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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:28 pm 
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Piper giggles, and gives Felix a hug.

Sephrenia nods, but slightly hesitantly. "In a way, yes. We discovered how any sufficiently powerful magical artifact could reverse the effects of the poison on the Queen. Unfortunately, that stupid idiot managed to destroy the artifact he was using in the process - " Sephrenia pauses a moment, and takes a deep breath. "Sorry. Thinking about that still makes me angry. Sufficiently powerful magical artifacts are rare, and, for the amount of power we'd need, almost universally lost. We also found out that Aramsham's ramshorn is no more magical in itself than a random rock, not that I really expected much there. So, we're going to track down rumours and try to find a suitable artifact, somewhere."

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:34 pm 
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Felix laughs and gives Piper a kiss on the hair.

"While you're out looking, we'll be working on synthesizing a cure on our end," Felix says. "If you can't find one in time we should be able to take care of things on our side. Develop an antidote. Put her on dialysis to take the pressure off her damaged organs. Take biopsies and use those to grow new organs to replace the ones damaged. A tough process that'll take time but we can manage it."

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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Lady Sephrenia nods. "I wish you every success," she says.

And, on that note, final farewells are said - Talen's father tells him to "at least be careful" and Talen just smiles confidently. Five minutes after Sir Sparhawk's group leaves, Sir Ulath has Talen searched again ('just in case') but it seems he actually left the other group with all their stuff for once. He claims to draw the line at stealing from actual family.

After a brief chat between Talen and One-eyed Billy, the group's trucks are retrieved from the smuggler's cave, in surprisingly good condition.

--------------

It takes a couple of days to get back to the ship (the medieval roads have not improved one bit in quality since you came along them the other way) but the journey is largely uneventful. On your return, you'll find that Piper has been staying in two places at once again, going out with your group while also staying back at the settlement. The settlement itself is growing nicely, with the small group looking after the orchard helping to bring in extra food. The blood bee hives are doing well, and though most people seem a little less than willing to try their honey, David dealt with this by launching into a series of horrendous descriptions of such common earth foods as salami until most people would agree to try at least a small taste just to shut him up. (Unfortunately for interplanetary gastronomy, the blood bees' honey is not yet ready for harvest, and will not be for some time).

Doctor Vanderbilt is ecstatic to finally get hold of a sample of the poison which she has heard so much about, but informs you that her preliminary analysis of it will probably take two days.

Zalasbra's studies of English have advanced to the point where he can reliably string two words together, as long as those two words are "good" and "morning", and he eagerly shows off his newfound mastery of English greetings by saying "Good morning!" to everyone in reach, often a dozen times in ten minutes.

Do you have any plans for how you intend to spend those two days?

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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:51 pm 
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Felix will look into setting up the basis for exotic munitions production. Dragon's breath incendiary ammo for shotguns. Cryo bomb grenades in both launcher and throwable forms (one tenth of production being throwable cryo bombs, ostensibly as a method for putting out burning buildings. This is set aside for tax purposes). Tiny canisters of refrigerant gas to serve as cryo shells for shotguns (likely not as effective, but there might not always be a need for a massive explosion).

He'll also help out in any way he can around the colony. Leading construction efforts and supporting scientific processes.

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:02 pm 
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Arkady is going to help record Piper's information about the local supernatural baddies, look in on the blood bees, see if the resident native scholar can offer useful information in coded versions of 'good' and 'morning', tend to his soul (it's been a while since he's had another priest around), tolerate the inevitable checkup from the doctor with good grace, tolerate the colony administrator with forced grace, look into the current agricultural setup; and otherwise try really hard to stay too busy to consider that it's been many thousands of years since he's been with his wife.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:18 pm 
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Roger is curious to find out if anything interesting happened with the camera script he set up before he left. He'll also try to teach Zalasbra some new phrases. The remainder of the time will be spent with the Elene-English translator. He's also willing to help anyone who needs an extra hand.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:24 am 
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Felix: Engineering: +5 Roll: -4 Total: +1

Absolutely everything goes wrong with Felix's attempts at producing exotic munitions. The fact that he manages to get anything usable out of the smoking wreck that is his workshop after two days is a minor miracle in and of itself.

Nonetheless, he does manage to get a few useful munitions out of it, and sets up the equipment for the colony's other engineers to be able to continue producing them while he's not around. Unfortunately, getting this right takes enough time that he doesn't really get much chance to help out elsewhere.

--------------

Arkady finds himself recording what sound a lot like a bunch of medieval legends. He gets the impression that the Styric gods are at a level of power more or less equivalent to the legends of the Norse gods back on Earth. There are a thousand (the Styric word literally means 'ten-cubed') of the Younger Gods, and Piper seems to have stories about most of them (including one who lost a finger to his own pet alligator; since he only had nine fingers left, he once tried to propose that there should only be nine-cubed Younger Gods, in response to which he was apparently asked if he'd be willing to be the first one eliminated, which cut off that line of thought pretty quickly). They do not appear to be baddies, but the stories often involve them defeating or eliminating various baddies...

Piper changes the topic every time Arkady asks about the Styric Elder Gods, except to state that they are (or were) substantially more powerful than the Younger ones and that the only one of them left is the Zemoch deity Azash. Exactly what happened to the other Elder Gods she doesn't seem to want to talk about. She also seems reluctant to talk about non-Styric religions, though she'll happily go into detail about them if Arkady asks (usually in a mildly deprecating manner).

Zalasbra can offer useful information in Elene, if asked the right questions, and has been given access to the translation program. He doesn't seem willing to trust it's grammar, though - it turns out he has a fairly prickly pride, and doesn't want to look ridiculous.

Arkady: Emathy: +5 Roll: +1 Total: +6

It's almost certain that Zalasbra understands a good deal more English than he's been speaking at this point. He seems to be doing this deliberately, pretending that he's not learning the language as fast as he is really capable of, presumably so he can eavesdrop in plain sight.

He is, however, perfectly capable of showing someone a phrase written in English (thanks to the translator) on the locked-down tablet he was given, if he really needs to communicate something.

The agricultural setup is doing well.

Arkady: Mysteries: +4 Roll: -1 Total: +3

Suspiciously well, in fact.

--------------

Roger's camera script was not triggered while he was gone. A brief investigation shows that the Mysterious Presence never once logged into the computer systems while the group was visiting Rendor. Whoever or whatever it was, it's been very quiet lately.

Zalasbra proves an eager student, especially of grammar and pronounciation.

Roger: Science: +5 Roll: +0 Total: +5

Roger manages to wrestle the grammatical translation into something a little less clunky; after two days, the translations still sound grammatically wrong, but they are a good deal less so.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:51 am 
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Frustrated from an unusually awful time in his workshop, Felix sighs wearily and heads for the lab hoping to hear something good.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:44 pm 
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In his down time, Roger begins to analyze Rendorish, comparing it to the rare Arabic dialect it resembles in attempt to find evidence that they are related (i.e. could the Arabic dialect have descended from Rendorish or vice versa)

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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:29 pm 
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Arkady is going to ask Piper something: "Am I understanding correctly that Azash lost his power when he was forgotten and got more back when he got followers?"

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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:11 pm 
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Piper nods. "That's right," she says. "The entire Zemoch nation worship Azash now."

Roger finds that he is missing several million important years of history which he would need to answer that question. If he can get hold of a library which contains books on Rendorish history, then perhaps he'd have a chance of figuring it out; unfortunately, though the ship's databanks contain vast amounts of information, Rendorish history is not included; and Zalasbra seems unable to answer Roger's questions on the topic, for once.

--------------

After two days' rest and recovery, Doctor Vanderbilt presents her findings on Darestim.

"In short, this stuff is one of the nastiest, most lethal poisons I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. Fed a large dose at once, fortunately, it will merely be thrown up again - but fed a little at a time, over a period of weeks or months, or administered via a slow-release capsule, this is a practically unstoppable killer. It works its way slowly into everything - heart, liver, lungs, nervous structures - and more or less slowly rots them all from the inside. For the first three weeks of daily doses, the victim shows no symptoms at all beyond a slight increase in forgetfulness - by week four, the nerve damage has progressed to the point where the victim starts tripping over their own feet and showing symptoms of Alzheimer's; in week five, just about every organ in the body spontaneously collapses all at once."

Doctor Vanderbilt takes a deep breath.

"I can synthesise an aggressive antidote, which can stop the poison doing more damage. With more or less a full medical lab built in the Elene throne room, and enough qualified medical professionals, I can keep the Queen alive through the failures of most major organs - heart, lungs, kidneys, liver can all be replaced. It will be an extensive operation, but so far everything is well within the realms of possibility. If the Queen survives the first six hours after that crystal stops keeping her alive - and as long as that crystal hasn't had any negative side-effects - then I can probably keep her alive indefinitely. However, from Sephrenia's earlier description of the Queen's condition, she's at about the four-and-a-half week mark, or possibly even beyond it. Depending on exactly how much damage the poison has done, her odds of surviving those first six hours range from maybe ten percent at the worst-case scenario to about eighty percent if we're very lucky. On top of that, there is nothing I can do about the inevitable brain damage."

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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:25 pm 
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"Looks like we've got an uphill battle, but at least we know what to do," Felix says. "We'll need to go back to Cimmura to talk to Vanire about this. If there's anything the locals can do to help mitigate the damage it'd be good to know. We also probably need to talk to him anyway about the problems we faced in Rendor."

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:37 am 
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If asked for his opinion, Sir Ulath will agree that bringing a report to Vanire is the best course of action.

On to Cimmura, then, or is there anything else anyone would still like to do while at the Ship?

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 Post Posted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:52 am 
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After listening to the doctor, Arkady hunts down Zalasbra. "Friend scholar, I have a question about healing for you. It would seem that our doctor can create an antidote for Darestim easily enough, but she is unsure if she can heal all the damage the poison has already done to the queen fast enough to save her." He gestures in the appropriate direction and continues: "Sir Ulath told us that healing with magic is beyond the skill of the knights. In your studies, have you learned enough to help us? If not, do you know who I should be asking?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:24 am 
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Nate, (who had vanished into the depths of the ship upon getting back, muttering something about having seen one in inventory) stays behind after Dr. Vanderbilt gives her update.

"Doc, I might have an idea or two about dealing with the brain damage. You know I'm former military and a trained field medic, and I've seen more then my fair share. Severe neural trauma was a fairly common injury when a vehicle was hit by an IED. Even if it didn't breach the hull, the concussion and shockwave would cause some pretty nasty damage as blood compressed into the brain. A lot of research went into fixing that problem, including a fair amount on healing that damage after it occured. Officially most of the techniques and medicines were in the animal testing stage, but unofficially... There are a couple of promising leads I'd be happy to direct your attention to."

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