Olympus RPG Blog

Olympus Role Playing Group Blog

Spinward Star, LLP

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High Speed Pursuit

We begin in media res, with the crew already in hot pursuit of the Kalamanaru vehicles leaving the compound. Following Ella’s … “discussion” with Dyrin Byard, they snuck closer to the dig site where they subdued some guards and retrieved a pair of vehicles in the form of a large truck and an off-road dune buggy. It was originally their intent to make a night rescue using these vehicles as their escape route with the hope that the Kalamanaru guards are less prepared. This is not to be, however, as the entire compound suddenly erupts with gunfire and explosions, thus forcing the vehicle convoy outside to leave abruptly. The crew promptly follow – Ella drives the ATV with Abe and Buck in it, while Eddy handles the flatbed truck with Aris and Haank in the back – as several of the crew saw Lorain being forced into the front vehicle. Behind them, an immense explosion levels the compound, making everyone quite happy that they didn’t go in after all.

Now in hot pursuit of the kidnappers, the crew closes in on the convoy just as it comes alongside a train. The convoy itself is comprised of an armored-up truck which is in the lead, a single ATV identical to the one that Ella is driving, and a pair of flatbed trucks like the one that Eddy is behind the wheel of. On Ella’s command, Aris, who has joined the crew under the cover of a drone reporter, sends Jim ahead on an attack run.

Jim the drone, which is faster than the convoy, races forward and opens fire with his minigun; the gauss rounds tear into the rear vehicle, inflicting only negligible structural damage. The eruption of gunfire counts as the signal for the rest of the crew to engage. Ella immediately guns the engine of her ATV and closes in with the intent of drawing close enough for Abe to use his gyroc pistol currently loaded with EMP rounds.

As the Kalamanaru personnel react to this unexpected assault, the crew continue their attack; Jim’s next burst of fire rips apart one of the tires of the rear truck , causing it to dramatically slow and swerve erratically as the driver struggles to control it. From the ATV in front of them, a Vargr takes several potshots at the crew but the unstable platform and the haste in which he shoots ensures that none of the laserfire comes even close; at the same time, Jim is able to detect several other Vargr move to the back of the other truck which drifts into the path of Eddy’s vehicle. Ella, seeing a narrow opening, guns her ATV engine once more and they briefly go airborne; this unexpected maneuver catches Ibrahim completely by surprise and his carefully aimed gyroc shot strikes the middle vehicle instead of his intended target. The EMP round immediately shorts out the engine of the truck – while this is only temporary, it effectively removes that truck from the chase. Buck simultaneously unloads a sharp burst of fire at the Vargr in the ATV ahead of them, but his weapon badly misfires.

As all of this takes place, several of the crew observe Taren briefly pop up out of the armored vehicle to see what is going on; Jim unloads a sharp burst of fire into the cabin of the rear-most vehicle, but in the drone’s haste, all of the rounds go wide. At almost the same time, Jim takes fire from one of the Vargr. Ella angles sharply toward the armored vehicle and Abe fires a quick, unaimed shot with his gyroc at it as, but grimaces when he sees the round ricochet off the armor plates; even the EMP burst cannot penetrate the armor.

Suddenly, Lorain is shoved out of the top hatch of the armored vehicle – Taren is forcing her out as the driver creeps closer to the train. Everyone immediately recognizes his plan: he’s going to transfer Ms. Messandi from the APC to the train!

As Jim continues to fire on the driver of the rearmost vehicle, badly crippling him, Ella continues to draw closer to the APC where Lorain is and, as she gets alongside it, Ibrahim surprises her by springing out and onto the truck’s exterior; while clinging on the outside, he begins shifting along it toward the train. Buck begins to crawl to the back of the ATV in preparation for a jump himself, though he’s obviously less enthusiastic about this than Abe appears to be.

Taren, now fully out of the APC, grabs Lorain with both hands and hurls her onto the train. She screams. A lot. Abe continues to crabwalk along the back of the APC, cursing steadily in Arabic under his breath as he does so. Once he’s in position, he makes the ill-advised leap onto the train as well and manages to expertly stick the landing; only as he’s crouching and realizing that Taren has followed suit does Abe realize that, in his haste, he left his pistol behind on the ATV! Nonetheless, he springs up and charges Taren.

Now in position, Buck makes the jump as well, though he lands alongside a cargo hatch on the side of the APC and opts to try it; to his delight, the hatch comes open easily, revealing an armed (and quite surprised) Kalamanaru goon crouching there. Before the man can really react, Buck seizes his rifle and pulls. Hard. The goon goes flying out of the APC and Buck scrambles in, now armed with a seized rifle. He jams the weapon’s barrel into the driver’s neck and demands the man move. The driver does so with alacrity.

Haank opens fire with his shotgun at the trailing vehicle’s tire and his fire shreds it, immediately causing the driver – who is already badly injured thanks to Jim’s fire – to lose control and crash; unluckily for Eddy, the truck’s roll puts it squarely in front of him! He swerves hard, narrowly escaping what would no doubt be an explosive collision

At the same time, the other ATV swerves closer to Ella’s vehicle while the passenger opens up with his laser rifle, tearing into the body of her buggy. Smoke begins spewing out of her ATV but she easily manages to maintain control while drawing her pistol and then opening fire with it at the Vargr. She hits both the driver and the shooter; for a moment, it seems as though the driver is going to be able to maintain control, but that moment passes quickly and the ATV is soon tumbling end over end.

Atop the flatbed train, Ibrahim and Taren exchange a flurry of blows, each attempting to get the other into an arm lock in order to force their opponent from the train. Ella, seeing this scuffle and not being able to get a clear shot at Taren, opts to sling her pistol onto the train near Lorain; her throw is a little off, forcing Lorain to scramble for it. She then slides into position in front of the APC, now driven by Buck. An instant later, Taren badly overextends with a kick, giving Abe a perfect opportunity to retaliate with a push kick that sends the man tumbling off the train.

Ella has a momentary jump-scare as Taren strikes the ground in front of her; luckily for him, he manages to avoid getting hit by her ATV and Eddy’s flatbed truck. She looks up with wide-eyed surprise to see Ibrahim standing there, looking at least vaguely badass as Lorain rushes to hug him. Later, when they circle back to where they saw Taren last, they are unsurprised to discover there is no sign of him.

Once the crew manage to get Ibrahim and Lorain off the train, the rescued woman is very vocal in her gratitude but (amusingly to all of the other members of the crew) doesn’t let go of Abe. She tells them that she’s discovered the next clue about the location of the Sky Raiders’ base but managed to avoid telling her captors. The crew is, for the first time, one step ahead of Kalamanaru’s men.

Player Notes:

  • No game next week on account of five players being at GenCon. Whoot!
  • Per the GM, all PCs had the Daredevil advantage for this scenario only so as to ramp up the cinematic feel for the chase. Hence, Ella taking us airborne briefly and the like.
  • The result of Abe’s fight with Taren was a surprise to all of us, including me (Rigil) as Abe’s player. I was expecting to delay him long enough for someone else to swoop in and finish the job, but the dice gods were being generous. Following the kick, Abe critically succeeded on his parry, which resulted in Taren rolling on the Unarmed Critical Miss table. This caused him to end up one hex past Abe and with his back to him; one hex beyond put Abe literally on the edge of the train platform. Abe succeeded on the push kick roll (All-Out Attack (Strong), Telegraphed) and then rolled maximum for the damage (total amount 9.) A push kick (per Martial Arts) does no actual damage, but you double the normal damage to determine knockback, so this is 18 points which was enough to send Taren flying from the car. Rather than have Taren splat against one of the pursuing vehicles or get run over by them, the GM had him react quickly enough to flatten himself so the vehicles went over him without smooshing him. We all expect to see him again …
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.

Spinward Star, LLP
  • GM: CommJunkee
  • MSG Apome (Rigil Kent)
  • CPL Blake (Andricus)
  • PVT Hanson (Ronnke)
  • PVT Snow (Gigermann)

Live Stream

De Oppresso Liber

Somewhere on Corfu, an elite strike team of absolute badasses (who have been stuck on this miserable backwater waiting for hostilities to kick off) is briefed on an emergency mission: deep within Vargr territory, a civilian named Lorain Messandi is being held by agents of the suspected crimeboss, Eneri Kalamanaru. Operatives on the ground report that Messandi is an expert in archaeology and Kalamanaru is forcing her to locate a specific trove of possible Ancient technology suspected to be at the recently excavated dig site. The Team’s mission is to insert into the target site, then locate and extract Messandi. Several potential complications are present: in addition to a nearby garrison of Vargr militia, a team of private mercenaries are also on-site and appear to be solely interested in extracting Messandi; this team appears to have been contracted by her family and, while not considered hostile, could be a potential threat.

To deal with the multiple layer threat, the Team leader – Master Sergeant Apome – splits his strike force into two groups, with one, led by Corporal Ricks, to hit the nearby motor pool to disable any vehicles and prevent escape of surviving forces before moving to a supported to position in order to suppress an Vargr reinforcements, while the second group, led by Apome himself, will breach the mercenary compound where Messandi is believed to be held, reduce the defenders, and retrieve the precious cargo. Both teams will deploy via a high-altitude, low-opening parajump with a planned breach time of zero two-thirty local. Rules of engagement are the usual loose ‘aggressive defense’ that special operators of their caliber utilize which the Team members all take to mean “kill any and everyone you feel to be a threat.”

Almost from the point of deployment, the Team recognizes that Intelligence has dropped the ball once more: there is already a convoy of vehicles being prepped to depart! Unfortunately, by this point, they’re already engaged, so Apome gives the go-signal. His team bounds to the wall and prepares to go over it; the designated marksman, Private Snow, has Private Hanson boost him up into place which allows Snow to engage and reduce a sentry with his railgun.

Using this as a signal, MSG Apome and Corporal Blake go over the wall – thanks to their battle dress, it requires only a short hop to get over. Blake, being the heavy gunner, immediately begins engaging hostiles with his gauss machine gun and every target he shoots goes down hard. Under cover his fire, Hanson and Snow spring over the wall themselves and start seeking targets of opportunity; at the same time, Apome hugs cover – he’s getting too old for this crap – to direct his Team before engaging hostiles himself.

Naturally, as soon as gunfire erupts, alarms start to sound and reinforcements rush out into the open, though more often than not, they’re cut down by Blake’s stream of fire or Snow’s precision shots. Apome takes an unexpected shot that penetrates his armor and badly injures him, but his armor’s automed features instantly stabilize him and allows him to return the favor; he seeks cover and creeps along slowly, engaging only when appropriate.

Over the comm, the Team can hear Corporal Ricks reporting that the vehicle convoy they observed upon landing is deploying ahead of schedule. He also announces that they are engaging the Vargr reinforcements. Everyone present is thinking the same thing: this op has just gone to hell in a rocket-sled.

As Blake advances, a pair of hostiles exit a garage atop a wheeled utility, complete with pintle-mounted machine gun at the back. Unfortunately for them, they enter Apome’s line of sight and he fires a trio of grenades at the vehicle, one of which tears apart the gunner in the back. The vehicle is now on fire – at least one of the tires has been destroyed thanks to Apome’s grenades – and the driver is forced to ditch as he loses control of it and the entire thing begins to roll. Blake steps toward the driving and gives him a battlesuit-enhanced kick that kills the man instantly.

At the same time, Snow is playing cat and mouse with a hostile heavy gunner who, upon seeing a buddy of his reduced by the marksman’s railgun, has dove for cover. With no visible target, Snow instructs Hanson to use his grenade launcher to try and flush the man out of hiding; unfortunately, the shots only serve to drive the man into deeper cover.

And then, a hostile armed with a rocket launcher steps into view and fires his payload. Although he’s targeting Blake (who is using a parked vehicle as cover), the rocket punches through the first vehicle with relative ease and then streaks toward a second one … which is loaded with fuel cells and generators and explosives intended for excavation..

The resulting explosion flattens the entire compound.

Player Notes:

  • With two mission critical players out, CommJunkee didn’t want to progress the PC-specific aspects of the campaign, so we sort of did a one-off set within the constraints of the actual game and it turned out to be quite fun.
  • To no one’s surprise, this basically turned into one long firefight, which was probably the GM’s plan all along. Rather than go round by round, I’ve sort of just narratively told the story which makes the recap itself seem a bit shorter than it was.
  • And honestly, nobody was surprised to see the Colonial Marines from Aliens show up as our avatars.
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

Doctors Without Sectors

Having arrived at Corfu and docked, the crew has realized that the far trader which escaped Focaline ahead of them is berthed next to them. It bears unmistakeable Kalamanaru Enterprises markings, so the crew immediately set about gathering information about its arrival date and crew. First, regarding Corfu itself, Haank digs into recent events via available news sources and learns that the planet is currently experiencing some planetary strife related to a recently discovered archaeological site; the planet itself is heavily balkanized, especially in the wake of the recent viral outbreak, and the population is around 30% Vargr who dislike the very strong Imperium presence due to the before-mentioned dig site. Due to this strike, non-Vargr are warned to only visit the Imperium controlled regions as their safety cannot be guaranteed.

As this is most definitely Eddy’s area of expertise, he takes point in this and quickly identifies the lead traffic control officer. Upon discovering that this individual is female, he puts into action a plan that is surprisingly bold in its implementation: first, he purchases flowers from one of the highport’s small kiosks, then seeks out the woman in question at a cafe before presenting them her, claiming that he has been paid to deliver them from a secret admirer. The ice successfully broken, he then promptly segues into a very discreet interrogation where he eventually learns that the Kalamanaru ship arrived several days ago and most of the crew disembarked to go dirtside. He flirts with the middle-aged woman nonstop throughout the entire conversation and successfully gains a great deal of information.

While Eddy is social engineering, Buck – who has discreetly accompanied him to ensure his safety – notes the arrival of several Kalamanaru crewmembers, including a Vargr he recognizes from Focaline. He later uses his more than capable computer hacking skills to penetrate the higport’s firewall which is easy enough; he then attempts to access the systems of the Golden Dreamer (which is the Kalamanaru ship), but this is quickly detected and countered, so he disconnects and retreats from his hacking location. After relocating, he then re-accesses the highport’s systems, downloads all related data to the Kalamanaru ship, and then wipes all records of his presence. From the data he pulled, the crew is able to determine that Lorain was taken dirtside.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim, who has spent the entire trip from Heya to Corfu interacting with the ‘Doctors Without Sectors’ physicians they are escorting, makes several inquiries about joining with them and, when he is given an enthusiastic response, he approaches Captain Stanbridge with this as a possible legitimate reason to go dirtside. The DWS angle will get them much closer to their target site and, from there, they can formulate their next step. With a dearth of alternate options and a concern that the entire hacker issue earlier could be problematic, Ella decides that this is the way to go.

Dyrin Byard

Once the supplies are secured aboard the Pilgrim’s launch, the crew (plus the three passengers) lift off with Armin at the controls and Aris assisting. They land at the Imperium landing pad soon after and accompany the passengers to the nearby ‘Doctors Without Sectors’ offices where they fill out the appropriate paperwork; fortunately, a caravan is heading out in the morning to the small Vargr city that overlooks the dig site, so the crew manage to obtain slots on the transport. They are warned by Dyrin Byard, the lead ‘driver’ and primary bodyguard, about the general xenophobia of the Vargr with regards to ‘Imperium spies’ and, during this safety briefing, he eyes the crew askance, clearly not buying their story about them being proper Doctors Without Sectors employees. His suspicions are only worsened when Eddy accidentally reveals on a poorly hidden rifle case; if I can find it, Byard says, so can the Vargr. The weapons are hidden again, this time much better. Armin and Aris remain behind with the launch so as to stand by should an emergency extraction be required.

During the trip, Ella (who is listed on the manifest as a Nurse) converses with Byard, having already deduced that he is a former marine. They exchange war stories with both of them talking around the things they don’t want to discuss and Ella ends up strongly suspecting that Byard never actually left Imperium service but is instead on a deepcover assignment. Haank will later engage Byard in conversation once Ella has stopped and inquires about the lay of the land around the medical compound.

Upon arrival at the Doctors Without Sectors clinic, Ibrahim is put to work almost immediately and easily impresses all of the other physicians with his skills. This gives the other crewmembers plenty of opportunities to poke around and discreetly observe. They are actually able to see the dig site from the clinic’s spot, though there is a considerable Vargr presence between them due to the location of a small town. That evening, when the crew gathers together once more to discuss their options, they note that none of them have seen Byard all day. When Abe briefly mentions his absence to his new physician friends, they mention that he disappears frequently.

At this revelation, Ella opts to dig further. With Buck keeping an eye out, she first cleans up and changes into some better-looking clothes before she seeks out Byard’s sleeping quarters and knocks. When she discovers that there is no one home, she enters and promptly begins snooping. What she discovers is that the quarters seem very Spartan, with everything in its proper place and no clutter at all. In this process of this, she discovers a case under the bed that she recognizes from her Navy days as belonging to Marine Force Recon units; it is missing the longarm and a pistol. Her theory that he’s on assignment seems confirmed.

Outside, Buck is caught by surprise when he noticed Byard suddenly appear around a corner and head toward his quarters. He is too far away to intercept the man and Byard’s unexpected appearance catches Ella in the middle of snooping. Fortunately, the man does not overreact and instead has a friendly conversation with Captain Stanbridge, especially once she reveals the real reason they’re here: to rescue Lorain Messandi. As that is the only thing that they have in mind, Byard is inclined to assist. He provides with some extremely detailed images from close up, which Ella takes to indicate that Byard has someone on the inside; he will confirm this but doesn’t go into further detail about the individual’s identity. On the off chance that someone (other than Buck) saw her enter Byard’s quarters, Ella stays for a while, especially when the marine reveals that he can cook quite well. Fortunately, what happens on Corfu, stays on Corfu.

Player Notes:

  • Andricus unexpectedly missed the game tonight.
  • The whole ‘Doctors Without Sectors’ thing started out as a joke a session or two ago but we’ve run with it and Ibrahim is no doubt going to look into actually joining the organization. Not sure if it’d be an Ally Group, a Contact Group, or a Patron just yet … mostly, though, it’s going to end up being a good cover for him to go places.
  • It is currently up in the air whether there will be a game on 5 August; we have two players who are a definite miss – Herodian and Mel – and originally, the GM thought he was going to be out due to work, but that turns out to not be the case.
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

The Proverbial Barfight

Having successfully arrived at the spaceport orbiting Heya, the crew immediately turn to replacing their lost arms and equipment. Ibrahim immediately heads for the local dispensary in order to replenish the medical drugs that were lost on Focaline, where he also inquires about the amber status of Corfu. From the head physician there, he learns that the pseudo-plague mostly affects Vargr, but that it is under control. On a whim, he also inquires whether they have any cargo or passengers destined for the planet since the Aimless Pilgrim is scheduled to go that way. This leads to him putting the coordinator in touch with Haank to arrange for the Pilgrim to carry these supplies. Abe departs the medbay rather pleased with himself as he’s now provided the crew a legitimate excuse to visit Corfu.

Meanwhile, Eddy goes hunting for an under-the-ladar arms dealer to replace their weapons and, after some time searching (and selling off some of their captured loot), successfully locates an appropriate merchant. From him, Eddy learns that the local control rating has jumped up a notch following some recent “unpleasantness” involving a group of Vargr who caused a great deal of trouble. As a result, starport authorities have clamped down hard on all weapons, which results in the price for replacements being significantly greater than normal. Eddy attempts to get a better deal by banking on the argument that the weapons aren’t doing the dealer any good just sitting in his warehouse, but is expertly countered with the fact that this clamp down will ease soon enough and, even if it doesn’t, there’s always going to be a market for guns. In the end, Eddy goes for the current price and hands over the list which the dealer agrees to have shipped to the Pilgrim. His part in this complete, Eddy informs Ella that he’s got a date to get to; she advises him not to be late when they ship out in three days.

While here, Kelso disembarks and disappears into the orbital starport, having taken a few trinkets obtained from Focaline as payment. He intends on selling them and finding his way back to his home.

On Day Two, Armin and Ibrahim take a shuttle dirtside to arrange for the replenishment of shipboard stocks with fresh supplies (although to be fair, Abe is mostly along to obtain some dirt for his ongoing collection from every world he’s visited.) After arranging for the shipment to be sent to the orbital starport and the Pilgrim’s docking berth, they decide to visit one of the local taverns for a pint of Heya’s best. Almost at once, Armin is accosted by several ruffians who promptly begin making lewd suggestions and unwanted passes at her. She is having none of this, however, and tells them to go pound sand; one of the men doesn’t take no for an answer and reaches for her hand … but immediately finds himself snared in her deceptively powerful grip. Armin smashes the man’s wrist against the bar, breaking it instantly, before telling him coldly to leave her alone. The man’s companions spring to their feet, furious at this, and the fight is on!

While Abe successfully holds his own against one of the men, successfully locking him down with an arm lock, Armin wipes the floor with the other three using a combination of acrobatic dodges, elbow strikes and brutal kicks to the head. Two of the men are knocked out completely – including the first one – and a third staggers away, hurt and moaning about telling his father about this. Abe’s foe is released once the short fight is over and he wisely bolts for the door at top speed, leaving the two Aimless Pilgrim crewmembers to return to their drinks and for Armin to bask in the adulation of the crowd who are greatly impressed by her martial prowess.

Shortly thereafter, local authorities arrive, having been summoned by the bartender the moment he saw that the fight was beginning. They are understandably surprised that this tiny slip of a girl did the most damage but still have to take the two to the station to get a proper statement. This means that Armin and Ibrahim will miss the last shuttle back to the starport, so they must spend the night. While in custody, Abe asks to call Ella to advise her of their situation; upon receiving a call from ‘Starport Security,’ she automatically presumes that Eddy has gotten into trouble and is thus somewhat flabbergasted to learn that it is her kind-hearted doctor who has gotten into a fight! He assures her that everything is fine and that neither of them are being charged, but they will have to take the morning shuttle.

The following day, as Armin and Ibrahim head out to the shuttle pad, they realize that the are being followed by a pair of rough-looking fellows. Rather than risk another fight, the two take off at a sprint, hoping to reach the landing pad without incident. Their pursuers have other ideas, however, and chase, going so far as to draw sidearms and take a couple of wild shots at them. One of them even tries to scramble up a ramp thing and then tackle Abe from above, but the doctor narrowly parries this. By the time they reach the starport, they find armed security in a high state of alert, having heard gunfire. Abe shouts out a warning – ‘Guns! They’ve got guns!’ – as he and Armin scramble for cover; this results in a brief firefight between security and the pursuing thugs, with the latter retreating once it is clear that they aren’t going to be able to take out their targets. Some of the security types pursue them while the others quickly begin to interrogate Armin and Ibrahim about why they were being chased by McMurphy’s men. Seeing no reason to lie, Abe admits that they might have been upset that Armin kicked some of their asses in a bar fight last night. Thankfully, these guys have seen those vids and recognize her so to the two are allowed to board their shuttle after giving a quick statement; one of the security guys comments on how familiar-looking Armin is, which prompts Abe to realize the same though he cannot quite put his finger on who she reminds him of. Once back aboard the Pilgrim, Abe describes these crazy events to Ella who is disgruntled that they may have obtained a new enemy (even if it is just a local.)

Eddy returns soon after, though he’s walking funny and quickly seeks out Abe for some sort of soothing cream for his … ahem … rashes; during the treatment, Ibrahim inquires whether Eddy knows who McMurphy is, then has to explain the

Now with a valid excuse for visiting Corfu – the medical supplies and several doctors who need transport- and the entire crew assembled, a debate transpires about their next course of action, whether they should try to sneak into the system or enter legally. Buck brings up the possibility of changing their transponder code (which brings its own problems, particularly with the whole ‘shoot on sight’ mandate that the Imperium follows for ships without transponders) or simply deactivating it and then claiming it is malfunctioning. In the end, they decide to operate legally and in open (which is a massive relief to Haank.) Onto Corfu they go.

Upon arrival six days later, they immediately start receiving warnings from a jump beacon about this being a quarantine zone. A local Imperium system patrol boat races toward them, transmitting an order to stand down and prepare to be boarded for inspection. This is to be expected, of course, and Gloval instructs everyone to comply as they surely have nothing to hide. Eddy grins and then disappears to double-check that none of their ill-gotten artifacts are openly visible. The Imperium forces board soon after and complete their scans – in the process, the officer gives Armin a strange look, as if he almost recognizes her; several of the crew note that Gloval tenses at this, then relaxes when they let it slide. Once the inspection is complete, they are directed to move onto the orbital spaceport to dock.

Upon approach, as the Aimless Pilgrim moves into their docking berth, the personnel on the command deck recognize a ship berthed next to them: it is the far trader that fled Focaline ahead of them. The lowlifes they thought were weeks behind them are already here!

Player Notes:

  • Due to circumstances outside her control, Loki had to drop out of the game for a while. Mel played Armin during the bar fight.
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

Escape from Focaline

Only moments have passed. A pair of vargr corsairs race toward the Aimless Pilgrim, their weapon systems charged and locked. The local system defense boat is well out of position, having pursued another ship which the crew now strongly suspect to have been the one that escaped with the abducted Lorain Messandi. Upon Aris identifying the ship classes of the approaching hostiles, Admiral Gloval decides to burn toward them and make a hard thrust to a safe distance for Jump; he expects to be able to easily outrun these corsairs due to the Pilgrim’s superior engines.

The crew report to their respective battle positions and, in standard Imperium Navy practice, don their vac-suits before evacuating the atmosphere from inside the Pilgrim. Long minutes creep by as the vargr continue to maneuver into position while the Pilgrim accelerates toward them. Haank makes an attempt to send a distress signal dirtside, but discovers that communications are being jammed; so much for calling in Imperium reinforcements! The command crew – Gloval and Ella – issue tactical directives as they reach maximum effective range and the gunners engage, though their shots are ineffective. Missiles are also launched, but these are easily taken out by point-defense systems.

With the Pilgrim continuing to build up speed, the three ships draw closer to one another and once more exchange weaponsfire; this time, Armin and Dawes do not miss with their respective weapons, and they brutally ravage their target. The vargr corsair is not crippled but is definitely badly damaged and loses several members of its crew; it’s return fire and that of its fellow hostile is utterly ineffective, thanks to the Pilgrim’s armor and sandcasters. This brief exchange of fire will be the last real shots of this brief engagement as the Pilgrim easily outruns the pursuing vargr, though they do have to deal with a couple of missiles hurled their way.

The 100-Diameter limit is reached without further incident several hours later, despite a false alarm in the galley likely caused by Eddy’s bad luck, and the Pilgrim Jumps, destination: Keng and then onto Heya before moving onto Corfu. On the expectation that the ship they’re pursuing is slower than the Pilgrim’s awesome Jump-3, the crew hopes to beat the unknown far trader to Corfu and then ambush them. Six days elapse while in transit to Keng and, upon refueling at a local gas giant, they jump out once more, reaching Heya seven days later.

Recognizing that they need to resupply, what with most of the landing party’s equipment having been blown up on Focaline, they touch down at the starport. Ella immediately instructs Eddy to do that thing he does and find out whether the far trader they are pursuing is here; he eagerly does so and disappears into the starport to make friends. He quickly locates a young lady who works at the starport and has a lovely evening with her; she agrees to keep an eye out for the far trader and they exchange contact information.

Player Notes:

  • We got a very late start as the GM was returning home from a trip.
  • As expected, the majority of the session was the space battle as we had to re-acclimatize ourselves to the Interstellar Wars space combat. I think it’s probably safe to say that the group is divided with regards to these rules; half of us dislike them, strongly or otherwise, and the other appear to like them.
  • Following the space battle, we sort of fast-forwarded through a lot of stuff, much of which we would later return to on our message boards, particularly the whole re-equipping thing. We might need to revisit this next session.
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

The Sky God

Upon discovering that both Ross and Professor Messandi appear to have been captured by local aliens, the crew immediately pick up the trail and begin to pursue with Kelso at the forefront (since he’s the most experienced with tracking and the like.) None of them are especially enthusiastic about traipsing around in the jungle, especially Haank who is experiencing withdrawal symptoms from his VR addiction. Based on their progress that day, Kelso is fairly certain that the ‘gogs’ are making better time than the crew but do not appear to be concerned about concealing their trail. Along the way, the crew disseminate equipment and weapons, with Buck and Ibrahim swapping rifles (since the former is better with the assault rifle.)

The day passes without incident, though Kelso is forced to forage for extra food to supplement their limited foodstuffs. Fortunately, the night is just as uneventful, and the crew set out once more come morning. Along the way, Aris also determines that part of Jim’s long-range and encryption communication module is still functional, which he believes can be combined with the emergency beacon to maximize distance while simultaneously ensuring security. It is decided to hold off on this action until they have recovered the professor and Ross. By nightfall, Kelso is convinced that the crew is gaining on their quarry – they are only a half day behind!

With food notably dwindling, the third day since the abduction of their companions is considerably more stressful. Everyone is filthy, sore and hungry. Haank is in even worse shape as the first twinges of his datastarve is beginning to really kick in; he’s holding on, but really wants a VR fix right now. According to their internal timetable, the Aimless Pilgrim should be in-system now, though they don’t know exactly where at the moment. The trail of the natives continues along the coast but appears to have turned westward, which Kelso hypothesizes might indicate a village of some sort.

Rather than a village, though, they discover a bizarre stone temple-like structure wrought in an almost human-shape (complete with dark cave) before which the natives who had captured Ross and the professor appear to be conducting a ritual of some sort, complete with ominous chanting in their native language. In the very instant the the crew exit the jungle and find themselves looking down into this strange tableau, they realize that Ross is strapped on an altar of some sort. Before they can react, the apparent leader of the aliens, adorned like a primitive shaman, plunges a knife into Ross’ chest!

Eddy reacts impulsively, crying out a loud ‘No!’ and charging forward, armed only with a vibro machete, while the others advance in a slightly more tactical manner. Aris, Haank and Kelso all dart forward as well, though in a different direction, while both Buck and Ibrahim take aim with their weapons at the native shaman who has just stabbed Ross. Alerted to the arrival of the crew thanks to Eddy’s cry, the ‘gogs’ turn toward them, automatically readying their crossbow-like weapons or maneuvering toward the crew. One of them seizes the professor and uses Messandi as a (literal) human shield while another releases the six-legged cat-like creature that Kelso previously identified as an aiyankira.

There is a sudden fierce flurry of fire as the crew open up with their weapons. Ella blows the foot off of one of the aliens, inflicting so much pain that the native passes out, while Ibrahim’s shot takes one of the shaman’s arms completely off and forces him to to scurry behind cover. As the aiyankira charges toward Aris, it comes under a withering barrage of fire from Haank and Kelso, both of whom inflict massive amounts of damage upon the creature. The ‘gog’ counterattack is weak and, in seconds, more than half their number are on the ground, dead or dying, while the survivors scramble to escape, especially when they see Kelso blow away the shaman scrambling for cover. Even before the shooting stops, both Eddy and Ibrahim start rushing toward the downed Ross; the former reaches him first and even if Abe had all of his gear, saving the man would have been difficult though the effort is made. In the end, though, Ibrahim is forced to abandon his efforts. He’s lost another one.

Professor Messandi, once rescued, is very pleased and then immediately distracted by the statue looming over them. Absolutely convinced that this will prove all of his theories, he wanders into the cave even before Ibrahim is forced to acknowledge that Ross is beyond his ability to save. Ella briefs runs herd on the crew – ordering a distraught Eddy to follow the professor, she then instructs Abe to see what he can do to patch up Aris while Haank assists Kelso in field stripping the now deceased aiyankira and Buck begins jury-rigging Jim’s communication array with the emergency beacon. She then follows the professor in as well where she discovers him (and Eddy) before a pair of statues and a strangely sealed door that, after a moment, strikes her as very evocative of a starchart. With that in mind, they are able to unseal this door, revealing …

The interior of a five thousand year old Vilani starship. There are two mummified corpses present who almost immediately begin disintegrating, having evidently been hermetically sealed for this entire time. Eddy begins exploring the small craft, pocketing some baubles that he expects will be worth considerable money. Upon one of the skeletons, he finds an iridium medallion which appears to be only part of a greater piece; he hands it off to Ella almost without thinking.

While this is going on, Buck successfully makes contact with the Aimless Pilgrim before demanding they go full secure; once they have done so, he asks for an emergency extraction but, when he is told that they intend to have the local authorities pick them up, he passes the comm on to Ella who then explains the situation to Gloval. After a moment of consideration, he agrees that they need to do this discreetly – thankfully, the crew knows of the sensor hole that they can use – and Gloval informs Ella that Armin will arrive within two hours in the shuttle. This gives the crew plenty of time to get ready.

When the shuttle touches down, the crew is waiting and ready to start cramming crates into it. After grabbing a tool kit, Aris and Buck spend some time extracting the memory crystals from the vessel, though some of them crumble and break. It’s the best they can do, though, since these are several thousand years old. Aris is hoping to get information from them if at all possible as the data on these crystals is potentially worth more than everything else here.

They lift off with Armin at the helm and, as they climb into orbit, her panel pings a few times, indicating that someone, somewhere was trying to get a targeting solution on them. Almost as soon as they dock with the Aimless Pilgrim, Gloval’s voice rings out via the intercom: all hands to action stations! There are two ships converging on them in clear attack vectors!

Player Notes:

  • Loki joined us again and ran Kelso during the fight since her regular character, Armin, was still on the Aimless Pilgrim. Armin became active following the fight but since that was the last 30 minutes or so, I stuck with Kelso as the active PC.
  • The fight took up the majority of this session.
  • Next week will be the first space combat we’ve done in a very long time; I honestly expect the majority of the session will end up there as we refamiliarize ourselves with the rules…
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

Things Get Worse

Having been captured by the waiting lowlifes and betrayed by Lur, the crew are divested of their arms and equipment, though the pirate types don’t bother removing their armor if it was just a bodysuit (as most of the crew wear.) Herded into an already erected camp by the armed Vargr, they are then forced to wait until Bren, the woman that Eddy and Haank met earlier, arrives; she is accompanied by a beat-up and emaciated Professor Messandi. Bren speaks to the scarred-face man – the crew learn his name is Taren – before turning to her prisoners so she can gloat. She did warn them, after all; Eddy being Eddy tries to turn on the charm, though it does not get him very far. She is quite pleased that Lorain is here since they’ve exhausted the professor’s capabilities.

While she is threatening them, one of her guys approaches, whispers something to her which causes her to look toward Taren and then nods to Lur. One of the crew, she says, is an Imperium spy. Lur, who is looming behind Ibrahim, draws his pistol and shoots Hal squarely in the head. The Imperium isn’t going to help them here, Bren says, before ordering that the crew be secured in one of the prefab buildings; she takes Lorain with her. Once inside the prefab module, the crew can hear a restraining bar being lowered into place, thus locking them in.

Immediately, most of the crew begin looking for a way out. Kelso is infuriated as two of his employees weren’t actually working for him. Ibrahim simply collapses against one of the walls and stares in the distance; Harmon’s blood is on his hands and Hal’s blood is on his face (since he was sitting next to him when Lur shot the spy.) Most of the crew seek out sharp edges to cut through the cuff-tape binding their hands. Seeing that Ibrahim is checking out, Ella crouches down alongside him and gives him a brief pep talk – they need him functional, not staring off in the distance – while Eddy and Haank interrogate Professor Messandi, learning that there’s nothing actually here. The professor says they also referenced another system that might be their next goal: Corfu.

Having been successfully motivated to participate, Ibrahim seeks out a long, thin piece of metal with an eye toward working it though the door and under the restraining bar; Buck likes this idea and assists him, so the two alternate between trying to worry the metal free. While this is going on, Aris closes his eyes and tries to use his implant to assist the shutdown Jim the Drone successfully reboot; he also utilizes the wireless capabilities of his cybernetics to access some unsecured hand terminals scattered throughout the camp where he gains a bit of intel, including some notes and local coordinates. In addition to the fact that Bren considers Professor Messandi an idiot who is not as smart as he thinks he is, he confirms the Corfu alternate site and learns that the pirates have identified a gap in the planetary sensor net that they’re abusing to fly in and out of the region. He now has coordinates for a landing field, but they’re across the bay on a small island to the north-west. This gap will open in a day and appears to remain open for three.

Night sets in with several members of the crew dozing off while Buck and Ibrahim keep working on getting the piece of metal free. During this, Abe persistently quizzes Professor Messandi about all of the Sky Raider stuff, mostly to compare the professor’s theories against those that Ibrahim has heard from Lorain; in the process, he sort of decides that the professor is not as smart as his daughter, though he does not verbalize this guess. Being a smooth operator, Eddy makes an attempt to engage a passing guard in convo but as he does not understand Vargr, nothing comes of it.

Buck finally works the piece of metal free and hands it to Abe who goes to the western door that opens up into a small space between the prefab and another exactly like it; there he works the metal through a small gap, then discreetly utilizes his half-trained telekinesis to lift the bar free while Eddy crouches next to him and offers lockpicking suggestions. The bar falls free … and in that moment, chaos erupts outside! Sudden explosions shake the ground and are promptly followed by lots of gunfire and shouts.

Opening the door, Abe sees a fallen Vargr just outside and quickly snatches the pirates laser rifle which he hands off to Ella (who then promptly hands it off to Buck.) Across a loudspeaker, an Imperium officer orders everyone to lay down their arms and surrender; Kelso, however, knows that this is just CYA and the Imps have no intent on taking prisoners given their notorious corruption. They’re just going to shoot everyone and keep whatever they find. This alone is enough to convince the crew to gamble everything and make a run for it. At that moment, the door to the other prefab opens, revealing Lur and two armed pirates, all three of whom are momentarily surprised to see them. Kelso bellows a battle cry and charges the nearest of the pirates, tackling him to the ground where he begins pummelling him. Buck promptly takes aim at Lur and the other guy even as Abe once again discreetly using telekinesis, this time triggering the magazine release on the nearer of the two’s weapon. Eddy springs into the fray himself, darting closer to where Kelso is wrestling with a pirate who receives a swift kick to the face. Firing on full auto, Buck hoses his two targets with a burst of laserfire, killing one instantly and mortally wounding Lur. Recognizing that he’s outnumbered, Kelso’s foe surrenders.

As the crew quickly snatch up gear, they realize that Lur is still alive though only just and, to the surprise of everyone familiar with him, Ibrahim coldly tells the dying man that Hal says hello before turning away to retrieve the assault rifle that Lur’s now dead partner was holding. To those who have memories of Abe braving hostile fire to save wounded enemies, this is momentarily shocking, but no one cares enough about the traitor to try and save him, instead leaving him behind to Kelso’ less than tender mercies. The surrendered smuggler-pirate is shoved into the prefab module that the crew just vacated and locked in. Now geared up, the crew rush the smugglers to the north where they presume that their gear is kept. To their horror – especially Aris who can vaguely sense Jim the Drone – something detonates against the pre-fab that is their destination, causing it to explode in a violent flash of pyrotechnics that throws everyone to the ground. All of their gear – all of it – has just been blown up.

They press on, still angling toward an untouched hovercraft. En route, Aris finds Jim the Drone, smoking and damaged but repairable. The crew scrambles into the hovercraft with Buck and Ibrahim taking the exposed outer seats while Ross climbs behind the wheel. With a muted roar, the hovercraft peels out and races away. Almost instantly, they are immediately pursued by two small military scout-skiffs. There is a rapid exchange of fire – Ibrahim concentrates his shots on the vital areas of his target while Buck nails the pilot of the other vehicle with a carefully aimed shot; unfortunately, the return fire from the pursuers’ shooters is particularly efficacious, riddling the crew’s hovercraft with rounds and badly damaging it. As the second scout-hover careens out of control (as it no longer has a driver) and crashes into a tree, Buck shifts fire to Abe’s target and repeats his previous shot, once more killing the driver; unfortunately, the retaliatory fire from the Imperium troopers rips apart great chunks of the crew’s hovercraft which sputters, coughs and then fails entirely.

Now powerless, the craft slams into the dirt and comes to a sudden, abrupt halt. Knowing that the first hovercraft spun out of control but did not crash, the crew seize what gear they can find and sprint into the jungle. Moments later, a dropship roars by overhead and unloads heavy fire into the crew’s now abandoned hovercraft. It explodes violently, which means the crew now have to walk from here.

Moving deeper into the jungle to evade the Imperium, the crew eventually confirm that no one appears to be following them. Ella decides they will set up camp and wait until the morning; it is her intent to head back to the smuggler camp and try to locate some sort of vehicle. As Abe is the only one capable of seeing in the dark thanks to his hyperspectral contact lenses, she does not want to just stumble around in the dark and this will give them an opportunity to rest. They erect the tent snatched from the hovercraft and then set up a nightly guard rotation.

That morning, the crew crawl out of the tent, confused as to why they overslept. Ross evidently failed to wake anyone up and, fearing the worst, they look for him but find him and Professor Messandi missing. When they find the tracks of several natives, everyone knows what happened.

Things have officially gotten worse.

Player Notes:

  • The evil GM took all of our stuff. All of it! And then he blew it up!
  • Loki joined us briefly and ran Kelso since her regular character, Armin, is still on the Aimless Pilgrim. She had to duck out early, though.
  • The chase evidently did not go as expected; per the GM, he was expecting us to get a lot further away than we did, but then, we screwed up the Chase rules anyway because the shooters were allowed to Aim when they shouldn’t have.
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.


The shot rang out and Harmon crumpled. In a moment Buck had sighted down his rifle at a couple of Vargr that had stepped from the jungle.

“Lay down your weapons, and no one else needs to get shot!” called out a figure at the top of steps leading to the ruined city.

While there were only five visible ambushers, Haank’s laser warning screamed he was the target of at least five other unseen assailants.

“Like hell we will just lay down scum!” shouted Kelso as he started to raise his rifle in response.

Click, and Kelso was staring into the barrel of Lur’s drawn pistol, “Don’t even think about it… boss,” he said with a cruel smirk.

“Again, drop you weapons! You armor may protect you for a moment, but what good is it going to do for the rest of your friends? Lay them down, if I have to warn you again someone will be dead.”

The look in Kelso’s eyes at Lur’s betrayal was like two hot knives, promising a painful demise if he was given half a chance. Lorain, looked upon the situation in shock and fear, willing Captain Stanbridge to order the group’s surrender. Ross could do nothing but try and keep Harmon from bleeding out. Aris stood helpless over the disabled body of his drone. Abe tried to move in an nonthreatening manner toward Harmon.

They were trapped. Like Haank’s, Ella’s laser warning system was calling out multiple hostiles aimed at her and the others.

It was obvious to her crew, she was more than pissed.

“Captain, I can hit ’em from here, but not before they shoot somebody else,” stated Buck, but Ella waved him off.

“Lay them down fellas, surrender your arms,” the words bitter in her mouth.


The Vargr were rough and thorough, the crew was subdued-their weapons and armor stripped from them. Harmon lay dead, Abe’s hand covered in his blood. Kelso could only speak about his plans for Lur’s demise, and how he was going to have a grand old time kicking some puppies, at least until he was struck unconscious by one of the Vargr. It was only once the Vargr gave the all clear, did the man descend the steps to reveal himself.

The scared man moved menacingly through the group and stopped at Lorain, “Well, well, well… looks like we have the good professor’s daughter now boys. Maybe now, we might actually find something.”

He looked at the bound and disarmed group, laughed for a moment then, “Move them to the camp, I am sure Bren will be interested to see them.”

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

River of Stone

After an uneventful night, the expedition sets out once more. Kelso theorizes that it will take them about three days to reach the so-called “path of gods.” A discussion is held regarding trying to scan the area for Lorain’s father’s DNA, but the realization that any such samples are many weeks old causes them to mostly abandon the effort here.

The first day away from the native settlement of Adlanayra is fairly uneventful although Kelso realizes some hours into the trip that they’ve deviated off the proper route for a bit. After yelling at Hal, the forward scout, for not using his inertial compass (which was eaten by the metal ants earlier), the expedition gets back on track. Fortunately, that night is just as uneventful, though without their fusion generator, the expedition is now definitely roughing it … or at least as “roughing it” as they can with such advanced technology as their pressure tents.

Day two of the swamp expedition is equally boring but that evening is less so. Shortly after camp is set-up, a pair of panther-like creatures referred to as an aiyankra lunge out of the swamp. One of them pounces upon Harmon, one of Kelso’s men, and begins trying to tear out his throat; fortunately, he is wearing armor which protects him from the worst of the savage beast’s red tooth and claw. As most of the group orient toward this sudden threat, Eddy is unluckily off by himself to attend to the call of nature when the second aiyankra springs out of concealment and charges him. The two beasts are quickly gunned down, but not before both Eddy and Harmon are badly injured, prompting Ibrahim to go into medic mode. The injuries are sufficiently bad to warrant surgery, but Ibrahim is unwilling to open them up and potentially open them up to possibly infection, so he instead injects them both with two doses of a particularly potent regenerative drug to hyper-accelerate the speed with which they naturally heal for the next twelve hours; it also has the side effect of knocking them unconscious for that time.

Following the ‘excitement’ of the previous night, the expedition sets off once more in the morning, hoping to avoid further craziness. Both the day and the evening pass without a surprise ninja attack. Throughout the day, Ibrahim continues to monitor his two patients to ensure that their injuries continue to heal properly. By that evening, the expedition are more than ready to stop and rest, so camp goes up quickly, but any hopes for an uneventful night are quickly dashed when Jim the Drone, Aris’ mechanical helper, alerts those on watch (and those asleep as well) via message that multiple bio-signatures are upon approach. As everyone scrambles out of their tents and readies themselves for a potential attack, the bio-signatures are revealed to be natives, likely the ‘hostile tribe’ that the expedition was warned about. Likely because they immediately hurl great spears at Jim the Drone, which infuriates the artificial intelligence driving the device and causes the A.I. to begin spinning up its mingun.

A quick but brutal skirmish ensues, with the natives finding themselves horribly, brutally outgunned. Despite this, they charge the campsite from two directions only to get mowed down by the relatively heavily armed expedition personnel. Haank, thinking quickly, darts toward the parked vehicles where he discovers that a small group of the natives has snuck aboard the cargo hovercraft and are attempting to loot it. He slings his rifle, quick-draws his pistol and fires it in their direction to scare them off. They flee, taking with them a few boxes of rations, and none of the expedition are willing to risk the danger of the swamp to pursue. They are only crappy MREs, after all, and for all they know, the natives could be setting a trap. When Kelso intends on burning the corpses of these aliens, Eddy protests and seeks out a shovel to bury them; both Hal and Ibrahim assist. It takes some time and leaves the three filthy and exhausted, but Eddy is pleased that they did not burn the bodies.

By late morning the following day, the expedition has located the so-called “river of stone” which does in fact appear to be a road of some sort. This road is most definitely not naturally occurring, looking more like an ancient Roman cobblestone path that runs north-west and south-east. After consulting the subject matter expert Lorain, the expedition opts for the north-west route which will carry them directly to the coast. There are no encounters along the way and, upon reaching the coast, the road abruptly vanishes; to everyone’s surprise, Eddy recalls that tectonic shifts could be responsible for this and that the road itself continues on under the water. Additional research seems to indicate that he is correct. Since night is about to fall, it is decided to camp here before crossing the bay before them upon the morning. Haank breaks out the scanners and detects some trace hints of human DNA, which is just enough to indicate that they might be on the correct path but not quite enough to confirm. Attempts to contact Lorain’s father via communication channels are unsuccessful, though there appears to be nothing failing on the expedition’s side.

The next day finds the expedition making the long transit across the bay. Despite it being a pleasant day, the trip is a long and boring that finally ends with them arriving upon the northern coast shortly before nightfall. Even before they park, they can see indications that something was once here as the road reappears. This “river of stone” gradually ascends to a set of broken stairs that are flanked by equally ancient pillars, now toppled and overgrown with lichen and moss. Beyond these stairs can be seen the tops of ruined buildings. Buck gives Lorain a look and asks what this is, to which she responds: “Tlaynsilak.” Everyone piles out of the vehicles and start to climb, though they hesitate when Buck recommends looking for tracks and Haank begins scanning for human DNA.

But then, a pair of shots ring outs. Jim the Drone squeals abruptly and tumbles from the sky, sparks erupting from where an EMP round has shut it down. At the same time, Harmon falls with a cry of pain, with blood gushing from the unexpected bullet hole. It’s a trap!

Player Notes:

  • Technically, we stopped a little after this, but the GM did a little prose thing that covers the bit at the end in the following post. No Player likes to be captured, so next week will be … interesting. Following the game, the GM coordinated with the group on our personal message boards and we ended up deciding to go ahead and pick up next week’s session after the expedition has been captured, hence the cut-scene.
  • We managed to get through two combats in this session, although to be fair, both were mostly us hosing down some people. Still, knowing how some of our fights go, it’s pretty cool nonetheless.
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel. Bear with us, please. This is still in it’s infancy. We have discovered that Twitch keeps the recordings only for two weeks, so it’s a good thing that he published to YouTube. With that in mind, I’ve removed the Twitch link for the “LiveStream” bit at the top.

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Streams 

Into the Outback…

Surrounded by armed and ready thugs, Eddy and Haank wisely refrain from going for their own weapons and instead hold up their hands to indicate that they are willing to cooperate. The woman, who will later identify herself as Bren, offers them a warning: drop this entire expedition for the Lost City of Tlaynsilak or things will go ill for them. Eddy makes a half-hearted attempt to bribe her, in the process learning that she works for a Mister Kalamanaru that Eddy has had some vague shady dealings with in the past. Rather than get gunned down by these people, the two – well, Eddy, really – promptly agree to pass this on to Lorain. They are allowed to back out of the alley without being harmed and, while doing so, called back to the crew, requesting some drone coverage from Aris.

Back at the hotel, the crew discuss this turn of events. Eddy reveals his knowledge about Mister Kalamanaru and Lorain grudgingly admits that her father once sought out the wannabe crimelord for assistance; knowing that he’s involved makes matters more complicated. While wealthy, Kalamanaru’s real danger lies in his more unofficial but lucrative role as a purveyor of antiquities that he sells on the black market. None of the crew especially like backing down even in the face of a threat like this, so they instead decide to simply just ramp up their level of paranoia.

With just a single day remaining before departure, the crew split up to accomplish various tasks. Acting on an offhand comment by Haank about Bren’s team likely being able to track them, Buck heads to the motor pool where their three rented hover vehicles are stored and, upon looking over one of them, discovers a tracking device of some sort. Although he initially intends to keep this entirely to himself, Kelso’s chief mechanic, Ross Carnam, approaches him and reveals that he also found a bug on another of the vehicles. They decide to hold off completely disabling them for now on the presumption that, if Bren’s crew note that their devices suddenly fail, they’ll seek alternate methods to track. He also has the unfortunate task of informing Kelso about Kalamanaru’s involvement; Kelso does not take this revelation well at all and instead throws something of a tantrum. Evidently, he’s had some less than positive interactions with the wealthy (and corrupt) merchant. Haank returns to the alley and uses his hand-held biosniffer to sweep for DNA traces of Bren’s crew with an eye toward programming sensors to try and detect them later.

Aris spends some time with his drone in an sweep the area where Eddy and Haank were accosted in the hopes of locating Bren’s team, but is unsuccessful. Unbeknownst to the rest of the crew, Ibrahim discreetly forwards a copy of Haank’s data to his contacts with the Agency using dead drop accounts; he does not expect them to actually act against Bren or Kalamanaru, but figures it cannot hurt. Finally, Eddy takes a cropped image of Bren obtained from Haank’s vid-stream and seeks out the Imperial checkpoint exiting the city; there he does that thing he does and effectively bribes a couple of the guards to delay Bren and Company should they pass through here.

The following morning, the crew assemble and head out. There is a brief moment of concern at the exit point when Kelso’s credentials cause an issue with the guards’ computers, but they’re passed out without any further issue. Eddy is given a knowing nod by one of the guards with regards to his earlier bribe and informed that there’s been no sign of his “friends” yet. Everyone heaves a soft sigh of relief once they’re on the go, although alertness levels are still high.

Many, many long and boring hours later, the caravan stops and camp is assembled. By this point, everyone is exhausted – strangely, sitting in a vehicle for a long trip is really, really tiring – and watch schedules are set. After eating, everyone retires to their respective tents except whomever is on guard. The evening seems to be going fine … until midway through Eddy’s guard rotation, when the portable fusion generator that the crew brought along suddenly flickers and dies, pitching the entire site into darkness. Eddy promptly goes to wake Buck, and the two begin to investigate and discover the generator is being swarmed by insects, massive metal-eating termite-like creatures! Lur Kalendrin, one of Kelso’s guides who was on watch with Eddy, exclaims that they must be stopped before they eat everything metal in the camp.

Shouts ring out in the camp, waking anyone who isn’t already up, and everyone rushes out of their tents to investigate. Haank, upon seeing the “ants,” promptly returns for his augment-glasses to bring up his survival tutor program, then seeks out an extinguisher, especially when Eddy’s attempt to stomp some of the metal ants into paste unluckily results in the creatures swarming him instead! Buck, armed with a cutting torch, burns away some of the huge termite-like critters and does his best to break their line leading back into the jungle. Upon being advised about the nature of the threat, Ibrahim takes Lorain with him and they check out the parked vehicles in case the metal ants have discovered them (which would be all bad). Eddy finds himself coated in fire retardant foam thanks to Haank, which does not amuse him at all, especially when Lur yanks Eddy’s jacket free and stomps it into the mud and dirt. Though it takes some time, the expedition is able to successfully drive off the metal ants. Unfortunately, the fusion generator is now slag and, given that it belonged to crew of the Spinward Star, Haank is more than a little upset.

The following morning, as the expedition resumes its trip, Aris puts the three of Bren’s trackers on Jim the Drone and then sends the device far in the opposite direction with instructions to find something strange to drop them into before returning. Thankfully, the next leg of the trip is uneventful and the expedition camps on a beach. The following morning, they continue, flying over the huge lake, which takes long enough that they end up stopping for a scenic lunch (while Kelso’s team check over the hovercraft to ensure nothing broke down.) It is at this moment that two huge water snakes lunge out of the river to snap at Eddy who screams out an alarm … though Ibrahim, who is standing a dozen meters or so away, is already reacting to the danger, even though he was facing away. The entire expedition charge toward the threat, but it is Jim the Drone who does the most damage as it unloads a burst of fire from its small rotary mini-gun that chews up one of the snakes. It takes only moments for the second to also be killed and Kelso loudly (and happily) exclaims that snake is for dinner tonight! Ibrahim, who did not actually fire his weapon, takes a sample or three of the water snake venom just to be safe. In an uncharacteristic breach of his usual composure, Haank reacted to the snakes’ presence by frantically emptying an entire gauss magazine into the creatures during the fight, and afterward, refused to even look in the direction of their remains until they were no longer recognizable as snakes—he had never spoken of his phobia before, but then, no one had ever asked.

Without further ado, the expedition continues on its way, reaching the outskirts of the native settlement, Adlanayra, two days later, where Kelso informs them that they will camp here overnight and then meet with the locals in the morning. Hopefully, this particular settlement, which has a reputation for being the least hostile of the bunch, will be feeling friendly. Kelso is hoping that the natives will be able to confirm whether Lorain’s father passed through here. Buck and Ibrahim both eagerly ask to be part of the team that meets with the locals, displaying their xenophilia.

The contact with the locals takes place the following morning and goes by without any hitch. Ibrahim is utterly fascinated by the creatures, especially when filtered through the lens of medicine, but Buck is less impressed. Kelso appears to speak a pidgin version of the local language and greetings are exchanged, as well as certain gifts including a finely crafted metal knife that Buck offered. Information is exchanged, confirming that Lorain’s father did in fact pass this way, heading west. During this brief cultural exchange, Lorain joins them but basically hides behind Ibrahim, using him as a shield from the bizarre-looking creatures. There is a strange reference Kelso does not quite understand, specifically a ‘stone path’ that several of the expedition theorize means a road or even a landing strip when they see the native’s hand gestures. This ‘stone path’ is deep in the swamp area to the west in the territory of a rival tribe and Kelso translates this as ‘path of gods.’ Having related their information and been paid with a metal knife, the locals withdraw.

Kelso turns to the crew: next stop … the path of gods.

Player Notes:

  • Mel was out for this session.
  • This is the first session in ~50 that Haank’s snake phobia has actually come up—and it wasn’t entirely deliberate on the GM’s part.
  • As stated above, we’ve started livestreaming our games. We play on Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern and the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel.