The Choice Crossover – Spectre/Vision

Episode 2 Grey Keep Crossover

Day Fifteen

Last time on Blackest Night our Visions: Mallory, Honest John and Malak were menaced by a recently turned Lycan with Tess trapped on the bridge with its progenitor. NAV lies dying at the Massport controls of an airless Anaconda whilst Mathias is trapped in the forever of space aboard the stricken Wasp “Ipseity”. As the Lycan bore down to destroy Tessica Spears she was whisked away to the resting place of Thybleak, called on by Jacqueline Gunnarson to bare witness to what was happening there she returned moments later with hope at her finger tips. As the story rolled forward a strange smell of incense and spices flowed through the keep and the strange buzz of a fluted instrument was in the distance.

Meanwhile in Distant Voices the Spectres had wandered close to the body of the fallen remains of the great hero Noth and the resting place of his love Straval Ayeay. They witnessed the coming of the Oracle and the return of the Grimm Matter come to threaten them once more. After brief moments with the Oracle they called to Thybleak who called to them and entered deep tale and story. She called out to distant Sister and servant of the Bethylak yet to be and Tessica Spears came to speak to with them. Outlining their fate the Spectres stood ready to assist and call upon ancient ritual of their Lycan Blood and the Moon that bound them all together. As Tess vanished into the ether they sprang into action….action……action.
Vision Starting Fate: 49 with Crew
Spectre Starting Fate: 40
Overall Fate: 89 Overall
Ships Status
Power Levels at:
60% and Rising

Recharge Levels at: 50%
Systems Engaged at:

  • Shields – 20%
  • Engines – 00%
  • Massport Network – 10%
  • Etheric Screens and Communications – 05% (Up by 5 today for Tess using the Scope)
  • Life Support – 10%

Tess and Thybleaks Lever – FP 4

Actual Threat – 08
Spent – 04
Reduced for skill – 04
Returned – 00
Failure – -04
The monstrous eyes narrowed with wicked evil, a strange whisping smoke seeped from their corners as they spoke to her of the brutality that the beast would bring to her. A tale of despicable malice was being told to her there, waiting to add her own bloodied death to that story, the keenness…..a wrench impacted between those eyes causing them to blink in rapid succession as the monster shook its head suddenly. “Sorry! Reflex action, I don’t suppose I could have that back could I? I kind of need it….” The Lycan rose up snarling, saliva dripping from its death laden fangs.

Thessaly rolled out of the chair with the few seconds that she had engineered with the wrench and grabbed for the up and down lever of Dazaks chair. She yanked at it but found little give: “Twist and pull,” she muttered realising that she had blown her chance, the claws were already cutting the air, practicing, before they made a madness of her skin and bones. She closed her eyes and thought of her wedding day, one last moment with Jack as her life flashed in front of her eyes. He stood there, awkward and uncomfortable in front of all the people, turning his head to her he smiled, as she remembered. And then. “Meow!” said Jack. “Meow?” Asked Tess, incredulously.

The Curse Spreads – O FP – (08)

Grimm Matter began to spread through the Keep, unseen by all guilds folk as they battled the rising Lycan tide or by the Keep Stalwarts as they struggled with ships systems or prayed to the slumbering power in the dark. Other eyes watched though, padding through the Kazzleoff tubes, leaping on whispers in high up and unseen places, carrying what they had seen in stealth to the gentle hand that loved them. The news that they arrived with was troubling to that hand but the radiant face that came with it smiled, rewarding their noble charges, sending them on their way and turning their attention to the desperate call for aid from the deep.

They had spoken that the tendrils of the Grimm had flowed from the broken corners of the Keep, spewing from some Golden light that came unbidden into the world. Two forms had it arrived in, yes, one that grabbed and clutched at the fallen warriors of the Keep whose flesh was marred by terrible clawed wounds, giving them life once more. That when they had awoken they had shivered in their flesh and that so uncomfortable must it have been that they had shed it, replacing it with bestial garb which to the watchers view was a far more sensible than the human flesh that they had worn before. Hostility though came with it and murder, it was clear, was at the forefront of their minds, death walked with them, yes, death for all.

The second seemed more sinister, insidious, yes? The Shadows of the Grimm had rolled out of the Gold and the strange had formed into something else, into forms and bodies until they stood as men and as women: Untold numbers waited beyond, beyond, grimm faced warriors in their battle garb, horned helmets and chain mail, dead eyes and slaughter axes at the ready. 

The power of these warriors palpable and undeniable as was their intention, yes, the end was coming, the strength of the world was waning and the chains that held them and their champion were stretched beyond breaking point. Shadow Raiders here now, aboard the keep, invasion, come to kill the few with the many.

Ritual Opening – Mohandis Leading – 10 FP (18)

Actual Threat – 40
Spent – 10
Reduced for skill – 10
Returned – 00
Mohandis settled himself, back to back once more with The Shadow Wolf, the connection that had formed between them on this journey was stronger now. Perhaps the words of their Vorkisht, the Lycan within them or the blood that they shared? The North, their many battles shared, it did not, in truth matter; it was strong and as he called upon his Spirits: Mug Ruith, Dun, Ruilan that connection became the focus of their summoning. Around them their companions stood ready at the cardinal points of the ritual ready: Anghast at the North, his spear ready and the Prayers of the Kraken on his lips. Arthas for the East, blades crossed and then whipped apart to hang by his sides, a soldiers soldier. Dirk for the South, carefully rolling his deerstalker away, rolling his neck, testing the balance of his blade, unwavering. Finally Harrison for the West, out of his depth, weapon at the ready and the words of his promise unbroken.

The words of the Rite roll from Mohandis with practiced ease, his voice bringing memories of the North to all who hear them, the strength of their telling is potent and fills their hearts. Each word pours into the world but the sound is dwindling here in this vast and ancient place, the chill wind snatching at them. They begin to fall into the dark, their resonance wavering and then….they were not alone, in rhythm with their words came the heavy beat of spear on shield and that strengthening prayer as the Krakens Warrior added his own soul to the power of the words. The beating of the soldiers sword on his breast, the litany of his duty sword to the midnight air onwards and eternal. Dirk then too, the words of the Juramentum that he had left long ago sprang from him once more, they were always with him, always.

The words of the three, the vigour of them surged forward with the ties of family that they had made upon this trail and found the words of Mohandis, joining with them, lending them their vitality and carrying them forward. As they reached their crescendo they were met with the voice of the Shadow and the Storm and the Wolf and the Crow and together in their brotherhood and their sisterhood, together as the family that they had become here they called out to Congal Clean to lend them, her children, strength to help their brothers and sisters who are nearer her than they were to them. Unseen by them, but finally, Harrison sank to his knees: He had felt the power the moment that the rite had begun, burning inside him and he had known. Raising his head to the heavens he allowed the words to come as they would, to do as they had sworn.

From the cave of Thybleak, from the golden haired bridge and deep from within the heart of Harrison the North added their voice to the rite. The oaths that THEY had sworn were now, to stand and fight so hard against the coming of the Broken Guard. Mohandis and Jaq could geel Congal Claen smiling down on them and in the mirror of her eye they could see the Grimsvotn rising in the keep. The North had come to stand, for the first time in centuries untold and perhaps for the last time IF their companions could hold the ritual. “The moment has been prepared for.” The words came into the world, gentle but strong so that all could hear them. The Moon became everything, the light overwhelming and the sounds of the North disappeared to be replaced by something else, familiar and not unwelcomed.

It is the end – 0 FP (18)

Aboard the Keep everything felt like it was moving too slowly. Mallory readied himself, finding his centre: “Just another Lycan Mallory.”
He said to himself and from within him they answered: “You think it will last forever: People and Forests and The Magic of The World but it won’t. One day it is all gone even the Sky, even the Keep. My world is gone, dead, it burned Mallory, now it is just rocks and dust. Before its time. There was a war and we lost, but not the last War, Mallory. That is happening again here, one last time and for the sake of ALL creation to come. It begins here your people and the Grimsvotn, everything else was to bring you here to save all of them, to make the choice. It is the end now, but the moment has been prepared for.”

The world stops standing still and the Lycan screamed toward him

Mallory and Honest John in Battle – FP 7 – (25)

Actual Threat – 20
Spent – 10
Reduced for skill – 5 (23)
Returned – 05
‘Unpleasant beasts Lycans’, Honest John thought to himself as he lobbed a brick over Mallory’s head, allowing himself a smile as it cracked into the side of the monsters head. The smile faded moments after officer Wawsa took the opportunity to become more angry and grow even more in size. It’s eyes focussed on John and said to him that death was waiting here, John shrugged and the words of ‘whatever’ formed in his mind but the words of the Oracle were not far behind. The feelings that had awoken in him so recently and the connection that he had gained suddenly filled him and he realised: “Fuck! I don’t want to die. I want to live!” As the creature unfurled itself into the pounce he reached for another brick and felt suddenly fragile. He stood though, ready for what was to come, fortunately that was Mallory.

The shield caught the Lycan in a prefect uppercut that came with the practice of long years of experience. Effortlessly Mallory laid the Kings sword once, twice across its flesh, careful not to over commit the attack as he pivoted out of the way of a clumsy counter. He booted it back and away laying in a few more blows before batting another attack into nothing and taking an under powered claw into the shoulder. 

A glance told him that the wound was shallow, the armour might need a touch up but that was fine. A quick feint allowed him a lunge against a beast that was all attack and no guard, the wounds that the Kings blade were leaving behind seemed permanent which was well worth noting but if they were aiming to hold rather than kill the beast, perhaps with a thought to saving the man, he had best go easy.

“Anytime now Malak.” He stated calmly banging the shield a few times and giving the Lycan a poke; it had been eyeing Honest John as a potentially viable target. Another brick found its mark on the snout of the monster with an almost comical snuffling sound and it roared with rage once more. Behind him he heard the beauty of Malaks chanting, calling out with all his faith to the Goddess in the heavens. This was it, the tricky part, all down to timing or everyone was probably dead, he drew in a breath and hearing the crescendo, he put weight to his feet and dived, rolling left for the door he came up running for the Massport chambers, giving a few words to Naed for his friends survival.

NAV – 0FP (23)

NAV blinked as he came too and then let out an impromptu scream: Her body was a few feet away and had turned an healthy shade of purple. “Don’t worry,” said a voice “you’re alive, barely, I just called your spirit out so I could talk to you.” NAV turned and let out an impromptu scream: “It’s ok!” Exclaimed Archie, “He hasn’t found me yet, I am not going to hurt you.” She relaxed a little before she found her voice:
“Did I get them out? Are they Safe?” She asked.
“Yes, you did. Very valiant it was too. They are coming for you too but there have been…..complications.” Archie looked sadly at the floor.
“Will they make it in time?” She looked at him and Archie turned his eyes to meet hers and the sorrow still remained.

Tess being dead – 4 FP – 19

Updated Costs from Tess’ initial Actions
Actual Threat – 08
Spent – 04
Reduced for Sudden and Strange Circumstances – 04
Returned – 00
Tess opened her eyes: The Lycan was looming over her, claws outstretched but unmoving gazing down at the chair that she had leapt from in a quizzical fashion. She followed the gaze down to see a sleek tabby cat standing on the seat of the chair, stretching up to rub its head across the belly of the beast. “Meow?” Said the cat. “GrrrrrworrrAAAHAHHHH!” snarled the beast. “Twist and pull,” said Tess the lever coming away in her hand. She looked down on the sleek Metal Rod in her hand and levelled it at the monster before her, its great more once again focussing on her it let out a strange wheezing laugh.

“Ok Mister laughy, you’re thinking this is a lever but Thybleak said that this would have the power to stop you.” It advanced over the chair, slowly, enjoying the moment but Tess continued, a crooked smile appearing on her lips. “But I do need to know how to turn it on, which means a command word, or phrase and Thybleak, who arranged this lever to be here, is Bethylak and she knows me inside out. AND she also knows that if there is one thing I believe in even more than her, one thing that I know with all my heart it’s this.” She took a step forward and the Lycan paused, startled giving Tess the opportunity to finish with a flourish. “Jack Spears is great!”

The wand flared with power, filling the Bridge with light. The creature screamed, half beast, half man in its sounding. Tess Spears turned on her heal and sprinted from for the door.

Spectres Rising – FP 20 – (39)

This covers Spectres Actions until I say otherwise
Actual Threat – 35
Spent – 20
Reduced for skill and Description – 20 (39)
Returned – 00
As beings of Moonlight The Shadow Wolf and the Time Worn Mantle rise up through the Keep, coming to rest at the very pinnacle, the great Gardens of the Keep, the Ancient Pyramid still closed. Their Circle, the ritual, their family, still holding the cardinal points around them. It seemed a distant and different world that had seen them here when Dazak had died and the King had pronounced that “He” was coming. The Garden here was different to how they remembered it, the trees of the Gillieabad that populated the Gardens were alive with the branches and the bark, memories of faces that they had once ridden were formed there, watching them. They had howled their lineage to the Keep and it had heard them and brought them forward. Throughout the confines of the walls of this unbelievable wonder they could feel the curse at work, giving the role of monsters to the good and true.

As they alighted here in the gardens the wardens felt the ritual take root, here was where the Gillieabad had chosen to take root, here was where they were going to give strength to their warriors. Unseen to the Lycans at its centre and only by the four at the cardinal points the gardens were filling with their enemies. The grey eyed warriors that they had seen when they battled the Grimm Matter were coming, through any entrance that they could find. Coming to rip the life from the Spirits, to enslave, imprison or kill them. Only the ritual would stop them, the ritual and the guardians who had stood for them.

Mohandis and Jaq could feel the Daemon tainted Lycans below, powering their way towards the places where Tess and her team were ensconced. If they could reach them they could stop them, or so it felt, they just had to get there: “We haff to go, can you hold the ritual?” Mohandis asked, oblivious to the formed ranked of Grimsvotn bearing down on his companions. There was never a question, just a glance, Harrison waving away concerns as he staggered to his feet: “We’ll be fine.” Came back Arthas calmly. “Ja, just save some action for us eh?” Chimed in Anghast with a smile and a backward glance he nodded at Dirk. “This one gets funny if not.” Dirk rolled his eyes: “Good luck, we’ll be here when you get back.”

Still glowing the two Lycans flew through the spirit deep within the ship as the curse of the Lycan and the blessing of the Vorkisht grew steadily through the ritual.

Malaks Power – FP 7 (46)

Actual Threat – 25
Spent – 10
Reduced for skill – 15 (51)
Returned – 00
Failure – -5
Mallory rolled away and took to his heels, as planned, heading for the Massport Chamber to save NAV. Malaks prayers were in the crescendo now, the power of the Lady filling his heart with the love of his family, his friends. Beyond the monster he could see the moon and beyond that the world that lay below. The Desert was there, somewhere, his home. Of all the moments of his future that he had dwelled on in idle minutes of his life this was not among them. Yet here he was in another place that he called home far out in space and standing against a foe in a battle for all of fate and time. That hardly mattered now though, what mattered was the faith that he carried with him and his passion for his goddess.

From his hands came that passion in all its might striking at the beast and driving it slowly away from Mallory. He watched the craws dig into the flooring and the awful scraping as it was driven back, he found his serenity and focussed it into the monster. Opening his eyes they locked with those of the Lycan and he saw the lopsided smile appear across its jaws and felt a flutter of fear. Turning its head towards Mallory, so close to the door, it took a step forward against his power and prepared its leap. Malak forced all that he could into the miracle but try as he might he could not latch into the being, all he could do was watch with horror as the claws extended and the thing that was once a man pounced.

The Stand – 0 FP (51)

Actual Threat – 30
Spent – 00
Reduced for skill – 20 (51)
Returned – 00
Failure – -20
Anghast remembered these gardens. He had stood here in pride as The Eternal Witness was named and told stories of the day he was named prophet. Arthas had been briefed here more times than he could remember, laughed with his comrades, saluted his superiors. Dirk had been made a Lionsgold, promoted through the ranks but more than that he had been accepted here. To Harrison this is where he had come on quiet days, with is fellow Chirurgeons to be away from the blood of the infirmary, to remember that he was alive. They had been good days. Today was a different day but in all things this was still the Keep and it was theirs. With the ritual blazing behind them they stood forming the points of the circle that would keep Jaq and Mohandis safe each determined not to be the first to fall.

The lines of warriors were many but they could not cross the circle anywhere except at the Cardinal Points. They came at them in twos and threes, tight knit, shields locked and weapons bared: These were skilled warriors long in practice and prepared for battle who had never been defeated and had sprung from the blood of Skaggrids kin. But who they faced, the stories would say, these were men of legend and the words of their story would and had rung through the ages. As they had done so many times before and as they would do again, no matter the odds, no matter the cost. Arthas, Anghast, Dirk and Harrison stood and fought them hard knowing that they would never run. In the moment they knew they were the shining stars and would do must be done.

Another wave crashed against Anghasts shield the tremors from the blow passing through his arm and shuddering into his shoulder. He screamed in pain from the previous dislocation and the spear that he allowed under his guard whilst crashing his own through the face of another enemy. “Fuuuuuck!” He spat blood and brought himself upright, long striking another opponent to give himself a moment glancing about him. Dirks right arm was still flashing blades but his left was a mangled stump, he wanted to run to his aid but another blade came crashing in returning his thoughts to the battle. Behind him he heard a scream of victory but he had no time to turn as a dagger thrust defeated his chain and settled in his thigh deep, he felt the Krakens embrace then, the Deep rising.

Arthas’ breaths were ragged, a pile of the dead rose up before and around him but the warriors he faced were clearing obstacles faster than he could provide them now. The start of the battle had been kinder, he had room to manoeuvre and he was fresh. Now the blood of his opponents and a modest donation of his own was making the floor uncomfortably slippery and his range of movement was reduced. 

He parried a blow and skewered to the right, ducking a mace and thundering a pommel strike into a sudden face. He heard a bellow from Anghast and the howl of victory somewhere near him, an axe came down he parried and tried to turn; it could have been the screams or the blood but he staggered and the blow took him in the abdomen. His flow disrupted he managed another parry and a lethal return but something caught his temple and his sight began to blur.

Arthas lay upon the ground, face up to the depths of space uncertain how it had come to this as the Grimsvotn stepped over him. He could see his fingers but try as he might they would not grip his sword. He tilted his head as his vision faded; his companions had fallen, the circle was broken and his enemy marched towards the ritual. He closed his eyes to oblivion where all was darkness and voices.

An Honest Mistake – 10 FP – (46)

Updated from Malaks Early action
Actual Threat – 25
Spent – 10
Reduced for skill and unusual Circumstance – 10 (46)
Returned – 00
Her body pressed up against Malaks, he could smell and feel her behind him, the curves of her form and the scent of her perfume. Her hands touched his shoulders lightly, sliding down them sensuously until they reached his wrists where they reached out to encompass his hands. They were beautiful but strong, bejewelled with long, claw like nails painted the reddest red, her arms clad in Egarian silks. Her scent was of the Desert and he could feel allure and passion the breath upon his neck. “Hello again Malak, shhhhhh!” A familiar black cat poked its head out from the robes between his feet. “Don’t worry, Cloethis is still with you, your enemies are just cheating a little so we need to stack the deck more in your favour, yes?”

Grace rushed into him, more grace than he had ever felt lifting him from his feet and the power in his faith rising a thousand fold. He had not realised that everything was standing still but it was, the beast caught mid leap. The woman behind him made a strange guttural hissing sound which coincided with her claws digging into his hands a little. “Tsk tsk. Silly men empowering the curse? Shhhhhh!” Time kicked in and Malaks desire to protect his home slammed into the Lycan in beautiful Green and Gold explosion hurling across the room and holding it snarling in place, it was neutralised for now, so long as no-one went near it.

He looked over his shoulder and saw Honest John standing behind him: “Was that you?” he asked, astounded. John gave him that look: “No you twat! That was Bashet Oot I reckon.” The sound of extremely feminine laughter filled the chamber gently. “Love from Egaria boys!”

NAV – O Fp – (46)

Archie sat next to NAVs body, the spirit could not be summoned again, she was between life and death. He had extended what power he could to keep her alive but she was fading fast. “I’m so sorry,” his voice was clogged with emotion, “if I use much more power he’ll know, he’ll find me and I can’t risk that.” There was an inrush of power by his side and a voice that was familiar to him in an unfamiliar way spoke to him: “Don’t worry Archie, one of my… well, someone who I can’t sell time to is buying some.” He looked up at her strange eyes and unusual purple skin.

The Rites of Congal Claen

A body lay abandoned in a corridor as Jaq and Mohandis ghosted forward become flesh, full form Lycan: Bear and Wolf, the perfect merging of Beast of Chosen and of Gillieabad. They knelt by it examining the wounds torn into its flesh by others like them, they could feel the beat of the curse growing within his veins as Mohandis hefted him into his arms. “I tried to stop…” He hacked up blood and visceral matter. 

“I know,” said Jaq leaning over him “You were brave.” She looked at the broken soldier, just a regular member of the Keep. They were always brave. “Can you feel the ritual?” she asked Mohandis. He nodded, grunting his agreement: It was alive and running through them, enhanced by the Gilieabad and thriving under the eye of the Moon. Something about all of this was a message that they were supposed to understand.

Above them they could hear the screams of remaining civilians being slaughtered and changed by the lycans and then the curse. Rhygahrea all over again. “They are heading for the Bridge,” Jaq said and Mohandis looked at her: “We are the Ritual, Shadow Wolf.” He placed his hand on the dying soldier and let the Lycan that was bear begin to heal him whilst with the Vorkisht that was Mohandis he reached down within the soldier feeling for the Daemon and the Lycan within. As the ritual touched it Mohandis drew it forward, its monstrous presence given life by his own curse and that of the rite that the Gillieabad sustained for him. He stared at it: “They gave it life!” He exclaimed. “Aye!” said Jaq as she ripped its head off “and we gave it death!”

Not long had passed and many Daemons Lycans had fallen before them; each time they had encountered them they had called for the power of the ritual and drawn from them the curse; giving form to the beat within and then battling them until they were destroyed. Each enemy had taken its toll on them and the Gillieabad providing the power for the ritual. All involved were diminishing in increments at each victory and weakening in the act. Mohandis staggered back from the heavy fangs of his latest foe as they sank into his arms. He roared in pain as Jaq tore its shoulder from its sockets and cast it aside only for the claws of another to rip into her abdomen. Mohandis slaughtered the beast and they hauled each other to their feet, forearm to forearm: “See to the wounded.” Almost in unison the words came and they turned their attention to the recently unshackled.

Tessica Spears skidded around the corner forcing them to look up from their work: Jaq was already up with the light rising from hands, sucking the monster into life from the pursuing Lycan; separating the mortal from the abomination within. She physically staggered as she did so, she needed rest soon, couldn’t keep this up. In a moment Mohandis was upon the horror rending the creature but in return finding his own wounds, his great form trembling under its injuries. “My Gods I’m glad to see you two,” Tess looked at them concernedly. “I think? Are you two alright?” She reached a hand up to one of Jaq’s many wounds half hidden by her matted fur. “You’re not are you?” Jaq’s panting grew stronger and she shook her head as she fought to speak to Mohandis.

“Something must have happened. The power of the ritual is fading, I’m not regenerating any more.” Mohandis nodded his head. “I do not know what is happening but we have to reach the gardens and protect the ritual.” He tried to rise but swiftly sank back down. “I do not have the strength, Tess can you get a message to your people?” She nodded and ran to a nearby grill, as she did so the Lycan that she had last seen on the bridge prowled around the corner from which she had come, that same smile on its lips. Jaq and Mohandis forced their forms to half standing and clutched at walls for support as it sped towards Tess. She did not have time for nuance and thumbed the ship wide comms. Damn who heard her: “This is Tess Spears. EVERYONE! Drop everything you are doing, divert power to the Massport network. Get to the gardens and defend the ritual.” No time to repeat the message, dragging a sword from the belt of a fallen soldier she turned to face her pursuer.

Mallory to the Rescue– 2 FP (48)

Actual Threat – 15
Spent – 2
Reduced for skill and unusual circumstance – 2 (48)
Returned – 00
Hammering into the Hall Mallory came face to face with a Shadow Raider: It had been a long time since he had met one but he recognised him none the less. His weapon resounded off of Mallorys shield and the blow sent him back three or four paces. The Raider was swinging again by the time Mallory had recovered and the second blow would have knocked a normal man from their feet. His return staggered his opponent back, giving him time to assess: The Raider was one of several by the looks of things emerging from tendrils of Grimm Matter that were once again blocking the way to the Massport chambers. Whatever happened here there was no way that he was going to reach NAV in time based on what Mathias’ message had indicated.

He parried another blow and concentrated on disarming his opponent: The first blow slew his weapon and the second ended the life of his shield. Mallory menaced the warrior and he fell back to the emerging other warriors. He locked behind him and saw Tess run into view: “Not this way,” he shouted and she veered off into an area of corridor that they hadn’t investigated yet. Not that way either he thought but he too could see no other options if they wished to progress, sighing he took an unconvincing step forward towards the Grimm Matter and its sneering guardians. He was halted by a subtle chirping at his feet and glanced down to where a slim grey Egarian cat was looking up at him next to an open Kazzleoff tube that had definitely not been there before. “Purr,” said the cat unconvincingly. Mallory rolled his eyes but the screaming charge of the Grimsvotn convinced him to swing down into the tube with the cat.

The hatchway slid shut behind him and was soon the focus of an incessant hammering which the cat ignored slinking off towards what he thought was the Massport Chambers. Sighing he followed until he emerged once again by the controls, rolling to his feet he sheathed the sword whilst the cat

began to clean itself on a nearby pile of paperwork. Checking the power levels he began to get a fix on NAVs position but checking power levels it looked like a drain was taking place. He swore and flicked the switch by the comms grill: “Hoausen I need you to divert power from anywhere except the shields to the Massport network for a moment. Can you do that safely?” He waited for pregnant moment before the reply came back against a backdrop of violence. “I can do sir. Standby”. A few moments later the power levels began to rise and he began the full lock.

The main comms crackled to life once more and Mallory looked up:

“This is Tess Spears. EVERYONE! Drop everything you are doing, divert power to the Massport network. Get to the gardens and defend the ritual.”

Mallories fingers hovered over the controls as he made the snap decision.

NAV and Archie – 0 FP (48)

The purple skinned woman knelt over NAV and placed her palm against her cheek. “Hello NAV, I know you can hear me, all of you, you will always be able to hear me when all this is over. Which from your point of view I suppose it is. Right now someone just like you is doing something equally heroic to defend the people of this world. You keep setting each other examples and you know what? They are never forgotten, you will ALWAYS inspire each other, no matter how bleak the world gets. The man you saved, he is doing everything in his power right now to repay the debt, the Oath you two swore to each other when you became guilds folk.” She smiled at Archie. “Not your fault, I’ll sit with her, you need to go now. You are not Archibald but you are all that is left of Dazak right now and they need you. Go on. Run you silly man.”

Archibald got to his feet. “Thank you.”

She smiled at him again, but there was no joy there and he was gone.

The Gardens – 41 FP – (89)

All remaining Fate Points Spent
Actual Threat – 200
Spent – 41
Reduced for how fucking amazing you all are – 50 (89)
Returned – 00
Failiure – I dunno – You tell me
The Grimsvotn had reached the centre of the ritual point and their Druids had deployed around the centre. They began a rite of their own, drawing slaves, the chained from the air and spilling their blood upon the sacred ground that waited for them there. As their it mingled with the soil their the casters stepped forward in matted and filthy straw rags and began to utter some foul filth into the dank air about them. The power of Mohandis ritual poured forward creating a wicked slivered portal of gold crafted from their own sacrifice and the blood of the innocent. A portal to the islands of the Grimsvotn, a way from the place beyond to the Vaklam of now, of two fates, two worlds and all the power that that would hold.

As another soldier stepped over a fallen guardian Harrison’s hand reached out to snatch at it’s ankle: “Nuuh! Wuhnt letchu.” The pulp of his face managed before his hand was kicked away and the warrior turned his back on the pathetic form behind him laughing through the success of the Grimsvotn invasion of this pathetic land. He stopped, suddenly, as the voice sounded again, behind him: “My name is Harrison of the family of Roth, I am the blood of the North accepted and sworn, beloved of Noth and Straval Ayeay and champion against the coming of the Grimsvotn.” The warrior turned, puzzled to see Harrison standing; he was still wearing his travelled stained robes, he hadn’t shaved for days but he stood like he lived in the North and from within him the Oaths spoke.

“Here do I swear by Oath and Family Line, Fealty and service to the Gillieabad and to the Chieftains and to the Chosen that serve them. To protect those that give life to the land. And to guard those that keep safe the Spirit. To give blade and shield at their command. To suffer and to be silent, To stand and to let be, To remain and to be strong, To serve and Sacrifice. In such matters that concern this land; In need and in sufferance, In anticipation of war, In living until dying or until Noth return to the throne and Straval Ayeay be with him. Death take me or the world end.” From his back he drew the blade of Noth and levelled it at his enemy. “You have dared much to travel here Shadow Raiders but now, your hour of judgement has come.”

From around him came the same words, hundreds, thousands of times over, again and again and again as the Oaths of the women and the men of the North were heard. From the mists of time they stepped, from the great gates, garbed for war. The fallen who had suffered in life and waited in death, protected by the magics of the Dralkosh. 

They came to stand beside their Noth, singing out their Oaths together so that the world far below them shook to their words and the Grimsvotn fell back to their portal through which their armies amassed. With one final crescendo the folk of the North screamed their final: “SO SAY WE ALL!” charging forward with Harrison at their heart, holder of their Oaths and all that they stood for.

Dirks eyes snapped open; the constant poking had awoken him, he was somewhere? He looked around the plain room. He was sat at a plain table with Archibald and Thybleak looking at him concernedly, Thybleak reached out a hand to steady him. “We don’t have much time. I told you I could do it and here we are. Doing it. Right now, with where we are, how we designed the keep and the ritual that is going on we can do the all times and all places. Chosen, just a little bit different, I, that is that I that is now where you are but is later from when we were has been leading up to this. Do you follow?” Dirk shook his head.

Archie took over.

“We don’t have much time.” He started.
“She said that.” Replied Dirk
“Less now.” Intoned Thybleak. Archie called for peace.

“So much of what we have done Dirk, in the last century or so, has been in preparation for something like this,” he looked at the wrist of his right hand. “We’re doing chosen but a bit different. Fates changed and we don’t have time for a practice run. Those North people aren’t supposed to be here and they most certainly can’t hold the Grimsvotn back for more than a few minutes. There is still a host of things to fix downstairs, probably upstairs, Dazak has a plan, he always has a plan but it’s not ready not down there. It could work here though, on the Keep: I’m going to align us to the world below.” He sighed. “These words, like your old ones, before they got messed about by the Torakaylins and Sire Ravens and everything else.”

He whispered into Dirks ear for a few moments, Dirk looked at him confusedly and mouthed ‘Wha?’ before Thybleak stepped forward again. “Times up, you need to go back.” None the wiser Dirk was returned to the land of the living.

Standing painfully he dusted himself down and looked at his left arm, bending it at the elbow, surprisingly it seemed to work fine. Some metres past the ritual that they had been defending the magic sustaining the Northfolk was collapsing as was Harrison. The Grimsvotn were standing by a nearly open portal and seemed to have noticed that he was standing up. ‘Well isn’t that just wizard?’ He thought to himself. Looking past them though he saw Vaklam crest over the edge of the garden, the Royal Basin laid out before him and he remembered what Archie had told him. Still had no idea what it meant but the choices were limited. He stepped forward and closed his eyes.

“I give Oath and Truth to use my Spirit well and truly, without wickedness, to choose as a person, able and sufficient, to assist the people of the land for the profit of the community. By the will of the Gillieabad and all that is created and accepted by them. Know that I shall stand by my comrades and honour their beliefs as if they were my own in the knowledge that they will honour mine. Until the choice is made and the gifts are give, Death take me, Or the last lock be broken. So say we all.”

His words given strength so to was the promise of Archibald. Far below him through the ages of days gone by many oaths had been made by many people to the great guild of the same name. Words carry strength of spirit and faith, of body and mind and of weave and those words given to the guild through the Great Keep were given to him. The Dirk that opened his eyes was not the Dirk Lionsgold who was once of the Oath, he was the Oath. With all the power and duty that came with that, every ounce of love and self sacrifice that had been given to it were in him and with a grace he had never had he leapt to land by Anghast and Arthas in turn bringing them once more to their feet. They looked into his eyes and they knew too and spoke their words to stand by him as embodiments of the people of their faiths.

Three then to stand firm and hold the line, protect the ritual against the Shadow Raiders whos numbers were endless? Far below Jaq and Mohandis threw their bodies between Tess and Honest John and Malak stood back to back as the Shadow Raiders threatened into Dazaks chambers. Mallory made a choice.

Two huge Lycans appeared on either side of Dirk, wounded and dying, he laid a hand on each of them. “Brother, Sister do you lie there dying of shame that this is all the Grimsvotn would send to battle you?” He whispered in their ears and they howled their Oaths to the Moon and in that moment they were Kren Daer and Jameelia, that power gladly given. Tess struggled out from beneath Shadow Wolfs growing form gawping at their huge size and the power coming from her friends. Dirks finger was at her lips before she could ask questions and his thoughts flooded her mind, a tear rolled from her eyes as she spoke her vows and they were answered. The Winter Spears stood forward and together they were mighty.

Mallory appeared now with Malak and with Honest John at his side through the port. He looked at the proceedings with an eyebrow raised on high. “NAV is in the infirmary, she’ll live. There was a cat?” Dirk stepped forward to each in turn and spoke his words calmly as the Grimsvotn advanced. John was the first to return his Oaths, his life so changed, he screamed his anger at those that dared his home and the lives of those he loved as the Weave filled him and story of that day danced to his command. Malaks knelt in reverence and felt the power of Egaria fill him, the belief of the many rose up as the wounds of all within the keep closed as he bought life.

Mallory looked at them all and they looked back at him. “Prime Minister?” inquired Dirk. “Sometimes,” He replied and said his Oath, that he had said so many times before. Before them he grew, not such in stature nor in size, but in purpose and perhaps the impact that he would have upon the world or your life should he speak your name.

Within him he felt his passenger stir and he knew that the message had been delivered earlier stood true. He looked up and walked to join the circle of his friends for the enemy had surrounded them in these moments. They came to stand around the mighty light of the ritual and as the enemy charged Mallory shouted his best orders: “Soldiers of the Oath: Stand Firm, No-One gets through!” The Shout came back: “So say we all!” As the group was swallowed by the inrushing numbers of the Grimsvotn

Hours Later – 00 FP – (89)

The battle had been hard fought but the Grimsvotn had not lasted long against the power that they had wielded. The wounds that had been inflicted upon them had been dreadful but there appeared to be no lasting damage and Dirk feared that the Oath givers that empowered them may have shared the damage between them. They estimated that it would be some time before they were strong enough to fight again, each was carrying the toll of their battle.

In the aftermath Stormwolf and Mohandis had used the power of the ritual to walk among the tainted and drive out the Damonc Lycan in each of them killing the resulting physical form. Afterwards they confirmed that the Gillieabad that had come here were weakened from giving life to the abominations but that they would likely recover slowly. Why they had chosen to do so remained a mystery. The survivors of the keep numbered about seventy but were mostly in the infirmary recovering from the stress of what had happened.

Of the Grimm Matter and the portal there was no further sign nor of the bodies of the fallen Shadow Raiders. They had not defeated the Grimsvotn but it seemed that they had bloodied their noses. Anghast had picked Harrison up shortly after the battle he looked daze: “What happened?” he had asked. “You charged the lines of the enemy my friend. They shat themselves and ran away. Bloody good job.” Harrison looked bewildered but then he heard the Oaths ringing in his ears and fleeting memories of what happened came whistling back to him.

Finally the Wasp carrying Mathias landed in a hangar bay and he was carried to t he gardens by the Egarian figure of Bashet Oot. He lay near death in her arms. She looked at them. “He asked his God for aid but that being could not intervene so he asked me to help you. Against the powers that you faced I needed something to draw upon to succeed.” She indicates the crumpled form of Mathias as she deposits him on the ground. “He was strong but there is still a debt that must be paid. He knows it and I know it. I am weary now and must return to my great room full of food and servants.” She is gone leaving only Mathias who smiles at your faces. “Did NAV make it?” He asks….

Aside – Tess was sad that Jack or Pseudo Jack or whatever was gone but took comfort in the fact that before the ritual and the Oaths had faded they hunted down the bastard Lycan that had menaced her on the bridge and beaten the living shit our of the evil, unrepentant little sod. He had certainly been to fernoed today.

The end

The voice of the Refferons
So that is where I will leave today with the following provisions for tomorrow and your eventual meeting with other teams.

  • As you can see you have your own channel here.
  • You are together for the moment and I will probably give you a crossover day or maybe two – I will decide later.
  • Talk as much as you want and voice all you want too. (No pestering)
  • If you have clarification questions I will answer them
  • Mohandis and Jaq took the Lycan/Daemon Spirits and the Gillieabad gave them flesh so that could be killed leaving only pure Lycan behind.
  • The Grey Keep will have more crew
  • The Grey Keep may have more areas
  • There will be a lower level of FP’s as you recover no idea how long for.
  • NAV is fine and may join in.
  • Mathias may also talk.

Fin

Unusual Circumstance

  • You are dressed and carrying equipment but it doesn’t seem or feel real
  • Whilst you can draw swords and the like they are intangible to the world around you
  • Everything is blurred until you enter an area.
  • You are in extreme circumstance and things are going to be harder to do.
  • There may be updates during the day depending on another teams actions on the results that they have got.
  • Everyone is back on their feet but weakened, there is no carry over from last week to this
  • You are heavily wounded and may only take 6 actions on day sixteen as a massive group.
  • However you have won a GREAT victory and between the 12 people present you have 9 Understanding to spend as you wish.
  • The Keep is up and running so the Ships Status has changed below.

Rules

    • All Current Rules are in play
      Remember that until an area is revealed you will not gain Actions for it.
    • If you have Fate Points to spend tomorrow you will need to reveal an area today!
    • I will be adding more information for appropriate skills with interact abilities and lowering the FP’s total needed with appropriate skills for Threats.
    • I am happy clarify rules or plot points on voice with a player as I am often on headset and wandering around my house doing stuffs.
    • I think roleplaying between people is doable if they are together
    • I am happy for you to ooc discuss plans like you were doing tabletop
    • I have not run anything like this yet – But it felt cool.
    • During the period of together you may all do actions as you see fit and exchange story and plot
      You may also exchange items and such.
    • You may use the Massporters to beam to locations in the Birthplace of Humanity if the Massport systems are at at least 50%
    • You share fate points and on separation may allocate any carryover as you wish
    • You may exchange personnel if all are happy and you have good reason to do so.
    • I will take as many action requests as you like and it seems like the best way to run this as a mass threat/combat.
    • I am totes happy to write cool scenes if you suggest cool actions, you are big damn heroes.
    • If you have thoughts throw them at me.
    • You begin life in Dazaks Rooms – I will try and find time to draw a crude map of where things are and how to get there.
    • I will share your webpages on Grey Keep Discord so you can get a feel for how things look.
    • I will accept any suggestions that you have and point them up as quickly asm possible although your Monday return is going to be late at this rate.
    • Your standard actions are included below.

Actions

 

Action

Type

Fate Points

Close the Shutters

Interact

2

Get in Dazak’s chair and activate the actuality scopes to look at X

Threat

6

Get in Dazak’s chair and make it go up and down

Threat

4

Avoid the chair and energy and activate the actuality scopes to look at X

Threat

8

Man an indicated station

Interact

4

Reply to Radio by asking questions

Interact

1

Initiate psionic contact with an individual

Interact

1 per 10 words

Utilise the LIFT

Interact

4 for all

Lower the shields

Interact

2

Do one life form scan

Interact

3

Port a player from one place to another

Interact

2 per person or 6 for a group

Plot a course

Interact5

Add your names to the Oaths

Interact1 per person

Check Co-Ordinates of Temporal jump

Interact2

Engage Temporal Engines

Interact2

Enter the Docs lab from Hangar Bay Corridoor

Interact

2 Per Person

5 for All People

Transfer Bridge Control

Threat

10

Use Dazak’s Massport

 

Interact

2

Learn how Dazak’s vessel works

Threat

10

Change status of power setting

Interact

2

Dare the Chains

Threat

2

Dare the Ice Bridge

Threat

3

Use Magic to attempt a crossing

Threat

2

Examine Orb Physically

Threat

2

Examine Orb Magically

Threat

2

Take the Orb

Interact

1

Examine Bottle Physically

Threat

2

Examine Bottle Magically

Threat

2

Take the Bottle

Interact

1

Uncork the Bottle

Interact

1

Examine what is in the Bottle Physically

Threat

2

Examine what is in the Bottle Magically

Threat

2

Drink what is in the Bottle

Interact

1

Examine Box Physically

Threat

2

Examine Box Magically

Threat

2

Take the Box

Interact

1

Pick the lock of the Box

Threat

2

Smash the lock of the Box

Threat

2

Open the Box

Interact

1

Repair the Stairs

Threat

2

Examine the Stairs

Threat

2

Go up the Stairs Alone

Interact

2

Go up the Stairs as a Group

Interact

1

Try to communicate with your Vorkisht

Interact

1

Suggest three actions by 1pm

Interact

0

Ship’s Status

Power Levels at: 300% and rising
Recharge Levels at: 120%
Systems Engaged at:

  • Shields – 20%
  • Engines – 00%
  • Massport Network – 10%
  • Etheric Screens and Commuinications – 05% (You need some to keep Comms working?)
  • Life Support – 10%

Understanding Spend: 5 points to up NAVS x 2 and Honest Johns personal fate by 1 and the group by 1 with 1pts in the bank for Vision. 2 point on additional actions & 4 points on +2 Fate Pool and 3 Unspent

Basic Fate Pool: You start this week with 48 as a standard

  • Mallory – 5 FP
  • Tess – 4FP
  • NAV – 3FP
  • Malak – 3FP
  • Mathias – 3FP
  • Honest John – 4FP
  • Shadow Wolf – 6FP and 1 Floating
  • Harrison – 4FP
  • Mohandis – 5FP
  • Arthas – 4FP and 1 Floating
  • Dirk – 4FP and 1 Floating
  • Anghast – 4FP

Daily Fate Pool: 48 + 6 for the crew and 3 for floating = 52

Inventory

Kings Sword: Adds 2 Fate to any combat threat
Cog Wrench: Adds 1 Fate to an engineering action 1/4 uses remaining
Laudanum Soaked Bandages: Personal Fate point 2/2
Amulet of Dawn: Adds 2 Fate Points to any Magical Threat in nature 3/3 uses
Rubbing Alcohol: If drunk by Honest John adds 6FP to the pool for that day but removes 3 on the following day. If drunk becomes a suitable container for Grim Matter.
Stuff: 1 x Flare Gun and 2 x Flares
Two swords giving +1 Fate point to two combats each
1 set of Bridge overalls – +1 Fate Point whilst worn by NAV
1 set of Bridge Goggles – +2 Fate to observation Threat Checks (adds to the day you put them on)
2 suits of light Armour – May resist 1 Permanent Fate Point Damage whilst worn before destroyed
1 Bow and 20 Arrows – +1 to Fate in battle and also can be fired at things
1 Dragonstouch Potions – +10 Fate Points for that day
Wand of Hannsod – +1 Fate to any magical checks
4 sets of all weather shoes – That ignore any impediment for environmental effects three times ever
Background Radiation convertors x 2 –Pick up power from below at a rate of 10 per FP per item
Tubbo’s Muff: A huge wig that does not fit properly – +1 Fate Point to wearer for 1 week only
Evertrues grip: A weapon grip – +1 Fate to combats

Clues x4: Reduce a threat by 5 to a minimum of 1

Crew:

Chief Laura Evans
Adds: 2 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day adds 4 FP to an engineering Interact or threat

Gunnar Stone Bridge
Adds: 1 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day adds 3 FP to a gunning Interact or threat

Deck Engineer Marbles Hoausen
Adds: 1 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day adds 10% to engine recharge

Deck Lieutenant Carstairs
Adds: 1 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day may man station free of charge

Deck Lieutenant Fairfax
Adds: 1 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day may man station free of charge

 

 

Day Sixteen

Greetings Loved Ones! I have no idea when this will reach you; life is getting more and more hectic as Bill gets more stressed about being stuck at home and the NHS stuff that Sam is entrenched in and I am now volunteering for gets more dramatic. So apologies if this finds you a little later than usual, the world provides difficulties. Equally I note that I did not get time to sort out the points for the non standards so I wll just do my best with them

Description

To the visions the bridge has seemed a huge place but today as you proceed about your business it feels a little more back to usual. Even the hulking forms of the Lycans seems more natural than incongruous whilst Spectre are enjoying sleeping in beds and enjoying the passage of time whilst they are about things. There is a great deal of activity from the bridge crew as they begin system tests and prep for potential jumps and some of the more interested crewmen take furtive readings of their position in space whilst occasional others flirt with idea of taking the Wasp down to the Moons surface to tread the dust and untouched matter there.

Mallory and Arthas walk among them hurrying their ideas of fancy away and keeping their limited number of troops focussed on the tasks at hand. Tess watches idly as one of them carefully reattached the lever that she had so recently saved her life. She turned Jacks guild colours over and over in her hands and looked out into space. She was getting a buzz about something, something that she couldn’t quite explain. She looked over at the rest of the teams and decided it was about time to return to action: Anghast and Mohandis were deep in some story about the North and tremulous crew were stand in adulation. At this rate they were never going to get moving.

Ships Status

Power Levels at: 375% and Rising
Recharge Levels at: 120%
Systems Engaged at:

  • Shields – 20%
  • Engines – 00%
  • Massport Network – 10%
  • Etheric Screens and
  • Commuinications – 05% (You need some to keep Comms working?)
  • Life Support – 10%

Starting Fate – 57

The Giving of Oaths – 12 FP – ( 12 (Also the ref was lying in a good way))

Actual Threat – 1 Per Person
Spent – 12
Reduced for very cool Oaths – 02 (00)
Returned – 10
Gathering reverentially you assemble at the appointed moment; some of you have written your Oaths half a hundred times in notebooks or on scraps taken from here and there. To others it came naturally, the first time that they put pen to paper they were satisfied, some were content to speak when they arrived and be done with that in the moment. For one or two they had rehearsed this or something like it in the back of their minds for many years. Together they made their way through the bridge and into Dazaks quarters taking up station before the section of wall that vision had examined some days before now. In the hours of preparation leading up to this moment they had each prepared the place that they would give their Oaths and this is where they sat.

Shadow Wolf

She had sat before the walls of this strange place for an hour, drinking in the familiar smells and textures that Dazak had left behind in the place. She had come to the Keep already a veteran of hundreds of battles and tens of wars, a survivor of Soul Anchor but alone, her family gone. She had found a home here again, arrogant and cocksure, bravado and bluster. Dazak had made her work for it and had rewarded her for her successes. More than that, he had accepted her, accepted everyone, made them a part of his family. With all that she had learnt recently and the more she thought about it he had carried the North with him in his name and when the time had come he had passed on that name through the family he created. In a way he had made them all a part of the North. She paused in her thoughts, it was comforting to taste him in the air once more and if she closed her eyes…….

She had cut from her fur a selection of the purple that had come from Thybleaks magics and hung it here about the wood, to soak him in perhaps. Now that the time came Thessaly collected the hair, bringing it reverentially before the Hourglass from which Archibald had come and leaving it there perhaps until the end of Fate.

She rested there and growled out her words to the Keep and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

We give our strength, of the Shadow Wolf and the Gilleabad to stand against the soldiers of the Prisoner in battle

We give our wisdom of the Manifold and of the Storm Crow to stand against their magics and their deceit.

We lend our Being to hold and protect the Oaths that have been given.

And we give our Blood, of the Storm Wolf, of the North to bring Death to all who oppose those which we protect.

Mohandis

He had not spent as much time with Dazak North as others had, perhaps it was because of the sacrifice that the man had had to make to leave the Drayal Vork behind that had made him avoid the others from his homeland. But the power of the man was palpable here, his connection to his people and the long service of his duty. It was something that had changed in him when he had come South, when he had left Valsung behind as Dazak had left Archibald and the heritage that came with the land that lingered inside them, holding onto their values. They always seemed to find a cause, these men of the North: The Dragon had woken in him, The Prophet in Anghast and within Dazak? A King perhaps? He smiled to himself, remembering the Chieftains home and the empty chair, where Valsung had walked with the woman in his vision.

He stood there in his truest form and thundered out his words to the Keep and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

I give myself to the world, to the Gilliabad.

And to the people that protect it.

I will do what must be done to hold back those that threaten us, from within or without

Dirk

Dirks association with the Keep had been a long one, some might say that he had been made by the Keep even if he had not been born on it. It had shaped his life, held the key moments that defined who gave these Oaths today. Like so many other people, those around him making Oaths included, this is where he had made his family. One day, probably when he retired, he might marry and have children; it would be here that he would bring them and the people of the Keep that he would introduce them all to. This was his Keep, his home, he walked its corridors and breathed its filtered air. After what had happened in the gardens so recently he doubted there could ever be moment when these Oaths held more truth.

He stood there, where the King would stand and ushered out his words to the Keep and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

All I am I give to the room of oaths

As I gave to The Oath

As I held of others I give now.

To protect, to defend and to keep true the individuality of Archie.

May this lock be the one never broken

Harrison Roth

He had never imagined that he would stand within the Kings quarters and swear an Oath to the Keep, not because he would never be asked. In his heart Harrison was assured that the King knew the Oath that he had sworn to the Fleet by the duties that he had performed in the infirmary. The lives that he had saved and the work that he had done with nothing to work with and in desperate moments. Things had changed though, in the short time that he had chosen to leave the fleet and step into the world and now the power of those Oaths were ever more valuable. He had felt that strength of the North, of the first Oaths and how important they were and the responsibilities that came with them.

He stood there as he had each morning in the infirmary, calmly preparing for the day and spoke his words to the Keep as he spoke his promises to his patients and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

My name is Harrison of the family of Roth

I am the blood of the North accepted and sworn

Beloved of Noth and Straval Ayeay

Champion against the coming of the Grimsvotn

Here do I swear by Oath and Family Line, Fealty and service to the Gillieabad and to the Chieftain and to the Chosen that serve them.

To protect those that give life to the land.

To guard those that keep safe the Spirit.

To give blade and shield at their command.
To suffer and to be silent, To stand and to let be, To remain and to be strong, To serve and Sacrifice.

In such matters that concern this land; In need and in sufferance, In anticipation of war, In living until dying or until Noth return to the throne and Straval Ayeay be with him. Death take me or the world end.

Tess Spears

Tess swung around in the chair by Dazaks desk where Archie had sat so recently, idly swinging her legs. Glancing down she could see specks of his blood covering the leather bound tomes that were scattered across Dazaks desk. She wondered why they were they were there, what reason he had had to leave them there and whether there was a purpose to them, her finger tips scuffed their surface and she smiled at their texture and the knowledge that they were his. There was comfort in that action as though he might return to collect them at any moment. The rest of them were sharing their moments with the Keep but Tess had never stopped, not since she had first stepped foot on her and felt the shudder of her impossible engines, her ever beating heart that was so full of love for all the people that she kept safe.

She cuts a lock of purple hair and twisted it around her hourglass, flipping open a book at random, old and well thumbed, she read the title: ‘The Vault: Operational Guide Version 1’ which was followed by a list of contributors and aids, she smiled as she read Y.Kazzleoff among them. At the bottom of the page were a few notes that had been scratched in Dazaks handwriting, adding contributors to the Keeps wellbeing and maintenance. Her name was there among many others that had worked during the war. At the very bottom of the page Dazak had circled a use of the words ‘The Grey Keep’ and under them, perhaps, his version of an operational guide: ‘Treat her with love and she will save these people.’ She started speaking her words, perhaps to the book, who knew?

“Hello, Old Girl. Remember me? I know you as well as I know my own face, and we’re both often covered in oil and grease. I know how you work, kept you in the air a fair few times when all intelligence told us you were done. You’re all patched up with pots and pans from the Kitchens right now and things aren’t going well, but you will shine again after this is all over. You are a monument, a safe Haven and the Basin’s biggest symbol of hope, and of the love of one man to everything he holds dearest in his heart. You are Home. You are a beacon in the darkest times and you call to me through Time and Fate. To all of us.”

She took a breath and spoke the heart of her words giving her Oath to stand by her love and duty to the Keep and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

To your defence, I give an Oath of Faith, of Fight and of Futures.

I will defend you, aid in your protection and bring us Home again.

I will stand for you, and for Dazak.

My name is Tess Spears, sometimes known as Thessaly, othertimes as The Heart of Jack.

I will come when you call.

I give my Oath.

Mallory DeMandeville

Mallories interests were practical; he had been a guilder, a soldier, a politician, a Rook and now a Prime Minister. During that time people had called him a hero and he had certainly participated in heroic actions alongside real life Angels and Lycans. Fixed Deities, saved planets and organised a lot of games at Tharinos. At the end of the day Mallory was that organiser and here on the keep he had organised: Defences, offences, raids, feeding everyone: He was as much a part of this Keep as the engines, deck seven and the guns. He reached out his hand and touched the wall, remembering Johns song of ‘Little finger left hand’ and he spoke his words.

He stood calmly remembering the lists of the dead that had fought and died for this home and its people and spoke his words to the Keep and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

This is my Home.

I stand shoulder to shoulder with all who dwell within.

Its wards shall stand, firm and enduring, proof against any who would breech them.

To this cause, to this defence against tyranny and injustice, I give my pledge.

My Strength, my Faith, my all, to stand and hold, when this Oath be invoked, unless doing so would cause me to break a previously sworn Oath.

Malak Al’Moalej

Malaks recent days had been confusing: Something had been stirring in his soul, perhaps at the heart of his being. Bashet Oot had called to him and spoken to him of Egaria and of Cloethis, remembering histories that he had never experienced as though it was part of his own weave. He had had very little time to give consideration to what she had said but it had certainly made him think about home. He had spent much time on the keep and it had protected the peoples of all lands and that was a valuable lesson, he in turn could do no less as his Goddess would do, as the people beside him were doing. It was time to save the Keep and in that action save the world.

He stood feeling the passion of those around him and the strength that came with it as he spoke his words to the Keep as he spoke his promises to his patients and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

Ancient One.

Long ago you gave of yourself to protect those that dwelt within your walls.

You now find yourself assailed by a mighty foe, one who threatens not only you, not only those that reside within your protection but, potentially, all of Vaklam, always!

Here, at this time, I give my solemn pledge to stand with you through the dark times, to protect you, to bolster your walls.

I freely give of my strength, of my spirit to aid you in this struggle whenever you may need it.

This oath, I solemnly swear.

Mathias Larkwood

After Dazak had died back in 2012 Mathias had explored the Keep when it had been the Vault, the great church of Bethylak overlooking the City of Shriekspire. He had never considered that Dazaks vision would encompass this: A great vessel of the skies that would inspire a fleet of people to fight against all the odds when their home was taken from them. Her walls had withstood the worst punishment that could be inflicted on them, her cannons had never ceased, her engines had held them true. Inside her the crew, the passengers and the stowaways had scurried safe and serviced her, maintaining her strength and keeping her true. He was always home when he was here.

Mathias stood, knowing who he was, where he was and that he would always want to be here and spoke his words to the Keep and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

Grey keep, you are more that just a ship

You are, were and still are to this day, our home, our lifeboat, our protector.

Now you, our protector, seek aid and we come in you time of need to help.

I give you my oath that I will not let you falter, I will bolster you and fend off all who attack you

Although I do not know my true family name, i place down my name; Mathias Larkwood, the name I served on you as.

May I bolster you, strengthen you, protect you I give you my oath

Arthas Leighton

The strongest memories that Arthas had were the endless drills during the war: Being ready to raid, stand to positions, damage control, fire teams all of them seemed to merge into one. The only stand down period for the soldiers of the Keep were those times on Deck Seven or in your bunk. Arthas had mainly stuck to his bunk, his small quarters, his book of regulations and tactical manuals often thumbed. Here he had endlessly marked the layout of the Keep on his limited walls, running defence manoeuvres and the quickest routes too and from key locations ready to pass on to superiors or drill into subordinates the next day. He had come to know the veins and arteries of the keep as well as Dazak North himself and now he stood at the heart.

Quietly he marked the routes from the keep to the place he had slept, tracing the route with his finger over the wood and spoke his words to the Keep as he spoke his promises to his patients and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

I shall be with you as a warrior to protect you and all those who stand with you.

I shall be your soldier at the sharp edge seeking those that would harm you, learning the ways of the enemies of the keep that I may understand then so that I can bring them unto the retribution of blades.

I shall stand and fight them hard, I will never run

I shall be your grey star and do what must be done.

NAV

NAV had felt out of her depth when she had arrived here: Everything was huge and confusing, nothing like the ships that she was used to with the rest of her crew. The keep was imposing but at the same time somehow comforting, even empty she had felt the echoes of the years that she had been full and alive. The love for her was ingrained in the walls like they were on any ship that she had sailed: She was the difference between life and death for all that sailed in her and she was also the instrument to allow them to play out the desires of their lives be that trading, exploration, war or adventure. Somehow she knew that despite the weapons and the battles she had fought in that she was not intended for such things. NAV understood.

She gave her words as she would to any ship or its Captain and the Keep accepted them, accepting the Oaths and keeping them to call upon in the moment that they were prepared for:

As one who had no home but was given one by strangers

I promise to keep you going for those that call you home

Anghast and Honest John speak their words in unison the walls shuddering with the volatile power of your words. Stories and Soul, Spirit and Mind combine through you to place the magic and power of your Oaths into the walls of the Keep. You feel the binding of that power rush into the world, into the Keep being called upon and accepted. All of you feel a burning in your forearm as a mark appears there, waiting with ominous foretelling.

Gain
The Oath of the Keep
This will be a cool NSA thing when we return to play however it has some online game properties that if you use will not diminish the real time properties when they are revealed. Remember your Oaths!
Once per week can reduce the Threat of a task by 2 points (Stacking) remember all things to a minimum of 1
OR
Once per week can remove an Environmental Effect

Tess’ Prayers – FP 4 (16(6))

Tess stayed in the chair, letting the motion she had built up keep her rotating as the rest of the Oaths were being said. Quietly she retrieved an old, small, hammer from a recess of her pockets, fielding it into her palm and closed her eyes, reaching out, holding her hourglass in both hands:

“Dazak, I don’t know if you can hear me, or if these are empty words to the winds. I have known you as a friend, as a leader, as a Priest and as a God. I think, right now in this Time, in this Fatestream, and in this Place, you might be the Master of Fate and Time all over again. There are certain things I need to piece together and understand, and I am not asking for you to hold my hand, I am asking for a sign to eliminate a few ‘Whens’ and ‘Wheres’.

Please, let me know where you are, so that I can understand where to go and where to apply my Knowledge for the good of this world and its Fate. Oh, it’s Tess, by the way… I don’t know if I said that already. Please help me, if you can, with just one small sign.”

Tess smiled to herself briefly

All Repairs to Ship – 29 FP (45 (35))

I have rounded these into one overall action as they are safe and easy actions, I hope that this is ok for all of you.
Interact Total – 12
Threat Totals
Actual Threat
– 19

Spent – 17
Reduced for Skills – 07 (13)
Returned – 10
Tess and Shadow Wolf altered the controls of the ship restoring as much power as they could before sending the teams on their way to complete the work. It felt good, alive to have so many people of the teams working together again. The Keep felt vital once more.

Fix Hangar Bay and Substations – FP 0 (12 (2))

You check with the crew and they explain that they have the Hangar Bay as operational as they can make it and that the power levels are as good as the substation repairs can make them. They suggest that you may be able to soup them up.
New Action available
Make Souped Up Substation Schematics

Threat: 10

The Docs Lab – 11 FP (46)

Actual Threat – 10
Spent – 6 (8)
Reduced for Skills – 04 (22)
Returned – 2
Dirk, Arthas, Mohandis, Anghast and Harrison burst into the Docs lab: Several bodies have been delicately placed on layered slabs whilst two crewmen receive what looks, to Harrison, like a final check up. “Hello,” said the Doc, “fancy seeing you here. Did you bring an armchair?” He dances a little, like a sad clown and begins to weep continuing to speak through the tears: “You are all very armed are you here to finally kill me?” There is a glimmer of hope in his voice as he looks up at you. “Erm…no?” replied Dirk, sheepishly lowering his sword, “we are here looking for the soldier from the red Keep?” The Doctors shoulders slumped and the sobs could be heard audibly; he took a swig from a nearby bottle and seemed to steady himself.

“Ungrateful bastard stabbed this fellow,” he indicated a dead man on a slab, “and slipped into a Kazzleoff tube over there.” The group made their way to the tube and one by one slid inside the tube dropping down a number of feet. There were a few smatters of blood and some scuffs marks, the hunters examined them: Some hours past, they all agreed, must have escaped during the battle which meant that he could be anywhere in the tubes by now. It should not be impossible to find him but they would be best served by splitting up. They RADIOed up to control seeking orders whilst above them the continued weeping of the Doctor was only interrupted when he paused to abuse the substance that dulled his never-ending pain.
Hunting in the Kazzleoff Tubes
Threat:
18

Harrison Heals his friends 1 FP (47)

Harrison turns with the intention of restoring the Fate of each, preparing himself for the pain and difficulties that will come with the healing. But this time as he reached out with his power he felt the Oath that he had so recently sworn to the Keep flare with life. They were linked now, his power, this recent curse of Oaths gave him a greater understanding; he could feel the desires of the Keep. It was designed to protect, it shared the purpose of its creator and it would not let him suffer while it had the power to protect him. He felt the pain that it experienced but that was a drop in the sizeable ocean of the keeps strength and experience. Harrison felt some guilt at its pain but also gratitude for its protections and his friends wellbeing.

Far below – O FP (47)

Tess leaned over the desk and looked at the light that was making a nuisance of itself on the board, she instinctively flicked the switch next to it and a nearby actuality scope flickered to life. It was focussed on Vaklam far below, the world floating in space. It refocused itself to show the Basin in minutia and the lightning field in clear play but something was happening. Somewhere above the field something was rising up far higher than it had probably ever travelled before……

Starting Fate: 57
Spent: 23
Carryover: 34

Unusual Circumstance

  • You are dressed and carrying equipment but it doesn’t seem or feel real
  • Whilst you can draw swords and the like they are intangible to the world around you
  • Everything is blurred until you enter an area.
  • You are in extreme circumstance and things are going to be harder to do.
  • There may be updates during the day depending on another teams actions on the results that they have got.

Rules

    • All Current Rules are in play Remember that until an area is revealed you will not gain Actions for it.
    • If you have Fate Points to spend tomorrow you will need to reveal an area today!
    • I will be adding more information for appropriate skills with interact abilities and lowering the FP’s total needed with appropriate skills for Threats.
    • I am happy clarify rules or plot points on voice with a player as I am often on headset and wandering around my house doing stuffs.
    • I think roleplaying between people is doable if they are together
    • I am happy for you to ooc discuss plans like you were doing tabletop
    • I have not run anything like this yet – But it felt cool.
    • During the period of together you may all do actions as you see fit and exchange story and plot You may also exchange items and such.
    • You may use the Massporters to beam to locations in the Birthplace of Humanity if the Massport systems are at at least 50%
    • You share fate points and on separation may allocate any carryover as you wish
    • You may exchange personnel if all are happy and you have good reason to do so.
    • I will take as many action requests as you like and it seems like the best way to run this as a mass threat/combat.
    • I am totes happy to write cool scenes if you suggest cool actions, you are big damn heroes.
    • If you have thoughts throw them at me.
    • Your standard actions are included below.

Actions

Action

Type

Fate Points

Close the Shutters

Interact

2

Get in Dazak’s chair and activate the actuality scopes to look at X

Threat

6

Get in Dazak’s chair and make it go up and down

Threat

4

Avoid the chair and energy and activate the actuality scopes to look at X

Threat

8

Man an indicated station

Interact

4

Reply to Radio by asking questions

Interact

1

Initiate psionic contact with an individual

Interact

1 per 10 words

Utilise the LIFT

Interact

4 for all

Lower the shields

Interact

2

Do one life form scan

Interact

3

Port a player from one place to another

Interact

2 per person or 6 for a group

Plot a course

Interact 5

Add your names to the Oaths

Interact 1 per person

Check Co-Ordinates of Temporal jump

Interact 2

Engage Temporal Engines

Interact 2

Transfer Bridge Control

Threat

10

Use Dazak’s Massport

Interact

2

Learn how Dazak’s vessel works

Threat

10

Change status of power setting

Interact

2

Dare the Chains

Threat

2

Dare the Ice Bridge

Threat

3

Use Magic to attempt a crossing

Threat

2

Examine Orb Physically

Threat

2

Examine Orb Magically

Threat

2

Take the Orb

Interact

1

Examine Bottle Physically

Threat

2

Examine Bottle Magically

Threat

2

Take the Bottle

Interact

1

Uncork the Bottle

Interact

1

Examine what is in the Bottle Physically

Threat

2

Examine what is in the Bottle Magically

Threat

2

Drink what is in the Bottle

Interact

1

Examine Box Physically

Threat

2

Examine Box Magically

Threat

2

Take the Box

Interact

1

Pick the lock of the Box

Threat

2

Smash the lock of the Box

Threat

2

Open the Box

Interact

1

Repair the Stairs

Threat

2

Examine the Stairs

Threat

2

Go up the Stairs Alone

Interact

2

Go up the Stairs as a Group

Interact

1

Try to communicate with your Vorkisht

Interact

1

Make Substation Schematics

Threat

10

Hunting in the Kazzleoff Tubes

Threat

18

Suggest three actions by 1pm

Interact

0

Ship’s Status
Power Levels at: 365% and rising Recharge Levels at: 140% Systems Engaged at:
  • Shields – 50%
  • Engines – 00%
  • Massport Network – 10%
  • Etheric Screens and Commuinications – 05% (You need some to keep Comms working?)
  • Life Support – 10%
Understanding Spend: 8 points to up NAVS x 2 and Honest Johns personal fate by 1 and the group by 1 with 1pts in the bank for Vision. 2 point on additional actions & 4 points on +2 Fate Pool and 3 spent each to up Anghasts and Harrisons perm fate by 1.

Basic Fate Pool: You start this week with 48 as a standard

  • Mallory – 5 FP
  • Tess – 4FP
  • NAV – 3FP
  • Malak – 3FP
  • Mathias – 3FP
  • Honest John – 4FP
  • Shadow Wolf – 6FP and 3 Floating
  • Harrison – 4FP
  • Mohandis – 5FP
  • Arthas – 4FP and 3 Floating
  • Dirk – 4FP and 3 Floating
  • Anghast – 4FP
Daily Fate Pool: 52 + 6 for the crew and 9 for floating = 67
Inventory
Kings Sword: Adds 2 Fate to any combat threat Cog Wrench: Adds 1 Fate to an engineering action 1/4 uses remaining Laudanum Soaked Bandages: Personal Fate point 2/2 Amulet of Dawn: Adds 2 Fate Points to any Magical Threat in nature 3/3 uses Rubbing Alcohol: If drunk by Honest John adds 6FP to the pool for that day but removes 3 on the following day. If drunk becomes a suitable container for Grim Matter. Stuff: 1 x Flare Gun and 2 x Flares Two swords giving +1 Fate point to two combats each 1 set of Bridge overalls – +1 Fate Point whilst worn by NAV 1 set of Bridge Goggles – +2 Fate to observation Threat Checks (adds to the day you put them on) 2 suits of light Armour – May resist 1 Permanent Fate Point Damage whilst worn before destroyed 1 Bow and 20 Arrows – +1 to Fate in battle and also can be fired at things 1 Dragonstouch Potions – +10 Fate Points for that day Wand of Hannsod – +1 Fate to any magical checks 4 sets of all weather shoes – That ignore any impediment for environmental effects three times ever Background Radiation convertors x 2 –Pick up power from below at a rate of 10 per FP per item Tubbo’s Muff: A huge wig that does not fit properly – +1 Fate Point to wearer for 1 week only Evertrues grip: A weapon grip – +1 Fate to combats Clues x4: Reduce a threat by 5 to a minimum of 1 Crew: Chief Laura Evans Adds: 2 FP per day Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day adds 4 FP to an engineering Interact or threat Gunnar Stone Bridge Adds: 1 FP per day Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day adds 3 FP to a gunning Interact or threat Deck Engineer Marbles Hoausen Adds: 1 FP per day Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day adds 10% to engine recharge Deck Lieutenant Carstairs Adds: 1 FP per day Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day may man station free of charge Deck Lieutenant Fairfax Adds: 1 FP per day Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day may man station free of charge

Day Seventeen

Day Seventeen – Mallory’s Narrative

Greetings Loved Ones! I have taken what I can from your narrative and as ever turned into
something that seems to be a good ‘working day’ routine. I have tried to give it the idea of how you
might be running the bridge operations but I have not gone with too much giving the crew
personality yet. I will when the teams thin down again. Today I completely fancied a different writing
style and went for taking it from Mallorys PoV as the PM but obviously I keep writing that he shares
stuff with everyone so you can assume that the knowledge of what you have done is shared up till
the Vorkisht moment which I will assume they will tell you in the channel. Regardless that
information is in the document.
Lastly I have used some images which I will underline are aids to imagination and should not be
taken as exact descriptors. – Enjoy!

Description

The Keep still bustles and the Oaths that you have given give everything that you are doing here
more purpose and more life. However, as you consider the options that are ahead of you, the
revelations of the last few days seem to be set out more strongly before you than before. The battle
of Norfell plays heavily in your hearts and minds leaving the mystery of Faith Hanrenders ship
lingering. The Spectres feel a keen to return to their tasks before time runs out and the last
mysteries of the world of Archibald intrigue all who think of the truth of what might lie deep within
the red pyramid.

Ships Status

Power Levels at: 450% and Rising
Recharge Levels at: 120%
Systems Engaged at:

    • Shields – 20%
    • Engines – 00%
    • Massport Network – 10%
    • Etheric Screens and Commuinications – 05% (You need some to keep Comms working?)
    • Life Support – 10%

Starting Fate – 99

Investigate the Power Systems – 14 FP (14)

Actual Threat – 12
Spent – 14
Reduced for skill and unusual circumstance– 8 (8)
Returned – 6
Tess, NAV and Mathias took up position at stations of the bridge, indicating to Shadow Wolf that she
should do the same at a distant station. Tess and Mathias watched unobtrusively as NAV flicked
through a power sequence, nodding to each other with a quiet smile as she executed the procedure
perfectly. She had picked up the majority of Ships Systems really quickly, by the book of course and
only this morning Mathias had remarked that pretty soon she would throw the book out of the
window and start doing things the fleet way like everyone else. Tess had returned that the book had
been thrown out of the window at a Shadowrigible and that short cuts were a part of the pressures
of the war. They had laughed then and sobered quickly remembering suddenly that the war was
taking place below them.
Shadow Wolf was less familiar with the bridge controls and found that her size and stature was not
something that had been taken into consideration during ship design. Tess and Mathias started to
tease through the data of what they were reading on their screens whilst NAV read out allowed the
control variants that she was introducing to the tests that Shadowolf was running. They started to
read massive fluctuations in the power levels across several levels, frowning Tess crossed the bridge
to Mathias station and they began comparing figures, occasionally calling for the others to confirm
numbers of restart experiments. Eventually enlightenment dawned and the four gathered together
in front of the Prime Minister to explain their findings.
Mallory had spent a lifetime listening to people and had learned to tune into the important stuff
before but seem deeply interested in the minutia that he didn’t really understand. He had just
finished a bout of impressed frowning followed by a glimmer of wide eyed understanding as his
people outlined the engineering. Mainly his thoughts had been on potential jump co-ordinates and
how the teams could help each other when they were separated but he was soon pulled back to the
now as Tess outpoured what they had actually found. He started listening again quickly.
“…because the power flow is registering along the blue spectrum, right? SO what we can ascertain is
that the fluctuations are caused by the unknown power source, which isn’t actually unknown: It’s the
life line, it’s drawing in the excess power and ramping it up so that it can unleash a massive effect.
Now, that is good and bad: Good in that if it does whatever it is doing then…yay? Bad in that if it
doesn’t do what it is doing then…..boom? Which, as you can imagine, is something that we are
probably trying to avoid.”
She paused for breath and Mallory went for a question but was too slow.

“So we ran the tests fifteenth time,” Shadow Wolf sighed or potentially growled loudly, “which…are
you ok Shadow Wolf Jaq? Yes? Good. Concluded with the concept that the principal was set in
motion before we went back through time or fate ro whatever. Which means that it is supposed to
be released at a specific moment and presumably one that was known to going to have have
happened. Which means that this has nothing to do with the twin fate thing. Which means that we
either affect or create a fixed moment in time which has a lot of precedent especially with Bethylak
and Dazak and now that we have met Thybleak that kind of makes sensed.”
She paused for breath

and everyone went for a question but they were all too slow.
“So: It’s a life line and NAV and Shadow Jaq did the testing and we think that it’s gearing up for a
rebirth ritual which would make sense given that that that could be the Keep coming up through the
Lightning fields like Mallory says. Even if it is a bit out of time whack, fate is changing and being
overwritten. Anyways its all going to be controlled from Dazaks big chair over there, everythings
going to run through the chair and launch power at something and we could probably effect that
somehow, probably, like the rebirth, of the Keep most likely. And if we did that means that the
effects would be here now, if you take my meaning. Oh. And its 600%, when the capacitors hit
600%? We’re going to see some serious shit!”

Look for the Sky Fang and Faith Hanrender – 10 FP (24)

Actual Threat – 12
Spent – 10
Reduced for skill and unusual circumstance – 10 (18)
Returned – 00
Mallory, Anghast and Honest John settled into the seats by the actuality scopes: The quickest way to
find the ship, Mallory reasoned was to push power to them briefly and search for the Sky Fang as
they had done before with different people, times and places. However with Honest John currently
oozing weave, after his encounter with the Oracle and Anghasts prophetic powers currently at the
fore he chose to use them to intuitively guide the screens with their powers. He slid into the controls
and angled the screens fields for comfort before initiating the power modules that brought the three
remaining screens to life. A few control panels, damaged from the battle between Archibald and
Dazak, fizzled and exploded some more.
He watched his two friends, their eyes closed, work quickly: Their fingers barely touched the
switches as the Screens did their work, quickly registering a crackling red blur of an image. “Can you
clear that up?”
It was a courtesy question, he already had the sequence but it was important to him

that they be allowed to complete their jobs. “I don’t think so, wherever she is, she is being blocked.”
Toms voice was followed by Anghast: “I feel that we can return the passage of time to see where she
entered the ship and follow her back to that point.”
Mallory voiced his agreement and praise for the

two operators before guiding the triggers back to a few moments before the Keep had jumped into
the area, presumably to scoop up the Sky Fang. Halfway completing the routine flicking of switches
Mallory jerked his hand away as the controls shuddered and spat gold light into the air in tiny bursts,
the activation completing itself.
The screens in front of Anghast and John both burst into life as the moments of the Sky Fangs Glory
burst into life. Shadows and their ships were pounding into the fleet, the Skyfang bravely positioned
between them and their foe. The initial batteries struck the shields of the Basanic vessel and she
bucked beneath them, returning fire and eliminating a squadron of the enemy. Despite this earlier
victory it was clear that she could not emerge victorious, numerical advantage and firepower lay
with the enemy, all she could do was buy her own ships time to escape. As she turned to battle once
more the sky was lit by the familiar golden ribbons that seemed to swallow the Shadows and in
some perverse parody of the shadow birth, Daemons emerged from them, birthing into the world to
take their place.
In response to this the Skyfang executed emergency manoeuvres, swing round and up to gain a
better firing solution and place distance between themselves and their new, more destructive,
enemy. Swiftly she pulled away towards mountains and a distant speck of red, taking fire all the time
and listing as she did. At the edge of the scope, for the Skyfang was the centre of attention, Mallory
watched as ships of the line became suddenly the slave ships of Archibald and then back again to the
Fleets own vessels. The Sky became dominated by fire and death and none was fuelling the scene
more than the mighty Skyfang until again in the distance the Keep appeared instantly disappearing
from view as the Skyfang rushed onwards.
It was clear to Mallory that she had sustained damage to her steering mechanisms and that she was
suffering dreadfully but still she continued towards the sliver of red. With Daemon fire pouring from
her he was sure that she would crash like a stone but she was stable until ahead of her and partially
around her the prow of her a great looming bay appeared into which she began to slide. It was
certainly the Pyramid that they had seen or at least a part of it that the Skyfang was landing in. The
bay seemed deserted and she managed to touch down with some grace, alighting and then slumping
to one side. Just before the red eye appeared again and the screens closed down, damaged, Mallory
thought he saw the psionic communication beacon activate but it was all gone in a flash.
John and Anghast slumped forward in their seats and Mallory snapped back to the now and was
soon by their side. They were fine just drained but judging but how pale they were and how
confused they were when they spoke he guessed that it had been difficult for them to show him
what he had seen. By their mumbled words though it seemed that the crew had survived and had
been signalling the Keep for aid. Issuing more words of praise and encouragement he rose up and
crossed the bridge, thoughts forming in his head as he reported on to his friends.

Rescuing the Slaves from the Stormsurge. 6 FP – (30 (24))

Jogging across the deck Malak, Mohandis, Harrison and Mathias made their way up onto the Wasp
and into the area that the slaves were calmly waiting in. Mallory’s voice crackled through the grills of
the speaker system: “The aim, gentlemen is to make sure that these people are all well and taken to
safety. However there may interlopers among them, their version of Janiform Blights, so keep your
eyes and senses peeled.”
The team responded straight back that they would do exactly that and that

they would report in every twenty minutes until they had completed their tasks. An hour later they
were gathered on the bridge, Mallory had just finished explaining the Harfender situation after Tess
and her team had babbled for a short time and now the slave team spoke.
Mohandis had heaved back the door and they had entered with hands raised in a passive gesture to
discover the “slaves” playing cards and dice for food and drink which they seemed to have recovered
from hitherto unfound recesses. Malak had checked, the recesses were well stocked and could
sustain these people for many weeks. They were dressed in good clothes, although they were
chained with strangely ornate and carved metals seemingly calm and at ease. Mathais and Harrison
had stepped forward and made a short speech about their slavery being over and their freedom was
upon them which seemed to sadden the slaves greatly.
They had jeered them and told them that they were ready to complete their final duty and give their
lives passing onto the eternal feasting halls and endless pleasure dens, which at least three of the
slaves added “of lust” too, of Terref in the name of the Saviour. The team had attempted to appease
them and change their minds regarding their sacrifice but were met with more derision and
eventually the slaves had drawn ornate knives, presumably for use in self sacrifice and attempted to
drive off the heroes. When they had tried them alive one had slit their own throat screaming their
love for the Saviour and that the heretics would never stop them fulfilling their purposes.
Their fellow slaves had responded with general apathy and irritation that there may not be enough
of them now to power the engines when needed and where were they going to get another sacrifice
from. Confusedly the group had chosen to beat a retreat but not before they had conducted some
magical investigation. They had been prepped for sacrificial ritual, they WERE the gift to make the
engines run with magic and had been kept healthy and well, presumably for that purpose. There was
no madness in this, perhaps conditioning or perhaps faith, the group suspected both were at work in
their actions. At this point they had returned to the bridge.

Chasing the Red Reality Solider – 20 (50 (44))

Actual Threat – 14 to capture and 24 to save the device (see below)
Spent – 22 (44)
Reduced for skill: 10 to capture and 20 to save the device
Returned – 02
Mallory had left Dirk and Arthas to the task of finding the soldier; he trusted them to do their jobs
and he was confident in them. They had returned from the tunnels almost two hours after the rest
of the teams had completed their tasks and now stood in front of him: Arthas at attention whilst Dirk
leant languidly against a console chatting to Tess as his compatriot made his report in full. Mallory
returned the stance and salutes as necessary, always impressed with his subordinate’s attitude to
professionalism and protocol.
It was Dirk that had initially found the man, lurking in ambush, but his approach was not detected
due to the noise and clamour that Arthas was generating from a different tunnel. A distraction, an
ambush of their own, the man was not as skilled as they had originally thought and the two had
regrouped to bring him down. Silent as death they had stalked the dim tubes to discover him
hunched over an exposed conduit working and tweaking. They had struck at the same time Dirk
forcing him around and half upright to defend a light thrust whilst Arthas hads stepped out unseen
to render their foe unconscious.

They had examined him then, in his almost
engineers uniform and found that he had
been working on several exposed psionic
crystalways. Both were experienced enough
to realise that he was attempting to patch a
device into the Hive, what it did they were
not sure but they also knew what a charge
looked like and it certainly had one of those
attached to it. He must have stolen a number
of items before they had discovered him.

It was clear that his intention was to blow the item, the dead mans switch had born that out. Fortunately their lightning reflexes had managed to take down the man and recover the item, Arthas finished that sentence by passing him the device in question. Mallory looked down at the bound and unconscious man before him and mentally ticked another thing off of the list whilst adding ten more.

The Chair – 12 FP (62 (56))

Actual Threat – 6
Spent – 8 (56)
Reduced for skill: 6
Returned – 06
Laura Evans nodded at Mallory as she made the final adjustments and he lowered himself into it. As
he did so he felt the knowledge of the King tease at him as though he were on the cusp of those
inspirational thoughts and moments. Understanding was lift and a drop away from him. Those
thoughts were interrupted as the scope burst into life and far below him he saw the Grey Keep,
fracturing and breaking. A dirigible was leaving its bays heading down toward the surface as they
keep carried on up, up into the darkness of the sky. Tendrils of dying energy from the Life Ley Line
reached out to the depths of space as though seeking something.

Change the power settings – 2FP (64 (58)

Tess was dragged away from the strange bomblike item that had just arrived on the bridge by the
powerful arms of Mohandis and to the engineering station that she was growing used to. She keyed
in a new sequence:

Ships Status

Power Levels at: 450% and Rising
Recharge Levels at: 120%
Systems Engaged at:

  • Shields – 20%
  • Engines – 20%
  • Massport Network – 50%
  • Etheric Screens and Commuinications – 15%
  • Life Support – 30%

The Matter of Understanding – 15 FP (79 (64))

Actual Threat – 10
Spent – 6 (64)
Reduced for skill: 6
Returned – 9
Mallory sat at Dazaks study table and began to contemplate the reports that he had been given by
his various teams throughout the day. Around him as he worked Tess, Shadow Wolf, Mathias and
Nav flurried themselves forward. Rubbing his forehead he tried to block out the illusory Dazaks that
kept appearing at various points across this secondary bridge. Over and over again explaining the
principals of adaptive temporal flight and subjective flight paths along with the basic dynamics of
holistic drives. Arguments broke out over who would take part in theoretical test flights and the
sudden screams as people ignored the dangers of not using reality warping dampeners. Malak soon
saw to the ‘wounded’ and he continued to try and maintain his concentration.
Some hours later Tess rapped her knuckles on the desk he was working at “Knock Knock” she said
and he looked up. She had daemonic horns, except they appeared to be bananas. “We know how it
works!”
she exclaimed. He peered around her: NAV seemed to be in five blurred places at once and

was an unusual shade of orange, she waved at him. Five times. At once. A young teenage Tzi Tzain
dressed in an oversized red robe swept back his long hair and stared at him edgily. “Are you alright
Mathias?”
Mallory asked. The Tzi Tzain rolled his eyes and walked off: “You’ll never understand me!”

He muttered as he left. Mallory turned to Shadow Wolf and his jaw dropped. “Just don’t ask.” She
said in muted tones before turning into a cloud of butterflies and stealing the jam.
Two hours later Tessica finished her report with: “…….and this is why we never use the engines
without the reality warping dampeners and the effects will wear off in another ten minutes.”

Vorkisht Communication – 9 FP (88 (69))

Actual Threat – 5
Returned – 4
Away from the others Jaq and Mohandis reached out to each other’s Vorkisht as their spirits fell
away into the depths of the Ocean in which they once swam but here everything was different. The

spirit world here, through the eyes of the Vorkisht was breasthtaking, the deepest parts of the
waterways that they had swum through were all a part of their vision much deeper than the one
that they had shared in the birth place of humanity. The spirit world in the place that they were was
powerful, sharing a much more vivid or older power, from the point of view of the Lycans they could
have been physically there. Perhaps they were….
With them they know this:
The Gillieabad are of this world but they have come between duchies, each time becoming weaker
as they gave of themselves to hold the locks. Now they are too weak to travel further and have come
to rest here in this place. This is what they know.

As the Lycans separated and prepared to leave they
turned and could see another being: Older than
Gillieabad, older than Vorkisht, standing beside the
ephemeral form of one of their companions. It was linked
to them, attached to them in some way, although they
could not see who or what was the link in this place.
With a jar they returned to the world.

Total Spend: 69
Carryover: 30

Unusual Circumstance

  • You are dressed and carrying equipment but it doesn’t seem or feel real
  • Whilst you can draw swords and the like they are intangible to the world around you
  • Everything is blurred until you enter an area.
  • You are in extreme circumstance and things are going to be harder to do.
  • There may be updates during the day depending on another teams actions on the results that they have got.

Rules

    • All Current Rules are in play
    • Remember that until an area is revealed you will not gain Actions for it.
    • If you have Fate Points to spend tomorrow you will need to reveal an area today!
    • I will be adding more information for appropriate skills with interact abilities and lowering the FP’s total needed with appropriate skills for Threats.
    • I am happy clarify rules or plot points on voice with a player as I am often on headset and wandering around my house doing stuffs.
    • I think roleplaying between people is doable if they are together
    • I am happy for you to ooc discuss plans like you were doing tabletop
    • I have not run anything like this yet – But it felt cool.
    • During the period of together you may all do actions as you see fit and exchange story and plot
      You may also exchange items and such.
    • You may use the Massporters to beam to locations in the Birthplace of Humanity if the Massport systems are at at least 50%
    • You share fate points and on separation may allocate any carryover as you wish
    • You may exchange personnel if all are happy and you have good reason to do so.
    • I will take as many action requests as you like and it seems like the best way to run this as a mass threat/combat.
    • I am totes happy to write cool scenes if you suggest cool actions, you are big damn heroes.
    • If you have thoughts throw them at me.
    • Your standard actions are included below.

Actions

Action

Type

Fate Points

Close the Shutters

Interact

2

Get in Dazak’s chair and activate the actuality scopes to look at X

Threat

6

Get in Dazak’s chair and make it go up and down

Threat

4

Man an indicated station

Interact

4

Reply to Radio by asking questions

Interact

1

Initiate psionic contact with an individual

Interact

1 per 10 words

Utilise the LIFT

Interact

4 for all

Lower the shields

Interact

2

Do one life form scan

Interact

3

Port a player from one place to another

Interact

2 per person or 6 for a group

Plot a course

Interact5

Add your names to the Oaths

Interact1 per person

Check Co-Ordinates of Temporal jump

Interact2

Engage Temporal Engines

Interact2

Transfer Bridge Control

Threat

10

Use Dazak’s Massport

 

Interact

2

Learn how Dazak’s vessel works

Threat

10

Change status of power setting

Interact

2

Dare the Chains

Threat

2

Dare the Ice Bridge

Threat

3

Use Magic to attempt a crossing

Threat

2

Examine Orb Physically

Threat

2

Examine Orb Magically

Threat

2

Take the Orb

Interact

1

Examine Bottle Physically

Threat

2

Examine Bottle Magically

Threat

2

Take the Bottle

Interact

1

Uncork the Bottle

Interact

1

Examine what is in the Bottle Physically

Threat

2

Examine what is in the Bottle Magically

Threat

2

Drink what is in the Bottle

Interact

1

Examine Box Physically

Threat

2

Examine Box Magically

Threat

2

Take the Box

Interact

1

Pick the lock of the Box

Threat

2

Smash the lock of the Box

Threat

2

Open the Box

Interact

1

Repair the Stairs

Threat

2

Examine the Stairs

Threat

2

Go up the Stairs Alone

Interact

2

Go up the Stairs as a Group

Interact

1

Try to communicate with your Vorkisht

Interact

1

Make Substation Schematics

Threat

10

Get in the chair and be a conduit

Threat

10

Contact the Sky Fang beacon

Threat

10

Examine the bomb device

Threat

10

Suggest three actions by 1pm

Interact

0

Ship’s Status

Power Levels at: 450% and rising
Recharge Levels at: 120%
Systems Engaged at:

  • Shields – 60%
  • Engines – 20%
  • Massport Network – 50%
  • Etheric Screens and Commuinications – 15% 
  • Life Support – 30%

Understanding Spend: 8 points to up NAVS x 2 and Honest Johns personal fate by 1 and the group by 1 with 1pts in the bank for Vision. 2 point on additional actions & 4 points on +2 Fate Pool and 3 spent each to up Anghasts and Harrisons perm fate by 1.

Basic Fate Pool: You start this week with 48 as a standard

  • Mallory – 5 FP
  • Tess – 4FP
  • NAV – 3FP
  • Malak – 3FP
  • Mathias – 3FP
  • Honest John – 4FP
  • Shadow Wolf – 6FP and 2 Floating
  • Harrison – 4FP
  • Mohandis – 5FP
  • Arthas – 4FP and 2 Floating
  • Dirk – 4FP and 2 Floating
  • Anghast – 4FP

Daily Fate Pool: 52 + 6 for the crew and 9 for floating = 67

Inventory

Kings Sword: Adds 2 Fate to any combat threat
Cog Wrench: Adds 1 Fate to an engineering action 1/4 uses remaining
Laudanum Soaked Bandages: Personal Fate point 2/2
Amulet of Dawn: Adds 2 Fate Points to any Magical Threat in nature 3/3 uses
Rubbing Alcohol: If drunk by Honest John adds 6FP to the pool for that day but removes 3 on the following day. If drunk becomes a suitable container for Grim Matter.
Stuff: 1 x Flare Gun and 2 x Flares
Two swords giving +1 Fate point to two combats each
1 set of Bridge overalls – +1 Fate Point whilst worn by NAV
1 set of Bridge Goggles – +2 Fate to observation Threat Checks (adds to the day you put them on)
2 suits of light Armour – May resist 1 Permanent Fate Point Damage whilst worn before destroyed
1 Bow and 20 Arrows – +1 to Fate in battle and also can be fired at things
1 Dragonstouch Potions – +10 Fate Points for that day
Wand of Hannsod – +1 Fate to any magical checks
4 sets of all weather shoes – That ignore any impediment for environmental effects three times ever
Background Radiation convertors x 2 –Pick up power from below at a rate of 10 per FP per item
Tubbo’s Muff: A huge wig that does not fit properly – +1 Fate Point to wearer for 1 week only
Evertrues grip: A weapon grip – +1 Fate to combats

Clues x4: Reduce a threat by 5 to a minimum of 1

Crew:

Chief Laura Evans
Adds: 2 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day adds 4 FP to an engineering Interact or threat

Gunnar Stone Bridge
Adds: 1 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day adds 3 FP to a gunning Interact or threat

Deck Engineer Marbles Hoausen
Adds: 1 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day adds 10% to engine recharge

Deck Lieutenant Carstairs
Adds: 1 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day may man station free of charge

Deck Lieutenant Fairfax
Adds: 1 FP per day
Special Skill: Instead of adding Fate Points to the day may man station free of charge

 

Day Eighteen

Day Eighteen – Tearful Farewells

Greetings loved ones! This will be the last group return that you will get for a while after your amazing battle on the Grey Keep last week. I am sure you will be relieved to get your channels back and get back to your main story. As has already been noted this is my last return to you for a week and then you will have a bunch of days to get your returns in. To that end I will be releasing ONLY a return for you in this document and then an individual update that kicks of chapter three on Sunday the 10th along with your actions to do. These will go to the separate groups so that you will be alone again for the foreseeable.

Description

There is loads in the text – You end today with 30 fate points spare

Arthas and Dirk: Interrogate the red reality soldier

At first it is difficult to get much out of the soldier. His eyes are dull and dead; Arthas has seen this a thousand times before. He is a man who has given himself entirely to his work and his duty. Now that he has been caught, he has failed, and he is resigned to the end. There is no point in berating him; no threat that holds any sway. Dirk brings them all tea, and they sit, and – at first just together, Arthas and Dirk reminisce about their own experiences in the War, and there is only one war, and, slowly, the soldier is drawn out to enter the discussion. He is a brutal man, but he takes no pleasure in what he does. It is an unfortunate, but necessary, duty which has fallen on his shoulders because he has the skill and aptitude to do it.

The world is a bleak place, but The Saviour has promised that there will be a brighter one when all is done; that the sacrifice he makes in living his life according to such principles is what protects the wonder and glory at the heart of The Red Keep; that one day, enough will have been given that the world can be fixed, the enemies defeated, and then people like him will be able to lay down their arms. “I do not know if you are enemies.” He admits, after a few hours of conversation, tea and a couple of biscuits. “I think that you are … collateral damage. Your way of doing things, it seems pleasant, but flawed. It will never be enough, because you give your enemies things like this.” He raises the tea and smiles a crooked smile. “I am sure The Lady would find this most entertaining. Her methods with the Oathsfolk are far less merciful.”

It is the End

The great bear stood, illuminated by the dimming lights of the bridge. It’s huge arms were folded across its chest as it glowered at the teams rushing back and forth across the deck plating. Some were carrying crystal pathways, rolling them out behind them and attaching them to conduits or consoles. Others were extinguishing fires that had erupted from areas of the ship that could not take the power that was being direct about the craft. Tess and Mathias were overseeing the co-ordinated efforts of all involved spending time with anxious crew, holding impromptu meetings to explain the principals of power exchange or clapping their hands in encouragement. To people that knew the bear he was good natured and kind but today his glowering presence was as much an aid to endeavour as the two engineers encouragement.

Mohandis was impatient to return to the surface: It had only been a short time in the making but his friendship and concern for the man that was Harrison had grown in the last few weeks. It was always present; the bear in Mohandis, the Dragon in Mohandis, the North in Mohandis and much more of his upbringing and core belief drove him to be a caregiver for everyone around him. His friendships meant a lot to him however, family was not something that he had much of to share and his companions were, perhaps, as close to him as any sibling. Harrisons fate troubled him and he was keen to reach the Ondrask and find away to rid the man of the burdens that he carried. He glanced over at him and once again failed to see him as he was now, instead remembering the purple tinge to his skin, his hair thinned and flaking: The North upon him. Bowing his great head he tried to clear his thoughts for the upcoming ritual.

NAV ducked past the great bear with an armful of Tasikol Compressors heading for tertiary power control with Deck Engineer Marbles Hoausen. “C’mon Marbles, keep up!” The trailing engineer almost tripped over his ream of pathway having caught it against a comms station. He rightened up, reddening slightly: “Erm, people don’t usually call me Marbles, just Hoausen.” He gave a shy smile and looked at NAV who in return looked the rakish crewman up and down. “Well, it is a silly name,” she began but faltered slightly as he reddened further and looked crestfallen, “but I have definetly heard worse: A Pirate I know had a very respectable name and he changed it to Tonk Maceyfacey, who does that? Then there was that famous Ritualist Jakob Burntmember and I seem to remember a fence we used to sell stuff to called Dicky Slits.”

They had carried on and now arrived at the substation, NAV started to install the Compressors as she had been instructed, dropping each one in and reciting the feedback results to Marbles. He in turn began a complicated dance with the system instrumentation at the desk. “I don’t mind that you call me Marbles,” He said between input results, “Only me Mum ever really called me Marbles you know? She was really proud of me when I completed my Engineering degree with the University, she made me a big cake with Marvellous Marbles written on it in white frosting. So you can call me Marbles, ‘cause…” He looked over at NAV who was staring at him and seemed suddenly aware that everyone at nearby stations were nonchalantly looking at them. “Back to work Engineer Hoausen!” She exclaimed loudly allowing herself a brief smile as his ears gleamed crimson again. Behind her she heard a loud snort and risked a quick glance towards the great bear and his shit eating grin.

Across the deck Mathias had managed to disperse the power from the BRC’s directly down into a Core Separation Unit or CSU before it was delivered via the….He glanced back at the plans DEP’s? This was not something that he had done before, not hands on, he had read about it and would, quite frankly have been happier trying to fathom the mysteries of the peerless artifice. None of this was made any easier by the looming presence of Mohandis who stood glowering over all of the proceedings. He reached up to push his hair out of his eyes and remembered that he wasn’t one hundred and forty five any more. Regardless he glowered at Mohandis who was chuckling at something happening on the other side of the bridge. As if he knew the great polar head turned to look at him, a terrifying grimace on its face to strike terror into his heart as he raised his paw to strike and started to roar: “HAAARRROOOOOWW”!

Mohandis had to turn his head away from the NAV scene to keep the chuckle away from them whilst he tried to pull his angry face back together. He had no idea what he looked like when he did turn but he found that his gaze suddenly locked with Mathias who was at the far side of the bridge. Mathias seemed to be in the act of rubbing his balding head and staring lovingly at him. Mohandis looked at him confusedly and found himself returning a half glower, half smile and for some reason he raised his right paw and started to wave at Mathias. Unbidden he spoke, although he had no idea what the word he tried to form sounded like from his bear lips and form. Nonetheless the word rolled forward towards the Tzi Tzain: “Helooooooo!” Mathias let out a short scream and staggered backwards. Mohandis took over and sheepishly waved an apology before skirting back across the bridge.

Tess ran over to Mathias and helped him up: “You alright Professor?” She asked brushing him down. He muttered something incomprehensible and swore in his native tongue and turned his attention back to the Separation Unit. He looked at her keeping his eyes firm to hers whilst deftly completing the power transfer, a slightly triumphant smile forming on his lips. “I am fine thank you. The power should be good if you want to drop the shield settings.” She frowned a little at him and relexifly shook his hand saying, “Well done prof! Are you feeling ok? Do you need a lie down? You look a little tousled.” He waved her hand away and pulled himself up to his full height: “I am fine thank you, the bear! You understand?” He walked away to take up his position for the ritual. Tess shook her head and scrathing her head thought ‘I am sure No-One understands him’.

Turning she rushed away to Dazaks chair next to which Arthas knelt in prayer; he had been here for some long part of the morning, since his return from the prisoner and each in turn he had been visited by members of the crew and by the Spectres and the Visions. Each in turn had told him something of their time aboard the Keep and what it meant to them. He had not spoken to them directly, but instead had incorporated their words into his repeated prayer. His memory for what he was saying was indeed impressive and Tess wondered briefly if she could transfer his brain into some sort of learning device that could be used to lecture at the University. Then she remembered that they were called people and smiled to herself as she swung up into the chair by Dazaks command station and begun the calculations to lower the shields safely.

Mohandis took refuge at the prow of the bridge, diving down behind some larger power banks where he could properly conceal his huge form. Here he found the Storm Wolf who had taken a similar approach. Honest John sat with her, both of them staring out of the window at the Moon before them. No words were said but Honest John gave him a nod and quickly rolled him a cigarette proffering it up to him. Mohandis looked at the tiny object incredulously but John just winked at him so he took it gingerly at which John sang a quick refrain and it swelled in size. The three of them smoked some Fresh Golden Lands and watched as the shields slowly reduced in power and Moonlight bathed them, its glory reflected in their eyes. The moment was one of perfection, every part of their Aura empowered and enlightened by it, the strength of ages being drawn from, the mysteries of the Universe forming in their mind. Then it began to rain, suddenly and within the ship itself, a gentle cold feeling on their skin and as one they looked up to seek its source.

Mallory had shouted at them as best he could: “No Smoking on the Bridge.” He had chastised them but it was difficult to remain serious when faced with two thoroughly drenched Lycans and a sodden Honest John. He had been in Dazaks rooms when the Fire Suppression Systems had gone off and had arrived to a veritable deluge of water, shouting, screaming and general panic. They had cleared everything up but it had taken the best part of an hour to be back to where they were. Remarkably Arthas had not moved at all during the whole affair, his prayers still being recited even now as Mallory restored order. He looked them up and down, “Do you have anything to say for yourselves?” he asked. “Well, in fairness his Maj does it all the time!” replied Honest John. The anger of the soaked behind him evaporated somewhat at this remark and there was a level of chuckling.

But the Moment had been prepared for

Shadow Wolf had had to physically pick up Arthas and placed him in Dazaks tremendously daunting chair as best she could. It was unusual to see someone else sat there, deep in prayer, they were big shoes for anyone to fill, Arthas being a conduit for everyone else felt uncomfortably familiar for the onetime manifold. She remembered holding the same power when she had rescued Tess’ husband from the power of Sarkith, she looked up at Tess who was standing behind Dazaks console steadying herself for the moment to come. Around her the rest of the crew and the teams were assembled, knelt before the throne of the King in a great circle and she took her place there among them as his daughter.

They had listened to the words that Arthas was speaking for many hours now and could recite them as though they were extensions of the prayer and at Thessaly’s nod they took up the litany in time with the Priest. They began: “My Lord the Corrigun, though you were born long ago at the hand of darker powers you found hope here aboard the Keep, where my faith in you was born. Through the actions of this place you rose from the Shadows that clung to you to complete your duty to the Devourer and step forward as a pure soldier once more. Now you have offered the chance of that rebirth to the world and now to the Keep itself to the place where we stand.” Each then spoke in tandem with Arthas, speaking the words that they had given him in time with his own recitation.

Harrisons words were the first to follow and into the prayer flowed his love for the Keep and his pride for the work that he and his parents had done here in service during the war. The names of those that he had saved and the names of those that he had failed. The words of the Oaths that he had sworn to his Guild, to the people, to the Keep, to his King and now to the world. In Passion and in Truth, In Power and in Strength, Harrison told the Keep what it had made him.

Anghast Gergorvich, mean son of a bitch, claimed his place in the Keeps vivid history next, his words merging with the prayer, the Kraken and the Corrigun together. He spoke of the family that he had once had, the loss of his father and his mother and of the man that had come to the Keep. Of his Deity and the title of Prophet that had come with his burdens. He spoke of his pride and the beauty of the great ship that had joined its strength to the Keep. The prayers of the Kraken, of the Prophet and all those that followed him, of the Dragon and the heart and soul of Anghast. He told the Keep what it had made him.

Dirks prayers flowed succinctly after, proudly filling the prayer with their own unique flavour and kindness, a stark contrast to the life of the Krakenite. The padfoot on the Keep seeking out injustice, the Keep had taken him on endless adventures across the Sky. Shown him the door to the Cavaliers and brought him to the seat of the Lionsgold. How when he had arrived he was not sure where he was going but the Keep, she had always taken him where he needed to be and that had made him the man that he was. He made sure the Keep knew how proud he was of her through his tears.

NAV’s words played in next, she was less experienced here that was sure but her thoughts and keen stormed into the prayer giving it a nuance and life that it had not seen for years. She had been bought here from the seas with no ideas of the strangeness of the sky and she had seen the Moon. THE MOON! Suddenly she was an engineer and a pilot, operating Massports and visiting places that she had never known existed. She had always wanted to explore the world and that was what the Keep was : A doorway to everything that everything, everywhere and everywhen. She told the Keep what it was letting her become.

Mathias and Bethylak entered the prayer now, if it could still be called a prayer, the crew and the teams were pounding the floor at first, they thought with the words, but no! The engines deep below were beating out the staccato of the rhythm the rite Arthas brought forward was born of its great heart. With that engine powering through him Mathias spoke of how the Keep had risen him, his thanks for the opportunities that it had placed before him: Master of invention, creator of wonder that had kept the people safe, how it had changed him and given him definition for his future. This was who the Keep had made him and he was grateful.

Mallory stood then beckoning the others to do so, as though he knew that this would be the moment that was best locked within the prayer waiting to happen. Speaking of the platform that the Keep had provided for him to be more than a Soldier, A rook and then a Prime Minister. His words were simple, reminding them that the King had never wanted them to kneel, that this is what the Keep had made Dazak and what he in turn had done, through the Keep, to make not only them but all of Daer Akmir what it was now: The potential of hope and unity.

As he finished so Honest John span and reeled, his guitar singing out to reach the words through the weave and make them dance for everyone. John was a weaver and it had taken a long time, the journey had been difficult, he had almost given up but the Keep had brought him here to her. To the Oracle and she had given him back his heart and that heart was bursting now, with each word that he thanked her. The power of all their words being given life by his harmony as Tess began to glow, the prayer catching her she rose majestically into the air, her head tilting back, her arms outstretched.

Arthas’ voice continued to stream into the Bridge although the blinding light of Tess was making it difficult to ascertain whether the bridge around them was changing or not. As the group focussed on the throne again the shape of the King had replaced the Corrigunite. He sat, downcast, shrouded in the Shadows and forlorn of hope. Within him, it was clear that his spirit, his being was crushed, done and over. Hollow in his chair he sat, to those that had seen her, weakened like the defeated form of the Dralkosh, defeated, all his work undone.

Malak stepped forward now, the words of the prayer his to control, a change in pace and direction as he spoke looking at the King before him. His words were new, reactionary as he felt the power of fate lines before him. The war within the King. The war that he had already lost. So he spoke of his days on the Keep, how the words of the King, his deeds aboard this vessel had forged him and all those around them into the people that they were. All the heroics that they had done together, the families that they had reunited, here, in these halls, that he had built. Together, everything that they had sacrificed for their world. Here on the Keep.

Mohandis and Shadow Wolf picked up the words of Malak as their forms lessened and they were the man and woman that they had been again. They spoke of these forms, these beings that had fought here and had died here. That they had discovered themselves here. How they had come from far away and long ago, alone and without family. How Dazak had shown them, all of them his home, this auberge of his so far away from the world. This place of privacy where he could hide from the world of responsibilities and conflict to build and have his own chance of a future. Perhaps he had known that this would never be his own Sanctuary and that he could never have these moments, they did not know.

But they told the Keep, as they changed once more, of the people that they had become, because of Dazak and the Grey Keep. That you could not have one without the other. How proud they were to have stood as guardians of everyone that she had sheltered. But mainly they told her, him, perhaps both of them how needed they were because even Mohandis and Jaq sometimes trembled and lost hope knowing they would die and the cause would be over: But that shape in the Sky brings hope wherever it goes, to anyone who sees it, anyone, no matter how lost. Even Dazak.

And then there was Tess, lost in a moment of floating high above them now, the white light shining through her. She could feel the Keep below her dying and in turn this one too reaching its end as though it never was and through her they could all feel it, crewless and alone, dying there in space, breaking their hearts. That old bridge, fires burning, unaligned and wavering: Not ready for what they were bringing it. How could he not have known? But perhaps it wasn’t HIM that knew: Sisters she thought and the light shone brighter. When it receded they were aboard the Keep once more, war damaged and ending, in need of a ritual to link it to the power they were about to give it.

Hmm, thought Tess. There had never been that many rituals she had been involved in, not that it mattered, this was entirely different.

Somewhere down there this time’s Tess, still Gearsmith not yet Spears, was flying away from the Grey Keep in tears. On that Keep right now was a funeral pyre for Bethylak, and that Tess firmly believed that there was to be no more Keep, it was lost. Her favourite pistol, Bethylak’s favoured weapon, was on that Keep, along with items from all her friends, part of the Pyre, part of the offering of life to her God’s memory.

This time’s Tess remembered the complete, perfect euphoria she felt when she saw the Keep return from the highest it had ever been. Well, at that point in time anyway. The moment of “OF COURSE!” when she remembered that there was a life ley line on board, and the Keep had the opportunity to return to life, just as any other person could. She was alive. Since that day, Tess had never referred to the Keep as an object, a citadel, a temple. The Grey Keep was always She. Always a lady, Dazak’s greatest achievement, given rebirth by the heavens. Fated, some might say.

And her pistol had come back, changed. That had also been kind of awesome.

Taking a deep, centring breath, she focused on the Now Tess. Now Tess was looking down on the very thing she had once looked up at with tears clouding her eyes. No tears this time, though. She had to remain steady, to do all the things She needed.

Hourglass in hand, naive Tess Gearsmith, loved up Tess Spears, the unknown Lady Thessaly Winter, silly Tessica the Heart of Jack, The Clockwork Lady and The Red Sage of the Royal Basin made a unified decision, remembering the only other person to do that in this place. She could have been so many people, learned different things and made a million different choices, but everything had led to this.

In one hand, she brought out her hourglass. From the other dangled a pocket watch given to her by the Wondersmith, just one more facet of the God she loved. Finding a bunch of engine parts and a whole bottle of oil, she cleared a space on the floor, ushering the others out of the way so she had a clear space to work with.

“We know,” she said, “that most Rituals need the points of the compass to have a true and lasting effect. Logically speaking, there is no North here, because we’re in space so – Dazak North’s chair will represent North to us. This is a ritual for my old girl, so the parts of her that are currently unused will be given a Purpose in her Rebuilding.”

She begins to pour the Engine Oil in a large circle on the floor, placing objects at the cardinal points, Dazak’s Chair at the Northernmost point.

“Now, I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the Bordatellos ritual, but in that ritual the cardinal points are represented by names and not by North and South etc. The South was called Grandfather Moon, so if we angle this right, we can have the moon at the Southernmost point of the Ritual and include Congal Claen in what we’re doing.”

Together, Mathias, NAV and Tess spread the parts around the Circle, ensuring that all those parts connected and interwove to create a whole working mechanism. A small argument broke out then about what would stand at the other two points. There was much sighing and grinding of teeth before it was decided that the King’s Sword would stand at the West, symbolic of vanquishing a mighty foe, and the ending of treasured lives. A pile of Dazak’s instruction manuals for the Keep would stand at the East for creation and new inventions, life and rebirth.

Mohandis lumbered around the Bridge, burning bitter herbs to cleanse the space from the iron tang of blood. He walked with solemnity, Fairfax and Carstairs scampering out of his way “Sire!”; their last experience with a Lycan had not been a pleasant one.

Together, Dirk and Arthas drew their blades, walking the room behind Mohandis. Malak clutched at his robes, unsure what to do. That was until Fairfax accidentally tripped over Carstairs and broke his ankle. The cries that spread through the room at that point punctured the portentious sense of growing power in the room, and only when Malak laid his hands upon Fairfax did the quiet return, and those engaged in their duties looked away form the whimpering mess on the floor.

Jaq spoke, then. Her voice gravelly, occasional guttural snarls echoed from her throat when her torn muscles gave her too much pain. “We know why all of us are gathered here. Together, we represent those most loyal to this Home. We have seen it bent and broken, patched and remade so many times before. We will lead the Ritual as North. Mohandis will be the Second from the North in case we fall. Dirk, Anghast, Harrison and Arthas, you will guard us all. Mathias, NAV, Malak and Mallory you stand as the conduits for the power of life and rebith. Tess, you will stand for Fate. Do as we will.”

Tess, gestured to Mathias and NAV. “For this to really work, we are going to need all of the power in that life line, and we need to direct it in a really specific way. I need the lighting power redirected through the Life Chamber from all decks bar 7, and I need the power lines in the Garden to be competely flooded, this power is going to flow through a Gillieabad before it flows through this Ritual. Mechanics, rituals, really, when you think about it.”

She punched in a series of complicated commands, placing herself gingerly on Dazak’s chair as she did so, just because she could. The others danced around the consoles, flipping switches with small looks of intrigue on their faces.

“Everyone, this is how we’re going to work the power relays. The power of the lifeline will flow through the Garden and the Gillieabad within it, driven into the Bridge and focused on these four points, each representing something vital to the Keep and to Dazak. The four points will be guided in their purpose by the conduit points who will need to focus on each aspect, simultaneously if possible, although that might be a little difficult for some.

Whilst Jaq is leading the ritual, I will be focused on power levels and fluctuations. When we are optimal, I shall flick this switch, and that power will be focused again, and directed through one of the fore cannons down into the other Grey Keep. Bear in mind this is one shot. I shall also be acting as another conduit point. I will keep the Keep moving through my thoughts, everything from the day when it died, and how it was rebirthed. We will bring it back better and stronger, and able to help up in this fight now.”

Everyone nodded their agreement, and Tess pressed a big green button.

“Take it away, Shadow Wolf”, she said with a bow.

Jaq opened her mouth to speak, as the lights went out and they returned to their own Keep, all was as it was.

From that beautiful light that had become Tess they could still feel the old ship fading as Tess added the words that she could manage, her voice breaking as tears dropped from the Aura that she had become:

Thybleak stepped from the light, her purple skin and long hair recognisable but now she was dressed in the uniform of the Keep. She made room for herself by the King and sat beside him looking out over you all. “Thank you, thank you all.” She spoke calmly, but the passion behind her voice was palpable. “When we gave our Oaths, so long ago, we expected to fight and die. That the last of the power of the Gillieabad would be expended there in those of us that went North. Not many travelled South and away and those that did? The power that was given to them was spread too thin to be the warriors that were needed. But look at you.”

“Look at what you have become. Look at what you have done. You took the embers of a dying world and you forged them into all of this through Oath and Duty. From those two words you made community and love and wonder, it doesn’t matter about the rest of it, the evil that you see because the Good will outbalance it. You will never give up, never give in even now, when your King has fallen.” She turns to look at him. “You broke his heart, made him remember and showed him that he can’t win, he thinks that everything he has built was worthless.” She takes his head gently in her hands and raises it to be level with his.

“Look at them Dazak. Look at them. Do you think they are hollow? Do you call this failure? These people? You built each other TOGETHER, old man.” His head sagged but she pulled it up to look at him again. “You never had to do this alone. Never. You think you turned people into Warriors and Heroes to die out there? Well they did that all by themselves. They may call you a King but you chose, YOU chose to join the Church and be a Doctor. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.”

For the first time he seems to look at her mumbles words that only she catches.

“Oh you wonderful fool, for starters you have what you always had. Me! Now you have them. So let’s get this done.” She turns back to you and there they are, the being that you have come to know: “Sorry. Did I thank you? I forget. So. You’ve been great, I’ve got this from here. Well I’ve got him. Well this him. You need to find your him. And he is going to be pretty broken if you get to him in time. I am pretty sure I did say Thank you.” And she takes him in her arms and then she is just like him when he is sad and serious. “But I mean it. I could not be prouder. But its time for the Keep and rebirth and well,” She looks at the man in her arms. “For us to become one”

As she finishes the voice of Arthas crescendos through the vessel and the light from Tess writhes its way down into Thybleak consuming her first and then Dazak. The Faith from below decks spreads into the light that they have become and you hear a voice, strange and distorted: “Just a kick of pre – faith, just what we need to get the Divinity going. See you on the other side: Time to Roll the Hard Six!” The light rips down through the keep, explosions tearing through console after console as you rush to the windows and watch the light envelop the Keep of yesteryear returning it to the moments of days gone by. The light streams on pinpointing a place deep within the birthplace of humanity and the actuality scopes burst into life showing you the cave where Straval Eyay rests and the light finding a new home there and the rebirth of two beings.

Well fuck that took a while to write

The Valley

The group gathered at the foot of the giant, its skeletal remains towering above them, after everything that they had seen this day, the affair seemed commonplace. They had passed the cave of Thybleak, Dazak, Bethylak but all had been shrouded in mists and power and any priest present had felt the need to leave the Divinity to brew, as Shadow Wolf had put it. Now here they stood before Noth, Shadowolf reaching out with her great key of days gone past. A Key that is a Key she had been told that would open a lock that is a lock, just the one and with that in mind she unsealed the Chest. Everyone took a step back then to peer within and look in wonder at what remained.

A ring, easily large enough to fit upon the finger of a Giant, presumably the one that lies before you rests on a gentle bed of leathers and wool. Inscribed upon it are words, faded as though by magic, but they are spliced as the ring lies broken in half, perfectly sundered. (This may be taken) Through magics and power the bottle seems to contain liquid, of a strange violet hue but there is no power within it that can be seen through normal means (You may take it if you wish).

The rest will wait until tomorrow.