|Session 19: Bureaucratic Bull$h!t|
|Real World Date||December 6th, 2014|
|Game Date||May 16 - 28, Year 0|
|NPCs||Merek, The Nightingale Bandit|
Session 18: Rightfully Restoring Royalty
Session 20: The Impossible Institution
The Party makes tracks toward the next stop on their journey, and somewhat begrudgingly takes a break at a luxurious getaway for wealthy sightseers.
After ten days at sea, The Party sets foot in Yeula'Kai. They book rooms at a resort called The Golden Dream in order to use the members-only boat rentals, which they use to reach Kirabo. As they draw near the volcanic island, their magic shuts down, and they soon meet a scientist and his family from the future. Or rather, they infiltrate the future... and then meet a scientist who has always lived there. I don't know. We're all confused. Except the DM. And, I suppose, future us.
The Party goes down to the docks and sees that there are five ships ready to go. Princess Syrila’s pass for the heroes allows them to commandeer a ship and substitute their own crew. Isaac goes for the ship that has the highest speed, while still having defensive equipment installed. It is called the Fused Fin. The captain of the vessel is not happy to have to forfeit his ship, and his mood is not improved when the party informs him that they intend to sail to Kirabo. The captain refuses to go to the deadly island, but since his hands are tied, he agrees to take the heroes as far as southern Yeula'Kai, which is a relatively civilized tourist trap for wealthy individuals. The ship sails the next morning.
On the fifth day at sea, a storm hits that tosses the ship back and forth dangerously. Vic is torn off the deck and thrown into the ocean! “I don’t think Conjure Water is going to help me this time…” the brave cleric comments as his shiny suit dazzles in the roiling water. Dolphins like shiny things, so they save Vic. Kal pulls him back on board with a rope.
“Even when Vic loses, he wins!” –Vic’s player
On the tenth evening, the ship arrives at Yeula'Kai, but doesn't dock until the next morning in order to safely navigate the craggy rocks under the shallow water.
The coastal town that the party has arrived at is a peaceful city, whose structures are garnished with gilded gold. The natives of this land, to Emilie's racist wariness, are Maenads, like Lanaea is. One approaches the group and asks if they have a reservation. Vic says yes. The maenad looks very happy to hear this, and leads the group to “the Golden Dream.” Only Vic follows her. Everyone else just hangs back because this is wrong and freaky and dammit Vic.
Isaac, in response to the others' hesitation, follows Vic in case something sinister goes down. The two of them are shown the reservation list at the Golden Dream. All of the upcoming reservations are scheduled for dates in the future. The hostess apologizes and says that they weren’t expecting them yet. Isaac claims that he and Vic are here for the reservation for... Mr. and Mrs. Headrow. But the “Mrs.” is a typo. It’s two misters. The girl asks for identification. Isaac flaps his fake ID from Session 09 around wildly and yells at her for the indignity. After repeatedly asking to actually see the ID, the hostess asks if the two men would kindly accept being escorted out. Then Isaac changes his game and says that he thought this was the Golden... Stream! The hostess has never heard of this because it doesn't exist. However, she offers a luxurious resort package to the party for 50 gold each per day. Isaac politely declines and he and Vic rejoin the party.
So that was terrible. But now, the party notices advertisements promoting boat tours for the Sea Opticon! Isaac calls the Maenad back over and asks how a boat can be rented. The boats are for members only, she says.
“We don’t wish to spend time at the resort,” Namfoodle pipes up. “We are daring adventurers—”
“Daring,” agrees Isaac.
“—and we simply wish to travel to Kirabo.”
But the maenad is resolute. The standard package is 3 nights, which would rack up to 750 gold. She can offer The Party a group discount for 500 gold total. Nam believes that the best plan is for Isaac and Kal to buy packages for themselves for 300 gold total so they can smuggle Namuffin and Studmuffin in. Then once they reach Kirabo by boat, Namfoodle will locate Isaac, and Dimension Door himself and the two others (the maximum of the spell) across the sea. Emilie, who has no interest in spending money on creature comforts she can't even enjoy, fully supports this plan.
However, it does involve a lot of travel by foot and sneaking around, and it risks angering Maenads, who as a race are stoic caches of untapped wrathful destruction, so in the end the adventurers just spring for the group discount, to the relief of the increasingly aggravated hostess. The party uses their forged papers from Session 09 to book rooms. The aliases are as follows:
- Isaac Coale – Barbalus Blunt
- Kal Grobnar – Thumper
- Emilie Barrowman – Jessica White ("Ugh... Jessica White..." Emilie moans.)
- Vic – Carson
- Namfoodle Scheppen – Stoic Holden
The Party is escorted to tamed giraffes that serve as transportation to the resort, which is five hours inland. They are led to a luxurious suite suited for five people, with a large common area and private rooms.
“Guys, can we please come back here when I’m alive?” Emilie asks. Isaac promises her that they will.
It is late afternoon, and the party spends the rest of the day enjoying the comforts of the resort that they have, after all, paid for. Nam explores the gardens and enrolls in a swimming class. Kal gets a massage from a hot lady. Emilie plans to just mope until it’s time to move on, since she can’t take a swimming class (prolonged water exposure is bad for the makeup) and she can’t eat, and she can’t benefit from a massage... the list goes on. But Isaac convinces her to take advantage of what she can enjoy. The pair excuses themselves to a game room and plays table tennis. They play to best of 5 games, but after one win each, a draw, and one more win each, they come to identical scores. Bonding is had.
The next day, The Party rents a boat for the Sea Opticon tour. One of the clients at the beach is - to the surprise of everyone involved - The Nightingale Bandit. He believes that the party has tracked him here. Namfoodle assures him that this is not the case. The bandit notes with amusement that the party has a higher bounty on its head than he does. Namfoodle gives the bandit a few coins in exchange for information about Enderland. Suspects that look like the party have been murdered in Enderland by order of Atamant. The bandit says that Atamant claims that he is working under the orders of the young prince who sits on the throne. The bandit does not think this is true, however, and notes that no statement has been made by the central government in quite some time. He also reveals that a soldier named Matthias is leading a rebel force against Atamant.
Player note: Emilie no longer considers The Nightingale Bandit her nemesis. She detests him and his lifestyle (and is very angry with Namfoodle for paying him), but realizes that her current quest is a bigger and better thing than mowing the kid down. Still, she refrains from reporting the bandit to the staff. Her pride still drives her to be the one who ultimately brings him to justice.
Emilie grows reticent upon hearing the news about Matthias. The bandit excuses himself, and The Party continues to check out a boat. A staff member lets the heroes know that the boat rental is subject to an additional fee of 500 gold if the ship is damaged. Hopefully this will not become relevant.
As the party approaches the island of Kirabo, the air feels filled with static. Abruptly, all active magic on the party members ceases to function. Except for Isaac’s possessions. It seems that the Tome of Time is preventing the magic from collapsing within a small field around it. Isaac agrees to let Emilie hold his bag for the duration of this venture so that she does not decay (Note: She remains animated even without the pack because her undeath is not in itself magical; rather it is born of magic). Namfoodle holds the bag for a moment to cast Detect Magic, and finds that a suppression field seems to be centered on the island's volcano.
A young elf boy playing with plastic beach toys starts when he sees The Party and asks if they are real. They like to think so. He pulls out a walkie-talkie and radios his father that real-life humans are there. Oh. A middle-aged elf comes down to the beach, saying into the walkie-talkie in Elven that humans don’t exist, and that they’ve been dead for centuries. Upon discovering that he’s not correct in that assumption, he starts conversing excitedly with Namfoodle, who is the only party member who speaks Elven as well. In time, the heroes discover that the elf, Merek, speaks broken Common, which to him is a dead language. He has no concept of magic and doesn’t know what could be happening on the volcano to suppress the party’s. Nam detects thoughts and decides the guy is harmless enough – he’s just excited for this apparently ground-breaking discovery. Emilie comments to the gnome in Abyssal that The Party should still keep quiet about their intentions. The scientist (such a foreign word!) clearly wishes to study them extensively, and the party’s main goal is to stop the anomaly that is allowing their interaction. There's definitely a conflict of interests here.
Merek claims to have no idea what could explain the disappearances of adventurers who have previously attempted to conquer Kirabo from the shores of Yeula'Kai. This is the first contact he has made with anyone from The Party’s time. He eagerly invites them to come to his house to sample his wife's stew.
"Stew?" asks Isaac.
"Isaac, you know what stew is," Emilie cuts in.
"My word... have you never had stew?" inquires Merek, eyes bulging.
"He's had stew." Emilie says.
Isaac belly laughs. "Ah, just a little bit of human humor."
"That's not human humor," Emilie says. "He really has had stew."
"More human humor!"
- This is the first time we've been able to interact with anything in an anomaly besides a Tome of Time segment. It's also the first time we've been sent forward in time. What's different about this anomaly?