Story Eight- Fortune's Fool Part One

<RandBrittain> Wherefore art thou, Uqbarian? Has the mercurial temper of the internet taken you from me?

<Benhimself> How sharper than a serpent's tooth is a thankless modem.

<crusher_bob> Heh, I've had connection problems ever since I went to a wireless router.

<crusher_bob> Wonder if I should try running some cable across the ceiling instead.

<RandBrittain> I finally got DD-WRT set up on my router and got USB printing running.

<RandBrittain> It really does seem to improve signal quality, although I haven't tested it on more than a couple of routers.

<RandBrittain> What will I do if I don't have a goddess of Fire? I had such beautiful things planned for tonight!

<RandBrittain> Beautiful, exploding things.

<Benhimself> Explosions are kind of a sort of flowering.

<RandBrittain> We were going to talk about economics, and there was a dragon, and the moon.

<crusher_bob> Not really having a problem with signal strength.

<crusher_bob> It's more like each new connection takes a moment to negotiate.

<crusher_bob> So download speed remains fast, but web surfing is horribly slow.

<RandBrittain> Don't forget to update your router firmware.

<RandBrittain> Also your wireless drivers. These things are important!

<crusher_bob> No new firmware, no new fixed drivers for wireless card.

<crusher_bob> May have switched to the driver provided by the card's chipset maker, which is more recent,

<crusher_bob> But I don't remember right now.

<RandBrittain> What model is your router?

<crusher_bob> Linksys WRT54G, IIRC.

<crusher_bob> Along w/ Linksys wireless card.

<RandBrittain> Ah, that's one of the ones I stuck DD-WRT on. It started getting me much better whatever.

<RandBrittain> Although it's irritating to do and with that model you have to use the mini version.

<crusher_bob> It also seems to prevent me from playing megamek.

<RandBrittain> megamek?


<crusher_bob> Java-based Battletech.

<RandBrittain> Mysterious!

<crusher_bob> Heh, version 7: not possible.

<RandBrittain> Unfortunate!

<RandBrittain> I've started using an Asus router for the USB ports.

<crusher_bob> Have a different router somewhere.

<crusher_bob> But haven't had the time to re-setup the wireless security and so on.

<crusher_bob> Guess I'll get around to it eventually.

<crusher_bob> And see if it improves matters.

<crusher_bob> Or could just try hopping onto one of the neighbors unsecured wireless networks.

<crusher_bob> But signal strength from them is horrible.

<RandBrittain> Your own should be fine, security doesn't usually make a big difference.

<RandBrittain> I don't really want to go on without Alexa- for one thing, you might get eaten by Excrucians!

<crusher_bob> Both Ryan and I are immortal.

<crusher_bob> So unless they have Abhorrent Weapons handy, we should come out just fine.

<RandBrittain> They could still swallow you!

<crusher_bob> And Fiona has Spirit 5, making it almost impossible to do anything to her.

<borogove> And Durant.

<crusher_bob> Unless, or course, they are really spec'd for combat.

<RandBrittain> He could dip her in a vat of bubble gum!

<crusher_bob> With high penetration Gifts.

<RandBrittain> Or he might have tar breath!

<RandBrittain> Ah, well, I suppose we'd still better push on.

  • You are now known as HollyhockGod
  • borogove is now known as FIona

<HollyhockGod> In our last installment, you discovered a flower rite in the offing against Fortune through predictive divination!

  • crusher_bob is now known as Ebba
  • Benhimself is now known as RyanSherbrig

<HollyhockGod> The location: Washington, D.C.!

<HollyhockGod> The question is, whatcha gonna do about it?

<RyanSherbrig> Ask Alexa to narrow down the location of… oh.

<Ebba> Do we have a plan beyond: ride in and look for someone to kick inna head?

<RyanSherbrig> Ask Fiona to narrow down the location of the flower rite!

<HollyhockGod> That might work!

<RyanSherbrig> Also, keep an eye out for airships and the like.

<HollyhockGod> Also, I think Fiona nicked her name wrong :)

<HollyhockGod> Fiona, how do you perform divinations, anyway?

<FIona> Shush.

<Ebba> It's supposed to be targeting the four winds, isn't it?

  • FIona is now known as Awesome
  • Awesome is now known as Fiona

<Ebba> Does Vesper's book have anything to say about the alternatives of her Estate, and stuff?

<Fiona> If there's a rite that detects other rites, I'd use that. (There should be, if there isn't).

<HollyhockGod> Melangell controls Fortune and also the Four Winds, giving her power over random events, wealth, and weather.

<HollyhockGod> I really just want some kind of specific action that explains what you're doing so I can figure out what the results are.

<HollyhockGod> Like, say, Alexa might scry through a fireplace.

<HollyhockGod> Or Vesper could kick a bookcase and see what falls out.

<RyanSherbrig> Smell a flower deeply, to induce visions!

<Ebba> I can try reading all the mundane newspapers, and watching all of the news programs for the last week or so.

<Fiona> I'm inclined to peep out of flowers in that sort of situation.

<RyanSherbrig> (Ryan stares into the sun, or other convenient light source if indoors.)

<Ebba> And listening to all the radio shows at once.

<Ebba> Although Ryan would have to make the room for me to do this in.

<Ebba> Since I doubt the wall full of televisions is normally found inside our volcano.

<HollyhockGod> Do you even have a way of getting cable?

<HollyhockGod> In either case, peeping out of flowers aroud D.C. doesn't show anything out of the ordinary, although you do spot a mugging in the park.

<Fiona> Can I peep out of flowering plots? (As in, conspiracies?)

<RyanSherbrig> (Behold the blossom… of villainy!)

<HollyhockGod> Only if they just flowered, so it's not very convenient.

<Fiona> Well, given a flower rite in process probably comes under that?

<RyanSherbrig> Mmm. But you might need to penetrate the Excrucian's spirit to see through the flower they're using/planning on using.

<RyanSherbrig> (I, er, assume.)

<HollyhockGod> Yeah, I would assume the moment of blossoming is more specific than that.

<HollyhockGod> And that waiting for it to occur would be unwise!

<HollyhockGod> Also what Ryan said, since the blossoming of Excrucian plots is immune.

<Fiona> (I'm actually stumped on how to go about this.)

<RyanSherbrig> Hmmm. How many Dynasty Points do we have?

<HollyhockGod> Twenty-something by now.

<RyanSherbrig> Righto.


<RyanSherbrig> Looking for more specific information about unnatural-goings-on in Washington.

<RyanSherbrig> (I'll only use 3 Dynasty points, and all 5 Domain points. Maybe I can get an Achievement this storyline!)

<HollyhockGod> Um… okay.

<HollyhockGod> You… don't find anything unusual?

<HollyhockGod> Or at least, not unnatural.

<RyanSherbrig> Hmmm. It can't even narrow down the location of the Flower Rite a little?

<HollyhockGod> Miraculous things are funky! Signs and portents are all you get!

<HollyhockGod> Oh, okay, I'll be kind.

<Ebba> I could try making an Alchemy 2 artifact, that is a more complete version of deja-news, yes?

<RyanSherbrig> (I mean, I am assuming you want us to actually find out some information so we can get to plot rather than spend an entire session sitting in our chancel going "I guess we can't find anything. Oh well!")

<HollyhockGod> …I just wanted you to go to D.C. :)

<HollyhockGod> Through the use of overpowered divinatory prowess…

<RyanSherbrig> Yeah, but DC is a big place!

<HollyhockGod> Ryan manages to pierce the veil cloaking a very large airship as it plows hell for leather to the nation's capital.

<HollyhockGod> It's conveniently marked with Melangell's Design, and there's some very nasty looking weather surrounding it, hidden by the cloaking field.

<HollyhockGod> I'm guess it's, oh, an hour away from the city.

<HollyhockGod> Perhaps you can narrow it down once you get closer?

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. We should make haste. Captain Thorpe is about an hour away."

<HollyhockGod> Ask a sunflower to point in the proper direction, I don't know.

<Ebba> Do you still have the automobile of doom?

<HollyhockGod> I think he got rid of it so he could summon some chicks.

<RyanSherbrig> SMP! Grix, form of automobile of doom and drive us to DC!

<HollyhockGod> Can it… fly?

<HollyhockGod> I suppose it probably can.

<RyanSherbrig> (I don't actually use the terms "Automobile of doom" of course)

<RyanSherbrig> (Mmm, with Aspect 5 and better-than-normal-shapeshifting, I'd hope so. Passenger Jet if necessary, anyway.)

<HollyhockGod> Ah, well. Ryan, Ebba, Fiona, and a strangely quiet Alexa pile into the hell-beast and fly away.

<HollyhockGod> Fly, Thing Which Should Not Be, fly!

<Ebba> So is our current plan to just follow the four winds, since she should have much better info on where the flower rite is?

<Ebba> Being her Estate and all?

<HollyhockGod> Ryan keeps a helpful tag on the airship, which is creatively named "Lady Luck."

<Ebba> Or did we want to try to get there first?

<RyanSherbrig> "I suppose either way has its advantages. What do you think?"

<Fiona> Given how little luck we've had with actually finding out where we're going, I vote for following.

<HollyhockGod> So, you're going to max out the Grix's speed (whatever that is)?

<Ebba> We can plot her course in a line for DC, and come in opposite that line.

<Ebba> And then stop if we see anything interesting before we meet her.

<HollyhockGod> What if they see you coming?

<RyanSherbrig> ("Broadside!")

<Ebba> Well, if you mean by 'they': the Excrucian agents, perhaps we'll be lucky and they'll start shooting at us.

<RyanSherbrig> "We could always just tell her the truth: that we sensed a disturbance in the area and wish to help."

<RyanSherbrig> "We don't need to mention our ulterior motives in helping, but we do genuinely want to thwart the breakthrough."

<HollyhockGod> She might object to trying to take a shard alive when it's her Estate in jeopardy, maybe?

<HollyhockGod> I mean, she's not the Duchess of Subtle Long-Term Planning.

<Ebba> That's why we should get there first, if possible.

<HollyhockGod> How much speed can you coax out of the Grix?

<Ebba> Since her ship is cloaked, we can just pretend ignorance that she was also in the area.

<Ebba> Of course, we don't know exactly where we are going.

<RyanSherbrig> I'm not sure. I mean, Aspect 5, so it's an Exemplar of Passenger Jets.

<RyanSherbrig> (Nobilis doesn't exactly have mph calculations, though.)

<HollyhockGod> I suppose you can certainly work something out for "really awfully fast."

<RyanSherbrig> (One of you lot needs Gatemaker or the like.)

<RyanSherbrig> "Ludicrous speed, yo!"

<HollyhockGod> That only works on mystic roads. Although maybe there is one from the Atlantic to the Pacific? Who knows!

<HollyhockGod> So, what's the plan for arriving in D.C.? Secrecy, openness, nuke it from orbit?

<RyanSherbrig> Hmmm. Are there any private airports we could make a discreet landing in?

<RyanSherbrig> (Ebba, you've casually memorized all useful knowledge of Earthly lands, right?)

<Ebba> (DC has plenty of restricted airspace)

<Ebba> (But even better, at aspect 5, I am also a skilled computer hacker.)

<Ebba> (And everyone knows how shoddy the security of US infrastructure stuff is.)

<HollyhockGod> Don't you need a computer for that?

<Ebba> Alexa can haz iPhone?

<RyanSherbrig> (Spend an AMP and build one out of this spare paperclip and rubber band.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Okay, maybe 2.)

<HollyhockGod> I suppose she might, but I didn't realize Ebba was computer-savvy.

<RyanSherbrig> (She can learn quickly!)

<Ebba> (Not sure, how 'all the works of man' is high Aspect?)

<HollyhockGod> Well, it's very that.

<HollyhockGod> But it doesn't make you know the address of the Air Force's servers if you didn't already.

<HollyhockGod> I mean, if you think it's something you've studied, that's fine.

<HollyhockGod> (I was just going to suggest turning the Grix transparent.)

<Ebba> Hehe.

<RyanSherbrig> (I'm happy to let Ebba actually get to employ her ludicrous aspect.)

<Ebba> (Ebba probably has some knowledge about what people on the internet think, and how virtual communities form, and stuff.)

<Ebba> (But is only minorly interested in how it all works.)

<HollyhockGod> I suppose that does in fact make sense.

<HollyhockGod> The Internet is a brand new study in belief!

<RyanSherbrig> ("Yes, yes, let me see if I can't figure out how to use this puny human technology to… there, done.")

<HollyhockGod> So, I guess if you want to hack the Pentagon or whatever, that's Aspect… um… 5.

<HollyhockGod> Which you have.

<RyanSherbrig> (Ding! Now, nuke the place from orbit.)

<Ebba> Now we just need to make sure that Grix does not eat the other airplanes, while it waits…

<HollyhockGod> So, what was your plan, again?

<Ebba> Get us cleared for DC airspace.

<Ebba> So we can fly around.

<Ebba> And, then, if we need to, find a place for Grix to land.

<Ebba> So we can run around on the ground.

<HollyhockGod> Okay, so you do that then, with your Internet argument skills.

<Ebba> Think the two airports in DC are Dulles (civillian) and Andrews (military).

<Ebba> But have no idea where they are in relation to the actual city.

<HollyhockGod> It doesn't take long for Ebba to convince the air traffic computer that it's using a strawman and beat it into submission.

<HollyhockGod> There's probably a private one anyway you can use.

<Ebba> Or the approximate place where we think we are going.

<HollyhockGod> If you don't mind owing a favor to darling Rosa!

<HollyhockGod> Anyway, you land somewhere or other.

<RyanSherbrig> Given what I remember (I'll spend 2 AMP for perfect recall) and Ebba's trajectory skills, are there any major landmarks that Thorpe was heading towards?

<HollyhockGod> I won't make you spend more points just to remember a divination.

<HollyhockGod> No, I don't think so, just the center of town or wherever.

<HollyhockGod> I mean, it's an airship, so she's probably planning to circle.

<RyanSherbrig> (Which one was Rosa again?)

<Ebba> The, erm, what are they called again?

<Ebba> Servants of Lord Entropy.

<Fiona> The Cammorae?

<RyanSherbrig> (Oh, yeah, Cammora. Hmmm.)

<Fiona> (Or however that's spelt.)

<HollyhockGod> The Cammora. Also known as lots of other things.

<HollyhockGod> But if you borrowed their landing pad, you might end up with her palming off another well-built Japanese boy on you.

<RyanSherbrig> "That might be a bit more convenient, especially if we wanted to take the Grix with us. Which I'd rather do, honestly."

<RyanSherbrig> "Explaining the plane turning into a pocket-watch to civilians could be awkward."

<HollyhockGod> All this trouble, just to land an invisible plane.

<HollyhockGod> Just turn into a cloud and land in a bush somewhere.

<RyanSherbrig> "Oh, yes, you could do that, couldn't you?"

<RyanSherbrig> Let's do that and cut ahead to investigating the town, then.

<HollyhockGod> The Grix lands in a bush, turns into a pocket-watch, and then spits you all out.

<Ebba> Now where are we going? or are we just gonig to run around being obvious, and hope someone starts shooting at us?

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. Can you sense anything more precisely here at the location of the event, Fiona?"

  • RyanSherbrig keeps a weather-eye out.

<Fiona> (Can I?)

<HollyhockGod> Fiona holds up a sunflower, commanding it to point in the direection of the disturbance.

<HollyhockGod> It dies.

<RyanSherbrig> (Not a typo of does?)

<HollyhockGod> Nope, it wilted.

<HollyhockGod> On the bright side, you probably won't have to wait for long, because Ryan can feel Melangell's ship picking up speed and coming ever closer.

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. Something afoot in the ghost-realm, perhaps?"

<Ebba> OK, hows this:

<RyanSherbrig> "Or maybe just something influencing the entire town?"

  • RyanSherbrig checks around with the Sight.

<Ebba> With my awesome perception skills, did the flower start wilting in a particular direction first?

<HollyhockGod> Each petal fell off and then wafted off in different directions, circulating across the park without touching the ground.

<Ebba> Or did the whole thing just go kaput at once?

<HollyhockGod> Doubtless it's metaphorical!

<HollyhockGod> Anyway, while you're divining, the Lady Luck begins circling around the greater D.C. area.

<Ebba> Hmm, we are not getting anywhere, should we send a signal to the Lady luck?

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. I wonder if she's brought her Familia with her."

<HollyhockGod> There is a sudden, unpleasant noise.

<HollyhockGod> It sounds like a dull, wooden crash coming from somewhere up in the air, and then a crackling sound.

<HollyhockGod> As you look up, you find that you still can't see the Lady Luck, but as you peer at the relevant area, something occasionally lashes out of the sphere that's protected by the veil.

<HollyhockGod> Something kind of like a long, black, scaly tail.

<HollyhockGod> A discharge that you recognize as one of Melangell's lightning guns misses its target and grounds itself in a skyscraper.

<RyanSherbrig> "Hmmm. That may be our quarry, attacking the airship. Shall we intercede?"

<Fiona> "I guess so? yes?"

<RyanSherbrig> "Righto."

<RyanSherbrig> (Ebba! Form of Daikaiju tree!)

<RyanSherbrig> (In your face, politician sanity!)

<RyanSherbrig> (Or, y'know, throw the two of us, then jump.)

<Ebba> Eh, I was just thinking of throwing you up there.

<RyanSherbrig> "Wait, do you two have ways to get up there?"

<RyanSherbrig> (Okay, now throw us.)

<Fiona> "Someone can carry this flower up for me?"

<Ebba> And Alexa can fly, like the Human Torch, IIRC.

<HollyhockGod> Or you could just fly up on your shapeshifting cloud.

<Fiona> Can't Ryan fly when he's light, anyway?

<RyanSherbrig> (That's why I asked if you two could.)

<Fiona> So Ebba can jump up with a flower, and Ryan and Alexa can fly up.

  • RyanSherbrig assumes light form after getting some initial velocity from the throw, possibly upsetting UFO-spotters, and lands on the ship deck.

<Ebba> Yay, slowly but surely, we are getting to the plot :D

<RyanSherbrig> "Ahoy!"

<HollyhockGod> Hm. The ship is, indeed, being attacked by a rather large dragon.

<HollyhockGod> Melangell cannot hear you, because she's flying about trying to stab it in the eye.

<Ebba> Though now that I think of it, the dragon is probably just a distraction, so that the actual flower rite can go forward.

<Ebba> Since Melangell is probably dumb enough to be distracted by big scaly reptiles.

<RyanSherbrig> (On the other hand, maybe it figures the flower rite would be easier if the power in question were dead and unable to defend her Estate.)

  • RyanSherbrig uses the Sight on the dragon.

<HollyhockGod> Beneath her, standing before the ship's wheel, are a man and a woman who are dressed weird enough that they must be important.

<RyanSherbrig> (Excrucian-shard, anchor, just big old monster?)

<HollyhockGod> Power!

<HollyhockGod> If you're any judge, the Power of Greed.

<HollyhockGod> Currently he is trying to add Melangell's liver to his hoard. Various crewmen are running around firing impressive weaponry and mostly missing.

<RyanSherbrig> (Hmm! I'll guess Deciever, although maybe the Excrucians just, you know, bribed him, and he was especially true to his nature.)

<HollyhockGod> The dragon breathes out a nasty-looking gout of flame, and the man on the deck raises his hands, and the blast is diverted into a corkscrew that circles around the ship without touching it.

<HollyhockGod> The woman, who is hiding behind the man, appears to be scratching on the deck.

<Ebba> Well, I can hardly hang in the air forever. I'll have to try landing on the ship.

<Ebba> Perhaps I shall offer them tea. :D

<HollyhockGod> I suppose you touch down right beside Ryan (that was an AMP, by the way) and Fiona Steps up beside you.

<HollyhockGod> I guess Ryan can act first.

  • RyanSherbrig wanders over to the two, turning off the Radiance for his nice conservative suit. "Morning!"

<RyanSherbrig> (What do they look like, to the sight?)

<HollyhockGod> "It's nearly noon," says the man, who has white hair and a climate-inappropriate white fur robe. The Sight conveniently reveals a crescent moon hovering over his forehead.

<HollyhockGod> The woman, in an equally white pantsuit, you can now see is scratching a magic circle into the deck with a little scratchy thing. To the Sight, she looks like a candle with red hair.

<HollyhockGod> He appears to be somewhat busy holding back the dragon-breath.

<HollyhockGod> But not so busy that he can't snark at you!

<RyanSherbrig> "Fair enough. I am Ryan Sherbrig, Dominus of Radiance. I and my Familia were in the area when we noticed the disturbance. Do you need assistance?"

<HollyhockGod> "Ah, Dominus Sherbrig!" says the lady, looking up from her scratching! "How nice to meet you; sorry it's such a bad time. Yes, would you please kill that? It's bothersome and I can't get a proper spell off; he keeps burning my circles."

<HollyhockGod> The man, evidently offended by this for some reason diverts one of his arms to make a jazz-hand at the deck.

<HollyhockGod> The circle completes itself.

<HollyhockGod> "Ah, now I'm cooking with thaumaturgy," she says, and begins chanting what Ryan recognizes as a variation on an Etruscan spell of summoning (elemental-class).

<HollyhockGod> Ebba, your action.

<Ebba> I'll try watching the surrounding area (other than the fight) on the belief that the dragon is just a distraction, to try to find what the dragon is a distraction for.

<HollyhockGod> Well, bits of city are on fire now, owing to injudicious application of lightning guns, but otherwise it's normal.

<RyanSherbrig> (Here I was hoping you would kung fu the dragon into submission.)

<Fiona> Well, looking around is a mundane action, isn't it?

<RyanSherbrig> (High-Aspect looking around wouldn't be, though.)

<Ebba> I'll spend a mundane action on scolding the crew for setting the city on fire.

<Ebba> But am mostly doing high-Aspect looking around.

<RyanSherbrig> "Do either of you know the power of Greed's actual name? That would be a quick way to determine if this is a Deciever or not."

<Ebba> Book says?

<Fiona> (Only if it was in Vesper's book.)

<HollyhockGod> "Tried it," says Candles, cheerily, as she completes her spell. "No, this is the real deal. Can't get him to talk, though. Any thoughts?"

<Ebba> Offer him a bigger bribe?

<HollyhockGod> A very gooey creature begins to ooze up through the deck within the circle.

<HollyhockGod> …okay, time to kick it up a notch.

<Ebba> We have this very nice boy-toy, only slightly used…

<HollyhockGod> An enormous claw scythes through the wood around the deck. The floor underneath your feet disintegrates, and you find yourselves about to fly through the air.

<HollyhockGod> Fiona, you and Candles find the floor under your feet remaining steady for a few seconds. Yay Auctoritas!

<RyanSherbrig> "You know, Ebba, subduing the dragon would remove the distraction and perhaps let the lovely capta-woah!"

<HollyhockGod> Everyone else is now airborne.

  • RyanSherbrig assumes light form.
  • Ebba puts on her best "adults are talking" look, and tries to jump onto the dragon's back.

<HollyhockGod> The Moon hovers angrily over the hole in the floor.

<HollyhockGod> Candles directs her summoned creature "Down the beast's throat!"

<Fiona> Lesser Change of a flower into an airborne mount of some sort.

<HollyhockGod> It leaps off the shattered deck and soars through the air towards the dragon's mouth, making a game attempt at covering its mouth.

<HollyhockGod> I'm really not sure that you should be able to make flowers fly with a lesser change. Even if I allowed it before!

<RyanSherbrig> (Flowers do have those airborne seeds, though.)

<HollyhockGod> Ebba lands gamely on the dragon's head, which annoys it even more.

<HollyhockGod> I suppose you could make a giant seed-pod and cling to it.

<Ebba> Will starting digging into the tender bits, to try to get the dragon to fly away from the ship.

<Ebba> So everyone else can get back to business.

<Ebba> The equivalent of twisting its ears or whatever it happens to have.

<HollyhockGod> Anyway, with Ebba on its head, a rubber elemental trying to strangle it, and Melangell poking at its nethers with a sword, the dragon begins to thrash.

<HollyhockGod> Its tail slams into the Moon, knocking him over the side.

  • RyanSherbrig watches to see if the Moon can fly, or if he'll need assistance.

<HollyhockGod> It swallows the elemental whole, and attempts to unleash its breath back at you.

<HollyhockGod> He was flying a moment ago, but he seems dazed. He'll probably come to before he hits the ground.

<HollyhockGod> Something inside its bellows appears to go wrong.

<HollyhockGod> Instead of fire, what comes out of the giant mouth is something more like black tar.

  • Ebba sighs.

<HollyhockGod> Nevertheless it appears unpleasant and not something you want breathed on you.

<Ebba> They always want to do it the difficult way.

<HollyhockGod> Candles is engulfed in tar and will need a moment to navigate out.

  • Ebba tries slamming her cupped hands over its ears, to disrupt its sense of balance.

<HollyhockGod> The blast passes through Fiona's Auctoritas and Ryan's insubstantial body.

<HollyhockGod> Hm, that seems to work, and it pitches and yaws, then starts to shrink.

  • Fiona tries conjuring a mass of briars around the dragon. Lesser Creation, Penetration 1.

<HollyhockGod> In fact, it shrinks very fast, attempting to wriggle out of your grip by becoming very small!

<HollyhockGod> Hm, it fails.

<HollyhockGod> In fact most of Ebba's miracles before should have failed as well.

<HollyhockGod> Fact: not only players can forget about Auctoritas!

<Ebba> And sometimes, just for fun, I make myself very small.

<HollyhockGod> Ebba shrinks alongside the creature!

<Ebba> So is there now a small dragon, with a small Ebba attached to its head?

<RyanSherbrig> (I assumed it was the dragon taking human form.)

<HollyhockGod> Eventually, the rest of you are looking around, trying to figure where they went to as they fall beneath deck level.

<HollyhockGod> "That was how he snuck up on us," says Candles, pushing her Auctoritas out through a layer of pitch.

<HollyhockGod> "Transformed himself into a crow until he was sitting right on top of the ship."

<HollyhockGod> Ebba, you're an inch tall and clinging to the head of a crow, flailing around through hurricane-force winds.

<RyanSherbrig> "Unfortunate. But I assume there's still the matter of the Breakthrough to deal with, if that wasn't our Excrucian."

<RyanSherbrig> (Speaking of which, where is Thorpe again?)

<Ebba> These were the winds around the ship, right?

<HollyhockGod> Melangell lowers herself to the deck. "Oh, it's you lot. Where'd the bugger go?"

<Ebba> so we should get thrown out eventually?

<HollyhockGod> Yes, that's right.

<HollyhockGod> "It's very kind of Dominus Sherbrig to bring his Familia to our aid," Candles tells her Sibling.

<HollyhockGod> Melangell raises one eyebrow but doesn't comment.

<HollyhockGod> The Moon, having recovered from his spout of being hit by a giant tail, lands beside her. "I don't think we've even scratched him," he says, affectless.

<RyanSherbrig> "Is the power of Greed an Immortal, perhaps?"

<RyanSherbrig> ("I mean, half MY Familia is unkillable.")

<Ebba> "I believe this is the point where you should consider opening negotiations."

<RyanSherbrig> ("I don't know about yours.")

<Fiona> (I have to go quite shortly.)

<HollyhockGod> "I think 'e's just a Sunfire, which is bloomin' bad enough," says Melangell.

<HollyhockGod> "And I'm not goin' ter make him a bloody offer. Nobody attacks me flagship without bleedin' for it!"

<Ebba> (That's Spirit 4?)

<HollyhockGod> "He hasn't said a word to us, anyway." says Candles.

<HollyhockGod> "Brainwashing?" asks the Moon?

<HollyhockGod> 3.

<RyanSherbrig> (I think Ebba was saying that to Greed while on top of him, rather than to the Familia)

<HollyhockGod> Ohrite.

<Fiona> (3 is good. That means I can get him with Major Creations.)

<Fiona> (Wait, no, those're 7, aren't they? Damn.)

<HollyhockGod> He fails to respond, instead turning its neck around at an impossible angle and breathing ice out over you in an arc.

<Ebba> "Of course you were unaware of the Excrucian involvement. So there will be no need to involve the inquisition, right?"

<Ebba> (We'll try some threats.)

<RyanSherbrig> (Bribes! Appeal to his greedy side. He has to have one.)

<HollyhockGod> Ebba, you find yourself coated in ice, in danger of losing your grip.

<RyanSherbrig> (And if that doesn't work, we know he's brainwashed or something.)

<Ebba> (Miraculous ice, or just ice that comes from flying through the sky?)

<HollyhockGod> Like, exactly as big as the fire breath earlier only coming out of a crow. And it's ice.

<HollyhockGod> Probably scratching the bottom of the boat.

<Ebba> "And I'm sure that, if you helped us defeat the Excrucians involved, you'd get a share of the loot."

<HollyhockGod> Melangell jerks up. "Something just hit us on the backside," she says, and dives over.

<Ebba> "Of course, if you continue along your current course. I think it highly likely that you will get… nothing."

<RyanSherbrig> (I have to head off to work, anyway. Assume Ryan offers supervisory advice as appropriate.)

<HollyhockGod> "Heh," says the crow, in a gravelly voice. "I've been offered more than you could ever pay."

<RyanSherbrig> ("Yes, keep doing that thing you're doing. Excellent work, all.")

<HollyhockGod> As the ice covers over Ebba's hands and face, the feathers she's clinging to fall out, as feathers do.

  • Ebba sighs.

<HollyhockGod> A six-inch block of ice, with Ebba trapped inside it, plummets to the Earth as the dragon-bird inhales.

<HollyhockGod> …and we're out of time!

  • RyanSherbrig is now known as Benhimself

<Fiona> (I'm off too. Will see people next week, hopefully with added Uqbarian!)

<HollyhockGod> Once again, Ebba is attacked by the Power of Cliffhangers.

  • Ebba is now known as Crusher_Bob

<Crusher_Bob> There was no tea.

<Benhimself> Clearly your mistake.

<HollyhockGod> All these turns are hard to ajudicate.

<Fiona> Yet.

<Benhimself> The power of Greed might have the Tea Bond restriction!

<Benhimself> It's like cigarette bond, but with tea.

<Fiona> Yes. I'd be inclined to be stricter with keeping to turn progressions.

<Fiona> Anyways. Laters people.

  • Fiona has quit (Disintegrated: Fiona)

<HollyhockGod> I had this lovely combat of doom planned out and then forgot to make people wait their turns.

<Crusher_Bob> Was not sure how important turn tracking was.

<Benhimself> Especially when you have piles of NPCs working at cross purposes.

<Benhimself> See you all next week, anyway.

<Crusher_Bob> in theory, we have- six? Powers on our side

<HollyhockGod> Plus the difficulty of making the NPCs seem competent, but not having them dominate.

<Crusher_Bob> Which is enough to take on an Imperator.

  • Benhimself has quit (Disintegrated: )

<Crusher_Bob> So I wasn't sure how iportant the dragon fight actually was.

<Crusher_Bob> Have the log?

<HollyhockGod> I do.

<Crusher_Bob> Okidoke.

  • Crusher_Bob has quit (Disintegrated: Leaving)
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