Bloom in Darkness
|Bloom in Darkness|
After a kidnapping in broad daylight Informer brings in runners to investigate an area that they cannot.
A group of Olympian tradition awakened calling themselves The Pantheon arrived in Seattle, following the path of Oracle based on the readings of the future by their high priestess Pythia. The Pantheon is seeking more members in order to bolster their strength. They found a base nearby Seattle that had a place to hold council with Oracle, and found a potential "Persephone" in a young dryad woman named Bloom Antonis. Following the story of the abduction of Persephone, Hades emerges from the ground near Bloom and captures her.
Discovering the abduction, Bloom's mother, Demara, seeks out Informer as a private investigator. However due to the background count that appeared around the flower shop after the abduction, Informer cannot go into the count without being disrupted, and so seeks out a group of runners in order to help their investigation.
The team gets messages from their fixers to meet at The Private Eye offices in Touristville, arriving one at a time, they are greeted by Informer's strange aura that turns the area around them monochrome and allows them to hear the detective's internal monologue. However, as Mara arrives, Informer's strange magical effect doesn't seem to touch the dryad, allowing her to keep the color in her life, though stopping her from hearing Informer's monologue.
Informer lets the team know that a young elf woman, Bloom Antonis has been kidnapped and that her mother Demara came to the spirit for assistance, but Informer couldn't do a proper investigation because there was a background count that made the spirit uncomfortable. They cannot pay the runners as they do not use nuyen and do not keep any amount of it on hand, however if the runners really need it, they will attempt to get a hold of some nuyen to pay them for their services.
Informer also tells the team that there is a strange background count around the flower shop that stops the spirit from approaching. They also provide a warning that something is hunting in the area.
The group load into their cars and head to the northern Bellevue area. They find the flower shop in an isolated section of the district, surrounded by a well-tended garden. The four magical shadowrunners use their ability to assense and view the area. While most of the area around them is unaffected in the astral, the team does see a background count around the whole garden. As Delphi steps into the garden, she uses her sensing metamagic in order to determine that the background count is aspected towards death. However it does not seem to be death relating to battle, as Lil' Boomer's mentor spirit of War does not protect him from the effects. While the rest of the team looks out around the area, curious as to why there is a lack of Knight Errant response to the AA zone of Bellevue, Delphi uses her psychometry ability to feel what happened in the spot. The seer's divination gave her a vision, the sight of a young dryad woman, Bloom, tending the flowers in the garden. The ground opens up and a shadowy figure in a blue-grey chariot emerges from the ground and grabs Bloom. The figure is cloaked in a shadowy mist and rushes off to the North. Before the vision ends however, Delphi sees a large dog-like creature with three heads emerge from the hole.
Delphi comes out of the vision and describes what she saw to the rest of the runners, while taking a moment to try and relax in the field of flowers, the rest of the team discuss what to do next. There are lingering traces of an astral signature and LB spends his time summoning a water spirit in order to trace it. However as they spend more time in the garden, they hear three howls that begin to merge into one, and the sound of the thumping running through the ground. The group tries to determine what's going on, and are quickly faced with an overly-large Cerberus rushing towards them.
Once they step out of the background count and the garden however, the cerberus does not appear to be hostile to the runners. Though through some tests they determine that this is only true so long as they stay out of the garden. Tora becomes fascinated with the 3-headed dog and begins petting it and giving it some affection. The runners also tell that the astral signature that's on the area is also connected to the Cerberus. LB sends the water spirit out to search for the astral signature while Tora tries to get more information from the dog. Eventually the enchanter finds that the dog can understand her and begins to try and get information from it through a series of motions from the dog that seem to indicate yes and no answers. Using a mastery of Greek mythology, Tora determines that Cerberus knows Hades and Artemis, and tries to convince the creature that she is working with Artemis, however the dog seems hesitant to let anyone near the garden, even with the deception, and growls aggressively whenever someone attempts to cross into the garden. The cerberus also refuses to move, having been told to guard this location.
The group pile back into their cards and take off towards the north where the astral signature leads. Though as they leave Bellevue and enter Snohomish, LB's water spirit returns, having found the source of the astral signature. While there are echoes of it headed to the north all the way up to Everett, the actual signature seems to go to downtown, at a club called Tartarus. Delphi does a quick search on the club and finds out that it was started by someone calling themselves Hades. Following up on that information, Delphi discovers that there's a whole group of individuals who have come to Seattle for some reason, all of whom bear the name of a Greek God and believe themselves to be descended from, or reincarnations of those same Gods. It's also rumored that they are here due to the guidance of Oracle, Delphi's selfsame mentor spirit who has been missing for a few hours. Mara leaves her car in a parking lot in Snohomish as it cannot run GridGuide, and the runners make their way to Tartarus.
The team arrive at Tartarus and find a bouncer there, awakened and bored. Attempting to move into the club, they are stopped as the club is currently holding an "invitation only" night. Tora attempts to intimidating the bouncer into letting the runners past, he seems unfazed by the attempt, and refuses entry until Delphi hands him 800 nuyen as a bribe. They enter the club and see the writhing masses of dancers and those getting drunk in the club's atmosphere. They also see the centurion-dressed Hades, and Bloom, sitting on a raised dais nearby the dance floor. There is a small moat surrounding the dais that LB lets his water spirit take a dip in, but the spirit quickly leaves it, finding that the water itself seems to be a strong background count. LB speaks to Hades by playing to his pride, and tries to sweettalk him while getting Bloom away from the "god" and seeing if he could get an idea of what, if anything was done to her.
Bloom explains that the day has been overwhelming, but there doesn't appear to be any spells or effects on her from what the runners can see. The runners try to negotiate with Hades to let Bloom go, using their knowledge of the Greek myth that the magician seems to be emulating. However before allowing Bloom to leave, Hades attempts to put Bloom under a Geas requiring her to come back to him. Mara and LB give Bloom their magical defense dice and she is able to resist the Geas from the Olympian before leaving the club. Informer lets the team know that at the end of the trail leading to Everett ended in a grand manor that had strange material around it, such as actual chariots and Greek architecture. Inside, Informer found a marriage certificate in Greek, signed by both Hades and Bloom and officiated by someone named Zeus. The runners leave Tartarus and head back to Touristville and Informer's office.
Informer returns Bloom to Demara and pays the runners 4000 nuyen that Demara paid for their services, and lets the runners leave. LB returns back to his apartment, while Tora, Mara and Delphi go to Delphi's office where they play with the cats and begin preparations for a divination ritual.
Delphi starts burning Oneiro, allowing Tora and Mara to assist her in the divination and reach into the future. The seer begins to see a vision in the smoke, a dark cave with a hole in the ceiling where the sun can shine through, and the sight of Oracle, Delphi's mentor, tied with silver chains to a glowing rock. There is another figure that is performing some sort of divination ritual, that Delphi recognizes as the member of The Pantheon called Pythia. The oracle says that Bloom is not the Persephone that they seek, and that there is more left to find before their pantheon is at it's full power.
When they emerge from the trance, the Oracle that Delphi met at Tartarus is gone and a note is left on her desk. The note is in Greek, but thanks to Delphi's skilljack she is able to read it.
"Beware, False Prophet, it is the will of Oracle that we succeed"
- 2 CDP
- 11 Karma (11 RVP)
- 4000 Nuyen from Bloom's mother (2 RVP)
- A bundle of flowers from Elysium Flower Shop
- May purchase Perceptive I at Chargen cost
- Informer: (2/1 Free Spirit of Man) Can be take at up to Loyalty 3 by spending RVP
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
It's always pleasant to arrive at a meet to find that the party you are meeting isn't your biggest fan. Despite my obvious issues with the Spirits of Man, as they are called, Informer didn't attack me. It was obvious that something about me bothered him, though. All things considered the meet was straightforward. There was no pay on the table, but all we were asked to do was find a girl. If I'm being honest, I'm not sure why I went along, other than there was little else to do and who doesn't love a mystery?
The girl we were to find was kidnapped by a mage who thought he was Hades. Apparently, they have this whole thing were the traipse around pretending to be mythological gods. The girl was to be his Persephone and he had tricked her into signing a marriage license in a language she couldn't read. Pediculous ructabunde.
Anyway, we were able to get the girl back to her mother. Interestingly, this involved a few of our team playing along with the delusion. It helped in the short term, but I'm not sure what effect it will have in the future. Hopefully it doesn't reinforce their delusion.
Following up, Delphi wanted to again divine some knowledge about the outcome. It seems that somehow a mentor spirit has been trapped by a disturbance in a Ley Line. One of the most interesting things to happen to date in the shadows. I will certainly follow up about that, though I currently have no idea what it means.
- Delphi - Competent as before. It was her mentor spirit that has been trapped. Oracle, I believe I over heard, who also seems to have something to do with Informer. She was polite enough to keep her drug use mostly out of sight, aside from handing out some baked goods laced in less disruptive chemicals. Rather than play into the game Hades' was playing, she wanted to scold him. In honest, so did I. Thinking long term, I'm not sure how that will affect the delusion that seems to grip Hades, but in the short term it got the job done. Something to think about.
- Markus (Lil' Boomer) - A Gnome. Or formerly a Gnome, now an infected. I believe they are commonly called ghouls. Despite the ravages of his infection, he actually seemed decent. Not once did he try to eat me. I believe he may be older than me and despite a penchant for explosives, quite capable. Given that this job didn't require much in the way of action, I didn't get to see what he could do, but I imagine that's where he would shine. That being said, he was quick witted enough to use Hades' charade against him to free Bloom.
- Tora (Tora Kokoro) - I believe she thinks she's a super hero. I don't know how one reconciles being a criminal with upholding justice, unless they apply their own personal scale to justice. That could be a slippery slope. However, she went along with Lil' Boomer's charade, something neither I nor Delphi were prepared to do and that avenue played out. She seemed very interested in the Cerberus that we encountered, apparently wanting to keep it as a pet. Perhaps suffers from chronic loneliness?
Whaaattt thhheee fuucckk?! When Informer said there was another kidnapping I figured it was related to that drek from last month - turns out it's somehow even worse. I'm glad we got that woman away from them, but in the vision that I had with Mara and Tora they said they'd be going after someone else, which is... concerning, to say the least. Some fraggers who think they're the Greek gods reincarnated come to town and kidnap a woman so that this asshole can use mind magic to marry her and live out some LARP fantasies - sounds like something out of a bad trid, except for the stinger where this Pythia person called me a "false prophet" and they apparently *know who I am and somehow bound Oracle*! Frag I need a drink.
Lil' Boomer (LB)
Can I just say what a pleasure it is to get paid to go on some nerd adventure instead of blowing stuff up? "Oh, let's talk about Ancient Greek mythology like it's a middle school language arts class...blah blah no that's the Roman version where they stole from the Greek or was it the other way around". Who cares. Holy fraggin' shit. I got to make absolutely nothing explode. NOTHING. I called a guy out in his house, just like, sayin' the drek that everyone else had talked about on the car ride over, and like--Tora steps in to back me up, and it works.
I'm horrified. I was just tryin' ta piss the guy off, and suddenly he's rubbin' his chin and saying "no no you have good points." No I don't. I have a grenade launcher that's getting bored. Let's do this, Hercules.
Saw a bitchin' Cerberus though...I think I need a puppy. I got loads of bones in my fridge I just gotta toss.
What can I say? I love animals, and despite the skeezeball Hades was, Cerberus seemed like a good dog. I was hoping we could get more information out of the familiar if we played our cards right, but the boy(s?) was nothing if not loyal. I'm glad we were able to get Bloom out ok. LB seemed to be the only one who was willing to go along with the charade. It felt like Delphi was too concerned with her own principles and magical prejudices to care about the woman's life. Could have easily ended with us as bloodstains on the club floor. I know im newly Awakened but jesus it felt like she was ready to throw us under the bus so she could keep her high horse.
Besides that I don't like the situation. I didn't even know it was possible to capture a mentor spirit, and if these mages are planning on resurrecting themselves as the Greek Pantheon the Haven is gonna need to be one step ahead of this. I'm keeping my ear to the ground and I'll help where I can. I just hope Delphi can swallow her pride long enough to accept it.