Date & Time: 06/02/2017 7pm to 11pm
Location: The Loaded Dice
GM: Stephen Justice
Players: Jim, Ben, Ian, Kane, Adam
Preparations make the man
With only two years to go until the start of the Ishvalan Conflict starting, and the ORB arriving, the five of them figure now is a good time to really get their plan sorted out for dealing with Father and the Humonculus.
Spending a while going over it, they realise there’s a few things they can do to make sure the Promised Day never comes about.
The first is to make sure that the secrecy of Father and his Humonculus is broken, and they’re exposed.
The next is to make sure the Elric Brothers never visit the Truth, and become potential sacrifices.
They also decide it would be a good idea to get Jim in place in Reole to influence things, so there doesn’t end up being a religious conflict there to cause the Crest of Blood.
Adam and Kane decide to get involved and become State Alchemists, in the hope of preventing things from happening from working within the system.
They figure at worst case they can do something to annoy Envy enough to reveal himself, and then use the Alchemists to help attack the creature.
Not having something worthy of the army yet, they start practising things that would allow them to get in.
Kane has Van Hohenheim teach him how to create solid walls quickly out of the ground, thinking non-lethal area control will get him into the army.
Adam focuses on making personal weapons from shaping stone and metal.
While this is going on Jim starts learning more about Alkahestry, with a focus on being able to heal people.
Kane learns a bit here and there from watching, but it’s barely enough to let him start sensing Chi, while Jim’s understanding of the flow of energy around him increases to the point he can start sensing it up to five metres away.
Ian continues his studies on how to use Alchemy to construct buildings quickly from various supplies, so he might be able to construct his Morphing Shrines one day in a matter of moments rather than years.
Ben decides he’s going to start researching an entirely new type of Alchemy that not even Van Hohenheim has really touched upon, which is transitioning one type of energy into another. Ben figures the scientific knowledge he has over the local world will allow him to figure it out.
After the 6 months of training have passed, Adam and Kane head on in to East City to sit the State Alchemist examination.
Both of them are able to pass the written part with flying colours, and their practical demonstration passes decently.
After they pass and are given uniforms, they are called into the office of General Grumman for an interview.
He’s interested in what they can offer his command, and what their research will focus on.
Adam explains he wants to focus on crafting weapons out of Alchemy, and discusses even being able to make tanks with it.
Grumman is quite interested in this idea, and agrees to see this research come to pass.
Kane explains he’s like to attend Officer training after their initial military training, and then he’d like to work on a better doctrine for how to make Alchemists a more effective unit during military action. Grumman is intrigued by this idea, and gives the go ahead, but with a shorter timeframe until Kane has to present his first draft.
After the interview they go off to a 6 week boot camp, before Adam goes on to start his mechanics training, and Kane goes onto Officer College.
While this is going on Ian has joined Ben in researching manipulating Energy with Alchemy, as he’s curious to see if he can learn to control the light in an area since photons are both something physical and something made of energy.
Eventually another 6 months have passed, and there’s only 1 year until the ORB arrives.
Kane has started working quite closely with the Military in regards to training and tactical planning.
Adam has made some decent headway on understanding on how to make the various parts of a tank with raw materials, but he still needs them manually assembled afterwards at the moment.
Ben and Ian have made some headway on their research, but it’s still very early days.
Jim meanwhile has continued to hone his ability to heal with Alkahestry, as well as his understanding of Dragon Lines, allowing him to sense Chi up to 25 metres away now.
Dealing with the Truth
With only 1 year to go, Ben is able to convince Van Hohenheim that the 5 of them can be trusted enough to learn Human Transmutation, as they only plan on using it on themselves to visit Truth, and they can’t die. Still wary, Hohenheim starts to teach Ben about it, and upon finding out Ian and Adam come to learn as well.
After about 3 months Ben has learnt enough to attempt it by himself, with Adam and Ian still needing a bit of help with it.
Kane meanwhile has gotten himself transferred to Ishval, and is doing his best to become friendly with the locals while he attempts to track down Scars brother.
Ben decides he’s going to go ahead with the ritual, and Adam is able to convince Ben to take him along too, claiming that if anything does happen to Ben then Adam would just follow along anyway.
The two of them construct the circle, and then transmute themselves.
The following interactions happen at the same time, but separately. However they’ll be displayed one at a time.
Ben ends up in front of the Truth in the white void. The large stone door behind him only having a single large orb in relief upon it.
Ben spends quite a while trying to bargain with Truth for all of the knowledge beyond his stone door.
Truth explains that he’s part of Ben and knows what Ben can offer, and that Truth is unable to take anything away from Ben due to whatever the ORB is doing to protect them.
Ben is able to further find out that the Truth doesn’t have any knowledge of things beyond his current Universe, himself, and tries to bargain with promises of returning with future knowledge.
Truth explains that he has no interest in what’s beyond the Universe, and it’s a dead line of offers, but Ben persists for a while before he realises it’s not working. Eventually Ben asks what Truth is willing to bargain for.
Truth explains all he can take is Ben’s desire to do and achieve something while here. So he offers to send Ben away to a paradise Island for the rest of the 15 years and 9 months that Ben is here. Ben wants to know what it’ll get him, and is told it would be a lot of knowledge on Alchemy and Alkahestry. Ben asks what he has to pay to get the complete package and knowledge of the Truth, and the response is that it’s similar to before, but instead he must do what he can to take the other 4 with him.
After some consideration Ben agrees to this deal.
Adam also ends up in front of the Truth in the white void, with the same large org carved in relief upon his stone door.
Adam follows similar lines of inquiry as Ben in trying to make a deal with the Truth, but pushes to know more about why the Truth seems so determined to stop them all interfering. Truth explains that he doesn’t want them to not interfere, any more than he wants them to. He’s just there to make sure that equivalent exchange is upheld, and given their circumstances can only take something they want in exchange for something else they want.
Adam is tempted by the package for lots of Alchemical Knowledge in exchange for going to a paradise island for the rest of his time there, but decides not to take up the offer as he feels Ben never would. Instead he settles for a decent amount of knowledge in exchange for two things. The first is that for the rest of his time in this universe he will neither be able to see or hear Ben, and the second is that he will not be able to do anything to interfere with the Ishvalan Conflict unless it spill out of the Easter State, in which case he can only deal with those parts.
Return to the basement
Adam and Ben return at the same time, and Ian asks how their bargaining with the Truth went.
Adam quickly explains first what deals he made, which upsets Ian quite a bit. Ian then calls for Jim to get him down into the room.
Jim is also upset, and starts having to repeat anything Ben says so that Adam can hear him.
They start to discuss options, but Ben says he’s not sure how much time he has before Truth will force him to uphold his end of the deal.
Ian gets more upset with him. Ben tries to calm him down by explaining that he’s learned that souls reincarnate here, but Ian says that still isn’t an excuse for just letting people die.
Ben convinces Ian to speak to Truth himself and see if it is worth it.
Ian goes through, and does his best to try and convince Truth to give him power in exchange for knowledge, or the promise of knowledge.
However once again Truth shows no interest in any knowledge that Ian might offer, much to Ian’s great frustration.
Ian keeps trying to get the Truth to bargain for things, or promises of things, but eventually Truth has to directly tell him that none of that matters to his purpose.
When Ian tries to press for the Truth’s purpose, the Truth says he won’t say, just that he’s going to make Ian uphold equivalent exchange in any bargain made.
Ian tries to get Truth to bargain for something that will make Ben not be able to interfere with his actions, but Truth says that the only thing Ian has to bargain is his desire to do things, which would mean he’d be giving up his ability to interfere anyway.
Eventually Ian is offered the same deal for power, if he’ll just let everything go and retreat from the conflict.
Ian ponders it, knowing he likely can’t beat Ben anyway, but eventually decides not to, saying he must try to act.
Ian asks to go, and Truth agrees, but says that a price has to be paid on the way out anyway, before ejecting him.
Ian is brought back into the world, finding he now knows how to make transmutation circles with his hands, but the cost was that he also cannot see or hear Ben.
Ian starts ranting at Ben about the whole morality again, before dashing off to try and get to Kane before Ben does.
Ben asks Jim if he’d like to meet the Truth.
Jim thinks it over, but turns it down, saying that the Truth sounds like an asshole.
Adam says that they should figure out a plan, and so Ben just sends Adam to the island to wait for everyone else.
Jim is pissed off at Ben, but Ben says he wants Adam to be safe.
He then says they should sleep, and in the morning they’ll go see Jim.
Kane meanwhile had been tracking down Scar’s brother, and believed he’d finally located his house.
So he’s relaxing in a bar with the soldiers in his command, planning on going tomorrow, when Ian enters.
They go to Kane’s room, and Ian explains everything going on.
Kane is quite upset at Ben’s decision, and decides he needs to see the Truth himself.
So Ian sends Kane to go see the Truth.
Kane goes through and does his best to try and bargain with Truth for power, and it’s quite a long discussion, but in the end Kane is unable to reach a satisfactory deal, because he doesn’t want to give up any of his goals for power.
He decides to just keep bargaining with Truth, deciding to drag it out for a few months, hoping to avoid Ben that way.
Truth has no problem with this given the unusual circumstances of them being in the world, and lets Kane remain.
Kane by the end agrees to a deal that he will not be able to see or hear Ben as well, nor be able to learn anything new in this world, in exchange for for circleless transmuatation, and knowledge of where Ben and the Humunculus are.
This of course causes Ian to start to panic when he realises that Kane just doesn’t seem to be coming back.
Realising there’s not much he can do, he just waits for Ben to arrive.
Ben does arrive, and asks Ian about Kane, which Jim has to relay.
There’s some discussion of what’s going on, and what Ben will have to do.
Ben admits he’s hoping to be slow about his duties, to give everyone else a chance, but Ian says he’s not sure that the Truth will let him get away with it.