Planejammer: The Misfits

Episode XVII: Scion of Gith, Ardent Cipher

Falling back to Lucille’s the group try to figure out a plan of action. eventually getting the feeling one suffers from beating one’s head against a wall they retire for the evening.

In the morning they head to the docks where the Voidskimmer is tied up. Violetta chats with the guard at the pier, but he’s seen no one coming or going. They meander the docks scanning the crowd, but see no sign of him. As luncheon nears they turn up the road that divides Kara Town from the Red Lantern District, making quickest pace for Lavinia Vanderboren’s, ale and food. Lemmy splits off, heading for the dockside pubs to see if he can find any useful info.

Suddenly a naked, soaking wet Casimir and Hissarmau barrel past them seemingly fleeing unseen pursuers. Violetta picks up the pace and runs with them toward Vanderboren Manor.

Larren and Khlasath, having just recently arrived from a very log trip dealing with renting rooms, step out into the street. Hailing from Sigil, or The Cage as many planewalkers call it, the two are hardly fazed by the profusion of species found on the asteroid city. Adventuring partners for many years the Elan and the the pariah Githyanki make a formidable and experienced duo. As the naked, soaking catfolk and human run past them and what seems to be tiefling joins in the chase Khlasath just looks at Larren and says, “Hmph. Reminds me of The Cage somewhat.”

As the recently arrived planewalkers and our heroes stare at Casimir’s receding bony ass cheeks Xring sees pursuers coming up the alley behind. Scurrying higher up the wall she prepares for possible combat, swiping her forelimb blades through the air. Six figures in the same colors as Dame Syzygy’s personal guard march determinedly up the street.

Xring runs up wall while the cagers and our heroes each move to the street corners and turn to get out of the guards’ path. The uniformed figures rapidly make their way up the street, their pace quickly eating up the two remaining blocks to Vanderboren Manor.

In the meantime, having reached the Manor, Casimir finds some clothes while Hissarmau dries herself off and Violetta grills him. At the sound of steel on steel they make their way out towards the front gate.

At the gate the six uniformed bravos are in mid melee with six of the Vanderboren Guard. Those following behind, including the Elan and the Githyanki, see The Masked Bard (Violetta) summon a Celestial Hound which she directs to attack. As the shining beast leaps into the fray she steps forward the air darkening around her as her eyes flash with hellfire.

While Casimir calmly walks, unarmored, toward the combat Xring, Ibid, and Moswen engage from the street side. As Moswen hurls her first eldritch blast a figure in plate armor comes charging into the fray. It’s Lemmy!

The purplish black energy of of Moswen’s eldritch blasts ripples through the air like purple flame laced with lightning to slam one of the guards to his knees. For the merest blink his form shimmers and he seems to be…something else.

As Lemmy handily disposes of the first guard Moswen keeps pounding them with her blasts. Violetta unslings her spiked chain and wades into the fray. Then, as Moswen hits another and its form shimmers for a moment a voice at the edge of the crowd shouts something in a fluid but gutterral sounding language. All of the “guards” immediately turn and glare in the direction of the voice. Its a tall, bone thin figure, with black clothing and black cloths tied across his face above and below his nose, masking his features.

The figure is Khlasath. He throws his cloak back from his shoulders and takes astep forward. As he does so his clothing is suddenly replaced by armor made of thousands of tiny metal beads strung together. As the cager steps forward he unlimbers his chain belt revealing it to be a bladed chain. As he advances two of the “guards” let fly with daggers and razor discs. One of the discs lodges deep in his side, yet he doesn’t break stride ad he swings his chain into action.

As he engages the “guards” Larren steps calmly up from the sidewalk and lets fly with a crackling blue bolt of electricity immediately slamming is opponent into the wall next to the Manor gate. Each time one of them is hit by Larren’s bolts of psionic energy or Moswen’s eldritch blast their form shifts revealing wrinkled, yellowish skin, pointed ears, and burning eyes. Lemmy now recognizes these “guards” as either Githyanki or Githzeri, he cannot tell which with only glimpses but they are certainly Gith.

Violetta, whose face lit up when she saw Khlasath swing his bladed chain into action, looks on with amazement as the black clad Githyanki explodes in a whirlwind of chain, attacking all of the opponents around him in the blink of an eye. With the added firepower of these two strangers they make short work of the guards. As they do one of the stray swings knocks Casimir unconscious with the flat of its blade. He falls to the ground, face down, cheese sprayed across the grass.

As Khlasath and Larran trade introductions with the party four more figures, again clad in the colors of the Syzygy Guard, appear as if from thin air and attack viciously. As they close Hissarmau charges forth from the Manor and aims a flying kick at them. Everything after that is lost in a chaos of whirling steel, purple fire, and crackling multi-hued psionics.

Unnoticed by almost all in the party additional groups of “guards” appear from thin air, collect the bodies of those fallen in the prior combat and then disappearing once more. Once the last of the fallen are gone the combatants vanish as suddenly as they appeared.

The worries seem to be over, at least until they try to collect Casimir’s fallen form. As Ibid’s hand passes through his form hey realize that this is not a person. Its a minor image. Conjecture reasons that the “guards” took him and left the image as a distraction.

Violetta offers the hospitality of Lavinia’s and the Cagers accept, although the “goth-yanki” keeps giving Ibid odd looks. They retire to the garden and have Jarvis notify Lavinia. Larran raises an eyebrow when he notices a Sons of Mercy token on Lemmy’s belt, but says nothing. Khlasath asks in any have heard of the Pirates of Gith, but no one there has heard of them before.

While Jarvis brings out the wine a very soft thump can be heard in the distance. Xring is the only one to notice it at first, the others catch on when it repeats. As they look off in the direction of the docks, the source of the sound, they see an Elven Man ‘O War tear off moving fast and a steep tangent. In short order a phalanx of three more take up pursuit spells effects and siege engines targeting the first one. As the first ship reaches the edge of the atmosphere envelope it seems to wink out of existence leaving the trio behind in circling the sky.

Immediately after this spectacle Lavinia Vanderboren arrives to offers her thanks to Larran and Khlasath for their aid in the Manor’s defense. She begs pardon for her lateness, she was tending members of her guard that we injured in the melee. Violetta thanks her, gathers everyone together quickly and sets off for the docks to see what has transpired.

Arriving at the docks they discover that even the reserve of Elven Imperial Navy can crack when it is put to the test by the vivacious Violetta. Somehow she manages to talk the guards into allowing them access to the docks. Whether it was her womanly charms or the fact that she kept dropping Admiral Icarus’ name we shall never know. The group manage, along with the assigned EIN guards, to get almost to their ship before hearing someone yell “Hey! Stop!” Then its a mad dash to the Voidskimmer, which gives Larren and Khlasath quite a start when they board it. When they can see that it really is a smalljammer and not just small galleon as it seems eyebrows get raised.

Everyone stands ready at alert stations ready to take off at a moments notice. Moswen is pumped up about her first opportunity to try piloting. As the metal clad feet of elven troopers pound across the dock headed towards the Voidskimmer, Moswen sits down in the helm.

As the Mulhorrandi sits down she and the helm are suddenly surrounded in a corruscating numbus of purple flame sot through with black arcs of energy. There is a violent lurch and everyone except the catfolk and the xixchil is thrown from their feet. As they get to their feet they notice the sky outside the ship’s posts has gone completely silver. Khlasath cowers away from the window exclaiming “No, no, no, damnit! Not the Astral!”

Absences: None | New Player: Ray | Returning Player: Cormac

Episode XVI: Oh Casimir

The Temple of Ptah, recently notified of Ibid’s incarceration by Casimir, send an emissary with a Candle of Truth to question him. After the prelate determines that all three are innocent the Temple applies pressure and has our heroes released.

Judah Cometson of the Honorable Mages Guild of Dragon Rock advises Violetta and Moswen about the map. Unfortunately he offers little of real use.

After greeting the jailbirds as the exit the Donjon the group falls back to Lavinia’s for food wine and planning. While there Moswen discovers a piece of parchment has been planted in her belt pouch. It is another warning note from the Lotus Dragons. “Cease your inquiries or suffer the consequences.”

Following up on a earlier message, Violetta casts the spell again. Last time Casimir was finally meeting with his mother, maybe by now he would be able to talk. Contact! He can talk alright, evidently his mother has decided that his escapades deserve some time under lock and key. She has had her guards take him into custody at the Manor House she rents in The Golden Hill District of Dragon Rock.

Rallying the troops Violetta storms the manor, cursing Casimir the while. Ibid stays outside and send the guards chasing after a minor image of Casimir running naked past them. Meanwhile the rest battle their way past Gargoyles and house guards they make their way to the dungeon below where they find a note from Casimir’s mother. It basically says that it is futile to pursue him further as he is even now being flown to Selune, the Moon that Dragon Rock follows. There he wil be kept under tight security on the familial estates to learn the error of his ways and repent his poor choice of associates.

They quickly make their way off the grounds and head for Lucilles, with its scry sheilded chambers.

Episode XV: Busted / The Pink Nautiloid

Over the next five days the crew of the Voiskimmer and their blond mulan guest head in system towards Dragon Rock. At one point they are forced to stop and “play dead” while a trio of illithid nautiloids fly across their path. Despite that scare the trip is basically uneventful and is mostly spent in conversation Moswen as the group try to assess her character. Finally the pull into dock at Dragon Rock.

While Casimir takes care of paying the air taxes an other matters with the dock’s representative a group of twenty city guard march up. The leader presents himself to Casimir, calling him by his given name and saying that he has orders to take “Ibid of Ptah, the xixchil known as Xring Ke Kadu, and the warrior adept Lemmy Sorpic” into custody. “The order is signed by your mother, sir.” When asked what the charge is the guard tells Casimir that the three were seen by eyewitnesses delivering a shipment of devilweed to parties unknown.

Lemmy starts to reach for his sword and suddenly there are twenty starwheel pistols pointed at him. Casimir stays his hand. “We’ll get you out, I’ll talk to my mother,” he says. Cas then goes to the leader of the guard and impresses upon him that the prisoners are to be treated well. “Single rooms, good food, a moddicum of beer, etc.” Their gear confiscated the three leave the docks surrounded by guards and heading towards the dungeon.

Meanwhile, as everybody except Casimir has noticed, there is an illithid nautiloid parked two slips over. It is surrounded by work crews busy painting it pink. Violetta asks the half orc in charge of the work crew about it. He tells her that it was recently bought by “that Lucille woman,” who immediately had them begin painting it this color. Casimir speculates about her “taking her show on the road.”

Ibid and the others are taken immediately to prison and put in solitary room with no visitors.

While the group make their way to Lucille’s House Casimir splits off and makes a side trip to the prison bringing only Violetta. Discovering that they cannot visit he distracts the guard while Violetta uses a message spell to talk to Lemmy, whose face she can see through the barred window of the door. Lemmy knows only the change and that he is locked up with his gear confiscated. The bard reassures him that they will get him out.

Casimir meets with Roland, that Commander in charge of the dungeon. He leaves a liberal amount of gold to cover food, wine ad whatever his jailed compatriots might need, “Feel free to keep anything left over, but make sure that they do not lack.” He also distributes more gold amongst the guards on duty.

Then Cas head to the Manor his mother reserves for her visits to the Rock. Told she is not there he leaves a message asking that she meet him at ten bells at the Voidskimmer on a matter of utmost urgency.

Off to Lucille’s. When they enter Angel comes running through the common room and leaps into Violetta’s arms giving her a big kiss to welcome her back. The group moves into the common room for a few drinks and to get caught up on current events on the Rock. Angel tells them that Lucille recently accepted the salvaged nautiloid in payment for “a very large tab.” They also hear of increasing scro activity and a commensurate increase in Elven Fleet presence. Other than that the only notable news is a series of killings on the downside that has had the city guard puzzled for weeks.

Off to Lavinia Vanderboren’s next, where they are greeted by the old butler. From what he says Lavinia now owes a favor to the Temple of Ptah for having him brought back after being killed when the manor was taken during the Wyrmfall Festival.

Lavina tells them that there are five or six eyewitnesses including the Capt of the city guard, who saw Xring, Ibid, and Lemmy unloading three tons of devilweed from the Hamership “Streaker”. She has reached out to family connections in order to spring the others, but since the House’s fortunes are still questionable it is a slow and unsure process.

Lavinia also tells them that she has found her mother’s journal in the family vault they heped her access. It details a colony off to the south of the Mhair Jungles on Toril that her parents started. Located inside the zone of atmospheric turbulence that covers much of that area of the planet just south east of the Chult on the so called Isle of Dread.

The resources and exotic woods from this colony could fix her house’s financial ills. There is also a small chance that Vanth may know about it and be down there plundering. She says that the Star Wyvern and the Blue Nixie are being re-outfitted now for a departure in a week. “In the meantime, despite your protracted absences, your rooms are as you left them.”

Casimir finds a messenger and pens a quick note to the Order of Ptah teling them that he knows for a fact that Ibid is innocent as he was with him at the time of the supposed sighting.

Taking leave of Lavinia the group pays a gold enhanced visit to the docks. Financial lubrication gains them entrance, guard escorted, to the Hammership Streaker with its three tons of devilweed. As they enter Moswen catches the eye of what is obviously the guard-mage and flirts with him as they head into the ship. Moswen and Casimir head for the Captain’s quarters wile Hissarmau and Violette check the crew quarters.

Moswen immediately notices the soft glow of magic around several items in the Captain’s cabin. A pillow, an inkwell and quill, and a severe looking painting of a harsh desert landscape with a huge red sun filling more than half of its sky. After a moments study she determines that while the painting radiates abjuration/force magic there is something else beneath it.

While Violetta and Hissarmau find (but cannot open) a secret compartment in the doorframe of one set of crew quarters Moswen accidentally sets off the explosive runes trap on painting. The blast blows her across the room and into the wall leaving her in a smoking heap on the floor against the baseboards.

The bard and the feline come running in. Seeing Moswen obviously quite hurt Hissarmau pours a healing potion down her throat. As the mulan regains consciousness Violetta says “here, smoke this” and hands her a small pipe loaded with silverleaf (halfling pipeweed of healing). As she puffs on the pipe her burns and bruises fade. The girly, vindictive facade drops for a moment and Moswen offers her obviously sincere thanks.

Sidling up to Casimir Violetta whispers in his ear “we need you to open a lock.” While the guards are distracted by the injured woman with the large bust the rest of our heroes (except Hissarmau) duck out and go across the hall. Hissarmau tries to help distract the guards. Pulling out his lockpicks Casimir is successful for a change. Inside the compartment is a two ounce bag of devilweed.

Distracted by Moswen’s heaving bosom the guards fail to notice the depopulation of the room. Playing it up a bit Moswen begins to wail about having broken her ink well. “How will I write my honored mother now?” Falling for her ploy exactly as intended, one of the guards passes her the inkwell from the desk, the one that radiates magic, and says “here, this won’t be missed. Now you can write home all you wish.”

Realizing suddenly that some of the group are unsupervised the guards run into the hall when they are met by Casimir who points over his shoulder to the now open secret compartment. “You missed a spot,” he quips. It is at this point that Moswen realizes that where the painting had been there is now a map in its place in the frame. In addition a huge scorch mark covers the wall around and behind the picture frame. Sharply angular lettering labels the map in an unknown language, while the scenery it depicts is stark and bleak.

Violetta notices the map as she enters the room and takes a moment to use her eidetic lock to commit it to memory permanently. “Thats enough excitement for one visit, we will have to escort you off of the ship now” says the guard, and does so. On their way out Moswen sees the guard-mage she was flirting with earlier and winks at him. He walks over and squeezes her hand, “My name is Cyrus and I’m off at ten bells.”

The group head off to the Seeker’s Library where they purchase a private room and guest privileges through Hissarmau. As the catfolk monk begins looking for info in the library stacks Violetta projects a minor image of the strange map for Casimir who creates a perfect copy of it. As Casimir studies the text he realizes that it seems to share traits with both ancient Suel and ancient Thorass. Dead languages from two different spheres. The planetary name on the map reads simply Athas. At about 9 bells Moswen excuses herself and leaves to meet Cyrus at the docks.

Moswen and Cyrus find a moderately quiet tavern and have a few drinks. Moswen asks him all about his style of magic and how it works. She shows him a tiny example of her eldritch blast arcing between her two outstretched hands. As the conversation continues and the alcohol takes its toll she tells him her curse ad basically spills her guts (without naming names) about her past. When he seems genuinely concerned and solicitous of her welfare she decides to take him home. Sex on the ceiling is one great advantage of having an invocation that mimics spider climb. After a few hours of this, she goes to Lavinia’s where she finds the crew debating in the library.

Extremely drunk, and wearing that freshly f*cked look Moswen drunkenly spills her guts to our heroes. Her curse is that “she shall love no man.” She also tells about her sloppy break up with Vanth and infidelities all around.

Having become paranoid about duplicates and future selves running around under foot Casimir and Violetta make arrangements at both the docks and at Lucille’s that service or running of a tab can only be done if a password is provided.

Absences: Ibid, Xring, Lemmy: The Jalbirds.

Episode XIV: Blond Ambition & The Battle of the Tears

(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

Episode XVIII: Stormbreaker Rising

Our Heroes rise to their feet after the turbulent changes in the Voidskimmer complete, except for Casimir who hit his head on the cheese board knocking himself unconscious. After ascertaining that the increase in size is the only visible change in the ship they proceed on their original path towards Dragon Rock. Much discussion ensues while en route about the cause. While examining the the ship’s exterior through the view port Xring has a momentary vision of the form of a galleon superimposed over the lines of the smalljammer.

Our heroes come to general agreement that since a smalljammer is a living ship it must have had a growth spurt. Violetta suggests that it may grow up to be The Spelljammer, that maybe there are more than just the one. Contemplation of having their ship turn into an unruly teenager both amuses and disturbs them for the remaining two hours of their trip.

Upon docking at Dragon Rock they notice another peculiarity, once off the ship it appears to all of them as a small galleon. While Casimir pays the air and docking taxes Xring runs back aboard and looks out of the ship’s port. From there it stil appears to be a smalljammer. Trying to conceal their shock the group decide to head for Lucille’s, where a private and warded room can be had for discussing the situation. Ibid in particular endorses this idea, extolling the virtues of bearded dwarvish women on the way.

They reach the Red Lantern District and find a room is available at Lucille’s. Arranging for women, drink, and food Casimir vevrifies the date. They have two days until the “Battle of the Tears,” that Jector predicted at Redhurst. In the meantime Ibid entertains himself getting lap dances from the two dwarvish girls on staff. He stays along with Violetta and Lemmy while Xring and Hissarmau hit the market in search of the latest gossip.

Word on the street, or “the chant,” as Lemmy calls it, is mainly of increased scro activity in the sphere. Many feel the tide of the Unhuman War II is turning towards Realmspace. Imperial Elven Navy ships have greatly increased in number and rumors have it there was a fleet engagement just outside the orbit of the beholder world H’Catha.

The next day Ibid goes to the Temple of Ptah to research ancient Mulhorandi myth looking for any appearances of The Speljammer. On one set of tablets he finds mention in the tales of Ptah navigating the spelljamming ships bearing the Mulhorandi God’s avatars to Realmspace. When the ships of the Gods approached the crystal sphere and first entered Realmspace The Spelljammer was sighted flying across the sky over Mulhorand.

Hissarmau is far less successful in her day of research, finding a vast array of mutually conflicting stories, tales and sightings of the Spelljammer. Unfortunately with so much conflicting data there is little way to sift fact from fiction.

Lemmy and Violetta look around for recommendations on a good tattoo shop, preferably one that can merge “The Invisible Art” (psionics) with their ink. They are repeatedly told that Kithrick’k’s Tatoos is the place to go. Its a xixchil business with all that that entails. Grabbing Xring to “talk to her people” they head on down and arrange to talk to the mantis in charge.

Shintach Kithrick’k, and elder xixchil whose carapace is inlaid with sweeping spirals of mithril and patterns of inset crystals and jewels takes great interest in Xring. Once she tells him that she is a female of the S’chedu (Silverclaw) Hive in the core of The Tears of Selune he nods and welcomes her.

Both Lemmy and Violetta submit themselves to the xixchil’s needles, while Xring watches the master at work trying to learn as much from observation as possible. Lemmy gets two psionic tattoos, one in the form of a white dagger on each forearm with the power Body Purification bound into each. He also gets one of an upraised fist that contains the power Vigor. Violetta gets a normal tattoo, a back piece of angel wings.

During the course of conversation while at the Tatoo Parlor Lemmy finally realizes that Violetta has psionics as well.

The next day they convene at the docks. Being incredibly subtle (i.e. standing on the docks and pointing at an Elven Warbird) they discuss Ibid’s idea of stealing an EIN Warbird so that the fleet would chase them to the trailing edge of the Tears where this alleged conflict is supposed to occur. After much debate, highly influenced by the fact that it would just be fun to steal an EIN ship, they finally set the idea aside. After all, Jector’s divination only said they were needed there, not the Elven Fleet.

The rest of the day is spent securing supplies and planning for the morning’s departure. Food, ale and rope in particular are secured.

The following morning at 8 bells Hissarmau takes the helm ad pilots the spelljammer out of dock. She sets course for the trailing edge of the Tears, the region Jector sent them to. Three hours should see them arriving, still with no idea of what The Battle of the Tears is supposed to be or who it will involve.

About a half hour out from the trailing edge of the tears a explosion near the starboard wing shakes and tosses the ship. A glance to the rear reveals a scro Mantis ship in hot pursuit. As Hissarmau begins a mad chase, weaving between the chaotic swirl of asteroids, Ibid is struck by an inspiration. He attempts to cast Sanctuary on the Voidskimmer, to his surprise it works. Since the smalljammer is a creature he is able to make the magic work!

As they dart through the flying rocks, trying to make up for their pursuer’s superior speed, they come upon a pair of goblin arrowships which immediately join pursuit. Hissarmau attempts a fancy maneuver between asteroids and flubs it, barely reacting in time she is able to swerve away from the rapidly approaching surface of an oncoming chunk of space rock with only 5-10 feet to space. The Mantis is not so lucky. A moment later the scro vessel smashes into the asteroid, a crash rapidly followed by a colorful arcane explosion a moment after impact.

Hissarmau regains control of the Voidskimmer and accelerates towards open space with the goblin ships following closely. As they approach the border between the interior of the Tear and open space Hissarmau stops short and directs the ship straight down as fast as possible. The two arrowships shoot past them and into the open wildspace beyond the Tears.

As the arrowships exit the cluster a huge expanse of the space before them shimers briefly as a strange ship suddenly appears in their path. A huge green ship, obviously based on the Elven Fleet’s starfly construction but three times the size of an EIN Armada. Seemingly studded with bombards and emitting a veritable cloud of flitters it fills the formerly empty space with armed activity.

Flitters armed with some kind of rapid fire magic missile cannons take out the two arrowships and then converge on the Voidskimmer. Two of the sleek and predatory flitters move in close and pace the Voidskimmer, flying in along its gravity plane and stopping just outside the point where their air envelopes would merge.

Ibid grabs a bottle of N’jarer (sea elf wine from Karpri) and a pair of glasses which he takes up on deck and waits. The flitters conitune to pace the ship, several more holding position further off. After several minutes Ibid feels the tingle of an incoming message spell as one of the flitter pilots contact him.

“This is Commander Iarendil of the INS Stormbreaker, identify yourselves.”

To which Ibid replies, “Its us, we’re here.”

“We have been trying to reach you on all standard radio frequencies for three and a half minutes now. I repeat, identify yourselves.”

After come curt dialogue Ibid forcibly cuts the conversation after agreeing to follow the flitters to the main ship to meet with its Captain. Four of the strange flitters take up position as escorts, leading the Voidskimmer to a landing space on the main ship. On Ibid’s direction Hissarmau sets down as close to the center of the deck as possible.

Elven troops march up and surround the ship, although they lack the silver plate mail indicative of most EIN troopers. Instead they are clad in highly embossed uniforms of earth toned leather. Each one seems to have a holstered starwheel pistol at his or her hip. A tight group of soldiers surrounding a figure in white leather approach. AS they do Ibid gets a table and chairs from below decks and grabs an additional bottle of wine.

The figure in white and three of his guards climb aboard. “Greetings, I am Solon. Who speaks for you?”

It is at this point that everyone pushes Casmir to the fore. Solon raises an inquisitive eybrow…..

XVII: Specters of the Past and Future

In the morning our heroes decide to climb up crater rim. Part way up Lemmy falls on Hissarmau who then falls on Ibid, all of them landing in a painful heap at the base of the crater. The rest of the group make it with no problem, especially Xring who seems quite at home with climbing. Eventually they all get to the top of the rim and look down into the mists filling the crater.

While climbing down to investigate Lemmy loses his balance and falls into the msts. Using his body equilibrium power he gains footing on the fog. Viloletta throws down spider silk rope and they all haul Lemmy out. While he is climbing the rolling multiplicity of images in the fog resolve into a single life sized one: a strangely configured Elven Man ‘o War complete with EIN markings. Having his back to the image Lemmy is the only one who does not see it. Lemmy makes another forray into the mist (using a rope this time) and allows himself to sink beneath its surface. As he passes beneath the thickest layer of the fog he finds himself in a strange misty realm where strange faces and images form and dissipate in the surrounding fogbanks. As he racks his brain for knowledge of obscure planes he realizes that this crater is a gate to the Dreamlands.

Lemmy climbs back up and reports his findings to the group. At the news that this is the Dreaming Violetta get everyone to concentrate on the last sage, Thales, in order to summon a vision of his appearance. When she believes the right face has appeared in the mist she uses her eidetic lock to commit it permanently to memory.

Deciding to climb down into the crater the group begins their descent. All goes well until Violetta falls dragging Lemmy, Hissarmau and Ibid off the crater wall where they all plunge through the mists striaght into the Dreaming

After about an hour of arguing over what course of action is best Casimir activates portal key taking them just outside of Arabel, the Voidskimmer visible docked in the distance.

Immediately after seeing to the Voidskimmer Casimir uses some of their pay from Redhurst to rent a private dining room at one of the more posh Arabel taverns. As they group confer over round after round of food and drink Casimir discovers from the staff that according to the date the party has lost three and half weeks. “time in the Dreaming is highly variable,” says Lemmy. This does only leave them four days until the Battle of the Tears that Jector told them of. The battle they need to be present for.

While the crew prepares the Voidskimmer for liftoff Violetta takes the gems she found to be appraised. She then splits them amongst the crew.

After battening down the hatches the Voidskimmer takes off with Xring at the Helm. From Toril to Dragon Rock is a trip of mere hours, hours spent searching the sky for signs of scro.

About halfway to their destination, just beyond the atmosphere envelope of Toril, the ship rocks as though it has been hit by siege weapons. As those who have fallen attempt to rise to their feet it happens again. Over the next seven minutes the ship shakes and distorts around them, battering the crew and disorienting the Helmsman. When the shudders stop they find themselves still aboard the Voidskimmer, but the smalljammer seems to have almost doubled in size. Fixtures and fittings are still the correct size and proportion for human sized crew, but the ceiling height and square footage seem to have doubled…

Episode XVI: Battleground

After a pitched battle our heroes defeat the scro shock troops. During the course of the battle Hissarmau debuts a new attack style fusing her monkish unarmed combat abilities with the arcane magic she has been learning (True Strike + Stunning Fist) and takes out a trooper with one blow.

Lemmy identifies his “gift” from the asteroid of Nicolas the Gift Giver to be a third eye of fiery torment (as the ring in Hyperconscious)

Following the map they had copied in the Redhurst Academy they make their way towards the location of the Oraculous. After a few dozen yards they run across the corpse of an elven female, slashed to ribbons and quite dead. At Lemmy’s urging they stop to give her a proper burial.

When the grave is about halfway dug Hissarmau detects motion at the extreme perimeter. Some of the group hide while some play dead.

As the noise grows closer a figure resolves: female, with leathery wings astride a black stallion that jets flmae from its nostrils. She almost passes from the clearing but at the last moment stops and looks around. Dismounting, she walks towards Violetta and Lemmy who are playing dead near the grave. As she looks over the freshly turned earth she nudges Violetta with her boot. No reaction.

The succubus then begins to cast a spell, traceries of flame following the motions of her fingers as she does so. At this point Casimir fires from his position behind the trees. As she reels from the bullet’s impact Violetta kicks her legs out from under her and pins her down.

As Violetta begins to question the Tanar’ri she fades from view leaving a slowly dispersing mist in her wake.

Our heroes proceed on their journey. After about 30 miles they top a hill only to see a five hundred foot crater where the Oraculous should be. With no cover nearby they camp in the shadow of the 40 fott high crater’s rim…

Episode XV: Fire and Time

After speaking with the dead “other Lemmy” they exit the college of Necromancy to find that the Academy has planeshifted to the Elemental Plane of Fire.

Ibid leaves to find a chapel and pray for guidance. Casimir begins and ongoing campaign of trying to get spanked by the Capt of the Guard, the gorgeous redhead that greeted them at the gate.

Meanwhile Lemmy explains the overall layout of the planes (Inner, Prime, Outer, Transitive) to the rest. They try to find a way to explain the duplicate Lemmy and figure out what to do. The idea of having a “know alignment” item made to monitor Violetta in case she turns towards evil comes up (pissing her off a bit in the process).

In the course of discussion Chronomancy is discussed as some in the party think the alternate Lemmy may have come from the future. Between Violetta, Xring and Hissarmau they piece together disparate tales and legends of chronomacy. Tales of the legendary Sapphire Mage who lives on an earth body orbiting the edge of the Elemental Plane of Time are discussed, as is the fact that all known magical research points towards time magic being bunk.

Having two days until the next time the Academy shifts (waiting for a field trip to the City of Brass to return) they hit the library. Nothing turns up on Violetta’s race or on Chronomancy. Research on the Oraculus turns up info that it is on the planet planet Spiral in BralSpace. Xring points out that Spiral was conquered by the Scro recently when the Second Unhuman War surged through the system. Maps are procured.

Inquiries made of the guards at the gate reveals that the next stop will be Spiral in Balspace where they hope to pick up refugees from the elven community. War wizards and academy guards prepare for the shift, taking up battle positions. Taling with the guards reveals that the Academy will be materializing cloaked.

Casimir appears, having secured payment, including a one use planeshift keyed to take them to Cormyr on Toril where the Voidskimmer is docked. Ibid shows up bearing a one shot Mass Invisibility sphere he claims came from his “Cousin” in the illusion school.

Redhurst planeshifts, phasing back into solidity in a large cleareing surrounded by fey looking woods. The massive live oaks on one side of the clearing display the crucified bodies of hundreds of dead elves. Moments after the shift occurs a Scro Mantis ship divebombs the Academy (despite its being cloaked), while ground forces move in. As lightning bolts and fireballs rain down from above one blast slams Ibid, knocking him unconscious and burning him badly. Our heroes haul ass towards the cover of the woods, hoping to make their way overland to the Oraculous.

As they barrel through the woods they run smack into a trio of scro warriors. Before anyone in either group can react there is a massive explosion above as the Mantis Ship is blown to bits. A huge chunk of wreckage at least 20′ long crushes one of the scro troopersand almost kills Hissarmau (-5 Con, down to 4 hp).

In rapid succession Xring casts acid splash on one, while Casimir shoots it with a starwheel. Lemmy strikes and misses twice with his sword. Violetta summons her celestial hound and sics it on the other surviving scro. Hissarmau casts mage armor on herself and slams down a potion of healing.

We close mid combat:

Ibid – inconscious
Hissarmau – down to Con of 7
Violetta and her summoned celestial hound – unscathed
Lemmy in mele
Casimir with Starwheel drawn
Xring in melee.
Scro #1 – acid burned, shot and cut but still fighting
Scro #2 – Almost untouched.
There is a fireball blast above and we end for the night.

Episode XIV: Revelations and Duplicates

In which the characters go on a trip with Elminster, Murlynd and Arwyl Swansson (Factol of the Sons of Mercy) and are sent to find two escaped students from Redhurst Academy, a plane travelling wizards academy.

After a merry chase through the city of Arabel in Cormyr and the surrounding countryside they locate the two (a drow male and human female romantically entwined) and return them to the Academy when it planeshifts to the Realms right outside of Cormyr.

After an overland trek the group suddenly finds themselves encased in a force field, with the exception of Lemmy. A few seconds later a figure clad in a Sorpc Guard Commander’s uniform. (The Sorpic Guard being the group in Carrigmoor that Lemmy was a member of prior to leaving for Sigil and joining the Mercykillers). It draws a sword that look like a twin of Lemmy’s except that its crystal blade is colored a murky reddish hue instead of purple.

While everyone else is trapped in the force bubble Lemmy and the Sorpic Guard face off in single combat. After a blazing battle Lemmy strikes his opponent and sends a pulse of psionic energy through his deepcrystal blade. The blow pierces his enemy’s armor and body pinning him to the trunk of an oak tree. When the corpse’s helmet is removed shock ripples through the group, for it is Lemmy’s own face that stares up at them with dead eyes. They throw the body across one of the horses and take it with them, hoping that the wizards of Redhurst can glean some information from it.

After a day they arrive at Redhurst, a fortified complex built of stone. W trio of guards led by a gorgeous redheaded woman in half plate armor meet them and direct them to the School of Divination, saying that they were expected.

Then a meeting with Nimblane Jector, dean of divination, where they discover that Violetta is a Helbred. Helbred are souls of great evil that repented on their deathbed. They are then reshaped by the forces of evil AND of good and then returned to the Prime Material plane to chose their path anew. Violetta is disturbed by this, and several of the group give her sideways glances.

The party also discover that they are entwined in pivotal events in the timeline, that they must be present for the “Battle of the Tears” in the Tear of Selune, a battle he says will occur in 1 month.” The elderly elf then pleads exhaustion and settles back in his bed while our heroes are escorted out.

Our heroes then head for the College of Necromancy, where the other Lemmy’s body lies. Casimir convinced one of the adepts to cast Speak with Dead on it. Interrogation of the corpse reveals the following info:

He was sent to eliminate our Lemmy
He was sent “by Violetta”

Episode XIII: Can You Hear The Dark Elves?

Xring and Violetta get a momentary image of a female drow standing where “Nick,” is. They immediately start trying to hustle the rest away towards the ship. Casimir is, of course, oblivious and troublesome.
After bidding goodbye to “Nick” the group retreat down the icy passage the way they came and the bard fills the others in (in hushed tones of course).
Xring and Lemmy each hear noises down the hall, some behind them and some down the right hand fork ahead. The way to the Voidskimmer is along the right hand fork.
Proceeding forward they catch a glimpse of a scarlet haired drow female. Violetta suggests that the drow escort them to their ship. Stifling an expression of rage the dark elf complies. As they make their way through the corridors the drow plays games with the light, but Violetta makes sure that the group do not lose their guide or their way.
After awhile the dark elf seemingly disappears leaving them all in the dark. Suddenly there is a “thunk” followed by the sound of a body hitting the floor. After several moments of verbal chaos they realize that Violetta is not participating in the conversation. Searching in the dark Casimir finds her unconscious form.
Xring casts a light spell showing the unconscious Violetta, a bruise beginning on her forehead, prone on the ground. Above her, at forehead height is the green and yellow wing of the Voidskimmer.
Sounds of people approaching spur the group to action. The enter the ship, rapidly. As they are getting ready to close the gangplank a party of drow enter the chamber. Casimir and Violetta shoot down the first of them and then duck inside.
Ibid pushes the ship as far as he can and blasts up and away from the chalet. Taking a direct route rather than the strangely circuitous on that go them here, he heads for Dragon Rock.
While en route Violetta collects everyone’s “gifts” and stashes them away in a trunk.
Upon arrival at Dragon Rock they send Ibid to the Temple of Ptah with the trunk while the rest of them confer.
Several of the party hear the sound of rapid footsteps exiting the Voidskimmer and heading up the docks. Attempts at pursuit fail.
Off to Vanderboren Manor where they are met by new guards. Once a page returns with authorization to let them in their weapons are collected and they are granted admittance.
A brief audience with Lavinia ensues. She seems concerned at the story of the drow, and quite disconcerted at the thought one might have smuggled itself onto the Rock on the Voidskimmer.
Casimir speaks with Lavinia about lodging his group at the Manor for additional protection. Lavinia agrees.
They decide to follow up on the mysterious gifts. .
Examination of the items by the Clergy of Ptah reveals them all to be cursed, with the exception of the third eye (which they do not have psions to test). Lemmy seems extremely eager to get his hands on it.
Leaving the Temple the group return to Lavinia’s where the guards allow them to retain their weapons this time. The stop Lemmy and tell him he is expected in the study where Lavinia is waiting for him.
Entering the study Lemmy’s surprise is palpabe for there sitting with Lavinia having tea is Arwyl Swan’s Son, Factol and leader of the Sons of Mercy.


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