[Plot] The Basal Lake - Eyes on You

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swaswj

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The calm before the storm has been cut abruptly short; what should have been a smooth voyage toward war-torn waters is now caught up in a literal, and unnatural, storm. A veteran of several campaigns against ophidians, Captain Garus has recognized the signs of a shaman's storm-shaping and quickly recognized that the ophidian forces could not have reached so far into velen waters. Instead, there is at least one individual on the ship that has been possessed by a shaman, becoming a conduit for the wild magics to reach halfway across the ocean. With the storm battering at the ship, there's limited time to find the culprit and find a way to stop them.

Beginning from the next turn, you have 10 minutes (600 seconds) to locate the conduit, and stop them by any means at your disposal. Each turn, you should estimate how long your actions took -- if it helps, speak any dialogue aloud to time yourself. Your estimate may be revised if it's too far off the mark, and each GM turn will list the current official time remaining.

Difficulty: 70
100+ Great Success
70+ Success
< 70 Failure
< 50 Critical

Mission Bonuses (Unique to the Mission)

+/-?? - The Upset: The situation resolved in an unexpected way.
+20 - There Must Be Another Way: The conduit was stopped without resorting to killing them. Note that simply knocking them out will not work.
+20 - At the Buzzer: You succeeded with less than 30 seconds remaining.
+0 - Target Located: This is necessary to advance.
-20 - Standoff: Precious time has been wasted in a standoff between two or more individuals.
-20 - Aaand, Action?: Precious time has been wasted without actually doing anything.

Standard Bonuses (each available once):

+30 - Page-turner: Wrote at least 3000 words.
+5 - Neophyte: Used a novice- or adept-tier ability.
+10 - Veteran: Used a skilled- or master-tier ability.
+20 - Legend: Used a grandmaster-tier ability.
+10 - Great Feats: Used a feat ability of any tier.
+10 - Magnum Performance: Used a magnum or ultimum ability of any type.

Roleplaying Bonuses (subject to reader scrutiny):

+10 - It's Personal: Your PC has a history with one of the characters, which is touched on or fleshed out here.
+10 - Rogues' Gallery: The antagonists were given distinct personalities.
+10 - Playing the Part: You performed actions iconic to your character.
+10 - Assimilation: The overarching plot has been woven into personal plot.
-10 - Mary Sue and Gary Stu: It's 1000 years too early for you to break a sweat.
-30 - Fade to Black: The thread was not completed in a timely manner. Repercussions for the protagonists may follow.


To better flow, I've split the two groups into new threads.

Amanita, Micali, and Diamantus remain with Garus and the rest of the group in the mess hall: The Basal Lake - In A Barrel

Gwen and Laermont are with Libra hunting the hallways: The Basal Lake - Eyes On You

You're sharing the 600 second timer, but the timer may progress differently in each thread. If either thread runs out of time, their progress will be halted until both threads are caught up. If either thread finds and stops the conduit before time runs out, both threads succeed. This gives you two paths for success.
 
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swaswj

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At the suggestion that one of his crew might be involved, Garus grimaced and very nearly shot Micali for her sheer audacity. He had already made an example with Amanita, however, and though he was more than willing to shoot everyone there, he had enough sense to know that there wasn't enough time or ammunition to check everyone on board one by one. "My crew?" he retorted incredulously. "You have no idea what my crew has been through, what they've endured! There's not a one of them who'd be so weak-willed that--!"

"Captain, we can't…" Libra spoke up beside him.

"Shut it!" Garus growled back. There was a brief, haunted look, there and gone in a blink. A memory of the past, perhaps, when he'd encountered such things before? His tone changed and he pointed the pistol toward Laermont, motioning him toward Libra. "Take the bot and look into it! I doubt their magics work on a machina. You stay here," he added, looking pointedly at Diamantus. She wasn't part of the crew and he did not trust her. She was being too helpful.

"Kid, shut it and come with me," Libra called out, beckoning Gwendolyn. She met the captain's eye and pointed out, "No reason for a naga spy to draw a map, captain."

He grunted and let Gwendolyn past, reminding Libra, "As above, so below," before she sealed the entrance behind them.

Once the three had left the room, someone roughly grabbed Micali by the shoulder and shouted, "This girl just showed up right before boarding! Wasn't she too quick to point the finger at someone else?!"

[260/2060]

470 seconds remaining

For your turns, try to estimate how long they are, rather than how much is remaining. I'll do the 'remaining' on my turns. I timed how long it would take for all the spoken lines, added a little bit for appropriate gaps, and came up with 470 seconds (7 minutes, 50 seconds) remaining.

Libra, Gwen, and Laermont are on the hunt outside. I'm thinking Laermont will need to come up with the best way to use Gwen's map (and whatever she may have seen while mapping*), but whatever you plan, do it quickly.

About a third of the crew is in the main room, however, helping block the exits and entrances. There are ten entrances and exits, Garus is blocking one, and there are at least 4 crew members at each of the other 9.

Micali, Diamantus, and Amanita are still inside. It's an enlil carrying a rapier who is putting Micali on blast.

The title is a hint, but figuring out what it means is not necessarily required to pin down the conduit.
 
May 16, 2019
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Outside the room with Diamantus Laermont, Gwen had calmed down somewhat, recognizing Diamantus from a dangerous event involving a mysterious temple a few months ago; but she still eyed the crew members with concern, worried they might carry the same temperament of their captain.

She had shuffled to hide from their gaze somewhat by walking on the other side of, and sticking close to Laermont while she flipped through her journal for the relevant map page.

"Well what I was talking about earlier, before their Captain-" she said with overemphasis while leveling a pointed scowl at Libra. "-started shooting people. Is that I think the possessed guy might be in the command deck somewhere. They gotta give information back to the mage that's summoning this big 'ole storm, so it makes a whole lotta sense for the guy they took over to be in a place where they can get a whole bunch of information about our whereabouts, fuel, depth, colors, passenger count, ammunition... What else do submarines have? Or is, 'do' the better word?"

As she finished speaking Gwen let her journal page fall open to a page showing the hall that lead to the command deck.


32 seconds
 
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MoonlitRain014

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Laermont was impassive, as demvir always are. However, his whole frame seemed to carry some sort of tension in it and he was leaning forward already, every indication being made that he was about to start moving. As soon as Gwendolyn had shown him the page, he jerked his head in the direction of the hallway and barked, “Libra -- next to me! Gwendolyn -- you stay behind us!”

Without any further noise being made, he began striding down the hallway. His heavy bladed sword pulled free of its scabbard and his imposing, over seven foot height and bulk filled the hallway. Charging forward, urgency was conveyed in every one of his movements.

25 seconds
 

swaswj

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"Not the command deck," Libra said with confidence. "That's where the captain spends most of his time. Do you really think an enemy could escape notice while that close to him? For that long? No, they'll be somewhere more isolated." The velen lieutenant fell in behind Laermont, surprised at the towering machina taking charge. "I'm not the expert that Commander Garus seems to be, but a conduit isn't relaying information like a normal spy. They're a target, like a lightning rod that draws in powerful magics. And there's no threat to them. Killing a conduit doesn't harm the one possessing them. It's an incredible magic." She paused in her explanation, and clarified in a more somber tone, "It's rare but it has led to many deaths."

The trio turned a corner and Libra kept speaking, thinking aloud. "Now that most of the crew is occupied, the spy would have an opportunity to disable the ship more directly. What's the most vulnerable location on the ship, girl? I would bet anything that is where they'll be headed." Libra looked over Gwen's shoulders, trying to view the map for herself, matching the paths to each location with her own mental map.

[200]

400 seconds remaining

Reminder, Diamantus (the velen) is in the other thread. Laermont (the demvir) is the one with us.

Beyond the exposition Libra just fed here, you should expect Gwen and Laermont to do most of the solving from here on. You can, however, ask any number of questions as long as time remains. If you travel a long way, I'll estimate the time to travel. It may even come up that you'll have choices with different travel times and you'll have to make the call on what's the best use of time.
 
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Gwendolyn's small hands tightened around the covers of her journal. Couldn't it be anyone then?

Her confusion aside, she pulled away from Libra, "Gimme a second!" Clearly still wary of her, and began flipping through her map again.

"Uhhhhhhh, the propulsion systems would be a spot to smash so we sink faster but it'd be kind of hard to do, just like trying to shut down the Atlas reactor that keeps the ship diving. I mean I guess the guy, or girl? Or whatever they are could maybe mess with it and make the ship implode, but I feel like that might be a lot."

As Gwendolyn spoke, her words rushing past each other like a waterfall being fast forwarded, she flipped through her journal pages. Stopping briefly on each page that referenced the part of the ship she was rambling about.

Finally she stopped on a detailed page filled with pipes made to pump waste, many of them leading through the ship's hull and presumably outside. "The exhaust room would probably the most vulnerable though, all it would take to really take us out is damaging that room. You wouldn't even need to breach the hull, just put holes in enough of those pipes and you'll screw up all kinds of things all over the ship, if not just leech water directly inside. The pipes around us would probably already have water in them in that case though, and I'm not really sure how easily they could be damaged."

[25 seconds]


I'm basing my assumptions of the submarine's inner workings off of some really general submarine cross sections. They all display nuclear reactors, so I figured an "Atlas drive" (I'm imagining an extremely powerful and large catalyst is imbued with the Atlas spell cast at the highest possible level that's fed a controlled stream of pulveris, guided a system of tubes and monitored by cantantus practitioners and Ingenarius folks, along with a handful of mages for emergencies) would be the best substitute.
 
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MoonlitRain014

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As they moved swiftly down the hallway, Laermont was talking rapidly both to Gwen and Libra, mind seemingly moving back and forth between various priorities “What’s the fastest way there? Is Miss Gwendolyn right? Is this a likely target?”

The urgency in the big demvir’s voice was evident and there was a certain drive in his movements that seemed to speak of some deep internal reserve of energy being brought to bear. Every motion had a precision to it, but it was a precision borne of the need for efficient movement.

As they moved, the inspector queried further. “Find me other likely vulnerable spots. Libra, you help her rank those spots by likelihood of damage. Let’s go!”

22 seconds
 

swaswj

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"Exhaust room is a prime target," Libra agreed. "The Atlas reactor is well-shielded and would take a long time to deal serious damage to. They wouldn't want us to sink faster, so propulsion systems are out; the captain is trying to take the Arsenic deeper below to escape the storms above." At the next intersection, Libra paused uncertainly, mumbling to herself.

The velen lieutenant suggested, "The ballast controls are another prime target. There's at least three sets: fore, mid, and rear. If the water is flushed out, it'll thin the oxygen inside and force the ship back toward the surface. Check the map, we may be able to hit one or two of the control stations on the way to the exhaust room. The fore controls should be the farthest out of our way."

Libra folded her arms and looked at Laermont. "What's your take, inspector? Sure thing or longshot?"

[150/350]

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MoonlitRain014

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"I think the exhaust room is still the primary target. A quick investigation of the rooms on the way seems prudent. If I were a saboteur, I'd do the fastest thing which is to hit the exhaust room."

The demvir didn't waver, if he had any uncertainty it didn't show outwardly. Turning to Gwen, he inquired in a hurried tone, "What does the map say, Gwendolyn?"

The entire time this was happening, Laermont was still moving forward down the corridor. His massive frame was dynamically thrusting forward, still driven by some kind of manic energy as they proceeded down the corridor at a brisk clip.

15 seconds
 

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