Master Historian

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281 posts. Alias of AFlashInTime.


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Fire Starters Loot

To the sound of retreating footsteps down the street and nearby alleys, the lashunta lowers his weapon,a mix of relief and a little fear mixing on his face. He holds the weapon out in front of him before dropping it in front of him.

"Look, you all must not be from around here. Or, most of you."

He eyes Nomyra and Dr. Taeress, his face setting with resolve.

"Non-lashuntas don't get what it's like being lashunta in the Archipelago. The pressure, the nerves, and what's Asanatown done about it in 20 years? Nothing. People offer their advice for coping, groups research, but the whole government here just hopes it'll go away, like some bad dream. It's not like that. Even the lashunta on it don't take action. So a bunch of us here, in the Sunrise Collective, two days ago was the last straw. If you were here, you felt it. No more ignoring that. Something's coming and we have to be ready."

He pauses and looks from face to face.

"People have to understand it's not going to go back to how it was. Lashuntas need Asanatown, all of it, to get ready. If people aren't on board, it's nothing personal, but there's no place for those people here now."

"Sooner they realize that, the better."


Fire Starters Loot

Nomyra decks the lashunta leader. He drops hard and lies motionless in the street.

"Okay, I give up! I give up!" the only remaining lashunta shouts.

The ifrit flees out of sight.

Vedrir
Kit
Puzzle

Collective lashunta A -15, down
Collective lashunta B -3
Wyrd
Round 3 start
Nomyra
Ifrit fled combat


Fire Starters Loot

Ref1: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (12) - 2 = 10
Ref2: 1d20 ⇒ 3

Both lashuntas are caught in the cold!

Nomyra
Ifrit
Vedrir
Kit
Puzzle
Collective lashunta A -6
Collective lashunta B -3
Wyrd
Round 3 start


Fire Starters Loot

Caught utterly offguard by Puzzle's feint, the talky lashunta is likewise surprise by Vedrir's needler and fast-acting toxin. Lashunta A -3 HP

Now looking slightly green, the lashunta leader draws his weapon and returns fire on Vedrir. The second lashunta does the same against Puzzle.

Vedrir KAC: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (8) + 6 - 2 = 12
Vedrir P Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 8
Puzzle KAC: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Puzzle P Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 1

Both shots miss their targets, with Vedrir hearing the whistle of the bullet as it flies by!

Meanwhile, the crowd scatters.

Lashunta A now has a darker, magenta border on the map.

Wyrd
Round 2 start
Nomyra

Ifrit
Vedrir
Kit
Puzzle
Collective lashunta A -3
Collective lashunta B


Fire Starters Loot

Nomyra's punch connects with the ifrit's surprised face. He didn't seem like he was expecting to be hit quite so... hard.

"Okay, okay, they're your problem if you want them!" he says, withdrawing away from the scene. full action: withdraw

The lashuntas exchange a glance.

Vedrir
Kit
Puzzle

Collective lashuntas
Wyrd
Round 2 start
Nomyra
Ifrit


Fire Starters Loot

Dr. Taeress responds telepathically, "I don't know who that is. Nobody in government that I've ever heard of."

Sense motive:

SM: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Oof, they rolled high. Sorry you got stuck with Orrian rols this time.

The lashunta calls back out, "Alright, whoever you are, you don't know the word, you're not wearing our stuff, it's time you butt out of Collective business here. You can leave now, or we can make you!"

The crowd scatters. The two lashuntas and the ifrit reach for their weapons. You get the feeling that talks have broken down here.

Initiative

Rolls:

Vedrir Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Puzzle Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Wyrd Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Nomyra Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Kit Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Collective lashuntas: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Ifrit: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18

Nomyra's up first.

Nomyra
Ifrit
Vedrir
Kit
Puzzle
Collective lashuntas
Wyrd
Round 2 start


Fire Starters Loot

The first lashunta looks slightly confused as he responds.

"Special task force? Commander Trinipol said we were the ones..."

You can almost see the wheels spinning in his head. The kasatha family takes the moment to make a break past the crowd to the party.

"Well, what's today's word then, 'Special task force' leader?" he calls out, one hand pointing at the party and the other fidgeting with his weapon.

The crowd between you and the lashunta begins to move out of the space between the two groups.


Fire Starters Loot

The crowd, and the lashuntas, turn as you approach. The first lashunta speaks to Nomyra.

"The Sunrise Collective is seizing this property for the lashuntas of Asanatown! We have to stick together with the psychic threat to our people getting worse. These kasatha should stick to their own kind, for their own safety."

The crowd murmurs among themselves, with a few shouts of support and at least one dismissing the speaker.

Dr. Taeress telapathically addresses Vedrir, "I don't recognize that patch. There were others wearing it back at the station?"

Kit sees most of the items being tossed out onto the street are normal household items - clothes, some personal electronics, and generally uninteresting items.

The ifrit stops throwing out items and puts a hand on a longarm slung across his back.

Feel free to make a social check (diplo/bluff/intimidate) to affect their attitude.

Slides updated with the lashuntas and ifrit.


Fire Starters Loot

Map done! The pink or orange borders are the two lashuntas and the ifrit, the three brown borders are the kasatha family, and the non-bordered ones are the crowd.

Dr. Taeress looks up ahead. In your head you hear her say, "Oh no, this doesn't look good. Are there any..." She looks around, but there aren't any police or other authority figures in sight. "What's going on here? Have people lost their minds? We should try to do... to see what's going on and help, somehow!"

She looks at the party, waiting to see your response.


Fire Starters Loot

Dr. Taeress turns to Nomyra.

"Nib told several of the people in Asanatown - mostly lashuntas - are very unsettled by what's taken place. Combine a scared bunch of people with a lot of ex-military and a lot of weapons available, and the situation sounds like it could turn into a problem if people aren't careful. We might learn more by asking around when we reach Asanatown."

She turns to Kit and Puzzle. "Why do so many lashuntas stay in Asanatown? I wish I could tell you. My family left, and I spend as much time on Far Portal Station as I can. I think a lot of people stay because other people stay - it's their community, and outside of Castrovel it's one of the few places that are run by lashuntas - democratically, of course. Besides, with no obvious cause for the sense of unease we all feel, even though it's been going on for more than two decades there's always some sense that it'll just go away, because nothing is causing it. It's nothing but wishful thinking, if you ask me. And as for carrying weapons publically, with the former military and the mercenaries you won't be the only ones."

"As for why are non-lashuntas leaving? I couldn't tell you for certain, but I know that one of the symptoms of the unease for lashuntas is that you feel on edge, sometimes almost paranoid, which I think could lead to feelings of xenophobia for some. Those people leaving is probably not a good sign."

After a several more minutes, the linecrawler gradually slows and comes to a stop. The doors open, and you walk past another group of people in line to board the linecrawler out of Asanatown. You follow Dr. Taeress out onto the street. See slides for an updated map.

Rolls:

Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Puzzle Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Wyrd Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (10) - 1 = 9
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24

Kit, Vedrir:

In addition to the normal groupings of travelers moving around in the station, you notice a few groups of a couple of armed lashuntas moving with purpose with an ifrit. The lashuntas all wear a shoulder patch with the black silhouette of a lashunta emblazened on a yellow circle. You don't immediately recognize the insignia. The ifrits are dressed in dark armor.

The bubble-city of Asanatown greets your eyes, the yellow-orange glow of the sun lighting the streets and buildings from every direction. Dr. Taeress takes out her comm unit and, after several seconds, frowns.

You hear her voice in your head. "Typical. All of the public transit apps are reporting outages due to a "public state of emergency". At this rate, we're lucky the linecrawler is still running."

A look of determination replaces the frown. "Oh well, it can't be helped. Our first priority should be getting to my apartment near Bulwark Plaza. It's..." She checks an app on her comm unit. "... a 56-minute walk. Once we're there we can settle in with Nib and the others, and we can all work together to see if there's anything to be made out of this solar data until this all calms down. "

As you begin to walk through Asanatown, a palpable tension fills the air. Many storefronts are closed, some with windows boarded over. Most pedestrians in this area are walking hurriedly toward the linecrawler station.

After several minutes of walking you move into a somewhat more residential area, but it seems the town's mood hasn't improved. Across the street from you, a crowd of lashuntas has gathered. In the center, two armored lashuntas drag a weeping kasatha family--two parents and a child--out of an apartment. A crowd of mostly lashunta onlookers has gathered, and seems to be of mixed opinions. Several are shouting for the armed soldiers to leave the family alone, while a others are eagarly picking through a pile of household items that a third soldier, an ifrit in dark armor, is throwing out of the apartment's front door. One adult kasatha attempts to resist, only to be punched in the face. In the center of the commotion, a child wails for someone to help.

See map; ignore the inside of the building. As of this posting the map is still in work and I've run out of time, but the full map and the finish to this post should be up in the next hour or two.


Fire Starters Loot

Nomyra

Spoiler:
As the ACN-1 lands in Dawnshore, you feel an odd sensation affecting your antennae which moves down into your head. You feel a persistent sense that something is wrong or off about where you are and what you are doing. You can't place it or explain why, but you find yourself glancing behind you as you move through Dawnshore to make sure you're not being followed. When passersby approach you, you half-tense to enter a combat stance, but they always pass by without giving you or the group a second look.

After taking time to procure any additional supplies in Dawnshore, Dr. Taeress leads the way to the Dawnshore-Asanatown linecrawler station.

"I was finally able to get in touch with a personal... a former mentor of mine at the DCI: a ysoki named Nib," Dr. Taeress explains telepathically on the way through Dawnshore. "As I feared, things in Asanatown are going from bad to worse. The DCI, along with several businesses, have been shut down since the psychic event. There've been protests and probably riots around the Council Building in Clearlight right next door; Nib says the police have their hands full trying to keep everything under control."

The station looks much like a typical train or subway station on many of the Pact Worlds, save two features. First, like most of Dawnshore, Sarenite artwork and iconography cover the walls and ceilings. Second is the linecrawler itself, a specialized trainlike transport that rides the energetic tethers - lines - between the Burning Archipelago's impossible bubbles.

Nomyra

Spoiler:
You hear Dr. Taeress's voice in your head, speaking in Castrovelian. "You know the really sucky part about this feeling in our heads that started when we showed up here? It doesn't really go away until we leave the Burning Archipelago. You sort of get used to it, but it's rough, especially at the beginning. It's why my family doesn't live here anymore, and I spend months at a time working at Far Portal Station. I try to keep busy while I'm here, and remember everybody else like us is dealing with the same thing. It helps, a little bit."

Dr. Taeress electronically purchases the group passes. When you arrive at the platform for the crawler to Asanatown, the six of you are the only people on the platform.

Dr. Taeress continues, "Once we get into Asanatown we'll meet Nib at my apartment so I can begin to go over the data that we collected at Far Portal Station. I've asked Nib to reach out to any of her colleagues as well, so hopefully we'll be meeting more than just her. She also said the public transportation is iffy at best - lots of people not showing up to work to protest, or something like that - so we might be walking. It might be an hour or so by foot from the station."

Rolls

Spoiler:

Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Puzzle Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Wyrd Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15

The windowless linecrawler arrives full of people, a few of which glance at you incredulously as they walk past you on the platform. After they all disembark, a pleasant, automated voice informs passengers - currently just you all - that it is time to board; the linecrawler will be departing shortly.

(bot)Vedrir, Puzzle, Kit, Wyrd

Spoiler:
Despite recalling lashuntas make up over 80% of Asanatown's residents, you notice the people departing the linecrawler are almost evenly split between lashuntas and a mix of other races, suggesting a disproportionate number of non-lashuntas were leaving Asanatown on this linecrawler.

The train electronically hmms away from the station along a line of energy several minutes later. Still alone in your car, Dr. Taeress speaks aloud, "Before we get to Asanatown, I want to thank you all for taking this job. I realize you typically do deliveries, not... riot protection, or whatever this is, but I really think this information from Far Portal Station could mean real breakthroughs for science, and... who knows, maybe even all of these people who are so on edge in Asanatown. They're good people, for the most part, but living under this psychic pressure... it's enough to put even good people on edge. So, again, thank you."

You barely notice the linecrawler accelerate. Without windows, it's hard to tell how fast you're going or where you are.

Dr. Taeress forces a smile. "Do you have any questions for me before we arrive?"


Fire Starters Loot

"Just a second. This is the ACN-1? Enjoy your time in the Burning Archipelago." The man nods before cutting the connection.

As the ACN-1 moves toward the dark metalic ring, the mouth of the tunnel swirls into existance as a shimmering vortex in the ring of dark metal near Sunrise Station. It stretches down like a funnel into the stellar atmosphere. You reach Dawnshore without incident, but soaring down through the tunnel of solar flame is a surreal experience. At the other end, a ring of dark metal similar to the entrance opens on a view of the Burning Archipelago. The ACN-1 procedes to Dawnshore, the only spaceport in the Archipelago, and lands.

As the ACN-1 comes in for a landing, Dr. Taeress explains her plan. "Now that we're landing in Dawnshore, we'll take one of the linecrawlers - they're sort of a train - to go over to Asanatown. I'll see if I have any better luck contacting one of my... old contacts at the DCI on personal comms now that we're on the same side of the Burning Mother. In the meantime, now would be the time to buy anything you couldn't get back on Far Portal Station. Once we get to Asanatown, I'm not really sure what the situation is going to be."

Let me know when you're ready and we'll move over to Asanatown!


Fire Starters Loot

-----Commence Part 2, Book 1!-----

After making last minute purchases, the party boards the ACN-1 with Dr. Taeress and departs for the Burning Archipelago!

Floating in mysterious bubbles of force within the sun's plasma seas, the structure is an island of habitability in astronomic fire, reachable only through special protective magical tunnels that extend out well beyond the sun's flames. The primary entrance tunnel leads to Dawnshore, the central, Sarenite-controlled bubble. The tunnel is guarded by Sunrise Station, a Sarenite military base that closely monitors all traffic in and out of the Burning Archipelago.

As the ACN-1 approaches, Sunrise Station comes into view, an ornate monitoring port, adorned to identify it as a Sarenite facility. Rings of dark metal float in the space beyond.

Dr. Taeress pipes up, "When we're hailed, let them know we have business in Asanatown with the Deep Culture Institute. If we're polite, that should be enough to get us in the door."

A moment later, the station hails the ACN-1.

A pleasant-looking man in gold clothing with blue trim nods a greeting and says, "Blessings of the Dawnflower be upon you, travelers. Please identify yourselves and state your business in the Burning Archipelago."


Fire Starters Loot

Puzzle

Spoiler:

The Deep Cultures Institute (DCI) is a small scientific institution in the Burning Archipeligo dedicated to the idea that intelligent life exists on a permanent basis within the sun. While the scientific cadre at the DCI is mostly made up of professional scientists with degrees from accredited institutions throughout the Pact Worlds, others in the scientific community often regard DCI "evidence" for life within the sun with skepticism. Some even accuse the DCI engages more in the realm of pseduoscience than actual science, like those claiming to find clues to the location of lost Golarian, or cryptozoologists in the jungles of Castrovel claiming to encounter (but seemingly never sufficiently document) various legendary animals.

"Thank you so much for agreeing to help!" Dr. Taeress exclaims after hearing your reactions. "I'm ready to leave as soon as you are."

Stationmaster Jori speaks up. "Before you leave, Far Portal Station would be happy to replenish your batteries and other consumables free of charge, in thanks for your actions to protect this station from the Fire Whale. Additionally, please keep the supplies we transferred to you while you were exploring the Breath of Embers as another token of our thanks."

Jori continues, "Unfortunately, we have little in the way of additional supplies outside of medicinals that could help you in Asanatown, if the situation there has turned violent. However, we would be happy to pay you fair market prices for any of the weapons or other artifacts you recovered on the Breath of Embers - some might even help us learn more about the ship's origin or mission."

Far Portal Station will buy (at 10% value for weapons but full value for artifacts - pieces of statue, etc.) anything you want to sell before departing to Asanatown. They generic supplies like medicines and tool kits available for sale but very little in the way of weapons or armor.

Dr. Taeress nods. "I'll be waiting in Mataras's Meals going over the Far Portal data again until you're ready to go. I think we're at the beginning of something that could be really, really big here."

Commense shopping to the extent you can, and let me know when you're ready to head to Asanatown.


Fire Starters Loot

"Oh, the peace treaty with the formians on Castrovel. It ended generations of conflict," Dr. Taeress replies. "Once the wat ended, the military drawdown resulted in a lot of lashunta veterans with nothing left to do back home. Several thousand came here."

Any other requests before moving on from anyone?


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Fire Starters Loot

Earlier I stated all psychic races in the Burning Archipeligo have suffered from the psychic anxiety; this was incorrect, it's only lashuntas (for reasons undetermined by scholars and mystics alike).


Fire Starters Loot

Puzzle

Puzzle recalls the Burning Archipeligo see slides for a map is the closest known settlement to the sun. It consists of force bubbles of various sizes with cities or large platforms suspended within. Unknown mechanisms, which many believe to be powered by magic, maintain a habitable temperature and atmosphere within the bubbles while deflecting the constant solar radiation. The force bubbles are slightly polarized so that creatures within whose vision is based on sight aren’t immediately blinded by the sun’s brightness. The best minds of the Pact Worlds have thrown themselves into attempting to understand how the Burning Archipelago functions—mainly in case the bubbles ever begin to break down—to no avail. Dawnshore, stronghold of the church of Sarenrae, is the largest central bubble, but each bubble is generally in charge of their own affairs and governance.

The vast majority of Asanatown's population of about 5,300 (over 80%) are lashuntas, generally belonging to one of three groups: scientists, former military mostly originally from Castrovel, and devotees of Sarenrae (which often overlap with former military personnel). The bubble city is governed by an elected council, but in recent years various pseudo/paramilitary organizations have gained increasing popularity with some segments of the populace responding to living in psychic anxiety. This, combined with the large former military population, has made Asanatown a mini-hub for weapons trafficking and mercenary work. The most well known paramilitary organization at the moment is called the Sunrise Collective.


Fire Starters Loot

"You're a lashunta, aren't you?" Dr. Taeress replies. "It seems to affect every psychically sensitive individual that visits the Burning Archipelago. Not as bad as what happened two days ago, but a general sense of unease, like you're somewhere you shouldn't be or you're about to get a comms request with bad news. It's unpleasant, but not harmful, as far as anyone can tell."


Fire Starters Loot

Regarding this (lengthy) conversation, you have the option of making Culture, and later Computers, checks to learn more about any of the topics that have come up so far (including but not limited to): The Burning Archipeligo, Asanatown, "the Peace Treaty", lashunta politics, etc. etc. Since we're already in heavy wall-of-text-exposition-mode, I decided not to put together multiple paragraphs on a variety of topics for each one of you, so feel free to let me know which topics you'd like to know more about in-character (or, of course, just feel free to ask in-character).


Fire Starters Loot

"Asanatown," Dr. Taeress begins, "isn't a very friendly place."

"There's a lot of history to it, but about 25 years ago all of the psychically attuned races in the Burning Archipeligo - mostly lashuntas with a military background retiring after the Peace Treaty - began to feel constantly under pressure, like some threat was looming just around the corner that we couldn't explain or place or really describe. What everybody felt a few days ago was a small part of what lashuntas in Asanatown have felt more or less constantly for over two decades. Long story short, most of the lashuntas in the Burning Archipeligo decided to settle in Asanatown after the fear started, where everybody else in the other bubble cities were happy to let them be.

"Today, Asanatown is a pretty tense place, even on a good day, and these last two days have not been good. Most people there are pretty insular and generally assume the worst about any situation. Lately there have been some more, well, militant groups that've pushed for a more aggressive approach to finding out the source of the psychic unrest, but nobody really knows where to start. Now with the Far Portal dropping into the sun and the terror blast happening even over here, not to mention the communications issues, I worry that Asanatown could be ready to boil over, if it hasn't already.

"So, a cheerful place. And yes, this job would come with the potential for future employment. I can't promise anything, but one of my old mentors is employed by an organization called the Deep Cultures Institute. Now don't laugh, but the DCI tries to find evidence of life, intelligent cultures even, living within the sun. They're a little bit outside what most scholars would call mainsteam opinion, but one of the crazy theories about why the psychic fear waves suddenly started affecting the Burning Archipeligo is that someone inside the sun turned them on for some reason. With the Far Portal dropping into the sun, maybe they'll have finally noticed something that our sensors didn't catch on this side of the Burning Mother. Depending on what they found and where, if anything, they might be needing private escorts to who-knows-where to take additional readings."


Fire Starters Loot

I should also mention that now that you're back on Far Portal Station you have access to a fully functioning infosphere, if you had wanted to do any research on topics from the ship (or otherwise) before arriving or before departure.

Jori responds to Kit, "We're planning to bring the Breath of Embers back online as we investigate the ship. Far Portal Station has plenty of capable mechanics and engineers, but the job will take several days at a minimum. We'll continue to work on the ship here if you choose to go to Asanatown."


Fire Starters Loot

Following Jori's instructions, you arrive at the Far Portal Stationmaster's executive office a few minutes before 0700. After conferring briefly with a male human assistant, you are buzzed into moderately sized office. You recognize the backdrop behind the desk from your previous communications with Far Portal Station onboard the ACN-1.

Inside the room, Jori stands and motions to a table large enough for six people with a variety of pastries and bagels in the middle with coffee and tea on a smaller table to the side. A broad-shouldered korasha lashunta woman with dark purple hair, wearing utilitarian gray coveralls with lots of pockets, is already seated at the larger table, sipping on a dark drink. See slides.

"Good morning, everyone," Jori says. "I'm glad you made it. Have a seat, and help yourselves. If there's one thing we do well here, other than science, it's coffee, and we go through a lot of it."

As you begin to walk toward the table, the lashunta stands. Jori continues, "I'd also like to introduce you to Dr. Taeress Suloro. Dr. Suloro is one of our researchers here, and she has an offer I thought you'd be interested in hearing."

The lashunta stands and approaches Nomyra, her hand extended for shaking.

"Good morning. I'm Dr. Taeress Suloro. I specialize in magnetosphere monitoring and solor weather prediction, with... well, let's just say I make sure nobody gets cooked."

After you all have time to make introductions and get seated, she continues, continuing to speak primarily to Nomyra.

"Remember about this time yesterday when that psychic wave of... like it felt like you were in an opening airlock without a suit?" She points to her antennae.

"Listen, lashuntas - and other psychic races - in the Burning Archipeligo feel similar psychic pressure all the time, but never anywhere near that strong, strong enough to be felt even by mute races. Combine that with the Far Portal going for a dip, and.." She grimaces. "And it's my professional opinion that things here have gotten deeply weird."

"I've already secured Jori's permission to serve as the Far Portal Station's representative to the scientific community based in Burning Archipeligo and present all of the data from both the Far Portal going under and this ship you all brought back, as they're able to exploit it."

"The catch is that my scientific contacts that aren't already on this station are based in Asanatown in the Burning Archipeligo, and it seems like yesterday - right after the big terror hit - the political situation in Asanatown went from unstable to very unstable. There're reports of riots, riot police, maybe even some organization trying to take control of the place. I haven't been able to reach any of my contacts to figure out what exactly is going on."

"I grew up in Asanatown, and I know that a lot of the lashuntas back home are... very stressed by the psychic pressure they've been feeling there. If they felt what we felt, that might've been enough to push some over the edge. But if what we felt means something, if it was caused by something, or maybe even someone, I mean who knows, but I don't think we can afford to wait any longer than we already have to put our heads together and figure out what's going on."

"So here's the deal. I hop a ride on your ship to the Burning Archipeligo. We go to Asanatown, and you help me figure out why none of the offices that I've contacted have anybody there to answer calls, and then how to find those people. If needed - and I stress if - I might also have to rely on you for personal safety. I hope things haven't gotten that bad, but if you were able to handle whatever was on the Breath of Embers you should be able to handle Asanatown."

"And of course, payment. I can offer you the rest of my department's budget - 500 credits - to get me there. Once we're there there's certainly the possibility of future work, depending onhow this goes."

"I can answer any questions you have. How soon can we leave?"


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Fire Starters Loot

Congrats again everybody! Feel free to level your characters up to level 2 for the next part of the adventure!

We'll probably be doing mostly talking for the next few days, so feel free to level up as we transition to *what comes next*.

I also haven't kept up with the loot total, but now would be a good time to update that. Check that out if you haven't been. I'll let you know when it's done.


Fire Starters Loot

Jori nods upon hearing your explanation. "There's a lot here that doesn't make sense. Most of the scientific equipment here isn't designed for forensic work on a ship, but we can work on seeing if we can learn any more."

"What a day. Thank you for everything you've done for the Station. While you've certainly completed your initial delivery for us, I would ask that you stick around for another day while we do some initial analysis on the Breath of Embers. Everything will be on us, and we'll probably have another... let's call it a delivery job, for you tomorrow."

Jori smiles. "Get some rest. If you're still here, I'll see you in the Station's executive office tomorrow at 0700 Pact World Standard Time. I hope you can make it."

----End of Part 1, Book 1-----


Fire Starters Loot

Kit and Puzzle (and anyone else who looked) would have noticed several small perforations running along the outer wall. Such perforations could have been caused by a coil gun or similar starship weapon, but you don't recall the fire whale having any such weapon - natural or otherwise - that would have made such a hole.

-----------------------------------------------

With some of the crew returning to the ACN-1 and others remaining on the Breath of Embers to pilot it back to Far Portal Station, the trip back is slow but uneventful. As you disembark back on the station, excitement and relief is in the air as the scientists on the station gather to hear your discoveries.

Stationmaster Jori greets you upon your return. "It's so good you're back safely! ALICE kept us informed of your wellbeing while you were on the ship, but there's nothing like hearing what happened first hand. What did you find? We're all so eagar to learn about this vessel!"

Rolls

Spoiler:

Culture: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Puzzle Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Wyrd Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (14) - 1 = 13
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Culture2: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16

Puzzle

Spoiler:

You remember from your cultural training that while your group agreed to bring the ship back to the station (along with any surviving crew members) for study, your agreement/discussion with Jori (way back on post #78) said nothing about ownership of the ship. If you were to press a claim on the Breath of Embers, the starship would be legally yours.


Fire Starters Loot

Wyrd doesn't detect any magic in the room.

Kit was able to get one functioning engine online through Engineering checks in the bridge. You can actually pilot the Breath of Embers, albeit slowly, back to the station yourselves.


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Puzzle doesn't hear anything at the door before they open it.

Rolls

Spoiler:

Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Puzzle Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Wyrd Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6

Inside, the party finds a bathroom built to accomodate people sharing divided space. Toilets share stalls with sonic sinks, mirrors, and sonic showers to allow multipurpose use.

With Kit's knowledge of Engineering, he surmises this might have been designed by creatures lacking biological needs, due to the how all of the room's elements have been installed close together. Wyrd is aware that, given the context, the most likely candidate is an outsider.

A small, empty closet is in the back of the room.


Fire Starters Loot

The party rummages through the lockers.

Most are unlocked and empty, but a few are locked. After a few moments disabling the relatively simple locks, the party finds the following:

Locker 1: Several garments woven with metal and composite. A set of manacles. A holoskin.
Locker 2: A spell ampule of remove condition (that Wyrd finds). A bottle of aged azer fire brandy (worth 250 credits).
Locker 3: A small platinum pendant depicting a marid (a water genie) and a dolphin (worth 250 credits).

No logs, datapads, or records of any kind can be found in the room.


Fire Starters Loot

After discussing various options and finally arriving at a safe way to enter the decompressed area, the party successfully enters the room unharmed with environmental protections on.

Rolls

Spoiler:

Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Puzzle Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Wyrd Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18

This long room has bunk alcoves cordoned off by curtains embroidered with scenes of a city wreathed in flame. Some curtains have been drawn and snapped into place, but others are unsecured. Beneath each visible bunk is a footlocker.


Fire Starters Loot

Disabling the emergency overrides to keep the door open for an extended period of time would require either breaking the door open or essentially powering down the ship. While both are doable, both are relatively less time consuming than space walking...

...or, frankly, as a non-space expert I would imagine depressurizing the entire craft wouldn't go well for the doors (if any) in the ship that were still closed, but I'm not really familiar with what the effects of depressurization would be beyond the immediate area of the door. Could we suffice it to say that engineering, or should I say "Engineering", solutions for this problem exist that wouldn't require putting you all in danger or depressurizing the entire ship? That's sort of where I am - there's a solution here involving wrenches, a welder, some tape, and magboots that the appropriate check will allow you to discover.


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Since folks are gone, next gameplay post will be on Monday.

But to Vedrir's suggestion in game, I don't see a reason why it couldn't work. You'd still have to make the Engineering checks (or Kit would) to patch the holes, but with boot clamps and enough time I don't see why you could just skip the violent decompression part of the task.


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The party reenters the kitchen/dining area and observes the door to the depressurized area.

The door will open with a touch. For those opening the door, please describe what precautions you are taking for when the door is open. I assume everybody's envionrmental protections are up. Just so we're on the same page, when the door is opened there's likely to be a rush of air from inside the ship outside that would take anyone or anything not secured and violently fling it out into whatever room or space lies beyond. Additionally, Engineering almost certainly is going to be the most useful skill for fixing the holes in the depressurized area, assuming there's still an area out there that can be patched and then repressurized.


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Wyrd doesn't detect that the necklace is magical.

There isn't anything else obvious for the party to do in this room.


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Wyrd determines the pile of ash as the disintegrated remains of a biological creature and that something magical, or at least partially magical, appears to have caused it to come into being.

The party finds the following items in the ash, in addition to the armor:
-One black-and-red tactical semi-auto pistol
-27 small arm rounds
-A black choker/necklace
-A cred stick containing 100 credits

Puzzle, Wyrd, and Nomyra confer, but nobody has any idea where, what, or who "Noma" and "Khaim" are off the tops of their heads. Nomyra easily recognizes the "Burning Mother" as the Common translation for the lashunta's name for the sun (Mataras).

Despite Puzzle's work with the ship's computer, they are unable to find a way to restore more of the video.


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Vedrir determines the pile of ash to be (formerly) biological in nature. In the pile there is also a pistol, ammunition, and a cred stick. The black armor looks identical to the armor Tash is wearing in the video.

On my phone but will have actual items in the ash pile for my next post.


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For those investigating the ash, a Mysticism or Life Science check would be appropriate.

Kit goes through the damaged systems, and to say the ship's systems are not in good shape would be an understatement. Currently neither of the two engines are functional (one appears completely shot), the sensor array and communications systems are entirely offline, and there are no functional weapons. Fortunately life support seems stable, except for a relatively large portion of the port side of the vessel that has loss atmosphere and depressurized.

It will take several minutes, but with the diagnostic report Kit could make enough repairs between the bridge and the engine room to bring one engine online.

Wyrd plays the message left on the captain's log.

A hologram sputters into existance in the middle of the room, showing a copper-skinned humanoid man with short, dark horns and slightly luminous flame-red hair that turns blonde toward its roots. (See the slides) He's in his mid-30s, perhaps, with a collar of black metal around his neck. Several wounds bleed through his similarly dark armor. He wavers on his feet, as if woozy, and the recording dissolves into scattered motes of light before cohering again.

"My name is Tash," he says. "I was on Noma. I..." the message dissovles, forming again as he says, "...seize the Burning Mother. I was among them but..." The recording stutters. "...Khaim can't be..."

Suddenly, the man stumbles as if struck. He opens his mouth to continue, but the collar around his neck flashes with a red light. He looks down toward it. Then he gazes straight ahead, eyes tired, resigned.

"Forgive..." he whispers, as a cloud of silver errupts from the collar and flows across his body. It consumes everything it touches, starting with his head and reducing him to dust.

The hologram fades.


Fire Starters Loot

After a quick investigation, Vedrir can't find a physical or medical reason for the feelings in any of the party members. Medical aid does not seem useful in this situation.

-----------------------------

After finishing the 8 hour rest, the party returns to the Breath of Embers and attempts to use the key card to open the locked door amidships. The door opens.

Rolls

Spoiler:

Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Puzzle Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Wyrd Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (15) - 1 = 14
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Wyrd: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Vedrir: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Vedrir: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
Puzzle: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26

Before you a starship bridge extends like a curved, multi-tiered balcony, its outer walls and ceiling formed of a clear composite with holographic overlays that crowd the dark of space with instrument readouts and blinking damage reports. Workstations line the balcony's curved outer edge and the raised platform near the door, some of them clearly damaged by electrical fire. Ash and debris form a small pile in front of the central pilot's station. The pile of ash is next to black microcord armor. A blinking light flashes on the ship's console.

Vedrir

Spoiler:

You recognize the blinking light on the ship's console represents an emergency message left in the captain's log.

Puzzle

Spoiler:

You recognize the blinking light on the ship's console represents an emergency message left in the captain's log.


Fire Starters Loot

Puzzle, you don't detect any attempt at deception when the conversation changes away from talking about the particular details of the Far Portal entering into the sun. Stationmaster Jori responds that they're still canvasing everybody who was effected; she'll try to have more answers once all of the data is collected.

Wyrd, the Far Portal Station sends over some titanium rope (50 feet) for you to borrow as well as five mk 1 serums of healing. You receive the supplies during the two hour period before reembarking on the ship.

No rush as things continue to play out on the ship, but let me know where you'd like to go back on the Breath of Embers and I can pick us up there when the party's ready to go.


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"Oh no!" A.L.I.C.E. exclaims. "I mislabled your read out. That area of the sun was where the Far Portal was, not Far Portal Station."

Suddenly the ship's view screens shift and zoom out, as though being manually adjusted, and display the Far Portal Station, safe and sound, still in orbit around the sun.

"I am so sorry for any additional discomfort that error caused you all, crew. I just got so caught up in what was happening I didn't double check the display screens' annotations..."

After a short pause, A.L.I.C.E. continues, "Actually, they're hailing you again. Patching them through."

Stationmaster Jori, looking somewhat out of sorts, again appears on the ACN-1's view screens. She begins speaking quickly.

"Hello, explorers. As you no doubt are aware by now, the Far Portal just descended into the sun. Our long ranger scanners were able to detect that it remained intact even when dipping into the corona, but they lost the..."

She pauses, sighs, and resumes speaking in a slower, more controlled voice.

"In short, it's gone. Even worse, it seems like the entire station experienced some kind of psycho-emotional event at the same time the portal went into the sun. Some of us got off relatively well, but about half of the crew here were very effected. I don't know why."

"Even though we don't have any direct evidence linking the two, the Breath of Embers emergence hours before this happened strongly suggests the two are connected. Please let us know as soon as you go back on board and find anything. If things like this are happening, I worry... well, right now, I just worry."

"Did the ACN-1 experience also experience a psycho-emotional event? And, can we help you with anything at the Station before you head out again?"

Unfortunately at this point a full 8 hours of rest haven't gone by to restore HP, RP, etc. You can elect to continue resting for two additional hours to gain those benefits.


Fire Starters Loot

Opening up a small, unstocked supply closet with empty tool racks and bare shelves on the way out, the party elects to rest for eight hours before dealing with the decompressed part of the ship and what is probably the bridge. With no signs of life not eventually hostile to the party being found during the exploration, it seems that the Breath of Embers isn't looking like an exceptionally positive case for Plane of Fire-Pact Worlds interplanear relations.

Several minutes after returning to A.L.I.C.E. and the ACN-1, you receive a hail from Far Portal Station. Assuming you answer, you see Stationmaster Jori's face.

"Hello again, explorers. Your ship --Alice, I believe she called herself-- let us know of your progress aboard the Breath of Embers and your descision to replenish your energy before completing the exploration. I wanted to tell you we at Far Portal Station support you taking all of the time you need to clear the ship out as safely as possible. It's a shame there hasn't been anyone on there that's been more friendly. Even though we can't wait to get started investigating the ship, as with any expedition or experiment, your safety is paramount. We're ready to take the ACN-1 and Breath of Embers in as soon as you've finished the initial sweep of the ship. Until then, good luck."

With A.L.I.C.E. running all of the appropriate security protocols and the airlocks secured, the party settles in the mend up a bit before continuing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Approximately six hours after returning to the ACN-1, the ship's sensors begin pinging with new activity.

A.L.I.C.E.'s voice, soft at first and then slightly more urgent, intones, "Greetings, crew. There has been an uptick in solar activity you may want to investigate. For your convenience, I have switched viewscreens in the ACN-1 to the event."

As the party looks on from any of the viewscreens on the ship, you all see that the Far Portal's orbit is beginning to decay. Through protective filters, you watch as the giant portal sinks rapidly down into the sun's corona. Within moments, the portal disappears from view.

Kit

Spoiler:

You feel a momentary rush of unease as the Far Portal slips into the sun. The worst quickly passes, but an unshakable sense of vague dread remains.

Puzzle

Spoiler:

You feel a momentary rush of unease as the Far Portal slips into the sun. The worst quickly passes, but an unshakable sense of vague dread remains.

Nomyra

Spoiler:

As the Far Portal slips into the sun, an overwhelming sense of alarm and impending danger flows over and through you. The panic is so intense you find yourself unable to fully function, almost like you've been punched, (effectively gaining the staggered condition) for a quarter-minute before recovering. An unshakable sense of dread remains.

Vedrir

Spoiler:

You feel a momentary rush of unease as the Far Portal slips into the sun. The worst quickly passes, but an unshakable sense of vague dread remains.

Wyrd

Spoiler:

You feel a momentary rush of unease as the Far Portal slips into the sun. The worst quickly passes, but an unshakable sense of vague dread remains.

As you look to one another following the Far Portal's disappearance, Nomyra seems particularly troubled for several seconds. A quick glance back at the viewscreens shows a zoomed-in portion of the sun's corona, and nothing more - like Far Portal Station was never even there.


Fire Starters Loot

After a few minutes looking around in both the stateroom and brig, and connecting the dots with the airlock doors and control panel, you indeed discern these chambers are meant to function as a specialized escape pod. Using the panel as a guide, you find that the stateroom and brig have independent life support systems installed, which could support up to six Medium sized creatures for seven days. The pod currently has no supplies, but the life support systems are capable of producing drinking water. In addition, the pod has a distress beacon and ample heat shielding, but no propulsion. Further, the bed and chair in the stateroom can act as proper protection for atmospheric reentry for three Medium creatures; three deployable crash couches well integrated into the brig's bulkhead walls could provide similar protections for three additional Medium creatures.


Fire Starters Loot

After several moments, the envelope's translation (from Ignan) is revealed via A.L.I.C.E.:

Attention: For Ship's Commissar Only! Unauthorized carriers or users subject to termination.


Fire Starters Loot

Wyrd notices one thing missing form the rudimentry controls is a means of steering. These could be the controls for an escape pod, as many generally lack independent propulsion.

Nomyra and Vedrir leave the room via airlock to enter the brig/cell via a separate airlock (this is also highly unusual for a conventional ship's design).

Rolls

Spoiler:

Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5

A quick search reveals no prisoners or anything of interest in the room; in fact, it seems like it's never been used.


Fire Starters Loot

Wyrd doesn't detect any magic in the room, but he notices a switch under the desk.

Should you choose to flip the switch

Spoiler:
Another panel opens in the wall, displaying a rudimentry control system for a spacecraft or escape pod. This is unusual, as you aren't on the ship's bridge.

Puzzle opens the cupboard but finds it empty.

Kit manages to unlock the drawers. Inside there is a metal envelope with two short sentences written on it in another language.

Should you choose to open the envelope

Spoiler:

You find a copper master keycard

Kit

Spoiler:

You discern this chamber has independent life-support systems and is designed to detach from the rest of the ship to function as a specialized escape pod.

Nomyra manages to reach the panel.

Should you activate it

Spoiler:

Part of the wall transforms into a one-way viewing window into the adjacent room. The adjacent room appears to be a cell, lined with restraints designed for a variety of physiologies.


Fire Starters Loot

Puzzle's perception doesn't reveal any additional information.

The desk drawers are locked. They could be Engineered (or smashed) open.


Fire Starters Loot

Way back on page 4, post numbers 183-184 or so, the party investigated both double doors in the middle of the ship and found them locked; Kit wasn't able to open them. After a quick check that reveals that situation hasn't changed, the party continues on to the next forward starboard door (which is actually an airlock).

I can also have that you took the uniform from the previous room, but without a disguise kit (maybe even with one) it'll be very difficult for any current member of the party to pass as a shirren, whether an ifrit shirren or a "normal" one).

Stepping past Koshnar's body, the party approaches the airlock out of which she came when she first met them in the armory. The airlock opens normally.

Rolls

Spoiler:

Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Puzzle Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Wyrd Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (8) - 1 = 7
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17

You enter a stateroom appointed in blackened metal and shimmering crimson banners. A huge one-way viewing window takes up half of the room's curved exterior wall and rises to form a clear dome above, giving the impression of being on a balcony in open space (much like the room you recently left). A black desk and cabinets compliment a wrought iron bed frame; unlike in the last room, the desk and cabinets in this room are closed. The carpet on the floor is black with a crimson sun pattern.

Kit

Spoiler:
You know that having an airlock door on a stateroom is unusual. The airlock can be sealed only from this side, and the controls include a couple of odd switches.

Puzzle

Spoiler:
You notice a secret panel near the door about 11 feet from the floor.


Fire Starters Loot

As a reminder for where you'd like to go next, the only remaining door from the kitchen is the one that had the failed alarm above it. Kit determined that the alarm meant that the area beyond the door was depressurized; at the very least having armor environmental protections active would be a good idea, and the initial rush of air out of the door would probably be rather violent as well.


Fire Starters Loot

Also, the small room to the aft of the dresser is a restroom.

Rolls

Spoiler:

Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Puzzle Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Wyrd Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16

The restroom appears unused; there's nothing out of the ordinary inside.

Likewise, after going through the cabinets and desk in the first room, there doesn't seem to be anything else of of note.


Fire Starters Loot

Vedrir and Kit begin looking through the closet. They find the following inside the closet.

Rolls

Spoiler:
Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6

-An elegant, Medium-sized uniform of brass and black, the same crimson sun symbol on the floor emblazened on the chest. (Counts as Medium casual stationware).
-Hanging behind it is a belt with two static arc pistols in matching holsters.

They also look through the desk.

One desk drawer contains a small holographic portrait projector that appears to show two shirrens. See slides. Vedrir notices one of the shirrens is an ifrit. These people wave toward the viewer. Vedrir also notices a hidden compartment at the bottom of the portrait projector, containing:
-a dose of rapture dust (Armory pg. 132)

Another desk drawer contains an ornate card box of flexible metal, containing a harrowing deck (divining cards) also made of metal (in total worth ~300 credits).


Fire Starters Loot

The party elects to open the still-pressurized door going the fore on this side of the ship, skipping the door with the broken alarm leading port.

Rolls

Spoiler:

Vedrir Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Puzzle Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Wyrd Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Nomyra Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
Kit Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13

You enter an elegant stateroom appointed with brass and basalt, with a huge one-way window taking up half of the room's curved exterior wall and rising to form a clear dome above, giving the effect of standing on a balcony in open space. A large desk and bed match elegant cabinets, several of which hang open, and the carpet bears a blazing sun pattern. A door closes off the aft part of the room, and the main door (from which you came) also leads aft.

Vedrir

Spoiler:

You notice the cabinets here have latches to secure them in the event of starship maneuvering. There are still some articles of clothing inside.

Wyrd

Spoiler:
You notice the cabinets here have latches to secure them in the event of starship maneuvering. There are still some articles of clothing inside.

Kit

Spoiler:
You notice the cabinets here have latches to secure them in the event of starship maneuvering, like the cabinets did in the kitchen. You suspect somebody might have opened these cabinets intentionally and then left them ajar after leaving the room. Still, there are some clothes still in the cabinets.

Puzzle

Spoiler:
You notice the cabinets still have some articles of clothing inside.

Nomyra

Spoiler:
The view of space here is almost awe-inspiring. Due to the ship's facing (fleeing away from the Far Portal, and the sun) most of the "balcony" overlooks inky blackness, with hundreds of pinpricks of light from distant stars shining through.

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