The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    ++This will be a interesting archive to go through at a later time, there much this ship has seen that could be very useful for my line of knowledge++
    'I think I'll help you with that. It would be nice to know what that ship has seen.'

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Macharius gives a grand speech, thanking his soldiers for their bravery and heroism and welcoming his new vassals to the service of the glorious Emperor and House Absalom. It's very heavy on religious imagery, and he repeatedly refers to the former captain as a heretic and blasphemer. Double rations are ordered all around, with ale for the troops. It proves a popular speech and proclamation. Afterwards, he speaks to his command staff.

    Splendidly done, friends. Truly, the Emperor smiled upon me when you all joined my cause. Magos Del'Karro, could I trouble you to repair the drives on the Talon? We'll need to have her somewhat operational to get her back to a repair yard.

    Now, I believe it's time to have a little chat with this ship's former officers while we approach the colony. Pytho, your powers could prove extremely useful here. Jansen, have whichever one of them is highest in rank brought in. I want to know why Quinn was blockading this colony and what his plans are.

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    ++Affirmative. As an aside when you are done with the command crew see about converting them to be a helpful labor force it will make the task easier and sometimes the recipients have a familiarity with the location they used to reside in which can help++

    Ravia will begin marshaling resources and materials to see about returning at least functionality to the ship for a return to a actual shipyard
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Pytho

    "Of course Lord Commander." Pytho prepares to put on the game face 20 years as a tool of the commissariat helped him perfect.

    He has liked Absolom's speech. He'd enjoyed the entire endeavour really, and the Sting's crew were actually quite good at this. It was fortunate for the Imperium that the Captain was an honourable man, they could be quite troublesome brigands if they were so inclined.
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    New law: Obey me or you'll be crushed by a MOUNTAIN.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Ravia set to work on the drive, bringing a few crew members from the Sting over to help. The Iconoclast happened to have the same basic pattern of plasma drive installed, and so there wasn't much trouble getting it running again. It took time, a lot of welding and replacing broken cables. Damaged sections of hull were cut away and repurposed, makeshift hull plates muscled into place over the vast gaping hole in the ship. In the end they didn't have enough time to fix everything before putting into orbit over the colony world, and the ship would still need a new void shield array and a great deal of work repairing rents in its hull before it would be fully capable again, but for now it would have to do.

    While the Magos set about getting their prize at least capable of moving itself again, Macharius and Pytho made ready to interrogate their prisoners. Jensen brought in one of the captured men, leading him over to The Chair and shackling his arms behind it. "The Captain died in the fighting, sir." Jensen said, mildly. "This one's the first officer."

    The captured first officer looked up at Macharius with undisguised suspicion. "Not telling you anything," he mumbled. His eyes widened, however, when he saw the grim-faced Astropath standing behind the Lord Captain. Pytho stepped forwards. After that, there was a great deal of screaming.

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    This technique was not gentle. The officer would know what was being taken from him, and he would not enjoy it. Pytho reached for the warp, and began looking for cracks in the mind before him. He found them almost at once. Then he was Erik Tarsus. Erik was worried. This had not been a good day for him. His heart skipped ocassionally, but he didn't know or notice. He was 48 years old, in generally good health. Not overly corrupted by exposure to the warp, which was a nice surprise. You never could tell, with these voidsmen. Erik didn't much like the men he was looking at, sitting here in this chair. How had everything gone so wrong, so quickly? He'd been a small but important (he thought) part of Quinn's fleet. The Talon was a decent ship to serve aboard, if slightly worrisome at times. The last few days had been routine. They'd patrolled the system, running regular scans to see if anything came up. There was something down on the planet, but they didn't know what it was and the locals were being recalcitrant. They had their orders, though. They weren't supposed to go in, just block supplies until the colony surrendered and Quinn could add it to the list of claims he'd successfully jumped. Erik looked up to Lord Captain Quinn. He looked up to his own captain, as well, and the men he'd served with aboard the other ships in the fleet. He didn't like that the captain of the Aggressor had sent search parties down to Jonell's colony. They were looking for something, down there. Something important. The question burned in his mind. His life flashed through his mind. Born in the darkness below the hive, joining a gang and feeling like he fit in for the first time, flashing lights and the crunch of an Arbitrator's trunchion, press-ganged into service aboard a starship, working his way up through the ranks with a mixture of cunning and genuine aptitude. Ciphers, codes, fleet compositions. There were sixteen thousand men aboard the Talon. Erik knew the names of only a handful. What was on the planet? The ship rocked, hit from behind by an enemy they hadn't seen coming. There was a bright flash of light. What was on the planet? It was a convenient target, isolated, not yet self-sufficient. He saw a phonograph, playing on a desk, some old song he didn't know the name of. There was something on the planet. Had Quinn known? They were supposed to check in. Had the others escaped the Rak'gol? There were no Rak'gol. His vision blurred.

    He was Pytho again. Erik had given him all there was to know, or at least, all there was that Erik knew.
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Macharius smiles grimly at the captive. I believe you'll find that's irrelevant. My colleague sees with the Emperor's eyes, from whom no sin can hide.

    He leans back in his chair. You stand accused of piracy, heresy, and blasphemy against our Eternal God-Emperor. Master Pythonissam, tell me this recidivist's sins.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Ravia directed her forces to bring the engines back to life and into a level of stability that would see them back to a shipyard and then began to restore the labratorium and salvage any thing she could for later usage, no time to look at it now but to have the means was most important.
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    The Laboratorium was badly damaged. A lot of the equipment hadn't survived unscathed, but someone had thought to install a locker full of replacement parts. What couldn't be fixed could be assembled without too much difficulty. By the time the ship reached orbit, Ravia had the lab back to full operating capacity. Luckily, the many volumes of documentation were sealed in airtight cabinets to prevent damage due to depressurisation.

    While the Magos worked on the lab, Pytho and Macharius were aboard the Sting, working on a different sort of problem. One by one, Jansen brought in the prisoners to be put to the question. One by one, Pytho delved into their minds, reporting the relevant parts of what he found to the Lord Captain. Most of the men they'd captured knew less than Erik had, unfortunately. They got enough information to corraborate Erik's, though, and Macharius had a few of his more specific questions answered by the time they were done. Jonell had left a small number of troops to defend, and the colonists had dug in. The search parties from the Aggressor had come back empty-handed, and none of them knew what was actually to be found down there. In the end, a few repented, but most didn't, and Macharius had them executed for piracy, treason, heresy, and a host of other charges. The bodies were shuttled to the Talon, and stacked in Ravia's new lab.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destro_Yersul View Post
    In the end, a few repented, but most didn't, and Macharius had them executed for piracy, treason, heresy, and a host of other charges. The bodies were shuttled to the Talon, and stacked in Ravia's new lab.
    Watching all this frontier justice from the sidelines, Anika is not entirely happy. For all that these men needed to be stopped, they seemed like criminals and opportunists rather than heretics. It would have been cleaner in some ways to have destroyed their ship outright, but that would have only condemned the Talon's crew to death along with them. Damn Jonell for making this neccessary.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Ravia organizes the servitors in waiting into a cold storage until she can deal with them later and then locks down the laboratory until her return. Minor techs are tasked with keeping on working to patch hull damage.

    ++I will see to the reclamation of flesh later, I am interested as to what is on the planet and seek to see it first hand++
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  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Macharius has one of the vox-operators hail the colony's leaders. Greetings, colonists! This is Lord-Captain Macharius Absalom, here by agreement with Lord-Captain Jonell. Sorry for the old rak'gol wheeze; hope you weren't too shaken up, what! Anyways, send us the landing coordinates and we'll have the relief shuttles fly down to resupply you in no time. He mentioned you had a discovery to deliver to him?

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    The reply to Macharius' vox message was a short time in coming. It took long enough to wonder if anyone down there was recieving, but eventually there was a reply. It was filled with static, badly distorted by distance and intervening atmosphere.

    "...ou say you're from Captain Jonell? Thank the Emperor for that, if it's true. Can you..." the connection crackled, and and several metallic thumps could be heard from the other end. "Sorry. We're dug in down here, and this vox set's about had it. You can land at the colony, there's a field just outside the main walls. You'll have to forgive us for not taking your word on being a relief force. We'd like to see you land before we roll out the red carpet."




    It didn't take long to get the shuttles organised. Many of the crates of supplies had been stored in shuttle bays during transit anyways, since the Manticore's Sting lacked a dedicated cargo bay. Macharius and his command crew went down with the first wave of supplies. Hannabel had done a good job getting the Talon's remaining crew organised. There had been some grumbling, but overall the speeches dseemed to be doing the trick. They'd done some crew transfers back and forth, to facilitate their new employees. Getting everyone properly integrated was going to take some time, and probably a few good handfuls of thrones, but it was a solid start. At the very least, the loyal crew from the Sting would serve as good examples of how well it paid to serve under House Absalom.

    The collection of lighers and shuttles in the first wave touched down outside Jonell's colony after a brief and mostly rattle-free descent. The buildings of the colony didn't look damaged, but there were no people visible, and a lot of signs that people had picked up and left in a hurry. Vehicles were left uncrewed and abandoned, belongings scattered in the streets. A short distance away, a road led up into the nearby hills. The surrounding terrain was green and pleasant, rolling hills and a few stands of very tall trees. Ground had been broken on some agricultural works, but it looked like they'd still need a regular influx of food and tools. There was nowhere near enough here to be self-sustaining.

    As Macharius' servitors and crew started rolling pallets of goods down the lighter ramps, their vox units crackled to life.

    "Alright, we see you. Sorry about the distrust. How'd you get past the blockade? Something about Rak'gol? We're holed up in the mines, you can come meet us by the entrance. You'll want to see what we've found down here."
    Last edited by Destro_Yersul; 2018-04-23 at 12:53 AM.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Anika will make sure that a few of the crew sent over to the Talon are those with connections to the her office. If there was any chance that some of the Talon’s crew weren’t exactly loyal to House Absalom it would be better to hear about it in advance.

    On the planet she is prudent enough to have brought all of her weapons and armour with her but she isn't really expecting any trouble. Jacob, her lingua servo-skull follows her out of the shuttle floating just above head height. It's been a while since she has set foot on a planet, and she is excited at the prospect of possibly getting to dig something out of the ground again. ‘Nice place they’ve got here.’

    In response to the voice on the vox, 'Don't worry about the Rak'gol. They were never here in the first place. The blockade captains were a surprisingly gullible lot. Lucky for us.'

    'Anyway. This discovery. I would very much like to take a look at it. Do you have any idea what it is?'

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    "Not really. It's old, been down here a long time, but it's a bit spooky looking and there's some cables wired to the room it's in. We didn't want to set anything off, if there's even still power." The vox crackled again. "Any of you an archeotechnologist, or anything like that? We told Captain Jonell we wanted a specialist."
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    Tuning in her micro-bead to the correct frequency, Hannabel interjects: "We brought our own Magos. That should do the trick, wouldn't you say?"

    Speaking privately to Macharius and the other officers, she pleads: "Now can we please get over to the mine? All this sky is making my head hurt."
    Last edited by rax; 2018-04-25 at 11:09 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Over the vox, 'Between us I think we should be able to work something out. We'll meet up with you shortly.'

    Quote Originally Posted by rax View Post
    "Now can we please get over to the mine? All this sky is making my head hurt."
    'You'll get used to it. It's like the first time you have to voidwalk.'

    Unless given a reason not to go, Anika will head off in the direction of the mine.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    The trip to the mine was a pleasant walk up a gently sloping road. The road was tamped-down dirt covered in gravel, just enough traction for the colony's big construction vehicles. Along the way they saw some signs of fighting, las burns on walls and clumps of scorched earth. No bodies, which was a good sign. The mine's entrance, at the top of the hill, was a flakboard door covered in wire mesh and set into a ferrocrete bunker of sorts. There were narrow little vision slits along the walls, and a nice killzone out front. It looked halfway between a proper mine and a military installation.

    When they came into view, the door opened and a bearded man stepped out. He was short and stocky, wearing a torn uniform and carrying a chainsword on his belt. Behind him could be seen a few other uniformed men with lasguns, and a slew of people in loose-fitting clothes cut in a utilitarian style.

    "Welcome, Lord-Captain Absalom and company. I'm lieutenant Colburn, those men back there are my command squad. We serve under Lord-Captain Jonell, and we're mighty glad to see you and those supplies you brought."

    By his voice, this was the man who had been speaking over the vox. He waved the party in, shutting the door behind them. His men took up posts at the vision slits. "Good to maintain discipline," Colburn explained. "We had a minor skirmish with the search parties the blockade sent down. They stopped bothering us after that, but it doesn't do to drop guard. The artifact's in shaft three, over this way."

    Shaft three turned out to not go down very far. It looked as though the colonists had started digging, but stopped when they broke through the ceiling of the room below. There was a ladder that went all the way down, tied to spikes hammered into the floor to stop it from falling away. At the bottom was a round chamber, with a hole in its roof for the ladder. The walls were made of ferrocrete, or something similar, and covered in intricate scrolling lines. There were two alcoves to either side, apparently empty, and a door that must once have led to another part of whatever this was. The hallway had caved in, though, and the doorway was full of huge rocks. In the center of the room was a pedestal, made of metal and crystalline circuitry. Cables ran from the pedestal over to the collapsed hallway, and the two alcoves. On the pedestal sat a cube of high-density data crystal, bound in gold and stamped with the Imperial Aquila. It looked like the crystal storage mediums used for hololithic display units, but larger and probably much older.
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Hannabel briefly pokes her head through the hole to get a closer look at the artifact, before addressing Lieutenant Colburn. "That's a right shiny find you've got yourself, soldier boy. Has it done anything interesting besides just sitting there?"

  19. - Top - End - #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destro_Yersul View Post
    We had a minor skirmish with the search parties the blockade sent down. They stopped bothering us after that, but it doesn't do to drop guard.
    'So some of Quinn's people might still be around.' Anika will make sure the crew that are unloading the supplies are warned of the possibility.

    In the mine she will climb down the ladder into the room to get a closer look at the object.

    She will pull out her auto-quill and think aloud as she makes notes. 'So...we have some of sort of permanent structure which stayed up even when the roof fell in over there. Might be part of larger complex if we want to dig it up. Was this part of a larger human settlement? And if so, when was it built? Does it pre-date the Maw being opened?' No reason to assume it was that old. But even finding a colony that was set up more recently was still a discovery.

    'And it's Imperial. So what is it doing here?'

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    Scrutiny to get a closer look
    vs. Per 38 (Assistance from Hannabel if needed)
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    Forbidden Lore (Archaeotech) for more information about the cube
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  20. - Top - End - #110
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    "No. Like I said, we've not touched it. When the miners broke through the roof, they went and got me, and I told everyone not to do anything until we could get someone to examine it." Colburn stood by while they information regarding Quinn's men was relayed to the shuttles. When Anika went down the ladder, he stayed at the top, as a rearguard.

    The cube was probably data storage of some sort. On close inspection of the pedestal, Anika found what looked like dataports, caked with dust. The cube wasn't connected, but it was set into a regularly-shaped recess on the pedestal. So, maybe this was a reader for whatever was inside it? There didn't seem to be any way to activate it, no control panel or anything like that. She could be sure, though, that it was quite old. Older than the more recent discovery of the Maw, anyways. She remembered a story, an old tale about an Explorator-Magos who had found the Koronus passage millenia ago. Unfortunately the fleet had been lost somewhere in the Expanse before the location and means of passage were recorded, and it hadn't been until much later when PurityLathimon charted the passage that exploration had really taken off. The cube was certainly older than a few hundred years, and the room was well-constructed to have stayed up as it had. Possibly this was a remnant of that time, then. Taking samples of the cube was likely a bad idea, but taking a sample of pedestal might work, if they wanted to try properly dating it.

    Hololithic displays usually worked with some sort of laser reader, and a light source. The pedestal might be a projector, though very old and of a rather unusual and ancient design. With a power source, they'd be able to verify that. They might also wake up any systems attached to the cables, though if there was still some residual power somewhere and the cables hadn't been severed by the cave in, everything in here might be merely dormant in the first place.
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    Ravia followed the group into the mine and waited to descend into the room. Took one look at the relic and said ++Dark Age of Technology, without a doubt but as to what it contains is any guess and i would very much like to know.++

    Studying it intently and making sweeps with here dendrites around it. ++One always hopes to find a STC, even a fragment++ She sets her Skull to record every detail of the room and relic while seeking to see what her auspex would reveal from the fallen hallway and the alcoves

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    and i forgot the roll: see OOC
    Last edited by Leon; 2018-04-26 at 05:13 AM.
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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon View Post
    ++One always hopes to find a STC, even a fragment++
    'If there's even a chance.' Anika is aware of how much they could make off the back of such a discovery. If some ancient Explorator had left this here the Mechanicus would probably appreciate hearing of it. 'But even if it's not that exciting I'd still like to know where it came from. Magos, do you think you can get it working?'

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    The auspex sweep revealled a few things that couldn't be seen unaided. First, the alcoves were apparently not actually empty. Each wall had something with an energy signature hidden behind it. Not a large one, but something with power. There were a couple more in the ceiling, near the collapsed door. Part of a security system, likely. The pedestal still had power too, albeit only a trickle. That something down here had lasted, providing power for all that time, was quite impressive indeed. The auspex didn't pick up much of anything outside of the room, but that was to be expected. All of the rock would severely limit its range.
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  24. - Top - End - #114
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC

    Anika will finish making notes and taking whatever samples she could obtain without damaging the device. 'Best guess. The cube was intended to store information. Probably a lot of it. Maybe whoever left it here used this room to access the info, either through holithic display or maybe through plugging themselves in if they were Mechanicus. Maybe this was something like a library at some point. We'd probably know more digging through that cave-in and see if it leads anywhere, but I don't see any reason to rush that unless we have some better idea of what we might be digging up.'

    'I think given the way they stored it, whatever is on here is probably worth knowing. Or even if this is just my professional curiosity talking and it's not that interesting to the rest of you, I think switching it on might give us some idea of what it's doing here, and what else might be buried around here.'

  25. - Top - End - #115
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Macharius arrives, having been held up with giving orders to the two ships and colonists. Per usual, he's been assuming that any non-noble he commands will do as told. Through a combination of charisma and being the commander of a significant military force, he is rarely proven wrong. Splendid, splendid. Excellent work as always. I do say, Magos Del'Karro, turning it on would be most wise. We ought to know what we've found before we bring it back to Jonell, what? Wouldn't do to damage sanctified archaeotech by moving it prematurely or to bring back what turns out to be some manner of vile heresy, eh? Besides, I find myself sharing Lady Vanhal's curiosity. Not every day we find ancient treasures of information at the bottom of a hole, if I do say so.

  26. - Top - End - #116
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC

    "Well all right then! Say the prayers, squirt the libations, and show us what this glow globe's hiding, Magos!" Hannabel squeaks excitedly.

  27. - Top - End - #117
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Destro_Yersul's Avatar

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    Ravia nodded, stepping up to the podium and inserting a data-probe into one of the dusty old ports. The port sparked as she connected, some remnant of the ancient power still in the system. Muttering in binary, she hunched over the cube... to the spectators in the room, it looked as though not much was happening. The Magos navigated systems and activation codes invisible to the eye, but very real all the same.

    Suddenly, the cube flickered. The inside lit up, and the projector came to life. Light shot out from all sides, filling the small chamber with stars, lines, and hovering notations in a millenia old form of high gothic. They could see planets, orbiting many of the stars. Ravia manipulated the display and it rotated around, focusing for a moment on things that looked interesting, then zooming out for a broader picture. It was a map, essentially, an ancient star chart of a detail and complexity most of them had never seen. Even if this was the only such artifact down here, Captain Jonell's colonists had stumbled across something that was very valuable indeed.
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  28. - Top - End - #118
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC

    'Well look at that.' Anika will watch Ravia operate the controls so that she can understand how to do likewise, and will watch the map so that she can orientate herself. How long had the constellations and warp storms in the Expanse remained as they are now? She had never really paid attention to stellar navigation, but had been on enough ships to have a go at reading the device.

    Spoiler: ooc
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    Probably should have a go at High Gothic
    vs. Int 53 /2 - TN 27
    (1d100)[84]

    Scrutiny if it helps
    vs. Per 38
    (1d100)[56]


  29. - Top - End - #119
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    "Oh! That's beautiful!" Hannabel exclaims in an almost reverential tone. "I'm no navigator, but just think of the places we could go if we can learn to read it..."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Mayhap Hannabel's skill in Common Lore (Koronus Expanse), Navigation (Stellar) and/or Scholastic Lore (Astromancy) could help identify some of the stars or planets on display?

    All tests vs. Int 40:
    Common Lore (Koronus Expanse) (1d100)[10]
    Navigation (Stellar) (1d100)[24]
    Scholastic Lore (Astromancy) (1d100)[22]

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Destro_Yersul's Avatar

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    Hannabel had more luck than Anika in reading the map. She couldn't necessairly make out the notations either, but her experience in stellar navigation told; she found Burnscour first, up near the edge of the map, surrounded by warning symbols. Following the stable warp routes from there, she found the twin stars of the Serpent's Cradle, and the twelve worlds orbiting them. Lucin's Breath, the Undred-Undred Teef... the area covered by the map was vast, and while many of the worlds marked as surveyed had been rediscovered already, some had not. The trailing fringes of the Expanse were beyond the domain of the map, but that was hardly a let-down compared to the huge number of stars it did cover.
    Last edited by Destro_Yersul; 2018-04-30 at 03:09 PM.
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