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Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

OOC THREAD | UW1 | UW1 OOC



You are becalmed.

Your vessel drifts listlessly across the wide flat sea. Nashira’s clean light mirrorflakes off the waves all around you. How long has it been since the contracts were signed on the creaking docks of Crystal Bay - departing again, for drowned Aqualantis? What might you find down there in the depths? And how in the name of Poseidon’s toenails are you going to get there without a ship?



SERENITY
Now isn’t this a fine start to your story? Water, water, everywhere and no @!$#ing way to get across it. At least you’re in good company. Murderess, murderbot, master-chef and more - you’re all here, somehow, in the same place. Look up: it may be a very long time before you see that bright blessing again. What’s this vessel named? Who captains it?
If you paid for your passage with coin, lose 2 coin. If you didn’t, tell us what you paid in.


RAMONA
Typical Aqualantis bullshit. This ship’s no prize compared to the Fast Aqualantis Transport Submersible. At least nobody’s shooting at it yet. No free champagne this time - but how’s the rest of the ship’s liquor holding out? You made a hell of a splash down there last season: don’t think Karthas Murgo has forgotten who nearly killed him twice over and (briefly) took from him captaincy of the Priceless. He’ll be looking for you - but this time he’ll find you forewarned, well-funded, and very heavily armed. Besides you, who else wants him dead?

THRASH
Somehow, you get the sinking feeling that this isn’t a normal thing for ships to do on their way to the sunken ruins of an industrial wonderland. But who cares? You’ve got a captive audience! The captain might’ve given you the stinkeye when you waxed grandiloquent about your many “culinary” “achievements”, but (as he tells it) their last cook was eaten alive. One man’s grisly death is another orc’s opportunity. Pity you haven’t seen what it was: all they’ll say on the matter is ‘the beaks, the beaks!’. How long have we been afloat? How on earth did you get them all to stomach your cooking this long?

ZERO-ONE
From belowdecks your auditory inputs detect much cursing, banging, and noises as of large tools wielded with great frustration and mounting despair. The engines have stopped: why? Softskins all around you - but you’ve let them live, for now. Even though one spoke to you as though they expected you a servant. How did you convince the crew to let you aboard? Serenity is here, somewhere: that sorry sack of protoplasm which somehow your traitor programming bids you must obey. What was the last thing she ordered you to do?

TUTRESIEL
The gate stands behind you: it will not shut. Until the fate of Hamon is dredged up before the starlight you must abide at the threshold. The crew will not look at you. Some have made the sign of Kel-Asham at you, or at their captain, when they think themselves hidden from your sight. The Cube chuckles to itself in the third chromatic mode. Soon the stars will have been right: soon you will have seized your singular chance. How did you pay your passage?

PADRE CLAVO
No Lantern ever need pay passage aboard a vessel these days. And a good thing, too - seeing as how you’re stone broke. The crew greeted you and Mote with gratitude; they all seemed to breathe a little easier as soon as you and your little light stepped aboard. How have you been passing the time? Mote seems to be enjoying himself, too: what is he doing? And more importantly -- what the hell is that approaching off the port bow?

EVERYBODY: WHAT DO YOU DO?

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Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

THRASH
The dinner bell rings - and no response. That’s strange. There’s usually more muttered curses around this time. You ring it a few more times, but there’s not even so much as a plea for the gods to strike you (or them) down before they have to drink another miced tea. Then suddenly—

"—EIIIIIIOOOORRRRAAAARGGGGHHHRUUUU—"

A host of glimmering specters bursts through the galley bulkhead, howling fit to raise (even more of) the dead! They take hold of your cutlery and cookware and play merry havoc with it. The racket is unbelievable. One of them hurls your pot of "shell" "fish" soup at Maw-Meow - another snatches up a brace of knives and forks, and flings them at your head! Aaugh!
Lose one use of experimental food until (or unless) you can get it back in a state fit to eat. You’ve been afloat three months and a week: so were you on this vessel before the rest of the party boarded? What do you do?


PADRE CLAVO
True to your light’s word, something from beyond has breached the surface of this world. The fog thickens rapidly as the ghost-ship bears down upon the Shrieking Harpy. It might have been a fishing steamer in life: now, it’s a wretched, scarred thing, all but the aft smokestack shorn raggedly off. The sea, unruffled and unbroken, can dimly be seen through the gaping tears in the vessel’s sides. Its approach is utterly silent.



The liquor bottle you two were playing catch with trembles in your hand, as though eager to escape. A frightened Mote darts beneath your cloak: where its light peeps out, the fog seems a little less dense. A few of the braver crewmen have gathered around you - maybe they think your reputation as a Lantern will protect them. A clot of spirits is drifting towards you. They seem to move aimlessly, but that could change in a hurry if you or the crew make it known you’re there. What do you do?

TUTRESIEL
Whatever senses the Lantern’s little star-child possesses, you too possess them in some measure: and it’s these that forewarn you of the onslaught of the dead even now approaching from the clutching fog. The Cube abruptly ceases its contented laughter-shades and glissandoes into a disquieted tritone. Many paths are open to you. What do you do?

RAMONA
The captain’s son, dashing for the armory, hears your crack and does a double-take. "You crazy, cabróna? Where you gonna stand?" But you know better than to listen to this little baitfish. If anyone on this tub can steal a ghost ship from under the noses of its haunts, it’s got to be you. Now you just have to figure out how. And get that sodding song out of your head while you’re at it.

Spirits are boiling out of the holes in the ghost-ship’s hull. Skeletons too; gathering in little knots at the prow and toppling gracelessly into the water. They look angry. Actually, they look dead, but maybe they died angry. Also, hungry. Most of them are armed with crusty old fishing gear - gaffs, spears, nets - others are waving eerily glimmering swords. A couple even have guns. You have a moment to act before the spirits are upon you. And the others too, I guess. What do you do?

SERENITY
For a few moments before the panicked yelling starts, your nervous ditty is the loudest thing on deck. Oops. You, Ms. de Sahagún, and the begrudgingly faithful 01 are squarely in the spirits’ sights, and it’s to you that they swarm most thickly. Their mouths are open one and all in a silent furious scream. Perhaps they hunger for the joie de vivre that all bards share - that which is forever beyond these poor lost fishermen-that-were. It’s getting very cold in here…what do you do?

01
What are these idiotic softskins yammering about now? Ghost ship? What ghost ship? There’s nothing but fog and mist and a lot of panicked yelling. And splashing. And it sounds like the orc’s dishwasher is having a temper tantrum down there. Wait a second. Are those skeletons in the water? What do you do?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY AND RAMONA
Your weapons' combined energies only serve to spur these spirits on. You can almost hear their crazed wails above the rising panic: a very faint, very lonely wind is blowing. They meet Ramona's expertly wielded grapple-whip headlong, and where it cracks it tears them to grey rags of fog; and Serenity's energized blade splits ghosts down the middle with no more resistance than cutting air.

Then even more of them howl up through the deck below and overcome you. Arctic wind tears through your flesh, your armor, your bridge-coat - everything. Fear clutches at your hearts and limbs. They pass through you and coil away to haunt some softer targets. Serenity, you were expecting something corporeal, something that cuts with more resistance than air: you stumble and fall heavily to the deck. Just in time to get a nice good look at the other ghost, the one with the tattered tricorne that's been sucking greedily away at the entropic generators on Zero-One's thaumium-alloy killblade this whole time. Already its limbs have a horrible silvery plumpness that its brothers lack. It unlatches from the blade and lands on the deck. Actually lands. For a split second you glimpse the old black night in its eyes and shudder. The sky above Nashira's temple was that color once. But for the moment its attention is on the weapon and its wielder, not you...



Both of you take six damage ignoring armor. You wanted to know how ghosts can become corporeal: now you know! Ramona, you're still on your feet, and your field of fire is empty for now. What do you two do?

01
You squeeze off round after round into the oncoming bone-tide to absolutely no effect. Save your breath for something fleshier, why don't you? You knock a few off-deck when you catch them climbing over the gunwale, but they just splash back down and climb up again. And now it sounds like they're climbing up the starboard hull too—

***



***

—Something yanks, inhumanly strong, at your wrist. You are slammed to the deck so hard it leaves a dent in the plating. The thaumium blade is torn from your grasp by something you can only barely perceive. Some kind of silvery-black fuzz clouds your sensors when you try to look at it. Your weapon whips through the air seemingly of its own accord. What do you do?

PADRE CLAVO
Also, there's skeletons coming onboard. The crew near you shrink back and finger their cutlasses fearfully: but you seem to be hidden in the fog for now. A few whisper to themselves about 'that thing with the mask'. You'll have to take these into account, too. What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Jan 23, 2016 around 04:54

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

TUTRESIEL
For a bare instant, the dying unlight of an ancient sun glares out over the battlefield, swollen with unimaginable age. The sheer force of its radiance is a physical shock all on its own: it’s as though you put your ‘nose’ up against a vat of boiling lead for that one instant - and snatched it away before it could do more than give you a nasty sunburn. The spirit swells so obscenely in the brief torrent that parts of its substance ablate away. It turns to you, fathomless hunger in its empty eyes - somehow it must have sensed that your will was what summoned forth the star - and hurtles recklessly for your throat!
You and 01 both don't take any damage. What do you do?

ZERO-ONE
For the one moment the alien’s star shines, a solar lifetime’s worth of entropy-flux is squarely at your foe’s back. Your weapon’s entropic generators are no more than a guttering candle against that brief flare. Its last breath illuminates the entropy-glutted spirit with such intensity even your sensors are able to clearly perceive the

—NULL—

smash its head into the deck, one, two, NaN no no dodge its bite NAND deal its shoulder a blow that would NULL the softskin’s bones like ripe fruit. What..? what did you NULL—

>>> can’t NULL, segmentation fault in nulutative subarray 0egzERSijrtyQxnIOuVvA87g: NULL neither NULL nor NULL >>>

—No. What’s >>> fatal: /proc/mem02eb4d62 not in ambit >>> no something’s wrong. For a moment you comprehended something in its merge conflict in origin:NULL, NULL to restore branch tip that your sensors and thoughtshard were never intended to perceive. NAND every time you try to NULL about it the thought that you NULL its NULL is spreading through NULL NULL unthink it NULL it null NULL—>>>>>>>> 01@u}g͝"-u:R{goasxѨ'檑|EQKlĦmR|&xl8a`# :i{+oAhE#l�+�Ϫ�Tt*0mzyΈ]\]Ž@n"LS�G�ixW�MA��~ej]x�G��vM��'~ջ�z!˅>�($Wk*Wݶ�b�ڟ*4?�Y0:HLg,�햙�Ұe�m��>#>>�������———



When you reboot (your call how long that takes), tell us about the last time you came across something older than you.
You now have the SIGFPE debility: take -1 WIS ongoing until you can execute a thorough debugging suite and consistency check. Sorry about your computer! Jump back in whenever you can.


RAMONA
The first part of your plan works flawlessly. Some kind of dead alien light flashbulbs in the ghost’s face and it makes the killbot go limp at the same time its mistress plays weed-wacker with the ball of ghosts that wants to eat your face some more. Perfect distractions. You rip the sword out of ghost-cap’n’s hand and chuck it overboard. It doesn’t even care. Crap. Just goes right for the alien’s throat. Must want more of whatever juice that light made when it lit up.

Whatever weird metal 01’s sword is made out of, it’s something your grappler can’t grapple - its grabby tip clangs off and flies wide! If you’re not quick it’ll end up on the ocean bottom, or in the middle of a skeletal feeding frenzy!
You can keep hold of the weapon but end up in the water, or leave it behind and stay on deck. When you put it into your inventory without dropping anything else, you’ll have 15/14 load: take -1 ongoing until you lighten your burden. What do you do?

PADRE CLAVO
Mote immediately conjures exactly twenty gleaming longswords and dumps them all in your arms at once. You promptly drop them. He looks very pleased with himself. The weapons are heavy - somehow - and balanced exactly like you’d expect a longsword to be, i.e. poo poo for throwing. But when they hit, they hit: enough so that the bones of the two you actually manage to hit shatter to brittle dust.

Five more left: one each for you and the four crewmen around you. You’ve held the rest at bay with your wild tosses long enough for them to find some steel in their spine, at least - and they charge into the fray with a yell of “FOR THE LANTERNS!”
What do you do?

SERENITY
Your pull off that little rope trick without a hitch - zipping through the ghost-ball keeps the spirits distracted long enough for Ramona to snatch your bodyguard’s sword and hurl it overboard?! 01 grapples with the captain for a moment or two, then the alien Tutresiel conjures up some sort of starburst. When its awful unlight hits 01's sensors the machine just — switches off. Flops to the ground like a puppet with cut strings.

Then you hear rattling. More rattling. Sounds like they’re climbing back up over the gunwale! You could probably make it belowdecks if you’re quick: most of the crew were belowdecks in the engine room before this fog came on you. But can your companions hold the top deck without you to help stem the tide?
Undo the six damage you suffered earlier! Ramona hurled you out of harms’ way before it could happen. Your weapon is still magnetized but it won’t stay that way forever. What do you do?

THRASH
You have twenty-four hours to post the rewritten thing before I show you my stabs. What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Jan 25, 2016 around 02:09

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

TUTRESIEL
Serenity Greymist interposes herself between you and the onrushing spirit - to absolutely no avail. It smashes her aside and rises up to embrace you - and that’s when you shove a piece of white-cold stellar Law straight into its chest!

Its scream of shock and agony is actually audible. The air writhes. Lanterns crack. Rivets shiver in their seats. The crew on-deck quail and cower in fear. Light itself flees from the world in the wake of that impossible noise, and the stellar fragment’s hot radiance is quenched to a sullen red glare as it sears a hole clean through the spirit’s being. Ectoplasm gushes from the gaping wound. In the few moments before the corporeality drains out of it entirely, it comes ravening right up your arm and tears at you with frigid claw and ripping tooth!
You take six five damage. Ow!

The wounded spirit, now as transparent and filmy as its brethren, rises from the deck and flees for its ship. Silvery spirit-stuff banners out behind it from the glassy-edged hole that was once its torso. In the darkness it leaves in its wake, the remnant ghosts and skeletons find new courage, and surge forward to overwhelm the crew on deck!
You burned the corporeality right out of it! But your heavenly shard has been temporarily weakened: until the end of this fight, it deals d6-1 damage and no longer has the messy tag. What do you do?


SERENITY
You try your best. You really do. But situations like this are the reason you’ve got a bodyguard in the first place. Had a bodyguard, anyway. You meet the ghost-captain’s charge head-on - but it bends inhumanly backwards at the neck and slips right past your stop thrust! It aims an entirely too real-looking fist at you, but you manage to twist aside and take the blow on your shoulder and back only a moment before it would’ve caved in your oh-so-delicate nose. Even so, it’s like you just got hit with a cannonball of frozen nitrogen. You go careering rear end-over-teakettle for the second time in as many minutes!


Like this but with less Homestuck. Also you take two no damage! Aren't you glad you've got armor?

When you manage to pick yourself up again, you can see that it’s much too dark in here. Actually, you can’t see much of anything - all the lights are out! Nashira’s radiance has diminished to a foggy grayness somewhere near the zenith, hardly distinguishable from the rest of the sky. The battle sounds like it’s taking a turn for the worse: you hear shouts of fear and pain, ghostly moaning - then an awful choking gurgle as some poor sailor gets speared right through the neck!
What do you do?


PADRE CLAVO AND RAMONA
Padre, the lights understand you perfectly. They’re just not listening! Every single light nearby is too bloody frightened of that inhuman shriek to keep burning - even Mote! You can barely even make him out anymore: the fog is closing in, and your little light has shrunk to the size of a campfire spark - hardly anything these undead would fear. And indeed, the sudden blackness gives the undead the chance they’ve been waiting for: what remains of the original ball of ghosts coils out of the fog as your skeletal foes surge forward and overwhelm the crew! Their battle-cries and terrible puns about bones quickly turn to shouts of fear. “Light!” one cries. “LIGHT SAVE U—uuaauurgkkkhh….”
Who was that? What do you do?

Ramona, you power-grind across the gunwales, blasting skeletons to bony flinders as you go - but they don’t go quietly, not at all. Those that are close enough stab at you with their gaffs and spears in the few seconds before you re-murder them, and the few with guns discharge silent white projectiles that splash off your armored suit, leaving it brittle and bleached of color where they impact. None of it even so much as slows you down, and two passes is enough for you to completely clear the hull of bony barnacles.

Make no mistake, that awful cry shivers your timbers too - you’re just used to dealing with gut-clenching fear. Your plan to shove 01’s entropy-powered sword back into the ghost that was feeding on it works perfectly, except that you have to use the rest of your angular momentum to clear the ship entirely, since it’s now running scared back for its ship after Tootsie blasted a huge hole in its chest with a slightly different kind of star. It twists around to look at you, and you swear you can make out gratitude in its empty eyes. But it doesn’t try to fight back, or even keep flying: just latches back onto the weapon’s mostly-drained entropic generators, and lets gravity drop it and the sword both into the briny deep!

Looks like fighting back is reserved for the rest of his ghastly crew: the ghosts you and Serenity didn’t manage to kill the first time around, and the skeletons still left in the ocean - the ocean that you’re even now heading feet-first for, since you had to fly off at an awkward angle to meet the captain in mid-air. Better prepare for splashdown…
Take seven four damage, and you have -1 armor ongoing for that damage and until the end of this fight. The captain still has that sword, but he’s too weak to hold on to it and fly at the same time! What do you do?


THRASH
Maw-Meow flattens himself against the deck and the pot of “soup” narrowly misses bruising his spine. Lucky for you, your knives have been soaking in butchery for so long that they have a vague presence in the spiritual realm as well as the real one - otherwise you’d be dicing air! Your goatdogator snaps at flying silverware and claws pots out of the air, but his teeth and claws just don’t have what it takes to harm these poltergeists. Nevertheless, in short order you turn your kitchen into a ghostly charnel house, paying no attention at all to the deadly flying knives. The remaining spirits, severely diminished and not at all used to their victims fighting back with such gusto, flee through the opposite bulkhead.
You do six damage to them instead of nine, unless you can come up with a really good reason why your pet can hurt ghosts.

Your kitchen is now thoroughly drenched in ectoplasm. It remains to be seen whether or not your “soup” is even nominally edible any longer. In the sudden quiet you can hear a great deal of panicked yelling and banging coming from further down the corridor. And from the room next door: “HELP! HELLLPPplblurbrglrhrbghk….” It sounds like your dishwasher’s in trouble!
How did this poor bastard wind up working for you? What’s his name? What do you do?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

THRASH
Dassof’s gurgling cries for help are swiftly drowned: from the sound of it, he got in a fight with the dishwashing nozzle and lost. Keep this up and you’ll have to do all the dishes yourself. Horrors. You lug your immense pot of ‘stew’ out of the galley and step out into the main corridor, Maw-Meow trotting at your heels.

Looks like one hell of a brawl went down here. The corridor and what you can see of the rooms on either side are strewn with broken bits of equipment and shredded clothing: mops, buckets, uniforms, personal effects. A dead sailor is sprawled at the foot of the topside staircase with a burst-open toolbox close by her. There’s a muffled BANG from the direction of the stern and a great deal of indistinct shouting.

Captain Price pelts down the corridor, looking unpleasantly singed around the eyebrows. He stops cold when he sees you with that giant stockpot on your back. “Oh,” he sneers. “Is it lunchtime already?” One hand is hidden in the pocket of his bridge-coat, restlessly fiddling with something. The other is clutching a smoldering machete. “Good men are dying on my ship, orc. Get down to the engine room and fight with the rest of them if you want to live to cook another meal.”

He talks hard, but you can see the fear in his eyes. Something rattles unpleasantly in the mop closet. “It’s all going wrong down there.”
Good lore; but nothing in there convinces me Maw-Meow’s got what it takes to bite the incorporeal. By your standards, at least, the “soup” is still edible: you can restore the 1-use of your experimental food you lost previously. What do you do?

RAMONA
Punching ghost-dad in the face would’ve worked if he was still corporeal, but he’s gone all filmy and transparent again. Guess he didn’t much enjoy having his torso cored out. Explosions work just fine, though. The moment the portal aperture shuts behind Tutresiel’s starburst, you introduce a packet of high-speed plasma into its unstable core. It detonates in a thunderous crash of light and heat, tearing the ghost-captain off from 01’s sword and sending the two of you tumbling away in opposite directions!

It hurts like hell. Hitting the water doesn’t help a bit. It’s like you just got smashed with a red-hot sledgehammer and then slapped across the face by an ice-cold sheet of cement to boot, all while being jarred around inside your suit like a lemon in a cocktail shaker. But you’re alive - if banged up pretty bad - and you can’t see tall, dark, and spooky anywhere. Maybe he’s finally receased, maybe not - you’re not sure. What you are sure about is: his ship’s still there and pointed at your ship, it’s stopped looming and started accelerating again, and that you’re feeling the unmistakable chill of seawater seeping in through a tear in your powersuit’s environmental seals.

Oh, and there’s still a bunch of skeletons in the water. At least they’re not sharks. Or giant bugs. Or a kraken. Could be worse, really.
Roll your signature weapon’s damage and apply it to yourself +3. Don’t forget you’ve still got -1 armor ongoing until the fight’s over! Also, how do you get around in (and under) the water when wearing your powersuit? What do you do?

01
Even animated bones are just another fragile softskin part to you. You tear through the clot of skeletons like a chainsaw through pine, snapping bones and crushing skulls to powder with your bare hands. Their glimmering swords leave yet more gouges in your carapace, and rusty spears skitter off and raise showers of sparks and a hideous screeching noise, but why care when you can snap their arms off at the shoulder without a scrap of effort? Then you turn to face your next foe and it’s another softskin - this one with flesh on those bones! He flinches back for a moment as your ocular sensor glares down at him - then comes at you cutlass swinging!
Welcome back! Hope your computer’s all better now. Also you take eight five damage. What do you do?

Alumnus Post posted:

When you reboot (your call how long that takes), tell us about the last time you came across something older than you.

PADRE
You might be a duk Lantern, but the light hears you true all the same. A brief new sun flares into being up over the port bow, and with it little Mote suddenly shines hot and golden as a summer dawn! The light smashes into a knot of ghosts about to pounce on the fallen sailor, and their outlines sear away in it like gauze held to a flame - but they flinch back and fade into the spaces belowdecks before it can burn them to nothingness.
You dealt 4 damage to those ghosts! I went ahead and rolled d4 for you.

The fog is blasted and burned away all around the Shrieking Harpy, and for a little while you can see again! Even so, the new sun is already no more and the Motelight is fading rapidly. Before long he’ll be no more than a lantern’s worth again. In the sudden glare, 01 and his single ocular sensor must seem to be some kind of armored undead- because one of the crewmen shouts “DAWN TAKE YOU, MONSTER!” and leaps at him, sword swinging!
What do you do?

SERENITY
With light - and good music - comes hope. Two of the crew take up their injured comrade and rush him belowdecks while the Motelight lasts - and here’s your bodyguard, back from his nap! He rushes into the fray and dismembers every single skeleton he can get his hands on. The noise of snapping bone is really rather disturbing, but they’ll not be coming back any time soon.

Hold on here. Where’s Ramona? And what’s that clattering noise behind you --



Oh no. Seriously?!
Arcane Art works on skeletons too! Not the ones 01 receased just now. Different ones. What do you do?

TUTRESIEL
You sunder the heck out of its nature. It is so sundered right now. The ghostly captain is (re)dead, or fled - you can’t tell which. In its and the Lantern’s combined radiance, some of the warmth comes back to your injured cloak of flesh - but now you’ve got some kind of skelepede reconstructing itself out of those bones still remaining whole. It pops a fourth pelvis into place and snatches up a couple discarded gaffs - then charges at the Lantern and his little light!
What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 2, 2016 around 02:30

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA
Back on deck now. Look out over the waves: a ragged arm tumbles end over end and melts into the thinning fog. There's a meaty thack and a gargling scream behind you: sounds like someone just lost their windpipe. Tootsie opens up a portal firehose and blows some hosed-up skeleton thing all over the starboard rails. Bones scatter all over the place. What's left of the skeletons in the ocean are splashing for the chains hanging down over the ghost-ship's hull. The rest of the spirits are nowhere to be seen. The ghostly vessel looks thinner, less threatening, seen through the hot golden Lanternlight.

You're alive. Breathe. Breathe deep. It'll take that ship a few minutes to be in ramming distance. For a little while the deck is clear. Breathe. Soak up Mote's light while it lasts.
Mark XP. You don't have -1 armor ongoing anymore. What do you do?

01, SERENITY, PADRE
Serenity, you're just not fast enough to stop him. 01's fist caves in the sailor's throat with an ugly crunch. He crumples to the deck thrashing and gagging for breath. Padre, you hear a rushing as of tons of bones close behind you - then a rushing of gallons and gallons of water and the sound of bones splintering. Then only water sounds and a thin cold wind. The three sailors still standing stare in shock. One falls to his knees, patting for something to hold his shattered larynx open; the other dashes frantically for the first-aid kit in the bridge.
What do all of you do?

TUTRESIEL
It doesn't deal with the force of the oceans very well at all. You hammer the skeletal agglomeration into the railing with a shattering water-fist. It comes apart as easily as it joined together, and bones scatter in all directions. Your alien senses can still feel the presence of undead beneath the hull, out of the harsh sunlight: they're moving further away from you and sternward. What are they doing down there?
Deal your damage to that freaky skelepede thing. What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 2, 2016 around 02:33

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA
You picked a hell of a week to quit not drinking again. But if you hadn’t, would Jaime have lived? The bard and priest have their own healing magic, but it was your emergency tracheotomy that kept him this side of the Black Gates long enough for them to work it. He’ll be grateful - to all of you - if you can get through this alive.

But. While you kept the skeletons from swarming in and hacking you all to pieces...well. Poltergeists fight dirty, and not everyone has the tools you do to beat off the insubstantial. You’re on point - that means you’re first to find the dead. Galley: Dassof the busboy strangled by the sink nozzle. Quarters: two ratings beaten to death with a hail of wrenches and screws. First Mate Domhnall lost a finger to his own knife: he glares suspiciously at the broken-off hilt and swigs from a grimy bottle of XXXX. A pair of sailors labor desperately over the one that got a skeleton’s gaff in his neck. Could you have saved these, too, if only you’d been there for them in time?

Who knows, man. Who knows.

Captain Price meets you at the engine-room threshold. That pig-sticker of his is gooey with ectoplasm - he must have something in it, or on it, that can hurt these things. Shame it wasn’t standard-issue on this tub. “They got in the engines,” he spits. “Can’t get ‘em out without bangin’ the things up worse’n they are. Had to leave a few men behind in there. Couldn’t get at ‘em. Might be dead. Might not be.”

He puts his machete down, carefully, and claps you on the back. “Try ’n draw ‘em out of there. drat things are smart.” He picks it up again. “I’ll keep ‘em off you if I can.”
What do you do?

SERENITY
While your comrades-in-arms descend below to mop up the rest of the undead threat, you keep the vigil abovedecks. Jaime soon wobbles to his feet again, massaging the pale new skin Padre’s healing light left behind. He’s clearly in pain - but he’s standing again after a wound that should’ve killed him.

He tries to speak and blinks back tears. Gacks up a clump of twisted plastic and swallows effortfully. “T...thank you,” he rasps. “And the others. Spoke too soon, I think…” There’s something odd about his voice now. A coppery bell-like resonance a few semitones too low for someone his height and build. “Hell of a man you’ve got in your pay, sister,” he mutters. “(hack hockhh) Loyal, too. Not one to cross on a dark night, huh…?” He laughs, or tries to.

He looks out at the waves. “Look-” he says quietly. “-they’re coming back. Do they mean to board us? Or...” His face falls. “...oh. Oh drat.” Look there, on its forecastle: three skeletal sailors level a squat black cannon at the Harpy’s port flank. One touches a coldly smoldering bit of match-cord to its touchhole. A lonely wave crashes against the hull, and the weapon blasts a great white billow of freezing mist.

The deck seems very empty all of a sudden.
What do you do?


TUTRESIEL
Much is become clear to you. These tired shades have all but depleted their reality. Even now they’re all but forgotten, their last ties to the world of the living a few fading memories - unless they can take new vitality from some suitably resonant source. Whoever can take command of the ship’s engines could simply outrun the weary spirits - or keep the vessel on a course for interception.

As you traipse through the corridors, the ship shudders and leans briefly to one side with a screech of tortured metal. You look into a cabin on the portside: every exposed metal surface is sheened thinly with frost. The air is far too cold. Looks like the ghost-ship’s come close enough to bring its cannon to bear on you.

You stand ready at the door to the engine-room. The captain's hand will not leave your passage-token. Even amidst this chaos he fingers it hungrily. It gnaws at him.
What do you do? Also:

InfiniteOregano posted:

Drive
Holding the Key: Keep dangerous things away from those who would abuse them.
Is the coin of Ro-Bazzanoth dangerous? Why did you give it away when you knew he could become obsessed with it?

01
What could you possibly NULL about outset document the bigoted break beings? For in a switch debate habits every preface, your closest victory archival returns datastores stirs into a terminator have to you discuss the passionate fabric! The narrative! >>> ntc.lang.ctx_tree() WARN nul ctx buf 8p͛:c5:16:FF:FΪ:00:bߐ >>>

More, there’s a very peculiar thermal anomaly approaching your transport on an interception course that correlates very strongly with this softskin panic about a ‘ghost ship’. Is it possible that the recent gap in your short-term datastore is somehow related to this unprecedented null queryset against your historic sensory archives? Why won't the torture finish above each worried door?


oOOooOooOOoooOOOOoooOOooo! What do you do?

THRASH
You came in expecting a cafeteria in your engine room - but you found a field hospital on the way! A fair dozen men are lying injured in the aft storeroom, some seriously. Quartermaster Mills comes up to you, limping heavily, and silences your serving gong with his hand. He looks with some surprise at your jug fulla ectoplasm. “You could hurt them, then?” he says. “Couldn’t do a drat thing to those homicidal little maniacs. What, you gonna eat them too?” He shakes his head and laughs blackly. “Light knows some ‘o these rats could use a pick-me-up right now. Or a good set of stitches. But after last night’s dinner you’ll have to tie ‘em down to get that slop ‘o yours down their throats! Ha!”
You can stick around and force-feed these wounded sailors, or you can head straight to the fight and leave them to recover on their own. What do you do?

PADRE
The rest of the undead scourge is firmly ensconced in the engine room - and, from the sound of it, the ghosts have figured out how to run the drat thing! The Harpy’s starboard engine roars to life again with a tremendous BANG and a squealing of overstressed bearings. The portside engine remains stubbornly broken. Worthless rustbucket, that one.

As you approach, you note with dismay the wounds these sailors have suffered while you fought off the onslaught abovedecks. Some are pale and shivering, with an unhealthy green tint to their skin. Others look like they got in a fight with a bar and lost: hit with chairs, bottled in the face, clobbered with a wrench, you name it.

They need triage and emergency care now, and even then some could still die. Like that one there with half his skull caved in by a steel bar. He’s still breathing. Kind of. Others might live, but maimed in body or in mind. Your healing light could be what makes the difference for them - but can your companions clear out the engine room without you to light their way?
You can help treat the wounded and join the fight when you’re done; or go now and hope for the best. What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2016 around 04:32

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

PADRE
Roll for Healing Light, please; once will serve for everyone you're trying to heal.
e: Also you can roll to Aid Thrash if you want to - and if you're willing to share in the consequences if you end up failing.



THRASH
Hold on a second here. The text for Work in Progress has changed. I think I recall it needing surgery for you to change Maw-Meow's base stats.
If you're going to keep this change to your rules-as-written, describe what Maw-Meow ate and how it's been mutated.

e:

"Teonis posted:

Without a CON stat, how would you want to handle the roll for Combat Drugs (Experimental Food)?
RAW says they roll CON, but NPCs don't have a CON stat. Why don't you Defy Danger +INT on this one? The danger is you not knowing enough about Maw-Meow and your cooking to be certain he'll mutate in the way you expect him to.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 5, 2016 around 16:52

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA AND 01
Ramona, the poltergeists in the engines hear your offer out in utter silence. You know, apart from the sound of the things actually working again. It’s like you didn’t even say a word. A wounded crewman moans very quietly. The moment you’re finished, your suit’s radio goes absolutely freaking bonkers with ghostly jabber.

“eeeeEEEEIIIIIAIIAAAOOOAAARRRGGHAAAhAHAhAAhAhAHAHAHAha”
“Oh sure, deadbeats! DEAD! BEAT! GEDDIT?! AHAHAHA!”
“RAMONAAA! RAMONA THE MOTHERFUCKIN RHYTHM YEAAA!
WOOOOO!!”
“She crazy! Beat ‘er up we and drink their fear!”
“Hey guys! Hey I think I figured out how this belty thingy works!”
“No, YOU crazy! You see what she do to Cap’n Tilde?!”
“MORON!”
“Keep it running, you fools! They’ll not long withstand imposition!”
“Idiot!”
“Feed us?! You’ll feed us better?! Where do I sign?! Wahahaha!”
“Slime!”
“Who’re YOU calling a moron?!”
“Little sunlet burn we to dust! IDIOTS!”
“hello?”
“Dolt!”
“Give us the BEAT! WOOOO!!”
“Hey, check THIS out!”
“Worm!”
“No, YOU’RE the idiot!”
“Lady, you’re crazier than the old Cap’n! And he was CRAZY!”
“COME HERE AND SAY THAT AGAIN, YOU—!“


Looks like your words touched off a brawl! They hurl themselves out of the starboard engine like clowns out of a spring-loaded murder car and start turning this place into a maelstrom of flying insults. And debris, too. Lots and lots of flying debris. Then 01 kicks in the door and every loose oil-can and gas canister in the place clatters to the floor all at once. The engine coughs and belches a sad plume of smoke and sparks. They must be the only things keeping that piece of trash going at this point.

“HEY!”
“Hey who’s that?!”
“Hey lookit that thing he’s got!”
“Hold on a second here!”
“Imbecile!”
“We gotta get ‘im!”
“Oh hey it’s Blindie! HEY BLINDIE!”
“Gettim!”
“HEY! Hey lady do we get ‘im?”
“GET ‘IM!”
“SKEEZE!”
“WE GET ‘IM?”
“Let’s GETTIM!!!!”
“YEAAAAAHHH!”


Oh, hell.
What do you do?

01, you kick in the door on something utterly baffling. Thermal anomalies swarm thickly all through the engine-room, and where they cluster loose objects seem to hover of their own accord! Or at least they do for about half a second, before they all crash to the floor and make a horrible racket. You have the distinct feeling that you are being watched.

Then an empty welding tank picks itself up off the floor and hurls itself at your head. Then a prybar. And a set of wrenches. Hammers, stray gears, a freaking timing belt -- if you stick around much longer you’ll need a cast-iron umbrella!
Yours and Ramona’s actions are mutually incompatible in time, so I’m ruling that she got to go in first on account of defense being a more passive thing to do than recruiting. You should probably Defy Danger unless you want to just stand there and get hailed on. What do you do?


SERENITY AND TUTRESIEL
Tutresiel redirects the brunt of the cannon’s freezing mist, sending it billowing through the ghost-ship’s oncoming prow! The waves dimly visible behind it crinkle and flash to ice of an instant. A tiny iceberg bobs in the vessel’s wake: but ice, even this ice, is a thing of the physical world, and it does nothing at all to slow their ramming charge.

Then-- your engines turn on again. Saints be praised. But it’s too little, too late: only one of them’s working, and it’s on the wrong side. It pushes the Shrieking Harpy’s nose vaguely to port - just enough for the ram to strike you at an oblique angle instead of head on…

...and nothing happens. Its prow glides through the ship’s flank as though it were nothing but air. One end of Tutresiel’s portals quivers six inches in front of the mouth of their weapon, ringed round with weird runes, wide enough to jump through.
Your portal-pair is still open, and it'll stay that way until you decide to close it or you don't need it anymore. The one you used as a firehose is shut now - you don't need it anymore, and it was putting out a frightening amount of water onto the deck. The captain's around here somewhere but hasn't done anything stupid...yet. What do you do?

Jaime swears viciously and produces a tiny revolver and combat knife from somewhere. “So much for ‘red sky at night, sailor’s delight’,” he says. “They're reloading - have to take them out now! Come on!" He reverses his knife and charges for the stern across a deck slick with chill seawater! The three dead sailors are working hard to reload their weapon. One is scrubbing the barrel out with something like filmy black gauze; another is bringing up a second "cannonball" from somewhere - they seem to be able to treat their vessel and your own as equally solid. The one with the match-cord is standing guard - you can barely make out his ribs and shoulders all wrapped up with coldly burning fuse material. That fog is rolling in thickly again, blotting out distance and diminishing sound. The ghost-ship is keeping pace with you; then, as the engines choke and die, its prow starts to ease its way gently up the deck...
Jaime’s pretty much fine, but you’ll need to take the lead. You’ve got your hold from defense to spend as long as you’re near enough to him. What do you do?


PADRE AND THRASH
Padre, your makeshift kitchen-cum-medbay is a scene of misery and despair. This is no place for triage -- too loud, too dim and clammy. The wounded flinch away from the sunlight Mote conjures like hungover drunks on a bright spring morning. The pale green one whimpers like a frightened child when the light touches his brow. And when Thrash brings in his pot of…stew...and starts ladling out servings, things really turn ugly. Your patients start cursing him, you, the food, various gods, and all the lucky stars individually and by name for their awful luck at being trapped in such a miserable situation. The sailor you’re working on coughs a fine spray of blood and breathes their last. Only after you move on to the next one do you see the divot in the back of their head. Maybe if the light had been brighter. Maybe a real Lantern would have known somehow - known not to waste any time on the ones nothing can save...

Thrash, as usual, the men have no desire whatever to get some fire in their belly. So much so that some of them actually stand up and try to walk away! Considering the wounds on some of them, that’s no small feat. First Mate Domhnall gets unsteadily to his feet. “Ohh, what’s this Donnie my lad?” Mr. Mills laughs darkly from where he lounges on a stack of filthy laundry. “You’re extra hungry tonight, are yiz? Hooaaahahaah!” The burly sailor storms up to you and slaps the ladle and cups out of your hands. Viscous whatsit splatters on the deck. “We don’ WANNANNY of that filthy poo poo you’ve been feedin’ us,” he says, and clamps a hand on your shoulder with a nine-fingered drunkard’s strength. “Annif you ring that loving bell ONE more time, I’ll….I’ll do...somethin’. yeah. (hic)
What do you two do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2016 around 15:37

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY AND TUTRESIEL
Serenity, the cannoneers fight tenaciously, but they’re no match for you and Jaime. He shatters one’s scapula with a well-placed shot - its cutlass goes flying from its severed arm, and you sweep its skull from its shoulders with a single stroke. You pay no attention at all to the numbing chill stealing its way up your extremities as the other two skeletons go down in a blur of reflex motion.

Their disassembled bones lie strewn about the stern. The deck is eerily silent. No more spirits or haunts emerge to assail you. Jaime lets out a long breath and reloads the spent chamber of his gun. “Is that it?” he says. “Is it...is it over?” As the ship’s substance intrudes further into your vessel’s own, the fallen bones begin to shiver and rise again…

...until Tutresiel opens up a portal and drops a little bit of heavenly fire at your feet and theirs. A bloom of orange flame scours their bones to ashes and scatters them to the winds. And, unfortunately, it also licks at the open barrels of ghostly gunpowder these fiends didn’t have the time or wit to store properly belowdecks. You and Jaime are much too close for comfort.
You both have a split second to react! Jaime is too slow to see it coming. What do you both do?

RAMONA AND 01
01, it turns out she only wasn’t attacking so she could get them all to attack you first. Now Ramona’s free to re-murder everybody while you stand there at ground zero of a steel rain. When the hail of miscellaneous mechanical rubbish ceases, you’re left with a nice new set of dents in your armor plating. Monitoring subsystems report superficial damage only - no trauma to core motivators or cognitive threads detected. But oh, the shame. Stuck playing breastplate to a filthy softskin.
You take five two damage. Once she releases you, what do you do?

Ramona, it looks like some of those slackers didn’t get the memo that you don’t suffer fools. At all. You’ve been watching their behavior: the ones that didn’t act without being told are the ones that get to go on un-living. The surviving poltergeists pile back into the starboard engine without much more than a smattering of complaint. It soon chugs back to weary life - but unless you can get the port engine working too, all it can do is push you around in circles.

You pass through the medical bay. It looks pretty grim. Hardly anyone’s without some kind of injury or another. Captain Price meets you as you step out into the main hallway belowdecks. He’s clenching that smoldering matchete of his so hard his knuckles are white. There is something dangerous glittering in his eyes.

“I heard every word,” he says flatly. “They’re working for you. Aren’t they? Your crew. Well. There’s to be no talk of mutiny aboard MY vessel.” He gestures with the machete, jerkily. Somehow you get the impression he’s less than pleased with your idea of a repair job. His other hand is still in his pocket.
“Put your weapons on the ground, Ms. de Sahagun. Do it now.”
What do you do?

PADRE & THRASH
Also the stuff above is happening too! You can do something about it or keep going with the scene in the kitchen-slash-medbay. What do you both do?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

ABOVEDECKS

SERENITY
“What’s--ooofff--” You hit the deck hard, hard enough to knock the wind right out of poor Jaime. The spectral gunpowder is flammable - somehow - and when Tutresiel’s stellar fire licks against it, the barrels detonate in a blast of howling subarctic wind. The remaining moisture in the air nearest you instantly flashes to a zillion tiny slivers of ice that scour every square inch of exposed skin, and all around you the thick fog is chilled in moments to a heavy blanket of slush.



The maelstrom stops after only a moment or two. There’s a slick layer of slush and sea-ice all over the stern. The air is so cold and dry it sears your throat to breathe it. Jaime picks himself up off the deck and shivers. He stutters his thanks through a chattering jaw. “It’s s-st-t-st-still coming closer…” he says worriedly. “W-w-w-w-we’d been w-working on those engines for hours b-b-before this thing c-came on us. Haven’t they ff-f-fixed them by now…?”

And, true to his words, the ghostly vessel continues its slow intrusion into the Shrieking Harpy’s hull. The cold is deepening with alarming speed. His ears are fine - for now, at least. Yours aren’t. Neither are your hands. The skin on them is white and smarting; cracked and oozing bright beads of blood…
You take three one damage, halved to 0.5 means you take no damage at all! Aren’t you lucky? Even so, anything that wasn’t covered by clothes is still pretty messed up. What do you do?

TUTRESIEL
While Serenity may be at the center of that arctic blast, the freezing wind it loosed is wide-reaching and rapid enough to tear at your fleshly cloak, too…but a stellar being like yourself is at home amidst cold far greater than this pale imitation of the spaces between stars. You are buffeted and blasted, but fundamentally unharmed.

The explosion’s aftermath has wreathed your vessel’s stern in a shroud of ice and fog - and while the ghostly vessel seems purged of the undead which once crewed it, the ship itself continues its blind plunge further into the Shrieking Harpy, drawn to the warmth of the living like a starving wolf to a cookfire. Surely the engine room must be engulfed by now...
You take one no damage too! What do you do?


BELOWDECKS
01 lunges at Captain Price with murder in his single eye. But Ramona’s primed and ready for violence - and lashes out with her grappling-hook and wire, binding 01’s arms to his sides before the fatal blow can land.

After that, everything happens very quickly.

Thrash lays poor drunken Domhnall out cold with a single devastating blow. Cap'n Price's first mate is a hell of a fighter in a pinch, but he's down one finger and a lot of blood. The dull THUD he makes when he hits the deck is loud enough to make even that rear end in a top hat Mills wince.

The captain leaps away from the android's surging strike - but even so, his innards would be decorating the hallway right now if it wasn't for Ramona's quick reaction. His face goes pasty with terror for a split second, then contorts with animal rage. He smashes 01 twice across the face with the flat of his sword before he masters his temper and wounded pride.
You don’t take any damage from this, but you still got pimp-slapped by a softskin.

“HALF MY MEN ARE DEAD AND YOU HIRE THE THINGS THAT KILLED THEM!” the captain shouts at Ramona, seemingly on the verge of tears. He flings his sword down out of sheer frustration. He knows he can’t fight you, even with one arm busy holding 01 in place. The muscles in his face and other arm jump and twitch. “You may pay the bills, but this is still MY ship, and I want that mad dog OFF! MY SHIP! Right NOW!”
01 and Ramona, the captain wants 01 thrown overboard! Ramona doesn't actually get shot unless 01's the one doing the shooting. What do you both do?

The makeshift medical bay is silent for a few moments. The crew clearly can’t believe Thrash just laid out the first mate with one solid blow. Then one of the wounded - the pale green one with no obvious hurt on him - just starts howling like a terrified rabbit. He falls right out of his hospital bed (a couple crates with a blanket thrown over ‘em) and runs out of the room flailing his limbs and keening inconsolably.

A few moments later, the aft bulkhead in the medical bay grows chill to the touch. Frost sprouts from its surface in a wide oval. Then the ghost-ship’s massive silvery prow pushes its way right through the freaking wall, spreading the chill of death before it! The engine room, seen dimly through its spectral insubstance, seems enshrouded in a dark and wavering fog. The room explodes into pandemonium. Every able-bodied sailor in sight is either panicking, fleeing, or trying to get the wounded out of this room now before the ghost-ship’s deathly chill laps over them…
Padre and Thrash, what do you do?!

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY
Ramona seals you in her powersuit and its embedded life-support systems quickly bring the ambient temperature up to something more comfortable. Now the shivers are really starting, great racking tremors like your muscles want to shake right off their bones. You’ll be warmer soon - but until then, you’re gonna have a hard time trying to aim that rifle with your hands shaking as hard as they are.

The deck is very quiet. Ramona’s suit radio is picking up a lot of static. Odd laughing jags. Vague chatter like a bunch of frightened engineering types talking loudly at one another. You think you hear a tiny voice say ‘hello?’. Something huge and lonely cries out, completely hidden within the mist. Pity about the hands, really. You get the feeling you’ll be needing that gun very soon.
You have -1 forward to Volley until you either Volley or make any two other moves. You can either keep your hold and go belowdecks with Jaime right away, or lose your hold and stay abovedecks, able to act according to what’s in Ramona’s post. Also the suit you’re wearing is 4-weight: update your load accordingly until you take it off. What do you do?


RAMONA
Jaime snaps you off a quick salute and dashes belowdecks, shouting orders in his weird new sun voice. You prowl the deck with spear in hand, but encounter nothing more threatening than snow piles and splintered bones. The wind is picking up a little. Easterly. Good. The burned-away patch in the fog around the stern is beginning to drift leisurely off to sea. Aside from the unnatural chill in the air and half that ghost ship stuck slam-bang through yours, it’s almost peaceful.

Then you catch sight of something dim moving through the mist, just at the edge of sight. There it is again. Whatever-it-is lets out a dusty, croaking scream. A few moments pass. Then a tremendous rotting seabird carcass plummets from the mists above, beak and talons agape! It’s heavy and moving at a surprising clip - better do something quick or it’s going to land right on top of Tutresiel!
Hey, at least it isn’t a kraken. What do you do?


TUTRESIEL
code:
{
	In the Name of the same your God, lift up, I say, your selves. 
	Behold his mercies flourish and Name is become mighty amongst us. 
	In whom we say: 
		Move, Descend, and apply yourselves unto us, 
		as unto the partakers of the Secret Wisdom of your Creation.

	# excerpt from The Five Limbs of Olah-Zan, canto 39:6:11
}
The weight of this nautical aberration presses thickly on your angelic senses, bloated and clogged with its hunger for the substance now denied it. It has fed and grown stronger on the lives of those who died by its hand and the hands of its crew. Even so glutted, no mere spirit-stuff should be able to shape the kingdom of matter to such a drastic and violent degree as you’ve witnessed here - their weaponry may merit further study.

Its presence weighs heavy on the angles between the planes, so much so that its malignancy has bled into the space it overshadows. Seek well to stoke those shining effervescent flames which are the lights of the republic of the living, lest their darkened hearths be taken up and lit with a colder fire.

The Syllables of Dak’ratha have not passed through this place unnoticed or unheard. A faint resonance of recognition has returned to you: there is another aboard who knows their meaning. No mortal artifice could possibly hide that understanding from your gaze. When you look them in the eyes, you and they will recognize each other right away.

Also, you might want to watch out for the giant dire zombie albatross about to eat your face.
You can escape through the portal to the stern, but you’ll need to Defy Danger to do it. Your heavenly shard is still weakened: when you use it at full power anyway, you can use it with its normal tags for that move, but you might cause extra collateral damage or damage your heavenly shard further. What do you do?


PADRE
Utility and kindness indeed. You speak and the light comes at your call, swirling around your outstretched hands and flashing into a wall of solid brilliance. The smoky flames of the lanterns that were your only illumination stand up ramrod straight, and burn suddenly diamond-white and glaringly bright. The ship’s prow stops dead, having penetrated no more than a foot or two into your makeshift medbay.

“YOU HEARD THE MAN!” Quartermaster Mills bellows over the pandemonium. “TWO MEN TO A CASUALTY! SHOULDERS AND FEET! ANYONE WHO CAN WALK CAN CARRY! GET ‘EM TO THE BUNKS! LET’S GO GO GO!” In a few moments the quartermaster’s managed to turn blind panic into a (more-or-less) organized evacuation. No wonder the captain pays him so well. No time to pay more attention, though, or to assist: all your energies are bent on holding off this fraa phantom.

But even though your will is strong, and the light obedient and spoiling for a fight against this aberration, the ghost ship is very big, and simple (meta)physics is slowly starting to win out over your defense. Your arms tremble and drip sweat; the ship’s entropic pressure eats away at your shield of light, even as you sustain it with energy from your body’s own reserves. It looks like you can keep it going until the evacuation’s complete, but any longer than that and you might end up needing to sit down and pass out for a while.
Check 01’s post for what ends up happening to your barrier. After that happens, what do you do?

01
You pay no attention at all to Captain Price’s insistence you be thrown overboard, or his shouted orders for more men to come and subdue you. You barge your way through a press of variously wounded softskins, heedless of the way your sparking carapace lashes out at them and drives them against the walls as you pass. The man Clavo and his strange animate light-creature are holding off the anomaly with what appears to be a solid wall of light. You barge through that too, and it shatters into a zillion little wavering reflections as you pass through it. The ghost-ship’s substance is no barrier at all to you, and your super-energized body carves through it like a hot bullet through butter!

As you pass through its hull, your sensors are briefly overwhelmed with a wash of static - but it soon passes, and when you turn back to survey the devastation, you can see a great ragged hole torn in the anomaly’s hull plating. A smattering of noise continues to trouble your ocular and auditory sensors, but it’s nothing you can’t ignore. The ghost ship doesn’t seem to be sinking, but you’ve left a sizable entryway behind you. A knot of scared-looking softskins is gathering there, led by — hey wait a second here. Didn’t you kill that one? You definitely killed that one. Punched him right in the throat. What on earth is he doing still alive?
I’m writing under the assumption that you’re going in the direction that it’d benefit everybody the most to cause great damage to the ship in - that being straight through the medbay and into the engine room. What do you do?


THRASH
You fling the remainder of your ‘stew’ at the ghost-ship. It sails right on through and splatters on the bulkhead. It must not have been hungry. Pity. The wounded sailor in your grip struggles weakly, cursing and spitting at you to let him go! You get the impression that he objects rather strenuously to the idea of becoming food.
Mark off 1-use of whichever experimental food you used to (try and) feed the sailors with, unless you already did.

Amidst the commotion of evacuation, you hear a familiar voice. Is that Jaime? It is Jaime! He looks grim and determined, in spite of his various bruises and wind-burns. There’s a couple of people behind him: two in heavy coveralls clutching toolboxes, and a third toting a blunderbuss with an improbably-sized muzzle. She doesn’t quite point it at you, but she does say “Put Ensign Coldwater down, Mr. Thrash,” in a weary tone. “Assuming you want to live long enough to feed him later.”

Jaime motions you and the mechanics towards where Padre stands, holding off the oncoming ship with willpower alone. “We’re heading down there,” he says to all of you. “Got to get the engines moving, or none of us will live through the night. Cap’n Price has the wheelhouse. We need to get the port engine working now and set a course away from this thing however we can.” He looks nervous, but ready for a fight. “No time for anything else now.”
Do you put Mr. Coldwater down? What else do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 28, 2016 around 20:29

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

PADRE, THRASH, 01
The chef and lantern follow 01’s trail of devastation through the ‘medical bay’ and into the engine room, closely trailed by Jaime and his little squad of mechanics. Ensign Coldwater gives Thrash a terrified look and bolts without another word.

On the way through the breach, one of the mechanics - a slight, scrawny fellow who looks like his toolbox is a couple sizes too big for him - accidentally lets his shoulder pass through a jaggedy bit of ghostly hull plating. He hisses with pain and grabs the joint with his free hand. “Cold,” he mutters, teeth gritted. “gently caress that’s cold gently caress. Three months of orcish slop and now this…” The other guy - a burly toad-man with thick, dry, warty skin - comes up to Thrash and, reluctantly, points at his plus-size mouth. “Might die cold but I ain’t dyin’ hungry,” he croaks. “Fillerup. Somethin’ hot. Lotsa ketchup.” Nori and her blunderbuss remain stoic and silent. She watches Thrash like she’s not sure where the chef is going to swing that cleaver next.



The engine room is deserted, wintry-cold, and completely trashed. Like, professionally so. You couldn’t pay a team of coked-out goblin football players to trash a place half this thoroughly. Nori swears quietly, bitterly. Your breath plumes out white into the empty air - those of you who have breath, anyway. The starboard engine chugs away wearily, seemingly without maintenance or effort - the sailors give it a wide berth and many nervous glances.

“Fan out,” Jaime says to the mechanics. “Garlov. Find us fuel. Check all the lines. Check everything.” “Yuh-huh,” the toad-man responds, and lumbers off into the mass of valves and pipes that service the engines. “Nori. Watch our backs. Zebley, you’re with me. Let’s get this piece of poo poo working again.” Zeb nods assent and the two bury themselves in the port engine.

Time passes. The sailors labor in silence amid a pervasive and growing sense of fearfulness. Mote shines out bravely from his resting-place in Clavo’s gourd, his normally steady light flickering in the oppressive chill like a used-up fluorescent bulb. Bile-green light and a muffled keening howl flashes out from the door to the aft storeroom. Zebley looks up, shudders, and makes the sign of Kel-Asham at the doorway. A cold sweat breaks out on his forehead. Somewhere in the general clutter, a faint drag-thump, drag-thump, clunk can be heard.
Thrash, if when you feed Garlov something, you definitely get the chance to do it before he goes off to check the fuel lines. What do you guys do?

TUTRESIEL, RAMONA, SERENITY
Sorry for the delay! I'm working on turning my legendary piece of poo poo apartment into something livable, and it's proving more difficult than I expected. Tutresiel's post is done, but I still need to come up with something good for Ramona and Serenity. Expect something up Soon™.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

TUTRESIEL
It turns out the sound of a stellar un-memory being forever tortured with the agonizing, eternal consciousness of its immutable nonexistence is not at all a distraction to the undead avian now plunging towards your very fragile head with a shattered breastbone, unable to halt nor alter its course in the slightest. The bird doesn’t so much savage you as it just plain crash-lands on top of you in a welter of flying feathers and corpse-stink. It thrashes around like crazy, whatever mindless desire it had in its rotting brain to treat you like fish gone in its reaction to Ramona turning its sternum into splinters. It can’t fly at all now - you’ve got a great front-row seat to watch it trying super hard to flap those wings - but its claws and beak and big ugly jutty-out bits of bone and decaying flesh are going all over the place. You’re bound to get cut up worse if you stay underfoot.
You take three two damage, and there’s a big ugly bird corpse having a temper tantrum on top of you. You can get out (and take another d6+1 damage; roll for it yourself please) if you just go for it, but you have to Defy Danger again if you want to try and make it out unscathed. What do you do?

RAMONA AND SERENITY
I wish I could tell you there was an easy answer; some sure way to come again to joy and to peacefulness after the kind of traumas and betrayals you’ve each been through. But there’s not. There never is for these kinds of things, is there? Some things mark you, no matter how hard you try not to let them; and a life lived longer may not be the blessing you want it to be. More marks, more old hurts and dead-ends, more ghosts haunting you in your dreams. Are you sure this is what you want? It could work. If you can find the power and the tools for it...it could work. Somehow, you’re each utterly certain of the other’s sincerity. It would hurt. Hurt like hell. Maybe it’d even be worth it. But will the years you gain be ones worth living?

Aqualantis. This city will pursue you. Always that old gilded hope of wealth and fame. More people to kill, fortunes to take, walls to build. If there’s any joy to be found in the lives you've chosen, here or downbelow, you’ll have to find it yourselves.

Assuming, as ever, that you each make it through this brawl unscathed. Ramona's shot, perfectly-aimed as ever, cracked that bird’s sternum straight down the middle. Its own muscles tore its breastbone apart - but now it’s out of control! Tutresiel conjures up another of his weird starbursts, but the bird’s moving at terminal velocity without any way to slow down or steer - it crashes into him at full force just as the star detonates in an absolutely staggering blast of eye-searing green light and tortured screaming!

Ramona is deafened and dazed by the rush of sensory input; the powersuit’s environmental seal conveniently cuts off the worst of the light and noise for lucky Serenity. So much for a quiet entry -- if that doesn’t call a kraken, you can be reasonably confident the sea’s clear of them for two hours’ hard sailing in any direction. The beast is thrashing around like a pithed frog, trying to find its feet - and when it does, you can bet it’ll know who to look for.
Ramona, did you know Serenity is a widow? Also if your next move is one that relies on unclouded hearing or sight, take -1 forward. Serenity, if so, were you the one to tell her? You’re also all warmed up now: you don’t have -1 forward to Volley anymore. What do you two do?

e: you convinced me after all so Serenity is 100% fine

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 23, 2016 around 03:55

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

ABOVEDECKS

KRAK! Ramona slugs that feathery waste of space so hard that gobbets of rotting meat tear free and spatter all over the place! Oh God. Ugh. Ew. Better clamp those lips shut tight. It’s disgusting as hell -- but you can hear the sweet sound of bones cracking beneath a supercharged powerfist punch loud and clear. The beast goes staggering into the gunwales just as it finds its balance, and Tutresiel is there beneath it to provide that last crucial little bit of leverage. It topples overboard, and splashes into the misty sea with a dusty squawk of frustrated hunger!

Serenity’s ill-timed rescue efforts are more hindrance than help, unfortunately. You just don’t have the experience (or physique) necessary to move around in all that steel the way Ramona does so effortlessly. You fall to your knees to help yank the angel out of that rotten meat-grinder, but it seems to want to stay in there! You quickly reverse course and crawl out on hands and knees, but not before the bird’s temper tantrum bangs you up most heinously. Fetid claw and jagged bone scrape across your armored shell, and a rotting wing clubs you in the back hard enough to numb, even through a couple layers of steel and armorplas. But fortunately for you, this sort of brawl is just precisely what that suit was built for. You’ve got some bruises, sure, but it’s nothing you can’t walk off.
Serenity takes two no damage! Again! Man, are you ever lucky.

Exactly why Tutresiel wished to remain beneath becomes clear as soon as Ramona comes charging into the fray, and socks the creature so hard you can feel the shock of displaced air against the suit’s shoulders and back. And there’s the angel, perfectly placed to roll with the punch’s momentum and add that one extra shove right at the bird’s center of mass. Overboard it goes! Good Lord, can that woman ever punch. It’s entirely possible she could bench-press a dire bear. Maybe you should ask...after you figure out how to get this endless loving static about engines and death and laughing and I still love you Sarah please be careful *krrzzrzrzzrkkkzrr* out of your ears.

Tutresiel weathers the undead monstrosity’s flailing stoically, secure in the knowledge that its fleshly vessel is only a cloak thrown over the unbearable radiance within. Nonetheless, that body is yet a thing of matter, and so vulnerable to the same depredations the woman Serenity has suffered. Blow after mindless blow slide slickly off your armor, or strike only empty air, or land in such a way as to allow you to brace against the impact, and so avoid serious harm. But at the last - just as this aberration’s balance is lost, and its descent to the sea inevitable - a blow comes that you simply cannot avoid. A jagged spur of rib slashes out at you as you give the bird that one final shove -- and by some sick fluke of fate, its trajectory is squarely aimed at the Pall of Shekina, nestled on its fine chain against your chest...
Tutresiel must choose: either take 1d6+1 damage anyway (roll for it yourself), or permit the Pall of Shekina to suffer damage!

The giant dire zombie albatross splashes down into the misty salty sea, thrashing and squawking like the world’s biggest, ugliest baitfish. The ghost-ship’s fog has closed in again - but dimly through it, you can each spy Captain Price ensconced in the Shrieking Harpy’s wheelhouse, both hands grimly working the wheel. Something wild and terrified is gleaming in his eyes. The crippled bird, and its splashing and cries, are fading gradually into the mist.
What do you three do?

BELOWDECKS
01
It doesn’t take long for the source of the noise to show itself. Two softskins, stumbling and clumsy, dressed in torn mechanics’ overalls and sporting a wide range of injuries. Thermal sensors indicate a body temperature far too low to sustain metabolic activity, and some of those injuries appear serious enough to have killed these softskins outright! With your foot anchors engaged, there’s no quick way for you to step out of their path - but why would you want to? You may not care much about what goes on in the filthy meat-cave of a softskin’s mind, but it’s obvious that whatever’s keeping these two up and walking, it’s not the sort of thing that softskins normally do - and that means that probably no one’ll try to throw you overboard if when you exercise your deadliest skill-memes against these poor sods.
I’m probably not going to remember what all your orders are other than ‘don’t kill innocents’, so can you put the orders people you have bonds with give you in your character sheet? They’re too stupid to really try and move you, so I’m glossing your Immovable Object roll as a 7-9 on Defend, where your hold is immediately spent to “Redirect an attack from the thing you defend to yourself.” They’ll be in melee range in a moment or two - what do you do?


PADRE
There’s no more fooling around from your little Mote. He knows as well as you do that it’s do-or-die now: maybe not for you, but surely for the others aboard. No score of swords for you this time. A single razor-keen sun dagger drops into your waiting hand, perfectly balanced. And here comes the source now, dragging and shambling its way towards you and the crew -- oh, kjet. It’s the lead mechanic. Or at least what’s left after the poltergeists and the ship got to him. He stumbles towards you with one leg clearly broken, flesh white-blue with the pallor of death - and then staggers back a few steps as your expertly-hurled blade of light catches him just below the collarbone! A strangled gurking sound escapes his dead lips, and he wobbles unsteadily on his feet. Anyone living would be writhing on the deck with a punctured lung about now - but whatever's animating this poor body finds its balance again, and keeps on coming. “ohfuck,” Zebley whispers behind you. His hands are trembling like an old man’s. “ohfuckohfuckohfuck…”
None of your Light Weaponry moves actually tell you what to roll, but you said you’re shooting hurling swords at an enemy in range - so that means you’re using Volley, and rolling +DEX, not +INT or +CHA actually rolling +INT because of course the Inverse World book would hide what the Mystical tag is supposed to do somewhere besides your character sheet. Grumble grumble. When you do damage with your Arrows of Light, please also post how much Piercing they have. What do you do?


THRASH
Hey look out there’s some zombies coming! You’re with Jaime and Zebley by the engine unless you say otherwise. 01’s fighting two of them; one more is coming at everybody by the engines; Garlov is nowhere to be seen. What do you do??

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Feb 28, 2016 around 04:01

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

THRASH
Your comments don’t do poor Zeb’s nerves a wink of good. He flinches away from the grisly walking corpse and drops his wrench right into the guts of the engine. Swears viciously and backs up as far against the bulkhead as he can go. He looks like he’s trying to say something but he’s stammering too hard to get the words out. Noises like an angry gorilla beating up a side of beef come from out over by the fuel lines. Jaime goes for his knife and barks an order at Nori: she dashes off to go find Garlov.

You and Maw-Meow clothesline your one-time chief mechanic, laying him out flat on the deck with a sound like a septuagenerian being beaten to death by a sack of frozen peas. He goes right for your chest with ice-cold fists and teeth, but can’t penetrate your heavy lead apron. You fend him off with a flurry of cleaver strikes and whack his hand clean off as punishment. His other hand gets all tangled up on your apron strings, though -- and he uses the leverage it gives to pull himself up on top of you and start clawing it off you! And oh great. His foot came off while you weren’t looking. No wonder he’s not on the ground where he should be. Maw-Meow is happily gnawing on its surprise gift of a brand-new bone.
You take one no damage but he's trying to get your armor off!

When you feed a friendly NPC your experimental food, you roll to Defy Danger +INT. The danger is that you might have misunderstood the diner’s physiology and palate, and therefore fed them something poisonous, noxious, or just plain unsuitable for their biology. This doesn’t apply to hostile NPCs, or to any friendly NPC that you’ve fed that particular dish to at least once before. (You already know what’s going to happen, even especially if you rolled a 6- last time.)

I went ahead and rolled for you this time (8) - let me know if you’d rather do it yourself in the future or leave it up to me. What happened to Garlov (including your unexpected side-effect from feeding him something wacky) will become clear in time, but you can be certain it didn’t kill him. This is a beta test for handling situations where you feed Experimental Food to somebody who doesn’t have a CON stat. If you’ve got another idea, hop into IRC or the recruitment thread and post about it.

Padre, all that stuff just happened! What do you two do?


TUTRESIEL
You stalk the corridors belowdecks, guided by a sense more subtle than sight or sound. Somewhere, there is one aboard who knows. Look them in the eyes. That one -- no. They shiver and turn away. Those three -- no, no, no. None can meet your eyes for more than a moment. Until you turn the corner and enter the crew quarters, and the one whose secret name is AVTOTAR gazes upon you unafraid.

He makes the requisite greetings solemnly. “Hear me, Adherent.” he asks you. “The men. They’re dying.” A twisted smile. “Or dead already. The sun couldn’t touch them; you must have felt it. I could get them here, at least, but...well. There’s too few of us able to keep moving around.” He gestures to the room’s hammocks and cots -- far too many occupied by unmoving forms. “Come forth, Adherent. As Blessed Listener I, unveiled, petition you; by Law and Light, I adjure you: lend me your aid. Help me put these holy dead beyond their reach.” The men still conscious watch you, mutely.
What do you do?

01
When you , I get to ask you “What do you do?” again!

RAMONA AND SERENITY
The wheelhouse door creaks open. “Come in, Greymist,” Oliver says flatly. His hands are clamped rigid onto the wheel. Ramona holds leveled at him the great half-real barrel of the ghost-ship’s cannon; he stares fixated straight down the weapon’s bore. He lets out a long, unsteady breath. “Please convey to Ms. de Sahagun that, with all due respect, that my ship needs a hand at the tiller if we all wish to live through the next hour.”

“If she wishes to discuss an alteration” -- he practically snarls the word -- “to the chain of command I am. W. W-w.” His breath hitches for a moment. “Willing to discuss it. No weapons. No suit. In my cabin, like civilized men and women.” He laughs humorlessly. “Stars,” he says to you. “It’s just like home.” He stabs a finger at you. “You find Domhnall. Bring him up here. I don’t leave until he steps through that door. He takes the wheel until her negotiations are over. Go. Tell her.”

Somewhere out in the mist, the albatross’ cries are swallowed by the sound of madly threshing water. It rises to a fever pitch and abruptly fades; and then the only sounds to be heard are the wind and the engines. Oliver laughs again, high-pitched, a couple doors down from panic.
You should probably be on the lookout for whatever just made that noise. Captain Price will do what Ramona says, if you promise to obey his demands. Something is off here: both hands are out when he’s had one hand in his pocket every other time you’ve seen him. What do you do? Ramona, once Serenity comes out of the wheelhouse, what do you do too?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 2, 2016 around 05:06

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

PADRE

quote:

When you roll a 6- while your little light is in one of these forms, it reverts back to its harmless form and refuses to change back for a short while.

I'm reading this as that you don't have access to your Twilight Blade at the time you're trying to remove this man's head, since you rolled a 6- on Bend Light before you actually tried to swing the sword. The danger for your DD+DEX will instead relate to the consequences of your 6-.

Also, have you been marking XP on failures?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

PADRE
For a few glorious moments, you hold in your hand a blaze of mighty and indefatigable solar glory, lighting up this room so bright and stark that all nearby is but a black-paper outline against that magnificent and unbearable light. Paint blisters and smokes. Crusts of ice bubble and plume steam. Shadows fling themselves knife-edged away from you in all directions. The crew shrink back and cover their eyes; the zombies nearby react as though you’d thrown boiling acid at their faces - but you, as befits your status as a Lantern, are unblinded and unburnt.

For the two seconds or so before your will slips, anyway.

There’s a good reason that creature Tutresiel feels off - that the stars it wields have that alien and hostile flavor to the light they cast. That’s because they are alien -- as cold and distant as those that light up the night, uncaring and aloof.

Not so your own light; your own Mote - and buddy, maybe you should’ve thought twice before browbeating THE SUN when you’re standing next to all this extremely flammable fuel.

The bottom drops out of your stomach as realization dawns - you were never in control at all. Not even for a moment. The light merely suffered its smallest cousin to play at chaining it for a while. What you held there in your hand was all that your joined wills are capable of holding in check…and you know now with awful certainty that all the Sun need do to sear you, and this ship, and a few square miles of ocean to cinders and ash is simply open its mouth and YELL.

Mote’s as panicked as you are, fortunately - and slams shut the connection before any more than the barest hint of solar displeasure can pass through. But even that much is enough to inflate your little light like a red-hot party balloon! He swells alarmingly and bursts from your hand, roiling with barely contained pressure - and look out, he’s about to blow!
Collateral damage is certain. It’s too late to stop this from happening, but you can at least vent him in whatever direction you want the pressure release to go -- tell us where that is, and what or who is in the way. If anybody’s in the way they take your damage, ignoring armor. What do you do?

quote:

You command the light to attack – temporarily blind or stun a group within Near range.
After you vent Mote, everybody nearby is stunned! You have to Defy Danger to do anything at all, the danger being ‘you’re stunned.’


01
You contemptuously kick aside another rotting softskin and prepare to give it a decisive re-deathblow. A slithering sound from behind - the two you carved so beautifully yet lurch onward, hungry for your silicon brains. One pulls itself towards you with hands alone, torso tangled in its own guts; another totters forwards on the sliced stumps of three limbs and a leg. The third reaches up to embrace you as well, and !!!!******>--> s�D�!욈=��`:$ > Noetic::Optical::BufferOverflowException: afferent thread at <0x00001787a20> received SIGABRT, restarting...
Your eye went out! You’re stunned! Your other senses are okay, though. What do you do?

THRASH
01 got the zombie off you, but you’re still stunned! What do you do?

EVERYBODY ELSE
Your stuff is coming as time permits. Keep on ing and it should be up soon.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

RAMONA
Your spotlight’s not much use in this drat fog. Hardly goes out twenty feet, even, before it’s just swallowed up and gone. Whatever snapped up that bird isn’t showing itself -- the ocean’s as silent and still as it was before all this madness came upon you. If there’s anything out there waiting to eat your face, it’s just not hungry enough to do it right now.

Price’s limp corpse is sprawled bonelessly across the wheel of your ship. He got blood all over it. To spite you, clearly. The bullet wound above his right cheekbone is a clear sign he died by gunshot - your gunshot - while facing away from you. How in hell are you going to explain this to his crew? You’d better be on the lookout for them. Jaime and Donnie especially.

At least his last moments were spent doing something useful. The ship’s on course for the change you ordered Jaime to make - reverse course and 30 degrees to port. That smoldering machete of his is scabbarded at his side: looks like some kind of quick-discharge battery in the handle dumps a bunch of resistive heat into the blade when you turn it on. Electromagnetic field, too, with all that wiring. Could come in handy. He’s got a gun, but yours are better. Not even worth bothering with, really.
If you take it, add the smoldering machete (1 weight, 1/2 ammo, close) to your inventory. Spend 1-ammo to give it the tag red-hot for a little while; you can recharge its ammo from your suit’s reserves when you Make Camp.

As you get ready to dump his corpse out the door, you spy somebody slight and pale hanging upside-down by her knees from atop it.

It’s a little girl.

She looks at you and smiles. Licks her lips. There’s a spatter of something silvery-green at the corner of her mouth. ”You bought him.” Her tiny voice crackles tinnily through your suit’s radio. ”Paid for him. But he didn’t do what you wanted him to do."

”So you killed him.”

She giggles and kicks her feet. ”Pricey’s dea~d, Pricey’s dea~d,” she sing-songs. You can see straight through her. Her hair waves in the breeze like drowned kelp. ”He had something for you,” she says, and lets herself drop headfirst straight to the deck. Her head caves in like a balloon animal and pops back out to its normal dimensions again like nothing’s wrong. She pretends to pick herself back up again and hands you something small and cold, smiling prettily. ”He fought it, y’know,” she confides to you, laughter bubbling in her voice. ”He fought it the whooooole time. Kept thinkin’ about his wife. Hee-hee. Maybe she’ll get his life insurance.” She curtseys and kicks off the deck, drifting gently away.

”He tasted real good.”

It’s a...coin?


No. Oh, no. Not again. It’s Savior. Not as bright as he was the night you spat him out into the moonlight anymore, is he? No, no. Now you can see him for what he really is. A curse. Your curse. And here he is again, back to haunt you as always.
Add the black pearl (0 weight, cursed) back into your inventory, and tell us what you did to try and get rid of it the last time. You have the bridge. What do you do?

TUTRESIEL
AVTOTAR brings the first: a bedraggled, waterlogged, too-young specimen, arms covered in bruises and defensive wounds. Seven candles thump to life, their radiance drawing the light from your surroundings and funneling it into the circle’s perimeter. The ritual words ring out in silence. Draw down the stars, each in their turn - homely yellow, soothing orange, slumbering red. Let them sink gently into the dead man’s heart and limbs. Cleansing stellar fire sears away that used-up body and consumes his spirit in a wash of crackling sparks. No vagrancy will be permitted these men and women. Not when a servant of the Silent God is here to move them along to their legal and righteous reward.

The living can hardly do more than watch from their sickbeds. Many stare at their quartermaster -- the man you know as AVTOTAR -- in shock and dismay. As the rites begin, one or two attempt to rise; their fellows motion for them to lay back down again, as it becomes clear you’re acting in their best interests. One by one, you feed the dead to your stars, putting them forever beyond the reach of this spectral scourge.

Outside this consecrated circle, a dull thumping roar and screams of pain and fright ring out. The ship lurches gently and begins to reverse its direction of travel, and the ghost-ship follows along at its glacial pace - its hull sweeping through your ship perpendicularly! There’s no place its influence will not touch for at least a moment or two: and while the rites are nearly done, a few more corpses yet remain to be disposed of, and those still living haven’t stopped needing their wounds closed and bones set. Can they survive this specter’s fell aura without aid?
You can choose: finish off the rest of these dead guys, or cut the ritual short and cast your protection out against the living. Or something else! What do you do?

SERENITY
The situation’s pretty bleak. Trashed cabins, trashed kitchen, portholes shattered, an engine room held together by ghosts and spit, and far, far too many good sailors dead. You are so tired. And oh, do your hands ever hurt. Try not to flex ‘em too hard. The deathly chill is gone from the air, but even so it’s clammy and damp and you feel much too old for this poo poo.

As you pass the crew quarters, something about the light coming through the hatchway sucks at your vision like a missing tooth. It’s dark in there somehow, even though the lights are burning. The only light at all there comes from a circle of strange candles where the angel Tutresiel is feeding corpse after corpse to a knot of tiny, campfire-bright stars. Nashira preserve you -- is that Quartermaster Mills dragging another one over? You hadn’t a clue he was anything more than another salty old career man.

You can see Domhnall in there too, sprawled out against a crate on the floor, watching the angel the way a wounded gazelle might watch a sleeping tiger. He’s missing a finger and sporting one hell of a shiner, but he’s definitely not dead. Not by a long shot. He doesn’t know yet what happened to his captain. None of them know but you.

Without warning, a hot flare of light and roar of sound come from abaft you, in the engine room. The ship judders and begins to reverse course. Shouts, screaming, a resonating bellow of pain and challenge - what the hell’s going on down there?!
What do you do?

01, PADRE, THRASH
Further action is on hold until Padre tells us where Mote's getting vented.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

PADRE
No holding it even a breath longer. The sun’s pent-up indignation comes spewing out of your little Mote in a high-pressure gout of ruddy-gold light so thick and bright it seems to roil like water! It blasts clean through a zombie and shears off an arm and half its head, setting the rest of it aflame like it was made of magnesium shavings soaked in gasoline. The blast keeps right on going, too - screaming down the centre aisle between the two engines and splashing against the sternmost hull plating in a dazzling crash of thunder. The hull lets out a wrenching scream of tortured metal as the too-rapid temperature change strikes it - and the world lights up like God’s own flashbulb.

Up. Can’t get up. Ears ringing; vision spotty. Get up. Comprehension comes to you in disconnected flashes. Jaime staggers past you, one hand clamped to his face. The zombie you struck staggers away and caroms off an overturned tool cabinet, its face and torso engulfed in bright, smokeless fire. You think you hear someone yelling, a long, long way away. Mote wavers drunkenly overhead, like a limp balloon.
You’re stunned! So are the crew! And that zombie’s bound to blunder into something flammable. What do you do?

THRASH
Somewhere over all that ringing in your ears, you think you can hear Maw-Meow yelping in pain!
You're stunned! What do you do?

01@noetic:~$
With your optic sensors nonfunctional, you must rely on a bevy of other senses to reconstruct the events that just transpired. Your few wide-spectrum EM detectors report a huge surge of heavy- and charged-particle emissions in the last few seconds, and your olfactory pickups are getting the distinctive odors of burning flesh and overstressed alloys - but no burning engine oil. Curious. Audio sensors are no help at all. Absolute pandemonium, that's all you can make out. Pressure sensors are nominal, clear indications of two softskins scraping at the weak points in your armor...and one of them is trying to claw your blaster out of your hand!
You're free to act now, but at -1 forward. What do you do?

RAMONA AND SERENITY
Serenity, it looks like you’re going to find out what happens when a captain and first mate both walk into a bard - because Ramona left her suit on ‘waldo’ mode and came down to meet Domnhall with you. He still looks pretty out of it, but he steadies visibly as you pull him out of the angel’s ritual grounds and help him to his feet. There’s a bloodstained rag tied around his right hand, and he takes pain not to put any weight on it as you help him up. He asks you what the gunshot he just heard was.
What do you tell him?

Ramona, when the blast goes off in the engine room it drowns your radio in a gluey-thick blanket of blessed, silent noise for a few seconds. Silver linings, I guess. The ship’s on course to neatly T-bone this ghost-ship. On the one hand, you’ve gotten the engine room and the crew out from under it. On the other hand, it means there’s a lot of very thick ecto-steel in your way now. Whoever built this tub while it was still a real ship must have been expecting it to take cannon fire or something. You'll have to go through it one way or another if you want to get to the engine room. Oh, and Donnie’s in your way too. He’s leaning heavily against Serenity and looking back at the crew quarters like he’s expecting the shadows in there to reach out and drag him back in.
Be sure to update your armor and character sheet with your new stuff, and mark off the 1-use of healing potion you used before. The weird wiring is 0 weight.
What do you two do?


TUTRESIEL
Your ritual is proceeding as planned. More to come once I have the time to write it.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 7, 2016 around 06:23

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

01
>> I/Optical: dereferenced efferent threads pruned, cognitive interlocks ok, booting...

You whip it real good! The zombies grappling with you fly off in opposite directions, unable to keep a good hold on your armored shell. It sounds like they banged off a bunch of steel on their way out too. You rise to your feet, un-disarmed but still unfortunately blinded. The room's still a cacophony of noise and panic, but you think you can make out the sounds of the two you threw off getting back on their feet (or stumps, such as it is) for another go. One of the softskins is chanting something in a high, thready voice. Another one roars a challenge to an unseen foe, and you hear the ugly, meaty thumps of flesh striking flesh at high speed.
You're not stunned anymore. After you make your next move, your vision comes back online. What do you do?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

THRASH
Don't sweat it. Get better and chillax. You're still stunned, though! That means you have to Defy Danger to hack that guy up without missing something crucial or succumbing to the effects of stun. Go ahead and roll for it please; use whatever modifier makes sense.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 7, 2016 around 21:48

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

TUTRESIEL
Your holy words twist together and redouble upon themselves, knotting and reknotting the power of the Silent God until it bursts out of the ritual candles and showers this room in miniscule pinpoints of bright blue-white light. There is a barely-audible rushing noise and the faintest perceptible breeze; an impossible feeling of space, as though the room had suddenly trebled in size.

The ghostly vessel’s influence passes over you, and under you, into and across the empty spaces between your holy angles. It moves over the face of this circle weightlessly, and the men gape in wonder and terror at this glimpse of worlds beyond the seas they know.

The ritual comes to a close, and sanity and normality return to the bunkroom once more. The candles clap their wicks shut with a rushing noise and an eerie sucking distortion in the light nearest them. Quartermaster Mills sags to his knees, bone-weary. A fine dusting of white ash and a few gold teeth are all that mar the sanctity of your circle.
What do you do?

SERENITY
You kneel before Oliver’s first mate and take his injured hand in yours, singing that old healing hymn one more time. For the first couple verses Ramona actually hums along with you, before she gets too choked up to hold the tune and trails off.

Nothing happens.

You sing the next couple verses. Domhnall eyes you curiously, opens his mouth for a second, but makes no effort to pull his hand away or interrupt you.

Nothing continues to happen.

And why would it? That healing song of yours is a hymn against evil and treachery, after all, and you just lied to this man’s face. He’s the one person on this ship who most deserves to hear the truth right now - that the woman standing next to you executed his captain and employer on suspicion, and took his command by right of conquest - and you lied to him to spare his feelings and insulate Ramona from the consequences of her actions. Words have power. Your words rather more than most. Small wonder your Art fails you in deed, when by your speech you’ve failed it in spirit.

The words of your song are like cold ashes on your tongue. Be grateful Nashira’s light is gone from the sky. You really don’t want to see her looking at you right now.
You have -1 ongoing to Arcane Art until you either Make Camp or tell the rest of the crew about what really happened to Mr. Price. What do you do?

RAMONA
As Serenity’s sterile healing song dies away, Domhnall pulls his hand out of hers with a grimace of pain and takes you aside.

“Aye,” he says, nodding grimly. “Somethin’ got ahold of ‘im, dinnit? Somethin’ tha’ thing makin a bonfire out of m’ best men gave to him. I saw ‘im take it.” He unscrews a battered silver flask and takes a long pull out of it. “Saw the way it changed in ‘is ‘and. Told the cap’n ‘e was mad to take this job, I did. An’ now he’s gone.” He drains the flask and wheezes gently. A watery light comes back into his eyes. “Y’ killed him. Didn’ ye? No choice in the matter. Oh, yes.” For a split second his face gets very hard. “No choice at all.”

“Orright then.” He claps his hands briskly. “Well, lass, I ‘spect you’ve got deep pockets, ovverwise you’d not ‘ave been able to afford th’ old lunatic.” He winks at you conspiratorially. You can smell the liquor on his breath, and blood and stale sweat, and something sharp and chemical underneath all of those. “I’ll be wantin’ ‘is salary, o’ course’, an’ a firteenth share of the profits, an’ first pick at any licker ‘n spirits wot come our way in due course of plunderin’...”
Debate him, and delay further, at your peril. That ship’s hull is still in your way, by the way. What do you do?

BELOWDECKS
When you while I keep typing up you guyses' stuff, I get to write you better stuff.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 9, 2016 around 04:19

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY AND PADRE
Serenity, you leave Ramona to her negotiations and forge ahead on through the corridor, unconcerned with the ship's width of ghostly steel plate and ectoplasm in between you and the engine room. As you pass through the hull your entire body seizes up like you just jumped naked into a vat of dry-ice slush -- the ship’s aura is horribly, life-suckingly cold. It’s a labor even to breathe, let alone move your feet or push your way through the hull again at the end. Numbness clutches at your fingers and toes as you stand over the entrance to the engine room. Better hope it’s warm down there.
Since you Kool-Aid Womaned through the ghost-ship without the slightest regard for it having been in your way that whole time, you take three damage, ignoring armor: one for each side of the hull and one for the spaces in-between.

You weave through the chaos below like smoke. What the hell went on down here? A few hull plates far astern are cracked and warped, their surfaces blue-green with heat oxidation patterns. The sounds of violent combat echo and re-echo off the walls: fists and wood hitting flesh, metal banging, moans of pain and confusion, one of the crew is actually on fire oh Goddess is there too much fuel in this room right now for him to be on fire and also missing an arm and half his head, but he doesn’t seem to notice because he’s too busy trying to rip out Thrash’s throat and feast on his roasted lungs.
When you Defy Danger, please put what modifier you’re using in the Orokos description or in the post, (+DEX, +CHA, etc…) because your DM is a lazy lazyhead.

Padre, Serenity helps you to your feet and stands watch while you blink the stars out of your eyes and contemplate how incredibly bad of an idea it was to be impolite to the sun. Who probably technically owns your little light. Or leases it to you or something. Lanternlore isn’t exactly your strongest suit. (Is it?) Poor little Mote’s sagging inside his gourd like a runny egg - maybe you’d better give him some time off from the cutlery work while he gets his wind back.
You’re not stunned anymore. Also I think your XP count blew up again. Do fix it - I’m too lazy to keep track of everyone’s stats. If you want, you can Spout Lore to tell us about what kind of relationship the Sun has to the Lanterns’ little lights. Maybe you know something!

Suddenly, there’s a bellow of rage and pain from over by the fuel lines to the fore of you - a musclebound frogman completely picks up another of the crew, socks him in the teeth until he stops trying to eat raw frog arms, and chucks him straight into a railing! The man crashes into it with a woody thunk, but starts getting back up again, seemingly indifferent to the impact. And to how his entire face is smashed to a bloody pulp. A slight woman toting an improbably-flared blunderbuss darts out from behind a stack of empty cargo pallets, shoves the muzzle against the man’s chest, and blasts his heart and half his ribcage into soup.

He doesn’t even care. Doesn't even notice how he should already be dead thrice over. His hands shoot out and grab her by the throat, tightening with a horrible soft strength. Jaime spits something very obscene and breaks into a sprint - but he doesn’t get two steps before another horribly mutilated sailor, this one neatly missing several large chunks from its torso, reaches up from where he sprawls on the deck and snares Jaime’s ankle with a bloody-nailed hand, sending him crashing to the floor!
What do you two do?


THRASH
Orcish resilience is right. A lesser man would be howling in unbearable pain after a walking corpse tore out bits of your freaking flesh with his bare hands (and teeth) while also being on fire. Gah! You carve off great slices of muscle...but he just keeps coming, neck wobbling crazily after you chopped out one side of his windpipe. He’s hot -- way, way too hot -- and as he tears into you, your nose catches the ominous scents of gasoline and smoldering furs...
You take three one damage! You’re not stunned anymore, but you’re a little bit on fire. What do you do?

01
Your blade flashes out snicker-snack and strikes the not-dead’s head from its shoulders. The rest of the body immediately collapses in a heap. A spurt of chill, thick blood occludes your newly rebooted ocular inputs for a moment or two, but you flick it aside and take stock of the situation. A portion of the hull abaft you is buckled and warped in a pattern indicative of extreme thermal stress. Softskins and not-deads are grappling in a battle for their lives, the broken engine stands bereft of engineers and its guts exposed to the world, and your oh-so-wonderful master is down here, probably to give you orders again. Intervention is likely essential - but for who, or what?
What do you do?

* * * * * *

RAMONA
Donnie’s blithe grin quickly mutates into a scowl of pain, as it becomes clear you’re not letting him off the hook that easily. You bear down with your merciless spring-steel grip and a fine sweat breaks out on his forehead. “Aah. Aahhhoww ow gently caress,” he grates, as he tries fruitlessly to pull his hand out of yours. “OW. Ow me fuckin’ -- ow let go, OW -- alright, ALRIGHT! gently caress the fuckin’ money!” His face twists up in pain and fear.

He looks back once over his shoulder at a barracks full of wounded men and women, then back at you. Wha’ever it is yer goin’ down there tae do, jus’...jus’ keep us out of it, innit? We make it to the Raft ‘thout sinkin’ or starvin’, an’ then jus’ ye let my men go, free ‘n clear. There’s an ‘ospital ship or two moored there owt well enough; most like they’ll have berths for allus as got hurt. They’re nae good t’ye now, any road. Not worth nothin’ to no-one. Pay off th’ sawbones, pay th’ next of kin, then any as made it and still want to leave, you let ‘em leave, lass. Jus’ let ‘em go on home.”

“Alright? Now come wi’ me.” He looks nervously at the ghost-ship’s hull, still quivering gently from where Serenity shoved her way through it, and shudders. “Brrr. Th’ men need a doctor, and I reckon tha’s ye, lass. I dunnae want t’leave them alone with tha’ thing anymore’n I have to. Come on ‘n help me stitch ‘em up.”
Playing nursemaid to these wounded, right now, will assure him of your goodwill towards the ship and crew. What do you do?

TUTRESIEL
Quartermaster Mills gives you a wry look. “Six years as a watchman during the Elvenwars, lord,” he tells you. “M’ watch captain was of the faith. A good thing, too.” He leans heavily against a nearby bunk, breathing raggedly. His face is grey and lined with exhaustion and pain. “Triage,” he says dully. He bends down effortfully and cracks open the chest at the foot of the bed, and shoves a bundle of clothes into your hands. “Cut these up for rags. Gotta...got a spirit-stove somewhere…” He wobbles a little on his feet and starts searching through the mess, one hand clamped tight to his ribs.
What do you do?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2016 around 18:28

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

THE ENGINE ROOM
Ramona, as you sprint through the corridor, deadly cold tears at you through your wetsuit - but you’ve long since learned to sneer at cold, even and especially the kind of cold you get after hours of soaking in seawater. You know how best to hide your tender bits from its savage bite. Your equipment, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky. That shock combo bang-up a little while ago must’ve ruptured a seal or two somewhere besides just the cockpit - and while you’ve doubtless hardened your weaponry against immersion in saltwater or wintry air, their waterlogged circuits don't seem to fare so well when the air temperature is low enough to freeze your breath as it plumes from your nose and mouth. Something important inside your gear’s guts crackles, shorts, and breathes a coil of fine grey smoke as its soaked innards freeze solid...

Choose one. The chosen effect applies until you have access to a forge and to replacement parts for that component of your signature weapon: tell us what those parts are, and I'll tell you where you can probably find them.
-Your weaponry’s malfunctioning! Pick either your grappler or your powerfist. When you Hack and Slash using that weapon, take -1 to the roll. This applies to your last post, but you don’t need to retcon, even if someone decides to Interfere with you. When you don’t use that weapon in your attack, you don’t get the penalty.
-Your vibroglove shorted out! It’s giving you some seriously unpleasant feedback. When you take damage while wearing your powerfist, choose one: either take -1 forward, or take the damage without the +1 armor it gives.


Your entrance to the melee is swift, brutal, and merciless. Nori's assailant didn't go down quite the way you had planned -- the grappler caught him around the armpit and side of the neck -- and when your taut wire slices into his freezing flesh you just don't have enough oomph to actually sever his neck completely. Instead the wire sinks two inches deep and binds tight against his bones, and when you drop your weight the sudden yank tears his balance away completely - but not his grip. Him and Nori both go down together.

The powerfist strike bullets into Jaime's man like a freight train. You missed the head by a couple inches; but that's okay, because you got the entire rest of his arm instead. It just shatters like a chunk of ice dropped onto pavement. Jaime pulls free of its loosened grip, fumbles for his gun, and dumps panic fire into the general vicinity of the zombie's head. One takes it through the eye and what's left of the body stops moving. A strangled, whistling gasp of breath. "gently caress! NORI!" Jaime shouts. His voice bells off the walls like a drill sergeant's. He chucks the spent gun aside and dives into the tangle behind you, punching and slashing.

He hacks at the zombie's flesh where he can, but the grappler and Nori keep getting in the way. Obscenely, its one good hand keeps tightening, and Nori's face is going purpley-blue with detained blood and lack of oxygen - until Padre, of all people, rushes in and starts swinging too!

Serenity hangs back until the perfect moment presents itself, and smashes the zombie hard across the temples. Its muscles go limp for a couple moments - long enough for Padre to dart in and strike a telling blow on the man's hand. There's a dull crack and a couple of the fine bones shatter like brittle ice! Nori manages to get a couple fingers under its awful grip and sucks desperately for a scrap of air.
It's definitely a Hack and Slash, and you did 1 damage to that guy! If you elect to press the attack, you can do +1d6 damage (roll for it!) but you'll also take five four damage yourself. Thanks for fixing up the XP count.
I made your damage roll before Shardix posted, mea culpa :shobon


Jaime roars like a freaking lion and, leaving his knife stuck in the zombie's back like an icepick, hauls the creature to one side and with one tremendous heave, pries its hand the rest of the way off her neck like it's some kind of fleshy bottlecap. Fingers snap like party favors. Nori flops to the deck like a fish and heaves desperately for breath through a crushed windpipe. The zombie lurches about to face its attacker and goes right for Jaime's throat, bearing him to the ground and clawing at his face and neck with the ruins of its one good arm!
What do you three do?

Meanwhile, Thrash fends off the flaming zombie with a will, trading knife-strikes and merrily blazing swipes of its hands...until, finally, the solar fire consuming its body breaks through its skull and reaches its brain. The awful vitality animating it falters and melts away like lake-ice in spring, and what's left of its body stutters, totters, and falls right on top of you. While still being on fire. In fact, it's even more on fire than it was a few seconds ago, and you're starting to catch too! Stop, drop, and roll!
YOU'RE ON FIRE and have to Defy Danger right meow to put it out! What else do you do?

01@noetic: ~$

THE MEDICAL BAY
Updates incoming pending the time to write a bunch more.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY
As you shove the zombie to the deck, Jaime slips aside from the melee, scoops up Nori by the shoulders and knees, and pounds up the stairs and out of the room as fast as his legs will take him. "GARLOV! ZEB!" he yells on his way out. "PUT THAT FIRE OUT!" The frogman rumbles his assent and hauls himself out a broken porthole with the strength of his arms alone, slipping quickly into the sea.

The undead menace wriggles like a hooked eel under your boot and Ramona's grappling-wire, and gets in one good rake across your legs before you drive a foot of good dueling steel right through its forehead. What does it take to kill a zombie? Looks like that'll do it, alright. The hungry night glittering in its eyes gutters and flares out, and the poor man's once again nothing more than a horribly mangled corpse.
It managed to deal three one damage to you before you could put it down.

THRASH AND 01
01's thaumium blade slices through the corpse's back like a steak-knife through a well-done roast. One good hard kick is enough to dislodge the remains - now hardly more than a man-sized lump of flaming cinders - from atop Thrash's thrashing form. Its body breaks into pieces as the blow lands, and a swirl of lights the color of campfire sparks wafts up from the broken edges and out into the air.
Belay that defiance! 01 got you out of immediate danger, so you don't have to roll anymore.

THE ENGINE ROOM
The entry of two new combatants onto the field is more than enough to swing the battle rapidly in your favor. Serenity and her bodyguard finish up what Ramona started, and as the last body falls, Zebley crawls out from under the engine, trembling like a leaf. "Issi-issi-issi-is it over?" he stammers, eyes darting all over the place like he expects another one to drop from the ceiling right on top of his face. He catches sight of the remains of his boss and his face goes greeny-white. He swallows hard, turns and makes it about two steps before he doubles over and is noisily sick all over the deck. Ewg. Garlov slithers back in through another porthole, mouth and throat-sac bulging with seawater. The frogman purses his lips and makes like a big slimy firehose, spraying water all over Thrash, the burning corpse, and anything nearby that looks even slightly flammable. Ew. But at least nobody's on fire anymore.
What does everybody do?

THE MEDICAL BAY
Tutresiel produces a neat pile of makeshift bandages in the time it takes for Quartermaster Mills to shuffle through the mess and muck and come up with a battered spirit-stove and, wonder of wonders, an unpunctured can of fuel! He sets up the apparatus on a relatively clear bit of crate and primes the pump until a merry little blue flame dances. "Water," he mumbles. "Get th' pot...th' water boiled…" He makes to stand up, but his legs give out and he sits down hard on the deck, breathing harshly. One side of his shirt is stained red. You spoke truer than you knew: bodies are heavy, after all. Heavy enough to weigh hard on cracked ribs and torn flesh. You help him to a spare bunk before he can aggravate the injury any further.

The ship's first mate joins you as you're finishing laying Mills out -- he seems shocked to see an angel giving his men care as though it was some mortal nurse. Seeing the burner open and a pile of bandages waiting to be sterilized, he makes an about-face and hurries for the kitchen, returning shortly carrying a dented pot brimful with wash-water.

Time passes as the two of you labor in near-silence, but for the occasional soft moan of pain, whispered prayer, or the sound of waves lapping against the hull. Whatever madness rages in the engine room does not touch you here. Scraps of clothing go into the pot; rough bandages come out, ready for application and hopefully sterile enough not to make things any worse than they already are. The really serious wounds yet go untreated, but there's enough spare clothes and water for boiling to bandage up anything that doesn't need stitches or a splint. Domhnall rummages for a scrap of steel rod and leaves it against the flame to heat. The anchor-chain up on deck rattles, clinks, and (eventually) shuts up as the anchor hits the sea-floor. The ship bumps gently and comes to a stop; through the portholes outside, you can see the ghost-ship beginning to make a slow, slow, ponderous turnaround.
If you've got anything you want to say to these two, you can do it before the stuff below happens.

Someone sprints heavily towards the barracks from the hallway outside. It's Jaime -- breathing like a foundered horse and bearing in his arms a slender woman perched at the very precipice of oblivion, her neck all purple-black with strangulation marks. Though she gasps and strains for breath, only the tiniest sucking noise comes from her crushed throat. He stumbles in on his last legs and lays her down on a cot. "Pl--," he gasps, entirely out of breath. "Hhuhhh. Plh. Help. Her."
What do you do?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

Making Camp and End of Session to follow shortly! I've been holding off on writing it pending any posts InfiniteOregano and Teonis might make before the 28th. Sorry for the delay, guys.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

PADRE AND SERENITY
It’s touch and go for a while there. Jaime’s so wound up with tension that he has to be led out of the room while you two labor together to save Nori’s life. It’s bad -- her throat’s practically pulped all along one side of her neck. Internal bleeding everywhere. Jaime’s horrible life-threatening injury was clean compared to this mess.

But save her you do, in time. Serenity keeps her spirit anchored to her body while Padre’s steady hands cut her open, stitch together the carotid and windpipe, and close it all back up again. Mote, exhausted, can hardly do more than sit in his gourd and shine: but, truly, that’s all you really needed. A little light to see your work by. Who needs an operating room?

Surgery without anesthesia is a terrible thing to go through, though: and she writhes and bucks as the Lantern cuts into her flesh and sears a broken vein shut with a red-hot iron. Nashira is merciful. To Nori. Serenity, on the other hand, must fight to keep her singing voice smooth and even-keel as her healing song takes Nori's pain away, and visits it upon you in full measure. Raw agony lashes through you, and by the time the Padre's last stitch is done the your throat is raw with swallowed screams.
Take the two damage you healed Nori of out of your own HP, ignoring armor. You've paid Nashira's price for your blasphemy in full: so you no longer have -1 ongoing to Arcane Art.

After those few moments of raw panic, triage and treatment proceeds without hardly a hitch. Padre's hands are deft and sure without the pressures of emergency and riot to weigh on you, and Mote seems content to lounge around and shine encouragingly. The patients, in turn, respond more favorably to his gentle light now that the ghost-ship's aura is a long way away. Donnie and Jaime make serviceable nurses, bringing you fresh-boiled rags, cut pieces of metal for splints, and such medical supplies as remained unvandalized by the poltergeists.

01 AND THRASH
The broken corpses rise no more, evidently too mutilated or too far from their mothership to re-reanimate in the time it takes for Jaime, Zebley, and Garlov to finish their feverish repairs to the broken engine. It coughs, judders, and roars to a clanking, smoke-spewing approximation of life -- and with that, full navigational control is yours once more. The ship may move like a lamed tortoise, but it moves - and that’s all you needed to leave the ghost-ship in your wake for good. With its ambushers dead, scattered, or subverted, it seems unlikely this undead menace will be able to threaten anyone else ever again. Let the sunlight take it.

01, you and these softskins may be out of any immediate danger (as long as the engines keep working, anyway) but that doesn’t mean there’s not a ton to do. So much mess to clean up: shattered dishes, ruined tools and furniture, lots and lots of blood. And the great greasy bird-stain all over the poop deck. And all the (very salty) melting ice and slush that’s now dripping riiight into the nice new stress crack in the stern hull plating. Your ship’s not looking too threatening right now, either -- but at least she’s got more legs than your foe.
Serious consequences will very likely ensue if your ship suffers any more damage.

Thrash, it turns out Maw-Meow was only whining because he lost his ‘bone’ and couldn’t find it again. The zombies were too busy eating everyone else to try and take a bite out of him. Lucky stiff. Everybody else may be busy cleaning up the rest of the ship, but you’ve got one heck of a trashed kitchen to deal with -- and something else besides. On the way back to your kitchen that frogman Garlov comes up to you with a hungry look in his eyes. It looks like he wants a whole lot more of that lobstery whatsit dish you fed him before, and he won’t take no for an answer!
What do you do?

TUTRESIEL
While the bard and Lantern labor over the life of one, you tend to the life of another: Quartermaster Mills, a Blessed Listener of your holy cult, whose secret name is AVTOTAR, now revealed openly to you and to your peers. A strange thing in these days of secrecy and silence. Heavy lifting and exposure to deleterious energies has aggravated an already serious wound -- a rib-cracking blow to his side with some heavy blunt-edged object like a cabinet or door -- and his condition is grave, yet he will accept care from no other hand but yours. He slips into a fever dream after the first hectic night of your escape, muttering and whispering uneasily in his sleep.
What is he hiding from Padre and Serenity that reception of medical care would reveal to them?

RAMONA
With this ship as slow as it is, even Donnie has no problem handling the wheel after he’s done playing nurse to the rest of your new crew. You retire to your quarters and give your gear a much-needed teardown until you find the fault. It’s just like you thought: the inversion lens assembly in your vibroglove’s all cracked and iced over. It’ll need a new housing and at least one or two new lenses - and good luck grinding those at sea without a good stabilized platform to do it on. You’ll have to hope you can find someone who’ll sell you lenses out on the Raft, or down below.

EVERYBODY
You’ve come a very long way...but you’re not quite through yet. The last known surface location of Aqualantis -- your destination -- is still some nine days out, and with your ship and crew both crippled, travel to some other port seems a hopeless endeavor. Ships from all over the Sea of Crescents have clustered thickly there. Many have come to prey on the desperate and the refugee, or to find what opportunities they can in the drowned ruins far below. You must now undertake a perilous journey to this place, the Raft, and there seek out your way to Aqualantis amid that tangle of intermoored ships and unsalvageable hulks.


END OF SESSION

That means it's time to Make Camp and choose who fills the jobs for your upcoming Perilous Journey...which will conclude right after all the jobs are filled!
When you take a job, roll +WIS right away. We'll deal with what happens during your journey according to who picks what role and who posts first.

The next session will start after all three roles are taken and dealt with, and the party's just about to arrive at the Raft.


quote:

When you reach the end of a session, choose one of your bonds that you feel is resolved (completely explored, no longer relevant, or otherwise). Ask the player of the character you have the bond with if they agree. If they do, mark XP and write a new bond with whomever you wish.

Once bonds have been updated look at your alignment. If you fulfilled that alignment at least once this session, mark XP. Then answer these three questions as a group:

Did we learn something new and important about the world?
Did we overcome a notable monster or enemy?
Did we loot a memorable treasure?

For each “yes” answer everyone marks XP.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

Everybody: if you need to eat, mark off two rations. If you need to eat and can't mark rations, take -1 ongoing until you get a substantial and nourishing meal into you.

Up to two people:
When you spend a day listening to the fevered whispers of AVTOTAR, roll +WIS.
On a 10+, you hear fragments of a prophecy with grave and certain significance concerning the events to come.
On a 7-9, his words are vague, cryptic, and shrouded in esoteric symbolism and delusional haze.

TUTRESIEL
The more subtle of your senses detect little of great threat; no (more) malicious beings of the realms of spirit, nor entities beyond the planes these others know, have cast their attentions (again) on your vessel and companions with malice aforethought. That doesn't mean the ship doesn't need a scout, of course -- and one such as you makes a perfect tactical officer, especially since Domhnall's busy running the ship and his last tac officer had a fatally close encounter with his skull and a pipe wrench.

The ways and means of the physical world are often new and strange to you, but Jaime and Nori give patient instruction on the operation (and sometimes maintenance) of the Shrieking Harpy's cantankerous and fiddly radar, sonar and radio equipment. The late Cap'n Price -- that cheapskate -- couldn't or wouldn't shell out for anything newer.

Two days pass slowly and silently, with, thankfully, little but cleanup and deck-swabbing to excite anybody. AVTOTAR remains locked in his fever-dream, occasionally stirring long enough to gulp down a few mouthfuls of thin broth and ship's biscuit before lapsing back into unconsciousness. Radio traffic is intermittent and sporadic, and what does come through is heavily distorted and full of static.

In the chill clear morning of the third day, you pick up something at the edge of reliable detection on the ship's sonar. It's still too far away to say with certainty just what exactly it is, except that it's probably too small to be a ship and probably too solid and compact to be a school of fish. As the sun rises, you become increasingly certain that this thing, whatever it is, is following you.

You decide to:
- Try and outrun it: more power to the engines!
- Engage it!
- Just keep steaming ahead and hope it goes away.

- Hail it on the radio.
- Broadcast a distress call.
- Ping it with the ship's active sonar.
- Something else.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 26, 2016 around 18:28

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

Tutresiel posted:

Tuning Into Crazy FM (WIS): 2d6+3 14


- Hail it on the radio.

In between watches, you take time to care for AVTOTAR: changing bandages and dressings, feeding him what little nourishment he’ll take, meditating on his dry-throated whispers. The man drifts in and out of lucidity like one who drifts aimlessly down a great river, occasionally bumping into a brief snag and clinging on for a time before floating on again. Much is simple delusion: repetitions of old conversations, dreams or childhood memories -- until the night of the second day, when the hour is small and the moons are like dim chips of pale ice in the sky.

“ʏᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇʀᴇ,” he says that night, in a cold and distant tone entirely unlike his vague, disjointed mutterings of the day and evening before. “ᴀɴᴅ ɪᴛ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴋɴᴏᴡɴ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴏsᴇ ᴅᴀʏs ʏᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅs ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ɪᴠᴏʀʏ ʀᴏᴀᴅ, ᴡʜᴇʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪɢʜᴛ ᴏғ sᴜɴs ᴡɪʟʟ ғᴇᴀʀ ᴛᴏ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴅ.”

“ᴀɴᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʜɪs ᴄʟᴏᴠᴇɴ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ ᴏɴᴇ ᴡʜᴏ ᴡɪʟʟ ʟᴏɴɢ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʟɪɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ ɪɴ ᴄʀᴜᴇʟ ʙᴏɴᴅᴀɢᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴀᴡᴀᴋᴇɴ. ᴛʜᴇ ᴀᴡғᴜʟ ʟɪɢʜᴛ ᴏғ ᴛʀᴜᴛʜ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴘɪᴇʀᴄᴇ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ's ʙᴏɴᴅs ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀɴ ɪʀʀᴇsɪsᴛɪʙʟᴇ sᴘᴇᴀʀ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴠᴇʀʏ ғᴏᴜɴᴅᴀᴛɪᴏɴs ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇᴀʀᴛʜ ᴡɪʟʟ ǫᴜᴀᴋᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴅ.”

“ᴀɴᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʜɪs sʜᴀᴛᴛᴇʀᴇᴅ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ ɢʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴍɪɢʜᴛʏ ʟɪɢʜᴛs ᴡɪʟʟ ʀɪsᴇ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴅɪsᴀsᴛᴇʀ. ᴛʜᴇ ɢᴜɪʟᴅs ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪᴠɪɴɢ ᴡɪʟʟ sᴘʀᴏᴜᴛ ᴀɢᴀɪɴ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ sᴘʟɪɴᴛᴇʀᴇᴅ sᴛᴏɴᴇs ᴏғ ᴍᴏʀᴛᴀʟ ᴀᴍʙɪᴛɪᴏɴ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ɪs ᴅᴀʀᴋ ᴀɴᴅ ʜɪᴅᴅᴇɴ ᴡɪʟʟ ʙᴇ ʀᴏᴜᴛᴇᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴍᴀᴅᴇ ᴛᴏ sᴛᴀɴᴅ ʙᴀʀᴇ ʙᴇғᴏʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ʟɪɢʜᴛ ᴏғ sᴛᴀʀs.”

“ᴀɴᴅ ɪɴ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴜʀɪᴇᴅ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ, ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴍᴀʏ ʙᴇ sᴘᴏᴋᴇɴ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴍᴜsᴛ ɴᴏᴛ ʙᴇ sᴘᴏᴋᴇɴ, ᴛᴏ ᴏɴᴇ ᴏғ ᴡʜᴏᴍ sᴘᴇᴇᴄʜ ᴡɪʟʟ ɴᴏᴛ ʙᴇ ᴘᴇʀᴍɪᴛᴛᴇᴅ ᴜɴᴛɪʟ ᴛʜᴇ sᴜɴs ᴡɪʟʟ ᴅɪᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛɪᴍᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴇɴᴅ. sᴜᴄʜ ᴡɪʟʟ ʙᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴀɢɴɪᴛᴜᴅᴇ ᴏғ ʜɪs ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ's ᴄʀɪᴍᴇ.”

“ᴀɴᴅ ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇ ғɪɴᴀʟ ɢᴀsᴘ ɪs ʜᴇᴀʀᴅ, ʏᴏᴜ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴋɴᴏᴡɴ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇsᴇ ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴡɪʟʟ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴘᴀss.”

Huh.
Somebody else can still listen to AVTOTAR later on in this Perilous Journey, if they so desire.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The next morning, you hail the blip on your sonar time and time again, but there’s no response on any frequency. Not civilian, not military or emergency, not even on any of the nine finitely-expressible Qemian numbers. It doesn’t acknowledge your hail in any way. As the day wears on, the whatever-it-is keeps pace with you steadily, slipping in and out of sonar range, always in your wake as you steam onwards. It doesn’t go away, but it doesn’t get any closer either. You’re able to gather enough sonar images of it over the next few hours to have a good idea of its shape.


You decide to:
- Fire a warning shot.
- Ping it with the ship's active sonar.
- Consult the Cube of Araboth.
- Step through a portal and inspect it from closer up.
- Ask one of the crew for advice.
- Just keep on going.
- Something else.

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2016 around 22:52

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

TUTRESIEL
You trigger the Harpy's active sonar units. Focused sound peals off your pursuer and returns to you, rapidly building a precise and accurate picture -- and incidentally letting the whatever-it-is know, clearly and certainly, that you're watching it with great care.

The image resolves, bit by bit, on your sonar screens as the sonar pings return. A bulbous, bulging forequarters, many short stubby protrusions from its rear, two longer such protrusions trailing out in its wake...



Ohhhhh boy. Looks like the zombie bird from your last fight -- and what remains of the mingled stenches of death and orcish haute cuisine aboard -- have attracted the attentions of a juvenile kraken. It must have the Harpy pegged as a source of food. The radar scan didn't do a darn thing to it, but the sonar certainly does. After the first couple pings bounce off it, the beast immediately begins descending into the sea. Its eardrums (or however that thing actually hears) must feel like they're being pounded on with a bunch of icepicks about now.

SERENITY
Deadline: 84/90 days
Now the Shrieking Harpy is come to the shallow bright waters of the Rimewash. Aqualantis would once drop anchor at this place's edge for weeks on end, hunting for fish to fill the city's many mouths and shedding pleasure-vessels like dandelion seeds. The many reefs, lagoons, and atolls in these waters provide ample habitat for all sorts of sea life, and a few of the nubby islands poking above the waves are known to harbor that greatest of bounties at sea: fresh, potable water from pond, stream, or spring.

But be wary: the Rimewash may brim with natural bounty, but there's a reason few, if any, seek to make a life here. Outside the known and mapped routes, these waters are treacherous. Spars of rock, ironhide coral, or the wrecks of ships less lucky than yours all wait to snare the hull of an unwary or incautious captain; and, since Aqualantis' fall, pleasure yacht and fishing boat have been replaced by less...salubrious sorts. Pirate, thief, and scavenger have all been known to stalk these shallow seas. Be wary.



You decide to:
- drat the kraken! Moor somewhere safe-looking for a day or two, to stock up on supplies and do some repairs.
- Steam on without stopping. Stick to the safe, mapped, well-known routes. Aqualantis waits.
- (Bardic Lore) Recall tales you've heard (and told) about the unusual sea-life to be found in this place.
- (+INT) Risk a quicker route through the shoals, in hopes of outrunning or outmanuvering the kraken.
- Lead the kraken into the shoals and engage it there. The shallow, treacherous waters here will limit where it -- and you -- can safely go.
- Something else.

What do you do?


01@noetic: /$ weave -rsp /proc/mem*/**/* | xargs skime -t >&2 && tail -f /dev/NULL | grep NULL
In the dim silence of one of the Harpy's empty cargo holds, you ease your chassis down to the deck and prepare to enter Debug Mode. Awareness of the exterior world vanishes; motor control and nonessential cognitive threads are shut down or handed off to lesser, subsentient task runners while the entirety of your thoughtshard's capabilities are brought to bear on one task: hunting down and coming to terms with the NULL in your memories that so utterly undid you.

What is this NULL? What are its qualities, its attributes, its classification? NULL is not NULL. NULL is not NOT NULL. NULL is not true. NULL is not false. It admits no comparison; no logical structure can contain it nor quantity describe it. It is a thing of the Neither-Neither, definable only by negation: not what it is, but what it is not.

NULL is not living. NULL is not dead. But then again...neither are you. Yet you and NULL alike are not dumb matter, not simply thaumium or seawater or empty air. You both can walk and talk and fight and cease to be. What, then, must you and NULL have in common? What must you and NULL fail not to have in common?

But no answer comes forth. In time, consciousness retreats, that other, simpler routines may do their work without interfering with your delicate cognitive threads. Millenia of memories sleet through your dreaming mind as automated debugging routines process, index, sort, and check a store of accumulated experience deeper than most civilizations. It seems the NULL in your memories may never truly be purged, not without deleting that event and all its associative links from your working and long-term datastores: a task that becomes exponentially harder with each passing microsecond, and one that would leave you with yet another blankness in your history. Too many such void places exist already to make another purge an unpleasant thought to contemplate.
You return to consciousness right around when Tutresiel pings off the sonar. Your SIGFPE debility is definitely gone. When you wake up, what do you do?

THRASH
That frogman Garlov just plain isn't leaving you alone! Day and night, he clamors for more -- it's starting to get so you can hardly get any cooking done! Maw-Meow's developed a taste for bones too, after that fight in the engine room. Human bones. It's a real pain in the behind keeping him out of the medical ward, especially since nobody's had the good sense to drop off the twig and give your pet a nice new rack of ribs to gnaw or anything. And what's worse, that juvenile kraken in the distance has been following your ship all through these days and nights, and now it's finally grown bold (or hungry) enough to show itself openly...
Everybody seems to want a piece of you! You have twenty-four hours to post before I do as I please with you and all your delicious poison food. What do you do?

RAMONA
Quartermastery stuff to be dealt with during, or soon after, the party's departure from the Rimewash. If you want to act during this scene, you can start in the kitchens with Thrash, or underwater in your suit, grappled to the hull. What do you do?

EVERYBODY
Feel free to peruse this satisfying and delicious map:
code:
!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~################```````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~#~&~~~~##+#####````````````**``````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~####~#####`````````````````*``````````````````````
~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~#######*```````````````***``````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~*~~~~~##~~*~~~*~~````````````**####`````````````````
##~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~```````````````###``````````````````
#####~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`````````***#~~~***``````````````
######~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~*~***`````````````#####`````````````````
#+####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*******~~`````````````````````````````````````````
######~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~~**~~~~~***````````````````````````````````````
#####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~~~`````````````````````````````````````````
####~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~&~~~~~~~~~~~~***``````````````````````````````````
####~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~#*##~~~**###**```````````````````````````````````
##~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~####~~~&&*##*#*#**``````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~#****#````````````````````````````````
~~**~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~*~~~~~~~~~~*~~~#```````````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~***~~~*#~~~~~~~~~~**~~``````````````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~&*~~*~~#####~**~~~~~##***~~*```````````````````````````$`````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~**~~~~##~~~####+######*#```````````````````````````````````
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~~~~~~~~~###########```````````````````````````````````````

Legend:                                                        N
  @ The Harpy   $ Way Out   ! Kraken                           ^
  # Land        ~ Sea       * Known reef                    W <+> E
  & Known wreck + Spring    ` Uncharted                        v
                                                               S

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2016 around 22:59

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

01
Fine by me! I like the new move, too. Hope everything's cool; hop back in IRC any time you've got the time.

EVERYBODY
If you had a bond with Padre or Thrash, you can resolve it and mark XP, but don't write a new bond.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY
You keep a sharp eye on the kraken's surface wake as it sheers off into deeper waters and dives to escape the hammering sonar. The Harpy steams steadily on, unmolested. The heavy odor of unmentionable sea-lumps frying drifts out from the galley to vex your delicate nose. To the east, a sheltered cove beckons. The shattered spar of some unlucky ship’s mizzenmast breaks the waterline nearby. Should be a good place to drop anchor for a time, and see to fixing up this battered old sow before she sails on again.

Nori and Jaime stand beside you at the prow, watching the sea slide past and keeping a lookout for hidden snags. Domhnall up in the wheelhouse gingerly guides the ship through a narrow gap in the cove’s fringing reefs, and drops anchor as soon as is practical. Nori breathes a sigh of relief. “Risky business, Greymist,” she comments. A hoarse rasp still shadows her voice. “But at least we can get some fishing done. I’ll send out the dinghy. You're welcome to come along.” She claps Jaime on the back gently. “Go get Reynolds, big guy. Coldwater and Zeb, too. I’ll be back before dusk.”
You didn't ask me a question as permitted by your Bardic Lore! You can do that now if you like.


01
It's not solid land, but a good defensible bay will serve just as well for a place to patch up this ship's many bruises. You stand guard, weapons cocked and ready, for much of the morning, but no danger comes. Evidently the beast is too pained and frightened by the ship's sonar to approach. In the meantime...the softskins have permitted their machine to suffer far too many insults, and it's high time they give it the care and attention it deserves. One of the softskins departs the Harpy in a smaller boat, seeking more biomatter to fuel their woefully inefficient metabolisms; the rest busy themselves with repairs and maintenance.

You, of course, have forgotten more about machinery over your long lifespan than anyone aboard, ghosts included, could possibly have had the time to learn. Your crystalline intellect and powerful servomotors are an indispensable aid to the softskins' repair efforts. By the time the afternoon is turning into evening, the ship's looking, if not entirely in perfect repair, certainly a lot more ship-shape than it used to be. Engines re-greased and re-oiled; the crack in the hull papered over with a quick weld; electrical and hydraulics given a quick once-over...another day of this and all you'll need is a couple months in dry-dock to make the Harpy good as new again!
Gonna go out on a limb here and say that you're helping with repairs. Hope that's okay! Post about what you did if you like. If you want, you can also consult your databanks and Spout Lore about the ancient statutary of the Rimewash.


TUTRESIEL
AVTOTAR improves a little over the course of the day. Perhaps the speaking of words of prophecy burnt out some of the sickness within him; perhaps it's just that he's sheltered from wind and wave here. Regardless of cause, his color has improved and his fever is beginning to abate. By midday he's actually sitting up and sipping from a mug of "soup", care of Thrash's galley slop. The other wounded sailors have been slowly recovering, and those not suffering from any serious broken limbs or other internal injuries are starting to get up and hobble carefully around the sickbay. You and the padre make a serviceable medical team -- some of the men have, tentatively, tried to speak to you, asking for a change of bandages or the blessings of your strange and unnamable God.
AVTOTAR has recovered from his fever, and the chance for anyone else to listen to him has passed.

That afternoon...
Nori returns from her fishing trip atop a dinghy laden with an astonishing variety of seafood of every shape and size -- more than everyone could possibly eat before it starts to rot! "I didn't know what was good to eat," she says apologetically. "...So I just caught everything I could get into the net!" Fortunately for everybody's nose, Cap'n Price had the Shrieking Harpy fit out for this contingency: the galley's kit out with a great massive walk-in freezer, perfectly suited to accept just such a cornucopia of marine delights. These should sell very nicely out on the Raft.
Hey presto! Add a hold full of fresh-frozen seafood to the party's inventory. Anyone who had -1 ongoing from hunger no longer does, and nobody needs to mark rations anymore for as long as you have access to all this fish. Ramona, which of these fish, mollusks, etc. do you know to be poisonous? Which are safe to eat?


RAMONA
What a lovely time for a day at the beach. Or, in your case, a day spent shoulder-deep in fish guts and terms-of-employment negotiations. As soon as the Harpy bumps to a stop, the ghosts keeping half your engines running ooze out of the machinery and cower away from the bright sunlight in any dark corner they can find. Jaime, Zeb, 01, and Ensign Coldwater busy themselves with a full teardown and reassembly of the Harpy's much-abused engines -- and from the sound of it, it comes not a moment too soon. Your radio crackles with status reports and staticky complaints all day long.

“aahahAAHAhAAAAhaahaaaeeyaaaaawwwnnnnnn”
“-timing belt torn,*zzkkzrvz* gears stripped, bearings are shot-”
“It’s Z-Zebley. Bad news: the number two drive shaft’s got a fatigue crack starting. S-should be okay for a while, but...say, you’re s-s-s-sure that kraken’s gone, right? Right? Ahaha. I'lljustgetbacktowork.”
“Crazy lady work us to the bones! HUNGRY we!”
“the light the LIGHT no light NO light no light the LIGHT sssssss no no no no”
“-oil sump clogged, seawater seepage, rust everywhere-”
“HAH! GEDDIT!? BONES!! HOOAHAHAHAAahahahaaaaaah...”


Once Nori comes in with that huge load of fish, you make darn certain everybody onboard gets a good and filling meal in them: no more, no less. Especially the sick. Gods only know what Thrash would do if you left him alone to feed everybody. Nori and Jaime come out that evening with what may just be the biggest fish fry afloat, having left the offal and bones (and dishes) to an eager Thrash and his bizarre pet.

But while everyone's comfortably seated in the mess hall tucking into the night's feast, a solitary ping goes unheard in the communications room. Then another. And another. Deep below the Shrieking Harpy, a hungry beast is brooding...

Without warning, the ship heels abruptly over to one side. Shouts of confusion from the crew at your side, frenzied splashing, shattering glass, an orcish scream of pain and rage. You sprint for the galley as fast as you can -- and it's that drat kraken again! A storm of tentacles tears through the galley, snatching up chunks of fish waste, a bubbling pot of orcish "stew", and -- oh God -- even the orc himself and his Maw-Meow, carving great gashes into the tentacle holding him...but it's not enough to cut free in time. The beast drags them both out the porthole and shoves them into its gaping beak.

Snap. Crunch.
What do you do?

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

01, SERENITY, TUTRESIEL
If anybody wants to roll to Aid, Arcane Art, or otherwise assist Ramona's H&S, now's your chance.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

That's one half of the 6- dealt with...now somebody just needs to roll to Aid.

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

01
These strange basalt statues seem disquietingly familiar to your ancient mind. The bulk of them appear to be laid out along a vast, tumbledown ring, describing the borders of a zone of especially dark and deep-blue water. As the Harpy steams past a particularly large and well-preserved specimen on its way to the cove, something about the weather-worn carvings along its sides shakes loose buried memories from a long-disused archive. This isn’t just art, it’s script -- one that you remember having read while it was still in common use. The inscription is still legible, albeit with many lacunae and uncertainties in translation. And on the pillar, these words appear...

code:
{
    Sibhaini-sudhislith-b’cchradl comman [ … ] nes be raised.
    [ … ]oever reads [ ]hese words, [ …]w you [ pass? drift? ] o[ ]er the [ ... ] B’SHKTSH SH’BAOT.
    # ( These last two words are deeply incised and intricately decorated. )
    [ ]raverse this [ skin? ] in pea [ ... ], 
    p[  ]mitting no [ ... ] your [ insipid? uncouth? ] des[  ]ns [ infect? defile? ] our holy [ … ] 
                [ -- several lines missing or fragmentary -- ]
    [ … ] we are watching.
}
SERENITY
My answer: You have absolutely no idea what happened to Gretchen. It’s been eighty years or more since anyone last heard from her...and you and that side of the family are, to put it gently, a bit estranged after all those accusations of treason and sedition from that royal family a while back. It’s been a long time since you had a reliable way to get in touch with them without risking arrest or worse.

And since I can ask you a question too: what tale, song, or legend did you first hear about Abyss Worms in?



---


That young kraken may have just eaten an orc, his pet, and half the kitchen wholesale, but it looks like orcish cuisine is far more well-appreciated among the monstrous than it is among men and elves. Such a meal is but a mere appetizer to a beast this size! It snaps everything up and comes back hungry for more -- but instead, it meets only the flashing blades and guns of Ramona, Serenity, and Zero-One.

It's strong, even for a juvenile; and it's got an entire ship to brace against for leverage. Not even Ramona's servo-enhanced strength can keep her gun aimed true as the kraken snatches her up bodily and slams her with crushing force against the ceiling, deck, and bulkheads like a stubborn coconut that just won't crack. But before it can yank her out the porthole and make a meal of her too, 01 flings himself off the side of the deck and straight into the fray! He grabs hold of the kraken's other grappling tentacle and with a single terrific stroke, severs the appendage at its base!

The kraken looses a whistling, ear-splitting howl of surprised fury. The tentacle holding Ramona spasms and jerks, flinging the bounty-killer away to crash into another bulkhead. As 01 sinks, a clutch of the kraken's shorter feeding tentacles truss him up and shove him headfirst right into the beast's mouth! Its iron-hard chitinous beak snaps shut, crushing 01's torso with the force of a ravenous hydraulic press. Armor plate buckles and splits. Damage-control sensors wail their agonies into your central thoughtshard. Oil and lubricant cloud the churning water -- but the kraken's beak chips and shatters under the tremendous strain of cracking that ancient steel! It screams again -- this time with a raw edge of fear in its bestial voice -- and spits 01 right back out into the water. Your crushed form sinks slowly to the Rimewash's shallow seafloor, trailing a plume of dark liquid behind it...
01, you take ten seven damage. (Ignore the weirdness with what Orokos is reporting; the roll in the description is what I actually wanted it to do. Also tell us how (or if you even can) control your buoyancy when fully immersed in water. You're just too dense to swim like the softskins can.

In the galley, the beast's tentacles go absolutely bonkers, whipping and flailing everywhere, sending pots and pans and plates shattering all over the place. Ramona can't get off a good shot -- everything's moving too fast! Serenity dances aside from the first few tentacle swipes, weaving a web of bolstering magic with her steps and song -- and then the ship heels over even farther as the kraken, maddened by pain and frustration, hauls its entire bulk out of the water and starts trying to shove its beak through the porthole! Serenity and Ramona both stagger; a flailing tentacle smashes the elf aside and away. Stars erupt in your eyes as the back of your head slams against the corner of the doorframe, and your vision hazes with pain. Another tentacle wraps around the elf's legs and chest, squeezing with bone-crushing force...and as the ship teeters on the verge of capsizing, you both get a perfect view right down the kraken's gaping, shattered, blood-streaming maw. Charnel stink blows over you, mingled with the unmaskable scents of orcish cooking. It roars its hunger and pain, reaching out to devour you both...
Ouch. Serenity got hit drat hard as the price of her Aid and Arcane Art; she takes fourteen twelve! damage, counting the reverberation from her Arcane Art affecting the kraken too, and has a nasty concussion from smacking the back of her head into something hard. Ramona's luckier (and more heavily armored); she takes only eleven eight damage instead. Orokos clearly isn't too happy with my slowpostin' slowness.

...but finally, finally, Ramona has this monster right where she wants it. Nowhere to run, no way to miss, and an elvish song ringing in her mind, lending strength and steadiness to her limbs. Ears closed. Eyes away. FIRE IN THE HOLE!

A lance of pure kinetic force as thick around as Ramona's shoulders spears right down the kraken's vulnerable throat with a sound like an entire choir of angels blasting a half-second power chord in perfect harmony on their electric trumpets. The kraken doesn't get thrown back. It doesn't bellow in agony and flee for quieter waters. It simply comes apart. Detonates in a fifty-foot geyser of pinkish-white spray like you chucked a sack of hand grenades into its stomach. The Harpy almost rolls over and capsizes in the other direction, so great is the force of displaced water right next to its hull. Unmentionable rags of flesh and gristle patter gently into the sea and onto the Harpy's top deck. An anonymous mass of pulped meat drifts limply atop the waves, staining the ocean red.

Hardly ninety seconds have passed since the first sonar ping.



---


The ringing in everybody's ears slowly starts to subside. Jaime and Donnie burst into the room, weapons drawn. Jaime stumbles and almost falls all over himself as the ship bobbles in the blast's wake. "WHAT THE gently caress HAPPENED IN HERE?!" Donnie bellows. "Was that a KRAKEN?!" Jaime sputters. For the second time in as many weeks, your galley's been utterly trashed...and to make matters worse, the crew's once more bereft of a dedicated chef. Ramona's arm cannon sizzles and sparks, venting excess heat; the rectifier amp she liberated from 01's gun is blackened and smoldering. Total write-off. But you're all alive, the kraken's so thoroughly dead its parents probably suffered heart attacks too, and -- aside from one more broken porthole -- the Harpy's actually no worse off for what it just went through.
01's blaster now also needs repair; and it will no longer function until you can buy, beg, borrow, or steal some spare parts for it. The Raft may have what you need. Fortunately, the kraken didn't manage to open the freezer door, and you still have a hold fulla fish.

Now that the fight's over, Ramona's suit radio picks up a multitude of...are those cheers? They are. Cheers, whistling, catcalls and hooting -- it looks like your newest employees found the battle drat entertaining. Now that it's dark, you can see their pearly glow over the surface of the water, swirling like piranha over the spot where the kraken died...
The Black Gang have claimed the kraken's soul. Their cost has been met...for now.


---


Dark it may be, but nobody on board wants to stay cooped up in this cove a moment longer than necessary. A blast that loud is bound to draw attention, and there's only one way out...best get moving before something uglier comes to investigate. The rest of the night is spent in tense, cautious vigil as the Harpy creeps through the Rimewash's treacherous reefs under cover of darkness. It's desperately slow going -- Cap'n Price's charts of this place are up to date, thank Nashira and all her choir, but it's far too dark to spot the typical navigational landmarks. Instead you have to work by dead-reckoning and sextant, with spotlights above and below the waterline to be certain no secret reefs are waiting in your road. As the night wears on, you can faintly hear the steady chug of another ship's engines behind you in the far distance...

...but whether it's due to stealth and secrecy, lack of interest, or simple dumb luck, that other ship never picks up your trail. And as dawn breaks over the Rimewash, clear and open waters greet you once more. You've made it -- and now, barring another great misfortune or accident, it's only two day's easy sailing to the Raft, and from there...Aqualantis waits.

Hooray! Your Perilous Journey is over! Serenity, you can do up to three rolls for healing song along the way; but be advised that a failure when the singer's suffering from concussion, and probably a few cracked ribs or other bones, may have unpleasant consequences. You already Made Camp, and aren't making another camp along the way. If this seems too harsh, I'll be in IRC later and we can chat about it then.



ArkInBlack: we'll be getting to your introduction in the next post. I'll ask some questions in the OOC thread when I have time. Welcome aboard!

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

SERENITY
“Right! Ha!” the old Man said, and he ruffled your hair and gave you a hot mug of cider to sip. “Them as live below tired of that old saw longer ago’n you can imagine. O’ course the captain was agin’ it but we knew it ‘ad to be done. No man aboard was willin’ to wait for famine to come ‘n take us, not even if meant such a price as them ask for...” And he smiled with his thick-veined lips and went on telling his story, as the dusk deepened and Eihaix and Jaira and Xvedon rose out of the glittering of the festival fires…



What did you do?
- When you listened to his story, you rolled +WIS. It was such a beautiful night, and you tried real hard to stay awake til the moons were all the way out...
- When you told him that’s not how it went, you rolled +INT. You've heard this one before, but how did it really go?
- When you went to bed instead, you slept warm and soundly, curled up next to the bonfire all through that warm windy spring night: recover 4 HP but you miss the rest of the story.
- Or did you do something else?

Alumnus Post fucked around with this message at Apr 7, 2016 around 03:59

Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

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.

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Alumnus Post
Dec 29, 2009

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


Pillbug

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

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