There’s a venn diagram in my head of “Good Plans”, “Bad Plans”, “Complicated Plans”, and “Simple Plans”. At the center of that diagram is a small bubble labeled “The Best Plan”. I don’t know that anyone really ever actually gets to the best plan – it might be like hunting for mythical creatures, like mermaids and unicorns. But by god, nothing is going to stop your RPG players from trying, is it? Of course, the best is when their planning gives you a much better idea for something to throw at them, but we can’t always be so lucky.
Skitters, scurillian archmage
Yang Hou, human sailor
Lars, doreen hunter
Theodore, human archmage
The City of Kiera, in the Kieran Empire
Caribdus, a drowning world
The Story So Far:
Having arrived in Kiera and met some of the very capable rebel leaders there, the party took some time to figure out where they would be most valuable to this movement. The local leaders would know their own people best, after all, and interference from outsiders could make things worse unexpectedly. Rather than working at the ground level of the problem, the crew of the Potsticker decided to take out the problem at its head – the Great Whale, Emperor Jant himself.
They spent a morning observing the palace, watching the comings and goings of the people – mostly servants – to get a feel for where they might best be able to sneak in. As per usual among the high and mighty, servants were ignored nearly all the time – they were expected to go about their work quickly and quietly and not to disrupt the noble workings of the Kieran government. Fortunately, this made it quite easy for the party to talk to a kitchen servant on her way into the palace.
They persuaded her to bring them some ordinary servant uniforms – gray smocks, aprons, no adornment whatsoever. She agreed it was an easy enough task; the kitchen was not far from the laundry and no one would be surprised at her presence there. She left them on the street nearby and returned about fifteen minutes later with an armful of servant uniforms. The group quickly changed, taking advantage of a nearby alley – Skitters used his claw to snip a tunic into something more like a poncho for him. Looking as innocent and plain as possible, they made their way into the palace through the back entrance.
Passing through the kitchens, the party saw various dishes being prepared for the Emperor’s next meal. They hung around for a few minutes until some of the trays had been loaded up with food, then grabbed them and made their way up to the Emperor’s quarters. The four guards standing at the door looked confused and questioned the group as to their identity. Ted and Skitters ensured the guards that they were just fairly recent hires who had advanced in the ranks rather quickly due to the excellent servitude skills. Dubiously, the guards admitted the “servants” into the parlor, where six more waited inside.
The guards instructed the servants to leave their trays on a nearby table and leave quickly, as the Royal Feeder would be summoned momentarily. They all got a quick glimpse of Emperor Jant himself – surrounded by more guards, reclining on a luxurious bed, in all likelihood too large to stand or move much. The group set the trays where they were told to, but before they could be ejected from the room, Ted channeled an arcane spike to form a tremendous blast of fire aimed directly at the Emperor and his bodyguards.
The smell of sizzling flesh and burnt hair filled the room, smoke emanated from the center of the destruction, and the guards at the door begged to be spared. They bowed deeply to the new Emperor Ted, as the Kieran Empire apparently subscribed to a distinctly Klingon method of promotion. Ted considered his next move, as did his newly named “advisors”. Lars was put in charge of the Kieran police (both public and secret). Yang Hou was put in charge of Kiera’s significant naval power (those ships weren’t anywhere near well-maintained enough for his exacting standards). Skitters and Ted worked to ensure that the discrimination against mages in Kiera would be ended, and that all the mages currently imprisoned would be set free.
The group took some time to mobilize the forces of Kiera to take down Blackbeard’s fleet. After all, in this they had a common enemy. Both the Happy Family and the Kieran fleets had no love of pirates (and certainly no love for immortal zombie pirates). They sailed across the Flotsam Sea to the southern Free Towns – Perck, and what was once Brigandy Bay, where Blackbeard’s crew had last been spotted. After five days of scouring the seas in that region, they finally came across the unsettling Destroyer, Blackbeard’s Man of War, flying its terrible red and black flag. Both groups prepared for what was to come.