Sophie The Cat Burglar

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  • Dear Diary,

    When night fell, we flew back to the Sahuagin base and began our assault. One of our newest members, Miss V, a special forces operative from another plane, led a large team to make the primary assault. Her orders were to engage as many Sahuagin as possible while preserving her force. Miss B, my second in command, led a smaller infiltration team with orders to engage the enemy heavily. I led the final team, including my younger sister, with the goal of finding and stealing the water spout making device.

    The plan went very well. The sahuagin, being very well organized and trained, responded swiftly to the frontal assault. When the second team engaged, the enemy commander recognized the primary attack as a feint and committed his reserves to counter Miss B. That left my force facing vigilant but undermanned observation posts. We snuck inside and swiftly made our way to the building housing the arcane device.

    Once inside we quietly dispatched the guards and operating crew, leaving illusory guards in their place. The device consisted of two primary parts, an arcane furnace and the cyclonic projector. That is the name coined by my sister. To our surprise, we found a second cyclonic projector next to the first, perhaps intended as a backup.

    After a quick meeting we decided to use the first projector as a booby trap while stealing the furnace and second projector. While two members of my team unbolted all three devices from their foundations, my sister used divination magic to gain understanding of the building roof controls. With all three devices loosed, my sister and the other wizard froze the water around the furnace and second projector, causing them to become positively bouyant such that they rose quickly, crashing into the roof. We then tetherer ourselves to the iceblocks, opened the roof, and shot upward into the black ocean above.

    While ascending with the ice blocks I dropped a series of very bright flares, a signal for Miss V and Miss B to break off their attacks and retreat to safety. Upon reaching the surface, more flares drew the attention of my airship. This now swooped down, dragging a very large cargo net beneath her keel. In less than a minute we pushed the ice blocks into the net, climbed aboard, and soared away into the starry night sky. A short time later we caught sight of a bright underwater flash, the first cyclonic projector exploding.

    During the night we picked up the remaining two raiding parties and made for land. A number of my crew suffered injuries in the assault, two very serious, but the healers successfully mended their wounds. As dawn broke we dropped force anchors near a large, fortified coastal town, hailed the local militia to signal our friendly intent, and settled down for a quiet day of rest.

    The two devices sustained damage but nothing my younger sister and the other wizards cannot repair. The furnace is an older design, probably stolen during the war from a freighter that sank. The cyclonic device is of sahuagin manufacture. It fires an extremely powerful and sustained cyclonic blast upwards, through the water, creating giant water spouts. My sister estimates the device and furnace can maintain a maximum strength cyclone for perhaps two minutes. "Can we turn it sideways?", I asked her. "Sideways?" "Yes. Can we turn the device sideways and fire it out a gate in the front of this airship, turning it into a gigantic cyclone gun?" She smiled and replied, "That should work."

    After sleeping away most of the day I visited the nearby town, perusing local shops along the waterfront as the sun descended towards the sea, hoping to chance upon artifacts and memorabilia from one war or another. The best shops are always packed to the rafters with junk of every description. With the sun just touching the sea, in a shop called Shipwreck Salvage, I finally found a pair of military boots exactly matching the description in Archmage Dudewiki's tome. These boots, made of enchanted crocodile skin, were issued to local troops perhaps twenty years ago. After weeks of raiding Sahuagin bases they were waiting for me in a junk shoppe.

    The owner Shipwrecked Salvage is an old soldier like my father. He was rather surprised by my interest in and knowledge of military things, and so we exchanged stories for three hours, long after the shoppe closed. I am pretty and he liked me so the price for the boots was very reasonable. I slipped some extra platinum into his register and will drop off some sahuagin spears sometime tomorrow.

    Near the end of the week, a few of us earned another notch in our magical and martial arts belts. My younger sister and mother successfully repaired the old crocodile boots. With this find, one more of our number will have proper equipment. As Christmas fast approaches we are in good health and full of hope.
    Dear Diary,

    We spent the entire week raiding sahuagin bases, searching for military equipment stolen during the great war. In order to avoid retaliation I greatly varied our search pattern and regularly flew inland. My sister discovered that the Sahuagin favor wizard eye for reconnaissance so I ordered a double watch of lookouts and all unfriendly divination spells immediately dispelled.

    Near the end of the week, having found precious little for our efforts, I ordered a particularly daring raid against a large hold situated at the bottom of an undersea canyon. This effort was to involve three independent raiding parties, two acting as diversions and one making the real assualt. However, as we loitered over the target at perhaps one thousand meters, I spied a great whirlpool forming far beneath the keel and beginning to rise. Having grown up living on a coast subject to violent storms, I am familiar with tornadoes and water spouts. My response was thus swift and decisive for the less time one has, the more one must use it well.

    While airships cruise at considerable speed, it takes perhaps 10 minutes to accelerate from a hover to maximum headway. Therefore, my first order went to the engine room, commanding furnaces to full. To their credit, the fire elemental ladies gave full power within 5 minutes, a feat of commendable effort.

    With the column of air and water rising, I decided not to trade altitude for speed and instead commanded all ahead flank while executing a 15 degree flat turn. By my estimation, this would steer the quickest course out of danger.

    My third order was to sound action stations, followed immediately by the order to sound collision, one minute. Upon issuing these orders, all members of the crew would close hatches, secure heavy objects, ready for damage control efforts, and brace for impact, in that order. Many an airship was saved from disaster by a swift and well trained crew. More still perished for lack of such training.

    Finally, I ordered an astral plane transition in one minute. By my estimation, the airship would not come to speed and exit the danger area of the rising water spout. Therefore, my intention was to shift to the astral plane while accelerating, stay there until coming to speed, and then transition back to normal space well away from the water spout.

    My crew includes a number boozing, womanizing, lazy, difficult, rancorous louts but in danger close situations, they are consumate professionals. The airship transitioned to astral space on time and with room to spare, flew a perfect heading out of the danger area, and by my very expensive stopwatch, dropped back into normal space exactly 5 minutes later. During our astral dash, I used that time to explain to the crew what was happening. Some captains prefer to provide their crews with a bare minimum or information so as to avoid instilling panic during an emergency. I take the opposite view. By giving my crew the maximum of information, I know each individual will take additional measures to protect the airship.

    After telling my crew that disaster was avoided, I gave my final commands of this encounter, ordering a head count and a stowaway check. During an emergency, it will sometimes happen that someone goes overboard. If that should transpire, I want to know as quickly as possible and launch a rescue effort. Fortunately, this episode did not result in any injuries or losses.

    Stowaway checks are standard procedure after any visit to the astral plane. All sorts of weird and deadly things can hitch a ride on a large airship hull during an astral voyage.

    With the great water spout now fully formed some distance behind us, my older sister appeared on the bridge and stated in no uncertain terms, "We need to sieze that device." Of course! The sauhuagin were obviously using a powerful arcane device to create the water spout.

    In an effort to trick the sahuagin, I ordered my airship to proceed at maximum cruise on an evasive course out of the area, to the coast. This is the standard response of a large, solitary airship subjected to aerial attack over contested waters. Using the ship's boats, we will come back under cover of darkness, raid the large sahuagin base, and discover what they are protecting.
    Dear Diary,

    Some time ago, I acquired a tome entitled: Archmage Dudewiki's Guide to Equipment of an Enchanted and Mundane Nature for Use by the Enterprising Adventurer in the Execution of Deeds of a Daring Nature and Further Acts of Skullduggery. Goodness gracious, I long to speak and write like that, like, all the time. In addition to serving as an encyclopedia, this book also provides numerous charts suggesting where each item may be found. Using Archmage Dudewiki's Guide, I compiled a long list of equipment that would greatly benefit myself, members of my family, and the ladies in security. We spent the week hunting this equipment with aplomb.

    Our first hunt took us to various tropical coastlines, favored by the sahuagin for the construction of underwater settlements. Since sahuagin usually build their structures in fairly shallow areas of clear water, one can see them rather easily from a low flying airship. Within three hours, we chanced upon a small sahuagin border fort. One of the ladies in security dove on the site to confirm the presence of sahuagin and was promptly attacked. Airship guns cannot engage a deeply submerged target so after rescuing our diver, I ordered the use of depth charges to harry our opponents. Such munitions are rather expensive and leave the target in ruins so we flew on to find another settlement.

    We soon discovered that sahuagin border forts lie along the coast in a regular pattern. Once one understands their preferred defensive terrain, it is a simple matter to uncover their lairs. Over the course of the week, the ladies in security conducted dozens of forays on sahuagin structures but only secured one useful item. This was rather disappointing.

    At night, we used natural sea fog to execute a plane transition to Ravenloft and continued hunting. While the ladies in security rested, I led away teams to various locations including the castle of Mister Angry Fangs. These efforts were somewhat more successful with 5 pieces of equipment obtained.

    My older sister is currently training a new team of security ladies and also led various forays into Ravenloft. Toward the end of the week, at her request, we transitioned back to Eberron and flew down to the Menechtarun desert and made additional forays. These were our most successful with 9 pieces of support equipment obtained.

    While raiding Ravenloft, my team chanced upon a miserable fellow of middling age named Dmitry Putemkin, afflicted with lycanthropy and in very poor health. Two years ago, his wife and son were slain by monsters in the service of Mister Angry Fangs. Vowing revenge, he journeyed to the lands near Castle Ravenloft, killing a number of abominations along the way, until he was assailed and bitten by a werewolf. Knowing he was now afflicted with moon madness, he retreated to the deep forest, continuing to hunt monsters while staying away from all settlements, lest he commit murder against his will.

    At first, Mister Putemkin begged for release, fearing he would assail us. Over the course of three days, my Auntie and the other healers aboard my airship were able to mend his injuries and bring his lycanthropy under control. This was a wonder to the former wainwright, who had no notion such things were possible. We offered to completely cure Mister Putemkin of lycanthropy but with the curse now firmly at his command, he instead decided to use the strength of the curse to avenge his family and bring ruin upon evil wherever it may dwell. He is now a member of my crew and training with the ladies in security. They devised a rather clever whistle, audible only to Mister Putemkin, for use during tactical missions.
    Dear Diary,

    One of the ladies in security needed a stout oak stick, really more of a branch, so we set sail for Faerun with invisibility screens engaged as per United Federation of Planes general order 127. To paraphrase, when visiting a backwater hick dung hole, planeships must engage invisibility screens at all times and avoid sharing knowledge of advanced magic devices with ignoramus clod hoppers.

    Druids of Faerun are a very strange lot. They are obsessed with veganism and enjoy transforming people into angry vegetables. While walking through the forest looking for a suitably stout branch, I encountered a young couple being harassed by a particularly obnoxious, tree hugging nitwit. One thing led to another and Vexa accidentally intentionally relieved him of his spleen. Fortunately, it landed next to a perfectly straigh oak branch, recently fallen during a storm, so that mission was accomplished.

    While flying toward our next inter spacial transit point we were accosted by a rather large red dragon. Having seen through my airship's invisibility screen, he demaned that we heave to and hand over our treasure. "This is a first rate airship of the line!", I yelled back. "If you do not steer clear, I will roll out the guns and serve you a full broadside of magefire!"

    Dragons never listen to me. This one decided to get behind my airship and barf fire all over the fresh paint job. My sister suggested we ignore the dragon and make for the transit point because the divine energy resistance screens were only registering a flutter. At first, I acceeded to her suggestion but then the dragon bellowed, "Your rear end is mine, little woman!" The nerve! I am not that kind of girl!

    The dragon could turn faster than my airship, avoiding a broadside barrage, so I ordered the aft gun crews to load rear firing caronades with flaming Bigby's Hand shot. When ready, I asked Vexa to target the rear guns and shoot down the dragon. My dagger may be arrogant, narcissic, and sarcastic, but she also has exceptional aim. "Fire!", I commanded. "Nah. Not yet." "Fire!", I commanded with greater vigor. "Hold your horses, kitty ears." Before I could give the order to fire a third time, all four caronades discharged, the force blast causing the guns to recoil to their limits, bucking the entire airship forward beneath my feet.

    My airship was pivoting in place about two hundred yards north of a sheer mountan side. As the dragon passed between the airship and the mountain, Vexa crossed his T and delieved a percect salvo. If you look south from Eveningstar as the sun is setting, you can see the dragon shaped ink blot high on the mountain side.

    Upon return to Eberron we learned that Straight Stalagmite Gym was having a group aerobics weekend. We all have Straight Stalagmite Gym memberships but I dislike group aerobics so we decided to raid Castle Ravenloft instead.

    With invisibility screens once again engaged, I parked the airship over the castle. We rappelled down and climbed in through Escher's bedroom window. Escher and I have an agreement. He lends me the keys to one of the treasure vaults and I provide him with the latest copies of Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Home and Garden, the Victoria's Secret catalog, a few packages of hair extensions, and some hair dye. After making sure Mister Angry Fangs was playing his organ, we snuck into the south tower vault and took a few of the more useful items. In return, we unloaded a bunch of platinum, Cannith essences, and a few million arrows. That stuff weighs down the airship.
    Dear Diary,

    We arrived in Gianthold this morning. Miss Vexa decided it would be great fun to fire the force anchors at frozen dragons and giants. The sound of shattering glass followed by her squeals of glee alerted me to an impending disaster. Fortunately, I was able to release the anchors before the airship tether balled into the wall of the canyon.

    Miss Bel led an away team to Rort Rotseer's lair and raided the place, looking for anti-magic cloaks. To our great surprise, they actually found two! Unfortunately, they both smelled like troll. I tied them to the elemental ring booms, hoping they would air out on the journey up to Sharn, but that only resulted in the ship leaving a foul smelling, green contrail. Bleach made things only slightly better. I took them down to the engine room and put them in furnace which created a horrible cloud of clorine troll gas. The elemetal girls were really mad and threw both cloaks at me.

    Upon arriving in Sharn, Miss Nova volunteered to fix the cloaks. She went to SharnMart, bought two brand new anti-magic cloaks, waited an hour, and then returned the ones we pinched from the trolls. "Can you smell this? The waterproofing treatment on these cloaks is obviously defective! I want my money back!" Then a kobold walked up and offered to purchase both defective troll cloaks because they smelled like home. Everything worked out in the end.

    At dinner, I asked my younger sister where trolls come from. She says they are created by casting enchant item and summon monster in rapid succession on dirty baby diapers stuffed in a bowl of half eaten Cheerios that was left under a bed for 4 weeks. That led me to wonder how the first troll making wizard discovered the correct procedure. Did he cast various combinations of spells on smelly things until he had his Eureka! moment?

    Miss Vexa once again disobeyed orders, shooting a force anchor into one of the wizard towers, breaking off the top such that a large bed and really surprised succubus fell out. I quickly deployed the starboard side rescue nets and helped her aboard. She was not even slightly angry. Instead, she wanted to meet the owner of such an opulant and large airship. Before I could tell her the airship is mine, my mother threw a robe over her shoulders and began scolding her for making such obviously poor life choices. Within a minute the succubus was charmed and now my mother is sending her to a convent school for girls.

    While my mother was still scolding the succubus, a small sentry airship pulled along side, carrying the Sharn Airspace Warden. Whoa Nellie, was he upset. "Who do you think you are, young woman, sailing a first rate airship into Sharn airspace and anchoring to a wizard tower without permission like you own the place?" I explained to the Warden that an open window in the tower allowed me to see a succubus casting a summoning spell. Realizing the succubus was attempting to call a Demon Lord to Eberron, I ordered my dagger to fire the force anchor into the tower to disrupt the ritual. My mother then instructed the charmed succubus to admit to everything. The warden was duly impressed and intends to give Vexa and I each a medal.

    The falling tower top punched a hole in Sharn leading down to the Cogs which proved very convenient. Miss Bel led another away team into the Cogs, ruffed up some ruffians, and brought back a really spiffy heavy crossbow. We spent the evening throwing flaming Bigby's Hands over the stern rail and shooting them up on the way down.
    Dear Diary,

    Hank the Handy Orc installed a new planar energy harvesting core in the airship last Wednesday. The fire elemental girls are really excited and spent the holiday tuning it for increased power output. Miss Vexa and Miss Mona decided to see what all the additional power can do and fired the main gun against my orders. Today, I received a citation from the Eberron Protection Agency and need to pay fines for discharging a focused tachyon accelerator and destroying a small moon without the proper permits. My life sucks so bad.

    Yesterday, some of the girls went to Greyhawke and spent the day hunting down magic items to feed to their weapons. Three of them went crocodile hunting for three straight hours without finding anything useful. Miss Vexa complained the entire evening because I did not bring her anything.

    Miss Bel led a team to Ravenloft and recovered three pieces of equipment for various crew members. As usual, Miss Nova found the most important pieces.

    Eberron Friday and Kundarak Monday sales were a complete bust this year. I attempted to purchase more land on the plane of Greyhawke but my real estate agent encountered a temporal spatial abnormality and the sale did not go through. We will try again in a few months.

    We all trained very hard over the holiday. Six of us earned another notch on our martial arts and magical arts belts.

    On Thursday, we all dressed up and attended the Coin Lord's Thanksgiving Ball. My mother gave a wonderful performance. While she was distracting everyone, Miss Bel, Miss Nova, and I snuck into the vault and sprayed mind flayer graffiti on the walls. We also left wind up duckies everywhere and covered stoned Hesstess with toilet paper.

    We are currently on our way to Gianthold and passing through a small storm. Miss Bel and Miss Viv are going to lead teams looking for more anti-magic cloaks. I turned on the bilge pumps just in case. One time I forgot to do that, water accumulated in the upper hold, and all the animals invaded the upper decks. They got into the magic cookies and made a huge mess. A baby owlbear belching red dragon fire is no fun at all. No, it is not.
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