Shadowrun is currently a trademark of the FanPro.

Home Page - Gaming - Shadowrun - Campaign #2 - War Stories & Interims - Interim #4

Interim 4

2061MAR02 - Coffee house in Downtown

"He is dead." Came the smooth cool voice from the man across the table. The man seemed to carry his own shadows with him, in spite of the light about him.

"You don't seem upset." Replied a Dwarf sitting with him. The Dwarf's eyes gave no promise that sanity dwelled within his mind.

"Why should I be? His passing fed my power." The man was devoid of emotion.

"Master, how did this happen?" Asked the Dwarf, a look of extreme paranoia passed across his face, replaced by the gleeful mask of a sadist about to pull the wings off of a fly.

"One of the numerous groups of rabble in the Barrens retained his services yesterday. Apparently their pet Eyekiller was overly anxious and attacking things they could not see throughout the morning."

"Spirits, Master?" The Dwarf's face switched unnaturally fast from glee to inquisitiveness.

"Probably. Or perhaps advance scouts of the group that attacked this morning."

"Attacked? Was there much destruction?" The gleeful look returned, accompanied by a smile that was too wide for his face.

"Yes, Vlad, there was a small massacre in fact. Unfortunate you had to miss it."

The Dwarf's smile vanished, struck down by a deep brooding frown.

"As for me, I followed my would be apprentice. He was too anxious and arrogant. If only I could find more subtle pupils. The massacre barely offset the loss of my pupil. I suppose I should be grateful that his death came when I was not dependent upon him. I seem to recall the Troll from somewhere, but they all tend to look alike to me..."

"I will not fail you so, Master." The Dwarf simpered unnaturally, a manic gleam in his eyes.

"No Vlad, but I fear you will only fail me in a different way. Yet you will have your opportunities to prove yourself worthy of the higher mysteries. Now, let us go and gather our new pupils."

2061MAR27 - Arrow's Grade 1 Initiation (Meditation Ordeal)

Rachel Two Snakes walked slowly up the last few stairs and headed down the hall to her apartment, stepping over the large mutt drooling in his sleep in front of Mrs. Kreuger's door. As she pressed her thumb to the keypad, Rachel heard a commotion coming down the stairs and spilling out into the hall.

Ol' Chester, the big black dog, didn't even stir as a bolt of energy in the form of a nine-year-old girl came hurtling down the hall. "Rae! Rae - wait up!" Amanda Whitebear threw herself at her friend, nearling knocking Rachel over with her hug. Rachel smiled tiredly and hugged the child, watching as Amanda's older brother approached at a more reasonable pace.

"Hey, Rae." Rook said with a teenager's feigned disinterest. He took her bag for her, while Rachel went into the apartment, Amanda close behind.

"Where ya been all this time?" Amanda demanded. "We haven't seen you in years!"

Rachel flopped down on the couch with a sigh while Rook and Amanda made themselves at home, as good friends do. She was happy to see the kids, though it had only been a few weeks rather than "years" since she left. "Oh... I was out in the country, doing some hunting."

"And you didn't take us?" Amanda huffed.

"You had school, kiddo. I'll take you out sometime this summer, ok?"



The girl smiled. "So, what happened on your trip? Tell us a story!" That was, after all, why they loved to visit Rae. She always had an exciting story to tell.

Even though she wanted nothing more than to take a shower and fall into bed, Rachel couldn't disappoint her audience. "Well," she said, "my trip really wan't very interesting...but Arrow, on the other hand, has been having some adventures."

The kids settled back for the story. Arrow was one of their favorite characters. She was always having interesting adventures.

"Remember how I told you last time about Arrow joining up with a group of magical hunters - the Lodge of the Wolf? Well, since Arrow isn't one to waste time, about a week after joining the group she decided it was time to begin confronting the higher mysteries. She went out to the lodge one morning. Frank was the only one there, so she told him she was ready to start her initiation."

"Frank said, 'Ok, come with me.' He led her out away from the farmhouse and they walked through the woods for some time. After a while, they came to a clearing where they could see a hill in the distance. Frank said 'Here's what you have to do - you see that cave up there?' and he pointed to the hill. Arrow has very good eyesight, so she could see a small opening way up the side of the hill. She nodded. 'Well, you have to go in there and bring back an arrowhead.' 'An arrowhead,' she repeated, and Frank nodded. 'Got it,' Arrow said, and Frank said 'See ya,' and headed back the way they came."

"Arrow made her way to the base of the hill. She began to climb up the cliff. It was quite steep, but Arrow's a decent climber, so it wasn't too difficult, just a long way. It took a while, but she eventually saw that she was getting close to the opening of the cave. Suddenly, without any warning, a huge swarm of bats came pouring out of the mouth of the cave and flew right around her. They startled her, and she lost her grip and went tumbling down the side of the hill."

"Bats?!?" Amanda exclaimed, dubious. "Arrow ran away from bats?" She didn't like the idea that the heroine of her favorite stories, who had faced down giant lizards, swarms of devil rats, and men with machine guns, would be at all disturbed by a few bats.

"It's magic," Rook came to Arrow's defense. "Shhh..."

Rachel continued, "Yes, bats... there were a lot of them, and they caught her by surprise. And Rook's probably right - this was a magical initiation, after all, so there may have been more to it than mere bats."

"Anyway, whatever the reason, the bats flew out and Arrow fell down the hill. It was a rough tumble to the bottom and afterward she didn't feel too good, so she headed back to the lodge to rest up and heal a bit. It's hard to climb on a sprained ankle."

"Arrow spent a few of days resting and meditating. When her ankle felt better, she decided to take another shot at it. She headed out again, but this time she hadn't made it quite as high as before when she lost her grip and fell again. A couple more days went by, and on the third try she got up the cliff without problem. This time, when the bats flew out she was expecting it. She held on tight and didn't fall."

"Arrow pulled herself up to the edge of the cave, which led into the hill and down. After resting for a few minutes, she started clambering down into the cave. The climb looked easy, but as she started down she realized that everything inside the cave was coated in a thick layer of guano."

"What's guano?" Amanda asked.

"It's bat shit." Rook informed her.

"Ew!" she made a face.

"Ew is right. The guano was slick and made the climb slippery. What was worse, though was the smell. The cave reeked! Arrow's eyes began to water, and before very long she was finding it hard to breathe through the fumes. After a few more steps, she couldn't take it any longer. She turned and left, feeling sick."

"So, Arrow returned to the lodge in defeat once more. But she wasn't about to give up. She knew that she could do this. It was just a matter of perserverance. So, Arrow continued to spend her time meditating and preparing herself for the next attempt."

"Once more, Arrow set out for the hill she was now becoming very familiar with. The climb was easy this time. She hardly flinched when the bats flew by. After reaching the top, she took a deep breath to calm herself, and stepped into the cave."

"Somehow, the guano didn't smell nearly as bad this time. She didn't feel sick at all as she clambered down into the cave. It was still slippery, but she could handle that. Finally, Arrow reached the bottom of the cave and there they were - a pile of arrowheads, covered in guano."

"Arrow pocketed one of the arrowheads and carefully made her way out of the cave. The trip back to the lodge had never been easier. She arrived at dusk, walked in and presented the arrowhead to Frank."

"Frank looked at the arrowhead, then at her. 'Good job,' he said, as he turned and dropped the arrowhead in the garbage. He looked back at her. 'You didn't want that, did you? Thing's covered in bat shit.' Arrow smiled, and shook her head."

"And that was that. Arrow was initiated."

The kids were quiet for a moment, thinking. "She didn't keep the arrowhead?" Amanda asked.

"Nope. She didn't need it, and Frank was right - it was pretty foul."

"I would have kept it anyway," Amanda said, "as a souvenir."

Arrow yawned. "Yes, I expect you would have, Mandy. Now, you've had your story, and I'm beat, so you two need to get out of here and let me sleep." The kids stood up, and Amanda gave Rachel a good-bye hug. "Hey, kiddo, on your way out take one of those soybones to Chester." Amanda grabbed a dog snack from a can on the kitchen counter, and ran out. Rachel intercepted Rook before he could follow.

"Something wrong?" she asked. The boy just shrugged. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Rook looked her, then shrugged again. "You're tired," he said.

"Doesn't matter, as long as I don't have to tell any more stories."

He smiled a bit. "It's ok, but can I come by tomorrow?"

"Sure, I'll be here."

"See ya, then. Thanks, Rae!" He headed for the door.

Rachel closed the door behind him, then headed to bed for the best night's rest since she started her ordeal. It was good to be home.

2061MAR11 - Titus's Grade 1 Initiation (Thesis Ordeal)

Making the Grade

"So," Drake intoned. "In order to learn the mysteries of the higher magics, you must know what you know, and by relation, what you don't know. You must write a thesis."

"I've already written two of them, would like copies?" Titus replied, dreadfully recalling long nights staring at revision upon revision.

"This is a different kind of thesis. This is a magical work, not a work about magic. You must divulge everything you know about magic into written format. Note that it must be written, not printed by a machine." Titus winced at the thought of tedious manual means and the loss of his grammar, spell, and style checker.

"Speak to Jonah," Drake mused, noticing Titus' distaste. "He's been through it most recently and will probably have some advice for you."


"Ah, they've got you writing that thesis they so love," Jonah laughed. "I don't envy you. I finished mine two years ago and never plan to do it again. However, let me just tell you that the writing isn't as difficult as you think, and the starting is much more difficult than you think. Actually once you start, it just flows. I know a great shop that will get you the supplies. Tell them Jonah sent you--they'll take care of you."


Titus sat at his desk, the carefully prepared vellum pages waiting for his inspiration. He had prepared his Nutrition and Fast spells and had tied on his silver scarf across his forehead as he used to do when pulling all-nighters during college. He gripped the owl's quill, dipped it in ink, the composition of which he has now forgotten, and paused.

He thought back to his first glimpses of magic, the tests with the guidance counselor, the pride of his parents, and being sent to the Boston School for Awakened Children. Throughout all of his education there was never a point in which he did not want to be a mage.

He recalled Professor Billings in his Introduction to Hermetics course at MIT&T, describing magic as life, as inseparable as a person from their shadow. And then he realized that magic was his life. Suddenly, the symbols poured forth from his mind as he hurriedly scrawled through the pages of vellum. Time passed without notice, his body being sustained by pure mana and inspiration.

Finally, the last symbol was lain into the pages. When Titus looked up, only an hour had passed, though he admitted to himself that he really had no idea how much time had gone by. He stood and stretched and walked into his living room and saw the blinking message light on his telecom. Checking it, he found that he had 14 messages waiting for him. Only then did he realize that it had been an hour and four days since he began his writing.


Titus stepped out of gilded elevator of the Mackleby Club and proceeded down the hallway. He met the Circle in the conference room where they were awaiting his defense. The five others were arranged at a long table facing him, his thick leather-bound thesis on the table in front of Drake.

"Titus," Drake intoned in his proclamation voice. "We have studied your thesis. We have found you have a strong basis in theory and understanding, but are lacking in a breadth of experience. For instance, your knowledge of the direct mana interaction spells, the so-called combat spells, is based on theory alone and you have next to no experience with the elemental invocations to supplement your understanding of Conjuration. While it is natural to focus on a specific area, it is the wisdom of this board that you gain some cursory experience in all of the schools of magic."

Titus gathered his thoughts, preparing to articulate his defense.

"However, we feel that you do have a strong background in the understanding of magic and are fit to pursue the higher mysteries. Your thesis is accepted."

Titus, stared at them for a moment, his thoughts jumbled as he realized that he wasn't going to have to go into a lengthy defense of minutiae in his writings.

"Um, thank you."

"Here are some readings on the metamagic skills developed so far. Once you choose, we will pair you with an advisor. You can direct any questions you have to me.” Drake stood, breaking the tension in the room.

“Good job there, Titus” Jonah smiled, his face cracked in a smile. “We knew you could do it.”