Clutch of Dragons

Give The Devil His Due - Part One

April 2072

  • Jane-In-The-Box contacted you electronically, explaining that she’d heard about the sale of an artefact (a black heart) in Constantinople. She said that she’d been looking for a decent mission to get the three of you into the field together, and Saiph has experience of the local area, so your job is to go there and recover the heart for the Draco Foundation.
  • You met in the mess hall of the Lake Louise underground complex to discuss the plan.
  • Travelled to Constantinople on a t-bird that you boarded outside Calgary; Mel disguised Saiph due to his concerns about getting recognised by old enemies
  • Once at a commercial airport outside Constantinople, you found a Backpackers International hostel. Gabriela charmed the proprietor into giving you access to a four-person room and giving you the key so you could get some security. The room itself had two bunk beds, one of which was taken up with Saiph’s light machine gun.
  • Saiph discovered from a local contact that some Karavan mages were in town, which was noteworthy. They were apparently in and around the Grand Bazaar, making that a good place to start looking.
  • Gabriela called a lecturer friend to learn about the black heart and discovered the involvement of the Apep Consortium, who have an interest in this matter. The artefact itself was apparently sort-of alive and a literal black heart.
  • With the information from these two sources, you started to plan, agreeing to try to strike either before or after the auction rather than at the auction.
  • Mel spotted several magically active people around the Grand Bazaar, and Gabriela identified a group of four matching the description. She was then able to charm them into telling her that they had already arranged the sale of the item to the Mafia, and that the meeting would occur nearby in the Bodrum Han in three hours’ time. The magicians invited her along to the meeting so she could negotiate with the buyers to acquire the item for her “backer.”
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Gabriella - Mission Notes
This will take the form of the mission notes she makes on her commlink for reference.

Day 1

  • Afternoon meeting with Jane-in-the-box, given my first real mission. Travel to Istanbul with 2 other fellow agents of the Draco Foundation to recover an artefact.
  • Met with my colleagues;
    Saiph – an ork who initially appears to be of middle eastern decent and to have some mercenary work experience. My suspicions were quickly confirmed when in conversation he mentioned being a Kurdish freedom fighter.
    edited to add: Has enemies within S-K, apparently linked to closure of Constantinople HQ. Carries a LMG. Links to Aden?
    Mel – a very likeable elf mage who explained she was a Hawaiian Marine Biologist before she started working for the great Sea Dragon. Appears to have strong beliefs about environmental & ecological issues. Possibly killed in the name of environmentalism.
    edited to add: Travels very light (could be unprepared or might rely on magic?). Can change appearances.

Day 2

  • We took a flight in the first few hours of the day as far as Istanbul. During the flight we decried on a cover – students backpacking – and booked beds in a youth hostel in the city.
  • Upon arrival the owner agreed to give us the key to our room and let us rent the extra bed so we could have privacy. (Told him we had suffered theft on our trip}
  • We hit up contacts and discovered that it was a expensive black, still-beating & very difficult to damage, heart. Saiph discovered that it was being sold by some mages from Karavan in the grand bazaar. We also heard rumours that the Bank of Panama (and the associated Apep Consortium) were trying to purchase it.
  • Quickly found the Karavan mages (potentially very useful contacts if we play this right) in the bazaar and after a quick chat they divulged that they had agreed to sell it to the Mafia in 3 hours time and gave us the place of the meet so we could attend if we chose.
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Brindar Operations Report

Operation: Recovery of “The Black Heart”

I was assigned to a working group with two female elves. Gabriella is a well travelled and educated professional. Mel is a likeable and principled young mage.

We travelled to Constantinople and established a base of operations. Through quick research we were able to discover that traders from Karavan, including one or more mages, had been seen in the market. This is noteworthy so we chose to investigate. Mel was able to identify the mages with relative ease and it was agreed that Gabriella would approach them. She posed as a buyer while I made no efforts to conceal my nature as physical security and Mel hung back to cover us. The merchants were thoroughly convinced by her act and explained that they had already agreed to sell the item to representatives of the Mafia. They invited Gabriella to the meet, providing the time and location.

From here it should be a simple matter to retrieve the item from the Mafia representatives after the handover.

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Give The Devil His Due - Part Two
  • Based on their previous intel, the team started to plan
  • Gabriela pulled up an AR map of the Bazaar, and identified that the meet would be in the Bodrum Han
  • The major concern was the security inside the Grand Bazaar
  • Gabriela researched stolen paintings with a view to conning the Mafia guys into offering a swap
  • She then went to the Bodrum Han and familiarised herself with the area whilst Saiph and Mel went back to the hostel to rest and collect armour and weapons
  • Gabriela spotted four cybered-up types from North Africa (of Arabian descent) who Saiph identified as being Kharijites, a small sect of exiles from the former Oman who serve the Great Dragon Aden
  • Gabriela sent a forged news story to the 10,000 Daggers mercenaries who provide security for the city about the Kharijites having committed an armed raid in nearby Dubai. She then witnessed the Kharijites paying off the first mercenary who approached them. They were subsequently left alone.
  • The Karavan mages arrived, and greeted Gabriela in a friendly fashion. The mages were carrying a black filigreed box, which one of Mel’s spirits explained was empty after Assensing it.
  • Mel was by the Beyazm Gate and noticed one human female and twelve ork males, all looking stylish and European, enter and walk towards the meet location
  • The woman introduced herself as Maria N’Drangeta and was very dismissive of the other Maria’s offer to purchase the heart with a stolen painting
  • You watched the N’Drangeta rep hand over a Platinum credstick (which later turned out to contain 200,000¥) and accept the filigreed box
  • Gabriela drew the ork bodyguards’ attention to the Kharijites just as the fight kicked off
  • The Karavan mages were the first to die, taken out by the Kharijites’ suppressive fire
  • The Kharijites and N’Drangeta then got into a gun battle, whilst Maria N’Drangeta made herself invisible
  • Whilst Gabriela snuck to where she believed Maria to be, Saiph started firing into the mess with his sniper rifle and Mel threw Power Balls around, mortally wounding several civilians
  • At a certain point, Mel became enraged by the battle and the fact that Maria was counterspelling for her bodyguards and turned into her dracoform, still attacking with Power Balls – even injuring Gabriela at one point
  • Gabriela shot and killed one of the guards with a well-placed pistol shot, whilst Saiph eventually took out Maria and split the remaining orks with Mel (who fled briefly, overcome with terror)
  • As the dust settled, Gabriela grabbed the box and checked it contained the heart, which it did
  • Mel recovered the credstick from the Karavan mages
  • Saiph disassembled his sniper rifle and managed to hustle the team away before the 10,000 Daggers mercenaries turned up to the disturbance
  • The team was able to get back to the hostel quickly, and thence back to Lake Louise for a debrief…

Karma Awarded: 6
Cash Awarded: 3,000¥

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Give The Devil His Due - Downtime

This is really just a placeholder post to give a space for the Player Secret stuff below ;-)

Group Funds: 29,500

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Dusk - part one
  • The Sexton of the Worlds was stolen en route from the Draco Foundation’s vaults in Washington FDC to the Dunkelzahn Institute of Magical Research’s labs in Boston.
    • The job has all the telltale signs of an inside job, but even Jane couldn’t backtrack the requisition.
    • The Sextant itself is a cross between an armillary sphere and a navigational sextant, although what it might navigate is a mystery known to only a few. In the center is a sphere of polished orichalcum, which anchors a small, unremarkable stone. The sphere is mounted on a staff, which is intricately carved with spiraling designs and undeciphered glyphs
    • One of the DIMR Board members indicated that the Atlantean Foundation rep send his personal operative (Mordecai) to Hawai’i after indicating he thought Saeder-Krupp were involved
    • Thus you were sent to Hawai’i to track down Mordecai and recover whatever he’d been sent to get, whether it’s the Sexton or something else
  • Fly from Edmonton into Awalani (“Sky Harbour”/Honolulu International Airport) – takes c. 6.5hrs, arriving Monday
    • Mel made contact with a bartender at the Airport and asked about Mordecai
    • Gabriela did a data search for Mordecai, learning he had been seen in Oahu in the company of Katherine Silveroak (a Tir Tairngire noble), likely for an upcoming black-tie artifacts auction by Alison Ho, Gordon Ho’s (King Kamehameha V) daughter and sister of the late King Kamehameha VI, Brandon Ho (who died in a boating accident in 2067).
    • Staying at Queen Kapiolani Hotel, in Waikiki on Oahu (same island as Honolulu and the airport)
  • Mel then contacted a local private investigator she knew giving all of the information.
    • She learnt that the auction itself is on Saturday, and potential bidders are invited to view the lots on the docket beforehand at the Royal palace in Honolulu. Note that in order to get a ticket to the actual auction, you have to present the Princess with a gift.
  • Gabriela charmed the concierge at the hotel into getting them onto a guest list of one of the hottest clubs in Waikiki and providing a town car.
  • Mel used one of her spirits to search for both Mordecai and Princess Alison
    • Mordecai was in the Royal Honolulu Hotel
    • The Princess was in the Palace
  • The team used the town car to go to the Royal Honolulu Hotel, where they encountered Silveroak and Mordecai plus her three bodyguards
    • Mel spoke to one of the bodyguards about trying to get into the auction; the bodyguards told her that they couldn’t discuss the principal’s movements
    • Gabriela seemed to make friends with Katherine Silveroak, whereas Mordecai seemed very disinterested.
      • Mel assensed Mordecai and discovered that he had an Essence of 3.2 but no obvious augmentations, and was mundane. Silveroak was Awakened.
    • Gabriela was planning to head out with Silveroak; as they left, Mordecai excused himself as he had a big day tomorrow. Mel sent “accident-shark” (a Water spirit) to follow him all the way to room 513.
    • Meanwhile, the three team-members, Katherine Silveroak, and her three bodyguards went out on the town. Silveroak interacted mainly with Gabriela and somewhat with Gabriela
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Dusk - part two
  • Team convened for a breakfast meeting after the party
    • They bought three copies of a Rating 2 TacNet programme and two simrigs using group funds
  • Went to the palace for a touristy tour
    • Noticed hardwired cameras, pressure pads, and trip beams
    • Palace is aspected (Rating 3 Domain) towards kahunas
    • Gabriela checked out the toilets but sadly they were absent any sort of air conditioning
  • Looked for antiques to give the Princess as a gift, but decided against it
    • Bought some new clothes for Mel
  • Gabriela got a call from Katherine Silveroak to arrange travel
    • Collected in a limo with Silveroak, Mordecai
    • Taken to the palace, where you were kept in a luxury suite
    • Then led to a large underground room with walls 2m thick. Other bidders there:
      • Hans Brackhaus (dwarf, SK rep)
      • Georgiy Abelev (older Russian archaeologist representing the Apep Consortium)
      • Dr. Raoul Menendez (Aztechnology exec in charge of procurement for research and investment)
      • Medjay
      • Dr. Julianna Smythe (private collector from Hong Kong, works for Lung)
      • Katherine Silveroak and Mordecai
    • Looked around the exhibits:
      • Lots of antiquities – gemstone-encrusted masks, shards of ancient pottery, and one table has a climate-controlled glass case filled with sheets of papyrus. There are masks and statuettes from across the globe on pedestals and glass cases.
      • Another large table has a sizable map stretched out along it, with a small AR tag labelling it the Piri Reis map. Mordecai is here, lingering near the map and speaking in a strange language to Katherine Silveroak.
      • According to Mel‘s astral investigations, the map is very odd – the writing is very clear and in fact there’s more writing astrally than physically! Also gives the impression of great age.
    • Brackhaus talked to Gabriela and swapped contact details
    • The team were given the choice to stay at the palace overnight or leave, and (given that Silveroak was staying and the team worried that the map would be stolen) chose to stay
    • Whilst astrally scouting around midnight, Mel noticed someone running from the vault area towards the exit – when she made to follow physically, she learnt that the security measures (e.g. pressure pads) were active, and thus decided not to go any further
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Dusk - part three
  • Gabriela called security to report the theft, and after ten minutes of security searching the area, the local head of security (Kimu Kekoa) came and took Mel’s statement, explaining that a statue of King Kamehameha I had been stolen
  • Gabriela offered the team’s services in finding the lost item, which Kimu accepted because Mel’s a kahuna. She sent a Water Spirit to find the statue.
  • Reviewing the footage revealed the thief was an ork using a variety of adept powers, despite appearing mundane when Mel assensed him.
  • Gabriela went hunting for clues, finding small samples of sweat and blood near the vault and signs of escape outside. Upon asking, one of the guards lent Saiph an Ingram Smartgun X and a AZ-100 stun baton.
  • Saiph followed up on Gabriela’s leads and discovered the thief was a really good runner and jumper and ran through a public park near the Palace and onto a main road and presumably got into a vehicle. Gabriela asked the Palace staff for access to the camera feeds, which they said they would work on.
  • Mel identified that ALOHA, a terrorist organisation loyal to the dragon Naheka, are the most likely to strike against the royal family due to their dissatisfaction that the Ho family aren’t pureblood Hawaiian. She then called her PI contact and learnt that ALOHA forces were rioting and fighting against royal forces as they had allegedly stolen a valuable heirloom. The PI sold the information that she knew an ALOHA-linked fixer called Hippo who’s at a bar called the Three Friends.
  • On the way to the bar, the team stopped at their hotel to equip themselves
  • The bar was in a pretty dodgy area but thankfully there was no local violence
  • The team identified Hippo in the bar and Gabriela went to talk to him. For the low price of 500, he revealed that the thief was Tyson “Hāmau” Alualu and could be found at a brothel called the Dancing Ork. A spot of talking and intimidation led to the discovery that he sold the the statue to Hideo Naheka, wakagashira of the Kawaru-gumi.
  • The team checked out Hideo’s compound and discovered it had about ten armed guards, plus a spirit. It looked a bit like this:

Imag0216

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Dusk - part four
  • Assaulted the Naheka-_gumi_’s _wakagashira_’s home compound, and broke into the safe, taking various of his notebooks and the stolen statue
  • This set off an alarm as Gabriela didn’t have the boss’ RFID access tag, but did successfully deal with the maglock and physical lock
  • Saiph shot the first guard to investigate, starting off the combat
  • Mel dropped a Powerball on several guards, injuring them very badly and killing one as he fell from the tower.
  • Gabriela went to leave with the haul, and shouted at Hideo and one of the guards not to move a muscle (using her adept powers to make it stick)
  • Mel got injured by a spirit of man that was patrolling, went berserk and changed into her dracoform before destroying the spirit with magic
  • Saiph killed Hideo Naheka and his other guard
  • Gabriela killed two guards, while Mel killed the remaining four
  • The trio fled with their ill-gotten gains, having killed everyone in the compound who witnessed Mel as a dracoform
  • Having gone via the hotel to change, they went to the palace and handed over the statue in exchange for three tickets to the auction that Saturday, on on the secure Ni’ihau (Forbidden Island) enclave – home to the kahunas and the bloodline of Kamehameha. Only the Awakened and people of the royal line can set foot on the island without permission!
  • Met up with Mel’s ex, Hokulani (the PI) and arranged to sell her the notebooks for 10 grand. She went off and made some calls to arrange the funding and
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Dusk - part five
  • Started to plan – noted the thematic similarity between Sextant of the Worlds and Piri Reis Map.
  • Discussed the relatively likelihood of artefacts actually having ancient magic, or having recently acquired magic due to their cultural significance.
  • Called Jane-In-The-Box , and told her that Mordecai was after the Piri Reis Map. Jane offered a budget of 1,000,000¥ for the auction.
  • Further planning ensued.
  • Melika warded three waterproof map cases
  • Saiph and Gabriela hired a Dolphin II from a nice old lady:

Dolphin

  • Melika stated that she didn’t want any harm to come to the Princess, whereas Gabriela asked that Katherine Silveroak not come to any harm either.
  • The two women arrived on the island, whereas Saiph was stationed on the yacht keeping the place under overwatch from his sniper rifle
  • Gabriela did well at not accidentally buying anything, but was then outbid for the Piri Reis Map by Medjay, who beat Katherine Silveroak out at 2,100,00¥
  • Medjay left shortly after his victory in a speedboat; Saiph destroyed the engine with a single sniper round, Melika (who had kept up by swimming in drake form with help from a spirit’s Movement power) knocked him into unconsciousness with a manabolt and then a second sniper round finished the job. Melika bit off Medjay’s arm and swam off with it and the Piri Reis map.
  • Gabriela managed to avert suspicion through her pre-existing goodwill from Kimu Kekoa, the head of security, and a fake phonecall. She made her way back on the luxury cruiser.
  • The team retrieved their gear from the hotel, and returned home on a charter flight. VICTORY!
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