Amateur Info Hunters

day 4, the quest for a safer safehouse

the party went in several different directions to evade likely observation. Chu’Gil the two headed ogre giant walked accross the street into the crowd of onlookers gawking at the burning room, that was intended to house the party the night before. He gawked at the building with them until more of the crowd was watching him than was watching the fire, then he wandered off toward the gate town complex that the party had passed on the way into the city the night before.
Chugil let the onlookers follow him knowing that at least most of them were just curious about the strangeness that happened before them this day. He went on about some very mundane things, grocery shopping and such, and most of the crowd dissipated eventually, leaving chugil a few persistent followers and a thug to evade.
Jake and the goon DG from the night before went out the back door while chugil attracted as much attention as possible. They wandered downtown to find a more suitable (and defensible) hideout, that would last as long as the party stayed in town. After looking over the security measures of a downtown hotel or two, Jake decided to head into a seedier neighborhood and look for something private, and deal with security on his own.
Maedvh and Vera, with Zoe in tow, wandered to the high end shopping districts and went cloths shopping. Maedvh wearing the light armor she had not worn during the conflict the night before, and Vera without her veil were far removed from what any observer might have been looking for. Combined with a long day of shopping for disguises they looked like new people at the end of the day.

The party gathered at sundown at the preordained meeting place, and jake led them all to the new hideout, where the party began questioning the man DG who seemed to have no idea that his own life had been threatened by the same bomb that had been intended to greet the party.

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Imperial Fortress

Flying shrapnel whizzed past her ear. She ignored it, directing her women with a silent signal she’d developed based off the sign language she’d learned when she was much younger. She wasn’t really worried about it so much as clearing out the Xiticx problem. Not that she had any personal obligation to the area she was cleaning up, Tolkein was, after all, a sensitive issue for her as well as many other people.

But, as with many things, Badb had argued that it was worth cleaning out the Xiticx problem. Not that she was going to argue with her, the Xiticx were a problem, and why not hers? They threatened communities that she’d once protected with her life. Since the mages had been routed, the Xiticx were becoming a Coalition problem. Some people would say “Well it serves them right!” but a few things had changed for her in the past few years.

So here she was, in Tolkein, again. They’d had a decent amount of success routing some colonies, Badb had given her some tips from some ancient conflict with the insectoid dbs which had helped a great deal. The nice thing about interacting with Xiticx was that you didn’t have to worry if they were going to become better people. They killed humans, dbs, mages, techies, psychics… it didn’t matter what you were. The only creatures she’d have less moral issues killing were Splugorth.

Their initial surge was going to turn into a bulwark, her ladies were already building a scrap wall of MDC materials salvaged from the Coalition’s Imperial Fortress. Ironic that it should be her protection in this fight. She turned to double check that the location she’d decided on was easily defensible, they might be there for a while. The apc was quickly being built around, and she went inside to power down the hover power and double check the maps and seismographic charts she’d spread out over the command desk. It was important with Xiticx not to forget that they liked to tunnel. She’d had to make sure they were over a significant amount of MDC material as well in a position she could defend locally.

The message light was blinking on the command stand. She moved to the device, and turned it on, letting her women take care of things. Kierstin was in charge when she had to be, and she knew what she was doing when it came to armory and defenses.

She sat down in the chair as a familiar face popped up on the video screen.

“Neamhain, Maedbh left town with a group of information gatherers I sent on a mission against the Family. I know you’re in the middle of business for the goddess right now, so I informed Nick. Her location should be inside of the Worth kingdom. Jak out.” He must have sent it to her via a rift, she was surprised no one had noticed it or felt it, but Jak was pretty good at using those tiny communication rifts that he said Black Mage had favored so heavily. She sighed, idly rubbing the palm of the eva suit against the knee, itching her palm inside with the friction of the padded interior. She rolled out of the chair, and moved back outside, where her crew was inspecting their progress so far.

It was going to be a long siege at this rate.

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session canceled

january 17th’s session is cancelled due to poor communications, and a dying laptop battery. Hopefully we’ll be up again next week to finally deal with the party’s attempted assassin.

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The Tolkien Disaster, A Brief Overview

“Only the cockroaches of the universe could survive in that magical and nuclear mess.” Unknown Tolkien survivor.

The Black Mage was at one point only a minor annoyance to the coalition. He tended to find weak points in coalition security, and acquire a ton of equipment, and fund a minor operation against them. They could never figure out where he hoarded all of his ill gotten gains. And just as higher level commanders started to take notice, Black Mage disappeared. His operations simply stopped and the Coalition figured he had simply met his end and someone had done them a favor.

For 10 years he was gone.

During that time, he traveled the megaverse. He spent some time as a smuggler to fund further operations, and to grow otherworldly contacts. Most of his time was spent causing problems for the Splurgoth and Neruni. Something about their desire to take over Earth and enslave humanity may have caused him to dislike them.

He spent a year finishing and building his academy. His apprentices through the years returned to help him run the academy, and support his aspirations. The coalition is right about one thing, he really does want to rule the world. He just realizes that rule and dominion are two completely different.

Then there was the Tolkien Disaster. Technically it was a botched job. The original plan was to capture and return the CS Flying Fortress back to the Academy for a magical refit and use as the new Tolkien City. Many doubted that the plan would work, but the resources were there, and given the Coalition’s stranglehold on the area, they were willing to try anything.

The full moon was a double edged sword. All the mages were more powerful, but the Coalition troops were prepared for something to happen. The Tolkien Resistance attempting to retake their fallen city was merely a distraction. It drew most of the troops out of the Fortress. Unfortunately, due to unforseen problems, they were unable to gain access to the navigational computers. They were able to gain access to the power supply, and set up a delayed reaction to cut power to the Fortress. The resulting power loss caused the Flying Fortress to fall out of the sky causing the post apocalyptic world’s largest explosion.

The Tolkien Survivors knew what was coming and got out. The Coalition moved in assuming they had won…

The Black Mage took responsibility publicly by hijacking the CS tv network and broadcast the explosion. This high profile act made the Black Mage a powerful enemy of the coalition, as well as a feared tactician and mage.

However all is not completely well for him. Black Mage still owes Tolkien a new home for their efforts for his schemes. The area surrounding the disaster has become uninhabitable, allowing the Xiticix to move into the area, and creating a new foe to deal with. Also Black Mage’s anonymity is gone. Everyone knows who he is now. He is not to be trifled with lightly, and because of that he can’t catch people by surprise anymore. They know what he is capable of, and come prepared.

Or so he lets them think.

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Day 2: argument
an excerpt from Maedvh's journal

I knew this moment would come, and I’m glad its sooner rather than later. Jake and I disagreed. On the matter of attacking a convoy without reason other than “They’re coalition mother fuckers”. well, that’s not a direct quote, but that’s what he was thinking.

How do I explain where I come from without giving away who I am? Oh well, best they just think I’m a Coalition sympathizer for now. Obviously that’s not complete truth, since I’m a cyber knight and not some psi stalker (or whatever they would make me, maybe even dead). But, at some point, maybe he’ll realize that some of those guys in that crew in the ravine, even they deserve a chance.

Sucks to be me. Moral guide post of the group. If it wasn’t melodramatic I would insert a sigh here. Maybe I will anyways.

On the plus side, his experience is nice. This being my first time out and all, I don’t know what we’d do without someone with some backbone and practical know-how. As hard as it is to admit for me, my experience mostly has to do with the Academy. I have some esoteric knowledge about what we’re going through, but it’s nice to be able to fall back on his practical knowledge. I just hope he doesn’t figure it out before I get a foot on him.

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Day 2-3 The road to Worth

The party decided to follow up right away on the lead they acquired from Gary Richards, and the next day they set out for the small free kingdom of Worth in search of his contact with The Family.

On the road to worth, the party stumbled into a battle in progress, between two different well equipped if small forces. One force debarked from vehicles and firing handheld weapons up out of a steep riverbed at a smaller ground force that had the advantages of height and numbers. Neither side was wearing uniforms, but the side which appeared to be on the defensive was equipped with exclusively high end coalition military grade gear. Maedvh Alexandra Freeholder deduced by the positioning of the forces that it was likely that the coalition crew had been ambushed, and let the party know that. Jake Lebron then decided to sneak accross the riverbed to find out by observation or questioning what was going on in the fight before choosing a side.

By the time Jake crossed the riverbed unnoticed, the attacking force had suffered more than twice as many losses as the outnumbered coalition force. When he arrived behind the mercenary line, he startled one of the soldiers in ghost form and attempted to question him.

Maedvh, Vera, and Zoe observed the goings on for a few minutes before deciding that Jake had the right idea. Lacking a real chance at sneaking past the convoy in the riverbed, they just sprinted past and hoped for the best. Maedvh on horseback covered the ground quickly, zoe dangling from the back of her armor by one hand. The coalition men noticed her passage, and turned a vid camera on her in time to get a good look at Veras back as she made a valiant but ultimately futile effort to keep up with the horse.

Maedvh pulled the last merc combatant out of the line of fire, so that he could answer some questions. According to his information, the convoy below was a Coalition Empire ambassador heading incognito to the kingdom of Worth, and they were to destroy the whole convoy. Obviously the ambassador had brought much better equipped and trained guards than they had expected, because they were losing spectacularly.

After a short disagreement between Jake and Maedvh about the ethics of attacking the coalition convoy without provocation, the party decided to help the last two surviving mercenaries make it back to worth alive, and hope that the merc’s temporary boss might also have some connection to The Family.

The party made the rest of the journey in the mercenaries vehicles, except for maedvh, who made slightly better time on horseback. The Ogre Chu’ Gil met up with the party again outside the city limits with no explanation for where he had been that day, but noone really asked him for one either. They spent the night at an inn in town, although not the inn that the Merc dropped them off at. The next morning the inn that they had been expected to stay at had been attacked in the night.

Maedvh overheard rumors about the coalitions footage, and decides that it might be in the party’s best interests to split up for the remainder of their stay in town.

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Notes from the Black Mage

The look on Nick’s face told me everything I needed to know. She went with Jak’s crew. Spirited thing that one, out to change the world. If she makes it back, I imagine that proves she’s not lawful stupid.

Nick will probably be happier if I have someone look in on them. I think Shadow is in the area . . .

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Notes from the Black Mage

Everybody has their own personal issues to deal with. Jak will be much more focused on tasks at hand if I let him take care of this now. They’ve been around for a while, its just that they’re a little lower of a priority compared to impending massive Coalition assaults, high tensions with the Federation of Magic, and the inevitable invasion of the Naruni. I know this is personal for him, so best to get his emotions out of the way. Missions like this are a great way to test out possible new recruits anyway.

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Day 1: Adventure
an excerpt from Maedvh's journal

I’m not sure what to think of Jake. I think, he might grow on me, but his attitude doesn’t really mesh well with me. I wonder what sorts of other deals he’ll broker behind my back? Still, I can see where his intentions, if not good, could be used that way. If only he would temper his hand… Goody two shoes I may be, unrealistic I am not.

The monkey I like well enough, she’s a spunky little spitfire, which I can totally respect.

A new member joined us, named Vera. I haven’t asked her for specifics, but she’s looking for someone, or something, and to me it seemed safer to offer her our escort. She has no idea where she’s going anyways, and she’s apparently some variety of mage. Since we don’t have one of those, well I suppose in a limited sense Chu-gil is a mage, but he’s a wild card and I don’t know whether to trust him or not.

On the road again. I’m the only one with transportation besides my feet apparently.

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Day 2: Questioning the Vanquished

Jake Lebron and Maedvh Alexandra Freeholder questioned the captive Gary Richards about his involvement with The Family. Satisfied with his answers, Maedvh Alexandra Freeholder wandered off alone to track the badly wounded Duke Richards, to give him medical aid. Jake Lebron continued to question Gary Richards after her departure, and managed to enlist his aid in return for his life. Gary will put 10% of his earnings toward charities and good causes, at least 5% of which should be local to wherever he is working at the time. In addition he agreed to set aside an additional 5% to an investment in the business, to be reclaimed at some future time by Jake.

After this was done, Jake gave Gary 6,000 credits to rebuild his goon squad, restart his smuggling operations, and see to whatever surgeries Duke would need to recover from the loss of his hand.

Gary then took Duke in his arms, and ran with all bionic speed to the nearest hospital.

The party took the quickest route they could find back to Ravensville, traveling through the night. They put themselves up for the day in the inn, resting up for the next leg of the journey. In the afternoon, when they convened for a meal, they met up with a veiled female elf named Vera. Maedvh listened to her story, and invited her to join the party, as her personal search would drag her through many of the same areas the party expects to have to travel to.

The party also tracked down the local branch of the Black Mage Society, and reported their current progress back to Jak.

Richards also gave the party information on his one contact with The Family. He apparently does business with other people as well. His contact uses him occasionally to smuggle goods into and out of the small free kingdom of Worth, and the party collectively agreed that Worth should be the next destination on the journey.

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