Olympus RPG Blog

Olympus Role Playing Group Blog

Company of the Bere

Live Stream

…in the town of Gentleham…

Following the uneventful night at the Two Burning Cocks inn, the Company of the Bere prepare for another day of travel. Now equipped with an ass obtained from the innkeep, they hope to make much greater progress, and when Dustan reveals that he has a spell that will allow them to quickly travel, they are all eager to get on the road, even if they have to wait to get started while he recovers from its casting. Ser Kenrick takes this time to assist the stableboy in recovering all of the animals freed from their pens by a mischievous Ser Magnus.

18 Earlispring, 1000AE. Stronghold, Generica.

Onto the road the Company goes and they make very good time thanks to Dustan’s spell. Near midday, Ser Magnus strongly urges Kenrick to mount up and the young knight foolishly does so; instantly, the destrier charges madly forward, almost surprising a local band of patrolling soldiers. Upon seeing the rapid approach of what looks like a mounted warrior thundering toward them, these soldiers hurriedly ready themselves for a fight. Fortunately, Kenrick manages to rein in the horse before something dire happens. These men-at-arms wear the heraldry of House Surrly, and demand to know what business the Company has on this road. Ser Kenrick has nothing to hide so he proudly announces their destination and purpose. Once satisfied that they are not bandits, the patrolling men-at-arms allow them to pass.

From Aidin during the trip, they have learned that the Heroes’ Guild did not have positive interactions with the previous lord, so this will be a learning experience all around. The Company reaches Nobleham long after the sun has gone down and, after a brief moment of discussion, opt to make for the castle itself. At the castle’s gates, there is some brief confusion as the guards initially do not know what to make of them, but an elderly Lady instructs the soldiers to let the Company enter. She leaves them waiting while she goes off to inform Arl Gudrik, and a few moments later, a servant appears and exclaims his confusion at their presence. Eventually, matters are sorted – the Company are provided temporary lodgings and baths for the night. Those familiar with castle life – Kenrick and Rayna, especially – cannot help but to notice that the normal finery and decorations seem to be absent.

Rather than simply retire, Lëodan wanders around the castle a bit where he encounters a well-dressed man and engages him in conversation, learning a bit about the state of the arl’s House; evidently, Lord Gudrik’s late father was exceptionally bad with his finances, which has left his son in a difficult position. At no time does this man actually identify himself and, still being ignorant of human customs, Lëodan does not think to inquire about.

Brother Maykew is also less inclined to simply bed down and seeks out a kitchen, wherein he finds several servants who he engages in some sexually-charged banter so as to learn more about the House. The old woman who helped them, he learns, is Lady Hagnes, the arl’s mother who evidently has something of a reputation as being a busybody, so much so that Gudrik’s father once exiled her. Further, he learns that the arl’s wife is bedridden with the sleeping sickness, which he takes note of for the future in the chance that he might be able to cure it.

19 Earlispring, 1000AE. Nobleham Castle, Northelderland, Generica.

In the morning, the Company are summoned to the Lord’s court where they are presented as Ser Kenrick’s company, sent from the Heroes’ Guild. There is a brief deviation as Lady Hagnes once more intervenes, but soon after, they are properly presented to his lordship. Prior to the arl’s arrival, Ser Kenrick gives the members of the Company about what to do and what to not do; in fact, it’s probably best if they keep their mouths shut. Once the arl> has arrived, he thanks the Heroes Guild for arriving so promptly but asks for a demonstration: Rayna is to duel with one of his men.

As this is only a spar, Rayna eyes her opponent and then glides forward. Once the duel begins, she expertly slides forward and taps her foe across the mid-section while simultaneously evading his strike. This greatly impresses the arl, but the warrior declares it to be beginner’s luck … they must cross blades again! She agrees and they return to their starting spots; this time, the guard gives a better account of himself, but even so, Rayna is able to easily parry his strikes and counter with little difficulty. Once more, she gets the touch upon him, confirming that their first exchange was not merely luck after all.

At this, Arl Gudrik claps his approval and then addresses the Company. His holding in Gentleham is about to raided by brigands and his troops are spread too thin across his holdings due to dealing with other banditry. He wishes the Company to march to Gentleham, deal with these brigands, and bring any captured back to him so he can make a proper example of them. When asked about numbers, he guesses ten to twenty, though a larger troop is not entirely out of the question; as to how he knows about when the strike is happening, the arl reveals that Gentleham sent a missive to him, seeking aid. At this, the arl has a boy fetched who ran all the way to Nobleham bearing word. This boy, Marthyn, will show the Company the way to his village.

The Company sets out soon after with young Marthyn leading the way. From the boy, they learn that these bandits are supposedly goblins, which no one truly believes because those creatures have not been seen in these lands for decades. Still, Dustan discreetly interrogates the boy, hoping to get a better understanding of their foe. Marthyn insists that they are goblins who come with the fog and have fiendish glowing eyes.

It is near dark when the Company reaches Gentleham and, as before, Ser Magnus encourages Kenrick to mount before they enter the village proper before racing forward into it and rearing majestically. This naturally draws all attention – much to Kenrick’s irritation – and the villagers all surge forward. They begin murmuring and complaining that the Company do not appear to have ‘brought the money’ which is a matter of some confusion and the visible lack of excitement that Heroes have come to deal with the matter is even more strange.

Once everyone is gathered within the church, the Company learns that Gentleham has been extorted by these ‘goblins’ for many years and always managed to buy them off before. This year, though, the harvest was poor so they did not have the money and sought the arl’s assistance; evidently, they expected gold, not adventurers, and more than a few of them express fear that the goblins will respond in bloodshed. Maykew steps forward and gives a stirring speech about the need to stand against bullies that sways some minds … but not all. He notes that the village patron gathers some like-minded men once the meeting has broken up and begins to scheme; Maykew briefly attempts to interject himself into this but is rebuffed.

Expecting the goblins to come late that night, the Company splits up to attend to various tasks. Lëodan scouts along the expected route as well as the spot where so many have seen the ‘glowing eyes’ as he expects this to be a trick of some sort. At the same time, Murdok and Ser Kenrick seek out the best tactical means to defend the village, while Dustan and Rayna seek out locals to quiz them on the enemy. In the end, the Company does not quite agree on the best spot to defend and resort to the traditional Heroes’ Guild way of deciding things: they flip a Coin. It is decided they will ambush the ‘goblins’ once they come into the village proper to pick up their tribute.

As night sets in and the Company arrange themselves in various hidden locations, Murdok is the first to note that the village patron and his fellow schemers are attempting to bundle a young girl to a specific spot. The girl is bound and struggling, which the dwarf does not take kindly to, and all of these schemers are so busy with her that they fail to even notice his stealthy approach. When he clears his throat, they overreact and panic, then insist that presenting a virgin girl to the goblins is the only way to assuage their fury. Murdok – and the rest of the Company present – are having none of this, and their simple presence (along with the implied threat of violence in defense of the young lass) is more than enough to send the schemers packing.

And of course, in that moment, Lëodan looses his signal arrow: the goblins are coming!

Player Notes:

  • Following last week’s realization that we move really slowly overland, Maykew (CommJunkee) spent his earned CP to buy a very low-point ally in the form of a donkey in the hopes of speeding our troupe up. However, Dustan (Herodian) promptly discovered within his spell list the Quick March spell which almost made that animal redundant. Maykew still picked up the animal though because I think he’s got his eye on having a wagon (which is kind of common with CommJunkee, now that I think about it…)
  • Related to the above, we did discover after the fact that Maykew really shouldn’t have been up and about. Quick March has a thing where the subjects just collapse once it wears off. Live and learn.
  • We livestream our games every Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern; the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Company of the Bere

Live Stream

Once upon a time…

We begin with a fight! The Company of the Bere are in a small ring and split into two teams: Lëodan, Maykew and Ser Kenrick are in one, Dustan, Murdok and Rayna are on the other. A disembodied voice urges them on and the company quickly engage. Rayna lunges forward with her rapier, intent on skewering Maykew, but the brother-militant feverishly backpedals to evade her strike; his counter-attack somehow slips through her defense and takes her leg out from under her so she falls to the ground heavily.

Unluckily for him, Lëodan’s attempts to loose an arrow at Dustan results in the elf crippling his own arm and the wizard takes advantage of this by attacking with his staff. The two dance back and forth for long seconds, Lëodan now armed with a knife in his off-hand which proves to be less than useful against Dustan’s staff, but neither can strike the killing blow.

Ser Kenrick opts for defense, intent on countering Murdok, but the dwarf is confused about the situation, no doubt due to his bad hangover from the previous night’s drinking. Eventually, Murdok does stumble forward to attack, but it is a wild swing that misses and Kenrick’s counter-strike drives the dwarf to his knees. Maykew, who has by now circled around behind Murdok, attacks the dwarf’s skull with his mace, which knocks him out. Kenrick scowls at the brother-militant for the dishonorable strike.

15 Earlispring, 1000AE. The Capital, Generica.

Finally, the ‘exercise’ is called to a halt by Tankred of Stonewall, the Marshal of the Adventurer’s Guild. The Company are instructed to get cleaned up and go to the inn, where they will be summoned shortly; evidently, Válaris, the grand master of the guild, has a mission for them. They obey, some with more alacrity than others, and are soon summoned to the grand master.

Válaris greets the Company and advises them that, with the coming of the spring thaws, so too comes the inevitable raid season. The Arl of Northelderland has learned of an imminent bandit strike against one of his holdings and has thus requested that the guild send someone. Per Válaris, the Company is to go to Nobleham and present themselves to the arl on the Guild’s behalf where they shall receive additional instructions. Nobleham is two to three days travel away and Válaris further assigns Brother Aidin the Heal-Sick to the Company where he will serve as an observer to determine whether they are ready for advancement within the Guild. Standard reward will apply.

Following this meeting, the Company discuss plans: they must all go to their places of residence to gear up, then agree to meet back at the tavern to further discuss travel plans. Dustan opts to head to the Spire, where the Wizards’ Guild makes its headquarters so as to use its library to research the region that they are travelling to. When he rejoins the others, he has more information than before. While reviewing the three most likely routes, the Company opts for the northernmost road where it is expected that they will be able to stop at an inn along the way. Only Ser Kenrick has a horse and he flatly refuses to allow ‘Ser Magnus’ to act as a pack animal; Maykew incurs the less than attractive (but oddly intelligent) destrier’s ire by calling him ugly.

From the Capital, the Company strikes out as soon as they are ready, hoping to make as much distance as possible since they are on foot. Barely an hour after leaving the city, Brother Aidin asks for a slight deviation so he can visit a woodland shrine to Saint Victus, which commemorates the saint successfully challenged Lord Opposus to a wizard’s circle so as to free a slave or captive (the stories vary), a man who would later become Victus’ acolyte. Several of the Company – Dustan, Ser Kenrick, who counts Saint Victus as a patron due to the Oath and Measure, Maykew, and even Murdok – express interest in paying homage to this shrine as well.

Night falls with the Company on the road, having not made as much distance as they would have liked, and it is decided that they will camp until the morning. They do so, not thinking to set up a watch rotation, and soon, all are asleep. Late in the evening or perhaps early in the morning, depending upon one’s definition, Rayna experiences a terrible nightmare and wakes the entire Company. Upon seeing her thrashing about violently, Kenrick braves her flailing fists to wake her and is mildly unsettled by the strange way she stares at him before she fully wakes. Afterward, Maykew discreetly casts a spell upon her that ensures she has a restful slumber.

The Company are on the road early the next morning. Today, they make good time and, by nightfall, reach the ‘Two Burning Cocks’ inn.

Player Notes:

  • As stated previously, Gigermann took over the GM duties and we switched to Dungeon Fantasy, albeit with our characters starting at a mere 150 points. This session was rife with the usual ‘first game’ issues, particularly with regard to Feste’s continuing fight with Fantasy Grounds. Everyone else is invariably fine, but his computer always has issues when we start a new game. Always.
  • There was some brief confusion regarding the initial fight since we started out in media res and were paired off against one another, but that ultimately was cleared up. Mostly.
  • Gigermann evidently miscalculated exactly how slow the Company of the Bere moves overland without access to mounts. On the bright side, he and I (Rigil) discussed Ser Kenrick’s equipment offline and we discovered I had the wrong armor loadout; once I adjusted that, Kenrick is much, much faster overland, but this still leaves Maykew slowing us down. We’re talked about burning one of our ‘Preparation Plot Points’ to obtain a donkey to carry the bulk of our gear since Ser Kenrick’s strangely intelligent warhorse will not allow himself to be used as a pack animal.
  • We livestream our games every Saturdays at 6:00PM Eastern; the live stream can be found at Ronnke’s Twitch channel. He’s also setup a YouTube Channel.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Once upon a time, in the land of Clichéa, in the Kingdom of Generica, in the twelfth year of King Jon XVII, the land prospered. It was a period of uneasy peace, ten years since the Late Unpleasantness, and one year since the traitorous Luzar Drakeburne campaigned to usurp the Generic crown and was defeated. The king faced troubles from all sides; vassals plotting to take his throne, or gain their own; raiders terrorizing outlying farms; and neighboring kings awaiting opportunity to strike.

But far to the east, dark clouds gathered over Firemount: after a hundred years of silence, the Overlord of Nefaria recently sent his armies forth from the Black Tower and seized the neighboring Kingdom of Poorland. There is no doubt he next will march on Generica, his ancient enemy, and trod under foot any who stand in his path.

Meanwhile, a group of young, upstart adventurers of the Heroes’ Guild has formed a company of brothers-at-arms called The Company of the Bere (“bear,” not “beer”), and is about to be sent on their first mission…

Forgotten GreyLancErron

(Greyhawk + Forgotten Realms + DragonLance + Eberron)

It’s a generic medieval-fantasy campaign setting, based on traditional D&D material, that has roots going back to 2006 as a sort of in-joke in another gaming group, and originally intended for the D&D system. The worldbuilding centers around the imitation of the Crusader Kings 2 computer game. The campaign features heavy use of TV Tropes, with a strong Game of Thrones influence in its politics (that is, shamelessly ripped-off…err, an homage). As the worldbuilding was already well under-way on the Core Group Wiki, I decided not to relocate that information to Olympus.

Legends of Generica

See Campaign Info.

Tropes: Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, Genre Savvy: PCs (at least), Heroic Fantasy, Meaningful Name, Medieval European Fantasy, Medieval Stasis

I’m setting the tone of the campaign on the “silly-side of average,” like The Princess Bride or Stardust. I’m keeping the setting quasi-realistic, to the degree that I can, but allowing basic GURPS cinematic abilities, influenced to some degree by TV Tropes. The original D&D version would have started at 1st Level; this being GURPS, that means 150 points at the start—definitely still “green”—with their focus on eventual fame-&-fortune. The adventures themselves will be intentionally clichéd and simple, which should telegraph events for the properly genre-savvy—knowing it’s coming should be part of the fun. For the future, I’d like to get into some small-time realm-management, and of course, the campaign will undoubtedly end up featuring a long journey to take some McGuffin to Nefaria to destroy it before the Enemy can use it.

GM: Gigermann

This will be my first “real” campaign for the Olympus group since The Crusade back in 2011, and the first ever to be streamed on Twitch and recorded on YouTube. As a side note: I intend to blog some GM insights and behind-the-scenes stuff separately on my other blog site.

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

Running the Gauntlet

With the away team secure in the launch bay where they begin undergoing decon, Admiral (retired) Gloval orders the Aimless Pilgrim to combat stations while they begin burning toward the gate that will carry them back to Corfu. The three other starships in this pocket dimension – the Imperial patrol cruiser, Lightning; the Vargr corsair; and the Kalamanaru freighter – are already en route.

Almost immediately, the four ships engage one another; thanks to the slow zone’s effects, all missiles launched are easily torn apart by point-defense systems, but lasers engage easily enough. The lead Kalamanaru ship is hit multiple times – the Pilgrim’s gunners concentrate on it as word has gone out that they cannot allow the pirates to escape – and quickly begins to trail debris; seeing that they will be unable to avoid firing after all, the Kalmanaru ship brings its own guns online. At the same time, the Imperial patrol cruiser and the Vargr corsair exchange fire, ripping into one another and causing massive damage.

Without warning, a ‘high gee alert’ sounds throughout the Aimless Pilgrim and their velocity rapidly increases – whatever was preventing them from accelerating above a top speed has changed, which everyone presumes is due to the protomoss back on that space station. This changes little, however, and the four ships continue their mad race toward the Corfu gate, still exchanging fire. The Kalamanaru freighter absorbs even greater damage – the Pilgrim gunner and begins tumbling out of control; they aren’t going anywhere.

A salvo of missiles launched at the Pilgrim by the Vargr corsair abruptly bank hard for no apparent reason, making them easy pickings for the point defense. As the Imperial patrol cruiser orients onto an approach vector with the Corfu gate, the Vargr corsair darts in front of it, clearly intending on escaping first. Seconds later, one of the corsair’s drives flames out and the vessel misses the gate’s event horizon, instead impacting with the great ring itself. The gate immediately begins flickering wildly, though that does not stop the patrol cruiser from continuing its hard burn through the portal.

From the bridge, Gloval comms Ella – they’re receiving an SOS from an escape pod launched from the Vargr ship and it appears to be using Sae’s codes! Shaking her head in irritation, Ella asks that her errant crewman be retrieved. This deviation slows the Pilgrim down briefly, which allows the Lightning to roar through the fluctuating Corfu gate … and an instant later, the gate goes dark.

Panic is about to set in as sensors have detected massive energy fluctuations at the station when Lorain suddenly has a brainstorm. She gets on the comm and instructs her uncle to use the activation device they left with Gloval and set it to a specific coordinates. It works as a distant gate suddenly activates. With no other options, Gloval orders them to make a hard burn to this escape route.

With a brilliant flash, the Pilgrim transits through the gate and then …

Player Notes:

  • CommJunkee’s Traveller run has officially ended with this session. Although it was much shorter than normal, he left use on a nice cliffhanger that will be addressed when I (Rigil Kent) pick up this campaign. As the bulk of this session was a space battle or dealing with technical issues, the recap is by necessity lighter than normal.
  • Next week, Gigermann’s Dungeon Fantasy game is scheduled to begin. Both Andricus and Loki are sitting that game out, but Feste will be rejoining us.
  • We experimented with running a space battle more as a Chase which was a partial success. Mistakes were made along the way, particularly with regards to range; what we should have done (which didn’t occur to a lot of us until too late) is utilize the Dogfighting Chase rules that were in a Pyramid magazine issue.
  • Ran into some irritating technical issues that are likely due to Fantasy Grounds releasing a major new update to their software and our GURPS ruleset not officially supported by it. There may have been some conflict with a layers extension that CommJunkee was using.
  • 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

With a loud crash, the cargo elevator hits the floor of level five and the crew are hurled around by the impact. When they get up, the first they note is that Captain Stanbridge appears to be unconscious – Ibrahim checks her out and is relieved to discover that she is not badly injured. Unfortunately, the medical systems in her combat armor has been damaged and, as a result, she’s received an extra large dose of painkiller that has knocked her unconscious. Shy of exposing her to the unknown contaminants in the station which he strongly opposes, Ibrahim has no way of countering the drugs to wake her up, so the crew hastily rig a stretcher and carry her.

Rather than remaining in the elevator, they exit it and make their way back toward the non-cargo elevator shaft that will take them down to the sixth level which ostensibly houses a secret database. En route, they encounter a handful of protomoss zombies, but easily drop the ambulatory reanimated corpses who are absolutely not space zombies. Buck seals off the habitation section once the crew passes through, ensuring that the not-space-zombies cannot swarm over them but also ensuring that the way back is going to be slightly more difficult. That’s a problem for later, though.

Proceeding down to level six will require some careful manipulation – Ella is unconscious, after all – so while Buck and Haank first pry open the hatch and then rig up something to lower her down, Ibrahim and Lorain poke around into some of the rooms surrounding this lift shaft but do not find anything particularly interesting. Since he’s wearing space armor, Buck is the first to descend so as to ensure that they wouldn’t be swarmed by more glowing blue not-space-zombies. Once satisfied that a horde of ambulatory reanimated corpses are not waiting for them, the crew descend to level six.

A strange bio-organic computer-like device dominates the chamber that the crew enter upon exiting the elevator lift shaft on level six. Immediately, Ibrahim’s constant headache significantly intensifies; Buck looks over his suit, but does not find anything wrong. Looking around, everyone notes the unusual architecture of the room – it appears as if the strange bio-organic device was discovered here and the room around was formed around it. While looking around, Aris discovers another of the strange dial-out devices.

Jim the Drone is sent to further map out this level while Buck continues to poke around the chamber; he eventually theorizes that nanites were likely utilized to properly sculpt this room. He then breaks out a gizmo of his to do a quick scan of the protomoss sample that Ibrahim has in his possession, confirming that it is mostly comprised of nanomachines and is basically a ‘soft solid’ that is one step short of grey goo.

While this is going on, Ibrahim who is lurking near the elevator hears and observes the sounds and signs of a gunfight several levels above them; the elevator itself appears to have been completely destroyed so they’ll need to find a different way out. He advises the rest of the crew of this as well as the fact that someone is still fighting. No one is quite sure who to root for and decide that the Imperials are the least of three evils.

Aris begins examining the bio-organic device and confirms that it is some sort of computer, but he decides that he cannot begin to figure out how it actually works; from what little he can guess, it acts as a connective bridge to the stellar gates. Haank jokingly (mostly) declares that they’re in a really big router. They’re able to locate what appears to be a database of some sort and Buck tracks down the solid-state drives and simply removes them rather than trying to download them on the theory that they can figure the rest of the stuff out on the Aimless Pilgrim where it’s safe. They’re also able to determine that, despite the reactor having been mostly turned off, this level still had power to it.

Jim finds a sealed access hatch and alerts everyone of this. While Haank is talking to Gloval and exchanging a situation report, Lorain suddenly exclaims in surprise: she’s found a simulation that the Sky Raiders were running regarding the protomoss. If this stuff gets off the station, the entire Imperium could be threatened! It targets carbon-based lifeforms and then spreads insanely fast. If she understands what she’s reading correctly, the entire station was built from this stuff. The entire crew agrees: they can’t let this stuff get out.

When Armin opens the door that Jim found sealed, multiple yellow klaxon alerts begin sounding in ancient Vilani, warning of a ‘containment breach.’ Beyond the door, she sees an airlock looking into a tube that almost looks like a vacuum bridge used during spacecraft docking. Aris, Ibrahim and Lorain join her to investigate while Buck and Eddy stay behind to cover the elevator shaft in case of an attack. Haank has started trying to isolate the transmitter source.

Proceeding on through the airlock and traversing through the tunnel that is exposed to vacuum, Aris, Armin, Ibrahim and Lorain reach another hatch. Cracking the seal, they look into a chamber that is heavily overgrown with protomoss … and then the bluish lumps start moving. Abe immediately hits the CLOSE door and an ambulatory corpse stumbles into the hatch, momentarily halting it from closing. Jim the Drone immediately engages with his close-assault weapon and then Armin steps forward to deliver a powerful kick that sends the not-a-space-zombie flying back. This allows the door to close up but something explodes inside the room. Immediately thereafter, the alert klaxons turn red and a recorded voice declares, “Warning: critical contained breach detected. Evacuate the station.” Inside the room, the protomoss begins melting together … and then begins breaking down all of the materials around them. As the four (plus the drone flee), Ibrahim hears a psionic scream that fades into nothing…

At almost the same time, strobe flashbangs drop down from the elevator shaft, momentarily dazzling the defenders, and an instant later, a trio of Imperial space marines drop down into the room, bellowing for the crew to throw down their weapons and surrender now! They are to throw down their weapons and surrender or they will be fired upon. And almost at that very moment, the critical failure alerts begin sounding.

Eddy immediately lowers his rifle and raises his hands to surrender; Buck follows suit as does Haank as the heavily armored jarheads respond. A marine officer joins his team, demanding to know the reason for the alarm, which is about the same moment that Aris, Armin, Ibrahim, and Lorain stumble out of the airlock. Haank begins hurriedly explaining and the marine officer listens, then happens to notice a vidscreen with a camera feed of the room with the blue goop. The marine declares open a wide channel that all marines are to begin retreating at once; since his team have contragrav belts, they can get the crew out of danger.

The crew informs the officer that this stuff cannot get off this station; they need to destroy this station. Buck declares that he can rig the reactor to meltdown but he’ll need to go down a level; Armin volunteers to accompany him as protection and Aris decides to send Jim along as well. To try and earn some goodwill with the marines, Ibrahim volunteers to join the assault team that is engaged with Kalamanaru personnel and Haank declares that he will accompany the medic, while Eddy, Aris, and Lorain get Ella to the shuttle and begin prepping for dust-off.

Reaching the reactor level is no trouble and Buck immediately goes to work, intending on rigging the reactor to blow within an hour. While he’s doing this, Armin briefly wanders away to look around … and she’s almost jumped by a proto-not-a-zombie! Unfortunately for the ambulatory corpse, Armin is intensely strong and very skilled in martial arts, so she quite easily destroys the creature.

With a marine escort, Aris, Eddy and Lorain get Ella to the level where they have docked their shuttle. While there, they immediately get into an argument with the marine sergeant who has orders to escort them to the Imperial ship, not the Aimless Pilgrim. Eddy tries to talk the man down, but the sergeant refuses to bend, so Lorain interjects and offers the dialing device the crew discovered here on the station. This, along with Eddy’s valid points, leads the sergeant to let them go their own way.

Meanwhile, Haank and Ibrahim join the marines engaged in a holding action against Kalamanaru personnel. Abe immediately springs into action to help out a downed marine private, while Haank decides to sneak away in an attempt to flank the hostiles. During his attempts at stealth, he is detected and assaulted by Taren who has been far more successful in trying to stay undetected. The two exchange a flurry of blows, each attempting to get the other into an arm lock … and Haank is successful. In addition to breaking Taren’s arm, Haank then uses this arm lock to wheel his foe around into the line of fire of several Kalamanaru gunmen. As Taren goes limp from the fire, Haank reaches forward to arm the grenades on the man’s armor then shoves him toward the approaching gunmen before diving to cover. There is a satisfying explosion behind him as Haank retreats to the marine line and rejoins Ibrahim to ensure that his medic successfully retreats.

Now with their away team back on the shuttle, Haank takes flight controls and everyone buckles in. As they angle sharply toward the Aimless Pilgrim, the shuttle comes under fire from the Kalamanaru ship and takes damage. Trailing smoke and debris, the shuttle crash-lands in the Pilgrim’s landing bay…

Player Notes:

  • Technically, Armin wasn’t with us throughout the early parts of our space station exploration, but we just handwaved that away. What are you talking about? She was always there!.
  • Ronnke was in a hotel during the session but fortunately their wi-fi was good enough that he didn’t drop as everyone feared.
  • No Mel this session since she was off, lounging on a beach … like most of us would like to do.
  • CommJunkee’s Traveller run is winding down – he’s guessed that next week will be the last session. Gigermann will be taking over afterward with a Dungeon Fantasy game and the current plan is for me (Rigil Kent) to pick up with Traveller again after he’s done (although that likely won’t happen until well after the first of the year.)
  • 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

Husks of Men

The station’s reactor has come back online and, as a result, the strange blue ‘protomoss’ has begun to glow ominously. There does not appear to be an immediate threat, but still, the crew cannot help but to think that this is not going to end well. Attempts to kill the reactor from their current location fails and it appears that some sort of interlock is in place preventing this from happening; according to Aris, this interlock appears to be modern code, which the crew take to mean Kalamanaru’s people.

Aris then hacks into the station surveillance systems, which are now coming back online, and in the process of this, stumble upon a quick image of several ambulatory humanoids covered from head to toe in the glowing protomoss. All attention immediately turns to these … creatures and, though the resolution of the image is not the best, Ibrahim theorizes based simply on what he can see that they are former Sky Raiders whose biological components appear to have been taken over by some sort of bio-mechanical apparatus which prompts Eddy to suggest that might have been infected by the protomoss, especially since they do not seem to require life support. This seems pretty logical to everyone, although Ibrahim points out that he won’t have confirmation until he can open one of them up. Everyone immediately double-checks the integrity of their vacc-suits and Eddy looks askance at Ibrahim’s eagerness to encounter these things. Aris reports that he is unable to seal off the level where these … things are.

Ella attempts to make contact with the Imperium naval personnel boarding, using the Aimless Pilgrim as a go-between, but they instead receive only further warnings and threats from Commander Ferris. While this is transpiring, Aris is able to detect counter-hacking attempts as someone endeavours to take control of the surveillance cameras; rather than engage in a protracted contest, he simply crashes all camera feeds. If he has to blind, then so do they! He extracts as much data from the obsolete systems as he can manage, but this data still does not clear up the exact nature of the biological event or what this protomoss actually is. There is reference to a secret database located on level six, which they do not have floorplans for.

Initially, the crew intend to go directly to level six and, as before, opt to traverse through the elevator shaft itself rather than summoning the lift; as they do so, however, the lift arrives at level four – below them – and since the Imperials are just arriving, this is clearly Kalamanaru’s team. Suspecting that the would-be pirates are attempting to go down to the lower levels as well, Buck steps forward and uses his engineering expertise to sabotage the power supply of the elevator, thus trapping Kalamanaru’s on four. As he finishes, he hears the distinct sound of gunfire, prompting the crew to suspect that the criminals have run afoul of the strange glowing blue bio-mechanical things.

From their current position, the crew head deeper into the facility, intending on heading to the cargo elevator that is on the far side of this level. As they do, a pair of the bio-mechanical humanoids approach the crew from behind; Ibrahim is the first to engage with his storm carbine, but the gunfire draws a great deal of attention, and in seconds, an entire swarm of the things flood toward the crew. With his line of fire clear, Ibrahim advances on his felled target, kneels and begins conducting a full scan of it with his medcomp, covered by Eddy and Lorain while the rest of the crew unload their weapons upon the creatures. Buck is gang-tackled by several of the creatures but they are incapable of bringing him down and with Haank’s assistance, he promptly breaks free; Jim the Drone once more hovers above the crew, raking a steady stream of gauss rounds at the charging hostiles. Once the hostile creatures are down, the crew take stock of themselves: Buck’s space armor is smoking from acidic saliva scars from the creatures while Ibrahim announces his findings, that these things definitely were human once, but are now mere husks of men thanks to this bizarre protomoss.

The crew press on to the cargo elevator, encountering no additional resistance. They creep through what was once the equivalent of a botanical garden but has now been transformed into a hellish landscape thanks to the protomoss, halfway expecting an ambush at any moment. Upon reaching the hatch leading to the cargo elevator, Eddy opts to unlock the smaller personnel door rather than the much larger vehicle entrance. Once through this hatch, they summon the elevator and crowd in; even though they have selected level five, the elevator display reveals they are heading to four instead. Buck mashes the emergency stop, then hacks into the system and overrides all other commands to ignore all other commands. As the elevator resumes its descent, Ella, who is standing next to the door, hears a metallic-sounding tink!

“Grenade!” Ella shouts in warning.

And then, an explosion rips the doors apart and sends the elevator in a sharp dive.

Player Notes:

  • Loki was out this week as well. No Mel next week (presuming Hurricane Irma doesn’t prevent her vacay) so based on the way this episode ended, we expect that Ella will be knocked out or something. I suppose the fact we’re aware of the biohazard present – the ‘protomoss’ – is a legitimate excuse why Ibrahim doesn’t pop open her suit to get her squared away.
  • Lots of weird technical issues this session due to some map/image sharing issues.
  • 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

Through the Looking-glass

With Kalamanaru reinforcements on the way, Byard urges the crew to get clear as quickly as they can manage while he covers for them with the Imperium forces that he’s called in. He can give them twenty minutes tops, which is going to be tight for them as it will take Aris ten to fifteen minutes to get the shuttle here. The crew take this time to gather as much of the loot from the Vault that they can physically carry and, once the shuttle roars in, they scramble into it with Ella taking the controls. She has to do some fancy flying to evade the sensor nets that are freaking out over the shuttle’s (as piloted by Jim the Drone!) unscheduled departure, but eventually, she manages to dock with the Aimless Pilgrim once again so they can discuss their options.

Admiral Gloval is initially ready to get out of Corfu, having made sure to refuel the ship beforehand, but Lorain insists that what they’re looking for is in-system. Based on her understandings of the information they’ve gathered, she eventually identifies the coordinates which point them in the direction of the asteroid belt; unfortunately, there already appear to be multiple ships – an Imperium cruiser, Vargr corsairs, and an unidentified craft that everyone expects to be Kalamanaru-owned – converging on that location which confuses everyone: how did they know to go there? After some discussion, Haank suggests that they burn away from the coordinates and toward one of the inner planets. Once there, they will deploy a false beacon with their transponder code – rigged up in a missile; this is Eddy’s idea – and slingshot around the planet toward the coordinates while running silent.

Ibrahim retreats to the medical lab to study the data that Ella obtained at the lost temple since the trip will take multiple hours; what he discovers is confusing references to a ‘biological event’ that caused the Sky-Raider exodus to Corfu. Unfortunately, very little else can be gleaned from this treasure trove due to the extreme age of the storage units and the data itself being mostly corrupted. He suspects that he as lucky to get as much as he did.

While en route to the inner planet, the sensor operator notes that they’re being pinged by an Imperium sensor net and one of the Vargr corsairs are apparently pursuing the Pilgrim which causes Ella to wonder if they have a spy aboard. She digs into this, enlisting Buck’s and Haank’s assistance to poke into the systems on the ship to see if there are any indications of transmissions from the Pilgrim but find absolutely nothing. They are very confident that no one sent any messages out nor are there any signs of a homing beacon. Still, it’s somewhat troubling.

Many hours later, they reach the inner planet and conduct their slingshot maneuver complete with the deploying of the ‘cry-baby’ distraction device. With the Pilgrim now running silent, they race away toward the asteroid coordinates. Almost immediately, Eddy starts a pool about how long it will take the Vargr corsair to realize that they’re not following the ship. Buck ends up winning this pool – he guessed two hours and he’s almost exactly right on the nose – but the corsair is now multiple hours out of range.

A little more than a day later, the crew begin closing in on the coordinates where they find a mess waiting for them. Not only are there multiple Imperium ships, but the Vargr corsair and the unidentified vessel are both trying to maximize their stealth approach. The crew discuss and decided to replicate their cry-baby beacon (with a missile again) as a possible distraction; once this is implemented, their beacon is dropped and set to activate on a timer … and is very quickly destroyed by what appears to be a mine! Wide-beam comm-buoys begin transmitting warnings that this is restricted Imperium space and violators of this quasi-quarantine will be fired upon.

The Pilgrim matches velocity with an asteroid to use it as cover while the crew opt to send Jim the Drone out to peek over it and get line-of-sight of the target coordinates. What the drone sees is an immense but seemingly powered down gate-like structure that is being patrolled by multiple Imperium patrol craft; Lorain, fiddling with the ‘activation’ device, realizes that when it lights up, so does the stargate. While experimenting with this, she accidentally causes the gate to fully activate!

Almost immediately, the Vargr corsair burns hard toward the gate, passing through it before Lorain is quite aware of what is going on; the unidentified vessel everyone presumes to be Kalamanaru follows suit and Haank, realizing what’s going on, shouts for Lorain to turn it off. The corsair manages to get through before the gate deactivates and the Imperium patrol craft in hot pursuit simply passes through the ring without effect. Realizing that they may have just given Kalamanaru the keys to the Sky-Raiders tech, the crew decide to make a hard burn themselves to it. Everyone straps in and Admiral Gloval instructs his pilot, Lee, to ‘light this candle.’

The Pilgrim accelerates forward, ignoring Imperium communications ordering them to stand down. A volley of missiles head their way and the Pilgrim’s gunners go into point-defense mode to shoot them down. Lorain activates the gate via the device and they flash through the ring, hotly pursued by an Imperium patrol craft. With a suddenness that is exceedingly dangerous, the Pilgrim experiences a high-g deceleration which knocks everyone out briefly.

When they come to, they find themselves in a region of absolute darkness with no sign of stars. Arrayed in a perfect ring around several asteroids are a large number of additional ring-gates, though they all appear to be powered down as well. In the very center of this zone is a station that appears to be integrated into the largest of these asteroids; both the Vargr ship and the Kalamanaru vessel appear to be heading in that direction. The Imperium ship that pursued the Pilgrim appears to have suffered some damage and, at Haank’s suggestion, Admiral Gloval reaches out to what he will learning to be the Lightning as captained by Lieutenant Commander Ferris. The Lightning’s skipper is understandably furious with Gloval and the crew at their violation of Imperium law but after several minutes of … let’s call it ‘penis measuring’ for politeness, the two men agree to mostly leave one another alone for the time being. Gloval kills the comm-link when Ferris begins making yet another threat that includes words like impound and incarceration.

Upon seeing the Kalamanaru ship making a docking run at the station, the crew decide to follow suit, but opt to instead take the shuttle and board on the opposite side of the station. Lorain insists that she needs to be present since she’s the expert and she hands off the activation key to her uncle. After Ibrahim finishes attending to everyone’s superficial bruises and the like – Lorain’s father is the most badly injured, with a broken collarbone, so he cannot join them as he would like – the crew gear up and make sure they are fully armed and ready. Everyone expects to face Kalamanaru resistance somewhere and even Eddy grabs a gun.

Upon docking some hours later, the crew find the station dark and completely powered down. They are forced to manually open any hatches they find and they creep forward slowly, half expecting an ambush at any moment. Painted across several of the doors is an Old Vilani symbol for ‘Danger’ and Ibrahim reminds everyone of the ‘biological event’ that he read about. Since there is no atmo here, though, everyone remains sealed up in their suits. In the course of their examinations, they find a strange-looking foam or mold. Ever curious, Ibrahim cuts a piece free and deposits it in a sample bag that auto-seals up; while he does this, Eddy notices that this fungus seems to very briefly light up when Abe gets too close. After he passes this on, Ibrahim experiments, using a battery to determine that this strange mold-like substance seems to draw energy (and promptly drains the battery completely.)

Based on what they can see, the inhabitants of this station left in a hurry, which isn’t ominous at all. Moments after the crew use the turbolift shaft to proceed down a level into what appears to be a command deck, there is a minor rumble that vibrates through the deck of the station. Instants later, lights begin activating; Kalamanaru’s people have reactivated the reactor.

And then, almost instantly, the strange fungus-mold lights up in a brilliant almost neon blue light…

Player Notes:

  • Loki was out this week.
  • Amusingly, while listening to the recording on YouTube and working on the recap, I realized just how frequently we said some derivation of “What could go wrong?” when talking ourselves into doing something crazy. That should probably be our official company logo or something…
  • Every single one of the players has watched The Expanse on SyFy (and at least two of us have read the books that I’m aware of), so immediately upon entering the station and finding the strange growth in it, we started shouting “protomolecule.” Plus there’s the whole ‘GM is stealing from Book 3: Abaddon’s Gate’ thing for those of us who’ve read the books, so we’re all trying to brace for vomit zombies at any moment…
  • 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 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.

Spinward Star, LLP

Live Stream

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.