Thursday, May 21, 2020

Part 9: Business Sim 1995: Good Luck To Somen Hing

We rejoin our heroes readying themselves to interrogate the alleged assassin Tylhana and her only surviving lackey. Once the Hold Person spell wore off, Yesmae, still disguised as not-Merida-from-Pixar's-Brave, stepped forward and asked, "Now lass, d'ye know who I am?"

This kicked off a few minutes of us scrambling through the rules trying to figure out if the specific spell she was using would mask her voice or not. As it turns out, if she was using Disguise Self, the answer would be no, but as I tend to do, I missed a specific detail in my last summary. That being the fact that the spell potion that was given to her by Bubbles was a Potion of Alter Self. Under the effect of that spell, one's voice was also masked.

Bottom, Tylhana had no idea who this redhead human lady was.

Disclaimer, a lot is about to happen in a really short amount of time so forgive me if I don't remember the full sequence of events perfectly. I could very well get some things out of order. I suppose you're wondering why I don't write these up right after the session or record my sessions so I can refer back to them, or even better, post them online so that anyone who randomly gets interested can watch them.

So anyway, Tylhana responded, "Considering the crew you're with, I'm assuming you have some relationship with the princess."

"And why are you lookin' for the princess, lass? D'ye expect t' take her back in shackles?"

"Of course not!" Tylhana fired back. "I had hoped she'd go back voluntarily, as her disappearing is the reason all of this is happening in the first place!"

"Well she's not goin' back, because the Empress was already lost before the princess even left!" Yesmae shouted back, fighting back tears.

"I suppose that means that this mission is a bust." Tylhana looked across at the soldier who was tied up across from her. "Do it."

After a few seconds, the soldier doubled over, foaming at the mouth from poison he'd ingested through a fake tooth. As it appeared that Tylhana would do the same, Savin quickly cast Hold Person again on her to stop her from killing herself before she could give more information."

As they waited for the spell to run out, Savin stepped forward, laying his hand lightly on Yesmae's shoulder. "Perhaps it is time for you to go get the princess," emphasizing the last words for Yesmae to clue her in. Yesmae stiffened and quietly dashed off towards the ship to wait for the potion to wear off.

While she was gone, Savin leaned in and asked. "Any more stunts like that?"

"Relax, I don't really have one. I just pretended so he would," Tylhana flatly responded. "He knew nothing but what I told him, that we were on a secret mission from the Empress to bring the princess back, and that there was no excuse for failure. Only part of that was true."

"And you thought the princess would willingly return?"

"Why wouldn't she? This is all because of her isn't it?"

Savin quietly looked back at her, as if to say, "Are you sure about that?"

"Isn't it? Tell me it is!"

Savin shook his head and simply said, "Well, at least now you understand that your naivete got a few innocent people killed. Think on that for a while. Also..." he continued. "We're going to have to come to an understanding. You have two options. Either you join us and do what you can to help the princess, making yourself into an asset, or you don't, making yourself into an obstacle."

While this was going on, Somen and Bubbles wandered into Halinard's office to try to find some paperwork to finalize the transfer ownership to the company assets. What he discovered was an absolute mess. Trying his best to keep his composure, Somen turned to Bubbles and said, "Please go back to the ship and try to find Mr. Townsend's will. I'm going to attempt to clean and organize this wretched chamber."

Bubbles quickly scampered back to the ship and grabbed the letter, quickly memorizing its writing down to the word choice and started back towards the office before being stopped by Savin.

"And just what are you doing?" Savin requested.

"Paperwork! Have to make sure everything is in order!" He then noticed the dead soldier. "OOH! Is that poison? Fake tooth? I'm taking it!" He quickly reached inside the soldier's mouth and felt around, finding the split fake tooth. "Does she have one too?"

Savin and Tylhana quickly responded, "No! Of course not!"

"Regardless," Savin continued, "I believe you're needed in the office to ensure that Lord Hing doesn't try to steal from us what is rightfully ours?"

With a start, Bubbles scrambled back into the office.

As Bubbles and Somen sorted through the documents strewn about Halinard's office, they started to notice a pattern among the mess. Among other things they found a copy of Halinard's letter of resignation from the Imperial Corps of Engineers citing irreconcilable difference of opinion with superiors, as well as a lot of writings implying a correlation between the Empress' more violent tendencies with the arrival of Elphina Crowe, her new advisor.

Bubbles returned to the warehouse floor to inform Savin of the discovery just as Yesmae entered, now sans disguise.

"Tylhana," Yesmae began, "It's been a while, hasn't it?"

"Princess," Tylhana breathed. "I..."

"You want me to return with you, right?"

"Of course. I mean, that will stop all this madness, right? Your mother has only been doing this to find you and bring you home, right? No," she looked down. "Of course not. I wanted to believe that your leaving was what started all this, but I just...don't think I can anymore."

"Do you remember anything about Elphina Crowe?" Yesmae asked.

"I...have never met her personally, but it seems like public opinion on her is mixed."

Bubbles' voice echoed throughout the warehouse, "Halinard doesn't seem to have been her biggest fan." He explained his findings to the rest of the group.

Savin furrowed his brow. "Seems like we may have found a possible starting point. Do we know anything about possible allies?"

At this point I had to do some quick improvising by referring to my "important characters list" to produce a list of possible names as well as how Halinard likely felt about them, which I'll add below.

  • Don Chen--Tortle Monk residing in the Western Federation
  • Admiral Dicken--Mayor of Doncaster
  • Lordithas--Relative of the royal family, former captain of the guard, has gone missing
  • Tylhana--Possible friend of princess?
  • Fury of the Small--Honestly I don't want to enlist them but pirates might help
Bubbles (and his player) immediately liked the idea of appealing to the Fury of the Small, but as a privateer, Savin immediately opposed that notion. Admiral Dicken was out for obvious reasons (as in, dead, for those who don't remember). Tylhana was a maybe. That left Don Chen and Lordithas as possibilities, and the party agreed to start their search with Don Chen since they at least had his location narrowed down to a nation (which was fine by me because I've had some ideas for a possible excursion to the Western Federation anyway).

Their next course of action set, Yesmae turned back to Tylhana. "I have to know. Are you with us or not?"

" Of course. If yours is the path to peace, I'll follow you to the end."

Yesmae loosed Tylhana's bonds, and then Savin's player started making jokes about certain...unintentional undertones. Made even worse when Yesmae awkwardly stood there expecting a hug.

This is also where Somen opted to take his leave for the time being. In-universe, he felt like his talents would be better suited building up the business (as well as restoring honor to his house). Out of universe, his player is going to be starting basic training for the Navy, and is going to be gone for what will likely be the remainder of the campaign.

So long, Lord Somen Hing of Uter. Your endless fireball spam shall be missed. And good luck on your real-life endeavors.

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