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00:13, 23rd July 2024 (GMT+0)

7a: Searching for the King.

Posted by StarMasterFor group 0
StarMaster
GM, 439 posts
Sat 6 May 2023
at 09:43
  • msg #1

7a: Searching for the King

Once the Vultan leaves the Royal Stardock, you begin to pick up comm chatter between the Hawk Warriors and the other searchers, one of which is Grand Admiral Propenski. Not only have the Hawk Warriors been reluctant to sound the alarm (to whom?, but there simply aren't that many searchers available.

The other searchers are Prang, a retired Vespexer asteroid miner in his rock-hopper, 5th Count of Construction Milo Merrill and 18th High Galaxian Zed Duran, both using skimmers.

The King recently imported a Velantian Vole onto the planet in order to hunt it. He was scouting the terrain as part of his 'routine patrol' in preparation for his next hunt. The patrol was flying around and into the Pillars of Night. These are the skeletal remains of one of Drinax's great arcology cities that once was home to a million people.

Reaching to the sky like massive skeletal fingers, these bonded superdense support struts and frames, now sheathed in the melted and bubbled remains of the rest, are all that survive the ortillery-bombed city.

Thousands of these girder-fingers rise from the wreckage below at random angles. The strong ferromagnetic content of the Pillars makes the place a huge field of lightning rods – a bolt might jump between a dozen pillars before it finds its way to earth. This also produces ideal conditions for storms to spawn. One such storm currently rages below; it could last for days.

Note that the Floating Palace is not stationary. Its 20 titanic anti-gravity generators keep it aloft, but are incapable of providing any motive force to it. However, its neutral buoyancy means that it is dragged along by the planet's gravity field. Thus, while the planet has a 21-hour day, it takes the Floating Palace 22.3 days to orbit the planet, meaning that it gives the appearance of always lagging behind.

The Pillars make navigation of all kinds difficult, and jam sensors. They are, however, great to fly through if you are in a wing-harness like the Hawk Warriors, especially during a storm.


Gathered from the comms between the commander of the Hawk Warriors bodyguard squad, Brie Tollar, and the other searchers, she is genuinely worried. Quite used to the King's eccentricities, this is not one of Oleb’s pranks, where he will show up in a week’s time with a hangover the size of a mega-freighter. She heard the king’s last distress call over their short-wave comm, and Oleb was not in control.

The Hawk Wing was scattered over nearly fifty kilometres of territory as they searched the Pillars for the Vole's lair or at least it's current location. Released into the Pillars a month ago, the Velantian Vole is an exceedingly dangerous lifeform that the king could hunt... From a distance. With a gauss rifle. From the air. For that is the only safe way to hunt a Velantian Vole.

Another Hawk Warrior from the squad went missing at the same time as King Oleb, a strapping young chap named Miles Merrill. He may have fallen victim to the same misfortune as the King.


Locating the Pillars from your current location requires a Difficult (10+) Electronics (Sensors) check (INT) and will take 1d6 minutes.

Approaching the Pillars closely enough for your sensors to have even a hope of locating King Olem through all the interference requires a Very Difficult (12+) Piloting check (INT) taking 1d6+1 minutes.
This message was last edited by the GM at 06:19, Sun 07 May 2023.
Varca Lexand
player, 1048 posts
Human Vespexer
Raider
Mon 8 May 2023
at 16:42
  • msg #2

7a: Searching for the King

     As Theo is skillfully piloting Vultan away from the Floating Palace, Varca scans for a flight vector to the ruined city now called "The Night Pillars".  As soon as he has it, he sends the flight vector up to Theo.

OOC: Varca Lexand rolled 9 on 2d6+1 using Vultans sensors to Locate the Night Pillars from the Palace.
Theodore McFarlane
player, 1418 posts
Human Capt, IN ret.
697AAA
Mon 8 May 2023
at 17:05
  • msg #3

7a: Searching for the King

Theo had some trouble flying here!

12:03, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 11 using 2d6+4.  pilot. needed a 12!
Theodore McFarlane
player, 1420 posts
Human Capt, IN ret.
697AAA
Mon 8 May 2023
at 18:53
  • msg #4

7a: Searching for the King

Teddy flew among the pillars as the sensors searched for signs of the two men and the beast!


13:50, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 10 using 2d6+4.  pilot. If the +2 Zhouth spoke about is to be added yet, the roll is 12.
StarMaster
GM, 442 posts
Tue 9 May 2023
at 11:53
  • msg #5

7a: Searching for the King

Technically, the Vultan's 'Advanced Sensors' are only Tech-14, which is Drinax's current Tech Level despite it getting listed as 15 in many places--probably just a case of wishful thinking. That means that they aren't quite good enough to augment Varca's Sensors skill by much... normally. However, not only are the Sensors military-grade, but this was an area of tech R&D that Drinax was on the cusp of.

The Floating Palace has floated on past the point where the King was reported to have gone down, and the one piece of data not yet uncovered is how far away from the Pillars the Palace was when the King decided to go on patrol. Even so, Varca has no problem getting the sensors to work around the Floating Palace and through the storm, which further helps by being focused and concentrated on the Night Pillars. The sensors pinpoint the Pillars about 10 kilometers astern.

Varca has seen worse storms on the surface; he's even seen larger, more tangled ruins, but he's never seen the two together... and at night at that. It's a terrible and wondrous  sight to behold! And he has to out in it!


With Kira's assistance, Teddy flies the ship to the Pillars, dodges and weaves around a few lightning strikes, and now has to continue search-flying or set down somewhere to start a foot search.

Each minute of searching requires an additional Difficult (10+) Piloting (Dex) check now that you know what you are dealing with. Each minute lets the sensor wizards do their thing.

Finding a suitable landing site requires a Difficult (10+) Piloting (INT) check to spot it and a Very Difficult (12+) Piloting (DEX) check to land without a mishap.


Sensors can pick up the other four ships searching the area as well as the six Hawk Warriors, but they are scattered over a wide area and sensor contact is sporadic because of the storm.
Theodore McFarlane
player, 1421 posts
Human Capt, IN ret.
697AAA
Tue 9 May 2023
at 12:06
  • msg #6

7a: Searching for the King

In reply to StarMaster (msg # 5):

07:04, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 12 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

07:04, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 9 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

07:04, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 11 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

07:04, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 12 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

Varca Lexand
player, 1048 posts
Human Vespexer
Raider
Tue 9 May 2023
at 17:25
  • msg #7

7a: Searching for the King

In reply to Theodore McFarlane (msg # 6):

     Varca ponders his scan parameters now that the ship has reached the ruins.  If he assumes that Oleb has been trained for survival on the planet surface--obviously not to the extents of equaling a Vespexer--then assuming he managed to make a non-fatal landing, and knowing that the Palace was close but floating away from him...Varca assumes that an injured Oleb would seek some kind of shelter and wait for rescue.  The best chance of shelter would be in the ruins.

     So, if Oleb landed outside the ruins, he'd be trying to get to them.  If he landed inside the ruins--more likely since that's where he was hunting...~~Sport Hunting, what a moron~~ Varca thinks to himself...that's where he was hunting his imported Vole--then he's already in the ruins and will go to ground there.

     "Being hunted, himself, by the Vole..." Varca mumbles out loud, to himself.

     Varca opens a comm circuit to the Bridge,

     "Captain, you can begin your search pattern, now.  Please begin by circling over the ruins, from the outer perimeter, circling in to the city center.  As slowly as you can, please, given the severe weather."

     "The Palace has generally floated north and west from when contact was lost with the king, so start your search pattern over the southern part of the city and circle around counterclockwise--from the south to the west to the north, etc.  I know it'll be difficult but try to keep as low abouve the ruins as you can--both the ionization from the storm as well as metals in the ruins picking up ionic and magnetic charges are gonna play bloody hell with the sensors, so we need to be close."

     "Is anyone sitting at the Comm Station on the Bridge?  You can help out by scanning all the comm frequencies currently in use on Drinax--that should only be a hundred or so channels--but specifically keep watch for those frequencies being operated at extremely low power levels.  Watch for signals under fifty-thousand Hertz.  The King's comms may be damaged or have little power available, plus the ruins could be blocking the signal.  So, watch for comm anomalies at lower power ranges.  We'll be scanning for that, too.  But, y'know, the more hands at the task..."

     "Zouth--the onboard database should have a simple list of the materials that the Kings Hawksuit is made from--after all, that's not a strategic secret.  A lot of the materials used in the ruins will be the same, but we should scan for a small trace of exactly what the suit is made of in a single location.  Also, I'm thinking that--hopefully--the Kings suit hasn't lost all power.  So, we search for active power traces, too."

     "Finally, the reports said that his 'grav-belt' failed--but everyone knows that Oleb is so fat that his Hawksuit requires triple redundancy for his grav-flight systems.  It's possible that he only had a partial failure of those systems--he didn't have enough power to stay airborne, but he might have had enough to make a relatively safe landing.  That's my hope, anyway.  But that got me to thinking--if the Kings suit has any power, and even a single grav-node on his suit is getting power--we might be able to locate the gravity anomaly of that active node.  Again, a slight hope, but maybe something."

     "Okay, let's get to it."
This message was last updated by the player at 17:25, Tue 09 May 2023.
Theodore McFarlane
player, 1422 posts
Human Capt, IN ret.
697AAA
Tue 9 May 2023
at 17:36
  • msg #8

7a: Searching for the King

Teddy flies low and slow circling the towers, trying to give the sensor guys time to search thoroughly! He hits a rough spot, turbulents from the storm.

12:34, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 9 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

12:34, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 16 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

12:34, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 11 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

12:34, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 12 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

12:33, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 11 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

12:33, Today: Theodore McFarlane rolled 13 using 2d6+4.  pilot.

Zhouth
player, 1255 posts
Vargr
669999
Wed 10 May 2023
at 01:51
  • msg #9

7a: Searching for the King

Zhouth spoke over the comms from his sensor suite station. "Spotting anything in the way of electromagnetic emissions in the middle of this place? Well, I'll try, but the densitometer... wait, which section was that again... and other tools for gravity, that sounds more promising, and... umm... wait, don't we have neural?" His voice sounded increasingly distracted as he spoke, eventually trailing off entirely.


I think that this is actually a 10 due to the advanced sensor suite?

01:41, Today: Zhouth rolled 6 using 2d6+1.  Sensors.

Varca Lexand
player, 1050 posts
Human Vespexer
Raider
Wed 10 May 2023
at 03:11
  • msg #10

7a: Searching for the King

[Aboard Vultan, Portside Countermeasures Suite]

     Varca begins a sensor sweep, looking for some trace of King Oleb.

OOC:
   Varca Lexand rolled 10 using 2d6+1, +4 for Advanced Military Grade sensors, totals 14.  The Base Difficulty for this Task is normally Routine (6+), but this could be adjusted higher due to environmental conditions.
   Versus Routine (6+) Difficulty this generates an Effect of 8, which is Exceptional Success: succeeding in an impressive and elegant fashion.
   I'm actually assuming that the Difficulty is probably Difficult (10+) [A Difficult task is difficult even for a trained professional.  Examples might be making an accurate shot in the middle of a ferocious storm, defending a client in court when he is clearly guilty, hacking into a secure computer network, or spotting the flash of sunlight reflecting off a sniper’s scope], which generates an Effect of 4, which is Average Success: The Traveller succeeds normally.
   For the time it will take to complete this scan Varca Lexand rolled 4 using 1d6; 4 x 10 minutes is 40 minutes.  It will take 40 minutes to complete this scan.

Kira Cerise O'Neill
player, 96 posts
Scout-1 / Rogue-3
UPP 6C7BB8
Wed 10 May 2023
at 07:27
  • msg #11

7a: Searching for the King

With Teddy in the Pilot's seat, that left Kira in the Co-Pilot's seat, which was any ship console that she configured for helm operations. So she was at normal Astrogation, split screen between Piloting and Sensors.

She was impressed with the deftness Teddy displayed as he dodged through the nets of lightning that bounced among the exposed structural beams of the old arcology city. She was amazed at both the fact that the beams still remained and the weapons that laid them bare,

Her Piloting assistance was hardly needed and her Sensor skill was just as bad as the others'.

Still, she sat there as back-up... just in case there was a mishap. Maybe she could mitigate it.

03:01, Today: Kira Cerise O'Neill rolled 10 using 2d6+4 ((5,1)). Sensor analysis.

It wasn't that the sensors weren't picking up stuff,,, in fact, it was the other side of the coin--they were picking up EVERYTHING! Twice, three times... electronic reflections, lightning rebounds, magnalloy echoes, duranium shadows, ionizing interference... hell, sometimes they interfered with themselves!

As per Varca's suggestion, she started overlaying one filter after another, looking for even the glimmer of a natch.

"Got the suit covered. Viridian insisted I snag it on Torpol while you were in all those meetings," she responded over a shoulder.

"It looks like his Hawksuit is made of the same material as the arcology's superstructure--bonded superdense polycarballoy. Unless he had a recent upgrade, we're not going to be able tell them apart."
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