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Subject: Back-alley Blackbird - Story Thread rss

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Jack van Riel
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OOC thread
Click on your name to go directly to your character sheet. If you gain new traits, tags, keys or secrets, I'll update it there.

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Lady Blackbird
Dice Pool: 5
XP: 1
Unspent Adv:
Conditions:
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Naomi Bishop
Dice Pool: 1
XP: 0
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Sweetgotham
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I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!’
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Cyrus Vance
Dice Pool: 8
XP: 0
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Kale Arkam

Dice Pool: 3
XP: 2
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Conditions:
In pain
Dazed

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Jack van Riel
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The Owl
Conditions:
Needs Fuel




Lady Blackbird is on the run from an arranged marriage to Count Carlowe. She hired a smuggler skyship, The Owl, to take her from her palace on the Imperial world of Ilysium to the far reaches of the Remnants, so she could be with her once secret lover, the pirate king Uriah Flint.

However, just before reaching the halfway point of Haven, The Owl was pursued and captured by the Imperial cruiser Hand of Sorrow, under charges of flying a false flag.

Even now Lady Blackbird, her bodyguard, and the crew of The Owl are detained in the brig, while the commander of the cruiser, Captain Hollas, runs the smuggler ship’s registry over the wireless. It’s only a matter of time before they discover the outstanding warrants and learn that The Owl is owned by none other than the infamous outcast Cyrus Vance.




If you feel that you've hit a key, let me know in this thread in [ ooc][ /ooc] tags, and I'll award you XP.

If you want a refreshment scene with another character, again, let me know in this thread in [ ooc][ /ooc] tags, and I'll give you one (if the situation is appropriate).
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Jack van Riel
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Questions to start us off:

Lady Blackbird (Natasha): You’re disguised as a commoner. Who knows your true identity, or who might guess your secret? How do you feel about the commoners you have been working with? You’ve been captured; are you angry (at whom?), scared, or confident?

Naomi: You’re an ex-slave; how do you feel about being captured by Imperials? You protect the lady Blackbird; do you think her life or her secret are in danger? How much do you know about her, anyway; do you know she’s a sorceress and stormblood, do you know about her history with the pirate king and the count?

Cyrus: You’re secretly in love with Natasha; do you think she might be interested in you, or is she angry with you for getting captured, or…? What do you know about the ship that captured you, or its captain? What will happen when they discover the outstanding warrants and your identity, and what do you plan to do about that?

Kale: You and Cyrus have gone through a lot; anything like this before? What do you think about your passengers, Natasha and Naomi, and your mission? Have you ever been on an imperial cruise ship before, and what is your impression of it?

Everyone:(meaning the first person to answer establishes facts; others may add to those, but not contradict)
You’re locked up, what do your surrounding look like? Are you in a proper brig, with individual holding cells with powered doors? Or simply all together chained to a metal pole in the middle of an empty cargo hold with a bored guard watching over you? Are you bound or shackled? Can you hear guards, or something else? Do you see anything that might facilitate an escape? Can you see or speak to the others, and are you arguing or working together?

What do you do?
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Brian Fahl
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There were four holding cells in the Imperial brig. The four cells faced each other. Naomi and Natasha on one side and Cyrus and Kale on the other. When the door shut as she was locked in the cell, all noise from the outside was cut off and Naomi knew that there was no use in shouting. No one could hear her anyway....except for the Imperials who were no doubt listening in to ascertain the Owl's true purpose.

The door to each cell has a window and from Naomi's window she could see both Cyrus and Vale looking through their own window.

The key will be to communicate with Cyrus and Kale without being spotted by the Imperial guards, she thought.

Naomi made eye contact with Cyrus and nodded ever so slightly. She then looked to Kale and nodded again.

edited for spelling
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Mindy G
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Uriah, my love, I guess it's going to be a little longer until we're reunited... thought Lady Blackbird. She sat down in her cell and glanced out the window at Kale Arkam. The first mate was unaware of her identity, so she didn't have to worry about him giving her up to the authorities. And Naomi she could trust with her life. But the Captain was another story. He had his own troubles to tend to and knowing what he knew about her... well that made her a little uneasy, especially after she had placed so much trust in him, just to have him get them captured. But she would wait, patiently, sure in the belief that Naomi will be working this out soon.
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Cringing Dracolich
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Kale has a quick glance at the locks on the doors opposite. Odds are his is the same. If the guards weren't watching he could shatter the window and have a go at picking it. It is, after all, for occasions like this that he keeps a couple of "tools" sewn into his collar - so what if people think he's vain enough to need his collar all pointy like those snobby types do?

He notices Bishop nodding at him, takes a small step backwards so the guards can't see him (or at least, he can't see the guards, which is a bit of a drawback, but never mind), and winks at her.
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Cringing Dracolich
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Hmmm.... I wonder...

Kale slowly and carefully mouths "Can you read lips?"

Edit: typo
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I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!’
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It was maddening, not seeing her. Glancing at the sullen face of her bodyguard Naomi, who, in his estimation, could have done a better job of protecting her poured salt into the wound. Or I should have done better..., he thought, reflecting on the hiding places he should have concealed her in, of other...possibilities. But then what? She would have been isolated on a ship she couldn't fly and stand out as even more suspicious once she was inevitably captured...at least now there is time to stall. And think. And plan. And plot.

...which reminded him...being captured. He smelled an vendetta...or a bribe-price. There were other things hidden in his ship, things with great value and of possible interest to a unimaginative dog like Captain Hollas. He needed time, and a chance to meet with the captain to tempt him enough to cancel the wireless request.

But how?

He turned his back in disgust from the dark eyes of the useless wench, Naomi.

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Jack van Riel
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Everyone: There are guards outside your cell doors, do they sometimes go away to eat, for instance? And on that matter, how do they give you your food? Do they communicate with others outside the brig? Can you think of anything to get the guards to leave?

Naomi: Kale seems to want to communicate, but Cyrus is just glaring at you; what do you make of that? You're strong enough to punch through these locks; do you see that as a possible way to escape? What do you think Natasha is doing or thinking about right now?

Lady Blackbird/Natasha: What if Naomi can't get you out; are you thinking of using your skills to escape, either your charm, your cunning and disguise, or your sorcery? Or do you think the men might have some tricks up their sleeves?

Kale: You're motivated to finish the mission; how aware are you of what the mission is and who the women are? Do you think Cyrus expects you to get them out, or is he planning something of his own?

Cyrus: How much time do you think you have before Captain Hollas discovers who you are? Natasha suspects you know her secret; how much do you know, exactly? You're a natural born leader; do you have a plan to get everybody out, or do you have to rely on the others, and how does that make you feel?
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Cringing Dracolich
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It's 24 hours since my last post and may be about the same until my next one. If Bishop hasn't posted any response by tomorrow I'll make an action but for now I'll just post thoughts.

Well I guess this is why the Cap'n pays me so well, thinks Kale.

The hoity-toity bint is the one paying the bills, and her trusty sidekick is the one with the skillz. Ha ha that even rhymes. I kill me.
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Brian Fahl
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Naomi nodded at Kale once more, affirming that she could read lips. She then hurried a glance to the two security cameras that both she and Kale could see and looked back at Kale and raised her eyebrows.

The two panopticon security cameras were mounted above the doors on either end of the small corridor that led to each cell. The cameras were stationary and did not move or rotate. The corridor was narrow and well lit. The guards outside were busy following their intake protocol. The guards were focused on their task and not paying the prisoners any mind. Now, in these first few moments of capture, would be the time to force open the door. In the confusion she knew that she could kill all four of the four Imperial guards.

Might as well... Naomi stepped back to give herself room to strike the lock. She pulled back her arm with deliberation.

Naomi looked to Cyrus to give him a warning as to what she was about to do. But, then she saw Cyrus scowling at her.

He's planning something.

She dropped her arms back to her side and turned away from the scowling captain.

His plan better be good.





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Jack van Riel
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Hammering the lock until it breaks, is an automatic success for Naomi. But it will certainly result in a bunch of armed guards ready for her to step out. Punching through the lock in one single blow and getting to the guards before they have a chance to draw their weapons is difficulty level 5.
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Mindy G
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Lets say I wanted to throw up a little lightning to zap the security cameras, what would that be?
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Jack van Riel
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Through your cell door? A 3. It will reveal yourself as a sorceress, of course, at least to the rest of the party, and maybe to the crew of the Hand of Sorrow, if anyone happens to be looking at the monitors when you channel your magic.
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He weighed his options. The body guard was looking tense; he didn't trust what she had in mind. She struck him as the type to use a hammer to open an egg. No. This required...some politics. A smile. And a little bit of luck. The wireless in this sector was less than optimal due to the solar wins from Haven, so there was some time to parley with the Captain, as equals. The risks were there. recognition might mean in sudden death, or a hearty welcome depending on the moral of the Captain toward the Imperial Command; at best, indifference. That is where a 'gift' might be required.

Taking a deep breath, he called out:

"Guards! I formally request a meeting with the Captain privately in his quarters as is my right by the Haven Convention and the Imperial bylaws respecting archaic local laws regarding ship commanders."

It's time.
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No response, at first. After shouting until your throat got sore (they hadn't even given you water to drink), finally a metallic voice came from what must be a speaker mounted behind a panel in the rear wall:

"PLEASE, be QUIET! No need to make a fuss. The only charges brought against you are broadcasting as an Olympian merchant ship, which you're clearly not. And you've probably given a false name too, captain Cadwal; it doesn't matter, because they're running your ship's registry, and will soon know who you are anyway. After which you'll be fined, and sent on your way. Only if you can't pay you'll stay here a little while longer, until we make planetfall. All according to regulations."

"Now, this is a Cerberus-class Imperial Battlecruiser with a wartime complement of over six thousand marines, and you command a crew of four. Including yourself. There is no way I'm going to disturb any high-ranking officer for you, let alone Captain Hollas. Now shut up!"


If you can come up with a new angle or additional arguments, you can make a roll against difficulty 5 to get an audience with Captain Hollas, or 3 to get taken from your cell to speak face-to-face with the officer whose voice you just heard (decide beforehand what you're going for). Your best bet is probably using your Ex-Imperial Soldier trait, with the Command, Soldiers, Rank and Imperial War Ships tags.
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Cringing Dracolich
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Since it was already stated that the cells are soundproof I have to assume that Kale is unaware of that exchange. He does knows that the Cap'n is likely to want to bribe his way out of this, though.

"What's he doing?" mouths Kale, nodding towards the Cap'n's cell.

"I can turn off the lights," he shows Naomi a pocket knife he had in his boot, and points at the ceiling. Let them think he'll use his mad meknik skillz, although that isn't what he has in mind.

"And I can get out." surreptitiously miming picking a lock. "But not fast."

Contingency orders - if Naomi does try to break out, Kale will cast darkness and try to get out himself, using shatter if he can do so soon after the darkness, otherwise breaking the glass. 3 extra dice for the lockpicking, since it worked in the ooc example. The darkness shouldn't matter since he can't see the lock anyway.

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Cringing Dracolich
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Actually the darkness should give me an extra die, since I have a tag called darkness. So drop the pool die to 2.
And can I wrangle the escape tag as well (under tricky)?
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Jack van Riel
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You get an extra die from darkness, yes. It may seem weird that Kale is better at picking locks in the dark, but that's easily justified by reasoning that the trick isn't picking the lock, it's picking the lock before the guards intervene, and darkness might give him the extra time he needs.

You can't use the escape tag, since it's under a different trait. For any single roll, you can only use one trait and tags belonging to that trait. So you also can't use the shatter spell tag or sabotage tag from the other traits.
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Hmm... talkative bunch, aren't we?

Since Naomi isn't responding and the others are out of sight, Kale holds up his hand, palm forward and fingers out and mouths "five minutes while I look around".

Kale looks around his cell a bit more thoroughly. There's a hard bunk with a coarse blanket and flat pillow, and the head in the corner. It's a self-contained unit, so we've got the means to incinerate stuff if we feel the need.

He spots a setup in the wall that looks like a speaker, and probably a microphone too. So the cameras are outside but they're listening in. Maybe these Imperials have some sense of propriety about visual privacy. Well, since they can't see, Kale figures it's safe to tinker with the audio. He uses his pocket knife to pry the cover off and have a look. Disabling the mike is easy, he just cuts the wires. He wasn't making much noise anyway so it shouldn't be immediately apparent that he's done so. Some of the bits in there could be handy later, even if only wire for short-circuiting something.
I'm assuming this won't be very difficult, since it's all low-powered stuff and all he's trying to do is cut wires (with a pocket knife) and retrieve the microphone, some wire, and any speaker parts that will come out easily.
1 + 1(mechanic) +2(spare parts, sabotage) +2(pool) 6d6c[4] = (4, 3, 1, 1, 6, 3) = 2
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  • 652027. Cringing Dragon
  • 6d6c[4] =
  • (4, 3, 1, 1, 6, 3) =
  • 2
  • 1 + 1(mechanic) +2(spare parts, sabotage) +2(pool)
  • Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:11 pm
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Assuming that he hasn't electrocuted himself, Kale puts the speaker cover plate back on and will return to watching the opposite two cells, and staying where the guards and cameras can't see him when he attempts communication.
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Jack van Riel
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Cringing Dragon wrote:
Assuming that he hasn't electrocuted himself (...)
That's a good idea. I like that one.

Don't worry about failing rolls; for one thing, you get your pool dice back, plus one. So you're better prepared for the important rolls; lessons learned, I guess.

I can see this being a difficulty 2 or 3, and I'm ruling it a 3; not because I'm an evil GM who likes to hurt his players, but because in this case a failure moves the story forward better than a success, and I want to show you all that a failure isn't the end of things, and can actually be beneficial. A low roll also doesn't necessarily mean that Kale did a bad job, it could also be circumstances beyond his control that led to a failure.


"Yaaow!", Kale screams as he's thrown backwards, hitting the floor with a thump and clutching his hand. A bent and blackened pocket knife clatters on the floor. They must've booby-trapped this thing, he thinks, as he grimaces at the pain in his right hand.

The outer door to the corridor opens, and a guard walks to Kale's cell and looks in through the window. She's dressed as crew, not as a marine, but she does have a pistol on her hip. Sparks are still flying from the panel in the back wall, and Kale tries to stand, but dizzily sits down on the bunk, almost falling over.

You can't hear what the guard screams, but moments later two more enter the corridor. One is fumbling for a set of keys to open Kale's cell, the other, a young woman, looks a bit scared as she eyes the cameras registering everything. Those of you who move to the window in your cell doors can see an officer standing in the doorway to the corridor, a weary expression on his face.

---
There's plenty of questions still unanswered, so for now just:
Everyone:
How does this new development change your plans? What do you do next?

Edit: A bit more: Armed civilians as a guards, although apparently led by a marine officer. (Is he maybe only here because of Cyrus's shouted demands to speak to the captain?) Is the Hand of Sorrow understaffed, do they not see you as a potential threat, or is there something else going on and all marines needed elsewhere? Did you see marines when you were led from the hangar bay to the brig?

Cringing Dragon: Kale gains the in pain condition, and is up to 8 dice in his pool. I'll update the first post, and I suppose it's most convenient for you if I add it to the character geeklist item as well.
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Although feeling a bit groggy, Kale surreptitiously attempts to kick the knife under the bed while the guard is fumbling at the door.
Because he's in shock (robot) I guess this will need a roll (and I need the practice).
1 + 1 (burglar) + 3 (sneak, hide, dexterous) + 2 (pool) 7d6c[4] = (1, 6, 6, 3, 1, 2, 4) = 3
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  • 652040. Cringing Dragon
  • 7d6c[4] =
  • (1, 6, 6, 3, 1, 2, 4) =
  • 3
  • 1 + 1 (burglar) + 3 (sneak, hide, dexterous) + 2 (pool)
  • Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:25 pm
Jack van Riel
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I would've given you that without a roll, so let's say you manage to mislead or distract the guards. And they won't look for a knife, or search you.

Kale: What do the guards see when they open the door? Have you hidden anything else in the room, besides the pocket knife? Do you appear unconscious, or more hurt than you actually are? How are you fooling the guards?
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Kale shakes his head woozily, and nurses his hand, moaning in pain. He is exaggerating his injuries, and his confusion. The bumbling guard finally manages to get the door open. "I could have done that faster without a key", Kale thinks to himself.

"If I'd known ya'd toss me in a torture chamber jus' for makin' a typo on our comms codes I'd ha' been a lot more careful aboot it!" Kale glares at the guard. "I thought the Imperial Navy treated their prisoners honourably. Especially when they're only being held on suspicion of a crime! You canna force me confess to something I have na done! I want a lawyer!" ooc: laugh

Kale is sitting on the end of his bunk. From here (now that the door's open) he can see part of Naomi's door, and if he leans over a little (swaying woozily of course) he can see most of her door or the edge of Natasha's door (depending on which way he leans). With the guard in the way, he can't see Naomi through her window though.

"She doesn't know the Cap'n," Kale thinks to himself, "and she seems like an impatient type." He gets ready to leap into action. The guards look pretty green and Kale's fairly sure he can take care of the nearest one even while favouring his burnt hand.

shake I'm trying to write this in story-telling mode (when I remember to), but engineers are generally not well known for their literary prowess. We tend to be blunt and to the point.
Kale hasn't hidden anything else in the room except his own incompetence (he sincerely hopes nobody witnessed that, for several reasons). He has Secret things Concealed on his person that he knows from past experience are usually overlooked by searchers, and the only thing he's exposed, so to say, is the pocket knife.
I don't want to get too far ahead of the others here. Weekends are when I have more time to post - last week especially was a very busy week. Next week will be a bit better, and it should improve after that.
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