Home > Jointhesaga.com, OtherSpace, Writing > Thinking About: Save Ferris!

Thinking About: Save Ferris!

Recently, a player on OtherSpace submitted a staff request and offered up a Chef’s Choice card. The player in question, Subhan, specified me as the referee for the event.

Event card activities are intended as small-burst scenes, with the potential to expand into something more down the line. I had been off the grid for a while as far as OtherSpace storytelling goes, so this provided an opportunity for me to jump back in with something that might provide ramifications for more adventures down the road.

Soon after receiving the request, I determined that the event would be called “Save Ferris!” and it would revolve around the hunt for a missing Outverser refugee kid. Subhan Lomasa came from Fastheld with the rest of the refugees from Lightholder Crossroads when Regent Zolor Zahir made the fateful mistake of dropping a delicate Kamir artifact that shattered, causing a rift that pulled a crowd of people to Comorro Station in Hiverspace. Because of the Fastheld connection, I decided that the kid had been in that crowd with his aunt and they now live aboard Comorro. Immediately, Subhan and other former Chiaroscuro players should feel some familiarity. Plus, it’s nice to give some callbacks to the old game, with the reminder that it may be gone but it is never forgotten.

The action started with the boy’s aunt sharing news of his disappearance with Subhan and other players. Comorro herself then provided information suggesting that the boy, Ferris, might be playing in the Gearclanger Hub around the waste dump chute that leads inevitably to the dangerous Forgotten Quarter. So, the boy was in peril and the players knew that they have to go into territory where Comorro (who can be a bit of a deus ex machina in most dangerous situations) can’t really help them. Tension immediately starts to mount.

The team proceeds to the dump. Here’s where the fun began for me. I didn’t have to make anyone roll dice to see if they’d get into trouble in the watery trash heap zone. Players like Naoi just decided to throw little mishaps into the story on their own. As they all began to congregate in the sludge, they saw Ferris taking the final slide down to the Forgotten Quarter.

True story time: I didn’t have anything firm in mind for what would happen in this event beyond the point where they would follow Ferris into the Forgotten Quarter. Everything after that was mostly improvised.

The group arrives to find the boy in the clutches of some unsavory aliens: a Gankri, a Lotorian, and a scar-faced Hekayti thug. They’re slavers, planning to sell Ferris to the underworld leader known as Lord Akazar. Before much else could happen, though, I did the one scripted thing I had intended for a while. Miklos Gyrferen was part of the group hunting for the kid. Miklos has been part of a plot dating back to the original rise of Zar Hideg Fekretu last year and was long overdue for an update. So, he got snatched by the Thul for the duration of the event. What transpired aboard the Probos? Well, that’s another story for another time.

Meanwhile, Redmask, a rough-and-ready Demarian, stepped up to challenge the Hekayti for the boy’s release. This led to a fight that seemed closely matched and tense at first, but then came to a quick and bloody end when the Demarian cut the Hekayti’s throat. The player behind Redmask then took the initiative and decided his character would claim a trophy for his trouble: A horn off the head of the Hekayti, to be hollowed as a drinking cup. (As a result, I will be making a drinking horn for Redmask as revamped crafting starts coming back online.) This was a favorite moment in the event for me. The fight was fun, it didn’t last too long (thanks to it being one-on-one), and Redmask got a chance to shine.

Then, of course, the Gankri and the Lotorian decided they weren’t going to hold up the Hekayti’s side of the deal. Several party members started moving into positions to hopefully ambush the kidnappers. Among these were Umishi, who successfully made the Gankri think the Lotorian was talking trash about him and caused some distress, and Thayndor Zahir. Thayndor, another Fastheldian stuck on Comorro, was overdue for a visit from his uncle – Regent Zolor Zahir – who has become the OtherSpace version of Caprica Six to Thay’s Baltar (without the hot Cylon sex action). Only Thayndor can see Zolor. It’s not known yet whether Zolor is a ghost, a transdimensional projection, or just a facet of Thayndor’s mind – but the ghost did show Thayndor that Lord Akazar’s snipers had guns trained on the people confronting the slavers.

Naoi failed to sneak up on the Lotorian. She might have been hurt, except that the snipers opened fire. Instead of killing the intruders, the snipers gunned down the Lotorian and the Gankri. A representative for Lord Akazar announced that the child could go free and they could leave without further trouble, but that all involved would owe a favor to the lord of Comorro’s underworld.

Through most of this, it’s worth noting, Subhan didn’t get a lot of “hero” time for the trouble of earning the RPP to buy the card to hold this event. She played her character true to form and let other players take center stage, without just sitting on the sidelines or looking bored. I admired her performance and the selflessness of her participation.

In the end, they saved the kid, no one but the bad guys died, and we managed to set up some interesting possibilities for the crew as Lord Akazar made a bit of a resurgence as a force to be reckoned with on the local level.

Read the log of the adventure!

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  1. Sergeytov
    January 17, 2010 at 9:02 am

    “So, the boy was in peril and the players knew that they have to go into territory where Comorro (who can be a bit of a deus ex machina in most dangerous situations) can’t really help them. Tension immediately starts to mount.”

    This is a major reason the event running guide stuff I’m working on has me thinking I need a section added called “Running stuff on Comorro” specifically. There’s at least a couple stock plots that seem to work far less well when you have a station that can just unload the tanglers once things get too questionable, especially if you want to remain outside the FQ. In and of itself, this is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but it is worth writing about.

    From an event running perspective, the watchword for working with Comorro seems to be ‘awareness.’ Understanding that events that generate corpses outside the FQ seem more liable to end quickly with ‘tangers unload, sort it out later’. From what you described earlier, it seems several basic mysteries can be easily solved by making a query from the station (and that Comorro has time to reply to such queries in one manner or another), body generation events tend to end quickly, and (from the legal answers procured elsewhere) several moral guardian-esque situations don’t work nearly as well if it’s not anything to get the station’s attention.

    For those would-be event runners reading this response, until a proper chapter is written, the moral is this: While the abilities Comorro has are neither good nor bad for running events, those abilities are worth your awareness.

  2. Anshera
    January 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    It was fun to be a scardy cat! Especially when a giant cat carried you into the dangerous area. Chronicler, ha!

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