Session notes: 07-03-02
Sarenah is doubtful we'll be able to wake the captured Darthian creature. Ceran is considering taking off, but he agrees to stick around and be in trouble with the rest of us. Wu Fang is handling the shadow shifting aspects of the trip, working on getting us to someplace with better medical technology.
Tyler suggests a lab that should be both secure and sufficient. It's the one holding the captured specimens that he and Ted had encountered during Ted's training. Unfortunately, en-route he receives a Trump call from General Teed. A Project TRUE allied shadow is under attack from the enemy and needs assistance.
Ted and Ohanzee volunteer to come along. Ohanzee's entourage instantly volunteers to come along as well. This will likely spare them from any official wrath. Ceran offers to come as well, but Tyler asks him to stay with Wu Fang and the prisoner.
The creatures attacking the allied shadow are semi-physical entities that absorb heat and spread in cold areas. They attack psychically and cause mental damage. Unexpected cold spots and spreading glaciers are the easiest ways to find them. Unfortunately, the initial attack was missed because it was winter in the hemisphere where they arrived.
In addition to the ghostly creatures, there is something big out there eating people. There are also places of intense storms and terrible weather, beyond what one might expect from the sudden glaciers.
The main force from Refuge Base is handling evacuation to holding areas away from cold and easy food. Tyler and the others prepare as a secondary group, going in to try to find the source of the assault. If the creatures are Chaos based, Ohanzee may be able to sense them, and possibly influence them.
Luther suggests that we bring allies and Ohanzee suggests finding loyal allies in shadow. We decide to find mechanical creatures, since they may be less vulnerable to whatever is out there eating flesh and devouring minds. Most of Ohanzee's guards stay behind to work with the Refuge Base evacuation effort. Luther and Maydi join the smaller group hellriding off to seek allies.
On the way, we find two other people hellriding - one man one woman. The woman seems to be riding something carnivorous. A cat like horse with horns. The man is wearing a flowing metallic mask. Jamethiel and her father. They join up with us. They travel a lot, since the places they stay tend to become "easy to find."
Ohanzee talks with the new arrivals a bit. She's curious about them and how they travel. The father is mute, or at least chooses not to speak. On the other hand, Jamethiel is fairly friendly. She was hellriding for the thrill of it, and her father (the masked man) indulges her sometimes. She is, apparently, another Amberite - at least she says she's part of Tyler's family. When she smiles, she's got pointed teeth. Luther seems more relaxed around them than Maydi is.
Ted notices that Jamethiel doesn't use official titles in conversation, apart from calling Tyler, "Professor." There's no Amber family "Lord" or "Lady"ing. Then again, we tend to be rather informal within our own group, and Luther certainly wouldn't be calling Ohanzee "Princess" - no need to point her out as a potentially valuable target.
We find a small army of mechanical allies - mercenary fighting machines eager to work for the technological tweaks and weapons upgrades that Tyler can provide. After we brief our new arrivals, we head off to the shadow under attack. Jamethiel volunteers to split off and scout - she thinks that she'd work best to find out how the creatures got to this shadow. She can contact us by trumping her father. We don't have a specific name for him, but Luther suggests that we can call him Uncle. We call him Uncle Mirror because of the shiny metal mask.
We determine that the source of the wind and the cold is because the creatures currently exist only partially in this reality. The clockwork fighters have to learn to anchor themselves to fight. Grappling hooks, pitons, guide wires and various mountain-climbing type modifications are adapted for the purpose, and the Mechs begin to take on duties that the regular soldiers simply can't do.
Ohanzee's Logrus scouting finds a single center to the invasion. The quasi-material creatures behind the winds are the vanguard for an enormous something that's trying to come through. It's not using Logrus. The wind creatures and the other things are psychically connected tendrils off of a single entity. Almost like appendages of a giant creature, poking through shadow and intruding on to this reality. Large crab-like things have begun to form as well, like the "toes" of some limb. They're what are devouring people and causing cold.
Ted theorizes that it's feeding itself with heat energy, causing the extremes of cold. Tests with incendiary weapons and attempts to cloak people with endothermic blankets reveal that whatever these things are, they do sense heat and use that to hunt. An attempted diversion using incendiaries does less damage than hoped. The heat sense is just a part of their perceptions. They're really seeking out psychic energies.
Ohanzee discovers that she can use the Logrus to hit the insubstantial wind creatures, and to get troops behind their defensive lines. Roughly 2/3 of the Mech assault teams are destroyed in transit to the fight, but once in position the survivors are quite effective. The "toes" sense and drain life, so they have trouble dealing with the clockwork creatures.
The battle has begun to escalate and spread to other countries around the world. Tyler is in his element - coordinating armed resistance and fighting retreats, dispatching troops to cover evacuations and organizing support from the armed forces of affected countries.
Ted branches off from the main group and begins creating shadow paths to speed evacuations from major urban areas. Sports arenas and amusement parks are his preferred locations for these - urban planning has made them ideal for getting large groups of people together. Uncle Mirror gives Ted a musical instrument to help him with his evacuation efforts. It's a small set of pan pipes that let him summon children.
Jemethiel checks in. She's able to confirm that this invasion is a single creature. She has discovered that it is moving from shadow to shadow, devouring all life and then moving on. This changes plans somewhat. The creature needs to be destroyed, even if it means destroying this shadow. Jemethiel is willing to do that right now, before it can move on, but Tyler would rather try to lure it away to somewhere with fewer innocent bystanders.
Uncle Mirror has a theory that all of us with active powers may be able to discourage the creature from continuing. Using our powers we could make someplace "tastier" - possibly enough to lure the whole thing in, at which point Jemethiel would be able to implode the shadow, destroying the creature.
It takes two days for Jemethiel to find a suitable shadow destination for our trap. During that time, Ted accelerates his evacuation work while Ohanzee and Tyler coordinate to move Mech fighting squads into strategic positions. When the call comes in that Jemethiel has found a place to create the trap, Tyler gives the order to begin an all-out attack, then joins the others.
Upon arrival at the odd, barren shadow that Jemethiel found, everyone begins bating the trap. Ohanzee brings up the Logrus and starts channeling energy into it. Ted starts playing with probabilities using the Pattern. Uncle Mirror goes to work weaving some sort of defensive measures using some power that we can't quite perceive. Tyler begins working on a Trump sketch of the headquarters tent back in the besieged shadow. Maydi and Luther take up defensive positions, preparing for any of the harbinger creatures that accompany the universe eater.
Several hours of concentration and effort pay off. The all-out attack of the Mechs has managed to irritate the "toes" of the creature, and our coordinated outpouring of energy draws its attention. The trap shadow is easy for it to enter, at which point Jemethiel attacks. All of us switch to defensive use of our powers - Ted concentrating on the Pattern, Ohanzee wrapping herself in the Logrus, Tyler focussing on his own Trump - and Jemethiel collapses the shadow, killing the creature and leaving us on a slowly evaporating clot of land.
Whatever Uncle Mirror did was able to keep us from being destroyed along with everything else, but the psychic fallout was intense. All of us felt the shock of it, and when the dust clears we discover that Luther has been seriously hurt. And that Maydi has been killed. We quickly evacuate to HQ using Tyler's Trump sketch, where medical personnel are able to stabilize Luther. Unfortunately, Maydi is beyond resuscitation.
Uncle Mirror and Jamethiel bid farewell and continue on their journey. Ohanzee consults with her surviving guard to find out the correct funeral customs for Maydi. She sets a rotating schedule for command until Luther has recovered sufficiently to appoint someone.
Tyler debriefs the authorities of the formerly besieged shadow. The sudden departure and death of the creature left wounds in their world's reality. He tells them what they need to look out for, and what can expect for the future. It will probably take about 60-70 years for the damage to heal, and there's some risk of things stumbling into this world. Several of the Mech mercenaries sign up as security contractors in the new "Wounded Zone" patrols.
Ted sets to work helping return some of the evacuees. Some people have decided not to return at all, but most of the population will be able to resettle in their old homelands. Either way, there's going to be a lot of reconstruction work.