Ghosts of the Past (Shadowrun)

This was the final run of the Convention season of 2014.

The runners are contacted by their fixer about a job. The employer is new to the fixer, but wants to meet the runners in person. The meet is at 10PM in the Plastic Jungles in Redmond. They recommend showing up ready to run, as they might have opposition arriving at the meet.

It is up to the GM as to whether the local gangs interfere in the runners getting to the meet (or possibly interfere during the meet). The roads out to the Plastic Jungles are only moderately kept and the local gangs will exploit that with roadblocks. If nothing else it will slow the team down as they try to navigate Redmond.

Scene 1 – A Man of Influence

The area around the Plastic Jungles is one of urban decay. The area has degenerated to where buildings rarely over much shelter from the elements anymore and those that do are often a hazard to reside in (yet the locals do, due to lack of options). Yet, set into this landscape are acres of support beams and tattered grey bioplastic tents that make up the Plastic Jungles. All sorts of exotic plants from an old greenhouse experiment grow here, as well as food stuffs, planted by the locals to support the squalor here and reduce starvation. Due to the importance of the Jungles, gang security is very high: one of the very few places in the Barrens where gangs work together to protect a common ground.

The gang is little more than a ragtag neighbourhood watch with barely serviceable sidearms and clubs made of whatever they could find. Seeing shadowrunners here is a novelty, but they will put on a brave face and move to protect their turf. Mentioning Mr. Johnson or offering the locals something (nuyen is useless out here) will help them gain access to the greenhouse.

Inside the greenhouse is a strange world. The air is fragrant with the mix of strange and exotic flora. The grey plastic over their heads is contrasted by the bright, vibrant shock of colour all around them from the flowers. Where the bulk of Redmond’s astral space is tainted by the lack of life out here, the manasphere within the greenhouse is lively.

Aside from a handful of local orks digging through planters at the outskirts, they see a man standing at the center of the greenhouse, inspecting several of the flowers. As the runners approach, he clips a few petals and leaves from the plants nearest him, wraps them in a piece of embroidered cloth and tucks them away in the pocket of his designer pants. If asked about it, he mentions that the petals of a specific species of orchid are worth quite a bit to the right buyers.

Once the runners have gathered, he faces them, lights a cigarette and studies them before speaking. “Yes, I believe you’ll do. Your fixer speaks well of you. Therefore, I have a task of some import I would ask of you. There is a gentleman that I desperately need to speak to, in order to get the answers to some rather complex questions. However, my efforts at being diplomatic have fallen on deaf ears and now I am being forced into more severe action. I require you to fetch this man and bring him to me. I require him to be alive and able to speak. I highly doubt he will come quietly. I cannot divulge the gentleman’s name until you have accepted the job, but I will be willing to pay you handsomely for your time. I am offering 3000¥ up front, with another 15,000¥ when you deliver him to me.”

Mr. Johnson is Glen Trenchland. He is a seasoned professor at MIT&T and also a member of the Black Lodge. He is masking his appearance with Masking Metamagic, Physical Mask and several physical tricks to disguise his body type. There should be no means for low level characters to discern his true identity. He chose the Plastic Jungles to obtain magical radicals, use the ambient mana here to obscure his aura and be removed from the Matrix to truly isolate himself for the meet.

Mr. Johnson will entertain negotiations on price (the Black Lodge considers the information they’re after priceless) and once the runners accept the job, he smiles.

Excellent. The man you are looking for is a researcher named Iryan Amiri. He had been doing research in Jordan up until recently. He suddenly quit his job and returned home to Seattle and has been a recluse ever since. He has proven difficult to reach. I should tell you that he is Awakened, so factor that into your strategy.”

Mr. Johnson is not overly forthcoming with information. He claims to not know what Mr. Amiri was researching (he does), or the details of what he was doing in Jordan (he knows). If asked whether other people would be after him, Mr. Johnson says he is unsure (a truth, finally) but it is possible his employers might be looking for him. He had been working a contract job in the Middle East, but Mr. Johnson is unsure who hired him (another lie).

Once you have Mr. Amiri, contact me through your fixer and I’ll arrange a drop off point. If you can also acquire his magical treatise, there could be a bonus in it for you.”

The runners won’t be able to start their legwork until they get closer to being out of Redmond and can reach the Matrix again.

Scene 2 – The Mysteries of Iryan Amiri

After the team’s meeting with Mr. Johnson, it will likely be apparent to the runners that Mr. Johnson wasn’t being totally forthcoming about what he knows about the man they’ve been hired to abduct. The basics on the man are fairly straightforward to acquire. He is a man of Arabic descent who has spent all of his years since graduation from university as an Arcanoarchaeologist for the Atlantean Foundation. His specialty was ancient Babylonian and Assyrian sites where the Atlanteans were looking for power sites tied to locations of significance to the Babylonians, Sumerians and Egyptians.

Details on recent events are harder to come by, as the Foundation is trying their best to keep things under wraps. Several of the guides working with the excavation teams have plied with money and begun talking. The leading rumour is that the Foundation was exploring the site at Petra when a displacement alchera appeared, revealing a chamber beyond the known boundaries of the site. Iryan stepped in to investigate and the alchera closed. He was missing for 15 minutes when the alchera reappeared long enough to spit him back into the temple and close again. He spent two days in a catatonic state but when he returned, he resigned with the AF, flew back to Seattle and has been missing ever since.

Investigating Iryan’s home shows that it has been overturned. If they stay to comb over what remains, they will find a team working with the Atlanteans still in the house who will try to ambush the team. The other team hasn’t learned much from the house, as it appears that Iryan didn’t spend any time here, but the house commlink contains a list of known associates. The Atlantean Foundation also has this information and is trying to track down Iryan as well.

Many of Iryan’s associates are resistant to talk to the runners as they’ve already been accosted by the corporation and most haven’t heard from him at all. The largest lead the team has comes from a former associate named Reece Alexander. Reece swears he hasn’t heard from Iryan, but he’s a terrible liar. When the runners press the matter, they hear a door being kicked in a loud voices in the background. When the team arrives, they see Reece being thrown into a car which then takes off through the city, using traffic and other AF cars to throw off the pursuit. If they’re able to stop the car and extract Reece, they can likely convince him that they are there to help Iryan.

Reece tells them of a cottage on the Northeastern edge of Snohomish. It’s in the middle of the forest, isolated and an ideal place for Iryan’s studies. Reece does volunteer that Iryan was not himself when he saw him last. There was no humor in Iryan anymore. He was obsessed with some discovery he had made in Jordan and wanted to be alone to study it.

Scene 3 – Unhealthy Obsession

With the directions they got from Reece, the runners can find Iryan’s woodland retreat, but as they head into the forest they can see things are already amiss. The air in the forest crackles with energy from the application of geomancy. The astral plane is starting to become visible and ethereal being seem to dart from tree to tree and the trees themselves seem to change locations at will.

Out in the woods are a Wuxing strike force who have heard about the events in Petra and have detected the significant shift in the dragon lines of the region. They want whatever knowledge Iryan as acquired for themselves.

Iryan has had some visions through divination that his life is in danger and has become paranoid. Despite his tradition (Islam), he has learned how to summon spirits and has aspected the property toward his faith. There are alchemical booby traps around the premises and spirits that blend in with the spectres that mill around the woods (Islam spirit types: Guardian, Air, Plant, Earth, Fire).

Between the astral maelstrom, the corporate thugs and Iryan himself, the situation should be chaotic, especially with having to take the Islamic mage alive and them finding his treatise in the astral hot spot that is the cottage. Iryan has a panic room above ground that he will retreat toward if people approach the building but the treatise he has written on what he witnessed in Petra is in the basement, which is a wide open space with papers, arcane symbols and debris from living in the space scattered around the space. There is a ward erected around the bookcase that holds the tome the characters will need to overpower to obtain it.

If any of the characters know Arabic and read Iryan’s treatise, he speaks of stepping into the ancient past, before the first rock had been carved in Petra and speaking with an powerful being that called itself Dushara. Identified as an ancient Arabic deity that predated most world religions, Dushara spoke of a hidden power deep within the water conduits of Petra. Only the ancients of the area could point the way and Iryan was developing a ritual to contact the old deities, in hopes of unearthing something from a time before recorded history.

>> So, what’s the deal with this archaeologist?  People have a hard on for what this guy knows… what makes him so special?
>> Blitz

>> Not sure.  He’s done a lot of research for the Atlantean Foundation in the Middle East, but he’s far from the foremost authority.  All of his findings are publicly available from the Foundation.  Makes no sense.
>> Robed Scholar

>> His most recent trip to Petra was undocumented and he quit his job on the spot.  He must have seen something he didn’t want the Foundation to have.
>> Havik

>> Or he’s out of his gourd.  Magic does funny things to people.
>> Reaper

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~ by 1nsomniac on January 22, 2015.

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