Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Part 7: HMS Her Majesty's Mimic Takes Flight

We rejoin our heroes continuing their meeting, discussing the name of the airship. The party wanted the name to reflect independence, freedom, and possibly rebellion. And then Bubbles suggested Mimic.

Out of character, try as they might, the party couldn't come up with anything better, as they (and myself) were too busy laughing at the absurdity of the name, and, eventually, it stuck.

With the name assigned to the ship, and the goal of making a beeline back to Halinard's office to get the ball rolling on the safe transfer of assets, the rest of this session will now be a comedy.

The wacky shenanigans began with Bubbles attempting to steal Savin's accordion for a surprise upgrade a few nights previously. I had him roll stealth, but he completely blew the roll and woke Savin up. Savin demanded to know what Bubbles was doing, to which Bubbles responded, "It's a surprise!" He was then chased out of the room. A few days later, he tried again, successfully sneaking in, stealing the accordion, doing something to it, and placing it back in the room with a note.

While this was going on, Jangle managed to find an opportunity to speak with one of the warforged, Ray, by himself. That's right, finally, after six sessions, Jangle finally outed himself as a speaking cat to someone, even if that someone is an NPC. Out of character, his player explained that he was going to try to take advantage of the situation with Halinard being gone to take ownership of the warforged. In another campaign in another game (Traveller, basically a sci-fi space exploration game for those who wonder), this same player had abused programming principles to create a robot army.

I let him know that might not quite work in this setting as it would be dependent upon the skills of the warforged themselves, and they'd have varying levels of sentience, and he said he wanted to try it, so I asked him to explain what his plan was.

Basically, Jangle told Ray that, for safety reasons, Halinard knew that Jangle was awakened, and that he had left the warforged specifically in Jangle's care. This was, of course, a lie, and I asked Jangle to roll for deception, which he did. He rolled a ten. Which is right in the middle.

So, Ray didn't quite believe him, but decided to hear him out anyway, and he explained that Halinard didn't trust that the others wouldn't experiment on the warforged, specifically namedropping Bubbles to make his claim that much more believable. More believable, yes, but still a lie, so again, I asked him to roll for deception. This one was a little better, and I also had it at a lower DC, as it was a more believable. Bubbles had already asked the entire party for blood samples so he could study them, to varying levels of acquiescence.

Anyway, he said that he had paperwork back at the main office office that made it all official, and Ray left the room, unsure of how to process what just happened.

And thus she exited Halinard's airship office into a madhouse.

It started with Savin accosting Bubbles after finding the note on his accordion and not reading it. He demanded to know what Bubbles did, to which Bubbles continued to insist, "It's a surprise! Read the note and do what it says!"

Savin stepped forward, saying, "Again. Explain to me...using words...what you me accordion."

Fearing that he was in danger, Bubbles, instead of doing the logical thing and explaining that he had made the accordion into a magical item, used a potion to make himself invisible and tried to bolt to another area of the ship, narrowly avoiding running smack into a confused Ray. Savin, able to see through the invisibility potion, quickly dodged around Ray, chasing after Bubbles, before giving up and drawing his backup weapon, a whip, to incapacitate him.

He lashed the whip forth, missing Bubbles completely, instead hitting Yesmae, currently walking out into the main hallway. While Yesmae demanded an explanation, Bubbles escaped to the deck of the ship, injecting himself with a potion of flight to hide himself above the balloon that carried the airship until things cooled down.

They decided to set a trap for Bubbles on the deck with some rope and food, and after the party grew bored of waiting, Jangle, wanting to be included, brought a potion that Bubbles had been trying to steal to use as bait for the trap.

Bubbles, seeing an opportunity as he descended the balloon, decided to swing over to that area of the deck on a rope and grab the potion. However, as he was swinging, Jangle, out of sheer curiosity, took a sip of the potion, causing me to groan behind my keyboard.

You see, the potion was a Potion of Fire Giant's Strength, basically a way to add some chonk to whoever used the potion. Jangle had stolen it from someone earlier in the campaign, not knowing what it was, and while I could have decided that the potion was literally anything, I committed to the idea of it being a Potion of Fire Giant's Strength. My rationale was that, so long as Jangle kept his paws on the potion, nobody could identify it, and because nobody knew what it was, it could literally be anything from a deadly potion to something that would make someone invincible.

Basically, it was both too scary to use and too awesome to use at the same time.

Anyway, shortly after Jangle lapped up a little of the potion, Bubbles swiped it from him, gloating that he finally got the potion. His gloating was repaid in Jangle jumping up and swatting him in the face, doing quite a bit of damage because of his super strength, and again taking the potion and running, with Bubbles in hot pursuit.

Hot literally, as in Bubbles drew his pistol and shot at Jangle as he ran.

Before that standoff occurred, Yesmae was cornered by Ray in the hall. Ray, unsure of who else to talk to about what happened with Jangle, explained what everything to Jangle, but mentioned she might be malfunctioning because the idea of the talking cat seemed too far fetched. Yesmae agreed, and suggested that once they came to the next port they could find someone who could run some tests on Ray.

Their conversation was interrupted by the gunshot, as well as Jangle running past with Bubbles close behind. The two of them stopped Bubbles, who started Babbling about wanting to kill that evil little cat.

Yesmae didn't want to allow that, but she offered to try to help catch Jangle to see what he was doing, as well as to attempt to find the truth about his ability to talk, something that Somen agreed to upon exiting his cabin.

It took some work, but Yesmae was able to catch Jangle and hold him steady, especially since the small sip of potion was wearing off, while the group discussed what to do next. Somen suggested casting Detect Magic to see if anything seemed off, when, finally, Jangle said, "I'd prefer if you just asked me."

The room went dead silent.

A few moments passed, and then...

"So you can talk."

"Yeah. And you're not doing a very good job at proving my fears wrong there."

The party went back and forth on how to dissolve the latest dispute. Bubbles wanted the potion and to get rid of the cat. Jangle wanted the potion and safety. Neither one was going to feel safe with the other.

While there was no obvious answer to the latter, at the very least, Savin suggested the possibility of confining the two of them separately until they could prove that they could behave.

Unsure of what's going to happen now, Somen and Savin, seemingly for the first time since this adventure began, agreed: "I need a drink."

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