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Tower Girl Blues
We came across a door where we could hear the squeaking of rats. Since we had prisoners, Soraka took them back away from the door, and guarded them while we investigated. Inside the room was a wererat with a group of five donkey rats!

The Spiders immediately took positions around the door and waited for the rats to come out. I, of course, began to sing:

I stumble into town just like a sacred cow,
Visions of swastikas in my head,
Plans for everyone,
It's in the white of my eyes...

The rats foolishly came forth to their doom, and our people advanced in on the were rat. We made short work of it, and Kaz decided to take it prisoner. We searched the room, and looted what there was of value. So far, we had found a few odds and ends that Sheila might be interested in. At this point, we decided to head back to Magnimar, sell some of our loot, and rest.

With the prisoners in tow, we took two of the boats back to the shore. After some discussion, we decided to take the Tower Girls back to the Pathfinder Lodge. Perhaps Shelia might want to redeem them in some way, or maybe just turn them into the city watch.

However, before we could make it back to the Lodge, we were approached by a large group of Sczarni, who identified themselves as Wreckwash Blades. They demanded that we turn over the prisoners, which we were reluctant to do. It was obvious that they had superior numbers, and several spell casters among them. There were some heavily armored thuggish types as well. I told them we would only hand over our prisoners if they promised to give them a chance to redeem themselves, to which the Sczarni leader seemed to agree.

I was not completely satisfied that we had done our best to give the prisoners a good chance, and I felt that if word got out that we gave up so easily it would reflect poorly on the Spider's reputation. So I told the leader that they would also have to defeat our champion, Pig, in an honor duel. The leader agreed, and one of their spell casters promptly put Pig to sleep. Fortunately Pig was unconscious, so he did not have to suffer through the indignity when the Sczarni took turns tea bagging him... With our honor satisfied, we handed over the prisoners, and continued on our way.

At the Lodge, we sold all the curios, and bought a wand of Cure Light Wounds. We rested, and set off the next day. When we returned to the Crow, we decided to have Soraka guard the boats while we made sure the Tower Girls were not waiting in ambush.

We ascended the stairs, and went through the upper levels again, re-exploring the Tower Girls' camp. It appeared that there were no reinforcements. We descended to the next level, which we believed to be the second floor, and arrived in a phallic shaped room with an ornate pair of rune covered doors on the west end, and few normal doors on the “head”/eastern side.

The ornate doors were made of a sky metal known as siccatite, and was hot to the touch. There were Thassilonian runes on each door. Ne-los discovered that he could re-arrange the letters on the door. He and Kas changed the word “Listen” to “Silent”, and we could hear the door unlock. As we set about trying to solve “The Eyes”, Pig, who seemed somewhat sullen since losing the honor duel, blurted out “They See”! Which solved the second part of the code.

Suddenly, a door at the other end of the room opened, and several donkey rats charged out! Before I could act, they were upon me! A wererat with a bladed scarf came forth. I moved back and away while the Spiders moved forward to deal with the threat. The surprise attack had us off balance, but eventually we settled in. I began to sing:

Yeah, I'm afraid of Andorans,
I'm afraid of the words,
I'm afraid I can't help it,
I'm afraid I can't,
I'm afraid of Andorans...

The tide started to turn, Ne-los was able to neutralize several rats with his Color Spray. Boris and Milah were harrying the wererat, and the others slew the rats. Eventually, Milah slew the wererat, and ended the threat!

We searched through the rooms the rats and the wererat came from, and found some loot and some journals. The wererat was the leader of the Tower Girls, her name was Alaya, and she had plans to loot The Crow. While searching the Alaya's chambers, we found a secret door. Inside a small room was the skeleton of a human. It appeared to be an adventurer, he had equipment, including several masterwork items. He also had a falcon-shaped pendant, which we identified as a Pendant of Souk. It would come in handy to help identify illusions.

(This was where we left off)
Session: Game Session 7 - Friday, Apr 07 2017 from 9:30 PM to 2:00 AM
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Shipwrecks and Shopping
With Bale and cohorts sitting in a ship in front of us, and with them already aware of our presence, we decided we would try to sink the ship. We were honest with ourselves and knew that taking Bale head-on was a super bad idea, but we had to do something to try to slow down his progress.

I split the team into two groups, and after a little pep talk we were on the move. Holes were punched, a fight was (mostly) escaped, and I was even able to take a peek into the hold of the ship. Bale had escaped with at least some of the equipment, but at some of it remained.

I managed to pull some of the data off one of the machines, which we later figured was a sort of 3D printer. And the last thing it had printed? A Grond. It used some sort of generic genetic material as its "ink". There wasn't a spine included on the plans for the design, so it seems that would be a pre-formed base, and probably what they use to give it instructions.

On the way off the sinking ship, Zephyr and I grabbed one of the crew members. He said that he had been hired by Bale and given some kind of "vitamin", but didn't really know too much more than that. To be on the safe side, we drew some of his blood for potential later study. He had come to the conclusion, based on Bale's comings and goings, that the mastermind must have some sort of personal teleporter (which explained the escape). He also named the speedster - Bolt.

Zephyr went back to the wreckage to see if she could find any clues, or any of the proof we had been seeking in the first place. She brought back some vials, and some bits of the broken machinery.

The serial numbers on the machinery, we were able to track back to Ferrotech (there's that connection we were looking for!) and the vials, though empty, seemed like they had been the containers for the genetic material used for the printer.

Further, they had been signed at the cellular level, by none other than Princess Destructor.

I flexed some of my connections and wrangled an invitation for lunch. DD was going to accompany me, and even better? It was a fancy restaurant, fancy enough that it absolutely required new clothes.

Which meant, as I so rarely get to do, that I got to drag DD for a proper shopping trip. And, if I don't say so myself, she looked fabulous. (I think it goes without saying that I looked better-than-great)

We met PD and were introduced to her friend, Loki (frenemy? Their relationship is weird - and my best friend is Daydream.). It took a lot of flattery and needling, but eventually PD spilled the beans about the project she had done for Bale.

She hadn't been paid anything, the reward was the challenge itself. She had been instructed to make the material such that the creatures made from it would have only base instincts - breathing, maybe eating. Anything more complicated than that was going to have to come from outside the creation. She could have, she claimed (and I see no reason to doubt), set Bale up with a material which could have done more. She had made the initial batch, but Bale should be able to replicate it from that sample.

She added that Bale had been very interested in Unity, although of course her answers had been restricted to theory. He also let slip, apparently, that he would "finally accomplish something that he never could." And it was clear the "he" was not referring to himself.

After all this, Loki was apparently bored, (or needed to speak with us alone.... or both?) and started in on the not-terribly-difficult process of winding PD up. Eventually it came to a head and DD and I escaped as quickly as we could.

As we exited the building, Loki caught up with us and asked if we knew who was working with Bale. We went down the list, and she seemed satisfied that we knew the players. She warned, however, that he was a distraction from the real threat, He Who Comes.

Loki told us that if we fail to stop Him, He would be stopped, but it wouldn't be a plan that anyone would like (the backup is real, honest-to-god avenging angels, so.... yeah, no one wants that). She is unwilling to stop the backup plan, however, until it is clear that we (or someone) will win against He Who Comes.
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Unfinished business
Tryn.... Dragos..... escape with your lives! Come on demon! I have a date with the Raven Queen!

I guess I never will face that human warrior so many years ago the best of me. . . .
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Posted by the GM
Tides of Blood
Six creatures, three dead...
Six creatures, three dead, three alive, meet at a bar. They present themselves to a ruler. A countess. A prince. Stuck in a wrinkle in time by a mysterious figure, they repel a threat to the lively mausoleum. The sinhouse of the dead. They trace it to the beach, and then to the house of a man, twice dead. Within the basement, they find the maw, which leads into the belly of the beast.
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Posted by the GM
Forsaken Stars
Farm boxing and new horizons
Joe looks to Ray's wounds and manages to bandage it well enough to stop further bleeding. The crew agrees he'll need further medical attention. They decide the best choice is to head to star city and bring him to the clinic where Mara is working. Joe contacts Sergeant Teray and a contact point is set to return the military gear. They ride the grav bikes to the coordinates; distant from the valley as to avoid any suspicion of Vortian Navy involvement in planetary affairs. The gear is all accounted for and loaded on the small 40-ton stealth ship. Chet is refitted with an electronic arm monitor and the crew continues to the city on their grav-bikes.

At the clinic Mara greets the crew with alarm. “My goodness Ray! What the hell happened?”
“Just a little off the top please,” Ray jokingly says. “Maybe some off the sides,” as he brushes his short military hairstyle. Mara quickly takes him into one of the clinic's rooms. She inspects his wounds and an assembly of robotic arms attached to the wall moves in to help.
“Would be nice to have one of these on the Show Time,” she says, as one arm begins applying local anesthesia and another feeds Mara's hands with stitching thread. Joe curiously searches prices on his hand terminal and decides that's currently outside the operating budget.
“You'll have to stay overnight. Your wounds are bad, but not terrible. Should have you fully healed up in about 24 hours.”

The next morning Joe's hand terminal reminds him that his monthly ship mortgage is due in a couple days. They talk to Chet about his brother, trying to determine if they should get involved. Chet video calls him, trying to determine the details of his predicament, but James Thoran never gave his brother a straight answer. He said Enis was pissed about whatever happened when Chet escaped, but James is lying low. As long as Enis doesn't find him and he “does what he's supposed to take care of” in three days at Duke's barn, he's hoping Enis lets the incident in Chet's escape slide and James will move past the fact he threatened his brother. Joe pressed the issue with Chet. At first the engineer seemed painfully conflicted, but then Chet seemed irritated and said he was tired of his brother's issues and perhaps he should reap what he's sown in whatever hole he's dug himself.

Joe searches the public database on Enis and Duke. No record is found of Enis prior to his status as a farm baron, and a few research articles touch on the suspicion of the criminal nature of his organization. Duke on the other hand had graduated from a prestigious university and made a name for himself in the business world with a trade corporation in the star city. Once he had gain an amount of wealth, he purchased farm land and began his off-world food supply industry. His business even owns a small number of shuttles that move his goods from his farm into orbit or highport. If Duke is involved in organized crime like Enis, its certainly more concealed, as articles speculating such never mention his operations. Treatimus decides to skirt around the rural areas of Vorta and try to find out more on the farm syndicates and what's happening at Duke's barn in three days. Ray is released late that night from the clinic.

The next morning Joe makes a short payment of 100k credits towards his ship, hoping it buys him time with the bank by showing his intention to be on time. He arranges with Sergeant Teray to have his cargo released from the Show Time and hires a ship named the Marazion to deliver the cargo. He searched the market well and arranged a deal with the Marazion to still gather 30% of what he originally would have gained delivering the cargo himself. With the time to deliver and the time to send payment back to Joe on Vorta, that put him two weeks away from collecting on that delivery.

The days past quietly, as the crew took it easy. On the third morning Treatimus returned. He shares that the farm syndicates operate like crime families, but don't conflict with each other much to maintain their staying off the planetary authorities radar. Treat observed that they manage to work together well matter of fact, and the event tonight is one such example. The farm barons run an underground fighting league: the farm barons own fighters that go against each other for special events usually hosted in one of their barns. Duke owns the most prestigious fighter, known as The Machine, who never appears in events unless specifically challenged by another farm baron. It seems tonight's event was planned when Enis told Duke he had a fighter to challenge The Machine: Chet's brother. Chet is known by people around the area as one of Enis' best fighters, but The Machine has never been beaten. A reason why he is not available for selection in regular fights and has to be specifically challenged is because he is augmented. The extend of augmentations is unknown, except for the most obvious: a combat arm mod. His entire right arm is replaced with a cybernetic one.

Deciding if they should get involved, Ray stands up for James' decision. “Maybe he's doing the noble thing and trying to protect you from whatever mess he's gotten himself into. He wanted to deal with this he said, so maybe we should give him space and let him.” The crew agrees to keep themselves uninvolved, as they have enough complication being tied up in a major terrorism attack. While waiting to hear back from Sergeant Teray on their investigation, they use the time to study at the hotel.

After 10 days they get the call. First Sergeant Jackenn Teray tells that his investigators traveled to Guanti with the Vortian Military CIREC liaison in two. They extensively interviewed Rexford Fiske, who denied any relation with the Show Time and its crew. He provided certified documents of the vessel that was to deliver the prototype: scout ship Nadeshny. He claims the CIREC clearance codes to dock at the military moon used by the Show Time were stolen by Riley, a newly hired agent of CIREC that was being considered to work on the secret contract but then went missing. The prototype was to be delivered directly from CIREC facilities on Guanti and he denies any CIREC research base on Irra. Units investigated the coordinates provided by Joe on Irra and found the facility empty. The Nadeshny suffered a critical malfunction with its power plant causing the complete loss of the ship, which Fiske suspects was possibly sabotage by a rival corporation. They also tracked down the asteroid colony the Shuttle Everest hails from. It seems Pallon Rey was a prominent leader in the colony and key in establishing their survival. From what they gathered he was not involved with any piracy organizations. Word and people travel far and frequently in the Gorstan Belt, so they suspect he caught wind of the terrorist plot and tried to intervene: evidence seems to indicate Everest was trying to stop the Show Time from carrying out the attack.

Sergeant Teray said that he continued the investigation in Vortian space, interviewing the main suspect Riley. Teray explains that Riley insists he was taken advantage of just as much as the rest of the Show Time, but Riley's extensive background in piracy, and information provided by Fiske, points to Riley being the linchpin of the operation, working for an unidentified terrorist organization.

The Vortian Navy will continue holding Riley prisoner and has commandeered all of his assets. As an apology to Joe and his crew for holding Show Time for an extended period of time, and because Riley was last registered as a partial captain of the Show Time, Captain Hanio would like to offer access to a large amount of Riley's funds. Sergeant Teray informs the crew that he also told Hanio about their actions at Enis' farm, when one of the crew was expected to be on the run, but in actuality needed rescue. Hanio was impressed and has a proposal. Hanio wants to employ the Show Time as a covert agent tracked on the Vortian Navy's black book. Sergeant Teray applies a little pressure, saying Captain Hanio was extending this opportunity to help them clear their name. If the offer is accepted, Hanio will use Riley's ship shares to buy out the remaining mortgage on the Show Time. This would make the vessel a majority ownership by the Vortian Navy. Joe can maintain his trade business to build a good cover, but when Captain Hanio says jump, Joe better be ready to jump, else his ship can be seized and assigned another duty within the Navy. Joe comes to terms with Sergeant Teray to pass along to Captain Hanio, and is told he can have the option to buy back his ship from the Navy... after the investigation on who is behind the attack on Tor is resolved.
“I can easily agree to that,” Joe affirms. “We're loyal Vortians and feel a great debt in the destruction of the moon. We want to find those responsible just as badly.”

The next 4 days pass quietly. Chet's brother is not responding to his comm requests, Joe receives payment from the Marazion and an invitation to meet with Captain Hanio to make their arrangement official.
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Epic × 2!