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Run #5 - Paint the Town Red

Real world: This run occurred during Session #5, 21JUL2002. The runners for the first session were Boomer (Tom), Fifi (Reema), Kozmo (Corey), and Arrow (Sarah). For the second session, Boomer (Tom) was out of the game, but Titus (Ryan) showed up.


Run: 9 pts. apiece for those at both sessions, 5 pts. Apiece for Titus and Boomer.
Bonus opportunities: +1-2 if war story.

Individual Warstories

Fifi's Warstory

Dear Diary:

Ever since Shark lead me into the path of Shadows, I have tried to keep it separate from my personal life. But the last run crossed these paths, and I didn't even know it until after the run.

We were hired by a pimp. His hookers were being killed while on the job, and of course, that was bad for business. He wanted us to take care of this problem.

We took a look at a couple of crime scenes; of course, they were at least a few days old. But with Shark's eyes I could see remnants of magical symbols that were written all over the hotel room wall. I did not know their meaning, and Titus was nowhere to be found. I had no choice; I had to go to the library. Mon dieu, I don't belong in a library, sitting still for hours and hours just reading, no, I did not like it.

After what seemed like days, I finally left the book tomb. What I found was bad. The symbols were part of a ritual where the mage gains powers from the pain of his victim. He becomes more powerful with each kill, and he already killed quite a few.

I called Arrow with what I found; she was going to see a friend who was a shaman, so I went as well to discuss the symbols we found. On the way I learned that this friend is a coward shaman, what Arrow called a dolphin shaman. Pfeu, I don't chitchat with my dinner.

I stayed in the car, but Arrow needed me to explain what I saw at the hotel room to her "friend". The last thing I wanted to do in the same room with a dolphin is talk instead of fight. I bit my tongue and went in. Arrow's friend said we were dealing with a corrupted shaman that feeds on the suffering of their victim. That day was hell to me, first the library and then the chit chats with the dolphin shaman. If this happens again I will kill someone.

We met with the rest of the team and learned from police reports that the killer used a spell to keep his victims alive longer and also to increase their suffering. It seemed that a man and a woman whore from each race were being killed. So we decided to watch the whores from the races we thought were left.

We watched a number of the whores, but the coward took and killed one that we were not watching. This time, we got to the scene before the police. It was gruesome. A hunter does not taunt and play with his prey, and this mage was no hunter. At the scene, I sensed something familiar about the killer's signature; I did not like that at all.

Again, we got back to watching over the whores. Oh, Titus came back from his tea party and joined the hunt. This time something interesting happened in our watch. The boys were together; Arrow and me were together. Apparently, Boomer went missing, which is shocking, Titus and Kozmo started looking for him. Boomer stepped out and knocked Titus unconscious. Obviously the killer was controlling Boomer, or maybe Titus was giving a lecture on magical theory and Boomer wanted him to shut up. Anyways, the killer proves to me again that he is a coward who is not willing to face his foes face to face.

So puppet-Boomer hires the troll hooker being watched and took her to the killer. Arrow tracked Boomer down and I dispelled the puppet show. We got every one together and tried to find the killer, with no luck. Now, there were two whores left to be killed, a troll and an orc man. Actually, the orc, Shaft, was very well rounded, in all the right places; I would not mind protecting his assets again.

Anyway, the killer seemed to be killing in places closer and closer to the pimp's HQ. So we stayed there and kept an eye on Shaft and the troll. Titus and me went astral to check the men we were protecting. We could not find Shaft, so we got the team and Arrow started tracking his scent. His scent was at a private top floor. There, a guard tried to move us out, but I dropped him. Then this impressive spirit started attacking me. Its owner came out shortly; he's a shaman that works for the pimp. We convince him to take us to the room Arrow points out. We went in.

Inside, I see Shaft and a troll cut open with their organs hovering in the air, and the killer writing all over the wall. He turns around and has the stupid thought that he could take us out with a spell. He fails, the team starts shooting at him, but he obviously had an armor spell, so I grabbed my sword and tried to fillet him.

When he tried to cast another spell, I saw his face. This twisted creature used to swim with Shark, but it was obvious that Shark left this pathetic weakling. When he failed to hurt us, he jumped out the window, again, running from true combat. We followed him into the sewer.

We slowly kept nibbling away at our prey until he felt cornered, and so turned invisible. Titus sent his fire elemental to destroy the killer's many foci. The elemental succeeded, and quite surprisingly the final blow, and hence the kill, went to Titus. You know, for an absurdly fragile human, he has surprised me more than once.

This corrupted coward was dead, and I was happy to get rid of this betrayer of Shark. Before I could rest, I heard a knock on my door. It was Brimstone. It was then that I learned why the killer's astral signature seemed familiar. He was part of the group, my group, but they cut him off when they learned of his corruption. Brimstone was happy that my team and me hunted him down and disposed of him. Apparently, if the pimp did not hire us, my group was going to hire me for the task. So you see, hunting this coward was not just my job, but was my steppingstone to learn the higher magic and earn the respect of the group. Bien, tres bien.

Arrow's Warstory


Rachel walked into her apartment to find a boy sprawled on the couch, asleep.

As this was not an uncommon sight, she simply dropped off her gear by the door and headed into the bathroom to take a shower. When she finished, she found Rook awake, watching the trid and oiling her shotgun.

"Hey, thanks, omae," Rae said, taking a seat.

"No prob. Mom and Mandy went out and I was bored. Mind if I hang out here?"

"'Course not."

"Thanks. There's really nothing on," he gestured to the screen, where a well-dressed orc was demonstrating the use of a vibro kitchen knife while a lovely female elf hung on his every word. Rook looked at Rachel, sprawled in a chair with her eyes closed. "Rough day?"

"Rough few days. Pretty nasty run we just finished. I won't be telling this one to Amanda. Too grim."

"Everyone ok?"

"Yeah, they should be, though a few hours ago I wasn't so sure."

"Titus get shot again?"

"Nope, this time it was the other two guys. Boomer got poisoned, or something, and Kozmo almost got geeked by the shaman."


"No - not OUR shaman. The guy we were after. Wait... let me start at the beginning..."

"So, we got the job through Kosmo's connections. This pimp had been having problems - a bunch of his prostitutes were turning up dead, and the Russian mob hired us to put a stop to it. This was more than your average serial killer - seemed like some ritualistic drek going on."

"Well, we started looking into it - snuck or scammed our way in to some of the crime scenes. Titus hadn't answered our calls, so Fifi was doing all the mojo by herself. She could see a trace of writing on the wall, only in astral space."

"The remnants of a ritual?" Rook the aspiring shaman suggested, intrigued.

"Yeah, that's what she thought. She copied down what she could, and we kept looking around. We figured out that the guy seemed to have a pattern. Looked like the victims were a male and female of each race. He'd done humans and elves, a female ork, and a male dwarf. And the murders were getting closer together, so we figured the next one would happen soon."

"Fifi went to the library and did some research on the writing. With her research and a visit to a friend of mine for some consultation, we figured out that the murders were being done by a corrupted shaman."

"What's that?"

"From what I understand, it's a shaman who has made a deal with a twisted spirit. He gets a bunch of power from the spirit, and does stuff for it in return. Well, he was killing these people and giving the power to his spirit, which in turn made him more powerful." She decided not to mention that the shaman was keeping the victims alive magically and torturing them to enhance their suffering. She preferred to forget that part.

"So we figured the next murder might be as soon as the next night, and the victim would probably be a female dwarf or male ork, simply because he might want to be as strong as possible before trying to take out a troll."

"There were five prostitutes in the area that fit those categories - two male orks and three female dwarves. Five of them, and four of us. We decided to play the odds, and each keep an eye on one potential victim throughout the night. So, we staked them out, but didn't see anything unusual before getting a call about 3am from the pimp, telling us that there had been another murder. The dwarf we weren't watching was dead."

"That's when I got worried, because I figured it meant the guy was onto us, and I knew that would make him a lot harder to catch. Besides, it's a pretty awful feeling knowing that someone got geeked 'cause you weren't quick enough to catch the bad guy. Anyway, we made it to the crime scene, this hotel, before Lone Star was called, and convinced the guy to let us look around. It was more of the same - dead body, invisible writing on the wall... and I picked up the scent of a cologne that I thought might be the murderer's."

"Well, the next day Titus joined us and we started some surveilance. Fifi and I were watching this orc when we got a call from Kosmo saying that Boomer was missing. We met up to look for him, and unfortunately Titus found Boomer just in time to get clocked. Apparently our shaman-guy was using Boomer like he was some kinda huge fraggin' puppet. We found Boomer, but not until he'd been poisoned or diseased or something. Anyway, he was in really bad shape, so we couldn't do much more than drop him off at the hospital and continue hunting for this guy."

"Well, we managed to track the guy to the buiding the pimp operates out of. We couldn't find the orc Fifi and I'd been watching, and that has us worried. We ended up tracking him to the highly-secured top floor of the building. We had to get through some guards and a huge hearth spirit, but we convinced the spirit's master, a shaman who works for the pimp, that it would be in his best interest to let us through."

"So, Rocko, this shaman guy, followed us to into an apartment, where we finally came face to face with the toxic shaman dude. God, that was a horrific sight! He had two vicitims in there, the orc and a troll, and was in the middle of writing runes on the walls with their blood. Us busting in the door sorta put a stop to the ritual, and he tried to level us all with a spell. Didn't work. We attacked him, but he had some defensive spells on so it didn't do a whole lot. He made a break for it and flew out the window."


"Well, levitated or some drek like that. We made our way down and tracked him into the sewers." Here Rachel paused a moment, remembering the ghouls the shaman had run into. That had brought back some bad memories of losing her partner, Rook's dad, to a pack of ghouls a few years before, and she wasn't about to mention that to Rook.

"Anyway, he was invisible, but we pretty much had him cornered. Kosmo got pretty beaten up, but one of Titus' elementals managed to take out the guy's defensive spells, so we sorta kept shooting blindly in his direction, hoping to hit something. Only Titus could see him, so in the end he got the killing shot, I think, which was pretty funny considering on our first run he barely knew how to hold a gun, much less use it."

"Wow, so Titus saved the day by shooting someone?"

"Yeah. Go figure, huh? We got ourselves out of the sewers and took Kosmo to the hospital. He should be ok, and it looks like Boomer will be, too."

"Man. That's a pretty fragged up story. Glad you got the dude."

"Yeah. Me too. Just wish we could have gotten to him sooner."

"You did what you could."

"Yeah." She was quiet a moment. "Hey, chummer, you're gonna be a shaman, so you have to promise me something. If some creepy spirit says he'll give you power if you do bad stuff for him, just say no, ok?"

Rook gave her a mischevious smile, "Isn't that a lot like what you do for a living?"

Rachel shot him a killer look. "You know there's a difference." Then she smiled. "Besides, I do it for money."

Rook laughed, then looked at her seriously. "Don't worry - I'll stick with Raven. I'm sure he'll keep me clean. I'm not gonna mess with that kinda drek ever."

"Good," she said, sitting back with a sigh.


01APR2061 (Friday)

  • Victims
    1. [13JAN2061] Don Juan (human male)
    2. [13FEB2061, one month later] Dirk (elven male)
    3. [06MAR2061, three weeks later] Roxanne (human female)
    4. [20MAR2061, two weeks later] Natasha (elven female)
    5. [27MAR2061, one week later] Brick (dwarf male)
    6. [30MAR2061, 3 days later] Tina (ork female) - Room 207, Whitegate motel
      Similar, but not same guy - [02APR2061], Golba Reynolds (human male taxi driver)
    7. [02APR2061] Keyla (dwarf female) - Room 109, The Briars
    8. [1 day later] Rex/Shaft (ork male) -
    9. [1 day later] Ragnar (troll male) & Brunhilde (troll female) -

02APR2061 (Saturday)

  • 0030: Crime scene #6 [Tina, 30MAR2061] - Room 207, Whitegate motel (Low-Medium lifestyle)
    • Magic symbols on walls, visible only in Astral space - some form of conjuration was involved in the killing
  • 0130: Crime Scene #5 [Brick, 27MAR2061] - Suite 215, Folsom Estates (High lifestyle)
    • Astral perception - faint sense of fear and terror, dim residue of symbols on wall, but symbols not clear or visible. Kozmo speaks to Joseph, hotel staff (turn down service). Joseph describes a strange, bass sound coming from the room when he stopped by and describes the sound of the man's voice as being thin but commanding.
  • 0200: Kozmo contacts his Decker Buddy. Asks for police info on murders.
  • 0300: Fifi hits the library
  • 0700: Fifi finishes at library
    • Symbols are magical symbols of power related to pain and torture
    • Could be used to magically torture someone
    • Ritual would take 6-8 hours
  • 0800:
  • 1400: Digit contacts Kozmo
    • Victims are slowly vivisected, being kept alive magically as long as possible.
    • Pain and suffering of the victims is enhanced magically
    • All prostitutes so far
    • All killings in the Tacoma district so far
  • 1800: Team meets for dinner
  • 1810: News report - cabbie found dead and mutilated.
  • 1815: E-mail Digit about cabbie killing, asking if he has any more info.
  • 1830: Kozmo figures out where the crime scene is based on the police scanner.
  • 1900: Team reaches crime scene.
  • 2000: The plan
    • Arrow will watch Rex (Ork Male)
    • Fifi will watch Shaft (Ork male)
    • Boomer will watch Honeydew (Ork Female)
    • Kozmo will watch Lola (Dwarf female)

03APR2061 (Sunday)

  • 0300: Keyla is dead, she is at The Briars (Middle-High lifestyle)
  • 0400: Team checks out crime scene. Same stuff. Keyla is dead and vivisected. Blood everywhere. Fifi senses something familiar about the astral residue.
  • 0430: Team goes and gets some sleep.
  • 1500: Titus gets back into town and contacts Kozmo.
  • 1515: Titus calls Fifi. Fifi tries to scan and send the copy of the symbols, but they are erased by the process.
  • 1600: Team meets up at a Nukit Burger.
    • Team realizes that murders are proceeding more quickly.
    • Titus predicts that someone will be killed tonight.
  • 1700: Team picks up tracker signals and signal locator.
  • 1730: Visit pimp.
  • 1800: Plan
    • Plant trackers on the two male Ork prostitutes and get material links.
    • Ragnar is watched by Arrow and Fifi
    • Brunhilde is watched by Titus, Kozmo, and Boomer.
  • 1900: In place for surveillance.
  • 2100: Boomer heads out for a snack.
  • 2130: Boomer not back. Boomer taken over by bad guy.
  • 2230: Team reunited.
  • 2300: Team loses villain. Starts searching hotels.
  • 2400: No luck searching hotels so far. Team starts thinking of other ideas...
  • 0600: Police scanner traffic indicates crime scene - Brunhilde is dead.
  • 0630: Boomer becomes violently ill.
  • 0645: Boomer dropped off at ER.
  • 0700: Back in the general area. Kozmo gets cameras and gear.
  • 0800: Team is staying in Sin Central, room #806. Orks: one is on the sixth floor, one is on the 28th floor.
  • 0820: Fifi and Titus are projecting.
  • 0850: Find Rex asleep, heavily doped up. Titus and Fifi look around the area near Rex's room.
  • 0910: Get a feel for the area aroud Rex's room.
  • 1000: Fifi has searched level 7, Titus has searched level 3.
  • 1045: Fifi has searched level 5, Titus has searched level 2.
  • 1130: Fifi has searched level 4, Titus has searched level 1.
  • 1145: Titus tries to go to 28th flr lobby, runs into Hearth Spirit.
  • 1215: Titus sneaks back into the 28th floor and after a little while searching, he runs into the Hearth Spirit again.
  • 1230: Team upstairs. Fifi stuns herself trying to Conjure...
  • 1240: Kozmo breaks lock. Kozmo and Arrow go to find Shaft.
  • 1300: K&A find Shaft's room.
  • 1310: Everyone outside Shaft's room.
  • 1315: Team in Shaft's room. Shaft is not there. Kozmo plants camera in Shaft's room.
  • 1330: Team back in their room. Titus and Fifi confirm Ragnar is on 2nd level.
  • 1345: Team re-convenes.
  • 1515: Kozmo stealthily plants camera outside Ragnar's room. Arrow returns from trying to track Shaft.
  • 1530: Team starts to leave. Arrow figures out that Shaft must have returned to the building.
    • Arrow identifies the elevator Shaft used.
    • Team goes up to penthouse, incapacitates guard.
    • Rocko's Hearth Spirit Confuses team and starts disabling them.
    • Rocko shows up, calls off the Spirit.
    • Team convinces Rocko to check out room.
    • Team finds bad guy.
    • Bad guy fights them. He is a Corrupted Shark Shaman with Improved Body 6, Improved Willpower 6, and Armor 7.
    • Bad guy hops out window after getting Confused by Rocko's Hearth Spirit
    • Team follows him via Arrow's tracking scent.
    • Team chases him until he stumbles into a Ghoul hive.
    • Team ambushes him as he flees Ghouls. Kozmo almost dies, Titus burns two Elementals, but the team manages to take the guy down.
  • 2000: Ivan shows up to visit Sasha (Kozmo) and the team. Ivan pays Titus and Boomer 10k, the others 20k, and 10k for expenses.
  • 2200: Brimstone stops by Fifi's place to congratulate her on the run and explain that the bad guy was a former member of their group and that she was the replacement. [The run counts as a "Deed" ordeal for Fifi]