Main action: I rest, using my gift to heal myself. All day. All goddamn day. I’m stir crazy by the end of it, but there isn’t any way to make my gift work faster. I endure tripled sensations all day long as I force life force into my shell of a body, repairing damage I never should have survived.
Owner: Owner is mostly sad today. I told her to get started on working out a way to get back, but I don’t think she’s doing much more than crying about Builder. She tells me Builder threw herself across her when the Union busted into their truck. She tells me Builder took out that enemy tank right at the start of the fight.
I never even saw it. It must have been during one of the times I was getting tackled. I’m honestly a bit broken up about Builder too. I liked her. KEM or whatever, but I wish she hadn’t died.
Warband: They mostly settle in, bossing people around and stealing stuff. I try to distract them with a party, and that kind of works. I don’t think anybody has died since the end of the battle, but honestly I don’t have any real control right now. They follow strength, and I can’t even fake that.
Main Action: I continue to heal myself! Today I am much better, hat tip to being magic, it is great. I go out with the Warband this time, getting them in line and planting the idea about their needing to be a Boss for the city. It will be nice to have a carrot to use on them.
Side note, my forehead has healed and it is horrific. It looks like a divot in a golf green. Like a piece of my skull a little bigger than a silver dollar spun on its side, so I have a kind of protruding horn with two dips on either side, all skinned over. I’ve pulled my Sigil across it, after some vague modifications.
Side Side Note: I tried to give ‘Living’ to a body, no dice. I can only give attributes to people (and my fucking turtle). This tripled senses thing isn’t getting any easier. I fucking hate this. I will find someone who wants this.
Owner: Owner is very sad about Builder. She has been commiserating with some of the Warband, who share her feelings, and they made a kind of a little shrine for our dead. Flowers and the like, much more tasteful than I’d have guessed. No big progress on getting home. She did pull herself together enough to say that renting things in her imaginary world doesn’t let her pull them through. She has to own them.
She’s started ‘hiring’ some Ar Harborers, not sure how I feel about that. If she can open up a location here, however, she can pop out some Old World goodies, which will help morale a lot. I kind of missed my chance to stop her while I was healing though, so I’ll just have to trust that the funds will work out. I *think* each new location is a net plus, like, gas stations are profitable in her imaginary world. We’ll see.
Owner Side Note: Someone told her that the old department store was once a business and it may have given her ideas. She was talking to someone about ‘how much that would cost if it was new’. My hazy recollections of the time before the collapse kind of say that big box stores and little stores are in different economic worlds, but who know how her bullshit gift works? At least she seems to be doing something other than crying.
Warband: I’ve got the warband trying to do the ‘hearts and minds’ thing with the locals. Framed it as a favor to the new Boss (which they each think will be them). Get the locals in an easier mood to handle. The truth, of course, is the opposite, I’m trying to work on my Ultras, get them in a better mood. If they are proud of getting the Ar Harborers to respect/like them they will be less likely to start a pogrom as soon as I’m gone.
I don’t know how likely this is to work, basically everyone involved has lost loved ones at this point, but I don’t lose a lot by trying. Let the flowers of community blossom, fertilized by the manure of ‘or we kill you’.
Warband Side Note: Some casualties weren’t fatalities, looks like we have 19 survivors, plus me and Owner. If I leave 2 or 3 behind to run Ar Harbor I will have a veteran squad to be the core of my new warband.
Main Action: I am healthy again! I can move around, jump up and down, whatever. It is very freeing. I’m naturally celebrating by not moving or jumping, but instead doing a bunch of boring interviews as I try to find out who the Boss should be for Ar Harbor.
I’m DQing sadists, idiots and blatant Ultra supremacists, which leaves me with the following 4 candidates.
Candidate One: Hexxer. She seems essentially untroubled or phased by what has happened. Acts no differently than she did back in Shington, never really shows emotion. Asked what her responsibilities would be, other practical questions.
Candidate Two: Adapter. Owner’s partner in sorrow, Adapter was the one who reached out to Smasher when she was in a bad way. She’s deep in a funk right now, but from what I remember of her back in Shington she’s normally a fairly kind and upbeat person.
Candidate Three: Peeler. Peeler is a ragingly ambitious Ultra, the sort of woman who might want to be Warlord some day. She has twice the energy of any of the other candidates, would definitely take actions, just no way to tell if they would be good or bad for the people of Ar Harbor.
Candidate Four: Guager. A dude, strangely enough. He doesn’t communicate, but he can sense what people intend when he looks at them with his giant eye. He is a people pleaser, driven to satiate the desires of those he sees.
I’ll have to pick one of them to leave behind when we leave, and probably one or two of the Ultras to stay and be their guards. Most any of them should be strong enough to hold the place from bandits and stray Ultras. The only trouble would be if the Union came back.
Owner Action: Owner got her Ar Harbor gas station up and running. I can only imagine that in her imaginary world there was already one in operation and she just walked in and bought it from its owner, because there was no way you could set up a business that fast in the old world I remembered.
Today, for her, seemed to be mostly about getting it set up properly. Making sure she had enough hires from the town, making sure everyone knew to bring credit cards and cash, that kind of thing. Once that was done she brought some old world panache to our party, let us have a proper (that is, lubricated) celebration of our victory.
Warband: Today they mostly were waiting to meet with me, but I did start to notice that my efforts to paint our time here as an uncomplicated victory was meeting with some success. I started seeing people walking with a little pride, people bragging about how awesome they’d been during the battle.
It was a point I’d been pushing ever since the end of the battle. This was a win. We were winners. I was awesome. Best Warlord ever. That kind of thing. Flattery applied with a fucking shovel. They seemed to be buying into it. Hopefully by the time we got back they’d have echoed it enough times to really believe it.
Main Action: I spent today with the vanquished, doling out healing to the people of Ar Harbor and giving them an idea about what to expect from being part of the Regime. This was important work, but the actual goal I had was a lot simpler.
That was to understand what the fuck I’d just walked into. King Arthur and their whole deal had never made a lot of sense to me, and I didn’t like not understanding things.
What I got back was hard for me to understand. I am, down at the core of me, something of a consequentialist. So I judge actions by what happens when you do the actions. There are knock on effects and incentives to consider and all, but at my core I’m the kind of person where to convince me to do something you should tell me what it will accomplish.
That’s…not what happened here.
There’s a kind of person who, back in the day, would have sold essential oils or tried to get everybody ready to board their ark. They have the ability to, I dunno, sort of change everyone else’s calculations. King Arthur was that kind of person.
She didn’t get everyone to think that rebuilding some buildings was going to lead to anything good. They weren’t thinking about where things were leading. They weren’t, I’d say, thinking at all. They were Restoring America. They were Fighting Back. It was about Dignity, about Freedom. Lots of capital letters flying around.
She tapped into a vibe I see a lot in KEM, a lot in my resistance colleagues. The idea that there just has to be something you can do, you know, just world kind of thing. “Are you just gonna sit there and lick nazi boots?” is a powerful argument to some people. The counterspell is to ask how their course of action will actually work, but it doesn’t seem like anyone around here had the necessary combination of being practical enough to go there and powerful enough to fight the zeitgeist.
The Union came along at some point, metaphorically sitting down next to her and sliding their tongue in her ear. They were trying to recruit her and Merlin, take them off to fight the Pantheon across the ocean. It would have prolonged and improved their lives, would have let them do far more actual good, and might well have kept Ar Harbour from being sacked. Naturally they turned the Union down flat, came up with excuses and reasons to stay here.
Apparently the Union had been getting steadily more strident about them needing to evacuate for all three months of Regime attacks. People were quietly confident that if the Round Table crew had won this time the Union was going to just try and abduct them. Funny to think about.
Still not answered is HOW they rebuilt all these fucking buildings. The negative space in these stories is basically Ultra shaped, if you take my point. I expect that somewhere in the vicinity of Ar Harbour, or maybe in the town itself, there is a woman who has a powerful gift indeed.
Also not answered is where I’m going to put these fucking ‘Living’ attributes. I nearly slapped one on an informant as a ‘reward’ today, only barely came to my senses. This isn’t getting easier.
Owner: Owner was on bike shop duty today. My reasoning is that her alter self, the gas station owner, can go around town and by bikes for cheap, then turn around and sell them back for even cheaper. The selling is whatever, just try and get a little profit, but the important thing is that while she owns them they will spawn copies in the real world, copies that we can ride back.
No progress yet, but she assures me that she understands the plan and is working on it. I suspect that she’s mostly still grieving Builder, but I think her gift is primarily unconscious on her part, so that shouldn’t stop much.
Maybe she’d get over her grief faster if she was ‘living’? She pointed out that I’ve always said giving an attribute is dangerous to the recipient and declined.
Warband: More partying, more celebration. More interactions with the people of Ar Harbour for me to observe! Peeler and Guager are the ones who seem to be getting on best with their prospective subjects.
The gals also found us a car! It is just a sedan, and the engine makes a troubling noise, but it technically drives. It belonged to an Ar Harborer, but they’d already donated it to Lancelot, so our thinking is that it kind of belongs to us in some weird, primitive way. More honestly, they would probably be glad to lose a car if it also took a carful of us far away.
The band also tried to round up some people who knew how to repair trucks, but that went less well. They found a few people, but there aren’t really any tools here for the job, and the trucks aren’t of a make/model that they might recognize, since Builder just spun them out of whole cloth. They might ultimately get a truck fixed, just because with 4 to draw on their might be undamaged versions of every part, but doing everything by hand it will probably take too long.
Main Action: Today is about getting into contact with KEM/Resistance assets who are local, seeing if they have anything for me. Snitcher is almost certainly not watching my current doings, so it should be safe.
Not that I’m abandoning protocols. We’ll do the usual dead drop, etc, but I just can’t see him watching what I’ve been watching for the past few days. No one who had the option to not have the tripled senses would fail to exercise it.
Resistance doesn’t have a lot for me. Some stuff on local Ultras that I’m putting later on with the Warband’s queries. Makes sense that most Resistance would be in the Regime, since that is what they are ‘resisting’. There are some in Ar Harbour, of course, there are some anywhere that there are humans, but most of their info was about the Round Table gang.
KEM comes through with a doozy, though. Merlin is apparently still alive, in some sort of Union medical pod on the outskirts of town. She’s in a coma or something. (My first thought is that here is someone who needs to be ‘Living’). Interesting possibilities there.
Owner: Owner came through with the bikes. Lots and lots of bikes. I suspect she got more than we needed deliberately, with the idea that the Ar Harborers can use the ones we don’t take.
The pattern of being a reseller is a really good one to remember. It should cut way down on our expenditures of her other selfs capital. She needs to move into some kind of middleman business.
A snag, though. Of the 21 of us, only 5 know how to ride bikes. I’m one of them, of course, it turns out riding a bike is a lot like riding a bike. You never forget it.
It’s also a lot like itself because tautology, but that’s less surprising.
The rest of the Ultras never had bikes, so they are going to have to learn how to ride if I want them to use these. It could be a bit tricky. Ultras don’t take humiliation well at all, and learning to ride a bike involves a lot of falling off bikes. We’ll see.
Warband: The Warband had the assignment of finding out who the local Ultras are. Not the ones we killed, obviously, but any others. There were a few lurking about.
Soarer is an Ultra who lives in the town, who can fly. Like, super hero flight, like Subtracter has. Just go any direction at any time. She can also grant this to someone else while she is in skin to skin contact with them. No Ultra strength/toughness/speed (what we call combat attributes), so she didn’t become part of the Round Table. We were able to find her easily enough.
Sprouter makes plants grow really fast. Not, like, ‘vines rise up and throttle her enemies’ level of fast. But fast enough to get multiple harvests per season out of a patch or two of veggies. If the Company didn’t exist Ultras like this would be really valuable. She has low level Ultra Strength, scaling up as the number of plants under her influence increases. We haven’t found her yet, but she lives pretty close to town, we could probably round her up.
Viber um…controls time. I dunno, yeah. This is the answer as to how the buildings got repaired. Her gift makes time around her go at the speed of her general energy. If she is happy it goes fast. So happy her spends long time, but only short time goes by in the outside world . If she is sad it goes slow, so she spends a brief time sad and a long time goes by in the outside world. The resistance was nonspecific about how bad the dilation can get, but the impression I got was like 10x either way.
We haven’t gone in and got her yet, but the area she is in is known. The Ar Harborers avoid it, but I could send someone in or go myself. The Warband doesn’t know about her yet, I only found out because of being tipped off.
Gorger is an Ultra who can eat anything. Stuff they eat just vanishes away into an extradimensional space instead of actually reaching their stomach. They keep the traits of whatever they much on for a while. I feel a bit of a kinship with her, our gifts have some stuff in common. We found her easily, not hiding, just one more citizen.
Time for player vote as to how to proceed at this point! The following things must be addressed.
- How to get back to Shington. We have plenty of bikes, but only 4 people proficient with them. We also have a car, and Soarer could probably be persuaded to lend a hand. Blender is a pro at travelling, and won’t do anything terribly stupid, but the Union might be watching for you. You have 19 in the Warband, plus any locals you are recruiting, minus any you are leaving behind, plus you and Owner (you can ride a bike, Owner can’t).
- Who will be the boss of Ar Harbor? How many minions are you going to leave with them?
- What will Blender do with these ‘living’ tags? If your answer has her still holding onto them you need to get at least 2 votes behind it, to represent the strain.
You can also address other things beyond those 3. Lots of possibilities, just make sure you hit those 3 at the minimum.
Thanks as always for participating!