02-03 Where Angels Fear to Tread

PF: 51
DATE: 170.816 M41
LOCATION: Omnicron 71-DX
OBJECTIVE: Repair the Hymn
REASON: She’s still busted.
PC’s: Anna, Erata, Hob, Janus, Lazarus, Thurman
SYNOPSIS: While repairing the Emperor’s Hymn, the dynasty is invited to take part in a high-stakes race in two months. They scramble to put together a small ship worthy of the race.

I must say that I liked the no-laptop rule. I could see all the players instead of just from the nose up. I also think everyone was more focused on the game and more engaged.
a.. We caught the rest of the group up on what happened during the dynasty planning (See previous “Session Plan” e-mail for details)

b.. Discussed the merits of mapping out various warp routes, and potentially hiring someone to do it for us. c.. Discussed possibly buying another ship. d.. Someone mentioned they’d like to try to figure out what Liam was up to with all these alpha-grade prisoners. Holt said, “Erm, yes we should totally find that out because none of us know, especially me. What are you a cop?” whispers “We’ll talk later!”

A week was spent helping Ximena Arendir get her ship repaired and you went your separate ways. Octavious promised to meet her after a quick stop in Port Wander. Our first stop was Footfall. We rolled some acquisitions – some people succeeded, others failed:
Cynthia/Taylor – Good Quality Almanac Astrae Dominicus (failed)
Erata/Eric – Orion-class star clipper – Success – Skittish/Wrested from a space hulk
Greuhod/Jon – Best Quality – Tarsus Suppresion Shield (Success)
Holt/Brian – delayed
Thurman/Stultz – vitate supplacement – Failed
Anna/Laurie – delayed x 2

(I’ll put the stats of the Orion-class star clipper in a separate e-mail)

In addition to making some acquisitions, there were rumors on Footfall of the warpbeast claiming more astropaths. There were even rumors of it claiming a few ships. Some of the more well-to-do Rogue Traders started posting bounties on the thing and currently the bounty is up to 2 profit factor. The group got it in their head that they were going fishing for the Warp Beast. Thurman found a few more mundane rumors:

a.. Sarvus Trask is no longer selling atomics b.. Sarvus Trask has begun the monumental task for moving a space station c.. The Daikoins are starting a colony world up in Winterscale’s Realm

Cynthia (Taylor) checked his Navigator sources about the warpbeast and spoke to a fellow navigator that claimed he saw the beast himself. The other navigator described the warpbeast as a massive mass of tentacles, teeth, eyes, hooks, and evil. He dropped his ship out of warp and waited for the beast to lose interest and leave. This happened a few months ago.

Thurman (Stultz) did some digging with remote Greuhod help, and heard that the beast took out a transport and a frigate from two unrelated dynasties. Though technically both ships are not listed as destroyed yet, the rumor is they have both been claimed by the warpbeast. Stultz and Jon rolled so well that they got a copy of a dataslate/video that was going around. The dataslate shows an astropath that was in the Maw performing a reading of the Emperor’s Tarot and apparently got possessed by something. He started slamming himself against the metal walls of the room as he was screaming gibberish punctuated with a few words:

“gibberish RAGE! gibberish VENGEANCE! gibberish NOT FORGOTTEN! gibberish SHILWULF! gibberish KILL!”

People were mostly paying attention to the recording, but when the name “Shilwulf” was mentioned everyone perked up. Greuhod replaced the “SHILWULF” shout with more gibberish and rolled so well that he replaced all the copies on Footfall. More planning and talking was discussed, but dealing with the warp beast sooner rather than later seemed like the right call. They set out for Port Wander after sedating the important astropaths, and it was an uneventful trip back through the Maw.

At Port Wander, the rumors of “The Maw’s Vengeance” (nickname of the warp beast) were more prevalent. It didn’t happen often, but some people would point and whisper to one another when Shilwulf Dynasty members were recognized. There was a grand retirement dinner for Octavius, much good drink and food was had by all. The Dynasty was officially signed over to Captain Holt Shilwulf (taking on the title Lord Captain). The party ended far too soon, and it was tough to see the old man go, but he’s earned his retirement. One last chore remained and that was to go pick up those ship parts and make sure Arendir didn’t poke around on the planet too much.

Octavius departed a few days afterwards with the host of NPC’s that stayed in his command (Liam, Malachai Ebenezer, Eathan Libram, and Lazarus Leere to name a few). His Orion-class Starclipper, The Retirement Plan, sped away through the Maw. Once The Hymn finished resupplying a few days later, the players left Port Wander to head back towards the Koronus Expanse and on towards potential colony worlds in the Foundling Worlds. When the players were in the Maw, they convinced the astropath to start sending out “Shilwulf” at which point Octavius replied back with his astropath, “Please repeat your message, all we got was ‘Shilwulf’”. Holt explained that he was trying to attract the warp beast, much to Octavius’s chagrin. Holt said, “But uncle, people are always telling me that story about you ramming that Chaos cruiser with your frigate…” Octavius mumbled to himself about youths not respecting their elders’ sound advice.

After a few days of “fishing” on their way through the Maw, Thurman started hearing rumors about Anna’s recent murder. A few of the rumors stood out:

a.. Anna was murdered by Holt in her quarters. b.. Anna was put in the upper-decks brig for sneaking medical supplies to the underdecks, and then murdered by Holt. c.. Anna has snuck down to the underdecks and is the leader of a mutinous plot.

These rumors led the party to explore Anna’s Quarters first, then the brig. At the brig, someone named Quinn had signed Anna into the brig, and paperwork claimed she was released into Holt’s custody and then confined to her quarters. On to Quinn’s “room” which was a hot-bunk of 5 stacked beds and barely enough room to stand. In his quarters were stacks of a few various propaganda drawings. Both had the Shilwulf logo upside down and were military themed with some catchy phrases:

Handout 1 – Stand & Fight – We will remember our fallen!

Handout 2 – Join Today! Avenge the Forgotten

On the backs of the handouts were directions on how to get in touch with the mutineers… um. I mean. peaceful protestors who wish to bring up a list of things they’d like to change. Speak with the foreman of the Water Still on deck 14.

Greuhod said there were no water purificationatoriums on that deck, but got directions by a more than helpful crewman. Greuhod plotted the best route which led them through a section of the ship appropriately named “Thunder Alley”. This long service corridor nearly 50 meters long had this huge pipe running alongside it. Hundreds of crewmen were banging on the pipe with their hands, rubber mallets and other various things and the resulting roar was nearly unbearable. They received further directions to the Water Still from Foreman Morello who was quite proud to be a 2nd generation pipe-banger. Apparently, Eathan Libram had given a frantic order over 12 years ago during a ship combat, “Keep banging this pipe until I tell you to stop!”. Eathan finished what he was doing and had sent the order to stand down, but the order got lost in the shuffle or was misheard in the roar of the pipe-banging. Since then, the pipe has been disconnected from anything useful and is currently empty, but Eathan’s standing order is still in place. Holt said when all this was over, they were getting a medal.

Along the way they saw superstitious symbols painted on doorways and some crewmen wore small pouches of especially horrid smelling stuff. When asked the crewmen replied it was for protection against the Ancient that wanders deck 5. How do you know it works? Well, you ever seen someone get grabbed that was wearing one? No, but have you ever seen someone get grabbed? Damnit!

The “Water Still” was an abandoned warehouse that had a ruptured steam pipe. The room was foggy and strips of filthy cloth hung down from the ceiling. Under each strip was a bucket, bowl, or container and people were “milking” the strips for water to collect it. The foreman here pointed them to the rally, but suggested the incognito players avoid such rabble rousers. Those mutinous jerks don’t know how good they have it and Shilwulf is good to us.

Onward to the rally. There was a rousing speech of the crew being forgotten by Octavius. He had promised them better living conditions for the past few decades, but never delivered. Now he was retiring and this new wet behind the ears Captain was taking over, yadda, yadda, yadda. And then Thurman caused a distraction by sealing off the chamber by convincing the machine spirit that this central chamber was breached. Holt walked up and the speaker recognized him immediately saying, “Well, it’s about damn time.”

Holt had a semi-private conversation with Jensen while the crowd nearly erupted in a riot. Jensen mentioned that Quinn was right, taking Anna was the right move. Eventually someone (not a player) opened the chambers back up, and there was a stampede to get out. All the while the two leaders calmly spoke with one another. A pretty cool scene I thought.

Jensen lead the PC’s to where Anna was being held. Jensen wasn’t convinced he would survive the ordeal, but at least his story got to be heard and it seemed at least plausible that Holt might actually do something. His dreams came crashing down when he sent his men to get Anna and she wasn’t there. He was in near tears and in the beginnings of a mental breakdown when Holt calmed him down.

Everyone was discussing ideas while Erata searched for a way out of the chamber with her flame up. When she activated her flame, there was just a hint of purple for a brief second but she was the only one that saw it. As she was looking very closely at the wall, someone behind the wall slammed into it and yelled “BAM!” and started chuckling. In real-life, I slammed my hands on the table (happy for no laptops) and yelled “BAM!”, Jon was deep in text-land and I think I may have scared him a bit. :)

So, Dax taunted the “smoothies” from the safety of his bulkhead. Erata shot flame at him and that scared him a bit, but he went back to his assholish self when he realized he was safe. A female was back there with Dax trying to calm him down. He agreed to help you find your precious missionary, but you’d have to help this family out at the Font of Sustenance by killing some gang members that were hassling them. He also demanded 2 las pistols, a flak vest, and some ration bars. Then they were to meet “Jax” at the Angry Grox, a mutant bar on deck 5. Dax was going to give directions when a large “something” chased him off.

Thurman left the party to go hunt that thing down and Greuhod sent some servo skulls as well. He tracked it down to scratching at a passageway it couldn’t get through. It turned out to be a rat like creature the size of a horse. Thurman wounded the hell out of it and it charged past him.

Meanwhile the party left with Jensen as their guide for the Font of Sustenance deeper into the ship. They passed by some chemical pit where a man and his two sons were collecting some obviously dangerous chemicals. The man was standing guard while the two sons were climbing on a rickety contraption that spanned the pool and lowering a clay pot by hand into the muck. He gave them slightly better directions than Jensen, and off they went.

Their path was crossed by a man who said the Baron of the Underdecks requests an audience. I think Eric was about to pop a blood vessel at this while Brian had already thrown up his hands in exasperation at the madness that exists below his feet. They were escorted to meet Baron Crowley who addressed Holt by first name (not Captain). Greuhod saw a female with a cyber arm messing with one of his recently lost servo skulls and was posturing up for a fight when Holt put the kybosh on that with an 01 Command test. Jon did awesomely by rolling with the punches and zipped Greuhod’s lips.

Crowley said he loved that Holt was restoring “balance” and said that the party had his permission to wander through his territory as long as the heavy stubber was returned to him. They agreed to his terms and trudged off to the Font of Sustenance, the madness of the journey weighing heavily on the party.

The “Font of Sustenance” was some sort of leaking pipe that splorged out some lumpy, viscous slime every so often. A family was “harvesting” the slime. One of the kids asked their mother what was wrong with the PC’s faces and hands, and the mother replied, “They’re clean sweety.” “What’s clean mommy?”

One of the kids asked Erata if everyone who was rich had their own slime pipe? Erata taunted the girl saying that she got to eat real food and didn’t have to wallow around in her own filth.

The pc’s made short work of the incoming gangers, Erata setting much fire and Greuhod spewing much lead. I chose not to use Cynthia’s lidless stare since everyone was in front of her, and it seemed tactically dumb and unnecessary. The party sent Crowly’s man back with the Heavy Stubber, and that’s about where we called it.

Bump yourselves up to 10,000 xp if you aren’t there yet and then.

300 XP for the session.

Greuhod: (+100xp)

+100 xp for all the work you did (and are still doing) on the Campaign Codex. I’ve officially read the entire thing. :)

+25 xp – Good RP. I really liked that you made Greuhod bite his tongue when Holt rolled his 01 for calming him down.

-25 xp – giving some of your XP to Eric per your request to say thanks for his selfless acquisition

Thurman: (+100xp)

+100 xp for becoming a daddy! Please note this is a one-time reward, so don’t go popping out 10 more kids for 1,000 xp. :)

Erata: (+75xp)

+50 xp for uncharacteristicallyusing your acquisition for selfless reasons.

+25 xp Gift from Jon for the same thing

+1 Corruption Point (regardless of talents) for the completely evil act of taunting the little girl for being poor and filthy.

Holt: (+75xp)

Very solid role-playing. I was only going to give you 50, but Laurie talked me up. She was extra proud of you for not voiding every deck. Also, thanks for putting off your acquisition so we could still have our mutiny :)

Cynthia: (+50xp)

+50 xp for starting to come out of your shell and playing with us. I think you spoke more this session than all other sessions combined :)

Post Mortem:

Next Session: 02-04 The Forgotten – Remembered!

02-03 Where Angels Fear to Tread

The Shilwulf Dynasty Eck Eck