Magic and Wildlife: Prowling the Sprawl

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Lethal Joke

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« on: <11-17-14/2251:46> »
Magic and Wildlife in the Twin Cities Sprawl
Alright – I’ve gone over the gangs, the syndicates, the other criminals, the government, and the law enforcement. What’s left? Oh yeah, assorted magical threats, dangerous wildlife, and dangerous wildlife threats. I figure this’ll be shorter than most of the others I’ve posted. Does anything seem silly, not make sense, or just seem missing?

Magical Threats

Brekkar, the Western Dragon: A powerful, but not yet great (give it a century or two) dragon who moved into the old Mall of America. While the large shopping center was still in use, it wasn’t as popular as it once was. The decision was made to let the large, black-and-grey dragon that was trailing spirits keep the mall – anyone who wanted to dispute it, from lone gangers to a full military company, has disappeared with no trace. For what, no one is really sure. As far as anyone in the Twin Cities knows, Brekkar hasn’t been seen since. Only Temple Fugate (in other criminals) knows more about him. Major investor in the A-rank corporation Hollingway International.
Louis Cypher: A black-suited, black-haired elf wearing black sunglasses who routinely gives jobs out to runners for no reason discernible to even those who know all the jobs he’s given. Tends to contact runners – even ones he shouldn’t know – directly. Rumors run from him being immortal, a dragon (true, he’s a shapeshifted Brekkar,) a free spirit, or a set of twins that work for some nebulous corporation or organization.

Free Spirits: A large wooded area – in a one or two mile radius – surrounds the Mall of America, wild and protected by an array of wildlife. That wildlife is protected by a big number of free spirits, who particularly seem to hate technology. Most are low-end spirits of man (force 3.) However, on occasion a wolf the size of a large bear has been spotted (force 10 spirit of beasts.) Tread lightly. Assorted other spirits – usually spirits of air or water – can be seen around the city as well, albeit rarely. Other free spirits – anima and animi – are fairly common, usually in the local arts. Nobody is quite sure why.

Vampires: A few HMHVV-I infected are in the city, but they tend to keep themselves on the legal side of the solutions to that issue. Nearly all awakened as magicians.

Ghouls: The predominant HMHVV victims in the city, there still aren’t very many as they make easy prey for just about any of the above or below threats. The Waterways Gang tends to enjoy tormenting those that are sane; who congregate on one abandoned block near the MoA wildlife zone in Bloomington called the Undead Square (by others, not their own.) They have a strange tendency to awaken as adepts.

Hell Hounds: Not many, but wild ones are found around the edges of the city. There is a special training kennel for them in the city. Expensive, but popular.

Barghests: Originally three imported from England by a wealthy executive transferred there, the three have reproduced enough offspring to be a serious threat around the sprawl. On the plus side, they eat rats and devil rats like dogs eat kibble.

Devil Rats: There aren’t as many as other sprawls. See above for why.

Cockatrice: Uncommon, but often seen around the center of the sprawl where they may have left corporate compounds where they served as security.

Basilisk: There has been only one recorded instance near the big river. Usually too cold.


Wolves: In and around the Mall of America’s magically and mundanely protected wildlife area, there are many wolves – a good 80. Nobody is sure how many packs or how they are fed (though low homelessness rates in the area is a clue) but tread with care.

Cougars: Three cougars escaped from a traveling circus two years back. The females were pregnant. They moved into MoA wildlife zone. Again, watch your back.

Rats: There may be fewer devil rats, but no dent has been made in the mundane rat population. Even the richer parts of the cities have plenty.

Deer: An unknown number of them dwell in the MoA wildlife zone. Not usually an actual threat – but there is a thriving poaching tradition in the city.

« Last Edit: <01-12-15/0443:38> by Lethal Joke »

Lethal Joke

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« Reply #1 on: <01-12-15/0441:37> »
Okay. I just got the Street Grimoire. So I'm able to add some other threats to the sprawl. Hopefully I got it right, I've only read through the book twice since I got it.

Notable Mana Lines

Dragon Lines: The two most important are also the historic reason the city exists in the first place – the rivers. The Mississippi (force 9) runs powerful and clear into and out of the first major population center it goes through. It's self-cleaning and illegal to mess with without permission from state officials. The Minnesota (force 5) has fewer restrictions unless it’s very close to the point where it converges with the Mississippi.

Ley Lines: Fort Snelling (force 5) was the first American settlement (and garrison) in the area, the land specifically negotiated out of a Dakota treaty for that purpose. Since it was closed and the Twin Cities expanded around it, it became a historic site. Post-Awakening, it has become a ley line. Occasionally, it has been known to magically incite happiness in some, anger in others, and boredom in most. The ruins and monument to those lost in the collapse of the relatively small Ares’ Sherman Arcology (force 4) also count.

Song Lines: There are only three in the city due to a ban put in place after construction of the third resulted in a serious mana storm that destroyed the Sherman Arcology (see above.) The first is around the expanded University of Minnesota campus (force 4) for the purpose of research by their unsung-but-respected thaumaturgy programs. The other two are too weak to mention.

Twisted Magic

Black Annie: An unusual case that was loose for over two decades, nobody is quite sure what kind of magician Annie was – though she pretended to be some form of wicca,  a black mark that local covens struggle with today. What is known – Blood Magic, Toxic Magic, bound shadow spirits, and was even spotted commanding a couple of people who later turned out to actually be Shedim – puzzles the experts. Even though she died a few years ago (to a full company of Knight-Errant and two shadowrunner “independent contractor” teams – most of the company and one of the teams died) her influence is still felt through her “children” – orphans, either found or made, who she turned into a forced army of assorted toxic shamans, blood mages, and just plain murderous whackjobs who broke their order when she died. Many of her assorted magical artifacts are also loose.
Annie’s Stick: A force 8 toxic weapon focus staff that looks like a witch’s broom. Wanted by the Dunkelzahn Institute of Magical Research for a reward of 50,000 nuyen.
Black Bleeder: A force 7 athame focus made out of a curved dagger. Also wanted by DIMR for the same amount as Annie’s Stick.
The Witch’s Bones: A toxic force 6 illusion sustaining focus in the form of a necklace made of small animal bones. Used by Annie to appear as different people – an old human, a young elf, or a middle-aged ork. Reward Is 40,000 nuyen.

“Allen”/“Jack in the Box” Cherny: The city’s most powerful practitioner of blood magic is also one of its most respected shadowrunners, one with a penchant for hooding. This mystic adept was the first of Black Annie’s “children,” and Jack Cherny was also one of the first to jump ship, even before the old villainess was even dead, while keeping all she taught. “Allen” is the ‘serial killer’ who embodies all those he’s ever sacrificed for his power – the three security corps are keeping the blood magic bit out of the press using falsified letters signed with that name. He is skilled in keeping his aura concealed from those who might recognize it for what it is. What few suspect any connection between Jack Cherny and Allen tend to meet with plausible accidents. His athame is an unremarkable looking combat knife. He dresses in standard clothing as “Allen,” and in a trenchcoat and fedora while as “Jack in the Box.”

Dahlia “Dust” Schwartz and Andrew “Ashes” Moldov: A toxic shaman and a toxic adept, respectively, both followers of the mentor spirit Doom.” These “children” were the last to disobey Annie while she was alive, but were also the first to leave when the villainess died. They were kept corralled in a small zone with spilled radioactive waste for a good portion of their lives. They were taught the basics but never learned any real social skills, and get along with nobody but each other – they consider each other siblings. They hate Wicca, as they believe Black Annie was one. Poor and fairly inexperienced, they are a threat only when acting in tandem. “Dust” and “Ashes” use radiation, her with spells and spirits and him with a weak, but potent enough weapon focus sword.

Jonathon “Black John” Cruze, Th.D: Not a child of Black Annie, per se, but an associate. Jonathon Cruze was the former Dean of the Thaumaturgy department at the U of M until five years ago. Curious about the strange nature of Black Annie, he tracked her down to study her. A fling with the then young-elf-appearing villainess had him obsessed with her. Annie used him, convinced him to try something else, and then discarded him. Cruze is now a toxic shaman of Mutation, looking to try and bring back Annie through strange means. Known as “Black John,” he is responsible for many murders and much pollution.

Insect Spirits

Universal Brotherhood: An interesting and, honestly, amusing story. Before the UB’s bug shaman really got started on the evil scheme, he was run over by a truck. Total accident. By the time they’d sent a new one, the jig was up and they were assaulted with amazing ease by Ares Firewatch teams.

Independent Bug Shamans: The usual way for Insect Spirits to get in. Usually they’re fly or mosquito spirits, though ants come around on occasion.

And new under the original stuff:

Manananggal: There’s only one in the city, and it’s in a cage, kept as a sideshow freak for the Lakota Mafia’s bazaar. It would not be pleased if it got out.
« Last Edit: <01-12-15/2334:29> by Lethal Joke »