MadCast: VoShay

Kyen-Keil, The Forest World

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14 hours ago, MadCast: Munsa said:

Hang on about the cold blooded life though.

If we are following the idea that Ocean = Forest on this world, and the trees stretch upward for miles, the forest floor could be much more prone to volcanic activity on a scale from warm springs and hot pots to full on magma flow.  Cold blooded creatures could exist in areas where heat from the interior of the planet seeps through.

Full on volcanoes could kill out stands of trees, creating deserts of obsidian and charcoal.  Maybe the canopy simply grows together over it when the volcano grows dormant, the enriched soil supporting a more verdant ecosystem of predatory plants that expand outward.  

Imagine one of these monolithic trees covered in rampantly aggressive kudzu out for blood.

I was also thinking this along with the dense canopy I'm sure there would be a fair deal of heat just from the decomposition from so much organic matter once it hits the floor level and starts to build up like a compost. I also imagine that as you climb higher the heat would become more of an issue as it gets caught in the canopy as it rises until you get to the point where the canopy thins out making it easier to dissipate.

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Updates:

1. I forgot you could make custom skills in the STAR WARS Character Sheets. Tool around with them, fill things out, make it your own. We can talk beginning next session about it, though you all are welcome to ask me here or via the PM or via TS if you have any questions about it.

2. In case anyone forgot, Mystery Powers are in effect. If you notice you have a certain.... effect on the world around you, you may awaken that power gaining access to a new ability tree.

3. If you have any thoughts about the direction of the party or immediate narrative, talk about it here! That often helps me to craft a deeper experience by knowing what your characters are going to be looking to do next session (Typically I end most sessions with a call to action, but we ended fairly late on Sunday).

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Remn is overtaken by curiosity fit for an ageless being.  He wanders about the village after reverting to a dormant state for several hours, observing the townsfolk.  He observes a leonid butcher, mane streaked with blood and viscera, expertly vivisecting one of the many armed spider-things, carefully extracting a small gland from the joint of each arm, which he passes to a canid woman wearing the stained robes of an apothecary.  A pair of avid children run by, chasing several of the sparkling lightning bugs.  Remn took notice that their laughter carried a lyrical quality, as if a songbird could laugh.  Remn loped after the laughing children until he was distracted by a Canid woman, this one looking more fox-like than wolf and clutching a small, rolled blanket to her chest with a furtive look on her face.  She sat on the stoop of a sturdy looking home, rocking slowly on a wooden chair.

Remn paused and turned towards the woman, walking up a slightly less worn footpath towards her home.  A raw impulse from some unknown or dormant part of his mind drove his steps, and he was ignorant of the startling impression a stone man with a partial head looming could evoke.  Remn flinched as the woman yipped in surprise, forcing a series of high pitched yips from the swaddle in her arms.  A pup fussed and cried, refusing to suckle as the woman soothed and rocked.  Remn hunched his stance, stooping and extending a hand, palm upward to the woman.

"Do Not Be Alarmed," the golem's neutral voice intoned.  "I Am Remn.  My Companions Slew The Quinaeked.  I Inadvertently Noticed Your Offspring Seems To Be Ill.  I Am Capable Of Medical Diagnoses, And Would Offer Assistance."

The woman's eyes widened, shocked as she heard her language coming from a mobile statuary.  She soothed her infant once more and looked up at Remn.  She spoke with a raspy voice, heavy with notes of worry and trepidation.

"Me Ma says some young jus' cry and fuss.  Col-ic, she called it.  Said it just ha' to be traveled through like all else."

Remn was incapable of frowning, yet he still managed to exude an aura of professional disapproval. 

"If You Will Allow Me, I Will Examine Your Offspring And Apply An Appropriate Treatment.  It Is My Purpose To Render Aid And Healing."

The woman bared her teeth slightly.

"Ah no think so, yeh great... th... thing!" The woman's voice adopted a much thicker brogue as she became defensive  "Get along no', a'fore I yell for me hoosband!"

Remn raised both his hands, backing up the small path.  "I Did Not Mean To Alarm.  I Apologize."

Remn Regarded the woman for a second longer, then turned and ambled back to the main path.  The woman's eyes watched him attentively as he ambled on, then turned back to her fussing child.  As Remn continued his exploration of the village, he sought out someone of age and a calmer demeanor, someone to learn more detailed information about this area of the massive forest from.

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Silver light, accompanied by long shadows, danced through the glade.  A strong wind in the tree tops scattered the moonlight.  Nocturnal swarms of blood thirsting insects stalked the humid forest.   It was beautiful and miserable, this seeming to be the comfort zone for the forest at large.

Remn walked as softly as he could manage down the spiraling steps of the Mother's Tree, wandering off into the night.  He ambled through the outskirts of the glade, taking little notice of his surroundings.  Remn possessed a mechanical knowledge of irony, and slimly grasped the humor of a being with memory loss awakening the power to see the history of, well, anything.  The buzzing swarms and gusting winds offered only noise.  Remn was indifferent.

A hiss and a sound of scrabbling claws came from ahead of Remn, bringing him out of his thoughts.  His pace quickened, and his enhanced vision gave him a glimpse of clawed feet diving into the undergrowth.  Looking down, he saw a small mammal, appearing like a house cat with two pairs of hind legs more appropriate for a rabbit, mewled softly.  It bled from several long gashes, but seemed more concerned with the grisly ball of fluff it coiled around.  She, Remn realized as he saw engorged teats.  Peering closer, the bloody fluff revealed the still form of a still-wet offspring, perhaps born this very evening.  Two of its legs were little more than bloody stumps, and a significant portion of the torso was a ragged mess.  Judging from the scattered nest material, the scuffed dirt, and the mother and child before him, the scene was easy enough to paint.

Remn slowly, painstakingly edged a finger toward the mother.  She hissed, with the fevered madness of a mother no more, but had little strength left to do much else.  Undaunted, Remn pushed his finger slightly into her flank.  A surge of magic, a suitable white glow, and the mother's flesh began to knit.  Slowly, she began to lick what remained of the still form nestled there.  Remn, half-face betraying nothing, knelt silently.  The creature continued for some time, then moved toward Remn, rubbing her head across his stony arm before picking up the small body and moving toward the protection of a small burrow. 

A hand extends, palm up.  The air takes on a tang, like a bit of foil held in the mouth.  Remn inclines his head.  "Why wouldn't I try it on myself?" is a poor justification and worse epitaph, but an impulse from deep within Remn's consciousness was not entertaining dissent.  His hand, with tremendous force, slammed into the broken side of his face.

White light, first solid, then becoming scrambled and flickering.  It diluted into images, thousands of them, millions.  The memories of an ageless being poured forth in ceaseless cascade.  Remn's vision blurred, and he dimly became aware of pain before a single image coalesces out of the maelstrom.  The impulse rose again, forcing Remn to view one scene.

A huge city, spread in the canopy over the deeper woods.  Massive substructures woven in to the trees themselves support a variety of buildings.  Humanoids, a mix of elves, and humans scramble.  All are flooding to a gigantic central platform, where a large arena is filling.  In the center of the arena was a dais, and upon that Dais, three figures.  One was a human man bound with several chains.  One was an elf woman, wearing a stark white tunic, shining in the sun.  The other was a golem with a broken face, covered in a similarly bright white robe.  Two weapons lay on the dais, a short knife and a spear.

The woman strode forward, and the gathered tens of thousands grew silent.  She spoke in a language lost, proclaiming victory, proclaiming her supremacy, and proclaiming her devotion.  The man began visibly shaking, crying out for mercy.  The woman gave another shout in the forgotten tongue, then walked forward.  She knelt down, picking up the knife.  Holding it aloft, she called again.  This time, the crowd exulted in reply.  Deftly, the woman slices the man's throat, scarlet spilling over her tunic.  The knife clattered next to him as the woman knelt and retrieved the spear.  

The crowd silenced once more as the woman walked over to the golem, who extended a hand.  The elf placed the spear, and the hand closed.  Walking back to the corpse of her conquered foe, she rallied the crowd one final time, and hurled herself toward the spear.  A second river of crimson stained the robe of the golem.  He slowly winds the spear out of the woman, letting her fall to the floor.  The spear clattered to the ground, and the golem walked forward.

A light came forth from the golem, a radiance filling out the missing half of his head.  He placed both hands on the woman, and the light intensified.  The audience shielded their eyes as a great burst of light came forth, then erupted into cheers when the elf woman stood, triumphal and clean.


The vision faded, and Remn became aware that his stone body was heated to a dangerous level, smoldering the grass beneath him.  He pulled his hand away, and immediately the heat began to abate.  He lurched forward, stone head furrowing the dirt as he collapsed.  Inside, the power that animated him was still pushing him toward something.  It screamed at him to get up.  The wordless compulsion became violent, forcing Remn to rise.

"It is not fair.  Not fair.  Not Fair.  NOT.  FAIR."

A mantra of anger echoed from the edge of the dark woods.  Remn moved, jerkily at first, then with purpose.  He righted himself, and a dull glow of white filled the broken space as it had untold centuries ago.  The healed mother bared her fangs and hissed with purpose, but Remn felt nothing of her claws scoring his pitted stone.  He wrapped a hand around the small, tattered body and began to sing.

It was mournful.  It was joyful.  The forgotten language was heard for the first time in this age, only to be ripped away by a sudden gale of wind.  The trees creaked in protest, and the swarms were simply blown away.  Remn stood through it, still singing.  Remn finished his song, the gale calming as he reached conclusion, and from within his cupped hand came a tiny mewl.



Some time later, Remn sat outside the room his companions had been given for sleep.  His legs dangled over the edge, and his head was turned up toward the moon.

"Out there stalks The Reaper, and I know him well," Remn spoke.  The words carried off into the night, born on a now-gentle breeze.



  

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Tonight, absent any further stimuli, Remn is going to argue for journeying, not Zetelbreeging, to the Central Spire.  Going off the assumption that the PhyrexiTau probably don't care for a repeated cycle of holocaust, they should be more than eager to answer a few questions from those who dealt the Horned One a blow.  Remn isn't in possession of a traditional psyche, but whatever his equivalent of an ego is has had enough of being three steps behind everyone else.

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What I'm looking to do is escalate.  What this encounter proved, beyond any reasonable doubt, is that our personal mysteries and the conflicts in this region are intertwined.  Not sure how, but I've got some in-character speculation on that front.

Remn calculates several possibilities from the somewhat tenuous accusation of the Horned One Emissary.  First, that we, as charged, either premeditated ourselves or knowingly assisted our companions in summoning the Cossateer.  Second, it is possible that summoning the Cossateer was NOT premeditated, but was a last ditch effort to stave off death.  Third, we could have been magical scapegoats, purposefully framed with a guilt we do not deserve.  Fourth, we could have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Finally, it could all be lies and deception for an unknown purpose.  He also has theories about the potential nature of this purpose, and will didact quite mightily in the next few sessions.

 Regardless of which is true, the victory we just won will likely engender us good feels from the Lesh for sure, The Caith Sidhe probably, at least one of the Tuet'ta, some of the Dirmud, and probably any kran or sparg in the know.  So, since we have prior contact, a good guess that we just dealt their philosophical rival a big blow, and an already favorable disposition with the Lesh, I think this is our logical choice.

That doesn't mean, however, that it's what we should do.  I would much rather someone who hasn't held the player narrative reins take this moment to explore their character concept a bit and set our next course.  If I were to outline something for Remn from what I know and we have seen, Remn would charter Wezen, Zetelbrieg, or perhaps the Mother of the Wood Nymphs to lead him to one of the Winds of Change and Mercy's loci of power.  He has evidence of all these powers, powers he hasn't learnedbut remembered, and they apparently stem from her.

I think if there is anything that we currently know of in the story that holds interest to one or more members of that party, it is worthy storytelling to explore.  Off the top of my head, from what I've gleaned of your characters: 

Ian- The body augmentation of the Lesh might hold interest for Ian.  Does it offend or intrigue his goal of self-improvement and power?

Tai- Tai seems to me to be the most likely to suggest a trek out of the woods, or perhaps learning more about the war between the Kran and the Caith Sidhe.  Who won, how, why. etc, probably with some regard to his own ambitions.

Narob- I could see Narob wanting to meet more Tuet'ta, Dirmud,see the Caer of Caers, really travel anywhere we haven't been.

Volan- Volan just got his Magnetism.  I've yet to see what that did to his character, but a heading for any population center would give a good amount of investigative options when paired with Remn's Psychometry.

Rather than find the quickest way to barrel through the story, I'd rather the characters informed the story, and if someone has an idea I'm all ears.

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Ian would want nothing to do with the Lesh. Whatever power they could give isn't worth what he saw was done to the Caith by Queklain. The transformation given to those that stayed clearly did a great deal, but what stuck out to him was the death of any ambition or drive in those changed. Self-interest and the incessant want of most sentient life can lead to some awful things, as shown in the Kran city scarred by war, but a chaotic, dangerous world is better than a stagnant, placated one. If knowledge is what the party wants above all else, I believe it would be better to seek the Tuet'ta that has knowledge as their domain over looking to parley with the Lesh.

Also, fuck you Remn, you don't have to worry about having a damn ego staple jammed into your brain.

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If Ian is suggesting that we seek out the Tuet'ta, that aren't around destruction and hunger, Remn would be all for that.

We *know* currently of The Winds of Change and Mercy, The Growth of Rampant Green, and the aforementioned Horned One and Sharp Fangs in the Leaves.  We have a story of the Winds being benevolent, making land for the Kran arable.  Of course, this was followed by a war between the Kran and the Caith Sidhe, which I suspect might be the "Change" that comes along with the "Mercy".  The Growth of Rampant Green gave Wezen an odd restoration, but a seemingly benign one, and might have insight into WHAT took our memories if not HOW to restore them.

 

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