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Robodog
Oct 22, 2004

...how does that work?


Alauda 'Skylark' Songbird

The reason Skylark wore black was to cover the blood stains. Anything else would have been ruined by now.

"I am just saying Taali, the Handmaiden is incorporeal and I can phase and teleport. You needn't punch the door apart." Skylark mentions yet again, slowly flicking through the foreign controls. The guards were not the same calibre as what they had up on deck, and as for prisoners? Perhaps if Alauda had been paired with one of the others, but between her and Taali there was hardly enough sympathy to even look these githyanki in the eyes before running them through. The pile of corpses wasn't exactly helpful in deciphering the gunnery controls, but between her and Taali and Sszzt and the Handmaiden it was figure out eventually.

The plus side? Sszzt had more than enough to eat for dinner.

"Okay, if the others aren't ready yet then they're probably dead." Skylark mutters to herself, looking over the controls. "Handmaiden, make sure the guns are all loaded and aimed at the next closest ship on out starboard." She reiterates to her ghostly companions. "Taali, you got the guns ready yet or what?"

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Klingon w Bowl Cut
Apr 1, 2009

Q'pla!

Marianna

"I would advise that you do surrender, yes," she says calmly as she strides onto the bridge with purpose and confidence. The image of the mighty wizard-queen is unmarred, perhaps even enhanced, by the blood staining her robes. "There's no reason to throw away your life in some foolish last stand. Surrender now, and you and your men will be treated honorably as our prisoners."

The Queen is speaking as much to his men as to the captain, hoping that most of them will realize the futility of resisting, even if some still choose to fight.

Diplomacy on Githyanki: 1d20+21 41, 20+13+Rebel Queen 3: 36
attempting to get at least some of them to surrender peacefully. Edit: Fixed the skill modifiers.

Klingon w Bowl Cut fucked around with this message at Jan 21, 2018 around 14:57

Dallan Invictus
Oct 11, 2007

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes, look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

Landra

Striding into the bridge in Marianna's wake, Landra's face is mostly impassive and cold, save for the sneer that the enemy captain wasn't wearing. Her gaze slides over the remaining invaders, sizing them up while letting Marianna try to talk them down, emerald-hard eyes and hands on the hilts of her sheathed weapons wordlessly presenting the "or else" of the wizard-queen's generous offer.

Intimidate (bad cop to Marianna's good cop): 1d20+12 (ability/level) + 3 (Noble "Natural" Daughter) 20 well that'll teach me to roll unnecessary skill checks

MMAgCh
Aug 15, 2001
I am the poet,
The prophet of the pit
Like a hollow-point bullet
Straight to the head
I never missed...you

“I am working on it,” the Handmaiden responds as she attempts to make sense of the consoles. “This would be considerably easier if you had not killed everybody who knew how these infernal devices actually function!” Frowning to herself, she fumbles with a few levers and presses a button or two, regularly studying a fuzzy display on one of the consoles to check the main guns’ alignment. “I think I have it,” she finally announces. “Both batteries are targetting a…slightly smaller enemy ship half a mile to starboard.” She looks at Alauda. “As far as I am concerned we are ready to fire.”

~

The lower-ranking githyanki on the bridge, at least, seem duly impressed by Marianna’s carefully chosen words and Landra’s silently menacing presence. They back away slowly, careful to make no sudden movements, and some of them even unbuckle their sword belts to set them on the ground. The captain, on the other hand, looks less intimidated, staying right where he is. “Such magnanimity,” he purrs. “Such nobleness. And I do not doubt you mean it, too.” He regards the boarders for a moment, tilting his head to one side. “How – how about a counteroffer? What if we took you with us?

Reaching up, the githyanki undoes the fastenings holding his iron mask in place and lets it fall to the ground. The face thus revealed…isn’t one, really, as something resembling a crystal sphere has been embedded in his skull, replacing the upper half of his face and most of his cranium. The sphere is almost perfectly black; only in its depths, if one looks long enough, is there a hint of colour – a kind of colour that is wrong, somehow, fundamentally at odds with the concept of reality even as it is understood in the Feywild. “You are a problem,” the githyanki says, and anyone reckless enough to gaze into the sphere finds the un-colour at its core twisting and pulsating in time to the cadence of his words. “As vexing as those gods you worship. But much like those gods, you also can be dealt with. We will see to that presently.”

As if on cue, klaxons begin to howl throughout the ship with sharp urgency, as though the vessel itself were screaming for aid. On one particular control console near Marianna, several dials and a small screen light up, emitting an intense albeit flickering cyan glow. The few githyanki crew remaining on the bridge choose this moment to run like hell.


And yes, Team Gunnery is very much aware of the klaxons as well!

Robodog
Oct 22, 2004

...how does that work?


Alauda 'Skylark' Songbird

"I'm aware of that~" Alauda sing songs back, clearly frustrated as well. "But the matter at hand is still faster this way than having to coax the answers from terrified prisoners." She insists, any further argument stymied by klaxons roaring to life aboard the ship. "What in the Nine Hells are that lot up to up there!" Skylark growls, looking to Taali and Handmaiden as if they might have an answer. Not as if any of them could read the consoles to find out anything, of course.

"drat it, fire the guns!" She orders.

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

Yes... excellent


Grimey Drawer

Taali - Gunnery

"There's no reason *not* to punch down a perfectly good door, Skylark," Taali says as she grabs the controls, a savage grin controting her scar.

"Let's unleash the thunder!"

She fires!


(sorry for the delay, running a werewolf game on FB and addicted to Stellaris)

Klingon w Bowl Cut
Apr 1, 2009

Q'pla!

Marianna

It takes all of her will not to stare at the orb in the commander's head. She can determine its nature if they survive, she tells herself. Marianna dashes for the console that just lit up and, unless anyone tries to stop her, tries to determine what the screen is displaying and how to fix it.

I think either my Adrift on the Planes or Mentored by the Holy Tome backgrounds could apply, but both are +3, so either way:

Analyze Githyanki console: 1d20+17(assuming INT)+3 30

Dallan Invictus
Oct 11, 2007

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes, look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

Landra

"How splendid! I didn't think we'd earned an elaborate trap so soon. But we'll certainly be paying you a visit, though. Later, on our terms."

Part of her wanted to clap. It was always a delight when your enemies felt what you were doing to them.

Part of her realised there wasn't much else she could do. Marianna might be able to figure out what the strange console was doing and how it could be stopped - but it would be easier if the commander's attention could be diverted. So she tightened her grip on her weapons and raised her face to its...whatever it was - boldly (recklessly?) examining it, challenging it, with sight and senses beyond sight. She was no wizard, still, but perhaps something in her innate magic would respond to that fierce, urgent, colourlessness with something more than revulsion, and something more informative.

Arcana (what in blazes IS that?): 1d20+14+3 (Ghaele Blood) 20 yeah fine WHATEVER Orokos I didn't think I'd get anything out of that anyway.

MMAgCh
Aug 15, 2001
I am the poet,
The prophet of the pit
Like a hollow-point bullet
Straight to the head
I never missed...you

There is a dull but nevertheless immensely voluminous thoom as the battleship’s main batteries light off, sending a brief tremor through the entire vessel. Most of the displays scattered around the gunnery control consoles are showing the target the ship’s guns are trained at, a bulky craft uncannily shark-like in aspect that is flinging copious amounts of ordnance both mundane and magical at the airborne forces of the Summer Queen – and then, less than a second later, it is hit by the volley just loosed by the battleship’s batteries.

The ships of the githyanki are obviously not built to engage in combat with their own kind, or they’d have far thicker armour. As it is, over half of the shots punch straight through the smaller vessel without ever exploding and simply hurtle on towards the ground, trailing debris like faint cometary tails. Those projectiles that do detonate cause its midship area to expand dramatically for a fraction of a second before the section is consumed by a great, searing fireball that boils violently outwards, shredding the armour and buckling the hull far beyond the point of repair. The vessel’s own guns and arcane artillery fall almost completely silent as it begins to flag and founder in mid-air, wreathed in smoke and continuously jolted by secondary explosions as munitions stores cook off and on-board systems critically malfunction.

“Target dispatched,” the Handmaiden declares with no small amount of relish.

~

Marianna rushes over to the console and attempts to make sense of what she’s seeing. Many of its dials and buttons are marked with runes, and the diagram and graphs displayed on the screen bear legends employing a similar script. Unfortunately the language used must be the native tongue of the githyanki, which the rebel queen doesn’t speak. Still, she is able to infer a few things, make an educated guess or two, and draw on what little practical experience she has with the marauders’ ships…and based on all that, she deduces that the core powering this vessel is overloading. Has been set to overload, more precisely, or so Marianna surmises. A few of the graphs are slowly but steadily climbing, and if she takes a moment to focus she can sense the ship’s core (albeit faintly) several decks below her feet, thrumming with an ever increasing amount of power. She’s not sure the process can be stopped, though, at least not from the bridge – the controls she sees in front of her suggest the console is a monitoring station more than anything, to the degree that she can tell what their intended use is in the first place.

Though Landra endeavours to take in the blank, abyssal depth of the strange sphere with all of her senses, the effort somehow still ends up feeling like a visual one for the most part. One sees colours, after all, rather than hearing or smelling them, and so it curiously is with this un-colour as well. She takes a step closer to the githyanki, her eyes narrowing; did she just hear something? A distant ringing sound, like a blacksmith’s forge being worked on the other side of a mist-choked valley? For a moment there, so very briefly, the eladrin even feels like she can see the sound, quivering her vision. She steps forward again. The sphere is growing in size, far quicker than her wary approach should permit; or are her eyes growing smaller? Her hearing, her mind, all becoming less? Diminishing or being drained by the sphere, into the sphere, which looms dull and massive now like the corpse of a sun? It’s not just an un-colour, she realises, it’s ultimately an un-everything she is looking at, thinking about, trying so feebly to understand, to fight –

The spell is broken all of a sudden as some unknown impetus – the sphere’s? That of her own subconscious? – forces her to look away. She almost staggers, not quite herself for a moment, and her upper lip feels wet. On raising one hand to it, Landra finds her nose bleeding quite freely.


Landra loses two healing surges (bringing her down to 4).

Robodog
Oct 22, 2004

...how does that work?


Alauda 'Skylark' Songbird - Gunnery

Alauda wasn't quite prepared for the feeling the guns left as they fired. She had seen githyanki weapons in action before, sure, but never had she been behind such a behemoth of a weapon herself. She could feel it in her bones, even her ever steady feet needed to dance a little as the vessel is rocked by the tremor of the guns.

"Hoooly poo poo!" She exclaims, as exuberant as the Handmaiden was reserved in their elation. Her eyes move rapidly between Taali, Sszzt and the Handmaiden. "How have we never hijacked one of these before!?" She asks, part of her now regretting the fact that this battleship was to be handed over after they escape. Skylark points a finger at the Handmaiden. "See if you can line up a second target." She orders, scanning over her own consoles to reload the massive guns. "Don't have much time before the rest of the fleet turn on us and I have no clue what those fools up on the bridge are doing."

Klingon w Bowl Cut
Apr 1, 2009

Q'pla!

Marianna

"Landra, the core is overloading!" she shouts, her feet already moving toward the exit from the bridge. "I might be able to reverse the process, but I'll need to get down there first. Can you keep that... thing busy while I try?"

Marianna's mind and heart are racing too fast to fully process the fear, but deep down she is full of dread, both about the nature of this 'captain', and about what will happen to her and her friends if the core completely overloads. She must stop it.


Is Marianna's arcane sense and/or previous intel enough to figure out how to get to the core from here?

Dallan Invictus
Oct 11, 2007

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes, look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

Landra

She swayed on her feet, grimacing, wiping the blood off her face, and transitioning the motion of her hand into a clipped, assenting gesture. "Go. Do what you can, and I will do what I can, and it will..." have to do "...be enough."

Straightening, she gripped the hilts at her hips in case she had to stop anyone from pursuing Marianna, but it already seemed clear to her that things were going down a different road than was, perhaps, her forte. When she spoke again, she was unabashed...but there was no eye contact. It was easier, perhaps, without any eyes to contact.

"Shall we be flattered, then, that you seek to treat us like the gods you stole? Or why else would you be bringing us with you instead of killing us like our kindred?"

Soonmot
Dec 19, 2002

Yes... excellent


Grimey Drawer

Taali

Seeming to almost collapse from a sudden weakness in her knees, Taaliala caresses the firing controls lovingly, "I am never going to leave here, I want to marry this gun. Our children will rain beautiful destruction down everywhere. Oh my gods."

Robodog
Oct 22, 2004

...how does that work?


Alauda 'Skylark' Songbird - Gunnery

"I know, right!?" Skylark empathises completely with her compatriot. "We just cannot give this up to Tiandra. It would be wasted."

MMAgCh
Aug 15, 2001
I am the poet,
The prophet of the pit
Like a hollow-point bullet
Straight to the head
I never missed...you

The Handmaiden consults the displays on her console. “There is some sort of support ship on our port side, but it will take some time to bring the weapons to bear. Let me see what I can do.” A few moments later a faint, low thrumming runs through the ship as the two main batteries begin to rotate in their mountings, driven by unseen but obviously powerful mechanisms of some sort as they ever so slowly re-align to acquire a new target.

When Taaliala gets a little touchy-feely with the controls she briefly and inadvertently depresses one button she hasn’t touched before, whereupon a hissing, crackling noise is heard throughout the room. It appears to emanate from a number of small boxes recessed in the ceiling, and amid the crackling, somewhat faint but intelligible enough, a voice can be heard: “—verloading! I might be able to reverse the process, but I’ll need to get dow—”

The crackling and the voice both fall silent the instant the button is let go of, but what you heard was enough to let you identify the voice as belonging to Marianna.

~

Leaving the bridge, the wizard makes her way below decks. The metal corridors are bare and narrow, dimly lit by dull green globes set into the walls, and the numerous stairwells she hurriedly descends are almost brutally plain and functional as well. The one silver lining is that she doesn’t encounter any more enemy soldiers or crew – it stands to reason that those who are still alive have abandoned the ship. Somehow. Marianna isn’t sure if there are any means or procedures for escaping from the vessel, but even jumping overboard seems preferable to being anywhere near the core when it reaches critical mass.

The chamber housing the vessel’s power core proves pretty easy to find. Even if Marianna didn’t have her arcane senses to guide her, the vibrations running through the ground beneath her feet would point her in the right direction at least, and there is an odd, persistent keening in the air she can tell originates from the churning core as well. It thus doesn’t take her more than a couple of minutes (though it certainly feels longer) to reach one of the heavy-duty hatchways permitting access to the ship’s power plant, which she eases through after struggling with its cover for a moment.

Within, the chamber turns out to be some twenty-five feet high and at least four or five times as long, taking up a significant fraction of the battleship’s total length. Two rows of metal supports run close to walls replete with cabling and consoles, but the power core itself is by far the most striking feature of the room. Suspended from the ceiling and surrounded by metal walkways, it is at once distressing and captivating to behold: the fluent strobes of bright light it is emitting, the almost-geometric patterns dancing within its depths, the arrhythmic buzzing noise pounding forth from it and making Marianna’s guts quiver…it’s as close to a raw elemental force as the rebel queen has ever witnessed, except that it doesn’t quite correspond to any kind of element she is familiar with.

Standing in the hatchway, she looks around the room. Ejecting the core does not seem like an option for several reasons, but perhaps the excess energy could be bled off somehow. Might there be some controls to that extent up on the walkways, near the core itself? Those bulbous metal protrusions set into the walls on the ground floor, each equipped with a heavy-looking crank – valves of some sort? She expects something like that to the case, based on her understanding of the mechanical arts. Now the question is whether she can act quickly enough to actually do something about the impending catastrophe!

Back on the command bridge, the githyanki’s shoulders tremble as if he were laughing, though no sound comes forth. “Your gods have a use, at least,” he then tells Landra. “They are major threads in the tapestry of the cosmos. But your kind? Less than the mites infesting its fabric.” Something seems to silently burst deep within the orb. “A mistaken assumption. We are not bringing you anywhere, though ‘killing’ is too minuscule a word for what will happen to you. None of your languages have a concise expression for the thoroughness of the unmaking you will soon experience.” He gestures towards the floor. “Any minute now. A minor and costly act, but we accept it regardless,” the githyanki says, his orb-skull flickering as if reacting to the increasing intensity of the power throbbing off the core below. “Now. Eladrin. What shall your last words be?”

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Klingon w Bowl Cut
Apr 1, 2009

Q'pla!

Marianna

Sweating from the exertion of dashing through the corridors and hauling open the hatches, all after an intense battle, Marianna focuses for just a second on surveying the scene. Luckily her mind is quick enough that she does not need to deliberate for long.

Her newly acquired Zephyr Boots begin to glow with faint light as she uses them to fly up, directing her path toward the metal walkways close to the core. She needs to find some sort of control device; the creature on the bridge can't be the only method of manipulating the core, can it? Surely the Githyanki had ships like this before whatever that thing is came along. If worse comes to worse, she will at least be close enough to try to brute force a solution... whatever that might be.

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