Monthly Archives: December 2013

Session #4

We join our heroes as they are mopping up resistance at the loading bay of the Moon-Sheltered Research Manse.  Mithril cuts a hole in the door and flies out as he has seen the ships leaving, rapidly followed by Olivia.  Mithril sees that the Moral Ambiguity is already almost out of the fjord and picking up speed, and several mercenaries and guildsmen are on the decks, aiming its weaponry at him.  He deploys his smokescreen to evade their attacks and also to disguise that he is leaving his eyeball drone (named iBot) on the ship.  He then dives underwater and grabs a hold of the keel while he remotely controls iBot to crawl down into the hold and hide behind some plating.  He can see a number of the thieves gathered around the teleportal disc, including the captain, but can’t really hear anything from his hiding place and decides it’s safer to keep his eye drone hidden so Mika can track it later.

Meanwhile, in the loading bay, one of the mercenaries has backed himself into a corner while two others are slowly regenerating behind Olivia’s force field.  It flickers out as she leaves, but these two are rapidly surrounded and disarmed for questioning.  Hunter also kills the other mercenary and the archers for essence before coming over to interrogate the two survivors, with a highly effective Investigation excellency that also includes removing one of their arms, ostensibly to see how it grows back.  The two terrified mercenaries reveal that they had received orders to pack up and leave right before the party had even arrived, due to a tracking device having been planted on someone they refuse to name.  They also indicate they don’t know where the artifacts will be taken to but they guess it is their mercenary camp.  These are mercenaries of the East Valley Mercenary Company, and their base is in the mountains to the north.  Also when asked about where their essence devices came from, as Kami had not performed surgery on these two, they respond that one of Kami’s assistants, Dr. Wiley, had performed it on them, since they were told Kami was too busy to do it himself.

Mithril has finished hiding iBot and fears getting too far separated from the group so he leaves the Moral Ambiguity and flies back.  En route he passes the guild ship, which is bearing west instead of east.  He yells out to Olivia asking where they’re going but Olivia is, um, “busy,” so he leaves her, figuring she is up to something.  Olivia’s story will be posted separately soon.  Mithril flies back in and gets rapidly updated on the mercenaries.  Kami, Hunter, Mithril and Blade are soon done getting info from the two remaining mercenaries, and leave them under Blade’s guard.  Now they turn their attention to Silken Cowl.  Kami also checks on Jacob using his tracker ring, finding no stress.  Good to know.

Mithril takes the lead with Silken Cowl, using his Motivational Vocoder to augment his demand that Silken Cowl cooperate, as returning the artifacts to Kamak will restore balance to the world, and building a better world can only be accomplished by peacefully restoring order.  This has a strong effect on Silken Cowl, who succumbs to the motivational imposition (though Mithril can’t tell whether it’s permanent or not).  After being disoriented for a bit at the magnitude of his new motivation, Silken Cowl panics.  Apparently, M.I.R.I. is rebooting and when he is done, bad things are going to happen.  Also, it’s not actually M.I.R.I., it’s the Auxilliary unit, M.A.I.R.I., which instills varying levels of terror in the party.  Silken Cowl sprints up the stairs with Mithril and Kami in tow, while Hunter and Blade stay behind.  Silken Cowl babbles about how Great Garm had told him how to reboot M.A.I.R.I. so he would try to kill everyone inside afterwards, but doesn’t have anything else coherent to say.

Halfway up the staircase, Silken Cowl accesses a hidden door that easily slides open to reveal a hallway with a computer room at the far end.  The door to said computer room starts closing as they sprint towards it, and a booming mechanical voice reverberates through the entire base: “Access denied.”  They fail to reach the door in time, which is another solid metal wall, so Mithril begins going to work on the door with his beamklave while Kami watches his back.  Soon, at the end of the hall, Siren appears, still toting her moonsilver sledgehammer and hesitantly telling the duo they’re not allowed in there.  She soon seems to pause and her demeanor changes, as her eyes become blank and cold, and she advances on the group with her sledgehammer held menacingly.

Hunter and Blade are not fans of the booming voice and sprint up to the stairs, where they see Siren advancing on Mithril, Kami and Silken Cowl.  Before anyone can act, a massive wrecking ball slams through the side wall and while Kami and Silken Cowl manage to dodge, Mithril botches and gets pancaked against the far wall, taking severe damage.  Kami grabs a hold of the beamklave and finishes the cutting job while Hunter and Blade try to take on Siren.  Hunter attacks with his combo, but his first blow goes through Siren’s body like air, and she flickers slightly.  Strange.  He holds off and waits for her next move.  Another wrecking ball blasts through the wall right by them but Hunter avoids it and it hits Siren, causing her to flicker out while her hammer slams to the ground.  Blade tries to blast it, succeeding in knocking it through the floor, and Mithril finally comes out of his daze enough to shove his wrecking ball into the other one which then covers the hole Blade shot in the ground.  Unfortunately, a moment later Siren regains control of her hammer and hits Blade through the floor, knocking her to the ceiling.

Kami has finally figured out how to work the computer and gone around the booby traps, thanks in part to the good ol’ Craft excellency, and finally shuts M.A.I.R.I. down.  This also takes down the lights throughout the building, not that anyone notices right away since Mithril and Kami are both glowing like bonfires of lightning and sunlight, respectively.  Siren pauses, confused, then apologizes for trying to kill everyone.  Kami assesses how difficult it would be to reactivate M.I.R.I., who Silken Cowl claims was deactivated long before they even arrived.  Kami eventually determines it would be prohibitively difficult to reactivate M.I.R.I. and settles for reactivating the lights by working around M.I.R.I.’s controls.  As far as Kami can tell, M.A.I.R.I. was activated remotely some time before they had arrived in the first place, and Silken Cowl claims that he knew about this place because the group he works for, the Cold Winds Cabal, had purchased that knowledge from someone (presumably the same someone who had activated and/or reprogrammed M.A.I.R.I. in the first place).

Kami rechecks his remote sensor and finds Jacob is more stressed now, likely due to it having been dark.  He asks Hunter to go find and check up on Kami.  Hunter heads upstairs but can’t really find his way around until Kami finishes with the lights.  He then finds Jacob in the medical lab where he had been left, and Jacob reports two things: 1) he is hungry, and 2) the two other men had left out the other door.  Hunter tells him to stay, then goes after the other two men, hoping they have more answers.  He botches his perception roll, however, and tracks the sound of voices to a deserted hallway with a stairwell leading down to a sealed door with a number of warning labels on it.  He deigns not to open the door and instead retraces his steps.

Meanwhile, Mithril decides to head upstairs as well, while Blade goes back down to the bay to guard the two mercenaries who were in the process of discussing whether to flee.  Mithril soon finds Jacob, who conveys the same information to Mithril, except he refers to Mithril solely as “lightning man” (Mithril’s anima banner is still raging).  Mithril stays in the lab to figure out more about what had been taking place here.

Kami finally finishes up with the computer work for the time being and heads upstairs, finding Jacob and Mithril, and soon goes after Hunter.  Blade tires of the two unreliable mercenary prisoners and executes them, then heads upstairs as well.  Soon all four of them are gathered in the back half of the Moon-Sheltered Research Manse, searching for the two men who were in the medical lab before the fighting started.  Finally, they trace them to the cafeteria, where they are clearly visible eating dinner.  Blade covers the rear exit while Hunter, Kami and Mithril enter the front to question them.  They keep on eating while they talk, and upon inspection it’s found they’re eating the same stuff they’ve had all this time: some kind of gruel with oats and water and smashed-up protein which occasionally has an insect leg or wing visible in it.  Kami hadn’t even noticed this was what the food was while he’d been working since the sailors had been bringing him fresh fish most of the time, but this is apparently what everyone’s been eating, and the mercenary and doctor are calmly sitting and eating it now since they figure it’s the last chance they’ll get.  Creepy.

They aren’t very forthcoming with answers until Hunter slams a fork through the mercenary’s only hand.  The mercenary then explains that he is part of the East Valley Mercenary Company, and that they were promised power that would help them beat their rivals, the supernaturally powerful West Valley Mercenary Company.  The doctor who is there has learned how to perform the implantation surgery, as has Dr. Wiley, and they have probably taken the artifact duplicator back to the base, which the mercenary reveals the location of while under torture.

Hunter soon dispatches the mercenary but keeps Dr. Farristus alive since he may be useful.  The party examines the door that Hunter found earlier, and conclude it is probably important but not what they are after right now, so they rest and regroup before setting out to the East Valley Mercenary camp.  Kami uses his super charm to heal Mithril and Blade, as they had been beaten up by M.A.I.R.I. and Siren, but then he botches his conviction roll on his overnight sleep THREE TIMES IN A ROW.  Nightmare city!  More details are available as a separate story under Kami’s page.

Kami learns more about the base, and rigs it so it will only open for them from now on.  Mithril works on charms for himself and Blade, since they could use some upgrading.  Fixing M.I.R.I. is beyond their ability for now, but Kami and Mithril resolve to do it when they get back, since their teamwork is awesome.  By the fourth day Kami is having serious issues since he has been plagued by nightmares about his betrayal, made worse when the party awakens on the fourth day to find Silken Cowl and Dr. Farristus have disappeared.  Hm.

Coming up next: the party is prepared to set out after the East Valley Mercenaries!

Most Badass Moment candidates:

  • Mithril’s strategy of leaving iBot hidden on the Moral Ambiguity is a stealth candidate, as it is a loose thread that can now be kept in reserve.
  • Hunter’s interrogation rolls which score huge successes (with some team work)
  • Mithril’s social attack against Silken Cowl is a work of beauty and gets the party what it needs to avoid painful death
  • Aside from the computer sequence this was a low-intensity session, with wacky hijinx as primary fare for the day, so everyone’s enjoyment is a moment of badassness in my book!

Funniest Moment candidates:

  • DM: “Okay Kami and Mithril need to roll Wits + Dodge right now.”  Taylor: “I botch!”  DM: “… Well, as you’re standing there intently cutting through the door, a massive spherical wrecking ball slams through the wall next to you, and you get pancaked.  Take *roll* five damage.”
  • Jason: “Hm, okay I’m gonna just kill them.”  DM: “Uh, can you roll your compassion?”  Jason: “Damnit, a success.  Does that mean I feel sorry for them?”  DM: “Yes, but you can expend a willpower to ignore your feelings.”  Jason: “Hmm…. nah….”  Later: “Screw it, I’m blowing the willpower to kill them and go upstairs.”  (No one is bothered by this)
  • Eli: “Oh wait what language are the signs written in?” DM: “Ooh good point, they’re in Old Realm.  You can’t read that can you.”  Eli: “No not so much.  I ask Jacob about the signs.”  Jacob: “That one said ‘food’.  I don’t know the other ones.  Hunter? Can’t you read?”  Hunter: “… No, I cannot.”  *shame*
  • Hunter: “Stay here, and I will retrieve you.”  Jacob: “Hunter? Why are you a tree?”  Hunter: “What?……. oh.  ‘Retrieve’.  I will come back for you.”  Jacob: “Oh, okay.”
  • Jacob: “Hello Lightning Man.”
  • Jacob, while Mithril is working, repeatedly: “Lightning Man?”
  • Eli: “Wait so they’re just sitting there chowing down on insect oatmeal even though we’re all standing here?”  DM: “Yup.”  Eli: “What the heck?”
  • Debbie: “I’m going to try to examine them using Flawless Diagnosis Technique.”  DM: “They’re clearly addicted to something, presumably the thing they’re eating, probably the locusts in the thing they’re eating.  As to how, you’re not sure, could be a number of things.”  Eli: “This is so not okay.”
  • Debbie: “Ohhhhh.”  DM: “You botched again?”  Debbie: “That’s twice now.”
  • Debbie: “AHHH!”  DM: “Three in a row??”  Debbie: “Yup…”

And some pics!  L-R: DM at the computer (visible chat box on the side from abortive attempt to integrate Keith and his two children into the game), Kami’s sleepless nights, and Taylor’s epic hat.

Session #3

The party has rested and recuperated at the Mountain Folk underground citadel of Rurk.  Jadeborn scouts are reporting back information, and one day when Olivia notices Mika is missing, she asks Golden Gaze, who answers that one scout reported a fire at the Forbidden Forest, prompting Mika to fly off in a hurry.  Olivia is vexed, but figures he’ll be back soon.  In the meantime, Mithril has finished his upgrades and those of Blade’s and both are raring to start reclaiming more artifacts.  The three are escorted by Golden Gaze to one of the Frictionless rail lines that will take them close to where the artifacts were reported as being seen.

One several-hour harrowing unpowered rail ride later, the party arrives into a network of caves and is greeted by two Jadeborn scouts.  They give directions through the caves, mentioning that they open out into a network of sea caves near the lab.  A request for the map in writing is met with scorn by one scout but the other is more accommodating.  The sea cave has choppy waters but Olivia and Mithril are able to carry Blade out with relative ease.  They are soon carrying Blade over the sea cliffs, and in the distance the Forbidden Forest is visible, with a faint plume of smoke emanating from its center.  A short flight along the cliffs reveals a hidden fjord with two boats.  One is sailing in now, with conventional sails and made of wood.  The other, anchored by the narrow sand/rock beach, is a small, lean, black warship, much more familiar to the Alchemicals but utterly alien to Olivia.  They decide to investigate the anchored boat first, but as they approach it Blade’s anima resonates with the boat and she gets a very nasty feeling about this boat (single botch perception + essence, the soulsteel caste shouldn’t feel this way about a soulsteel boat!!).

Olivia and Mithril drop Blade onto the deck of the boat, where she lands Tebow-style and proclaims, “I’m on a boat.”  She then searches the small main deck, finding no one, but there is a staircase heading downwards that two confused sailors soon run up, and are startled to find Dutifully Striking Blade, wearing heavy armor and carrying a shoulder-mounted Essence cannon, speaking to them in strange languages they have not heard.  While Blade did learn High Realm, these poor sailors only speak Seatongue.  Mithril and Olivia also land and hold the prisoners while Blade goes downstairs.

As Blade reaches the bottom of the stairs, she sees two things: first, a small main hold that has at the back a warp core style reactor and a number of controls and equipment panels; and second, a large metal-and-ceramic disk a foot tall and six feet in diameter sitting on the ground.  Right as she reaches the bottom of the stairs, its glowing increases and suddenly a man is standing on the panel in front of her.  The man is tall, wearing soulsteel armor and carrying a soulsteel sword, with a black cape and bat-winged helmet.  He is also very surprised to see her, as she is him.  This begins the most awkward standoff in recorded history, as both Dutifully Striking Blade and Hunter of the Gloaming Truths have the initial instinct to attack but hesitate and can also sense the hesitation in the other (also Jason and Eli really don’t want to actually fight).

After some back-and-forth demands across an insurmountable language barrier, Hunter steps backwards through the portal and rapidly rematerializes in his manse on Cathamoray’s island.  He hunts around for his Raksha helpers, Archer and Artisan, and asks for help.  With five successes on an int-lore roll Hunter knows the stranger was speaking some realm-y language, so Artisan whips up an earpiece translator so Hunter can understand High realm, and also a translator piece so Hunter can be understood (partially).  All three go through the portal.

Olivia has flown over to investigate the other boat as it pulls in and introduces herself to the captain, Captain Tory, and asks their business.  Finding they are bringing in a shipment from the Guild to this research project, she reveals herself as a Guild Factor here to oversee the transaction, and also attempts a wink-nod to the captain, who seems responsive but determined to complete his mission.  He says in particular that he knows the arrangements have been made and he will be compensated for this run.

Blade, meanwhile, has moved to the back corner of the room and shrouded, so when Hunter comes back and doesn’t see her, he announces in very simple sentences, “Where is Kami, assassin?”  No reply.  “We can… bargain?”  After a bit, Blade becomes visible and says, “I am no assassin.  Who is Kami, and where are the artifacts?”  Some further talking happens which is a bit more productive, but there is still a bit of mutual distrust.  As Mithril comes down, followed by Olivia, the potential for violence is defused, and Hunter sends the Raksha back through the portal and comes up to talk with the sailors, who relate to him what has been happening.  Now everyone is on the same page, and Olivia informs everyone they are to move with the supplies into the lab to investigate what is going on.

Mithril and Blade go into cloaking mode and follow Olivia, Hunter, the captain, and the sailors from his ship with the supplies.  They arrive in the Moon-Sheltered Research Manse and meet Silken Cowl, who directs the supplies to other locations and calls for Siren to help Hunter.  Siren leads Hunter to where Kami is, which is in the medical research lab, talking with another doctor and a crippled mercenary who is being prepared for surgery.  They also find Jacob, who cheerfully remembers Hunter.

Hunter and Olivia get caught up with Kami and ask what’s going on here, and Kami indicates that they are doing research here, with the help of M.I.R.I., who also identifies Blade and Mithril by their full titles despite their being cloaked, due to his ability to read their brains.  M.I.R.I. answers their questions honestly, stating that three artifacts were brought in: the body implant, the essence modulator kit, and a third artifact concealed from Kami which is an artifact duplicator.  M.I.R.I. indicates these were stolen and then sold to Silken Cowl, and that he is in the lower bay.  This distresses Kami in particular and everyone in general, and when Kami asks M.I.R.I. to bring Silken Cowl up, he says Silken Cowl is very busy and can’t come right now.  They all set out to question him.

On the way, Siren is standing in their path, looking naïvely confused as to the fuss.  She says M.I.R.I. has been acting strangely, but she knows he is dedicated solely to research, and soon she realizes Silken Cowl is coming up the stairs.  Mithril, having had enough of this nonsense of being told things, deploys his remote viewing drone (his left eyeball grows legs and walks), evading notice of Silken Cowl as he comes up the steps.

Silken Cowl is surprised by Kami’s hostility and claims to be doing nothing wrong, but a powerful social attack by Olivia to reveal what he is really up to makes him lose his cool and he starts yelling that they will be making a better world with this technology.  Various murmurs emanate from the party and Hunter’s eyes narrow: “So, you’re building an army.”  Silken Cowl does not deny this, but does promise to bring them down to the storage bay so they can see for themselves what is happening.

Meanwhile, Mithril’s drone has already scoped out the bay, and sees eight elite soldiers hiding in dark corners with weapons drawn while one of the walls is revealed to actually be another secret door, making this huge garage-like room a loading bay instead of a storage bay.  The sailors are hauling crates out the door and then it closes and becomes a wall again.  Mithril relays this subtly to everyone, and everyone prepares for an ambush.  Blade cloaks, Hunter activates his combat charms, and Mithril keeps his eye-drone hidden to spy on the soldiers.

Once at the bottom, Silken Cowl gestures at the empty bay with only two idle soldiers in it as a sign there is nothing wrong, but the party rapidly springs into action in anticipation of the trap.  Mithril opens up by blasting the middle of the room full of a smokescreen gas, which spoils the initial ambush, and soon Blade is blasting away with her cannon (at one point hitting three at once), Mithril is zapping with his lightning bolts, Kami stabs Silken Cowl in anger, and Hunter attacks the two soldiers, receives the brunt of the charge by the others, and then butchers a number of them with his customary absurd deadliness.  However he notices they are unusually skilled and dextrous for humans, realizing these soldiers have had Kami’s enhancements, despite Kami having only performed three surgeries so far.  Olivia flies above the cloud to try to get everyone to surrender, but finds a number of archers prone hiding on the catwalk who shoot at her, and when she tries to persuade one of the wounded elite soldiers that they have lost and he should surrender, he instead barks orders in Guild Cant that they must delay the enemies a few moments longer.  This is highly surprising to Olivia, since (A) no ordinary mortal could have resisted her charm, and (B) this man must belong to the guild, yet loses his cool and shrieks that the Guild is nothing.

Soon the enemies have been scattered and slain or wounded, Mithril has blown apart the catwalk with the archers, and Olivia has trapped two of the wounded soldiers behind a force field.  Concerned that Olivia has mentioned they are stalling them, Mithril takes his beamklave and carves a hole in the door, peeking through, seeing both boats (the guild boat and the Moral Ambiguity) sailing away, cuts a larger hole to get out, and prepares to fly over to drop his eye drone on the Moral Ambiguity, while Olivia prepares to fly out and convince the other ship to turn around.

To be continued…

Most Badass Moment candidates:

  • Blade: “I’m on a Boat.”
  • Mithril’s absurd flying-around-blasting-the-catwalk deprives the archers of any opportunity to do, well, much of anything.
  • Hunter begins his action by decapitating his first target, then jumping on his shoulder to attack the next one, and so on until four enemies are bloodied corpses.
  • Olivia’s social attacks rack up massive scores, causing enemies to reveal vital information and also coordinates Blade’s attacks with Hunter’s.

Funniest Moment candidates:

  • Blade: “These boats, they are in water?” Scout: “Yes.” Blade: (pointing at Mithril) “I TOLD YOU!” Mithril: “Hey I can fly.”
  • Jason: “I botch!”  DM: “Okay… as you approach the ship, you get a sense of wrongness, of evil, like this ship is a blight upon the world that does not belong.”  Everyone else: “….” (Jason, later: “Hey it was a blown roll, when you botch in Prion’s campaigns bad stuff always happens)
  • Blade: “I’m on a Boat.”
  • Eli: “I’m going to basically do this like an American in a foreign country: talk very loudly and slowly.”
  • Hunter: “Where is Kami?” Louis: “Translation: Where are the gods?”
  • Louis: “No guys, it’s okay, we see it in movies all the time, good guys can fight when they first meet and it’s okay!”  DM: “Yes, only rarely does one or both of them die horribly.”
  • The DM managed to avoid making Red Dwarf references as Mithril’s disembodied eyeball grew legs and crawled around of its own volition.
  • Eli: “Okay so we go talk to Silken Panties or whatever.”
  • DM: “Hm, that gas cloud is a bit of a complication.” Others: “Yeah, could you maybe not do that?” Mithril: “I figured it would help!”
  • DM: “Okay, so adding dice for his dexterity excellency, and he defends your attack successfully.”  Louis: “What? Mortals can’t use excellencies!”  DM: “Normally, that is true.”  Eli: “Well it seems Dr. Demento over here (Kami) has something to do with this.”  DM: “Yup!”
  • Eli: “So stunts like this are always a little tricky because it depends on how well I accomplish the first part, but I want to basically behead the first guy, jump on his shoulder, behead the next guy–” Everyone else is staring in amusement and increasing horror, except Alejo and Debbie, who are used to Hunter

 

Session #2.5

Kami has been working at Cathamoray’s Island for the last few months, assisting with the war effort against the Silver Prince with medical treatments and research.  Recently, however, a mishap with his nephew Jacob’s illness left two villagers dead and the rest of the village worried and suspicious.  This has already had Kami considering uprooting and looking elsewhere for more data on how to fight Jacob’s infection, as the Silver Prince’s new diseases were, to him, dead ends with simple cures.

One morning, as Kami approaches the Moral Ambiguity to continue his studies of the mysterious lethal warship, he sees a man idly inspecting his ship.  This raises alarm bells, but the man introduces himself as Silken Cowl, and he represents an organization that is creating a research project called Project SERAPH.  He is inviting Kami to be the lead researcher, because out of all the known people who could possibly be hired for it, Kami is the only one with the technical knowledge and the medical knowledge to complete the research.  Kami asks who is funding this research, and Silken Cowl evades directly answering but implicates forces within the Guild that want to use the research to stop the Silver Prince.  Kami agrees to the research.

Before leaving, Kami has one of the teleportals from Hunter’s manse brought to the village where he had been staying, leaving it with Urik and asking him to hide it and keep it on a number setting known only to Kami.  He brings along Lay-Torr and four volunteers to help crew the ship.  They sail for more than a week eastwards until they arrive on the northeastern coast of the inland sea, not too far from Cherak’s Forbidden Forest.  There, in a fjord they haul anchor and wade ashore to the narrow sandy beach by a set of vertical rock cliffs.  They hunt around for the promised access port, which they eventually find.  Pushing it causes sections of rock in the cliff face to jut outwards, forming stairs.  They go up the stairs to the top, where a second panel appears in the rock wall.  When Kami presses his thumb into the thumbslot, a section of rock in front of them disappears to reveal solid metal wall.  An eyeslot opens and Kami looks in, submitting to a retinal and mental scan.  The door then opens, and a deep, resonating metallic voice welcomes them.

As they enter, Kami asks this voice who it is, and it replies it is M.I.R.I., the Multiple Interest Reesearch Interface.  It is capable of reading the minds of everyone within the facility, the Moon-Sheltered Research Manse, which was built by a first age Lunar named Twin-Shadowed Eagle.  Walking down the hallway is a woman made entirely of silver, wearing a white tank top and white short shorts, and carrying a large moonsilver sledgehammer, and when Kami offers his hand to shake, she coyly puts the butt of the moonsilver hammer in Kami’s hand to shake.  She claims her name is Siren and she is the protector and corporeal assistant to M.I.R.I.  She also expresses confusion that according to M.I.R.I.’s internal clock it has been two millennia since they have been active.  Apparently this lab has been unspoiled all that time, with medical and computerized research facilities, containment labs, a library, barracks, and a cafeteria.  Kami gets to work reading the library and getting to know the facilities.

The following morning, a group of men dressed similarly to Silken Cowl (blue felt overclothes with brass buttons and heavy boots, belts and gloves) bring in two newly acquired artifacts.  The first is an implant that Silken Cowl believes can be surgically inserted into a person, improving their physical and essence-related abilities.  The second is a set of chips that can be attached to this implant, altering the person’s nature.  Kami is excited and gets to work, uncovering the nature of these fascinating artifacts.