Scene One
Scene Two
Scene Three
Scene Four
Scene Five

Chapter Two: Brown Dwarves and Stellar Winds



Scene One: Driving to Kitt Peak
mgrasso> And then we have to talk about our favorite subject; how we're all going to drive somewhere. :)
Erica> Oh, man. Can't we pretend we did it already? :D
Travis> You can all just hop in the back of my limo.
mgrasso> Hah. Well, first of all, Travis, over the Thursday morning and afternoon, you shoot your fashion rescue with Ingrid's co-worker.
Erica> I'm driving Chet. Ingrid's got Travis. James has a handful of himself as he speeds down I-10... :D
*** Joe is now known as Chet
*** Mandy is now known as James
*** Erica is now known as Gemma
*** Julia is now known as Ingrid
Travis> !dice 6 6
* DiceWell Travis rolls 6d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 6 10 4 1 4 2
mgrasso> And Travis, in order to commandeer the limo, give me a Charisma + Subterfuge roll, diff. 7.
mgrasso> (Driving a limo to an observatory. Only in this game.)
Travis> !dice 5 7
* DiceWell Travis rolls 5d10 at difficulty 7. S/He botches the roll.
* DiceWell 1 5 1 4 7
Travis> feh
mgrasso> Ouch.
Travis> I guess I'm taxing...
mgrasso> Well, who's willing to drive to Kitt Peak?
Gemma> SUVs would be better. Mike, I'm commandering Papi's Suburban.
Ingrid> I suppose I could drive my sedan also.
Chet> I'll drive...
Gemma> !5 6
mgrasso> Okay, hold on. Let's see if papi gives Gemma the SUV first.
James> how many of us are ther?
Travis> (I don't know the area. I'd just go up to a taxi, wave a roll of $20s, and say, "Take me to this big observatory thing that juts into the...sky)
Gemma> !dice 5 6
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 5d10 at difficulty 6. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 2 7 5 2 1
mgrasso> Five.
mgrasso> We have five changelings.
James> (I'll brb)
Gemma> !dice 5 7
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 5d10 at difficulty 7. S/He gets 5 successes.
* DiceWell 7 8 7 7 10
Chet> (Now say it like the Count from Sesame Street..."Five! Five Wonderful Changelings! Ha, ha, ha!")
Travis> (Can I say it like a fey Eddie Deazen?)
Gemma> (::lightning::)
mgrasso> Gemma calls all of you and says, "It's no problem. I got a car. I'll pick you all up at Rudy's"
Ingrid> (He's Deezening!)
mgrasso> (Illegal use of the Deezen!)
Chet> Wait a minute...how am I getting to Rudy's?
Gemma> Chet: I'll pick you up.
Ingrid> I could pick up Chet.
Travis> (is there a *legal* use of the Deezen?)
mgrasso> Let's just avoid it all and see what Gemma's driving. :)
* Gemma rolls up in a shiny black Ford Explorer. It's obviously some male's pride and joy judging by the quality of the tires, rims, and loud stereo system currently blasting out a Gregorian chant.
Gemma> The front right tire rim looks freshly dinged.
mgrasso> Chet's in the passenger side.
mgrasso> (*smirk*)
* Chet rolls down the window and lights a cigarette.
Gemma> Chet, Andrew said no smoking.
* Gemma rolls up the window, but doesn't make Chet put out the cigarette
mgrasso> Ingrid, Travis, and James stand in the shade of Senor Rudy's.
Travis> Gemma, I *love* your car! It's so *butch*!
* Chet takes one last drag and puts the cigarette out on the floor mat.
mgrasso> It's about 6 pm, and the sun is slowly setting, casting long shadows with its deep orange light.
Gemma> Eh. It's not mine, actually. I drive something a little smaller. Shall we go?
James> (back)
Gemma> James, do you want to drive? I hate dealing with traffic this time of day.
* Ingrid swings herself into the back seat, behind Gemma.
* James smiles broadly
Chet> So I guess it's *Andrew* that's "butch", then.
Travis> Oh, I've driven many a small thing. I generally prefer to be driven in or by something rather big and black....
* Gemma lets James take the driver's seat and slides into the back
* Chet shakes his head slowly.....
Gemma> Hey, baby. ::pats Ingrid's leg::
* Travis climbs in the back, not-so-coincidentally brushing up against the boys.
James> careful Gem, don't want to make her *nervous*
mgrasso> So, James driving, Chet shotgun, Gemma, Ingrid, and Travis in the back.
Chet> Hey James, maybe I should sit in back. I think Travis wants to work the stick.
* Travis smirks.
James> hey chet- maybe you could sit in the front and travis could keep his stick where it belongs
Gemma> If you sit in the back, Chet, I'll take the front. Then Travis can work the *real* stick in this car. Yours.
mgrasso> (oh, the saucy language)
* Chet clicks his seatbelt, leans over the seat, and whispers loudly to Travis, "Hands off, mister. He's *mine*."
Travis> *Bitch*.
* Gemma drapes her arm across the back of the seat on Ingrid's side
Gemma> So, Ingrid. Dear. How the hell are you?
* Ingrid rolls her eyes and waits for the trip to start.
* Chet tugs the seatbelt to be sure it's fastened, hits the dashboard, and says, "Onward, James."
Ingrid> Fine, thank you, Gemma. And how are you?
James> /me makes the car purr, to get a feel for her, before taking off
James> (ugh)
Gemma> I'm doing quite well, thank you.
mgrasso> James sets out and drives I-10 to I-19, then to Highway 86 West.
Gemma> You look so lovely this evening. Tell me, did you change your hair? It looks like a nice wig.
* Chet opens the glovebox and inspects the contents.
James> put something weird in there... like a gun or a bloody knife
* Ingrid smiles "No, dear, it's the same as ever."
mgrasso> Driving the hour west to Kitt Peak, you notice the elevation slowly rising and rising. As the setting sun slowly dips under the shade of the mesas and mountains that rise steadily from the desert basin, you can see a white cylinder rising from one of the highest mountains about 30 miles distant. You see all this in the dying daylight.
* Chet pulls out a paper from the glovebox and shows it to Gemma. "Think Andrew will mind if I borrow this?"
* Gemma smirks
mgrasso> Ingrid and Travis get a glimpse of the laminated ID card. Intelligence + Area Knowledge, diff. 8.
Chet> Is that a no?
Gemma> No, not at all. I'm sure if I asked him, he'd say he *hardly* ever used it.
mgrasso> Sorry! Wits!
Gemma> Or that it's "only for visiting clients."
mgrasso> Wits + AK, diff. 8
* Chet slips the ID into his shirt pocket.
James> what is it?
Ingrid> !dice 3 8
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 3d10 at difficulty 8. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 8 6 7
Travis> !dice 2 8
* DiceWell Travis rolls 2d10 at difficulty 8. S/He gets 1 success.
Chet> Oh, once I get a good look at it, we'll all have one, James.
* DiceWell 8 3
James> marvelous- what is it?
Chet> It's an ID badge.
James> yeah, to where?
Ingrid> I'm sure it will be right up Gemma's alley.
Chet> It'll be a surprise. We'll save it for your birthday, big boy.
Gemma> Not at all, dear. You, on the other hand...
* Gemma purrs at Ingrid
James> so, is it a nunnery or a stripjoint?
Gemma> Health club, James.
Ingrid> Why can't it be both?
mgrasso> (*loud cackle*)
Travis> Hmm. *I've* seen something like this before.
Travis> Of course, places like this don't show anything *I'd* be interested in...but you, James...
* Gemma leans over and smooths the back of James' hair
Travis> I think it's called "TDs."
James> yeah, i like my naked people with breasts.
Gemma> Just keep driving. My ass is falling asleep over here.
mgrasso> (Did people get a chance to see the jpg I posted up there?)
Travis> Oh, honey, let me massage that for you.
Gemma> (can't. I'd crash if I open my browser)
mgrasso> Other weird solid white geometrical solids dwell on the plateau, including one that looks like a huge acute angle.
Ingrid> (yes, very cool!)
Chet> Maybe you could be there to "comfort" him after the club, Travis. Even though he's mine, he *does* have a wandering eye...
* Gemma stretches her neck a bit
Gemma> Wandering hands, too.
James> damn straight

Scene Two: Arrival
mgrasso> You soon pull up to the visitors' parking of the observatory. When you step out of the SUV, you can feel that you're high up. In fact, you're a mile above sea level. It's about 20 degrees cooler here than it was down in Tucson.
* James puts a hand on chet's lap
mgrasso> (I'll wait off a second)
James> alright boys and girls- we're here.... now what are we doing again?
* Gemma scrambles out of the car and stretches with a soft groan
Travis> Looking for rough trade?
Gemma> Ah. I'm glad to be out of there. So what *are* we doing?
Ingrid> We're visiting Joanne MacAllister at the visitor's center.
Ingrid> So let's go find it.
Gemma> Is she cute?
James> that would be the place to visit joanne, the visitors center.
mgrasso> It's nighttime now, by the way. You can see at least four dome-shaped buildings which are obviously the telescopes here at the Kitt Peak complex.
Travis> brb
mgrasso> The Visitors' Center is teeming with kids here on field trips. They are being herded into small groups near a check-in desk, where a security guard sits.
Ingrid> You'll find out, Gemma. I'd hate to ruin the anticipation for you.
mgrasso> (I just like the image of herding kids)
Gemma> As you wish, my lady.
Gemma> (me too.. herding kids into Bovine University)
Ingrid> (with cattle prods. :D)
James> (tisk & stern look from mandy)
mgrasso> (hee!)
Ingrid> (sorry, Mandy. :)
James> (:)
James> )
* Ingrid approaches the guard
mgrasso> "Yes ma'am?"
* Chet sizes up the security guard and nods his head in that direction.
Ingrid> Hello. We're here to meet Joanne MacAllister?
* Ingrid smiles her tv smile.
mgrasso> The guard checks his documents and says, "I'll give her a call."
Ingrid> Thanks.
* Chet whispers to Gemma.
Gemma> (yellow and filled with spinach?)
mgrasso> The guard talks curtly and briefly on the phone with who you assume to be Joanne.
mgrasso> "Yes, she's expecting you. She'll be coming down to meet you and take you on the tour. It'll be about five minutes or so from the main building."
Travis> (back now)
* Ingrid smiles again, "Thanks very much."
mgrasso> After five minutes, one group of the kids have been taken on their tour, and the other group are still waiting. Through the doors of the Visitors' Center you see a woman. In her mortal seeming, she's about 5'6", black hair and brown eyes, wearing a University of Arizona t-shirt and jeans with a magnetic pass clipped to her jeans' belt loop.
mgrasso> In her fae mien, she wears deep black robes with a cowl, and walks towards you, her only adornment a leather satchel around her torso.
mgrasso> She shakes the cowl off and you see her dark complexion and long black tresses: two clues that she's an eshu. She smiles broadly at Ingrid and the rest of you.
mgrasso> "Ingrid Kane?" She walks up to Ingrid and shakes her hand.
* Ingrid shakes her hand, "Joanne, I presume."
mgrasso> "Yes, welcome to Kitt Peak. These are your illustrious oathcircle?"
Ingrid> It's a pleasure to finally meet you. And yes, these are my friends. Gemma, James, Chet, and Travis.
* Gemma turns around at the mention of her name
* Chet extends a hand. "My name is Chet. While not technically a part of the oathcircle, I'm glad to meet you."
mgrasso> She waves hello to all of you. "Well, before I get down to the disturbing business, how would you folks like to take a tour?"
mgrasso> She shakes Chet's hand.
Ingrid> I'd love one! This place was very impressive as we came up the mountain.
* Travis preens as if expecting Joanne to know him.
James> we'd love too, this facility looks fucking amazing
mgrasso> (heh, sorry Travis, failed the Fame roll. :D)
Ingrid> Or alternately, what James said.
* Ingrid laughs.
Travis> (I figured as much :-))
mgrasso> Joanne smiles at James, and says, "Well, we'll take a quick exterior tour of the solar obs," she abbreviates, "and then we can go to my office which is attached to the big 4-meter."
James> awesome.
Gemma> The big 4-meter? James! They named it after you!
Chet> Whoa. Have you ever been attached to a big 4-meter, Travis?
Travis> All my life, sweetie...
mgrasso> You folks take a tour of the weird acute-angle-looking thing, which Joanne explains is a reflecting telescope to observe the sun and sunspots. Can't go looking directly at the sun, of course.
Chet> You tease...
Gemma> How about a tiny 2-millimeter, Travis?
Travis> Teases don't follow through...
* Travis raises an eyebrow meaningfully.
Travis> Oh, Gemma, you're making me think of my first boyfriend...*such* a disappointment. Tres piccolo.
* Travis gestures with his pinkie.
* James absorbs it all with awe and admiration
Gemma> The first ones always are, Travis.
* Gemma glances over at James

Scene Three: Joanne's Office
mgrasso> After a look at the older two telescopes, you enter the building adjacent to the large telescope dome and walk through a generic set of business/academic hallways. You eventually come to a small office with a nameplate that says "Richard Toskild/Joanne MacAllister."
Travis> If only you were a little more butch, Gemma...
* James *Glares* at Gemma
Gemma> Butch? Sorry, not my thing.
* Gemma doesn't seem to notice James' glare
James> so, what do you do here Joanne?
* Chet inspects the door.
* Travis tsks. "I could fall for you otherwise, too."
* Gemma playfully bats Travis on the shoulder
mgrasso> She unlocks the door and ushers you into an office with two desks, the usual batch of nerdy science grad student decorations and doodads (slinkys, Christmas lights wound around bookshelves) and two computer terminals with big LCD flat-screen displays.
Gemma> You lie with the best of them.
* Gemma wanders over to the nearest male nerdy science grad student and quietly introduces herself
Travis> Honey, I *am* the best of them.
mgrasso> Sorry, Gemma... you're the only ones in here. All fae.
* Chet starts reading the titles of the books.
Travis> (Hot, throbbing, fae action!)
Gemma> Oh! I thought we were still in the room with the nerds
Gemma> (Sorry!)
mgrasso> "I sent Richard out," Joanne says as she grabs a computer chair, "so we could have some privacy."
Gemma> (I just see the word "nerd" and go a'runnin')
* Ingrid perches on the edge of a desk.
* Chet looks back at Joanne and sits down, paying full attention to her.
* Gemma hangs back near the door
Travis> me stays with Gemma.
Travis> (oops)
mgrasso> (Mandy, still there?)
James> yeah
mgrasso> (Just checking)
mgrasso> Joanne asks whoever's closest to the door to shut it.
* Gemma shuts the door
* Gemma leans against it for good measure
Ingrid> Thanks for the tour, Joanne. It was fascinating.
Chet> Yeah. It was pretty cool.
mgrasso> "Thanks, Ingrid! Well. I want to thank Ingrid and all of you for making the drive out here. I hope Ingrid gave you all an idea of what we're facing here with this light ordinance."
mgrasso> (Everyone, Perception + Kenning, diff. 6)
Chet> Telescopes are pretty bad-ass...
Gemma> !dice 6 6
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 6d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 5 2 10 3 8 3
Chet> Actually, she didn't.
Ingrid> !dice 5 6
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 5d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 7 8 5 4 5
James> !dice 6 6
* DiceWell James rolls 6d10 at difficulty 6. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 5 5 1 1 9 9
Gemma> Not really, Joanne.
Chet> !dice 7 6
* DiceWell Chet rolls 7d10 at difficulty 6. S/He botches the roll.
* DiceWell 4 3 3 3 2 4 1
Travis> !dice 2 6
* DiceWell Travis rolls 2d10 at difficulty 6. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 1 10
Ingrid> No, I just gave them a short summary. Would you mind going over it again?
Travis> (boff me)
mgrasso> "Sure, Ingrid."
mgrasso> "Well, Pima County has one of the strictest light laws in the United States, mainly because of the many telescopes and observatories here at Kitt Peak."
* Chet slumps down in his chair.
mgrasso> "That law is about to expire."
mgrasso> "The law goes before the county council in a week, next Tuesday night in fact. My colleagues from the university will be testifying, along with representatives of local business who want the light restrictions lifted."
mgrasso> "The reason why *I've* called you here is that I suspect a Banal plot to rob this place of the Glamour that's just beginning to accumulate. And even if I'm just paranoid about this, it's still going to ruin all the Glamour that's just now starting to grow around the complex."
Chet> Hmmm...business versus academia. I wonder who local government will side with...
James> business men don't know what they could be destroying- you could never see stars like you can here back in Boston...
mgrasso> "Even with just a few tours and observation parties each night, Dreamers who come here look up into the sky with the wonder of their ancestors."
mgrasso> "That starts to add up, after a while."
Gemma> This is Tucson, Chet. It won't be with the business if they can find some way of connecting the light ordinance to the university football team.
Gemma> Claim that the players get sad when there's too much light and won't play as well. Problem solved.
Ingrid> Have you tried getting the public behind your cause at all? Grass-roots sort of stuff?
mgrasso> Joanne looks at James thoughtfully. "Yeah, exactly. If Tucson becomes just another big city, we're doomed up here."
Chet> Well what can we do? There's only a week left...
James> that would be a furking shame.
mgrasso> Joanne turns to Ingrid. "We've been working on changing people's opinions, but this is all the council's call. I know one thing: if it went to referendum, we'd lose. BIG."
Gemma> Ay, Joanne. You're only safe now because mountain golfind isn't popular yet. But once it is...well...
Gemma> (golfing)
James> why were the light ordinances installed to begin with?
mgrasso> "See, they pose it as a safety issue. Circle K convenience stores want more light so their customers and employees can be 'safer.' But if you ask me, it's just so their signage can be brighter and more likely to be seen."
mgrasso> James: "For us. There's laws on the books now against using too much light per square meter."
mgrasso> "Those laws expire at the end of October."
Gemma> How do laws expire? WHY would laws expire?
James> right- and who funds this place?
Ingrid> Well, if I may be so bold as to ask, what do you think we can do about it?
James> so that people outside of the 1600 can bathe their donkeys on wednesday.
mgrasso> Chet and Ingrid: "Well, we want to mobilize the whole court of Rogelio, all the fae of Tucson, to help us preserve this oasis of Glamour."
Ingrid> Ah, I see! Yes, they would have a vested interest...
mgrasso> "Fact is, I'm the only fae here in the complex. I'm the only one who sees that Glamour here is starting to well up and collect. Hell, I don't want a freehold." She laughs.
mgrasso> "Here, let me show you something," she says, and wheels her chair over to her computer terminal.
* Chet walks around and peers over her shoulder.
mgrasso> She moves her mouse to stop her screen saver. "We work with Hubble downloads here. We're one of the four observatories working with Hubble data as part of the NOAO." You view the huge 23" liquid crystal display flat monitor as Joanne clicks away. Joanne says to you, "Those are the brown dwarves we're working on now." You see a group of small white specks in a cloud of space dust.
* Ingrid walks over to look too.
Chet> Sweet.
mgrasso> "This is what I'm doing my dissertation on. Brown dwarves. Too wimpy to turn into stars, they're like Jupiter times ten. They shed a little light, but don't go nuclear like normal stars do."
Ingrid> It would be a tragedy to lose that...
James> oh wow.
James> is this center government funded?
mgrasso> "It's a burgeoning field in astrophysics. Like, just in the last three years. I want to be able to finish. Sure, I'll have the Hubble data, but nothing, and I mean NOTHING beats firsthand observation."
mgrasso> James: "Yes, we are. Before you ask, yes, we do have government lawyers filing papers for us in the light ordinance fight."
Chet> Well of course.
mgrasso> Everyone, another Perception + Kenning roll, this time diff. 8.
James> !dice 6 8
* DiceWell James rolls 6d10 at difficulty 8. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 7 4 3 5 10 4
Gemma> !dice 6 8
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 6d10 at difficulty 8. S/He botches the roll.
* DiceWell 6 3 1 5 1 8
Travis> !dice 2 8
* DiceWell Travis rolls 2d10 at difficulty 8. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 4 8
Ingrid> !dice 5 8
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 5d10 at difficulty 8. S/He botches the roll.
* DiceWell 7 3 1 5 7
mgrasso> (May I say? You guys are rolling BADLY tonight.)
Gemma> (Hey, It's *your* Dicey...)
Ingrid> (It's *your* dicebot, Mister. :)
mgrasso> Let's see... Chet?
Gemma> (::smacks dicey::)
Chet> !dice 7 8
* DiceWell Chet rolls 7d10 at difficulty 8. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 6 4 7 8 8 4 1
Travis> (I think Travis should introduce Dicey to a leather bar)
mgrasso> (ahem)
mgrasso> *smirk*
Chet> You know. I never did figure out how you guys were able to differentiate between a small brown dwarf versus a large planet. it seems to me that they'd appear *very* similar.
James> oh wow! joanne- the screen saver- how?
mgrasso> Joanne nods approvingly at Chet. "Yes. Definitely. Even Jupiter is a *huge* magnetic source. And magnetic force is just basically a form of EM radiation, or light. That's why it took so long to discover these things."
Gemma> Screen saver? Huh?
mgrasso> "Huh?" Joanne says, as she turns to the screen.
* Gemma goes over to peer at the computer
* Ingrid turns to look.
Travis> How odd.
Gemma> What?
Travis> Gemma, darling, tell me, is your vision any different?
* Gemma squints at the screen
mgrasso> You all naturally turn to the screen, and see that the stars on the static jpeg image... are moving. The mists of the nebula seem to be parting.
Travis> I seem to be experiencing a most peculiar sensation.
Travis> I haven't been doing any poppers, have I?
Chet> Well I can see why you need to continue your research, then. The discovery of a large number of brown dwarves would have huge repercussions. The discovery of the so-called "missing mass" in the universe, just for starters.
Ingrid> If you have, we all have, trav.
mgrasso> Now, you can see that Joanne's office is starting to look a little misty around the edges. In the corners.
Chet> You've got my full support and help, just so long as you'll promise me one thing, I'll do everything I can.
James> chet. shut up.
* Chet glares at James. "What's your problem?"
mgrasso> The walls are starting to fade. You all can see stars behind the mist. "Oh my God..." Joanne says, as you all feel the floor beneath you give way.
Ingrid> What the...?
Travis> (My god, it's full of stars!)

Scene Four: Void Battle
mgrasso> The mists are thick and odorless. They tickle your faces and you can feel the light and intricate beauty of a thousand galaxies washing over you.
Travis> I *knew* those years of amyl nitrate abuse would catch up with me....
* Gemma crouches down to touch the "floor"
James> shhhhh...
mgrasso> Almost as soon as they appeared (this whole process takes about 45 seconds), the mists vanish and you find yourselves, all six of you, floating in a void, in your fae miens.
mgrasso> You are floating in starry space. Deep black surrounds you, but you breathe comfortably. You are weightless, in your fae mien, with just the slightest hint of a mysterious force pushing your back.. or perhaps the force is pushing at your chests.
* Ingrid spins in mid-nothingness.
Travis> This is like the Universe room at Exoticon!
mgrasso> At any rate, you float helplessly, unable to move, calling out to each other across the void. You all float an average of 3 to 4 feet distant from each other. The stars are distant, and you see no sign of planets, suns, or any other stellar bodies.
* Chet looks around, unimpressed.
mgrasso> Joanne looks in wide-eyed wonder at the surroundings. In the faint starlight, those close to her can see her crying silently in awe.
* Ingrid smiles widely and spins some more.
mgrasso> Ingrid is able to pirouette gently but unable to make any progress in a definite direction.
mgrasso> (Perception + Alertness rolls, diff. 6 everyone)
* Chet pats his chest, looking for his cigarettes, giving up after about 30 seconds.
Ingrid> I always wondered what space would feel like!
Gemma> !dice 7 6
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 7d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 3 successes.
* DiceWell 7 9 1 7 1 7 8
James> !dice 2 6
* DiceWell James rolls 2d10 at difficulty 6. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 9 1
Ingrid> !dice 5 6
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 5d10 at difficulty 6. S/He botches the roll.
* DiceWell 1 4 1 4 2
Chet> !dice 4 6
* DiceWell Chet rolls 4d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 3 successes.
* DiceWell 3 9 10 7
Travis> !dice 2 6
* DiceWell Travis rolls 2d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 8 7
* Gemma tries to flip upside down
mgrasso> Gemma wiggles her butt and legs and is able to move herself upside-down relative to the rest of the fae.
* James looks around amazedly, taking mental notes of his surroundings- before breaking the silence.
James> is everyone okay?
Ingrid> Wonderful!
mgrasso> (Heh, Frank DeCare on Comedy Central... TRAVIS. :) )
* Gemma stretches her arms over her head and wiggles her fingers
Ingrid> (hah!)
* Chet scratches the back of his head and starts rummaging around in his bag.
Travis> (huh?)
mgrasso> Gemma, Chet: Off to your left, you both spot shapes moving towards you purposefully. They resolve themselves very quickly and you can see them moving at a good clip - about 20 to 30 miles per hour - towards you.
Gemma> (eek)
mgrasso> They appear to be brass clockwork men on horseback, galloping through the void. Those steeds also seem to be made of brass, and at a closer distance you can see the men and their mechanical horses much more clearly.
* Chet fishes out a hair scrunchis and puts his hair back into a ponytail.
mgrasso> Ingrid, Travis: Perception + Style, diff. 7. Chet, Gemma: Intelligence + Art History, diff. 6.
Gemma> !dice 5 6
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 5d10 at difficulty 6. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 1 3 9 1 8
Ingrid> !dice 5 7
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 5d10 at difficulty 7. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 2 2 3 6 8
Gemma> (i obviously skipped a few classes)
Chet> !dice 5 6
* DiceWell Chet rolls 5d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 4 successes.
* DiceWell 9 7 10 5 10
Travis> !dice 5 7
* DiceWell Travis rolls 5d10 at difficulty 7. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 3 10 9 6 1
Travis> (dicey, I'm going to violate you)
Ingrid> (Chet bribed Dicey.)
mgrasso> They're close enough to see their faces now, automaton and steed. There's seven of them, the riders' faces forged into gruesome scowls with giant mechanical teeth, the steeds' noses and horrible maws venting steam and they chug towards you, their steam-powered innards grinding and clicking the whole way.
mgrasso> Wits + Alertness, diff. 4. Yes, that's right. Initiative!
Ingrid> !dice 5 4
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 5d10 at difficulty 4. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 1 10 2 7 4
Gemma> !dice 6 4
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 6d10 at difficulty 4. S/He gets 3 successes.
* DiceWell 5 6 1 2 9 9
Chet> !dice 3 4
* DiceWell Chet rolls 3d10 at difficulty 4. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 6 2 3
James> !dice 5 4
* DiceWell James rolls 5d10 at difficulty 4. S/He gets 4 successes.
* DiceWell 8 7 7 3 8
mgrasso> (Just waiting for Travis)
Travis> !dice 2 4
* DiceWell Travis rolls 2d10 at difficulty 4. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 6 6
mgrasso> Chet, you declare first.
Chet> I'm going to shoot a scrunchie at the one closest to me.
mgrasso> Travis and Ingrid, declare.
Ingrid> I'll try and make us appear to be space debris, beneath the notice of such creatures.
Travis> I'm going to duck.
mgrasso> Gemma?
Gemma> Curling up into a little ball (dodge)
mgrasso> Heh! Space armadillo!
* Ingrid begins spinning more elaborately, examining her own long limbs as she stretches.
mgrasso> The riders are taking swings at pretty much everyone they can, creating a chaotic melee.
mgrasso> James?
James> can toughen be directed?
James> or is it a touch effect?
mgrasso> Touch.
mgrasso> But you can wiggle over to Travis, Chet, or Gemma.
mgrasso> (sorry Joanne and Ingrid)
Ingrid> (oh sure :)
mgrasso> Joanne is also casting a cantrip.
James> Well, let's start by toughening Gemma.
mgrasso> Fair enough.
mgrasso> James, Intelligence + Fae, diff. 7 unless you want to reduce the diff with Glamour.
mgrasso> (and give me a Bunk, please.) :)
mgrasso> (I love Bunks!)
James> /me scratches his back furriously like he has an itch he can't reach
James> !dice 8 7
* DiceWell James rolls 8d10 at difficulty 7. S/He gets 6 successes.
* DiceWell 7 10 7 2 2 10 10 9
mgrasso> Holy ungodly crap.
James> boyeah!
mgrasso> Gemma: James lays his hand on you and you feel much much tougher, almost supernaturally thick and resistant to injury.
mgrasso> Gemma, I have your Dodge ready if you need it.
mgrasso> The clockwork dragoons attack.
mgrasso> They miss Ingrid.
mgrasso> One swings wildly at Chet as he aims his scrunchie.
mgrasso> He misses.
Travis> (But Travis is already supernaturally thick...oh, not that kind of thick)
mgrasso> Travis: please make your Dodge roll. Dex + Dodge, diff. 6.
mgrasso> Gemma: Dodge as well.
Gemma> same roll?
mgrasso> Joanne is sliced in the midsection and doubles over in pain.
mgrasso> Yes.
Gemma> !dice 4 6
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 4d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 4 8 6 1
Travis> !dice 2 6
* DiceWell Travis rolls 2d10 at difficulty 6. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 4 5
Travis> (bone me)
mgrasso> Gemma, you too are sliced, this time in the shoulder, but James' cantrip helps you resist the damage. Make a Stamina roll, diff. 6
mgrasso> Travis: you are sliced in the face, down the cheek. Stamina roll, diff. 6.
Gemma> !dice 2 6
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 2d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 2 successes.
* DiceWell 7 10
Travis> My beautiful face!
Travis> !dice 1 6
* DiceWell Travis rolls 1d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 8
mgrasso> Gemma: you successfully absorb the impact of the slice and resist all damage.
Chet> It wasn't *that* beautiful, dude...
mgrasso> Travis: you take the aforementioned flesh wound to the left cheek and as a result take two Health Levels of damage.
Travis> Shut up, or I'll claw your eyes out!
Gemma> (hey, scars are sexy)
mgrasso> C'mon, chicks dig scars. Oh, wait...
mgrasso> Ingrid, Veiled Eyes. Manipulation + Fae, diff. 8 unless you wish to reduce the diff with Glamour.
Ingrid> Yes, one more please.
mgrasso> Down to 7 then.
Ingrid> !dice 6 7
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 6d10 at difficulty 7. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 1 10 2 1 10 4
Ingrid> *sigh*
mgrasso> No luck with your cantrip, Ingrid.
mgrasso> Chet, shoot your Scrunchie?
mgrasso> Dex + Athletics, diff. 5
Chet> !dice 2 5
* DiceWell Chet rolls 2d10 at difficulty 5. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 4 5
Chet> !dice 8 7
* DiceWell Chet rolls 8d10 at difficulty 7. S/He gets 4 successes.
* DiceWell 3 10 9 10 9 4 8 1
mgrasso> All of a sudden, the clockwork soldiers click and whir as the scrunchie hits one of them square in the chest.
mgrasso> They stop fighting and begin looking around for you all.
mgrasso> Apparently, they can't see you at all.
mgrasso> There's the sense of something enormous moving into your presence as the stars off to your upper right view seem to be eclipsed. You can see that this is caused by a giant sailing ship plying through the inky blackness all around you. It sheds light from its portholes and cannon emplacements.
mgrasso> The ship is of the classical 18th century sailing warship type, but with a huge difference. Where its prow should be proudly displaying a carving or statue, is simply a jagged smashed wooden series of decks, as if the ship had received a crucial blow at some point through its bow.
mgrasso> It still seems able to sail the void, though. The ship is fully manned from the looks of it with scurrying forms who are armed and ready to leap to your defense! Two of the mechanical horsemen are crushed by huge ballista bolts launched from the cannon placements on the ship.
mgrasso> Apparently, they spotted you before Chet's cantrip took effect. Ropes are being dropped from the deck about 100 feet above you.
mgrasso> The clockwork horsemen who remain (only four of them are in good enough working order) retreat.
mgrasso> By this point, the Veiled Eyes has expired and you return to view.
mgrasso> Do people care to climb the ropes, or at the very least grab onto them?
* Ingrid swims over to a dangling rope.
Travis> I grab at the nearest rope.
James> I'll climb-
* Chet grabs a rope.
* Gemma grabs the nearest rope and climbs it
* Chet tugs on it twice. "Pull me up, Scotty".

Scene Five: The Jagged Edge
mgrasso> Those climbing, give me a Strength + Athletics roll, diff. 6
James> !dice 1 6
* DiceWell James rolls 1d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 10
Gemma> !dice 1 6
* DiceWell Gemma rolls 1d10 at difficulty 6. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 3
mgrasso> Travis and Chet are being drawn up to the ship's broken deck, as James, Gemma, and Ingrid climb at the same time as being pulled.
Travis> !dice 1 6
* DiceWell Travis rolls 1d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 7
James> (I thought we were weightless)
mgrasso> What weaklings!
Ingrid> !dice 2 6
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 2d10 at difficulty 6. S/He botches the roll.
* DiceWell 1 1
Ingrid> gah
Gemma> Hey! :pbbbt
mgrasso> (Shh! /king arthur in monty python and the holy grail)
mgrasso> Double botch for Ingrid as she attempts to climb and loses her grip. Dex + Athletics to grab at the rope, Ingrid.
mgrasso> (By the way, fae names when we get to the ship).
* Chet ties the rope around his waist and starts fumbling for a cigarette in his bag.
Ingrid> diff?
*** Chet is now known as Kirby
Travis> (Do I notice Ingrid losing her grip?)
mgrasso> Oops, sorry, 6.
mgrasso> Yes, you do Travis. Care to help?
Ingrid> !dice 3 6
* DiceWell Ingrid rolls 3d10 at difficulty 6. S/He fails the roll!
* DiceWell 2 2 2
*** James is now known as Aranth
Travis> (Yes, I do)
* Ingrid feels herself slipping
mgrasso> Travis, you can reach out to her. Dex + Athletics, diff. 6
Travis> !dice 1 6
* DiceWell Travis rolls 1d10 at difficulty 6. S/He gets 1 success.
* DiceWell 6
* Kirby pulls out a length of yarn, holds one end and tosses the other to Ingrid.
Travis> Ha
mgrasso> Travis links his fingers with Ingrid's, and pulls her up, slowly, to cling to his rope.
* Ingrid holds on tightly.
* Travis is silently weeping for his lost beauty.
* Travis mouths words you can just make out: "They'll never renew my contract looking like this!"
Aranth> don't cry travis- scar tables are only if you burn rage to get up from incapacitated
mgrasso> Greeting you at the deck is a humanoid with blue-tinged skin and pupil-less eyes. He wears very traditional classic pirates' wear. He carries a short sword and has a dagger strapped to a sash on his torso.
*** Gemma is now known as Solangia
*** Ingrid is now known as Artemisia
mgrasso> "Welcome," he smiles, "to the HMS Jagged Edge!"
Travis> (I haven't thought of a proper Eshu name yet...bear with me)
Kirby> Thanks, bud.
* Solangia smiles warmly at the man. "Hello."
Aranth> Thanks
Artemisia> Thank you, kind rescuer.
mgrasso> You are standing on the shattered foredeck, as you watch the crew of the ship draw the riggings loose and catch the stellar winds in their huge sky blue sails.
* Artemisia tries to curtsey
mgrasso> (sure, Travis)
mgrasso> Artemisia, Wits + Etiquette, diff. 5.
Artemisia> !dice 5 5
* DiceWell Artemisia rolls 5d10 at difficulty 5. S/He gets 5 successes.
* DiceWell 10 7 8 5 6
* Travis daubs his face with a handkerchief.
Artemisia> oh, sure, NOW I get them :D
mgrasso> The crew of the broken ship consists mostly of satyrs and humans with strange blue skin and webbed hands and feet. Your rescuer introduces himself as Lieutenant Arx, second-in-command onboard.
* Travis wonders, in an affectedly weak way, if it's true what he's heard about pirates.
mgrasso> Artemisia, Arx bows deeply to you and recognizes you, apparently, as a sidhe noble.
* Artemisia whispers to Travis, "They'll love your scar."
mgrasso> "My Lady. I shall take you and your companions to meet the capitain."
* Travis smirks, sidelong, at Artemisia.
Artemisia> Again, my thanks. We are very grateful for your timely appearance.
* Aranth grabs solangia's hand
mgrasso> You walk across the deck and watch the star-sailors stare at you, as if they've never seen fae of your kiths before, or perhaps it is your very presence here, floating in the void, that has surprised them.
mgrasso> Joanne asks the obvious question. "Where are we?"
mgrasso> "You are in the Contested Zones of the Stellar Demesnes." Lt. Arx replies.
mgrasso> "Those Bronze Hussars you just encountered are servants of the Alson League. I'm sure you must be Outlanders, correct?" Arx says as he takes you to the flight deck.
Kirby> I'm sure we are.
Artemisia> If that means we have no idea where this is or what's going on, then yes. We must be Outlanders.
* Travis mutters to Artemisia, "Bronze Hussies?"
mgrasso> Arx opens the door to the flight deck. Up on the flight deck, you see an old bearded man standing behind a gigantic wooden nautical steering wheel. Standing behind the old man, examining a wall-mounted map, are a woman with grey skin and long black hair and a couple of lieutenants.
Kirby> Travis, you're out - right?
* Artemisia whispers back, "I have no doubt."
Kirby> Hey - cool map.
Travis> (Out in what way?)
mgrasso> Arx says, "May I introduce our capitain, Lady Ra´sa of Aquan." It wasn't the old man who was the captain, but the grey-skinned woman. She walks forward, clad in buccaneers' wear with a rapier at her hip.
Solangia> !dice 5 5
* DiceWell Solangia rolls 5d10 at difficulty 5. S/He gets 4 successes.
* DiceWell 2 5 8 5 5
Kirby> Pleased to make your acquaintance, ma'am.
mgrasso> She looks at the six of you, and says, "None the worse for wear, I see," smiling and showing several pointed sharp teeth.
* Artemisia smiles back at her.
mgrasso> "Ted? Set a course for Sapphire," she says to the wheel-man.
Artemisia> Thanks to you and your crew, Madam."
mgrasso> "The pleasure was all mine, Lady. And who might the lot of you be?"
* Kirby whispers to Gemma.
Artemisia> Artemisia, and pleased to meet you.
* Kirby extends a hand, retracts it, starts to salute, breaks off, and extends it again. "My name is, Kirby."
Aranth> I'm Aranth Capitan, and we are so fucking glad we're not brass bastard fodder.
* Travis bows in an very affected and feminine way. "I'm Travis."
mgrasso> "You come from beyond the stars?" She cocks an eyebrow at Gemma.
* Solangia clears her throat a bit
Solangia> I'm Solangia, captain. Thank you for your timely rescue.
Kirby> Well, I guess you could say that we come from *somewhere* beyond the stars.
mgrasso> "It was such a huge bother," says Captain Raisa, "I'm not sure we would ever want to do it again," she says to Gemma, laughing and winking.
* Solangia chuckles
mgrasso> "Let me tell you a bit about our fine little ship here, the Jagged Edge. We are a collection of riff-raff, pirates and brigands who sail under the banner of the Kingdom of Sapphire."
mgrasso> She brings you all over to the map (
visual aid time!)
Kirby> Can I ask - what is the Kingdom of Sapphire?
Aranth> sapphire? is that in brooklyn?
Kirby> Why, yes, Aranth. I think it *must* be.
Solangia> No, we're clearly in the Bronx.
Solangia> Honestly, people.
Kirby> Or maybe you're thinking of that transvestite waitress you dated there for a while...
mgrasso> "The Kingdom of Sapphire is a confederation of worlds that have historically stood for freedom," says Raisa.
*** Retrieving #Changeling-Tucson info...
*** mgrasso changes topic to 'http://www.homegame.org/mgrasso/diversion/stellar.html'
mgrasso> "The Alson League," she points to the brown worlds in the lower corner of the map, "are the baddies."
Aranth> (kick ass mike)
Artemisia> (Ooo, I'll bet this would look awesome on a real monitor. :)
mgrasso> Joanne (or Johanna as she is know in fae mien) looks at the map. "My goodness, it's... the stars I've been charting. They're all here. There are the brown dwarves!" She points to the Alson League. "And there's the nebula! It's as if they've been reflected here in the Dreaming!"
Travis> (great map!)
Artemisia> Which makes a certain kind of sense, really.
Aranth> or viceversa
Aranth> (brb...)
mgrasso> Raisa kinda looks at Johanna as if she's speaking a foreign language and says, "It'll be two days before we set ashore at Sapphire. You may want to relax. I'll set up the captain's table tonight and we can talk about where you are."
mgrasso> (And I think we can stop there!)
Artemisia> Awesome!
mgrasso> (*smile*)
*** Artemisia is now known as Julia
*** Solangia is now known as Erica
Julia> That was really cool. :)
mgrasso> Thanks!
Erica> :D
DiceWell> : is not a valid number Erica.
Kirby> Kick ass, man.
Julia> heh!
*** Kirby is now known as Joe
Erica> Bite me, Dicey
mgrasso> Even after the game, Dicey hates us.