Motes in the Serpent's Eye

Shakedown Cruise (Part Two)
Limiting Factors


Wherein our intrepid adventurers begin to realize just how many crocodiles there are in the tub…

Ship’s Log; RES Speaks Softly, 5041.106:0756 I.E. Flight Officer Yevon Si recording.
We are currently still in the Casenore system, outbound from Andrin Station, 1.2 AUs out from Aelding. Our current heading is 182.3 mark 340 @ 1/4 impulse. Captain Ni Shen has us in a low use outbound traffic lane while final system checks and calibrations are completed. Nearest sensor contact is four light minutes aft, an OX30 freighter. Engineering reports that they have successfully compensated for the new environmental …challenges of the Biology Lab and have installed filters and an ‘air wall’ to deal with airborne contaminants. First shift should be coming on duty in a few minutes. End entry.

Characters Attending:
Bishop-1, Dr. Eon Rose, Ditak Kirrin, Dr. Nodagil Maaran, Ereyie Wel, Lord AcRei Burü C’Ge “Pei’Fa”, Lord Rwvyan Nenoic, Lord Serpentce Z’Entropyse Augenmanthias, Lady Kotonaru, and RC-880 “Durendal”.

Session Summary:
After spending two days taking a leisurely heading away from Andrin Station and Aelding, the crew of the RES Speaks Softly is now confident in the upgrades and alterations made to the ship. Before they can starcast out of the Casenore system however, they are overtaken by a high speed personnel shuttle under hard acceleration. This proves to be the enigmatic and up until now noticeably absent ‘Political Officer’. The crew picks up Ditak Kirrin, Commander, ISPD, a drow with a chip on his shoulder and grudgingly settles the new officer on board. The integration of the science team and new crew members continues with a few bumps, while the Captain and Dr. Rose work on ironing out the cooperative kinks between the two teams. With starcaster and sensor calibration completed, the Speaks Softly makes the first jump of its new mission, beginning a series of three relatively short teleports heading towards their first destination, Aranal in the Gulinar system, ancient home of the pre-imperial Forongorn Confederation, 138 light years from Casenore. However, the starcaster teleport experiences a catastrophic mishap and the Speaks Softly emerges from jump within a star’s corona! Only the skill of the crew and a certain amount of luck manage to save the ship from being reduced to a smoldering ember of molten debris. Second Engineer Scrapnik Fritzwhindle was severely injured when Chief Bishop-1 was forced to flood the starboard engineering compartment with reactor coolant in an effort to prevent an explosion of the hydrogen fuel cell, but Lady Kotonaru was able to rescue him in time for clerical resuscitation to be effective. Once the ship is a relatively safe distance from the stellar primary and is no longer in immediate peril, the crew begins to assess the damage and attempt to determine their location. Working with the engineering staff, Lord Serpentce discovers a software virus planted within the Starcaster AstroNav, meant to scramble any teleport coordinates. Navigator Telliar Killaen, visibly shaken by the teleport mishap, frantically struggles to identify the region of space they now find themselves in while the rest of the crew begins to compile a damage report and take stock of their surroundings.

Shakedown Cruise (Part One)
Unnatural Selection


Wherein our rather unusual group of heroes congregate for the first time.

…Casenore Star System
…Aelding, the Throneworld of House Sarava
…Mount Rimidil Skyhook Station
…5041.104 (local equivalent of Friday)

Excerpt from Andrin Station Shipyard records:
“… Refit of R.E.S. Speaks Softy complete. Shipyard personnel are finishing final checks and disembarking. Captain Ni Shen Xau assumed command at 06:30 hrs. Crew loading expected to be completed by 13:00 hrs with Speaks Softly clearing dock by 18:30 hrs. Moorings clean-up and maintenance scheduled to follow…<rem> Glad this one’s off the docket, Jim, now let’s get it the hell out of here and grab some ale! <rem>"

You arrive on the throneworld of House Sarava via the Long Road, most of you traveling on public transports from other throneworlds. The skyscape of changes abruptly, giving way to the brilliant night sky of Aelding as the vehicle passes through one of the Road’s portals, and the dark silhouettes of tall mountains, brightly lit eyries at their peaks, replace your view out the window. You leave the transport at the next stop and catch a public rail to Mount Rimidil Skyhook Station, on the equator. Mt. Rimidil is the highest peak at that latitude, reaching upwards to the bright moving lights in the dark field above. From its summit, a thin thread of gleaming black shoots straight into the sky, hundreds of tiny lights crawling up and down its length until it pierces the shining oval of the cloud city of Vespar, miles above. As the train climbs up the mountain the far off aircraft and gleaming silver hides that surround the city like a cloud of sparkling midges flash pink and red as they catch the first rays of a sunrise that is still hours away for the ground-bound in the valleys below. The dark thread continues on, rising from the top of the suspended metropolis, still crawling with tiny lights, up and up into the lightening blackness above, where it finally disappears into a tiny bright point from which a glittering filigree extends in all directions, as if to mark your destination – Andrin Station. As the train nears the summit of the mountain, the sprawling ground station of the Skyhook grows, as does the black ‘thread’ rising to infinity, finally revealing itself as a huge, one-hundred foot thick cable of bundled nano-carbon fiber, every single inch covered with gleaming, faintly luminescent runic etchings. The tiny crawling lights now resolve into massive, thirty-ton elevators, screaming up and down the length of the impossibly massive column, rocketing upwards at perhaps four or five gees. Following one up with your eyes as it launches, it seems to slow and shrink as it’s bulk and speed is diminished, made inconsequential by the sheer size of the towering, insane black rope to the sky that it dares to climb. Every citizen of the empire knows that the silver dragons of House Sarava possess immense wealth and power, but this entire construct – the mountain, the skyhook, the floating capital city, the sprawling, gigantic shipyards in geosynchronous orbit above – all of it is just one poignant, and very pointed statement as to the phenomenal scale of that wealth and power. It says, with magnificent eloquence, “Don’t fuck with us.”

Characters Attending:
Lord Rwvyan Nenoic, Lord Serpentce Z’Entropyse Augenmanthias, Bishop-1, Dr. Eon Rose, Dr. Nodagil Maaran, Lord AcRei Burü C’Ge “Pei’Fa”, and Lady Kotonaru.

Session Summary:
Pressed by a brisk and seemingly overly eager Port Authority, the crew, both new and old, of the RES Speaks Softly board and take possession of the vessel. Working together, they are able to meet the ambitious loading and departure schedule imposed upon them with only a few issues. The captain tests his new executive officer and puts the screws to his team, and the ship detaches from dock on time. Because of the extensive upgrades and changes to the Speaks Softly, he chooses to set a leisurely course to the edge of the Casenore system so that the crew has time to settle in, calibrate systems and shake out any bugs. The crew and some of the science team meet and mix that evening in the lounge to mingle and bond over the latest regional X-Crawl competition. Quarters are assigned and after a bout of poison ivy passes through some of the personnel, adjustments to the biology lab are made. The ship is performing well and system checks are nearly complete – but still no sign of the mysterious ‘Political Officer’ The command staff appear less than heart broken by this.

Independence Day Weekend
Finishing Character Creation


Wherein we gather to eat, drink, complete character creation and generally be merry! (Did I mention eating & drinking?). If we make some progress on characters, I’d like to do some RP as well!

Captain's Log I
Campaign Prologue

Captain’s Log; RES Speaks Softly, 5041.97:1920 I.E.; Captain Ni Shen Xau recording.
The Speaks Softly is now in her third week of a scheduled month long maintenance and refit layover at the Aelding Shipyards, her crew on extended leave for the time. While still swarming with engineers and technomancers, today I was finally able to take a brief tour and walk her decks for the first time in nearly two weeks. To my eye, there appears to be some deviation from the planned upgrades, but as my Chief Engineer isn’t due back until the day after tomorrow, I have put in a formal request to the yard management for updated specs. The new Starcaster and its linked astronav computer are in place and technicians are completing the final installation tomorrow. My inspection has been cut short, however, as I have finally received word from RESHQ in response to my queries regarding my crew disposition. I am to report to Headquarters on Meneer directly and in person. My maglev train on the Long Road departs within the hour, so I must exit with haste and leave the Speaks Softly in the capable hands of the shipyard once more. End entry.

Personal Log; 5041.98:0230 I.E.
I should have known something was up when they quartered me in the cloud city of Vespar for the duration of the refit rather than in Andrin Station. Rear Admiral Telzron Kimmuren met me himself at train station once I was on Meneer, escorting me to an RES flyer. The old bastard didn’t give up a hint the entire flight out to RESHQ, just chatted me up with small talk. At least he fed me before dropping the ball. Having been on four different throneworlds, experiencing as many different time zones, gravities and weather systems in less than three hours, my internal clock was completely baffled, communicating that confusion angrily to my stomach. Been a while since I’ve experienced Road Lag. After a surprisingly pleasant but uninformative meal he sequestered me in his office along with a very well dressed copper half-dragon, who, of course, got my name wrong. I like to think there was the ghost of a smile on the Rear Admiral’s face as I gently corrected the noble. Only after very politely inquiring after my health and the agree-ability of my abrupt trip from Aelding did Lord Angkar Quirin proceed to explain that the Speaks Softly has been ‘requisitioned’ for a special mission on behalf of his patron, a Lord verus sanguis of House Golion. My vessel and crew were to be at House Golion’s disposal rather than returning to normal RES service. Lord Quirin politely expressed his remorse over the inconvenience and assured me that the cooperation of the Royal Exploratory Service and myself would be noted and favorably weighed for future consideration. He then, again politely, excused himself and left the Rear Admiral to relate details and my orders. Telzron may be an old bastard with a reputation for unyielding propriety – but I have to admit his command of invectives is impressive. After he fumed a bit, not-so-candidly echoing my own feelings, he then laid it all out for me in as much detail as to which he’d been made privy. Basically, we’ve recruited to be a taxi. My Explorer Team – along with a sizable portion of my crew! – had been reassigned. They have been replaced with a purely civilian Science Team from the University of Meneer and ‘specially selected’ officers and crew. At least the Rear Admiral had put up enough of a fight that I have been permitted to retain a few officers and crew. I am grateful to him for that. I departed Meneer only a few hours after arriving with my encrypted orders on a datachip and only my pique for company on the long trip back to Aelding. I think that I’m going to crack open the minibar once I’m back at my aggravatingly opulent suite on Vespar. If I’m going to have to play errand boy for the scaly bastards, I’m going to run up their damned tab. They sure as Hell can afford it.

Personal Log; Supplemental.
I have a Gods-Damned Political Officer.

First Playtest
Character Creation & Rules Test


Okay, Amy, Joe & I sat down for a little play testing today and discovered a few things. Some questions arose regarding racial Hindrances & Edges, but they should be able to be resolved by some re-writing of the How to Build a Character page. A larger, more glaring issue was revealed when it came time to gear up the created characters. Character funds, available gear, and character wealth issues came out of the discussion that followed. We’ve decided that the I’d buy that for a dollar rule supplement handles all the funding and purchasing power questions that came up. I’ve added that supplement to the campaign dropbox. Joe & I are going to work on a more comprehensive equipment listing while Amy focuses on website legibility, clarity and layout.


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