A Sound of Thunder

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A Sound of Thunder
Date2082-08-21
Location
Sprawl Outskirts, Seattle Metroplex
Status Threat Level: High
Factions Involved
ShadowHaven
Bellerophon
Salish-Shidhe Council
Gallant
Nogitsune
Tombstone
Ty Vallynn
Salish Rangers
Spirit of Air
Casualties and losses
Greater Thunderbird
Spirit of Air
2 points of edge were burned.


Summary

In which the runners are hired to bag a thunderbird in order to assess their talents at hunting.

The Meet

The runners are contacted individually by their fixers and told to meet with their Johnson in a nice part of Snohomish - there is some difficulty getting there, with Ty nearly getting their SIN burned and Gallant nearly burning up in the sun due to bad vibes getting rid of their alleviate allergy spell, but all are eventually able to make it to the bar where Bellerophon waits for them. His airship, the Pegasus, is moored to the building, and he invites them up on the roof in order to come aboard for a better view. Aboard, he explains that he has a quarry that he can bring down himself, but that he wishes to see what sort of hunters the Haven has to offer; telling them of their target, a greater Thunderbird which lairs on Mount Shuksan just northeast of the sprawl, Bellerophon says that his one condition is that they don’t utilize firearms to take down the bird.

The team are concerned about Bellerophon’s reputation (being from Quebec, he could legally hunt all of them for sport and be paid by his government for it as a public service), especially when he freely admits that he will leave them behind in Salish territory if they are caught, however the prospect of a 10,000 nuyen payment and the opportunity to hunt such exotic quarry is enough to convince them to take the job. He gives them 24 hours to prepare, and tells them to meet him in northern Snohomish when they are ready to depart for the wilderness.

The Plan

Knowing they won’t be able to use their guns on their quarry, Nogitsune obtains a bow from Bellerophon and starts to practice with it at his bolt hole while Tombstone gets himself a proper sword. Gallant and Ty meanwhile are content that their magic will suffice, though both worry about the unfamiliar vibes of the area (with Gallant also worrying about being in the woods and out in the sun, as well as hosting private concerns that the bounty hunter who they’re working for may find out about the price on her head and turn her in for it).

After a fitful night of sleep, the runners meet up with Bellerophon the next day at the appointed time and place, and he flies them into the SSC lands (winching Nogitsune’s Jeep along with the airshop so that they have some transportation and a way to cart the Thunderbird’s body back), providing them with a trio of flyspies to observe their performance while he secures the airship.

The Run

Left to their own devices, the runners hop into Nogitsune’s vehicle and start making their way along the woodland trails towards Mt. Shuksan, where the thunderbird makes its lair; the expert driver is able to navigate around thanks to the help of Ty (a native of the area), and avoid the Salish ranger patrols en-route in the process. Eventually they come to a point where they must stash the Jeep and continue on foot - Ty and Gallant summon an air spirit and a beast spirit respectively, but both adamantly refuse to help with taking down the Thunderbird, so Ty asks the air spirit to conceal the vehicle while Gallant asks the beast spirit to distract the local wildlife and keep dangerous predators from attacking them while they make their way up the mountain.

The climb up the foothills is an exhausting one, especially for Gallant who just has a terrible time with it, nearly collapsing from exhaustion. Eventually they come to the mountain proper, with a huge raging storm near the peak, and Tombstone’s sharp ears catch an ear-piercing screech just before the rumble of thunder and the crack of lightning that follows - a bolt strikes the slope, causing an avalanche. Nogitsune and Tombstone make a run for it and dive behind an embankment, while Ty and Gallant have their spirits save them from death by falling rocks. Catching their breath, they decide that maybe they should make camp for the night.

In the morning, the party are in for a nasty surprise: the Thunderbird circles overhead like a vulture, ready to strike at them as they emerge from their shelter, giving them only moments to prepare for the attack - Nogitsune knocks an arrow while Tombstone does drugs and the mages ready their spells, knowing they will not have spiritual backup. Nogitsune’s arrow shot goes wide, and Gallant’s stunbolt has no effect as the bird swoops down and grabs Tombstone in its massive talons, prepared to lift him off the ground and drop him from a large height. Thinking quickly, Ty uses mind magic to control its actions and force iit to stay on the ground, and Gallant draws its ire with a more-successful stunbolt.

The battle continues in earnest, with Ty attempting to impose debuffs on the bird while keeping it from flying away as Tombstone desperate clings to it and tries to weigh it down and Gallant attempts to avoid having her eyes ripped out. Nogitsune feels the Shark’s rage welling up in him, which reaches a boiling point after he and the Thunderbird exchange brutal blows with eachother - with the assistance of the others, he is able to use his berserk strength to snap the bird’s neck, putting it down for good as the storm begins to abate.

Unfortunately the runners still have to make it to their exfiltration point, this time with a 100kg bird body - Tombstone, Ty and Nogitsune work together to carry it, while Gallant provides moral support and attempts not to die on the arduous trip back down the mountain. Her stealth skills leave something to be desired however, and the commotion (along with the noise of the avalanche and the abatement of the semi-permanent storm) attracts the attention of a Salish rangers patrol drone which gets a good look at the poachers before they spot and destroy it. Hurrying back to their car, they find a powerful air spirit there waiting for them to keep them occupied while re-enforcements converge on the position.

Knowing they don’t have time for a proper fight and can’t risk attracting more attention to themselves, Gallant calls on all her magic - despite the foreign background mana interfering with her efforts - and manages to cleanly banish the spirit back to where it came from. The team quickly lash the Thunderbird body to the roof and beat a quick retreat, with Nogitsune putting all his stealth and smuggler skills to work and Ty using their knowledge of the area to pick out good places to hide. After about 12 hours of laying low, they finally shake the trail and make their way to the extraction point, where thankfully Bellerophon is waiting for them.

Aftermath

Wary of their J, the team contemplates the prospect of betrayal or not handing the body over - this is a losing prospect however, as they have no other way out of the SSC. Perhaps sensing the tension however, Bellerophon sends a private message to Gallant, “encouraging” her to make sure the handoff goes smoothly or else he will make her condition and the price on her head public knowledge. After a long, uncomfortable ride in a shipping container back to the Metroplex, the group touch down back in Snohomish, and the hunter comes down to inspect the prize - thankfully the body is in good condition for harvesting reagents, and the runners don’t seem to be in the mood to turn on him, so he complements their work and hands over payment. They also take a few feathers from the Thunderbird as trophies of their shared achievement.

Rewards

  • 14k nuyen
  • 4 karma
  • 10 CDP
  • Optional Contact: Bellerophon (C4/L2 Paracritter Hunter) for 5 RVP or 10 CDP
  • Optional Gear Reward: Foci/Fetishes/Reagents made of the Thunderbird's body
  • Optional Quality: May take Thunderbird as a mentor spirit, or switch your existing mentor @ chargen price (comes out of run RVP)

For everyone but Gallant:

  • Optional Quality: Outdoorsman @ chargen price (comes out of run RVP)

For Gallant:

  • Optional Quality: City Slicker @ chargen price (comes out of run RVP)
  • One dram of radical quality reagents (thunderbird tailfeather)

Game Quotes

Player After Action Reports (AARs)

Gallant

This left a very bad taste in m' mouth... not to mention Mr. B knows about... stuff. I feel like i should be apologizin' to the Thunderbird somehow. I need t' meditate with Raven... See what she says. Woods sucks.

Ty Vallynn

In the beginning, Ty saw this as an honorable hunt. But as he thought about it, he came to realize that this borders on betrayal of the air spirts he calls upon. He went through with the hunt, but by the end it left a bad taste in his mouth. Ty contemplated different ways to make up for it, and came to what he thought was a proper compromise. The Moon had helped him with his magic many times, but Ty must honor another. He chose to follow the great spirit of the Thunderbird from here on out. He hopes to make up for his actions by honoring the great spirit with everything he does. Settling the issue of poaching in the SSC will be a task for another time.

Tombstone

Never want to do this again. No guns and I had to climb a mountain that also avalanched? Yeah, no.