I almost forgot that just prior to my trip, we played a session of my ongoing sci-fantasy game using USR.
The session began with the PCs looking at their ransacked room. Of course, the party immediately split, with Pa Ku heading to find the innkeeper and Jade poking around for clues.
Mustafa, the innkeeper is a bit of a fool (think of him as Jasmine's dad from Disney's Aladdin) and believed two dust covered men that they were friends of Pa Ku and bore news of his father being ill. Of course, sap that he is, he directed the men to the PCs room. Upon hearing the description of the men, Pa Ku knew the two were the same two bounty hunters from his tribe that he had encountered in the Ruins of Parth back in session 2. They had used the same lame story then but about Jade's father.
Meanwhile, Jade had found a faint footprint of red dust - the same red dust that makes up The Waste and a broken flint dagger - which felt was too similar to her own to be a mere coincidence.
Mustafa offered Pa Ku a new room as an apology, but when the PCs reconvened they decided it best to pretend to take the room and instead find another place to stay. Which they promptly did at a place called Tarantella's.
They decided to find clothing to blend in with the populace - between xenophobia and the bounty hunters, it didn't do well to wander around dressed like inhabitants of the Waste. Pa Ku had some research he wanted to do as well - about the contact he was to deliver Jade to in the city state of Hakami. Somehow they got it in their heads that, instead of say, going to the library which I spent a great deal of time preparing, they would look for a used book shop.
Following the rule of "Yes, and . . ", lo and behold they stumbled upon one such shop just next store to a tailor.
A bit of digging around yielded them nothing of what brought them there in the first place (I let the dice decide), but useful acquisitions none the less: an old map of the city (Nekheb, where they are now) , a treatise on manipulation using magnetism (Jade spent her Narrative Point here to have the treatise come with a bag of small metal spheres, which she intends to turn into bullets propelled by magnetic control) and a bestiary of creatures of the plains East of the city.
Pa Ku began formulating a plan, and decided that they needed a guard to sit outside their rooms at Taranatella's, in case the bounty hunters tracked them down. They opted to try the marketplace (I don't know why, I'd have posted a want ad or something) where they found one Bob Asak.
Bob? Well, one of my players bitched and moaned that my NPC names are too hard to remember (I suggested she write them down but she'd have none of it). Honestly, I thought I was doing them a favor by using a naming convention inspired by Tony Bath's Hyboria. Each tribe or city state would have a real-world nationality assigned to them - and I would use names that reflected the assigned real-world cultures. So, for instance, natives of the city of Hakami have Japanese names, of Nekheb, modern Arabic names, etc.
So, back to Bob. She suggested my NPCs needed easier to remember names "like Bob. And why do they always have negative quirks. Why doesn't anyone smell of roses?"
In a fit of exasperation, perhaps intensified by the single Miller High Life I had consumed, I threw up my hands and said "Fine! His name is Bob Asak." Which I said as "Bob Ass-sock." And yes, yes he ALWAYS smells like roses. (When asked by Jade why he smelled like roses he flashed a smile and said, "Family secret.")
What can I say, it was late and juvenile humor had been running rampant all night.
The session ended with Jade checking back in with the Academy of Arcane Science about her application for admission. To her surprise (her admission interview ended rather abruptly for no apparent reason), she had been accepted.
There were cheers all around and then I went to bed.