Demons of a Fallen God Pt 1 – Buried Treasure (Shadowrun)

This is the introductory adventure for the first of two ongoing Shadowrun campaigns.  For this campaign, I have the distinct pleasure of running a game for an all-female player group.  As the story unfolds, all information on the story can be found posted here.

The team is rallied by Jaeger, the Fractured fixer, in regards to some work needing to be done for the company.  He asks the team to get together at the barracks to discuss the details at 20:00 (8pm).

Scene 1 – Assemble the Troops

The barracks for the Fractured are an old motel and bar that the mercenary company maintains, where many of the motel rooms have been converted into an armory, sleeping quarters and technological infrastructure for a rally point and basic needs for the outfit.

Jaeger is at the bar, nursing a drink when the team arrives.  He leaves the bottle of Russian vodka on the bar, if the runners want to help themselves and once everyone has gathered, Jaeger settles onto a bar stool and addresses the company.

“Good day, everyone.  I apologize for bringing everyone here on such short notice, but the matter I need resolved is a matter of some importance and immediacy.  Before signing on with the Fractured, I kept boltholes that contained the spoils of old jobs… things I couldn’t sell at the time because they were too hot, so I buried it until things cooled off.  However, in a couple of cases, I wasn’t able to return to collect the goods, due to not being welcome within the country any longer. I recently learned that one of my old storehouses is about to be knocked down and turned into a new corporate facility and I’m pretty sure I have some data there that is worthwhile to our company.

“Therefore, I’m asking you to go to Prague to retrieve two old data drives.  These are from well before the days of wireless tech, so you’re going to have to find the case they’re in and physically bring me the drives.  I don’t want any of the potential data falling into the hands of a corp, just in case anything on those drives is even remotely relevant. I can pay you each 6,000¥ for the trouble, or I can owe you one, if you don’t need the cash right away.”

Jaeger really doesn’t recall what is on those drives, but he’s not about to let his spoils fall back into the hands of corporations after he went to the trouble of stealing it from them in the first place.

Jaeger can negotiate some, but the money for this job is his own personal funds, so his flexibility is less than it might be normally.  Once the runners sign on, he provides the team with GPS coordinates for his old storage space and tells them that Proteus is the company breaking ground over his old squat.

“You should be able to access the area through some maintenance tunnels at Malo-Stranska Station.  Most of the area should be sealed off due to the Proteus development, but do try to keep a low profile so not to draw corporate attention.  With luck, you can find the drives and get them out of there before Proteus even knows they exist.”

Jaeger will set the team up with the method of transit into the Czech Republic that they want to use.

Matrix:  Should the team want to get a head start on legwork for the job, they will have some Noise modifiers to deal with.  While still in the Ukraine, they will need to jump from UkraiNet onto the Czech Grid, plus the Noise modifier is 9 or 10 (8 from distance between HQ and Prague and 1 or 2 for city inference, depending on where the team is at the time of the search).

Scene 2 – The Melting Pot

Prague is known as the Golden City of the Czech Republic.  A beacon of tolerance, education and culture. Overseen by the great dragon Schwartzkopf, the area is a beacon of prosperity and corporate moderation in the face of corporate dominated Germany to the west and the war ravaged areas of Eastern Europe to the southeast.  Racial tolerance in the city is some of the best in all of Europe and Charles University is one of the most advanced magical institutions in the world, thanks to Schwartzkopf himself lecturing on the subject in his true form.

Away from the classic architecture, in the western part of the downtown center is the corporate district.  Jammed together in towering skyscrapers, each trying to out-do the last, many of the more tolerant corporations have offices here:  Evo, Ares, Saeder Krupp and Aztechnology all have subsidiaries, as well as many AA corps, including Spinrad Industries and Proteus AG.

Like any city with a thriving corporate sector, the city is under heavy construction all over.  In order to maintain the appearance of the city, as much of the city overhaul is masked to not cloud the city’s history or cause significant traffic delays as possible.  Whether the runners drive around town or rely on the transit system, they will find several portions of the city inaccessible due to restoration or expansion.

The area around Malo-Stranska station is one of those areas.  Proteus has cleared out several older buildings that housed smaller business in order to expand their influence in the city.  When the foundation they wished to put in place interfered with the underground tunnel network that the metro used, the company paused to negotiate with the dragon on sealing off the old tunnels to allow the renovations to continue.  While the negotiations are underway, other areas of the construction continue to progress, but Proteus stands at the ready for when they get the green light.

The runners have a couple of ways to proceed:  infiltrate the Proteus construction site to where they are nearing Jaeger’s old bolthole and access it from there, or go in through the subway, access the tunnels and try and slip into Proteus from there.

In both areas, Proteus has guards on the ground (in the subway station, they are notified when the tunnels are entered, but have no jurisdiction beyond Proteus’ land claim).  The surveillance is more prevalent in the subway, but security is thicker in the compound to compensate for the lack of infrastructure.

If the runners can circumvent security in one way or another, they will find an old maintenance closet that has been retired due to newer infrastructure.  Behind one of the electrical panels, they find a makeshift room made from the interior of derelict server cases. A moldy old cot sits in one corner, as well as a few old sidearms with bullets for them.  While almost everything here appears undisturbed, the paydata they were sent to retrieve is not here.

Whether through hacking the nearby hosts, interrogating a soldier or some other viable investigation, they learn that one of the Proteus archaeologists that discovered the site had found the room, and made off with something inside for appraisal.  The runners will need to investigate to track the man down and where he went to fence the data.

Matrix:  The Czech Local Grid is sculpted to appear as a vast landscape, dotted with rivers, mountains and small villages.  At its center is a large 17th century citadel representing Prague.  Each village represents a city of the country, but the capital shows as a radiant city of gold.  Tourist areas outside of the cities can be found in the ways of small icons dotting the landscape.  Once accessed any of the cities appear as a large park area, ringed with assorted buildings according to their functions (shops, government, corporations not on their own grid, etc).

Prague Transportation Authority

The government host of Prague is rendered like a traditional public building from days past.  The walls and floors are marble and granite, large analog clocks loom overhead to tell the time in the city’s local time zone and a Czech flag hang prominently just above the eye level.  The air smells of musty old paper. The various branches of government each have a doorway off the main corridor. While entering the lobby is open access for all, many branches of government are not open for all to see.  Stepping into any of the branches except the tourism division requires at least a Mark. The transit authority is not the most dangerous node on the host and like many government systems, they would rather leave the intrepid hacker alive for questioning, rather than putting them to death.

Icons for files are rendered as old-style manilla folders, employees are rendered as humanoid clerks, with their profile image superimposed on their face and IC appear as faceless men in security guard uniforms.

Host Rating 7
Standard Configuration – Attack 8, Data Processing 9, Sleaze 7, Firewall 10

Security Protocol – Patrol IC running at all times, Junior security officer on regular patrols

Once an alarm has been triggered, IC activates in this order: Probe, Scramble, Track, Jammer, Marker, Crash.  If an IC is crashed, the host will reboot the IC before moving on to the next stage. A security spider will log on after 3+1d6 combat rounds after the alarm is triggered.

Proteus AG

Being a AA corporation, Proteus has its field office well defended.  Using their standard iconography, the Proteus host gives a Jules Verne vibe to the node, with an underwater shining citadel with gleaming white structures, schools of colorful fish out every window and a feeling of expansive comfort and prosperity.  Every space feels grand in design; no tight quarters or narrow hallways and company slogans and ads are splashed over every available surface in the host’s atrium, should they enter that way. However, once the alarm has been raised, the host changes to be darker, more menacing.  The walls seem tighter, the water outside gets darker and more menacing and the temperature falls as the sunlight no longer seems to penetrate so deeply.

Icons for files or devices are rendered as technological parallels, taking on an old embellished nautical theme.  Employees are rendered as smiling versions of themselves, wearing Proteus uniforms. Probe IC appear as a middle aged gentleman with a pistol on his hip.  Once the alarm has triggered, they take on the form of Proteus security, or carnivorous aquatic life.

Host Rating 8
Standard Configuration – Attack 8, Data Processing 9, Sleaze 10, Firewall 11

Security Protocol – Patrol IC running at all times, 2 Junior security officer logged on at all times.

Once an alarm has been triggered, IC activates in this order: Probe, Track, Tar Baby, Marker, Shocker, Crash and Killer.  If an IC program is crashed, it will move to the next stage before reloading the crashed program. A security spider will log on after 1d6/2 combat rounds after the alarm is triggered.

Scene 3 – Bones of the Old

After some digging on the part of the runners, they learn that one of Proteus’ employees had found the bolthole in the subway and found the old drives.  However, the Proteus middle manager was uninterested in the ancient technology and so the opportunistic employee went in search of a buyer.

Armed with the name Otto Kohler, the team’s hacker (or a hired decker) can search the Czech grid for the man and hack his commlink to learn his destination (or merely run an active trace on the commcode and follow him).  Digging into the man’s commlink reveals both his destination (the Kutna Hora Ossuary) and who he is dealing with (a Vory fence).

The Bone Cathedral is 70 km east of Prague and was chosen due to its seemingly aberrant trait… spirits fear the place due to the bones of the dead seemingly being able to imprison spirits within its walls.  In order to prevent astral spying, the local Vory have taken a shine to the place, much to the chagrin of the clergy. Being in the center of a massive graveyard, people come and go all the time, both to visit the ancient site, but pay respects to the dead on what has been deemed holy earth.

When the runners enter the ossuary, the astral space here feels strange and, if the runners come at night, a faint astral glow seems to line the outer walls.  Spirits in the service of the team magicians will tell their summoners of their distaste for the place and ask politely if they could not be summoned within the site.  The transaction is in progress when they arrive, with Kohler and the fence kneeling before the cross amidst the bone “bells” and several armed Vory guards standing around the outside of the small space.  The bone walls, floor and chandelier create an eerie atmosphere that even the runners can feel and the air temperature is a few degrees cooler here. The ossuary has a handful of other worshipers, all waiting to have a chance to pray at the morbid altar.

Shooting up the ancient building will earn the runners notoriety in some circles, but the Vory have no issues bringing weapons to bear if the runners go to interfere.  Given the tight quarters of the ossuary itself, runners may opt to wait in the graveyard to ambush the Vory thugs as they exit the site, but the innocent citizenry at the site could panic if gunfire breaks out and the authorities will certainly be notified, putting the runners on the clock before the police arrive.

Once they retrieve the hard drives, they will need to flee the scene before the police or further Vory descend on them.  They will need to find a way to lose any pursuers they have and arrange a return to the Ukraine. Once they return to Kiev, Jaeger pays them what he promised, if they wanted the cash, or he will keep their favor in mind for the future.  He tells the runners to hang onto the hard drives until he can get a hold of the required hardware to extract the data.

Matrix:  With Kohler’s commlink being the primary focus of this scene, the runners will need to be on the Czech grid to locate his commlink.  Kohler is using an Erika Elite (DR 4), so breaching the firewall shouldn’t be too difficult and aside from alerting him that the device has been breached, there is no defense against intrusion.  Noise is 6 while inside Prague, dropping to 5 outside the city limits (5 from distance, 1 or 0 for wireless traffic).

Should the runners want to hack the Ossuary, the old medieval building only has minor Matrix infrastructure set up and mainly for tourists.  The PAN controlling the Ossuary consists of a DR 5 device that controls the ARO of the site (mostly historic billboards about the site and they are all within the chapel and graveyard, not in the Ossuary) and a DR 6 device that controls the environmental effects (heat or A/C in the chapel, lights etc).

Vory Thugs
B4 A5 R4 S4 W4 L3 I4 C3  Init 8+1D6

Physical Limit 5, Mental Limit 5, Social Limit 6

Armor 9

Skills: Automatics 5, Blades 5, Intimidation 6, Perception 2, Pistols 4, Unarmed 6
Qualities: Toughness

HK-227 (SMG, Acc 5(7), 7P, SA/BF/FA, (1), 28(c), Stock, Smartgun, Integral Sound Suppressor)
Lined Coat (9)
Renraku Sensei Commlink
Optics – Contact Lens 2 (Image Link, Smartlink)

>> Gotta like it when you can do a job in a nice place like Prague, as opposed to some war-torn shithole.
>> Xia

>> War-torn shitholes have perks… you don’t need to worry about police showing up when you start shooting in a war zone.
>> Park

>> Your rules about when it’s OK to shoot people are interesting.
>> Squirrel

>> Oh God, when did they get here?
>> Xia

>> You can’t keep Squirrel out of anything for long.  We’ll just need to keep them contained until needed in Prague, or we also won’t be welcome back when this is done…
>> Park

~ by 1nsomniac on July 27, 2018.

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