Frou-Frou is the street name of a female Troll of mostly Hispanic descent who works as a go-go dancer and bouncer at Maxine’s in the Ork Underground. She was born in 2034 as Ana Gonzales, human, and was raised in the suburbs of Seattle. Her mother, Maria, was one of the gushing, overly cutesy sorts who made a fine trophy housewife, and her usual way of convincing Ana to behave herself was to invoke the “Little Bunny Frou-Frou” song and caution her daughter about getting turned into a goon.
When Ana goblinized at age fourteen, her parents were somewhat distraught. She emerged from her goblinization coma to see her mother sitting at her bedside, looking very worried, saw her own transformed body, and asked Maria: “Am I a goon now?” Maria was racked with guilt.
Ana found that most of her former friends and classmates wanted nothing to do with her, and she began playing hooky and hanging out in rough neighborhoods where Trolls were more accepted. She developed a fair amount of talent as a street fighter, and after curb-stomping a few gang members who wouldn’t take no for an answer when asking her to join, began to be left alone. She took “Frou-Frou” for a street name because it appealed to her sense of humor and because she spent a lot of time bopping people on the head.
By age seventeen, she had a job as a bouncer at Maxine’s, and after seeing the kind of money the dancers raked in, discovered that there were a lot of men who liked to see a curvaceous Troll dance for them. She’s still dancing and working security there, and studying mixology while investing most of her tips.
Frou-Frou is quite intelligent as Trolls go, and tends to lapse into good English when addressed in good English (which irritates her a bit). She is a card-carrying member of Mothers of Metahumans, and is a metahuman rights activist as a hobby. (“It sure as drek don’t pay th’ bills!”)
Guru is a Caucasian Ork born in 2024. At the ripe old age of 30, he has a long white beard and a weathered face whose wrinkles all seem to come from laughing. He is eternally calm and friendly, and wanders around most of Seattle in his tie-dyed robes, carrying a gnarled driftwood staff that he knows how to use in a fight.
No one knows his original name, but he is quite well-read; one of his few possessions is a battered but durable chipreader that holds a respectable library in its storage memory. He is familiar with a vast array of philosophy and religion, and seems to get a great deal of pleasure out of helping other people figure out their problems.
He is one of the few people that shadowrunners ever turn to during their occasional psychological and spiritual crises, as he understands their need for confidentiality. He does not approve of violence, but tries to make people discover this on their own rather than hear dogma from him. He often inventes humorous, tongue-in-cheek philosophies to expound upon with a deadpan expression until people see how a subtle exaggeration of modern philosophies
Christy and Tanya Newton were born in 2030 as Siamese twins, Caucasian human, joined by a fused pelvis. The doctors pronounced their spinal cords fused and declared that separation was impossible. Growing up with only two legs and two arms between them was difficult, but by age seven they were each growing proficient in doing separate things despite being forced to be together: playing with information technology and virtual reality.
Christy, the one on their subjective right, showed more interest in the physical world, while Tanya showed more of a talent for abstracts. (A matter like this between identical twins led to some interesting questions about nature and nurture; one theory suggested that both of them were wired to be right-handed and Tanya’s adaptation to the lack of a right hand led to different brain development.) Christy became quite adept at working with tools, especially voice commands to waldos that were filling in for her missing left arm. Tanya developed her skills with chord keyboards and eye-tracking cursors. When their doctor pronounced them done with their growth at age 16 and 5’4”, they went out hunting for sponsorship for apprenticeships and cyberware loans.
In short, Tanya became a decker, while Christy became a rigger. They paid off their loans working on software engineering and assembly lines, and moved on out into the world of the independent contractor. They occasionally get tapped for shadowruns, with the pair of them sitting in a customized seat, both apparently dead to the world while in their own virtual realms.
Gung Ho Chan is a male Ork of Chinese descent, born to an Orkish couple in 2036. (His real first name is Nicholas, usually just Nicky.) As he grew up in a rough neighborhood, he discovered that most people expected Chinese people to know all sorts of dangerous martial arts. He had no access to any such teachers, but he studied cheesy martial arts films to cultivate poses and moves as bluffs to make people think twice before bothering him. This didn’t keep him out of fights entirely, and the school of hard knocks taught him a great deal about learning dirty fighting. He is now a self-proclaimed master of the martial art of Yuk Fu (“Fuck you too!”) and has a strong talent with improvised weapons. His personality is so intense that someone referred to him as “gung-ho”, and so now he goes by the name Gung Ho Chan.
Gung Ho is a Physical Adept, not yet Initiated, who enjoys a good scrap. A number of his powers work from a Geas of naming his martial arts moves, usually completely off the cuff. (“Punching stupid Humanis goon stance!” “Chair fu!”) He makes a fair amount of money as muscle for hire, and is often found on bodyguard duty. (B: 9, Q: 6, S: 8, I: 4, C: 4, W: 5, moderate allergy to something, Enhanced Reflexes 1, flare comp, hearing dampers, and Incantation geas on Killing Hands M, Smashing Blow, Missile Mastery, +2 dice Unarmed Combat, +2 dice Armed Combat, +2 dice Counterstrike. Armed Combat 6, Dirty Street Fighting 7, Throwing 4, Tactics: Land 2:4, Etiquette (Street) 4, Bike (2-wheel) 2:4, Athletics 3, Stealth (Urban) 4.)
Nick Evans is a big, burly Human handyman who could pass for an Ork if he had tusks. He’s a licensed plumber and electrician, and is pretty good with carpentry and other construction tasks. He used to live on the surface, but found that most clothing for Humans his size wasn’t that fashionable. During a tourist visit to the Ork Underground, he noticed that clothing sold in Ork shops looked a lot better on a man with his frame. Pretty soon, he was a regular, and got to know the other customers. This led to being invited to some parties, deciding that he really liked the Orkish zest for life, and he eventually just moved into the Ork Underground.
These days, he lives in a relatively large place in the Underground with his wife, the Orkish sister of one of his new friends down in the tunnels. He’s recognized as an excellent citizen, since he’s done a lot of work on the ventilation shafts and power systems in the Underground. He lives a hundred yards or so from the underground parking garage where he keeps the van holding most of his plumbing and electrical supplies. As a plumber, he makes a fair amount of money, which he often uses to improve his neighborhood in the Underground.
David Walking Bear is an Amerindian Troll who grew up in Seattle. As a child, he had a particular liking for teddy bears, and at age ten, he heard the calling of Bear... a Bear who lived in the city, and hugged people and healed them. Teddy Bear, the urban Bear totem. (+2 dice on healing, +1 die for City spirits, -1 die on all spells that cause physical damage to living beings, Willpower (5) roll not to go to aid those in need of healing or comfort.) He is a very calm, friendly individual, and spends much of his time travelling about the metroplex working healing magics for people who can’t afford normal medical care, and occasionally working healing on the mind through counselling.
David is highly talented at making teddy bears, and he uses them as the form for his creations when he invents magical formulae. He sometimes does enchanting work, but only to create healing spell category foci in the shape of teddy bears, using all-natural materials like sheepskin with flax for stuffing. (The bears usually have onyx eyes made from appropriate alchemical radicals, herbal radicals in the stuffing, and a metallic valentine-shaped heart at the very center made from copper. The total cost of radicals is 2200¥ per Rating Point, giving a first bonding cost of one karma, since it’s virgin telesma, an Enchanting TN equal to the rating. Thus, with his appropriate Enchanting concentration at 6, he can create 4 rating 3 foci a month, 3 rating 4, 2 rating 5, or 1 rating 6, normally selling for 75,000¥ per rating point. He has formulae for all these bears.) He charges full price for his magical teddy bears normally, but will sometimes only charge materials and High lifestyle cost for people he considers to be doing an unusually good job of making the world a better place.
“Can you open that window for me? The police have Daddy’s prints on file.”Jenny Ellison is an Elven street samurai of great repute, having been running the shadows for fifteen years. Ten years ago (in 2044), she married a human physical adept cat burglar named Chris Hanley; he took her last name. Eight years ago (in 2046), they had a contraceptive failure, and decided to take some time off for family, and the better part of a year later, Jenny delivered a little Elven girl they named Michelle.
Their running team coped with the whole mess fairly well; the decker found himself put upon for babysitting duty while the parents were out breaking the law, and took up providing puzzle games to keep Michelle occupied when he was in the Matrix. She always remembers to call him by his street name, Iconoclast, rather than “Uncle Kyose”, when in a shadowrunning context.
Michelle has never had formal schooling, but can run a tortoise deck quite well, is quite literate, and is very accustomed to looking things up for herself. She can break into computers and buildings equally well, and her deft fingers are particularly adept at picking mechanical and electronic locks; the team have had her loading clips and cleaning guns since she was five. Chris says she’s showing signs of talent as a physical adept.
Her parents refuse to take her on runs where firefights are expected, but she has a lot of experience breaking into places as part of standard legwork, and is accomplished at the “I’m just a kid, mister!” act. Since they’ve had to explain the violent side of life to her, she believes that the world is an amazingly dangerous place and that people who want to get in the way of the Neo-Anarchist way of life are “bad people”, and she could lisp out “Information wants to be free!” before before she mastered “I’m a little teapot.”
Chris and Jenny are not great parents, but a combination of benevolent neglect and relatively disciplined role models (disciplined enough to be successful shadowrunners!) have kept Michelle’s socialization roughly on track. The girl is unlikely to have any idea what to do in formal schooling if she winds up there.
She’s never been to a meet in person, but Michelle has eavesdropped on enough of them as they were recorded by the team decker to know how they go. If something happens to the team, she just might come sashaying into a shadow bar to hire some runners to rescue them.
Name: Earth Dreamers
Limitations: Shamans only
Strictures: Oath. Belief. Fraternity. Material Link. Attendance. Karma.
Resources/Dues: Middle. The group contributes 1000¥ per month to the upkeep of their resources, and has a nice medicine lodge to work out of in Jennifer’s back yard.
Customs: The Earth Dreamers are a sort of impromptu thinktank of people studying the inner paths of magic for the benefit of the world. As such, they put in a great deal of time in their researches. They usually meet on Thursday nights to talk about their work, and require meeting for rituals every full moon, when they summon a Great Form nature spirit from an area they’re studying to converse with it.
Her medicine lodge doubles as her bedroom: a large canopy bed, hung with dreamcatchers (her personal choice for creating spell formulæ) and replete with silk sheets and pillows created entirely by hand, from the silkworm cocoons and dyes to the finished product.
Her big-time project with the Earth Dreamers is searching for the connection between human beings and the land they live in, seeking the symbolic connections that would help people understand that they take part in a larger world than themselves. Helen’s theory is that something was lost from the human culture, but if the right archetypal symbols can be found and subtly introduced back into the culture, it should be possible to raise the consciousness of the population.
Helen knows Talks-With-Cats from a search for someone who could heal up a wounded Talis Cat that wound up on her doorstep.
Shamans who hear the call of Talis Cat explore the world of dreams and nightmares, prowling the depths of the unconscious.
Favored Environment: urban or forest.
Advantages: Shamans following Talis Cat gain two extra dice to Illusions, mental Manipulations, and mental Detection spells, and one extra die on conjuring spirits from one of the environments talis cats live in (urban or forest, player’s choice at character creation).
Disadvantages: Talis Cat is oriented strongly toward bringing out inner power through realizing dreams, and shamans with this totem have a two dice penalty to Combat spells and damaging Manipulations.
She brings home the bacon by working sometimes as a landscaper and sometimes in toxic cleanup work, analysing waste sites and choosing plants to grow there that will suck up the chemicals, permitting the toxic compounds to be disposed of safely. (Upon occasion, something useful can be extract, as in the case of heavy metals in the soil.)
Favored Environment: Forest
Advantages: +2 dice for Manipulation spells. +2 dice for conjuring forest and river spirits.
Disadvantages: -2 dice for Combat spells.
As a contrast to the Twilight Brigade, they have no trouble with getting their meat replaced with machinery when it makes them better at their jobs.