(First Official Playtest of Michael Billard’s Realmspace 2008 materials)
While Casimir and Capt. Solon step off to the side to converse less than two miles away a Sindiath Line flitter hides within the asteroids of the Tears of Selune. Inside the ship the elven pilot stares intently at the strange ship before him. Behind him , tightly confined by the small cabin , a gorgeous blond human woman peers over his shoulder. As they observe the Stormbreaker three of the waspish flitters suddenly drop into place before them, one of the pilots visibly pointing towards the Stormbreaker’s landing pads while wearing a stern expression. With a muttered, “oh shit,” the elf begins to pilot his ship downwards towards the deck.
As Casimir and the elven Captain converse an aide approaches and has a short hushed conversation with Solon. The aide points towards the asteroids and they see the the flitter (which Hissarmau recognizes from her vantage point on the deck as being a Sindiath Line ship) with its waspish looking escort coming in for a landing. Solon excuses himself and the two elves head for the other side of the landing pad.
Casimir returns to the party and briefly fills them in on his conversation while the four flitters make their approach. He says the Captain was really odd. He had a Torilian accent but used a number of incomprehensible phrases, things like “guided missile,” “computer,” and “radio.” He also had asked several strange questions, inquiring about “The Trailing Tears,” and asking where all of “the city lights on the darkside” had gone. He had also referred to his ship as the “INS Stormbreaker, a Divine Retribution Class Guided Missile Destroyer” attached to something called Armada Battle Group Six. “He ain’t quite from around here…”
As he is sharing this info the incoming craft make a landing, with a number of the leather clad troopers in formation around them just like the ones around the Voidskimmer. Two figures emerge, an elf in Sindiath Line colors, and a tall beautiful blond.
Switch point of view to Capt Solon. The elf introduces himself as Arlin, the woman as Moswen Nathandam. She claims to have been trying to “catch up with her friends,” she says, waving airily at the Voidskimmer and its crew. Solon offers to take her to them as he is returning to speak with “Captain Syzygy.” As he starts to walk away she says, “Captain? Your arm?” after the briefest hesitation he cracks a half smile and says, “Of course, silly of me.” He then leads her over to the Voidskimmer.
Ibid stiffens as he watches them approach. The woman is a good 5’10″ with alabaster skin and pale blond hair. She is dressed in simple silks with jewelry, including bracers, of Mulhorrandi design. The cleric stares at her with seeming disapproval. When asked by his crewmates he replies “Lesser nobility. Slaveholding class. She doesn’t look Mulan, but that could be Celestial blood.” Ibid used to be a slave.
Meeting the party on the deck again Capt Solon gestures towards them and says to Moswen, “There, go get caught up with your friends while I have a words with Captain Syzygy.” He fails to notice the surprised reactions of the group. As he and Cas step off to the other end of the deck again, Violetta looks the new arrival up and down, arches and eyebrow and says, “your friends?”
“Well… yes… I did not want to complicate things with long explanations. I’ not here to see him, I’m here to see all of you. I believe we have a common objective- Vanthus Vanderboren.”
Over the course of conversation they discover that Moswen is Vanthus’ ex-girlfriend and has sought them out as her best chance for tracking him down. She says that he had her cursed when they split and for that she is hunting him down to kill him. Much to Hissarmau’s amusement it is quite apparent from the start that Moswen and Violetta take an instant and frosty dislike to one another. The blond mulan is very girly in demeanor, but almost psychotically serious when she speaks of killing Vanthus.
Casimir returns with a “well, well, and who is this?” “This is Moswen, I don’t trust her.” say Violetta. Cas invites her onto the ship for wine and cheese, an invitation that earns him a hearty jab in the ribs from Violetta. The adjourn to the Voidskimmer, Moswen raising an eyebrow as they step on to the deck and she becomes able to see the ship’s true form as a smalljammer.
While they wait for further contact from the Stormbreaker’s crew the time is spent in discussion with the new tag along. Moswen answers questions while sitting next to Ibid’s candle of truth and also promises that if they let her come along she will wait until Vathus has been delivered up to his sister for justice. “But I get to deliver the final blow!” She tells them she is from Mulhorrand on Toril below, a city called Geldaneth. Her brother is a reasonably well known groudling merchant named Ramas. She relocated to Dragon Rock almost a year ago and broke off her relationship with Vanthus a few months later. He then had her cursed, a curse she will not detail.
When asked what she can bring to the table she holds her hands about a foot apart and suddenly the space between them crackles with purple and black electricity. “I can hold my own.” The bard adds this to her assertion that the mulan woman is volatile and not to be trusted. Casimir in the meantime is overjoyed to have two gorgeous women aboard now. “A blond and a brunette, a matched set! All I need now is a redhead…” he says.
A voice from the main deck is heard to call out, “Captain Syzygy! Captain Syzygy!” Cas leans over the rail with a glass of wine and is told that the group are invited to join Capt Solon and select members of the staff for dinner in two hours.
The scene in the quarters is actually quite amusing as Moswen and Violetta occupy opposite corners while they apply makeup and get ready. Hissarmau in the meantime lies sprawled out on one of the hammocks watching intently and with much amusement.
When a group of guards arrives to escort them to dinner it is, much to the surprise of all, led not by an elf but by a scro in matching uniform. Choking down their surprise the group follow them to the dining hall. Capt Solon is at the head of the table with seven of his officers with him. Two of those officers are scro.
Over the first three courses, served in the light of the chamber’s massive bay window, the conversation is kept light. None of our heroes broach the “what are scro doing on an elven ship” question. By the third course, beautifully cooked Edelian Skykine, small discrepancies in the conversation lead to someone commenting on the date. Cmdr. Ushurak, the scro first officer, looks extremely shocked when Hissarmau sasys the date is 1361 DR. When Violetta asks Captain Solon what year they think it is the elf quietly murmurs “2008 Dale Reckoning.” The table explodes in questions and commentary from both groups.
Casimir asks what INS stands for to which Solon replies, “Imperial Naval Ship” of The Sylvan Principalities. “The EIN fragmented and dibanded shortly after the Third Unhuman War.” Ushurak looks to his captain, “That would explain the absence of the Trailing Tears and the missing city lights below.”
As our heroes begin to bombard the elves and scro of the Stormbreaker with questions about their future Solon raises his hand and calls for silence. “If we truly have passed backwards in time we must be very judicious in what we allow ourselves to say to you of what lies in our past and your future.” Once again the conversation comes thick, fast, and chaotic.
Before the hubub has a chance to die down the sound of sirens suddenly peals through the ship. Solon and Ushurak give each other a meaningful look and then rise from their places. “It seems that we will have to cut our dinner short. Please accept our apologies, but we will have to ask you to return to your ship for your own safety.” The tall elf gives a sort bow and then, with his scro first officer at his heels turns and leaves the dining chamber. One of the other officers escorts the group back to the landing pad and the Voidskimmer.
As they come out on deck they see a small squadron of ships (3 armored hammerships and 2 galleons) sporting the blood red sails of the Crimson Fleet. As the Stormbreaker turns towards the group of ships they let fly with an initial round of ballista bolts and catapult stones. An elven voice nearby bellows “launch Mk-7 Flitters!” and a cloud of the waspish two man ships takes to the air headed towards the pirates.
The battle is short and brutal. Despite some sort of lightning bombards being used on the Crimson Fleet ships they are no match for the missiles of the Stormbreaker. Missiles that seem to follow their targets no matter how they maneuver. The elven craft takes a few hits from the black and purple lightning weapons, but in short order only one hammership remains. Weaving rapidly between the flitters the hammership makes a run for open space and makes the jump to spelljamming speed.
As it retreats the Stormbreaker follows. The jump to spelljamming speed seems different somehow, and Xring’s observation of the stars quickly reveals that they are moving much faster than normal. Even stranger, the hammership is maintaining its lead. She estimates that they traveling about a full day’s worth of distance every hour. This theory is borne out roughly six hours later when the Stormbreaker encounters a gravity field and drops back into tactical speed in the orbit of Glyth, the illithid world (normally a six day trip).
As the Stormbreaker and its passengers drop back into normal wildspace the immediately see what caused them to do so: a scro war fleet of at least fifty ships. Orge mammoths, scro mantis ships, hammerships, and wreckboats converge as a group upon the massive elven ship from the future. The fleet engages the Stormbreaker, and Ibid sights the Crimson Fleet hammership they had been pursuing dart off avoiding the goblinoid ships while taking advantage of their immediate focus on the sudden advent of an elven craft.
A furious space battle ensues as the scro ships engage their blood enemies, the elves. Fireballs and lightning bolts flash across the sky along with ballista bolts and flaming catapult stones. The Stormbreaker and her flitters respond with guided missiles and magic missile cannons while the surrounding space fills with rapidly accruing wreckage.
The space battle rages for several minutes while our heroes prepare for liftoff, just in case. While Xring stands next to the helm of the smalljammer the others gather in front of the main portholes (the ship’s eyes) and watch the destruction. The weaponry of this ship from 2008 DR is incredible, simply a Giff’s wet dream. Nonetheless sheer force of numbers begins to erode the Stormbreakers defenses.
A uniformed elf shouts up to the deck of what he perceives as a galleon “Captain Syzygy! Captain Syzygy, sir!” Casimir leans over the railing, a glass of n’jarrere (sea elf wine) in his hand. “Captain Solon sends orders for you to take off and leave the scene of this battle. We are preparing a maneuver which will not be safe for you. Our flitters will clear a path through the scro fleet, get as far away as you can, as fast as you can. May the stars be at your back, sir!”
Casimir tears back into the main cabin shouting, “time to leave!” and Xring immediately takes the helm. They fly as fast as they can through the corridor created by the flitters. The xixchil sets a course towards Toril and pushes the little ship as fast as possible.
About five minutes after leaving the fray there is a massive, multicolored explosion lace with silver fire behind them. An explosion that, for a moment, fills that quadrant of the sky.
We close with our heroes five days out from Dragon Rock in Illithid controlled space (Near Glyth).
Absences: Ibid | Tardy: Casimir