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Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:42 am
by Onix
Chainsaw Aardvark wrote:Any prayers to be said/do they mind if he at least quietly says his own. (As he asked the doctor - are there any tzhal [Zewa Hagana le Jisrael -Israel Defense Force] soldiers that could clue him in on observances around the artifact)
Randomly there are two more tzhal in the platoon, you would have a chance to talk with them. There's also a chaplain who may have a cheat sheet.

Chainsaw Aardvark wrote:Also, how are seating orders determined - it would probably be easier if Zvika acted as Edward's bodyguard/attache (ok, not a word he'd use/know) following behind and just copying him rather than keep all the details straight immediately.
That would probably work fine. Ed would remind you that the Chezbah are a very closed society and that we don't know a lot about them. Unless there is a specific cultural formula for sitting at a dinner table he would figure the patriarchal head would choose where people sit.

Chainsaw Aardvark wrote:Eating alien food shouldn't be a problem though. If Zvika was really the type that wouldn't eat anything un-kosher, or otherwise truly conservative - he'd have applied for a religious deferment from military service. He just prefers to keep prayers and wear a hat/kippah at all times. The Chezbah won't mind him wearing a beret/kippah at the meal - would they?
Again Ed's not sure, but oddly the Chezbah have never really objected to other religions, only people disobeying Loc's commands. That may make Zivka a little nervous. As for the Kippah, he doesn't know of anything specific that they would object to. As for food, Pettok and Berem would not be kosher but if Zivka isn't going to object then no problem. Again, Ed's not sure how the Chezbah would react to that, they may readily understand it since they follow various religious restrictions.

Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:13 am
by Onix
At about 16:45 Zivka, Ed and the diplomatic cor head out to find the gate they are supposed to meet at. The diplomats attempt to take the lead in this but admit they don’t really know what to look for. Fortunately the gate is where the animal tracks went in and there is a young man waiting for them. Obviously the young man easily recognizes the people from Earth and immediately runs to meet the group.

Like Zivka saw before The residential towers themselves are white except for on the lowest level and around window openings where they are painted with bright blue and yellow patterns.

Higher up there are large colorful banners that hang from the windows like the faded ones in the other city block except these are new and readable. The banners have a family name along with their occupation and then a list of short phrases like “Loc’s servant”, “Strong man”, and “Hearer” on one. With “Loc’s servant”, “Loyal”, and “Good” on another. “Founder”, “Loyal”, “Man of Loc” and “Rememberer” on another.

Inside the first floor of most of the buildings the players can see Pettok or Berem. The entrances are roped off with what may be electrified cable.

The young man leads the group into the town. Inside the “gate” is a standard city block structure but it is inhabited. Several young men are busy cleaning up the mud and droppings of animals that were on the ground when the convoy originally came in. They are also ordering around a large man with light gray skin. He is picking up large baskets full of mud and dung that look like they should weigh more than a hundred kilograms and he is lifting them easily and loading them into a cart.

Any questions or actions?

Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:19 pm
by Onix
I take that as a "No questions or actions." then?

The group is brought to a tower with a banner that says in Chezbah,
Man of Loc
Strong Man

Another man stands at the entrance. He gives the recognition of authority gesture to the young man leading the group. The you're guided into the tower.

Water is pouring from upper levels into a hole in the floor. Five Pettok are penned in this area. A ramp leads upwards and the young man brings the group up it.

On the second level is a commotion, about thirty to forty men are shouting at each other on either side of a massive table. The lead rider from earlier is sitting in a huge chair at the end of the table and is pointing and shouting at one of the men next to him. The pterosaur is on his shoulder.

The table suddenly becomes quiet when the pterosaur leaves the lead rider’s shoulder and flies to Ed and lands on his arm. All the Chezbah men look puzzled at the lead rider who looks annoyed by this. He quickly shakes this off and declares in Chezbah “Work is done for today, go home and eat!”

The men leave without a word. Some look very quizzically at the Earthers others do not make eye contact and others look at the Earthers with contempt.

Once the men are headed down the ramp the lead rider holds out his arm and the pterosaur flies back to him.

In very broken English the rider says “Hello. I. Am, Reel Resh-eelich”. Then in Chezbah he welcomes the group and invites them up to the after work meal, the pterosaur will translate it as “dinner”.

On the way there is a lot to see. The second floor where the meeting table is appears to be where business is being done. There are several men working at computers that look like the terminals that are found commonly in hexes but only have one keyboard and screen. There is a large flat panel of CCC that is hanging from the ceiling. It is covered in Chezbah writing. Much of it is quick notes that are abbreviated so it is difficult to understand what is written on the board.

I'm going to just assume Ed will translate for Zivka.

Reel walks by the men working and claps his hands saying (C) “Work is done, come eat.” as he walks by. He turns to the PCs and explains (C) “These are my brothers’ sons.”

On the second floor there are also dozens of Pettok harnesses and driving sticks hanging from the walls and posts. There are lights on the upper part of the walls. As everyone goes upstairs lights turn off automatically on the floor.

On the third floor is a menagerie of taxidermy. Mega fauna that the PCs have never seen are arranged on large pedestals. Some are dinosaur like creatures and some are mammals there is even a huge pterosaur with a wingspan of eight meters. Reel points to the animals and explains “I travel to the surface on hunting expeditions once a year. These are some of my trophies.” One of the diplomats asks what they are. Reel responds “There will be time for hunting stories later, now is the end of work meal.”

On the fourth floor is a bit more utilitarian storage. There are tapestries hanging along the walking path they are rich in detail but behind them you can see tools and equipment and space for a few workshops. Reel notices one of the diplomats stops to look at the tapestries. He chuckles and say “Don’t pay attention to that, I’ll show you better ones”. As the group moves along Reel looks several times into the workshops. He turns around and says slyly “My brother sometimes looses himself working. I tell him to wash for end of work but he forgets. I would have had to beat him if he forgot today”.

On the fifth floor are large freezer and refrigeration units. Along with stacks and stacks of grain sacks. Six young men and boys are grabbing food out of the refrigerators and carrying it upstairs. Reel points to one of the boys and says “That one is my grandson.” It isn’t really clear which child he is pointing at.

The Sixth floor common area is curtained off from the stairs with more huge tapestries. Each one has a story woven into it. Even Ed and Zivka are struck by them and stop. Reel shakes his head and says “These are children’s stories. They’re not important come on, it’s time for the meal.” A little boy runs out from the curtains with no pants on and proceeds to relive himself down the central well, right in front of everyone. Reel and the other men don’t even seem to notice.

The seventh floor is open on one side and curtained off on the other. There are a number of women working behind the curtains on the other side. They are cooking in a large communal kitchen. On the other side is a huge low slung table with several layers of rugs stacked all around it and pillows surrounding the table.

Four men approach and hug Reel, all of them appear to be in their thirties to fifties. Reel says “These are my brothers. Chahkel, Ratheeke, Sawgimb and our little brother Ahroz.” The brothers all smile and clap (this is a welcome).

Reel points to the table and invite the PCs to recline at the table and then calls out loudly for all to come to the meal. At which a stream of people comes both up from the floor below and down from above.

The PCs hear someone call out “Lowering” from above them in the central well. A special chair is lowered down on a cable with a very elderly woman in it. Several young women that come down the stairs help her out of the chair and to the table.

Reel reclines on the far side of the table in the middle of the long side of the table. Three women sit on either side of him. He gestures for the PCs to sit on the opposite side of the table. (It was expressed that you were wondering how seating was arranged so I assume that you have no problem in complying with the request to sit.) The PCs are laying on thick blankets with pillows supporting their bodies.

Several large platters of meat are brought out. The cuts of meat are enormous Pettok steaks. Reel declares that this was from one of his finest animals. The PC and the Diplomats will be encouraged to take out their knives and take a portion for themselves. (Again, I assume that the PCs comply from previous statements)

Vegetables and fruit are also brought out along with several prepared dishes that you are not able to identify what is in them.

A large cooking pot of vegetable stew is brought out and you are asked for their bowls. You scan the table but do not see any. What do you do?

While this is going on, the table is quiet but there is a lot happening, plates clatter and people are constantly getting up and moving around from one place to another at the table. Reel explains that he had heard of people coming to Loc and he was curious. He asked the priests if he could host a group of them and after considering it, they agreed to allow it. He asks what Earth is like and why you've come. The Diplomats know that Ed is a better speaker and ask him if he'd be willing to give it a go?

Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:17 pm
by Chainsaw Aardvark
Zvika does a quick check under the table since he recalls that bit at least. If nothing is there, this is as good a time as any to bow his head and pray - hopefully by the time he finished hamotzi Edward has figured out how to get bowls, since Zvika wouldn't know how to ask.

Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:55 am
by Onix
You find three bowls two look similar but one is slightly taller. The third is small and it's rim extends on one side.

Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:17 am
by misterecho
Edward translates as necessary, and avoids any attempt to become the centre of the conversation.

Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:41 am
by Onix
They want you to do the talking not to translate. If not then they'll do it. They start to give a factual answer, very by the book. Reel is interested and although you can tell he's having a hard time understanding their Chezbah (you are too) they're mainly getting the message across.

While you're listening you're in the same situation as Zivka, he's found the cups but there's three of them. You can tell it's not the little one with the extended rim but the other two bowls are very similar. Nothing that you have read or heard has said anything about this.

While you're trying to decide, something odd catches your eye. The tapestry behind Reel is slowly changing. In fact the threads on the tapestry are not only changing color, the threads themselves are moving.

Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:51 am
by misterecho
"Ah, Chief. You have such wonderful wall art. These tapestries, can you tell me about them?"

Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:08 pm
by Onix
Reel looks over to you, he seems a little offended at first but his face softens and he nods noting where you are looking. He stands up and walks over to the Tapestry and waves his hand over it. The fibers dance under his hand and change colors.

"This is a gift from Loc, it can tell many stories. It can also sing. Would you like to see my favorite story? It is the story of the Great War where Loc saved us from the old gods." Reel says. He puts his hand on the tapestry and says "The Great War."

The tapestry undulates for a moment and starts to form pictures. The art looks like ancient Egyptian art in that the important figures are larger than they should be and almost all of the depictions are from the side. Slowly a soft music fills the air.

The Tapestry shows a sequence of images, its no TV but seeing the pictures is interesting. It shows a man meeting with a Kerdi (these are normally thought to be Kelrath) He is given something and becomes a golden giant holding a spear. Edward recognizes this as Rathimon who is said to be Loc's brother. The music becomes a little faster at this point. Rathimon then is shown giving golden disks to the people. Reel says "This is Rathimon teaching the people the power of the old gods". The people are then shown making what seem to be more giants. Reel says "Now the people build the War Engines." Rathimon again hands out golden disks and the people that receive them eat them. The imagery is unfamiliar.

While this is going on a pretty young woman (maybe in her twenties) lays down in between Zivka and Ed. (Zivka at this point has no idea what Ed and Reel are talking about) She takes out the shorter of the two bowls out and hands them to the server who promptly fills them with stew. She then looks around quickly and lifts up a fold of her dress showing Zivka a small golden knife. She covers it again and then points to where Zivka's knife is (you get the impression she wants to see you knife).

Re: Introductory Game - The Artifact

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:16 pm
by Chainsaw Aardvark
Zvika shifts over and pulls on the left leg of his pants, revealing his standard issue bayonet strapped to the inside of his calf - a good old fashioned boot knife. I kind of hope they don't find dirty like some Arabs do, but there are too many buttons on a dress uniform to conveniently conceal something under there.

Odd she noticed where it is so easily, but then Zvika doesn't normally try to hide knives or carry them. Not much call for attaching a bayonet to a tank cannon. And they're probably used to looking for these things.