Zg Session 02

Gerald comes back with not only Chief Assistant Inspector Delft, but Principal Minster Lee and a few members of the crew. The national anthem has finished playing a few minutes before they came back. As some of the crew heads towards the prisoners and bodies, a couple stop by to help heal your injuries.
Lee: "Constable Cooper tells me there was some kind of sabotage? And it was caused by Duchess Ethelyn? Can you elaborate, please?"
Phyllis: "An attempt at one, sir. We apprehended her accomplices aboard the ship - her maiden in waiting, some cooks, and some engineers."
Gerald‘ totally mentioned the Nothing Blew Up part, yeah! But missed the start so probably can’t fill in too many of the details.
Delft: "I wouldn't call the cooks 'apprehended'," he says as he points to the two corpses to the side. "But from Garret's wounds it's apparent that they were coming at you with deadly force. The others were arrested?"
Garrett: "I'm just glad they went for my foot and not my face."
Gerald: "Yup!"
Ernst glances at the cooks before frowning. "… at least I saved that engineer."
Chandrasekhar explains the situation along with Phyllis - they've got this part down to a science too, with practise, although he makes a point to comment on how well the rookies acquitted themselves given the situation.
Garrett: "The rest are wriggling in their binds below. We can put the screws to them at our leisure."
Garrett: "Probably an after-dessert action, right?" He gives a half-smile.
Phyllis: "The Duchess herself seems to have eluded us, though."
One of the crew comes up from below. "One of the engineers is still awake and talking, sir. Looks like they were going to overload the engine with firegems and use a ritual to make it burn even hotter."
Phyllis: "Using the anthem and the celebration above as a distraction, I take it."
Lee nods to the crewmember. "Thank you." Turning back to you, he asks, "and her handmaiden is the eladrin down below? That does seem rather damning. I'm sure you'll get more information from her later." Deflt nods at that. "Good work, all of you. I'll be heading back up now, but you should probably come as well once the Inspector finishes debriefing you. The King's speech will be starting shortly."
The minister heads back up to the main deck.
Delft: "Well, that was a job well done. We didn't even notice a thing until Gerald came to get me."
Garrett‘ winks.
Gerald` salutes. "Hopefully it makes up for not getting the Duchess to listen to the speech!"
Garrett: "You said not to disturb the nobles."
Chandrasekhar simply nods. "I’m glad we were in the right place at the right time."
Delft: "Ernst, I heard you kept watch on the engine room. Good thinking."
[OOC] Garrett: 'Despite aleith's best efforts'
[OOC] Aleith|DM: haha
Phyllis: "To be fair, if anyone needed watching, it was Delft who gave us a meaningful glance at the most likely to be disgruntled."
Ernst nods to Delft. "It was purely curiousity, but it worked out in the end."
Delft: "That was the Minister, actually, but I was thinking the same thing. Come on, let's go listen to the King and see what he has to say."
Gerald‘ heads on up!
Garrett` adjusts his makeshift bandages and hobbles upstairs.
Ernst seems somewhat reluctant but eventually follows after the others.
Phyllis: "Ah, well. Credit goes where it’s due." She follows behind.
Aleith|DM: On the main deck, the banquet is tapering off as people finish their desserts.
After a few minutes, the king calls for everyone's attention.
Chandrasekhar is -still- paranoid and looking around. After what already happened…
Ernst leans against a railing and listens in.
Gerald‘ still has guns, it’ll be okay Chan-chan!!
The king gives a five minute speech in which he recounts the trials Risur has faced to defend itself from Danor through four wars that ultimately earned either side little. For centuries, the king says, his people have viewed Danorans as cursed and unnatural, while they claim Risuri are superstitious and primitive. But ironically their latest efforts to arm for war have brought the two nations closer together, as Danorans have helped Risur with its industrial revolution.
The king hopes that his successor, whoever that may be, will not have to lose any more young men and women to another pointless war. And so, even though he first started this arms race, King Aodhan now intends to seek peace with his old, respected enemy, the sovereign of Danor. In one year's time he will convene a peace summit here in Flint, and to seal the proposed treaty he intends to marry a Danoran.
The applause is mixed, with many unsure how to react, some almost thinking this is a joke, while the rest are split between supportive and not.
Zane looks half-asleep leaning against the deck rail. Fucking fey lords and gient squids and fucking royalty.
Gerald‘ claps! They’re getting paid to clap right? Although it's a clap worthy notion anyway!
Chandrasekhar applauds like hell, for what it's worth - even though he's distracted and on watch, that was enough to snap his attention back. About -fucking- time!
Phyllis slowly raises an eyebrow while clapping, her mind paying more attention to the implications and ramifications this has than it is to the mechanical motion of clapping. Little wonder the Duchess acted so.
Ernst glances up at the crowd half interested if he has anything else to say.
Garrett‘ mulls this over. At least he’ll get to travel, probably. Haven't been to Danor before.
Zane applauds and chuckles. Yeah, thats going to lead to a first-class war at some point…
Gerald‘ then remembers he was supposed to be scanning the crowd for reactions! And does so.
Aodhan: "Furthermore, not to alarm you, but these fine Royal Homeland Constables," he gestures towards you, "managed to stop a sabotage attempt aboard the ship moments ago. The culprit behind this will be investigated and brought to justice."
Garrett` oh shit I gotta pay attention now. Stands straighter, hands behind back.
Gerald` waves! A little. Like, the normal amount. Not hamming it up.
Chandrasekhar looks fierce and bright-eyed. He’s good at doing that on command. The surprise he's feeling at the King making that public knowledge immediately doesn't reach his face for a split second!
Zane just gives the crowd a steely-eyed gaze. The guilty among them will be found and assas- incarcerated.
There's a bunch of inquisitive looks towards you and some scattered applause, though some are looking decidedly worried about further attempts.
Phyllis gives a strained smile, unsure whether to try and intimidate other would-be saboteurs or to just graciously accept the compliment.
Aleith|DM: The King closes out with some more remarks before heading towards you. Looks like there's going to be a fireworks display before the ship heads back to harbour.
Aleith|DM: The Minister falls in behind the King as he approaches you. The crowd has started standing and began mingling as the crew moves to clean up the banquet.
Ernst doesn't bother interacting with anyone unless they toss him a glance first. He's just quietly surveying the deck for the most part keeping half an eye on the king.
Zane isn't particularly good at keeping an eye out, but he's certainly trying.
Chandrasekhar bows as the king approaches.
Gerald‘ isn’t sure wether he's supposed to bow because it's royality, o salute because he's technically of Boss of Bosses, kinda winds up halfwya doing both…? It's awkward.
Zane nods respecctfully. "Your Majesty."
Aodhan: "I must thank you again for preventing a great tragedy on this ship. If you hadn't stopped them, we might never have known until the ship exploded beneath us."
Gerald: "Just doing our job! Although um."
Gerald: "(You break the news, Chandra!)"
Phyllis gives a similar nod. "Night's not over yet. Apologies if we seem a bit distracted."
Aodhan: "Lee has already informed me that it looks like my sister may have been involved."
Gerald: "Oh, okay."
Ernst nods. He doesn't say it, but his face screams 'damn right she is'.
Zane: "A gift for understatement."
Chandrasekhar looks grim but a little relieved that Lee already clued him in. "…there is little room for doubt."
Phyllis: "Whereabouts currently unknown."
Garrett: "She has absconded across the sea, so…"
[OOC] Zane: "Last seen fleeing with a fey lord on a giant squid. What is wrong with you people?"
Zane: "She'll stick her neck out again at some point."
Phyllis coughs, rephrasing: "… exact whereabouts."
Aodhan: "The Inspector will be sure to find out what can from the culprits here. Once we get back ashore we'll be sending messages to Shale and seeing what's happening there."
Zane: "Ah. Yes. About that."
Garrett‘ nods along. He’d buy the king a drink for comfort, but now's probably not the time.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: Drinks are free anyway, tonight
Chandrasekhar: "Her actions will cause ripples among adherents of the old ways. Some of them will disagree with her methods or her motivations. I will be sure to let Delft know anything I discover."
Zane gestures at the shortsword on his hip. "One of the conspirators is most undeniably dead. I will surender the murder weapon if needed, but make no apologies."
Garrett‘ gives Zane an odd, confused look.
Zane shrugs at Garrett. "I didnt have time to be gentle."
Chandrasekhar: "…Zane. They gave you no choice." He wonders if this is the first time Zane has had to kill in the line of duty - something tells him it isn’t, but still.
Garrett: "He already sung our praises, just feels weird to brag about it now."
Zane: "Formalities must be observed, and paperwork must be filed."
Gerald: "That wasn't bragging…"
The king nods to Chandrasekhar before turning to Zane. "Have no worries there. You had a ship full of people to save, and the rest were captured. The RHC occasionally has to kill in defence of themselves or others." He reaches his hand towards Zane. "Thank you again, mister…?"
Zane grasps the kings forearm, one warrior to another. "Zane Bieito, your majesty."
Aleith|DM: He nods, and then shakes the other's hands, asking for introductions.
Phyllis folds her arms, not looking pleased at Zane's actions. "I suppose it was justified. Still."
Garrett‘ gives Gerald a ’shit, I would' shrug and shakes the king's hand. "Garrett Woodson. An honor."
Gerald‘ looks unimpressed by Garrett’s flippancy. "Gerald Cooper, happy to be of assistance!"
Chandrasekhar: "It is… necessary, sometimes." He shares a Look with Phyllis - remembering the events of the first year they were both on the force, briefly - before shaking the king's hand. "Chandrasekhar Singh, at Risur's service."
Phyllis breaks her glance at Chandra and shakes the king's hand. "Phyllis Lenz. What he said."
The king makes some more small talk, asking about your families. He seems torn up about the fact that his own sister tried to kill him.
Gerald: "What uh"
Gerald: "What's her deal anyway? I thought she was next in line…? Seems like a weird time to uh, make a political statement via explosions."
Phyllis: "My brother and I have some disagreements, but none so harsh. Always just words. Maybe royalty's different. Or maybe scholars just fight with ideas instead."
Zane: "Yeah, usually they just take your stuff and lie to your parents about who broke that totem."
Garrett‘ tries to keep his past light and recent, ’connections made in risur' recent. He doesn't know how down the king is with bohemian forest circles.
Chandrasekhar always gets quiet whenever anyone asks about his family, but lends a sympathetic ear. "She has never been a fan of Risur's modernisation. For… reasons which I could respect even as I disagreed. But this…" He seems -personally- let down by her treason himself, although certainly not so much so as the King.
Aodhan: "I had been considering her for my successor, yes, though that ship has sailed. I know that saying she didn't agree with industrialization would be putting it mildly, but to go this far… We shall see how the investigation goes, both here and at Shale. At the very least, she'll be held for questioning." He frowns. "Provided she doesn't fight it. But enough of that. I bid you all a good night. I hope you can enjoy the rest of the cruise."
The king heads toward the crowd, the Minister nodding to you again before following.
Zane: "Have you considered *not* passing it to blood kin? Just putting that out there…"
Garrett‘ tries to not chuckle at ’that ship has sailed,' succeeds.
Ernst chuckles at Zane. "There are many that aren't fit to run in their parents stead, it's true."
Ernst: "Or relative in this case."
Zane gives a small shrug and grin. "You people also dont beat your criminals in public enough. But it is an interesting place, despite its faults."
Gerald‘ scratches at the back of his head.
Phyllis: "There’s no studied correlation between public floggings and crime incident."
Garrett: "Could write a grant proposal for it."
Zane: "You should visit Ber sometime, Phyllis. The food is amazing."
Aleith|DM: Soon enough, there's a fireworks display from some of the surrounding escort ships. Afterwards, the ships begin to head back to port.
Phyllis chuckles. "I'm sure it is."
Chandrasekhar: "To be fair, he's right about the food."
Phyllis: "If you'll excuse me, I've meant to flag down someone tonight once things settled down a bit." She takes her leave to go find the Governor and bring up the Dockers' concerns.
Governor Stanfield thanks you for your services tonight, and listens thoughtfully to the Dockers' concerns, and says he'll see what he can do for them.
Phyllis: "Please do. You may be able to prevent more tensions from bubbling over, as they almost did tonight."
Aleith|DM: Although it's late by the time you get back to port, no further incidents arise. And you still have to come into work the next morning.
Aleith|DM: The news the next morning does proclaim you all as heroes of the day, but there's always paperwork to fill out. And sadly, you aren't highly-ranked enough to be assigned anything critical to work on. Mostly, Delft has you following up on the work of other investigators, conducting low-level interviews, filling out paperwork for search warrents, and the like.
Chandrasekhar is fine not working on anything critical after a day like that, sheesh.
Gerald‘ signing off on incident reports like a boss.
Zane quietly turns that shortsword in and requisitions a new one.
Garrett` jabberjaws in interviews and questionings.
Phyllis handles paperwork. Years of scholarly pursuit has highly honed her efficiency in this regard.
Aleith|DM: After a couple of days, the whole story comes out from the culprits. Ethelyn worked with the Archfey Beshela to ensure the King wouldn’t be able to teleport off the ship (hence the indigestion), and to provide her escape. The saboteurs were to overload the engine and then Sokana would throw a rod with Affect Natural Fire into it to make it worse, after breaking the wards on the magazine. The explosion from the engine would then cause the firedust to explode, and the whole ship would blow apart.
Gerald‘ sure is glad that didn’t actually happen!!
Aleith|DM: By this point, some high-ranking supporters of the duchess are driven from their home and sent fleeing westward to Shale. The six of you are invited to interviews with a few reporters, gaining you some local celebrity, like free drinks at the bar for the next few nights, at least.
Zane would have regretted dying before he could murd- arrest her for her treachery.
Phyllis sighs as she looks over the details. Her analysis: 'we got lucky.'
Gerald‘ free drinks.
Zane is not above leveraging his new-found celebrity to hijak one of those nice conveniently-abandoned estates. >_>
Ernst is always willing to go for free drinks. Free anything is pretty amazing honestly.
Aleith|DM: Not quite that popular, Zane.
Garrett` will see if he can’t smooth things over with the few guys he cuffed before they got into the plaza proper.
[OOC] Zane: man how are we supposed to have out own secret HQ if I cant get a mansion with a batcave >:|
Aleith|DM: A week after the Coaltongue's launch, during the afternoon, one of your coworkers, Dima, stops by the office you're working in. Knocking on the door, he tells you that Delft wants to see in his office.
Chandrasekhar knows who he could talk to to get free drinks anyways basically, but hey, making the RHC more popular with the populace is always a good thing.
Zane adjusts his collar and brushes a hand over his cloak, then goes to see the boss.
Garrett‘ ’hups' up from his desk, thanking Dima on the way out.
Phyllis stops scribbling midsentence, losing her train of thought at Dima's interruption. As she tries to recall what she was going to write next, she chalks it up as a loss and nods at Dima before going to see Delft. May as well.
Assistant Inspector Delft is not alone in his office. He asks you sit, then introduces you to the 'Minister of Outsiders' from Danor, Lya Jierre. She's dressed in a rich formal coat of red and purple, which is tailored to give her a lot of freedom of movement—fancy looking yet suited for a sword fight.
And indeed she has a sword at her hip; it looks like a rapier, but has some tiny mechanical device attached at the guard. The sheath is thicker than one would expect for a rapier.
She direct your attention to a strange collection of items on Delft's desk.
There are three ivory 'towers,' each three inches tall with a steel plate on its base. Next are three stone rings—one red, one green, and one blue—each just slightly larger in diameter than the towers. Each ring has three strands of thread clipped to it, and each of the nine strands ends in a small silvery magnet, which can stick to the bases of the towers.
Lya: "The three towers are about to be attacked. They must be reinforced by magic that flows like water from three portals - fire mana is red, earth is green, water is blue. The wires are canals through which the mana flows. But if the mana streams cross, they’ll destroy their respective portals. How do you arrange the portals, towers, and streams of mana so that each tower gets all three types of magic, without any of the streams crossing?"
Chandrasekhar glances at Phyllis apologetically. Used to be, he'd position his desk in front of Phyllis' so he could politely challenge (or sanction) people before they got that far, but everything got moved around since then, so…
[OOC] Aleith|DM: you may now direct your view to the table for this
Zane looks at the towers. "I let Singh handle it and go fight the attacking armies champion as a diversion."
Gerald: "Uhh… is this like, a test?"
Aleith|DM: She merely raises an eyebrow at Zane.
Zane shrugs. "I know my strengths. magic isnt on the list. So I buy time for those better suited."
Chandrasekhar lets out a soft chuckle, but he's mostly busy concentrating. He's… easily nerdsniped.
Garrett‘ furrows his brow. Isn’t there a bar game that's like this? He thinks…
Gerald: "You said we can move stuff…?"
Phyllis: "Couldn't you just … have a center tower with all three portals on different floors?"
Garrett: "Stack them, really."
Phyllis nods at Garrett. Great minds think alike.
Chandrasekhar: "Tch…"
Gerald‘ glances at the others, shrugs, leans over the table. Stacks all three towers on top of one another, then rings the tower stack with the three portals, and connects the 9 strings from either side.
Lya chuckles. "Well, it’s good to see you're smart enough to change the rules of the test. Otherwise, yes, it's impossible."
Gerald: "So uhh…"
Lya starts putting the pieces away as Delft starts explaining. "Looks like the expected civil war as the Duchess tries to resist arrest isn't materializing. Instead, the duchess and some of her allies have seized a single island in the Yerasol Archipelago, known as Axis Island. Probably because magnets spin on their axis there. The Danorans conquered it in the last war seven years ago."
Chandrasekhar nods in satisfaction, a faint smile on his face, listens.
Gerald: "I guess that's a good place to go if you're afraid of technology, yeah."
Lya: "Theres a Danoran mining project on Axis Island, as well as advanced steelworks, a shipyard, and a costal military fort. This is a key military holding, and the duchess's attack might be seen by Danor as an act of war."
Phyllis: "I'll take it as a useful reminder as a rhetoric device, and … not an actual test of our intelligence, I hope."
Gerald: "Oh. I guess it's not a good place to go, then."
Garrett: "Provided they survive."
Gerald: "Although if she's a criminal here, how could it be an act of war…?"
Gerald‘ glances over at Phyllis
Zane: "As opposed to an invading force of RHC, which is definitely a peacekeeping mission."
Lya: "She’s still Risuri."
Chandrasekhar doesn't say 'Danor has gone to war over less' in deference to the ~delicate diplomatic situation~.
Lya: "I want those people off the island soon, because I agree with the King's recently-announced desire for peace, and I don't want to risk congress having enough time to start another war."
Lya: "Unfortunately, I'm not authorized to command Danoran forces, and even if I could, a Danoran counter-attack might result in the accidental death of the King's sister."
Zane resists the urge to say 'What do you mean 'those people'?'
Lya: "So I'm bending the rules a bit."
Lya: "I want Risuri forces to remove the Duchess, and to hand control back over within the next three days, and the King has graciously agreed."
Chandrasekhar does sort of just do a thing with his eyebrows at Gerald though. "It's Risur's problem, and our responsibility."
Gerald: "Oh, okay."
Phyllis: "So the intent is to bring her back alive?"
Aleith|DM: Delft nods. "A fleet of Risuri ships with marines on board are preparing to assault the island in a few days. You are to set out this evening, taking the Constabulary's fastest ship, the RNS Impossible, to meet up with the fleet."
Zane: "… Can… can we not go in with a very big and loud military force at our backs?"
Zane: "I mean, in theory."
Garrett: "I thought our purpose was going to be the quick, silent type, yeah."
Delft: "Other investigators will take point, and the military will handle the heavy lifting, but you were the last ones to interact with the Duchess's forces. You might spot something others might miss."
Delft holds up a hand. "I'm getting there."
Garrett‘ scrunches up his lips and nods, waiting.
Delft: "Simply landing at some secluded beach is infeasible, because spells at the Axis Fort will alert the duchess if anyone sets foot on the island."
Lya: "I have a work-around, however."
Lya: "The Impossible will rendezvous with the naval armada, where it will pick up a group of infiltration specialists from the Slate RHC office. While the
Aleith|DM: navy waits out of sight, the Impossible will enter a cove under the cover of darkness. "
Lya: "A sea cave in that cove leads to the bottom of a mine. I knows its location, but not the layout of the mine. With the aid of a Water Breathing ritual, the infiltrators will go in first to secure the cave, and then you will be given the signal to follow."
Lya: "The island’s fortress has a sea wall around a harbor, which protects against storms and assault, but provides access for shipments in and out. The infiltrators are tasked with opening the fortress’s sea gate so the armada can storm the fortress more easily. The military will capture the duchess, who will likely be holed up in a keep in the center of the fortress."
Delft: "Once the dust settles, you will be on the scene to look for clues and interrogate the duchess and her associates."
Delft: "At least, that’s the plan. You're the backup for the infiltrators. You'll all be supplied with mission-critical resources, and once you're on the island there won't be any help until they open the sea gate for the navy. If you get caught up in conflict with either the Danorans or the Duchess's forces, you have permission to fight back, but try to take prisoners if feasible."
Zane: "Gold gets you copper whatever that giant seabeast was is holed up by the fortress sea gate."
Delft: "We certainly hope not. But there will be quite a number of cannons if that turns out to be the case. But I'll leave that to the navy."
Zane: "I just want to make sure people are expecting it. Because I dont think Singh can swim in that."
Zane: "So I'd rather leave it to someone else."
Chandrasekhar: "Almost certainly. Also, I do not require a missive from allies at the Court to tell me that island is a giant pile of… /mohya/."
Chandrasekhar: "So, take… proper precautions."
Garrett‘ snorts a little.
Lya: "Yes, the island is certainly….strange. I’ve only been there for a few days and only in the fortress, but strange magical things are known to happen on the island."
Garrett: "When do we leave?"
Chandrasekhar: "Compasses: useful for more than just telling you which way is north."
Lya: "There are two additional demands from Danor and myself, however. As I said earlier, Risur must hand control of the island back to Danor three sunsets from now. Second, as a personal request, I want you to ensure the saftey of my cousin, Nathan. I'm worried the Duchess may have harmed him just because he's a tiefling. He was just a teenager during the last war, so he should bear no punishment for whatever grudges the Duchess holds. If he's still alive, I ask you to please keep him safe until my people can pick him up and bring him home."
Gerald: "Okay!"
Delft: "This evening. You have a few hours to prepare."
Garrett: "Miner, shiphand, tinman, soldier…?"
Garrett: "Just asking so I know sort of who to look out for."
Lya: "Scientist."
Garrett‘ nods.
Chandrasekhar nods as well.
Lya: "Any further questions?"
Garrett: "About how far is the cove from the fortress?"
Garrett: "We don’t know how lengthy the mines are, but some idea of distance would help a little."
Zane ponders. "I am assuming the islands wierd magnetic thing doesnt interfere with regular steel weapons and armor?"
[OOC] Zane: Because I dont want to make the paladin wear cloth and get in the back row with a bow…
[OOC] Chandrasekhar: loool
Ernst: "I was wondering the same thing given some of my tricks."
Lya: "The island's magnetic fluctations don't affect metal generally."
[OOC] Aleith|DM: http://i.imgur.com/ahOrBL4.jpg
Lya pulls out a map. "The sea cave should exit at this mine here," she says, pointing to C. "After that, the fortress should be about a mile from the mine entrance."
Garrett: "Is there any part in the fort we should -not- search."
Zane: "… Are we sure she'll be in the fortress?" He taps a finger on the 'Ruined Temple' marker.
Chandrasekhar glances over the map briefly. "To which spirits were that temple raised? It may be relevant."
Garrett‘ somewhat apologetically, but mostly concerned, gives Lya a stare at this one.
Lya: "I’m sure the Duchess's forces have thoroughly looted the place by now, so don't concern yourself with that too much. There's a section of the wall on the south end of it that a Passwall ritual should be easier to use at-some of the opaline wasn't scattered correctly after it was built, after the fact."
Chandrasekhar: "Any defenses we ought to be aware of?"
Lya: "The temple and some other spots are some sites of archeological investigations. Most anything the Duchess would have been looking for would be in the fortress."
Lya: "If you do decide to go looking, please try not to damage anything of historical value."
Garrett‘ makes a note to swing by requisitions after this.
Lya glances at the clock in the room. "Delft can tell you about the defences. I must be going-more meetings to go to."
Zane shrugs. "I’m just covering bases."
Ernst: "We can always ask if anyone has seen recent activity at the fortress when we hit the village on the way."
After Lya departs, Delft speaks up again. "I've got a hunch there's more going on here than what the Danorans are saying, and I'm probably not the only one in the room."
Zane: "I'm sure I dont know what you mean, sir."
Delft gives Zane a flat look.
Chandrasekhar lets out another soft little chuckle.
Chandrasekhar: "Eyes and ears, ser."
Delft: "There might be Danorans or some of the Duchess's soldiers in the village, so it'd probably be best to just go over the mountains if you don't mind a bit of climbing. Otherwise, watch out for patrols if you go along the roads instead."
Zane: "I have complete trust in Danoras newfound spirit of friendship and cooperation."
Phyllis: "Prefaced with a puzzle that all but screams 'think laterally.' Sounds perfectly straightforward to me."
Delft: "It might just be that the island was one of the nearest Danoran military installations in the archipelago, but keep an eye out for anything unusual."
Ernst: "Guess we'll have to see what state we're in by the time we leave the mine. We may have to risk a village."
Garrett: "Yeah I don't know what the tower thing was all about."
Garrett: "Did you sign off on that?"
Delft: "It was her idea of a test, yes. She wanted to see if you'd at least figure out if it was impossible without bending the rules."
Gerald: "What a weird lady."
Garrett: "Mm."
Delft: "A little too roundabout if you ask me, but…" He shrugs. "What do I know?"
Chandrasekhar: "Useful information. About her, that is."
Aleith|DM: Zane, make a History check
Zane rolled d20+5 and got 12 ( Total: 17 )
Phyllis: "I'm curious what affect the abnormal magnetism has on magic, if any. Not that I'd expect a Danorian to know offhand."
Delft looks at Garret. "If the Duchess doesn't surrender, it'll be up to you to seek answers as to whether the Duchess has any other secret accomplices, or if there was some ulterior motive for her attacking that particular island."
Zane drums his fingers on the desk for a minute, lost in thought. And then suddenly stops. "Wait. Lya… Jierre?"
Gerald: "Only one way to find out!"
Phyllis: "Can't be too bad, given that Ethelyn and her allies would most likely use such defenses."
Garrett‘ nods. "Let’s hope she doesn't get the idea to bite her tongue off…"
Chandrasekhar: "Like I said. Giant pile of mohya. I have never heard about that island being… important, but-" -and he headtilts at Zane.
Delft: "As far as I know, magic should work fine there. The fortress has some considerable defences, but it's already been overrun once and is being manned by a smaller force, so security will at least be lighter than previously. As Lya mentioned, there's a route for you and the infiltrators to get in."
Zane: "I've read her paper. She's… something else."
Phyllis raises her eyebrows in amusement. "Oh? She has some history in polyhistor circles?"
Garrett: "How close did we just come to crazy?"
Zane: "Mm. 'Field Study of Melee Effectiveness and Foe Debilitation through Focused Limb Severance Techniques Contrasted with Mainstream Opportunistic Technique'. There were brawls in the library stacks."
Gerald: "Wow that is way too long of a title."
Zane handwobbles at Garrett.
Garrett: "I see."
Delft hands you a list. "Here's the mission-critical supplies you can requisition from the armoury. There's also a 728 gold stipend for each of you to use for the mission." The list includes 2 sunrods for each of you, four ritual scrolls of Water Breathing, four of Pyrotechnics, two of Silence, two of Passwall, and enough ritual components for all of them (2,380 gp worth).
Phyllis: "Please. It's short and to the point."
Delft: "Anything from those supplies you don't use will be handed back after the mission is over."
Zane grins at Gerald. "That's nothing, man. Believe me, that is the essence of brevity compared to some of the works I've read."
Gerald: "Heeeeey cool I can get that speedloading enchantment now."
Gerald‘ blinks at Zane. "Man your schools sounds a LOT more snobby than the one I went to. Uh. Wait what’s the nice word for snobby. Academic!"
Phyllis flips through the scrolls, taking a quick assessment. "… can we exchange some of these scrolls pre-emptively? I've already memorized one, and we could use more water breathing."
Chandrasekhar raises an eyebrow at the title, then cracks a smile at Gerald's reactions. Supplies seem good…
Garrett: "Right. I'll just pick up one or two more things, then."
Zane laughs. "Yeah. It was good times."
Gerald‘ slips out to go FILE SOME PAPERWORK, yeah!
[OOC] Phyllis: that is: I already have Silence memorized, any chance we can ask for something else or no dice
Delft: "That’s all we have on hand for the water breathing scrolls, unfortunately. You might be able to exchange the Silence scrolls for something else at that level, but otherwise they only take half the time to cast."
Phyllis: "Mm. You have a point."
Delft: "Well, you have your orders. Get ready to move out by 18:00. The Impossible will be waiting at the Royal Shipyard."
Chandrasekhar nods crisply.
Ernst nods before getting out of his seat.
Garrett‘ gives a salute and turns to leave.
Zane: "Yes, sir."
That evening, the Impossible—a 220-ft. long clipper—leaves Flint’s harbor and turns west. The captain, Rutger Smith, recalls you from the events aboard the Coaltongue, congratulating you again on a job well done.
During the brief but intense voyage, you get to experience the captain's unorthodox tradition of discussing philosophy with his crew during meals. There's some discussion over the pros and cons of the duchess's actions, but the crew all of them insist they’re firmly loyal to the king.
Aided by a skyseer to keep the course at night and a druid to guide the wind, the Impossible sails the five hundred miles to Axis Island in just under two days, arriving before sunset the day of the first-quarter moon.
The other four infiltrators arrived earlier in the day from Slate, and take a rowboat from their ship to the Impossible, and make quick introductions before getting down to planning.
The infiltrators number four: Tanya, a half-elf shaman with a hound spirit companion; Letmas, a human illusionist; Seven-Foot Dan, a towering human veteran of the Fourth Yerasol War carrying a spiked chain; and Burton, a goblin rogue with a full surgical kit.
[OOC] Zane: this other shadowrunner team is pretty baller…
The plan is that evening the ship will hoist black sails and reach the cove around 9pm, at low tide. Once they arrive at the sea cave entrance, Letmas will perform two Water Breathing rituals so that the infiltrators and your group can breathe underwater for an hour or so. The infiltrators will then take a 500-ft. length of rope, dive underwater, and swim to the sea cave. There’s supposedly a 200-ft. stretch of submerged cave before an opening with fresh air at the bottom of a mine.
Once there, they’ll secure the location, and signal back—by using an Animal Messenger ritual, by sending Burton back, or by just tugging
Aleith|DM: really hard. You will then follow the rope to link up with them. Sunrods will let everyone see underwater.
Together, the two groups will make their way to the mine’s exit (marked as Mine C on the island map), which should be on a low mountain facing an island valley. They’ll then cross over the north shore of the island and descend to the back of the fortress. They’ll use Passwall to breach the fortress, and then the infiltrators will try to open the sea gate. Once it’s open, they’ll use Pyrotechnics to send a signal flare up to alert the navy.
Meanwhile you will hole up and wait for the military to arrive. Once the fleet is signaled, it will take about ten minutes for them to strike. They’ll be able to sail directly into the interior harbor of the fortress, and they outnumber the duchess’s forces about 5 to 1, so victory should be a foregone conclusion.
Once the dust settles, they’ll bring you in to handle Nathan Jierre and to pore through whatever evidence the duchess and her allies may have left behind. If needed, however, the infiltrators or military may ask you for help.
Chandrasekhar approves of the infiltration team. Too bad they're all probably doomed.
Gerald‘ is suddenly REALLY HYPE for this mission as the details are gone over.
Garrett` gladhands with this other group, getting notes on their next of kin.
After midnight, the Impossible hoists the black sails and gets underway. A few hours later, the ship weighs anchor by the sea cave. A couple of Water Breathing rituals are cast, one from your supply and the other from theirs. The first-quarter moon hangs overhead as the infiltrators dive overboard and swim for the sea cave, trailing a rope behind them.
Ernst: "So. Do you do things on this scale often?"
Phyllis: "Ernst. Would you like some water?"
Gerald` is pratically dancing in place. Only not really. But he’s still pretty visible excited.
Phyllis: "You seem thirsty."
Burton: "I once had to camp out in a Danoran latrine for three hours to get a shot at the commander of an enemy company. It's all in a day's work." There's a reason he wears an amulet that constantly cleans him as per Prestidigitation now.
Chandrasekhar waits. Pointedly avoids commenting on the bad feeling he has about this. Has a mild coughing fit that absolutely isn't concealed laughter.
Garrett‘ openly laughs.
Ernst glances at Phyllis before shrugging. "Uh… sure?"
Gerald: "Wooow."
Zane: "And what a shot it was."
Aleith|DM: The infiltrators salute you at the underwater entrance before they swim inwards while you wait there.
Aleith|DM: From the briefing they figured it’d be at least five minutes or so before they'd reach the cave and secure it, but it's only two minutes before a strange vibrartion wave ripples the water around you, and the rope goes slack. A few minutes later, the rope starts to jerk fitfully.
Zane: "Oh boy…"
Phyllis: "That bodes poorly."
Garrett: "Hopefully they caught a big one and not the other way around."
Zane: "Copper gets you gold…"
Gerald: "Uh… should we pull them up?"
Garrett: "Yeah, fool's bet."
Zane starts following the rope.
Garrett: "We're next, Gerald."
Ernst: "… guess I should be grateful we weren't going first."
Gerald: "I guess that works too?" He seems less sure and enthused now. And follows after Zane.
Phyllis: "Yes. That was the plan."
Chandrasekhar: "Here goes nothing. Hang in there, Gerald." Time to regret having a high AC!
Phyllis: "Or at least the agreed-upon method of sending the message."
Aleith|DM: I'm assuming at least one of you has lit their sunrod. Probably no need for all 6
[OOC] Garrett: yes
Zane has low-light vision, somebody else can hold the giant glowstick
[OOC] Garrett: 123 not it
Phyllis alternately makes Chandra a [Light], using the cantrip.
Aleith|DM: As you follow the rope, after a couple minutes you see a part of the tunnel has caved in, the rope leading to the goblin Burton, who's leg is pinned under the rock. There's no sign of the others aside from some of the spiked chain sticking out from one of the rocks.
Gerald‘ frowns, goes to push the rock off of him.
Zane goes to help.
Chandrasekhar also helps, navigating a bit awkwardly.
Aleith|DM: It’s really heavy. More of a boulder, even with the water helping you. Might take more than two of you.
Garrett‘ gives a fourth set of hands.
Ernst scratches his head and lets them move the rock.
Aleith|DM: Ernst, even with the four of them, they’re having trouble lifting it: you could probably pull the goblin out though and take a look at his leg.
Ernst nods and does just that.
Phyllis helps where she can. A [Mage Hand] helps too.
Aleith|DM: Burton is babbling about swamps and yellow frogs and a purple sky, and begging you to cut off his leg and get him out of here before sharks eat him.
Aleith|DM: With all of you helping, you manage to get him out from under the rocks
Aleith|DM: Heal check, Ernst?
Ernst rolled d20+7 and got 5 ( Total: 12.0 )
Gerald‘ is uh. Gunna keep an ee our for sharks.
Aleith|DM: Well, you manage to bandage up his leg and brace it, but he’s not going to be able to walk on it.
Gerald: "I don't suppose there's any hope for the others…?"
Ernst: "So uh… sharks?"
Chandrasekhar: "…hallucinations. And a collapsing tunnel."
Phyllis: About how long would it be to walk him back to safety, assuming just normal load?
Phyllis: "No idea if they're only visions of ruins, or true memories."
Aleith|DM: Burton seems a bit more coherent now, at least. "We were swimming down the tunnel, when all of a sudden it felt like I was in a swamp. There were some yellow frogs, the sky looked purple-and then we were back, except the ceiling was falling on us."
Chandrasekhar: "Possibly a trap they triggered, possibly an effect of the demesne."
Burton: "I tried calling for the others but none of 'em have said anything…" he says forlornly.
Garrett: "/Mohya/ indeed."
Chandrasekhar nods.
Gerald‘ frowns. "Tough break."
Burton: "And, uh…" He looks at his leg. "I can probably make it back to the ship, but I don’t think I can continue the mission like this. I'd only slow you down. Otherwise I can wait in the mine until the mission's over, and you can come back for me then."
Burton: "Either way, you'll have to go on and open the gate for the navy."
Zane: "Ship. Not leaving you in a cave that might go hostile."
Gerald: "Yeah, probably shouldn't leave you here alone."
Chandrasekhar nods.
Aleith|DM: Are you swimming back with him, or letting him make his way back?
Ernst chuckles. "Looks like we're going to get a nice stipend for saving the day. Again. I'd suggest someone takes him back, though."
Phyllis: "I can take him and double back."
[OOC] Garrett: half and half, half escort half poke around for any… bodies?
Phyllis: "Just don't die while I'm gone." She nods at Chandra, expecting him to keep a sharp eye out for any illusions.
[OOC] Zane: I'd say two escorts and the rest clearing rocks.
Chandrasekhar: "I'll do my best."
Garrett: "Right, I'll give you a hand."
Garrett: "Anyone else want to look around for…" He gives a half-hearted handwave. "…yeah."
Phyllis: " - maybe keep an eye out for Letmas, too. Seems we might have a traitor in the midst."
Garrett: "Be right back."
Gerald: "I'll take point then, the sooner I'm out of water the more useful I'll be." Gerald starts moving again,.
Burton: "What? No! Letmas would never do something like this!"
Zane nods at Phyllis. He wasnt' gonna say it in front of the goblin, but yeah.
Zane: "Hope you're right."
Aleith|DM: Okay. Half of you spend the next little bit checking the rocks, but they're very heavy. You make some headway but only manage to find Dan's arm at the end of his chain about 15 minutes later when Phyllis and Garrett get back after taking Burton back to the Impossible. There's still a bit over half an hour before your Water Breathing runs out, but it shouldn't take you too long to get to the cave.
Phyllis: "My apologies. But it won't do to relax our guard just yet."
Phyllis: "One must have a plan for every possibility, every contingency."
Ernst: "Should we carry on? We're bound to drown if we stick around too long."
Zane: "Yeah. We gotta press on."
Garrett: "Of course."
Garrett: "We're the vanguard now."
[OOC] Garrett: "Enough agents die and we become the senior officers."
[OOC] Zane: Aw yeah field promotions
Garrett‘ continues along carrying the end of the rope.
Aleith|DM: You come to the end of the cave. The water at low tide ranges from 10 feet deep to just a few inches. Wooden platforms anchored to the walls form a makeshift dock and stairs, which lead up to a 30-ft. wide tunnel that intersects horizontally with this chamber 35 ft. above the water line.
Aleith|DM: A 20-ft. diameter pillar of dull gray stone rises from the water line to the ceiling. A dramatic splinter of white marble extrudes from the gray stone, 5 ft. wide and rising 17 ft. above the water. Ages of surf have eroded its surface, but in places one can still find hints of ancient pictogram carvings. It looks like once the splinter was part of a longer column, but something snapped free its top. The missing section of pillar is nowhere to be found.
Aleith|DM: In a tiny nook carved into the tip of the marble splinter sits an oversized gold coin. About three inches across, it has primitive designs of birds, clouds, and dots that might represent stars.
Zane rolled d20+0 and got 17 ( Total: 17 )
Gerald` rolled d20+8 and got 2 ( Total: 10 )
Garrett` rolled 1d20+6 and got 4 ( Total: 10 ) for perception!
Zane looks around the chamber while everybody else is scoping that coin…
Chandrasekhar rolled d20+2 and got 8 ( Total: 10 )
Phyllis tries to recall something about the Fey and the Skyseers here. A constellation, perhaps? [Nature]
Phyllis rolled d20+7 and got 17 ( Total: 24.0 )
Ernst chews at his lip as he looks around. [Perception]
Aleith|DM: Phyllis: You recognizes the constellation of The Eagle on the coin, which is said to hold great influence over the planet Avilona, which affects weather and air magic.
Ernst rolled d20+7 and got 7 ( Total: 14.0 )
Aleith|DM: As far as you can tell, the mine is empty aside from you.
Garrett: "Well, the mine seems empty, aside from us."
Garrett: "Let’s keep moving, then."
Phyllis: "To give you an idea, that coin probably represents what this ruin was dedicated to. The constellation of the Eagle, associated with the planet and planes of weather and air. Useful for a defense against incoming naval forces."
Gerald: "Should we move it so it doesn't work, then?"
Zane: "Works for me."
Chandrasekhar: "Mmm. Disrupting the ruin might well be more hazardous than anything else, but."
Garrett: "I'll let someone else touch it."
Gerald‘ glances between Phyllis and Ernst. They’re certainly not paying Gerald to know about magic.
Phyllis: "Hmm. There's no indication the coin has anything to do with it."
Chandrasekhar: "Let's just continue on, then."
Gerald: "Okay."
Phyllis: Or at least, would an [Arcana] check confirm or deny that notion?
Aleith|DM: You can roll it at least
Phyllis rolled d20+9 and got 17 ( Total: 26.0 )
Aleith|DM: It doesn't seem like it would have any adverse affect if it was removed
Phyllis studies it a little more and nods. "Any power, if any, would come from the stars - not from a trinket like this."
Gerald: "Good to know!"
Aleith|DM: It does seem magical though
Garrett` continues along the east side of this cove.
Aleith|DM: As you guys step forward, a shadow seems to detach from the wall, striking at Chandrasekhar, as a figure steps forward from the tunnel and fires at Zane! [Surprise Round!]
Aleith|DM: To Be Continued…

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