Best Left Buried (Shadowrun)

This was one of the two events I ran at the Spring Phantasm convention in 2015 (the other being a modified variant of Freefall).  The game went over well, with the desired level of panic this type of mission should evoke.

The runners are contacted by their fixer about a job just outside the Metroplex in the Salish-Sidhe Council. The job promises good pay for a recovery mission. Judge will meet them at Club Penumbra to discuss the particulars at 8PM.

Scene 1 – Meeting on Hallowed Ground

Club Penumbra’s heyday is long past, but it is still one of the foremost meeting places for runners in search of work. The acts are not top billed singers, but they still pull in some decent talent and the bar is well stocked. The team’s fixer is waiting at the back of the club at a private table. A white noise generator is resent to prevent eavesdropping and he greets them warmly, if a little fatigued.

Glad you guys could make it. My client has dug up information out of the Salish Nation about a find in a mine, that has peaked his interest. He wants to sponsor a team to go out to this mine and do some tracking. While the mine is known for its heavy metal mining operation, they recently uncovered an uncharacteristic gemstone in the tunnels. In order to ascertain any special properties the stone has, he wants it recovered for his own personal research. In exchange for this recovery, he is willing to pay 6,000¥ apiece to bring the stone back.”

Judge is authorized to negotiate a little bit, but seeing as it is a recovery job from a less-than-secure area, the pay is starting off relatively average. Mr. Johnson is a private purveyor of magical goods, who intends to cut the stone apart for multiple foci and make his money back quite easily.

Once the team has negotiated and taken the job, he provides a little more detail. “Great. The mine is in the Pend Orielle area. It’s a long standing lead and zinc extraction mine that was acquired by AN Meridian, a Saeder-Krupp subsidiary, a decade or so ago. Since the dragon got his claws into the place, production has been ramped up and the mines have taken over the river banks through much of the area. While they claim the lead extraction process has done no environmental damage, I’d advise against drinking the water in the area all the same. The locals are pretty loyal to Saeder-Krupp as a whole, but the local tribes are advocates for nature preservation. I’m sure you can find those who are watching the company closely.”

Judge will answer their questions as honestly as he can before leaving them to prepare for the trip to the Salish-Sidhe Council.

AN Meridian – Mineral Processing Company

Possible Contacts – Corporate contacts (Heavy Industry, Manufacturing), Tribal Elders in Northern Salish Lands

Thresholds (Direct Contact/Matrix)

1/1 – A company that controls mines over Europe and parts of rural North America, specializing in metals.

2/3 – Acquired by Saeder-Krupp in the 40’s, they were instrumental in snatching up metal rights in much of Western Europe and spotting opportunities to revive failing operations worldwide.

4/6 – AN Meridian has been at the center of a few controversies over the years for accidents and environmental catastrophes, which S-K was quick to clear out management as an example and clean up the mess, where possible.

5/8 – The Pend Orielle facility was looking defunct, but they drilled down deeper and found new deposits, as well as something new. Rumours circulate that there was an enormous amber gemstone uncovered, but no such find has been claimed by the company thus far.

Scene 2 – Harvesting the Earth’s Veins

After crossing the border into Salish lands, it will take a couple hours to reach the Pend Orielle area. It was a picturesque forested river once upon a time, but Saeder-Krupp’s exploitation of the area has vastly stripped the area of the riverside landscape. The town the mine is associated with is still a nice vacation hamlet. AN Meridian has done their part to conceal the mining operations from the tourists, but much of the river outside of town is off limits to tourists.

Despite the recent discovery in the lead-zinc mine, business carries on as usual. Infiltrating the mine may prove tricky, as there are always people milling about the area. During the day, AN Meridian is extracting the ore and at night Awakened World Research moves in to study the site the gemstone was unearthed from.

Security is actually lighter during the day, since no one is interested in stealing lead and toxic run-off, but AWR has thaumaturgical specialists (read: Magical Support) on site to study the tunnel.

The site is comprised of several elements:

  • The tunnel itself is a small tunnel leading to a deep shaft. At the bottom of the shaft is a large cavern that has been carved out via drilling and blasting. Lead ore is collected by lifter and dumped into an elevator that lifts the ore into the processing plant. The beginnings of a couple new shafts have begun, but all have been abandoned. One is where the gemstone was discovered, the others have been sealed off after cave-ins claimed the lives of several miners.

  • Up the riverbank, the ore lifted out by elevator is loaded onto a conveyor and dumped into the processing plant. The environment is toxic to those not in safety gear (summoning spirits here is tricky, as the area is aspected to a poison tradition… -2 to non-toxics). In this large facility, the company uses heat and chemicals to extract the lead and other metals from the rock. Once extracted, they are melted down, formed into bricks and loaded into storage for shipment.

  • The security force on the grounds sees several perimeter stations and a centralized command post near the mine. Drones and guard dogs are used to police the wooded grounds.

Once into the facility, they can learned a few pieces in one of a few ways (interrogation, conversation, data steal, etc). What they find out while here:

  • The gemstone was taken away almost the same day they dug it up. Once word reached management, the parent company was notified. AWR learned of the find and swept in to claim it for research. AWR’s local branch office is in Pend Orielle, taking out a temporary lease on a vacant office tower.

  • AN Meridian has seen some rough times of late, with two previous attempts at digging out new tunnels ending in cave-ins that claimed the lives of roughly a dozen miners. Those areas have been left alone while internal affairs looks into the matter, but an astral sweep of the area shows something off on the astral plane. The ant hive nearby have sealed the cave-ins back off again, to cover up any trail.

  • AWR has been spun in a positive light in the eyes of the local public. While many vilify AN Meridian for tainting the Earth and corrupting the soil, AWR’s mission in Pend Orielle is to protect the sanctity of the local manasphere. While astral survey crews put on a smiling face to make the locals believe that S-K is helping the area, they are merely paying lip service until the gemstone is analyzed and consumed, before AN Meridian is given a passing grade and AWR moves on.

The gemstone that was found is a gemstone that formed amongst the heavy metals at an intersection of two dragon lines. While it’s not intrinsically magical, it is rich with refined reagents, which can be the core of multiple foci. The ant hive not far away was disturbed by the digging and by absorbing several miners into the hive, they learned of the gem and now want it to summon their Queen. They are digging day and night to reach AWR to take the stone for the hive, as well as potentially get hosts for new drones.

Once the team has learned about AWR and their possession of the gemstone, they will probably move on in order to get the gemstone for their employer. The players should not be permitted to learn about the insect hive at this point.

Awakened World Research – Thaumaturgy/Astral Research Company

Possible Contacts – Corporate contacts (Magical Goods/Theory), Residents of Pend Orielle, Talismongers/Talisleggers

Thresholds (Direct Contact/Matrix)

1/1 – A subsidiary of Saeder-Krupp, specializing in the study of all things magical.

2/3 – The company is more about the study of magical oddities, rather than the training of security mages. They are kind of like Lofwyr’s own Atlantean Foundation.

4/6 – While they are primarily focused on the Old World, they have been taking a more active interest in the American Hemisphere, searching for anything long buried.

5/8 – The Pend Orielle facility has only been operational for about a month. Rumours persist that they were in town before that, but they quickly took over a building and began shipping in personnel from wherever could spare the manpower.

Scene 3 – The Ground Falls Out from Under

The Awakened World Research building is an office tower on the edge of town, with a parking garage, a decent amount of land and a great view of the forest surrounding the mine. Formerly an office tower for a local surveying company, Saeder-Krupp swept in and filled in a temporary lease with the owning company so they could complete the local survey of this gemstone and search for other manifestations of the dragon line intersection.

When the runners opt to penetrate the building, the ants that want the gemstone will breach the underground parking garage and assault the structure. To complicate matters, representatives for AN Meridian are in the building to negotiate the transition of the stone, but some of them are flesh form ants, who will interfere with both S-K security and the runners to protect the gemstone from being stolen away from the hive again.

Map Plan:

7th Floor – Executive Offices

6th Floor – Research Level 2 (target is stored here)

5th Floor – Research Level 1

4th Floor – Office Level 2

3rd Floor – Office Level 1

2nd Floor – Cafeteria

Ground Floor – Reception

Basement – Parking Structure, with Loading docks at the bottom-most level.

The ants will enter the basement at the lowest level and use the freight elevator to reach reception and the cafeteria quickly. If the runners opt to take an elevator up, the power goes out just after it starts moving. If the opt for the stairs, the power goes off while they’re still at reception.

The hive will rush into the building and start laying waste to all human life, dragging who they can back into the tunnels for inhabitation as new drones. The entire scene should be a running firefight between the runners and the hive, until they reach the gemstone and escape the building. The hive will do everything they can to stop them from escaping, including bringing down the building in order to keep the gemstone from leaving the grounds (they can always dig it out later). If the GM deems it necessary, they can add in a shaman to give the hive a face that the team can destroy.

>> Oh, some mage wants some shiny new magical bauble.  Typical.  Nothing better to spend their hard-earned nuyen on, as usual…
>> Stanek

>> Better than drinking it all away, or slotting it in the form of chips.  What difference does it make if it’s some mage, or the corporation that gets a hold of this thing?  In either case, it gets consumed and sold to the highest bidder.  At least this way, I get paid.
>> Breach

>> Just keep your ears to the ground… Saeder-Krupp pretty much runs that part of the country and there have been some disappearances and accidents around that mine lately.  Something else is going on and it’s probably best you don’t find out what in person.
>> Digger

~ by 1nsomniac on May 12, 2015.

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