Since the Shadowrun player-characters have managed to locate Copper – probably the sole surviving member of the group who hasn’t been infested with an insect spirit – they’ve acquired enough information to fill in some of the blanks about the members and about the ritual they were attempting.
“The Professor” (Founder): From his research notes, a hermetic Mage and brilliant – if somewhat erratic – magical researcher and spell designer. Unfortunately, he was obviously at least a bit less cautious than he’d needed to be – and not apparently egotistical enough to plaster his name all over his on-the-spot research records. His on-the-spot notes included a good deal of information about his procedures, how he was adjusting spells, and his assistants and training – but only notes on the actual spell formula, on his underlying theories, and on how he managed to extend his spellwork into the metaplanes. Even if further investigation reveals that there is no safe way to follow his disastrous lead, who knows what else might be in his notes?
Several groups are trying desperately to identify him at the moment, but – whether for good or ill – the player characters have access to the only known survivor among the Renaissance Society who can provide a description of what he was like before being torn apart and left to decay for a year.
The Prof? He was a good guy. Always willing to try to explain, or to try to help you figure something out, even if half the explanation went way the hell over everyone else’s head or he made you feel like an idiot trying to follow him. If you needed help with something, he was almost always up for it. Seemed to believe that – as long as most people were virtually powerless – they’d get stomped on. So he was going to fix that. He was trying to banish the spirits I think, but went to Fireballs trying to deal with the swarm. Too damn many for him to keep it up though, although I think a couple of the Norms managed to run while he covered them. The bugs didn’t take any chances on the Prof once they reached him. Maybe he knew too much to possess.
Most of the secondary mages took advantage of the group, and the Professors experiments, to initiate several times.
Janus was a young, semi-trained, shamaness, who relied extensively on fetishes. She was looking for some way to upgrade her existing spells so as not to rely on so many trinkets, but was pretty good at conjuration. She usually set a few spirits on patrol, or had them nearby to help out. Not too powerful in most ways, but she did have one really high-powered transformation spell she could use once in awhile. Her principal role was on the spirit-summoning end of things, and of bringing in wannabe-mages. Having a good strong nature spirit concealing the old warehouse helped a lot in keeping thing quiet while people were coming and going.
Janus? Janus was nice enough, but she had some awfully silly ideas about the world. I think she’d got almost all her information off the Trid, and she had a pesky tendency to simply let every thought she had come out of her mouth. The Prof never seemed to mind though, Said that – every so often – the off-the-wall gibberish suggested some really worthwhile ideas. Tended to call up minor spirits and send them off on the most trivial errands sometimes. She sent one of her spirits into the gate to try and hold back the swarm, and wound up going through after it somehow once the first big one came through.
Hendric: A magical burnout case who’d apparently suffered several major traumas, at least one of which was partially repaired with cyberware. Hendric’s magic wasn’t very good any longer. He had a tendency to go pretty heavily armed (and definitely had a smartgun link), and seemed to be sort of reliving his youth with the group as well as taking the off-chance on renewing his talents. He did have some pretty good medical skills, and had apparently had some experience with both Voodoo and Blood Magic that he wasn’t willing to talk about. Hendric usually handled the basic medical procedures, like the experiments with blood transfusions.
Hendric was pretty sour, although he had more than enough scars to justify it. Damned good reflexes there; when those damned minor spirits started pouring through, he took advantage of the astral overlay to simply start blowing them away with a hail of bullets. He took out a fair number, and was getting the norms organized – but most of them didn’t have anything decent in the way of a weapon handy. If we’d just thought to make sure that everyone had an assault rifle or something a lot of them might have made it. With enough guns in an overlay you might be able to take down one of the really big ones. Just too many of them though, at least after the big ones came through and started giving directions. After one of the big ones got to him, I had to bail: too many, too late.
Monad: A talented telepath, Monad was also capable of some impressive pyrokinetic stunts, at least while within the professors magic-amplification zone. She was in charge of guiding all the Norms and trying to help them feel the magic.
Monad tried to shield everyone somehow, some sort of mental barrier, but once her shields started cracking she felt the things that were starting to happen to them all, and a lot of the rest of us felt it through her. She went berserk and started blasting the minor spirits – and the people they’d possessed – with astral fire. She got a fair number of them before she went down. They didn’t seem to be able to possess her at least; she just wound up dead.
“Copper” (Daniel Mardin): Copper was a young physical adept and (like Terith, whom he often teamed up with) an amateur runner, mostly doing bodyguard work. His job was mostly to “share” his own magic with people, channeling it through them to try and open up whatever channels it needed in them. That wouldn’t normally have been within his capabilities, but the Prof came up with an amplifier effect that let it work somewhat. Copper, of course, was in it because the Prof was more than willing to help you initiate, which was something he hadn’t had all that much luck figuring out on his own.
As one of your major sources – the others being the notes in the results journal – there isn’t much in the way of a personal evaluation of Copper. The Professor was apparently pretty clear on how all of his powers worked (they were apparently mostly skill boosts and a bit of hand-to-hand combat enhancement at the time, coupled with really good reflexes) and thought that both Copper and Terith were likely headed for a decent bodyguarding career.
It actually looked like it was going to work – and then the damned bug-spirits stated to swarm the place. It looked like they were actually coming OUT of some of the Norms. Some of them – the ones that hadn’t seemed to be getting anywhere mostly – just seemed to explode, like something had tried to use them as a door and they weren’t open enough. It was just tiny spirits at first, swarms but a few went through the main gate and bigger ones started pouring out. I don’t really know what came first, or what all went down, but it all went to hell. After Janus went through Razor and Terith went after her – and some fucking powerful spirit came through and tried to get into my head. I don’t know what happened, but I wound up on top – and with spirits to kill. I got quite a few, and a bunch of the things that used to be my friends – but one of the big ones had got into Hendric. It made him fast as hell, and he had guns, and spells, and a horde of spirit-minions. I’ll find a way to get him too. They’ve all got to die. I have to kill them.
Razor: Represented himself as a wiz-kid ganger. An astral master, sorcerer, and conjurer, as well as one of the Professors best students. Razor was almost as obsessed with magical tinkering as the Professor was. Almost everyone else in the group assumed that he was either a moonlighting corp kid from fairly high up or a young dragon or some such blatantly unlikely thing, if only because he always had money – and was either a lot older than he looked and acted or someone had paid for an intensive magical education. As an Astral Master, Razor handled most of the Wards and the basic defensive/diversion/concealment spells, although the really advanced stuff was left to the Professor.
Razor was an egotistical little bastard. Considered himself Gaia’s own gift to women and thought he was just one step below god almighty, but he had plenty of guts. When the little spirits started swarming out and attaching themselves to the Norms, he tried to hold a barrier across the gate – but somehow Janus wound up going through – thrown, caught in the fringes of an explosion, who knows – and I think Razor took Terith and went after him. That’s when the shit really hit.
Terith was a negating-mage – capable of defending against spells, banishing spirits, and creating Wards, but nothing more. Her skills were pretty decent, but not enormous, and she usually worked with Copper, providing low-level magical security for anyone who paid well enough. As a rule, she preferred to stay in the background, quietly out of the melee. Her talents were most valuable that way anyway.
Terith was mostly holding a ward-barrier while Razor blasted things – and did a little physical hacking on things that got too close, who’d have thought that the little runt would be that good with a sword – until Janus went through. Terith and Razor both went through after her, I bet that Razor dragged her with him – it’s the sort of thing that arrogant brat would do.
Copper counts at least four really strong spirits that came through, counting the one he managed to bind into himself somehow. One got Hendric, he’s not sure of where the other two went. He’s pretty sure they’d need to find a host fast though. Don’t spirits need some sort of anchor or something?