The party has been getting ready to arrive at Abalone. Lucinda has trained under Shuragon, who asks that she help him right the wrongs Oneiros has committed. Kami is working on his crafting project, and Canna has been running around as a go-between. Vae and Kami are steering the ship south.
Hunter contacts Canna with the mirrors as they approach, and they pick up Hunter on the coast north of the cove where the Lintha are based. Some planning and scheming is done under the gun, since basically there’s a front door (the cove) and a back door (the tunnels). Hunter rolls his int+war to estimate the various likelihoods of different plans working. He spends a willpower to do this, which is good because the dice show a double botch! Hunter has the bright idea of having everyone surrender to the Lintha to see what they’re up to, but then Hunter has a second thought that that would be stupid. He finally suggests they split up, that he and Kami go in the back door while Canna, Vae, Lucinda, and Vae’s servants create a diversion by sinking the Lintha ships and killing the Lintha. This plan is approved.
They prepare overnight. In the morning, the Moral Ambiguity drops off Kami and Hunter, who creep their way to the secret tunnel entrance. Vae sends her seagulls and octopus to scout ahead, seeing two Lintha ships beached at the shore, and a group of Lintha-controlled demons roiling in a quiescent manner in the bay. It’s go time!
The Moral Ambiguity sails around the bend, and Vae sends her fire-burper (little fire dragon elemental) at one of the ships, and manages to get it set on fire. Avalanche and Vae fly overhead while Lucinda steers and Canna mans the essence cannon. She uses it to kill all the demons, then once the other Lintha ship is full of soldiers and sailors, she blows it up good.
This is the signal for Kami and Hunter to enter the tunnels, but something catches Kami’s eye and he manages to pull Hunter back before they are killed by percussive mines. The enormous bang ruptures Hunter’s eardrums, however, and he has to hand the mirror to Kami to talk with Canna since he can’t hear.
As the remaining Lintha flee and the smoke clears, three figures are seen standing at the shore: the Scout, the Demoman, and the Soldier. The Scout has crazy magical boots that let him literally run on water up to the ship, where he assaults Lucinda rather badly with a baseball bat. The Demoman carries a huge device of some kind which he shoots an explosive out of that damages the Moral Ambiguity and causes it to start listing. Vae has her octopus hold it up and she starts casting Sting of the Ice Hornet. The Soldier has a similar massive magical device but his is more of a rocket launcher, and he fires at Canna, hitting her for eleven damage dice (which only became one lethal damage) knocking her back into the water. Avalanche helps her up while Lucinda activates her Martial Arts excellency and kicks the Scout in the nuts so hard he passes out and falls into the water. Canna manages to wound the Demoman with arrows (the last one hitting him in the eye), causing him to flee. The Soldier is taken down by Vae’s Sting and by Canna’s arrows. Lucinda was nearly KOd by the Scout but since she has Wood Dragon Form active she is rapidly healing it, but she stays on the ship as Vae and Canna pursue the Demoman.
Meanwhile, Kami and Hunter make it to a big open room with tables and some strange poles. They are stopped by the Heavy Weapons Guy, the Medic, and the Spy, who promptly cloaks. The Heavy Weapons Guy seems very cocky and stands in the middle of the room, but if he had some plan it doesn’t seem to work, since Hunter manages to completely slay him in one go using his new ridiculous combo. The Medic flees, and Kami blocks the Spy’s attack on Hunter, then Hunter cuts down a pole and swings it around until it hits the invisible Spy. Kami and Hunter take him down. They then pursue the Medic.
The party is reunited as they find the Medic healing the Demoman. Hunter slaughters the Medic and Canna shoots the Demoman some more, but he sets a bunch of charges on the ceiling that everyone flees before they detonate. Everyone but Hunter takes some damage from the resulting explosion and cave collapse, and Canna has to go around (picking up Lucinda) to find another way around the rubble. The party is now once again reunited and ready to end this.
As they enter a huge room with a massive mechanical spire in the middle, they encounter a man wearing a full face mask and carrying another massive device, this one spouting fire at the party right as they come in. Kami jumps in front of Hunter, who would otherwise have been incinerated, taking some of the damage himself. Then their anima banners (well almost all of them) plus the fire cause a huge number of bats to start swarming around them. Canna keeps watch for a bat with glowing eyes, which she’s expecting, while Hunter goes to town on the Pyro, who doesn’t last long. Kami and Vae go after the Engineer who’s been working on the tower while Lucinda casts Commanding the Beasts, and Canna does spot Oneiros but can’t draw a bead on him/her. Lucinda commands six bats to go find the bat with glowing eyes and drag it down, then spots a red dot on Hunter’s chest and warns him. Since Hunter still has his Athletics charm active he literally runs on bats as they fly around up to a hidden spot high in the tower that is the roost of the Sniper. The Sniper manages to shoot Hunter with yet another large magical weapon, and Hunter takes cover, then he manages to get up and kill him the following round.
Meanwhile Lucinda’s bats have dragged Oneiros down, so he turns into War form and flees with Canna and Lucinda hot on her trail. Kami and Vae finish off the Engineer, then Kami manages to reverse what the Engineer was doing right as a large number of machine gun turrets pop out of the ground and walls, point at them, then fall silent. Hunter, Kami and Vae then pursue Oneiros as well.
Lucinda manages a Soul Marking Strike on Oneiros, then the group tracks him to a room with a number of child prisoners, where she has Sabin, Canna’s son, hostage. The party hesitates, and after some words are exchanged Canna tries persuading Oneiros to stop and listen to reason, but fails, and Oneiros moves to kill Sabin.
This is when Lucinda activates Unbreakable Fascination Kata. This compels everyone who can see her to stare and do nothing if their MDV is not high enough, and since everyone is wounded and hasn’t studied Integrity except Canna, everyone except Canna is spellbound. As Lucinda gracefully performs her kata, Canna, without any hesitation, fires four arrows into an undefending Oneiros at close range, killing him, then fires more arrows until she stops twitching while praying to Luna that she accept this Exaltation back and find a more worthy successor, and then severs his head.
Once Lucinda is done with her kata, Canna takes Sabin aside, talks reassuringly with him, and leads him out. Lucinda goes as well. Hunter and Kami stick around to do some investigatin’, and Vae turns into her arctic fox form and leads the other children back out to the ship. Vae and Lucinda sail the ship around until their anima banners are gone, then take the kids south until they meet Wavecrest patrol ships, where they unload the kids. Canna is walking Sabin and talking with him the entire way, bonding with him.
Kami performs an autopsy on Oneiros’s head, finding abnormalities in the limbic system, while Hunter goes looking for Phineas. He finds several Lintha, one of whom backstabs the others, so is obviously Phineas, hey dude how’s it going. Phineas is going to remain in deep cover with the Lintha, so Hunter helps by chasing him into a group of Lintha, catching a random other Lintha, and very ostentatiously feeding on him while the others flee. He gets back to Kami (“You’ve got red on you”) and they investigate the cavern. It seems the Engineer had finished with the portals and was building a massive power source for them (these ones are not independently powered like their own teleportals are), and so Kami ruins it so they won’t work anymore. Hunter deduces that these tunnels were actually old, but the Lintha had added to them recently with some type of supernatural worker, and the plan was to have demons start popping up all over Gullwing.
Kami also analyzes the medic’s medigun he had stolen, which appears at first glance to be a piece of technology but it actually a living demon of the second circle, soulforged into an advanced weapon. To be used, the user has to bond with the demon and commit a large amount of essence to controlling it, though the demon itself provides the essence that does the healing (and presumably the exploding of the other Devil Arms).
Kami and Hunter get back to the beach and the ship’s gone. They ping Canna with the mirror but she’s on foot and has no idea what’s going on. Lucinda and Vae soon show up and pick them up again, and they lie low while Canna takes Sabin back to his foster family and meets with them about what happened. She tells everyone she is planning on investigating what happened here, and Hunter offers to help, so he flies over on Avalanche. Lucinda goes and passes out while Kami starts working on repairing the ship, and as night falls, Vae is struck with the light of the full moon, limit breaks, steals some of Lucinda’s money, and teleportals out to the Gemstone Islands for a night of wild partying.
END STORY #1
Most Badass Moment candidates:
- Vae makes exceptionally effective use of her minions, from scouting, to careful provocation with the Fire Burper, to having Avalanche help Canna out of the water while simultaneously instructing the octopus to hold up the ship and seal the breach
- Hunter’s opening combo against the Heavy Weapons Guy becomes an instructive lesson in why you shouldn’t just stand there and let him get first strike
- Kami demonstrates his healing and his defensive power, as well as doing some serious damage on charges. But his save the day moment was preventing the Engineer’s sentry guns from slaughtering them all in the nick of time
- Lucinda’s Commanding the Beasts and Unbreakable Fascination Kata made all the difference between a dangerous Oneiros and a dead Oneiros
- Canna’s Mamma Bear against Oneiros was not only completely in character but put a powerful climax to the story
Funniest Moment candidates:
- “There’s a knack for that.”
- Natalie: “I’m on the ground, right? I’m going to kick at him using my martial arts excellency!” *roll* Alejo: “Wow, okay, you kick him in the nuts so hard he passes out”
- Alejo: “Augh! Okay Canna you take one damage. Man now I know how you feel.”
- Brianna: “What? How many dice was that?” Debbie: “Eleven dice” Alejo: “You get caught on fire, get knocked into the water, and the fire is instantly doused, that’s what happens. You’re in the water”
- Eli: *sends this picture to Debbie re:stratergy*
- Eli: “Medic?”
- Eli: “Can I run on bats? *grin*”
- Kami interrupts the Engineer’s attempts to do something on a panel on the wall with an elbow strike, sliding in between him and the panel, and asking, “May I cut in?”
- Alejo: “Okay, Oneiros brings his claws down at Sabin’s throat” Eli, to Natalie: “Quick, do the thing!” Lucinda: “Uh, I offer myself in his place!” Eli: “No not that, the other thing!” Natalie: “What thing??” Eli: “The thing you said would help!!!”
- Kami manages to give Oneiros a sleeping potion. Alejo: “Okay, Oneiros is now drowsy.” Debbie: “I tell Oneiros not to operate any heavy machinery.”
- Alejo: “Did you all remember to subtract your wound penalties from your MDVs?” Everyone: “……” Alejo: “I’m taking that as a no”
- Alejo: “Yes we’re all staring at Lucinda’s dance routine, aww yeah check that out.” Leslie seconds this despite glares from Natalie
- Brianna: “I now chop off Oneiros’s head.” Eli: “Are we going the whole vampire route, stuffing garlic in the mouth and everything?”
- Alejo: “Okay Vae is gone to partying. She shows up the next morning bedraggled and covered in fluids.” Others: “Ewww!”
- Leslie: “Can I add more tails to my war form if I get more Essence?” Alejo and Natalie give each other a look. “Yes, you can get up to nine.”