Ken Kaze

Awakened Investigator

A Character for Shadowrun (tm)
As you read the following page, keep in mind that I also have pages containing definitions of game terms and names of the people and places Ken Kaze knows.

Vogel asks nicely
Reagents are delivered
Who is truly served?


Run 2 - Courier mission to Public Enemy #10


Run Synopsis

"It was Monday, the 17th of January.  When it rains, it pours; no shadowrun leads for weeks, then I'm getting one after another.  I was called by a Mr. Johnson from Ares, one Benson Watts, for a meet.  He asked for one other person.  I called Case up and he met me at the hotel where I was instructed to go.  Everything seemed pretty normal, until we were taken through a gauntlet of security and a fake hotel room before the meet got into gear.  Benson Watts was there, and he quickly stepped aside to let someone else do the talking, Arthur Vogel.  That's right, probably the most famous Dwarf in the world;  we were being given a run by the high powered eco-lawyer and former Presidential candidate.

I thought it was all a little too strange, and I said, "When I see this much security for a simple meet to discuss a run, I don't know whether I should be seeing tombstones or dollar signs in my future.  Is this security for you or the run?"  He explained that he was a "grass roots" type of guy, mentioned something about serving "metahumanity", and assured us the security was just for him.

The mission was simple, which of course meant hidden complications.  We were to deliver a small package to someone in a bar [Calloway's Slide] at one of two specific times.  I took the package and we both took Gold DocWagon bracelets that he provided for us.  There were two other teams with decoy packages.  We had the real deal and we were supposed to be the most inconspicuous of the teams.  We were to stroll on into the bar and hand off the package, then leave.  Null sheen, right?  Wrong.  Vogel's motorcade repelled an attack, which we only knew of by the automatic weapons fire we heard, and Case and I were being tailed the moment we left the hotel.

We tried a lot of different things to shake the tail, but neither of us had a vehicle of our own at our disposal and riggers don't exactly hang out waiting for quick getaways on call.  There was a Ford Americar filled with Tribal-looking fellas that we just couldn't shake.  So, we decided to use our wits and our feet.  We hopped out of a cab and headed into a library, calm and cool, then dashed out the back.  One of the guys had made it to the door and was guarding it.  Case knocked him out in one punch.  We quickly stripped him of weapons, but found no identification.  While we were hiding his limp form, another of our pursuers spotted us and the chase was on.  I had a Field Spirit harass We led them across campus and I ran to a campus security guard in the hopes of having one more gun or at least a deterrent for them.  It did not stop them.  Two of them rounded the corner of the building and started firing at us.

I knocked the guard to the cover as I also went for cover, Case started blazing away, and I commanded my Field Spirit to attack.  We were doing well.  I dropped one with a good shot, and Case was taking out the other one.  Some of the rounds zinged by and the sound of the impacts told us they were using rubber rounds.  Apparently, they wanted to take us hostage.  That really got me worried.  I do not like being tied up.

Anyway, it wasn't going to be up to me; in all of the excitement, I had foolishly gotten very close to the other corner of the building and turned my back on it.  One of those sterotypical martial arts bad ass Adepts rounded the corner and came at me with a club.  I probably could have held him off, but the club gave him too much of an advantage and I was caught off guard.  He caught my jaw in the sweet spot and knocked me right out.

I woke up as Chase was leading me away from campus and we slipped into a cab.  Case said it was touch and go, but he managed to get off some shots and take the guy down finally.  I would have liked to have seen that fight.  Anyway, we headed to a clinic to get checked out.  While we were inside, some more Tribal-looking guys showed up.  We realized that we were seeing a mix of ethnicities in the group following us.  They were not all Amerindian, but we didn't know what to make of that.  While Case watched, two suits got out of a car and went after the Tribals, capturing one of them.  Then they came towards the clinic.  It seemed they were being guided remotely, and we started to suspect that something else was up with this already complicated situation.

We headed out of the back of the clinic, and heard the suits inside, asking abut us.  The doctor directed them out the back where we had gone, and we dashed over to the alley.  When we got there, I called out for the Tribal that had ran away, but got no reply.  We waited while the pair of suits crossed the street.  They paused for a moment to listen to their radios, then came straight for us.  It seemed pretty obvious that we were being traced somehow, but I had no way of scanning for bugs, and I didn't want to endanger any of my contacts.  Besides, it could very well have been the package, and then what?

Anyway, they approached all friendly like; they damn well should have, Case and I were just about at the point where you just start dropping people to be on the safe side.  They claimed to be from Knight Errant and that they were our backup, but they flashed their badges a little too quickly for my tastes, and they backed away in a little too much of a hurry.

We left the scene and soon had an Invisible tail, the Tribal Shaman we had tried to contact in the alley.  We led him into a data bar where I did some research on eco-terrorists, then we confronted him.  He dropped the spell and asked us to step out.  We moved out and talked a little.  It turned out that he was called Wargaze, and he was from Eagle's Cry, one of the known eco-terrorist groups, which included Terra First, Mother's Earth, Green Cell, and Blood of the Buffalo.  He babbled about betrayal by Vogel and demanded a meeting.  I left a few messages with Watts to placate him, but we finally blew him off.  We had downed the people he sent after us and he certainly didn't have me worried, Case and I could handle one crazy Ork Shaman, especially one that couldn't even cast a decent Invisibility spell.

We quickly chalked them up to a weird distraction and spent the rest of the night trying to shake unseen tails.  We jumped on an off trains and buses, in and out of cabs, ran through buildings, you name it.  When the meet time came around, we were glad.  We showed up at one minute before midnight and took a seat in the bar.  A couple of detective looking types showed up at the bar right after we sat down.  Our target came out of the back of the bar and walked ot the bar.  We got his attention and pointed out the detective types, who seemed to be far too interested in our target.

That's when all hell broke loose.  Two three-man teams of Fast Response Lonestar guys came storming in from the upper floor and the back door.  Our target, Vorshak, and his bodyguard, Satchmo, both Orks, moved towards us quickly, but not quickly enough.  Satchmo called for us to move to a rear storage room and Case and I got there in a split second, with the help of a couple of well placed concussion and smoke grenades, finding and uncovering a sewer entrance.  Things got a little crazy, but Satchmo finaly got through to us, thanks to Case and I drawing fire from him.  Vorshak was pinned in the adjacent room, and it looked bad.  Then I got smart and blew a hole in the wall with a bolt of Lightning.  Vorshak moved into our room and we headed down the sewers, just seconds ahead of a flood of grenades.

Satchmo led us through a maze of sewers amidst the background of distant explosions and more unsettling noises and smells.  Finally, we stopped and he asked if we had been bugged or traced.  The only things we had from Vogel were the gold DocWagon bracelets and the package.  We gave them the package and smashed the bracelets at Satchmo's recommendation.  He seemed to think they were bugged, and it would make sense that such a thing would be pretty damn easy to accomplish.  They are essentially tracers already aren't they?

Vorshak, who looked like an academic, opened the package, smelled it and nodded.  I suspect we delivered him chemicals and/or a magical reagent.  I gave Satchmo my shadowphone number.  Satchmo thanked us, in his own way, for saving their asses and we parted ways.  Benson finally returned our calls and arranged a meet two days later.  I arranged for Miner to hang out and watch the phone lines when the call came for the meet.  I scouted out a nice ganger bar in an area crappy enough to deter corporate types and let them know at the last minute where to meet.  Two of his bodyguards delivered the cred, but their lack of information was unsatisfactory.  Some news articles reported some of the run's events [courtesy of the GM]:

Downtown Terrorist Assassination Attack Foiled [18JAN61]

(Downtown, Seattle) - Armed gunmen attacked a corporate executive transportation convoy during evening rush hour Tuesday as it left the New Century Square Hotel. Lone Star responded quickly to the attack and intervened, allowing the vehicles to escape unharmed. The conflict with Lone Star forces lasted a brief couple of minutes, leaving two officers injured, three assailants injured, and one dead. Two more suspects fled the scene and are still at large. All three injured assailants and one Lone Star officer are in critical condition at Seattle General Hospital. The second officer was discharged the following morning with a gunshot to the arm. Authorities have identified one of the injured suspects as Kevin Proudfoot, a Seattle resident and known ecological terrorist with ties to Green Cell, Terra First!, and Eagle's Cry.  No organization has claimed responsibility for the attack, but none of the linked groups have issued statements denying involvement. The corporate vehicles involved have not been identified and no corporation has offered any information or assistance in investigating the attack. Lone Star is current investigating leads concerning Proudfoot and any connections to the ecological terrorist movements. If you or anyone you know has information regarding this case, please call Lone Star at 1-800-NO-CRIME.

Terrorist Escapes Lone Star Raid [18JAN61]

(Seattle, Seattle) - Lone Star forces raided the Calloway Slide late Tuesday night in an effort to apprehend the wanted fugitive, Vorshak. Vorshak, with the aid of fellow conspirators, resisted the attack and escaped into the sewer system below the jazz club. Lone Star was unable to counterattack and Vorshak is reportedly still in the metroplex. Witnesses identify Vorshak's accomplices as two humans, one Asian and one Caucasian, and an ork. Lone Star and the FBI officials are withholding all information regarding any possible leads concerning these individuals. Vorshak is currently #10 on the FBI's Most Wanted List and has been linked to numerous biochemical urban attacks, most notably the 2055 Hetrox strike on Atlanta which killed an estimated 1050 people. FBI authorities have been unable to apprehend the criminal because of his apparent severing of all former connections to terrorist groups four years ago. The FBI worked in close conjunction with Lone Star forces during this operation, but were dubious about its success potential from the beginning. "Lone Star is a fine policing entity, but this operation needed to rely on diligent large-scale information gathering and analysis, but instead fit ocused almost solely on inside sources and hypotheses," stated an agent close to the operation. Lone Star officials refused to comment on rumors of incompetence and instead reaffirmed their dedication towards apprehending dangerous fugitives. A successor operation is said to have begun, manned by FBI resources and utilizing Lone Star purely in a support role. If you or anyone you know has information regarding this case, please call Lone Star at 1-800-NO-CRIME.

The run had left a bad taste in my mouth.  I knew not to trust Mr. Johnsons, and I trusted Watts even less.  Miner contacted me and let me know that she had confirmed the name and address of the call, it was listed as Benson Watts, and the address was within an Ares controlled residential area.

I wasn't sure who was betraying who.  Perhaps the FBI, or whatever, had simply seen an opportunity to nail Public Enemy #10 and slipped in the DocWagon bracelets to track us.  That would explain the Lonestar presence and leave Vogel and perhaps Watts as innocent dupes.  Perhaps Vogel and/or Watts knew this would happen and sent us on our merry way anyways.  If that's true then there were two flaws with that plan: we were being betrayed and we needed to fail.  Of course, that would also mean that Vogel was giving up his eco-guerilla buddies.  Not unbelievable, if he could be convinced that this particular person had become a loose cannon and was doing more harm than good.  Of course, not telling us would have been stupid in that case.  As for the Eagle's Cry people, I am uncertain.  Such people it seems would need help, probably inside help, to operate so effectively interdicting a corporate shadowrun in the city.

Too many unanswered questions for my taste . . .

Jenny!  Another round please!"

Interim Character Stuff


  • Continue the quest for a magical group to initiate with. [Results below]
  • Ken wants to identify some new contacts
    • Street Talismonger: Ken wants a person he can go to for items that he does not want to have record of.  He is willing to pay for trust until he earns it, i.e. he is willing to pay a little more for a greater degree of confidentiality. [Results below]
    • Awakened Tribal: Ken sincerely wants to understand Tribals and their Awakened heritage.  He probably knew at least one person with at least one Tribal friend/connection, perhaps a former professor at SU that was also a Tribal or at least Amerindian and knowledgeable enough to help out. [Results below]
    • Electronics Expert/Supplier: a decent electronics guy, preferably one that knows what he's doing and could be talked into not-so-legitimate work if needed.  I envision some guy with a shop or electronics supply that has an electronics shop in the back for "special orders".
  • Returned to Middle Lifestyle - basically got caught up with his bills and baack on his feet.  [Done]
  • He needs to restock his grenades, and what better time to get to know Leonardo, or some other contact of Rock's, better . . . Ken will try to track down grenades via Rock.  He is looking for a dozen or so of concussion, smoke, and flash. [Done]
  • Old stuff
    • Hook up with Mac
    • Hook up with Nicole
    • Chat with Miner

Miscellaneous Stuff


Message to Vogel (e-mail follow up)

The Plan (Me)

Ken will compose a message on a small card, like those that accompany delivered flowers and such.  He will fold it inside of a piece of colored paper with a random pattern of some sort on it that has a slight oriental look.  This measure is to try and reduce the likelihood of a random person holding it up and reading it while offering another clue to him where the package is from.  He will then toss it in a small envelope just large enough to hold it, on the order of a thank you note envelope.

Finally, he will address it to "A. Vogel" and mark it as "personal".  He will stop by the Ares arcology (or wherever Vogel's main office is) and drop the envelope into a standard internal envelop for in-house mail, a la our campus mail envelopes, if Ares has such a thing.  Otherwise, he'll place it in a simple manilla security envelope (one that prevents seeing the contents) and mail it internally to Vogel's office.  His office number should be splattered on a directory at the entrance.  He will then drop the envelope into an Ares building mail chute.

And finally, the message:

Thank you for the golden opportunity to aid metahumanity and help you deliver on your promises.  The daily affairs of mundane existence often dull one's senses to the point that we worry only about tombstones and dollar signs.  Give me a call.
- a humble grass root
The Execution (GM)

Ken Kaze composes the small card on embossed stationary stock, careful not to leave any traces of its origin. Being particularly paranoid, Ken dons some latex gloves, uses an envelope sealer instead of saliva, and is careful to do so at arms length to avoid any stray hairs finding their way into the envelope. Satisfied with the end product, he puts on some synthleather walking gloves and heads out to the Ares Seattle Headquarters.

Ares has never been a big fan of arcologies. They are the UCAS corporation, embodying all the freedom, ingenuity, and patriotism of the Americas. Ken knows that while the employees may not live in a sealed compound like Aztechnology, MCT, or Renraku; Ares has infiltrated their way of life from everything from the car they drive (GM) to trid they watch (NBS) to the people that provide security (KE).

Ken remembers a press conference a month or so ago with Arthur Vogel where he announced his temporary move to Seattle to give the metroplex the attention Ares believes they deserve. Ares' corporate headquarters is in Detroit, but fate has allowed Ken's message to find its way to the powerful dwarf without too many complications.

Ken uses his instincts to maneuver his way through the lower levels of the corporate building, taking on the stance of someone who deserves to be there, like the faux wildlife paintings in the wageslave hallways. It isn't difficult to get an inter-office envelope and send the card on its way.

Re-stocking Grenades

[Ken will tries to track down grenades via Rock.  He is looking for a dozen or so of concussion, smoke, and flash.]

[Rock says] "Ken, I talked to Leo about the grenades and he says he can handle gettin' some of dem. A dozen's kind a of 'military order' to use his words, but I just told him da runners need the 'ware. Gonna run ya an even 2700¥. Cool with ya?"

Ken winces, looks at Rock with a sideways glance for a moment, then hands over a 2500 ¥ certified credstick and 200 ¥ in cash.  "Wow, professional expenses sure can be . . . expensive.  Give Leonardo my thanks."

Talismonger Search

Ken starts looking for a talismonger he can trust and who would provide the kind of pseudo-legal items and information that a runner might need.  He checks with Rock, but the troll bouncer doesn't have much need for a talismonger. During his weekly lunches with Mac and Nicole, he maneuvers the conversation towards talismongers, but neither are of any help. Mac gets any foci he needs thru Ares and Nicole doesn't care for them much, relying more on her own natural abilities in a kind of arrogant, elitist attitude.

And so, the detective turns to the streets. There are several talismonger shops throughout the metroplex and even several near Seattle University. It seems relatively easy to find a talismonger with the right goods and services, but so far all have proven either too suspicious or too ethical to sell items without first asking for a licence. Perhaps the unmarked talismonger shops are the place to turn.  But that detective work is for later . . .


Tribal Search

Ken turns his attention towards becoming more familiar with Seattle's tribal neighbors through establishing some tribal connections of his own. Ken had encountered some Amerinidians during his college days and his detective work, but not as many as he would have liked. Most Amerinidians seem to have a predilection towards the shamanic path, and unlike Ken, shy away from the formal teachings of universities.

Ken is not aware of any tribal connections that any of his contacts have. He even steers the conversation again in his lunches with Mac and Nicole, his second innocent conversation topic. Mac offers to set up a meeting with his SeattleU mentor, Dr. Vladistov. While not a tribal, Mac is fairly sure the theoretical thaumaturgist has connections in the Native American Nations. Nicole is less help, suggesting that Ken visit some awakened bars or clubs frequented by Amerindians. She brings up the Neon Totem as an option.

Ken does some investigating of his own on the SeattleU campus, looking up some old classmates and professors, but with no luck. He was planning on visiting the Neon Totem, but got sidetracked by work. Mac gets back to Ken and says Vladistov would be happy to talk with the young detective, but that he is out of town in Boston attending a convention until late next week. Perhaps next week...


Contact! - a magical group contacts Ken

GM: Ken Kaze was beginning to wonder if magic groups really did exist.  Three weeks had past and still no word or contact from anyone. He was confident the right words had been said and the strategic appearances at several awakened hang-outs had been appropriate. Maybe the dialogue with the Silver Hat's bartender had edged into boasting. Perhaps the inquiries at the Matrix Masters chat rooms had been a little less subtle than Ken had hoped. Oh well, life goes on.

It's Monday morning, the 31st of January. Bills are due tomorrow, but luckily shadowrunning has helped Ken return to his middle class lifestyle and supplement the mundane detective work. Ken is just finishing up the next month's bills, working at his small desk, when there is a knock at the office door. A hand on a pistol under the desk, Ken calls out, "We're open. Enter."

The door opens up and in walks an elven woman. She is a stunningly beautiful Amerindian with deep eyes, long black hair, and a confident look about her. She is wearing an armored long coat of plain dark gray and is wearing slacks and a blouse of slightly different shades of gray.  She doesn't seem concerned about the plain fashion statement her dress is making, but instead understands her appearance and body will speak for her instead.

"Welcome, Mrs..." Ken says as he stands up to shake her hand. She returns the grip solidly, hinting at some street background or savvy.

"Susan. Susan Ghostchaser. I'm glad I caught you before you headed out on your daily errands. Monday is usually the day you visit the data console down the street to check the news right?" She says with a smile as she sits down in the chair facing Ken's desk.

"I suppose you have me at a disadvantage. Can I help you?" responds Ken in a friendly manner, hints of flirtation sliding behind his pleasant words.

"I think we can help each other. I am a member of the magical group, The Sixth Guides.  We heard about your inquiries and I think you'd fit right in.  We are a small group right now, but our cause is a just one.  We believe in investigating and uncovering the magical mysteries of the new world and that such magical knowledge should be shared with metahumanity. Only by educating the public about magic and what lies around them and ahead of them, can we approach any level of unity. It's an honest belief and one that we've pursued for the past two years. If you are interested, we would love to have you," she ends the last sentence with a smile.

"I'm sure you have some questions," she says as she looks about the detective's office.

Me: Ken adopts a more comfortable posture, gun still in hand, and replies, "Yes, Ms. Ghostchaser, questions.  Please bear with me, as I was not expecting you, but of course that is what you wanted, yes?"

Susan only smiles in response.

"First, the name.  It's a little awkward isn't it? Why not 'Guides of the Sixth?' or 'Sixth World Guides'?"  Ken laughs.  "OK, perhaps those weren't the questions you were looking for.  Let's try these out for size, and forgive me if some of them sound trite:

Who do you serve?
Where does your support, if any, come from?
Why me?
What would be expected of me?
What's the probability of a beautiful woman getting involved with a dashing young detective?

"Ken sits back, relaxing his grip on the gun under his desk, but crosses his leg, keeping his hand close to his ankle-holster and the back up pistol inside it.

GM: "Don't be concerned about asking the right questions, or too many for that matter," begins Susan. "We're inquisitive by nature. I understand your defensive and suspicious nature, Ken. There are enough twisted people in this world to watch out for, and the urban legends of satanic magical orders bent on taking over the world doesn't help us at all does
it." The last bit she says while gesturing to herself and Ken.

"We are a small group founded by Steven Archallos. Archallos is a philanthropist and humanitarian. He is mundane, much to his consternation, for he is fascinated with magic and the wondrous effects it is having on the world. He tried getting involved in magical expeditions through the Atlantean Foundation and other corporations, but they seemed to hoard magical knowledge to themselves and looked down on any mundane being interested in magic. 'Only the awakened could truly appreciate or use this knowledge,' was what they said to him. He realized that he would have to start his own organization if he wanted to get involved in these magical mysteries. With recent events like the Chicago bug crisis, Steven also came to realize that magic did not just effect the lives of the select few Awakened metahumans. It was something that involved everyone and would eventually swallow the mundane public if magic did not become a familiar and understood entity.

"The public only hears about magic through small news articles and from warped trid programs. Education is sorely lacking. The second half of our agenda is to enlighten people about magic; bring these magical wonders out for the public to see. Corporations want to use magic, like they use technology -- as tools for power and profit. But magic is not something that is manufactured, it is all around us. Sure it is only within easy reach of approximately 1% of the population, most which don't know they're magical, but it is still there."

Susan pauses a second, "So I think that gives some insight into who we serve," she marks the questions off on her fingers, "and where do we get support."

She looks at Ken and smiles as if to re-establish the friendly atmosphere.

"Why you. Well, we are looking for people who are inquisitive by nature, have a good heart, and are willing to take action instead of sitting on the side lines. When it was time to seek out another member, I had heard about you and your group quest, so her I am. I kind of work in the same field as, but with not as many official papers," she smiles hinting at something slightly naughty and playful.

"We have monthly meetings where we talk about current events, mostly magical in nature. Every now and then someone gives a report on an important topic. Each person helps the cause out in their own way. We have one member who reads magical stories to children every Sunday.  Another is active in the university lecture circuit. And a third spreads information about corporate magical projects on public matrix sites. To each his own. Sometimes we take matters into our own hands by doing odd jobs. We try not to let any opportunity go unfulfilled, whether by taking action ourselves, or passing the information on to the right people. It sounds more nefarious than it really is.

She finishes talking and waits for a response. A couple seconds pass and then she adds, "The last question is going to depend on how dashing." She says with a smile.

Me: Ken rewards her smile with his own, replying, "Well, I am equally intrigued by your benefactor, your group, and you.  I am looking for a group with diversity of thought, deed, and membership.  The investigative aspects especially interest me."

Ken looks off for a moment in thought then continues, "I had never really thought of mundanes exploring the mysteries of the Awakened world . . ."  He trails off in thought, looks down for a moment, then locks eyes with Susan again, ". . . but I don't think I like the way the Atlantean Foundation treated Archallos.  That aloof detachment and intellectual snobbery distances us from our fellow metahumans."

Ken stands up and starts pacing slowly behind his desk, expounding in a careful voice, reminiscent of a lecturer speaking, "The very word 'mundane' is an insult.  Our community has convinced itself too readily that it understands even the most fundamental mystery - Awakening.  Show me someone that can confidently point to anyone and declare them mundane beyond a shadow of a doubt, and I will show you someone that is not fully awake themselves."

"Our awakened colleagues . . . seek solace in taxonomy.  They classify and categorize the magical mysteries, drawing comfort from the label they create, as if naming the unknown confers understanding.  They seek succor through sorting."

Ken pauses to let his clever words take effect then continues, "I may be prejudiced, but I think a shaman has more respect for the mysteries.  Deep down we have an inkling of the depths of our ignorance."  Ken stops pacing, turns, smiles and looks back to Susan, then sits back down at his desk, his arms planted firmly on top of it, his fingers clasped.

"I have begun to ramble though.  I am interested in the group.  I would like to learn more.  I warn you, my heart is a mystery to me.  Perhaps it is good enough for your group, perhaps not.  I look forward to finding out."  He looks silently at Susan, matching her gaze.

GM: "Excellent," responds Susan while standing up with enthusiasm. "We have our meetings on the last day of each month. Tonight is January's meeting, and we are all ready for your visit ... and perhaps your stay."  Her smile brightens up the room and warms the slight chill in the office.

"I'll come by your office tonight around 7 pm. We try to make our meetings informal and include a dinner cooked by one of the members, so don't eat. Erlos should be cooking some cajun gumbo with dirty rice.  He's a good cook despite his disposition. Tonight at seven then?"

"I eagerly await your presence once again brightening this dreary space," Ken says with flourish while gesturing grandly to the office. A smile peeks through his faux serious face and the woman meets his smile in full.

With that, Susan leaves. Ken returns to his normal business, waiting for the evening to come.

Me: Ken conducts his normal affairs and stops by the gym for a workout.  He picks up a six-pack of premium beer and a bottle of decent wine for the dinner.  He stops by his apt. and gets cleaned up before the meeting.  Just to be safe, keeps an eye out for "tails" as the meeting draws close.  As he waits in his office, he catches up on reading some of the current journals on magic, to provide decent conversation material.

GM: Ken goes through the day's activities with a careful eagerness. There does not seem to be anybody watching or following Ken. He picks up a nice dry chardonnay for the seafood on the way to the office, the pickings in Central being much better than the malt liquor and boxes of synthwine at the Riverton stores. Ken catches up on current events relating to magic through his subscription to "Awakened Agenda," a Time-like magazine focusing on magical issues. He pays particular attention to a story on corporate sponsored exploration of Australia because of its relevance to the Sixth Guides' beliefs. The interior of the continent seems to have an abundance of unique artifacts and magicks that may provide insight into the evolution of magic in isolated high-mana areas.

At 7 pm, Susan Ghostchaser comes knocking at the office. He is dressed casually in slate colored slacks and a black thick fabric blouse that accentuates her attractive form. She smiles upon seeing Ken answer the door.

"Our chariot awaits," she says as she motions out into the hallway.

The two of you exchange pleasantries and minor flirtations one the way down to the street. Outside, a gray Chrysler-Nissan jackrabbit sits parked on the street. She opens the vehicle remotely and the two of you get in. The small commuter car is comfortable, with extra space for the front passengers at the expense of the rear bench seat. Some additional controls and displays indicate that although the car is nondescript from the outside, it has obviously been modified for Susan's liking.

"The drive is about 45 minutes in this kind of traffic," she says as she glides out into the near Downtown traffic. She seems adept at handling her vehicle as well as looking good in its synthleather seats.

"I'm sure we can keep each other entertained," says Susan as she floors the vehicle and cruises out past the slower daily commuters. She gives Ken a grin, showing off a little.

During the drive, Susan slowly opens up. She seems stoic and observant by nature, but is not adverse to conversation. Ken puts on the charm and eventually she opens up to him and talks about various small topics, mostly concerning the group.

"We've been operating for a couple of years now out of Everett. The headquarters is well furnished and serves as a meeting place, a study hall, and a temporary resident for those of us working late. Steven's been a very generous patron and always seems eager to provide anything we need for our work. Researching current topics and items is the main thing we use the Hall for, oh that's what we call the place.

"There are five of us now, but if you decide to accept we'll be at an even six. We take a lot of effort to make sure that potential candidates are sympathetic to our core beliefs, for that's why we are part of the Sixth Guides. We've only had one potential member decide to not join, but he bowed out discreetly and we still keep in touch with him. In his case, he just had too much in his life to dedicate to yet another cause.  He was interested in a more initiatory group.

"Andrew is our leader of sorts. Steven may pay the bills, but he is smart enough to defer to those with experience. He enjoys watching our activities and becoming involved every now and then, but mostly we follow our hearts without any need for help. Andrew is professor of
anthropology at Georgetown University in DC. He's also a hermetic mage of some skill. He is our public spokes person, even though we try and keep a low profile. He tours the university and corporate lecture circuit whenever he has time.

"Dirk Brannigan is a character. He's a professional explorer with ties to the Atlantean Foundation, Smithsonian, and several corporations. A real thrill seeker. He's seen more magic and more parts of the world than all of us put together. Dirk's a physical adept and a damn good one.

"Elaine is our resident conscience. She is an shaman devoted to the path of Owl. She runs a small talismonger shop and is kind of like a mother to us -- very quiet and protective. If she approves of you, then you are definitely in.

"Next we have Erlos. He's kind of an odd addition to the group because from meeting and talking with him you'd think he was more likely to be part of some corporate death squad than aligned with us. He knows Andrew from the past and has never let us down at all. let's be honest here, he's a reputable shadowrunner by trade. I'm sure we've both come across them before. You probably want to wait to charm him until later since he can be very tough to get to know. I still feel uncomfortable if I'm alone around him.

"And that leaves me. My magical aptitude is an odd one, but the Fates must have a destiny in store. Gargoyle speaks to me and grants me the ability to commune with spirits. I'm a detective, like yourself, although I've been involved in more unorthodox cases. More of a
freelance investigator for hire, not really the kind of steady work you have. Although I sense that you are branching out."

She is finishing the synopsis of the group's composition about the time she brings her car off the residential/office area of downtown Everett and down into an underground parking garage. She comes to a stop at the guard booth, an outcrop of some internal security station.

"Late night meeting again," she says as she hands over her credstick.  The Knight Errant guard nods and slots the stick into a handheld verification box. It beeps a friendly sound and he hands it back.

"Security is relatively good here. Of course, we've added our own to our area. We share a floor with a travel agency, a small group of lawyer offices, and a marketing firm. It's rather spacious," says Susan as she parks the car near the underground elevator.

The Hall occupies a quarter of the top most floor of the twenty story office building. The double door entrance opens into a large carpeted living room with an entertainment center in the far corner. The entrance foyer is relative devoid of furniture or items, save for a plush reading chair off to the side and a coat and hat rack to the other side. A dozen small rooms surround the center one like satellites, several still empty. A full kitchen and dining room complete the spread.

The other members seem scattered about the place, but upon Susan and Ken's entrance, they emerge out into living room to greet the new arrivals. A small caucasian ork with subdued metahuman features is sitting cross-legged in an arm chair near the trideo. She has a calm
look in her eyes and a pair of brown feathers keep her hair up in a loose pile on her head. She nods to Susan and looks deep in Ken's eyes, even from across the room, and then nods again.

A human in his early 40s emerges from a study with a newspaper in his hand. He has shoulder length brown hair and is wearing a plain blue vest over a button up shirt. His look smacks of the archetypical college professor. A latino elf, emerges from the first side room, a glimpse from the open doorway reveals a small gym area. He is smiling broadly and sweating from a recent workout. A towel is tossed over his shoulder and is wearing a simple tank top and shorts. He is obviously quite athletic.

Finally, as Ken and Susan take off the coats and head into the main room, through an open doorway, Ken sees the last member of the group. A human male of mediterranean ancestry is standing at the stove. He is wearing black pants and a black T-shirt with combat boots on. A white apron and chef's hat completely destroys the intimidating image and Ken stifles a grin as the cook glance back towards him. Solid gold cybereyes stare from the man's hard face daring the newcomer to say anything and then he returns to his cooking.

"Welcome Ken," says the older man as he grips Ken's hand enthusiastically. "I hope your time with Susan has not been too quiet."  Ken notices that his escort looks away with a slight grin.

"My name is Andrew. Andrew Carpenter. This here's our resident swashbuckler, Dirk. Over there is Elaine. You've met Susan and finally Erlos is in the kitchen fixing tonight's feast."

Andrew leads Ken over to the sitting area with Susan and Dirk tagging along. Everyone sits down around a central glass coffee table with a multitude of magazines and books relating to the Awakened world.

"So Ken, what do think of your visit and our little group so far?" asks Andrew. Ken can feel the four sets of eyes pinned on his response.

Me: Ken smiles slightly as he reclines into a chair, letting the silence ferment until he is certain everyone is listening, then speaks, "I am not given to premature conclusions, and even less so to premature statements, but I can tell that now would not be the time for silent contemplation.  Although it might be the best choice for earning respect, silence is not typically the best first step towards trust."

He pauses slightly then continues, "My experience with your group thus far has been somewhat unusual, but I had formed no expectations.  I look at each of you and see profound reflections of myself.  I was for a time an earnest academic," Ken looks to Andrew, "and although I maintain my interest," he tosses the Magical Journal on the table, "I am merely scholarly; I would not call myself a scholar."

Ken stands up and takes off his jacket, setting it on the back of his chair and exposing his holstered Ares Predator.  Erlos, having now stepped away from the kitchen and joined the group had picked out the weapon before Ken had exposed it.  Without missing a beat, Ken
smoothly pulls the weapon out backwards with his off hand and tosses it to Erlos with remarkable nonchalance.  "I trust you would approve.  It's been modified to include a Savalette Smoothtrak buffer system and balanced with Hammerli Magna Weights." Ken returns his attention and voice to the group again.  "Although it may not look like it, Erlos
and I probably have more in common than he might think.  I have known the streets intimately in the past and am becoming re-acquainted with them."

Erlos looks the weapon over, giving a coolly neutral response before handing it back casually.  Ken thinks he sees a hint of a grin in Erlos's eyes as he locks his gaze on his and finishes, his words enunciated as if they were weapons, "I have also learned how to be brutally pragmatic when the situation calls for it . . ."

Ken slides his gaze smoothly and quickly to Elaine, ". . . especially when people are relying on me.  My magic aids me in that, for my relationship with the Sky Father grants me access to knowledge beyond the norm.  With this gift I can better take care of my people, and myself.  You watch out for them and, when necessary, you take action."

He looks to Dirk as he sits down again. "Although I am an Adept and that gives me a certain capacity for action which I try to utilize, I am still no 'man of action' as many of my more . . . physical Awakened brothers are.  Nonetheless, I do not shirk from physical challenges my
goals present me with, and I appreciate the aesthetic of the path."

Ken finally looks to Susan and continues, "Perhaps that is easier because I do not see challenges as obstacles, but rather teachers.  I seek them out.  The quest for truth and solutions which I began in school has continued in my work; the streets have become my classroom once again.  I of course willingly accept Astral aid in my work from my spirits friends as I trust Susan does."  Ken settles back into his chair.

"It may sound like I have my bases covered, but I want more out of life.  I want to explore the Awakened world and my place in it, but I realize that my goals exceed my abilities in that arena.  I want to realize my full potential as a Magician Adept.  I know enough to realize that all of these things can be done without the aid of others.  Why would I bother looking for a group then?"  Ken scans across the faces of the people before ending, "Because I yearn for community as well.  I want companions and counselors on this path.  I want direction.  I want comrades."

"Of course, camaraderie is a two-way street, and I am but one of six.  I think the more important question is what do all of you think of my visit so far?  I am content to let those answers form more fully before you answer.  I am also content with no promise of an answer.  I will say that I did not imagine a group of people that I would have so much in common with."  Ken's face breaks into an infectious grin as he stands back up.  "Perhaps we can go with the more traditional approach."  Ken pulls the wine and beer from a sack.  "Meaningful, slightly inebriated conversation over a hearty meal."

GM: "Well said, Ken," responds Andrew with a smile as he stands up. "Is dinner ready, Erlos?" The stoic chef only nods in response and slowly walks back to the kitchen.

The group adjourns to the dining room. A large table, easily room for eight, dominates the room. It is made of black metal frame with a frosted blue glass table surface. Various foods have been laid out -- breads, two large bowls of dirty rice, several wines and other drinks,
and a big pot of shrimp gumbo that Erlos places in the center on a thick wicker mat.

Everyone starts in on the food with vigor and seems to be in high spirits. Even Erlos grins or subtly chuckles at some of Dirk's jokes.  Andrew starts things off with a story about his latest lecture at San Francisco's Community Future, an annual conference held for social, political, and corporate persons involved in community organizations. He tells of how he spun one of his favorite stories about a boy who discovers a magical amulet and ignores the advise of other mundanes to ignore it because magic is for magicians. In the end he befriends a spirit and uses the amulet to seal a collapsing dam. Andrew tells it well and Ken can see how his mix of genuine concern, knowledge, and oratory skills make him an excellent spokesman and lecturer.

"I'm sure Ken is more interested in his initial question than my little trips," begins Andrew. "How did you say it, again."

"What do we think of him so far," adds Dirk and broad grin on his face.  He seems to be enjoying Ken's visit and polite interrogation.

"Well I can see what you think," says Ken to the elven adventurer playfully.

"I can just remember being in your shoes and wondering why I would want to fight some academic social crusade."

"And why did you, Dirk?" asks Ken.

"You must follow your heart, right Professor," says Dirk hinting at some previous conversation or inside knowledge.

"Indeed. To following your heart and the interesting path that inevitably follows," toasts Andrew, raising his glass of Ken's white wine. The others agree in a friendly manner, but with a hint of seriousness, as if the toast strikes a chord in each of them. Ken takes
part as well. 

"Well I think he'd make a charming and interesting addition," says Susan, speaking for the first time since arriving.

"Definitely don't need another scholar. We have too many of those already," says Erlos seriously, hinting at Ken's other talents. His statement quiets the table slightly as if the friendly atmosphere is shaken slightly.

Andrew follows up quickly, reestablishing the mood, "Forgive Erlos, he is still learning to enjoy life."

"Anyone who can cook this well has at least one foot through that door," says Ken with a grin. Erlos doesn't respond, but the others concur in various ways, ending in a toast to Erlos' cooking and the evening's meal.

"Ken, we know about you already. We wouldn't have invited you here if we didn't all believe that you would make an excellent addition and strengthen our purpose. What we think of you is best defined by our out stretched hand," as Andrew says that he looks about the table for
confirmation. Susan smiles and chuckles to some private joke. Dirk agrees heartily, raising his glass to Ken and gulping down a large swallow. Erlos remains motionless and just locks eyes with Ken for a moment. Ken hardens himself and tries to maintain the look, but looks
away and towards the last member, Elaine. Andrew pauses at Elaine as if her approval holds some additional weight.

She has been sitting in a straight posture, her hands folded and arched over the plate of barely touched food. Ken has noticed her watching him, not judging, but as if to understand. A couple seconds pass and then she speaks.

"He has been walking a dark road, lightning illuminating the landscape in confusing brief visions. Whether he sees the path that is chosen for him here, is his decision."

The table seems to warm up to the enigmatic shaman's statement, as if her approval was hidden within her carefully chosen words.

"Here we are welcoming you in. Perhaps I should say a little more about the details of the Sixth Guides. We are dedicated to exploring magical phenomena and educating the world about our Awakened world, these beliefs are core to our group. We meet once a month on the last day of each month, although most of us run into each other more frequently here at the Hall. As Susan probably explained, our group is not a contemplative or initiatory group. We perform deeds and services, motivated by our own desire to see people more educated in magic as well as to break up the criminal corporate tendencies to hoard magical knowledge. Our group is a friendly one, and perhaps the most important declaration upon joining is that of fraternity. We are are all kindred spirits and help each other out whenever necessary, of course self-sufficiency is also a skill that is important in this world.

Because of our beliefs and how much we value our magical skills, we have all agreed to supplement our powers with whatever handicaps are necessary to maintain our strength. I believe you have some geasa that do just that. Some of us have taken such things to allow modifications or stave off the dangers of our extracurricular activities," Andrew looks to Erlos for the last comment before continuing.

"We have also all provided material links to the group. This is not out of any kind of dangerous conspiratorial plots to control members, but we often encounter magicks and run contrary to corporate interested. We keep such things so that we can find and aid any member that is in danger. Luckily, we have not yet had to use them, but the emergency contingency still exists. Finally, upon our first initiation, one takes an oath to strength their bond to the other members and to allow the first grade to come more easily. We certainly cannot seek out higher mysteries and preach about the metamagics if we have not reach them ourselves. Let's see, ah yes, Steven Archallos is our patron and pays for all this," Andrew says as he gestures about the room.

"You will meet him soon, but he has already approved your inclusion.  Enough about work. I will let you think about what we've said. I'm sure there are plenty of smaller topics that can entertain us during dinner.  After dinner we can address any other matters," finishes Andrew.

Over the rest of dinner everyone talks about mundane topics - current events, sports (Dirk and Susan are both sports fans), some minor philosophy. Attempts to steer the conversation towards the group or towards more detailed information about each of the group members is
diverted. It is obvious that the rest of the dinner is for pleasantries.

The dinner lasts two hours in all. The main meal is followed by coffee and a rum ice cream that Erlos apparently makes from scratch. All in all it is one of the most entertaining evenings for Ken in a long time.

After dinner, Andrew turns to Ken with a very serious look in his eyes.
"We would like you to join the Sixth Guides. Will you?"

Me: Ken is caught slightly off guard by how suddenly the question seemed to come up, and instinctively replies, "Well . . . at first glance this group's path and my desired one seem to mesh nicely.  Providing a material link definitely ups the ante on the commitment.  Perhaps it's my corporate experience speaking, but I trust that if I left the material link would be returned.  When I set out on my path to the higher mysteries, I will be better able to judge.  But I rationalize, and I think this is a time when reason must give way to intuition.  One might say I should listen to my heart."

Ken pauses and smiles weakly saying, "My heart and I don't talk very much as of late, so let's call it intuition.  There's some intangible influence that tells me that right now this is the right path for me.  Besides, I don't know a reliable Talismonger."  Ken looks to Elaine and maintains a deadpan just long enough to let the joke build, then laughs, following with "Yes, I will join you."  He raises his glass while the laughter still lingers and, not missing a beat, toasts, "To ancient mysteries and new friends."

GM: The other members give up a round of cheers and congratulations. They all seem pleased by Ken's decision - Andrew, Dirk and Susan vocalizing their approval; Elaine gives a friendly nod; and Erlos remains stoic, but a slight smirk creeps onto his face momentarily.

The group adjourns back to the living room. Dirk and Erlos move the furniture out of the way while Elaine disappears into a side room. She emerges moments latter with a quilt in her arms. They spread the quilt on the carpet and Ken can see many different squares, each with a different story and mood. The quilt is not a large one, barely enough room for the six of you to sit in a small circle around it's perimeter.

Elaine says, "We mark the evolution of our group by adding to the Quilt of Being. It is here that we can feel the thoughts, emotions, and paths of the memories. By experiencing and understanding we can embrace ourselves and each other."

"Every time a new member joins, we each add a new square. We all laughed at first, but there's something simple and pure about capturing a picture of one's experiences and sharing it with the others," adds Susan.

The group sits down on the quilt, some in a lotus position, others kneeling. Andrew motions for Ken to join the circle and to hold hands with the others. Everyone closes their eyes and quiet falls on the small awakened gathering. Ken follows suit, waiting for a ritualistic chanting or recital to follow. Instead, the others remain quiet and continue to meditate. 

Soon Ken finds his own breathing rising and falling with the others and a strange insubstantial link tries to form around the circle. He can feel it snaking its way through Susan, and like a cautious dog sniffing at a potential friend or enemy, it pauses at Ken's hand gauging whether to flow into this new addition or recoil from hesitation. The others seem oblivious to this energy, as if it is a test for Ken and Ken alone.

Minutes slip away, perhaps hours, with this new force probing at first and then flowing into the detective. It travels throughout his entire body, always the sense that it could retreat just as enigmatically as it arrived. Finally, it passes through Ken and into Elaine and he can feel the full being of the magical group. Not just an entity in name, it is a creature created and existing solely between these precious people. He realizes that he has been accepted into the Sixth Guides.

"Welcome Ken Tokugawa," says Andrew in a quiet tone, as if noises would banish this unique moment. The other nod, except Susan, who Ken hears faintly echo Andrew's words.

The members get up from the quilt and Ken realizes that, in fact, three hours passed while they were on the quilt. Everyone stretches and shakes out their aching muscles and seems spent in energy and conversation.

"There will be time for everything else later. Our next formal meeting is a month away, but everyone passes through the Hall regularly. You are no longer a stranger here, so come to know each of us more on our own informal terms," says Andrew, concluding the night's activities.

Susan offers to give Ken a ride back to his office, but Ken politely refuses. The rest of the evening is best spent alone in contemplation.


Evolution of Ken's Personal Philosophy

  • Eco-Terrorism: He never really thought about until now.  Probably not a good thing to have people dying to save a tree, but it wouldn't hurt for someone to slap the corporations around a bit to keep them in line and "green".
  • Tribals: Ken feels he needs to get to know them.  He hasn't met any that aren't eco-terrorists yet.  Their mysticism is interesting, and Ken hopes to take a trip into the tribal lands sometime on a journey of discovery.
  • Corporations: Corporations aren't a shadowrunner's friend.  They will probably snuff you out for the bottom line.  Don't let flowing nuyen cloud your judgement.
  • Physical Fitness: Ken has put a higher priority on physical fitness after being knocked out cold by a Tribal Adept with one shot.  "A strong mind in a weak body is like a katana wielded by a glass arm."
  • Magical Groups: They do exist.  They seem the best hope for an Awakened person to realize their personal vision of the Awakened world and community.  Anyone that is Awakened should seek out a group that suits them.

Karma and Nuyen


  • Awarded 6 good karma
  • Karma Pool up to 2.4
  • Spent Karma:
    • Joined The Sixth Guides - 3 karma
  • Unspent karma: 3


  • Earned 6 k¥ (2 k¥ in advance), and made 2.5 k¥ from detective work, giving a new total of 10995 ¥
  • Spent ¥
    • 500 ¥ spent from advance to have Miner trace call (leaves 10495)
    • Lifestyle cost (up to Middle) 5 k¥ (leaves 5495 ¥)
    • Grenades purchased for 2700 ¥ (leaves 2795 ¥)
  • Current Unspent: 2795 ¥