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I saw a couple people putting up ideas for runs, and I thought I'd run this past you guys to see what comments I got. I was inspired partly by Firefly (the Reavers) and the Dead Man's Book of Ancient Files.

The backstory of all this is a while back my group eliminated a roach hive and managed to exterminate all the spirits except for one good merge who wasn't at the hive. Now it's almost a year and a half later.
George Carlos (The Good Merge) is back - and he is slightly insane. After going free when the hive was destroyed, and being nearly driven insane, he has gone underground. Feeling the need to resurrect the hive, he is attempting to summon another Roach Queen - and to do so is his only desire. Unfortunately he has little magical powers - just what the spirit has learned in the preceeding year. Now that he actually can control magic, he has ventured underground to start a new hive...

While underground, he fell prey to a ghoul pack - who infected the host body with the Krieger strain. Rather than fall prey, the spirit spelled the ghoul leader long enough for the merge to snap his neck - and a pack of feral ghouls have fallen under the spirit’s sway. Since the merge is not a true metahuman, the Krieger virus is just carried by the host body. Promised flesh to feed upon, the pack, calling themselves the Reavers, have started to terrorize one of the badder parts of Redmond’s sewers. In the following months the Ork Underground has learned to stay away from this part - mostly because orks who stray beyond a certain point tend to disappear, and nothing but bones are found.

The Reavers have literally dug new passages for their cult, and tend to “convert” others rather than eat all of them. All prisoners are infected, then are strapped to the wall and forced to watch them eat a human while alive. Those that show fear are the next to be eaten. Only those who survive the conversion process and show no fear are allowed to live.

It’s been a year since the hive was destroyed. Getting frustrated the the Roach spirits are not answering his call, George is still trying to reconstruct the necessary elements for a hive, and has captured some humans and orks from aboveground gangs. It is then that the spirit hears a call - not from a Roach Queen, but from a malicious spirit named Vrontyl who promises to reconnect him to the hive - for a price. The runners are first dragged into it when they are hired to “acquire” a rare book named “The Dead Man’s Book” from a talismonger in New Orleans. (use stats from the run from Brainscan in New Orleans for flavor) The pay is 100,000 for the book, 25,000 down the rest on delivery. Things should go wrong in NO, with the book subtlely twisting mana around it with it’s aura. Upon delivery, they meet the bodyguards of the talismonger (Kieron Grimhammer, a dwarf) named Ragg’s Roughnecks, a local ork gang.

The group is contacted by the Roughnecks new leader, Harg, asking if they can help him. The problem is, George has ransacked the place, and flayed the storekeeper open while still alive (rudimentary teaching from Vrontyl), while leaving his bodyguards dead. The only survivor was out getting pizza when the attack happened, and you’re the last people he saw who were competent enough to handle this. He leaves them that way, and that’s how the runners find them. The storekeeper stays alive long enough to ask for help, and say “the Reavers...” then his overstrained heart gives out and he passes on gratefully. This should end the day, and leave things on a sour note. Sources on the Reavers lead to several gang titles, and an entire section of the Redmond sewers belonging to a group calling themselves Reavers.

Several missing people later, one of the char’s Redmond contacts disappears. A ritual track of the person locates him to a particular section of the Ork Underground (great way of getting contacts here). If the runners offer to clear the area for them, they’ll get free contacts to leaders of the local Underground, and passes to go to and from the Underground as they please.

What George plans to do is create a Cage of Bone for Vrontyl - and the contact is the latest in attempts to create it. It, like all the others, is unsuccessful, but the merge has been learning - and finally it knows how to do it. A newly caught 16 yr old boy is brought to the table and the operation begins...just as the runners arrive.

There are no roach spirits to help, unfortunately, but there are plenty of ghouls which are tattooed extensively and deformed into the Reaver Clan. Numbering 30, they are magically enhanced by George and Vrontyl (a force 12 creature trapped in a box covered by runes, but has been transplanted into a Corpse Servant from the Dead Man’s Book) who has also boosted the ghouls’s natural resistance.

Descripts of the main baddies (no stats)
Good Merge (human/invae) - George Carlos
Little remains of the anonymous store owner George Carlos. Pursuing any and all ways to rejoin the hive, he has delved into the darkness - and has piercings and tattoos all over his body. He has lost most of his hair at this point, and is nearly skeletal. He also has scars on his arms and legs from when the ghouls initially tried to eat him.

The area of his workshop is a power site 3 aspected to him and metahuman material magery, so there is a background count of -3 for all other mages. The workshop is literally painted in blood and there are roaches running around everywhere.

Vrontyl - Grande Zombie form (Force 12)
Vrontyl is a powerful loa free spirit who was trapped long ago into a sealed runic box. Buried in what would become Seattle, the box was uncovered when the Reavers were digging a new tunnel network. Having unraveled the mana barrier during his long exile, the frustrated spirit still could not leave his prison, so he enlisted George to free him by constructing a Cage of Bone inside a living person to replace the runic box. For now, using the Corps Cadavre spell in the Dead Man’s Book, he has a body finally. The Zombie form is larger than normal mostly because it’s created from the stitched together bodies of 6 metahumans - the torso is troll, the arms 2 different orks, the legs from 2 different trolls, and the head is a human boy that has glowing flame-filled eyes. The zombie has no genitalia and when it roars the sound is huge coming out of such a small mouth...the only reason this travesty is mobile is because of necromantic magic from the petro voodoun tradition learned from the Dead Man’s Book.

Gear: Rune Box (inside corpse) - stacked unique focus Mana Barrier 12 (ragged small hole around keyhole), Physical Barrier 12, made of orihalcum and some other material which is practically indestructible.
I'll leave off the stats for the main baddies, as they stretch the rules in a few places as it is. Any comments? Obvious plot holes? Things to explore?

*braces himself* dead.gif
one little thing that I see.... during ritual tracking, the astral form does acutally go the site, much like a blood hound, correct? Ghouls can of course see and interact with the astral, making perhaps a little mage snack. Also ,the group would likely know what they were getting into.

The background count, because there would be lots (2 or 3 at least), aspected? fun for the mage casting there. Also, the runners are supposed to get there to listen to a dying man, but no one calls an ambulance? That's the only real weak point I find. Maybe instead, they need to et something from Mr. Skinless, and find him that way. Then are hired / offered the job after the fact by Mr. out-for Pizza.

Edit: When we move to Dallas area (could be 2 years, could be less) I wanna play, Sounds like fun.
Ghouls only have Astral Perception, IIRC.
if you can perceive it , you can hit it ( like an adept). They just can't project. It's hard thoguh because an astral form can do fast movement, where the ghouls can just ... well.. shake their fists at the air while the astral form flies over them. But that also depends on how much space they have to move, especially if the place is warded. WHich is a whole other game.
Both the Reavers and George Carlos are Dual Natured.

Yeah, I see the hole as far as him getting flayed. The only way of lessening that damage is that the talismonger is in a bad part of Redmond (where the Reavers are, after all) so ambulances tend to get attacked, so there is a little leeway there.

OR, and this just occured to me, have Harg get to the talismonger just before he dies and record the message for the group. That might seal the hole - the guys is dead, ambulance called (with holes) and the group is met by Harg with a chilling message from beyond the grave (ala Event Horizon)

Any other comments from people?
that sounds like a good alternative. Nice mental picutre for a meet for the job too. Frazzled ganger, smoking his 13th cigarette since they sat down, shakin like a BTL tripper on the rebound. WOuldn't normally have the money to hire runners, but he grabbed all his pals credsticks from their blood soaked jeans before the Star/scavengers arrived to pool their cash to hire a team.... good stuff
Yep - don't forget the uneaten stack of cooling pizzas in the corner.

btw - if/when you come to Dallas you're more than welcome to see if I'm still doing a game smile.gif In all probability - I will be.

THanks for the input.
QUOTE (DocMortand)
Yep - don't forget the uneaten stack of cooling pizzas in the corner.

which he will include in the pay, having lost his appetite....

wonder if the runners would eat it....?
Maybe pizzerias Security Cam recorded the attack, or the victims Pocket secretary was recording and dropped when the guy was jumped, recording the assault at an odd angle.
pizzaria? nono it's a talismonger who gets hit. And yes, there would be cam footage a plenty for the runners to see - George isn't really in touch with the technical side since he's mostly invae. Since he is a good merge tho, he has George's memories about security cameras - but frankly, he has better things to worry obtaining the Dead Man's Book.
I have a character (my altruistic Gargoyle Shaman actaully) going for the Mauvis Manual. maybe they can help each other out for a bit? devil.gif
If you really want this helping you:

[ Spoiler ]

Not to mention the force 12 Grande Zombie with Compulsion and Fear... and the 30 Reaver Ghouls.
well as I mentioned somewhere else, he already has a grande zombie, that was an old friend of his, as a buddy level contact (yak oyabun got geeked by his own son. Had voodoun girlfriend, which should tell you something about the character, summon him from the dead as a zombie, then freed him). The character also knows the sacrifice metamagic, although so far, he's only used it on himself. So what's one more seriously warped buddy?
Hell, he's got two vampires in the magicla group he founded, 3 pet hell hounds, and a cerebrus hound. As well as a European Gargoyle that roosts on top of his 'home'. Very into the paracritters this one.

Then again, I don't really like roaches...
Well, between the roaches and the whole "blood covered inner sanctum" he's generally not fit for company. smile.gif

The grande zombie isn't, in fact, a grande zombie - it's not conjured, it's a sorcery spell holding it together. It's just convinent to label him a grande zombie for now. smile.gif Your friend's grande zombie would see through the exterior and not be a happy zombie (if there is such a thing. smile.gif
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