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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Sea of Stars - IC II

    Sea of Stars
    +++Episode 5 - Continued+++

    OOC Thread

    Echo's stasis cells were transferred to the planet without difficulty. Unfortunately, the colonists proved less than adept at capturing any of the Blue Caernun. The creatures were swift, and after one colonist was badly electrocuted, the rest became wary of getting too close. Of course, it didn't help that they had no specialised equipment available - acquiring some nonlethal weapons, maybe some sleep toxins, or a crate of webbers, would certainly aid the endeavour.
    Last edited by Destro_Yersul; 2019-11-14 at 03:31 AM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    That is quite enough squabbling! Macharius snaps at the crew. We are going to Viatrames to trade for the components we need. Perhaps we shall return to set up a more permanent base. Perhaps we shall not. If we do, your various opinions as to which allies we should involve have been noted. The last comes with a cold look at Ravia. Now, if we are quite done wasting time, let us be off.

    As they prepare to leave the system, Macharius orders the orbital station to install more firepower to be ready in case of a raid.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Command the station vs 112 (1d100)[24]
    Commerce for the parts we need vs 92 (assuming we can find someone who knows about Rogue Traders and Houses) (1d100)[17]

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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC II

    Anika

    After the other members of the command staff had departed, Anika remained on the planet to explore. Repairs to the ships would take some time, after all, no reason not to mount a short expedition. The planet's higher gravity, she found, made any climbing in the mountains especially arduous, and the roiling storm between the two higher peaks showed no signs of ever abating, so after a day or two of scrambling about in the foothills taking mineral samples, she switched to exploring the forests. The trees here were deciduous, narrow leaves joined to branches with thick stems. Each tree was individually thicker and shorter than those on other worlds, their heavy branches exceptionally sturdy looking. These were home to birds, and other small creatures, as well as some sort of camouflaged, arboreal small predator. Anika frequently found piles of tiny bones piled at the bases of trees, where some hapless small animal had fallen victim, but only once did she catch any sight of the perpetrator; once, passing beneath a tree, she heard a sort of clinking rustle, and caught sight of a pair of faceted yellow eyes watching her from above. The creature was a small felinid, smaller than a cyber-mastiff, and seemed uninterested in doing more than watching this strange intrusion upon its domain. It looked like it was carved from rock, with a series of crystalline spines running along its back, but it was certainly alive: when it caught her looking at it, it melted into the shadows and she lost sight. She only ever saw the one.

    Everyone

    Macharius returned to the station, and immediately began taking on supplies, collecting food and water from the Station's Arboretum decks and haggling with the station's merchants over spare weaponry. What could be had, he got, loading the bays and hallways of the Sting and Fury with crates. Ravia and Hannabel spent their time directing repairs, getting as much of the damage sustained in the Processional battle patched up as they could.

    Jonell stayed for a week, directing colonists and re-supplying his ship. He maintained high spirits throughout, dining cordially with Macharius whenever the opportunity presented itself, sometimes on Macharius' ship, and sometimes on the ailed Fist. His plan while Macharius went off in search of men and equipment was to do a circuit of all his other colonies, ensure that they were running well and collect profits or goods for transport, and finish his circuit with a trip to Solace Encarmine for Wintercale's party. This sort of party turned out to be a semi-regular affair, Winterscale flaunting his great wealth and using the opportunity to make deals. Most of the active Rogue Traders in the Expanse were invited, with the exception of Aspyce Chorda, though it was not expected that everyone would be able to make it. Wrath Umboldt, for example, had never shown up, though he had always made a point of sending a gift and his thanks for the invitation. It was generally believed that Winterscale continued to invite him more as a respect, and a courtesy, than out of any belief he would ever actually come.

    At the end of the two weeks, after the components had been installed, and Ravia had completed what repairs were possible given the constraints of time and material, they made ready to set sail. Pytho announced that he intended to stay with the colony, to help oversee Macharius' interests on the station and the planet, and to spend time with the Choir. The chambers had been removed from the Sting to make room for the control center for the newly installed cogitator interlinks, and installed on the station at the same time. Work had just been completed, and Port Davis would now be able to serve as an Astropathic Communications relay when needed. One of the Choir's other senior Astropaths was promoted to serve as chief Astropath aboard the ship, and Pytho made the rounds, saying his goodbyes to all of the crew. At last, they were ready to go.

    Spoiler: Echo Only
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    Ascending to the Navigator's tower, Kennoch took control of the Navigation systems for the first major voyage in a long time. The Astronomicon was strong, here, a clearly visible beacon in his mind's eye. The journey would ordinarily have been long, but the ship's fast engines, and his own ability, should dramatically shorten the time required. The first half of the voyage, indeed, was unremarkable. Only once did he have to divert his planned course, steering around a shoal of hungry warp predators that he had noticed just far enough in advance. It was as they reached the halfway point that things grew challenging, and he was forced to take a circuitous route around dangerous rapids.


    The voyage passed slowly, interminably, and Anika was reminded of the ancient poetry from which Moloch had drawn some of his titles. A painted ship upon a painted ocean, becalmed, inching ever so slowly forwards through the warp. Each hour dragged on, mercilessly, the crew often trying to find recreational pursuits with which to fill the infinite expanse of time it seemed to be taking to arrive. At last, Echo announced they had arrived, and the ship translated from warp, time snapping back to normal as it did so. Many of the crew were on edge, clamouring for more shore leave after a trip that felt like it had taken far longer than it actually had; checking the chronometers, they had made record speed, crossing much of the Expanse in only a single real-time week.

    Viatrames was now a pale yellow globe, floating in front of the ship's viewports, no blue or white to be seen anywhere. A world of scorching dunes and baking rocks, where humanity had insisted on scratching out a living. It crossed Macharius' mind that the planet would likely make a fine penal world, a place to send all the dissidents and riff-raff, where the very act of living there seemed punishment enough in itself. The Fury had not yet arrived, delayed slightly by the slower speed of its warp drives as compared to the hugely fast ones installed on the Sting. There were, true to Jonell's word, no orbital defenses, and nothing much to suggest that the planet was even inhabited. Anika ran a check with the augers, and the amount of electromagnetic activty she found suggested a world barely on the edge of industrialization.
    Last edited by Destro_Yersul; 2019-11-03 at 07:00 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC II

    Having avoided work for the moment, and with little else to do but read primers on the Eldar language, Anika was finding the planet surprisingly relaxing. She will try to take a picture of the felinid even though it might have little reason to show itself again.

    On her return she'll make a point of being present for the installation of the new cogitator. If what it was supposed to do was true then they had better understand how it worked.

    Later

    Anika was pacing irritably on the bridge when they finally emerged into real space. For all that it could easily have been worse the warp voyage was hardly pleasant. You only had to think about how long this was taking them subjectively and how long it would take the crew or the food to hold out. Even having arrived objectively quickly wouldn't matter if they were stuck in the warp for a few years. 'I'd get a clock in here if I thought it would keep proper time' she mutters to no one in particular. To Echo, 'Is that sort of thing likely to happen on the way back?'

    'Anyway. No obvious nasty surprises in the void or on the planet. There's every chance they can't even tell that we're here. Are there any vox signals?'

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    "It is not unlikely, is not is not" Kennoch replied. Despite the quirk of time, he seemed pleased with himself. Not every transition back to the Materium was so smooth or accurate; he feared that they'd reappear somewhere less convenient. Kennoch also decided not to trouble the rest of the command staff with news of what they could've encountered. At least now he knew what to watch out for on their return voyage. His personal notes, locked securely in his tower, were full of sketches that would horrify a normal man. Emperor willing, they'd only stay among those pages.
    "It was a GOOD plan, just completely impossible."

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    In the weeks before the journey to Viatrames, Hannabel assists Ravia as best as she can in supervising repairs to the Fury Incandescent and - most importantly - the installation of the cogitator interlink on Manticore's Sting. As the ancient archeotech system comes online, she is on the bridge, glued to the screens providing performance readouts of the Sting's core cogitator. Slowly at first, then faster and faster, long dormant systems activate, as lights and screens that had been gathering dust for years flicker to life. "Oh my baby, those jealous bastards crippled you, didn't they?" she whispers to the ship, her hands resting on the helm. "But you'll be alright soon. I promise, you will be whole again!"

    Once the repairs on the Fury and Sting are completed, Hannabel invites Elena Dassel, Hector and Montus over to the Sting for a celebratory private dinner and gossip session. In between drinks and courses, she interviews them about the mood and morale on the Fury after events in the Processional and fills them in on the basics of the upcoming trip to Viatrames.

    Spoiler: Destro_Yersol
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    This is basically just a bonding/morale-boosting exercise. Hannabel turns on the charm (roll for that in the OOC thread), especially on Hector and Montus, but she's also genuinely interested in what the three of them think about the Processional and events there.


    At Viatrames
    "Would you look at that!" Hannabel exclaims as the yellow dust ball fills the viewing screens. "Definitely no greener grass to fight over down there!"

    "Jonell said there was a Mechanicus mission of sorts down there. How about we try and contact them to set up a meet with interested locals?"

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Macharius spends the intervening weeks exploring the planet, both by shuttle and on foot. He leads the Praetorians on numerous hikes "for the constitution, what?" The occasional foolish predator is swiftly dealt with by their hellguns. He seems even more bucked up than usual as they begin their latest adventures.

    I say, not much to look at, is it? Rather a desolate place. I'm in no mood to establish a winter palace here, hoho! So, we either land in force and impress the natives or contact the Mechanicus. Thoughts, chaps?

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    ++Contacting the Mechcanicus Enclave is the logical thing to do++
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

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    Is there any pressing reason we cannot do both? We are no military threat to the mechanicus - although they too might be suitably impressed - but a grand entrance would work well towards making the locals amenable to diplomacy.

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    "Well, we came to trade, not conquer, and Jonell didn't say anything about needing to show off his guns to get what he needed. Obviously, we shouldn't make out like we're pushovers either, but why waste time making a big song and dance when we're just here to pick up machines and men?"

    OOC: I don't recall Jonell indicating that the natives are overly hostile. He certainly didn't say he needed to cow them with displays of military might. That could be because we didn't ask outright, but he doesn't seem like the sort of chap that would withhold important first contact information just because. He has a stake in the success of this mission as well.

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    Wary of rekindling their previous arguments over religion and which organizations made the best allies, Kennoch personally supported either plan, or a combination of both, so long as their objectives were secured. "I still think I still the Mechanicus Mechanicus Mechanicus could be of use could be could be. Should they offer us support, should they support then well and good good good good. However, we require we we many machines, heavy machines, yes many heavy? We must gather them, gather transport them, transport and guard them in the interim guard them guard. The Mechanicus may not may not Mechanicus deign to offer offer so much support support. They may lack such support they may they may after long isolation isolation.

    "In which case, which we must provide for ourselves provide ourselves. A substantial base camp, substantial well-guarded well-guarded and supplied, supplied would leave us leave leave in no one's debt debt."

    Spoiler: Logistics
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    I assume that it'll be largely skimmed over in the background, but realistically, acquiring and shuttling enough heavy mining equipment to supply a planet should, I think, require a lot of vehicles, people, and/or servitors. Doing this without slowly bleeding profit to local thieves sneaking into our supplies probably requires a lot of reliable guards and soldiers. I don't know if we'll face outright aggression on this world--or at least, no more than the usual baseline--but a "Mad Max Planet" is presumably full of shady characters. I recommend that we don't rely on their goodwill.

    It's probably worth contacting the Mechanicus before we proceed, just to hear what they have to say. Maybe they can give us what we need and save us all that effort, fuel, and hazard pay. But if they can't or won't, then I think our best bet is to land in force, temporarily claim an uninhabited area, lock it down, and use it as a secure base while we conduct our business. Might grudgingly impress our trading partners and help with the negotiations, too.
    "It was a GOOD plan, just completely impossible."

    ~ Sophistemon

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    'The Mechanicus might at least tell us what the rest of the planet is like. Assuming that they aren't so tight lipped as to want something in return for the information.' Anika will turn to Ravia or the nearest Tech Priest, 'Is there a polite way to contact them? I could probably have the skull do it, but that binary stuff can take a long time to translate.'

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    Earlier

    Spoiler: Hannabel's Dinner Party
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    Things got off to a bit of a slow start, as Hannabel's guests focused on the food. Once they were settled, though, and Hannabel had brought out some of the good amasec, the conversation grew livelier. Hector had plenty to say about the Processional; "Wish we'd had a go at them during the battle," he said, between bites. "Load of bloody heathens, or whatever they were. It was too quiet, too quiet on the ship, except for all that racket through the vox, and when the guns fired. Touch and go for a moment, what with the fire, but no bloody action on decks. Nothing beats a good boarding action, I say. Reminds me of the time old Umboldt's ship caught fire, after that dustup with the pirates. Remember that, Elena? Damn near lost the barracks..."

    The story continued for a while, took up most of the second course to finish telling. Montus mostly ignored the tale, likely he'd heard it before. "I dunno," he said, once the soldier had finished speaking. "I spent the whole time in the maintenance tunnels, chasing techsprites. Something not right about that place. Where we were. Was the Emperor's own job, fixing all the shorted wires afterwards. No idea what happened to blow them, and it worries me. I swear I found a junction box I'd never seen before."

    "That's just the paranoia talking," Elena said, with a wink at Hannabel. "The old girl performed admirably, I'd say. I.. well, I was worried, when we lost the Stygies guns. There were a lot of good men in there when we blew the deck, but it was better that than let fire take the whole ship." She had a new scar to show for the incident, pale flesh on her arms where the medicae had grafted new skin. She'd been badly burned following the fire, but it seemed to be healing well.

    "You never live so long that a shipboard fire can't scare the pants off you," Hector said, and the other two nodded agreement. "Now, what sort of dessert did you have fixed?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    While we can only record the choice and move on, if Hannabel's after... company... for the night, either Elena or Hector would stay.


    Anika managed to snap a single good pict of the felinid before it vanished, which was lucky. With the way it had seemed to completely disappear like that, she got the impression that it was a little skittish.

    Later, Anika stood with Ravia, supervising the installation of the cogitator interlink. It took some doing, but the presence of the old cable mountings in the Shrike helped a great deal. At the end of the process, the interlink was seamlessly integrated with the core cogitators, the archeotech processors and relays drastically boosting the system's computational power. It was a little noisier than it used to be, the half-dozen extra fans attached to the cooling system seeing to that, but the terminals all seemed to be working properly, and all of the linked systems reported a 15.6% increase in effectiveness. If Macharius could find the funds to furnish the crew with extra training, then the small increases would really start to add up.

    Viatrames

    The Sting had started scanning for vox signals since they arrived, perhaps searching for an ambush - or something to ambush. The new upgrades were working well, the cogitator interlink adding a small extra degree of efficiency to the crew's work. Hannabel had overheard a few of them saying that the ship almost seemed to be anticipating their needs, the new system was so fast. There was nothing to speak of in system, but the planet seemed to have a small handful of vox networks. Most were short-range, probably simple radios and the like, but there was one more powerful signal that probably originated with what was left of the Mechanicus.

    Opening a channel and hailing resulted in a short wait, followed by a mechanical voice greeting them.

    "Visitors. Welcome, on this auspicious occassion, to the temple of the Vulkanites. What service does your clan require? ... What? Orbit? That can't possibly be... Ah, so it is. Outlanders, then, but the question stands."
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    If the interlink helped the ship then it was probably worth it, but Anika was not completely certain what the consequences might be of making their cogitator more powerful. Better to keep an eye on it.

    Viatrames

    'Vulkanites. As in the Primarch?' Probably a coincidence. 'Anyway, I take it from your surprise that you don't get many visitors? This is the Rogue Trader vessel Manticore's Sting and we have food and machine parts to trade with any interested parties on the surface. I understand that Viatrames has been in a bit of a state for a while now but we don't know any specifics. Would you be ok with us coming down there for a chat?'

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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC II

    Ravia, see if you can contact your colleagues. I'll address the natives.

    Macharius opens the broad spectrum vox.

    This is Lord Captain Macharius Absalom, Eighth of the Name, Holder of the Absalom Warrant by the grace of the God-Emperor of Mankind, Lord Captain Commander of House Absalom, System Admiral of Janathor, Lord Governor of Port Davis, Bringer of the Light of His Divine Truth, Scourge of Heretics, and Shield of the Faithful. We come to your planet to trade. My shuttles shall begin their descent shortly.

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    There was some echo over the open channel as Macharius contacted every vox set in range.

    "Well, everyone will know you're here, at least." The mechanical voice said. "Trade is good, of course. We don't get many visitors out here, but the ones that do come are usually traders. We of the temple are certainly willing to treat with you, though..." A note of uncertainty entered the speaker's tone. "We're only six days from the Election. Generally we try to stay out of things. Who else do you intend to trade with? Where do you mean to land your shuttles? Normally it wouldn't matter so much, but..."

    The pause that followed was lengthy, and fraught with meaning. "Perhaps you had best try to land near the temple, and we can explain. The High Clanlord will likely want to speak with you as well, after that broadcast."
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    Election? Ponders Felidae, does that mean, like, an actual democratic ballot - or is it another word for Battle Royale in this case?
    Last edited by Kaptin Keen; 2019-11-10 at 03:42 AM.

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    To Macharius, 'Well. That should speed things up.'

    To Felidae, 'As in the last candidate left alive is in charge? Hopefully not. How long have they been alone down there anyway?'

    To the vox, 'I for one would like to learn more about the groups down there before we meet with them, especially if an election means that this High Clanlord is about to be replaced. Send us the coordinates of your temple.' Which didn't mean they were obliged to go there first.

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    "Transmitting."

    A series of numbers - coordinates in the local scale - scrolled across the cogitator screens. The temple was located near the centre of what seemed to be the largest concentration of metal and man-made structures on the planet. It was quite tall, and had a single, small landing pad near the apex. It wouldn't be enough to land shuttles en masse, but it would be sufficient for the Aquila, or an Arvus loaded with trade goods.
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    ++A delegation to trade with the Vulkanites and a shock and awe group to go and wow the others++
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haval View Post
    To Felidae, 'As in the last candidate left alive is in charge? Hopefully not. How long have they been alone down there anyway?'
    Well - I meant an all vs all brawl, not necessarily a cage death match. But this planet being what it is, it wouldn't surprise me if the guy calling the shots was the guy capable of bullying the others.

    I might take a shot at the title, if it is a cage death match. Planetary Governor Felidae Vestraeme. Has a ring to it, wouldn't you say so, Macharius?

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    "Oh so now she wants to be the high muckety-muck o' this rock," Hannabel murmurs to no one in particular over by the helm.

    "I'm with her ladyship on this one - take it slow. We prep some lighters with trade goods and guards, ready to hit the dirt once we know who to trade with and how, but first we tuck ourselves into an Aquila and pay the Vulkanites a visit to learn more about this place."

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    In light of this new data, Echo nodded his agreement. "Yes, yes yes if these lost souls lost are in the midst are midst of some large, political endeavor, political large we'd be wise wise to learn more learn more. Let us let let hear the Tech-Priests hear hear before proceeding further before."

    At any other time, this could be a grand opportunity, as General Felidae and Helmsmadam Hannabel say. But in light of our scheduling constraints, I hope this so-called "Election" doesn't impede our actual goals. What if these forgotten savages really do turn the whole planet into a war zone?
    "It was a GOOD plan, just completely impossible."

    ~ Sophistemon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    I might take a shot at the title, if it is a cage death match. Planetary Governor Felidae Vestraeme. Has a ring to it, wouldn't you say so, Macharius?
    'It's not unprecedented in places like this, and it's probably a better way of picking a governor then picking the 88th descendant of one of the original colonists to run things.'

    'So if we're going down I'd like to be a little better prepared for the environment this time. Do we need anything besides extra water and something to keep the sun off?' She will try and work out what the weather around the temple was likely to be. 'At least we can avoid any more shuttle crashes.'

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC II

    "Hey! That happened one time!" Hannabel snaps back. "Besides - nearly everyone made it."

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC II

    Macharius chuckles at Felidae's suggestion, and Hannabel's ire. Hohoho, Felidae as a governor! Delightful.

    Yes, that was quite the little adventure. Perhaps we'll avoid a repeat, however. Bring us down at the temple. Bottom side down. On the landing gear. Slowly.
    He walks to the shuttle, still laughing to himself jovially. Planetary governor Felidae...

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC II

    ++Maybe i should install a roll-cage on the lander++
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Just play the character you want to play. Don't feel the need to squeeze every point out of the build.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    take this virtual +1.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC II

    From the pilot's seat of the lander, Hannabel had the best view of the temple coming down. The Vulkanites inhabited a great metal spire, rising above the lower constructions of the city. It was roughly rectangular, in the ancient Imperial style, supported by massive buttresses and capped with a sharp, pointed roof. On each of the four faces of the spire was mounted a huge icon of the cult Mechanicus, the cogwheel symbol recognizable anywhere across the Imperium as indicative of the power of the Mechanicus. Here, though, it had been modified; while the central cog remained the same, the pair of crossed hammers behind it were a new addition.

    The landing platform was a single large flat plate, mounted on supports extending outwards from the body of the temple. It had no railings, and its surface was blasted clean by wind and sand. This, then, was their first impression of the surface of Viatrames: Dry, baking heat, radiating from metal and the rocks below; a light breath of wind; and dust. Everywhere, dust. The sky was clear, and from their position near the height of the spire they could see for hundreds of kilometers all around. The rest of the city spread out below them, people like ants distantly visible scurrying about their daily business.

    Shortly after the shuttle had landed, and Macharius' delegation had disembarked, the large door where the platform met the spire cracked open. Mist rolled out, spilling over the sides of the walkway and dropping towards the ground, only to evaporate in the pervasive heat. The man that came out to meet them was undoubtedly a tech-priest, swathed in the red robes of the order and flanked by what could only be a pair of tech-guard. He waited for them, huddled in the shade of the spire doorway, waving for them to come join him.
    I do LP's sometimes! I'm currently on hiatus for college purposes.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC II

    Ravia makes her way towards the door stopping short and making the sign of the Cog
    ++Greetings, from the House of Absalom++

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    ##I am Magos Errant Ravia Del'Karro, currently attached to House Absalom's Trader fleet##
    ##I shall let them make their case to your enclave but would like to exposit detailed data at a later point on what they plan##
    ##Praise the Omnissah##
    Last edited by Leon; 2019-11-12 at 07:30 AM.
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Just play the character you want to play. Don't feel the need to squeeze every point out of the build.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    take this virtual +1.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Sea of Stars - IC II

    Echo observed the city as best he could from a side-window of their shuttle, and once they'd landed, he strolled around the platform to see the rest. His pict-eye captured broad, overlapping images for later review. One never knew when it might prove useful.

    The Navigator also recorded those non-standard sigils. He frowned behind his void-helmet. True, references to the legendary Vulkan were the opposite of heresy, but Kennoch couldn't help but wonder. This Mechanicus chapter had been alone for a long time. What if they'd made other...adjustments? His thoughts turned back to the "Election" too. Hopefully Felidae was right; a giant battle to determine the toughest and most worthy leaders was a primitive concept, true, but not nearly so troublesome as democracy.

    All-seeing Emperor, all-knowing Omnissiah, guide us. Direct our eyes to unwelcome deviancy. As always, grant us the eloquence to persuade any who stray from the right path...and grant us a steady hand and merciless heart for those who refuse to listen.

    But aloud, he said nothing for now, and followed the others to the temple.
    "It was a GOOD plan, just completely impossible."

    ~ Sophistemon

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