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THE COMPLETE TROG

CONTENTS
& CREDITS
INTRODUCTION 5 TRUE BLUE TROG 60 GARY GRAY 101
KATYANA BURGESHKOVA; KAT BERG 102
JACKPOINT 6 WORKING AS A TROG IN... 64
DR. WILCOX GRAHAM 104
BELINDA 8 JAPANACORPS 66
ORXANNE 106
MITSUHAMA COMPUTER TECHNOLOGIES 66
WHAT ARE YOU? 12 KING ALFONSO XIII OF SPAIN 107
RENRAKU 67 Spanish Identity 108
LIVING AS A TROG IN... 20 SHIAWASE 69 The King and the Weaver 109
THE BLACK FOREST TROLL REPUBLIC 20 ALEXANDER MONAGHAN 110
EVO 70
Breeding of a kingdom 20 BALAJI PADIYAR 113
AZTECHNOLOGY 72
Troll Politics 21 RONALD DESPAIN 114
The Troll Thing 21 HORIZON 73
Shadows of Freiburg 21 ANNE PENCHYK 116
ARES 74
The Awakened Black Forest 22 The Face of Justice 118
SAEDER-KRUPP 76
GOING NATIVE (NAN) 23 Equality 118
WUXING 78 Prosperity 118
CHICAGO BLUES 27 Immigration 119
NEONET (HA HA) 80
DUBAI 28 Religious Engagement 119
SIERRA, INC. 81 Shadows Edge 120
ATLANTA KINDA SORTA 30
SPINRAD INDUSTRIES 84 Orzet glossary 120
SEATTLE STOMPING GROUNDS 33 Pronunciation guide 120
MAERSK 85
NEO-TOKYO 35 Select Words 121
UNIVERSAL OMNITECH 85 Useful Phrases 121
NAGASAKI ONI 36
LONE STAR 86
KINGDOMS OF NIGERIA AND TROG ENEMIES 122
THE CONGO TRIBAL LANDS 37 DOCWAGON 87
HUMANIS POLICLUB 122
ORKS OF AMAZONIA 38 TELESTRIAN 87
HUMAN NATION 124
HERE BE TRLLS! ATLANTEAN FOUNDATION 88
PALADIN
(SCANDINAVIAN UNION) 40 GRID OVERWATCH DIVISION 89 HEALTH AND MEDICAL GROUP 125
AVALDSNES 42 SEATTLE GOVERNMENT 91 ALAMOS 20K 126
YAKUTA TOLD BILOXI TECHNICAL INSTITUTE 94 KENNETH BRACKHAVEN 127
ME THIS PLACE WAS SO COLD 44
A Parable 49 TROG HEROES 98 UCAS SENATOR CARTER BANES 128

PARADISE FOR A PAIR OF DICE 49 ATLANTA MAYOR SHEILA MARTIN 129


A CALL TO ARMS 98
PARLEZ-VOUS FRANCAIS? 51 SAFE COMMUNITIES
Translated from Orzet 03-19-79 98
ORGANIZING PROJECT 130
FRONT RANGE FREE ZONE 53 SUZIE BLUE 98
MUMBAI 56 BULK DEAL 100 TROG RUNNERS 132
BOSTONS WALL 57 SMEDLEY PEMBRENTON III 101 2XL 132

2 CONTENTS & CREDITS >>


Clockwork 134 SOUTHERN GUARD 164 Trog Leader 188
William Bull MacCallister 135 TROG ROCK RECORDING 168 Trog Networker 189
Beaker 138 Negative Qualities 189
Snopes 139 BIG TECH 170
Bad Credit 189
Butch 141 CASCADE TRANSIT 172 Elevated Stress 189
Sounder 142
CARIBBEAN PROTECTIVE SERVICES 172 Force of Chaos 189
Sunshine 144
YOMI NO KIOKU 174 Trog Traitor 189
Qin Sledgehammer Xio 145
Jane Macgyver Tomlin 147 MOTHERS OF METAHUMANS 175 LIFE MODULES 189
Smiley 148 Formative Years 189
SONS OF SAURON 176
The Janitor 149 Ork/Troll Slum Dweller 189
Jimmy Sticker Wilkinson 150 BIG BROTHERS 177
Black Forest Baby 190
Loki 151 TROLL AND ORK Teen Years 190
Stockwell 153 LEADERSHIP ORGANIZATION 178
Trog Ganger 190
Juanita Wynward Gonzalez 155
LARRYS KIDS 179 Survivor 190
MAKING A TROG RUNNER 156
TROG BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION 181 Further Education 190
Cynthia Spook Fields 156
Biloxi Technical Institute (65 Karma) 190
Jon Mist Powell 157 ORK RIGHTS COMMITTEE 182
Real Life 191
Nancy Blacklight Barnes 157
Kim Mystique Petteys 158 EVERYTHING TROG 184 Trog Professional 191
Trog Rebel 191
Jack Spades Lindstrom 158 GEAR 184
Andy Burner Wu 159
Antenna Grill 184
Anthony Tusks Tortenelli 160
BMW Trollhammer 184
Brody Speedbump Alexander 160 Folding MetaChair 184
Jill Protean Andrews 161 Ford Titan 184
SHADOWRUN: ANARCHY Horn Compartment 185
TROG CHARACTERS 162 Osmium Mace 185
Gang-Level Game 162 Reinforced Rope 185
Jamie Garrison 162 Rockblood Old School Line 186
Amy Chu 162 Rockblood Signature Armored Shirt 186
Street Runner Game 162 Troll Roarer 187
Wendy Wilson 162 Yerz Kit 187
Mike Grabowski 162 QUALITIES 188
Alice Nichols 163 Positive Qualities 188
Vince Finn 163 Black Forest Native 188
Guinevere McDonald 163 Community Connection 188
Prime Runner Game 163 Delicate Fingers 188
Nicole Diomonte 163 hUman Lifespan 188
Paul Getz 163 Nasty Trog 188
Trog Artisan 188
UNITED WE STOMP 164 Trog Historian 188

<< CONTENTS & CREDITS 3


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

2017 The Topps Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. First Printing by Catalyst Game Labs, an imprint of Find us online:
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4 CONTENTS & CREDITS >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

INTRODUCTION Then the book shifts to some of the people and


organizations that can affect ork and troll lives. Trog
Heroes looks at some of the orks and trolls who have
You say trog because you want to get atten-
risen to positions of prominence in the world, gath-
tion. You want to be noticed, and not in a good
ering power and influence in ways that can advance
way. You want to get a reaction. You want to
make people angry. The word is there to make trog rights and prosperity. On the other side of the
people hurt. coin are Trog Enemies, the people and groups who
Thats why trogs are taking it back. Will it make have some massive problems with orks and trolls
people angry? Great. Theyre not interested in and are engaged in all kinds of work to make them
keeping people happy, only in increasing justice. Is miserable. The resistance to these groups does not
it insulting? Fine. Orks and trolls will apply the name have to be an individual effort; United We Stomp
to themselves and dare you to come up with some- looks at some of the ork- and troll-centric societies
thing worse. Think its your word? Not anymore. that have emerged to help trogs build strength in
The Complete Trog is a detailed guide to how orks numbers and counter some of the attacks that the
and trolls live in the Sixth World and work to claim world seems to regularly throw their direction.
their piece of it, facing all the obstacles that ev- Finally, Everything Trog presents gear, qualities,
ery Sixth World resident confronts as well as plen- and Life Modules that are focused on orks and
ty that are particular to them. The book provides trolls, providing more character options and ways
the inside information about the people, places, to make distinctive and unique trog characters.
and organizations that shape the lives of orks and With this information, orks and trolls will be
trolls, with tips and advice about how to make the better equipped to march their way headlong into
right friends and avoid the worst enemies. the forces aligned against them. They dont have
The book begins with What Are You?, detailing to hide, they dont have to shrink back. Being a
how orks and trolls live at the end of the 2070s trog is no longer about being ashamed or pushed
and the roots of trog pride. Living as a Trog in into the shadows. Its about being better than peo-
provides information on several locales across ple think you are and making sure they know it.
the world, from those that are dominated by or Even the people who use trog as an insult
supportive of trogs to those that any trog would know that orks and trolls are strong. The Complete
move away from if they could afford it. Following Trog shows the full range of that strength and helps
on that idea, Working as a Trog in covers some of players and gamemasters fill the Sixth World with
the major corporations in the world and how they richer ork and troll charactersand plenty of shad-
treat the trogs that work for them, either as regular ow work, since each chapter is full of plot hooks.
employees or shadowrunners. Jump in and feel the trog pride!

THE COMPLETE TROG CREDITS


Writing: David Ellenberger, Jason M. Hardy, James Interior Art: Andreas AAS Scroth, Benjamin
Meiers, Scott Schletz, C.Z. Wright Giletti, Bruno Balixa, Echo Chernik, Celeste Hansen,
Daniel Reneau, Donald Crank, James Mosingo,
Editing: R.L. King Kristen Plescow, Phil Hilliker, Rob Ruffolo, Victor
Manuel Leza Moreno, Victor Perez Corbella, Gordon
Art Direction: Brent Evans Bennetto, Tony Shasteen

Cover Art: Victor Manuel Leza Moreno Interior Layout: Matt Shaken Steak Heerdt

Original Cover Art: Victor Moreno Shadowrun Line Developer: Jason M. Hardy

Cover Layout: Matt Shaken Steak Heerdt Playtesting & Proofing: Chuck Burhanna, Raymond
Croteau, Bruce Ford, Mason Hart, Francis Jose, David
Iconography: Nigel Sade Dashifen Keys, Robert Price

<< CONTENTS & CREDITS 5


JACKPOINT
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> To hold a people in oppression,supposed


you have to convince them first that they are
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Current Time: 17 Aug 2079,


0858 hrs
TRANSCRIPT OF CRIMETIMES ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION SPEECH
Thank you. Thank you. I really appreciate this. I know it may not sound like it, but I do. Thats just
my voice. Not built to sound happy, you know? But I am. I appreciate you letting me in to this hall of
fame. Hell, I appreciate you letting me into the damn building in the first place.
<mild laughter>
No really, I wasnt sure I was going to get in. I thought I dressed pretty mild, thought I didnt look
threatening, but I still seen some of those security guards scoping me up and down, and getting
nervous the longer they looked. They glanced at each other, and I could practically hear their
thoughts, I could hear them, and they were saying to themselves, This trog motherfucker really
supposed to be here?
<gasps>
Oh, what, did I say something wrong? Tell me thiswhich word didnt you like? You dont want
me cursing? Fine, I can do that. But was it the other word? Was it trog? Yeah, that was the one.
Werent expecting to hear someone say that, were you? Well, I can say it. Its my word. Our word. I
can say it when I want. The rest of youno. Not yours. Those of you who werent saying it before,
you keep on not saying it. And theres some of you out there who keep saying it and shouldnt be.
You shouldnt. Its not yours, so you should stop. Me, Ill say it whenever I want.
But I got off track. The bouncers, they let me in even though they were suspicious, and Im
grateful. Because I didnt always get into places, right? Thats how it is for all of us, when we were
young and struggling, we tried to get in places and play shows, and we couldnt always get in. And
thats all right. If I cant attract ten thousand people to my show, I shouldnt be playing no stadiums,
and I got that. Thats cool.
But thats not the only thing that keeps us out, neh? There were times, when I was young, I could
play a club that didnt have no fire systems or even a good floor, a place that might collapse at any
minute, and I could draw hundreds. Hundreds! I could pack the place. Then Id go to some of the
other places, the places that were, you know, up to code, and Id try to play, and theyd say no. No,
dont play here. You want to know what they told me? You want to know what theyd say? Theyd say
the insurance was too high. Thats what theyd say. Theyd give themselves cover that way, make it
sound like its out of their hands. Wed love to have you play. Insurance is just too damn high.
Why is it too high? Because people out there think that you get a bunch of trogs together, we
gonna break stuff. Thats it. So you keep us out of the nice spots, you keep us down, because you
think were not civilized enough to let in. I could draw five hundred people and make fifty nuyen,
while some nice elf girl with a guitar gets two hundred people in a good spot and gets paid three
hundred nuyen. And then you wonder why we seem so angry.
But Im not angry. Im here. You let me in. And Im grateful, Im truly am. What I want to tell you,
though, is that there are so many other great ones out there. Young kids, with big tusks and thick
horns, and they are laying out their pain and their joys in ways you never heard before. They are
making music you cant imagine, because they are living lives you cant imagine. Its amazing stuff,
man. Itll blow your mind. But first you gotta hear it. So stop making excuses. Stop being scared.
You go out there when this is over and remember that CrimeTime said something simple. He said
let them in. Just like you let me in here. You got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Listen to
them. Let them in.
BELINDA
Arthur ground his teeth together and imagined how this chummer. Mr. Theo will give you your moneyand your girl.
douchebags single silver tusk would weather a solid punch. Well go our separate ways, and never the two shall ever meet
The fingers of his right hand twitched instinctively to form a again, et cetera. He held his hands out like a pair of scales. He
fist, and his hand blazed with pain. His autoinjectors hadnt took a deep breath and lowered one hand. Or
kicked inthey must have been damaged during the fight A popping sound drifted from Arthurs jaw as teeth-grind-
that broke his handwhich meant no painkillers. He growled ing turned to jaw-clenching. His tusks pricked his lip, and he
in aggravation and pain. tasted copper. Theodosius, his fixer, paired him with a new
The douchebag, a well-dressed ork, grinned at Arthurs team for a personal mission, hed said. However, when secu-
growl, and his tusk flashed scarlet with the nearby stoplights rity showed up exactly when and where they were supposed
reflection. This is going to go one of two ways. He clasped to deliver their package, he knew it was no coincidence. Ar-
his manicured hands together. One, you cooperate with us. thur barely escaped, and when he got home, he found his
We go down to meet Mr. Theo like a big, happy family. He place trashed. Blind with rage, Arthur had gone for his spare
pays you the money he owes you Ruger to chase after themhe had lost his original in the fight
Arthur wiped his left hand over the sanded-down stubs of that broke his handbut theyd taken it. Then his gaze had
his horns and punched his fist into his thigh. Enough! Stop landed on the door: hanging open, half off its hinges. Belinda
talking! Where is she? was gone. Arthur shook with rage at the memory.
Im sorry, what now? if it does happen that way, then things will go a little
You trashed my place after I figured out that your boss is differently. Well beat you bloody, maybe therell be some
a double-crossing piece of drek! gunplay. But however we play, Im sure it will be exciting.
Silvertusk looked askance at his associate. An eyepatch that We wont do it here in beautiful Downtown. Well need to go
glowed with the All-Seeing Eye in shifting colors covered one of somewhere less He pondered theatrically, sensitive to
her eyes, and she stared into space with the other. If her apathy violence than Downtown.
concerned Silvertusk, he didnt show it. No worries, Silvertusk Arthur glared at Silvertusk, ignoring the theatrics and lost
patted the air, his tone of voice melting to honey. No worries, in thoughts of the impact of fist on face, the crunch, the spit

8 >> BELINDA <<


BY CZ WRIGHT

flying his hand twitched again, and pain shot up his arm. could get to the street market on the far side of Downtown,
Silvertusk jabbed a thick finger at Arthur, snapping him out he stood a chance to lose them. He switched his wired reflex-
of his daydream. But one thing will remain the same, no mat- es on and zig-zagged for a few city blocks before risking a
ter how you choose. Can you guess what it is? glance over his shoulder. Eyepatch was quickand too close.
Arthur locked eyes with him. Silvertusk struggled to keep up, blood falling from his nose
Silvertusk shouted in response to his silence. Youre onto the front of his shirt. Arthur saw no sign of the police.
entirely wrong, son! He darted close, and his voice fell to Eyepatch raised her hand toward him, and Arthur sprint-
a hush. His breath was sharp. What will remain the same is ed around a corner. A patrol car emerged from an alleyway
the fact that, like it or not, we are all going to meet with Mr. directly in his path. He couldnt stop and half-flew, half-rolled
Theo. Just as youd agreed. Just like professionals. He leaned across the hood and sprawled off the other side of the car,
closer, whispering, Just consider whether youd like to be a leaving behind an extensive series of dents.
willing Eyepatch slipped around the car like water and barked a
Arthur smashed his head into Silvertusks nose. laugh before disappearing around the nearest corner. Lying
Eyepatch bolted upright unnervingly fast and shoved her around wont get her back, chummer!
open palm toward Arthur. With a soft thup, a projectile burst Enraged and panicked at the ease with which he could
out of her palm, and a small, silicone-fletched dart stuck into have just been shot, Arthur roared and kicked a deep dent in
his armored vest. Silvertusk fell backward onto his ass, and the driver-side door. Someone inside the car swore, and the
blood gushed from his nose. The gunshot tripped sensors in driver-side door jostled violently but did not open. He scram-
a nearby light post; a red light flared from the top of the pole, bled to his feet just in time to see a police officer emerge from
and a siren shrieked to life. the passenger side. The elf aimed at Arthur and yelled at him
Arthur glanced down at the dart, up at the flashing light, to freeze. Silvertusk, wiping at his face, rounded the corner
and bolted. If there were gunshot sensors here, there would and collided into the officers back.
be police crawling all over here in no time. Plus, he didnt Arthur took his chance to disappear around the nearest
want to stick around to discover what was in those darts. If he corner. The sounds of their fight faded as Arthur hurried away.

>> BELINDA << 9


He zig-zagged for a few blocks and kept careful watch for Arthurs eyes flew open, and his heart hammered in his chest.
Eyepatch or the police. Not runningno one trusted a run- His thoughts struggled to gain traction on the slippery bat-
ning trollbut hurrying. He switched off his wired reflexes, tlefield of stimulants versus Narcoject. It was dark. He could
just in case. hear a murmur of conversation somewhere ahead of him, and
Downtowners unaccustomed to anxious trolls in their shushing sounds all around. He lay on his left side.
midst, running or stationary, began to pay more attention to The rush bounding through him slowly started to fade but
Arthur. He crossed the street abruptly and headed toward had little effect on the pain scalding up his arm from each
the back side of a shopping center, where he hoped to put movement of the couch. He realized that he lay on the bench
some distance between him and the cops with fewer curi- seat of a moving vehicle. The shushing sound came from
ous eyes on him. passing tires on pavement. Bonds lashed his armshe hissed
Something flashed past him, and he heard a small thwack, a breath at the white, blinding pain when he tried to move
making him start. It took him a step to realize two things. First, themand his ankles. He caught his breath and gently tested
hed just been shothe caught sight of a dart waggling from the bond at his ankles; whatever theyd tied him with grudg-
the strap of his vestand second, his mistake: a long, unbro- ingly found its elasticity under pressure.
ken row of stores walled him in on the left; a high fence ran The conversation originated from the seat in front of him.
the length of the shopping center to his right. He was penned Whether there were more seatsand more peopleahead
in. Because hed lost his pack of gear mid-flight from the job, of that, he didnt know, but it sounded in a smaller space.
he had no hope of scaling that fence. He activated his wired The elasticity of his bonds told him they hadnt expect-
reflexes and broke into a run. ed him to wake up. The rush that woke him suggested his
Another dart struck his boot heel. Luck wouldnt last for- wonky autoinjectors had kicked in, but because he had no
ever, but it at least lasted until now. He crashed through the AR feedthey must have grabbed his commhe couldnt
closest door and burst into a fabric store. The lone employ- say for certain. Somewhere in the far distance, a sonorous
ee dashed into an office and slammed the door, probably to horn called. The horn announced the last ferry and meant
call the cops. Arthur hurried through the cramped aisles to- the hour was late, and based on its direction, this vehicle
ward the open front doorway, but the thick dermal deposits was headed out of town.
of his bare arms snagged the loose ends of brightly colored One of the voices grew loud enough to understand.
fabric and yanked the bolts of cloth from the shelves. Arthur last thing I need! And just see if he doesnt come crawling
stormed ahead, distracted as he tried to rip material from his back to me once hes out.
arms and avoid tripping as the bolts unfurled like banners. Arthur recognized Mr. Theos voice.
Out on the sidewalk, a dwarf holding a spray bottle and a Rage boiled over. Arthur curled up and slammed his feet
rag screamed as Arthur exploded through the freshly cleaned, into the seat in front of him. The vehicle swerved, throw-
practically invisible glass door and fell on the sidewalk. Eye- ing Arthur from one side to the other. The seat dropped out
patch hopped through the hole in the front door, smiled pleas- from under him; they were airborne. A quarter-second later,
antly at the dwarf, and shot a dart into Arthurs arm. they were rolling. He screamed as his hand smacked into
Arthur flung the dart away, struggled to his feet, and sprint- something mid-fall. Inertia threw Arthur down on the seat,
ed for an alley across the street, leaving torn fabric and glass flung him into the ceiling, and plastered him against the
shards in his wake. A few long strides into a narrow alleyway, side door. Metal groaned, glass crunched, and the vehicle
and Arthur could feel the chemical working on him. No! He slammed to a stop.
stumbled and fell to the oil-spattered pavement Thin light swam through the dust and the thick spider-web-
Quick, light footsteps approached, and Eyepatch ap- bing that was the broken windshield. Arthurs head spun. His
peared in his line of sight, speaking quietly into a comm. I arm shaking, he pulled his hand up to assess the damage.
need a pickup. Abe got himself arrested, and I dont have the From the back of his hand, several of his bones stuck up at a
keys. thirty-something-degree angle. Fibers of aluminum bone lac-
She clicked the call off, peered over Arthur, and grinned. ing stuck out from the bones; a few shards of bone rotated
You ever stop to think maybe youd get more done if you freely on the thin aluminum threads. He cradled his mangled
werent raging all the time? I mean, it was a fun chase and all, hand to his torso and tried to avoid looking at it.
but we couldve settled this earlier He snapped the bond at his ankles. He wanted to pull
The drug snaked its way through Arthurs bloodstream. his wrists apart, but the hot, ringing pain wouldnt allow it. A
Arthur strained and panted as he held his head up to look at groan and a cough floated on the dust from not far away. With
her. Where is she?! effort, he sat up in the crushed vehicle. Eyepatch was uncon-
Eyepatch snorted a laugh and shook her head. Youre scious in the drivers seat, blood trickling down her face. Mr.
gonna burn out like a headlight, pal. Theo crawled out the side window. Arthur dove forward and
Arthurs head fell back with a bounce. He passed out to clawed for his leg, but missed. Arthur kicked viciously at the
the crunch of glass. door until he made a hole large enough for him to clamber
out into the night after him.
As Arthur scrambled to his feet, Mr. Theo tugged his jacket
straight and smoothed his silver hair on the other side of the

10 >> BELINDA <<


smoking wreck of a cheap SUV. The weak light glinted off his pierced the darkness, askew and too close to the ground
polished horns. I knew something like this would happen! cast Arthurs hulking silhouette over Mr. Theo, who sat in
Where is she?! Arthur roared. Then he rushed the troll. the dirt with his arms tied behind his back. Arthur slipped his
Mr. Theo flicked his hand toward Arthur, a small motion. re-acquired commlink into his pocket. Im glad youre awake.
A visible magical force coalesced around Arthur and en- Hold very still. Ive only got one good hand. Arthur nicked
gulfed him. A sound like a muffled exploding firework blast- the gag with his knife, and with a sharp tug, pulled it free of
ed all around him, and the magical power spat him out. He Mr. Theos tusks. Now: Tell me where she is.
flew through the air and landed on his back, his ears ringing. Mr. Theos mouth worked before he spoke. For Ghosts
The fall sent up a cloud of dust and kicked the breath from sake, where is who?
his lungs. Arthur shook his head. Wrong answer.
Mr. Theo glared down at Arthur, who gasped for air on the I dont know who she is, you He stopped short. His
ground, sending clouds into the cold night. Against my bet- nostrils flared, and his mouth hung open. Wait. Are you
ter judgment, I hired you for this mission. Nothing negative talking about your fucking hamster?
cropped up in your background check, youd performed well Arthurs knuckles turned white around the knife hilt when
so far, and I mistakenly assumed from this that you wouldnt an AR message from his landlord chirruped and flashed to life
be a problem. Maybe the rest of your team kept you on a in his field of vision, just as it was programmed ever since he
leash. He spat a gob of blood on the ground. Now that I see missed his rent payment three months ago.
you in action, I realize: Youre green as grass. Found your Belinda in my cupboard. You owe me a box of
Your job was simple. But you fought with security, and Crunchy Soy-Os. Come get her before tomorrow, or Im having
your team got arrested. He squared off and glowered down gerbil stew for breakfast.
his nose at Arthur. And who is to blame for picking a fight
on the job? The mild-mannered human? The taciturn elf? Or
would you instead blame the ill-tempered, raging, maniac
tuskerhe spat the wordwho gives all trolls a bad name? Arthurs thoughts swirled in a maelstrom, and he ached for
He growled. I know who Id pick. the control of action: to break bones, crumple them beneath
He held his hands open, side by side before him, then his fist, give in to the urge to rend, smash, and punch, teeth
pulled his hands apart and his palms up in two sharp moves. bared, heart galloping, blood coursing a rumble shook his
As Mr. Theos hands lifted, a magical ocean wave broke in throat and exploded into a roar. Shes a chinchilla!
the heavy shadows underneath Arthur, and black, rising froth There was a small click, and the headlights burned out,
jolted him into the air. Blood flowed from Mr. Theos nose, plunging them into inky darkness.
and he wiped it impatiently with the back of a hand, smearing Youre gonna burn out like a headlight, pal.
blood across his mouth. Arthur froze, panting. Cold realization crackled through
Arthur struggled, but the break roiled beneath and kept him. He had started this whole mess when he overlooked Be-
him a quarter-meter from the ground. linda. What if, lost in rage, hed stepped on her? His wide eyes
You listen to me, and you listen well, Mr. Theo stepped took in the dark shapes of his bloodied fixer and the wrecked
closer and sneered, displaying bloodied teeth and tusks. In SUV. Where would breaking Mr. Theo leave Arthur? Without a
my business, you behave with manners. I was willing to pay fixer, with his brand-new team still in the can, without income,
you everything I negotiated with your team if it would keep and with a new home out on the street for him and Belinda.
you off my back. Plus, if you made it out of that, I figured, you Maybe he wouldnt even be able to care for her anymore!
deserved it. But I will not be forced to watch my back just A fresh idea flowed through the cracks in his obstinacy.
because you choose to behave like a typical, low-life trog! He returned the knife to its sheath and glared down his arm,
Mr. Theo turned away and wiped the blood from his face extending a finger at Mr. Theos face. Ill make you a deal,
with a handkerchief. He muttered to himself as he drew Ar- he said in fierce, measured tones, I wont try to kill you if
thurs Ruger from his breast pocket, You see something you you agree that you need a new bodyguard. He dropped his
dont like, and you lose control and turn into a complete, rag- arm and narrowed his eyes. Maybe Ill even pick up some
ing lunatic. manners.
The crunch of something heavy on the ground and a
change in his levitation spell made Mr. Theo turn just in time
for Arthur to land a roundhouse kick to his face with a scream
like a lunatics. Arthur hummed the second verse to Nerve Tonics latest hit.
Thanks to Mr. Theos VIP box tickets, he had been able to catch
the sold-out opener of their thirtieth anniversary tour. And all
Arthur had to do was wear an expensive suit and look intim-
A few minutes later, Mr. Theos head lolled as he regained idating. He held up the screwdriver like a microphone for the
his senses. His jaw worked on a tight gag of brightly colored chorus, and when the melody dropped into the bridge, he
fabric. Another wide strip of cloth blindfolded him. turned the tool back to tightening the screws of Belindas new
Light from the headlightsa pair of dust-filled beams that (and very expensive) Deluxe WallCrawler Tunnel Set.

>> BELINDA << 11


THE COMPLETE TROG

WHAT ARE YOU?

Heres the gist of this letter, and if you take


> I had a long and interesting discussion recently with a
friend of a friend. After our conversation, she asked me nothing else away from this packet of paper,
if I could get guest access for her and her sister to run please take this: You are fantastic kids, Ive had
something past you all for the sake of thoughtful inquiry. an absolute blast witnessing you grow into adults,
(Her words, not mine) I love you guys, and its been my pleasure to be
Play nice. This is bound to ruffle a few feathers. your dad. Dont ever forget that.
> 2XL Now, that said, Ive also seen you do and say
some questionable things in recent months.
> Thanks. My sister (Lilith) and I recently moved out of the
house. It wasnt our blood parents house, it was our > Ooo, questionable. Sounds kinky.
sort-of adoptive fathers place. We grew up there, having > Slamm-0!
moved in maybe twelve years ago. Hes eccentric, but
down-to-earth at the same timelets just keep it at hes Id like to see if I can help straighten your per-
weird, and its a weird relationship we have. Im not spective regarding history and your place in it. I
giving much more info than that to protect his privacy, feel as though I owe you the help youll need as
but just keep in mind that he is not what Id call typical. you step out into the world. Ill see if I can pass
He sent us a letter recently. A multiple-page along some things Ive learned over the years
handwritten letter on paper with ink. (It was crazy I think maybe some things you and I share perhaps
it must be some kind of end-of-life exercise mingled with more in common than the rest of the kids. May-
a romantic nostalgia for a period he never experienced. be Im just a blowhard. Ill leave it up to you to
My sister thinks hes just an old-fashioned weirdo.) I had decide. Why do I even need to write to you? Im
to dictate it to put it up here, because I wasnt going to rambling.
abuse you with scans of his handwriting. Regardless, in Basically, youve learned so much since you ar-
the letter he made a few points on which my sister and I, rived and Im pleased with how you conduct your-
ahem, vehemently disagree. I wont tell you which of us selves most of the time, but I felt there were still a
thinks what, but instead, Ill take my inspiration from him few points I could pass along. Things no one told
and wait to know your thoughts first. me; things I had to figure out for myself.
> Chiron
First, I should give you a little background: Im
what youd call a second-generation ork. I was
Surprise! Ill admit that I would love to see the born in 2035 to a pair of loving humans. They
looks on your faces when that courier dropped off were surprised, I think, to learn that their baby
a thick envelope. Tell me what you thought it was! boyon whose conception, gestation, and birth
Jury duty? A summons? Some eccentric relative theyd spent at least a years salary in medical
willed you a bunch of cash? Ha ha! treatmentsshowed up an ork, but they were
Im finding it difficult to believe the two of determined to get it right. I guess Ill leave it
you are adults. In lieu of a long heart-to-heart, up to you to determine whether they were suc-
which I know for a fact would bore you to drink, cessful.
I settled on this letter. I know: paper and ink, ab-
solutely shocking. Youve known I was old-fash- > They were determined to get it right. What is that
ioned since you moved in, so lets not get hung supposed to mean?
up on details. > Butch

12 WHAT ARE YOU? >>


> Make sure their sweet little bundle-o-tusks was going to You havent had to deal much with some of the
grow up on the right side of the beltway? problems my peers had to deal with. And when I
> Baka Dabora say peers, keep in mind that would, generation-
ally speaking, include your parents. Im not saying
> Ive got a feeling its not that simple. And that fact heartens youve had it easy; we all know that would be a lie,
and pisses me off in equal measure. but I think its worthwhile to hear a little history put
> 2XL into perspective. Keep in mind, this is all specula-
tion. I didnt know your parents or grandparents
They spent a good chunk of cash to have any better than you did.
me, and they continued to spend money on In 2021, ten percent of the population trans-
my upbringing. And yes, I am well aware that I formed, suddenly and painfully, into trolls and orks.
am unbelievably lucky. I never wanted for shel- When I look at a human and think of his skeletal
ter, sustenance, medical care, attention, or love. structure, sometimes I try to imagine shifting from
Some say that leaves me unqualified to discuss his structure to minenot even to a trolls, but just
this subject matter with you. I say Im uniquely to an orksover the course of a few moments, and
qualified: where some of my peers grew up in Im blown away by how painful it must have been.
unstable homes, with unstable people, or just And it hit you at home, on the job, at schoolin
with unstable finances, I did not. I grew up with front of your friends and family and strangers. Ev-
a self-assurance of the promise of prosperity in eryone was human back then, and to everyone
exchange for honest hard work, a healthy re- elses eyes, one in every ten people suddenly bal-
spect for law and order, trust, self-confidence (or loonedmutatedinto creatures they equated
what I thought was self-confidence at the time), with the villains and monsters in their fairy stories.
book smarts, and a yawning ignorance of how I dont like to use this kind of language when
the world really worked. talking about our genetic ancestry, but I want to
After an amazing progression through school, put this into the perspective that governed people
with both moms drilling me on their pet subjects back then. No one knew what to make of it and most
every chance they got (did I mention one was a people reacted poorly. They called it goblinization;
marine biologist and the others an herbalist?), I they also called it a disease and a plague. They
went to med school. The rest is history. quarantined the newly goblinized and locked them
away in camps and prisons with subpar facilities.
> Right there! See what hes doing? The rest is history,
like, pay no attention to these last twenty years behind > Your father has a talent for understatement. In my
the curtain! vocabulary, subpar facilities might refer to a place
> Lilith that lacks a soy-flavoring unit in the kitchen. According
to a friend, the conditions hes talking about here was
> So much for keeping our opinions secret to the end. something more like trying to house ten trolls to a space
> Chiron the size of a four-human jail cell, with only cardboard to
sleep on. My word for that is barbaric.
> Im not sorry. > Mihoshi Oni
> Lilith

<< WHAT ARE YOU? 13


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

> Dont forget the fact that there was no food for days, Trolls and orks were a new other for us to
and what they gave you was fragging molding. The deal with, and we didnt deal well. There was a
ones locking you up would have preferred you die; it well-publicized incident when a boy goblinized at
meant more supplies to cover the rest of the unwanted. school and wasnt allowed back in afterward. The
Drek, some of your fellow campmates might have school board eventually fined the parents for fail-
preferred you die, too; it meant more food and room ing to school the kid. Absolutely ridiculous drek. It
for the rest of them. was, thankfully, a bloodless demonstration, but it
> Butch shows you how they still viewed us as subhuman.

They stripped people of their rights and per- > Do you think this was taught in the schools? Of course it
sonhood. People started to riot. wasnt. Disgraceful.
It took them a little over a year to discover gob- > Axis Mundi
linization wasnt contagious, but months later, in-
vestigators found metahuman body parts under- > I had a human friend who told me back in the day he
neath the Johns Hopkins Institute of Health. There watched a group of shoppers freak out when a woman
were signs of torture; they said it was like walking goblinized in the checkout lane. In the middle of a packed
into a dungeon. In under a year, wed attacked, store, in broad daylight, people completely flipped out.
subjugated, and dissected our fellow people, sole- She died after someone threw a brick and it caught her in
ly based on their appearance. the head. It really messed my friend up to watch it, he said.
> Respec

14 WHAT ARE YOU? >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

the Virgo Ascendant opposing nearly everything else.


> Anyone else notice how this always comes back around
You know, regal Leo in the house of secrets could easily
to humans? Sub-human, meta-human. Always either
manifest as superior race themes.
a comparison to humans or how it affects them.
> 2XL > Chiron

> They say racism is dead. Dont believe a word of it. > Stop trying to change the subject.

> Butch > Lilith

> Cool it. He was all of five years old at the time. Naturally, plenty of people didnt want to wait
> Respec for the government to make up its mind, so they
took things into their own hands. A terrorist group
After eighteen years, this new batch of racism called the Hand of Five firebombed the warehous-
was all grown up and now a fully functioning social es, and hundreds of people died. The city erupted
disease. In 2039, a building wave of assaults and in riots again.
crimes against metahumans crested in the Night Chances are good that your parents or your
of Rage, with riots breaking out across the globe. grandparents lived through the Night of Rage and
Thousands diedthough the exact number is un- the aftermath. Whether or not they survived the
clear, both because many metas were not count- night is a question for which I dont have an an-
ed as citizens, and so their deaths could be over- swer, but I guarantee you it changed their lives in
looked, and because the rioting crowds couldnt some way. My moms started homeschooling me
be bothered to track just how many victims their after the Night of Rage. At three years old, I wasnt
violence was claiming. paying much attention to the news, so it didnt af-
fect me much beyond that. But I was one of the
> Im gonna step in here and say this never made any sense luckiest ones.
to methe claim that everyone lost their collective drek
at once. Ive read other threads about this, and no one > Just a reminder for everyone: This wasnt written with the
can point out anything that happened that could have intention of public display.
triggered this worldwide protest. > Chiron
> /dev/grrl
> Whats wrong? Embarrassed for him? Its okay, I am too.
> Its tempting to believe there was coordination or even > Lilith
a global conspiracy behind this, and Im not going to
claim that that some of the anti-meta groups werent in > No, Im not embarrassedI dont think theres anything
communication with each other. But sometimes evil is a wrong with a safe and happy upbringingbut youve told
spontaneous emotion. me your thoughts, and I thought others might share your
> Snopes views.
> Chiron
In response to the riots that broke out, the
Governor of Seattle thought it would be a good > Guess well find out.
idea to round up all the trolls and orks in the city > Lilith
and stash them in warehouses, ostensibly for their
own safety. But really so they could keep an eye Legal actions peppered throughout the last
on them, and also keep them in one place in case forty years have brought the extent of the prob-
the government decided to activate some sort of lems to light, even if they havent done much to
final solution. curb them.
Since you were born, though, the landscape
> Ive long wondered about what happened that night, so is drastically different. Orzet is recognized as an
I drew up a chart for Seattle that night. At first I thought official language. There are kingdoms out there in
Mercurys combust, but theres a big Sun-sized orb there, the world dedicated to orks and trolls. Neither of
so thats obviously out. Weve got Uranus in the 11th these existed twenty or thirty years ago. Orks are
opposing Mars, weve got Mars trine SaturnOld Man now, thanks to the genetic disposition to multiple
Saturns using Mars against the eccentrics whove banded birthsand I swear if I hear the word litter used
together. And thats not even going into Leo in the 12th, within my earshot, I will become violentthe sec-

<< WHAT ARE YOU? 15


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

ond-most common metatype in the world. (As a spending power, youll only find furniture sized to
side note, Ive always been envious of people with fit us in a few special places. There are a few spots
siblingsI hope you realize how lucky you two downtown where youll find appropriate seating,
are.) Since youve been born, there have been de- but expect to pay a few hundred nuyen per plate
bates that, twenty years ago, I never would have to dine there. Similarly, if you can find a venue run
dreamed Id see, as to who is more of an ork: those by an ork or a troll, chances are better that they
who were born orks, or those who were born hu- have the right-sized spots for you to sit, but its no
man and goblinized into an ork (I believe the term guarantee. Not everyone can resist the siren call
they used was half-ork). But because the world of cheap, particularly when the standing stereo-
is so different than we older folks are used to, I typing leads people to avoid your venue based on
think it tends to make us blind to the troubles that trumped-up fears.
do affect you. I dont have an explanation for you. If youd like
So, I hereby officially acknowledge that you to change things, all I can do is tell you is to either
have seen more than your fair share of troubles. join the government or buy a woodshop and a tu-
Ive heard of the altercations youve had with oth- torsoft. I chose the latter and have been comfort-
ers, seemingly solely based on your metatype, able ever since.
and no, its not fair. I acknowledge problems re- Even our biology seems out to get us. We have
main with our lot in life, and I recognize the prec- tusks, which cause extra problemsjaw problems
edent that seems to justify an aggressive response. and soft-tissue injuries of the mouth and face
Christianity and Islam pegged us a long time come to mind. Horns can split or snap. Ive heard
ago under the categories of demons, devils, and of rare cases where the horns curl just so and be-
other assorted abominations and heretics. Add gin to grow into the scalp. Much worse than an in-
in the fact that neither of those churches has had grown hair. Dermal deposits can cause skin prob-
much of a soft spot for magic, and even if they lems and even injury to others.
arent quite as damning of us as when we first The biological difference that gets the most
showed up in the twenties, we are nevertheless press for orks, though, is our shorter lifespan.
profoundly disliked by the faiths. Some of the re-
awakened faiths out there are more accepting, but > You know, rumor has it that there was a guy named Harry
Ill admit I never spent much time embroiled in dis- who was one of the first orks to goblinize in 2023. After
cussions about who hates or tolerates us based on he lost his position as Mayor in 2056, he retired to one of
the warrens under Puyallup, where he mentored some of
their faith. I probably missed a lot of opportunities
the group that would go on to become the BotKham, who
to find out exactly who hated me. Ah, if Id only
frequently referred to him as grandfather. They were
cared enough to engage.
never very forthcoming as to whether this was literal or
figurative. Harry finally passed away two years ago, in 77.
> As something of a subject matter expert, I can tell
> Butch
you Seattles a secular city. I simply dont see religion
separating Seattle residents as much as the media claims,
or as much as it does in other parts of the world.
> Assuming that Harry was really young when he goblinized,
that would make him nearly sixty when he died. Thats an
> Goat Foot
extraordinary lifespan for an ork, especially one that lived
in the Underground and likely had very little medical care.
> A metahuman is more likely to get roughed up for being
> Winterhawk
in the wrong part of town than for speaking with someone
from a faith that dislikes them.
> That medical care aspect is importantsee some notes
> Traveler Jones
later on in the posting about new observations on ork and
troll lifespans.
We have to deal with an environment built > Glitch
for smaller peoplein some cases, much smaller.
Ceilings arent tall enough, doorways arent wide > Harry had the same rare condition I do. Homo sapiens
enough. Chairs break underneath us, we barely robustus clarkus, they call it. Its an anomaly in one of
fit on the mattress. Its infuriating, it causes inju- the metagenes that causes a human to goblinize as an
ries, and its unnecessary. But despite the number ork. The goblinization process is the same, and were
of orks and trolls in the world and our collective genetically identical to every other ork out there, except

16 WHAT ARE YOU? >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

that were not affected by the more rapid aging process


that most orks suffer from. Instead, we apparently get a
normal human lifespan. Current science says that less NEW QUALITY:
than one percent of goblinized orks have this trait. HUMAN LIFESPAN
> Bull
COST: 10 KARMA
> This might not be as rare as it seemsread on in this This quality can only be taken at character creation.
download and youll see some scientists casting doubt as It replaces the orks normal average lifespan with that of a
to what is making our lifespans short, and the prospects
human, so they age and mature at a human rate. It has no
for how long we might actually live.
other effect on the character.
> Butch
Goblinization is the expression of the ork and troll
> I always wondered why you didnt look nearly as old as metagene in a human, transforming them painfully into a new
you should, Bull. Though you certainly act like it some metahuman form, usually around puberty. Today goblinization
days. Lucky you. is exceedingly rare, with most metahumans expressing
> Slamm-0!
naturally at birth. Its not clear at the moment just how common
this quality is among non-goblinized orks.
> Yeah, lucky me. Ive already outlived one child, and if Billy
doesnt get himself killed as a runner, hell possibly die of
old age before me. Some luck.
> Bull pissed off. What do we do about it? I think you
have two alternatives. The first is the same as I ad-
Plenty of orks out there take the live fast, die vised you earlier: join government. Its not a joke. I
young notion to heart. The media tells us all about realize youre far more likely to work firmly outside
the ones who spend their days trying to pull one the sphere of government, but if you ever change
over on anyone who crosses their path, if it only your mind, I think you could work wonders.
means they can eke out an edge for tomorrows > Hahahahahahahaha *gasp* hahahahaha!
exploits. You hear about orks like Magdalene Wild, > Lilith
who spends her days pulling crazy stunts in urban
brawl. But you also hear about orks like Vaibhav Before I get into the other alternative, let me
Chadha, making waves in publishing, if only for tell you the real reason Im writing this. There was
his prolific pace. Or me. Im someone who took a conversation I watched a couple of weeks ago,
that notion to heart a long time ago, terrified at on some news coverage of an attempted bombing
the prospect of a shorter lifespan. My fear fueled downtown. One of the eyewitnesses said there
me through school, and I came out the other end was a trog involved. Someone else said there
a doctor. I doubt I would have had the fire to get it was a troll involved. But they werent describing
done if not for that terror. the same person.
How do the longer-lived races view us? Well, Now, I realize were talking about two different
were a category in tourists guidebooks. Rather, witnessescompletely unrelated. One of them
the level of violence toward us is the category. was called out for being a racist douche; no one
While I appreciate the inclusion Listen, I know a really said much about the otherbut the thing
lot of people of all different metatypes from all over that struck me was the difference between the two
the globe. Ive only ever had two conversations descriptions. The trog was said to be hugeat
with people concerned that Ill die before they did. least three metersand raucous: hanging out the
The first was my mom, and I started the conversa- window, had some enormous weapon, everything
tion when I was eight. The second was a friend. She that would come to mind if you mentioned a troll
was an elf, and it turned out that her concern was boogeyman. By comparison, the troll was de-
misplaced. She died a few years ago. But my point scribed as seeming small for a troll, while also
stands that I dont believe the longer-lived races being well-dressed.
think much about our shorter lifespans. Everyone So, if we start our investigation by ignoring
is too busy with their own drek and how theyre the fact that were comparing the word choice of
squandering their own time to worry about us. two people who are, as far as we know, complete
So theres precedent there to justify being strangershey, if social science isnt real science,

<< WHAT ARE YOU? 17


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

then we arent constrained by the scientific meth- yourself every day. Do you spend most of your
od, are we? Shove that up your Biology 304 and time complaining or pointing out the drek things
smoke itthen we end up with an interesting co- that happened to you today? You can expect to
nundrum. How does a trog differ from a troll or an see more of the same as you build the mental
ork? We already know what the media thinks. Ill pathways that make it easier for you to notice
tell you what I think, but first I want you to know the crap happening around you. Do you walk
what you think, if you havent already figured it out. around posturing and pretending to be normal,
I wouldnt be surprised if you havent. I would ex- chiding anyone who operates outside the narrow
pect you to have plenty of preconceived notions. box youve envisioned stands in for normality?
Id expect you to have emotions tied up with it. But Youre going to experience more challenges to
can you make a list? Id like you to try before I tell your make-believe reality as you pave the way for
you what I think. your brain to notice the times when anything falls
Whats the alternative to being pissed off all outside the norm, your own behavior included,
the time? I think it has something to do with per- and broadcast the perceived abnormality to the
sonal responsibility. Its our responsibility to act world.
when theres something wrong, but we dont have Thats a lot of words to basically tell you youve
to choose to act in the same manner. I recognize got to practice keeping your mental chatter on
that Im not willing to fight for my rights and fair a higher road. Anything less could destroy you.
treatment by aiming for a job in government. That So many people out there are waiting to cut you
battleground is stacked against me by powerful in- down in an attempt to lift themselves up. Why join
dividuals who prefer the status quo. Ill fight else- them? You have work to do.
where, where I can stack the deck in my favor first.
Others have chosen other fields in which > This is what he keeps trying to drill into you, L. Theres
to fight. And the ways in which they fight vary: nothing wrong with a positive attitude. There are so many
some people fight by shining in academics, oth- people who think that if you arent disgusted and enraged
ers by needling people with their art. Some peo- all the time, then you arent paying attention. Well, I do
ple choose a loud approach on a stage; others pay attention, and I know theres as much good out there
quietly send their work out into the world where as bad, and its the good I choose to focus on. It brings me
people stumble across it. As long as your work strength and helps me make more good in the world.
has the capacity to change minds and attitudes > Chiron
for the better, I dont care what you do or where
you practice it. > Dear Ghost, youre youre serious, arent you?You poor,
little, delusional mess.

> Bulldrek! Hes such a hypocrite.


> Clockwork

> Lilith
Youve read with me this far, so maybe youre
interested in what I think the difference is be-
> Were almost done. Can we get on with the rest of it,
please? tween a trog and a troll or an ork. Trolls and orks
> Chiron are people; the media would publicly agree with
that statement.
> You dont believe me, whatever. You didnt hear the However, the media calls certain trolls and orks
way he dismissed my plan to apply with Evo. But what trogs, essentially those who behave in any way
am I telling you for? Im not here to discuss this with outside the (quite) small box theyve assigned to
you anyway. normal troll and ork behavior. The media por-
> Lilith trays trogs as being enormous in size, diminished
in intellect; bristly at best, maniacs at worst; dense
Call it the power of habit, call it magic, call it in every way.
whatever you like, but there is truth in the notion I disagree with this labeling scheme. Trogs are
that what you pay attention to becomes your re- those trolls and orks who wont acquiesce to your
ality. Im not talking the nutjobs on late-night trid social sensibilities, but theyll be honest. Trogs are
trying to sell you their latest twelve-week pro- those who stand up, speak up, and stare down any
gram, Im talking the sets you build to surround test, and thats the problem. The reason the me-

18 WHAT ARE YOU? >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

dia paints trogs so low is that trogs disrupt the set. > But can we please talk about the bulldrek hes spouting off
Trogs tear down the stage of normality. Without in the second half of this letter? This is the kind of thinking
that stage in place, we fall out from under the me- that results in abandoned kids, and Im sick of hearing it!
dias influence and no longer feel the need to buy Youve got responsibilities other than yourself, folks! This
their escapism and their improvements. To media, is not a feel-good world; your mission in life is not to be as
trogs are the enemy. happy as possible. Instead of trying to positively chatter
I say trogs wake us up, stir the pot, rock the yourself free of your monthly rent, why dont you stop
boat, agitate the flock, whatever you want to call daydreaming and start fragging working to earn your
it. They help keep us free. Change is going to rent like the rest of us? Its just what we need: a rash of
happen, whether we like it or not. Its the way of self-aggrandizing people too busy being responsible for
things. Why not work toward positive change? Ac- themselves to give a drek about the rest of us.
ceptance of all metahumanity can only strength- > Lilith
en us as a whole, so its time we stopped fighting
amongst ourselves. > Thats not what it meansits simpler than that. It means
With the two of you out there, setting an ex- you dont take on the agony of trying to second-guess
ample for others to follow, I think were in good other peoples reactions.
Some years ago, my boss sent me to anger
shape. Were not going to change all the minds at
management. I told the therapist about a middle-
once, but as more people are born into a world
manager in my office who spent most of his work day
with fewer active social stigmas against orks and
shooting the drek with a couple of lower-level employees
trolls, the shift will happen. Its inevitable, but we
in his office, feet up on the desk. I said how I wanted to
can help give it a shove in the right direction. tell him off for wasting time while the rest of us worked.
Everyones weird. The worlds a weird place, The therapist asked me, What would you do if, when
and were some of the weirdest of its weird resi- you told him how you felt, he responded with I couldnt
dents. Stay weird, stay strong, stay proud, and stay care less? I told him it would piss me off. He said that
in touch. was part of my problem. It took me a while, but I figured
Love, out what he meant.
-R > Chiron

> This is precisely the sort of drek that pisses me off. Welp, > So was that upper, middle, or lower anger management?
theres nothing we can do, the worlds going to drek, may > Baka Dabora
as well just enjoy the last of our days in peace, donuts,
and whipped topping on our soykaf. Lazy jackass. > Definitely upper. You can tell by how much substance
> 2XL abuse is involved.
> Clockwork
> He is not a lazy jackass! Just try saying that to my face.
> Lilith > Not sure what you were looking for here, but did you
find it?
> Calm down, L. Everyones got an opinion. I dont agree, > 2XL
though, 2XL. I think he said just the opposite, didnt he?
> Chiron > I think so.Thanks for the opportunity to talk with more than
just my sister. I can never be sure what sort of reception
> Sorry, but you cant deny this guy is the epitome of well get, so it was nice to be here.
privilege. He said it himself. Does anyone seriously > Chiron
think hes in any position to talk about what its like to
be a troll today?
> 2XL

> Maybe not, but he knows better than most that youre
given this tiny chunk of time and its all youve got. I call
that good advice for any kid.
> Butch

<< WHAT ARE YOU? 19


THE COMPLETE TROG

LIVING AS A
TROG IN...
THE BLACK FOREST own nation were ignored by the governments in
Hannover and Munich. They thought about this
TROLL REPUBLIC as a local problem, meaning they were happy to
leave it to smaller levels of government.
POSTED BY: DUSSELDORF ROLF
The Germans are no better than humans all over > When governments decide something is a local problem,
the rest of the world. Its been more than sixty its often because they want the local government to
years since the Awakening, and too many of them take steps that might be unpalatable or unbecoming
still think trolls are dim, clumsy, and frightening. for a national government. The whole states rights
You knowsecond-class citizens. argument behind the United States Civil War evolved
But fortunately, we have a place in the AGS because people wanted their governments to be okay
where a troll can live like a troll. With almost no with some people owning other people of a different race,
size-induced problems and nearly no tiny humans but they wanted to cloak it in something that wasnt so
baldly racist. So they say states rights, and let the states
(or, ghost forbid, scrawny elves) to squeeze to
put the horrible stuff into legislation.
death by accident. This place is the former Troll
Kingdom, now known as the Black Forest Troll Re- > Kay St. Irregular

public.
In 2042, a series of earthquakes devastated
Karlsruhe and volcanos within the Eiffel erupted
BREEDING OF A KINGDOM and blocked the river Rhine. In the aftermath of
In the year 2038, the short-lived South German these events, the troll resistance captured Freiburg
Federation separated from the rest of Germany. without much loss. And in 2043, they declared the
Their goal was to celebrate an ultra-conservative Black Forrest Territory with Freiburg as its capital.
lifestyle, with all the funny events and customs But the South German Federation was not willing
those people know. Customs like social exclusion, to let go the Black Forest. The so-called Troll Wars
harassment, and suppression that are the special lasted until 2044, when the great dragon Kalten-
province of those who pretend they are there to stein attacked Munich. That initiated the final fall
protect the weak. It didnt take long for rumors to of the government of the South German Federa-
spread about concentration camps and eugenics tion. During the subsequent founding of the Allied
in these areas, and not long after that the rumors German States, the Black Forest Troll Kingdom was
became proven facts. At that point, the troll resis- formed as a state of its own.
tance emerged from the Awakened Black Forest. Under the supervision of Kaltenstein, the Black
An impressive troll by the (obviously fake) name Forest Kingdom was created following the blue-
of Berthold took the lead of the resistance. Not print of an actual kingdom. Led by a king (Berthold
only was he able to draw the suppressed masses I), reeves, dukes, and all sorts of fancy medieval
out of their lethargy, but he also pushed them to stuff. The Black Forest was known as a safe har-
initiate an actual rebellion. They organized refu- bor for all kinds of metahumansprimarily trolls
gee camps deep in the woods, gained strength and orks, of course. During the 40s and 50s, the
and support, and started a counter-offensive. nations population grew under the leadership of
While the upheaval gained speed and sup- Berthold. But not everybody was a fan of the Troll
port, all the ork and troll voices calling for their King, because of his direct, blunt, and sometimes

20 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


rude behavior. In 2061, King Berthold vanished that they hated when The Man did it to them. All that is
suddenly and was declared dead ten years later to say that the tightening of some of these laws did not
in an act of state. After his disappearance, Chan- always go smoothly, and resentment about the changes
cellor Hugo von Hasslach took over the leader- has not gone away.
ship and steered the nation through Crash 2.0. It is > Sunshine
safe to assume that this strong move prevented a
long-lasting succession war. The end result of this THE TROLL THING
is the founding of the Troll Republic, with President Kaltenstein founded a group of troll animists to
von Hasslach as leader. support Berthold during the Troll War. Today, the
Even if trolls are still the majority in the Black Troll Thing (look, the name sounds better in Ger-
Forest, the ork community is on the rise. And af- man) practices a druidic form of magic. Even if
ter the Gentle Giants campaign in the Scandi- not considered as Wicca, it is a member of the
navian Union, a lot of the giants moved over to Great Grand Coven of the AGS and the Czech
the Troll Republic. Republic. In the now-more-open Troll Republic,
it represents the skeptical powers of the nation
TROLL POLITICS dedicated to upholding tradition.
Today the Troll Republic is a sovereign nation, as-
sociated with the AGS but independent. And it SHADOWS OF FREIBURG
has all the problems modern nations have to deal Freiburg im Breisgau, the capital of the Troll Re-
withintrigues, scandals, and sometimes-diffi- public, is the most meta-friendly city in the AGS.
cult neighbors like Wrttemberg and Switzerland. Since the invasion by Berthold (to be honest, they
The duchies were converted to counties, and all handed him the keys on a silver platter), the town
the aristocratic hierarchy is gone. Thats a change changed a lot. Even if they tried to preserve the
not all former nobles are happy about, since a lot historic ambience, the houses and huts needed
of income comes with this kind of title. change and improvement. Lots of walls and ceil-
The Peoples Council tries to work together with ings were broken down. Wooden floors and stairs
the rest of the AGS and Europe to form strong were reinforced to meet the needs of trolls. Its
bonds. So formerly loose laws (such as those cov- a relief to visit Freiburg as a troll, because it was
ering weapons) were tightened, and borders are made by trolls for trolls. Yeah, well, and orks too.
now more open for non-meta visitors. The law-en- But if youre just a normal human, you probably
forcement agencies also try to work closely with wont feel welcomed here. Not only because of
the Bundespolizei and the Bundeswehr. Those so- the sheer size of the buildings, doorways, furni-
called Rangers (given that name because they ture, and the like, but also because of the looks
also take care of the forest) are not perfectly trained, all the tall people around you shoot in your direc-
but they have an excellent knowledge of the area. tion. Prejudice isnt a one-way road.
The shadowy folk in Freiburg focus on smug-
> Its always an interesting dynamic when a group of people gling things from Wrttemberg to Switzerland.
who have long defined themselves by their opposition to They also supply trollish shadowrunners with the
The Man suddenly not only find themselves being The tools of their trade. In their size, of course. You
Man, but doing some of the same things to themselves wont find a better variety of troll-modified guns

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 21


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

and armor anywhere in the world. Or at least not in tale. Besides the usual animals, you have also a
Europe. And with a history of very loose weapon lot of Awakened plants, which makes the Black
laws, you wont have any big problems finding a Forest not only interesting for telesma collectors,
solid connection for these weapons. but also attractive to a lot of magic-focused corp
subsidiaries. For them, this place is like the Am-
> Amen. This reason alone is enough to make the Black azon, but it only takes an hour to drive there to
Forest a must-visit locale for any trog who is in the general collect and explore. Most of the jobs offered in
area. the Black Forest are for rescuing some adventur-
> 2XL ous rich kid. Or to collect some telesma or a rare
paranormal species. The best part is, these kinds
THE AWAKENED of missions arent explicitly illegal, and they pay
well. Just remember that youll have to stay ahead
BLACK FOREST of the dangers caused by a violent environment
There are not only trolls and Freiburg in the Black and some troll animists who think environmental
Forest Troll Republictheres also the forest. And protection covers trolls and animals onlyoth-
I can tell you that this Awakened forest is not er intruders in the forest are fair game. So bring
something from Snow White or some other fairy some magical support with you.

22 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

GOING These days, the PCC is among my favorite plac-


es to visit. I think much of it has come from their
NATIVE (NAN) growth and absorption of so many people who
have been marginalized by others. The Ute Nation
POSTED BY: BULL crumbled into them and their viewpoints, far more
> Evelyn Red Tusk and Kulnar Broken Horn were born and down to Earth than a lot of others who had lived
raised within the Native American Nations. Both moved the corporate life, helped give the orks and trolls a
around extensively while they were younger as the little more appreciation.
children of NAN diplomats, and they eventually took on KBH: And when they helped out SoCal and
similar roles in adulthood. Neither are denizens of the picked up another chunk of lost souls, the support
shadows but both have had ample enough interactions for the orks and trolls who had, for so long, suf-
with both sides to lend credence to their opinions and fered under the oppression and violence of Saito
viewpoints. I took a page from our recent Cutting Aces seemed to erupt across the nation. As a general
drop and set them up with a little fake interview. They rule, I find the people of the PCC to be more im-
were given an intro prompt that just said, Talk about life pressed with what you can do and less hung up on
in the NAN from your metatypical viewpoint. who you are. Evelyn?
> Bull ERT: For the most part, I agree. There are some
areas, especially near the borders where ten-
Evelyn Red Tusk (ERT): Ive learned a lot about sions tend to run high between the PCC and their
myself and about being an ork in this world. Every- less-cordial neighbors to the south, where suspi-
thing has changed over the yearssome things for cion and a divisive mentality have increased the
the better, some for the worse. The NAN has been amount of friction between everyone who makes
one of the best places to grow up ork. living there as an ork more stressful than other
Kulnar Broken Horn (KBH): Well said, Evelyn. But lets places. Im sure its the same for the trolls of these
not make this all seem like roses and sunshine. I sug- border regions.
gest we narrow our conversations. If I recall correctly, KBH: Most definitely. The bulk of the trolls who
we once met at a dinner for Edward Running-Horse in take part in the the PCCs military service come
the PCC. It was back in 50, I believe. Seems we both from these border regions where they experi-
have lived throughout this glorious congregation of enced the cultural damage firsthand. Often ostra-
nations and, therefore, as we both know, we can both cized due to their bulk, the trolls who call these
speak to how different each one can be. regions home know how to get out through vol-
ERT: 50? I wasnt even ten, Kulnar. You must be untary service. Then, within the military, they meet
mistaken. many kindred souls of all metatypes.
KBH: I was ten, too. We were at a corner table. ERT: I think orks have had similar stories in
Among others of our kind. You were ghost-bent those areas. Though many fall prey to the gang
on meeting that fellow with the mop-top, the one culture that has become prevalent within ork so-
you kept claiming was a shadowrunner. ciety throughout the world. The sense of broth-
ERT: Kully? Spirits. I would never have made erhood created by the gangs is the surrogate of
the connection. And he was a shadowrunner. They the brotherhood of the military. The topic of gangs
called him Ghost Who Walks Inside, and if you re- leads me to the next point I wanted to discuss
member everything so well, youd remember that about orks in the PCC. The ones who live in the
I did in fact meet him. urban environment.
KBH: Well, you spilled a drink on him and then KBH: Ah, yes. The urban life is vastly different
mumbled at him. for trolls as well. But please, Evelyn, go on.
ERT: I was young. Ah, the PCC back in the 50s. ERT: The tale of the urban ork is often one of
Those were interesting times. They werent the struggle. The urban environs of the PCC are no dif-
most progressive at that time. Theyve gotten bet- ferent for our kind, but we do not struggle alone or
ter. Back then they had taken in and integrated so without the understanding of a government that is
many of the Anglos that they influenced a lot of familiar with strife created by being different. The
the beliefs on our kind. While other places had be- PCC has a vast number of public-outreach pro-
come much friendlier, the PCC was still a bit back- grams that benefit the orks of the nation while also
wards. But that was then. benefitting the PCC as a corporate entity, because

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 23


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

these programs provide work, education, recre- they are unfamiliar and unknown. For most, it is
ation, and vocational training that eventually leads far easier to face the struggles they know than
to a better life through corporate employment and the struggles they do not.
citizenship. ERT: Excellently stated, Kulnar. The PCC is
KBH: That reminds me of one of the largest among the most open and accepting of the NAN,
issues faced by the trollsand orks as wellin and its a brutal aspect of reality that we often feel
the PCC, and that is the vast numbers who lack forced to continue in the darkness because we
full citizenship and all the rights of regular cor- dont know the path in the light. But that again is
porate or national citizens. For most trolls, the one of the reasons why I find the PCC to be a great
problem arises with ethnicity requirements that place to grow up ork, because there are opportu-
they arent sure they meet. Their parents werent nities to get help navigating the new difficulties
citizens and werent sure of their bloodline, but created by living within the system, rather than
they managed to survive on the fringes of soci- outside.
ety, and thus the trolls of the nation arent will- KBH: To sum up the PCC: Its a good place to
ing to come forward to register and possibly find be an ork or a troll from a cultural treatment stand-
themselves facing limitations created by their point, and those born and raised there are still
ancestry. While citizenship opens up new paths, working to build themselves up as a people.

24 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

ERT: While the PCC does it right, being an ork a place for themselves in places that the rest of
in the Salish-Shidhe is more of a struggle. The the world has cast off and left behind, both urban
SSC breaks down in a very tribal fashion, leaving and rural. Farms, forest cabins and caverns, and
people with a natural sense of identity among abandoned buildings are made into homes for
their people. Early on, the orks chose to sep- trolls. And they arent simple affairs. Working with
arate themselves from their respective tribes their hands and working hard are part of the SSC
and form themselves into the Cascade Ork tribe. troll mentality. Honestly, its become much of the
They took parts of every culture and pieces of the worldwide troll mentality.
growing ork culture and evolved their own sense ERT: Reminds me of the literacy rate debate.
of identity. KBH: Exactly. Trolls have the highest literacy
KBH: Ah yes, the Salish. Not my favorite piece rate because most live in places where everything
of NAN history to discuss when talking about trolls is not electronic and handed to them in symbols
from the standpoint of humanity, but as a troll the and videos. They read. Abandoned libraries are a
treatment handed down by the SSC created a treasure in troll cultures around the world.
strong sense of cultural independence. And the NAN has no shortage of those. Popula-
The Anglo historians claim trolls chose to move tion shifts to urban centers left a lot of empty small
away from humanity. Their stories include every- towns all over the Pacific Northwest and the rest of
thing from a simple departure to stories of them Western North America, leaving behind plenty of
returning to their monstrous ways and moving into local libraries with books still on the shelves.
caves and living under bridges. Ridiculous things, For trolls, the SSC is a place to come to live if
but the victors write history. And since the trolls you like the life of an outsider. Not an exile, just
didnt fight back, most simply abandoned the so- someone who lives on the fringes and only comes
cieties that didnt want them. For them, it was an to the heart of society as a trader and a visitor.
easy fight to win. Youll be treated cordially, but youll find it un-
Dont get me wrong, this wasnt concentrat- comfortable to stay long because it isnt built to
ed bigotry and hate. It was the result of a society accommodate.
already in turmoil and trying to build an identity ERT: Thats different for orks. They can fit with-
from a damaged past that didnt have a place for in the rest of metahumanitys size scale, but the
the newer races, especially the ones that really social systems in place do little to help them inte-
couldnt fit in. Ill call it like it is in cases where grate. Much of the SSC ork population, Cascade
our kind were openly hated and pushed to the and otherwise, are nomadic. They live on the
fringesIm looking at you, CASbut this isnt move but not in a move where the food is type
the case around the NAN. These places were just of way. More of a move because sitting still feels
so busy trying to develop, they didnt have an in- like death mentality.
clusive mindset. Part of this is the smuggling. Yes, orks are
ERT: Doesnt that let them off the hook too eas- sometimes stereotyped as t-bird smugglers racing
ily? Like you only not discriminate when you take from Denver to Seattle, dodging the SSC Rangers
the time to remember to not do it? all the way. The stereotype is well-earned, there
KBH: You have a point. I guess what Im trying are a lot of ace jammers who come from Cascade
to say is some of the prejudice was more about stock, but there are even more backpackers and
habit than malice. I guess you can decide if thats coyotes who help people and things find their way
a distinction worth making, or if it makes anything past checkpoints and over borders, sometimes
any better. even just between towns.
Anyway, since the early days, things have What this means for orks coming into the SSC
changed little, but its still not like bigotry like other is a certain expectation that you arent expected
places. Just a lack of integration between the rac- to stay long and you are expected to have con-
es. As Evelyn has stated, the orks pulled out to be nections with smugglers, because every other ork
their own tribe, as did the elves. The trolls simply seems to. Youll find overt racism rare, with the ex-
lacked numbers and a cohesive mindset for a tribe. ception of the big cities that have managed to be-
As we started, so we stay. And trolls are very come infected with the plague known as Human-
independent in the SSC. Most live on their own in is. There youll find the occasional metahater but
the wild or on the fringes of cities. Theyve made worse, youll find most citizens dont discourage

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 25


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

or encourage it. They simply stick to their tribe and are willing to grant you their powers, it doesnt
let the Cascade Orks fight their own battles. matter if youre a meter-and-a-half-tall dwarf or a
KBH: What about the Sioux? Im biased by my three-meter troll, youre special in the Sioux.
affiliation Im sure, but from what Ive seen, orks, On a non-magical and non-martial front, trolls
and trolls are well, let me hear your thoughts first. are treated with a lot of respect in the Sioux. They
ERT: The Sioux Nation values strength, which arent catered to and the world still most-certainly
orks and trolls often have in spades. Theyve also doesnt fit them well, even in the Sioux Nation, but
faced some of the worst atrocities in history for they arent second-class citizens.
being different. These two factors seem to play the ERT: Ill admit, I havent spent a lot of time up
greatest part in being an ork in the Sioux Nation. north. The AMCthe Algonkian Manitou Coun-
Were accepted and even revered as long as we cilis admittedly one of my least-favorite places to
fit the stereotype for build. You can still be smart, visit. For too long, the influence of the megacorps
but you need brawn. A scrawny ork, while still usu- shaped the viewpoints of the people, and not me-
ally bigger than even a fit human, is regarded as an gas like Evo. Orks were a valued piece of the work-
abnormality. Youre treated like a second-class cit- force here, but that was only if they worked. Predict-
izen because you are not a fit warrior. The gender able production was the measure of their value, and
of the ork doesnt affect this perception. many of the cultural opinions of MCT shaped the
Not fitting in looks different here. The fringes of values of the populace. Orks needed to have a high
society are created more socially for orks here than predictable production or else they were pushed
physically. People will lower their expectations of out of society by the dim views of their character
you, and while that might seem to make life easier, created by Japanese influence.
it leaves these orks feeling left out. Even out on the It wasnt passive, either. Orks in the AMC were
physical fringes of society, the Sioux strength men- actively ostracized if they did anything other than
tality is still presentoften even more so than in the work and work hard.
heart, leading some people to stay away from the KBH: Evelyn, I can see this topic is personal.
nations fringe to avoid feeling alienated. Let me take a few moments and make a few com-
KBH: Even the smallest trolls have the strength ments before you move on.
of a burly human. For trolls in the Sioux, it isnt a The modern AMC is a gutted shadow of the
lack of physical strength that leads to problems, nation it once was, and influences are changing.
but a lack of mental fortitude. The nation has a I cant say for better or worse yet, but for anyone
strong magical culture, and some of the earli- who knows much about the traditional Japanacorp
est displays of magical strength were targeted at view on metahumans, trogs especially, they know
trolls, but the magicians didnt target their bodies, there isnt much worse unless you visit a Humanis
they attacked their minds to show that even the Policlub meeting. The influence of MCT did a lot to
biggest can fall to magic. This early cultural norm harm the trolls and orks of the AMC.
created an expectation for trolls to strengthen But there is a bright sideit just takes digging
their minds if they wanted to be seen as anything and changing your focus. Since the departure of
more than brutes. It wasnt about knowledge and MCT on such poor terms, cultural viewpoints they
learning, but rather sheer force of will. once insinuated into the nation are becoming less
ERT: Ive heard this before and it reminds me of and less acceptable. The more traditional beliefs
another statistic I once read about troll magicians of the AMC tribes are beginning to reshape the
from the Sioux. culture in enough places that trog life is evolving.
KBH: They are among the best in the world. I The key to this transition is education and ur-
dont say that to stroke my own ego and not-in- banization. Places that have better education are
considerable talent. I say it based on contests shifting faster, meaning urban centers and private
around the world where Sioux trolls consistently corporate schools, though they are still influenced
win within the field of magic. by the corporations that fund them. These spots
They arent numerically superior, either. They are shifting their views of orks and trolls faster than
have similar Awakening statistics as other nations, more rural locations, where cultural beliefs often
they simply live in a society that toughens them stagnate in the cesspools of rural ignorance.
mentally and, to be totally honest, treasures their ERT: Thats exactly what I encountered during
talent no matter their physical form. If the spirits my last trip. I was visiting on behalf of my soci-

26 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

ety and made five stops. Saskatoon was the only Hey, D, thanks for stopping by!
urban stop I made. It was at the beginning of my D-Wreck (D): Its my pleasure, Suzie. Im honored
travels, and it helped start my trip with hope. The you tapped me to talk about life here in Bug City.
AMC, post-MCT, was opening up and integrating SB: Straight to the heart. Only locals, and es-
all aspects of metahumanity better than I had ever pecially locals who lived through it, call this place
seen in all my years of visits. Orks were gaining Bug City with a smile. Howd you make it during
more power positions, and not just the token ones the closed-off CZ days?
so often created to develop the appearance of D: Played it smart. Made myself invaluable.
equality. Pulled my weight. All those sayings pretty much
Then we left and headed out to several of our cover it. I worked my way first into a local neigh-
more rural chapterhouses. Our society is small but borhood. They werent too keen on me when I first
affluent, so we can afford small places in many cit- arrived, but when they saw the advantages of hav-
ies even without a large nearby population for sup- ing an ork of my stature around, they were happy
port. It offers our members a chance to travel and to have me. Well, most of the time.
use our houses as a place to stay on both physical SB: Tell us about the hard times.
and spiritual journeys. My tusks remained an im- D: Orks all over got the same wrap. Trolls got it
pediment to my social acceptance throughout the worse. Being bigger means you need more food.
rural environments of the AMC. Most of the dis- Were resource hogs, plain and simple. Others put
crimination was politea missing greeting, a long up a lot of votes to kick me and other orks out,
wait for a server, slow service in an empty restau- but we stuck together. Said one goes, we all go,
rant, that sort of thing. But a few times it was quite and then we worked together to bring in tons of
overt. Insults muttered under the breath, which is resources. We worked night and day sometimes
the favored technique people use to follow claims so that we could bring in so much food and water
that they dont have anything in my size, be it cloth- that no one questioned whether we were worth
ing, chairs, beds, portions, or whatever. it. And when local warlords or the bugs came, we
KBH: I face that every day. Though in my case it were the front line. No one wanted to face those
is often true, it is still a stab at our races. horrors without the Monsters of the Midway, as
ERT: That was the bad part. There was good. we took to calling ourselves.
The orks who lived there were a tight-knit and SB: A classic name for classic guys. I know you
hardworking bunch. They helped each other and didnt make it the whole time in one neighbor-
functioned more as a community than as individ- hood. What brought that to an end?
uals. It was nothing like the corporate-inspired D: Great lead-in, Suzie. The same thing that
dog-eat-dog mentality of most people; instead, it cost us our safety then is whats costing us our city
was all about making the best world they could in now. Too much infighting. Ego is killing us.
a place that didnt like them. As the corps move back in, theyre preying on
KBH: With the growing supportprimarily Ma- our greed, playing off our memory of the years we
trix-based, at the momentof groups like Mothers spent scraping and struggling just to survive. Ive
of Metahumans and the Sons of Sauron, we are actually seen more orks take corporate security
pushing back to gain equal footing in the country jobs here than ever before. Then theyre getting
as well as the cities of the AMC. dumped back into the CZ and fighting to survive
while being paid by the corps instead of helping
out other zoners. Its a sad state of affairs.
CHICAGO BLUES SB: Hah. Didnt expect the diplomatic side of
the infamous D-Wreck to jump out.
POSTED BY: CHI-TOWN SUZIE D: Survived on smarts as much as smacking
Suzie Blue (SB): Hello Chi-trog Nation! This is the drek outta bugs and wannabe warlords. And
Suzie Blue coming to you live from high in the speaking of the warlords, thats where a lot of orks
sky! Weve got a doozie for you today. D-Wreck ended up. When the walls opened, the corps had
is here to talk about life in the former CZ. Specifi- a lot less opportunity for orks outside the zone
cally about life for those of us built too big for the than the smaller races. Then the communities they
regular-joe world. Yup, orks and trolls are gonna had been part of lost too many people and col-
get some local spotlight today. On with the show! lapsed. The orks ended up short on friends, and

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 27


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

the warlords were looking for resources that were next. Books, art, and music were just a few of the
left behind. offerings troll society has managed to master and
The orks of the CZ were just one of those re- present with a grace no one would expect.
sources. The Horde took in a lot. SB: You really get it.
SB: What about the trolls? You mentioned them D: Im not done bragging on you all just yet.
earlier. Do you know how they fared? The trolls in Chicago have stepped their efforts up
D: Better than many would have expected. Very to the next level in terms of making a place trolls
few managed to get accepted into the communi- can call home and live comfortably. All over the
ties of the smaller races. If they thought an ork was CZ, C-Cubed travels and does their thing. C-Cubed
a resource hog, imagine a trolls daily caloric intake. stands for Chitown Construction Crew. Theyre
Its pretty insane. So most of the trolls went the solo based out of a little enclave called Hoodville, but
nomad or hermit route. The trolls lived on their own they move all over. They gut structures and refit
so that they were only responsible for themselves. them for trolls. Reinforce, resize, and genuinely re-
They were big, burly, and could survive in plenty of new the places. They tend to stick with multistory
places that made most people sick. While the bugs spots, but theres no shortage of those in Chicago.
targeted them for their potential, they were, by and The buildings dont just get floors and ceilings
large, the ones most capable of standing against they get culture, art, and a genuine renaissance feel.
them and living to tell the tale. SB: Do you know 3D? C-Cubeds founder.
Yeah, a lot of them found their way into the D: Heard of, never met.
crews of warlords all over the CZ, but the majority SB: Well have to change that.
flew solo, made it through, and came out as some D: Sounds like a cool guy. Hes got a lot on his
of the toughest trogs around. After the bug threat plate, though. From what Ive heard recently, the
lessened and the CZ opened back up, the trolls efforts of C-Cubed are like giant bullseyes for oth-
of Chicago have had a chance to come together, er groups in the CZ. Hoodville isnt far off the Hu-
share stories, develop a network, and build the man Brigades turf, and plenty of meta-unfriendly
foundation of one of the strongest troll societies types have very little issue with fragging up any
Ive ever seen. efforts to make life better for our kind.
Thats the modern Chicago trolls. Isolation and SB: So true! Sorry to cut you off, D-Wreck. We
a genuine independence offered them the oppor- need to cut the interview short. Seems some of
tunity to get away from the expectations of the those meta-unfreindly types you mentioned have
other races. It was their chance to make a place for gotten wind of our location.
themselves somewhere that no one else seemed This is Suzie Blue and Chicagos own, D-Wreck,
to want. signing off. Stay trog, Chicago!
SB: Its good that someone outside the culture
noticed. Please go on, this should be good. An
outsiders view on Chicagos troll culture. DUBAI
D: Im no expert. But Im happy to tell every-
one what I know. The trolls here in Chi-town have POSTED BY: 2XL
worked hard. They deserve some props. Dubai is one of those cities where you can spend
As most folks who are interested already know, most of your day with people treating you nor-
trolls are the most literate race. Pushed to the mally, politely even, until you get one of those
fringes of society, theyve lived in the past. Librar- incidents that reminds you that something is off.
ies have been a favorite troll residence in every Sometimes its really subtlesomeone bringing
city Ive ever seen. Theyre built big, and theyre up, apropos of nothing, how they really like Neil
all but abandoned and obsolete these days. Filled the Ork Barbarian, and if Neil was a real ork, theyd
with books. And trolls have used them, including be totally okay with having him in their home.
in Chicago. Other times its the ever-classic Your horns are
The trolls here squatted in many of Chicago- so shiny! They look smooth! Can I touch them?
lands libraries since well before 55. After the CZ These are the things that remind you that, in the
got locked up, they had solid places to hole up eyes of most of the residents of the city, you are
and gather. A lot made maps that were coded to not normal. You are other. That then puts you in
get their fellow trolls from one safe library to the the spiral that gets you to wonder how much of

28 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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the normal interactions were actually normal, or principles? Or at least have enough respect for them to
if people were forcing themselves to be normal, not use them as a thin disguise? Im sure the faces of
putting on the mask of politeness that is pretty JackPoint have enough tools at their disposal to build
easy to tear. So you get tense, and sometimes all trust that we dont have to rely on something so cheap.
the nonsense makes you snap, and people go off > Goat Foot
and talk about how it seems like orks and trolls
are always angry. > Life has taught me one thing repeatedly: Take the
opportunities you are given.
Now, that sort of atmosphere is not unique to
Dubai, but the general conservatism of the Arabi-
> Haze

an Caliphate and some of the negative attitudes


But lets talk about a few issues specific to
in the nation to anything associated with magic
the city itself. Physically, the city has healed
accentuate it. But Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, from the wounds left when Hestaby attacked
where people see themselves as more sophisti- the Saeder-Krupp headquarters here. The new
cated than their non-urban counterparts. Thats building is gleaming and posh, with a curved
part of the issuerather than actually being ac- top that cuts into the sky like a scimitar. As one
cepting, they often strain to show themselves how might expect from Lofwyr and his corp, the
accepting they are. Its better than a lot of alterna- headquarters do not back away from anything.
tives, sure, but it still can be wearying. But while the building is fully occupied and bus-
Dubai is a financial capital, with all the positives tling, the mental memories of the attack dont
and negatives that implies. If you can make your- disappear quickly. Most of the people in the city
self financially useful to someone, then people were there when the attack happened, and the
are willing to overlook a whole lot in order to reap memories are fresh. This leads to insecurity, and
whatever you offer. If youre not financially useful? metahumanity has a funny way of letting those
Garbage haulers leave the city daily, and they al- insecurities out.
ways have room for one more piece of refuse. As one might expect, dragons are the chief tar-
get of this brand of anxiety, but thats of little con-
> It really is as bad as all that, or at least close. Expanding a sequence. What is the city going to do, ban drag-
desert city is a lot more difficult than building out in cities ons? Alamais is dead, so the dragon most likely to
placed in more habitable areas. They dont want to build stop by wont, but even if another dragon decides
more than they have to (unless its a showy new skyraker), to visit, the city and Caliphate are not likely to stop
and they dont want to make space for the useless. Buying
them. If the life of Ghostwalker has shown the
you a plane ticket out of town can be cheaper than keeping
world anything, its that stopping a dragon from
you around, so that is often their preferred solution.
going where it wants to go is not something you
> Am-mut
want to try without another dragon leading your
forces.
Another downside of the financial orientation
of the city is that people keep an eye on available
> The Az-Am War taught the same lesson.
bounties that might make a nice payday. So if you > Picador
pissed someone off who might put a little extra on
your head due to your tusks or horns, someone in The city, then, has not taken any direct action
town is going to find out about it. Youd better be against dragons, but drakes are another matter.
worth more to them than the bounty is, or things Drakes are outright banned. They dont want any
are going to go south for you fast. part of people who are doing the bidding of drag-
The easiest way for an ork or troll to gain ac- ons but can disguise themselves as humans. Want
ceptance in the Caliphate is to be a Muslim. Once to make a quick 50k in Dubai? Find a drake wan-
people see you kneeling next to them regularly in dering the streets and bring him into the authori-
prayer, they become a whole lot more accepting. tiesdead or alive.
Which is to say if you can fake religious sincerity,
youve got it made. > You can even bring a drake from outside and present
them to the authorities. They dont ask many questions.
> We dont have to be like that, do we? Is it so outlandish Getting bodies through customs is a bitch, though.
that some of us might operate out of genuine religious > Kane

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But what does this mean for orks and trolls? were judged to have worked well in a particular
First off, were not the most reviled metatype in day, you might get a flavor packet.
the city. So thats something! But secondly, it gives
a common enemy who is not us, which presents > Any city depends on its manual labor, but Dubais bigwigs
another chance to bond with the locals. Spend sometimes forget this and dont protect their workers
enough time not being a drake, and you may win well. All the lentil paste is processed in huge batches in
some peoples trust. a factory right in Muahaishah. Want to bring the city to
The most important thing to remember about a halt? Mess with the food supply, and keep the workers
Dubai is that it is a nonsensical city, an oasis willed off-duty for a day, a week, or more. Youll see panic set in
into existence by oil sheikhs, rather than built in nice and quick.
a way that makes sense. These sheikhs were sav- > Stone
vythey knew a diversified economy is what a
city needs to survive, so they built Dubai to out- Why am I detailing this? Because, you guessed
last the oil boom. Despite the fact that the average it, Muhaishah has the highest percentage of orks
high tops thirty-seven degrees for a whopping and trolls of any neighborhood in the sprawl. Are
five months of the year, there are still golf courses, you a trog who wants to disappear and be unno-
soccer fields, tennis courts, and other outdoor ac- ticed in Dubai for a while? Muhaishah is the place
tivities (it also has an indoor skiing facility, because to be. Just dont carry around expensive, obvious
of course it does). Its a desert that has convinced weapons, and be prepared to experience desert
itself its a beach, and damned if it doesnt do an heat without a trace of air conditioning.
awfully good imitation. If you want to spend time in the more civilized
One of the obstacles the city has built for it- part of the city, more power to you. The good
self, though, is it doesnt have the deep history news about the sprawl is that so many buildings
of world-class cities such as Berlin, Beijing, and are new that they are built with ork and troll ac-
New York. It built its reputation on being glossy commodations in mind. There are few cities
and new, and one step ahead of everyone else in where trolls will have to spend less time ducking
terms of eye-popping architecture and luxury. You their heads under doorways than Dubai, and al-
do not maintain that reputation by standing still, most every establishment has chairs that not only
so Dubai is constantly under construction. A build- fit but generally are comfortable.
ing thats a decade old has lost its edge, and if a The bottom line on Dubai is this: If money can
building makes it to two decades, its an antique. be spent on a thing to make orks or trolls com-
You either need to tear it down or find a way to fortable, and youre not in the slums, that thing is
gut it that will make it fresh again. Some people probably there. If it cant be changed with mon-
figure Hestaby did Lofwyr a favor in taking down eylike peoples attitudesthen youre going to
the S-K headquarters, as it was going to be due for have less luck getting anything done here.
a rebuild before long.
While automation and nanonforges do a lot of
this work, metahuman labor is still required, and
ATLANTA
like most cities with large pockets of luxury, those KINDA SORTA
who do the work are not allowed anywhere near
the good stuff in their downtime. Northeast of POSTED BY: SOUTHERN GUARD
the city is the district called Muhaisnah, known All right, folks, I want to talk about Atlanta, or Hot-
sarcastically to the locals as Sonapur, the City of lanta as some call it, and specifically Sweetwater
Gold. This area is full of plain concrete buildings Creek! Seattles Ork Underground and its Prop 23
with dwelling spaces that total twenty square me- and racist governor got tons of Matrix love, but
ters if youre lucky. Most workers sleep on thin weve had plenty of problems of our own in a place
mats that arent much softer than the floor but at that is just as much a haven for the orks and trolls
least provide a degree of separation from the sand of the Atlanta region as the Ork Underground was
and dust. The good news is that they dont need for Seattle. As you can tell by my moniker, Im a
kitchen space, or even a food budget, because resident. I work for the best security corp on Gods
meals are provided to them. The bad news is that green Earthand Im proud to tell anyone who
the meals are lentil paste, three time a day. If you asks, because this place is a trog utopia.

30 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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Now, it aint really a utopia, I know what that area. The park was offered as a place to farm as
means, but it sure as sugar is the best place this well, but thats not such a keen thing. Well get to
tuskers ever lived. It wasnt always like this though, that in a bit.
so Ill start back at the beginning. This opportunity is a real polite way of saying,
get the frag out! If you were an elf or a dwarf in
> Just so you all understand and read this with the right those days, it wasnt too bad, but if you were an
mindset, I edited the transposed document because every ork or a troll, it was like old-time segregation. They
single -ing was -in because Southern Guard works hard even passed laws about how buildings needed to
to keep up his southern cred! be stronger for orks and trolls and opened a legal
> Bull way for everyone and their brother to keep out our
kind. There was plenty of racial tension early on, but
Well before this ol boy was born, the gov- after a while trolls and orks just took to the highway
ernment of Atlanta had a problem. At least they (or the government busses) and moved into their
called it a problem. They had too many orks and modern internment camp. It was damn tragic.
trolls, and not enough spaces for them to live. This But, thing about orks and trolls is that they make
isnt true, but its what they said. So they offered for a fearsome team. Trolls may be big, but they
all metahumans the opportunity to relocate near aint dumb. A lot were well-read, including being
Sweetwater Creek State Park, where they were up on things like construction and business. And
going to build housing and a community from the not to knock my people as just strong backs, but
abandoned warehouses and factories east of the thats a thing they do in fact have. The Atlanta gov-

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ernment expected them to rot in squalor, because > Thats funny. Southern Guard is no better than an
all of a sudden that money for renovation and con- Atlantean Foundation subsidiary. Trace back the money
struction just wasnt in the budget, but when they and the stock ownership, and youll find a whole lot of it
actually sent out their census workers, they got in the personal portfolio of Shiela B.
back crazy numbers and even crazier stories. > 0rkCE0
The mayor at the time came out for a visit and
was shocked at what had become of this once-de- > Thats interesting, considering that Southern Guard has
crepit area. So much so that he even tried to get the also been getting friendly with DocWagon, another Atlanta
trolls and orks kicked out so he could gentrify the native, and operating as subcontracted HTR Teams for the
area. That didnt go over too well, and the first of medicorp.
many small scuffles went to the group with more > Balladeer
fighters over one hundred and fifty kilos. Political
pushing came next, but Sweetwater Creek had One big company wasnt enough for Sweetwa-
somehow already made friends with one of Atlan- ter Creek, but security is one of the few markets
tas biggest powerhouses, the Atlantean Founda- where size is a benefit, so Sweetwaters entre-
tion. Details of the origins of this alliance are lost to preneurs moved on to a place where size doesnt
several crashes, but locals talk about a team of trogs matter: the Matrix. Big Tech is a Matrix design,
who helped out an Atlantean scientist with a series security, and support firm started and based in
of research trips that located several powerful trin- Sweetwater Creek. They employ orks and trolls
kets. Point is, they kept the political wolves at bay with tech skills (and several technomancers, but
and allowed Sweetwater Creek time to shine. dont tell nobody). These two have been followed
With some pressure off and a powerful friend by a half-dozen or so others, giving Sweetwater a
looking out for them, folks felt Sweetwater might nice smattering of job opportunities for the orks
actually be a safe place. At least safer than Atlan- and trolls who live there.
ta proper, where lynchings were starting to come
back in style. It wasnt the brightest point in the > Best part is, they dont usually care about whether youve
capitals history. But despite this, local population got a SIN or not.They just employ you in a different aspect
grew rapidly, though unsurprisingly ork and troll of their operations.
populations around the rest of the city plummet- > Sounder
ed. Just about every ork and troll in the city packed
up and moved over to Sweetwater. It was tough > Im giving a rundown on some corps elsewhere. If you
in those early days. A lot of building, but we had want more info on some Sweetwater corps, check it out.
strong backs in abundance. > Goat Foot
Once they had the foundation, local econom-
ics started to pick up. Cash flowed in, mostly off With all the growth and the great community
the black and grey markets, but it was cash and it life here, it makes me sad to talk about the bad
moved through the local shops, giving Sweetwater parts. But they exist. First off, Atlanta treats the
its own little neighborhood economy. What came place like a foreign country. The capital has passed
next was the big step Sweetwater Creek needed. plenty of laws to make orks and trolls feel unwel-
It started with Southern Guard, a classically come in the city proper, and when they are there
named security firm that only offered two types they get treated like second-class citizens. It sucks
of officers: large and extra large. Site security, for them, and every other ork who comes to town,
bodyguarding, transport services, and other small- but Sweetwater Creek has done plenty to make up
team operations got them noticed. That and their for that and welcomes orks from around the world
unique statures. The efforts didnt stop there, and to stay there and just visit downtown.
Southern Guard recently earned single-A status Bad point number two: A trog utopia cant
from the Corporate Court during all this Megacor- stand without those who absolutely hate us
porate Revision mumbo-jumbo. It was a bit of a coming to try to knock it down. We get our fair
shock, since most of the corps out there are get- share of Humanis protests blocking the highway
ting knocked down, not boosted up, but somehow or marching through our streets. They usually
all them AAAs buying up the little guys left space keep it civil, mainly because Southern Guard
for a few more little guys. holds the towns policing contract, but theyve

32 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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done some property damage, and their verbal lots of people dont bother. End result is, this place
assaults dont go unheard by our youth. Worse is primo living for us orks.
than them, though, is Alamos 20,000. Theyve While the barrens districts definitely have ele-
already claimed six bombings, including one ments that suck, orks can find themselves a good
that took down part of town hall, but we cant family connection in Redmond and Puyallup. Even
get any real help in dealing with those bastards if its gang life with the Crimson Crush, its good
because politics being what they are, no one in to be an ork here. Best thing about these places is
Atlanta seems to care. that everyone here gets to feel like we orks do all
the time. Stepped on, looked over, and kicked to
> The Feds have been there to investigate, but the locals the curb unless were lickin boots. Plus, for trolls
are so xenophobic, they dont talk to the smoothie agent out in the barrens, nobodys gonna come along
that gets sent.The office in Atlanta has been requesting an and check your building permit for a little remod-
ork be transferred to work with Sweetwater, but for some eling to make the place more user-friendly. Ive
reason it keeps getting held up. seen plenty of places where the occupants have
> Butch totally stripped a building of a floor. Its like the
troll version of high ceilings. Staircases are usual-
> Transfers have been blackmailed, killed, and had family
ly the biggest issuethey arent built for troll feet
kidnapped in order to keep them out of the Atlanta office.
or, more troublesome, troll mass. It can be a rough
And we all know whos doing that dirty work.
life, but its better than living under someones
> Bull
boot in the fancier parts of town.

SEATTLE > Those structural issues are serious trouble. I know there

STOMPING
are places that use them as a way to keep trolls out, and
thats a drek thing to do, but it takes a bit of reinforcement
GROUNDS to support their bulk. And out in the barrens, where things
have been deteriorating for decades, trolls are best off
looking for a place with a nice concrete slab and staying
POSTED BY: SEATTLES BEST
away from the heights.
We all know Seattle is a hub of shadowrunning
not only in NorthAm but around the world, and
> Goat Foot

we orks populate the shadows in abundance. We


As for the rest of the metroplex, its mostly
wont get into the cultural reasons of itthis aint
manageable except for one district: Snohomish.
the place for thatbut I did want to point out the
That place is a racist death trap for orks and trolls,
best place for orks to live here, those spots that
and even non-dandy elves, who wander across its
show them love, and the worst spots that they
borders. It seems like almost every resident is a
should avoid like there is some kind of ork-specif-
member of a policlub, mostly Humanis, but sev-
ic plague found there.
eral other less-than-friendly off-shoots are repre-
And trolls roll right alongside us in all these
sented with lawn signs and window decals. If you
places, too, dont want to forget about our big
aint garden-variety human, keep the window tint
brothers.
up and the trog rock turned down.
Ask any tusker in the Emerald City and theyll
still call it the Ork Underground. Its formally
known as the Seattle Underground District, but
> One thing to point out: This is no different than a garden-
variety human stepping foot in the Underground. Even
we all know who lives down there. Yup, there being official and removing the ork preface, its not
are halfers and a few keebs, but tuskers and trolls welcoming to humans.
rule the roost. Theres no place in the world that > Sounder
an ork feels more welcomed and accepted than
here. That includes places like Germany, but then > Theres a difference between keeping people out because
again its the Troll Republic, not the Ork Republic. of fear and hate, and keeping people out because you
Though Id say they treat trolls pretty solid in the arent a sideshow for them to ogle in wonder and awe.
Underground. Only major problem is right there in Humans treat the Underground like its a trip to the zoo.
its nameits underground. Making enough space They go for the amusement of seeing the poor orks.
for trolls means carving up some extra rock, and > Bull

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them. That doesnt mean genocide or anything,


> Dont be too upset, Bull, I go everywhere to be amused
but it means developing a culture where metas are
by the people. No matter whether tusks, horns, height,
increasingly invisible. If you do an effective enough
haughtiness, or humanity separates them from me,
job alienating people from society around them, you
people are just amusing.
dont have to worry about exiling them. They just
> Kane
leave of their own accord.
> Sunshine
NEO-TOKYO
But Neo-Tokyo is a vast city, and no city of this
POSTED BY: SUGOI SUZU size is ever just one thing. There may be worries,
There are always people in any nation who want but they do not consume every moment of each
to put discriminatory practices in the past. In ork or trolls life, and there are parts of this city
the Japanese Imperial State, youll have peo- where we thrive.
ple emphatically tell you how they havent sent One of these parts is Harajuku. For a decade
orks or trolls to Yomi Island in sixteen years. So this has been one of the gathering places of the
clearly the racism problem is solved! But when citys young, the place where you go to find the
the emperor talks regularly about a return to tra- hottest new designers who are setting up shop
dition, people cant help but wonder if traditions and selling their new designs directly to the pub-
steeped in racism are among the ones these in- lic. The younger generations of Japan are more ac-
dividuals are most eager to bring back. So far, cepting of metas than the old, and they are espe-
there has been no movement to make anything cially fond of anyone who knows how to use their
like that happen in Japan, and the decrease in unique body types as part of their designs. Youll
anti-ork and -troll activities noted in recent years find plenty of ork and troll designers here, but what
has not reversed itself. But youd better believe you wont find is a designer trying to make a trog
that trogs are scanning any political statements look like a graceful, flowing elf. Take Rockblood
coming out of the traditionalists to see if they (which is an assumed name; he was born Benji
can find hints of looming doom, or indications Nakamura). He focuses a ton of attention on the
that forces that might harm them are marshaling shoulders of his clothing, putting bold colors up
themselves behind the scenes. After years of reg- there and then tapering the garments into black
ular (if slow) progress, the specter of reversal is or other dark colors. The results make ork and troll
alarming, leading to increased tension in ork and shoulders even more imposing, drawing attention
troll communities. to the power of our forms. His troll fashions use
tight shirts with a nanoweave that allow dermal
> The build-up theyre worried about is happening, but at deposits to poke through, then close up the holes
levels that are way out of anyones sight.The governments when the garment is removed. The dermal depos-
contracting power is considerable, and it has long been its become part of the fashion in a clear statement
used to buy allies, generate favors, and funnel money of troll pride (though Rockblood is an ork).
to secret caches. Plenty of traditionalists have gotten Thats just one example. There are other cre-
government contracts in the past few years, and you can ative designers and artists in the district who make
be sure that some of that money was placed into hidden no apologies for what they are and who they de-
accounts instead of spent on designated projects. That sign for. Their work has no appeal to humans (ex-
money is still there, waiting. cept for trog posers), and that is perfectly accept-
> Snopes able to the designers. If youre in Neo-Tokyo, try to
make time for a trip here. Its refreshing.
> Look, Japan is not going to open up a race war, or exile
metas, or anything crazy like that. Most of the traditions > Its not just for relaxation, either. Besides the normal corp
theyre concerned about date to a time way before metas, intrigue of businesses wanting to spy on each other to get
so they dont really need to do anything about metas to a leg up on competitors plans, there is an underground
emphasize those traditions. technomancer railroad that runs through here, helping
> DangerSensei keep TMs out of Mitsuhamas hands. Some of the
designers keep TMs there for a time, letting them help
> Thats an overly sanguine view. When you emphasize design some techno-fashions. Its a good hideout, because
a time without metas, you are planning on erasing the cover is pretty legit. MCT comes sniffing around there

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periodically, so there can often be work in feeding them


misinformation or quickly removing someone who needs
NAGASAKI ONI
to get out, quick.
POSTED BY: YOMI NOMORE
> Jimmy No
Want to give a place a reputation, drop an atomic
> Some of the escapees have moved to Akihabara and bomb on it. Want to give it an even worse repu-
formed an alliance of anti-Japanacorps technomancers. tation, welcome orks and trolls there under false
Though thats a little off-topic. pretenses, and then get angry when they dont all
> Netcat die or go sterile. Thank you, Mitsuhama!
As most educated folks know, way back in World
The flip side of Harajuku is Kudan. If there is War Deuce, the US actually dropped a WMD on Ja-
a hotbed of traditionalist sentiment that will roll pan to get them to stop fighting. (It took two, which
back protections for trogs, its here. The headquar- goes to show the tenacity and strength of the Jap-
ters of the Imperial Army is nearby, and plenty of anese character.) This led to a ton of deaths, but it
trogs believe that contributes to the Saito-like feel didnt create a radioactive wasteland like todays big
of so many people here. Stay away, unless youre bombs would. In fact, Nagasaki came back strong.
gathering intel on the opposition. Right up until the late teens, when mana and mass
Roppongi is kind of a mixed blessing for trogs. idiocy combined to cause all sorts of problems in
Its in the Minato ward, long reputed to be the best the region. Ancient history lesson: In short, Naga-
place for metas, partly due to its high population saki went toxic. The astral taint on the city is well-
of foreigners. Its got a lot of energy, with bars, known in magic circles.
strip clubs, brothels, and nightclubs keeping traf- It became a tough place to survive, but it still
fic in the neighborhood at all hours, especially the had inner strength and a survivor mentality, so as a
later ones. Trogs can find a lot of work here, but rising megacorp with slacking morals, MCT want-
its not always good work. Business owners see a ed a workforce they thought could handle difficult
troll, and they automatically think bouncerget- environments. They found a great solution to two
ting pigeonholed is all too easy. problems. It helped that they didnt care if the orks
and trolls (monsters in their eyes) didnt survive.
> Theyre especially interested in hiring oni bodyguards, for But they did. Problem is, they stopped work-
that authentic local flavor or whatever. Youll get some ing for MCT, because, well, theyre horrible to
people taking those jobs with a sense of pride, thinking most metas. Japanese orks are called oni (de-
theyre being recognized for their distinct nature, while mons), which tells you most of what you need
others think theyre being objectified and exploited. I lean to know about their thoughts on them. That
toward the latter. was the problem for MCT. For orks and trolls, it
> Mihoshi Oni was great. They made themselves a healthy lit-
tle community and really took on the survivor
And, of course, you cant have a red-light dis- mentality of the city. So much so that the hibaku-
trict without a reasonable flow of people wanting shasurvivors of the bombgave them a place
to know what its like to get it on with a trog. Some of honor and protected them when MCT sent
people are willing to satisfy their curiosity, but be- forces to remove them.
waretheres a variety of working conditions in Since then, the orks and trolls of Nagasaki
these places, ranging from reasonably consider- have weathered the rise of the Kihara-rengo, the
ate of worker welfare to pretty much slavery. local yakuza, by standing firm against their influ-
ence and attempts at intimidation. Again, a great
> What this means is that if you are looking for a trog that way to tick off MCT, though the Kihara-rengo has
went missing in Neo-Tokyo, start in Roppongi.Trogs wont often not seen eye to eye with MCTs lackey yaks.
stick out there, so their presence wont raise questions, Their community almost fell in 2061 during the
and there are too many places where trogs might be held
Ring of Fire eruptions, but even the flow of lava
against their will.
cannot hold its course against the force of the Na-
> Mihoshi Oni
gasaki trogs. (Sorry chummers, this is just exciting
to me.) The local trogs banded together quickly
and did some awesome civil engineering that de-
flected and rerouted tons (literally) of lava around

36 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

their community. The cooled lava is now like a wall Now, you arent going to waltz in and sudden-
for them in the places where it stands. ly be living the ork dream. First off, thats a myth;
nowhere is a dream. Every place has its troubles,
> There was serious mojo involved in that, and not all of you just gotta find the spot that troubles you the
it was on the up and up. The Nagasaki trogs have a few least. Point is, youll need to work your way into
radiation shamans among their populace. Id say they the native way of life. Now dont go freaking out
border on toxic, but its not true. Theyre toxic, theyve just and thinking youll need to don a loin cloth and
got good PR. bone armor. Life here isnt some ancient throw-
> Mihoshi Oni back, no matter what Lagosian Heat shows you
every week. There are plenty of tribes that still
Last bit of coolness about these guys. Most live a simple life, and live it happily, but you can
people familiar with the Japanese underworld find tribes and groups in Nigeria that gladly ac-
have heard of the bosozuko, go-gangers who cept you for your tusks and let you live their way.
tear up the streets and highways of Nippon. Well, Youll need to make sure you understand that,
around Nagasaki, the top crew, Atoms Bombs, get because nothing makes a tribal leader angrier
all their wrench-work done by Tucho Ogi and his than to have some outsiders trying to convince
wrench monkeys at Rad Rides. Shes an ork, all her his people that everyone needs a commlink or
mechanics are trogs, and nobody can tweak a ride the latest Ares pistol. Well, maybe theyd be more
like them. Racers from all over Nippon have been angry if you tried to sleep with their daughter or
coming here for work. The only rule Tucho holds to convince their people to join another tribe, but
right now is that no other bosozuko can get work such things are ridiculous.
done. Thing is, to get into these places and meet
these tribes, youll probably have to pass through
> Not true. No oni get their bikes built there. Then again, Lagos and not get yourself killed. Orks in Lagos
they also own the shop. Tucho was the top rider for them
dont care much if youre a fellow ork; they care if
until a tire blowout at 200 kph sent her tumbling off Unzen.
you respect their tribe. Igbo and Yoruba are big,
> Turbo Bunny
but the Oshogbo and Warri have plenty of orks in
town that you could easily get help from if you talk
KINGDOMS OF right and pay your respects (pun intended).

NIGERIA AND > The Daka are ork-heavy and have gotten into bed with
THE CONGO Ares, making them well-armed and open to a little cultural
shift. Ares orks are finding a lot of work getting in with
TRIBAL LANDS the locals even though they still dont blend perfectly, they
still fit better than some Knight-knockoff exec.
POSTED BY: GROOVETOOTH > Traveller Jones
Lets get one thing cleared up real fast: Lagos is
not the only city in the Kingdoms of Nigeria, and Nigeria is interesting and welcoming, but trolls
to tell you true, its not even a city in Nigeria. Its and orks in the Congo Tribal Lands are a breed
an independent city-state, probably the reason apart. Possibly in a literal sense. Put on your lifting
why every runner whos ever thought traveling belt, because things are about to get heavy.
the world was a good idea knows this place. In- In the early days of goblinization, many orks
dependent cities are great for shadow biz. That and trolls fled their homes. Finding a place that
cleared up, Ill tell you that overall, the Kingdoms accepted them wasnt easy, so many traveled ex-
of Nigeria have a pretty positive view of orks. tremely long distances. Despite its war-torn histo-
Having tusks will often get you a little leeway ry and generally wild (as in nature) reputation, cen-
with locals as long as you dont act like a com- tral Africa gained a large number of orks and trolls
plete hollowhead. Most outsiders get the cold who just wanted to be away from the world and
shoulder at best, and hot lead isnt outside the all the drekheads who filled it. As the tribes in this
norm. Best bet is to make sure you know some of region began to connect to develop a unified sys-
the local culture, honor it, and be willing to admit tem based on the core idea of we dont want cer-
when you fragged up. tain people here, these trogs found themselves

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 37


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

facing another group that at first made them think > Several groups have gone after Wilcox for his work, but he
they needed to pack up again. Instead, they were always has the Congo to fall back to.
happily taken in. Their strength and resilience > Butch
were honored, and they were looked at as not only
strong warriors, but wise sages who knew when > Hes also got a small group of warriors who are dedicated
it was better to take to the road than fight. Their to protecting him in the Congo. He needs to hire private
multicultural backgrounds created quite a mixing security elsewhere. He dips into our ranks frequently, since
pot of social and cultural norms, but it seemed to he cant trust most of the megacorp security companies.
become an honor to learn as many of your peers > 0rkCE0
traditions as possible and build on your honor to
take up with them and their ways. Since I am mentioning Africa, Ill point out one
Over the years, this made for a very open cul- place orks arent welcome: Asamando. The wen-
ture that accepts newcomers if theyre willing to digo HMHVV variation isnt as simple as vampires
act in a similar fashion. But the open culture is not or ghouls; it ended up somewhere in the middle,
the most amazing part of life as a trog in the tribes with the worst of both worlds and virtually zero
of the Congo. Dr. Wilcox Graham is a little-known resemblance to the ork that turned. They dont
scientist studying orks and trolls around the world. even like letting in non-Infected orks for fear of in-
He focuses on analyzing the biology of the species fection. Their primary airport has warnings every-
and abolishing long-held myths about our kind. where, including some pretty gruesome images
His work in the CTL has shown some serious errors of wendigo that Im not entirely sure came from a
in lifespan estimations for orks and trolls, with es- photographer who survived the encounter.
timates for the latter breaking every report provid-
ed by earlier scientists. (The quotes are an ode to
Doc Dub, because hes connected every research
ORKS OF
program before him to some of the shadiest doc- AMAZONIA
tors on the planet, many currently employed by
our favorite genocidal health corp, Paladin Medi- POSTED BY: FAVELA CORONA
cal Group.) The good Dr. Wilcox reports members Bully! Thanks for the tap. You wanna know where
of the ingentis and robustus sub-type who arrived to be in Amazonia if you got tusks or horns, Im
in the CTL in the early to mid-30s, already in their the guy to ask. And you did. So that makes you
teens, twenties, and a few in their thirties, all of in the know.
whom are still alive.
Yes, that means orks and trolls that are be- > If he wants onto JackPoint, dont do it. I like it here, and Id
tween sixty-five and eighty-five years oldwell get kicked after I killed him.
beyond expectations for orks and up into the > /dev/grrl
realm of venerable for trolls, but these trogs are
still hale and hearty. Quite the surprise to many in When headed down to the land of the Amazon,
the world who see orks at forty already suffering you got two good options: Metrpole de Amazo-
the effects of old age. I dont have the science nia and Manaus. Theyre both very different, and I
background to understand his work, but he attri- need to give you a bit more detail before you go
butes a lot of it to their diet and where they live. wandering into trouble. In case you got a short at-
The rich, pure mana of the Congo, along with the tention span, Ill give you the bad news first.
pure environment, nourishes them in a way that Metrpole de Amazonia, a.k.a. the Rio de Ja-
orks in urban, and even first-world rural, areas just neiroSao Paulo sprawl, is a two-faced slitch. On
dont get. If I read his hypotheses correctly, he ac- one hand, you have the favelas of Rio, where orks
tually puts orks into a life expectancy category live like kings. Well, kings of the favela, but they still
equivalent to humans, and trolls look to have the get treated with respect and a touch of fear. Then
same speculative longevity as dwarves. Interest- you have the rest of the sprawl. The further you get
ing stuff. I know plenty of corps and other inter- from the favelas, the more suspicious people get
ested parties that would love to get their hands about orks. Due to the reputation they have in the
on this data. favelas, they just arent really welcomed anywhere
else.

38 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

Most places arent openly hostile, and if youve Palheiro seems to be good at her job. You wont
got an accent that they can tell isnt local, they get robbed in your sleep staying at her place, and the
might cut you some slack, so definitely dont try to cleanliness is good enough to keep the bugs from being
play like youre a local. Walk like an outsider, talk everywhere. So why hasnt she moved on to some other
like an outsider, and let them treat you like an out- neighborhood or establishment where she could make
sider. Some spots, particularly those close to the more, in nicer conditions? The two obvious answers
favelas, are actively hostile to orks. You see, sus- in these cases is shadow work or drug trafficking, and
picion farther out, hostility closer in. Several local in Palheiros case it seems to be the former. She keeps
organizations violently try to keep the orks inside her eyes and ears out for talent staying at her place, and
she can connect them to fixers with available work if her
the favelas and feel any move outside them is an
guests are sufficiently impressive.
attempt to spread their influence.
> Marcos

> And these organizations arent like Humanis. Its not just
humans trying to keep the orks down, its everybody who > Are we really at the point where we ask why someone
doesnt abandon their home and neighbors for a little
doesnt want them expanding their power base.
more money?
> Picador
> Chainmaker
Interesting thing about trogs in Metrpole:
They arent a united front. Orks dont look at trolls > Go to the favela, then see if you understand.

in the big-brothers-in-the-struggle kind of way. > Marcos

Instead, they push them out and treat them like


garbage just like a lot of the world does. In fact, a
> Yeah, Im from Lambeth. Shove it up your arse.

troll in the favelas is probably the property of one


> Chainmaker

of the tougher orks. Im not actually certain, but I


Now for the good newsand its not just
think this is one of the only places around where
good for orks, its good for all, as long as youre
the trolls and orks arent working side by side to
not a nature-destroying monster. Manaus has a
fight the oppressive system they live in. Probably
vibe where everyone is welcome, and the orks
because the orks have found a way to join the op-
(since thats what were focused on here) tend
pressive system.
to be some of the nicest because all the ones
The favelas of Metrpole can be a good place
with attitude and anger issues live happily and
to hide out, as most of the time the authorities
violently in the favelas of Rio. Well, not really.
have no desire to venture into them. And while
Its more like they get kicked out or socially os-
you might not find a lot of troll kinship there, you
at least need to know where you can find things tracized until they go find a better place to act
that are the right size, as a lot of the shacks in the like hoodlums.
favelas are really small. The Complexo de Alemo Thing about Manaus is that its truly an Awak-
is one of the favelas the authorities especially ened city. There are very few parts of this metrop-
avoid, and in the shadow of the gondola line is olis not arcanely grown, enchanted, or empow-
a flophouse run by a troll known as Palheiro. She ered, so its important to understand and accept
doesnt have many bedslike I said, buildings in every aspect of the Awakening, including every
the area are smallbut she is conscious enough of metatype, metavariant, and sapient species out
her size to keep four troll-sized beds in her rooms. there. The mentality in this place is different than
She also can tell you where to find food in troll- any other city Ive visited. My tusks didnt draw
sized portions. any more attention than the horse head on the
centaurs, and definitely didnt get me the ire they
> Theres an eternal struggle in the favelasif people there usually do.
were any good at doing legitimate business, they would
have moved on to work in a nicer part of the sprawl by > This guy is a piece of work. He is talking about the same
now. If theyre still operating in a favela, how competent Manaus, right? Major metro, extensive shadows because
can they be? Or, to ask a related question, if theyre good the corps there all play nicety-nice on the surface?
at their jobgood enough to make a decent income Is this guy a wageslave? I thought we only allowed
streamwhat secondary motivation is keeping them in pros here.
the favela? > Stone

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 39


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> Favela Corona isnt a wage slave, but he did grow up in > The only bridge to the island comes through Finnsnes.The
some really unpleasant places, and a city like Manaus is town had a decent vibe to it last year when Peikko started
going to seem idyllic to him. his efforts but a lot of anti-meta sentiment, especially anti-
As with all things here, take it with a grain of salt. troll, has been developing. At least four trolls have been
> Pistons killed, and a half dozen others attacked, when they tried to
pass through Finnsnes over the past few months.
Since Bully mentioned this was about all trogs > Traveler Jones
Ill mention that trolls have a great opportunity
here. Because most of the construction is tech- > Not to be the bearer of bad news, but those events cost
no-organic, it can be built, or adjusted, to suit all twelve human lives, and a matching number sent to the
shapes and sizes. A lot of the public spaces are local med centers. Tell the tale from both sides if youre
going to tell it. Finnsnes has been bringing in additional
built big so everyone fits, but thanks to the ad-
private security because of the number of trolls passing
justable nature of most of the construction, it has
through and the acts of violence theyre committing on
plenty of mid- and small-size structures where
their way to their little troll paradise.
smaller races are more comfortable and trolls can
be accommodated when necessary.
> Sunshine

> Flame war halted! Both sides have pointed out potentially
HERE BE TRLLS! skewed stories. Go get some facts or evidence before

(SCANDINAVIAN
making any more comments here on JackPoint.
> Bull

UNION) Life isnt easy there, but as the community


grows its getting easier. More workers to take
POSTED BY: NORTHERN HEAVY
care of the land and help build homes and local
While those Black Forest blokes get all the atten-
structures. Mining the nearby hills is supplying
tion, and for a bit they were the destination of
some beautiful stone, and Peikko found several
choice for trolls, the Scandinavian Union is once
stonemasons early in his efforts who are mak-
again finding trolls, especially the native giant
ing structures that are not only sized and built for
metavarient, moving in rather than out. There are a
trolls, even giants, but also beautiful.
couple of spots to focus onIm going to cover the
That reminds me of a good point to bring up about
island of Sifjorden, and I hear another poster will
be covering the deranged Vikings of Avaldsnes. Peikko Kotiin (thats the name of their community).
One thing to make clear right offwhile there The life of giants anywhere in the world is tough. Basic
may be some good spots for orks and trolls in the trolls have it rough, but add another meter in height,
Union, this is no thanks to the local governments. and fitting in anywhere becomes almost impossible.
Theyre still getting pushed around by some se- The construction in PK is all built with that in mind.
rious anti-meta forces, the same ones that led Your average troll actually gets to feel small, or at least
to their departure. The difference now is a local not cramped, in this place. Smaller folks feel down-
hero named Peikko Skarsgaard. Peikko has made right tiny, as nothing in PK is built to accommodate
a place and put the word out for trolls to return, or them. This may be a spiteful bit of vengeance or just
come, to this sacred homeland to show that ha- an effort to truly make the trolls feel like its built with
tred and tyranny do not control them. just them in mind, but it truly makes for a strange visit
There is a catch. This move is not back into if you arent over 2.5 meters.
the metropolitan areas, but instead into a rath- PK is working very hard at being a self-sufficient
er remote locale on the south shore of Sifjorden community, so the list of other jobs in town are nu-
in Norway. Its a mountainous peninsula that merous, and many are remarkably boring. Because
lacks real roads, but Peikko operates a transport they are the only residents, there are plenty of roles
service with a beat-up Osprey out of Narvik, or you dont normally find trolls in. Some of the more
trolls can come on foot from any of the other cit- advanced fields, where trolls are usually shunned,
ies on the island. Its not an easy journey, but its were harder to fill, but that was why Peikko worked
worth it to join a community thats really good to draw trolls from the Black Forest. Theyve been
for trolls. getting that advanced skillset for a long time.

40 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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> Interesting Northern didnt mention that Peikkos initial > Thats philo-drek. Lifes tough. We all know it. But Id
funding (which he is still using) came from Evo. Theyre breathe my last before I took on the corporate choker. Ork
also supplying the local stores and businesses. I get that love for life!
its normal because Evo is the meta-friendly mega, but > Hard Rock
they have no competition here. Strange. This seems to be
just an Evo corporate town. > There is plenty of ork love in Evo, young chummer. Its
> 0rkCE0 kind of the corps schtick. Theyre proving that they have
some empathy for the metas they make their billions off
> Theres a shadow transport operation using only troll of because they are letting these trolls live a life in their
riggers that is based near PK. Its far enough to not look remote little town, away from a world that just doesnt get
related to the town, but all the riggers live in PK. The cash them yet. And may never. But Evo does.
they are raking in feeds back into this community and Damn, I sound like an Evo-mercial.
helps it fund the resources it doesnt have yet. > 0rkCE0
> Turbo Bunny
I shouldnt just focus on trolls, even though I ti-
> Sorry Turbo, thats no shadow courier service. The rigs tled the article Here Be Trlls!, because the orks
may not be registered and the pilots might be flying on have found a firm footing in the fjords of Finland.
phony SINs, but this complex of an operation screams Say that ten times fast! Truth is, they actually flour-
corporate support, and since Evos the only mega in town, ish in a lot of places in the Scand U, though most
my moneys on them.
of those places have one big thing in common:
> Traveler Jones
water. The orks in the Scandinavian Union have
been welcomed en masse to work on the docks
> Just to be clear, this little movement isnt draining the
and boat crews all over the coastal towns and
Black Forest of their citizens. PK is small. Maybe five
hundred trolls in total live there.The big draw is that every
cities. Everywhere you find a wharf, youll find a
other metatype has a big ole goose egg in the census community of orks tied to working it.
numbers. Theyre growing steadily, but with only trolls And in that is both the boon and the bane.
welcome, their potential growth is limited, especially Each towns ork community is like its own little
considering the financial and social position of most gang. Its not the best analogy, and they dont de-
trolls. Getting from Seattle to PK could easily run over 50K serve the negative connotation that comes with it,
for a troll, and I dont know many trolls with that kind of but they arent welcoming of outsiders, especially
cash sitting around. other orks. Competition is fierce for work in these
> Icarus places, and every group wants to have the best and
strongest. They often push out the weakest, who
> Since its already out there, Ill just open up. If you want to then try to go find another town to work in. They
go there and dont mind taking a handout to help, hit up arent seen in the best of light in most other places.
your local Evo HQ or office. Ask to be connected with Vice These moves are sometimes strategic, and in order
in Vladivastok. Hes not a troll, but hes a contact point for to better their home community, an ork will go to
getting a ticket. He used to run the shadows under the same another community and sew discord. Its an inter-
handle but now acts as a worldwide Mr. Johnson for Evo. esting chess game between a group of individuals
> Hard Exit
that most people just look at as big, dumb muscle.
The ones that are genuinely shunned and
> Fraggin sellout.
kicked out usually end up on shipping and fishing
> Hard Rock
vessels. Better to go out to sea than to try to deal
with the racism and segregation they find inland.
> Fraggin rookie.
On the boats, they rise in the ranks thanks to their
> Hard Exit
strong work ethic and drive to be better. It doesnt
> Who you callin rookie? hurt that they are rarely smaller than even the big-
> Hard Rock gest other people on the boats. Trolls dont do
well on ships, elves have the balance but not the
> Walk a mile in my shoes. See the path Ive taken. Then bulk, and humans just arent a match in the brawn
judge the course I choose. department. The only meta group they struggle
> Hard Exit against is the dwarves. Strong backs and usually

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 41


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

a bit of tech skill gives them a one-two punch of > Interesting turn of events. Im glad he left that for the end
assets. Luckily, most dwarfs have an aversion to and didnt go back and rewrite the whole thing. Seeing
being out on open water. Stubby legs and dense someone change for the better is rare in this world, rarer
muscle are not a good combo if treading water be- in this line of work, and ultra-rare on this VPN. Good on
comes necessary. you, Northern.
Since most chummers reading this arent going > Stone
to be looking for work on the docks, or out on a
boat, this information isnt just valuable to the lo- > Northerns dead. Sent this off, went to Scandinavia, got as
cals. Its best to make your intentions crystal clear far as Finnsnes, and found out just how rotten that town
when youre getting chummy with local orks in the has become. RIP chummer. Your words are forever here.
SU. Even if youre working a job to trash or grab And in the Resonance Realms, if cat is to be believed!
a Maersk shipment, youre better off telling them > Slamm-0!
thats what youre there for instead of trying to but-
ter them up. Being too friendly makes them think AVALDSNES
youre working an angle from another community.
Best bet is to get a sense of the room, determine POSTED BY: 2XL
whos working the dock and if anyone is operating Im not going to tell you how to feel about these
as security, and work your way in with the dock- guys, because Im not sure how I feel. Ive heard
workers to gain info. Most would much rather you all the argumentsthat theyre living up to the
dig for dirt honestly and give them a chance to worst stereotypes about orks and trolls and just
warn their guys of trouble rather than to go in and providing fodder for people who want to believe
risk having to hurt someone unnecessarily. we are nothing but savage brutes. That they are
showing how orks and trolls dont have to play by
> Watch out for Maersk Srskilda Skyddgrupp slags the rules of society, and they can follow their own
hanging out in the bars where youd connect with the rules and build something strong and functional.
orks. They hang there to pick fights with tough sods and That they have built independence and strength
get info on ops going down against Maersk. for themselves. That they are in danger of mov-
> Picador ing from the status of easily ignored gnat to that
of annoying mosquito, so they are in danger of
All in all, though the Scand U isnt the best over- being swatted by the powers that be.
all place to be a trog, they have some great niches. As I said, Im undecided. Part of me rolls my
Then again, this is exactly the kind of thing that eyes whenever I hear about them. And part of me
we are trying to get away from, right? Orks and wants to run off and join them. Ill try to present
trolls in stereotypical positions. Peikko Kotiin of- facts as clearly as I can so you all can decide what
fers a wide range of opportunities for trolls, but its you will decide.
isolated and segregated, which is probably what a Just off the southwest coast of Norway sits the
lot of the world wants. And while the orks are the island of Karmy, and toward the northern end of
ones fighting hard for their communities, its kind the island is the village of Avaldsnes, home of Har-
of making me think. This is basically keeping them ald Fairhair, the first king of Norway. Get ready for
focused on fighting amongst themselves, rather a time warp if you go therethere is not an ARO in
than trying to get out into the rest of Scandinavia. sight, and modern architecture is shunned. Im not
Well. Didnt expect to come out of writing this saying they dont have the Matrix, but they like to
with a suddenly different opinion, but I guess what keep it subtle. If you need the Matrix, you use your
those trolls told me is true. Writing the words gives commlink screen, or perhaps an ARO visible only
them strength. It makes you think about them more to you. A few buildings have sod roofs, and very
than just saying them. It makes you own them. few of them are taller than three stories. The most
If Im going to see things in a new way, I guess imposing building is a stone church with a large
this is the best place to drop the data. Runners of square tower. This is St. Olavs Church, originally
the world, heres a place that needs some hooders built as a Christian church in fourteenth century. It
and anarchists. Hit the Scand U and help the trolls retains its Christian functions while accommodat-
and orks get the place they deserve, not the place ing a broader base of worship, most notably to the
theyve been put. older gods of Norway.

42 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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The thing about the village, though, is that it about it. The ships have been identified in well
pales in comparison to the boats. over a dozen raids, everyone knows where the
At most times, a fleet of longships is docked ships dock, and none of the residents of Avaldsnes
in the Karmsundet strait. They ape the appearance are exactly subtle about how the towns economy
of ancient Viking watercraft but are considerably works. So why doesnt the government sweep in
larger and rely on neither sails nor oarsthey have and take care of what is clearly nothing more than
a number of engines lining the sides to mimic the a band of pirates?
maneuverability oars can provide. They are con- Because, according to many rumors, they are
siderably faster than longships, of course, as a top much more like privateers. The very first raids by
speed of ten knots would never do for modern the Avaldsnes Vikings were rather haphazard in
combat. And thats what theyre used for. their targeting. They mainly just shot up whatever
The orks and trolls of Avaldsnes have decided to buildings were near the shore and then ran ashore
reclaim their Viking heritage, by which they mean to see if there was anything valuable inside that
raiding whoever the hell they feel like. Other vil- hadnt been destroyed by the barrage. It didnt
lages in the Scandinavian Union are the easiest for take long, though, before they became more tar-
them to reach, but sometimes they make their way geted, focusing on corporate warehouses and
to the British Isles or Allied German States just for displaying a knack for hitting especially valuable
variety, and to keep the government heat off them. goods, including new consumer electronics, de-
Which leads to one of the mysteries of this signer fashions, and legal, semi-legal, and ille-
villagewhy is it tolerated? There is no mystery gal pharmaceuticals. Millions of nuyen worth of

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 43


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

goods have been destroyed and/or stolen. Not at few options open to them that they more frequently turn
all coincidentally, the western Norway black mar- to illegal activities is simply accurate.
ket has been thriving, the quality of buildings in > Sunshine
Avaldsnes has been improving, and their fleet of
ships is growing. So the good news is, there is a safe and pros-
perous haven for orks and trolls off the western
> Heres one of the tricks about this place: The longships coast of Norway, where it never gets too hot but
they have are not any known model, and there are no the ocean keeps it from getting too cold. The only
records on who is selling them to Avaldsnes. The town bad news is that some corp or nation might decide
has no ship construction yards, so they arent building to smash the whole thing to bits at any point.
them themselves. Where are they coming from?
>
YAKUTA TOLD
Sounder

Officially, the Scandinavian Union government ME THIS PLACE


has labeled the town as lawless and has cut off
all government support from the area. Given that WAS SO COLD
they are active pirates whose base is well known,
the pirates seem quite fortunate to have gotten POSTED BY: NEILB4M3
off with that fate, and the German and UK govern- (A.K.A. SILK ROAD CYBER)
ments, as well as representatives of other states Titles a little funny, but it just made sense for this
in the Scandinavian Union, have filed multiple place. Fraggin Siberia! This place has had a bad
protests. If these protests continue to fall on deaf rap for millennia and the transition of power to a
ears, expect the aggrieved parties to take action native spirit did not change the local flavor much.
beyond paper filing. Which makes sense, because its a local spirit.
The Vikings, of course, respond to these pro- Huh, never thought of it that way.
tests by saying bring it on. Their leader, who Anywho, were talking about orks and trolls and
calls himself Hardrada after an old Viking king, the places they live around the world. I was pop-
has gone to great lengths to declare Aveldsnes ping around chat spots and happened to run into
as a free city (or free village, whatever) and say Clockwork. Not the best of sources, but a hobgob-
that his people will live as they will, according to lins an ork right? He mentions that the JackPoint
an old code, and none will stop them. Its a bold crew is building a little data drop on orks and trolls.
tactic, because while Hardrada and his crew have Hes all piss and vinegar about it, because hes sure
some nice ships and a reputation as fierce fighters, everyone whos going to post will toss up some
theyre sitting ducks. If anyone takes a mind to it fluff or talk out their rectum, or worse, not be an
and doesnt care about pissing off the Scandina- ork or a troll. As if the views of others arent im-
vian Union, they could take the whole village out. portant. Well, I step out, swap a few bits of code,
As far as Im concerned, it currently is a question and swagger back in with the baddest Neil the Ork
of when, not if. Barbarian persona out there. Nobody but an ork
In case you hadnt guessed yet, the reason this would rock this bad boy, right? I hit up Clockie,
is posted here is that the vast majority of these start talking smack in Orzet, get all My grandma
neo-Vikings are orks and trolls, so Aveldsnes is a can whoop your grandma on him, and boom, hes
very ork- and troll-friendly town. There are a num- spewing garbage again. My angle has worked like
ber of theories as to why there are so many orks a charm. He gets back on the trog-talk topic and
and trolls there, ranging from the innocuous and whallah, Im in and offering a report on Yakut. Why
most likely true (Hardrada is an ork, and he brought Yakut? Because its Yakut, and trolls and orks have
in his friends first, and they brought in their friends, no problem fitting right into the rest of the freak-
and so on, and trogs know trogs) to the offensive show. No offense intended. I just mean the place
(orks and trolls like violence, so of course theyre is crazy, but in a way thats good for a group of
attracted to this group!). people that need a place they can be understood
and not feared. So, Clockie, when you read this,
> Yes, saying orks and trolls are innately violent is offensive, know that NeilB4M3 is as smooth as they come.
but recognizing that marginalized groups often have so Im a drek-born smoothie, as you called us, but

44 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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I wont hold that against you. Seems no one here world. When breaking a chunk off Mother Russia,
likes you, either! they couldnt have chosen a much harsher piece of
property. Guess thats what you get when the one
> This slot is dead! helping you break off that chunk is a spirit who
> Clockwork could care less about the temperature as long as
the mana is warm. Point about the environment
> SRC was officially accepted as a member of the JackPoint is that most of Yakut is open land and really cold.
VPN as of two seconds ago. Touch him and say goodbye Several cities are clustered along the southern bor-
to your access, Clockie! der and the northern coasts, but much of that land
> Slamm-0! in the middle is unpopulated.
By metahumans, at least. The wilds of Yakut are
> Um, I dont think we voted on that?
the reason for the divisiveness in the nation. The
> Glitch
locals made the deal with Vernya to break free of
Russia, but after they got their wish, they suddenly
> I vote yes.
realized they werent the only ones who claimed
> Bull
this region as part of their heritage. Vernya knew
> You FUCKERS! This is bullSHIT! You cant be about the massive shifter population well before
> Clockwork the locals, and they knew who theyd side with
should disagreements arise. The shapeshifters
> Banhammer applied. became Vernyas answer to the KGB, and Yakut
> Bull gained a rebellion.
This is where the orks and trolls have found a
> Whyd you do that? I believe he was about to say any place to fit in. Shifters are tough. Trolls and orks are
more awesome than you currently are! tough. Vernya has her powerhouses. The Sagan
> Slamm-0! Zaba (thats the rebels, though dont let them hear
you call them that) are luring orks and trolls to be
> Dont push it, Slamm-0! That move puts you on thin ice, their powerhouses, and theyre also training those
and its getting warm in here. orks and trolls to be more than fighting machines.
> Glitch Technical skills, mechanical skills, computer skills,
tactics, and medicine. Everything you can think of
Credentials time, though Im sure to have won is being offered to the muscles of the meta world
over a few people just for wrackin on Clockwork. that are willing to come join their cause. Since this
Im a top-tier hacker spending most of my time isnt an advertisement, but instead informative,
working for the caravans on the Silk Road. Ive Ill point out that a lot of orks and trolls are going
done scores of diversions up into Yakut because there, getting training, and then slipping south to
Im not a desk-decker. I did my time ducking bul- the Silk Road and hopping a caravan back to Vlad-
lets with various acronymed organizations but ivostok. Not all, but some. Enough stick around
found the pseudo-shadow life more my speed that the Sagan Zaba doesnt put restrictions in
when my employers were defunded. As I said, Im place to keep them there, but once they leave,
human. Im not an ork poser or a troll groupie. I theyd better never return. The Sagan Zaba have
just know when a group of people deserve more a classic Russian mean streak and offer those who
credit than public perception offers. And let me desert a slow death being drawn and quartered, or
say one thing right off the bat: I wont use the T a fast death being fed to their boars. And yes, they
word. Its not mine to use. I know plenty of orks have mounts big enough to drag a troll.
and trolls who toss it around like its nothing, but I
respect my place in that banter. > The merc unit, Amur Tigers, are known to send their
As for Yakut: This place is built for hard peo- trainees into Yakut. Twice. Once is to engage with the
ple. Orks and trolls certainly fit that bill. Theyre as Sagan Zaba. The second time, their proving, as they call
tough as they come, but even they occasionally it, is to hunt shifters. They lose plenty of rookies, but the
get chewed up and spit out by mama Yakut. The ones who pass those two tests prove they have all the
environment is a mix of flat frozen hell, hilly chilly skills needed to be among this elite merc unit.
hades, and frag-nuts cold mountainous nether- > Picador

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 45


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Thats big picture stuff with a pretty dark an- leaders of this band of ork riders approached the
gle to it. There are better bright points. Novy, for citys governing body. They had already been
one. The wandering city takes all who can handle performing a valuable task without asking any-
the challenging life it offers. Moving every few thing of the city in order to prove their worth.
months means not just a nomadic life, but a life They scouted ahead and located suitable set-
where hard work, the work of building and taking tling areas within the proper traveling distance,
down a small city, occurs almost as often as the rode to nearby settlements to spread the word
cycles of the moon. The orks and trolls in Novy that Novy was coming, and then patrolled the
often find themselves splitting their lives between surrounding area to keep out any large forces
build up and tear down, working to keep order or natural problems, like the Awakened bears
and help protect the nomad city from implosion native to the region. The city recognized their
or division. Novy is a city of sales, and where there contributions, saw the value of their efforts, and
is selling, there is undercutting and theft. Security made them an official division of the citys po-
and policing has to fall on someone, and who bet- lice force. It was a great day for them, but an
ter than the biggest guys around who dont have even better day for the rest of the world, be-
as much trouble dealing with shifters when theyre cause they went from calling themselves To-
the ones causing the trouble. skanskiye Naletchiki to Novyy Karaul. The first
Bright point two is also around Novy, but still was a little funny if you had a hundred-year-old
quite the separate entity. As Novy attracted more sense of humor, but both showed that orks can
and more orks looking for work, it developed a be so unoriginal.
bit of an overpopulation issue. Too many orks, The force now accepts new riders, but you have
meant that between moves, there were too many to spend at least a year working inside Novy. After
to use as security, and even during the moves, that, you can ask to join their ranks and start being
there werent enough jobs to do all at once for all trained to fight while you ride. Those who aspire
the orks who wanted work. The extras didnt have to join, often purchase a bajanai from the traders
anywhere else to go, and after too many alterca- in Novy to ride while the city is on the move. While
tions in their drunken downtime, they were po- the city is stable, they usually lend the mount out
litely asked to leave the city. Not happy with this, to the Novyy Karaul so that it can be trained prop-
but not going to ruin it for everybody, they pooled erly. Its an expensive investment that doesnt al-
resources alongside a little begging off their em- ways pay off because the Novyy Karaul dont claim
ployed brethren and purchased tents and mounts, responsibility to training accidents.
both riding stock and breeding stock, because And since I dont just keep to one side of a sto-
they had a long-term plan. ry, I can also provide a little insight into life as an
Now, before I go much further, let me clear up ork or troll in the Vernya controlled parts of Yakut
my use of mounts. I use the term because Im because its relatively simple. Vernya trusts her
sure youve never heard of a bajanai or a hinkon. shifters. The shifters dont trust metahumans. By
Both are Awakened variants of the more well- some math property I learned in school and dont
known Yakut horse. The bajanai is a bulky beast remember, Vernya, therefore, doesnt trust meta-
of burden, easily doubling the size of the short, humans. Its not completely universal, but the last
stocky, Yakut horse, but similar in general appear- ones she helped out and made a deal with went
ance, though its snout is more compact and neck and got an artifact so that they could rebel against
slightly longer. The hinkon is about the same size, her. That sort of thing doesnt build trust.
but its body is covered with rhino-like plating, its Vernya may not trust metas, but she trusts in-
neck is thick and short, and its mouth has goring stinct. And survival is a very basic instinct. Doing
tusks like a boar and razor-sharp teeth. These are things to survive is a reliable expectation, espe-
the mounts Im talking about. cially when those things are more of a reaching
This schism occurred over a decade ago. goal, than a basic one. Vernya has no problem
While they had their ups and downs, this group letting anyone live in the cities she controls, but
of orks has made good on their plans. Because when you step out of line, youre shipped off to
with horses and tents they have been able to the mines. Literally. Vernya uses manual labor in
stay close to Novy as it moved. After a few years her mining efforts in order to preserve the order of
of following close and growing in number, the nature in her realm. No machines whatsoever, just

46 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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good old-fashioned picks, shovels, blood, sweat, are tough circumstances. Have you ever seen cir-
and tears. cumstances like that?
And guess who her favorite metahumans are Koloff: Tolstoy, he said that all happy families
to send off to these mining deathcamps? Yup, are alike, and unhappy families are different. He
orks and trolls! Though dwarves are actually at the is only half right. There are many ways to be hap-
top of the list, but they manage to slip through her py, and there are many ways to be unhappy. Saito
fingers more often when the time comes to pay expelled people, but there are other places where
the piper. Advantages of being small, I guess. Or metas are just mistrusted. They may like to leave,
maybe its that worldwide network of friends they but leaving is not easy, so they are forced to stay in
have, but thats for a different write-up. a place where people want them to work for their
So, take this as the warning. Head into Yakut livelihood but dont trust them with any of the jobs
at your own risk. Dont cross anybody (or at least that would support them. People must find a way
get caught crossing them), and make sure to bring to live where people do not want them to live but
warm clothes. also are forcing them to stay. It is a different way
of being unhappy.
> Anyone want to apologize for questioning me on letting Glitch: Can people really be forced to stay any-
this guy in? where? Trucks and planes bring in goods, there
> Slamm-0! are various vehicles that can be stolen, and every-
one has feet. In one of these places youre talking
> Im not entirely sure we need him, but he torqued off
about, couldnt people leave at some point if they
Clockwork just to get in, so hes all right by me.
really wanted to?
> Kane
Koloff: Oppression is a science. Really. There
are people who have studied it carefully. They un-
> Got a little addition here, since Neil didnt get into the
derstand the right amount of terror to inflict on
action in the capital city of Yakutsk. I dont blame him
getting anything into or out of that town is not easy. people so that they live in a perpetual state of
Recently, though, I made contact with an ork living in anxiety without being driven to complete chaotic
the city, and we had a number of chats over the past few insanity. Make sure everyone knows the stories
months. Here is an edited transcript of some of those of someone who attempted to flee and was im-
chats. Some of it is frustrating elliptical, I know, but thats mediately shot. Conduct random interrogations,
what has to happen when ruthless shapeshifting spies are where four out of five people are simply ques-
everywhere. tioned, and the fifth is tortured. The people who
And if theyre here, reading this, all I have to say is: were simply questioned begin to feel like the
Hi! Fuck you! lucky ones.
> Glitch If you do this correctly, you induce a state of
perpetual anxiety. Do you know what people who
Koloff: There are people here who say it is just are anxious all the time really like to do? Drink.
like any place. You have to learn the rules, adapt What you need to do, then, is make sure they have
to the circumstances, and then you may survive. a steady supply of their favorite native liquor, and
Glitch: Is that not true for you? they keep themselves in a nice drunken stupor.
Koloff: There are many places where it is not <Apparently those last paragraphs got a little
true. It is ridiculous to think that all places have too specific for Yakut censors, and Koloff was off
the same level of difficulty for living. Ask people the Matrix for about two weeks. Our conversa-
who lived in San Francisco under Saito, and then tions continued shortly thereafter.>
not under Saito. Was it the same, both times? Of
course not. Not all places are the same. > Koloff certainly understands the basic tactics, but one
Glitch: So in some places, you have to adjust. thing his description is missing is information on how to
Like in Saitos San Francisco, metahumans would spread stories about people who got away. You can have
have a very difficult timemost would have got- a State-run media, which provides certain benefits, but
ten right out, but some could not, so they would also downsides, as people learn to mistrust it. Double
live in hiding or try to find a way to be useful to agents, spies, and infiltrators play a critical role in any
the regime, which means theyre supporting a re- authoritarian regime, and one of those roles is to get
gime thats working against their people. Those information outtelling stories at the right time, leaking

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 47


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information that the State supposedly doesnt want you Glitch: Good point. Imagine, though, someone
to see, and other things along those lines. who changed their look so often that they lost all
> Sunshine sense of what their real self was. What kind of
effect do you think it could have on a person?
Glitch: I read an interesting paper recently about Koloff: Uncertainty. You may not know just
physical appearance and identity. who your actual self is, and that could lead to
Koloff: What made it interesting? self-doubt. That could put you in the position of
Glitch: It examined the psychological ramifi- many bullies and narcissists, where you lash out
cations of the Year of the Comet, specifically the at others to cover your own internal sense of
effect on changelings, people whose appearance weakness.
radically changed. They found higher instances of Glitch: Would that lashing out be random?
depression and schizophrenia among these indi- Koloff: Not necessarily. The easiest thing for a
viduals, as the change in appearance messed up bully to do is attack the weak, those who are low-
their conception of themselves and sometimes est on the social structure. That means if your per-
caused an entire break with reality. sonal doubt is focused on your own physical ap-
Koloff: Hmm. Interesting. But I assume some of pearance, you may lash out at those who are often
this is because the changes are out of their control, reviled for their physical appearance. By dominat-
yes? If you decide to re-invent your appearance ing them, you assert that you must be less reviled
on your own, it can lead to a stronger psyche, not than they, for you can control them.
a weaker one. Glitch: Doesnt sound strictly logical.

48 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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Koloff: The way neuroses play out often is not.


They respond to psychological need, not logic.
PARADISE FOR
A PAIR OF DICE
> Thats pretty theorizing and all, but maybe too detailed.
People like power, and many who are good at getting it POSTED BY: CARIB ORK
know how to divide people to serve their own ends. It can When youre looking to make a haven for your
be as simple as that, without the psychoanalysis. people and the only thing you ever seem to have
> Sounder on your side is luck, thats the game you play
until it runs out. Back in 2074, Brig Big Jimmy
<There was a gap of another few weeks before James was an average, everyday craps dealer in
a heavily encrypted file, with no signature, arrived Atlantic City. He had a cool nickname, sure, but it
in my inbox. The nature of the encryption algo- was earned because his name was confusing and
rithm convinced me it was from Koloff. It is the last he had a bit of a weight issue. What he lacked in
I have heard from him.> spectacular looks and personality he made up for
with a drive to see orks around the world come
A PARABLE together as a race and stop marching to the beat
There once was a wolf who decided to be a of societys drum. It was a lofty goal, and he had
shepherd. Chasing down sheep and avoiding no real plan to achieve it outside preaching on
shepherds and their dogs was wearying, and Matrix forums, and that got him nothing but tar-
it would all be much easier if the wolf had its geted by Matrix trolls, and not the horned kind.
own supply of sheep. There were obstacles, of What Brig had on his side were luck and a solid
course, the main one being that sheep dont like understanding of several gambling games, craps
wolves, and any gathering and caring for them being his favorite. Despite the fact that he wasnt
would not be easy, since the sheep would be at- supposed to, Brig often dropped advice on gam-
tempting to run away all the time, and their con- blers at his tables, especially those who were big
stant anxiety might keep them from living and tippers, seemed down on their luck, or had tusks.
reproducing as needed. The wolves thought He was reprimanded frequently and lost his place
about what they could do make the sheep at Caesars and ended up covering a table at Pha-
like them better, but then they came up with raohs East, a terrible knock-off of the Luxor in Ve-
the answer: bears. Bears are bigger and stron- gas. It was here that his life changed forever.
ger than wolves. Sheep should be even more As the legend goes, an elf in a deep-red fedora
scared of the bears than the wolves. Of course, and black trench sat down at his table on a partic-
the wolves would nudge this tendency along. ularly stormy New Jersey night. His luck was poor,
They would make posters depicting the bears and Big Jimmy offered a few timely suggestions.
as wild, slavering animals. They would make The elfs luck turned around, and when it came
sure the sheep reacted only with fear as soon as time to tip Big Jimmy, the elf wired him property
they came in sight of the bears. They would not deeds for a massive chunk of Cayman Brac. Big
necessarily like the wolves more, but the sheep Jimmy took the deeds and used the limited re-
would know the wolves were not bears. And if sources he had to buy a ticket to Grand Cayman.
the wolves would sometimes protect them from And the rest is history.
the bears, taking a few out who were judged to I like the legend. Makes it more romantic for all
be the worst threatswell, the sheep could live the orks who have come to Ork Brac in order to
with that. find a more peaceful and calmer life. Its a strug-
gle, dont get me wrong, but its still island life.
> No one really wants to go to Yakutsk right now, and while Thing is, it aint true, and not knowing the real sto-
the details are scant, and this is just one mans subjective ry and being in our line of work can be hazardous
and concealed opinion, its a strong enough warning to to your health.
really stay away if youre a trog. This piece of the Cayman Islands belonged
Unless, of course, youre the kind of person who likes to Sir Archibald Wimship. He was a British aris-
jumping into the maw of danger. tocrat with too much money and too many
> Glitch closely related ancestors, but a brilliant sci-
entific mind for a short time. In the mid-60s,

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he pushed the field of inter-species commu- Thing about Wimship is, his paranoia should have
nication, successfully claiming Dunkelzahns developed earlier. Long before he ever created a mir-
bequest of forty million nuyen and a Cayman acle of modern science and got into the crosshairs
Island. Shortly after the success of his project, of the megas, his family had been targeted for the
the technology was stolen from him by one of collection of interesting heirlooms they possessed.
the megacorps, leaving him to grow extremely Most of the pieces just held collector value for sev-
paranoid. After the loss of his lab and his work, eral centuries before magic came back to the world,
he sunk the vast majority of his fortune into but then suddenly had power. Prior to Archibald, the
owning Cayman Brac, the farthest east of the Wimship family had strong connections to many of
Cayman Islands, which he chose from Dunkelz- Europes secret societies. Archibald wanted nothing
ahns hoard. His ownership didnt give him a big to do with these, but he found himself targeted by
empty island, something his paranoia required them. As it happened, every attempt on his life took
he start with, so he used his own vast resources another member of his family. He became the sole
and the nuyen left by the Big D to buy most of inheritor of the entire Wimship fortune.
the residents off the island. He didnt manage Sounds lucky, eh? It was. A luck provided by a
to evict everyonethere were several holdouts pair of bone dice etched with runes. One of those
who valued the place they lived on the island many heirlooms that just happened to be Awak-
more than any amount of money to get off the ened artifacts. Lots of money, plus lots of crazy,
island, who chose not to sell. The ones who plus lots of mojo, and now his own private island,
chose to stay were almost entirely made up of led Archibald to move his familys vast collection
orks and trolls. They valued the peace and safe- to the island.
ty that had been their familys birthright since
Dunkelzahn first took over governance of the > This screams dragon manipulation. As if Dunkelzahn
islands in the 20s. Theyd had a place to be wanted this guy to get one of his islands and then bring
safe for half a decade. He let them stay, partly all of his familys artifacts to it.
out of a lack of options, he wasnt the violent > Kia
type, and partly because they seemed to calm
his paranoia. Now we get to 2074 again, when Big Jimmy is
playing the stickman on a quiet Wednesday after-
> So someone collected on the communication bequest, noon. An old man, sophisticated British gent, sits
and the Draco Foundation didnt say anything? down and starts shooting. Its quiet, and Jimmy, the
> Sunshine boxman (its like the dealer but craps doesnt have
cards), and the old fellow are shooting the breeze.
> The DF stopped being overly public about the will after a Jimmys talking about his dreams of a safe place for
few years. It just wasnt worth the string of cons and BS orks, the boxman is constantly warning Jimmy to
artists who popped out of the woodwork every time the zip it and focus, and the old man just listens.
world was reminded of the Big Ds will. The day rolls on and business is about to pick
> Frosty up when the old man poses Brig with a bet. Player
on player, shoot to win with a bit of street craps.
> That one just seems like a big one.
The boxman bails, not about to get fired for Brig,
> Sunshine
and the old man pulls out the bone dice.
He handed that luck right off to Big Jimmy, lost
> It is. But then it got quickly stolen by a megacorp. This
his bet offering Big Jimmy an island where he might
screams the DF grabbing it based on the secret will of
Dunkelzahn.
find a place for that dream, and then dies in an At-
lantic City hospital later that night from the com-
> Plan 9
plications of cancer he had been battling for years.
> Secret will? Now, Brig didnt get all this without complica-
> Skinner tions, and thats where we of the shadowy skills
come in. Archibald left Brig a warning about the
> NOOOO!!! Dont get him started. Chat elsewhere you artifacts and the trouble that would come, and he
two. The conspiracy forum is <here>. also tasked him with protecting them. For Brig, it
> Glitch was like some exciting fantasy trid come to life

50 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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that has since turned into a serious drama with > If only to state the obvious, there was a reason that
way more life-or-death decisions than he ever Dunkelzahn purchased the Cayman Islands, and it wasnt
wanted to make in his life. to shelter his massive fortune.Theres a mystic connection
The island, particularly the entire eastern tip of here, and Cayman Brac is at the crux of it all. The island
the island, is entirely for orks and trolls. Its also has several alchera, and the manasphere there is quite
where the artifacts are kept. Most of the trogs who powerful and heavily skewed toward orks. The number of
live there are just there to enjoy life. A select few adept births on the island is also above normal figures.
act as protectors of the artifacts hidden all around > Frosty
the island. Brig functions as a local leader and a
coordinator for the guards while also locating suit-
able additional guards from the orks and trolls who
PARLEZ-VOUS
come looking for a safe place. In order to move FRANCAIS?
there, you have to be an ork or troll, and you have
to have a clean record. That doesnt mean spot- POSTED BY: GRAND BON JOUR
less, but you cant be currently wanted or under in- If your answer to the title question is yes, find
vestigation, and you cant be a convicted murderer your way to France. Seriously. There are few na-
or other violent offender. tions in the world with the attitude of the French,
So its not the place for everyone. and while that has soured the view of many oth-
Though Big Jimmys dream was for orks, he has er nations (and corporations), it isnt something
happily let his efforts trickle over to their fellow they care to change. They have their culture and
outcasts, trolls. Because the ork population is so their preferences, and if you dont like it, cest
high, the trolls who come find themselves accept- la vie.
ed on a more limited level. Even the renaming of The French view of metahumanity has been
the island to Ork Brac kind of leaves them out in open and accepting since the earliest days of the
the cold. This is growing to be less of an issue as Awakening. As an ork from France, I have never
time goes on, as Big Jimmy has already come to faced the kind of racial hostility that my kind from
see the value in a more diverse population. It didnt other places around the world have faced. It isnt
take long for him to shift his ork-haven dream to a in the day-to-day life of the French. Tusks dont
trog-haven dream. make you less French. Horns dont make you less
French. As a people we stand together and have
> Wow! Way to paint that bullseye on these guys. A bunch for generations. I know we are mocked in other
of artifacts all on one island. places as cowards who roll over when pushed, but
> Kane that has never been the case. We value our lives.
We acquiesce to the violent when wholesale de-
> Im sure Carib Ork avoided the details to not give away the struction confronts us, so that we can survive and
secrets of the island, but the artifacts arent just sitting out our fire-hearted can strike back to gain our free-
in the open. Archibald had many hidden, some even from dom. We do this together, knowing that the most
Big Jimmy. The islands not huge, but if you dont know
important fight is the one you can win.
exactly where to look, youre going to run into some of the
As an ork from outside France you wont face
its guardians before you find an artifact.
persecution for being an ork. You may be dis-
> Frosty
dained for being American, but not for being an
ork. Move to France, join the culture, and while it
> Thats if you can make it to the island in the first place.
takes time to overlook your funny American ac-
Thanks to Big Jimmys selection process, plenty of orks
dont make the cut for the islands guardians, but they cent, your tusks will never slow you down.
do get pushed over to Da Brag Rock, a pirate crew that I should warn you, though, that body modifica-
operates around the Carib League but also functions like tions will get you ostracized. I know in other plac-
a coast guard for Ork Brac. es around the world being modified makes you
> Kane more than metahuman, but in France, those parts
you losewell, those had French blood, they were
> A lot of the trolls who get to the island have found work as part of the French in you. Cyberlimbs are for ampu-
shore crew for Da Brag Rock. tees. When its a matter of choice, you should take
> Traveler Jones pride in your flesh.

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 51


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

For orks and trolls in France, life is hardly differ- out and cause the French to join their terrible view.
ent, culturally, than for humans, elves, and dwarfs. The most notable of these attackers are the Unity
Jobs, politics, and positions of power are held by Foundation and Les Chasseurs de Monstres.
those best suited for the placement, not for those The Unity Foundation is a very nice-sounding
who best fit a certain physical profile. We arent group, originally founded in the Confederation of
held back by the irrational fears that others have American States, that has spread internationally be-
placed on the new races. yond the CAS and its half-brother nation, the UCAS.
And this culture isnt new. Were generations They work hard to massage their message to sound
into this magic-filled world, and while I understand more pro-human than anti-meta, but in the end it
I have come from a more accepting culture, I can- all comes out the same. Theyre meta-haters, and
not fathom the ignorance that is clung to within they have a smaller, more violent sect among them
places that still revile orks and trollsor elves and that call themselves just Unity. These ones bomb
dwarfs, for that matter. Maybe that is why we are cafs, attack government buildings, send letters
so hesitant with outsiders. We dont want the in- laced with beta-anthrax to ork and troll policlubs,
fection of their ignorance to corrupt us from with- and perform all those dirty deeds that we expect
in. We appear haughty and brusque, but instead from a bunch of racist terrorists.
we are simply protective of our evolved culture Everything Ive seen on them points to some
and viewpoints. connections to Alamos 20K. Part of the connec-
tion is a cross-pollination of racist scum that affili-
> Evolved culture? Didnt they invent the guillotine? ate with both, but Unity gets quite a bit of funding
> Pennywarden from A20K fronts, or at least the same fronts that
back A20K also back Unity. In their native CAS,
> Ah! Ignorance at its finest. they also have several compounds that support
> Thorn the training of both A20K members and Unity
members.
> Seriously, Thorn. Im not sure you get to jump on the
French bandwagon just because you can impersonate
them so well.
> Really just looks like Unity is a 20k front. Better PR gets
them in the door around the world, but they rise from the
> Slamm-0!
same cesspool.
> Butch
> Im simply pointing out that choosing a single era
in history, and a device intended to instill fear in the
Les Chasseurs de Monstresliterally Mon-
massesthat worked quite well, I might addis just a
ster Huntersis a home-grown group of French
demonstration of the ignorance that breeds our inability
to further ourselves.
domestic terrorists that see orks and trolls as sto-
The guillotine is that eras equivalent of the Cold rybook monsters. Their name is spot-on for the
War atom bomb, the Great Ghost Dance at the turn of actions they take, literally hunting orks and trolls
the century, and megacorporations today. Theyre all with some seriously old-fashioned style and flair.
constructed to keep the masses in line and unwilling to While that might sound like I say it with some kind
rise up. They are tools that have problems but are not of admiration, its more of a statement to demon-
necessarily emblematic of the entire history of a culture. strate the level of their insanity. Reports on their
> Thorn activities are common, and descriptions of the
assailants are always easy to match to the group.
Lets not be too rosy, thoughFrance retains Renaissance era wide-brimmed hat with accesso-
its share of problems for those who are not tradi- ries to match their Vashon Island Steampunk-line
tional humans. Our open minds have long drawn fashion armor, weapons modified to match the
the attention of closed ones. We are targeted both steampunk look, and black or red scarves covering
by those forces within and international enemies the lower half of their faces depending on which
that see orks and trolls as abominations and have color goes best with their outfit. The look is so dis-
nothing better to do than attack France in general tinctive that Vashon Island has been coordinating
and French trogs in particular in order to incite fear. with local authorities to track sales of their armor
They seem to hope that the inner ferocity that they line, but nothing seems to have come from the ad-
see as the birthright of orks and trolls will come ditional assistance.

52 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


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The look is also incredibly expensive. Lead- little surface view before I explain why this is an
ing theories point to the richest members of important place for trogs.
Frances aristocracy as prime suspects, but in
public, there is no one who is actively outspo- > Why are we taking data from a guy who may or may not
ken against orks or trolls. They keep their bigotry have put a price tag on a bunch of our heads?
behind closed doors and behind the masks and > Kane
costuming they wear to commit their atrocities.
The comical appearance of Les Chasseurs be- > Because no ones collected or thoroughly proved its legit.
lies the seriousness of the problem. They have > Bull
never lost a member, have been connected to
the deaths of almost a score of people across > Then why was it up in the first place?
France, and their packs are getting larger. Orig- > Sunshine
inally they were spotted in pairs or trios, but now
they commonly hunt in groups of six or eight. > JIC. CYA.
Witnesses, because they always make a specta- > Bull
cle of their hunts, claim they appear to ritualis-
tically offer the kill to a specific member every In February, Ghostwalker gave the sector gov-
time they hunt in large groups. As an ork or a ernments their walking papers. He also gave any-
troll in France, be wary of them, and run if you one not willing to swear fealty to him the same
see them coming. orders: Get out or else. He gave them a month to
pack up and get out. In March, while many citizens
> Rich kids out using daddys nuyen to spread some hate had fled the free city, the UCAS and CAS govern-
and stand out. Getting augments wasnt enough. They ments were still clinging to the crazy idea that he
need to kill to show how counter-culture they are. was kidding, or hed come around and work with
> Mr. Bonds them. When the deadline hit and Ghostwalker said,
Times up!, the UCAS and CAS switched over to
> Run. Hah. Ill shred these fraggers. Never lost a member, trying to act tough, while the PCC and Sioux Na-
huh. See how many they lose if they come after me. tion quietly shifted their important government
> 2XL operations to locations just outside the FRFZ, the
advantages to owning sovereign national soil
> They never go after hard targets. Remember, orks and
around the free city. After a dramatic demonstra-
trolls in France live normal lives. They werent raised on
tion of why not to frag with a dragon, the UCAS
the streets in a kill-or-be-kill world like most other spots
and CAS were pulling out their aerial resources
around the world. Being bigger only means it might
filled with what few troops and government assets
take an extra hit or two to bring them downit doesnt
make them a skilled fighter, unlike their attackers. As for
they could manage.
the spoiled rich kids idea, Ive seen hunt footage from Ghostwalker now claims control over all of
bystanders, and theyre tactical in their precision. If theyre the former Front Range Free Zone. All the sec-
rich kids, they have a trainer with black-ops experience tors, all the citizens, all the property, all his. Of
getting them in line. course, there are forces working against this
> Mihoshi Oni and righteously pissed about it. The involved
governments arent happy, the megacorpora-
FRONT RANGE tions arent happy, and the displaced citizens
arent happy. The first and the last are probably
FREE ZONE out of luck. Governments and individual citi-
zens dont have much that Ghostwalker cares
POSTED BY: KLUDGE about, but the megacorporations are going to
By now, everyone has heard about Denver. Oh be hard to keep out. Even before the final oust-
wait, maybe not, because most of the corps are ing, Ghostwalker was in talks with several of the
downplaying it, and the governments dont want megas to stick around and maintain business
to announce how weak they really are. Im sure and infrastructure support in the city. I havent
someone around here is putting together some- seen any logos or heard much more than ru-
thing for us with more depth, but let me give a mors, but Im sure several of the big boys are

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 53


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

already back and working to prove their value took a little bit of time for word of mouth to
to the white wyrm. spread, but once it did, every trog in town was
hitting up the Cascade Orks and other smug-
> Its nice to see someone, or something in this case, sticking glers to get them down to Denver. While many
it to the corps. Gives me hope that one day we wont feel are calling this a fad, the fact that right now its
their boot on our throats. a one-way trip is giving it a solid foundation and
> Hard Exit preventing anyone who has already made the
move from backing out. The one-way trip is defi-
> You wont. Eventually we all suffocate. nitely a hiccup in anyones relocation plans, but
> Hannibelle it gets worse. As it stands, Ghostwalker is letting
new citizens, willing to swear fealty to him, into
Now that you know, the next bit will make the city with a very open-door policy. Part of this
more sense. Over the past two months, orks and is to fill the voids left by those who fled, and the
trolls from all over NorthAm have been working other is to fill his belly with fools. Sadly, we know
their way into Denver. Trogs are flocking to a place how many fools exist in the shadows, and how
controlled by something as monstrous as them many will try to push their luck for a chance at
in hopes that Ghostwalker will create a more en- a buck.
lightened society in his fiefdom. The overall cul- Everyone who comes to Denver has to swear
tural setup of this new nation-state isnt fully de- fealty to Ghostwalker before the dragon himself or
veloped, or even partially. Its still in flux, but if one of his trusted advisors. All of his advisors are
enough trogs arrive to shift the balance of num- spellcasters with the ability to determine wheth-
bers, they can certainly shift the social order in the er someone is being honest, and those who ar-
process. Based on the numbers Ive seen, this is ent being honest are getting rounded up by the
huge and could definitely shift the numbers in fa- ZDF. They dont get taken right awaythat would
vor of orks, who are far more supportive of trolls scare othersinstead they are let in, put on a list,
than anyone else. and then grabbed in the middle of the night to be
penned up for later dining by Ghostwalker. For
> Really? The trogs are only headed there because they those inside, its not a state secret; they just keep
know Ghostwalker is a big proponent of he who is the it from newcomers. If youre headed in under false
biggest badass gets the power and theyre looking to pretenses, know that theyll know you arent loy-
play off this attitude to their advantage. al, and dont be wherever you claim to be staying
> Stone when they come for you. If youre honestly ready
to live in Ghostwalkers realm and follow his laws,
> Ghostwalker is the biggest badass. Hes not going to
youre golden and have plenty of opportunities
let his kingdom fall to fighting and squabbling, or risk
left open by those who took off.
one of those powers rising to match his. Not that an
ork or a troll could ever go mano-a-mano with GW, but
you get my point.
> Ive gotten a few messages from folks in Denver, and
theyre saying the Resistance is alive and well, so youll
> Hard Exit
have places to hide out once youre inside. The ZDF is
expanding its numbers and its efforts, but its nowhere
> Im sure there is a certain elf around town who might
near enough to cover all of the FRFZ. There are plenty of
disagree on who is the biggest badass. Not necessarily
folks wholl help you hide, and plenty of places to hide
agreeing, just saying.
with all the government facilities and private citizens who
> Frosty
thought it was better to start again elsewhere than to live
under a dragons reign.
There are a few current issues to consider if
> Kia
you think this move might be for you, and Im
not entirely sure that others who have jumped > I want to point out that all of those citizens who owned
on the bandwagon have considered all these property and chose to flee sold their properties to
potential issues. Ill admit that it is currently a Ghostwalker for a fair price. He didnt just kick them out
huge movement in North America. The number and claim the land. He spent a lot of capital to give them a
of smuggling runs pulling trogs out of Seattles fair value.
slums has skyrocketed over the past month. It > Mr. Bonds

54 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

> The number of property brokers who thought they would > There are two groups not happy about all the orks joining
make mad nuyen by getting people to sell to them cheap the ZDF. First, is all the rest of the ZDF, who feel that its
before Ghostwalker started buying their property learned becoming the Ork Defense Force and feel pushed aside
a harsh lesson about cheating people who a dragon is because they arent as big and tough. A lot of ZDF regular
planning to treat fairly. He ended up getting a lot of free Joes are tapping into aspects of their contracts that offer
property from those guys after he ate them. cyber and bio upgrades paid for with years of contracted
> MaFan service (with a reduction in pay, of course). Others are
intentionally sending the ork grunts into dangerous
> How does he get away with eating all these people? Its situations without proper support. Some come out, but
murder! even orks arent supernaturally tough.
> Hard Rock > Rigger X

With the opposition arrayed against him and > Ive seen some funny images from the ZDF, like orks in
the inherent instability of new regimes, there is a their new body armor. They dont have enough ork-sized
big question on everyones mind as to how long gear and havent had the time, resources, or manpower to
this place will last in its current incarnation. Drag- modify the gear, so they wear them as is. It leaves some
ons are powerful beings, but megacorporations odd gaps, but the humor comes from either the ork in a
crop top look, or the fat man in a little suit style.
arent exactly chopped liver. If they lose money
or, god forbid, power from this move, they are > Stone

going to come after the dragon, and ghost help


him if they work together. Im sure Lofwyr and > Im sure they dont respond well to the laughter. I know I
dont.
Saeder-Krupp will be on the nay side of a vote
to take Ghostwalker down in a permanent fash-
> Bull

ion, but Aztechnology has already proven theyll


Some would have expected trolls to be part of
drop a dragon, and others are not pleased at the
that bulk up, but Ghostwalker seems to have differ-
mess caused by Celedyr in Boston. Its a good bet
ent plans for them. The vast majority of trolls who
that if the Corporate Court gets dragged into an
stuck around or have arrived since Ghostwalker
issue here, it wont play out well for Ghostwalker. took over have all been offered work with what
Though Im sure that is on his radardragons, after most thought was a pet project of the dragon. The
all, excel at planning. trolls, well-known for being a literate race, are be-
For the orks and trolls who are working hard ing brought on by Ghostwalker to act as wander-
to set up a place where they are the majority and ing sages. Instead of bashing heads, theyre filling
they can set positive policies, their efforts may be heads with the value of words and strength that
futile. If the dragon loses power, the power-hun- can be found in genuine literacy. Its like a renais-
gry are going to come in like vultures and tear the sance of reading led by the most unlikely of sourc-
carcass of the city to pieces. The orks and trolls es. It hasnt yet but will certainly go a long way in
who move here may become the inheritors of a changing the local view of trolls as big and dumb.
kingdom of ash or get shoved right back down Im not sure if this is part of Ghostwalkers plan,
when other metas flood back in. but it is definitely working in favor of those whove
On the positive side here in Denver, the trogs been spreading the word to head to Denver.
that have already come to town are finding one
group to be very welcoming: the Zone Defense
> Whos doing that, by the way?
Force. The ZDF is bulking up its numbers, and in > Slamm-0!
the process, many of those bulked-up numbers
are bulked-up metas. Orks are getting positions in > Funny thing isI dont know. Not really funny. Kind of
the ZDF at an astounding rate. One could look at it disturbing actually. I usually have a good connection
as a strategic move to build up the force or as sim- with ork movements. This ones not coming through the
ply a utilization of the available workforce. Either normal channels.
way, its a place to work if youre an ork headed > Bull
into Denver for a new life.
The troll sages and ork ZDF enhancements
arent growing unopposed in the city. As one

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 55


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would expect, the anarchist element that rallied istbut racism is often isolated, rather than the
behind Harlequin against Ghostwalker didnt everyday occurrence it is in other parts of the
leave. The wild elf hasnt been seen much since world.
Ghostwalker took over but the diamond-eyed And yet. Mumbai is dominated by two business
forces loyal to him have been sewing the seeds sectors: entertainment and organized crime. Both
of chaos all over town. Theyve been particularly of those sectors offer plenty of job opportunities
keen on hitting the new orks in the ZDF and the for trogsand both of them are all too willing to
trolls that are just trying to spread wisdom in the throw trogs into stereotypical roles.
zone. Their efforts arent always very precise, Now, I know well enough that some of you
and plenty of other orks and trolls get caught in react to this with a great big So? The job pays
the crossfire. Be wary. money. The money spends. So what if both mob
bosses and studio producers, when theyre hir-
> Whys our favorite chortling chucklehead not pushing ing, cant envision anything for orks or trolls to do
harder while Ghostwalker is trying to stem the chaos? besides hit something? So what if a) They want
> Slamm-0! every ork or troll to talk street, and b) Their ver-
sion of street sounds nothing like what you have
> Because he already got quite a victory out of this, and hes heard on actual streets? Theyre not discriminating
silently gloating. against orks or trolls for these rolesin fact, theyre
> Frosty deliberately seeking them out for the jobs! Is it re-
ally worth worrying about?
> Any chance Ghostwalker is intentionally trying to build his As I said, this is about ethics. How harmful are
force of orks and trolls in order to combat the collection of stereotypes, and how much damage do you do
elves and humans that Harlequin seems to attract? proliferating them?
> Sounder
> Ill tell you thisif those were the most worrisome
> While this isnt some fantasy trid with an ancient questions on my mind each night when I went to bed, Id
animosity between elves and orks, the races have sleep a whole lot easier than I do.
never really gotten along because of their innately > Hard Exit
opposite variations from the norm. Elves are pretty
and agile; orks are ugly and tough. Its possible the two On the whole, you can live a good life in Mum-
masterminds are playing on that internal animosity and bai. Yeah, the gangland fights can get a little
turning it external. bruising, but who signs up with the mob without
> Snopes expecting a little danger? Sometimes the rain is
acidic, sometimes the air is toxic, but that hits ev-
MUMBAI eryone, not just trogs, so at least youre on equal
footing. So maybe you take the money and dont
Mumbai provides some interesting opportunities worry about the rest.
to explore Sixth World ethics. Yeah, some of your But when you travel the world and see people
eyes will glaze over at that word, but look, thats telling every troll they see to punch through a wall
what a lot of this whole post deals with, so suck like the bodyguard in that one Water Margin epi-
it up and lets talk about how you should behave sode, be sure to tell yourself that your actions af-
fect only yourself.
around people.
There are some definite pluses to being a trog
in the Indian Union, especially the Hindu-domi- > What a bunch of moralizing bullshit. What kind of a world
do you think you live in? One where individuals can shape
nated areas. Hindus have long been accustomed or reverse huge social trends? One where we have the
to ideas about the connections between all souls luxury to think about whether we reinforce stereotypes,
and how the souls of beings you care about may rather than worrying how to avoid starving/freezing/
appear in unusual shapes, so when gobliniza- baking to death? Thats not the world we have. Weve
tion occurs, they generally just saw it as another gotta survive, and if you somehow find a job that doesnt
set of vessels that can hold souls and they went entirely suck, latch on to it and count your blessings.
on with their lives. This is not to say it is some > Haze
racism-free paradisesuch a place does not ex-

56 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

> Self-fulfilling prophecies will be our doom. Weve chatted socially more for the past few
> Arete years because Ive been adamant about not help-
ing anyone get into the Boston QZ, and no one in
Again, while Mumbai might be relatively low on their right mind is helping anyone get out. Sad to
the prejudice scale, its not some sort of paradise. say, but we on the wall have known it was more
Its got crime, its got poverty, its got all the things than encephalitis since about three months in, but
you expect a major sprawl to have. Doing what who in the hell was going to believe us about a
we do, were often going to find ourselves among nanite-viral infection that overwrites your brain?
the poor and downtrodden, and a large number Now, thanks to the Monads, some of the truth is
of them are in the slum of Dharavi. It has living trickling out, but back then we were still cheerfully
conditions similar to barrens areas, but a density enjoying our newer, safer, content-controlled Ma-
of buildings more in line with something like Kow- trix. They werent going to tell us about a techno-
loons Walled City or the favelas of Metropole. virus. Especially those of us at Minuteman, what
One distinguishing facet of this area is that it is with NeoNETs role at the center of the trouble.
very entrepreneurial. Recycling has long been a With our increasingly social relationship, Bull
part of peoples lives here, in small operations with has heard all of this before, hence his acceptance
little knowledge or interest in health standards, of my tell-all expos. Thanks for learning where
and all manner of spam originates from people Im coming from; now to talk about where we
typing and calling away as they line long, narrow seem to be going.
tables. You can find some people cobbling togeth- As all of you well know, the Boston lockdown is
er makeshift tech here, as well as people willing to still in effect. The Corp Court is still assigning par-
put their bodies on the line to make some cash. In ties to run the show, but PR is pretty much down
short, its a good place to hide out and recruit help. to one guy saying, Were assessing options and
And like most of the rest of the city, you wont feel looking for the best way to properly accommo-
out of place here if youre a trog. date and compensate those effected by NeoN-
ETs irresponsible actions, with emphasis on the
NeoNET. National coordination is no longer even
BOSTONS WALL part of the show, as the UCAS is going to be one
of the biggest winners from NeoNETs turn on the
POSTED BY: THE GREEN MONSTER sacrificial altar; and the only group they really still
Bull told me that JackPoint was going to put up a have around is NEMALC, the Logistics division,
little Whats Up with Trogs? piece, and I thought and their main focus is security and keeping ev-
it would be a great chance to talk about some- erything contained.
thing that I find odd, but a lot of my fellow officers
dont. Posting any of this on the PubGrid would > Though this guy doesnt play a hand in it, plenty of
get me tossed, or worse, but getting it out into a others help people get in. Its mostly overlooked, though,
shadow VPN might do some good, and itll make because the focus is on keeping things in, not out.
me feel a little better that I at least tried to tell > Winterhawk
someone.
To clear up a point above, Im Sgt. Gregor Har- Enough background. NEMALC is supposed to
burg, a peace officer employed by Minutemen Se- be using a coalition of forces from several secu-
curity assigned to the NEMAQZ (Northeast Metrop- rity corps. Most heavily represented these days
lex Area Quarantine Zone), a.k.a. the Boston QZ. Im is Minuteman, as NeoNETs trashed reputation is
a NeoNET citizen until they finalize the corps death costing them contracts around the world so they
and I find out where Minutemen is getting sold off have the spare personnel, but Lone Star, Knight
to, and Ive been working on The Wall, as we call it, Errant (and Ares other, less professional, outfits),
since day one. I know Bull from a run-in we had back Petrovski, Najimi, Centurion, and Desert Storm all
in the 50s when I was struggling to make it as a gai- provide boots on the ground as well. The thing
jin oni at Fuchi in Boston. A moral dilemma later, and is, all the boots that have been supplied of late
I discovered the world worked better in shades of have been larger than average. I dont believe in
grey. Bull has been reaching out to me and directing coincidence, so for some reason, good or ill, the
trusted associates my way ever since. powers above are bulking up the forces at the

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 57


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

wall with huge numbers of orks and trolls, while who works as security on the walled-in quarantine
those getting shipped off wall duty tend to be zone full of people who have been overwritten by
round-eared. Im not sure if its part of a plan to a technovirus transmitted by nanites.
put a lot of muscle on the walls and in the block- First up, something mundane. Ive heard noth-
ade because theyre afraid of a potential breakout ing but maybe, just maybe, the powers that be have
attempt, if Im just seeing these things because gotten word from forces on the inside that there is
Im a troll, or if its something darker, but Ive got a major breakout attempt imminent. Knowing that
some speculation. the attempt is going to get past the drone security
The idea of more muscle on the wall would at the wall, they want the biggest (physically, not
sound like it makes sense to someone who is un- numbers) force available there to stop escapes.
familiar with the work here. We rarely go hand-to- Its a lose-lose for us, as this means they expect
hand with anything that comes past the wall. In the force to make contact. If its a breakout in force
fact, were under strict orders to make no physical theyre going to assume infection, but maybe this
contact with anything we even suspect came from way we can limit the losses by filling the gap with
inside the QZ. Were long guns during and hazmat the toughest sons of slitches around.
suits after, for every event. Anyone who makes Part two is close to the first but a little less end
contact without the suit is immediately quaran- of the world and a little more silver lining. Its pos-
tined. For a while that meant a one-way trip, of- sible the walls are coming down, and once the wall
ten back over the wall, but more and more slots is gone, they want an intimidating force on the
are being cleared for work after contact incidents. other side of the fences giving anyone with an in-
Adding more punching power doesnt fit well with kling of sneaking out without passing a clearance
previous operational standards, meaning we are check second thoughts. Since they havent even
about to get a change in orders or, again, theres started allowing clearance checks with the walls
something else going on. upand Id expect that step to come firstI dont
Now, I totally understand that just because I have a lot of hope for this one.
saw a few more trolls around doesnt mean theres In the darker part of this rabbit hole, Ill offer up
a broader pattern. I worried about this early onI the racist conspiracy. Elements of various influential
thought maybe I was just seeing something that groups that have a distinctly anti-metahuman agen-
wasnt there, so I went to the hard data. Pulled up da are influencing the Corporate Court, in particular
the transfer logs, did some data sorting, and then the ones handling the NEMAQZ, and moving orks
made myself a nice, simple series of pie charts. and trolls here in order to place them in a hazard-
Boring, but then again, so is most of my work. ous situation. A situation that they would likely be
The numbers showed a massive shift in metatype attempting to escalate, either through support for
distribution in the security force. We went from a escape attempts or further limitations on the safety
pretty standard breakdown (human: 52 percent; protocols and procedures we follow when an in-
ork: 27 percent; dwarf: 11 percent; elf: 6 percent; cident occurs. These groups could include any of
troll: 3 percent; other: 1 percent) to our current fig- the well-known anti-meta fronts like the Humanis
ures (human: 12 percent; ork: 64 percent; dwarf: 3 Policlub or Unity Foundation, from a major terror
percent; elf: 1 percent; troll: 19 percent; other: 1 organization like Alamos 20,000, or from one of
percent) all in the span of six months. I looked at the whispered secret societies such as the Human
straight number totals as well, and while the over- Nation. The last option being the one I see with the
all force total went down by seven percent, that is kind of insider pull to make this happen.
by no means a way to explain the the drastic shift. Last but not least is a piece Ive been holding
Its intentional. back for as long as I could. I dont want to sound
As for the something darker option, Im all for nuts, but I think a large number of my fellow of-
this one. Not because I want something more ex- ficers are already infected. Im not sure if it hap-
citing in my daily life and a mystery to solve, but pened during an incident or if an external source
because I live in the real world and have, despite is the cause, but Ive had plenty of my friends
my slight increase in rank, been witness to the show some initial signs and then suddenly start
atrocities this world likes to pile on orks and trolls. I acting strange right before they get transferred,
have a few ideas to toss out here. Some may sound either to another sector of the quarantine or off-
crazy, but remember, theyre coming from a guy site completely. Moving so many orks and trolls

58 LIVING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

over could be an effort by the Monads to bulk up


their forces before the Corporate Court decides
what to do with them. Its way out there, I know,
but Ive seen crazier, and things around here are
just getting weird.
Thanks for the outlet, Bull. If youre a trog and
youve got family or friends in security, keep an
eye on them if they get shipped off to Boston.

> He may be onto something. We know some of them


got out. The Red Sox and Tigers both left the city after
the initial incident, and others are bound to have gotten
out before they locked the place down. Coming back to
weaken the defenses, especially now that their efforts are
starting to slip, would be a solid tactic. If it hasnt already
happened, Id keep an ear to the ground for jobs against
the wall security that dont seem on the up and up.
> Butch

> Its the Monads. The corps arent taking them seriously,
and they are preparing for war. Theyre going to first
convert the guards on the wall and then tear it down from
the outside to let loose the crazies from inside the QZ.
> Plan 9

> And on that pleasant note, we wrap.


> Bull

<< LIVING AS A TROG IN... 59


TRUE BLUE TROG
Holy drek, its the real Suzie Blue! Aiken gushed at the sight the Sixth World, but this was not just any club. This was the
of Ms. Johnson. The view was both disturbing and unprofes- Rock, hottest trog-club in the CZ. While MagpieMags to the
sional. Disturbing because Aiken was 2.8 meters of muscle teamusually slithered onto the dance floor and then tow-
and metal who looked more likely to eat a commlink than lis- ered over the crowd, today she blended into the mass of orks
ten to it despite his position as the teams resident IC-slayer. and trolls grinding and writhing to the latest beats of DJ 3-Me-
And unprofessional because Aiken, like Roth, Magpie, and ter. It wasnt just the dance floor. The entire club was packed,
Scratch, was here meeting Suzie Blue for a joband not one wall to wall, with the tall towers of the metahuman world.
helping her pirate Matrix broadcasts, though every one of The Rock had, in what seemed like ancient times, been a
them had done that at one point or another in the past few massive cistern, holding water for the hotel above. More re-
years. Aiken was just more of a fanboy than the rest. cently, but still not in this century, it had been turned into a
Stuff it, loverboy. Were here for biz, not autographs, speakeasy. Its current incarnation started as Finn Aisees Un-
Scratch rumbled through his broken tusks, massive square derground House of Rock at the start of the century, a place
jaw barely moving. The words were barely intelligible. to go to escape the rising oppression. It held out through the
I can manage both, Aiken retorted playfully. rise of the megas, but fell out of use in 39 after Alamos 20K
Lets keep it frosty. Well get friendly at the payoff when shattered the Sears Tower. Its recent resurgence was attribut-
shes happy with a job well done, Roth interjected. He ap- able to T-Rex, a local survivor of Bug City who found it while
preciated both of them for their enthusiasm and desire to be hiding from the bugs.
professionals, but he knew how to work a Johnson, and acting Roth pushed through at the leadas the teams frontman
like a star-struck sim-junky wasnt the way to start. he wanted Suzie to see him first. It also let him control the con-
Time to fly, Magpie said before stepping away from the versation and prevent certain other members of the team from
foursome and forcing her way onto the crowded dance floor. fawning over the local legend. He had just cleared a particularly
The others moved along the periphery. dense cluster only a few meters from Blues table when a mas-
All of them were used to simply pushing their way through sive hand planted itself on his shoulder and pulled him back.
a crowd. Two trolls and two orks had little trouble getting Never one to lash out without knowing what was coming,
through the swathes of metahumanity at almost any club in Roth quieted the response of his wired systems and slowly

60 >> TRUE BLUE TROG <<


BY SCOTT SCHLETZ

turned. He took the time to look for any trouble coming from Nice, poser. Couldnt handle the full tusks. Afraid you
the crowd and checked their faces to see if he might be mov- might sound funny. Get goin before I get you goin! The troll
ing into a fist, but most of those nearby were still bobbing to poked Roth in the chest with a massive finger.
the beat and talking to those nearby. Roth saw Aiken finally turning his attention from Suzie to
The end of his turn brought him face-to-sternum with a the events occurring right next to him. Scratch was behind
Troggy and the Thrashers t-shirt that had seen better days. He the wall of flesh that was Aiken and stepped over a little to
looked up to find the troll inside the shirt grimly glaring down see why they had stopped moving. The moment he saw the
at him, body leaning forward and looking over the more troll poke Roth, he slipped around Aiken and flanked the troll.
diminutive metahuman. Roth saw his two running mates slide into position but
We dont like your kind here! the troll yelled over the gave them a calm wave-off that looked to everyone else like
beat. You can scram, or I can toss you out. He made a tight he was just scratching his bald head.
fist that was the size of Roths head and extended thumb to Look, chummer, this can go one of two ways. First, you
gesture for the door. realize Im a real ork and let me get to my business. Or,Roth
To Roth, it was funny. The place was full of his kind. He was paused and looked around at the slowly growing crowd
an ork. Though his tusks had been resculpted by concerned you can make a move to toss me out. Im not going, just so
human parents and his nose had been broken and reshaped you know, and the results of the attempt are going to wreak
so many times it lacked the distinctly porcine appearance of havoc on your rep. Roth delivered the options in his best
most of his brethren, he still had the heighta solid 2.1 meters deadpan. He didnt want to taunt the troll, but he also didnt
of itand the build, though both his arms were no longer the want to make it seem like he was being flippant. This was a
ones he was born with. The encounter could very well have serious decision.
been a test by Blue, but Roth was going to deal with it the Youve got a pair of troll balls on you, smoothie, the troll
same way he dealt with every threat initially. said, confirming which option he was going with.
Sorry, big brother. I know I aint pretty, but Im still an ork, Whats your name, my bulky friend? Roth asked.
Roth yelled back. He grinned to show the two broad lower Folks call me Breaker, the troll responded, a wide grin
canines that had been trimmed to look more human. spreading on his face as if he had just delivered the best line ever.

>> TRUE BLUE TROG << 61


Aiken, make the call, Roth said to his teammate. Aiken That brings our total to eight, Roth said, referring to their
knew what he meant. count of real threats in the crowd they were facing.
Oh, I see. Callin in your pals for help. The team was spread across ten meters of the front line of
Oh, no. Hes calling T-Rex so I can resume my business the protest. Gathered around them were hundreds of mem-
after this without interruption. You were going to remove me, bers of MoM, Mothers of Metahumans. Arrayed opposite
I believe. Roth focused on the troll, knowing Aiken would do them were hundreds of humans, and a few token elves and
as asked and Scratch would hold off as long as it stayed a dwarfs, standing in support of Humanis. The battle lines were
clean fight. drawn. These two opposing forces of nature gathered to shout
Cocky little breeder, arent you! The troll poked Roth their vitriol against the latest of the citys hate-fueled legisla-
with his massive finger. tions that reduced orks and trolls to second-class citizens. Or
Contact had been madethis was no longer a fight he worse. More and more, the influence of the Japanacorps was
started. Before the troll could retract his hand, Roth grabbed sinking into Chicago. The gripevine had already been mutter-
the bulky finger and bent it to an uncomfortable point. The ing about a Chicago version of Yomi Island, where the orks
trolls elbow bent, and Roth moved forward, pushing until he and trolls would all be hired to work.
had twisted the trolls arm up behind his back. The troll tried to All of it was fueling the anti-metahuman fires. And where
spin, but Roth latched his other hand up under the trolls arm- there was hatred for metahumans, you would find the Hu-
pit. He could feel the bulky armored vest beneath the trolls manis Policlub mentioning the lack of human rights, the
coat as he squeezed and drove his fingers into the nerve clus- skewed statistics on metahuman crime rates, and their spe-
ter in the pit. cial form of bigotry-fueled hate speech that snatched the ears
The troll howled in pain and anger. Roth kicked out his and hearts of many red-blooded humans, without them ever
knee, dropping him to a better height. He squeezed and realizing the hate they were supporting.
wrenched in conjunction. The trolls other arm came back, Whats the play, Roth? Scratch asked.
flailing after Roth. It was exactly what he wanted. Push to the front, put on the charm, get punched and
Roth pushed forward hard and sent the trolls head rocket- kicked and spit on, Roth said glibly. If something lethal pops
ing toward the floor. One arm locked behind his back and the out, bring it down quietly. Were hired to keep this place safe
other flailed, leaving nothing to blunt the force of the impact. and show that we arent the violence problem. We cant let
Roth let go of both points, stepped over the troll, and re- any footage get out that might be spun the wrong way.
turned to where he was when the whole thing started. Tell me again why were being paid to get the drek beat
The troll was slow to rise. Roth stood stock still, staring at out of us, Scratch asked.
the rising behemoth. Because we can take it. Were pros. We know how to pro-
We need to be done, friend, Roth said calmly, Im an tect ourselves, and we know the bigger picture, Roth said
ork. My name is Roth. Id like to buy you a drink. with bravado.
Despite a face thoroughly furrowed in anger, the troll ac- In position, Magpie piped in. Roth could see her further
cepted the olive branch. It cost Roth sixty nuyen for a single down the line, her massive black-feather cloak made her look
troll-sized drink, but it was worth it to show Suzie Blue that like a creature from myth and legend. She was there to draw
while capable of solving problems with his fists, he preferred attention. The three Humanis plants moving towards her
words. demonstrated the plan was working.
It was an exceptional negotiation point for the job to Remember, if it looks like violence is coming, get in the
come. way, Roth reminded.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it Roth, Aiken said over the
comms, and the continued out loud, Were not the monsters
of your legends. Were another face of the same die of meta-
Say No to Prop Fo-Fo! the crowd called in unison. The run- humanity.
ners mixed in with the crowd moved their mouths to fit in but Frag you, trog, youre gonna die alright, a voice called
focused on the job at hand rather than being caught up in the from the crowd. It was followed by calls of monster, baby
chanting. It was a powerful scene, personal to every one of eater, bridge-dweller, and, of course, trog in a myriad
them, but they had a job to do and that job was looking more of voices.
and more difficult by the moment. The responses were no less unpleasant. Anger always be-
Ive got another one, Magpie called over the comm. gets more anger, but it was still just words. They were here
Black leather, rather ironic shirt. for when words turned to action, though not in the way most
Roth scanned the crowd. Black leather was fairly common, would expect for a team of ork and troll runners.
but it narrowed the search. He chuckled when he spotted Youre just a bunch of animals! All you big fragtards know
what Magpie was referring to, and Scratch voiced the joke. is violence, a human screamed from the crowd. Others
Humanis dirtbag wearing a troll gang logo on his chest. Frag- echoed the call.
ging drek for brains. he said, referring to the elf with a spike Roth saw where it started. It was one of the Humanis goons.
in his head and Xs for eyes that was the symbol of the Spikes. The policlubber revved up those around him and pushed those

62 >> TRUE BLUE TROG <<


who seemed ready to fight toward the front. Roth was the clos- Roth couldnt hear what was going on, but he could
est and began to shift his position in the crowd, aligning him- see it. He expected Scratchs zone to erupt first, but is was
self with the approaching wave of violent hate. Magpie who had to take the first fall. A small group pushed
We are not what they think of us, Roth yelled out to across the gap, two of the Humanis goons among them,
those around him. Their hatred doesnt need to be ours. and stormed onto her. She cast her cloak out wide, blocking
Theres always a coward in the crowd, came back across those behind, and called out, Let them strike me and Ma-
the gap, not the goon this time. The crowd was becoming trix-cast it to the world!
emboldened. Roth expected the crowd to ignore her and join the melee,
Violence is a choice we all haveork, troll, and human but they pushed back, away from the scene, and pulled out
alike. It isnt the answer to our political plight. It fuels the ha- their commlinks to record the beating. Magpie went down
tred against us. Roth stepped slightly into the gap and turned gently, slowly collapsing under the weight of the four humans
his back on the opposing crowd to speak to his side. They piling onto her. It was honestly too slow in his view. It looked
hire us for our muscles, and we break our backs for them. voluntary, but then again he knew the spells she had locked
They hire us to frighten people as their security and then call into herself. Their blows were doing nothing.
us violent. They push us to the outskirts where the dregs of When they came for Roth, he, too, did not fight. He raised
society fight for their scraps and then label us monsters be- hands to defend himself and let blows that he barely felt bring
cause we survive and thrive in those dark places. We are not him to his knees so that he could rise again. He built it up for
the monsters. His speech finished as he felt the impact on the crowd and called for their support, as witnesses. When he
his back, the brunt of the hit absorbed by the well-concealed eventually fell to the ground his crowd had also backed off.
armor he wore. He turned to face his attacker. They were all recording the violence. One of them even had a
Several of the humans at the front were screaming insults. live feed that Roth was subscribed to. He watched the human
Everything they could think of, they let loose. None of them above him repeatedly kick and stomp. A few hits truly hurt,
were new. Hed heard them all, and he didnt even look much but none of it would be permanent or even lasting.
like an ork, but they were nice enough to add in all of the pos- Every blow he took felt worth it. Worth the pain to show
er insults they could manage as well. the world that trogs werent monsters.
Several more rocks flew at him. He braced and took the
hits, feigning pain as the rocks bounced off.
From the corner of his eye, Roth could see others on his
side bending. He turned partially to his crowd and called out, News Report
Do not sink to their depths! Do not meet rock with rock! I Chicago, Southside
have done nothing but stand and speak truth. If they are hurt On the Southside side of the Core today, a protest turned
or fear these words and must lash out, show them we are not bloody. A gathering of both supporters and detractors of the
the same. We stand here, not in fear, but in defiance of fear. latest racially segregatory proposals aimed toward the recon-
Roth was really beginning to enjoy his place at the fore- struction of the city ended in violence, with one side bearing
front, being the voice of the masses gathered with him. It the brunt of the attacks.
was natural for him to gravitate thereits what he did for As supporters of the Humanis Policlub gathered opposite
the teambut it was different as part of a cause like this. He members of Mothers of Metahumans, the typical chants fo-
wasnt just sticking it to some corp or even stealing from one cused on the proposals in the state legislature became racial-
to give to another. He was standing up for his people, he was ly charged. Who threw the first slur can be debated, but no
speaking to change society. It was exhilarating. one can question which side turned words to violence.
Exhilarating enough that the rock that connected solidly Footage posted to Matrix sites all over the globe showed
with his head did little more than cut his scalp. Though the the heroic stand taken by four individuals. Two orks and two
metal skull and modified cerebral fluid probably helped. He trolls first faced a barrage of verbal abuse and responded only
was hired to take the hits, and he was taking them with flair. with positive rhetoric, only to have rocks and cans thrown at
Along the line more angry patches erupted. Each was met them before several not yet identified members of the oppo-
with a member of the team stepping forward, seeking to be sition, resorted to fists and feet, brutally beating the four.
the focus of the attacks. Scratchs patch were quick to attack Both sides disbanded as Lone Star and local corporate se-
the violent-looking ork. Scratch hadnt bothered to dress for curity forces descended into the fray, likely saving the lives of
the crowd; instead, he wore his leather jacket, complete with the four brave metahumans.
the sewed-over patches where his Crimson Crush tags had Matrix drops with access to several pieces of footage are
once been. Magpie and Aiken had more trouble getting their open for anyone who can offer a lead as to the identity of the
crowd to violence. It was easier to consider attacking some- assailants.
thing that only looked like a bulky human, but getting up the
nerve to throw a rock or a fist at a troll, whose fists were easily
the size of your head and they towered over you (and every-
one else around them) was a little tougher.

>> TRUE BLUE TROG << 63


THE COMPLETE TROG

WORKING AS
A TROG IN...
Yes, sir. Ill get those files uploaded to your com- where a language barrier between his mentors
mlink within the hour, Darren said with genuine native German and his own Seattle streets educa-
respect in his tone. tion combined with his brash attitude and lack of
Thank you, Darren, Vice responded with a hair hue earned him his street name and distinc-
matching respect, despite the several levels of dis- tive styleVice, or Wei in German, clad in white
parity in their corporate ranks. from head to toe. Halleys Comet brought scales
The exchange was totally normal, but it still to his skin, slits to his eyes, and venom to his tusks.
pulled the edges of Vices mouth up in a smile. De- There was nothing normal about him.
spite several years at Evo, he was still astonished But Darren didnt see that. Darren just saw an-
at the difference from his young life growing up other being at Evo. Another person worthy of be-
on the streets of Seattle as an ork. He went over a ing whatever they wanted or what the world had
decade without anyone ever speaking to him with made them. A person worthy of respect, not be-
even the slightest semblance of respect. When he cause he could overpower, ensorcel, poison, or
finally gained some bulk, their tones changed, but fire him. Not a respect built from fear. But a respect
it wasnt respectit was fear. No one ever talked to for a person who had lived a different life, taken a
him like a real person. Instead, they either talked different path, but still come to Evo, just like him,
slowly, thinking he was dumb, talked fast, hoping in hopes of making a better world.
to get away from him as quickly as possible, or Vice, ork at birth, freak through life, still hadnt
talked low, mumbling denigrating comments they accepted the reality of life in Evo.
assumed he didnt hear. A good life for orks, and for anyone else. A
That changed the first day he came to Evo, with good life inside a megacorporation.
his youth far behind him. Since that day, he had He wasnt a fool; he knew they had their dark
added new reasons for others to fear or look at side. But here, that dark side didnt include treat-
him askew. His Talent had led him to Wise Warrior, ing people, in particular orks or freaks like Vice, as
which helped his temper, but mistakes cost him his anything less. Here, everyone was treated in the
hair color. His mentor had led him to the shadows, exact way their actions earned.

64 WORKING AS A TROG IN... >>


POSTED BY: ORKPERSONALASSISTANT But then you hear something about our be-
Most of the world works at a corp, and an awful lot loved former governor, and his work to undermine
of them work at a megacorp. Thats the rule; run- the Underground, or to remove protections, and
ners are the exception. When you spend so much you know that even though the culture at your
time with other runners, fixers, and Mr. Johnson, level is welcoming, there are forces above it that
its sometimes too easy to get your perspective are not, and those forces could push their way into
warped and forget just how many people out there your little haven at some point in time.
march to corporate beats. These beats shape our Corporate culture can be sneaky about how it
world; even if a lot of us only freelance for corps makes itself known and advances. So when you
and never become full employees, well engage know whats going on in a corps beating heart,
with their culture when they hire us. And some of you know what kind of stuff is flowing out to the
us might end up on the insidemaybe working for extremities. And sooner or later, that stuff will
a corp department of unspecified services, maybe have an effect.
posing as a corp employee to gather critical intel, or On top of that, no culture is monolithic. Differ-
maybe working some other angle. The point is sim- ent people can have very different experiences in-
ple: In some way, shape, or form, if youre a trog,
side the same corp. Your position in the corporate
the way corps view trogs will affect you someday.
food chain, combined with the overall culture of
Now, its weird to think of a corporation with
the corp, usually determines how you get treat-
millions of employees and hundreds of subsidiar-
ed on a day-to-day basis in the land of corporate
ies having a clear-cut culture, and thats a fair point.
wage-slavery. The variations from that norm usu-
Sometimes a subsidiary will feel completely dif-
ally occur for one of three reasons: your attitude
ferent from its parentfor example, while Renraku
(positive or negative, people treat you different-
has the reputation as one of the least meta-friend-
ly corps around, the Australian Institute of Magical ly), your connections (oh, sorry Mr. Vogel, I didnt
Research is about as good of a place for metas as know Arthur was your uncle), or your metatype
there is, with troll leadership helping make sure (smile, its an elf; get to work, its a dwarf; ugh, look
trolls are welcomed and treated well. So some of at the lazy ork; oh frag, its a troll). So for this post,
these descriptions should be taken with a grain of Ive hit up some insiders to take a look at other
saltthey focus more on top-level, central corp ways reactions to metatypes shape workplaces at
cultures rather than how it feels throughout all the the request of 0rkCE0. Im going to open up each
many layers of corporate giants. with a little street-level stereotyping before our in-
That said, culture has a way of trickling down. siders enlighten us.
Think of it this way: In Seattle, the Underground is Thanks for the chance to contribute to the
very trog-friendly. You can spend long stretches shadows. I dont have the heart for it, but I know
of time down there not being made conscious of somethings gotta change and youre just about
your tusks or horns and just functioning as a nor- the only force working in that direction.
mal human being.
> If were the worlds only hope for change, the world is well
> Unless you run into a member of the Ancients or and truly fragged.
something. Just ruins your whole day. > Haze
> 2XL

<< WORKING AS A TROG IN... 65


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

JAPANACORPS cusations of prejudice that, for some reason, peo-


ple keep bringing up. They are quicksometimes
overly quickto praise orks and trolls, but for
This is a quick and easy killing of three birds with
some reason their praise almost always focuses on
one stone, because the view from street-level is
physical aspects. Though theyll sometimes men-
about the same for Mitsuhama, Renraku, and Shi-
tion how articulate an ork or troll they met was,
awase. Based on the overall view that everyone
with a note of surprise in their voice, or theyll talk
seems to have of Japanese culture and its disdain
about how they went to a hot new trog-owned
for metahumansorks and trolls most of allits
restaurant in Harajuku, and they were pleasantly
not good. Its a stereotype, but that doesnt mean
surprised at how well-mannered everyone was,
it cant be applied to the majority of corporate
and how they werent always breaking out into
citizens from the three Japanese megas. Honest-
food- and fist-fights.
ly, it can be applied broadly to every Japanese
But theyre trying. And sometimes, theyre im-
corporation, because the only one that had a dif-
proving. For trogs who have suffered discrimina-
ferent opinion is now based out of Russia under a
tion for decades, that might not be enough, but
non-Japanese name.
thats what theyve got.
Back in the day, if you were an ork or troll, or
That said, lets dive into the individual corps
any variant thereof, you were viewed as less than
a little.
human. In the most extreme cases, you were not
even looked at as a person, but as a creature. Most
of the time this view came laced with pity, other MITSUHAMA
times it came with fear, and all too often it came
with anger. The last tended to be most common
COMPUTER
when an ork or a troll dared to speak to someone TECHNOLOGIES
above their station (thats everyone), and open
hostility was always a possibility if they failed to or POSTED BY: DARRYL DEVLIN
incorrectly used the -sama ending. The best word to describe my life inside MCT
Thats changed to a significant degree. The tra- is used. As for the rest of my troll kin and our
ditionalists have lost some of the power they used ork brothers, its not much different. Im big, Im
to hold in the empire, and younger leaders are far strong, I know how to show respect and control
more tolerant of metas. Part of Mitsuhamas drive my temper. I didnt get immediately shoved into
to the top spot as number one megacorp in the janitorial work to be pushed down and constantly
world involved them developing a more open threatened with being replaced by a drone. In-
culture, welcoming talent no matter what form stead, they gave me a uniform, then taught me
it came in. Some of that is for show, of course to take a hit. After that, they taught me to give as
technomancers still tread carefully when they are good as I got. My weapons training stayed basic
anywhere near MCT holdingsbut there were still because I was never expected to pull my gun. I
definite changes in the culture. was there to be intimidating and if necessary, to
But millions of people dont completely change bring down rowdy metas. Yup, just metas. I was
overnight, or even over the course of a decade. told to never lay my hands on a human citizen of
Some people have not changed at alltheyve just MCT. Didnt matter if I knew the SIN they cast was
covered their anger and hatred with quiet, seeth- fake as a troll CEO, I wasnt allowed to engage.
ing resentment. The fact that you never know who That was left to the human officers.
these people are or when theyll go off is a source That was when I was first hired. The guidelines
of tension for plenty of trogs. didnt change all at once, but they still changed, par-
Then there are the people who have made tially because they just didnt make sense. When you
progress and are quite proud of their progress, but have a strong security guard excelling at all aspects of
still havent quite gotten to seeing orks and trolls their job, why limit what they can do? Humans com-
as fully human. Theyre the ones who are quickest mit crime and do shadowrunswhy put high-quality
to tell you about their ork and troll friends, because people on the sidelines when that happens? So the
theyve developed that conversational tactic as a scope of our duties broadened, and we were trusted
defense mechanism to shield themselves from ac- more. Sometimes one of us was promoted to man-

66 WORKING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

agementgenerally in security, seldom in any other > I actually watched a troll get left behind by a sec team.They
division, but it was still progress. came on site with two vehicles, a modded Citymaster and
But its tough to get away from the fact that an armored-up spirit. The Citymaster got rocket-hollowed
trogs are seen a certain way. All across the com- and when they had to bail the troll didnt fit. They booked
pany, were optimized for our size and resilience. it and the troll got stranded.
Were pushed to develop the big muscles, and de- > Balladeer
pending on how well we test in other areas, we
get placed in jobs to best make use of our strength > Howd that pan out for him?
combined with our other talents. If we dont devel- > Picador
op, or we score particularly low across the board,
we can expect to find ourselves doing the lowli- > Her. Shes now regular muscle for a team I work with in
est of low jobs, often in extremely unsafe envi- Dallas.
ronments. Or more often, we are simply expelled > Balladeer
from the corporation and into the local national
population or transferred to a subsidiary and sold What you can generally expect from MCT is
to other corporations as part of that corps assets. that they will try to put their best face forward.
For trolls with the Talent or high scores in tech- Yeah, it can be awkward sometimes, as they
nical areas, MCT finds a special place in their se- sometimes will go out of their way to tell you how
curity division for them. They struggle to be treat- much they like some famous trog or another, or
ed the same as their fellow mages and hackers, how they once voted for a trog for public office,
and they often find positions on heavy-combat but you can always grit your teeth and tell yourself
or high-threat teams thanks to their strength and that hey, theyre trying. And if they fake it long
ability to shrug off small-arms fire. These same enough, perhaps someday theyll make it.
teams often find orks in their ranks. When they
can, MCT forms complete squads of orks and RENRAKU
trolls. Unlike the old days, these squads now usu-
ally have a trog commander. POSTED BY: BIGREDONE
But the drive for money is strong in MCT, even I have had the honor and privilege of serving the
more so than the rest of the Sixth World. If an ork or citizens of Renraku for more than twenty years.
troll can make a division more money by ascend- I worked as a warehouse packager as a child,
ing to a particular position, then corporate policy proved trustworthy through several morality
is that an ork or troll should definitely ascend to tests, and was allowed to train for a spot at Najimi
that position. There may be exasperated looks and Security through my high school years. Najimi of-
remarks muttered under various peoples breath, fered me the opportunity to overcome my limita-
but more and more, those attitudes will not stand tions as an ork, show the strength of my honor,
in the way of our advancement. and join the ranks of its elite samurai. It has not
There are plenty of remnants of less tolerant been easy as one of the lesser breed among my
days. Back when I first started, the corp wouldnt betters, but with my strength and perseverance I
do a thing to cater to our size, and theyre not re- have done well.
building every facility or buying a whole new fleet And no, I am not a fool.
of vehicles just because attitudes have shifted. I fully understand the difficulties that my kind
Lots of times we have to cram ourselves into vehi- have here at Renraku. It is a place of great ex-
cles not built for us, or squeeze our hands around pectations, culture, and history. A history that we
weapons that feel like toys. If you want to fit in, have not yet earned a place in, other than as the
if you want to advance, you dont complain. You monsters of legend. Our ancestors wronged the
find a way to make it work. Adjusting your own ancestors of the people of Renraku, and we must
property is fine, but it has to be returned to its hu- work to atone for that. I have risen to a place that
man-appropriate sizing when you cease residence few can achieve. The ranks of Najimis corporate
or return it to the corporation. This often means a samurai are limited, and few orks can aspire to
serious debt when moving, transferring, or being this position. But in truth, very few among our
fired, often transferred over to your new employer kind would be able to. The strength of discipline
if you get shuffled off with a subsidiary. I learned in my youth came mostly because I

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was not raised among my own kind. I was raised


among humans. While I felt shame when they
looked upon me, I earned their respect. Not with
fist and foot, but with honor and restraint of my
violent soul. That is the path denied those of my
kind who are raised in ignorance and anger.

> Internalized oppression and self-loathing are real.


> Sunshine

The orksand Ill include the trolls as well,


for they are also in need of atonementare wel-
comed into the Renraku family. They are given all
the tools needed to act in the proper fashion, hon-
or the proper customs, and obey the appropriate
laws, both criminal and social. They are confront-
ed with a choice: Will they breed anger at their
indebtedness, or will they accept and overcome
it. In life, we do not get to choose when a debt is
owed; we wrong another, and they choose how
the debt must be repaid. Life within Renraku is a
chance to repay that debt. A chance to live a life of
honor for ourselves, our children, and our families.
I shall have an honorable family name to pass on.
What others must understand is that our place
in the corporation is not given to us as a right. It
is earned. We do not have honor from our family
name. We must earn every centimeter of a bow.
We start from a place of shame, but we are not
forced to stay there. We keep ourselves there by
fighting against the honorable among us. Yes, they
shame us and in doing so, shame themselves, but
they can afford the small shame. When we strike
out in anger or act against them with a desire for
vengeance, we have no honor to spare.
We can grow in Renraku. We can earn honor.
We can aspire to give our future generations a
place without shame.
Or we can rebel. We can dishonor ourselves by
acting out. We can huddle in anger and resentment
at the bottom of the social caste because we are
too prideful and angry to understand that this place
only shuns those who shun it. We can fail to realize
that we work to lift ourselves up but have nothing
to fall back on, so there is not room for failure.

> Somebody drank the Kool-Aid!


> Slamm-0!

> But there is perhaps no better way to illustrate the Renraku


mindset.The calm and conviction BigRedOne displays can
be tremendously influential, and he also shows just what

68 WORKING AS A TROG IN... >>


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you have to go through to succeed at Renraku. You have


to accept your own inferiority to be seen as goodits a
> Good hell, he talks like a self-help book.

kind of deeply internalized guilt I hear Catholic friends talk


> Cayman

about. But rather than waiting for an unseen redemption,


your parent corp is there waiting to help you purge your
> Actually, he talks like a Renraku employee manual. That
last line is a direct quote.
guilt. In Japanese society, with all the importance placed
in being part of a larger whole, the fact that orks and trolls
> Mihoshi Oni

are offered any way in is a strong draw.


But I am not totally without pity. I understand
> Mihoshi Oni
that, in the process of building our eventual selves,
we must often begin from low points. People may
> Thats for the ones who stay. What BigRedOne
be in the shadows as a start to something better. So
has no real way to understand are those who he
condemns, those who, in his terms, huddle in anger conduct yourself with honor. Negotiate honestly
and resentment at the bottom of the social caste. He and keep the promises you make. If any Renraku
dismisses them, puts them out of mind, because thats personnel make reference to that which you are
part of the whole point of the social conditioning he is not, understand that they are simply pointing you
subjected to. Mihoshi Onis Catholic analogy is perhaps to what you could be. Accept their words and
more accurate than she understands (which is odd for a actions with dignity.
decidedly non-Catholic nation). Trogs are born with the I know that orks and trolls who run against
original sin of their metatype. They are not fully human Renraku might worry that they will be special
from birth; that humanity must be earned. If they do targets for Renraku security forces. Thats
not earn it, then what is the loss? They were never fully foolishness. Our job is to defend what we have
human to begin with, so no human has been lost in the and to secure our premises. Everything else is
rejection of this trog. subordinate to that.
Imagine, then, the resentment of the trogs who have
been treated this way. Who have had to audition for the > Yeah, hes probably not being purposefully disingenuous
chance to be real people and did not pass. When you are he very possibly really doesnt know that Renraku threat
rejected goods from Renrakuone of the most influential analysis procedures, more often than not, identify trolls
forces in the nationwhere do you go? What can you be? and orks as the first targets to eliminate. Probably just a
Unsurprisingly, a lot of these people fall into the shadows, coincidence.
but be careful if youre thinking about them as a great pool > 2XL
of potential recruits. They are often full of anger and feel
as if they have nothing to lose, and thats a dangerous Other than that, the same criteria that apply
combination. to employees of Renraku apply to those on the
> Jimmy No
outside. Simply put, that means you will be treated
as you demonstrate you deserve.
> The best thing about all this Catholic imagery is that
Renraku has truly been subjected to the wrath of an angry
god.
> Which is a concept that always sounds better to those
deciding who deserves what.
> Netcat
> Jimmy No

I was asked to provide thoughts about


shadowrunners in relation to Renraku, but I am SHIAWASE
hesitant to do so. My primary advice is that you
simply should not do it, since you have little to POSTED BY: HIDEKO MACHIKI
gain and tremendous amounts to lose. The gains I dont like to speak for my people as a whole,
are triviala handful of nuyenand the losses but I will. I think everyone should get a chance
of honor and dignity are far more important. to speak for themselves, because we all come
When you operate without structure and without from different places with different experiences.
discipline, you surrender yourself to what is weak I know why I got picked. Ive been around. Ive
inside you. Do not give in. Build strength instead been to a lot of places within Shiawase, so Ive
of indulging weakness. seen how the company treats orks and trolls in
spots all over the world. As much as Id love to
say some places are better than others, its just

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not the case. Shiawase is pretty universal in their Shiawase Social Circles. These small-group clubs
treatment of orks and trolls. are intended to allow citizens of Shiawase to get
Its not deplorable, but it isnt good by a long together and talk about life in the company, as
shot. As a whole, they are slightly more polite than well as their personal lives, with others of sim-
Renraku, not trying quite as hard as Mitsuhama. ilar social standing. Its supposed to prevent
They treat their orks and trolls with a sort of uni- cross-status griping and give citizens an outlet.
versal pity. Its not negative, its not often overt, it For a lot of orks and trolls, it gives them a chance
just is. They arent condescending to them for the to actually talk and socialize with others of their
most part, but they also dont give them much slack kind in a place where they arent forced to hold a
when it comes to being respectful. Disrespect will certain face, or remain silent because of their so-
get a troll or ork quickly demoted to the lowest cietal status. The structure of this group means
position in their current assignment. If there is no that suggestions for ways to improve corporate
lower, they are docked pay, privileges, and often practices are regularly passed on to manage-
even access to basic necessities. There is definitely ment. They might not have a strong track record
a price to pay for disrespect, but for the most part, of doing anything with most of these recom-
the orks and trolls of Shiawase are tame. mendations, but some movement on even one
Shiawase citizens interacting with orks and trolls or two recommendations is better than things
from outside the corp are often shocked at how were in the old days. Or at Renraku.
brazen and outspoken they can be. They also often
mistake their place as a megacorporate citizen to > Its nice that this gentleman sees this as a good thing,
mean they have authority over people outside their just like a good corporate drone, but these meetings are
corporate territory, and they often suffer grave con- all monitored by the MFID, Shiawases intel operation.
sequences for this action. But so too do the trolls Suggestions may go to management, but hints of
insubordination and discontent get there faster.
and orks who cause them harm. Shiawase has no
tolerance for violence against their employees by > Thorn

anyone, and old habits make them lean on orks


and trolls harder than others. If their own corporate > Hideko doesnt have a lot of information about trog
runners dealing with Shiawase, so let me fill you in.
security doesnt handle the problem, they are not
Shiawase is more conscious than their peers about
above contracting out their discipline to shadow- keeping their shadowy activity quite dark. With their direct
runners in order to keep their citizens safe. The cost connections to the Imperial family, they want to avoid
is often placed onto the debt of the injured citizen, clear engagement in criminal activity. This goes beyond
creating even greater animosity against metahu- the basics of having a Department of Unspecified Services
mans. But the scales must be balanced somehow, and using the name Mr. Tanaka when hiring runners.
and bringing shame to Shiawase by shaming an Within Japan, they outsource their runs, using a rotating
outsider deserves punishment. series of fixers. Theyre so dedicated to not having any
As you can guess, there is not a lot of room for fixers being clearly identified as in their pocket that they
advancement up the corporate ranks. Minor man- will sometimes arrange runs against their own holdings
agement positions are about the best any ork or just to throw people off their scent.
troll can ever hope for within Shiawase, and they The end result is that when youre hired by Shiawase,
had better not make any mistakes once they get little of their corporate culture will trickle down to the
there. The powers above and around them are like- fixer and Mr. Tanaka, because thats how the corp wants
ly at the full length of their tolerance in having to it. So you might get an out-and-out racist, or you might
deal with an ork or troll with any power. And those get someone who takes you for who you are rather than
make snap judgments based on your metatype. All this is
below them are looking for every opportunity pos-
to say: Dont count on predictability.
sible to knock them down. The best and smartest
orks and trolls work hard to get their offices and > Mihoshi Oni

production lines filled with other orks and trolls.


As that sometimes creates a sell-out mentality, EVO
moving up in Shiawase is kind of a damned if you
do, damned if you dont scenario. POSTED BY: DEVOTED
The one thing I can give Shiawase some cred- Lets just cross over to Evo, as they were once
it for in the understanding department is their a Japanacorp but have truly evolved with this

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modern world. This is exactly what the streets Once youre in, Evo wants trogs for more than
see when they see Evo and they think about orks muscle. But if you want to be muscle, you can
and trolls. The citizens of most corps think Evo is get augmented to be the most muscular thing
like the ultimate love everyone for being them- you have ever seen. Evos transhumanist prin-
selves megacorp. Acceptance is everything, ciples may have been curbed slightly by the is-
an attitude that flows all the way up to ork cor- sues presented by CFD, but now that the corp
porate president Yuri Shibanokuji. Trogs, nagas, has accepted more than its fair share of Monads,
centaurs, pixies, shifters, and every other varia- the agenda is back and blazing ahead full steam.
tion on intelligent life are supposedly equal in the That agenda can really be titled transmetahu-
eyes of Evo. Its a pleasant fantasy, because no manist, or even transmetasapientist because they
megacorporation is really that open. At least not dont care to stop with making the ultimate hu-
one full of independently thinking creatures, be- man. They want to make the best and purest ver-
cause people are people and people get jealous sion of every being.
and scared and confused by things that arent like With that idea, trogs prosper in every aspect of
them. Thats the worlds view of Evo. Either peo- Evo. From the front line to the boardroom, from
ple see them as the we accept everyone mega, the deepest mines to deep space, trogs can do
or they think its all a load of drekthat the corp any and everything within this megacorp. Work-
is just putting on a face for all. ing your way up the ladder, or shifting over to your
Evo is the place to be if you are a troll or an ork of dream job, is just a matter of working hard and
any nationality or metavariation. Our corp doesnt putting your desires out there. Sure, its competi-
care where you came fromit cares about where tive, and there are probably others who have skills
youre going and how we can help you get there. I and desires to match yours, but at Evo, at least be-
know this sounds like a load of megacorp PR trash, ing a trog wont automatically prevent you from
but it isnt. At least, not exactly. There are certain moving up or moving over.
addendums and requirements for Evo to look at Im also quite happy with the accommodations
you as more than just your skin and bone deposits. that Evo puts in place for every citizen. Im not sure
Big part is, youve got to leave the streets, and the accommodations is really the best word, though.
garbage that society has dumped on you, at the Evo is one of the only companies that builds plac-
door. They give you time to adjust, but if youre es specifically to facilitate a citizens stature, be it
still responding to every correction with attitude, bigger for a troll or smaller for a pixie. They alter
or getting physical (or threatening to) any time buildings to make it possible for naga to navigate
someone hurts your feelings, theyll show you the without hands. They create educational systems
door. Its not easy, but its an opportunity, and that and laws to reflect the faster ork maturation rates.
is something a lot of trogs never get. They dont raise the price of everything just be-
cause they had to make it for a smaller portion of
> Okay, look, this poster is likely an ork or troll, thinks theyre the population. They adjust their environment to
on our side, and is helping us with advice about how to fit the needs to the individuals, and they dont ask
get ahead in the world. But did you see the assumption the individual to live like the person next to them
above? Orks and trolls need to be specially told how to even though they are nothing alike.
act in the workplace, because were temperamental and
violent. Some of this stuff is really deeply ingrained. > Theres some segregation within Evo. Their acceptance
> 2XL of Monads has become well-known throughout the corp,
but not everyone is open to them. They have no problem
> Right, its racism. Its not that you just get sensitive when with an ork being an ork, but a Monad ork isnt an ork. Its
youre given advice. a body-snatching AI inside a body that has tusks, and a lot
> Clockwork of people have a problem when it comes to that idea.They
can accept AIs, but the natural form of an AI isnt meat and
> You hear the same piece of advice in your life a hundred bone.Theres still quite a bit of fear inside the corp, despite
times when youve done nothing to show you need it, and their outward public acceptance.
well see what you think. > Plan 9
> 2XL

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> Addendum to the above. Its not just about body-snatching not leaning toward positive because of the strong
orks, but all body-snatching. attitude of machismoare common. From my
> Plan 10 look inside Aztechnology, our worth and value are
generally tied more to our value as a citizen than
> Since we brought it up, Ill take this chance to mention anything else.
the Special Selection Unit 211. Its a Yamatetsu Naval The basic fact is this: Its worse to be a Catholic
special operations unit rumored to be all Monads. Theyre than a trog in Aztlan and Aztechnology.
supposedly all trogs, taking the toughest ork and troll Ive never found a place that Im not wanted
Monads they can find and getting them to work together. or accepted in Aztechnology. We dont get trans-
They can supposedly share thoughts too, but that isnt ferred to less meta-friendly nations, but thats not
confirmed. It would make them a top-tier spec force if really a limitation when there is plenty of oppor-
they can, though. tunity in places at home and abroad with peo-
> Picador ple who are less closed-minded. And moving up
in the world is whats important in a corp, right?
If youre a trog running the shadows for Evo, Thats what everyone thinks.
there is one substantial benefit: the gear. Evo knows Those who dont buy into that, who see cor-
people want their augmentations, and they know porate life as a fuller life and want more meaning
paying people in augmentations can be financially than climbing the corporate ladder, find life inside
wise for them, so they do. They dont charge more Aztechnology to be comfortable for orks. Trolls
for ork and troll modifications than they do for oth- find things not built to fit, but people dont mock
er metatypes, at least when it comes to runners, so this or think poorly of them. They just think theyre
orks and trolls can pick up some relative bargains. big. In fact, in most cases, thanks to the general
And they dont fall into the trap of immediately as- attitude and tradition of machismo in their culture,
suming orks and trolls are bruiserswhether they trolls are rarely challenged. Most people are smart
want a cerebral booster, elastic joints, or a vocal enough to know that in a culture where insults can
range enhancer, Evo is ready to provide it without be met with fists, as long as it doesnt get deadly,
assumption or pre-judgment. Its refreshing. its best to not insult the orks and trolls.
Overall, with the culture of machismo, the
AZTECHNOLOGY physical nature of orks and trolls fits right in. They
usually keep beefs between their own kind, more
POSTED BY: CARLOS RAMIREZ out of respect than because of any racial bias. You
Once we slip into the shadows and see the dont look tough when you keep beating up the
dark truths behind Aztechnologys sacrifice-rit- weakyou look weak. The corp doesnt necessar-
ual-based state religion, we immediately focus ily condone or look down on any of this; they just
on that and only that. We pay zero attention to see it as part of life within Aztechnology.
the fact that they are probably the most liked Aztechnology doesnt display any inherent
and identifiable megacorp in the world. Nothing racial bias against trogs, nor do they favor them.
in the history of the corp has managed to mar They simply utilize assets for whatever maximizes
its friendly and wholesome image. Not the fact the bottom line for Aztechnology. Orks and trolls
that it was started by drug kingpins, that it had have the chance to move up in the world and get
an Omega order against it, that it uses sacrificial into the boardroom if they want, but most find a
rituals on a regular basis, that its favorite game is happy place somewhere in Aztechnology and Az-
bloody as hell, that it did oppressive things in the tlans vast security and military complex. The nice
Yucatn, or that it blasted a dragon with untested part about being within that facet of the corp is
chemical weapons. None of that has changed the the lack of limitation on where you are sent. Trog
Stuffer Shack-pleasant image that Aztechnology executives are kept away from other corps that
has built. display a racial bias, but security and military forc-
That means most people dont even wonder es are there to kick ass and take names, and they
how trogs are treated by the Big A, because its dont care if they hurt feelings while they do it. It is
not on their cultural radar compared with every- a place where orks and trolls can flourish, as long
thing else. Assumptions that its generally neutral, as they live within the culture of the company. But
or similar to Aztlanswhich is also fairly neutral, if thats the same deal every other metatype gets.

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Trogs who are suspected of following a dif- it. I know Aztechnology has a certain reputation in
ferent cultural route, specifically Catholicism, are the shadows, but I believe thats mainly a product
looked on with disdain and distrust. Its kind of a of rumors and speculation rather than hard fact.
weird ideaif anything, trogs who are part of a re- People start to associate a corp with blood magic,
ligion that initially considered them abominations and all of the sudden they get all paranoid. I believe
should be looked at as extra-dedicated. that if a fair study were conducted, it would show
that Aztechnology Mr. Johnsons are at least as
> Yeah, no. If someone calling you an abomination is not honest as any other megacorp Johnsons, if not
enough to drive you away, I think its completely fair to more so, and that they tend to pay better as well.
question your judgment.
> 2XL > To recap: You are all forming conclusions based on
confirmation bias. Here, let me refute that with my own
> Sometimes spiritual conviction means putting in the work confirmation bias.
to help bring your fellow travelers past their prejudices, > Snopes
rather than leaving them to stew in them.
> Goat Foot The utilitarian view of so many Aztechnology
operatives means that as long as you are useful
Its not a normal issue inside the corp, as ev- to them, they will not double-cross you. Dou-
eryone is expected to participate in the corporate ble-crossing an operative means burning them,
rituals, but some people hide their affiliations for and you dont do that when you can gain more
obvious reasons: It is illegal, and they have no de- value by keeping them working for you. So main-
sire to be the next sacrifice. tain your value, and youll have nothing to worry
about, regardless of your metatype.
> The threat of death is not enough to keep a lot of orks from
following other religious paths. Partly because its not like
> Right. Aztechnology Mr. Johnsons only turn on you when
the sacrifices are openly advertisedthe vast majority youve shown you cant do the job any more. Or when
of Aztechnology employees dont know what the Path of youve learned something about them they dont want
the Sun does behind closed doors. For the most part, if you to know. Or learned something about the corp they
youre not high up in the organization and you keep your dont want you to know. Or when they figured out they
beliefs close to your vest, you can get away with believing could save money by not paying you and maybe kill
a whole lot of things. you. Or when theyre pissed because you looked at them
> Picador
funny. Or when its Wednesday. But thats it.
> Haze
One of the tricks about Aztechnology is that
its culture is sometimes increasingly variable
depending on how far certain subsidiaries are HORIZON
from the home base of Aztlan. Being a fiercely
competitive megacorp, Aztechnology subsidiaries POSTED BY: FALLEN STAR
often take on a contrarian streak to the culture Gary Cline, Manus West, Derk Barik, Auxionthe
around them, to differentiate themselves from list goes on and on of the stars and successful
other corps in the area. In Japan, they are almost trogs at Horizon. The corp has put enough fac-
aggressively progressive, actively recruiting/ es out there that everyone knows being a trog is
headhunting/extracting orks and trolls who not going to keep you from success. Horizon pro-
may feel overlooked in one of the Japanacorps, motes a star quality in everyone, both within the
promising to do better by them. In Vladivostok, corp and out on the street. People see Horizon as
by contrast, their subsidiaries employ the dog- a place to get recognized and become famous,
whistles and coded phrases that Human Nation no matter what metatype you are. There are cer-
has popularized to not-so-subtly hint that they tainly advantages for a trog inside a corporation
provide shelter from having to work side-by-side where an ork sits as CEO.
with the less-civilized metatypes. With the right spin everybody can be amazing,
In the shadows, though, the homeland strain of and thats how Horizon treats trolls and orks. Yes,
utilitarianism returns to strength. The job needs to most of them work in security or sanitation (older
get done, so the focus falls on those who can do hiring practices werent always perfect, and some

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of the demographics of the corp are reflective of The negatives are more subtle, and I can demon-
less-than-perfect older practices), but they cant strate it with one internal report I saw (not the doc-
ever say they are limited, not with Gary running ument I got fired for, in case you were wondering).
the show. We have troll rockers, ork simstars, troll At one point, during some belt-tightening that
actors, ork rappers, an ork at the helm, trolls in happened after the trouble with technomancers
the boardroom, and orks in executive offices all in Vegas, Cline cut a lot of budgets, which led to
over the world. We are as diverse as they come. reductions in salaries and perks. For months after
Where our citizens choose to stop in their rise that, promotion rates of orks and trolls dropped
and what they choose to settle into doing isnt like a rock, while the same group was getting laid
the Horizon choice; its theirs. If youre happy off in hugely disproportionate numbers. What was
working as a sanitation engineer in the Seattle going on? The Consensus recorded a significant
offices, why in the world should Horizon force uptick in negative feelings about orks and trolls,
you to work toward that corner office? Any office and that was reflected in its input into personnel
could be yours. decisions. As is often the case, people saw an ork
Hows that for good spin? Im not a Horizon doing something they didnt likein this instance,
citizen anymore thanks to inadvertently access- cutting their payand decided to take it out on
ing a file I didnt even read, but I still know how all of the orks in the world. And the trolls, too, for
to throw the companys spin out there. The thing good measure.
is, thats all it is. That view is spin for the world Some efforts have been made to change
to see. Inside, were told what to do. Were told this. Diversity programs have been introduced
what to believe. Were told where we belong. at subsidiaries across the globe, with the goal of
Sure, some people defy what they are told and helping people want more diversity so that such
they push up through the ranks, but for every one a desire would be reflected in the Consensus.
of those who succeeds in becoming a shining
star, there are a hundred others who burned out, > The problem is, many of these programs are half-assed,
got kicked out, or got permanent early retirement designed by people looking to collect some cash instead
of doing any real good. And when you get half-assed
for their efforts against the views of the Consen-
diversity programs, you tend to build more negative
sus. People are people, and since their views are
feelings toward diversity. So I wouldnt count on these
part of shaping the overall views of the corp, the
programs having a significant effect.
views of the bulk of Horizon citizenssadly as
> Kay St. Irregular
small-minded as people in many other places in
this worldtend to skew the images of trogs. This What this means is the main tip for orks and
pushes them right back into the places where the trolls dealing with Horizoneither as an employee,
ignorant think they belong. potential employee, or outside contractoris to be
ready for weird mood shifts. It wont be dramatic,
> Horizons efforts, and positive views of trogs, are beneficial
but Horizon is regularly fine-tuning how the
to the overall view, but inside the corp it creates a lot of
model works, as well as who should consult it
tension. The bulk of Horizon drones think the metas get
and when. So sometimes the instructions change
too much of the corps attention. Most of them dont say it
(like if Cline pissed off the employees again), or
out loud, but the Consensus surveys are private.
the Consensus altered protocols for how it should
> Sunshine
be consulted and what employees should do in
certain circumstances. Dont expect it to make
The continual problem of Horizon is that the
sense, and be aware that Mr. Johnson may not be
corp is supposed to be kept from unfortunate
aware why theyre doing what theyre doing.
excesses by the wisdom of crowds, but this
can limit them as well, as the corporation has
trouble surpassing the limitations of the people ARES
it employs.
Heres a fun example, one that illustrates the POSTED BY: SANMAN
positives and negatives of having an ork at the top. Because the corp was built on a foundation of
The positives are pretty clearit shows that there is American beliefs, concepts of acceptance are
no ceiling for trogs, no level they cant advance to. integral to the basics of Ares Macrotechnology.

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The American dream has transferred to the Ares make it onto official records, or their position is re-
dream, and it transcends race. Ares has adver- corded only as accurately as someone with power
tisements all over the place that depict every desires. That said, Ares employs a lot of orks and
metatype working for the well-known Americorp trolls. The vast majority of them fall into the lowest
and every one of their subsidiaries. From arms to five percent on the Ares income charts, and most
construction, security to logistics, Ares always work in fields where they cover up the drek work
has its bases covered when it comes to keeping they do with fancy titles. They cover this less-than-
their image balanced. equal treatment with good PR and lots of positive
I snagged a copy of the employment tracking ork and troll stories spun through their internal
while I was trying to dig up some dirt on Terrance media. The citizens of Ares dont seem to have a
Davis, a low-level HR exec whose wife suspected beef with orks and trolls, even those from outside
him of cheating. It turned out to be a wild goose the company, but the insiders and those who con-
chase, but the data I pulled seemed good for trol movement up the ladder skew their promo-
some side cash. I made a comment on a Matrix tions toward other metatypes. Sorry, insider view.
site about it, and here we are. So lets talk about Data shows that orks and trolls are most heav-
trolls and orks, and their employment status within ily promoted within Ares security divisions and
Ares Macrotechnology and its subsidiaries. subsidiaries. These are the places where their
I dont have universal data. There are plenty muscle often gets them enough exposure to earn
of employees under the Ares umbrella who dont them a second look from the higher-ups, and its

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an area with enough risk that untimely accidents theyre very certain of their path. They can tend to
can easily be arranged for those who dont pay the fanatical, so keep that in mind if you want to
off in the way the bosses expected. Knight Errant convince them to look the other way or take a bribe.
gets a lot of them, but the figures showed an even
larger percentage getting bumped over to Hard > As is the case with any generalization, there are plenty
Corps, and Wolverine takes the cake with the of exceptions. Some trogs joined the force in a burst
highest percentage of ork and troll employees of of idealism, only to be ground down as they see the
any Ares subsidiary. We all know the reputation unfairness the justice system directs toward orks and
that those sec corps have, and it looks like Ares trolls. They stay on the job, mostly through inertia, but
just likes to put the big, mean trolls and orks out they may become lazy, corrupt, or willing to undermine
certain investigations to promote their vision of fairness.
on the goon squad to break heads and scare off
It adds a certain amount of chaos and unpredictability to
shadowrunners.
any encounter with trog cops.
Outside of security, the next biggest division to
employ orks and trolls is construction, where Im > Sunshine

sure their strong minds are being put to use in the


architectural design field. Oh, wait, nothe data SAEDER-KRUPP
shows them heavy in the labor force, and percent-
ages dwindle rapidly as we look higher and higher POSTED BY: KORPKINDER
up the corporate food chain. The utter chill of the street rep everything associ-
As an employee, I found this data deplorable. ated with S-K manages to possess makes any as-
Our overall treatment of this segment of metahu- sessment of a single aspect relatively moot. The
manity is just wrong. We use them for their strength corp is feared worldwide. They are seen as ruth-
and then shut them out. I hope this data gets out to less and hyper-efficient, without a sense of hu-
people who can see what Ares is truly liketo peo- manity at all. Looking just at that overall view, one
ple who will spread the truth and hopefully open can only infer that Saeder-Krupp looks at orks and
the eyes of not only citizens of Ares, but also citi- trolls the same way it looks at guns, steel, and cars:
zens of all the megacorps around the world. as tools to better their bottom line by using them
One division deserves special attention, and in the most efficient and effective way possible.
thats Knight Errant. Any security corporation has a When you talk Big Ten, up until recently, the
complicated relationship with orks and trolls, and biggest of the group was Saeder-Krupp. One of
this one is no different. Security corps love to hire the things that got Lofwyrs corp to the top of the
orks and trollsthe extra nuyen you have to spend heap was an understanding of how to use resourc-
on uniforms that fit them is more than compen- es to their fullest potential. Im not saying orks and
sated for by their intimidation value on the streets. trolls are simply resources, but in the eyes of Lof-
A troll working crowd control is worth four or five wyr, everything and everyone in his corporation
humans. are resources. That attitude tends to flow down
from the top, getting a bit thinner as you reach the
> And seven or eight elves. Hi-yo. corporate laymen, for whom bits of racial hostili-
> 2XL ty remain based on residual resentment left over
from the formation of the Black Forest Troll King-
The trick is convincing orks and trolls to do law dom (now Black Forest Troll Republic). The chop-
enforcement work. An awful lot of them grew up ping off of such a large chunk of Bavaria left a bad
viewing law enforcement as antagonists, or even taste in the mouths of other Germans. The attitude
their enemy. So making the switch to consider it as is stronger the closer to the German foundation of
a career is not simple. And its not just from within the corp you get, but it travels with the executives
family and friends often apply significant pressure and workers around the world.
to keep orks and trolls out of law enforcement, tell- Most orks and trolls who work their way up into
ing them theyll be traitors to their people. the higher ranks of the corp are from offices and
This means that the orks and trolls who make subsidiaries not directly tied to Germany. But once
it to the ranks of law enforcement are often very they have proven themselves, they dont catch flak
committed to the job. Theyve overcome a lot of for tusks or horns in the megacorporate headquar-
opposition to the job from within and without, so ters. Lower in the ranks, orks and trolls deal with

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more issues from people outside their corp than aforementioned Black Forest Troll Republic is one
inside, even though theyre far enough down the of those. As I mentioned, there is some resentment
corporate ladder that they struggle to get noticed within some parts of the corp, especially among
by anyone else in the corp. old-timers, but the growing strength of the
While not exactly politically correct, and not Republic has generated business possibilities that
universal over the entire megacorp, there is a cant be ignored. The question is what approach
definite dislike or distrust of elves and dwarfs, SK wants to use with regard to this nation. There
which provides the orks and trolls of the compa- is a vocal contingent within the corpespecially
ny another advantage. Its a common view that that older groupthat wants to use SKs might to
elves and dragons dont get along, and while this crush the economic strength of the Republic. Find
issue is mainly the result of an elite few elves, the corps within the Republic who are doing well, use
rest of the elven population is scrutinized for the SKs mass to undercut them on price and bury
possibility that they could be coordinating with them. Some people say this wont work, because
that elite group. the Republic is too restrictive in its trade policies
The issue with dwarfs is a different one. Lof- and the citizens are too willing to make economic
wyr isnt a huge fan of international networks sacrifices in order to support home-grown corps.
leading out of his corporation, but he is also not They also argue that it is unwise. Why declare
keen on losing access to these same networks. economic war on a nation that seems to be
He just needs to control the flow of information. growing in strength and could become a strong
Point is, elves and dwarfs are handicapped here, partner if you play your cards right? These voices
leaving orks and trolls to push forward and move favor building stronger trade partnerships with
up the SK ladder. the Republic, getting an in that other megacorps
The social life of orks and trolls within SK is one may lack and taking advantage of this increasingly
of the best in the megacorporate world, and I dont powerful customer base. To some, thats a bitter
just say that because its my corp. The social soci- pill to swallow, because it acknowledges that the
eties of SK are unmatched in corp and private cir- land wont be coming back to the AGS anytime
cles, especially for trolls. Part of this is in an effort to soon. Others, though, could care less about
give trolls who stayed on as SK citizens, rather than national borders, since everyone knows thats not
moving to a nation of their own, a place to develop how power is determined in the Sixth World.
connections and feel at home. These societies have
stuck around and grown over time. Other groups, > Theres are a couple of trog-specific elements to this. First,
including numerous ork-centered social organiza- of course, is the fact that SK must cater to a trog audience
tions, have followed suit and sprouted up all over if they want to gain a foothold in the Republic. Second,
the world. Other corps have similar groups, but un- they had better have some troll sales executives working
like them, all we care about here is that orks and on making the access happen, or they wont get far. Are
trolls have a place inside SK that makes them feel you a troll in SK looking for a career boost, or do you
know such a troll? Find a way to get a position working on
like more than just meat and muscle.
negotiations with the Republic.

> SK has no special love for orks and trolls. They also have > Thorn
no special love for anyone else other than drakes.Though
if an ork or a troll were a drake, I guess they might get Another area of interest is Bogot. Saeder-
special treatment. My point is, the orks and trolls inside Krupp was poised to rebuild the city even before
SK arent treated special. Theyre treated like everyone the Az-Am War ended, and their efforts have
else. The elves, dwarfs, humans, and other sapients borne fruit. Fifty-five percent of the electricity in
inside the mega have social clubs, and opportunities to the city is now supplied by SK plants, and they
move up. Lofwyr wants the best, and the only way to pretty much have a monopoly on bridge and
push for everyone to be the best is to create competition road construction. Some parts of Aztechnology
and interaction. have expressed irritation at these facts, but the
> Cosmo efficiency of SKs services have helped keep those
mutters relatively quiet.
Moving away from more general statements, So what does this have to do with trogs?
there are some areas of particular interest. The Aztechnology, especially this close to the

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homeland, is generally pretty neutral when it comes ness. The streets dont usually give Wuxing a bad
to trogs. But thats only half the equation. Their rap, or give the megacorp a rap of any kind, and
opponent in the war, Amazonia, is widely known thats the way they like it.
as a haven for metahumans, and orks and trolls Let me tell you how things are behind the veil.
have been implicated in a number of insurgency Someone tossed me a message and asked me to tell
operations since the war ended. That means a them what life is like as a Wuxing trog. They used
certain portion of the populace is suspicious of that exact word, and while I felt that little tinge of
orks and trolls in any capacity, despite what larger anger since I didnt know the sender, I still put some-
Aztechnology culture might have to say about it. thing together because I thought it was an interest-
With power installations and other infrastructure ing question, and a topic a lot of people dont know
items being targets to insurrectionists, the sight of anything about. Im sure everyone gets all sorts of
any ork or troll working in those areas sends some information about the Japanacorps and their less-
residents into a panic. Saeder-Krupp does not than-civil treatment of trogs, but across the East Chi-
want to mess up a good thing, so they ship people na Sea, we take a different view. The world should
out rather than cause a problem. know the difference, even though at times they tend
to lump Asians all into one category thanks to their
> KropKinder is not a runner, so hes not going to connect ignorance. Sorry. Touchy subject. But lets talk trogs.
these dots for you, but I will: What this means for us is Wuxing knows the value of people. In the eyes
that if you want to cast suspicion on a certain group or get of Wuxing, orks and trolls are people. Different
people angry at SK, put an ork or troll in the wrong place people have different strengths and weaknesses.
and watch the nerves kick in. They have different forces flowing through and
> Marcos around them. Orks and trolls are strong in earth,
balanced in fire and water, and weak in air.
> Id complain that using prejudice like that only deepens
and extends it, but Ive used the unreasonable fear people
have of orks or trolls in my favor a number of times, so I
> You talk to a person from Wuxing, youre gonna get some
Wuxing woo. Just roll with it.
cant complain too loudly.
> Sounder
> 2XL

> Dismissal is always easier than understanding.


> Id never find it unreasonable to get a little nervous about
> Man-for-Many-Names
someone who can punch through cinder blocks.
> Nephrine
The forces that saturate and flow around them
guide the corporation to what positions they are
WUXING best directed. These strengths and weaknesses,
levels of energy, and proximity to lines of power
POSTED BY: WUXINGWATCHER give executives, guided by powers we rarely un-
Every megacorp has a reputation on the street. derstand, a direction to help orks and trolls find
The funny thing about Wuxing is, some people their place in the corporate hierarchy.
think its a little bland. Not that they arent into the Strong in earth, they are a foundation to build
same myriad of dirty deeds and dark backroom upon. Sometimes thats literal, which means orks
deals as all the other megacorps. They hire run- and trolls are used as construction forces. But more
ners and do horrible things just like all the rest. But often its a figurative concept, meaning they need to
unlike some of the more high-profile megas, they be involved in the planning and initialization of proj-
manage to keep it quiet from the rest of the world ects. The precepts of Wuxing dont hinder the pro-
by seeming like they arent up to anything major. gression of orks and trolls; they simply guide them
They are, of course, doing some major things, but to the places they are needed, as they do with every
as soon as Matrix chatter seems to be turning to- citizen of Wuxing. The nature of their energy is what
ward open discussion of it, whoops, heres a flurry creates their limitations. Those who can alter their
of news about the Wu quints! And the issue fades, natural focus to become more balanced, or who can
and people keep thinking Wuxing is less than it is. shift toward another element, gain access to more
What this means for orks and trolls is that they variety in their positioning and placement inside the
can be hidden behind this same veil of common- flow of Wuxing at the cost of their original strengths.

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The orks and trolls themselves, those who are beyond has led to many seeking emergency
not in tune with their exact nature, find Wuxing to financing, and often that support comes from
be a place where the design of your physical form Wuxing. The interest in that financing has led to
is not what guides you. Certainly there are those significant gains; assets acquired after defaults are
within the corporation who cannot understand an perhaps greater. There are mutters that Wuxing is
ork being aligned with the sky. But it happens, and using much of its heft in the shadows to make sure
Wuxing helps guide them in the way that makes some loans default, as they would rather foreclose
the best use of their energy, no matter the expect- than just collect cash. They say that in many ways,
ed alignments that others see. the emergency financing program has really
We are all metahuman, though, and jealousy become a hostile takeover program, and Wuxing
is a fiery emotion that can taint the coolest heads is very much in a buying mood.
at times. Seeing someone supplant you in a way What does this change mean for orks and trolls?
you do not expect is not easy. The trogs of Wuxing First, it means many are being brought into Wuxing
face issues along those lines on a regular, but not from other backgrounds, entirely unfamiliar with our
rampant, basis. Being so firmly grounded certainly way of working, and sometimes unfamiliar with the
helps, but their opposition is often air, a force that potential inside them. The culture adjustment can
does not often exert its efforts directly. Thus, the cause problems, but we all know the world we live
conflict is often far more mental than physical. It in. We adjust, because there are few options to do
tends to play out as frustration on the part of the otherwise. Second, the type of expansion Wuxing
trogs as they find pathways that should be open is embarking upon does not happen without
to them blocked, along with frustration on their planning. Ork and troll executives are finding new
oppositions part as the trogs frequently barrel advancement opportunities opening up, and their
through with little notice. Earth is hard to stop. power is growing within the corp. How this will affect
the overall shape of the corp, including whether
> Thing about Wuxing is, they didnt have the same ork and C-suite-level and board demographics will change,
troll numbers that other corps and regions had. So they is written on the flow of the worlds energies.
dont consider it an issue.
> Dr. Spin
> One of the funny, but not ha-ha funny, things about the
world is how people who used to seem open-minded
> They dont have the numbers because, like most regional and tolerant suddenly find their tolerance drying up when
cultures, they had very little problem abandoning their they start competing for scarce resources. So some execs
unwanted children. Traditionally that meant girl children, who welcomed orks and trolls in various capacities may
but as soon as the Awakening hit, metahumans, especially
find themselves wanting to limit their roles if it looks like
orks and trolls, joined the list.
trogs might start competing for their jobs. Never forget
> Lei Kung
that banding together against things that are different is a
basic human instinct.
> Except trolls and orks expressed through Goblinization,
> 2XL
so it wasnt as simple as leaving your baby at a church
or in a river. Instead it became a generation of forgotten
As far as I know, shadowrunner orks and trolls
children, forced out into the world.
are treated much like ork and troll employees
> Mihoshi Oni
that is to say, they will fit where they are needed.
Perhaps the most significant difficulty is that
> There are quite a few gangs in the previous Chinese
nations that are almost completely composed of while employees have a decent understanding
metahumans. They started back when the first children of the Wuxing way of thought, outside runners
were shunned and cast out. Their names are always may not. This means that when Mr. Johnson
related to these events: the Shunned, the Outcasts, the attempts to explain how diviners have perceived
Forsaken, etc. the roles of certain runners, it may vary from their
> Lei Kung own self-perception. This can cause confusion,
or even hostility. Fortunately, most Wuxing Mr.
As Im sure many of you are aware, the Johnsons are socially skilled enough to make
foundation of Wuxing has shifted and grown in such observations in ways that dont give offense,
recent times. The tumult among the Big Ten and or to not make them at all and simply deploy

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runners as they see fit, regardless of the runners CATCo, or Novatech. The names are remembered
understanding of what they do best. because some of them still get slapped on labels,
but none of them are megacorporations of any
> Which still causes some confusion. I know a troll who rating. Theyre subdivisions of subsidiaries, kept
specializes in combat magic who did multiple jobs for around because their brand name is still strong
Wuxing that kept putting her in a support position, where where its used. Eventually, that will be NeoNET.
someone with manipulation, healing, or illusion skills Except nothing ever got a NeoNET branding, so
would function better. She finally asked Mr. Johnson why that conglomeration of corporations will just fade
he kept hiring her if he didnt want her to do her thing, into memory.
and he gave her the smug smile that people always can As someone told me to prepare something
deploy and said he was simply happy that her perception
about the trolls and orks of NeoNET, I should proba-
of her skills didnt affect her actual performance.
bly get to the point. But I needed to clear that up so
> Elijah
I can talk about the real future for trogs after Neo-
NET is no more. Within a year or twoyou never
> So as she kept taking jobs from him?
know if the Corporate Court is going to drag it out
> Pistons
or drop it like a guillotineNeoNET will be totally
> Yes. After all, nuyens nuyen. And her illusion spells have dissolved. Transys-Erika had already parted ways,
become fairly creative and potent. and then parted from each other. Transys-Neuronet
> Elijah is once again separate from Erika, and both have
left the majority of the financial responsibilities of
> As always, the path eventually reveals itself. NeoNET on former Novatech assets. Looking to the
> Arete future of trogs, lets look at these three separately.
Novatech first, then T-N, and finally Erika, because

NEONET (HA HA) theyve got different styles.


First, Novatech. Why? Because its really easy.
The trolls and orks of Novatech dont have much
POSTED BY: ERIC WILLIAMS
of an outlook for their future. With the cost of re-
Im only doing this mess because we havent munerations for Boston and its ongoing quaran-
seen where everything will fall from this collaps- tine falling primarily at the feet of the hometown
ing house of cards. Whatever happens, it was a megacorp, every asset and subsidiary of the mega
shame to lose NeoNET. They played fair with us will be sold off to other corps. Some of the pieces
trogs, and it wasnt bad spending time on their might get lucky and end up in the hands of No-
payroll. The streets saw them as such a resilient vatechs former co-conspirators, but the biggest
firm that the view spread to all levels of their sharks currently circling are MCT, Spinrad, and
existence. Everything about NeoNET was about Saeder-Krupp. Not the best places for a trog to
building and rebuilding from the streets stand- end up. As the corp dissolves, the vast majority of
point. At this point, many people think its not trolls and orks are going to end up back in the re-
over, especially those low in the corp who dont spective SIN pools of their nations, or slid into the
have much choice in where they go. There are new Global Registry linked to the Corporate Court.
quite a few orks and trolls in that pool, so the Without a corp and living under the laws of a new
streets are seeing the fall of NeoNET as a flood- society, I dont think trolls and orks are going to
gate of trogs slipping into the pool of SINless manage well if they are stuck with Novatech.
and streeters. Theres a lot of worry about what
comes next, and that a lot of trogs may end in the
> Heres one of the dirty secrets of the Boston quarantine.
wrong place. Plenty of people have asked why it has gone on for so
Im a realist. My world is coming apart. The long, and why the disease cant be contained. The answer
corporation that I spent my adult life believing in is the same as it always is in the Sixth Worldthe corps
and working to developwell, working to get to found a profitable reason to keep the thing going. Once
a place where I could help develop itis already the other nine joined in resolve to pin the blame for CFD
splintered and soon to be a blip on the megacorpo- on NeoNET, the ongoing deprivations behind the wall
rate history radar. By the time my kids are my age, became continual justification to levy fines on any and
they wont even remember NeoNET. Its like Fuchi, all NeoNET properties. Novatech might still have robust

80 WORKING AS A TROG IN... >>


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sales in some sectors, but every time they get a revenue


stream going, the Corporate Court peeks behind the wall
> Or it can get taken down before it ever sees a real owner.
Its a huge symbolic target for a lot of groups, both for
and finds some justification for punishing them with
and against. Several of those groups could definitely use
heavy fines. Just like that, the revenue is gone. Novatech,
some publicity with a hit like that, and possibly the good
and many other subsidiaries, wont be able to dig their
PR for doing it while its empty.
way out, because the rest of the Big Ten are intent on
making the hole ever deeper.
> Balladeer

> Sunshine
> Its still got a public park under it and construction workers.
No hit is going to be collateral-free unless you get some
Transys-Neuronet is a slightly different story. lessons from Hestaby.
They are skidding along under the radar of blame, > Frosty
but their time as a pet project and personal think
tank for Celedyr is over. The dragon has already Dont fool yourself into thinking that NeoNETs
been removed from his position as head of R&D plunging status means its pulled out of the
and been reassigned to head up specific proj- shadows. Yes, their activity is reduced due to
ectsones that were his from the startthat are funds being a little more scarce, but theyre still
all getting extra scrutiny. Failures will be pinned on hiring. Executives are looking for better landing
him directly, rather than being associated with his places, corps are trying to interfere with the
subordinates or individual project leads. Im not competition so that their travails dont seem so
sure a dragon really cares about corporate blame, bad by comparison, and anyone and everyone
but the board will, and theyll cut corp funding. is looking for insider information that might help
What I like to call the worry-wart races (read: them know just when the final hammer will fall.
non-trogs) are all avoiding him and finding every Experienced shadowrunners, of course, can
reason possible to get transferred elsewhere. This smell panic from ten kilometers away, and they
is opening up a lot of positions for orks and trolls tend to steer clear of it. Desperation does not
who dont mind hitching their wagon to a dragon. tend to breed good planning and loyalty, so
The percentage of T-N-employed trogs has easi- taking runs from such clients can be a risk. But
ly doubled over the past year, and word spread, if youre a newer shadowrunner looking to break
leading to many displaced orks and trolls finding a into the bizor perhaps more to the point, a
new home with T-N. trog shadowrunner who thinks their metatype
Last, I look to Erika because it has done the has kept people from giving them a fair shake
most to give orks and trolls a fair deal in this cor- in the fieldthis might be your chance. NeoNET
porate shake-up. Between the interest and invest- and their subsidiaries are not in a position to be
ment in African corps and the mingling it has al- highly selective about who they hire, so make a
ready done with its Northern European associate, connection, show them what you can do, and
Maersk, Erika has handed many a trog an oppor- build a reputation.
tunity to excel within its expanding ranks. Trolls
and orks are being given opportunities all over the > Noob shadowrunners flocking to take on ill-planned jobs
world to show the executives and Board at Erika conceived by desperate people? What could go wrong?
(and Maersk) that they deserve more than grunt > Hard Exit
work. Expect to sit across the table from orks and
trolls in negotiations and meetings with Erika for
the foreseeable future. SIERRA, INC.
POSTED BY: ECOTOPE
> A nice reminder of the collapsed NeoNET, and good to see
where some of their work is going to end up. Street rep: tree huggers. Trolls and orks can just
> Mr. Bonds hug bigger trees. I wish I was serious that it were
that simple, but the shadows are never that easy-
> Biz is still hopping in St. Louis as NeoNETs ARCHology going. Sierra works a delicate balance in the
headquarters is done and ready for occupancy. It just shadowsthey play up their mainstream environ-
needs to come to rest in someones capable hands. mentalism in the light of day, but there have been
> /dev/grrl longstanding rumors about them funneling mon-
ey to some of the more extreme groups there, in-

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cluding toxic and eco-terrorism operations. And


who better to play the role of the eco-terrorist
than the ork or troll toxic shaman dressed in rags
and living in radioactive goo?
The streets can be fairly stupid sometimes.
I dont necessarily know much about ork and
troll life, but I know about Sierra, and I know how
they would treat orks and trolls. Thats because its
the same way they treat everyone: as people who
need to prove what they are doing to improve the
condition of the planet if they want to be judged
as worthwhile. The skin you wear doesnt matter
nearly as much as the level to which you devote
your life to protecting the big blue marble. Within
Sierra, Inc. if you love the environment, it doesnt
matter what you look like. Led by a dwarf in the
past, with a troll (Gary Gray) at the helm now, they
have no limits on who can achieve what within
their corporate halls.
They say that metatype doesnt matter to them,
and their actions often back that up, but the prob-
lem is that sometimes it needs to, like housing and
laws based on age and development. Troll size isnt
considered beyond the oversized chairs they can
occasionally find. You would expect that seating
wouldnt be an issue when the current head hon-
cho is a troll, but it is. Gary Gray has tried to avoid
throwing his weight around and doesnt like forcing
aspects of the company to suit him just because
hes a troll. His office is large, but no larger than it
was for Vogel. Only the furniture has changed, and
that was only to accommodate a desk and chair
that he could work at, though he spends very little
time at that desk. He prefers to be out in the world,
improving peoples views of trolls while mingling in
the nature he wants to preserve.
I have always found the growth of Sierra, Inc.
to be quite interesting. They assist with large num-
bers of orks and trolls moving out of poverty and a
life on the streets or in the shadows through their
Plant a SIN initiative. The program helps anyone,
though the most prolific utilization comes from
orks and trolls born into the barrens and slums of
the world. After Sierra helps them get s SIN, those
SINs are almost immediately employed by Sierra.
Its a mutually beneficial relationship.

> With the new Global SIN initiative, Sierra is being


scrutinized. The CC thinks they are pumping phony SINs
out into the world. Im sure if theyre snagging fakes its
for their own operatives, not for the streets.
> Snopes

82 WORKING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

Where things get truly interesting for Sierra is that megacorps wreak on a daily basis, and the
what kind of opposition they run into. On the one people sitting on top of the megacorps are living
hand, we all know that humans disproportionately in the lap of luxury, polluting the world to make
lead the megacorporations that do the most to themselves even wealthier than they already are,
ruin the planet, so that fact at least should take while the poor people of the Underground are
some heat off orks and trolls. But then you have having trouble making a home for themselves
the fact that two of the greatest allies they have thanks to Sierras legal actions. Add to this the fact
in their nature preservation efforts are the elf-led that the heads of megacorps have the resources
Trs, and we all know how they feel about orks to defend themselves from any legal action and
and trolls. Yeah, having and ork High Prince in Tr sometimes delay it indefinitely, while people in
Tairngire muted the anti-trog prejudice for a time, the Underground can maybe afford to pay a lawyer
but those days are over. The Trs may not be quite for ten hours or less of work, and the causes of
as unfriendly to strangers as they used to be, but resentment just grow.
theyre not exactly welcoming, either. And orks and
trolls have severe difficulty being seen as natives, > Incidentally, this is why there were some pro-trog groups
so they cant help but be seen as outsiders. All this who had no desire for the Underground to be part
is to say that when Sierra finds itself cooperating of Seattle. Make it an official part of the city, and it has
with the Trs, they often are aligned against orks jurisdiction. Plus, the district is officially subject to the laws
and trolls. of the city, including environmental protections that are on
This opposition becomes even more direct the books, such as they are. When the Underground was
in different ork and troll settlements across the not really part of the city, Sierra and anyone else could
complain about what was going on down there, and the
world. Given that orks and trolls have a higher
government of Seattle could issue proclamations, but no
rate of poverty than other metatypes, they dont
one had legal force to do anything. Now, the government
always have the resources and capital they may
has power, so the government can act.
want to build a settlement in a way that follows all
codes and regulations. This sort of thing can put
> Sunshine

them in the crosshairs of Sierra.


The good news is that Sierra is somewhat
Take the Seattle Underground. Even when
less heartless than the big megas of the world,
its done with proper planning and all the right
and some of the complaints of Underground
tools, underground construction brings a host of
residents have started to get through. The corp
environmental difficulties. You might interrupt
has realized that people of the Underground
flows of groundwater, you have to plan where
have no real desire to mess up the drinking water
your waste will go, you might have different kinds
of the region, or cause other problems. They just
of dust in the air that people really shouldnt be
want a place to live. So rather than continuing to
inhaling, and so on and so forth. This means that
take a punitive approach to Underground affairs,
Sierra has never been entirely comfortable with
Sierra has started at looking at ways to support
the idea of the Underground, and now that its an
Underground infrastructure, helping build pipes
official district of the city, they have paths they can
and such where necessary, and delivering
pursue to advance the longstanding complaints
training in safe ways to expand the network of
they have had against the place. After the passage
tunnels. Their previous efforts at interference left
of Prop 23, they quickly filed many complaints
them with a deficit of trust, but they are making
with the governor about the various environmental
progress in closing that gap.
ills tied to the Underground, from its insufficient
plumbing to its occasional interruption of city
> Where there is mistrust, there are people willing to exploit
water mains to worries about instability being it. Plenty of people who want to keep Sierra off their
carved into the very foundation of the city. backs manufacture a little evidence that the enviro-corp
That did not endear the organization to the is thinking of cracking down on some trog settlement or
ork and troll community. A commonly repeated another, and its not too hard to get people up in arms and
derisive remark says that Sierra cares about ready to crack some heads. If you want Sierra distracted
plants, not people. Activists say that the damage from what youre doing, thats a good way to get their
done by the excavation of the Underground is attention focused in the wrong direction.
small potatoes compared to the devastation > Ecotope

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SPINRAD > Side trackI was breaking into a SpIn housing complex to

INDUSTRIES
plant some evidence a few years back for a Johnson. I was
tucked away in a vent and slithering over the gymnasium
when a volleyball game starts up below me. It was a team
POSTED BY: SPINSIDER of dwarfs playing a team of trolls. It was comical, but not
Everyone sees SpInSpinrad Industrieswith near as one-sided as you might think. Dwarfs have a great
Johnny at the forefront. Thats not to say theyre all dig game and trolls have a hard time reading when a ball
pro-human or anything, but rather that they see is going out, so they play all sorts of garbage. Trolls won,
everything with an extreme twist. That doesnt but the entire crowda fully mixed baggot into it and
hold back orks and trolls, and in fact SpIns sports enjoyed the fun.
franchises make a killing with their trog athletes > Mika
who get plastered on advertising all over the
worlds major metroplexes. Im not sure if SpIn is going to stay so fun-lov-
Thanks to a whole lot of SpIndependence, the ing and exciting in the future, but up until this
views of orks and trolls inside Spinrad arent ex- point, theyve been a good place for trogs. The
actly stable. You cant expect the same views and corporate acquaintances that theyve been court-
attitude from someone in Lisbon as youd get from ing would likely calm the boisterous nature of the
someone in St. Louis. In Lisbon, theyre all going wild megacorp, just like they seem to be calming
to be super pro-ork, rooting for Tucker Lang and the corps namesake. Im on the inside but not
the Lisbon Navigators, the only international team that high up, so I dont know how serious his ef-
to beat an NFL team during last years exhibitions. forts are or if hes playing a con. But I imagine the
In St. Louis, youre looking at a lot of troll-love as latter would turn out very badly if it were to be
Hakrin Gresham is currently devastating the urban discovered, or even if it just played out and end-
brawl scene for SpIns St. Louis Razors farm club. It ed up being true.
goes the other way too: SpIn citizens in Africa are From what Ive heard, doing runs for SpIn as an
currently hating trolls thanks to Kurg Dansk, the ork or troll is unpredictable. Its one thing doing a
outrider for S-Ks urban brawl franchise in the FAL run for a dragon, where the boss thinking is so far
(Free African League). ahead of your own that you cant figure out the
So I hope you see and understand my point twists of their plots in advance. Working for SpIn
with this. Views on orks and trolls inside SpIn ar- can be like working for someone who thinks they
ent based on a racial bias as much as a compet- have the strategic and tactical genius of a dragon
itive streak that infects every aspect of the corp. but actually is a combination of crafty planning,
While you wont find Dansks detractors burning impatient recklessness, and occasional impulsive
troll effigies in the hallways outside a trolls hous- leaps. With the dragons, you usually can make
ing quarters, you will find that trolls get scrutinized sense of their plans after the fact; with SpIn, you
more heavily and passed over for promotion more may never understand the moves they made, be-
often when they are currently out of favor in their cause there is a distinct possibility that they made
particular locale. The winds of change blow fre- no sense. And the boss likes it that wayhes al-
quently, but inside SpIn its best to know which ways felt that unpredictability is one of his corps
way theyre currently blowing before you decide if strengths, and you cant be unpredictable if youre
its time to pitch for that new project. always doing the right thing.
Sports teams and clubs within the corp are What this means is this: Dont expect to be
always looking for ringers and a little extra juice treated fairly. Dont expect to be judged solely
here and there, so trolls and orks get brought in on on your merits. Dont expect to be discriminated
anything where muscle might help. They also play against. Dont expect that because youre a troll
the occasional joke, all getting together to join the and they love trolls in St. Louis, theyll love you
same team for things like football, roller derby, there. Dont expect anything. Be ready for every-
volleyball, and other physical sports, where they thing. If playing at racismor deploying actual rac-
dominate the mostly human teams. ists against youfits what the plan calls for, thats
what theyll do. Doesnt make sense to you? Great.
Thats the plan.

84 WORKING AS A TROG IN... >>


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MAERSK > Maersk has been in talks and associated with a lot of corps
over the past few years. Speculation that doesnt pan out,
POSTED BY: CAPTAIN ULV mergers that just arent feasible, and ego battles that cant
They ship stuff, right? So trolls and orks work on be overcome with money are the biggest roadblocks.
their ships and docks. Theres plenty of machines > Mr. Bonds
in this world to do the lifting and hauling for us,
but there are always times when old-fashioned > And runners. The entire Megacorp Revision has been
a corporate shadow war. Everyone is looking to keep
biological muscle is needed, and for those occa-
everyone else from making the needed moves to jump
sions, were available.
up. Sabotaging mergers with planted espionage, security
Getting a public opinion on a corp requires
breaches, and a host of other moves has kept all the
the public to know a little more than they usu-
doubles and singles from hooking up and going triple or
ally do. Hence the reason it sucks being a name
hooking up with a triple.
seen everywhere but understood nowhere. This
> Fianchetto
megacorp has some serious smokescreening up
with the whole single name posted on shipping Both inside and outside of the shadows, Maersk
containers all over the world thing.
has a reputation for being brusque and businesslike.
Short of it: There is no public opinion. You only
So while it may not feel like the corp cares for you
have an opinion on Maersk if you know the real
if youre an ork or troll, thats because the corp
Maersk.
does not truly care for anyone. Having people who
If Maersk were just a shipping company, Id
care for you is the job of your friends and family;
have little to worry about every time I board one
the corp strongly recommends that employees
of their massive vessels. They started out basic but
get some, though of course they do not provide
expanded quickly, and now they dabble in mar-
an abundance of free time so that employees
kets and fields all across the globe. Obviously, or
can make that happen. Dont expect them to be
else they wouldnt be a multinational AA-rated
pleasant, and be ready to maybe haul a box or two
megacorporation. While being more, they also
at some point in time, and youll be fine.
have the advantage of people knowing less. For
example, Maersk has their own special opera-
tions security force. Scary fraggers who I dont like UNIVERSAL
meeting, on or off the water. Why do I mention
them? Because a lot of them are trolls and orks. OMNITECH
Seems a troll with some cyberfins and a set of gills
or an air tank can move at quite a clip underwater. POSTED BY: CORP CANVASSER
Its not just there that orks and trolls are valued The choice of such a plain and relatively generic
in the Maersk hierarchy. The entire company has corporate moniker is one of those hints that tells
niches and fields that their HR people seem to be- you these guys dont want to be noticed or pi-
lieve are best filled by certain metatypes. Docks geonholed into any single field, limited to the work
around the world often have ork workers. Maersk and income in one area. The name shows that they
docks often match this, but when it comes to go- truly wish to be a universal megacorporation.
ing into those other docks and looking to negoti- Within those same ideals, we find their views
ate contracts, Maersk has familiar tusked faces to on orks and trolls. Theyre open-minded and look-
send in, men and women with time both on the ing to utilize them in whatever fashion best fits
dock and at the negotiation table. into their universal bottom line. Or so the assump-
It seems a universal principle at Maersk that tion on the street needs to go, because there isnt
every employee is valued for what they bring to the anything to go on.
company. Orks and trolls arent necessarily treated Connecting UO with orks and trollsthats
in a friendly way, but they are definitely treated fair. what the famous VPN JackPoint has me doing. I
finally get tapped for something, and its this. I
> The Maersk-Erika thing? Whos got info? should make the best of it and stop complaining.
> Snopes I could say I have an easy one here because UO
is, on the surface, a remarkably neutral corpora-
tion. But thats the reason why we do things like

<< WORKING AS A TROG IN... 85


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

thiswhy we ask people like me to dig deeper and


shine a little light on the truth.
LONE STAR
It doesnt take a massive Matrix search to dis-
POSTED BY: TELESCOPE
cover UOs main interests are biotech and min-
This ones easy. Or at least, easy to describe,
ing, with a side serving of food production. Sure,
because things are clear on the surface, but the
they cover hundreds of other fields, but these are
psychological underpinnings of the situation they
the rings where they throw their heaviest punch-
create can get complicated. The boys in blue are
es. With a deep desire to win those fights, they
thought to use orks and trolls for one purpose
manage quite a number of internal assets to best
and one purpose only: their goon squad. Need a
maximize efficiency. Thats what the memos say,
door kicked in, send a troll. Need a perp dragged
at least. UO has no problem with trolls and orks,
out, send in the orks. With shiny badges on their
as long as they sign up for research and augmen-
chests, the trogs of Lone Star get the job done in
tation studies. If a troll or ork citizen is not willing
the most meat-headed way possible.
to participate, UO wants nothing to do with them.
Inside Lone Star, trogs get pigeonholed. The
While that sounds cruel, we dont live in a nice
corp needs bodies on the street, and these guys
world, and UO knows they dont have to answer to
and gals can usually take the place of two to four
anyone but their shareholders.
smaller metas in any physical situation. The best
You wont find many orks or trolls in the upper
and brightest can usually work their way up in rank
offices, but you will find thousands of them aug-
to get a little power, but its always through the
mented in a myriad of ways to better enhance the
beat. Trogs arent born into positions at Lone Star,
security and labor pool at UO facilities, especially
no matter who their parents were.
in the arena of mining. The augmentations they
Trolls usually find themselves at the top of the
get are also not all standard. The biotech side uses
list of candidates for the riot squad, with orks right
subjects for product research and testing. Its usu-
under them. The truly brutish dont move up much,
ally favorable, as the company doesnt want to lose
but those with a little more upstairs get a chance
labor time, but not every experiment goes right.
to earn spots in SWAT, High Threat, anti-terror, and
especially vice, where they end up going under-
> Never pictured UO as being so prejudiced.
cover in places no one else can. Among the brass,
> Butch
youll find a few trolls and orks. Theres a small
bias to keep them smacking skulls together, but
> Its not prejudice. There is no malice in their efforts. They
if theyve got the brights and attitude, they can
just use the tools available for the best purpose. Are you
prejudiced against the hammer because you always use struggle up the corporate ladder.
the screwdriver? No. You just use the best tool for the job.
> Beaker > Going up the ladder for trogs is a lot more common after
an injury, especially one that limits them on the street.
This general sentiment extends to the shadows. > Stone
When UO needs work of a physical nature, they
turn to orks and trolls. If they are looking for In the corporate offices, you wont find the ap-
hacking or magic, well, the same groups may propriate percentage of trogs to match compa-
not get as much of a shot. Youll find plenty of ny census data or racial distribution expectations
complaints about that in shadows, but within UO, based on Lone Stars citizen percentages. The
youll find plenty of execs who dont care. company line is something along the lines of Of
course notweve got more ork and troll officers
than any other security corporation in the world,
> And if theyre hiring chemists, they wont look for
trolls, will they, Beaker? Because thats just the way but that doesnt exactly cover why they dont
the world works. move up from the street.
> 0rkCE0 Theres a simple fact here: Its due to racial
prejudice.
> I cant tell you how much I dont need a lecture from Lone Star is not really a racially diverse
someone else explaining how difficult it is to be me. I megacorp. They use orks and trolls on the streets,
promise you that I am aware. elves in HR, and dwarfs in their tech departments.
> Beaker If theres a stereotype to be had, youll find it at

86 WORKING AS A TROG IN... >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

Lone Star. In their terms, they shoot straight and er got the background education or opportunity
dont worry about little things like peoples feel- to be EMTs and paramedics. Sure, they can work
ings when it comes to running their corp and toward it, but there are plenty of hurdles in their
assigning people to positions. Socially or in the way, including pushy recruitment toward the Re-
workplace, Lone Star doesnt hold back. sponse side of things and a bunch of external cul-
In other peoples terms, they have a lot of trou- tural racism around the headquarters in Atlanta.
ble seeing past peoples size and shape, and they DocWagon has been supportive of Atlantas ork
arent really interested in learning how to do it, so and troll population out in Sweetwater, but thats
they frame their deficit as a straight-talking virtue. a corporate-level choice. It doesnt make a lot of
One of the reasons they get away with this is locally based citizens happy.
that road goes both ways. Orks and trolls under Moving up in DocWagon is also quite a bitch.
the badge have no problem talking down to any- The Atlanta culture doesnt permeate every office,
one in their jurisdiction. They carry that concept of but the Atlanta HQ team does a lot of microman-
Texas swagger to a whole new level. aging, so they have heavy pull when it comes to
promotions. Orks make the executive cut more of-
> Some of the elements discussed in connection with ten than trolls, but neither of them are represented
Ares, law enforcement, and trogs occur here, too, but
in the numbers one should expect if all things in
theyre already stated in the Ares write-up, I wont
the corp were equal. This shouldnt really be a sur-
repeat them here.
prise, because no one who lives in the real world
> Sunshine
expects them to be.

DOCWAGON > Im about out of patience with the racism is just the way
of the world argument.
POSTED BY: BIGDOC > 0rkCE0
Most of DocWagons advertising is pretty wide-
ly targeted but strongly based on the clientele There can (and have) been detailed analyses
in the region, so views on their use of orks and of how ork and troll hiring practices serve to keep
trolls usually coincides perfectly with the views them out of high-ranking positions. There are sim-
of the local population. Positive views often ple things (people reacting negatively to Orzet
show a troll heroically crashing through walls or names, people justifying not hiring or advancing
braving a hail of gunfire to rescue a client, while trolls because they dont have the proper facilities)
less-friendly locales replace that troll with a hu- and more complicated things (the way socializing
man in sleek armor. contributes to promotions and how people in a
The image of the massive troll helping to haul corporate environment choose who they social-
several clients out of trouble at once has been an ize with) that help show that the way DocWagon
advertising staple in every region with a moderate works is not because someone passed around a
or better view on trolls. It becomes a pretty stan- memo saying Dont hire or promote orks or trolls.
dard idea in these areas that if you need help, youll Its more complicated than that, which also means
get a big troll swooping in to save you. The truth of any eventual fix is more complicated. Deeply in-
the matter inside DocWagon is a little different. grained attitudes dont just switch off.
Sadly, trolls on the line are limited. Orks get
more options, but not a lot more. Trolls are most
common in ground-based High Threat Response TELESTRIAN
(HTR) teams, where their additional mass doesnt
detract from the operational capabilities of their POSTED BY: TELTELLER
transport. Air units dont have the lift capacity to I wrote a little starter comment up here that said,
sacrifice for a single troll who weighs as much as Snooty elves put everyone in their place. Trolls
four geared-up humans. Orks are a little better; are their favorite meatshields. This was my best
they dont usually more than double a humans street view in a nutshell.
mass, and they still bring some extra bulk to the The nice thing about the elves at Telestrian is
team when its needed. that they have no desire to sugarcoat anything.
Its also a sad fact that most trolls and orks nev- Trolls and orks are groomed from an early age for

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specific work, but by and large that work is de-


signed to keep them down. They operate within
ATLANTEAN
the lowest rung of the social caste and have very FOUNDATION
little opportunity for advancement. All trogs are
subjugated by the corporation. POSTED BY: CREEKCHILD
Janitors at Telestrian come in four varieties: Thanks to the Atlantean Foundations seriously
drone, ork, troll, and screw-up. You dont get a job adventurous public image, the world sees trogs
this low in the Telestrian job pool unless youre a working for them as fedora-wearing treasure
trog or youve really pissed off an elf. Id worry hunters stealing their style cues from a hundred-
about being both, but unless a trog does some- year-old movie. It leads people to believe that if
thing really offensive, most of the elves just pity they can hunt artifacts, they can represent the At-
them. They expect them to be crude. lanteans.
The only other place you find trogs in any quan- The AF has been a friend to Sweetwater Creek
tity at Telestiran is on their security teams. This is since the earliest days, when they provided sur-
where the grooming matters. Trolls and orks who veyors to start making changes to the local land
work as security, and especially those who operate and infrastructure to better suit the needs of the
as private or personal security for Telestrian exec- new residents. As some may know, Sweetwater
utives, are all raised from an early age and treat- Creek is an area of the Atlanta sprawl inhabited by
ed differently than the rest of their kind. They are the bulk of orks and trolls in the region. Racial ten-
taught that theyre special, that other trogs are lazy sions pushed them there, but hard work provid-
or inferior to them and unqualified to be a mem- ed them a place to be safe and call home. The AF
ber of such an elite group. Anyone questioning the has since proven, through both their own internal
brainwash finds themselves out on the street. Not practices and their support of a place like Sweet-
just demoted, but stripped of their citizenship and water, to be a solid workplace and environment
removed from the corporation. for orks and trolls.
Life as a trog in Telestrian is one of dichoto- Inside the AF the opportunities for trogs are
my. Either you live in squalor with the rest of the unlimited, and Ive found that the majority of AF
janitors and laborers, or you get to hobnob with employees arent troubled at all by my size, even
the upper echelon, or at least take some bullets when it occasionally causes an issue. We move up
for them. both social and corporate echelons. We work in
every field and every office in the world. We dont
get stares when we enter a room unless we invite
> Watch some trids set in early twentieth century England
and pay attention to the people who were the heads of them ourselves with a striking dress or a new hor-
the household staff, the butler and the housekeeper. They nament. And best of all, we dont get forced to live
have a certain air of authority, a level of comfort in their a lesser life because our life costs a little more. The
lives, and a degree of trust given to them by the lords and AF is remarkably fair in how they subsidize items
ladies of the house. The system has been good to them, for us, and they dont dock our pay with a trog-tax.
and they advanced in large part because of their loyalty to The trogs of Atlantean get to lead field research
their masters and their adherence to the existing system. teams, work in labs with ancient artifacts, head up
One of the things they do in their position is enforce the museum exhibits, and when they need to dig in
existing order, helping those at the top explain why the the dirt or fight off a security threat, its because
system works. But if there ever comes a moment where they want to, not because it was the only job the
they forget their place, there is a vast amount of power corp deemed them fit for.
and wealth above them to remind them that they are not,
in fact, one of the nobles. Thats what its like for the few > The only thing with the AF is magic. If youve got the
ork and troll executives at Telestrian. They may feel great Talent, they give you some extra love. Even if youre
most of the time and think they have a good life, but the a trog.
minute they forget their place, they will be forcefully > Elijah
reminded of how they fit into the elven corp.
> Sunshine

88 WORKING AS A TROG IN... >>


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GRID OVERWATCH some primitive sort of sense, in the end, dont. First
of all, those hosts play for keeps, so you shouldnt be
DIVISION hacking into one in the hopes that you may get a job,
because youd be lucky if the best thing you come out
POSTED BY: GLITCH of it with is a fried deck. It would be better if you had
an actual payday motivating you (and paying for the
Theoretically, this should be one of the places damage) rather than some faint hope. Second, breaking
on earth where being a trog doesnt matter. Af- into their hosts is not as persuasive a rsum item as
ter all, who really knows the metatypes of any you may hope. Yeah, theyre looking for people with
GOD agent? You meet them in the Matrix, not considerable hacking talent, but theyre also looking for
in meatspace. They could be anything, and it law-and-order types, people who can be controlled and
doesnt matter. The only thing of consequence operate in their structure. When their first introduction
is their skill in the Matrix, and if theyve got it, to you is through severe law-breaking activities, that
theyve got it. And that is, in fact, the way things doesnt make them think that youve got real potential
often work out. Prove your stuff, and GOD will be to work in their virtual halls.
interested, regardless of what you look like. > Pistons

> Word to the wise: People on the cyberstreets often talk Now we get to the complicated part:
about how the best way to apply for a job with GOD is recruitment. Its a large world and an even larger
to hack into one of their hosts. While the idea makes Matrix, and GOD has a lot to do. They cant scour

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every corner of the Matrix to find ace hackers who much the entire period between his last election
fit their psychological profile, so they did what any and his resignation, little got done in terms of
competent corporation does. They built pipelines Underground infrastructure, but the interim
of talent. And thats where you sometimes run government took up the reins and put some long-
into problems. neglected pieces of the puzzle into place. They
The first pipeline is the most obvious, and knew, of course, that there was a lot of work to
also one of the easiest to see problems for be done to regain trust in the government, so
orks and trolls. As you might guess, GOD is an when they looked at a proposal from an up-and-
active recruiter of top graduates from CalTech, coming group of ork hackers who would sculpt
Dartmouth, Georgia Tech, Rice University, and and maintain the districts host for a reasonable
the like, and all of those universities have close price, they went for it. So suddenly a small group
corp ties, so the corps will fast-track the students of skilled hobbyists received a considerable influx
they want to eventually hire. Then you add the of cash, which both helped them improve their
fact that none of these prestigious universities skills while also bringing some skilled hackers to
are cheap. That leads to them typically having a their doors.
disproportionately low representation of orks and The connection to Bull is that most of the
trolls in their ranks, which means that particular core leaders of the Hez Hackers (as they call
pipeline isnt a great way to get orks and trolls to themselves) were trained or hired by Bull, who is
come to GOD. conscientious about directing resources to his ork
A second pipeline is hacker rings and clubs. kin. The groups leader, Sakaam, is a Salish ork
Not all such rings are ripe for recruitment who moved to the Underground when she was
the Choson Seoulpa Ring, for example, does three, got to know Bull as she was growing up, and
not end up having many of their members did at least half a dozen Matrix jobs for him. Im
join GOD, and the philosophies of the Cracker not saying he told her to found a hacker group, but
Underground dont tend to mesh well with law- the group wouldnt exist if he hadnt put her in a
enforcement workbut places like KivaNet and position to do so.
Technicolor Streams can be good places to find
up-and-coming hackers, or individuals who may > You overrate my influence. Shes smart and driven, and
not have had the skills or money to attend a top very dedicated to her fellow orks. If I hadnt hired her,
university but have developed into top-rank others would haveI know, because they did. Im happy
hackers. to call her a friend, but I sure as hell didnt make her into
But the same problem that hits elite universities what she is.
also affects these groups. As discussed in the Data > Bull
Trails download, while hackers pride themselves
on being about the code and nothing but the > As you may guess by the Orzet name, the Hez Hackers do
code, they tend to pull members from people a lot better by orks than trolls. You can build your pipeline
they know, and the people they know tend to to tusks with this group, but not horns.
look like them. So like the universities, the hacker > 2XL
clubs are not always representational of the larger
population. The Hez Hackers may be a fairly new group, but
But there are exceptions, particularly from given that the Undergrounds host is frequently
people who have noticed this problem and targeted by Matrix vandals (surprise, surprise), the
determined to do something about it. One members have had plenty of chances to show off
example, the Biloxi Technical Institute, will be their skills, and they have attracted the attention
discussed later in this posting, so I want to look at of GOD. Two members were recently selected to
some trog-specific hacking organizations. don the GOD fedora. Though not Sakaam, as she
While Bull will steadfastly deny having any has frequently said that she intends to work in and
direct involvement in it, the Hez Hackers of for the Underground until she dies.
Seattle wouldnt exist without him. They also Meanwhile, similar things have happened in the
wouldnt exist without the move that made the Black Forest Republic, which, like the Underground,
Underground an official district of Seattle. With has a host to establish and an interest in training
Brackhaven enmeshed in scandal for pretty residents to maintain and guard it. The Grendel

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Group, though, has taken on a lot of work beyond main source for discerning her thinking is her
just keeping the Republics host in good shape. campaign speeches. What do we get from that?
They have grown in strength along with their Information barely more useful than the fact that
nation, and they have become the first arm of she likes puppies and ice cream. She wants to
the nation to take action outside of the borders ensure all Seattle hosts stay current with updat-
of the Republic. Human Nation, Alamos 20K, ed Matrix standards, and she wants to upgrade
and other hate groups have been targeted by the all public grids. She offers no firm position on a
Grendel Group, and theyre not just about slowing global SIN registry other than to say she would
down their operations or causing annoyances. be able to adapt Seattles technology to whatever
Theyre gathering information, getting names requirements may come. She promises econom-
from membership rolls, and looking at ways to ic stability, skilled law enforcement, and no major
take the fight to the individuals propping up these changes that would make the corps unnecessari-
organizations. Just how they will do it is unclear, ly uncomfortable. And thats about it.
but they are collecting a clearinghouse of data,
and the hate organizations should be plenty > Policy is great, policy is important, but policy wonks who
worried, because they arent collecting names just cannot connect with people dont get elected to high
to sit on them. offices. Conversely, people who can connect but dont
know drek about policy can still get into office.
> Note that while the Grendels may be acting in the interest > Kay St. Irregular
of the nation, they are a private, not public, group. They
operate somewhat similar to privateers, or independent She had certain advantages in the election:
patriotically minded hackers who just happen to be First, she is a gifted communicator and connects
moved to do something about those who would speak ill with people both in person and in broadcast.
of their people. As were all familiar with the importance of Second, while her noncommittal approach to
deniability, this layer of separation should not surprise us. the global SIN question neither surprised nor
> Thorn alienated her base, the similar approach stated
by Nikola Taul alienated Puyallup and Redmond
With a decently long history to their credit, voters who thought she was getting ready to sell
an impressive series of victories, and a state- them down the river in exchange for a shot at the
of-the-art cybersecurity training program, seat of power. Those voters turned away from her,
the Grendels have quite naturally drawn the helping deny her that seat. And third, Potter had
attention of GOD, and a number of ork and troll no connections to Kenneth Brackhaven, which was
hackers from the Group are now overwatching entirely positive in the current political climate.
the whole grid. With those knowns comes a host of unknowns.
Interim Governor Natoko Munakata made some
SEATTLE moves to make the government kinder, gentler,
and more open, but without any sort of mandate,
GOVERNMENT she couldnt do anything radical, even if she
wanted to. Any real change will have to come
POSTED BY: SUNSHINE from Potter, and there is lots of guessing (but no
real certainty) about what shell do. Here are some
Well, here we are, with a brand-new governor. of the pressing issues that really have people
Corinne Potter defeated Nikola Taul in the runoff, scratching their heads:
and we have a Technocrat leading the city. Peo- Treatment of the Underground. Brackhav-
ple have been studying Potters past to get some en, of course, hated it. Munakata was much
idea of how shes going to govern, but shes never more moderate toward it, to the point of hir-
held public office before. Shes worked on several ing homegrown organizations to take care
campaigns (supposedly) and written several po- of a lot of the basic district needs (though
sition papers, but who knows how much her work not law enforcement, of courseKnight Er-
reflected her ideas, and how much they were in- rant is on the case, which is the part of the
fluenced by the politicians she served? Since her transition that is most likely to make people
past record doesnt give us much to go on, the regret their pro-district vote). Where will

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Potter land? Will her Technocratic leanings Potter is going to be mainly hands-off, letting the city run
push her to bring in the bright and shiny, in- itself, is fooling themselves. Sure, it will look that way, but
stead of staying with Underground-based the Dawkins people are social magicians, always carrying
contractors? out their real work just out of sight.
Global SIN registry. Will she promote it? > Plan 9
Will she fight it? Who knows?
The ACHE. If she wants a technological > Allow me to remind you that the Dawkins affiliation
remains just a rumor at this point. Even if she is connected
showpiece in the middle of the city, its sit-
to Dawkins, we have no evidence that she ran her
ting there waiting for her. But what is she
campaign as anything other than an individual.
going to do with it? How much will she
spend on it, and who will benefit from it? > Fianchetto

Foreign relations. No other governor needs


to worry about foreign policy quite like the
> Right. An individual who was in the right place at the
right time to inherit some decent polling numbers from
governor of Seattle does. Given Seattles a suddenly dead man, an individual who seemed to
existence as a UCAS island in the middle invent much of her background out of whole cloth, and an
of the Salish-Shidhe Council, the governor individual who built a slick and victorious campaign. But
needs to deal with imports, exports, bor- we dont have any proof of larger connections, right?
der control, and many other aspects of for- > Snopes
eign relations that the governor of Indiana
never even dreams about. And not far off > Any time Plan 9 and Snopes seem like theyre in
is Tr Tairngire, which always seems ready agreement, a cold fist grips my stomach.
to cause some fuss or another, especially > The Smiling Bandit
with a Telestrian running the country. Both
nations are not hostile to Seattlethey do Those are only a few things she has on her
much better with a city that can keep mon- plate going forward. Note what didnt make the
ey flowing to them, after allbut both are list? Thats right: trog rights. Its just so easy to
also quite willing to see if they can take ad- shuffle them to the background when anything
vantage of a political novice. How will Pot- and I mean anythingelse comes up. Potter will
ter handle negotiations with these nations? have to figure out how shell deal with Seattle
The corps. Look, we all know Potter nev- Underground Mayor Kathleen Shaard, who is
er makes it to the top seat without at least new to political life but has been involved in her
some corp backing, and the corps in gener- community for most of her young life and knows
al seem quite willing to work with her. But how to tap into their energy. Will Potter build an
if theres one truism of Sixth World govern- allegiance with her or decide to butt heads right
ment, its that you cant keep every corp from the start? Shaard wont play nice just because
happy all the time. Eventually, their agen- Potter smiles and says nice things. Shell demand
das will butt heads, and the governor will real action and real commitment, so it will be
have to take some sort of side. The united interesting to see if Potter antes up.
front the Japanacorps are presenting will
put some serious pressure on Potter to see > Shaards not nave, so she doesnt exactly have a huge
things their way, but Potters Horizon ties list of demands for the new governor. She figures that
(we dont need to say alleged anymore, do the Underground managed on its own for a while, so
we?) raise interesting questions about just even if its an official district, it should maintain its ethos
how loyal shell be to her home corp and of self-sustainability. The good news for Potter is that she
how difficult it might be to sway her to any wont have to make a long list of concessions to keep
other point of view. Shaard happy. The bad news is that she wont have a ton
of political leverage over the district, which is of course
> The fact that the Dawkins Group got someone into the Shaards goal.
governors office should make us all nervous. You can > Kay St. Irregular
be sure they didnt just do this on a whimthere is
something theyre after, and they will use every bit of their Thats the external side of the government.
social engineering power to get it. Anyone who thinks What about working for the government?

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Government jobs are a curious thing in the Sixth thatbut other times there is an ostensible
World. The pay at the lower levels is better than a amount of authority the workers are supposed
lot of entry-level corp jobs, and jobs often come to be exercising, when of course they are not the
with DocWagon Basic coverage (though some ultimate powers in the world. Sometimes their
cost-sharing is usually involved). Advancement, lack of power is clearyou set foot on megacorp
though, is a bitch. Supervisory positions are often territory, and your authority ends. Other times,
in short supplygovernment tries to stretch its though, things are a little murkier, which tends
funding as far as possible, and that often means to be demoralizing for the government workers.
very lean staffs, and mid-level supervisors are the They may be repairing pipes, or surveying
first cuts made. Plus, once you get to a certain property, or attempting some form of inspection,
level, its elections and politics that determine who when someone with a suit gently tells them that
gets what position, and playing that game is not the particular service they were attempting is not
something everyone is cut out to do. End result: required. Or wanted. Maybe some of the new
There are a fairly high levels of orks and trolls at ones put up a little fight, citing the instructions
lower levels of government, but the numbers thin they were given or the part of the law theyre
as you go up the ranks. obeying, but the people in the suits know how to
The strange part of the world of the make it clear that it would be best if they simply
government worker comes when they are trying went away and did something else.
to do the things workers are supposed to do. The point is, government workers have to get
Sometimes its straightforwardpave this, file used to being over-ruled, and that goes double

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for lower-level employees. The uncaring, slothful billion nuyen. Oxford has a relatively paltry seven
government worker is a longstanding clich billion. On top of that, major universities rake in
with some truth behind it, but you understand hundreds of millions in alumni donations annual-
that clich better when you see how much time ly. You just dont build pots of money and pools
the workers spend being thwarted. They act like of donors like that overnight, which means that
people who have been repeatedly shown that competing with established universities on the
their efforts dont matter, because thats pretty playing fields they built decades or centuries ago
much the case. is extremely difficult.
This means you have a lot of orks and trolls When you see an up-and-coming university,
in government making some decent money but what you are often seeing is an existing
having their will to live slowly drained out of them. organization in the middle of a transformation.
Go to them. Make friends. Give them something There may be an endowment and a donor base,
to care about. You never know what kind of access but someone or something is stepping in to
they might be able to introduce you to. transform the institution and take it to a new level.
As an example, take George Ellery Hale, who
> Remember that, by and large, government security sucks. joined the board of Throop Polytechnic Institute
That includes cyber and physical security. Dont get too in 1907 with a vision of transforming it into a
cockywhen its important, theyll contract out, or GOD science and research institution. He brought a
will volunteer to keep an extra close eye on things because gifted fundraiser in as president, helped wrangle
its sometimes easier for them to act in a preventative way some private money, and convinced the state
than to mount an effort to fix the damage after someone to increase the colleges budget by ten times all
makes a big score in a government host. So yeah, by itself. He brought in great minds, including
sometimes theres a rude surprise waiting for you, but a physicist who won the school its first Nobel
a lot of time the mid- to lower-level stuff is pretty much Prize in 1923. By this time the school had a new
protected by thin chains and padlocks. Make a friend of a name: the California Institute of Technology. It
government employee, and this stuff can be yours for the also had piles of new money, including a big gift
taking. You just have to figure out how to find something that helped lure that Nobel-Prize-winner over.
at these levels thats worth something.
In terms of current-day nuyen, that gift was well
> Mika
into the eight figures.
In some ways, the transformation took time. In
BILOXI TECHNICAL other ways, it was startlingly fast, from little-known
institution to one receiving millions in public and
INSTITUTE private funds and the most prestigious awards in
science in just over a decade and a half.
POSTED BY: COSMO In Biloxi, Mississippi, CAS, a dwarf named
Building a prestigious university isnt easy. Look Hearst Pineyard aims to beat that record. Hes
at the lists of best universities in the world some- not chosen an easy pathwhile Hale joined an
time, then look for any institutions than are institution with at least some academic integrity,
younger than a century and a half. Youll have to Pineyard is building his dream on the bones of an
move down the list for a while to find one. Why institution known far more for fleecing students
is that? Because a significant part of college rank- and handing out worthless diplomas than doing
ings is based on the reputation of the universi- anything academically worthwhile. But the
ty. This shows up in a number of waysthe more institution he purchased had a few advantages: an
people who want to go to a university, the more existing system for processing student loans, a few
they can reject, and the better the academic r- faculty members who might be worth salvaging,
sums of those accepted will be. That shows up and a location that was near the highway and
in the rankings. The more notable research that surrounded by a lot of developable land. Pineyard
comes from a university, the more the graduates also had another advantage working for him: a
accomplish, the more intriguing the faculty, the huge pile of cash.
more the universitys reputation will grow. That,
too, shows up in rankings. And then theres mon- > The origin of Pineyards fortune is a subject of continued
ey. Harvard has an endowment of more than fifty debate. Back in the last century, individuals could make

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a fortune by coming up with some hot new product or


computer program, but in our century, patent lawand
> Thats insane. Its a nonprofit university, so its not like hell
ever be able to pocket the profits once outside support
almost every other type of lawgreatly favors the corps,
starts rolling in. That money is gone. Whats his angle?
so its difficult for an individual to pile up money outside
of a corp. So that has left Pineyard open to all sorts of
> Haze

speculation about where his money came from. Some


popular theories include that Pineyard was the head of
> It couldnt be as simple as figuring he had more than
enough for himself, so he thought hed use the rest to do
a vast smuggling network, or a talislegger who struck a
something good, could it?
huge deposit of orichalcum, or the recipient of one of the
larger mystery bequests from Dunkelzahns will (such as > Old Crow
the twenty million for developing a smog-cleaning plant
or eight million for breeding Ecuadorian honey ants). > Yeah, thats the sort of thing thats so simple that it never
actually happens in the real world. So no, it couldnt.
Most of the speculation does not account for how much
wealth he truly has, since his activities in Biloxi could only > Haze
be supported by a fortune that rises to the billions.
> Mr. Bonds > A few things. While Pineyard cant pocket profits, you
can bet that once the university is self-sustainable, hell
be collecting some income from it, probably in the six
Pineyard not only bought the college, which
figures. Which is nice, though of course if he makes
was a large building in a strip mall, but also some
250,000 nuyen per year, it would still take him four
nearby stores, a junkyard, a tiny private airstrip,
thousand years to recoup one billion nuyen. So yes, in
and other assorted properties. From this, he built
that respect he would have been better off just holding on
a university, which he called the Biloxi Technical
to his money. But if BTI fulfills his vision, Pineyard could
Institute. Then he set about two goals: Making
play a huge role in shaping the future.
the university prestigious, and making it serve
Consider this: Universities were critical in the
primarily metas, especially dwarfs. development of the Internet, which became the Matrix. A
The second part was easier, but with a University of Manchester researcher developed the critical
complication. The combination of being a private components of oral contraceptives. The Dumas Test to
university and making the right political donations discern the existence of magical abilities in individuals
gave him the chance to do just about anything he was developed at a university. And thats just a small
wanted. The complication is that while there were sample of how universities have launched efforts that
plenty of applicants, a large number of them didnt affected wide swathes of society. Universities have the
have the means to pay for the type of education chance to change the world without the slavish devotion
Pineyard envisioned, so he needed a large supply to profits that corps face. Whatever else we know about
of scholarships or other financial aid. In modern Pineyard, he clearly gets off on science. Where better to
education, that means corporate support. do exactly the kind of work he wants than in a university
This is where you run into a chicken-and-egg of his creation? Hes not just funding an education for
problemcorps dont want to give you money until studentshes developing a location that will provide the
they know you can generate the type of recruits time and equipment to do the research of his dreams,
they need, but its really difficult to generate surrounded by a gifted team of researchers and faculty.
the proper results without adequate corporate How is this a mysterious goal?
funding. Pineyard got through this by betting on > Beaker
himself. For four yearsfour years!he funded
a large portion of the universitys operations out > Not all of us are nerds.
of his own pocket. Yeah, he had some money > Kane
coming through in various financial aid packages
and outside scholarships, and some students For the first few years, BTI flew under the
ponied up at least a share of their own tuition, radar, mainly because it wasnt asking much of
but Pineyard was still on the hook for hundreds anything from anyone. They recruited a bunch of
of millions of nuyen per year. After four years, his students (only to reject most of themgotta get
out-of-pocket expenses, including his property your reputation for selectivity started as soon as
purchases and capital development spending, had possible) and hired some up-and-coming teachers
to be well north of one billion nuyen. and researchers, but those sorts of efforts dont
make many waves in the larger world. Now,

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though, the first group of students is entering their Its too early to tell if BTI will be a major player
senior year, so placement work is moving ahead in for a long time or if it will come to nothing, wasting
earnest. A few corps have already had their eye on a ton of Pineyards money for no long-term gain.
the university, especially Renraku, who is always The amount Pineyard is investing, though, shows
looking for more ways to establish technological hes not going to let it go easily. So if youre a
capacity in the CAS. trog who thinks they have the right skills, find an
application and enjoy connecting to an institution
> Ares has been playing close attention as well. Things looking for someone just like you.
have been very unpleasant for them at the home office in
Detroit, so theyve been looking at other places where they > Pineyard has scored some significant victories, especially
can build up power. If BTI can live up to Pineyards hype, when it comes to pilfering NeoNET staff. Esmeralda
Ares (or any other corp that partners with the university) Colon, former VP of electronic engineering at Celedyrs
has the chance to get on the ground floor of a brand-new Albuquerque facility, now teaches at BTI, as does former
pipeline of top tech talent. Ares could use a boost of that Transys-Neuronet biotechnician Vijay Pawar. Having a
nature. Or any nature. Technocrat government in charge of the CAS doesnt hurt,
> Dr. Spin and Pineyard is making some significant inroads with
government officials. I dont want to make any definitive
All of this is to set up this central point: There statements about where BTI will end up in the long term,
is a trog-friendly university in the CAS looking to but I suspect outside funding will jump up in the next few
be a major player in tech education. Everything years, so it will be a force worth watching. Then well see
and anything is available in ork and troll size what the competition wants to do about it.
dorm rooms, lab equipment, intra-campus > Beaker
transportation, and so on. The university doesnt
just accept trogs; it welcomes them. If you dont
know the difference, youre not a trog.

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TROG
HEROES
A CALL TO ARMS know her. Shes the best pipeline in the city for
work that benefits us as a people.
Every day, orks and trolls (and probably a few
POSTED BY: KARAK DRAKANDA
others) tune in to 102.2 FM (yup, actual over-the-
air broadcast) to hear Suzie Blue on the Two Point
TRANSLATED FROM ORZET
Two! She records these for broadcasting (and sub-
03-19-79 sequent Matrixcasting) so that she is not actually
Brothers and sisters of the tusk, hear my call. They on the spot when the broadcasts are sent out. She
think we are their lessers. They think we are their does not want someone who can track a signal be-
servants. They think we are dumb. ing able to find her. Her show focuses on promot-
We are none of these. We are mighty. We are ing our people as more than just tusks and muscle.
many. We are the future. She brings in scientists, journalists, doctors, and all
A future where we come together as one. sorts of other professionals to interview on the
Where orks and trolls stand as a united force show. Its a crazy set up, and also the reason she
against the rampant oppression of this world. We keeps a good stable of runners, because her oper-
stand together, and we stand with honor. ations need to stay secret. Contact, transport, and
We will not let their hatred drive us to hatred. protection of the trog professionals she interviews
They expect violence from us, but our violence is all done by shadow pros.
will not be fist and blade, our violence will be voice Her show focuses on coming together as a
and resistance. people, both orks and trolls, understanding that
Let them call you TROG! It is not a degradation the rest of metahumanity will never accept the
of our people, but of theirs. beings so recently thought of as monsters any
Be a trog with honor. time in the near future. She talks about a future for
Join the Trog Nation! the children where the world has had time to see
Its time to talk up some of our brothers and orks and trolls as a constructive part of society,
sisters that are doing good for our name. Ill do it even if they are acting within societies separate
pseudo-dossier style, with some basics covered from the mainstream.
up top so you know where to find them and who This means not just bringing successful
they are. Then Ill talk candidly. professional trogs on the air for interviews, but
convincing those successful professionals to join
up as part of her cause. This currently means
SUZIE BLUE moving to the wreckage of a once-proud city
currently fighting between the forces of the
Metatype: Troll megacorporations and independence. Suzie
Appearance: Blue hair, 2.7m, swept-back sees Chicago, and several other fallen cities,
horns, blue lips, chalky skin as opportunities for trolls and orks to create
Location: Chicago, CZ, mobile radio van communities and a society of their own, not unlike
the elves in the Trs.
If you are an ork or a troll in Chicago, you know When it comes to building communities
who Suzie Blue is. If youre an ork or a troll running in Chicago, she has found that developing a
the shadows in Chicago, you need to actually functional economy is the hardest part. Most areas

98 TROG HEROES >>


currently rely heavily on scavenging tech and
goods that are sometimes decades old. The rest
of their survival comes through a self-sufficiency
rarely seen in the Sixth World, mostly due to solid
leadership and their introverted focus.

> Blue has taken several successful runners off the streets
of Chicago to be part of these communities, filling a role
besides muscle. Shes pulling a lot of the trog brains and
voices off the shadowmarket in order to run these niche
communities. In the Chicago area, this is not helping the
rep of ork and troll shadowrunners, because the ones
she doesnt select are often those with seriously violent
tendencies. Hopefully her long game will bring benefits to
overcome this short-term perception issue.
> Butch

> She pulls several of those violent ones into her


communities as wellshe just utilizes their skills in a
different manner. Chicagos CZ may be open, but that
only means they arent worried about the bugs (which
is stupid, IMHO, but whatever). Its still a violence-
filled cesspool, controlled by the block. Warlords in
Chicago dont care if youre forming a nicer ork-and-troll
community, they care that you have resources they want.
Or that youre housing people they want dead.
> Bull

Suzie talks a lot about the Black Forest Troll


Kingdom, the Seattle Underground, the Cascade
Orks in Salish-Shidhe, Sweetwater Creek down in
Atlanta, and the tribes around Lagos. With all of
them, she uses a kind of reverence people tend to
employ when discussing holy cities. She sees their
successes (and the recent failure in Seattle, as she
sees it) as a guiding path for other trog societies.
Word on the street is that while she talks about
them like they are the ultimate example of troll and
ork independence, she has never been outside the
Chicago sprawl, so shes relying entirely on what
others tell her and what she learns over the Matrix.

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> Which can actually be quite a lot. You can walk the non-traditional roles. His stable of runners includes
virtual streets of almost any sprawl, hang out in a wide everything a corp exec may need to accomplish any
variety of clubs, and engage in locals from across the bit of no-goodery that might improve their bottom
globe. Just because she hasnt been there doesnt line. That same stable often gets side-jobsnot
mean she doesnt know. milk runs, but usually low-threat ops where they
> Bull can practice their skills and cross-train with other
local talent. The jobs never double up on training,
> I dunno. I mean, research is great and all, but you never so each op will only have one doubled-up slot. That
learn a place so well as when youre walking its actual slot is always in a key position: double faces for a
streets, and mixing it up with the people who may not be negotiation or con, double muscle for a go-hard job,
in VR. And if youre missing some part of a places reality, double hackers for a Matrix op, that sort of thing.
then youre missing some information.
> /dev/ girl > Careful with BD impersonators. He/she has such a solid
rep, plenty of others jump on the bandwagon. Sometimes
> The old guy went new school, and the kid went old for good, but more often theyre looking to either insert a
school. Dig it. mole or send a group of trogs on a suicide run.
> Sounder
> Goat Foot

> Quite a few Chicago corporate Mr. Johnsons are looking


BD is a huge proponent of a worldwide
for Blue. Shes got too much sway over the local trogs,
community and culture for trolls and orks. The
and they dont like their brute workers getting ideas that
idea is that with the Matrix connecting everyone,
they could have some better life elsewhere.
there is no reason to geographically relocate in
> 2XL
order to build a new, trog-centric culture. Everyone
just needs to log on and start communicating. He
> Most of those jobs go to racist thugs who have no chance
of getting into the communities that protect Suzie. When donates a lot of free commlinks and trodes to orks
the job manages to get into the hands of runners more and trolls around the world, often hiring runners
competent and racially diverse, Suzie tends to find out to make sure that the wares get to their intended
and turns their metatype identity against them. targets rather than into the hands of local warlords,
> Mihoshi Oni black marketeers, or fences looking to make a buck.

> Word has it that Blue is looking for a solid team she can > While BD is a great resource for work and an excellent Mr.
trust to help her visit a few of those other trog hotspots, Johnson to know, understanding metahuman nature and
but its been tough. The corps can always seem to get the Matrix is not his strong suit. The Matrix doesnt do a
someone to roll, so Suzie needs a total trust crew. And good job of positive communication. Maybe hackers do
they cant be all trogs, or it would blow her cover. a decent job of getting others to listen (after they realize
> 0kCE0 they are talking smack to someone who can melt their
ware), but most others use the anonymity of the Matrix as

BULK DEAL >


a way to spout garbage and vitriol without repercussion.
Glitch

Metatype: Unknown (ork suspected) > BD grew up in the commlink-hacker Matrix. There was a
Appearance: Bulky cartoonish ork in a tuxedo little more respect then.
Location: Matrix (worldwide) > Netcat

Well known as a Johnson who can always get > Dont start reminiscing about the good-old days, when
you skilled orks and trolls on your job, this Matrix people were polite and respectful, gosh darn it! Thats
mystery is definitely someone to turn to if you usually just hazy memory. There wasnt a ton more
want brains and skills attached to your muscle. Bulk respect back then.
Deal operates entirely from the Matrix, setting up > Slamm-0!
meetings in some seriously secured hosts in order
to demonstrate his talent and/or connections. Now for some speculation. Most believe Bulk
The key to BDs success is putting the right trogs Deal is an ork, male, about forty years old, and
in the right jobs and supporting their development in more than likely from one of the English-speaking

100 TROG HEROES >>


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North American nations based on his slang usage, makes him a troll to be respected and admired.
communication patterns, and general attitude. His Within the Boston QZ, he is thought of as a universal
operational location is what interests more people, peacemaker. He works with everyone, regardless of
and thats what weve spent more time looking into. their background, metatype, or preferred corporate
Best we have is that we have nothing. Hes skilled affiliations. He finds a way for everyone he works with
at hiding his tracks, and from what Ive gathered, he to get along, or at least get to work.
rarely works from a single location for longer than a
few weeks, usually moving shortly before or after the > With NeoNET taking the hit for this, whats the long-term
completion of a contract. Hes never been tracked to plan for Boston? Theyve tossed the dragon under the
areas near his contracts, as he uses intermediaries bus and the Monads are muddling the CFD portion, but
for all aspects of the physical exchanges. Most of the money pouring into the pockets of those who have a
the jobs he hires for are purely data driven, along voice in this whole thing makes me think it never will get
with extractions and thefts where the intent is the resolved. Do we have better info on what has gone down
removal of materials, not for alternate delivery but inside since 76?
for destruction or personal gain for the runner team. > Sounder

> Another perk of the work: Sometimes you get to keep the > Datas building, but were waiting on a dump for some
goods. Bulk Deal has one of the most solid reps as any dots to connect. Unfounded speculation is not the name
Mr. Johnson in the shadows, but the rep comes with a of the game here. For once.
complete absence of personal knowledge about the guy. > Glitch
> Slamm-0!
In connection to Pembrenton on the inside,
the Draco Foundation has been increasingly
SMEDLEY interested in work around the NEMAQZ. The
PEMBRENTON III number of runners who have been dumped into
the lockdown by the DF alone is in the hundreds.
Metatype: Troll They bring in data, meet up with Pembrenton,
Appearance: Grey/Black hair, 2.65m, mus- and work on plans for increasing communication
cular, swept back single left horn, right horn and decreasing captivity. A few have made it
broken, British accent (London, most likely), outfar fewer than those who claim to, though
wears a monocle, frequently smokes cigars why anyone would lie about escaping from a viral
Location: Boston, currently NEMAQZ outbreak quarantine is beyond me. Most of those
whove slipped the wall have done so with the
Thanks to a few more small data dumps from help of Pembrenton and the DF.
our Boston connection, AJ, weve managed to
learn more about the efforts going on behind the > I have it on good authority that at least two runner teams
have been sent in to extract Pembrenton from the QZ,
wall. Smedley is at the heart of a lot of the efforts
but he refuses to leave. I dont have reports as to why he
to reopen the QZ from the inside.
refused or how the refusals went down, but the DF could
His history goes back to the shadows well
change the rules for the operation soon and make the
before the Boston incident when Smedley
extraction of this valuable asset involuntary, rather than
was a Watcher for the Big D. He made a lot of
the polite request it has been thus far.
connections in those days that have proved
> Fianchetto
helpful in surviving the lockdown, and quite a few
of those connections have no problem working
to keep in contact so they know what the hell is GARY GRAY
going on behind that wall.
From everything weve received, it doesnt look Metatype: Troll
like Pembrenton is digging into the source of the Appearance: 2.67m; gray hair, sculpted horns
incident anymore. Rather, he is looking to help keep Location: Sacramento, CFS
the survivors surviving and potentially find a way to
bring down the wall. His current influence is extremely There isnt a trog on North America that hasnt
limited, but its the example that hes setting that heard of the former VP candidate and current CEO

<< TROG HEROES 101


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

of Sierra, Inc. Gray is one of the earliest and most number of ork Johnsons is growing as the population
well-known troll success stories. Haters say he of orks increases. The problem they still face is the
rode on the coat tails of a dwarf, but Gray would fact that most people dont know how much they
never have even been in the running to stand by are growing, because much of the ork population
Vogels side if he hadnt demonstrated his grit, in the world is SINless and corporate media doesnt
determination, and suave political acumen before advertise their growth. Expect any work being
the 57 elections. contracted for Grays purposes to be fronted by
Right out in the open and for everyone to see, someone of the blandest nature in whatever area
Gray has a very simple yet powerful agenda. He youre working. Humans are the default, but it will
wants to see more trolls and orks in politics, taking probably be an elf in the Tr, a troll or ork in the
a stand in the public eye. The contrast, and what Schwarzwald, and a Native in NAN lands.
hes fighting against, is the current culture of trogs As for what it is he hires runners to do, it runs
working themselves to death in low-end jobs or the spectrum. Sabotaging hate groups is common,
dying on the streets or in the shadows. He operates but that work usually calls for a less-violent team,
outreach offices that help ork- and troll-heavy and one that lacks metahumans in public roles.
communities with work programs, educational The teams rigger or hacker might be a meta,
assistance, and the development of rec centers but the face and the muscle are almost always
where young trolls and orks can go and not feel human if theyre going to make headway against
persecuted for being different. these groups. Getting into a hate group as one of
those who is hated is tough, and Gray refuses to
> I remember going to the gym when I was younger and put orks or trolls in potentially violent roles that
having all of the smaller metas get pissed at me because may be seen by the public or even the hate group
I used so many of the weights. I had imagined others themselves. Gray knows that somehow minds will
would cheer for me while I added plate after plate in need to be changed, and a head full of memories
an amazing display of strength, but instead I got snide of trog violence is going to make that job all the
comments and glares. I dont care if it was jealousy, more difficult.
fear of something different, or if I really was being
inconsiderate, I just like the idea of young trogs having > Blackmail jobs come through a lot. Ops to get dirt on
somewhere to go where being able to bench press a meta-haters and people who are funneling money to
Hyundai isnt looked down on. those groups while keeping themselves hidden are
> 2XL fairly common. Some of these jobs use the shadows as
a stepping stone to move info from the darkness to the
We get the occasional piece of work from trying light.
to create a world where we dont have to work > Sounder
that way, but I also include Gray here because of
the work he pushes into the shadows against hate > Pretty poetic for a sub skipper.

groups. The money trail usually stops at a related > 2XL

front company, but Sierra, Inc. and ultimately Gary


Gray, puts a lot of effort into not only cleaning up KATYANA
the literal environment but also cleaning up the
social environment. Humanis, Alamos, the Paladin
BURGESHKOVA;
medical group, and even hyper-militant branches KAT BERG
of the Son of Sauron, alongside pollution-spewing
corps, are all targets for operations contracted by Metatype: Ork
Gray in order to improve the atmosphere of the Appearance: Various hair colors; 1.98m; ath-
world we live in for orks and trolls in all walks of life. letic build; mole on right cheek, tusk carvings
While we look up to Gray and he continues to (love and trust kanji)
be a positive face of our kind, in order to continue Location: Los Angeles, PCC
operations of this nature he needs others to take
to the shadows and act on his behalf. His usual Mr. The beautiful Kat Bergbest known for her role as
Johnsons are often human, in order to further muddy the title character, Nikki Blackstone, on Blackstone
the link to him and preserve his anonymity, but the is an actress, Mr. Johnson, and activist in the LA

102 TROG HEROES >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

area. Her place on one of the most cross-culturally


successful trid shows has gained her worldwide
fame as well as acceptance among groups that
would not normally hold an ork in such high regard.
The fact that she uses her show as a public arena for
current social and political issues and handles them
in a very professional manner keeps her audiences
coming back for more and even sways their views
on potentially divisive topics.

> Berg isnt all natural, and Im not talking about the normal
starlet augmentations. Kat has had work done on her jaw
to allow her to speak in a clearer more publicly digestible
manner. Orks and trolls often lose a lot of social standing
from the way they talk, thanks to their tusks making it
harder for them to form certain mouth and lip sounds. Kat
had some work done that cleared up that issue without
changing how she looks.
> Butch

Though her viewership is worldwide, her


efforts for change are focused more locally. She
works hard to improve the lives of orks and trolls
in SoCal and has been especially successful with
lessening the negative cultural influence of the
Saito era and making post-Saito SoCal a place
where metahumanity can flourish. The SoCal
chapter of Mothers of Metahumans (MOM) is
the second largest in the world, behind only
Seattle. Her place as the face of MOM has drawn
supporters from all walks of life, including former
spokesman for the Humanis Policlub, Gabriel
West. West acted as the voice for the HP in
NorCal and came to Bergs side after an episode
of Blackstone depicted him as a genuinely good
guy trapped in the politics of his upbringing.

> That was a run gone right. Berg hired a team to dig into
Wests past and then used what they found to generate
a character on Blackstone. After the episode aired, Kat
reached out to West quietly and found him willing to
change his position with the promise of some clandestine
security. The hacker who worked with the team even said
that the pay for the job was part of the episode budget for
Blackstone. They even made it into the episode credits as
consultants.
> Sunshine

Though Berg has a strong and exceedingly


positive, public image, she has a dark side. While
her MOM branch is number two in the world,
her Sons of Sauron crew is the largest. The Sons
of Sauron is a meta policlub that has some

<< TROG HEROES 103


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

parallels to Humanis in their extremist views and MOM and Horizon/Pathfinder. Events are always
actions. They also have a few smaller sub-sects, booked outside Horizons subsidiaries when they
the Hand of Sauron and the Eye of Sauron, that involve her other interests, even though that may
function even more militantly than their politically mean corp scrip leaving the corp.
oriented parent group. Berg is a big reason for
this and a primary source of contracts benefitting > Horizon has played nice while it didnt hurt their bottom
these organizations. And she doesnt even hide line, but her hospitalization cost them shooting time and
her identity beyond calling herself Mr. Johnson. production delays. Expect them to crack down a little
This isnt out of some sense of invulnerability or harder, possibly even tapping the shadow community to
some need to get caught and live the risky life, help keep her in line.
but because her lookincluding her mole and > Sunshine
carved tuskshas become such an LA trend, she
blends in enough in most places that a simple, > In line is the perfect term. I know a Johnson down SoCal
No, but I just love her show! will get her past way who normally fronts for Horizon, and hes sitting on
anyone questioning her identity (except maybe a contract to disrupt any clandestine meetings being held
by Kat Berg. He said the contract isnt fully active but held
the most die-hard fans, but they do not often work
for immediate fulfillment should the need arise. He also
the shadows). The jobs that she contracts for the
said that Ms. Johnson-Berg was tapped for the same
sub-sects are filled with espionage, sabotage,
contract so that she knows its hovering over her head.
leg-breaking, collections, data steals, and even
wetwork. > Kat o Nine Tales

> As a Johnson, Berg has a seriously dark reputation. DR. WILCOX


GRAHAM
Obviously not the double-cross type or she couldnt keep
working, but she expects results to come back her way.
Shes a hard negotiator and puts it out there up front that
if you fail to meet her expectations of completion, she Metatype: Troll
will dock your payment. Since her rep is solid in town, its Appearance: Grey/White hair; 2.57m; curled
usually not an issue, but often enough out-of-town help is horns; wire-rimmed spectacles (loaded with
brought in that doesnt know her.They learn the hard way. software); modest dress style
> Sunshine Location: London, UK

> Some joker named Skullcrusher came down from Seattle Most runners havent heard of Graham before
to work for Berg. He signed on for a quiet op, minimal right now, because most runners dont spend their
death, limited exposure, and ended up performing time searching the darkest corners of the Matrix for
his namesake move on somebodys P2.0 feed. Berg
well-formulated and supported scientific work on
docked him, and he wasnt happy. He beat her and left
the biology of the ingentis and robustus subspecies.
her hospitalized for two weeks while putting two of her
Seems super boring, but Graham is producing
bodyguards in the morgue and costing the three other
science papers backed by proper studies that
runners he was working with a DocWagon resuscitation.
Within hours, well before Berg came out of her first
would destroy many of the modern perceptions of
surgery, there were contracts on him. The ork and troll
trolls and orks. That is exactly why we trogs need
community just went bananas. to know him and help him keep working so that he
> Fianchetto can get his work into the public arena.
Based out of the British Isles but a frequent
> Apparently not enough of them did. Hes still at large and world traveler, Graham has travelled the globe
has made a mess of several individuals looking to collect. studying various populations of orks and
> Clockwork trolls in order to disprove much of the mythos
surrounding these subspecies that was created
She isnt completely independent. Her work through biased science and cultural rhetoric in
contract is with Horizons Pathfinder Multimedia, the earliest days of UGE and the subsequent
and they occasionally crack down on her off- years of cultural oppression and metatype hate-
script activities. Whether its their or her choice, mongering. His studies are not just limited to
she avoids establishing any connections between first-world nations like the UCAS and the Black

104 TROG HEROES >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

Forest Troll Kingdom, but also to the growing His work has both biological and social elements. Ive read
African tribes in the Congo and Nigeria, the several of his studies and find his views go against the
South American favela dwellers, the outcast oni grain of common beliefs, but they are statistically accurate
of Asia, the horsemen of Central Asia, and orks and match what I get when I perform similar studies.
and trolls living in and among all the metatypes > Butch
of the world across the globe. His extensive
travel and research are made possible by those Grahams biggest hurdle is the fact that he
of us in the shadows who support his cause, but knows the world we live in is not controlled by
his work is often hindered by those who fear intellect but by the bottom line. Whatever makes
the light of science will destroy the dim shadows it easiest to keep the workers and average joes in
of ignorance. Those were his exact words, and line is what the powers of the world will push. A
while they sound hokey, it is his belief that few corps have slightly different mindsets, but they
studying reality and learning truths instead of still arent there for enlightenment. Horizon gives
proliferating hate and unfounded opinions will their people a sense of free will, but really theyre
bring the metahumans of the world together and just all feeding into each others ignorance, fears,
improve their relationships. and desire for self-indulgence. As things currently
While he doesnt contract his own jobs (hes stand, Graham has had the most success with
far too introverted to be Mr. Johnson), he goes on Evo, but their recent troubles have caused them
almost every fact-finding mission he contracts. to circle the wagons and they arent in a place to
There is the occasional bit of data stealing and go introducing new elements to their education,
megacorporate espionage that he leaves to the even if they are one of the main pools of corporate
professionals, but when he needs to head out citizens that Graham used. For now he needs to
into the field and talk to the people, observe keep doing his work, and in order to do that he
unobstructed behavior, or create situations to study needs the occasional support team, a bodyguard
reactions and biochemical interactions, hes right every once in a while when threats get too close to
there. For some teams, this is a deal breaker. They home, and a lot of subjects to increase the depth
wont take civilians or non-contracted members of his pool of knowledge.
because of the risk of double-cross, additional
need for security on them, or whatever other > Just so some of you can get a general idea of some of
reason they generate. Most of the time Graham the controversial ideas (that are scientifically supported)
informs the contracting fixer or Mr. Johnson of being put forth by Graham, I offer you three wonderful bits
that might just twist up your vision of the world. 1) Troll
this requirement to avoid the lost time, but some
life spans are longer than originally estimated. Like way
jobs are put together in new cities with unknown
longer. Cultural and environmental factors have been the
assets. Be warnedif Graham taps your team, you
primary reason for previously incorrect data, but the short
may need to take him with. The good news is, hes
lifespan concept is deeply entrenched, making it hard to
been doing this awhile and has learned when to
change. 2) Ork average lifespan is drastically affected by
keep his head down. The bad news is, hes got environmental living conditions and societal pressures.
more curiosity than a bag of cats, and it sometimes The short lifespan that orks are reported to have is a direct
gets the better of him. He also tends to ask any result of increased stress hormone release and exposure
and all orks and trolls on the team to participate in to harmful environmental substances, including air and
his study, which involves a lengthy question-and- water pollution. The tribes of Central Asia, well distanced
answer session filled with all sorts of topics that from standard pollutant-producing vehicles and facilities,
most runners would rather not address. Then he are showing dramatically increased life spans. They are
asks them to wear trodes and a biomonitor for the staying healthy and fit nearing sixty years of age, rather
duration of the run. than the forty we see in urban environments. 3)The global
ork population is rapidly approaching that of humans.
> Some of the jobs hes contracted were purely for research. Based on growth patterns, orks could be the dominant
The teams were entirely composed of trolls and orks, and metatype by the turn of the century.
he takes notes on everything from whether or not they > Butch
agreed to the offered contract terms to how the team
conducted itself throughout the run, both in terms of > Orks of the world, unite!
inter-team dynamics and how they dealt with outsiders. > Slamm-0!

<< TROG HEROES 105


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> There are plenty of places in the world where they are was always controlled. They didnt feel they
trying, but with money as the primary source of power needed the world to accept them as something
in our modern world and orks controlling only about 0.8 special, they just needed to do what they do,
percent of the worlds financial wealth, its difficult to rise again following a code of honor that sometimes
up, or even to just step away and start your own place. involved violence.
Even if all the orks of the world were to decide they wanted But the desk wasnt good enough. Too
to live together as an ork nation, and they settled on living often jobs fell into hands that werent strong
in a less-than-hospitable geographical location because enough to bear the weight of ork honor or didnt
it was given to them free, they still lack connections and understand what was expected when the code
infrastructure to develop as a nation. was broken. Orxanne felt these things needed to
> 0rkCE0 be handled personally. She set up a world tour
but set dates only two months out. Preparing
> But there are several people we have listed here who cities and arenas for her arrival became a big
are trying to help that along. And we can get Gary Cline. event as she announced her schedule one week
Horizon can be our megacorp. Evo probably wouldnt shy at a time, then worked in front of and behind
away either. the scenes to plan jobs for the cities she was
> Snopes
heading to. When a problem arises, Orxanne
has been known to do short-notice shows at
> Take a breath, re-read the huge amount of unsupported
small venues, helping her stay in touch with her
optimism in that post, then debunk yourself.
people. Every one of these involves contracting
> Clockwork
shadow work while also hiring runners to act as
security for her.
ORXANNE Shes survived more attempts on her life than
most third-world dictators, but she keeps coming
Metatype: Ork back for more. She truly believes in a unified
Appearance: Black hair shoulder length; world of orks and trolls and as she connects
1.79m; athletic build trogs from around the world using music with
Location: Los Angeles, PCC; global (tour a meaning. She gets closer and closer to truly
cities) earning the title her enemies slap on her with
distaste but she revels in: Queen Slitch of the
Rigger X talked about her back in 73 with Trogs.
the Attitude drop, so I wont rehash much of that
here. Over the last half-decade her status as a > As much as this looks like shes forming some global ork
hero of her people has only grown. What started community, its barely holding itself together against the
as a few contracts here and there for runners to media onslaught by the corps. We can make it sound like
work security for her expanded gradually into shes rallying the trogs of the world, but most places run
more proactive operations as she worked to news about disruptions and violence caused by her
concerts. The media corps love orxploitation, but they
protect and build Wejoto Records, acquire new
paint Wejoto as some dark goblin-cult music label to most
unsigned talent, and push back against a myriad
of their citizens.
of cultural and corporate enemies. The stage for
her causes has grown, and so have her aims in > Sounder

developing more equitable laws for orks and


trolls.
> Which isnt a problem. Concert security turns away dozens
of corporate security details at their concerts who are
From behind the big desk at Wejoto she there following citizens who have left corporate property
managed to develop a worldwide network of without proper authorization. They listen to her artists by
connections, and while ork and troll cultures vary accessing the public grid (ewww), and more often than
around the world, a few unifying principles were not, the violence at these concerts comes from Humanis
always present. Respect is earned. Acceptance goons. KSAF has done dozens of live feeds from Wejoto
by the world is not expected. Everywhere she shows only to reveal that those who cast the first stones
reached felt the same way. They earned respect, along with the second, third, fourth, and so onall have
and not simply by brute force, but by a code that smooth skin and tuskless jaws.
sometimes involved violence but the violence > Snopes

106 TROG HEROES >>


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KING ALFONSO XIII the fact that he was, in fact, the firstborn son of
King Felipe VI and therefore the rightful heir to the
OF SPAIN Spanish throne.

Metatype: Ogre > Theres no evidence that Alfonso was finally told the truth
Appearance: Brown hair, 2.2m, trim goatee, by his adopted father or by anyone within the royal court
regal bearing who would have been privy to this information. That
Location: Madrid, Spain leaves certain figures within the secret service, which is
odd since Spains spies were notorious hardliners even
King Alfonso XIII was the firstborn son of for- within the government. The reality is that it didnt appear
to benefit anyone to raise this at the time because Spain
mer King Felipe VI, born as an ogre in 2022 at the
was already on the threshold of exploding racial violence
beginning of Goblinization. His metaracial differ-
even before Alfonso made his claim. Once Juan Carlos
ence was seen as a deformity, a sin, and a black
rescinded his claim and King Alfonso was crowned,
mark on the soul of the Bourbon line. The roy-
things only grew worse. Crash 2.0 turned out to be the
al couple wasnt eager to kill him in the way that best thing that couldve happened to Spain.
so many others across the world did were at the > Fianchetto
time. Instead, they gave him to the Duque of Alba
to raise as his own son, concealing the childs true For ten weeks, everyone within and with an in-
heritage. A few years later, Alfonsos younger, hu- terest in Spain took sides with either Alfonso or
man brother Juan Carlos was born and raised as Juan Carlos. Then Juan Carlos withdrew his claim in
the heir apparent to the Spanish throne. late July. Pope John XXV crowned him King Alfon-
Alfonso grew up shrouded in secrecy, because so XIII on January 1, 2064. Once Prince Juan Carlos
even while he was officially part of the Spanish rescinded his claim, the shadows and the public
aristocracy, he was still an ogre in a country that face of Spanish society became even more fraught
remains notorious for its racism even today. He with danger than they had been before or during
was sent to boarding schools in Greece and ulti- the crisis. One of the most racist nation-states in
mately to the United States following the Crash the world was about to have a metahuman as its
of 29 and the beginning of the Euro Wars. His head of state.
reclusive nature was born out of necessity, and This result came in no small part through a con-
reinforced through a lifetime of fear and humilia- fluence of internal machinations within the Spanish
tion at being unwanted. Alfonso spent almost his government, the Spanish Church and the Vatican,
entire life believing that he was the child of the and several NEEC megacorporationsmost no-
Duque of Alba, aristocracy but not royalty. Having tably, Aztechnology. One surprise player in all of
spent the entirety of the Euro Wars in American this was Cross Applied Technologies. The shock-
boarding schools, Alfonso also missed the most waves from Nachtmeisters death at Lofwyrs tal-
intense fires of racial, religious, and cultural hatred ons dragged the corp into the European shadows
and bigotry that burned at home. Instead, he ex- even more deeply than it ever wanted, and for the
perienced the fear and hatred that burned within first and last time, CATCo and Ares found common
the U.S. and later UCAS. He also experienced the ground in the desire to prevent Spain fracturing
power of metahumans to fight back. He saw the into civil war. There was overt peace, even though
UCAS pass the civil-rights amendment that codi- figures agitated in the shadows and the political
fied into the Constitution the principles that meta- and social discourse held to a failsafe point just
humans are people, equal to humans, with all the short of either side calling for violence.
rights privileges of humans. He was also exposed
to stories of metahuman resistance in all its forms. > Some of the Seraphim that volunteered to assist as his
He grew up among other metahuman scions bodyguards and counsel still remain within the court.
not entirely desired, but still expected to uphold > Thorn
their heritage and potential as adults nonetheless.
Eventually, Alfonso returned to Europe and at- On November 2, 2064, Lofwyr shut down
tended school in Spain and England before return- the European Matrix in response to the fallout
ing to Spain for good. Following the death of King from the combination of Winternights terrorist
Felipe VI on May 5, 2063, Alfonso was alerted to attacks and chaos in the Matrix leading to Crash

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2.0. Spains Matrix went entirely offline. This was merger with Renault-Fiat shifted controlled to
a shockSpain hasnt always been the most ad- the French majority. Banco Espaol is controlled
vanced nation-state in the world, but it is one of by the Frankfurt Bank Association and the Vati-
the larger and more interconnected ones. The fear cana shift that also had the effect of neutering
and chaos erupted into violence, and rumors fu- the right-wing in Spain, especially the Church,
eled by longstanding hatred and suspicion served when Rome used this as leverage to promote the
as pretexts for violence, just as it did in other parts late Pope John XXVs liberal clergy over Estrellas
of the world. King Alfonso XIII rose to the oc- more racist and/or conservative allies. Mean-
casion and called for calm, and then he claimed while, it has been a knife in the gut for Spain and
emergency powers. This wasnt a government or King Alfonso as the head of state to see the NAN
community crisis, it was a global crisis, and Spain and indigenous blocs in Latin America become
needed to stand united or else it would cease to economically and politically aggressive in their
exist. There was no reason to expect the military hostility towards Spain for its role in the conquest
or the police would follow his orders as the head of the Americas. In the end, the near-collapse of
of government, as the Spanish monarchy had Banco Espaol has placed Spains most conser-
been a figurehead for eighty-nine years at this vative elements in a precarious position because
point. Neither Alfonsos grandfather nor father had they were the greatest victims of the crash. The
claimed total power during any of the crises they Spanish cardinals decades of constant friction
oversaw. The kings point was that their failure to against the Vatican was tempered by the reality
do so was what had landed Spain in such a crisis, that Rome was now responsible for keeping the
putting them in the precarious position of being at lights on and properties intact.
the mercy of the NEECs and megacorps whims to
the point that Lofwyr could shut down their grid > In theory, Gaeatronics and Spain would be ideally
situated to make the most of the formers solar and wind
from Essen.
systems, working to get them placed across Spain and
What was amazing is that the military and the
into northern African areas where Spain has considerable
police followed him. Perhaps it was the Church leverage, specifically Morocco. However, Gaeatronics
that led them to fall in linethe Church that had simply refuses to make the deal. Instead, the Spanish
recently seen Cardinal Estrellas pass away, re- have been the fortunate beneficiaries of discounted
placed by the far more liberal Cardinal God of Shiawase atomic systems.
Barcelona. God also represented a silent plurality The reality is that whatever economic and political
that most peopleespecially outsidershad over- benefits Gaeatronics could accrue are outweighed by the
looked during these frictions: the Catalonian peo- fact that the people in charge, along with a vocal minority
ple themselves. The region is the backbone of the within the STC, just want Spain and Portugal to not be.
economy, and yet it had allowed the rest of Spain > Ecotope
to tear itself apart for decades until the moment
came, and the powers that be sided with the king. The relationship with Aztechnology is straining
The corporations took that as a sign and fell in line, because King Alfonso has been increasingly vocal
supporting what they thought would be a techno- about the Big As outright hostility toward and op-
crat who, while left-leaning, knew how they could pression of Roman Catholics and other Christians
make or break the nation. within Aztlan, occupied territories, and Aztechnol-
Once the Matrix was restored, King Alfonso ogy-controlled areas. It hasnt helped that Aztech-
rescinded his edict and claim to unilateral authori- nologys adoption of Neo-Nahuatl and other shifts
ty, but he also demanded a full accounting for the within the corporation has begun to unravel the
Spanish people to face the history and potential traditional connection between Spain and Latin
consequences of long-standing prejudices and America. King Alfonso is a devout Roman Catholic,
conflicts that were tearing apart the country. but due to his time in North America, he became
a devout believer in left-wing liberation theology
and has expressed open and frank support of the
SPANISH IDENTITY liberal Pope John XXV before his passing, and the
Spaniards lost control of all their final AA-rated Awakened Pope Sixtus VI who succeeded him.
megacorporation when Johnny Spinrad com- There are questions, though, about how much
pleted purchase of Sol Media. Meridionals energy Alfonso has to bring to this fight, because

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to be honest, the king and the Spanish people are CFD crisis, it seems, is going to be the final nail in
exhausted. The conflict over King Alfonso being the coffin for an independent Basque nation-state.
an ogre, the deepening schisms between Cath- King Alfonso and the government have officially
olics and non-Catholics with everyone else, and entreated that the Basque people rejoin the king-
the work to strive to grow in a Europe that some- dom. Several megacorporations have expressed
times wants to ignore you is tiring. The truth and interest and support in this idea, especially MCT
reconciliation process has continued, as every the largest and most influential outsider force in
time it seems to wind up some new crisis occurs the country. Even other NEEC states and the UN
to test the mettle of the people. It is partly due to have expressed their support and commitment to
this stress, but also in part to his own faith, that help Euskal Herria recover from the catastrophe
King Alfonso XIII has shaped his monarchy to re- that it has become.
flect that of King Alfonso Xs reign. Alfonso the
Learned presided over an historic period of toler- THE KING AND
ance and openness even in the midst of the Recon-
THE WEAVER
quista against the Moors in Granada. He has made
it clear that he wants Spain to be known for open- Johnny Spinrad has become King Alfonsos big-
ness equal to that of Castille in Alfonso Xs day gest corporate ally, and that provides him with a
(indeed, Castilian became the official tongue of considerable amount of leverage while also be-
Castille, and later Spain, due to King Alfonso X) ing an infuriating weight around the kings neck.
coexistence of all religions, especially between The king and his political allies leaned hard on
Christianity and Islam, all races, the Awakened, the Sol Media and the Vasquez Family in order for
Emerged, even Metasapients and synthetic intelli- Spinrad Industries to finally acquire a corporation
gence beings. There is progress in this work, but it that Spinrad considered to be his personal nem-
can be wearying. esis (Sol Media published the reports that nearly
One thing that King Alfonso hasnt supported destroyed his company in 2051, and hes sought
is regional autonomy. The Catalonians didnt help revenge ever since). That all said, his empire in
exercise their outsized power to be more indepen- Europe stretches from Lisbon to Nice, and that
dentthey were expected to help drag the rest of makes Spain the heart of his corporate activities
the country forward. Likewise, the free hand that in many ways. It is in Spains economic interests
had been given to several autonomous communi- to be as hospitable as possible to Spinrad and
ties like Galicia and Andalusia were reined in. This Global Sandstorm. However, economic success
was perhaps the most obvious reason why the isnt necessarily powerful enough to overcome
megacorporations sided with him. They expected the centuries of rivalry between Portugal and
a leftist, especially one whose model was tolerant Spain, while also taking into account Spains
but still ultranationalist, would push hard to cen- shifting relationship to Islam and the Middle East.
tralize government, economic, and social life in Spinrads conversion to Islam sank perceptions
response to a crisis. From their point of view, one of him across Spain (and southern Europe, gen-
leader is easier to control than a dozen. Spain is erally). King Alfonsos friendship has made both
the worlds oldest modern nation-state, and ide- even bigger targets to the Spanish right wing,
als aside, the kings most fundamental role is to especially since the king is already well known
protect and ensure the continuity of the state. for being left-leaning in his politics and Catholi-
Where things have gotten interesting is Spains cism. The conversion has benefitted both men in
relationship with Euskal Herria. The Basque coun- amongst Spanish Muslims, and its been seen as
try weathered Crash 2.0 with some difficulty and increasingly beneficial to Renault-Fiat-Meridional.
found itself even more beholden to the megacor- Returning to larger realities, Spinrad Indus-
porations to the point where it became acceptable tries is, as far as many Spaniards see it, a new
to question whether independence from Spain Portuguese empire. Portugal and Spain have
and France was worth becoming a vassal state of rigorously maintained their independence from
the Big Ten. The technomancer and AI Emergence each other for over a millennium, even when
crisis of 2071-72 further exacerbated those con- they briefly shared a monarch. Portugal once
cerns for a state that prided itself on the nation- sought to claim sovereignty over the Castilian
al level of technical prowess and integration. The throne before the Catholic Monarchs unified

<< TROG HEROES 109


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Spain, and in western Spain it hasnt been for- slums and outer community barrens to the south. People
gotten that Portugal was the western frontier of arent exhausted; theyre furious.
Castille before the Moors conquered it. Between > Picador
Spinrads own corporations and the acquisition
of Lusiada, the families who control Portugal This complex reality has made King Alfonso
now have direct influence on the lives of millions XIIIs reign difficult. Hes a technocratic monarch
of Spaniards. This has led right-wing nationalists who wants his country to move forward, and he
and magophobes to claim there is a masonic also wants to convince the NEEC and foreign
conspiracy (which brings in the specter of the megacorporations to invest in clearing and mod-
Black Lodge) to destabilize Spain and place it ernizing the Madrid sprawl so that it is no longer
under the control of the Awakened masters of a blight, but the vanguard for the 22nd century. He
the world who are under the guidance of the is also attempting to do so while promoting en-
Antichrist (Pope Sixtus VI, the liberal, devil-wor- vironmental justice within Spain, as well as glob-
shipping Islamophile occupying the throne of St. ally alongside efforts by men like Gary Grey and
Peter). All of this can be traced back to Portu- Balaji Padiyar. His efforts have to function within
gals Henry the Navigator, the prince who initi- the confines imposed by those same megacorpo-
ated Portugals oceanic exploration and the birth rations toward states that are unfriendly or overtly
of the Portuguese Empire, having been a grand hostile to such work. Hes trying to bring inclusion
master of the Knights Templar. into the Spanish identity while making a conscious
point of wearing his specific vision of Catholicism
> This isnt just some wistful flair to add to the discussion. on his sleeve as a model for the rest of Spain. He
There are powerful people in Spain who genuinely think wants tolerance and inclusion, but he exhibits ex-
this, and it is entirely beneficial to maintain this story as orbitant pride in being an ogre (as is his firstborn
fuel for ultranationalists, magophobes, metaphobes, and son and the heir-apparent, Prince Ivn).
all of the usual suspects.The two largest right-wing parties The King of Spain exhibits all of the traits of
in Spain are the Partido Monrquico (Monarchists) and an iconoclast and demagogue, but hes also still
Partido Militar (Militarists), both of which resent the hell a figurehead. However, being a figurehead means
out of the king being an ogre while having their identities that he doesnt need to produce results to justify
intrinsically tied to the monarchy. his positions. Perhaps the best word to describe
The Militarists have been more troubled, especially his reign comes from liberation theology literature
as the general staff of the military has become more itself: Praxis, the act of manifesting social change
integrated and more externally aligned in favor of the based on a philosophical and theological belief
corporations and the NEEC. After all, the international not just believing in the Word of God, but living
organizations actually use and value their operational the Word of God. From this perspective, King Al-
existence. This, however, has effectively neutered fonso XIII has been a model figure on behalf of his
any hope within the party for the military to serve as a faith and race.
nationalist defense against foreign and internal threats,

ALEXANDER
even if it meant replacing the sovereign and/or civilian
government like theTurkish military had done last century.
Consequently, claims of foreign, magical interference
and control of these institutions allow people within
MONAGHAN
both parties to maintain their stated platforms while
suggesting that the institutions themselves have failed,
Metatype: Troll
not the parties. As much as King Alfonso wants to preach Appearance: Grey hair, 2.5m, polished horns
some kind of liberalism, the people of Spain arent Location: DeeCee
benefitting in ways that are easily apparent, especially
when the deficiencies such as loss of autonomy to the Being a Boston Brahmin, Alexander Monaghan
NEEC and megacorporations and the increasing disparity grew up relatively privileged as orks and trolls
between corporation-aligned citizens and those working go. As it happens, he was also a boarding-school
on the fringes has actually been increasing. For example, roommate with the young man who would be-
the talk about fixing Madrid doesnt account for how come King Alfonso XIII. Being a troll, hes experi-
its actually gentrification on a massive scale that would enced shock and pain, and endured plenty of hate,
simply further displace many of the people stuck in the simply for being alive. As UCAS attorney general,

110 TROG HEROES >>


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one of the innovations he brought to the Depart- the scope of civil rights to being able to freely engage in
ment of Justice was to instill a cadre of metahuman commerce and exercise certain rights like voting. Even
lawyers who werent segregated entirely within the rather absolute wording of the Bill of Rights depends
the Civil Rights Division. Beyond that, however, on how those rights are defined (the right for criminal
was a unique perspective in addressing how the defendants to exclude illegally-obtained evidence from
law affects metahumans, and specifically trolls being used against them at trial was barely upheld as late
and orks, on a daily basis without looking at how as three years ago).
To put this in perspective, Chief Justice Scotts own
humans interact with them as a means of com-
career was built on winning the Grumman case in 2036,
pliance with the law, but instead as inclusion into
where he successfully argued that Tulsa, Oklahoma
public and private spaces equally and fairly.
violated the Constitution when it segregated metahumans
Monaghan and his supporters have silently for-
into their own inadequate school away from human
mulated a vision over his term in office that culmi-
children. It was the metahuman equivalent of the Brown v.
nated with the principle that while civil rights are Board of Education decision that ended racial segregation
based upon the inalienable abilities of all people in the U.S. However, the fundamental assumption for all
to engage in civic life, that there are fundamen- civil rights jurisprudence in the UCAS is that everyone is
tal social rights that are based on the reality that equal when certain traits are ignored.
metahumans, the Awakened, and non-sapiens spe- Monaghans argument, which has never before been
cies are fundamentally differentmeaning that the position of the UCAS, is that metahumans are so
the government must acknowledge and operate different from each other and that equal treatment under
in accommodation of these discrete, inalienable the law means the government would have to enforce the
classifications in order to protect those citizens law in discriminatory ways with the intention of producing
free exercise of civil rights as protected under the equal effects with regard to each metatype. In its simplest
Eleventh and Fourteenth Amendments. To say this incarnation, and specific to this case, the UCAS wants to
is an unorthodox, and certainly unexpected, argu- enforce the law in a way that affects metahumans equally,
ment is an understatement. Chief Justice Richard with respect to how all metatypes mature and age at
Scott, a lion when it comes to metahuman equal markedly different rates. This means orks and trolls could
rights, grilled General Monaghan extensively when retire earlier because they die earlier, while dwarves and
he proffered the UCASs oral argument as part of elves may not collect Social Security for decades longer.
the governments involvement in a public retire- More immediately, it means that food subsidies and
ment discrimination case, Moore v. Maine. It should commodities would be more heavily directed toward trolls
and orks since their dietary needs require more calories,
be noted that, like the original plaintiff, Monaghan
specifically more protein-based caloriessomething that
has late-stage Methuselahs Syndrome. He made a
I assure you will be violently opposed by non-trogs who
powerful assertion that UCAS jurisprudence focus-
are already seeing their food prices go up as agriculture
ing on facial equality and equal application actual-
conditions get worse.
ly discriminates against metahumans, namely ork
and trolls, because application of facially neutral
> DangerSensei

but clearly unequal laws has harmed and effective-


> In some ways the new research indicating that trog
ly curtailed metahuman civil rights in the UCAS. lifespans are not as short as had been believed
The explanation is too difficult to explain here, but complicates this, but in some ways it simplifies it. If the
what it means for people in the UCAS, and by ex- shorter lifespans seen to date truly are a result of poverty
tension for the people of the dozens of countries and poor health care, then that increases the urgency to
and megacorporate tribunals that look to the UCAS address those areas. The earlier retirement age, though,
and CAS judiciaries for guidance, is that it may no would go by the wayside. Some think ork and troll activists
longer be sufficient under the law to treat all meta- would be loath to give up this bargaining chip, but others
humans equally. Instead, legal entities may have to believe that they will be so relieved to be released from
extend reasonable accommodations to individu- this sentence of early death that the retirement-age issue
als who dont conform to the normthat is, to the wont matter to them. (I suppose I could say us rather
life of the mundane, human UCAS citizen. than them, but reportorial habits do not break easy.)
> Sunshine
> Its difficult to convey what could happen if the Court
were to adopt even some of Monaghans position when it Beyond the obvious matter of civil rights,
decides Moore. The Supreme Court has basically limited Monaghan is the UCASs top lawyer. He supervis-

<< TROG HEROES 111


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es all criminal prosecutions by the government, en- solutions sought, and the amount of conflict and
forcing civil matters ranging from antitrust to treaty corruption this has caused within the Marshals
obligations, being the presidents most senior legal Service. Monaghan, as it happens, oversees and
counsel, and overseeing several law-enforcement also serves as the enforcement arm of the Busi-
agencies. The largest matter encompassing all of ness Departmentand, to a lesser extent, the FBI,
those functions has been the CFD crisis and the Bos- giving him multiple roles to play in all this drama.
ton lockdown. The FBI and IRS have been crawling CFD isnt the exclusive source of conflicts with
up NeoNETs ass for the last few years even since Business, but the most dramatic (and most likely to
the Boston sprawl had to be quarantined, and the involve runners). Monaghan is a classical capitalist
entire mess has made things difficult for NeoNET and doesnt necessarily see the value of the exist-
and other megacorporations within the UCAS. It ing BRA legal regime as having a net benefit to the
isnt lost on anyone that Monaghan has a personal UCAS markets. While hes all for smaller govern-
stake in this because he is Bostonian to his bones, ment, hes allowed the Antitrust Division a freer
and he has recused himself and placed the matter hand to go after the megacorps in order to protect
entirely on the shoulders of the Deputy AG in or- free market competition between BRA-protected
der to avoid any legal entanglements. This doesnt megacorporations and UCAS-based A-rated mul-
change the fact that Monaghan has personal inter- tinationals and unrated corporations. This has led
ests at stake that have kept the specter of interfer- to a marked increase in information and intelli-
ence alive, which is to the corps benefit as the mat- gence gathering by DOJ, FBI, and IRS investigators
ter is reaching what appears to be a tipping point in as well as a commensurate increase in proactive
negotiations over what the UCAS government can counterintelligence by megacorporations across
squeeze out of NeoNET and the others to pay for the UCAS, especially when faced with chick-
basically killing a major city. As I said, Monaghans enshit and protectionist applications of laws.
job is to oversee all of the governments legal mat- Furthermore, because Antitrust holds regulatory
ters, and unsurprisingly, virtually every part of DOJ hearings in addition to bringing court lawsuits,
and the rest of the government has business with the megacorporations are seeking to go over
NeoNET, and an entire office now exists as a fire- Monaghans head to Congress. In response, DOJ
wall between Monaghan and the Boston matter. has increased its own legal and shadowy political
The fun part of this is how this means that there is maneuvering against them. Monaghan endorses
an entire office full of secrets that everyone wants American capitalism and is on the record praising
to get into. the economic successes of countries that dont
Related to this is how Monaghan and Secretary entirely acknowledge and enforce the BRA as a
of Business Fortune Relf have found themselves counterpoint to the UCASs blind adherence to
in conflict over matters of legal policy involving the BRA as written, which is something Secretary
the Big Ten and the Contract Court since Business Despain has also shown an interest in exploring.
now oversees all legal matters arising within that Finally, since 2018, the DOJ has had legal juris-
court. The Business Department exists to facili- diction over Denver and Anglo reservations with-
tate the activities of corporations, especially the in the NAN with regard to enforcement of vari-
megacorporations, while Monaghan has become ous treaty obligations and matters. Since 2074,
increasingly disenchanted with the relationship the UCASs extraterritorial jurisdiction over those
between the UCAS and the megacorporations areas and other matters involving the NAN has
within the framework of the Business Recognition been with the unspoken consent of the Sovereign
Accords. Relf refuses to acknowledge CFD as a Tribal Council. Which, of course, was created by
defense against the repatriation of corporate cit- the Treaty of Denver. I hope you see where this
izen to their home megacorporations under the is going. Some reservations have been actively
Thirteenth Amendment, while Monaghan and resisting attempts at governance by the UCAS,
Homeland Secretary Jenkins insist on its validity in and this resistance has included attacks on Rez
asylum claims. This wrangling has extended to the Agents. This has been further agitated by NAN
White House and Congress, and as is the case with actors who are impeding, directly and indirect-
Boston, this is a political matter as election sea- ly, DOJ activities within the NAN, or who are un-
son heats up with each side trying to one up the dermining enforcement and conflict resolution
other with anecdotal evidence, conflict legislative mechanisms (tribunals, etc.). With Ghostwalker

112 TROG HEROES >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

finally rejecting any foreign claims on the sover- more globally active and has become the larg-
eignty of Denver, this has had the added prob- est contributor of forces to the UN Armed Forc-
lem of increasing shadow activities between the es and other UN and international entities that
NAN, or parties within it, and the UCAS and CAS he and COMA used as machines to direct in their
governments. This has also led to problems with- anti-corporate efforts. The UCAS is the most
in the UCAS because the DOJ has to intervene megacorporate-friendly state, not only among UN
in local disputes where the NAN or an interest- members but overall. In spite of President Collo-
ed party can invoke the DOJs enforcement duty. tons disputes and shifting alliances with megacor-
This mostly occurs within border states involving porations like Ares, Aztechnology, Telestrian, and
free passage and blends into civil rights and other NAN-based AAs, she is not and never will be the
areas such as antitrust. More NAN-based corpo- commander-in-chief that sees her role as bringing
rations, and even some Tr-based corps, are using megacorporations to heel. Her potential succes-
the DOJ or threatening to involve it as leverage sors, on the other hand, have shown inclinations
against state and local governments to gain con- toward those goals.
cessions like tax cuts and subsidies. Monaghan Secretary Despain, specifically, has shown his
has stated hes neutral on the matter, and that the willingness to renegotiate parts of the Business
law is the law, especially when it comes to ensur- Recognition Accords since Attorney General
ing free markets. However, hes been covertly Monaghan has publicly stated that there would
seeking congressional support to undermine ex- be legal and economic benefits domestically if
isting laws to favor UCAS corporations now that the UCAS were to scale back its absolute defer-
treaty obligations can be dismissed. ence to the Corporate Court. As a result, Despain
and Padiyar have met on numerous occasions to
BALAJI PADIYAR discuss the matter, especially since Despain has
found himself more active globally through its
commitments to the UN Armed Forces, Interpol,
Metatype: Ork and related agencies. Despain isnt alone in seek-
Appearance: Greying black hair, 2.1m, black- ing Padiyars counsel, and he is advising numerous
ened tusks
countries on how to shape their commitments to-
Location: Kolkata, Indian Union ward the UN and acceptance and enforcement of
UN and other internationally negotiated policies.
The former Indian foreign minister, UN secre-
Padiyars not anti-business, but he is a strong be-
tary-general (2055-70), and corporate CEO has
liever in the idea that neither corporations nor na-
become a global ambassador for the cause of
tions can be a part of the international community,
metahuman rights and megacorporate respon-
specifically the UN, and remain unaccountable to
sibilityand the intersection between those re-
the rest of the community, and that to reject ac-
alities. Padiyar became increasingly resistant to
countability only leads to conflict and destruction.
uncontained megacorporate violence and conflict
Here he is able to cite conflicts like the Azt-Am
in 2060, during the height of that eras corporate
War, the Boston Lockdown, the SOX, the Teketeza
wars, after realizing that the company he ran, Gan-
in Kenya, and even the inherent evils of the Desert
ges Softworks, was tied to the terrorist bombing
Wars themselves.
that killed Renrarku Corporate Court Justice Chan-
dria and critically wounded the Indian Commerce
Minister, a friend and ally of Padiyars. Having such
> Criticizing the Teketeza is a masterful political move since
it was premised in part on the defense of and vindication
intimate and direct awareness of how Fuchispe- for UNAF forces that cooperated (read: answered to) with
cifically the Villiersand Renraku used his country- the Big Ten security forces protecting the Kilimanjaro
men as proxies to be killed over a pissing match Mass Driver and who were slaughtered as a result of
between a few elites sparked a fire in him that has that cooperation. He supported the deployment of those
burned bright ever since. forces under his tenure as a check on the Corporate Court,
His covert influence through the remnants of preventing its forces rape and pillage the region as the
the UNs Commission on Megacorporate Affairs mass driver was built. But like all good intentions, it
(COMA) has been diluted and purged, especial- failed miserably, even while he was Secretary-General.
ly in the last decade as the UCAS has become Lezabatxe eliminated any pretense of impartiality, and

<< TROG HEROES 113


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the UNAF became just another occupational force that the UN into the Courts bureaucratic machinery as
suffered the same fate as all hostile occupational forces. inevitable if it cannot be resisted, and while De-
> Thorn spains rhetoric appeals to his ideals, the idea of
Russian resistance to the Court is far more realistic
There was a longstanding conflict between than the prospect of the UCAS suddenly perform-
Padiyar and Iker Lezabatxe of Euskal Herria, the ing an about-face on the corporate-controlled
UN Secretary-General who succeeded Padiyar world that it created.
in 2070. Padiyar has been working to overcome
this division, attempting to persuade Lezabatxe to
change his views of the megacorporations in light RONALD DESPAIN
of the CFD outbreak and how it has affected Eus-
kal Herria and the rest of the world. As it has be- Metatype: Ork
come clear that the outbreak was the fault of the Appearance: Black hair, 1.9m, filed-down
megacorporations, the reality that the outbreak tusks, long scar on left side of forehead
may cost Lezabatxes homeland its independence Location: DeeCee
has begun to sink in. Moreover, the reality that the
punitive measures being sought will be woefully Ronald Despain is easily the most powerful
insufficient and has made it clear to Lezabatxe that trog politician in the western hemisphere thanks
hes not only on the wrong side of the megacor- to his current position as the UCAS Secretary of
porations, but as the UN Secretary-General his ac- Defense and as one of the top two candidates
tions in implementing pro-corporate policies have seeking the Republican Party nomination for pres-
mobilized government and institutional resources ident ever since Angela Colloton announced that
into an unaccountable economic and political war she wouldnt run for a fourth term.
machine the Corporate Court can use to crush any Despain has been well-regarded within DeeCee
remaining holdouts to the unaccountable and uni- and with the public due to his assertiveness and
fied corporate regime the Court has sought for de- competence, but the withdrawal of UCAS military
cades. For Padiyar, its personal that this machine forces from Denver may come back to haunt him
is being built upon the bones of COMA and other even though the decision was made by Colloton.
agencies and operations that Padiyar created to However, that is a single event in contrast with the
prevent exactly this scenario. overall success of the military under his manage-
Lezabatxe is not expected to seek or accept a ment in maintaining the Boston Quarantine Zone,
third term, and both men have already been ma- engaging in peacekeeping operations through the
neuvering on behalf of their preferred candidates United Nations, and projecting power through ex-
for the term that begins in 2080. As it happens, ample in the Desert Wars and as advisors with cor-
Lezabatxe may have actually found common porations and governments across the world. He
ground with Padiyar in Natalia Davydovskaya, of has vigorously campaigned to Congress and the
Russias National Supreme Soviet and the General public for expanding the military in line with Collo-
Staff of the Red Army overseeing the GRU. There tons policies and party rhetoric going back to the
are numerous reasons why any Russian official Yeats campaign in 2057, and the number of active
would ever be considered for a major UN post, Defense Department uniformed and civilian per-
but heres an important one: Davydovskaya may sonnel has exploded to nearly one million, a size
have found a way to end the war with Yakut. Both unseen since the Treaty of Richmond, and anoth-
want peace, and a peaceful Yakut could potential- er half million reserve and guard units that can be
ly become a great ally for Padiyar. The appeal to called up as necessary. Ten years ago, Colloton and
Lezabatxe is the prosperity peace could bring for Despain despaired at the fact that more corporate
megacorps such as Saeder-Krupp and Evo, with security forces stood along the Chicago CZ walls
Russia no longer engaged in a fifty-year border than UCAS soldiers two decades ago. The reverse
war. More than anything, however, Russia would is true with regard to the Boston QZ, which one
be a powerful ally in the clandestine bloc of states could perhaps see as a victory for sovereign states.
that he has sought to unite in an effort to resist
the Corporate Court, especially as it has thorough- > A victory to shame even Pyrrhus.
ly overtaken the UN. He sees the integration of > Chainmaker

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Given the rapid expansion of the UCAS military > There is a consensus within the local intelligence
and the support such expansion has earned from community that the SDF is stretched too thinbetween
the Corporate Court, among other esteemed bod- AMC, Tsimshian, Seattle, Denver, Yellowstone, and
ies, it seems rather incongruous that Despain has the UCAS borderto repel an invasion, and while the
shared a considerable amount of skepticism if not entire nation can be militarized it doesnt mean that the
outright enmity towards the megacorporations in nation can functionally muster enough people to oust
his political rhetoric. He preaches state sovereign- an occupying force. Furthermore, the corps would pick
ty and freer markets that would allow local busi- the UCAS if forced to choose sides. Fewer people in
ness to play on a more even level with megacor- the Sioux, and the NAN, see the UCAS as an existential
porations, but at the same time his foreign policy threat. Its hard to sell success-driven Cheyenne youth
language is markedly in line with the megacor- on defending the integrity of the nation when the land in
porations in how militarily-enforced peace would dispute is barely habitable Rocky Mountain rangeland,
benefit everyone. To support this, he has seen fit especially when neither the CAS nor the PCC are inclined
to side with the UCAS.
to offer UCAS unilateral assistance, while also act-
ing through UNAF and other international missions > Kay St. Irregular

around the world. It would seem, as many DeeCee


For a decade, the Republican Party has down-
pundits have argued, that the UCAS is the only
played the platform planks calling for reunification
country that can maintain a global UCAS military
with the CAS and California after the failed New
footprint, and that it would be in the worlds best
Revolution coup dtat. Despain, reaching back to
interest. After all, how different might the world be
the 2057 Yeats/Penchyk platform for inspiration,
if the UCAS, and the U.S. before it, had not with-
has raised many of the catastrophes since that
drawn into isolation after the Cold War ended?
period as reasons why reunification, or at least
persistent collaboration, arent only desirable but
> The United States withdrawing from NATO prevented
necessary. His political speeches have drawn a
World War III.
clear line from the laissez-faire megacorporate
> Red Anya
policies of Technocrats and even his own party to
disasters such as the plight of Chicago, the SCIRE
> Perhaps that was a mistake.
> Haze shutdown, corp wars from 2059-61, the Saito re-
gime, Tsimshian, Boston, Albuquerque, and even
Returning to his role in the Denver debacle, the fate of Denver. In fact, it shouldnt surprise any-
Despain has focused a considerable amount of one that Anne Penchyk herself supports Despains
time with his North American counterparts, es- candidacy over Martin. Beyond North America, he
pecially CAS and Sioux leaders. He has spent wants to resurrect NATO and other political-mili-
a considerable amount of time with the Sioux tary alliances, and he has been actively exploiting
due to the necessity of sending massive forces the DODs size and scope in making the UCAS a
through its airspace to Denver, and while that part of nearly every UN mission.
matter has been settled for now, he has made it
clear that the UCAS military will maintain read- > Its disheartening to think of how unpredictable
Albuquerques Matrix has become, as its ground zero for
iness in the event it needs to return to Denver.
CFD and still contains some of the most valuable minds
The Sioux Nation has made its position clear that in the PCC and the world when it comes to the Matrix.
in spite of Ghostwalkers actions, it still sees the The local response has been unique, and I hope that the
UCAS as a clear and present danger, but Despain resources and the willingness for so many to take risks
doesnt seem to show serious concern for its ca- will help resolve this threat.
pacity to retaliate if the UCAS acts. Instead, hes > Netcat
been courting those leaders into cooperating to
prevent another Ghostwalker, another Chicago, > Its time to stop adding Machine to Man, and add Man to
or another Tsimshian. Machine.
> Plan 9
> How much of this is saber rattling, and how much is a
realistic threat of war within North America? > He makes a strong argument about how a stronger
> Mika national government couldve withstood MCTs rapacious

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pillaging of Tsimshian land, or been able to provide a as if this were the second paragraph of an obitu-
more effective force to prevent the initial outbreak that ary. However, its also a testament to how much
forced the CZs erection, but it is still premised on the idea she has eschewed the spotlight in spite of the fact
that the leaders of said government wouldnt have been that she is easily the most powerful and important
susceptible to the corporations influence and control. person here.
Governments are still composed of people, and people Anne Penchyk was already on the road to a
are fallible. The federal government is hugely powerful successful PR career in Wisconsin when she gob-
compared to its neighbors, and yet time and again the
linized in the mid-20s. Taking advantage of the
UCAS has been the first to like the boot heels of every
powers of the Matrix, she continued to promote
megacorporate CEO who offers it them. Concentration of
her business almost entirely virtually to avoid hav-
power isnt a check on abuse without accountability, and
ing clients deal with the fact that she was an ork.
Despains campaign may speak of accountability without
However, she eventually realized that she couldnt
showing plans to enact it.
stay hidden, and instead chose to make herself a
> Cosmo
public figure. In the 30s, she served several terms
As an ork, Despain has shown an acute aware- as one of the first metahumans in Congress. She
ness of his importance to the trog community as developed several important relationships while
well as the dual-sided nature of that position be- there (most significantly for the time being Gener-
ing martial. He has encouraged recruitment and al Franklin Yeats) but also developed a reputation
retention by appealing to the meritocractic nature for being tough-minded and relentless in causes
of the new military and the relative lack of racism for metahumans and womens rights. Penchyk
throughout the armed forces. However, appealing eventually returned to private life in Wisconsin,
to trogs in this way further reinforces the stereo- but she remained extremely active in politics. She
types of us being warlike and violent, traits that he founded the Empowerment Coalition, a nonpar-
adamantly denies are part of the trog conditionat tisan group that promotes female leadership in
least, not any more than they are part of the human corporate, political, and public life. Following the
or elven or dwarven conditions. To that end, much tainted 2056 presidential election, General Yeats
of the publicity and marketing has focused on the called on her to be his running mate when he was
more mundane roles and elements of military ca- chosen to be the Republican nominee in the 2057
reers, and the value those skills provide that benefit special election. For both, Chicago was a special
part-time and veteran soldiers in civilian life. causefor Yeats, the city was his hometown, and
Despain and AG Monaghan differ a great deal for Penchyk, it was where her brother was trapped
on civil rights, with Despain firmly on the side of behind the wall with nearly a million other people.
equality being based on how metahumans are sim- After insect spirits murdered General Yeats in
ilar and are expected to perform the same tasks the early summer, Anne Penchyk stepped up to
equally within the military. Of course, its easier to run as the Republican nominee in his place. She
eventually came in third, behind Dunkelzahn and
argue against troll-sized accommodations when
Kenneth Brackhaven, and its strongly believed
rigging is integral to most roles they are otherwise
that she couldve won had Dunkelzahn not run.
excluded from, but he has made it clear that he
Following Dunkelzahns own assassination on his
doesnt see value in purposeful segregation, which
inauguration night, one of the gifts he made in
is what he sees Monaghan arguing for.
his will was to create and fund the John Timmons
Memorial Foundation to promote metahuman re-
ANNE PENCHYK lations in the name of his first translator, a young
divinity student who was eventually assassinated
Metatype: Ork by an anti-Awakened terrorist. Penchyk readily
Appearance: Black hair w/ white stripe, 1.9m, took on the responsibility for managing the fund,
sapphire on right tusk and for two decades she has used it to successful-
Location: DeeCee ly fund and promote organizations that promote
metahuman rights, metahuman cooperation and
One of the original trailblazers for ork and troll inclusion, and other programs seeking to increase
rights and recognition, Anne Penchyk makes it dif- peace and justice across the world with the ulti-
ficult to avoid simply listing her accomplishments, mate goal of benefiting all metahumans. This in-

116 TROG HEROES >>


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cludes funding programs aimed at areas such as erald City Group, TRW, EarthWyrm Media, and
environmental justice, immigration reform, and Peat-Marwick-Thorne-Mabasu. Penchyksand
faith-based engagement. thus the ECsbiggest push in the last few years
Penchyks work and influence are most easily has been to facilitate the advancement of trolls,
recognized in the UCAS and CAS. She has be- orks, and Awakened licensed professional with-
come a political queen-maker in both nations, in North America, primarily doctors and lawyers,
but especially within the UCASs Republican Par- which pits the massive expense of the required
ty. Penchyk recruited Angela Colloton into run- schooling against the relatively resource-poor ork
ning for president in 2067, whose campaign she and troll communities.
chaired and helped to run. Its difficult to explain Anne Penchyks activities through the Timmons
her influence on CAS elections, and the contrast Fund have her collaborating with or aiding count-
between Republicans overwhelming victories less groups and individuals across the world. In ad-
across the UCAS in 2068 and 2072 and the par- dition to that full-time position, she serves on the
tys near implosion and crushing defeat by south- Draco Foundation Board of Visitors with a number
ern Technocrats in 2072 couldnt be more clear if of other luminaries to advise and help represent
it were staged. What is rather clear in both nations, the interests and goals of the foundation and the
however, is that the number of women, metahu- organizations it oversees (Ancient Wisdom Fund),
mans, and specifically trog women holding offic- finances (the Dunkelzahn Challenge Funds), or
es in both countries is at an all-time high. Indeed, is related to because they were also created un-
DeeCee has been derided as a gynocracy by peo- der Dunkelzahns will (DIMR, ASPS). Additionally,
ple even on JackPoint when politics arises. As it Penchyk serves as a board director for the Genesis
happens, Anne Penchyk, the EC, or some other Consortium, Reality, Inc. and recently joined the
organization associated with the Timmons Fund board for Spinrad North America.
are directly linked to nearly all of these officehold- However, all of this activity is becoming in-
ersnot simply at the federal level, but for thou- creasingly more apparent as a means of Penchyk
sands of people in all levels of government and establishing her legacy. She is well into her eighth
in all branches. She holds influence from the Oval decade and is a goblinized ork. She has never been
Office to the courts of Douglas County, Nebraska. inclined to seek out rejuvenation or age-defying
Receiving an endorsement from Penchyk can and treatments, and so cognizance of her own mortal-
has made careers, and she can also break them ity and her fearlessness in speaking her mind has
just as rapidly. The clearest example is during the made it clear who she hopes will move metahu-
last Michigan gubernatorial primary when runners man rights forward after shes gone. Penchyk has
delivered evidence to the EC that Melissa Han, the three children, one human and two orks, and two
coalitions preferred candidate, had been involved have followed in her footsteps. The third, William
in some deeply transphobic activities. Within Penchyk, is one of three ork doctors at the Cleve-
hours, Hans entire campaign apparatus evaporat- land Clinic. Serena Penchyk-Simmons (human) is a
ed beneath her even before the media could find senior VP with Mothers of Metahumans, and Ga-
out what happened. Penchyk and the EC eventu- brielle Penchyk (ork) is the director of the North
ally threw their support behind Democrat Julian American Legislative Exchange.
Mercer, and Han became persona non grata.
Penchyks influence isnt limited to elected pol- > One thing that has long distinguished more-prosperous
demographic groups from less-prosperous ones is that the
itics, nor to the UCAS and CAS. She and the EC
more-prosperous groups have an ability to pass funds to
are responsible for the election of at least three
younger generations; less-prosperous groups often have
members of the PCC Board of Directors (Lydia
to spend resources on older generations, working to keep
Cruz, Josephine Madalena, and Amanda Utall), them out of poverty. People like Penchyk cannot reverse
a Sioux Chief (Winona Begaye, Navajo), and a this trend on her own, but she is focused on having what
member of the Sovereign Tribal Council (Joaquin she has built help as many people as possible, rather than
Shendo) and has helped promote both men and just remaining concentrated in her direct descendants.
women within the corporate community, espe- This is not anywhere on the level of Dunkelzahns will, but
cially among multinationals such as DocWagon, there will still be some maneuvering for various pieces of
Coca-Cola, Warpdrive Systems, Citi, and Amal- her legacy.
gamated Studios, and local corporations like Em- > Mr. Bonds

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THE FACE OF JUSTICE as ethnicity, national origin, or religious creed. In


fact, the great irony is that this has led to instances
There are two Timmons organizations: the foun-
of conflict within the fund and the foundation as
dation and the fund. The foundation is the um- programs that encourage prosperity tend to focus
brella organization, and the fund is a private pro- on these distinct metahuman communities, while
gram within the foundation that is responsible for equality programs stress inclusion by humans and
most of the charitable giving done by the organi- integration of metahumans and the Awakened
zation. There is a complicated web of funds and into mundane, human communities. Its hard to
entities operating under the foundation umbrella imagine the fund ever not promoting the Black
that are used by Penchyks and Dunkelzahns sup- Ork Defence Collective in the Merseysprawl or
porters to advance equality and prosperity. These Seattles Ork Underground, but those same pro-
include the Haeffner Family Fund, Houston Fund, motions have been criticized for facilitating the
Empowerment Fund, and the Samantha Villiers dilution of trog communities and power through
Memorial Fund. The foundation is responsible isolation or racial gentrification.
for more overt marketing and program activities
that Penchyk is willing to make public, while the > This is the point where a lot of do-gooders founder,
fundsthe Timmons Fund in particularare used because so many things can sound good. At some point,
to support outside programs directly and dis- you have to buckle down and decide what it is you truly
creetly. The foundation is also responsible for the want, then go after it.
political outreach and advocacy to comply with > Kay St. Irregular
international campaign and charity laws.
At present, virtually all Timmons Fund activity PROSPERITY
falls into four tracks: Equality, Economic Justice,
Anne Penchyk has always been an econom-
Immigration, and Religious Engagement.
ic progressive and supports engagement with
economically distressed and underserved com-
EQUALITY
munities, which tend to be but are not exclu-
The primary purpose of the foundation and fund sively metahuman or composed of metahuman
is to promote equality for all people. This was the majorities. Prosperity can come in many forms,
exclusive focus of the fund for years, but as its and the fund contributes to causes that seek to
scope and views have expanded, the mission to wage and compensation equality, organizing
promote equality remains firm. There is no short- and labor rights, community investments and
age of need, and beyond providing financial aid public-private collaborations, and environmental
to Mothers of Metahumans, NAAAP, ORC, and justice. The premise behind this is that metahu-
others, the fund is also able to provide in-kind man prosperity is inexorably linked to the health
support by subsidizing or contracting out re- of our communities and planet, and that having
sources to assist these groups on specific proj- financial resources isnt enough if those resourc-
ects, especially where multiple groups are col- es simply allow people to survive and not leave
laborating or focused on shared goals. The fund a lasting legacy. Indeed, the sales pitch behind
channels considerable amounts of money toward the funds environmental justice campaigns has
marketing and media to enrich Charisma Associ- been to argue that wealth within metahuman and
ates, Spinrad Media, EarthWyrm Media, and Ares Awakened communities is more than moneyit
to name a few. continues to a lasting ecosphere of coexistence
One of the great tensions that Penchyk and and well-being.
the fund constantly struggle with is whether to The single largest recipient of fund contribu-
promote inclusion and integration or to promote tions goes to Sierra, Inc., which is still run by Gary
self-selecting/self-segregated community devel- Grey. Like Penchyk, Grey is reaching the twilight
opment where metahumans enjoy popular ma- of his life and focusing on his legacy. Sierra, WWF
jorities at the expense of being removed from (financed heavily by Masaru, who is Penchyks big-
communities with larger human populations. gest supporter of the Draco Foundation trustees),
This reflects the tensions that have long stressed Save Our Seas, and corporations like the Genesis
movements seeking equality for groups based Consortium (through KAM, another DF trustee),
on discrete, and generally inalienable, traits such Izolo, Inc., Telestrian, and others have reciprocal

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financing deals with the Timmons Fund to pro- assists on both ends of the process, assisting
mote economic and environmental well-being emigration out of various countries (by legal and
and counter ongoing destruction of heavily meta- sometimes not-so legal methods) and with the
human and Awakened communities that are often legal and resettlement support on the receiving
used as literal dumping grounds for harmful pol- end. Interestingly enough, one of the nations
lutants and used for destructive practices by cor- COIN is most active in is Spain because of its
porations because those communities otherwise symbolic value as a major nation-state with a his-
have little or no economic or political capabilities tory of internal discrimination as well as discrim-
to protect themselves. ination against foreigners, but it also suffers from
The Timmons Fund has also financed and the stresses of NEEC requirements, along with
supported efforts by Balaji Padiyar and others the demands arising from the whims and needs
to expand and develop an international Green of megacorporate labor.
and Awakened bloc of nations, extraterritorial
megacorporations, and major NGOs that seek to RELIGIOUS ENGAGEMENT
promote these values for the benefit of their peo-
The Timmons Fund is one of the largest private
ple and toward all metahumans worldwide. These
financiers to faith-based charities and outreach
activities include promoting economic and politi-
organizations, and this is a reflection of the funds
cal policies internally and within international bod-
namesake. Before he became Dunkelzahns
ies such as the UN General Assembly, the NEEC
translator, John Timmons was a divinity student.
Social Policy Commission and various implemen-
His greatest personal and public accomplishment
tation committees, and working groups and task
was to reject the use of religion as a wedge be-
forces within the Pacific Prosperity Group and the
tween people, especially when used to pit those
Philike Hetairia (a.k.a., the Black Sea Friendship As-
of faith against metahumanity and the Awakened.
sociation). This also overlaps with the funds immi-
With the dramatic fall and rise and fluctuations
gration program.
within organized religion and faith-based insti-
tutions since the Awakening, the Timmons Fund
IMMIGRATION has contributed nuyen to lay and evangelical reli-
While the fund and many other programs with- gious groups focused on brining people together
in the foundation promote equality and pros- through faith. This is easily the most controversial
perity within communities, it hasnt been lost on track the fund engages in, and yet incredibly lu-
Penchyk and others that immigration and the free crative for the fund itself, thanks to contributors
movement of metahumans is both an economic who see the value in this track.
necessity and a motivation for metahumans and The most obvious collaborator with the fund is
metasapients who are seeking opportunities in the Roman Catholic Church, and the fund chose
new communities. Additionally, the fund has pro- sides long ago to help assist the more progres-
vided nuyen and support for refugee and inter- sive branch that supported Pope John XXV and
nally displaced groups across the world. now Pope Sixtus VI. The fund has also, however,
One of the biggest direct recipients from the contributed to the Islamic Renaissance Move-
fund is the Catholic Ork Immigration Network, ment, and both have in turn engaged with vary-
which works to help immigrants of all metatypes. ing success elements of the Islamic Unity Move-
Among the figures running COIN are Samuel ment and smaller groups, especially in South and
Lamptey, Sr., the retired Seattle Seahawk play- Southeast Asia.
er who hails from the Ivory Coast of Africa, and Some of the smaller recipients of support
his son, Samuel Lamptey Jr., a rising star in the from the fund and allies of Penchyks include the
Republican Party and a junior congressman who many theurgic magical traditions that have grown
represents Tacoma. The Lampteys are major pro- into their own over the last fifteen years since the
ponents of freer immigration and cross-border advent of the Unified Magical Theory. By financ-
travel as a means of regional economic growth, ing or assisting these groups, the goal is to assist
but they also recognize that immigration and cit- Awakened groups in normalizing thaumaturgy
izenship matters are of special concern for trolls with mundane metahumans by showing that it is
and orks given historical and ongoing persecu- a common element that should be appreciated in-
tion of metahumans in numerous nations. COIN stead of feared and hated.

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Related to that is the reality that there are action to protect herself, her allies, and metahu-
theocracies, magocracies, and combinations of mans in general. There are female-only gangs
the two that exist in effect, if not in fact. Penchyk such as the Desolation Angels and the Shooters
has often found herself at odds with leaders of that have been called upon for protection or re-
nations like Amazonia and the Trs because she prisal, and this has included instances of internal
insists that persecution of the Awakened else- control within Penchyks and the funds spheres
where doesnt justify repression of any metahu- of influence. People who have betrayed Penchyk
man. She has become intensely focused on the dont tend to fare well. If theyre lucky, they only
recent opening of relations with the leaders of see themselves ruined financially or professional-
Yakut, especially in the hope of ending its war ly. While there has never been a direct connection
with Russia, and also on the activities in Mon- between her and whoever is responsible for taking
golia and the reign of the ork Bogd Khan, the action, the message is clear that disloyalty is not
living Buddha, his connection with Tibet, and an option.
all of China in between the two regions.
ORZET GLOSSARY
SHADOWS EDGE Orzet, the language of orks, has a strange his-
With all this activity, its impossible to deny that tory. As far as modern times goes, it starts with
Anne Penchyks actions bleed into the shad- Dunkelzahns will, like so many weird things in
ows. Her successes are based around massive the Sixth World. The dragon left an ork named
amounts of personal and economic capital and Robert Page the Orzet Codex, which Page used
publicity, and the shadows are the perfect place to developor rediscover, depending on who
for someone with a lot of money to advance a you talk tothe Orzet language. The language
personal agenda. Her shadow activity becomes then became a rallying point of ork society, a way
even more clear in light of how many enemies for orks show their cultural pride. It also has the
she and the fund have that tend to react to op- pleasant effect of being easier to pronounce than
position with violence. Publicly, Penchyk has al- most Sixth World languages, since it is designed
ways opposed physical violence and the uses of for mouths with tusks.
economic and social force in ways that stretch
the boundaries of the law. To the extent she PRONUNCIATION GUIDE
maintains that policy in private, Penchyk has of- b, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, y, and
ten resorted to her allies and ties to the shad- z are all just like standard English. There are no
ows to disrupt and deter imminent violence and consonant blends, so th is pronounced like t
disturbances rather than to respond in kind followed by h and sh is pronounced like s fol-
whether it be against the Sons of Sauron or Ala- lowed by h.
mos 20,000. c is pronounced like the sh in sheet or bash.
Collecting information that can be used for q is pronounced like the ch in cheese or scratch.
publicity or for political or economic coercion, x is pronounced the ch in Bach or chutzpah.
however, is fair game. Penchyk and the fund (the apostrophe) is like a k but all the way
have had hands in financing shadow work ex- down your throat, like youre gagging. This is the
posing politicians and corporate figures of letter that makes Orzet hard to speak if youre
being in the Human Nation or the groups af- not an ork or a troll; humans tend to vomit when
filiated with Alamos 20,000. Mothers of Meta- they try to say it correctly. To pronounce this one
humans gets considerable, deserved credit for yourself, either hawk like youre about to cough up
its non-violent actions in toppling the Saito re- a hairball or just treat it like the glottal stop in kitten
gime in California, but it was aided in large part or button.
by intelligence and infrastructure financed by a, e, i, o, and u are pronounced the same way
the fund to cripple or sever ties to allies who as in the words, hat trick mess no mud. If there are
might have helped him counter Aress military two vowels in a row, you say it a little longer, as in
engagements. Japanese.
Finally, when necessary, Penchyk has shown Most words have the accent on the first sylla-
zero hesitation in using the shadows for direct ble, or on a double vowel if there is one.

120 TROG HEROES >>


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SELECT WORDS yerz n. Money. Slang: Someones bribe


or cut.
bice interj. Please/thanks/youre
yerzed out adj. An item made to appear
welcome/excuse me.
fancier, perhaps to ostentatious
buunda interj. Expletive, often
degrees
accompanied by an obscene
zakhan n. An enemy.
gesture to show contempt for the
recipient.
cerri n. Sibling. Orzet has no separate USEFUL PHRASES
words to distinguish brother Cuto eyumetu? Whats your name?
and sister. Slang: A chummer,
especially an ork or troll gang
Bice, sazate kom ya Orzet. Please speak to
member.
me in Orzet.
djoto n. Life, literally the way of life. Bice, sazate om poni. Please say that again.
Slang: SINless, a life of crime. Bice, sazate saporeya. Please speak more slowly.
drundeah n. Execution. Slang: To murder
someone. Bice, qlavate me hze ya. Please dont spit on me.
duky curet! interj. Goodbye! Ya me sazate Orzet. I dont speak Orzet.
egrand n. Protector. Slang: Crime lord, Sazate tu Inglic? Do you speak English?
gang boss.
egrandrohodo Slang: A pimp or a girlfriends Bice, edinu A bottle of booze, please.
parents. Hgecu vajza, hulg za! Cheers!
ereth n. Home. Ya xutee ekunijkuurma. May I see a menu?
erethcerri Slang: Ghetto or turf.
Ya me yecti devilrat. I do not eat devil rats.
eth n. Group. Slang: Gang.
eunabo adj. Best pick of the lot. Slang: oliiko ecenaxom? How much does this cost?
Sexually desirable. Bute xom sund? Is this genuine?
fahd n. Sacrifice. Slang: A personal
sacrifice for a chummer. Moti ya upuuti xom van caarb me kulun?
glok n. Runner. Slang: Shadowrunner. Does this come in a color other than dirty?
grumoge v. To fight. Slang: A brawl. Usually Weax tu epistlya? Have you seen my pistol?
screamed before starting one. Ak tu jinoo, me drundeah tu san enorgozya.
hez n. Tusk. Slang: An orks courage,
If you move, I will kill you with my weapon.
nerve and sexual prowess.
hurlg n. Alcohol. Slang: Booze. Kaau ya gru kom Siyaatul?
norgoz n. Weapon. Slang: Gun. How do I get back to Seattle?
quaalz n. Idiocy, as in full of quaalz. Drundeah om caaliah! Geek the mage!
Slang: The police.
Ya bledjeax. Im sorry.
rohodo n. Sex.
skraa interj. Greeting shout. Ya me yumedi akaa kredstik.
tharon adj. Dead. Slang: Corporate. I do not have any credsticks.
turgma n. Traitor. Slang: Snitch. Ak tu me drundeah ya, tu polue eyertzya.
ujnort n. Non-orks. If you do not kill me,
vrukart (inf) n. Boyfriend. you can have my money.
vruken (inf) n. Girlfriend.
Bice manoo kom DokWagun.
vut n.(vul.) Drek. Used as an expletive.
Please call DocWagon.
wejoto n. Against the way. Slang: An ork
rights activist.

<< TROG HEROES 121


THE COMPLETE TROG

TROG
ENEMIES
I have an honorable name, but that honor does not be- > We cant talk about what makes us great unless we give
long to me, it was earned by a great man. I was simply a little bit of time to the obstacles we need to overcome.
born to it by luck, but I want to bring it honor as well. Im not talking about the small things, like being too big
And I want others to join me in this cause. or eating too much, Im talking about those people who
We live in dark times. Monsters roam our streets. think that because we are who we are, we are less than
They live among us, tainting our youth; they work everyone else. Im looking at you, Humanis Policlub! And
among us, stealing our jobs; they bring violence to you, Alamos 20K! Im talking about politicos like former
our city with their gangs; they make our streets unsafe Governor Kenneth Brackhaven, UCAS Senator Carter
with their random violence. It is an outrage that we Banes, and Atlanta Mayor Sheila Martin. These are the
must share this Earth with these monstrosities. groups and individuals who spend every waking hour
We must band together. We must not seek to live trying to find another way to belittle the orks and trolls of
in submission. We must rise up and destroy this dark- the world through rhetoric and legislation based on fear
ness. Band together, brothers and sisters of humanity, and ignorance.
and rid this world of the monsters that live among us. If you dont know what these people are all about,
Free our future generations. or even if you think you do but could do to have a little
Bring peace. more fuel for your own anti-hate agenda, keep reading.
Because Ive found some folks willing to lay it out and
Bring joy.
bring the shadows up to speed on what these groups are
Bring Unity.
all about. We dont have to indulge in their rhetoric and
Eric Brackhaven
hate-speech, but we can analyze the facts and take a hard
look at their ideals.
> Bull

HUMANIS
POLICLUB
POSTED BY: TARGOD
At the top of the list of the worlds most well-
known meta-haters is the Humanis Policlub. The
name says it all, Human is, as if being human is
everything that matters in the world. The worst
part about Humanis isnt their hate agenda, its
how they deliver that agenda to the masses. On
the surface, they simply promote being human.
They offer programs and resources for people
who are down on their luck, but it never goes to
anyone with pointed ears. Up front, theyll smile
and let anyone walk into the visitor area of a
chapterhouse, treating even the burliest troll with
a broad grin and an excess of smarminess and

122 TROG ENEMIES >>


charm. They can fill out paperwork for trogs to the inner sanctum. Once they prove their belief, a
join or get started in a program, but the paper- much larger Humanis opens up, but that larger Hu-
work gets lost, the program is canceled, or there manis makes sure that members understand the
are delays in the processing that leave them in need for secrecy and maintaining appearances for
limbo. Really persistent metas eventually get a the rest of the world. They arent a megacorp that
visit. Round one is usually just a little scare, may- can dictate what people believe; theyre a policlub
be a light beating. Round two is almost always that gathers together those with similar beliefs and
lethal. Accidents happen, random violence in the points them in the right direction.
wrong part of town, that kind of thing. All enact- Organization is a critical point of the organiza-
ed by members who have proven themselves to tion. Each chapterhouse is a cell. Communication
not just be pro-human, but anti-metahuman. In- occurs up to the greater organization but is limited
sofar as that distinction has meaning. laterally. Sure, some of these good ol boys (and
The HP weeds through their members with gals) meet and talk, but they usually know better
meetings, personal surveys, and side conversa- than to talk policlub business, or at least the illegal
tions to eventually discover who just thinks hu- kind of business.
mans need a little help versus those that think For us orks, this means institutionalized racism
metahumanity should have been squashed back wherever these drekstains get their grubby little
in the teens. The deeper the hate runs, the higher fingers. They push an agenda that keeps us from
up in the Humanis ranks someone can rise. All the anything better than skag work where we cant
while proving themselves through beatings, kill- make ends meet and get pushed, or kept, on the
ings, and hate crimes. outskirts of society.
The policlub itself is worldwide, with chapters Why are there so many ork gangers and run-
in every major city in the world, except those ners? Because at some point we want more than
in meta-friendly countries. In those places they the leftovers and garbage we get fed and we need
operate completely from the shadows with the to take it ourselves because nobodys offering us
help of both the HP and another organization, any handouts. But these slitches are spreading
the Human Nation, as well as hundreds of oth- their word about us and building the hate and fear
er policlubs with less-recognized names but the through propaganda, slick pro-human marketing,
same unconscionable goals. Ill talk about the and intentional racism that often instigates vio-
Human Nation later; as for the other policlubs, do lence, because thats what many angry people
a smattering of research and the overall beliefs do. They fight. And before you go and make some
will quickly reveal how they feel about any and kind of comment about, Thats what simple or un-
all metatypes. civilized people do, Im going to warn you that for
Each chapterhouse of the HP is like a single every simple act of violence, I can show a revolu-
cell within a terrorist organization. They keep tion of civilized folk who used violence to change
themselves separate by having their own leader- their station and way of life.
shipand scapegoatswithin each branch, but Orks and trolls dont always think violence is
the higher up you go, the more intertwined they the answer, but they are well-equipped to handle
become. The everyday member knows nothing it, and hooplickers like the Humanis Policlub and
of their anti-metahuman agenda; they just get their racist ilk make it easy to use without moral
the pro-human side, until they are welcomed into complications.

<< TROG ENEMIES 123


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

The main thing to know about this group is you the point, if we want to work against these moral
will run into them. They have a presence in almost catfish, we need to shine more light on the indi-
every reasonably inhabited part of the world, and viduals involved, because the whole isnt going to
they arent shy in their activities. They spend every crumble just because we bad-mouth them. With
waking hour working to make trogs lives more dif- that method in mind, I offer up these first five sac-
ficult, so sooner or later, thats going to affect you. rifices. Hit the shadows and start bringing them
Universities and public forums are full of debate down. Anyone want more profiles, hit me up pri-
about the best way to handle them. Ignore them vate and we can talk.
and hope theyll go away? Engage in preventative Altus Moorhead is currently heading up re-
strikes and hope that for once, violence wont be- search on genomic specific viruses with Ares
get violence? Clearly, I dont have a simple answer. America. Hes currently based in Detroit but ven-
I can tell you this, thoughindividuals and com- tures to several of Ares most classified research
munities often reach a point where they need to facilities around the globe, including one located
show what they stand for if they want to contain in the Redmond Barrens in the Seattle Metroplex.
virulent hate, or someday eliminate it. You better Prior to this, he worked for Transys-Neuronet, un-
be ready to take action when that point comes if der the direct supervision of the dragon, but was
you dont want to get steamrolled for good. extracted in 74. Rumor has it Celedyr found out he
was HN affiliated, and Moorhead bolted before he
> Hate groups get weakened the same way any group could end up on the menu.
gets weakenedwhen they lose leadership and they
lose funding. Thats why there are so many campaigns
> Why didnt Celedyr share that information with Ares?
to expose corporate bigwigs who are funneling money
> Nephrine
to Humanisshame them into stopping, and the lack of
cash flow is going to have an effect. Hate is a lot more
appealing when its comfortablewhen its starving, it
> Who says he didnt? Im not saying Ares endorses is pro-
HN stance, but as long as he produces value for the corp,
doesnt have nearly the allure.
theyll look the other way. So if youre going to trash him,
> Snopes
revealing his affiliation is not enoughyou have to show
how he might end up losing the corp more value than he
HUMAN NATION creates.
> Cosmo
POSTED BY: TARGOD
Mentioned above, the Human Nation is a secret Davion Fender operates for the UCAS FBI. He
society of the most powerful meta-haters in the performs all sorts of questionable activities, from
world. These are the folks behind mass geno- fixing to hands-on wetwork, and uses his consid-
cide, mandated sterilization efforts, government erable network and black-ops budget to further
destabilization in meta-friendly countries, and the Nations causes. His contempt for trolls and
hundreds of other anti-metahuman efforts that orks is evident in his hiring practices, and theres
arent just about holding trogs down, but ridding a single word etched into the barrel of his Ruger
the world of them. As a secret society, they arent Super Warhawk: Trogslayer.
about open warfare or some kind of public purge. Michael West works as a field trauma special-
Instead, they work in the shadows through any of ist for DocWagon, operating with their HTR units
the hundreds of organizations their members are in particularly meta-heavy neighborhoods. Hes
affiliated with, or the ones they have managed to well-known for targeting local civilians during
gain control of. extractions, and his survival and recovery ratings
These scuzzers arent just after orks and trolls, show a distinct variation between clients of the
but were definitely a bigger focus than the halfers metahuman and human persuasion.
and dandies. The problem with going after them Linda Ann Shoiberg is a NeoNET executive
is that you always look like some conspiracy nut who works out of their St. Louis office. Shes going
when you talk about groups like this. As if secret to be looking for a new boss soon, and this would
societies cant stay secret in this mega-informa- be a great time to ruin her reputation as she tries
tion age. Information is all controlled by the me- to transition. Most corporate speculation has been
gas, and these guys control the megas. More to on a smooth transition over to Spinrad, but word

124 TROG ENEMIES >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

on street is shell encounter a whole lot of bumps > Want to move against Clovus? Be real careful about how
if she tries to move in that direction. A lot of forces you communicate your moves and plans. It wont be
are working against that, groups that smart run- enough to just not mention her nameshe has a lot of
ners could work with to bring down Shoiberg while agents running complicated algorithms to see if she can
shes stretched thin trying to make a transition. detect any movement toward her by known Johnsons
Caitlyn Clovus works for Evo. Yup, Evo. Shes or runner teams. So you might need to go old school for
not even completely human. She SURGEd back in some of your communications if you want to avoid giving
the early 60s and actually hides it from her HN her advance word of your plans.
compadres by doing all of her work via the Ma- > Netcat
trix. Remember when all those troll-modified rifles
that Petrovski was using malfunctioned, leading to
a bunch of injuries and deaths? That was her. She PALADIN
hacked the code for the production facility, im-
planted a manufacturing flaw, and covered up her
HEALTH AND
tracks. Easy enough from the inside. Shes a damn MEDICAL GROUP
good hacker and has made sure to erase every bit
of evidence that shes not fully human from the POSTED BY: TARGOD
Matrix. She works off of a Yamatetsu Naval cruiser This medical corporation is a puppet of the Hu-
that Evo uses for biological research, so she has a man Nation. Runners in Manhattan and Denver
great reason for no one to ever meet her in person. have been part of some seriously unpleasant op-

<< TROG ENEMIES 125


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

erations involving Paladin that should have been


worldwide news but in the end didnt even make
ALAMOS 20K
more than a few conspiracy blogs. These were
POSTED BY: TYCHO
operations costing hundreds of millions of nuy-
These psychos are most famous for wrecking the
en and affecting thousands of metahumans, but
Sears Tower, which honestly didnt really help their
after being exposed by runners, Paladin did little
cause because it gave ghouls a place to live and
more than transfer several key assets, disappear a
killed far more humans than metas, but no one
few others, and silence the occasional news-hack
ever said they were that bright. Since then, theyve
looking to expose a major conspiracy. Which is
kept up the attack. They havent pulled of anything
a nice notion, but the problem is that the peo-
quite so large, but Ill give them a point for their in-
ple behind these conspiracies control everything,
crease in focus if for no other reason than it means
and many members of the Human Nation have
they arent killing as many innocent civilians.
gained themselves quite powerful positions in
Theyve got the typical terrorist group cell-style
pretty much every mega on the planet.
organization. Individual groups are in charge of their
The problem for us is that these clinics, hospi-
own acts, but they receive the occasional orders
tals, doctors offices, and medical research facili-
from on high. The localized groups vary in how suc-
ties have been opening up in cities all over the
cessful they are at mucking up life for us metas, but
world. Every one of them is supported by the Pal-
when they coordinate, nothing good comes of it.
adin Health and Medical Group on paper, but that
Their current targets are the regularsMoM
group itself is supported through philanthropic
and SoS meetings, meta-friendly stores and corps,
donations from megacorps, private citizens, and
as well as embassies for meta-friendly nations like
independent organizations. To add a full slap in
the Trs and Azania. But my sources in the shad-
the face, they have PR guys at both Aztechnolo-
ows are saying they have a few more interesting
gy and Horizon boosting their reputation, thanks
targets in mind. So, thanks for letting me drop this
to several key HN members within those corps.
info here on what those targets may be. Lets stop
While these clinics have been proven to engage in
the attacks before they happen, and then make
eugenics and genocide as far as the shadows are
these fraggers pay.
concerned, in mainstream culture Paladin doesnt
Seattle Underground: I know, big place, but
even have a smudge of dirt on them.
they are literally targeting the whole thing. Theyre
Basic guideline for any meta out there: Avoid
gathering plans and layouts of the whole place
these places. The free healthcare they offer will be
and looking for the best few spots to hit to bring it
your death, or worse, the death of future genera-
down, or the best place to release a toxin that will
tions. Runners, meta and human alike should burn
wipe out as many residents as possible. Its a huge
this place. Maybe you can go easy on the lesser
undertaking, and I havent heard a timeframe, but I
staff, but do a little digging in advance and you
know a lot of runners are being hired for jobs in the
can find out just how many of these fraggers have
Underground and being asked to wear monitors
HP memberships. Theyre complicit in some way
that map every place they go. Alongside those,
with killing our kind. For them, frag mercy.
Renraku hosts are getting hit for the engineering
data theyre gathering on the Underground as they
> One of Paladins problemsfrom their point of view
is that their work is overly slow and narrowly focused. try to make it safer now that its its own district.
Sterilizing orks and trolls is great for limiting future
generations, but it doesnt do much about the ones > Ive been contacted by a half dozen Mr. Johnsons looking
currently in front of you. Plus, they primarily affect the for strange stuff that may have to do with this. Water
trogs who come into their clinics, meaning they cant do access to the Underground, submersible and diving trips
much to non-patients. Their research division is keen on to run tests along the shore downtown on the down-low.
changing this, which means they are very much looking Suffice it to say, Tychos not making this up.
into what kind of final solutions they can devise. If > Sounder
anyone needs to be stopped, its the ones working on that.
> Thorn ACHE: The former Renraku Arcology is another
Seattle target thats being scoped. Now that a lot of
> Finally, a Nazi comparison that isnt over-wrought. it acts as low-income housing for the city, its be-
> Pistons coming heavily populated with metas, particularly

126 TROG ENEMIES >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

orks and trolls. Several sections of the arcology are because a falling building would trash the lower levels
being modified for the bulkier inhabitants, by the and choke out all the people who actually work up above.
bulkier inhabitants (and some dwarves), but not > 2XL
with authorization from the metroplex. The ACHE
is a massive patch of the Wild West in the heart of > Hence the attack on the tower. They dont care about
downtown, serving mostly as a cage for everyone Truman, but they can wipe out the metas who live below
inside, but the metroplex still wouldnt be keen on by kicking over this corporate giant.
the place being restructured without professional > Glitch
help. Those reconstructed and possibly-not-up-to-
code areas are on the agenda for some attention > Considering there are still probably hives down there, its
not that big a loss. Bug City needs to just be written off.
from these racist fragsacks.
Like Boston. No ones trying to open that mess back up.
They should have left Chicago the same way.
> Id worry about the ACHE if I didnt know the crazy fraggers
> Clockwork
who live inside that place. Half of em are so feral theyd
probably smell trouble coming. Ive try to get into and
around that place for legitimate runs, and its not easy.
> Except people are, in fact, pushing to re-open Boston.
Might even happen by the end of the year. Could be time
Alamos nutbags got no chance.
for you to get caught up on the situation over there.
> Mika
> Snopes

Hoodville: The Chicago CZ seems like an odd


place to hit, but this little patch has been growing KENNETH
for years. It was started by a runner named Hooda
smoothie, but a good one. Its a haven for the down-
BRACKHAVEN
trodden, and Hood used a lot of ork muscle to get
POSTED BY: BULLSEYE
it started. That attracted more orks, especially ones
Some jobs are just too good to be true. Bull tapped
who didnt like the violent life of the Horde, which
me to dig into and keep some tabs on Kenny B as
sadly has finally attracted the attention of the Ala-
he fled Seattle with his tail between his legs. This
mos fraggers. Theyve had plenty of troubles and
was like a dream come true. Working for a real
threats over the past two years, so they arent soft
legend, bringing him back some great news, and
targets, but they are the kind of place that Alamos
maybe getting a shot at some more work in the
can go after in a very loud and flashy way.
big leagues. Well, heres to hoping its the efforts
and not the results that matter.
> For those interested in this kind of thing, Hoodville has a
hacker school, or should I say sk001, run by a troll decker Brackhaven slipped out of Seattle with all but
name of 3D. He joined Hoods crew early on and took one of his properties on the market or sold, his port-
to the city like a fish to water. Even made himself some folio heavily liquidated, and rumors of some seri-
powerful enemies. ously secure new cribs all over the Carib League. I
> Bull followed alongits not hard, he has quite the en-
tourage and security detail everywhere he goes.
Truman Tower: Can you tell where I spend a Almost like he knows hes a dirtbag piece of drek
lot of my time? The tower has been back up and who people would love to see dead.
running for years. Trumans people got back in al- Sorry, you want info, not editorial.
most as fast as Ares in order to regain control of He made a few stops. Chicago, DeeCee,
their megatower in the Core. The thing about tar- Manhattan, Atlanta, Miami, and then cruised
geting this one is that it would give them the kind out on his new yacht, a fragging Blohm & Voss
of notoriety they gained from bringing down the Neo 111. I managed to get a team of runners to
Sears Tower and then some. With the tower peak- drop a tag on him and sat-tracked it out to Ack-
ing out at over 1,400 meters, if Alamos can bring it lins Island. His boat has moved around the Car-
down like they did the Sears, theyll wreck the Core ib, but hes been primarily operating out of his
and wipe out the rebuilding process in Chicago. compound on Acklins. The problem is, physical
location means squat these days, and Brackhav-
> Any tower down there that gets hit would bring the whole en managed to purchase his own geostationary
place down. Not because theyd fall like dominoes, but satellite before departing. He and his electronic

<< TROG ENEMIES 127


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

specialists used that sat to get back to the grids


of the real world.
UCAS SENATOR
Safe on his secluded island (sorry, no volcano), CARTER BANES
Brackhaven is using his immense liquid wealth
and ever-growing investment income to make the POSTED BY: BROOKS CANE
lives of meta-friendly powers all over the world a When it comes to politicians, sometimes its re-
living hell. ally hard to tell the difference between being
Let me clue you in about some of his modus racist, supporting racists, or simply being overly
operandi these days. Remember that hes clear of ambitious with ideas that, while they think theyre
any need to act like hes anything other than him- great and super beneficial, theyre really just pro-
self. He can indulge his darkest impulse. So: Re- moting racism in disguise.
member that mugger that hit you up recently, Bull? Thats not Banes. Hes completely aware of his
The one with no tech on his person? You thought racist nature, though no one else seems to be. He
he was a bum, but he managed to get the drop plays at the ambitious type, and he veils his racist
on you. Tagged you with a trio of zappers, one of agenda in some of the most beneficial-sounding
which happened to hit your deck and fry it despite bills and proposals in the Senate. He doesnt even
the fact that it looks like nothing special. That was hide his plans to create troll reservations in the fine
Brackhaven. Or at least, one of his people. As if print of some other bill; instead he puts it right out
hed stoop to touching a trog himself. there and just paints it as an amazing, picturesque
place that is built for trolls to fit in and feel at home.
> Frag. I missed the connection. Still working on tweaking a While some people scream out across the Ma-
new rig, but thats no excuse. Thanks, Bullseye. trix or shout from the highest tower that this is
> Bull just like what happened to the Native Americans,
they get quickly silenced. Mostly by others who
Bulls not alone in getting targeted. Hes been point out the Natives current state and use it to
messing with Dana Oaks thanks to her support invalidate any concerns. Or, more often, the UCAS
for Prop 23 and the Underground; Gary Gray for sysops or black baggers come along and wipe
pushing trolls into the spotlight as non-monsters; the dissension from their shadows. Words in this
former Senator Samantha Payne for reasons Im world only carry so much weight.
not quite sure of; half the princes of the Tr, likely This issue isnt the only one on his agenda, and
for just being elves; and a copious number of oth- he runs a lot of black-book operations in order to
ers that it makes me wonder if hes trying to see keep his bills and his concerns at the top of the
how many he can piss off and take on. screamsheet feed. Efforts to offer extensive incen-
Thing is, hes doing it slick. Nothing overt. Hes tives to corporate prisons in order to lease out their
masking his hirings, bouncing everything through inmates, which contain a disproportionate amount
shells and proxies, and doing a damn good job of of orks, for work programs have already seen suc-
it. Only reason Ive been able to gather this much cess. Problem is, no one read the fine print, or at
is the tag I pinged him with gave me a few months least no one cared that it also offered up subjects
of access to his local system on the island. I spent for medical testing in exchange for sentence reduc-
a few months in a less-than-comfortable sardine tions. Plenty of unwitting orks saw a chance to get
can surfacing at night to hack in and then dipping back out to their families and signed up. Then, on
down and rolling out at night to keep from getting the inside, these prisoners were targeted for viola-
spotted. Came close once when I didnt notice his tions that tacked on time to their sentence. Which
Neo 111 blazing home from Miami. often didnt matter because the medical testing
usually left them sick, dying, or dead. Its all put
> Hes using Humanis a lot, but worse is his access to together under the table by Bates and his admin-
The Flaming Sword, which is The Human Nations istration and then executed with shadowrunners
elite goon squad. Professional psychopaths and killers and HP lackeys that inhabit both sides of the penal
every one of them. structure. Its still going on. No one hears the pleas
> Balladeer
of the inmates, except their poor families, that were
usually the reason for their lucrative criminal activi-
ties, and nothing seems to be changing.

128 TROG ENEMIES >>


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> If you dont know who is in charge of this medical testing, be made in the shadows of DeeCee if you are will-
you havent read the whole download. ing to burn a bunch of it at the end to get a new
> Butch life. DeeCee is full of a bunch of guys holding dirt
on everyone else. Spew it all onto the Matrix, and
> I hate Bates. But I hate those who side with Bates or blindly not only will you burn the politicians, but youll
follow him even more.You need votes to get bills through, burn your rep. Though in the process youre going
and votes come your way through political maneuvering to start a whole new shadow war between all the
or getting dirt on your fellow politicians to shove them up and comers, so business after that will be great
in the right direction. Bates is a master of this. He stages for your fellow runners.
most of it, but politicians, especially the younger ones, I side-tracked myself a little there. Lets wrap
just walk right into his plots. We do most of the work for up idea number three on this note: Help all of
him, too. Often getting double-crossed, or sent up the those other senators that Banes had in his pock-
river, or tossed into the river, for our services. et get some leverage on Banes, and the balance
> Mihoshi Oni of power will shift. Theyll no longer be politically
motivated to help his racist agendas. Make sure
> Money rules the shadows. Were here for that lucrative
you target the right ones. Some are just as racist
criminal income hes on about. I know many here on
as Banes and will vote the same way he does on
JackPoint have squirreled away enough to pick and
bills that hurt metahumans. Best targets are sena-
choose, or have gotten to the point where they can play
tors with big-city connections. These are the ones
the high-and-mighty card, but most of us in the shadows
still need to pay our bills and take whatever job Johnson
that usually have a worldlier view of things, a view
offers. that probably came with the acquisition of abun-
> Chainmaker dant skeletons in their closets. Good thing is, were
looking to help with that in order to get rid of this
Im a solutions guy as well, so Ill offer some racist sack of drek.
ideas on how to get rid of Banes. Ive got three.
One, prevent his re-election. This is a multi-part ATLANTA MAYOR
plan. His constituents need to really get to know
this guy. We see and hear all the mudslinging that SHEILA MARTIN
goes on during elections, but all of that is still mod-
erated to a point. We in the shadows dont need POSTED BY: ORKLANTA
to filter what we deliver to the voting public. Nor While a lot of people in the world kept a focus on
are we really forced to verify our sources. Or even Brackhavena presidential run will do thatMay-
tell the truth. A smear campaign across the public or Sheila Martin has been just as good at clean-
grid in Iowa, or even the states grid (its not much ing up the racial balance of her city without all
better than the public one) would be a good start, the publicity. Theres even a small part of me that
though some convincing dirt to sling might need could call her a hero for our people thanks to the
to be gathered or imagined beforehand. The sec- success of Sweetwater Creek. The problem is, we
ond part is the tougher one. Banes has run basi- made that a success only after she pushed ev-
cally unopposed for several terms. He needs com- eryone out that way to die. It was a lucky side ef-
petition. There are plenty of politicians who want fect for us, not her intention. She wanted another
a crack at his seatthey just need a little shadow ghetto to send in the jack-boots, but thats hard to
assistance getting the dirt on opponents so they do when Sweetwater actually contracts another
can get the nod to run against Banes. Another part security company to police them.
is dealing with Banes support structure. Hes got Mayor Martin is best known in Atlanta for her
a lot of dirt on folks. We need to clean up or gain efforts to promote orks and trolls to leave the city
access to his dirt collection and help his enemies proper. Its not like she posts signs that say Trogs
or burn them, so they in turn burn him. Get Out! but it worked out the same. Much of her
Suggestion two connects with the last aspect efforts come to fruition through taxes and zoning
of part one. Get access to the dirt he has on his requirements that inhibit the bulkier metatypes
fellow senators, and either help them mitigate the from owning property or being allowed into es-
damage from the info, or light everyone up and tablishments because the owners arent willing
pin the leaks on Banes. There is a lot of money to to eat the expense for getting zoned for atypical

<< TROG ENEMIES 129


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

metahuman body structure and mass variations > As a side point, those runners should probably be human.
in their construction and design. All of this is por- Makes it a lot easier to avoid being noticed around Mayor
trayed as being for the safety of the orks and trolls, Martin. Her entourage isnt very diverse and her security
but its used to get them outor not let them in. Id has no desire for diversity in her presence.
love to claim that not everyone who follows these > Bull
rules and laws are actively trying to keep out or
push out trogs, but really they are. There are plenty > Yeah, no. Aint no humans riding in to save the day. This
of ways around the rule, the easiest being a grand- is a trog cause, should be trog-led. Im sure well need to
father clause to allow operation outside those use some humans in certain roles, but most of us have
rules, but no one uses it or even tries. long experience in knowing how to deal with people
who hate us on sight. Its our fight. We should be the
> Thats because looking into those options gets a giant ones to take it on.
bullseye painted on you. Hate groups come a knockin, > 2XL
and the remodels they perform may not help the building

SAFE COMMUNITIES
much while also earning the owner a hefty hospital bill.
> Balladeer

> Dont blame it all on hate groups. A lot of runners use


ORGANIZING
those outfits as scapegoats to cover their tracks. PROJECT
> Clockwork
POSTED BY: SUNSHINE
> Not getting up to their bulldrek code is also no reason Weve covered some of the obvious enemies so
to keep out orks and trolls because of Sweetwater farnow its time to dig into something a little more
Construction. This troll-and-ork construction corp is small, subtle, an organization so skilled in using coded
but they operate cheap, especially when it comes to
languages and dog whistles that many members
bringing buildings up to code.
dont think the organization has anything to do with
> Bull
race at all. And they certainly dont consider them-
selves to be racists. The Safe Communities Organiz-
> Which is because they steal most of their construction
ing Projectusually referred to as SCOPestarted
materials, and their guys have no problem working cheap
in order to stick it to the mayor and her racist cronies. as a community-based organization in Minneapo-
> 0rkCE0 lis-St. Paul, and for the first decade or so of its ex-
istence, it remained a benign and fairly mild-man-
This problem has a cure, and I dont mean ev- nered force in the MSP sprawl. Then, in 2071, Don
eryone moving out to Sweetwater, because thats Marco Fat Cat Catarone was finally taken out by
already a hot zone for trouble. The solution here is one of his rivalsa tough-minded tusker named
simple, but it needs some really complex and skilled Sturk Elgin. Problem was, while Elgin had enough
help to get it done. Someone needs to dig up and guts to take out Catarone, he didnt have the skills
reveal the mayors connections to the Human Na- to lead the mob the way Catarone had, and a lot of
tion. We already have several Paladin facilities, all operations spiraled out of control. There were in-
with political ties to Mayor Martin, around Atlanta, surgencies left and right, competitors who were no
so you know shes connected to their corrupt, me- longer scared of the mob, and all sorts of thievery,
ta-hating hoops. But we know thats not enough. lying, and treachery. Elgin and his primary compet-
We need some serious digging and surveil- itors tried to regain control the only way they knew
lance help from folks with top-notch skills. Thats howby smashing the heads of troublemakers.
part of the reason I agreed to do this little write- This rash of violence unsettled the residents of the
up. Because I knew it would get out to folks with city, and SCOPe rose up to take a more prominent
the skills needed and maybe with an inclination to voice in anti-violence efforts. Then two develop-
take a shadowcation to Atlanta for some work. We ments changed the organization foreverthey re-
have plenty of metahumanitarian philanthropists ceived a major, long-term grant from the Alliance
willing to fund this; we just need runners with the Foundation, and the size of the grant made them
salt to pull it off. bring in new leadership in the form of former Ares
executive Brenda Corenweil.

130 TROG ENEMIES >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

guage. Criminal element is one thingeveryone


> Not for nothing, but the Alliance Foundations endowment
is managed bydrumrollBrackhaven Investments. recognizes what that term is, and who wants that in
> Cosmo their neighborhood? Besides us, I mean. But they
started talking more about keeping our neighbor-
Cornweil saw this new investment as a ticket hoods safe from those who lean toward crime, or
to bigger and better things, and word is she also criminals and potential criminals. When pressed
made a direct connection between the violence about that last term, theyll talk about people with
in MSP and trogs, as it was an ork who started low income, poor educational options, and nega-
and then nurtured the unrest. She used the infu- tive social pressuresthat is, those whose profiles
sion of cash to open new chapters, starting in the make them more likely to be involved in crime. But
MidwestChicago, St. Louis, Milwaukeethen in practice, when used by SCOPe, it almost always
moving eastward to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and refers to orks and trolls. Confront members of the
Philadelphia. She simplified the organizations organizations with this fact, and theyll deny it,
core message to Building Safety, Preserving Peo- saying the term refers to anyone in those circum-
ple, and focused on the concept of establishing stances, and besides, so what if it covers a lot of
orks and trolls? Its not inherently negative. They
safe neighborhoods one block at a time. In each
just want to help these individuals improve their
city SCOPe worked in, they would find a starting
situation. Better neighborhoods with better social
point, of a few square blocks, take measures to
pressures mean fewer potential criminals, right?
enhance safety, then keep building outward from
But then theyll focus on a new block, look at re-
that starting point to make larger safe spots. The
moving the potential criminal element, and a few
is a decently well-established playbook for this
more orks and trolls will find themselves out on
sort of thingpush owners of vacant properties to
their hoop, sometimes just for the crime of being
sell, use rotating loan funds to build and redevel-
short on cash while having tusks and/or horns.
op housing, encourage lots of outdoor activities
So while they might not recognize what they
by residents, that sort of thingbut observers in
are doing, and they certainly wouldnt accept the
multiple cities noticed problematic elements to
label of trog enemy, SCOPe is an organization
SCOPes implementation of some of these ideas.
with a multi-million-nuyen budget who comes
They often spoke about removing the problem
into neighborhoods and steadily removes the
element from neighborhoods, and while this
trogs from them. And they do it with a smile.
mainly included those with criminal records, they
would also work to evict some people who were
> Yeah, theyre almost unfailingly nice and polite, but with
far behind on rent payments to get more reliable that tense smile you see sometimes, you know? Theyll
tenants. Thing was, if you were human, dwarf, or chat you up and shake your hand, but all the while they are
elf, they often managed to look past rent indiscre- making sure they know where you are in relation to their
tions. Trogs, on the other hand, received no for- children, and theyre gathering tension in their shoulders
giveness. that they didnt know was there until they abruptly slump
Plus, SCOPes public comments and press re- those shoulders as you walk away.
leases started using a whole lot more coded lan- > Snopes

<< TROG ENEMIES 131


THE COMPLETE TROG

TROG
RUNNERS
POSTED BY: SUNSHINE 2XL
When I was asked to talk about and interview trolls The troll smuggler is more than just muscle and
and orks in the shadows, I couldnt resist. Every- horns, though this is how he portrays himself until
one remembers the glamorous and pretty. Orks you get to know him. He is charming, talkative,
and trolls are anything but glamorous and pretty. and has a good sense of humor.
Therefore, theyre often overlooked and forgotten.
There are exceptions. Neil the Ork Barbarian > 2XL is talkative? I think youve been riding too much jazz,
Sunshine.
was a big hit who made a fortune for several dif-
ferent actors over the years. In the shadows, its > Netcat

the same way. Everyone talks about the elves and


dragons, because people who are powerful are
> I spoke to several of his contacts and they say once you
get to know him, he opens up. Hell, look at how much hes
revered and feared. The elegant speakers and the posted here. Get him on something he cares about, and
charismatic are remembered, while those in the hes full of information.
trenches are often ignored. For this post, I want > Sunshine
to focus on the orks and trolls who have made a
name for themselves. And were going in-depth When he breaks out the charm, he uses it to
here, beyond the public information you can find put people at ease and make them believe he has
anywhere. Well take a look at how they got where their best interests at heart. Hes a born leader. In
they are, so you really learn who they are and why talking with him, it became evident that he has an
they made it. However, for every person like Bull or anti-human bias; however, hes also a smart busi-
Beaker who is well-known, or at least well-known nessman and realizes he cant let this affect what
in the shadows, there are several others who have he does. I dont know if this attitude is the result
risen above the masses, even if they havent got- of a specific event, or if years of being looked at
ten the same kind of attention yet. Im going to do as the big, dumb trog has made him feel that way.
my part to overcome that injustice and get them
the attention they deserve. Lets start with some > Oh, good. Lets open the door for amateur psychoanalysis.
of the names youve likely at least heard before. I How about this: I have the same strain of tribalism that
hope the information is helpful and insightful. every sentient being ever has had, but like the better ones,
I work to minimize it. Simple enough, right?
> 2XL

CHARACTER STATS 2XL runs guns, drugs, or anything else that will
Note that two sets of character stats are included for most turn a profit, with a focus on working throughout
characters in this sessionone for Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, Western Europe. Last known to be living in Lis-
and one for Shadowrun: Anarchy. bon, Portugal, he maintains a network of contacts
throughout Western Europe and the Mediterra-
nean. Of course, it helps that he speaks most of
the languages.

132 TROG RUNNERS >>


> Anyone can slot a chip and speak the language. This isnt needed, but hes getting older (arent we all?) and
a big deal. at this point prefers to let others do the majority of
> Slamm-0! the work for him.

> He speaks them without a chip, though. Not sure if its > Thats his cover story. He claims to be semi-retired, but I
because he learned them young and is now capitalizing still see him doing plenty of work.
on it, or because he went to the effort so he could make > Traveler Jones
sure he still had his knowledge in case cyberware went
haywire. Impressive either way, I figure. > I get to pick and choose what I work on, so I choose the
> Sunshine good stuff. And I dont talk about that stuff much, because
Im not an idiot.
He speaks the local language to put people at > 2XL
ease and blend inat least as much as a troll ever
can. He got his start working the docks throughout 2XL
the Italian Confederation, and from that he moved MALE TROLL
on to driving trucks into France and Switzerland SR5 STATS
for the Italian Mafia. It was dangerous, but he B A R S W L I C ESS EDG
thought the pay was worth the risk. Soon, he was
9 4 5 (7) 10 5 3 2 4 3.4 3
working contacts and developing his own net-
Initiative 9 + 1D6
work, expanding the influence of his Don. It didnt
Condition Monitor 13/11
take long before he was running the operation in
Limits Physical 12, Mental 5, Social 6
Spain and western France. He grew the network
Armor 12
and was running guns for neo-anarchists through- Active Skills Automatics 5, Automotive Mechanic 5, Blades 8,
out Europe when a hacker working for him sold Clubs 7, Computer 4, Con 8, Demolitions 4, Disguise
him out to Interpol. He barely escaped the trap set 4, Electronic Warfare 3, Etiquette 10, First Aid 6,
for him and went to ground for a while, though he Forgery 5, Gunnery 5, Gymnastics 4, Heavy Weapons
5, Leadership 5, Negotiation 10, Perception 9,
had one piece of business to take care of first. The Performance 4, Pilot Aircraft 4, Pilot Ground Vehicle 8,
man who sold him out was found dead a couple Pistol 6, Unarmed Combat 6
days later, his tongue cut out and missing. Knowledge Skills Border Procedures 6, Customs 6, Smuggling Routes 7
Languages Italian N, French N, German 5, Spanish 7, Portuguese 7
> A typical Mafia response. 2XL might not have had Qualities Bilingual, First Impression, Magical Resistance 2,
anything to do with it other than passing on info about Prejudice (Humans, Biased), SIN (criminal)
who might have blown his cover. Augmentations Control rig 2 (alpha), reaction enhancers 2, simrig,
smartlink, tailored pheromones 2
> Traveler Jones
Gear Armored jacket, GMC Bulldog van, 3 stim patches,
fake SIN (rating 6), Transys Avalon
2XL continues to work for the Mafia, and he has Vehicles GMC Bulldog (Ground Craft, Handl 3/3, Speed 3,
connections throughout the continent. He doesnt Accel 1, Bod 16, Armor 12, Pilot 1, Sensor 2, Seats 6)
do as much of the actual smuggling himself any Weapons Ares Alpha [Assault Rifle, Acc 5(7), DV 11P, AP 2, SA/
more, concentrating more on pulling the strings BF/FA, RC 2, 42 (c), w/ regular ammo]
Grenade launcher [Acc 4(6), DV 16P, AP 2, SS, RC
and coordinating the smuggling operation from , 6(c) w/ high explosive grenades]
a distance. Hell step in and do it himself when Katana [Sword, Acc 7, Reach 1, DV 13P, AP 3]

<< TROG RUNNERS 133


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

2XL as they had just lost theirs. They bought him a cut-
ting-edge deck with the agreement that he would
MALE TROLL
pay them back out of his cut of the jobs they did.
SR: ANARCHY STATS
Before long, he started working on personalized
S A W L C EDG
mini drones he now uses for surveillance, and he
10 4 5 3 4 3 started dabbling at being a rigger.
Condition 13/11 After a decade of running together, the group
Monitor
disbanded following a particularly rough run that
Armor 12
left one dead and two seriously wounded. The
Skills Close Combat 2 + A, Con 5 + C, Negotiation 5 + C, Piloting
Ground 3+ A, Firearms 4 + A, Smuggling Routes (K) groups mage, Kit Kat, accused Clockwork of hav-
Shadow Amps Essence 2.5 ing sold the group out. There was never any hard
Tailored Pheromones (Bioware. Reroll 1 die on all in evidence of it, but she wasand remainsada-
person charisma based rolls, 0.5 essence) mant. This made it impossible for him to find work
Control Rig 3 (Cyberware. Control vehicles by VR, +1 die
vehicle rolls, reroll 3 dice, 2 essence)
in the area. He started freelancing as a surveillance
Reaction Enhancers (Cyberware, +1 Plot point at specialist and once again began moving around.
beginning of combat, 1 Essence) Right about that time, the Emergence hap-
I Know Everybody (Social. Add CHA rating contacts)
pened, and Clockwork immediately developed a
Qualities Street Racer, Silver Tongue, SINer (Criminal)
prejudice against technomancers.
Gear Armored jacket, fake SIN, mechanic toolkit, medkit, GMC
Bulldog [A 12, D 16], Transys Avalon
Weapons Ares Alpha [DV 8P, Close OK, Near OK, Far 2] > Prejudice? Hes an all-out bigot against technomancers.
Katana [DV 13P, Close OK, Near , Far ] Hes threatened my life more than once, and when he
heard that MCT was looking for test subjects, he started

CLOCKWORK working to bring them some. FastJack and I have gone


around several times about how deep his bigotry is, and
Growing up as a minority of one, this hobgoblin why he still has a place here despite it.
hacker knows how difficult being different can be. > Netcat
Not only was he the only hobgoblin in both his
family and his neighborhood, but he wasnt like > Because Im good, and I know things. Jack knew that
most orks he knew in other ways as well. He was those are the only two qualifications that matter.
fascinated by the Matrix, science, and technolo- > Clockwork
gy, not guns and Urban Brawl games like the oth-
ers. Most of his peers ridiculed him, since he was Hes also been doing some bounty hunting, es-
different and didnt enjoy what they did. pecially for what he deems as freaks of nature.
That all changed when the gang that ran in the He knows a lot about vehicles, especially drones,
area, the Nomads, noticed and recruited him. For and is constantly working to stay on the cutting
edge. It was while doing some of this research that
once, he felt like he belonged. He quickly made
he came to the attention of the legendary Fast-
himself useful to the Nomads in a number of ways,
Jack, who invited him as a guest poster to weigh
including providing overwatch for the gang as
in about a new technology and point out the ad-
they ran drugs and helping them them break into
vantages and flaws of new RFID technologies. It
the stash house of one of their chief rivals, the
wasnt long before he was posting regularly about
Hombres, an all-human Hispanic gang. He easily
different technologies and science.
defeated their Matrix security and maglocks, and
Clockwork still runs the shadows and has made
the advantage of surprise they had made the at- some enemies, but so far he has managed to stay
tack gratifyingly simple. The only problem was, at least one step ahead of them. As with techno-
the Hombres quickly figured out that the Nomads mancers, he is very vocal in his hatred of head cas-
were behind the raid and retaliated by killing most es. He has openly admitted to fulfilling bounties
of the gang and running off the rest. At that point, for MCT to get them head case patients for study.
Clockwork knew he had no future there and left
town before the Hombres caught up with him. > And you know what? Lots of people see me as a hero for
He moved from place to place, doing odd jobs those efforts, because the threat the head cases offer is
and honing his hacking skills. Soon he was noticed tangible. If I were you, Id get on board and see me as a
by a group of runners who needed a new decker, hero because of my attitude about technomancers, too,

134 TROG RUNNERS >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

because that threat will eventually make itself clear. Its CLOCKWORK
better to be right sooner rather than later.
MALE HOBGOBLIN
> Clockwork
SR: ANARCHY STATS
> I may be right about one thing, therefore Im probably S A W L C EDG
right about another, separate thing is an argument with
7 4 4 5 3 4
no intellectual foundation.
Condition 12/10
> Winterhawk
Monitor
Armor 9
> I guess thats more eloquent than the fuck you I was Skills Hacking 5 + L, Piloting (Ground) 4 + A, Piloting (other) 4 +
going to type. A, Electronics 5 + L, Engineering 4 + L, Tracking 4 +L
> Netcat Shadow Amps Essence 4
MCT Fly-spy Aerial Drone (drone, +2 dice to perception
CLOCKWORK test)
Control Rig 2 (Cyberware. Control vehicle in VR, +1 die
MALE HOBGOBLIN to vehicle actions, reroll 2 dice vehicle actions, 2
Essence)
SR5 STATS Cyberdeck 2 (Cyberware. Reroll 1 die on Matrix actions,
B A R S W L I C ESS EDG Firewall +2, Matrix Condition Monitor 9, may run 1
program)
6 4 5 7 4 5(8) 4 3 2.9 5
Exploit (Program. Reroll 2 dice on non-cybercombat
Initiative 9 + 1D6 Matrix action)
Condition Monitor 11/10 Qualities Codeslinger, Hawkeye, Emotional Attachment (dislike of
Limits Physical 9, Mental 5(8), Social 4 technomancers)
Armor 12 Gear MCT Blue defender, Toyota Gopher Truck [A 9, D 14],
Active Skills Aeronautics Mechanic 4, Armorer 5, Automatics 5, Fairlight Caliban, fake SIN
Automotive Mechanic, Blades 3, Computer 9, Con 4, Weapons Ares Predator V [DV 6P, Close OK, Near 2, Far ]
Cybercombat 7, Demolitions 5, Disguise 4, Electronic
Warfare 8, First Aid 6, Gunnery 7, Gymnastics 6,
Hacking 11, Hardware 9, Locksmith 4, Negotiation 3,
Perception 9, Pilot Aircraft 7, Pilot Ground Vehicle 8,
WILLIAM BULL
Pistol 6, Sneaking 3, Software 8, Throwing Weapons MACCALLISTER
5, Tracking 6
Knowledge Skills Auto Models 5, Chemistry 3, Drone Manufacturers 4, Do I really need to intro this guy? For a long time
Matrix Security 6, Physics 5, Software Developers 5, his tag line was The best ork decker youve never
UCAS Politics 3 met, but weve all met him. We function under
Languages English N (Cityspeak +2) his benevolent dictatorship, with him playing bad
Qualities Analytical Mind, Juryrigger, Prejudice
cop to Glitchs good cop and Slamm-0!s cha-
(technomancers, radical)
Augmentations Cerebral booster 3, control rig 2 (betaware), math
os cop, if thats a thing. So rather than skim the
SPU, simrig, smartlink surface of the man, lets get info straight from his
Gear Armored jacket, automotive toolkit, electronics toolkit, mouth, in the form of a recent conversation I had
fake SIN (Rating 6), Fairlight Caliban, Shaiwese with him.
Cyber-5 (8 7 6 5), Programs (Armor, Baby Monitor,
Biofeedback Filter, Browse, Edit, Encryption, Hammer,
Signal Scrub, Toolbox, Wrapper), MCT Drone Web Sunshine: Thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Vehicles Eurocar Westwind 3000 (Ground Craft, Handl 6/4, I appreciate your time.
Speed 7, Accel 3, Bod 10, Armor 8, Pilot 3, Sensor Bull: Well, I couldnt hide behind being the new
5, Seats 2) guy like I tried to when FastJack did the Street Leg-
Lockheed Optic-X2 (Small Drone, Handl 4, Speed 4,
Accel 1, Bod 4, Armor 4, Pilot 3, Sensor 3)
ends file.
4 x MCT Fly-Spy (Minidrone, Handl 4, Speed 3, Accel 2, Sunshine: No, not since youre now one of the
Body 1, Armor 0, Pilot 3, Sensor 3) moderators. Why dont you start from the begin-
Toyota Gopher (Ground Craft, Handl 5/5, Speed 4, Accel
ning?
2, Bod 14, Armor 10, Pilot 1, Sensor 2, Seats 3)
Weapons AK-97 [Assault Rifle, Acc 5, 10P, AP 4, SA/BF/FA, RC
Bull: Okay. But only a sketch, since no one needs
, 38(c), w/ APDS ammo smartlink] to know all the details. My parents were killed by
Ares Predator V [Heavy Pistol, Acc 5(7), DV 8P, AP 1, Alamos 20,000 in the attack on the Sears Tower
SA, RC , 15(c), w/ regular ammo] in 2039. Everyone thought I was dead, too. When
you dont have an active SIN, no one knows youre
alive. I was human at that point. When I goblinized

<< TROG RUNNERS 135


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

a few years later, I found out that life could get made contacts throughout the shadow communi-
worse. No one is as mean as teenage orphans. I ty. Then the deal with the devil caught up to us.
had to figure out at a pretty young age how to rely Some of my team, including Johnny, died. It was
on myself, and what I was going to do to survive. time to cash out. I took my family and we moved
It became clear pretty quickly that I had no future out of the city. Life was a dream. When FastJack
in corporate society. It was either become a crimi- first came calling about this VPN he was setting up,
nal or become Batman. I didnt have a fortune and I told him I wasnt interested.
look I silly in tights, so my choice was kind of made
for me. > Im not surprised. If youre not going to be using the
Sunshine: So you started on a path that took information posted here, why bother with it? It would just
you into the shadows. be a hassle.
Bull: It all started on the streets of Chicago, be- > Dr. Spin
fore it became Bug City. Me and my crew were
running the shadows and failing or fragging up as > But Jack had to know that. Im surprised he didnt have
a better sales pitch ready right off the bat. I dont think
much as we succeeded. Our reputation was me-
he would have thought Bull would join out of altruism or
diocre at best. Things all changed with the vid-
anything.
eo, which still wasnt our best moment, but it got
> Slamm-0!
us known. We pissed off a bad guy, Kyle Morgan,
when I hacked his slush fund and then tried to Then my kidsRebecca and William Jr., who were
frame him for the theft to Aztechnology, who was the focus of my lifewanted to move to Seattle.
funding his operation. He decided to get even by Reba wanted to go to the University of Washington.
kidnapping friends and family and recording it on Billy wanted to follow in my footsteps, and Seattle
trideo. was the place to prove yourself. The dream quickly
shattered when Reba was killed by the Mayan Cut-
> Thats total trid villain stuff. I guess if its effective, you ter copycat. Killed in the Ork Underground, even.
dont worry so much about it being clich
The talent I recruited found him and brought him to
> /dev/grrl
me, and I let my wife pull the trigger. After that, I got
involved with the Orks Rights Committee and their
> Yeah, we had more pressing things on our minds than
fight to get the Ork Underground recognized as a
whether his artistic cred was up to snuff.
district in Seattle. Not as involved as some people
> Bull
would have liked, but involved.
On top of this, we had to solve riddles to track
> Bull for governor!!!
down and save them while at the same time dodg-
> Slamm-0!
ing death traps.
We didnt know it was happening, but some of > No. Still no. Not ever.
the footage of us tackling this problem got out, > Bull
and some people who matter saw it. It did more
for our rep than the whole year of running we had I did it in honor of Reba. She was so giving of
done up until then. A couple years later, someone her time for any cause and was especially passion-
released a series of games portraying our runs. ate about ork rights and the recognition of the Ork
We got some minor-league fame, which is both Underground.
a blessing and a curse. People come looking for Sunshine: At some point you had a change of
yousometimes to hire you, sometimes to chal- heart and signed up to JackPoint. You even are one
lenge you, sometimes to try to arrest you. of the admins. What changed your mind?
Not long after that, Bug City happened, and Bull: Billy being in the biz, maybe. I dont know.
we all had to run for our lives. We didnt get out I couldnt run still, but I started working forming
initially, so we ended up trapped inside the CZ. contacts. I wanted to be able to look out for the
Eventually, we managed to find a way outit took kid. At least until he supplants me as the best ork
us a year to get us and our families safe, but we decker around, which might be sooner than Id like
made it. Or most of us did at least. After that, I to admit. And Im setting up runs for other people,
moved around. I was active with Shadowland and too, so its good to keep my ear to the ground.

136 TROG RUNNERS >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

Sunshine: Whats next? deckers are better positioned to do than almost anyone
Bull: Being one of the admins on JackPoint takes else in the shadows). Does the confrontation help sort
up a lot of my time. Especially when one of the out the racists right off the bat, or does it raise peoples
other admins acts about as mature and focused as hackles when a lower-key approach might ease them into
a gnat sometimes. a position of more tolerance? At present, I dont have
enough evidence on either side to say whats best.
> I know way more baseball stats than any gnat youve ever > Fianchetto
met.
> Slamm-0! > Its better to find out who people are as soon as possible
than wait around for them to sneak their racism up on
you.
Sunshine: Lets talk a little about the primary
subject at handbeing a trog. First, how do you > 2XL

feel about that word?


Bull: Ive never had a problem with taking WILLIAM BULL
something that was thrown at me and shoving it MACCALLISTER
right back in the aggressors face. MALE ORK
Sunshine: Was that one of the reasons for your SR5 STATS
best ork decker youve never met tagline? B A R S W L I C ESS EDG
Bull: Damn straight. I wanted it out there, front 8 4 5(8) 6 4 6(9) 4 5 4.19 6
and center, that Im an ork. If you were going to
Initiative 12 + 4D6
have a problem with it, then let me know as soon Condition Monitor 12/10
as you see the tagline. I guess I shouldnt be sur- Limits Physical 9(10), Mental 7(9), Social 7
prised at the number of people who did let me Armor 12
know, especially in the early days. It was kind of Active Skills Automatics 7, Automotive Mechanic 7, Blades
amazing how comfortable people felt about tell- 6, Clubs 7, Computer 11, Cybercombat (IC) 10
(+2), Disguise 4, Electronic Warfare 9, Etiquette 8
ing you that orks couldnt be good deckers.
(Matrix +2), First Aid 3, Gymnastics 5, Hacking 13,
Sunshine: How much fun did you have proving Hardware 10, Heavy Weapons 7 (Assault Cannon +2),
them wrong? Leadership 5, Longarms 7, Negotiation 9, Perception
Bull: So much fun. Look, one of the secrets of 7, Pilot Ground Vehicle 7, Palming 4, Pistols 8
(Revolvers +2), Running 7, Sneaking 4, Software 10,
deckingor maybe its not really a secretis that Swimming 4, Unarmed Combat 4
its just about the best profession for people who Knowledge Skills Chicago Area 9, Chicago Street Gangs 7, Comic
want to get revenge. Yeah, street sammies can go Books 6, Computer Hardware 9, Computer Software
and punch people in the face, but bruises fade and 10, Corporate Security 7, Insect Spirits 10, Matrix
Security 10, Ork Underground 6, Police Procedures 4
people recover. When youre a decker, you can go Seattle Area 4, Seattle Politics 6, Seattle Street Gangs
for the quick-and-easy revenge of frying a com- 3, Shadowrunner Lore 9, 20th Century Sci-Fi 6
mlink or something, or you can have more fun. Languages English N, Sioux 4, Japanese 4, Spanish 3
You can dig up personal dirt on people and share Qualities Allergy (Moderate, Gold), Aptitude (Hacking),
it with those they would least like to see it. You can Exceptional Attribute (Logic), Trog Leader
Augmentations Datajack (x2), cerebral booster 3, math SPU, synaptic
ruin their credit. You can impersonate them online
booster 3, smartlink
in all sorts of ways. You can keep tormenting them Gear Armored jacket, AR contacts (w/ image link,
for years, decades after they first crossed you. You thermographic vision, vision magnification, vision
can make sure they never forget the lesson they enhancement 3), Fairlight Caliban, Fairlight Excalibur
(9,8,7,6), programs (Armor, Baby Monitor, Biofeedback
should have learned early.
Filter, Browse, Edit, Encryption, Hammer, Signal
Sunshine: All of this doesnt sound hypothetical. Scrub, Toolbox, Wrapper)
Are there people from your early days as a decker Vehicles Eurocar Westwind 3000 (Ground Craft, Handl 6/4,
that youre still teaching lessons to? Speed 7, Accel 3, Bod 10, Armor 8, Pilot 3, Sensor
5, Seats 2)
Bull: Only the really obnoxious ones.
Lockheed Optic-X2 (Small Drone, Handl 4, Speed 4,
Accel 1, Bod 4, Armor 4, Pilot 3, Sensor 3)
> Theres likely more detailed analysis to be done about 4 x MCT Fly-Spy (Minidrone, Handl 4, Speed 3, Accel 2,
the merits of putting your metatype in peoples face and Body 1, Armor 0, Pilot 3, Sensor 3)
Toyota Gopher (Ground Craft, Handl 5/5, Speed 4, Accel
making them deal with it versus showing what you can
2, Bod 14, Armor 10, Pilot 1, Sensor 2, Seats 3)
do and then revealing your metatype later (something
Weapons Ruger Super Warhawk [Heavy Pistol, Acc 5, DV 9P,
AP 6, SS, RC , 6(cy), w/ APDS ammo]
Panther XXL [Assault Cannon, Acc 5(7), DV 17P, AP
6, SS, RC , 15(c), w/ regular ammo]

<< TROG RUNNERS 137


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

WILLIAM BULL
MACCALLISTER
MALE ORK

SR: ANARCHY STATS


S A W L C EDG
6 4 4 6 5 5
Condition 12/10
Monitor
Armor 9
Skills Hacking 6 + L, Electronics 6 + L, Firearms 4 + A, Heavy
Weapons 4 + A, Negotiation 5 + C, Bug Spirits (K)
Shadow Amps Essence 5
Cyberdeck 4 (Matrix. May reroll 2 dice on matrix actions,
Firewall +3, Matrix CM 12, run 2 programs at a time)
Hammer (Program. +2 dice to cybercombat)
Datajack and Headware (Cyberware. May access
Matrix in full VR+1 die matrix actions, 1 Essence)
Track (Program. May reroll 2 dice on Matrix track
actions)
Qualities Codeslinger, Fame (Matrix), Allergy (Gold)
Gear Commlink (Fairlight Caliban), fake SIN, GMC Bulldog [A
12, D 16], medkit
Weapons Ruger Super Warhawk [DV 6P, Close OK, Near 2, Far ]
Panther XXL Assault cannon [DV 12P, Close OK, Near OK,
Far OK; at close and near range character can take
damage, too, at GM discretion]

BEAKER
Beakers one of the technical experts here on
JackPoint. She was born in 2035 to two troll
parents in Newark, New Jersey, still a sprawling
metroplex of its own despite being just outside
the corporate enclave of Manhattan. Her father
worked as a janitor in an Ares office building,
while her mother waited tables and did odd jobs
to supplement their meager income. While they
didnt live in the slums or in poverty, the family
struggled to make ends meet every month. The
younger of two children, Beaker enjoyed tech-
nology and watched any trid documentaries she
could find when the trid subscription was work-
ing. Her older brother, meanwhile, joined the Hal-
loweeners and was killed in a gang scuffle just af-
ter she turned twelve. Their mother, Jessica, never
recovered from her grief over his death and died
within the year. Jack, her father, swore to make
sure his daughter got a better life. He worked
to nurture her interest in technology, especially
chemistry, and pushed her to do her best.
She graduated from high school in the top ten
of her class. After she received several rejections
and almost gave up hope, she was accepted to
the University of Albany, where she graduated

138 TROG RUNNERS >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. BEAKER


Getting a job was about as difficult as getting into FEMALE TROLL
collegeshe applied unsuccessfully for a number
SR5 STATS
of positions, eventually obtaining a job with Hen-
B A R S W L I C ESS EDG
dricks Demolitions, a company specializing in
safely demolishing buildings. While there, Beaker 6 3 5 6 5 6 4 3 6 4
learned about architecture as well as the demoli- Initiative 9 + 1D6
tions business. When her boss, Rob Hendrick, was Condition Monitor 11/11
Limits Physical 8, Mental 7, Social 6
shot by mobsters for falling behind in his protec-
Armor 12
tion payments, Beaker disappeared in the chaos
Active Skills Blades 4, Chemistry 8, Computer 5, Demolitions 9,
and started working as a consultant. Electronics 4, Etiquette 3, Industrial Mechanic 8,
It was while consulting that she came to the Perception 6, Pistols 4, Running 3
attention of FastJack, who asked her to lend her Knowledge Skills Academia 4, Acids and Bases 7, Architecture 5,
chemistry and demolitions expertise to JackPoint. Chemical Manufacturers 6, Demolitions 5
Soon after that, the mobster behind the killing of Languages English N (Cityspeak), Spanish 3

Rob Hendrick was executed after he lost several Qualities Indomitable 3 (+3 Mental)
Gear Armored jacket (w/ chemical protection 5), 4x
shipments of explosives and materials belonging
detonator caps, explosive foam (Rating 20), fake SIN
to the Mob. (Rating 5), Hermes Ikon, tag eraser
Weapons Defiance EX Shocker [Taser, Acc 4, DV 9S(e), AP 5,
> For what its worth, I had nothing to do with the thugs SS, RC , 4(m)]
death. I didnt like the way the Mob handled the whole
thing, but I was early in my career, and I wasnt about to BEAKER
make organized crime mad at me.
FEMALE TROLL
> Beaker
SR: ANARCHY STATS
S A W L C EDG
> That sounds prudent, even if the guys quick death seems
like quite a coincidence. 6 3 5 6 5 4
> Dr. Spin Condition 11/11
Monitor
Beaker continues to work in the shadows as a Armor 9
consultant on matters of demolitions and architec- Skills Hacking 4 + L, Chemistry (K), Negotiation 4 + C,
Architecture (K), Demolitions (K)
ture, and has access to excellent inside contacts
Shadow Amps Jack of All Trades (Social, reroll 1 die for any test you
for plans that arent available to the public. She has dont have the skill)
the interesting position of having been one of the Team Player (Social, freely gift your plot points or edge
rare trolls in a scientific field, only to leave it for the to another player)
shadows. Her journey through college and her job Qualities College Education, Lucky, Low Pain Tolerance
Gear Explosives, fake SIN, Hermes Ikon
show some of the challenges trogs face, and the
Weapons Defiance EX Shocker [DV 6S, Close OK, Near 4, Far ]
high hurdles they have to overcome. Despite this,
Beaker is sometimes less vocal about trog-rights
issues than some of her peers. SNOPES
Everyones favorite skeptic was kind enough to
> Im just careful about what I attribute to racism. Getting grant me a voice-only interview via the Matrix.
into college is hard. Getting a job is hard. And its harder Ive downloaded the transcript here.
when you have parents who didnt go to college and cant
provide a lot of support. How much of the trouble I ran into
Sunshine: Thanks for agreeing to this interview.
was because I was a troll, and how much was because of
I know you value your privacy.
economic or other circumstances? Im not naveI know
Snopes: Especially in recent years. The heats off
racism exists and it played a role in the whole process. But
I dont know how much of a role, and as a scientist, Im
enough that I can talk, and when I heard you were
wary of speaking definitively about unknowns.
looking into me, I figured the best way to make
> Beaker sure you were accurate was to give you the data
straight from the source.

<< TROG RUNNERS 139


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

> Or so you could provide the disinformation you wanted Snopes: I did. I made a decent wage and was
everyone to know. able to send some money to my parents to help
> Dr. Spin with my brothers. I learned how to really get to the
truth of a story there. I think my editor hated me
> Ill grant thats a viable motive for some, but come on. You by the time I left. I debunked more stories than I
know what I value. published in the year I was there.
> Snopes Sunshine: Where did you go from there?
Snopes: I started my own investigation service
Besides, you agreed that if I felt a question was to look into the conspiracy theories, rumors, urban
too personal, I could refuse to answer. legendsthe kinds of things people pass along all
Sunshine: Hopefully we wont run into that too over the Matrix. When theyre true, we make sure
much. So, why dont you tell us about your child- they come to light. When they arent, we make
hood? sure thats known, too.
Snopes: I was the second-oldest of five boys, Sunshine: So, the same thing you do here on
each of us a year apart. My mother is an absolute JackPoint.
hero. We were hellions growing up. The oldest, Snopes: Pretty much. We do other investiga-
Tommy, was quite the athlete until he lost his leg tions too, and they help pay the bills and keep the
in a motorcycle accident. He could still hit and run agency afloat.
just fine, but with cyberware he wasnt eligible for Sunshine: Do you want to plug your agency?
organized sports. I was fascinated by the stories Snopes: Nope.
everyone talked about, like the one about old man Sunshine: You mentioned the expense of feed-
Jones, so I looked into them to find out what was ing a family of orks. What else about being an ork
true and what was fabrication. has shaped who you are?
Sunshine: Who was old man Jones? Snopes: Its contributed to my need to back up
Snopes: He was the crotchety old ork on the absolutely everything with evidence. I know that
fifth floor who was rumored to have been a cor- a lot of people have a disinclination to believe me
porate hit man. just because of my tusks. So I make sure I have
Sunshine: Was he? evidence. I make sure you have to believe me, be-
Snopes: No, he wasnt. I searched the Matrix cause Im always on the side with the evidence.
and couldnt find out anything on him. Sunshine: There are, of course, plenty of rumors
Sunshine: How did you figure it out, then? and urban legends about orks and trolls, and no
Snopes: I went up and talked to him, and even- amount of debunking makes them go away. Why
tually asked him outright. That was the day that I is that, and do you find that discouraging?
knew I wanted to search for the truth for a living. Snopes: The why is actually fairly simpleits
He told me he worked for Fuchi as a wageslave. one thing to gather evidence about an individu-
When I asked why he didnt set everyone straight, al and show what they did or didnt do, but its a
he told me it kept the kids in the complex from whole lot tougher to prove anything about an en-
fucking with him, so why should he? I was the first tire group of people. Someone sees an ork or a
one to have the guts to ring his bell in years. What troll acting in the way they think all orks and trolls
was more important was that he encouraged me do, and it serves to confirm their pre-existing bias.
to find out about things for myself. When you present numbers that say, no, your per-
Sunshine: He pointed you down the path your sonal experience is actually prejudiced, they shut
life would take, then. you out. Simple human natureand metahuman
Snopes: Yep. He became more of a parent to nature, too.
me than my own parents, in a way. To keep food As far as whether it gets discouragingyeah.
on the table, they both worked two jobs. You cant Of course it does. There are certain things it feels
imagine how much food five teenage ork boys eat like Ive debunked a thousand times, like the story
in a week. He nourished my mind while they kept about the Angel of the Night, a supposed elf who
me and my brothers fed. When I was old enough, I went around casting healing spells on orks and trolls
moved out on my own and started working for the during the Night of Rage until she collapsed and died
UCAS Enquirer. from exhaustion. There is zero evidence that she ex-
Sunshine: You worked for that rag? isted, and most stories about her didnt start being

140 TROG RUNNERS >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

told until about five years after the Night of Rage, but BUTCH
its a nice story about someone helping out across
Butch is well known on JackPoint for her informa-
racial boundaries on one of the worst days in mod-
tion on medicine as it relates to the shadows. She
ern times, so people really want to believe it. I mean,
weighs in on everything medical, such as clinics,
I guess I cant be too discouragedthe persistence
street docs, and DocWagon, and lately she has
of this story shows that people want to believe good
become our resident CFD expert. I wasnt able to
things sometimesbut the fact that error can persist
catch up with her for an interview, but I tracked
and spread faster than reliable fact is annoying. Ive
down some of her history, and have some im-
given up on the whole truth-spreading business at
portant clarifications to make.
least a dozen times, but that usually only lasts a day
She grew up in the Minneapolis metroplex, the
or so, then Im back in the saddle, because in the
youngest of three children of mid-level executives
end, its what I do. If I dont have faith in the value of
with Knight Errant. From a young age, she was fasci-
the truth, I dont have much at all.
nated with medicine and how bodies vary based on
metatype. She graduated near the top of her class
SNOPES
from the University of Minnesota and did her intern-
MALE ORK ship at the downtown hospital. Before long, DocWag-
SR5 STATS on approached her to work as a combat medic as
B A R S W L I C ESS EDG part of a response team in exchange for paying off
4 3 2 (3) 3 5 5 4 5 4.5 4 her loans. She enjoyed saving people, but she also re-
Initiative 7 + 2D6 alized DocWagon cared for people only as much as
Condition Monitor 10/11 they could pay. All that mattered to Butch was the sur-
Limits Physical 5, Mental 7, Social 7 vival rate of the people in her care. On more than one
Armor 12 occasion, she was reprimanded for aiding non-cli-
Active Skills Clubs 4, Computer 8, Con 7, Cybercombat 3, Disguise 8, ents. She felt that medical care should be available to
Diving 2, Electronic Warfare 5, Etiquette 8, Hacking 5, everyone, and she followed through on that belief by
Hardware 5, Impersonation 5, Leadership 4, Locksmith
6, Negotiation 6, Palming 7, Perception 8, Performance volunteering at a local clinic in her spare time.
6, Pilot Ground Craft 6, Pistols 5, Sneaking 8
Knowledge Skills Clandestine Organizations 5, Conspiracy Chats 5, > Her feelings on this have deep rootsher older sister died
Conspiracy Theories 5 shortly after a car crash because she didnt have coverage,
Languages English N, Spanish 3 and the medical team that arrived did nothing for her.
Qualities First Impression, Photographic Memory > Sounder
Augmentations Cyberears (Rating 4, w/ audio enhancement 3,
balance augmenter, damper, select sound filter 6,
sound link, spatial recognizer), fingertip compartment,
After she had put in the required time with
2 smuggling compartments, synaptic booster 1 DocWagon, she quit to join the clinic shed been
Gear armored jacket, chameleon suit, gold certified volunteering at, now on a full-time basis.
credstick, Hermes Chariot (5 4 4 2), Hermes Ikon To make ends meet, the clinic started doing
Weapons Area Predator V [Heavy Pistol, Acc 5(7), DV 8P, AP 1, black-market transplants and cyberware surgery.
SA, RC , 15(c), w/ regular ammo]
Extendable baton [Club, Acc 5, Reach 1, DV 5P, AP ]
Whenever drug users came in, Butch did her best to
convince them to give up the drugs and turn their life
SNOPES around. Still, she never refused anyone treatment.
Shed encourage them to live in a more healthy man-
MALE ORK ner, but she figured her first job was to make sure they
SR: ANARCHY STATS survived long enough to make more choices in life.
S A W L C EDG Recently, with the appearance of CFD, Butch
3 3 5 5 5 4 has been presented with some serious moral di-
Condition 10/11 lemmas. While she wants to help these people,
Monitor she realizes that in most cases theyre too far gone
Armor 10 by the time they come into her care to be saved.
Skills Con 4 + C, Escape Artist 3 + A, Firearms 3 + A, Hacking 4 + The person before her is an infection, and not truly
L, Stealth 4 + A, Tracking 4 + L
the person who came to her for cure. This conflicts
Shadow Amps Essence 4.5
Custom Lined Coat (Gear. 10 armor, 3 perception for
with her belief that everyone deserves treatment
items in the coat) no matter their situation. Because of this issue,
Cyberears (Cyberware. Can listen to conversations at
both Close and Near ranges. May reroll 1 failed die
on hearing-related tests. 1 Essence)
Synaptic Booster (Bioware. +1 action. 0.5 Essence)
Qualities Hawkeye, Silver Tongue, Low Pain Tolerance

141
Gear Hermes Ikon, medkit
Weapons Ares Predator V [DV 6P, Close OK, Near 2, Far ]
<< TROG RUNNERS
>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

shes been working with several corporate part- BUTCH


ners to find a way to truly cure them. So far, she FEMALE ORK
has only found limited success.
SR: ANARCHY STATS
S A W L C EDG
> One of the corporations shes working with is MCT.
Everyones ready to crucify me for getting them test 4 5 6 5 4 4
subjects, but she gets a pass for performing the actual Condition 10/11
experiments? Talk about hypocrisy. Monitor
Armor 9
> Clockwork
Skills Biotech 6 + L, Firearms 3 + A, Biology (K)
Shadow Amps Essence 5.5
> She doesnt call her patients freaks, or say the world would
Cerebral Booster (Bioware. Reroll 1 die on logic based
be better without them like you do about technomancers. tests, 0.5 Essence)
Its about the perspective, not the process. I Know Everybody (Social. Gain [Charisma rating]
> Netact contacts)
Qualities Allergy (silver), Leader of the Pack
Butch has perhaps enjoyed some benefits of Gear Hermes Ikon, medkit, stim patches, trauma patches
being an ork in her profession. Its well-known that Weapons Ares Predator V [DV 6P, Close OK, Near 2, Far ]
DocWagon likes to throw orks and trolls into their
high-threat response teams, and those are the teams SOUNDER
that tend to treat the most dire wounds in the most
stressful circumstances. Her emergency skills were I reached out to Sounder through some mutual
well honed in that situation, and her clinic experi- contacts. When she told me she wasnt interest-
ence means she knows how to deliver the best care ed in doing an interview, I investigated her back-
possible with less than state-of-the-art equipment. ground and history on my own.
And of course, she knows ork physiology quite well, She grew up in Seattle, with the familiar story of
so shes aces in giving them trauma care. Her exper- an overworked mother trying to keep food on the
tise is slightly reduced when it comes to trolls, but table. At a very young age, Sounder started hang-
shes still better at trauma care for trolls than nine- ing with the Crimson Crush and was soon on the
ty-nine percent of the medicos youll ever meet. streets with them. A natural driver, she became
their wheelman of choice. Eventually, she moved
> Youre very kind, but I have no illusions about myself. My on to running their drugs into Seattle from the Sal-
specialty is keeping people alive until the truly skilled ish-Shidhe. These activities brought her to the at-
and well-equippedexperts can provide the care they tention of the Yakuza, who recruited her. As she
need. Ive gotten better at the research side of the job, and watched as the border patrols became tighter, she
Ive developed some skills I never thought I would dive began smuggling through the Puget Sound, at first
into, but I know how good the best in the world are at this using speed boats and then bigger crafts.
work, and I know Im not there.
> Butch
> And now a bitchin submarine that is one of the few things
in the water that would make me nervous if I ever got on
BUTCH her bad side. So I make sure I dont.
FEMALE ORK > Kane

SR5 STATS
These days, shes slowly moved away from the
B A R S W L I C ESS EDG
Yakuza and is doing more independent work. This
5 5 4 4 6 5 (8) 4 4 5.2 4 started after one of the operations went badly and
Initiative 8 + 1D6 she lost an eye.
Condition Monitor 11/11
Limits Physical 6, Mental 7(9), Social 7
> With the Yaks, if it isnt a death sentence, its usually a
Armor 12 part of a finger. What did she do that made them take an
Active Skills Biotechnology 8, Chemistry 5, Computer 5, eye instead?
Cybertechnology 9, First Aid 9, Instruction 5, Medicine
10, Palming 4, Pilot Ground Craft 3, Pistols 4 > Baka Dabora
Knowledge Skills Biology 5, Chemical Compounds 4, Disease Vectors 4,
Medical Procedures 5, Psychology 7, Toxins 5 > The guy was trying to slit her throat, and she didnt quite
Languages English N, Japanese 3 (Cityspeak +2) get out of the way. She then fed him his knife. Or at least
Qualities Addiction (Mild, Long haul), Allergy (Mild, Silver), thats the story I heard.
Analytical Mind, Aptitude (Medicine) > Butch
Augmentations Cerebral booster 3, math CPU, vision magnification
Gear Transys Avalon, medkit (rating 6), 3 tranq patches, 4
trauma patches
Weapons
142 TROG
Ares RUNNERS
Predator V [Heavy >> 8P, AP 1,
Pistol, Acc 5(7), DV
SA, RC , 15(c), w/ regular ammo]
>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

Though cyber replacements are commonly SOUNDER


available, Sounder wears an eyepatch when the FEMALE ORK
mood suits her. When asked, she says it helps with
SR5 STATS
the nautical feel of her smuggling operation.
B A R S W L I C ESS EDG

> She has a cybereye, and she only wears the eyepatch 7 (8) 3 6 (9) 4 4 4 3 5 1.2 5
when shes trying to play the pirate. Or just feels like Initiative 9(12) + 1D6
looking cool. Condition Monitor 12/10
> Turbo Bunny Limits Physical 7(9), Mental 5, Social 6
Armor 13
Despite her obvious affinity with pirates, she Active Skills Blades 8, Con 8, Demolitions 4 ,Disguise 4,
ElectronicsWarfare 6, Etiquette 8, Gunnery 7,
doesnt perform piracy on the shipping in the Longarms 9, Nautical Mechanic 8, Navigation 9,
Seattle area. Rather, she quietly moves her cus- Palming 6, Perception 7, Pilot Aircraft 4, Pilot Ground
tomers goods up and down the Pacific coast. Craft 7, Pilot Watercraft 10, Sneaking 5, Survival 4,
Throwing Weapons 5, Unarmed Combat 7
Despite the disagreement with the one Yakuza
Knowledge Skills Puget Sound (area) 7, Ocean Currents 6, Organized
boss, she continues to move guns for them into Crime 6, Northwest Yakuza Hierarchy, 7 Pacific
and out of Seattle. She has numerous contacts in Northwest 4, Smuggling Routes 7
the San Francisco area of the California Free State Languages English N, Japanese 6 (Cityspeak +2), Orzet 5
and even has a couple of ships registered in the Qualities Distinctive Style (eye patch), High Pain Threshold 2,
CFS. She has a lot of connections in the Seattle Quick Healer, Toughness
area and is an enduring figure in the club scene, Augmentations Bone lacing (plastic), control rig 3 (betaware),
reaction enhancers 3, simrig, smartlink, voice
though she favors the dark and moody spots modulator
over the hot and trendy ones. If youre going to Gear Hermes Ikon, medkit (Rating 6), nautical mechanic
be one of the top smugglers in Seattle, you need shop
to be able to make your way into Tr Tairngire, Vehicles Ares Venture (Aircraft, Handl 5, Speed 7, Accel 4, Bod
so Sounder has a few ways in. Not easy ones, 16, Armor 14, Pilot 4, Sensor 4, Seats 6)
Aztech Profit (Watercraft, Handl 2, Speed 2, Accel 1,
though, because nothing about the Tr is easy. Bod 14, Armor 22, Pilot 3, Sensor 2, Seats 10)
That means, of course, that itll cost you more to Echo Motors Metaway (Groundcraft, Handl 4/2, Speed
smuggle things across that border. 4, Accel 1, Body 10, Armor 4, Pilot 1, Sensor 2,
Seats 1)
I was going to stop with the well-known people
Harley-Davidson Nightmare (Groundcraft, Handl 4/3,
there and move on to some up-and-comers, but it Speed 5, Accel 2, Body 8, Armor 8, Pilot 2, Sensor
was suggested I should include myself. So read on! 3, Seats 2)
MCT-Nissan Roto-Drone (Medium Drone, Handl 4,
Speed 4, Accel 2, Bod 4, Armor 4, Pilot 3, Sensor 3)
Proteus A.G. Krake (Small Drone, Speed 3, Accel 4,
Body 2, Armor 2, Pilot 4, Sensor 3, w/ 4 micro-
torpedoes [chemical, DV 6P, AP 4, 1m radius, w/
acid damage])
Weapons Enfield AS-7 [shotgun, Acc 4(5), DV 11S(e), AP 1, SA/
BF, RC , 24(d), w/stick and shock ammo]
Survival knife [Knife, Acc 5, Reach 0, DV 7P, AP 1,]

<< TROG RUNNERS 143


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

SOUNDER Part of my ongoing education was that I learned


that the megacorps are ruthless, and the people are
FEMALE ORK
just cogs in the machine. Everything is about the
SR: ANARCHY STATS value you can currently offerpast contributions
S A W L C EDG arent worth a thing. My mother was a Matrix spe-
4 3 4 4 5 5 cialist who lost her life during Crash 2.0. The cor-
Condition 10/10 poration gave my dad two days off and their con-
Monitor dolences. It wasnt long after that when Novatech,
Armor 9 Erika, and Transys Neuronet merged to form Neo-
Skills Pilot (Ground) 3 + A, Pilot (Other) 5 + A, Con 4 + C, NET. Suddenly, my father was working alongside
Firearms 3 + A, Negotiation 4 + C, Organized Crime (K)
people hed left behind when he went to Erika. They
Shadow Amps Essence 3
Control Rig 3 (Cyberware. Control vehicle in VR, +1 die to
all said there were no hard feelings, but Id learned
vehicle actions, may reroll 3 dice, 2 Essence) enough by then to know it wasnt true. My older
Smartlink (Cyberware. +1 die to firearms or heavy brother followed in my fathers footsteps and joined
weapons. 1 Essence) NeoNET. I was top of my class, and everyone ex-
Qualities Distinctive style (eye patch), Gearhead, Home Ground pected I would soon be joining them as well.
(Puget Sound)
Instead, I walked away and joined the shadows
Gear Ares Venture (A 12, D 10), Aztech Profit (A 18, D 12), Echo
Motors Metaway (A 3, D 8), Harley-Davidson Nightmare
as a deep-cover operative. I got out on timemy
(A 6, D 6), Hermes Ikon, MCT-Nissan Roto-Drone (A 3, D father was unceremoniously fired a year after my
3), Mechanic toolkit, medkit, Proteus A.G. Krake (A 2, D graduation, his people-skills no match for the of-
2), Survival kit fice powers aligned against him. On the outside,
Weapons Enfield AS-7 shotgun [DV 9P, Close OK, Near 2, Far , I work the long con, finding out the dirt and in-
at Close range can take -2 dice pool penalty to attack
two targets]
formation the corporations or companies want
Knife [DV 3P, Close OK, Near , Far ] to keep hidden, then making sure those secrets
come to light. FastJack saw the value of what I was
SUNSHINE doing and invited me here. Simple enough.
Most recently, Ive been working deep cover in-
I was born the second son of two mid-level execu- side Horizon in Los Angeles. You saw some of what
tives of Novatech in Denver in 2052. It was a different I learned back in the Twilight Horizon download, but I
time and town then. I wasnt born with a silver spoon decided there was more to learn, so I continued find-
in my tusks, but I wasnt born into poverty, either. My ing ways to work with the corp, especially as they
father was a rising star who broke through a lot of bar- worked to evolve the new version of the Consensus.
riers that had been in place up until then. I learned a
lot from my father; for example, he taught me about > Dont tease uswhat have you found out?
office politics and how important reading people is. > Cosmo
He didnt always know I was listeningor even that I
was therewhen I absorbed some of these lessons. > I dont want to detract from the main subject here, but
For example, once when I was five, I was hiding in the the main issue is figuring out when crowds are wise
closet and overheard his negotiations with his new and when theyre not. Remember that while we may
boss. As a mid-level exec, he was generally supposed curse the corps until our faces turn blue, the Shiawase
to act grateful for having a job that was not complete- decision and other such matters never had a chance to be
ly horrible, and senior executives typically expected overturned because there wasnt a popular movement to
a lot of sucking up. But my father watched his boss change them until it was far too late. Crowds didnt have
carefully and saw that if he appeared as a total door- the wisdom to shoot that down as soon as they needed
mat, he would quickly lose any chance at gaining to, simply because crowds didnt have the information
the womans respect. So he gently pushed back on they needed to evaluate the situation properly. So thats
an item or two, staying polite but letting her know he what Consensus 2.0 is working on; not just taking the
wasnt just rolling over on everything. She became temperature of Horizon employees to help keep the corp
more engaged in the conversation as it went on, be- on a steady path, but providing useful information and
cause she enjoyed exchanging ideas more than she weighting responses based on the expected expertise of
would have liked giving orders. He read her correctly the responders.There is also a question about how quickly
and met her on a level she would respond to. the Consensus can affect real-time decision making, and
That didnt mean he had found a permanent thats still the subject of many heated discussions.
home. In 2058, he jumped ship for greener pas- > Sunshine
tures at Erika, or so he thought. So thats my bio. What about my orkness? How

144 TROG RUNNERS >>


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

does it affect my life? Honestly, in most ways, not MALE ORK


a ton. My background wasnt impoverished, and SR: ANARCHY STATS
my fathers career advancement and obstacles S A W L C EDG
seemed to be far more based on his personality 5 5 5 4 5 5
than his metatype. Did I hear some insults growing Condition 11/11
up about my tusks and protruding forehead? Yeah. Monitor
But other kids I knew got picked on for their red Armor 9
hair, their freckles, their pimples, and whatever. To Skills Close Combat 4 + A, Con 6 + C, Negotiation 5 + C,
me, it seemed like part of growing up. People will Electronics 4 + L, Firearms 3 +A

find some way of making fun of what you look like, Shadow Amps Essence 4.5
Dynamic Handprint (Bioware. Can keep from leaving
and you just have to roll with it. prints or leave someone elses, 0.5 essence)
Heres the important thing I learned, though Audio Analyzer (Cyberware. 1 Essence)
just because it didnt seem like a big deal to me Qualities Hawkeye, Silver Tongue, SINer corporate
didnt mean its not a big deal to others. Not ev- Gear Fake SIN, Hermes Ikon, medkit
eryone can shrug off the different levels of abuse Weapons Streetline Special [DV 5P, Close OK, Near 2, Far ]
they get, and frankly they shouldnt have to. And
while I saw the comments in my appearance as QIN SLEDGEHAMMER XIO
little more than teasing, other people have had to
Sledgehammer grew up the youngest child of two
deal with much more severe harassment or even
MCT wageslaves in a middle-class neighborhood
physical attacks. I was lucky enough to be shel-
of Atlanta, CAS. Unsurprisingly he encountered a
tered from the worst of the problems, but I cant
lot of drek in his corporate school, with constant
just assume the problems dont exist.
teasing and prejudice from both his peers and
teachers, and he used the Matrix as an escape.
SUNSHINE
He enjoyed coding and vanishing into virtual re-
MALE ORK ality, where he could hide his physical differenc-
SUNSHINE es. While this gave him some way to use his time,
SR5 STATS
it also further isolated him from his peers.
B A R S W L I C ESS EDG
The pressures he was facing came to a head
one day when one of the worst bullies smashed
5 5 5 5 5 4 5 5 4.2 5
his Transys commlink. As Qin fought his anger, the
Initiative 10 + 1D6
bullys commlink shorted out and caught fire. Qin
Condition Monitor 11/11
began shakingeveryone assumed it was from
Limits Physical 7, Mental 6, Social 7
the conflict, but Qin knew better. He had thought
Armor 12
Active Skills Blades 4, Clubs 4, Computer 5, Con 13, Disguise
about frying the commlink, and it happened. Not
11, Etiquette 10, Forgery 5, First Aid 3, Gymnastics only that, but to his shock he discovered he was
5, Hardware 3, Impersonation 8, Locksmith 5, still connected to the Matrix even without his link.
Negotiation 8, Perception 11, Pilot Ground Craft 5, Hed heard the stories about technomancers and
Pistols 5, Sneaking 6, Throwing Weapons 5, Unarmed
Combat 6
how MCT was looking for themhe thought that
Knowledge Skills Corporate Politics 6, Corporate Procedures 8, Horizon he might finally have a chance to fit in and be im-
4, Security Procedures 8, Security Systems 6 portant, somewhere.
Languages English N, Japanese 4 (Corp +2, 133tspeak +2), Spanish Qin was very eager to share the news with his
4 (Corp +2, 133tspeak +2) family that night. Before he could, though, his old-
Qualities Aptitude (Con), Human Looking, Magic Resistance 1, er sister described how one of her classmates had
Corporate SIN
been dragged out of class after testing positive as
Augmentations Cyberears (Rating 4, w/ audio enhancement 3,
balance augmenter, damper, select sound filter 6, a technomancer. His father replied, As they should
sound link, spatial recognizer), data jack, fingertip have. Theyre a problem. They need to be contained
compartment, sleep regulator, 3 smuggling and studied so their threat can be dealt with.
compartments, tailored pheromones 2
Qins heart sank as his dream slipped away. He
Gear Area jammer (Rating 6), armored jacket, autopicker
(Rating 6), bug scanner (Rating 6), chameleon left that night, before the testing made it to his
suit, contacts (Capacity 3, w/ thermographic, flare class, finding refuge in a squatter encampment for
compensation, smartlink), keycard copier (Rating a couple of weeks before he was befriended by a
6), 10 x light sticks, maglock passkey (Rating 6),
sequencer (Rating 6), tag eraser, Transys Avalon,
white noise generator (Rating 6)
Weapons Streetline Special [Pistol, Acc 4, DV 6P, AP , SA, RC
, 6(c), w/ regular ammo]
Throwing knife [Knife, Acc 5, DV 6P, AP 1]

<< TROG RUNNERS 145


>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

ganger who thought his muscle would be an asset.


When asked what his name was, Qin made up
an alias on the spotSledgehammer, because it
sounded as tough as he wanted to be. Later, as
it became apparent his talents ran more toward
hacking than breaking heads, his assignments
were adjusted, but the name stuck. His chief rival,
another hacker named Bytespike, was confused
by how he could do so well using such a junk
commlink. It didnt take long before Bytespike
figured out Sledgehammer was a technomancer,
and he tried to get a local runner he knew to pick
him up for MCT. Instead, the runner recruited
Sledgehammer, and the troll has been running
the shadows ever since.
He and the team he runs with have slowly been
making a name for themselves in the Confedera-
tion of American States. They specialize in data
steals and infiltrations, though they will do what is
needed to pay the bills. Sledgehammer researched
the records and found out that his family never re-
ally looked for him when he disappeared. He hasnt
looked back since, and considers his teammates,
the only ones whove ever accepted him for who
he is, are more of a family than his real one. Theyre
based in New Orleans, but the interest in the Biloxi
Institute of Technology has them venturing over
there a fair amount in recent months.

> Dont let the name fool youthis guy is far more finesse
than brute force. He loves making sprites, especially to do
some early forays or cause distractions before he goes in
himself. Hell never let the sprites do all the heavy lifting
thoughwhat fun is it being a hacker if you dont, you
know, actually hack?
> Pistons

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>> THE COMPLETE TROG <<

QIN SLEDGEHAMMER XIO work long hours for barely enough to get by and
feed their three children told Jane at an early age
MALE TROLL
that she wanted something different in life.
SR5 STATS
Her father told her that finding what she did
B A R S W L I C ESS EDG R
well and excelling at it was the way to success,
6 3 3 5 5 5 4 2 6 2 6 so Jane spent a lot of her adolescence looking for
Initiative 7 + 1D6 what she could do well. As she got older, she grew
Condition Monitor 11/11 concerned as she tried new things and didnt excel
Limits Physical 7, Mental 7, Social 5 at any of them, though she found she could pick
Armor 12
up anything and do it moderately well fairly quick-
Active Skills Automatics 1, Compiling 7, Computer 5, Con 4,
ly. She began volunteering to help anyone who
Cybercombat 3, Decompiling 4, First Aid 3, Forgery 4,
Gymnastics 2, Hacking 6, Hardware 4, Locksmith 4, needed it so that she could get the experience of
Negotiation 3, Pistols 3, Software 8, Unarmed Combat 3 how to do all sorts of things. Before long, she took
Knowledge Skills MCT Infrastructure 3, Matrix Hangouts 3, Matrix to the streets to learn the skills she couldnt learn
Protocols 3
through her parents or their friends.
Languages Japanese N, English 3 (Cityspeak +2, Corp +2)
Jane was still struggling to find her place when
Qualities Natural Hardening, Magic Resistance 2, Prejudice
(Japanese, Biased), Social Stress
she was forced to pick a lock under pressure and did
Gear Armored jacket, electronics toolkit, Erika Elite, fake it faster than she ever had. It didnt take her long to
SIN (Rating 4), glasses (Capacity 2, w/ smartlink, vision realize she did her best work when the stakes were
magnification) highest. She began taking jobs, filling in with different
Complex Forms Cleaner, Pulse Storm, Puppeteer, Resonance Spike, runner groups since she could fill whatever role was
Resonance Veil, Static Bomb, Static Veil, Transcendent
Grid, Tattletale
needed. She saved nuyen to get some basic cyber-
Registered Sprites Crack Sprite (level 4, 3 tasks), Data Sprite (level 4, 2 ware modifications and has become a reliable runner
tasks), Fault Sprite (level 6, 3 tasks) who doesnt specialize in anything but has a wide va-
Weapons Ares Predator V [Heavy Pistol, Acc 5(7), DV 8P, AP 1, riety of skills that are useful in most situations.
SA, RC , 15(c), w/ regular ammo] Eventually, one of the out-of-town teams Jane
worked with liked her well enough that they of-
QIN SLEDGEHAMMER XIO fered her a permanent position. She moved to
MALE TROLL Atlanta, where the team was headquartered, and
now works with them mainly in the CAS. Break-
SR: ANARCHY STATS
ins and extractions are the teams specialty, and
S A W L C EDG
stealth is their emphasis. If John Dickson Carr were
5 3 5 5 2 2
still alive and writing locked-room mysteries, hed
Condition 11/11
be studying Macgyvers team for inspiration.
Monitor
Armor 9
Skills Electronics 5 + L, Firearms 2 + A, Hacking 7 + L, > Copy that. Check this: Renraku has a weapons
Negotiation 3 + C, Tasking 5 + L development facility in Atlanta, and like all such facilities,
Shadow Amps Essence 6 its a high-security, locked-down affair. There was an
Emerged engineer there named Estee Jackson, and word got out
Cleaner (Technomancer. Erase last 3 Matrix actions that she was going to be the target of an extraction.
from overwatch score)
Renraku was having none of that, so they relocated her
Pulse Storm (Technomancer. Opponent 1 to roll per
net hit) to an apartment in the development site designed for
Resonance Spike (Technomancer. Cybercombat Matrix the express purpose of keeping highly valued personnel
damage = 8, Defense = Logic + Firewall) isolated and safe. Cameras outside, cameras inside, no
Qualities Natural Hardening, Toughness, Paranoia wireless systems, watcher spirits outside, spirits of air
Gear Enhanced vision goggles, medkit inside. Armed guards outside the door, and of course its
Weapons Ares Predator V [DV 6P, Close OK, Near 2, Far ] in the middle of a whole Renraku facility. Jackson checks
in for the night, cameras show her going to bed and not
moving from that spot. The next morning guards go to
JANE MACGYVER TOMLIN wake her up and find that instead of Jackson in bed, its
one of the materialized air spirits mimicking her form.
This ork was born in 2057 in Detroit, the daugh- The other s