Seattle Mission 25: The Jewel of Memory – Part 2

Written by: Marius           Played on: 12 Apr 2014
PREVIOUS: Mission 25: The Jewel of Memory – Part 1
NEXT: Mission 26: Checkmate

After taking the drones apart, we explore the facility. The bottom floor is deserted. We find the stairwell and ascend. The second floor is a barracks facility, bunks, showers. The second floor shows signs of recent use, but is empty.

We move to the third floor, but three men with lasers take out the spy fly drone we send ahead. Cho, her drones, and I get in the elevator and press the button for floor three. We hold the doors until after Wheeler has thrown a grenade up the stairs, trying to exit while they are distracted. He takes laser fire in response.

This is the first time I’ve thrown a heavy contingent of Deckers against the party. Generally, I refrain from too many hacking related enemies, even though it is a staple of the genre, as we specifically chose to ignore 4th Editions complicated hacking rules when we first began.

It would be unfair to punish them with Matrix attacks if they had no defense against it, so I was originally planning to use the Decker’s defensively. Shutting down the elevator, managing building security, etc. It was only when Cho began trying to hack directly against them and their security that I had them take direct action against the team.

In the elevator, Cho and I are trapped between floors when the elevator is suddenly shut down externally. I shoot out the camera and begin prying open the doors. Wheeler’s grenade goes off and we hear sporadic gunfire. “One down,” Wheeler says. More gunfire.

“Wheeler’s down!” Chekov yells. “Might as well drop that invisibility spell.” I continue to try and open the elevators. Cho squeezes out and draws her sniper rifle and fires, I don’t know who she was shooting at, or what the result was. Continuing to try and pry the doors open I am working up quite the sweat.

“You are going to die in here,” Jackie says. “You are running out of air.”

“That’s ludicrous, the door is ajar.” The elf replies.

“Yeah, but your armor is blocking your air. And you can’t bandage your wounds without taking it off. you are not under fire, you should take it off.”

“Perhaps you are right, Jackie.” the elf says. “If I can take care of some of the fatigue with stim patches, I could probably pry the door open.” Marius begins stripping off his armor.

“Better take off everything to check for other wounds.” Jackie recommends.

“Good idea, buddy.” The elf replies. Unbenkownst to Marius at the time, Wheeler drained the remaining two deckers of essence while they were in VR. The elevator doors finally open after the team calls the elevator up to the floor. They are quire surprised to find a naked elf inside.

We spend a few minutes bandaging each other. Bear performs magical healing on the party as well. I put my armor back on and Chekov covers the lobby while we head up to the next floor.

On the fifth floor we find a space where the command staff would occupy. Double doors separate us from the unsearched space. “Something big happened recently, we are going to be facing one powerful blood mage.” Bear informs us.

The room is opulently appointed. The nicest stuff has been ripped off, but the room is still nice. The room is smokey with thick pillars. Nothing is immediately seen until a man in full Azatlan combat armor greets us from the head of the room. “Father said to expect you.”

“It’s no use, you are outnumbered by a superior force. Surrender.” Marius says

“Yeah that’s going to work…” Jackie says. The blood mage just laughs.

“Have it your way,” Marius says, taking aim at the man’s head he opens fire, missing. The mage erects a physical barrier and summons two blood spirits. The rest of us make attacks, having no effect. I duplicate that same attack again, missing again. Chekov calls spirits fourth to fight the blood spirits. Another armored guy bursts out of one of the offices wielding a gun. Bear loses an arrow striking the blood mage on the edge of his neck as the barrier finally drops. He goes down in a hurry.

Use of Edge and a lucky roll can sometimes take all the teeth out of an encounter.

“Drop your weapons!” I say to the two guys who burst out of the offices.

“Just shoot them!” Jackie yells. “They are not going to drop their weapons”

“Fine, have it your way,” I say back to Jackie, as I open fire on one of the guys. Two three round burst strike center mass but fail to drop the street samurai. A second guard comes running out with a sword, but the blow bounces off my armor.

Chekhov runs to the fallen mage Itztli while Jade defends him from nearby attackers. Chekov delivers a massive axe blow to the fallen mage, his skull is split in twain. At that moment, the cranial bomb the man had implanted goes off, covering Chekov and Jade in gore, and pain.

Of course, some encounters have teeth whether the enemy is up or down. It is apparently common practice and specifically mentioned in Itztli’s character bio in Dawn of the Artifacts that Aztlan blood mages are equipped with cranial bombs set to go off when their biomonitor flat lines, preventing recovery of their bodies. This makes for a sticky situation when the killing blow comes from an up close and personal axe strike to the head.

I light up the man with the sword with the under-barrel flamethrower. He attacks Bear while in full flame. I get shot with a laser rifle from elsewhere, but Wheeler quickly kills the guy. Bear kills the guy with the sword that I set on fire. Cho fires a burst at one of the other guys, missing. Jade fights off one of the blood spirits. Chekov, miraculously still on his feet despite an explosion to his face, casts a mana bolt at a guy. Soon, all is quiet.

We are able to find the artifact after some searching, the same artifact we stole so long ago and, coincidentally, encountered by Wheeler’s great-great-great-grandfather so long ago.

In addition to stealing the artifact for the Triad, Wheeler recognized a sketch of the artifact after finishing the WWII journal passed down to him from his father.

We grab some guns on the way out and make it back to the SSC without incident. We stow our gear in bags and head south to Tir Tangier. We head to the border of the nation where we are the most wanted people in the country. Unsurprisingly, we are immediately taken into custody. Mage cuffs are placed on the mages, headware jammers are placed on us and we spend a significant amount  of time face down on the asphalt.

People keep coming in and pulling rank. We have been passed through custody of about six different officers by the end. We are black bagged and shoved into a vehicle which travels for several hours. We walk a few miles at one point to another vehicle. Finally, we are placed in a building and made to wait several hours.

The bags are removed and we find we are in a luxurious mansion. Zutal is entering the room and immediately has us uncuffed. He asks us to follow him so we can meet some others. They are very interested in our remaining tatoo, indicating they may be able to back track to Father Antenor via the tattoos using a ritual. Among them are a few members of the Council of Princes and the High Prince of Tir Tairngire.

The Scrolls of Ak’Le’Ar that Father Antenor originally sent us to obtain are brought out. One of the women named Lona, identified as the leader of an organization known as Gwynedd’s Shield, takes the scrolls.

The other woman speaks briefly, “We must not combine the artifacts until it is time, it will give away our purpose. I will return to Amazonia to prepare our forces to aid the Tir in war on Azatlan.” She walks out to the balcony, transforming into a feathered dragon and leaps off. That was Haulpa, the leader of Amazonia.

Zutal turns to us. “You will train with Lona. Together, we will take this fight to Father Antenor.”

The end of the log got a little rushed and sparse on details. After turning themselves in, the team met the leaders of the organization known as Gwynedd’s Shield and the answers to a lot of questions.

Gwynedd’s Shield has stood against Father Antenor, his forces and the forces of his master since the Third Age. Their own name, Father Antenor’s name, the name of his organization and the name of the great evil he represents have changed multiple time throughout the ages. Sometimes as part of the evolution of language throughout the ages and other times deliberately when they were forced to hide

Most recently, the great evil Father Antenor was aligned with was that known as Xiuhcoatl, the Aztec fire deity. By this point, especially with the revelation of Haulpa before, the players had put together that our small side game of D&D between Denver and Seattle was actually a part of the same story-line, introducing the dragons and the evil they sought to stop.

In that game, the players worked with Haulpa and the other great dragons to stop Malak Al-Maut in his bid to return and drive the world into chaos. Their actions would end up severing the world from its Divine Chord and ultimately cause the end of the First Age of magic, implying the source of the cycle of magic that continued through the modern era.

Ultimately, the remains of Malak Al-Maut was defeated and banished in the Third Age by the combined forces of the dragons and the metahumans of the world at great cost. His power persisted, however, and his greatest general, Father Antenor, lived on throughout the ages, gathering power, resources and knowledge, working tireless to unravel the secrets to resurrecting his defeated master and end the dragon’s ability to defeat him again.

To that end, he organized the death of two great dragons, Dunkelzahn who died years prior in Shadowrun lore and Ghostwalker whom the team delivered to his end, ensured the original seven dragons would never again be able to fabricate the tools of Malak Al-Maut’s destruction. His attempts to destroy the remaining artifacts would have ensured their victory could never be achieved again.

Due to the team’s choices, the artifacts were reunited and could instead be used to strip Father Antenor of the considerable power granted to him by his master. Though he would still be a dangerous, powerful mage, the team would at least have a chance at defeating him. Organizing with the Tir Tairngire government and the forces of Amazonia, a war was in the works that would create the opening the team needed to reach him in Azatlan.

PREVIOUS: Mission 25: The Jewel of Memory – Part 1
NEXT: Mission 26: Checkmate

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