Thousand Dying Suns

Khiron's Chronicles
Thorne wants windows!

Khiron’s Chronicles: Everything went to Hell in a Handbasket
So much has happened since I last sat down to write I barely know where to start, at the beginning I guess. We, Mr. Dwight and I, the newcomers Olis, Thorne, Marcell and Gabriel, travelled up the Tennessee, recovered the materials we needed to create the Gate and were on our way back to Gateway City when the unexpected happened. We had recovered a blue wedge from agents sent by Cavile. I am not certain how but something Thorne, it is always Thorne, caused us to be transported to a spaceship in orbit around the 8th planet, Uranus. We managed to jump the ship back to Earth orbit but in overcoming the demon who had taken it over somehow triggered the ship’s Skip Drive to activate again. Being improperly calibrated the thing jumped to another universe far removed from my own or to the far future, or past, I am not certain which.
In this new Universe Man had made the jump to the stars but had become complacent and indolent. They lost the knowledge of the technology they had made and started treating it as religious icons with the resultant inevitable effects. Ignorance, stupidity, confusion, idolatry, everything those of us in New Manhattan had sought to avoid. Somewhere along the line Marcell became an alternate version of himself named Arden, Mr. Dwight managed to avoid the transfer to a ship called the Venture and Olis lost his spear and magic helmet and starting kicking people. Oh, and we picked up a new companion, Carter, who was once female but isn’t now, or it was his sister and her ship or something, and he can walk through walls. Between that and Thorne’s constant gender switching and histrionics I sort of lost track of most things in any regards for a while. There was a lot of teleporting, random teleporting, three maybe four times, and Universe hopping, or time switching or whatever, lost track, do not care anymore.
Anyway the “new” “Universe” we found ourselves was in orbit around a planet named Daneana or something, it was such a miserable pit that the locals actually bathed in nuclear radiation of the “Star Hearths” AKA barely controlled nuclear fission piles of Uranium and Plutonium, as Holy Light to cleanse themselves. They used these things to power 3-D printers as well as warm their bath water and wondered why they were mutating, going sterile and dying off. Oh, and they had enslaved sentient trees called the “Woose” and sought to exterminate beastmen who they called the Couj. Oh, and there was lots of sex, they liked having sex, except with Thorne, which was amusing. And murder, of teenage girls, about inappropriate child rearing practices and Olis, and orphans and creepy stuff involving candy.
I sort of just let most of this stuff slide off until I found the warm shower locked inside the High Priestess’s painting, just before the zombie hordes attacked and we escaped using the mostly broken shuttlecraft with a demonic curse on it. This all sounds nuts, because it is. Nothing makes sense anymore from the football shaped transport ship that Carter hates to the genetically doomed Hawkwoods who believe themselves the surviving royal family of the Phoenix Empire of Man and their sacred pornographic woodcuts, while we are the Offworlders who will lead them to Ascension! Really, I cannot make shit like this up.
We finally find a clue, something involving a “Woodhenge” and magical brouhaha that seems mostly delusional chemical inspired nonsense but we made it off the planet and back to the Venture, hot meals, hot showers, decent food and beds not filled with lice. We has some bee line to a Portal/Gate something 3 AY out and have the key for it, I think, when we get there but along the way we need to stop at a some ship in orbit at the L-1 point of the planet and the sun because Olis or the new Marcell, err Arden, sure, what-the-ever, says that dead people wanted to get the Key we have, a cylinder with Runes! RUNES! TM! to Crucifix Station, or something, or some such for reasons. REASONS! He travels in time, and dimensions, which all suck and were destroyed so he ought to know! Yes! Do that! So we pilot a course near it to check it out before headed out to the way off the elliptical Portal/Gate 3 AU out.
While Carter and I and trying to rig a way to get over to the rather derelict looking Crucifix Station, which, it turns out is a torus with a central spine tidally locked so that one side always faces the sun, Thorne teleports him/her/zer/they/I-do-not-care-what-the-f***-pronoun-it-is-using-anymore self and Olis over to the ruined docking bay on the station itself. Did I mention the station is miles long and millions of times our volume in size? Opps.
Anyway… as soon as they do so bugs, lots of bugs, pill bugs with twelve legs and nuclear powered heinies, hereafter known as “space-bugs” come swarming out of the darned thing. The “space-bugs” try and hump Olis’ legs… and either mate with Gabriel or try to clean his spacesuit with ionic acid goo, not sure which, while somehow Carter, who was trying to pull the Venture, away only managed to nearly instantaneously dock with the station instead. Opps?
Bugs, here, bugs there, bugs everywhere. Carter and I manage to push the things off the ship while Olis avoids mating and I duct tape Gabriel up so he doesn’t die from the ionic bug sperm. Carter manages to order the Venture out to a safe distance and somewhere somehow Thorne managed to get insert-pronoun-of-choice-self back to the ship while complaining about many, many things.
At this point some wisdom is used and we use the three dimensional printers on the ship and my skills to make a reconnaissance drone to explore Crucifix Station. We discovered that the ship was centuries old, or older, it had been retrofitted eons ago by people who did not know how it worked to work using the Star Hearth technology that the locals used to stay warm and ruin their sperm, which had been stripped from it along with nearly anything else useful (to build what the locals called their society) that the ship was a hulk in space, would never move again, and was missing nearly all its cargo pods, supplies and materials and, oh, yes, somewhere along the line became a home for “space-bugs.”
I tried to convince my companions to leave the darned thing alone and that we should go off to the Portal/Gate whatever but they decided that genocide against the “space-bugs” was not morally repugnant because “CHOGMA” and “space-bugs!” made sense somehow. I have tried to dissuade them of their folly and that we should leave the nice explodie space-bugs to the derelict ruin of a spaceship and live and let live but no… Carter seems to delight in using his ship’s rail gun, the science truck’s only real weapon to kill “space-bugs” while Thorne is somehow convinced this is the ship that will save the people of what-the-fuck ever. I have tried to reason with them but reason has failed. I will just go an make myself a sandwich. Seesh. “SPACE-BUGS!” Oh, and Thorne REALLY, REALLY want windows on spacecraft. Really, it’s a thing!

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Of course it has facehuggers
at least we're off the damned planet

First and foremost, we got off of the damnedable planet! Well, other things happened first which I should cover.

While we are back on planet Khiron and Thorne showed a rare burst of teamwork, codging together a useful aluminum hat that allowed Thorne to see the magical signature of the Carver (you know, the mage responsible for all of the wood carvings and other productive things, as opposed to the shite who thought a fuel bunker of zombies would be a useful bit). Given this knowledge Thorne was able to replicate the ‘magical biometrics’ of the Carver to crack the Kindlenomicon. This revealed a vast tome of ‘spells’ and other instructions on how to hack reality as far as I can tell. None of this still makes any sense. I still have yet to find any correlation in genetics or electromagnetics that explains this. This simply tells be I do not have the technology to measure whatever it is they are doing. Perhaps an interaction between gravometics and the weak force…..

I digress.

More importantly, the kindlenomicon had files warning about ‘The Advesary’ warning any mage who could access the information to leave the planet as soon as possible before attracting the attention of ‘The Adversary’. This sounds like the ‘noplace’ entities described by the other they encountered during Skip Drive Transition. Apparently The Adversary is a pseudonym as well.

Lovely.

Next we opened the Thumb-drive which contained the spells “Find the Gate” and “Open The Way”. I’ll have Venture analyze the underlying parameters of these spells now that we are back onboard. Perhaps she’ll understand how to utilize them so we won’t be reliant on Thorne and stonehenges to use these devices.

Which reminds me, we built a wooden Henge based on ‘Find The Way’ which allowed Thorne to provide the three-dimensional coordinates of the Star Gate in orbit.

After all of this removing the ward from the shuttle was easy (apparently).

So the group and some representatives of Hawkwoods (all 4 of them. I really need to write down their names) flew back to the lovely converted science frigate. I’ve been working with the Operations Subroutines to give me and the rest of the party access as appropriate (Olis seems solid, (for example) but I really don’t want him to have command authority over the rail gun – today anyway).

We decided to investigate the Crucifix vessel first (not a bad idea, given the warnings about the Adversary – we really may need to come up with a way to perform a general planetary evacuation (population 10k or so), and some way to escort the population away from here!). I started to maneuver the vessel into a synchronized position so we could attach emergency cables and a gantry, when apparently Thorne became bored and bloody teleported to the other vessel. Judging from the screams they’ve run into trouble.

It should be a given that I’ve halted docking maneuvers and I’m now training the rest of the group on the use of exo assist suits and mag boots – since, well, firing DPU-tungsten rail gun rounds into the Crucifix probably won’t help given that it is a 10,000-year-old derelict.

<end>

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Zero Gee and Ehi-Eye
Olis recordings, in space

Floating in space is a strange feeling. There is not up or down. Carter calls is Zero Gee. I asked why Gee? He said the Gee stood for Gravity. Then why not call is Zero Gravity? Anyway, at first I did not feel good. But I remembered this old sailor trick, to look beyond what’s near you. Well, that did not work since beyond is nothing and I could taste the bile rising. Then as I looked down at my feet, I thought to myself, my feet are the ground. Then things got better. I tried moving around and it’s hard. You move one part of the body and the rest of the body follows. It does not stay put. You need to move really slow. Or you need to have something to push off of. I’m not even sure how I would fight. We are in the dock area of the station so I can push off of walls to move around. That is neat. You can sail across from floor to ceiling. The problem is when you get to the other side. I almost smashed my head into the ceiling. Thankfully the helmet of the “suit” protected my head. Although, this “suit” is uncomfortable in places. It’s too tight. It feels like I’m not wearing things. It feels too open. It feels vulnerable. According to Thorne, I would blow up without it. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but without the “suit” we cannot be in space. So I wear this ridiculous outfit. Anyway, I’m getting the hang of moving in Zero Gee (Ping! Olis gains two point skill, 0-G Maneuvering).

Right, so we are up in space. We managed to get off the earth in the flying craft. Much repairs were needed, which mainly involved Khiron cursing a lot, but it can now fly into space. So we were able to get to Carter’s ship. Well, he says it’s his ship but who really knows. Thorne was upset that E.L.I.S. seems to not be there anymore. Something about being taken in or becoming part of Ehi-Eye. The ship talks so that must be her name. But I thought she already had a name, Venture. Maybe Carter’s world’s ships have two names?

We could have gone to two places. The location on the map we found, which is further away, or to Crucifix Station. It’s closer so we went to the station. It is huge! The place seems abandoned but Carter asked Ehi-Eye and she said that there is movement on board the station. So there are things hiding in the abandoned station. Carter starts talking about docking the ship or taking the small craft out or putting up a line. At which point Thorne got bored and decided to portal himself over. I felt a sudden pull. I tried resisting but it felt like it was going to tear my arm off so I went with it. And that’s how Thorne and I got over to the station’s empty docking bay.
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Leftenant Bad-Touch and musings on the nature of things
Fortuitous time to level up

We spent a great deal of time hunting down some anomaly man. Must, at some point, get to the bottom of why people turn up like this. Usually more innocuous, but this one’s arrival registered for the others too. Something about a galaxy where they shout at their spaceships and everything is covered in words? He could understand us only when he rubbed our skin? Who designed that?

Imagine if we had to communicate in this way:

“Excuse me, I need to touch your bare flesh in order to have a conversation. Oh, what’s that, you have no idea what I’m saying?” – Rub rub rub – “Oh, now I understand you, why are you screaming ’don’t touch me, don’t touch me?’”

Anyway, Arden’s radio was squelching wrong, we flew the shuttle to a hill in a lightning storm, shit! Carter complained about not being able to see stuff, about everything not being British enough, about climbing the hill in the lightning storm. We did that, found Leftenant bad-touch and then went back to the church. Oh, also fought Bandersnatchers and dodged wild wooz with amazing wormholes. We wasted the better part of a day sorting out his arrival so not much time was left to crack any of the mysteries that will get us going.

Going to try and collect our thoughts on the next phase:

We discovered loads of interesting things hidden within the Basilica. Many of which are unresolved. Here:

1. Thumb-drive of Thesme – contains information, hopefully. No devices we currently have possess the requisite port save the Kindlenomicon, which is still locked to us. We need to either unlock said device or build an interface for another one of our devices.

2. Virus in the woodcarvings – This string of characters starts to try to overwrite any device it is scanned with. Frustratingly, our techno-mates are loathe to let it do that on their precious floating robot whatevers. This “virus” could be the key to many things. Maybe we should let it take over the robot part of our brain? Don’t think it would work though. If it did we might become a demon and kill everyone. Hardly ideal, so for sake of argument, we’ve got more to lose from it.

3. Kindlenomicon(the woodcarver) – A wizard’s e-reader. Filled with useful, forbidden lore, almost certainly. Magically locked and, we believe, keyed to said Wizard’s essence.

4. Summoning circle in the Shuttle (the Necromancer) – Summons a demon into the shuttle, effectively preventing us from leaving the planet. Meddling wizards!

5. Cryo-Coffin – Determine what is being held inside by the warding. See if there are ports for the Thumb-drive?

First thing should be unlocking the Kindlenomicon. It’s the safest(?) of the magical locks taunting us. It’s shrouded in the best sort of eldritch mystery: It’s locked and we had a wiggy dream about a shadow coming from it to molest us, like all the best grimoires do.

One hopes that, once unlocked, it may reveal secrets about the nature of the other magical traps and problems that we find ourselves faced with. To do this, we might somehow extrapolate a magical “profile” from what remnants we have of the magus, largely his artistry and spellcraft evidenced in the woodcarvings. One envisions an image of the caster left in the negative space of his works. Every spell, even seemingly identical, must be somehow unique to the caster, and given that we have multiple examples of his magic, that should be enough to form a simplistic mystical effigy or to imbue another being or item with a false magical “signature” – enough to fool the book. We might even be able to summon his spirit from wherever it’s gone. (Tier 5 ability, Call Otherworldly Spirit)

Along all of these lines, we have been pondering the metaphysical underpinnings of things. It remains our theory that the multiverse is organized in some fashion, that it has a collective structure or will or both. That existence is supposed to function in certain ways and when it doesn’t, beings and the like are utilized to correct these errors. It is our hope to function as an agent for this multiversal will and spend many long years traversing the furthest reaches of causality. We have been attempting to find the voice of this will – the resonance binding all this crazy shit together.

We believe we are hearing it, now. We are hearing something… (Tier 5 ability, Knowing the Unknown)

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Lightning - might sting a bit
We didn't die again.

Hiking in a lightning storm is good for the constitution. And the sinuses. And proving conductivity. And sterility. Among other things.

So there we were, staring at the deck of the improbably named Nox Nox pondering the meaning of ritualistic magical summoning circles when Arden quipped that his radio was squawking with some sort of non-random pattern. Thusly we stopped our debate about the nature magical machinations and Important Things I Can’t Perceive and peered out of our communal gathering hole to examine the horizon. There, off in the distance was a mountain range. As we watched clouds appeared to be gathering with the occasional strobe effect of lightning. The coincidence of a freak storm and notable patterns across the radio spectrum proved too strong a lure.

This is how we found ourselves in the EoMSS (Empire of Man Star Ship) ‘Deathtrap Vomit Bucket’ flying in the midst of a thunderstorm looking for a mountain clearing. Well, “flying” to a certain definition of the word. More like failing to fall apart and crash at the moment as we move in a particular direction generally whilst praying not to die.

About what you would expect riding in a 1000-year-old craft.

Luckily, we survived this harrowing peril by landing in an oddly perfectly shaped clearing near the tree line free of boulders. After a few moments of investigation, we discovered that the clearing was caused by a fungal growth. He mentioned something odd about spirits here, but since none of the rest of us can see his visions we moved on (in spite of my concerns about hiking during a lightning storm).

We managed to survive that as well, but it was a far closer thing than the shuttle ride. Most of the party nearly took lightning strikes. But that wasn’t the climax. Oh no. We achieved the summit whereupon a Heisenbug-Singularity spontaneously formed allowing some sort of exo-fighter craft to slam into the summit. Luckily the pilot had enough time to activate his crash gel, resulting in his survival in spite of the total loss of his craft.

I was able to survive this by an interesting reflex which I wasn’t aware of while the rest of the team dove for cover. There followed yet another oddity; as Gabriel was fishing out Commander Spaceman, four ‘Bandersnatch’s’ (tigers with odd properties) felt the need to attack us.

This resulted in a general melee, with the oddity of fungal spores being exuded by said tigers whenever they were hit (this bit will be important later). Short of the long, I nearly lost my leg to Bandersnatch toxin and we learned a few things about Spaceman Tom, namely that he could understand us although we couldn’t understand him. Eventually Gabriel was able to start up a conversation due to his invaluable gift with tongues. This was how we found out that he was from something called the Runic Empire – apparently a High Technology space faring society that has learned to leverage magic by voice. I Really need to understand how this whole magic thing works.

Thereby we decided sitting on a crater on a mountaintop seemed unproductive so we headed back to the ‘Impending Death By Gravity’ shuttle.

We made it back to the clearing only to discover that the fungus was rapidly trying to eat our un-space worthy spacecraft. It also was commanding Wooz… Woozes? Woozi? Gerwozenshaftenkampf? (whatever you call a herd of animated tree monsters) to smash everything. Thus began an Italian Job of hijinks and panic as we played dodge limb distract while Thorne worm-holed me into the shuttle (how! Damnit, how?!) in order to kick start the damned POS with a hand-crank and a prayer.

Needless to say we survived assault by sentient fungus and fled back to the Basicilla.

We spent the rest of the evening drinking tea from hopefully potable water, talking with whatshisname from the Runic Empire, and trying to come up with a plan around what to do next. Two things; one we have to remove this curse from the non-space worthy EoMSS ‘Ohmygodweregonnadie!’ and what can be done with this usb keystick we found in the statue.

Also! I’m going to ask Khiron if he can cobble together a working computer out of spare shuttle bits to see what happens if we let the ‘virus’ take over a stand-alone system. What’s the worse that could happen? Never mind. Thorne can make wormholes with magic and I can stand in the middle of a shuttle crash. I probably shouldn’t tempt the Demon Murphy with such musings.

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The Vat of Zombies and the Curse of Unintended Consequences
objects not appearing whatsoever may eat your face

Short of the long, we found a secret door within the Canonesses’ chambers because of ‘Magic’. This is becoming a recurring theme; we cast about, looking for clues and then Thorn points and unobservable woojum frolicking in the woodwork that only he can see which “Unlocks The Answer”! I swear I am putting him in the portable fMRI unit in med bay when we get back to the ship with instructions to magic like a madman, until we can discern the fundamental underlying principles such that some of the rest of us will have a chance with all of this. The fact that only Thorne can see some of these things will bite us in the arse.

I’ll come back to that in a bit.

Back to the open door. We climbed up and about, into an attic studio apartment – bed, shower and knick-knacks included. Thorne apparently saved us from some sort of magical curse then the group started tossing the place for clues while I BLOODY WELL SHOWERED!

Ah brief bliss, free of grime and nits and gnats and everything else one would imagine from a planet of permanent medieval camping trips. Suffice it to say the others found the magic kindle of we can’t open, a collapsible camelback, a towel (probably not peril resistant), some reading spectacles, and a carving knife.

And buttons on the bed.

Which revealed another ladder leading down.

So down we went! Only to discover that zombies lived somewhere within the structure. Here begins a lovely slow motion chase scene involving us climbing for our lives away from the undead, punctuated but horrible noises and odors from below.

We made It to a hangar deck somewhere above Basicilla Hamlet which held a shuttlecraft, which proved workable – although it needed fuel and many good thoughts and wishes. Kiron and I went about putting the ship in order as the rest of the group engaged in climbing zombie murder Olympics. We added fuel, read through the pictures in what looked to be the ubiquitous flight manual written in hieroglyphics – the usual panicked procedure.

The flight went without a hitch once the Murder Olympics came to a lull. After a short debate we flew the craft down to the hamlet instead of the Venture (this turned out to be a wise decision, again revisiting Things Only Thorne Can See in the future) where the natives Oohed and Awwed over the holy chariot of St. Timmons. Whatever strikes their fancy.

From there we made short work of the rest of the zombies, sealed the entrance and rested. Causing nightmares because evidently there is some sort of summoning circle tied to the deck of the shuttle leading to a black hangry pit of unpleasantness (what lovely dreams THAT caused). This was only revealed because Thorne used is special vision on the ship. Which he neglected to do before we flew to the ground. It was also determined that had we taken the vessel out of atmo it would have triggered the circle to summon and unspeakable bloody tentacle thing to eat our (or in this case my) faces.

I am very grateful I didn’t give in to impulse to kip off to the Venture to pick up supplies. I imagine a scenario of leaping through the shuttles walls and hoping to land on the Venture while phased. Seems like a fun adventure to read about – not to experience. Which brings me back to the need to figure out HOW TO SEE AND MEASURE THIS MAGIC CRAP. I’m putting Thorne in the fMRI scanner on the ship once we get back for a month if I must! Because this ‘almost dying to things you know nothing about and have no way to observe’ is becoming… tiresome.

Enough kvetching. After a not so sound rest we explored the rest of the tunnel network where we found the one time zombie filled fuel tank designed to unleash death upon anyone who opened the studio.

To sum up; one upon a time an old gaffer who liked to carve in wood lived in a studio apartment behind a magic door in the middle of Medieval Theme Park Land. He had some magical widgets and he may have been responsible for carving the Woodcuts which would excite some future travelers from Aldemere. Someone else, who may have killed said gaffer, decided to booby-trap the shuttle and the rest of the hidden bits with zombie traps and curses. And there is an actual dwarf in what appears to be a cyrostasis pod in the vestibule of the church below all of this.

I am forced to conclude that someone REALLY doesn’t want travelers to crucifix station and was willing to go to excessive lengths to prevent said visits.

Let’s go there. It’ll be a holiday complete with amusement rides and carnies! I love this plan!

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The Basilica of St Timon
Arden, Carter, Gabriel, Khiron, Olis, Thorne

Leaving the events and outcomes of Swingford behind, the company set off for the final leg of the journey to the Basilica of St Timon. Lord Hawkwood and his companions were all eager to compete the journey as it was a pilgrimage among their people. The site was in the keeping of the Order of St. Sylvester, devout archivists which we hoped would provide more insight into the world of Damaina and the strange connections to the world of Aldamere.

After a week’s travel by foot, and many discussions around the campfire with Lord Hawkwood and his cadre, the company arrived at the Basilica. It was an enormous structure which provided shelter to a small community catering to the modest needs of pilgrims. It was clear that the outer artifice of the Basilica was some artifact of a bygone age, which appeared to the technologically inclined to be the intact wreck of a space ship.

Within were a number of wooden buildings housing the priests, the tomb of St. Timon himself, and a number of wooden carvings portraying the Saint. Below was a crypt with the ashes of many of the Hawkwood family. We were greeted by Deacon Ramon, and viewed the displays with due awe and reverence at least from the Hawkwood contingent. Thorne was fascinated with everything, and the images proved quite unsettling for Gabriel. Within the tomb was purported to be the remains of the Saint, but to Aldameri eyes the Saint was not a Man but a Dwarf. The religious images appeared to be straight out of Aldamere history or at least Themse Apocrypha. The locals all insisted it was stories of Saint Timon, but it was clearly images of Saint Latimer. Where they saw Lady Elinor Hawkwook, it was really Thesme (in her mortal guise). Even the dread Lich King of Aldamere made an appearance. Thorne and Khiron were able to see that a few of these images were magically hiding further information.

The company was keen to see the archives as well. Our request was granted on the condition we took part in a Mass of Cleansing and Blessing. Thorne was resigned, Gabriel was keen, and Carter was appalled at what he termed “a blatant disregard for nuclear safety protocol!” as the ritual involves being bathed in the light of the Star Hearth. The archives proved to be a collection of ‘post-rain’ tomes, a couple of “thin-client tablets”, and a few ancient “newsreel” recordings which Khiron was able with some effort to get to partially replay. Studying the tomes took some time and perseverance, telling stories of the Knights of White Fire, stories of the Knights of White Flame, a Damiana bestiary, and the Life of the Saint of Damiana.

After some rest, the company was invited to dine with Canoness Wineford. In the discussion, Thorne relayed the many interesting hints of secrets within the Basilica, and the company beseeched the Canoness for permission to explore them further. After much discussion, it was agreed as long as we shared the learnings and took pains to protect the integrity of the artifacts.

The first stop was the crypts and a strange wooden statue of Lady Elinor Hawkwook. Within one of the eyes was a “puzzlebox” which Khiron was able to open to retrieve some small device. It’s use was unclear, but was clearly of some import. The next stop was investigating the magically concealed images, beginning with the carving in the Canoness’ dining room. After some study, Thorne depressed a series of specific places on the image, and was rewarded with the opening of a secret door revealing a ladder leading up…

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Wooden Pornography and hidden crevices (Thorne's Journal)
Things are going quite well!

We started with the Archives. We learned a good scattering of things, not entirely sure what is relevant to our goals presently. We’ll make a list:

  • They make books out of wood, including the pages. This makes for very short, very heavy books. Important books are many volumes.
  • St. Timon was once father Osar. He, eventually became Canon Timon.
  • Pictures of Canon Timon look like coffin man, not Tapestry man. We’re beginning to think that the “Latimer” version of him has less to do with the Saint and more the artist. The Cannoness confirmed that all the woodcuts depicting Timon in this style were done by the same artist.
  • Terrible storms plagued the planet post ROF. Timon lead them to safety at the “basilica.” Still fairly convinced it was his ship, or at least he had prior knowledge of it.
  • There were some individuals called the Knights of White Fire, founded by one Marissa Baines, who fought something called the Emissaries of the Unhallowed. They were quite squidgy, with tentacles and that. Something about them erupting into a cloud and cursing the people.
  • They defeated these Unhallowed. Afterwards they got into politics, which was their undoing.
  • Early on, there was an alliance with the Cooj. They battled zombies and the Zombie King together. Zombie King!
  • Wooz Wrack: Woozes murdering everyone. Longing for freedom?
  • Alanis Hawkwood founded the order of the White Flame. Sworn foes of the spider folk of the black wood.
  • Alanis also made loads of Catwoman porn.
  • He also “defeated the Dragon Wrackbreath” with a sword called Caliber at a place called Angelfire.

There was also a headset that showed movies stored on cubes. We had to rig something to power it. Nothing impressive has been viewed yet. We also found tablets containing info about the ship that became the basilica. Its called “Castille.”

We then had dinner with the Canoness wherein we laid out our plans for discovering the mysteries of the church. She was a bit resistant, but ultimately agreed to facilitate our investigation because, how could you not, it’s pretty exciting stuff. We began our prodding at a previously unseen woodcut in her study. It depicted St. Latimer/Timon “dancing at the edge of the universe in joyful exultation.” Or, to our eyes, conducting some sort of ritual. He was surrounded by portals. When scanned magically, even more portals appeared, and each was of a slightly different brilliance. We recorded the order of brightness, thinking it might be a key to something else. The arrangement of the portals appeared to be the same as in the holy symbol the faithful wear here. But, then, it occurred to us that it might just be simpler than that. We touched the symbols in descending order, from brightest to dimmest, and the woodcut swung open, revealing a hidden passageway leading up into the ship.

More soon.

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Talking and Reading
Olis reordings, book smart things

We had dinner with the Canoness Winifred. I guess we had decided to go with honesty. We pretty much told her almost everything that we found out. She does seem eager to find out more from these records that they themselves cannot gain knowledge from.

My companions were planning on going through the purification ritual so they can go into the archive. Well, I don’t know my letters so I declined to participate. I can’t imagine they will need me for anything while doing their book smart things. Carter was agitated and insisted that everyone take his medicine before the ritual. He almost did not go through the ritual himself, but it seems the others convinced him to do so. And so they went up.
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It’s not a bad day. I think I’ll go wander the village.

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That's no moon!
Carter and the pile of straw intermixed star empires

We finally trudged our way to the latest entry in Medieval World Theme Park; The Basilica of Saint Timon. Of course the ‘Basilica’ is a tiny little village, wood construction, no sanitary conditions to speak of replete with straw mattresses and everything else you would expect from medieval land.

Except, of course, the Basilica itself is the wreck of an interstellar freighter of some sort.

So let us unpack that for a moment. An orbital vessel survived a prow impact with the planet. And there it sits, bow in, standing upright into the sky. Further the vessel is of such magnitude that it creates its own weather effects, much like one would expect from an arcology or mega-scraper. Not only did it survive impact, it has sat there for a millennium allowing the survivors of said wreck to build their hovels in its hold.

This doesn’t even touch on the fact that the thing makes the Strike Carrier Majestic look like a bloody courier boat in comparison.

This is me hoping we are in a completely different universe from home, as the implications are… awkward otherwise.

So for the rest of this narrative, imagine me restraining myself with every bit of fortitude I can muster from refraining from taking samples from everything. What material is this thing made from to survive the impact? What is its power distribution system? Electronics? Processing system? Power plant? Propulsion system? I managed to sate myself by attempting a 3 dimensional mapping of the hull, before I find a maintenance shaft and crawl the 3000 meters (at least!) to the engineering spaces above us.


several video inserts here


Topping off the weirdness lorry! All of the venerated wood carvings have the Aldermeri in a tizzy. The captions are wrong according to them, and depict their local saints from their home planet.

No clue what to make of that.

Other tidbits; the statue in the basement is a puzzle box and the ‘coffin’ of Mr. Whomeverheis is clearly some sort of cyrostatic suspension unit – inhabited by a Dwarf, straight out of fiction no less.

Now the party is debating sneaking about to find out more bits or telling the natives straight up what we’re looking for. Hell. At this point I think we should tell them straight up and see if we can turn on the bloody thing. Who knows what we could uncover.

Follow up:
There was some sort of data drive in the head of the statue. No idea what its purpose is as of yet.

The Cannoness was interested rather than ‘frightened’ by my PDA. She finally slotted it into her head as a magic ‘scribe’ I believe.

The utter lack of sanitation has me horrified. Still boiling all of the water with my ready-Pak. No cholera or dysentry for me thankyouverymuch. I’m going to shower for a month once we get back to the Venture.

Oh! And aparently those with magical sight were able to see a luminosity pattern to the stars within the woodcutting within the Canonesses living quarters. Thorne pushed them opening a gantry access ladder which leads toward the stern. (the bow would be useless really. I don’t care how significant the ship is, there can’t be much of use left down there).

On the magical sight bit; I need to work with Thorne, Aldren and Kiron to try to understand what electromagnetic principals use ‘magic’ so that we aren’t reliant only on Thorne to see these… oddities.

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