Except for the occasional sighting by ships out on open waters, and usually mistaken for a basking sea serpent, The Solar Flare is somewhat of a secret known best by Rebma and her denizens. Now that the vessel has gained some recognition from participating in official naval actions, it is possible to hear it said that the SF is a large exploratory submersible of Begman design, with a peculiar Rebman flavour to her. She is commanded by Rebma's appointed Warden of the Deep, Merrisol, and is the Go-To means of fast transport to various concerns throughout the depths of the underwater realm. Despite being Begman-made, she has often been described by Captain Merrisol as 'Perfectly Safe'.
Gossip BVM: Mon Jan 13 09:16:43 2014 by Merrisol (public)
AO-Lower: intensity murmur, trace cost 1, expires 20 Jan
Title: Loose Lips Sink Death Ships..
..and Dead Men Tell No Tall Tales!
Something like that. In any case, as stories of valor and strangeness from the Kitezh campaign have been brought back by returning marines and other survivors of the frozen battlegrounds, quite a few fascinating tidbits of monster lore have tended to capture the public interest - if only as villain fodder for governing children's morality, or assigning supernatural blame for missing persons and even inadequate hauls from the fishing nets. Tidbits such like…
"Skin-stealers infiltrated the camp and might even now lurk amongst us? Ugh, thought there was something fishy about Jones since he got back!"
"Giant spiders made of millions of tiny spiders..? Welp, time to zealously fumigate the house."
"Zomb-.. again with the zombies? They're everywhere!"
"A sea monster in the bay shooting deathrays from its eyes? Oh hey, that could explain all the dead sharks /and/ zombie chunks washed up on our beach a couple weeks back.."
"Wait wait, no, that wasn't a sea monster, guys.. it was a boat with a horse head, you know, like a nifty Kitezh longship, that kind of thing. But it /did/ shoot deathrays from its eyes, bright as sunlight itself. Blasted the fire giant right in the head, it did. Killed 'im."
"That must have been the boat I heard about that came up from the sea with the creepy drowned Kites hung off the sides. Spooky cultist deathrays, woo .."
"Okay, now that we've established that was a ship, can we get back to monster talk? How 'bout them Giants..?"
Gossip BWA: Sat Feb 1 00:04:59 2014 by Merrisol (public)
GL-Begma: intensity low, trace cost 1, expires 15 Feb
Title: Bitter Quitters
At an off-campus pub frequented by Begman U Alumni…
"Did you hear from Ernst, of late? He's back in enlightened society, him and two others who answered that grubby little ad last summer."
"Ooh? So soon? That was a year contract, I believe. Wasn't it him and *three* others? I admit I haven't been following any reports to the Field Data Repository."
"Do you know, I don't think I've come across anything about Ernst's assignment in the FDR, either. I do know it was naval in nature.. he was carrying on about the project overseer, a Merry Captain So-and-so. Apparently they were made to conduct all manner of stress tests on this vessel out in some rather terrible locales.. shadows and such."
"Well, that sounds a reasonable expectation for work abroad, dear fellow. That ought to be well covered under the Foreign Experimentation Act. Ernst just couldn't hack it, I wager."
"I suppose so. However.. seas of blood.. ghouls and monsters.. black magic.. pillow forts.. and that's just the stuff I recall him saying off the top of my head. I think I'd want out of that contract too."
"Hmm. Maybe we should get the poor bloke to join us for a pint sometime.."
Gossip BWB: Sun Feb 2 10:04:53 2014 by Merrisol (public)
GL-Begma: intensity murmur, trace cost 1, expires 09 Feb
Title: Grubby Little Ad
Later on, at the same off-campus pub…
"That advert is back, did you see? Tucked in the corner of the Maritime Tinker's Gazette's second last page."
"That's conspicuously obscure. Don't you have anything better to do with your spare time?"
"Well you know, they say one of the hallmarks of genius is persistent boredom."
"When *they* refer to A Mind Forever Voyaging, *they* didn't mean wandering through the Wanteds in some fishy circular. I mean, look where it got poor Ernst. Nightmares of fast-moving zombies and babysitting orphaned moppets. Oh, fine, fine.. what does it say this time?"
"'Sprung from Begma U without a cushy technical position all lined up? Stressing about that conscription lottery to Amber's rank and file in a time of war? Longing for Far Flung Adventure, Exciting New Discoveries, and Really Wild Things? Then take the plunge from theoretical solution into practical application today, and direct your inquiry and CV to Pneumatic Tube Station B, Sub-Complex G (Foreign Missives Dispatch), Code 7432, keyword 'aquanautics'. Must be able to live a year minimum outside Begma, honour confidentiality agreements, and of course, swim.'"
"Heh. Left out 'Must love kids, cuttlefish, and dead people.', I see. Whatever you do, don't show this to Ernst."
"Oh, I am so very much showing this to Ernst."
Gossip BWM: Wed Feb 12 10:20:55 2014 by Merrisol (public)
GL-Rebma: intensity moderate, trace cost 1, expires 12 Mar
Title: Sub-Par Excellence
With all the quiet murmurs rippling out concerning troop movements and a threat of invasion, it would perhaps be thought to be a related matter when a story trickles in from the Morfilod territorial holdings, about the epic arrival of a weird, goose-necked monster with three sets of flippers, and a frothy butt…
"So.. there they were, workin' the krill flats to bring the whales in before quittin' time.. when it came hurtlin' over the rise, big as a whale itself! Somethin' like what came out of the Nazaroth Gap an' got poor old Count Rees on his last wild hunt! What could the seeders do but scramble for cover while some Militia rushed up to try an' fight the beast off?
"Well.. turned out when it got close enough, it was no great sea dragon at all, but a kind of boat. A ship without sails that was swimmin' around undersea, nice's you please, with people lookin' out of it. That was no dragon head either, but a giant seahorse stuck out in front. Driedest thing. Almost poetic…
"…Until it started fartin' outta its face, that is. Huge blubbery bleatin' of the biggest, rudest noise you ever heard undersea. An' wouldn't you know it, that brought the whales down damn quick, an' they started rustlin' that odd boat along until a big chunk broke right off an' fell in yon krill patch.
"After that it was a super whale frenzy, all that food flyin' up for 'em. An' that crazy boat stopped blattin' an' went ass-end up an' full-on plowed up a field of wild oats before gettin' stuck in a kelp hedge. I don't know but I don't think it /meant/ to do that.
"The folk who came out didn't look Rebman, but they did just fine in the Sea's domain. It was a merry Lord and a pretty lady Mage, but it was not many of us happy to see 'em. Heard a real quiet-like whisper they were big fish in the city, favoured by the Regent, /but also/ pirates from Minos, an' done a bad thing to a Morfilod once.. to Lady Petra. We helped 'em get back the chunk that fell off, all the same. He called 'em ballasts, no clue, but they were somethin' /heavy/.
"This Lord Merry and Magi Lady didn't strike me as bad fish, but our overseer Lord Cyanore sent most of us away so I never saw what happened next. But mornin' after as we were settin' out for the capital, there was no more swimmin' beast ship in the field. Too bad, would've liked to get another look by day. Driedest thing, it was."