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Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 124 is now live and can be found at:

Apologies for the wait - this session was played a couple of weeks ago, but as I'm sure everyone is aware by now, C19 is shaking things up a bit. I cancelled the game two weeks ago, based on the risks and how we thought this was going to go, and it seemed like the best course of action. Both Lee(Marius) and I work in the food industry, Justin (Hunter) is a clinician, and both Ali (Tads) and Jez(Aswon) work in government positions - so having meetings and additional vectors for catching something when we didn't need to just didn't seem worth the risk. Fozzy(Kai) and Tom(Shimazu) are graphics designer and PC engineer respectively, and while we love them dearly, are not in the same "key worker" category that most of us are.
Bizarrly enough, work has been really busy the last week or two, with everyone wanting a laptop, or a remote desktop setting up - or turning up with a laptop that has been "at home" for the last 2 years and has long since dropped off the domain... Strange.

So - what happened. Fairly straight-forward really, they got from the smuggler base in the med, down the refuelling stop on the north african coast. I'd originally planned for them to end up here after chatting with Ludmilla - but they didn't ask her about fuel at all, or give her chance to ask with what they did - so she "asumed" it was taken care of. So instead of getting fuel at the "preferential" rate, they paid the "gouged" rate from the chart, because the guy had no idea the team were running for his employer. Oh's their profit margin!

But, they're in the desert now, and getting ready to hunt scorpions, and I have a random encounter table ready for them to have some fun with during their search.

Hopefully at some point when this is all blown over and we're back to gaming, we can have some fun with random desert war tech, desert nomads, and maybe a chance meeting with a man wandering the desert for 40 days and nights, searching for a message from his god. We'll have to see.

Here are the notes from the game:
  • 615km to the African coast, 170km "operational" limit
  • mid morning - whitecaps arrive
  • Tads - asks Hunter if his corp has samples to track him, probably, you might want to sleep under the ward.
  • Marius - only if they really want him, Tads, but they are looking for him, it's probably worth it.
  • Aswon - hoping the ward is strong enough, the creatures should just see it as a barrier and hopefully won't attack it.
  • Tads and Aswon discuss how to do an obscurement ritual on Hunters link. Aswon - sounds like a metaplane quest foci, for hiding links.
  • Tads makes breakfast for grandfather, calls him, no answer. Tries to summon after "explaining", gets a heat haze desert shimmer in the air as a normal spirit arrives. Aswon clears away last nights dinner
  • Asking Hunter to check on El Sallem to see if it still exists. Getting Shimazu to check with Dr Mohammed - goes to VM, leaves a follow up message.
  • Hunter doing a search on the marina to check on if it's still active.
  • Get Kai to ask if there's a good landing spot in Libya / Egypt
  • Kai talks to Ibretta, rude and antagonistic, gets the details for Ludmillas dock.
  • Ibretta takes a call, says they have a boat coming, when are they taking off as she wants the landing zone back.
  • Asks her if she has a rad suit - told to talk to Zoe. Kai a bit flirty, Ibretta picks up a rivet gun.
  • Marius checks for computer (1,1,4) keeps speed low to help keep sat lockon.
  • Aswon, Kai, Shimazu putting F8 ward on the UAZ. 5 weeks
  • Dr Mohammed calls Shimazu - breaks off warding. Ahh, the young man, Aslick unfortunate name, agrees to send some course info and costs
  • Marius - sensor check after takeoff and flying south, intermittent contact, Marius climbs, still can't get a decent lock, Marius climbs more, tells the team
  • Tads goes astral, looking for the target
  • Marius spots the target going to one side, misconstrues move, possibly opening bearing to shoot / lock up.
  • Tads spots the boat, shaman and spirit chase her, she carries on fast astral, spots the BGC on the coast, turns hard left, next time she checks, no signs of pursuit. Gets back to her body in about 10-15 minutes and just manages to remerge, warns they have magic support, boat 8-10m, it was a mage + air spirit
  • Marius adjust course a few degrees off their bearing, maintains altitude, spots massive electronic signature far to the west, then descends back to previous altitude, then once way past, corrects course to head back
  • Tads asks the people in the back if they are clipped in, then goes to rope them in a bit.
  • Hunter research - marina Tunisia, used by 5 of the megas (Ares, SK, Renraku, Yamatetsu, Fuchi) - the other main port for the other majors
  • 3 1/4 hours to the north african coast,
  • Bombah airport - cratered and taken out with conventional munitions, never rebuilt
  • Ludmillas base - looks like an old civil airport, broken and run down, very short runway, storage hangers broken
  • Ludmillas - 2000l of fuel, 14K (monopoly pricing) - Hunter pays using his credstick, Marius handles the refuelling,
  • Notice the dry heat, tempered with the cooling breeze
  • Find a rocky area to the west, about 50km rocky
  • Planning to leave Kai and Marius with the chopper, Tads, Shimazu, Aswon and Hunter go to look for scorpions.
  • Abbuman comes back, agree 200Ny per day berthing fees, Hunter pays 1 day
  • Chopper starts to get hot, take measures to cool it
  • Abbuman comes over "tell me of foreign lands" revert to Arabic, smoking to hookah,
  • Kai talks to the Abbuman about the person who referred them "ahh, the harpy witch"
  • now 6pm, discuss travelling by day or night - Shimazu wants to travel by day
  • Kai - we're explorers, looking for wildlife
  • Abbuman- are you here to kill the filth? Yes! Ahh, Allah’s blessing.
  • Discuss the nearby hills, Afancs and Flame Jackals
  • Describes sand and rock worms, about 3 days walk to the south,
  • Tells about local tribes, jokes about Tads age,
  • Adrax Antelope - very fast - Bedouin would want them
  • Fly south after dusk into the deep desert, looking for a good site, set down then wait for dawn
  • Then start to ward the dog crate, F8, putting successes into time, only need 1 week

Stay safe everyone, keep your distance, and be one of the survivors of VITAS and not a victim.
Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 125 is now published and can be found at:

We'd originally been scheduled not to run last Tuesday - the wife and I were due to be on holiday. Of course C19 shot that plan down, but we both decided to take our leave and just stay at home. I got some quality warhammer miniature building time, she caught up with her fan-fiction habbit, and neither of us did the filing or tided up the cellar. So, all things in hand then. But, as we were in the country, and with access to stuff, we decided to run the game after all. By the time we'd got it sorted, Lee (Marius) was unavailable. As he and Hunter were at the chopper while the rest of the team went exploring, I advised Justin (Hunter) not to connect in - I didn't want to throw stuff at him without another player being there, and felt it was unfair to make him stay online if there wasn't much activity for him to get involved in. That on the other hand meant I could concentrate on the magic squad while they went off to look for scorpions.

A few rolls on the random encounter table saw them find some good stuff (the lucky things - it could have gone so much worse!) including a plot seed for something to come later.

We were running over discord, using just a standard voice channel, and it seemed to work ok. There wasn't any combat, and the skill checks worked out ok, as did the spell casting. Whether it works as well on Tuesday with the full team, and/or combat we will have to see...

As usual here's the notes from the session:
  • Fly about 150km south, into the desert and land on a plateau, wait for dawn, then head out.
  • Kai asks Tads if any of her spirits have the search power, to look for scorpions - make it easier. Aswon agrees.
  • Tads tries for a F4 desert spirit, BGC=1, only gets 1 success
  • Ask the spirit to go looking for glow scorpions.
  • It describes an area about 4 hours to the south east, where they will find what they seek. Tads asks for a guide, the spirit asks for karma, then leaves when she refuses.
  • Look at the land suggested, decide to drive not fly due to broken terrain, Aswon suggests driving to about a mile away and then walking. Asks if Tads wants to summon another spirit - Kai agrees.
  • Check they have the anti-venom is present and they have all their gear. Discuss the plan of attack - Tads with a stun-ball, don't mess around, just get a pair, or some eggs
  • Marius and Hunter to collect sand and rock and fill up the pen
  • Kai checking what the fall-back plan is in case the stunball doesn't work. Aswon taking the boar spear for pinning, Kai taking smoke grenade in case a nest needs smoking out. Shimazu can bring shield and taser, and can just punch them. Also taking cammo net - not ideal, but would slow them down.
  • Discussion about using create water spell for lures / traps, or using trid phantasm. Kai asking about poison resistance from anyone - Aswon - no, we need not get stung.
  • Shimazu driving check - one success, bunch of 1s.
  • Nearly plants the car into a gully, slow down and take it steady, Aswon back seat driving.
  • 20 mins in, Tads adds more services to the spirit (2) and drains.
  • 300-400m off to the side, spot wet rock, decide to investigate, send Shimazu to traceless walk.
  • Shimazu spots spherical mounds near the spring, checks it astrally, no different. Tads offers to drop some cooked chicken near the area. Shimazu hangs back a bit.
  • Chicken triggers black scorpion attacks, devour the chicken
  • Team emphatic that Shimazu shouldn't bring any scorpions back. Tads asks if Shimazu can collect the chicken bones to not litter the desert.
  • Shimazu refuses, so Tads levitates (on the 2nd attempt) to recover it. Then cleanses spell signature.
  • Terrain getting worse as they continue, drive check, Shimazu ok
  • Find a random cache/ abandoned information. Aswon gets a 20 on merc operations - recognises it as a supply cache. Tads suggests sending co-ords back to the chopper in case it's fuel.
  • Tads goes up to see if there's other man made stuff in the area, there is a bunch all in one area. Not scattered.
  • Aswon demo roll - spots a faint wire, trace around the back, four boxes stacked 2X2 and the arming box. Thinks it will be a 4-8 digit code to disarm the device.
  • Aswon asks if the spirit can conceal tracks on the way back, if there are spare services.
  • Tads is using the sun and features to track progress.
  • Work out that there is nowhere to land the chopper handy - would have to hover.
  • Old man appears, Shimazu gets a feeling, spots him, ask if they have water - they offer water, it's not for me. Shimazu sneaks around - no sign of the old man. Team make sure they have water to hand.
  • Back into the UAZ, drive check, all good. BGC rises to 2, then 3, reach the 1km point from the site.
  • Stop the vehicle, park it in a wadi to try and get shade. Continue on foot
  • Shimazu strips off some armour, rest are lightly equipped.
  • Arrive near the top of the ridge, taking water
  • Spot the dude, check, low essence, Shimazu goes to rescue him - Kai stops him, warns him not to get caught in the trap.
  • BGC=4 at the lip. Aswon recognises it as a man-made crater, from an explosion. Checks the rad patches, picking up some rems.
  • Tads levitates, gets a 12 on the cast, takes an L
  • Back off to BGC2 area, spotting for when Rad counters settle down.
  • Do biotech on the dude. Med kits picks up on the rad damage, sink or swim, dehydrated and malnourished.
  • Looks like mostly stun, exposure damage. Kai checks for distinguishing marks. Spots the high quality Quran in an inside pocket, no other distinguishing marks.
  • Tads gets dressed appropriately for women, rolling her eyes, make a shade for him while he recovers. They keep hydrating him.
  • Shimazu gets a vague sense that he's someone important - enough that he had a bodyguard at some point. Kai doesn't recognise him.
  • Aswon does an improvised shelter test, they get some shelter materials and hunker down a bit.
  • Dude wakes up. Where am I, who are you people?
  • Explain they found him in a bomb crater, with radiation damage.
  • Tells them he was on a vision quest - Kai asks if he has enlightenment yet, I'm not sure. Kai offers to look after him for a bit
  • I'll stay here and recover my strength. Do you have a compass? Tads survival check, he starts to pray in the direction of Mecca.
  • Aswon wants to know why he is here if that's ok.
  • Team leave him some water, then about to head off. Shimazu asks for his name. Instant guarded reaction, doesn't say, deflects.
  • Leave him water, food, anti-nausea meds, then team leaves him.
  • Team deciding whether to go north or south, asking the spirit. Tads describes the creatures, asks the spirits to hunt, avoid other people.
  • Aswon assesnses, penetrates masking, g2 mage, but run down.
  • Move on, ambling through the desert, find skeletons, Shimazu commando roll
  • Find a great dragon ATGM in the carry case. Tads suggests checking for dog tags and IDs to sent to Milo.
  • The team were Azzies - find ID and bits of uniform and so on.
  • Tads assenses - sense of desperation, says she is wanting to go somewhere cold.
  • Aswon wants to find a combat helmet. Tads suggests the catalogue+mindprobe combo. Fails to cast,
  • Find a battlefield kit, with a message in Spanish - translate, get the code for the cache they found.
  • Spirit returns, found the scorpions on the other side of the crater to where they were.
  • Decide to chop the day short, return to the guy, the cache, and the vehicle.
  • Examine the patrol, decide not to dig as the results are not worth it. Shimazu asks if Tads can shape earth - she has the formula, but not had time to learn it.
  • Head back to the dude.
  • Hello my friends, have you been successful in your quest. Kai offers to take him back, he says his path is elsewhere. Asks for contact details. Kai passes over, along with food and water.
  • Imam gives decent blessing on the team, Tads mutters "elk be with you" as they leave.
  • Head back to the supply cache. Aswon volunteers to enter the code at the cache. Disarms the lock ok.
  • Tads thinks it's awful that the patrol was so close.
  • Back to the cache, find the desert survival kits, Azzie assault rifles+ pistols, 1000 rounds rifle, 200 pistol.
  • Locate the dude astrally, discussion about how to get the gear to him - Aswon run, spirit movement? Kai suggests just sending the spirit. Discussion about religion, Aswon reveals he is grade 2 at least. Tads uses 1 service to aid movement, bouncy Aswon. Rest of team heading towards vehicle, check the bladder, brackish water, let it drain.
  • Tads wonders about sterilise spell and leave it here just in case.
  • Aswon gets to the dude, gets in LOS, spots him being shocked, putting spell defence up, then lowering. Present him with the kit More blessings.
  • What are you seeking enlightenment on
  • "the shape of the future of this part of the world" oops, said too much.
  • Heads back, trips over an animal. Adrax Antelope runs parallel to him for a while then veers off. Back to the group.
  • Get back to the group, then to the car, then to the chopper -
  • Tads sets up solar still under the chopper, mid afternoon, calling it there

Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 126 is now published and can be found at:

A short session this week, as we struggled somewhat to get Marius online on discord - a number of tech issues slowed us down, and I think we didn't start until 7:30pm, so it cut into the session time a fair bit. Still - we got there in the end, and hopefully that's sorted now for next Tuesday.

Other than that, they had a reminder about using the bug scanner on stuff they find lying around - I was very surprised that nobody remembered to do this, but at least the distance from the Azzie air base really cut down on what they could feasibly send in terms of a response, and I was pretty certain that they should be able to confound a single fighter jet, while at the same time not taking liberties.

On the off chance that they did try to make a rumble of it, I'd statted the fighter up using the example from Rigger 3, and given it a simple loadout:
Handle 5, Speed 150/1800, Accel 80, Body 7, Armour 12, Sig 6, Auto 4, Pilot NA, Sensor 9, Cargo 3, Load 2600, Seating 1e,
4 External missiles,(Block 1 bandits, 14D even across 10m), 2 sidewinder equivalents (bonus vs airbourne targets, penalties against ground, 8D AV), one nose mounted 30mm cannon (13D APDS bursts, fully compensated), Thermal Baffles 2, ECM 4

That should have made a mess of the chopper or required some *very* fancy flying to avoid, whilst not being something that would cause a TPK.

They moved to somewhere the other side of the crater, landed up ok and then went hunting the scorpions. I've written the scorpions up like this:
Glow Scorpions : Approx 2m long, with a 1.5m tail/stinger, these scorpions are a blood-red colour, and glow slightly in the dark. Their claws are sharply barbed and the stinger is the length of a couger fineblade
B5, Q4X4, S3, CX, I3/5, W5, E2, R4, Init 4+1D6, CP 6, Attack 5M, Armour 6, Powers: Concealment (Self), Venom (10D physical, onset 2 rounds), Tremor sense, Movement (Earth), Magic Sense
Effective signature in sand/rock = 8, with a stealth roll of 4 dice on top+concealment (2). Use the movement power to "burrow" through sand and make pop up attacks randomly, prioritising magical targets using their magic sense

Next weeks session will be the fight kicking off - so with how slow combat can be normally, compounded by us working over discord - next weeks write up may also be quite short! I mean, in summary it will be "scorpions attack, big fight, probably someone gets stung, anti-venom used, fight fight fight, capture critters." Boom - there you go, down to 16 words from the normal 6-8 thousand <wink>


So, here are the notes from the session, to compare against the narrative.
  • Discussion about moving the chopper closer, not worth moving 15km, maybe send the drone instead.
  • Kai asking what sensors it has - basic, very basic.
  • Tads - concerned about time moving the scorpions
  • Working out how close they can get with the jeep. Marius suggesting they get the scorps, then Marius flies over to collect them all.
  • Kai - how long to get there - working it out. Team agrees to get the drone out and work out a route.
  • Target zone about 200m to the NE of the crater.
  • Tads talking about spirits, Marius confused and thinking they were spirit scorpions, all worried
  • Talking about sending the drone, when it spots stuff, Tads can go check magically.
  • Tads thinks about sending her sustaining foci on the drone.
  • Fighter comes overhead - Marius runs for the sensors, Tads assenses, rest hide
  • Sensor check - twin tail, swing wing, Aswon merc operation
  • Hunter does a bug scan check - finds the homing beacon.
  • Marius - two options, kill it and crush it - or send it away.
  • Tads asks if they want a phantasm - though mentions it won't help against mages, and don't they have lots of blood mages.
  • Plane returns and banks, circling the chopper.
  • Marius detects sensors, but not active targetting lock
  • Tads - trid phantasm, 1 success - sand dune
  • Marius - we have to move, rest of the team get the half inflated condor into the back
  • Team digging out the bug from the cargo box, going to send it with the spirit - find a pressure sensitive one int he bottom.
  • Take off, dust storm, shaping the phantasm, fighter banks off to the NW
  • Marius - vehicle stealth, 5, 4 success - leaves false trail then doubles back
  • Fighter comes in again, doesn't spot them is decoyed
  • Tads talks about them not sending someone to find the 5 guys, rest of the team talking about how it was likely a warzone last season
  • Fighter comes back from S to N, firing blind, team still heading away
  • Team heads to the east, spots the crater - Tads - NOT THERE!,
  • find a spot about 3km past the crater, makes a decent handling check.sinks a little into the sand - to the top of the wheels, then start to get the condor up.
  • Tads - do we need the spell up still? I need to rest. Agree to drop the spell. 33 minutes for recovery of the moderate
  • Aswon discussion - we don't need to take the whole team, goes over the plan again from before.
  • Team think - area of the scorpions is a BGC3 area, so stun ball will be hard
  • Marius - Kai needs to go with you. Aswon - why? So he's not here with me, winding me up!
  • Aswon making throwing nets with stones
  • Waiting for dusk, Tads summons F4 spirit, BGC2, 1 success, takes L drain, waits 10 minutes, about 8pm, team ready to go,
  • ASking hunter if he has gel rounds for his rifle - he doesn't, he has APDS.
  • Kai checking who can see through smoke - Tads asking for warning, Aswon and remember they might be cold blooded and not visible on thermo.
  • Marius goes searching - doesn't find anything, even with a good sensor roll.
  • Keep looking, seeing other stuff, not their targets. Tads mindlink, gives better direction
  • Condor down closer to the ground 10m, to improve resolution, then spots a rabbit just disappear, Tads goes to check them out, high, manifests, spots them ok, back to chopper, nothing on the sensors - magic folk think and agree that it's a personal concealment
  • Shimazu drives up well - aiming for about 200m away minimum. Get to 200m away, no sign of the pray
  • Team wait for 30mins, go for a scout. Tads loops around, 20m up. Wait, spot a snake heading over the scorpion area.
  • Snake gets ambushed, team go into action.
  • Tads - F5 stunball at S, BGC3 area, they shrug the spell, make a beeline for the truck.
  • Aswon and Hunter get out with nets, Kai staying in the truck leaning out the window, Shimazu out with shield and taser
  • Tads casts again, they shrug once more - just as they are about to reach the team, cliffhanger ending.

Once again, just a reminder that I would love to get feedback on this. I see the view count going up each week, so I figure people are still checking in on it - but it really would be good to get an outside view or thoughts on how the game is going, the team or the npcs / story.

Stay safe everyone, and keep making those VITAS resistance checks!
Kren Cooper
Session 127 is live (was live) and can be found at:

Something a little different this week. Normally the narrative is told purely from the players POV, and I have to be careful not to give away meta knowledge to them. Although it would make for a better narrative and fit in with most traditional fiction styles where you get to see the story unfold normally from multiple angles, these writeups are normally very one sided - and leave the reader as much in the dark as the player, when the players didn't make a vital skill test or "get" a clue or subtle point. Or just decide to go off piste and strike out in a new direction.

This week though I put in some "other side" to try and make the action a little clearer, and add some detail, It's not anything that will "spoil" the story for the players when they read the narrative - if anything I'm hoping that knowing that it was a personal decision to come back in the fighter jet was a personal action, and that might make it more meaningful to Marius, and by extension the others.

Or it might just pad the word-count on a week where we had a short sesion anyway. You be the judge.

So, in short - they snagged the scorpions, but got revisted by the fighter jet that was looking for them last week. It caught them on the ground, a sitting duck. It had air to ground missiles, and a 30mm autocannon. It did not go in the players favour.

So, by the end of the session, they'd lost their air transport, and were stuck with a 4 (5 if they squeeze) seater off-roader, 6 crew, 150km of desert to the only place they know off, 2 of the most venomous creatures in the world, that need to go in a pair of dog crates designed for springer spaniels, and a whole masss of assorted junk, spare clothing, guns, ammo, disguises, food, water, fuel, electronic supplies and gear. They've got 10 litres of stuff and a 2 litre bucket. Gonna be some hard choices ahead!

Here are the notes behind the write up - from here you can see how much has been added in terms of narrative this week!

  • 30m, closing fast
  • Aswon delay, until medium range
  • Shimazu, shield and taser ready
  • scorpions run forward, one on right goes under
  • one on left gets tangles by Aswon, 2 success, well tangled
  • Shimazu taser - yamaha pulsar, 8d, scorpion takes an S
  • Marius sensor sweep spots the mound but no trail
  • Tads - shielding
  • Hunter - getting ready to be ambushed, spreading weight
  • Kai - cover shimazu
  • Shimazu next - move to front of truck with traceless walk, covering
  • Aswon - extend taser spear, ready
  • Shimazu, Kai, Tads, perception checks - all get tens and spot one burrowing up
  • Tads levitates - and drains, even with BGC2, fails its str check
  • Marius spots the 2nd wave, warns the team
  • Hunter hands off net to Aswon, grabs rifle, fires a burst at one of the 2nd wave 13D, apds - no save, blows its arse out.
  • New combat round
  • Shimazu moves to engage the new ones, fires taser, deadly stuns one (soaked from overflow)
  • Aswon waits for middle one, throws, misses, re-rolls, misses,
  • Marius - sensor check, sees big one, nothing local
  • Hunter gets one with a burst, then jumps to the hood, warns about big one
  • Tads - levitates a 2nd target, manages to pin the 2nd one for an action
  • Kai - grab a box and approach 1st levitated, good athletics check, gets behind small levitated one to box
  • Aswon sprints towards big one with taser spear,
  • Shimazu sprints after Aswon, shoot at the big one (on 12s - gets 1!)
  • Soaks the tase, shifts target to shimazu
  • Marius, does a recall on the drone, hops back to captains chair, spots the fighter
  • Hunter, swap to SA, called shot a pincer, 1 success, reroll, 6 blows a pincer open,
  • Aswon charges, gets close enough with an athletics check, engages in melee
  • Aswon gets net of 3, soaks the impact, takes M(stun)+tase effects
  • Missile hits on 0, none on the soak, blows off the tail rotor
  • New round
  • Shimazu stops and shoots, taser, one hit, takes a D, levitates up in the air
  • Fighter strafes, then rolls, punches flares+chaff, poses - Marius gets the tail number
  • Kai boxes the levitated one, then back to the truck, gets 2nd box to head to 2nd stunned one
  • Aswon goes mad with the cable ties, has to be careful due to dripping venom,
  • Tads holds the big one up to make it easier
  • Check the scorpions for colour / sex
  • Marius spots fires, fuel leaking, starts to do the shutdown to stop more electric fires
  • Hunter - running down, spots the devastation, eval - 60% chance of fire
  • Marius - default to int for firefighting, 3 successes. Gets the fire out
  • Hunter - survey from outside - calculated attack, disable or cruelty.
  • Scorp team, examine, nothing to do with colour, check for sex, think they're asexual
  • Tads suggest taking the pincers from the small ones that got gutted, leaving the rest.
  • Aswon - take photos to sell pictures to big game hunters
  • Tads - worried that if they let it go, it will pursue them
  • Shimazu to go stab it - tads, stop! should we ritually kill it with the spear. Tads lifts the scorpion, aswon explains to the spear, then kills it, no change in spears desire for karma
  • Stabbing the netted one as well
  • Tads talismongers the bodies - gets the stingers+venom glands from the 2 smaller ones. medium netted one has broken its stinger.
  • Get back to the chopper, team reunites.
  • Marius - flipping between trying to be practical about the situation and incandescent rage
  • Tads advises hunter to hide in the car 1 per hour to disrupt any tracking.
  • fuel pissing all over the desert, make tests and manage to patch the holes and
  • Marius doing a detailed check of the chopper, Tads, helps with a catalogue spell,
  • Check the habitat - random roll, back end is damaged.
  • Hunter starts digging fire break,
  • Aswon and Shimazu start to put up a fresh ward around the damaged container. Shooting for F10, Aswon gets 1, Shimazu got 2+2 on the reroll, 1 week duration, 2.5 hours to make
  • Tads makes a critter roll, probably best to let them into the sand in the enclosure. Both scurry into the sand. Tads checks underneath, no sign of them, Aswon makes a physical barrier
  • Tads suggests getting a lookout - Marius puts the condor back up.
  • Plan to mostly stay and wait, be reactive
  • Marius assess chopper damage - avionics burnt out, hydraulics shot, engines might have fractures, gearbox ok, 3 back rotos are trashed, 2 front are fine,control vanes are bashed.
  • Marius gets drones out of the racks
  • Check - solar still is back at the first dustoff site,
  • Damage check for the drones in the rack -
  • condor fine, doberman has VA6, takes an M, IWS takes an S
  • Kai sets up desert survival tents
  • Aswon heads out far enough to get on a ridge line, 3-400 m from chopper to do overwatch, with camo blanket
  • Tads recovers her lodge/wardning materials.
  • Marius recovers electrial gear for power systems
Kren Cooper
Another week of lockdown, another game over discord. Things are settling into a routine now though, and seem to be going ok. So, as usual this weeks writeup can be found at:

Following on from last week and the destruction of their chopper, it's now time to ramp things up a bit and bring in the "bad guy". Possibly I've taken 'slow burn' to new levels with this, only introducing the plot arc bad guy in episode 128.... but it's also been a case of not showing the players things going on in the background if there's no way they could know about them.

The bad guy has turned up, a vastly powerful mage that none of them have ever met before, and indicated that he wants Marius for some dark and nefarius purpose - leaving the players thoroughly confused. And hopefully thinking that this is a "bad thing" ™.

Now of course they're stuck in the desert, transport blown up, unable to get their loot home, and with the big bad saying "I'm sending someone to collect you - you just wait there!" - and hopefully feeling that the situation is pretty shit at the moment, and that the GM is out to get them. At least I hope so - it's all part of the rollercoaster ride.

There's plenty of notes from this week as there was lots of dialog between the players, and then the players and the NPC before we finished with the fight.


  • Marius - I don't think anyone appreciates how much of a crap situation we're in, details damage to chopper, only one working vehicle, crates of deadly critters
  • Tads - can we tow the chopper with the jeep?
  • Marius - possible, depends on terrain - unless Tads can pull off the levitate of all levitates (TN 50+!)
  • Hunter - the wheels will soak into the terrain,
  • Kai - where is the nearest place we can get repairs then? Marius - maybe the base we landed at, if it's not been stripped
  • Kai - ok tads, can you go astral? does the radiation mess you up? Tads, I have to be careful. Kai - yes, ok - but can you get back to the airfield quickly and easily. Tads - yes, but I don't know what you need. Marius - I can sketch / show you.
  • Marius - how the fuck do we afford this, even if we can get a truck over here. Query over the costs to repair, and if it's worth it, and how that affects the recovery operations
  • Kai - we need to find some way to get back to safety
  • Talk about power, Marius checks the system, some power in the batts,
  • Kai - can we send the blimp up to recon? Aswon is on guard, but might help us spot for locals in the desert nearby?
  • Tads - offer to go to the base, Kai can you look for people as well, Tads - I will do two trips.
  • Tads goes to the base, no wards, no life signs, into the hanger, big repair facility, aircraft shunter. Then goes up for a look, finds nothing but a few local desert creatures.
  • Kai - can you mind link with Marius to assess the hanger facilities. Tads shares - low end, basic stuff
  • Tads - how much money do we have?
  • Shimazu gets the course prospectus arrive at his phone during power testing.
  • Kai - priorities 1) us, 2) drones, 3) cargo, 4) other stuff
  • Kai - in terms of mothballing the chopper - burying it, can we do that? Would it cause long term damage? Marius - netting and stuff, bury it, but sandstorms will be an issue one way or the other.
  • Evaluate parts on the chopper worth stealing / taking - engines, rotors, gearbox, avionics
  • Aswon - could we sell it for parts rather than fix it, to actually make money? Marius, we can't do that now. Aswon - but to shape our plans.Could we do multiple trips?
  • Tads feeds the scorpions, checks that Hunter has had a recent sit in the jeep to get in the ward.
  • Aswon - spots the astral watcher, has a good look, calls it in. Feels like he got a good look, but still mundane
  • Tads and Shimazu come out to examine, assense. Aswon keeps overwatch
  • Not penetrate masking, dwarf, descends, dripping bandage over left eye/face. Non-descript robes. Tads tries to check robes, gets nothing. Tads - Kai - he's more powerful than me.
  • Looking for Mr Schmidt? Schmidt? No, Shroeder! Yes. Marius does not recognise him, tries german, does not understand, back to english
  • you have something we need
  • What is it? How valuable is it?
  • Priceless!
  • Pilot, was supposed to only keep you on the ground.
  • Is someone coming to help us?
  • Someone will come and help you with your tavel
  • I need to know what you want?
  • No, you don't - as long as you're well,
  • Then he spots Aswon.
  • Tads - what is he after? Marius - no idea.
  • Details the crew - so that much be Aswon.Is that the one with the sticks and the rifle? Do I have to go to him? Or does he come to me.
  • Marius over internal comms, I don't know what I have that he wants. Tads - better manners! I'm not a witch! He doesn't seem to be working for Sader Krupp - Aswon, no he's probably going to sell you.
  • Aswon - he was after hunter, does that make him ZIC.
  • Tads - he called Hunter Mr Webb, is that a name he'll admit to?
  • Marius - he only called us by name, you by the jobs or what you do? Does that mean he doesn't care about the rest of you
  • Aswon approaches, Kai and Shimazu check body language - pick up on change when he spots the spear.
  • Marius explains background a bit - rest of team dead, I saw it as a way to get out, but not crossed anyone. Confused about what they could be after because he didn't own anything except the chopper.
  • Think about the hunter fight - marius wasn't even there.
  • Thinking about security procedure - Shimazu, known accomplasis
  • Hunter - language- not a euro languge speaker. Check on the sat phone for Marius.
  • He tells them to stay put, summons a spirit, heads off west fast astral.
  • Aswon checks speed, confirms "about grade 9"
  • Tads checks spirit - similar to the feeling from the blood mage in the quarry, about a F6
  • Marius ignores the spirit, Aswon activates spear. Still hungry, then vibrates with eagerness...
  • Magic background checks - Aswon, senses evil, thinks about bad juju, makes warding gesture.
  • Shimazu same - shinto prayer
  • Tads - gets sense of creature inside, spigots
  • First soak on 2L for everyone
  • Kai - shut up! Commanding voice. Befuddled! Confused!
  • Stares at Hunter through a hole in the chopper, compulsion. Works, Marius, spots the robot expression, jumps on him, Marius 3 with surprise, hunter gets 2, knocked to the side
  • Tads - it's controlling hunter
  • Aswon - attacks, starts combat
  • Spirit 31
  • Shimazu 24
  • Tads 23
  • Marius 21
  • Aswon 19
  • Hunter 16
  • Kai 9
  • Shimazu goes first - 11 vs 5, 10D, spang!
  • Spirit attacks Shimazum 8 vs 7, spang!
  • Tads- stop! We'll wait
  • Marius - trying to keep Hunter tangled up, opposed str check, Hunter breaks free
  • Aswon - thinks about obeying, nah, stabs, 11vs 4 does - 11D, does an M, shriek of pain, drops the compulsion, does a scream, see the creature draw something from Hunter.
  • Hunter - change to reg ammo
  • Kai - commanding voice "summon your master",
  • Spirit - fear on Aswon,
  • Shimazu, drops sword, quick draw dagger, ok, 5 vs 3 spang
  • Tads banashing, gets 1 rr 3, 2net down to f4 and locked up
  • Marius - getting the HMG
  • Hunter shooting into melee, takes the +4, gets 2 successes fully auto, 19D, no spang, cuts it in half
  • It dies, psychic scream
  • Tads - I want to leave a message saying "self defence". Aswon - or just wait and act cool.
  • Marius mounts the HMG on the doberman, getting it ready. Aswon, want me on overwatch, kai - yes, different spot
  • Aswon pokes the spirit with the spear "we need to work on our defences, then you can eat!" stomps off
  • Manuel has an astral speed of about 21K kmh, so the trip home is about 35 mins in astral space

Kren Cooper
For anyone curious - here's the details of the bad guy:

Manuel Aganosta, Dwarf, Male, Aztlanner.
Body 5, Quickness 6, Strength 5, Intelligence 7, Charisma 6, Willpower 8, Reaction 6, Initiative 6+1D6(+20 Astral), Essence 9 (Blood pact), Good Karma 12, Karma Pool 14.

Power foci 5 (Blood diamond on iron necklace), Weapon foci 5 (Athame, blank smooth handle carved from black wood, red blooddrop gem in the end of the pomell)

Manuel is a grade 10 intiate with Magic 16 (21 with Power foci), and has the metamagics of: Masking, Posessing, Shielding, Sacrifice, Improved Sacrifice, Divining, Centering (Blood splatters), Severing, Cleansing, Filtering

He is able to summon a style of Blood spirit known as a "Ravener". The blood spirit appears in physical form as a cloud of blood-red mist or a blood-red humanoid with claws, wings and a hooked beak. The one he summoned for the last episode was a Force 6, which had the following stats:
B7, Q8X3 S4 C6 W6 I6 R7, Init 17+1D6 / 27+1D6, CP10, Str(M) hits, Essence Drain, Fear, Guard, Noxious Breath, Compulsion, Fear Drain.

Fear drain is a new power - the screams that occurred during the combat. When used - all creatures in an area equal to F X 100M have to resist 2L drain on turn one, followed by 2M, 3L,3M, 4L, 4M etc rising each combat round as the enveloping fear rises amongst its prey in response to magical attacks and despair. Every 10 boxes of "unsaved" fear by all creatures in the area will increase the force of the spirit by 1.

I wanted to use a new power as both Jez (Aswon) and Lee (Marius) have been playing since early 2nd ed at least and know the lore and stuff like spirit powers pretty well - so giving them something uncertain is good to keep things fresh and new for them. It also means if they ever bump into a ravener amongst "pedestrians", then it could quickly start to use its power and become a horrible combat opponent that will be difficult to deal with as it feeds on their fear, rising up by several force points. If they can fight them in more remote areas, then it's likely to be a much easier fight.
Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 129 is now published, and can be found at:
So, once more trying to usher the team onwards, and to leave the trashed chopper behind – it took them ages to pack up and I thought I was going to have to have the ambushers instead become an assault team – but thankfully in the end they decided to leave. Even better, they looked for easier routes, so it was easy enough to justify getting them off the direct route, and away from the ambush site, yet still close enough to see it and realise they were out of their league. And then, right at the end of the night, I got to drop the tilt wing in, in front of them - ready to whet their appetite. So next week we’ll try to crack on with the assault and see if they can get a new transport that’s a bit less thirsty than the chopper.
And of course, having escaped his claws, Mr dick badguy will have his agents out hunting for them. Because why wouldn’t he?
In terms of game progression, this should push them more towards smuggling smaller things, and give them some space constraints to work around – while at the same time giving them a great little craft to buzz around in. The better economy rating of the craft will lower the mahoosive costs of running they were trying to deal with on the MI-6. The reduced space will also cut back on the “mobile home” benefits of the MI-6 and keep them looking for locations to stop in, and allow them to build up more contacts and bases in their database – or at least I hope so.

Here are the notes from the session:
Date: Thursday 29/4/2060, Location: 31.26973, 23.20583
• Kai - waiting for the mage to come back - we murdered his spirit.
• Aswon staying out of astral space
• Marius - we haven't come up with a way to get out of the desert. Kai - get ready but don't look like we're evaccing
• Tads checks on the scorpions, they are slightly stunned.
• Marius - I defer to tads judgement on paracritters. Tads - really? Lets get out of here then.
• Marius - discussion about the Indian version of the 4X4
• Discussion about warding the boxes, number on astral watch, keep Tads on watch while rest ward.
• Group warding - down to 90mins for a F6
• Gus computer check - evaluate time for response, air 90mins to 2 hours, ground all day. Marius expects air.
• Tads prepares for exfil and sterilise spell
• Kai asks about chopper sensors - Marius, too much power, but we have the condor.
• Tads - if they send a transport, how much desert can they cover? Marius - LAV,
• UAZ has 32 CF. The scorpions take up 4, can overload by 25-33% with care.
• Discussion about how to move the drones, can they be levitated, IWS=body 2, Doberman=body 2
• Hunter - we can do a sledge made from chopper fuselage
• Do we travel day or night? Marius - daylight, for Shimazu.
• Marius discussing robots vs drones, need to active control
• Kai - make it look like we're staying, get as ready as possible. Tads - if not a satellite, how long would a drone take to get here? Marius - could be as fast as fighter.
• Hunter over watch where Aswon was
• Kai - we murdered the spirit, Tads, is that a personal insult, or a corp slap in the face? Tads, it felt like it was channelling from something alive somewhere else. Yeuch.
• Magic background check - good rolls from team. Did they summon and burn a resource, no- already done.
• Kai - if we think they're going to capture us anyway, should we just wait?
• Marius - with that dead thing, if you summon a new spirit, will it be a normal one or all weird. Tad - hadn't thought of that, oohh. Might have to go elsewhere.
• Kai - int check to think about bits in the repair shack back on the island they stopped at for fuel. Talks with Marius about getting spares - chopper is dead, drones are a bit damaged
• First ward done, no changes,
• Start on the second. Done, no problem. 11:30 am. Drones ready. Wipe nav information from chopper, and get data of previous locations
• Warning from Ludmilla - "If you are in the desert, be warned, local assets report Strike team has landed and refuelled recently in eastern Libya, and are active." Shares with Hunter over private comms
• Shares with Kai and rest of the team in the chopper.
• Aswon and Shimazu get scorpions into the carriers - Shimazu close run thing
• Team decision - take the sled and more gear, or faster and smaller. Aswon planning on being on the back. Tads asks if Hunters medicine will keep out of the fridge.
• What will they send? One squad, two? 12-24? Nobody has idea of how much is in an Azzie squad. Break down the IWS and load up. Shimazu driving, Marius on drones, Hunter and Aswon strapped on the back.
• Kai - tads, can you astral scout - they might eat me. Also, there's spell signature all over, they ask can she cleanse - I've tried, and it's fatigued me.
• Marius - can they track me with that - Tads, only with a ritual. Marius warns Shimazu not to drive over 70 kph, or he will outpace the drones. Get Tads to summon a spirit to conceal their trail.
• Take the path of least resistance. Aswon advises on best terrain to route over. Tads summons a F4 desert spirit with 5 successes.
• Shimazu drive check 1rr2, spirit guard and conceal, conceal drone.
• Marius spots the ambush team. Artillery+snipers+hmg setting in for a firing line, very narrow buggy
• Kai - can we take them by surprise? Marius - what in this unarmoured jeep? Kai - is it coincidence or definitely for us.
• Aswon merc background - setting up a perimeter, may have orders to be a tripwire, or be ready to advance. Aswon advises Kai about his thoughts - could be dug in for a while, or be readying to assault.
• Marius spots the tracks, advises of that - Kai, we should steal their transport. Aswon and Marius agrees.
• Drive on, detour a bit. Kai checks with Tads if she's stunned or ok - she's ok.
• Discussion about using concealment spells, can Tads mask - yes, no... save it for later.
• Spot the tilt wing, can we steal it? Marius - can the jeep fit in it? Test vs vehicle BR is not great - probably yes (wrong)
• Tads - will it have a transponder thing? Discussion about getting the transponder disabled.
• Kai asks Tads for an astral flyby - Tads, they might spot me, Kai - go around the long way, approach from a different direction.
• Tads generally unwilling. They think about moving on. Tads coming from directly above - maybe.... reconsidering. She goes
• Tads - scouts, back ramp is open, two Marius like people inside,
• What - you mean Germans?
• No - things like Marius had, doing things with checklists. They have a ward, ward is F1 or 2. Kai - is that broken then? Tads, no - just like we had on our chopper.
• Team decide to nick it.
• Tads - Azzies want a conversation with one of us. And they have bad spirits. But if we steal their thing - does that escalate things? Aswon - next time, be nicer.
• Assess the weapons - they look Azzies, or at least Azzies supplied or affiliated. No unit patches or identifiers
• Marius checks that there's no magic there. Tads - says no, nothing I saw
• Marius - can we not kill the crew? Kai - no problem with that. Work out non-lethal attacks. We can return stolen goods in the future, we can't return dead crew.
• Aswon - who speaks Spanish? Kai? No. Hunter - can you teach him some words? Hunter teaches a choice phrase "on your knees"
• Working on assault plan - Marius, vehicle stealth check, can get to about 650m away by using hard terrain. Tads asks if the condor can fly someone in.
• We might embarrass the mage, make him have less corporate power to chase us.
• Kai - get close, invisible, storm the vehicle, capture the crew, remove transponder, steal and get away.
• Tads - have we got a jammer? Have we got stun grenades? Condor - can't drop anyone on the roof. It's stealthy, but will get spotted if it gets too close. Marius also explains about sensor bubbles.
Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 130 is now posted and can be found at
The team did the assault on the tilt wing, and the dice gods favoured them strongly during the session. They snuck up without an issue, Tads cast the mother of all stunballs and got (with a re-roll to be fair) enough successes that the enemy could not feasibly get enough to resist it - even if they blew every bit of karma they had. So the capture went well, and they got their gear there - and discovered the little wrinkle of the fuselage being too narrow for a normal vehicle.

When the spirits arrived, again the players lucked out with not only their initative rolls but also their attack rolls. So I just rolled with it and let them have an easy win. I hope it didn't come across to them as anti-climactic, but every now and then I think it's good to get a combat just go your way and let the team dominate the enemy. After all, they had the Aztechnology mage dominating them the previous week, flexing his magical skills at them, so it's only fair.

So, now they are away, with the cargo, and have discovered they have a nicy shiny smuggler craft with all manner of cool gizmos. It's a lot more fuel efficient which will lower their costs and make more runs viable to them, but it also restricts them a little with space and makes it less viable as a flying winebago - so they'll need to find more smuggler stops and contacts around the place, so hopefully makes exposing plot a lot easier. And they're still very confused about why the bad guys want Marius, which is great.

Here are the notes from the run - a couple of bits got moved around in the running order for narrative flow, and I think one bit removed, but otherwise it was pretty much on par this week.

  • Date: Thursday 29/4/2060, Location: 31.26973, 23.20583
  • Behind the ridge, 10m climb, then 650m over open terrain. Marius points out that crossing the ridge is the most vulnerable to being spotted.
  • Kai - so we go under invisibility. Tads - which 2, or just me? Kai, I want a backup. Tads - no stun grenades, my stun ball makes no holes. Marius - Please! no holes!
  • Kai - how good are you at not putting holes in people Shimazu? S-I'd be using my taser.
  • Discuss who has what guns and what ammo, including drones. Aswon suggests Hunter use his rifle.
  • Discussion invisiblity vs spirit concealment
  • Tads disucss plan - she approaches solo, all in on the cast, Marius distract riggers to the front.
  • Kai - not keen on the solo, too high a risk. He wants to send S
  • Aswon wants 3 to go, so if Tads fails it's a 1:1
  • Marius - you could summon and drain, and we wait for you to recover? Others, maybe patrolling drain.
  • Tads - Marius, can you make a distraction? Can you make them look out the front without calling something in?
  • Marius - I could poke a drone over. Just enough to ping the sensors, then drop it behind the far side of the ridge.
  • Aswon plans a route to try and get any advantage to terrain or to avoid bad ground.
  • Marius try to plot route in to avoid sensors - dead astern
  • Tads summons a F4 desert spirit with 3 services and drains
  • Kai - plan to take smokes to cover in case it goes wrong, throw one in the engine to try and keep them on the ground
  • Marius has the jammer, gives to the attack party
  • Shimazu, Tads, Aswon. Hunter on overwatch, Marius on drones.
  • Shimazu 11, Tads 11, Aswon a handful of rubbish, RR, then a 10.
  • Two spot tests, get to the tilt-wing no problem
  • Pilots are distracted. Tads gets through the ward, F5 Stunball at 3, Gets 3 success, RR the 10, no more! RR again, now get 6 more - unsoakable, both pilots down. Tads soaked ok. Sleep now!
  • Jammer activated, Aswon goes to secure the crew and check for alarms, sees all the cockpit language in spanish
  • Rest of team come up - Hunter drive check on 1 dice, is ok
  • Back up the UAZ to the tilt-wing, techies start to work on the transponders
  • Tads suggests leaving the pilots here in the UAZ.
  • Kai checks pilots - definitely out for the count. Get them into the UAZ in shelter. Marius checks the cockpit - rigger system locked out.
  • Hunter checks - maps out the safety systems, then hacks the crypto ok, gets Marius in the rigger interface.
  • Kai checks astrally spots the blood spirits - message from the master - no wait!
  • Hunter and Marius preparing craft.
  • Combat
  • Aswon 24, Shimazu 21, Kai 7, Tads 18, Spirits 17
  • Aswon, grabs spear, engages one spirit, 12 success, net of 7, kills the left one
  • Shimazu tries taser, 4 successes, it takes an L. Second shot, takes another L,
  • Tads, banishing contest, pops it in one turn.
  • Frantic loading, get it in first, then secure.
  • Hunter finds the door guns and gets them unlocked.Team finishes loading
  • Sterilise 3 successes and drained, then cleansed
  • Take off, the tilt-wing is at 95% fuel status
  • Marius climbs to avoid ground effect, then flies - asking Hunter for a course towards the med base, 650km
  • Turn jammer off, Kai will call ahead at 45 mins,
  • Tads summons F4 wind spirit, 2 success, Conceal+protect.
  • Marius 9 on vehicle stealth.
  • Aswon asks Marius - what have we got? ECM, ED, PVP. Kai asks what EDs are? Military all the way! Oh, we are so dead...
  • Tads says she is thinking of going back to the chopper to check on Grandfather. Rest of team very dubious. Marius - I asked for help, he didn't so he can rot in hell!
  • Decide not to go back, explore the craft, ooh and ahh. Tads creates meat for the scorpions.
  • Thinking about taking down the ward to replace with their own. Trash the old ward in 2 mins or less as a team.
  • Call Zoe - you're not staying are you? Your bird is fracking huge. Err, we have a new vehicle. Sort approach vectors out - same as they left on.
  • Putting ward up - Tads 0, Shimazu 3, Aswon 1, Kai 1, F6, about 60 mins to put the ward up.
  • Hunter checks distances from Patmos - 2500 to Ludmillas, 1900 to the quarry, about 1400 to the airport in Batumi
  • Tads - querying can we legally refuel this, will we have to sort new permits. Black market is ok, but legit stuff may be fun.
  • Lands at the base, "this is a little different" Kai - its the same chopper underneath. "That's some illusion..."
  • Pay 1500 Nuyen for fuel.
  • Plan to go to Batumi airport, then back to Ludmillas
  • Strapped for cash - can get to Batumi, then might be stuck- may need to call Ludmilla for an advance.
  • Tads - we can transport truffles to the restaurants in Batumi? Legit flight cover.
  • Aswon - isn't that where the hunter team was? If they have assets it might be risky
  • Tads - want to not call Ludmilla, unprofessional.
Kren Cooper
Session 131 is written up and can be found at:

Starting off at the smuggler base in the med, the players eventually realised that taking their unregistered military tilt wing into a commercial airport was not wise. It seemed to take a bit of prodding for Lee to remember that Marius had mafia contacts in Sochi, which was actually closer to the direct route they needed to take to get back to Ludmillas, but they got there in the end.
Once they had the plan worked out, it was a very smooth trip up to land at the Dam, hand over the goods and get their sweet 500K reward, and then get back to the ranch via the quarry, for some R&R. Finally, they have decided not to take any more work on, and have a bit of downtime – so the last part of the evening was arranging what everyone was going to do
Shimazu has picked up psychometry from the university in Egypt, and also seen a plot thread (the ancient catacombs with books from the library of Alexandria in it) to be rolled out later on. Tads finally got a chance to learn her spells and get some enchanting done, making Shimazus sword into a F4 weapon foci and her own staff into a F1. The others all did some skill based training, racking up about 500+ hours of training time, and we’ve advanced the in game calendar a huge amount… in fact, in the 3.4 out of game years we’ve been playing, we’ve covered 150 days of IC time. At the end of the night, that went up to 264 – so I need to have a read through the timeline and make sure they’re aware of what has gone on – but we’re also inching closer to the Year of the Comet and fun times.
As usual, here are the notes from the session – including what the characters originally planned to do during downtime, at least until we had a couple of 1:1 sessions to discuss their training:

Date: Thursday 29/4/2060, Location: 37.33915, 26.60526
Mid afternoon

  • Tads - checking on if we can land at Batumi, legal right to land and refuel
  • Team to discuss transponders
  • Kai - only Batumi is in range? Unless we have other plans?
  • Tads talking about vehicle mask, interaction with sensors, do we have to match fuel ports
  • Kai - roll on smuggler routes, avoid Batumi
  • Kai - what about sochi? Marius, you have contacts there.
  • Tads - do we want to sell this and buy something more legit / less hot, and use the money for other stuff?
  • Kai - we'd lose a lot of value, and it would be hard to shift, maybe better to lay low, and wait
  • Hunter registers flight plan
  • Marius calls Alex in Sochi, How was Russia? Talk about bird, need 1400l of fuel.
  • Hunter recalls from co-ords olympic press centre.
  • Flying at slow cruise to match the chopper top speed, 2h 56m,
  • Arrive at the village, guy looking down, not making eye contact
  • Shimazu psyk test - awful, learns nothing. Kai checks body - afraid. Aswon assenses - terrified.
  • Kai goes to help. "i not see you, you from tv show" Kai - to help, 250nuyen tip
  • Fuel cost 9450, pay by the end of the day. Pay Alex, he tries to get them to stop for a drink, but no - time sensitive cargo
  • 1500km to Ludmillas, eta about 19:30
  • Gets through to butler, Ludmilla not available, check delivery, arranges landing space
  • checking on the scorpions - tads, I'm carrying spells, someone else do it, Shimazu agrees,
  • Can't get close as they are angsty, Aswon - check, just leave them, had enough to eat.
  • Arrive on time, scan the area. Nothing unusual, few watches over the lake, nothing else.
  • Guys come out with trolleys and dolens, ask them if they have a hanger, no - working dam. No cammo net.
  • Prep for onward journey - refuel 1150l for 6.2K Nuyen
  • Kai and Shimazu go to find Ludmilla.
  • Marius removes the transponder - fails, rr, fails, buys 3 success. 20-25 mins to work
  • Meet ludmilla, are you staying? No, just a flying visit, ha ha, change of vehicle / yes, I see / scorpions - fiesty! / anyone get stung? / no can arrange for a price / no i'll sort that out. Kai offers research data, notes on the fight.
  • Lidmilla pays, Kai gets remote check - 500k,
  • Kai - we're having a break. Ludmilla - when you're ready, send me a postcard.
  • Ask the butler to trash the transponder, thumb and forefinger.
  • Discussion about where to go next - back to base, quarry, pros and cons, facilities vs cover vs hiding
  • Marius makes the call on the quarry, overnight sleep, refuel
  • Check on landing - no stray electronics
  • Hunter checks in the morning - the same
  • Then another 1200km for the ranch. Tads uses a spirit conceal, F4 - slip through everything with a Stealth 22, get to the ranch.
  • Contract the ranch, warn them, arrive, 40m tent.
  • Plans
  • Team funds = 524,950 - 1.5k for Aswon, Shimazus course, Nadia+Marius holiday
  • Shimazu go to Egypt - psychometry, 13 weeks, contact Saito see if he wants to go to Egypt, give tads 1 thesis in case he needs to be tracked
  • Tads - design finish, enchant, Check for grandad (house in russia, careful scout to the chopper crash site)
  • Hunter - searching shadowland for azzie information and data havens (Kai also asks for parts for the bird that might be specialist), rotorcraft, get some more meds to top up supplies
  • Aswon - talismongering (203), cooking, para critters, biotech, heavy weapons (2-3), communing with the spear, HK fixer contact
  • Marius - electronics B/R (stirpping the bird), spanish (2-3), holiday with Nadia (Egypt) repair the drones, drone storage in the tilt wing, cosmetic changes on the tilt-wing.
  • Kai - pistols, archery, talismongering, heavy weapons, different kinds of arrows - poisons..., get parachutes
  • *** change 130 writeup - not purdey, but the 50 cal instead ***
  • Kai asking how they tracked us - Marius, low sig on the chopper, but I wasn't in the video
  • Much confusion about how they zeroed on Marius, and why. Maybe SK related.
  • Hunter gets the tilt wing reprogrammed to english.

Downtime calculations
Aswon: 18 Karma available
Talismongering 0>1 1gk (4 hours), Cooking 2>3 3gk (180 hours), Paracritters 2>3 3gk (180 hours), Biotech 2>3 4gk (112 hours), Heaevy weapons 0>1 1gk, 4 hours, 1>2 3gk (84 hours)

Kai: 54 karma available - spending 19
Talismongering 1>2 (2/120), Pistol 4>5 (7/196), Archery 3>4 (6/168), Heavy weapons 0>2 (4, 88)

Marius: 59 karma available
Electronics BR to 5 (7 gk, 196 hours), Spanish 0>3, (6 gk, 300 hours)

Hunter: 26 karma available - 19 spent
Data havens 0>3 (4gk, 184 hours), Computers 4>5 (6gk, 168 hours), Etiquette 0>3, specialise Matrix eqiquette 3>4 (9gk, 200 hours)

Tads: 66 Karma available - 32 spent
Etiquette 0>3, Magical etiquette 3>4 (6/158), Initiate (18/4), Learn spells (8/48), Orichalcum (0,112), Bond foci (1/1), Create F1 weapon foci (1,60), Create F4 weapon foci (0,60)

Shimazu 43 karma available - 21 sword - 17 spent
Psychology 2>4 (7/96), Aura reading 2>4 (10,168), Psychometry

Nadia: 25 karma available
Kren Cooper
The latest smuggler write-up, for session 132 can now be found at:
Due to birthday nonsense, we moved from our regular Tuesday night slot to a Monday, which meant fitting in under other commitments from one of the players, so we only had an hour to go – but lots of dialogue and lots of planning for what to do and getting last minute things.
Once all the gear had been sorted, one of the players asked to speak, and then told the story of why Zeta-Imp-Chem was after his character, filling in a bit of backstory and explaining what he knew and how it might affect them. There was a bit of discussion on what to do about this, but no firm decision taken.
I have a bunch of jobs to offer them on Tuesday, ranging from easy to hard with pay scales to match, to let them choose what to do, and I’m curious to see if they want to do some more smuggling runs and ignore the backstory, do runs to gear up and then tackle the backstory, or if they want to work out the “plot” before doing side quests.

Here are the notes from this week – a little all over the place, but the conversation was flowing fast in some places…

  • drone with AR now has HMG
  • 1 meeting room to F10 ward
  • half the guest rooms to F6
  • R4 ward over family area
  • Tilt wing ID+transponders
  • PVP library
  • Kai specialist ammo
  • Cred reader
  • Proper camping gear - 2 X 3man tents+gear to live
  • Hunters medication - buy some months, get mini fridge for the tilt wing
  • Gun racks on the ceiling of the tilt wing
  • Static line parachute pallet / thunderbird 2 pods?
  • Parachute training for whole group to 1+parachutes
  • Look for a new talismonger
  • electric suncell buggy with some CF
  • couple of dirt bikes
  • fibre network for Tads to cast through. (up to 100k)
  • under door fibre viewer
  • Tads take Kai and Nadia > talk with lazy mother
  • Hunter - looking for ammo.
  • Hunter - pilot 1
  • R3 quests to hide people
  • Hunter sits everyone down, talk about his situation, hunted by ZIC. Might be due to deltaware
  • More likely because I stumbled across a technique used to improve their fertiliser by using dead metahumans
  • Reported to my line manager, then I got sent out on a mission. Where I met you.
  • Aswon - where were they getting the bodies? H - I dunno... but it can't be good. That's probably why they're after me
  • Generally a bad plan, bad PR, fert going off corporate land, they don't have extraterritoriality
  • What do we do? Spill the beans to Ares
  • Kai - what about the desert team? Only after Hunter/Marius
  • Aswon - have to assume they have dossiers on us now,
  • Kai - ZIC have ritual tracking on you Hunter, right?
  • Are azzies and ZIC chums - Kai, might be a black deal to launder money
  • Trying to stay low profile,
  • Marius - depends how high the rot goes
  • Hunter - shall I contact Ares? A - worried about what Ares do with the info, can't control it past Hunters contact. Maybe ask him about the mage? M - I'd like to know what is going on with Azzie.
  • K - yeah, we've been quiet for months - maybe worth having a little poke of the ants nest
  • A - after this long, he must have been doing other stuff, so it could be related to any mission he's done then.
  • Tads what about shadowland? H - not high enough rep, A - but can cross-reference info you get from Ares.
  • Tads - plastic surgery?
  • Aswon - but they have a dossier on the team, so we'd all need plastic surgery
  • Kai - what about ritual samples for you Marius? M - likely. But I haven't bust out, I just stopped working for them.
  • Kai - anyone else for tracking - I thought we were being tracked before
  • Tads - probably the Iranians from going to help Shimazus friend Saito
  • Tads - offer to do rituals on people
  • Tads initiate, 4>5, totem appears - choice of paths in forest.
  • One leads to a pool, different sky and trees in the reflection of the pool surface
  • One leads to a tree that grows and writhes and follows from forest to rocks to field
  • One leads to a trail where the herd of bears and lions and tigers charge down.

Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 133 is now live and can be found at:
With all the downtime done, and the players ready to pick up to go on their next job, I gave them four different job offers, from four different contacts, to give them a variety of different paths to follow and to see who would favour what.
Here’s the four job outlines:
  • Job 1 - Johana from Maersk - wanting some outside assets to strike at Esprit field for her, Paying 150k-300k depending on disruption to production / transport.
  • Job 2 - Spook - travel to Tehran and get hit a small convey moving through the city carrying some nova-hot info on SINs and permits etc to use for new IDs - pay 100-150K
  • Job 3 - Patrik - pickup some ammo from a factory in Bulgaria and ship to Eastern turkey to deliver to the Kurds - pays 50-100K
  • Job 4 - Brigadier Vasiliy Cherkenov, Samara base - cleanse some magical entities - pay in ordinance / training equipment
A sliding scale of pay, different options for what would clearly be a demo/combat operation, an ambush that could well require wet-work, a smuggling run, or a chance to be the cavalry riding to the rescue and earn another medal.
So what did they do of course? Instantly start plotting, trying to work out how to do all four…
That led to the great question – do I go with that? I hadn’t initially put timescales on, as I didn’t want to write up too much detail without knowing which way they were leaning. I put a specific time on the ambush job – the team doing the courier work would be in Tehran in 3 days, not before, not after. Then added a bit of moral pressure to Tads with the picture of the dead Russian trooper from the doctor. I knew we’d only get so far during the session, so I didn’t have to worry too much beyond the first job, which based on the geography was always going to be the smuggling run – and the assumption they could get it done in a day.
Unfortunately for them, the “twist” already put in for Job 3 was that they’re going to run into the Guerrilla infiltrator / spotter they ran into in Sinop – the lady that sold them the magical leeches. She was there to scope out the town ready for the strike squad to make their move on the power station – and needed to know what the players were up to in their big green army truck, so stuck her nose in. When they turn up at her camp with a load of munitions, after how the last job ended up, she’s very suspicious and thinks they’re government infiltrators and in need of a good interrogation. So – the team might end up on *very* short time once Kai has talked his way out of this situation, to make it to Tehran, giving them no time to plan, prepare or maybe even sleep.
Excellent… <grin>
As usual, here are the notes from the session:
  • Marius and Hunter perk up at the ammo. Marius asks can we combine job
  • Go over jobs - create a table, unknown duration / importance
  • Tads - at least we know fuel is free at the Brigadier. But Tehran - didn't we want to not go there
  • Espirit - combat, possibly wetwork, but we don't have heavy weapons - but she knows this
  • Aswon - she may be able to help here
  • Kai - Maersk, probably least favourite. Tehran - actually ok, stealthy, they won't expect us to combine back
  • Aswon - but lets not get cocky, national borders etc
  • Tads - isn't there a theme park that needs sorting over that way?
  • Marius - but isn't tehran not really covered by the govt - more weird stuff
  • Aswon - fuel cost will eat the payment on the lower jobs. Marius - we need more details
  • Kai - Brigadier - he's mad, but solid. Aswon - we can rely on him to be straight.
  • Kai - check with Patrik on job, says he wants to combine jobs - gets details of rough location.
  • Tads - we could go by truck - cheaper on fuel, but much slower.
  • Marius - Maersk / Tehran are air jobs. A - we could do ferry. M - sure, but probably not. Tehran definitely aircraft. Brigadier could be a drive, will be a local job. A - might want to check, he thinks we probably have a chopper still.
  • K - get back to Patrik, fuel is 45k, no can do.
  • Check distance to Samara - Tads, free fuel when we get there
  • A - 800km to Tehran, M - but I'd want to come in over water. A - sure, but still doable in a day
  • M - what would a spirit do to our range. A - nothing, just the speed/ acceleration
  • Kai negotiate with Patrik - gets him up to 100k
  • M - for 100k, I'd do that! Still good profit then.
  • A - so we'd cross from Turkey to Iran, check the border, do Tehran - rather do the russian job than Maersk
  • M - do the job in Bulgaria, then tehran, north to the Brigadier, down to Maersk - if the timing works
  • A - think both russia and Maersk could be extended ops.
  • M - think the ammo job is a day, terhan could be a day
  • Aswon - woa - the travel is a day, the actual hit could be longer. Tehran could be a very time critical job
  • M - I want to do the patrik job, he's a good guy and good to know
  • K - we can let the general / maersk we're not in the area, just yet, might get there soon enough.
  • A - we did that with maersk before, so they might be good. Can you find out from Patrik
  • Patrik - 5 days if you're going to do this. Kai confirms.
  • Get map details
  • A - calls spook, details, job is in 3 days. Pass phone to Kai - but we want more cash and data.
  • Spook - hacking, data steal, through Tehran, smuggler team, mid power.
  • Kai - do you want them dead. Spook - I don't wish them dead. Kai - much easier though.
  • Hunter - thinks the 3 day is too tight.
  • Aswon - We can do the Bulgaria job in a day, maybe 2 - but then Tehran is really tight.
  • Kai - tell the other 2 we're not in the area, 10-14 days
  • Hunter - don't you want to call the brigadier and not just send him a text
  • Kai - no -he's better at negotiation than me, I don't want to give him any advantage.
  • Aswon - make it grovling though,
  • A - do we tell the brigadier 10-14 and Johanna 14-21? Check with J if time sensitive
  • Text message - Brigadier 2 success, Johanna 1
  • Message back from Russia, splayed open corpse, "please hurry"
  • Message back from J, check with me in 10 days, see if it's still viable
  • Tads - gets hunter to put a reminder in.
  • Check with Patrick - about 20 milspec crates.
  • Aswon - probably want to leave most stuff behind
  • Kai - and the tehran job. Aswon - having options might be really useful.
  • Marius - for Tehran, I would want both arial drones.
  • Aswon - what about the brigadier - after he sent Tads a hurry message.
  • Tads - checks with assumed doctor - what details to prepare. "Will check to see what I'm allowed to tell you"
  • Checking size of cargo area, who can ride bikes, how many people in the ATV, the bikes are 2 seaters
  • Kai - leave the atv, take the rest. Can we start doing flight plans.
  • Hunter - we can't make Bulgaria in one hop.
  • Aswon - so we need to stop somewhere in western turkey
  • Work out fuel routes - refuel at Sochi, need to contact Patrik for fuel stop.
  • Aswon - can we fly legit, then disappear.
  • Marius - do we want to file legit plans though, all the red tape.
  • Tads - we've not done much in eastern europe, might be a good place to lay the fake trail.
  • M - fly stealth to Sochi, legit to bulgaria
  • Tads - have we got time, won't they want Marius to go out drinking with them?
  • Marius - I want to come back to the ranch to rest
  • Aswon - we can rest in turkey?
  • Marius - no, might be dropping off guns to kurdish nutters! Aswon, fair.
  • Check toxic cloud, Mike Duncan location
  • Kai - call rashid, arrange fuel drop, tell them 2000l avgas, says he will pay in advance.
  • Kai - int check, Patrick to arrange fuel stops in Bulgaria and Eastern Turkey but pay only 50k
  • Aswon - concern about Marius not stopping with
  • Nadia - checks if they are going away, Marius - do you want to come - N, just want to know.
  • Nadia - asks for help with a hole from Tads. 50 X 30 X 30
  • Nadia - kiss and a demand for souvenirs.
  • Perception checks vs 11s
  • Nadia - happy to see Marius go? Tads, Kai, Marius
  • Call Marius contacts Sochi. Intro - they're after hardware. Agree to swap at the fuel point. Says he will meet at the helibase with a bottle or two, in a few hours.
  • Marius suggests just giving them the hardware for goodwill gesture.
  • Patrik confirms the fuel
  • Spook. Chasing egg rolls, just use a fork - barbarian - but taking your job. Will send the dossier.
  • Tads checks what Nadia is building, fuel tank, Tads asks about a well, tells Nadia to get some surveyors in
  • GF F3 spirits, one per person on guard
  • Flight to sochi, 3400 Nuyen for 850km of fuel, Kai sends 8k to Rashid (1600l at High price)
  • 2 hours to Sochi, stealth 11+spirit 5+sig 5 = 21 sig, 11 on the border checkpoint, into sochi in 2 hours.
  • Met Marius, hugs and kisses, where is Nadia, back at the ranch
  • Deliver all the old shit guns, +some AKs and then drinking and friendship at the "gift"
  • VW old transport turns up with some mafia, grab guns, Alex is "we need to go"
  • 1000km to Burgas, takeoff ok, encounter check =
  • Tads uses the prism and makes sure everyone else gets a go too.
  • Tads asks why not 1:1 camera to viewer. Marius - toggle switch description. Tads - posits the 1:1
  • 2.5 hours over the black sea, about 14:30, Bulgaria border gets a 15, craft still on 21s
  • Lake Atanasovsko, fuel stop at the marina, guy shouting at the fueller, extinguish cigarette.
  • Get to oil refinery, hard line of housing,
  • Tads swops astral view to Aswon, preps for spellcasting / defence
  • Land at top of the refinery, 3.5ton vehicle, BGC3,
  • Aswon - there's nothing for you here Shimazu!
  • Land, guy spots dust movement
  • I am Peter, there is a problem. Team on high alert. Hunter on the rear gun. There's a permit issue, 2000 Nuyen.
  • Tads - do you want him to think he's had it. Aswon - yes, he's just being rude.
  • Discount for cash?
  • 2k is after the cash discount. Kai scrolls through list on phone "shall I call patrick" - negotiate down to 350 Nuyen ( he rolles 1,1,2 on his WP)
  • Backs up truck, starts to offload truck 20 X 3cf boxes. Offers the team a smoke, then drives off.
  • Marius - vile area, think about the stuff taken to russia...
  • Check the boxes, serial number cable ties.
  • Tads - mind link+catalogue to either Aswon/Hunter
  • Hunter bugscans - clean
  • Tads does good catalogues and Hunter good checks - get the inventory.
  • Heading towards eastern turkey
Kren Cooper
This weeks writeup is now published and can be found at:

An uneventful journey to the target site – as it should be given the new vehicle they have. I gave them all a perception check to spot the defences, and they got the basics – but not the top end stuff. Down they went and it was all going so well, then it was time to drop the hammer.
Fortunately, nobody decided to kick off a fight, and they were trying to negotiate their way through it. As they started getting recorded reading their word phrases, Tom (Shimazu) made the connection that this was to do with the road crash and the phone call to the police, which was very gratifying – as that happened *quite* some time ago (November 2018)
Some good RP from Aswon (Jez) and Kai (Fozzy) and they managed to persuade their captors that they weren’t the secret police and got them back on side though – and then uncovered a little more about where the leeches came from. Which caused all kinds of discomfort when it was discovered where this was, and who the likely boss was.
So – we’ve got that to look forward to this week!

Here are the notes from the session:
• Flying east, no problem on handling, ok on border crossing, call number, Patrick warns,
• Kai - but conceal? Rest of team - NO!
• Tads - will we need conceal on the way out? Out of services. Aswon/Kai - yes. T, Will resummon in the air
• Hunter - choose a colour scheme. Tads - fish? No... pick a corp colour, Aswon - psych test, black ops or civilian, Shimazu psych test - bland courier company
• Tads drops conceal, Marius does one circuit before landing
• Spot the base, Marius 2 spots, everyone else max 1,
• Aswon - spots the arachnid SAM, recounts details, possible poor maintenance
• Team not being pinged, get in close
• Kick the anthill, Kurds scatter, Kai - everyone on a gun, Shimazu with him, team tool up.
• Aswon on side doors, Kai+Shimazu at back ramp, Hunter to cover, Tads in cover
• Single person approach, stop and weight
• Give password, goes as written
• Marius 2nd perception check - still 2, out of engagement envelope for SAM
• Aswon - fuel query? Kai - nah, sorted.
• Coffee and sweets. 3rd test for Marius. Still only 2 successes
• Reaction test for all. TN6. T1, H2, A1, S1, M2, K2 - Kurds get 3
• Screams - put hands in the air!
• Kai - asks what is wrong. Shimazu complies, Hunter as well, Aswon and Marius in the vehicle, Tads neutral.
• Kai - asks again, what is wrong
• We have seen you before.
• K- I don't remember seeing you before, or this place?
• Tads - over comms, maybe Constantinople - Aswon, long way...
• K - sure this is a mistake. I will come talk to you.
• I will talk to you, but all people out of the vehicle. K - tell them Marius is wired in. So unplug.
• K - blag, tell them the vehicle is polluted, the team has been inoculated, not safe for you.
• Tads and Shimazu Assense... Hunter thinking the temple in Constantinople
• Guy looks ready to shoot, both Tads and Shimazu think.
• Marius - 3rd perception check, 7 successes, spots the hmgs and vehicle getting lased.
• Kai - blag, aerial drones, high-ex munitions. Guy refuses to bow down - drone goes to high speed.
• Kai "put the drones high, but out of range, and on standby" To guy - I thought we had a business deal here, or is this not satisfactory
• Tads - will take time, but I can shape earth to crush the bunkers.
• Spot Ceyda - flashbacks to Sinop - stopped the attack, Aswon smack the kid in the face with the door.
• Babbles in Kurdish - so, out of the vehicle, Turkish spies! Shimazu in mandarin - kai, I can kill this guy before anything happens, so we sorta have a hostage.
• Kai - pilot not out, but one lady go in.
• Tads - Kai, do you want anything magically defending the craft? Aswon - that will kick things off if they notice.
• Aswon, hide the spear, unplug from the gyromount. Tads check that Marius spirit on guard.
• Team ushered towards the tent. Psychology test - Kurds very angry, LD check from Kai - they believe
• do voice checks - Turkish spies!
• K - definitely not
• The speech
• Aswon belly laugh "all this for one asshole"
• Kai - we're independent traders, we blag,
• Kai - negotiation 1 X 16, 1 X 11, buy 1 more, 3 in total.
• Ceyda sprints to tilt-wing - show me the footage! Hunter and Marius check electronics. Rewind and replay
• Kai - more negotiation - he and Marius recount the tales.
• 2nd round of coffee, Kai tries to reassure that it's not personal, big him up in front of his troops
• Ceyda - so, got your truck upgraded then? We still have it, special place in my heart - and slow for this job. And it's not quiet.
• This thing - this is quiet. Yes it is. Are you available for more work. That depends on the timeframe, and you would have to talk to Kai. We have some work for the next few weeks. And he's the Mongol? Yes, he's the TL and negotiator. But I don't see why it wouldn't be possible for the right price.
• Rep is everything. Why not come and have coffee - gives guarantee of safety. Marius - will follow you in, starts to lock everything down.
• Goat kebabs.
• Team make nice. Aswon goes to the kitchen, talks with the women, gets some sparring in with their knives
• Rest of team get stuffed full of food. Aswon and Hunter get Kurdish
• Shimazu - ask the leech seller what they are, the master, Mount Ararat. Can I meet the master? Team WTF?
• Kai - does anyone need a lift to Mount Ararat
Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 135 is now published and can be found at:
Having successfully completed job #1, they’re now moving on to job #2 – intercepting a data steal from another team. So, they needed to head to Iran, and down into the ruins of Tehran.
I was hoping they were going to head back to the ranch to have a night there – so I can drop a plot point on Marius and reveal that Nadia is significantly pregnant. But they decided to camp out, and then go directly to Iran, so that will have to wait for the future.
In the meantime, having now visited two PKK aligned facilities and being somewhat implicated in the botched attack at Sinope, they’ve come to the attention of Aden, who in an unusual move has decided to check them out personally. It’s been a while since he dined out, so he’ll either find useful information and get some new minions, or get some takeout. Not sure yet….
The new tilt-wing is working out nicely at making most border crossings fairly routine and safe for them, keeping them off the grid and flying around on the QT – now they need to work their smuggler contacts to start working on bases and locations for fuelling, expanding out their web of contacts.
Using the map software at I’ve started to plot 750km radius circles from each of their fuel bases, so they can work out how many hops they need to make to get places, and where they need to try and get new contacts (and it helps me plan missions and new locations of course)
The current map of their locations is: here
Colour codes: Green = very friendly / direct control, Yellow = controlled by happy employer, Orange = controlled by 3rd party with friendly rep, Red = controlled by 3rd party with neutral rep
And a nice cliff-hanger to end on – coming face to face with Aden. Marius refusing to bow, and nearly being eaten. Aden wondering if he should just eat Aswon first and take the spear. I’m wondering if any of them will mention mission #4 – learning that the team are considering a strike against Esprit Oil in Turkmenistan, them being controlled and owing allegiance to Lofwyr – might just swing his mood a little.
If they don’t, I have a contingency plan involving the weird man from the mountain free spirit they found near here, to dig them out of trouble.
As usual, these are the notes from the game session to compare with the writeup:

• Getting on for 19:00, dusk/dark
• Checking the map and fuel range - do we go to Batumi? Question from Hunter -dinner with Kulkachev
• Marius - calling Michael David
• Kai - checking smuggler routes - vineyard, potential fuel stop for drug smugglers
• Hunter - check Data havens for details - PKK links, only 1 success, need good rep.
• Get Commander Kawa with a really good charisma roll, gets personal recommendation and PKK password
• Talk to the camp about staying the night, and do they want a lift? Yes, they can put the team up for the night, but no - they don't want to go near the mountain.
• Check - Kurds are respectful of mountain, you get invited - team
• Kai - planning to pitch tent and stay at camp overnight. Tads - wants to go back and head to Russia astrally. Tads not happy to stay unguarded, Shimazu agrees to watch. Tads planning journey no more than 3 hours, to go see Doctor, swap numbers and plan route, doctor responds to query "should be safe, we've not done anything", 1800km each way, 11km per turn
• Aswon and Hunter run, scree slopes, kai gets history, Marius a good night’s sleep
• Tads - heads up to Russia, meets the small horde of F4-5 spirits, some free with spirit energy, all having a coldness and evil core, bestial and primitive, hungry and self-centred. Some spirits spot her and chase, Tads contacts doctor, leaves VM to warn

• Sunday morning 29/8/20
• Thanks the camp, head off.
• Shimazu asks Ceyda for more leeches, gives number, offers to buy some.
• Tads resummons spirits, 355 km,
• Call the office at the vineyard, arrange to VTOL land in the yard and refuel.
• NoE flying towards the vineyard over the highlands, Aswon spots some canon goats.
• Get to vineyard, land ok, older guys with home made clothes, ask how the team serves the cause, import/export, oh ok. Kai explains they do deliveries - they
• Hunter gets kai to ask if it's a one time code - no, as long as you're on our side it's good.
• About 07:30 by the time they get there and get fuelled, discussion about what to do.
• Kai - we do need to get a shift on with what you've found.
• Tads suggests going there for a quick strike.. Marius, too much fuel, a lot of cost. Kai - yeah, Tehran, then up to Russia ASAP.
• Working out routes to Tehran, coming in over the sea.
• Tads suggests getting the fuel stop done first to give better options. Marius happy, less chance of heat on the smuggler base.
• Check the maps, all ok.
• Marius planning not to go back to the ranch, depending on what Nadia is doing.
• Head to Tehran, get the job done
• Asking spook for dossier, then head to Rashid, wait a day there. It is a day of downtime, but too far to go to Russia
• Marius - could do with some maintenance on the bird.
• Tads - kai, when we get to the base, we'll need a warded hanger - we can do that, but need the space
• Kai - if we can get nasty rad ammo, does anyone object to using it? Aswon, that probably caused the problem, fire with fire
• Marius - you put wards on the tilt wing yes? Plans for ramming. Aswon - very difficult, and risky
• M - Could Tads do the mind link to give me astral vision?
• Discussion about magical combat in Russia
• Flying to the smuggler base while discussing, get dossier on "Unsubtle", start discussing.
• Marius - can the team intercept the hand off team to get the data delivered to them?
• Border out of TCL to the sea is fine, no spotting
• Approaching Iranian border, stealth 9+sig 5, border gets a 13, not spotted. Do get spotted by a watcher, so the authorities are aware of an intruder
• Tn 8 test for Marius to start, gets 2, notices bad weather, check weather report, winds should be from the north,
• Tads checks to see if it could be spirit from the smuggler base, or the mountain
• Winds increase, Marius spots, hunter spots clouds in the distance not moving fast
• Tads spots control weather effect, Marius, spots increasing effect
• Tads - could this be a delay action or be designed to make poor pilots crash
• Marius gets direction about 25-28 degrees east of south, is this towards Aden?
• Aswon - I think not, too subtle. Kai apologises to thin air.
• Tads - is this a big a spell force? Aswon, no - but ritual casting he thinks.
• Marius - two choices, fight or give in. Kai - fight, climb out of it.
• Try, wind increases, do make the turn, but now 80kph, Kai spots the drake off the port wing,
• Signals a fire bolt down to the mountain
• Magic background - Kai thinks it's a ginger love child, Tads = 3 success, it's a drake
• Hunter - aren’t they normally pets? Aswon - no, I wouldn't call them that. Treat with respect.
• Tads tries to assense, no result - just a big mountain bird
• Marius does fab landing on tight spot on the Simorgh mountain refuge
• Getting out - Aswon asks do we want to go out in a hostile stance? kai - yeah. Shimazu - do you want to go out with a dragon hunting spear? Aswon memory check - some remembrance of dragon hunting. Asks Kai - kai confirms.
• Spot Aden coming in, pretty confirmed on ID, he comes in to the group, levitates Aswon F12 -
• Shimazu and Hunter jump to catch him, both jump, catch a leg each, still go up.
• "That’s an interesting tactic, but it will make bowing before me very difficult"
• Hunter and Shimazu drop and bow, Kai bows deeply, Shimazu to the floor. Aswon deactivates the spear puts it behind him.
• Tads bowing, Marius - not showing respect.
• +1 karma for Shimazu "gonna need a bigger jar"....
• Marius, dragons check (8,1), buys 1 success. Decides to bow after all.
Kren Cooper
Episode 136 is now published and can be found at:

This week turned into a bit of a mammoth, and left me quite drained. We – or rather I, tried something new.
I added the “Craig” audio bot into our discord channel (, and after checking with all the players and explaining what it was for and what the audio was to be used for, they were all happy with it.
In use, the audio bot was dead easy – start it running, it makes an announcement in the channel and then just sits there. At the end of the session, just tell it to stop. There’s a link the bot posts when it starts to record, and you put that in the browser to get to their servers – then you can choose to download either each track as a separate file (so you can work out what player A said while player B was talking over them) or with all the tracks down mixed into one file. Recording a 2 hour 19 minute session to a down mixed stereo file delivered in .M4A format came through at a very reasonable 118 MB.
Normally, I make notes as we’re playing along, just spamming out bits in notepad, and trying not to worry about Spelling, Punctuation And Grammar. Also in the notepad are my plan for the evening, stats for the NPCs and any fights, effects, ongoing plots or events that are due. When all done for the night, I tidy up my SPAG afterwards to make it less bad and then save that. Once I’m ready to start on the write-up, I copy the text file in, add two page breaks then copy the text file again, including the stats and so forth – so if I ever look back I’ve got a record of what should have / might have happened, before the players got their mitts on my plots and broke them or ran off at a tangent.
I then go through the notes, expanding out the lines of notes and using them as a memory aid to write the narrative of the game session. Most of the time the descriptions are hopefully like those given in game – but when I’ve under or oversold something in the game, I try to fix it a little in the write-up, and hope that helps smooth the story out for the players.
However, listening back to the audio took me the same time again as the session – plus some “re wind and listen to that again” time. Overall, I think I spent at least 4 hours transcribing the audio from the file onto notepad. One of the players suggested several transcription services, that might be worth looking at – but I’m unsure of how it will cope with some of the dialects / accents of the players, the use of abbreviations, acronyms and game terms, and the general slack jawed lunacy we witter on about at the best of times. I think any transcript produced would have to be carefully vetted and checked, corrected and mangled – which might take as long to do as just a plain transcription.
The notes for this weeks game were noticeably bigger. As an example –
Session 134 had 790 words of notes, over 55 paragraphs.
Session 135 was 1002 words over 62 paragraphs.
This week in session 136 – with the audio transcript, I had 5190 words, over 135 paragraphs…
So I captured a lot more detail from the story – and that led to a bigger write-up. This week the story was 13,133 words - beating my previous “high score” by 1.5K (from session 88 if you were curious – where they were planning an assassination) – that comes at a price of course. This week’s write-up took me 322 minutes to complete – nearly 5 and a half hours. So overall, it’s taken me 9 hours to do, instead of the more normal 4-5. I’m not sure I’ve written a “better” story episode this week, or just a longer one, so I don’t think this is something I will do again going forward.
On reflection then - I think I'm going to go back to making notes inline, during the session. Nobody has ever mentioned it as a problem, and I'm not aware of a time where I've missed major points people have said or caused a plot goof. So, it might add a little to the narrative in extra details, but I don't think it's worth the time investment and effort - this week felt much more draining and challenging to write up than other "slow" weeks. But, it was an interesting experiment.
I think doing an audio record might be good if we're ever down one player, as they can listen to the session while commuting, walking the dog, painting miniatures or whatever, and it might give them better context and feeling of inclusion than they would get from just the in game write-up. But certainly for me personally, I don't think it's good to include in my writing process.

So – with the warning that this is *way* longer than usual, here are the notes from this weeks session behind the story:

Date: Sunday 29/8/2060, Location: 35.95693, 52.08236
About 10:00

• In the eye of the storm, shielded from overheads, BGC 5 outside.
• Tads tries to disbelieve illusion, Aswon held in mid air, howling winds, everyone else taken a knee or bowed
• "Foolish mortal" in the head,
• Aden - querying why the team are here, what are they up to in his domain. He knows they were in eastern turkey, and then in armenia. What were they doing, who are they working for? Testing the teams resolve and how talkative they are.
• Kai - can I answer you back in my head? Aden - you can, but nobody else will understand
• K - we're a bunch of shadowrun smugglers, on our way to do a thing, something pushed us here - presumably you.
• I know why you're on the mountain, but why are you here in my domain
• Error in navigation. Really? Just passing through. Marius - he said Iran - the whole country.
• K - we deliver to places, if this is Iran, this is Iran. Aden - listen your your german friend, he seems to understands things, much as he dislikes what I am
• K - he dislikes a lot of thing. Aden - no, he doesn't dislike what I am, but what I represent
• Aden So - why were you in eastern turkey? K - delivering things. Aden - what things.
• K - delivered some things purchased from another country, they are going to use them enterprisingly
• Aden - so what were you doing in Armenia. Marius - refuelling. Kai stalling and then confirms.
• Aden - drops head, shouts "don't press me"
• Aswon - racking head, heard about Aden funding the PKK. "Ohhhh!" Marius - we're independents, we'll do anything for money except forced movement of people, massive environmental damage.
• Tads thinking about what she knows - mostly tasty with ketchup
• Aswon - tell him what we've just done
• Marius - just dropped weapons to your Kurdish friends. Hunter - can catalogue them if you want
• Aden - but because you were being paid, not because you wanted to
• Tads - we didn't know who it was for, or where they were going, we didn't know the details
• Aden - but you could have been taking stuff to the Turks to use agains the kurds
• K - could have, but we didn't - the turks definitely don' t like us
• Aswon - not the Iranians either
• Aswon - do you think he knows the old man? He might vouch for us?
• Kai - which old man? Aswon with exhasperation, the guy with the water
• Aden shakes the head, breaths out a proto flame, sulpher cloud, "I grow tired of talking with the...7 of you?"
• Kai confused, thinks. Hunter - chemical analysis. Tads thinks "when did he last clean his teeth anyway.
• K - do we have leeches? Shimazu - no,
• Kai - 7? out loud
• Aden flicks Tads down the mountain, she makes WP test as she falls and manages to cast levitate - but stays where she ended up. Aden snorts, turns away from Tads
• Aden - whats the deal here then?
• Marius starts to talk - no not you. Person at the end there... team look, old man with brush. Team smile/wave/greet. Aswon worries. Others relieved.
• Old man, sobers, takes a knee, bows to Aden "My lord, I apologise for the intrusion, hope no offence." Aden - oh get up old man.
• These are ...interesting people. Most interesting. Useful in the future. Can you let them go about their business. Perhaps ask them about their employment and see if it's intriguing.
• Aswon - tell a good story Kai.
• K - came together by accident, travelled a lot, have a truck and this tilt wing, happy to be employed by a dragon.
• Aden looks, "I hear nothing intriguing, these are like merchants willing to sell their time and services."
• Aswon - lowers and shows deactivated spear "this isn't intresting"? Aden - oh that is, and you're not leaving here with it....
• Kai raises eyebrow at Aden. Aden - ahh, a little spirit finally. Aswon - I had to fight a demon from the netherworld for this!
• SILENCE! Would you do so again? Chorus of yesses, including Aswon. K - not afraid of getting our hands dirty.
• Old man - nudge Marius in the ribs, got any other jobs? Just saying!
• Marius, I was telling, but I got cut off! Kai - doesn't get it, talks about jobs in general
• Tads - the one near Kum Dag?
• Aden - and what are you doing in turkmenistan? Kai - we don't know yet, friend we've done small jobs for, Marius says "Maersk" Int check - they got rid of Dekita. Leaving Esprit - owned by SK. ***21:27***
• Aden sits back - ok, that is intringuing. Harumph. You may leave whenever you want, but without the spear
• Kai - why in particular, is it yours, is it dangerous to someone you like?
• Aden - *pause* what it represents
• Aswon - what it represents is an ability to fight evil. Tads, big nasty corrupt evil that crawls up from under the ground. Aswon - an ability that without it I would not have. We rescued it from an ancient temple, defeated a horror, dropped a mountain on it,
• Kai - oh yeah, we did...
• Aswon there's something alive living inside it, something I don't know enough about yet.What will it take for me to keep it.
• Hum? The price is quite high, are you sure you want to enter negotiations for that?
• Well, I haven't heard what it is? It depends what the starting offer is - whether I walk out of here with my spear, or end up down your gullet without it.
• Kai - coould it be put to good use, rather than sitting here unused with you. And could that putting to to good use, be of use to you?
• Aswon - I'm bonded to it, it protects me, I protect it. So what's your offer?
• I will allow you to keep it if you go back to the temple and deal with the horror, because if it's not slain, it needs to be slain, it may have been slowed down by you collapsing tunnels or dropping mountains or whatever you have done - it may have been buried, but it will be working a way out, evil always does.
• Aswon - well I'll need help, I've got no way of moving a mountain
• Tads - and what advice do you have on slaying these creatures?
• Aswon - the way this old man is grinning at me tells me that you are actually a fairly resourceful bunch, otherwise he wouldn't be bothered with you, so I'm sure you'll find a way - so if you give me your *word*, that you'll go back and deal, you may keep it - but you should feed it and look after it.
• Kai - we ok on this? Kai agrees. Oh yes. Aswon - then I give my word. *declared deed*
• Marius - so are we going back to that hole in the ground?
• Kai - oh yes
• Aden - when you have dealt with esprit, you can return here, and we will talk on the history of that spear and what it means
• Kai - ahh, that answered my next question
• Tads - so do we have to come back before we go deal with the horror, or not until after?
• Aswon - no, he's saying after esprit. Tads - just checking.
• Aden - you should learn more before heading back to wherever - oh, I see up, there. *telepathy*
• Kai - thinks of donkey porn
• Aden flicks Kai off the mountain. Tads catches with a levitate after a bounce or two. Aden yawns and displays his fangs - return when you are done with esprit and we will talk. But for now - GO
• Marius - leaves immediately to start the engines, chuntering as he does. Followed by Hunter
• Kai - bows and thanks Aden, looks to old man - "a word...over here"
• Aswon - asks to be let down using word for "teacher" Lowered, takes a knee, then back in the chopper.
• Sweeper sweeps because of image "yep, you wanted a word?" Tads levitates both backup
• "Really? were you with us all the time?" "No, I just got here. Good job too - he was going to eat you." "I'm not sure that wasn't the better option!" "Well, it absolutely was, otherwise I'd have to find some more people to help me." "ahh. So. Now we've established that it's your fault... how exactly did you do the air thing" "Oh I didn't do that. By the way, that favour I was going to ask you about. Keep next november and december free. Check date - 29th August 2060, keep 2061 end free. Team make notes in diaries.
• Kai waits to be put down, thanks sweeper for his intervention.
• Perception tests from team: now that dragon has gone - 100m eye of the storm, goes to BGC 5+, lid of cloud over the top - weather starts to dissipate. Now the magic has gone, the weather starts to turn to shit, as all the energy is released
• Tads nods in the direction of the dragon as it vanishes around the mountain with respect
• Marius in a strop, threatens to leave people behind. Hunter - ask the old man if he wants to come. Marius - no passengers!
• Old man "well I'm sure I'll see you around, take care of each other, see you next november if I don't see you before. Good luck!" Sweeps off around the mountain.
• Back to Rashids, only about 10km away - Aden *has* to know this place is on his front door. Marius - right - cross this place off the list! Not coming back
• Tads - 2nd to last time - we have to come back and see him again. Aswon - well TBF, only I have to come back and see him again. Tads - and you think I'm letting you do that on your own? Aswon - well, I'd rather you didn't get eaten, for complaining about his breath. Hunter - we can just fly to his home, we know where he lives... Marius - yeah, fuck that off. Aswon, you can drop us on the ridge, we'll walk. Like a pilgramige. He'll like that.
• Get to Rashids, spot the netting, sensors trying to lock them up. Turn off the ED, they get a lock, Rashid calls Kai, are you near us? Cammo net lifting on pulley block. Strains as it gets bigger than a truck - still not big enough to get in, too small for the tiltwing. Marius unhappy with risk, Kai calls Rashid - very heavy, can you come and help. Marius has to do the tail ramp hover. Hunter and Shimazu go to help, Rashid and Javad struggling, easy to help, tilt wing in to land ok. Lower the rope and sealed it up.
• Area developed some more, small cabins and structures that could fit on a truck, bunded fuel tanks, more supplies, rustic to say the least, Rashid greets. Narsin is at back of area, covered up and doing some work, gives a wave.
• Tads waves back with Aswon, then she looks for spirits - spots a F3 earth spirit watching the team.
• Rashid - we've managed to get all the fuel, only have a hand pump, you're not in a rush are you? "If that's what you've got, fair enough, how long", It depends on how tired you get. Marius, good job we don't need a full tank!
• Tads - are we planning to be here overnight?
• Marius - we were, so we can look into planning. Check if they can make the pump automated - upside down drones and such like, work out best to do it by hand. Tads checks if the drone needs levitating. Hunter works out pulley system for cammo netting. Rashid has plenty of climbing equipment. Hunter goes to help with that.
• Kai - do you need anything? Rashid - more customers, some ground crews using passes, but not really many air vehicles, surprising, would have thought more. Kai, what's your max capacity, 3 chopper/tiltwings and some smaller stuff. Hunter offers to post on shadowlands.
• Tads - do that after we leave, so we don't get blocked in. Kai gets details of what supplies they have / can get. "You've done us good, we'll try and help you out, post to shadowland, we're put you in touch with a base up north, let you team up with them." Rashid - thankful, yes please.
• Narsin comes to find Tads, hug, leads by the hand "I have many plants I've gathered, come and see", When you say many, I don't know how much space we have, this is smaller than the last vehicle we had, takes Tads to the trestle tables, about 300kg of raw herbal materials, interesting snow drops and rare mountain plants. Tads examines, sees if she is interested in learning talismongering. Narsin very confused. Hunter suggests "refining", Tads tries to explainin how it works
• Kai - how does shadowland work, more posts = more rep. Hunter, yes, to a certain extent - but also the more information, the more diversity. If they're a smuggler stop, they'll get some people, if they have magical materials they'll get a very different crowd coming in.
• Tads - realises she has concepts that aren't shared, no non-nenet words. Tads asks if she can put up a mind-link. Narsin - afraid, scared, spirit comes to protect. Tads tries to explain that it won't hurt. Perception check - Narsin too afraid. Tads tries to explain value of refining. Narsin is instinctive casting, no training, no common elements. Could show her - could do demonstrations, everything she has learnt empirically.
• Assess the smuggler base - stuff that uses equipment / skills from the ski lodge, done well. Other stuff not so much. Marius chuntering and doing maintenance on the bird. Kai asks Marius to check their equipment, make sure its up to spec before they recommend on shadowland.
• Poles, cammo netting, loos - all fine. Pulley systems for lifting stuff - not so good. Marius checks and makes recommendations for cheap upgrades, winches from trucks for lifting the netting for instance. Lots of diesel tankage, probably from courier firms / truck yards - not any facilities for Avgas except the new stuff, limited bunkerage. Kai checks for expansion potential - plenty of room. Hunter checks rocks - 22 on geology, limestone over granite - but the nearby mountain is a volcano, doesn't seem active at the moment, but could be. Site covers about 8 hectares, netting pinned to edges of cliffs, valley floor, slopes have opportunities for terracing or digging in.
• Geography check - Karaj for equipment, less than 1 day travel, Tehran black markets, border to the north is reasonably soft, once out over the caspian, reasonable options. Possible route down to the gulf, or across to pakistan. Good potential, if they get some more funding. Kai tells Rashid to get lists of what he wants, so the team can help them get the base up and running to help them out - if he covers the fuel. Rashid reveals they are poor, just covering the costs. Willing and interested, just can't afford to do anything and is still a little naive. Hunter - would shadowland cut them some slack and help? Some would, some wouldn't - perhaps get with Shimazu to do a psyc test to work the report right. Area is seismically stable. Hunter reports to Kai comparing to the quarry, access tunnels.
• Marius doing the bird maintenance, with Hunter- non magical stuff. Magical members doing talismongering.
• Tads discusses going north, batting some spirits in russia - reduce the odds. Rest of team - warns them they will be coming, tips them off to magical intervention, risk on the job but mostly warns them the team coming. Tads warns about stuff being on the pad when the bird drops - metaplanar shortcut.
• Message waiting for team - hook in to the sat phone or base comms, message from spook, get in touch for more information. Aswon gives her a call, greetings, I've got more information for you, can I put you on speaker, is it your team? Yes, then sure, Hi, I'm spook. Intros, they call me Tadibya. Consternation from team. Hunter, Tads is fine. Kai - we understand you have more info. Spook - sounds like you need to chat amongst your team, but I'll tell you this so you have something to discuss afterwards. Aswon looks uncomfortable. Spook - this is tenuous aswon, don't take it as 100% - not confirmed. It sounds like "unsubtle" are couriering the data to someone called "Falcon", powerful mage, good rep, courier work only, small compact cargo only, but across hard borders
• Aswon - what is the tenous bit - Spook, that they are meeting Falcon. Reports that they're closing on the area, have turned down other jobs because they're allready busy. 2+2=4, digging on shadowland, powerful mage, travel shapeshifted, use spirits to travel with them and boost speed. don't know if that will affect your plans. Don't have a rep for combat, but sure they can look after themselves - but if they get the goods and get going, will be hard to catch. Otherwise have been doing some more digging, team leader for modulo - voice box replacement, throat ripped out. Heavily cybered. Not sure if you can neogotiate / intimidate them.
• Kai asks for vehicle details, spook - Saab Wolvering, mid tier APC, also there is a smuggler market taking place in the city, don't have any details as it's not my area - but it's what I'd use for cover, hide in plain sight amongst the shadow scene. Kai - you think the hand off would be there. Spook, yes, if I was sorting it, that's how I'd do it, suspicious, lots of firepower to defend it. Kai - when is this? Spook - Market starting at 21:00 tomorrow night, not much detail beyond that. Aswon - is it announced, like an hour before opening. How do these things work.
• Spook - well the ones in hong kong move around each time, stay ahead of the authorities and mega corps, someone in the scene will be running it, sub-board on shadowland, invite only, SIG, but not my area, don't know the local scene. Kai - we can do some digging, just forward it on to us.
• Spook - markets in hong kong work like this, trucks arrive first, setup, some spirits, markets run for about 4 hours, might not be on time, probably run to early morning, then move out before organised responses. Info dealers, arms smugglers, slavers - anything sold off the back of a wagon. Will be suspicious and careful based on rep, local broker would be helpful.
• Tads - do we think Rashid will be interested in the market.

• Kai - calls Anita in Tehran, she answers after 2 rings, hi it's kai, long time no speak thought we would give you a call as we're in the area. When you say area, do you mean city? Or the country?
• Country at the moment, but thinking about coming to the city for some business. So thought we'd give you a shout and see if you can point us in the right direction for some things, and see if you have anything you need taking out while we're here?
• Right, ok, strange timing. I'm actually meeting with some people tomorrow, and I've got some stuff to sell them, but I might also be buying some things. Are you still...moving stuff? Kai - we certainly are! (Aswon - small things. - Tads and not far as we have other jobs) K - ignore the background noise, its just people mumbling at me.
• Sure then, if you come in we can have a chat, have some drinks.
• The thing tomorrow - it's not anything to do with trading is it? There might be a small number of stalls set out with various wares on display. That might be the thing we're interested in. Is this a secure line, or can I call you back on a different number?
• *considering pause* Remember the number of the cafe we met at when you got me that ming vase - I'll set my encryption to that number and call you back in a minute. Call back, warbles, ahh, that's better, but lets keep it short and non specific just in case.
• Yes, we're interested in the market that's running tomorrow night, yes, that's the market we're planning on going to. Can we tag along - not after goods, but meeting people and contacts. Yeah sure, I can take you along and vouch for you. Is there anything - after that we're flying off fairly quickly as we have another job, but if you have anything that needs taking that we can move for you.
• I don't have anything at the moment, but I might have some work coming up, it depends how business is on the night. She brings up a map of Tehran - this is out of date, no survey for some time. Let me show you some notes and beautiful landmarks. Appraise the area around the tower - clear sightlines, good access, good egress, plenty of places to escape too, railyard nearby, plenty of road routes, room to land air vehicles, room for the stall and a backup group. Surveillance would be difficult in a souk style environment, crowded and jumbled. 4 main highways might be choke points as they are more likely to be open compared to side streets
• What time do you want to meet? ARe you coming to the market and staying? Yes, we were thinking of it, for the most part yes. Aswon - what the whole night? Thought we were just looking around
• If you head down to the city for 6, 7 latest - will take a while to get there, difficult moving around the city, checkpoints. You have to take precautions moving around.
• Kai - what if you came in alternative transport - flying? Where could we land?
• Landing there is not going to be an issue, landing near me would be. But I can get to somewhere if you want to pick me up. Scrolls map to park. I like the water, if I was going to meet you, it'd be near some water. Pans to other locations, shows other areas for security reasons.
• So right, see you tomorrow night about 6 ish, Indeed, and then we can go shopping. Bye bye
• Tads - so does she know that she might have to make her own way home from that? Kai (offhand) nah, I'll explain that to her later. Tads - you've not taken many girls out have you kai?
• Aswon - thought on Falcon, Spook reffered to them as "they" - not sure on details, even sex. Difficult to identify them. Could we put watchers up, quite high - look for large birds flying *near* - they're not going to land in the market, but they might land nearby. Fast courier, very cautious, if they notice us watching them - they might break off and abort the job. Then we get Tads to do a physical mask. Falcon won't have the cash, they're just the courier.
• Kai - well we've got two sets of people, Unsubtle - who are... unsubtle
• Aswon - I'd rather not get in a fight with them, and I don't think you're going to convince them to hand it over - there's a contract involved, and they strike me as that kind of team
• Kai - best surveillance for you marius - drones up over the street? Marius - yeah, look for the APC, they're unsubtle...
• K - How much of the map could you cover do you thing? M, given that we know the vehicle quite high up, as we're looking for one specific type of vehicle so it's an easier spot. I don't want to get into a fight with these guys at the market
• K - Hang on - too far ahead. Can you cover the whole park - main streets only, side streets only. M- higher it is, the worst resolution, makes it less likely to spot. Will get details of the vehicle and study the roads and the layout.
• K - additionally, how much will the drone be foxed by trid phantasm etc. M - entirely, vehicle sensors are fooled by illusions really easily
• Bodyguard and merc backgrounds for Shimazu / Aswon - will put up security from the organisers drones+spirits to provide base security and stop other peoples defences bumping into each other, limit weapons to pistols or smaller, no spirits in attendance. Surveillance would need to be outside that bubble.
• Aswon - concerned about falcon - they're a specialist, if they get their hands on this thing, they're gone - just gone.
• K - that's why we need to get eyes on the unsubtle team as they come in - follow them, as they're going to be easier to track than a single person.
• Aswon - assuming we spot the apc on the way in then, what's the plan. Because we're going in with your mate, we can't kick off a firefight. Kai - stay out of things initially, unless we can just get it and go. I'm worried though that there's a code phrase or password for Falcon, or encrypted chip or something like that.
• M - thinking about that - we should get falcon, but after the exchange. Aswon - phew. Hunter - that's a tight window. Remember back to Sweeden job - pickup of bioware freezers, taking photos to prove handover of goods to next in chain.
• K - so if falcon gets the goods, do we think they're change shape immediately, grab the stuff and head away, or would they get to a safe place...
• Aswon - if they tooks the goods in the middle of the market, I'm pretty certain they'd get to somewhere concealed and out of the way before changing. They have a rep for becoming a big bird and stuff with spirits, which means very few people will have seen it happen. K - yep - that's our window I think.
• M - and we already suspect that their spirits won't be able to get in the security bubble, so they have to leave the market entirely. Aswon - yeah, so that's why I want outside the bubble covered. They are a powerful mage, they might have spirits waiting for them when they get there. I'd rather not have to kill them actually. M - me too. Might be a mage, might be a shapeshifter. I see window as after receiving the data but on the way to their safe place outside the market. Have to take them non-lethally, and steal the data.
• K - deal with mage or spirits first, Aswon - spirits first, but knock the mage out. K - best way? Aswon - tasers, rocks. M - multiple simultaneous taser shocks and a drug. Not magic - they will likely shrug that. Aswon - yeah, we want tads protecting us. M - so I'm thinking, were in the in the market, susses out falcon and the handover, converge, multi- taser, scamble their system, knock out drug, get the data and leave with the mage alive - then it's just business.
• Aswon - could we get some hyper at the market perhaps? That would do the job. Tads - potential for it to get messier, I have mind probe and alter mamemory once they are down.
• Aswon - prefer not to leave the mage on the street where some ghoul or devil rat will eat them either.
• Tads - could we get details of whoever is running security and alert them to falcons location after? Aswon - skeptical, we can try.
• K - narrow window, but I think we can do this. Aswon - just need them to break LOS. Marius - they're a pro, but even a pro can't by hyper vigilant all the while, once the meet is done, the most dangerous bit, they'll probably relax a bit, will be doing a routine,
• K - additional distractions - discussion of explosions, stuff in the sky, trying to distract most people in the area. Aswon - would have to be big, expensive - would need setup and prep, chance for things to go wrong, don't know which way we need them to look, there are probably random gunfine and explosions anyway around the city
• Hunter - tads, couldn't you do a trid phantasm of a certain dragon - that you've been studying recently?
• Tads - I could, but 2 downsides to that? Aswon - pah, only 2? Hunter - spell signature? Tads - ok, 3 downsides. My trid phantasm isn't as big as the dragon, Hunter - oh, fair enough never mind. Tads - but also, in case this comes up again - I don't want them to find out we're taking the piss.
• Aswon - and that probably - given the location - turns *everyone* against you. They probably have mages around, and they will look for the source.
• Marius - as someone who used to do some espionage stuff - converge, lightning strike, make them invisible , take them to the chopper which is inside the market. Aswon - ooh, active spell inside the market? Marius - ahh, right, ok - or just carry them, like they're drunk.Tads - stick em in a burka. Marius - good plan. Hunter - or roll em up in a carpet.
• Kai if we got the data into the chopper, could the mage and their spirits find the data - could they get through the wards. Aswon - would have to break through the wards - if they are powerful enough, they could do. K - describes doing the mugging but then not fleeing, playing the psychology game. Hunter - depends on the head start and when they wake up. Kai - counter intuitive to stay right at the scene of the mugging. Tads - shapeshifter? Might be able to track by smell? Otherwise, spirits might have issues, if we change clothes that might help. But they can't ritual track us unless they're really weird.
• Aswon - we have limited flight radius, a powerful mage might be able to track us fast enough - but it's a risk, because they don't know what our details are. But locals will probably notice us leaving as we're new, districtive vehicle. Tads - need to check for tracking device on the item. Aswon - doable, but we need to be very careful about moving around the market to make sure we aren't spotted by their contacts. But otherwise, yeah, stay and browse to throw off the trail.
Kren Cooper
This week’s write-up is “back to normal” and can be found at:
9915 words written
269 minutes editing time
36.86 wpm
Pushing on towards the meetup at the black market, trying to intercept the data transfer from team “Unsubtle” to the mysterious “Falcon”. Before they get there though, they’ve got to pick up their local contact, who has just been and poked a whole lair of ghouls, got them good and mad and who are now chasing her through the park.
We were getting close to 21:20 by the time the team hit the park and spotted the ghouls, and I didn’t want to rush through the combat – so that will kick off the action next week. It’s not a serious fight (though they don’t know that) and with three MMGs on recoil door mounts, they should decimate the ghouls – the low force spirits will get a walloping from Tads, and then they can drop down and save their contact. Hopefully it will be a nice, easy fight and give the team a bit of a pep up and a feeling of victory through overwhelming firepower. Once they’re on that high, we can head to the market, and due to the security strip them down to sidearms only, and try to emphasise the dark, shady nature of the event and the risk from being turned upon.
It remains to be seen if they will spot either Falcon or Unsubtle in their inbound travels, or just how they’re going to deal with them. I have a game plan for the handover, with time slots – and if luck doesn’t go their way (the players) there’s a good chance they’ll fail the mission, and have to deal with the consequences. *shrug*. I don’t want to fudge it, and they need to know that they can, and will fail missions – hopefully it will make the successes feel more rewarding.
As usual, here are the notes from the session:
1. Date: Sunday 29/8/2060, Location: 36.02763, 52.01816
2. Early evening
3. Marius, ask Hunter to check on shadowland for description on Falcon - Data Havens + Crim orgs Asia + Smuggling routes
4. Team discussion - fastest drone to pursue if Falcon gets away - work out that they have nothing fast / agile enough to cast
5. Hunter searching for Falcon, pro - large human/ork, small troll. Bland, disguises, never same costume twice
6. Thinking about condor / albatross - Aswon has some insights, like vulture, ungainly but fast, good magic background check - spirit movement they could go as fast as the tilt wing
7. Marius restates not wanting to kill. Tads worried about magic loss. Aswon thinks about shapeshifter vs mage with shape change.
8. Kai and Aswon discussing tactics for intercepting, Marius needs to be in the pilot seat to efficiently use the condor and be safe, slaving output to Hunters deck.
9. Marius thinks falcon will leave immediately, might tip them off as to the identity.
10. Kai - watch for that, team spread out, take feed from Marius looking for them, then converge/shadow
11. Aswon - mix of male and female? Yes - shape change then
12. Marius - or a mix of people or an organisation
13. Hunter worried about being recognised in the market for the fight video, wants to stay in the tilt wing. Rest - just change clothes and cover your face.
14. Check hunter appearance - can he be disguised, yes,
15. Tads - if they're likely to be a mage so not worth stun balling, is it better to physical mask Hunter?
16. Marius - might piss off the host security. Stick with tasers, most effective weapons
17. Aswon - wants to use hyper still
18. Kai - not unusual to hide ID at a meet like this
19. Tads - we're distinctive - Aswon is a known accomplice, might not matter if Hunter is made, if the rest of us are spotted.
20. Shimazu - depends what the corporation has released out to the public.
21. Get look at the location, rough sizes of the 3 rings, plan to split team in cardinal directions.
22. Talk about doing recon over the target, condor vs Dalmatian, stealth vs speed,
23. Looking for more data - Marius volunteers Mossad contact, Aswon - not keen. Marius - what's the issue with Mossad?
24. Tads - what if they hand over to multiple people? Aswon, will have to adapt.
25. Tads - what stops us flying to the location tomorrow morning and just parking there? Aswon, will be very noticeable, ballsy,
26. Marius - not wanting to take the tilt wing into the market itself. If he's operating drones, and they have white noise or surveillance, it will mess them up.
27. Tads - are we taking falcon somewhere specific? After we nobble them? Aswon - depends.
28. Kai - another avenue, find unsubtle and hit them first. Any ideas on doing that?
29. Tads - how far / fast can their vehicle go? Can we track it via drones and go "ask" them for the data. Strike them first thing in the morning and get them off-guard. Aswon and Marius - would go noisy, very fast.
30. Common sense - Marius gets 3 successes, check with Rashid, they have had ground crews through from Tehran
31. Kai talks to Rashid - vague description, inner area clear, outer shanty town.
32. Tads astral scout - clear edge to the shanty town, talk to team on return, Kai confirms deliberate by the organisers
33. Tads asks what the drop off point is - team unsure, probably electronic delivery.
34. Marius - plan then is over the mountains to the sea, and north
35. Overnight sleep, let hunter finish search
36. Monday 30th - runs, breakfast, make oats, pump hunter for information on surveillance
37. Hunter and Shimazu, psych test, post for shadowland, share with Rashid, he has been planning with Javad overnight.
38. Tads - are we abandoning the idea to track unsubtle? Marius - no, just want to get closer and do recon
39. Take spare fuel from tank with them, heading to Chitgar lake, planning to refuel there so they are topped off. 12km then from the tower.
40. Landing at the lack, sludge, BGC=2, ruined and burnt out shopping centre, crashed vehicles, meteor strike + firestorm in the area to the east, land about 10:00
41. Get the condor out and up, programmed for the bird types or the Saab
42. Damage to blocks, broken highways, subsidence, main highways clear at least half the lanes, shanty towns and souks to the right
43. Tads - local guide. Aswon - maybe a city spirit. Maybe they go in three twists and then change
44. Area to the left - railyard still open a bit? Otherwise firestorm, sewer bursts, toxic poo, gas main fires
45. Marius - can we rule out areas in there then?
46. Tads searches magically, finds some good and bad spots
47. Spot the markets being set out, power sources, heat spots under the roads sometimes, nothing unusual,
48. Marius does a survey of the area to use the time.
49. Tads suggests going to area to people marking the area out to mind probe. Aswon thinks too risky
50. Marius planning to land at the marketplace, but on the edge.
51. Survey for the day - spot 3-4 early teams coming in, then spot the security barrier going up.
52. Talking about kit going in - melee weapons probably fine. Marius suggests not the magic spear - Aswon, nah, Shimazus sword - it was from an Iranian museum!
53. Anahita -calls, come quick under attack
54. Open doors, Hunter on rear door, Aswon starboard, Kai on port. Tads on magic, Shimazu in the centre of the side doors, watching Marius
Kren Cooper
Hello everyone! Another week of lockdown done, and the world hasn’t ended yet, which is mostly good news. As usual, the write-up has been published, and can be found here:

They expected that we’d start the session with everyone’s favourite words of course – “roll for initiative”. Except we didn’t. Knowing what was to come, I worked on a modified initiative system, which I use when we’re in a ‘combat-ish’ kind of scene. Pretty much, it was work around the table, giving everyone a chance to do something taking normal actions, but giving a bit of leeway to characters with higher initiative scores to do “a bit more”. It strikes a reasonable compromise to keep everyone active and involved in the game, without penalising the players with higher init scores too much, or having to deal with dead actions (for instance, Marius with his VCR rig is likely to be on 2-3 actions per turn – but once he’s made his handling check, what else could he really do? Not a lot, maybe some sensor tests, but most stuff was spotted. So he’d end up not doing much, and feeling like he was “wasting” actions).
As the team entered the park, I shared my screen and a basic map of the park snipped from Google Maps, and overlaid with a graphic representing the tilt-wing, in Microsoft PowerPoint. Then there were a bunch of small shapes placed on the screen, representing the ghouls and spirits that were pursuing the NPC. Only the first four ghouls and 2 spirits were visible to start off with, with the next one of each off to the side of the screen. What they didn’t know was that there were a stack of counters, in order, all tiled in the same spot. So, I could grab a new enemy and drag it off my “ready” pile and onto the map as they were spotted or appeared, and the team didn’t know how many more potential enemies there were.
PowerPoint might not be as slick as Roll20, or Foundry VTT or any one of a bunch of other tools – but it has the advantage of being free (for me anyway, there’s some benefits to working in IT), accessible and easy to use, and it supports a bunch of nice features that I can make use of. For instance, as enemies get hit, I quickly select them then use one of the preset themes, turning them from green, to yellow to red (for light, moderate and serious wounds) as they take damage.
With the ghouls being stuck on the floor, and only low force spirits to begin with, the players were able to act with relative impunity, and got to have a bit of a turkey shoot – and more importantly from my point of view got to experience the firing arcs from the chopper and how they worked, and also got to gauge the effectiveness of the on-board weapons.
Once the NPC was on-board, the rest of the ghouls were deployed (causing some consternation amongst the players as they saw the numbers, followed by relief when they realised they were out of reach), and some bigger spirits, who started to attack. This gave Shimazu some bodyguard action in the chopper and a chance to do his slice and dice routine, and also for Tads to get her banishing action on. Unfortunately, she rolled really badly, and the spirit did well – leading to some rerolls being burnt and karma spent to buy successes!
Finally, it wise time to send them on the rollercoaster, and the dire-octopus beast revealed itself and started to use its accident power on the tilt-wing, bringing it down. Marius made some superb handling rolls that justified a nice slow descent and plenty of time for the players to realise that the large pack of ghouls was now promoted to a major problem again, and a considerable threat. Aswon very much surprised me with his “death from above” attack, but he threw some re-rolls at his tests, centred, made his athletics roll and then nuked his actual attack, leading to a glorious one strike, one kill combat. That killed the accident power, allowing them to make good their escape – not that it was needed by then after they unloaded IPE offensive grenades and machine gun fire into the badguys.
The idea was to try and give the players a bunch of highs and lows, taking them from feeling pretty much immune to damage, to worried about being overwhelmed with creatures where one scratch was enough to ruin your day, and then back again – it seemed to work ok, and they certainly were glad to get away from the park.

I also made secret tests for Shimazu and Kai, to reveal the “duplicity” of Anahita, and see if they could spot her odd reaction. When one of the rolls passed, I whispered the following to the player directly, so none of the rest of the team knew what was going on:
"As you examine Anahita, you notice something a bit suspicious. Her reactions seem incongruous, her surprise a little fake. Her fear and relief though, seem very genuine, and she clearly felt that she was at risk during the fight."
Anahita *knew* there were ghouls in the park, and also that a small bunch of kids were hiding nearby. She didn’t have the firepower or skills to deal with the problem herself, but then a handy bunch of ‘runners turned up. And she worked on the basis that it’s easier to ask forgiveness rather than permission. So she went and deliberately poked the nest, drawing the ghouls out – but got more than she bargained for.
The conversation was quite amusing – I danced around the issues and gave political answers i.e. not answering the question asked, but the one I wished they’d asked, so that I would be telling the truth with whatever I said, leading to confusion for the characters – and possibly the players too. There was a real sense of unease amongst most of the players about her, and they kept wondering when the other shoe would drop – which of course it never did. Neither did they did directly into the issue with any real vigour, so I let the issue slide, leaving them with their doubts about her.
Finally, we have reached the market – the first smuggler market they’ve made it to, and a chance for them to find some nice shiny gear, make some contacts and see a whole gamut of seedy and sleezy people. But all of that to come next week!

As usual, here are the notes from the session:

Date: Monday 30/8/2060, Location: 36.02763, 52.01816
1. Aswon drops 1 ghoul, Hunter FA does a S on a spirit, Kai calling Anahita, Shimazu waiting, Marius flying in a hover over A, Tads levitates Anahita
2. 2nd round, Marius slides starboard to bring Anahita up in front of kai, A FA on spirit kills it, H, kills injured spirit, then miss ghoul. K - waves to Anahita, try to drag her in. Shimazu holds, Tads brings Anahita in, and goggles up,
3. Spirits appear inside, Shimazu held action kills, quick strike, kill. Aswon wounds, Hunter finishes a spirit, Marius flying away level and careful
4. Hunter closing rear ramp, accident on port engine, start to spin, Marius gains control. Hunter lets back ramp close, then moves up
5. Tads starts to banish, spirit wins by 1, Tads reroll, draw, buys 1 success, wins
6. Spirits go, banishing, Tads reroll, has to spend 2kp to get 2 success
7. Octopus accident power on starboard engine, crash test passed, Marius - 20 seconds, faces north
8. Tads continues to win banishing, by 1, down to F1, then pops it
9. Octopus appears on the lake surface
10. Hunter drops grenade in, does S damage to 8 ghouls,
11. Shimazu kills the last one inside
12. Aswon drops to octopus, one shots it with spear, soaking 10L acid, got 1, RR, fails, takes acid damage,
13. Chopper gets power back, Marius drops rear ramp, moves to recover Aswon, he climbs aboard, takes another box of L, takes jacket off. Tads casts create water over his head, takes another light regardless, moves to M, draining to 3L now,
14. Kai worried about Anahita, sends Marius text message to turn on white noise generator
15. Tads assenses Anahita - not injured, edge of alarm, but mostly triumph.
16. Kai goes to cockpit so he can voice com to team, a bit suspicious. Her reactions seem incongruous, her surprise a little fake. Her fear and relief though, seem very genuine, and she clearly felt that she was at risk during the fight.
17. Tads casts sterilise, on Aswon, gets him clean
18. fly back to the staging area,
19. Hunter, keeps weapons ready but on safe
20. Kai - "glad you're safe, but that wasn't a safe landing point, why did you pick that."
21. "clear area, no warlords, didn't think it would be that dangerous"
22. "why did you go there, on your own? That thing in the water"
23. "Is he ok? I have no idea what that was"
24. "kai questions, her on route, she expresses concern and danger
25. "I think I was really lucky"
26. can I strap you in for the flight?
27. Sure, do whatever you need, Kai goes to cockpit: she's not lying, as far as I can tell,
28. Shimazu psychology - sizing up the team, being careful, closed expressions,
29. Hunter - I don't trust her.
30. Kai - she's a good contact, but not seen her for months
31. Do a bug scanner on her - all clear
32. Marius - is she the right person? Kai - seems to be,
33. Kai - establishes ID. We're not normally into the full fisty cuffs. But that's a preview
34. Raises voice - "thank you for coming, wasn't aware there was a whole ghoul pack - and that thing in the water - eugh"
35. "and haunted - there were ghosts in that park." (Aswon)
36. head back to to the lake, check engines over, all fine, minor damage, refuel,
37. Anahita briefs them on the market, details of likely reactions,
38. talk about language - Farsi, maybe use hunter
39. Warn about non-Muslims, facial sculpt, maybe play it as having retainers / slaves
40. Aswon checks about head dresses
41. Kai and Anahita check, talk about new smuggler bases
42. Aswon gets photo of wolverine - have you seen any of these. General check - Tads and Kai, very successful
43. Then show them hovercraft - she hates them, tales of slavers, disgusts. Team and her share a moment
44. Kai says she may need to get home on her own - ok, will make arrangements
45. Kai telling about Germaine and Ludmilla, art patrons, swap details? Anahita says yes - establish what kind of "mad" they are. Kai mentions scorpions - Anahita. Checks over Purdey - ooh, ahh.
46. Discussion about what they are going to do at the market - Marius in the vehicle on over watch, rest of team in, astral backup on standby.
47. Agree to do rotations with drone and dual perception / captains chair. 1 materialised spirit to act as relay
48. Get to the market, get landed, no sign of hovercraft or Wolverine.
Kren Cooper
Have just finished session 139 in our Shadowrun game - and we've passed the 3.5 year mark.

As was pointed out, with lockdown and remote working, we're probably playing more regularly and reliably at the moment than we were "normally"...
Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 139 is live and published at
Picking up at the entrance to the market, the team picked a direction and then started to browse the stores.
Each store was marked on the map and colour coded to show type, and shared with the players, rather than filling them in as they went along – though it revealed a little of what there was, it cut down on any confusion or time having to ‘reveal’ data as we went along. Each of the stores I’d tried to create enough style / content to make them feel distinct and having some character, without going too deep.
As they wandered along, I worked on a rough timing of 5 minutes per stall or so, and tracked through my timeline that I’d established for the night. At the predetermined points, when other teams came in Marius got to make some rolls and check out the other runners and smugglers, and decide if they were interesting enough or represented a threat to their plans, and if he needed to do anything about it – or at least that was the aim, keeping him in the loop and somewhat involved.
They browsed the shops, found some stuff they wanted to buy, turned down others, and then got a good lock on the “Unsubtle” team as they arrived, and started their surveillance of them, having the impression that the meet was just about to go down at the end of the night. It’s not – but that will become apparent to them next week, when hopefully they’ll have some choices to make about how much they show their hands.

As usual, the notes are listed below to compare/contrast to the story – but also shown are the list of stalls and the timeline established for the night so you can see it in context.

Date: Monday 30/8/2060, Location: 35.69972, 51.33722, Time: 21:02
1. Aswon - drop inside or out? M - I would do in here. K, more witnesses and stuff, safer. T - might be in a private marquee.
2. Aswon - ask for Money. K - no, you're all "slaves". When team arrives only 5 people here already.
3. Aswon - we should check guns, maybe not cyber. Check for saviours, but dubious on quality
4. Aswon - we should ignore the slavers - Anahita, suggest not, you want to fit in. Tads - will avoid in case I see any of my kin.
5. Anahita - suggests one full circuit with her to make the team "known" with her.
6. K - size up the store. A vouches, H asks for 40mm for Antioch, digs out a 2nd box, "have to file the tabs off", improved offensive. Offers an RPG7 new from factory to Hunter, test the heft on that. H "yeah, good" Ogluck friendly sell
7. L - Aswon spots stall keeper running hot - thyroid gland. M-picks up site traffic at end of Aswons transmission, advice essential comms only. Describes mostly cosmetic. Some damgage resist, Aswon checks - biotech 9, not for him, Hunter good nano tech rolls,
8. M - describes has maps, routes, info - at a cost, willing to barter, swap info on local new smuggler stop
9. 21:15 - Marius spots Hope turning up, keep half an eye on them
10. N - 2 male (one filipino) 6 female (1 chinese), Shimazu checks for tattoos, at least 2 have triad owners
• - outspoken cyber, step right up, expensive, all in decent packaging, expensive, get details
11. 21:30 - Marius spots girls being bought in by hope. Kai asks Tads to keep a magical eye out, be subtle, Tads - I can, but if you want this more often, I should spend time with Shimazu as he's trained for it.
12. P - smiles at Anahita, middle bow, face goes impassive as he looks at group, Shimazu psychology - thinks he is just being impassive. Kai, asks for something punchy in Manadarin. Get sales pitch for Steyr TMP, buys, for 1500, rolls pistols, about 20% off
13. Q - introduce himself, spot his moscow accent, Kai talks in russian to him, international travel, gets an idea of what is in the stall, 50/50 between civilian / security.
14. General look around the area - spot nothing untoward
15. R - pair of older guys, in farm clothes, Aswon shows and asks for better than his throwing knifes, finger twiddling and testing.
16. Dartboard up, split knives, throwing contest, Aswon wins, knives are not a toy for you, brings out plastic, 10 ceramic knives with special sharpening stone, 750 Nuyen
17. Cougar longblades at 4.5K, Shimazu asks for "special", checks with Anahita, pulls out a vibro knife, Shimazu psychology test - has impact, wants it. 2k
18. Swarm arrives, get good spots on them and the team.
19. S - spot cyrillic, don't recognise language, all the same manufactures, limbs up to full size
20. Aswon - spot the guards and watchers up the towers,
21. T - Action man commando, with camera in chest, demo, bigfoot - liquid or gas delivery system, 5k, Aswon pleads to buy it, rigger interface, battery system, budget camera, 17825, Too much!, Aswon negotiates - must be <10k, down to the basics, 11k, wants to see other toys. 2k quad copter grenade delivery system, take it. "Mean machine kid copter"
22. Unsubtle unass, troll annoyed, leaves shield, ork leaves swords, changes from happy green to moody purple catsuit, start to head in.
23. Kai+Anahita to go check rest of stall, send the others as a 3 to go elsewhere and look for target. Shimazu+Tads, Hunter and Aswon, split into pairs, H+A, get food and browse to south,
24. J - Kai, works out they are reflex recorders, goes for the upsell on damage compensators / pain editors
25. I - physically restrained dark skinned slaves, slavers white with cigars and drinks - Shimazu and Kai, spot and move on, Shimazu warns to avoid stall in manderin
26. H - spots the ID guy, flashback to Razi, on the tip of his tongue, doesn't recognise Kai, selling low rent IDs, mostly human and males, Kai asks for medical, got 1, for a vet. Gets 5, asks for 30, too high, takes 1 away, 25k, Kai asks for a reserve and come back later for a check - doesn't follow up
27. Bug killers arrive, Marius does another data squirt, confused by naga
28. Hunters spots Unsublte heading to food area, Aswon filters and listens, Marius moves drone around to other side
29. G - Kai listens to scam, signs up for 3 months
30. F - listen to description and selling pitch
31. E - Awight sonny boy, wot you after? K - nothing for me. Wot, no testicles. I've got enough. Snif snif - smell like a commie - hoppit!
32. Aswon hears - the lady is waiting for you already - tent #3. Resite the condor, text messages - from Kai - "team converge"
33. Aswon heads towards T, talk to vendor and observe stall, backup position of Q
34. Marius preps 2nd air drone, holds just before ignition,
35. Tads and Shimazu get some food and watch the other side of the tent

Timeline – numbers in brackets show approx. number of people in market
21:02 Team arrive
21:15 Hope arrives, late, to deliver slaves to Baralan for internal use
21:30 (20) Menagerie arrive
21:45 Swarm arrive
22:00 Unsubtle arrives, Door carrying an 8CF box in cargo webbing on his back
22:00 (60) First cage match, generally fighting to the knockout, children and young men, indentured or slavers, sometimes junior crew. Few bookies outside. Matches every 20 minutes for 5 hours (15 fights total, later matches are more hardcore)
22:15 Drinking, betting at the Cage
22:30 (100) Bug killers arrive
23:00 (150) Arrange with organisers for a meeting in a tent - meeting a Fixer by the name of Shimmer for future job. Interview Unsubtle for a job - Shimmer ends up not being impressed, leaves after about 20 minutes.
XXXXX [session stopped here]
23:20 Mono throws rock at the back of Shimmers head, hopefully where players can see and intervene if they wish.
23:30 Going Loud arrives
00:15 (200) Wolfpack arrives
00:30 Paladin arrives
01:00 Falcon does a circuit of the area in bird form, chance for Marius to spot
01:30 (225) Falcon arrives in orc form, dressed in a burka, meets unsubtle at the food vendors. Argument about the form of the data
01:45 If nothing intervenes, Falcon will call her broker and send him imagery of the job, furious at the delivering team and lack of intel
02:00 (175) Falcon starts disassembly of computer system, marking drive, taking RAID card and prying out encryption chips
02:45 (150) Finishes disassembly, gathers parts and starts to leave
03:15 Reaches 4 turns in, NE side of the park, small stash of goods in string bag and waiting spirits - 2 X F5 GF city spirits and 1 X F8 sky spirit. Will strip Burka, elastic band sustaining foci to leg, transform to eagle, and then carrying the bag make a slow getaway, then boosted by the spirit with others guarding.
04:00 (50)
05:00 Market closes, takedown begins

A Guns Norikito, Japanese Yakuza aligned - wants to know who Shimazu works for. Disgusted by Ronin. Sells Renraku VSP guns and other good Japanese gear, with scopes and accessories.
B Electronics Repair gear, spare parts, wire, cases, replacement optics, low end security cameras, stuff needed by gangs to secure their bases, bulk discounts available. Run by Imran and Falooq
C Vehicle parts Provide low level armour (vehicle armour 1-2, personal armour 1-5, ballistic glass, mine plates, and systems like enviro-seal
D Cyber Groks surplus. Tanamous front - lots of 2nd hand data jacks, smartlinks, wires 1, vcr 1, eyes and ear systems
E Guns Frank Whittle est 1996 of Chipping Sodbury (Windsor Davis), purveyor of death - special weapon systems, flamethrowers, lasers, ELDAR, microwave, sonics,
F Bio/nano Haramishas - good supply on muscle toner / augments, extended volume and adrenal pumps.
G ID / Passes Manuel - info broker, fee based service for checking goods costs in area, monitors supply and demand, new service - bit of a pyramid scam, 1k pcm
H ID / Passes Saeed Shirazi, Kai contact from Razi, Iran - selling R2-3 IDs
I Slavers African slaves, playing on the mystic culture, some from Sudan, mis-identify Aswon and appeal to him. Egyptian slavers,
J Bio/nano Mr Cee - Shiawaise affiliated, has a wide variety of reflex recorder cultured bioware for combat skills, and level 3-5 (but not 1-2) damage compensators
K Guns Ogluks lucky rocket store. Basic RPGs and LAWS, simple tube mortars, has some supply of more advanced missiles - but only for good customers.
L Bio/nano Mr Rand, South African Bioware shipper - Superthyroid glands for executive protection
M ID/passes Indian Joe - NAN info broker, good knowledge of smuggler routers, bases and providers - expensive, but very reliable.
N Slavers Bunch of liberated Bunraku / P-fix slaves, mix of races and sexes, from Japan, being moved west towards Turkey and the Balkans.
O Cyber Doc Crush - American made cyber, Beta grade, but extra SI. Specialises in Senseware
P Guns Mr Wei, Chinese, Triad funded, will refuse to speak to Kai - dirty Mongol. Lots of cheap ammo, and cases of basic SMGs and machine pistols at .8 SI, but poor quality
Q Electronics Viktor Pavel - Encryption. Sells chips and encoders / decoders using Russian algorithms (they are actually compromised by the FSB) but are much cheaper than usual
R Guns Grigor Oshin, Armenian Mafia, discreet pistols, grenades, knives and melee weapons
S Cyber Bulgarian cyber systems - mostly dermal sheathing / body plating, or limb replacements. Unknown brand, but actually *extremely* good and massively under costed
T Vehicle Generic white male, Eyes in the skies - good sensors disguised as kids toys, or high end surveillance and EW systems.

Going to be met by "Falcon" a high level mage courier, excellent rep. Often travels shapeshifted as either a Wandering Albatross (67mph) or Andean Condor (55mph), with a spirit guard and 2nd spirit for movement (can hit 643 kph by doing this).
Falcon, Ork, Female, 1.7m, 128kg, B6,Q5,S6,I7,C7,W8,R6,Ess 6, Grade 6, (Masking, Improved Masking, Flexible Masking, Invoking, Chanelling, Sensing)
Moon Shaman +2 to illusion / transform manipulations.
Shapechange 6, Extended Mist 5, Fashion 3, Makeover 3,
Camouflage 3, Invisibility 7, Stealth 5, Silence 3
Shapechange 6 sustaining foci, Stealth 5 sustaining foci.

Organisers - Baralan, The Red Scorpions, underground in east iraq,
Baralan, Human, Male, Mid 30s, Datajack and eyes, some headware memory, commlink with R3 encryption, replaced cyber-leg with concealed Blazer
12 X Gang members, Humans, Male, mostly mid to late 20s, Ceska black scorpions, data jacks and commlinks with R3 encryption

Fixer, Shimmer - Human, female, 47, works as a freelance manicurist in Karaj, arranges datasteals a lot. Dressed in tight fitting black combat trousers and a green sleeveless puffa jacket, wrap around chromed shades.
Kren Cooper
This weeks writeup is now complete, and can be found at:

Picking up from last week, the players hit the plot twist – and then rapidly split. Half the players were convinced that the meeting was not with Falcon, it was an interview for another job (they were right) and that they needed to look elsewhere. But then the other half of the team said that’s exactly what we were *supposed* to think, and it was all a cunning ruse or evil ploy. Trouble is, this is the same kind of convoluted thinking they sometimes try and use in their own plans, to cover their tracks – so it seemed very plausible. As a result, they managed to sell this to the rest of the team, to a certain extent.
The net result was that they were confused and unsure, and then had to trail and watch both the woman (Shimmer) and Unsubtle, to make sure they weren’t missing something. By the end of the night though, we’d got to the point where Falcon actually arrived (giving one of the players his moment of vindication as they more or less had guessed her approach spot on – this from the player who used to play an Owl shapeshifter in a different game, so he was probably used to the hoops *he* had to jump through!) and headed for a location, as did the Unsubtle team.
Now they’re closing in, having had a bit more time to establish a few things.
• Unsubtle are a team of giant cockwombles.
• No really – they’re not nice. I pulled on all the elements of unprofessional behaviour seen at the table over the last few years to try and condense into a package of nastiness. Judging by the fact that most of the table are thinking about dropping the mission and just ganking them to do the world a favour, I’d say it’s hitting the spot.
• The tower has at least two decent snipers present, and there’s about half a dozen guards with fully-auto machine pistols roving around. If they trip the alarm it’s going to get messy, really quickly.
• There’s now a good number of other “pro” teams at the meet, who might also be very tasty in melee combat.
• The probably have the location of the meet – one of the two smaller tents.
• The location that Falcon is going to head to once she’s done – if they want to go with an outside snatch instead of one in the market.
Going to be interesting to see what they decide to do on Tuesday!
As usual, here are the notes to compare to the writeup:

1. Date: Monday 30/8/2060, Location: 35.69972, 51.33722, Time: 23:05
2. Marius - concerned we haven't seen falcon arrived
3. Aswon - could have been crew, missed, plan if we see tent flaps move with no-one there, swap to astral / thermo
4. Unsubtle go into tent - team survey, Aswon filter hearing, Tads checking astral
5. Listen to tent, can just about make out voices, but not meaning
6. Tads asks Shimazu to text Marius and ask for a re-sweep.
7. Aswon - check out the guards, about 3-4 wandering the area, now 100+ people, possibly co-ordinated from up top
8. Anahita wanders to the centre for food.
9. Aswon asks Marius to be ready to jam enemy comms
10. Kai going round back of tents, gets spotted by a guard, intercepted, back to front, Anahita comes back with food and drink to share, guard wanders off
11. Marius goes back through equipment, spots Shimmer enter the tent, basic description - then sorts back - sends basics to team "dark trousers, green and red top, small backpack"
12. Check watchers - not falcons, 1 3 and 1 4, doing circuits
13. Tads sends text to group, suggest one to each entrance/exit? K - leave it for now, see what happens with the tent
14. Loud cheer from the fighting pit - Aswon ignores and filters.
15. Shimmer - I want this to be a nice quiet job - nothing that makes the news the next day
16. Gorgon - but how will we know we really succeeded if there's not a massive crater?
17. Modulo - right on Gorgon.
18. Aswon - "seems to be a johnson / commission - not a drop off!"
19. Shimmer getting irate, them not caring, unprofessional banter
20. Marius finishes trace, arrived 9:45, wandered, got a drink then headed to the tent at 10:50
21. Tads assense Shimmer for mood, Everyone watching her, she storms out looks furious, glances around, heads for food. Tads gets 5 success.
22. Modulo comes out, cocks arm to throw at Shimmer,
23. Team goes on high alert, Tads ready to levitate - Aswon watching the tent / the box
24. Stone hits, no soak - but awful throw, only an M - impressive cursing
25. Guards *do* spot, and close, give modulo a telling off, then cocks his head and leaves
26. Shimazu heading to intercept and spots blood mopping in the pit
27. Boss comes out to head to Modulo "don't throw shit, or else," "or else what?" "or else, just don't"
28. Hunter spots 2 blue lasers over the heart, not wavering.
29. Tads private text to Kai - get price on Slaves who look like Aswon
30. Mark on map for unsubtle and Shimmers motorbike
31. Owner points at the chest, Modulo backs off, grin - "oh I was only joking", evil glare, just made a list.
32. Marius tempted to put the drone up
33. Kai - plan - Shimazu, go slash her tyres and then break off. Tads - head ahead of the target, towards bike. H+A, mirror woman.
34. Aswon - call me, explains that he thinks they still have the data - do you think he's good enough an actor. Kai - yes, something is wrong, she is manipulating things.
35. Marius keeps the condor on the Unsubtle team
36. H+A slow to let U go ahead of them
37. Tads spots Shimmer head towards Ogluk - team giggling and wondering WTF, dead drops, pissed off woman
38. Ogluk pulls out a FA kit for Shimmer
39. Unsubtle reach slavers and negotiate
40. Kai+Anahita, spot the wheel of fortune on freedom.
41. A+H move towards L, asks Mr Rand for a saviour - good negotiation
42. Shm+Tads out, Kai+Anahita watching U, Marius watching - "Going loud" have arrived, base details
43. Shimazu avoids Going Loud, Tads, gives a bit of space
44. Mr Rand offers the Saviour for 5k. supplies at 750 each. 6.5k, gets details and a "mark". Takes a photo of Aswons head "what you're not going to remember this face" - "hey the wife might be here next time!"
45. Shimazu outside, heading towards the box. Perception check - does not spot any roaming guards. Stealth check - reroll
46. Goes in, unspotted, slashes front tyre, then out sharpish, text kai "job done, now what", Kai responds - linger and watch
47. Anahita explains to Kai about the freedom fight
48. Modulo has bought a slave, heading to the tent #3, followed by K+A, get to the tent, guard "hey we still got 15 minutes", guard waves them in. Kai to team - if she leaves, take her down.
49. Fight, brutal bloody beatdown, one wins, mop arena, Bookies take a tithe, give to the winner
50. Kai hears U having fun with their slave.
51. Aswon watches Shimmer, trails her to Indian Joes. Marius spots Unsubtle come out, no change, with girl, heading back to slavers
52. U get back to slavers, hand the rental back, demands breakages, Unsubtle refuse, spots Shimmer, Modulo notified, looks for a rock.
53. Marius want to kill unsubtle - Tads suggests "earth banana"
54. Hunter grenades IPE offensive. 150 Ny per, buys all 10
55. Shimmer spots U, glares, Modulo tosses rock and smirks,
56. Midnight, another fight starts, 200+... kai tells Shimazu and Tads to come back in.
57. Shimmer talks to the other 2 id people, then checks the crowd, she and hunter lock eyes for a moment, then she spots swarm and heads to them in the middle
58. Marius spots Wolfpack coming in.
59. Kai hears Shimmer talking to Swarm, gets her name, she pitches the job at them
60. Tads suggests - have they left the data in tent 3 for someone to pickup.
61. Kai try to get in the tent for an amulet, 500 for 30 mins, 1 grand for an hour, checks the schedule, walks away
62. Shimmer and swarm go to tent 3; unsubtle watching the fighting pit, being nobs
63. half past midnight - paladin arrives, Marius recognises, Tads checks - F8 vehicle mask up. Tads grabs sig. Team head towards the entrance
64. Kai checks stalls A-D, goes back to B, asks for consultancy via trid, 1k per day, Kai gives them 1k and asks them to get in touch With Rashid, gets details to pass to Rashid as well
65. 1am - Marius spots the condor circling the site, 3 circuits then breaks off to 2 o'clock.
66. Marius picks up strange echo on team channel - immediately kills, full reboot, warns Kai - thinks they were trying, had not broken it.
67. General market stuff - top teams going to organisers tent, with others. Some singles go in. Shimazu gets sword, gets to entrance to stake it out
68. Masking checks - not penetrated either way, she enters the market and heads to food stalls, as do unsubtle
Kren Cooper
Hello everyone! Another week done, and this weeks writeup can be found at
This week we got to the end of the marketplace job, and all their careful planning went straight out of the window with a single bad stealth roll - or at least that’s how it felt.
The planned order of events ran ahead, and they watched as the Falcon, the courier, broke down all the equipment to the smallest possible units she could move the data in, to try and recover later. Furious at being betrayed by Unsubtle, she was in no mood for Kai’s smooth talking.
Once she’d done, the overall plan was reasonable – snag her on the way back to her takeoff point, and steal the stuff. However, when she spotted Shimazu, she decided to tackle him head on, rather than run. Ali (Tads) reacted very quickly when I described how she’d put down the package so she could do stuff with both hands, and there was a ‘Tom! Grab the stuff! RUN!’ shouted across Discord – which he did. And then of course, things got interesting – as I’d put Falcon down without any offensive magic – no combat or elemental manipulation spells, by design. So, out came the extended area effect F5 mist spell, and that created a lot of chaos. Tokens were being moved around on the map almost at random as people bumbled through the darkness and tried to head in the right direction.
Then shapechanging into a bear and chanelling a spirit, Falcon gave chase and caught up with Shimazu, trying to get her stuff back. She just wasn’t prepared for a G5 physical adept, attuned to a F4 weapon foci, going “all in” on his attack. That damage staged to D, and just one shotted her with no arguments – even throwing in some re-rolls, she didn’t get close to soaking that. I rolled and her channelled spirit went free, and turned hostile – but Tads was quick to banish that one. I decided to improve a little here and had a 2nd free spirit with a healing pact, able to bring Falcon back from the brink of death, to see what the players would do.
I wondered if Shimazu was going to slice and dice it, but they decided to take the “honourable” path and left it alone, fleeing the scene… so Falcon (who lost a magic point in the deadly attack) will be back at some point later, hunting down the team that stained her employment status. But that’s for another day, way down the line. 
So – they’re out of Iran, and I’m going to quietly encourage them to go back to the ranch to see what Nadia has been up to, and spring some news on Marius, they can offload the data, and then we’re going to be doing a bit of hard flying northwards, back through the Quarry and up to Samara to go and see their favourite Russian Brigadier.
And then they can deal with spirit attacks from Yakut! Oh what fun!
As usual, here are my ingame notes to compare with the narrative…

Date: Tuesday 31/8/2060, Location: 35.69972, 51.33722, Time: 01:30
1. Shimazu outside, Hunter heading back to drop off goods and get supplies, Marius putting drone up to patrol near the maze area
2. Figure pulls up seat at table with unsubtle
3. F - you have the data? U - yes, course we do. Do sheep swim at midnight? F - don't be silly, sheep are the wrong colour to swim at midnight.
4. U - right, we'll sort this out then, shall we. Door, hold this for me.
5. Door - stop this from falling over will you - balances cargo container next to F. F put a hand on it to steady it.
6. Modulo - psyche! Right, cargo delivered. Ok motherfuckers - let's bounce before those slavers find out how much syphalis-K Gorgon gave their meat!
7. F - hey, what are you talking about. THIS isn't the cargo that was contracted.
8. M - sure it was baby - big data. Big data comes in big boxes.
9. F - you were supposed to get this out to chips. I can't move this...
10. M - not our problem sweetheart, you touched the cargo, you took the goods. Our work is done. Smile bitch. *click of camera*
11. F - This was NOT the deal. This is unacceptable.
12. M - not to me it's not. We got paid to grab the stuff and get it to you. Our job is done. If you're in shit river without a paddle, ain't our fault.
13. F - I do not accept this cargo, and if you want to make an argument out of this, I will.
14. Phys add changes E L wire to flames shifting, pulls two small dikoted knives about 20cm long. Door cracks his knuckles, Gorgon engages his pain resistance (second chance for assenses to learn non-standard technique)
15. Aswon and Tads spot the magical power. Tads assenses and gets idea on technique
16. Aswon, Tads and Kai(Anahita) - watching the cargo. Kai asks Anahita for 10 minutes, Anahita leaves the team
17. Kai <going to help, ambush me and the target, Aswon will need your help>
18. H <have a deck, we can copy the data to chips> Hunter runs to tilt wing and unloads, grabs burger.
19. Aswon gets food, to get near target. Kai approaches F
20. F getting data on table, to examine
21. K would you like a hand moving that, I have a slave nearby
22. F who are you? K my name is thomas, I'm a trader, I'm leaving soon, can give you a hand. F - no, I'm fine thanks. K - no problem, I'll be around, looking for my staff. Oh - there you are. Approaches Aswon. K berates him a little.
23. Courier looks at data - half a rack, head in hand, looking at half a rack.
24. She calls, says hello in Thai, Kai recognises greeting., Rand for few minutes.
25. F - calls "Mr Thomas, I've changed my mind." "how can I help", "go buy me screwdrivers!" Aswon goes to buy, She starts PDA search
26. K - offers technical advice, we have a vehicle nearby. "No thanks, just a toolkit will be fine!" Aswon returns, Kai hands over toolkit and change, then leaves.
27. K <looks like pulling apart, expect action in the next 5-10 mins> Plans with ASwon to send him out to the vehicle, prep ambush
28. Vendor tries to get her to leave, no food - gives money, burger and sends him for a gas soldering iron. Kai thinks she is good at tech, not familiar with this option.
29. F - goes for disassembly, staring people down who approach. Kai asks for Aswon to run interference to keep her undisturbed.
30. Guard comes, Aswon steps out of his way. She promises to clear up, radio check, "there's a fee", hands over a few thousand (aswon spots) guard pockets and leaves
31. K calls A over, "warm up the car, take all this stuff back, will be back to you in the car park"
32. team preps ambush, Shimazu as tripwire due w of entrance, H+T to the north, A south, grabs rifle loads hollowpoints, K on the courier
33. Unsubtle leave 2:20 with african slave.
34. 2:30 Falcon calls over vendor for bags, markers, makes piles of kit, glances at Kai. Kai "flirts" a little, keeps reading PDA.
35. 2:45 Falcon, getting ready to leave. K oh - leaving soon. F - yeah, don't follow me. Tells security guard that Kai is looking after the litter.
36. Shimazu spots F leaving, north side, trying to hide between two people. Raises the alarm.
37. Team go onto comms, Shimazu 7 stealth to follow
38. Kai packs box and leaves, making a show, leaving encumbered, heading to tilt wing
39. Falcon notices Shimazu, turns and strides towards Shimazu to confront, bad stealth roll, she approaches sniffs and gets scents. S- allergies? F - allergic to being setup.. puts down bags, hand in burka. Shimazu warns not to go for it. She slows and puts her bags down, then pulls out her phone.
40. Shimazu grabs bags and runs towards hunter and tads (Ali's suggestion to grab the bags, karma award)
41. Combat rounds start, Shimazu first, 23 - legging it - athletics check to run, 1 success, not falling. Marius on 18, Falcon - 500m Fog, Hunter spots shimazu disorientate, wandering north, blocks thermo from condor
42. Shimazu heads north, H leads T to intercept. Aswon moves outside around to west, Kai back to craft, Marius watching. Bear roar - hunter detects
43. Keep doing same thing
44. woolly mammoth on the back, just catching tads, channelled great form
45. drop the bags, quick draw sword, ok, combat starts - 13+rr7=20 success vs 8. Sword in the head, she drops,
46. 1 spirit goes free, 1 healing pact on Falcon. Shimazu stabs aggressive one, mist starting to dissipate
47. Kai to door gun, Aswon heading towards combat, hunter sends co-ords to team, grabs the bags
48. Tads banishes to force 2. Hunter tases the healing spirit, no damage
49. Marius spots guards going ape - tube weapons and rifles. Kai - experience with markets, everyone for themselves.
50. Marius moving the chopper to north edge of the shanty town, on the road.
51. Shimazu bows and apologises, did warn her, etiquette test, does ok. runs into the shanty town
52. Tads "we didn't intend to harm or kill, only to steal, voice fades off into the darkness, carried by hunter, good magical etiquette test,
53. get back to the chopper, get the drones and people, Marius then heads east
54. Hunter gives bags to kai, bug scans - looks clean, then heads to seat
55. Out over the sea, to Baku, not detected by Iranian control on the way out, protected by ED and F4 GF earth spirit

21:02 Team arrive
21:15 Hope arrives, late, to deliver slaves to Baralan for internal use
21:30 (20)Menagerie arrive
21:45 Swarm arrive
22:00 Unsubtle arrives, Door carrying an 8CF box in cargo webbing on his back
22:00 (60)First cage match, generally fighting to the knockout, children and young men, indentured or slavers, sometimes junior crew. Few bookies outside. Matches every 20 minutes for 5 hours (15 fights total, later matches are more hardcore)
22:15 Drinking, betting at the Cage
22:30 (100)Bug killers arrive
23:00 (150)Arrange with organisers for a meeting in a tent - meeting a Fixer by the name of Shimmer for future job. Interview Unsubtle for a job - Shimmer ends up not being impressed, leaves after about 20 minutes.
23:20 Mono throws rock at the back of Shimmers head, hopefully where players can see and intervene if they wish.
23:30 Going Loud arrives
00:15 (200)Wolfpack arrives
00:30 Paladin arrives
01:00 Falcon does a circuit of the area in bird form, chance for Marius to spot
01:30 (225)Falcon arrives in orc form, dressed in a burka, meets unsubtle at the food vendors. Argument about the form of the data
01:45 If nothing intervenes, Falcon will call her broker and send him imagery of the job, furious at the delivering team and lack of intel
02:00 (175)Starts disassembly of computer system, marking drive, taking RAID card and prying out encryption chips
02:45 (150)Finishes disassembly, gathers parts and starts to leave
03:15 Reaches 4 turns in, NE side of the park, small stash of goods in string bag and waiting spirits - 2 X F5 GF city spirits and 1 X F8 sky spirit. Will strip Burka, elastic band sustaining foci to leg, transform to eagle, and then carrying the bag make a slow getaway, then boosted by the spirit with others guarding.
04:00 (50)
05:00 Market closes, takedown begins

A Guns Norikito, Japanese Yakuza aligned - wants to know who Shimazu works for. Disgusted by Ronin. Sells Renraku VSP guns and other good Japanese gear, with scopes and accessories.
B Electronics Repair gear, spare parts, wire, cases, replacement optics, low end security cameras, stuff needed by gangs to secure their bases, bulk discounts available. Run by Imran and Falooq
C Vehicle parts Provide low level armour (vehicle armour 1-2, personal armour 1-5, ballistic glass, mine plates, and systems like enviro-seal. No names or details,
D Cyber ‘Grok’s refurbishment parts’. Tanamous front - lots of 2nd hand data jacks, smartlinks, wires 1, vcr 1, eyes and ear systems
E Guns Frank Whittle est 1996 of Chipping Sodbury (Windsor Davis), purveyor of death - special weapon systems, flamethrowers, lasers, ELDAR, microwave, sonics,
F Bio/nano Haramishas - good supply on muscle toner / augments, extended volume and adrenal pumps.
G ID / Passes Manuel - info broker, fee based service for checking goods costs in area, monitors supply and demand, new service - bit of a pyramid scam, 1k pcm
H ID / Passes Saeed Shirazi, Kai contact from Razi, Iran - selling R2-3 IDs
I Slavers African slaves, playing on the mystic culture, some from Sudan, mis-identify Aswon and appeal to him. Egyptian slavers,
J Bio/nano Mr Cee - Shiawaise affilitiated, has a wide variety of reflex recorder cultured bioware for combat skills, and level 3-5 (but not 1-2) damage compensators
K Guns Ogluks lucky rocket store. Basic RPGs and LAWS, simple tube mortars, has some supply of more advanced missiles - but only for good customers.
L Bio/nano Mr Rand, South African Bioware shipper - Superthyroid glands for executive protection
M ID/passes Indian Joe - NAN info broker, good knowledge of smuggler routers, bases and providers - expensive, but very reliable.
N Slavers Bunch of liberated Bunraku / P-fix slaves, mix of races and sexes, from Japan, being moved west towards Turkey and the Balkans.
O Cyber Doc Crush - American made cyber, Beta grade, but extra SI. Specialises in Senseware
P Guns Mr Wei, Chinese, Triad funded, will refuse to speak to Kai - dirty Mongol. Lots of cheap ammo, and cases of basic SMGs and machine pistols at .8 SI, but poor quality
Q Electronics Viktor Pavel - Encryption. Sells chips and encoders / decoders using Russian algorithms (they are actually compromised by the FSB) but are much cheaper than usual
R Guns Grigor Oshin, Armenian Mafia, discreet pistols, grenades, knives and melee weapons
S Cyber Bulgarian cyber systems - mostly dermal sheathing / body plating, or limb replacements. Unknown brand, but actually *extremely* good and massively under costed
T Vehicle Generic white male, Eyes in the skies - good sensors disguised as kids toys, or high end surveillance and EW systems.

Going to be met by "Falcon" a high level mage courier, excellent rep. Often travels shapeshifted as either a Wandering Albatross (67mph) or Andean Condor (55mph), with a spirit guard and 2nd spirit for movement (can hit 643 kph by doing this). Thai
Falcon, Ork, Female, 1.7m, 128kg, B6,Q5,S6,I7,C7,W8,R6,Ess 6, Grade 6, (Masking, Improved Masking, Flexible Masking, Invoking, Chanelling, Sensing)
Moon Shaman +2 to illusion / transform manipulations.
Shapechange 6, Extended Mist 5, Fashion 3, Makeover 3,
Camouflage 3, Invisibility 7, Stealth 5, Silence 3
Shapechange 6 sustaining foci, Stealth 5 sustaining foci.

Organisers - Baralan, The Red Scorpions, underground in east iraq,
Baralan, Human, Male, Mid 30s, Datajack and eyes, some headware memory, commlink with R3 encryption, replaced cyber-leg with concealed Blazer
12 X Gang members, Humans, Male, mostly mid to late 20s, Ceska black scorpions, data jacks and commlinks with R3 encryption

Fixer, Shimmer - Human, female, 47, works as a freelance manicurist in Karaj, arranges datasteals a lot. Dressed in tight fitting black combat trousers and a green sleeveless puffa jacket over red t-shirt, wrap around chromed shades. Essence 5 - little headware, datajack, some ram, radio.
Kren Cooper
Evening all, and apologies – a little later than I’d like with this one – but still, Episode 142 is now published and can be read at:

This week I managed to steer the players back to their home base for a night’s sleep, so I could trigger a major plot development – the pregnancy of Nadia. Or at least, I *think* it’s going to be a major plot point – something that will change and shape Marius a great deal and alter the team dynamic. It may not though – after all, it’s had first contact with the players now.
I’m still somewhat undecided where to go on this one – do I buck the tropes, and Nadia has an uncomplicated birth, a healthy child and just starts to raise it in the background while the team go on their quest to save the world, giving them a sense of somewhere grounded when they come back? Or do I go full Deus Ex Machina and have the very pregnant Nadia kidnapped while the team are away from the ranch, by some ill-advised Mafia goons and then just wait for the *biblical* explosions to happen? I think I’ll steer away from something like a childhood disease or birth complication that would – or should – lead to intense RP between Nadia and Marius, as that would probably take a writeup by itself, and also would be something I would prefer to happen between two players anyway.

But anyway – once the big news was dealt with, the team got in the chopper and high-tailed it back up north to Samara, landed and then Kai very unwisely split the party, leaving their caster behind and ventured out into the darkness where they were prey to the spirits and their acts of petty vandalism and aggression. I have some fairly major plot coming up that I need to set the stage for, so at the moment the spirits are more pains in the ass with a side order of mild assault rather than flat out deadly – at least so far, so the initial assault wasn’t too crazy. But, we’ll see how they get reunited tomorrow night, and take it from there.

As usual, notes from the session are shown below, to compare to the narrative version…

1. Date: Tuesday 31/8/2060, Location: 38.53375, 51.43924, Time: 03:35
2. Computer checks to look at the hardware - H(3), M(1), detail on what needs to be done
3. M -go to Baku to hire a decker
4. Tads - can't we send it
5. M - I thought we had to transmit it. A - we can call and discuss.
6. Talk about leaving until after the Russian base, generally not happy with that
7. Call spook, she's in, eating breakfast
8. A - we have the stuff, small complication. S - I don't like complications. A- Describes situation. S - what kinds of dicks do that.
9. M - Nadia could do it.
10. K - worried about traps and attacks from tracers. Marius - I think it's ok, WNG, can check it. Access it offline. Tortoise mode - but there is still risk
11. K - How much risk. M - hardware (but we can scan), Software - but do offline
12. Aswon to spook, bear with me - plans are afoot. Also we're building an underground base - spook lols.
13. Spook - data is going to degrade, easy theft to spot. Aswon tells the tale about unsubtle
14. M takes evasive route to the ranch, check for astral tails. Asks Hunter to clean the parts - Hunter defaults to Tads for a sterilise, Aswon says Falcon is good, doesn't tell details to keep her "pure",
15. Kai - Falcon won't recognise me. Shimazu - think back to sniffing - might recognise his scent.
16. Spook - get it put back together and over to me ASAP.
17. Marius calls Nadia, helipad is ready, will be lit. Windsock, downlights, H lit.
18. T - we need to sort out wakeup
19. M - 1800km, need 8 hours sleep
20. A - what is best for you Tads - arrival time?
21. T - don't think it matters, but sooner rather than later. - when we arrive, do it by air, or land nearby and get a lift to be subtle
22. A - does that change when we will arrive?
23. M - planning on sleep, not leaving until 3pm or so.
24. A - so do we say after dark or after dawn, for spirits.
25. Land for about 4am, get to the ranch.
26. Team sort out gear to take. Kai talks to the family, checks on business. Germaine happy, good recommendation. Germaine was an ok guest. Education going ok, settling with the program. Area on the up, cops behaving, come to check on the ranch. Nadia is hiring people, she says it's ok.
27. Tads checks the wards are still up - all good.
28. Aswon - Tads, hey, silver weapons? Tads - maybe, Aswon - work for at least the first hit. Tads - can check with Aslick. Also still have the punch dagger, unbonded, we have a phys-ad without a weapon. Aswon - are we sure? Kai with an assassination weapon? Tads - even a low force weapon, we have skilled blade users who can teach. When we face the thing we won't talk about, at least he can hurt it.
29. *Marius gets message*
30. You're woken up from your sleep to a strange sensation - something unusual just happened. You're lying there, wondering if someone is creeping around the in house, or if it was a helicopter in the distance.
31. Then you experience it again. As you're lying next to Nadia, a hand draped over her while you listen carefully to your surroundings, you feel the tiny little kick in her belly. She grumbles slightly in her sleep, shifts slightly and then a tiny smile tugs at her lips as she gently rubs her stomach with her free hand and settles back to a deep sleep.
32. Tads up at breakfast time for prayers and to top up food.
33. 4 guests staying at the ranch, two couples
34. Helipad laid - rebarred, lighting, Aswon talk to Kai - get IR landing lights. Flood defences dug, around house, workshop and helipad. Get fuel status at 10k. Kai wakes Shimazu up and starts getting stuff ready.
35. Nadia gets up to look at computer stuff. - 6 hours, 3 hours, 4 - Nadia estimates 2-4 days.
36. When Marius wakes up, wants a walk with Nadia in private.
37. Do you have something you want to tell me - yes, shows, glowing, talk about what to do. Not like my dad is going to officiate at the ceremony. Marius - not a religious person. So - lets not make it a religious ceremony then. Hugs, tears, reassurances. Do we tell the rest, wait until after the job. Nadia goes with his decision, Marius being respectful, our decision. After Russia. Tells him to be careful.
38. Nadia finds Kai, I need 65K, goes through the list, Kai spots that the spreadsheet is bigger, has scroll bars, explains her plan for the base - Kai gives her the 65k+37 and change and some more take them down to 400k exactly.
39. Plan to leave 18:30, quarry, planned eta 23:00
40. Ask Tads to call the doctor to get landing details / clearance - Tads points out that Kai should call the captain, VM but no room left in mailbox
41. Tads calls the Doc, checks, call back in 10 minutes, gets codes and assurances that a hanger is available
42. Kai calls ahead to the quarry, makes fuel arrangements
43. Smooth border crossing, not even a sniff of detection.
44. Kai - how did you murder the thing so quickly. Shimazu - just stabbed it. Sword upgrade helped. Strike first, strike hard. K- centering? S - yeah. that would help,.
45. K - what about the vibroblade? S - not so much, more of a secondary.
46. Quarry landing is ok, 5k for fuel. Talk to Vishtar - empty at the moment, quiet, talk about confederating with Rashid, hesitant but listens. Asks for a matrix meeting room, if it works out, offers a card. Asks for "Domestic stuff".
47. Head up to Samara, no random encounter. Come in as directed. Tads spots spirits and relays, Shimazu goes on prism, Hunter on back ramp, Aswon on sides
48. Shimazu assensses, otherworldly, gets a view on the spirits, Marius comes in to land
49. 1 spirit comes in to accident them - guard spirit counters it.
50. Tads advises not to land in the middle, Marius assesenses, not make that much a difference.
51. 2nd accident attempt, no result. Marius lands fast and flares hard.
52. Bird towed into hanger. Very busy, Marius spots lots of birds being worked on to fix external components that are easy to spot and accident.
53. Kai planning to go visit the Brigadier with Shimazu, rest stay in hanger. Tads asks to go to the hospital to heal people, but after hanger assessment
54. Tads puts 4/5 spell defence on S+K, before they leave
55. Assessment - needs the whole team to do the area, will need lots of work. T - big spirits will get in, but a 6 will keep the little out. A - big one better, may still stop the big ones. Small birds are attack choppers, easy to do. T - will they be happy with wards on the outside? A - they should be. H - they should be more combat attack.
56. Spirit casts decrease reflex on Shimazu - works, past spell defence. Tads warns the others that S+K are under attack.
57. Free spirits gather small ones to gather and ready to attack as a pack. S+K run for a warded barracks - 250m to go, 600+m from the hanger.
58. Aswon tells officer that spirits are busy - now is a good time to move!
59. Hunter looks for way to get to the roof. Aswon grabs sniper rifle and gets onto roof, drops rope for Hunter
60. Tads puts up SD on Hunter and Aswon before they get out of LOS
61. Pack tears guard spirits apart, after trying accidents, then get into melee range of Shimazu, he multi-strikes and kills 2
62. Blizzard cast at M, stages to S, Kai soaks, Shimazu takes an L and fails knockdown test.
63. Kai turns to help Shimazu. Spirit casts Blizzard again, stages to D this time,
64. Aswon and Hunter on top, have LOS, see cone of cold. But others inside.
Kren Cooper
Evening everyone – Smuggler session 143 is now published, and can be found at:
This week they were mostly digging their way out of the hole they dug themselves into last week – getting a vehicle warded and getting to Kai and Shimazu, then getting 4 of them to the hospital and getting a better idea of what is going on.
Fixing the blood clot on the captain will help get him back on his feet, and that’s going to help them next week a great deal. The Brigadier was getting a bit peeved with how long they were taking to arrive, and hates what’s been happening to his men – but they’ll get some rep back with him for fixing his right hand man.
The “contacts” in the woods are unfortunately for the team just a pair of wandering bears, doing what bears do in the woods – so it’s not going to go well for them if the team stage an assault or even worse start dropping mortars in the area. Still – might teach the team a bit of a lesson about checking their “intel” more carefully if that’s what happens.
Otherwise, the plan to get the snipers on duty will work against the small spirits, and if the team put up a ward on the roof, to give the snipers a nest to work from, they can get rid of a good chunk of the threat – leaving the two free spirits to deal with.
If the situation arises though next week, one of the spirits will use their custom power on Tads, forcing her to astral project and follow them (it’s an awakened only version of the desire reflection power in essence). With any luck the team will realise quickly that tads only has 6 hours before her body dies from being separated for too long – so they will have to grab her body, and give chase in the tilt-wing, leading them to the Yakut forward base, at which point they can launch an assault, and we hit the next major plot point – where they encounter a shard or part of the spirit that has enslaved the Yakut region and subjugated the population. Fun times, and a major loot item / PC power up potentially on the cards!

As usual, here are the notes from the session – a few deviations this week, mostly reorganising where and who got information about the base, to try and improve the flow a little.
1. Date: Tuesday 31/8/2060, Location: 53.38042, 50.27575, Time: 23:15
2. Tads to Marius - get back in the tilt-wing please. He's doing post flight checks. Tads: if you're inside they can't get to you. Tads puts shielding on M, maintains SD on Aswon/Hunter.
3. Aswon - are we going to start killing? Bad idea, summon small ones again. Need a plan before kicking off
4. Kai and Shimazu in the top company barracks, 200m from the main building.
5. Sgt appears with pipe, tells them to stop or get bashed in the face. Kai explains why they are here.
6. Calls for Vasily to go check credentials. Vasily returns, confirms they are allowed to be here, goes to fetch medkit
7. Kai uses medkit, heals Shimazu, thanks Vasily. Asks how long they have been here - refuses to answer
8. How do we get to the main HQ. Vasily says dawn and dusk, they tend to disappear for a while
9. Go to phone, talk to ops office. Describes that they are here but want to get in. Are you sure you're specialists? Put me through to the infirmary
10. Kai gets put through to docs - trapped in building. Doc: Not filling me with confidence. Asks after the captain, in a coma, last 2 days. Not a normal coma, not induced, but not natural. Unsure.
11. Asks Sgt if they have special ammo - no, all gone? What all? Yes, all, used in the attack. Funny look at Kai. Kai - do you need to go to HQ. No - we have a phone.
12. Tads to Marius, (in azerbaijani) - would water based paints damage the hull? No, he thinks not.
13. Hunter descends into the hanger. Marius looks around for people - it's the nightshift.
14. Looking for vehicles to use: tow trucks and generator trucks.
15. Base is locked down, troops moving in groups, everything affecting, eating in barracks.
16. Kai want's Tads and Aswon to ward and then come in truck, leave Hunter and Marius at the chopper. Ask Hunter to go get the vehicle. Marius preps Condor for surveillance. Hunter negotiates ok, gets the truck. Get a tow vehicle. Aswon comes down as well.
17. Check where the radar room is - it's in the HQ area, on top of the building. Brigade is back earlier than expected, somewhat surprised
18. Going for a F6 ward, Aswon=2, Tads=3, 1 hour 10 minutes to complete. Due by 00:40, lasts one week, both take light stun. Aswon practices with truck. Hunter talks with local crew - morale in the shitter, spirit attacks intensifying. Someone magical from Moscow was supposed to come, but nothing happened.

19. 00:40 1/9/2060 - launch condor, Aswon drives
20. Hunter confirms with crews - only get attacked in the open, never in a building. Marius leaves rear ramp down as a bolt hole for the air crew. Marius looking for heat sigs in the woods or other anomalies
21. Aswon spots something on the drive - not sure if a spirit or wildlife, gets Tads to have another look. Tads spots 3-4 small spirits heading for the hangers, in Astral.
22. Emerge into brigade area, crash test as they get hit with a blizzard, fail, reroll, fail, buy one pip - success.
23. Tads checks force, assenses, gets 1 success, F6 + some spirit energy. Small spirits have different sigs, one of 2 types. Vehicle arrives at Brigade HQ. Do a swap - Aswon into the back, Shimazu into the front, blizzard blast just too late to catch Shimazu before he gets under cover.
24. Drive back to Ambulance entrance, under canopy, relatively safe
25. Infirmary is rammed, extra cots, lots of breaks and sprains, more serious is crush injuries.
26. Doc arrives explains nature of injuries, she consents to treatment for the Captain, she's worried about him. Shallow life signs. Tads assenses captain, 5 successes. S+K do the same generally. Despair+Fear. S - psychology - bad type of combat skills against the troops. Give morale / pep talks, but no healing needs to be done.
27. Tads - checks with doc about visible healing magic - go ahead. Cast F5 heal. Gets 2 successes on coma cure. Bio signs climb. Doctor announces he will get better. Ragged cheer.
28. Marius spots large bears out in the woods - 750m out from the barracks. Hunter is running data search for "best" ak-97s
29. Marius - reaction check - drone attacked. Marius staying jumped into drone - soaking body 2+4 combat pool, moderate damage, crash test on 5s, 2 successes, stuck on trees. Shuts down the drone and then rigs out - crash is about 350-400m from hanger
30. Hunter stays with the troops to supervise them / do morale
31. Shimazu tries psychometry - no successes, unclear, muddled thoughts - pain, fear, nasty. Tads whispers she can check, small discussion, it's worth it - just don't poke around. Just look for that info only. Get a first hand description. Ask the doc - she describes ordinance falling. Doc confirms all in the infirmary since they came back
32. Brigade took 20-30% casualties in Yakut. Brigadier normally up at dawn
33. Kai asking how long Tads needs for healing- could be from a few hours to all day. Kai says 1) to concentrate on worst injuries, leave the minor. 2) ward the vehicles to give them some mobility. 3) Neutralise spirits 4) shape earth tunnels practical / useful?
34. Tads - doing small wounds would be useful/easy/raise morale. Kai - do whatever you feel is best, whatever is efficient.
35. Aswon - brainwave, after the snipers. Doc calls ops officer down - c shift, but in charge. Magic theory, high power weapons. Spread the word. "We got told we couldn't affect the magic creatures".
36. Kai ask about getting Marius in on comms net, maps of area and what is artillery like - or mortars. Check with the brigadier.
37. Hunter remembers about the snipers from the helicopter in the shifter fight in the woods.
38. Kai asking what it would take to pull the spirits down to ground level - Tads, your voice! Aswon - agro and run underground. Quick discussion about what banishing involves - Kai and Tads talking. Dangers of banishing. Magic background checks - Tads, personal domain / hidden life.
39. Kai - what is their Achilles heel? None really, not except true name.
40. K - what's its' motivation? Aswon - maybe the special ammo, revenge for corruption of the manasphere.
41. Marius - it might be their plan to just lock down the base.
42. T - be careful about killing /disrupting the big ones or the summoners - small ones might go free.
43. A - if you can mind-probe to get free names, that's good. Also, in the woods, low LOS.
44. Work out shape earth corridor digging limitations. Dig out to the shamen and surprise assault?
Kren Cooper
Good morning everyone. This week’s writeup is now published and can be found at

Well! Fun and games this week. Lots of plotting by the players, discussing how to defeat the spirits, how they were going to plan their assault, what to do about the free spirits etc. It was quite a slow start, with not much happening – but knowing what I had planned, I was happy with this. After the snipers attacked the spirits, it triggered “phase 2” of the attack, with the spirits turning on the team rather than the Russians, and plotting against them. After that it was just a case of waiting for the team to be in the right position where one of the big spirits could see Tads and use it’s unique power against her. The fact that she’d just come from the meeting with the snipers, which had triggered her “mild allergy to cordite” was icing on the cake, as it put her on a small negative modifier to her test.
Aswon tried to grab her, but narrowly missed his roll – and then Tads was away with the spirit, leaving the area. Aswon’s play Jez immediately realised that a clock had started, and they had 6 hours to get her reunited with her body, or she’d die, and got the others fired up. At that point, the players became much more reactive rather than proactive and hopefully when the tempo picked up a bit it felt much more pressured than the very relaxed start of the evening.
They took out the two signatures in the woods – I don’t think they’re ever going to realise that it was just a pair of normal black bears, nothing special, no particular threat – but they have created a nice background count 3 area after committing a bit of carnage on the forest – that’s been added to the map for future use.
After that it was time to track the weak astral signature linking the body and soul, and go haring off to the next location for a nice set piece battle. I was hoping that Marius would join the team on the ground to try and recover Tads, and was clear to labour the point that the tree canopy was very dense and thick, providing almost complete concealment for what was going on below – but he elected to stay in the vehicle. So, he’ll be doing top cover, and I’ll probably add in some shapeshifter or controlled birds or other aerial targets to give him something to do during the ground fight next week.
And hopefully, we can battle through spirits, shifters and mutant plants to reach the sacrificial altar before the horrible crystal that is levitating over her soul manages to consume her, and the players can blow it away – unlocking the 2nd campaign special item / reward.
Tuesday is probably going to be taken up by a single rolling continuous fight, so really not sure how the writeup will go. The notes are likely to be quite cryptic though as I try to keep the combat moving, and I may take a slightly anarchy style approach to stop it turning into an epic dice fest.

As usual, here are the notes from the session that drove the narrative:
1. Date: Wednesday 1/9/2060, Location: 53.38042, 50.27575, Time: 06:00
2. Call to docs office, team to the brigadier,
3. Nadia message overnight - has finished phase 1 hardware reassemble (6 hours) moving onto phase 2 - authentication keys (3 hours), then onto data extract & transmit today (half a day) Marius sends a well done. comms are patchy
4. brigadiers room - private escort. having breakfast, so you're hear finally - you've seen what is going on? Kai - no, your men have been very good, not revealing.
5. B - confirms that he called for help, Moscow not sent anything, we're stuffed
6. K - we've done some stuff in the infirmary
7. B - so what can you do to help, outside normal channels
8. K - moral, looking at local agents, working on threats and abilities, we've warded one vehicle, will do more, clear the spirits away.
9. B - approved. A - wards will be temp, until Moscow
10. K - have Moscow responded at all.
11. B - deep breath. Isn't one of your plans time sensitive
12. A - need sharpshooters, stuff in the woods. but need height.
13. B - calls ops - plan approved, as are any future plans for foreseeable future.
14. B - story about pushing in, mounting casualties, lowering ammo, pulls back, political bullshit.
15. K - ok, we'll go and get on with stuff.
16. A - you want us to report in to you.
17. B - no, act first, report later - trust,
18. A - when did this happen?
19. B - harried back, accidents, intensified since they came back.
20. A - yakut operatives, not spirits
21. B - treason, one of the things the people will not stand for, political suicide
22. T - explains about shape earth
23. B - I want my engineer to work with you - chat about voluntary stuff, strength
24. B - calls in the private (Tollovy) - assigns an attaché,
25. K - all out to chat to Brigadier. Asks if he wants anything done personally, right hand man has medical treatment,
26. B - anything you can do to help is appreciated. K - anything you're worried about. B - no - just deal with the spirits.
27. Private takes them to briefing room 2b to meet the snipers
28. In the hanger, vehicle screeches in with the dayshift+takes away nightshift - funny looks, not sure what to do
29. Hunter says he needs a warded truck for getting around.
30. Back to briefing room. Snipers there, most of them recognised, Aswon - pre mission briefing. Explains about spirits, small vs big, if you can see them you can kill them. You can wipe out the small ones, we'll work out the plan for the big ones. Russians muttering "oh no, we have to stay in the hq" Chief - we can go to the roof. Aswon, no, too exposed. From a window on the top floor.
31. Magic background checks - Aswon - ward a tent frame to let them go onto the roof.
32. K - ask would a mindlink spell work for allowing astral vision. Tads - yes, but sustaining, low range, limited target numbers. Aswon - easier to sort via radio, might do for warnings. Not recommend it.
33. Discussion about mind link, working at range, doesn't have to be on tads. Tads mentions bonding foci for mindlink to allow talking to engineer for tunnelling - and also useful in the future. Have 4 X sniper teams of 4.
34. Aswon - what are the priorities then - snipers are getting ready,
35. Kai - mortar teams next. Marius asks for retrieval on condor. K - then some warded vehicles.
36. Tads - asks about tunnels, only she can do that. Rest doing the vehicles -
37. Chief engineer (vordok), slightly dishevelled, a bit put out by Kai saying "this is your boss", how do you make magic tunnels. Duh - with magic. He points to the wall - show me. Tads makes a hole in the briefing room wall. Existential moment, I need to get all the base plans, will take me a few hours. Tads does the mindlink, he looks petrified. Tads explains more at speed of thought, includes dog legs, no steps ramps only. He wants to go get junior engineers and equipment, will be 2-3 hours. T - warding or foci? K - warding. K>Hunter what ammo do you want? AK, but also wants base armourer to look at extended mags, and can mortars be laser guided.
38. K asks private to warn armour that hunter will come and need support.
39. Team heading to motor pool to ward trucks.
40. Snipers - report in, 6 enemies down, private reports. Aswon - dammit, stand down, get back inside. Aswon runs upstairs, getting a head of steam on. Spotters giving running commentary - people getting back under building. Snipers happy. Kai, hmmm.
41. Two big spirits appear, snipers ask for permission to shoot - Kai, not yet. Aswon - they will go for a while then come back, and we won't be here. Kai gets explanation about what happened. Good, well done. Kai - if you see the small ones, attack, big ones - no, leave them we need to deal with them, actually you will - but in a special way. But give us a radio call if you act.
42. Tads - asks for count on ones killed. Conjuring check for Tads - ideas about power of summoners
43. Wondering about the pair in the woods - the summoners may have moved, may be tipped off. Marius wants vehicles protecting.
44. K - asks private to tell hanger to fuel the bird and rearm it. Bird is topped off, they also ask for MG ammo size. Ammo is slightly wrong size, need alternative breech blocks. Kai leaves decision with Marius. Base has lots of EX-EX but in Russian long.
45. Back at HQ, all magical activity has stopped, disappeared
46. K - tells private, call out, ESSENTIAL travel only - private, reinforced. We'll have vehicles available soon. Aswon - radio to building, be on alert, but NO shooting.
47. Shimazu volunteers to stay with the snipers, while rest go warding.
48. Private comes with team of 3, to infirmary, in tow truck, over to vehicle pool. Aswon on the roof of the vehicle
49. Spot one of the little spirits watching, arse sticking out of a tree. F4. Tads assenses - same signature. Insta banishes. Tads warns that if it was sent to a specific place, they will know the place.
50. Get to motor pool, fail perception check vs stealth 12+ . spot vehicles, apcs, trucks, jeeps and some in progress being fixed, all abandoned. Hunter warns - motor pool is where the captain had his accident - be careful.
51. Tads -essence check, falls in a splot, big smile, like an angel, rising into the air. Aswon jumps in the air dual natured to try and grab her
52. Big hearth spirits meets up with Tads- they send guardians,
53. Call for Shimazu to come join them.
54. Aswon asks Marius to prep drones for flight, suppress the targets in the woods.
55. Spirit combats, all small ones gone after 2nd free spirit
56. Aswon - she only has hours, until she dies.
57. Shimazu sends his spirit off to follow / track Tads spirit.
58. Kai - they might not take her to kill her. Aswon - hopefully not to turn her against us.
59. Marius - stops prepping the drone, getting the bird ready, asks for volunteers, take 3 for door guns and someone good with an AK. Hunter gets everyone strapped in and briefed. Keep port side closed as the ward, enlisted push out.
60. Private picks up Tads body, get into area of cover.
61. Kai - tells private to organise mortar fire on area, bird coming to the vehicle pool. Touch and go, all aboard, heading for the shamen. Aswon looking through the optics.
62. Head for the signs in the woods. Marius checks, spots the signatures, calls out to the team, all briefed in. Int check for Kai - mortar fire has right of way.
63. Bird approaches on strafing run, perfect lineup from Marius, 4 strings of autofire, spot on target. Aswon hears screams of big bear - reports "on target", kai gives the order to fire. Epic mushroom cloud from 10 X 120mmm hex pattern mortar drops.
64. Private calls - no more fire required.
65. Heading NNE looking for spirit. Marius flying at 50kph following along. Private asked to get maps. Crew stressing a bit. Marius has spirit, +1 guarding Tads body. Marius tells his spirit to obey Aswon.
66. Asks spirit to find threat, it does arm pointing. Leads them on. Aswon looks for thread. Hunter watches the Russians trying to sweet talk the guns...
67. Russian volunteers to help, has datajack, trained EWO.
68. Just at the 2 hour mark, Shimazu's spirit coming back, spotted by Aswon, assenses, looks normal.
69. Marius - desolate area, subsistence farming.
70. Slow the craft, spirit gets back in, describes where she is - in a pond under a crystal, with spirits nearby.
71. Aswon - volunteers to DFA, need to get down and carve spirits,
72. Spot the heavy canopy, plan side+rear gunners, coming in on the west, Russians stay with the bird. Keeping Tads on the bird, come in for landing.
73. Marius touch and go, needs reroll, Team lands, first description given - stopping for the night.
Kren Cooper
Good morning all. This weeks writeup is now published, and can be found at:
And this week we see one of the strengths, and weaknesses of TTRPGs, and in particular Shadowrun, and super in particular 3rd edition.
The 2.5 hours of session can be summarised as “walk through swamp, get to clearing, weird magical cold, 9 seconds of fight, recover bodies, fly home.” And of that, the 9 seconds of fight took up probably about 2 hours…
Still, lots of crunch and depth, and that comes with a cost – you can’t have it all ways.
In prep for this weeks session, I’d written up a couple of paragraphs of scene setting to read out, rather than just going with the creative flow at the time – wanting to make sure I covered the key points of the environment as the players explored:
A - Overview
The land in the middle of the river is a sodden quagmire, overgrown with trees where boughs droop into the water and roots are ready to tangle the unwary, a mass of fallen and rotting trees, low lying foliage and thick cloying mud. The area is unspoilt and feels incredibly remote - despite there being villages only a few tens of miles away. The shifting mudflats and banks of earth make it likely that you're the first humans to set foot here. Visibility is limited to a few metres at most amidst the dense trees, whose branches interlink forming a dense canopy above the head apart from the odd spots where a fallen tree creates a column of light that lances down from above.
B - Close by
The land starts to undulate, rising up and down by about 2 metres in a series of waves, stretching out to either side of you. As you examine the land formation, it's as if something made the ground ripple outwards from a point which lays ahead of you. Some massive impact struck the ground ahead, forcing it to liquefy and ripple outwards like a stone thrown into a pond, then frozen in time as the energy dissipated, leaving the ground as a twisted memory of some unknown event. Rocks and boulders as big as a troll are half buried in the ground, which slowly rises out of the brackish swamp. Stepping forwards, a subtle hiss starts to form over the comms, some kind of interference which gets louder and more pervasive as you move in towards the centre
C - The Lagoon
A small pond lies at the centre of a clear area, flat and slightly depressed. The water inside is frozen over, a thin sheet of delicate ice showing intricate patterns of swirls and loops. Frost and snow ring the area, and as you enter you can see your breath fogging up, forming a plume from your mouth and nose. About one metre up in the air is a large floating crystal - perhaps half a metre high that spins on its long axis. It seems to radiate an aura of cold and menace, but has no discernible features or markings. Despite that, there's a feeling of being observed by some calculating malevolent entity. Under the crystal, on a half-submerged tree lays the astral form of Tads, laid out with her arms by her side and a faint smile on her face. Despite the stifling heat outside, the temperature in this area must be below zero, the ground frozen and all the plant life dead or dying as if in the midst of a harsh winter.
Of course, this helped a little doing the writeup, where I could go through the text and just change the tenses as required!

For plot reasons, I needed to get Tads on the “sacrificial altar” near the purple crystal, so it could explode and skewer Kai… so I worked up a custom spirit power called “Homesick”
Homesick power - somewhat like desire reflection, but works on astral forms only. Leads the form away from the body, in the belief that it is going "home", with an intense desire to return to a happy place of contentment and safety (an idealised, romanticized Christmas card happy families advertising /commercial kind of place with ruddy cheeks, lots of toys, a full table of food etc). Opposed test, of F+SE versus WP. If the spirit is successful, they can "pull" the astral form out of a body that is astrally perceiving, luring it away. If the astral form is kept away from its body long enough to die, the spirit can feed upon it's psychic death scream at the point of expiration, immediately gaining Essence rating of the mage in good karma
So – very nice for the spirit as a way to probably earn 6 karma – of course I wasn’t actually planning for this to happen, but I wanted there to be an effect and if it happened because the team messed up – then so be it. No risk, no reward!
As it happened, Kai positioned himself perfectly for the actual plot device, meaning that the lovely shard of exploded crystal could penetrate his heart, and give him his “unique plot item” – though he doesn’t know about this yet.
Kai got a private message with the following description – which he as a player chose NOT to share with the rest of the players, leading to the flurry of assensing and keeping him covered with weapons at the end of the session:
Kai briefing: There's a flash of power, and then darkness around you. A coldness grows around your heart, spreading into your chest and making your flesh cool and contract. A darkness calls and whispers to you, offering you material wealth, riches beyond the dream of avarice - but the voice sounds slick and full of cunning. You recognise the same power you wield to command your foes, trying to work against you. Guarded, you fight against the temptation, and the voice shrieks with anger in your mind. Your will clashes against the interloper, and you drive it back, stripping the power from the being. You're about to expel it from your body, when with a start you peel away what feels like the outer shell - and discover the source or font of the power, and find it pure and unadulterated. The power leeches out of the core and suffuses your body, adapting to your will and conforming to your ethos and morals - for good or ill. The death cry of the intruder fades as you steal the source of its power and it fades away to nothing but a distant echo.

So, that’s two players equipped with their “specials” – Aswon has his spear, and Kai has his soul crystal. Two down, four to go… the aim is over the course of the coming year of in game time for the others to each receive their special doofah, getting something that will boost them up in a particular way and let them face down some major challenges, whilst still having weaknesses that they need the rest of the team to cover. At least that’s the plan. It’s been an interesting exercise coming up with some unique, flavoursome powers, trying to balance between the group and giving them something that should really make them feel they have something interesting and meaningful.
Anyway – that’s enough of a glimpse into the future, back to the present (unless people actually want to hear more about what is planned?)

Here are the notes from the session, as usual:
1. Date: Wednesday 1/9/2060, Location: 53.38042, 50.27575, Time: 09:34
2. Perception checks: Aswon 14, Kai 11, Shimazu 11, Hunter 22
3. Shimazu spirit following the trail, Marius orbiting, all fail perception checks (not enough successes, they all got a plenty high target number on one die, but then a handful of crap with the rest!), moving forwards
4. Aswon listens - gets 2 successes, unnatural stillness.
5. Marching order - Shimazu, Kai+Aswon, Hunter, rough diamond formation
6. Shimazu loses a boot. Takes the other one off. Aswon goes to the trees, jump with gecko crawl, new stealth 11
7. Move in, Marius boosts flux and activates ECCM, asks Russian, blanket effect, seen before,
8. Roll initiative on getting to clearing and being spotted by bears (having been observed by birds under control pack from the shaman – which none of them spotted…)
9. Marius fails to spot clearing, confused by alarm call,
10. Shimazu moves east, Aswon moves west, bears have spotted them and are closing, Hunter moves into hard cover, granite boulder
11. Aswon spots tiger to the rear, closing on Hunter and Kai, Shimazu spots summoning, Kai runs forward with taser, 9, shoots summoner hits, fails to dodge, soaks the L overflow, takes the D stun
12. Marius loses contact with Kai, break in carrier wave
13. Shimazu draws pistol to shoot 2nd summoner, summoner dodges, boom reverberates, but is dampened, back to sword
14. Tiger leaps at Shimazu, surprises him, tiger attacks, Shimazu hits net 3, does an S
15. Tiger closes on hunter, 1 round of overwatch, fires 6 round burst, 3 successes, takes a deadly, goes down
16. Draw sword and prepare to behead tiger
17. Kai closes on bear, tases, 3 success, moderate stun, 2nd shot, 1 success, bad soak, takes M, S+M now
18. Summoner 6 summons F4 with 2 successes, go confuse
19. Marius fails perception check again, Shimazu falls off comm net as well
20. Shimazu charges bear, attunement, solid hit on bear, 8 net successes, bear fails, takes a D
21. Marius spots a mirage, gets a steer in,
22. Shimazu - hits bear, 13v6, bear takes a serious,
23. Aswon charges Bear, drops off comms, 10vs3, takes a D, drops,
24. Tiger charges Hunter, beats by 1, 9m, soaked ok, knockdown test fine
25. Hunter sword attack, tiger wins, 9s, soaks to a L with 1 good karma, platelet factory to zero
26. Tiger attacks Shimazu, loses by 1, takes 9m, moderate
27. Bear attacks Shimazu, takes a Serious, drops, down
28. Kai shoots tiger on shimazu, drops it with a d, no soak, taser out of charge, drops
29. Summoners spirit - confuses Kai, successfully
30. Shimazu decapitates Bear - everything hits, no 1s
31. Aswon pulls grenade and throws grenade at Shaman, falls short by 9m, cracks the ice
32. Marius starts to plot the null zone - 1 success
33. Shimzu decaps tiger - mostly good.
34. Shimazus targets stay down, Aswon and Hunter up
35. 3rd round
36. Marius plots another data point, Aswon stabs for an S, Shimazu run for Hunter, Tiger attacks Hunter, tiger takes an L, Hunter drops sword and pulls up rifle, 3 round burst, does D, tiger D, Aswon stabs bear on its goes, does D,
37. Marius gets inside dome with tilt wing, Aswon hits the summoner with a Moderate throwing knife, Shimazu decapitates tiger, Hunter covers tiger with
38. Free spirit arrives, purple crystal to tads,
39. Marius brings tilt wing in, crash test, manages to recover from ice, shouts at the Russians to drop the spirit/crystal
40. Aswon and Shimazu - dodge test - Aswon all in, plenty, Shimazu the same,
41. Kai gets sploded. Magical bubble goes, starts to steam as ice melts, Tads awakens, Kai knocked prone
42. Aswon points tads at the tilt wing, sprints for shaman, Hunter recovers sword, chases Aswon, Shimazu aims for kia, comms return, Hunter warns Marius one target still up
43. Shimazu spots million needle wounds, one big one over the heart
44. Marius locks on to shaman, door gunners take him down,
45. Shimazu does first aid, seals the wound, pressure pad.
46. Aswon finds sacrificed #5, definitely blood magic +sacrifice metamagic
47. Aswon +Shimazu spot the spirit hiding under Kai stab it, it dies
48. Check the corpses, golden sickle, small herb bag, Russian peasant dress.
49. Kai - have we rescued Tads. Yes, just having a rest she says. Kai asks for check on the pond,
50. Recover the 4 shapeshifter corpses, Aswon audio - nature coming back.
51. Aswon - where are the spirits? One in the vortex, where is the other?
52. Aswon looks for crystal fragments - no remains.
53. Get all the shifter bodies, all back on the tilt wing, head back to samara
54. Aswon thinks about the crystal - possibly a gate, unique enchantment, lots of power
55. All check Kai, assenses, changed astral signature. Trying to work out what is going on. More investigation - just like he's initiated.
56. Aswon - Kai, did you mean to do that? Kai - I think I did... Tads - he didn't trigger the wards coming into the chopper. Aswon - what do you mean you wanted to? Kai - I think I did - it was like I told myself I wanted to, there was a voice in the darkness. Aswon - never seen that happen unless anyone wanted it to.
57. Hunter - what has it changed? and what to?
58. Aswon explains, like a fingerprint. Hunter - good or bad. Aswon - doesn't work like that. Hunter checks with Marius how long to get back, 90 mins. Drinks and celebrations for the Russians.
59. Tads resummons spirits, asks to be bought up to speed. Aswon tells the story.
60. Asks Tads what she remembers.
61. Shimazu checks Tads out - nothing wrong
62. Hunter asks ASwon if this all needs to be done privately - Aswon says no.
63. Shimazu checks Kai again - definitely different but still Kai
64. Get back to base, Tads spots the crater, ooh, nasty. Do a sweep, no astral entities, no sign of life in the crater.
65. Aswon thinks the spirit that went into the vortex, was the corrupted hearth spirit.
66. Kai asks if the spirit might have left the astral signature from the spellcasting - probably faded due to time.
67. Back to base, recover the condor, make notes of who the Russians were.
68. Kai asks for watcher spirits to act as tripwires for the base.

Physical enemies
2 Shapeshifter Bears - B7, Q5, S8, C2, I4, W4, R4, Init 2D6+4, CP6, Attack 8S+1Reach, Armour 3/3
2 Shapeshifter Tigers - B5, Q7, S6, C2, I5, W4, R6, Init 3D6+6, CP8, Attack 9M rake, Armour 2/2
Summoner 1 - 4/6 stats, R5, Init 1D6+5, CP8, 4M Stun, 3/3, Aspected conjurer, Invoking, (G3)
Summoner 2 - 4/6 stats, R5, Init 1D6+5, CP8, 4M Stun, 3/3, Aspected conjurer, Invoking, Centering (G4)
Astral enemies
Two free spirits, stats below
Bekorat: Free Toxic Hearth Spirit, Force 6, Spirit energy 3, (Homesick, Hidden Life, Human Form)
Zoltuka: Free Wind Spirit Force 6, Spirit energy 3,(Dispelling, Sorcery, Animal Form) Spell list: Blizzard (Force X damage, +1,DL+2, knockdown test vs F of spell, seeping cold, +2 power v Fire based), Ice sheet (P,4,I, LOS, +2M - Q vs F or fall / crash test - +1 TN per 2 success to F), Decrease Reaction (M, 10-E,S,LOS, +3D)

The entity - a pulsating crystal shard, spinning and floating about 1m in the air, radiating a cold aura for several metres around. Will cast lightning at 4L, using 4 dice, every turn until destroyed. Has 10/10 armour, and soaks with 8 dice.
(They never got onto the pond to approach the crystal, so never triggered the attacks from the crystal, and I cut the 2nd spirit based on the time, wanting to try and get the fight done in the night – he’ll turn up later looking for some vengeance at a really inopportune moment for the players.)
Kren Cooper
Good evening everyone – sorry, a bit of a late one due to a busy weekend. Only finished writing up a little while ago, and then it needed to be checked for cruelty to apostrophes and sanity checked for silly mistakes by my lovely wife (who catches a good 99.5% of them) – but the episode is now live and can be found at:
A bit of drama at the base, the political fallout of the Brigadier pulling his unit back earlier than Moscow wanted when he ran out of the “shapeshifter-killer” bullets, because he didn’t want to lose men in a doomed fight. That was completely unexpected for the team, and they were just gearing up with that when the second punch came in – the unexpected development of latent magical powers from one of the soldiers, throwing a spanner in the works. How they dealt with that was up to them, and they decided to take the soldier with them for education / training, so we have an NPC in the team again. Well, if anyone dies, they can take over playing him until they work up a new character concept!
Just as they were starting to get back on an even keel, I threw the next development at them, getting them to go after the other free spirit that had been attacking them, and dragging them 3500km east. They’re now pretty close to Mongolia and the east coast, and this is the furthest they’ve ever been away from their base I believe. The actual job here is going to be pretty simple, but at the end of that job, there’s a call to come in with a mission that will take them to Japan for a very lucrative deal – hopefully an offer they can’t refuse. After all, it’s now closer for them to get to Japan than it is to get back home…

As usual, here are the bullet points for the run, based on the notes taken during the session. Mostly faithful to the events this week, just a little detail in the planning glossed over at times either because I can’t make accurate notes fast enough of who said what to whom, or because the players were coming up with some crazy crazy plans…

1. Date: Wednesday 1/9/2060, Location: 53.38042, 50.27575, Time: 14:07
2. at the aircraft in the hanger, having recovered the drone and summoned watchers
3. aswon - so what happened boss. Kai - experiences are very different I'm sure
4. don't be evasive, what happened when you were zoned out?
5. big explosion, got very dark, felt something in my chest, clammy and cold, whispering voices, kinda like me convincing people to do stuff, any of you weak minded fools would have fallen for it (group huffs), fought against it, peeled back what it was hiding, not sure if it was it, or the source, but it leaked a bit, but then it didn't do anything, not sure it went into me or anything. A - so you peeled it? K - yeah, bit weird, not something I'd like to do again.
6. Aswon thinks - like wrangling a pact as opposed to a possession. Let us know if anything weird happens - you've got a hole in your chest that should keep you on your ass
7. Meh - coming from the man who talks to his blood sucking spear!
8. Banter back and forth about payment
9. Shimazu - so I need to keep an eye on him? Aswon - yes, you do, with what you do.
10. Aswon - one spirit in the void, looked scared, other one who knows where
11. Tads - who's was the spirit confusing kai? Aswon, one of the shamans, Tads - shouldn't it have gone free? Aswon, maybe, maybe not, might have just been carrying out the last instruction.
12. Kai - did the craft get damaged, take any damage to wards? No. How about drones
13. Marius gives price for a 41 not a 23, so 35K ish
14. Check around the hanger to make sure it's ok, then head to the brigade area
15. Hunter wanting to upgrade the troops guns, Aswon says no - better fire discipline, learning when not to shoot, Hunter - no, my ideas are not for the snipers, Aswon - the gunners blew away the last shaman, so we couldn't question them
16. Look at hanger size, think about warding, all get together and head for the main base. Aswon stands between tads and the mortar splosions.

17. Brigade on parade, Brigadier there, Captain on crutches. Aswon assenses, very bad mood, some anger, Tads checks - rising background count.
18. One guy in dark green, troops in BDU, only ones armed. Vadim trying to do a hatchet job on the brigadier, troops not buying.
19. Check out the captain, he's very wobbly, not fit for duty, rising rage. A dozen guards, 6 on either side
20. Looking at the troops it's *only* the brigade, no base personnel,
21. Armed guards spot them, turn, on alert, Kai salutes, Interrogator - "these people aren't even in the military, not sworn to obey the rodina etc etc, bring them here", team start to move in. stopped by the podium, Elite Guards (EG) look unhappy about the armed status, stopped on lower ground. Shimazu psychology, classic power play.
22. Kai salutes, Kuzma screeches "silence, you don't get to speak, don't salute, you're not military" Goes onto rant about who the people are, polluting your minds, despoiling your training, that one looks like a witch!
23. Caster throws a 2D stunbolt, starts to bleed,
24. EG go mental, get on your knees, some cover the brigade, brigade surge forward a little. Brigadier makes a stopping motion. Tads makes a beeline to the new caster, troops shout at her to stop. Stop or we'll fire!
25. Tads - I'm the only one who can deal with this.
26. Kai goes to EG, we're going to deal with the spirit. Has reroll, gets plenty
27. One guy goes to shoot Tads - Kai "drop your weapon!" He does.
28. Kai makes a scene to "get the spirit", getting anyone on the team to follow his lead, team does show and tell
29. Tads, gets permission, for man to fall out from his sergeant, he says Da
30. Hunter advises over comms - tell the doc to keep idiot sedated.
31. Kai tells the one that nearly shot tads "well done, you fought off the spirit, and didn't obey its orders to shoot the woman"
32. EG guys leave with Minin, heading for the infirmary
33. Kai asks the brigadier if he wants the spirits killing, brigadier "yes, get the last one."
34. Tads checks the new caster over, not sure on totem but is shamanic
35. UAZ comes over with radio message, shouts to make the captain sit down
36. Tads take the caster over to the forest edge.
37. Iktusk, magical assault, alert, sounds like big spirit
38. Brigadier says he might be able to help, wait 30, will advise
39. Kai offers to go do some smiting. Tads asks for the trooper to be seconded. Kai relays. Hunter advises using modified. Aswon explains between manifest and materialised. Aswon does explain that the big spirit may be back. Hunter says the inspector "may be possessed"
40. Brigadier explains he can take care of Inspector Minin, he's made calls to Moscow. He brings up a map to show the team. "What is the range on the vehicle" Hunter answers 1500km.
41. Tads asks for magical support - brigadier - no you don't, you're a hero, stand up straight
42. Hunter plots route, works out its possible, 7 hours flight,
43. Team, agree to go? Yes. Hunter wants to stop for breech blocks, rest of team overrule him, get ready to lift off in 20 mins,
44. Get 2 bottles of wine from the brigadiers store to take as proof that Vasiliy sent them.
45. Team resupplied, ammo, food, clothing,
46. Captain is sent back to the infirmary with troops forcibly
47. Tads gets Vadim to grab some gear, come with them.
48. Give a code to get identify as a spetnasz flight, down the TSR corridor, code is time limited
49. Get ready for take off, worried about the base and how to defeat the spirit. Aswon and Kai talking, Aswon talking about accidental damage and banishing, and the time limit.
50. Team discuss again ramming the spirit and using the wards to batter it. Small arms fire? Marius *unhappy*
51. Kai calls Ludmilla, can we use the fuel stop, sure, when will you be at the dam, double take, no tara, sure then,
52. Head for Tara, military escort some of the way, clear skies and smooth flying, 3 hours flight time.
53. Talk about mind probing the spirit to get its true name - Aswon unsure. Tads very unsure - bit it up a bit, then mind probe. Get Kai to use commanding voice "what's your name" - easier mind probe.
54. Hunter asks, can't we just delay it, and make it the Russians problem? They explain that no, they need to deal with it to keep the Russians on side, the spirit not pissed with them etc.
55. Magic 101 instruction on the flight, one success on instruction. Totem is wolverine. berserk chance
56. team warn him about danger of the upcoming fight
57. train him up on the MMG (starboard), and on spell defence
58. Red army investigator: Kuzma Minin, 1.95m, thin, sneering, really bad acne and teeth,
59. Pagan worshipper: Vadim Yakovlev, manifests power stunbolt
60. Tara airport fuel stop is a go.
61. Land at Nova, lots of troops, brief into the Colonel, introduced to the Captain. Where's the lady
62. Handshake, heads back to the vehicle.
63. 19:00 ish
64. Fuel up and head further east, uneventful journey
Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 147 is now published and can be found at:
This week, the team got introduced to the Irkutsk area and the large Russian military presence here, and started to piece together pieces of the puzzle. This time the Russians do have some mages – but they’re grossly outnumbered, and the enemy are being smart and playing to their strengths, fighting a hit and run campaign of terror, and targeting the Russian casters. Of course, a couple of grade 5 initiates are going to tip the balance of power considerably, and through a spanner in the works of the Yakut forces.
I’m also faced with a conundrum. You see, I’d looked at the map, a quick cursory glance and gone “hmm – huge lake, river, city by the river… plot plot plot. Ohh look, a much larger area to the north. What if the Yakut forces had dammed the river, flooding a large part of their lands – they’d be ok with that. And they have lots of spirits and such like. That would slow the river to a crawl, and we can foreshadow that in passing. And the players can investigate, and discover the plan at the last minute, maybe even as the dam is blown. Then we can have a “desperate race against time” kinda thing, fighting the military bureaucracy to get people moving. If they mess it up, the river bursts the banks, and floods / destroys several of the regiments and cripples the Russian forces, making the Yakut forces stronger. If they succeed, then the Russians escape to higher ground, through the city is still trashed, but the Yakut forces won’t then be able to invade and push through to the trans-Siberian railroad and cut off the entire far-east area. Either way the players will be fine, and can escape in their chopper, but they could be involved in a major socio-political upheaval. Great, that sounds juicy, awesome.”
Then. I looked at the map again.
Double shit.
The water drains OUT of lake Baikal, past the town, along the best part of 2000km of river and drains into the Arctic Ocean. It’s flowing the wrong fracking way!
So, a drastic rethink of the plot is required.
Option 1 – they’ve been expanding the area where I originally had them working, creating vast sumps, which has artificially lowered the river level. The campaign of fire-bombing the town is to tie up the mages, and they’ve had earth spirits “hardening” the exposed banks of the river, making them impervious to water and closing them in. When the wet weather comes in the autumn, the river will definitely flood then, which might have the same effect – just less dramatically.
Option 2 – it has actually just been a long hot dry summer here, and the river level is low, just by co-incidence. But the Yakut forces are going to strike at the Ikustk dam. This 50m high, 2km wide dam is responsible for over half a gigawatt of electrical generation, so taking that down will darken not only the city, but a good chunk of the surrounding area. There would also be the massive flood I was after, potentially washing away several regiments and trashing the city – just it would take minutes to hit the city, instead of an hour. Ok – that works. When they built the Irkutsk dam, it actually raised the water level in Lake Baikal by 1.4m – which is a ridiculous level in something over 600km and 75km wide. A total of 138,600 hectares of land were inundated by the reservoir, forcing 200 communities and 17,000 people to relocate. So that is a LOT of water to suddenly get filtered down the river.
Option 2a) They’re doing it all as a plot to strike at the troops in the city, and that’s end goal enough.
Option 2b) They’re doing it to create a massive surge / tidal wave to affect the lake as a whole. Apparently due to the size of the lake (it’s the largest by volume in the world, and deepest – over a mile deep with about 5 miles of sediment at the bottom!) they get waves up to 14 feet high during storms – if they blew the dam during a storm, you could get mammoth waves roaring down the lake, like a tsunami (ok, I don’t know if you could actually get that – I’m not a hydrologist, but it sounds faintly plausible, and it’s my sci-fi channel disaster movie, ok? Ok.) That could not only wreck the Yakut civil war / guerrilla movement by White Rock, on the shores of Baikal, but could also trash the land to the southern edge, including the railroad – which again serves the purpose of cutting off the entire Russian far east from resupply / easy access.
Option 4) the river flows down into the lake now, stick with the original plan. Maybe there was an eruption during the crash / VITAS / sometime pre-present day, that moved things on a geological scale, creating a new flow for the river, reversing the previous course and draining a new area of Siberia down into the Baikal. Least favourite option I think.
I’m tempted to go with the dam being blown to strike at the city, indicating a major offensive push from the Yakut forces, and hopefully indicating to the players that things are going to get really exciting here – and encourage them to head off on the next mission when it’s presented, rather than being caught in an active warzone – especially one where the enemy is super strong magically and their stealth ship doesn’t matter anywhere near as much. That means I can have Hunter if he does some research get a paraphrased copy of the Wikipedia article on the Teton Dam failure in the US from the 70s. There a higher, but shorter, dam failed as the reservoir was being filled, releasing 57,000m3 of water per second down into the Snake River Plains. It killed 14 people, over 13,000 livestock, destroyed several towns and cities, and caused the government to pay out over 300 million US dollars for claims from the dam failure, lasting well into the 80s.

As usual, here are the notes from the session – a little shorter than normal it seems:
1. Date: Wednesday 1/9/2060, Location: 52.30972, 104.20729, Time: 22:19
2. Coming in to land, description of area, some smouldering, some cold ash, overview of area.
3. UAZ waiting for them,
4. Mood in the city is frightened, fraught, under siege.
5. Colonel says to go with him, calls in a rifle platoon to guard the bird,
6. Tads asks if Vadim wants to come - he wants to stay in the bird and guard, not go near the Lt Gen. Tads shows him the prism, asks him to report.
7. Marius staying on board, inform the colonel that people are still onboard.
8. Aswon assenses troops - active engagement area, not scared, but wary. Aswon thinks less scared than back at the base.
9. Into the Hotel Royal, bodyguards don't want to let them in with weapons. Hunter stays with the guns, rest go. Power out, have to walk, to 3rd floor, power out due to recent attacks, engineers working on. Power not being attacked deliberately, as a side result of the fires. They do have mages, but overwhelmed.
10. Ahh welcome - Vasiliy speaks highly of you. Kai hands note over - raised eyebrow, pass to colonel. so what do you need, what do I need to know.
11. Kai - we need info, on what is going on.
12. Lt Gen - send for Frederick, Frunze calls,
13. detail story about attacks, ramping up for last 2 week, overwhelming odds.
14. Aswon warns about the free spirit, and that is what the team is dealing with, not the general attacks.
15. Kai asks if anything has changed - Lt Gen, says no not really - though getting ready for a major push.
16. Aswon - thinks they have insurgents, rats in the pipe.
17. Kai asks about wards - mostly around HQ and armoury
18. Down to 1st floor meeting room, get guns back. Ask colonel if they need to clear action first - he would prefer, but not essential.
19. Ask about counter insurgency training, generally don't have any,
20. Ask about river, told river level is very low this summer, have no naval assets
21. Kai asks about river/seasonal stuff, asks for recon - thinks it could be yakut moving forces, or could be a natural phenomenon. Asks for recon, maybe satellite.
22. Hunter - talks about flood wave.
23. Aswon asks if high points have been checked, no - mages spread too thin. Aswon suggest tads go with,
24. Tads wants a map and a mage to accompany her once she's checked them out.
25. Ask Captain Frederick for a spare mage. Ask for someone who knows the city, recommend one of the engineers,
26. Watcher spirit through the wall, "they're back, they're back", leads them outside
27. Out in the street, pall of black smoke, shields +SD up, astral perception,
28. All spot F5 wind spirit, Aswon goes active, Shimazu rolls bodyguarding for looking after fred (ok), Aswon suggests Hunter looks for dodgy civilians, Hunter goes high.
29. Tads asks if drone sensor package can be swapped to VTOL - no not really.
30. 18-20 watchers scream through the air, Shimazu - terror tactics,
31. Tads goes nuclear with F4 stunball cast at M, with 10 successes. drops 18, Aswon goes for the kill on #19, but Shimazu steals the kill, tads cleanses spell,
32. Tads asks Marius to look for non-military radio signals
33. Hunter spots Alsatian at about 300m, maybe 25% bigger than normal. 5 round burst. Shoots the dog, cuts it in half.
34. Marius scans frequencies - lots of encrypted cell traffic, some radio, lots of military stuff. Tries to break encryption - succeeds, breaks encryption 2, with 3 successes.
35. Dog gets back up and sprints off, Hunter drops it again, knocks it over and out of LOS.
36. Hunter staying on the roof,
37. Aswon and Shimazu running, both get to Q10, get about 30s clear of the main group, round the corner
38. Spot the owl shifter, call it in, dog crawling away, Shimazu goes to taser the owl - misses. It launches and kills the dog, then banks south. Aswon calls a warning, hunter fires a snap burst as it clears the fence, smashes it to the ground with an S.
39. Aswon and Shimazu go to check on the dog - appears dead.
40. Kai going for the owl, looks - can't find the owl, can find blood splatters and fragments, searches astrally,
41. Tads asks the colonel to take the dog back to base, Kai hears whimpers of pain and cries of alarm, Kai moves to back door, Aswon over the top, Shimazu round the side,
42. Kai opens the back door - man holding bread knives to 2 girls throat, commanding voice, drop it, he does, girls bolt, Kai tases, overflows to M, drops like a sack of spuds, Hunter reaction check, owl escapes, flies up, takes a burst, manages 1 soak+1 buy , makes 1 on the knockdown, then gets tased by Kai, drops, no soak,
43. Team converge - Aswon secures the bird, Shimazu talks to the girl (barely), Kai biotechs the dad ok,
44. Checks the owl - recovering shapeshifter soon, girl is just girl. Aswon calls for mind probe / tads ASAP.
Kren Cooper
Good evening everyone – and welcome to episode 148, which can be found at:
Late update this week, courtesy of network outages. Pesky deckers crashing my systems. *shakes fist*. A little rushed after work and gym tonight, trying to get things published before gaming tomorrow night, but hopefully the narrative still flows ok.
After capturing the Owl shifter and interrogating them, the players realised that things were coming to a head, plans were afoot, and some serious shenanigans were taking place – and just at the exact moments they were in town! What are the odds….
Initially I wondered if they were going to just let the army handle the assault – but in the end, they strapped on their hero pants and dived in there. They weren’t expecting the deadman-charge, but rolled with that, found the bomb and then started to sweat. I probably gave a better description to the players in game than I did in the narrative, as I wanted to make it abundantly clear that this was a “difficult” challenge. Marius was up first, and blew a bunch of rerolls and good karma on the issue, defeating the anti-tamper and clearing the way for Aswon to do some fancy demolitions work. Unfortunately, Aswon was very low on Karma – both good and pool, and didn’t have a great roll – so rather than a clean disarm, he was one success under the threshold (but not a botch by any stretch of the imagination!) So, they got gassed, and had to flee the building, taking 6M no armour damage, and a bunch of modifiers regardless to make them feel under pressure. But I wasn’t too worried, as I had the colonel calling in the NBC troops and the medics, so they wouldn’t be out of action for long. Hopefully though it will remind them that without backup, they would have been up shit creek!
So, having dealt with that, we’re on the home stretch – Yakut is poised for the attack, and the players will hopefully be instrumental in turning the battle against them by stopping their sabotage – giving the Russians a huge morale boost and setting the initial motions in play for the Russian reclamation of a large chunk of Siberia. Not that they’ll see that – they’ll hopefully be off on the next mission!
Of course, with Kai leading the team, *anything* could happen, so we’ll just have to see how that goes.

As usual, here are the notes from the game, along with the stats / characters / descriptions…
Date: Wednesday 1/9/2060, Location: 52.30972, 104.20729, Time: 23:50
• Interrogation of the owl shifter - Tads gets 4 successes
• Mind probe successes:
  1. There are 6 cells operating in the city, the other 5 are unknown to this cell
  2. • Each cell has one owl+ one dog shifter, and up to half a dozen local sympathisers or "normal" humans. Their main MO is the firestorm, though explosions or electrical/water sabotage are also used. They have a poison due to go off in the water pumping station tomorrow, that is already placed.
  3. • This cell covers the centre of the city, and is targetting any building they can set fire to - there are no specific targets or objectives, beyond destruction and fear, sowing terror and keeping the army off balance. Their attacks have been escalating and "something big" is due to happen in 2 days time.
  4. • There is a cadre of 6 summoners located to the north, behind Yakut lines who summon the watchers, sending them down in a pack for the shifters to direct. Each cell will get a flock to use, augmented by the owls own spirits. All the attacks *must* stay in the city, not anywhere else.
  5. • The timeline indicates that the main attack is due to occur at 02:00, darkness is a key part of the plan. Additional units are coming south, over the water to enter the city to do whatever it is.
  6. • A major assault is planned after whatever the strike team does, and the cells are to continue to cause chaos while Yakut forces drive south to sieze the city, and the railroad beyond.

• Aswon - sounds like an army issue (water plant) - they can ID the people from the job
• Hunter - surely we need to go back to the general, and update him? Aswon - Frunze can do that.
• Tads - if we crack another cell, will they know any more?
• Kai - we might want to do the water ourselves, the army will spook them, we can maybe get more info with a stealthy approach? Talk about can we tase it or trank it - army have no tranks normally
• Aswon - the army will torture it for info, and we'll be a lot more merciful.
• Kai - remembers he has prison governer contact nearby who may be able to help
• Kai wants to keep authority over the owl, Aswon - the army will want to kill it.
• Kai asks tads for a quick astral scout. Tads checks with Fred that he got the spirit - he confirms. Tads checks - BGC at the burnt house, otherwise clear. Tads - there will be more watchers coming in soon
• Ask for a warded room - directed to the 105th LSB HQ tent, they will clear people out.
• Get there F3 wards, into the emptied tent, all confidential materials removed.
• Kai tells it to shut up, using harsh tone of voice.
• Kai tells the colonel about the water poison, owl goes mad, struggles, tries to get out, shimazu can hold.
• Kai tases it, overflows to M, soak to L, owl is twitched,
• Get info 5+6, info flow is by dead drop, slow but secure. 11 successes - get all the info on the cell, locations, dead drops, next cell meeting,
• Aswon - tactics thoughts, Yakut will go big or go home, but fear heavy return fire. Ward a few fast moving vehicles and let the russian mages do spotting, and call for fire
• Check time - main attack in 36 hours, poison in 0-23 hours. Aswon suggests cutting off all the water in the area.
• Kai - can we get russian uniforms
• Tads - magic check - reproduce images from the mind probe - only average, standard photofit style.
• Tads mindlinks Frunze refuses, Frederick ok - full brief, Fred asks for help warding a vehicle.
• Tads does impression of the pond - does much better, pass over to the terrain analysts
• Marius - has ID'd about 12 cells that are swapping coded transmissions - passed over the info to the sig-int battallion.
• Frunze asks - are you going to deal with this poison thing? Aswon, can you get us a rigged vehicle?
• Kai calls Mihail the Renraku prison admin. "I'm not buying" - I'm not selling, how are you. "Confused", We're working with the russians, legit. Asks what it is - shapeshifter? Oh yes, get me clearance, there in 20-30 minutes. Asks Govener if he wants anything - alcohol that isn't vodka. Ahh, tricky, what about truffles.
• 12:45, renraku arrives with mage cell, take the shifter
• Vadim comes with, have a LWB UAZ with HMG on the top pintle, rigged for Marius.
• 1.65km, 5 mins drive,
• Tads asks what she needs to get in - colonel, I have no idea, I'm not an engineer
• Hunter engineering checks - likely layout, good results. Aswon chemisty - good results. Probably involves chlorine/flourine disabled, then something with contact vector as well.
• Power is on in the. Colonel asked to get water engineer on the line - stays in the vehicle to co-ordinate.
• Watcher spirits scout - find 3 people, rats and spiders, then detail that yes one of the cell members is in there in the main hall. Wind spirit searching for the powder, not come back (still searching)
• Team swap to regular / hollow points. Tads advises colonel there is a target in, he asks then to neutralise with extreme prejudice.
• Aswon plans a pincer, but decide to pile in.
• Aswon+Hunter, Kai+Tads, Shimazu guards the big doors, Marius in the vehicle.
• In, description of the building, Kai has one shot left in his taser, stealth in - not heard,
• Kai shoots, 5 successes, drop him like a fish, dead mans switch goes off, he is chunky salsa,
• Hunter - nah, that's a grenade blast, hunter does a sniff, chemical analysis, normal stuff,
• Message from Johanna - mission cancelled, found another team.
• Other workers look surly - name drop the russian LT General, they drop their wrenches and back away.
• Get the workers over to examine where he had been working for the last 6-8 hours
• Workers spot the device, go to touch - commanding voice to stop. Chlorine disconnected, horrible complicated device added. Spot 30 minute countdown.
• Try to get water cut off, that's in a different building feeds into here
• Detail about the bomb - Marius tries E B/R, double reroll, gets 1, buys 3 - gets that off safely
• Electronics test, fails, RR again, buys 3, total 4
• Aswon, fails, rr, fails, spends 1 karma, gets one success, partial fail.
• Aswon, 6M soak, no armour, takes a hit.
• Tads uses the spirit to blow the aerosol back away from the team.
• Outside - colonel with drawn pistol, MPs arriving, all stagger out, Hunter +Kai take L, Marius / Tads M
• Teams roll biology / botony / parabotony - atropine like, need to strip
• Hunter and marius start to strip, as does Aswon and Kai. Colonel calls in the 2nd NBC protection regiment
• Sirens start to sound all over the city - echoing around.
• Tads self heals, units starts to arrive, Tads moves to help Marius, casts, fails.
• scrubbed clean by NBC teams, about 15 mins elapsed, 2nd wave. - Tads takes an L,

Water plant
poison canister attached to the water inlet for the central area, on a timer and with several anti-tamper devices
Needs an electronics B/R (6) test with 3 successes to get the case off, without setting off the 1st anti-tamper charge, which causes 12D chemical explosive, -2/m
Needs an electronics (6) test with 3 successes to disable the electronic timer without setting off the 2nd anti-tamper, sparking a thermite charge (does 10D, 1/2 impact armour, burns for 3 rounds doing the same damage, also breaches the water pipe.
Needs a demolition (5) test with 2 successes to disable the manual timer without detonating the device, releasing a skin absorbed bio-toxin, created from a species of plant native to Yakut (same effect as Atropine, vector inhalation/ingestion/contact, 6M no armour, +1 to all active skills, further 1+ for melee/short range attacks, +2 to all knowledge skills, does damage every 15 minutes until neutralised.
A breach of the water pipe causes massive outrush of water, flooding the area quickly (+2 to all TNs), the water jet will spurt out like a cannon hitting for 6S with double knockdown. Engineers there will need to make an engineering (5) test done on their collective 6 dice to alter the water flow, taking 5 rounds to reduce the modifier to +1 and another 5 rounds to drain enough water away to reduce the modifier to zero
There are 3 engineers on site, two legit and one saboteur - stats of all 3s, has a concealed knife and a deadman charge (8S IPE, -1/m, 4 successes on demo test for effect)
To get rid of the bio-toxin, it needs to be ID'd - biotech (10) test, revealing that its Abrin based, there is no antidote - they all need to be scrubbed clean to get rid of the contact vector, and have supportive care. They may lose their clothes and worn armour to "contamination"
The saboteur is a sleeper agent, has been in the city for 5 years+, was vetted, but has been activated by the shapeshifters a few weeks ago. He knows of 4 other civilians in his "cell" which he knows by face and has an idea of where they live.

2 Shapeshifter Owl - B4, Q6, S4, C3, I5, W6, R5, Init 3D6+4, CP6, Attack 5M Armour 1/1 (Caster, control thoughts, mask, blindness,fireballs, decrease reaction
2 Shapeshifter Dogs- B4, Q5, S5, C3, I5, W4, R6, Init 2D6+5, CP8, Attack 6M bite+disease, Armour 2/2

Random fires starting all over the city, along with 20-30 watcher spirit "screamers", travelling in packs and supressing the uninitiated mages, while infiltrators / saboteurs are setting fires, cracking gas mains, blocking up sewers etc

cool.gif Zoltuka: Free Wind Spirit Force 6, Spirit energy 3,(Dispelling, Sorcery, Animal Form) Spell list: Blizard (Force X damage, +1,DL+2, knockdown test vs F of spell, seeping cold, +2 power v Fire based), Ice sheet (P,4,I, LOS, +2M - Q vs F or fall / crash test - +1 TN per 2 success to F), Decrease Reaction (M, 10-E,S,LOS, +3D)

Irkutsk: Lt General Maksud Alikhanov (Corps commander), Black hair, very dense and shaggy, green eyes, trim figure
Aide: Colonel Ivan Frunze, Red hair, clean shaven, imaculate uniform, recruiting poster look
Vitoly Frederick, Grade 1 mage, Captain, cadre of 20 mages, all the rest uninitiated. Mages have the standard soviet spell list of (Powerbolt 4, Spiritbolt 4, Treat 4, Hibernate 4, Blindness 4, Stealth 4, Improved Invisibility 4, Control fire 4, Reinforce 4)

127th Motor Rifle Division 12,000, Major General
15th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade 2,000, Brigadier
21st Guards Motor Rifle Brigade 2,000, Brigadier
30th Motor Rifle Brigade 2,500, Colonel
92nd Rocket Brigade 1,000, Brigadier
385th Guards Artillery Brigade 1,000, Brigadier
950th Rocket Artillery Regiment 1,000, Brigadier
297th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade 1,500, Brigadier
91st Headquarters Brigade 500, Brigadier
105th Logistic Support Brigade 1,000, Brigadier
2nd NBC Protection Regiment 500, Major
Engineer Sapper Regiment 750, Major
53rd Electronic Warfare Battalion 500, Colonel
71st communications center 500, Major
2934th satellite communication station 500, Major
323rd mail and telephone communication center 500, Major
1388th Command Intelligence Center 500, Major
Kren Cooper
Session 149 is now published and can be found at:
A recovery week for the team – fresh out of the blast from the demolition charge on the water supply and their poisoning, they got expert medical attention from an NBC regiment and field hospital, which combined with a bit of magical healing got them back on their feet relatively quickly. They volunteered for some scouting, had a cracking stealth roll and some great perception scores – so they managed to find the summoning team and dealt with them, which is also going to take the pressure off somewhat in the next day, and finally got another little nudge from Spook about the next job. I’m hoping, and gently pushing them towards this, but if they turn it down, then fair enough… they’ll just miss out on some really awesome loot and contacts!
They also have some clues about what is coming later on in the in game day, and hopefully will soon be heading down to the dam, where they can encounter the “Seal” team. Shapeshifters…. You can see where this one is going can’t you… <grin>.
As usual, here’s the write-up notes…

• Date: Wednesday 1/9/2060, Location: 52.30972, 104.20729, Time: 00:40
• Aswon and Marius S, Kai Moderate, Hunter Light,
• Body (3) tests - all pass,
• Aswon asks for radio, gets one in a bag, report to the colonel, call engineer, report on anti-tamper. helped by Hunter and Marius.
• Kai asks for info on the dam upriver
• Russians take weapons to clean, Shimazu to look after them, team is taken back to hotel to rest.
• Tasers seem to be trashed by purple cleaning gunk, everything else is ok.
• Team rest, Aswon has a lie in - 4-5 hours.
• Frunze explains about air raid sirens. Shimazu checks on Vadim - back at the tilt wing avoiding senior officers
• Aswon asks for fabreeze? Gets medicated shampoo.
• In the morning, basic breakfast, Hunter goes to tilt-wing for clothes, Tads does healing. Kit maintenance. Aswon moans about his wild hunt suit with massage liners.
• Spook texts Aswon, asks for a chat when he's free. He warns Kai, then steps outside.
• you look pink? nasty poison, you ok to talk? Be outside in somewhere grim - because you are somewhere grim. Chat, Aswon weeks - no days, talk to Kai.
• Tads heals Aswon, Kai and Marius 2/3.
• Aswon back in to talk to Kai - has a job, low risk, high travel, east asia, high pay,
• Kai: it all depends on the next 24 hours I suppose, after that - if the invasion goes either way, we're out of here.
• Aswon - have to deal with the stuff Nadia is dealing with. Then Iran, then temple.
• Marius - dragons + int, remember speciifc words, Marius thinks they have time for a job.
• Kai - get back to spook, get 24 hours, then find out where we need to go to.
• Aswon calls spook, relays message.
• Checks with analysts - Hunter learns there are 5 spots. Trying to narrow down the target areas for one swift strike.
• Marius - we can do that? Brief talk - talk to colonel, Kai briefs, he will check with the general
• Tads suggests arranging fuel on the way back too, to make the bird ready to leave. And we need to work out what to do with Vadim. Kai: take him with us. Or lose him in Japan maybe? Ask Vadim - he wants to learn more about his magical potential.
• Frunze comes back and approves mission, gives tactical radio with encryption, asks for sensor sweeps,
• Aswon - check with Brigadier Kai, ask if the spirit has gone back? Tads, ask about other bases too?
• Marius outlines the plan to fuel, recon and direct.
• Tads asks for body armour for a few of them.
• Now about 09:00, Vadim coming with them.
• Report on the dam downriver - all normal. Also gets 2 pistols from the colonel.
• Also suggest to kill all stray animals - just in case.
• All to the tilt-wing, airport, fuel up, then head north. 8 on vehicle stealth.
• Get to first site - not this one, pond too dried up, same at the second, still not spotted.
• 3rd site - abandoned, site of magical ritual, some time ago. Possible ritual, to summon spirits and make pacts - Shimazu does aura reading.
• Spot the 4th, watcher spirits gathering over the pond, confirm details - dog shapeshifters, Aura reading - taste like the same spirits.
• flying on to #5, calling in the artillery strike. Russians get a 14 and 15 on their targeting. Battalion of SO-203 Maka SPGs, T-15 chassis, 4 rounds, audible warning, 40km range. 48t weight, 14 crew, 3 batteries of 6 guns. mist cloud to front, rear scoop dig into earth, shells are 110kg each.
• On to the last one - no sign of anything. Except the watcher spirits in a pack chasing after them
• Tads nukes them with a one shot stunball.
• Hunter got *great* footage of the blast, Kai radios in that targets were destroyed. Sneak back across the border, back to the airport and refuel.
• Frunze is waiting for the team at the airport, asks for permission to come aboard, wants a report. Hunter sends the report to him via squirt
• Asks what their intentions are. Kai - any sign of attack? Frunze: all on high alert, river being watched, troops on the bridges. Watching. Kai - what about insurgents?
• Frunze - all quiet, calm before the storm.
• Refuel and head back to the hotel, park the tilt-wing nearby.
• Spook calls - details of the meet, 50k, midnight meeting. West of Tokyo.
• Knock at the door as the team finish lunch. Average, height female, are you the specialist team? Kai are they in trouble? No? Then come in.
• Explains about waves and data, propagating wrongly.
• Kai - go get the colonel, says Hunter. Face goes white when they team mention that.
• Colonel arrives, Lt at strict attention.
• Kai recounts the story. WEird stuff about 500km north up the lake. Colonel asks about the chain of command, she gets nervous, Kai defends her.
• Colonel sends her back, telling her not to tell anyone about where she's been.
• Ask about naval presence, advice to go on high alert
• Hunter asks about artillery shell / depth charges.
• Talk about political rivalry, having to deal with central command to get the navy working with them and get sensor footage.
• Kai - tads, what water spirit can you do. - she details lake spirits and powers. Aswon - send a gang, one of them should make it back.
Kren Cooper
Good morning everyone – this week’s episode of the smuggler game is now published and can be read at:
Somewhat to my surprise, rather than relaxing after their traumatic experience with the poison and the bomb in the water pumping station, the team elected to go for a long distance recon mission, and flew almost the length of Lake Baikal, deep into Yakut territory.
So, a good stealth roll and careful consideration about how they were going to do it saw them slip across the border no problems – the Yakut forces are being careful at the moment not to show their hands and are keeping a low profile after all. Then up, and they encounter the power site at White Rock for the first time – on seeing a power site with a rating of 6, they wisely decided to steer clear of whatever was going on there!
Almost at the top of the lake, they start to run into magical defences – here I was just trying to get them to turn back and head to the city, so I can get them to the dam for the attack there, but make sure they weren’t too damaged that it would make that encounter difficult. With the bomb last week, a lot of the players are now quite low on both re-rolls and good karma, and are feeling the pinch somewhat (which is good, and where I wanted to be), so certainly they’re being ‘careful’. So a huge flock of birds, boosted by spirit powers seemed like a good way of showing a lot of power without needing to be soaking force 10 powerbolts cast at D…
It seemed to do the trick though, and got them to turn around, and they made it back to the city ok – and for the first time really spotted / took in the location of the dam, and questioned how big it was, and what the impact would be on the city, after realising which way the river flowed. Then they got a bit more fired up about investigating it, and heading down that way.
Then it was only one more tiny nudge I had to give to a player – Lee / Marius was all set to stay in the tilt-wing in case the team needed to get a quick dust-off, when I asked him if he was happy his remote control deck was working ok. Fortunately he seemed to take the hint, grab his deck and leave Vadim the new NPC in the chopper on guard, while they all go as a team into the dam. This avoids us splitting the party again, keeps the team all together where they can work together against the bad guys and makes his electronics skills available as well as providing an extra gun of course.
Next week – a bunch of shapeshifters infiltrate the dam and start to cause havoc, leading to a hopefully sprawling and messy fight through several locations with – “Seal Team 6”. It’s a team of 6 seal shapeshifters….

I’ll get my coat.

As usual, here are the notes from the game:
First of all, after Hunter wound up Vadim, I’ve looked up a suitable response, so he can try to find a time to enact revenge: Vadim - "popalsya" - 'got you'

• Date: Wednesday 1/9/2060, Location: 52.30972, 104.20729, Time: 13:00
• Marius heads to the bird to pre-flight and run checks. Hunter looking at the computer data. Kai - I think we ought to patrol the lake, get a look - if we fly down the middle, can we view everything on the lake?
• Aswon - we should let Tads summon big spirits, then recover from the drain. Check - dusk at 19:47. They're mostly going to come at night, aren't they
• Tads - should we look at the lake now, and get back her for dusk and prep for the evening. Kai - ok, that seems reasonable. How many? Tads, can do about 6 of a reasonable force. Kai - let's go look then, just a recon, disengage if we find anything.
• Aswon - suggest we want stealth, want a spirit concealment, even though we're going into a magical area. Tads - will need to be outside to summon.
• Sentry gives them a funny look, but doesn't stop them.
• Call the colonel - ahh, I've been told you've left the hotel. Yes - going for a recon over the lake. Ahh, good luck then. If we're not back by dusk, we're probably dead. We're not going to engage, but it might trigger something. ..... ok, if something happens, please give us as much notice as possible.
• Hunter - on the way back to the chopper - we need to sort out Vadim, if we take him out of the country will he count as a deserter?
• Back to the chopper - Vadim looks for senior officers, Hunter says the colonel is coming, he hides until after takeoff, glares at Hunter, realises it's a joke.
• Hop out of the city, get to a forest, summon some Great forms, team does a double check on all their gear, equipment and run the bug scanners over everything. No bugs found.
• Vadim manages to summon a F3 watcher with 1 hour. Hunter looks for data on weather on the lake, currents,
• Team goes for a run / do astral overwatch, cleaning etc while they are waiting
• Tads takes 4.5 hours to recover from summoning, liftoff at 17:30,
• Talk to Vadim - do you want to come with us to Japan - discussion about going awol, Kai mentions risks, Aswon talks about training, Marius - sounds like hermetic, Vadim - was based in Vladivostok, has a fiance there. Tads asks Hunter to look for talismongers in vladivostok, gets some hints from Shadowland, a few handles - pass that information on to Vadim.
• FF to 17:30, 60km to the lake, flying 100m (outside tentacle range) out over the lake, weather is clear, calm and quiet. Check wave height - glorious summer afternoon, golden glows, serene... spot waves about 30cm high, seems quiet for a lake that size
• Magic perception check, TN 5 = Kai 2, Shimazu 3, Tads 2, Aswon 3
• Power site 5-6, pre-existing site, before Yakut, Shimazu assenses, resists 10L stun on WP - sense of watchfulness, expectation, growing, but not anywhere near ready
• visual checks on flyby from the mundanes, covered in lush verdant forest - Marius gets 7 1s+1 success - no flat land at all, death trap
• fly on, up past the island, random sky spirit is trailing them. Tads assenses - hostile but not belligerent, watching. F5 spirit, shadowing the tilt-wing. Tads asks one spirit to guard the craft. Fly on.
• Bird strike - hundreds of crows on an intercept course, Marius takes evasive action, Crows adapt and follow, they spot the control pack spell - may be overlapping areas of multiple spells, maybe one huge EA spell. Birds are under movement power as well, spirit powers.
• Turn south and exfil -Marius feels rough air, trying to bring the craft down abstractly, rather than a direct attack, but handling is fine
• Tads assenses - one single spell with massive ex-area, maybe ritually cast.
• Aswon - ritual spell, cast that fast? Magic background, - maybe quickened or anchored. Possible attack force for the major assault later? Either way serious mojo.
• Crows break off soon, Spirit follows them to the border, Get phone comms back as they cross the border, send a message to the colonel, coming back need fuel, have intel to brief on their return.
• spot the naval patrol boats on the way back, 40t range, large launches with small torpedoes / deck guns,
• Spot the weather tower on the way back, assense, spot people in the tower, doing scans,
• Land back at the airport, get refuelled, Marius stretches, UAZ arrives with the Colonel. "Ahh, hello, colonel"
• "what did you see?"
• Ask about the tower - get told what it is
• show the colonel the footage, tell him about the crow / pack,
• What would the dam> What would happen if it broke? C - Major damage to the city. Ask the C to get engineers and mages on the case
• Aswon - we should put watcher spirits down there on patrol, as a tripwire.
• now 19:30, 15 mins to dusk, Kai - entering the danger zone. Get your troops ready. C - that doesn't fill me with confidence.
• Hunter pulls up topographical map, looks at impact of the dam break and highlights low ground.
• Colonel is slightly dubious about moving people on a hunch.
• Kai suggest spreading rumours about an attack from the NW, and move the troops to get them to higher ground.
• Team going to the dam, Colonel to the general to brief, they get his encryption key
• Talk about water spirits - great forms have "special effects" they can use.
• Send a message to the colonel, redouble watch on the lake, colonel agrees to pull Katina off for special duties.
• Land downstream a little, on the river banks,
• Marius - if we were going to blow up the dam, how would we do it? Charge underwater, at the base. Or maybe inside? Hunter - mythic - in through the water pipes? Aswon, but we should still check for a bomb. M - yeah, they've used bombs before. K - they could blow it up, take out the turbine, undermine the foundations - if this has been a long term plan. They know the russians don't have many mages - keep them busy looking elsewhere.
• Tads - examines area for large animals, looking for shapeshifters. don't spot anything
• Marius - do we know how Yakut has dealt with other urban areas? Do they have a scorched earth policy? Or take them intact?
• Aswon - Tads, what did you sense from the owl? That they'd use the civilians like sheep, so no issue killing them all.
• No spell signatures, no signs of anything astral - psych test from Shimazu - also no sight of any burnt buildings from here.
• Tads - we did have also the answer about the civilians - they were willing to posion the water supply, and it's not just the military drinking.
• Meet an MP who tells them to stop or else -- restricted area. Goes to voicemail. MP wants to see your papers. Tads hands over ID. doubletake, calls the sergeant,
• Sergeant arrives, checks ID, what are you doing here.
• Hunter drops Colonel Frunze. Sergeant, calls the captain, captain calls the colonel, tells the sergeant to let them do whatever they want? Really - yes really, or you'll be digging salt in the mines by tomorrow morning. right sir.
• Shift change at 4pm. Next shift change at 8am. Kai - check anyone coming in,
• 100 staff inside - civilians. Administrator is Tolstoy.
• Head to the dam.
• Marius checks the remote deck is working, all head to the dam entrance.
Kren Cooper
Morning folks. This weeks update is now live and can be found at
Fairly straightforward this week – into the dam, meet the belligerent shift manager and have to work their diplomatic magic on him, explore the dam, find the bad guys, have a fight. Simples.
Not sure if I overplayed the belligerence, or they just couldn’t be bothered, or felt they really were under time pressure – but the ‘difficult negotiations’ phase quickly translated to ‘heavily armed and well experienced Shadowrunners don’t have time for your shit’ phase. Not unexpected per se, but normally the group is a bit more laid back. Still, that does give me a chance to actually follow through on the “do you know who my father is” statement – and give them more incentive to bug out from Russia after the job is done, when they find out the engineer has a close relative serving on the Politburo who is angry about his son being manhandled.
The single file long tunnel proved to give them an interesting challenge as well – there was more discussion on marching order for that than for most of the other decisions for the night, so at least they were paying attention to the environment – and Aswon’s player did remark that he was really glad he’d swapped out from ex-ex to gel before they got into the fight near the water pipe.
They’ve dealt with the first two easily enough, but they’re going to have to hunt down the remaining shapeshifters, who by this time will have planted their explosives and booby traps around the dam, and will be a tougher fight. Long term, I’m thinking that if they can take out the shapeshifters (which almost certainly means closing to melee to finish them off with weapon foci), then the Russians will send in the engineers to deal with the actual bombs.
After that, it’s time for a very short break and a karma award, and we should be off to Japan for the next mission / opportunity – and we’ll move into book #6. At least that’s my plans. Of course, there are players involved, so who knows what will actually happen….
As usual, here are the notes from the game session, so you can compare to the story:
• Date: Wednesday 1/9/2060, Location: 52.23724, 104.31406, Time: 19:15
• Marius deploys the Doberman to hover outside the dam, escorted to the dam door by the MP, then left.
• in to lobby, Formica, nasty potted plants, door going further in is maglocked.
• Ask the guard - can you get us in, do you have a pass?
• Tads warns the guard about shapeshifters, kill the animals, be prepared to shoot them again.
• Kai - let's look at the maglock. Tads, shouldn't we call? Nah, let's get some practice.
• Marius - doesn't want to poke the lock, doesn't want to break anything. Assesses the maglock - rating 3 or 4, one way sight glass. No cameras in lobby.
• Tads asks to be held, to go and look for astral targets, Hunter grabs her.
• Kai tries to dial, 1 - personnel, VM with opening times for HR
• Dial 0, Da, noisy, surprise inspection, ? Wait, 2-3 minutes.
• Tads checking the down side first, teeming with life, move to lakeside
• Failed reaction check, surprised by awakened pike
• Tads engaged in combat by 3 pike, first one base hit 5m Stun, no soak, 2nd attacks, wins by 2, 5s stun, third gets 1 net, 5m stun, overflows from 9 stun to light physical, passes out, Kai does biotech and gets rid of the light wound.
• Tads will wake up in 1 hour.
• Mr Ekharts - balding, bush mustache, protruding jaw, - I wasn't notified
• Get a doctor, this is a dam, not a hospital
• Marius pulls a gun - Eckarts makes his intimidation check - do you know who my father is?
• Kai - commanding voice - get inside. Wins. Kai - shimazu knock him out
• Aswon - whoa whoa, explains - he resists, dam, under attack.
• Hunter punches him, W. Eckart takes a serious.
• Kai follows up the attack. Attacks, he hits Kai with his radio, 3m stun (soaked)
• Shimazu hits with subdue, takes him down.
• Kai tries to revive Tads - success, "are you alright, what happened." Nothing city side, got ambushed by some fish - enemy fish,
• Are you ok to go on? Yeah, don't ask me to cast spells, but I can walk with you. What happened to him. Fell down the stairs. Kai takes the radio. Aswon swaps to gel rounds.
• Check the corridor out - all quiet, doors at both ends. Whistling from ahead, machinery from the left.
• Kai - two options, fake his voice, or walk forwards with the radio and say we're the inspection.
• Aswon - call and say we're an inspection team, we need to speak to security. Talk though, get the deputy and try to diplomacy
• "This is specialist Kai, I need to talk to the head of security". Tads suggest looking at Eckhart biotech. Shimazu checks, knocked out.
• "what's that, who's there?"
• "Specialist K, inspection team B." supervisor not available - hang on, are you at the front door, he's on the way to meet you.
• Through the whistling door, open into a chamber, maintenance gear - room is moist, positive air pressure. Check for smells - all good, random maintenance gear
• Check back corner, stairs down, set up paint cans near door
• through into turbine room 1, bit damp but otherwise clean, spot the tunnels and doors out, turbines - assense them, they're neutral.
• Kai bold as brass, wave his ID, blagging them as he moves along the top.
• Examine machines for foreign objects - Marius checks for mobile signals. Hunter checking with the nose
• Marius - shield room, no signal in or out. Hunter - nothing unexpected. Aswon looks for stuff out of place, hatches recently opened.nothing unusual. Show pic of tunnel, 100m long.
• Into the tunnel, Kai, Shimazu, Hunter, Tads Marius Aswon. ASwon hears water and weird echos
• spot mirror image gen room, wander to end of tunnel, get spotted Engineer taps on the side of his head, then sighs and wanders over. "Kai, inspection team" you gotta have your ppe. don't have any where is it - you gotta bring it with you. Everything ok? Yeah? Fake ticks, ok. Assense, guy is busy, doesn't want the hassle of following up on no hearing protection.
• Back to the middle, can hear the rushing water. Hunter engineering roll - waterproof bulkhead spotted
• Shimazu spots open inspection hatch on the tunnel. Aswon goes up the wall to DFA - makes a spot check, surprise check, points rifle at him, "freeze". Kai grabs tads. Roll init, see him, see threatening move - shoots with gel, takes M damages and D stun. Drops like a stone - Aswon sprints over.
• Kai spots something, mage bolts Aswon, he dodges, good dodge, only leaves one sucess 6m 1/2 impact, takes an L - rest of team roll up and kick off.
• Shimazu first - going over the pipe. 2 success, 2 botch - top of pipe is slimy
• Hunter - sprint down - athletics, +1q 10m,
• Marius - follows hunter down
• Kai - hanging back and hold Tads, tads drags him forward towards the guy with backpack
• Aswon called shot head, target down, no soaks Mage reverts to seal form a bit
• Shimazu tries to jump to other gantry - makes it over no problem
• Hunter spots dry sacks and moves to investigate - demo and overalls, tools, ear defenders
• Aswon guards the mage, Shimazu on the first. First one starts to recover, Shimazu spots no physical injuries = regen, tases him
• Hunter - finds water carbines and anti-tank charges - which may be active.
• Shimazu gets both bodies together - Aswon checks demo charges, they are primed but not counting down.
• Mage goes for a move, Shimazu tases, mage down again. Tads suggests putting rucksack over the seal mage head.
• discussion about what to do, other side of the tunnel, need to check. Shimazu executes the human-form one.
• Gag, wrap and bag the mage one.
Kren Cooper
Good evening everyone – episode 152 of the Smuggler game is now written up and published, and can be found at:
A fairly straight forward game session, and we’re in the home stretch now – they’re in the dam, found some bombs and are looking for saboteurs. I don’t think they were expecting to get into the 2nd room and find the bombs already set – or at least half of them – but I wanted to get them to explore the dam a bit more, and see what they’d do. So of course – they split the party. While one group ran into a small team including a mage who’d just finished setting more charges, the others managed to get the engineers out and call for backup.
The fight for the team A didn’t quite go to plan for them when a random roll of a dice triggered a sympathetic explosion after the double stun grenades, which has damaged the dam – but they’re all now certainly working under a feeling of time and danger pressure, having determined without doubt that the demo charges are live and capable of bringing the dam down.
Having had their tunnel collapsed / closed by the enemy mage, team A are racing around to try and head them off at the pass – my plan is to get them to arrive just a little too late, and find nothing but a tunnel carved out of the concrete down to the level below, where they’ll have to decide if they want to risk sliding down a one-way chute to catch them or not.
Team B – including poor Shimazu who can’t see in the dark (and the player took much ribbing for this, and has vowed next initiation he’s buying a bunch of senses with his power point) are stuck at the top of the stairs, and heading down. So this weeks run will probably start off with their fight / exploration down to the bottom level of the dam. If team A take the chute, they can catch up with them faster and possibly catch the bad guys in a pincer movement – otherwise, Shimazu is going to have his work cut out for him slicing and dicing…. And he’s only got one shot left on his taser IIRC.
This “adventure” has been running a little while now, so they’re starting to get low on re-rolls, and are taking things more seriously (mostly). Aswon is down to one Karma Pool, Marius, Shimazu and Tads are all on 3, Hunter has 4 and Kai (who is a dirty karma hoarding tart) has 7. I can certainly see a few of those being burnt this week!

As usual, here are the notes from the run:
• Date: Thursday 2/9/2060, Location: 52.23706, 104.32158, Time: 20:45
• Down passage to other door
• Aswon - checks, the seal is a full mage, can astrally project and warn others. Can't leave them. Tads - having them alive is a risk then, how will we spot them slipping out?
• Hunter - can we cut it's eyes out? Aswon - no - they'll regen, and that's awful. Not breaking "the convention". Take with. Kai drags. Aswon helps
• Get to other door, open an inch. Aswon moves up to help hunter, shimazu to guard the seal.
• Stealth up to the door, peek in, maintenance hatch, water around again, team moves in,
• Spot 2 live mines, 3.5 hours, there were 4 mines in the other side. Spot where they climbed up onto the gantry, no trail after that.
• Kai asks Aswon/Hunter to think about Demo/Engineering. Tads says she will go to HQ and report.
• Int test for team - Tads to report to Vadim, raise the alarm. Tads worried about possession, warns the guys to keep it away from her body. She gets back to body and briefs Vadim, warns about bombs, then heads back
• Aswon talking while Tads is gone - want to invoice the russians, keep it professional not political,
• Aswon thinks maybe charges in small areas to reverberate / magnify effect, Hunter- shear forces, maybe 90 angle for 2nd charges. Tads back from astral message, heading back to crossroads, up to main tunnel.
• Seal starts to wake up - Shimazu tases it, down to 1 charge left. Regen roll ok.
• Hunter sniffs for explosives - gets a wiff to the north side, he and aswon run to end of tunnel, spotted by engineer - "oi" - Aswon starts to explain, can't hear, approach cautiously
• Aswon - bombs, looking for new people. Eng- why do you have guns. A- military inspection - anyone new. No - Hunter goes to round up the others.
• Check the inspection hatches and rest of the room after assense - all human, but engineer #2 has bad vibes. Aswon - "Hunter, get him here!" He starts to back off, Aswon aims gun, engineer wets himself, falls to his knees begs forgiveness,didn't clean the filter
• Hunter - show me how close you can get to the front wall of the dam, eng brings up dam schematics
• Hunter suggests Kai evac the engineers - Aswon backs up. Hunter asks who Eckharts father is - ahh politburo.
• Kai - leave via emergency exit, go to safe area, wait for the MPs/miitary, stay in 3, capture 1 if the other 2 spot them doing something funny. Also suggest to split the team, Shimazu and Kai take the seal and check the other engineers. Hunter tells the eng to tell the mp's that the specialist team sent you out and to call the bomb squad.
• Shimazu 3 success 5 1s on assensing - very suspicious, Kai - 5 successes, all fine. Convinces primary engineers to exit out as well. Check the paint cans - undisturbed. Kai asks spirit to go downstairs and tell him if anyone is down there.
• Kai - calls Frunze, says Vadim has just briefed him. Kai says about bombs, also have high value magical target, need tranqs and mage hoods.
• Spot a single target, heading into the north side water pipe, team try to sneak up, Marius follows up at distance, Tads stays even further back.
• Guy comes back out, surprise check Aswon>Seal>Hunter. Roll init
• Hunter 14, Aswon 25, Tads 5, Marius 20, Seal 17
• Aswon - called shot to face, some dodge, takes an M, buys one on the knockdown test to break LOS
• Marius - move up, raise pistol, hold action.
• Seal - shouts for alarm, loudly
• Hunter - pulls out a flashbang and throws, good attempt, on target but bounces / scatters, he shouts "flashbang"
• Tads - spell defence and shielding, open mouth, close eyes and cover ears
• Aswon - covers the end of the corridor
• Marius - continue to hold,
• Seal - tries to distance strike the flashbang - fails due to mods
• Hunter - throws a 2nd flashbang, lands pretty near the first one.
• Aswon - centre for penalties
• Demo charge goes off sympathetically - only 1, deep resonated rumble, doors slam shut
• Aswon 21 delay, shoots once, slow advance, holds simple, then shoots seal p - dodges
• Seal=P 15 distance strike at Hunter, hits, does an L,
• Hunter 15, shoots, takes it down, fires again, goes down hard
• Marius 14, shoots the phys-add
• Seal M=9 - shape earth
• Tads 3 - check passage behind just in case
• water tight door #2 slams shut
• Aswon and Hunter rush around, Marius stays to cover the first 1
• Marius finds 1s - looks dead. Tads pokes with weapon foci
• Spirit comes back to Kai, people are downstairs, shudder, main lights go out, kill the seal, start to sprint downstairs, start fight next time
• end of session
Kren Cooper
Good afternoon everyone! Another week, another update, another week of socially distanced online gaming.
This weeks update is now live and can be found at this location:
Unfortunately it looks like Facebook for "reasons" have decided to stop using Notes, so it looks like I'm going to have to find an alternate location to host the weekly writeups - perhaps a simple Wordpress blog site will do, or I can look for some other equivalent perhaps.
Anyway - enough grumbling, and on with the froth. We got the climax of this little campaign arc, with the shapeshifters being located in the dam, running around with demo charges and planning to launch a devastating attack on the city. But, wouldn't you know it, the players turned up just in time, to save the day. What are the odds.
The session started with a quick rewind - I realised that Tads had been disrupted in astral combat, so regardless of the fact that she hadn't taken deadly damage all in one go, she still had to check for magic loss, and we hadn't done that. I'd had a chat with her to tell her we'd have to do that during the session, and that given her grade it was very likely we would be looking at a lost magic point - which of course sucks. So we had a talk about Geas, and I suggested a geas of "not underwater" - which given how she would have lost the magic point,seemed to fit very well. So I think Ali (Tads) had more or less resigned herself to her fate. I waited until a couple of people were online on Discord, and then got Ali to roll. I don't think anyone would have distrusted us, but with it being "the GM's wife", I wanted to make sure people knew I'd made a mistake, and we were fixing it, and it's not a case of favouritism or special treatment. So, she rolls her 2d6 - and of course, fate smiles on her, and she gets a double 6... Am I ever glad that there were witnesses to that roll!
So, no lost magic point, no geas. She still had to pretty much sit out most of the action in the session, as she was still wandering about on deadly stun having made a WP check to regain consciousness, but she was pretty chipper for some reason...
The team fights, and eventually catches up with the last group,and with some good rolls, karma rerolls and copious amounts of brutality defeat the enemy - though the free spirit was disrupted and is gone for 20 days, rather than captured and interrogated to determine its true name (which was the original plan - not that Tads was in any fit state to mind probe anything!) So, they're aware that in 3 weeks a very angry spirit will be back in the world, and probably looking for them.
But, with the dam plan scuppered, the Yakut attack faltered, and the Russians fought back, routing the enemy, saving the city and preserving control of the trans-Siberian railroad. Players being players, they asked for more phat loot - which I'm currently working on various options for.
Option 1 - give them a couple of suits of previous gen Milspec armour - maybe sized for Marius and Hunter. Marius will take penalties for trying to use it based on his stats, but might find the protection useful in various circumstances, while Hunter would make much better use of it.
Option 2 - a big bunch of APDS ammo, and maybe some explosives / grenades / other supplies that the army should have reasonable access to - enough to certainly improve the quality of life of the two mundanes and probably some of the phy-ads.
Option 3- a "surplus" AA gun or other big piece of equipment, something they can get shipped back to the ranch to use for defence of their new lair.
Option 4 - trade goods of some kind - but chances are the Russians don't have that much, as they're pretty broke and impoverished (otherwise they'd have hired mercs to do the job and help them out, not the players)
Option 5 - some fancy tech. Maybe updated scanners / radar / systems that can go in the chopper, or some new drones, or maybe even encryption software or programs for Hunters deck... a copy of some software won't cost them as much, and might fit in better.
Option 6 - some big guns / missiles. While this might be cool, I'm wary of turning their smuggling craft into a gun-boat, as it's very enticing to install the big pew pew, but will cut down on their cargo space, which does force them done a route towards certain kinds of missions.
This is on top of their basing rights for the two Russian cities, that extends their fuel / travel ranges, of course.
If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to chime in!

Otherwise, as usual, here are the notes taken during the session, that generated the writeup:
1. Date: Thursday 2/9/2060, Location: 52.23706, 104.32158, Time: 21:00
2. Kai and Shimazu at bottom, down the stairs, corridor at the bottom is dark, stealth checks - Shimazu 3, Kai 6. Send spirits to scout ahead. Hold position due to dark
3. Back to Aswon and Hunter, working forwards, spot a rucksack discarded at the end of the passage, notify aswon, move up quietly
4. Aswon checks the side tunnel to the spillway, Hunter moves forwards,
5. S&K, stealthing down, 10 and 5, spirit returns says 2 animals +1 person 40m ahead, ask spirit to lead them on
6. upstairs - spot the shape earth tunnel, fading heat sign from blood, goes down the tunnel
7. checking spillway on left side - Marius, no demo, no sign of access,
8. Marius - how stable are those mines? Aswon - once armed, not at all. Marius - we could drop grenades down the chute? Aswon - WTF?
9. Demo roll - would the mines go off sympathetically? Demo roll - mixed chance.
10. Tads - could they shape earth all the way outside? Aswon - nothing, that's why we need to hurry up. I'll crawl down first. Tads, can I have spell defence? T - yes. Aswon crawls down. 6m, very faint heat trail.
11. S+K moving forward, tunnel to left, nothing down there. Kai perceives, guides Shimazu with a hand on shoulder.
12. Aswon drops into tunnel spots S+K, Hunter down, check other way, long empty passage. Aswon suggests Marius+Tads go out to find the russians.They head back
13. Get to passage and turn west, up to 3 abreast
14. Roll init
15. Zoltuka 30, 20 - blizard to Aswon only 3 with a rroll, Aswon dodges(1), then soaks 6D, takes an M, knockdown test passed, dematerialises in r3
16. Shimazu 28(30) - run, attacks spirit, loses by 1, soaks ok, kills spirit,
17. Hunter 22, 9 round burst - kills the worker, aim and burst at the seal mage - hits him for an S; lands at the bottom of 6m hole for 2m soaked
18. Aswon 18 - runs forwards; charges spirit, wins combat, does an M
19. Seal 1 17, engages Shimazu but takes a D
20. Seal 2 17, sonic blast Shimazu for 7d - takes a Light after a reroll Shimazu buys 1 for no damage, shape earth under Hunter falling, re-roll, falling,
21. Kai 7, shouts at mage who turns around, then takes a few steps forward
22. New rounds, only mage left, drop him and then tase the mage,
23. Outside - MPs draw on Marius - Marius lets SMG fall, puts empty hands out. MPs start to interrogate Marius - he's from the special team. Start to hear russian choppers coming from the airport, driving hard, Sgt comes over - what do you need?
24. "comms are difficult, but my team are in there taking out the saboteurs. We need demo engineers and mage hoods."
25. we're not equipped, but there are mages coming. But what about the engineers. "most of them are loyal, keep them corralled"
26. Troops fast rope in, Fredericks appears, mages and watchers coming. "we need teams to take the awakened into custody"
27. Frunze arrives in a 3rd chopper, starts to organise, demo is coming by truck.
28. Back down, medics and soldiers appear to capture the shifters, sweep and clear the facility, escort the shifters out, bomb squad turn up and go in.
29. Katina calls Kai, tidal wave, .5m high, 500kph,
30. Aswon yells for everyone to get up against the dam. Hunter engineering - hydrodnamics to get an idea of what will happen.
31. Kai tells the colonel to order the choppers to strafe the tidal wave to hit hidden enemies.
32. Tidal wave hits, very few deaths.
33. Air raids - enemy launches attack. Full russian defence, major war zone.
34. Frunze slightly flummoxed - Aswon advises not to let the distraction affect him - go fight the war.
35. Take the colonel to the chopper + radioman. Kai medkit on Aswon
36. rroll - one success - battle lasts less than 30 minutes before they are routed
37. Tads recovers her first box of stun. Back to airport, refuel, then to HQ. War room super busy, full of bodies
38. General - can you assist us with pursuing the enemy?
39. Kai - can we get some idea of what you want? G - well pursue the routers. K - we have MMGs, General - pushing for the team to go to war. K - Team is a bit battered.
40. Frunze briefs General, ahh - you deserve a rest then. General organises a main ground assault. Frunze takes the team back downstairs to the previous room.
41. Kai asks who he can sort invoices out with. Frunze - baking powder? Talk about equipment instead. Tads mentions Vadim.
42. Team winding down.
Kren Cooper
Good evening everyone! Welcome to a very special episode for completely arbitrary reasons involving numbers that really shouldn’t actually matter. But they do to me, at least a little. This week’s episode, which is posted up at : takes us over the 1 million word mark. I never imagined when I started this that we’d reach that kind of figure. Hah – take that Mrs Jefferson, Junior school English teacher who said I’d never achieve anything!

Of course, that’s not to say they’re the best words. The wordiest words. They may only be average words. But on the other hand, though there’s never normally feedback on the posts, I keep seeing the “view count” going up week after week, so I’m guessing people are at least seeing what is going on - though I have no idea if they're just reading the post here, or checking out the actual narrative on the public FB post as well.

Mind you, the 1m word count ‘achievement’ is tempered by the player’s choices...

They’d previously indicated that they were planning to go via Ulaanbaatar, where Kai’s tribe were based. That would lead to a nice bit of backstory reveal, and his level 2 buddies would in turn furnish a new smuggler stopover in eastern Mongolia, allowing them another refuelling bubble to use for their travels. I’d also found a lovely Mongol custom and annual event for Golden Eagle flying that just happened to be at the right time of year, so there was going to be a little festivity, some chance for awakened eagle critter tail feathers, all kinds of stuff like that. And what do they decide to do? Go east instead, stay in Russia and avoid Mongolia entirely.


Oh well, another plot line to go on the shelf and keep for later on, if they ever do come back this way. In the meantime there was some frantic adlibbing to create Vadim’s home and the profession for his family, throw in a bit of interest for the team with his mother’s strange reaction to magic.
And of course, a bit of IC revenge on Kai for not thinking about time zones and waking people up at 2am who have “real jobs”.
Next week then will be a quick skip through the next few days I hope, giving all the magically active people a chance to finish their initiations they started after last week’s karma awards, as well as letting the mundanes gets some solid training time in. Then it’s down to Vladivostok to pick up a box of talismongering supplies to take to Japan and drop off. This I’ll do my best to handle simply and quickly, and get them to the park on midnight of the 7th, ready to start the meeting with the next employer – for which I should have two NPCs from our live role play system coming to join us on discord, and play the parts. Hopefully this will add a nice bit of intrigue for the players, and make them work for the job – it’s not the GM with a silly voice after all, but two living, breathing real people that they need to impress.
We’ll have to see how that works out of course.

As usual, here are the in game notes so you can see what drove the narrative and what the differences are:
  • Date: Friday 3/9/2060, Location: 52.29031, 104.32098, Time: 07:00
  • Private knocks on the door, do you want breakfast.
  • Aswon - message from spook, data received, good job, well done, payment inbound
  • Tads sends a well done to Nadia for computer stuff - can you look for acid resistant gear.
  • Kai - message to frederick - how are things.
  • Marius - half way through breakfast, Vadim calls, people want to put stuff on the tilt wing. Hunter+Aswon go out.
  • Big boxes waiting to go on the tilt-wing, platoon with orders to drop them off.
  • Lootboxes
  • 1 X 2S12-S Mortar (250kg boxed) system with 100 rounds of Anti-personnel (400kg) +20 solar (70kg) (about 30k value)
  • 1 X belt of 100 rounds APDS HMG (3K)
  • 1 X crate of 50 Russian IPE offensive grenades (3K)
  • Armoured combat uniforms, Cammo, 4/2, Conceal 8, Russian DPM, 2 points thermal resist, two sets each
  • Vadim warns Hunter about someone round the undercarriage last night. Vadim - "popalsya" - 'got you'
  • Hunter checks on Shadowland for costs of gear
  • Aswon mentions his arms dealer in Lanzhou, discussion about selling mortar
  • Ask Vadim what he wants to do - still come with them.
  • Marius calls Nadia - chats for a few minutes, complains about broadband. Marius tells her they are going to Japan, not home, Nadia disappointed.
  • Kai - talk to vadim about getting fuel for Japan,
  • Frunze arrives, get out of here in the next 5 minutes, KGB coming, move it... interupt Marius on the phone to Nadia,
  • Frunze tells them to get in the air, will sort out the paperwork and cyphers in a while.
  • Head east towards Vladivostok for now, leaving 8am,
  • Aswon calls spook - how are you, all alive, on the way to japan, we can get to japan in 12 hours or so. Oh - ok, didn't think it was that fast, let me check. A - we can have a layover. S - will check and get back to you ASAP. A - I was in a tidal wave. Hangup.
  • Tads starts to bond foci. Asks Kai for permission / funding for getting mindlink mass researched by a 3rd party.
  • Frunze calls, gives 2 airstops. Tads suggests to get in uniform. Heading east. Hunter makes *awful* flight plan check, RR - ok 2nd.
  • Kai wants to contact Gregory Zucco, calls, it's 2am, groggy, can you call back at a decent hour. K - heading to Vladivostok, heading to japan, if you need anything anything. K - going via vladivostok. He hangs up
  • Tads - learns, sends Aslik a message asking about spell design
  • Aswon - calls Mr Hu - straight to ansaphone. Message - "have some high impact equipment to get rid of, will be at Vladivostok.
  • Team does learning stuff. Aswon training time for instruction.
  • Kai - asks Hunter for media check on Japan. Fuchi going to the wolves, big business disruptions.
  • Approach Vladivostok about 16:00, major port and urban connurbation,
  • Hunter gets some background info on japan and meta-prejudice.
  • Marius wants into the military base, get refuelled, then move to a civilian part.
  • Tads asks Vadim what he can drive - car, tractors, grew up on a logging camp. Vadim offers to let them stay at his parents.
  • Take them to logging camp. Vadim parents chatting on the phone, many family photos, advises the team to "be busy
  • Managed forestry - 20acre plots, grown in strips,
  • Tads - are you going to tell your family about your talents - he wasn't planning on it. Vadim uses her as a barometer for him later.
  • Kai gets Tads to make some truffles - Tads makes haunches of reindeer.
  • Mom hugs all, kisses, starts to ask Vadim if he's deserted, then Ms Blakowitz's daughter in the general stores.
  • She stats to ask about the secret mission. Tads says Vadim will have to be around magic. Mom is entranced. Tads assenses - 8 success, prosethic left foot, datajack in wrist. Tads offers to help with food, Ma is a little uncomfortable, wounded pride.
  • Set up sleeping accoms, Aswon gets hammock, Hunter wants room by the fire in the kitchen.
  • Wedding pictures, tractor with bunting,
  • Sound of rocket launching, Mum looks up 16:15.
  • Mr Hu, Aswon, I got your message. In Vlad, here several days, if you want to. Gets size, is this a quick sale. Ah, we'll take trade. Mini-grenades, special ammo, tasers, gas grenades, neuro stun, arrows? Will call you back, no more than 3 days. A - going from here to Japan, where in J - tokyo, ah ok south islands,
  • Vadims family come back - very blue collar workers, big drinkers, Vadim play fight,
  • Aswon helps cook. Brothers rib Vadim a bit, but apologise to Tads. Quiz Vadim about what is going on...
  • Hunter does gun cleaning, one brother very interested. Tads tops up food, mother is entranced, can you talk to the men of the woods.
  • Gregory calls back at 2am smile.gif Telesma shipping, on the 6th to Toyama bay. 8-10k for delivery Agreed, setting up the job.
  • Tads talks to the mom, her mum was a witch, she is sad it skipped over generations, knows spirits are real. Tads looks for hearth spirit - gets an idea that there is one, but it's hiding (3 successes, 3 1's)

Kren Cooper
Another week, another session. The writeup is up at for the last time, as FB stop notes this week ☹. There will probably be a dropbox link going up for a PDF if anyone wants to read it, as well as updating the “book” PDF, until I get caught up on the two sites I’m now publishing on. Links for those by the way are:
Both of those are up to episode 17 now – when I re-read some of the early stuff it made me twitch with how brief they were or light on details, so I’ve been editing them a bit – adding a few thousand words here and there to more fully explain things. Hopefully that will only be needed on a few more as the word count started to rise as I got into my stride.

Anyway, a bit of pressure on me as the GM this week to try and get the pacing *just* right, without making it too obvious to the players. Next week I have two of my LARP buddies joining the discord channel to play NPC roles, so I wanted to try and finish this weeks session just at the point of arrival at the meet, so we can get straight on with the action, and not have the NPCs hanging around waiting while the players faffed and procrastinated. We ran a tiny bit later than we normally did, but managed to get to the right point – and at least one of the players now has an awful sinking feeling.
They were having issues with the apparent difficulty of getting into Japan after doing some research, and especially when they discovered what the air defence ECD rating was, were seriously considering just aborting the job. However, they trusted to a bit of magic (poor Tads – she was one box off Deadly stun after summoning and then great-forming a F6 sea spirit, and spent most of the journey trying to shake off the modifiers) and got into Japan (by the skin of their teeth – the perception roll was one less than their stealth score!!), made the first drop off at Toyama bay and then headed cross-country. When they didn’t get buzzed or challenged at all, they started to realise they were really in trouble, dealing with a “mover and shaker” with enough pull / clout to clear a path for them.
And at the end, when they encountered both Chinese and Japanese goons, Jez (Aswon) put 2 and 2 together and groaned… but I think he’s looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

Next week is going to potentially be an absolute bitch to write up as it’s likely to be dialogue heavy – I just hope I don’t miss too much detail in my note taking.

In background notes, Ali (Tads) for once made a really good decision when it came to poking spirits, and left Vadim alone with his totem / the free spirit that keeps the area safe, and they made contact with a local talismonger for some supplies. I went with a twist on this guy to see if they’d pick up – as a sea shaman, he was influenced by the tides, and as the tide started to go out, his personality “flipped” to a much less friendly version. I don’t think any of the party connected the description of the tide going out as they left to the shaman though, just thinking it was colour – maybe next time.

As usual, here are the notes on the game session that drove the narrative:
Date: Saturday 4/9/2060, Location: 43.39301, 132.04516, Time: 08:00
1. Hunter: Getting into Japan legally is out - not enough time to go through the visa process from the consulate, Good computer rolls 4 5s, Sensor 7, Flux 8, ECCM 7, ECD 7, NPCs=Equal/2
2. Silent Wind UAVs (p175 R3) - jet, up to 1620 speed, Sensor 4, but short range (160 litre, 0.5km/l)
3. Check shadowlands, no contacts made, but details on drone
4. Aswon checks with spook, looking for help to get in.
5. Shimazu int check - details of 2nd IDs needed.
6. Team talking about how to get in - aswon pondering just walking away.
7. Hunter and Marius, Aswon not going to the talismonger Rudi. All else
8. Hunter and Marius fix condor, local parts, help repair the logging equipment
9. Meet Rudi in the dark, back of the bar, looking for 10 force points of warding materials, Kai face sculpted to look local
10. Warding materials are seaweed related - 900 per force point. Good negotiation, get details of shaman
11. Kai talking with Rudi, talk about smuggling stuff, 1+2rr! Get details for Dragon Pirates. Show vadim the same formula in both styles of magic. Leave the shopkeep a bit tip / tab for Vadims family.
12. Kai asks about potions, on the phone to aswon, underwater breathing, swim speed potions are available. Sudden mood change asking about creatures, buy 2 of each potion for 2k each, another 1k for Vadim.
13. Spook texts back, don't worry, just need to know when, arrangements will be made.
14. Tads looks for spirit - 17 on perception, 18 on stealth! Watching her, nobody else spots, Shimazu thinks suspicious but not hostile
15. Mr Hu calls and gives details of ship transfer south of Tokyo
16. Gregory re pickup
17. Tads teaches Vadim in the woods to try and not alarm the spirit and show not hostile.
18. Hunter and Marius work on additional internal fuel to give +250l (to 1900l) base tank size, +drop prod
19. Tads meets the forest spirit at dusk,transforms to wolverine, meets Vadim, Tads heads back to the house. Vadim comes back 5 hours later, exhausted, invoking form his initiate level
20. Get details of meet from spook, learning etiquette from Shimazu - good roll, japanese culture - Aswon, home cooking - *great* cookies
21. Get cargo from east side - survey new corp HQ, about 80% complete, own airstrip and port
22. Edge of totem - no predators
23. Get ready to leave, advise spook of plans for entry and exit
24. Leave at 7pm on the 6th, heading to Toyama
25. Dusk over the sea of japan, team discuss on force,
26. Marius 10 on vehicle stealth, +sig 5,GR F6 sea spirit for concealment - Tads takes M+S
27. Team sends updates to contacts to advise ETAs
28. Spook sends zigzag course from the bay to the edge of tokyo, low level flight
29. Come in to the bay undetected, grey panel van, two goons, get box, pays with credstick - 9k
30. Flying to tokyo, Handling check on 5s narrow mountain passes and bridges, success
31. Landing in the park, perfect landing.
32. Hunter staying in tilt-wing. Aswon taking spear, Shimazu suggest to Kai to get rid of the ears, taking sword, Tads no staff, otherwise unarmed, unarmoured - but takes cookies.
33. 2nd escort group arrive - spot chinese,
34. Peace bond the weapons, lead through the trees
35. Aswon assenses - ribbon is normal, high force watchers circling park. Mentions to Tads that they have magicl support
36. Approach the two old men playing go. Aswon spots perimeter guards facing out.
Kren Cooper
Gah... brain dead.
Working out where the players will need to go, and what is needed to support this in terms of game logistics... so have just populated the Ring of Fire with 15 new locations, giving a variety of smuggler stops and refuelling locations - trying to come up with a twist or distinctive thing for each one, and working out the supporting history for the area to work out which corps or powers are the movers and shakers - and then of course come up with the main NPC for each of those locations and get them all down in my tracker.

I think I've just exhausted todays stock of creativity. But at least the first location is well mapped out, so tomorrow night is well and truly in the bag - even if the players are amazingly well organised.
Kren Cooper
Smuggler session 156 is now live and can be found (for the last time) at:

Well, exciting week. Two guests joined our discord chat, playing the part of Mr Kuro and Mr Shiroi. The players came up to their location, and then listened as the NPCs introduced themselves, while I furiously took notes and tried to keep up, while having the occasional side chat over messenger with the two NPCs to provide the occasional tiny little steers.
Feedback from the players generally seemed good, with indications that they enjoyed actually RPing with real life people and having to work out what was going on. Jez/Aswon is convinced they’re Ruymo and Lung, and I don’t think anyone would bet against him and his meta-knowledge, but he played it smooth IC, with Aswon still wanting not to take the job (despite Jez knowing full well that this would be a *bad thing* ™, because Aswon has already agreed to help Aden.
The players did look like Meerkats watching tennis when the two npcs started to haggle over price with each other, and the number was getting larger and larger – that definitely through them for a loop!
Eventually though, they agreed to the job, got the details and the stones, and headed back to the craft. After the first (of many) curveballs thrown at them where Mr Shiroi’s agents immediately start trying to cheat and gain advantage, they then realised that they need to sort out some fuel.
We were almost at the end of play, and rather than going around each player one by one as they called each contact in turn, I told them I would add a bunch of stuff to the writeup to signify their success and results, depending on how much cash they threw at their contacts and ‘friends of friends’ and fill in any details at the start of the week as needed.
So, I’ve been busy working away on a bunch of smuggler bases, most of them with their own little twists and flavours, that will lead to side plots they can choose to engage with or ignore to crack on with the main job – it will be interesting to see how they decide to go. There’s at least 3 bases they haven’t got a lead on yet, so they do need to fill in the gaps a bit, or they may choose to try and fly commercial for a bit using their fake IDs and transponders – which may work for a bit, but will leave a paper trail for their enemies to follow.

The notes for this week are a bit more shambolic and cryptic than usual due to the huge amounts of dialogue (especially as it was NPC dialogue spoken by someone else, so I couldn’t even just put a couple of key phrases in to remind myself what I’d said / been thinking…)
Still, here it is:
1. Date: Tuesday 7/9/2060, Location: 35.66934, 139.69638, Time: 00:01
2. Jamming field goes up, Marius / Hunter EW vs 4s, 5+ successes, Mobile transmitters around the park, must have a vehicle power supply. 3+ It's a distributed field around multiple angles, 2+ it's a flux 5-6 field, with cyclic jamming,
3. Shiroi gestures for team to introduce themselves. Mr Kuro looks on.
4. Mr Shiroi (white / Neil, Ruymo, Japanese, Yakuza) and Mr Kuro (black, Nuz, Lung, Chinese, Triads)
5. Mr Kuro - hope travel was smooth and uneventful. I'm Mr K, this is my associate.
6. Shiroi - please approach. Kai does introductions. Aswon takes cookies from Tads, passes to Kai. Kai passes cookies over as a gift.
7. Mr K - perhaps share them amongst your team, they look like they've been up many hours. Aswon - deep respectful bow. K - leave them on the bench.
8. Kai - should we come back after your game? Kuro - no, it's fine, we've been playing a long time. Your move mr Shiroi - much honour, places piece. Mr K - reminds me of a game with chen, during the building of the wall, much taxing.
9. Mr K to aswon, how far have you travelled then? A - across the ocean. Mr K - did it take long. A - many hours, smooth, exciting at the end.
10. Mr S - so you like to travel then? A - oh yes. A - I like smooth journies. Mr S - excitement can be a fun pursuit though. Mr K - journey is often the reward. Kai - journies iwth this team are always interesting. Snarky comment from Tads
11. Mr S - it is said that even a sea breeam loses it flavour when eaten alone
12. Mr K - a good garnish can improve anything
13. Banter back and forth between K and S
14. Kai - as I understand it, you're in need of some people to do some travelling. Mr K - you could say that, my associate and I have a long standing discussion, a contest if you will. We seek some with. Mr S - Indeed. Ones such as yourselves have no leaning either way. References the game to Kai, you seem to be studying. Have you played much? Kai - just 2-3 games. Mr S - so you know the premise? Kai I think so. But this is not the one with the horses and the castles is it?"
15. Mr K - looking to expand the board, bit of travel, sure a team like you could manage it - a walk in the park.
16. Kai - you honour us with your words, I'm sure we can rise to your expectations
17. Mr S - fantastic. Kai - I'm always one for adventure. Mr S - but you're the leader, yes? Kai - I hold the money, but it's more a technicality than a position.
18. Mr S - we have no desires for your other leanings to be 'barren'. Mr K - yes, we don't want you to be at a disadvatnage, it would be rude not to share resources. Maybe you'd like to hear what we'd like you to do for our task.
19. Aswon to Kai - should we talk time first? Kai - can you give us a time frame.
20. Mr S - do you have other engagements? Kai, yes, we have other arrangements with people that live on mountains, that press hard.
21. Mr K - not a complex task, but will take a bit of travel. It will take a few days to complete, but we do have a time they have to start the job
22. Mr S - it shouldn't take more than a week
23. Mr K - starts in 3 days, at full moon, must finish in one month from then. Aswon who are we competing with
24. Mr K - you're not competing, your independent / unbiased - the game is between my esteemed colleague and myself.
25. Aswon - we're helping to resolve contention then. Mr S - levelling the playing field. Kai - we do like things like that. Mr S - perhaps when you're done we cna have a game of go. Kai - it would be an honour, providing we're still able to play of course. Mr S - we have the utmost faith in you.
26. Kai - I think we can fit this in. Game continues in the background.
27. Mr S - back in 1787, I believe that was the counter for this move.
28. Marius - what is the direction of travel. Mr K - it's relatively local,
29. Aswon - the americas may be a problem. Mr S - are this an issue for you? Aswon - we have prior committments, that may be dishonouring that. Back and forth subtly. Mr K - long stare at ASwon, restate the job. Inside your capabilities - make up your mind soon. Rely on you or someone else.
30. Mr S - if you give us details of your other task, we can see if they co-exist, but when it rains, the ground hardens.
31. Kai - we have a deal with a drgaon that wants an evil thing dealing with it. Mr K - go over there, sit discuss, then come back. Mr S - just remember
32. Team discuss - Tads and ASwon want to go back to Aden, Shimazu - pushing the technicality. Marius - Adens job is where? Back to Aden, then Tashkent. Travel times means they can't do Adens job before this one starts.Marius rolls dragons - suspects great dragons or crime bosses with backing, possibly free spirits. Second dragon roll - get an idea for Dragon time spans, also recover the technicallity of the agreement. Tads really not happy, but won't object.
33. Team return to Mr K and Mr S. Cunning move. Quite perplexed. Of course, take the time you need. So - have you discussed? Kai - we have, we will be happy to do the job. But we need to do this and go to our prior arrangement, gentlemen on a mountain near Tehran. So Aden - I can't say his name, but you just didn't. Nameless horror. Noble goal - we wouldn't want to take you from that unnecssarily. In fact, maybe we could show how much you wanted to do the job, putting in a good word. Sure it won't be an issue.
34. Kai - well, we're happy to be part of your game then... (aswon flinches). Mr K details mission, and objective.
35. Kai - will there be killing. Expect you to Defend the tokens
36. Talk about how to plant the tokens - magical or mundane - mundane finding
37. Tads - how much lead time do we have? A month
38. Talk about the numbers - 4, 4 is a little low, how about 6 - no, 6 is a bad number, How about 43? 43 seems significantly higher, too high, maybe 9? How about 14 - oh yes,
39. Mr K - pull out a bag, puts 7 tokens from the board, pass to Mr S, 7 white tokens, hands back. Give to Kai, also hands over the list of locations.
40. Mr S starts pay discussion. Starting bid 500K. Mr K - 575K, S - 600k, nice round number. K - 6 is a bad number. 700k. S 825 - 7 is a number that favours you. Mr K - I know 9's upset you, so how about .. Kai, how are you feeling? Kai - luckier than I've ever been before! Mr S - 1 million, a vlaue from the turn of the century
41. Talk about accommodation, they will host them - how many, 7 - 6? Vadim? We can get rid of him? No, not 6, that's fine.
42. Kai - can you help with fuel costs out there? Mr K - introductions would be possible, Mr S - if we can have your numbers? Kai - oh yes! Passes over card / details.
43. Mr K - as it's late in the day, perahps we should continue our game and let you be on your way. Call in the enforcers. Kai thanks the two old men, Mr S - it's been our pleasure. Mr K - may you travel far, fast, well.
44. Heading back to the tilt wing - perception check. Passes the card over to Aswon, bowing and retreat,
45. Check on the card with the co-ords, locations 1>14 in order, placement instructions.
46. Start looking at fuel ranges and routes, contacts etc, Kai rolling smuggling routes - pump contacts
47. Aswon checks card, Hokidata, passes to Kai - Kai contacts via Hunter
48. Digital Flower, expecting your call, we can help, ask for details on route - team advises NO, FUCK NO. Kai being circumspect. Arrange first fuel stop, for normal pay, negotiate on the way back
49. Shimazu, Aswon, Kai, Marius (Mossad) 40K slush fund for the group.

So, a couple of changes this week, with a little chopped off, and some extra info added in, and a bit of rearrangement to help the narrative flow a little better. Nothing too major though.

Also, here’s the brief given to the two NPCs, to try and bring them up to speed on what their roles entailed:
NPC spot for Shadowrun game
Afternoon both! I’m hoping you’d be interested and willing in helping out a little with two NPC spots for my Tuesday night Shadowrun game.
The players are just coming to the end of the current arc, and are about to head off for a new job they’ve been offered, in Japan – where they will meet your characters.
I think we’ve got 2-3 weeks left in the current location, before they arrive and are ready to meet – but I wanted to make sure you were happy to take part, and give you chance for any questions.
What I’m after
Probably in 3-4 weeks, to be available on Discord on a Tuesday evening, probably around 7:30-7:45 for perhaps up to an hour. There would be myself, and the 6 players from the game on the call. I’d describe and set the scene, and then they come up and interact with you. As long as the main plot points for the job get conveyed, I’m happy for you to improvise away and own the role, and give the players as hard or easy a time as you want.
The players:
1. Kai, team leader – Andrew Forrest
2. Aswon, sniper/mystic – Jez Lawrence
3. Marius, driver/mechanic – Lee Minshull
4. Tads, shaman – Ali Cooper
5. Shimazu, bodyguard/ninja – Tom Poole
6. Hunter, spy/hacker – Justin Poole
Everyone plays or used to at the LT, so you’ll potentially have met them at some point or might know them by face… not that it matters. But you should definitely give Fozzy a hard time, just because… wink.gif
One of you will play “Lung”, and the other “Ryumyo”. You are both Great Eastern Dragons – and probably both in the “top twenty most powerful beings in the world…” 
I think you can both play either role, but thought you might want to look and decide between you who plays who, depending on the background info and how you feel about it and what inspires you.
Lung is a Male Great Eastern Dragon whose primary interest is in China and the Pacific Ring of Fire. He is described as ruby red with gold highlights. In his true form, Lung is several hundred feet long. He typically takes a metahuman form of a Chinese human dressed in Mandarin robes or business attire. While he does not have one official translator, he has a whole "family" of metahumans that act as his spokespeople. His primary lair is the T'ai Shan Mountain, Shandong, China. It is rumored that he is the leader of several Triads, most notably the Red Dragon Triad. He is described as a reclusive and patient dragon who tends to plan and manipulate things in the shadows, slowly spreading his domain rather than taking aggressive actions.
Lung has a great interest in "dragon lines", or mana lines, and takes great lengths to control or manipulate these mana lines. His manipulation of the mana lines will prevent the natural disasters that fell on the Pacific Ring of Fire during the upcoming “Year of the Comet” from affecting mainland China, the same natural disasters that will decimate Japanese-controlled territory.
There is some more info found at:
Ryumyo was the first dragon to be seen by Metahumanity after he awoke in Mt. Fuji on Dec. 24th 2011. His first journey took him to the largest Shinto-shrine in Japan near the city of Ise. He also visited the monastery Enryaku-ji, one of the most famous buddhistic temples, on Mt. Hiei near Kyoto. After that he wasn´t seen for a while. Ryumyo has silvery scales and striking red thorns on his back. Ryumyos operations are based in Japan. He has great influence upon the Yakuza there.
Ryumyo is a firebrand favoring immediate action and he is very impatient for a dragon.
For some reason there is a lot less info at than there is for Lung…
Both Lung and Ryumyo:
The rivalry between Lung and Ryumyo has been described as the personification of Yin and Yang.
Legend has it that Ryumyo was once the apprentice of Lung, and indeed, Ryumyo was entrusted to Lung as an egg. Lung proved to be a capable teacher, and Ryumyo proved to be a gifted student.
But while Ryumyo was very talented, he was also the polar opposite of Lung in personality. Ryumyo was a firebrand favoring immediate action, while Lung was a restrained contemplative favoring patience. Ryumyo also gave himself up for servitude to the elder dragon in exchange for more knowledge and secrets, but soon came to a point when Lung could teach Ryumyo no more, save for the deepest secrets which Lung judged to be inappropriate to teach to such an emotional and impulsive pupil.
The opposing natures and the debt of servitude eventually strained the relationship to the point where they parted ways. Lung released Ryumyo from his service, and told Ryumyo that he must learn on his own, while Ryumyo accurately believed that Lung was holding back and left feeling betrayed - Ryumyo reportedly left in a fit of temper, and left a large mess that Lung was forced to clean up.
The rift between them grew larger as millennia passed. Ryumyo saw Lung as an old backstabber jealous of his youth and energy, while Lung saw Ryumyo as an emotional upstart with no self-control. These opposed personalities explain the differences in the way each of their controlled organizations achieve power. The Yakuza under Ryumyo's leadership go for big, short-term results, with violent and direct action. The Triads under Lung's leadership often take a longer-term strategy, sacrificing immediate gain for future growth.
***This next bit is in the wiki article – but refers to events in the past – these are the events that we’re actually just coming up to in our game, so the players actions set up world events (indirectly), resulting in saving millions of lives in China and devastating millions more in Japan)***
Reportedly, the manalines around the Pacific Ring of Fire were subtly manipulated around China by Lung, preventing the natural disasters that devastated Japan as a result of Ryumyo's actions, which were born either of ignorance of the manalines or arrogance from exploiting them. On the other hand, the Yakuza and Imperial Japan achieved economic and political power quickly under Ryumyo's influence, a feat that has yet to be matched by Lung's lumbering efforts.
However, the two dragons have never gained the upper hand on each other, as Ryumyo's youth and aggression is evenly matched against Lung's patience and planning.
It is said in the Far East that the more a person dislikes someone, the more polite that person will be in his presence. The two dragons are the pinnacles of courtesy and polite etiquette in each other's company. Emphasis is mine, as that’s something I really would like to play up between you during the meeting.
The Setup
When the players meet you though, you are in your Human forms, relaxing in a park at midnight, surrounded by Triad goons on one side (Lung) and Yakuza on the other (Ryumyo), playing a game of “Go”.
Both of you are trying to get control of mana lines / ley-lines in the Pacific Rim – specifically around the ring of fire. But you both know that a conflict between the Triad and Yakuza will weaken you both, and draw attention – so you have agreed to a competition or limited conflict, which is where the players come in.
During the meeting you provide the players with a number of tokens, and the instructions that they are to visit a number of locations around the ring of fire, and plant one token at each place – wedged in some tree roots, dropped in a volcanic stream, placed on top of a cairn or monolith. It must be within 1000m of the co-ordinates given, but does not need to be immediately visible. All the tokens must be placed inside one lunar month from start to finish.
Once the players have done their bits, the two dragons will send out their agents to recover the tokens – and whoever gets there first gets control of the location, without a major war. In effect it’s a gladiatorial style combat to resolve a major power struggle…
The players won’t know who you are, though two of the more experienced players (Jez and Lee) may well guess, especially based on what they are asked to do, and who is guarding you. But they won’t know for sure. And if they do suspect, they should be worried, as letting either or both of you down is a bad thing, and could see them being eaten or incinerated in a ball of fire. But no pressure…
The meeting
I have a rough idea of how I think the meeting might go, but this isn’t prescriptive – to a degree the whole idea of getting people in to do guest NPC spots is to add spontaneity and a little breath of fresh air, and keep the players on their toes – knowing they are dealing with “real people” and not the GM with a funny accent makes them work for it.
1. Meeting starts when players are ushered up to your table and spot you playing “Go”. You introduce yourselves as Mr Shiroi (translates as “White”, which is the colour of your Go pieces, Ryumyo) and Mr Kuro (translates as “Black”, Lung)
2. Make some small talk, ask the players how the journey was, talk about the weather – the standard “business meeting start”. Pay the players the agreed upon fifty-thousand Nuyen fee just for turning up…
3. Talk about the “game” in abstract terms, the use of stratagems, offensive and defensive moves, tactics and gambits. The back and forth can vary, and hopefully the players realise at some point you’re not talking about the game of Go any more, but a wider and more brutal ‘game’ between you, that probably is being played over several hundred years…
4. During the meeting, communications with the players can be quite informal, even a little laid back – but anything with each other is with exquisite courtesy and politeness, underscoring the enmity between you.
5. At random times in the meeting, either say “strange mystic things” or reference historical events, trying to emphasise that you both have forgotten more than all of the players will ever know, and you’re thousands of years old. For example when one of you mentions dropping a token into a clear stream as a suitable place, the other could say “though don’t make the same mistake as Wei Lu Han did in the year 868 – it took him days to recover from that slip into the water!” Both give a chuckle and then move on… Or one of you could say something, the other offers a response and the first then apologises for their position, or their choice of words – even if it doesn’t make sense to the people listening. Anything that gives the impression that there’s a constantly ongoing battle of words and wills, wrapped up in decades of byzantine courtesy and social convention that they can only just get a glimpse of. I want them to feel just a little out of their depth, and aware that sometimes the choice of words is the difference between a suggestion and a deadly insult.
6. During the meeting, both of you should “score” points over the other, or appear to win a point in the conversation, but it should flow back and forth with no overall winner or clearly superior position – you’re both evenly matched, and that’s why you’ve taken this unusual step of the competition, to try and limit the carnage. And even this point scoring can be abstract… maybe Lung could say “Of course, one must always be careful on the attack, not to over-extend.” To which there might be a response of “As is often told in the wisdom of ancient texts. But, we should consider the story of the snake and the apple, should we not?” And Lung would acknowledge some ancient parable or example with “Indeed, that is so, I must concede”. The players are none the wiser about what any of it means (which is good, because it’s all bollocks of course and made up between you – but they don’t KNOW that, and think it might be some meaningful dialogue!)
7. There should be some discussion between you about how many tokens will be in play, with a little back and forth. Lung won’t want to use the numbers 3,4 and 6 due to superstition – they are unlucky numbers either on their own right, or in the year of the snake (2061), and likewise Ryumyo won’t want to use 4 or 9 (or 43 – this might be a good place for a point score from Lung . Eventually though you should agree on 14.
8. At that point, you each take 7 of your white or black pieces from the board, and drop them into a “magic pouch” – which is given to the players. When the players check the bag (either there and then or later) they will have found that the tokens have “morphed” into 14 traditional ying-yang mixes of black and white, and are magically active.
9. The players will probably want to discuss price at this point for the job. The job will cost them, at a minimum 150k in fuel – so the starting point should probably be half a million Nuyen. Let them haggle with you, and you can potentially go up to a million quite happily – you’re paying them to ensure absolute neutrality in the conflict and complete discretion. At the top end, 1.5 million is as far as you’re willing to go – if they really impress you with their questions, insight, dedication or just have you wetting yourself with their respectful but stupid behaviour.
10. Saying that, don’t let them take the piss. If they are abusive or rude, dismiss them. Their reputation will take a massive hit. You don’t even need to threaten them – but turning this job down is a bad move, both because you’re very powerful, and word gets around about people who are dicks to dragons and two of the largest organised crime outfits in the world; and because they’re losing out on a “monty haul” job – this is relatively easy and designed to help them build up their bank balance for the next part of the campaign…

They players have then got a roughly 18,00km journey to drop off the 14 tokens at the locations on the list you give them. When they check the map, each one is actually an active volcano / fault-line location on the ring of fire. Neither dragon nor their respective crime gangs will interfere in any way – the actual danger comes from natural and magical creatures, and the environment.
List of locations:
1. -5.05116, 151.32711
2. -6.03682, 143.88772
3. 7.70289, 124.51483
4. 12.77065, 124.0577
5. 32.65689, 128.84845
6. 34.6848, 137.2611
7. 43.43796, 142.70088
8. 55.83263, 160.36601
9. 53.12637, -168.67578
10. 60.29268, -140.93773
11. 57.39534, -132.29918
12. 51.52503, -126.1226
13. 46.85356, -121.76271
14. 37.88322, -121.91298

If you’ve made it this far – well done, here’s a cookie and a Kren hug. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have!
Kren Cooper
Words 9307
Time 272 minutes
WPM 34.22

Another week done, another writeup complete. No published location for this one just yet (at least on its own - the link on page 1 to "book 6" will have the latest chapter in) - as I don't want to push them out to the two fiction sites out of order. I'm up to episode 35 on the list though, and I started pushing them up to Facebook at episode 38 - so from that point they should just need copying and pasting, rather than editing and proofing - so they should go a lot faster.

Having accepted the job from Rhumyo and Lung, the players departed Japan and headed to the RV with their weapon smuggler contact, offloading the mortar system and ammo, and picking up some supplies in return. With that done, they then started their legit phase, flying to Okinawa and then down to the Philippines, before dropping off the radar and heading in to the first smuggler stop.

A little disappointed that they're not going for the smuggler bases I've set up(at least not yet), but hey - free will and player agency and all that. Besides, the craft has some tags on it now, showing locations, heading and speed, which may come back to haunt them later...

They've also run into a problem with fuel ranges because they haven't contacted the relevant contacts who can help them out - leading to them having to improvise some double fuel hops and use up their cargo bay. They're going to get a few more stops put in as I want them to be able to make it, but they've already realised that in several places they're entirely reliant on a fuel stop working with them and filling them up - and if they piss off the owners, they could get stranded.

So, next week we should be ok for the flight over to Papa New Guinea and the savage Anzac occupied territory there, where they'll come across the impact of the "Sorcery Act" and a population with a pretty dark and distressing approach to sexual relations. Adult themes ahoy! Hopefully though, nothing too bad needs to be "on screen", and it can be left to their imaginations - but as I was reading up about PPNG on wikipedia, it made my mind boggle to read things like "23% of the adult male population admitted to having raped someone..." a reminder that standards vary wildly around the world.

With any luck though they'll keep a low profile, get the job done and then get out of there, and start volcano hopping all the way up and around the ring of fire - and we can queue the menagerie of paracritters, free spirits, freak weather and clouds of bloodsucking flies I have lined to up enhance their roleplay experience...

As usual, here are the notes from the session:
Date: Tuesday 7/9/2060, Location: 35.66934, 139.69638, Time: 05:00
  1. Aswon - are we stopping at digital flower, I don't like it. Marius - could be unrelated. Aswon - don't believe it. MArius - could be a test, could be cheating.
  2. Kai - head for digital flower, but then wave off, and say next meeting has moved, abort
  3. Stealth of 10, spirit concealment, heading south, evade local traffic and outpace it, out over the water past the airport
  4. Kai makes decent charisma check / etiquette to wave off from the base.
  5. Arrive at Miyake Island about 10 minutes to dawn, head for the ship - spot the natori. Marius puts down fine on the stern
  6. Shouting from crew, something has landed on us. Captain coming.
  7. Captain arrives, bow, Aswon bows more - says hello - gets a 9 on one dice.
  8. Introductions - we have cargo to swap, hello I am aswon. Hunter and Tads stay on the chopper. Kai on overwatch.
  9. Hoover box and other stuff to crossload. Dawn, clear the helipad, resummon, mountain spirits for most, wind spirit for Marius,
  10. Head for okinawa, SW, about 3 hours flight time 1450km,
  11. Flight plan check into okinawa is ok - ID check passed. Computer check vs 4s, 3 success from Hunter - ok to land just in time. Heading for Ukuda airport - landing ok
  12. Get through the gear list. Working out routing to get to PPNG. Kai - plan to buy fuel and take with, establish fuel caches
  13. talking about getting 1.5t of fuel to carry a double load.
  14. Hunter research - needs additional paperwork to fly into the occupied zone of the phillipines
  15. Flight plan - Okinawa>Legazpi Domestic airport - ID check ok, 1486km, 3 hours, Hunter takes 2 hours to do (4 successes)
  16. Customs inspection coming with security guard - 3-4 minutes notice, hide the weapon racks, Aswon assenses - not magical.
  17. Aswon suggests story - medical plants from PPNG, Kai just doing a medical supply run. Ask tads for illusion on the inside as a medical transport. Inspectors fail perception check - want to see the flight plan, Hunter comes - disgust, refuse to look, pantomine looking at the details.
  18. Flight plan for Palau and head for Sarangani, ID check ok, loop around 1400km, flight plan ok, loop ok
  19. Land on east side of sarang, near small jetty, beach landing, huts above high water line, landing about 15:30
  20. Kui Hai Loo, small philippino, black hair, knife scar on neck, big barang. Concealment is down.Kai gets out to greet. Aswon suggests Shimazu stay onboard, aswon goes, "you have landing permit?"
  21. "Not really, but happy to pay", "how many ruins you want to check", "not familiar with the term", "you don't want to dig", "mr harry wu recommended you", "ahh - ok. how long do you want to stay - and do you have goods to trade?" No - but we can do transport." "500 nuyen landing fee, come to the big house to sort out the details.
  22. Hunter weather check - monsoons due tomorrow or day after

And a few notes on what they found / got hold of / landed on - especially if you want to see why Aswon (Jez) made comments about the ship...
Mr Hu also called, he can arrange for a cargo ship to be at anchor on the east side of Miyake Island, 180km due south of Tokyo on the morning of the 7th up until 7am, for the drop off of the heavy equipment. He has some supplies for them to collect - 10 each of smoke arrows, taser heads (6M stun) and some dikoted ripper broadheads (+1 P,+1 DL, causes 10L additional on tearout), 1 litre of compressed Neuro-Stun VII, 10 rounds of shotgun AV, 10 rounds of shotgun shatter

The ship is the Natori (
21m wide, 136m long, 5m draught, 13kn cruise, 548 TEU, commanded by Captain Ito Sarosi, a fifteen year vet.

Japan - Taiwan - Philippines - PNG - Philipines - Taiwan - Japan - Yakut - Athabaskan Council - Timshin - Salish - UCAS - Salish - Tir Tangire - Calfree
Kren Cooper
Session 159 complete and sent out to the players – still working through the backlog for posting to the two fiction sites, but the master document has been updated (link on page 1).

So, this week they started off at the Sarangani free port and were offered a simple little job to go earn the good graces of their host. There was scepticism that turned to horror from most of the players, as Kai started to nod and agree before he’d even heard what the job was of course, and then actual relief when they found out it was a 2km walk and talk to some people about late payment.
So, into the jungle they go, and time to roll on my jungle encounter chart – and they get a benign colour/flavour encounter, so a flying lemur to study for a moment. Then, without a furry shadow dogging their steps, they headed in to talk to Professor Frank Cox from Cambridge Uni, and his bunch of hippy students. After flexing at the woefully unprepared and miniscule threat archaeologists, they headed back down the path to get back to camp with the payment. This time as they hit the 1km mark, they weren’t so lucky and ran into a Banded Krait – and then Aswon gets a massive handful of nothing on his perception test and nearly steps on it, forcing Hunter and Kai to default to extreme violence. Then I took advantage of the slightly exploded corpse and the fact that Aswon wanted to cook it to get some blood on the NPC Vadim, so I could deploy the “cloud of flies” encounter, and introduce them to horrible things laying eggs into their flesh, as a warning of what was to come.
Still, they dealt with that ok, met some more wildlife, chatted with the NPC and made some etiquette rolls and RP happen, so he introduces them to another contact, which will help them get all the way across to Papa New Guinea. This does make their double fuel planning unnecessary, but does give them a good safety margin though.
Tomorrow night should be a simple enough flight to Arkan Port, then they have a choice of either stopping to socialise, or pressing on to get to near the first drop point. Stopping to socialise here gets them a weapons dealer contact (potentially) – pushing on gives them more time with the smugglers at the next stop, but comparatively a worse environment to wait in (not that they know that…)

Here’s the notes from the session:
  • Date: Tuesday 7/9/2060, Location: 5.44443, 125.49474, Time: 15:30
  • Shimazu heads back to the chopper, rest of team go to the big house with Kui Hai.
  • Rustic cabin, dirty inside, smelly, many parties.
  • Marius heads back to the chopper to to check up on it pre monsoon.
  • KH - so Mr Wu sent you to see me - but you didn't bring me anything? Kai - er, no sorry, were we supposed to? We have truffles?
  • KH - so what do you need? K, fuel, rest, no trouble. WE are in the shipment business.
  • KH - depends how trustworthy you are - and at the moment, not a lot. K - fair, trust must be earnt
  • KH - glad you said that, something you can help me with me. Team not paying for their dig. K - very rude.
  • K - do you have co-ords, can we get their by chopper. KH - yes, no not really.
  • KH - give co-ords, about 2k inland, up a trail. Asks if they have knives. Sell some old Barangs for 25 Nuyen each
  • Kai calls in Marius to provide aerial support, get Vadim to bring Tads weapon foci.
  • Aswon asks if Vadim+Tads will do an astral scout, Marius is prepping dalmation
  • Spotted by the professer, hello, Tads greets - just passing through, gets a bit of a read on him. "have a good afternoon", leaves. Advises Vadim on how not to get spotted...
  • Aswon rethinks having the drone along. Marius suggests it arrives at the same time as they get there. Work out time to get there with drone - have it prepped ready for launch.
  • Team grab water and knives, then head into the jungle. Kai and Aswon spot the lemur - assense, hungry and curious, normal critter. Hunter zoo roll, gets some ideas. Botany roll - small fruit to feed it. Aswon thinks can they use them as attack lemurs to plague the camp. Tads creates some food on the floor. Lemur spots and does glide down, grabs one and then scarpers. Team move on, stealth to camp, good rolls, Aswon and Hunter pick up ultrasound repellent field. Hear the sounds of camp, chitchat, Frank=burnt food.
  • Aswon checks for magical compounds - gets a 10, looks at talismongering, 1 success.
  • Cox, sweating, florid face, dicky bow,
  • "Mr Kai, come to ask you if there's a problem with payment". outrage, beach scoundrel, why should we pay. Back and forth. Not cricket - what would yoiu know about cricket? Verbal agreement - dangerous place. Are you theatening me? I'm from well known uni - which one? Cambridge - oh, not the other one. Bristles.
  • Kai - step away from the dig, don't want to disturb them, under the gaze of the gods, (drone heads in), call in the rest of the team,
  • Aswon masks himself but not the spear, holding gun.
  • Bring drone in through canopy, hover over the camp, students fall back to the professor.
  • Vadim starts to gather energy, lets shamanic mask shows.
  • Kai - sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of my heavily armed vector thrust drone! Are you threatening me? I wasn't, but I am now...
  • Kai leadership - beats the prof, he goes off to get a credstick Kai tells the rest to get back to work, backchat from ricky, Hunter red dot on his head, passed WP check. Kai commanding voice - back to work. Prof comes out with credstick, eyes to the floor.
  • Is this 5k - yes, yes, it's all there. What date does this take you to? Another few days and we'll be gone.
  • Back out in the jungle, down the path.
  • Krait - spotted by all but Aswon, Reaction check - Gus shoots with single shot, Kai the same, Aswon dives to the side, snake blown in half. Tads spots the lemur broken and spasmed body on the floor.
  • Aswon gathers the remains of the corpse to cook on the beech later.
  • Vadim gets bitten, starts to get irate, make it down to the beach. Vadim bitten half a dozen times, aswon checks the water, spots the shark, about 1m long, shark goes bubble and swims back, vadim washes a bit further down.
  • Kai hands over credstick, "any problems" - explains, tell about Banded Krait,
  • Aswon cooks snake - 21,8,5
  • Notice Kui Hai never puts down weapon.
  • Negotiate with Tads for create water. wants bottles.
  • Delivery to colonel Sawoon accepted - refuel in the morning 7500 - expensive but reasonable for location, head to Arkan
  • Vadim has his wounds bled, gets the gunk out, angry Xcuts, Tads heals

And the background notes:

Sarangani Free Port, Philipines
Small sea port, used by various research agencies and vessels to study archaeological digs nearby. Pottery and earthernware dating back to pre BC times
Huk stronghold, raiders on fast boats, mixed in with research vessels. Achaelogical digs nearby as civilian cover / aura of respectability
Kui Hai Loo - Phillipino pirate / trader, lives in a big log built cabin on the shores, a little north of the harbour
Expeditions from the DIMR, Atlantean Foundation and several other research groups pay to berth here and explore the buried temples and locations in the interior.

Quick job for rep - convince the researchers from Cambridge Uni that are looking for ancient remains to pay up their overdue fees - they owe 5k for their dig permit, and if they don't pay by the end of the week, Kui will "send the boys in". If the players do well though, they'll earn points with him.
Expedition of one professor and 9 students at a small dig site, camping next to the ruins. The Professor (Frank Cox, 48, Human, essence 5.5 (datajack, headware ram, display link) is an uninitiated sorcerer with ok skills (Sorc 4, Heal, Catalog, Detect Magic, Levitate, Makeover, Clout, Detox, Antidote, Determine Age, Mend) and a bunch of hipster students (Kevin, Ricky, Debbie, Vanessa, Phoenix, Patience, Manuel, Claude, Fillipe), some with a magical interest, some piloting some research drones. Can go with intimidation, mind control or drone net seisure - any will do.

Animals: Philippine Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat, Civet Cats, Palawan Bearded Pig, Philippine Flying Lemur, Centipese Pangolins, Flying Dragons, Terrible Claw Lobster, Bubble Sharks
Danger: Blue Ring octopus, Red back spiders, Saltwater crocs, 14 of 179 snakes, including Philippine Cobra and Krait, Mosquitos

Getting them to pay up will give +rep with Kui, unlock refuelling at normal prices and may lead to him offering a delivery job to Arkan base and Colonel Sawoon
Kren Cooper
No smuggler session 160 yet - no game this week due to player absence. At least that gave me a bit more time to work on the locations for the players to be dropping stuff off at for the upcoming "magical delivery" arc

They're still in the window of "before the job starts", and are working their way down to the starting point - two more fuel stops and it should be relatively easy to get to the east end of Papa New Guinea. Then, as soon as they hit the full moon and the lunar cycle starts - off we go! 14 stops, about 18 thousand klicks, a bunch of new smuggler stops to interact with, and a handful of random encounters, some scripted/timed events and long distance calls from Nadia to Marius to update him on how much the baby is kicking.

Here's the current list of what I have planned - as ever comments and feedback are welcome! There should be a mix between skill checks, fights, diplomacy, moral decisions, investigation and negotiation that hopefully each one feels reasonably different and keeps the challenge level up for the team.

1. -5.05116, 151.32711: Volcano #1- Uluwan, Papa New Guinea
Challenge - natural elements, bad weather, skill checks: With the start of the monsoon season hitting with a vengence, the players will encouter awful weather as they approach the volcano. St Elmos Fire affects the screens and instruments, giving steadily mounting modifiers to navigation if they continue to try and fly. They will encounter ball lightning in the area, making for randomly moving threats that must be avoided. In the middle of the encounter, they will also find Storm spirits / Thunderbirds around the peak during the height of the monsoon, revelling in the charged atmosphere. ( Tilt wing base handling=5, minus VCR 2 rating = 3s. Weather will contribute +2 to +4, Terrain will vary from Open to Tight giving +0 to +3 giving tests in the 5-10 range. Test one - base approach, bad/open=5s, test two - midpoint, bad/restricted=
6s, test three at the peak, terrible/tight=10s

2. -6.03682, 143.88772: Volcano #2 - Mount Giluwe, Papa New Guinea
Challenge - neutral non-human NPC to persuade / diplome with. Still during bad weather most likely, but not to the same effect as #1, the players will be able to close on the location and plant the token, but will encounter a curious free spirit, which will move or throw the marker away. It needs to be bargained with, and persuaded to leave the marker alone - but will want to know all about the reason why they and the markers are here. Mostly likelky they will resort to a karma bribe (it needs only a small amount) to achieve their aim - but storytime is also an option. The spirit may decide to stay with them if they are "too" generous or "interesting", wanting to travel with them and making a bit of a pain in the arse of itself.

3. 7.70289, 124.51483: Volcano #3 - Mount Piapayungan, Phillipines
Japanese mining consortium are crawling all over the volcano, prospecting for sulpher manganese and other chemicals for extraction, and have security to defend against Huk rebels and rival firms, and will assume the players are here to steal their resources
4. 12.77065, 124.0577: Volcano #4- Bulusan, Phillipines
Area infested with salamanders of various sizes
5. 32.65689, 128.84845: Volcano #5 - Fukue Island, Japan
Arriving on an exceptionally clear day/night, which coincides with an astronomical event means the volcano is heaving with people with telescopes and cameras, and the nearby observatory is fully manned - chances of being spotted are incredibly high
6. 34.6848, 137.2611: Volcano #6 - Zaozan, Japan
Four shinto priests are rededicating the shrine, along with a number of swordsmiths and local businessmen. They insist the team not be there that particular night as it will pollute their mojo, asking for a 12 hour delay to the team. Swordsmiths thank Shimazu for "bringing the sword home", ask him to give it up...possible lightning rod sword effects?
7. 43.43796, 142.70088: Volcano #7 - Tokachidake, Japan
If the team played nice at #6, then respectful and helpful ancient spirits give them a blessing and send them on their way. If not, then angry and vengeful spirits all around, targeting the players out of spite. The players have to "cleanse" their auras with local deeds if need be...
8. 55.83263, 160.36601: Volcano #8 - Mount Ostry Tolbachik, Russia
Shapeshifter eagles and rocs, volcano buzzards - a whole platoon of flying shifters including magical support who will take offence at their presence and have at them
9. 53.12637, -168.67578: Volcano #9 - Nikolski, Fox Islands
A team of talismongers out scouring the volcano - initially hostile, they can be talked around if they realise the team are not after their supplies. A threat 2 shadowrunner team from Seattle? Tiny, Nikolai/Musashi, Swoop, Jawa, Brother, (si's thief) [These are all characters from our "pink mohawk" world, that the players should recognise, even if the characters dont... I have no problem with the occasional 4th wall break!]
10. 60.29268, -140.93773: Volcano #10 - Mount St Elias, Alaska
A single native on a vision quest - feels the area is in danger, but can't say from action or inaction. Wants the players to guide and advise him on which of the two forces should be helped to find the token, +5/-5 karma when volcanoes go for good/bad advice
11. 57.39534, -132.29918: Volcano #11 - Mount Ratz, UCAS
Mitsahama border patrol have been forced down during bad weather, pranged their bird and are awaiting rescue. Heavily armed and armoured, they will try to seize the players and their craft. Rebels in the area as future contact
12. 51.52503, -126.1226: Volcano #12 - Silverthrone Mountain, UCAS
A youngish western dragon, Ice Maiden, has her lair here, and will want to know what the players are up to and why. Eco-friendly, she has the support of some local spirits and shamans, and lairs here to keep an eye on Tsimshin and what's going on there.
13. 46.85356, -121.76271: Volcano #13 - Mount Rainier, UCAS
A bunch of chaotic evil lava elementals will try to take out the steam-bags invading their territory - just because.
14. 37.88322, -121.91298: Volcano #14 - Mount Diablo, Calfree
There's nothing here. It's a cake-walk. Nothing of note. Lots of tension though... and suspicion. This is their freebie to finish on an easy note.
Kren Cooper
This weeks update is published and can be found from the link on page 1 - book six updated and the start text is "Date: Wednesday 8/9/2060, Location: 5.44443, 125.49474, Time: 08:00"

The players landed at Arkan Port and ran into my weapons dealer there, along with his parking lot full of expensive but cool toys. Diplomacy checks were made, and Aswon stayed hidden, so all is cool. They made a few small purchases and have worked out that he's a good potential source of APDS / AV ammo, once they get to know him a bit better.

Not much in the way of action really, it was mostly about showing them someone with lots of toys, them wondering if they could steal them, and then seeing even more toys and wondering if it was a good idea after all....

These are the vehicles / drones I put in place at Arkan, using names of South African arms companies I found via t'internet:
Noteable vehicles and equipment at Arkan:

  • 2 X Denel Patrol Boat: as per GMC Riverine security variant (P161) but with Speed 100, Sensors 2/1 and armed with an Armscor Minigun in AA turret, Drone rack with a Denel Graaf-Reinet,
  • 3 X Armscor ATV: as per Thundercloud Pinto (P158) with Body 3 and 2 ring mount Armscor stinger LMGs for the 2 passengers, one per side
  • 4 X Denel Graaf-Reinet Vector drones: like a CD Dalmation (p177) with depth charges (2)
  • 2 X Protechnik Riot Van - a take on the Ares Mobmaster (p170) with sensors 2,
  • 3 X Truvelo Armoury recon tanks: as per LAV-103 (p163), with Sensor 4, Battletac IVIS, Medium turret with Armscor Hammerfall cannon in a heavy recoil mount
  • 8 X Sandock-Austral Lightning: version of the Steel Lynx (p173) with speed 30, Accel 3, Body 3, Armour 12, Armscor HMG
  • 1 X Denel Corvette: Handle 3, Speed 50(25), Accel 5, Hull 2, Bulwark 2, Sig 4/4, Auto 4, Pilot 0, Sensor 4/4, Cargo 100 (1800 PS), Load 1250 (25,000 PS), Seating NA, Entry 2h+2d, Fuel 10,000 litres, Econ 0.25km/l, Cost 12.5m
  • Small naval gun (100 rounds), 2 rear mounted Armscor HMGs
  • The armoury - contains Pistols, SMGs, Assault rifles and Shotguns from Denel, Armscor and Truvelo Armoury companies. Armscor tend to be heavier and have -1 power, but be very well designed for dirt / dust resistance. Denel are precision made marksman weapons, and are less dirt resistant, while having -20% ammo capacity, and Truvelo tend to be lightweight, giving a -1 recoil mod in use.
  • There are also copious ammo supplies for small arms, including APDS and AV - the Colonel will only sell 10 X (current rep) in rounds total to the team, of whatever type.
  • All of the guns have been added to my weapons master spreadsheet for tracking, and to keep broadening the scope of what's available for particular types of jobs.

As usual, here's the notes from the game session:
  1. Fuel up ok, 4X4 with 3Kl bowser, deliver fuel ok. Long grey weather front to the east. Aswon asks Tads if she can summon a storm spirit to protect them. Fills up craft to uncomfortable levels
  2. Tads summons F5 storm spirit, 4 services, takes M drain
  3. Kai - can we fly over the storm? Marius - maybe, depends on the weather.
  4. Tads -is it worth suggesting that Kui hai get bottles in for when we come back? Aswon - no, he wants chemically pure / sealed stuff. Tads - eugh.
  5. Team ready to go, strap in and get ready for takeoff. Tads asks when Aswon wants to watch - he will watch at the Arkan port as he needs to stay inside. Tads relaxes, Kai watches,
  6. Hunter - start at midnight on the day - local time? Aswon - yeah, local=myfic
  7. Kai checks that no POD is required. No problem
  8. Head S-E-E, Tom rolls for a random encounter, perception checks - Marius spots a bunch of targets travelling at 80-90kph, Shimazu spots half a dozen creatures with active magic coming... Kai goes to Port door, Aswon to starboard,
  9. Albatross, 6-7m wingspan, doing dips and climbs, Marius spots them leaving hot trenches in the water behind them . Paranormal animal checks, Aswon a partial, - storm albatross, Hunter electronics check - spotting little kicks in the instruments. Marius heads up for 5000m to go over them. Aswon wonders if they're on an intercept course. Marius veers south, they give a threat display with mini balls of lightning, but then leave the team alone.
  10. Complete loss of visibility, clouds to about 7500m, storm spirit smooths the journey, eerie silence. Get Vadim to study the storm spirit. Out of the cloud bank, drop down to sea level, head in to Arkan port.
  11. Get into the bay, spot huge fish, ID as whale sharks, Shimazu assenses - not magically active, - are picking up fear/alarm.
  12. Kai alerts contact they are inbound - response "air or sea?" responds Air,
  13. Fly in, spot the corvette. Team speculate on if they should consider stealing it...along with the captain.
  14. Team fly in, not detected by Radar. Description of the fort, message "land and we'll meet you",
  15. Aswon botches merc operations rolls - "french foreign legion" - you got a delivery? Yes, 8 boxes. Call for the van
  16. English checks - south african, very definitely. Recheck merc ops - south african mercenaries?
  17. Riot vehicle comes out... door opens, Shimazu spots bodyguard operations,
  18. Colonel comes out - who is in charge. Introduce himself, invites them to stay for dinner. Kai says on a schedule. Come in for drinks and check the cargo. Leave the team to hump the boxes in.
  19. Kai, Hunter and Shimazu hump boxes back and forth, spot the rest of the armoury in the courtyard
  20. CS - so, you sure you won't stay for dinner? Kai - no, schedule - but if this is the stuff you want, maybe we can come back sometime.
  21. CS offers trades for gear in exchange for luxuries
  22. Examine the drones and tanks - at least one gen behind the curve. Astrally defended by multiple F3 wards.
  23. Finish unloading the goods, all ok - ask how much fuel they want. Wince, ok. Try and sell again, leads them down to the armoury
  24. 1k for armscor shotgun, 1.5k for 50 X apds assault rifle, 36 smoke grenades =2k, confirms that he does have AV 50 cal, 500 Nuyen for 2 uniforms 2/2
  25. food and drink laid out in the courtyard. Guns back to the tilt-wing, bug scan - clean. Kai ask about the story for the place -
  26. describes, asks for warning for fuel if they come back
  27. Takeoff, Marius perception check on takeoff - corvette, no VLS, does have gun -
  28. Summoning F5 Storm Spirit, 3 Successes, took 2 boxes stun, box 1 = 15 mins, box 2 = 12 minutes, so 27 minutes to normal, 15 mins to ignore stun.
  29. Computer check for Lae - 1,4,4,5,5

A bit late posting this week - we're slightly out of our normal routine (to say the least) as we got our new puppy on Saturday, so we spent 8 hours driving and waiting for him on the saturday, and a lot of time sunday getting him settled into the house, working out what puppy proofing we need to do and doing more walking in a day than I normally do in a week (which is kinda the point from my POV)
Puppy - if you want to see him is here

Also, have published up to chapter 66 on the fan fic sites, so still working through the backlog to get up to date.
Kren Cooper
Good afternoon all,
Episode 160 is now published, and can be found in Book 6, updated at
This week was a bit of a strange one. Both I and Tads were shattered, having had a long day Saturday picking up our new puppy and driving home, then adapting to living with a blond moulting machine and changing our language so every second sentence is either “put that down!”, “that’s not yours!” or “what have you got there!”, and several of the other players also seemed a bit wiped out – so there was more chit-chat than usual, and less focus on the game.
But, the players flew over to their final smuggler stop, to get into position for the first two drops once the timer starts on the mission, and ran into “Gwok” the smuggler, who immediately set them to the challenge of going to mutilate some random shop-keep for not giving him enough respect. Gwok is a “nasty” NPC, and this stop is designed to reinforce /remind the players of how awful some of the shadow scene is, and how brutal life can be, bringing a little bit of grim-dark to their lives as a counterpoint for some of the nicer / more co-operative NPCs they’ve dealt with.
Hopefully nothing too in their face, but the world of Shadowrun is not all lightness and ponies, and sometimes you have to make tough calls or decide just how white or black your hats are. I was a little surprised when Kai took / accepted the mission so quickly during the meeting, but he quickly made his feelings known once they were back together.
Not much more to say really on this one – Tuesday will be interesting to see if they do decide to try and fool Gwok with some kind of scam, or if they’re just going to blow the contact and leave. With this bunch, it’s hard to tell!

As usual, here are the notes – slightly more chaotic than normal I imagine (sorry!)
1. 1455km from Arkan port to Lae
2. Discussion about the intel - not want to stay in the area, warlords, oppression, do we look for intel on the area, do we go to Hunter's Ares contact. Tip hand if we start asking for pics of lots of Volcanoes. Kai checks the tokens and then puts in warded box.
3. Tads suggests psychometry to Shimazu? Do warded box first. F4 - 16 successes
4. Discussion about flight ceiling of chopper vs height of peaks
5. Do we get spirits to drop the token? Be away from the first drop
6. Go over the mission requirements - clarify the details.
7. Check time zone map - avoid midnight shenanigans.
8. Talk about hiding the items - using natural material only, stones probably magically warded.
9. Shimazu tries psychometry and then aura reading on the stones - got nothing.
10. Fly into second weather front, vis zero, sensors only, peaks rising.
11. Tads summons F4 storm spirit, 3 success, takes an ignorable L,
12. Get towards Lae by 16:00, spot the airport (domestic)
13. Kai call ahead, Gwoks, give details, told to lands south to north, we're a vtol, hey it's your fuel.
14. Hunter suggests dropping spirit protection on final approach
15. Landing ok, taxi to rough huts, see evidence of previous flights
16. Open unwarded door, Tads asks all spirits to stay in the vehicle in the wards, Aswon covers the area on optics
17. Landing fee - 300, Kai (sarcastic - nuyen?) Nods, pays 300 in cash, asks for fuel. and directions to the first class lounge. Belly laugh, this way please.

18. Head to the huts - Kai, Shimazu, Hunter, prefab hut, curtain over door nailed in place. Guide goes to arrange fuel on credstick
19. Kai knocks on the door, then goes in - Hunter check drug cloud, pool hall, raised dais with leather recliner, beckoned over.
20. I'm Gwok, gwoks place - are you buying or selling. K-Mostly buying.What are you buying? Mostly maps. Beer, drugs, women? Oh, some beer then, how many crates? Maps? Really? So, half a dozen crates. gets a minion, +2 mates, goes to fetch beer,
21. So - you staying long? No, not really, just working new contacts. We are heading west. Is it a fast ship? Inconspicuous.
22. You haven't got rep down here so nobody will trust you with shit, but you can buy a cargo?
23. We're here half a day, maybe a day - what can we do
24. I don't know, what can you do?
25. There's people in town not paying me respect - you can go sort that out?
26. How do you want this sorting out.
27. Tell them who sent you, and bring me back a hand
28. Are they late in paying something?
29. No - they're just not respecting me
30. Give me the details?
31. No - lings freezers, in town, go sort it out.
32. Pause - are you eyeballing me? No - communicating with the rest of my team.
33. Hunter does a quick search - gets the details for Lings in town.
34. Shimazu - I'll come with you, but I'm not cutting off anyones hand.
35. Fuel bowser dragged by minions, hand pumped. Payment dude talks to the minions in a new language
36. Shimazu clan society roll = rule of might, fight to the top
37. Kai talks to the two guys - they don't understand english. Kai looks for the landing dude - he's gone back into the main hut. Two warehouses, one each side.
38. Kai - wants to scout town, but isn't afraid to burn the place / contact - he has principles, not going to geek someone. Maybe get a hand from the morgue,
39. Aswon - back on board.
40. Kai - ok then.

For anyone wanting to see the puppy:
Kren Cooper
Good morning all,
Another fine chilly morning here in Leeds, UK – the dog has been out for his morning walk, beans on toast has been consumed, and episode 161 is SPAGged (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and ready to go – and can be found added into book 6 here:"
This week we picked up with the side quest to go get a hand for Gwok the local crime boss / smuggler. Despite being experienced roleplayers all (even Tom(Shimazu) now, who has been playing for several years now) they decided to split the party, with just two of them going into town to investigate – because splitting the party never goes poorly…
Off they went, met the quest family, and had the joys of not speaking the local lingo – but also didn’t seem to tug particularly hard on the thread of what was going on, and as a result missed out on some fairly important clues.
After going fishing for local bad guys and the entirely predictable slice and dice fest, they seemed surprised that the police got there so fast – not connecting the fact that one of the three escaping goons *must* have called in the incident for them to be on the scene as quickly as they were.
This is something I’ve had to try and explain to several players who ask me to run solo games, or games for just two players – what I generally think of as “brain bouncing”. In a way, it’s somewhat similar to riddles and puzzles as well (at least in my opinion!), and something I’ve seen plenty of over the last three decades of tabletop and live action games.
See, when a player is given a riddle or puzzle, they will come at it from their own point of view – their approach to solving it is intrinsically tied to their own experiences, world view and knowledge. And inevitably, that will be different to that of the GM or the puzzle writer. They’ll have a go at solving it, but in my experience, if someone doesn’t “get it” in the first few minutes, then they’re not going to “get it” at all – because they lack the framework or different POV.
With multiple players to mull over and discuss an idea, even if the characters don’t have the relevant skills or background to “solve” a puzzle, the interflow of ideas and different points of view and approaches can be enough to kick off that spark of intuition to look at something differently, or ask for more information on something they see is important.
Maybe if Tads had been there, Ali’s natural “I want to solve the plot” would have grasped the loose thread and refused to let go with the grim resolve of a terrier with a rat. Maybe if Marius had been there, he’d have gone “hmm, this feels like the same thing that happened to Nadia after she was attacked”. If Aswon had been there, Jez would have talked to everyone to try and find out why things were like they were and kicked off conversations – and that might have revealed the link between the crime boss and the police, and later events would have made more sense.
Or, they would have had more options to deal with the police when they arrived, and a well placed stunball could have taken them out before the evening was turned upside down with automatic gunfire and fireballs and blown up police cars.

But they didn’t. So now we have an exciting manhunt through the monsoon, and the interest of the occupying Anzac forces on the horizon. So yay for player action and the consequences thereof!
Will be interesting next week to see if they head into Gwoks to try and thrown down the hand and claim they’ve done the job, or if they’ll just go for an assault… despite having played with the team for several years now, and with some of the players for nearly 20 years, they still surprise me from time to time.
Keeps me on my toes I guess!

As usual – here are the notes from the session:
Date: Wednesday 8/9/2060, Location: -6.73315, 146.97326, Time: 17:00
1. Have we got the bikes - yes, buried in the back.
2. Marius - I'm having a kip. Aswon, I can't ride a bike. Kai - come on folks. Tads - I'm not allowed out, I'm a witch.
3. Kai - come on, secret mission. T - no no no. Kai - come on, who can ride, fess up. Marius - I've been flying, not moving, I'm having a stretch, something to eat then a kip. Tads - not going out unless part of a large group.
4. Kai - Shimazzzzzu? Can you ride a bike? Shimazu
5. Kai going for a walk to Lings with Shimazu. Rest staying. Kai asks for bug scan and astral scan
6. Marius - preps vtol drone ready for launch, just in case.
7. No astral oddities or bugs found after checks
8. Kai and Shimazu walk to Lings, no activity, walk past port - average security. Town is run down, but has modern buildings.
9. Deluge, most people hiding, some getting soaked and embracing the monsoon
10. In the shop - dirty, unkempt, stuff past the best buy date. Kai looks for cameras, spots just one over the till area, looks cheap. Spots Kina, watching him, only person in the store.
11. Shimazu changes sign from open to closed.
12. Kina shouts for Mekere with alarm in tagalog, test for Kai/Shimazu to understand. Get that she's calling for help, psychology test for Shimazu - scared, but not unexpected.
13. Mekere slids in through door, frozen leg of meat. Kai coughs, waves hands in a friendly way, says "hello"
14. Kai thinks they are going to rob him - no no, babbles, do you speak english? No. Tries every language he knows, then Ask Shimazu to talk in Japanese. Mekere shouts "Somare!", Kai waits. Girl comes in, babble each way, then "I speak english."
15. ARe you somare? Gasp, how did you know? Lucky guess. Are one of those ling, no - grandfather. Can you translate for us.
16. Do you know gwok - see from faces, yes.
17. Ask her - do they owe money. No - we owe him nothing.
18. Is he a bad man - yes. Why - fail WP test, girl bursts into tears. Dad goes for Kai with meat.
19. shimazu steps in front of Kai. Kai opens his coat to show the gun to the dad.
20. Shimazu quick draw sword and chops for the leg of meat. 4 successes. girl composes herself and talks to her dad, Shimazu chops just above his hand, Girl explains that gwok is a bad man. Kai explains they think gwok is a bad man too, but he sent them here for a hand, they want to fool him.
21. Girl explains, dad confused, doesn't believe, she explains again, he looks confused, she gets angry. Backchats dad, mum slaps the back of her head, family row starts.
22. Kai coughs to interrupt the talking. Tries to explain again, asks the girl if she knows anyone in the hospital / morgue - No.
23. ASk her why gwok is mad at them. Spot her fighting back the tears.
24. Kai says they are going to sort gwok out. She asks how. Kai explains that he's not going to say, so they can't lie. Kai explains again that gwok sent them because of the lack of respect. Girl translates, dad still furious
25. Shimazu asks Kai if the pistol he has is decent or just run of the mill. Kai gets pistol out,
26. Confusion - gwok has sent us a gun. No - gun is from me, just to protect yourself, gwok may not be a problem soon.
27. Leave to go to hospital - quick check with Hunter on location,Kai changes mind, gets Shimazu to hang back and then go wandering through back streets looking for trouble. Shimazu 11 on stealth.
28. Wandering through the market, Kai is jumped on by 4 guys
29. Roll initiative. Shimazu=17, Kai=8, Goons = 8
30. Goons pull out knives, move to engage Kai by surrounding him. Goons - look around, get 10+11 on perception, fail to spot Shimazu. Shimazu slices one in half. Other three run, Kai lets them go. Looks around for rugs / tarps etc - nothing in the area. Asks Shimazu to dismember the rest of the body, takes the hand. Shimazu checks for rings on the hand - yes, cheap decorative jewellery. Take the wallet. Check for tattoos - small skull on R hand, on web between thumb and first finger. Take both hands.
31. Almost back at Lings - spotted by police patrol car, blue lights on as they recognise from description
32. Kai send to rest of team - the rozzers are on us! Marius starts the drone up.
33. Kai - calls Tads for a spirit to manifest and spook the coppers.
34. Tads - common sense, send the spirits to conceal them as they hide naturally. Sends one to accident the car,
35. Run and hide for Kai and Shimazu - good athletics, 8 for Kai, 5 For Shimazu.
36. They hide in the back of a stores yard, extra car turns up, 4 coppers searching on foot. Concealed and with spirits, cops can't find them yet. Drone now on station high above.
37. One of the cops spots Shimazu - shouts, calls to the others. Marius spots them converging. Puts 2 X 6 round ex-ex bursts into the cop car at the back to draw the attention. Hard kill on the engine block, catches fire.
38. Kai tases the cop while he is distracted by the noise - one success, 4 1s - taser hits and drops the copper, then malfunctions. Rolls for random stuff - gets a 1, taser backlash, hits Kai for 8D
39. Kai spends 2GK to get one success, then buy a second, takes a serious. Shimazu stashes the hands and then grabs Kai, firemans lift. Shimazu draws pistol with other hand.
40. Kai says "get the hand, use the cops gun to shoot the cop in the leg". Shimazu - no, keeps running.
41. Tads sends a bigger spirit (F5) to go conceal them, and leave the F2 spirits to do movement.

Lings Freezers
Mekere (H,M,30, Shop owner, no cyber), Kina (H,F,27, Wife, no cyber), Somare (H,F,12, Student), Mwenheh (H, F,9, Student)
Shop is run down, dirty and struggling to make ends meet. Mekere found two men trying to 'take' Somare, and beat them with a frozen leg of meat - they were so surprised that they ran away rather than fight. He has not reported to the police because 'everyone knows the chief of police has ties with the criminals.

Kren Cooper
Good morning all!
Update 162 is complete, and can be found in the document here:
This week the team discovered why Samere was so touchy, and gained a possible insight into the reasons for Gwok’s demand. And, by investigating further, they picked up on the important info that the local police were very definitely in Gwoks pockets, and not to be trusted.
When Kai and Shimazu made it back to the chopper, there was a fair bit of discussion about what to do, and Hunter keyed in on the reveal of the assault on Samere to be his line in the sand – tipping things over into an attack on Gwok and his men, and definitely burning bridges.
As a result, they never delivered the hand, instead setting a spirit to go and drop a bomb on them as they headed off to go find a new place to hide out for 24 hours, until the official mission start.
The plan they hatched was pretty reasonable, and now I need to decide which way it will go (or lay out a decision try, rolls some dice and let fate decide…)
Option 1 – they kill Gwok and a bunch of men. The smuggler stop effectively collapses as the remaining bad guys fall to civil war and power struggles, effectively destroying the base. Some time will pass before someone else at the east end of Papa New Guinea will amass enough power and control to build a new smuggler stop.
Option 2 – they kill a bunch of men, but Gwok was not there. Gwok plays Enrage (it’s super effective) and swears to hunt them down and punish them. Starts spreading rumours and reward posts with details of the three of the team he met and the profile of the bird around on Shadowland – the team will probably hear of this, and then it’s up to them what they do.
Option 3 – they kill Gwok and a bunch of men, and Gwok’s brother, the chief of police, swears bloody vengeance. He starts to go after them from a more corporate POV, using the police networks, reports to the Anzac military and corporate sponsors to try and strike at them.
Option 4 – they kill Gwok and some men, but a powerful lieutenant rises to replace him. He’s now in a quandry of having to publicly swear to hunt down the killers to avenge his previous bosses death, but actually is quite happy it happened as he’s now top dog. On the other hand, if he ever finds the team, he has to try and take them out because he knows they can’t be trusted – after all, they killed his old boss, they could kill him…
I’m perhaps leaning towards Option 3 a little more at the moment, as the players will be back in Australia at some point in the future, and it’s a way to throw a little spanner in the works by having some kind of dossier on file when they get there (or stumbling across old wanted posters perhaps).

Anyway – they flew on towards the first volcano, and unknown to them went straight through the plume of ejected material from the little eruption. I’m using a real world even for inspiration ( and had a nice graphic of St Elmos Fire to share with them to illustrate this.
Long term, this isn’t going to cause an abrupt failure of the craft – what I’m doing is having incredibly fine ash/dust/residue instead clogging up the engines, slowly reducing their efficiency. Bit by bit their power and effective range will start to decrease – I’m planning on about 5% per trip at the moment. Soon enough they should realise they *need* to stop at a base with proper repair facilities to pull the engines and get them properly cleaned and rebuilt – which won’t take long with the proper facilities, but would be a nightmare without. This in turn will ‘encourage’ them to visit some of the smuggler stops to find a suitable place to work – but it’s up to them which they go with, and how they evaluate the risks/rewards of each.
And of course, wherever they pick, there’s bound to be a side quest or two, to keep them busy… wink.gif

In case they got spotted in town, or decided to go with a frontal assault, I had stats worked out for the fights – but it turns out we didn’t need them. But, here’s what they would have been up against if you’re curious:
Anzac scout drone, responding to calls of automatic fire, inbound from Voco point.
Suzuki Monitor 1 spotter drone (P175, see GM-Nissan Spotter, but stall 35, top 175, accel 25, sensor 2, cost 28k, controlled from base by a 3/4 pilot with VCR1

Response teams - squads of 4 in a Suzuki Dune (P163, variant of Locheed-Chenworth LSV) - 5 units available to roll.
1 driver with 3/3 armour, Glock 18EM (7L, burst, 2RC, 34 clip) with skills/stats of 4
2 trooper with 3/3 armour, Glock carbine (7L, SA,BF,FA, 3RC, 34 clip) with skills/stats of 4
1 corporal with 3/3 armour, Glock carbine (7L, SA,BF,FA, 3RC, 34 clip) with skills/stats of 4, radio, flash grenade, 2 stun grenades, helmet camera+60min recording capacity

Heavy reinforcements if required
Suzuki GX9000 Response vehicle (see Ares Mobmaster P170, but speed 100, accel 2, Sensor 2, driven by a 3/4 pilot with VCR1.
6 trooper with 4/4 armour, Glock carbine (7L, SA,BF,FA, 3RC, 34 clip) with skills/stats of 4
1 heavy trooper with 4/4 armour, MGL 12 (IPE offensive, defensive, smoke and stun rounds, one mag of each) with skills/stats of 4
1 precision trooper 4/4 armour, Ranger arms SM3 (14S, SA, 6 clip, APDS) with 2 reloads, smoke grenades with skills/stats of 4 or 5 in rifles
1 corporal with 3/3 armour, Glock carbine (7L, SA,BF,FA, 3RC, 34 clip) with skills/stats of 4, radio, flash grenade, 2 stun grenades,helmet camera+60min recording capacity

Lings Freezers
Mekere (H,M,30, Shop owner, no cyber), Kina (H,F,27, Shop owner, no cyber), Somare (H,F,12, Student), Mwenheh (H, F,9, Student)
Shop is run down, dirty and struggling to make ends meet. Mekere found two men trying to 'take' Somare, and beat them with a frozen leg of meat - they were so surprised that they ran away rather than fight. He has not reported to the police because 'everyone knows the chief of police has ties with the criminals.

Gwoks Palace
Gwok - drug lord, stats of 5/4, Uzi III strapped to back of chair, 3/1 concealed armour,
10 gang members with pistols - Browning ultra power (9M, SA, 10 rounds) wearing 2/1 armoured clothing S/S=3
10 gang members with shotguns - KS23 (7S, SA, 5 rounds) wearing 2/1 armoured clothing S/S=3
10 gang members with SMGS - SMERSH4 (6M, SA-BF-FA, 24 rounds) wearing 2/1 armour S/S=3
5 bosses, Glock 18s (7L, SA-BF, 17 rounds) wearing 3/2 armour, skills/stats at 4

And last of all, as usual, here are the notes taken during the game that drove the narrative:
Date: Wednesday 8/9/2060, Location: -6.73577, 146.99199, Time: 18:10
Current status
Two police cruisers taken out of action, one on main road with smashed engine block, one on the back road on fire having had the fuel tank go up. One cop (from rear) tasered and down with deadly stun, 3 cops up and actively searching. Cops are 4/3, armed with service revolvers (Taurus Multi-6, 7M SS, 6 cylinder+ID sticks, 12 rounds in two speed loaders, 6 X plasticuffs on belt, radio with encryption 1) Shimazu and Kai covered by a spirit concealment, spirit movement. Kai on serious stun.
1. Q check for Shimazu on 5 - fine, no problems
2. Dusk at 18:30, so 20 minutes to hide
3. Team advise Shimazu and Kai to go to ground and hide, wait for new spirits. Head to back of Lings.
4. Marius picks up edge of another rigger network - detects airborne set approaching from the east - goes low and evasive - piloting ok
5. other drone concentrates on the explosive police cruiser (pair of 1s on sensor check), Marius picks up part of the sig, recognises Suzuki manufacturer
6. shimazu knocks on door, Kina answers, shocked look - Shimazu just pushes inside. Lean too at the back of the main building, bulk storage, puts Kai down, speaks in english, Kina calls for Samere. Shimazu hands out showing empty.
7. Samare - you come back again.
8. Shimazu - my friend is hurt, can we stay here a bit? Does he need a doctor. No, no doc, just need to wait and hide for an hour or two. Do you need Tea? Samere goes to make tea, Kina watches nervously.
9. Two minutes later, two cups of green tea. So - why are you here?
10. K - we went out to deal with Gwok, bad men ambushed us, it went badly for them, the police came, we ran away, we just need to hide from the police. Then we will be gone and out of your life. So no connection to you - don't let anyone know we are here.
11. Shimazu assense Kina as she heads for the shop. No anger / duplicity etc - all calm.
12. Samare - which police came for you? Kai - Shiamzu? Help?
13. Samere - not good - local police bad, well, all police bad, but foreign police not as bad as local ones.
14. Kai - describes coppers. Samere looks worried. Shimazu spots Samere trying to steel herself for something.
15. Shimazu - we'll have to deal with Gwok then
16. Sam - he has lots of men/ guns / friends.
17. Shimazu - maybe less by the end of the night....
18. Marius back to the chopper, stowing away, all quiet at the smuggler base. Marius then check the comms frequencies - detects two networks, police with enc 1, military with higher rating, drone was anzac
19. Marius tries to hack anzac network, can't get in, but is noticed. Soak 3M after filter, soak ok - auto response, drone program roll to detect counter measures.
20. Samere - screws up courage, local police bad, thats why when gwoks men attacked me, I didn't tell the police, they wouldn't have helped.
21. Discussion - Kai angry,
22. Dusk - spirits go, metalwork starts to sing. Audio perception checks on 6s - Shimazu 1, Marius 3+, Tads 1, Kai 0, Aswon 3+, tremor strikes. Aswon checks visual - spots water on the harbour rippling.
23. Samere and Kina get into door, beckon Shimazu and then Kai over.
24. Kai - is that normal? Samere - yes, it happens, just hide under a safe thing, hope house doesn't fall down.
25. 2 mins later, police arrive, chat up the front, samere tells them to hide, takes something back out the front.
26. Stealth checks, Shimazu 11, Kai 2 (reroll to 4) - with spirit concealment of 4, copper rolls a 7.
27. Samere comes back - feeling better yet? you go now? Kai - not yet.
28. Wait a few mins, then radio team, we're heading back.
29. All quiet at the bird - nothing spotted by Hunter/Aswon. Kai gives Samere last 200 nuyen, sorry - we have been trouble, we will try to sort it out. Takes very hesitantly - this is a gift? Yes - you helped us when you didn't have to. Wait here - Sam goes upstairs, tells Kai to wait. Comes back with 2 ponchos - keep you dry and hide you not from here. Kai - say thank you to parents, sorry about worrying your family. Kai, first box of stun, m 1 hour (half way gone)
30. Stealth for journey back Kai = 9, Shimazu = 13. Close call with a cop car, points lamp at them, not match the description because of the ponchos. Arrive back at the tilt-wing at about 19:00
31. 19:30 for 1st box, then 30 mins, 20 mins,15, 15 mins
32. Kai mentions attack on Samere, Hunter change mode - ask Aswon for a demo charge from Aswon, A gets the nod from K, goes to do that. Good demo check
33. Team planning on how to bomb Gwoks sensibly - plan to plant explosives on the roof with a spirit to do the trigger after the team has gone. Demo check - double charge, 1st to blow the roof.
34. Marius has mixed feelings on the plan - in case they need repairs / fuel on the way back
35. Tads - can we blow the fuel dump? Aswon - horribly polluting, very bad. Tads - fair enough.
36. Tads - can we drop neurostun in? Aswon - hey, I have plans for that - and besides, earthquakes or decanting in flight? No! NO!
37. Kai - could we neurostun instead, avoid innocent casualties, hand over the hand
38. Aswon - whoah, danger, nest of vipers, don't go in there.
39. Kai - hand over the hand, sling them a line, mention the police, but then drop the neurostun and sort them out.
40. Talking about Kai going in to schmoose and deliver info. Shimazu bodyguard check - nope, bodyguard check.
41. Tads - we can phone, say we haven't managed the job and we're leaving. Then drop the bomb. Spirit can wait hours.
42. Marius - just wants to take off and leave. Exec decision - starts the engines.
43. Takeoff - Kai's phone ring. "Mr Gwok wants to know why you're leaving" Is he there? "He's busy", there's military activity, we're moving away, we have the hand can send you a picture, "Mr Gwok isn't worried about the military" does he have friends in the military? "that's not your concern" etc etc, Kai sends Hand picture, "If you don't land immediately, Mr Gwok will be very angry." is Mr Gwok in the hut, can I come see him. "Mr Gwok is busy, you can deal with me", give me 2 minutes to speak to the pilot, cuts off call.
44. Kai, we have one spirit with the bomb, how many others? Tads - 5. It was planned to do it some hours after? Kai - that plan has gone out of the window.
45. Tilt wing hovering 30m up 20m across from the huts. Marius - are we going or staying? If we open up, we could be taken a load of return fire. Or do we just leave. Kai - or option 3, drop me off with the hand. Marius transitions to forward flight, heading east.
46. Tads sends spirit out with a 4 hour timer on the detonation. Preps spirits for concealment. Suggest to Kai to have "argument" with pilot for disobeying order.
47. Kai sends a message, we got betrayed to the Anzac, we're dealing with Gwok, not you.
48. Head out over the ocean, dogleg, head for plantation to land near the volcano and wait for a day.
49. Flying out, getting bad turbulence. Hunter spots St Elmos fire.
50. Tads - did we check Kai/Shimazu for bugs? Aswon - nope!
51. Marius - notices engines running a little hot. Eases power down - but notices power dropping a little anyway.
52. make it to landing spot 1:45 after departure,
53. Marius goes to get fuel sample, Hunter, Tads and Aswon feel bitterness in the mouth, hard to breath

So – anyone any opinions on what to do with Gwok’s place?
Kren Cooper
Good evening folks. Episode 163 is now published, tacked onto the end of book 6.
This week they dealt with the discovery of hostile gasses in the environment, had a bit of a panic about that, then used a whole bunch of background skills to work out it was bad, but not too bad – and mostly realised that I was once more dicking with their ride…
Based on the situation and the things they discovered, they split the party again, with two of the players going to do the climb and scouting, while the rest stayed with the chopper. As a result, I reduced the climb to a series of three athletics tests to match the lower, middle and upper parts of the journey, and was planning on applying auto-stress/stun boxes like a failed survival test from over-exhaustion if they failed to get successes – but fortunately, they did. This meant I could keep their section of the run moving along reasonably quickly, and then get back to the chopper team, so nobody was left waiting for action for too long. They got through the environmental issues ok – both parts of the team, made their first drop and then got the hell away from the volcano before anything else went bad, heading for the civilian airport to land and refuel.
Next week their range will drop a little more (but not as much as originally planned thanks to the spirit cleaning that took place) to hopefully encourage them to look at visiting some other smuggler bases, looking for parts needed for their engines and the facilities to repair them properly. The alternative is to try and go legit, and leave the paper trail behind – but getting parts for an Aztechnology special forces tilt-wing that matches the description of one stolen from the desert of Syria a while back probably isn’t the best of ideas. That’s not to say that won’t be exactly what they do mind you… we shall have to see.

Here’s the notes from the game:
1. Date: Wednesday 8/9/2060, Location: -5.10911, 151.2686, Time: 22:00
2. Chemistry checks - Hunter botched, Aswon good roll - details provided to Him.
3. Hunter+Tads, geology tests - decade volcano details
4. Aswon - all back inside, do we have air filters? Marius - yes, just normal, not positive air pressure. Hunter perception, picks up traces of all dangerous chemicals
5. Tads -can we check the beer bottles for bugs? Hunter confirms it had been done.
6. Hunter engineering roll - ok, details provided. Marius getting fuel sample and passing to hunter. Also wants to get on sat phone to get proper breakdown of avgas to compare. Ok roll, getting partial and intermittent signals. Patches into the bird and uses the ECCM to punch through. Gets a signal, but it's painfully slow - having to do massive error correction and retransmission.
7. Marius thinks fuel is contaminated - Aswon, nah, not with the lightning etc. Thinks back to outside - can't remember seeing ash or anything. Kai checks optics - astral looks ok.
8. Tads - vadim, paper scicsors stone to go and check astrally. V - I bow to your experience and wisdom, and ladies first. hunter - I like him. Tads, astral peek
9. BGC=0, feeling of longing and despair.
10. Tads heads up and out a bit to further explore. Spots BGC 1 on plantation area to the north.
11. Kai - looks for animals - no sign of anything living, no audio of them either.
12. Hunter puts out a cup of water to act as a poor mans seismograph.
13. Hunter relays engineering data, makes Marius think , he does B/R check, gets his info.
14. Analysis of the fuel - it's ok, not the best quality, but it should be ok.
15. Marius - no, it's the ash - we need to strip the engines.
16. Hunter - can we cover them? Marius - it's not a problem when powered down, its when in flight that it will be sucking in.
17. Aswon - we might be able to ask Tads to help, maybe an air spirit. Might need a great form. Could need this for every volcano.
18. Kai - we could go east, to the smuggler base, that we haven't blown up. Discussion of fuel ranges and ability, and it's possible - Aswon - as long as the engines are running ok. Can we make a cover for the engines - cloth cover? Marius, as long as it doesn't get sucked into the engine.
19. Marius - are we flying or walking up. Start looking at routes and distances.
20. Tads - thinks about spirits to keep the chopper safe. Good roll - mountain spirit to start cleaning the engines, air spirit to purify inputs
21. Aswon route planning - about 6 hours each way including the climb. Kai - roadS? No, 12-15km is the closest you can get by road.
22. Tads summons F5 mountain spirt to clean engines. Aswon, can we get closer before we hike, to cut down the distance/time - too long in the jungle, asking for trouble.
23. Check sensors - uniform temp from monsoon, no sign of hotspots.
24. Kai - fly up, hover, levitate someone out to plant the token, back up, fly off. Especially the area to the south, hide the token in a tree. Kai asks about temperature impact on the craft
25. Marius - shouldn't be an issue, unless its belching out shit and hitting us.
26. Kai - wants boots on the ground perhaps, wants people with skills - Hunter and Aswon. Aswon - guerillas might be hiding up there - military can't fly there. Aswon and Hunter plan to do a hike, get kit and respirators together.
27. Marius - just occurred to me, the higher we fly the more shit gets sucked into the engines.
28. Aswon - but all the crap comes out of the top. Gas from all over sure, but if you fly up the cone, you should be mostly ok.
29. Hunter - as long as there;s not a pyroclastic flow
30. Aswon - sure, but in that case, we're all fucked anyway...
31. Kai - could we send a drone. Marius - just the same as the chopper, in fact probably more so.
32. Aswon - wait for dawn, night in a monsoon is a bad idea.
33. Marius - wait for dawn, near equator, probably sunrise is about 8am.
34. Tads - I can do astral recon in the morning hopefully, and check the map.
35. Marius checks the engines, team beds down. 10 minute pause for smokes / drinks etc.
36. Thursday 9/9/2060, 08:00,
37. Tads, astral scout - good scout, spots lava, green area
38. Aswon - we should take token along with climbing gear etc. No objections.
39. A+H approach the base of the volcano, athletic checks, both fine, abandoned village, jungle overgrowing. Try the comms, intermittent. Aswon - simple click code, 1,2,3 10+ clicks found landing space. Send co-ords for landing by no of clicks.
40. More climb checks, both have mods from claws/gecko, both pass fine.
41. Last check on the final approach, on 8s, lava flows and ash clouds, Hunter ok, Aswon RR, both one success.
42. Volcano is 4 X 4 km. Have to drop at <1000m from centre of crater, well into the upslope area at a height of 1650m or more Climb of 1650m - so +165mins for the climb, on top of the 1km+ of very difficult terrain.
43. Up at 8am, astral scout, ok, A+H head up the mountain, good check, good check, only just - lava flows,

44. Ball lightning, rolls after Aswon, plants spear, hits spear, blows up, Aswon grabs spear, minor burns.
45. Head up to be well inside the radius, find a spot that is untouched to plant token, old flow.
46. Plotting route. Get there by 15:30-16:00, think about the chemistry and their gear / bio systems
47. H+A agree to spend the rest of the day on the volcano, send co-ords to rest of team.
48. Chopper team focus on cleaning what they can, using gear+spirits
49. Otherwise teach vadim about magic gubbins
50. About tea time, ball lightning again, after Aswon, plant the spear, same again
51. Get to midnight ok, plant the token in a handhold nook, send the click.
52. Chopper up, passes all three handling checks, gets over to hover, levitate the ground team up into the chopper. Perfect control, easy pickup. Tads drains ok
53. Marius heads SW, it's about 630km back to Lae Airport. Tads - can we get a flight plan? Others, probably, but out of dust cloud for comms/signal, and we can deal with that later.
54. Marius - if we mayday, they *have* to let us land, can get us in there and deal with it then. Can change the colour to not match what we had at Gwoks. Tads can also mask it
55. Head for the civilian airport at Lae. Once over international waters, contact airport, declare mayday. Get the cleaner answering, very bad english, very confused. Can't find the runway lights. Not sure what is going on. Says he will leave the guys a note to explain what is going on.
56. Get to Nadzab airport about 02:30 on 10/9, safe landing.
57. Quick discussion - Gwoks guys saw Hunter, Shimazu and Kai - they all stay hidden. Others sort stuff out. Marius wants a spirit - but then thinks about the locals hating witchcraft. Kai adjusts face/melanin.

I also prepped some “science” drops which were sent out in greater or lesser parts to the players who made their science and engineering rolls, to see what they shared with their teammates.:
Hunter - chemistry checks for eruption dangers:
Lava and Pyroclastic flows are the most significant threat to metahumans, however, significant amounts of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen halides can also be emitted from volcanoes
Carbon dioxide:When this colorless, odorless gas is emitted from volcanoes, it typically becomes diluted to low concentrations very quickly and is not life threatening. However, because cold carbon dioxide gas is heavier than air it can flow into in low-lying areas where it can reach much higher concentrations in certain, very stable atmospheric conditions. This can pose serious risks to people and animals. Breathing air with more than 3% CO2 can quickly lead to headaches, dizziness, increased heart rate and difficulty breathing. At mixing ratios exceeding about 15%, carbon dioxide quickly causes unconsciousness and death. In volcanic or other areas where CO2emissions occur, it is important to avoid small depressions and low areas that might be CO2 traps. The boundary between healthy air and lethal gas can be extremely sharp; even a single step upslope may be adequate to escape death.
Sulfur dioxide: a colorless gas with a pungent odor that irritates skin and the tissues and mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and throat. SO2 emissions can cause acid rain and air pollution downwind of a volcano, high concentrations of sulfur dioxide produce volcanic smog (VOG) causing persistent health problems for downwind populations. During very large eruptions, SO2 can be injected to altitudes of greater than 10km into the stratosphere. Here, SO2is converted to sulfate aerosols which reflect sunlight and therefore have a cooling effect on the Earth's climate.
Hydrogen sulfide: is a colorless, flammable gas with a strong, offensive odor. It is sometimes referred to as sewer gas. Interestingly, the human nose is more sensitive to H2S than any gas monitoring instrument we have today: air mixtures with as little as 0.000001% H2S are associated with a rotten egg smell. Unfortunately, however, our sense of smell is not a reliable alarm - at mixing ratios above about 0.01%, H2S becomes odorless and very toxic, causing irritation of the upper respiratory tract and, during long exposure, pulmonary edema. Exposure to 500 ppm can cause a human to fall unconscious in 5 minutes and die in an hour or less.
Hydrogen halides: HF, HCl, HBr are toxic acids, when magma ascends close to the surface, volcanoes can emit the halogens fluorine, chlorine and bromine in the form of hydrogen halides (HF, HCl and HBr). These species have high solubility; therefore they rapidly dissolve in water droplets within volcanic plumes or the atmosphere where they can potentially cause acid rain. In an ash-producing eruption, ash particles are also often coated with hydrogen halides. Once deposited, these coated ash particles can poison drinking water supplies, agricultural crops, and grazing land.

High temperature gasses ejected from the volcano are likely to carry significant charge, which contributes to their readyness to bond with water or elements in the natural environment. However, when meeting the fast moving parts of modern equipment, ionic bonds are accelerated due to high static charges found in modern engines and avionics. Volcanic ash is hard and abrasive, and can quickly cause significant wear to propellers and turbocompressor blades, and scratch cockpit windows, impairing visibility. The ash contaminates fuel and water systems, can jam gears, and make engines flameout. Its particles have low melting point, so they melt in the engines' combustion chamber then the ceramic mass sticks to turbine blades, fuel nozzles, and combustors—which can lead to total engine failure. Ash can also contaminate the cabin and damage avionics.
Pilots can't see ash clouds at night. Also, ash particles are too small to return an echo to on-board weather radars on commercial airliners. Even when flying in daylight, pilots may interpret a visible ash cloud as a normal cloud of water vapour and not a danger—especially if the ash has travelled far from the eruption site

Marius - piloting check / Rotor B/R test
Volcanic ash is composed of fragments of rock, crystalline material, and volcanic glass. The glass component has the lowest melting temperature—lower than temperatures inside the combustor of a gas turbine engine. Ash that finds its way into the combustor may melt. Combustor and turbine components are cooled, as the metals they are made of have lower melting temperatures than the gas temperature inside the engine core. Molten ash that touches these surfaces is likely to freeze, and accrete on the metal surface.
The most sensitive surface is the high-pressure turbine nozzle guide vanes (NGVs), situated immediately downstream of the combustor. The gas flow is choked through the NGVs, and so the flow area through the NGVs is a controlling area for the engine. If this area is reduced due to an accretion of ash, a smaller mass flow rate of gas passes through the engine core. Reduced mass flow leads to the turbine doing less work. The turbine drives the compressor, which accordingly also does less work compressing the air. If the compressor can no longer contain the high pressure gas in the engine core, the gas flow can reverse and flow out of the front of the engine. This is known as an engine surge or a compressor surge, and is often accompanied by a ball of flame that bursts out the front of the engine. This surge is likely to extinguish the flame in the engine combustor, known as a 'flame-out'. Once the high pressure in the core dissipates, the engine should be free to restart. Restarting an engine at altitude can be difficult, due to the lower temperatures and pressures of the ambient gas, but is not normally a problem. The reduced flow area of the NGVs can make it harder to restart the engine.
Volcanic ash carries significant electrostatic charge. Fine ash that enters electronic components within the engine or airframe can cause electrical failure—which poses an immediate hazard to the aircraft.

Ash-induced problems requiring increased maintenance
Volcanic ash, as a hard substance, damages gas turbine compressors. It erodes by impacting compressor blades and vanes and removing material—and abrades by three body interactions between the rotating blade, ash particle, and compressor annulus. Changing the shapes of the blades and vanes and increasing gaps between blades and annuli both help reduce engine fuel efficiency and operability.
Molten ash that sticks to cooled surfaces can block cooling holes. This stops cooling air flow and heats surrounding metal, leading to accelerated thermal fatigue. This process affects combustor and turbine components.
Ash can accumulate and partially block fuel spray nozzles, impairing air and fuel flow fields and mixture stoichiometries in the combustor. Such adverse conditions reduce engine performance and can create local hot spots that increase the combuster's thermal fatigue rate
Following exposure to volcanic ash or debris, a full engine strip and clean is recommended to avoid further wear and damage, and to certify the engine as fit for purpose. Failure to remove particulate matter can cause increased wear and damage to components at an exponential rate vs time since exposure.

Finally, this was the rough detail for the checks to get to the top of the volcano:
1. -5.05116, 151.32711: Volcano #1- Uluwan, Papa New Guinea: 2100m, steep slope, no landing points
Challenge - natural elements, bad weather, skill checks: With the start of the monsoon season hitting with a vengence, the players will encouter awful weather as they approach the volcano. St Elmos Fire affects the screens and instruments, giving steadily mounting modifiers to navigation if they continue to try and fly. They will encounter ball lightning in the area, making for randomly moving threats that must be avoided. In the middle of the encounter, they will also find Storm spirits / Thunderbirds around the peak during the height of the monsoon, revelling in the charged atmosphere. ( Tilt wing base handling=5, minus VCR 2 rating = 3s. Weather will contribute +2 to +4, Terrain will vary from Open to Tight giving +0 to +3 giving tests in the 5-10 range. Test one - base approach, bad/open=5s, test two - midpoint, bad/restricted=
6s, test three at the peak, terrible/tight=10s

So – onwards to Volcano #2 and a new challenge this week.
Kren Cooper
Good evening all, this weeks writeup is now complete and added onto the bottom of book 6, found at:
Having landed at the airport at the end of last week, they had to decide what to do – and deal with the local cleaner. Despite him being an “eye-witness”, having seen several of them when he came to the door of the chopper, they didn’t do anything to him, hopefully having realised that he was a bit simple, and not the most reliable of people for describing what they looked like.
There was also a bit of a moral discussion on whether they should/would/could pay for the fuel, and how they would do it, which was a little surprising – I suspect that having now left the airport, this will be “forgotten” and just slide out of memory for folks, and its unlikely to actually have any repercussions on them (short of me docking a karma off them for being thieves and affecting the entire local community – and then I’d still have to tell them that as meta-knowledge for it to actually have any impact…so probably not.)
Only three bits of notes really relevant for this weeks plot:
1) Iwatoo the Cleaner, Stats of 3/2, English 1, cleans the building at night and acts as security / watcher. Writes everything down (in Tagalog - these are never read, and just binned by the manager who tells him regardless ‘good job’)
2) The Airport building is one big shed, internal flights only, some benches, a pair of vending machines, simple toilets, car rental desk, primitive wifi, broken systems and a VFR flight tower with radio. Fuel tankage to the west, one aircraft store (empty, simple toolkit only for interior fitting maintenance mostly)
3) Location #2 at co-ords -6.03682, 143.88772: Mount Giluwe, Papa New Guinea, 4000m, rippled peaks and valleys. Challenge - neutral non-human NPC to persuade / diplome with. Still during bad weather most likely, but not to the same effect as #1, the players will be able to close on the location and plant the token, but will encounter a curious free spirit, which will move or throw the marker away. It needs to be bargained with, and persuaded to leave the marker alone - but will want to know all about the reason why they and the markers are here. Mostly likely they will resort to a karma bribe (it needs only a small amount) to achieve their aim - but story time is also an option. The spirit may decide to stay with them if they are "too" generous or "interesting", wanting to travel with them and making a bit of a pain in the arse of itself. Spirit: Nature spirit, Spirit of the sky (Storm), Force 9, Spirit energy 9, 6 Spirit powers, 1) Animal Form (New Guinean quoll), 2) Dispelling, 3) Personal Domain, 4) Hidden Life, 5) Aura Masking, 6) Possession.
The airport is modelled very loosely on a Romanian provincial airport I had the pleasure of flying from a few years back, which redefined the word ‘basic’ – though being fair, it did the job it was supposed to. Certainly they at least did have what looked like an xray machine there, though it could have just been a big box with a kids toy that made burbling sounds inside…
To go with the simple airport, I put in a simple NPC – someone to make the players interact with and decide if he was a credible use / threat (and he wasn’t either, being a very hard working, but mentally somewhat deficient local)
Last of all was the spirit on the mountain. I rolled this up using the random spirit designer from MITS to see what came out, and the luck of the dice turned it into an absolute beast. With force 9, it also started with spirit energy 9, and then giving it personal domain boosted it up to ridiculous levels while on the volcano, and still very potent off of it. With aura masking, it wasn’t like the team would find out that much from it either, unless it chose to tell the, Tads had a go, so I at least dropped an indication of the power level, just to put the team in the right ballpark of where their odds would be if they kicked off.
I also had a chat with the players as the session ended, to let them know OOC what was going on – that this was an RP “challenge” / “opportunity” – and that karma was being awarded for the success of their efforts here. I wasn’t going to make anyone tell a story, or come up with stuff, but there were rewards if they did – but as long as someone on the team covered the all of the team members somehow, they would be ok.
Tads has done a story for Hunter, and is working on a Nenet folk tale for herself, and I think Aswon will come up with something interesting. We’ll have to see what Marius, Shimazu and Kai come up with, and how much of a tale they weave next week…

As usual, here are the notes from the session that led to the writeup:
• Friday 10/9/2060, Location: -6.56463, 146.72597, Time: 02:30
• Kai looking for local, no signs of life, nothing on the sensors, no sign of life. Marius - do you need tools. Marius - hopefully I have everything we need.
• Kai+Shimazu go for a search, find not a lot, fuel depot with decent maglocks.
• Meet Iwatoo on the way back from fuel. You with broken plane? Ahh, good. I left note. Ask him for fuel, no fuel, no key - fuel is not dirty.
• Marius and Aswon examining engines - chopper B/R, two successes, 2 days to repair with a facility, 2 weeks without.
• Aswon - do we need to start pumping contacts. Marius - do what I can to fix stuff. Kai - check the facilities, work outwards from there. Who’s good at breaking into shit? Shimazu - I have lockpicks, but not good for maglocks.
• Aswon - can we get to Philippines ok - don't want to stay in the warzone,
• Kai - lets' just get fuel and bugger off to next stop.
• Tads - we've got another volcano here haven't we? Aswon - yes, possible damage, but we need to do it.
• Hunter computer search on maglocks, about R5, maybe AT1-2. Only source of value on the airport, very low tech
• Kai - can we check schedule for next flight? Tads - will they have a matrix site?
• Hunter checks matrix site - prebuilt, badly put together, no numbers
• Iwatoo comes, asks if they want cleaning. Kai says no. Asks where they are leaving the notes, maintenance people. Asks if they can wait in the terminal. No - is clean. Why cleaning so late. Don't know. Asks him to get stuff from vending machine, Kai will wait here - hesitant, but ok. Send Shimazu to sneak in and check the place out.
• Sneaks in with an 11, cleaner got a 2. Iwatoo gets supplies.
• Very basic facilities, it's a shed, radio only, find some documents from 7 months ago about late flights, calendar on the wall, number of rental place in town, nothing else. Shimazu leaves.
• Check fuel status - used about 1400 litres of 1800 tank. Aswon - we can't see ash cloud at night. Marius, best to just lock up and sleep then. Aswon - except tads can't sleep, or will have to wake up early to recast the spell.
• Aswon - let's just find a repair facility in the Philippines then. Kai skill check, failed but not botched - just check the yellow pages.
• Tads - double checked no cameras. Kai+Shimazu confirmed, cleaner doesn't seem that interested. Hunter - do we still have spirits? Can they do concealment? Tads - might be witchcraft - Hunter, but it's still in the middle of a monsoon. Kai - can we send a spirit to look for cameras? T- maybe. Aswon - this place seems very primitive, very surprised they have cameras.
• Tads - want to go and check on Gwoks as well. Will take Vadim, do a stealthy approach. Tads briefs Vadim on stealth protocols.
• Watcher spirits, APCs, hole in roof, armed soldiers nearby. Tads 16 on stealth, Vadim 5, Watcher spirit get s a 16... spots and chases Vadim.
• Tads heads for RV point, one check to see flock of spirits heading out and a mage. 10 mins, Vadim comes back, looking feral. Tads - keep going, stay out for a while, Team waiting. ASwon watching, Hunter sleeping. Mages back ok, Aswon watches for 20 minutes just to be sure, Tads asks for wakeup call at dawn. Rain lessons a little, but is in for the day.
• Aswon - if they had a mage, they probably suspected magic. So we want to just get away from my POV.
• Tads - do we want to just have no magic at all, now mages are involved. Aswon - I agree.
• Marius - shall we taxi to the fuel depot an hour before dawn and try to get the fuel, just leave some money. No cred reader to do the transfer.
• Taxi over to fuel area before dawn. Trying to break the locks on the fuel depot. Tads offers illusion cover, Marius says no thanks.
• Rating 5 maglock, terrible conditions, 1 success on taking the case off, sets off the anti-tamper. Electronics roll to determine what is going on. Live comms line out of the lock, sqwaking an alarm. Will take about 15 mins to fuel to bird.
• Hunter - police procedures. Local police, 30 minutes response time, Anzac occupation forces about 5 mins.
• Start fuelling, prep for launch. Sensor watch, get tanks topped off, put fuel pipes away,
• Tads - can we leave a burner phone, so we can try to pay later? Aswon - don't want to leave any electronic trail. Marius, we can always contact them later.
• Take-off, spot a single police cruiser closing up the highway.
• Aswon - if they thought it was serious, they wouldn't send only one car. Marius / Hunter - they might not have any more...

• 319km to Mt Giluwe, do they want to wait for dawn and fresh spirits, Marius says yes
• General consensus to go slow and get there after dawn, give tads time to get that sorted.
• Kai - can we get repairs at Arkan Port. Marius - probably not, need an airport / proper facility. Might be a way to get into japan, to declare another mayday, overplay the damage to the engines, leave a small team to go to do the tokens under stealth. Aswon - we have 3 or 4 stops to do though, and without a tourist visa that would be tricky. But may be worth a go. Maybe call the employer for help?
• Marius - for normal mechanics, it would be a week long job to do a 2 engine pull and refurb. Possible way to get in. Discussion about how far to go, how long the work will take etc.
• Team look at route, number of hops, number of volcanoes to land at etc
• Get to Mt Gilawue, cold, damp, humid, no sign of activity.
• Arrive, land safely. All look for some time out of the chopper, fan out - except Kai, who stays behind. Kai thinking about ringing in to airport, Aswon sceptical like selling shares, Tads - no, we will do it as we owe them. Tads reminds them to talismonger. Kai decides to go with. Kai slips over and gets winded, takes an L. Kai goes back to chopper in a strop.
• Spot the quoll, coming towards them, about the size of a small tiger.
• Aswon recognises family but not type, Tads thinks it's a quoll, should be much smaller. Tads assenses - strong spirit, at least 2X power. leave it alone!
• Transforms to small child and sits cross legged, "hello, you're new".
• Tads - actually, setting up for hide and seek. Hunter walking up to get inside the radius. Hey where he's going? Inside the radius. You want to go onto my volcano. Oh, this is all yours? Yes!
• I need a story from each of you.
• One story per person, or one story for each person?
• Oh, that sounds interesting - one about you or involving you, but not necessarily told by each of you.
• Tads offers to tell tale about her and Hunter. Hunter picks up the pace.

Kren Cooper
Good morning all. This weeks write up has been published and added to book 6, found at
Mixed feelings this week. Tads had prepared a story for both herself and Hunter – but then Hunter decided to tell a story himself, rehashing events that had happened back in the Quarry. Kai and Shimazu told me what they were going to tell a story about, said they would send over notes, but then didn’t, and Marius just gave me a quick precis in game for why he hates dragons. Only Aswon came through with a story, actually going far beyond what I was after – which sort of makes up a little for the others I guess.
It appears you can lead a roleplayer to water, but you have to hold some of their heads under the surface, or something like that…
Still, they told their stories, and got the spirit on-side, planted the token and can cross off Volcano #2 from the list – so they’re well on the way. They have worked out that the chopper really does need a fix though, and will start to run into problems when trying to make that happen, when they discover that parts for the Aztechnology bird are hard to get, and will either leave a paper trail leading directly to them, or they’ll have to hit the shadows and make arrangements there.
Next week they’ll be working out how to meet the Huk, and delving into the jungles and backwoods of the Philippines to meet a contact there, looking to sell on their guns and then heading for Volcano #3.
#1 was an environmental challenge, with athletics being tested and causing some damage to their ride.
#2 was the RP challenge, with them needing stories for the spirit to be happy.
#3 will take them onto the turf of a mining company busy extracting all kinds of materials from the volcano, who will take a very dim view of their attempts to “steal” the resources. So, it’s likely this one will end up in some gunplay, magical combat and possibly a chase sequence – let’s see how happy Marius is to redline his engines in the state they’re in.

As usual, here are the notes from the session – the story from Aswon was pretty much as I received it from the player, who did a fab job of capturing his tone, and telling events from a different point of view.
1. Friday 10/9/2060, Location: -6.03672, 143.88829, Time: 09:15
2. Spirit - who first?
3. Tads - chanting background skill, tribal legends:
4. Tads chants a story of the beginnings, of how the earth and all living things were created by the god Num. This included his son, the god of evil, Nga, but Num will protect the people when asked for help, and the appropriate gestures and sacrifices were made. The scarifices and gestures have changed through the years but are still made when necessary. Ya-nebya, Mother Earth, also helps and protects the specifically feminine energies around women, and is often called uplon during childbirth.
5. These are supported by the shaman, of which there are three ranks. Sambana communicate with the dead and are responsible for rites and rituals related to death in what is known as the lower world. Tads herself is a Yanyani shaman, responsible for communing with the land and the elements to ensure a balance is kept, as much as possible, which is in the middle world. The third type are the Vidutana, who do both Sambana and Yanyani as well as dealing with everyday life in the upper world.
6. Most shaman now also follow either Num or are called by an animal helper of Num to work in their specialist area, such as Elk being a protector and defender of the herds and the thus, the people.
7. Kai - I have questions first, that wasn't on the deal, will you pay the price, is my story the price for being here? Yes. Back as a small child, in my village, how he got into bows and arrows. Details to come...
8. Vadims tale - into the clearing with Tads, the giant wolverine arriving, through into the metaplanes, a giant forest full of people trying to hurt the forest. Calling spirits and using his new spells to try and defeat them using only low power illusion spells - being chased, feeling helpless, then a rage building in him and him summoning a powerful spirit to smite them with vengeful wroth - though he had a bad headache afterwards.
9. Marius - how annoyed I get about being pushed around by dragons - family+cyberware in SK, from Lofwyr - "oversized german bastard", moving on to Aiden, then one Chinese and one Japanese dragon. Life's not fair. German for "scaly motherfucker"
10. Shimazu - many moons ago, Shimazu+Sato, icy ponds, Sato fell in, couldn't swim, Shimazu had to save him, kinda his fault as he dared him
11. Hunter - retells the story of Nadia's assault in the caves. But the PG version
12. This is a short tale, when one of the team was caught and assaulted in some unlit passageways by two members of another larger group with a reputation of being ( hunter will remember what info about the bogbuster crew we got…Gus doesn’t sadly) unscrupulous bully predators on what they perceive to be week female victims.
13. Fortunately the assault was stopped by brave and valiant 3rd party, when the accused were confronted they were dismissed and full of a self-riotous confidant attitude of what are you going to do about it. When it was clear that we as a team wanted this assault resolving and a price to pay for the two assailants actions, a contest was agreed upon with the assailant team leader demanding it to the death.
14. Now they put forward their champion in this unarmed martial contest was an orc like myself of much bigger proportions than me, as I was chosen but I also volunteered, as to me this was important as there is nothing I hate more than this type of predator, to be the one extract our teams due.
15. Needless to say I won the contest and due payment was collected shall we say and I won’t go into the details of how but it was unexpected how it happened and it was very quick and very decisive.
16. For me it’s simple no one messes with any of the members of this team we are friends, comrades, companions and have become family and when of ours is hurt we will defend our own to the death.
17. Now I know this is short but stories I don’t tell well, make them I can and quite possibly do, some of the others will I no doubt tell/ have told longer ones
18. Aswon - going to deal with the professor at Sarangani
1. I am from a land far to the west of here, where my people revere the land and those who live upon it. In my culture I am a warrior, and so I have travelled to many places and fought in many battles. I could perhaps tell you a tale of mighty deeds I have performed? Sights I have seen? Many would expect it.
2. But I shall instead tell you a simple tale that demonstrates the most important lesson I have learned which holds true no matter the endeavour.
3. Recently, we needed to stop at an island far to the north of here. Fuel, rest, the details do not matter. Fate required that we stop, and so we stopped.
4. The island peak was not so mighty as your home, and was covered in lush jungle.
5. Living there on the edge of the jungle was a man. The island is his home, and he serves as a protector of sorts. Many have made their home there in times past, and he makes sure their treasures and the land are not disturbed without… good cause.
6. We arrived, and exchanged gifts as is usual when one expects to greet a host – I apologise that we did not know we would be meeting you – and he told us of visitors who had arrived before us, with whom a bargain had been struck that they would be allowed to carefully study a site of interest to them for seven nights, in exchange for a contribution towards the man’s ability to keep the island safe. In this case, money, for the visitors had no practical gifts to give.
7. A fair trade.
8. They had outstayed their welcome and had sought no leave to remain.
9. He asked us, in exchange for hospitality, much as you have asked us for a tale, to take the trek into the jungle and restore the honour of the bargain struck.
10. We understand the importance of a bargain, and so we agreed.
11. A fair trade.
12. Marius would be our eyes from above, using his connection with his machines to guide us and assist in restoring the balance of the bargain struck.
13. All but Marius headed into the jungle: Tadibya, Shimazu, Hunter, Kai and myself.
14. I… am Aswon.
15. The jungle was bright… to those with eyes to see it. All manner of creatures: monkeys, snakes, strange birds. Vines and trees and flowers and fruits of all kinds. Occasionally the sight of an animal or plant so pure it radiated into the spirit realm.
16. Wondrous. I have fought fierce battles in such places, rarely have I been able to take the time to wonder.
17. The trail was not too hard, and within a few hours we neared their encampment. Tadibya consulted with the local spirits to ensure that we could reach them without causing alarm. Although our plan was that Kai would speak with their leader and attempt reason, as it was he with whom the bargain had been struck, the man had already shown himself to be untrustworthy, as I’m sure you agree.
18. Therefore Shimazu, who is Kai’s guardian and shadow, would go with him as ever but Hunter and I would be ready to intervene should the leader instruct his underlings to fight rather than see reason. His group were, after all, little out of childhood. None of us wanted violence.
19. Still, we wanted to be sure that even from there we could step up further – Kai’s plan often involve layers – and so Marius would bring one of his heavily armed flying machines into range to join us should it be needed. Tadibya sought the agreement of the spirits to help keep us safe, and wrapped us in protective magics.
20. The leader… did not see reason.
21. He said he was entitled to be there.
22. He said the man who served as guardian of the island had no power over him, and was undeserving of respect.
23. He said he had powerful friends and we should just go away.
24. But a bargain had been struck. By us, by him. Bargains must be kept.
25. He asked why he should not set his students upon Kai and Shimazu. Students! In his care!
26. And so Hunter and I appeared from the trees, stepping out of the concealment of the spirits.
27. Still he railed against us, though he went no further in exhorting his students to what, for all he knew, was their doom.
28. Still he refused.
29. And so Marius revealed himself, the noise of the engines drowning out the miserable wretches protestations and entitlement, as he realised he faced not just a negotiator and his body guard, not just magic, not just men at arms and not just a master of machines, but all together and all at once.
30. His resolve crumbled. He agreed to meet the bargain he had struck, and we left, to return the tribute to its’ rightful owner.
31. Back down the trail we journeyed, intending to be back by nightfall and our spirits high: violence had been avoided, honour and balance restored, and of course, our own needs for fuel and rest now guaranteed by way of our own bargain.
32. But in our confidence, I – I, Aswon – had forgotten that at all times one must respect the land and a clumsy step angered a snake I had not seen.
33. Now I must tell you that I have nothing against snakes. Or scorpions or spiders. Yet strangely they seem to abhor me, and my body, I know from bitter experience, abhors their venom.
34. And this snake was no different. Rather than retreat from our group, all much larger than it, it struck.
35. A deadly jungle viper.
36. Do you know about jungle vipers? No? Well, they say a jungle viper’s venom will dissolve your flesh as it poisons your heart. That you will watch yourself rot before the end, and die in agony.
37. Its’ fangs flashed towards my calf, with lightning speed.
38. Well do I know the dangers of terrain like this. I had not even seen it. I, Aswon, thousands of miles from home, was to die from carelessness.
39. [pause for dramatic effect, hopefully the listener asks what happened]
40. What happened? Well, I did not die. For I was with my friends and both Shimazu and Hunter sprung into action. Before my foot had reached flat to the floor, the sharp retort of gunfire and the swish of a quickly drawn blade saw to the snake’s end.
41. It was not the snake’s fault. It was my fault.
42. It is my people’s way that you do not take game you intend not to eat, and so I resolve to learn the lesson this jungle had to teach, packed the snakes body away and took it with us to the beach.
43. And that night, many of us feasted on snake for the first time, for that was better than taking yet game just for the sake of comforting familiarity.
44. Ah, and what is the lesson?
45. Well that is twofold:
46. First: snake tastes good. Two thumbs up from Aswon.
47. Second: It is not the battles or the travel that matter. It is that no matter the challenge, it is better to not be alone. It is not the journey or the fight, spirit.
48. It is the friends one makes along the way.
19. Spirit listening raptly, watching intently
20. You have the best stories! Those were awesome, I shall come with you!
21. Aswon and Marius - nonplussed. Kai - for how long, hours? days? Oh - no, maybe weeks or months. Kai - don't you have to look after the mountain? Stamps feet - nah, it's ok.
22. Marius - dragon check to see if spirit entrapment is a thing.
23. Kai - team, vote, blackball. Spirit - sounds like you don't want me. K - it's not that, but we can discuss after the token dropped off. Defer to Hunter - token, yeet or ride, ride, massive ride up the hill for Hunter, shit eating grin on the return.
24. Aswon - talk while spirit is gone. Tads - handy if we go back to Tashkent to deal with the horror. Aswon, it might not help that much. Did it have masking? Tads - think so, more than 2X power. Aswon - it doesn't sound that hostile, we might be able to take it out a little but it will come back and seek revenge. We may just have to let it come with us? Kai - how about we ask it for it's story? Aswon - could be a good protection. Kai - could be a deal, payment for taking it.
25. Tads - do you think I could have a go if I asked nicely?
26. Kai - were you successful? Hunter - nods. Kai - sits down with the spirit. Do you want to come with us? Smugglers, sneaking, violence, sometimes danger/getting hurt. Q - I shall sit and watch, interesting stories. Tell us your story. Q - oh no no no. K - but you know all about us. Q - I know something about you. Discuss "all about" and refusal with Aswon.
27. Story - campers, bad weather, 2 walkers, overnight tales. Rip through tent, Yeet, safety for stories.
28. Ok - lets go! bounds towards chopper, what's it called. "the bird". Kai tells the names of the team, gets its name - quoll. Let it in the ward, it shrinks to chinchilla size. Looks around "what's that!" at everything.
29. Marius starts up- nope nope nope! Bouncing! Open the door. I will stay here. Welcome to come back here, with stories, and I will guard you. Tads - more people will come, Q - will they have stories. Kai - oh yes. Aswon - they may fight. Choose if you want to get involved.
30. Call to Arkan port, about 1300km away, Marius heading that way, drops to lower altitude.
31. Overflying some anzac units, no firm sightings though, little radio traffic. Kai calls Arkan, ok to be there in 3 hours, sure - do you need fuel? Ok, we'll make arrangements... Kai asks if they have aircraft repair facility. No - a little on drones.
32. Arrive at Arkan at 12:45, Aswon stays hidden.
33. Trike arrives, soldiers looking bored. Hello - come with us to the house. Into the parlour. Offer refreshments. Wanted more notice, fuel will be here tomorrow.
34. Wait or go - team decide to wait and not use reserves. Kai calls Sarangani - they have loads of fuel, did the delivery go ok - yes fine, been and now back. Do you want anything - no, I'm good for guns. Though I can put you in touch with the rebels - they always want guns.
35. Tads - we have the beer from Lae - can we offload that here?
36. Kai - gift it for the hassle on the fuel. Talk to the colonel about weapons. Kai offers beer to the colonel. Bevvy training! sets up range on the beach.
37. Up to 6 hours of weapons training time for team.
38. BBQ in the evening, guest rooms. Talk with the colonel, they want basic weapons - pistols, smg, few ARs, regular ammo. Hunter reminds Kai about respirators. Talk about noddy suits - 800Ny, or refrigerated suits at 2k each. Struggle for size on Hunter, rest of team should be ok (they don't know about Aswon)
39. Kai gets 3 X chiller suits, 6 noddy suits. Lash the guns to the ramp.
40. Tads going back to the chopper for the night. Basic bedrooms, everyone sleeps in their own rooms.
41. Saturday morning - 11, fuit and cereal, tads examines. Get told fuel is arriving at lunchtime. Marius rests and does preflight at about 11:00. Tads calls Aslik - not available, leaves a message about mindlink of the pack. Aswon reminds Tads of the time difference....
42. Kai - do you want to scout out the bomb site back at Lae. Tads - not particularly, what do you want to know. Dangerous if they have onsite magic... Kai - happy to leave it. Kai calls Sarangani to arrange eta of tea-time. Message to rebels - we have a delivery with rough manifest and eta, costs - adding 20% profit.
43. Trawler appears at midday, into the lagoon at high tide, lash to the corvette, fuel bowser, transfer to the chopper, 10500 for the fuel, 13:30 when all done. Takeoff and head for Sarangani - quiet journey. 1400km.
44. Rotorcraft roll from Marius - 6 successes, temps are hot but ok, fuel economy is down 10%
45. 17:00 - coming in to land at Sarangani.
46. Plan - gun run, to a civilian airport for repairs.

Location #2 at co-ords -6.03682, 143.88772: Mount Giluwe, Papa New Guinea, 4000m, rippled peaks and valleys. Challenge - neutral non-human NPC to persuade / diplome with. Still during bad weather most likely, but not to the same effect as #1, the players will be able to close on the location and plant the token, but will encounter a curious free spirit, which will move or throw the marker away. It needs to be bargained with, and persuaded to leave the marker alone - but will want to know all about the reason why they and the markers are here. Mostly likely they will resort to a karma bribe (it needs only a small amount) to achieve their aim - but story time is also an option. The spirit may decide to stay with them if they are "too" generous or "interesting", wanting to travel with them and making a bit of a pain in the arse of itself. Spirit: Nature spirit, Spirit of the sky (Storm), Force 9, Spirit energy 9, 6 Spirit powers, 1) Animal Form (New Guinean quoll), 2) Dispelling, 3) Personal Domain, 4) Hidden Life, 5) Aura Masking, 6) Possession.

Kren Cooper
Good evening all,
Episode 166 has been written up and added onto the end of book 6, published in the usual place:

Starting off on the beach, the team made arrangements to do a weapons drop off with the Huk – decided to keep this one relatively simple and low key. Gave them a simple cell structure, and very primitive facilities, with them having to improvise a little to make things work. I thought Lee / Marius would react more about having to land the chopper on the paddy field on plastic pontoons – it was actually Jez / Aswon that reacted the most. Just goes to show…
After the drop, it was a short and easy run to the 3rd volcano, where they came across the next “challenge” – a full blown Japanese mining operation extracting sulphur and other chemicals from the volcano to use in industry, with a decent sensor/drone security system in place.
As part of my “research” on this, I watched a couple of videos that proved to be quite shocking:
1) (2.5 minutes)
2) (50 minutes)
Nothing blood thirsty or graphical, but really brings home the difference in quality of life, expectations, difference in culture and risk, and reminded me of what massive privilege I have in my life. Certainly, if I ever strike a match again, I think I’m probably going to flash to some poor guy carrying his own bodyweight up the side of a volcano through sulphur fumes, then down the outside, to be paid a single euro for the 4 hours of work he’s just done…
But, having watched that, it fleshed out some details for me of what kind of situation we might be looking at – so now we have scattered mining processing centres, all designed to be lifted by Skycrane style helicopters in the event of an eruption – like the spice miners of Dune, with a massive penal colony carrying the raw materials to the, all tagged with explosive collars, while a high tech perimeter keeps them in place, and a small fleet of air drones monitors the whole situation.
Plans at the moment include having a Huk raiding party come to disrupt mine operations, raising the security alert level and making things harder for the players, or a sabotage strike by a rival mining firm, doing the same thing as other shadowrunners arrive to shoot the place up. A third possibility is for them to discover a bunch of prisoners trying to break out, hiding just inside the fence line when they try to do their infiltration – and have to bargain with them not to try and break out, as that would probably raise the alarm and blow the teams cover.
So, some prep work to do for Tuesday, with a rough outline of the geography of the volcano, where the work gangs are, the drones, riggers and so on – I have the reinforcements / military response from the local town and Marine garrison already worked out, along with the timings – so will feed some intel to the players, and then sit back and listen to see what kind of plan they come up with, to get in there and drop the token somewhere.

Here are the notes from this weeks session:
Saturday 11/9/2060, Location: 5.44443, 125.49474, Time: 17:00
  1. Aswon gets rifle - "this whole business with the huk worries me."
  2. K-Do we need to get the bird repaired - M, yes, discussion - where to stop
  3. General team planning for route from 2nd volcano
  4. K - feels like HK is better, contact of Aswon, family. Aswon - I'll take time to go see spook, off mission.
  5. Aswon calls Spook - engaged. Leaves a message - need to get put in touch with someone.
  6. K goes to greet Kui Hai, ask if any problems with late payments, no, all good.
  7. K - deliver for Huk. Kui - can I see the goods? K - sure, take over to bird, lower ramp. Open, show,
  8. Kui calls E, arranges meet, gets codes, tells team. Check location, Marius goes to bed
  9. Spook calls Aswon back. Wassup? Doing a trip round ring of fire - don't ask why. Engine troubles. Need to do an engine strip. Choked on volcanic ash. Ahh - you need parts and facilities. Maybe, we can do the work. Spook outlines rough location of Chun's. Ok - few steps on the way, maybe a few days... Ok - you still doing the job, not available for work? Hmm, probably not, need downtime, maybe me only.
  10. Look into when volcanoes 3 and 4 last blew, 3=25 years, 4=40 years. Both appear quiet and well behaved at the moment, 3 giving off gas. Look for aircraft disruptions - get news about the effects from #1 closing down flights into/out off Japan.
  11. Team do some exercise, or talismonger at edge of jungle. Shimazu botches - ruins a perfect skull, Tads nothing, Aswon a few parrot/parrakeet feathers for an air spell of some kind.
  12. FFordward to 11:15, wake Marius, prep the bird, fly north
  13. Head north, in stealth, with spirit concealment, no trouble at all.
  14. Give code phrase, water or air. Air - how much does your aircraft weigh? Gives estimate...
  15. Drop into a hover and let me know. Aswon on the optics, looking out. Skiffs out, drops platforms under the landing carriage.
  16. Marius to Kai - do not piss these people off. Shimazu, shall I stay on the chopper. Marius lands - very gently.
  17. Thumbs up from the guy on the ground, then kill the engines.
  18. Open non-warded side. Kai out, gives passphrase, 3 in skiff with AK47, Emerald is waiting. Into the skiff - Kai, Hunter, Aswon go in skiff, rest stay in chopper.
  19. Greetings, I'm Kai, we have a delivery for you. I don't know what you're talking about. Mutual friend. Tractor parts - you may have another use. Passes list, trees move as watchers train guns.
  20. Sourced from a group of south African friends. You're not cops? You're not working for the Japanese? No - independent traders. Swear on the life of the emperor of japan you're not here to fuck with us. Team swears.
  21. Send the boys to collect - Kai - we wait here? Can do. Hunter and Aswon go to help offload. Offload guns ok, bring to house, looks in box - no touching, no talking.
  22. Kai - smuggling check, good roll, she is skirting legal edge, no commitment. Emerald - ok, we can talk, how much? TBH, it was on our route, price of fuel. Just doing it to help out people. So - you support our cause?
  23. Pay 12k for guns, agree new code phrase, team name="new fish". Still got 10 mins before you start to sink.
  24. STarting to sink - just, get in, start up, head out.
  25. 12:15 - heading about 150km, sensor check, 10+9, Get to about 35km away, pick up bubble. Aswon looks astrally - sees lots of metahumans.
  26. Local news is full of manipulated media. Hunter checks Shadowland, 1 success - gets just the name "Masaka Minerals Corporation security forces" had a run in with someone elses team.
  27. See the site, info on the drones, spot the sensors, look for the CPA and move around to approach it.
  28. Tads checks background count, about 2, getting worse.
  29. Marius - can't tell what the drones are, not without getting too close. Move around the outside, for the CPA, stealth in, got a 5(14), stealth in ok, land unobserved, about 2km from co-ords, cammo nets over the main fuselage and wings.
  30. Tads - does more magical training for Vadim, reinforces the dog-leg, never run straight back home.
  31. Heading for first ridge to observe. Survival checks - Tads and Aswon guide the team through the darkness ok. Get to ridge line. Perception checks+recon for Hunter. Description of defences.
  32. Aswon - might be for keeping slave labour in...
  33. Check if active IR matches drone activity - no, seems to be random. Spot the collars on peoples right arm, get an idea on drones+sensors.
  34. Hunter check on gas spec+chemistry, strong sulphur
  35. Ka - why is the flux so high Marius? M - some will be the size of the perimeter, harder to spoof / evade. K - would you expect onsite riggers. M - yes, definitely. K - can you steal them, M - no, don't have the equipment, it's on the shopping list.
  36. Chemistry and geology checks - get reason for them mining the sulphur.
  37. Hunter confirms they are mitsuhama company. Marius - their tech is likely to be pretty good then. Aswon - zero zone.
  38. Doing recon, watching for shift changes+other recon activity.

This was my session plan / prep / crib sheet:
  • Kui Hai will act as a liaison to the Huk once he's seen the guns, giving them the contact for "Emerald", near the Tagum River, Tagum City along with a comm code and passphrase.
  • The meet is set up for midnight, and it's about 245km from Sarangani, so about 30 mins flight time.
  • Emerald has a short range radio, and will guide the team in towards the plantation, and get them to hover, with the landing gear down - then get her men to move large sheets of plastic out underneath them to spread the weight and stop them getting stuck in the bog.
  • She will want to meet the team, talk to them and check them out before discussing the purchase, to establish their credibility. She will purchase the guns, being willing to offer up to 15K in Nuyen, or less if the team want to make any contacts or use Huk facilities (she can only share other Emerald resources, and would have to go up the chain to access Diamond/Ruby/Sapphire cells, which would require her to vouch for them, and in turn need more rep)
  • From the meeting point it's about 145km to Mount Piapayungan and token #3. Mount Ragang, also called Mount Piapayungan and Blue Mountain by the local people, is a stratovolcano on Mindanao island in the Philippines. It is the seventh highest mountain in the Philippines and the highest point in Lanao del Sur.
  • Ragang has an elevation of 2,815 metres (9,236 ft) and a base diameter of 32 km (20 mi).
  • Masaka Minerals Corporation Mine - a subsidiary of Mitsuhama, have set up a mining operation on the volcano
  • There is a large native workforce, digging up sulphur and other chemicals by hand from various vents, carrying them up/down the volcano towards mobile processing centres - all facilities that can be relocated by air. To support this there are a number of Masaka air units on patrol in the area, along with several wings of surveillance drones.
  • There are approx 1000 local miners, working shifts or gangs, heading to vent points to break up and collect lumps of sulphur to take to the local processing facility. Many of them are convicts or political prisoners, and they are all tagged with screamers.
  • The whole site is ringed with a sensor post network, strung out in a chain 15km long - sensors r4 detect traffic in or out of the area and sound the alarm, notifying the drone operators.
  • The drones are methane cell powered, with long loiter time, and carry an assault rifle each with a 100 round mag. The drones have encryption 4, sensors 3 and a speed of about 40mpt, and a distinctive high pitch whine from the motors.
  • Each chain or gang of people deliver cargo to a small processing facility located about an hours walk away from the workface, and deliver their cargo, which is weighed in and allocated to their work record, then quickly smashed up and goes through the first processing stage, before being shipped off in a purer form by 4X4 transports to the main road and the processing factory.
  • Each of the first stage processors are designed to be airlifted in and out of site depending on volcano activity, by the cargo choppers - Skycrane like choppers that can each carry a mining module around the site.
  • At the processing sites there is a security detail, between 6-10 security officers with radios (encryption 3), with riflemen, light armour, and 1-2 heavy weapons, to drive off Huk guerillas or rival corporations.
  • Site drone riggers (2 on duty) have VCR3, Control pool 6, Deck rating 6, 12 drone network, Filters 2, PEM 4, Flux 8, Signal Amp, Encryption 4, ECCM 2
  • Magical assistance from the JEF is located at Marawi City, where there is a G1 mage with 4 X F6 air elementals and 2 X F6 fire elementals available as backup. If he gets injured or falls, it would relay to Davao City (150km), where there is a G3+G2 mage, each with the same elemental loadout. The G3 has shielding.
  • Marawi City has JEF marines able to scramble in 5 minutes if hi-tech weapons are detected / observed, and will send in 1-3 choppers of marines with a combat squad in each, armed with air to air missiles, 20mm cannon and full combat
Kren Cooper
G’day all! Session 167 now complete, and added to book #6:

Picking up from last week with the team doing recon for a few hours, I’d prepared the following information for them to digest and to kickstart some planning:
Dawn - recon results:
1. No magical activity has been observed - no astral travellers, spirits, magical effects or presences.
2. There is at least 500m of terrain to cover to reach the edge of the drop zone, if they want to risk a maximum range drop.
3. They have observed the location of 2 X drone refuelling areas, though the facilties are out of sight. The drones look to be fairly slow moving, but have good endurance - estimate a top speed of about 40mpt, but armed with an assault rifle / LMG sized weapon.
4. The rigger network is estimated at R3-4 encryption, and you have observed drones under direct control of a security rigger or pilot. Marius estimates they are flown competently, and probably as well as he would fly...
5. At the processing sites there is a security detail, between 6-10 security officers with riflemen, light armour, and 1-2 heavy weapons in each team.
I also had two encounters lined up to potentially take place while they were there, depending on what they did:
Huk raiding party:
30 raiders, 4/3 stats, 7M burst rifles, no armour, no tech, hand signal co-ordination, led by Gadabhrt, part of the Malachite cell. They are trying to trash a facility and steal/destroy tech in a poorly planned raid.
Huk breakout party:
4 escapees, all 2/3 stats, political dissidents, very minor cyberware, half starved, Alain M 28, Iaicchik F 19, Paarbrahm M 30, Waalbaqi M 21
All wearing dets on their right arms, they have snuck away overnight, and have a plan for one of them to try and set off their bomb, using some stolen metal as a shield and to sacrifice their arm, then the others rush through and take them with it, while the sensors are disrupted from the blast. It won't work, as the sensors are more sophisticated than that.
If the players intervene, the collars need an electronics B/R test to get the case off, vs base 5s with AT2 - so need 3 successes. Once inside, it's electronics 4 test to disable with a single success.
The team came up with a plan, and were getting ready to initiate – putting the token on the roof of one of the facilities. I asked Kai to roll for a random encounter, and he didn’t disappoint – the man has a bizarre talent for rolling 1s! So, a vent exploded and they got to see the relocation of the processing centre, which then called their plan into question and caused a rethink. They also saw some more of the armed response available, so got a little more information.
After that they came up with a workable plan, and implemented it, using magic to solve the physical infiltration problem, and sending the token over remotely. In a very bizarre set of rolls, my Sensor 4 drones rolled a 14 (enough to spot the token once) and then a whole bunch of 13s (enough to get a ghost and convince the site riggers something was up, triggering a more active search.
I also rolled for the token – something the players have not realised yet is that each of the tokens “fluctuates” between yin and yang, modifying their ability to be affected by magic. When they pull out a token, I roll to see what they’ve got – either they act normally (1-2), are pro magic (3-4) or anti-magic (5-6). The players got ‘lucky’ and got a neutral one, so their levitate spell worked ok – but I’m sure this is going to catch them out in the future! Once they cotton on, I’m sure they’re going to do a more careful analysis of the tokens and try to sort them out so they can save the “right” ones for the volcanoes that they need to use magic at.
But, they managed to get the token planted and were thinking about leaving, when they saw the escape party making a break for freedom. Deciding they didn’t want to accept the side quest, they did a legger, and heard the explosions of the collars as they were making their way back, shrugged their shoulders and kept going. Kept their life simpler for sure – but missed out on a chance to make allies with the Huk and learn some more valuable information. C’est la vie.
Onwards they went to Volcano #4, and some superb perception checks identified the Salamanders lurking in the rocks, so the forthcoming combat will not be a surprise to anyone. If Aswon stays true to form, I may need to work out what Roasted Salamander should taste like (I mean, I’m guessing it’s like chicken, right?) and keep a track of how many Hunter shoots and ‘ruins’ for talismongering purposes.

As usual, here are the notes from the session:
1. Sunday 12/9/2060, Location: 5.44443, 125.49474, Time: 06:30
2. Kai summary - high tech defences, drone air cover, keeping people in, keeping people in, no magic, probably due to background count, might be toxic shit,
3. Looking at rigger network - trying to establish if there are multiple riggers. work out threat to team +bird - Marius, we need to *not* be seen.
4. Check out the dig sites - 11 success between team on assensing.
5. Kai - tads, can you control animals? T-no.
6. Marius - think about sensor posts: if they have IR, animals will set it off, do they tune to avoid, or get blasé about false alarms.
7. Hunter - are either of the dragons in bed with Mitsuhama? Aswon, the Japanese one of the two, but who knows.
8. Aswon - thinks the dig sites are nasty but not toxic, based on feeling.
9. Marius - I like the levitate plan. Does T have good LOS. Observe, plan on putting on the roof of a processing facility.
10. Hunter - examine the top, fairly quiet, suggests up there.
11. Kai - can we fly over the top? Check flight ceiling - can't get above bubble, won't work. Kai - other options, sabotage distraction, attach to someone going in. Aswon - trouble with that is raising the alarm, huge fleet of drones, troops - too much activity for us to deal with. Aswon - I favour a slow insertion now, maybe watch for a day, do the plant and then get out.
12. Kai - test with a pebble. If no reaction from the drones, go ahead.
13. Tads working out levitate vs magic force.
14. Marius - survivalists, isn't there tree goop to stick the token somewhere? Tads - I suggested that a few minutes ago...
15. Kai - if it kicks off with the pebble, we'll need magic defences, an illusion to cover us ASAP - that ok Tads.
16. Fozzy rolls a 1, minor quake, venting at the north dig, choppers come in to relocate the base, 3 choppers, soldiers on 3rd chopper. Drones drifting that way.
17. Get a pebble and do the trial to the venting, coming in from much further north. One of the drones gets a partial lock on the pebble and starts to circle. Aswon suggests getting the pebble to circle like a flying insect and die. Drops the pebble as per suggestion, drone got a more solid lock, triggers an alert.
18. Troop chopper heading towards alert area.
19. Hunter - my thoughts, not a building, as they obviously move them and they could shift them off the mountain, and go outside 1000m
20. find some tree resin that would form a gluey mess when mixed with some water.
21. Team working out how to get LOS to something solid and non-moveable - perception checks are good.
22. Troop chopper goes to search area too
23. Marius - go over a sensor post, not between, overlap, it's worse.
24. Aswon - how high are the drones, can we go above as they will have look down sensors? Marius?
25. Either that or just at tree level and lose in the clutter.
26. Tads sends F5 spirit to conceal, go high,
27. Marius - sensors are a bubble, they may see that far up - may not, but I think you have to go too high.
28. Aswon - go over the sensor post, then low level then, to make the token easier to spot.
29. Tads - worth waiting for a day to study drone patterns? Aswon, think that they will have too much random patterns built in, and we need to long a study
30. Vadim summons a F5 with 2 services and gets a moderate stun
31. Checks - 1 over the sensor post, 3 random drone overflights - all on 14s now with concealment. One drone gets a 14, searches, can't relocate, have to take a slower route up though as drones on alert.
32. Aswon - wait 5 minutes to see what happens? Kai - yes, let's wait a bit
33. Spot the prisoners heading for the fence to the north.
34. Aswon races off ahead to start stripping netting, Tads guides the team back. Halfway back to the chopper, explosion, then a pause, then a triple explosion. Demo checks - possibly collars.
35. Arrive back at the chopper, half the netting is off already, Marius starts pre-flight, have used 380km of fuel to get here.
36. Tads - do you want concealment? Marius - yes please. Tads, uses the F5 last service
37. Take-off, spot drones near the fence line looking for the runners, troop chopper in the air. Marius flies more evasively. Shimazu spots the gunners on the troop chopper executing miners, splots of background count appearing
38. Shimazu spots a mage and a few spirits heading SE from NW location in fast astral.
39. Now about 09:30 - fly north for about 2 hours, dog leg around islands to stay over the water, heading for volcano #4, should arrive about 11:30
40. Windswept, barren, spot landing site at the top, quiet and desolate. Superb sensor and magical perception checks. Spot the nest of salamanders.
41. Aswon - avoid that shit - probably poisonous!
42. Marius, go to the other side, use Tads to shape earth a landing pad, the sensible people plant the token, while the nutters go talismongering...
43. Move around to the west side, away from the salamanders, come to a hover. Tads needs to do 3 X casts at F4 to create a landing zone.
44. Hunter - question - why are we landing anyway?
45. Tads casts 3 times, makes 3 X piers, Marius wary but trusts her. Marius handling check to land ok - all fine. Tads training Vadim on cleansing.
46. Hunter aiming to throw the token into the big pond / lake at the top in the crater. Aswon, Tads and Shimazu go as well..
47. Roll for perception - Hunter and Shimazu definitely spot the other salamanders, nobody is surprised. Combat starts next week
48. Have flown 1070km distance,

Information about the Volcano and Mining company:
• Ragang has an elevation of 2,815 metres (9,236 ft) and a base diameter of 32 km (20 mi).
• Masaka Minerals Corporation Mine - a subsidiary of Mitsuhama, have set up a mining operation on the volcano
• There is a large native workforce, digging up sulphur and other chemicals by hand from various vents, carrying them up/down the volcano towards mobile processing centres - all facilities that can be relocated by air. To support this there are a number of Masaka air units on patrol in the area, along with several wings of surveillance drones.
• There are approx 1000 local miners, working shifts or gangs, heading to vent points to break up and collect lumps of sulphur to take to the local processing facility. Many of them are convicts or political prisoners, and they are all tagged with screamers.
• The whole site is ringed with a sensor post network, strung out in a chain 15km long - sensors r4 detect traffic in or out of the area and sound the alarm, notifying the drone operators.
• The drones are methane cell powered, with long loiter time, and carry an assault rifle each with a 100 round mag. The drones have encryption 4, sensors 3 and a speed of about 40mpt, and a distinctive high pitch whine from the motors.
• Each chain or gang of people deliver cargo to a small processing facility located about an hours walk away from the workface, and deliver their cargo, which is weighed in and allocated to their work record, then quickly smashed up and goes through the first processing stage, before being shipped off in a purer form by 4X4 transports to the main road and the processing factory.
• Each of the first stage processors are designed to be airlifted in and out of site depending on volcano activity, by the cargo choppers - Skycrane like choppers that can each carry a mining module around the site.
• At the processing sites there is a security detail, between 6-10 security officers with radios (encryption 3), with riflemen, light armour, and 1-2 heavy weapons, to drive off Huk guerillas or rival corporations.
• Site drone riggers (2 on duty) have VCR3, Control pool 6, Deck rating 6, 12 drone network, Filters 2, PEM 4, Flux 8, Signal Amp, Encryption 4, ECCM 2
• Magical assistance from the JEF is located at Marawi City, where there is a G1 mage with 4 X F6 air elementals and 2 X F6 fire elementals available as backup. If he gets injured or falls, it would relay to Davao City (150km), where there is a G3+G2 mage, each with the same elemental loadout. The G3 has shielding.
• Marawi City has JEF marines able to scramble in 5 minutes if hi-tech weapons are detected / observed, and will send in 1-3 choppers of marines with a combat squad in each, armed with air to air missiles, 20mm cannon and full combat loads.
Kren Cooper
Evening everyone! Hope you’re all having a good week, and are ready for another dose of Smuggler goodness. This weeks writeup is done nice and early courtesy of having a day off Thursday around a tooth extraction, and the power of having some Tramadol left over to banish the ache afterwards – and it being a short writeup.
So – what happened this week? Well, at Volcano #4, the challenge was a fight – so I’d statted up some paracritters designed to give the team a good challenge. There were a couple of design considerations I had to think about, to make the fight meaningful and threatening.
1) Shimazu with his sword is pretty lethal in melee, with attunement and a point of reach he hits a lot, and hard.
2) Aswon is no slouch with his spear, having more reach and centering, though he has a lower damage code so finds it harder to stage up so much.
3) Hunter has 6 points of effective recoil comp, so can do two bursts on no modifiers, or a 6 round string on fully auto, and that is quite punchy.
4) Tads is a grade 5 mage now, making her stun balls pretty big – and she too has a good number of dice to throw at a test.
So – what to design? Well, I started with the concept of a Salamander, as you know – volcano, hot rocks, sulphur vents… seemed appropriate. A quick look through the Critters book and the Paranormal Animals of Europe / North America, and it was clear the stuff in there was a good basis, but not what I needed.
So – out came the inventing stick, and then Lava Salamanders appeared. I worked on having two sizes, for some juveniles and a few adults – though the players never worked out they were looking at that rather than male/females or some other mix. I gave them the following stats:
Adolescents: B5, Q4, S5, C-, I3, W3, R3, Init 11, CP5, Attacks 8M bite +4M heat blast
Adults: B6, Q5, S6, C-, I4, W4, R4, Init 15, CP6, Attacks 9M bite, +5M heat blast
I was planning on having plenty of them, so rather that doing initiative as say 2 or 3d6 each round, I worked out an average value, and just baked it into the stats – making the start of the combat round much quicker and meaning they all rushed around in a mob, potentially making them a little more scary.
Both were given Immunity to Normal weapons and hardened armour, giving effectively 8 or 10 points of armour – enough that even the soaks from a 3 round burst with a handful of successes or a good swipe with the sword were still possible to soak.
I also give them two nasty little tweaks to come as a surprise for the team. In my head-cannon, these beasties tunnel and chew through rock like a rockworm, eating hot lava and semi-molten rocks, and their specialised stomachs slosh this around, absorbing some of the minerals before the regurgitate the hot slag in a stream. A little bit like Terry Pratchett’s dragons, they’re a volatile chemical process, that’s dangerous to be around. So, the first side of this is that as they’re lunging at people with their bite, they inevitably exhale a burst of molten crap in a shotgun like blast – meaning the target needs to soak a 4M heat based attack – the kicker being with no armour. Once the team discovered this, they needed to guard their combat pool for soaking / dodging a lot more, cutting down their offensive attacks a lot. The second was that on death, the autonomic systems that kept the molten mush moving in their bellies would stop, and stuff would reach a critical mass – and then explode. Any round that a critter died in, I effectively dropped a grenade marker on the corpse, to go off at initiative phase 0. This of course gave them an incentive to move away from corpses, making things difficult if they were still in melee range of another critter who might then get a free swipe at them – and also meant that they weren’t going to get much from talismongering.
With that done, the main “danger” was Tads and her enormous stun-ball. Now as a grade 5, with Shielding, she could make the team pretty much immune to her own spells, even if they were in LOS, and should she drop a nuke on them, it was likely to be over as soon as she got to her initiative, and that wouldn’t create the air of danger I was after. So, I took the effect from Nimue’s Salamanders, and warped it slightly – each of the “big” ones now got to make an essence test against the force of any spells coming in to range, with each success lowering the force of the spell by 1. This should vastly reduce the threat of any AoE spells to the pack, without making them utterly useless.
Great! With 9 smalls and 3 bigs, that was the encounter monsters sorted – now to look at the environment. I really wanted to make them think about what they were doing, so I put them in very deep ash over rough rocks, on a 50-60 degree slope – making movement horrible. That would put them on the defensive somewhat, with the high tech weapons, while the critters charged – hopefully giving a Zulu Dawn feel as they got charged down and had to keep them at range or risk being detonated by the exploding bodies. And of course, the more explosions there were, the more chance of a quick ash avalanche, requiring some fancy athletics tests to avoid.
With the stage set, we could make a start!
As it turns out, the combat took pretty much the entire session – not surprising giving the crunch of 3rd ed, the number of combatants (18 in total), the environment and the tracking of explosive corpses and slope status to keep in mind. But, everyone was involved, and by keeping the creature initiative simple, things kept moving at a reasonable pace. We went past our normal stopping time, but I think even the wife (who normally turns into a pumpkin at 9pm) didn’t comment, realising that we didn’t want to stop the fight ¾ through…
The players won of course, actually working very well together, making small unit tactics rolls, buddying up to stop themselves being outflanked and providing mutual support and generally having solid tactics to deal with them. They used a number of re-rolls up avoiding damage, and the main casualty was the amount of stun poor Tads took – which made her levitation of Hunter and herself to avoid the avalanche a lot less certain and added some tension.
Still – they got the token dropped in, and finished target #4, and are now ready to head off on their journey to Hong Kong, where there’s going to be some downtime on the chopper to get it fixed, and some side quests to keep them busy.

Here are the notes from the session – mostly initiative trackers and then actions in order.
1) Sunday 12/9/2060, Location: 12.76885, 124.05354, Time: 11:54
2) Party starts split: Kai, Marius, Vadim on the chopper, landed on the extruded rocks - query, are the engines still running - impact on fuel status; Hunter, Shimazu and Tads on the slope, having spotted salamanders
3) Shimazu 23
4) Aswon 21
5) Hunter 18
6) Marius 16
7) Tads 15
cool.gif Bigs 15
9) Smalls 11

10) Shimazu first, move forward and left, Athletics check ok, moves up 8m,
11) Aswon, moves a little, prepares to set for charge, athletics check ok, moves up 4m, activate spear,
12) Hunter, 7 round burst far right, not moving - hits, soaks to an M
13) Tads, put up shielding on group, move to support Hunter
14) Salamanders swarm down the slope, 1 gets close enough to attack Shimazu, attacks, loses, takes an M, heat damage to Shimazu. RR - soaked.
15) Marius moves to R side door gun, Kai moves to rear and climbs out
16) Back to top
17) Shimazu, attacks same, 10D - kills it, soaks the heat damage.
18) Aswon moves up slope ok, attacks small, centre to counter modifiers, centers all mods, beats by 1, 10M, soaks to L, soak Heat damage, Detects quite rumble from #1
19) Hunter - 6 round burst to the one flanking Aswon. does an M after soaking from 13D
20) Tads - paranormal creatures, 1 success, no magic evident, armoured, adjusts position to get more stable
21) Marius breaks out the LMG and gets it locked and loaded
22) Lizard 2 attacks Shimazu, it almost dies
23) Back to top
24) Shimazu - jumps up and back, activates traceless walk to land 1-2m downslope, 1 rr 4
25) Aswon - SUT test, 1 success. "Shoot them!" Centre for mods to move - all mods countered
26) #1 explodes, Aswon and Shimazu soak 8S reduced to 2S from range, both soaked. 1 rr still 1,

27) Shimazu 19
28) Aswon 18
29) Hunter 16
30) Marius 15
31) Bigs 15
32) Kai 12
33) Smalls 11
34) Tads 11
35) Round 2
36) Shimazu - quick draw pistol +shoot, shoot badly injured one, pistol kills,
37) Aswon - moves back from one just killed, centres ok, moves ok
38) Hunter - aims at #3, 6 round burst, 3 hits, 16D, takes an S on top of the M
39) Marius - door gun, LMG, 6round burst, drops it.
40) Big ones moves down towards group
41) Kai - shoots at the closest Big one, archery, doesn't do damage, +2 taser effects, no splode
42) Tads - aims stunball at first big one - Hunter free action to help steady her if needed, RR on cast F5 stunball at S. Big ones do magic drain, get just enough successes to nullify the spell. Takes M stun from casting.
43) Astral perception checks to spot what happens - energy absorbed off. Paracritters roll - Aswon, like Nimue Sallies
44) Back to top
45) Shimazu Shoots #5, shoots, soaked, holsters gun.
46) Aswon shoots at badly injured #3, 1 success, wounds, shoots again, drops - using APDS
47) Hunter - grenade into middle of pack, launch weapons, no deviation,
48) Marius - 4 round burst to #8, serious wound - does an S, dead
49) Kai - shoots at #5 left flank, slow moving serious wound, shoot in the eye, kills it.
50) Smalls - charge down.
51) Explosions ripple, Aswon and Hunter soak,

52) Round #3
53) Aswon 19
54) Shimazu 17
55) Bigs 15
56) Tads 15
57) Marius 14
58) Kai 13
59) Hunter 12
60) Smalls 11

61) Shimazu quick strike - moves to #6 and attacks, wins by 11, 12D, 2 successes on soak, one box off dead, soak heat
62) Aswon shoots #7, kills, change target to #9, misses
63) Tads - sees avalanche coming, levitate on Hunter and hangs on. Levitates, gets 2, up and out of ash. Now at M+2 stun
64) Marius - retract door gun, close back ramp.
65) Kai - Athletics check to roll through closing door - 2 success.
66) Hunter - shoot at C as rising in the air - stiches fire down the spine, dead,
67) small attacks shimazu, dies, soak heat
68) Back to top,
69) Aswon - shooting at #9, kills it, backs away from corpse and avalanche, moving fine
70) Shimazu move to left, stay at same height
71) Tads - go up. Hunter and Tads perception check, both spot the pack on the other crater lip
72) Marius - hears rumble of avalanche, heads to cockpit, starts to increase power, leaves side door open for ingress
73) Kai - avalanche closing, rolls on side, clamber over gear to open side door
74) Hunter reloads to APDS, asks tads to go to crater edge
75) Another avalanche on left flank, towards aswon
76) Out of combat time, Aswon dodging 2nd avalanche
77) Drop token in, all get in chopper, start to power up and take off, flying away - calling it there.

Steep slope, 60-70 degrees of loose ash and pumice over fragile rock. Difficult terrain for all metahumans, giving +1 to +3 terrain modifiers as they move around. Salamanders get to ignore the mods, becoming more of a threat.
A large number of adolescents (15+) boil from cracks and steam vents at their approach, along with a few adults, looking to hunt them down.
Tads is at the back, so a stun ball may well also cover/hit Hunter and Aswon.

Monsters: Lava Salamanders
Adolescents: B5, Q4, S5, C-, I3, W3, R3, Init 11, CP5, Attacks 8M bite +4M heat damage(no armour).
Adults: B6, Q5, S6, C-, I4, W4, R4, Init 15, CP6, Attacks 9M bite, +5M heat
Effective armour of 8/10 vs mundane weapons, 4/5 vs magical weapons.
Both types explode 1 round after death, causing Body+3 S damage, -1 per 1/2m.
Magical suppression field - make an essence test vs F of spell, reducing the effective F of the spell per success.Does not affect the casters drain.
Kren Cooper
Good morning everyone, hope you’re all well. Episode 169 is now published in book 6 and can be found at:
A longer than average one this week – not to make up for last weeks short episode, but just the way it goes. Tads went back to see the Quoll, so it was a good time to put in the writeup that Ali (Tad’s player) had written – I’d have hated to see the effort that went into it wasted.
So, with the Quoll ridden, and the meaning of the word “Yeet” discovered, the team arrived in Hong Kong and discovered the Chun Fu martial arts academy, and a little bit of fan service… you see Chun is a real person, my PT who’s been helping me with my weight loss for the last 6 months or so. Along with him, there are a number of other characters who are in or will be appearing in the next short arc that are also found at the gym: Nicola, Simi, Rudi, Ismael, Mikey… a certain amount of liberty has been taken with characters – relocating ethnic backgrounds for one, and I’m pretty sure that Mikey isn’t in fact a troll (though he does hit like one – the whole inspiration for the broken arm scene was listening to Nicola tell us that after padding Mikey when he was practicing his turning kicks, he’d been kicking her so hard she had a headache due to the jarring impacts…)
Looking around, I found a likely theme for the academy, basing it roughly on this building: and using the pictures there to set the tone / feel for the players. After giving them a night to settle in, it was time to show them some of the normal routine with a brief training montage on the beach (if you hum Chariots of Fire, it might be more evocative – or if you have no sense of tune, here’s a handy link for background listening: Vangelis - Chariots Of Fire - YouTube. You’re welcome. *grin*.
One of the things that has always impressed me about what we commonly perceive as the “third world” is how much they’re happy to just grab some tools and get on with a job, without using the tools or aides we probably either take for granted or rely on, mixed with the flagrant disregard for health and safety – as I’m sure anyone who’s seen someone riding a moped with about 197 chickens in boxes balanced on the back will understand.
So, channelling some of the unorthodox exercises that Chun sometimes has for me, with that “JFDI methodology” seen sometimes, I came up with a novel way to get the engines down to the garage where they’re going to be stripped, and also impressing on the players that they’re going to need their co-operation to get them back again!
Next week we start to uncover the plot here, when it turns out that one of Chun’s fighters has been kidnapped, and the triads are trying to put the lean on him to make him come out of retirement and take part in a rigged match. If only there was a team of crack shadowrunners who could go and organise a rescue…

Session notes:
1. Sunday 12/9/2060, Location: 12.76885, 124.05354, Time: 12:00
2. Flying up towards Manila, 10 for stealth, 10 for scan, no encounter, get to Nagsasa cove for 2pm - camo netting, start fuel pumping, Marius gets some rest, everyone else rest/relax/pumping.
3. Aswon - do we want to rest here for 24 hours, get Marius a good rest, leave at dusk tomorrow. Everyone agrees. Aswon calls spook, advises ETA 3-4 hours after dusk.Fuel transfer goes ok
4. Tads doing astral training with Vadim. Go to see the Quoll.
5. Hunter looking for electric pumps / drop tanks - HK best place for it. Kai doing some archery training. Shimazu lockpicking, Aswon SUT.
6. Fast forward to dusk Monday 13/9. Aswon finds grit in the guns, door guns etc. Get Tads to help with an air spirit, cleaning everything. Tads comes back from astral jaunt looking happy - team a little suspicious, check her out, find nothing.
7. Take off, heading to HK, efficiency down to 25%, heading to Shek-O,
8. Call number - sound of martials arts training in the background, Kai talks, get directions to landing in the courtyard - mind the wind.
9. Arrive, get eyes on the structure, very tight - land - ludicrously tight landing. Meet Chun
10. Chun calls Rudi and gets half a dozen students to string up camo nets over the courtyard
11. Clean but run down.
12. Nicole - broken forearm, offers to help = Kai biotech rolls a 10, reduces from a serious to a moderate. Kai politely asks - if magic is ok. They agree. 7 successes, 3 on success, 4 on time.
13. Chun impressed, positive comments. Get them settled into rooms, meet on the veranda in 15 minutes.
14. Now 21:00, Monday 13/9, team settled in to rooms, excellent construction, 500+ years old, positive background count - see chun doing ball push ups.
15. offers food, goes next door, talks to wife, you have to look after the baby
16. "So, what's wrong with your helicopter?" Everyone looks to Marius. Full engine rebuild - I know a guy, down in town, but he's expensive.
17. Calls Marcello, arranges visit in the morning.
18. Wife comes in with sandwiches and crisps. Kai stands respectfully. Some cheese, some ham, some both - do you want ketchup. Kai asks about history - been in the family for generations, lots of training. Kai offers to help. Electrician? We'll have a go...
19. Aswon offers warding, Chun asks for info. Gets an explanation from Shimazu. Talk, eat, takes a while, settles people down, see you in the morning. Aswon asks for help with medicine ball pushups. Aswon calls spook, advises all is ok. Tads gets Marius and hunter through the ward on the tiltwing to break tracking attempts, all go to bed.
20. Up on Tuesday morning 14/9, around 07:00. Team go to do running through the waves. Encouragement and support. Athletics 6 tests for people. Aswon 3, Shimazu 2, Tads 1, Hunter 0, Marius and Kai stay back.
21. Hunter cooing at baby, baby thinks this is amazing - reverse charisma check
22. Marcello arrives, slick italian - so, who is your driver? Aswon - Oh jeeves! Marius dirty look. Examines the landing spot, distance, impressed. So - what happened here. Volcanic ash. Marius - about 4-5 days. Concur - but waiting on parts. Get them down to me. Student stumbles.
23. Aswon calls spook to arrange a meeting, Spook - call you later. Aswon bunks off anyway.
24. Walk to Giovanchis, Hunter helps with the 2nd team. Tads offers water. Marius stays with engines, Aswon bunked off, rest coming back with students to training hall.
25. Hunter looking for local aircraft graveyards, just in case...
26. Stop.
Strangely enough, very brief notes this week, but it was 13,500 words of writeup…

Background notes / plot points:
Once past the encounter, 500km will empty the remaining fuel and get them to west of Manila on the coast for a manual refuel
From there, it's 1000km to Hong Kong - Aswon needs to chase Spook for the contact details for Chun
Chun - small town of 'Shek O' on the east side. (instagram, looking over the ropes)
Three sided building, training hall, living accommodation, central courtyard - just big enough for the tilt-wing to land in (very restricted terrain, mountain downdrafts, +6 TN)
Tilt-rotor value= 3million. Damage = 20%, so a book repair cost of 600k i.e. more than the team have. Chun can call in some favours to get some parts, access to tools etc. Pitch is as expensive, though if the team are willing to help out with some stuff around the temple, that would help.
Jobs on site - rewire, cleaning, plumbing, roof repairs, cleaning outside.
Gym is clean, but run down - lots of little jobs needed doing. Keeps meaning to, but always tomorrow. Too busy training.
Chun B6 Q7 S6 C5 I5 W3 R6 Init 4D6+6, CP 7. Human, mid 40s, friendly face, easy going, wheeler-dealer, positive energy, forgetful, slightly disorganised.
Kickboxing 10, all moves, Centering 8 (Counting), TKD 6, Wing chun 5, Instructor 8, Weight training 6, Athletics 8, Biotech 5, Mysticism 5, Tattoos 4
Phys-ad, Grade 5 (Masking, Improved Masking, Advanced Masking, Centering (S+A, Kickboxing), Improved ability Kickboxing 6(3), Increase reactions 3(5), Quick strike (3)
Married, two older children, newborn in the house. Quite westernised, but strong streak of historical culture / mysticism, covered in tattoos with "virtues" e.g Honour, Integrity, Fearlessness

Academy students:
• Harley, Human, Male, Anglo, early 20s, Chun's protege / adopted son
• Nicola, Human, Female, mid 20s, Anglo, senior PT / assistant instructor, A squad fighter / competitor with multiple competition wins. Mundane with top line physical stats
• Simi, Human, Male, late 20s, Carrib, A squad / assistant instructor. Physical adept with boosted fitness / martial arts
• Ismael, Elf, Male, mid 20s, Indian, A squad. Mundane with top line physical stats
• Rudi, Human, Male, late 20s, Kenyan, A squad. Mundane with top line physical stats
• Mikey, Troll, Male, late teens, Bulgarian, A squad. Physical adept with large physical boosts - B13, Q7, S16,
• Hakim, Dwarf, Male, early thirties, Nubian, A squad. Mundane with top line physical stats
• Anna, Female, late twenties, Korean, tall, A squad. Mundane with top line physical stats
• 24 assorted martial arts / K1 / boxing students, mostly very fit and several year veterens in their respective areas, on a 1-4 month residential stays

Day 1 - welcome to the gym, examine the craft, arrange for experts to come. Chance to train, relax, explore a little. Nicola with a broken arm - get Tads to heal?
Day 2 - local fabricators come - agree to take the engines to their shop to work on them. Arrange students to carry the engines down the path to town to the workshop. Workshop has good security, should be safe to leave them there (also do luxury car repairs, some expensive cars from around the island)
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