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Old 08-22-2019, 06:52 PM   #441
tshiggins
 
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Quote:
Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Post-combat Fear Check, or just good rp?
Good rp, in that instance. See the last Funny Quote.

That was a pretty good little dust-up, and rather evocative, for a random encounter. :)
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:43 PM   #442
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

That was just great work by all. Some really good RPing. And I do have to wonder about poor Beatrice, she just doesn't get a break. Almost like she's got a disadvantage or something (Unluckiness comes to mind). Can't wait for the next session and writeup.

Hey, how about some newspaper stuff from this realm like you did for the other side? That would be fun!
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:30 PM   #443
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Quote:
Originally Posted by SionEwig View Post
That was just great work by all. Some really good RPing. And I do have to wonder about poor Beatrice, she just doesn't get a break. Almost like she's got a disadvantage or something (Unluckiness comes to mind). Can't wait for the next session and writeup.

Hey, how about some newspaper stuff from this realm like you did for the other side? That would be fun!
So far, the group hasn't been anywhere in the Orbital Realm of Jupiter where anything even close to a free press could appear. The "compagnies" rule with only the smallest, most sheer velvet gloves over iron fists, and no information gets published in their domains unless it comes from a company p.r. press.

The group has had a couple of opportunities to slip into the "underground" and get alternate information and perspectives, but have deliberately declined.

To their way of thinking (especially for A.J.) the Red Rocks Lodge has a goal they consider far important, and won't risk antagonizing the local powers that be, in such a way as to put the mission at risk.

Should they make it to the 1711 (soon 1712) world, published broadsheets with local news may become available, once again. :)

At some point, they know they may need to take on the "compagnies," if they want freedom of access to the Orbital Realm of Jupiter. But, for now, the Nieuw Amsterdam and Nieuw Haarlem companies hold much stronger hands.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:25 PM   #444
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

We held our latest session of Facets not long ago, and we seem to be returning to a fairly regular schedule.

##

Characters Present

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P. (not available this time)

Dr. Belody "Doc" Bascher -- a local veterinarian for both large and small animals, who frequently fixates on her job and uses 4CSAR as her primary social outlet. -- played by Samantha H.

Beatrice "B" Lawrence -- U.S. Army veteran who works for a local air charter service as a helicopter mechanic. She recently lost the lower part of her left leg in a fight with a sorcerer from an opposing lodge, and now wears a high-tech prosthetic. A cynic about men, she is accompanied by "Grunt," the biggest, best-trained pit-bull anybody has ever seen (purchased as an ally, and a totally badass dog, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign “foo” spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Claudia Abigail Tavulari, member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, and an old friend of Arthur Jamison’s. The team has been helping Arthur research the portal physics, on the sly. – Played by Tisa T. (Not available, this time.)

Stephen Mack, another member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, a former U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, and outdoors enthusiast. – Played by Jeff T (Not available this time).

Frank Moses -- A former Marine who quit his job as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP). Moses formerly volunteered with 4CSAR and has an interest in Doc Bascher. Frank has spent the past several months living in the Dark Canyon base camp on the 1918 side of the portal. -played by Mike H.

NPCs Present

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit.

Amanda Gagnier: A professional airship crewmember and native of the Orbital Realm of Jupiter, hired as a guide as the Paradise neared the borders of territory controlled by the Nieuw Haarlem company.

Hops About: An enthusiastically lethal nunnupi, a 6-inch tall fairy girl with black wings, pale skin and American Indian features. Currently dressed in the colors of the Unseelie Court, with a bow and knife, she frequently takes the form of a magpie four times the size of a normal bird and can go invisible.

Twirls Thrice: A laconic and lethal nunnupi with a dry sense of humor, also dressed in the cool colors of the Unseelie Court. Apparently the sister of Hops About, she bears similar weapons that can inflict elf-stroke, also appears as a large magpie, and can go invisible.

##

The crew of the airship Paradise decided to spend a day looking around Batavia, to stretch their legs and possibly re-stock some supplies. They’d spent a week returning to the platform town, and didn’t know how much longer they’d remain on the airship.

A.J. and the rest of the Red Rocks Lodge decided they wanted to push as far as they could in the direction they thought would lead them to the gateway to the now-1712 world. The group had checked the calendar before they departed Nieuw Haarlem, and after the week of travel determined that it the date in the material realms had reached January 20.

They’d spent more than four months in the Orbital Realm of Jupiter – more than they’d anticipated – and wanted to get back to Assiah so they could continue the mission they originally set out to do.

However, when the time came to depart, a steady rain had set in and the group decided to delay the departure until the weather cleared. A.J. and Henrietta talked with Amanda about the route.

The veteran airship crewmember said most of the traffic in the area followed the Nieuw Haarlem windstream around the perimeter of the gale from the Portal to the Elemental Plane of Air to reach Batavia, just as they had. From that town, she said, most of them bore left and departed the rapidly-weakening stream.

The airships with cargo and other business generally made their way through a stable gap in the cloud-wall, in the direction of Windhoek, the last settlement that owed allegiance to Nieuw Haarlem. Past Windhoek, Amanda said, a large straight of empty sky lay, through which the airships had to travel for more than 500 miles to reach the settlement of Delft, the first (or last, depending…) that owed allegiance to New Wollaston.

About 700 miles past Delft, the native of the Jupiter realm said, a stable flow of air from the Portal created the steady New Wollaston Windstream, which most ships caught to continue their journey.

A.J. said that, according to the triangulation they’d made with Henrietta’s spells, their destination lay in a “5 o’clock” direction from what he understood to be toward Delft, at least 6,000 miles distant, and 100 miles or so below them.

Amanda said they could start their journey by following the remnants of the Nieuw Haarlem windstream, to reach the settlement of Deventer. While not quite in the direction they needed, she explained, it was mostly right. Moreover, Deventer was the last settlement in that direction, and might know something about the route they needed to take, and it was only a bit more than a day away.

While A.J. and Henrietta had been talking with Amanda, the rest of the group decided to do a little shopping to stock up on some supplies. Doc Bascher wanted a few more bottles of antibiotics – available over the counter – and Frank said he wanted some more Oud Bruin Kola.

In addition, the group discussed securing chemicals for use in making smoke-grenades that actually worked.

After a bit, Frank and Doc Bascher left, and Beatrice tagged along. After they’d done their shopping, the former helicopter mechanic suggested they visit one of the establishments that supplied the cloud-ray hunter airships. Doc Bascher and Frank agreed and, after some queries, soon found one.

As they made their way toward the location, they became aware of a disturbance ahead and, curious, they decided to take a look. Soon, they found themselves down the street from one of the platform’s tallest buildings and, upon the roof, they saw perched the largest eagles they’d ever seen.

At least six feet tall at the perch, the group estimated they had wing-spans in excess of 18 feet, each. Apparently, the town didn’t see large predators such as that very often, and a fair crowd had gathered around to see them.

The trio watched, for awhile (and A.J. joined them after a bit), but then the three made their way to the supply place.

There, they wandered the aisles with interest, checking out the spider-silk parachutes; climbing crampons for boots; ropes of all sorts; a wide selection of tarps and patches; really big knives; barrels for rendered fats and tanks to hold lifting gases. Then, Beatrice spotted a rack of harpoons and moved toward them like a moth to a flame.

She emerged from the aisle into a sizeable open space, and burst into a huge smile. There, up against a wall, Beatrice saw a half-dozen small harpoon cannons – better than any number of ballistas, she thought.

Doc Bascher was almost as delighted, although Frank was little more skeptical about their utility (but was willing to be convinced), and the ladies began an extensive and in-depth discussion with the sales staff about the capabilities of the harpoon guns.

They learned the cannons came from the 1912 United States, where many whalers still used them. The design was actually based on a venerable and reliable model in use for nearly 80 years, they learned, although with a somewhat strengthened barrel to allow the use of smokeless powder cartridges.

The model in the room had proven quite effective against the cloud-rays, and most of the airships mounted a pair on the bow and stern of the gondolas, the sales staff explained. With a few good placements of their shots, they could kill a cloud-ray, and then winch themselves down to it and drop a harvesting crew directly on top of the carcass.

The body floated for several days after the beast died and, with careful planning to remove the meat and fat with minimal disturbance of the gas bladders, a crew might extend that to a week or more, only siphoning off the hydrogen and helium after they’d gotten everything else.

Sold on the utility of the devices, Doc Bascher and Beatrice decided to get three of them – two for the top of the gasbag, with a third in the hold as backup. They also laid in a dozen harpoons for each cannon, as well as black powder and smokeless powder cartridges, and asked for immediate delivery.

(continued...)
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:28 PM   #445
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

About 30 minutes later, they arrived at the dock for the Paradise’s mooring tower, where A.J. and Beatrice watched with bemusement as they wrestled the cannon down into the hold (where they’d acquired some extra space, because nobody wanted to sleep down there, any longer).

Beatrice had also picked up some simple padlocks and metal rings, and installed them on the latches of the hull firing ports as the rain cleared.

A.J. and Henrietta discussed Amanda’s recommendations with the rest of the group, and everybody agreed that heading toward Deventer seemed the best plan. By then, the rain had cleared and the clouds had started to break up, so they cast off from the tower and departed.

A few hours after departure, Claudia and Beatrice had climbed to the “hamster ball” crows nest to keep watch, when a large predator bird swooped out of the clouds and, with a loud shriek, landed on the plexiglass and began to try to peck through it.

Claudia immediately dove for the trapdoor, but Beatrice remained calm. She soon realized the thing couldn’t break through the sphere and, frustrated, it began to try to poke its beak through the apertures.

Annoyed, Beatrice pulled her sword, placed the tip against an opening opposite it’s breast, and thrust through. It drew blood but, maddened, the creature redoubled its efforts to reach her. However, with another thrust, Beatrice ran it through and the thing died.

A few minutes later, Doc Bascher scrambled through the trapdoor with her surgical kit and, intrigued, she began to dissect it. She soon discovered it had claws more similar to those of a reptile, and its feathers emerged from a scaly hide. The fascinated veterinarian said it seemed to be similar to an Archaeopteryx, and Frank asked if it would taste more like chicken or alligator.

The group kept a sharp eye on the clouds for the next little while, but no more of the creatures appeared.

The weather stayed fair for the slightly more than a day it took to reach Deventer and, as the wooded platform appeared ahead, A.J. brought the Paradise in slowly. They docked without incident, and debarked to learn what they could about the direction they intended to take.

However, as the group reached the dock, they saw ahead of them a delegation from the town. Henrietta and A.J. greeted them and, after some chit-chat, the lead person introduced himself as Jean Van Marke, the town manager.

Van Marke said the town didn’t get very many visitors, and that he and the other administrators had noted the defenses on the Paradise as it drew near. The town said it had a problem with one of its outlying settlements and asked if the crew might be willing to help.

A.J. and Henrietta said they’d listen, at least, and Van Marke started to fill them in.

Deventer had a fair number of outer settlements, Van Marke said, because the forests in the area were particularly thick and healthy (as the group had noted as they flew in). As such, they hosted a huge number of bird rookeries, which allowed the town to supply the most nitrogen-rich fertilizer and compost in the Nieuw Haarlem territory – a particularly valuable commodity used to cultivate crops of all sorts.

Apparently, a large group of avian predators called “Blood Hawks” had migrated to a thick copse of floating trees near a settlement about a half-day away. Swarms of the beasts frequently attacked the townsfolk, and their own defenses had proven ineffective.

He needed an armed airship to relieve the town, Van Marke said, and then clear out the rookery. In exchange, the town would supply 100 lbs of nitrogen rich compost for each member of the crew, shipped to any destination desired.

By then the rest of the group had gathered around, and negotiations began in earnest. In addition to the 900 lbs of compost, the group successfully procured the services of carpenters to build a deck on top of the dirigible to act as a fighting platform for the two harpoon guns, as well as topped-off fuel tanks.

Van Marke agreed to the demands, noting that Deventer also produced biodiesel and had lots of experienced carpenters.

The Red Rocks Lodge discussed it amongst themselves, briefly, and then A.J. asked the town manager to provide a guide and a dozen or so barrels of biodiesel, as well as several cannisters of wooden bearings the size of marbles, to which Van Marke quickly agreed.

The town manager also put together a carpentry crew and, under Beatrice’s supervision, they spent the next several days building a fighting deck out of lightweight wood.

A short time later, the Paradise departed, its rear deck stacked with barrels of flammable fluids and a very nervous passenger in the pilot cabin with A.J. Meanwhile, Frank, Beatrice and the rest broke out shotguns, while Henrietta readied her 9 mil and her quarterstaff, noting that she still had an Armor spell residing in a tattoo.

The guide put them on the right heading, and A.J. decided to go in high. As the the settlement came into view a few hours later, the group noted that the townsfolk had apparently woven netting among the branches of the floating trees to try to keep the birds out.

However, as they drew closer, they noted large flocks swooping around, and moving into the branches to try to wriggle through the netting.

At that point, A.J. got an idea, and had Doc Bascher and Frank fetch the body of the lizard-avian from the top of the dirigible. Once they’d brought it down, he had them sling the carcass from a cable on the winch and lower it so it swung slightly below the gondola but easily visible from the deck and the firing portals, below.

A.J. made a slow pass along the perimeter of the floating settlement and the plan worked like a charm. A couple dozen of the attacking birds noticed the bait and, in a fast-moving swarm arrowed up toward it in a rather alarming fashion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luuYRrPaEpM

The crew of the Paradise stood waiting, shotguns at the ready, and as the blood hawks arrowed in on the carcass, shotgun pellets tore them from the sky. Within a few moments, the crew had blasted them out of the air around the bait, and A.J. turned the airship around for another pass.

Several passes later, the group had cleared most of the birds from the area, and then got the rest as they attacked when A.J. flew in close to the floating trees.

The townsfolk came out, bandages, cuts, missing ears and lopped fingers giving testament to the terror they’d barely survived.

A quick conversation revealed the location of the rookery – particularly thick cluster of trees located less than an hour away. The guide said he knew the place, and the Paradise set off, this time with Steven at the helm.

Again, the Paradise went in high, and as they approached the rookery, they could see clouds of birds circling well-below them. Beatrice unlatched the gate in the forward lattice, and then helped Henrietta roll a barrel of biodiesel through.

As the barrel of volatile liquid fell, A.J. shot a flaming crossbow bolt at it, while Aurelia did the same with a flaming arrow. Both missiles hit, and when the barrel smashed through the canopy and broke open, the fuel caught fire.

Beatrice and Henrietta hastily grabbed another barrel and sent it after the first, as the rest of the group stood by with shotguns and bows. The rest of the barrels followed soon enough, and A.J. and Aurelia between them managed to keep the fires burning.

Soon enough, the hydrogen in the bladders of the floating trees began to cook off, and burning trunks began to plunge through the floating copse, igniting more as they fell. Soon, the entire copse turned into a giant torch and Steven moved the Paradise away from the hot updrafts.

The group watched as the rookery began to rain in fire down into the infinite depths, and eventually lost sight of the debris. A few of the mist-shrouded trees in close proximity to the rookery caught fire, as well, but the damp mist and lush foliage kept it from spreading far.

A few of the blood hawks survived but seemed intent on dispersing, and the group decided that counted as “mission accomplished,” and headed back toward the settlement.

A bit later, Beatrice noticed that Grunt wasn’t following her around, as usual, and went looking for him. She found the foo dog on the aft deck, where trotting back and forth and poking his nose at a little green bird that seemed to have gotten trapped in the netted latticework.

Grunt had his ears perked up and seemed more interested than alarmed, so she called for Doc Bascher to come and take a look. The veterinarian soon arrived and, noting the unusual brightness of the colors, fetched a blanket and threw it over the fluttering bird.

Doc Basher carried it into the cabin and, carefully unwrapped the bird. About the size of a jay, the bird had feathers more brilliant than anything she’d ever seen. Intrigued, the veterinarian closed the curtains and in the gloom of the cabin, the bird actually glowed with a bright green light.

Delighted, Doc Bascher put some crushed nuts on a plate, and carefully left the cabin. A short time later, the Paradise arrived back at the settlement and reported to the relieved townsfolk, who treated them to a fine party.

The group got frequently toasted and slightly plastered, but managed to avoid any impromptu weddings. Doc Bascher picked up a nice wooden bird cage for her new pet, and after a long rest, the Paradise returned to Deventer.

The guide reported on events to a pleased Van Marke, who immediately set aside barrels of compost for delivery to Jimmy Ehrland in Nieuw Haarlem, along with a letter from Henrietta.

(continued...)
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:29 PM   #446
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

Soon enough, the carpenters completed the work and helped raise the harpoon cannons up the side of the envelope and mount them in place, about 10 yards fore and aft of the centrally-placed crows nest. They placed the harpoons and powder in sheltered trunks, on the deck to either side of the cannons, and Beatrice declared herself quite pleased with the results.

For her part, Doc Bascher spent as much time as she could away from the airship, knowing that a long voyage lay ahead. She took a nice room at a local hotel, and made another discovery when she pulled the blackout curtains closed in preparation for sleep.

As soon as the room plunged in to near-total darkness, the little green bird glowed as brightly as a lantern, and began to trill a happy song. Apparently, it liked the darkness very much, and Doc Bascher fell asleep to its cheerful notes.

After another rest, the Paradise departed once again with topped-off tanks, in a direction nearly opposite of the path normally taken by most airship traffic. The lodge members wanted to see how far they could get.

In preparation for this leg of the trip, Claudia had prepared spells back in Nieuw Haarlem that allowed the engines to run more efficiently and, in combination with the full tanks, A.J. hoped that would get them all the way to the destination portal.

The voyage began with clear skies and temperatures a few degrees above the 70 degree, and the Paradise made good time with the last remnants of the Nieuw Haarlem windstream at its tail. That petered out after a couple of days, though, and by then Henrietta’s spell indicated they needed to turn away from it.

A few hours after the departure, Beatrice heard the trapdoor in the hamster ball thump open, and watched with bemusement as a folded cheap lawn chair emerged and clattered to the deck, followed by Doc Bascher. The veterinarian had cut the legs off a pair of her khakis and tucked the tail of a t-shirt through the neck to make a trailer-park bikini.

She popped open the hatch in the hamster ball, ducked through, and set up her lawn-chair on Beatrice’s fancy new fighting deck, flopped down in it, put on her Ray-bans and unfolded a reflector to get some sun. Beatrice shrugged and decided she wasn’t needed, if Doc Bascher planned to spend her time up top, and went down into the envelope to take a nap.

A few hours later, the speaking tube from the above whistled, and the group heard Claudia warning about large creatures winging toward them.

Frank and Beatrice quickly scrambled up the ladder. Once there, they spotted the three large avians and Frank got out his binoculars and Beatrice ran toward one of the harpoon cannons.

Through his powerful binoculars, Frank saw that the approaching reptilian flyers had wingspans in excess of 30 feet, and probably ran 12-15 feet from nose to the barbed spike on the ends of their scaly, whip-like tails.

Fearing something draconic, Frank unslung his rifle, took a knee, and propped it on the railing around the wooden fighting deck. As the beasts approached, Frank took careful aim and, with one shot each, took down all three of them before they got within range of the harpoon cannons.

Beatrice griped a bit at the loss of the carcasses, but Frank gave her complaints short shrift. He said he didn’t know if those things breathed fire or not, and he certainly didn’t like the looks of the huge barbed spiked on their tails, and that meant he didn’t want them to get close.

They moved along with a wall of clouds to their right, which eventually gave way to a vast, empty sky. A few hours after they left the vestiges of the windstream, though, they received a warning of stormy weather from an unusual messenger.

A.J. was at the helm, when a large, brightly colored bird appeared at the window to the bridge, after having somehow made it through the lattice and nets. It pecked at the window and, forward, Grunt’s head whipped around at the sound.

Grunt’s ears perked up as he “whuffed” and sat down, wagging his tail. Encouraged by the foo dog’s actions. A.J. opened the window and the bird, about the size of a large parrot, hopped in and chirped out, “Hello, hello, hello!”

A.J. greeted it, in turn, and the bird said, “hello!” again and cocked its head, looking at something behind the pilot. A.J. turned around, and saw Hops About and Twirls Thrice, the faerie girls, sitting on the weapons rack, swinging their feet and watching the proceedings with great interest.

The bird must have decided they posed no threat and turned its attention back to A.J. The two proceeded to get into a conversation featuring many repetitions and requests for clarification, but the former NASA engineer eventually worked out that a large storm was blowing up from below and this “Kekeko” bird had flown in to warn them.

A.J. left the helm, went outside and looked over the side. Below, he saw greenish and dark gray clouds roiling up, miles below. Alarmed, he went back to the helm, pitched the nose up and firewalled the throttle. He wanted to try to avoid getting drawn into the clouds while running ahead of the vast storm.

A couple of hours later, the storm put A.J.’s decision and his piloting skills to the test as winds from below and aft slammed into the Paradise. The airship rocked and swayed, and up in the envelope Beatrice heard the superstructure started to groan.

A.J. spent the next several hours hanging tough and then, despite the fact that the storm raged on, the exhausted pilot called for Steven to come and relieve him. Steven took the helm and A.J. went down into the cabin and collapsed in the glow of the little green bird.

The gale continued more or less unabated for about 12 hours before it seemed ready to break up. However, the kekeko warned A.J., who had returned to the helm by then, that the storm hadn’t finished with them, yet.

Sure enough, a few hours later, the winds blasted the airship again and raged another four hours or so.

Still, A.J.’s approach had proven wise, and as the storm wound down to gusts and spatters of rain, the weary crew found that the Paradise had survived with minimal damage they could easily repair themselves.

The storm clouds eventually flattened out into a vast gray deck, far above them. As the rain cleared, the crew saw off in the distance, to the starboard, a towering green fountain of life that rose from the depths and disappeared into the clouds, above.

The air took on the sepia tone and the sweet taste that told them they had wandered into a nutrient fall. A.J. thanked the kekeko for the help, and asked it where it had come from.

The magical bird told them it had come from something called the “sky tree,” a tree that took “many sleeps” to fly from root to crown.

Once they’d digested this revelation, the group made further inquiries. After a fair amount of back-and-forth, the group learned this “sky tree” had at least one huge hollow spot that apparently held a portal to the iconic realm of Briah.

Moreover, the kekeko told them something dark had come through that gate, and hunted through the canopy for those who dwelt in it. In exchange for its warning, it asked the Red Rocks Lodge to come and help.

A.J. said that, while they’d like to assist and might do so in the future, they had another responsibility to honor, first. After that (assuming they survived it), A.J. said the group might have the capability to take on something from the realm of demigods.

The kekeko seemed disappointed with the response, but also seemed to understand. It fluttered to a gap in the storm-wracked netting and flew away.

With that, the session ended.

##

Funny Quotes

(Beatrice sees the harpoon cannons for the first time, and gets really excited.)
Beatrice: Can I get ‘em all?! How heavy are they?
Frank: Why am I the voice of reason, right now?

(Beatrice eagerly advocates the use of the harpoon cannons against targets such as the rocs, and Doc Bascher chimes in, noting that the cable would allow them to keep the bodies suspended for leisurely dissection.)
Frank: We don’t reel it in! It reels us out!
Beatrice: I am so in love with Doc Bascher, right now!
Frank (to Doc Bascher): Don’t encourage her!
Beatrice: You should see the look on your face, right now!

Frank: We’re regressing back into insanity. I thought we were past all that.
Beatrice: I’m pretty sure we never left.
Frank: This is why I drink cocaine.
Beatrice: I told you to go get some.

Beatrice: I’m so excited by this!

Claudia: There’s a big bird! There’s a big bird coming!
Frank: Just sing him the alphabet!

{Beatrice draws out the deck plans, which include a sturdy safety railing.)
GM: I hereby lodge my semi-official complaint about your violation of genre norms.

Henrietta: We’re bird-hunters, now?
Doc Bascher: Ka-kaw, motherf*****s!

Beatrice: That was the easiest 900 lbs of fertilizer, ever! Can I get a flaming harpoon? (for the rookery)
A.J.: I’m not carrying it. We’re not flying in there. We’re walking.
Beatrice: I have a wooden leg!

(Doc Bascher is delighted with the green bird.)
Doc Bascher: Can we name it Meryl Cheep? Chick Jagger?
Beatrice: She does not get to name the bird.
Frank: Quacky Chan? Conway Tweety? McCauley Cawkin’? Christopher Squawkin’?
Doc Bascher: Coolest pet, ever!

(The celebration party goes into full swing.)
Beatrice: We’re making sure nobody puts a wreath on A.J.’s head.
A.J.: They take it off my head and put it on Steve’s head. Bye!

(The bird glows bright green, in the hotel room.)
Beatrice: We should name him, “Highliter.”
G.M.: “Chemlite”?
Doc Bascher: I like my names, better.

##
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:59 PM   #447
evileeyore
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
A.J. said that, while they’d like to assist and might do so in the future, they had another responsibility to honor, first. After that (assuming they survived it), A.J. said the group might have the capability to take on something from the realm of demigods.
Where in the party neatly avoids a sidetrek, but leaves it open to fighting the World Tree Demonthing later.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:42 AM   #448
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Where in the party neatly avoids a sidetrek, but leaves it open to fighting the World Tree Demonthing later.
Exactly. :)

This sort of epitomizes my GMing style. I throw threads out there, and the players decide what to pursue, and when.

With the current group, I also keep a lot of combat options "switched off" until they ask if they can try something, and then Anten and I explain how it works.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:59 PM   #449
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Quote:
Frank asked if it would taste more like chicken or alligator.
Frank has his priorities in order.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:24 PM   #450
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

We had another session of Facets not long ago, and we’ve got another coming up, soon, so I’d better get this done. Also, the group achieved the goal they’d worked for, for months – but it cost them.

Characters Present

Dr. Henrietta "Indiana" Johnson -- A personable, age 29-and-holding Anthropologist who specializes in the pre-Columbian indigenous people of the American Desert Southwest. A Native of Apache Junction, AZ, "Indiana" is good with people and has been fascinated by American Indian religion and folklore since she was a child. Henrietta speaks Apache fluently, and not-so-secretly wishes archaeology could be more like Raiders of the Lost Ark and less like digging in a trench with a trowel and a toothbrush -- Played by Debbie S.

Dr. Arthur "A.J." Jamison -- a retired NASA scientist with a home in one of Moab's nicer canyon sub-developments, who volunteers for 4CSAR because he needs to do something to get out of the house. Considers himself responsible for Sunmi Jones, who is enough of a science-geek that the two of them can actually hold a conversation. -- Played by Anten S.

Aurelia R. Lockrin -- A young woman with a shady past who teaches History at Grand County High School (Home of the Red Devils!), and volunteers for 4CSAR because she's a bit of an adrenalin junkie, and likes the companionship. -- played by Bennie Rae P.

Dr. Belody "Doc" Bascher -- a local veterinarian for both large and small animals, who frequently fixates on her job and uses 4CSAR as her primary social outlet. -- played by Samantha H.

Beatrice "B" Lawrence -- U.S. Army veteran who works for a local air charter service as a helicopter mechanic. She recently lost the lower part of her left leg in a fight with a sorcerer from an opposing lodge, and now wears a high-tech prosthetic. A cynic about men, she is accompanied by "Grunt," the biggest, best-trained pit-bull anybody has ever seen (purchased as an ally, and a totally badass dog, even before it was possessed by what appears to be a benign “foo” spirit) -- played by Bernetta W.

Claudia Abigail Tavulari, member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, and an old friend of Arthur Jamison’s. The team has been helping Arthur research the portal physics, on the sly. – Played by Tisa T. (Not available, this time.)

Stephen Mack, another member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, a former U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, and outdoors enthusiast. – Played by Jeff T (Not available this time).

Frank Moses -- A former Marine who quit his job as a trooper with the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP). Moses formerly volunteered with 4CSAR and has an interest in Doc Bascher. Frank has spent the past several months living in the Dark Canyon base camp on the 1918 side of the portal. -played by Mike H.

NPCs Present

Grunt: Beatrice's ally, a large pit-bull possessed by a protective "foo" spirit.

Amanda Gagnier: A professional airship crewmember and native of the Orbital Realm of Jupiter, hired as a guide as the Paradise neared the borders of territory controlled by the Nieuw Haarlem company.

Hops About: An enthusiastically lethal nunnupi, a 6-inch tall fairy girl with black wings, pale skin and American Indian features. Currently dressed in the colors of the Unseelie Court, with a bow and knife, she frequently takes the form of a magpie four times the size of a normal bird and can go invisible.

Twirls Thrice: A laconic and lethal nunnupi with a dry sense of humor, also dressed in the cool colors of the Unseelie Court. Apparently the sister of Hops About, she bears similar weapons that can inflict elf-stroke, also appears as a large magpie, and can go invisible.

##

After the kekeko left, the weather cleared out for awhile, although the skies above still had the vast cloud-deck from the recent gales. The wind settled down to a steady blow, that eventually petered out as the Paradise continued to fly in the direction indicated by Henrietta’s spell lay toward the gate to the (now) 1712 world.

By the end of that second day, A.J. noted that the wind had shifted around to blow lightly form the direction of the rear of the airship, instead of the front.

Based on what he’d learned about the wind patterns in this world, A.J. suspected that an undiscovered Fountain of Life lay ahead. As a rule, winds blew in freezing gales away from the portals to the Elemental Plane of Air, but toward the hot chimneys of air that formed the hearts of the fountains.

With that, A.J. decided to drop the Paradise down the 100 miles, or so, and within 30 minutes the air became noticeably warmer. By the time they reached the new “altitude,” the temperature had risen from about 70 degrees F to 80 degrees, and the air felt as thick as a humid day in Lousiana.

After about 42 or 43 more hours of steady travel, during which the tail-wind slowly grew in strength, Henrietta said the portal lay immediately ahead. At that point, Frank went down into the hold and came back with a large case and crate.

With the help of the crew, he rapidly assembled a two-person dirigible rickshaw similar to the cab he and Aurelia took. Aurelia joined him in this small airship, too, and the two of them undocked from the Paradise and went to scout the portal.

The two of them quartered the area for awhile, and Henrietta shouted that they should have gone through the portal at least a couple of times. A.J. checked the clock and confirmed that it was night time on the other side, and the group tried to figure out why the portal remained shut.

Suddenly, the astronomer and former NASA engineer noted the date as the evening of January 31 to February 1, and realized the problem.

According to what they’d learned about the forces that governed the portals to the Orbital Realm of Jupiter, they only opened at night, when the planet Jupiter could be seen in the sky. In January, Jupiter lay on the far side of the sun from Earth, which meant it would never be visible.

In fact, it had no chance to be seen at night until mid to late March, at the earliest – two and half or three months away.

However, the group had taken that possibility into consideration. During the long hiatus during the construction of their platform at Nieuw Haarlem, Frank had studied the Gate college in the books they’d gotten from Oliver McShane. He’d prepared a spell to force the portal open, if needed.

So, under the circumstances, Frank decided to cast the spell to open the portal – only to have it fail, as he had so little experience with the college.

Aurelia commented that had been “anticlimactic,” and A.J. wanted to know if Frank had prepared a second opening spell. Frank admitted he had not, which utterly flabbergasted everybody – especially A.J.

It turned out that A.J. had gambled everything on a final run at the portal. The tanks of the Paradise had only about enough fuel to go from New York to Britain, but Deventer lay more than 6,000 miles behind them, and 100 miles up in altitude.

They couldn’t make it back.

At that point, early heard a small, high voice behind also say, “That was anticlimactic,” and turned around to see Hops About and Twirls Thrice sitting on the weapon rack, swinging their legs in the open air.

Hops About observed that the group seemed to have found themselves with a problem – which she and a grinning Hops About could solve for them.

In exchange for another favor owed to both of the nunnupi from the members of the Red Rocks Lodge, the two magpie faeries would force the portal open.

This triggered a tremendous argument amongst the group, in which Beatrice dug in her heels and absolutely refused to make any deals with any faeries, ever again. She favored using some of the remaining fuel to find the Fountain of Life and scout it for bio-materials they could distill into bio-diesel and open up options.

Frank, Doc Bascher and Aurelia leaned toward taking the deal, albeit reluctantly. A.J. did also, but acknowledged that Beatrice had a good point. A.J. told Hops About that the same caveats would apply on this deal as the last deal (nothing that would qualify as certain suicide, and nothing that would require they murder anybody).

Moreover, A.J. said, the nunnupi clearly had something in mind and A.J. wanted to know what it might be, before they took the deal.

Hops About and Twirls Thrice communed silently, for a moment. Twirls Thrice then said that, soon after the group entered a world in Assiah, the Material Realm, they would receive a message from the person to whom the two magpie faeries had sold the first favor.

Before the group went and fulfilled that favor, Hops about said, the mages of the Red Rocks Lodge would have to take the two nunnupi across the Pearl Bright Ocean to a destination they’d disclose at the start of the journey.

A.J. replied that, under those circumstances, he’s shift his vote to taking the deal, rather than risk a journey into the unknown, towards who knows what, to find supplies that might not exist.

Beatrice bitterly objected but, as the only holdout, acknowledged she was outvoted. However, she insisted that she not be held as part of any deal with the faeries – she was to be excluded.

Hops About agreed to that additional condition readily enough, and the rest of the crew took the deal. With that, the two faeries streaked out toward the location of the portal, and a few minutes later, indicated they’d opened the way.

(continued...)
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