16
Oct
14

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

SEATTLE SIDE MISSION 13 – DAWN OF THE ARTIFACTS – DUSK (PART 1) – PART 3
Written by: Bear           Played on: 20 Jul 2013
PREVIOUS: Side Mission 13 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 2
NEXT: Side Mission 14 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 2) – Part 1

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

After the viewing were the dinner and our meeting with the Oni. The meal presented is one of the best I’ve had; spiced meats of every variety, fresh fruits, grilled vegetables, savory grains, golden honey-sweet mead, spiced wine and beer. We do our best to eat with dignity, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be served this fine a meal again and Jade had grabbed a 2-foot skewer of meat, that people had been shaving slices off of, with one hand and dug-in.

After we had eaten and drank our fill, the group sitting next to us got up, was escorted to the table of the Oni, who sat on an ornate, jeweled throne that was raised so he could look over the feast before him. The group that approached presented the Oni with an eagle statue that rhythmically pulsed with positive magic. The dinner guests ‘Ohh-ed’ and ‘Ahh-ed’. The Oni smiled and nodded; the group then bowed and seemed relieved that their gift was accepted as they walked back to their seats to the light respectful applause.

Marius and I snap our eyes onto Frosty whose blank pale face said everything for her, she doesn’t have a gift for our host. We stand and walk slowly, each of us obviously stalling for as long as we can, frantically trying to figure out what we were going to do. We made it to the gorgeous table and bow deeply.

That was when I felt it. One of the local masks I had bought from Kayin jabbed into my ribs. To avoid giving him nothing, I take it from my jacket and, with two raised hands and a bowed head, I presented it to the Oni. At first there was complete silence, and then the unmistakable sounds of chuckles, my eyes rose to meet with the Oni’s. His scrunched nose and glaring eyes expressed disgust; although the Oni was honorable, he did not nod or smile but looked away.

The gift was not accepted and shamefully we had to walk all the way through the banquet hall back to our seats with the judgmental eyes of all the dinner guests stabbing through us. After each group had presented the Oni with their gifts, he rose and spoke. “Dear guests, thank you for these gifts and welcome to my home. I look forward to seeing some of you at this little auction I am pleased to host. Now drink, eat, enjoy your stay and good luck!” With that, glasses went up and one-by-one everyone heads to their respective rooms for the night.

Back in our room Frosty explains that her employer has told her that she must participate in the auction to get the map, but seeing as we just insulted the Oni, that is certainly easier said than done. Just as we were tossing around ideas, palace guards burst into our room!

“WHERE IS IT?!” shouted one of the guards, training his rifle on me.

“Sir? Where it what?” Marius responded in his calmest voice.

“The statue of the Oni, the Aruba!” While he was talking the other guard unceremoniously searched our room.

“It’s not here, on to the next room! QUICKLY!” and with that they were gone. A moment later they could be heard doing the same in the nearest room. We called our tour guide to our room to ask for some details. It turned out that a thief, disguised as a palace guard, had swiped a bronze statue of one of the previous Oni’s. Without staying the night, we got to planning. We had to find the thief and retrieve the statue. If we did, we could likely get invited to the auction. We call Innocent, asking him to warm up the engines, grab our gear and head back to our Hotel so we can hit the streets first thing in the morning.

We meet with Kayin and, aside from excitedly selling me another of his masks, he says that he has heard of the robbery, like most of Lagos. He didn’t have details, but he does know who will have info and suggests we go to the Three Friends Restaurants and meet a man by the name of Hippokojoli, the biggest fixer in Lagos. Without delay, we call a cab, which even in the late morning is already stuffy and hot.

Once at the restaurant, we order up a few kebabs. The ‘meat’ is somehow both dry and greasy; compared to our last meal it is devoid of flavor. Back to reality, taste-buds.

We are just finishing when the biggest fixer in Lagos saunters into the restaurant. The man was as big as a barge, almost 6 feet tall and at least 400 pounds, probably more. He looked even larger in his flowing robes. Hippo recognizes us, based on Kayin’s description, and squeezes himself into our booth. The staff, without being asked, brings trays of food for the beast of a man.

Through large bites, Hippo was able to talk and eat without pause. He knew the thief, but wouldn’t provide info until persuaded with some Naira. It turned out that Hippo acted as his fixer, but that the thief had insulted him by taking this job without cutting his fixer in. Our man was Silence, an Ork with nimble fingers and a proclivity for visiting The Dancing Ork brothel after finishing a job.

With information in hand and expecting a fight, we got into another cab to prepare; this one was different than the others. Instead of smelling like sweat or mold, it managed to smell like both at once. Back at the hotel, we geared-up and shared some friendly words with Peaceful. We picked up another cab, this one had A/C! Well, not exactly. It didn’t have a roof.

When Marius told the driver where we were going, the cabbie tensed up and went into a roar about how he wasn’t going to take us anywhere near the Dancing Ork, the neighborhood was too dangerous.

This seemed like a good place to look for a thief. We could smell the Dancing Ork before we turned a corner and saw the building, crowned with a neon silhouette of a naked ork female. We got in easily enough and, once inside, Silence was not hard to spot. Not only because of the data pic Hippo gave us, but the five ‘ladies’ surrounding him could be heard giggling “Oh, Si!” With a nod, Marius and Frosty headed over to the thief while Jade covered the front door and I was ready at the back door.

“Mr. Silence, I presume,” Marius said in his overly cool demeanor. I think he’s been watching too many old vids.

Silence sat upright and eyed Marius while the ‘girls’ shot disdainful glares at Frosty. With a slight chuckle Silence tossed the girl in his lap straight at Marius and sprinted for the back door.

Not noticing me at all, I prepared my spell. The sound of drums filled my ears my nose filled with rich smoke and sage brush; Alan was running away from me. “BEAR! STOP HIM!” someone yelled. The Ork snapped into focus I released my spell and took hold of and lifted Silence off the ground just before he made it to the door; slamming him into the ceiling.

Jade walked up, eye-level with the shocked Ork, “Let’s chat,” she growled at him.

Silence nodded. “Yeah, yeah. Whatever, just don’t hurt me.” Silence said shakily.

The five of us headed out to the alley; I was still holding Silence in the air, only upside-down.

“You gonna try running again?” Jade asked, unholstering her hand-cannon which glistened in the mid-day sun.

“N-n-n-n-o,” Silence uttered.

“Good.”

With that, I let Silence regain his footing and he became an open book. The job was already done, he didn’t have the statue. But the old saying held true, there was no honor among thieves and Silence happily traded information for his life.

It turned out that a local gang called the Igbo had hired Silence to steal the statue to shame the Oni. Silence told us that he would take us to the compound to confront the leader, he also told us that the current leaders father believes that the statue will bring about a curse on the Igbo, a superstition not shared by his son. Silence filled us in as we walked to the Igbo gang’s hangout.

“Well, we’re here,” Silence informed us.

“Where? All I see is a wall.” Marius said very matter-of-factly.

Turns out the Igbo ‘hangout’ is more of castle. Housing several dozen soldiers, a motor pool of multiple trucks with mounted guns, has only one gated entrance and is constantly patrolled.

Shit.

PREVIOUS: Side Mission 13 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 1) – Part 2
NEXT: Side Mission 14 – Dawn of the Artifacts – Dusk (Part 2) – Part 1
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