Sunday, January 3, 2010

Episode 7: Special Deliveries!

Having moved the Obelisk to Der Mobile and arranged with Wilbur (of Wilbur's Wrecks) to repair the Hammer of Grapthar, Gorth led the members of DCM Enterprises down to the Champs Colisee to the worlds-famous BEER TENT! to rustle up some muscle.

Spanning over two full acres, the BEER TENT! offers every kind of food, drink and service imaginable. After scanning the prospects, Gorth managed to find a trio of brothers - Athos, Porthos and Aramis - to act as a friendly, fearsome bodyguard to Xoe later that evening. Xeno spotted a golden-skinned, battle-scarred Giff named Holth who was tired of working a lame-assed ship and wanted to end his career in a hail of musket balls, bits of bone and blood.

One must agree, he picked the right ship.

Der Mobile then took to the skies and headed back to Lungfish Isle. First stop - DCM HQ, where Xoe, Athos and Porthos were surprised to find Sergeant Longbottom of the Watch waiting for them. Apparently a knife found at the scene of Pomegranate Shen's murder brought Xoe to mind, but some smooth talking (and ankle-showing) on Xoe's part alleviated his suspicions for the time being. And she got a dinner date in the bargain.

The Tookah failed to show - though hardly surprising, given the Gazette's characterization of the previous evening. Xoe began to contemplate how to find where he was hiding. Hmmm....

The rest of the crew headed to Rosencrantz to deliver the Obelisk to Marguerite Moebius. Rosencrantz was famously described by Takemiya as "fucking picturesque" - a Swiss-style town full of ornate architecture and portly burgomeisters strolling down flagstoned strasses wielding ornate golden walking sticks.

As Der Mobile docked and offloaded the Obelisk, Kobayashi noticed a couple of unsavory characters eyeing the ship. Saladin took decisive action and strode over to the pair, asking if there was anything he could do for them. The pair stank of aniseed and carp, and were easily coerced into divulging their mission: they were on the lookout for the Hammer of Grapthar. Although they could not be convinced to reveal their employer, they proved worrisome enough for Kobayashi to delve into his priestly divinations and cast a 'detect harmony' spell as the rest of the crew headed out with the Obelisk.

As Saladin led the horse-drawn carriage through the town on the way to Moebius' chateau, Iryien watched Kobayashi fire up his brazier. Soon after, a tortoise shell was placed on the coals and heated up, and Kobayasi chanted the words that would focus the local energies around the shell at the moment it cracked, revealing (through the pattern of the cracks) what underlying forces (chaos or order, harmony or unrest) were at play.

A minute later, the shell shuddered and cracked, crumbling into a heap of smoking black ash. And instead of a pattern of cracks, the ash piled itself into a small, pitted obelisk, reeking of rot, disease and decay. Kobayashi and Iryien rushed above deck, carrying the smoking remains of the shell to warn the rest of the party, but they were too late. The horse-drawn wagon had already left town, and was climbing, climbing towards the chateau....

As the wagon pulled through the horseshoe driveway, a footman rushed out with his footstool to help the passengers debark - but then everything went black. Suddenly, crackling bolts of negative energy were flying through the magical darkness. Everyone leapt from the wagon - Takemiya to commune briefly with the horse (before it was killed), Xeno (to avoid being killed) and Saladin to inform the mistress of the house that "we have a delivery!" whilst people around him were being killed.

Four black-robed assailants were using wands to lob dark bolts at the party, and decisive action was needed. Takemiya quickly employed the Sticky Hand, disarming (and disabling) one hoodlum, while Holth used his head (his forehead, to be exact) to bludgeon another to death. Aramis employed time-honored methods of 'advanced percussive maintenance' to quickly silence his attacker (forever) and Xeno put a hurting on the chateau before his evil counterpart was subdued.

It was at this point that Marguerite Moebius apologised to her guests, had everyone in for vodka and lemon squares and explained that the Obelisk was intended for a retrospective art show of the artifacts of Loca'Luongo, the Left-Leaning Lizardman Lich of Lungfish Isle. He had been vanquished some 250 years ago, but his taste in art could not be denied. There was some resistance from various parties concerning putting this show together (not least of which were the LESBIANS - the League for Equality, Stability and Brotherhood In All Necromancers), but no clear motives have yet been determined. The four assailants (two dead) seem to be members of this allegedly 'legit' association.

Marguerite paid DCM for their troubles and asked to keep in touch - she was obviously impressed with DCM's tact, composure and overwhelming use of force. More mutually profitable business potentialities could be reached here...

And with that, the evening came to a close. Many questions to be answered, clues to uncover and bad guys to obliterate when next we meet in...

Episode 8: Getting Away With... Murder?

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