Welcome to Heir Apparent, our new DUNE Chronicle! Tonight is character and House creation, as we work out who we are, what we do, and what we’re working towards.
Our chronicle is set in the year 10,190, under the rule of Padishah Emperor Shadam IV Corino. First up is forming our own House, House Cheshire of the planet Jabberwock. After a brief foray into imagining ourselves as cat farmers, we decide our House is notable for our ornithopter technology. What most other Houses don’t know is, this is how House Cheshire achieves their primary goals of espionage, looking to legendary spy Virginia Hall as their founder.
Jabberwock is established as a very cat-friendly planet – except for the dread monsters who hunt them. Crime is low, thanks to our planet’s secret police. Our green-and-silver banner displays a stylized Jabberwock rampant. As a House which specializes in Understanding, our core Trait is Cunning.
Within the House: Rachel plans to play the Heir, while Shawn takes the position of Treasurer. Tyler adopts the role of Spymaster, while Key picks up Warmaster who dabbles in Marshal. Ever, having made a tactician, decides on Swordmaster while Devin goes for Consort.
Next up is deciding who is in charge of our House – Duchess Adelane. As the Duchess, she is established as cunning, ruthless, and patient – and who never lets go of a grudge. And that’s part of why Rachel’s character is the Heir, after her elder sibling pissed Mother off a little too often. However, our enemy House, House Carroll, is just as dedicated to vengeance and wants to see our House fall. We probably shouldn’t have gone back on that one deal.
Another rival is a Minor House, which revolted against our House and fled to a moon, along with a variety of puppet ministers who rise up in revolt and which need to be crushed. Last of all is motto: “Done by the unspoken word,” or, “Factum est verbum per tacitam”.
And that’s our House! After wrapping up character creation, it’s time to play!
We land on Gamont, a slightly dingy pleasure planet with a complicated reputation. We’ve been hired (or ordered) to deliver a sealed box to someone named Celeste. We’re here to meet our contact Byron Gylemi, first. Daphne isn’t quite sure why she’s here, but remembers how sentimental her mother was when handing it over. “It’s time to stop hiding,” she said. The rest of the group has received orders that we must be more discreet and clandestine than usual.
As our ship lands, night begins to fall. Daphne freshens up her appearance, then makes the rounds to check in on her entourage to ensure they’re all ready to disembark. Gwillion checks in on Norma, covertly communicating that he’s disposed of the porter and installed a Face Dancer in his place. Lysander and Pardot try to keep an eye on Daphne, who enjoys testing herself (and driving Lysander up the wall) by trying to shake her tail.
Gwillion does a security sweep of the area, picking out the shadiest among the crowd. One of them tries to attract Daphne’s attention, but Gwillion chases him off with the barest ripple of his skin. Our Mentat is put to work calculating the safest route to where we need to be, the place called Harem. But Davos is way ahead of him, having made arrangements with a friend already. But as we set off, Pardot realizes we’re taking a strange, circuitous route to Harem. It’s the rougher part of the city… but no one seems at all inclined to give us any grief.
We arrive at Harem, which, as the name might imply, draws heavily on the Middle Eastern aesthetic. Davos slips our drivers a few solari to remain on standby. To obscure our arrival, Gwillion face-dances into the visage of the man he earlier scared off, assuming the role of escort to Daphne’s eager tourist, while the rest of the entourage discreetly follows.
Within the palatial resort, we obtain one of the more luxurious suites. Lysander and Gwillion immediately security sweep the room. They pick up on the presence of small cameras, deactivated for now but nevertheless present. Deactivated or not, they’re now disabled, along with the sensors Lysander uncovered.
While the security sweep is underway, Norma steps out to put feelers out as to where our contact Byron might be. She finds a servant being chastised for not producing someone named Leera by a balding, middle-aged man. The man shoves the servant out of the room, and Norma begins following her. The servant goes to another suite, palm-locked, where the servant begins knocking.
Norma seeks out Gwillion and Davos, and explains the situation. Gwillion slips out to handle it. After observing the ambient servants, Gwillion assumes the form of one.
Meanwhile, Daphne brings Pardot and Lysander with her to the gambling hall, intending to put on a show of being a high roller to try and attract Byron’s attention. She succeeds, flattering Byron and finding him offer to give the lady a tour once her gaming concludes. At some point on the trip here, Daphne did in fact peek in the box, finding two gorgeous blue sapphires.
While Daphne gambles, Davos, Norma, and Gwillion successfully break into their target suite. It appears to be empty, except for the woman laying on the bed. It’s Leera, and she’s dead. Norma spots a needle hole.
Back in the gambling hall, Byron slips that he recognizes Daphne, and begins leading her out of the main gambling hall. To what, however?