Session notes: 06-09-29
Ted finds himself at a bus terminal. He is running from someone/thing and decides to randomly pick a destination and gets on the next bus leaving. He figures that if he doesn't know where he's going, They won't know either. He boards a bus bound for Columbus Ohio. It's a long, loong, looong bus ride and somewhere around very dark at night, Ted realizes that there haven't been any street lights or any traffic for a while. He looks at his watch but it has stopped. He's not sure if he just forgot to rewind it or whether the watch has stopped because of something else so he moves up front to talk to a young man who might know the time. The young man's watch has also stopped. Ted asks the bus driver if he has the time and in an odd mechanical derived voice the driver tells them that it is 9:30. The bus drives on into the inky night.
Finally, the bus pulls in unannounced to a small town with odd foreign architecture. A very conservative, almost old fashion in nature, dressed woman boards. She is young and attractive. The bus pulls out without refueling and Ted realizes that they have been traveling for six or seven hours without stopping for gas. The Watch Fella also notices something is amiss and asks Ted what they should do. Ted thinks they should wait for the next big town and catch a bus back. The conservatively dressed woman tells them that there won't be a bus unless Ted can make one. The Watch Fella hums the Twilight Zone Theme, looking a bit freaked around the edges. He asks the conservatively dressed woman if she knows what's going on.
The drive gets bumpy as if the bus has hit an unpaved road and the land flattens out. CD Woman turns to Ted and asks if the people on the bus matter to him. Ted says "Not really", the Watch Fella bugs. CD Woman explains that the bus is going someplace they haven't been and with that, it picks up impossible speed. Watch Fella is not happy about this and tries to grab CD Woman, figuring she is responsible for all this. He just wants to get to Akron. Ted gets in his way, pushing him back down into his seat and says that he doesn't think they will ever get to Akron.
Magumi is called by her Lady and departs the company of Wu Fang and his ship. Her Lady tells Magumi that there is something disturbing shadow; someone is hell riding through leaving a sizable wake. Magumi's lady instructs Magumi to divert the path of whatever it is that is plowing through shadow. Magumi needs assistance getting to the spot so her Lady "flicks" her towards the disturbance. Magumi finds herself at the side of a busy highway. One of the drivers will stop for her, preferably one in a vehicle suited for off-road driving. Like a motorcycle. A motorcycle with a side car! And a very good driver. Lo! One just happens to stop and pick her up.
Back at Ted and the bus going so fast the telephone poles look like a picket fence and the lines on the road just look like dots, if there were telephone poles and lines that is, the scenery is not only going by very fast but it's also changing in a way it shouldn't. Things in the distance are malleable in a rather nauseating way, changing into other things as they get closer. The passengers on the bus who were sleeping at the onset of this trip are still weirdly and very soundly asleep while the other ones begin to freak out. CD Woman tells them not to worry and that she suspects that they will all survive.
Aboard Wu Fang's boat, Wu Fang, Tyler, Ohanzee and the rest of the crew learn that Queen Morganthee is ruler of this particular shadow Rebma and that all unattached men need to register with the harbor official. Wu Fang is married...he thinks and all of Ohanzee's attendants decide that they are married to each other. Tyler alone is caught having to register. They ask his name, age, educational background, how he feels about women and life underwater, and where he is staying. Tyler tells them to send any messages to the ship, they ask if he will receive these messages in a timely manner. They tell him that he should check back every two days for any communiqués. Apparently, the Queen is "looking".
It is decided that the male contingent to Ohanzee's guard will stay on the ship the first outing, which they are generally displeased about. Luther suggests that they not wear their guild symbols, Ohanzee remarks that she ought to get a symbol for herself for these sorts of occasions. She makes a note to talk with the minstrel Herne about this later. Wu Fang says that something is not right with the shadow. He would have never shifted the group into a shadow with this political structure. He thinks someone is tampering with their shifting. Wu Fang, Tyler, Ohanzee and two of her female guard go into town on a "shopping" expedition. Tyler purchases some underwater inks and paper and inquires about sorcerers. They can be all be found in one section of the town, unless they are renegade sorcerers.
Back on the bus ride of hell, Ted notices that the bus isn't sounding right. The wheels sound off. He asks CD Woman what her interest in him is and she tells him that she believes he could be useful to her. Ted does not get a good feeling about this. He asks if the others don't matter than why are they still aboard? CD Woman thinks it would be cruel to just dump them. Ted asks how far it is to their destination and she replies that it will take three days to get there. Ted tries to bargain with the woman and try to get some or all the people off the bus but she wants something in return. What does Ted have that is of value to her? Nothing he is willing to part with so he goes to the middle of the bus to ruminate on things. The rhythm of the bus changes again and the CD Woman places a hand on a sleeping person. The sleeping person crumbles to dust and the bus begins to run smoothly again.
Up ahead, Magumi sees a large bus hell riding its way through shadow. This is what's been making a wake and what her Lady has instructed her o divert. Magumi tosses some small things in front of its path to slow it down.
Ted is a bit put out by CD Woman's vaporizing the sleeping passenger and asks if that was totally necessary. CD Woman tells him it is unless he wants to walk to their destination. Ted tells her that's fine with him. The bus stops, he gets off and does not take CD Woman's proffered hand. She tries again, Ted takes off running in a random direction.
Magumi sees the bus stop, two people get off and then the male person take off running away from the bus. The female hitches up her skirts, and gives chase. Magumi decides that this is the perfect time for a carnivorous deer to happen along directly in front of CD Woman and lo! One does. Magumi and the motorcycle race to catch up with Ted.
Ted sees a carnivorous deer leap out of nowhere and then he hears cursing from behind him. He also hears the engine of a motorcycle coming closer. The motorcycle draws up next to him and the rider holds out her hand to him. Ted wants to know why he shoudl trust the motorcycle woman over the Conservatively Dressed Woman and Magumi tells him on her word that she will drop him off somewhere else. Ted agrees, they speed off into the night.
Magumi shifts to find a roadside diner but Ted would really rather have explanations. He wants to know who the CD Woman is but Magumi can't tell him more than the woman seemed familiar to her but she doesn't know for sure who she was. Magumi tells Ted that the bus was shadow shifting and explains the concept to him. In the middle of the ride, a blue blobby something comes flying through the air and lands on Ted's shoulder. Magumi tries to make it something else, the blobby blue blob doesn't want to be something else. It's also sending out a feeling of "I'm here! I'm here! I'm here!" Magumi hits it with a fudo, which it doesn't like much but which also does not get rid of the blobby blue blob. Magumi tries to rip it off with some but not much success. When Ted tries to help he only gets blobby blue blob parts on his hands. Magumi shifts to a cold shadow, then a water shadow, then a breathable water shadow and finally calls to the water spirits to help her remove the blobby blue blob. Eventually it comes off and they all drive up onto land to look for a place to eat.
Tyler, Wu Fang, Ohanzee and Ohanzee's retinue travel to the sorcerer's section of town. There appears to be a school of sorcery where the pupils are apprenticed for a three year program and are "indentured" thereafter when they become full fledged sorcerers, a tutelage of sorcery where students pay up front and are taught more one on one until the teacher decides when the pupil has mastered the arts of sorcery and a guild of sorcerers which is more related to the crown and the official companion's guild and run like a military school. Wu Fang asks about the styles of sorcery taught and finds out that the school of sorcery places a geas on their students in order to make sure that they pay back their training when they get out of their apprenticeship. The school of sorcery is also more flexible, training their apprentices in theory as well as with practical lessons whereas the tutelage of sorcery is mostly wrote with just a touch of practicum. The group also learns that there are rogue sorcerers who practice magic but they are "not to be trusted". Since it seems highly unlikely that the school of sorcery would be willing to hire out one of their teachers for a protracted private study and the Guild is for the royals and the tutelage method has a potential to be very long and protracted, the group contemplates finding a rogue sorcerer for their needs. Tyler and a ninja split off to find out more about the Queen while Wu Fang and Ohanzee et. al. go to find someone to buy their cargo.
Magumi and Ted drop the motorcycle driver off in the shadow of his dreams where he is a famous motorcycle racer and go have a bite to eat. Magumi explains about shadow, Amber, Chaos and anything else Ted has questions about. They eat, they talk, life is good.
Wu Fang and Ohanzee et. al find themselves back in the sorcerer's section of town as the sorcerers also function as go betweens for the buyers. Since wine is particularly difficult to handle in a water world, sorcery is needed to help with storing, maintaining and the general whole wineness of wine so rich merchants and wine buyers usually hire sorcerers on commission. Wu Fang asks about the laws of sorcery. Apparently, they don't do anything that changes creatures and changing humans is right out. Healing is a different matter and handled by the church. Wu Fang decides to send Chen out to round up some names of potential rogue sorcerers to question. Wu Fang and Ohanzee et. al. stop off for a bite to eat and later in the meal Chen comes back with three names.
Tyler discovers that the Queen has three different boys from three different fathers and that her last husband has gone missing. The Queen is looking for a man who can produce an heir to the thrown as she needs to have a daughter in order to continue the line. Tyler feels out the rumors for what kind of man the Queen is looking for and tries his best not to be that man. He takes up in a few bars trying to be a little more seedy and not quite so respectable while also circulating rumors of his own about a rare shipment of wine that just came in. twilight something...he's sure the Captain has something priceless judging by the way he guarded it and wouldn't let anyone near it. Eventually, Tyler returns to the ship.
Martin trumps Tyler and tells him that there seems to be a similar conspiracy afoot in Amber as there was in the shadow Amber. Martin also lets Tyler know that his two adolescent hellion brothers (Gareth and Pavel) are looking for the group, but can be distracted by their vice of choice: drink. Tyler pulls Wu Fang and Ohanzee et. al. back to the ship through a trump. The group puts their heads together and come up with a plan to ferret out a plot. They all troop back into town to look for chaos tainted water currents.