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Journal of the Hunt; Entry 4
Mon Dieu, mon Dieu...Que s'est-il passé? Qu'est-ce qui se passe?! I cannot wait until tomorrow. I must write of this tonight.

I am no longer sure of anything. Never, NEVER in my history as a runner has a job gone this poorly. Nor have I ever worked for a man so savage and malicious of heart. What Johnson appears in identifiable clothes which reek of smoke and filth, and proceeds not only to snort coke with the team he has hired, non!, but also to let his name and identity be known?! He is a sadist and perhaps a sociopath, and he is becoming ever loathsome to me. I should have listened to my senses about this circumstance, about these runs, about this exceedingly unprofessional man. I wanted my life back, perhaps too soon.

Lonestar. The confederacy of dunces who took my life from me, pushing me not only from my previous life, but even now, pushing me into increasingly despicable acts of violence in my attempt to regain what was taken! But I am no fool--Lonestar does not possess the collective intelligence to smash a maggot between the lot of them. Someone tipped them off, goaded them, incentivized the overconfident "lawmen" into ruining me, spoiling the Hunt. Perhaps even now the puppetmaster plays. Ce sont des cochons, et ils puent de la saleté.

Which is why I feel no pity for their loss tonight, nor for my macabre vandalism at the indirect request of Lao. Remove a few DED agents and a stash of cargo? C'est facile. But no, nothing is so simple tonight. Tonight "we" elected a leader from among us, and that leader has perhaps led us down the road to ruin. Xenotrope--the mysterious rigger who still has not appeared in person for a gathering or run--despite all of his matrix-manipulating abilities, including the ability to hack the highest level admin account of an elite private security company!, was somehow unable to hack a freight maglev's brakes. No, instead he is "forced" to demag the rail, sending the cars careening through a small town, killing innocents while they slept. He showed no regard for the homes, the lives endangered and lost. Tonight, I heard the panicked cries of families. Families! I will not follow his lead until I see his head bowed in contrition, and--Dieu le sauver--I will help him bow it, should he find his neck stubborn. Perhaps Nicodemus can find out more about this "leader" of ours.

Nicodemus! In my anger I had forgotten: Nicodemus nearly died tonight. A strange and powerful man attacked him from a helicopter as we were fleeing the scene. He destroyed his car, and crushed his body. Were it not for the efforts of our spirit friend in chasing off the attacker and for Newhart's medicinal skills, Nicodemus would not be alive, and he is barely alive. Should he survive, we will drink a biodynamic deep red wine in celebration. I shall invite the "team". I fear this last run has cast a long shadow upon us, and we should drink in celebration while we may still find reason to celebrate...

Je suis fatiguée, trop fatiguée pour écrire plus. Voire, I am losing focus, and I request an audience with you now for perhaps the last time. The Hunt is failing, replaced with despair.
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Fineas Dilian
Nicodemus, you bastard, I nearly had you. I could taste your blood, I could see it leaking from your pitiful body. I can't stop watching the gun camera footage, it appeals to me in a primal way. It reminds me of a piece on the wall of my safehouse The Agony of a Moment. It depicts the immediate aftermath of a very small ork being hit with a very large hammer - the victim is in mid-flight, and the splashes of color are a vivid compliment to the hard, physical violence of the strike.

You killed my wife. You killed my brother. Then you posed them as it if had happened mid-coitus, to add insult to a grievous injury.

Why? I was good to you, I got you work. Hell, I convinced my bosses that you needed reflex enhancement, which they got you at cost. Free stay in the corp hospital, too. Fuck, we even got drunk on a regular basis together.

Then you murder the two people I love most in the world, and have the audacity to blame it on me.

I'll find you. I'll watch you some more. I'll notice who you favor when you're running, and I'll take them from you. When you are sad, and broken and drowning yourself in the bottom of a bottle of engine solvent, I'll kick it from your hand and crush the life from your throat with my bastard metallic limb.

You will suffer.
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Peterson's Journal
C:] Searching Detective Peterson's Journal

04/08/2015 7:00 pm

After our Police Special Forces Unit successfully completed “Operation Archangel”, the Chief hired a shadow runner who rounded up the few gangers fleeing the bust on their water-bikes. Leaving only this ganger alive, the shadow runner must have had a difficult time or intentionally let him live. I find it strange the request for his transfer from our holding cells to Aztechnology’s re-educational facility. This has been the third Sasquatch transfer in the last month. The first two were a junkie and a hobo, but this one is much different. All the hair has been shaved on his body, which makes him, look more like a giant human with [Entry Deleted 04/08/2015 10:00pm]. He gave us no trouble and peacefully came with us into custody. His eyes are completely still and look unafraid. He seems to be acting as if he wasn’t planning to stay long. His tattoo of the burning sun with eight flares on his cheek tells me, he must have survived their rituals out in the Mojave Dessert. Knowing that only a few make it out alive, this ganger must be close to Sage or at least know where she is. I only have 15 minutes alone till Aztech’s goons get here and take him away. Why would they want to transfer him so soon? We’ve only had him in custody for 1 hour. Some of the other cops don’t understand he can’t speak. But his comlink is attached to AR gloves. I believe he has to ability to communicate, but is just refusing to cooperate. I’ll work on him again. This time I’ll change tactics from good cop to bad. I’ll try my best to scare his answers out of him. I need to make sure I don’t upset him too much. Something about him scares the shit out of me. I’m not sure what he is capable of.

04/08/2015 8:55 pm

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Signed nothing while I pounded him with questions and just sat there staring straight into my eyes. I have to say, I was quite afraid to be in the same room as that beast. I hope the chief and the shadow runner didn’t see my quivering lip as I was trying to act tough. After my 15 minutes was over, he was taken away. I’ve lost my only lead to find Sage and will have to begin from scratch. The creepy shadow runner accompanied the sasquatch along with an armed escort. Who knows what those Aztech’s creeps plan to do with him. I think I’m going to be hammered tonight.
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OCC - Where from here?
About that maglev train incident:

To be sure, I, as a person and a player, thought it was both impressive and hilarious. Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long for us to take innocent lives. On the other hand, I contemplated suiciding Newhart right there on the spot or risking arrest by Lonestar to save someone. Newhart had a problem with the train incident.

In fact, injecting that mystery goo was something of a suicide attempt. In light of recent events, however, one thing can be sure: Bob Newhart wants to live. It's complicated to explain, but super sonic voice increases your will to live. It just does.

So what now? I know William Lao is a horrible human being. I know I was a party to the killing of innocent people. I know a lot of my teammates were okay with it. How can Newhart come to terms with any of that? We last left our hero unconscious having just injected magical goo into himself. In our country's new spirit of democracy :obama:, I'm wondering if you can help me decide. Here are some of my ideas with keeping this going in the game:

1. Drowning his guilt with more and more religion. Flagellation, lots of rosaries, huge donations, more flagellating, fasts. Here's the problem. If I'm doing all of this, why the hell would I continue to work for Lao or with the group? It's not at all logical unless Lao can explain how "it was for the greater good." I doubt he'd even bother trying.

2. Killing Lao and/or Xenotrope. Infighting, in my book, is acceptable, but should (usually) be announced unless you're playing Paranoia or Call of Cthulu. Nevertheless, there's nothing quite like infighting to F up a good rpg. Also, I'm fairly certain Xenotrope would p0Wn me. Props to Matt. We can all agree AIs are a danger to society and should be stopped at all costs.

3. Profound religious experience. The vial was magic. I'm unconscious. Maybe Newhart could be visited by a deity that's not so negative about indiscriminate killing. Maybe I'm visited by the ghost of Stalin or Pablo Escobar.

4. Changed mental state. Similar to point 3, obviously. It might be soap-operaish but I could always wake up with amnesia, or some other mental disorder that isn't religion.

5. Nihilism. As if we needed any prompting to make Big Lebowski jokes.

That's about all I have for now. I welcome any suggestions.

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Posted by the GM
The End of an Age
In the Bag
Iselia not as we remember it

Walking into the strange Iselia clone, the party begins to see the residents of the town. Many Eladrin, some Humans and Gnomes, all milling about in the town square.

The cultists are friendly enough, though they all seem a bit brain-dead - unaware of the passing time. All of them have the strange stones embedded directly in the backs of their hands.

The party needs but ask, and one of the cultists on the street directs them to Barus's house.


Barus's house looks as if it hasn't been lived in in a long time. It is furnished for a large family, and filled with all the trappings of a comfortable life, but none of it seems to have been ever used.

After a quick search of the house, the party discovers a strange iron door in the basement. The door is definitely out of place in the already off-putting house, and the party is momentarily at a loss for action.

Then, they simply knock.

An irritated Barus answers the door, and his eyes widen with horror and shock. Just as he attempts to slam the door shut, the party hustles in and captures the terrified cult leader.

They force Barus to explain several things:

The animus crystals are magical devices that absorb and store souls. They have been around for many years as magical foci, but it was Barus's father who created the necromantic magic that can fill them with energy (according to Barus). This Iselia is a demi-plane created by an ancient Eladrin wizard. Etc.

The party takes several ritual books from Barus's library, one of which contains the rituals involved in making and dealing with animus crystals. They then head to the area where Barus keeps the prisoners.

Inside a large stone chamber, dozens of bodies are piled. Breathing raggedly, coughing and suffering. The draining influence of the crystals having taken its toll already on all of them.

Attempting to save a life, the party performs a destroying ritual on an old dwarf's crystal. At the culmination of the ritual, the crystal disintegrates, and, with a gasp, the dwarf dies.
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