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  • The Found Arcana – Chapter 5 [IC]

     gilga updated 2 hours, 37 minutes ago 4 Members · 342 Posts
  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    June 26, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Bobby looked up from his tutorial and nodded to himself.

    He went over to the bar and asked the barkeeper: “Can you mix a special drink for me and my friends?

    Take an empty liter bottle and fill it Stroh Original 80% to 4/5. Add 400g white sugar – yeah you heard me right. 20ml Absinth, a few drops of lemon juice and a tablespoon of the hottest chili pepper you have.”

    Can you make it two bottles if you use a cheaper 80%er?”
    Bobby put the coin down

    “It’s called the Ribbentrop.”

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    June 26, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    The bartender doesn’t even bat an eye at Bobby’s request. Looking behind the bar, Bobby sees far weirder ingredients: yogurt, ranch dressing, woah is that a garter snake?!

    The bartender – an elf that looks tired despite the relatively early hour – turns and mixes Bobby’s bottles to his specifications. The elf looks like hired help, not like the Guard or a Funhouse resident.

    The only thing that makes him pause is the chili sauce. It’s not that he doesn’t have any – he certainly does – it just seems like he has a crisis of conscience before adding it.

    “Have you met ‘The Man’?” the bartender asks. He seems to be referring to the hot sauce. “We get it from a barbecue joint in Bellevue. Recipe from the last century. I can only handle one drop on the end of a toothpick. Orks and trolls sometimes like a teaspoon. You sure you want a tablespoon?”

    He leans in conspiratorially. “Also, it tastes like drek. It’s a chemical weapon, not a hot sauce.”

  • gilga

    Member
    June 26, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    AM takes a deep breath and realizes she can understand mortals and their desires, perhaps dragons and other immortal, but why would a fire spirit want material riches? She remembers how strange was Jawsey’s friend. Spirits want our life-force, and Nightmare can get his force without the dragon things do not add up. She sends Tatanka, with a quest to find Nightmare, and ask him to contact her. How difficult would it be to find a mage with an astrally active fire-aura mask?


    At the same time, AM looks for the hell hounds figuring that she can feel the go-gang up. After all, she can drive, and perhaps it can be a thing to break the ice.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    June 26, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Bobby’s smile grew wider. “That sounds about right. I’ll take a taste from the toothpick.”

    As water came to his eyes and his nose started running, Bobby nodded: “Perfect. Add a tablespoon to each bottle. At that concentration we’ll add water anyway”

    Gladly he parted with his coin to receive two bottles with an aweful drink but – as he suspected one of the worst kind of molotov cocktails this side of white phosphor.

    Gladly he had taken the offered cloth napkin to clear his sight and nose. It would make a good fuse later on.

    <<Got my drinks ready for deployment. I’ll go back up to get Jawsey back.>>

  • gilga

    Member
    June 26, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    >>> Not bad Bobby.

  • beta

    Member
    June 26, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    Jawsey struggles for words for a long moment. No doubt his aura shows his stress, but no matter. Before he can find words, he finds his eyes have started to speak for him, as he feels moisture run down one cheek, and then finally the words come.

    You offer me everything that I wanted. I spent endless nights dreaming of enough food the next day, a place where I belonged, and of flying away from the world to somewhere more wondrous. I saw a version of “Peter Pan” and thought maybe one day I’d learn to fly to NeverNeverLand, to be with the Lost Boys. Find my own way to Narnia. Cross a rainbow to Asgard. I never told my anyone, not even my Father, it was the one dream that I held tight, the one dream that kept me alive, the one dream that I hungered for more than anything.

    He looks towards the dragon through blurry eyes, although he doesn’t even really see her. “And now you offer it to me … when it isn’t my dream anymore. I’m crying for denying this to the younger me that is still part of me. All that energy invested in such a dream, and then to say no? It feels cruel to that part of me.

    But many people gave me a chance to be more than a broken boy who only lived when he was away from his body. Yes, many of them did their part for money, but even they poured their skills into making a person with potential. Someone who maybe can make choices of his own. Who maybe someday will even be in a position to help others. I’m still a little broken, still kind of weak, but I’m learning and I’m growing and it is something that is possible. Maybe I’ll die tonight instead, who knows. But I owe the people who helped me have this chance to be a real person to keep growing, and I owe the people who I might one day be able to help to become the person who can give help.

    He impatiently wipes his eyes on the cuff of his shirt, then wraps up “Maybe this is foolish mortal pride, if not hubris, to think that what I can become, what I can do, matters at all. But I finally have some pride, and I’m not willing to give it up, even for the fulfillment of three thousand night’s dreams. I’m beyond honored that you asked, but that is not a path I’m currently willing to go down.

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    June 27, 2020 at 2:24 am

    Bobby went back up to the party level, carrying the two bottles seemingly carelessly. Futily, he looked around for a moment before remembering that the dragon certainly wouldn’t have gone out with Jawsey to dance with the crowds.

    So he went to where he had seen Jawsey leave with Urubia and triggered his com:
    <<Hey Jawsey, how’s it going. Ditch the lizard when you can and get back here. Got a job that only you can do.>>

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    June 27, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Tatanka finds Nightmare sitting in what might be best described as a meeting room or a board room. Nightmare – wearing black leathers and a glowing skull mask and orange bandanna on the arms -sits in a rolling chair, arms resting on the table and… waits. The party continues elsewhere, but Nightmare appears to be ready for business, waiting for others to arrive.

    Tatanka conveys the message. Nightmare doesn’t respond, looking at Tatanka but not reacting in any way.

    *****

    Urubia makes a little noise, something along the lines of, “Hm.”

    Jawsey understands that the audience is over. He stands and becomes dizzy, as if all the blood has rushed from his head. His eyes lose focus for a moment and things look different than they did before. Urubia was lean before, but now she looks like an elf. Her hair is long and black and her silk robe is now emerald green, whereas he was certain that it was crimson just a moment ago. With a surge he realizes that this is his new memory of the object of his lust, post-Green Toes. He feels the pang of loss, and the distinct taste of Ornj-Fzz.

    Then the blood returns to his head and he can focus again. Urubia appears as she did before. He leaves Urubia’s room, goes down the stairs, and exits out the doors that he entered through. He finds Bobby waiting for him.

    There isn’t a band playing right now but the party is still going in full swing. However, a sharp eye will notice that many of the leaders are starting to drift in Nightmare’s direction. Perhaps a meeting is about to begin.

  • gilga

    Member
    June 27, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    “If he is already in the meeting room than it is too late… She sighs, with that AM goes to look for Jawsey. This kind of diplomacy is out of her element, and the party is too distracting for her. She feels overwhelmed and tortured by the endless options for pleasures.

  • beta

    Member
    June 29, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    “I guess I survived turning down a dragon? She seemed to want me to join her crew. Made it sound pretty tempting. But she let me say ‘no’. At least so far as I remember ….”

    Jawsey gives his head a shake, almost as if to make sure that it is still attached to his body. “I don’t know about more projecting. There were so many people doing it that I thought I could move around without being noticed, but obviously I was wrong. After being called in to see her, I have the feeling that a lot of her awakened will remember me. I’m not saying I absolutely won’t, I’m just saying it should be a bit of a last resort, and one of the last things we do, when we have dealt with other things and are ready to get kicked out or to run out.”

    “So, what did I miss while I was in there?”

  • gilga

    Member
    June 29, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    AM says “Thanks for not getting us killed. You tend to forget how rare your talent really is. As a full mage, there is nothing that you can’t do. It draws attention, whether you like it or not. She then fills Jawsey with the information saying “I got the Spyders to back off, courtesy of their appreciation to my totem. I tried to touch the Crimson Crush, they have some doubt but I do not think we “got it” having the Aincents here sure helped though. All the leaders are currently assembling to sign the treaty, so if you want to do something it has to be now.”

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    June 30, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Bobby cut in: “Honestly, I think we have done enough here. The Yak can’t complain and we have also put in some seeds to satisfy the mayor.

    On the neg side, the Halloweeners now want to kill me – and they aren’t beyond collateral damage. The only surprising thing is that they haven’t already started hunting me.
    I prepared two molotovs. I need one of your spirits to chug it at the CC leader – or rather the woman – what did you call her AM? – who’s behind it all. Make it look like a cowardly attack on her life and the whole alliance business should unravel. Or do you have any better ideas?”

  • gilga

    Member
    June 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    AM says “What woman? the one that led the CC in Toursitville? I thought she was the CC leader, never verified that though.

    • This reply was modified 4 days ago by  gilga.
  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    June 30, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    “Yeah… Bonita. That’s what you said she was called on the call. She’s like the inofficial leader, the brains of the outfit while the visible leader changes all the time with whoever is the strongest one or some such shit.” Bobby answered

  • gilga

    Member
    July 1, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    AM suggests “Perhaps an assassination attempt is too far? We can torch her bike or something that shows disrespect. CC fear to be handed to Nightmare or to be used as cannon fodder. Just reinforce the feeling of how little haloweeners consider them by vandalism.

    • This reply was modified 3 days, 3 hours ago by  gilga.
  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    July 1, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    “Fine by me, but I kinda hinted that they would try to kill her once the contract was signed. And it has to look real. I mean we don’t actually have to kill her – it just has to look like it.”

    Bobby replied.

  • beta

    Member
    July 1, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    There are dozens, probably well over a hundred, awakened all buzzing through the astral thanks to drugs. Delivering anything by spirit or spell might be more obvious than doing it in person — at least in person there are enough people around that something might get missed.[/color”

    Jawsey thinks for a moment, then adds “[color red]What if we did go for her for real? She’s the one making the Crush as much of a threat as they are. AM, you said you have one of the other Crush all wound up about the Weenies, right? Maybe he’d jump to conclusions about who did it, especially if we gave him a nudge?”

  • jack_spade

    Administrator
    July 1, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    “Well if we are doing that, we could just nudge a real Weener to attack her. Otherwise I can do it myself – if I get this “do not notice me” field from one of your spirits.”

    Bobby added.

  • gilga

    Member
    July 1, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    AM felt cold, she was no stranger to the ways of the world that involved the occasional violence. Sometimes you needed to kill, animals hunt as well, Iktomi kills plenty of people. Yet, she could see many ways that it could go terribly wrong. I mean, they were at the dragon’s den with hundreds of awakened guards – people that had a dragon to teach them.

    “No magic, boldness. I’ll loop the security cameras to prevent us from being seen. We’ll rig her bike to explode when she starts it. I mean, we do not have to confront someone for an assassination.

    Bobby warned her already, so the chances for success are low. Besides, help is near with hundreds of awakened nearby I bet many of them can heal, and Urubia would have medical kits and stuff. I mean she is rich as fuck, to pull off this party. Worst case, we rigged the wrong Crimson bike, they’ll think that the weeners made a mistake. Perhaps they were too drunk to do it properly, party and all. The message would be loud and clear…”

  • Tecumseh

    Member
    July 3, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    The leaders of many gangs are slowly assembling.

    Bobby and AM see Bonita and Chaz squaring off with two other orks in a small alcove. One of the other two is the Spokesman, the man Bobby beat in a street fight back in mid-October. The fourth is a man you’ve never seen before. He’s older for an ork, with slicked back hair that’s going grey at the temples. His tusks are polished and he’s got enough chrome in him – bones, muscles, nervous system, cyberspur – to be a proper shadowrunner. He listens passively while the other three debate in overlapping voices.

    Spokesman: “This is it. This is the future. We don’t do this, we have no place to lay our head.”

    Chaz: “We’ll be wyrm food.”

    Bonita: “Or fuel for Nightmare’s fire.”

    Spokesman: “There’s no Plan B.”

    Bonita: “What does it matter if Plan A is doom?”

    Chaz: “The Rusted Stils are crazy.”

    Bonita: “The Halloweeners are crazy.”

    Spokesman: “You’re one to talk! You’re the one that led an attack on K-E HQ in Redmond and got six guys fragged by turrets!”

    Chaz: “You saw the Ancients downstairs.”

    Spokesman: “So what? You want to get in bed with the daisy dukes?”

    Chaz: “No, do you? Why do you think they’re here?”

    Spokesman: “Urubia doesn’t work with elves!”

    Bonita: “They’re outcasts from the Tir, same as her.”

    Spokesman: “This is crazy! So what do you propose then?”

    Bonita and Chaz exchange a look. They probably don’t have a plan on such short notice.

    Chaz: “What about the Amerinds?”

    Bonita: “What, the private dicks?”

    Chaz: “No… First Nations.”

    There’s a hushed silence before the Spokesman inhales sharply, causing a whistling between his teeth.

    Spokesman: “We’ve been rumbling since…”

    Bonita: “Since the Verge. Over turf. But if that’s not our turf anymore, then no more rumble.”

    Spokesman: “So you want to leave an alliance with a dragon for a bunch of reds that will just as likely shoot us on sight?”

    Bonita: “They got out. Formed a syndicate. You want to stick with the Yaks? The syndicate that hates metas and non-Japs?”

    And back and forth like this until the elder ork gets a signal that it’s now or never.

    “Enough,” he says, waving off the conversation which stops abruptly. He turns and heads in the direction of the board room, giving no indication of what he’ll do.

    The Spokesman glares at Bonita and Chaz, who glare back.

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