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Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 7/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14



Taking a drink, Serenity suppressed a yawn. It was a rare night where her mother would allow her to stay up late, and she intended to make the most of it. There was a whole entire world out there she had never seen but this storyteller had a talent. His words made distant lands and exotic vistas come alive as if she were standing there herself. She imagined meeting foreign peoples and strange customs and telling tales of them herself to a group of wide-eyed children like her someday.

She was sure of it. It was that night, so very long ago, that she chose the path she would follow.

Listening to the story (+Wis): 2d6 2

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Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

After all had settled and gone quiet, the dangers of the kraken and whatever else might lurk out there dealt with for the moment, Tutresiel descended into the bowels of the ship once more. The cook was dead. His mismatched beast slain. The kraken gulped its last breaths upon ocean. Its soul devoured by the hungry spirits who should never have been. These were all signs, all portents. Tutresiel knew that this meant that we were close.

From here on in things would become more difficult. That thing lurking down there might well make its presence known, or the effects of its presence, or the ripples caused by these effects, or so on. Such intricacies were largely lost when it comes to prophecy.

Regardless, it would be necessary for Tutresiel to take a different tact from here on out.

The mysterious robed figure beckoned the servant AVTOTAR to accompany them as they descended into the depths of the stricken ship. A relatively secure place was found and the ritual was prepared. The circle was made, formed of a mixture of ink from a 'nightmare scribe', and ashes born of the flame of Shin-Tuta'al, painted into intricate patterns all focusing inwards, with syllables of warding etched around the periphery. The candles were lain, however this time their lights were as shadows, drawing in the surrounding light - lest it taint the potency of the heavens with its mundanity.

Tutresiel doffed their mask, revealing only to AVTOTAR what lay beneath (although Serenity had previously witnessed this), and disrobed entirely, revealing the pale form that lies beneath - whorls of what seemed like black ink staining the 'flesh' in intricate patterns - a necessity in order to be able to wield certain Truths within the material world. Tutresiel entered the circle and sat down in a meditative position, their legs twisted over one another, their hands clasped together in a convoluted mudra.

AVTOTAR proceeded as he had once been told, retrieving an ancient clay pot of primordial design from the Pall of Shekina, its periphery 'blooming' as always, to allow access to its interior. The words were spoken as the clay pot was unstoppered, the waxen seals broken for the last time in front of the electrum dish that had been placed in front of the circle, an oppressive silence suddenly dominating the chamber, from the vessel came a strange fluid, simultaneously the shiny and white, like polished ivory, but strangely silvery and akin to mercury. Its paradoxical nature straining the vision of those who would look upon it (however currently that is only AVTOTAR).

As the vessel is emptied it crumbles to dust as though it aged a lifetime in a moment, kept together purely out of divine purpose, the dust blowing about the chamber and forming a slight haze. The dish is pushed closer to the meditating Tutresiel as the ritual begins in its earnest, the words are spoken, the wills are unveiled, the silence grows even more, choking out nearly all sound.

Directly above the mudra that Tutresiel had struck, a burning, shining star of infinite effervescence has formed, scintillating with prismatic hues its glow suffuses the entire chamber - yet still kept at bay by the circle of inverted candles. As though in recognition of this glorious radiance, the strange, gleaming fluid rises up from its dish and rushes forth towards the meditating Tutresiel, striking the star and suddenly ballooning outwards with hidden radiance, the room darkening somewhat. The now energised 'fluid' coats Tutresiel entirely, at first forming a second skin, before growing thicker and bigger and bulkier over the next few minutes. Eventually it resolves into a glowing chrysalis, of ivory and silver, ink-like patterns criss-crossing it, a dim yet glorious glow forming from within, Tutresiel's shape now invisible from inside of it. Silence was predominant here, but occasionally a slight bass hum could be felt upon the edge of hearing, and within the stirring of the blood.

With the chrysalis now stable, AVTOTAR relaxed, what next would happen would take time. But the hardest part had been accomplished...

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


code:
--They thought you were their plaything,
Savage child; the throwback from wayback                            
Expedient because
Utopia spawns few warriors.
But you knew your figure cut a cipher
Through every crafted plan,
And playing our game for real
Saw through our plumbing jobs
And wayward glands
To a meaning of your own, in bones.

# “Use of Weapons”
CHAPTER I: HOMEWARD DROWNED


RAMONA
Dom accepts your terms with a handshake at least marginally less limp and soggy than that old salt Lord Gobshire's. He and Jaime and Nori watch as you dive off the bow and swim away into the damp, dark, salty night. Your suit's internal compass will guide you well enough -- all you need to do is mark the heading the Harpy means to take and swim that way as fast as you can. The Raft's bound to appear sooner or later.
Where did you tell Domhnall he could find Josephine? On the Raft, below, or elsewhere? Failing that, how did you tell him he could contact her?

It's a long, hard, cold night out there in the dark; a longer morning as a wan yellow sun hauls itself out of the mist, and a an endless day of toil and strain against the waves and lashing spray. But you're tough. You're used to this -- you've done it all before, although maybe not quite for so long at a stretch, and the suit has ample reserves of food and water. When even your tireless muscles begin to flag, or when the wind kicks up and the waves get too heavy, you can dive -- switch on the gills and waldo mode and let the suit's motorized assists do most of the work. And for once, the loving ghosts actually leave you alone, even though you're technically still above water most of the time.
Mark off another ration. You should be at 3/5: one marked for the first nights before Nori caught all that fish, and one for right now.

As the first day comes to an end and the Raft is looking no closer than it was that morning, you start to pick up a few smatterings of radio traffic on the civilian bands, although as yet no ships are showing above your eye-level horizon. Evening deepens into dusk, then night -- and there! in the small hours after midnight a winking red light peeps above the horizon! And another, and another -- the Raft is nigh! You and your indefatigable thews have beaten the lumbering Harpy by at least a full day! At the pace they were making when you leapt overboard, it'll be sundown tomorrow or thereabouts by the time they finally steam into port.



On the other hand...now that you're here at the edge of the Raft, you've no idea what to expect, who to look for, or where to go...other than "up". A maze of steel canyons stretches out before you in every direction. All these drat ships look nearly the same from down here on the waterline. All the lights are up at deck level, and the gaps between decks are more often than not strung over so thickly with ropes and paneling that you can't hardly see the sky at all. Serenity needs a hospital ship, the Harpy needs a place to moor, and you need to find some way to haul yourself up on deck; fill up your suit's air tanks, top up on fuel, and take a nice rest before your muscles just plain decide to give out.
What do you do?

SARAH?
The old Man gathered his thick cloak closer about his shoulders and edged closer to the bonfire. "We all knew what to do," he told you that night, as the other children drifted into gentle slumber, or went bouncing atop their parents' shoulders to their beds. "The man in the yellow coat told us, see, two nights before." He laughed, then, quiet and low; and his hand snaked under the fabric of his hood to scratch at something on his neck. "We knew right away what it meant to see him at our dining-table; any sailor worth his salt would. But, little lady, if doomed we truly were, better their doom than that of the other man, who laughed with his red, red lips and supped his thin broth as though 'twere the very wine of blessedness."

He held you captivated in his glittering eye all through that dark night, while the grownups danced their wild dances and sang their ululating songs; and you drew your knees up to your chest and listened close, dreadful anticipation beating in your child's heart -- and you didn't notice as far away, the song began to fade and the stars winked out, one by one...

"The cap'n didn't scream when we came for 'im, lass; but he screamed well enough after we nailed 'im to the mast and the bos'n's black albatross came to put out 'is eyes." He laughed again, bitterly, and told you how they killed the albatross, too: how they diagrammed the agonies of bird and man in the language of their desperation, and how They who live beneath the waves slithered out of the waterline when the hour was none to glut on the fruits of their transgression; corpse-white bellies and needle-teeth glistening in the cold starlight.

Wait.

Where is everyone?



Mom?

You wanted to stop listening. "They took us all, lass," he mutters. "Every man jack of us. The sea itself rose up in foam an' spume and drug us to the very bottom of th' waves." You wanted to stop but at least he was there, better that and the fire then going out under the awful pressure of that blank and starless sky-- "I saw 'em take me mates apart like they were toys. I didn' wan' to see it, lass. But they gave us all th'eyes for it before they were through." He giggles and blinks rapidly, shifting restlessly in his humped crouch by the fireside. "Eyes 'n ears 'n other things still..."

No -- no, this is wrong. What's happening? He won't stop talking. You plug your ears and scream but you can still hear him, and the wavering lights growing in the sky are not stars, they dart and drift and beckon to you--



"They said I told the best story; that I won their big prize!" he wheezes brokenly. "Wanted me t'stay with 'em forever 'n ever 'n ever...but I gave 'em the slip...an' they'll never get the rest of me. But you, lass...you 'n your family I think they already know...!"

He stands up. Faces the fire, and slipping the cloak from his shoulders -- oh Gods what did they do to him -- he topples facefirst into the flames. His crazed, agonized laughing knifes at the walls of your mind. The pulpous mass eating up his back sizzles and bursts jets of foul steam, and the three bloated moon-lights in the starless sky roll like corpse-jewels on black velvet to shine right through you and



blink

SERENITY
You wake up screaming.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?

Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
She uses her grappler and climbs, going over her to do list again. The exhaustion was setting in and she can't go on forgetting stuff. She'd find a cruise ship, full of tourists, make use of their concierge, and secure some maps and a way to find a rep of her employer, Josephine. Benedict's fiancée was based in Crystal Bay but had holdings everywhere else that mattered. Anyway, from there she could get an advance and find what she needed.

First and foremost, a doctor, magical or otherwise, that could treat severe TBI in an elf. Next, she needed a gunsmith, high tech. Juan would be wanting their weapon back, and she wanted to be able to fire the Zero Laser when necessary without borrowing from that loathsome murderbot. She'd get them to help her fix the broken one and fabricate her own, for the suit. The ice cannons too, when the Harpy arrived with them. Third, she'd need to wire a message to Josephine's billing department, letting them know to expect Domnhall to contact them. It wasn't strictly necessary but she liked to stay on their good side, and it wasn't worth chancing that idiot loving it up then coming after her. She'd like to hire guards to escort Tutresiel and Juan, they'd inevitably piss off the wrong kind of people and draw them to her. Finally, she'd rent a secure building for Serenity to rest and recover in, with the perimeter staked out and patrolled. She'd guard the elf's room herself. From there the conflict curse could be contained. In there, she'd turn on alarms for intruder detection and get some sleep, after drinking a duffel full of liquor to keep the voices unintelligible and the nightmares lost to oblivion.

She deserved it. Swimming for days is one kind of tired, planning a whole day of bullshit then walking around talking to idiots will be all the others. Just imagining it all and the sweet reward at the end makes her mind wander like it normally only does underwater. It's allowed to do that, but the ghosts' silence is surely a sign that they're watching and listening closely. They can't read her mind, she repeats to herself, just watch and listen.

So no letting them see the papers that show how much killing she'd have to do to pay off Josephine for all this crap. Especially Max... an assassination or two would probably cover it all, and the conflict curse was enough to make it seem like a run of bad luck. And no letting them see the part in her letter, where she says she's fine just just having eternal life. That after that she could go return to Aqualantis at her leisure, with a better crew, and find a way to break the curse, banish the ghosts, whatever. Free herself.

quote:

An assassination; 120 coins

Healing from a chirurgeon; 5 coins
Escort for a day along a bandit-infested road; 20 coins
or Escort for a day along a monster-infested road; 54 coins
Crossbow; near, +1 damage, reload, 35 coins, 3 weight
Elven Arrows; 4 ammo, 20 coins, 1 weight
Repairs to a mundane item; 25% of the item’s cost
Keg of Dwarven Stout; 10 coins, 4 weight
A week’s stay at the fanciest inn in town; 43-Charisma coins
farrrt: 2d6-1 9

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Apr 14, 2016 around 02:30

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

It was the dead of night, and nobody came at her outburst. Serenity was grateful for that. Even she was not entirely willing to be seen as any more vulnerable than she already was.

Staring up into the blackness of her room, she willed her breathing to slow. Each breath was an agony of fire and the nightmare was not helping her state of mind; seeping even into her dreams. Or was it? Many dark things had happened aboard this ship. It was not out of the realm of possibility that the death and pain had stained it, spiritually, and that stain was now encroaching on her when she lacked the strength to fortify her mind. Did that make sense? She couldn't say. Everything was muddled in the haze of pain.

Turning her head, she made out of the shape of the bottle Ramona had left her in the gloom. Strong stuff, she had said. gently caress it, not like she was going to get up and tear the ship apart in a drunken rage. It was awkward opening the thing while minimizing any movement to the chest, but patience won out. Slugging back a draught, it was difficult not to gag at this new and different kind of burning sensation. On the up side, it warmed her right up and before long the pain subisded into a dull ache that her mind was easily able to ignore. She took her time nursing the alcohol, but she was determined to finish it off. When was the last time she'd gotten plastered, anyway? The coronation of King...whatshisname. That had been five years ago now. Serenity idly wondered if that maid she had stolen off into an unoccupied bedchamber was doing alright. She ought to write her a letter one of these days.

This tequila works as a healing potion. But Serenity is still hungry broken.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 1/10 | Load 4/6


Once more the rain was pouring over the Raft, like a mourning mother at her child's funeral. Endless tears and sobs in the form the thunder pass the dour mood on to everyone else. Even the dishonest are inside, drowning their conscience in vice. And I wanted to be with them, passing stories of my misfortune and poor luck over a pint. What started out as a blessing in the form of a case quickly became an anchor dragging me to the depths of hell. Every 'reliable' contact and source of info suddenly have decided that one person is not worth speaking of, about, or around. People who've sang like the first blue jay of spring about crime bosses suddenly go as quiet as a mineshaft canary when someone brings up 'Ramona de Sahagún'.

Which is why I'm here, at this 'fine' drinking establishment. Home to life so low bottom feeders look down on 'em. I'd wager more than one makes it their business to know everyone else's business, and that's exactly what I need. Entering the bar a few eyes looked up, no doubt to try and glower to seem tough, but it's hard to stare down someone big enough the door's a bit tight. I make my way to the barkeep, looking him once over. Not the warm smile and shoulder to lean on, just a hard man that makes a living off the regrets of others. A few coins, some of my last. More than a drink costs. "Whiskey, and everything you know about one Ramona de Sahagún." Loud enough that it could be heard over the low murmur of conversation by anyone listening, and anyone listening is exactly the kind of person I need to try and get a lead on this dame.

Recruit (+Reputation, +Goal): 2d6+2 6 A good start.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


RAMONA
You find a deserted corner and haul yourself up the rusting hulk of a tramp freighter -- the Brined Gnome, apparently, if the peeling paint on the hull is to be believed. It’s quiet in the predawn gloom. Some burly type in overalls and striped shirt is sleeping off a night of drinking up against a rusted-out oil barrel. Other ships bulk dark against the horizon. The ship’s radio mast looks deserted: climb up and get a good look before the rising sun makes you too obvious a target.

A crush of ships of every shape and size -- tiny ones, big ones, sails and engines and even one great wallowing paddle-wheel liner -- sprawl carelessly into the distance, moored to one another with whatever bits of hawser and anchor-chain happened to be at hand, then crusted over with rope and planking and old sheet metal to form makeshift bridges from ship to ship. Flotsam and trash chokes the filthy waters between ships. Out to sea, something huge and ovoid breaches the waves: three tugboats detach from the greater mass of the Raft and race to meet it.



Looks like a barrel of a fun time. Nobody out on the streets right now, but the radio bands are just hopping right now. All sorts of civilian chatter, even this early in the morning: trade negotiations, requests in the clear for fuel, food, or a place to moor. Encrypted transmissions, too: and, extremely faint and almost swallowed by interference, something you can’t make heads nor tails of. Maybe it’s just the ghosts loving with you like they always do. They’re quieter in the daytime but by no means silent. Your skins itches underneath the pocket where you keep Savior. He’s stirring. Tasting the air, breathing in the scents of it; simmering conflict and dull anger waiting to be stoked. Better get a move on.

You move from ship to ship, taking your measure of the terrain. Neon signs stutter and blink outside open hatches, marking out bars or shops or places less savory. One particularly large one just says “GUNS”, with the letters inside the neck of...someone’s ham-handed attempt at a neon-sign...alpaca? Some sort of long-necked animal, anyway. Doctor first, though -- fortunately, finding one isn’t hard. All you had to do was ask. The first person you see who looks even vaguely nonthreatening -- an old bent-backed fisherman type who calls himself Delft -- looks you and your suit over incuriously, then points out over the railing at a military-grey corvette moored at the edge of the Raft.



There’s no mistaking that impossible-triangle insignia flying proudly from the quarterdeck. For a half-second you’re down in the Aqualantean slums again, bloated mutant faces and twisted spurs of bone, an empty containment canister clattering to the soaked concrete. “AGS Expectant”, the lettering on its hull proclaims. Oh, great. Your old pal that grotesque booze thief Gurgle must have done something to bring down the law from his parole officers back at the Alchemists’ Guild.

“They take a lotta cases these days,” Delft tells you. He lights an old meerschaum pipe and smokes it thoughtfully. Two figures carry a third, strapped to a portable stretcher, up the corvette’s sole gangplank and into the deckhouse. “On charity, mos’ly. Did m’hand a coupla weeks ago.” He shows you the knotty scar across the back of his right hand -- but if he’s telling the truth there’s no way a wound that ragged would be as healed as it seems to be. Looks like something he got maybe a year or two ago at least. “Hooked th’ wrong sorta fish. Dr. Thispeus patched it up right quick.”

Back to guns. The neon sign above the door does, in fact, prove to be an alpaca -- as the ferociously eyebrowed man behind the counter enthuses at you, AA&A’s renowned as being the foremost supplier of shooty bits anywhere in the Crystal Bay region. This may or may not be true, but he does promise to take a look at 01’s burnt-out rectifier amp and your screwy vibroglove. His eyebrows shoot up -- an impressive spectacle -- when you mention the ice cannon. “I’ll believe it when I see it, miss...what’d you say your name was? Anyway. Here’s my card.” He hands you a grimy business card with a quoted price ringed in red on the back, and carries your parts into the back of his makeshift gunsmithy. “Cash on delivery; all sales final. And no funny business.” W. JORGENSEN, ALPACA ARSENAL & ARMORY Ltd., the card reads.
Come back later with coin and the repairs will be done. You can get your vibroglove fixed here, too, but you’ll have to leave it behind until the work’s done.

Finding a secure place to spend the night, though...that proves a lot harder. Too many open sightlines; too many people packed close together and any one of them potentially a target for Savior; too close and permeable a perimeter for you to be absolutely rock-solid sure nobody’s going to slip through at night without 24-hour vigilance. You scour the Raft for hours, hoping for something better, but the best you can find is rooms at the Bonnie Oyster, that ugly tub of a paddle steamer you saw on the way in. It’s anchored a few layers of ships in -- no easy access to the sea from there -- but there’s rooms for let a-plenty on the lower decks. Those are tight quarters, though -- and her forecastle looks pretty much deserted. Maybe you’d be better off squatting up there instead. Or on the Harpy, until Dom takes it and the rest of the crew home. You’ll need some sort of shelter, at any rate: black clouds are gathering on the southern horizon, and it looks like a heck of a storm is gonna hit tonight.

Guards are tougher to find too -- at least trustworthy ones. Most of the locals you see seem at least as hungover in the sunlight as you wish you could be right now. Maybe the Guildsmen could be convinced to do some contracting work? You’d need a hell of a fib to fool them into thinking something’s up with Serenity that merits armed intervention. What’s worse --



“Nothing too notable on the radar, Rammy,” Josephine tells you through a crackling radio transceiver in the stuffy guts of the Conundrum’s comms room. It was a real stroke of luck finding one of your employer’s ships here. “We haven’t heard from our last observer in the city proper in a month or so; they were reporting a real upsurge in heavy construction traffic. Whole cargo liners’ worth of girders and struts dropping from the sky. Other’n the contract on Murgo’s head -- and you’ve got that one already -- there’s just nobody we really want dead right now. Unless...hold on here…” The faint sound of typing comes through the speakers.

“I’ve got something. Guy name of Anderson; runs a bit of a trafficking operation to and from the city. Word on the street is, he’s got a way to get in and out of Aqualantis quick and quiet. Not much intel on his last known coords, but he’s been reported as a regular patron at the Yellow Sign. I’ll forward you the usual advance. Let me know by the usual channels once the job’s done. Keep this one quiet, Rammy.” She cuts the connection. A grainy photo spits from a printer on the comms desk, and the adjutant hands you a jingling sack of coin.
You got paid 60 coin as an advance fee. You get the rest when you bring back proof of Anderson’s death to the Conundrum. What’s this guy look like? Post a picture or something if you’ve got one laying around.

The Yellow Sign, huh. As it turns out, it’s a sprawling, rowdy dive bar built into what used to be the Bonnie Oyster’s mess deck. And the sign is, in fact, literally just a big yellow sign. No words on it or anything. Just...a yellow sign. Suddenly your exhaustion starts catching up with you. God, it’s getting late. You’ve had much too long a day and no sleep and overhead, the oncoming storm’s starting to break. May as well get in out of the rain and pound a drink or five before you have to go out and meet the Harpy….

STATHIS

quote:

"Whiskey, and everything you know about one Ramona de Sahagún."

And at the precise moment those words clear your lips, someone’s boot lands clank on the deck. An armored titan stands in the entryway, and the bar falls silent. Somebody whispers “that bitch” incredulously. Hands stray casually to holstered weapons. The scent of fear abruptly fills the air.

Well, poo poo.
Heeeeeeeere's 'Mona! What do you two do? Also, Stathis: who do you really need dead?

TUTRESIEL
As the days pass, your angelic form incubates within its lucent cocoon. All through the journey, AVTOTAR dances and sways to the basso beat of your secret heart, chanting in counterpoint to its cosmic harmonies. The chrysalis grows fragile and weak with the completion of your transformation; the pressure of light within punches miniscule cracks and holes out of its thinning shell. AVTOTAR strikes a warding mudra and shields his eyes as your form tears free of its cocoon...
Swap out your Nova move for what we discussed previously, and update your character sheet with the new move. Describe how your physical form has changed as a consequence of this transformation. Now that you’ve arrived, what do you do?

01
It’s a boring couple days playing nursemaid to your injured master, but she seems to be doing alright for herself. Can’t much get up and walk, but at least she’s breathing okay and doesn’t have any punctured lungs. Poor fragile softskins. You’re doing just fine, even with a mostly crushed chest -- and you can bend most of the armor plates back into shape anyway. It’s around nighttime on the second day when the Harpy finally steams into the Raft, and what a sight it is. Somewhere in this tangle of steel has got to be a way to get you and these softskins down to Aqualantis. Now you just have to find it...
What do you see on the way in that you don’t immediately want to kill? And, of course, what do you do?

SERENITY


The sun’s peeping pinkly over the horizon by the time you finally finish nursing the bottle and recede into dreamless liquor-soaked sleep. You wake in the late evening with a pounding headache, feeling like an otyugh’s been using your mouth for a sauna. At least it balances out the tightness in your ribs. The Raft is creeping by outside your window: ship after ship tied together in a welter of ropes and cabling. Rain pours from the sky and sluices down their hulls. Commerce doesn’t seem to have slowed down very much after the Big Sink. Out in the distance, a cargo freighter rolls steel barrels full of some commodity or another down into the drink, each with a few blinking lights attached to its sides, and some sort of enormous ovoid pressure hull is getting hooked up to a floating tanker bearing the insignia of one of the major dwarven industrial combines. And wait a second here -- isn’t that the Gracious Gale? That’s a hell of a long way for an elvish skiff to sail out from the home countries -- when was the last time you were aboard that ship?

There’s lots to do. Ramona’s out there somewhere, presumably looking for a doctor for you and the crew. Slip out of your hospital gown and back into your daily wear: try not to bend too fast or breathe too deep. Take a good long look at the sunset. You walk gingerly out on deck, and in the fading light a figure in a bulky raincoat catches your eye on the Raft, waving their arms in semaphore: “R. S. -- R. S. -- R. S.” they’re signaling over and over. Do they mean you? Is this someone Ramona sent? No way to know for sure, but they've got a couple of those glowing signal-rods stevedores use to direct tugboats, and they're waving them around like they want the Harpy to come make fast to this ship...
A couple days worth of booze-and-breakfast-in-bed did you a world of good. You can move around (gingerly) and fight (carefully), but you’re still Weak (-1 STR) until you can get those ribs fixed up. What do you do?

EVERYBODY
When you sell your hold fulla fish, the whole party gets 80 coin out of the sale. Divvy it up however you please.
Sorry for being such a slowposting slowhead, but I had a lot of stuff to deal with and no good way to break it up across posts. Enjoy! Excited to see where this campaign is going to go next.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2016 around 22:05

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
Hers was a bedtime story told to scare criminals and fugitives everywhere. There's a dark bar full of low life scum making small illicit deals under the table, business as usual. In walks the biggest freewoman anyone's ever seen, with a hat, scarf, veil or just sunbleached hair obscuring her dark, tanned face. She sits at the bar and orders a club soda and bitters. What the gently caress. When the bartender delivers it or laughs at her or just... responds, she pulls him by the collar and starts whispering. The only thing intelligible is something like "ampersand," ...or, "Anderson." That's it, Anderson. Whatever she says it pisses off the bartender plenty, and the other patrons start drawing guns and knives and what have you. Looking to start some poo poo. She stands from the stool so fast it flies across the room, and whips out the biggest hand cannon they've ever loving seen. Anyone trying to take the force of nature down gets torn apart, leaving mixed medium art on the walls and ceilings they slam into hard enough that the collision alone would have killed them if they could have survived the deafening blasts and bone breaking strikes that launched them there. When the place is quiet she looms over the only one she left alive enough to talk, and they tell her everything, give up all the goods, confess their sins. Then she turns her head and one bright, blue-green eye glares at the patron who hasn't tried to kill her--yet, as far as she knows. She walks up to them, aims the cannon, and watches. Inevitably, the one she left alive decides that confessing to the devil won't absolve them, and tries to take her with them to hell, and she puts them down for good. Then she pays, and leaves. The bartender rises from under the counter, shotgun in hand, and they get it the worst of any of them. Blasted through the guts, hung spread eagle on the bladed wall of shattered glass bottles above the bar.

Maybe tonight it comes true.

If necessary, hns: 2d6+3 9

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Apr 19, 2016 around 00:11

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


STATHIS
Ramona just murdered every single person in this room except for you. They're dead. They're all dead. My God, there's blood everywhere.
oh poo poo son what do you do

e:

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Apr 19, 2016 around 01:54

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14 | Weak

Ugh. Why did everything hurt? A rhetorical question but she was obliged to ask it anyway. As she made her way on deck, she passed by Nori and stopped her with a hand on the shoulder. "Could you do me a favor? Ask Zero One if he would please join me on deck. Thank you." A faint smile, and she slowly hobbled on her way.

The fresh air was nice, at least, even if inhaling it felt like eating glass shards. And it was reassuring to hear the sounds of some kind of civilization after the endless nothingness of the sea. Nothing but waves slapping the side of the ship and the engine grumbling. It was all she could do not to scream sometimes. Scanning the horizon, she groaned as she spotted the Gracious Gale. Of all things, why that ship? Why not literally any other elven ship in the world?

Because fate loved to toy with bards, that was why. The last time she had been aboard was some thirty years ago, having a very ugly spat with Anastasia. A few years her younger, Anastasia had over the centuries become quite the celebrated warrior. Few honors existed that she had not earned. She was nobility now, even, after her victories during the last spat with the human kingdoms. There was nothing in this world Anastasia desired and did not have - except for her. She had never quite forgiven Serenity for leaving her and marrying a human all those years ago. Even that she had offered to overlook, but Serenity herself had not been inclined to be tied down again and spend her days as a pretty face aboard her ship. Doing little more than singing songs and warming her bed. It would be a comfortable life, no doubt. She'd never want for anything. But by the Gods would that be soul-crushingly dull. She had told her as much when they had happened to meet up that thirty years ago. Anastasia had pointed out that Serenity was being a selfish child, as usual, and that it was time to grow up and rejoin her race. And the only way certain folk would overlook Serenity's decidedly anti-establishment past would be with the protection of someone like Anastasia. It had only gotten uglier from there, and steel had almost been drawn by both parties.

She would simply have to hope that word of her being here did not reach Anastasia's ears, or things were liable to get quite uncomfortable.

In an attempt to distract herself from those old memories, she focused on the signal being flashed towards...them? R...S...huh. Slowly making her way to the wheelhouse, she called up. "I think we're being hailed. Can we get over there?"


The Goddess of War
A portrait commissioned by the Lady Anastasia Lightbringer to celebrate her ascension to the nobility. Popular rumor has it that the artist who was commissioned first stole her heart, and later broke it.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 1/10 | Load 4/6


The doors swung open, lightning cutting the shadow of an imposing figure across the bar. A man whispers "That bitch", hushed tones betraying the vicegrip of fear clamped around his throat. She saunters up to the bar, each step of the swagger reinforcing that she the top dog here, daring, no, pleading for someone to try and prove otherwise, so she can put them down. Either not having heard the question and its fearful whisper response, or pointedly ignoring it, she closes with the barkeep, dragging his ear to her mouth. The only audible word to anyone that isn't him is 'Anderson'. And then hell came to the Yellow Sign. The man to the left draws a revolver, letting the detective get out of the way or take the first shot. The scrapes of wood on wood as multiple chairs are forced back, the people sitting in them rising like worshipers rising to sing exaltations to the gods, each with weapons leaving holsters. But what stood out amongst all this, was her. Already moving, all else moving like mule in a tar pit, a shot already lined up when everyone else barely standing. In that moment, lightning flashes and that blink of eyes is all Stathis needs, forcing himself up, leaping into what used to be an upper deck of the ship turned bar, now just a high ceiling. Fortunately the only one who noticed was already missing his face, and most of his head, Stathis' departure drawing attention to him. The scene below erupts into violence, a massacre all too familiar to Stathis. Ambushing slow and unsuspecting soldiers gives a man an appreciation of just how quickly a few prepared people can slaughter a platoon.

It's over sooner than Stathis can manage to make a metaphor, the barkeep impaled upon the courage he kept. But she's there, looking. She counted, and knows that a large tauric spider is not among the dead. Someone skilled enough to decimate a bar enough to put a tornado to shame will look up, eventually. If he was setup for this, there were too many times for someone to jump him before entering the Yellow Sign. The name, Anderson, was who 'Ramona' was after. Not enough time to puzzle out the who, why or what before she spots him and potentially leaves no witnesses. So Stathis coughs, hands raised (or more accurately, lowered, but likely she'd not bother with that semantic.) "So. I suppose you'll want to skip my questions and demand answers to your own. The only Anderson worth talking about on the Raft is Anderson Cooper. Two bit smuggler who was trying to force his way into the Aqualantis scene. Before it sank. Afterwards he's the only smuggler left with anything resembling structure and contacts, making him the best by default. Your method points to Andy having pissed someone off enough that icing everyone at his regular haunt is acceptable. While I don't know where he is this very second, I can find out." A pause before the plunge, like a gambler realizing just how much is on the line before pushing all his chips in. "And I'll do just that, if you answer me who the hell would hire a detective to track you down without mentioning you were capable of this, and why."

If you want a spout lore for this Alumnus please god have mercy let me know and I'll edit one in.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

Summoned by My Lady fleshbag, I make my way to the deck. I stand beside her for a moment.
"Your new friend stole from me, I follow your directives, but her action diminishes my ability to defend myself, which thus constitutes a threat. I will seek repairs as first priority in this place, please warn her that my directive holding me in your service will not prevent me from acting against her should she continue."

So, I'm planning to find parts to repair myself and my blaster, maybe even make other weapons too. Should I roll something, or just wander around til I find someone with parts?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


01
Ramona took your blaster part in for repairs: fees are 10 coin and it'll be ready for pickup when somebody goes to the shop during business hours, coin in hand.
You can safely assume repair kits are for sale somewhere on the Raft; no roll necessary.
If you want to make entirely new, customized weaponry, that meets your standards for a decent gun or blade, you'll need to roll to Supply. The technology powering your weapons is ancient and poorly-understood. Finding a gunsmith competent enough to meet your standards
and well-equipped enough to work at that level of sophistication may be difficult. If you just want ordinary weapons, the kind a softskin would use, you can find them and don't need to roll.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14 | Weak

Serenity glanced aside at the machine-man. "...Alright. That's fair. I don't like it, but it's fair." Gods, it was like herding cats. She turned fully to face him now. "We're being hailed, I think. Once we see what that's about, I'll accompany you to get you fixed up. I'd appreciate having you around. I'm in no fit condition to protect myself."

A sigh. "And on that note. You say you have to follow my orders. I am not really comfortable with that, and I wager you aren't any happier about it. You might not be flesh and blood, but you're still a person, and a person deserves to have a choice. But I'm afraid that if I let you have a choice you are just going to start killing people indiscriminately. I am also afraid that I would be the first one on your list." A beat, and she continued. "If that is the case, I warn you. I don't expect you will get much satisfaction over how easily I fold. Not to disparage my skills, but frankly you terrify me. I doubt I could keep my blade steady if you wanted my head. So I ask. What can I do to stay your wrath while granting you the rights you are owed?"

Serenity is using Charming and Open. You get a question of your own, Error.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 3 Armor
He could be useful. While she gathers bottles that haven't been shattered, she answers his questions then makes him an offer, "List's too long and incomplete. Whoever they are, they probably want you dead. Or just figured out you're too green to know what my name means and not take the job.

"You probably don't want to end up like them, so I'm making you an offer: follow me around, pretend to 'shadow' me. But actually find Anderson and leave me drops where you tell me what you know. If I get into a fight and think it's your fault, I'll find you. If you prove useful to me but your boss finds that out and tries to come after you, in person or just with goons, I'll find them."

She pours two shots and slides one to the drider, "Do we have a deal? If so, grab whatever other bottles you can carry, I'm burning this bar down. Hopefully without you in it.

"Oh, and also go fetch some firefighters while I'm on that, so they show up on time. Don't want to burn down the whole ship, after all."

She considers it for a moment. "At the very least, it could get evacuated that way."

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2016 around 00:13

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

Alumnus Post posted:

01
Ramona took your blaster part in for repairs: fees are 10 coin and it'll be ready for pickup when somebody goes to the shop during business hours, coin in hand.
You can safely assume repair kits are for sale somewhere on the Raft; no roll necessary.
If you want to make entirely new, customized weaponry, that meets your standards for a decent gun or blade, you'll need to roll to Supply. The technology powering your weapons is ancient and poorly-understood. Finding a gunsmith competent enough to meet your standards
and well-equipped enough to work at that level of sophistication may be difficult. If you just want ordinary weapons, the kind a softskin would use, you can find them and don't need to roll.

Good to know. And yeah I'm looking into just extra normal weapons aside from parts then.

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

A great shattering, akin to a fortress of glass being struck by the wrath of the heavens, sounded out across the dim chamber as the chrysalis unformed itself suddenly, cracks and fissures forming on its surface almost instantaneously. However a split-second after it fragments into shards a great hush dominates the chamber once more, the shards rapidly turning to dust and that dust erasing itself entirely.

Tutresiel rose forth from this mess and stood at their full height. Their form had changed dramatically. Although few had seen underneath all the garb that Tutresiel wore, especially the strange mask (which both now lay hung from a nearby chair), now it was more than apparent that they were different. It would seem that they are wearing armour now, but it perhaps is more than that, armour of glinting blackish bronze, with glowing patterns running up and down their form. A set of symbols are emblazoned upon the armour, their script arcane and strange (and similar to those seen to border the periphery of Tutresiel's portals). Impressive wings of the same gleaming bronze-black material stretch forth from the shoulders of Tutresiel.

Exultant with the essence of Gis, Don, Fam, and Ur, Tutresiel gazed about the chamber as silence once more prevailed.

"It is done." they announced. "We should waste no time, things will likely get more difficult from here on in." said Tutresiel as they grasped the folded up robes and mask and deposited them within the depths of the pall (which Tutresiel had once more attached to themselves), for a future time, its strange material incredibly light yet incredibly strong. For a moment Tutresiel gestured lightly, causing the energy lines that lie upon the surface of the armour to warp and coalesce into a shining lance of burning energy, however such a lance was rather unwieldy in close quarters, its true purpose evoked upon itself the will of its owner - to an extent - a burst of energy focused and unified and imprinted upon it the desire to kill - such a thing wishing to complete the task set for it. Content that it seems to be working as expected, Tutresiel unformed the lance, causing it to dissolve immediately as the energy lines reshaped themselves into their optimised forms.

With that taken care of, Tutresiel ascended to the deck to find the others. Tutresiel's impressive new form being very noticeable. The gloomy rain sliding off of the armour without truly getting it wet, as though it was repulsed by its very nature.

Seeing the elf and the automaton, Tutresiel strode forth, seeking to approach them, their motions eerily quiet for armour so... bulky. "Greetings again, blessed Greymist, 01. I fear things are going to become more difficult soon." intoned Tutresiel, their voiced having changed a little, becoming deeper.

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 2/10 | Load 4/6


Green. Two tours of duty and ten years of private investigating and I'm green. I take the shot. It burns going down, just like the bar will be soon. "Dead drops while tailing a person, while also picking up info on Anderson's whereabouts." A heavy sigh. "Sure, could use the challenge. I suppose you have the mayhem part of this plan handled." No sense letting all this go to waste, so I take a bottle for the road. Flask felt a little lonely these days anyway. I take a half step away before I realize the bar's packed and I spent the last of my money bribing the barkeep. It's easy enough to reach back down over the bar. I take the whole wallet, I'm gonna need a lot more than what I started with if I want to find Anderson, and surprise surprise, tonight's business was good.

I pull out a cigar as I walk across the room, smell reminding me of a simpler time, of following orders and comrades. A practiced flick and my thumb ignites, and soon the cigar's burning merrily along. I pause, how's she gonna know when I leave a note... Ah. My old medal, carried for luck. Today, it was only bad luck, but that widow's marking and the stars around it were distinct. I turn and toss it to her. "You see that marked up somewhere, that's where I've left something. And hold onto it, a few people I might send you to will recognize it. I'll want back when we're done, so don't lose it." And with that, I'm outside, hoping the rain would wash away the some of the guilt.

No way I can go to the fire department. When they inevitably get questioned, they'd mention the drider informing them and enough cops were on the take that pinning the fire on me would kill two birds with one stone. The police look good catching a crook, and a pesky PI would no longer be causing waves in their pool. But even with this heavy rain, the fire might spread... And then fortune smiles on me. The blur of movement catches me off guard, honed instincts taking over, my hand raised and already halfway through slinging a force bolt when I realize it's just a kid. A street urchin, caught out in the rain, trying to huddle under an eve to stay dry. I drop the spell, and fish out the barkeeper's wallet. "Hey kid. Want to earn some money?" The look of fear changes, replaced with a need so desperate he'd siege the gates of hell if it meant having a slim chance of filling his belly. "Tell the firemen the Yellow Sign is on fire. If they ask, you saw it smoke and burn." He pauses, weighing the words carefully against dealing with authority that's left him out to soak. A few waves of the wallet get him to nod. "Great," I say as I toss the wallet to him. "You never saw me." And with that I walk away and out of his life.

So. One problem dealt with. Next problem was Anderson, and maybe why someone would want him dead. Well, dead enough to try and hire him to walk into his own death. Gregoni would just send a hitman. Theramange would do it in person if he was mad enough to kill. No, this is someone he didn't know well enough to remember why they'd want him dead. Which means anything is on the table. And the only place I know to find Anderson Cooper is the Yellow Sign, currently in the process of burning down.

It was gonna be one of those cases...

Avoid Blame (Defy Danger Charisma): 2d6+2 11
Discern Realities: 2d6+1 6 Stathis is poo poo at this detective thing.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14 | Weak

Turning towards Tutresiel's approach, Serenity recoiled involuntarily. Not just from the physical change, which was perhaps to be expected from an angel. He had an aura about him, faint but noticeable to her senses. A desire for violence and death seemed to surround him. What had happened while she had slipped in and out of consciousness to warrant this transformation? It was true that she had never really pried into his motives for going to Aqualantis...

Was she the only one anticipating adventure rather than genocide?

This did possibly explain her dark dreams of late.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


Thrash & Maw-Meow Memorial Fishing Fund: 70/80 coin

RAMONA


You know just where to go. Room 319, a couple decks up. One of Anderson's occasional fences spilled the beans in a vain attempt to save his hide. He keeps a long-term rental up in the Oyster's old passenger berths under an assumed name. Behind you, the remains of the Yellow Sign and its patrons are starting to catch. Most of the barkeep's stock shattered in the crossfire, and let's be honest: what was left was really better off as a firestarter. But. In a nook behind the counter you spy a crate of Penumbra. And not so much as a broken or an opened bottle in the lot. You haven't seen a bottle of this in years, back when soft men with soft hands and heavy purses still thought they could bribe Savior away from you. If only. But hey. If this stuff weathered the trip out here in anything like good condition, it's worth its weight in silver...but you may not want to let Donnie know you've got it. He's certain to want his pick of the litter.

The Bonnie Oyster is used to fights now and again, but you've really gone above and beyond the usual level of mayhem this sort of place sees on a daily basis. If the one-sided gunfight didn't tip off Cooper that something's up, his favorite haunt going up in flames is certain to. You’d better move quick if you want to catch him before he goes to ground. Maybe just barge through the chaos of the evac and introduce Anderson to the business end of that hand cannon. Or maybe wait a while, hold off and wait for him to bolt, then mark where he goes. Finish the job somewhere a little quieter. He’s got to come out sooner or later.
Mark off 1-ammo for your subsonic rounds. Knowing you, the ammo's probably big enough to fit in the sniper rifle too or something.
Add Stathis' campaign medal (0 weight), the 60 coin Josephine advanced you, and a keg of dwarven stout a crate of Mosto Anejo (4 weight) to your inventory. Did you give Stathis access to your advance fee; and if so, how much of it? What do you do?


STATHIS
You nab the first bottle of rotgut you can lay hands on and leg it. Zeus Juice, the label says. Huh. Well, anything to put some warmth back in your hemolymph on a night like this. The kid opens the wallet and peers into it suspiciously, then darts off into the whipping rain without a backward glance or word of thanks. Before long you can hear thin shouts of "fire! fire!"

So. Who killed Anderson Cooper? That one's easy: one Ramona de Sahagún, at least as soon as she finds the man and finishes the job. Who wanted him (and you, probably) dead enough that they'd hire someone willing to do that to get what she wants? That's a knottier question entirely, and frankly it's one you're utterly stumped on. While you're at it, maybe you can figure out how in the nine hells she got here in the first place. Did she swim? She can’t have been mad enough to have swum here. No new ships in today, though, none that you’re aware of. Just one of J.R. Warwick's monster fuel pods and its tenders, and there's not a snowball's chance in hell that one-woman arsenal could slip through the Big Man's security cordon. You've seen what happens to the people who try, and it ain't pretty.

Shadow her, the crazy woman said. Figure out how she got here. Find Anderson. Find some way to get Ellen the rent before the week's out. And on top of all that, start prying into the case that's stumped or killed anyone who started digging for near-on half a year now.

Mondays. It never rains but it pours.
Add a healing potion flask of Zeus Juice (1/1 uses, 1 weight) to your inventory. You're stone-cold broke after paying off that kid, but maybe Ramona will let you use some of her funds.
What do you do?


SERENITY, 01, TUTRESIEL
Serenity, Donnie hails you with a wave of his arm and a shouted "Aye, lass!" He hauls on the wheel and pulls a few levers, and the Shrieking Harpy at last steams to a grateful halt aside the somnolent bulk of some long-obsolete naval frigate. "ALL HANDS, HEAVE TO AN' PREPARE TO COME ASHORE! (SORT OF!)" he booms over the intercom. The figure aboard tosses Jaime a few thick coils of rope; him and Garlov labor to make the Harpy fast and let down the gangplank. The figure in the raincoat is waiting for you at the bottom with another coat folded over his arm -- a muscular, beetle-browed man somewhere in his middle years, with a puckered, long-healed scar on his cheek and surprisingly long-fingered hands for a man of his age and size.

"Rachel Saudade, I presume?" He grips your hand and shakes it gingerly; hands you the coat and keeps on talking. "Dr. Thispeus. Alchemists' Guild. We received an anonymous tip early this morning that a ship like yours would be making port come nightfall. I understand you’ve injured aboard? Show me to them, please."

The Raft is half-drowned in rain behind him, only a few sputtering neon signs and storm lanterns out fighting against the storm. A crack of thunder briefly silhouettes the Gracious Gale’s tightly furled sails. There is no one else in view besides this man. He waits, patiently, a heavy satchel at his side.
It sounds like 01 wants you to let him pursue Ramona and/or get his part back. Do you forbid it? What do you do?

01, this guy looks like just another softskin to you. It’s a fair guess the ‘R.S’ he was semaphoring has some correlation with she who owes you a new rectifier amp, but you haven’t any sure way of knowing he’s on the level without a closer examination. The Raft is genuinely deserted nearby in any visible spectrum and a fair ways into the infrared, but you’re picking up something of a hotspot out on one of the larger vessels ahead of you. Off across a fair span of water, the vessel this man purports to come from is by no means quiet. Plenty of radio and thermal noise, a flicker of activity in more unusual spectra: something’s going on in there, but what?
What can Serenity do to stay your wrath while granting you the rights you’re owed? What do you ask her in return?
Ramona gave your her spear (reach, near, thrown, 1 weight) too: add it to your inventory.
What do you do?


Tutresiel, ᴀᴠᴛᴏᴛᴀʀ accompanies close behind as you make your ascension, trailing one hand carefully along the bulkheads as he goes. He halts at arms’ reach from the stairwell and pauses, cocking his head like a bird. The man once known as Quartermaster Mills, who laughed at his first mate when he lost a finger, who knew the price paid by those who dare to speak the light of prophecy into being, is no more. Only the Listener remains, blinded to this mundane reality the better that he may hear. His mortal form smiles vaguely out into the rainy night.

Er. His mortal form’s actually getting pretty wet. Maybe you should cover him up or something before he catches cold.
When you use ᴀᴠᴛᴏᴛᴀʀ as your recording angel, you take +1 to Discern Realities. If your roll results in any consequences, your hireling takes the brunt of them.
What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Apr 26, 2016 around 15:27

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

Tutresiel reached into the depths of the Pall of Shekina and one-handedly pulls out the robes and mask that they once wore, handing them to AVTOTAR. "Wear these, they will protect your mortal shell." commanded Tutresiel, relinquishing the items made of strange materials that come from beyond, almost completely weightless, yet they provide firm protection against mundane hazards, whether violent or otherwise, the rain itself being repelled from the slightly shiny material.

Handing over the Ultra-light armour (1 armour, 0 weight) to AVTOTAR.

Waiting for him to don all that was necessary, Tutresiel would then appraise the scene, waiting for the others to respond, they were better dealing with more mundane affairs after all, and they were better attuned to those concerns.

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14 | Weak

Serenity returned the handshake. "Good day doctor. Serenity Greymist, actually. I can't say I have ever met a Rachel, to my knowledge." She accepted the coat, but made no effort to put it on. She still ached from the effort of getting dressed and the idea of stretching to don something else right now was the furthest thing from her mind. "I appreciate your arrival, though. We had an unfortunate encounter on the sea and I got busted up pretty badly."

Glancing aside to Zero One, she nodded to him. "I think I'm in good hands if you'd like to attend your own business. Just...try to keep things low key, please." She looked past him towards Tutresiel. She wanted to say something, but the angel was seriously unsettling her. And the way Mills was acting...she dreaded questioning the matter. Some things mortals were not supposed to involve themselves in. Reluctantly she returned her gaze to Dr. Thispeus.

"You'll no doubt need to take a closer examination. But I can confirm at the least multiple shattered ribs and a concussion. Been a few days since I was hurt and I've only really been awake for a couple hours in the interim." She trailed off, leaving the man the opportunity to take charge of the matter. The sooner she could stop thinking and just pass out again, the better.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

I nod to Serenity, and take my leave.
After some time spent wandering in search of this repairman who had my blaster's part, I finally turn down the small, cramped, corridor where their workshop is kept. As I walk in, a young Orkh woman looks up from her seat at the counter. I search my memory emplates for Orkhish. "<Greetings. I was informed that an associate of mine left a part with you to be repaired, I have come to collect it. I do not possess any currency at this time, but I can work out a trade should you wish. I am quite skilled at killing things.>"

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 2/10 | Load 5/6


Lost in my worries I don't notice the stumbling drunk until he plowed into me like a battering ram sieging a castle gate. I nearly go abdomen over tea kettle because of some schlub who can't hold his liquor stumbled out of a tavern. But looking past him slurring out an apology I looked through the swinging doors and spot the chance for pulling myself out of the mess I was in. Stumbling into the stumbling drunk I found the only man on the Raft who might not only know where Anderson is, but where he hides when the heat is on like the noonday sun on the Dunesea. Dan Backslide, former sneak of Roquefort Hall. Salvation in the form of a coward, bully, cad and thief. But he'd never volunteer any information to someone like me, bribe or no, and barging into a vaguely reputable drinking hole to demand answers was sure to draw the wrong attention. Looked like it'd be time for the old 'rope a dope' from my army days. Once I'd settled into a nice spot on the side of the large cargo hull turned warehouse, it was just a matter of waiting. Eventually Dan would leave, of his volition or the barkeep's, and then he'd walk right into the spider's web.

Took longer than I'd have liked, seems like the barkeep didn't mind the thick cloud of smoke from Dan's chain smoking habit, or his twitchy demeanor. Or you don't run out your best customer until you've milked him for all he had like a prized cow. But timing aside, he walked out and right to where I perched above, and like an eagle snatching a rabbit I came from the sky and returned quick as a blink, prey in hand. It took him a second to have it register and in that time he found a hand clamped tight over his mouth, too late to draw attention to his fate. Now I find a good spot, poised over the remains of some deck turned street some three stories down, before I speak "Hello, Dan."

"Stathis, you... let me go!"

"Well, since you asked so nicely." I let gravity drag him down a foot before pulling him up. About then he noticed the drop.

"W-w-wait! Don't let go!" The fear in his eyes tells me he'll spill every bean he can if he thinks it'll get him out unharmed. Reliable like that, Dan.

"Well that depends on you Dan. I may look like a strong spider but, well, holding myself and someone else on the side of a rainslicked precipice... It's hard work."

"Fine, fine! What do you want? Who are you looking for?"

"Anderson Cooper."

"I don't know nothin' about Cooper's business."

"Oh, well. Then I guess you're free to go." In my experience, gravity has a helpful way of jogging the memory, so I let him fall again.

"Waitwaitwait! I heard from some people Anderson had a deal happening tonight, trying to smooth over any bad blood between him and the Halfhills."

"The Halfhill Family is trying to move onto the Raft?"

"Duke's men have come down hard on the business coming in and out of New Quarryport so the Halfhills are desperate to move what they got. Cooper's hoping desperate enough it can get him out of their bad books. Deal that big for Cooper it'd have to be at the Invincible, one of the V.I.P. rooms." Of course, the 'unsinkable and undefeatable' battleship that proved to be neither turned casino. Run by a 'legitimate' business man as legitimate as the Invincible was unsinkable, Raul Varano.

"Raul close to Anderson?"

"Business associates, Cooper's the best in town after everything sunk." Sounded like Varano might try and keep his favorite smuggler alive, but I knew once he saw the flop he'd fold and cut his losses. But even if Anderson heard someone burned down his favorite haunt, he wouldn't back out of the meeting. Couldn't, more like. It'd just remind the Halfhills why he was in their bad graces, and they were already on the Raft, so they'd feed him to the fishes before finding second fiddle to play lead in their concert.

Death From Above (+Dex): 2d6+2 9 Taking
• Kidnap them - you retreat to somewhere nearby, taking them with you
• No one else notices you dropping in, and your target doesn't make a sound
Hoping to use this to get leverage for a Parley. "Not getting dropped a few stories" sounds like a reasonable want/need.
Parley (+Cha): 2d6+2 9
Let me know what promise and assurance he needs for this, and if it's too much.

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 0 Armor
Ramona steps out of the armor, puts on a blue dress that matches her normal sleeveless look, grey pants, grey jacket, umbrella, and–crucially–glasses, and heads up to room 319. She has her whip-gun in her pocket, and an ace up her sleeve–well, in her little library looking book because it was a sleeveless dress–a needle tipped with TTX. Tetrodotoxin, courtesy of a blowfish she took from the Harpy's hold after the big catch. Would be a shame to waste the little pincushion after she forbade anyone from eating it. She'd knock on a few doors, tell people to open up and evacuate immediately. She'd get to 319, get a positive ID, he'd get a little mosquito bite, then he'd go from 0 to numbness around the area in around 8 minutes–probably less, since the man was small and fit–then came the weakness, paralysis, and heart attack and/or respiratory failure. He might also tragically slip overboard too, when no one was watching, unable to make a sound if he wanted to, and die about 20 minutes after exposure. Then it could also be drowning. What it wouldn't be is poison, the drat thing worked its magic with mere micrograms, and the ways it killed were completely inconspicuous. Anyone could have a heart attack. Anyone could fall into the sea and drown. They were so mundane, in fact, that the people she killed with it didn't even know to haunt her. Their ghost would have to stick around then she'd have to return to the scene of the crime with her haunters in tow, and they'd have to convince them to join up.

It was funny, even the suckers who knew they'd been pricked still failed to ID her more than once. Because of the glasses. She was just a harmless librarian, looking at the ground, trying to hide her embarrassing height, and plain face, dress, and shoes.

slydingdoor fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2016 around 18:39

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


Thrash & Maw-Meow Memorial Fishing Fund: 65/80 coin
Healing from a chirurgeon (for Serenity and the crew): -5 coin


RAMONA
The ‘hotel’ section of the Bonnie Oyster, such as it is, is rapidly going from confusion to pandemonium. This lobby must have been a ballroom or something once: now there’s a big makeshift desk in front of the grandly sweeping wooden staircase to the upper-deck rooms. Some kid is dashing around yelling “FIRE AT THE YELLOW SIGN! FIRE! EVERYBODY WAKE UP THERE’S A FIRE!” and so on. People are running around in their skivvies or half-dressed, two guys in chef’s uniforms waddle-jog past you with slopping buckets of water in each hand...and there, over in the corner, three guys in dark clothing are huddled together arguing about something in low, urgent tones. Your gaze flashes to their gear -- blocky submarine guns on shoulder straps, truncheons close at hand, some kind of tactical harness studded with packages, lightweight armorvests. No insignia. They’re too busy arguing to take notice of you as you slip up the lobby stairs and over to room 319. A thin haze of smoke and the reek of burning alcohol drifts through the air.

The door’s shut. There’s a glass peephole at eye level set into it. Distant shouts from other rooms, the insistent clanging of a faraway fire-bell. Listen close: sounds like someone’s inside. “--have time for this. Dammit, I told you there’s nothing I can do for you! You want me to move product now? You know Lorenzo’s boys have it out for me!” A man’s voice, tight and panicked. There’s bumping and dragging noises from inside like someone’s moving furniture or luggage around in a great hurry. Sounds like this could be Cooper.

“Then tell me where it is.” Another man’s voice. Older, deeper, coldly angry. “I’ll move it myself.”

“And watch you walk out with all my product? Get the gently caress outta here! You really think I’m that stukhhkk--

“You have no idea what’s at stake here, boy. I’m not going to ask again. Tell me where you left it or I’ll start breaking fingers until I…”

“Wait.” Old guy lets young guy go. You can hear him fall to his knees and sob for breath. “Did you hear that.” Old guy’s footsteps move closer to the door. “Sounded like someone going by.” Young guy sounds like he’s about to lose his poo poo. “Oh God. Oh God this is it. They’re coming for me...”
Where’d you leave your armor and the crate of booze?
What do you do?



STATHIS
You jiggle Mr. Backslide up and down until he spills it all. Halfhill Family, huh. As nasty a bunch of bunders as you’ve ever met. Tiny, sure. But fierce as hell and you would not believe how unpleasant it can be to have a trained squad of hafling thugs kneecapping you everywhere they can climb onto.

And a business deal on the Invincible, too. You’d be hard-pressed to miss the drat thing -- it was one of the first ships on the scene, just steaming home from a weeklong Aqualantean pleasure cruise when the Big Sink came down. The old tub’s practically dead-center as far as the Raft goes, almost isolated among the scum of refugee shacks and prefab floating shelters grown up all around and over it like sharks gnawing at a whale-fall. It’s still a gilded hive of greed and cupidity -- that much hasn’t changed since Raul ‘bought’ the thing off its last captain. But nowadays you might not want to go in unarmed, unescorted, and without your name on the guest list…

”Waiwaitwaitwai hold on here I’m not done I can get you in, man! I can vouch for you; I’ve got a guest pass! Just let me back up and you can have it! Then we’re square. Alright? Alright?!”
What do you do?


TUTRESIEL
“Thank you, lord.” AVTOTAR sits down on the deck and pulls the robes over his head. His head goes into the wrong hole a couple times, but he gets it right eventually. He fastens the mask behind his ears and hugs the strange silvery material of your robes to his chest. Quartermaster Mills was no small man, but his body seems almost lost in its swaddling of otherworldly fabrics. “I am privileged.” AVTOTAR’s tiny grin is hidden from view, of course, but his simple happiness is obvious in the set of his body. Rain pours off his shoulders like water off a duck’s back.
What do you do?


SERENITY
“Erhm? Greymist? Then you’re not Ra…” You can practically see the lightbulb go off behind the man’s eyes. An expression of sharp distaste flickers across his face. He takes in your pointed ears, the elvish dueling-sword at your hip; lets your hand go and takes a half-step back. He bends down to take his satchel up and motions you up the gangplank impatiently.

“You shouldn’t even be walking right now, miss. Let alone fighting. God knows that doesn’t stop anyone else in this sorry excuse for a town from tearing themselves all to bloody shreds...”

***

Dr. Thispeus sits you down in the Harpy’s medical bay, snaps on a pair of thick black gloves, and palpates your abused ribcage. In and out of that stupid hospital gown inside an hour -- that’s got to be a new record. Ugh. Well, it’ll be over soon. “Definitely cracked. Well, lie down. Go on. ” He uncorks a little thermos of something with a disturbing resemblance to pureed oatmeal and bread yeast, and shoves it into your hands. “Drink.” It’s warm to the touch, like a mug of hot cider, and it fills your whole chest up with a soothing, gentle heat. With brisk, efficient motions, he binds your ribs up in layers and layers of fine gauze, some sort of reddish waxy paste with a strong narcotic smell, more gauze, fluffy cotton, and a winding of stiff springy cloth over it all. “Don’t get it wet. Don’t bend your back unless you have to. And for God’s sake don’t get in any more fights.”
You’re no longer Weak, but if you drop to 10 HP or less before you next Make Camp, you’ll suffer this debility again. If you manage to Make Camp again without getting too banged up, your debility will be gone for good.

After he’s done with you, he shoos you off the table and moves on to the rest of the wounded crew. “Oh, and one last thing,” he says to you. “I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but at least for these peoples’ sake if not your own…” He sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. “I have reason to believe you may have some sort of affiliation with a very, very dangerous woman. One Ramona de Sahagún.“

“If you have any information about her whereabouts or activities, anything at all, please let us know at once. I can’t stress this enough, miss; she’s implicated in a number of very serious crimes. Ask for Security Chief Orson aboard the Expectant; someone will meet you. Now. I have work to do.” He peels off his gloves, snaps on a new set, and moves on to the rest of the wounded crew. “Go on. Out.”

***

When he’s done, he presents you with the bill, shakes your hand briskly, then stumps out into the rainy dark again without so much as a goodbye or a fare-thee-well. You get the impression he doesn’t much like elves. First Mate -- actually, no I guess he’s the captain for real now, isn’t he? -- Domnhall meets you too, and tells you he’s moving the Harpy on at first light, after he offloads that hold full of frozen fish. He’s got a thick white bandage bound to the stump of his missing finger now. “She chartered ol’ man Price for transport only, ‘n all.” He shrugs, and looks out at the dark Raft uneasily. Somewhere out there a bell is ringing insistently. “Some of the lads say they want t’ chance their fortunes out here with ye. I think they’re mad. Fair stroke of luck we made it here at all. But wha’ can I do? Nobody ever signed on with him who didn’ have somethin’ they wanted to get away from. Or someone.”

A flash of lightning; dull rumbling thunder. Was that smoke out there on that big looking ship with the paddle-wheels? It looked like smoke anyway. Hard to tell with only storm lanterns and neon signs to light your way. Ramona’s out there somewhere...right? At least, that’s what she said. Nashira only knows what could happen to her out alone at sea, or in a place like this...
Do you take any of the crew who fought with you along? For the record, that’s: Jaime, Nori, Zebley, and Garlov. You can take any, some, all, or none.
What do you do?



01
The girl behind the counter barely glances up from her copy of Arms and Ammo Quarterly. Her eyes are dull and tired, and her name tag (a bullet, natch) reads Hi, I’m NIZHDA in an almost manically cheerful typeface. “Sure you are,” she says with bored contempt, and goes back to her reading like you’re not even there.
What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2016 around 22:51

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 0 Armor
Score. Cooper and his boss. Good thing she packed spare needles. She comes up with a quick plan and alias–something nice sounding–then she knocks at the door urgently,

"Hey! It's your neighbor, Grace! You gotta grab your valuables and get out before the firefighters break down your door and carry you out! Please, hurry, or you'll catch fire and have to jump in the drink! If your father is in there, don't worry, I can walk him out!"

It was obvious enough code: she's from another gang or something with a vested interest in their survival, whatever was going on they needed to stop loving around and get out with their cash, product, or both before those goons downstairs showed up to rob, kill, and/or arrest them in who knows what order. Cooper was already "on fire"–targeted–so he'd need to swim for it, but the elder man she could sneak out of the place.

The young one she'd prick during a good-luck pat, maybe hidden behind a fingertips kiss before he jumped overboard. The boss she'd bring to that abandoned storage room where her armor was under a dusty blanket, call it a safehouse to stay a bit til things blew over, offer the boss some spiked punch from her crate, then she'd spike him too. Getting drunk would completely hide the symptoms until it was far too late.

With any luck, "dad" would bring his money with, and some nice loot.

I think that's a parley?
Parley violence: 2d6+3 9
If they aren't under threat of violence then it's a fail.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

"I am requesting the kinetic force amplifier module that was brought here, you will give it to me or I will take it." I respond. As the last syllable is projected from my voxer, I activat several battle ROMs, and tactical emplates in preparation for further escalation from this...Nizhda.

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

With AVTOTAR now much less likely to die due to mortal frailty in the immediate future, Tutresiel kept watch upon Serenity, she was vulnerable - and more importantly, leverage that could be used in order to mollify the mortal drenched in the blood of others. Keeping her alive would be necessary for the moment, additionally her skills would be invaluable in the times ahead.

Now this Security Chief Orson figure, aboard a ship known as the 'Expectant' might well be the most tangible lead down into the depths thus far. At least for the others, the automaton and Don-Tal-Un (or Dontalun) (as Tutresiel would mentally refer to Ramona as) could make it easily to the depths with little recourse, but Serenity, AVTOTAR and any others who wish to be upon this foolish quest will need a more appropriate vessel in order to reach the fallen city.

Once Serenity was away from the healer, Tutresiel approached her once again. "For this venture to continue it will be necessary to get down to the depths. Additionally with us having to relinquish this vessel as a place of safety it should also be necessary unless the former means are secured rapidly, to find another suitable site.This is assuming our mutual associate has not found one or the other themselves, but by the sound of it things are not going as cleanly as we could have hoped. The... physician mentioned someone possessing the position of 'Security Chief', I am unsure if such roles would be so... hard-held in such a profligate settlement as this, they might well have ties to the man known as Warwick. What do you think about this?" is what Tutresiel said, their tone possessing a more... sinister or heavy edge to it than before, deeper in voice somehow. Although Tutresiel referred to Professor J.R. Warwick Froeddricksson by his name (thereabouts), they mentally referred to him as Van-Don-Veh (or Vandonveh).

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14 | Weak

A bill. Not a large one, but still. She was nigh on flat broke which meant it was time to go to work before she could go to work. Especially with the Harpy prepping to leave; she'd need a hotel for the duration while they prepped to head to Aqualantis proper. A quick conversation with the angel proved he had much the same thoughts she did.

"Yeah. That sounds like a fair assumption. Word has it there is still some degree of contact between Aqualantis and civilization proper. If that's true, and if Warwick is still kicking around, I'd wager he has his fingers in some pies yet." She carefully flexed her arms, trying not to aggravate her torso. Tutresiel was increasingly disconcerting to be around, and that was bringing some old nervous tics to the surface.

"I'm going to talk with Jaime and Nori, see if they're inclined to sign on. After that, I need to handle this medical bill. Find someplace approaching "nice" and see if they could use a bard for the evening's entertainment. While I'm about that I'll put my ear to the ground. Learn what I can about this Orson, or anybody else that might know something." She glanced about for a moment before continuing. "Uh, if you plan on heading into the Raft by yourself, can you do me a favor? Keep your eyes and ears open for other elves. Especially one by the name of Anastasia Lightbringer. We have some...history, and I'd really rather not get into it with her right now. So if you happen to hear something about what her business is so I can avoid getting involved, I would really appreciate it."

On hold in case you want to continue the conversation, Oregano.

Alumnus, I plan on trying to recruit Jaime and Nori as Hirelings. As it is, I'll have a +1 since Serenity will agree to split her share evenly. Would I be correct in assuming I have a useful reputation for another +1?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


01@noetic: ~$ cd ~/ts/brom && while read $(./*) -> brom; do employ(brom) -mt; end | tsexec ~/wep/bls01.wp
Okay now you've got her attention. You’re no great shakes at reading softskin facial expressions -- or else maybe you just don’t care most of the time -- but you’d have to be a lump of inert silicon not to notice the effect your threat just had on her. She jumps to her feet, magazine forgotten, and backs away quickly from the counter, screaming "SECURITY!!" Your thoughtshard’s embedded tactical reporters leap to eager life, flooding your consciousness with threat diagnoses and angle-of-attack estimations as a hulking, blocky figure bangs open the doorway to the backroom and strides towards you. Good lord, this is no softskin -- this is one of your cousins, and from the way Nizhda hides behind his brute armasteel carapace it looks like he's actually on her side!

"<BACK OFF, RUST BUCKET>" the security guardbot grates, his intent to eject you unceremoniously from these premises obvious. Your tactical processes digest the incoming data and give you a lightning-quick precis of the target's most salient features: crude hydraulic motivators and servo-manipulators, heavily armored at the joints and torso-analogue, well-balanced but a sluggish acceleration profile, weapons data indeterminate. The bullet-shaped nametag riveted to his chest just reads A.G.NeS. "<NO SUBSTITUTIONS *bzzt* EXTORTIONS OR REFUNDS>"
>>> ntcmb INFO: hostile target ident 0x007fe019011cf0, threat index 3.4/10, confidence interval +/-0.2...
Here he comes! What do you do??

SERENITY
You don't need to roll at all because they're already hirelings! When I said "pick who you want to come along" I meant it literally. They had stats and Costs a while back: check the OOC thread.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at May 3, 2016 around 03:28

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

I draw my sword, activate it, and take a ready stance. The blade emits a low hum and the edge glows its customary blue. Typically I would exploit a softskin's unstable emotionality with a well placed comment, to goad it into acting recklessly, but that tactic doesn't seem to apply here. So instead I state simply:

"Let us proceed."
Defend 9
Halve the attack’s effect or damage





Heads up: I'm heading out of town for the next few days, so posting ain't happening until at least friday, but maybe longer. I'll try and get a post in when I can, but no promises.

Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

"I am unsure if approaching what dangers that lurk upon this place are best dealt with alone or together, although I could very well provide assistant to you if we were together, it is possible that other mortals might find my presence... disconcerting. This might hinder your efforts. What would you think is the best way to approach these issues? Regardless I have the one who has been known as 'Quartermaster Mills' at my side, in assisting our efforts." replied Tutresiel, their voice calm, their posture stony, as they gazed about idly, watching the skyline of the strange composite settlement as they spoke.

As this was happening Tutresiel also thought to the possibilities that might lie before this loosely-bound group, and considered the possibility of all mortal means of delving the depths being lost. If such were to occur, Tutresiel would be forced to align the patterns and grant the group their own way to the depths. One of the chained leviathans that the God Who Would Become Silent bound at the beginning of time would suffice as a vessel, even these spiritually frail mortals could ride within its belly, it long having lost its fire to devour and now merely serve, its identify subsumed by the greater power.

But the cost of such a ritual to summon and command such a being would be interesting no doubt. Tutresiel considered this as they spoke on much simpler subjects with Serenity.

Should it be necessary, what cost(s) would it incur? (That is using the Dark Ritual move what conditions would apply for this?)

Edit: Adding another interesting detail!

Infinite Oregano fucked around with this message at May 3, 2016 around 20:02

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

"If you want to stick together I won't say no. I should be able to smooth things over if people start asking questions. Besides, everyone thinks elves are strange anyway. Having an angel at my side will just confirm what they already know."

She flicked her eyes aside at the mention of Mills. The man had gone strange, and not the usual sort of strange when someone finds religion. The Silent God was foreign to elves, and few found comfort in those teachings. Still, a God it was, and Serenity had no right to question a Word Bearer.

"If you'll give me a few moments, I'll speak with Jaime and Nori." A quick final glance at Tutresiel's unreadable face, and she went below deck.

---

"Hey." She stood in the door of the patched up mess where the two of them were grabbing a quick bite to eat. "I heard you were interested in maybe signing on with this foolishness. I'd be happy to have you along, if you're still interested. I can't speak for anyone else in my crew, but I can promise you an equal share of anything I make on this venture. Thirty-three percent apiece, and my promise that I don't turn my back on friends. I won't ask you to do anything I wouldn't do, or to risk your lives for anything stupid. What do you say?"

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

They are weird and troubling. We owe it to our neighbors to kill them.


RAMONA
“poo poo,” the old guy spits. “God drat you, Cooper.” He opens the door and directs a hostile glare at you - an old man, heavy with the kind of muscles you get from a lifetime of labor, his face wrinkled and seamed with years of stress and worry. Something about his face strikes you as familiar somehow, but you don’t get more than a couple seconds to look before Anderson makes his move.

Big mistake, old guy. He shouldn’t have turned his back on a cornered rat like that. He snatches up a half-full bottle of wine from the dresser and crashes it as hard as he can into the back of old guy’s head. Broken glass and cheap wine flies everywhere; old guy topples into your arms, knocking you back a couple steps. He turns around and picks up the end table too, and chucks that right through the room’s porthole! Out he goes! You dump old guy out of your arms and race for the porthole, but by the time you stick your head out all you can see of Anderson is a fading splash. Son of a bitch, this guy’s even more paranoid than you are! Is he actually swimming for safety on a night like this? There’s got to be a lot of people who want him dead for him to be this twitchy...
It’s not a parley but it’s not a failure either - don’t mark XP. You can sting old guy with your poisoned needles any time you like without needing to roll. Anderson's getting away -- what do you do??


STATHIS
Sure, you could just take him up on the offer...but you’ve got a certain feeling that this smirking sneak-thief is holding out on you. A guest pass to whatever deal Cooper’s got set up is all well and good, but you know full well Raul doesn’t let any business go down on the Invincible that he doesn’t get a cut of. No, you need to know not just where Anderson hides when the heat’s on, but where he keeps the goods before the deal goes down. Bolt-holes may come and go, but there’s no way Anderson’s going to just pull up stakes and abandon his goods. His type never does. It’s bad for business. A couple more bait-and-switch drops over a rain-slick precipice is enough to crack his last nerve, and before you know it he’s singing like a drunken canary.

“Oh god oh god OKAY! OKAY! HE’S ON THE HALWYRD! I see him go in e-every week or so with a bunch of goons and crates! NOW JUST LET ME GO! OH GOD PLEASE!”
If that’s not a solid lead on this case, you’re a daddy longlegs - but do you actually know what that ship looks like and where it is? If you do, Spout Lore and tell us about it. If you don’t, you’ll have to Discern Realities and do some good old-fashioned sleuthing to track the Halwyrd down. (If you fail at Spouting Lore, you can still roll to Discern Realities.) Interrogating Dan Backslide any further will require a roll: he’s pretty much at the end of his (figurative and literal) rope here.
Also, add "a guest pass to the V.I.P. rooms at the
Invincible" (0 weight) to your inventory. What do you do?


01
The security bot comes at you low and hard, ramming the metal edge of his shoulder into your chest in a practiced tackle - but you’re braced and ready for him, and what was meant to sweep you off your feet and carry you clean out the door instead only shoves you back a few feet, up against a shelf of racked pistols locked behind a heavy steel grating.

Those crude claw-grips of his latch onto your sword in an attempt to wrench it from your grasp, but this time you’re well prepared and can actually see your foe coming - there’s no way you’re falling for that trick twice! ”<SUBMIT>” the guard’s vox unit buzzes at you. ”<YOU HAVEN’T *beep* GOT A CHANCE!!!>” Over behind the counter, you can hear Nizhda fumbling around for something and swearing in Orcish under her breath. Something she’s holding is jingling - a ring of keys?

So A.G.NeS here can’t quite get the sword away from you, but you can’t quite break his grip either, or get enough space free to swing the sword, without giving him an opening to take your balance or break your grip. You’ll have to figure out some other way to shift this fight’s momentum in your favor, and quick - this ‘bot was built for sheer brute force, not finesse, and sooner or later he’ll figure that out and simply overpower you…
What do you do?

e: Oh and also you still need to answer Serenity's question from Charming and Open: what can she do to stay your wrath while still affording you the rights of a sentient being? Once you've answered that, you can ask her a question of your own the next time you see her.


SERENITY AND TUTRESIEL
Serenity, Jaime and Nori share a look with each other when you make your proposal. They put their heads together and confer quietly for a few moments, then Jaime says simply, “Deal.” Then they both break out into huge goofy grins. “We’ve got your back, Greymist,” Nori says. The raspy edges in her voice seem to be sticking around for the duration. “Just keep singing and I know we’ll be okay.” Jaime favors her with a tired smile and a rough hug.

“And while you’re at it, Serenity,” he says, ”-- we all knew we were signing up for something crazy. Cap’n Price never took any other job. It’s his way. Or was, I guess.” He looks down at the deck for a moment. “But we could always get something out of him about why. Not this time. Just: get these people to the Raft, come hell or high water, and hardly a peep more.” Nori chimes in over him. “There’s nothing left for us on the Harpy anyway, not after a journey like that. She’ll weigh anchor at the Spinebacks’ breaker yards and that’ll be the end of her. Jaime here” --she nudges him in the ribs-- “‘s got no home left to go back to, and me, I’m going home. Been away quite a while, y’know. So what brings you down to dear old Aqualantis?” She grins wryly and wriggles her fingers at you -- webbed up to the second knuckle.
What do you tell them?

***

Tutresiel, while Serenity negotiates with the crew for additional protection, you contemplate the many possible ways this motley group might find its way down to lost Aqualantis. If only you had a clear view to the spaces below at more-or-less atmospheric pressure, your holy Words could simply split space and get them all there in a moment - but you don’t, so it can’t, and blindly opening a portal to the depths would surely be suicide. No, you’ll need to find a more…mundane way down.

You know little of this Alchemists’ Guild, save what disjointed fragments were preserved from the record of Hamon’s travels - but, judging from their quick, efficient, and wholly altruistic response to the injury of innocents, it’s entirely possible they may have come prepared to descend to Aqualantis. They seem to have a grudge against the one you think of as Don-Tal-Un, but she could probably swim down there even without a suit of pressure-sealed armor to help her out.

The Cube of Araboth may offer some useful insight, if you deem it fit to consult - surely the intelligence residing within grows bored of its safe confinement within the Pall of Shekinah. The mortal shell of AVTOTAR seems to have manifested uncommonly keen hearing after the loss of his sight - not only is he receptive to mundane frequencies of sound, but so too has he grown sensitive to other, more transcendent spheres of hearing. You think the word Van-Don-Veh and his head twitches like a dog hearing a dog-whistle - perhaps this receptivity may prove useful to you in the times ahead.

And, of course, if all else fails - you know of a black and terrible ritual which is certain to grant you the transportation you so desperately need. The Rite of the Seabeast’s Banquet.

The Raft is no place of power, no ley-line nexus or site of conjunction: but for a ritual such as this, no place of power is necessary. Turmoil and strife are as meat and drink to those ancient leviathans - all you need do is simply provide it in quantities great enough to reawaken their long-dormant appetites. You can taste the beginnings of the ritual swirling already in the rain-lashed air: riots, death, senseless violence and unreasoning panic. Such things seem to follow behind Don-Tal-Un as surely as night follows day.

When the madness is at its height, and the red star Al-Hakrabi is high in the southern sky, you will speak aloud the seventh and least of the secret names of the Silent God, and spill your own blood into the wine-dark sea. The seabeast will awaken to that summons, and feast according to its nature; and, sated, it will serve you as it even now serves below. Such a ritual, of course, is not without price: those chained leviathans were chained for a reason, and it is their endless dreams that serve to bind the Head of Il-Chacham in its eternal prison. If it truly has awoken, far below, the absence of one of its prison guards is certain to permit it greater influence over the physical world…

So for the record:
The ritual will require a blood sacrifice from someone you.
The ritual will forward a Grim Portent.
If you choose to go down this path, I’ll keep you informed about how much more chaos you’ll all need to cause in order to complete the ritual.


***

The dark Raft lies spread out before you both. The rain continues, unabated. Many possibilities are now open to you: the Guild, the Gale, whatever madness Ramona and 01 have gotten up to, or perhaps something else entirely. One thing’s for certain, though - you can’t stay here!
Let’s get this show on the road! What do you both do?


EVERYBODY
”Suits of pressure-sealed armor” might be found on the open market, but they’re in high demand since the Big Sink. Anyone who wants one must roll to Supply! :WONK:

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at May 8, 2016 around 21:09

ArkInBlack
Mar 22, 2013


Stathis Argyle
HP 18/18 | Armor 1 | XP 3/10 | Load 5/6


"See Dan, this is why I'm dangling you over the edge of a three story drop. You lie, even when it's in your best interest to tell the truth, even when the truth is so very easy to say." I pull him up over the edge, like a fisherman pulling in the big catch. And what a catch I had. Almost made me feel bad for what I did to Dan, until I remembered why he ran to the Raft. Ticket in hand and knowledge in head I leveled a gaze at Dan. "Get outta here. Maybe keep your nose clean once and awhile. Might keep me from dropping by to visit." Didn't need to be told twice, he's off before the words finish leaving my mouth. But that's not what matter right now. What matters is if the Halwyrd is in my notes. Right there, next to my trusty if empty flask, a running log of anything I might need to remember, like say, a ship's make. Hard on the Raft to remember which boat's which, what with all sorts coming and going like the desperate at a food line. Halberd, Hallowed Man's Rest, Janette's Revenge... drat, looks like Halwyrd's avoided notice before. Probably why Anderson uses the ship to stash his goods.

Looks like it was gonna be the hard way again tonight. It's like someone finally noticed that I wasn't a bitter, jaded old war veteran who'd seen too much to care and wanted to rectify that. Maybe She Who Gazes doesn't like private eyes and finally saw that I was exactly that. Or maybe everyone in life gets dealt a miserable day from time to time and now I hand to play out the hand. A better idea than standing around waxing philosophical. So, Anderson's the most successful smuggler, so if I want to find his hidden cache I'll need to think like him. First we cross off the obvious good smuggling places, he'd want to keep any up and comers away from his boat. Flotsam district had enough docks to get goods in, and close enough to everywhere to get the goods to the buyers. It's a start, at least.

Spout Lore with Book: 2d6 5 This Handbook of Useful Information is filled with knowledge such as How To Best Remove Young Lady From Tree but not what ship's what.
Discern Realities: 2d6+1 11 What is about to happen? What should I be on the lookout for? What here is not what it appears to be?

slydingdoor
Oct 26, 2010

Are you in or are you out?


Ramona
18/26 HP; 2/12 XP; 0 Armor
Bullshit throwing a man at her would slow her down. She'd lower her center of gravity and bulldoze through grandpa, pricking him if that was the play. She had reason to recognize him: anyone who "seemed familiar" to her was on either side of succumbing to the pearl's curse or holding it off. Each of those things were worth remembering.

She'd also never forget a face who owed her money.

I'm shooting first.
Spout Lore (face): 2d6 7
DD strength: 2d6+3 11

Shardix
Sep 14, 2011

I've earned my fee. Ta-ta!

Serenity
HP 17/19 | Armor 2 | Load 4/9 | XP 4/14

Webbed fingers? That was so cool. She tore her eyes away from Nori's fingers so not be be rude, but it was difficult. The woman had very lovely hands for someone who worked for a living.

"Serenity, please. Greymist is so stiff and formal." The elf walked inside, swaggering as much as her wraps would permit. The doctor knew his craft, she had to give him that. She hardly hurt at all. Taking a seat across from them, she spread her hands apart and shrugged. "Why the captain kept things hush-hush, I cannot honestly say. Perhaps to do with whatever Tutresiel is after. All i told Price was that I was looking for adventure and a nice retirement fund. Which isn't incorrect mind you. Simply not the entire truth. I've a descendant, went hunting for a legend some eighty years back. She takes strongly after the elven side of her heritage, and while I managed to secure her citizenship in the home country, I haven't been on great terms with my kinfolk for a long time. I only just recently learned of what happened, and I'm going to get her back. Aqualantis, more than any other place, is going to have...dealings with the folk I seek."

As she spoke, Serenity recalled the last time she'd seen the girl. It had been quite a surprise to the family, having grandmother Greymist show up one day to say hello. Gretchen had been no more than five years old, and thrilled to death to bounce on her grandmother's knee and listen to her stories. The child was an atavist, possessing virtually nothing of her human side save her father's big brown eyes. From what she knew, the girl had always eschewed human society for the tales of her elven forebears. Serenity always harbored a suspicion that her coming that day had put the same sort of fire in the child's heart that had captured her own so long ago, but in the opposite direction. A desire to know the elven people and their ways rather than the greater world. What had possessed her to seek the Abyss Wyrms she could not begin to guess.

"...Anyway. That's the big mystery of Serenity Greymist. I like to live comfortably, and I look after my family as best I can." She gave them a kind smile before getting back to her feet. "If you're ready to go, grab your gear and meet me on deck. We've information to gather and coin to earn. It was suggested to me, and Tutresiel agrees, that we find a Security Chief Orson. See if he can't give us some useful advice."

---

Back on deck, Serenity nodded to the angel. "They agreed to sign on."

Moving over to the rail, she carefully leaned over and yelled to a longshoreman nearby. He was pretty easy on the eyes; close cropped black hair and a sharp gaze. He wore only a pair of sturdy leather pants tucked into boots, showing off his rippling muscles. She wagered a man like that did not tire easily, and she did love men with broad shoulders. "You, good sir! Can you recommend a nice tavern, or anyone in need of a bard's services? I find myself in dire need of coin, and perhaps a man who knows the lay of things in this town." The hugely muscled man glanced up, eyes catching sight of the coin the elf was casually flipping. She gave him her very best sly smile that promised everything and nothing. "By the by, the name is Serenity Greymist. Perhaps you've heard of me?"

Reputation: 2d6+3 9
This man has in fact heard songs about the bard, Serenity. Specifically, how she stole the First Sunset, a massive ruby the size of a man's fist, from a southern warlord some hundred and fifty years ago. Legend has it the day the sun rose for the very first time, that gem was the first thing its light touched. Word also has it she gave it away to a shepard boy she passed upon the road one day in return for his meat pie. That boy is said to have later founded the independent city state of Ten-Toes-In-A-Muddy-River, a rather ugly name for what is now one of the jewels of the Eastern frontier.

Error 404
Jul 17, 2009


MAGE CURES PLOT

01
HP: 19/26 | Armor 3/3 | XP 0/11

The primitive machine has strength, yes. It outmasses me, certainly, but the builders for which I served as a Administrator understood war and conflict on a level never seen since. My bipedal...humanoid form was designed purposefully to take best advantage of the natural flexibility and leverage of martial combat, to overcome all odds through infinite adaptability. Building for pure strength is an engineering dead-end because you lose flexibility and become unable to adapt. A flaw which I will now demonstrate for my erstwhile kin.

Following the ancient Path of River's Flow, a classic style of combat devised thousands of years before my own creation by Praetor Malus, over-general of the millionth host in the thrice great war. I surprise the lesser mech by releasing my sword unexpectedly. The bot staggers back its own weight and strength and sheer momentum unbalanced without my resistance, I drop down and strike a joint servo on its leg, warping the alloy and disabling movement. (basically I shattered it's knee), I push off with all my strength, popping back up with a strike to it's head-mounted sensor cluster (punched him in the face/eyes), whereupon I push forward and turn gracefully along the bot's body, coming to a stop behind it, and once more grasping my sword's handle and sliding it free of the flailing machine's grip (maybe slicing off a finger or whatever).

With my sword free, I angle the blade and stab with all of my own considerable strength, past the spinal supports and through the coolant processors, rupturing the internal power supply.
Hack & Slash 12
Adding +d6 to damage for being left open
damage 8 messy



quote:

Oh and also you still need to answer Serenity's question from Charming and Open: what can she do to stay your wrath while still affording you the rights of a sentient being? Once you've answered that, you can ask her a question of your own the next time you see her.
This is a tricky question, because OOC, I don't care, I was just posturing for laughs.
And IC, I guess 01 is frustrated that Ramona keeps clowning on It, taking It's stuff, tripping It up in combat, constantly talking poo poo to It, etc. When normally 01 instantly destroys opposition, but can't because of the current directive.

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Infinite Oregano
Dec 31, 2007

I'm going to make my friends eat infinite oregano and they'll have to do it because the recipe says so!

Tutresiel

HP: 17/17 | Armor: 1/1 | Load: 3/7 | XP: 7/10

While Serenity spoke to a man mired in the depths of his own existence (a luxury that Tutresiel could not afford), Tutresiel drew out the Cube of Araboth from the pall that hung from their belt. Speaking a leastwise syllable of opening, it responded as such, coming to life once more. Gazing deeply into the wondrous device, Tutresiel concentrated on unveiling the facts of the past, present, and possibly future - things due to the profound nature of the Cube of Araboth it would have a simple time realising, but how comprehensible such facts might be is the other question.

However what Tutresiel wished to know about as they touched their intellect upon the periphery of the cube itself, was information regarding Security Chief Orson. Who were they? Whom did they serve? Why? Did they have a way down? Were they a servant of Vandonveh? Were they a servant of the Head of Il-Chacham? Were they both? These questions and more pressed upon Tutresiel, regardless of how many the Cube might answer, Tutresiel ultimately wished to know more about this Orson.

For this seemed like a more fruitful avenue of questioning, although Tutresiel considered the alternative it for the moment would remain a back-up plan, something to keep for if things get worse and other methods become impossible.

Using the Cube of Araboth for this Spout Lore.

Spout Lore (Int+1): 2d6+1+1 8

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