Thousand Dying Suns

Unplanned Jumping or (lol, I was right about the Universe)
The ship decided things for us...

We found a survivor of the ship’s previous “jump.” Sort of. Carter Hamilton Smythe, a.k.a. Captain Brittain was the “chief science officer” aboard a version of the ship – which he calls the Venture. However “his” quarters were labeled Caitlyn Hamilton Smythe, which was apparently the name of his dead sister. We found him rifling through her undergarments, confused as to why all of his kit had been replaced with ladies things.

So theory time: Caitlyn was aboard this instance of the ship, Carter the other. During the jump, the two realities overlapped and they got swapped. Or possibly, Caitlyn also remained here and was one of the casualties. Either way, Carter isn’t from this when or where. He’s from a place called “Rue Brittainia.” Also, he’s at least partially dead. He was stuck in an out of phase state during the demon incident – a 60 year incident. So “out of phase” in this context means sort of trapped between dimensions or realities or whatever. It’s possible that in one of those realities he actually did die, or almost died, before being shunted? This simultaneous death/non-death may be what has contributed to his strange phase state, so he is both dead and alive at once, both part of and apart from this instance of reality.

It’s interesting how this condition possibly parallels some aspects of our own. We have speculated that both of us died in concurrent versions of the summoning incident. Dissonance is largely avoided because mentally, both of us exist in both states conceptually so that each state balances or cancels the other out. The sum totality of two alternate versions of our reality, or as we have been given reason to speculate, all Thornes in all realities. This doesn’t seem to be the case with the Smythe entity. The particulars of this new dissonant state demands further study.

So, we recalled the lander from Earth and discovered that “Lander 2” was out of commission on Titan – a moon of a planet called Jupiter. There’s was a fair amount of thought being devoted to gaining full access to the functions of the ship when a message was displayed stating that a jump would be initiated in 20 seconds. Brilliant! Things driving forward, regardless of our intentions. Fearing another entropic collision, we scrambled to “install” ELIS onto the ship’s computer. The bit that was in our head, at least. Then the jump happened. Apparently, we did not have another no-place incident. We arrived in orbit around a planet that was distinctly not Earth and not Aldamere, at least not the Aldamere we know. It had a great crucifix orbiting it in space.

We used our scanners and sensors and whatever other instruments the ship has got to peer down at the surface of the planet and we learned a few things. First, that there is evidence of atomic activity. Second, that it’s isolated to particular areas. Third, that there is a powerful magical signature on the surface of the planet and that it is some kind of key. Fourth, that it was located inside some kind of broken glass and metal dome. And Fifth, that some sort of battle was taking place in and around the dome.

Smythe and everyone tried to sort out how to go about ensuring that the ship wasn’t going to jump again and then how to go about going down to the surface. He fucked something up and we were all accidentally beamed down to the surface near the dome. We naturally decided to investigate. We were able to tune in to their radio channel and found that there was a contingent of humans being led by two personages called “Hawkwood.” Very posh. They were in pitched battle with something called the “Cooj” or “beasties.” Beastmen. Echoes.

Gabriel scouted and we snuck along after him, managing to circumvent both factions. The magical signature was coming from below so we started making our way down. Inside the dome were various tiers that only encompassed part of it’s circumference. The dome itself was cracked and broken in places and trees were growing in miniature forests atop the tiers. This was somehow reminiscent of both Aldamere and fucked and bombed out Earth. The further down we went the more the plant life became a hindrance until finally we reached the level of the key.

The center of the chamber was choked with dirt and vines and tree roots. I tried to use my lightsaber to majestically cut through the debris, but reality did not share my sense of dramatic flair. Luckily Khiron used his telekinesis to shift the lot and uncovered a very curious scene. 4 skeletons, clad in mouldering clothes, were crouched together conspiratorially. One held a rectangular metal box from whence the magical signature emanated. It was emblazoned with a Sun motif quite similar to our own Solarian (Thesme bullshit, fucking space Thesme, fucking idiotic, hateful, petty religion) church. Despite the tainted mark, I opened it. Inside was a cylinder glowing with it’s own golden luminescence. Arden did his timey wimey thing (Brilliant!) and we got to share a vision. Not quite sure what any of it meant yet? There’s a jump-gate in “crucifix station” that is opened by the key. The men carrying it intended to get it there but never made it. Something about templars coming after them or to rescue them? I think that’s when the bomb dropped and buried them in the basement of the dome. Also, Arden’s powers? Much cooler than Marcel’s, which were being obstinate, not knowing how to read, stealing everyone’s money without trying and practicing shite religion. Still hope he’s OK out there hanging out with that well fit female Gabriel. Gabriella? Gabby?

So we have the means to open a gate from here to who knows where? Having discovered this mere hours after arriving on this planet, one wonders what comes next. If my premise of the universe bringing us here for a reason is true, then what is wrong and how do we fix it? Do the people of these world need the path to their stars opened? Are they worthy of our help. We’ll have to have a chat, wont we? I’m not keen on their possible religiosity.

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Are these guys rubbish? They might be rubbish.
All mimsy were the borogoves...

We are not sure what to think about this world, Damaina. It is devoid of magic, almost devoid. The spirits are quiet. It is unnatural.

The rain of fire was almost certainly an atomic bomb. They have a test that everyone must undertake in order to be cleared for mating. They have a fascinating approach to sex. Very direct and almost clinical? We are starting to see how this might have developed. The bombs fell, mutation was rampant, they retained some vestiges of their technological past. Enough to test for healthy DNA. Their population would have been devastated, so breeding for pleasure or love was passed over in place of matching healthy genetic pairs. I much prefer their approach to a chaste, religious, only after marriage one, but they could make it a bit sexier. Maybe it’s sexier in the bedroom? Everyone else seemed to have enjoyed their night.

We are not allowed to breed because our mutable gender detects as unstable DNA. It’s possible that if we concentrate on fixing our sex during the test that we could pass it. It is amusing to be the only one not indulging for a change. Perhaps we’ll ask loads of embarrassing questions about the sex everyone else is having. Really technical questions about the anatomy of Damaina women compared to Aldameri and Earthlings. :)

So we’re making our way to the Basilica of Saint Timon. It’s meant to be their repository of “old information.” The hope is that some records of the time before the rain of fire have survived. Our primary goal is to ascertain what caused the Phoenix Empire to drop the bombs. Are these people deserving of being cut off from everything? Is their odd, religious zealousness a result of the apocalypse they survived, or the cause of it? Is the phoenix empire full of god botherers as well? If it is, do we even want to meet them? I’m sure Gabriel does. They were once in charge of this space empire, according to them. There was a coup by the “Mirathi.” Some twat called Ninos the undying. The Hawkwoods attempted to take power back and boom, rain of fire. So again, who do we like in this, and what needs fixing?

There have been 3 ages – 1st republic, 2nd republic, and the Age of Empire, which was started by the Hawkwoods. So they went from democracy to dictatorship, because of the Hawkwoods. Not great guys, not great. Sounds like the Hawkwoods might be rubbish.

Aliens: Tao, Eldar. Eldar helped humans, we think. Tao were the bad guys? We’re curious to see actual “aliens.” Hopefully they’re still around.

Heresy:
Non faith-based magic is evil, blah blah blah. Demons might get us.

Further Objectives:

  • Determine the cognitive abilities of the Ents or Woozles or whatever.
  • What’s a Bandersnatch? Ramona says it’s from Jabberwocky. Apparently it’s very frumious. Something about vorpal swords. Snicker-snack…

jabberwocky.jpg

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New World
Recordings of Olis, Damaina

Um… right, this is Olis. I only know a few letters but Khiron has shown me this recording thing. It remembers what I say and reads it back to me. So even if I don’t know my letters, I can note things down. Which is good, because my memory is fuzzy.

One minute I was standing on a patrol boat in the river Iowa or Idaho or one of those ‘I’ places. The next, I’m in a forest clearing. The trees are wrong, the colors are wrong, the smells are all wrong. On top of which Dwight is missing, there’s a new guy named Carter, Ser Marcel is still Arden, and they are all wearing these ridiculous silver clothing and helmets. Thorne, being his usual self, just winks at me and tells me not to worry. I stifle the urge to choke him.

From what I gather, we found a ship, a ship that sails between the worlds. Which is good as it might bring us back to where we started. However, the ship had a problem so Thorne ‘fixed’ it by putting the mind of his mistress ELIS into the ship. And, surprise, that’s how we ended up here.

Where is here? Here is another world. There are men and there are beastmen which are called Kooj. There is also a tree thing, like a wood golem but alive. There was talking on the radio so we went towards where the men were under attack by the Kooj. We turned the tide of battle and the Kooj fled. This Carter fellow seems to now his way around a fight but reminds me too much of the idiot nobles back home. Best to keep an eye on him. The wary but grateful men invited us back to their citadel called Oathfire Keep.

This is what I learned there. This world is called Damaina. The sun is called Hamadryad. It was part of a greater empire, the Empire of the Phoenix throne. There was a rebellion and this world took sides with the rebels, or were the rebels, I’m not too sure about that. The rebellion ended in the Rain of Fire when this world was cut off from the empire. That was centuries ago. Somewhere up above Damaina is our ship. Carter says it’s called the HMS Venture. Up there is also a cross shaped gate that is locked. We need to unlock the gate to be able to travel between the stars. But if the gate is hanging in the heavens, why can’t we just go around it? I’m not sure, I’m missing something. Anyway, through the gate is a sun called Caliban. I don’t understand why we need to travel between the stars instead of traveling between worlds like we did when we arrived, but the others seem to think that is the best way out of here. So we are searching for the key, which we might already have. But the twist is, just having the key is not enough. We need to know how to use the key.

Thorne and Carter seems to think knowledge lies with the Basilica of Saint Timon. It’s a week’s travel to that place. Our ship cannot come down. It is building something to come down to get us but it will take a week. So we might as well start hoofing it. Well, that is the plan but who knows with Thorne around.

The people here follow the Church of the Celestial Sun. Gabriel’s miracles have certainly impressed the people. Thorne calls it space Thesme and raves about saintly apparitions he can see. Well, what did he think Gabriel was doing when he was invoking his miracles? I don’t get it. Not my problem.

There is also a test that their priests did. I was wary but it did not hurt. They were joyous when they learned the outcome. I did not really understand about this ‘genetic compatibility test’ but it became clear when a lady came to by bed chambers last night. Her name was Tamara, dark of hair and tan of skin. She wished me to sire her a child. I told her I did not want to stay but she assured me that she only wanted the child. Well then, it has been a long time so… I kind of embarrassed myself the first time. I made up for it with the second. On the third, she bit me on the shoulder to keep herself from crying out too loud. I could have kept on but she begged off. I guess I might have shown my disappointment. She left and returned with another girl. Her name was Lizbeth and she was fairer than Tamara and had lips like strawberries. Tamara said her cycle might be close enough, whatever that meant. So twice more me and the little sergeant soldiered on. We all fell asleep in the warmth of each other’s company. Oh, and something a little strange. I could have sworn the Spear was brighter last night. The green glow was noticeable even through the sheath.

So that’s how it went. It’s now dawn. The women are still asleep. My bones ache and my muscles ache but today is a good day.
Spear_Glowing_Green.jpg

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A tall ship and a star to sail her by
Arden, Khiron, Thorne, Gabriel

Passing through Everywhere—or was it No-where, I can’t quite grasp it—the second time was quite a different experience. The first time the Entity held sway over our minds in the hopes of torturing us, although Thorne was able to quickly pull us away to the ‘safety’ of hir’s mind. The second time was disturbingly quiet, peaceful, even pleasant… until the ship returned to normal space. Then the pit of one’s stomach fell out and it took a moment to quell the nausea.

The ship felt more like a cathedral in space than it felt like a vehicle, and the sensation was of the world having shifted about you as you stood still. The image of the dark, dirty planet was gone, and in it’s place was a huge metal cross hanging in space above a blue and green marble. Thorne commented about how it must merely resemble a religious icon rather than purposely having been built as such, but there was a divine quality to it. Gathering our wits, it became clear that the ship had plans of it’s own and that we had better get a hold as best we could.

The lone survivor of the ship, the chief scientist, seemed as befuddled as the rest of us as to what had happened, but we at least had arrived in one piece—although Thorne insisted that some person named Mr. Dwight had disappeared, but Thorne has been taken with strange notions many times before. Arden confirmed that we had not moved through space but had cross through some portal between worlds.

Arden, Khiron, Thorne, and the lone survivor were able to determine some things about the new world below. It appeared to mostly be wilderness with isolated cities, and some evidence of technology and even ‘atomic power’ in places. There was some communication taking place in a particular location that the company focused the ship’s equipment on. Somehow the party was transported to the surface unexpectedly by the ship, putting them into the action in the middle of a skirmish between soliders and some beastmen rather than merely observing it from far above.

Thorne had sensed a magic object in the area, so the company quickly moved down toward the source. After some excavation, we discovered a case bearing a symbol that was uncannily like the Solarin Church, and the remains for four people. Thorne found one of the spirits trapped, and was able to glean that they were bearing a magical “key” which was mean to be transported to “Crucifix Station” but never made it. After a short battle with some beastmen-like creatures, the party moved away from the battle and to the safety of a quiet corner of the collapsing dome-covered forest.

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