Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

The Lost Temple

Having retrieved their errant crewmembers from the train and stranded the driver of the armored personnel carrier in the middle of nowhere, the crew turn to their next step. Upon returning to the Doctors Without Sectors clinic, they quickly learn that the recent events have caused major chaos … but then, blowing up a couple of buildings will do that. The DWS personnel are being rapidly returned to Imperium-controlled territory, which provides Armin an opportunity to rejoin the rest of the crew as Lorain pores over maps to identify the supposed Temple of the Sky-Raiders. After briefly discussing this, the crew opt to head there in the APC, while leaving behind Jim the Drone in the shuttle.

Upon reaching the coordinates, they discover an immense metal door that has clearly not been opened in centuries. There are ancient Vilani glyphs alongside the door – Ibrahim has Lorain translate these for him and they confirm the Sky-Raider linkage, but not much else. Gaining entrance to the complex requires the crew to use the winch and cable assembly on the APC, but it results in the door being thoroughly ruined. Buck quickly detects a tripwire beam that he identifies as a trigger to activate the facility’s lighting systems. To everyone’s surprise, some of the illumination actually still works, despite this temple having been abandoned for more than five thousand years.

In the distance, Haank is able to see a plume of sand, a clear indication that someone is heading their way. Too late, the crew realize that they failed to actually check Lorain for bugs and, indeed, they are able to quickly locate a subdermal tracker that she was unaware of. Ibrahim quickly and easily extracts it.

Upon locating a great hangar door, Eddy goes to work on figuring out how to hack it open. Unluckily for him, his efforts cause a massive power surge that permanently fuses this door. They’re not going in that way! Based on the temple layout, the crew eventually decide to split up, with half of them taking an alternate route in an attempt to gain access to the interior. Ella will lead Eddy, Ibrahim and Lorain on the wide sweep around, while Haank takes charge of the rest of the group who will hold position to defend against the approaching vehicles.

At Haank’s request, Buck rigs up a shotgun shell to contain it for Haank who then fires the tracker a great distance away. Unfortunately, this does not seem to sway the direction of the hostiles and Haank estimates that they have about forty-five minutes to an hour before things get very interesting.

In the process of their exploration, the team led by Ella discover a blocked off door that is half-buried by fallen debris. They immediately set to work to move the rocks out of the way. During this, on a suggestion by the rest of the crew, Ella makes a call to Dyrin Byard where she requests some back-up. He advises her that he’ll see what he can do. The rest of her team continue work while she’s on the comm, finally removing enough detritus that they can access the next room where they find dozens of star maps scattered around. Strangely, though, there does not seem to be actual navigatigation points showing how they transited from one system to another. There are no Jump routes.

After consulting with Haank, Buck decides to jump into the APC and drive off in an attempt to lead the approaching vehicles away; unfortunately, only a pair of small ATVs break off. Seeing this, Buck begins conducting a wide sweep around. The rest of the defenders find solid, supported fighting positions with good angles of fire. Two trucks continue on approach to the temple and Haank begins making a tactical plan.

Ella’s team continues forward, entering a large storage area with a corridor leading to a hangar bay where they find an immensely old spacecraft. While Ibrahim and Lorain continue poking around, Ella and Eddy advance to investigate whether the ship is still functional.

The two trucks arrive and offload a number of armed personnel. Bren Pylory is in charge of these men and, via a loudspeaker, orders the crew to surrender; when she receives a negative response, she tells them that they brought this on themselves. A moment later, a rocket is used against the front door of the temple, causing much damage but no injuries. From his vantage point in the APC, Buck was able to see the streak of a ground-to-ground missile.

Eddy and Ella are able to identify some functional laser turrets on the ship, but the vessel’s reactor has long since been depleted. Fortunately, Ibrahim and Lorain have located the barely functional generator room and a crazy plan is hatched out: they will plug the ship into the generator and charge it up! This plan is very quickly put into action, with Ibrahim and Lorain dragging power cables to the ship while Eddy and Ella continue doing what they can to get the obsolete craft running. In the process of this, Ella observes a medallion similar to the one they discovered on Focaline, though this one is fully intact; she grabs and pockets it.

Haank, realizing that they need time to put this plan into action and having spent the last six months or so learning about crisis negotiation, stalls. He engages Bren in a shouted conversation that serves only as a delaying action by declaring that there are valuables present, so any further shooting might damage them. This works for a little while but Haank recognizes that ‘a little while’ is the best he’s going to be able to do. Buck, who had already decided to send the APC on a suicide course, quickly rigs it so the vehicle will continue forward and then dives out of the truck into the sand. The APC does not crash into the Kalamanaru thugs like he’d hoped, instead grounding itself against a rock. Once grounded, he gets on the comm and starts talking Ella through how to bring the ship reactor back online.

Their part in charging up the ship mostly done at this point, Ibrahim and Lorain continue to do some exploring and, in the process, discover a secret passageway that leads to a vault filled to the brim with ancient loot. Perhaps just as importantly, though, they also find a corridor that leads out of the entire facility, albeit well out of view. Ibrahim informs Ella of their discovery, then returns to the generator room so as to keep an eye on the power transfer. While there, he’s instructed to throw the switch on the auxiliary power. The generator hums ominously but does not explode as everyone feared.

At the breach point, Bren’s patience is exhausted and she orders her team to engage. As her crew rush the temple, Haank opens fire with his gauss shotgun pistol which is currently loaded with high-explosive round. The first man through the door is literally blown apart, which definitely causes the rest of the team to hesitate. Under the cover of this chaos, Buck grounds his comm gear and begins retreating into the desert, hoping to evade any hostiles. Almost on the heels of this, Bren’s team hurls canisters of prismatic smoke into the breach, which renders laser weapons ineffective, before charging in. Unfortunately for them, Haank is using a gauss weapon and Armin is death on two legs. In seconds, the two have dropped the entire first wave of the assault, though Haank is wounded himself. During this fight, as Buck is maneuvering into the desert, someone lunges up out of the sand and pulls him down; it is Dyrin Byard! He informs Buck that more Kalamanaru reinforcements are on their way while pointing toward an approaching shuttlecraft.

Just as this initial assault is faltering, Eddy and Ella have finished successfully powering up one of the weapon systems on the spacecraft while also activating the contragravity systems. Without waiting for Ibrahim (who is responding to Haank’s call for a medic) or Lorain (who is still following Abe), Ella takes the gunner’s seat and blasts open the hangar door so Eddy can nudge the ship out. The destruction of the hangar door certainly draws all attention and Eddy accelerates out; rather than actually engage the parked vehicles, he simply uses the starship’s considerable mass to smash the trucks into pieces and throw any of the Kalamanaru personnel to the ground.

Suddenly, however, the approaching shuttle banks hard and there is a flash as a man-portable missile is fired at them. Ella, being completely unfamiliar with the weapons systems of the ship, opens fire in an attempt to shoot down the missile. Her shots go wide but Eddy slews the ship around to dodge it. The missile slams into the rockface and explodes. Ella sends another wild salvo of fire toward the shuttle, once again missing wild. A second missile is fired but Ella’s walks her laserfire into the missile, tearing it apart. Eddy grimaces at how quickly the weapons are eating their power and warns the captain; they’ve got maybe three more shots before they’re going down one way or the other. Ella then sends another burst of fire at the shuttle; she misses the craft itself but her laserfire does tear through a nearby archaeological spire. The building behind the shuttle begins to collapse and the pilot clearly does not see this soon enough; rubble and debris sends the shuttle careening down into the archaeological dig. At the same time, Eddy faces screaming alarms about them being on emergency power; he sets the ship down hard, crushing one of the Kalamanaru trucks. A moment later, everything begins to shut down as power completely fails.

Player Notes:

  • Loki rejoined us this week.
  • There was some technical issues on Ronnke’s part this week – with him being down on the bottom of the world in Australia, he was mostly out of power for about half the session so he was basically just listening into us on TeamSpeak via his phone app; once power came back for him, he started steaming on Twitch. It then didn’t occur to me until well into the game that I could use the XBox app in Windows 10 to start recording. Once the game was done, I then had to jump through some hoops to get him a nearly 6 GB MP4 file so he could stitch it together with what he had, so the YouTube recording will, no doubt, be very interesting viewing, especially since I tend to stretch Fantasy Grounds across two monitors during play…
  • Amusingly, the two least competent pilot-slash-gunners were acting as pilot and gunner on the ancient (with a lowercase ‘A’) starship. Ella didn’t even have the appropriate skill. Which made the entire scene that much funnier.
  • 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.