For some reason part one of this particular session log did not originally post properly. It’s now up in it’s proper place, right HERE.
Running a pickup from the Forgotten Realms was quick and easy. Further reinforcements were easy enough too – although there were getting to be a lot of outsiders there. Washington (LR) was currently playing host to Ryan and his group, the Neodogs were running around picking up kids, more Thralls were taking care of other items, Ruth, Arxus, and King Arthur and the Arrankar were on the loose, there were the House’s teams, the Unified America agents, and who knew what else at the moment.
They didn’t want to tear a hole in the world – but nearly 23% of the kids from the Linear Realms had been signing up as Thralls. The powers were pretty attractive and they were apparently well used to not having much of a future. Being offered one was pretty nice. That meant that they could send plenty of natives with established identities home – and there were enough ensouled people in the Linear Realms to hold the place stable against practically any disturbance other than the memes anyway.
(Marty) “Well, let’s give them a little help then!”
Not a problem.
The current priorities from the House were the Linear Realms and Inversion – although they were leaving the choice up to their own judgement.
(Kevin) “Hm. Meet the attack or head into the enemy stronghold. Which do you think Marty?”
(Marty) “Damn, that’s a hard choice! I don’t think we’ve done a lot of fortress storming though. Let’s do that!”
(Kevin) “All right; to Inversion it will be… Besides; we’d probably have to wait for the invasion, going to inversion we may be able to pre-empt it. Darn! We’ll have to put off our visit to the Anthropomorphic worlds yet AGAIN. “
(Marty) “Hey, I’m sure we’ll make it there eventually. You’ll just have to be patient.”
Were they ready to face Merlin? Much less his boss and the Horsemen and whoever else was in Inversion?
Had they been ready for anything else?
Well, their opponents had an Opener and powerful mages and psychics. It would be best to use an existing gate or – preferably – a natural link through the mountains or some such, rather than making a detectable disturbance. They could certainly gate to somewhere within easy reach of such a route though.
Captian Rada would be far too conspicuous in their seas and ports, but Jebediah – a long-time scout-explorer of the Manifold wilderness – might know a route. Hey! Maybe they should invite Xellos… Kevin hadn’t seen him yet anywhere in quite a while, and Marty had never even met him!
Kevin set up some contact-attempts. Marty wanted to meet Xellos anyway, even if it did seem likely that Limey would need his chip to operate in Inversion.
Jebediah was available pretty quickly. Kevin’s habit of assigning a few Thralls to each of his contacts paid off there… None of the Thralls assigned to Xellos knew where he was though. All he could do was send Thralls with messages to his usual haunts.
Oh well. Inversion was low-magic and Xellos might not want to go there – although, come to think of it, his powers might well adapt to the local psionics; they matched their destructive nature, and even the negative-energy special effects, pretty well.
According to Jebediah, it looked like the best route would be leaving Kadia for the New Imperium (a planet called Kashykk), jumping from there to the Anthropomorphic Realms, from there to the Natural Geographic Realm – and from there taking a natural realm-path to Inversion.
Wow. Marty had no idea that “National Geographic” was a realm. There might be topless tribeswomen! He was looking forward to that one as much as to the Anthropomorphic Realm!
(Kevin) “Well, looks like we get a quick visit anyway…”
Hm. The route into Inversion led into one of the few remaining sections of habitat still remaining intact in that realm. Human presence there was typically strictly regulated. Well, that might involve a bit of sneaking, but it would probably be far less conspicuous than a gate-opening.
(Kevin) “Marty? Think we’ll want any special equipment?”
(Marty) “I don’t know. Stuff to protect against toxic environments?”
Marty turned, and barely dodged, as someone yelled out “Fore” and sent a bowling ball whizzing by his head.
(Mysterious Golfer) “Oh my, did I almost hit you with that?”
(Marty) “Yeah. Now can you putt THIS?”
Marty fired a plasma pistol shot at the guy’s club – which the golfer parried with his club quite handily.
(Mysterious Golfer) “Temper, temper. Now do you really think shooting people at the golf course is proper etiquette?”
(Marty) “Oh come on, you were supposed to launch the plasma into the hole!”
Marty was wondering if Puck had come to visit…
(Kevin) “This is Marty; he thinks that running people over with a golf cart is proper etiquette…”
The mysterious golfer was a young man with purple hair, eyes continually shut, and an insufferable grin on his face.
(Marty) “Hey, you shouldn’t lie down on the golf course! It’s really impolite!”
Marty blinked for a moment and then matched up the discription… Ohhh… it was Xellos.
(Kevin) “Hello there! Enjoying the course?”
(Xellos) “Charmed I’m sure. Well Marty, my name is Xellos, mysterious priest!”
(Marty) “Pleasure to meet you. I’m Marty Tabard, obnoxious businessman!”
Marty heartily shook Xellos’s hand.
(Xellos) “Oh yes, the challenges are quite the pickle! Although I did have to take the bowling ball challenge to keep things interesting… I hear you were going on some sort of expedition?”
(Kevin) “Ah yes! Off to a realm called “Inversion”. A place being overrun by renegade powers from other planes, and with a most destructive form of local magic!”
(Xellos) “Sounds rather typical really. And the sort of place to cause all sorts of enlightenment by accident. Wouldn’t you agree?”
(Kevin) “Yes, I would… And it would be pretty typical, except that the outside forces seem to be a good deal more potent than usual.”
(Xellos) “Potent you say? Mind if I ask how so? Surely not potential reality failures? Those are most troublesome.”
(Kevin) “Oh well – Merlin, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a flawed Opener, some others, and someone who likes to call himself or herself “God” and has peoples souls stripped away so that he or she can use them as avatars. Hard to say if it’s he or she really.”
(Marty) “Does it really matter if you can do that?”
(Xellos) “Troublesome indeed, although it will be a nice break in the routine I suppose.”
(Kevin) “And somehow it seemed like the sort of thing you might enjoy!”
(Xellos) “Indeed, very well then I am in.”
(Kevin) “I hope you enjoy it! Anyway, the best route seems to be to the New Imperium Kashykk -> Anthropomorphic Realms -> Natural Geographic Realms -> and through a natural trail to Inversion. Although Marty may have to put off his pirating…”
(Marty) “Hey, I can live with that.”
(Kevin) “Will you be needing some aides? They are handy sometimes!”
(Xellos) “Aides are always nice, and as I recall, I don’t have to concern myself for their welfare should things turn ugly?”
(Kevin) “Not at all; if they get killed or something, they just turn up back here. Or you can summon them back.”
(Xellos, with a big smile) “Well that is handy!”
(Kevin) “Hm. We were going to make a big thing of arriving in the Anthro realms, but it probably isn’t time for a big entourage since we’re going to Inversion after that. What do you think Marty? And how many aides would you like Xellos?”
(Xellos) “Hmm, three should be sufficient for my purposes.”
(Marty) “Eh, let’s lay low for now, I want our official arrival as fancy as possible!”
(Kevin) “Very well… three Thralls for Xellos and – say – six extras? Is there any special gear good for Inversion? I’ll run a check on the books – and there are a few minor Core psitech items out there.”
Hm… Smartclothes would work well against most of the environmental issues. Oxygen, water and food were rather limited there outside the cities. An aircraft or spaceship would be very handy too – although it would be hard to get one through the Anthropomorphic Realms and flits and such wouldn’t work there for lack of power. Ergo, some packloads of extra power supplies, supplemental oxygen, water, and food. Maybe a few ultralights? Coretech ultralights could pretty much be packed into a pocket.
(Marty) “Sure, I don’t think we’ve fooled with those that much before.”
(Kevin) “So a sackful of those; if necessary, we can boost them with TK, since the engines aren’t all that much. Have to get the classic, non-force-field models though… A few of the minor Core psiboosters all around. They aren’t very powerful, but they’re cheap enough.”
(Marty) “Sure, why not?”
Xellos proposed taking some nuclear acorns. Either he was picking up information from somewhere, or he’d been keeping an eye on Lord Zero or something.
(Marty) “Huh, nuclear acorns? Hey, what have those thralls been doing in my ex’s yard?”
(Kevin, after checking briefly) “Hm… Ah. Apparently they blew up Lord Zero, when it came after Todd and tried to blow up Abigail along the way.”
(Marty) “Todd? Todd Jenkins? Oh shit, he and Gelman are both in Kadia?”
Marty sincerely hoped that Todd didn’t remember him eating two months worth of payments; he’d sneaked out while the poor sap was simultaneously bawling and wallbanging… That was one of the few times in his younger days when he’d actually felt guilty over being really thoughtless. He’d gone and bought more supplies and dropped them off later that evening.
Of course, he hadn’t faced the guy, and the Welsh are unfortunately known for not forgetting these things…
(Marty) “At least they’re both okay.”
(Kevin, checking information) “And you knew that Gelman was here… And he seems to have invited the rest of the British Traditionalists, and they’ve opened a training program. Oh dear. Another thing I’m going to have to check on later.”
(Marty) “At least we know who to blame if everybody’s teeth start going bad.”
(Kevin) “Is that a side effect?”
(Marty) “They’re BRITISH. I don’t know if it’s contagious or not, but you better increase the realm fluoride levels to be sure.”
(Kevin) “Oh yes – stock up on a few projectile weapons and a bag full of james-bond-style gadgets. Inversion sounds like a place for that sort of thing… As far as the teeth go, that’s not a worry! It would fall under “minor damage”, and be automatically repaired anyway!’
Marty loved gadgets! He picked out a watch laser-lockpick and a selection of other spy-stuff. Gadgets all around! And some gold and gems and such for the Anthropomorphic Realms… The currency in Inversion was a bit unknown. The source material noted nine or ten different currencies with well published local exchange rates – but that might have changes if what Vekxin said was true. Oh well. Gold and gems should be worth SOMETHING there too. There were lots of industrial uses and people did like the stuff.
Hm… The Anthropomorphic Realms were mostly renissance-era to 22’nd century, although the time period depended a lot on where in the realm you were, some areas were definitely sci-fi – and the geography often got a little fuzzy. The best bet was renaissance-era near their entry point and early 21’st century near the end point.
(Kevin) “Oh well. We’ll be passing through some differing subrealms. No spaceships then; they’d probably go to watercraft, and I think a good deal of the route is dry. So; Projectile Weapons, Core Psitech, Smartclothes, some real swords since the forceblades may not work in Inversion – although they may if core battery tech translates, since force fields apparently do work there and it was the power supply that was the problem.
(Marty) “Well, I do have a couple of shortswords, so I’m set on that!”
(Kevin) “Food, Water, and supplementary Oxygen. Good medical kits. Money. Plenty of spare Power Supplies and some Pocket Ultralights. I think that’s about it. If no one has anything else?
Meanwhile, Xellos had been picking out some Thralls. Kevin and company might not pay much attention to their individual powers and special skill s- after all, they came and got assigned so quickly and the powers they all got were useful enough in themselves – but they could make quite a difference, and Xellow was not about to let that go by.
Xellos made some cryptic choices after pretending to agonize over the choice for a prolonged period of time – and was delighted to note that he could customize his choices even more by asking them to make particular relics!
He pulled out a hammer, drill and saw!
Well, he was from an anime universe, and presumably that bit of imagery would work for him… The Thralls returned looking nice, shiny and more than a bit confused.