- After treating their wounded aneen as best they could, the group gathered the remainder of thier possessions and set out again. The animal slowed their progress significantly, however, and it was after dark before they reached their destination: the on oasis on their route through the desert.
- As they approached, they noticed two things. The first was a brilliantly-glowing, blue-purple, diamond-shaped object floating above the oasis. The second was the fact that the oasis was occupied by several different groups of people.
- As they refreshed their animals and made their camp for the evening, the group spoke with several of the others there and learned that each of them had a wildly disparate understanding of the surrounding world - to the extent that Naran and Ronin suspected that perhaps the area occupied some confluence of time and/or reality.
- Just before dawn, the diamond-shaped object began to pulse and vibrate. After a few minutes, the object collapsed in on itself - seeming to draw everyone and everything else occupying the oasis into itself before vanishing.
- Observing how much their wounded aneen had slowed their progress and believing speed to be essential, the group voted to use Helious' healing artifact on their injured animal.
- Packed up again, the group continued their westward journey for the next couple of days - approaching the gathering clouds near the looming black mountain range and fighting the oppressive heat.
- As they neared the foothills in the shadow of the jagged mountains of the Black Riage, they happened upon a sizable herd of wild aneen making its way north along the edge of the hills. The clouds above were beginning to arc with purple lightening. The group was still approaching, intending to pass the herd to the south, when an enourmous cragworm erupted from the earth ahead of them, bellowing its hunger...
Well, was gonna play some Battletech tonight, but instead, I decided to get sick. Really enjoying the game I'm playing with Tim - pretty bummed not to get to continue it tonight.
Our Numenera campaign is going well also - might work on that some tonight since no 'mech 'splosions. I've got a couple of new Numenera books (Into the Night and Into the Deep) on the way. They were supposed to be delivered today, but got shipped to Colorado Springs by mistake. Insult to injury. Sick, no Battletech, no new gaming books. Hopefully I can sleep tonight and feel better tomorrow.
In unrelated news, here's a picture I took of Hannah a week or so ago.
- The group set out to the west, crossing the northwestern region of the Gathmund Scrublands before exiting them into the wide, flat expanse of the desert flat that lie between them and their destination.
- On the second night, the group awoke to suddenly find themselves in a dense forest. Margr fled through their camp and something large was approaching from the north. As they attempted to calm the aneen, a massive bison-like creature emerged from the surrounding trees. It was gushing blood from a wound in its side, making thick red pools wherever it stepped, and the creature held a miniature-sun-like fireball in its mouth which licked flames out toward anything living.
- The group grabbed what supplies they could and attempted to flee, but the aneen Piper and Ronin were riding was panicked and uncooperative. It fell on its side, throwing Ronin off before bolting the opposite direction. Unfortunately, this took it right past one of the lingering margr, which put a nasty slice in its right leg - causing it to fall again and Piper to lose her tenuous grasp on the animal. The giant buffalo plodded onward, seemingly unaware of them.
- Piper and Ronin were able to make short work of the lingering margr still prowling the area, while the others rejoined when the beast had passed. As they gathered their now-blood-covered supplies, the group discussed what should be done with their injured animal.
- Aralakh took their payment and left world, deciding to jump into Capellan space to avoid potential political issues selling "acquired" Free Worlds' military hardware.
- A baron met with them under false pretenses - not interested in buying their mechandise, but wanted to hire them on retainer for guard duty on a secondary planet in-system.
- The group negotiated up to 500k for the year, plus the baron will cover all repairs and normal expenses. Additionally, the baron agreed to hire a broker to aid them in the sale of their unneeded merchandise. The group also has 50% salvage rights, but as there are no other mechs on their world, it seems unlikely they'll get much.
- Aralakh took the opportunity of having a benefactor to bring on a new mechwarrior: a woman called Riley who pilots a Trebuchet.
- Overall, while not especially lucrative (or exciting), it seems like a nice, easy contract...
- The group continued their discussion with Polious about their upcoming journey and some of the potential difficulties they may encounter.
- The following day was the third day of the yearly Eves festival - the evening of the big feast and a time for making important announcements about the upcoming year. Among others of various kinds, Polious announced his assistants' journey to a far-away place in order to recover desperately-needed components for the town's faltering artifact. The group enjoyed the feast and spent some time talking to various townsfolk about their upcoming quest.
- After the Eves, the group spent a few days preparing for their journey before heading out. As they left the town, accompanied to its edge by various family, friends, and well-wishers, they noticed that the farmland looked noticeably parched...
- Both sides continued to pound each other for several rounds, severely damaging multiple units.
- Ultimately, the pirate leader proposed a deal: they would leave the system and not return - and would leave the merc a prize of valuable military equipment - in exchange for an end to hostilities.
- After considering the situation carefully, Aralakh agreed to their terms. The pirates proved true enough to their word.
- The company's employer was not completely satisfied with their results, though they had technically fulfilled the contract and the pirate threat was gone (at least for the time being). Compensation was renegotiated for half.
- After taking the contract, Aralakh headed out to the mine abandoned moon where the pirates were said to be hiding out. Not liking the hemmed-in approach from the main road to the south, they decided to put their dropship down on the plain to the north even though it meant more rugged terrain between them and their target.
- As they approached the mine from above, first contact was made with the Jagermech perched atop a hill. The Commando entered as the mercs engaged, with the Dervish and Stinger arriving after a couple of exchanges.
- Aralakh took some hard hits early in the confrontation, but have so far managed to avoid being crippled. The destruction of the Commando has evened the playing field somewhat, but they still have an uphill battle. If they don't get a break soon, they may need to pull out or risk more than their contract...
- Piper, Naran, and Ronin headed down into the guts of the Weathervane while Ganthet and Helios remained with Polious in the control room, attempting to keep things from getting out of hand.
- The three descended into the structure, noting more and more of a strange, acrid-smelling black oil as they made their way toward the inward. Outside the vault itself, a large stream of the stuff poured down the wall over wires and conduits - among which were dozens of eyeless rat-like creatures.
- A couple of townsfolk approached the Weathervane, looking for Polious to address an issue in town involving a strange device, and hostile spreading plant growth. As he was still unable to see and Helios had been more weakened by the day's events, Ganthet was sent to address the problem. He found some sort of artifact producing a thick fog and causing shrub-like plants to grow. When he activated it, the ground began to vibrate violently. He found himself outside of the town by several miles, and watched as large sections of earth some distance to the north rose out of the ground and floated above it.
- Once inside the vault, Piper found the Weathervane's power core and attempted to disconnect it. Unfortunately, this seemed to cause a runaway reaction resulting in the core's explosion. Piper somehow managed to escape the brunt of the blast.
- The explosion of the power core radiated energy throughout the town, instantly burned away the stormclouds, and ultimately resulted in a total blackout as all power drained from the ruin.
- Over the course of the next few weeks, Polious, the others, and the rest of the town attempted to pick up the pieces. Polious managed to cobble together a replacement power source for the Weathervane and once the rain cycle resumed - even though it was irregular and somewhat less than sufficient - the townsfolk began to relax. Polious and the others, however, know that the current arrangement is underpowered and anything but stable.
- A few days later, the Eves festival begins. This is marks the new year in Arable, as well as the first few days of the planting season. The group spends the first day of the celebration with their individual families, spending time together and exchanging gifts. Polious also visits each, giving them gifts of his own.
- The second day of the Eves is a time of planning for the new year. For most, that means talking about what crops to plant in which fields, which animals to breed, and other such things. For Polious and his associates, however, this conversation looks very different. Polious tells them he's learned of yet another ruin similar to Arable and the "B Dome" (which is now known to be a sphere, and is floating about a hundred feed above the ground along with some chunks of nearby landscape). This one is about 10 miles into the mountains of the Black Riage, near a village called Urnmoll. It, reportedly, even shows signs of continuing power. Arable needs a new power core. The Weathervane will not survive without one, and if the Weathervane doesn't survive, the town is doomed. Further, Polious is unable to leave the town - the artifact is too unstable. The others are going to have to do this on their own...
Lately this blog has mostly been a gaming session log - that one function having basically become its primary use. It's not that nothing else is going on, it's more that nothing else makes for very good posting.
It's been a year - not a particularly great one. I find myself at a point feeling like things aren't bad for us, they're just not good. Perhaps I'm just less content than I ought to be. But...what can you do?
On The Typical Fronts
Web Dev: Still working at AAM Piney Flats; like my job, love the people I work with. We're getting by. Think about reworking the front-end of this site from time to time, but I'm pretty happy with it as-is. I'm sure it'll get a new look at some point.
Gaming: It has been a good year for gaming. Wrapped up my awesome World of Darkness campaign, started a fun Numenera game that's starting to pick up steam, and I'm even running a strategic-level Battletech game for Tim (which I'm loving). My games-i-really-want-to-run queue has been reduced to a Mouse Guard game. I'm also playing in a friend's 5e D&D game, though I've missed the last few sessions for a small variety of reasons.
Photography: I've found a way around my screen sharpness issues, but I'm still irked that I need a workaround at all. No, I haven't contacted Canon phone support yet. I haven't been shooting much lately except when I "have to". I really need to. Need to do some stuff that reminds me why I got into it.
Music: Every now and then, I work a little on music stuff - just not enough that I have anything to show for it. I have an idea for a record I want to make, and I've done quite a bit of concept development, but that's about as far as I've made it. Supposed ambition outstrips time & energy these days.
Geocaching: Haven't done enough this last season - just been a little too busy somehow. Really need to get back into it next, though - if only for the exercise.
Model Painting: Got a few more Battletech minis to paint. It's been a while since I've painted anything and I've been wanting to do some more. It's relaxing...in an exhausting kind of way. Also intending to repaint my halfling paladin mini for Rucht's game.
Reading: Got a new Battletech novel that was recommended to me to read. I enjoy reading, I just don't do it all that much. I often have a difficult time with passive forms of entertainment.
Writing: I'd also like to take a shot at writing a book myself. I do a lot of writing for RPGs; I'd like to try my hand at some kind of short genre novel. I mean, I don't have enough time for all of my other hobbies, why not add another pet project with an overwhelming work load? Right?
- The group hurried toward town, only to find the north gate held closed by a massive mutated plant. When the group attempted to cut the struggling gate mechanism free, they found that deformed plant also possessed bladed tendrils and often emitted psychic shriek when injured. As the group fought with the plant creature, an errant shot from Ronin deactivated the gate completely and a massive tendril grappled with and ultimately once-more panicked Naran's aneen.
- As the others hacked and burned away at the plant, Helios worked on phasing through the door to assist from the other side. He successfully reached the other side, but not before sustaining further injury to his already battered body and mind. Though significantly debilitated and possessed of only a rudimentary knowledge of the Numenera, he somehow managed to reconfigure the gate's controls to bypass the circuit destroyed by Ronin's arrow and opened the gate.
- The group reunited and reached the malfunctioning Weathervane, but the situation was quickly worsening. Even with help, Polious was unable to stabilize the artifact. His blindness preventing him from doing himself what was quickly becoming obviously necessary, he handed Ronin the key to "the Vault" and sent the group into the guts of Weathervane to shut it down...