The Sky Is No Limit: Recap 1

What began as an opportunity to take Leagues of Adventure out for a fun spin around a mysterious treasure site has morphed into a regular campaign with an expectation of weekly play. It has also shifted from a sort of off-the-cuff, no-pressure video conference game to one streamed live on the Triple Ace Games Facebook page.

The campaign, The Sky Is No Limit, draws in part from the more casual demo games which preceded it, but more firmly establishes the elements which resonated with the players, while also drawing out specific items we felt we would enjoy.

Three sessions of the campaign have been run so far, each around the three hour mark. The first did not end up being recorded, but the second and third are available to watch on the TAG page.

Session 1:

As recounted in the first post of this series, in Session 1 we met our primary characters and saw how they reacted to a sudden opportunity to capitalize socially and perhaps financially on a risky expedition that few of their ‘betters’ would be willing to undertake for fear of damaging their reputations by death, failure, or association with one or more former society darlings now labeled as persona non-grata.

The group ended up with the use of a set of cautiously optimistic automata, an overlarge (and hastily repaired) prototype airship, and the reputations of a mad scientist and a blisteringly angry and abusive scientist riding on their endeavors. They also were starting to realize that their very one League, the Royal Geographic Society, was intent on making sure this expedition did not launch, or if it did, it would fail.

Session 2:

We opened with the roles of the characters’ aides in focus. The main characters had separated to complete specific tasks and obtain much-needed equipment. As they were going about their business, each was accosted by a high-class automata (never needs winding) that set a bunch of paid thugs on them as a form of not-so-subtle discouragement.

To my delight, the players turned the tables on these shenanigans and managed to recruit the thugs to helping the expedition, with some even signing on as crew. This was possible in no small part because of the earnestness of the characters, but also because their efforts in the first session had earned them the backing of the Travellers Club, the Hunters Society, and the Epicurean Society. Well-funded and with some choice names on the passenger list, the chance of success for this expedition was looking up!

Weeks later than they had intended, but in far better condition financially and in a material sense, the expedition made for its first port of call: Belim, Brazil. While many other expeditions had been duped by the RGS into leaving earlier and into heading in the entirely wrong direction on a completely different continent, the group soon discovered that at least one group was going their way.

The group once again took the high road, this time literally, and risked the dangerous option of testing the upper ceiling of their experimental craft to sneak past their competitor without being spotted. Their airship, HMAS Epiphany, held aloft by a form of anti-gravity paint stimulated by fragile and temperamental electrochemical battery banks, could crash with a sufficient loss of charge or paint, or could alternately soar into the ether between worlds. Lacking an air supply, that outcome is frowned upon.

The session closed with arrival near Belim. A representative of the Royal Cartographical Society was waiting for them with a small reception on the beach. He, a fussy fellow named John Saint-John Smythe, had been following the reports of the preparations and had been a part of the rescue of the two explorers who had sparked this whole thing. The pair claimed in their delirium to have found a hidden plateau where prehistoric creatures still roam.

After making introductions and enjoying the hospitality of the Epiphany, Smythe was overjoyed to discover that he could be of service to the expedition. He had records of their ravings which the RGS had suppressed back in England!

Suddenly, however, a wooden dart appeared in the emissary’s neck and he collapsed into one of our globetrotters’ arms.

Session 3

This session opened with a heroic and dangerous attempt to rescue Smythe from the poisonous death the dart had set before him, then without missing a beat, leapt into a pursuit of the assailant.

In short order, two of the globetrotters had tracked and trapped one curious denizen of the jungle, while a third had killed another of these curious beings in some sort of attack on the airship.

The pair were small of stature, but very healthy and fit. They were wearing a form of wood and leather armor in the design of some sort of human-reptile hybrid and were clearly very comfortable handling their deadly toxin as small defensive spikes on the armor were tipped with it. Under the armor they wore a dark body paint that similarly cast them in the light of a reptilian being. As a final peculiarity, they were marked with colorful tattoos of strange and prehistoric-looking creatures – perhaps as badges of accomplishment.

In the capture of the younger of the two reptile-people, one of the globetrotters had been poisoned and found himself, as the sole chemist, in a desperate race against time and ignorance to identify an antidote, brew it, and administer it.

While that scientific battle was being waged, efforts were made to communicate with the captive. Being careful to hide the fact that her companion and elder had been killed in his attack on the Epiphany, these efforts bore limited fruit, but a sort of diplomatic relationship was established. Throughout this process, the captive seemed more like she was evaluating her captors rather than the reverse.

Skill managed to save the poisoned globetrotter and the mood of the expedition shifted from fear and worry brought on by the attacks and toward enthusiasm for the fame and fortune being able to reveal new plants, new compounds, and a new tribe of learned people to the empire. They were going to be famous!

Suddenly, John Saint-John Smythe interrupted their excitement again with a stunning cliff-hanger! Caught in a delirium of his own, he began rambling directions and descriptions of landmarks that struck the globetrotters as having to be in connection with their search for the lost plateau. Desperately, they took note of his ravings, but were shocked when he stiffened and died in their arms…. or did he?

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