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Back to Session 38

Establishing shot for this week's episode: Fade in to the tainted sun carving on the arch over the entrance to the lost First Age naval base. Sound of surf and wind, and, after half a second, the shouts of sailors on the Unconquered Sun. The camera pans up to a crow sitting on top of the arch, and follows its point of view. It flaps its wings and flies out, down, over the ship, circles it once, then flies on ahead. We see a large, pentagonal harbor, and the camera leaves the crow behind to turn back toward the Unconquered Sun. The First Age warship emerges from the shadowed canal into the harbor, pale hull and golden sun insignia gleaming wanly in the shadowland twilight. Transition to the deck of the ship, where the three heroes and their sidekicks are looking out over the water.

Monkey . o O ( Well, just ask yourself, "What would Sun Wu Kung do?" and if you aren't sure what he'll do, ask "What would Monkey D. Luffy do?" While it might not be as creative as the way I play him, you can probably fake it for a while. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Failing that, you often seem to follow Curious George as a model. )

Monkey . o O ( And I can get away with that. )

Admiral Kaizoku takes in the sight grimly, sure that the blindcloth's water-vision is hiding the worst of it from him. "Another sign of the declining age..." he thinks grimly. "This shall not stand" he continues aloud. "The forces of decay and death will run rampant NO LONGER!" he shouts to inspire his crew and warn whatever lurks within the base.

Shen gives the harbor a more weather eye and he shakes his head. "Admiral, I'm takin' a skeleton crew out a every watch to be on alert stations. Belike as not, we'll be needin' the ship's weapons on ready out-port and in."

JesseLowe . o O ( Snrk. "skeleton crew" )

Shen . o O ( I *am* the angel of puns. Fear me. )

Admiral Kaizoku nods at that. "Aye. At least one of the powered weapons is to be crewed at all times, and a double harbor watch should be kept. Instruct the crew to watch the skies as well. We've encountered the flying dead far too often."

Monkey talks with Saji regarding the defense of the ship while they are away. "No one is to leave the ship and no one is to be allowed to board. If you see one of us telling you otherwise, ask him to show you his anima first. For everything else, I leave it to your judgment."

JesseLowe . o O ( Ah, well, as long as Kaizoku's in charge, there will be no shade of doubt haunting the crew, nor will their spirits lag so long as Monkey hasn't given up the ghost. )

Shen saunters off for a moment, to arrange for the watch rota and firing crew.

Saji says, "Aye, aye, Admiral. We'll be wary, to be sure."

Shen . o O ( Well, if you're going to be all wraithful about it, I suppose I'll have to lich you too, lest I have the day draugr on too long. But that's okay; in the end, I'm always wight. )

Monkey . o O ( Boo hiss. )

Admiral Kaizoku calls out "Monkey! On deck in five minutes!" as he heads to stores to pick up likely tools... such as a pair of waterskins, a good length of rope and a pouch filled with dried meat.

JesseLowe . o O ( Your words ring true. Alas, I cannot match you in a riddle game... )

JesseLowe . o O ( Anyway. Y'all want a description of the harbor? )

Monkey . o O ( Of course. Don't be silly. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Don't be silly? Did I hear you right? )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( There aren't any ships in it... any hulks? )

Shen . o O ( Oh, fro'ing out the lotr-day puns, are we? )

From near the anchor-line, Monkey answers, "Be right there, Admiral!" and he continues, "Watch out for things climbing up the anchorline."

JesseLowe . o O ( Okay, that's kinda stretching it... )

Shen strolls back to Admiral and announces, "Crew watches at ready, Admiral. She's as safe as she's going to be without us aboard 'er."

Shen . o O ( No, stretching it is going in for serial experiment heathlain. )

Monkey . o O ( Oookay. )

Monkey shows up on deck, making sure that all his essential stuffs are there. Rations, rum, needle and thread.

Admiral Kaizoku says "Have them zero in the range on the channel we entered through... we lost our pursuers for the moment, but they desire what is here a great deal."

Shen chuckles quietly. "They've already got range markers in several lines, Admiral," he says gently. "I calculated and sketched 'em not long after droppin' anchor."

Monkey says, "Eh, I don't think they have a pilot the caliber of Shen. Chances are they'll try and wait us out. Still, no harm in making sure."

Monkey . o O ( Anything else? Otherwise we should move on to the next scene as soon as our illustrious GM finishes typing his long scenery. :) )

Admiral Kaizoku appears skeptical about that notion. "We shall see..." He holds his tongue about another way their foes could attack for the moment.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Heh. Good to go. )

The harbor is in the shape of an equilateral pentagon. The Unconquered Sun has entered it through a hundred-foot wide or so canal cut into the wall on the center of the north face of the pentagon. Looking around the harbor, it's not difficult to see that each side of the pentagon once had a different purpose. To the west, a residential area with once-palatial homes stretches up a gentle slope. To the east, the buildings have a more martial flair. Southwest, you see drydocks. Southeast, maybe those buildings are temples. Looking back, though the area around the canal is clear and barren, warehouses and counting-houses dot waterfront.

JesseLowe . o O ( Bah. much typing. )

JesseLowe . o O ( More pose... )

JesseLowe . o O ( But first, make Lore + Perception rolls. )

Shen rolled 5 dice on something and got 3 successes.

Admiral Kaizoku rolled 8 dice on Lore+Per and got 6 successes.

Monkey rolled 3 dice on Per + Lore and got 3 successes.

JesseLowe . o O ( Dammit, brb. coffee's boiling over. )

Monkey . o O ( So East or Southwest? Or perhaps Southeast? )

Monkey . o O ( If the objective is to find magitech ships, Southwest to the drydock is the best bet. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Each side represents a Solar caste, clearly... Zenith would be the command area and have useful information. )

Shen . o O ( Twilight would have information on the layout and maintenance of the base. )

Shen . o O ( Dawn and Night probably handle defenses, and the Eclipse zone will be... eclectic. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( It'd be for visitors. )

Monkey . o O ( If we assume such, I think Dawn would handle defense while Night would handle intelligence and counter-intelligence. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Hopefully there will be more clues from the Admiral's legendary success at figuring things out, though a high roll like that is unlikely to be important... )

Monkey looks around and suggests, "You know, we could cover more area if we split up."

Admiral Kaizoku says firmly "This is a Shadowland, Monkey, enemy territory. We will not be splitting up."

Shen says, "I'm thinkin' the Admiral is right there."

JesseLowe . o O ( Back, sorry 'bout that. )

Monkey says, "Aww, c'mon. A couple of hungry ghosts around, nothing real dangerous."

JesseLowe . o O ( Posing. )

Admiral Kaizoku says quietly "Now that we have beaten Barada's ship here, he may try and find a shadowland and move through it to here directly."

Shen says, "Or, altern'tely, an island once inhabited by powerful solars slaughtered durin' the Usurpation could be filled with Nephwracks an' Abyssals that feed on the trauma and death that sent 'er out of holiness an' into the shadow of the Netherworld."

Monkey says, "Oooo, that could be interesting. We should find them and beat them up right away, then we can explore at our leisure."

Admiral Kaizoku taps his chin. "My, you seem surprisingly familiar with the darker supernatural creatures, Mr. Shen. I had not thought they were common out West beyond the Lintha's islands."

Looking over each face more clearly, a few features leap out to your eyes. First, on each face there's a prominent building at or near the center -- in the case of the canal, it's a bridge that also appears to be inhabitable. Each building has a sun-symbol carved into it -- Eclipse to the north, Dawn to the East, Zenith to the southeast, Twilight to the southwest, and Night to the West. Each building, too, is different -- the Eclipse building is the aforementioned bridge, the Dawn is a large fortress-like building, the Zenith is a tall tower, the Twilight is a very large building with many windows and arches, and the Night is some kind of mansion.

Monkey . o O ( I vote for the tall tower. )

Monkey . o O ( Not that this is a democracy.... )

Each side of the pentagon is studded with docks and piers. On the Dawn and Twilight sides, they tend to be more widely spaced, probably to make room for large warships. You see no ships afloat, but a few masts can be seen protruding from the water. One good sign: Two of the dry-docks are closed, indicating that, perhaps, there is something inside them.

Shen chuckles. "Admiral, I've been almost /everywhere in th'West, Northwest, an' Southwest that's on or in sight of sea. I've seen the spinal columns outside a'skullstone, and dodged Lintha off the port of Avaree. I Exalted outrunnin' the Dreaded Dawn."

Admiral Kaizoku draws his blade and points to the tall tower. "That is the Zenith of this place" he declares. "The command of this base was handled from there, and answers will be within." He moves his blade to the drydocks. "But our first priority must be the naval power to secure the seas of Creation. That is where we shall begin."

Aside from yourselves, the only signs of life are a few crows and raitons perched on balconies or flapping from tower to tower. They're hard to make out against the dark and cloudy sky. Beyond the buildings encircling the harbor, you see nothing but forest, and a low crest of a hill to the south.

Monkey leaps off to the docks and calls, "What are we waiting for? Come on down then. Tarry too long and it'll be night."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( The drydocks are on the Twilight side, I presume? )

Monkey . o O ( Correct. )

Shen gives the crows a dark eye. He's not fond of being ashore in any case, and seeing signs of ill-luck about aren't helping his disposition. Regardless, he looks to the admiral.

JesseLowe . o O ( Yes. Where are you docking the Unconquered Sun? )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( The best looking dock closest to one of the sealed drydocks. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Twilight side. Gotcha. )

Admiral Kaizoku says, "Monkey, bring the Essence Cannon along. You and Mr. Shen will coordinate on firing it if need be."

The dock Shen guides the Sun into is a barren length of granite, ten feet wide and maybe a hundred and fifty feet long. It's within easy walking distance of one of the drydocks, just a stone's throw to the east.

Monkey . o O ( Uh, pick one of us. Coordination isn't practical. )

Monkey leaps off to the docks and calls, "What are we waiting for? Come on down then. Tarry too long and it'll be night."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( That is, Monkey holds it up and Shen fires it. )

Monkey . o O ( Only one person can attune to it. And with your setup, it's far better for one guy to suck up the penalty while the other guy does the thing he's actually good at. )

Admiral Kaizoku hits the deck with his blade drawn and strides down the First Age dock, eyes scanning the area.

Shen strides along after Kaizoku. Uncomfortable with the land or not, he's not about to let a mere thing like creepiness cramp his Casual Style. His only concession to the danger is Swift Retort, ready and waiting.

JesseLowe . o O ( Heh. It's within fiftee minutes of night already. )

Monkey drags the Essence Cannon along. "Admiral, wouldn't it better if we leave the cannon with Saji? I mean, they could use the extra edge."

JesseLowe . o O ( Fifteen. dammit. )

Monkey . o O ( I strongly suggest Kaizoku retracts that order to bring the Essence Cannon. )

Admiral Kaizoku says, "Sun forbid that combat get close enough to the ship to need that, but it would be quick enough to retrive should any walls need to be taken down inside... Make it so, Mr. Monkey."

Shen . o O ( Consider Shen to be Strong Silent Typing for a few; I have to grab something RL. )

Monkey . o O ( Okay. )

Monkey bounds back and heaves the Essence Cannon back to the ship. "I figure you might need this more than we need this and the Admiral agrees."

Admiral Kaizoku leads the way down the dock and over to the drydock, glancing to the water and the sky in between trying to find a portal that leads inside of the structure.

Monkey rejoins Kaizoku and Shen.

The only way to get to the drydock from the pier you're at -- which appears to be number 348, if the Admiral is reading the Old Realm glyph on the wall next to it correctly -- is from further in the Twilight area. Wide, shallow steps lead up to a smooth-paved roadway. On either side of the road, two- and three-storey buildings sit, empty of life and light. The long shadows of the setting sun darken your path as you tread carefully along the silent streets.

Monkey . o O ( Does the blindcloth works in perceiving spirits? )

JesseLowe . o O ( Make Perception + Awareness rolls. )

Monkey rolled 4 dice on Per + Awa and got 3 successes.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Water spirits, at least. )

Admiral Kaizoku rolled 4 dice on Per and got 3 successes.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Aren't those perceived by the third eye anyway? )

Monkey . o O ( If you have a third eye, yes. But as far as I know your third eye hasn't opened yet. :) )

JesseLowe . o O ( I'm going to say it doesn't work on immaterial spirits, but should a spirit materialize -- or, like ghosts, be material in a shadowland -- it works. )

Monkey . o O ( <sigh> I wish there had been enough training time to get that first Awareness charm. )

Admiral Kaizoku lights up his caste mark to show the way as he points in the direction they must head, though it makes no difference to his own magical substitute sight. "We must go in and around to get inside the drydock" he explains quietly.

Every so often you hear a sound that could be the scrape of a boot, or the breathing of a hunter -- but nothing appears, or a raiton preens insolently when you turn to look, or some other explanation presents itself. By the time full night has fallen, you are at the doors of a large building, eaily big enough to hold a trireme or its tender: The drydock. The drydock has several sets of doors, and you are at a small pair of double doors on the corner, man-size but not large enough to admit the construction materials and machines that must have once entered the drydock. Those clearly came in through the twenty-foot high sliding doors that make up the center third of this wall.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Is there a handle or doorknob, or something less conventional on it? )

Monkey . o O ( I shall assume there is one. )

JesseLowe . o O ( It appears to open inward, and yes, there's a doorknob. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Well, latch. Good enough for government work. )

Monkey steps forward, opens the door, and walks in, surveying the inside of the building.

Monkey . o O ( Or at least attempt to. )

Admiral Kaizoku takes a resigned breath and says "Careful, Monkey, there may be traps for the unwary or unworthy."

JesseLowe . o O ( BTW, is it just the three solars? Did you leave everyone else on the Sun? )

Monkey . o O ( Just us three. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Yep. )

JesseLowe . o O ( 'kay. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Posing. )

Monkey . o O ( And traps? In a government building? You kid. Not even the IRS does that. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( True, but the bureaucrats of the Eclipse Caste are wilder than those of the Beltway. )

Monkey . o O ( Must be that darned Great Curse again. )

The first thing Monkey sees is the hulk of a heavy First Age warship resting on ancient scaffolding in the center of the drydock, its unfinished top deck level with his feet. The second thing is the pale ghost light coming from the lamps hung all about the scaffolding, and the other signs of recent activity in the drydock. Off to his left, he sees a table with scattered papers on it. A pair of torches stand over it, but what really catches his eye is the half-eaten meal on the table.

JesseLowe . o O ( Done posing. )

Monkey says loudly, so to make the host, if he's around, hear him too, "Looks like there's somebody here recently."

JesseLowe . o O ( What are Shen and Kaizoku doing? )

Monkey . o O ( IsawaBrian is still afk, I believe, so pretend Shen is covering the rear. )

Shen takes a look over the surroundings. "Someone or somethin', Mr. Mate," he comments dryly. "I'll not trust t'civilization until I see what the meal is- and the eater." His bow unslung, the sailor eclipse looks around and up and down suspiciously.

Shen . o O ( Just got back. :) )

Monkey . o O ( wb. )

Monkey says, "Stay here. I'll look around."

Admiral Kaizoku walks in after Monkey, taking in the scene and heading for the table with the papers. "Do that, Mr. Shen... Deathknights are not known for eating, so it is not one of their meals." He looks to see what the papers reveal.

JesseLowe . o O ( Remember, deathknights are not, in fact, dead. They do need to eat. )

Monkey circles the ship's hulk, calling out "Ahoy! Anyone there?" every so often.

JesseLowe . o O ( Monkey, make a Per + Awareness roll )

Monkey . o O ( And their favorite meal is.... people! )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( I thought they just drank blood and such. )

Monkey rolled 4 dice on Per + Awa and got 3 successes.

JesseLowe . o O ( Only if they've got the Charms for it. )

Monkey . o O ( I lie. Lunar is the one whose favorite meal is people. )

Monkey . o O ( I believe nutritionally people can live well on blood and just blood for food. )

Monkey . o O ( No idea psychologically though. )

Monkey sees no one, but flickers of movement on the hulk quickly convince him that someone is on board, belowdecks. A flash of white, a face in a porthole...

Monkey announces, "Looks like there's someone inside the ship. Kinda shy though. Or maybe he just couldn't hear me well from the inside. I'll try to talk him out."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Does the Admiral glean anything from the papers before this comes up? )

Shen turns to the Admiral, then looks back over at Monkey. He remains quietly cautious for the moment, though.

Monkey switches between all the languages he knows, and a few he doesn't. Meanwhile, he looks for a way inside. Perhaps from the deck?

Monkey says, "We just want to talk."

Meanwhile, back at the table, Kaizoku looks over the papers while Shen keeps a wary eye out. The papers are large: Plans for the vessel, written in Old Realm, but recent. Indeed, the ink on one sheet is only barely dry. (Make a Wits + Occult roll, Kaizoku)

Shen . o O ( "No, Mr. Monkey, we expect him to die." Possibly, again. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Past Lives bonus? )

JesseLowe . o O ( Yes. )

Admiral Kaizoku rolled 8 dice on Wits+Occult and got 8 successes.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Damn! )

Shen . o O ( Sweet. )

TonyC whispers, "While Monkey isn't there to see, I too would like to know what the meal is, like Shen."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Now I can probably re-create a First Age dreadnaught from scratch. )

TonyC whispers, "Unless it's people. Then I don't want to know."

Shen . o O ( MINE! )

Shen . o O ( :clings to the pretty ship. )

Monkey . o O ( Space Battleship Yamato! )

The meal is, surprisingly, wholesome-looking. A fish chowder of some kind in a bowl, still warm, and a few pieces of hardtack. The plans, on the other hand, are decidedly eldritch. It's only on his second shuffle through the papers that the Admiral realizes what feels wrong about them: they incorporate necromantic principles. Once he knows what he's looking at, he can see the soulsteel has been worked -- is being worked -- into the hulk in the dock.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Hurry, Sun Force! There are only 146 days to get back to the East before the Shadowlands spread too deeply! )

Monkey . o O ( I get to press the gun-trigger for the Solar Wave Motion Cannon! )

Then the Admiral and Shen hear the distinct sound of a footfall behind them.

Admiral Kaizoku spins on his heel and brings up his blade. "There is a Deathknight nearby" he declares. "One who plans to taint it with the metal tortured souls!" The Admiral takes this as a personal affront. He directs Monkey to a hatch he spotted on the plans.

Monkey . o O ( soul-tortured metal? )

Shen 's eyes flash and he... shimmers. A slight change, blurring around the edges as his body partially leaves phase with the rest of Creation. As the young westerner Flows Like Blood, he turns around, leaving small shimmers of maybe-movements behind him.

Shen . o O ( Spending from Personal here. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Metal OF tortured souls )

JesseLowe . o O ( Sounds like a rock band. )

Monkey . o O ( Punk band. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( No, that's the metal of tortured instruments. And Brian, you can eliminate the space by using :: )

Shen . o O ( Danke, Jet. )

Monkey . o O ( Do I hear Kaizoku? Or am I inside already? )

JesseLowe . o O ( Say you're on the deck. The hatch is just aft of amidships. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Kaizoku, how do you react to the footfall? )

Admiral Kaizoku spins around towards the sound, bringing up his daiklave in a defensive posture, but taking no action yet, though the motions of the Bulkwark Stance begin to hum in his limbs.

Upon hearing Kaizoku's explanation, Monkey assumes a cautious stand and channels his essence into a defensive matrix, activating Flow Like Blood.

Shen . o O ( And we're all lucky none of the female gamers I know are here, or they'd all be pointing and laughing. )

Monkey . o O ( And that should be esclamation. )

Shen . o O ( exclamation? )

Facing them is a young man, perhaps a hair over twenty. He's a Westerner, with some Realm blood in him. The black jade daiklave he holds easily in his right hand -- at ease -- attests to his Exalted status, though he betrays no hint of his Aspect. He is unarmored, dressed in trousers, boots, and tunic that Shen recognizes as Coral fashion. He's standing about fifteen feet away from Shen, a little further from the Admiral. His expression is hard, but calm, as he says, "Who are you?" in Seatongue.

Shen . o O ( Anyone I'd recognize? )

Monkey . o O ( Indeed. Apparently today is TonyC Can't Spell Day. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Nope. )

Monkey . o O ( It's Moray Darktide! Now we can play Pirates of Darkwater. )

Shen . o O ( I forget, does the Admiral speak Seatongue? )

Monkey . o O ( No, Kaizoku doesn't. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( He does now, after the language party last time. )

Monkey . o O ( Ah, right. Lingo party, as opposed to limbo party. )

Shen 's fingers casually slide across his back, bringing out his first arrow but not nocking it yet-- holding it alongside the string pointed down. "A question we'd best like t'hear the answer from you as well," he says dryly before looking to the Admiral.

Admiral Kaizoku recongizes the language of the Sea after the sessions with the newer members of the crew. Just as calmly, he replies "I am Admiral Taiyo Kazoku, commander of the Solar Navy. Who are you and why are you desecrating this place?"

The man says, "This is my home, and what I do with it is my business. Why have you trespassed here?"

Monkey . o O ( "This is _my_ home and I come to reclaim it. You squatters can move or be moved." )

Monkey walks along the unfinished top deck to get a good vantage on the situation below.

Admiral Kaizoku shakes his head. "The ownership of this place goes back far beyond your lifetime. I am here to use the tools for the betterment of Creation in the name of the Sun... and to battle the scourge of the Deathlords."

TonyC whispers, "And Lost Monkey Form."

Shen remains silent, for the moment. He knows where his loyalty lies, but deep Eclipse instincts tell him that right now, his best contribution is patience.

The man says, "You assume a lot. You are a Zenith, aren't you? A priest?"

Admiral Kaizoku narrows his eyes. "A leader of men. I tell the truth about the Sun and others may follow as they wish. The presence of soulsteel in this ship tells me a great deal though."

The man says, "And what does it tell you, _Admiral_? Have you the orichalcum this craft requires? The jade? The moonsilver and adamant? The starmetal? Have you the craft to rebuild this vessel?"

Shen is very good at not laughing or smiling under pressure. Not that this is relevant to this situation at all, since he is remaining stern and calm, really.

JesseLowe . o O ( BTW, Monkey, it's the bow of the trimaran hull that's closest to the Admiral. In case you wondered. )

Monkey . o O ( I did. Thanks. )

Admiral Kaizoku takes a step forward. "It tells me that you are using some of the most foul powers in Creation, exploiting the innocent souls of the dead for power. Whatever craft I have would never use such things" he says determinedly. "What are you planning for this ship? You do not appear to be a Lintha."

Monkey . o O ( I'm going to get some chips and salsa and tea and watch this entertaining dialogue. )

Monkey . o O ( Kaizoku might be meeting someone just as stubborn as he is. )

Shen . o O ( Get some of the green salsa for me. )

The man steps back, raising his daiklave into a guard position. "My plans are my own, as is the ship. If you want it, you will have to take it, and you'll not find that easy, I promise you. Leave this harbor -- there are other ships that'll do for your Solar Navy." He grins. "Maybe you can track down the Dawning Sun Indomitable."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Looks like it's time for aggressive diplomacy. )

Shen . o O ( I'm not shooting him if he doesn't attack us, man. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Is Kaizoku the only one glowing? )

Monkey . o O ( Looks like. )

Shen . o O ( Yup; I went for personal. )

Monkey . o O ( Is it going to be a duel then? )

Admiral Kaizoku shakes his head, though his cloth-covered gaze never wavers from the man's form. "I shall not take one step back from a servant of darkness" he says grimly, taking another step forward. "Whatever your plans are, stopping them can only benefit my mission, easy or not" he says firmly.

JesseLowe . o O ( That appears to be up to the Admiral. The other guy's not making any moves. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( And that's why the Admiral's still on the defensive too. )

Monkey . o O ( Ah, an eye-staring contest. I think the Admiral is going to win that one. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( But being not terribly alive, Deathknights don't blink either, do they? )

Monkey . o O ( Hmmmm, that's never been answered. I guess we'll find out. )

Shen . o O ( Abyssals are alive. Sort of. )

Shen . o O ( Just in a very dead way. )

As he's watching the scene, Monkey hears a sound behind him. Glancing over his shoulder, he sees a collection of people -- no, ghosts -- appearing on deck. Climbing up through hatches he hadn't seen before, most have the green tint to their skin that marks them as Contagion dead. They're clad in a motley array of clothes, some in finery and some in rags. About half are carrying shipwright's tools, while the others bear weapons or are empty-handed. None speak. but their expressions are mixed in worry, anger, and fear.

Monkey smiles and waves at the ghosts before turning his attention back toward the scene below.

JesseLowe . o O ( So, standoff? )

This is not to say that Monkey completely discounts the possibility of a stab in the back. His caste mark glints as his skin hardens.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Looks like, unless the other guy has something more to say. )

Shen . o O ( Yup. )

You rolled 12 dice on something and got 6 successes.

TonyC whispers, "4 motes to Durability of Oak Meditation, some of which from peripheral."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( So now having decoded the blueprints, I'll botch whatever social roll is needed. )

The moments stretch on as the Exalts face each other -- until the young man flicks his eyes over to Monkey. "Ah," he says under his breath, "So that's the way it is..." He speaks, suddenly and loudly: "I cannot permit you to stand in my way, Admiral. I'm sorry."

Monkey . o O ( You're a priest. Your job is to start a holy war. It's Shen's job to smooth out the ruffled feathers. )

Shen . o O ( You'd think so, but, no. I majored in sailin' and shootin' people. )

Monkey . o O ( Better start taking remedial courses, man. Or get lots of arrows. )

Shen . o O ( I have a minor in 'Casual Friendliness', if that works. )

Monkey . o O ( Dunno. Might get you the ladies, but probably won't get a nation to lay down their arms. )

Admiral Kaizoku puts his other hand on the hilt of his Daiklave, his caste mark sending reflections off the gleaming blade. "So be it!" he replies, just as loudly. "I will never hesitate to block the paths that darkness takes. You, however, may find another path. Come back into the light" he offers, sincerely.

Shen's fingers play across the bowstring again- but this time, not idly. The arrow that had been relaxed is up, and the Orichalcum of Swift Retort glints in the dying sunlight as the *creak* of the nocked string speaks for him.

The young man says, as he leans back into a ready stance that seems familiar, "My name is Peleps Leden. Remember it in your next life." Then he flashes forward, daiklave a blur as it leaps for Kaizoku's throat.

JesseLowe . o O ( Roll init. )

Admiral Kaizoku rolled 1d10+14 and got 24.

Monkey rolled 1d10+8 and got 17.

Shen . o O ( Argh. I remember how to roll, but not what init is. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( wits+Dex + weapon speed, if any, +1D10 )

Monkey . o O ( 1d10+wits+dex+weapon )

Shen . o O ( No, that I know. )

On 1d10+12, you rolled 22.

Shen . o O ( I meant how to roll init. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Roll 1D10+X )

Monkey . o O ( roll 1d10+x )

Shen . o O ( Thankee! )

Shen rolled 1d10+10 and got 15.

JesseLowe really needs to start statting up NPCs _before_ they appear.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Maybe if I kill him on the first hit, you won't have to? )

Shen . o O ( Grab someone at random from one of the books! )

Monkey . o O ( Nonsense. Just pull it out the air. We won't tell. )

Round one: Kaizoku, Peleps Leden, Monkey, Shen. The combat is one Monkey Leap away from, well, Monkey. Useful props: The table with plans and bowl of chowder, a couple of stools, lines and cables hanging from the ceiling, the ghost-light lamps, various shipwright's tools, etc.

JesseLowe . o O ( Admiral, your go. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( This is a bad move, but what the heck. )

Admiral Kaizoku holds up his sword high. It gleams brighter as his caste mark flares brighter, lighting up the whole drydock with the noonday sun. Solar wind swirls around the Admiral, rising up to the point of his curved blade... which in turn stretches higher and higher, filling with the power of the Sun. "Transcendant Sword Attack mode two: Descending Blow!" he calls as he leaps up a dozen feet and brings his now-immense blade down at the Deathknight.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( It's the big attack... stunt bonus? )

JesseLowe . o O ( 2 dice. )

JesseLowe grins.

Monkey . o O ( Oh no, SAE. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Peripheral, BTW. )

JesseLowe . o O ( SAE? )

JesseLowe . o O ( Self-Addressed Envelope? )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Using conviction to wipe away this stain of corruption. )

Admiral Kaizoku rolled 30 dice on Upper blow! and got 16 successes.

Admiral Kaizoku rolled 30 dice on Lower blow! and got 16 successes.

Shen . o O ( Nice. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Does he count as "alive" for the blindcloth's power of +2 damage to living targets? )

JesseLowe . o O ( Oh, yes. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( 45 damage for each hit then. )

Monkey . o O ( SAE = Safety Among Enemies. Which, if Peleps is a Fire Aspect, he's likely to have. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Heheheheh. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( I'm going to be really unhappy if this is a rerun of the first time I used this... He can't be a DB if he's using necromancy, can he? Hrm. )

Monkey . o O ( IIRC, DB can use first circle necromancy, if they can get access to it. )

Shen . o O ( Nope. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Though he hasn't used any per se, just necromantic principles, which anyone can learn, I'd wager. )

Shen . o O ( Only Celestial Exalts. Effectively, you can only use necromancy one circle below your sorcery potential. )

Shen . o O ( Of course, he might be the Malfean equivalent of an Akuma. )

Shen . o O ( In which case, sucks to be me, probably. )

As the Admiral's blade crashes down on Peleps Leden's head, the young man's form blurs as he moves with incredible swiftness, a shadow under the light of the sun. Chips of stone rain down from the dock as Peleps Leden smoothly rotates under the admiral's guard and thrusts up.

JesseLowe . o O ( Perfect dodge. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Twice? )

Shen . o O ( Abyssal it is. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Yes. And now, an attack. )

Monkey . o O ( Bye bye. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Why can't people just die like their supposed to? )

Monkey . o O ( Perhaps they're waiting for you to show the right way. ;) )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( I should have brought up Fivefold Bulwark before.. that's what I get for trying to negotiate. )

You rolled 11 dice on Wavecleaver thrust! and got 5 successes.

Monkey . o O ( FWIW, there is no combo flare, so this attack shouldn't be boosted. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Defense? )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( I don't think I have any defensive options here... )

JesseLowe . o O ( In that case, what's your soak? )

Shen . o O ( Your combo doesn't have a defense charm in it? )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Nope, the idea was that anyone hit by it should go away. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( 10L 10B )

JesseLowe . o O ( Is it xld for damage? I haven't rolled it recently... )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( I usually win init, so... And yes. )

JesseLowe . o O ( thx. )

You rolled 5 dice on something and got 3 hits.

JesseLowe . o O ( Admiral, you take 3 lethal as his thrust slides up your ribcage. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Got it. )

JesseLowe . o O ( And it's Monkey's go. )

Monkey jumps down from his perch and puts himself between Peleps and Kaizoku. "Whoa, whoa. Let's hold on here."

JesseLowe . o O ( Monkey: Peacemaker?! )

JesseLowe boggles.

Monkey . o O ( Heck no. )

Monkey says, "How about we settle this in a civilized way? Say, a contest. The loser goes home. Winner gets to go on with whatever his plan is. What say both of you?"

Monkey . o O ( I figure between the three of us, we could be a good match whatever the challenge is. )

Peleps Leden says, "This is my home!"

JesseLowe . o O ( Make Per + Awareness rolls )

Monkey says, "It is? I don't see your name on it. In fact, I'm quite sure I see our marks instead."

Admiral Kaizoku rolled 4 dice on No Awa of that ambush and got 2 successes.

Shen rolled 9 dice on something and got 2 botches.

Monkey rolled 4 dice on Per + Awa and got 3 successes.

Shen . o O ( Arrrghle. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Heh. Shen's looking the other way. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( At the Admiral, keeping his bow trained there. )

Shen turns around with deceptive grace, almost seeming to move in slow motion-- and yet his arrow is already there, sweeping up and level from his eye to that of his foe, meeting target across wood, steel, and orichalcum. "Perhaps," he says quietly, "A reasoned discussion would be appropriate-- if we meet with a reasonable man. The question remains as to whether or not we have, however..." And is utterly clueless to the world.

Shen . o O ( I'm being Casually Impressive and Talking Up A Storm! It's an Eclipse Thing! I'm... I'm having a bad day. )

On Peleps Leden's forehead is the faint golden glitter of a hollow sun.

Monkey . o O ( Mood: Immense glee. )

Monkey . o O ( Sooo, akuma? )

Peleps says, "I'd not be so sure."

Admiral Kaizoku is looking grim and relentless. "He has made his choice."

JesseLowe . o O ( Monkey, was that your action? )

Monkey . o O ( Pretty much. Although that given talking is talking, consider me as having held my action indefinitely until it gets wasted. Mechanically speaking. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Okay. Shen, your go! )

Shen . o O ( Are we going with the Power Combat action-holding penalties? )

JesseLowe . o O ( Yes. Pretty much straight power combat. )

Shen . o O ( I'm going to hold my action for a few tics, then, to see if he responds in any way other than hostile-- let's see... 3 tics. )

JesseLowe . o O ( He's not going to act again this round except defensively, so... -3 to aggressive actions and go. )

TonyC whispers, "I'm not sure I understand what Monkey saw. Is he an Eclipse Solar? A Day abyssal? or akuma?"

You whisper, "Night Solar" to TonyC.

Shen . o O ( I'll be stunting, and as usual, trying for the 'Making It Look Easy' bonus. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Okay... )

Shen drawls, "If you can't be sure -- then neither can I, and I suggest you remove yourself from my admiral." With that, he simply releases the arrow, allowing it to flow along the line made by his earlier focused stance, a glint of essence riding down the shaft as it moves. The actions are simple, precise-- and final.

JesseLowe . o O ( Charm? )

Shen . o O ( Wise Arrow. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Roll it. )

Shen . o O ( Stunt level? )

JesseLowe . o O ( 1, but you get the style bonus. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Note: I have been following Kasumi's lectures on )

Monkey . o O ( I'm not surprised. )

Shen . o O ( Ouch. Somewhat harsh there. :) Still, taking the 2 essence as part of the 4 spent on the Wise arrow. 13-3+2+4=16. )

Shen rolled 16 dice on something and got 8 successes.

You rolled 16 dice on Peleps dodge and got 9 successes.

Shen . o O ( Note to self: more blasting. )

Shen's arrow bridges the space between bow and target in a fraction of an eyeblink, but it merely ruffles Peleps' hair as he tilts his head to let it pass, unhindered, into the darkness beyond the drydock.

Monkey . o O ( Dude, you got out-styled. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Roll init! )

Monkey rolled 1d10+8 and got 16.

Shen rolled 1d10+10 and got 17.

Admiral Kaizoku rolled 1d10+14 and got 15.

On 1d10+12, you rolled 13.

Shen . o O ( Bah. I'm on land! What do you want from me? )

JesseLowe . o O ( Ouch. )

Monkey taps his foot, waiting, "Well?"

Shen . o O ( Two shots this time, again, stunting. )

Shen . o O ( again, signature style. >.> Stupid enter key! )

On 1d10+7, you rolled 11.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( The first time Monkey tops the Admiral and the plan won't work... )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Plus we're about to get overrun by ghostts. )

JesseLowe . o O ( This looks pretty straightforward.... )

Shen . o O ( Dangit, admiral, you ruined the surprise part of my action. :P )

Round Two! Order is: Shen, Monkey, Kaizoku, Peleps Leden, Mystery Guest.

Shen . o O ( We're by the docks, right? So there are those large stone columns around? )

JesseLowe . o O ( Shen, pose. Stone columns? )

Monkey . o O ( We're inside a dry dock. )

Shen . o O ( *gestures* Like... the ones on a wooden dock, only made of stone. Supports? Tie-off poles? )

Shen . o O ( Ah, okay. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Ah! Yes, there are, so to speak. Every ten to fifteen feet along the very edge of the dock are vaguely mushroom-shaped pillars about two and half feet tall and about a foot in diameter. )

JesseLowe . o O ( And they're precisely for mooring a vessel when the drydock is wet. )

Shen draws back and away from the fighting pair, casually taking the high ground and distance that is the friend and shield of an archer. He nimbly scales onto the nearest line-base mooring pillar and pulls Swift Retort back up to eye level in the same fluid motion as drawing his next arrow to fire at Leden. As soon as the first is off he is already nocking the second-- but he turns swiftly to see if any allies have joined the fight from within.

Shen . o O ( If anyone's sneaking up on us, I'm shooting them, after I Accuracy Without Distance Leden. Otherwise, I'm going to whip back around and shoot him again. )

think Okay. 2-die stunt. It's not much of a height or distance advantage, I'm afraid...

JesseLowe . o O ( Okay. 2-die stunt. It's not much of a height or distance advantage, I'm afraid... )

Things that annoy JesseLowe, #320: Never being able to find the Player's Guide when I need it.

Shen . o O ( Eh, it's better than standing at point-blank range with a man who's got a daiklaive. )

Monkey . o O ( Abort to full-parry. Sorry Brian. )

Shen . o O ( Do I get the Signature Style bonus? Also, I'll take the willpower point, since I'm using one AWD'ing him. )

Shen . o O ( Er, plus, am I shooting twice at him, or once at him and once at someone else? )

JesseLowe . o O ( 2x at him and sure, style bonus. )

Shen . o O ( Ah, sweet. 13-2+3=14 for the first shot, 13 for the second. Second will *not* be AWD. )

Shen rolled 14 dice on something and got 10 successes.

Shen rolled 13 dice on something and got 7 successes.

As the arrow speeds toward Peleps Leden, Monkey leans to the side and his hand snatches the arrow from the air. But Shen's archery is better, and the arrow slips through his grasp. Undeterred, Monkey turns around and tries to catch the second arrow as it whizzes by him.

Monkey . o O ( Basically, I'm parrying Shen's attack for Peleps. )

Shen . o O ( You ARE being a peacemaker!  :P )

Monkey rolled 10 dice on Parry1 and got 5 successes.

think Okay, whatever works. Roll a parry at -3 dice, but you get an extra die (and motes) for the stunt.

JesseLowe . o O ( Okay, whatever works. Roll a parry at -3 dice, but you get an extra die (and motes) for the stunt. )

Monkey rolled 8 dice on Parry1 and got 2 successes.

Monkey rolled 7 dice on Parry2 and got 3 successes.

JesseLowe . o O ( Reduces it to 5 dice but doesn't stop it. )

Catching a speeding arrow is hard! Monkey's attempt barely touches the fletching of the second arrow, perhaps deflecting it from hitting a vital spot, but not nearly enough to stop it.

JesseLowe . o O ( posing. )

JesseLowe . o O ( hang on a sec. D'you think AWD attacks can be reduced by to the minimum by active defenses? Or will any active, non-perfect defense fail entirely? )

Monkey . o O ( I strongly recommend getting Fivefold Bulwark Stance up right now. That, or some sort of uber soak charm, jetman. )

Monkey . o O ( Reducible to minimum. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Since this is going to be more than a 1 turn fight, FBS is indeed coming up. )

Shen . o O ( So... the first attack is reduced to 8 successes and the second to 4, or...? *confused* )

Monkey . o O ( The first to 8. The second to 4. Had I gotten 100 successes for the first one, it will still hit for minimum damage. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Uh... Hm. For the moment I'm going to go with the defense trumps offense rationale and agree with TonyC. Rolling and posing. )

You rolled 16 dice on Peleps dodge 1! and got 8 successes.

You rolled 16 dice on Peleps dodge 2! and got 9 successes.

Shen . o O ( Okay, one base hit at 7L then, nothing for #2. )

You rolled 11 dice on Peleps parry! and got 4 successes.

Monkey . o O ( Looks like Peleps isn't familiar with AWD and is trying to negate it. )

Though he moves like a seabird and his daiklave is black lightning in his hand, Leden's defense is all but futile against Shen's first arrow. The second is less true, and thuds into the wall of the drydock near the great door.

JesseLowe . o O ( Roll base damage, minus 4L soak. )

Shen rolled 3 dice on something and got 1 hit.

Monkey says, "Pardon my compatriots' rashness and my own incompetence. Seems you might have some grounds here about the markings and all. Still, we're all Exalts of the Sun. Surely we can work something out."

An arrow sticking out of his thigh, Peleps Leden grimaces. "You're a better shot than Moray Darktide, archer."

Monkey says, "To hear his tales, he's a better sailor too."

JesseLowe . o O ( Monkey, make a Cha + Presence roll. )

Monkey says, "Or at least a better braggart."

Monkey . o O ( Using WP to channel Conviction. )

Shen shrugs amiably. Despite having just shot the man. "Loyalty to th'Admiral. If it gives us a moment to speak, all th'better."

Monkey rolled 8 dice on Cha + Pre + Conv and got 4 successes.

Monkey . o O ( I look at my essence expenditure and I can't even get motes back from stunting. Darn committed scene-longs. )

Leden steps back, two quick paces. "Maybe we can... Can you keep your Admiral's "righteous wrath" in check?"

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( My move? )

JesseLowe . o O ( Indeed it is. )

Admiral Kaizoku catches sight of Shen's shots and Monkey's misguided attempts to make peace. He doesn't want to split his concentration though, not with a foe of such skill. He slashes out along the path that Peleps made in his attack, then the opposite side, a low slash outward from each of his legs and an overhead one, glowing trails of Essence trailing in his blade's wake as he plots out every possible attack the Deathknight could make and plans a counter for it. "If you stand down, I will do everything possible to purge the darkness that infests your Exaltation from you!" he says resolutely.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Activating Fivefold Bulwark. )

Monkey says, "Sure, sure. He's a man of reason, right Admiral?" Conspiratorially, Monkey's voice drops to a whisper as he adds, "could be a liiiitle bit short-tempered and bullheaded though."

Leden relaxes just a hair, and barks a laugh. "There is... no darkness. No more than rests on your own Exaltation, Admiral."

JesseLowe . o O ( Then my father is truly dead. )

Monkey . o O ( Damn you. You have no idea how close you are to short-circuiting my keyboard. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Glee! )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( I have to get the Admiral's eyes fixed... they're his main expressive outlet. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Posing. )

From the dark far corner of the drydock, where you entered, a woman speaks, softly, yet her voice carries out to every one of you. She steps into the light, and you can see that she is a beautiful woman of indeterminate age. She appears to be of patrician descent, a child of the Realm. Her hair is black, as are her eyes, and she is garbed in lush robes of red and white. She carries a staff with an arcane instrument atop it, and she is very pregnant. "Leden. They could help us."

Monkey . o O ( Oh no, now we know where The Empress is, and uh oh, is that the Ebon Dragon's child? )

Admiral Kaizoku lowers his blade to his side before he turns to look the woman over. "That greatly depends on what you need help with, madame. Your associate laughs off the use of dark powers much too easily for me."

JesseLowe . o O ( Make a Per + Lore roll -- everybody except Kaizoku. )

Shen rolled 5 dice on something and got 2 successes.

Monkey says, "Whoa!"

JesseLowe . o O ( And a straight up Essence roll, too -- everyone. )

Shen rolled 3 dice on something and got 3 successes.

Admiral Kaizoku rolled 4 dice on Essence and got 3 successes.

Monkey rolled 3 dice on Per + Lore and got 2 successes.

Monkey rolled 4 dice on Essence and got 2 successes.

Shen . o O ( ... Woot! My soul likes me! )

Monkey says, "A pregnant woman shouldn't be in a Shadowland. Bad things will happen! Too many fingers! Cleft lips!"

Shen . o O ( "Progressive Death". )

Monkey says, "Look, when we leave, we'll give you a lift, right Admiral Kaizoku? We can drop her off at Wavecrest or something."

JesseLowe . o O ( Two things. First, she is dressed in funeral robes of the Realm. Second, something about her seems familiar, yet tainted. This resonance is especially strong in the Admiral and Shen, but only a little tugging in the back of Monkey's head. )

Monkey . o O ( Yay! Natural born cluelessness. )

The woman says, "Admiral Kaizoku, we are fleeing from the Silver Prince. Even now, he hunts us."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Which one is that again? )

Shen . o O ( Bodhisattva Annointed by Dark Water. )

Monkey sidles close to Peleps Leden and nudges him with his elbow, "Your wife."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Can't tell the players without a program. )

Monkey . o O ( That should be a question mark. )

JesseLowe . o O ( It's getting that way, isn't it? )

Admiral Kaizoku replies instantly and with utter conviction "Then he cannot have you."

Monkey . o O ( Ruler of Skullstone. )

Shen puts his bow down and looks from the woman to the man and back again. He raises an eyebrow, and then tugs his hat down for a moment before taking it off. "I'm guessin' that there are stars crossed here, over a gulf larger than any I've sailed."

Monkey says, "Huh? What?"

Peleps has gone from looking sardonic to looking rather anxious. He steps over to her, quickly and with a protective air. "Are you all right?" he says, almost to quietly to hear. She lays a reassuring hand on his arm.

Shen . o O ( Let's see, she's wearing funeral clothes, is familiar but "tainted" to us, he's using soulsteel but is a solar... Five gets you fifteen they're a Solar and an Abyssal in love. )

Monkey . o O ( No taker. )

She says, "I am glad to hear you say this, Admiral. Your aid would be great, if dreams speak true."

JesseLowe . o O ( He's using black jade, not soulsteel. )

Monkey . o O ( The ship. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( And he's not fighting with soulsteel, though he is working with it in the ship... or is she? )

Shen . o O ( That seeemed to be what- right. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Like I said... )

JesseLowe . o O ( Okay, I need to wrap up pretty quickly -- no more than 20 minutes. )

Monkey . o O ( Let me craft a more even bet. Five to five she's Daybreak. )

Shen . o O ( I'm waiting on the Admiral right now. )

Admiral Kaizoku spins his blade around and clips it to his belt. "What do they say?" he asks. "I must know everything of your circumstances, and the condition of this base" he continues, businesslike. "Though certain things seem apparent."

Monkey . o O ( Here's the logic. Here we have a Dawn, Zenith, Night, and Eclipse. Missing is Twilight. Assuming we were all linked, but the Twilight shard got corrupted, we got her, a Daybreak. This also explains the Craft and Lore needed to build the ship. )

The woman begins to speak, but Leden interrupts. "Not here. Come with us, and we will parley. And I'll get this arrow out of my leg..." She nods agreement.

Shen coughs in Monkey's direction, and slings the bow back over his back. "I'm Shen, by th'by, Kubernetes of th' Unconquered Son. Aside from the Admiral here, whom you've met, this is Monkey," he says and gestures at Monkey again. He looks at the lady and then grins sheepishly for a moment at Leden.

Monkey says, "And we should tend to your wound too, Admiral."

Monkey . o O ( Shall we assume all that happen and open a new scene? )

Admiral Kaizoku says "My ship has several excellent healers aboard." He looks down at his wound, which he has completely ignored until this moment. "If you would care to accompany me?"

Peleps nods. "I am Peleps Leden, and this is my wife, the Auspex in Crimson."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( He nods at the Admiral's suggestion? )

Shen . o O ( I win at life, and also the internet! )

JesseLowe . o O ( No, at the introductions. Posing. )

Peleps says, "With all due respect Admiral, I would prefer to parley on more neutral ground... There is an old library near here, and near to your ship's berth. Will that do?"

Monkey . o O ( Ping. )

JesseLowe . o O ( I can see you... )

JesseLowe . o O ( Kaizoku? )

Admiral Kaizoku inclines his head at that. "It will indeed" he says. "First and foremost, I must express regret for my attack" he adds as he walks along. "I do not know how familiar you are with the situation in the Scavenger Lands, but it is dire. The Mask of Winters is on a rampage."

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( It took a while to have the Admiral say he was sorry. )

JesseLowe . o O ( He's not used to it... )

Shen . o O ( Shen is proud of you! )

Monkey . o O ( laughs. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Okay, posing. )

Monkey . o O ( Man, Monkey's parry sucks. His dodge is great, but you can't dodge on behalf of someone else. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( You can take the Elemental Bolt for them though, right? )

Leden and the Auspex lead you to a building up the street from the pier where the Unconquered Sun is docked, Leden favoring his wounded leg. A few ghosts follow you, silent and at a distance. The library is an octagonal building two stories high and of middling size. The Auspex opens the doors, ancient metal with inscriptions in Old Realm and other forgotten tongues. Inside, you find a ruined place of learning. It is all one great room, with small alcoves all around the edges. In the center, someone has cleared away the rubbish of the centuries and set up a small study area around a table, with a pair of benches for seating. The Auspex walks over to the table and lights the candles there. In the small, warm glow of the candlelight, you parley with the Abyssal and the Solar.

Monkey . o O ( That's funny, considering you have a better soak and thus more likely to survive. )

JesseLowe . o O ( And we'll switch to "telling" over "showing" so I can get to bed on time. Kaizoku gets to ask the first couple of questions. )

Shen . o O ( I have a disarming dodge charm. You could try that! )

JesseLowe . o O ( Unless we want to start next session with the parley, of course. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( That'd be more dramatic, no? Certainly less hasty. And you can make up their stats. )

JesseLowe . o O ( That'd be handy. )

Monkey . o O ( I'm against it. )

JesseLowe . o O ( Against which? )

Monkey . o O ( Waiting until next session for a talk. )

Shen . o O ( I'm for next session, too, and not just because I've been insomniac-sleep-zombie all day, so my thinking is decreasing now. :P )

JesseLowe . o O ( Oh, and speaking of next session -- it's going to be a bit shorter because I have to pick someone up at the airport just after midnight. )

Monkey . o O ( That's not a bit shorter. That's a lot. Midnight your time equals approx. 2 hours total. )

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Two questions each now then, to fire up imaginations for next time? )

Shen . o O ( because if I had been awake, I would have realized an easier way to solve this peacefully-- caste-mark showing--- earlier. )

Shen . o O ( I can't come up with coherent questions right now, so if y'all want to take mine until next session, it would be cool. Brain is zonked. )

JesseLowe [to TonyC]: Yeah, I know. I'm not actually sure as the exact time -- it might be closer to 1:00. I'd better find out before I have to pick her up, though...

TonyC [to JesseLowe]: Looks like I've been outvoted. So next week it is.

JesseLowe . o O ( Okay. Anything you want to know beforehand, though? )

JesseLowe . o O ( And that's "you" in general. )

IsawaBrian [to JesseLowe]: What time zone I left my brain in, mostly. :P

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( What are they planning for the ship? Running or something more? )

TonyC [to JesseLowe]: OOC: July 4th. Monday. I'm free all day. If others are free, we could shift the game to Monday and start, well, not as late.

JesseLowe . o O ( Running and raiding -- she's building it to function equally well in Creation or the Underworld. The soulsteel, btw, is made from spectres and hungry ghosts. )

TonyC [to JesseLowe]: Note that I'm the one who's most used to staying up late. So it doesn't matter much to me.

Shen says, "I'm glad I made Shen an Eclipse now, rather than a night. He can run a soulsteel ship, if asked; he just won't be very comfortable doing so."

Shen looks at his other characters, who are either frothing at the mouth, or going "euuuuw, grotty'.

JesseLowe . o O ( Okay, rest by e-mail. 4 xp each and bed for me! )

Shen says, "G'night!"

Shen drops off as well.

Admiral Kaizoku . o O ( Nite! Cool twist! )

JesseLowe . o O ( Night! )

On to Session 40