The Show Must Go On

First session notes

Getting under way

Fellow role-players, here are Josh C.‘s and my notes for his “Spelljammerthe Show Must Go On” space fantasy miniseries. We met virtually on Sunday, 25 March 2012. We’re using Cubicle 7’s Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) 3rd Ed.: Starblazer AdventuresLegends of Anglerre, Skype, and an online dice roller.

Treasure planet 2

>Floating in the Hysgeu sphere is a station shaped like a top hat. The “Grand Show” is a port of call for the curious, pleasure-seekers, and experienced spacefarers alike. It’s also the home to a fleet of merchant vessels and itinerant shows. Coming aboard the huge ship the Drowned Swan, we find our heroes:

-“Oner Walek” [Gene D.]-male Wolfen sky pirate, romantic swashbuckler, prestidigitator and deck hand hailing from the “Vanished Lands” now aboard the Drowned Swan

-“Scylla” [Sara F.]-young female Amethyst Dragon fortuneteller, raised by Gypsies and devoted to protecting the weak

-“Samael Muckblood” [Geoffrey C.]-male Hill Dwarf hunter, sniper, and “bad cop” serving in ship’s security; has a steam-powered crossbow

-“Zanzibar” [Robin]-female Lizard Wizard, pyromaniac mistress of time and space (Spelljammer)

-“The Amazing Lorenzo Le May” [Byron V.O.]-male human Thief-Acrobat, juggler, and sometime cat burglar in “Le battant éléphant” circus troupe

>About a week ago, these notifications were posted around The Grand Show:
To all members of the Grand Show. The Drowned Swan will be space-worthy ahead of schedule. Because of this, the ship has been scheduled to attend the Festival of Festivals commemorating the 45th birthday of Prince Andru of the rock of Bral.
Performers of the Drowned Swan production should report to Winston Reisel III for housing and general information. Le battant éléphant will be accompanying them to the festival. In addition, Le battant éléphant has some openings for new members. Please speak to Winston Reisel III to arrange an audition.
Work crew “Dragon Fly” has also been assigned. Vangar and One-Eyed Willie are still assembling the crew; please speak Vangar for ship security and One-Eyed Willie for carnival security. Be advised, space is limited due to the large staff.

Upon reading this notification, several members of the crew were tapped. Sam Muckblood, a Dwarf from a backwater planet, was approached by Grugach (Wild Elf) Vangar for the security team. Vangar noted that “Guinevere,” Sam’s steam-powered, multishot crossbow, would be handy to help with the ship’s defense.

Oner Walek, a Wolfen about the deck, was approached by One-Eyed Willy, a lanky Halfling. Oner had a reputation for discretion and a good pair of ears, useful traits both shipside and dockside.

Scylla met with Winston Reisel III. The dragon fortuneteller expressed interest in joining the show. Her reputation preceded her, and a haggard Winston accepted her petition after they finished some paperwork and herbal tea.

Zanzibar, a lizard woman mistress of dimensions, was approached by head mage Nonius Vatinius, an Elf Summoner. Since Zanzibar was one of the few “Spelljammers” in the crew, Nonius recruited her to help propel the Drowned Swan, but only after reminding her of her lowly rank.

Lorenzo, a long-standing member of Le battant éléphant, was also included in the show roster. He amused himself by juggling on the top deck. After Sam signed up, he went to his bunk to check out the cramped setup and research ways to secure his weapon.

Meanwhile, Oner obtained some refreshments for the crew after consulting with quartermaster Numen Yucebs. Oner walked around and ingratiated himself by offering water and grog. The Wolfen eventually found Muckblood in a nearby bunk taking measurements and muttering to himself. After a brief conversation, they parted ways.

Oner continued to explore the ship, eventually finding a large, pastoral room filled with the “Garden of Delights.” He was greeted by an entity calling itself the “Ship Mother.” It shooed Oner away, saying that only her staff was permitted to attend her. He thanked her and walked off, finding that deeper levels of the ship were blocked off.

Dragon Scylla, who was unable to fit in the regular crew compartment, asked for a proper tent for shelter on the main deck. Zanzibar met Capt. Andraimon Ianthe, an imposing man, as well as Lidia Kamenevem, the Halfling first mate, and Mario, an insectoid (Neogi?) Spelljammer.

As the “Dragon Fly” work crews rushed about, trying to avoid collisions with the regular hands of the Drowned Swan, the performers of Le battant elephant tried to find space to rehearse. Scylla observed beasts in the “elephant wagons,” and Zanzibar laughed at a haughty blonde woman who was startled by nonhumans aboard the ship .

Vangar and One-Eyed Willy warned Oner and Sam to stay out of the way of the various groups, notify superiors of any problems, and to “gently eject” unauthorized boarders such as pirates. The guards’ resolve was soon tested when they met diva Vermella Rogili, star of the “Harrowing of Prince Caspian.” Fortunately, the acting ship’s owner discreetly escorted her away.

Sometime after that, Rafael Galves held a secret meeting of some of the carnival folk. During the meeting, he rallied against the poor treatment of the workers. Disgruntled Galves got the circus performers riled up, and in general nothing happened, but none walked away happy.

Oner and Lorenzo had attended the meeting on behalf of the security team but were unable to keep quiet. After dodging irate carnies in the Drowned Swan’s labyrinthine corridors, they suggested to Vangar and One-Eyed Willie that some of the sealed-off portions of the ship be used to expand the crew quarters.

The officers promised to tell the captain, but they were clearly hiding something in addition to the onion-like deck plans they were studying. Oleg later quietly suggested to Lorenzo that they find some help and covertly explore the forbidden areas….

Note that the next FATE 3eSpelljammergame will be on Sunday, 8 April 2012. Byron might be late because of Easter celebrations, but we should have quorum. We’ll eventually return to my “Vanished Landstelecom fantasy game.

The Boston-area face-to-face groups may also be taking a break from my FATE 3e " Vortex " space opera after April 23 to play a superhero game as suggested by Jason E.R. In the meantime, happy gaming!