Terrycloth (terrycloth) wrote,

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It's a trap!

Tonight we had a session of the Golden Compass themed Shadake game, in which the enemies used magic to lure the party into a trap.

The port town was a pretty boring place to spend the two or three days before the bears of Svalbard (which is not, in fact, in Greenland, oops!) were expected to return with confirmation that Iofur would see them. After getting fitted for fur coats, a few snowball fights, and the like, what was there to do in a town with ten people, all grumpy adults?

Eric decided to go flying around in the Intention Craft, for fun... unfortunately, this triggered a magic spell the enemy wizard had left for him. The spell planted in his head the method for opening a portal leading to the enemy's world, along with a strong suggestion that he should get his friends and attempt to infiltrate it secretly. Since this was a trap, it wouldn't be an actual secret, but he didn't know he was under a spell of course.

He managed to convince them that while the portal would generate a specter, Brother Wren would be able to handle it before anyone got killed -- everyone was huddled together in a couple buildings, so it'd be seen right away if it tried to go for anyone. So they piled into the ship, grappling the other damaged intention craft in its legs ('we can find spare parts there to fix it!'), and Eric focused his mind on the hangar he'd seen, trying to open a portal to *there*.

(Un?)fortunately, 'there' was thousands of miles away, and the portals opened doorways between worlds, not between cities. (Un?)fortunately, Svalbard was the spot where a very obvious landmark existed in the enemy's world -- it was the spot where Lord Asriel had opened his massive gate of doom, and the enemy's world was, in fact, the world containing the citadel he'd built to wage war against God. The 'kingdom of heaven', intended to bring the technologies and ideas of dozens of worlds together in one place, to build off each other and...

Well, the place was kind of in ruins, although it was still inhabited. By children. About half of them were human children, the others were various species (fae, giant slugs... furry motorcycles?) that may or may not also have been kids, hard to tell. There were a few intention craft flying around, along with airships and helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft and...

And Eric started firing, at the buildings. He'd expected to pop out in the hangar, where there might be immediate resistance. Strangely, no one really seemed to react, even though the beams took chunks out of the skyscrapers.

"Intention Craft 87, that's enough target practice for today, land in bay 6, we're sending you a vector." The little radar screen popped up with a line for them to follow.

Bay 6 was apparently a repair bay, with a couple intention craft partially disassembled -- being used for spare parts. One of them did, in fact, have a replacement windshield... Eric and Taegan went to scavenge it, with Jana standing guard. Caihong decided to stay in the fully-repaired intention craft as an interim pilot, standing guard.

The attack started with the silent imposition of an anti-intention field, intended to disable the intention craft by forcing the pilots to disconnect. Caihong concentrated and was able to keep control through the field, and flipped the thing over onto its belly to let it fire straight up, at the gigantic ship that had suddenly appeared hovering just over the bay.

His beam got a lucky hit, taking out one of four drop pods inserting gunmen (well, gun-boys) into the hangar. So there were only nine of them for the party to fight, along with four pixies (which Taegan and Eric spotted) and the ship itself, which had three intention-craft-style beam weapons as well as the anti-intention field.

The party was badly outnumbered and outgunned, so of course they immediately went on the offensive. Jana launched at one of the drop-clusters, getting in two vicious, area-effect attacks that killed one of the enemies and left the other two exhausted and running for cover where they could rest up. Caihong body-rushed another group of three, failing to smash them against the wall, but forcing them to dodge. Eric ran for the windowless intention craft, to help him out, but pilotless it was a sitting duck, and was destroyed by the enemy ship before he could get to it.

Taegan, for his part, tried to get one of the partially disassembled intention craft working, but it was too disassembled for that... and the pixies, worried that he might succeed, all went after him, thinking they were being all sneaky, although he was good enough to spot them. When they got close, he overloaded craft's lamps to blind them, essentially taking them out of the fight.

Eric tried to run for the control room to close the hangar door, pursued by the other three enemies. The control room turned out to be a useless trap, but it clustered those three up enough for Caihong, still resisting the anti-intention field, to blow them to smithereens. And the whole room. And ALMOST, but not quite, Eric.

Caihong also took out the enemies in his corner, by letting them grab onto the ship, then spinning it around like a top, smashing them into the walls. [he'd spent a bunch of stored potential on an impromptu 'pilot intention craft' skill -- part of the 'talented children of destiny' theme of this game lets the players spend saved potential and karma on new skills as needed] One of them did manage to keep his grip and plant a limpet mine on the ship, but he sliced off that whole section of the ship, dropping the mine on the enemy along with one of his ship's legs. Luckily, he didn't slice off any vital systems doing that.

So most of the enemies who'd dropped into the hangar were neutralized, and the ship overhead had no targets, since no one was under the hangar door in the ceiling (the hangar was built into the ground). At least, until Jana decided to grab Taegan and fly him over to Caihong's intention craft, taking the shortest route, right under the doorway -- she ate three readied attacks, far too well aimed for her to dodge, each of which was powerful enough to completely incinerate a human-sized creature.

[cue scratching record noise as Jana's player spends karma on a facet to make her sword skill into a MAGIC sword skill]

...except that she didn't try to dodge them -- she tried to *parry* them. They were a lot easier to parry than bullets -- she could see them, after all. Of course, no sword could withstand that sort of energy. Unless, say, it was bolstered by a piece of her soul, forged into it using the ancient methods of her tribe. The same energy that let it do extra damage against the people hapless enough to feel its bite let it block the beam weapons, and even reflect one of them back at the turret that fired it.

'Easier' still meant 'spent the rest of her fatigue to actually pull it off', though, so they still all retreated to the intention craft (Eric stumbled around in some fire for a bit, doh), and then Caihong (who was finally running out of magical fatigue to continue resisting the anti-intention field with) opened another portal to get them back home.

Back to the blizzard. Icy air swirled into the inner workings of the craft through the hole he'd sliced to get rid of the mine, gradually shutting down the systems until they were trapped under a huge pile of snow... not that they could have easily found their way back to the town in a blizzard, anyway.

At least all the snow kept any pursuers from finding them.

Eric, still under the suggestion, insisted that they should open another portal and go back and counterattack immediately. "If we captured that battleship, we could win the war right now!" Everyone was pretty much worn out, though, and by then it was getting a little obvious that something was up with him, so they kept him away from the controls while they waited for the weather to clear.

last session | next session

That attack was actually supposed to defeat the party -- it's hard to actually kill someone by accident in Shadake as it is now, so dealing enough damage to take them down would have led to them waking up in prison later. That was the plan anyway. But, well, it's not a disaster that they escaped, since they weren't *really* supposed to fall into the trap yet anyway.
Tags: shadake game summary
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