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Old 08-01-2020, 01:51 PM   #531
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

"Randy's not stupid, he just does stupid things..." --Beatrice
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:21 PM   #532
SionEwig
 
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Quote:
Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Randy also managed to make good use of the details that interested him, and I found that rewarding.
Yes, very much so from my point of view.

Quote:
While I like world-building, for its own sake, the reason for the exposition is to provide the players with options. I don't like channeled adventures, and prefer to leave plot threads scattered around widely, for the players to tug upon -- or not.

It can be overwhelming though, I will grant that. That said, I think it adds real richness for those who put in the time, and you were one of those players.
It does add to the world and makes it feel more "real" than many fictional creations. I, as part of the peanut gallery, really appreciate the level of detail and time that you put into it.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:46 AM   #533
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

We held a fairly short session of Facets, a few weeks back. Bennie Rae couldn’t make it, this time, so we ended a bit early, but the group did get into an exciting little dustup.


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. -- 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. 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.

Stephen Mack, another member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, a former U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, and outdoors enthusiast. – Played by Ragan S.

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.

Millicent “Millie” Brown – A member of the Columbine Lodge of Denver, and descendant of the Unsinkable Margaret “Molly” Brown. Currently an apprentice of the Invisible College of Thoth-Hermes, seconded out to the members of the Red Rocks Lodge. Owner of a large, well-trained Savannah Cat, named Apophis. – Played by Kaitlynn S.

Roger Vaughn – Another member of the Columbine Lodge of Denver, son of a prominent family. Currently a member of the Invisible College of Thoth-Hermes, sent along on the raid because he has knowledge of modern weapons and tactics. -Played by Benjamin H. (not available this session)

Fergus O’Neil – A pirate and rascal who had the misfortune to cross the Red Rocks Lodge, and the worse judgement to try to rob them when they took passage on his ship across the Irish Sea in the late winter of 1712. However, against all common sense, the party (well, A.J….) decided to adopt him as a flunky after they saved his life from his own crew. -Played by Jeff T (Welcome back to the party!)

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 trip across the Inner Sea of the Elder Isles proved as routine as promised, and the group soon arrived in Lyonesse Town, on the southern coast of the large central island of Hy-Brasil.

A larger city than Avallon, extensive facilities lined the shores of the harbor east of town, which also had a number of busy airship mooring masts and hangars. The stone-paved streets bustled with people moving to and fro, but the town seemed far cleaner and healthier than the group expected.

The group found a nice inn without too much trouble, walked around the town a bit and made inquiries about passage to the Goblin Market, near the Thripsey Sidhe gateway, in Madling Meadow.

They soon located a horseless coach service that made the trip regularly, and a quick inspection of the vehicle revealed a wooden omnibus similar to those that plied the streets of Europe in the late 18th to early 19th Centuries, only without the horses.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseb...st_omnibus.png

The driver advised them the trip to the Goblin Market would only take a couple of days, and they usually stopped in a town called Frogmarsh, not quite halfway along, the first night, and then left before dawn the next day so as to make Madling Meadow by dusk.

The driver also noted with approval that the group seemed well-armed and, upon inquiry, the group learned a pack of werewolves had recently taken up banditry in the Tantravalles Forest on the route from the town of Little Saffield to Madling Meadow.

The route departed from the Old Street Highway and ran through some hilly country, where it became rather more narrow and closed in by the tree canopy.

The gtroup took a moment to digest that information, and said they’d like to stock up on silver weapons before they left. The driver agreed that seemed most reasonable, but noted the shops and market-places had all closed up for the evening. He agreed to delay his departure, the next morning, so the group could procure some armaments.

The night passed quietly enough and the group rushed around and did their shopping the next morning. They loaded the luggage on top of the omnisbus (they were traveling light), and set out. The trip to Frogmarsh, although far less comfortable than the long-distance buses back home, went well enough and the Old Street highway had lots of traffic.

As originally discussed, the group rose in the early morning hours, then next day, and the omnibus headed toward the next town, Flaurhamet, just as the sun-gate started to unveil in the sky A.J. decided to ride “shotgun” with his heavy crossbow, up next to the driver.

Aurelia (who disliked cramped confines), and Frank (who disliked not being able to see things) rode on the top, back with the luggage. Everyone else stayed in the cramped (but dry) cabin.

The omnibus made good time and passed by several other towns, but well before mid-day, they saw the dark edge of the Tantravalles in the distance, on the other side of a good-sized town the driver identified as Little Saffield.

The passed around the walls from the west to the north, and found themselves on a smaller road rising into a more rugged part of the forest. However, they fond the road busy with traffic of one sort or another, including some huge horseless wagons hauling fresh-cut logs back toward Little Saffield.

The driver explained that the town specialized in forest products of a sorts, and specialized in fine cabinetry, furniture, and wood products of all sorts. Moreover, the woodcutters in the town supplied lumber for much of the shipbuilding trade, down in Kercelot.

The woodsmen usually cut trees on the banks of the rapidly approaching River Timble, the driver said, lashed them together as sizeable rafts, and floated the cut timber down the river to Kercelot. Once they crossed the river, he added, they’d find themselves in one part of the Tantravalles where the werewolf bandits reportedly operated.

The carriage crossed the bridge and, soon thereafter, the party began to see oaks, ash, beeech trees, English elms and others, with boles that would take three of them holding hands to reach around.

The road took them reasonably straight through the forest, bending only to avoid particularly difficult terrain or thick copses of ancient and truly massive stands of trees.

(continued...)
__________________
--
MXLP:9 [JD=1, DK=1, DM-M=1, M(FAW)=1, SS=2, Nym=1 (nose coffee), sj=1 (nose cocoa), Maz=1]
"Some days, I just don't know what to think." -Daryl Dixon.

Last edited by tshiggins; 08-07-2020 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:47 AM   #534
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

After about an hour, the carriage rounded a curve and saw ahead of them a short stretch of road with wider spaces between the trees on either side, and a thick canopy that kept the forest floor reasonably clear.

Blocking the road, ahead, they saw three horseless carriages about the sizes of large jeeps or pickup trucks, each with a unique design but all featuring swivel-guns mounted on cross-bars above and behind the front seats.

In front of the three larger vehicles, a large man in a long leather coat reinforced with rings and studs rode what looked for all the world like a Daimler Reitwagen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daimler_Reitwagen) only with rubber tires, sat grinning on his velocipede, arms crossed.

The driver cursed as he brought the omnibus to a halt. A.J. took the safety off his crossbow as behind him, Aurelia poked her head up over the luggage, curious at the stop.

Once the omnibus stopped and the driver set the brake, the man on the velocipede called out that he and his men needed to “collect the toll” for the use of the road.

A.J., somewhat annoyed, asked how much that would be, to which the man replied they’d need everything except the lives of the passengers and the carriage, itself.

The former NASA engineer countered with an offer of his own. He said if the group cleared the roadway, he’d let them live.

The man shouted, “Fire!” and A.J. snap-shotted him through the forehead with a silver-tipped crossbow quarrel, as the three swivel cannons blasted out double-handfuls of .50 caliber balls, each.

A.J.’s missile protection bounced the ball that would’ve hit him back at the shooter, who went down in a heap. Another couple of balls lifted the critically wounded driver off the seat and dropped him to the ground next to the carriage, and the rest of the shot turned the sturdy wooden slats of the carriage into Swiss cheese.

Inside, the cabin suddenly filled with flying splinters and smashing balls, none of which could penetrate the body armor worn by the party, but did bruise the hell out of the wearers and did break a few limbs (which healing spells immediately repaired) despite being somewhat slowed by passage through the walls of the carriage.

A few other reverse missile spells also killed the other two gunners in the backs of their respective vehicles, leaving only the driver and a musket-man left alive in each of the three cars.

The three bandit vehicles lurched forward as the seriously ****** party members kicked open the battered carriage doors and hopped out. The center car headed straight for the carriage until Steven shot the driver in the face and then it swerved to the left and hit a tree, stunning the musketman long enough for the party to finish him off.

The left car bumped off the road and tried to flank around, through some trees, and the musketman fired as he came. Shooting a musket from a moving vehicle proved about as effective as expected (in other words, not at all…), so the driver zeroed in on Steven and punched the accelerator.

Over on the right, the third car tried a drive-by with bullets whizzing around, got shot at by Fergus, dodged by (and then drenched by a water jet from) Henrietta who had stepped behind a tree, and then Aurelia shot the driver as the car came bearing down on her.

Meanwhile, Claudia had scrambled out of the carriage and managed to clamber up on top as the third car whizzed by right behind her. As she reached the luggage, she saw the left-side car hit Steve and knock him sprawling, and realized in an instant the driver meant to smash into the carriage onto which she’d just climbed.

Without even thinking about it, Claudia triggered an Utter Dome spell she’d hung before she left London, and the force-wall instantly expanded out from her position.

Even though not moving all that fast (only 20 mph or so), the car on the left hit the dome hard enough to catapult the standing gunman forward. He promptly smacked into the wall head-first, and went unconscious, as Doc Bascher shot the driver.

On the other side, the expanding dome took the speeding car in the left side and knocked it over – just as the gunner also got shot by Frank.

Doc Bascher immediately ran forward to help the driver and, between first aid and healing spells, managed to save him. Everybody else’s wounds were already healed (although a Grunt needed a bone reset), so she’d completed all the healing needed within about an hour.

Meanwhile, the group had righted the knocked-over car, and A.J. and Beatrice proceeded to check out all three of them. They found the three cars plus the velocipede all ran on rechargeable magical engines such as those they’d seen up in Avallon.

The three cars had been built sturdily enough that they remained driveable with only a few minor repairs. The velocipede, of course, hadn’t been damaged at all, and Beatrice promptly claimed it, as she’d had to leave her Harley back in Moab.

As soon as he recovered, Grunt came over to sniff at the new bike, and whuffed in disappointment when he realized it didn’t have a side-car. Beatrice promised the dog she’d correct that oversight, the first chance she got.

The omnibus had taken considerable damage, but mostly to the cabin (and the driver). The shots from the swivel-guns had all passed above the engine (mounted below the driver’s seat), and hadn’t hit any axles, so it remained driveable.

The party claimed the other three vehicles, also, and then saw the driver walking around, cutting off the right thumbs of the bandits, for the bounties. He also said they should hang the bodies as a warning – and so the reeve’s deputies could validate their story.

The party agreed readily enough, and granted the driver a double-share of the fairly high bounty rewards, so he could get his carriage fixed.

Once they completed the onerous chore of looting the bodies and stringing them up, Beatrice led what was now a caravan toward Madling Meadow, which they reached soon after dark.

With that, we decided to end the session, as Aurelia had been the one who wanted to talk to Yuliana Thorn, and Bennie Rae couldn’t make it.

###

Funny Quotes
(Not too many, this time, as the session was short, combat-intensive, and Bennie wasn’t present.)

Mike (OOC): Have I met Fergus, yet?
Tisa (OOC): He’s the one who tried to sell us out.
Doc Bascher (IC): Now he’s our bitch.
Fergus (IC): I’m your captain!

GM: ‘Cause, if you’re gonna have werewolves, at least one has to be riding a motorcycle.
Tisa: Right?

(Claudia casts Utter Dome and promptly ends the combat.)
Beatrice: She’s a badass without even meaning to be!
__________________
--
MXLP:9 [JD=1, DK=1, DM-M=1, M(FAW)=1, SS=2, Nym=1 (nose coffee), sj=1 (nose cocoa), Maz=1]
"Some days, I just don't know what to think." -Daryl Dixon.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:51 PM   #535
SionEwig
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

It is so nice to see a combat go so very well for the players. That was some true bottom kicking there. Excellent tactics there. Two thumbs up!

Quote:
The velocipede, of course, hadn’t been damaged at all, and Beatrice promptly claimed it, as she’d had to leave her Harley back in Moab.
She deserves the velocipede, hands down.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:12 PM   #536
tshiggins
 
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Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

We held another session of Facets, not long ago, and things got pretty interesting toward the end, as the characters earned the points they got from their disadvantages with a significant dispute about how to proceed with their faerie mission.

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. -- 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. (Not available, this time.)

Beatrice "B" Lawrence -- U.S. Army veteran who works for a local air charter service as a helicopter mechanic. 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.

Stephen Mack, another member of the NASA Quantum Physics Research Team, a former U.S. Marine Corps test pilot, and outdoors enthusiast. – Played by Reagan S.

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. (Not available, this time.)

Millicent “Millie” Brown – A member of the Columbine Lodge of Denver, and descendant of the Unsinkable Margaret “Molly” Brown. Currently an apprentice of the Invisible College of Thoth-Hermes, seconded out to the members of the Red Rocks Lodge. Owner of a large, well-trained Savannah Cat, named Apophis. – Played by Kaitlynn S.

Fergus O’Neil – A pirate and rascal who had the misfortune to cross the Red Rocks Lodge, and the worse judgement to try to rob them when they took passage on his ship across the Irish Sea in the late winter of 1712. However, against all common sense, the party (well, A.J….) decided to adopt him as a flunky after they saved his life from his own crew. -Played by Jeff T

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.

b]Hops About[/b]: 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 group found an inn in Madling Meadow effortlessly, spoke briefly to the local constabulary about the incident on the trail, and collected the bounties. They turned in early after a decent meal, and woke shortly after dawn.

After a simple inquiry, the innkeeper pointed them in the direction of Yuliana Thorn’s establishment. Despite its proximity to a gate that provided trade opportunities with Faerie (or perhaps because of it…) Madling Meadow wasn’t a very big town, and apparently Yuliana Thorn had a well-established business.

The group made their way up the street and across a market square offering exotic goods of all sorts, and followed a street up a slight rise toward the north end of town. They soon caught sight of the building they’d heard described at the inn, and paused a moment to think things through.

The large half-timber structure looked to be at least two stories tall, with a high-peaked roof. The bottom floor appeared constructed of thick, sturdy stone about 12 feet high, from which two sets of eight-foot stone walls extended from the front and back. Numerous large, glazed windows pierced the painted timbers of the upper floor.

The wall they could see from down the street had a heavy wooden gate that stood open, beyond which they saw a cobble-stoned courtyard with a large wagon pulled by four of the two-headed oxen. The teamster appeared to be attempting to back the wagon through a large set of wooden double-doors into the building, as someone behind the wagon shouted instructions.

They walked on, a bit, and saw the canopy of a huge tree extending above the wall at the back of the area enclosed by the second wall, as well as the tops of lush, flowering bushes that apparently grew just inside the perimeter.

Steve and A.J. immediately noticed two short, bald, massively-built, thickly-bearded men conducting repairs on the courtyard wall, plus a couple of what appeared to be employees who eased past the wagon as they went in and out of the structure.

This was clearly Aurelia’s show, so A.J. decided to remain outside with Fergus, Beatrice, Steven and Claudia. Frank, Millie and Doc Bascher stopped in the courtyard. That left Aurelia, Henrietta and Amanda (who had the Merchant skill) to proceed into the building, as Hops About and Twirls Thrice (in magpie form) glide around outside.

As soon as Millie, Aurelia, Henrietta, Frank, Doc Bascher and Amanda approached the courtyard, both Steve and A.J. noted the group had gotten the attention of the two stone masons. As Frank, Millie (plus Apophis) and Doc Bascher stopped in the courtyard, the masons positioned themselves to keep the trio (plus pet) in sight, but continued their task and didn’t greet the visitors.

Aurelia, Henrietta and Amanda caught the attention of the ground-guiding guy who had just helped get the wagon backed in properly, and he introduced himself as the foreman. The trio said they had an appointment with the owner, and Aurelia showed him the letter.

The man said they were, indeed, expected, and let them through a large room lined with shelves that held bright cloth and unmarked boxes, pallets piled with crates, and sealed trunks and barrels of all sorts. An interior wall separated the workroom for the clarks from the bustle of the warehouse, and the foreman led them through a door without knocking.

He took them to a desk at which was seated an attractive young woman (with pale green skin and a wild shock of leaf-green hair) and passed them over to her.

She also confirmed Thorn expected the visitors, and escorted them out another door and into a lovely garden concealed behind the back wall. She seated them at a table in the gazebo, and said she’d return with refreshments.

She brought back some tea, bread, cheeses and fruit jams, and got them all settled in as a tall, slender woman with reddish-brown hair tucked in a bun, a light gray skirt, a charcoal vest (with practical pockets) and a bright white, puff-sleeve blouse walked up, introduced herself as Yuliana Thorn and took a seat.

Thorn asked what she could do for them, and Aurelia forthrightly stated that she preferred to meet those with whom she did business – especially business that involved quite a bit of money and the need to cut the corners of the law.

The merchant agreed that seemed reasonable enough, and gave them a bit of background. Her “faerie blood” had granted her a talent with plants, and she’d started out “several decades ago,” by growing and selling top-quality herbs for all purposes. She’d gradually branched out into ever-more exotic botanicals, and eventually began to bring in plants through the Thripsey Sidhe gateway.

(The casual mention of “decades” indicated that Yuliana was apparently much older than she appeared, but the trio took it in stride, well enough.)

(continued...)
__________________
--
MXLP:9 [JD=1, DK=1, DM-M=1, M(FAW)=1, SS=2, Nym=1 (nose coffee), sj=1 (nose cocoa), Maz=1]
"Some days, I just don't know what to think." -Daryl Dixon.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:14 PM   #537
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

One thing had led to another, and Thorn found herself importing different types of goods – and learning about imperial law. Eventually, she’d started to help colleagues figure out how best to bring their goods in, and then started acting as factor for them.

From there, the move to providing that service to anyone who needed was just one small step, and that’s how she made the acquaintance of Athelstane Greer and his “unusual” associates. Thorn said she’d met a few of them, through the years, mostly under circumstances similar to these.

However, she noted that Aurelia and her colleagues seemed something of a departure from Greer’s other colleagues, and their goods certainly qualified as “unprecedented,” based on the work she’d done in the past. Aurelia certainly spoke with a much more exotic accent – one Thorn said she’d never before heard.

At that point, A.J. saw the two nunnupi, in magpie form, wing over the wall into the garden. At about the same moment, inside, Henrietta saw them arrive out of the corner of her eye, and tried not to react as they fluttered to a large flowering shrub, nearby.

Aurelia said she and her colleagues had done some work with Athelstane’s other colleagues, but had also traveled through the Orbital Realm of Jupiter, recently and that’s where they’d gotten many of the commodities on the list.

Thorn reacted with a bit of surprise and considerable interest at this revelation, and asked a lot of questions about things she’d heard of that realm. Aurelia and Henrietta confirmed most of them, provided some additional information, and noted they had a base, there, to promote trading ties.

The importer expressed considerable interest in any floating wood, and added that the arkenstones would fetch quite a fine price in the markets of the Elder Isles. She also liked the fact the group could provide spices in bulk, since piracy, chronic raiding, occasional warfare and random sea monsters made the voyage to the Pearl Bright Ocean analogs of the Spice Islands quite hazardous.

The ladies chatted about business a bit longer, and gradually the visitors grew easy enough with Thorn to ask if anyone had traveled beyond the Sea of the Moon, and made it back, again.

The question caught Thorn by surprise, and she suddenly seemed to notice the presence of the large magpies. Once they knew they’d been made, Hops About and Twirls Thrice glided over to the railing of the gazebo and transformed to their winged smallfolk form.

Thorn took a long moment to reassess the situation, gave the two small sisters a polite and respectful nod, and made no attempt to speak to them, directly.

She replied she’d not heard that anyone had ever come back from such a trip, nor had she ever met anyone who could credibly claim to have known of anyone who’d done so, either – and very few who’d said they knew someone who’d even departed on such a voyage.

Henrietta paused a moment and took the plunge, asking what Thorn may have heard about the Sea of Fate, off the coast of Faerie.

Thorn picked her words carefully, and forthrightly acknowledged that she didn’t know much. However, she’d heard the Sea of Fate was quite vast, and speckled with islands of all sorts – from simple stones that thrust up from beneath the waves, to small atolls, to huge expanses of land nearly the size of continents.

She had never heard of the names of any of the islands, in particular, but understood they were collectively referred to as, “The Lands of Never.” Thorn added that the entire Sea of Fate was also called, “The Crucible of the Fae.”

Aurelia, Henrietta and Claudia let that sink in, for a moment, as Thorn added that most of those who traveled through to the Sea of Fate did so through Faerie – a much shorter trip, albeit perhaps no less dangerous.

Henrietta replied the situation was, “complicated,” and that they had already agreed to the voyage. Thorn glanced at the Hops About and Twirls Thrice again, who returned her interest with silence and blank stares.

Yuliana said that she’d certainly welcome any information about the voyage. Moreover, she said she’d like to discuss setting up regular trade with the Orbital Realm of Jupiter, and looked forward to the opportunity to speak to them about it, upon their return.

With that, the meeting wound down, and the much more comfortable group thanked their hostess and took their leave. They spent the rest of the day wandering around the Goblin Market, mostly “window shopping” and learning what was available.

The trip back to Lyonesse Town during the next couple of days proved far less eventual than the trip out. Once they’d arrived, A.J., Beatrice and Claudia removed the decanic batteries from the vehicles and sold off the chassis, and then booked a voyage back to Avallon.

That two-day trip also passed uneventfully and, upon their arrival, they traveled back out to Athelstane’s estate and picked up their cargo. The business at the Imperial Customs Office went as smoothly as Greer had predicted, and they soon had the tax stamps that made their good eligible for sale.

The group spent the next several days finding buyers for everything they no longer wished to carry with them, and wound up with a number of letters of credit that came to slightly less than 37,000 pounds of silver.

With that, Fergus took over and began to scour the docks for ships that might be available for purchase. He soon identified three worth additional inquiry.

The first, a 450 ton, 145 foot brig with a cargo capacity of about 1,500 tons proved to have a rotten bottom, and probably had no more than two years left before she needed to be broken down or scuttled, Fergus reported. The group decided that wasn’t worth the 10,000 pound price.

The second, a neat little 85-foot brig with a cargo capacity of 332 ton had been traded in by its original owners, following a particularly lucrative couple of voyages that allowed them to purchase a larger vessel. It needed some refitting, Fergus reported, and the cannon had been sold off, but other than that it was ready to go, and easily worth the 5,000 pound price.

That said, the former(?) pirate captain noted, it seemed a bit small for the length of the voyage they had in mind.

The final ship was probably the gem of the lot, Fergus reported. A 155-foot broad-beamed merchanter rigged as a barque, it was capable of carrying nearly 2,800 tons of cargo, and was in nearly as good a condition as the smaller brig.

The owners wanted 30,000 pounds for the vessel, which would leave them plenty of silver for refitting and re-arming, Fergus said, and give them a good start on a speculative “adventure” cargo, which they could round out with short-haul commissioned goods.

While Fergus had been checking sailing vessels, A.J., Beatrice and Steven had tried to figure out whom to ask about any available airships, but had been frustrated by their lack of knowledge and contacts in this new world.

However, by sheer luck, Millie made the acquaintance of a handsome young man in one of the bars frequented by airship crews and, during the flirtatious conversation, learned he was the son of one of the builders of airships in Avallon (critical success on Carousing!).

Quite taken with the exotic young lovely with the big cat (very good reaction roll), the young man had let slip that a group of purchasers had run out of the funds needed to complete work on a top-notch airship in his father’s yard, and the older gentleman was quite frustrated by the whole thing.

A pleased Millie reported this to A.J. and Steven, and Henrietta and Beatrice decided to accompany them as they made the inquiry.

The surprised ship-wright confirmed that he did, indeed, have a new airship under construction and nearly complete, that did need a new buyer. He said he’d willingly take a slightly discounted price of 70,000 pounds, under the circumstances, and deliver a top-notch vessel with an Elemental Binding engine included – although they’d have to secure their own Air Elemental to power it.

The airship would have an envelope 651 feet in length and 75 feet in diameter, with a gas capacity of 2 million cubic feet. It would have a cargo capacity of 36 tons, and could achieve top speed of 64 mph (which would require neither fuel nor water, because the Elemental Binding engine would drive the propellers).

Although steep, A.J. advocated they try to secure the airship, even if it required Henrietta to use a spell to charm the owner into thinking they’d paid in full, even though they only had about half of the amount needed. For her part, Henrietta considered that a capital idea and enthusiastically agreed to give it a try, if the party chose to go that way.

With that, the discussion turned to the cost of final outfitting and crewing needs. While the outfitting of the two sailing vessels lay well within their means, fully arming them would require the services of additional crew.

Fergus said that, in his experience, each small cannon (up to about 9-pounders in size) needed four crew to properly handle in battle. Medium cannon (up to 16-pounders) needed a gunnery crews of six, while large guns needed crews of eight.

The rigging of brigs made them quite maneuverable, and as such they frequently served as military vessels. The 85 foot brig had room for seven medium guns per side, plus a couple of small deck-cannons per side. Such vessels normally needed crews of eight to sail, so to fully fit it out as a warship would require 108 men plus officers, although if they wanted the crews to fire only one broadside and then move to the other, they could make do with about half that.

(continued...)
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:15 PM   #538
tshiggins
 
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Default Re: Campaign: Facets

(...continued)

As a merchanter, the large barque needed a sailing crew of 25, and wouldn’t be nearly as maneuverable as the brig, but much faster (nine knots, instead of six) on a straight course with fair winds. It only had room for eight medium cannon on either side, plus four small deck cannons, for a total complement of 137 crewmen, plus officers.

Again, Fergus said, they could make do with about half that, if they wanted to go with a minimal combat complement, although many barques in his home world chose to go with no guns, at all. They just tried to outrun any pirates who happened across them.

Given the unknown risks they faced, Fergus said, he couldn’t recommend that, in this situation.

By comparison, the airship normally needed a crew of 25, but A.J. said if he, Steve, Beatrice and Claudia used the decanic batteries from the looted vehicles to create automated controls, the group might be able to man it with no extra help. However, should things get exciting, A.J. said, they might wind up as exhausted as they’d been during the storms and such they’d encountered in their old airship.

The discussion of the crew needs immediately sparked a lengthy argument. Aurelia, who had trust issues at the best of times, opposed the idea of hiring on a crew of complete strangers from a world about which they knew little, with whom they’d spend months at sea on what sounded like a perilous trip.

Claudia also declared that, if they managed to find a trustworthy crew, it was almost certain that the group would wind up leading many to their deaths, since that’s what had happened every time, thus far. The physicist put her foot down and said that, if the group decided to take such an action, she would refuse to accompany them on a voyage that would almost certainly cost the lives of innocents who trusted them.

Complicating matters was the reality of sailing a tall ship on the open seas. The group had met Fergus because they’d needed to travel across the Irish Sea to the London of 1712 Britain, and they had no idea how to sail a ship, themselves. Moreover, no formal “sailing schools” existed in that time, and they’d seen no evidence that any such thing existed in this world, either.

Sailors learned their trade by working on a ship, on the open seas, next to experienced crewmen who would, quite literally, “show them the ropes.”

Moreover, it wasn’t a single, simple skill they needed, A.J. and Beatrice said. The knowledge needed to crew a tall ship properly took literally months to learn, and acting as crew on a voyage offered the only way to acquire it.

The argument got pretty heated, for a bit, until the group managed to reach a tentative compromise. They’d purchase the small brig and hire a crew from whom they could learn, and then restrict themselves to short expeditions in the vicinity of the Elder Isles.

Once they’d acquired the basic skills, they’d pay off the crew and take the brig, themselves, on the long voyage to the Sea of Fate. They might mount a few cannon, but when it came to fighting (which it almost certainly would) they’d rely on their own combat expertise and magical skills to board any attacker as marines, and either win or die.

The compromise didn’t really satisfy anyone, but by then they’d worn themselves out from arguing, and the session ended.

##

Funny Quotes

(The group cases the building owned by Yuliana Thorn.)
A.J.: So, we only have, at most, a 10-yard shot.
Beatrice: We’re not going in there to shoot them!
A.J.: But it’s only a 10-yard shot!
Beatrice: I don’t think they’re going to shoot at us, either. This is a business deal, right?

(Hops About and Twirls Thrice make their presence known.)
Henrietta: Yes, they’re with us.
Aurelia: I would consider, “with us” as kind of a loose definition.

Aurelia: We don’t like to do things in the typical way. Typically.

(The group visits the Goblin Market.)
Beatrice: What can you do with cat sidhe dander?
Steve: Steal souls, apparently.

(The group sells their goods, a mixed cargo of loot acquired from three different worlds.)
Henrietta: I want more zeroes!

(Millie scores. And also finds out about the airship.}
Beatrice: Oh, girlfriend! We gonna lay you down on the floor and kiss you on the mouth!

Beatrice: His son wants to marry Millie!
Steve: You can have a husband in every realm you visit.

##
__________________
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:28 AM   #539
SionEwig
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Excellent writeup and a good session. Two thumbs up to the players for a job well done.

Quote:
Claudia also declared that, if they managed to find a trustworthy crew, it was almost certain that the group would wind up leading many to their deaths, since that’s what had happened every time, thus far. The physicist put her foot down and said that, if the group decided to take such an action, she would refuse to accompany them on a voyage that would almost certainly cost the lives of innocents who trusted them.
Good for Claudia, nice to see someone is thinking about all those redshirts.

Quote:
Complicating matters was the reality of sailing a tall ship on the open seas. The group had met Fergus because they’d needed to travel across the Irish Sea to the London of 1712 Britain, and they had no idea how to sail a ship, themselves. Moreover, no formal “sailing schools” existed in that time, and they’d seen no evidence that any such thing existed in this world, either.

Sailors learned their trade by working on a ship, on the open seas, next to experienced crewmen who would, quite literally, “show them the ropes.”

Moreover, it wasn’t a single, simple skill they needed, A.J. and Beatrice said. The knowledge needed to crew a tall ship properly took literally months to learn, and acting as crew on a voyage offered the only way to acquire it.
No joke, and months is probably a very low end estimate to learn the basic skills at an acceptable level. Mastery is another thing.

Quote:
The argument got pretty heated, for a bit, until the group managed to reach a tentative compromise. They’d purchase the small brig and hire a crew from whom they could learn, and then restrict themselves to short expeditions in the vicinity of the Elder Isles.
Good idea. Though it's going to be interesting watching them (the rich owners) be taught by common seamen. For some reason Captains Courageous comes to mind. This could be hilarious.

Quote:
Once they’d acquired the basic skills, they’d pay off the crew and take the brig, themselves, on the long voyage to the Sea of Fate. They might mount a few cannon, but when it came to fighting (which it almost certainly would) they’d rely on their own combat expertise and magical skills to board any attacker as marines, and either win or die.

The compromise didn’t really satisfy anyone, but by then they’d worn themselves out from arguing, and the session ended.
The best compromises are often that way.
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Old 09-17-2020, 01:26 PM   #540
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Campaign: Facets

Quote:
Originally Posted by SionEwig View Post
Good idea. Though it's going to be interesting watching them (the rich owners) be taught by common seamen. For some reason Captains Courageous comes to mind. This could be hilarious.
"I own this ship. These ... people are various relatives of mine, with ambitions to become junior partners in a business. They'll need to learn to sail; at present they are landlubbers. Treat them as normal apprentices."
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