Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 5 – 14/6/16

 Nova Praxis  Comments Off on Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 5 – 14/6/16
Jun 152016
 

They follow the creature back to the manor courtyard. Here the augmented reality effect shows her as the old lady from the picture, sitting and knitting under a tree.

When addressed she responds vaguely, almost lost, mostly with rambles, but some fragments seem to make sense: she is the original Dr. Casila Artalin, who was part of the Mimir team itself as their mnemonics expert. She had her lab deliberately ingested by the Crab in order to study it from the inside. She figured out it to be an hardware device created by a new DCE AI of unknown origin: Deadalus. She never came back from an expedition down to the core of the complex and was replaced by a self-activating backup: now a corpse in the church of Revelation. This new incarnation discovered the organic nanoid technology devised by Daedalus to build and process materials: microscopic spider-like insects producing a plasmoid filament that can be shaped into structures of all kinds. In order to interface with the tech, Casila created biosleeves made of the plasmoid itself and download her own forks into them, with deranged results. Eventually she had success by regressing a backup to infancy and allowing it to grow within and alongside the sleeve, in an symbiotic way: she called this experiment Rebecca (Becky). As she grew up, Becky manifested a natural affinity to the Crab, becoming able to travel anywhere inside it and a displaying a natural understanding its morphology naturally.

When asked about Becky, the old lady projects what seems to be the girl own point of view in the augmented environment: it looks like a sand desert, with a bulky humanoid running in from the horizon signaling imminent danger.

They decide to leave and head back to London for questioning the community leaders there. Approaching from the sky, smoke columns rise from the village. On landing they are swiftly escorted by Lenka to the church, where a bruised Father Martin updates them: a task force of Rings of Mars soldiers came here on their trail and forcefully made their way in, aquiring the mnemonic core from Casila’s sleeve; from that they may have been able to figure out the hidden location of Becky: a spot in the Sahara desert in southern Morocco.

They take off immediately to give chase. On the desert border a sandstorm forces them to land and proceed on foot. Eventually they find Becky cornered alongside an bear-like biosleeve by a handful of armed men and a warframe (piloted by the guy who dealt with them on Mars); they claim to have a bomb planted in the London village, due to blow up unless Becky gives herself in to them.

The savant decides to go for broke and meshwalk into the Earth Mesh, for downloading back in London to attempt disarming. The pressure of the fractal mesh takes a huge fragmentation toll with each moment. She travels through it however and then has no choice but to attempt re-sleeving in the Casila sleeve itself, to escape the pressure. The download is traumatic, on top of the realization that the sleeve itself has been rigged with the bomb, implanted where the memory core was. She starts awkwardly to run out, away from the village. Lenka chases her till they reach a clearing and then shout to meshwalk out right before blowing up the sleeve with a well aimed shot.

Back in the desert the team takes the assailants by surprise and manage to get the upper hand, culminating with the vanquishing of the warframe by a monofilament blade slash.

The savant reappears here in SIM form, with no clear recollection about how that happens other than some puzzling, hallucinating memories.

Becky is thanksful and reveals her true self: a plasmoid biosleeve able to control Daedalus nanoids for building and manipulating structure. She asks about her existance not to be revealed.

They agree to that, resolving to disclose only the information regarding Daedalus and the Crab to the 4th Legion and inform just the Praetorian (Francisco) about the safety of ‘endangered species’. House Turin instead used and double crossed them, so they feel no obligation towards their side of the deal.

Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 4 – 31/5/16

 Nova Praxis  Comments Off on Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 4 – 31/5/16
Jun 132016
 

The savant attempts to hack one of the drones to make it friendly, but as soon as the operation appears to succeed the others shoot it down and proceed to attack the intruders as hostiles.

After an intense shootout that almost gets some of the them killed, the party manages to outgun the opposition and proceed inside the ruined manor, entering from the top floor.

The living quarters, now abandoned, have pictures of the owner: lady Casila Artalin, as well as two female relatives of different ages: her mother and daughter perhaps.

Proceeding down to the basement, the structure turns into a modern, state of the art technology lab, featuring a biosleeve-growth pool too. They download as much info and data as they can from here, for scanning and analyzing later.

Something else also appars to lurk in the corridors there, leaving behind a crumbled old photo of the young girl with Father Martin. The noises lead to a secret passage that winds up outside the manor, to a cave that looks like a junkyard of spare parts. From a pile of those a large figure suddenly emerges: a sort of makeshift cybersleeve. It tries to drag one into its hole, but hesitate when addressed as ‘Casila’. When shown the photo of the young girl and priest it seems to placate, but then becomes enraged at the sight of one with the old lady, running away from it, back towards the manor.

Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 3 – 24/5/16

 Nova Praxis  Comments Off on Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 3 – 24/5/16
May 262016
 

They make their own way back to Vantage Station. Here they collect a two weeks permission to enter and stay on Earth. They also receive an invitation for drinks from a high up Cipriani executive: Francisco Da Silva.

The meeting with is apparently informal, but clearly the executive is willing to impress his agenda about ‘saving and preserving endangered species’, whatever that may mean. He also provides references for visiting a community living in London, in the Southwark area. There are hints this man may be the Praetorian who led the Earth expedition three years earlier.

The next day, as they fly into Earth’s stratosphere, they realize the Mesh here is completely different from the normal paradigm: it appears to be analogic actually. Entering it would likely result in fragmentation so they switch on the portable short range Mesh generator.

They visit the London community first, where they are taken to the head of security (a mechanic named Lenka who looks like a war veteran) and she escorts them to Father Martin, priest of the Church of Revealtion: a small parish recently rebuilt over the ruins of Southwark cathedral. He expains that this community has actually been surviving inside the Crab all along the Technophage quarantine, as that was the only safe place on Earth from the plague. He doesn’t know how and why the change happened, but the late Doctor Casila Artalin may have: her corpse is buried in this church, but her research notes are still inside her lab deep into the Crab.

The following day they travel to the Crab, land over it and then climb down from the large crevasse on top, descending through the narrow pathways inside the massive structure. Eventually they reach what seems to be a fortified manor hanging over a cliff. As they approch it, the environment changes to that of a fully resotred castle in the outdoor, in what appears to be a powerful augmented reality effect upon stepping into a virtuality bubble. Some knights clad in full metal armor come out to block their way, but for those without a Mindset they are revealed as armed combat drones instead.

 

 

Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 2 – 17/5/16

 Nova Praxis  Comments Off on Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 2 – 17/5/16
May 182016
 

They are escorted outside of the city through the thick of the Proch’s jungle. There, hidden in the mist, appears to be a landing spot. They are boarded on the Blackbird, a military vessel equipped with an APEX Jumpgate engine. Here they get introduced to someone who goes by the name of Agent Smith (or is that ‘Angel’?), who will be joining the crew.

The travel to the Sol system is uneventful across its four jump shifts over 12 days. Smith and Seraphimme use the time to build a portable Mesh generator device, that may be handy once on Earth. Also Yuki has a sparring round with Helen and notices the 2121 tattoo on her back: that’s the year of the Tellerus Fields battle on Mercury, in which the Coalition crushed opposing forces.

For obtaining permission to land on Earth, Henry leverages some connections with House Turin and gets an appointment in New Turin on Mars. They land in Olympus city, the imposing Coalition Government capital, built on top of the Olympus Mons. A gravitational lift takes them quickly down to the surface where they rent a Low-G Dune Buggy to drive to destination.

They are met in the hall of an abandoned hotel by some thugs from the Rings of Olympus gang. The deal is quickly agreed for them to share any info and assets first hand upon returning from Earth.

Seraphimme manages to track the contact name of the gang leader by hijacking a Mesh conversation between the two: that’s General Markov, a disgraced Tsarya officer of the 3rd Legion (and formerly KGB on old Earth) who had been exposed as a Turin affiliate and expelled 3 years earlier.

Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 1 – 10/5/16

 Nova Praxis  Comments Off on Nova Praxis (Season 2) – Session 1 – 10/5/16
May 112016
 

They get a job offer from the 4th Legion. That means miltitary and it means shady as well, for that’s what the 4th stands for (if its existance would ever be confirmed, that is). The meet up is at the graveyeard in Stygia – a persistent virtuality city enclosed in a Dyson sphere.

The contact there is a lady wearing a Strife model biosleeve: Commander Helen Sipowicz, paying respects to the graves of MIA soldiers from the Consolidation Wars whose mnemonic cores couldn’t be retrieved.

The perspective contractors are: Henry Normal, a true born from Kimura; Yuki Hanshiro, a cybersleeve from Silva; Seraphimme, an androgynous SIM from Kimura.

This is setup as a reckon and info gathering mission, with a good Rep bump on completion. Contract type is standard for this kind of business: they go in as independents (‘auxiliaries’), with no traceable ties to the employer and no liability from its side. A free core backup is offered in the package before deployment.

The target is on Earth, now accessible after the Technophage Qurantine has been lifted, but still secluded from the global Coalition Mesh, for reasons still not entirely clear. It looks like no vulcan swarm nanotech works there, as it gets instantly assimilated by Technophage, but some alternative tech appears to have been successfully employed to build structures: the objective is to discover more about this tech and possibly retrieve a sample. A good starting point for investigation would be ‘The Crab’, a massive structure of unknown origin laying abandoned in the sea off the southern coast of UK.

They will be carried to the Sol system on board of a Legion vessell – the Balckbird – up to the Eye of Sol jumpgate. From there they are expected to procure themselves admission to Earth using their own contacts and resources.

Dec 112015
 

Block 1 6th January

Star Wars with Matt (Adrian, Albert, Gabriel, Graham, John)

Nova Praxis (13th Age) with Riccardo (Ace, Jerret, Zuki, Dave D, Dave S)

Block 2 17th February

Legend of the 5 Rings with Adrian (Zuki, Dave D, Jerret, John, Ace)

Eclipse Phase with Albert (Matt B, Graham, Gabriel, Riccardo)

Block 3 31st March

Victorian Mystery with Ace (Dave S, Jerret, Rumblot, Albert)

Deadlands Noir  with Dave D (John, Gabriel, Riccardo, Graham)

Block 4 12th May

Monster Hearts with Dave D (Ace, Adrian, John, Noah, Graham)

Unknown Armies with Riccardo (Albert, Dave S, Jerrett, Zuki, Monica, Gabriel)

Block 5

RKO Adventures with Ace (Adrian, Dave D, Dave S, Riccardo, Laurence, Jonathon)

Blood Bowl with Matt (John, Albert, Graham)

3:16 with David S (Adrian, Dave D, Dave S, Riccardo, Laurence, Jonathon)

Block 6

Legend of the 5 Rings with Adrian (Jerret, Dave S, Matt, Ace, Charles, Albert)

Essex Council Data Integrity Unit (Monster of the Week) with Graham (Dave D, Zuki, Jonathon, Gabriel, Laurence)

Block 7

Star Wars with Matt (Ace, Amelia, John)

Legend of the 5 Rings with Adrian (Albert, Zuki, Jerrett, Gabriel, Riccardo)

One Nights stands with Dave S (Katya, Laurence, Charles)

Block 8

Victorian Mystery with Ace (Dave S, Jerrett, Matt, Adrian)

Feng Shui 2 with Riccardo (Dave D, Zuki, Graham, Albert, Gabriel, John)

Nova Praxis – Session 5 (10/02/15)

 13th Age, Nova Praxis  Comments Off on Nova Praxis – Session 5 (10/02/15)
Feb 112015
 

On their way to Valare manor, off the city’s boundaries, the crew spot a car following them. It turns out the Whale had sent them backup in the persons of Francisco and Maya, two of her long time associates.

Reaching the manor, they find it heavily guarded and opt for subterfuge to get in, with Jacob taking the appearance of the late Rusila Alvid. Inside on the first floor they find some servants and guests, both in ghosting form, like SIMs (which is not supposed to be the case in virtualities). The only ‘real’ person appears to be the butler, who barely acknowledges them.

On the first floor they go through a series of rooms without being able to locate the way up, when suddenly they are called out by the butler, walking upside-down on the ceiling. He doesn’t appreciate at all them poking around and responds forcefully to their request for seeing Mr. Valare. Thugs join in the confrontations, as well as ‘ghostling’ from the lower floor, turning the house into a war zone.

At the end the crew are the last ones standing and are able to reach the second floor. There Valare awaits them in the master bedroom, behind a thick glass wall. he is assisted by a huge, fat nurse at his bedside. The butler is present there again as well, silently overseeing.

Valare himself appears to be a wizened old man who is stuck in bad and can only communicate through the display of his life-sustaining apparatus. He used to be a crimelord even back on Earth before the war, an Alliance loyalist during it and a House Turin boss afterward. He abused the mindset technology to the extreme consequences, forking himself an indefinite number of times: this has allowed him immortality and hive-mind awareness across all his forks, but at the same time has stretched his mind so much that he has lost control of his own body, even in a virtuality.

The crew confronts him with evidence of his involvement both in Second Chances traffic of cores and the smuggling of Tsarya’s weapons to anti-Coalition groups (the Talons) – he appears particularly upset about learning those had been delivered to Federation-side Remnants.

As a conclusion the parties come to agree on a truce between House Turin and the Whale, as long as some sensitive information will not be divulged. For final settlement with the crew Valare provides them with a Second Chance authorization code, to go and collect any of their own core backups that had been stored there.

 

 

Nova Praxis – Session 4 (03/02/15)

 13th Age, Nova Praxis  Comments Off on Nova Praxis – Session 4 (03/02/15)
Feb 042015
 

The prehistoric killer whale reveals to be the actual client who hired the crew and invites them to meet back in Samara, claiming to have their more recent memory backups there.

The hideout is accessed through the city sewer system, with a series of tunnels leading to a vast underground basement mostly occupied by a pool where the large cetacean swims together with a smaller one.

The memory merge process is carried out, revealing the following: after the backup at Second Chances the crew met their first client: Rusila Alvid, connected with House Turin. The job he gave them was about dispatching a rival crime lord named ‘The Whale’. The crew successfully managed to get to the target (at the time in a human female biosleeve), to discover she was waiting for them and telling they had been manipulated upon doing the backup at Second Chances, with a kill-switch implanted into their bodies, due to trigger upon completing the mission. Their cores have been basically sold to Second Chances for re-use in back ops anytime they need.

They then agreed to get a new backup done and left it with the Whale, which also backed-up herself. Next they proceeded to kill her as planned, triggering the kill-switch and dying right after. The Whale then re-sleeved in orc form and hired the crew from Second Chances shortly afterward.

Upon the merge, the crew also get to re-sleeve into their original bodies, which are now safe from the kill-switch.

They also manage to crack the encryption of the black box of the aircraft from the jungle, uncovering a traffic of Tsarya manufactured weapons going from the Talons of Freedom to the Remnants – which the Talons accidentally had mistaken for being from Alliance side instead of Federation, with tragic consequences.

The next part of the plan now is for them to head into the Chicago 1920 virtuality (replicating the eponymous city from early XX century), find Rusila and figure out who is really behind all this. Their contact there is Aime Antla, a jazz singer by trade, doubling up as a spy for the Whale.

Arriving in Chicago they head for The Outfit, a club owned by Rusila. Aime gets them in to attend to her peformance and then manages to arrange a meeting with Rusila afterwards.

The meeting takes place in a blind alley, where Rusila awaits with some thugs. It becomes soon clear that he sold them to Second Chances and that is just a middleman in a much bigger operation. When confronted with evidence of Tsarya weapons being smuggled by Talons he gives in and mentions Mr. Valare, a major crime lord operating (mostly) in Chicago.

Then the gangsters try to surprise and dispatch the crew, but are quickly overcome and killed in the attempt.

Nova Praxis – Session 3 (20/01/15)

 13th Age, Nova Praxis  Comments Off on Nova Praxis – Session 3 (20/01/15)
Jan 212015
 

The shootout concludes with the crew overcoming the soldiers and capturing their officer, which they manage to persuade to cooperate and get other soldiers to let them leave unharmed. The soldiers turn out to be Remnants forces, still loyal to pre-Coalition faction from the war time.

While moving through the hideout, a storage cave is discovered behind a metal gate, holding several crates, which appear to be weapons of House Tsarya manufacturing.

Resuming the travel over the river stream, they encounter a horde of frenzied dinosaurs and barely manage to steer the hovercraft away from their trajectory. It looks like the reptiles were fleeing from something.

The following day they reach the pluvial forest, surrounding the Salty Lake, and have to proceed on foot through it. Here the steamy atmosphere and minerals create a natural interference for the Mesh, making surveillance extremely difficult.

As they cross the forest, they get attacked by two dinosaur, which then rapidly flee upon a roaring screech, preceding the arrival of a huge amphibian carnivorous bipedal lizard.

The battle takes some on the verge of death, but at its climax all crew members hear a voice into their Mindset, prompting to “take it to the water”. As they manage to lure the predator there, a massive creature emerges from the water, bites with its huge jaws and drags it underwater.

The water goes dark and then a massive creature emerges from it, vaguely resembling a killer whale, but much larger, with bones protruding off its skin and double fins on each side.

Nova Praxis – Session 2 (13/01/15)

 13th Age, Nova Praxis  Comments Off on Nova Praxis – Session 2 (13/01/15)
Jan 142015
 

The last two members of the crew complete their re-sleeving process one day later, and meet with the others at the gate of Samara, where they are ready to leave for a jungle expedition on board of an hovercraft, to meet the unknown client.

Decision is taken to travel along the course of the river, upstream, which provides a exquisite view of the impressive wildlife and landscape of Proch, if not much concealment.

In the second day of travel, heading towards the waterfalls, a crashed aircraft is spotted near the river shore. Close examination on the scene and data analysis reveal four burnt corpses inside (true born, likely apostate, not local to Proch) and heavy damage caused by some kind of missile explosion, no more than 24 house before, which is reconstructed as coming from behind the waterfall cliffs in front.

Approaching the cliffs, the crew sneaks past two guards patrolling from the caves above (one armed with an RPG) and reach a small cave entrance behind the waterfall. Here they surprise a group of solider in mimetic-guerrilla outfits, getting the upper hand in the ensuing gunfight.