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Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




The compliment has been forwarded to the rest of the group.

The aftermath

With the battle for El-Kelbed coming to an end there are some changes. It doesn't take long for elements of the town to come at odds with their peculiar saviour, especially when their savour is a larger-than average Jawa wielding an oversized ceremonial sword that demands the abdication of the city to his "Magnanimous self". But a compromise is quickly negotiated; the town will remain its independence, but all salvages rights are to be tithed to the newly recognized Emperor Es'Tan of the Utinni dynasty, protectors of Orinos.
The people of El-Kelbed aren't really bothered by this, the salvaging industry was only a secondary to its fisheries and the Jawa empire clan offering it's protection things are actually now looking up a bit.

As for the leader of the Hounds of Lucious, the lord himself, his fate becomes apparent when the Marshal returns with the Sith Lords cloak and lightsaber. He is however tight lipped about what transpired over there, even less so about the fate of his wife.
But before nightfall the woman returns to the town, dressed in rags but carrying with her a strange golden crown stained with blood. What is perhaps even stranger is that she seems to have calmed down, and is more at peace with herself. The woman takes time to thank the crew for what they have done personally, even if Kyrae's condition seems to visibly dampen her mood. And she spends the following day before their departure, conversing with the much younger Sith while she rests.
(The Deputy had a slight Sith spirit possession thing with the armor she wore in this case according to the GM, hence the twin voices mentioned last time.)

The Regulators on the other hand find themselves at odds with each other in the wake of the battle. The majority are in favour of the deal, but a select few a vocally against it. In the end The Kid, The Metal, The Mask and the Ugly leave the group on peaceful terms, refusing to becoming glorified enforcers for what they see is an alien tyrant in the making.
Due to their general unfamiliarity with the sector as a whole, they end up quizzing the crew for assistance. Who direct them towards Signos, the only other station they're aware of, to continue their crusade against lawlessness as Bounty Hunters.

It's KURZ-3 that fills in a couple of blanks into the story, his return to the crew met with teary jubilation by Nymera and the joy of the rest of the crew (well except Ross).
Malfunctioning due to the effects of the ion blast the droid managed to make itself into a cave where it shut down, only to wake up later in a Jawa sandcrawler. Thanks to the crew having disabled his logic gates in order to save Ross, combined with his peculiar neurocortex thanks to Nymera, the Jawas were unable to implant a restraining bolt on it.
Not that it made him immune to ion weapons mind you, and after several days of negotiation the droid was presented as a gift to the Emperor to be Es'Tan.
As it turns out the Jawas were in a precarious position; Es'Tan's clan had this scheme running where they used their orbital defence laser as well as an Ion Cannon to lure ships to the plains of steel. There they would disassemble the ships and ransom the crew to the Scything Eye to make a profit.
But in this case they managed to strike gold by managing to shoot down a Czerka cruiser, the same cruiser that the crew saw over the town.
But the problem is that the Jawas were unable to get access to the ship due to its defence and the crew barricaded within.
KURZ-3, knowing a ship full of battle droids and the Jawas crawlers might be of assistance to the crew in their fight against the cannibals, offered the would be Emperor a solution.
By using the same tactic as his owners/friends did on Coral, the droid infiltrated the ship and disabled the ship's reactor and shields, thusly making it vulnerable to the Jawa's ion weapons.
Now with an army of droids and a fully functioning spaceship, Es'Tan agreed to test out his new forces against the Cannibals.

Lastly there is the Scything Eye, who clearly were up to something during the crew's mission near the fortress of In-Amenas. From the Regulators they learn that the place is now empty, leaving only corpses and a few destroyed ships behind. Based on security footage it appears as if a violent coup befell the pirates. One feed in particular shows the same woman they saw on the train strolling into a meeting with other captains, leaving shortly thereafter with several of them dead and the few survivors groveling at her feet and swearing their loyalty to her.
From one of the Regulators, The Trooper, they learn of her identity; Morr Darren. A former Imperial General who has now seized control of all the remaining assets of the Scything Eye. Leaving In-Amenas behind and taking her two dozen ships, including frigates and at least one cruiser, and leaving for space.
Where and for what purpose they do not know.
Yet.

Next time: Science!

(Ended up splitting these up because otherwise the post might've been a bit too long.)

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Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




SCIENCE!

Leaving the scalding heat of Orinos Prime behind the Starfire heads into the depths of space once more. Heading for an abandoned Arkanian Microtech deep-space outpost that might contain the key to fix Tieron's radiation sickness.

They exit hyperspace in what becomes readily apparent to them is unknown space. There is also something incredibly wrong about this place.
Ahead of the ship they can see a matte-black darkness unfurling before them, the dead empty space between galaxies, a cul-de-sac of unending void. From that extends the tendrils of a nebula that reach out towards the inner core of the system like a great octopus reaching for a light in the darkness.
Crackles of neutron-lighting spark between the impossibly gigantic nebula before the, the source of the lighting traced back to the crimson halos of three black holes. All three looking unnaturally perfect.
Despite the Starfire being hundreds of lightyears away from this cosmic event the people onboard feel a sense of dread washing over them. For half a second it feels to everybody watching it as if they're before the jaws of a great predator. As if they are seeing some unending hunger that cares for nothing but only to obey its primeval imperative.

The galactic event in front of them has a weird effect on the ship itself, as suddenly the internal navicomputer unable to cope with what it tries to process. As if the thing ahead of them shouldn't even exist in the first place.
An issue that Tieron easily fixes, alongside with some assistance from Ross to properly reboot the computer. It's not perfect because in order to properly process the data it'd require a far deeper knowledge of astrophysics and quantum mechanics. But either way, it works and that's all they really need right now.

With the computer back in working order the scanners give back some strange reports. While the data they're given is far too technical and complex to be able to parse them at a quick glance, the data still paints an odd picture.
The serpentine shape of the nebula's core rolls out as if bifurcating something, as if there's a unnatural geometric impossibility barring its path.
There is no real way of discerning the nature of the anomaly itself, and their scanners aren't good enough to get more than a clue of its origin.
But either way, their goal is somewhere over there figuratively speaking. Ultrawave beacons forming a road through the anomaly and towards the station.

Out of everyone onboard, Ross is the one capable of parsing the data with some success. While concepts such as "Sterile-Neutrinos" (fun fact, this is an actual term and not made up) and euclydian subatomic smothering are completely beyond him, he is still able to get an idea of what is going on.

The Cold hard facts posted:

Fact #1; Otara is not a Nebula, it is classified as an extra-dimensional entity. It is alive, or at least was, existing in a temporal paradox of constant existence and death.
Fact #2 The Three black holes are artificial, the gravitational geography of the region means there is no possibility for them to exist as there is not enough gravity.
Fact #3: The area you find yourselves is charged with such gravitational density and energy that it rivals that of the center of the known galaxy. Theoretically, a big-bang could occur here at any second.

Ross laying down the facts posted:

"It's rear end though the whole placse were primed for collapsse. There'ss an artificial gravitic sstability between thesse holess, but one alteration and they would devour each other, given time. But were they created by Otara, or are they containing it?"

The GM posted:

WELP, It took you TWENTY THREE MINUTES. To find out what scientists studied in FIFTY YEARS.

Following the guide beacons towards the station, the Starfire finds itself before long in the external reaches of the "nebula", the ship sensors once again beginning to act weirdly as it tries to process what's around it. Sirra keeping the ship well within the broadcasted nav-coms. Hundreds of kilometers away they can see neutrino storms raging as gravitational vortexes pop in and out of existence. A serious deviation from the course would've most likely led to the ship being unravelled at a subatomic level, the idea of being torn atom-by-atom for an unending eternity not too far from their minds as they eke closer to their goal.

In the light of a six light-year long streak of lightning they can see a shape in the distance. Or more accurately, shapes. Long geometric lattices of grey metal, the drabness only broken up by glinting brass and the pale blue light of an energy source. Before long they can see a lattice structure weaving itself across the darkness, a veritable wall that rebukes the incoming gas cloud. Titanic diamond polyhedrons glint at exact intervals. The construction unlike anything they have seen before, a massive wall that pushes back against what should not be. Each link in the wall the size of a planet itself, the hedrons rivaling stars in their mass and scale.
While it's purpose might not be clear, its origin clearly is.
Gree.

In contrast to the wall behind it, Praxis Station looks almost benign and standard as it sits in its shadow. Barring a few markings of its owner, the Arkanian Microtech Corporation, the exterior is bland and oddly immaculate. The usual asteroid impacts and other astronomical hazards absent on its white laminated hull. At a first glance the station appears to be shut down but as they get closer they can see lights flickering on multiple levels. But there's obvious signs that things are malfunctioning, the hangar blast doors jitter slightly. Locked in a constant state of back and forth as disrepair has set into the circuits and machinery of the outpost.
The hangar deck is clear as the Starfire comes in for a landing. Scanners return nothing; there's nothing uncommon or untoward on the station. The reasons for that becomes clear as they find a transfer order for decommissioning openly displayed on the stations intranet. But without getting access to the mainframe it's hard to say why it closed.

As the crew readies to leave, previous experiences of abandoned places leaving them wary, Nymera suddenly appears in from the door to their crew quarters. The young woman is dressed in a mock getup of Kyrae's flight suit, even if the stitched together armor looks more like a leotard assembled by some urchin than true battle armor. She even comes with a blaster on her hip, even if it looks more like a husk of one swindled to her by some Jawa on Orinos.
A closer examination by Ross reveals that even calling it a blaster would be rich, the thing nothing more than a cut-down receiver lacking much, if any, of the parts necessary.

In hindsight the crew has not been great role models posted:

Nymera:"I come too, I been in ship too long !"
Sirra Iscandar stares at Nymera.
Sirra Iscandar:"Kid we have got to talk about your role models."

Taking her with them, and putting KURZ-3 on refueling the ship if there's anything left in the station storages, they head out into the station.

The crew mascot posted:

Nymera jumps excitedly as her ploy to get outside of the ship for once succeeds, grabbing a strapped together messenger bag filled with her "stuff" and food she follows obediently, looking around the all-metal interior of the station like a child in a candy shop.

The hangar itself is nondescript and completely empty. Unlike Malekk's base the previous occupants have meticulously stripped the place empty. Going as far to even remove any identifying plaques for doors. Only thanks to Ross knowledge about the type of station that they're able to get a general idea of the places layout, the station using a standardized Gallofree Yards model.
In the end they decide to split up. Ross, Kyrea and Nymera head up the station to find the office of Doctor Molkov, the previous main researcher of the station and recent defector to Czerka. Meanwhile, Tieron and Sirra are to go into the maintenance sector and track down the mainframe or a database.

Split off from each other, the permeating silence, not to mention the lack of any activity, on the station quickly begins to pick at their nerves. Blasters getting raised and pointed around at the slightest sound.
But nothing happens, the place appearing to be completely empty and abandoned.

The lower levels of the station looks like any other maintenance sector, oily, grungy and still carrying an unpleasant scent to them. Most of the terminals and dataracks have been stripped clean. The only thing left is whatever handles the stations central functions.
Luckily Sirra manages to find a map of the floors, and the two make their way towards the central datacluster in good order.

In contrast the mid levels of the station are very different, the other team finding themselves in a large interior biodome. Small pools of water and carefully organized plants can be seen, alongside stripped clean open-air laboratories. Beyond that there's closed labs, some still containing medical machinery. The trandoshan almost drooling when as he sees CTI-scanners, bacta tanks large enough to hold ten to fifteen people in them and other things.
What is even more curious is that inside one of the labs is what appears to be a recovered Gree artifact, the device looking like an open coffin plugged with wires. The problem is that the doors to these labs are closed and all the doctor can do is stare at it from a distance. All doors requiring Administrative Access.

Down in maintenance the others hit a similar stumbling block, the terminal flickering to life easily but Tieron's attempts at accessing the system is met by the need for administrative access. Both of which require access from a KMolkov.

Kyrae suddenly sees something in her peripheral vision, a small furry shape of some kind. About as big as her forearm it carries what Nymera calls a blaster in its forepaws, disappearing behind a tree it seems to make a beeline for a nearby vent. The Sith's frayed nerves get the better of her and she fires off a shot with her blaster, but only managing to miss and scaring Nymera in the process. Who, after noticing her blaster has been stole, takes off in pursuit. Ross unable to grab hold of her before she dives headlong into the ventilation shaft.

But it's not long until she emerges back out again, holding a long, furry creature in her hand. The thing imobile as the Hydragian pinches the back skin of its neck. She looks at the others triumphantly, ignoring the scratches on her forearms and a bite mark on her nose, holding her blaster in her other hand.
The creature is unlike anything Ross has seen before, appearing to be a mixture of a few species. If anything it's the creation of someone's pet project, its previous owners well known for their genetic research.
Nymera digs out a package of food from her pack and holds it out towards the creature. The moment the creature is released from the trandoshans grip it hits the ground and bounces at high speed to intercept the piece of food. It's trajectory makes it land on the Sith's chest before it slinks back down onto the ground and ducks away underneath a small bush to eat.

With the team on the upper levels busy, and their own progress stymied by the lack of admin access the other two start exploring the lower decks a bit further. Tieron discovering that he is indeed very tall and manages to bang his head on pipes, twice. In a row. But they also find that the station possesses its own hyperspace reactor. Complete with maneuvering thruster arrays and a sublight engine. The implications of this are instantly obvious to the mechanic and the starship pilot, the station is capable of moving around and entering hyperspace too.
And Tieron quickly finds out the thing is fully gassed and ready to go as well.

The crew discusses between each other over commlinks as obviously something is wrong in this case. If the station has a workable hyperdrive and engine, then why was it abandoned? And it wasn't exactly abandoned in a haste as well. So what happened?

Both teams decide to link up with each other further up the station at the crew quarters. Up in the hab section they don't find all that much beyond the standard stuff needed to sustain the station crew for years. Nymera beelining straight for the cafeteria, keen on looting it for the repackaged food that remains. The most noticeable thing is Molkov's office, which looks more like a suite with a richly decorated interior and the place furnished with wood and other luxurious material. Whoever doctor Korentz Molkov was, he lived well here.
Interestingly enough, there's plenty of personal effects left behind. Research piled up on a large desk next to a holoterminal on idle.

The crew goes to work searching through the office for any clues. Tieron once again finding his access blocked by a password prompt. While the others find a wealth of other things. Ross finding a wealth of research data in the fields of xenobiology, genetics and the treatment of mutations via radiation, all written by doctor Molkov. Alongside more research written by a Mikhla Molkova. Sirra on the other hand finds things more to her liking, treasure. Various excavated treasures and priceless pieces of art that all could be worth a few credits to the right people. She also finds a wardrobe full of outfits, oddly enough they're all female.
It's also Sirra who makes the most remarkable discovery when she finds a document mentioning a payment for Doctor Molkov's retirement fund.
Apparently the good doctor is... dead?
The document further mentioning that Mikhla Molkova is his daughter and current overseer of Praxis Station.
Or former overseer for all they know.

From skimming through the data he's found, Ross manages to gleam that Molkova's research is mainly about dealing with genetic alterations using black radiation. Using something she dubbed "Vita-Rays", and apparently the stuff worked as well, curing high amounts of genetic damage and giving her a fair amount of accolade as well in the process.

Problem is now that they're still without a password for the holoterminal. But further searches reveal another hidden set of clothes in the wardrobe that tell them that Mikhla's is a fan of Narshaada Neurocore music. To Tieron's great surprise the stuff is very similar to the stuff he listens on the regular, and its prime collector's edition stuff as well with various gold records and first or second edition prints.
The fact that she appeared to have left behind most of her personal belongings once again comes off as odd to the crew, but so far they haven't found much in ways of answers as what happened.

With the help of the doctor's music collection Tieron manages to deduce the password and opens up the terminal.
On it are two unread messages.
Opening the first they are met with the visage of C(z)INO Thomassen Carleo Der Zhantassen II, the man is dressed in a simple suit with the Czerka insignia and a silver chain around his neck. With his poorly fitted slacks and open-topped flip-flops he gives off a weird impression.
As it turns out, Czerka is well aware of Praxis station and have made plans to set up their own base of operations there. The station apparently having been cleared by a previous team of all the Microtech equipment and a new ship ready to deliver whole new suite of research equipment and people. Anyone who didn't sign up with her getting shipped off elsewhere.
According to the data on the terminal the message was accessed ten days ago.
The second message, also from Zhantassen, mentions that the ship carrying the new research equipment got robbed in transit, with a replacement on the way.
The timestamp for the second message mentions it was accessed merely five days ago.
The replacement ship could be merely days away from arriving to the station for all they know.

But now having proper admin access to the station they decide to get things operational. But as they step out of the office suite and move towards the cafeteria they find Nymera surrounded by dozens upon dozens of the same small furry creature the other saw before. All of them sitting on their haunches and eating pieces of food handed to them by her. The young woman standing in the center and ripping open packets and carefully dicing up the food before handing it over.
The crew discuss what to do with them, tentatively in favour of taking them with them so the poor creatures won't starve to death on an empty station.
Or cleared out by an uncaring soon to be owner.
And in the end maybe making a buck selling them to new owners.

The air inside the labs smell heavily of antiseptics as they step inside. Industrial freezers containing fluids, samples and genetic material filling the back end of the room. The Gree artifact the main centerpiece.
With his previous experience of Gree technology, Ross can see plenty of similarities between it and the Genesis Engine they saw on Coral. According to the notes it was in storage for a long time after being found by Microtech, and it wasn't until the discovery of the Otara Nebula and its black holes that a sufficient power source was found for it.
Originally meant for a Gree alien, the machine has been modified to be able to hold a humanoid alien instead. According to the notes it was built to reverse something called the Operator Plague. But no further details about that is provided.

Nutbutter posted:

Kyrae Sisk wanders up to one of the icy tanks and raps it with her knuckles
Kyrae Sisk:"Frozen nut butter. Lovely."
Tieron Ravenlocke chortles.
Sirra Iscandar:"Lovely"
Ross'ti Lan:"It'ss called a genetic ssample, Kyrae. Nothing sshameful about it."
Tieron Ravenlocke:"Yeah right."

Ross takes his time studying the machine, it's esoteric nature slightly beyond his capabilities. At most he's able to understand after looking at it and the notes is that the machine is capable of rewriting genetics entirely with the help of the so called vita-rays and the addition of genetic material.

(As it turned out later, Ross player misunderstood what the GM said and only rolled one skill when they could've rolled on three to learn more about the machine.)

Upon learning of this the crew realizes that Czerka is now allowed to get their hands on the artifact. Settling on taking the artifact with them on the ship for the time being once they're done.

They're young adults, what do you expect posted:

Kyrae Sisk:"Alright. One healthy dose of fresh Cathar spunk coming right up."
Kyrae Sisk begins to pick over the freezer units, then calls out to Ross
Tieron Ravenlocke groans slightly.
Kyrae Sisk:"Don't suppose that thing un-fucks arms, does it?"
Sirra Iscandar giggles even more
Ross'ti Lan sighs.
Ross'ti Lan:"Am I the only one with any modicum of decsencsy in the pressencse of ssuch ssuperssciencse? I ssupposse sso."
"And rear end your arm injury iss not a genetic condition, I don't believe it would."
Tieron Ravenlocke:"I'm not drunk enough to feel like making any innuendos or anything."

So in order to let the machine heal Tieron they need Cathar DNA. Even if Kyrae is disappointed to learn that the freezers do not contain nut butter but instead brain matter and blood instead.
But there's a problem, the Cathar storage units are empty.
They discuss if they should call the only other Cathar they know about, the ex-Jedi Vilka, but realize their location and his relative distance to them might complicate things. Especially when there is a czerka ship on the way as well. So they need to find some other option.

What is a man posted:

Kyrae and Ross; What really is the difference between a human and a sith ? Or a human and an Arkanian ? Or a Barabel and a Trandoshan.
Kyrae; Their genitals of course
Ross; Nothing in reality. DNA between species of the same classification is compatible to 95% on average. Barring a few exceptions for aquatic and non-carbon based life-forms.
Inside the container you see materiel from Zygerrians, Togorians, Trianii, all feline species.
Hybridizing Tieron would be painful, but it would cure his sickness.

The cold air of the laboratory seems to stand still as the crew discusses between each other what they should do. It's either using the artifact, alongside Zygerrian DNA as picked by Ross (a slight dick move in hindsight), or turn Tieron into a cyborg to cure him. Realizing that there aren't any other compatible donors, due to the diverse groupings of the party they come to agreement: Use the Zygerrian DNA.

Ross, the great liar posted:

"It'ss decsided then. On the bright sside, you will be unconssciouss for the procsedure, Tieron!"

Slotting the DNA into the machine, the doctor busies himself as the coffin-like sarcophagus opens up to let Tieron climb inside. Inside the coffin there's some kind of amniotic liquid at the bottom, a series of lightbulbs slide out of hidden ports as energy crackles between coils.
Stripping down to his skivvies, the cathar climbs inside with some hesitation.
But before he has time to regret his choice he is jabbed in the neck by an auto-injector as the coffin closes around him. It is not long until the world around him is completely black, his lungs filled with a liquid that lets him breathe. Leaving him unable to do anything but lying still and focusing on breathing.

Suddenly Ross realizes what he is about to do. But by then it's too late. As the vita-rays are channeled into the coffin Tieron grunts in pain as his body is subjected to rapid cellular regeneration, somehow the cathar is able to keep his cool.
But to the doctor it's becomes apparent that the procedure is not such much as an anesthetized surgery as a vivisection.
The doctor can only stare in a mix of horror and fascination as the sensor output lists the cathar's heart-rate at over 200 and a nervous system that is about to completely burn out. But somehow Tieron is able to hold on through all this.
(I rolled amazingly on a series of resilience checks during all this I should add.)
Then suddenly the readouts go cold, Tieron's vital signs completely flatlining. The doctor rushes towards the machine as the lid opens...

There is a rush of steam and underneath that they can hear the sound of wet skin being ripped, and the even less pleasant sounds of Tieron emptying his gut of fluids and possibly yesterday's dinner as well.
As the smoke begins to clear, Ross finds himself staring at the Cathar's solar plexus. A series of hardened ridgers framing his jaw as he shakes fluids out of his eyes.
Tieron's pose is somewhat straighter now, his shoulders broader and sharper. The slightly soft, himbo appearance underlined with a more imperius one. Despite this he still looks very much like his old self, albeit with vestigial ridges along the side of his temple and more human looking ears compared to a true Zygerrian.

Imagine that scene from First Avenger posted:

Kyrae Sisk:"drat. He got...big. Bigger."
Sirra Iscandar:"Jeeeeeeeeeeeeze, I didn't know there was a gun show going"
Sirra Iscandar fans herself just a little
Tieron Ravenlocke:"Uuuugh. I feel... off."
"Why do you all look shor- oh."
"Oh"

(So the splicing changed his statline even, at first it was +3 Brawn -1 Int -1 Cunning -1 Presence to a minimum of one. But when the others, in no less subtle terms, pointed out that the best mechanic suddenly had to drop his int score by one that was changed to +2 Brawn and +1 Int instead. Which I was very thankful for.)

Despite everything, Tieron feels good. If not better. Even if the pain has surely left a lasting impression on his psyche for a long time to come. The sensation of feeling his bones shattering and realigned still lingering in the back of his mind. Not to mention that split moment where his spine was severed to allow it to be straightened out, his skull torn into hundreds of pieces to be readjusted. His voice has also dropped and is now much lower than it was before, sounding more like a growl and carries a hint of superiority and condescension to it.
But despite all this, he is effectively cured of his radiation sickness and will live to see another year. If not more.

With an immediate goal finally completed the crew is left with an important decision to make. Praxis station is a hyperspace capable vessel, ready to go pretty much anywhere they want. A station also carrying an artifact that is fully capable of rewriting someone's genetics as well.
Just the station alone would fetch a high price amongst the pirate groups that had just recently lost their main hangout. They would be set for life with the money they could make from that.
But the station could also serve as an outpost for explorers into the Rishii maze, even without the capability of jumping in and out of systems the place could serve as a refueling outpost or just a place for people to rest during travels in the Maze.
In the end it's Kyrae who makes the suggestion.

Grand theft station posted:

"Why don't we just hang onto the place? Like, not just the machine, the whole lab."

The notion is agreed upon wholesale by the others. Not only would it save them the issue of taking care of the cat-like creatures onboard, it would also give them access to a hyperspace array to let them communicate with the world outside the Maze and to intercept Czerka communications in order to find the missing Merros. But something like that is even beyond the skills of someone as technologically gifted as Tieron, at least without proper training.

But that leaves another unanswered question, what are they going to do next?
Various ideas are flouted around, but before long they all narrow it down to one thing.
Bringing Nymera back home.
Asking the young woman, she tells them she's not too sure herself what she wants. Hydrag is her home and everything and she mentions something named "kol-narok" that she doesn't go into much detail about. But at the same time she enjoys their presence, not to mention seeing the galaxy as well.
She mentions she has a brother back on Hydrag, who she misses greatly. But as for going home it's obvious she doesn't really want to do that. Because that would mean she'd no longer be able to be around them, and KURZ-3 as well.

Even then they decide they're going to bring her back to Hydrag, having access to the coordinates thanks to the data they lifted from the Scything Eye on the Ring, just to see her brother at least once.

Having decided to take Praxis station as their own and where to go next, they enter the coordinates and the station enters hyperspace. Leaving the Otara Nebula far behind.

(To end it all Sirra's player managed to roll both a Triumph and Despair on their Astrogation roll for the Navigation check for the station. And this being the most recent session we'll see what happens.)

Next time: The journey home.

Cooked Auto fucked around with this message at 15:05 on Feb 19, 2021

Railing Kill
Nov 14, 2008

Computer:
Erase this entire post.

[quote="Railing Kill" post="510898741"]
My six-year-old recently asked to try D&D. I helped her make a Chaotic Good Tiefling Druid. The druid's name is Rockstar Kitty. These are her stories.

Chapter 1: How to Make (Animal) Friends and Defenestrate People
Chapter 2: Highway Robbery
Chapter 3: The Munificent Seven

Chapter 4: "I Steal the Dead Goblin Meat from the Monster Cat"
Chapter 5: Prisoner's Dilemma
Chapter 6: Prisoner's Dilemma, Part 2!

Chapter 6: Prisoner's Dilemma, Part 2

Rockstar has been arrested for unknown reasons by Duke Cornwallis, whom she expected to greet her with open arms. She established a risky, tenuous alliance with a ruthless rogue and a clever peasant to break out of prison. The three of them, plus an Old Man with dementia, have made their way out of their cells. They have one sword between them as this session starts.

I decided halfway through the last session that I really liked the spit-in-the-face-of-danger nerve and intellect of the peasant woman, so I gave her and the rogue names this time around. She is Aurelia, and the rogue is Gerald. The old man's name is yet unknown, but he has a signet ring that seems pretty darn important. I assign Aurelia to guiding the Old Man as the party ascends the stairs up from the prison to the first floor of the castle.

Soon after creeping through the passageways of the castle looking for an egress, the Rockstar hears a couple guards on their way around a corner. She decides to hide the group behind a tapestry. I suspect this is because she just learned what a tapestry is, from the setting of this scene. "I'll hide like when I hide behind the shower curtain when we're playing hide-and-seek," she says. It's not...terrible, but she rolls a hideous stealth roll and the ruse works about as well as it does in her real life example. The guards pull the tapestry aside and a brief combat ensues. The party defeats them before they alert anyone else. So far, so good.

The next encounter with a more clever guard captain who heard the scuffle, alerts more guards elsewhere in the castle. The party is on the clock now, and my daughter is flapping her arms excitedly. They find a storeroom with Rockstar's backpack in it, complete with her badger friend. (Squeaks, the rat, is already with her, having helped her escape in the first place.) Aurelia has a mace taken from the previous encounter, and they scavenge a shield, a helmet, and a pair of gauntlets from the storeroom. Gerlad also finds of gold, and a locked box that he shoves into Rockstar's backpack. The badger is pretty pissed about this. The party soon finds a window on a western wall, a stairwell up to the east, and a pair of doors in the hall they are in. This is where I establish a choice for my daughter: should the group leave ASAP as Aurelia wants to do, loot the place a bit before leaving as Gerald wants to do, or...

"I must go upstairs," says the Old Man. He is described to come into a moment of lucidity as he says this, and he focuses on Rockstar instead of looking through her as he usually does. Aurelia is strong enough to lead him around, so she tugs him toward the window while Rockstar and Gerald discuss the risks and rewards of going up. In the midst of this, they hear a pair of voices whispering from behind one of the doors.

"I don't hear any more commotion. Maybe they moved on," one of the voices says.

Rockstar blurts out, "It's ok! We escaped from the jail. We knocked out the guards!"

There is a long pause on the other side of the door. Then, one voice says to another in the room:

"Oh gods. Help me block the door."

(lol)

Rockstar hears the sound of chair legs dragging on a wood floor and decides to barge on in. She startles a pair of young, bespectacled scholars in what turns out to be a library. There is a young man and a young woman. As Gerald also rushes in to loot the room, the man moves to put himself between the party and the woman, who appears to be beginning a panic attack. The man holds up a pen like it is a weapon in an unsteady hand and says,

"Don't come any closer! I...know how to use this," he says with absolutely no confidence, almost like a question to himself.

Gerald just shoves him out of the way and starts stuffing valuable books and scrolls into a bag he found in the storeroom. Rockstar very politely asks if he will split the loot, to which he scoffs. Aurelia is at the door, keeping watch for the inevitable rush of guards from the upper stairwell. The young man finally has had enough and tries to stop Gerald, who pulls a weapon on him.

At this, my daughter's lighthearted, murder-hobo demeanor changes. She had been opportunistically looting, even if she wasn't going out of her way to do it. But now the threat against an innocent person seems to shock her sensibilities and she forgets about the loot. She uses the Thorn Whip cantrip to pull Gerald's arm back as he moves to strike down the scholar. Gerald's heel-turn finally (and obviously) complete, Rockstar decides to part ways with the rogue she cut a deal with. We go to initiative.

After a narrow miss on his part, she starts by laying down Faerie Fire on Gerald. This will help since it's basically a 1v1 duel as far as she knows at this point, but it also has another effect. At seeing magic in the room, the young woman scholar shakes off her panic, steels herself, and starts...muttering. (Rockstar failed an Arcana check to know what she was up to.) Gerald goes to work on Rockstar, landing a solid blow. He's a level 3 rogue who is spec'd for combat a lot more than her level 3 druid, so this will get ugly if Rockstar doesn't find some advantages here. Rockstar strikes back, hitting him easily with the advantage of Faerie Fire. Still, she's not hitting as hard as he is.

The young woman finishes muttering and casts Bear's Endurance on Rockstar. This gives her 9 temp HP and advantage on the CON saves she's about to make from Gerald's poisons. This and a casting of Mage Armor level the playing field, and Rockstar eventually defeats Gerald. Not a moment too soon, too, because the ticking clock has just counted down to 0 and Aurelia pops into the library to say that there are a dozen guards storming down the stairs.

The young scholars are less frazzled now. The young man is fretting though about aiding and abetting known criminals, and that the two of them should also probably leave. But when the Old Man enters with Aurelia, the man is floored. He stands agape, drops the ransacked books he had been gathering up during the melee, and falls to one knee with his head down.

"Duke Bellweather, Your Grace," he says.

He explains, as he gets out a local history book to show this, that the Old Man is the long-lost Duke of the realm, who has been missing for thirty years. The last entry for him says he "went missing" thirty years ago, and Duke Regent Cornwallis took over in his stead. There is a painting of him in the text, and although he is middle-aged in the image, the resemblance is exact.

"I am Horatio Fortinbras Bellweather VI, Duke of the Realm of Bellweather 'Twixt the Rivers," say the Old Man in another moment of clarity.

My daughter flaps her arms excitedly, then says after a pause, "Can you please change his name on the paper? It just says question marks and it should say Duke Cornwallis now." I change his name accordingly on the little roster I have with him, Aurelia, and Gerald listed. I cross out Gerald and add two new names while I'm at it: Carlos and Cara, the scholars from the library. (She is clearly a wizard, but I haven't decided if Carlos has a class yet.)

The new party has mere moments to decide if they will fight their way through to a coup right here and now, or escape and regroup. They decide to smash though the window of the library and escape. Cara casts Jump to scale the walls of the castle grounds, and Rockstar spends her last three 1st level casting to do the same for Aurelia, Carlos, and Bellweather. She uses her last Wild Shape to turn into a hawk just ahead of the guards pouring out of the window. Score another point for Jump as my daughter's favorite spell.

Rockstar has improvised her way into a righteous rebellion plot with a political dissident in Aurelia, two scholars, and a deposed Duke. Next time: turning my six year old into a terrorist I guess!

Drakyn
Dec 26, 2012



Railing Kill posted:

Next time: turning my six year old into a terrorist I guess!
I mean hell what six year old isn't already?
I definitely want to hear about it regardless, mind you.

Cartoon
Jun 20, 2008

poop

Go Kitty Rockstar!

CobiWann
Oct 21, 2009

Have fun!


Our Tanicus GM picked a couple of players from across his various games (he runs two weekly games, the bi-weekly Tanicus campaign, and a tri-weekly Curse of Strahd campaign) to help him playtest a Kickstarter 5e adventure called Into the Feywild that one of his gaming colleagues got successfully funded. Last night was the final night of the playtest. We hit level three during the campaign (there's stuff to take players from 1 to 5-6) and after clearing out a dungeon of goblins and fey gnomes, stepped through a portal and rescued a young woman from the evil clutches of a hag named Driftwood Meg. The GM called the adventure there, as it was a natural stopping point and we spent some time discussing the campaign and giving feedback.

As a final lark, when we came back through the portal, there was a goblin in a tie scrubbing up gnome blood from the floor while two bugbears were chopping up the goblin corpses and feeding the limbs into a Bag of Devouring. "Hey, you adventurers mind getting out of here? I've got to clean this place up before the open house, AND I've got a gelatinous cube coming in for a showing at 5!"

And that's when we had a 45-minute "after-session" where the party served as bodyguards for Morton Goldpiece, goblin realtor. "Morton Goldpiece, Century 11 Dungeon Dwellings! Let me find the right lair for you!"

quote:

Mind Flayer - "Is this lair convenient to local schools?"

Morton - "Oh yeah! There's a Diviner's College two days away!"

Mind Flayer - "Yum."

quote:

Morton - "Yeah, turns out the Lich didn't know the first thing about floating mortgage rates and balloon payments, but he signed the contract, and since he's Lawful Evil he's out of luck!

Morton ended up selling the lair to a nice newlywed couple, a banshee and a wight, who were looking for a fixer downer to eventually rent out to up-and-coming young ghouls.

Cobalt-60
Oct 11, 2016

Over time, random factors add up. What is chaos in the moment becomes systemic over time and space. As data accumulates, a pattern emerges.



Remembered this story from an acquaintance.

When he was 9, his mother introduced him to AD&D and gave him a wizard to play.

After 5 minutes of him casting "Belch" on everything in range, she gave him a fighter.

the_steve
Nov 9, 2005

We're always hiring!



CobiWann posted:

Our Tanicus GM picked a couple of players from across his various games (he runs two weekly games, the bi-weekly Tanicus campaign, and a tri-weekly Curse of Strahd campaign) to help him playtest a Kickstarter 5e adventure called Into the Feywild that one of his gaming colleagues got successfully funded. Last night was the final night of the playtest. We hit level three during the campaign (there's stuff to take players from 1 to 5-6) and after clearing out a dungeon of goblins and fey gnomes, stepped through a portal and rescued a young woman from the evil clutches of a hag named Driftwood Meg. The GM called the adventure there, as it was a natural stopping point and we spent some time discussing the campaign and giving feedback.

As a final lark, when we came back through the portal, there was a goblin in a tie scrubbing up gnome blood from the floor while two bugbears were chopping up the goblin corpses and feeding the limbs into a Bag of Devouring. "Hey, you adventurers mind getting out of here? I've got to clean this place up before the open house, AND I've got a gelatinous cube coming in for a showing at 5!"

And that's when we had a 45-minute "after-session" where the party served as bodyguards for Morton Goldpiece, goblin realtor. "Morton Goldpiece, Century 11 Dungeon Dwellings! Let me find the right lair for you!"



Morton ended up selling the lair to a nice newlywed couple, a banshee and a wight, who were looking for a fixer downer to eventually rent out to up-and-coming young ghouls.

Every word in this post is delightful

LawrenceFriday
Nov 2, 2009

I am an elemental spirit summoned up from the Land of the Dead itself and given one purpose, one skill, one desire: To DRIVE. Or, to change oil or adjust timing belts if no driving jobs are open.

My Pathfinder 2E character Eliza is a Changeling. When a hag - a race of monster witch women - wants to reproduce, she shapeshifts into a human, dwarf, or elf and seduces a man of that race. When the child is born, the hag leaves it with the father to be raised until she can tempt it to come find her and perform the ritual to become a full hag. Changelings feel the compulsion to become hags their entire lives, and Eliza was no exception.

Five or six sessions ago my DM Andrew and I worked out a scene in which Eliza traveled to a dream plane - her mother Raia is a night hag and thus lives in nightmares - to argue over Eliza's refusal to become a monster. Raia revealed that she had trapped Eliza's father's soul in a locket, and if Eliza didn't perform the ritual, Raia would sell his soul to devils. She gave Eliza a week to decide.

For the next five or six sessions, Eliza considered whether saving her father was worth becoming the kind of monster that turns little girls into freaks that become hated by their communities.

This week, at the deadline, Eliza was pulled into the dream plane while the rest of the party had to fight the devils Raia had promised a soul. They had to face a devil with powerful stats and a resistance to anything but silver while Eliza, empowered by dream logic, had to battle a group of dream orcs and a night hag, capable of casting higher-level spells.

Andrew danced between the battle in the material plane, giving the physical players imps and devils to battle, and also letting Eliza and Raia fight while improvising years of trauma screamed at each other.

Eliza finally thrust her swordcane into Raia's chest, and the devils claimed her soul for the black market.

It is easily the best roleplaying session I have ever had.

LawrenceFriday fucked around with this message at 00:41 on Mar 4, 2021

CobiWann
Oct 21, 2009

Have fun!


According to my DM, I may not name my half-giant Cleric "Shaquille O'Heal."

Ichabod Sexbeast
Dec 5, 2011

Giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle


CobiWann posted:

According to my DM, I may not name my half-giant Cleric "Shaquille O'Heal."

COME ON AND HEAL
AND GET BACK ON THE FIELD

MelvinBison
Nov 17, 2012

"Is this the ideal world that you envisioned?"
"I guess you could say that."



Pillbug

CobiWann posted:

According to my DM, I may not name my half-giant Cleric "Shaquille O'Heal."

I'm siding with the DM on this one. Have you had a Krispy Kreme donut?

CobiWann
Oct 21, 2009

Have fun!


Ichabod Sexbeast posted:

COME ON AND HEAL
AND GET BACK ON THE FIELD

Apparently, I'm not the only one who had this idea...I think this is Final Fantasy XIV?



(image provided by the_steve, who sadly cannot be with us for six more hours)

Preechr
May 19, 2009

Proud member of the Pony-Brony Alliance for Obama as President


If you can get your party to agree to play 4 martial-focused Wereturtles, you could make April O'Heal.

CobiWann
Oct 21, 2009

Have fun!


Preechr posted:

If you can get your party to agree to play 4 martial-focused Wereturtles, you could make April O'Heal.

The porn star?

Preechr
May 19, 2009

Proud member of the Pony-Brony Alliance for Obama as President


Look, there’s a lot of ways to use Magic Mouth. Legitimate journalist reasons, even!

ItohRespectArmy
Sep 11, 2019

Cutest In The World, Six Time DDT Ironheavymetalweight champion, Third ever International Princess champion And a pretty good singer too!
"When I was an idol, I felt nothing every day but now that I'm a pro wrestler I'm in pain constantly!"



CobiWann posted:

Apparently, I'm not the only one who had this idea...I think this is Final Fantasy XIV?



(image provided by the_steve, who sadly cannot be with us for six more hours)

that is FFXIV, which is a game where so many people have insanely creative and funny names.

midwifecrisis
Jul 4, 2005

oh, have I got some GREAT news for you!



CobiWann posted:

Apparently, I'm not the only one who had this idea...I think this is Final Fantasy XIV?



(image provided by the_steve, who sadly cannot be with us for six more hours)

FWIW I thought you were making a reference to this.

Marcade
Jun 11, 2006

Who are you to doubt El Vago?



ItohRespectArmy posted:

that is FFXIV, which is a game where so many people have insanely creative and funny names.

It made my day when I ran into a character named Porkchop Express (my chocobo was also named Porkchopexpress)

Chase Derringer
Jun 18, 2011

Hello! Ma baby
Hello! Ma honey
Hello! Ma *SKREEEEEEEEEEE*

Lipstick Apathy

Oh man, there is some character drama incoming in our Strahd campaign.
A bit of background: Lum is an oath of redemption Paladin and she spent a LONG time trying to talk to the Burgomaster of Vallaki and find any shred of good in him/reason to let him live. Like talked to him for way longer than any sane person would and it inevitably resulted in combat (Izek’s death and exiling the burgomaster to Krezk, his town of choosing because not only could Lum not kill him but she had to let him decide where his exile was gonna be)

Last night’s session: The party is traveling to Krezk for the first time. They are set upon by wolves and werewolves, and one of the werewolves is the ex-burgomaster!

Lum realizes this and doesn’t want the party to kill him still. She convinced everyone to knock werewolf burgomaster unconscious. Lum tied the burgomaster up to a tree and Maxim (that’s me! Tiefling, sorlock, looking increasingly deader as the campaign progresses) was like "What happens when he escapes and attacks someone else?" And Lum goes "This is what I decide for now. This is the option I have. It's not good. But it's the only thing I can think of." And then as they are leaving, Maxim in the back of the traveling party, casts eldritch blast using subtle spell and literally EVERYONE fails their perception check as he kills the burgomaster with no one else the wiser. There will be a tremendous drama bomb when Lum eventually finds out

Ichabod Sexbeast
Dec 5, 2011

Giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle


Is that the toxic positivity burgomeister? Had it coming IMO

Yawgmoth
Sep 10, 2003

This post is cursed!


Chase Derringer posted:

Maxim in the back of the traveling party, casts eldritch blast using subtle spell and literally EVERYONE fails their perception check as he kills the burgomaster with no one else the wiser. There will be a tremendous drama bomb when Lum eventually finds out
Clearly some other warlock blasted the absolute poo poo out of him.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




Into the eye of the storm

The trip through hyperspace with their new space station is uneventful, after two weeks in hyperspace they emerge into realspace. The stations new location is a faraway corner of the maze, behind an unnamed gas giant. This has given them plenty of time to plan their next move, getting Nymera back to her homeworld.

They find themselves meeting up in the station's longue, greeted by a very rough starmap of the Rishii Maze. Bright dots mark various major planets and looking over it they can see the ones they've been to, or heard about. As well as some others. Between those are various hideouts, stations and outposts that are operated by either Czerka or the Scything Eye.

Of particular interest is one world, Harraef. It's a storm world located in an magnetically unstable region where neither major faction has set foot or made claim to.
Mostly because it's already under the control of a Hutt warlord named Sanghelios, formerly of the Cartel.
Scything Eye have barely no interested in the place, no population or resources to exploit, and it's too unstable as well.
Czerka's interests on the hand lie more with the holdings of the Hutt. Namely the Gree spacecraft that he's claimed as hiw own.
Neither faction has made their move but through the files the crew has managed to accrue they learn that the Eye's chief astro-engineer, responsible for the hyperspace beacons, has fled to Harraef. He's now under the protection of the Hutt and therefore out of touch, and there's now a standing kill-order on him.

So in order to be able to get to Hydrag the crew needs to get in touch with the engineer, Ver Pertilio, and convince him to help them. Otherwise they'll have a hard time finding the place in the nebula its located in.
The issue with this is that they first need to get an audience with Sanghelios, which is hard because the Hutt has a reputation for being irritable and only interested in his swoop races.

According to the files they have on him, Sanghelios fled to the Maze alongside his accomplice, Archon Mgalekgolo, who Ynedra works for. But they separated after differences arose between them. With Sanghelios ultimately retreating to Harraef to pursue his interests, namely pleasure and entertainment.
The Hutt spends all of his time onboard the Gree spacecraft and hosting lavish parties, contests and races. The planet itself helps makes the swoop races different every time, not to mention deadly. Much to the delight of the audience.
Despite his exile he runs two highly popular Holo-net shows: “Bo wan che copa!” and “Peedunkee, caba dee unko Obita!”

During their stay onboard the station, Nymera has busied herself with the dino-cat creatures they discovered earlier. The Hydrag naming them "Slinkies". After two weeks of searching the creatures have all been returned to their pens, with its feeding system repaired so they won't escape again.
Beyond that the girl has kept herself busy in various ways. Outside of being chased around by Kurz for her lessons in Aurabesh, she could usually be found tampering with some of the station's hardware and repairing various systems.
Even if she at most is only able to bring them into a rough working order, more often requiring Tieron to pick up the job after her and make sure they're actually safe.

Despite the medical gear on the station, Ross finds himself unable to properly heal Kyrae's crippled arm. The Sith having to rely on either Tieron or Kurz to help her work on her projects or work on the speeder bike they got on Orinos Prime.
Contemplating it for a while she decides to have the trandoshan replace it with a cyber prosthesis instead. That operation going off smoothly thanks to the stations gear. Even if it'll take her another week or so to get it properly functional because slight muscle atrophy in her crippled limb.

But as the Sith leaves surgery she is immediately accosted by Nymera, who really wants to see and touch her brand new forelimb.

She's a weird one posted:

Nymera puts her face directly onto the metal limb, rubbing her cheeks on it.
Nymera:"Ky chosen yes ! Be mighty warrior ! Look Nym too have metal"
Nymera flashes her arm, metal rods and bones pushing through her malleable skin.

The Hydrag insists that she needs to make the Sith Val-Rot, which means life song according to her. It's an ritual where you inscribe your past life on a limb. The girl showing off the etchings on her bones through her near translucent skin.
The others watch in rapt (or horrid fascination in the case of Ross) as the girl works her magic on the Sith's cybernetic. A ripple of static makes the metal bend like water, bundles of cybernetic nerves fuse as cables melt into one another. The end result is a facsimile of muscle that looks far more refined than any other cybernetics the trandoshan has seen.
The central frame of the limb melts slightly, reforming in a replica of a radius and ulna, cycling valves turn to tendons and rotary bones made out of silica and steel. As Nymera traces her hand along the length ot it, small etchings form themselves in its wake.
But despite the alterations, the limb is still a mechanical prosthesis. The anchor to the Sith's fleshy body still entirely mechanical, allowing to be detached if necessary. Curiously, the closer her touch went to the organic part, the less etchings are visible. As if she's unable to replicate the effect on regular skin.

quote:

Nymera:"I have not met Kyrae long but she is good friend. So Nymera write story of how met Kyrae and become friend. When Nymera no longer here Kyrae remember her, remember the story."
"If Kyrae take me back to home then I will have to do Kol-narok. Will be goodbye. Now you always carry me with you !"

When they ask Nymera about what Kol-narok really is she first looks worried for a moment, as if unwilling to share more, before finding a quick excuse to be someplace else and quickly running off.
Talking about it, the crew worries that this ritual or something means that Nymera is going to be unable to leave Hydrag and they'll be forced to leave her behind. But at the same time not letting her see her brother would be somewhat uncaring as well, the girl having lost her parents on the Ring.
It's something they're going to have to figure out later, now there's the issue with the Hutt.

They quickly hash out a plan of taking part in the races, with the ultimate goal of getting into the Hutt's good books and score an audience with him and the engineer they need to talk to.
But first they need to get to Harraef.

(And this is where Sirra's player manages to roll a failure on the Astrogation check.)

The trip to Harraef through hyperspace takes two days and is uneventful and they emerge into the planet's gravity well without issue. In front of them the golden planet is lit by the twin suns of the system, it's a very respectable sight.
That is immediately shattered by wail of sensors going nuts. It's then they see the sunlight refracting of the ring of shattered asteroids that surround the planet.
As it turns out, Harraef used to have moons. Seventy three of them in fact, now there's only one left. A large blue orb that orbits above it and the rest are strung around the planet's orbit like a graveyard.
The sensor readings are off the charts as they pick up a magnetic storm raging between the asteroid fragments. The length of the storm leading down to the planet itself. Thanks to the navigators reckless mathematics they now find themselves pulled into the storm, a ear piercing screech reverberating through the ship as a large asteroid rips through the ships underside and ripping out the aft stabilizers.

After a moment of confusion the crew springs into action, with Kyrae and Tieron going for the ships guns to clear a path for Sirra, with Ross trying to figure out a path through the maelstorm.
More than once large asteroids nearly spell their doom but thanks to everyone's joint effort they manage to get clear of the storm. And as the klaxons quiet there is only the weak blares from the engineering console as it lists the damage sustained.

Main characters never enter quietly posted:

Kyrae Sisk:"poo poo, when do we ever make a quiet entrance?"
Tieron Ravenlocke:"Cor- no. Orinos- nope. Yeah I guess you're right there."

As the others celebrate surviving another brush with death, Tieron takes a look at the damage readings. It's not pretty. The ship has sustained heavy hull damage, the damage possibly even worse than what the sensors tell him. That alone is going to set them back 6000 credits. Problem is that the Maze is not a place that is obviously crawling with places that can repair ship, which means that the prices can be doubled in the name of "scarcity". Thankfully the other systems are only taxed and will only require heavy repairs, which will "only" set them back another few thousand credits.
As the ship flies closer to the planet, the crew discusses how they're going to find the money to foot the repair bill, the sum in question far above their current funds.

Should've said strip pazaak posted:

Tieron Ravenlocke:"Heh. Might be a bit suspicious. But that might be Sirra's place of expertise than mine. The only 'gambling' I did back in the day was the occasional bout of strip poker or light card games with friends."
Sirra Iscandar:"gambling you say?"
Kyrae Sisk raises her eyebrows
Kyrae Sisk:"Strip poker?"
Sirra Iscandar:"I mean I never mind a fun, friendly game of Pazaak"
Tieron Ravenlocke:"Well yeah. Get a bunch of drunk teens in a room and before long someone is going to drop the suggestion."
"You're telling me you never had anything like that back home?"
Kyrae Sisk snorts
Kyrae Sisk:"Fun might as well have been illegal back home. Pretty much everything else was."

In comparison to their exit out of hyperspace the trip to the planet itself is uneventful. But they also get a good look at the planet itself. Harraef was probably a really nice planet at some point. But that time is long gone now, the Starfire narrowly avoiding a massive chunk of debris as it leaves the atmosphere. The ground is barely visible through the roiling storm, but what they can see is a scarred wasteland of scorched stone. The planet's crust separated by miles and miles of plasma storms and gravitational echo-storms.
As they fly through a series of islands and mountains undergoing terminal deconstruction they reach one of the calm spots, where islands of grass and stone float lazily in the air. Arcs of lightning tracing along their rocky bellies.
They reach their destination not long thereafter, a large geometric slab of grey metal that they all now recognize as a Gree structure. Multiple additions has been made along the sides of it, pleasure barges, yachts and other vessels forming a vertical city that rises above the storm. Gilded parapets glinting in the sunlight and seemingly making the clouds glow from within.
Around the Gree ships are a series of pillar-stations, storm-stabilisers built by the master of the place.

As the Starfire edges closer to the station they get the first signs that they've been spotted. Several sensor pings indicating that anti-ship weaponry are now tracking them as they approach. Followed by another that they're being hailed, their communicator coming to life moments later, a female honeyed voice coming through the speakers.

We have you in our sights posted:

Good day VS-7 Freighter marked as Starfire. Welcome to Sangheilos' palace, please indicate your business here and power down your weapons.

The woman has barely finished before they can see a pair of strike fighters launching and heading their way.

We're committed now posted:

Kyrae Sisk:"We're here for the races. Looking to compete."
Meera Otayziu:"Very well, and who shall be competing ? Lord Sanghelios did not issue open invitations."
Kyrae Sisk glances helplessly at the others
Tieron Ravenlocke shrugs slightly.
Tieron Ravenlocke:"You're our driver in this case."
Kyrae Sisk turns back to the speaker and clears her throat
Kyrae Sisk:"Kyrae of House Sisk, daughter of Vilesha, daughter of Zaylis, last pureblood scion of Korriban. I assure you, your lord will find my skills most entertaining to watch."
Kyrae Sisk sweats anxiously.

To their slight surprise, the voice on the other side allows them to land and apologizing for the unruly nature of the planet as it also reads the ship as damaged.
The strike fighters peeling off as they get closer.
So far so good.

Internal screaming posted:

Kyrae Sisk:"Pureblood scion of...gently caress's sake, how do I keep coming out with this stuff. Now I'm gonna have to act like I know what I'm talking about."

The hangar bay they're directed to turns out to be a sky dock of some kind. Complete with barges and mag-clamps to keep the ships safe and secured to the side of the palace. Until that moment where someone decides your welcome is overdue and disables the clamps, sending the ship plummeting into the eye of the storm below.
Classic Hutt.

They are met by a pair of neimoidians, dressed in colourful and clean suits, as a ramp is extended out towards them. Behind those is a gaggle of other employees and mechanics.
Through their welcoming committee they learn that repairing the ship is going to cost them 10000 credits. Although Ross, after realizing that they're grossly exaggerating the amount of repairs needed, manage to barter it down to the 8000.
After paying their fees, and some light administrative work regarding Kyrae's part in the races, the neimoidians leave.

Now as guests the crew ventures leaves the hangar and head up the side of the gigantic Gree dreadnought. Everywhere they look they see statues of fine art, tasteful dancers and exotic beasts. Even the servants are smiling, well-dressed and professional. Any security is nearly invisible, warriors carrying lavishly decorated armors and carrying ceremonial of cortosis and beskar can be seen watching from the shadows. Some following behind guests of import to ensure their security.
The crowds in the Gallery they find themselves in is large and mied, pirate lords and captains dressed to the nines mill with businessmen and scoundrels who look awkwardly out of place in comparison.
Then there's the Hutts. They come in all shapes and sizes, lounging in hover-chairs as they discuss trade deals with their partners. None of them important enough to be considered a lord.
If the Ring was things at its lower, then this place is at its highest.

In the midst of this dance of high-society, a lithe umbaran weaves through with ease. Exchanging pleasantries and meeting guests with the manners and grace of a social butterfly. The woman excuses herself from a pair of wookie traders as she spots the crew and approaches them.

Their entrance elicits several different reactions. Tieron draws many eyes upon him, from curious Hutts to a few, very confused, Zygerians as well as a flustered twi'lek matron. Ross finds himself ruffled by the sight of the wookies, fighting down the instinctual hatred trandoshans have for their rivals. But they obviously don't consider him a threat and simply look him up and down. Kyrae draws looks many looks as well due to the rarity of seeing a Sith in the region at these times. Sirra also gets a lot of attention, but the attention gets to her and she ends up feeling lacking any social grace. The sneering looks from Nautolans that recognize the girl as a lowborn does not help either.

Kyrae slipping into her role with ease. posted:

Sirra Iscandar mutters something about "snobs"
Meera Otayziu extends her arms, welcoming you with a bright natural smile that seems genuine, beckoning you toward an open seating area next to one of the railing she begins her practiced spiel.
Meera Otayziu:"We are honoured to have you here Lady Sisk. Your name does carry weight and we are thrilled to see you perform on the tracks. Lord Sangheilos extends his warmest greetings to the Last Scion of Korriban."
Kyrae Sisk glances disdainfully at Sirra and waves her hand
Kyrae Sisk:"Enough, pilot. You caused us enough trouble getting here, so hold your tongue."

With Ross assuming the role of Kyrae's manager the two chatter with Meera about things. The two 'underlings' keeping to themselves.
In the crowds Kyrae can easily spot that Czerka does indeed have a presence at the palace, spotting a woman wearing a dangerously risqué dress trailed by a pair of assistants. She is currently speaking with a pirate wearing a repaired Imperial Navy coat, his cybernetics indicating a very eventful life. She also spots a trio of Mandalorians cloaked in red, guarding by a wealthy looking Hutt on a grav-sled.
She also spots something else she recognized, one of the Black Maw lieutenants they met on the Ring. The tall Cerean woman they met after their escape from the Verpine ambush, next to her is Norrin. The Zeltron busy talking something very technical to a pair of Duros starship jockeys and the Cerean looking bored out of her mind.

Having successfully kept up their charade of being racers of some well renown, Meera excuses herself to talk to another guest.

They're still alive posted:

Kyrae Sisk turns to the others as soon as Meera is out of earshot, muttering out the corner of her mouth while maintaining her aura of disdain
Kyrae Sisk:"How'm I doing?"
Ross'ti Lan gives an obliging nod, keeping formal appearances until Meera has turned her attention elsewhere. He relaxes slightly then, exhaling.
Ross'ti Lan:"Well! They haven't vented uss out for our impudencse, sso I would call that a ssuccsesss."
Kyrae Sisk:"Shoulda worn a dress. gently caress, I don't even own a dress."
Tieron Ravenlocke gives Ky a thumbs up.
Tieron Ravenlocke:"I'd say you're doing a pretty good job so far."
Sirra Iscandar glares at Kyrae
Sirra Iscandar:"Hold your tongue, huh?"

So far so good?? posted:

Sitting down at the table you suddenly come to realization that you've still got no idea what the races are about and what the prizes are.
And you've lied yourselves into quite a shark tank now.

Next time: Wining and Dining.

Deki
May 12, 2008








Years ago when I was in college, I was in a D&D group of players that played a very longrunning campaign where we were all playing evil characters running a criminal empire in a high-fantasy world. It was a great group because we were all dorm-bound and had consistant schedules, and our DM was insanely flexible (He had a different idea for a campaign but was happy to roll with the idea over the first few sessions).

Anyway, long story short, we eventually had to stop due to the GM graduating, and our characters end the campaign rich as gently caress, having effectively wormed our hooks into the city and kingdom we were based out of, and had killed or corrupted any local organizations, with taking out the Templar faction that was compiling evidence against us being our final . The rogue ends up taking over the criminal org we were running, the Barbarian "retires" into being the local arena's champion, the cleric fucks off to god knows where, and the sorc and bard (me) return to our homeland, since we were spies originally sent to gently caress with the kingdom, and did an *amazing* job.

Very cool campaign, but not why I'm writing this up.


What prompted this post, was that the guy who played the Barbarian (we'll call him Doug) started DMing recently, and had an idea for a homebrew campaign. He invites a bunch of people to do an online campaign, and I guess the theme of this adventure is finding and killing off all of the characters from the evil campaign we ran years ago. Doug works at the same company as the guy who played the cleric, and lets him know about the campaign, and then it gets brought up in a discord a a few of us are in, and we have a bit of fun talking about how fun that campaign was and how most of us miss having a reliable group. A few days later, I guess the guy who played the rogue (we'll call him Brian) read the messages, and flips the gently caress out. For you see, he didn't give permission to use his character in a campaign, and certainly didn't give permission to kill him off, and it's boiled into a three week long flamefest on discord between the two, where both Doug and Brian are legitimately angry at each other over this. I legit wonder how our group managed 3 years of no-drama back in the late 2000s when we were in college.

Railing Kill
Nov 14, 2008

Computer:
Erase this entire post.

Deki posted:

Years ago when I was in college, I was in a D&D group of players that played a very longrunning campaign where we were all playing evil characters running a criminal empire in a high-fantasy world. It was a great group because we were all dorm-bound and had consistant schedules, and our DM was insanely flexible (He had a different idea for a campaign but was happy to roll with the idea over the first few sessions).

Anyway, long story short, we eventually had to stop due to the GM graduating, and our characters end the campaign rich as gently caress, having effectively wormed our hooks into the city and kingdom we were based out of, and had killed or corrupted any local organizations, with taking out the Templar faction that was compiling evidence against us being our final . The rogue ends up taking over the criminal org we were running, the Barbarian "retires" into being the local arena's champion, the cleric fucks off to god knows where, and the sorc and bard (me) return to our homeland, since we were spies originally sent to gently caress with the kingdom, and did an *amazing* job.

Very cool campaign, but not why I'm writing this up.


What prompted this post, was that the guy who played the Barbarian (we'll call him Doug) started DMing recently, and had an idea for a homebrew campaign. He invites a bunch of people to do an online campaign, and I guess the theme of this adventure is finding and killing off all of the characters from the evil campaign we ran years ago. Doug works at the same company as the guy who played the cleric, and lets him know about the campaign, and then it gets brought up in a discord a a few of us are in, and we have a bit of fun talking about how fun that campaign was and how most of us miss having a reliable group. A few days later, I guess the guy who played the rogue (we'll call him Brian) read the messages, and flips the gently caress out. For you see, he didn't give permission to use his character in a campaign, and certainly didn't give permission to kill him off, and it's boiled into a three week long flamefest on discord between the two, where both Doug and Brian are legitimately angry at each other over this. I legit wonder how our group managed 3 years of no-drama back in the late 2000s when we were in college.

Yikes. Maybe it's just me and my group, but no one I've played with is attached to their characters at all after a campaign is over. We've even done the long-view thing and had past PCs come back as NPCs and it's been fun. Sorry to hear one of your players is being a goober about it. Maybe they'll get over it. (But if this drama has been going on for three weeks that seems doubtful.)

Of course, the spite move would be to start the new campaign by killing off that player's character ignobly, like The Comedian at the beginning of Watchmen.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



I can understand being annoyed at not being asked permission for using a character especially if you've been playing them for a long time - but jesus christ, that's not something worth three weeks of solid flaming and possibly completely severing a friendship over

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Robindaybird posted:

I can understand being annoyed at not being asked permission for using a character especially if you've been playing them for a long time - but jesus christ, that's not something worth three weeks of solid flaming and possibly completely severing a friendship over

Same. This is some unhealthy attachment.

Yawgmoth
Sep 10, 2003

This post is cursed!


Robindaybird posted:

I can understand being annoyed at not being asked permission for using a character especially if you've been playing them for a long time - but jesus christ, that's not something worth three weeks of solid flaming and possibly completely severing a friendship over
Same. I probably would have been like "would have been nice to get a request to use my character beforehand", but holy poo poo it's not like anyone's publishing the complete works of Your Character anywhere.

Deki
May 12, 2008








Robindaybird posted:

I can understand being annoyed at not being asked permission for using a character especially if you've been playing them for a long time - but jesus christ, that's not something worth three weeks of solid flaming and possibly completely severing a friendship over

I was initially a bit annoyed, but moreso that my character hosed back off to the kingdom he was working for at the end of the campaign and shouldn't be hanging around to be killed by a bunch of level 2s or whatever. The actual "canonicity" of the killing or whatnot I don't really care about, and even if we somehow rebooted the campaign after all these years (fat chance after this), faking our deaths for some reason is entirely in line with everything we did in that campaign anyway.

Yawgmoth posted:

but holy poo poo it's not like anyone's publishing the complete works of Your Character anywhere.

I can't tell if that would be a good book or a terrible one. Half my sessions were basically being semi-ineffectual support, the other half were masterfully convincing the local rubes that yes, we totally killed all the bandits. Pay no attention to the unwashed and angry looking fellows who followed us back into town, they're our new employees, don't worry about it, please pay us now.

Nemo
Feb 24, 2001

Uh! Double up Uh! Uh!


Robindaybird posted:

I can understand being annoyed at not being asked permission for using a character especially if you've been playing them for a long time - but jesus christ, that's not something worth three weeks of solid flaming and possibly completely severing a friendship over
But if your character dies, you have to kill yourself in real life. It’s no laughing matter!

I read a religious pamphlet one time. You can trust me on this.

Agrikk
Oct 17, 2003

Take care with that! We have not fully ascertained its function, and the ticking is accelerating.


Robindaybird posted:

I can understand being annoyed at not being asked permission for using a character especially if you've been playing them for a long time - but jesus christ, that's not something worth three weeks of solid flaming and possibly completely severing a friendship over

It seems to be common courtesy to ask before cameo-ing a character in a different campaign. And actually killing off the character? Yeah no. I know I'd be loth to agree to someone killing off my character, even if the campaign is long since over and the character itself relegated to good memories. As it happens, I like my memories of campaigns gone by, and I like knowing that my characters successfully retired / inherited the kingdom / saved the world / lived happily ever after. Like how Sam becomes mayor long after Frodo takes the grey ships: if Christopher Tolkien decided that Sam dies to an assassination by the Sackville-Bagginses I'd be loving pissed.

If I were the DM, I'd simply start a new campaign in which a set of not-characters get killed by the new bunch. After all, who gives a gently caress? It's a new campaign and the old characters get killed in practically the first scene. If the new bunch chasing the old bunch was core to the story then maybe I could see killing the old characters eventually but even then, why not make the old bunch simply a shadowy imitation of the old bunch of PCs so they can continue to live in the player's memories while the plot moves on?

Yawgmoth
Sep 10, 2003

This post is cursed!


Nemo posted:

But if your character dies, you have to kill yourself in real life. It’s no laughing matter!

I read a religious pamphlet one time. You can trust me on this.
Blackleaf, nooooooooooooo

Admiralty Flag
Jun 7, 2007

I do not wish to create joinder with your stank ass



Slippery Tilde

Nemo, I think it's time for you to learn some real magic.

It's a shame Yawgmoth wasn't able to handle the game

Agrikk
Oct 17, 2003

Take care with that! We have not fully ascertained its function, and the ticking is accelerating.


The Great Library of Thalos

Upon our return to Thalos we split up to attend to our affairs: Ospar pays a visit to the Elders at the Church of Hextor, Severance enters the Citadel of Thalos to have an audience with the Overlord, Laenaya goes off to stalk prey, and Snakeeyes does whatever he does when finding himself with some spare time. I barely make time to take my leave of my friends with a vague promise to meet up with them at the Department of Sanitation Department sometime soon before making a beeline to the Sage’s Guild and the Library of Thalos.

With Foulsfield powering me, I teleport myself to the upper tier of the Sage’s Guild and let myself in, to the surprise and astonishment of the guards there, and presently find myself in the cluttered office of Allustan the Sage who updates me on the latest news.

The city is worse for the wear and the stench of unattended garbage is adding to the feeling of decay that permeates the place. While undead cause me personally no concern anymore, the wights and skeletons and zombies created by the ulgurstasta are everywhere and those citizens who could not find safe haven have only added to their ranks. The beleaguered Browns and Blacks are still escorting food caravans though the city, but infrastructure is breaking down due to lack of maintenance.

“But in these walls, books and scrolls previously thought well-catalogued continue to reveal new knowledge of histories and lore long-forgotten. We stand poised on an era of great learning should the current ill-tidings pass.”

He pauses here and pours himself a cup of tea. “But why are you here, Pepper?”

“We have returned to Thalos to reequip after destroying Dragotha’s phylactery. And now I am looking for Dragotha’s lair and the closest earthnode to it.”

“You are going to destroy Dragotha?” He looks at me askance.

“We are going to try at least.”

We search the library with the aid of other scholars. It takes several days of research but in the end we come up with a crude map of the earthnodes in the lands to the West, including Fowlsfield, Rocktable, and Greenroot, and the desolate plains of the Bone March to the east of the Barrier Peaks. It is no secret that Dragotha makes his lair in a spur of the Rift Canyon, but we do discover an earthnode within the canyon called Clawcairn that should provide a quick bypass to a long and arduous journey.

Agrikk
Oct 17, 2003

Take care with that! We have not fully ascertained its function, and the ticking is accelerating.


The Wormcrawl Fissure

Without further ado we gear up for another expedition and travel via Rocktable to Clawcairn, the earthnode near the Rift Canyon, and begin our descent into its depths. As we follow a ravine into the canyon, multiple layers of fog banks obscure the sky, making for a gloomy overcast realm despite the full moon shining brightly overhead.

While initially appearing deserted, Rift Canyon and the spur hosting Dragotha’s lair are actually inhabited by creatures fell and terrible. Some we manage to avoid or parley, others we destroy: another ulgurstasta and a mated pair of chimeras giving us exceptional difficulty.

Our journey eventually takes us to a path leading to a small tower built on a spur overlooking the canyon floor. Outwardly, the tower is exotic and artistic, looking like a large dome with a gracefully hooked spire that rises over the top like a law. The dome and tower itself are crafted of polished obsidian flawlessly executed.

Since this is clearly not the lair of a three thousand year old undead dragon lich, we decide to knock on the door to speak with the inhabitants. After a moment’s wait the front gate opens soundlessly and standing within a small courtyard is a stunning humanoid. The lillend standing before us has the bare arms, head and torso of a beautiful woman, with feathers in place of hair and wings. From the waist down she has the body of a serpent and her feather and scales are brightly colored and patterned.

“You’ve knocked politely and not shouted demands at me like that fool Thessalar,” she speaks to us in a voice low and melodious as four gigantic stone golems move into flanking positions at the gate. But crossly continues, “And yet you disturb me while I am in a creative mood. What is it you want, strangers?”

Severance steps forward. “Inf’rmat’n, ma’am. We are hunting Dragotha and will pay for any information that will lead us to him.”

At this she scoffs. “Money? I am not interested in money.” She waves her hands grandly around her courtyard, making her scales shimmer and her toned body move, well, rather deliciously.

Snakeeyes sidemouths to me. “You are getting turned on, aren’t you?”

“Kinda.”

Not taking my eyes off of the lillend. I speak up. “Madame, your home is a work of art and the statues in this courtyard are impressive as they are detailed.”

“Thank you,” she nods and gestures to a bizarrely formed statue near the entrance to the tower. “This is my current project. I petrified a derro who was annoying me and now I am re-sculpting his statue into a halfling.”

“We are not geared for performance or craftsmanship, but might I cook you dinner? I have some skill in the kitchen and perhaps we could discuss Dragotha over a nice pairing.”

So we find ourselves hour later in a parlor in her tower as I put together a meal from our rations and the lillend’s spices. It seems that Zulshin doesn’t really eat, per se, but enjoys the effect food has on the senses.

Over the course of dinner and several bottles of wine she lays it out for us.

“I know of Dragotha as most do here in the Canyon, and know the location of his lair. Though I admit to being detached from most goings-on in the world and know nothing of this Age of Chaos you speak of, but I think I will help you if you will help me.”

“Wha’ do y’ suggest?” asks Severance.

“On yonder pinnacle of rock there is a fortress. Within this fortress is a lich by the name of Thessalar. He is quite mad and fancies himself in love with me. He has made several rather annoying attempts to seduce me and does not understand that my mere existence is not tacit approval.

If you were to destroy the lich that would be one favor I would deliver to you.”

Ospar speaks up over the rim of his cup, “Any other requests?”

“Yes.” She pins me under the gaze of her vertical-slitted eyes. “If Indirian agrees to become my manservant for the period of one year.”

Snakeeyes laughs, Ospar sputters into his wine glass and Severance frowns. Only Laenaya remains impassive. I feel the heat begin to flush my cheeks. “An’ in return we are t’ get wha’ exactly?

“When you find Dragotha, I will come to you with my four soldiers. I will help you defeat him.”

“I stay with you for one year as your manservant and guardian, and we destroy this lich. In return you will bring your might to bear against Dragotha.”

Snakeeyes smirks as he whispers, “Are you sure you know what you are doing?”

“No,” I whisper back. “But she is exquisite, isn’t she?”

Agrikk fucked around with this message at 20:13 on Mar 18, 2021

Ichabod Sexbeast
Dec 5, 2011

Giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle


Agrikk posted:

The city is worse for the wear and the stench of unattended garbage is adding to the feeling of decay that permeates the place.

Sounds like you should petition the Overlord for additional department department funding

Agrikk
Oct 17, 2003

Take care with that! We have not fully ascertained its function, and the ticking is accelerating.


Ichabod Sexbeast posted:

Sounds like you should petition the Overlord for additional department department funding

I'm imagining Thÿs and Severance standing in front of the alderman, Prince Zeech:

"I'm sorry my friends, but these are unprecedented times and our budget is stretched thin as it is. Now more than ever it is important to tighten up our belts and adjust to the new normal. With the ulgurstasta destroying the arena, the Red Eye invasion of the docks and the construction of the Ziggurat of Hextor, there just isn't the spare funding. I understand that a third of your crew are now mindless zombies roaming the streets and another third are slain outright, but my hands are tied right now. Come back when the undead plague begins to abate and the economy starts back up and we'll see what we can do."

Ichabod Sexbeast
Dec 5, 2011

Giving 'em the old razzle-dazzle


I look forwards to the Department of Sanitation Department sweeping the conservative austerity regime out of office and bringing in a new age of full funding for essential public services

Agrikk
Oct 17, 2003

Take care with that! We have not fully ascertained its function, and the ticking is accelerating.


Ichabod Sexbeast posted:

I look forwards to the Department of Sanitation Department sweeping the conservative austerity regime out of office and bringing in a new age of full funding for essential public services

It's funny you should mention that...

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MelvinBison
Nov 17, 2012

"Is this the ideal world that you envisioned?"
"I guess you could say that."



Pillbug

I started up a 13th Age campaign with my usual online group using the Shards of a Broken Sky module, with the party consisting of a Halfling Fighter and fisherman with a grudge against orcs for ruining eel season, a Human Cleric who is a practicing pacifist and descendant of the person who invented baking, and a Human Necromancer whose girlfriend was kidnapped by the Lich King. Shards of a Broken Sky's tone shifts hard super early on but we still ended up having a really good ad-libbed moment early on.

Since SoaBS takes place in a rural community in an isolated part of the world, I threw an Actor NPC from the book into the game early on which led to the party taking part in a play put on by the NPC's travelling theater company. I had it be a new work in-universe so I had the party come up with a plot. They came up with: Our protagonist, an Owlbear, falls in love with a Magic Cat. However their romance is complicated by the wizard whose cat it is the familiar of. The protagonist overcomes this by challenging the wizard to a duel. This story will have a happy ending.

The Owlbear was then played by the Fighter, covered by a fur blanket and standing on the shoulders of the Necromancer's skeleton minion, while the Necromancer controlled the minion from off-stage. The Cleric played the Magic Cat love interest, whose heart was definitely won by the owlbear's staggering around on stage, knocking over potted plants and the rest of the scenery (which the Narrator played off as "dancing and deforestation"). The NPC then came out playing the Sorceress who owned the familiar, and they fought (with the Necromancer hastily grabbing hair product that then dubbed "a sword" by the Narrator). The Magic Cat, hating that they were fighting, ran between them and she died on the Owlbear's sword. While they were crying, the Cat came back to life (because cats have 9 lives), reincarnating as a Cat that was also not a familiar bound to the Sorceress, and they lived happily ever after.

Then the NPC revealed themselves to be the actual BBEG and dropped a flying city on the party.

Quote the Cleric: "Man has the tone shifted."

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