Zg Session 24

Aleith|DM: It's the evening of Autumn 9th. You've recently gathered back up after finding the dead body of Cauis Bergeron in his room at the Silver Swan in the North Shore district.
Garrett: "Damn," he hisses, crouching to inspect the body. "Missed 'em by just enough."
Zane leans back in his chair and puts his feet up on the nearest table. "Well, that's less than helpful."
Gerald: "Oh right you're on a pretty short timer for dead guys,:
Phyllis: "Not without the right magic. I don't have it in my tomes, but if HQ has a scroll handy…"
Ernst shakes his head. "If there weren't restrictions we would likely see some layoffs on the force."
Phyllis raises an eyebrow at Garrett. "Still. Your natural talent is impressive."
Garrett: "Even more so when the dead stick around." He stands, and after a beat he nods in acknowledgement to Phyllis. "'preciate it."
Zane rubs his hands over his face and starts absently tossing a dagger as he thinks. "Alright, so. All signs indicate that Xambria has been brainjacked by something from Apet. This also seems to be the thing that Voice of Rot wants us to kill. They were seen arguing downstairs in the common room, she said something about a 'star map'. The Apet trail I was chasing ran down to the docks.
Zane So we can reasonably assume Xambria killed Caius and is headed to the water temple. But what the hell was she doing at Saxby's house? "
Chandrasekhar: "Also, anyone have any bright ideas why someone would be cutting peoples' brains out?"
Garrett‘ shakes his head. "And from what we saw, at least, it was a real in-and-out kind of deal."
Ernst shrugs. "Experiments, obviously. Can’t think of anything else that would be plausible."
Zane shakes his head. "I thought it might have been some sort of mummification-style exacerbation at first, but the wound is all wrong."
Gerald‘ tilts his head back at Ernst. "Wouldn’t you want the thing whole if that was the case? Thing got pulled out from this little hole." Gestures towards it.
Zane: "I have a theory, but it is both grasping at straws and more than a little gross."
Chandrasekhar: "Well, now you just have my attention, Mr. Bietto."
Zane: "Ever drink coconut milk, Singh?"
Zane: "You punch a hole in the coconut husk," he points at the skull. "Stick a straw in," he points at the hole in the roof of the mouth. "And enjoy."
Phyllis: "But with brain, not coconut."
Garrett: "Still awfully deliberate though, innit?"
Zane: "Apet stuff is sensitive to thoughts, right? That's why we can think them solid and stuff. But that's all been small fry. What if the big fish needs brains to keep itself here?"
Gerald: "Hmm."
Zane: "That would explain why people started getting their brains removed about the time Xambria came back from the dig."
Gerald: "So… like, brainpires?"
Zane: "Yeah basically, a brainpire."
Garrett: "That's what, 5 brains lost? 6?"
Gerald: "As good as any other theory I guess."
Zane: "Shit, I wish I had thought to hav Xambrias dead colleagues examined. Its possible she isn't brainjacked, it could just be tracking her."
Chandrasekhar stares at Zane, impressed. "Six, now, I think."
Zane: "Either way, it has a head start."
Garrett: "Hah!"
Gerald: "I get it."
Garrett: "I get it."
Zane: "of course you do."
Phyllis: "Going after brains is a very … literal, brute force way to defend against thoughtform attacks, I suppose. The connection hadn't occurred to me. Good work, Zane."
Gerald: "So what now, follow what the boat she left in?"
Chandrasekhar looks like he's trying excruciatingly hard not to laugh.
Garrett: "That's the size of it, but I think we already know where it's going."
Zane: "I asked around at the port earlier, didn't get much. Now that I know who I am actually looking for, we might get better results."
Phyllis: "We don't know who exactly is on the boat. Xambria, Finona and her crew, or all of the above."
Gerald: "Well I mean…"
Gerald: "There can't be a lot of Apet trails over the ocean, right?"
Zane: "I don't want to follow its trail. I want to get there ahead of it. And with a full days head start that is going to be damn near impossible."
Aleith|DM: Zane: There were actually at least a couple of other ones leading from the docks, but they were a lot fainter.
Phyllis: "True. But habeas corpus. Until the evidence is witnessed, it's all up in the air."
Zane: "Also there actually were a couple of weaker trails, but I'm not worried about hunting them down."
Gerald: "Then…?"
Phyllis: "We make preparations and set sail, I suppose."
Zane: "Time to talk to Delft, we're chasing a murder suspect to Ber."
Gerald: "Works for me."
Garrett: "Find your sea legs, everyone."
Zane: "At least this time we don't have to stop someone from assassinating the king."
Phyllis sees about requisitioning a couple of scrolls: [Speak with Dead] and [Hunter's Blessing]. That is, once they're back in Central for the night.
Aleith|DM: Scrolls aren't that bad to requisition, so they pull them out of storage after several minutes of rummaging while you fill out the forms.
Aleith|DM: Autumn 10th
Gerald‘ goes to double check that their boat has some weapon outfitted to it, and if not, goes about filling out whatever paperwork he needs to.
Aleith|DM: It’ll cost 1,000 gp to have a couple of light cannons fitted to the bow. Should be fitted by morning.
Phyllis taps one of the scrolls on Garrett's chest. "Still curious what Caius had to say?"
Garrett: "Am I ever."
Phyllis: "Quick stop in the morning before we depart?"
Garrett: "Bright and early."
Aleith|DM: Well, he'll be in the RHC morgue anyway by morning.
Aleith|DM: easy to check that before talking to Delft anyway.
Phyllis: So speaking with the dead before even stopping by Delft, you're saying?
Aleith|DM: before or after, up to you
Aleith|DM: You tend to get there early anyway
[OOC] Garrett: unless we think we'll learn something else from delft beforehand, might as well talk to the dead first
Phyllis meets up with Garrett by the morgue and nods upon seeing him. "Like I said. Bright and early."
Phyllis: "Like you said."
Garrett: "Too early?" He smirks.
Garrett: "Anyhow let's make with it."
Phyllis: "I'm fine."
Phyllis fiddles with the scroll for a bit. "Find him while I … make heads and tails of this."
Aleith|DM: Alright. It's easy to file the paperwork to get this setup, and they point you to the right locker for Cauis' corpse.
Aleith|DM: Religion check?
Phyllis frowns and flips the scroll the other way. "Okay. It might be a little too early."
Phyllis rolled d20+12 and got 11 ( Total: 23.0 )
Aleith|DM: 2 questions.
[OOC] Phyllis: http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compendium/ritual.aspx?id=59 if you want the fine print of what it knows
Aleith|DM: Still have it open from earlier today.
[OOC] Phyllis: But also for Hachi!
Garrett: "Ugh. This is a little different from speaking to the spirit."
Aleith|DM: It's true, she's basically asking the corpse-the spirit still isn't there.
Phyllis: "Best we've got. You're more trained in the Q&A section, though, so I'll leave it to you, boss."
Garrett‘ clears his throat. "Mornin’, Mr. Bergeron. Who killed you?"
Cauis: "I was asleep when it attacked. All of a sudden there was a sharp stab in my mind, and while I was still reeling, there was some pain in my mouth, unbearable pain after that, then nothing. Something not quite human floated out through the wall after that. I've never seen or read about anything like it."
Zane: "Nailed it."
Phyllis: "Well then."
Zane: "Ask 'im what he and Xambria were arguing about."
Phyllis: "You can ask what he knew in life, too, at least."
Phyllis nods, apparently along similar lines of thought as Zane.
Zane: "Or why he was unearthing all these temples. Either one suits me."
Garrett: "Ahahaha, well then. Sorry your last waking conversation was a rocky one. What were you arguing with Dr. Meredith Xambria about?"
Cauis: "About what happened to the star map at the dig. She said she didn't remember finding one, but it had been sent to Macbannin before that disaster at his manor."
Phyllis: "So either she's telling the truth and someone at the dig aside from Caius was in good with MacBannin, or she's the one lying. … or the dead aren't compelled to speak the truth, but I haven't studied this domain as much."
Chandrasekhar: "Hmm."
Zane: "Hm. Moot point until we see if the brain-eater is inside her or not, table it for now."
Garrett: "Dead don't typically lie, unless they're mad at you, and then it's generally just a raspberry from beyond the grave."
Chandrasekhar: "True enough; I suppose we'll find out who and what we're up against provided we make it to that temple in time."
Garrett: "Only other way he'd lie is if he was in the dark and just didn't know something."
Phyllis nods at Garrett.
Phyllis: "Well, shall we see how the installation is going?"
Phyllis: "OR. Delft."
Phyllis: "Coffee, then Delft."
Zane nods at Singh and Phyllis. "Delft. At the very least we can make this official."
Garrett‘ attends to coffee, then Delft.
Delft: "So, the sponsor’s dead at the hands of our mysterious serial killer. Find out anything else while you were out and about, constables?"
Gerald‘ spreads his arms wide. "Brainpire."
Phyllis: "Apet-mutated creature. Or person."
Chandrasekhar: "Either there was a mole at the dig site, or Xambria’s lying to everybody. Which doesn't give us that much new information, really."
Garrett: "Yeah, serial killer is likely extraplanar and gives not a shit about typical golden countermeasures."
Phyllis: "Just walks straight through walls. Not technically teleportation."
Delft: "So it eats their…brains? Lovely thought."
Chandrasekhar: "Also, some moron is trying to get Rock Rackus killed. Don't ask, try to guard him once you let him out. Let him know."
Zane ticks his fingers. "Xambria seems to have gone missing. Serial killer confirmed to be a brain-eating monster, probably of Apet origin. Heavy trail of Apet energy down to the port, and apparently a side-trip to Saxby's house, where there was a possible robbery. Connection unknown."
Gerald: "Oh! Right, Rock's legit."
Zane: "Also yeah, Rock Rackus is guilty of involuntary manslaughter while attempting to come to the defense of the helpless at the fair. Fine him, let him out."
Delft looks at Chandrasekhar. "Don't want to give up your source? Alright, we'll have him watched. I'm sure a bodyguard or two would go to his head anyway, so he probably won't mind that. We can spin it as part of his sentencing."
Delft: "That thing's been to the Lady Inspector's place? And you're not sure why?"
Chandrasekhar: "Just whispers, really. Anything happened to him and parts of the city would go up like a match. Frankly a little worrisome but maybe we can spin it into getting some peoples' grievances addressed. Too much extraplanar mohya in the air right now for me to cover that beat."
Gerald: "I woulda asked but I was busy finding dead people instead."
Garrett: "It's not like we were going to B&E her place, boss."
Delft: "No, no, she'd have your heads if she found out. And probably mine."
Zane: "Something's been there. No guarantees it was the same thing. Something is up though, her staff have been ordered to keep it on the hush like nothing happened."
Delft: "What's your next step, then?"
Phyllis: "Phasing was probably the same method of entry that Kaja's killer used, but the method itself is a different MO."
Zane nods at Phyllis. "I hadn't even thought of that."
Gerald: "I imagine someone breaking into the chief inspector's home would prrrrobably be kinda embarrassing for her at least, but."
Garrett: "We're taking the bronze beauty out for an excursion."
Zane: "Officially in pursuit of a murder suspect, who we believe is headed to Ber."
Delft: "Only tangentially-related to your original case, but good enough for me to sign off on it officially. The Central Police have been trying to find that serial killer for weeks, and I'm sure they'll appreciate it if you catch them."
Phyllis: "Might be an excursion to Crisillyir in the works later, if necessary. But that's not the current trail our quarry is taking."
Zane: "Mmm, cheese."
Delft: "I'll keep that in mind."
Garrett: "Layers upon layers. That's what this is all building up towards."
Delft: "We can have your ship stocked up for a longer voyage within a few hours. That location in Ber would probably take…." He thinks a bit, counting out some things on his fingers. "Probably a week if it's to that ziggurat. A bit longer if you need to head to the actual capital."
Zane: "Bill it as 'to the capital', please."
Delft: "If you're not in a huge rush, we can arrange some soldiers to go with you."
Zane: "We'd like to go today. The trial is already getting cold."
Ernst: "The cannons are ready, yeah?"
Gerald: "Should be soon, at least."
Delft: "Alright, no escort. You've got enough people to man a Steam Cutter. Do you want some crew to help out, or just yourselves? The cannons should be good by the time the provisions are loaded."
Gerald: "Uh probably, I'm not driving that thing solo for over a week."
Ernst: "You drive ships? Huh."
Phyllis: "Some additional hands would be good, at least."
Gerald: "Well I don't really sail steamboats, per se."
Delft: "Okay, we'll swing four crew members for you during the provisioning to bring you up to the full complement."
Garrett‘ nods along.
Delft: "Is there anything else? Otherwise you can start getting prepared for your ’business trip'."
Zane: "Nothing on my end of things."
Ernst shakes his head before walking off to go pack.
Garrett: "That's about it, really. Looks like we only had a two-day layover."
Chandrasekhar: "Could have been worse. I imagine our boat will be faster."
Zane: "It's no Audacious, but it will have to suffice."
Phyllis glances upwards, thinking to herself.
Chandrasekhar: "Yes?"
Chandrasekhar knows Phyllis will start thinking out loud eventually, is just trying to jump start the process. (Or annoy Phyllis. It's unclear.)
Phyllis: "Not enough time or funds to look into a weather control ritual to gain an advantage against sail-bound boats."
Phyllis: "Might as well leverage the choice of steam cutter somehow."
Phyllis: "Still, a useful note for the future, no?"
Garrett: "Sure is."
Gerald: "Don't those usually take a couple hours to kick in?"
Phyllis: "Pre-emptive measure. Cut the wind and anyone trying to pursue us has to go full steam ahead, or failing that, row."
Aleith|DM: You get going in the early afternoon, with plenty of provisions loaded for a trip to Seobriga and back. The trip takes seven days and is largely uneventful.
Ernst spends most of it reading. He definitely seems bored out of his mind though.
Gerald: "So where were we ACTUALLY going first by the way?"
Chandrasekhar meditates, has hours-long conversations with Phyllis about finer points of the elegies vis-a-vis Millerite philosophy, prowls the edges of the boat being obnoxiously vigilant. What's boredom?
Phyllis: "Depends on the trail, I'd say."
Aleith|DM: Assuming you cast it when you first leave the docks, it followed the shoreline to the east.
Phyllis flips open her tome, speaking of.
Zane: "My money is on the temple, but we follow the trail if it goes somewhere else."
Aleith|DM: The trail does, over several days, lead you along the coast, first eastward around Risur, and then into Ber.
Zane spends a few hours sparring with Chandrasekhar and Garrett. Never hurts to add tricks to the kit.
Phyllis: "Ernst, how're you liking the, um. The boat?"
Aleith|DM: After seven days, during the afternoon, you're about a half mile off the coast (which contains a small fishing village) when you come across 3 ships waiting near the end of the trail.
Phyllis: "You do machines. I'm curious what your take on it is. That, and the mixed magic technology of the boat we were on guard duty for."
Ernst: "Not nearly as impressive as my first real job, but…"
Aleith|DM: Two of the ships, both smaller, stay near each other. One's about the size of your ship, the other one a bit larger. Both appear unarmed. The cutter's flying Risuri colours, while the other one's flying a Beran flag.
Garrett‘ is all too happy to get the exercise, using the pipes and walls as vaulting points for acrobatic pirouettes and such. There’s not really a lot of rigging to work with because, well, steamship.
Ernst: "I'm reasonably confident I could make this go fast in a pinch and fix it later." He smiles.
Gerald: "We're on good national terms with Ber right?"
Aleith|DM: The third ship is much longer, about the size of the R.N.S. Impossible you were on back in the Spring. Its flag signals tell you to keep your idstance or you'll be fired upon. It's flying Crisillyiri colours.
Aleith|DM: It's also further out.
Phyllis nods. "Let me know if you want any help on the magical side of things, I'll admit I'm interested but inept at the technological half."
Chandrasekhar: "At the moment and historically, yes."
Gerald: "So uh…"
Phyllis frowns upon seeing the Crissilyir flag. " - and we may have to cut this short."
Chandrasekhar: "Are those boats too far out to scan for planar energy..?"
Gerald: "Why's a Crisillyiri ship telling us to back the fuck up or get shot, in Ber waters?"
Ernst: "Hell if I know. I never leave Risur."
Phyllis: "There is a reason I moved."
Gerald‘ head tilts back towards Zane while slowing the boat down.
Aleith|DM: The Crysilliri ship has faint Apet energy. The smaller cutter has strong Apet energy.
Chandrasekhar: "Everything from Crisillyir is fucked up down and sideways. Present company excepted."
Phyllis: "Please, I’m included in that description somehow."
Zane: "Maybe the 'down' part."
Garrett: "Let's keep our distance for now, see when one of them decides to break."
Phyllis flips her book shut. "Apet energy from multiple ships. Stronger one on the … I think Risuri flag, weak energy on Crisillyir."
Zane smiles faintly. "There have been occasions where my peoples beliefs and the teachings of the Clergy have… not seen eye to eye. But that doesn't explain this."
Gerald: "Keep goin', just around? Or anchor up and wait?"
Ernst: "Curious if the stronger one is bait."
Zane: "Alright, lets circle away from the Crisillyr ship, but keep an eye on the cutters."
Phyllis: Any trail elsewhere?
Garrett: "Yeah, that may not be a terrible idea. Fact… think we can sort of wade about and be sort of between us and the direction of the second temple?"
[OOC] Garrett: *between them
Gerald‘ salute, then picks speed back, but giving the larger ship its space by heading further into the ocean.
Aleith|DM: The trail from the cutter seems to lead from shore to back a couple of times
Phyllis: "Someone figure out the proper flag placement we should have. Not familiar with the proper naval diplomacy."
Gerald: "’Affirmitive''s not super complex." One of the crewmen probably put it up.
Phyllis: "And if need be…"
Aleith|DM: They can, yeah.
Chandrasekhar has an extensive command of thoroughly useless diplomatic codes.
Zane probably knows the flags for 'get the hell out of my way or sink', but that's about it.
Phyllis flips open her book to make long-distance diplomacy a little easier. If unsubtle. [Battlefield Elocution: http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compendium/ritual.aspx?id=102 ]
Aleith|DM: Well, the Crisillyir ship (the crew points out it's a Crisillyiri mercenary ship flag) is about 500 feet away from the others, slowly circling.
Gerald: "Do we care less if it's mercs? … Probably not, that thing almost definitely outguns us by a wide margin."
Zane: "Hm. Crisillyri mercenaries chasing our target. With the same smaller signatures from the port. You know, assuming Phyllis doesn't make them bend down so she can eat their throats, we might have possible allies."
Aleith|DM: Oh yeah. The Beran and Risuri ships don't have any cannons, but the mercenary ship definitely has a gunnery deck, and a couple cannons on the bow.
Garrett: "Yeah it's the naval firefight we're trying to avoid…"
Garrett: "Otherwise I think we could venture to be a bit more brave."
Gerald: "Yeah."
Phyllis: "And keep an eye out for any Thoughtform shenanigans."
Aleith|DM: By the way, Zane, that Risuri cutter has Dagger on the side.
Aleith|DM: Same as the one Mr. Klim said set out the morning of the 9th.
Zane: "… The Dagger is the ship we want. My man in the port said it took off the morning after Caius was killed, and it stinks of Apet."
Garrett: "…oh yeah?"
Gerald: "Uugh."
[OOC] Aleith|DM: The morning after Saxby's place was robbed, Caius was killed the night prior to that.
Gerald: "Okay signal them that we're RHC and that the Risuri ship is a suspect we're chasing, and we're coming in."
Zane looks at Phyllis. "You want to tell them, or am I?"
Aleith|DM: The crew can flag for the Dagger to stay where it is, and to await boarding.
Phyllis: "How would you tell them?"
[OOC] Gerald: To the mercs, I mean.
Aleith|DM: 'suspect' isn't quite in the code.
[OOC] Gerald: looking for avoid getting shot :E
Aleith|DM: The Crisillyiri ship is outside Long range
Aleith|DM: Have to be in Medium range to even have a chance of hitting.
Zane: "You pass the magic voice thing to me, and I inform the big boat that we're chasing a suspect on the small boat. Probably with a request for them to not blow us out of the water since we're just doing our job."
Phyllis: "I … don't think it's transferable."
Aleith|DM: It is, with a minor action and a touch.
Zane: "Well then I guess you're telling them."
Phyllis: Oh. Well. I already have it typed.
Gerald: "Or uh if that's too complex a message, just tell them we're coming in to communicate directly I guess?"
Phyllis: Acting as effectively a magical megaphone with Battlefield Elocution, she transmits this message to anyone within 500 feet (100 squares) of her. "This is the RHC, in pursuit of the Risuri ship, the Dagger. Permission to board and approach without being fired upon by the mercenaries. Signal by flag if you acknowledge."
Gerald: "That works."
Phyllis clears her throat, and responds to Gerald at normal volume in normal earshot: "Sometimes you just need more nuance than flags have."
Aleith|DM: Well, presuming you do it so you're just in range of the mercenaries, they do acknowledge, as does the Beran ship. There's some activity aboard the Dagger, but it doesn't move, and they acknowledge shortl yafter.
Garrett: "Good show."
Gerald‘ brings the steamboat on in, then.
Aleith|DM: The two cutters pull alongside each other. There’s several crew, the captain, and Xambria Meridith aboard.
Phyllis passes on Battlefield Elocution to Zane in case he wants to add anything.
Phyllis: "Tag."
Gerald‘ will let a crewman take the wheel as they close in so he can be ready to do dumber things.
Zane ponders. "Actually, I think you handled it just about perfectly."
Gerald` leans against the railing once they’re in shouting distance. "Hey, Xambria!"
Phyllis: "You can keep it if you just want to yell for anyone around to hear. For intimidation factor."
Zane grins. "I was planning on it, yeah."
Chandrasekhar also grins.
Phyllis looks Xambria up and down. Detect Planar Energy and all.
Xambria waves to you, and as you pull closer, she shouts back, "good afternoon, constables! What brings you around to these parts? Another ziggurat?"
Aleith|DM: She radiates strong Apet energy.
Gerald: "Brain eating monster, actually!"
Xambria: "What? The one in the paper?"
Gerald: "Ayup."
Phyllis frowns. "(Yeah, she's radiating energy, alright.)"
Zane: "Something like that." And he starts focusing on Xambria, seeing if he can thoughtform the creature out of her.
Aleith|DM: Make a Int, Wis, or Cha check, then.
Phyllis: That's … probably a lot more than 5 squares away.
Aleith|DM: By the time you're tied up to the other ship, not especially.
[OOC] Phyllis: oh we're that close now, okay
Zane rolled d20+6 and got 6 ( Total: 12 ) for gogo CHA check!
Aleith|DM: Nothing happens.
[OOC] Garrett: yeah we're meeting up like we're going to hand off the crystals in ff4 or something
Garrett: "There's been another killing."
[OOC] Ernst: Awww yeah FF4. I own that game.
[OOC] Phyllis: im kain
[OOC] Chandrasekhar: can I also try
Gerald: "It was also in your apartment, and killed your boss, and broke into our bosses' house…? It's been kinda busy."
[OOC] Phyllis: i mean uh
[OOC] Zane: Is it any good Ive never played it…
Aleith|DM: Feel fre.
Garrett‘ fwaps Gerald on the elbow.
Gerald: "Ow."
Garrett: "Caius is dead."
Phyllis: "Following its trail, it seems to be on your ship."
Xambria: "Oh dear…that must have been the…thing…that tried to attack me."
Chandrasekhar notices a corner-of-the-eye twitch from Zane and focuses intently on Xambria, meeting her gaze, eyes shimmering with fae light. [CHA]
Ernst glances to his side before murmuring. "… just let us board and get this over with already."
Chandrasekhar rolled d20+0 and got 10 ( Total: 10 ) for aleith idk what bonus I’m supposed to put here plz halp
Aleith|DM: CHA mod + 1/2 level
Aleith|DM: Nothing happens.
[OOC] Chandrasekhar: OK 4+3 then
Zane: "It attacked you? Past tense?"
Garrett: "When did it attack you?"
Xambria: "The morning of the ninth. I can only remember tendrils and a bunch of eyes, and then it was kind of a blur…by the time I stopped running, I had run to the docks."
Xambria: "Wanting get away from it, and to stop another of those seals from being opened, I chartered Captain Glassmaker here and his ship to head for the Beran coast."
Phyllis: "So we missed you by a few hours, at most."
Zane: "Alright. Next question. Any idea what on or about your person might be positively reeking with Apet energy?"
Phyllis nods. "Based off of the star map you found at the Apet temple, correct?"
Xambria: "Oh, Apet…?" She pulls out a small golden disc from one of the many pockets on her outfit. "You must be talking about this. I found this in the entranceway of the ruin." The disc looks like it's engraved with the constallation of Alesia the Wayfarer, and looks similar to the icons you found on Axis Island.
Zane: "Yes, I suspect that is exactly it."
Phyllis: "Huh. We've run across icons like that before."
Chandrasekhar: "They resonate with the planes."
Garrett: "Hm."
Phyllis: "There's still some energy resonating on the Crisillyir ship."
Phyllis: "Speaking of."
Phyllis: "Why the hell are they here?"
Zane: "I could ask them."
Xambria: "I think they're people hired by Caius."
Chandrasekhar: "Is there anyone within your original expedition to the temple whom you did not trust?"
Xambria: "The people on the La InspiraciĆ³n," she points to the Beran ship nearby, "were originally working on excavating the seal here."
Gerald: "Would hurt. If they're working for him it's not like he's still alive to pay them."
[OOC] Gerald: wouldn't^
Xambria: "No…? I don't think it would have mattered much, since they're all…dead…now…"
Phyllis: "Is a crew member named Finona among the dead? Or was she just on the expedition to the temple of Jiese?"
Aleith|DM: She shakes her head and continues. "When Il Dracon de Mer arrived, about 10 days ago? They told the expedition leader, Paco, and his crew to keep their distance."
Xambria: "Finona? I don't know the name, sorry. She wasn't one of the people working with me, nor with the specialists Caius sent after I found that golden seal."
Phyllis: "Oh. Then there's another temple in Crisillyir, by the way. To Jiese, like I said."
Zane looks at the very big ship with all the guns. "This is Constable Bieito, of the RHC. Please stand down from your aggressive posture and send a delegate to explain why you are shacing my suspect."
[OOC] Zane: *chasing
Aleith|DM: The flags they send back are the same as originally, 'stay away or you'll be fired up'. And then there's a follow-up. One of the crew members tells you it's basically 'go bugger yourself'.
Gerald: "Tell 'em Caius is dead."
Xambria: "I don't think they want you approaching the dig site. Some people have been going over the side every day and returning after several hours."
Gerald: "From having his brain eaten."
Chandrasekhar: "Charming."
Phyllis: "It's possible they were funding Caius, and not the other way around."
Gerald: "I reckon we'll get a better response by throwing that bit of information out either way."
Phyllis: "Or - something."
Phyllis: "Either way." She nods.
Zane nods at Gerald and addresses the ship again. "For the associates of Caius Bergeron. Your boss is dead. Something tore his brain out of his skull and ate it. Pack it up and go home."
Zane: "Alright, lets go to shore. If they try to attack us, we'll know where they stand."
Xambria: "But they might take the seal with them! We have to stop them before they sail off with it!"
Phyllis: "Aaaaand if they fire on us, close in and attempt to board?"
Zane: "Then we kill them all, then go to shore."
Gerald‘ tilts his head towards Xambria.
Chandrasekhar: "-ahh, they’ve already obtained it from the temple? Or…"
Gerald: "Okay so…"
Gerald: "I want you to take a good look at their ship,"
Gerald: "And alllll of their guns and cannons,"
Xambria: "Paco said they'd found the seal already, and then a couple weeks later that ship showed up."
Gerald: "Then ours with our two cannons, and yours with its none and the captain not being paid to fight mercenaries I wager,"
Chandrasekhar: "What, you're saying you can't out-shoot 'em, Gerald?"
Phyllis: "Hence I suggested we close in and forcefully board. We're going to lose in a straight-up firefight, unless we outmaneuver them well enough."
Aleith|DM: The captain speaks up. "You're damn right I'm not sailing up against that!"
Gerald: "And carefully think about how exactly you want us to stop them if they don't wanna listen - god, not when I'm out numbered that badly, against a cship that big."
Zane: "Its easy, Gerald. We just go ashore where they do not see."
Zane laughs. "Honestly, like I would encourage us to fight that monstrosity."
Gerald: "Well yeah *I* understand that, that was directed at our lady friend here."
Phyllis: "Apet's domain covers teleportation, though, so … might I see that icon for a moment to discern its uses?"
Xambria: "It can help you teleport once in a while, but….sure." She seems a bit antsy about letting it go, but hands it over.
Aleith|DM: Golden Icon of Apet: When you use an action point, once before the end of your next turn you can spend a move action to teleport yourself or a creature you can see 6 squares. Unwilling creatures can make a save to resist.
Phyllis nods and hands it back. "Not strong enough for far distances. Though it could help one person board if they swim up to it."
Gerald: "Anyway."
Gerald: "What's the worst that can happen from them holding onto the seal for a little bit anyway?"
Phyllis: "I appear to have neglected any preparations for, uh. Water breathing. I assume you or Paco at least have the means to do so."
Xambria: "Probably sailing away with it and handing it over to…whoever Caius would have sent it to…?"
Gerald: "Which is sending you into a blind panic because…?"
Gerald: "If you want us to do something pants on head stupid you really gotta sell it a bit harder than 'because!!'."
Xambria: "I have the Water Walk and Water Breathing rituals, but already used up my components. I think Paco's team was using something called 'diving bells' instead since they last longer, but I don't know the details."
Xambria: "What if they break the seal like with Apet? And another disaster happens?"
Phyllis: "I carry around plenty of components. Got us covered in that department."
Gerald: "Do what now?"
Xambria: "Worst case? Monsters from Mashiva, or maybe some kind of water-related disaster."
Zane: "Water breathing… hmmm…"
Chandrasekhar: "Who knows what they'd do if they got desperate… granted, that argument cuts both ways."
Gerald: "Lets back up a bit to the Apet disaster?"
Xambria: "The one that killed all of my team members while I was in Agate?"
Phyllis: "You were -at- the gun show, so…"
Gerald: "I could of sworn you told us you had no idea what happened to your team?"
Xambria: "They were all dead! Many of them without any marks on them! It certainly wasn't the local wildlife!"
Chandrasekhar: "I think given what we've told her, she could put together what must have happened…"
Aleith|DM: She chokes up a bit.
Gerald: "She's still kinda our top suspect at the moment though."
Aleith|DM: Xambria blinks confusedly. "…what?"
Zane: "Alright. Water Breathing to go down and stop their extraction teams, because I'm not sure if I could successfully board them and set off their powder magazines."
Gerald: "You're sort of the only one alive and there's been a lot of weird deaths following you around."
Zane: "Gerald is correct. Nothing personal."
Chandrasekhar: "-something- with Apet energy is leaving a trail of dead in Risur."
Xambria: "It must have been that thing that attacked me, then."
Phyllis gives Gerald a level stare. "But we don't know enough to say that theory's right or wrong, or if your story checks out or not. At least not yet."
Gerald: "Which makes her… still our top suspect, yeah."
Chandrasekhar: "We thought- among other things- that it might be piggybacking on your psyche, in some way. Our information about this entity is fairly sparse at the moment."
Phyllis: "Hm."
Gerald: "Especially given the trail we've been following brought us here."
Phyllis flips open the other scroll she prepared: [Hunter's Blessing]
Garrett‘ continues to quietly consider the situation. Almost as if, pointedly, that he isn’t saying anything.
Phyllis: "We can disambiguate that possibility right now."
[OOC] Phyllis: http://www.wizards.com/dndinsider/compendium/ritual.aspx?id=299
Phyllis: As if to the scroll itself: "Specifically, the tendril and eyeball creatures of the sort that attacked Meredith."
Aleith|DM: You can't visualize the target.
Aleith|DM: Nor do you have a name.
Phyllis frowns. "Okay. A humanoid creature influenced by Apet."
Aleith|DM: Too broad.
Zane watches the circling Crisillyr ship. "Actually… I'll take that water breathing ritual if you have a moment."
Phyllis … seems to be in a shouting match with an inanimate object. "The one that the Voice of Rot wants to track down!"
Aleith|DM: There's some kind of faint haze around Xambria
Aleith|DM: The scroll fades.
Ernst: "I'm honestly disappointed…"
Gerald‘ would ear swivel in Phyllis’ direction if he was an elf, but he's not so it doesn't really look like anything in particular.
Aleith|DM: Only Phyllis can see it anyway.
Gerald: "You uh… you teach that scroll how to be read…?"
Phyllis pulls the faded text down to look over at Meredith. Quietly, she lets out: "It is you. Or around you. Or influencing you."
Gerald: "Ha!"
Gerald: "See I'm not a terrible detective after all!"
Phyllis tries to Thoughtform the haze out.
Garrett‘ slowly pushes from the railing to stand a bit more steady.
Zane is still watching the Crisillyr ship, noting when people go overboard or climb back on. "Well, that partially solves one problem."
Xambria: "Oh god! Oh-" Then all of a sudden she faints.
Aleith|DM: The ’haze' disappears into the floor.
Aleith|DM: Well, the deck of the ship.
Chandrasekhar: "Information we didn't have. Hopefully, we can find a way to draw it out, and avoid-" frown!
Phyllis: "It left her and went below. Move, move!"
Chandrasekhar runs!
Gerald‘ hops the railing from their ship to the other, then pursues it!
Aleith|DM: You head belowdecks, but there doesn’t seem to be anything down there by the time you get there.
Gerald‘ THINKS REALLY LOUDLY, probably about something obnoxious, like machine gears rotating one another.
Phyllis: "Underwater, perhaps? To the temple?"
Zane: "My suspicions, yes."
Phyllis: "Ernst, can you tend to Xambria?"
Ernst nods to Phyllis. "Of course." He heads back on deck.
Gerald: "So the real question is."
Aleith|DM: She seems to just be passed out. From stress or the possessing creature probably.
Chandrasekhar: "Tch. I wonder why it’s even bothering to go there if they have the seal on the ship."
Gerald: "Was it hitch hiking in her head, or was it controlling her?"
Garrett: "It knows it's in trouble."
Zane: "We need to do something about that Crisillyr vessel. It's a hell of a swim, but I've done worse. That water breathing ritual would be tremendously helpful though."
Chandrasekhar: "Think we'll be able to get close enough to the sunken temple without that ship blowing us out of the ocean?"
Phyllis: "Zane, want to communicate our intentions to the Crisillyir ship? So they don't blow up a half-manned ship while we go under and possibly to the temple."
Gerald: "Should we uh… warn them the brain eating intangible monster might be coming their way?"
Phyllis: "Yes. That."
Gerald: "I mean they're just Crysillis Mercs, but still."
Phyllis: "The enemy of our enemy is someone with guns not pointed at us anymore."
Gerald‘ grins at Phyllis.
Zane: "Actually, I was just going to go destroy the ship."
Chandrasekhar: "And lose the seal that’s onboard?"
Zane: "As opposed to warning them we are headed for the sunken temple they are currently looting?"
Zane: "I am fairly certain that would get us immediately blasted out of the water."
Gerald: "In their defense they haven't attacked us yet despite indicating they would."
Phyllis: "If they had the seal, they'd be gone already. What else is there to really search for in these sites?"
Chandrasekhar: "We could always full steam and board before they knew what the hell happened."
Chandrasekhar: "Their ship's bigger and sexier. I'm sure Delft would forgive us if anything terrible happened to this one but we brought back a prize."
Zane: "I was just going to swim over and blow their magazines, actually. I am fairly certain I can do it without being seen."
Chandrasekhar: "Hah. At that point, why -not- board?"
Gerald: "Mmm."
Zane gives Singhs armor a pointed look. "Because I am quiet and travel light."
Gerald: "I duno, things've been mostly civil so far, seems like we could try and keep that goin'? But maybe that's just me."
Chandrasekhar: "I mean, after you blow up the magazines."
Phyllis: "No, it's me as well."
Chandrasekhar: "I've got an itch to know who's on that boat and what their story is."
Garrett: "I'd rather not create an international incident over an extraplanar one."
Garrett: "(Even if they are mercs.)"
Ernst: "Need I remind all of you that we were told our entire division was being audited just a few weeks ago?"
Chandrasekhar: "Anyways, if you think they'll let us escape the sunken temple with whatever we find down there, well." He shrugs.
Zane shrugs. "I am fairly certain that they are associates of Caius and will destroy us if they believe we are going after the sunken temple treasures."
Chandrasekhar: "Honestly? The audit can suck a tremendously elongated fey pepper."
Zane: "Not how I thought you were going to finish that."
Chandrasekhar: "I try to keep things original."
Zane: "So are we water breathing and going over the side? We can use the ships headed to shore for cover."
Phyllis: "You used that last Winter."
Gerald: "I mostly just wanted to give them a heads up about the potential incoming brain eating not-exactly-a-ghost thing."
Phyllis: "Yeah, I suppose we are in actual competition for the seal if we go down there. Wouldn't be on-board, but the big ship's still a threat."
Gerald: "Since…"
Gerald: "It getting hold of one of them probably won't be good for us, either?"
Chandrasekhar shrugs. "Fair enough."
Gerald: "Or anyone really."
Ernst: "If we get into a scuffle down there our ship and the remaining crew are definitely fucked."
Phyllis: "Oh."
Phyllis: "Maybe direct them to a fake seal?"
Phyllis: "The first temple had such a measure in place…"
Zane: "Maybe. Have to get down to see what its laid out like first."
Phyllis: "So, play nice with them - openly negotiate that we just want our suspect, and they get the seal. Bluff at first. Scuffle if that doesn't turn out as a viable plan and there's not a fake seal around."
Gerald: "I'm basically okay with any plan that doesn't start with our peice of junk bum rushing something a couple weight classes above us."
Aleith|DM: There is still the ritual book with Water Walk and Water Breathing in the hold, in the open chest with Xambria's belongings, which the captain can point you to.
Gerald‘ will go rifle through that!
Aleith|DM: Some clothes and money, but nothing really intresting other than the ritual book. It’s a bit of a mess in there.
Gerald‘ shakes out the clothing just to be safe, brings the ritual book back to Phyllis.
Zane returns the ritual megaphone to Phyllis. "Compromise. Let me get in position first, if they dont start shooting, I won’t kill them. Fair?"
Phyllis: "Sure. Diplomacy -and- sabotage. Just as long as they don't know about it."
Zane: "Good. I'll need that waterbreathing ritual and about a half an hour head start."
Phyllis flips open Meredith's book. "Alright, then. … Something did occur to me. Do you think they'll notice the rest of us if we swim with you?"
Aleith|DM: Everyone Would Make Stealth Checks
Zane: "Probably."
Ernst: "I am neither a good swimmer nor a stealthy person."
Phyllis: "Fair enough. Figured a way we could all board if that wasn't the case, but, uh. … Not even if we go deep enough with the ritual and then go back up?"
Aleith|DM: They might not notice you until you surface, then, but there's a chance lookouts might see you then.
Zane: "I suspect, given they have people ferrying artifacts up from the temple, they have lookouts posted at all sorts of inconvenient places."
Phyllis: "Worth a shot asking. Original plan it is, then. How long until you'll be in position?"
Phyllis does, at least, continues casting Underwater Breathing.
Zane: "Half an hour should be sufficient."
Garrett: "Need a hand?"
Garrett: "Or is two too obvious?"
Ernst: "More people means more chances to be spotted, honestly. If they see even one of you they're probably going to shoot us."
Phyllis: "Zane, what's your take on it?"
Zane thinks.
Zane: (haha finally that guld training feat pays off!)
Zane: "Yeah. Me and Garrett. He's as quiet and slippery as I am, and it'll be nice having someone to watch my back."
Garrett‘ nods along.
Phyllis: "And - well, if they do spot you, what’s our backup plan? Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but."
Garrett: "Fight like hell."
Phyllis glances over at Ernst and Gerald.
Zane: "Nah. Run like hell."
Garrett: "I was talking about them."
Ernst: "My shotgun isn't good enough to shoot anything from this far."
Ernst: "I'm not sure I'd be much help."
Zane: "Even if they see us, shipboard weapons are for shit against small fast targets like me and Garrett. And if they start putting men over the side… its less of them to crew the cannons."
Chandrasekhar: "Let's still hope it won't be necessary."
Zane grins. "Yeah, I'd look a lot less handsome after a cannonball to the gut."
Phyllis nods in agreement with Chandra.

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