fairly hard in the face. Babylon mentioned that the scrolls were spooky and Akkadian and briefly flashed a low res image of them to the others. Rabbit wasn't satisfied with that, and hacked her commlink, copying the pictures directly. She wanted to check to see if this was Horror related. As it happens though, she also did not speak Akkadian, so the scrolls remained a mystery lol.
Heading in to the drop-off meet, the team met Treasa. She was pleased that the team accomplished the mission, and took the scrolls from the team. She promised that the money and other gear would be delivered to them. Then she implied the meeting was over. Charon, predictably, was like "Where's my karma bitch!". Feigning irritation and frustration, Treasa attempted to play that off as the Karma earned in the process of the mission. Charon then demanded the promised stuff. Treasa 'reluctantly' agreed. Rabbit left around now, though Babylon and Gomorrah stayed to watch.
With a flick of her fingers, Treasa caused the world to warp, and opened a rift into the Seelie Court. Charon and the rest started to astrally project. Treasa walked into the portal, and the others eventually followed.
The world was vibrant and full of life, nighttime, but with lights flickering in the air. Fae, servants of Treasa, clustered about and followed the group as they all traveled deeper within. Eventually, she lead the three to a ritual site, located in a shrine. She slowly fiddled with the setup, arranging runes, circles and assorted magical things. Charon was directed to get in the center. Asking directly, Treasa asked again if Charon wanted the karma transference. Expertly sensing fae trickery, Charon confidently said she wanted to gain karma, not have it taken away. Treasa agreed, all deception surely foiled.
Meanwhile, Babylon was getting increasingly BadVibes from this. She always thought it was a stupid idea, and loudly told Charon that multiple times on the mission. As the three were to go into the plane, Treasa mentioned they were all to behave there, giving an especially meaningful look towards Babylon. At the ritual site, Babylon and Gomorrah studied the setup, given that they actually understood how rituals worked. Eventually, she reached a conclusion. It was a spirit pact ritual. Designed to tie a metahuman and spirit, most were often deeply binding, both for the spirit and the contracted, with drastic effects on both. Babylon's dread levels were rising steadily, but warned by Treasa, standing in the Seelie Court, and surrounded by Fae servitors, what was she to do?
The answer, for her at least, was to simply observe.
The ritual commenced. Charon slowly felt a connection form, tendrils reaching into her aura, herself, and bonding. She felt a entity in pain, resonating in her self. She didn't mind. She wanted that karma. The connections grew in number and scope, fractals enmeshing and binding her to another. As the power reached it's height, the bond solidified. Then, power flowed. Starting small, it grew and burned in intensity, karma and magic rushing into her, warping her mind and body. After a seeming age, it stopped, but the bond remained. She could still feel echoes of another, somewhere.
Charon had gained her karma, but it had changed her, deeply.
Still not understanding much, the team left the metaplane, directed by Treasa back to their bodies. At this point they parted, going their separate ways.
After the job though, two members still had some very important meetings. Unable to meet with him due to the pace of the job, Charon finally made contact with Herenight. Charon told him everything, all about the job, the scrolls, her meeting with Knife, and about her dealings with the Fae. He listened with interest, but near the end of the tale, he made a passing comment. He had thought that Charon was happy about being freed from her chains, to her Geas to the lodge. How strange that she'd choose it once again. And that she was a moron.
Charon had a 'Wut' moment.
She tried to brush it off, telling him to do his cryptic thing if he wanted. Herenight just gave her a look of disgust and called her a slave, leaving her alone.
Charon later realized she might have made a poor decision or two.
Rabbit, meanwhile, still felt the need to investigate the scrolls more. She knew the dangers that lurked in this world. She needed to act.
So, she called up Moria, her Draco Foundation fixer. And she told her everything. Every bit of the job, including the high resolution scans of the scrolls. As she looked at the pictures and listened to the story, the scientist became increasingly flustered, and said she had to tell someone about this. She quickly hung up to spread the news through her organization. The Foundation would be keeping its eyes on this.
2.5 time * 40 RVP ~ 100 RVP
50 Karma - 50 RVP
Surge III, as a feylike vampiric abomination (Baobhan Sith?) - 30 RVP
Contact: Knife as a 7/3, missing 1 chip (9 RVP)
Contact: Treasa Ke'Vedryn as a 7/2 (8 RVP)
8 CDP - 3 RVP
-25 Rep with the Black Lodge
+10 Rep with the Seelie Court
Lose 1 loyalty on Herenight
Charon is now in a spirit pact with an unknown Fae. (Note for record it's a Baobhan Sith)
Charon made good decisions.
30 Karma - 30 RVP
30000 Nuyen - 15 RVP
100,000 Nuyen worth of Gear Rewards ( Reagents, Foci, Lifestyle Costs, Magical Gear) - 25 RVP
Contact: Princess Melia Blake as a (8/2) - 9 RVP
Contact: Mirage as a (6/2) - 7 RVP
Contact: Eithne Cyneras as (5/2) - 7 RVP
16 CDP - 7 RVP
Can pay to increase loyalty once without the double cost.
Can buy First Impression at chargen price
Pay off chip on Treasa
-10 Ancients Rep for working against the gang.
+10 Rep with the Seelie Court
30 Karma - 30 RVP
30000 Nuyen - 15 RVP
100,000 Nuyen worth of Gear Rewards ( Reagents, Foci, Lifestyle Costs, Magical Gear) - 25 RVP
Contact: Unknown Draco Foundation Contact, probably a connection 8 or 9. I'm going to bill it at 9, and then refund if needed later. Loyalty 2. (10 RVP)
Contact: Treasa Ke'Vedryn as a 7/2 (9 RVP)
Membership in the Draco Foundation as a hidden affiliate - (7 RVP)
10 CDP - 4 RVP
+15 Rep with the Draco Foundation
+10 Rep with the Seelie Court
Can raise Moria's loyalty to 5.
For Bollwerk: TBD, will talk to them
Up to A24 on the foci