Seattle Side Mission 13: Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 2

Written by: Bear           Played on: 20 Jul 2013
PREVIOUS: Side Mission 13 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 1
NEXT: Side Mission 13 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 3

This session used the published scenario, Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk. As such, there are spoilers so read ahead at your own peril.

Once the plane was safely on the ground in Lagos, we stepped outside and were met instantly by the extreme, dense, hot air and the thick red dust that coated the whole city of Lagos. Anything that wasn’t tied down was coated in the stuff. The next un-ignorable detail was the crowds; everywhere we looked was a sea of bodies. Before we make it to the streets, ‘customs agents’,” shake us down. Marius tried, in vain, to get around the obvious bribe these guards demanded. Frosty offered up the fee, but the guards wouldn’t accept it, in fact they never once looked her in the eyes. Marius grabbed the cash chip from Frosty and gave it to the guards; he later claimed that the translation software was to blame.

Frosty was able to get some contacts around the city, these Hawala’s act as fixers and cash exchanges to transfer our nuyen to the local Naira. We are each given a high-tech coin that acts as our cred-sticks. Once we had our local currency and Frosty had checked-in and gotten her lay-of-the-land, she called us a cab to take us to our headquarters for the week; a hotel suite.

The cab-ride gave us yet another detailed view of Lagos. The landscape that dashed outside the windows was the same everywhere, densely crowded people walking between each other, multiple people crowded onto scooters, packed into truck beds, bikes, animals, everyone working and rushing. I couldn’t imagine how there weren’t more people getting hurt, but it seemed to work and eventually we arrived at the hotel.

The hotel was beautiful. Emphasis on WAS. My best guess, fifty years ago this building was a gem. Now its walls were chipped and coated in dust. The hotel had a reinforced wall surrounding it along with armed guards at the entrance. We are escorted up to our suite where we meet a man named Peaceful. Three words that describe Peaceful? Young, quiet, focused.

Peaceful, freshly bribed to keep an extra special eye on our room, showed us in. He told us we’d have some house wine, fresh water and that the room was bug-free, “No Iba here.” But this couldn’t be, the windows were wide open. Then we saw why, a huge chubby lizard was lounging in a sunny spot just under the window. An unlucky cockroach the size my fist scurried from one hole to another, only to be snatched-up in a flash. “Ahh, you see! No Iba here!” Peaceful said with a chuckle!

Marius’ face lit up, “What’s that awesome lizard’s name??”

“Any name you want my friend!” was Peaceful’s reply and, with that, he was out of the suite and back at his post.

The suite had two rooms, one for the men and the other for the ladies. We take a few moments to unpack and plan our day. First stop, a Hawala by the name of Kayin.

Kayin was a tall, thin man who wore lavish, brightly colored robes. He filled Frosty in on what he knew about the whereabouts of important artifacts. The answer: The Oni, or king, was hosting a high-end auction.

Kayin knew that many big players were going to be attending: Aztechnology reps, Elves from the Tir and many others were going to view the collections and try their luck bidding. The best thing Kayin can do for us is for 3,000¥ he can get us an introduction with the Oni and a viewing of the artifacts.

Kayin didn’t miss a chance to offer us the opportunity to purchase a ‘one-of-a-kind’ spiritual mask. Honestly, there was nothing special about the masks, but hey, when would I be in Lagos again? The walls of my Lodge could always use more diverse artifacts.

Frosty buys the team suits, so we won’t stand-out too much at the Oni’s palace, from there we get into a another stuffy and cab and head to one of the other markets. On the way, we got yet another taste of the city. Traffic, thus far had always been a bitch, but we were in a dead stop for too long. Something was stopping traffic more than just crowded streets. Just ahead we saw about eight armed gang members lining up a group of civilians. This wasn’t our problem, but we didn’t want to witness a massacre we could stop. Frosty gives us the go-ahead to intervene.

The eight gang members didn’t seem to have much training, so we calmly approached the gangers. Jade towered over one of them, he had just enough time to look her way before she grabbed his rifle in her left hand, cupped his head in her right and, with a smirk, smashed his face into a car. On impact his head collapsed like a rotten melon.

At the same moment, I hit the leader square in his stunned face with a hammer-head arrow. Before he could get his footing, Frosty launched a stunball, taking down the leader and another goon. Over the sounds of Marius’ rifle, Jade could be heard shouting as she fought several of the gang members, completely absorbing their feeble attacks; even their gunfire didn’t seem to make a dent. Speaking of which, after Marius and I knock out two more guys, she grabs the only one left in the fight by the waist and slammed him repeatedly into a bus until he falls silent and limp. all that remained was a bloody dent.

At last, Marius took aim at the final gang member that was trying to run away, slamming him square in the back of the head with a stick-n-shock round and stopping his escape. Marius quickly gathered up ammo, Frosty flagged down a taxi and Jade and I destroyed the rifles the gang was using, because more guns were the last thing this city needed.

Our cab dropped us off at the amulet market, a place dedicated to the magical and the strange, but no one had seen or heard of Samriel. After poking around a bit we headed back to the hotel. All I could think was how much I missed our team’s van and, more-over, A/C. Once at the hotel, we prepare to visit the palace to see if either the Sextant or Samriel are there.

The palace is a short flight away, so we call-up Innocent and he takes us the short way in his rust bucket. We expected the Oni’s palace to be ornate, but we didn’t consider that it would also be equipped with the armaments of a military fortress.  In a back area of the building, an Aztecnology chopper lands and powers down. Additionally, the closer we get, I feel a slight tug in the astral plane. Frosty, and I share a look, knowing that our powers have been weakened slightly. Once at the gates we are scanned and our weapons and gear are checked. I was even made to wear cyberware inhibitors, making my arms, just arms.

A man in bright robes, takes us on a brief tour and leads us to our suite. We are to report at the dinner in two hours. On our tour, the guide informs us excitedly about the history of the Aruba palace and the proud lineage of the Oni. After a quick rest, we are told that we may go and see the showing of the items up for auction.

The showing is inside a huge vault, the walls of which are at least 2 meters thick and is large enough that you could drive a truck through it. Even more impressive than the vault was the assortment and value of its contents. Among them we could easy identify Samriel and another elf talking and admiring a large map. We were simply awestruck by the amazing treasures in the vault; all except Frosty, who quickly determined that the Sextant of the Worlds was not in there. We each do our best to see what items Samriel and his associate take particular interest in and take pictures and begin to research each of them. It is quickly evident that the collection represents several billions of nuyen.

Of the items, the most notable was the Piri Reis Map. This is an ancient, old-world item that was full of old and mysterious magic; its aura was incredible. I’ve never before, or since, seen one item have such a powerful or unique aura. While Marius and Frosty researched and scanned the map and Jade marveled at the gorgeous relics of the vault, I focused my attention on Samriel. His was an unforgettable form. Not thin and lean like a typical elf, but broad-chested and muscular, with bright white hair, his tailored suit showing his strength in detail. Other than that were his eyes, they shined a lustrous silver.

Frosty chimed in as we exited the vault; we were to forget about the sextant and make getting the map our primary focus. The map is fairly well known. It was made in 1513 and shows an incongruent reality of the continents. The map shows Antarctica without the ice and other anomalies. It is unknown if it is the result of poor, ancient cartography or a hoax. Regardless, it’s very old and imbued with incredible magic.

PREVIOUS: Side Mission 13 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 1
NEXT: Side Mission 13 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 3

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