Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Halflings, Elves, and Fairies

The Felszerzet Enclave was begun by one Thomas Felszerzet - he was one on the list of people who had gone missing. As it turned out, when he was transported to this system, he had some fresh eggs and mushrooms with him, and was able to start quite a successful business with chickens and various fungus. Speaking of...

Rodney decided it would be a good time to try his "magic mushroom", and Elise decided to join him. As it turned out... neither one of them were prepared for the trip they had. While Elise merely had a bad time, Rodney came this close to having a heart attack from the terrifying experience!

Reggie, meanwhile, had a much safer trip, as he went on a tour with Jeffory Longsfeet, and ended up buying some lovely mushroom oil.

After another delicious meal, the party headed towards the See, to see what they could see. Unfortunately, they weren't able to pay the docking fee - but, after a bit of hanging around with the wrong sort of people, they managed to gain free berth.

The cities of the See are built above ground, under huge domes; the silvery spires and sparkling towers loom into the sky like a retro-futuristic science fiction author's daydream. The crew marveled at the wonders, shopped around in a few areas, and discovered that the maps there are a little different - metal tubes that grow warmer or colder as you near your destination.

At a spectacular fountain, they met a rather rough looking fellow who was willing to give them a job - one worth a fair amount of money. They accepted, and he gave them the location for Gravel Junction, and a location and name - "John". not a lot to go on, but if he was looking for a crew of mercs, he probably would identify the crew of the Hephaestus quite easily.

Upon leaving the station, it seems that there was some kind of trouble; not ones to be easily shaken, the crew... immediately rocketed off, breaking the umbilical tethering their ship to the city station, and blasting away at top speed.

Before embarking on the next leg of their journey, they decided to drop in on the Fairy Princess; they weren't there long before being summoned to visit the Empress, a young girl. She was enthralled with Reggie's performance, and chided her crew that "This is how you act in a court!" - and also granted a boon to each one of them, in turn for a favor.

Reggie immediately accepted, and signed in blood - er, oil - for a fixed arm. Nix asked for info, and in trade received a quest. Elise requested an upgrade - 1 novice, 1 heroic upgrade - and agreed to a trade for a personal matter. Lins also asked for something - whispered, so no one could see what it was - and the empress giggled, and granted it to her immediately, for free.

So, just what were those quests, anyway?

Reggie: Unfortunately, Reggie's "Favor" is entirely unknown. The Empress didn't specify. Whether that's good or bad, well...

Nix: Nix was given a datapad, and after dumping the information to memory, he learned a new location, that of a place called Cube. It seems the Empress knew the AI on the previous derelict they had visited, and left a message for the crew: "An old, old friend of mine came up with a little poem, of sorts, to help travelers find their way back home. While I have been in this system for time unknown - my JumpDrive is irreparably damaged - I have my ways of gathering information, and he and I have been in communication for quite some time - though I haven't heard from him recently. Still, perhaps this information will help you:

Every Lock has a Key; Every Key has a Riddle
Every Riddle has a Teller, Every Teller tells the Clue
Find the Confounding Circlet! Find the Impossible Weight!
Find the Power of Three, and Controls control their fate!

I am, in fact, one of those Tellers my friend referred to. And my clue, such as it is, it to go to the attached coordinates, near an area known as Atl."

The quest is simple: go to Cube, and do what her old friend requested - return them all!

Elise: The favor required is a little... odd. You are to reduce your maximum Strain by one.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Turn, Turn, Turn (and) Four Pillars

The creature was... odd. As horrible as it looked, it acted rather like a puppy, flailing at them playfully. However, when it hit? It hurt! Reggie dodged past, hoping to avoid the thing, but of course, Rodney jumped in swinging. While he was eventually successful, the creature managed to hit him - and Reggie - a good couple times first. As it turned out, the creature tore more than just flesh and bone - it also tore away memories! Reggie picked up a minor delusion - only his teammates are real, and Rodney lost even more of his poor memory, attaining the hindrance "Extra Clueless", which is a -4 to any common knowledge rolls. Ouch.

Reggie took a heavy blow, but through a little gamble with luck and doom, used a green chip to avoid getting his head smacked off. The draw from the Deck O' Doom did not go well, however, and Reggie ended up with a left arm that ceased to function - the hindrance "One Arm".

They continued on to the security area, and upon opening the first door, Reggie found himself in the middle of a standoff! Two soldiers were pointing guns at three station guards, one of them Jose. Reggie crept around... and realized that the standoff was frozen in time. The men weren't moving.

The other rooms showed a story of what happened - one had the station guards grabbing guns, the next had the soldiers cutting down the guards and scientists in a hail of gunfire. The next room showed one of the scientists, Richard Doyal, talking with someone that appeared to be the head of the soldiers, one Captain Naemes. Doyal, it seems, was a traitor! And the soldiers were definitely AlSec...

The last room was empty, but an explosion was visible through the window...

Down the hall, they found the room that had blown up, with the door welded shut. Rodney applied his hammer, and as it turns out, the door was welded shut because there was hard vacuum on the other side. Oops. Lins dove for cover on the other side of the closing bulkhead door.

Rodney suggested that, maybe, time flowed in the direction of travel; the crew traipsed around to the other side, and found (in the as-yet-unexplored area) a section that looked like the surviving people had camped out there for quite a while - years, maybe. However, they found the same damaged door, and continued around, and it seemed that time was stuck or looping the same from either direction.

Exploring the damaged area, Rodney found a bubble of some kind, protecting a video camera; the camera was able to be charged and accessed wirelessly, and the crew watched the final moments of Dr. Durst.

Durst, it seems, had created some kind of gravity weapon or shield; he ranted at the camera for a bit of his brilliance, and once the enemy arrived, he ranted to them, too. He used a small control pad to crush one of the guards into a ball the size of a fist using his gravity tech, cackling all the while. And then... well, then the remaining guards threw in a few grenades and slammed the door. As it turns out, the shield held perfectly against the explosion, but not the back wall - and the shield didn't hold in air at all. Durst kicked and soundlessly screamed as he floated away from the station; the control pad flung from his grasp and ended up nestled in a crevice in the station. The view scanned forward a few hours, and suddenly, a wave of energy washed over the station, then another, and then... nothing. The stars were gone.

Nix took a space walk, found the device, and brought it back. After some investigation, he realized the pad was merely a remote control; the gravity device was embedded in the ship itself. Whatever the device was, it seemed to be a key to using the black hole to generate wormholes, though it wasn't as if the buttons were labeled. It would take some major research to figure out how the device worked.