:: Longish, but fun ::
Having utilised the Void bubble to pierce the Aether-effect Force Fields protecting the System Ship Bay, Tyb had Ashta pass through as well. While in transit, she saw the suit of armour she had been wearing in alternate realities as Xholte, the Death Goddess, and touched it. When she appeared in the bay, she was wearing the armour (+3 Defence, 2d6 Armour || -3 AC bonus, -1d4 per Attack in AD&D terms). Tyb was surprised, having seen those alternate time streams, and noticed that she had been gone for slightly longer than normal. Tyb's Player made a comment about Ashta having received some Christmas goodness, and then decided to fiddle about in the Void bubble and grasped coniferous tree branches. At this point, the players began to smile and make their 'guesses' as to what was happening.
--Tyb passed back through the bubble, holding onto the branches as he went, and occasionally felt fur somehow intermingled with the pines. He emerged to a snowscape forest with sleigh tracks leading off in the distance to where a curious looking vehicle (minus the pulling animals) and a man wearing glossy red armour and shiny black leather boots stood ready to kick the sled.
Tyb then slid towards the shadows cast by the vehicle and man, and listened in as the fellow in the red armour was becoming increasingly flustered about his tight schedule. Other voices, over a comm unit, could be heard: I took the opportunity to include Cheech and Chong, Elf 232, and 'Rudy' as part of the sleigh-driver's network of very well informed and dimensionally-savvy remote crew.
--It seems a Void-effect passed through the sled and vaporised an entire circuit board. Imagine that.
The gang fixed it and as a test of the vehicle's repair, the fabricator produced gifts. Ahni (Tyb's eldest daughter) and the Dryvv battle maidens he carries in his shadow emerged, and Ahni was the first to open a present, while the man in the glossy red armour stood by. She opened it and was amazed at what lay within, but quickly grew half-sullen. It appears that her gift was something called, 'Good Intentions', which began to work a change in the otherwise ... salty nature of the Vae-girl. One of the Dryvv maidens opened hers and was confused by the three lumps of coal she received.
--Nick, the man in the armour, warned Tyb, Ashta, Ahni, and the maids that they were on the naughty list, and that the longer Ashta wore her new armour, the naughtier she got. Ahni seemed genuinely distraught about the change she was undergoing, and the coal girl seemed to treasure the gift although she, too, was a bit puzzled by it all.
With the sleigh repaired, the skids retracted and he admonished them again before tearing off into the sky and disappeared in a flash of glitter.
Presents were brought back through and we handed them out to the entire stable of PCs. Nyqolas' was a peppermint-flavoured mercury-looking potion that sped him up to the point that everyone else was frozen in time, and even the passing proto-stellar matter outside the ship was slowed a tad. He used the time dilation to go to the bug-hive and kill as many of them as he could reach in the very large cubic chamber filled with multi-tier jungle.
Osyl was gifted with Turkish Delight by a frosty looking woman who contacted Ahni as she was leaving the snowy forest scene (with lamp post and a pair of cloven hoof marks in the snow) ;D Lady Arctise was able to contact Osyl when she ate the sweets, and the Lady urged her to make certain to take the upcoming planetary-system detour.
The Khem PC's gift was a peculiar circular 'harmonica' that seemed to trigger genetic memories of a Human starship's destruction, and his ancestor's last-second travel to an inhabited world with that man's mate.
--After much bickering about their actual plan and how to carry it out, the System Ship was once again being explored -- this time by the Black Pearl's Void probe. An Aelbaan couple spotted the probe (which looks like a coal-black disc at any PoV), and these two activated the psychic alarm, and power on the main bridge (where everyone else was) began to shut down.
Delver began searching for a large enough interior space in the System Ship for him to pull the Black Pearl through the probe, because it seemed as though the Aelbaan were preparing to at least isolate it from the rest of the ship.
--The best calculations predict that there will be no planets in range for 3 months, ship-time.
HappyMerry folks. :D