Monday, February 9, 2015

Echoes: Piacenza - Season 01 Episode 18 (powered by D&D 5e)

Rinaldo and his trademark sickle.

Journey to Enclavi di Gozzi

Game Summary for Echoes Book 02: S01E018

Echoes Book 02 is a continuation of a more narrative-oriented campaign (almost no rules, all aspects-based interpretation) that now uses D&D 5E rules. In this summary, we return to the pseudo-script format, which tends to share a bit more of the banter that happens at the gaming table.


PORTO PRINCIPALE, GRAN LUNGA - LATE AFTERNOON

Dolce and Via having tumbled into the ferry with just seconds to spare (and, in the case of Via, two pairs of footwear in hand, but none on her actual feet), they arrive at the hub.

VITTORIO

Well, they are very nice boots, despite the stress.

VIATRIZ

Worth every second. Now, I was thinking we might split up; I'd like to get us registered as an azienda as soon as possible, but we need to know the schedules -

CESARE

Of the vesselages to Gozzi, Doria, and Juven, yes? I will handle that.

RINALDO

What? I thought we were heading back to Amato - Never mind. I'll go with you.

DOLCE

(to Via)
I'll go with you; I'm hoping there is housing for aziendas, or at least a discount, or recommendations on cheaper places to stay at Porto.

VIATRIZ

Whaaat? But I like our hotel! Don't we like our hotel? It's such a nice hotel -

DOLCE

Viatriz Portinari, I'm sure we all love that very classy, very pricey hotel, but you and I each spent over 50,000 lunga in just our first day here, which I know you think doesn't sound like much, but that's 150,000 stella, with which we might have hired Tiziano and his ship to take us to an unknown island three times over, with change to spare. We need to start saving money where we can.

Viatriz subsides, pouting but agreeable, as the two duos agree to meet at the aforementioned classy, pricey hotel once their respective errands have been completed. They head off.

VITTORIO

Wait, where am I going?

VESSELAGE DOCK - SHORTLY

 

ENRICO

Scuzi, I could not help noticing you fine gentlemen may be in need of assistance?

CESARE

Oh, yes, perhaps you could tell us -

RINALDO

(under his breath)
Let's be cautious; you've seen how wary Dolce is when we're at the docks, and remember her experience, becoming 'indebted' to unsavory people.

CESARE

Where we might find the vesselage schedules. That is all the help we require.

ENRICO

Ah! They are posted in that building, right over there, although I can save you some trouble by informing you that there is no more vesselage scheduled for today; it is too late. There is no official travel available by night, although...

CESARE

Although?

ENRICO

Let us say I know people who know people. I can help you if you need a boat.

RINALDO

Thank you for your kind offer, but we are not traveling tonight.

CESARE

We are traveling tomorrow morning, to Gozzi, and then perhaps Doria, and -
Rinaldo smiles meaningfully at Cesare, exasperated at the very small extent of his "caution".

CESARE

And, yes, thank you very much. We can manage from here.
The two friends move onward to the scheduling building, where, alas, they discover that the various schedules are marked only by the stone representing each house.

CESARE

Well, now what? We only know that House Amato is beryl, and another house is onyx, and something called Marin is pearl, or maybe it's mother-of-pearl?

RINALDO

(sighing)
It looks like we're going to have to ask -

ENRICO

(cheerfully)
Your unsavory new friend Enrico Allevi?

CESARE

(startled)
Ahh!

RINALDO

I'm so sorry; of course I didn't mean you, but -

ENRICO

One cannot be too careful; I agree! Which is why, should you need night travel -

CESARE

Of course we will come to you!

ENRICO

Now, there is presently no vesselage at any hour to Ulisse and Issota - those are the silex and ligurios stones respectively, you see? - because people are saying Enclavi di Ulisse is overrun by il Morti, and as for Issota, it is no doubt a matter of Tomassina Issota, about whom the less said, the better, I assure you...

AZIENDA REGISTRATION OFFICE - MEANWHILE

Via is just bubbling over with self-satisfied excitement, Vittorio is doing his best to be helpful, and Dolce is plotting how one might steal azienda records from the vulnerable filing system.

CLERK

I'm truly sorry to have to tell you, beyond the fees, it is a rather complex matter. It would be easier had you an azienda license from your previous district -

VIATRIZ

Such as this one?

CLERK

And you would need complete documentation for each proposed member -

VIATRIZ

Perhaps these might suffice?

CLERK

And then of course tax records, and the delineation of how funds are allocated -

VIATRIZ

It really is dauntingly complex. Might I prevail on you to help me sort it all out? I don't know if it's these papers, or these - I only wish I were as capable as you.
Dolce discreetly rolls her eyes. Vito clears his throat.

VITTORIO

Signor, about the fees that you mentioned - ?

CLERK

Ah, yes. It is 15,000 lunga for the base registration, and 10,000 a month, the first 3 months to be paid in advance, for an initial total of 45,000 lunga.

VITTORIO

(appalled)
"Initial"?!

VIATRIZ

Signor, what if we were to be out of Gran Lunga for a month or so?

CLERK

Oh, if at any time you are to be inactive as an azienda in Gran Lunga, you need only declare it so, and then you will only be charged 10%, or 1,000. But if you do only one mission in a month, you will still be charged the entire monthly fee.

VITTORIO

All right, fair enough.

VIATRIZ

Very fair.

CLERK

That covers a 50% discount on accommodation in Porto Principale, as well as your declared enclavis of operation. You may declare up to six under the base registration; any areas beyond that number require an additional 10,000 each.

VIATRIZ

Oh, we would like to take all twelve -

DOLCE

If only we could afford it.

VIATRIZ

But perhaps we will start with ten?

VITTORIO

Ten!? That's 40,000 extra -

VIATRIZ

Eight?

DOLCE

Eight.
After some slight tension with the rather zealous Signorina Sicurezza guarding the establishment - Dolce has to furtively assure her comrades that she hasn't actually stolen anything - they rendezvous with the other two, who introduce them to Enrico Allevi.

DOLCE

Signor Enrico, such fortune! Via here is convinced that if we transfer from the arrivals hotel, she will be infested by fleas. Perhaps you could recommend - ?

ENRICO

(to Via)
Ah, Signorina, do not be apprehensive! I assure you, thanks to the Punto Canciello, standards in Gran Lunga are high indeed - thus, even if there were to be fleas, which there are not, they would only be fleas of the highest pedigree!

Via laughs. Enrico proceeds to take them just off the Strada Maestra, to the Locanda di Meravigliosa Gioa, where, under Dolce's watchful eye (because she's paranoid at letting someone out of sight with their papers), he cajoles and/or intimidates the concierge Lugia into granting them a prodigious discount, now and whenever they're in Porto. And later:

VITTORIO

What is he doing?

CESARE

He's talking to that fat woman.

RINALDO

Some people, of course, might say 'heavyset'. Or perhaps 'solidly-built'.

DOLCE

They must have a prodigious communication network, because we only just arrived, and she already knew I'm here. That's her, the one who ambushed me.

Vito makes to charge forward. Via stops him.

VIATRIZ

Enrico is handling it. Look at her shoulders, see? She's cowed. You were right, Dolce; he must be high up in the local - what is it you call it? 'Undercurrent'.

DEEPWATER DOCKS - LATE EVENING

VITTORIO

So I understand you've both signed up for Matt's crew!

ELIA

After the ship docked, and we found ourselves abandoned in a strange place...

Vito freezes, eyes wide with horrified guilt.

ELIA

(laughing)
I'm teasing! You said we should get out of the Spezzata, and you were right, and you all made that happen. We would not have made it to safety without you.

ADRIANO

It is not ideal - we are not exactly sailors - but Matt's boat is the best thing for us. You know security here is only handled by females. And my wife is pregnant -

ELIA

I'm right here. And how is it a problem that Gran Lunga recognizes the clear superiority of women in matters of policing, hmm?

Meanwhile, on Tiziano's ship:

TIZIANO

Of course, the refugees are glad enough to be out of that terrible trouble in the Spezzata - they are grateful to us - but unfortunately, it is hardly plain sailing here. There are only limited spaces for refugees, and everything is so expensive, so they need jobs, but they can only leave the refugee allotment if they have jobs, which they can hardly get if they cannot leave the refugee allotment!

VIATRIZ

I'm sure the individual enclavis must have need of personnel.

TIZIANO

Perhaps they do, but how are the refugees to find out what or who is needed in Sardonyx, or Beryl, or Jacinth or Pearl, Topaz, Chrysolite, Ligurios, Carnelian, Onyx, Tourmaline, Silex, or Mare di Vetro?

VIATRIZ

Perhaps we could ask around, as we move among enclavis. We are planning to -

CESARE

Those are not the houses.

TIZIANO

Excuse me?

RINALDO

(under his breath)
Here we go.

CESARE

Those are just the stones that represent the houses.

TIZIANO

No, those are the houses of Gran Lunga: Sardonyx, Beryl, Jacinth, Pearl, Topaz, Chrysolite, Ligurios, Carnelian, Onyx, Tourmaline, Silex, and Mare di Vetro.

CESARE

No, the houses are Amato, Anzio, Bellini, Buonaventuri, Doria, Gozzi, Issota, Juven, Ludovico, Pellagrina, Sforza, and Ulisse.

TIZIANO

I'm afraid you are mistaken.

CESARE

I'm afraid you are mistaken.

VIATRIZ

Neither of you is really, exactly mistaken. You see -

TIZIANO

Are we charting a map here? I may accept your authority in certain matters -

CESARE

Are we piloting a boat here? You are the captain of your vessel, but this -

DOLCE

You are both admirably large men; there is no need to measure length and girth.

TIZIANO

(after a very brief shamefaced pause)
Sardonyx, Beryl, Jacinth, Pearl, Topaz, Chrysolite, Ligurios, Carnelian, Onyx, Tourmaline, Silex, and Mare di Vetro.

CESARE

Amato, Anzio, Bellini, Buonaventuri, Doria, Gozzi, Issota, Juven, Ludovico, Pellagrina, Sforza, and Ulisse.

DOLCE

(to Matt)
Look, we brought you presents!

VIATRIZ

(peering into the bag as she passes it)
Bread! And - soap?

 

AT SEA - THE FOLLOWING MORNING

Having officially registered for azienda operations in their chosen enclavis [Amato, Bellini, Buonaventuri, Doria, Gozzi, Juven, Ludovico, Sforza] - and Via having assured the guilt-ridden Allegris that they will all do their best to find jobs for the Rossis - the Legato members set sail along with Ottavio and Vittorio Barzaghi, a pair of twins who are Gozzi hunters.

Vito, who is only a bit larger than them, is chatting them up. Dolce is, as well - mostly to cover up Via's intense scrutiny of the pair - but finds them strangely immune to her charms.

VITTORIO

So they are very large, these creatures that you hunt?

OTTAVIO

Very large. For instance, there was a spider as large as this boat...

VIATRIZ

(under her breath, to Cesare and Rinaldo)
Goodness, they must be those Barzaghis!

CESARE

Which Barzaghis?

VIATRIZ

The Barzaghis of the Barzaghis!

RINALDO

Well, that clears it up.

VIATRIZ

Their family - from Acqua -

RINALDO

They said they used to be from Far Water.

VIATRIZ

Which they apparently call Far Water -

CESARE

Acqua is not Far Water; Gran Lunga is Far Water.

VIATRIZ

Their family - from Acqua, which they apparently call Far Water, even though Gran Lunga is officially Far Water - has produced two doges! Such a shame if they're the only ones left, and with that tension between them too, since they had a falling-out over a woman whose name starts with 'J'. Or maybe it's 'L'.

RINALDO

You got all that from sitting across the boat from them?

VIATRIZ

Which is why they're pretending not to really notice Dolce.

CESARE

Why would anyone refer to Acqua as 'Far Water'?


A storm springs up, leading to the catastrophic failure of the Linee Spezzata buoy guide system. Not only does the ship go off course, it's attacked by a giant tentacular creature from below! The Barzaghis and Vito fight it off, while Rinaldo helps repair damage to the ship, Cesare helps Captain Pacelli right their course, and Via heals an injured crewmember.

GIANNA

(teasing Rinaldo)
Can you also mend hearts, Signor?

They eventually (after Dolce leaps to recover a vital ship component and embarrassingly becomes a mermaid atop the boat) make it to an island, which features a small shelter, one of many strategically positioned about Gran Lunga. Shelter keeper Alberto Modonessi and his nephew Lucio explain that this was one of the unpredictable, yet hardly unprecedented occasions in which the geography of Gran Lunga has once again mysteriously been altered, such that they can no longer even be sure where Gozzi or Porto Principale is from here.

Their best course, Alberto says, would be to wait for rescue from Porto, although it may take some days for them to be found. Another option arrives in the form of Piero Sessali and his ship the Nave Nano, who is delightfully able to not just talk, but adjust her size as necessary.

CESARE

(to Navi Nano)
Are you Cambiato? Are you il Morti? How do you work? 

After some haggling, Piero agrees to take the passengers on to Gozzi. And after Cesare somewhat offends Nave Nano - actually, Piero is probably more offended than she is - and,  finally, after Nave Nano's size-changing ability enables them to slip away from another attack by a tentacled sea creature, they arrive at the enclavi of hunters.

Rather to their surprise, a great number of the enclavi's inhabitants seem to hail from Civita Vecchia, and - following Rinaldo's observation that the Civita Vecchian architecture surrounding them has to be more than a mere year old – Cesare, Rinaldo, and Via come to the conclusion that at least part of Enclavi di Gozzi was once, somehow, part of Civita Vecchia.

They are in the midst of explaining this epiphany to their more ignorant friends when a klaxon sounds. They are herded into buildings on opposite sides of a street, where they arrive at the vague understanding that something massive - a "Colossale" - is on its way toward town.

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