The HRP Broad Sword is the seventh episode of The Chain. It aired on March 13th, 2019, although unlike most streams, this episode was recorded on March 6th, 2019.
The Chain of Acheron emerge from the Astral Sea and encounter the HRP Broad Sword.
The Chain learns that they can use the brain of the recently-slain Changeling to create a Potion of Dominate Changeling.
Last Night on the Sea of Stars
In the night before the Chain arrives in Capital, they discuss what to do with the Mind Flayer in their custody. Boots suggests using the Medallion of Thoughts on the creature, but Slim advises against using the Mind Flayer’s brain for anything. Slim intends instead to feed the body to the Somnium Tenebris. Judge uses his augury cards to find out whether his patron Asmodeus thinks it would be a good idea to recruit the ilithid into the Chain. He declines to share with the group whether Asmodeus gave the response weal or woe, but later indicates to King that they should kill it. The decision is made to let Slim execute the Mind Flayer, which he does summarily, spitting on its corpse and dragging it away to feed it to the ship. Aslaug the Water Genasi works with the rankers to paint the Chain’s symbol on the ship’s sails. Cook has taken a liking to her and has learned that she knows much about potions and herbology but is easily started.
The next day, the Navigator alerts the Chain that they are in range of sublimating, or teleporting, to Capital. Slim informs King, and the ship makes preparations to jump between planes. Judge makes his morning prayers to Asmodeus, finding that he has been demoted down to Knight of Hell from Marquis, and needs to atone. The Somnium Tenebris makes to traverse the Timescape, bringing the Rosso Cielo along with it. Just before leaving the Sea of Stars, King makes a tribute to Nails by tossing a cigarette into the sea, a gesture shared in by some junior officers. The walls of the ship begin to glow, then shine brilliantly. An oceanic roar of white noise accompanies a lurch of the ship, and they are in the mundane world’s ocean.
The Mundane World's Ocean
Slim is immediately disgusted by the smell of the sea, having never visited the mundane world before. The soldiers of the Chain rejoice in seeing the sun again, and Slim has the Somnium Tenebris eat what it can from the ocean to sustain itself. The sails are unfurled in the fog and many in Capital witness it, the device of the Chain of Acheron on the sails of the illithid ship.
The Rosso Cielo speeds ahead of them to Capital’s docks, known as the Stays, as an ornately filigreed Riojan galley approaches, armed with cannons. The flags flown by the ship include the Prince’s flag that is the flag of Capital, as well as the Black Crow of House Vorona. They are flying a communications flag that instructs the Somnium Tenebris to halt and prepare to be boarded, as it eats an orca from the sea.
The soldiers on this ship look well-presented, some in breastplates with halberds, and Judge orders the Chain’s soldiers to look smart also. A gangplank connects the two ships and a Riojan man in an outrageous hat, carrying a lute announces in a loud voice:
“You have the honor of being detained by my lord, the most honorable Marquis Demasco, captain of the HRP Broad Sword, Knight of the Crescent Moon, Vice Admiral of His Royal Prince’s fleet, Grand Champion Companion of the Order of Nine Stars, Commander of the Order of St. Montenino…”
He continues, and the attention of the senior officers wane. The Marquis himself is tall, Khoursairian with dark skin, older and wearing an admiral’s uniform, with a force of marines behind him as he starts across the gangplank.
Boots meets the herald, who is pleased to encounter another Riojan, introducing himself as Rigiere de Sostini and suggesting that the Chain offer their best wine. Cook rushes to prepare food as they resolve to offer the Marquis his choice of either Riojan wine or Mind Flayer wine. Aslaug the Genasi, now nicknamed Blue, joins her.
Rigiere is taken aback that King doesn’t have any titles of his own, before powdering himself, ready to receive the Marquis. Demasco nearly walks past King, scorning a handshake when offered one by the Commander. The inspection begins, and junior officers assist the marines in searching the vessel for contraband while the Marquis asks to be entertained in the officer’s mess. Curt small talk is made between King, Boots and Demasco on the way, concerning the ship. Once there, the Marquis toasts the Chain’s entry to Capital as they choke down some Mind Flayer wine. He says the Chain are unlikely to be able to get cannons like the Broad Sword has, as they belong exclusively to the Riojan navy, but that new and better sails would be possible. They chat about the Chain and Capital, though the Marquis is not inclined to talk about the murder of the Prince.
After conferring with his marines, Marquis Demasco asks to be shown the cannons. The mind-powered cannons of the Somnium Tenebris are explained in detail, before being sealed with the seal of House Vorona. With the handing over of some documentation, the Chain has passed inspection.
Asmodeus, played by Matt, gave Judge the Weal response when the Tiefling used Augury, and hence Matt hadn't expected them to kill the Mind Flayer.
Matt was dissatisfied with how easy and uneventful the inspection was, and invented later the idea that House Vorona was intentionally giving the Chain an easy time in inspection, so as to make it seem as though the Chain worked for them.