Friday, November 24, 2006

Junonian Endgame -- Part 1

Junonian Endgame

I took notes, but this game sticks in my mind.

For reference:

We left Maxwell having lost his would-be captor Ivy in a hospital on Venus. As the story begins, he has given up on her and decided to track down the origin of the Aegis agents he slew in the previous game. (Remarkably, Maxwell does not murder anyone in this game.) He goes to the beach where they fought and manages to find a tooth from one of them. Perhaps it has a little Jupiter symbol etched on it...

Anyway, he turns into his signature dark eagle form, grabs the tooth, and uses it as a psychometric homing device to find his way back to the Aegis unit's ship -- a big nautiloid (Randy had brought a sheaf of Spelljammer ship illustrations, including the nautiloid ), for visual reference.

He approaches the ship -- one light is on in one window. He flies up and alights on the window, and looks inside.

It's Ivy. She's going through the ship's papers, apparently trying to find out the same sorts of things Max wants to find out about.

He watches through the window as she appears to find nothing and heads out of the ship. As she walks back out on the beach, Max the eagle lands on her shoulder. She starts and he flaps to the ground and becomes himself. He hits her with a barrage of questions about what she knows about him and the people who brainwashed him. She says, "that's a lot of questions." He replies, "that's all I've got."

(Game system note: he was down to one single four point muse: "find the people who brainwashed him" or words to that effect. So this conversation was inspired by game system considerations.)

She takes him to a Turkish-ish coffeehouse. Sit on the floor on rugs, eat turkish delight with your coffee, hookah available on request. They talk, and he finds a lot out.

Her name, Ivy, is not a coincidence apparently; she's a Bacchante, a member of the secret society led by Dionysus. Specifically a Maenad, one of their leaders -- the Maenads are largely Archons. (Ivy adorned the Thyrsus, of course.)

Dionysus, as a son of Zeus, lived on Jupiter for some time. But with the ascendancy of Hera, he was driven out. (Hera has no use for her husband's bastards.) He now moves from place to place, spending a lot of time on Earth. The Bacchantes are minor but powerful players in the espionage and war games of the gods, holding special emnity for Hera and her Junonians.

Her Junonians? Hera drove Dionysus from Jupiter? None of this was familiar to Max, despite having the memories of an ordinary Jovian citizen. I guess Max never read the Jovian equivalent of Noam Chomsky. Pretty much watched the Jovian Fox News, if you will. Party line.

Anyway, they're interested in him as a probable pawn of, you guessed it, Hera. An angry pawn, and therefore a possible ally.

But why would Hera scheme to have him kill a major Aegis official, an act so offensive to her husband it required a brainwashed Archon as a sleeper agent assassin?

Well... She does hate her husband's bastards. Among them, Heracles. Who's still on Jupiter, enjoying great rank, power, and privilege as the head of the Aegis. She can't kill him (Jove knows she's tried..), but maybe she could assassinate a favorite?

If that were the case, these Aegis agents would have been straightforwardly pursuing him as a murderer, perhaps suspecting some intrigue but surely knowing nothing of its extent or origin.

And the Junonians would be off in the wings, smiling quietly to themselves.

That was the end of my first play segment -- no conflicts yet! But it's enough to post in one bite.