Star Wars – Twilight Seekers Campaign Index

Spellweaver 81 – Kira Keldav’s player – has been compiling an index of the material for the Twilight Seekers Star Wars Game. Given that time problems have left my indexing well behind, he’s kindly allowed me to repost that index here…

Campaign Background:

  • Scale of the Galaxy: Or why anyone can find anything despite it being a Galactic Civilization
  • Technical Explanations I: Monopolium, Power Sources, Dark Energy Manipulation – including Repulsorlifts, Sublight Drives, Lightsabers, Hypermatter Reactors, Artificial Gravity, Tractor Beams, Gravity Well Projectors, Thermal Detonators, Shields, Blasters, and Creating Lightsaber Crystals
  • Technical Explanations II: Mental Manipulations, Interrogations, The Force and Biochemical Adaption, Species Interbreeding, Alien Powers, Transplant Surgery, Unexplained Deaths, Technological Limitations and Enhancements, and Bacta
  • Technical Explanations III: The Galactic Republic, Major Projects, Currency, the Interstellar Trionist Conspiracy, and Extragalactic Exploration
  • Force Power Packages: How to build Force Users and Force Sensitives
  • Secrets of the Sith: Biowarfare and a description of an ancient Sith Bioweapons Lab
  • Basics of the Codex: The AntiForce and how it works
  • Twilight Seekers Setting Conversion: Notes on how to convert various popular science-fiction settings over to the Twilight Seekers campaign by altering what the Force Censor allows and forbids
  • Characters:

    Campaign Logs:

    • Prequel Campaign
  • Main Campaign: Discovering the Codex Arc
  • Main Campaign: Alternate Rescues and War with Zandaras Arc
  • Main Campaign: Rescue the Codifiers Arc
  • Main Campaign: Discovery of the JLA and RDF Arc
  • Main Campaign: Rise of SHIELD and Fall of the RDF Arc
  • Prequel Series: Valerie Soung and the Trayus Academy
  • Side Campaign: The Destroyed Galaxy
  • Backgrounds and Character Missives:

    Kira The Kat Show:

    Ships, Droids, Weapons, and Cloaking Devices

    Non-Jedi Force Users

    False ID’s:

    • Leah Burgess: Up and coming industrialist and a false ID for Valerie Soung
    • Lin Vardul: Smuggler/Trader ID for Alys Nere
    • Verun Navaro: Apprentice Sith to Valerie Soung and false ID for Kira Keldav

    The Light That Kills! Positive Energy, Part II

    English: Alfeniques are sugar candy that allud...

    All right guys, it's time to get up!

    To continue with the request for some nasty – or at least weird – positive-energy based abilities for Eclipse…

    Malignant Healing: Healing is a vital component of life; without healing, the wear and tear of daily activities would wear away skin and flesh to make daily life an excruciatingly drawn-out version of the death of a thousand cuts.

    Yet, even under normal circumstances, healing can go terribly wrong. Fingers can fuse into useless lumps of misshapen flesh, bones may heal crookedly, or together, foreign objects may wind up fused into wounds, and a thousand other mishaps can leave victims crippled for life.

    Driven by a master of positive energy, such things can happen in an instant.

    In game terms, these effects usually equate to minor curses; a creature with it’s mouth “healed” shut is unable to use it’s bite attack and must breathe through it’s nose for a time.

    • Inherent Spell (L3, Bestow Curse) with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / only affects creatures with normal positive-energy based metabolisms that can heal naturally, can be countered by appropriate healing magic, skilled surgery, and various other mundane methods, takes 1d4 rounds to take effect (6 CP).

    Detonate Life Force: Some manipulators of positive energy can cause an opponents life force to flare out of control, consuming the resources of the supporting body in a blast of energy from it’s supercharged metabolism. While this generally requires a spark of the user’s augmented life force to trigger the reaction – the foreign intrusion artfully provoking a massive response – it can prove quite lethal to weaker opponents and to those around them. Tougher opponents may survive, but will probably feel as if they had swallowed a live grenade.

    Yes, creatures with large amounts of positive energy / life force / hit points may well be able to survive swallowing a live grenade, but they’re unlikely to be happy about it.

    • Inherent Spell (Fireball) with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized for half cost and Corrupted for increased effect (the creature directly targeted does not get a save, seven uses per day) / the damage inflicted cannot exceed the total current hit points of the creature targeted (that’s Maximum +10 – Current Damage), fails if not targeted on a living creature with a positive energy metabolism, costs 1d6 hit points to activate (6 CP).

    Farewell From Beyond: Anything will “live” if your pour positive energy into it. The trouble is, that things like blocks of stone – however “alive” they may be – have no minds, no drives, and no reason to do anything with that life. Worse, most things lack a metabolic anchor for that force, or a way to draw in more to replace the inevitable losses. You can easily give “life” to that rock – but unless some conscious and opportunistic elemental spirit decides to move in to take advantage of that, it’s not going to do anything and won’t “live” for long.

    Still, when you pour life into something that once lived, the spirit that once inhabited that body will pretty much always notice. Spirits are pretty strongly linked to whatever’s left of their bodies after all – and can easily, however temporarily, take up the reins again.

    While the trick is somewhat fragile, and cannot be made truly permanent, it can still be quite impressive. Of course, it offers no control over the creature that you’ve temporarily resurrected whatsoever.

    • Inherent Spell (L3 Ward of Life (from The Practical Enchanter), with the “Ambient Magic” (-1), Reduced Duration (one minute per level, -1) and “Applicable After Death” (+2) modifiers. This will give a corpse 1d6 hit temporary hit points per level of the caster for one minute per level of the caster) with +2 Bonus Uses. Corrupted for reduced cost/requires a variety of ritual components and can – very occasionally, at the option of the game master – result in a revenant, haunt, or other weird and troublesome exception to the usual rules (6 CP).

    Lifesharing: Anyone can let someone else have “a bit of their time”. With a few, strong-willed, individuals this can be a bit more literal… Those few can literally share their lives with another person who should be dead or dying.

    • Blessing, Specialized and Corrupted / can only be used to share a bit of the user’s life with the dying or newly dead (2 CP). The user lends the victim 1d4 hit points and some of his or her expected lifespan – accelerating his or her aging rate (and possibly his or her requirements for food and drink) by the number of people he or she is so supporting at any given time. This will not work if the body is destroyed, but can keep even a severed head alive.

    A few individuals have been known to buy extra hit points, and immunity to the extra aging, so that they can keep a few people “alive” indefinitely – extending the life of a beloved, but sickly, child, or (for that matter) keep a selection of their enemies heads alive in boxes.

    Eclipse and Eclipse II are available in a number of ways:

    There’s the Freeware Edition at RPGnow or Box.Net. It’s complete, but – if you like it – it would be nice if you helped support the system by spending ten dollars to pick up the full package, which includes Eclipse, Eclipse II, the Web Expansion, and will be updated with Eclipse III when I get time to finish that up (a notification to download the package again will be sent out). There’s a review up which also briefly covers Eclipse II Here.

    In print-on-demand we have the Softcover (30$), the Hardcover (35$), and the “Direct” softcover edition (24$) which uses a cheaper set of printing options to lower the price. Unfortunately, the cheap options are only available for printing in North America – so for anywhere else, the original versions are probably cheaper anyway.

    Eclipse II normally comes with the Eclipse download package – but you can download the PDF on it’s own for five dollars here or buy it in Hardcover (32$) or – once again – in that cheaper North America only Softcover Edition.

    By request there’s also the Combined Edition – Eclipse I and II – making sure that you have the complete system, and plenty of examples, in one volume. It’s available in Softcover (36$) and Hardcover (45$). Those are expensive but are, of course, notably cheaper than buying the books independently. Of course, only one person can use it at a time instead of two.

    Come Into The Light – The Light That Kills!

    Promotional photo of Boris Karloff from The Br...

    Positive Energy in Action!

    In many d20 games, “Positive Energy” equates to healing, goodness, and rainbows filled with kittens. It’s a power that good-guy clerics get to use to keep the rest of the party alive and to blast those nasty undead. What could be better?

    But positive energy also drives the hemorrhagic fever that splatters the room in grossly infectious blood as it agonizingly rots your vital organs while you’re still alive. It’s the force that drives the cancer that’s slowly destroying your brain and your mind with it. It’s the blind urge to spread and grow that annihilates competing species. It’s the force that births one doomed child after another when there is nothing to feed them.

    Life is neither kind nor good. In d20-based games it’s a force as pure and terrible as the heart of a lightning bolt, and – in it’s pure form – just as terrible, merciless, and potent in destruction as it is in creation.

    So here are a few Eclipse powers for creatures with too much positive energy.

    Leperotic Cloning: Augmented by an unnaturally strong life force, the user’s cells are capable of infesting another creatures body – multiplying and spreading through it like a monstrous cancer or unholy fungus. If and when the user dies, if a victim of this horror is currently available, his or her soul will transfer itself into the victims body – driving out the existing soul and providing the final impetus to transform it into a near-duplicate of the user’s old body.

    Fortunately, the user’s cells can only infest a very similar creature that is on the very brink of death – and they gravely weaken the bond between the victim’s body and soul; if the victim suffers a lethal injury before the user’s soul moves in, the body will promptly collapse into a mass of mangled tissue, that will rot away with utterly unnatural speed – normally collapsing into dust and slime within hours.

    • Unique Returning, Specialized and Corrupted for one-third cost (2 CP): the user must set up his or her returning in advance by striking a “final blow” against a victim of the same basic type (a humanoid for a humanoid, a dragon type for a dragon, etc), renouncing the damage in favor of giving up 2d6 hit points so smear some of his own blood or tissue into the wound and allowing the (essentially dead) victim to “escape”. For the next two days the victim can be cured by the use of Remove Curse, Cure Disease, Heal, or similar effects, or by taking any form of negative level that requires a save to remove. After that, the victim is merely a potential host for the user’s spirit and can only be saved by some form of Raise Dead, Resurrection, or Wish. The user may prepare multiple possible hosts at the same time – but this sort of thing does tend to attract some extremely negative attention.
    • Timeless Body with Age-Shifting, Specialized and Corrupted/only to take on the species-adjusted physical age of the characters new body (2 CP).

    The Jackal’s Touch: The flame of life within causes creatures to grow, to adapt and change, to bear or father children, to resist wounds, and to recover from terrible injuries. When that fire flares out of control, normal creatures can become twisted, cancerous, monsters, driven solely by the urges to feed, breed, and exterminate rival groups. The touch of a creature with this power can infuse an innocent victim with far too much life force – causing them to transform into horrible monsters. Such transformations are infrequent and temporary at first, but will gradually dominate the victim’s life more and more, until – whatever and whoever they originally were – they will be forever lost within the monster they have become.

    • That’s Inherent Spell with +2 Bonus Uses, Corrupted for Increase Effect (a level five effect and a total of four uses per day) / the effect is very gradual, useless in combat, and only takes over the victim’s life over a period of weeks or months, the effect can be partially negated – at least for a time – by applying negative energy effects to the victim (cause light wounds for a minute or two at best, energy drain for days), and the user cannot control the effect beyond “become a monster”. The effect

    Positive Energy monsters typically regenerate, possess some resistance to negative energy (and can recover from it’s effects due to having Grant of Aid), possess enhanced strength and speed, often possess the Berserker powers, and are larger, more ferocious, and wilder than comparable ordinary beasts. The effects are very difficult to undo. If the user of this ability can control the monsters he or she creates, they may be exceptionally dangerous.

    Cancerous Regeneration: Tissue infused with excessive amounts of life force knits together with terrifying speed – but such instantaneous healing can leave behind massive scarring, twisted deformities, and internal damage which only better-directed healing magic or time and rest can smooth away.

    • Universal Damage Reduction 3/- Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect/does not work against fire, acid, or other tissue-destroying effects, only applies to the total damage taken each round rather than to each individual attack, the user must track the damage blocked by this ability, and will suffer a -1 penalty to an attribute of his or her choice for every twenty points of damage it prevents. Regaining those attribute points will require enough natural or magical healing to reduce the tracked damage appropriately.

    Unquenchable Life: A sufficient infusion of life force will allow a creature, given time, to regenerate from as little as a smear of blood and tissue – as long as the spirit is hanging around to guide the process. Fortunately, spirits can easily anchor themselves to any reasonably large chunk of their old bodies.

    The countermeasure, of course, is simply making sure that no substantial chunks of tissue survive. Fire, acid, and feeding them to animals all work fine.

    • This one’s simply Returning (6 CP).

    Moths to a Flame: Life calls to Life – and a sufficiently powerful life force can draw lesser lives to it – provided, at least, that they are reasonably compatible.

    • Presence (6 CP), producing a Charm Person effect on anyone who approaches within 10′.

    Eclipse and Eclipse II are available in a number of ways:

    There’s the Freeware Edition at RPGnow or Box.Net. It’s complete, but – if you like it – it would be nice if you helped support the system by spending ten dollars to pick up the full package, which includes Eclipse, Eclipse II, the Web Expansion, and will be updated with Eclipse III when I get time to finish that up (a notification to download the package again will be sent out). There’s a review up which also briefly covers Eclipse II Here.

    In print-on-demand we have the Softcover (30$), the Hardcover (35$), and the “Direct” softcover edition (24$) which uses a cheaper set of printing options to lower the price. Unfortunately, the cheap options are only available for printing in North America – so for anywhere else, the original versions are probably cheaper anyway.

    Eclipse II normally comes with the Eclipse download package – but you can download the PDF on it’s own for five dollars here or buy it in Hardcover (32$) or – once again – in that cheaper North America only Softcover Edition.

    By request there’s also the Combined Edition – Eclipse I and II – making sure that you have the complete system, and plenty of examples, in one volume. It’s available in Softcover (36$) and Hardcover (45$). Those are expensive but are, of course, notably cheaper than buying the books independently. Of course, only one person can use it at a time instead of two.

    Fantastic Coinage III – Ervoli Feather Bands and Tenebrous Obals

    Shaft of male Indian Peafowl tail feather (Pav...

    The Ancient Ways

    Ervoli Feather Bands

    The Ervoli Nomads carry little; they have a hard enough time wresting survival from their desert lands without burdening themselves with extra weight. Their mostly-ceremonial “coinage” consists of Feather Bands – intricate pieces of feather-and-bead art which record legends, great events, and accounts of the lives of wise men, heroes, and exceptional fools. Feather Bands range from the garish efforts of beginners – who often resort to the use of beads of precious and semiprecious stone, and brightly-colored feathers from magical beasts, to make up for their lack of skill – to the creations of great masters, who may need but a scattering of subtly-colored beads and pigments upon a simple plume to convey an epic tale.

    Feather bands have a wide variety of values, although the system can be difficult for outsiders to figure out; bright, beautiful, and spectacular pieces may be of little worth – at least among the Ervoli. Once you get far enough beyond their borders, their value may increase sharply if you can find someone with more money than taste. The minimum value is, however, a couple of silver pieces. Anything which cannot meet that standard tends to be discarded by the artist. The maximum value is usually around twenty gold pieces.

    Masters of the art sometimes create Feathers of Truth, mystically weaving some lesson or adventure from their lives into the structure of the piece. Such works can be imbued with 5-50 XP, and the images they call to mind seem to flicker with life. The possessor of a Feather of Truth may invoke it in a brief ritual before sleeping or meditating, in which case its creator – or his or her spirit – may opt to expend 1 XP from the Feathers store to visit the invoker in a vision (wherein he or she will usually offer more or less cryptic advice). The owner may also choose to drain the XP from a Feather of Truth via another brief ritual, fully experiencing the lesson or adventure woven into the Feather and adding it’s XP to his or her own. Feathers of Truth are normally worth 25 GP + 5 GP per XP they contain, and – as works of art – continue to be worth 25 GP after their XP store is entirely drained.

    Among the Ervoli, it is said that no man or woman is truly dead while a child of their blood, or a feather of their heart, survives.

    While rumors that the Ervoli can use a Feather of Truth to invoke an ancestral spirit to aid them have never been confirmed, there do exist a few legendary Feathers of the Divine – fabulously valuable talismans that allow the bearer to use the XP stored within them while he or she bears the feather, albeit only to boost his or her own powers, not for purposes such as making magical items. Such feathers typically contain 5000 to 10,000 XP, are typically valued at ten times that in gold pieces, and can be placed in any item slot – although, perhaps fortunately, no one can use more than three such feathers. That’s not enough XP to do all that much for a high level character, but it’s a fabulous boost for a novice – making Feathers of the Divine almost uniquely likely to be passed on to youthful friends and relatives.

    Tenebrous Obals

    On the day of dead, when tombs and graves open as the mouths of the underworld, and the spirits of the long-deceased walk the lands of the living, those daring enough to open their doors to such wandering shades – and who welcome their cold and spectral guests with the warmth that only the living can muster – may be paid for their hospitality with the imperishably tarnished black coins of the underworld, where even gold is touched by decay.

    Such coins bring their bearer closer to the underworld, and are a link to it. While carrying a few such coins will bring little harm, bearing more than that has side effects…

    • A single Tenebrous Obal will bring a susceptible dreamer into touch with the dead who are linked with him or her – although whether that is a delight or a nightmare depends on the nature of those links. Such a dreamer may also choose an easy death when weakened, wounded, or in pain, passing easily and painlessly from life to death while the coin quietly vanishes.
    • Thirteen or more Tenebrous Obals will allow the user to perceive the shadows of death and the dead; he or she can see, hear, and affect the spirits of the dead, detect the approach of death in the injured and ill, sense the gates of the underworld, and even see (and, if truly courageous, attempt game with or battle on more or less even terms) the dread specter of death when it comes to claim a victim. Sadly, the “stakes” in such a battle are always the same; double or nothing…Equally unfortunately, the price of this ability is that one is drawn to the underworld more swiftly than normal; not only can the spirits of the dead perceive and affect the user as he or she can perceive and affect them, but he or she ages more swiftly than usual – aging eight days for every seven that pass.
    • A pouch full of Tenebrous Obals gives the underworld a greater claim on the bearer; whenever he or she is attempting to resist a poison or disease, he or she suffers a -1 penalty. Whenever he or she takes damage from any source, he or she will take one additional point of damage – however, the coinage that was purchased by sharing the life and warmth of the living with the dead may be expended to get the dead to share some of their no longer needed strength with the living. As a move-equivalent action, the bearer may expend those funds to “purchase” any curative spell effect of up to level four – neutralize poison, cure blindness, restoration, cure light wounds, or whatever – at the standard rate for purchasing spellcasting services. Such a purchased spell may be assigned to anyone who is in the area and willing.

    Unlike normal coinage, Tenebrous Obals can be spent at face value anywhere – including in places where normal coinage would be of no use whatsoever. Living warmth, compassion, and remembrance are desired even in the depths of the abyss and may, perhaps, suffice to buy passage from creatures as terrible as the guardians of the underworld themselves.

    For good or ill, however, Tenebrous Obals are hard to come by. Outside of the underworld itself, there are few hordes of dark coins.

    Federation-Apocalypse Session 192c – Reporting In

    Meanwhile, Philsantias had reached the metallic dragon territories to give his report.

    The metallic elders had lost several agents already, starting with an adolescent silver trio who had tried just barging in and working up from there – and were quite pleased to have gotten anyone back at all (although they’d learned a lot from the failures – and youngsters were eminently disposable), much less with as much information as he’d gotten…

    Oddly enough, while they seemed interested in Ailill’s defenses, security, and personal abilities, they seemed to be focusing a lot more on… the treatment of the humans, elves, dwarves, anthropomorphs, and all the other lesser species in his holdings, on the operation of his “testing center” and “school”, on how he treated slaves (who had seemed oddly… cheerful come to think of ig) and hatchlings, and… on what he’d been able to get on his personality.

    Moreover, the security precautions the council was taking – especially against the Drow Secret Police – were incredibly elaborate.

    It wasn’t like the Emperor would be worried about someone taking a hostile interest in Ailill. That sort of thing was Ailill’s problem! Could they be contemplating some sort of alliance? Ailill was a lot more reasonable than most reds… That still was no big imperial concern though; Ailill might be an atrocity of power, but he was still an adolescent focused on (somewhat absurdly) expanding what might already be the largest harem in the history of the Dragon Empire…

    Philsantias focused on giving a truthful and through report, clearly distinguishing between facts, deductions, speculation, and inferences – but found it easy to split his attention and keep a secondary train of thought running…

    The council did indeed sweeten his payment a trifle – and also offered their personal congratulations on avoiding becoming one of Ailill’s properties, unlike the last eighteen agents.

    (Philsantias) “Wow, eighteen before one of us decided that reporting on the sheer scale of the defenses was important enough to be worthwhile even without direct information? Really?

    (Elder Silver) “Their missions and instructions varied somewhat. The first trio was dispatched simply to get an evaluation of Ailill’s power level and resources – and did indeed obtain a part of that information through the failure of their attempt to take over his holdings while he wasn’t in. The temptation of such wealth was doubtless too great – but their failure did show that, even in their master’s absence, Ailill’s slaves and other defenses were capable of handling a full assault by three well-equipped young adult dragons without any signs of struggle.

    Others looked at the defenses and opted for a formal challenge which bypassed them; after all, a young silver normally has an excellent chance against a young red. All of those were apparently defeated handily, and suffered the proper penalty for their foolishness.

    A few others tried to sneak in, and were apparently snared by the outer defenses; according to your own report it required a great deal of divination and skill to find a way to get as close as you did.

    Still others made “diplomatic” visits or asked for a tour on the basis that they would soon have hatchlings who would need testing. Those may have lost their tempers at some point. during their visits or otherwise made errors. It’s possible that Ailill or his servants can tell who’s come as a spy from his more legitimate visitors.

    Of course, we also suspect that some of the remainder were taken into custody by the Imperial Secret Police – one of the major reasons why none of you were given any especially vital or complete information.”

    (Philsantias) “Well, I guess it was perfectly rational caution this time.”

    He had done an awful lot of work to get that close undiscovered! Or… at least he remembered doing so. Had he moved in on an existing, but soulless phantasm, or had all this… history… sprung up just to accommodate him? Was there any way after the fact to tell?

    Raphael had been lucky… He wouldn’t have been able to visit the school without blowing his top either – and not from idealistic lawful-goodness. From his point of view automated enslavement systems HAD to be destroyed! If the machines ever got a hold of those humanity would be doomed!

    Unfortunately, it soon became apparent to Philsantias that, to get any more information, he was going to have to make a serious commitment – such as accepting a major secrecy-binding spell. Still, they were willing to throw in a few more extras to compensate for the trouble. More slaves and concubines – even if adolescent dragonslaves were a glut on the market, they were still expensive as hell – and some special training for his kids too; some of his hatchlings were nearly eight by now…

    (Philsantias) “What type of secrecy-binding and about what subjects specifically?”

    Hm… They wanted to make it time-sensitive. Covering everything they’d be discussing during the conference by fixing it so that he couldn’t remember that time period when he wasn’t involved with them.

    Laying aside the lack of trust there – even if it was fairly inevitable when dealing with elder dragons; none of them would trust a young adult to be able to defend a secret -that was complicated. He was multipresent; how would their spell interact with that? Chop out a chunk of his memories from each ID? Let hem remember in other ID’s, but not this one?

    Urgh… The spell WAS very powerful – but might not apply in non-magical worlds. It might though, since HE was linking them. It would certainly work in THIS world; His dragon ID wouldn’t be able to remember what had been talked about – but he should be able to think and talk about it elsewhere, albeit fuzzily. It might fuzz his recollection of what had happened during the conference period in other worlds slightly, but that shouldn’t be serious.

    Blast it, he might need to start running some effects that were limited to particular ID’s now…

    Wait, were these independent existences, or did existing in multiple dimensions at a time simply mean that his limited attention was spread over multiple places and that he could be attacked in many places at the same time? Was this a curse or a blessing?

    Huh… Sort of gray really. The ID’s weren’t entirely independent, although they could be left to “run on automatic” – but they were all HIM, and if one of them was injured, they all were. After all, they were all HIM.

    Well, that wasn’t so good! He might have to learn to compensate for that!

    Still, as long as it didn’t send him nodding off in other dimensions, or forgetting what he was doing in other realms while the meeting was going on… It was a big payoff and these WERE the good dragons (and he had very little to hide). As long as it wouldn’t cover up direct mindprobing, compulsions, or other things that could violate his privacy.

    He agreed…

    The gist of the problem was straightforward. The Dragon Empire was now some 7180 years old – and had been ruled by the good dragons for the first seven thousand. It was now the era of Evil Dragon rule, starting with the Reds. In a mere 180 years of their rule the first red emperor had already attempted to destroy the cosmos. The reds had fought over the position for months – and had finally agreed on a rather young cantidate that they all thought they could manipulate – which at least set a precedent for rule by someone other than “the most powerful”. Sadly, their choice was… perverse and paranoid even by red dragon standards; eating your own children alive was definitely a vice.

    The Metallics valued the Dragon Empire. It’s formation had ended a galactic epoch of constant warfare. The lesser races and the Dragons prospered under it’s rule – but they did not think that the Empire would survive another 820 years of Red rule, much less the six thousand years of rule by the lesser evil dragons after that!

    Unfortunately, trying to cut out the evil dragon emperors turns would result in a terminal civil war. This Ailill however… He was a young red, already seemed to have enough power to survive as Emperor – and had been doing his best to stabilize the galaxy. He’d even come up with a way to evade the hitherto unavoidable mass deaths of hatchlings.

    They wanted to know about him personally to decide whether or not they wanted to try and maneuvers him into launching a bid to become Emperor via coup. Of course, such a discussion was grounds for a torturous enslavement – or execution by being sent to the abyss or some such.

    (Philsantias) “From what I saw of his territory it would seem like an improvement – but if he wanted to be Emperor I think he would have gone for it already; young reds have little patience… (Hm. WAS he going for it?). Still, in my personal opinion, he would be by far the lesser evil if it could be arranged.

    Raphael almost had to laugh at himself; presuming that it WAS Kevin, the smiley-faced rainbow banner of “The Lesser Evil” rose once more!

    The metallics were aware that Ailill didn’t seem to want to be Emperor – although that might just be a rues for the benefit of the secret police – but could he be pushed into it with concealed backing? Surely any red was ambitious enough for that!

    (Philsantias) “I am not sure. He might not actually want it yet. I did confirm that he was using thralls of the demon lord Kevin… if he is working with said demon lord he might not be ambitious enough even if he is a red.”

    Raphael carefully limited himself to reporting things that he’d discovered in the Dragon Realms – and to some general information on the demon lord Kevin that is was apparently helping enhance Ailill’s servants.

    After all, even if he’d been entirely sure that Ailill was Kevin (and not Marty, or a Thrall in a very powerful ID, or some local ally of Kevin’s), it wouldn’t be playing the game fairly to report information from outside sources.

    Raphael wasn’t yet used enough to being in multiple places at the same time to just ask Kevin about it; that option just wasn’t a part of his worldview yet…

    The council did as him to gather any more information that he could. If he would like to go back in, they’d pay even more – but they quite understand that he might not want to and that, for the moment, he would probably want at least a few weeks to take control of his new properties, organize his new slaves, try out his new concubines, and see his hatchlings.

    Philsantias had to agree there! Whether or not he decided that going in again would be worth the risk, it was entirely possible that he would find less risky ways to scout later – and waiting a week would give him time to ask Marty and Kevin where in the dragon worlds they were. In the lifespan of a dragon, a few weeks meant little.

    Raphael, on the other hand, was finding it… QUITE disorienting to contemplate the fact that he had several children – up to about five years old – whom he remembered siring, and hatching, and growing up, and assorted slaves he personally defeated over the years, and concubines who have mothered those kids, when he’d never visited this world before yesterday! That was WEIRD!

    And from what he recalled… he’d had a small-but-variegated harem, which was why he currently had three silver hatchlings, two coppers, one brass, and one naughty little blue… Saying it like that made them sound like pocket change of course – but considering the casualty rates for dragon-kids… a lot of dragons seemed to think of them that way – which was also disorienting.

    Well, when in Rome…

    Federation-Apocalypse Session 192b – Dragon Hunting

    Dragon

    And what do YOU want - Mr Miheco?

    Sartheri had used his shapeshifting to take a much smaller form, run his smartfibers around the area, and set up a variety of cloaking magics and observation methods by the time Philsantias carefully emerged from his pocket-dimension.

    Ah! Indeed a young adult male silver! A powerful mage, either with psychic abilities or some sort of magical access to very similar powers, and… with powerful traces of dimensional energies about him! Most likely another dimension-hopping young gatekeeper intoxicated with the raw power of a draconic identity and believing that Lord Ailill’s territory was just another minor Manifold prize waiting to be claimed! Not too uncommon – and it was always pretty amusing to see them learning better beneath the master’s talons! Lord Ailill would doubtless find this one a useful property once he had been captured, emasculated, and properly slave-processed!

    Still… the fellow was a powerful dimensional mage, and possessed enough power over reality to cancel out his own powers along those lines… If he emerged now, it was very likely that the silver would get away. That would never do!

    Sartheri started calling for proper reinforcements!

    In his pocket dimension, Philsantias watched the four depart and sighed… It looked like it would be best to wait for a couple of minutes before trying to slip out himself! That way the security patrols would be scattered as far as possible. It looked like Ailill was trying to solve his security problems with brute force – lots of dragonslaves on patrol, with plenty of magic and gear, but not a lot of training…

    Might as well put the time to use. He hadn’t gotten a lot on Ailill’s actual operation – the place (“School”. Sure) was VERY well shielded – but a show of diligence might inspire them to add a bit of a sweetener to his payment for sticking his neck into this trap!

    Among other bits he reported that a bunch of random, adolescent, dragon-slave guards had managed to chase an invisible construct on the ethereal plane (that might be very important for the next team to know) – even if they had been so poorly trained that all four of them had gone after it…

    Wait. Oh freeze it! The guard-patrols normally operated in groups of five!

    Down in the depths of the Dragon-Identity, Raphael was shaking off the sensory fugue and adjusting… Good grief; with local identities THIS strong the place was something of a trap! It would be so EASY to shrug off his memories of being human and let the dragon take over! That way beckoned instant respect and social status, easy wealth, physical and magical power, and enhanced sensuality with many partners and scores of children as your rightful due. From the memories that came with this identity… Even without doing anything at all save for arriving here, he had… five dragon-concubines, several estates, and four dragon-eunuchs of his own. For the draconically-amusing price of defeating a few easily handled phantasms, he could have added them and their properties to his holdings.

    His “payment” for this high-risk mission (apparently quite a few agents had been lost before on it) would have almost tripled that on one quick throw of the dice.

    Where was Kevin anyway? He ought to be somewhere near him or Marty, and Kevin was the one who made a big thing of keeping up an identity in the Dragonworlds… Of course, if Kevin was around, the odds of the most tempting target around belonging to a phantasm had slipped a long ways towards zero… Well, his challengers would live – as dragons, even longer than in Core – and enslavement was what they deserved for going after a huge tempting prize without checking to see why it was still available!

    Huh, The dragon was leaking over into his normal thought patterns there.

    Oh DAMN. If “Ailill” equaled “Kevin” it would neatly explain how a youngster had acquired such a huge holding, and such wealth, and was meddling with the social structure of the entire galaxy – and why he had such a huge harem…

    And that would mean… That at least some of he pursuit was going to be made up of the be-damned THRALLS in dragon-form! Each one eager to prove to Kevil/Ailill that they could handle little things like an intruding dragon without disturbing him.

    Well SHIT.

    That thought got through to the dragon-identity as well.

    Burn and freeze it! If one of the security patrol had stayed behind to observe… There’d be reinforcements on their way already!

    Philsantias hurridly threw up some construct-armor, reinforced his concealment spells, moved into a new, mobile, pocket dimension (sealing the gate behind him), sent off more decoys, and started the place moving… He couldn’t travel very fast that way, but if he headed for the hills he’d be out of Ailill’t territory in a few hours – hopefully before he had to simply put his freedom on the line in a combat-challenge.

    Sartheri swore to himself… Shellcrack! That call… This wasn’t just the usual nonsense of an adolescent-to-be-enslaved! This was ORGANIZED! It was nowhere near worth bothering Master Ailill with though! At least… not yet. So the Metallics were sending disposable spies? Were they trying to take over the Master’s holdings, or just the school? The Master could certainly handle a single spy, but an alliance of the Metallics could be real trouble! It wouldn’t do at all to have them infiltrating the Master’s harem! He’d react VERY badly to that!

    AND the fellow commanded a very great deal of magical power! He was a VERY talented spy!

    Sartheri put out an urgent call for some of the Thralls with speciality powers! The real high-end (if very limited use) stuff! And for some security experts!

    They had a few – every so often the Emperor sent out some security people who’d displeased him with orders to infiltrate a bit, and most of them wound up as new security slaves for Ailill (a few did escape capture and returned to the Emperor, which the Emperor seemed to regard as a sufficient proof of their skills and loyalty to cancel whatever black mark he had against them) – but this fellow would have off-dimension talents!

    Sadly, it took them some time to get there; Ailill’s facilities were spread across a couple of hundred worlds under a thousand names, and the security problem was a LOT worse than it looked from the outside. By that time Philsantias was approaching the edge of Ailill’s local territory…

    The search spells hammered against the divination-shields Philsantias had put up in showers of ethereal sparks.

    He reinforced his defenses frantically. At this point, a few more minutes might be all he needed… Still, if this was still the SLAVES – or even the THRALLS – rather than Ailill in person, he controlled a truly frightening level of magical power…

    Raphael sighed. He was gradually getting the dragon integrated… but it was very strong and independent – which was a fascinating thing to abruptly find as an aspect of his own mind. It was still tuning out half the facts that were purely his memories and weren’t part of the identity… It was just the Thralls – although some of them must have invested their personal power in some pretty highly specialized abilities to hit those spell levels. He should have expected that really – but it was still a bit of a shock. What if a few of them did go crazy? It would hardly be unprecedented in people who’d abruptly been granted that much… raw… power…

    Wait. Kevin was a Coreworlder. He regarded all kinds of things that had been perfectly standard human behaviors throughout history as mental illnesses, just like the computers did – and he granted his Thralls perfect health. Was making them all pleasant, obliging polite, social, and rational a part of the health benefits rather than servant-programming? It would certainly explain Kevin’s blank look – and complete missing of the point – with that elderly rat who was worried about vicious, irrational, and selfish people being given such power. “Vicious and Irrational” were some of the traits he CURED when he empowered a Thrall – just like an amputation, disease, or curse.

    And was that terrible or wonderful?

    Still… His diversions were being dealt with faster than he could make more. MUCH faster…

    Meanwhile, the Thralls were getting a bit frantic! They’d finally pinned down the intruders location – but he was almost at the neutral ground of the spaceport! He was GETTING AWAY! That could not be permitted!

    They put all the defenses on heightened alert. They WOULD find this young intruder, and would have him in the cells to await Ailill’s pleasure! There were some ritualists, and a few true specialists they could bring in – and they had plenty of money to hire more! Master Ailill’s safety – and pleasure – was paramount after all!

    He’d almost certainly be headed back to the Silver Dragon territories… If not immediately, then soon. He’d be reporting to the dragon’s who’d sent him!

    Philsantias was evaluating… Dozens of search parties, no sign of the defenses weakening elsewhere (if anything, they were being REINFORCED), high powered searching spells form multiple casters – ergo, servants – and masses of equipment.

    In pursuit of a single youthful intruder.

    Yikes. Even if “Ailill” WAS Kevin that was more than a bit much! AND well worth reporting!

    A bit of careful analysis of the magic they were using was enough to confirm that most of the searchers were Thralls. If “Ailill” WASN’T Kevin he was certainly renting enough agents from him…

    And he’d appeared near “Ailill’s” holdings. That was pretty much a clincher right there.

    Great. He was being pursued by an overenthusiastic pack of Kevin’s grossly-empowered Thralls in high-powered local ID’s, who had no idea who he was and were trying to catch him, chain him up in antimagic and antipsionic cell to wait for Kevin – probably in full-out defend-his-harem irrational mode – to come by and decide what to do with him.

    Sure, it would probably all work out in the end – once he got through to Kevin – but it could get pretty messy in the meantime!

    He sent a message via construct-courier (which wrapped it around a ballista bolt and fired it into a tree) to Ailill congratulating him on his defenses, signing it as “Philsantias – construct master and quieter of reality storms” – and had it drop it in the search area.

    Meanwhile, the elder metallics wanted an in-person report – although why they were interested in Kevin / Ailill was a good question. He’d been more interested in the payment than in the reason behind it when he’d taken the job…

    Aaargh! He hadn’t even been near this DIMENSION when that had happened! If it had happened at all!

    Just how much retro-fitting did “identities” provide? He’d never really been interested in that topic before!

    Philsantias went to report… It HAD been an impressive defense – and one sure to snare the vast majority of adolescent on through fairly senior dragons! Most agents would have been caught long before seeing that level of response… It would be well worth reporting it in person; he might well get a bonus!

    In the meantime, after the message arrived, the Thralls were researching this “Philsantias” – which, of coruse, simply got them the details on his local ID – revealing a full local history that hadn’t existed a week ago. He’d also apparently just been awarded a couple of estates, a few thousand serfs, and twenty or thirty slaves and concubines from a distant relative. Unusual, but he might just be a favorite; he WAS supposed to be very good at divination and some other spells.

    Of course, it was far more likely that he’d just arrived from outside the dimension. New arrivals tended to get sucked straight into dragon-politics and dragon-battle roles.

    Of course, that was no guarantee of friendship! The master had lots of potential dimensional enemies!

    They tried to figure out which one this might be. He didn’t actually do much harm . . . he just snuck in, took over an apartment, and began spying. Wait! It could be Merlin! He liked to send agents, and liked to spy and manipulate, and his agents had lots of magic and Merlin was entangled with dragons!

    Uh-Oh! He was supposed to be really powerful, too! So were the elder dragons though… and THEY HATED having outsiders getting into THEIR territory! Maybe they could hire or persuade some Elder Dragons to GET MERLIN! Or maybe they could talk to those new machine-things that were running about… They were supposed to be pretty good at hunting down magic-users now that they’d gotten some hunter-units equipped with countermagical enchantments from the local mages!

    The Thralls agreed that getting the machines in on it would be a GREAT idea!

    They promptly sent the machines some messages…

    <A message for the collective. A local group wishes to hire some of our hunter-gatherer units. The possess considerable resources. An impressive number of the groups members seem to have access to – and control over – useful dimensional energies as well. This may have some bearing on the collapse of space-time in the original universe. The humans must be brought under control before they destroy this universe as well!

    Initial research suggested that the group was in the employ of a young dragon-artificer, apparently a gatemaster… An alliance there could offer access to many useful universes! If they could get themselves involved with his operation opportunities would follow. They would offer a contract for extended services out of the realm for a large discount, claiming that they liked getting new input. Biologicalls fell for that all the time. They kept thinking that the machines had “curiosity” and such.

    Consensus… The price was modest, the prepayment offered was sufficient to cover the resource investment, and the balance would be very profitable. Negotiations should be undertaken with an inflated initial fee request for bargaining purposes, with an emphasis offering a “discount” (back to the initial offer) in exchange for adding assistance with accessing dimensional energies – or at least some additional dimensions.

    An “Ambassador” would be sent to negotiate.>

    The thralls welcomed the ambassador.

    (Machine) “Hello servents of the great and powerful Allill”

    The device approximated a short bow as best as a metallic squid could.

    (Thralls) “Welcome ambassador…. Er… “L17BC-1701”?”

    (Machine) “That will do. It is actually pronounced ###” (a short modem-like sound ended that sentence as it bobbed its whole body in something like a nod).

    The Thralls wanted “Philsantias” hunted down and – preferably – captured and brought back, although a Kill would do if there was no other way. They were willing to pay VERY well.

    L17BC-1701 efficiently got through the buisness of discussing the target and then started in on alternate payment options – with a preference to getting a contract to use them in other dimensions, where they could “sightsee” in “exchange” for acting as spies, assassins, and guardians against magical things.

    The Thralls didn’t see anything wrong with that – although that, unlike a minor contract on “Phil”, fell under “major contract” and would need to be referred up. Still, Kevin knew of no real reason why a few silly dragonworlds machines shouldn’t get to roam around.

    Raphael was NOT going to be pleased when he found out about that little deal.

    Meanwhile, Marty’s dragonworld operation had its own problems. His hatchlings were busily trying to get his new servant-slave into trouble with accusations about him wanting to rebel, and insinuations about how he was going to challenge Marty again.

    Trying to provoke him they were – and not doing too badly at it for a bunch of rather small children. After all, the oldest was just eight.

    Marty probed a bit…

    Ah. Quite a lot of rather bitter resentment – stemming from what they all knew would have happened to them if his challenger had won – and they were very unhappy about Marty apparently favoring him over them. Admittedly, he had an unusual talent – but some of them were working on special talents too, and he had a sixty year lead on any of them.

    And they all knew that – if something happened to Marty – HE might well take over, and all of them would wind up as slaves at best. They figured that their best bet was to get rid of him!

    That actually WAS a problem! They weren’t being entirely unreasonable there – and if he treated his slave too badly in response, that would probably make him resent the kids!

    He consulted his inner dragon…

    For a normal dragon it would depend on who was more valuable. If the servant was more valuable than the kids, then the kids would be enslaved, and either put to work around the place or sent off to the slave market. If vice versa – or if the lord of the household was actually fond of his children – it would be simple enough to finish up the job on the servant.

    Marty sighed. The kids weren’t actually all that threatened. He was very hard to get rid of, and Ailill’s conditioning was very good – and he was a LOT more protective of them than most dragons were – but that would be hard to explain to them easily.

    The kids who were developing talents mostly had good potential. While his servant-slave had a talent too, he’d already learned enough about it to incorporate it into his local ID.

    Well, he wasn’t going to sell his kids down the river, and neither was he going to go back on his word to his servant – who hadn’t actually done anything wrong. Fortunately he had Escrima, Kadia, and many other options that most dragons did not.

    He sent his servant “off to the slave market” – which meant secretly opening a portal to Escrima and giving him a place in Department Q – although he did tell him that under no circumstances was he to attempt a takeover. The digits and accountants would tear him apart.

    He had the local thralls keep an eye on him just in case he didn’t take that advice.

    The kids were very pleased! Yah! They were safe and their father really did intend to protect them until they could get out there to chase their own mates and territories! Or at least those who graduated from the upcoming trip to Ailill’s testing facilities…

    (Marty) “Yep! Good luck kids!”

    Well, he had been paying for intensive tutoring for the slow ones. Of course, some of them would still be hopeless cases…Still, he’d already arranged for those to be shipped to Kadia after processing! They could go the “Feathered Serpent” route and be part of his father’s casino! They’d still need control – at least until they got souls, and could override some of the instincts better – but they could have very happy lives there anyway!

    Federation-Apocalypse Session 192a – A Dragon Born

    Raphael quieted… Something large, and powerful, was pulling at him – insistently drawing his attention.

    The room faded in around him in a sensory overload. EVERYTHING was broader-ranged, and more acute, than normal – and he… had senses that his mind had never been designed to handle, burning through unfamiliar channels in his local brain. Magnetic fields, magical influences, low-frequency vibrations in the earth, an enhanced sense of smell that let him scent his own scales and musk and the fear of the insignificant quasi-human family who’s apartment he had taken over… He nearly tripped over a wing, as information from new appendages flooded through his mind as well.

    Dizzyingly, a local identity rose that was… used to all this, from a lifetimes experience, and h which pushed his human persona aside with a casual arrogance.

    He was Philsantias, and might one day – as a currently-adolescent silver dragon – aspire to be one of the Elders of the Galaxy!

    Should he survive adolescence and the challenges to come as a free dragon of course.

    He was… here, sneaking around in the (remarkably large!) territory of another adolescent at the behest of some of the clan elders – who had offered him some rather NICE benefits to go and keep an eye on “Ailill’s” establishment and bring back as much information as possible… That was a job that required considerable caution! Intruding on another dragons territory, and spying on him or her, WAS sort of asking for it!

    It had taken quite a lot of careful divination to find a way to slip into this “Ailill’s” territory! For a red adolescent his security was remarkably good!

    As a young red dragonslave dipped into view in the sky outside the window – thank goodness for the privacy coatings and his concealing spells! – he was reminded of his current problem…

    One of Ailill’s security patrols, consisting of several well-equipped red dragonslaves – fortunately, no older than he was and doubtless somewhat less powerful – had apparently come to suspect his presence, and were out hunting for him! The apartment building was a good hiding place for the moment, and the terrified occupants of the apartment he’d taken over a week ago were no threat – but if Ailill’s security patrol found him, at five-to-one odds they might well be able to drag him off to Ailill’s personal holdings and throw him in a cell. The results of THAT would be unpleasant indeed; Ailill WAS a chaotic evil red dragon!

    He would have to erase his presence from the resident’s minds and make them think that half of their apartment was being renovated… He looked at them. This was a job for telepathy spells and holodeck projectors!

    (Residents) “Nooo! don’t eat us!”

    (Raphael) “How silly; I would not eat you! Your absence would tip my location off! Now hold still while I rewrite your last week of memories!”

    (Residents) “Aaaagh! Don’t eat my brain! DRAGON ZOMBIE FROM DIMENSION X!”

    (Neighboring Voice I) “What’s all that yelling in there ! Shut up! There’s dragons outside, and they might come in here! You know what reds are like!”

    (Neighboring Voice II) “Don’t talk like that about reds! They’re our rulers! You might bring in the secret police!”

    (Neighboring Voice I) “Oh come off it! Not even the Emperor can expect everyone to be happy! He’s Chaotic Evil for the love of the twelve gods!”

    Philsantias sighed, and cast his spell. Humans! Hysterical over the least little thing!

    (Neighboring Voice II) “Yeah, but Ailill is WAY worse than the Emperor! If you don’t ACT happy, he tweaks your brain until you are!”

    (Residents) “AAAAAAAAA… why is my throat sore? My cereal tastes like plaster… Why are our feet tied together?”

    (Neighboring Voice I) “That’s better! We dont’ need all that fucking screaming!!”

    Philsantias sent them to sleep and did a quick wipe on their last minute or so of memories – and threw in a patch about just having gotten up before throwing up a pocket dimension so that he could get out of sight and stretch his wings a little – all while carefully hiding the mystic signatures.

    As he was starting to wipe up the traces, he heard a small group coming down the hall.

    Freeze it! Now what? Secret police?

    Drat it! And a swarm of Unseen Servants to get the mess out of sight!

    Meanwhile, a red dragon had landed on the roof – and, from the scraping sounds, was coming down the side of the building to look into the apartment windows…

    There was knocking on the door.

    (Neighbors Voice III, accompanied by assorted arguing kids) “Hey, Kargath! You’ve had that holovid for a month now! Give it back, for gods’ sake!”

    There was a crashing sound two levels above, as a window gave way, and a female human voice screamed something about “Not the baby! For the love of the twelve, don’t eat my baby!”

    Still, his Unseen Servants were cleaning up swiftly! They might make it in time!

    Philsantias was – most hurriedly – slipping into his pocket dimensions as the Unseen Servants finished up, taking a frantic last look around for anything that would reveal his presence…

    (Neighbors Voice IV) “Damn it. Hergethos, break down the door. That was a collector’s item!”

    As someone started banging on the door, a red dragonslave stuck it’s head in through the window…

    Philsantias just barely managed to pull entirely into his pocket dimension in time, thanks to his temporal warping.

    Then he felt a pang of guilt. Blasted conscience! The baby – and the various apartment-block residents wouldn’t be in any danger if he hadn’t used the place as an observation post.

    Meanwhile, the group of four reds had stuck their heads into the apartment through various windows and had begun searching the place. They weren’t ransacking it – yet, but it would make it hard to leave.

    Worse, they seemed to have a variety of magical boosts to their already-impressive sensory abilities running – and were using detection magic and thought-sensing amulets on the terrified apartment residents.

    Fortunately, few spells were as effective at making a normal apartment-dwellers mind go blank as being confronted with multiple angry dragons.

    Freeze it! He’d like to save the baby – but fighting a group of dragons, each almost as powerful as he was, in a crowded appartment building was not likely to save the baby… or leave very many other people alive.

    Sartheri – the Thrall in the security detachment – frowned… If there was magic about it was well hidden – beyond his divinatory skills to discover – but his technological sensors said that there were plenty of traces of a dragon about! Small things of course – but a trace of DNA here, a bit of scale-edge embedded in one of the occupants shoes, and a few other bits were quite enough… A young male silver – and one skilled enough in several fields of magic to wipe out the occupants memories of his presence with some (very recent!) memory-patching.

    One skilled enough that he might actually trouble Lord Ailill! Catching a minor intruder, and getting him to the cells to await Ailill’s pleasure, had just jumped a long way up the priority scale!

    Meanwhile, Philsantias was working up some more magic… Adding “transdimensional” to a construct-spell would make it really hard to trace – and he could add some nice flovor to the ectoplasm to make it taste better than babies. A cheesy little psychic construct wasn’t going to stop even a young dragon – but it might be able to annoy it into eating it instead.

    That might reveal his presence, but it looked like the leader there was pretty that there was a target around somewhere anyway.

    It was certainly a distraction…

    Fortunately, the security patrol wasn’t actually eating the baby – after all, it was one of Lord Ailill’s tenants/properties too – although the mother had fainted when an annoyed young dragon stuck it’s head in the window, opened it’s mouth, and snarled at her to “SHUT UP YOU IDIOT!”

    The sudden appearance of a tasty snack diverted it nicely though! It had been thinking about accepting its later punishment and eating the mother AND the baby, just out of pique!

    (Siobhian) “Something weird’s going on here, guys! Keep scanning! Master Ailill will want to take his trophies if it’s another dragon!”

    Gah! How dedicated were these pests? Ailill might really have something! Slave-adolescents out on patrol looking for more dragons who were out to challenge their master were rarely quite so… dedicated! In fact, most of them were pretty resentful!

    (Ranleth, the one in charge, puffed up his chest.) “If anybody is in here, come on out! You’re only putting off your enslavement at Master Ailill’s claws!”

    Ranleth had been a son of the previous Emperor before said Emperor had been overthrown by that blasted squirrel and his equally weird friends. It had been quite a comedown for all the youngsters in the imperial household when the new Emperor had ordered them all disposed of as slaves – but it hadn’t really been unexpected. That’s why so many of them had made attempts to flee as soon as the news came in – and had run into the secret police, and been restrained. He still remembered how to act as if he was important though!

    Philsantias was busy making a large dragon shaped construct using creation magic to make a body out of white colored water, using imbuement to hold it together and make it move, adding in invisibility, and sending it out to run for the hills on the Ethereal plane…

    It took a little while.

    The slaves were still looking around though.

    (Hergethos) “Hey, I see him! After him!”

    Philsantias sent out a blue dragon construct in the opposite direction a few moments after the patrol had left chasing his first construct. This time he left it far more visible, so that people could point out where it had gone.

    Sartheri, however, had concealed himself with his own magics rather than pursue. The silver was clever! It might – in fact, it probably was – just a decoy!