The Money Pit
|The Money Pit|
A Drake Minion
|Casualties and losses|
F9 Great Form Earth Spirit (Dead)|
A Drake Minion (Subdued and released)
Three runners head to Halifax and Oak Island to retrieve a small idol from a deceased dragon's vault. On the way they meet a dragon, two brothers, a drake and a legend.
The Irving Corporation working with the local university and Atlantean Foundation have been working on a dig. The target of their efforts is a vault on Oak Island, at the terminus of a Ley Line, formerly owned by Dunkelzahn. They have uncovered the main door, but have not yet been able to gain entry. At the same time Vermithrax, a dragon with keen ambition, has been working on taking over the Irving Corporation using his holding company, Pentax.
The Matrix Meet
The runners are called and asked to join a meeting in VR. Inside they meet an unknown Johnson who describes a high paying job (40k and 1 'item of value') to fly to Halifax and retrieve an object. The runners get out of their prospective employer that the place is well guarded, though not extra-territorial. They will be responsible for their own travel, but the expenses will be reimbursed. And of course there's somebody else after the loot.
Upon accepting the job, the Johnson reveals the object is an obsidian and orichalcum idol of a dragon standing over a crystral structure. It is also revealed that it formerly belonged to Dunkelzahn and that the vault was also his. Perhaps foolishly the runners accept the job and begin to make their preparations.
Travel Plans and Seeing the Future
Relay books a flight to Halifax under the guise of traveling for a fundraising opportunity for MERC. He contacts Bradley Keith Irving and his brother Keith Bradley Irving to arrange a meeting. They seem interested in the project and Relay plans to couch it as a chance to get some positive name recognition in Seattle.
Starting off on a high note, Zenith decides to do some Oneiro. He intends to find another way in, and sees a lights on a large vault door. It's night time, but some distance away there is a crevice, perhaps just big enough for a metahuman to squeeze through. Amrei Veidt is happy to help Zenith get to Seattle to pick up some gear. She then bargains for a debrief to cart him back to Halifax. Zenith relents with the idea of Laesing himself so that he can't provide the debrief.
For Mara's part, she contacts Cascade for help smuggling herself and a shipping container with one of Relay's drones. The smuggler is happy to help and it was almost certain that nothing bad was going to happen.
Dragons and Matrix Searches
Arriving at the air field, Mara meets Cascade with her luggage and the two board the plane. Once they are in the air, the smuggler asks Mara if she would like to try her hand at flying. Seeing no particular risk, Mara magically analyzes the craft and takes the yoke doing a passable job of flying. Meanwhile, Zenith picks up his gear and gets on board with Amrei. The two play cards, with Zenith cheating. The spy catches him through her card counting, but regards his skill with respect and the two discuss Halifax with Amrei being cagey about what he might find there. On his commercial flight, Relay decides to read a magazine and then decides to do some matrix searching.
The bulk of their legwork is done in transit with Zenith talking to Amrei, Mara talking to Lady J and Relay sifting through the matrix for interesting tidbits. They learn many things.
- Pentax is trying to take over Irving.
- The CEO of Pentax is a dragon named Vermithrax, who is not well regarded among other dragons. He was devastated by the crash and has been rebuilding since. He has made substantial donations to the university in charge of the dig they plan to rob.
From Lady J:
- There is a Ley Line from Dunkelzahn's lair to the dig site.
From the matrix:
- Irving started as a logging company and all but owns Nova Scotia.
- They've been in competition with Pentax which has been buying up other competitors.
Things progress on an even keel with Zenith and Relay arriving without further incident. Mara on the other hand has taken to flying again as they make a low approach over the water. A ping on the radar is the only warning before the huge form of a copper dragon breaks the surface of the water. Quickly Mara passes the controls to Cascade who deftly dodges the dragon and his breath. Unable to resist, the mage opens a window to assense the dragon. His aura is like radiant amber reaching toward the edge of reality, though it also hints at a lingering wound and a lot of magic. The smuggler dips toward the water, forcibly ditching the wings to submerge as Mara closes the window and sits in shock.
Halifax at Last
With the crew safely in Halifax, they meet up at the hotel bar. Relay sits separate to maintain his cover, but they discuss the fact that there's a dragon. Mara notes that it was huge, approaching the size of a great which shifts talk to ascension of dragons to great dragons. Masaru comes up as the only known example of such.
The next day Relay goes to his meeting with the Irving boys. After sucking up and offering them the chance at some positive publicity and name recognition in Seattle, they pony up. Mara and Zenith both get in to cabs headed toward Oak Island. The other two notice that the cab company is owned by Pentax and with Mara's brush with the dragon, discreetly suggest that she exit the cab and walk for two hours. This seems like an okay idea to her and a chance to clear her head, so she gets out and alters her disguise magically and makes the walk after unpacking Relay's rotodrone.
Zenith, arriving near the dig does some sneak and peek work. He finds the location of the crevice, but it's not yet open. He also observes some Atlantean Foundation personnel at the dig sight, the teams first hint at their involvement. Some time later, Mara arrives under watch of the drone. She does a phenomenal job of sneaking while also invisible to meet up with Zenith. Using spatial sense near the crevice, she helps Zenith get an idea of what is inside, right up until the barrier that protects the vault.
The Patience Game
Seeing that the way is shut, they decide to be patient. Zenith and Mara case a few cabins and pick one for Zenith to break in to. Inside, they do some divination with the help of a spirit and learn that sunrise will bring the cliffs demise. It's night, so they decide to wait 36 hours, giving them two sunrises for the opening to reveal itself without their intervention. At the second sunrise, they hear an explosion and it's time to go.
Entering the Vault
A flyspy leads the way and Relay spots a metahuman form entering the new opening as Zenith and Mara make their way to it. At the entrance they find some sensors. Relay works out a way to bypass them using a clever trick and directs Zenith in it's implementation. They make their way in and through an F9 obfuscating ward where the rocky tunnel gives way to smooth carved stone. Moving carefully through a few traps, they find themselves at a descending tunnel that the rotodrone can't easily pass.
Making their way down, Mara, Zenith and a flyspy enter a large open area. They don't see anything but...
There's Something Down Here
There's definitely something down here. After a few tense moments of looking, the earth begins to move and an F9 Earth spirit sets in to attack the group. It's large and kind of slow, but deadly. Zenith begins to shoot and dodge it, while Mara flings spells at it and at herself. Committing to an incredible stunt, Relay get's his drone through the passage and on it's way to them. After some lucky misses and hits, they finally defeat the stone behemoth.
Gathering themselves, they continue finding a sealed archway. Zenith attempts to say 'friend' in Sperethiel, but it turns out his pronunciation isn't great in this instance. Mara corrects him and a doorway opens under the arch. Apparently Dunkelzahn had a sense of humor. This leads into a large amphitheater like room.
That's My McGuffin
In the ampitheater they see a metahuman, the Atlantean Foundation representative that Zenith saw ealier, holding the object they are after. He appears to be examining it closely and before he appears to notice them, the group gets in position. The figure causally turns to regard them and two guardian spirits appear behind the group. Before he can monologue, Zenith shoots him, both he and Mara ready to grab the idol. The combat continues with the drone, spirits, Mara and Zenith and the mystery figure all making moves to attack or protect the idol. During this fight the unknown metahuman transforms into his drake form, but he's leveled by a genital and neck shot while Mara attempts to protect the others from the spirits.
The group grabs the idol and convince the drake to send the spirits away before rendering aid. They then convince him to lead them out.
Playing Dumb Accidentally on Purpose
On their way out, they talk with the drake and convince him that they are simply going to sell the idol. They learn that he's working for Vermithrax and had used the Atlantean Foundation as a cover for being there. They even manage to convince him to Laes himself to protect him from Vermithrax's wrath. To this end, Zenith calls Argent to get some Laes for himself and the drake.
Aftermath - A Legend
They leave a note for the drake that the idol wasn't there and head off after he's laesed. At the meet, they find Ryan Mercuray, legendary runner and cohort of Dunkelzahn's. Zenith fanboys a bit and gets a shirt signed. Ryan hangs out, they drink and he pays them! Certainly the drake and Vermithrax won't be angry.
Rewards for "The Money Pit" (1.33x multiplier for run length):
- 50k nuyen
- 20 karma
- 10 CDP
- +5 Draco Foundation reputation
For Zenith: Signed Dunklezhan campaign shirt and a selfie with Ryan Mercury. One Draco Foundation Coin of Favor.
For Mara: Saw what a dragon's aura looked like and had it breathe fire at her. One Draco Foundation Coin of Favor.
For Relay: 100k donation to the Metroplex Equal Rights Commission. One gold memorial plaque.
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Not how imagined first seeing a dragon. It still chills my blood to remember it coming out of the water. And the size of the fireball. I'm not sure why I looked at it's Aura, but some part of me is glad I did as it was spectacular. In the end, though, not the smartest thing to do. I can only hope that he didn't see mine, though it seems safest to assume he did.
The job itself was straight forward in principle, though, as with anything the simplest tasks can turn out to be the most complicated. We were fortunate to have convince Vermithrax's drake that we were more hapless than we were. I feel a little bad for leaving him in such a state, but I know he would not have pitied us if we were corpses in that amphitheater.
- Zenith - Lived up to his claims of professionalism. Despite his attempts to keep me at a distance, I find his attempts to be gruff entertaining. I can guess that he has a warm side to him, though he makes certain I don't see it. His skills with a gun certainly live up to the hype.
- Relay - One of the most competent runners I have worked with. I can only hope that his esteem mirrors my own, though I'm not sure how it could. If I'm being honest, I am a bit jealous of his project. It seems like just the sort of thing I would like to be doing myself if it didn't involve exposing myself to so many outside forces. Congratulations to him and bravo for his ambition to make things better.
I was living a double life before: being a runner and being a trauma victim. That had its hiccups, but I find this new arrangement to be infinitely more difficult. Having put myself out into the open, it becomes imperative that I keep physical space between other runners and myself. This is easy enough at times, but travel is going to be problematic. I did not have the proper tools for this job, and someone could have died because I'm attempting to protect myself and the organization I'm building.
Mara and Zenith deserve better than that. I have to find a balance that is successful, or I need to bow out of one game or another. I have gotten so used to the feel and power and precision of the sniper rifle that I had forgotten the difference in its stopping power when compared with the more traditional assault rifles. It was a wakeup call for sure. Thankfully, the other two were capable. If this had been another team, I'd have lost a teammate this week. Frag.
Going coast-to-coast is always fun, and getting to spend some time back in the sprawl, even if it was just transitory, helps keeps me centered. The fact that we were going to be checking out one of Big D's old haunts was even better. I don't have a lot of "heroes" in my life, and a Great Dragon being on that list is a little weird, but I admire what he represented for the UCAS, he was a change from the Brackhaven's of the world.
Seeing the future is bulldrek and I don't get how the detective does it, but at least it gave us a kind of in. It showed us that secret entrance that the drake used to get in, and we were able to get in without dealing with the rest of the Dragon's goons. Admittedly a big fraggin' spirit and a Drake are enough goon for several runs. Especially when chummer had already found what we wanted when we got there, but turns out that a Drake doesn't like being shot in the bits any more than a metahuman does. A bottle of Laes and some assurances made later, and I think we don't have a Dragon on our hoops, but I worry about Mara. She got seen, and if she ends up a lead back to the rest of the drek we're tied up in, that's a problem. Guess that's someone else I gotta watch over.