I hope when you read this that I am there so we can discuss these strange events.
We’d spent the last few days getting to know Reginald (and this planet) as we transport him from the mountain ranges to his home – some place he refers to as Swansea. He fills us in on the alignment of the planets, discusses his time machine experiments (though a little vaguely) and tells us a great deal about this planet and its customs. Apparently, this is a planet of only humans. And his little corner of it is more insular than most, so even though I am human, I will stick out somewhat. As will Melchior and the Captain. We have to disguise Kenari and tell our non-human crew to stay below decks.
This…Swansea…is a grey and desolate sort of area. It appears to be perpetually raining or about to rain. Not to mention it’s filthy and has…a smell. The people stare rudely and speak in some sort of dialect that is barely understandable. Reginald arranges for our transport from the docks to his house. As he’s doing so, Kenari attempts to pick his pocket and relieve him of the crystal that powers his time machine. In a (rare for her) fumble, he manages to catch her. Needless to say, despite all of her protests that it’s for his own safety, he is pretty angry and ends up tying the stone on a string around his neck. It takes us about an hour to travel by buggy to Reginald’s house. The machine is unloaded and stored in his lab, which was a rather large building separate from and immediately behind the house. Kenari asks Reginald about some of his equipment and about the crystal. Apparently, it’s just a common quartz – so it must be the cut or something that powers the machine.
We decide to stay there for the night as the Captain has decided that protecting Reginald is our priority.
Ef Utan finds traces of ambient magic across the house and down the street, so Kenari and I decided to go investigate. We don’t come up with anything at the crossroads where the first flicker was, but at the second spot…. Well, we had to climb up to a second floor cornice and squirm about, but it was a perfect view straight into the lab and a clear shot.
We were joined that evening by a friend of Reginald’s. A man who called himself Abraham Van Helsing – he arrived late at night with a large case. And, oddly, wearing magical items. Apparently, Reginald had communicated with some of his friends who might be interested in meeting us. I wasn’t really sure that I approved of this – but it wasn’t my house. As Kenari sets traps, Ef Utan and Lenata talk to Van Helsing about hell and goodness and angels. Lenata takes a moment to go angelic and Van Helsing is rather taken aback. Amusingly, during this conversation Van Helsing keeps randomly flipping holy water on Ef Utan (who is pretty annoyed) because apparently Ef Utan just seems evil.
We set up watches and disperse throughout the house to get some rest. I took third watch with Fyn and Melchior. As we are keeping watch, Fyn spots the faint purplish light that signals a traveler from an alternate world arriving. The purple portal belched some yellow smoke and Fyn and Melchior barely spot a figure diving out of the smoke. Melchior and Fyn try to intimidate whoever it is as I run in for a quick tackle, missing terribly.
I paused and saw the figure clearly for the first time. It’s a Shou woman, slender, wearing a plain gi, carrying a sloshing wine skin, carrying nunchucks. She looked at me and laughed, “I didn’t expect the hair do.” Melchior and Fyn move and she flies upward, little bat wings popping out of her boots and barks – hey, I came to talk to her. Melchior and Fyn back and she comes back down. She goes into a pouch and pulls out a short mace with gold sheathing, shallow spikes and tosses it at me. As I’m looking at it, Fyn calls out “hey, that was my brother’s.” And I recognize it…it was the Captain’s Impossible Mace. I look at this woman and ask – how do you have this? The woman tells me that the Captain left it in her care when he passed away 10 years ago. He had been told by a gypsy that I would come from far away to get it. She and I chat for a bit – I don’t know why – but she is really familiar to me. She tells me that the Captain “fell in the ocean from a hole in the sky.” When he died, he told her that his spirit was going home to watch over “them.”
As she’s relaying this to me, I realize – with total shock – that this is me. Another me. From somewhere else. And I’m…a drunken master? Seriously? To be perfectly honest Anya, that takes me a few moments to process. It’s not every day you meet yourself. Especially not the ragingly rude, drunken master version of yourself.
I ask her about the Captain and she says she was with him when died. I thanked her – I had always wondered Anya if your father was alone when he died. It is a comfort to me (and I hope to you) to know otherwise. I ask drunken me if she’s been here before and she denies it. Seems fairly strange that she would know – to the minute – when to find me here. She tells us about Department 7 – that there are analogs on every world and the members of Department 7 are aware of the other worlds. As we were talking, her bracelet lit up and gives a high pitched ping. She looks at it and tells us “shit is about to go down” and recommends we leave before she uses some kind of device to disappear.
We head back in and I wake everyone up, relaying the night’s events. When I get to the part about drunken master Etsuriko – I have to say – I’m a little disappointed as everyone seems to think a drunken me would be better somehow. Lenata has heard about Department 7 and even says that there is rumored to be a secret level of the Seekers called the 7th Circle.
Things go horribly sideways here Anya. It was (and is at this moment) massively frustrating. We lose Reginald, we lose the time machine and we even lose Van Helsing. We foolishly dilly dally over breakfast. Have a rather long conversation regarding the purple light effects of shifting and conclude that the Illithids are “probability” shifting rather than plane shifting…which is all very interesting and intellectually stimulating, but not exactly teh smart thing to be doing at this moment. We eventually include Reginald and Van Helsing in this conversation and they let us know that this planet has a Department 7. Apparently, they are mostly Americans. (And, if you ever end up in this place, America may be a better bet – as this side of the ocean seems a bit stuck on itself.) And your Uncle (that man, I swear) decides to refer to my alternate me as “Fun Etsuriko”. So when he says something about it, just remind him that I am “Saves his ass Etsuriko”.
And then all hell broke loose. As I said it would, apparently. Someone throws a device through the window. We dodge, mostly. Some of us get hurt. Melchior is shooting at something in the sky only he can see. Turns out that thing is another Ef Utan. Kenari hears something in the lab and teleports out back – I run right behind her and we see the other Ef Utan and an Illithid lord piloting the machine away. Lenata is trying to heal everyone and casts a circle against evil, but as she does she and Fyn are attacked somehow (probably psionics) and Reginald and Van Helsing disappear. And yes, as I mentioned before. Epic fail. And we are all angry and irritated and being shown to be completely inept and it doesn’t help when I realize that we probably should have stolen the damn machine and kidnapped Reginald (which unsurprisingly was your Uncle’s plan). Kenari does find a mini-time machine…which maybe works, but it’s certainly not large enough to take us anywhere.
Melchior spots a weird shape in the sky and we realize it’s a Spelljammer. We are ready to go attack it but…well, we are an hour away from our ship. Fyn and Melchior announce that they are going across the street to steal some sort of horseless carriage and it’s been a really rough morning (and I’m not proud of this Anya) but I agree that it’s a good idea and off they go. Now, I didn’t see all of this – but your Uncle and Melchior relayed a good bit – and I have Kenari and Lenata’s word for the finish. And let’s just say – it may have been a mess. They were chased by the authorities, caused a few carriage wrecks, crashed through a plate glass window (that was being carried back and forth across the street for no apparent reason). Your Uncle then caused a human stampede by flinging gold pieces into the air… According to Kenari they slid into the dock on a tide of sheep manure. And your Uncle, well – you know him as well as anyone. His clothes were ruined and off they went over the side of the ship.
I missed all this, waiting with Ef Utan and the Captain at the house. We take Van Helsing’s vampire killing kit and I find two books on what this planet calls “Epyptian” history. And we wait impatiently for the ship to come get us.