Between the Lines: “Voices of a Mirror”
Our second Newbie Night originally started as an event card activity for Jazzak who wanted to do a Smuggling Run. However, he fell ill due to hypersexual plants wanting to fill his head with love powder. So, we went with Double Secret Plan B: Run the event anyway, with just one newbie, Akamatsu, involved.
I started the event in the tavern, just like the first Newbie Night, but this time it was with the arrival of Ribas Salek, the Llivori captain of the freighter Opodi’s Nostril. He was looking for people to work a job to Hekayti space. His makeshift crew consisted of:
* Altor: A transforming mechanoid with guns, serving as protection.
* Griss: Grimlahdi comm officer.
* Hal’gus: Cargo watcher/security.
* Akamatsu: Cargo watcher/security.
* Anshera: Cargo handler.
Everyone would get a cut of the 45,000 Hekayti credits as soon as the clients paid on delivery.
Before the event got rolling, I knew a couple of things going in:
1) The smuggling run would just be an excuse to throw everyone into the middle of an epic moment in the Shattered Mirror story arc.
2) I’d really want to make it as interesting as possible for the newbie, Akamatsu.
I’d had a little back and forth with Mikage on the forums about the point of Newbie Nights. Judging by what he’d heard about the first one, he was assuming that it was just kind of a passive introduction to the game universe via holovid. The truth is a lot more complicated than that. I’m sneakily making sure newbies aren’t just getting information about the game world, but are also getting right into the middle of the action of the current story arc as much as possible. On the first night, I started small: The holovid with the attempted destruction of the Kamir relic on Kamsho, which gets snatched by ex-Zar Hideg Fekretu aboard the freighter Ainde. This time, I was sending our newbie right into the thick of things.
Once everybody was hired, I just cut the scene directly to the Nostril dropping out of FTL on the outskirts of Hekayti territory to meet with a smuggler skiff. These Hekayti clients were picking up a shipment of performance-enhancing drugs for athletes on Hekayt Prime. The two ships linked airlocks, effectively crippling them while connected, as Altor patrolled in fighter form outside.
I wanted Akamatsu at the core of the story for the night, so Ribas ordered him to meet the Hekayti smugglers in the airlock. This time-lost Japanese warrior got to meet a couple of surly aliens who spoke a language he didn’t understand and who appeared to mock him as they followed him back to the Nostril’s cargo hold.
Then, while the Hekayti started working on offloading the cargo with Anshera and Hal’gus, Ribas gave Akamatsu a new job to do. See, the Nostril is the closest I’ve ever come to having a ship like the Millennium Falcon. She’s a piece of crap, always breaking. Bits are falling off the nav console! So, Ribas notices the maintenance light for the life pod is glowing. He gives Akamatsu a specific set of instructions to follow that are intended to deactivate the maintenance light.
We had a little hiccup at this point, as Akamatsu made a (forgivable and fixable) newbie mistake: He posed that he just went and did the thing, then came back to the cargo hold. I urged him to consider returning to the pod and pose through the captain’s instructions, then wait and see what happens next. Akamatsu was a great sport about it. Good thing, because this led to his next adventure. Ribas got the sequences wrong, you see. What Akamatsu actually does is trigger the launch of the life pod while he’s trapped inside it.
Well done, Ribas!
Altor zooms after the pod, just as the freighter Ainde drops out of FTL directly in his path. He dodges the Zar’s ship. Then Vard Bokren’s Koltkamir battlecruiser drops out of FTL, apparently in hot pursuit of the Ainde, weapons blazing. Both Altor and the pod carrying Akamatsu are caught in the middle of the firefight.
Then things get freaky, as the Ainde creates some sort of space-time rift and slips into it. The Koltkamir ship tries to evade the rift, without success. Vard Bokren’s flagship vanishes down the shiny rabbit hole while Altor successfully snags the escape pod.
Before the rift vanishes entirely, Griss picks up several transmissions that seem to be coming from multiple versions of the old universe planet Sivad.
I had a great time with the event. It wasn’t overly long, everybody got paid for their trouble (and earned some free Saga Points and extra RPP), and we moved the Shattered Mirror story up another notch.
A win, I think.
What I’m Reading
Blackout by Connie Willis
What I’m Playing
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II
You Don't Know Jack
World of Warcraft
Left 4 Dead 2
What I’m Writing
No Son of Hekayt - Book I: Artifacts
Free to download in PDF format!
Coming soon: 31 Days of OtherSpace - 1 work of fiction a day during March 2011.