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The Question Man
The Ancients, a K10 production.

Resurected by QM

As requested. I'll post history from 2049-2060 tomorrow, as I'm out of time and need to spell check.

History 2020-2049
During the early 2020's, when Seattle bulged with Anglo refugees, gangs proliferated and exploded at amazing rates. Most gangs lasted a night or two terrorizing the streets at night. One of these gangs, known then as Elven Fire, would later become the Ancients.
Elven Fire distinguished itself from most gangs with guerilla warfare tactics and a lack of definitive turf. The gang would strike targets suddenly, deadly and then pull a fade. These tactics still hold, at least in part, to the modern day Ancients.
When Walter Bright Waters made his clarion call, the three surviving founders and ten other members left Seattle for Portland, then part of the SS Council. However, having no skills and no desire to get real jobs, the gang simply continued to terrorize the streets with much less competition. Shortly thereafter, a mysterious patron offered an exchange: Terrorize only the local "human" tribes for weapons and hardware. Under the patron's instructions, a smuggling route between Seattle and Portland was forged. Late 2033, all the gangs old members had passed on, and the leader, Dances with Demons, changed the name from Elven Fire, to the Ancients. Most of their operations were now out of Seattle.
The days following Tir's founding gave them more opportunities than ever before. They increased their smuggling operation to include people, both fleeing and immigrating to TT. Those that rode this underground railroad underwent magical examination; any that showed potential joined the Ancient's ranks. Everyone else had to pay 50,000 nuyen a head, those that couldn't pay could either join the Ancients, or the slave trade. Elves going into Tir and couldn't pay, helped fill the new Ancients brothels.
With their numbers swelling, the gang instituted strict membership guidelines, basing their initiation on Tir's Rite of Progression. Those that failed could still join, but never wear the jacket. Instead, they had to find jobs and funnel information back to the Ancients. Most Ancients knew that Oakforest was their patron by 2039.
In the forties, exiles from Tir began arriving. Many of them were young military or peace force officers who disobeyed commands or found themselves between two princes. Embittered, but disciplined, they stayed out of the smuggling, forming the street patrols and other protection rackets. They divided into units of ten and painted the Ancients symbol black (for the betrayal of Tir). The "Blacks" are the most widely recognized section of the gang, performing seemingly random, well planned attacks on rival gangs.
Other exiles were of nobility and were exiled in failed coup or assignation attempts. While angry, many wished to return to TT and assume their rightful places. With a pardon from Oakforest (or any other Prince on the council) they could rejoin Tir society (as Gentry) so many worked to curry the Prince's favor. Naturally, these exiles dealt mostly with the smuggling between Tir and Seattle. They painted their sometimes inverted anarchy symbols white (for the purity of the elven soul) and were the first to use the term "houses" to describe their units. "Whites" patrol areas around the smuggling hubs in Tasilar (sp?) and Glow City; they rarely wear their jackets outside of these areas.
The third group of Ancients, the Reds, are mostly the children of those spies and other local recruits. Many still hold jobs, while others branched out into BTL and other drug production. The Ancients don't deal the drugs directly, using other gangs as distributes, to keep a lower profile. However, they soon were exporting drugs en mass all around North America. When the forties came to a close the Ancients have over a thousand members world wide


2031-2037 : Dances with Demons
2037-2042 : Twin Lee
2042-2048 : Goro
2048-2050 : Imiri
2050-2052 : Wasp
2052-2052 : Vapor (2 hours)
2052-206? : Sting

History 2050-2060
Into the 50's the influx of exiles slowed down as Tir settled down, and everyone got used to the new order. Under Imiri's leadership, the links to Tir had become near public information. After her death by overdose, Wasp defeated the challengers and began increasing the Ancient's membership outside Seattle. While this policy increased their dependance on Tir, Wasp planned to change the nature of the relationship; he just didn't live long enough.
Wasp was killed during a running battle with the Meat Junkies, who had penetrated deep into a Tarislar drug manufacturing neighborhood. Vapor, a White, used the chaos to assume power (occ: how did she know Wasp would die? Someone who planned on killing him and putting a puppet on the Ancient throne told her. Did he set her up to fall?) Sting, after rallying the Reds, battling the Meat Junkies, Lone Star forces, and Tir Paladins, returned to find "this Tir bitch" sitting pretty. She challenged Vapor for leadership.
The three second contest sparked a sudden mutiny when Vapor's house launched an attack on Sting's house. The Reds, having just fought a bloody battle, Sting heading the charge, squashed the insurrection. When the dust settled, two White houses were vaporized.
Soon after, Sting began pushing for a cutting of ties with Tir. The Blacks agreed to support her plan. In order to gain a majority in council, Sting had to cave on several issues for the Whites; mainly giving them full control of the smuggling between cities instead of just Seattle Tir. In reality, Sting has replaced one master for many. While not dependant on Oakforest (though most information still ends up in his hands, even if just a copy) the Ancients need suppliers of weaponry and hardware to maintain their edge. Because much of their focus had been information gathering, the gang needed to diversify and has increased people smuggling of all races.

That's the history. I have: Operations about how they make money, Law & Chaos an overview of culture and rules, and maybe some bio's if you want.


The Ancient's operations break down by group and then by house. While I won't detail every house and what they do (to give GM's flexibility), I can outline the way the three groups make money and how they can work together.

The Blacks
To a large degree, when most humans (and non-elves) think of the Ancients, they think of thrill gang bikers who terrorize rival gangs and the streets of Seattle by night. This image comes from the blacks; they have cultivated this image to cover the real extent of the Ancients (and because they enjoy it). They ride customized Rapiers and Auroras, carry assault rifles or carbines, and wear armored jackets. That's what everyone knows.
However, the Blacks have several roles to play beyond maintaining the illusion of a go-go gang. One, they provide distractions for important smuggling operations, striking at threats to the shipments and busying boarder patrol or police forces. Two, they run protection rackets in the Elven districts of downtown and Bellevue. Three, they patrol and defend much of Tarislar.
Using military training and hardware from Tir, the blacks set up ambushes and killing zones when they need to strike at a target. They typically have drones, rigged vehicles (cargo carriers), and grenade launchers. Using the drones to spot and track rival gangs or target transports, the blacks also employ a spotter (someone discreet and unmarked) to insure perfect timing. How does this help the Ancients? One, it maintains their reputation as badass. Two, they often hit cargo transports en route, transferring the cargo from one transport to their own on the fly. Three, used properly, the Ancients lose far less cargo to police forces than any other organized smugglers without payouts.
Like the Triads, the Ancient's protection rackets (called street patrols) actually do provide security (to elven businesses at least). In many elven communities, there is a distrust of Lone Star and government agencies, therefore, the blacks often fulfill the services normal provided by the city: criminal investigation, justice, and security. While little time is spent in these endeavors, the reputation of the Ancients is well known and helps deter would-be criminals. Services range in cost, from basic 500 yen a week for the patrols to 5000 yen for a hunt and destroy investigation. Again, the blacks use drones and spotters in these neighborhoods to monitor activities. Assume 5 min response times, but (depending on the target) the Ancients can bring in their significant magical abilities (for a gang) and can track down offenders. The most common offenders are rival gangs, but the Ancients usually respond quickly to large scale threats like that (spotters calling in can track the rivals movements through Ancients "territory"), often hitting the gang when they return to their home turf.
In Tarislar, the Blacks are law and order. The houses here are all from exiled peace force and their recruits. They protect the prostitutes, and they keep the peace between the poor. And they distribute drugs to smaller gangs. They also dispense justice between two parties, just like a court. Elven claimants can file for a trial with the house that provides for their neighborhood. Services are paid for by drugs (though most goes back to the reds), losers in court battles, and those coming and going from Tarislar, a tax collected by kids. The kids, usually recruits in their first year, range from 8 to 13 and carry no weapons save a knife. They don't speak, just come up to cars at the stop signs of the few serviced roads, with a cred reader. Just wave the stick, don't argue or beg out of it; 5 yen will save you infinite hassles.


The Whites
Exiled to the Ancients, these dissidents see their membership as punishment, or more accurately: purgatory. Don't be fooled into thinking that they don't care about the gang; on the contrary, the Ancients are the only means they have of redemption. However, they still look for any means to further themselves as individuals and as a group.
The whites control smuggling between Tir and Seattle, including bases and safehouses in both cities. They romanticize their lives as rouges and charm young elves into traveling with them, stealing their innocence and then selling them into the slave trade. While the reds dominate the satellite chapter houses, the whites control the smuggling routes between the cities. Originally, the whites had no safehouses outside of the Tir/Seattle nexus, but they have slowly, secretly changed that: buying property here and there, leaving supplies, and building a contact network "just in case."
Giving them a virtual lock on information from Tir, the whites have the only Ancient's houses there. Most of their recruits come from these houses, and any others must live in Tir during their tenure and training. The whites own several brothels in Tir, and use them as cover for people smuggling. The Ancients own many small trading companies to aid in money laundering, which are (almost) all run by whites.
In addition to smuggling and information hording, the whites deal (quietly) in organlegging. Sometimes an "accident" happens to a slave train, and the bodies get sold, usually in Tir. They routinely check each "load" for value, and if the total shipping value is not worth the trip (no good lookers, no rich runners, no good reason) the will dump the cargo at their body shops in Portland. This is rare, as they have to maintain a reputation, but accidents happen...
The whites patrol in Tarislar at seemingly (and sometimes factually) random intervals. They maintain the illusion of no real turf, and protect incoming cargo ("hiring" the blacks to work distraction). They have multiple safehouses in Tarislar, and space out the usage of each. Most Seattle to Tir shipments happen here, however the whites have few permanent bases or houses in Tarislar.
Located near Glow City, the Ancients hold a large stretch of land occupied by abandoned refineries and light manufacturing plants that went bust way back in the crash of '29 called the Hub. Both the reds and the whites have houses here, as well as numerous other gangs. This is the major intersection of smuggling routes though Seattle. The whites patrol the Ancients "turf" and have fortified positions all around it. The Hub is always tense, with close to fifty gangs holding a piece of the pie, but because of the profits to be made by keeping it peaceful, it's a relatively safe Z zone (most of the time). Outgoing drug smuggling happens here (most of the production as well, see The Reds) and final stage training along with magical training also go on within their territory.

Much of what the whites do will be in the Law and Chaos section as they built the bureaucracy that is the Ancients leadership (Goro and Imiri were whites).


The Reds
Recruited from the children of the no-coats or locally from outside of Tir, the Reds are the most diverse group. While not military specialists or mind boggling manipulators, they can overwhelm much of the Ancients operations by sheer numbers.
When the Ancients formed, most of the members wore green painted symbols. After the formation of the Blacks during Twin Lee's leadership, all new recruits were given red jackets and the "greens" started retiring because they didn't see their place in the growing organization. Any living of these greens are still considered Ancients, and to honor them only gangers who go beyond the call of duty can wear green symbols. The blacks felt alienated from the new recruits because of their lack of discipline, and they built "boot camps" to train the reds. When the whites formed their own groups, they didn't want the blacks to have all the trainees but also felt disdain for the red "underclass." While the whites and blacks fought over them, the reds slowly grew into a separate group with their own identity in the gang.
Goro finally settled the dispute by appointing house leaders to the four original camps. While he didn't want the whites to lose any influence, he didn't want the blacks gaining any, so he made the red houses larger than either to give the reds less vote per number. White and black houses have an average of ten to fifteen members, while the reds have a consistent twenty-five (the size of the original camps).
Trained in bikes and calvary style fighting, the reds supplemented security and black operations. They ran courier jobs between the factions and no-coats, learned and performed maintenance on equipment, basically all the non glory jobs. They also recruited more Ancients. As time went on the reds branched out into modifying hardware and equipment to increase the resale value. They built shops inside or next to their houses, adding houses as their operations expanded.
BTL production fell into their laps when the Ancients pushed the Slag Merchants (a small gang) out of Glow City. Not wanting the Ancients name tainted, Imiri (the then leader), decided to sell only large quantities to smaller gangs (like the Silent P's) and let them distribute the drugs. From BTL's they expanded into "natural" drugs like Novacoke, Zen, and Quantum. They exported these drugs to Tir and soon other cities, building houses to support the distribution to local gangs.
Cargo hijacked by the blacks would arrive at red chop shops and ship out same day on white t-birds. The reds soon controlled large areas of land for living, working, and even recreation. The reds, while the most numerous are the most hidden of the Ancients, at least until Sting and the break away.

Ancient History wrote:
Nice. Not bad at all. Good work, Ten my man.

Man or old boy, and thanks. I figured you'd be the first to respond about the Ancient's history...
Dingus_McGee wrote:
Where does Green Lucifer fit in? I thought he was a leader of the Seattle contingent, at least for a while.

Green Lucifer came to Seattle as a noble exile, making him a white. Because Wasp knew that he still planned on ousting Oakforest, he killed Wasp and put Vapor up as a puppet. Sting figured it out, but Lucy had too much support and so she co-opted him to keep the rest of the whites from rebelling. You'd have to ask her if it was worth it.
Fortune wrote:
Dude! I like it! What more d'ya got?

Thanks, and are you planning on making them the bad guys for you Wheel of Fortune or do you want them to co-opt your group? Is there any thing specific you want to know?
Hot Wheels wrote:
nice work, of course they still go "splat" when you hit 'em with an armored step van.

True, but why make an enemy of such a powerful ally? The Ancients are the best way in or out of Tir, and one friend with them can get you military hardware or something. It's not like they attack runners on a regular basis.
Ancient History wrote:
Or ye olde Physical Barrier spell.

If you want to protect the Ancients, you could give the point biker a rating six ward attached to the cycle...

Fortune wrote:
Kanada Ten wrote:
Thanks, and are you planning on making them the bad guys for you Wheel of Fortune or do you want them to co-opt your group?

Neither (at least it's not presently in the works ). The Ancients are definitely my favorite organization in Shadowrun, and I am always on the lookout for a new tidbit on them, or angle for them to exploit. I appreciate your taking the time to post what you have.

Not a problem, just time consuming. I'm in love with my Shadowverse, so I don't have issues with posting my views, but I have limited time.
Is there any thing specific you want to know? much more do you have?

I don't know. Basically, I see only a few more writable topics:
Operations: No-Coats
Law & Chaos: Order within the Ancients
To Be an Ancient: Trainning, Initation, Culture

Most everything else would differ for every champgaine or GM. But, hell, the last two are nebulas topics that could take the rest of my life to write up


When Dances with Demons instituted the Rite of Progression as the initiation into the Ancients, he laughed about the implications of creating different classes of Ancients, saying, "We'll have just two classes, those that wear the coat and those that don't." While he meant this as Ancient or Not, the meaning has blurred over time. What began as an informal network of elves fighting for the elven cause, became a spy ring with an identity in the Ancients. As time wore on, and informants spread through society, they kept their homes and lives close to the elven community. Many of the no-coats married or dated Ancients, and spawned a unique place in the gang's culture.
The no-coats don't directly add to the Ancients coffers, indeed, the gang pays for much of their lifestyle with "low rent" (read: free) community living. But they add immensely to its mythology and are the core of the Ancients operations. In a sense, they are the proof of the Ancients duality. Like the Triads, membership in the elven communities is extremely high, and while most no-coats will never fire a pistol, they support the gang morally. Don't expect them to rally into a mob should you attack the Ancients, but don't expect any aid from an elf when you do. As much as (depending on the GM) ten percent of the elven population in Seattle's elven districts are affiliated with the gang, and funnel information back through it. While officially, the no-coats have no say in Ancient's affairs, it is well accepted that the reds speak for them.
As gangers age, they often lose their fire and passion with destruction. Unlike many other gangs, the Ancients understand that one cannot live the ganger life forever. But then again, one cannot be allowed to go free with knowledge that belongs to the Ancient. So they retire into the no-coats; getting real jobs, reciting tales to entice the young, and so on. Only those who are allowed to wear green can skip this, but they still must undergo a Rite to bind them to secrecy (this doesn't mean they let you go when you want).


Understanding the Houses I
Each house within the Ancients has a much wider range of money making abilities than the general methods employed by their factions, and while the houses don't tread too far from their bread and butter, they do earn cash in different ways. In order to understand the variety of ways in which a house can build an enterprise it is important to understand a little more about their structure. So instead of giving a list of house and what they do, I'm going to give a general picture of how houses are formed and how they operate.

Before one becomes an Ancient a house must supply a nomination in your favor. This is a simple nod from any house, saying that you are worthy enough to be trained. Recruiters go out of their way to find and entice talented or awakened youths, usually between eight and sixteen (though up to 24 is not unheard of), into coming out to an Ancients party. These wild, everything-you-could-desire, hedonistic bashes happen often and are just one of the "perks" of becoming an Ancient. The recruiter will use whatever means to pull a candidate in, if they have enough talent or family influences. Usually, the house of the recruiter will give the nod, however other houses may try to steal the candidate by offering better services or more perks. The house that nominates a candidate, provided he or she agrees to it, decides how to further the individuals training and for how long the training will last.

Once training is complete, the candidate can choose a different house to try and join (with an invitation from said house), but the original house must be compensated for the cost of training. This often ends up being a horse trade, and candidates can easily get caught up in politics. Whatever happens here matters little, as the candidate must be nominated for the Rite of Progression (described later) by whatever house he or she plans on joining. This is not a simple affair largely because, should a candidate fail, the house that gave the nomination must refrain from the next Rite (each house can only supply one candidate per Rite).

Assuming success, the candidate becomes an Ancient, is giving a jacket, and has their past erased to start their new one as an elite. candidate are chosen for their skills and their potentials, based on the goals of the house and those of the faction for the house. Most prized are images, Decker, adepts, and the naturally charismatic. Each house has ways of enticing (or out right bribing) potential candidates, but they are limited by the huge beuracracy of the Ancients in how they can go about it.

Because of their necessities in training and costs, mages have their own houses; but only three all mage houses exist (one for each faction) and the members are lent out to houses as need be. Many mages choose to live with another house (its hard to live with twenty other people who think their better than you), but they are bound by the desisions of their official house. Adepts and deckers are (intentionally, behind the scenes) spaced between houses to prevent monopolies from forming.



Understanding the Houses II
In order to maintain privacy and improve their ability to keep a low territorial profile, the Ancients use one of several real estate brokers that they secretly control to buy the land upon which they wish to build a house or otherwise control. In order to do this, they hire smaller gangs to terrorize the neighborhood and make a nuisance, but not too much violence as to avoid Lone Star's watchful eyes. This drives down the property value slightly, but it gives the Ancients an even better opportunity. They simply ride into the area and drive off the "rival" gangs, looking like heroes so that no one complains when they hang out around this or that apartment; after all, they keep the gangs away. Usually, houses keep activities in their areas quite wether by bribing other gangs to stay out or showing them the wisdom of doing so.

Initially, the property scams were of little consequence to the Ancients bottom line, but increasingly they have branched out to make it a profitable side business. Like much of organized crime, the gang can afford to take a longer view of property values. They simply wait until the land is cheep enough to buy, and then wait for the value to rise. However, because they wish to remain unseen, they can only buy so much land in any area even with multiple brokers. The no-coat information network gives them a slight advantage over others as to what the city or metroplex is planning on doing, allowing them to buy land slated for future development. Even so, the gang devotes little of its resources to this endeavor.

When houses reach maximum size, they split into two houses. The gang leader appoints a head for the house chosen from the house's eldest or most distinguished members. For blacks and whites, the normal size is ten and they split at twenty. For reds, the normal size is twenty five, yet they split at thirty. The two new houses in this case, retain the old leader until they have twenty members (this came from the compromise that allowed the reds to become Ancients so long ago). House membership can only increase by one each year though this was not always the case.

Individually, the houses can use whatever means they feel necessary to retain profitability, provided they follow all the regulations and decrees set down by the leadership. The rules vary somewhat inside the houses, with different houses allowing individual members to make their own profit and others demanding unity in activities. Black houses follow the latter format, using military ideals with a chain of command and group unity. The whites prefer the former, with individual members jockeying for power and profits. The reds fall somewhere in between; they view the houses more like fraternities than combat units or political parties.

Freelance Work
Black houses sell their services to those willing to pay the right price, supply the right intel, barter for equipment, or exchange for another service. They will strike cargo transports; any gang the Ancients don't support; or distract Lone Star, Security, or Military personnel. The price is not always the full cost; one must realize that whatever the blacks do will get funneled back into the Ancients and down to Tir. Black houses also sell equipment, weapons, and intel almost exclusively for intel or return services.

The whites will smuggle any item or person to any city where the Ancients have a chapter. They expect payment en route or before hand, but don't give it to them; pay half getting on and half getting off (trust me). They can set up false papers, fake lives, or even jobs to those willing to pay. Rides cost a thousand and up depending on the cargo, how far, and who's after you. False lives and papers cost fifty thousand and up, but are rated six and up. The whites hire the blacks to run cover for them, but pay by exchanging weapons and equipment they bring back from Tir. They will also sell such items, but check the goods before you pay. Despite this, information selling is their biggest draw. The whites are renowned for their accurate and up to the nanosecond information, but the prices are steep, and you never know who they'll sell the knowledge of you buying the information to. The whites employ numerous computer scams to earn money and have the largest number of deckers within their ranks.

Freelancing is not the specialty of the reds, however, they run top of the line chop shops that are mostly equal opportunity to outsiders. One can easily get stolen cars, spare parts, or custom jobs from a red contact, usually at fare market prices. They buy and sell vehicles, but they have perfected motorbikes to the point where even the blacks and whites use them. Red mechanics are some of the best, but are in constant demand. They trade with the whites for weapons and buy security from the blacks. If you have close ties, the reds can produce custom drugs and chips or provide special hard to find drugs. Like the rest of the Ancients, dealing with the reds can give information to the wrong hands, but how is that different from any contact?

All that house crap for thirty seconds of freelance, oh well.

Jari_Kafghan wrote:
K10 or adam - any way we can get this compilation in a SRS?

I considered submitting it. However, I decided to post it first and see how much material and interest there was and what Adam's thoughts were about the whole thread. As I haven't yet finished it, I haven't asked Adam for his opinion. I think this thread won't get into TSS as it might violate one of the rules about previous web content or delivery. When I'm done, maybe Adam or whomever, can give me pointers as to what would make it in or out of a TSS issue so I (we) have a better idea of what to submit.

Kanada Ten wrote:
I considered submitting it. However, I decided to post it first and see how much material and interest there was and what Adam's thoughts were about the whole thread. As I haven't yet finished it, I haven't asked Adam for his opinion. I think this thread won't get into TSS as it might violate one of the rules about previous web content or delivery.

We're usually not too fussy about avoiding stuff that has been posted to forums before; what we try to avoid is recycling content that's already been on the web for years.

I honestly haven't had time to read the actual content of this thread yet [I'm, uh, a /little/ busy with working on 3 seperate issues of TSS at once at the moment, plus some other stuff.... *g*] but when it's in a relatively final form, do submit it - the submission guidelines are at

Correction: In the Understanding the house II post, the third paragraph second sentence, that reads: "The gang leader appoints a head for the house chosen from the house's eldest or most distinguished members", should read: "The gang's council appoints a head for the house from a nominee chosen by the gang's leader, usually one of the eldest or most distinguished members of the original house."

Law & Chaos

Leadership and The Council I
The leadership of the Ancients has developed over the decades since its founding into a bureacracy of rules and laws, that most gangers couldn't care less about. House heads, council members, chapter leaders (called Authorities), and the lutienites are required to know most if not all of the procedures envolved in governing the gang. Gainning status within the gang requires a basic understanding of the rules of ettiquite which fall between TT noble double talk and Urban Brawl tough talk, but to rise above lutienite one must understand the politics behind the words.

Located north of downtown, in the posh Elven District of Seattle, lies the Ancients' true headquarters known as the Hall. Towering over the buildings there, this slopped apartment complex houses the Ancients' lore and leadership. The lower floors have a restraunt, bar, small nightclub, and a basment parking garage. Middle floors are for staff, servents, and offices for offical buisness, liegetiment or otherwise. Upper floors break down into gargantuious suites, styled in gothic and middle aged furnishings. Each of the top three floors comprises a single apartment with one belonging to Sting and Green Lucifer, with the remaining floor left empty for visiting guests. Below the parking gargage stands the Star Chamber where challanges, trials, corinations, or other important rituals takes place.

Council members spend little time aside from sleeping within the Hall. Each has duties to oversee, wether in their own city or Seattle. Meetings are called few and far between, with only the Rite of Progression requiring attendance. In addition to appointing house leaders and voting on decrees, council memebrs have a role to fill such as investigating crimes between houses, bribeing police or security forces, or equipment inventory. Much of the actual deals made within the leadership happen outside of the Hall, either in Ancient owned nightclubs or houses about the city. Sting, however, rarely leaves save to offically mark events or whenever there is need of her "moral highness".

Council memebrship is decided in several ways. First, the number of council members per city is decided by the profits of that chapter. Secondly, council members are nominated by their chapter's Authority and are accepted by the coucil after winning 3/4 of a council vote. Finally, house heads or other council members can challenge the nomination. Challenges at this stage are rare because the nominating Authority has the option to defend the nominee, though usually they defend themselves.

Each councilor has an offical title such as Defender of the Thorne, Seeker of the Truth, and so on. These titles are passed down from the previous seat holder when they "retired." The seat one is nominated for is often an important political move, sending a signal to the nominee and the rest of the gang as to one's status. Nominees can reject the position, but no one has ever been nominated twice. Occasionally, seats are removed or new ones added, often to underscore the importance of an event such as the opening of a new chapter.

Law and Chaos

Break Down of Leadership
The leader of all the Ancients is call the Authority. In theory, her or she has total control over the gang. Challenging the Authority is always dangerous and Sting has finished off seven contenders since she took over the position. The Authority is chosen in one of two manners. First, a 3/4 majority vote in council can elect a leader to the position should it become vacant by unforeseen forces (like overdose, poisoning, "accidents", ect). Second, any ganger who challenges the leader can take the spot, provided they win the challenge. A majority vote of no confidence in a session calls for a trial in the Star Chamber with a member from all of the houses in attendance to judge the Authority. Anyone can present challenges to anyone in the Star Chamber, so councilors usually don't want to call a session there to begin with, and no leader has ever had a vote of no confidence succeed against them.

The council falls one step behind the Authority, mainly seeing that their constituents' desires are being heard. They have power within the gang, but it is largely symbolic. Votes are almost always rigged beforehand, so much of their power is blunted by "corruption", if one can use that word when speaking of a gang. Despite this, councilors are looked to as an example gangers and must act accordingly.

[added] The exception to this is the role played by the highest councilor known as the Defender of Honor. The Defender's duties are similar to a vice president and can act as the Authority if needed. Maintaning a show of unity among the council and the Ancients as a whole is the primary job of the Defender. Currently, Green Lucifer fills this role, and has been fairly succesful in portarying the facade of unity and harmony among the leadership. [/added]

Below the Authority and the council are the Ambassador Authority. These are the leaders of the chapters outside of Seattle. They report directly to the Authority and the council but for the most part have a free hand in the affairs of their cities. Chosen by the Authority and approved by the council, the Ambassador often sets up a council within their areas but are not required to do so. The primary job of the Ambassador is to foresee problems and keep the houses under him or her making a profit.

Just below Ambassadors, are House Heads. They have authority over their members and see to the day to day affairs of their house. Blamed for whatever goes wrong, no house head takes the job lightly. By far, this is the most dangerous and busy job within the Ancients. House heads get promoted more often then demoted, though promotions are sometimes a convenient way to move a trouble maker to a less active position. Deciding what operations to undertake, managing said operations, and baby sitting up to thirty whinny elves takes up most of the house heads' time, but they still manage to get out and bust some scum when necessary, after all, morale is their job too.

Lieutenant makes up the first rung of the long climb up the Ancients' leadership ladder. Charged with overseeing or running a single operation, they have authority over those working on that operation and can appropriate materials or unused labor for those tasks. Basically, they are supervisors and managers. The blacks and whites rarely have more than one lieutenants (small houses) while the reds often have two to four per house (lots of small operations).

The average ganger is still one step above a no-coat, two steps above trainees, and at least three steps above you. In the Star Chamber, everyone is considered equal, and during the rare sessions many gangers take the opportunity to challenge their house heads or a rival house member. Gangers can take claims to council members, but sometimes they would rather avoid a full investigation. Despite that, the councilors spend a good deal of time investigating intra-gang crimes.

I found this art work Saturday, because for some reason I couldn't get to Dumpshock. No time for posting today, but Ancients' art is a good deal anyway.

Ancient's Art

We'll get to the chapter break down... if I can get to DS tomorrow.

Ancients' Chapters (In no particular order)

Quebec and Montreal
Following the death of Dunkelzahn, Tir closed its borders to immigrants and tightened restrictions on trade. The slow decent of their people into poverty led a new group of elves into the hands of the Ancients. Not exiles, but dissidents, these new elves gladly accepted the rhetoric of disassociation asserted by Sting. Friction between the gang factions increased as more and more dissidents wanted to join the gang.

The whites and blacks showed little interest in adopting these ex-Tir citizens. The whites had no desire to add unclean peasants into their ranks, and so recruited almost none; while the blacks took only those of high ranking military stance or above average Peace Force experience. Wanting the reds to maintain their neutral stance, and keeping the dissidents from spreading their distaste for Tir, Sting quickly separated them and sent these new members to houses around North America to keep them from forming into a sub-gang or taking the Ancients to war with TT forces.

Initially, this dispersal worked well; dissidents had to work and train hard with little time to fret over the lives they abandoned in TT. Gradually, however, a gathering began to occur; dissidents moved into the minor chapters of Montreal and Quebec. They formed their own houses under the color of grey and integrated themselves into the leadership there. Sting became aware of the problem suddenly, early 2059, when her Ambassador Authority flew out to see her.

Green Lucifer had been handling the operations there because of the small profits -largely due to the repressive government. The Ambassador was tired of Lucifer's continuous evasion of the problems and decided to see Sting personally to discus the rising Ancients' presence in the region. Sting realized that she had but two options: Destroy the faction now, which would require massive "troop" and resource movements, or let the faction survive, allowing them to gain control of the Ancients' northern outpost. Opting for the second, Sting added a seat to the council and picked the most popular of the dissidents to sit upon it. Lucifer apologized...

Today, November 2060, the Quebec Ancients have created a flourishing information gathering and trading gambit. The Sepherim provide a wonderful opportunity for the Ancients to sell some of their information while lessening the need for CATo to infiltrate their group. The back and forth between the two has produced a large surge in information selling within the Ancients as a whole. The greys complete disillusionment with TT has allowed them the freedom to work solely for profit, quickly making Quebec a very profitable enterprise.

The slums of Montreal have many independent biker gangs so the Ancients fit into the scene well. The whites run drugs in and the local greys or reds distribute them to smaller gangs, and everyone is happy (ha!). The greys function more like the blacks in this area -protection rackets and cargo theft- because they have the greater amount of Peace Force training. Anyone working with the greys should be wary; they are quick to attack anything that appears pro Tir.

Quebec has 3 council members, while Montreal has 1.

Ancients Chapters (Wow, short)

Chicago and Milwaukee
Before the Windy City became bug heaven, the Ancients ran a lucrative smuggling operation through the area. Because it served as a way station and not a real profit center, there were few assets lost when the wall went up. Those that stayed did not survive long; in fact, most died in a daring escape attempt across the lake. Watching the situation there quitely, they also set up a quarantine between all chapters until they could insure that most houses were free of the insect infestation. Since then all Ancients adepts must learn the Astral Perception power as soon as they are able.

After the wall came down, the gang prodded the area for profitability, and while Chicago hasn't yet made them rich, they discovered what an amazing training ground it had become. Rouge insects, competing gangs and syndicates, military and firewatch teams, corporate security forces operating without restrictions... Within weeks, the majority of red training houses had moved to Milwaukee, sending groups into Chi-Town for field exercises. Not long after the first FAB III encounter, they stopped sending adepts and mages.

BTL and drug distribution channels open up as things slowly settle down there, and the demand for military grade weaponry is quite high. The population is still too poor for this to make a major impact on profits. Still, the Ancients have vested interests in both leaving Chicago as is and helping bring in corporations to raise the standard of living somewhat. So far, the leadership has worked only to maintain their training centers. Their activities here have brought them favor with the locals, who see them as Combat Biking Bug Hunters.

Milwaukee has 1 council member speaking for the interests in both cities.

Ancients Chapters (Mental Note: Bring SoNA&TT)

Because Devner's overpopulated freelance smuggling operators dominate the area, the Ancients take a more subtle approch here, reling on stealth and their mythology to survive. The whites bring cargo in and out of the various sectors as appropriate, but do not have any offical houses. The local gangers consiste of one red house that truly holds no turf.

Over time, the reds of Denver have mastered moving across the sector lines unnoticed. Smugglers bring cargo to one area and the reds sneak it into the next, usually broken into small quantities and trafficed during high volume periods. They may or may not pull a diversion stunt to cover incoming shipments, but often competing LAV's will be the target when they do. This can pull attention away from their shipments, but some groups (most likely Azzie) watch for this and alert their people to the action, so the Ancients limit how often they use this type of diversion.

The red house is large but has no offical location, and most of its mettings take place virtually. The ethinic makeup of the reds is very diverse here, more so than Seattle, allowing them to blend in better with the varied peoples of the sectors. Rackets for them include: smuggling people across sector lines, usually in taxis; distribution to beetle dens and other drug parlors; selling young refugees to brothels; extorting shippers or smugglers, along with ransoming stolen cargo; and creating fake permits. The gang has invested heavily into bribery and blackmail of border patrol forces with mixed results.

Realizing the strategic importance of Denver, the whites have secretly made deals in the Ute sector to secure bases of their own, but use them infrequently.

Denver has 1 council member.

Ancients Chapters (MENTAL NOTE: see mental note above)

Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston
Breaking from the Ancients' status quo, members of The Texas Chapter, are outspoken political activists, supporting the Sons of the Alamo and other groups that have sprung up about the Lone Star state. Made up of disinfected youths, hard core Mexican militants, and other latin elves, the Texas Ancients are more likely to speak Spanish than Sperethiel. While technically part of the Ancients, they have many unique customs including a hierarchy based mostly on the old Texas Rangers.

Sting has left The Texas Chapter alone for the most part, allowing them near total freedom while still supplying them with weapons and military hardware. In exchange, they give her very detailed intel on Aztec movements and politics, stir up local groups and gangs, and sell the weapons to the highest bidder (so long as they hate the Azzies too). The policy has worked well for her; others who have attempted to influence them have discovered a surprising loyalty to the leader and the Ancients as a whole. So long as Sting supports their hatred of Aztlan, The Texas Chapter will support her; not to mention that they think the whites and Tir elves are drek brained faggots anyway.

The majority of training and recruiting takes place south of the border, as does BTL and drug distribution. The gang makes money smuggling people south or north but not as many since they began their anti-Azzie stance. Cargo coming and going from Aztlan is the usual target, along with any kind of diplomatic transports. The Texas Chapter will hide rebels of La Venta or similar groups, for a small fee of course.

The whites have a house in Houston because of its access to the Gulf of Mexico and use it as a way station. Members stationed here are on punishment, and they refer to the city as That Red-Neck Hell-Hole. I won't mention what they call the local Ancients (because they would ban me for it). Tensions between the groups are low because they avoid each other like the VITAS plague.

Both the Dallas Metroplex and Houston have 1 council member apiece.

Jari_Kafghan wrote:
ever thought of proposing this to Fanpro/Wizkids?with some filler and a bit of your own creativity you could probably put out a SB all on your own.

I'm way too far out from canon for FanPro. I have considered writing up a track style adventure for TSS, but we'll just wait and see for now, eh? Thanks for the support

Ancients Chapters (Mental Note: I remembered!)

Salem and Portland
What is in many ways the center of Ancients society, Tir Tairngire still holds a promise for them: The promise of money. Before the economy began to crumble, many in TIr looked to the Ancients exploits in Seattle as romantic rebels fighting for the elven cause. Even now, as poverty consumes more and more people, the Ancients mythology continues. Within the nation, however, the Ancients are not street fighting rebels, they don't even call themselves Ancients, and though they have a certain romantic appeal to some, they are really just a crime syndicate.

While the Yakuza and, to a lesser degree, the Mafia tried to make inroads into Tir with marginal success, the Ancients formed their own syndicate; after all, someone had to provide the vices so many craved. Taking a queue from the Yaks, the Ancients of Tir call themselves Huro ke'Irenis or the Classless Society. The Society ran the usual gambits of prostitution, protection rackets, money laundering, matrix fraud, and drug dealing, along with a virtual lock on the black market. Everything went well for the syndicate until 2059.

Following the death of the great dragon, Dunkelzahn, the Tir economy began to slip; this only helped the Society's bottom line as more and more people turned to drugs, sex, and beetles to fill their empty days. The massive strikes and protests that swept Tir in 2059 and the subsequent government crackdown began to weaken their grip on the situation as more and more telegitish
(gang leaders) and their establishments fell victim to police raids. Only the activities in Portland remained relatively unchanged by the growing violence and martial law.

A split in the syndicate happened with the formation of Rinelle ke'Tesrae. Many of the lower soldiers and enforcers joined the rebel group and left their posts. The society's leadership split over how to handle the group; do they sell it weapons, do they smuggle the members about, do they try to turn group members in to end the crackdown? In the end, it was Sting who made the discision for them. 'Treat them like customers', she said, 'but kill those that can't keep their mouths shut.'

So far, this move has both bolstered and damaged the Ancient's claim of separation from Tir's affairs. The syndicate has lost some markets and moved many operations fully underground. They are making a bigger profit than ever, however, selling weapons, satellite equipment, and everything else to the highest bidder. They have a heavy expenditure in bribery to the Peace Force, which they offset by offering intel on cells of Rinelle or runners that forget what subtlety means. They also lose many clients to both sides who see them as fence sitters or rebel sympathizers.

The Huro ke'Irenis is also the only group within the Ancients to employ other races, usually as enforcers. This practice increases as they lose more members to the rebels. It has also caused a rift to form with their relationship to the whites, who see other races as lesser creatures. When pressed, however, they identify most with the whites and support them in council.

Salem has 2 council members and Portland has 3.

The whites use Eugene as a training ground for the rare recruits they pick up around the globe. They teach Tir politics, psychology, and the finer points of manipulation. The town also holds their cyberware clinic, where they install VCR's and other enhancements. They have facilities for learning in the university as well. In what might seem a strange deal, the whites agreed to allow the Yakuza to operate almost all the illegal activities here; not so strange when you realize that the whites act completely without suspicion (everyone knows its a Yak town). Prospective whites spend at least three years here, so many are considered locals by the time they leave. They whites take a great deal of effort to instill the love of Tir into each candidate, and use magic to insure each believes they do. Pilot training takes place elsewhere, but aptitude is determined in the rigorous testing done here.

Eugene has no council members

Ancients Chapters

The vast, seething sprawl of intrigue, politics, and dis-information known as DeeCee contains one of the most powerful underworlds. No one group can stay on top, but they all try. The constant fighting between Mafia families, Yakuza , Vory v Zakone, policulbs, reporters, police, and the hundreds of gangs keeps everyone on their toes. Driven by the fractured nature of the city, with the huddled masses of poor and the militarized zone of government echelons, the Ancients have more or less dug a niche in the markets of both.

The whites bring drugs and information into the city while the reds distribute the drugs to the gangs, and the information to reporters. They have established contacts in most of the news agencies and placed agents in government jobs like the CDC, Congressional staff, and sanitation. The buying and selling of information can be profitable, but with so many competitors the Ancients have taken more than one hit, some crippling. Most of the houses here have legitimate communications or security companies as their front operation, which pays the weekly bribery fees to the FedPols (Federal Police). The reds sometimes make deals with reporters, giving them a place and time, letting them record an Ancients attack; adding a little excitement to the news and boosting the mythology by choosing certain targets and tactics.

The Ambassador Authority and her council (which consists of every local member) style themselves after congress and decide on "voting" matters while riding their bikes around the sprawl. It is unwise to interrupt "Congress" while "in Session," so stand clear. They "recess" for combat biking on Friday nights, and other major, sports broadcasts.

DeeCee has 2 council members.

Correction: The CDC is not a government agency (SoNA).

Ancients Chapters

Atlanta and Nashville
The brain and the heart of the CAS, Atlanta and Nashville have a small showing with the gang as they have less to offer. Agents within the CDC provide an in for agents in other institutions, but the main purpose of keeping a presence in Atlanta is politics.

Using the same tactics as Seattle, the Ancients strike at rival gangs and distribute drugs to friendly ones. They have far less numbers than Seattle but make up for it in focus. Made up of only reds, the Atlanta chapter has little room for internal strife. The gang hires itself out for cargojacking or distraction more than most other factions, and maintains the reputation of reliability. They don't have as much military hardware here, but use what they do have well.

BTL production is the main game in Nashville, but the Ancients have only recently expanded their markets to need more than the one production facility in Seattle, so the house here is still small and not well established. The whites use Nashville as a quick stop on their Quebec-Toronto-Detroit-Milwaukee-Houston runs and have a safe house or two around the city.

Atlanta has one council member. Nashville has yet to make a profit, consequently it has no council members.

New Orleans
The Ancients talismonger from time to time, not to the point of profit but close. Selling foci made in Tir gave the gang good contacts in the magic communities, and they could wedge themselves into a city trough local wizzer gangs if need be. When they began exchanging goods with the Mafia in New Orleans, however, they discovered how big the market really was.

They set up shop in the Big Easy and used it as a gateway to the Caribbean League and its rich bounty of magical goods. Shipping the products north and eventually to Seattle and Tir or across the Gulf to Houston for the rebel groups there made the Ancients quite a profit. The gang's laid back approach to the city, keeping well out of sight and under the radar, has allowed them to play the different families for information. Exotic drugs also make their way here, and the gang has been quick to exploit them. Experiments on magical drugs, like Deep Weed, took place in New Orleans and led to the drugs Quantum Red and X, which have increased the overall profit of the gang.

Sting and Lucifer see the city as a vital aspect of the Ancient's future in the new decade. The whites have arrangements with pirates and other groups to act as spotters on special shipments, tagging high profit cargo in exchange for trouble free passage across the Gulf and the Atlantic. Many of the reds here are familiar with magical compounds, their value, and how to handle them. They may hire outsiders to obtain rare of dangerous substances for their experiments, and they always need test subjects.

New Orleans is a newer operation and has 1 council member.

There is really not much to say about the ten or so reds that work as mechanics for the whites in Toronto, except: they are really good, clean, and discreet. They feel forgotten by the rest of the gang, and don't pass on anything but the most important information. They ride out on weekends, usually in tandem with another gang and "patrol" the long stretches of highway outside the sprawl. The no-coats here work for the budding simsense outfits and have more allegiance to Seattle than the locals.

Toronto has no council member, but Montreal supposedly speaks for them as well.

I think I'll take a break from the chapters now. We'll skip ahead to the Rite of Progression and whatever, and then come back to them if anyone is interested.

The Rite of Progression
The Rite has three sections -or tests as they are called- much like the Rite in Tir Tairngire from which it was molded. The Mental test pushes a candidates knowledge to the limits in his or her expertise. The Physical test pits candidates against one another in physical contests, and the Family test weeds out those who cannot work as a team or keep secrets. Each test occurs at a separate time and is judged by the 33 council members with the Procter of the Rite having the final say on admittance.

In the months before the Physical and Mental testing begin, a candidate must submit and implement a group combat mission with four members of the nominating house acting as underlings. Treated like a lieutenant for this period, the candidate must show leadership and team capabilities as well as the ability to create a profitable plan of action. The entire affair is very secretive because other houses are allowed and encouraged to sabotage the endeavor.

The candidate must have an Ancient of another house witness the event. Judging is done by video footage, personal and witness testimony, and a cost versus profit study. Points are scored for good teamwork, execution of the plan, command behavior and adaptability, with the least amount of points for net profit. Automatic failure occurs if a team member dies or is not utilized, the goal of the plan was not achieved, help came from an outside source (either during planning or implementation), or police action is taken against the gang because of the candidate's actions. If this test is not complete before the Mental testing begins the house forfeits the Rite.

The mental testing takes between March and May; the exact dates are different for the events and are announced the 28th of February after every candidate has chosen 4 of the subcategories to participate in, of which they must pass three. The tests are not all pencil and paper or simulation; most include "real world" demonstrations of principles and expertise. A councilor judges each event within their sphere of knowledge, he or she also designs the tests, which are approved by the Procter of the Rite (aka Sting).
A. Decking
1. Crack the Ancients' system
2. Crack a private sector system
3. Increase security for the Ancients' system
B. Magic
1. Using Sorcery or Conjuring
2. Lore & Mythology knowledge
3. Alchemy & Enchanting techniques
C. Military
1. Histroical Recreation
2. World Military & Mercenary Tactics
3. Weapontry Specifications & Uses
D. Science
1. Sciocology and Pshcology
2. Phsyics and Mathmatics
3. Geology and Biology
E. Practicle
1. Vehicel Build and Repaire
2. Economics
3. Negotiations & Con Artistry
F. Technology
1. Cybertechnology & Biotechnology
2. Electronics & Computers
3. Simsense & Nanotechnology

Maybe Monday

The Rite of Progression

After both the Mental and Family testing have been judged, the Procter of the Rite brings into session the final stage of the Rite. Standing within the Star Chamber in the basement of the Hall, Sting calls on the Ancients to hear her words. The names of all the contestants are read along with the nominating house of each. Following the Calling, the Authority gives a speech, usually about the greatness of the Ancients with a thought about moving into the future. The speech is broadcast across the world, but one must have an special adapter to view it. Ending the speech, the leader mounts a motorcycle designed for the Rite and rides from the basement with all the council members meeting her on the street. Traditionally, they ride to the location of the Games, which changes positions yearly, but it has taken place within the territories of the Sinsearch elves ever since Sting broke with Tir. Like the speech, the Games are broadcast worldwide with Matrix and telecom voting for gangers and no-coats.

The Physical testing is broken up into contests or Games. Variations of Combat Biking, motorbike racing, gladiator sports, and other direct contests are mixed with figure biking, cliff jumping, and sports based more on style than substance. They also include critter wrestling or hunting, and a recent contest was bug hunting. Military games like capture the flag with random team assignments and sniper target games round out the list of categories. The Games have eighteen contests, which vary each year, and -like the mental- the contestants must participate in four, but are allowed to participate in five.

Winning acceptance into the Ancients requires one hundred points scored during the games. Surviving each game earns a nominee one point. Contestants have died during the games but still "won" acceptance through the votes cast by viewers; in these cases they are given an Ancients' burial and jacket. Cyberware and innate magic are allowed without penalty, but spells and spirits are not.

Thirty, twenty, and ten are the points for first, second, and third places in the races with an addition point awarded for every tenth vote a contestant receives. The whites win many of the races because of the high percentage of riggers among their nominees, but the reds and blacks win some though superior vehicle performance. Decide by the race type, courses can be street, dirt, mountain, or any number of terrains.

Martial arts and gladiator contests award points similar to traditional methods which are modified to reflect the scoring system with every tenth vote earning a point as well. Using the Judo scoring method for an example, a waza-ari (1 full point) equals thirty points in the Ancients' games. All stlyes are accounted for, and no faction has a lock on these events.

Freeform, style based games, such as figure biking, use scores from the council members who judge the events. Each councilor can cast up to ten points for an entire event, while the Procter can award thirty -Sting usually abstains. Every tenth vote also counts and the judges often cast their points with the votes of their constituents. The reds dominate these events, due largely to the amount of time they have to dream up new maneuvers and modify their bikes along with the large numbers of no-coat children participates among them. The whites win sometimes as well, using overly popular candidates as champions to rally votes.

Hunting and specialized military arts are scored on technical scales, such as the speed of the "kill" and stealth. The difficulty of the target and the strength of the weapon used can affect the score depending on if the objective was achieved and how, but both factors are important in deciding the voting score for which every tenth vote counts. Obviously, the blacks score the highest during these events with a surprising showing from the greys; howev
The Question Man
the blacks' small numbers don't allow them to dominate the entire spectrum of events.

Disqualification can happen for several reasons. If spells or spirits aided a contestant or his or her house was involved in sabotage during the games, the nominee is disqualified and/or killed along with a levy placed on the house. Other violations include: attempting to bribe a councilor or revealing the location of the games to an outsider (one who has nothing to do with the Ancients or is not approved to know) which can result in a disqualification wether done by the candidate or a member of the nominating house. Levies against a house are serious fines and strictures that can stigmatize and limit it for years.

The number of candidates ranges in number, but it is about half the total number of houses in the gang. Houses are cautious about nominating one for the Rite because failure means they cannot participate in the next Rite -essentially losing two chances to grow. Many candidates do fail, so this also limits the number of contestants. A candidate can try the Rite twice, but a house will not back the same candidate without good reason.

Developing new and interesting contests is a goal of the Ancients with magical and Matrix games in the works. These are still several years away, but both have freeform shows as entertainment between contests. Keeping the games secret is a problem for the gang, and some factions would like to broadcast them on pirate feeds to show the world just how tough they are. These groups are, so far, satisfied with the Sinsearch spectators Sting allows to watch.

The Rite of Progression

Challenging the Rite
The Defender of Honor gives a speech after the final contests have reached conclusion. Drawing on his knack for fiery words, Green Lucifer does his best to outshine Sting's speech and rally the spectators to cheers. The results of the Rite are not immediately known because the Ancients comb through the video footage looking for inconsistencies and signs of sabotage. Waiting to release the results also allows them to fudge numbers when necessary. This happens rarely, however, as no one wants to get caught doing so.

All nominating houses receive the results at the same time within a week of the Games. While a candidate cannot challenge the ruling if they fail, their house can ask for a detailed report as to why the candidate failed. Looking through the report, the house leader can assign a lieutenant to investigate the failure if he or she thinks tampering occurred. Houses have a week to conclude investigations and submit them for review if they wish to challenge the failure. Almost all failing houses submit such a report even if it lacks supporting evidence. Most of these challenges also fail, but legitimate claims usually have a follow up investigation and can result in a nullification for the contestant -meaning they can try partake in next year's Rite without penalty.

Any house that participated can challenge the Ascension of a nominee. Claiming that the candidate does not deserve a place with the gang, a house must submit this challenge within twenty-four hours of receiving the results. The candidate must then go to the challenging house and prove his or her worth in a single contest decided by the Challenger. Picked by the nominee's house from the challenging house, The Challenger will face the repercussions of the challenge should it fail or not (most often a stint as a servant in the Hall). Seven tests are approved for this challenge and all involve surviving or enduring pain. The most common is a "jump on", where four gangers (including the Challenger) beat on the nominee for thirty seconds; the nominee can fight back. If he or she can stand after that, the challenge ends and the nominee is accepted, else the candidate is nullified as above. Challenges happen between feuding houses every year, but only a few result in a nullification. Individuals can request their house challenge the result to seek revenge or prevent a rival from Ascension; they often request to be Challenger as well, but the nominee's house has no obligation to award the title to him or her.

To clarify: Councilors are considered without house upon receiving their position (don't know if I said that before).

Fortune wrote:
There must be a large backlog of prospective members, and the yearly rite must be packed indeed. Do you have a numbers estimate of annual new membership? With the way you have described it, there wouldn't be too many that qualify.

Backlog? The training can go on for years and end up with a worthless candidate. If they can't make it in the training; they get funneled into other gangs or the no-coats. There are many houses, IMG, and indeed the games are huge (I have an adventure about this so I can't get detailed -yet). The rite gets tougher each year because the gang is getting too big; Sting doesn't want to get much bigger or she'll have to war with every other syndicate out there and that would be bad for their real work (information gathering). If a candidate is nullified they can participate next year and the house can nominate another candidate.

Do I have a numbers estimate of annual new membership? This question is hard to answer because I've been avoiding giving out the actual size of the gang because it would differ for every GM... Originally most of the candidates became Ancients, but now only around 25 percent do (literally: three from each contest, IMG, though one person can win in many contests). This gives a big edge to cyber and magical candidates, BTW; meaning many new Ancients are often one or the other. I'd say around 200 contestants participate (400 total houses, FYI -of ten to twenty five members! Yeah that's over seven thousand Ancients world wide! Plus No-Coats who outnumber Ancients ten to one!). Does anyone wonder why they have a superior rating? But remember, every tenth vote is a point (77,000 votes or 7700 points total or 425 points per contest) and this can throw in up to four others -though usually not more than one). Figure two contestants win on merit and one just on popularity... I'd guess between 30 to 50 of the 200 become Ancients, tops. How's that (did it make sense even)?
Fortune wrote:
A lot of good candidates would drop by the wayside just for having a bad day.

They can participate in up to five of the eighteen contests, the events can take up to seven days, and most candidates do become No-Coats. Recently, more and more of the losers are forming smaller gangs -usually outside Seattle, or in places where there are no Ancients; but again, I can't say to much because of the adventure I'm planning...

The Rite of Progression

Problems and Solutions
The increasing size and popularity of the Rite has created rifts within the council on how to deal with new recruits. Making matters worse, the problems in Tir keep adding numbers to the gang while weakening their ability to absorb them. Sting doesn't want to stop growing over all, she just doesn't want the gang to become concentrated in any one city or region. The laws surrounding the Rite require the Games to take place in one area, and fractions within the council have prevented her from changing this. Green Lucifer wants the gang to grow faster to increase profits in the short term and build a larger organization that would withstand a direct confrontation with a syndicate. The push and pull between the two has created a potential, if temporary, solution.

The Ancients need a place where few eyes would look; a place where they could broaden the Games; and a place where the government, military, and syndicate forces are weak enough to not trouble the gang... There is just such a place: Chicago.

Several problems arise from this solution. First, many of the houses in Seattle -the largest chapter- would resent and oppose the move. Second, insect spirits still live in the shadows of the city and might have better access to the gang or might view it as a legitimate hive structure. Strain III presents another major problem -one that might have a solution of its own. Finally, Chicago will eventually recover from its plight, and the government would hardly like to see the largest gang in North America discouraging investors from returning to the city. The latter might have a solution as well.

Sting is investigating the options, but she doesn't want resistance building to the idea before solutions have been made. Keeping her plans secret, Sting plans to send a councilor to the training camps for inspection; then have him make contact with local groups there and get a feel for the plausibility of her plans. After that, Truman(sp?) Technologies wants to move back to Chicago and reclaim its glory there. If Sting can offer them away out of their current conglomeration (With MegaMedia ??) in exchange for them pressuring local and federal government agencies to turn a blind eye, she needs only to convince the local populace of the Ancients' benevolence. How better to do this than to cleanse Strain III and weed out bug spirits? Both of the last would fall straight into the plans for increasing the spectrum of events at the Games.


Moving the Rite to Chicago might help detract from the importance of Seattle, which might help distribute the gang better. Long term, Sting would like to move the leadership out of Seattle, but Lucifer is strongly opposed to this unless they move it to Tir or Oakforest is removed from the council and Lucifer can regain his old status there.


Musing on Green Lucifer and the Ancients

Rinelle ke'Tesrae, you know: that terrorist group, is a little unbelievable because they are so middle of the road. Popular movements are always extreme, IMO. So why has this one survived? Well, it might be extreme for Tir, but they had those Black Rings* before, so I don't think so. Therefore, IMG, I've made them popular when they do something, but I've made them small and not well established (mostly to get my players tangled in the web). I also think that no single Prince is in charge of them... I think every Prince uses the group to further their own plots -we're talking about the most Machiavellian people in the world here. A terrorist group is just another tool to them. I think the repression is part of a larger plan -one they are losing control of- to spur Tir society.

Now, with that out of the way, one could see how tempting of a tool Rinelle makes for the Ancients. Currently, different houses and colors want to use the group for themselves. The whites could bring down the Council of Princes and maybe get on board the new government. The Greys could wipe out the old society and rebuilt it -thus becoming the leaders (think Russia). The blacks see the group as cowards, but not without potential; they have families in Tir, lives half forgotten, memories idolize with time. The reds and no-coats have mixed feelings about Rinelle and Tir in general. Sting sees the group as a dangerous tool to hold back her would be masters in Tir, but she doesn't want to get sucked into the conflict.

Truly, the one Ancient who has the most to gain from Rinelle is Green Lucifer. Jenna has been wooing him for some time, and others, while keeping a civil face with Sting -who doesn't trust any Tir elf- just to keep the gang from leaping on her plans. Lucifer wants to use the group but sees their set up as weak and ineffective. His plan is a little different.

He wants to create cells that use the terrorist's name and perform his dirty work on the Princes, specifically, Oakforest. To this end he has begun encouraging elves that fail the Ancient's Rite to create gangs of their own in the untapped markets around North America. They will make money he can keep hidden from the Ancients, gather information for him, and create a supply network. Co-opting the whites -who are chaffing under Sting- to run supplies to these gangs was easy; he set up a martyr -twice: Vapor first, and Ev'on in October. The whites are boiling and want to break away now. Lucifer convinced them to wait; they need more time to prepare (and he needs more time to make deals). Getting the supplies of weapons, drugs, and money from Jenna (he never understood the problems of having only one source) has allowed him to do most of this secretly -so far. Moving the gangs into Tir is still a problem: he doesn't the whites to find out what he is planning (after all, how can he trust them?), but he may have a partner for that venture: the Greys. They have resisted direct control from anyone and have a leadership forming in Quebec; which Lucifer hopes to exploit with the right angle. He knows some of them have connections or are members of Rinelle, but not which.

I would say, 'good luck' to Lucy, but I hate the bastard! Yeah, I know I made him how he is, but he really is a bastard. My players hated Ev'on so much, they were planning on killing him. When he challenged Sting in the Star Chamber, and she killed him they went 'hooray' until they realized that it didn't make sense -why would her challenge her if he didn't have a chance of winning? They will hate Green Lucifer that much and more before this is over. I mean, Sting is a b!tch, but I like her and feel sorry for her -Lucifer is my most machivellian side, the side of me I hate.

*Black Rings: Magical terrorists that used ritual sorcery as extortion.

It takes a day to catch up! Back to the chapters, I guess. Anyone want to discuss Ancients' politics? Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. I still have the Central Valley and So-Cal to do. TTFN.

Ancients' Chapters: California

The Northern Crescent
While many of its occupants feel hostility towards Tir, and elves in general, The Ancients have made inroads into the less populace areas of the Northern Crescent (which stretches from the cost and Eureka to Reno and the Ute boarder, from just north of Chico-Profile to the buffer zone with Tir Tairngire). The strategic value of the northern cresent has increased with time; more and more metahumans use the underground railroad as the Japanese tighten their grip on San Francisco and the region as a whole. The ability to gauge the situation and atmosphere of the CFS also plays a role in maintaining bases within the northern reaches.

The red houses here spend most of their efforts, ironically, keeping themselves secret. They have a small network of no-coats, but supplement it with themselves. Most are older Ancients, who left Seattle for a more passive role. They work for the gypsy bands as hired guns from time to time, keep tabs on Shasta Mountain, and generally make themselves scarce. Hidden in the mountains and forest, their houses are well stocked and often used as waiting zones for the railroad.

The whites pick up metahumans going to Seattle or beyond, but avoid taking anything into Tir from the Crescent. They see the area as a free zone because of the lack of centralized authority and use it for testing military weapons or LAV's. The whites bring in foci and other talismans, usually from New Orleans, which are sold to the reds and eventually end up in the hands of gypsies.

Water also plays and important role in their smuggling operations, though they have a different approach to it. Using large tankers, the whites ferry massive quantities of water from Eureka to southern California. They buy the water from local waterjackers, usually small gangs*, and then sell the water cheep to undercut the prices. The cost of the endeavor is huge, but the potential payoff is huge as well. Only large syndicates can afford to buy tankers of water, so far, and the Ancients (especially the whites) have good relations with the Yakuza . Lately, the gang has made overtures to the Triads here, hoping to make deals preventing wars with them elsewhere.

Ancients' Chapters: California

Using local metahuman rights groups, already under pressure from the rabid anti-meta groups, the Ancients strike at targets inside the Central Valley under the guise of metahuman terrorists. Usually large agriculture shipments or compounds, their targets are extorted for money or actually hardware. The strategy originally revolved around agriculture producers in Tir and their large counterparts in California. Tir producers would pay the Ancients to raise grain and soy prices by knocking out facilities, hijacking or sinking large shipments, and convincing union workers to strike. Recently, the gang started extorting the locals to make up for the dropping payments of Tir producers as that economy stumbles, however, forces in Tir would like the price of grain to rise; enough so, that profit became a secondary motive to the gang. The houses here are almost exclusively Amerindian elves from the Ute, who have nothing better to do. Their bases are outside California for the most part -near Reno, but they make regular trips across the boarder.

The Golden Acorn Society, a metahuman group, works with white smugglers in the underground. The whites have tried pushing foci and telesma on the group with little success. They would pay dearly to know who supplies the society, but don't want to risk losing support in the underground.

Ancients Chapters:California

Los Angeles
The Ancients first made contacts in LA when a bright young star in Tir wanted out of her contract with the national company. She made some calls and a smuggler agreed to take her with him. Locked up in Tir banks, the starlet's money couldn't pay for a whole new life, so the intrepid jammer sold her to a studio for a nice fat credstick.

Working his way up, the smuggler took control of his house and began funneling elves with that special something into the LA. Though not many had the talent, he had the eye for the money makers. The extensive contacts built in the city gave him another idea.

Dreadful trid programming pumped from Tir stations had mostly put the populace to sleep. Smuggling high quality sim chips and trid shows into the nation, which could be sold legally with enough legal wrangling, gave the gang an extra edge in dealings with everyday citizens.

While the profits from this endeavor slowly faded as network programming eventually improved, the Ancients quickly moved into the other side of LA: El Inferno. A city of poverty and despair, this walled hell made a perfect home for experimental beetle and drug testing. Produced in the seedier simsense studios, BTL's would find their way to major gangs within El Inferno. The Ancients know the safest ways into the war zone and use out of date weapons as currency. Anyone can leave the slum, just not through LA which mostly surrounds it.

First I would like to say that this is some pretty great stuff. You have put a lot of work into this and its first rate work. I do have some questions if you don't mind me asking.

By reading these posts it would seem to me that some other organizations might be apprehensive as to the growth and the moves that the Ancients are making. I know you mentioned previously about Sting's concern with getting into conflict with another syndicate but this, to me, would seem to be a foregone conclusion.

In Seattle especially, there would be heat from the Seoulpa Rings (Because they are the next tier up from the Ancients, therefore the first to get knocked off.), and from the Mafia (The Yaks getting territory in Eugene would not make them happy). Then there is also the Triads to consider. They are new to Seattle, but they have the muscle and the magic to make some moves, and getting the markets that the Ancients have might make a better first target then the other syndicates's markets. The Ancients's markets are big enough to be worth it, and they are not too large an organization.

I am only pointing this out because criminal organizations compete for markets and territory all the time. Now it would be different if the Ancients were supported by the Tir (i.e. the Ancients get a substantial portion of their financial backing from the government) and are not just supplied with material.

Again I want to say that your work is great, and I am only throwing this out there for you to consider. If you don't like it or you have already thought about these things then just ignore me.

OK, so SBC cut off our DSL on the 8th. We got it back today. Not because we didn't pay, but to upgrade... Ten days without Dumpshock!
Lazarus wrote:
First I would like to say that this is some pretty great stuff. You have put a lot of work into this and its first rate work. I do have some questions if you don't mind me asking.

Not at all, and thanks.
Lazarus wrote:
By reading these posts it would seem to me that some other organizations might be apprehensive as to the growth and the moves that the Ancients are making. I know you mentioned previously about Sting's concern with getting into conflict with another syndicate but this, to me, would seem to be a foregone conclusion.

I agree that syndicate conflicts come into play, and because my players are involved (accidently) with the gang they get into all kinds of trouble. I like it this way; keeps them busy.
Lazarus wrote:
In Seattle especially, there would be heat from the Seoulpa Rings (Because they are the next tier up from the Ancients, therefore the first to get knocked off.), and from the Mafia (The Yaks getting territory in Eugene would not make them happy). Then there is also the Triads to consider. They are new to Seattle, but they have the muscle and the magic to make some moves, and getting the markets that the Ancients have might make a better first target then the other syndicates's markets. The Ancients's markets are big enough to be worth it, and they are not too large an organization.

The Seoulpa Rings are a small outfit in my game (smaller than the Ancients). They have some back room deals with one another, with some Rings dealing Ancients produced drugs, IMG. The two aren't rivals or friends; they just have bigger enemies to worry about. Additionally, the Rings themselves have no central "motivation" with some hating the Ancients and others having more pro elven mentalities.

Eugene and the Yakuza happened a while back, maybe 2058. The heat from that died down with the California deals and other concessions from the Ancients. The Mafia and Ancients are looking with wary eyes at one another -if the two combine forces they could take back Chicago and beat the Yakuza down in Seattle. Too bad the Comet has other plans.

I might write up a post about the Triads, but suffice it to say the first contact with them was bloody. IMG, the Ancients and Triads are "equal" in magic and weapons. But the Triads have a tenacity for territory that the Ancients lack. Currently, the two have a "truce" that may come to an end soon. Someone has been funneling weapons to gangs that oppose the Triads -someone inside the Ancients. My players did one delivery. A sudden war might give the Whites the chance to break away intact and allow them to stabilize before Sting can retaliate.

Lazarus wrote:
I am only pointing this out because criminal organizations compete for markets and territory all the time. Now it would be different if the Ancients were supported by the Tir (i.e. the Ancients get a substantial portion of their financial backing from the government) and are not just supplied with material.

Personally, I think giving weapons and materials to the gang, who then sell the excess worked great to keep them dependant. The Ancients wanted to escape Tir's grip (they haven't fully yet) and so they'll have to pay the price. They cannot stay where they are without being profitable, and they are too big to make money like a normal gang.
Lazarus wrote:
Again I want to say that your work is great, and I am only throwing this out there for you to consider. If you don't like it or you have already thought about these things then just ignore me.

Good points, all of them. Thanks for reading, responding, and thinking.

<Sting addressing a packed Hall>

Brethren of blood and battle! Followers of the Creed!
I call you here before the Council! I call upon you to hear my words!

We gather each year, each moment of progression, of change, to do justice to the bonds that bind us, to those that raised us, and taught us to fight. To remember the spilt passions, poured on to the streets we own.

It is customary to look to the past, the glory of our righteous path. Is there any who know of a time when these streets were not ours? Are there any who do not believe that this city, this sprawl belongs to us?

No one utters our name without fear, without the knowledge that we are the rulers of the night. From every corner of the Sound, every street of every block, we are known. It is because of the toil and torments we have suffered, the blood we have split, the friends and loves we watched die in the name of battle and glory for the Ancients; and because of the knowledge that each and every one of us will die to see that it is always so. No one walks these streets without this understanding.

These sacrifices have not been in vein. We are stronger today than ever before. Our enemies from across the seas know this now. They lick their bleeding wounds and watch us warily, as it should be.

Those that follow us are protected by the strength of our word, safe in the knowledge that we have pledged to defend them. And those that would harm them fear that word, that knowledge, that power.

It is uncontested fact that we are a force of Nature herself, unstoppable, undeniable, immortal! All tremble at the sound of our engines roar and flee at the sight of our symbol!

<Cheering from the Reds, Clapping from the Blacks, and the Whites listen silently, trying to hear the unspoken>

Yet... Only in these streets, only in this city...

We have homes and brothers across all lands, crossing all histories; yet we are feared to this degree only here. Revered by those beneath us, but only in our first home.

I have seen chapters rise to reach, bloodied hands outstretched and grasping... only to be denied triumph. Not for any lacking in their purpose, not for any fault in their drive, nor for weakness in their hearts... but for timing.

Our fathers and mothers had the moment and seized it. This city was bursting without control; the world was turned upside down! But they saw beyond that chaos, that dismay, to seize what they so richly deserved, what we so rightly revere them for...

And I say to you we have that moment now... We can once again seize what is rightfully ours... We can once again rise to take not a slice but a city... A city that faces a level of chaos and challenge that only the Ancients can conquer!

<gunshot / chaos / fighting / bomb – in that order>

This is a bit early... as other events will happen first, but I had the speech pop into my head last night. Anyway, I think Sting could have said it better...

. K10(Ancients)

. RND(Matrix)

. ED(Dragons)

. DS(FrequentTopics)

. PDF(CorpList)

. 6TH(Locales) .

The Oblivion City Files
Rocketing towards implosion, the Ancients struggle on many fronts trying to emerge as a full fledged syndicate of world wide connections. Sting continues pouring resources into the Chicago Training camps, Green Lucifer works to subvert more repressed and rejected members, and the world keeps turning.

Stalled in December 2060, my game is waiting in New Orleans where the players dabble in the sights of La Dame de Morte in search of her kidnapped protégée. They have with them an Ancient (hither to called Si'Am) who himself is needed in Chicago to quell a rift between cult like fanatics of the gang -who follow very much to the beck and call of the Chicago Chapter's unofficial leader Klinten Beck and the members sent by Sting to seize Chicago's chaotic smuggling operations.

Si'Am, a rather recent Green and Council member (Firewalker), has just begun to suspect that Beck is manipulating the situation to eliminate the Seattle contingent inside Chicago and somehow advance from that. He has no evidence, and has more pressing issues at the moment, but the moment he begins this thought process he will also be forced to return to Chicago and complete his real mission.

Beck, for his part, sabotaged recent negotiations with a warlord, claiming that the Seattle delegates were coming to assassinate said warlord. The delegates were ambushed and holed-up in a building, largely waiting reinforcements that never came. Beck had a logical reason for the latter, a bug raid that killed two Seattle trainees kept them busy and the gang couldn't locate the delegation. He certainly wants to move forward in the gang, and giving up control of Chicago to Seattle isn't part of his plan. If he kills off the delegation completely and is able to complete Sting's stated goals, he hopes to get what he wants: official Authority position over Chicago.

Beck's main problem is that he was never really an Ancient, just a failed tester, stuck behind the wall. When the Chicago Chapter bit the bullet, he started a small cult named after the Ancients. Sting saw no reason not to use someone familiar with Chicago's "political" situation, and with most of the training bases in Milwaukee, Beck saw it as a promotion. Beck managed to increase the cult by recruiting trainees with his fanatical ravings about the Ancient's Divinity and skilled bug hunting prowess. Now, with Seattle's increasing intervention (meddling as he says) and the possibility of replacement...

Beck also doesn't know Sting's real plan for the city, just the one she and now Si'Am have told him: rebuilding Ancient's operations of smuggling and eliminating the bug threat.

During the long isolation, Beck built up good relations with most of the warlords by returning to Ancient's roots (those he learned during his training) and had the cult acting as mercenaries. He knows securing agreements with the warlords will be easy, and once he has real Ancient's weapons, enforcing the agreement should be to.

He also has bug connections, probably a small group of survivors. Is he offering them bodies, survival, a way out of the city? Maybe all three, though he has no intention of keeping his word to them. He's not a bug lover at all.

The failure his last attempt to eliminate the Seattle delegation has him worried, and he plans on finishing them before suspicion mounts. He needs Si'Am back in Chicago to take out the group all at once, and a few of the Milwaukee leaders could go to.

Luring Si'Am back, he will set up one of the smaller gangs by giving them the location of a training camp inside the city and some grenades. Then telling them how to sneak into the camp, and to wipe it out, and that reprisals will not happen as the camp is full of traitors. Si'Am, as acting Ambassador, will have to return and "punish" the gang by Ancient's law.

Then Beck need only have the previous warlord attack, followed by the bugs if need be.

You can spot a Chicago Ancient by ritual scarring that run from the outside corner of their eyes to the jaw line like tear channels. In Becks mythology, these represent the tears cried by all Ancients over the lost Chicago Chapter. Note, too, that some, including Si'Am, also have these scars -if just to appease the often raving mad Beck.

Sting, Si'Am, Green Lucifer, and a few others know that Beck is a fake. If Si'Am can "prove" that Beck is betraying Ancients most of the cult will fall apart. If he just kills Beck, everything will get bad for him.

Si'Am doesn't trust Beck, the Milwaukee leaders don't trust Si'Am, and Beck doesn't trust either.

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