Cz 17

JayM: Okay let's start this
Contact Zero - Mission 17: Path of Diplomacy
You have had a day to recover, both you and Shilleka, who still haven't quite recovered but right now it's mostly the shock that is wearing out, she seems to be physically well. You've noticed that since early in the day, Kalis had been with the doctor, however
The day has, however, mostly been quiet… Which means something is bound to happen soon, if things are in fact fated to repeat
And truly, something does in fact happen. You get a call from the White Fire, it's urgent. It is probably best to pick it up in the briefing room
Lynne immediately heads there, hopefully not waiting long for the others to arrive to answer.
Hauser arrives, standing near the back, stalwart.
On the call is Kalros, who seems worried. As he makes the call on the bridge you see it behind him, the entire bridge seems to have changed, from the previously rather craped array of sensors and consoles which obscured most of the view, it has been changed into a wider configuration, less people, everyone in plain sight of the command desk, most heavy-duty consoles seem to be gone "There
JayM: you are, this time we got a problem that need solving, and somewhat fast "
Fortunata is scrambling to the briefing room. The conflict was bound to start boiling over again, but did it do so now?
Kalros: "We've been running some analysis while we have time and, well, it wasn't even nescessary, we already knew we can't hold a candle to the Ilirian forces even with the guild we brought in, however"
Hauser: "No. They came expecting a war, after all."
Kalros: "We found a small weakness in their offense. They're set for a prolonged siege, which means almost exclusively energy weapons, only a few of their fighters have solid rounds. And we can easily convert out radiation shields to very powerful beam shields. That'd still be too much fire, however, but we have a perfect way of culling offense."
Kalros: "Ilirian ships don't handle planetside gravity well at all, they're full of water, you see"
Kalros: "So… We're going to bring the White Fire into the planet's atmosphere. However… That is, well… Technically, that is invasion"
Hauser smiles. "No technically about it."
Kalros: "So we're going to need you to make some friends and get us permission to hang around in the sky, and fast. And i'm not kidding when I say we've finished converting to battleship form, so be sure to take that into account"
Hauser disengages her gauntlet and reaches out of it to stroke her chin in exasperation. Sshh-pop.
Hauser: "No kidding."
Hauser: "Whose permission are we getting? We're two steps short of a light-dark war anyway."
Kalros: "Hrm…"
At this point someone else walks into view range, Julius, the tempestarian seafarer in the science team. He exchanges words with Kalros, but they're too far from the mic. Kalros nods "Well, this is bad"
Kalros: "Was really waiting on confirmation on this but it seems like the Ilirians do already have an embassador darkside"
Kalros: "Guess we're definitely not getting anything on that front"
Lynne: "They were hardly hospitable to us the last time we were there. It would make sense."
Hauser: "Do we know anything about the ambassador?"
Kalros crosses his arms to think, Julius waves at him and they change places in the mic "Julius here"
Hauser: "We read you."
Julius: "I've been looking over some data…" he sounds, not unsure but hesitant "And… The embassador appears to be a Seafarer like me, some of the records from your time darkside seem to indicate you had direct contact with him, you are unlikely to have noticed but Raziel's medical records match some… Side-effects"
Hauser: "…Great."
Julius: "I presume this man is a capable mage as well, given what little we've learned of darkside culture, according to your friend Gigio, he may have impressed them reasonably with his skills and gained influence in such a way"
Hauser: "Okay, pin him up on your board and label him enemy number one."
Hauser: "Start with a photo, we'll get the body later." She paces a circle, clanking.
Julius: "… He… Appears to have more than one objective but we cannot ascertain as to all of them. Him and General Arshkarth both are leading this force"
Hauser: "It's bad and big and mystic, i'm sure. But if we want to make any progress with the Dark Kingdom…"
Hauser: "We're going to need to crack his credibility."
Julius: "Yes. Right now we don't know what he did or does to acquire the credibility he has, however, and that would be primary intel for that case. Once we've secured a defensible position we will be able to start intelligence operations"
Hauser rolls her shoulders. "Yeah. Yeah, I know. What's in front of us?"
Julius: "What we know of their current operation and objectives is that they mean to acquire allies knowledgeable in ethereal science. Ilirians have been known to attempt to conscript Seafarers for a long time for that objective but to little success. The current ground situation appears to be… Simple, in a way. The Ilirians seem to be supplementing the darksiders with their forces, gear
JayM: and equipment for… Whatever internal reasons he might require such "
Julian: "There has been a great amount of movement of resources planetside, not so much forces, but mostly weaponry and some trade goods"
Hauser: "As I'd expect. They're arms dealing to get a favorable regime in."
Julius: "Which is why i'd appreciate if we could avoid that as soon as possible. However we can scarce maintain our presence here at the moment. I know you are avert to a proxy war, and we are in fact working to ensure it moves from that terrain soon as possible, however, it might not be as soon as you wish"
Julius: "But it still beats the alternative"
Hauser nods. "Well, I am here for security, after all."
At that Kalros interjects, getting a little bit too close to Julius to acquire mic coverage "So you better get moving. We don't have any real plan on how you can get us permission to to stay in the air there, so you'll have to figure it out. Meanwhile if you can get some degree of insight on the workings of the state there and maybe some influence it would help. Do try not to make any
JayM: outrageous promise, however, nor you know, try to scam them or something. I know you won't but I have to say that
Hauser fits her hand back into her gauntlet and limbers back up. "Yeah, I know the deal."
And with that, the call comes to an end, all that is left now is… Having an idea. Somewhere during the briefing Raf has made his way in
Lynne: "If I had to guess, the best place to start might be our own local ruler here. What was his name… Heat… no, Sunwave, right?"
Lynne: "If it's outside his jurisdiction, perhaps he could point us up the chain."
Raf: "Sunwave, yes. Guess that's a good start"
Raf: "From what I gather he just presides over this town, but if someone can guide us it's hum"
Hauser: "Yeah. Probably gonna have to go up the chain a few steps."
Hauser: "…I mean, we tell them we're bringing a battleship to their doorstep, and I'm sure they won't mind if our enemies are backing theirs, but…"
Hauser exhales a huff of air, trailing off.
Raf: "I guess at this point we better appeal to our only source right now…" he pulls out his comm driver, taps away at it for a moment "Hrm… That sensor suite you installed a while ago is still working strong, been gathering data from it since them. Shows Sunwave is still in town, he should probably be in the town hall right now"
Lynne: "Shall we be off then? To town hall."
Hauser: "Right. Company out."
It takes longer to get from the headquarters to the town than it takes to find the town hall. Now that you come to think of it, it is the first time you actually meet Sunwave in his actual office, before you have ever met him outside. The town hall itself is a simple-looking building from the outside, although constructred of fine stone, well polished and you can scarcely see where the
JayM: blocks join.
Hauser heads on in.
Entry in the town hall is not the simplest thing, first you must submit yourselves to a moment under libra-type magic to ensure your identity and theoretically you'd have to also submit your weapons in entry. Given, you've become quite known already, so even if you wish to take your things with yourself as you come in it should not be a problem
Hauser hands her gun in, but keeps her sword.
Lynne drops her sword off at the door.
After that it's… A matter of scheduling a meeting with Sunwave, which would require you to first go through the secretary, who is what seems like a middle-aged cherub, busily handling a variety of sheets of paper with her magic because she lacks enough hands
Hauser: "We're looking for permission to bring a ship in."
The secretary looks up for a moment, nods "A ship of- Wait. We're not even close to the coast. Is this some sort of joke?"
Hauser: "Nope."
Secretary: "Than could you perhaps explain it further to me? I am certain someone here can be of help, and I could direct you, as long as I know what you actually want"
Secretary: "We don't quite have a port authority here"
Hauser: "We have a winged battleship. We'd like to moor it in the air above your city."
She has what can be called 'a reaction' "Are you really serious? A winged battleship?"
Secretary: "Listen I know you're good people but enough is enough, if you will continue with this jest"
Secretary: "I will have to ask you to leave"
Hauser: "It's a magic, ceremony thing. It's-"
Hauser: "…Anyway. We need a permit."
Secretary: "Listen-" she sighs "Listen i'm tired of this. I'll bring this up with master Sunwave, this isn't in the rules and he handles any exceptions. If, if he believes your wild tale he might want to talk to you, so wait here"
Hauser: "Appreciate it. We'll sit tight."
She goes back to Sunwave's office. Takes her a while, eventually she comes out "He will speak to you" she says, waving you in the office
Hauser nods appraisingly to the secretary as she moves into the office.
The office is… Quite different from what you are used to, though most offices of important people have a few paperbacks mostly for show, you can see that both the right and left walls are bookshelves, full of books and scrolls, all showing signs of constant use. There is a table near the door wherein many scrolls are rolled up in two different neat piles, in the center of the room is
JayM: a large table made of something organic and jet-black… Seems like wood, though a kind you've yet to see elsewhere, there are two chairs in front of it.
Hauser walks up to one of the chairs, leaning against its back.
Hauser: "So, we have to talk to you about flying ships."
Although something in this room makes you feel… A little out of place. The entire room feels like it's far too spacious, and there is far too much space between furniture, like something expanded it, though you suppose it's simply the placement of material. Across the table is Sunwave, who sits with an imposing stance, he smiles when he sees you and with a wave the door behind you closes
JayM: "Ah, a good day, I say. However, yes, flying ships, no, flying battleships. I know you are far from the most common people here, and I am not going to discard what you say at first glance but, that is rather outrageous. I'd rather have, however, the full story"
Hauser: "So, you know about the two groups of foreigners that came to your land - us, who seem to have thrown in with the Light, and the Illirians, who've been providing weapons to the Dark."
Sunwave: "Weapons? Hrm…" he puts his chin over his hands with his elbows on the desk, an universal motion "That would explain a few things i've heard"
Hauser: "We got here on flying ships, and we've been warring above the clouds. More fortress-kingdom than mere craft, we seek permission to move our bastion down closer to the earth."
Sunwave: "We have heard of darkside suddenly growing strangely agressive- Wha- My, that must be a sight to behold…"
Hauser: "The Illirians have more ships than our one, as they came expecting to bring war, but the gravity of this world would rip them to shreds if they got cocky."
Hauser: "Essentially, we're a foreign force seeking shelter on your shores. Just…"
Hauser: "Well, you haven't thought of yourself as shores until now."
Sunwave: "You've shown me nothing but reason to expect that to be true against my best reasoning, however"
Hauser: "The bad news is… wherever in the world we moor ourselves, the Illirians will bring war against."
Sunwave: "I don't think the matter of a foreign force seeking shelter, bringing along what is, from your description, the single most powerful ship we ever saw, is something I can draw judgement on…"
Hauser: "No, we need to go higher."
Hauser: "And they have an ambassador we suspect to be stationed high in the Dark courts."
Hauser: "…As for their motives, I suspect they seek the whole and sum of the energies of both your peoples, and the crystals which are your legacy."
Sunwave: "Energies?"
Hauser shrugs. "I don't rightly know. But there's something alive in the earth here and your bloodlines, and I think they want to weaponize it."
Hauser: "Call it a bad feeling or clumsy poetry."
He gently rubs a finger against the central gem of his crown, an act of annoyance it seems "This all of a sudden… Well. You are trustworthy enough, even if your tale is… Hard to believe. I will try and intervene for an audience with Emperor Sunrise… But that could take upwards of a month with the most valorous of our heroes requesting something truly earthly, to get to him with your
JayM: tale as-is will take… Even more "
Sunwave: "Hrm… There's that though…"
Hauser: "But here's what I know for sure: If we and the Dark don't cast the Illirians out, we will see war between Light and Dark that will ruin the land and snuff out stars."
Hauser: "There's a trick to speedy audience, isn't there?"
Sunwave: "Well, perhaps not so much an audience, but certainly having his ear for a time"
Sunwave: "How adverse are you to playing peon on political machinations? Place yourselves in the right place and will you have his ear, with some hard work, but certainly far less time and it'd take me to do it"
Hauser frowns. "Lay it on me."
Sunwave: "And… That is the worst part. I'm not privy to it at all aside from rumors. Emperor Sunrise is currently… Well, his position is precarious, having not produced a heir of royal blood they are… Questioning his purity. There is some rumors going that the nobles will end up requiring him to show he is truly the chosen king by wielding his Divine Blade in some form. And there
JayM: has been… An adjuticator going around inquiring about clansmen "
Sunwave: "Easy to guess they want to set up a sparring session and expect the Emperor to lose, they know he wouldn't dare truly wield the Divine Blade dangerous as it is… It is a big setup, really."
Hauser: "…What makes someone an heir of royal blood?"
Sunwave: "Ah, you know, a lightbearer like me"
Hauser: "…Yeah, of course."
Hauser: "So they want to bring a duel against him that's just a little above what he's expecting-"
Hauser: "So he won't wield the blade, and he'll go down. They're planning a coup like that."
Sunwave: "I hear that of his three children, one was a lysmaker of great skill and one, who is now the head of the royal knights, an erynies of particular passion, although his youngest child is yet to go through his coming of age"
[OOC] JayM: What
[OOC] JayM: Oh god it ate my text I thought I had actually double-posted
Sunwave: "That said, the Adjuticator that's been prowling around here is… Bloodsun, old academy partner of mine and the Queen's personal lapdog, though I am more than aware he is deeply loyal to the king for things in the past, duties aside"
Hauser: "Well, if he's loyal, then why's he trying to scare up a clan?"
Sunwave: "If I remember well you've had dealings with him in the past. I hope you left him in good favor? That could be your ticket into this mess in a perhaps favorable manner"
Sunwave: "I wouldn't know, actually"
Lynne nods. "That's a familiar name."
Hauser: "Favorable…"
Hauser: "…ish."
Sunwave: "Hrm… Good enough. I will have you wait until the sun has reached the horizon, I will set some bait and he will find you. Be sure to spend some time in the Convalescence pub just in the same street as the Mausoleum… I know it's an odd place but that's part of the point"
Hauser: "Roger roger."
And thus you set off… It is in fact such a strange pub, because it's where people go to drink their sadness away. It's quite the somber place, perhaps to good reason it's named Convalescence. You are there a little early, for whatever reason, and you find there Bloodsun, although not perhaps in the highest of spirits he is certainly far more shades of sober than he was last time you've
JayM: met. He drinks calmly from a large mug while staring at a letter
Hauser nods to him, taking a seat adjacent.
He nods back at Hauser, pocketing the letter, which seems to be very, very old "So it was you that old mite scooped out"
Bloodsun: "Can't doubt your power. Definitely know you're good trackers. Will take the proper job for the right money, I hope."
Bloodsun: "How adverse are you to a rather large and confusing job requiring considerable acting skills?"
Hauser: "We're no strangers to adversity, that's for sure."
Hauser: "Lay it on us."
Fortunata cracks a gin.
[OOC] Fortunata: grin*
[OOC] Fortunata: appropriate typo though
Bloodsun: "Hrm… The first step, is having you pose as warriors willing to betray the Emperor and aid in a coup. You need to be pretty convincing, be apathic mercenaries really."
Bloodsun: "After that I will need you to double-cross those who hired you in first place, and that is the most complicated part. You will have to perform the most exquisite form of combat dance you can think, because we need not an overwhelming victory but a sufficiently close call, all without undue harm."
Hauser: "…Great."
Bloodsun: "I'm fairly sure that Sunwave already told you what the deal is. I don't plan to find someone who will do the job, I need to find someone who will lose gracefully enough even if the Emperor is wielding a fake"
Hauser: "Yeah, we're who you want."
Bloodsun: "Good. There will be some prepworked required. I'm going to need to take you to the capital, there, we need to earn the trust of those who actually asked me to betray Leik- aaah" he just cuts himself short there "The Emperor" he corrects himself "They'll want some proof of your deeds, some hands-on trial. Thankfully I got something actually bloody useful on the line already"
Bloodsun: "Then you'll have to give it time until the stage is set and, once it's done, you'll have to perform. That said, name your price"
Hauser: "This isn't something being done for a reward. We're preventing all out war, here."
Bloodsun: "Now that is news"
Bloodsun: "Don't think a little group like this can help much against the darkside new allies, however"
Hauser: "Nope. But we need to ask the Emperor for permission in a certain… delicate matter of diplomacy."
Hauser: "Troop passage, basically. And a good place to be stationed."
Bloodsun: "… What are you people?"
Bloodsun: "Well, no matter, not paid enough to worry about that"
Bloodsun: "(Not paid enough to do my own duty either but that's a personal problem)"
Hauser: "Foreigners."
Bloodsun: "I will arrange you to travel for the capital. Be sure to pack your most impressive skills and arsenal and prepare to improvise an act. Also ready yourselves for some undead, there'll be a bit of that involved but i'll explain on the trip"
Hauser: "We need to move our ship in to safer mooring, as the Dark's new friends are giving us battle."
Hauser: "We'll be ready."
Hauser: "Where will we be meeting you?"
He raises an eyebrow at you "Good. North exit of town"
Lynne leans back to poke her head behind Hauser's imposing frame positioned between herself and Bloodsun, "If you want to hear the long version of the story, I'll have to buy you a drink once the work is done to update you." before leaning back at a normal posture.
Hauser: "Roger roger."
Bloodsun stands up, stretching his wings, you hear two loud snaps "I might not want to hear it, looks like far more than I want to worry about"
Hauser: "You know it. Company out."
Bloodsun: "Until the morrow, then"
Lynne grins. "To be quite serious, that is a good answer."
And that is that, a glorious return home after a mission finished without any problem, what is that madness? Once you are finally home, you start readying yourselves for the trip… A special treat awaits you before the end of the day, Kalis has whipped up a mysterious black honey cake as a parting gift. A thing of wonderful taste, the perfect end for such a mission
Session End!
JayM: I know the session was a little short. And not a lot of action, but this is definitely what I wanted to run, thanks for being around. This was the perfect session from a selfish GM
Fortunata: s'cool!
Fortunata: it's a setup session!
Julian: As a gift for that have a [Black Honey Biscuit] x2. A delicacy made of the mysterious black honey, eating one of those charges you up with spell power, granting +25% to your next action if it is a spell

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