Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Episode 6: Junk Wars!

With Xoe is deep meditation and Kobayashi on hiatus, Saladin was jetlagged too....

Xeno delivered the coup de grace on the zombie captain, skewering his frigid corpse with the Pointy Hat of Doom. After making sure that he was unequivocally dead, Xeno raided the body and turned up some booty, not least of which was a Deck of Many Things. Having some learning about this most interesting of magical decks, it was determined that ownership of it was not something that the still-conscious members of Der Mobile's crew were willing to take on, so Iryien lost the coin-toss and was elected to slip the Deck into the still-comatose Takemiya's rough homespun gi.

Oddly enough, it was when the plaques had been planted that Takemiya awoke and, quite surprisingly, refrained from dislocating Iryien's arm post-haste. The news of the revived Spelljammer soon spread throughout the ships, and with Kobayashi manning the Hammer's helm, the ships were disentangled and normality resumed.

It was here that Xeno and Takemiya had an idea - offer Gorth and the remaining crew of the Hammer a contract extension - to take effect upon the expiration of their 'debt of service'. Details remain to be worked out, but there's no doubt that 4 experienced spelljamming crew members would be an asset now that DCM Enterprises has two ships. Gorth would act as Captain of the Hammer in support (and subsidiary to) Saladin as Der Mobile's captain. Gorth agreed (contingent on the acquisition of large amounts of smoke powder) to refit and restaff the Hammer, a project that would take no more than a week or two. Once finished, DCM Enterprises should have a nice little operation going....

Speaking of which, it appears that the strange, bronze obelisk in the Hammer's hold is due to be delivered to one Marguerite Moebius of Rosencrantz, Lungfish Isle. Close examination of the contract binding the captain and crew of the Hammer reveals that one 'Vito Macaroli' has arranged to loan the "Obelisk, Brazen" to Ms. Moebius for a short period of time, not to exceed three months in length. The contract appears to be somewhat magically binding, in that it seems that Saladin having been elected captain in absentia is now bound by contract to deliver the Obelisk or risk "consequences". Due to the magical nature of the contractual language (and the somewhat shaky 'read magic' ability of Xeno) it would appear that, if the Obelisk is NOT delivered, Saladin will either "lose herever after and forthwith yon rights to all reproductive zeal and lemons" or "be thee teleported to the very nether layers of The Abysse, to be devouritated for millenia by eleven Shaggy Demodands"...

Either way, that Obelisk better find it's way to Ms. Moebius, or else.

It was at this point that Xeno reasoned that everything that didn't belong to Gorth, Gollum and the 2 humans was now property of DCM Enterprises. Wouldn't you know it, but the 'Statistical Improbability Drive' decided to kick in on Xeno's Treasure Roll, and a 20 was the result.

I'm STILL rolling for your loot. :(

At last, the ships headed to the surface of the moon Maeda to garner repairs to the Hammer and check out the location of "Ictinus"...

An interesting community has formed on Maeda's only body of water, Long Lake. At one end of the long, thin lake a stadium sits, cradling the water and enabling a few thousand people to witness what looks like the occasional naval battle. Wagering seems to be a big part of the spectacle, as the "Champs Colisée" appears to draw large numbers of spelljamming ships, their crews and various dignitaries to soak up the scene. A special VIP stand acts even floats out over the water, acting as the southernmost boundary for the stadium. As Der Mobile coasted in looking for a repair crew, they saw an oriental junk fitted with a large crew set to take on what looked like an old Roman floating shield turtle.

Eventually, Der Mobile found "Wilbur's Wreckage", where a precocious and somewhat ADHD lad by the name of Willy was not only helpful, but seemed to recognize the crew. He asked if Xeno had captured a ship this time, and seemed quite impressed that he'd taken a Hammership. Willy then fetched his father who got a crew aboard his "Bumbler" and followed Der Mobile up to where the Hammer was waiting in orbit.

Lastly, Der Mobile floated down to investigate "Ictinus", which was found by following the ship's autopilot function. It led to a cove nestled amongst quiet, lakeside cabins where children splashed, swung on ropeswings and toasted marshmelons by campfire in the ruddy afternoon...

One cabin, however, stuck out like a sore thumb. Lights, streamers, tinsel and a large array of gaily-colored statuettes, gazing balls and urinating boys waited at Der Mobile's destination. A placard labeled "Hau Phat Cottage" stood benignly at the head of the path which led up from the dock. The path led to a modest two-story cabin nestled underneath the gaudy pink leaves of the most ghastily-decorated tree any of the crew had ever seen.

Sitting under the tree, deep in thought, was a large iron golem by the name of Mike. Affixed to him by means of a clear resin was a note from the Long Lake Beautification Committee, chastising the owners of the cabin for their bad taste. Mike informed the crew that he had just finished filling the third box of wood, and would start doing ballista bolts next. Curious to see what he was talking about, Xeno had Mike lead them to the cellar where he revealed a large metal table, criss-crossed with coils of wire and metal plates. A root from the pink-leafed tree outside had made its way through the foundation and onto the table, where it passed through a number of metal loops before being sheared cleanly off. This was at last the origin of the chest of 'logs' that were being sold to the Tookah's clients. Hau Phat cottage sits under a sapient Pearwood tree.

Choking down his initial revulsion and horror, Saladin heads outside to 'commune' with the tree and finds that it is in fact mostly dead. 75% of the tree is corrupt and failing, with only the root system maintaining any health. But it would appear that the 'unhealth' is being leeched up and out of the tree through the device in the cabin's basement, with the robust roots being allowed to spread up and through the tree, slowly restoring it to health. What's being sheared off by Mike is only the sick and unhealthy bits of tree - and is being done at a great profit.

Xeno also recalls seeing the schematics for this table in his bunker, and has dubbed it a "Telurric Resonator". Something to do with the vital energy of a planetoid being bound up in accordance to certain geomantic priciples, tetrahedral geometry and other arcane jibber-jabber. Suffice it to say that something truly bizarre is going on here, but hey, that's Wildspace...

Next Week, Episode 7: Special Deliveries!

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