Terrycloth (terrycloth) wrote,

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Plan B

Had a session of my Shadake game last night. I'm running into a problem where, if the party is alone, they instantly run away from everything, but if they have people they might theoretically want to protect, combat is too fucking slow. Also, no one else even tries to figure out the magic system, so whenever anyone casts a spell I have to calculate the difficulty myself.


The boating trip didn't get very far before running into disaster, in the form of an unspecified number [4] of advanced squirrels, who hid in the trees to either side of the stream and bombarded the party with random dangerous objects. The first couple were fairly innocuous -- a matress, a fridge, the kitchen sink -- but then they started getting things like poisoned hypodermics and grenades.

The carnival and the party tried to fight back, firing randomly into the trees with machinegun-laser-thingies and magic spells while Zedd tried to bounce dangerous things back at the squirrels. Mostly, this ended up lighting the forest to either side on fire, while enough high explosives got through to seriously hurt everyone. When people started falling, Zedd evacced back to the Emerald City again... although he didn't manage to get the otter piloting the boat, or the big half-ton box of gate-repair equipment.

Unfortunately, he didn't give anyone any advance warning, and the two carnival guards were still hosing down the forest to either side with fully automatic fire when he teleported them into the middle of the crowded city square. One of them reacted in time to avoid shooting them, the other didn't -- and got jumped by the city guards, leading to a shouting match, while the injured screamed for help...

The party ignored all that and headed inside to get their wounds tended to. Two out of three of them had the regenerative armor on and didn't really need treatment, but Zedd was badly hurt and had to get a healing snake-bite. Eventually, they decided to go talk to the priestesses about the attack, and to propose a different approach to locating the gate.

The priestess they'd spoken to twice before was happy to speak to them even without an appointment, and agreed that the three of them sneaking past the suddenly aggressive animals might be a better plan, now that they knew there really were aggressive animals and that bringing carnival troops along wouldn't deter them (the previous attacks having been attributed to the carnival, it had seemed like a good bet). Once they found the gate, they'd mark the location somehow and, if the carnival and the city weren't at war by then, someone could be teleported over to fix it.

They'd wanted to plant a beacon at the gate, but the Hunter guild rep told them that they couldn't do that -- instead, he'd send someone who knew the reclamation zone well enough to be able to teleport back to the gate once he knew where it was. So, off they snuck.

They actually were fairly stealthy. The forest was full of crows searching for any motion, at which point they'd caw and killer squirrels would close in to throw things. They couldn't avoid being seen every single time, but Zedd was usually able to teleport away the birds or the party before they actually got attacked. They passed the burned area where the boat had been sunk, and returned the sunken box of gate-repair equipment to the city, then continued on to the campsite.

From there, Den put himself into a meditative trance to remember the forest as it was when they'd first come there, blue ribbons and all. Using that, they were eventually able to locate the gate -- while Zed teleported away nosy birds that had no trouble seeing the not-at-all-stealthy Den (since it was hard to sneak and meditate at the same time).

The gate was as they'd left it -- completely unsuited to being moved without work. Den had some knowledge of gate repair, and thought that while they *could* just teleport it back and fix it in the city, it'd be better to prepare it for transport. Which would require the gate-repair parts and a real technician. The technicians hadn't had any skill at dodging or any armor, and had been hardest hit by the squirrel attack -- both were in the hospital, probably for a long time.

The Hunter with them teleported around a bit to triangulate the exact location from the nearby landmarks, then headed back to the city to report. The party decided to explore the immediate area first -- if there was a gate hidden here, maybe there were other interesting things...

Most of the buildings were full of abandoned, empty classrooms, but one had a lab with unpowered but functional microscopes -- and the obelisks they'd taken from Spokane had power again, now that Spokane had had time to re-charge its grid. One also had a creepy, pulsating sample with what looked like humanoid DNA... but was it 200 years old, like the reclamation zone was supposed to be? They teleported it back to the beacon in the city, at any rate.

They also, a bit later, found a library -- an empty library, all the shelves bare. But it had a locked room in the basement, which they were able to teleport into. Bella made herself glow, and they looked at... the racks and racks of CD-like data storage, arranged by serial number. This looked like something that might actually be useful if they ever got back to Spokane -- the computers there, Den recalled, seemed to still use a similar technology to store data. So instead of dumping it in the middle of the city square, Zedd played around with his powers and managed to shove them in an extradimensional space, kind of like the squirrels mostly likely used to store the things they stole. But hopefully not the *same* space.

Upon returning to the city, they discovered that the previously busy square with the beacon was scarred and abandoned -- and that the buzz in the city was about a possible war between them and the carnival. Tensions were high after the attack, especially after the soldier firing into the crowd (later, they'd called for 'air support' and a hurricane had messed things up more), and the city's responding to the carnival demanding their peoples' release by returning then as a bloody, battered mess, instead of mentioning that they really needed to be healed before being moved (one of the technicians had actually died because of that).

But it was evening, and they'd accomplished their goals for the day. They headed to their hotel room, where they met Alex, who'd spent the day gathering information about the city and its relationship to the animals -- basically, the city performed a lot of services for various animals, with most guilds having some connection to the animals in Kantrigar's territory at least. Said territory actually encompassing most of the villages Spokane claimed dominion over, unbeknownst to their inhabitants.

It was obvious to them that the animals infesting the reclamation zone and attacking everyone were working for Kantrigar -- so they decided to go out into the forest and summon Kantrigar to negotiate with him. It was a fairly insane idea, but Kantrigar hadn't been immediately homicidal towards them even when they'd penetrated the no-humans-allowed section of his territory, and they were getting good at running away...

last session | next session

Snowwy mentioned that he might be rejoining the game in about three weeks. Which is good, since the group's so small and has such trouble getting and keeping people.
Tags: shadake game summary
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