Nov 212010

So a little hiatus, now over. It appears that there won’t be a Dresden files or Legends of Anglerre in the near term. So to fill some space while I work on this little issue.

Behold issue 8. In this episode:

MM = Michael Mason
UJ=Union Jane
CN=Commander North (NPC)

MM had a ship built (which he named Red Rose). The engineer (who made and sold the ship to MM) is Captain North. His pilot and constant compaion is Ticonderoga Rex (“Ty,” a 220-lb giant beaver, because why not?). MM was accompanied in the ship by the Avian princess Avcoria, who’s in love with him. UJ has bonded with the worm ship, & her passengers included Jessie, Joe Longshanks & Noh Avcor (the Avian captain of the guard). In flying the ship, some bio-appendage-thingy inserted itself into UJ’s back. (It eventually disconnected, but it was fairly gross.) CN explained to MM how he found Ty frozen in a block of ice in the Yukon & how they fought & couldn’t defeat each other so they decided to be allies. MM who now is a gunmaker, gunfighter, head of a gun company & has his own handmade pistol called the Ebony Flame, which is partly made of an alien material found in a meteorite & was especially good for slaying demons. Which MM had recently discovered that he was actually a hereditary demon slayer. (This player would eventually adopt every comic book character as he saw their movies. batman and Ironman had just come out, i think) was very interested in CN’s fusion gun, but alas, one has to be a Mad Scientist to use & make it. (Because when toying with fusion one must be MAD!).
At the start of adventure the party was heading to Stratospheria, the homeworld of the serpent people, a set of amber spheres. [note: Stratospheria is inside Hearthspace, along with Ava (the avian planet). Hearthspace is a giant sphere with air inside it.) Noh, who was trusted by the serpent people, was there to advise. He said that we had to talk to the serpent king about Dr Jin’s attack from Episode 7. We flew over to Stratospheria, but we weren’t allowed to land. The Serpent People didn’t want a worm ship near them. Instead they sent out 3 people (one was called the Emissary, another was the king’s daughter Envidris & her bodyguard Tephyria [OOC: sister of the glorious Tephys!]) on dragon creatures to meet with us. We docked our ships & met them in the Red Rose. They said we came at a bad time because the king was sick. We weren’t convincing them of our good intentions until UJ asked if they’d heard of Dr J, at which Envidris looked amused and the other two were taken aback. We told them we were after Dr J, and they eventually decided to let us meet the king. They allowed only MM, UJ, Avcoria & Noh to go. Noh apparently remained with the king [see below]. (They forgot about him after they headed off for the catacombs,) [also see below]. We rode off on dragonback & got attacked by razorwings like the ones in Episode 7. Eventually one retreated & the rest were killed. MM noticed during the fight that there was a little floating orb thing with a demonic aura that seemed to have something to do with the razorwings. He shot at it; eventually it went away (super guns do not compensate for poor dice rolls.). There were a lot of warriors protecting the king, but it seemed that there were also a lot missing; there were spaces in their ranks. The king was a small, old, hurt serpent guy in a bed. He told us Jin attacked him and his guards, and stole his scepter, which is the only key to Stratospheria’s catacombs. UJ asked if he’d be all right. He said he was going to be reborn in a new body (earlier Noh mentioned that death isn’t the same for serpent people as for humans & Avians.) The king dispatched Envidris and the royal huntsman Telys (who had a cool black-horned bow) to accompany us to the catacombs. Telys had been there before, but people avoided the place as a rule. We flew over on dragons. Telys knew of a secret entrance to the sphere containing the catacombs, which also housed a prison. The dragons had a perch outside the entrance. We entered a jungle that was silent except for ambient animal sounds. The prisoners were regressed serpent people who had mentally and physically devolved into wild reptoids. We had to look out for them, because they were dangerous and hunted in packs. We walked for a long time without incident, then MM detected a humanoid figure following us in the trees. Telys was worried because the prisoners normally fought in packs andif we were going to be attacked, we should have been attacked by then. MM shot at him, missed, then the creature ran and MM shot at him again and knocked him over. He turned out to be a prisoner, an 8-ft-tall heavily armored (as opposed to finely scaled like the normal serpent people) serpent guy. It turned out that this guy was intelligent and could understand us. MM convinced him to tell us what he was up to. He said (in crude English) that he was following us because he saw that we were going towards the catacombs and he wanted to kill us because “two moons ago” a guy matching Jin’s description and some minions attacked him and his pack mates killing them. ┬áHe wanted revenge. MM convinced him to help us, and he came along. UJ introduced herself and asked his name, which translated as something like “Stalker Who Kills Big Things”-So we decided to call him Stalker for short. Telys said he seemed to be un-regressing. We pressed on and eventually found the site of the battle Stalker referred to. There were 2 cairns where he had buried his packmates. It had been a 3-on-3 fight and only S & J had survived, so we surmised that S was a bad-ass, and we were glad to have him on our side. T healed his gunshot injury. Stalker called the catacombs a “bad place.” We entered and the place was heavily furnished with serpent people bones. MM expressed surprise, and T explained that because of the fact that the serpent people have a ritual that transfers their consciousnesses into new, vat-grown bodies, they didn’t place an immense significance on remains, since technically serpent people don’t die. In rare circumstances it’s possible for one of them to die (for example, Sethys, a statue of whom J had stolen in the last adventure.) We had to go down a steep stairway with no railing that had some steps that we found out would unexpectedly retract out from under you. (I love that old trick.) We managed not to fall, but at the bottom we found the corpses of those who apparently had fallen. There were regressed lizardman corpses, but there were also (at least) the fresh corpse of a regular lizard guy & 6 corpses that looked exactly like Jin. MM said he was “dumbfounded” by that last part. Eventually E revealed that she had a map, so we could follow her. (Isn’t that convenient? Suckers.) MM noticed that she was noting fresh carve marks on the walls. It was as if someone put them there to guide her, but I didn’t get it. MM got suspicious and wanted to see the map. She wouldn’t let him, but eventually handed it over. While we were looking at it we got attacked by 8 or so couch-sized bladed-limbed insects who hacked UJ good because only MM noticed beforehand that they were coming (off the ceiling, I believe.) After a nasty fight where it was discovered that the creatures could produce at will a blinding glow so intense that it could make you see your bones thru your skin, we killed them all. Oh yeah, near/at the beginning it turned out that E had summoned the creatures, and MM shot her and nearly took off one of her legs. At the end of the fight she was trying to get away. MM threatened her, getting her to stop and tell what she was up to. She said she was a clone of the actual Envidris, who was being held captive by J, & that she was a servant of his and meant to lead us to him. She mentioned that if she failed, J would “turn her off.” MM managed to convince her that she didn’t have to be “turned off” & that she could live a free life if she helped us (lucky luck roll that.). She agreed. She told us a word in Chinese (an approximation of which sounded kind of like a surprised cat & cracked MM up) that would get the insects to stop attacking. She said she’d wait for us in the main chamber; if we succeeded she’d come with us and if we failed she’d detonate bombs in the tunnels to trap J. We entered the place where Jin was working. He had a black octagonal object in one hand and was standing near a mummy (presumably Sethys.) He had with him some avian people, some reptile people,some of the big insects and 40 more duplicates of himself. Also the real E was there, inside a cage that was hanging by a chain over a noxious-smelling pit. She looked sick from the fumes. The chain’s other end was attached to a huge dinosaur that was straining to hold it up. Jin tried to get us to join him, saying he needed good lieutenants and we could rule parts of Earth with him, although we’d owe him allegiance. He also threatened to kill the princess if we didn’t comply. After MM said he’d be crazy to turn that down, he did, and shot the octagon out of J’s hand, causing Jin to scramble for it. His minions headed for us. MM managed to grab the octagon (which was the Fist of the Heavens that had belonged to Sethys.) Jin pulled out a chainsaw and said he’d cut the chain of the princess’ cage if MM didn’t give him the Fist (Spirit of the Century for the win! I wish I could convey the look of disbelief on MM’s face when Jin whiped out his chainsaw). UJ had Stalker throw her at Jin, and she knocked J over. MM then threw the Fist into the pit. Stunningly, J jumped in after it. Turned out he had a sort of jetpack with wings. MM shot one of the wings off, causing J to fall and get melted or something, leaving only bones. But not before Jin pulled out a device, pointed it at MM and clicked a button on it (this turned out to be bombs to destroy the catacombs; see below). The dinosaur was thoroughly spooked, but UJ managed to calm it down (with Survival skill roll of ++++) She climbed on it and shimmied along the chain to see how to open the cage, since about now some dull explosions started sounding and we thought it would be a good idea to leave. The cage door was secured with a bent bar of metal. MM had the idea for UJ to make the cage swing away from the pit so he could shoot the chain. He did it, but I rolled really badly & UJ ended up (somehow, I don’t remember exactly) dangling inside the pit while holding on to the remains of the chain that were still secured to the dinosaur. The dinosaur bolted, pulling her out. She used the word to stop the insects, and they stopped their attack. (Which was really funny because they had completly forgotten they could call off some of the beasts until that moment.) The clones thought it would be best to leave, I think after MM Rapported them into joining us, or at least into not caring about killing us anymore. Everyone except for maybe the insects escaped the blowing up of the catacombs. Oh yes, I forgot that all through the adventure MM had bottomless champagne that Avcoria was helping him drink and serve (he had the Aspect “Never spills his drink”) He had earlier caused I think the Emissary to regard us more favorably by giving him champagne. UJ had an entire bottle and more; at one point saying, “If I’m going to die, I might as well die drunk.” T said something like “I guess we’re not going to be burying people there anymore.” Back at the king’s residence, the king had acquired his new, young body. Stalker got robes and was accepted into normal serpent people society, because he was unregressing back to being civilized, so to speak. The king banished the clone Envidris to live with the avians, saying he already had one daughter who was trouble. The Jin clones decided to accept MM’s offer of having them work for him as gunsmiths (Hahaha Sucker.), on account of they’d only been alive for a month & needed time to “grow.” , MM married Avcoria and agreed to foster the young prince. (Ever had a player so smitten with an NPC that he married them? Until now, me neither.) Captain Noh, Ty, Jessie & Joe were okay while they’d had to stay in the ship[s], although Captain Noh was disappointed to miss the fighting.

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