|Talks-With-Cats, Human Hermetic Mage||162 karma, 160 spent|
|Sorcery: Spellcasting||7||Computer: Software||1:4||Etiquette (Magical)||3|
|Conjuring: Summoning||7||Computer Theory||2||Etiquette (Matrix): Hangouts||3+3.5|
|Magic Theory: Spell Design||6+1||Physical Sciences||3||Etiquette (Street): Fashion||3:3+2.5|
|Enchanting||3||Biotech: First Aid||1:3||Etiquette (Corporate): Fashion||1:2|
|English||7||Seattle: Places: Nightclubs||2:2:2+2.5||Music: Folk Rock: Live||1:2:3 +2|
|Japanese||3||Stealth: Urban||3||Homemaking: Cooking||1:3|
|Psychology||2||Biology||2||Fortean Phenomena: Unexplained||2:3|
|Northern NAN Area||1|
|Stun Bolt (S)||LOS||5||M||W (R)||1S|
|Sleep (M)||LOS||5||M||W (R)||1S|
|Insecticide Blast||Limited||5||xf||P||B (R)||3D|
|Heal||Touch||3||x||M||10 - E||1X|
|Treat||Touch||4||M||8 - E||2X|
|Antidote D Toxin||Touch||1||x||P||Toxin||1D|
|Detox D Toxin||Touch||1||x||P||Toxin||1D|
|Cure D Disease||Touch||1||x||P||Disease||1D|
|Mind Probe||Touch||2||x+xf||M||W (R)||3D|
|Increase Reflexes +2d6||Touch||2||x||M||2×Rxn||1S|
|Extract Surface Contaminants||Touch||4||P||ORT||2S|
|Slow Chemical Reactions||Limited||5||x||P||ORT||5D|
A college education allows defaulting of knowledges at +1 per spot instead of +2.
Cats has paid the 6 karma to bond his rating 6 Power Focus, which is in the form of an MIT&T class ring (with the bas-relief of the Great Dome), in a brass-orichalcum alloy. (His original ring is faux orichalcum; this is the real thing.) The focus is not registered, and he doesnt usually have it in plain sight.
15000¥ with Rating 6 Fake ID (silver credstick). 36700¥ in certified credit.
Spell lock for Increased Reflexes +2d6. 22 Mind Probe fetishes. 29 Insecticide fetishes.
Secure Jacket (B5 I3 C9 3kg), form-fitting body armor (B4 I1 C12 1.75kg). Chemsuit 10. Respirator.
Spell formulas for Magic Fingers (force 5) and Increase Reflexes +2d6 (force 3).
Rating 8 libraries in Sorcery, Conjuring, Magic Theory, and Enchanting, on disk. Materials for conjuring force 5 elementals of all four types.
Middle lifestyle paid through 7/55. DocWagon Platinum paid through
Tutorsofts for Biology and Psychology at level 3. Area Knowledge skillsoft of Denver at level 4.
Antique gold Celtic-knotwork ring brooch with historic documentation, worth 40k¥
Talks-With-Cats is a human Hermetic mage, educated at MIT&T, without a trace of pinkskin background. His street name was acquired from a Coyote shaman roommate in college, and he seems to enjoy the confusion it creates. Cats (as hes usually called) is Caucasian, thin, 58 with fair skin, medium-length straight blond hair, and cybereyes picked to resemble his originals, their irises pale blue. He keeps his face depilated, has little body hair, and speaks in a tenor voice. He tends toward a comfortable (though not cretinous) slouch, seeming fairly unexceptional most of the time, but when he wields magic, becomes involved in intellectual debate or finds himself ferreting out secrets, he stands straight and acquires a commanding presence.
In appearance, Cats favors slacks and shirts with collars, though he doesnt go quite so far as to wear a tie. He usually has a light grey armored trenchcoat on if hes outdoors. With spells like Fashion, Makeover, and Healthy Glow at his command, he can appear stylish when the mood strikes him, but given his druthers he tends toward a comfortable, low-maintenance set of garb and hairstyle. His favorite colors are red and white.
While Cats dearly loves his feline companions, he is not an extremely catlike individual himself. He has a passionate interest in finding out how the universe works; he has an excellent command of both physics and thaumaturgy, and understands computers far better than most mages. His logical mind has little use for garbage, and he watches very little trid; with his understanding of magic, he is as comfortable with the logic of aesthetics as well as that of science. He suffers fools very poorly indeed which includes most political parties and racial supremacy groups and has to work hard to simply shut up and let the rest of the team deal with them when they crop up. People at the clinic where he spends time tend to have varying opinions of him based on how sensibly they take care of themselves: those behaving sensibly appreciated the compliments, while the ones that got lectures are somewhat afraid of Cats.
Cats tends to spend a fair amount of time about twenty hours a week helping out with Dr. Shaky at the Morning Light Clinic, wielding his healing magicks for very little monetary recompense. (However, the local street gangs keep people from making trouble with him, since they wouldnt want to lose their source of cheap healing, and he does earn karma for his efforts.) The rest of his time he usually spends studying the latest journals in science and thaumaturgy or learning or inventing spells. He is, through his best fake ID, a member of the Fortean Society, and tries to keep track of the bizarre happenings in the world, looking for patterns that have not yet been explained.
When he relaxes, its usually with music, a mug of spiked hot chocolate, and a cat or two on his lap; Jethro Tull is a particular favorite of his. Food, to him, is mostly whatever keeps his body running while he continues his abstract pursuits, and he doesnt seem to mind living on stuffers and McHughs soyburgers. If he goes out for more than basic needs food, shopping, etc. its almost certainly to a musical performance of some sort, which he usually watches while astrally perceiving, like most Nerdmetic mages. He has a definite eye for Elven women (Barry teases him about drooling, but he doesnt even stare, let alone drool), but has few girlfriends, since most of his sources of interesting conversation range from the academic to the utterly bizarre, and it simply wouldnt occur to him to have a purely physical relationship with someone. Spiritually, hes an agnostic to him, the only sane position in a world full of totems and spirits and every sign pointing toward supernatural phenomena coming out of a persons own mindset and politically, he believes in Solving the Worlds Problems Through Sensible Application of Advanced Technology and Magic, which means hes usually disgusted with the whole mess and tends to vote for the least possible evil.
For Cats, the world is a massively complicated place with secrets waiting to be unlocked and problems waiting to be solved. There are many things obviously wrong with the world; he hasnt got any solutions for fixing everything, but hes doing his bit to make it a better place. One day, hed like to get a fake ID good enough for publishing in the Proceedings of the Assocation for Practical Thaumaturgy, Thaumaturgical Review Letters, Paranature, or Hermetica, and becoming notorious for great advances in magical theory. Shadowrunning gives him a chance to learn things that you cant see from the ivory tower, and even if he becomes hideously rich hell simply become more choosy in his runs, picking ones that things that reveal secrets hes intersted in or making the world a better place in his eyes.
On runs, he prefers to use magicks that knock people out or disable their technology one of his favorites is an area-effect variant of Ram that destroys fragile objects while leaving such things as car frames, buildings, and pavement intact. Given the white lightning special effect associated with his more spectacular spells, Barry has dubbed this spell the Quickening after a special effect in an old flatvid show his sensei showed him years ago. Cats tries not to kill people, but hes not averse to using the Quickening on go-gangs driving motorcycles in combat and he gets downright vindictive if he sees people torturing felines. He tries to treat elementals with respect, a notion he picked up from his shamanic roommate in college: he never forces them to sacrifice force points for him, and spends services to heal them up when they take damage in combat.
My, but the Second Law of Thermodynamics is hungry today.
Are they still paranoid delusions if theres hard evidence supporting them?
Well, as Hippolyte Taine said: I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.
A corporate orphanage in New Jersey mysteriously (as far as the records were concerned) acquired the newborn baby they dubbed Darren Lewis on February 14, 2031. (The orphanage existed to take care of the children of employees who had died or were otherwise unable to take care of their kids in a corporation large enough to have its own extraterritorial housing and hospital.) Rumors of teenaged daughters of Important People suddenly reappearing after long absence shortly thereafter did not propagate very far, as policy suggested it would be a Bad Idea to speculate on the topic.
Darren proved highly intelligent and curious as a boy, and quickly grew estranged from his fellow orphans; he was uninterested in physical sports, and they had no idea why he would want to spend time learning how things work. His main friends as he grew up were occasional teachers, and the several cats that lived in the orphanage (as part of the policy of teaching the children responsibility in caring for other beings, as well as giving them companionship).
By the time he reached puberty, he was already on the academic fast track; when a standardized test showed strong magical aptitude on his part at age 14, he immediately acquired a new set of courses, and the corp began taking a great deal more interest in him. At 16, he went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Thaumaturgy on a scholarship from the corp.
Darren was placed in Hellblast Hall, the dormitory set aside for the magically active students, and was matched with a shamanic roommate as part of a program for learning about different viewpoints. This was where he acquired his future street name: after the umpteenth time his roommate discovered him apparently having a conversation with the cat that he kept in their dorm room against several regulations, he dragged Darren down to one of the thaumaturgy labs, performed a quick sand painting ritual, and informed Darren his new name was Talks-With-Cats.
Darren graduated from MIT&T with a Bachelor of Thaumaturgy in 2051 and immediately went back to the corp for his indentured servitude (as he referred to the terms of his scholarship). When they noticed his talent for dealing with computers, he was put onto the Thaumaturgica project, an effort to create a powerful hypertext set of Hermetic libraries with state-of-the-art spell design systems and magical project management utilities.
In early 2053, shortly after Thaumaturgica 1.0 shipped, he was transferred to a more shadowy project involving coordinating magical and technological military power. He barely had a chance to file a complaint before they brought him in for cyberware implants. Shortly thereafter, he discovered that the project included some new, experimental cyberware that was supposedly magic-friendly. Being skeptical about this, and already betrayed by the corp he had grown up in, Darren took a week of vacation (ostensibly to visit friends back in Boston), bought a ticket to Seattle with certified credit hed shunted around the Matrix to muddy his trail, and vanished into the shadows carrying a backpack containing a full set of the most recent version of Thaumaturgica (a batch of rating 8 Hermetic libraries), some orichalcum hed pilfered from the enchanting labs, his MIT&T class ring, and the flute he had learned to use in high school.
Since he didnt dare get a real job with his SIN, lest he be traced and reacquired by his former employer, he wandered around for a while looking for potential work he could cope with. The Morning Light Clinic seemed like a fairly good place in a run-down but decent neighborhood, and, introducing himself as Talks-With-Cats, he inquired as to whether they would have any use for a person who knew some healing magicks. Half an hour later, he was working in the back room with Dr. Shaky (who had long ago lost the jitters hed had when breaking free of alcoholism).
The orichalcum sold well on the streets, and the resulting nuyen set him up for a place to live while he got his bearings in the shadows. He got himself a respectable fake ID and took up feeding the neighborhood cats on his back porch, occasionally even healing injured felines brought to him by neighborhood children and taking the trouble to housebreak litters of kittens abandoned on his back porch. Extra nuyen from shadowrunners needing healing back at the Morning Light Clinic helped keep him afloat.
Dr. Shaky is a street doc who used to be an excellent cybersurgeon in a megacorporation. The stress of his job led him into alcoholism, and one day his finger slipped when implanting a headware pagerphone into high-level executive and he lobotomized the fellow. Not being completely dim, he continued the operation as if it were routine, and vanished before the fellow had a chance to wake up. (He claims that the exec made senior VP as a result of the lobotomy, though most people think hes kidding.) Dr. Shaky went home, gathered his valuables and personal possessions, and walked out of his life. He got established in a clinic fairly easily, where he acquired the name Dr. Shaky, and dried out over the course of a few years. When his hands were steady again, he began setting up his practice as a street doc in the back room of the Morning Light Clinic, where he patches up quite a lot of gangers and shadowrunners. Hes a middle-aged Caucasian man with a moustache and the beginnings of a beer gut, and doesnt look a bit like David Duchovny.
Jane Herbert is a talismonger with a shop that looks like a bomb hit it. Only she knows which things are raw materials and finished products, and has an unerring ability to pluck just the thing you want out of its pile or heap, if she has it in stock.
Elvis Johnson is a person at Ares who seems to have an interest in wiping out cockroach spirits. He is not a good contact for casually phoning up, but could be useful when matters of importance arise.
Oscar Three Bears is a Human Bear shaman, Initiated at least to grade 3, who does research into healing magicks. He knows a formula for helping people recover Essence lost from vampiric drain.
Slider is a minor-league decker, a protege of Artemis, who has since retired.
Sandra Brown is an investment banker and financial software analyst at Fuchi Investment Analysis; we suspect her of being a former shadowrunner, probably Artemis. She hired the team (through Slider) to track down her daughter, Andrea, when she went missing.
Andrea Brown (AKA Crystal Brown) is an employee of Renraku, apparently involved in something surreptitious since she has an apparent job in marketing a competitor to NERPS Cola, but also is involved in setting wards; apparently a former Astral Adept, she is now a houngan.
Sarah is a houngan whose mait tete is Erzulie; she lives in Cats neighborhood and knows some healing rites, including some for bringing someone back from being a drugged zombie. We know her through Oscar Three Bears.
Cats wants to make sure his Sorcery skill and Magic attribute keep apace of each other, as well as alternating upping his Charisma and Conjuring. Upping his stats is also important: he intends to burn a good deal of karma on his Quickness and Body to increase general survivability. He also wants to work on rounding out his skills to make it possible for him to survive any of the more common tests one meets on the metaplanes. (Spending enough on Enchanting to be able to create a Power Focus 6, shaped like an MIT&T class ring, and a Spirit Focus 6, shape to be determined, is also an interest.)
The Power Focus will require a MTh (6) test, base time 60 days, to design; hopefully, elementals and Astral Questing can help out with this roll. The enchanting test will be against a target number of 8 (8 + rating 6 - 4 for three arcana - 2 for virgin telesma). The ring will need a single unit of orichalcum (along with three arcana, and virgin telesma) to reduce the bonding cost to 1 karma. With 12 units of herbs (the Mercurian herb), metals (brass), and minerals (powdered sapphire?), the arcana should run about 12000¥; add in the orichalcum, and youve got 100,000¥ of base cost, plus whatever it takes to up Cats Enchanting and buy him enough skill or spells to do some wax casting with an orichalcum/brass radical alloy using his existing class ring as a template. Upping the Force to 8 means its unsafe to use it until Cats is a grade 3 Initiate, but he may not be ready for this until he hits grade 3 anyway.
In order for an Ally to be able to survive, it should have a Force of
at least 4 (to avoid being killed by hostile Watchers): thats 30
karma. The Sense Link is worth the 5 karma, and giving it Etiquette
(Magical) and Etiquette (Street) of 3 each is worth the 6. Three
forms (housecat, elven female, nekobaasu) cost 2 karma.
Wait until all mental stats are 6 before conjuring, since an Ally
gets the creators mental stats at time of creation. As usual for
Allies, it will have Immunity to Normal Weapons, Manifestation,
Telepathic Link, Sorcery, 3-D Movement, Aid Power (Force adding
to Magic attribute and Magic pool). Cats will probably pick the
metaplane of Earth for a home.
Possibilities for nekobaasu:
Physical Vehicle Mask (teach to Ally)
Improved Vehicle Invisibility (teach to Ally)
Urban Renewal replacement (damage all inanimate objects in range)