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What was the Atlantean Foundation up to in DotA?

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mcv

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« on: <01-25-21/1206:38> »
In Dawn of the Artifacts, the players and Frosty are constantly receiving help from someone Frosty distrusts, and every adventure (except the last, unfortunately) ends in a bit of mysterious prose that raises more questions than it answers. The adventure gives the impression the Atlantean Foundation wants Frosty/Ehran to have the artifacts, instead of keeping them for themselves. Why?

Stuff that I think I know:
  • the Atlantean Foundation is interested in stuff about Atlantis (Thera in Earthdawn)
  • Samriel, the mysterious ally, works for the Mystic Crusaders, which is aligned (completely? somewhat?) with the Atlantean Foundation

My impression has always been that the Atlantean Foundation is not quite as powerful or well-connected as the Draco Foundation, but I might be wrong.

Some stuff I think I've been able to piece together from the bits of prose in DotA:

  • The Mystic Crusaders are lead by a mysterious figure that invented the "ancient" book that it was founded on, and is manipulating the Mystic Crusaders; might not be on board with the honour and chivalry that the Mystic Crusaders themselves subscribe to
  • The prose claims they want Frosty/Ehran to use the artifacts to find the other artifacts
  • Samriel helped the runners so they would get word out about the involvement of blood mages
  • There are other players involved (in the hunt for the artifacts?) that Frosty/Ehran don't know about
  • They have a "joker" that will help them later on

Unfortunately, Dawn of the Artifacts part 4 seems to drop all of these threads. (I'm not actually a fan of the adventure; they find the last artifact quickly, but it's incomplete because unrelated shadowrunners decided to steal just one chain from the artifact, sending the players on a wild goose chase). I certainly can't find anything about what the AF is working on in Artifacts Unbound; there, all the artifacts get lost and found again, and finally end up in Ghostwalker's closing of the Rift. But I believe it's not Ehran getting the players there, but some different former Tir princes.

So what was the Atlantean Foundation's plan?

Does the leader of the Mystic Crusaders actually serve the Atlanteans here, or do they have their own agenda? And if so, what?

Did they already know about the involvement of blood mages before? Why is it important to inform Ehran in such a roundabout way? I guess Ehran isn't allowed to know what the Mystic Crusaders know? But why? What's the plan?

Why do the Mystic Crusaders not try to take the artifacts later? Or do they? Or is it just bad writing that the adventures drop this thread?

Who is that mysterious leader of the Mystic Crusaders anyway?

Sir Ludwig

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« Reply #1 on: <01-25-21/1603:52> »
mcv,

I believe if you read Fire & Frost it will answer some of your questions.  If I'm not mistaken it about what happens after DoA4. 

Regards,
SL
Si vis pacem, para bellum

mcv

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« Reply #2 on: <01-25-21/1611:25> »
That's a novel, isn't it? Could you give me a summary?

DeathStrobe

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« Reply #3 on: <01-30-21/1538:08> »
From what I recall of Frost and Fire; Elijah goes on a world wind tour around the world looking for...stuff? Starts in Seattle, then to Chicago, then to Amazonia, then finally ending in Antarctica. I believe he ends up finding a fourth world tower in the ice (kaers?) with help of some shady corporation (I think it was Aztechnology) then ends up destroying the entire thing to keep it out of the hands of the bad guys...which seems a bit out of character but meh... Been a while since I read it. It was ok.
« Last Edit: <02-01-21/2255:58> by DeathStrobe »

Sphinx

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« Reply #4 on: <02-01-21/1049:08> »
Fire and Frost by Kai O'Connal (2014) was the first of the "new" Shadowrun novels. The novel isn't directly related to the Artifacts campaign (Dusk, Midnight, Darkest Hour, New Dawn); you'll find more information about that in the Artifacts Unbound sourcebook. Not that you should skip the novel, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The audiobook narrated by Tren Sparks came out in 2019; you can get it on Audible and I highly recommend it.

Here's the Amazon blurb for Fire and Frost:
Arcano-archaeologist Elijah knows that digging into the past can be its own reward — or peril. When he’s hired to find an ancient map purported to lead to a mysterious location at the bottom of the world, his professional curiosity is more than roused. But his quest to simply get his hands on the map is more dangerous than he expected — even for a shadowrunner. He and his own team of runners — including everything from a goblin rigger to a troll street samurai — follow a murky trail that takes them from the ruins of Chicago to the jungles of Amazonia. Along the way, they discover that they’re not the only ones looking for this map — and that it may lead to a treasure even greater than anyone could have known. Elijah and his crew plan to get both the map and to its riches first — assuming they survive the very dangerous road trip to get there …

mcv

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« Reply #5 on: <02-04-21/0340:39> »
I'm afraid that doesn't tell me much about what the Atlantean Foundation's plan is during DotA. Artifacts Unbound also hasn't helped me much, though it could be hidden in one of the adventure outlines that didn't appeal to me.

Nath

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« Reply #6 on: <03-12-21/1936:13> »
Per the existing sources, the Atlantean Foundation was created by Alachia, an immortal elve who was the queen of the Blood Wood elven nation during the Fourth Age, and an enemy of Thera/Atlantis, who goes under the alias of Sheila Blatavska or Hecate. So, far from a celebration of the glorious heritage of Atlantis, the true purpose of the foundation seems to be a front for reaping whatever remains of Theran heritage and magical items (the foundation also happened to be, at least in the late 2040ies, a cash machine that reaped significant profits from training and HR services for magicians).

Alachia is the person discussing with Samriel in the closing fiction of Dawn of the Artifacts first three episodes. So she is the one who manipulated the founders of the Mystic Crusaders by giving them what they thought was an ancient Atlantean codex.

As far as SR book ever went, the only group that could be considered as "True Atlanteans" are the Heavenherd elven tribe in Southern Africa, which is hinted as descending from a group of Theran mages and having somehow retained some magical knowledge through the centuries.

Regarding Dawn of the Artifacts, no explanation was ever provided. All we know about Alachia's plan is what is written in the ending short stories. From the one in Dusk, I understand she may have lacked the knowledge that Ehran and Frost use to locate the Phaistos and Visoko Discs, which is why she needed them to "find" the map, and I guess not spend too much time and efforts on recovering the stolen Sexton. Still, the only artifact the Atlantean Foundation actually tries to steal during the campaign is the Shantaya's Compass and its Chain, which the PC managed to locate without using any specific magic.

It is really just bad writing.

Artifacts Unbound does not contain more information, though it introduce the idea that the four artifacts are "protected" by a magic that twist fate to prevent people from gathering them (it is supposed to explain why Ehran and the other players keep losing them, and it's also bad writing).