The Planet Morachiel
The Explorers, before sending shuttles down to Morachiel, decided to send a few of them via the Teleportarium. Alt and Novia were teleported into one of the larger cities. Upon exiting the alleyway they had arrived in, they found themselves in a large plaza full of civilians. All of them seemed to be talking excitedly or debating. Around a large fountain, there were several platforms set up with debates taking place atop them. The language was similar to High Gothic, and Novia was able to get the drift of it, although Alt struggled. They split up, Novia looking for government buildings, while Alt looked to see where the shadier sort of business went down.
Alt was able to notice – likely due to is own martial nature – that many of the supposed citizens moved with the grace of someone who was well trained and very capable in combat. In a bar, he wasn’t able to find much information, but when he asked about the shadier type of business, the people would respond by asking for his “Sign” and his “Oath”. He wasn’t able to provide a good answer, but he figured out that the Signs were tattoos on the wrist, which seemed to associate them with some faction or another. In the end, he hid a micro bead at the bar to pick up any recording, then headed back to the pickup location.
Meanwhile, Novia found her way to the State Building, and learned that they were currently in Gahuurd, capitol of the nation of Micharaad. When asked for identification, she claimed that she was from one of the other nations of the planet. However, this got a negative response from the people, so she admitted that she was from the Void. This resulted in disbelieving laughter from the people. She promised to bring proof, and was on her way.
The Grand Entrance
After hearing their reports, Sebastian decided to take some of the teeth of the Hungerer to the capitols of the four major nations, as proof of their deeds. Sebastian and the rest of the Explorers all took a shuttle down to Micharaad, while other diplomats went elsewhere. Magnus Walterford Cain was the diplomat sent to the nation of Rach Mahenna.
Having seen the shuttle approaching from the skies, the leader of Micharaad was already there waiting for the Explorers. After introducing themselves, they were warmly welcomed, and were informed that there would be a Grand Symposium held in their honor. The location for this was to be the Great Palace of Nations.
A Visitor in the Night
Those of the Explorers who were spending the night in the Great Palace of Nations came to an unusual awakening in the night. Finding themselves, still in bed, surrounded by churning blue mists. Before each of them stood a mysterious figure, clad in dark robes. The figure said to them:
“Be not afraid, for I am a friend. You are great and mighty people, and as such, there are matters that should interest you, which surpass the understanding of the people of this world. The Old Father will see you now.”
Following those words, the dark figure waved an arm and they all blacked out. They awake to find themselves in a dark chamber, lit by only a few dimly glowing lights. There they are greeted by some strange old man on a sort of throne. This man doesn’t introduce himself, other than explaining that he is very old, old enough to remember a day when the might of humankind filled the whole galaxy. While not answering much about his identity or where they are, he gives a few warnings to the Explorers. He warns them not to go to the planet Rachamel, as there are things there best left untouched. He also warns them not to kill the rest of the Hungerers, as they play a vital role in keeping the people of Morachiel from leaving the planet. His last warning is to not let others know about the people there on that world. He specifically warns them against letting a group known as the Sojourners find their way to Morachiel. His final words are these:
“Beware the powers that watch, here! Beware the powers that rest here! Beware, beware! These stars are home to something ancient, something powerful, something terrible! Be not lured in by the promises of might! Oblivion awaits those who are! Now, begone! Depart from this world!”
With that, everyone blacks out, and awakes to find themselves back in their beds on the morning of the Grand Symposium.
Investigating the Natives
Whilst most of the Explorers were busy having strange visitations in the night, Alt had been up trying to figure out what was really going on here. Imitating one of the tattoos he had seen on someone’s wrist, he showed it to a bartender, explaining that he was from the Sneaking Serpent (one of the faction he had heard mentioned earlier). The Bartender acknowledged this by asking what his orders were. Alt pointed out some random fellow in the bar, to which the bartender was mildly surprised and a bit saddened.
Alt went over to talk to the man, making up some story about how there was some package he needed to pick up in an alleyway. The man was confused, but went along with it. Alt arranged for an actual package to be there, and then tailed the man on his way. However, the man seemed to find out, so while Alt was hiding at the pickup location to see what happened, three assassins tried to sneak up on him. However, these assassins had never encountered an Inferno Pistol before, and were easily scared off. Two were incinerated and one got away.
Alt caught up with him, however, and was able to find out a bit of what was going on here. Apparently, the nations of Morachiel, while relatively free of open warfare, were in the midst of a sort of cold war. Each nation was training as many assassins as they could, ensuring that they had more than their enemies. The result was about a third of the population being a trained assassin. Alt also found out who he was working for. He found that man, and found out who he was working for. Long story short, he went on a wild goose chase up some complex chain of command until he found himself going after a man who seemed to be second in command to the entire nation. Of course, this man was at the Grand Symposium that day, so he had to wait it out.
The Grand Symposium
Despite the old man’s warnings, the Explorers decided to stick around for the Grand Symposium. Throughout the course of the Symposium, three of the four nations of Morachiel (the fourth, Rach Mahenna, had refused to attend) tried to impress the Explorers with all sorts of arts and sciences, as well as a really big parade with really fancy fireworks. It was clear that each nation was seeking the approval of the Explorers, basically wanting them to say which nation was best. Later, each nation showed off their philosophizing skills, during which Magnus decided to join in. He did quite well.
In the end, the Sebastian declared that he would take the leaders of all three of the nations up to the Crimson Hammer, as a special privilege. Once they were up there, the leaders were left in a room while the Explorers discussed what they should do. They concluded that they should get as much as they can out of the people of Morachiel while they were here, and then take off.
When they went to make their demands to the leaders, they found two of them murdered and the other missing. However, the other one was quick to reveal himself and explain to them that they could do what they wanted with Morachiel, so long as they left the system as soon as possible. It became clear that this man was aligned with the old man they had met with in the night. The Explorers agreed, however, and opted to take a bunch of stuff and get out.
Among many things, they acquired for themselves one hundred children, who were to be trained as fiercely loyal assassins. They took a few already-grown assassins, as well as a nice air-filtration system that vastly improved the quality of the air on the Crimson Hammer.
With that, they left, heading in the direction of the system marked as Graham’s Prize.