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Pre-game chat - rocket science and why Kenya is the best place to build an Orbital Railgun

GM: Evacuated Launch Facility.
Me: Just call it the BFG and be done with it. Everyone else will.

GM: Where were we?
Gillert: We were fishing with a wizard and a kobold on a string.

GM: Pass me the critical hit deck. We'll need the big one because it's Muskie rolling.
Zin's player: .... Fuck You.
GM: Past Participation Predicts Piss-Poor Performance.
Zin's player: *rolls, headdesks*
Harshal: So, Zin, just how badly have you fucked us?

Zin's failure to take out the magical alarm bell doesn't screw us completely, because the rest of us were already swinging in.

GM: You assumed Zin would succeed in taking out the bell?
Ys: Actually we assumed he would fail - which is why we're all going in at the same time.

Harshal soon learns the difficulties associated with being the only party member in the room without darkvision, trying to stab somebody in a dark room, and stabs the mattress instead of the Shoanti investigator.

Tannis: 'Die! ... this guy is made of straw'
Ys: Attacking the strawman :D

GM: So, the only one not bloodied is the Shoanti sorceress.
Gillert: Whoops.

The sorceress rolls under one of the beds, and uses Ray of Enfeeblement on Ys.

Ys: Bitch! Right, step back, draw out an Acid Flask, and make her eat it.

The Shoanti investigators defend themselves against a surprise attack by superior numbers with the success usually limited to PCs. And then the door to the room opens.

GM: Open/Close - it's a wonderful cantrip.
Gillert: Logic dictates they're going to make a run for it.
GM: What have we said about logic?
Ys: It only allows you to be wrong with authority.

GM: The Shoanti scout realises Harshal is no threat and rummages in his pack for a sword. Harshal gets an attack of opportunity.
Harshal: *rolls and headdesks*
GM: And now the scout has a sword. And because it's funny, the Sorceress hits Zin with another Ray of Enfeeblement.
Zin: *falls over and flails helplessly under the weight of all the gear he's trying to carry*

Tannis: Godammit Harshal kill that Scout!
Harshal OOC: ..... did you just just say my name? Mid-op?
Tannis: .... uh...

The Scout jumps out the window.

Harshal: Pity we can't throw Zin and his backpack at him.
Zin: I would be an improvised weapon at this point.
GM: Yeah, but you don't have the equipment to throw something that heavy. And you can't see him in the dark anyway.
Ys: Which is why I'm the one going after him.

The Hunter is taken down, but the Sorceress is now protected with Mage Armour.

GM: She's also begging for her life.
Tannis: Bitch. *stab*
Harshal: Rightio - draw those Nightscale daggers and finishes her off.
GM: There's a streak of red and white as one of her tattoos turns into a fox and runs for it.

Harshal and Tannis: What the fuck was that?

Tannis collects it, after it knocks itself out leaping from a third story window.

Tannis: Some kind of small dog?
Harshal: Fox.
Tannis: Is that some kind of country thing? Well, I know somebody that will buy it...
GM: Familiar. Worse, Sage Familiar. Ah, wizards, creating intelligent creatures that get left to wander the countryside when the wizard gets killed.

Meanwhile, Ys is trying to track the scout. Despite her Elven heritage, tracking is not one of her skills. And it's night. And raining.

GM: At least he's trying to use the back alleys, so I'm counting that as soft ground.
Ys: 23.
GM: He runs about 400 feet, and then you shiv him in the dark.

Harshal moves a chair in front of the door, to delay any investigation.

GM: The only thing anybody has heard in the rest of the inn is the Alarm bell clanging. Which only some of them might recognise as an alarm spell. 'Somebody is getting robbed. And it's now muffled... and louder again. OK, time to get my armour on. But it's still not my problem'

Zin tries to loot the hunter's armoured coat, and Harshal grabs the scout's backpack. Then we all disperse to throw off any potential pursuit.

GM: The fight would have been a lot shorter if any of you had had some kind of light source ready.
Tannis: If I'd remembered Gillert had Colour Spray I'd have had him use that first.
GM: How could you forget he had Colour Spray? He used it in the first fight!
Tannis: Because I don't have a good memory.

The loot -

Tannis: Magical Fox.
GM: Wait, what? It was a familiar.
Tannis: Well, I don't know that.
GM: Good point. As far as you know it's actually the sorceress. Or a fox that was wearing a people-suit.

The Watch do come around to see Harshal in the morning. After all, he was the last one to talk to them. The Watch Commander takes an unholy glee in dropping Harshal in it, although Harshal's entirely truthful explanation that the Shoanti had asked him to investigate graverobbing does deflect his attention. He still has to go around to the inn and identify the bodies, though.

GM: Yeah, it's definitely the people you murdered last night.
Gillert: 'They're just where I left them'
GM: You can already hear the guards talking in the room as you come in.
Harshal: It's not Colon, is it?
GM: No, it - goddamit, I drew The Fool - it IS Colon.
Colon: It's obvious innit - the bint should have been in her room. Snuck in for a bit of rumpy-pumpy, the other bloke took offence, stabbed them both, tried to leg it, and ran into the local gangs. Easy.

Harshal attempts to portray total innocence. Happily, even rolling one on the bluff is enough to convince the Watch, partly because Harshal such a good lying snake.

GM: And partly because they want it to be true.
Harshal: And if it is true, it means less paperwork.

Unfortunately, the offsider is that worryingly astute watchman.

Watchman: If it was a crime of passion, explain the potion bottles.
Harshal: .... A keen observation. That would indeed imply premeditated murder.
Gillert: 'Or they were kinky'.
Harshal: .... yes, that's entirely possible, Sergeant Colon, but I believe 'sophisticated interests' like that are more of a city thing. Can I see the bottles?
Watch Commander: Not unless you want to apply to the justices for a Warrant of Investigation, and take the case off our hands.
Harshal: ... tempting, but no.

The Watchmen are also admiring the equipment that got left behind.

Harshal: Not theft, then?
Watchmen: Doesn't look like it.
GM: I'm sure it's fridge brilliance, but the scout's backpack being the one you stole DOES suggest he was robbed after he fled. I couldn't believe it when you said you were grabbing his.
Harshal's player: OK, I admit I wasn't planning that.

Tannis also discovers the fox can understand human speech, after he's passed it onto to Iria for study.

Tannis: No invasive stuff, we might have a use for this.
Iria: But then I can't do anything!

Tannis: Are you going to be co-operative?
Fox: *Three taps for maybe*
Tannis: Your mistress is dead.
Gillert: Do you know who did it?
Fox: .... *two taps for no*
Harshal: Well of course it'd say that, wouldn't it.

The GM checks some rules, and is finding out how hard it is to talk to an familiar, since they aren't ordinary animals anymore.

GM: ..... Actually... I might do something with that. *evil chuckle*

Sala No-name might be able to talk to the fox, but there's no way that would be a good idea, since Harshal has figured out she's a Wild-blooded, probably Fae, Sorceress, AND a Shoanti. On the other hand, she does assure us the fox familiar with probably lose all it's abilities over the next few days. Not entirely true, but a merely intelligent animal isn't as dangerous as one that can testify in court.

Harshal: Problem solved.

Tannis: I feel.. that I ... am a nice man.
GM: Nice wording.
Gillert: He actually said that with a straight face.
Tannis: I'm evil, but I am humane.
Ys: True.
Harshal: *raises skeptical eyebrow*

Translations via Sala No-name, and her wolf, to the fox, and back.

Tannis: I believe you're going to lose all your magical abilities over the next few days. How do you feel about this?
Fox: I dunno, how do you feel like scratching about in the dirt and throwing your poo at people?
Tannis: .. I believe some people enjoy it, but it's not for me.

Harshal: Tannis, may I have a word outside?
Tannis: Alright.
Harshal: Do we really want a witness who can identify us by scent running around?
Tannis: I'm confident it can't find me. And I don't particularly care.
Harshal: Well, alrighty then. *mutters* At least I have an alibi.
Tannis: I did the deed. YOU did fuck-all in the entire fight.

The fox doesn't want to be given to another mage, or lose his Familiar abilities.

Fox: I don't want either - but I can't afford to bring her back!

Tannis eventually convinces the familiar that it will be looked after, as befits any intelligent creature in Magnimar.

Fox: You're a good human.
Harshal: *snorts*
Iria: Actually, that's a good question? How many intelligent ex-familiars are running around out there? I need to ask some questions....

GM: There's a reason Sala No-Name is such a good information broker. She casts Ears of the City and Commune With Birds, and now she knows everything that's been happening in Magnimar in the last day.

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