So anyway, onto the last session.
Firstly, they watched the performance which was broken into three Acts with an intermission between each one. They were:
- Act 1: A single performer who was visibly playing a violin while controlling a series of magical instruments made of force magic in a display of complex orchestra-work while a number of pretty (and vague) illusions and lights portrayed a rather abstract mood piece around him. He was followed by a real orchestra who had a Vulpinal (a type of Celestial) as a flautist that was quite breathtaking.
- Act 2: Basically, those space domes that you enter where there are illusions and images of space across the ceiling - only BETTER! An audience who has never seen a television, many of whom have only seen stylised paintings of suns, got to watch an illusion of the sun rumble by their feet, comets shoot overhead, and illusions of asteroids pass as they zipped through an asteroid belt. It all seemed to match what little they knew of space. They also got to see a CR 20 angel flying through space, all abstract wings and gargantuan form of colour, whose role it was to chart out flight paths for angelic battalions and to boldly go into dangerous areas of space. If it were struck by a terrible monster, it could likely survive the hit and then leave to re-forge the flight path elsewhere and avoid that area (or perhaps draw more of its kind to that place, depending). Lhye managed to make the Knowledge Planes roll.
- Act 3: A play wherein actors (each with +6 Charisma enhancement tiaras) performed the roles of Calistria, Shelyn, Desna, Cayden Cailean and a lawful evil fellow that is never named and has no specific symbols of Asmodeus (due to the Chelish patrons present) but who most certainly is. The tale shows the three goddesses daring each other to use Cayden Cailean and trick him into naievely foiling the evil god's plots. After all, the evil god could likely read them and find a way around their techniques and tactics but how could he read someone who didn't even know what was going on? While the tale casts Shelyn in the best light, the actor of Cayden Cailean portrays some subtleties to his actions that suggests that Cayden may be the willing ruse who was aware of the purpose all along.
Once the act was over, they were all present at the After Party wherein Lhye asked the vulpinal a few questions, befriending him, and requesting information on Dou-Bral (which the vulpinal promised to drop off again later) and wherein the vulpinal implied that Lhye might be easier to find in future. Lhye's player has already decided to get an Agathion familiar so it was fun slipping in that implication. Lavender Lil simply flirted with some of the other guests.
Archer walked around, eating canapes, and being snarky at the various other player characters while Lunjun Siva starts networking and trying to find connections with rich patrons around the room.
Proteus asked the other actors about the meaning of the silent and shadow-blurred man. No other actor saw him although the actress who had played Shelyn (a Riddleport woman with a cheap accent off-stage) had been having nightmares about the figure. She never really disclosed what those nightmares were about though there were implications that she had dreamt about him on the stage at times. Proteus seduces and sleeps with her.
In the back corridor, Lhye overhears Alyssa, from the Apiary, speaking to an important Shelyn cleric. Alyssa implores the cleric to help her friend, a fourteen-year-old midshipman and Shelyn inquisitor who had recently been off to sea. She had raised the boy, a Tiefling, from a baby after smuggling out several babies from the towns by the War Wound where they are normally slain at birth but where desperate parents are willing to find some alternate way. The boy is alleged to have murdered the crew of a brig quite brutally, spreading their parts around, and nailing survivors to the bulkheads before casting it back toward Augustana and taking passage himself upon a pirate's vessel.
Alyssa assures them that the Tiefling didn't have some simple crisis where he suddenly turned so evil. He was good enough to become a Shelyn Inquisitor at such a young age, after all, and there was nothing in his personality to suggest that the evil in his blood was so strong. Augustana, however, have a price on his head. The temple of Shelyn have no resources to offer in bringing him in alive.
Alyssa, frustrated, accuses the cleric of abandoning one of their own to a terrible fate (she assumes that he's been possessed or perhaps replaced by an evil demon) and rushes out onto the dock to put her head in her hands and try not to weep. Lhye and Archer follow.
Lhye, disguised as a merchant, offers to assist her.
"Are you an adventurer?" she asks wearily. "I can't afford the services of adventurers of a skill able to bring him in alive. I have 1000 gold pieces."
"I don't want gold," said Lhye. "I want access to the Apiary."
She looked at him warily. "Are you some kind of scientist or academic?"
"No," said Lhye.
"I would pay that price even if you were," said Alyssa. "Very well then."
Lhye drops the Disguise Self and stands there in his full appearance and Alyssa just gives him a noncomprehending look. "Who are you? Am I supposed to know you?"
Lhye's shocked and confused. Has their past been re-written beyond those two years? It's only once they get aboard the ship that they realise that she was simply trying to protect his cover (and Archer's). Archer offers the ships services as they are going to the Shackles anyway.
Proteus is confused as to why they're now helping Alyssa but is happy enough to have her on his ship (as Archer doubts he has enough room or whether Alyssa and Kitzy would get along sharing his own cabin). Proteus does assume that Lhye wants to sleep with Alyssa, though, but Lhye at this stage has little interest or expectation in that regard.
Kitzy / Kitrina is slightly annoyed that they'll go to the Shackles to assist Alyssa but not herself, though she is reassured rather gruffly by Archer that it's because they now have the reputation they need in order to be successful.
The following morning, Proteus and Lhye both gain membership at the Siren's Academy. Lhye is also offered a number of spells from a Shelyn worshipping witch / stage hand who wants to provide assistance to Alyssa's cause. If, after all, the Tiefling inquisitor really has been replaced / possessed, he needs to be saved (if possible) and his name cleared.
So there you have it. The next session will have them heading into the Shackles (more than likely).