Last session is here, BTW. The characters had landed on a new planet, but we hadn't established anything about it.
First, of course, we need our Authority Figures:
- The Valkyries, a cadre of agender space cops.
- Morpheus, the god-ruler of this planet, with power of perception and dreams
- The oceans themselves! On this planet, the waters are meant to hydrate the ambrosia farms, so they're highly narcotic and hallucinogenic
- Tezcatlipoca, the Smoking Mirror, the former ruler of this planet, now in hiding
- Pythons, immense serpents roaming this planet as security
And then our Friendship Questions:
- Eli asked Jacqui: "What did Bruce (my father) say to you when he out of the car?" Jacqui: "If anything happens to me, dig under the shed at my house."
- Jacqui asked Yasha: "What did you have to leave behind on Bardo?" Yasha: "My brother. I don't talk about him."
- Yasha asked Alaska: "Why did you insist on this planet?" Alaska: "I saw something shiny in the distance. Also I like to appear decisive."
- Alaska asked Kshanti: "Do you feel different now that you're off Bardo?" Kshanti: "Not internally, but I feel different things."
- Kshanti asked Eli: "What have you been taking your wrath out on?" Eli: "Punching a lot of bulkheads."
Scene One: What's Up
Kshanti's player set us up and chose the giant pythons.
We open flying over the new planet, skimming down near the ocean's surface, heading towards an immense yellow obelisk. And then a huge goddamn serpent lunges up out of the water, wraps around their ship, and starts to crush it! The YOs fight back - Eli punches it, Jacqui tries to use her power to mess with its blood flow, but then Yasha stands up and loses. She sells out her MO (Righteous Fury sells out to Revenge is Best Served Cold) and turns on the ship's force field generators - which, unbeknownst to Kshanti (who designed the ship to have no weapons), work just fine to vaporize flesh. The snake dies, and the ship splashes down into the water.
Kickoff: This episode is about survival.
Scene Two: Fighting Back
Eli's player sets us up, and it seems natural to choose the oceans as the authority figure. The ship is leaking and every gets high as balls, seeing sounds, feeling colors, and so on. Jacqui realizes that everyone is full of paint (which is a disquieting realization), everyone sees Alaska changing into the monster snake - Yasha decides she's in love with it - and Kshanti stays quiet but all of the Unsuitables on the ship scream for her. The YOs struggle to control their minds, but they can't - Yasha stands up and loses and falls into madness. The ship eventually washes up on the shore, but by that time, the YOs are the only ones left alive, and everything else on the ship is a mural of blood.
First Beat: Catastrophe (massacre on the ship) Question: What have we done?
Scene Three: Heating Up
I set this up, and chose Yasha's question to Alaska: "Why did you insist on this planet?" "I saw something shiny in the distance, and I like to appear decisive."
Alaska was the only one who wasn't terribly affected by the seas (perhaps because her perceptions are always a little skewed). She kind of becomes the de facto leader, which terrifies her. The YOs walk up the black beach to a huge field of flowers (that become blood red when the YOs see them). Kshanti starts immediately pulling mojo and stuffing it into the YOs, trying to supercharge them, and YOs argue about what happened on the ship. Jacqui, in particular, is horrified (everyone was full of paint), but Alaska repeats that it's not her fault.
And then the serpent arrives! Another huge snake, drawn by Kshanti's mojo manipulation, perhaps, lunges at them. Eli punches it, and Alaska stands up and fails. The snake swallows them, and everything goes dark.
Scene Four: We Won
Jacqui's player sets us up, and chooses Tezcatlipoca.
The YOs awaken in a dark place, covered in slime. The snake is nowhere to be found. Everything around them is made of black glass. They walk a ways, and find themselves in the presence of a huge man with black scales and smoking eye-sockets - Tezcatlipoca.
He reveals that he used to rule this planet, until Morpheus moved in, put these damn oceans in and started growing ambrosia flowers. He wants his planet back, and that means Morpheus needs to die. He can't act directly against another god, but perhaps these folks...
The YOs agree - if they kill Morpheus, Tezcatlipoca gives them passage off this planet. Tezcat agrees, and provides Yasha with a powerful obsidian sword, Eli with glass gauntlets, and Alaska with a gun that shoots hurricanes of blue smoke. The serpent swallows them again to transport them to Morpheus palace (in the midst of the biggest ocean), but along the way, the serpent gets pretty stoned and starts slithering this way and that. The YOs work to control it, and Jacqui stands up and wins on Kshanti's Unctuous Conviction. She uses her sangromancy power to keep everything nice and smooth for the snake, and the snake deposits them on the shore of Morpheus' palace, the obelisk that Alaska saw in the distance. The YOs are ready for battle.
Scene Five: We're Fucked
Yasha's player sets this up and chooses Eli's question to Jacqui: "What did Bruce tell you when he got out of the car?" "If anything happens to me, dig under the shed."
The YOs walk towards the palace, and Bruce is there waiting for them. He and Alaska (who have some history, which is always disturbing to both Eli as Bruce's child and Yasha as Alaska's lover) start flirting. Bruce tells them they need to be careful here; Morpheus' power can make their desires turn real, but even if that happens Morpheus still controls them. Bruce is unable to tell them how he got here, though, preferring to ask leading questions using information they already know. He also starts caressing Alaska, just like she wants...and she realizes he was never that good. He's a construct, a hallucination, but it's too late. Jacqui stands up and loses, and the YOs' cover is blown. Nightmares descend from the palace to kill them, and Morpheus stands on a balcony and watches.
Second Beat: Catastrophe - Nightmares of the palace!
Scene Six: Who Wins
Alaska's player sets this up and choose Morpheus (seems appropriate).
The battle rages, which the YOs fighting off their own personal nightmares (Yasha fights Alaska, but with a god behind her eyes; Kshanti sees herself, but grown up; Jacqui sees the dead Unsuitables; etc.). Eli stands up and loses, but sells out Rich to Profligate. Eli uses a secret stash of mojo that they hid from everyone, and punches the ground, sending out a ripple that causes the tower to collapse. Morpheus lands in their midst, and Alaska shoots him with the gun she got from Tezcatlipoca. Morpheus is killed - the clique has won the episode.
Scene Seven: Dust Settles
Kshanti's player sets this up and chooses her question to Eli: "How have you been venting your wrath?" "Punching bulkheads."
Tezcatlipoca gains control of the planet, and the towers collapse. The seas recede, and all changes to black glass. The serpents come in to feast on them, and Eli punches them angrily, but it's to no avail (Jacqui stands up and loses). They get swallowed again, and when they wake up, the planet is blackened and barren. Tezcatlipoca is back in charge, and has no intention of letting them leave. They're stuck on this planet.
Of course, they did win the episode, so they add a new Exploit. They find the ship, now on a barren sea bed, and fix it up, fitting it with treads. It's now a tank called Bruce. Next time, we'll see what they can do with it.