Campaign of the Month: November 2014

Shadowrun - The Rat's Nest

Summary
a short-ish summary

December 2070

The Rat’s Nest is raided by Knight Errant / Hard Corps and partly destroyed, most of the Scrappers are arrested. After a sniper shoots five Hard Corps men the next morning, the Nest is evacuated. While it’s almost empty, the Picas move in.

During the time out of the Nest, the Scrappers are let go again by the police who had nothing much to charge them with. Neil finds out that he is Awakened when he summons a spirit by accident and meets Glitzy, who agrees to teach him. They begin a relationship.

The Nest is retaken from the Picas who no longer exist as a gang after that. A short while later, people get stuck in a UV host modelled after the Warsaw Ghetto and only just manage to escape.

January 2071
Glitzy and Maggie run a con on a businessman. Because Glitzy is too honest for her own good, she afterwards arranges for the man to work as a Johnson. 10k go missing from the Nest’s finances and it seems that someone has managed to program people to give the money away and not remember it afterwards. So far, it’s not known how or who. Rusty starts working as a runner for Glitzy.

February 2071
Roger Kowalski and Babsie open up a detective agency and immediately get in trouble with, presumably, the Yakuza.

March 2071
Babsie works her own first case and meets Fog, Zach, Jet and Stanley. Tempo slowly grows into a problem for the Nest and Neil loses Whistler when he tries to find a way to get rid of the addiction. After a run on the Maria Magdalene Sanatorium, fifty girls take refuge in the Nest. Fog, Zach, Jet, Stanley and Rusty have really pissed off a lot of important people and have a runner team searching for them. One of the girls, Fairy Fay, is a drake and hides out at Glitzy’s for now.

April 2071
The Rat’s Nest find out who stole all that money: Gen Wong, a rat shaman. Cornered, he fights and is killed by Neil. Lao Jia, his rat spirit, frees herself and moves in at the Nest. Zach is brought onto the UV Host and barely survives it. Fog hooks up with a witch, Kiki, and is currently wanted for killing a cop.

May 2071
Fog, Jet, Stanley, Zach and the Working Girls make a successful run on a chocolate factory and steal a ton of chocolate, but find out that it’s fake, grown from engineered algae. While hiding out at an abandoned chemical plant, they survive an attack by the Rusted Stilettos.

June 2071
Glitzy brokers a deal for the chocolate with the Stone family in Boston. A million for the ton, delivered to Boston. Fog, Stanley, Zoé, Jet and Nebraska go on a roadtrip and against all odds actually deliver the chocolate. Tyrell Agency investigates a series of arsons at talismonger shops.

View
Masterpost
all adventure logs

Adventure Log Timeline – use this to read it all in order

July 2071

June 2071

May 2071

April 2071

March 2071

February 2071

January 2071

December 2070

November 2070

April 2054

View
Illusions
Rook's Log

I dreamt about Fog. The dream felt so real that, waking up, I was for a moment confused why he wasn’t here. I cannot shake him, however much I want to.

I had almost managed to forget him because hoping that he’d come for me was poison. Then he pops up a couple of weeks ago and leaves me with his voice, telling me that he’s got me. That he won’t leave me behind.

Well.
I’m still here.

I’m not falling for this partner-bullshit anymore. I don’t know why I ever believed it. It’s a comfortable lie, I guess. But when it really counts, I’m on my own. Fog just hasn’t figured it out yet, but he will, sooner or later. He’s always been good at surviving and relying on others is not how you do it. I know that now.

View
Witches and Kings
a view from a scrying glass

After some time, the wolf arrives at the hut and knocks on the door. He seems a bit taken aback when Fog opens the door, but he’s friendly enough. The talk is not as helful as the group would have liked, though. The wolf does what wolves in fairy tales do, that’s why he wants to eat the pigs. It seems that the story keeps repeating itself and the wolf only has very foggy memories of it all. Eventually he wanders off.

So the group decides to make the deal with the witch after all. They follow the pigs’ directions and eventually arrive at a cottage standing on a chicken leg. They knock and the door opens, but no-one is home. Fog insist that they close the door and wait outside. It doesn’t take long for the witch to arrive in a mortar she steers along with a pestle. She looks somewhere between fourty and one hundred years old, with long, bony hands and long white hair. But she’s quite amiable, asks the group into her cottage and she’s interested in making a deal.

When no-one volunteers to be her maid for an indefinite time, she asks them to bring her an apple tree that has been stolen from her by a greedy king. They get directions to the castle and strict orders not to eat the apples. Apparently, they show future and past. The group promises not to touch them and sets out.

The castle is surrounded by a moat and a high wall, but they get in fairly quietly and without major problems. There is one guard, but they can knock him out and put Nebraska‘s re-filling bottle of wine next to him to make it look like he’s drunk on the job. In the garden, Zach steps on a rake, almost knocking himself out. The apple tree is easy to find, the apples glow in the dark, and they dig it up, hide it in a sack. Unfortunately, the tree starts screaming as soon as they try to leave.

They get attacked by huge toads with sharp teeth and divebombed by birds who shoot their metal feathers like arrows. With a desperate scramble, they make it over the wall and through the moat, kill some of the toads and run for it into the woods. Once they are sure no-one is following them, they unwrap the tree. It’s not broken, but two apples have fallen off. Fog and Jet pick them up and suddenly get an almost unresistable urge to eat them. Nebraska kicks Jet so hard he drops his apple, but Fog bites into his and keels over instantly.

A second later, he comes round again. The apple showed him the future, like he asked it to, and he saw a lake and a longhouse, form the view of someone who is really pissed at the people in the longhouse. As divinations go, this is unhelpful, but at least they know what to expect.

They bring the tree back to Baba Yaga and Fog tells her that he ate one apple. She takes that in stride, only says that she hopes it was worth it. She even invites them to stay for breakfast, which they accept. Fog asks her if he can have another apple and after some haggling, she accepts a night of lovemaking as payment. The others stay at the hut while Baba Yaga takes Fog with her in the mortar. They have some time to rest, Zach snoops around the hut and finds some spell books he reads.

After a day and a night, Baba Yaga returns with Fog, who look a bit the worse for wear. He did get his apple for his troubles. She already knows that Zach read her books and while she doesn’t curse him outright, she is not pleased. When they ask Baba Yaga about the spirit they are seeking, she tells that they they will probably all die if they go there. On that cheery note, they part company, after she gave them the grout for the pigs. The pigs give them a map for the mountains and the group follows the path.

Fog, after the things the second apple showed him, thinks that they cannot make Ytong see sense. He’s probably too far gone for that. Still, they decide to give him a chance, but if that doesn’t work, they will do their best to kill him. The mountains take two days to cross, then they see a lake in the distance. The landscape is quite beautiful … unless one turns around too quickly. Zach is the first to find out that everything take a little while to find its shape. A tree looks like it’s been slapped together from rough pixels and shaps until it senses someone looking at it, then it gets its normal shape. This is true for the whole landscape.

View
Grimm Times
a view from a scrying glass

Bony, longfingered hands place an earthen bowl on a table and add three drops of ink from a bottle, turning the water black. The hands pass over the bowl and it turns clear again, giving a view of a clearing in the woods

Five people are sleeping in the grass, wearing simple clothes that hint at medieval times. They soon start to stir. Fog is the first and he probably wakes up all the others because he’s wearing a suit of armor and he’s making a racket when he tries and at first fails to get up. They investigate their clothes and pockets and turn up some pretty weird stuff. Stanley has a wand that fires off stars and a small pumpkin when he points it at a tree while shouting Expelliarmus. He also has a small chest containing little birds with long beaks that seem to sleep. Jet has a small dragon. Zach has a pouch that refuses to open. Nebraska has a chest similar to Stanley’s, but hers contains silver beetles. She also carries a basket that contains wine and cake. She says this out loud, everyone stares at her and with an audible poof she suddenly wears a red cape. The basket also contains a huge knife and a compass.

Fog finds that he also now owns a rather pretty hand mirror. When he starts the Mirror, mirror on the wall-spiel, the mirror loudly interrupts and tells him to not even think about it. He’s not that kind of mirror. But still helpful, he tells them that to find the spirit they are looking for, they need to go through the woods and beyond the mountain. Jet climbs a tree and sees that the mountains are in the south. He also spots the roof of a tower. They set off.

The woods are quite beautiful and peaceful and there’s even a kind of path. Things are good until on both sides of the path, beautiful lights appear. Despite Fog’s warning, Zach and Nebraska go to investigate and play with the fairies. The faeries decide that they like Nebraska so much that they want to take her with them and all grab onto her, trying to lift her up. Jet aims his dragon and after a sharp pull on the tail, the dragon breathes fire. It mildy singes Nebraska and sets fire to the faeries.

After a while, they stumble upon a giant footprint that crossed the path. A chicken, to be precise, just one footprint. Both Fog and Stanley insist that they should leave, like RIGHT NOW. The others are confused and assume it’s just a giant bird. Neither Fog nor Stanley say out loud the name of the person they think is responsible for the footprint, but they finally get the group to move on at some speed.

The path winds through the woods and takes them past a well. Zach takes a look inside and nearly gets brained by a golden ball. Nebraska picks up the ball and the group launches into a discussion whether or not they should keep it or indeed interact with anything they see. The majority votes No or at least Not until we’ve agreed on it, but Nebraska doesn’t recognise that decision and takes another look into the well. A huge frog is just climbing out and tries to catch her with his tongue. Maybe he just wants a kiss, but they never are going to find out because Fog beheads the frog. The body turns into that of a young man, a prince probably, but still very dead.

After another discussion about the wisdom of happily picking up stuff along the way, they move on. A hazel bush is the next stop and at least Nebraska waits until she picks a nut. It opens and inside is a dress. It quickly grows until it’s exactly Nebraska size and, if she’s honest with herself, it’s exactly the kind of dress she has always wanted. She puts it in her basket. Zach picks another nut and gets a stuffed fox. He leaves it in the woods.

It is growing dark and they decide to make camp. No-one is exactly surprised when they arrive at the tower Jet saw earlier at just the right time. It has one door that opens easily and just one window, at the top floor. ‘Rapunzel!’, Zach shouts up to the window and a second later, a long braid drops down. The group has another discussion about how believe causes reality in this world or at least tries to, it’s cut short when the braind winds itself around Zach’s ankle and hoists him up into the air. He gets pulled into the window. The group rushes into the tower and find three intertwining stairs leading up into the dark.

View
Let Your Hair Down
a view from a scrying glass

In the dark, lit only by one torch, the group trudges up the stairs. It seems to take ages, far longer than it should. The edges of the stairs have a slight blue glow, but it disappears above and below in the gloom. Finally, they arrive at the top and open the trap door to the room above.

It’s moonlit, with polished wooden floors, a chair, a table, a rocking chair and a huge wardrobe, decorated with flowers and patterns that may or may not make up a face. Inside the wardrobe, there are only brown fur coats. There is no trace of Zach, but they do find a painting of him on the wall. It looks content at first, but starts to look frightened while they watch. Fog takes it from the wall and Jet sets it on fire with his dragon. When the fireball is gone, so is the picture, but they have Zach back. After a while, he even stops screaming. He tells them that he almost got killed by a Yurei, something he’s been afraid of as a child.

The group is a bit at a loss what to do. They want to help Rapunzel, but what if this isn’t Rapunzel? Or if Rapunzel has lost her mind after being imprisoned for who knows how long? In the end, they make a peace offering: the beautiful dress Nebraska got from her hazelnut. Nebraska holds it out to the wardrobe. Nothing happens. She says that she’s going to go in, but nobody pays attention because the group is bickering again. That only stops when the wardrobe’s door close with an audible click behind her. The walls grow another painting.

After another fireball, Nebraska is back and tells a story of a gingerbread house and a witch who did not take kindly to her roof being eaten. By now, helping Rapunzel is off the table. The plan is to drag her out of the wardrobe by her hair or chop the hair off until nothing is left. The floor starts to get squishy, the walls soft like taffy. The window gets smaller and smaller and it’s getting dark, the torch has burned out. Zach pulls a working electric floor lamp from his bag, the cord trailing into the bag.

The hair tries to grab Fog and he grabs it right back, with the help of Jet and Nebraska. They pull and by now, the trap door is getting smaller and smaller. Panic sets in and everyone but Fog abandones ship. Fog doesn’t let go in time and gets pulled into the wardrobe. Zach notices that Fog’s missing and the group comes back, does the painting trick again and while Zach is forcing open the trapdoor, they hack apart the wardrobe.

When it’s only splinters and pieces, the room goes back to normal and stays that way. After nothing attacks them, the group decides to spent the night. In the morning, they set out again. The trees start to look familiar after a a while and they notice that they’re going in circles. The mirror isn’t much help, so when they hear voices, they walk towards them.

They meet three pigs, standing in front of a brick house badly in need of repair. The pigs say that they would be willing to give them a map, but only when the group goes and gets them mortar from the witch. They need to repair their house before the wolfs comes by again and hope that magical mortar will do the trick. When Fog asks why the wolf is so eager to destroy their house, the pigs get defensive.

Finally, the group agrees, but once they are out of earshot, they decide to ask the wolf for his opinion. The mirror cannot tell them where the wolf lives, but suggests building a straw house. Zach’s bag supplies them with tools and a haystack and after a while, they have constructed a ramshackle straw house and settle down to wait.

View
Delivery
Tobias' Log

We have our delivery, believe it or not. The boxes smell a bit horsey, but the chocolate is sealed, so who cares.

Why does it smell horsey? I was hoping you’d ask. I noticed something was wrong when Zoé phoned the contact number, asking if there were any outstanding warrants against them? We checked this and had just picked up the phone to call back with a negative when a warrant did pop up. Resisting arrest, attacking officers of the law, reckless driving, wanted in connection with further crime, BOLO for a truck and an RV with no paint job. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Take a look at this video, if you want to see some nice acrobatics by Fog, taking out the cops with smoke grenades, and also if you want to see him screaming his head off while someone else in a chameleon suit drives them both through a mall on his bike, picking up some bubble tea on the way. I lost the RV soon after that, after the autopilot got deactivated. I don’t know what they did with it. The insurance company is screaming murder, though. But since they’re screaming at fake SINs, I don’t worry too much.

The truck was around a bit longer, hiding from the cops in some woodland or other. I think they had a hacker themselves to throw the cops off their scent, some of the stuff on the police scanner was faked. But it was good enough to last about as long as they needed it to. About that time, a monastery called the police that someone stole a horse trailer with two valuable horses in it. Yes, I did say monastery.

I’m not quite sure how our guys escaped that manhunt. All the bridges over the Hudson were closed down and police were looking for the horse trailer because they’re not dumb. But fact is, said horse trailer arrived here in the early morning, sans horses, avec chocolate. Our runners are in the hotel, but need another flight reservation because at least two of their SINs are burned. And of course we will need new documentation for the chocolate since it’s not exactly hot, but at least slightly warm right now. Not a problem, though, I already arranged matters.

View
End Run
Fog's Audios

End Run

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

We did it.
We’re home.
And we’re filthy rich.
Only my stoic pragmatism makes me accept all this without laughing for a week straight.
Oh, yes, sure, things got crazy at the end.
I jumped on a police car, a police car Stan then friggin’ RAMMED!
Nebraska and I cannonballed my bike through a mall, I got shot, yet again, we stole a horse trailer ‘cause our rides were hot, while our doc dumped the RV in a lake.
THEN we had to go Black Ticket on the Hudson river, but we fucking made it!
We also found out that Jet isn’t a street kid but a drop-out corporate brat and Stan’s the kind of doc who won’t waste your precious tasty organs when you die on his table.
But who gives a fuck who my people once were?
We’re all alive.
It feels so good that all this paid off.
Still, there’s much ahead… I have to talk to so many different people it makes my head swirl.
I gotta take care of the chemical plant as I promised I would, I need to help Neil with Esmeralda’s legs, I need to sort things out with those Gypsies and… I gotta to prepare.
There ain’t no rest for the wicked and even less so for me.
Glow City ain’t gonna wait much longer for me. Each day that passes tips the scales in favor of Crow’s twisted counterpart.
You can say what you want, but this trip was only a test, a means to temper and steel us for what’s to come.
It’s only been three weeks, but me and my people, we grew and it showed that we could lean on each other.
Most of us, at least.
Can’t say what lies ahead and how ugly things will get, how hard life will swing its bat or what surprises it throws.
But I’ll stick to what I’ve said. I’ll get them through this alive.

[End Audio]

View
Little House on the Prairie
Fog's Audios

Little House on the Prairie

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

There are islands in this troubled sea we call life.
Heh, look at me, all the suffering, empty highways and clear sky turned me into a poet. I should probably pick up a drinking habit, but one step at a time.
What I’m getting at is that sometimes, there are places you wouldn’t expect.
Considering our bad experiences and all, we didn’t want to camp out at the great lakes and instead settled for a huge farm just outside of Cleveland.
Cleveland itself was off limits. Too much crime and gang activity for my taste.
That’s saying something, right? Also, Nebraska wouldn’t stop talking about this stupid theater organ or some shit.
Don’t even ask…
Yeah, so, the farm.
Nice places like these make you paranoid. There’s no way decent human beings exist and CONTINUE to exist in the Sixth World, right?
Well, these people, good Christians or something, got by just fine.
They offered us food, shelter and company and lived a good life.
We returned the favor by abducting two of the community’s kids.
Lemme’ explain:
Both of them didn’t dig the sheltered life here and essentially asked us to smuggle them outta there.
I thought this was a bad call. Everyone of us didn’t quite understand why they’d give up all this.
But I’m not the kind of person who tells people how to live their lives. If they fuck up, they usually at least get a lesson out of it.
Zoé more than disagreed, basically yelling at us from her proverbial three-story horse how irresponsible it was to ruin their lives and taking them from their families.
I told her, if she wanted them to stay here, all she had to do was ratting them out to their parents and she’d ‘save them’ alright.
Yet again, she didn’t have the guts or at least the conviction to give a foundation to her hypocritical bullshit.
We picked them up in the morning.
To be fair, Zoé wasn’t completely wrong when she doubted their…adaptability to a less sheltered world.
So I showed them how the world works. A little test of integrity, if you want.
I kicked the guys ass, took their stuff and made clear that WE were the good kind of people they could expect out there.
They still wanted to bail, still wanted to live their own life.
And I can respect that.

We let them ride along till Fairview, just as agreed. Their parents made an attempt to track them down and even found us, but we could talk our way out of it.

[End Audio]

View
Bareknuckle
Fog's Audios

Bareknuckle

[Start Audio]
….
[no time stamp]

I kinda feel sorry for all that ranting an bitchin’ about Zoé.
Then again, it’s better to vent here than rage all over her.
In a way, it reallys isn’t her fault. It doesn’t change anything about what I’ve said. I meant every friggin’ word. But after all, it’s not worth wasting so much words and energy on it, you know?
Going at least kinda full circle:
Some things in life tend to prompt the retrospective question ‘Was that a good idea?’ which is eventually answered ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.’
When I was sitting on the roof of our RV, pondering, I had one of those ideas.
Cash was running out. All we had left were pathetic 300 Nuyen and those wouldn’t carry us to Boston. Jet suggested to rob a weapons store but that would just make things worse.
With limited time, a pretty narrow set of skills to apply to this situation, our backs against the wall and the basic rules I go by there was only one solution at hand:
Find an underground fight club and get bruised for cash.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?
Took some digging and some bold words, but the local Russian host of the fine martial arts helped us getting into the gig that evening.
2 grand for a win was pretty convincing and so Nebraska, Jet and I signed up.
The rules seemed pretty fair, apart from the usual ridiculous ban of magic from sports. Yeah, sure, cyber up as much as you like but Spirits forbid if you’re an adept…But enough bitching, I took it as an opportunity to try working with limited resources.
Fight night was pretty exciting. Now I understand why Dad always got that nostalgic gleam in his eyes on the rare occasions he told about his past as a fighter.
The cheering crowd, that primal surge of adrenaline when it all comes down to the skill of two people pitted against each other…
If you ever hear this, Dad, sorry for borrowing your stage name or whatever it’s called in this business.
Anyway…
Bummer Nebraska and Jet got their asses handed to them and Leonid’s rival wanted me to lose this fight. It would be less fun, but then again, we were here for the cash, not for glory.
I made clear his threat didn’t impress me and that I wouldn’t lose for free. So he agreed to cover the price money we’d lose.
Ironically, even though I tried my best to not go all out, I still sandbagged Chernobok, the town’s champion. Weird thing was, unlike me, HE didn’t want to lose. He was fit and not drugged or anything but Spirits, he was slow and had the defense skills of a toddler.
Something wasn’t right and before I could figure out what it was, he passed out in the tamest sleeper’s hold I could muster.
That Russian outside the ring who just lost a lot of money looked like he was going to fuck me and at least the next 6 generations of my descendants up while I tried to get the doc of this place to take a closer look at Chernobok. Something was fishy here. He said everything was alright, but when I took an astral look at our “champion” I saw he was a deluxe chrome job.
Guess what?
His manager, our nice event manager switched off all his gadgets and now he was just a regular human. That guy didn’t have a clue what was going on.
If things go south, at least walk in the sun, right?
So I went straight for our ‘partner in crime’ who was too puzzled by the sheer display of guts to murder me. I could convince him that this wasn’t my fault; that we both got double crossed here.
He let us keep the money and I guess he had a nice talk with Leonid, involving broken bones and bloody money.
Never found out.
We got outta there as fast as we could, pockets stuffed with Nuyen and alive and well…

[End Audio]

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.