Thursday, March 29, 2018

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE "Trouble in Hyrith" Session 3

Trouble in Hyrith, Session 3

Session 3
Monday, November 13, 2017

Dramatis Personae
  • Zajan, Night Person, Warrior, played by J
  • Sabo Duskfire, Human, Roamer, Adept, played by J
  • Kiva, Vata'an Adept, 17 years old, played by C
  • Ajax, Rhy-Fox Expert, played by Me

The party went to Anot's apartment in a well-to-do area of Hyrith. It was a nice place, not a studio, but larger. It's obvious that he's done well for himself.

Ajax convinced Kiva to use magic to open the door, which he does with skill. Then Ajax hypocritically says he's disappointed with Kiva for doing what is obviously a crime.

They searched the first floor and Ajax smelled around the place as well, noting that Anot was there a week ago. He also smelled someone, smelling of armor oil, along with three other scents that came a few days ago. They obviously searched the place as well.

Downstairs, they searched Anot's bedroom and his office. In the desk, Zajan finds pristine lithographs from a band from the Scatterstar Archipelego, one of them is signed. Ajax also sniffed around the office and found a hidden drawer in the desk.

In the hidden drawer was a note "I know Slaine is involed - how? Who does she work for?", along with a list of bust commissions and full body statue commissions for Perla. Looking over the bust list commissions, Ajax recognized Amalthelia Tyrstar, a noble from the Capital of Aldis.

Multiple entries on the lists had a mark beside them and there were no other details about those commissions, whereas the other commissions had details such as starting time, materials, etc. The commissions with no details are just a money list and there seemed to be something hinky about it. Could they be bribes? Smuggling?

Sabo sat at the desk and used his divination with cards to see a vision of Anot with some black coins, which he hid in the hidden drawer. Sabo also sees three individuals looking over Anot's desk, looking for information and ignoring the money found in the desk. One of them was the rough-looking sea folk sailor woman that they had some interaction with in the time period that they lost. 

When Sabo described the three, Zajan recognized one of them as Fern Swa. They didn't find any money in the desk, so someone took it prior to their arrival.
Searching through Anot's bedroom, Ajax sniffed up a hidden hollow under a loose flagstone. There was a small back with five black coins, the same as the coin of the realm except they are not made from gold or silver.

Sabo figures out that the black coins are some sort of membership tokens, not sure which group but access to their own coin minting means they're not a small or isolated group. The coins do not match the symbol of the Silence. The black coins are cast in some metal, not gold. The metal is not painted black but is naturally black. 

Ajax takes the black coins and they sneak out of Anot's place, heading for the tavern that Zajan was supposed to meet his Silence contacts.
On the way, Ajax sneaks into his apartment, again disturbing Sanford, and hides the black coins in his room.

The Vague Albatross Club is a dive bar, a hangout for poor folks, refugees, laborers, sailors and that sort. Ajax, Kiva and Sabo go in first and sit at the bar. Sabo tries to pass off his fake "good luck" tokens but the barkeep is not impressed and insults Sabo.

Zajan enters the tavern and sees several refugees that he knows. He gets some leads but nothing major about the Silence. 

After a while, the heroes leave separately and head across the bay to get some good Roamer food from a food wagon.

Next Time: Continuing the Investigation!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Actual Play: Firefly "Old War Horses" Session 1 The Bank Job

Session 1: The Bank Job
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dramatis Personae:
  • Captain Ramsey Zook, played by BR
  • General Samuel Zook, played by BR 
  • Doc Gaines, played by BA
  • Bang Buckwheat, played by BB
  • Prospero Jones, played by J
  • John Havelock, played by A
  • Fiona Webb Ryan, Registered Companion, lady friend of Ramsey Zook
  • Drew and Stewie Sorox, bank robbers
  • Sorox gang members
  • Theo Doolan, bank manager of Kirkmeier Bank
  • Miss Purdy, town school marm, 
  • Sheriff, Deputies and Townsfolk of Kirkmeier
  • Doctor Hassan Schumacher, 479th chief medical officer
  • Chow Davis, 479th trooper

Planet: Ossolambria, moon of Shadow
Town: Kirkmeier

Close of view of Ramsey Zook, Doc Gaines and Fiona Webb Ryan. Someone off screen shouts "This is a stick-up!" and the camera pans back to see Ramsey, Doc and Fiona in a bank, holding their hands up.

A pair of rough looking bank robbers, Drew and Stewie Sorox, along with their 8 gang members, are holding up the bank in Kirkmeier, on Ossolambria, one of the moons of Shadow.

Other townsfolk in the bank also have their hands up, as well as the bank tellers and bank manager.

Roll back a minute or so and the rough men enter the bank while Ramsey, Doc and Fiona chat amicably waiting in line to see the bank manager about a job. Fiona is in town on a tour and met up with Ramsey and decided to accompany him.

Outside the bank, Bang is waiting in the mule and sees the gang enter the bank, with guns out. Prospero is in a nearby junkyard, looking for some parts. John is doing deals with Li Po, a merchant of the town.

Drew recognizes Zook as the officer who ordered him punished for a minor offense during the Unification War and wanted revenge! He starts talking crap to Ramsey and then grabs Fiona.

Doc Gaines gets involved and tries to land a punch on Drew (fails and rolls 2 jinxes), who coldly shoots him down (rolls 1 jinx) (End result: Doc Gaines gets Complication: Gut Shot D6).

As Doc falls to the floor, with Fiona rushing to his aid, Ramsey draws his pistol and shoots down two of the gang (rolls 2 jinxes creating new Complication: Fiona is a hostage D8). Drew grabs Fiona as Stewie shoves money into a bag.

After hearing gunshots outside, Bang tells one of the townsfolk to get the sheriff -- the bank is being robbed! -- and rushes across the street, drawing his pistol.

Bang tells Prospero that the bank is being robbed and asks if that was the plan. Prospero remembers that the Captain, Doc and Fiona headed to the bank to meet with the bank manager, and, no, robbing the bank wasn't on the menu for today. Prospero finds a part in the junk yard that could help the base on Ita with their atmospheric regulator (Asset: Part to repair Ita's Atmospheric Regulator D8) but it's huge!

At the door to the bank, his radio squawks to life -- Prospero needs the mule to haul the part he found to the ship (Complication: Bang's Radio is Squawking and heard by the Sorox Gang in the Bank D6). Members of the Sorox gang inside hear Prospero and they and Bang have a gunfight through the bank door. Bang shoots two of them dead (rolls 3 jinxes for a new Complication: Townsfolk see Bang shooting up the bank and think he's one of the bank robbers D8 and increasing Complication: Fiona is a hostage D10).

John is doing business with Li Po and a kid runs by screaming for the sheriff that the bank is being robbed. Then he hears gunfire and tries to get to the bank but Li Po is a shrewd businessman and tries to get the upper hand. John wins a good deal with caveats (rolled 2 jinxes for Complication: must deliver on deal in 5 days D8).

Bang crashes through the door and a gunfight erupts. Two more of the gang are down (rolled 3 jinxes, increasing Complication: Townsfolk think Bang is robbing the bank D12 and Complication: Fiona is a hostage D12). From the townsfolk outside the bank, it looked like Bang shot down in cold blood Miss Purdy, the school marm!

Fiona, absolutely disgusted she's being held hostage by Drew, gives Ramsey a look "you better kill this sumbitch and right quick". Ramsey shoots at Drew and one of his remaining men as Stewie runs out the back with the money. 

Zook kills one of the gangsters and almost gets Drew, but the last gang member steps into the bullet. Shoving Fiona at Ramsey, Drew beats feet after his brother.

Stewie runs out the back of the bank and runs into Prospero driving a borrowed mule with his part, dropping the bag of money all over the mule and the ground. Flustered, Stewie runs off, with Drew not too far behind and the sheriff, deputies and townsfolk in hot pursuit.

The bank manager makes sure Bang isn't arrested, explaining to the lawmen, as he helps up Miss Purdue, that Bang was helping fight off the robbers.

Gunfire sounds in the distance as the posse trade shots with Drew and Stewie.

A deputy stops where the money was dropped and starts collecting it, talking amicably with Prospero and asking about his part.

The sheriff came back and explained the Sorox brothers got away and made sure the bank got its money back.

Doc Gaines, Prospero and Bang headed back to the ship, since Doc has to patch himself up and Bang isn't sure that the townsfolk might not want to take a shot (or two) at him.

Ramsey, Fiona and John go talk to the bank manager.

///// Cut Scene /////
: Ita, moon of Whittier

479th medical bay on Ita, Doctor Schumacher reports to General Zook that one of the troopers has. One down with a virulent disease that, on a normal planet, could lead to 30% fatalities. Ita, with its hot, hot climate, that number could become 50% or more!

General Zook asks who's sick and informed Chow Davis is the patient. Doctor Schumacher lets Zook know that the medicine to cure this disease isn't in their stocks and standard military delivery would take too long. Perhaps he should call his brother.

Zook chastises the doctor about presuming too much with respect to Ramsey and hangs up, thinks a bit, then places a Wave to Ramsey.

///// End Cut Scene /////

Planet: Ossolambria, moon of Shadow
Town: Kirkmeier

In the bank manager's office, Ramsey, John and Fiona wait as the manager makes sure everything is handed about the robbery and then comes in.

He introduces himself as Theo Doolan and asks why they want to see him. Ramsey states they were told that he was the man they should talk to about a job of a sensitive nature.

He smiles and pulls out a piece of paper, looks at it, and turns it over, as if he's expecting something more. Then he turns it back over and looks sheepishly at them.

He tells them that his employer needs some product moved for him. It's on Persephone, in the Eavesdown Docks Bonded Container Depot, No. 2337. There is a pass to get into the Depot (Asset: Pass into Persephone Eavesdown Docks Bonded Container Depot D6).

There are two old Type 47 Containers (large storage containers that hole a lot of stuff) at the location and the product is under a large blue tarp. One of the Type 47s has the delivery address but it's not on Persephone nor Ossolambria. 

The two Type 47 Containers and the product have to be removed from the Depot before No. 2337 lease runs out, which is very soon. Nothing on the sheet of paper tells the crew what the product is, simply it's under a large blue tarp and has to be moved.

Ramsey asks about the fee and Theo low-balls them. John jumps in and negotiates a very good deal, since the product, time to complete job and delivery location are unknown, and fuel costs, docking fees, etc, are known.

They shake hands and the crew heads back to the ship. Fiona has a few more weeks in the area and she bids Ramsey goodbye and they'll talk soon.

The ship launches and Bang tells Ramsey, at Full Burn, it'll take 3 Days 16 Hours to travel from Ossolambria, moon of Shadow, to Persephone.

Next Session: What's the Product? Where does it need to go? And what's up with a virulent disease on Ita?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Actual Play: Blue Rose AGE "Trouble in Hyrith" Session 2

Trouble in Hyrith, Session 2

Session 2
Monday, October 30th, 2017

Dramatis Personae
  • Zajan, Night Person, Warrior, played by J
  • Sabo Duskfire, Human, Roamer, Adept, played by J
  • Kiva, Vata'an Adept, 17 years old, played by C
  • Ajax, Rhy-Fox Expert, played by Me
  • Innkeeper of the Cosy Quail
  • A mysterious Sea Folk sailor woman
  • Perla, a Human stoneshaping artist
  • Anot, a Night Person, art gallery manager (mentioned but not met, yet)

The party headed to the Cosy Quail, where Ajax paid the innkeeper to cleanup the cheesy biscuit crumbs in his room and ordered ale.

Zajan talked with the innkeeper and made a new friend (RP stunt: New Friends). The innkeep let Zajan know that the strangest thing he remembers about the time the party lost their memories, was that one of the sea folk was asking him about first hand recommendations around the town. Innkeep didn't catch her name but she was short, stocky, muscled and hair in a ponytail. She was rough around the edges and looked like she was working folk, a sailor. 

He recalled telling her about Perla's Art Gallery and that she talked with each of us, the night we were called in by the guard to be questioned. Turns out each of the party went to the gallery on separate days, days and trips they still don't remember.

Kiva checked his parents' room but they were not there. He did find a note from them. The rest of the group found out that his parents call him "Moonbunny".

After drinking the ale, the party headed to Perla's Art Gallery. They remembered that Perla came onto the art scene out of nowhere, from obscurity, just a couple of years ago. She arrived at Hyrith 5-6 months ago and established her gallery. It's open to the public but currently back-logged on art piece sales.

Entering the gallery, they saw a whole bunch of statues. Along one wall were several lifesized statues of people, that looked to be the artist's progression in skill over the years. The statues' faces had good detail. The rest of the gallery was filled with statues.

When he enters the gallery, Sabo "sees" a spontaneous vision of a small statue. It's a Rezaean rider. The statue is on a desk. After the vision, he looks around the gallery but doesn't see the statue, nor the desk.

They watch Perla doing stoneshaping magic for a very-true-to-life middle age noblewoman bust. Perla is a human but she looks like she's got some sea folk blood in her.

The party notices that Perla has deep circles under her eyes and she looks pretty ragged and seems to be putting up a façade.

Ajax passed her one of Zajan's cheesy biscuits that he lifted earlier, which gave her some strength.

After talking with Perla, they find out that her assistant/manager, Anot, is missing. Anot is a night person and, it turns out, that he had a relationship with the still missing girl Nissun, the one that the party was questioned about.

Anot has been missing for several days now and Perla is concerned. Ajax managed to get Perla to open up (RP Stunt: New Friends). 

Perla knows that Nissun was around the gallery a lot and that she and Anot got pretty close. Perhaps they ran off together, since the attraction was mutual, but not necessarily exclusive on Nissun's part. Anot was more of a "one-night-person-one-woman" kinda guy. 

Kiva asked if Nissun's father, who runs the stables outside of town, knew about the relationship, which seemed obviously not.

Zajan asked if Perla went to the tournament but she didn't because she was so busy. She did mention that Anot usually went to the first day of the tournament. They also asked about the sea folk sailor but Perla didn't see her.

They got Anot's address from Perla and planned to head over there but before they went, Sabo touched the statues of along the wall and, one of them, "sees" another vision. The subject of the statue walked into a secret room, possibly an underground tunnel, an empty room. The subject got stabbed and killed. On the wall of the murder room is a sigil of a new moon with thorns wreathed around it, a sigil used by the Silence.

Sabo told the rest of the group about the subject of the statue he got the vision from and Zajan asked Perla about the statue. It was one of her personal projects, someone that she saw about town, two years, no, one year ago. She noted his striking features when he came to one of her smaller exhibits, prior to moving to Hyrith.

Ajax figured she's being deceitful about the last time she saw the statue subject, she's mostly truthful but lying by omission. There also was something weird about the way she said "personal project".

As Ajax is leaving the gallery, he does a final smell for any of the three scents that altered the book but none of them were present at the gallery.

Zajan receives notice that the Silence want to meet up with him.

Next time Anot's Place and follow up on Zajan's Silence meetings!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Actual Play: Firefly "Old War Horses"

The Old 479th

The planet Ita is a desert planet and home to the Alliance 479th Mule, Gravedigging and Support Unit, the least distinguished unit in all of the Alliance military. To quote a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “We have a gravedigging unit?” Or to better quote the chief medical officer of the Old 479th, “we’re a unit comprised of every cast–off, jerk–off, gorram idiot, malingerer, misfit or maverick that should never have been drafted into this man’s army.” As an afterthought, he says “We’re the stray puppies of the military.” After a brief pause, “Even me.”

Ita is ringed with automated defense satellites, warning incoming craft that the planet is off–limits and shooting down those who don’t listen or don’t have proper authorization. And it’s the 479th's job is to keep the satellites running and garrison the planet. The 479th is responsible for guarding the only thing worth coming to Ita to see–the Alliance and Independent Space Fleet Boneyard.

The whole planet is a desert (except for the ice–covered polar regions), so all of it is the boneyard. The arid climate makes it perfect for storing spacecraft without the issues of rust and corrosion. There are no discernible seasons or changes to the weather. It’s hot during the day and cold at night. Sometimes there’s a lightning storm, which is quite pretty unless you are caught in it, then it’s downright deadly.

For the most part, the misery is not the extreme weather, it’s the mind–crushing boredom that guarding big chunks of metal for no other reason than to prevent their theft brings about.

But it’s an easy job. Guard the planet, let no one take anything without authorization, and try to get through the next 10 years of service until retirement and pension.

And here is where the Alliance sent their chief embarrassment, General Samuel Kosciusko Zook, Hero of Serenity Valley. He’s in charge here on Ita, for the past 5 years or so, after he opened his mouth too much. And  the 479th love him as a father. Brilliant, decisive, and commanding, Zook is the reason his troops have the highest morale.

House Zook

There are two very important Zooks on Ita, General Samuel Zook and his identical twin brother, General Ramsey Zook. Like the US Civil War, many families were split over the issue of Unification. Samuel fought for the Alliance and Ramsey fought for the Independents. On many occasions, they fought in the same battle but on opposite sides, including the Battle of Serenity Valley. The war damaged their relationship in many ways, but family is still family and Ramsey refused to surrender to anyone but his brother in the last days. This caused quite a stir in the Alliance, especially when Samuel took it upon himself to insist that the Independents be brought fully into the Alliance, as full members.

So vocal was Samuel on this that it lead to the military silencing him the only way they knew–by ordering him to garrison Ita. They knew it was putative and he knew that they knew, but he followed orders. When he arrived on Ita, it had the worst discipline and the worst problems of any command. His previous troops were easy compared to the issues he faced. And Alliance Command kept sending him more, emptying out the losers and malcontents from each group to send to Ita, to keep him busy.

And Samuel kept busy. He built up the command, instilling in the (in many ways) non–conventional troopers a pride and esprit d'corps that was totally lacking before. It took some time to adjust to garrison life but he found that allowing wives and girlfriends, then family members to join the garrison lead to a more stable society. One that he could order easier. Several years went by and more people came, including his future wife, a relative of one of his sergeants.

Since they were on the fringes of the ’Verse and on the fringes of the Alliance military, they usually got not only the dregs of the service but the dregs of the equipment and supplies. Alliance Command made sure the satellites were well supported but the troops that maintained them were less important. So, with their own pay to spend, the troops needed a link to the rest of the ’Verse, a go–between to get them what they needed.

Then Ramsey and his ship and crew showed up. And everything changed.