Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Flashpoint: The Potential for Murder

So I thought it was about time to shake things up again.  We began with the social activities that the characters would enjoy while the naga’s magic sleep became a regular one.  Proteus diced and taught Hayley how to cheat at dice.  He also declined an invitation to sleep with one of the girls who was obviously after a child.  Lunjun Siva slept with that girls younger sister.  Archer invited Kitrina (Kitzy) to a dinner in the captain’s cabin with Wellard serving and Lhye cooking for him.  They had a lovely meal and Kitrina was the perfect gentlewoman.

Later that night, Proteus and Lhye started scheming like a pair of crazy teenagers and desired to convince Archer that he had, indeed, slept with a woman.  They hoped to use magic to win their way through his door guard (a man more soldier than sailor) but when the Sleep spell failed, the guard (knowing that magic had been cast but having more sense than to openly confront them about it) knocked on Archer’s door to declare that he had guests.

Proteus pretended to be drunk.  Lhye pretended to do the same.  The door guard had seen them go from sober to drunk but, wisely, said nothing.  The chaotic duo tried to convince Archer to go on some crew bonding drinkage exercises, but Archer gently refused and had them escorted off their ship by Wellard.

Proteus and Lhye then stood on the Egree and schemed some more about Kitrina and how best to convince Archer that she was a threat.  After all, Kitrina was pretending to be a ladylike simply to get a hold on him.  Lavender Lil scolded them for being so mean to such a nice girl.  Lhye was confused.  Surely Lil knew what kind of girl Kitrina was?  Lil stated that she surely did know, but she liked the girl’s skill and attitude.  Kitrina knew how to get what she wanted without even having to sleep with anybody and that was something to admire.  She asked them to leave the girl alone.

That night strange dreams were had. 

Lunjun Siva dreamt of alchemical symbols in some kind of steel trap that poured out like steam against parchment.  Upon awaking, he realised it was a rudimentary concept for a device that would allow him to test invisible ink revealers without destroying the parchment.

Proteus dreamt that he walked along a dock with ships to the left rocked heavily by unfelt storm winds while black clouds churned overhead, split occasionally by lightning, while Westcrown-style buildings stood to his right.  He held in his right hand, the hand that contained the Kuthite saint’s bone, Lhye’s ivory-handled obsidian dagger.  He listened for a song and heard a keening in the taut sails snapping and the singing of the ropes.  Lightning flashed and he found himself in a clapboard building while insects buzzed.  Another flash and he was in a room in that same building, judging by the style, with the naga lying in the tub.  Another flash and he found himself awake in that same room, hand throbbing, with the urge to cut symbols in her flesh.

Proteus resisted and chose to cut himself.  The pain felt awful yet wholesome at the same time.  The heat swept up his arm to the shoulder.  So he closed his eyes and allow his hand to freely work markings upon his body, hoping the superficial wounds might explain something of what was happening to him.

In the early morning, the others awoke to a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning, though it was followed by no more signs of a storm.  Lunjun, Lhye, and Wellard could tell that the air felt wrong for a sudden storm.  The barometric pressure wasn’t right (though they wouldn’t have used such a term).  Dry storms would be rare upon the ocean.  Lunjun immediately began setting the day’s spells, sure that something bad was coming.

As they came out onto the deck, Lhye on the Egress, Wellard and Archer on the Exodus, those men who had gone up the rigging to check for signs of a storm fell asleep one by one and fell to the deck below.  Even Lunjun heard the thumps against the wood.  Luckily they weren’t badly harmed, as the looseness of an unconscious body has a habit of taking less damage than the stiffness of a conscious one.

Archer tasted iron though his gums were uninjured.  He pulled his gun, uncertain of where the threat would spring, but when he felt the urge to put the barrel to his own temple, he holstered it again.

Lunjun’s spellbook’s symbols began to appear charred into the bulkheads of his compartment.  Then the writing itself in the spellbook warped somewhat to use tighter symbols and sharper lines.  He felt compelled to turn to the last two pages, which were warm, and found them turned into a scroll that contained a divine spell that could be cast by witches, oracles and clerics.  A spell that could imbue a ship with unholy sentience.  One requiring the self-sacrifice of a captain and the mutilation of a ship’s crew.

Kitrina, Alyssa and Lavender Lil both came out on deck.  Neither had dreamt anything strange but they had both been woken by the sounds.  The slumbering crewmembers began to mutter quietly in a language difficult to comprehend though Lhye recognised that it could trace its heritage to Sylvan (as he knew Elven which is a descendant from it) and Infernal, linked with something else he thought might be Celestial.  The language was something both beautiful and terrible.

Alyssa, the good tiefling, bent low to listen and recounted it: “Come to me, my child.  Come to me, my son.”  Then a word that Alyssa couldn’t quite make out but which Lhye managed to understand.

It was his own name.  Lhye.

Then the crewmembers took up a haunting refrain in the same accent.  “Sleep, priestess, lie in peace....”

Proteus finished his markings and swam back to the ship.  As he came up over the gunwale, the others were quite unnerved by the carvings on his flesh.  Only Hayley remained her cheerful self and offered to copy down the images.  Lhye and Lunjun both could tell the astronomical significance of those carvings though it was Lhye who truly knew the details.

The symbols represented a constellation much spoken about in occult circles that was thought to be at the edge of the universe (or, rather, the galaxy, but it might well be the same thing for Golarion-people).  It represents star clusters that are at the most outer edges, almost within the black itself, and some say it is where Dou-bral himself ventured before he was afflicted.  One star, known to be the furthest, was perched over Proteus’ heart – recognisable by the pattern of stars that surround it.  Surrounding these various constellations that pointed the way was the word ‘Home’ that repeated itself in a dozen different languages across Proteus’ chest.

Once the carvings had been transcribed by Hayley, Lhye healed Proteus with a hex and they discussed the situation at length.  Lunjun came up on deck and revealed the scroll.  There were concerns that Alyssa’s orphan inquisitor might have been part of such a ritual.  Perhaps there was an evil living ship amongst the Andoren fleet?

All the more reason to find Alyssa’s orphan boy.

There was more that session but it was of such a different theme, and this post is so long already, that I’ll post the rest of it later.  Probably on Thursday.

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