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The Rise and Fall of Anarchy

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Anarchy Rising

The Council of Anarchy would like to strengthen its position in Automata. They survive in the Outlands' burg of greatest law by laying low, so thy contact the semi-anonymous PCs (low-to-mid level, and serving groups with a chaotic bent, such as clerics of gods on the wilder side of the Great Ring, or thieves' guilds established in other burgs) in the course of their other activities. They're to bear a message back to their superiors, setting up a meeting between their higher-ups and a member of the Council offering to organize a lane of fencing and money-laundering for the groups' mutual profit. If their bosses agree (and most likely they will, as good connections are valuable to most profit-minded organizations) they'll send emissaries in a small, mobile group to a neutral site somewhere on the Outlands for negotiations. In order to keep the information held as closely as possible, the PCs are to be the guards. For extra spice, pick one or more:

The Council of Order has gotten word of the meeting and has set up an ambush -- targetting the high-ranking rogue representing the Council of Anarchy and sufficiently powerful to have even odds against him, but cheerfully willing to take out a foreigner willing to deal with them, as well as the minor guards. If the representative of the Council survives, and can be convinced the PCs didn't set him up, he'll be even more determined to make the deal after his contacts have stood up so well. If the representative of the PCs' organization survives, he will decide a message is due to the Council of Order about messing with their outfit, and the PCs are ordered to Automata to make such mischief as is in-character for the organization (from pranking paperwork to breaking-entering-stealing-and-leaving-a-note, to assassinating a representative).

It's a double-cross: the PCs were picked because their organization has been moving in on the Council's business contacts elsewhere, and the CoA is the one sending the message. The "unpopulated ruined village" they're to meet in has actually been layered with traps, some of which loose invisible opponents like phantom fungus or invisible stalkers. The note left at the "meeting point" is clear: it will take a real rogue to get out of this place, and if you can, the Council of Anarchy will respect your intrusion onto its turf and back off. (The PCs' superiors may not be so forgiving, however.)

The negotiations go smoothly and quickly, and afterward the PCs are tasked with bearing a small but valuable symbol of their organization -- the prepared item of a refuge spell for one of their higherups, part of a two-way exchange to seal the deal -- to Automata. There, they will need to avoid the local authorities, make contact with the Council of Anarchy, and whatever they do, don't let anyone other than the intended recipient get hold of it. Given that the Council of Order and the lawful petitioners in Automata don't much care about privacy, this is a tricky business indeed.

Anarchy Falling

The Council of Order has tired of the Council of Anarchy's activities, and wants to press the alignment of the town more fully. Their opposite numbers have somehow hidden in the legal authorities' blind spot for this long, so some outsiders (necessarily lawful, and of a level suitable for taking on highly experienced rogues, with a preference for those also capable of dismantling the organization) are hired to track the group down and put an end to them.

In order for the mission to work, the attack must be strictly by the books: Automata has numerous and rigorous laws on entrapment, the permissible use of force in law enforcement, and arrest procedures. These must be followed if the Council of Anarchy is to be dismantled in a way that furthers the goal of enhancing the town's lawful alignment. Failure to comply will provoke a backlash of protest that will lead the organization to re-establish itself among disaffected members.

Combat to the death is entirely possible, but Council of Anarchy are a canny lot and would rather see the outsiders miss their target entirely; failing that, they will flee until the heat dies down; failing that, they would rather surrender to arrest and hope to escape before their execution. The PCs will need to go about fully dismantling the Council's outlying work groups (a variety of differently skilled underworld figures in hiding across town, posing as productive citizens) if they are to prevent this escape from happening. In particular, they will need to find the information leak which has been keying Anarchy's ability to avoid the Council of Order's scrutiny: a deliberate mole planted in the civil service, with alignment concealed, or a hole in security that has been allowing rogues to rummage through the city's extensive paperwork to see what the ponderous bureaucracy has been planning with regards to the criminals in their midst.

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