Having learned the secret of the Caves of Steel, the PC realize it’s time to leave. They gather up Marcus, who doesn’t want to leave, and make their way back to the entrance to the Caves. While discussing the implications of their discovery, the PCs return to Captain Jiranee’s estate. However, the journey is interrupted by the appearance of the large contingent of the King’s/City Guard who are busy smashing in the doors of homes and hauling out the residents. Jiranee states the Guard are gathering up political undesirables, as well as those in debt, or those sold to Virava to pay for a debt. Wagons with cages on the back are seen, some containing dejected former subjects of Virava—now fated to be sold as slaves down on the Plains.
Upon return to Jiranee’s estate, discussion is had about the events the PCs have seen and about the state of Virava. The one question the PCs have concerns King Pallathu—is he the one behind all of this, is he being manipulated by a power behind the throne, or is it some combination of effects? Captain Jiranee has stated he listens to his advisors, who she thinks are sycophants who only tell him what he wants to hear. The PCs wonder if someone is manipulating the King for their own benefit, meaning the King, while weak and a bad decision-maker isn’t totally guilty for the events occurring.
After they retire, and awake the next day, one of the estate’s men-at-arms fetches Marcus (seeing as he’s the only person awake.) Basanta takes Marcus to the front gate and shows him the sleeping form of Jonathan Roberts, who’s curled up in the dirt. Jonathan smells of alcohol, has little to no money left from the amount Jiranee gave him, and is in desperate need of a bath and fresh clothing.
Later, after Jonathan recovers, he tells his story. He set out to explore the city and ended up in a tavern. There he bought drinks for people, gambled, flirted, and ended up telling fortunes with a deck of cards (which he now has in his possession.) He mentions seeing Fox People, Horned People (the same as Calvin,) and also talks about “Furred People,” who seem to be humans (or humanoids) with a layer of fur all over their bodies.
The PCs, wondering if Jonathan has now come into his powers, much like they have, ask him to tell the fortune of Virava. He lays out a set of nine cards and then announces:
“Strength, courage, and action will over come a bad influence on others. There is negligence, too little experience, and an unsatisfactory performance to be found here. However, the end result will be a benefit to all and a sense of perfection.”
The PCs decide this must relate to the King and their plans. Much talk is had about what to do, with Donovan speaking with Captain Jiranee, while Cyan makes sure to visit with the rest of her comrades and talk to them (all except Calvin, who once again is in his room with Parvin and Taban [apparently playing Twister!].)
The next morning, the PCs put their plan into action.
While Marcus, Vilgerthr, and Billy-Jo remain at Jiranee’s estate (as back up), Calvin, Edward, and Jonathan venture forth to find the tavern Jonathan had visited. Their aim is to locate elements of the Virava “underground,” called (per Jonathan), the Yellow Candle Society. Meanwhile, Cyan and Donovan, in the guise of Lady Cobol and Lord Fortran, will go with Captain Jiranee for an audience King Pallathu, as she must debrief him on her latest campaign.
Marcus decides the Stormgator armor is some sort of extruded bio-plastic. It’s DEF 12 and very durable. However, he can cut and shape it somewhat, using some tools and elbow grease. He can cut it down to fit someone, he can’t splice parts together to fit someone taller or larger than the Stormgators (making armor for Jiranee is tough.)
The sky raft is roughly twice as big as the ones you saw in Fyrkat. It has the same basic design, which is an open lower deck and then a second, pilot’s deck, above.
The pilot and each of the gunners had a pistol-sized CREW (Coherent Radiation Electron Weapon or CREW/P.) Two of the Stormgators had full-sized CREW rifles. The rapid-fire energy weapons are apparently ion guns, or CRIW (Coherent Radiation Ion Weapon.) The weapon that blew the gates apart fired a ball of ionized gas contained in a magnetic envelope. In other words, an Ionized Matter Plasma Weapon (or IMPW.) I have stats for all of this and can send them out. Note—the IMPW’s huge blast radius has been cut back. It now loses 1d6 per meter/hex instead of 1d6 per 2 meters/hexes. There is another Electro-Axe, and all six ground troopers were carrying 1-handed 1d6+1 HKA Fighting Blades (a.k.a. broadswords.) There is also rations, tools, and communications gear in the sky raft and on each of the troopers.
You’ve met the following people:
As mentioned before, Fox People appear much like Hunting People, just with thick bushy tails and larger ears.
Horned People look like normal Earth humans with regards to skin tones, but have sharply-pointed horns projecting backwards from the skull. They also have some rather unusual hair colors.
Furred People apparently come from the Plains, and appear as normal humans, but with a fine pelt of fur over their bodies. Jonathan described them as extremely attractive.
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