Friday, May 31, 2013

The Gossamer Saga e02 : Homebrewed System

05/19/2013
The Gossamer Saga : Revolution

Episode Two
"Magda"

Home-brewed Game

The Cast is as follows:
Kale, played by Rachel.
He is a young messenger boy who makes up for his lack of Courage with a lot of Cunning. He travels between regions to deliver messages and parcels.

Quince, played by Erich.
He is an apiarist. He has always had a greater connection to the bees than his fellow men. His lack of Beauty made it even harder to reach out and relate to him.

Larkspur, played by Mahar.
She is a farm girl with a strong religious streak. Her being devoid of Cunning made her very upfront and bold of her opinions.

Ash, played by me.
She is a fourteen year-old assassin with little recall of her previous family. She awoke buried under a pile of dead corpses, with faint recollections of three faces. She had no true Wisdom of the world.

*

The group finds themselves standing upon the very surface of the water.  Ballouise speaks to us and informs us that the city at the horizon is the city of Prosperity.   We are told today is a day we are challenged to fulfill a task:  to find a person named Magda.

Faraker will be with the group, and while Kale seems pretty excited about this prospect, Larkspur clearly disdains Ballouise for setting this up.

"I think I got this now. Everybody close your eyes," Faraker tells the group and uses his magic to transport the group to the city.  In a flash, everyone is gone.

Kale and Ash find themselves on the deck of a ship.  The ship is in the act of mooring when the two arrived, and a number of burly men with armor and weapons stare at them - clearly bothered by their sudden appearance.  Ash grabs Kale's arm as she realizes the language of the men is not even familiar.  Worried she instinctively uses her magic to perceive the man's weakness:  His foot is horrifically afflicted with bad athlete's foot and infection.  One step could disable him.  Unfortunately, he holds it away from others.

Even the crest above on the ship is unfamiliar.  Eventually, a man steps forward and happens to speak their language.  As he asks who they are, Ash tries to mislead him by claiming to have stowed away from the vessel.  "Most vessels would not have allowed a woman on board."  Ash even claims that Kale is her father, but the man admits he thinks Kale is a woodsman or ranger.  Kale offers his services to him, but the man clearly knows the gig is up.  He commands his soldiers to chain the two and while Ash considered bringing the events to a fight, Kale tells Ash to calm down.  "It is easier to escape than to fight our way out."

In Prosperity, Larkspur and Quince appear beside the display of fresh fish in the Marketplace.  The seller starts barking at them, angry that the display was damaged by their arrival.  Quince does the unthinkable; He picks up the fish the woman complains over, and stuffs it into her open mouth! As the woman struggles to get the fish out, Larkspur futilely tries to convince him to stop.  But once the old woman pries out the fish and calls for the guards.  Quince stuffs the fish right back in to shut her up.  "She is a nuisance," Quince calmly explains.

Larkspur decides to calmly call on the gentling aspect of Order, touches the woman and makes her forget the last thirty minutes, feeling the glow of the bright one's love. The two walk away from the stunned people in the market.  "I don't want him to fish choke someone else," Larkspur admits.    As the two look around some more, Larkspur tries asking about the Bright One's temple in the city.  The question frustrates Quince, who complains about her being noisy.  When they ask the man about Magda and he does not share information, Quince interprets the man's actions as being a conscious effort to be in their way.  The man calls for the guards before Quince muffles him into silence.  When he still admits to having no information to share, he ponders on whether it might have been more efficient to just kill him.    The city guards arrive, and the two duck into a corner to hide.

Larkspur recalls the lessons from the Gossamer Tower, and recalls her homeland.  She recalls the connections of people back there and tries to perceive the connection that may exist to Magda.  Images form in her head as she sees a  leprous man, sees rich sultan-type people, sees the image of a tent that is drab and gray -  a travelling tent amid a sea of multi-colored tents.  Larkspur can see the western rampart of the city in the images and realizes, "I have an inkling of where Magda is."  They go to a side alley.

Quince, however, is uncertain. "The wasps have been roused.  You must get caught.  You will not stay caught for long."  Someone points at them.  Pikemen switch to a single file to go down the alleyway.  Larkspur stares at them like a caught gazelle.  The Pikemen call out, "Stop in the name of the Regent."

"What is it with this place? Women don't know their place, men don't know their place.  And they don't know their god,"  Larkspur challenges them.

"Stop that. You are worse than my wife."

The Pikemen ask about the chaos in the marketplace, and Larkspur feigns lacking any knowledge of that incident.  She claims to having never eaten fish either.  When the Pikemen insist she accompany them to answer their questions, she makes a huge scene as she tries to convince them to distract the guards and guide her back to the caravanserai where her "family" are waiting.

Back at the ship, Ash and Kale are brought below the deck.  But before they are locked in, they both notice the large number of soldiers present onboard.  Kale peers out the window and sees the signal flags, but sadly fails to recall how to read them.  The Ship seems to have come from Prime Caerdine itself.   There's no denying this is a military vessel.  The two break a stack of crates to see what is inside, and they find food, uniforms and armor inside of the opened crate.  Both hide behind the door, waiting for the guards to come in so they could pounce on them, but sadly the guards are far smarter than they expected and choose to wait outside.

When the guards return, an archer shows up and forces the two to surrender.  The General meets with them again, but rather than punish them for trying to escape, merely orders them to take a seat on the longboat.  The group then paddles to the city.

Larkspur arrives at the western camp with the guards escorting her.  Gypsies begin annoying her with offers for trinkets, charms and the like.  Quince "meets" with Larkspur who then convinces the guards to let her go. As they consider their next steps, a young child walks up to Larkspur and begs for money.  Hoping to create a tiny miracle to help the child, she takes her apron and tries to transmute it into a sandwich.  Failing, the child takes the apron and quickly mutters, You are supposed to do it this way!" and changes it into a sandwich!  Another guy nearby proclaims as well and has birds fly from his hands.  Another motions and light flashes from his hands as he vanishes.  Many start performing tricks around them.

Quince mutters to Larkspur, "They respect deception.  Deceive them and they will respect you."  Larkspur calls out that she is looking for Magda, because her friend owes Magda money, and she suggests there will be a reward for whoever helps her.

"Is that a promise," a child asks.

"The reward to find Maga?  One fifth."

"Never deal in percentages," the child mutters.

"That is a fraction," Quince counters.

"How about that pretty gem, Can I have the gem?" the child asks, and motions towards the gem embedded in Larkspur's throat.

"No, it might hurt you," Larkspur admits.

"Magda is kinda grumpy.  What to tell her?"

"An old friend of hers sent us."

"Which friend?" the child asks.

People gasp as Larkspur muters the name Ballouise.  They talk about "The Bright One being Ballouise."  Quince questions Larkspur's choice to drop to her knees in prayer, claiming it looks like she is waiting for execution.

Back at boat, Ash finds herself thinking of Staniga.  Kale uses his magic to alter himself to be able to run away very fast.  He takes the moment the longboat reaches the port to pick Ash up and run away.  Armies are at the docks.  He runs for quite some time, traversing the city as much as he can to bring them both away from the port side, but eventually he trips over a man on ground.  The beggar starts complaining about what happened, but Ash confronts him and hands him a broken shard of porcelain.  "Force man to think if he should kill himself, and if he fights to live then he is reborn."  She pisses on some clothes, tears it to shreds, and suggests that Kale follow her lead and dress as lepers.  At least that way the guards themselves would stay clear of them.

Kale tries to reach out to the others with the use of the totems, similar to how they did so back in the Tower.  Sadly, he fails to do so.  They overhear a man complaining about stolen horses.  Ash approaches him and easily steals away his money pouch.  The two then head west, deciding to go there and hopefully ask some of the other vagabonds for information.

With the two others already at the west, Larkspur tries to think of her homeland once again, hoping to recall the Bright One, but the area seems to be getting darker.    "Unless the darkness is Magda," Larkspur queries.

"It is not Magda," a voice mutters.

Behind her, a short old woman stands.  Her back is weighed down by a with pack of things.  Larkspur turns around and realizes the two of them were now in some blanket fort.  They discuss matters of Faith, of Mission, and while the two carry a conversation, Magda somehow just turns her head to start a conversation with Quince, who seemingly still stands in the western area.  Larkspur finds herself lost in the blanket fort.

"Why did I need to be found?"  Magda admits she wonders about that, "Why are you following Ballouise?"
Larkspur beings to see her reflections as that of Ballouise.  Reflections of the Bright one.  Larkspur mentally contests it, proclaiming that the Bright One is not Ballouise.  Magda raises the thought that religion is merely something functional.  It is an opinion Larkspur refuses to accept.

Magda offers them a boon.  However, she reminds them,  "MY magick can only extend so far.  I am not all powerful."  Quince asks to understand what hive the Little Queen belongs to.  Larkspur says she will think about it.   Quince is handed a clear vial : 3 drops in blood to know where "she" is from.
They were all actually in the tent.

Ash and Kale arrive at the western side, and with the gypsies and beggars closing in, Ash shows Kale how to handle them.  She shows the money she had stolen from the man who lost his horses, and offers to pay them to lead them to who ever was "in charge."  They meet the "King of the Hill" who admits to being impressed with how she called for him.  She mentions they are looking for two people who were searching for Magda, and the man tells them they were here.  He hands her a "bright blue feather" to keep as a sign they had met, and she gives him the money.  He offers her a knife as well.

In a crowded area, Ash however stars seeing  Larkspur all around.  Kale starts seeing everyone looking like Quince.  Magda taunts them as she tests them, but Ash in a frantic attempt to regain control, slashes the throat of the nearest Larkspur!  Thankfully, they are just illusions.  Magda throws Ash in an illusionary version of Staniga, but Ash catches it as a fake.  "The smell is all wrong," she tells him.  Ash challenges Magda to show her the tower, but Magda admits to having never been there.  "Why are you here?"

Faraker is then revealed.  Shadows part and he is sitting at a nearby table and eating.  Magda offers the same boon to the others, and Kale decides to ask about his father.  "Is he still in the continent?"  Larkspur finally asks for her boon.  She asks for the blasphemous Ballouise to end, that none recognize her for the Bright One.  "If you can make me one with the Bright One's truest form, then why not?"    Ash stares at Larkspur, curious to why she'd use the word "recognize" rather than "confuse".

Magda hands Kale a mirror.  She tells him that it will allow him to see what his father sees.  She hands Larkspur a cloak, and tells her, "Wear this and Ballouise's influence will fail, for as long as you wear it."  Ash considers at first learning who the three blurry faces in her jumbled memories are, but she realizes she would rather embrace the future than seek the past.  She asks Magda for a weapon that can never be taken, a weapon that can cut lies or lives.  Magda tells her that "At a time of need, when you are ready, it will be there."

Magda vanishes.  The group sees an army on the street approaching.  They rush to the nearest house to hide and realize something magically blocks them from returning to the Gossamer Tower.   Quince watches from the second floor to try to see how far the army goes (all the way to the far end of the road).  While Larkspur decides to start cooking something for dinner, Ash and Quince consider options to escape.  The heraldry of the army is unfamiliar.  They are detached from the main country.  Though they are not occupying the city, it is clear they are here for a greater purpose.  Larkspur uses her magic to peer and sees the "web" that blocks their escape.

The group decides to wait it out.

Hours pass as the parade moves, and by nightfall, the parade is over.  Military patrols instead are about.  The group uses their totems to return to the Gossamer Tower, and there find Gorval waiting for them.  He admits he seems bothered by the sigil on the uniforms which Ash and Kale hand to him - the uniforms they had stolen from the ship's crates.   He admits to them that the trip to the city was a test from Dawn.

*

Back at the tent district, night is falling.

The city is turning in for the night, and the imperial force left behind stands there to augment the city's defenders.  The groups are centered around the docks all through-out the city of Prosperity.  A lone figure goes to the grey tent surrounded by a sea of colored ones.  Magda's tent.

The Captain from the boat enters the tent and finds Magda seated on a chair.
"You took your time to get here," Magda chides the Captain, "Brought a lot of friends too.  Why are you here?  And what can I do for you?"
























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