Saturday, 11 March 2017

Rogue Trading for Fun and Profit, Episode 11: Lord-Captain Shut Up and Do Business Gaiden

Rogue Trader: A quest for profit in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium. But dying in mediocrity and misery is for poor people and losers, and a Rogue Trader's retinue is anything but.

Rogue Trading for Fun and Profit is bought to you by:

Lord-Captain van Hohenheim - Rogue Trader. Hero. The last of his line. That's like a unicorn!
Magos Abigail von Thannhausen - A magos who possibly takes too much pleasure in the craft of Servitors. Accompanied by her servo-skull.
Archaius Wash - A gunnery sergeant with an irritatingly low-quality accent and a poor-grade artificial voicebox.
Sebastian LaMarck - A seneschal with a silver tongue.
Winter York - Astropath Transcendant. Monstrous willpower. Your glorious narrator and remembrancer.

We start the session with a recap of what the Absolute Ambition actually looks like layout-wise:
The astropath's tower, Winter's domain, is a figurative literal ivory tower, painted white; not actually made out of ivory, because that's a lotta ivory, and not made out of Ork teef, because while it would be baller as fuck, it would ultimately be temporary.

We're en route to Scintilla, and we've been in the warp for a few days... or weeks. Things get weird when you're sailing the warp for a few days.
I can't sleep. There's something broadcasting psychically onboard the ship. Like a record spinning, but no audio.
I intercom for whoever it is to knock it off. It doesn't stop.
Wash asks how likely a rain of blood is. I answer that if I find out who's broadcasting, extremely. I'll be feeding them a grenade.
As I descend to go hunting, I, Wash and Abigail are intercepted by Sebastian, who takes us into the boardroom.
Sebastian presents a problem; the Macrocannon Battery, the Shellmans, have an ongoing rivalry with the Lance Battery family, the Summertons. A Shellman had a betrothal with the Hanz family from the Enginarium, but they've absconded from the arrangement, and this has caused a interfamily upset.
Sebastian is worried this will spill over and cause a shipboard civil war.
We're not exactly interpersonal experts, but...
Magos: "But I want to interfere in their personal lives!"
We take an elevator down to the Macrocannons, and stop in on the guy running the show, Lucius Shellman, and get the straight skinny.
Marcus Shellman, Lucius' son, had a marriage arranged with one of the girls from the Hanz family in the Enginarium, Marie Hanz. For an arranged marriage, it seemed pretty good; both parties liked each other. But those Summerton knaves sent a foul tempress to sway him, and she's stolen his heart and twisted him. Even a lashing couldn't correct him.
Lucius has a poor opinion of the Summertons. Poor rotgut and obscura-addled thieves who couldn't hit the broad side of a battleship.
We stop in on Marcus to get his side of the story. Pretty much true, he's fallen head over heels for Lizabet Summerton since the Lathes, something of an artist, not anything like deck scum.
My headache gets worse. That psychic white noise is getting really on my (now fantastic) tits. I accept an Amasec from Wash to try and ease it.
We stop in on the Lance battery family patriach, Ky Summerton. He's the polar opposite of Lucius -- tall, thin, organized (mostly because lance batteries don't require much logistics), and with Aspirations.
I'd say gold-leafed, but rough, but then he gets all amateurishly ostentatious and reveals his nature to be crap.
We ask about Lizabet and Marcus. His mask drops. His precious daughter, running with one of *those* macrocannoners. Drunk at best, incompetent at worst.
We ask to have a word with her. She's confined in her "suite", which is a berth like pretty much anything else.
Wash tells her father to get back to work. He grudgingly agrees.
My headache is getting worse. Whatever it is, the broadcast is coming from the front of the ship.
We step inside. She's the very picture of grace. Wash has trouble keeping his cool.
She tells us her side of the story. In short, the truest expression of love this side of the Eye. Her father's always been super-protective of her, and had no plans to marry her off... or let her go, even.
We go to the Enginarium. I start to explain a plan to "execute" both the lovers and re-hire them, when my headache gets worse. Ow.
The Magos feels something hit her in the shoulder. It makes a hole in her robe, and a flattened piece of metal falls onto the floor.
Me: "Magos, I think someone just tried to assassinate you."
Magos: "Huh."
Behind us, the Magos' auspex detects heat from a body and a cooling gun. Wash jump-packs out of the railcar and over to the gantry where the assassin is hiding. I warm up my psychic powers, and Compel him to surrender. Everything around me is flushed into darkness.
He does so, and Wash takes him into custody.
The assassin's some random deck scum, and he doesn't understand what he's done.
It's gotta be psychic shit. Lets get back to the front of the ship.
We find a little-frequented area of the ship. Inside, a hydroponics lab.
Magos:"It's weed."
DM: "It's not weed."
Me:"It's space weed."
They're white flowers, tipped with blue and with red cores, being fed with blood. Can't be good, or legal. But probably profitable!
The Magos and Wash piss me off with their loud breathing and irritating voices.
We find a chem lab at the back. Inside, I feel slightly better.
I ping for minds. I don't see any except me and my allies.
Outside, I hear a gunshot. I exit the lab to see the Magos has shot someone in the leg and blown it off. They didn't even register as a people.
I get inside his head, and behold a wasteland of nothing.
I see flashes of the lance battery. People. Family. A recent family Pict. Screaming from a man.
His last name. Summerton. Red. Firing the lasers at the Fel Hand. Lizabet isn't in that photo. I see her face in stark relief...
Fucking Lizbutt. I comm Sebastian, ask him to check records for any children of Ky Summerton as we storm towards the lance battery.
As we drop the Summerton off at a medbay, Sebastian confirms; he remembers him having a child, but records don't. And his records are *meticulous*.
We barge into the Lance Battery. Lizabet's room is now guarded.
I drop-kick one of them with no effect.
The magos blows the leg off another crewmember. He dead.
Wash and I knock out the other guard.
The Magos goes in and confronts Lizbutt.
Her plan was to farm Ghostfire and eventually take over the ship.
I barge in, and remind her of my threat against whoever was broadcasting shit psychically. I prime the grenade.
She thinks I'm joking. A skim of my mind proves I'm not, but I don't let her get any deeper than that.
"You're insane," she says, disbelievingly.
She asserts that once she's finished dealing with us, she'll move on to our pathetic Lord Captain.
She tries to make Wash kneel, and he resists. Psychic backlash causes a local power brownout.
If it's a pissing match she wants, I'll oblige; I throw full power back and make her kneel against her will. I trigger another localized cloud of darkness.
The Magos steps forward and shoots Lizbutt in the neck with some syringe from her medical arm.
There's thumping on the malfunctioning door.
Lizbutt musters her full power as well for a return salvo on the pissing match; power backlash knocks her out, and stuns me for long enough for me to be skewered by icicles for 41 damage.
The emperor wills that I don't die here, and I burn one of my fate points that I never use permanently to cheat death. I'm frozen solid, but we win the fight.

The thumping stopped; on the other side of the door are a bunch of mindless bodies. Almost like puppets with cut strings. Lizbutt is out cold. Does not take a genius to figure this out. Ky Summerton is one of them.
Winter is taken to the ICU. Ha ha. The magos is careful to not drop me en route.
As soon as we arrive, Lizbutt is taken into custody and put on a drip so she stays in that coma.
Sebastian arrives after getting the short version over comms.
Sebastian: "What happened to Winter?"
Magos: "She got iced. She had a very chilling confrontation with the psyker."

Winter is stabilized, although she's going to spend the next weeks in a tank. Sebastian, the Magos and Wash go check up on loose ends.
Marcus is fine; he's far from a vegetable, unlike the Summertons that Lizbutt had under her thrall. He's apologizing to his father, doesn't get what came over him.
Surprisingly, Lucius asks about the head of the Summertons upon hearing about them.
Lucius: "This... *gesturing at the macrocannons and their crew* my boy, we're blood. But this ship... we're family."
He offers to send crew over to help the lance battery stay functional. Soft bastard.

Unfortunately, those affected by the thralling are in a bad way; they aren't really taking food. One or two with strong wills are recovering a bit, but most are basically vegetables.
Sebastian evaluates the hydroponics lab and the Ghostfire within; he's got no idea how Lizbutt managed it, but it's viable, for now, and ludicrously valuable, if illegal. She appears to have been using it to make Spook, for her own consumption.

The ship sails ever onward to wards Scintilla, and everyone who was hearing that psychic broadcast sleeps a little easier now.

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