On the other hand, dealing with random clowning around is more fun than sitting around doing nothing, which tends to happen when I don't prepare properly. And Lazar and I sometimes get kind of the same way, when we're playing sufficiently silly characters.
Tiki, a 'half-gnome' druid and alchemist whose starting equipment consisted of a pouch full of firecrackers and a slingshot, is sufficiently silly.
The morning was chaotic -- before Lord Wright awoke, the ship lurched, and alarms started going off from the speaking tubes in his suite. Eric picked up one of the tubes, only to be deluged with damage reports -- something had gone wrong in the engine room, and now the number 5 gas bag was on fire...
So Caihong woke up Lord Wright, who started shouting instructions, and then headed for the bridge to more easily coordinate the damage-control effort. The kids followed him out of the suite, blowing past the guards who'd been essentially keeping them prisoner by pretending that he was escorting them. They'd planned to follow him to the restricted area, or at least Eric had, but the passageways were narrow and twisty so they were effectively following each other, and Lissar, in the lead, decided to go right to the cargo bay instead.
The cargo bay was also in chaos -- some men were trying to close a huge blast door between the cargo bay and the hangar, crates and containers were sliding across the room as the ship continued to tilt, the bear was standing on top of his cage looking frightened, and a bunch of men in the back were trying to smother a fire by throwing anything that looked nonflammable on top of it, since their water hoses weren't working. When they started throwing bags of flour, Taegan told everyone to run... so most of the kids were well away from the exlosion.
Still, the fire was out of control, so they wanted to get through the blast doors. They basically assaulted the men who were working the wheels (Jana feinted at one with her blade to get him to retreat, Caihong stared beating on the other with his stick, then the bear and Lissar tackled him) and opened the door enough to squeeze under, into the hangar bay.
The hangar bay was not in chaos -- people were closing the outer doors, though, so if they didn't get in a boat fast they'd have trouble escaping. "They're planning to land the blimp, aren't they," Taegan offered, and the men there confirmed it -- they were badly damaged, and had to vent all the hydrogen before it caught fire inside the ship.
"We need to get out of here first, can't you hold the doors open long enough for us to take one of these little dirigibles?" Lissar asked sweetly, adding in a charm spell. The spell didn't take effect, though, and the man she'd tried to enchant noticed it and panicked.
"Oh my god, a witch! We're under attack by witches! To arms!" So the kids piled into one of the little blimps and escaped under fire -- while Jana, who had her own wings and didn't need to be in the blimp, covered them by pretending to counterattack. Taegan knew the principles behind the blimps from his earlier time on one, and was able to figure out the controls well enough to get through the doorway with only a few scrapes.
Behind them, they saw the Phoenix sink beneath the waves... "I guess it's a submarine too," Taegan said.
David: "I want to play a spectre!"
Me: "... the party's mission is to hunt specters. And you can't even see each other if you play a specter."
David: "Oh, come on, it'll be cool."
Me: "Okay, you're a specter. You're in the engine room, things are blowing up..."
In the engine room of the grand phoenix, the specter who'd started the whole mess by disenchanting the binding spell holding one of the bound lightning spirits in place watched curiously as a bunch of men in gaudy, overdone priest costumes started exorcism rituals to banish the now-freed spirit. Upon seeing him, they turned their attention to the unexpected threat, but their rituals did nothing as he closed in on one and devoured him...
...but the rest were gone by the time he finished, and the room sealed off from most egress and flooding with water. The specter escaped through the breach, only to see more potential food (sentient adults) swimming around the grand phoenix in the water -- seals! He started hunting the seals, as the ship slowly sailed away...
Lazar: "You can't actually play a specter, they're mindless evil things that just eat people."
David: "Okay, okay, can I play a talking parrot?"
Me: "Um... actually, yeah, that would work. Sure. There are other talking animals in the world even besides the daemons. You'd be a *monster*, of course, but..."
David: "Oh no, I know that look! You've got something evil planned if I play a parrot, don't you. I'm not falling for that."
They had a compass, but they didn't really know where they were, so they decided to head east and hope that that brought them back to Scotland. Lord Wright *had* said that they hadn't moved far from there, and they'd just been circling over the ocean.
They spotted a suspiciously familiar lighthouse on the shore, so Jana flew over to try to scout it out and see if it was the *same* lighthouse. She spotted the castle, so it seemed likely that it was, but the village was gone, replaced by an encampment of giant spider robot things. As soon as she saw *that*, she turned right around and flew back -- they knew they didn't want to land there, that was for sure.
So they headed south along the coast, hoping to find a large enough city that they could get in contact with the church. The big Scottish cities were all inland or on the east coast -- according to the map they found -- so there were mountains in the way that they weren't sure their little overloaded airship would be able to cross.
But all the villages they found on the coast of the island (according to the map, they were on an island chain off the coast of Scotland, and not on the mainland per-se) were too small to satisfy them, so they ended up spending all day flying, until they went right off the southern tip of the island, and had to cross some open ocean to get to Scotland proper.
Which is where they found Tiki, waving them down while clinging to the remains of a small rowboat. They decided to pick him up, even though they were worried he was a seal or something, but they were suspicious. The bear was able to tell that he wasn't a seal (by asking him if he was, and noting that he wasn't lying when he denied it), but Taegan could tell that his chakra was 'wrong', sort of like the suspicious people on the boat, although not in the same way.
"Where do you want us to drop you off?" Eric asked.
"I don't have anywhere to go," Tiki replied, "My family's dead." He told a short version of his story -- his mother had died in childbirth, so he'd lived with his father in the woods for years, but suddenly an army of weasels had attacked them and killed everyone ("in the world!"). He'd grabbed what he could and run, but his boat had gotten all smashed, and he hadn't thought to have his daemon turn into a dolphin or something.
"He's also really heavy, for his size," Jana noted. Tiki was about 2-3 feet tall, but weighed 75 lbs.
After an argument/fight between Tiki and Lissar (because Lissar's daemon turned into a ferret to taunt him), and some random discharge of fireworks, Tiki offered to share some food he'd brought with him with the other kids, who were *starving* -- they'd skipped breakfast, and then been on the run all day.
By the time they finally reached the mainland, it was getting dark, so they decided to hide the airship in a wooded valley and go into town to get supplies (the airship had been basically empty).
Bear: "Is this a raid?"
Eric: "We have money, we'll just buy some food. We need to hide the airship or they'll take it away, though -- we're kids so they'll assume we stole it."
Jana: "I'll stay behind then and guard it."
Bear: "Me too. I'd probably just attract attention."
Tiki used subtle druid magic to light their way through the woods, which were full of scary noises but no obvious threats. They crested the hill, and saw a sort of army encampment just outside of the town, guarded by sentries in English redcoat uniforms. Tiki decided to sneak down to scout on them and was fairly stealthy, but one of the sentries heard something and asked, "Who goes there?"
So Tiki reached for a cherry bomb...
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