Episode 5: Party Crashers
Once again we open to the crew around the table in the lounge aboard The Carl. Winston explains how he has sifted through the massive amount of data the crew liberated from the Cortex relay station. Using dates and information supplied by Celeste he has narrowed down communications traffic and file transfers to and from Townsend’s office and home.
Unfortunately it is all encrypted with protocols even more advanced than those Winston worked with in the Navy. The decryption algorithms are stored in physical key devices. Based on the destinations for Townshend’s communiques he’s narrowed down a list of facilities and people that must have the keys that the crew need to make sure Townshend can never hurt Celeste or Zenith again.
One of the few potential key holders that isn’t deep in a military facility is Lukas Thatcher. He operates a Security Consultation firm that provides personal guards and anti-intrusion technology for the Prime Minister’s home and interests that are outside of his official government activities.
Bobbi immediately latches on to the idea of catering Rhonda Thatchers upcoming birthday bonanza. Rhonda is a famous socialite and unlike her secretive and reserved husband she loves entertaining at their mansion.
Dr Yuan-Qi takes Joleen to meet his mother, rightly assuming his well connected family can get them much coveted invitations to Rhonda’s birthday party. The Dowager Yuan-Qi’s only concern is the family name. Provided the doctor is on his best behavior and doesn’t plan to stay on Londinium long she is happy to help. She will even contribute additional resources to his research. She knows this is an excellent motivator her son and often provides large financial returns for the Yuan-Qi family. Upon obtaining the invitations the two crew members begin a classic shopping montage while acquiring appropriate party clothing.
The rest of the crew will be disguised as caterers. They aquire two large vans, filling one with small but powerful speeder bikes for the inevitable get away.
Episode 4: The Ark of the Cortex
Young Zenith and her mother Celest have a big problem and they need help. Fortunately for them, the majority of our crew have soft spots for children in trouble. As well as an assortment of very useful skills and experience.
Celest reveals that the mysterious father is none other than the Right Honorable Crispin Townshend. He is a long time member of the Parliment and rumored to be the power behind the current Prime Minster as well as some previous PMs. He is the linchpin for the current majority political alliance and the architect of many major government policies going back decades.
The players in my latest game all work at an excellent local tea house. It is a fantastic place for weaning yourself off sugary soft drinks, great conversation, and preparing to run RPG sessions.
There are many traditional teas there with interesting names and they struck on the idea of naming and/or theming their characters after some of them.
Osmanthus, Tiefling Warlock. Osmanthus is one of several teas made with flowers from the Osmanthus fragrans plant. Curled horns that blend in to curly hair, curvy and of somewhat ambiguous gender. Claims to have a restaurant back in the city.
Dragonwell, Dragonborn Druid. The literal translation of Longjing, a pan-roasted green tea. Small for a dragonborn, anxious and obsessively brushes her teeth.
Igom Ternin, Human Paladin. Named by way of acronym for Iron Goddess of Mercy, an oolong tea which is named for the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Rustic and earnest, carries a big axe.
Cha’ti, Apeling Monk. Inspired by Golden Monkey, a black tea, as well as the legendary figure Sun Wukong. Metallic golden fur, except for his perfectly white tail. Tiny but fast as lightning.
After meeting the heroes of our nascent story during the character creation session, I decided to set the campaign in The Forgotten Realms. There are analogs for many medieval Asian cultures in the land of Kara-Tur. It is the far east of the same super-continent that Faerun is on. Between the two there is a fantasy Silk Road called The Golden Way. Adding Faerun’s tea trade as a feature of the story seemed like an organic way of reinforcing the tea house theme. We are using the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition rules.
Episode 3: Shot in the Dark
In the small and dusty town of Groundhaul our crew members saunter through a pair of saloon doors. Immediately upon entering the drinking establishment three drunken locals, clearly miners by the dirt on their rugged clothes, pick a fight. They loudly complain about too many claim jumping outsiders around of late.
Episode 2: Pie-th-on
We open with The Carl hurtling towards the edge of Persephone’s gravity well so that it might begin a full burn towards its next destination. The crew, sans the Engineer and his wife, sit around the large table in the lounge, at the aft end of the ship. M is attempting to keep the details regarding the child in the crate quiet. However Dr Yuan-Qi has very strong feelings about protecting children from harm and demands answers. The private eye finally reveals that he is reuniting Zenith with her mother and knowing any more would put them all at great risk. Zenith’s reaction to M seemed to corroborate this, she was happy to see M and is currently resting in his cabin.
I have a backlog of Warhammer 40k posts to compose and post. For now how about a summary of a session of the Firefly RPG? This marks my return to running RPGs after three or four years off. The total player count is eight but only six were able to attend this first session, which was somewhat of a relief! I hope to post a follow up to this soon, with some relevant details of the crew members.
Episode 1: Where the F— is Valentine?
The episode opens late afternoon at the Eavesdown Docks on Persephone. The crew has just landed, eager to take care of their planet-side business.
M and Bobbi head to a local ship outfitters, Redworth Provisioners. They interact with the proprietor, one Hugh Bowery, and with Doctor Yuan-Qi’s generous accounts they have no problem securing their supplies.
Valentine heads off to attend to his own business. Including a nice (relatively) meal, a bath, and a shave and trim for his mandarin style goatee.
Grace retires to her quarters after successfully landing the ship, to entertain herself. With the ship on the ground and the engines shut off Graden takes the opportunity to tackle various inspection and maintenance tasks.
Joleen escorts the Doctor to obtain various biomedical supplies, to make sure the wealthy Core Worlder avoids trouble of the local variety.
As night begins to fall word has spread that there is a rich ship in the local berths. The local gang moves to collect their due.
Weeks of planetary bombardment have broken the crust of the planet. Relics of an ancient kingdom rise, emanating immense power, as the land sinks. The sleeping guardians awake to defend what is eternally theirs.
The Heldrake has a special place in my heart. I’m not exactly sure why but ever since I saw that first artwork and conceived to implement it on the tabletop I’ve been in to this foul hell beast. Now that my army has been trending Nurgle and Death Guard I plan to build a set of three kit bashed drakes. I’ll primarily be using two Heldrake kits and one Terrorgheist. The Terrorgheist has also been on my list for a long time, since I saw it in a White Dwarf years ago.
So much more sculpting to do. Next will be that fleshy mass on the upper spine. The tail will be a mass of cables impaling some unfortunate enemy.
You can check out my google photos gallery for more pictures. I’ll be adding future progress pics there as well.
I’d been working on this on and off for roughly three years. Nearly every step of the project was something I’d never attempted before. Casting, sculpting, weathering. The hardest to overcome was the procrastination, but here it is. Finally!