So now that I'm sleeping again-- there is a whole saga there, & when I say sleeping again I mean "at all," basically, not "normally" or "healthily"-- I am getting ready to start re-dedicating myself to creative endeavors. I kept up with my weekly Korra recaps & RPG blogging for Tor.com, but that was just about the limits of how I could get my act together. The last couple of meet-ups for my Oubliette campaign have been "non-sessions" where we talked about character stuff & did some role-playing, but I didn't advance the story. This time it might have helped that we were a little tipsy, a little late starting, & have our Secret Santa, or Gongen Tengu Festival. See, in the Shogunate, the Winter Solstice holiday is dedicated to the goddess Amanozako, queen of plagues & thunders, the Tengu Queen. To celebrate, adults dress up in bird or long-nosed masks & playact as Tengu with wooden swords & paper fans, & many small presents. Children barter with & cajole them, try to outwit them or flatter them, sort of like the ritual trickery of the Passover afikoman, in order to get gifts. Silissa was my Santa, & she got me two boxes of minis. I opened them in front of the group; normally I would be coy, but I figured it was like poker: they paid to see those cards. I was Nicole's Santa, & I remembered when Ron got me Spider Clan L5R dice, & I knew Nicole could use a set, so I got her the green Mantis clan set. She's got a snake thing (Relationship Status: It's Complicated) going on, so the green fits, & she's an agent of the Kin zaibatsu, her technical title being "Mukade," a gold-seeking centipede. Sort of fits with mantis, anyhow...like her pet terrordactyl kind of fits with the serpent thing. Anyhow, see that cool skull container above? Jennifer got it for me for Xmas-- I owe a rundown, at least in photos, to be posted here-- & I've decided it is the best place to keep my d10s. Now when I run Oubliette I have a cartoon skull to pull from. Ware, PCs!
First thing was did was spend XP, when we finally got going. Nicole's zaibatsu cyborg Keku no-Kin bought a second dot of Intimidate after putting the fear of god(s) into the Kitsune trio last session, & she also shuffles a point around from Status: Junk Queendoms to Mariko, her terrordactyl Familar. She uses the downtime to shop for animal trainers & to craft an optimal diet. Silissa's former mummy, former zaibatsu alchemist The Royal Physician buys a third dot of Persuasion. Crafty, that one. Then it was time to figure out how long Luke's blood mage courtier Haru o-Kitsune-- soon to be Haru o-Kitsune no-Lung, since his wedding is next-- & his blood mage warrior cousin Amina o-Kitsune, newly married, Lilly's character. Haru, in preparation for his upcoming nuptials, is informed that his in-laws are strictly religious according to the cult of Shojo, the Monkey King. He sends money (& his reputation) ahead of him to prepare. The good news: Haru's bribed vassal, the former mercenary Mifune, lives nearby, so they can impose on his hospitality; the bad news is Haru only rolls so-so. He'll get the polite & proper greeting for someone of his stature, but not the crowds he was hoping for. Then after that...we just kind of started screwing around in character. See, Amina has a pet fox...& it would be more accurate to say Amina has a kitsune familiar. Relationship Status: It's Complicated. Kreacher, the goblin-fox, seems to have a relationship to Haru & the Royal Physician as well, & considers Keku a kind of peer. So yeah, for a few hours my players just improved about a missing mask & the Uncanny, it was really lovely & fun.